Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Tamatar Ka Achar/ Tomato Pickle

It was one such evenings when we went to market just like we would do every week and peep on whats new. While vegetable shopping my eyes just fell on these gorgeous beauties which were sitting in packets and without even giving it  second thought I was about to buy them, but I soon realized because of the heat(blame the weather) some had gotten moist so the vendore generously gave me one more pack of it saying take 2 at a price of one (because you are a regular customer, yes I am a dedicated customer ;) ) and the happy me jumped and got it back home along with other veggies and fruits.
I packed half of the box to a friend of ours and was about to use some for salad and realized many had gone dry and were not that juicy as I expected, me being me did not worry but googled for a pickle recipe and found a yummy recipe here.
I have altered the recipe a bit, I do recommend you to try it as its just WOW.
Lets proceed to cooking,

 Main Ingredients For the Pickle- Image from I phone 6
Ingredients needed: 
1.5 kg sliced baby/cherry tomato (I used baby/cherry tomatoes but you can use any variety)
½  cup or 2 big bulbs garlic peeled
Tamarind juice (extracted from about one big lemon sized ball) approx ½ cup
1/3rd cup thai/cayenne green chili if you don’t have replace with normal variety *
3 tablespoon Panch phoran spices *
¼ th teaspoon asafoetida
1/3rd cup curry leaves (coarsely chopped)
½  cup olive/mustard oil if you don’t like both replace with any vegetable oil *
Salt to taste
While I was Clicking these beauties the tiny little dimple hands came in to pick them :) - Image from I phone 6

Image from I phone 6

Using a food mixer/processor coarsely grind garlic and green chillies,you can even grind it with a mortar and pestle. If you don’t like chunky garlic pcs then grind it into a paste.
Heat the mentioned oil in a large thick deep bottom panAdd asafoetida and panch phoran spices. As soon as they sputter, add curry leaves.
Once its  splattered add garlic and chili mixture. Fry for about a minute until they turn lightly golden in color.
Add tomatoes and salt and tamarind juice and 1/2 a cup of water (if the tomatoes aren't juicy or else please do not add water as the pickle will not last for more than a month and you need to use it soon... i knew it would be empty soon so I wasn't much worried about it. ). Mix everything together and bring it to a boil. As the tomatoes start to boil, reduce the heat to medium low and let it simmer until all the liquid gets thickened fpr about 1 to 1.5 hours stirring in between.
At the end the oil will separate. Cook for another 10 minutes making sure there's no water left.
Once done completely cool down before transferring into a clean Jar.
Store it in a cool dry place in air tight containers.
In a refrigerator this pickle can last for at least a month.
Serve with idli, dosa or hot dal and rice or spread for your bread or roti. The choice is yours.

Cute Little Beauties - Image from my Nikon Camera

For Panch Phoran Mix :
  • 1 tbsp nigella seeds
  • 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp cumin seeds
Mix all this and store in a container and use as required.
For the recipe above use 3 tbsp of the mixture. And keep the rest for closed in the container.

 I served this pickle with Mushti Polo for which I will upload a recipe soon!

Mushti Polo with Tamatar ka Achar -Image from I phone 6
I have use 2 thai red chillies and normal green chillies for the pickle. adjust the spice according to your taste buds. You can add extra chillies too if you like it spicy.
If you are using normal variety of tomato or tu caomato that is sour then please adjust the tamarind, if tomatoes are sour it may not at all require tamarind. Here I used baby cherry tomatoes which were not at all sour but a kind of sweet.
I have used olive oil measured ½ cup but actual recipe calls for 1 cup of oil I wanted to reduce oil. If you wish please add 1 cup of oil.
Use a clean and dry spoon every time you dig in the pickle. 
this made 2 jars of pickle(you can see a picture of jar above approx 340gms each bottle)

Happy Cooking,

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Chole Shakarkand - No onion garlic

A yummy side dish made with brown chickpeas and sweet potato. The combination of both is just yummy.
For cooking the chickpeas:
  • 250 gms chana/chole/brown or black chickpeas
  • 1 large shakarkand/sweet potato
  • 3 cloves
  • 2 cinnamon/dal chini
  • 2 black cardamoms
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 2 bay leaves/indian tej patta
  • 1 tea bag or 1 tsp tea powder packed in a small pc of  muslin cloth
  • 2-3 tsp black salt
For making the chole shakarkand:
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • ½ tsp red chili powder/lal mirch powder
  • 2 tsp coriander powder/dhania powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • Little asafoetida powder /hing
  • 2-3 tsp chole masala/chana masala
  • 1 tsp dry mango powder/amchur
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • black salt/kala namak or regular salt
  • 2 tbsp coriander leaves finely chopped

