Sunday 31 May 2015

Dhaniya masala chole with Tawa naan

Happiness lies in cooking your family's favourite food, Dhaniye masala chole was one of  the first recipes I ever cooked. I'm a determined eater and creator of this Punjabi curry. I remember my brother asking to save some for his next day's office dabba <3 and mom dad enjoying the food with sweet smiles on their face. Being a Pujabi kitchen Chole bhature, chawal, naan, paratha, is a frequent affair at my house just like any other punjabi household. This chole preparation is cooked in a fresh coriander based gravy along with various spices giving it a fresh and subtle flavours.
Dhaniye Masala Chole:
  • 1/2 kg chickpeas(soaked overnight)
  • 1 tea bag
  • 3 medium sized onions (paste)
  • 4-5 big tomatoes (pureed)
  • 1 tbsp green chilli, ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves paste
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 black cardamom
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 5-6 black peppercorns
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp degi mirch powder(red chilli powder)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tsp dry roasted cumin seeds
  • Salt to taste
  • 3-4 tbsp tamarind paste
  • 4-5 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 cup water

For garnishing:
  • Onion rings
  • Coriander leaves
  • Small cubes of fried cottage cheese

  • Boil chickpeas in a pressure cooker adding salt and a tea bag in a pressure cooker till tender( this generally takes 6-7 whistles on medium flame)  discard the tea bag, crush roasted cumin seeds in a mortar and pestle and add in the boiled chickpeas, keep aside.
  • In a wok heat oil add add asafoetida, cumin seeds, after the seeds splutter add rest of the whole spices and saute for a minute.
  • Next add green chilli and ginger garlic paste, saute for a minute.
  • Add onion paste and cook till golden brown.
  • When onions are cooked add tomato puree and coriander leaves paste and cook till oil separates from the sides.
  • Next add all the dry spice powders and cook again for a minute.
  • Add boiled chickpeas, tamarind paste and water and let the mixture boil for 10-12 minutes.( adjust the seasonings if required)
  • Garnish with onion rings, cottage cheese and coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot with naan, paratha, kulcha or rice.

Tawa Naan:
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup curd
  • water as required

  • In a mixing bowl add both flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar and whisk well. Make a well in the center, add oil, curd and water and knead into a soft pliable dough.
  • Cover the dough with a wet muslin cloth and keep it aside for 2 hours.
  • Take an orange sized ball from the dough and roll into an elongated shape on a clean surface dusted with flour, apply some water on the top of the naan and put it on a tawa from the wet side so it sticks to the tawa.
  • Cook on medium flame, when the naan starts to puff on the top turn the tawa upside down and cook naan on direct flame from the top side.
  • When cooked put a dollop of butter and serve hot

Enjoy Dhabba style food at home :)

Friday 22 May 2015

Kahwa Mint Ice lollies

The Sun scorches all day long.. and the heat wears me out.. my family and I always want something cool and healthy...

Not to forget my kiddo loves popsicles, I was awarded with super chef title from him for the Caramel mochasicles I made for him this time I combined exotic flavours of kahwa with some summery mint to make some healthy and delicious Kahwa ice lollies! They are refreshing and just what u need to beat the heat! The Kahwa truffles I made some time back were super hit at my home. Here's one more experiment from kahwa tea leaves coming from my kitchen!!


  • 1 cup water
  • 3/4 tsp kashmiri kahwa tea (or green tea leaves)
  • 1/4 tsp green cardamom powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1/4 tsp dry ginger powder
  • 10-12 saffron strands( dissolved in 2-3 tbsp water)
  • Few dried rose petals (optional)
  • Few fresh mint leaves
  • Sugar to taste
  • A handful of chopped almonds

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 5-7 minutes
Total time: 4-5 hours
Yields: 6 ice lollies
Kitchen Equipments required: Saucepan, a mixing spoon, popsicle moulds


  • Boil water in a saucepan along with powdered spices.
  • Pour this boiled water over the tea leaves, add rose petals and mint leaves, let it stand for 10-12 minutes to steep the flavours.
  • Add saffron water and chopped almonds.
  • Stir in some sugar, and let it cool.
  • Pour the tea in the popsicle moulds and transfer the moulds to freezer for about an hour, take out the moulds and insert sticks in the centre, cover and put the moulds back to freezer for at least 4-5 hours.
  • For demoulding, run hot water over the mould and carefully take out the popsicles.
  • Serve chilled.

