Showing posts from 2009

Uttappam Or Bread Dosa

Anyone remember college gatherings back in India, also known as variety entertainment show?Due to various reasons government of Maharashtra had changed the rules and by the time I went to college, these programs had turned into one day watered down version of what it used to be. I was lucky enough to watch these when I was a school going kid. My father was a librarian in local college and we got opportunity to visit his college to watch these gatherings. We would take a bus to go college, visit the library, see books but unfortunately there were no books for us to read. My brother and I would play hide and seek by taking advantage of the big bookcases and the arrangement.
After going to other departments, watching the dead animals, looking at colorful rocks, we would then go to see the actual show we had come to see. I barely remember things from those shows with few exceptions. Then came the important part of the trip. We would then go to college canteen. We would sit in the family r…

Indian Cooking Challenge - Chegodilu

I was extremely busy when this month's challenge got announced and was not sure if I will get time to even try this once. I wanted to start on this project again as it will give another opportunity to learn a new recipe. We Maharashtrians have similar deep fried delight called 'Kadaboli' but made with mixed grain flour. It has been long time since I made any of these as I don't usually like to deep fry. I made an exception for this challenge as I was remembering my childhood when I used to help my grandma to roll these. My cousin and I would make various shapes. Grandma wouldn't mind as we would play with the dough for hours in stretch. I guess that gave grandma enough time to prepare rest of the things. These Chegpdilus reminded me of some of the greatest time. These came out really good and it was worth the effort!

Feel like participating in the next Indian Cooking Challenge? Read all about it here.

Here is Srivalli's simple recipe for these savory rings -

You …

Vegan Crepes with Persimmon Filling

Its been unusually cold weather these days here and one feels like having something warm all the time even for the breakfast, cold cereals just don't cut it. We have this beautiful persimmon tree in the backyard with orange bulbs weighing down the branches and and when you cut open one, you can feel the crunch. These are extremely juicy and flavorful.
On Tree

I, one day got few to share with my colleagues. All took one each but Tracey took a few and told me that she uses them for crepe filling! Obviously I got interested in knowing the recipe so she shared general idea and then I experimented just with filling and then with crepes. I had searched for vegan crepes in the past and had liked this recipe. I am hooked on these crepes and will be making it few more times until I have persimmons on the tree.

Persimmon filling -

Persimmon Filling
2.5 cups Persimmons diced 1 tsp earth balance 1 tsp brown sugar (optional) pinch of nutmeg
Preparation - Heat earth balance in a heavy bottom s…

Comfort food - Daal Tadka and Jeera Saffron rice

Vacation is a time when you enjoy visiting new places, eating new food. Once you are back, you feel like eating simple homemade food. Simple daal-rice is my choice when it comes to quick simple food. Each household has a favorite recipe to make daal as I have mine. But I try to make daals in different ways as I enjoy eating them as soups. I remember seeing Daal-Tadka on a restaurant menu long time ago and still remember me not ordering it. Later jeera rice and daal-tadka became staple in restaurant outings. My brother who is a good cook and also likes to try out new recipes. Once after a restaurant outing with cousins we decided to make this for our parents who tend not to go out to eat and as expected they loved it. Later we both changed it to suit our individual tastes and both make it regularly. Jeera saffron rice tastes great with this daal and is extremely easy to make.

Daal Tadka

Here is simple daal-tadka recipe - Daal - 1/2 cup moong daal 1/4 cup toor daal 1 tomato 2 tsp aamchur powd…

Versatile Apple

Fall is all about falling leaves, crisp weather and fruits like pears, persimmons and apples. While I can practically live on fruits, apples is something I used to avoid as much as I could. I stopped buying apples after seeing GIANT supermarket fruits. I eventually found out about the farmers market and started buying various varieties of apples along with other luscious fruits. But still apple is something that I used to ignore as much as I can. Then I found out about green apple raita that my friend Priya makes and and methapple that TC makes and apple crisp that ET makes. I make panhe by steaming fresh apples and making my own apple sauce for instant version. I also tried making this apple pie filling that my classmate from pottery class taught me but that is tad sweet for my palette.