For cooking the chickpeas:
  1. soak the chole/chickpeas for 8-9 hours
  2. boil the soaked chole with the whole spices (packed in a muslin cloth/potli), black salt and tea bag/bags in a pressure cooker for 10-15 minutes or 6-7 whistles or until cooked.
  3. drain the chole/chickpeas. remove the spices and tea bag.
For making Chole Shakarkand:
  1. In a pan heat oil and fry the crushed ginger or ginger paste.
  2. When the raw smell of the ginger disappears add all the spice powders.
  3. Fry the spice powders for a minute.
  4. Add the boiled chickpeas/ chana and shakarkand and mix it well with the masala.
  5. Add black salt and check for seasoning.
  6. Let the chana cook for 5-7 minutes in the masala on a low flame.
  7. Lastly add lemon juice, chopped coriander leaves to the chana and mix it well.
  8. Serve  chole hot with, green chillies and lemon wedges accompanied with roti or chapathi or even rice and dal.
For Chole Masala Powder click Here

Till Later Then, 
Happy Cooking

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Peanut Chutney

Making a no coconut chutney has become a fascination these days may be its easy because early mornings scraping coconut or deep frosting the coconut is a tedious task.
This one chutney is  easy to make and requires no coconut. I have adapted this recipe from Raks Kitchen and made a few changes in it.
We need :
  • ¼ cup peanuts
  • 2 tbsp roasted chana dal/bengal gram
  • 1-2 green chili or 4-5 roasted dry red chilies
  • ¼ inch ginger
  • 12-15 curry leaves + a few for tempering
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • a pinch of asafoetida/hing
  • salt as required
  • water as required

  1. Heat a pan.
  2. Fry the peanuts on a low to medium flame for 3-4 minutes.
  3. Add the curry leaves and fry for a minute.
  4. Lastly add the roasted chana dal,& asafoetida and fry for 5 minutes more on a low flame.
  5. Take care that you don't burn this mix, else the chutney will give a bitter taste and not taste good.
  6. Let this mixture cool down.
  7. Add in a grinder or a small blender or mixie jar along with ginger, red chilies(I used red chillies instead of green) and salt.
  8. Pour little water and grind the peanut chutney to a very smooth consistency.
  9. You can add more water of you want a little liquid consistency.
  10. Now heat oil add in mustard seeds and when they splatter add curry leaves and temper over the chutney.
  11. Serve peanut chutney with idli, dosa.

 Happy Cooking,

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Happala Kismuri

Happolu means spicy Papad in Konkani. My mo makes variety of happolu like batate/potato happolu, jeevkadgi/breadfruit happolu, ponsa/jackfruit happolu, keerla/ bamboo shoot happolu, kele/raw banana happolu and this one that is Red chilli papad. I wish to take pictorials of happolu  that my Amma does and post it here, may be soon. I am not a big fan of these Red Chilli Papad like I am of the other ones. Yet I love this dish though I do not like the papad as it is ;).

This is a kind of Papad salad with coconut and coconut oil.  It just tastes yum when served with steaming hot rice and dal.

This is what you’ll need
Happol (red chilli papad): 6-7 ( deep fried or roasted over flame)
Onion: 1 (big)
Coconut: 4tbsp
Green chillies: 1
Lemon juice – ½ tsp
Coconut oil 1 tsp
Coriander leaves chopped – 1 tbsp

Salt to taste


1. Chop the onions and green chillies finely.
2. Mix the coconut, green chillies, onions lemon juice coriander leaves and salt in a bowl.
3. Crush the Happolu roughly with your hands and keep aside.
4. just before serving add coconut oil and crushed happolu and serve with dal and rice J.
Happy Cooking