Sunday 17 May 2015

Peach & Apple Iced green tea

Kick start your day with this refreshing Iced green tea infused with peaches and apples and flavoured with ginger juice.......

Green tea is made from the leaves of Camellia sinensis. It is loaded with antioxidants and nutrients and dietary fibre that are helpful in curing many ailments.
Adding fresh fruits to it enhances its taste and nutrient value of the tea.
I have shared Earl grey & rose iced tea and Orange spiced iced tea some time back with you.
This time it is cold brewed refreshing fresh fruit infused iced green tea to beat the heat!!


  • 4 cups cold water
  • 3  bags green tea
  • 1  bag black tea
  • 3 medium sized peaches sliced
  • 1 big apple sliced
  • 1/2 tbsp ginger juice
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Honey as per taste
  • Ice cubes
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Total time : 8 hours refrigeration plus 30 minutes
Yields : 4 servings


  • Add 4 cups of filtered cold water in a pitcher, drop tea bags cover and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
  • Slightly mash the fruits using a spoon or muddler 
  • Add fruits and ginger juice into the brewed tea and let it rest for 30-40 minutes.
  • Fill the glasses with ice cubes and pour the tea over the ice.
  • Stir in some honey and lemon juice.
  • Serve chilled.

Friday 15 May 2015

Guest blog : Knowing Chilli

Much delighted to share a guest blog from "Innovative Head Chef" YUM Restaurants International Rahul Shrivastava.

Multi Cusine Specialist chef is an IHM Chandigarh pass out.

Sharing his insights on uses and varieties of chillies in different civilisations

Chillies are an integral part of any civilisation. In fact the usage of the chillies make the cultures different from one another.  Also one can easily seen differentiation in the local tradition in the methodology the way these are used. 
Indians are very quickly educating their plates with foreign tastes and flavours. They have that new purchasing power and have robust stomach lining unlike the Europeans. They fear and stop at nothing. Its time now to educate ourself with the Arsenal of Chillies!!
Primarily we can divide the entire planet as for the usage of Chillies on and further build out know how in return

America and Latin American: 

The prime use of the chillies are in marinades and rubs and also combined with the fruits and vegetables to make main course and snack preparations in Brazil, Argentina and Mexico. In fact Mexico is known for the use of various types of Chilies and the Birthplace of the one of the most Fiery chilli in the world called - Habanero. Another important chilli is Chipotle is now being even welcomed in India which has sweet and smoky notes. 


Too much of black pepper can be extremely dangerous for this population. They have sweeter roasts and use their spices in moderation compared to American counterparts. They like to use their Cayenne pepper in Hungry and Portugal and Peperoncino in Italy and Sardinia. France uses more of white pepper and pink pepper. But all of this is used for the moderation and giving little Zing to their dishes and never to gasp for water to quench a fire with that.

Asian (India, South East Asia and Japan): 

They are one of the masters of using their spices and Chillies in various permutation and combination as these fall in the tropical climate range. Malay and Indonesians use their chillis to create fabulous dishes like Rendang and Thailand uses to enrich their Thai Curriers. Indians on the other hand create Sambhar and entire North Indian flair. Japan has Wasabi as a robust spice cum Chilli accompaniment to Sushi and Sashimis. 

Middle Eastern: 

Make use of red chilli powder to adorn the Hummus and Babaganoj. They have succulent kebabs and flavorsome rice preparations which are famous all over the world. No authentic Shavarma can be made without the use of chilli paste. 

Others: Australia and New Zealand

Aboriginals and people of Australian origin use their spice in moderation as their European friends use, in fact they also love the sweeter spice mixes from Tuscany Italy and Modern Eurasian blends. 
Over all I would like to conclude that Best of the Chefs around the world would swear on the fresh use of the Spices in and around a plate to create a plethora of fantastic dishes. 

Wednesday 13 May 2015

Besan wala Karela ( chickpea flour stuffed bitter gourd)

Bitter gourd is my family's favourite and can be cooked in many different ways; packed with nutrients and health, this one is very versatile. Today I'am sharing a Rajasthani style of cooking bitter gourd stuffed with 'besan' (chickpea flour).

I've earlier shared full Rajasthani Thali , Besan wali shimla mirch, Ker sangri kumathiyaDal Baati. Here's another from my Rajasthani kitchen:

  • 7-10 medium sized bitter gourd
  • 1 cup chickpea flour 
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp dry mango powder
  • A pinch of asafoetida
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 5-6 tbsp oil
Preparation time: 30-40 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Kitchen Equipments Required: 2 medium sized cooking pans, mixing spoons, a peeler and a knife.

