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Masalebhat with Stuffed Eggplants

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(Link to the Marathi Recipe

Every year Maayboli celebrates 'Online Ganeshotsav'. In 2005 I participated in cooking competition held in this 'online Ganeshotsav'. Theme was to make something using ingredients given in the list. We could use ingredients for tempering. I was declared as a winner at the end after counting the votes I got. Original recipe is from one of m father's aunt, but I have changed few things according to the list of ingredients given to me.

Stuffed Eggplant Masale Bhat

Masala -
1/2 cup dry shredded coconut
1/2 cup Sesame seeds
2 tbsp Garam Masala
Red chili powder and Salt per taste
1/2 tsp Turmeric

For Rice -
4 small eggplants
1 cup Rice
salt, red chili powder - per taste
1 tsp garam masala (optional)
1 tbsp oil for tempering
1 masala cardamom, 1" cinnamon, 1-2 bay leaves, 1-2 black peppers, turmeric, cumin seeds, mustard seeds, Asafoetida.
2 cups warm water

Preparation - 
Wash the rice and keep aside for at least 1/2 hour. Dry roast shredd…

Aloo Banjara

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I was picking tomatoes in the backyard on Diwali day and noticed unusual bumps in the soil. I looked at it from all the sides, but couldn't guess what it was. For a minute I thought it was some kind of eggs. After doing the guess work for almost 5 minutes I decided to put gloves on and touch it. And started laughing at my own silliness. Few months ago few of the potatoes sprouted in the pantry. Instead of removing the spouts or throwing the whole potato in the trashcan, I decided to plant them. Same week I planted tomato seedlings in the same planter box. Obviously I had forgotten all about the potatoes I had planted. But these potatoes survived and flourished without me paying any attention to them. I dug through the whole area and got almost all the potatoes out. Crop was about 1/2 to 3/4th pound.

 Potatoes from the backyard
I wanted to make something special with these potatoes. I had bookmarked this wonderful recipe on Maayboli by one of my favorite photo blogger Abhijit. He is…

Diwali Special - Shev/Sev

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Happy Diwali
Happy diwali everyone! I hope this festival brings lots of joy and happiness for you and your loved ones.


My mom grew up in a huge joint family. They were 15-20 cousins growing up together. House was huge and and everyone had chores assigned to them. Boys would sweep yard and upstairs, fill the water. Girls would do the dish washing and laundry.  My grandma would cook with help of older girls. I think that was the norm back then to divide the work and finish off in time for school college. Once the kids went to school/college, grandma would prepare goodies for them to eat with evening tea. With so many people to feed, you can imagine the quantity she had to make. But she never compromised on quality. She made shankarpali, shev and chivda more often. Once in a while she made rava laddoos. All these are typical Maharashtrian Diwali snacks. Obviously my mom learned to cook from her mom and after her marriage from her mother in law. She got best of both worlds. My paternal gra…

Orange Cranberry Cake

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We usually have drama practices at home almost every weekend and we take turns to feed the army. I get to try few recipes on them but rarely get to take pictures as it all vanishes within half an hour or less. I always look forward to my turn as I get few more guinea pigs ;) I wanted to make a simple snack cake for the troop and had cranberries sitting on the counter and whole orange tree with ripe oranges in the backyard.
I had my eye on this recipe for very long time as I love orange flavor. Substituting eggs, milk and butter was something I was very reluctant to try all in same batch. Just in case if that doesn't come all together as its supposed to be then it becomes difficult to finish. I like this orange cake so much that I make very often. Using cranberries in that orange cake was going to be my last option as I know it will come out great. But I wanted to try a new recipe(!) so went on searching for a different recipe. I had tried this maple pecan cake by Shyamala with w…

Corn Cutlets

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Fall is here. Crisp air and leaves changing colors. You come out of office at 6 and its already getting dark. When the weather is cold all I can think of is warm cup of coffee or tea, specially on the weekends. I enjoy reading a nice book while sipping coffee and munching on spicy goodies. I rarely get to enjoy quiet time because of household chores, groceries, some classes etc. These relaxing time once in a while keep me going for a long time. I always look forward to these afternoons even when they are hard to come by!!!

Back in the days, we only got Sundays off. The main attraction of Sundays used to evening Hindi movie on TV! TV watching time was rationed, if evening movie is good, no day time TV. We had to finish all our homework before we could watch TV. I always sat with my journals in front of the TV and writing all the submissions while enjoying movie. Once in a while my mom would make something special with tea. Dhokla, pohe were staples. Whenever I think of times back then…

Edible Sombreros

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My Favorites - Fun, Food and Friends!!!

