Monday, November 4, 2013

Happy Diwali

Happy Diwali, Saal Mubarak and Happy Bhai Duj to all.

Once again it is the time of  the year to celebrate.
Celebrate the triumph of good over evil,
of light over darkness.
With prayer, gaiety and sweets galore we
celebrate this victory of the inner self over the
base instincts , with Friends and Family.

I made a lot of different sweets ; Kaju ji Mithai,
Narial ja Ladoo , Besan ja ladoo, Bhugal Mawa,
Karanjia and Dal Kachoris.

Some of the recipes are already there and some to soon follow.
Had a Pooja last night and shared the goodies with
friends and family.


The  lighting of the oil lamps signifies the burning away of evil and
the presence of light in our souls.

May Goddess Lakshmi bring wealth and peace to all.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Moong Dal Kachoris - Moong Lentil Filled Puffs

This is a savoury that I always try to make for Diwali ,to counter all the sweets :)
and also because it is so festive.
It takes some time and effort but is absolutely worth it.
This quantity makes about 50/55 pieces.


For the shell:

4 cups flour (maida)
4 tbsps ghee or butter
salt to taste
about 1 & 1/4 cups warm water

For the filling:

1 & 1/2 cups yellow moong dal
1 tsp turmeric (haldi)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
2 tbsps ghee
salt to taste
1 tbsp red chilli powder
1 tbsp powdered cumin (ground jeera)
1 tbsp fennel seeds lightly crushed (saunf)
2 tbsps dry mango powder (amchur)
You can substitute lemon juice for the amchur, but the taste lent by amchur is
a pot of water to boil the dal

3 to 4 cups oil for frying.


Add the salt and ghee to the flour and mix well.Now gradually
add the warm water and knead the dough till smooth and firm.
You may not need all the water so add gradually.
Cover and keep aside for about half an hour.

Soak the dal for 5/6 hours.

Now boil the pot of water and add the turmeric to it.
when the water comes to a rolling boil, add the dal and
boil for about 10 /12 minutes till soft  to touch.

Do not overboil as it will get mushy.It should be cooked
but the grains should be separate.
Now drain well in a colander.

Heat the 2 tbsps ghee in a pan and add the cumin seeds.
Let it splutter and turn golden.

Now add the fennel, the boiled dal, the salt, ground cumin, chilli powder and the amchur.
Mix well but lightly so that the spices are well mixed but the dal does not turn mushy.

Now comes the time to roll and fill and assemble the kachoris.
Divide the dough into small balls.

Roll them out into small discs.

Fill with 1 tbsp of the filling and bring the edges together.

Then lightly flatten and make sure that the edges are totally sealed.

Heat oil in a pan and slowly slide 4/5 of the kachoris and fry on a
slow/medium flame till golden on both sides.

While you fry one batch, roll and fill the next batch.
Make sure you do not fry on high flame as it will remain uncooked
on the inside.
Serve hot with green chutney or sweet tamarind chutney.
Tastes good on its own also.
You can store in the fridge for about two weeks.
To serve, warm in the oven.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Karanji - Coconut stuffed treats


It is Diwali time again, time to make sweets and savouries, time to light up
diyas, time to decorate with rangoli and torans, time to rejoice, time to
spend with loved ones.
I started of by making Karanji's , a must in Maharashtrian households come Diwali.
This sweet is one of my personal favourites.
There are two ways to make these, one with a dry filling and one with a moist.
I make the one with the dry filling.

This quantity makes 40 Karanji's.


For the cover:
3 cups flour (maida)
3/4 cup semolina (rawa)
1 cup warm milk
4 tbsps ghee or oil

For the filling:
2 cups  dry shredded coconut (unsweetened)
3 tbsps white poppy seeds(khus khus)
1 tbsp white sesame seeds (til)  (optional)
6/ 8 tbsps chopped nuts (almonds, cashews)
2/3 tbsps golden raisins
8/10 tsps brown sugar or grated gur
(i added 8 tsps.You can taste and sweeten as per your taste).

about 4 cups of oil for deep frying

Mix the flour and the semolina and add the ghee.Mix till it
resembles bread crumbs.Using about 3/4 cup of the milk
knead the dough to a firm texture (not hard).Knead till smooth.
Cover and keep aside for about half an hour.

In the meantime, dry roast all the ingredients for the filling on a slow flame,
except the sugar.

