Since yesterday’s article on sprouts, I have been craving to have one of my most favorite pulses curry. It is a quick-fix, and tastes absolutely gorgeous with sliced onions and loads of lemon in it. It can also be had with rice, but I definitely prefer it with freshly baked rotis and ghee.
In our Indian culture, having a maid or domestic help is almost a must. And very few get lucky with good maids, who would work for you and with you for a long time, someone who you can trust easily and depend on.
Luckily, my family has had immense luck in this area. And not just ours, but all my relatives have had amazingly talented domestic helps who are not only excellent in their work, but extremely loving and caring too! And what better way to show your love and that you care, than through cooking good food.
Be it Radha Bai (who has been working for us for the past 15 years) or Nura (who has worked for my Masis’s / Aunt’s family for over 2 decades!
This is Nura’s biryani recipe. Originally from Hyderabad, no one could beat her in making this delicious, sumptuous meal! Be it any occasion or festival, she has a permanent request from the whole family, of making this awesome dish, in insane quantities! And the amazingly loving and caring person that she was, she would never deny it, in fact volunteer to make it, anytime, anywhere!
I know, even if she stood by me and told me the recipe step by step, I would never be able to match her skills for making THE BEST biryani ever!
I have really tried my best to make it as she does, and I hope I have done at least some justice to it.
To be honest, I am not a big fan of biscuits or cookies. But that all changed during my cabin crew days.
On all the flights to the U.S, for a snack with tea or coffee, we had to bake choco-chip cookies on board. The dough didn't come in any branded pack, so I always thought that the catering department actually made them from scratch. One of the days when I bumped into a friend who worked in catering department, I couldn’t stop myself from asking him if the cookie dough was branded or made by the department. And it turned out to be Nestlé cookie dough! As soon as I landed back at base, googled the recipe for cookies and also went and bought the Nestlé Tollhouse cookie dough. Made two batches of the cookies to see if I could create the same taste. And to my amazement, I did!! Ever since, I have been baking these so often, as they make a perfect breakfast with a nice glass of cold milk.
A very simple and a quick recipe, with mouth-watering results!
A definitely must-try.
This is, hands down one of my all time favourite snacks! I have read and seen so many posts about the amazing monsoon rains in India, that I couldn’t help but think of a nice cup of masala chai and what better snack with it than Bhakarwadis.
Though, no one can beat Chitale's Bhakarwadis, I really wanted to give them a try, and also make them in a healthier way.
This recipe does call for a bit of efforts, but the results are absolutely rewarding!
I really enjoyed making this, and even more, feasting on it with a nice cup of masala chai.
Hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Every now and then, I keep seeing people posting gorgeous monsoon pictures. It is my most favourite season, and in spite of being in a place where the temperatures are 47 deg and soaring by the day, looking at all the stunning cloudy pictures, I definitely get transported back home! Even though I am not going to touch the chai masala for another 4 – 5 months, till winter starts here, I couldn’t help but post the chai masala recipe because the facebook pictures called for it!
Nothing and absolutely nothing can beat a nice big mug of masala chai on a rainy day.
This one has a very special place in my heart, and brings back a flood of childhood memories.
My gammy lives in Nipani (a tiny place right on the border between Maharashtra and Karnataka). It is infact a very tiny place, and one can literally walk the whole city in a day (circumference and through). Since I have been born (my sister was 5 then), every school break / her summer vacation, we have been spending a good long 2 months with our grand-parents. My grandfather would always take us to the small market area, which had all possible stalls in one location ; vegetables, clothes, shoes, libraries. You name it and you can find it there. It was a major market area for the city, all located in one place.
To be honest, I hadn't planned on making this specifically. But day before yesterday when I had made अळू chi bhaji or Alu Chi Bhaji, I wasn't sure if the leaves would turn out to be edible. And after the sabji turning out to be absolutely delicious, I was glad I had not used 2 leaves so that I could try making अळू वडी (Alu Vadi / Alu fritters). Yesterday, one of my friends posted on facebook about the downpour in Mumbai and hence she made a typical maharashtrian dal-rice. That gave me a quick idea and an impulse to have that for dinner today along with अळू वडी which is a classic combination!
One of the main reasons for my Sunday Blues (for us in the Middle East, Sunday being the first working day) is not only getting up early in the morning after having a great weekend, but also deciding what to make for breakfast and lunch. On Sundays, I always end up making a breakfast - cum - lunch quick meals to get on with the rest of the day's work.
One of such quick recipes is Upma with vegetables.
My mum-in-law makes it the tastiest, and I have tried my best to get any closer to how her sabji turns out.
Another simplest, quickest and tastiest gujju recipes.
And yep, once you read the recipe don't pop your eyes with surprise at the typical 'secret' gujju ingredient.
Trust me, it adds a whole different flavour to these sabjis.
This is my husband's favourite sabji with freshly baked rotlis and ghee.
Do give it a try this way.
Very weirdly and entertainingly, I was the only kid who would love this green leafy vegetable, and would ask for it all the time! This has been an all time favorite!