What else do you need when you have all this? I am talking about my special friends and food is the bond that has glued us together. We can talk about food for hours and share knowledge, no secrets, nothing. Its a genuine food based friendship. Time just flies when we meet, 15 minutes turn into 1 hour and 1 hour turns into two. Few months ago we introduced our families to each other and there was instant bonding in them as well. Now when we meet, significant others and the kids don't have to find other activities. All being big foodies, we decided to arrange a nice themed potluck dinner. Theme was to cook from a cookbook that we all agree upon and a course will be chosen for you by a lottery. We all got excited and thought choosing the book will be difficult. WRONG! We all said 'My Bombay Kitchen' almost at the same time! And then chits were drawn and I got the dessert!! Yay!! Oh Nooo!!!! Vegan dessert in a Parsi cookbook?? It was goi…

Potato Sagu

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Potato is one vegetable I use sparingly mainly because I like to use locally grown vegetables whenever possible. Farmers market around our area are still filled with locally grown vegetables. Last year I tried to get CSA bag but I love to go pick my own veggies and I do not get a chance to do so with CSA bag. This year I decided against it solely for that reason. I feel like supporting these small farms but their weekly stalls are usually on the odd days that I can't go to. But going to local farmers market is much better option than going to the chain grocery stores. As I had written in this post, farmers markets remind me of Sabji-Mandi in India.Last week I got nice and fresh hummus, spicy olives, potatoes, garlic and Jujubes. What I did with Jujube's? That will come in another post.

Potato Sagu
Few years ago I had this nice potato sagu at a friend's place and fallen in love with the taste. She used MTR sagu masala and I immediately bought it in my next Indian grocery sto…

Daal Kanda

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(Link to Marathi Recipe)
This is a dish from Satara - Sangali - Kolhapur region of Maharashtra.  Lots of my friends did not know about this quick fix. Its prepared when you run out of vegetables or when guests come over for quick lunch/dinner. It can be made with Toor Daal, Masoor Daal or Moong Daal.

1 cup Toor Daal 1 Large Onion Kanda-Lasun-Masala (or Kolhapuri Masala) - Per Taste Salt per taste 2-3 Tbsp Oil 1/2 tsp each Cumin seeds, Mustard Seeds, Turmeric, Asafoetida - For tempering Chopped cilantro for garnishing
Preparation - Wash daal and pressure cook with mimimum water.  I usually put about one cup water for one cup toor daal and pressure cook for 2 whistles. You should see all the daals separately and it should not be mushy.  Dice onion and set aside. Now heat oil in heavy bottom pan. Add cumin, mustard seeds let them sizzle then add turmeric powder and asafoetida. Immediately add chopped onion and saute till onion turns golden brown. Add cooked daal, salt and Kanda-Lasun M…

Vaalache Birade

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Picture this - 

My uncle is driving in peak Mumbai traffic around 7pm. He has come home earlier to go meet his cousin(my aunt) who has come to Mumbai to attend her friend's wedding. We are traveling from Colaba to some suburb and traffic is as awful as it can get. My cousin and I are constantly chatting in the car. We can see that uncle is tired of sitting in the car after long day. Fast forward 2 hours and we reach at the destination. Uncle takes us in this old looking building. We knock on the door and first thing we notice very tempting smell and that reminds us that its dinner time. Everyone there is busy with pre-wedding preparation. They are about start serving dinner. The lady of the house requests us to stay for dinner, uncle says no. The lady requests again then my uncles agrees and calls home to tell that we will be eating dinner there. A very homely dinner is served. I ask names of lentil dishes and I am told that its called 'Birade'!!! 

That was my first introdu…

I am getting Chocolate Cupcakes For Potluck

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Friday coffee night is something we friends have been doing for past three years. It started out as a casual conversation and came to reality. Its a monthly event and we take turns to host. We meet after dinner on a Friday evening and share few good laughs, plan the next outing together. Even though we say its strictly a coffee evening, the host always offers some snack. I made these amazingly tasty and easy to make mini cupcakes from ET's blog which she has adapted from Nicole's recipe, for one of these coffee meetings. I have made it at least a dozen times and it has come out great every time. I can whip it up in 30 minutes, even on a weekday! And get all the ooohs and wows every single time. She uses milk in her recipe but I simply replace it with water. Funny thing is the only time I used soy milk, they came out bit dense. Since then I have gone back to using water. Yesterday I whipped up a batch for a wonderful little guy who loves cakes and cookies but is allergic to mil…

Dadape Pohe

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Dadape - weighed down
Pohe - flattened rice

One of my friend has really a very green thumb. She grows almost everything and anything!!!! Cabbage, carrots, onions, grapes, fennel, chives and usual suspects like zucchini and tomatoes. Her garden is really inspiring. She had an old wooden play structure in her backyard which had no use for her. They got it down and used it to make big vegetable beds and planted all the vegetables she wanted to her heart's content. She tries to plant whatever is in the season and eat accordingly. She is an amazing cook and uses everything from her backyard in various ways.

Vegetable Garden

My vegetable patch has too much gravel and whatever I planted did not yield much. Even though I have huge backyard and lot of empty space to use as my vegetable garden. But this is the patch that I have set my heart to grow the goodies. This year I decided to use my friend's idea to make wooden vegetable beds that can hold good soil. As we did not have any wooden s…

Thai Style Chili Tofu

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Thai food was something I ate first after coming to US. And I liked it for the similarities with Indian food. I tasted tofu for the first time and it was love at first site. If I remember correctly it was in the Tom Yum or one of those soups. I started buying it immediately. I used it in chapati dough, in palak tofu instead of paneer), in kababs, in soups. I even experimented with Thai curries for a little while and then stopped as I did not want to buy every little sauce and fill up my pantry. But I kept making tandoori tofu and fried rice.

