Thursday, June 30, 2016


This is such a cool and refreshing summer drink.. We like to drink lot of fresh coconut water to beat the heat. Try adding little Rooh Afza to it and if you can scrape out the tender malai / cream from the coconut add it to the drink. Enjoy the chilled summer drink.

Fresh tender coconut ..... 1
Rooh Afza .................. 2 tbsps
Cream from the coconut .. as much as you like.

1. Pour the chilled tender coconut water into the glass.
2. Add Rooh Afza and stir very lightly leaving more quantity at the bottom.
3. Scrape little cream from the tender coconut and spoon it into the glass.
4. Stir little by little with the straw while sipping..

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016


Barbari or barberi means our fathers ‘of or related to the Barbars in Persian language. The Barbars live in the Khorasan region, near the eastern border of Iran. The word Barbar means uncivilized, foreign, barbarian) . The Barbars hated being referred by such a name and Reza Shah granted them the name Khavari (Easterners).
 However, the name of the bread remains. It’s a very popular bread baked in Iran. It’s made in traditional brick ovens. The bakers make it about 70-80cm long and 30-45 cm wide. It’s usually served with tea and a soft cheese called lighvan cheese which is made from ewe’s milk. It’s also served with typical Iranian jams (Moraba).
 Modern times means it can be served with feta cheese, olives, dips, gravies, curries and whatever you fancy. The bread is golden brown because of the spread or roomal that is smeared on it before baking. Barbari bread is slightly thicker than most flatbreads that we know of.
Baking this bread in convectional ovens gives a different texture from those baked in the traditional ovens. If you have a pizza stone use it to bake this bread.

We Knead to Bake - Bread #40 (Aparna Balasubramanian's Event)
Recipe and Info - Courtesy Mayuri Patel
Recipe Source - and Karen’s Kitchen Stories

For the dough:
 All purpose flour (plain flour).... 3 cups
Warm water.... 1½ cups
Instant dry active yeast.... 1½ tsps.
Sea salt (or normal salt)... 1½ tsps
Sugar ........... 1½ tsp
Baking powder.... ½ tsp

For the roomal (spread):
Water....  cup
All purpose flour (plain flour) ... 1 tsp
Baking soda (soda bicarbonate).. 1 tsp

For topping:
Nigella seeds(kalonji) or sesame seeds

Some semolina (sooji) to spread the dough
Some oil for greasing
Extra flour for kneading the dough

Preparation of the dough:
1.    Mix flour, yeast, salt, baking powder and sugar in a big bowl.
2.    Add warm water and form a dough.
3.    Dust the worktop with some flour and knead the dough for 10-15 minutes or till it is smooth and elastic. This bread requires a good gluten formation so make sure you knead it well. Or alternatively knead the dough in a dough machine.
4.    Form the dough into a ball shape and place it in the greased bowl. Cover with a wet tea towel or a cling film.
              Place it in a warm place to allow the dough to rise till its double the size. This will take about 1½ hours.

In the meantime prepare the roomal or spread:
1.    Put the flour, water and baking soda in a pan.
2.    Mix well.
3.    Put the pan over medium heat and bring the mixture to a boil.
4.    Let it boil for 2-3 minutes.
5.    Let the roomal cool down before using it.

Preparation of Barbari Bread:
1.    Knead the dough gently and divide it into 4 parts.
2.    Line baking sheets with parchment paper or grease it with oil.
3.    Sprinkle some semolina on the worktop.
4.    Take one piece of the dough and using the roomal, spread it into an approximately 9”X 4” oblong shape.
5.    Using the roomal, make grooves/lines lengthwise about 1-2”apart on the flattened bread.
1.    Place it on the baking tray.
2.    Repeat steps 3 -6 with the remaining dough.
3.    Spread the remaining roomal on the bread pieces.
4.    Sprinkle the top with sesame seeds or nigella seeds or a mixture of both.
5.    Preheat the oven to 180°C.
6.    Place the trays in the oven and bake the bread for 20-25 minutes or till it’s golden brown.
7.    If  you place both the trays in the oven at the same time, remember to switch their positions half way.
8.    Remove the baked barbari bread from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool.
9.    Serve with tea, your favourite dip, olive oil, feta cheese or any soft cheese. You can even serve with some Shahi Chicken / Mutton Curry

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Monday, June 27, 2016


I tried out sheera with oatmeal and it turned out super delicious. 

Oatmeal .. 1/4 cup (made by grinding the oats in a mixie)
Sugar ........ 4 tbsps 
(Cardamoms ... 2-3
Oil / ghee ... 3-4 tbsps
Pistachios for garnishing.