Roast till light golden and you get a nice aroma .
Now turn off the flame and add the sugar and mix well.

Now make small balls of the dough.

Roll these into small discs.

I roll about five at a time.
Moisten the edges with warm milk.
Now lift the disc carefully in your hands and fill
with one tbsp of the filling.

Now seal the edges.

Now crimp the edges with a fork.


Or you can delicately fold the edges.

Now heat the oil in a pan and do not let it smoke.
On a low/medium flame fry 4/5 of them at a time.

By the time you fry one batch, you can roll and stuff the next batch.
When they puff up, gently turn them over.Fry till golden on both sides.

Let cool completely and then store in an airtight container.

Do not fry on high flame as they will not cook from inside and will
not be crisp.
Stays good for at least  two weeks if you dont finish eating it in the meantime :)


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Palak Mein Bhee Patata Vangan (Lotus root/ Potato/Eggplant in a Spinach base)

This is a vegetable preparation which is normally cooked on a pooja day
(religous cermony) along with Puris, Sindhi Kadi and Rice.
It is a Shikarpuri Sindhi dish.


1 bunch spinach washed well and chopped
6 Potatoes peeled and cut into big chunks
1 medium Eggplant cubed
1 14 oz can bhee (lotus root)*
6 tomatoes chopped
4 tbsps chopped cilantro
2 tbsps coriander powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ginger grated
1 tsp garlic grated
salt to taste
2-4 green chillies (optional)
6 tbsps oil
2 tbsps gram flour
1 tsp whole cumin
about a cup of water
4-5 tbsps tamarind paste (can substitute lemon juice)

*I tend to use the canned or the frozen bhee as it is readily available.
If using canned, drain in a colander and wash well before using.
If using frozen, defrost and boil before adding to the curry.
If using fresh, clean well and boil before adding to curry.


Heat oil in a large pan. Add the cumin seeds and wait till it turns a little brown.
Be careful not to burn it. Add the gram flour and fry for a few minutes on a
low flame till it turns golden.

A nice aroma will fill your kitchen.
Now add all the vegetables and the masalas( except the tamarind) and fry
for a few minutes till well mixed.

Now add the water and cover and cook for about 15/20 minutes till all the
vegetables are tender.Keep checking and stirring every 5/7 minutes.If you
feel that it is sticking to the bottom of the pan, add a few spoons of water.
When done, add the tamarind paste and mix well and cook for a couple
of minutes till well blended.

You can also make this with just potato and eggplant
if lotus root is not available.
Serve hot with puris, rotis or rice.



Monday, July 1, 2013

Patate ji Tikkyoon (Aloo Tikki )

The indian version of  hash browns, these golden fried potato tikkis
get gobbled up in no time so be sure to make a big batch.
Good to carry for picnics and also for kids' tiffins.

6 big potatoes, boiled, peeled and grated.
2 small loafs of  bread
about a cup of water
salt to taste
1 tsp caraway seeds (shahijeera)
1 tsp red chilli powder (optional)
2 green chillies chopped finely (optional)
2 tbsps finely chopped cilantro
2-3 cups canola oil

This is to give an idea of the size of the potatoes and bread i used.
This quantity made about 40 tikkis.

These are caraway seeds.


Soak the bread in the cup of water and squeeze out the water very well.
The bread will be a soft lump.
Add this and all the above ingredients except oil and water, to the potatoes.

Now mix well and make a smooth dough by adding a tbsp of oil.
Make sure there are no lumps.

Take a couple of tbsps of oil in a bowl to help form the tikkis.
Oil your palm and take a small portion of the dough in your hands (the
size of a walnut).
Roll into a ball and then flatten it with your palms.

Make sure that the tikki is evenly formed and not thick on one side
and thin on another.
Now heat about 2 cups oil in a pan and make sure it is hot enough
otherwise the tikkis will break.
The way to test if the oil is hot enough is by putting a little piece of the
dough and if it sizzles and floats up  the oil is ready.
Slowly slide 2 tikkis into the pan and cook till golden brown.
Now carefully turn over and cook till the other side is also golden.

Once you get the hang of it, you can fry upto 4 at a time.
Remove onto paper towels to drain excess oil.

These tikkis can also be shallow fried in a pan with a few tbsps of oil.

Serve hot with green chutney or ketchup and bread if you like.