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Recipes I've Shared:

Chai Masala Powder(Spice Mix for making Masala Tea)

This is the way Tea would be made during my childhood.Half a teaspoon of this Spice Powder along with a few Fresh Sweet Violet Leaves (Banafsha/Adulsa)would be boiled in four cups of Water and reduced to half.This Concoction would then be strained,1 tsp. of Dark Honey added to this along with a squeeze of Lime Juice would be given to us three sisters to drink as hot as possible by my Nanny---specially in the Monsoon and the Winter----to warm us and prevent Coughs and Colds.She used to call it "Kaadhaa".This Powder can also be added to traditional Tea made with Milk to spice it up and give it a zing.This also is excellent as an "Ukaalaa" or just boiled in a mixture of plain Milk and Water without the addition of Tea Leaves.This is drunk with Dark Honey stirred in after it is strained into a Cup.I still continue to make this Spice Powder and add a pinch of this to spice up my early morningTea--and this acts as a great wake up call each morning--very refreshing and energising!!

Phoophie's Aaloo Palak (Spinach and Potato Vegetable Curry)

This is a great favourite with my family.I was introduced to this simply cooked Dish very early in my childhood by my Nanny's paternal Aunt whom everyone called "Phoophie".This dish coupled with thick Whole Wheat Rotis that she used to make using only her palms to fashion them provided the perfect accompaniment to this Curry and made with the fresh,Organic Spinach it just tasted heavenly!!!One correction I've made is that I now use Olive Oil instead of the original Butter----that does make it healthier!!!

Pork and Vegetables in Piquant Sauce with Rice

This Pork Dish is cooked in very little Oil with low Sodium Soy Sauce and Vegetables in a Spicy and Piquant Sauce.This is served over plain boiled White Rice which is drained after it is cooked to remove the Starch.The Rice is first boiled in plain Water and then drained in a Sieve.I then rinse it under running Water to wash out the Starch as much as possible. possible.This is a one dish Meal which is a great satisfying blend of Flavours,Nutrients and Taste.

Vijaya's Sweet Appams with Coconut Milk

My next door neighbour Vijaya is a Manglorean and makes delicious Neer Dosais and Appams.Her Sweet Appams are truly delicious and crisply light and can be eaten as a Dessert or an Evening Snack.By fermenting the Batter one need not add any Yeast or Baking Powder/Soda as these come out extremely light and fluffy by themselves.These are made in a special Cast Iron Pan called the Appa Chatti which is these days available in the Market in a healthy Non-Stick format too.These can be eaten by themselves or dipped in Rasaayan or sweet Spiced Coconut Milk.They taste great either way but I prefer these by themselves!!!

Spicy Corn and Cheese on Toast

During my childhood this was a favourite Tea Time Snack---specially during the Rains.Later it became a favourite with my daughters and I served it to them regularly as an after School Snack.The only difference in this and the original Recipe is that in those days the large Bread Slices would be cut into 4 triangles each and then be deep fried,loaded with this Filling and topped by a Kraft's Cheese Single Slice.Then these would be grilled for the Cheese to melt and soften and then would eaten hot with tall Glasses of Milk for us and hot Tea for the Parents.

Kanta's Kuria Marchaa-Stuffed Green Chilli Pickle

My friend Kanta is a Gujarati hailing from the Kutch region of that State.Gujaratis are very fond of Pickles and this one is a fresh Pickle that is made and finished while still crunchy and fresh.This is a Kutchi Recipe which is very yummy and is made by stuffing the Green Chillies with a blend of different Spices ground coarsely---the coarse ground Seeds are called "Kuria".This lasts for about 3 weeks in the Refridgerator or for about 10 days on the shelf.

Spicy Kothimbir Vadi--Spicy Cilantro Cake

This was my maternal Grandma's--Aaji's forte.She was an expert Cook and this was a Puneri Delicacy that she picked up when they moved to Poona/Pune in the late 1950s.In the old days these would be steamed first in Steamers and then cooled and cut into Squares.These Squares would then be deep fried in Oil to give these Squares a crispy, crackly touch.Today I either steam these and fry in Pam Spray in a Frying Pan or bake these in a Pre-heated Oven to reduce the Oil Content of this Recipe.This is a very light preparation and one of my Favourite Snacks with Mugfulls of hot,Milky Tea---specially when it is pouring heavily outside!!!