Now coming back to the recipes, I am going to share a quick fix pickle and koshimbeer from varieties of apple.

Fuji Apple Pickle -

Apple Pickle

1 Apple
1 lime
1 tbsp oil
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp fenugreek s…

Chane Pindiwale

It was about 10+ years ago when I tasted this. I was visiting my aunt in Mumbai and her neighbor who usually used to send almost everything that cooked at her place for taste. Very simple and tasty food. I was told that was Pindiwale Chane. I always thought pindiwale chane was a special dish from Ravalpindi! How ignorant! I tried to recreate that taste but never could get that exact flavor. I totally forgot about it in last few years. And it all came back recently. One of my colleague who is from Delhi got me a packet of Chole masala/chana masala from local market in Delhi. He told me that pind means small village and chane made in villages usually made with minimal ingredients so the name 'Pindiwale Chane'. And I am the last person to talk about the punjabi food so please pardon me if this is not true!

Chana Masala

I tasted the masala I got and I distinctly could taste coriander, cumin, black pepper, aamchur, bit of kala jira, black salt/rock salt and red pepper. It might have …

7 cup barfi

(7 cup barfi in Marathi)
This barfi is extremely rich in taste and makes a perfect sweet for Diwali. Recently a friend made it to distribute as a diwali treat for her colleagues. One of her colleague liked it so much that she wanted the recipe. So here is the recipe with some changes I made along the way -

7 cup barfi with carrots

1 cup Chick Pea Flour (Besan)
1 cup grated carrots
1 cup milk
1/2 cup clarified butter
2 cups sugar (may be a bit more)
1 tsp cardamom powder
chopped almonds (optional)

Preparation -
Grease a cookie sheet with butter/oil and set it aside.
Heat a thick bottom saucepan on medium heat and add all the ingredients.
Stir constantly with a wooden spoon. Mixture will start leaving sides of the pan in about 15-20 minutes. It should start forming ball in the middle of the pan.
Pour the mixture on greased cookie sheet and spread with spatula. Please avoid touching the mixture as it is extremely hot.
Using sharp knife cut 1 inch squares and let them cool.
Separate the barfis when its …

Methi Mutter Malai

(Methi-Mutter-Malai in Marathi)
I am not a huge fan of restaurant kind of Punjabi food. I usually try to avoid going to these so called 'Indian' restaurants as the gravies of all the dishes tastes the same. There is hardly any indication if the dish is vegan or not. The whole staff is so careless at times that if you ask them, they might just say malai kofta is vegan ;). On the other hand, homemade daal makhani, alu matar, chole, rajma tastes so yummy that I can just live on that. I hear so many people talk about 'restaurant taste' and I feel sorry for them because they associate good food with restaurant. I remember an incident from my childhood. We had gone to one of our acquaintance's home and lady of the house had made nice upama. My mom complimented and their college going kid immediately said 'but it doesn't taste good like hotelwala's'. My mom got very angry and said 'why don't you start living in hostel so that you can eat hotel food …

दिन दिन दिवाळी

Mom's Karanjis

'दिनदिन दिवाळी गाई म्हशी ओवाळी' असे गाणे आम्ही पूर्वी दिवाळीत म्हणत असू. आता ते गाणे आठवत नाही पण त्यावेळची दिवाळी पण मनातून जात नाही. करंजी हा दिवाळीतला महत्वाचा पदार्थ जो इतरवेळी क्वचीतच केला जातो. एका वेगळ्याप्रकारच्या करंजीची रेसिपी मी मायबोलीच्या १० व्या दिवाळी अंकासाठी दिली. यानिमित्ताने पहिल्यांदा रेसिपी व्हिडीओशूट केली. हीच रेसिपी तुमच्या सर्वांसाठी इथे देखील देत आहे.