We recently visited our dear friend Anil and he made his signature dish for us. I watched him make it from start to finish. It was simple and very easy to make. I think chopping takes more time that actual cooking. After coming back I experimented with it and turned out great. Here is what I did -

Chili Tofu


1 block Organic Extra Firm Tofu
1 large Red Bell Pepper
1 large Green Bell Pepper
1 large Red Onion
4-5 cloves Garlic
2 tsp Red Chili Flakes (adjust …

Cauliflower with Green Curry

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I am not big fan of making cauliflower, cabbage, green beans over and over. I either avoid buying these or if I ever buy, I try to find new recipe every time. I feel there are so many other good vegetables available in farmers market that I can live without these grocery store finds. Recently a huge cauliflower ended up in my fridge(and please don't ask how!!). It sat there for almost 2 weeks while I secretly hoped the significant other will make his favorite sabji and be done with it. But that did not happen and I had to take a decision about the big blob! So finally on Sunday I decided to make something out of any book that will have some different recipe. First book I checked was My Bombay Kitchen and looked through index. Niloufer has nice recipe of green curry cauliflower that caught my attention and decided to give it a try. The original recipe is for meat and she has suggested other variations and using mixed vegetables was one of the variation and I decided to use use onl…

Panchamrut - The Spicier Type

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Like everyone else, I have wonderful memories from school days. Our school timings were 12 noon to 5.30pm. Almost every girl in my class including me used have lunch before heading off to school. Still we friends used get lunchbox to eat in the recess. School had a rule to get only Roti-sabji and nothing else so everyone had chapati or jowar roti with some kind of sabji to go with it. My mom would always pack jowar roti with dab of home made butter and any sabji. We would share at least one bite of whatever we have with others around and eat rest. In one such recess, I tasted panchamrut from a friend's lunchbox and promptly told my mom about the sweet-tangy-spicy taste. Until then the panchamrut I knew was the one prepared for pooja using milk, yogurt, ghee, sugar and honey. But of course mom knew how to make the spicier version and told me that she will make it on Sunday. Why Sunday? She used to have more time to cook something different and that was the day we would get fresh ve…

Farmers Market Finds

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Sunday mornings in summer are dedicated to farmers market. Due to large Indian and Asian population we get lots of different vegetables. I have started writing a series on Maayboli on these vegetables to document simple day today recipes that my mom used to make. All of these are in Marathi and not sure when they will be converted to English. If you like any of the preparation and want the English translation, please let me know and I will try my best to get that for you.
Valpapadi (Hyacinth beans) Bhaji Radish Leaves/Turnip Greens Bhaji Maath/TanduLaja/Amaranth leaves/Indian Spinach Bhaji Pumpkin Leaves Bhaji ChandanBatawyache AaLaN Green Sorrel Bhaji Long Beans Bhaji
I will keep updating this page as write more recipes in the series.


Fire Roasted Onion Bell Pepper Chutney

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Last week we did some impromptu BBQ. We had friends over for coffee after dinner on Friday evening. One of them loves bhutta (fire roasted corn on the cob). So we got some corns and started the fire. It was bit cooler and breezy that night, perfect for campfire. Instead of sitting inside sipping coffee we all enjoyed the warm bhuttas around the barbecue pit. At the end everyone was super full with bhuttas, orange cake and banana cake. The fire was still burning. We roasted some potatoes, onions and lone red bell pepper. I just removed top later of onion, washed the bell pepper and dropped in on the coals directly. We removed coal ash with damp cloth before storing. Everyone was so full that I had to keep the roasted veggies in the fridge.
Roasted Onion Bell Pepper Chutney
Next when I called my mom, I asked recipe of amati my grandma used to make with fire roasted onions. Instead she told me this chutney recipe that grandma used to make. Its super simple and tastes great with idlis and …

Leftover Magic: Breadchi Bhaji

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Mummy rarely bought bread loaf on regular basis. Once a month or may be even more than that sometimes. We had very few good bakeries and getting a good bread was difficult. Few times we got bread was usually eaten as sandwiches or with butter and chili pickle. That was my favorite combination with bread. Once in a while, it was used in cutlets or eaten with some kind of usal. And most savored dish made out of day old bread - bread chi bhaji!!! Once in a while we would tell mummy to buy bread just to make this bhaji. It was something we all loved.

I used to visit some of our relatives in Kolhapur and they would buy the bread just to make this bhaji for breakfast. My mom used to just make uneven pieces and make the upma but in Kolhapur, it was always cut using knife. And I loved the way it looked. Of course both types tasted equally great. On the other hand my sister-in-law makes fine crumbs and then makes it upma style. And that tastes great too.

After coming to US, I made it once using …