  • Peel the gourds and wash them under running water, rub salt over them and keep aside for at least 30 minutes.
  • Discard the juices and wash once again and squeeze all the water from the gourd to remove bitterness from the gourds. 
  • Wipe with a kitchen towel and make a cut vertically in each gourd keeping the ends intact, discard the seeds and keep aside.

  • Dry roast chickpea flour in a heavy bottomed pan, when it changes colour slightly switch off the flame, add all the dry spices to the roasted flour.
  • Stuff all the gourds with roasted chickpea flour mixture using a spoon and tighten the gourds with a thread ( keep the leftover flour for later use)
  • In an another pan heat oil, add cumin seeds and let them splutter.
  • Drop the stuffed gourds into the pan and cook for 15- 20  minutes on medium flame till the gourds are almost cooked.
  • Next add the leftover flour into the pan, sprinkle some water and cook again for 5-7 minutes on medium flame.
  • Remove the thread before serving.
  • Serve hot with Phulkas or Parathas.

Wednesday 6 May 2015

Loaded potato cups

Cheesy,oozy, gooey homestyle loaded potato cups

Loaded potato cups 
Ingredients for the cups: 
  • 3 medium sized potatoes (shredded)
  • 3/4 th bowl mozzarella ( or your favourite cheese)
  • 2 tbsp cornflour
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp mixed dried herbs (optional)
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Baking time: 35 minutes
Kitchen Equipments Required: Grater, a mixing spoon, muffin tray

  • Preheat the oven for 10 minutes.
  • Rinse potatoes and squeeze all the water from them, add cornflour, grated cheese, salt, pepper and herbs, mix everything using a spoon.
  • Grease the muffin tray, spoon the mixture in the cavities, press potato mixture to the bottom and up the sides to form cups.
  • Bake for 35 minutes or till crispy at 200 degree.
While the cups are baking prepare the filling....

Ingredients for filling:
  • 3/4 th cup assorted vegetables, chopped( I used carrots mushrooms, capsicum and corns)
  • 4-5 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 onion chopped 
  • 1/4 bowl crumbled cottage cheese
  • Béchamel sauce ( see recipe here)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup processed cheese grated
  • 1-2 tbsp bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
Preparation time:10-15 minutes
Cooking time: 5 minutes
Baking time: 5-7 minutes
Kitchen equipments required: a knife, chopping board, grater, a saucepan or a wok, a mixing spoon

  • Heat olive oil a wok, add minced garlic, sauté for few seconds.
  • Add chopped onion, vegetables and crumbled cheese and sauté on medium flame for 3-4 minutes, pour  1/2 cup of béchamel sauce and seasonings and cook again for 3-4 minutes. 
  • Turn off the flame.
  • Spoon this mixture into the baked potato cups, top it with grated cheese and some bread crumbs and some butter and bake again for 5-7 minutes at 200 degree or till you get nice crispy brown topping.
  • Serve hot.

Tuesday 5 May 2015

Caramel mochasicles

Happiness is, blending your icy treat with tons of Caramel!
Here's one more reason to enjoy caramel and embrace the summers with more appetite...

For the popsicles:

  • 1 1/2 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 3-4 tbsp sugar
  • 1/4 cup fresh cream
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup full cream milk
  • 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • Add coffee powder, milk, cream, water, cocoa and sugar in a blender.
  • Blend till smooth and frothy.
  • Pour the mixture into the popsicles moulds, insert the sticks and cover it with an aluminium foil.
  • Freeze for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  • For demoulding, run hot water over the mould and carefully take out the popsicles.
For mocha caramel sauce:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup fresh cream
  • 1/2 tsp instant coffee powder
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 3 tbsp butter( unsalted)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • In a medium sized bowl whisk together cream, cocoa and coffee powder with a wired whisk, keep aside.
  • Combine sugar and water in a heavy bottom pan.
  • Cook over medium- high heat, until mixture comes to boil.
  • Continue to boil, without stirring, for 7-10 minutes, tilting pan occasionally to keep colour even until mixture turns a deep amber colour.
  • Remove from heat and pour in cream mixture.
  • Add butter and vanilla extract and whisk till everything is combined.

(You can store this sauce for 2-3 weeks in fridge, reheat for few seconds every time you want to use it)

Dunk the popsicles in the caramel sauce.....lick :) :) enjoy!!!