Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Rajma Chawal

Rajma Chawal is a simple yet delicious meal for Sunday afternoon or after a hard day’s work. A little planning is required. It is important to soak Rajma (Kidney beans) for 7-8 hours. Jammu Rajma or Kashmiri Rajma is a variety of Rajma which is smaller and red in colour. I prefer this variety over other varieties as it takes only 15 minutes to cook Jammu Rajma whereas other varieties take minimum 25 minutes to cook. Also it is tasty and looks good.
Ingredients :

1 cup Jammu Rajma
Onions – 2 big (chopped finely)
Tomatoes – 2 big (grated)
Ginger – 1 tbsp (grated)
Green Chillies – 2 (whole)
Coriander leaves – 1 tbsp. (chopped)
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp.
Dhania powder – 1 ½ tsp.
Red chilli powder – ¾ tsp.
Garam Masala – 1 tsp.
Oil – 1 tbsp.
Salt – As per tast.

Method :

1. Soak Rajma in water for 7-8 hours.
2. Discard water (some people use it).
3. Add 4 cups of water and salt. Cook for 15 minutes.
4. In a kadai put oil, fry onions for few minutes.
5. Fry ginger and whole green chillies.
6. Fry grated tomatoes and then add all the masalas.
7. Add the cooked Rajma. Simmer for a few minutes.
8. Add more water if required.
9. Garnish with coriander.
10. Serve hot with Rice.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Seviyan (Vermicelli) Upma

Vermicelli (Bambino) Seviyan - 3 cups
Onion - 2 (Cut into small pieces)
French Beans - 10-12 (cut into small pieces)
Green Peas - 1 cup
Carrot - 1 (Cut into small pieces)
Cauliflower - 8-10 small florets
Tomatoes - 2 (chopped)
Mustard Seeds or Rai - 1 tsp
Kari Patta - a few
Green chillies - 2 (Cut into 2 pieces)
Coriander leaves - finely chopped
Turmeric - ½ tea spoon
Red chilli powder - ½ tea spoon
Salt - as per the taste
Oil - 1 1/2 tbsp
Water - 6 cups
  1. Dry roast Vermicelli in a Kadai until it becomes brownish in colour and then take out of the kadai.
  2. In the same kadai add oil, now add mustard seeds, after they burst add Kadi Patta and green chillies.
  3. Now fry onion. When the onions become brown add tomatoes.
  4. Add the cooked vegetables (Cook the vegetables separately).
  5. Now add turmeric, salt, chilli powder and mix well.
  6. Then add hot water (double of vermicelli).
  7. When water starts boiling, add the roasted seviyan. Cook on high for 2-3 minutes and then reduce the flame.
  8. Cook till the vermicelli becomes soft.
  9. Garnish with coriander leaves.
  10. Eat with green coriander chutney or curd.
Tip : All the finely cut vegetables can be separately cooked in a microwave on high for 4 minutes with a little water sprinkled over the vegetables. Sometimes there is no vegetable at home, vermicelli can be cooked with only onion and tomato. It also tastes good. It is an instant breakfast.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


Green Peas are full of protein, vitamins and minerals. It is also a source of dietary fibre. Green peas provide some amounts of vitamin C. The sodium content of green peas is low and fat is almost zero.

It is time of the year to keep your family warm with soups. With winter setting in and need of warm soup thus arising, I am giving you another recipe of soup i.e. Peas Soup.

Peas Soup

500 gms. Pea Pods
2 medium potatoes
1 big onion
salt - less than ¼ tsp.
fresh powdered black pepper -1/4 tsp.
4 cups water
1 tsp. butter
Fresh cream (from top of milk)
  1. Cut the onion and potatoes lengthwise.
  2. Take out the peas from the pods.
  3. Heat 1 teaspoon butter.
  4. Fry onion for few seconds, followed by potatoes.
  5. Now add peas and 4 cups of water.
  6. Pressure cook the above. (about 2 whistles).
  7. Cool the contents and Blend in mixer till smooth.
  8. Strain and Boil alongwith salt and pepper powder.
  9. Serve hot with a swirl of fresh cream (make smooth with spoon) and pepper.
Note : For four people. The soup is divine. My children like it
very much. The recipe is more or less similar to that of Tomato Soup.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Tomato Soup

Botanically a fruit, the tomato is nutritionally categorized as a vegetable. It is rich in calcium, phosphorus, Vitamin C & A and Carbohydrate. It acts as a stimulant to the kidneys and helps in washing away toxins. The red colour (lycopene) keeps aging at bay. Lycopene is an antioxidant which makes sure that there is no harmful free radicals in the system.
Tomatoes can be cooked alongwith vegetables, can be consumed raw in salad or delicious tomato soup can be made.

Tomato Soup (Step-by-Step)


500 gms. red and ripe tomatoes
2 medium potatoes
1 big onion
2 tbsp. sugar
salt - less than ¼ tsp.
fresh powdered black pepper -1/4 tsp.
4 cups water
1 tsp. butter
1 inch ginger (optional)
Fresh cream (from top of milk)


1. Cut the tomatoes in small pieces.
2. Cut the onion and potatoes lengthwise.
3. Heat 1 teaspoon butter.
4. Fry onion for few second, followed by potatoes.
5. Now add chopped tomatoes and ginger.
6. Add 4 cups of water.
7. Pressure cook the above. (about 2 whistles)
8. Cool the contents and Blend in mixer till smooth.
9. Strain to remove seeds and peels.
10. Boil the strained soup alongwith salt, sugar and pepper powder.
11. Serve hot with a swirl of fresh cream (make smooth with spoon) and pepper.
Note : I make this much soup for four persons. I never add any
thickening agent like cornflour or maida. Potatoes make the soup thick.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

A visit to Patiala

Hi Friends!
Recently I visited Patiala. Patiala is a city in the Punjab State of India. It takes about one and a half hour to drive to Patiala from Chandigarh. Patiala is famous for its peg (referred as Patiala Peg), pagri (traditional headgear), paranda or Parandi (women weave them at the end of their plaits or braids. The ‘parandi’ today seems to have become an item used exclusively in weddings or as a souvenir being bought by tourists or being gifted to them), Jutti (traditional Punjabi footwear embroidered in several patterns and colours to match dresses), Patiala shahi salwar (A large amount of cloth is required to make the heavily pleated salwar . In the olden times only Royal people could afford to buy the seven metres of cloth needed to make a suit with a Patiala salwar. Hence tagged ‘shahi’), Patiala Lassi (a big glass of lassi) and Phulkari (traditional embroidery of Punjab).

"Sheesh Mahal"

Another picture of "Sheesh Mahal"

"Quila Mubarak"

A "Jutti" shop in Patiala

Now, I am telling you the way Patiala Lassi is being made. Though one can have Lassi in any season, it is best to consume it during hot Summer days. It kills body heat.
Lassi Patiala


2 cups fresh Curd
1 tbsp. sugar
1 cardamom powdered
8-10 strands saffron
1/2 cup crushed ice
Malai - 2 tsp.
Milk - 1 tsp.
1. Soak saffron in 1 tsp. of milk and rub till dissolved.
2. Mix sugar in curd till well dissolved.
3. Just before serving combine all ingredients.
4. Whip well with a hand or electric beater.
5. The lassi is ready when it is light and frothy.
6. Serve chilled with malai (fresh cream) on top.
Note: 1-2 drops of Rose, Kewra or Vanilla essence can be added instead of saffron. Also cardamom is optional.