पिठाच्या करंज्या

आपल्या सर्वांना दिवाळीच्या हार्दिक शुभेच्छा!

Happy Diwali

Quick and Healthy Date Rolls

(Khajoor Laadoo in Marathi)
It was about 5 years ago I had started eating only raw food. I got bored eating just fruits as dessert and needed something that was bit sweeter and not 'fruity'. I always stocked different varieties of nuts and dates at the time. This was something I came up in a jiffy one day for a friend who came over for tea. Its been a staple at my place ever since. Instant gratification without any added sweetener, it can't go better than that!

I am sharing this quick simple and crowd-pleaser dessert for Diwali!

Khajoor Laddoo

1 cup mixed nuts (Almonds, cashews, walnuts)
1 cup Medjol dates
1 tbsp poppy seeds (optional)
4 tbsp dried dessicated coconut (optional)

Procedure -
Roast poppy seeds on low flame. Powder roasted poppy seeds in grinder.
Coarsely powder mixed nuts in food processor. This should yield about one and half cup of powder. Set the powder aside.
Now remove seeds from the dates and coarsely grind them in the food processor.
When the ground dates start …

Patal Pohyancha Chivada

Diwali is just around the corner and it brings back lots and lots of memories from the past. This will be my 10th Diwali celebration away from 'home'. After every India trip I decide to go to India to celebrate the next Diwali and it has not happened yet, may be next year!


I loved everything about Diwali except the firecrackers. I hated the noisy kind. The best thing about diwali was food and the magazines. My dad would order 'Kishor', 'Kumar' and 'Amrut' for me in Diwali. These were special editions magazines printed for Diwali. Reading them as soon as they arrive used to be highlight of Diwali. I remember one year I kept all my firecrackers till the last day as I was busy reading the magazines. On the last day of diwali I started lighting my share and without any of us realizing what happened, the whole box started bursting. My dad and mom were scared and they couldn't reach me and the whole show went on for at least for 15 minutes. I …

Ragada Patties

'Ragada Patties' is one of my favorite fast food. We used to go to this road side vendor near Mahalaxmi Temple (precisely near Vidyapeeth Highschool) when I was studying in Kolhapur. Ragada Pattice, Aloo tikki, Samosa Chat were few items that I remember eating there. He had a very small cart with a big aluminum plate filled with ragada constantly boiling over small kerosene stove, warm samosas and kachories in separate plates, sweet tamarind chutney, green mint chutney and yogurt stainless steel containers lined up on his right hand side giving him easy access to the content. You will always see at least 10-12 people sanding around his cart at any given moment. He would remember everyone's order and with maximum 10-15 minutes wait you will get a plate in your hand, warm ragada either samosa, aaloo tikki, or kachori, sweet and green chutneys, fine sev and chopped cilantro. He would add yogurt in the chats but not in ragada pattice.

As we were staying in hostel, we were alwa…

Three Versions Of Banana Bread

Banana is one of my least favorite fruit. I can still eat a small bananas that we get in India but the one we get here are so huge that I can't even finish half of it. Then again it has to be ripe just enough, not too soft or not too raw. I do not even touch the brown ones. Recently we bought five different types of fruits, including bananas, to offer Ganesh during Pooja. As we had so many other fruits at home, bananas were sitting on the kitchen counter for really long time making them all brown and mushy. This happened to me around 4-5 months back as well. That time I searched for various banana breads and decided to try this one. Then I also tried Vaishali's vesrion of banana cake.

These days I started buying bananas just to have an excuse to make either one of these. I have tried Vaishali's version with almonds, walnut and pecans. I loved one with walnuts the most.

Vaishali's Banana Cake with Walnuts

Texture of Banana Cake from Group Recipes was more like bread than c…

UkaDiche Modak - Indian cooking Challenge - Ganesh Chaturthi Special

Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated bit differently in Maharashtra. Its celebrated at home as well as as community. Lokamanya Tilak transformed that into a community based event. Most of the time a group of people come together and form a committee and decide on the agenda, decoration and programs through out 10 days of the celebration. A pandal is hoisted and decorated with colorful fabric, lights, flowers. Some community decides to decorate the pandal with a theme from Mahabharat or Ramayan or choose a topic from current events. These days some communities even started using eco-friendly methods to celebrate and spread importance of making ecologically smart choices in day-to-day life. Some communities have daily programs in the evening that showcase local talent.