1. Take oil or ghee in a pan and add the split cardamoms.
2. Tip in the oatmeal  and continue to stir with a spatula until you get a nice brown colour.
3. Add quarter cup water (same quantity as the oatmeal) and stir continuously to avoid lumps. If you want a softer consistency add little more water.
4. When it is thicker, add the sugar and stir. Keep stirring until you get the right consistency and the sugar is dissolved.
5. Garnish with slivered nuts.

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Saturday, June 25, 2016


If you run out of veggies specially during the rainy season, don't panic.. Here is an amazing recipe that you can make and relish. .. Papad ka Pulao ! Yes, pulao made with papads.. interesting isn't it ?
It is a complete one pot meal on its own. Just like that I had this idea of making it and it turned out super delicious.

Basmati rice ... 2 cups
Papads ........... 4 (I used Lijjat masala papads)
Onions .......... 2 small (half cup sliced)
Mint leaves ............. 1 cup 
Coriander leaves ..... handful
Garlic ..........  8 cloves 
Ginger ......... 1 inch piece
Green chillies .. 3 (or as per your preference)
Yogurt ......... 1/2 cup
Tomato........ 1 
Turmeric powder .. 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder .. 1 tsp
Cumin powder ....... 1 tsp
Black cardamoms .. 1-2
Green cardamoms .. 4
Cloves .................... 6
Cinnamon stick ...... 2-3 small pieces
Bay leaves .............. 2-3
Salt ..................... to taste
Oil ....................... about 1/4 cup

1. Heat 2 tbsps oil in a pan. Fry the sliced onions until golden brown. Now add the mentioned whole spices.
2. Meanwhile grind the mint, coriander, green chillies, ginger and garlic to a coarse paste.
3. Add the paste to the pan and stir it with the fried onions.
4. Whisk the yogurt and stir it into the pan taking care it doesn't curdle.
5. Break the papads into 2 inch pieces and tip them into the masala.
6. Stir a little and add one cup water. 
7. Season with salt, turmeric powder, coriander and cumin powders.
8. Now cut the tomato into thin strips. Add to the pan. Stir carefully and close the gas. We don't need the tomato or the papads to become mushy.
9. Cook the rice adding salt. When almost done squeeze a little lime juice to keep the grains separate. Drain it and set aside.
10. Heat the remaining oil in a small pan.
11. Layer the rice and the prepared papad masala pouring some hot oil on each layer.
12. Cover with a foil and keep it for dum.

Note- you can enjoy the pulao by itself.. if you wish you may serve some raita for accompaniment.

Friday, June 24, 2016


This is a very healthy snack with oats masala stuffing..

Ingredients for Khandvi:
Besan (Gram Flour)……1 cup
Buttermilk………………….2 cups (Whip SOUR yogurt with water and make it into thin consistency)
Ginger………………….1” piece
Green Chillies…………. 3-4
Salt to taste
Turmeric Powder……….1/4 tsp
Mustard Seeds………….1-2 tsps,
Asafoetida ..... a pinch
Coriander Leaves………for garnishing
Coconut (grated)………..for garnishing
Chilli powder .. 1/4 tsp
Cumin powder .... 1/2 tsp
Kasoori methi ... 1/4 tsp

1. Grind ginger & green chillies to a fine paste.
2. Whisk besan with buttermilk, salt, turmeric powder, ginger-green chillies paste. There should be no lumps.
3. Transfer onto a thick bottomed pan, cook on medium flame (without adding oil) stirring continuously till it thickens. Remove from fire and the next step has to be done very quickly before the mixture hardens beyond spreading.
4. Pour the mixture on a clean, flat kitchen top surface or the back of a thali. Now, quickly spread into very thin layer (This should be done immediately after removing the pan from fire or else the mixture will harden.)
5. The spread mixture sets immediately in about 2 minutes.
Meanwhile make the stuffing:
Ground oats .. 1/4 cup
Yogurt .... 2 tbsps
Salt .... to taste
turmeric powder .. 1pinch
Red chllii powder .. 2 pinches
Finely chopped fresh coriander.. 2 tbsps
Oil ..... 2 tbsps
1.Heat oil in a sauce pan and saute the oats powder.
2. Add the whisked yogurt and a little water. Stir with a spatula quickly to avoid lumps.
3. Add the mentioned spices, salt and coriander leaves.
4. Remove when it is thicker (spreading consistency)
To assemble Khandvi:
1.Take the plate in which you spread the khandvi mix.
2. Spread the prepared stuffing with the help of a spatula evenly.
3. Mark 2 or 3 inch strips as desired. Roll each strip carefully. Garnish with fresh coriander and grated coconut.

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Monday, June 20, 2016


This is a traditional Sindhi breakfast dish. We make it on special occasions when we have guests at home. Usually the bread slices are made whole or cut into triangular or rectangular shapes just by cutting them into two. I have given them a round shape using a cutter. The sides can be used to make masala bread or even bread crumbs after drying them for later use. If you are making for kids you can even cut out fancy shapes using different cutters.