Saturday, July 11, 2015


Undiyo/ Undhiyu/oondhiyu is a trademark gujarati dish which has loads of vegetables in it and is filling by itself.
I always wanted to taste this dish Undhiyu just by listening the name but never got an opportunity until I made it last year when my mom was here. One thing to be noted in this is we cannot make this dish in a less quantity so I needed a few extra mouth to finish it off the same day ;). We had a gujrati neighbor who gave a verdict that it tastes the same J.
I blindly followed the recipe from and never made any changes as I did not know ABCD of the recipe. I have even copied the recipe as I did not know exact measurements I took a year back ;). thanks to th person who posted the recipe there J
This dish was in draft from past 1 year so no fresh clicks as I did not make it since then. I think I need to make it again.
How to make Methi Muthiya
  • 1 cup wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup gram flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped fenugreek leaves/methi leaves
  • Few sprigs of chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tbsp chilli garlic ginger paste
  • 1 tsp whit sesame seeds/til
  • 1 tsp carom seeds/ajwain
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 cup water
  • Mix wheat flour with gram flour.
  • Add fenugreek leaves/methi leaves, cilantro, sugar, salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, chilli garlic ginger paste, sesame seeds, carom seeds and oil. Mix well.
  • Add water gradually, and knead into firm dough.
  • Make round balls of this.
  • Shallow fry to avoid excess oil. Keep aside.(actual recipe says deep fry them)

For the vegetables
  • 1/2 cup lilva beans/ tuvar (green pigeon peas)
  • 1/2 cup val papdi (Indian flat beans)
  • 1/2 cup surti papdi
  • 10 baby potatoes
  • 1/2 cup purple yam
  • 1/2 cup white yam/suran
  • 6 baby eggplants
  • 1/2 cup sweet potatoes
  • Green masala prepared below
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/4 cup fenugreek leaves finely chopped
  • Green masala
  • To make green masala, blend 1/2 cup green chillies, 1 inch ginger piece, 5-6 garlic cloves, a bunch of green garlic shoots along with the garlic, 2 cup cilantro, a pinch of salt, 1/2 tsp carom seeds, 1/2 tsp cumin seeds, 1 tsp sugar in a blender.
  • Add as little water as possible and make a thick green paste. Keep aside.
  • Take the baby potatoes, de-skin them and slit them with a '+' shape on one side. Ensure it is not cut through the other side. Repeat for baby eggplants.
  • Cut the remaining vegetables into cubes, about the same size as the potatoes and eggplants.
  • Mix the green masala with shredded coconut and use 1/4th of the masala to stuff the potatoes and eggplants.
  • Heat 5 tbsp oil in a big and deep pan.
  • If the muthiya is to be shallow fried, use this oil to shallow fry and make the undhiyu in the same oil. This gives the oil an extra flavour!
  • Once muthiya is crisp and golden brown on the outside, remove from the oil onto a kitchen towel.
  • Add 1 tsp each of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, carom seeds, sesame seeds and a pinch of asafoetida in the oil.
  • Once the mustard seeds pop, add half of the remaining green masala and let it sizzle for a minute or two.
  • Add all the greens (lilva tuvar, val papdi and surti papdi) to the oil.
  • Sprinkle some salt and sugar on them, to avoid discoloration.
  • Layer the potatoes, yams and sweet potato.
  • Put the remaining green masala on the top and finally add the eggplants and muthiya.
  • Top the mixture with fenugreek leaves and some shredded coconut.
  • Make a mixture of 2 tsp salt, 1 tsp sugar and half cup water.
  • Sprinkle the mixture on top of the undhiyu and cover it. Cook for 30 to 35 minutes till the vegetables are soft.
  • Before serving, mix the undhiyu well, top with shredded coconut and cilantro and serve with puri or phulka or chapathi.

Happy Cooking,

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Tambdi Chutney

We never did very long distance travelling before marriage. It was max 10 hours travel that we might have done as far as I remember. While travelling Amma used to make one staple food and that was Idli or Khotto with Tambdi Chutney(Tambdi/tambde in Konkani means Red colour) She even made this chutney to pack it to me while I travelled to Mumbai (after 3 years of marriage) so that I could retain the chutney for next 2 days in my fridge and it would never spoil, she even does it sometimes for my brother when he leaves to Bangalore.
She always stone ground it and now we having mixie/mixer grinder do not have the patience or time to do the same so the shelf life of the chutney reduces. I was not fond of this chutney but yes the rest at home love it.
So here is how to make Tambdi Chutney.
Red chilly -10-12
Chana daal 1 tbsp
Oil 1 tbsp
Tamarind pieces 2 peanut sized
Grated coconut -1 cup
Urad dal ½ tbsp
Hing / asafoetida a pinch or if using compound hing half peanut sized


Heat oil in a pan add chana dal, urad dal and hing and roast this till brown, add red chilly, sauté it and switch off the flame and allow it to cook and add salt, grated coconut tamarind and put all together in to the blender/mixie/mixer grinder/ stone mortar and perstle and grind it into a little rough paste(not too smooth) without adding much water(may be just 2 tbsp) you can dilute the chutney later if you wish to.