Here in US, we try to do as much celebration we used to do in India. We bring Ganesha home, decorate as much as we can, make garlands, draw rangoli. And of course for every festival there has to be some special food. For Mahar…


Here is a fruit bouquet to celebrate the lovely award by Jaya and Vaishali. Thank you both for sharing the award with me.

Fruit Bouquet For Celebration

Here are some (non)interesting things about me -

1. As a child I was extremely slow and would take at least an hour to finish my lunch or dinner. My mom would get mad at me almost daily (make that multiple times). A classmate from 4th grade who knew that 'slow' me, met me in grad school. After observing me for couple of days, she said just because I know only one girl with that name, I have to believe its you otherwise you have changed drastically!

2. My mom once made dhokla and she did not give me more than one piece as it would have upset my stomach. I still remember the corner of the house where I sat crying and saying 'I want Thokla (means block in Marathi)' and my father gave me wooden blocks of alphabets and I refused is saying not this Thokla, the eating kind! I guess my love for dhokla started back then when I was …

Tomato, Bell Pepper and Garlic Chutney

I recently got few heirloom tomatoes, couple of Fresno chilies, few tiny bell peppers. I was hoping for well growing healthy plants which would yield giant bell peppers and tons of fresnos when I planted my vegetable garden this spring. Creatures that own 'our' backyard had some other plans! squirrel ate all the pepper plants leaving just hard stems, birdies ate cilantro, basil, fenugreek and whatever they could. The only plants survived were tomato plants and mint. Later we built frames with wire net to keep these creatures out of my vegetable patch. Finally we started getting few tiny bell peppers, few stems of cilantro, garlic leaves, tomatoes! This year I decided not to harvest the almonds from trees in the backyard because I wanted save my vegetable patch for myself and let them eat the fresh nuts as many as they want. Something for me and something for me. I am happy and I hope they are happy too.

Tomatoes-bell peppers-garlic

Even though the name of the post is mouthful, …

Kacchi Dabeli Sandwich

'Dabeli' was something that I ate very late in life but I am glad that I did. It is very different than any other quick meals that you get. Its not deep fried and does not have tons of butter, or may be it does and I did not notice. I still remember I had it first near 'HongKong Lane' Pune. Those who know Pune, very well know what lane I am talking about. There was this small book store at the end of the lane and then there was a Dabeliwala with his bicycle. He would warm the potato mixture spoon it on the paav and then generously apply green and tamarind chutneys, sprinkle shev, masala peanuts and pomegranate seeds and voila! the dabeli was ready to enjoy. It was fun to watch him do the whole process and the dabeli was definitely one of the better tasting ones.

In recent India visit I saw a vendor was selling 'Amul butter Dabeli' in Bombay and I kept on wondering why would someone want to add butter on such a tasty filling. But I guess there are people who like…

अडाई (Adai)

मी अडाई पहिल्यांदा खाल्ली त्याला बरीच वर्षे झाली. मग अचानक विसरून गेले. मग अचानक एका मैत्रिणीकडे खिसलेले गाजर आणि कोबी घातलेले अडाई खाल्ले टोमॅटोच्या चटणीबरोबर आणि मला ते खूपच आवडले. हे तिला सांगितल्यावर अमचे एकदम साटेलोटे ठरले, मी तिला पालक डाळ करुन द्यायची आणि तिने मला अडाई पीठ करुन द्यायचे. हे वर्षभर नीट चालले पण मग ती देशात निघुन गेली आणि मग तिला माझी पालक डाळ मिळेनाशी झाली आणि मला अडाई. मग रेसिपी एक्स्चेंज झाले मी ब्लॉगवर पालक डाळ तिच्यासाठी लिहिली आणि तिने इमेलमधे मला अडाईची रेसिपी पाठवली :) तर तिची ही मस्त रेसिपी लिहुन ठेवायची तर ब्लॉगवरच का नको? म्हणुन मग मी जरा त२-३ वेळा करुन पहिल्यानंतर लिहितेय -