Bread Slices ...6 or  as needed
Sugar - 2 cups
Water - 1 cup
Cardamoms - 4
Saffron - a pinch
Rose water .. few drops (optional)
Oil or ghee for frying
Pistachios... few for garnishing

1. Cut the bread slices in a round shape using a cutter or a bottle lid.
 2. Fry till golden brown and crisp.
3. Make a thick syrup with sugar, water, saffron and cardamoms. Add rose water after it is cooled.
4. Few hours before serving, place the bread coins in a flat dish, pour the sugar syrup over them with a spoon and let them soak for about 1-2 hours or until they are softer.
5. Garnish with sliced pistachios.

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Saturday, June 18, 2016


This is a very famous street food of Indore.(Madhya Pradesh) Unlike other chaats and street foods this is a very healthy one. Grated corn is simmered in milk and then tempered with other ingredients to add the flavours. Hence this is also served as a breakfast in Indore. 

Corn kernels ... 2 cups
Milk ............ 1/4 cup
Green chillies .. 1-2 (as per your taste)
Ginger ............... 1 tsp (grated)
Coriander leaves .. handful
Fresh coconut .... 2-3 tbsps (grated)
Lemon juice ... 1 tbsp
Oil or ghee ... 2 tbsps

 For tempering:
Cumin seeds .. 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds .. 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida ...... 1 pinch

1. Grind the corn coarsely. Set aside.
2. Heat oil or ghee in a sauce pan and add the tempering ingredients.
3. When they crackle add the green chillies and ginger. Saute a little.
4. Add the corn and turmeric powder
5. Saute until the colour changes.
6. Add the milk and simmer. Cook until the milk is evaporated.
7. Add salt and mix well until the mixture is thick enough.
8. Squeeze the lemon juice and mix.
Garnish with grated coconut and coriander leave

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Corn Dhoklas

Friday, June 17, 2016


Sheer Khurma is a traditional Muslim festive breakfast / dessert.This special dish is served on the morning of Eid day in the family after the Eid prayer as breakfast, and throughout the day to all the visiting guests. Vermicelli roasted in desi ghee is cooked with milk. Lots of dry fruits, dates, raisins and sugar are added along with cardamoms and rose water for flavouring this rich dessert.

Roasted vermicelli .. 1/2 cup
Milk ............ 3 cups
Sugar ........ 1/4 cup (adjust as per your taste)
Salt .... 1 pinch (to balance the taste)
Cardamoms .... 4-5
Unsalted pistachios ... 2 tbsps (sliced)
Unsalted almonds ..... 2 tbsps (sliced)
Dates ............... 5-6
Raisins .... 1 tbsp
Saffron ....... 2 pinches 
Silver varq ..... 1 (optional)
Rose water ... few drops
Desi ghee ..... 1 tbsp

1. In a thick bottomed pan heat desi ghee and saute the vermicelli for half a minute.
2 Now add the milk, saffron and crushed cardamoms.
3.. Simmer it and keep stirring until the vermicelli are cooked.
4. Now add sugar and a pinch of salt and simmer until the sugar melts. 
5 Tip in the sliced pistachios, almonds, raisins and sliced dates. If the dates are not fresh soak them in hot water or milk before adding.
6. Finally stir in the rose water.
7. Garnish the sheer khurma with silver varq and some sliced dry fruits before serving.
You can serve it warm or chilled.

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Wednesday, June 15, 2016


Vazhai thandu, meaning banana stem is very rich in fiber. It has lot of medicinal properties as well and is recommended for kidney stone problems too. Mostly in South India people use this extensively. It is really very tedious to cut this and remove the fibers. You take the inner part of the stem, slice it and remove the fibers by rolling them with your finger. The chopped portion is immediately immersed in the buttermilk to avoid discolouration.
Here is the recipe of a simple stir fry or poriyal.

Banana stem .... 1 cup or as needed.
Buttermilk / thin lassi .... 1 glass
Grated coconut ........... 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder ...... 1/8 tsp
Salt ........... to taste

For tempering:
Mustard seeds ... 1 tsp
Urad or moong dal .. 1 tsp
Dry red chillies ....... 1 broken
Curry leaves ........... 1 sprig
Asafoetida ............. 1 pinch
Oil....................... 1-2 tbsps

1. Cut the inner part of the banana stem into small pieces after removing the fibers. Immerse them in butter milk.
2. In a sauce pan add oil and the tempering ingredients.
3. When they crackle, tip in the chopped banana stem and stir fry for a minute.
4. Add salt and turmeric powder and sufficient water to cook the vegetable.
5. Simmer until done
6. Garnish with grated coconut.
Serve as a side dish with rice and sambar.

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