A typical Maharashtrian Dish, which is made for any special occasion, like weddings, or festivals.
The nice soft texture of the puréed vegetable, with crunchy peanut and coconut slices, and a nice filling soft bite of Channa dal, with a stunning combination of sweet-sour-and-spicy makes it a dish liked by one and all.
Buying and handling Colocasia Leaves is a bit tricky. They should not be too big and rough to touch, or any other color but green. Few shades of yellow on the leaves is ok. But make sure they are not too mature, as they contain a high amount of sodium crystals which won’t even dissolve after cooking them in a pressure cooker. The worst is, if you end up consuming any vegetables / fries made of such leaves, they can irritate your throat a lot. Hence, caution needs to be maintained while choosing the right leaves. Even if you end up eating the high sodium leaves which irritate your throat, quickly have a banana and that should do the trick to soothe it.
A gorgeous, mild preparation which goes great with rotis and rice.
Hope you like it as much as I love it.
Today being Mitul's football evening, he comes home very late, so today becomes my day of trying out new soups and breads.
When the only tomatoes you can buy are not particularly flavorsome, make this soup. The roasting compensates for an lack of flavor in the tomatoes and the soup has a wonderful smoky taste.
A nice, thick filling soup.
This is one of our most favorite soups! Not just tomato soup, but has more in it to excite your taste buds.
Roasting the tomatoes in the oven gives them a gorgeous smoky flavor.
Cooking the pasta entirely in the soup not just makes the soup nice and thick, but also gives it a nice full bodied taste (as compared to a regular tomato soup).
And definitely, the basil leaves adds the hint of a nice herbal aroma to an already yummy soup!
Tastes PERFECT with a nice buttered toast.
The original name of this recipe is PANE CON POMODORI E CIPOLLE ROSSE
This is a robustly flavoured loaf originated in Tropea in the southern Italian region of Cabria. Ripe full flavoured tomatoes are essential to its success. Choose firm red tomatoes, or leave unripe tomatoes stem-side down on a window sill to ripen. Store ripe potatoes in a dark cool place but don’t refrigerate them.
Another foot ball day, and thus a new bread recipe trial day!
It's one of my childhood favourites!
I remember, when I was a kid, and my mom would make any sabjis that I didn't like much, she would always make this on the side too, just for me!
It tastes amazing with simple ghee roti, or even with simple dal rice.
A delicious preparation; with a lovely bite, juicy, tangy, sweet and a perfect garnish of a crunchy tempering!
Another dish I can have for all 3 meals! Simple, and yet so soo delicious! But be careful, it is known to give acidity, hence has to be accompanied by yogurt and a side salad.
My mom makes this the best, and this is 90% her recipe with a few editions of mine. It has always and will always be one of my most favourite dishes. Very mild, yet flavoursome.
More than for any other reason, I would always look forward to my grammy's fasting days just to feast on this. And especially when topped with some lemon juice, it is absolutely heavenly!
Some Maharashtrians even garnish it with chopped coriander leaves and grated coconut, but I prefer it simple and just by itself.
Last year, during our vacation in Kerala, our hotel happened to be very close to a major spices market. While shopping for them and enjoying every bit of the different fragrances, we suddenly stopped at a stall as I could smell an amazing Sambar Masala smell! None of the other stalls had any ground masalas to offer. So with very hopeful eyes, went and asked the shop owner if he had ground Sambar Masala, and to my disappointment, he denied, instead offered us his sambar lunch.
Not kidding, but seeing my love for South Indian food, my husband really believes that I should have married a south-indian and not him. On every weekend, it's our written-in-stone schedule, we HAVE to go to any udipi restaurant for a late breakfast and an early lunch (eating 2 meals at one time implied!). And trust me, I believe, we contribute to 25% of the restaurants business on that day!
This is one of my all time favorites, and I can literally gulp it down like soup.
The combination of idli pieces, soaked in sambar for 5 minutes, then dipped in chutney, is DIVINE. God bless the person who ever invented it!
A little interesting fact about this dish.
The origins of this dish are uncertain, although legend has that it originated in the kitchen of Thanjavur Marathas ruler Shahuji during the 18th century from the South Indian state of Tamil Nadu. It is believed that Shahji had a liking for a dish called amti which had kokum as one of its main ingredients. In one particular season, the kokum, which was imported from the Maratha homeland, ran out of supply, and someone suggested to him that the locals used tamarind pulp for sourness. Shahji experimented with the pigeon peas, vegetables, spices and the tamarind pulp and served his coterie and his cousin. The court liked the dish and named it sambhar after the guest of the day, Sambhaji, second emperor of the Maratha Empire.
I am sure a lot of South-Indians would disagree with me, but since childhood, I have always known them as Appams.
My mom has always made the best idli / dosa batter. When we were growing up, almost every alternate weekend would be an idli - dosa breakfast-cum-lunch massive meal. She would always make the batter in larger quantities, so the left over batter could be used to make other variations.