Adai Rolls
१ भाग हरभरा डाळ (चणा डाळ)
१ भाग मूग डाळ (शक्यतो साल असलेली)
१ भाग उडीद डाळ (शक्यतो साल असलेली)
१ भाग तूर डाळ
१ भाग तांदूळ (मी ब्राउन राईस वापरला)
४ लाल सुक्या मिरच्या
२-३ पाकळ्या लसूण
चवीप्रमाणे मीठ
२ टेबल्स्पून खोबरे (सुके/ओले कोणतेही चालेल)

कृती -
सर्व डाळी आणि तांदूळ नीट निवडून धुवुन पाण्यात कमीतकमी ६-७ भिजत ठेवावे. भिजवतानाच त्यात लाल मिरची आणि लसूण घालावा. ६-७ तासानंतर त्यातले…

Orange Coconut Barfi

Priya, had this amazing orange barfi on her recent visit to India and told me all about it. The combination was really interesting. I have heard about Haldiram's Santrabarfi but I am sure it has Khoya/Mava but I did not ask her. Then I remember seeing Nupur's version of Orange Basundee by Sandeepa. Looking at all these things I wanted to make something sweet with home grown oranges but did not want to use any milk product. I have tried orange rice and that also tastes great and I have blogged about it here. Then decided to try only with fresh coconut and orange juice avoiding any milk products. And result was amazing. This was special treat for Rakhi/Narali Pournima this year and I have got 'farmaish' for more!

Here is how I made it -

2 cups freshly grated coconut (can use frozen unsweetened coconut)
1 cup orange juice
1.25 cup sugar (can add some more if needed)
1 tsp cardamom powder
2-3 threads of saffron
10-12 pistachios (optional)
1 tbsp orange zest (optional)

Preparation …

Visit to farmers market and three pepper salad

Farmers markets give me a feeling of going to Mandai/Sabji Mandi in India. I went to mandai with my mom since I was baby. My mom remembers couple of times I just disappeared in the market while she was paying the vendor. We both laugh at the memories now but, although I do not remember much, I can imagine it must have been a very scary moment for both of us. After a while I learnt to go to mandai alone. Vendors would recognize me by face and give special treatment as any girls of my age would rarely go to the mandai alone. I really enjoyed bargaining for the price while picking best possible tomatoes, okra, carrots and all the favorite sabjis. I used to be a weekly chore that I enjoyed. Later my brother started going too and then we would go alternate weekends and compare prices :)

I had been planning a trip to San Francisco Farmers Market for a while now and recently managed to go and spend entire morning there. I love the ferry plaza area, love watching people jogging, tourists taki…

वांग्याची रस्सा भाजी (Eggplant Rassa Bhaji)

(Link to English Recipe)

