Wednesday, July 30, 2014


I could never imagine making a raita sandwich, until I ate one. Believe me it tasted so good and definitely healthier because there are no fatty things in the stuffing. This is my bhabhi's innovative idea of using the left over raitas. You may use any raita of your choice. Do give it a try, I'm sure you are going to like it too. Here I am making with corn raita. You can have many variations like boiled potato, green peas, cucumber etc etc.

How to make Corn Raita .... see - HERE

1. Take 2 slices of brown / white bread.

2. Drain out the excess liquid from the raita and spread it on one slice. Place the other one on top.

3. Apply butter on the slices and toast it in a sandwich toaster or you can do it on the griddle also pressing the slices with a spatula on medium flame until crisp and golden brown.

No. of servings - 1
Preparation time ... 10 mins.
Spice level .. 2 out of 5

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Zunka or Jhunka is a traditional Maharashtrian dish prepared with gram flour and spices. It is the dry version of Pitla. These are usually served with bhakri which is a rotis made with Jowar or bajra flour and accompaniments like thecha or dry lahsun chutney and chaas (thin butermilk). The preparation hardly takes 10 minutes and easy to make and serve when we have some unexpected guests. Zunka can be made plain or sometimes with the addition of some vegetables. I have added capsicums to it.

Gram flour / besan .... 1 cup
Hot water ... 1 and 1/2 cups
Onions ............... 1/2 cup (chopped finely)
Capsicums / bell peppers ... 1/2 cup (diced)
Green chillies ... 1-2
Garlic ...............  2-3 cloves (chopped finely)
Ginger ............. 1 inch piece (chopped finely or grated)
Turmeric powder .. 1/4 tsp
Red chilli powder .. 1/4 tsp (optional)
Salt ..... to taste
Coriander leaves .. handful

Tempering ingredients:
Mustard seeds ... 1 tsp
Cumin seeds ..... 1 tsp
Asafoetida ...... 1/8 tsp
Dry red chillies .. 2 (broken)
Curry leaves ...... 1 sprig
Oil ........... 2-3 tbsps


1. Heat oil in a pan and add the tempering ingredients.When they crackle, tip in the ginger, garlic, onion and saute for a minute until translucent.

2. Add the diced capsicum or any veg you want and simmer.

3. Meanwhile dry roast the besan in a pan. This is not necessary but I like to do it to make it flavourful and remove the raw taste.

4. Add the turmeric, salt and chilli powder.

5. Now add the besan and mix well.

6. Stir it until everything is mixed properly.

7. Reduce the flame and add hot water stirring it continuously to avoid lumps.

8. When all the water is absorbed and the consistency is thick close the gas. Cover it with a lid.

9. After few minutes open the lid and you will see that the besan has thickened like a lump. With a spoon crumble it and add coriander leaves.

It is a perfect lunch box recipe as it is not soggy and you can roll it up in rotis or make a sandwich.

See Jowar ki  roti recipe - HERE 
See Dry Lehsun ki Chutney - HERE 

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Simple one pot meals are always delicious. I keep making them often with a variation of vegetables, Here is the recipe of pulao with baby corn with the flavours of fresh methi (fenugreek) and mint  leaves.

Baby corn..... 6 (cut into 1 inch pieces)
Basmati rice ... 1 cup
Green chillies .... 2-3 (slit)
Methi leaves .... 2 tbsp
Mint leaves ...... 6-8
Coriander leaves .. 1 tbsp
Cardamoms ...... 2-3
Cloves ................ 2-3
Bay leaves ........ 2
Garlic paste ....... 1 tsp
Ginger paste .. 1 tsp
Turmeric powder ... 1/8 tsp
Cumin powder ....... 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder ... 1/4 tsp
Salt ... to taste
Oil ...... 3-4 tbsp


1. Heat oil in a pan. Tip in the cloves, bay leaves and crushed cardamoms.

2.Add the ginger garlic paste and saute.

3. Next add the baby corn and the greens. stir fry for a minute. Now add the spice powders and salt. Mix well.

4. Put the washed and soaked rice and saute. Add double quantity of water (2 cups).

5. Boil it and then reduce the heat and let it simmer until done.
Pulao can be served with raitas or any stir-fried subzi.

Friday, July 25, 2014


We all know the health benefits of curry leaves. They are a rich source of Vitamin A, Calcium and Folic Acid. Popularly known as kadhi patta, they are used very often in the South Indian dishes. They are also used as an herbal tonic in Ayurvedic medicine. Including this ingredient in your daily diet has many proven health benefits. They can be used both raw and cooked. Kadhi patta leaves are best when consumed fresh. Apart from adding them to the curries we can also make podi ( spice powder) or Pachadi (pickle) with these which can be served as an accompaniment with idlis, dosas or parathas. Here is a simple and easy recipe of a curry leaf pachadi / pickle.

Curry leaves - 2 cups (tightly packed)
Tamarind ... lemon size (soaked and seeds removed)
Garlic ... 5-6 cloves (crushed)
Dry red chillies .. 10 - 12 ( add as per your taste)
Urad dal ... 1 tbsp
Chana dal .. 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds .. 1 + 1 tsps (half is for tempering)
Cumin seeds ... 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds .. 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida .. a pinch
Turmeric powder .. 1/2 tsp
Salt .... to taste
Jaggery or sugar .. 1 tsp (optional)
Oil .... 1/2 cup ( preferably sesame seed oil )


1. Wash the curry leaves and drain them well.

2. Heat a little oil and saute them for one minute.

3. Grind the curry leaves and soaked tamarind coarsely.

4. Dry roast and grind the Urad dal, chana dal, dry red chillies, cumin, mustard and fenugreek seeds to a coarse powder.

5. Heat the remaining oil ( leaving 1 tbsp aside for tempering) and add the crushed garlic. Saute for half a minutes. Tip in the ground curry leaves paste and add salt. Stir for half a minute.

6. Now add the ground spice powder, turmeric powder.

7. Keep stirring until the oil separates. Heat a tbsp of oil and add the mustard seeds and asafoetida.When the seeds crackle mix the tempering to the prepared pickle.

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