Serve this with dosa, Idli or Khotto.
This chutney does not require any tempering, you can add mustard and curry leaves tempering if you wish to.
Happy cooking,

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Vaali Ambat

Malabar Spinach is a leafy vegetable known as Vaali in Konkani, Basale in tulu and scientific name Basella Alba. These creepers normally grow in the backyards of the house in our place. Of course you need a backyard, as nowadays having one is a treasure ;).
We at home excluding dad (for some reasons) love it at home and relish the curry more than the rice on the day it is made. One dish is Ambat which is made with Dal and tadka is given with onion and other is Bendi which is without dal and tadka is given with garlic.
Today I am posting Ambat and here is what you need:


Vaali/ Chinese spinach 1 bunch
Tur dal- ¼ th  cup
Coconut, fresh or frozen -1 cup
Red chillies – 6-7(long variety that is not so spicy)roast in few tsp of oil
Tamarind marble sized
Onion -2 medium finely chopped
Coconut oil preferably – 1 tbsp ( you can use any oil if you don’t prefer this)


Pluck the leaves from stems. Cut  the stems into 2 inch pieces. Wash and clean the leaves as well as stems. Roughly chop the leaves.
Wash toor dal and pressure cook it. Mash the cooked dal and keep it aside. 
For masala/ gravy/masolu, grind roasted red chillies, tamarind and fresh/frozen coconut to a smooth paste. 
Meanwhile, cook the chopped leaves along with stems.
 Mix the ground masala, salt as per the taste to the leaves and add enough water to get desired consistency. Mix well and cook for someatleast 5-7 minutes over a medium flame.
Now heat coconut oil in a small pan or tadka pan on low flame and add finely chopped onions. Sauté it till the onions turn brown on low flame itself.
Add this seasoning to the cooked curry, switch off the flame and cover the vessel with lid.
 Serve it hot with rice. 

I have used long variety of chilly so I have added 7 of them if the chilly you use is hot/spicy kindly adjust accordingly.
If you do not consume onion then you can use mustard seeds and curry leaves for seasoning in place of onions.
Happy Cooking,


Monday, July 6, 2015

Peach Masala Soda- Summer Treat

Its natural drink here most of the time but sometimes we do crave for some Soda drink once in a blue moon and this one is made on one such day.
Peach masala soda is my own experiment. I made this just because I had some fruit puree which I had made to save the poor peaches which would get rotten within 2 days time. We had got peach from the market without realizing the bottom line of the peach stack being to mushy :/. The top stack was eaten as it was nice and the bottom stack went into making puree and then this.
So enjoy making it with or without Peaches J.

Lemon Juice- ½ tbsp
Peach Puree – 2 tbsp
Black Salt – ½ tsp
Chaat Masala ½ tsp
Roasted Jeera/Cumin Powder – ½ tsp
Plain bottled Soda – 200ml
Mint leaves for garnishing
Sugar 1 tbsp
Combine lemon juice, peach puree,salt, chaat masala,roasted jeera, pepper powder in a glass. Add some crushed ice. Mix it well with spoon. Top up the glass with chilled soda. Garnish with mint leaves and few lemon slices and serve immediately.

 Happy Summer Holidays,
Happy Cooking,

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Paneer Lababdar

Paneer being my daughter M’s favorite I try making various recipes from it. This particular recipe is from Chef Vikas Khanna and is a little healthier because there is no cream or butter in it.
We need:
  • 1 tbsp oil 
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp kasuri methi/dried fenugreek leaves crushed
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 8-9 cubes of paneer (I used ready made cubes so they were small)
  • 1 tsp chopped coriander leaves

  • To make Paneer Lababdar heat oil in a pan
  • Add onions, ginger paste, garlic paste and sauté them.
  • Then add turmeric powder, garam masala, chilli flakes, salt,  and mix well chopped tomatoes and sauté well making sure the tomatoes get a little mushy.
  • Add the mixture to a mixture jar(make sure the mixture isn’t too hot before grinding). Add water and make a fine paste.
  • Empty the paste into the same pan where you sautéed them without adding oil . Add lemon juice, paneer, coriander leaves, kasuri methi and mix it well
  • Paneer Lababdar is ready to serve with rotis/chapathi or Naan or even Simple Jeera Rice.
Note :
You can add 1 tbsp low fat cream and add 1/2 tsp butter while you saute onions.
For a rich flavour you can even add few soaked cashewnuts while grinding. i have skipped all this as it was a healthier version showed in Saffola Fit Foodie
 The Above mentioned recipe Serves only one where as i have made it for four.

Happy Cooking,