कृष्णाकाठाला राहिल्यामुळे वांग्याचे बरेच प्रकार घरी केले जायचे. साधारण मार्चनंतर मंडईमधे खुप भाज्या मिळत नसत. वांगी मात्र मुबलक मिळत. प्रत्येकवेळी भरलेली वांगीच केली जात असे नाही ती कारण खुप मसालेदार होतात. डाळवांगे, वांग्याची रस्सा भाजी कधीतरी भरित. वांगीभात असे प्रकार बरेचदा अलटुन पालटुन करावे लागत. वेगवेगळ्या उसळी, यातली एखादी भाजी असेच बरेचद जेवण असे टोमॅटो वगैरे चांगले मिळाले की कोशिंबीर. आता परिस्थिती बरीच बदललेली आहे. कोबी, फ्लॉवर, मटार बरेच दिवस मिळतात असे ऐकुन आहे. कृष्णाकाठची गर्द जांभळी काटेदार वांगी म्हणजे अगदी स्वर्गसुखच :) कोल्हापुर सांगलीकडे हिरवी वांगी मिळतात त्याची पण चव चांगली असते. तशीच हिरवी वांगी खानदेशकडेपण मिळतात. पण जांभळ्या वांग्याचीच चव अप्रतीम असे माझे प्रामाणीक मत आहे! इथे देखील जापनीज वांगी मिळतात ती पण अशीच दिसायला एक्दम गर्द जांभळी पण गोल नसतात. लांबुडकी हिरव्या दांड्याची कमी काट्याची अशी ही वांगी पण चविला मस्त असतात. थाई प्रकारची पांढरी वांगीपण बरेचदाफार्मर्स मार्केटमधे दिसतात.

ही भाजी आहे माझ्या बागेत लावलेल्या वांग्यांची. जा…

पडवळाची भाजी (Snakegourd Bhaji)

पडवळाची भाजी मम्मी श्रावणातल्या शुक्रवारी करत असे. पुरणाच्या दिवे, पुरणपोळी, भात, वरण, टोमॅटोची कोशिंबीर आणि पडवळाची भाजी असा दर शुक्रवारचा मेनु असे. पुरणाचे दिवे लावुन मम्मी मला आणि सुबोधला ओवाळत असे. ते दिवे रात्री खायला मिळत. तो तुपाचा, पुरणचा जळका वास मला अत्यंत आवडायचा. गेले कित्येक वर्षे घेतला नाही तरीही अजुनही जाणवणारा. तर त्या नैवेद्यातली ही पडवळाची भाजी. मम्मीची अगदी मस्त होते. साधी पण अगदी चविष्ट ...

Snakegourd bhaji

१ पडवळ (साधारण पाव किलो)
१/४ कप हरबरा डाळ
१ टेबलस्पून काळा/गोडा मसाला
मीठ, लाल तिखट गुळ चविप्रमाणे
२ टेबलस्पून तेल
फोडणीचे सामान - जिरे, मोहरी, हळद, कढीपत्ता, हिंग
१-२ चमचे दाण्याचे कुट

डाळ तासभर तरी कोमट पाण्यात भिजत घालावी. पडवळ मधोमध उभे चिरावे बिया जुन असतील तर काढुन टाकाव्यात आणि चकत्या कराव्यात. अर्धचंद्राकृती चकत्या होतील. कढईत तेल तापवून नेहमीप्रमाणे फोडणी करावी. डाळीतले पाणी काढुन टाकावे. पडवळाचे तुकडे, डाळ घालून तेलावर नीट परतावे. गरज असेल तर किंचीत पाणी शिंपडावे आणि झाकण ठेवुन अर्धवट शिजवून घ्यावी. त्यावर काळा मसाला, तिखट, मीठ, गूळ, दाण्याचे कूट घालून पू…

Oh Summer!

Weather is really hot these days here. Temperatures are consistently in 80+ and no signs of cooling down in the evening either. Its getting impossible to eat any kind of spicy-hot food. We tend to eat salads, fresh rolls, different kinds of fruit drinks weekend lunches/dinner whenever we are home. Farmers market is packed with fresh stone fruits, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, corns. All the ingredients are just inviting. Simple salads are just chop chop chop vegetables and/or fruits, squeeze fresh lemon/lime juice salt and ready to eat. Sometimes I feel like adding some protein or carbohydrates and add cooked pasta, couscous, quinoa. Then it becomes nice fulfilling lunch.

Israeli couscous salad -
Israeli Couscous Salad

1 cup Israeli couscous
7-8 cherry tomatoes
1 small cucumber
2 plums
1 nectarine
1 small shallot
few basil leaves
1/2 lemon
sugar salt and pepper per taste

Preparation -
Cook couscous per directions on the package and let it cool for half n hour. Cut all the fruits in bite size pieces…