This is one of her creations. We have always loved it! And because of its tiny size, its even easier to get a quick bite and get back to work. In my school days, we would always have a long break and a short break. Whenever I had appams for my short break quick bites, I would never even get to see my lunch box opening! My friends loved it so much that it was like the appams had wings and they flew out of my lunch box, without me even getting a whiff of it!
This is one of my all time favourites!
Hope you like them as much too.
I insist, this is a MUST-TRY recipe.
Yesterday, one of my friends was feeling under the weather, and what better way to cheer someone up, than with a nice bowl of hot soup and freshly baked bread!
Luckily I had all the ingredients at home, and hardly took any time to whip this recipe and parcel the yummy meal!
Be it a cold winter day or a nice rainy day, this soup will definitely appeal to one and all.
Fresh Green Beans and Parmesan cheese make it simple but delicious combinations of flavors!
Anything to do with olives and WE LOVE IT!
Thats one of the best parts about living in the Middle East. Best quality of olives and an amazingly wide variety is available too.
Had to try my hand at making freshly baked olive bread to have it with Hummus, Moutabel and Tabouleh.
Our all time favourite!!
Another hot-selling street food dish in India. It definitely can be called the king of Chinese street food!
And the best part is, it hardly takes any time to make this one.
This is one of our patent weekend eve meals. It has an enough mix of vegetables and meat and sauces in it that doesn't need any other accompaniment.
I can't wait for dinner now!
In spite of its bitter taste, I have always loved bitter gourd. Especially fried slices of bitter gourd with dal-rice. Absolutely delicious! And I have been trying to find a way to get Mitul to have it once a while too.
In one of the Kerala Recipe Books, I came across this recipe, and had to make it right away.
The coconut and the onions definitely tone down the strong bitter taste of the gourd. And that trick worked perfectly with Mitul, as he loved this dish.
Tastes amazing with simple curd rice and fish fry.
For some weird reasons, I just can't stand the smell of fish, or anything to do with fish if I have to cook it. And I don't stop hearing the end of it from Mitul.
I am a maharashtrian, and my husband is a gujarati. So, for him and according to him all maharashtrians are coastal people, who live, eat and dress like them! And every time I refuse to cook any fish for him, I get to hear and justify the same story!
Last year during monsoon, we decided to have a quiet, peaceful vacation, by spending all the time in just one place and driving around it.
Luckily we landed in Alappuza, Kerala. The hotel’s restaurant was right by the lake, and the ambience was absolutely stunning! A typical Kerala themed restaurant, with antique wooden chairs, tables, pillars and everything else! It was absolutely gorgeous! Especially with a heavy downpour, Mitul and I have spent hours sitting at that restaurant and looking at the lake, sipping on chilled beer, reading books and working on the clicked pictures of the day. We loved the hotel's restaurant food and the location so much that we would make sure to come have lunch and dinner there.
One of the days I decided to get a bit more adventurous and order the Kerala Masala Fried Fish. I have never tasted anything so delicious!! It was so gorgeous that Mitul had to order his own fish! Me feasting on a fish was the highlight of our vacation! In all the days that we spent at the resort, we ordered that dish daily! It was so awesome that I had to walk to the kitchen and compliment the chef!
We tried to find out the recipe, but the chef couldn’t give us a lot of information on it. On our way back, at the airport we had a little time to spare, so walked into one of the bookstores, and I headed straight to the cooking section and picked a book which had the same picture of my most relished dish!
And hence, this weekend when I got the request of making ''my people's dish'' differently, I thought of trying my hand at this.
Surprisingly, it turned out fabulous! Didn't taste or smell like raw fish at all!
Definitely a must-try!
There is not one person I know who doesn't like paneer! Its a national favourite! Like the love of cheese for the French, its die-hard love of paneer for the Indians.
My husband and I, both of us don't like cashew or any nut based gravies. They make the dish too rich and heavy and ruin all the fun of relishing the gravy.
My mum-in-law suggested another alternative to make a gravy nice and thick, and give it a creamy taste without really adding any nuts or dry fruits paste. You have to read the recipe to know the secret!
This is one of our all time favourite paneer dishes, and it tastes heavenly with parathas and a salad.
Last year, during the peak of monsoon season, my husband and I spend the most amazing 10 days in Alapuzza, Kerala. And lucky us, our holiday happened during Onam.
We had heard a lot about Kerala cuisine, but never had had the chance to relish it. Our holiday gave us THE perfect opportunity to do so.
On one of our canoeing rides, our guide, Anil, was very kind enough to invite us to his house for the Onam celebrations. Anil, Jayanti and Anandu ; one of the simplest, and the most down to earth family, who lived it king size with whatever they earned everyday or managed to fish out of the lake.....
Our delicious lunch that day had Vendekka Varathathu, prawns fry (caught in the lake RIGHT outside the house and tossed on to a pan!), parippu curry, avial, riace and poppadums.
I have never tasted anything so soo delicious! Ofcourse, cooking them on wood-fire gives it the best smoky taste, but apart from that, the combination and proportions of spices was just perfect! I had to get all the recipes from Jayanti and definitely try them out!
Hopefully I have made some justice to Jayanti's expertise.