Achaar Masala/Pickling Spice Powder for Stuffing Vegetables

This was a great favourite in my childhood---and this Masala is made according to the specifications handed down to me from our old Family Cook--Narayan Singh.I make and keep this ready---the more it matures the better it tastes!!Earlier I used to sterilise the Glass Jar by turning it upside down on a glowing piece of Coal sprinkled with Asafoetida Powder and smoke it for 5-10 minutes---these days I dry these upside down in the Sunshine--works as well!!I use this to stuff Vegetables like small Okra Pods,tiny Egg Plants,Gherkins(Parmal/Parwal),Ivy Gourds, small Apple/Round Indian Gourds(Tindaas) and even Brussels Sprouts with this Masala!!The only thing I add extra is 2 fistfuls of deep fried crisp Shallots(Red Onions) ground to a Paste to 6-8 Tablespoons of this Masala---it's enough to stuff 750 gms. of any Vegetable!!

Sonia's Crispy Chinese Bhindi/Okra

Sonia is one of my neighbours---a confirmed Vegetarian--- well known to us for her quick and easy methods of cooking great Meals at short notice.She has short cuts for almost everything and has full 4-5 course Meals ready in a jiffy!!Here is her Recipe for preparing Fried Okra with a Chinese Twist!!!

Biji's Mango Pickle--Punjabi Style

Biji lived next door from my birth till I was 6 years old for that was when we moved.Her house was my second home during that period and our relations survived with the same warmth till she passed away!!It was in her home that I became addicted to Punjabi Pickles specially "Aam kaa Achaar" as the Mango Pickle was called---I must have downed kilos of it with crisp,flaky "Matthree" a salty flaky fried Biscuit type preparation---the wonderful buttery taste still lingers on my tongue!!

Aaji's Pickle Masala & Mango/Lemon Pickle

This is my maternal Grandma Aaji's Recipe.This is very tasty but has very little Juice--meant for those who love to eat the pickled raw Green Mangos.I make both types because for me Memories of this are connected to my childhood--when this would arrive at our home in Chandigarh from Poona where my Grandparents lived.Again this too is served by Teaspoons and eaten as a Condiment---sinced it is pickled in Salt and Oil!!

Stuffed Bhindi/Okra/Ladies Finger

This is another Favourite dish from my childhood---and I crave this in the Summers when certain Vegetables like tiny Eggplants, Okra,Tindas,Parwals/Parmals and Tendli/Kundrus/Ivy Gourds are available in the Markets---very fresh and tender.Any of these can be used and stuffed with this Masala Paste and make a great Side Dish!!!I have used Okra---while the Masala (Stuffing) remains the same you can use it by stuffing any small Vegetables of your choice!!

Tilaachey Laadoo(Til key Laddu)Sesame Seed Balls

These traditional Laadoos(Balls) are made from polished Sesame Seeds and sticky Jaggery specifically for the Makar Sankranti Festival or Winter Harvest Festival which is celebrated to give thanks to The Almighty for His Bounty.This Festival takes place on either 14th. or 15th. of January each year and all the products of the Winter Harvest are ceremoniously worshipped in Clay Pots made specially for this day.These Clay Pots are daubed with stripes of Sandalwood ,Turmeric and Kum Kum Pastes,worshipped and then ceremoniously distributed to married women in different numbers---5/7/9/11--according to custom in each home..This Speciality is eaten and made all over India in the Winter---as that is when certain Foods are eaten to keep the body warm----Sesame Seeds too are considered a "Hot" food-----and combined with Jaggery,roasted Split Chick Peas,Peanuts,Dry Fruits,Coconut and aromatic Spices these add a festive air to these days!!!

Egg White & Vegetable Omelette

Indian Food is based on a balance of various Ingredients---Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian.This has been a favourite of mine since childhood---except those days I ate two whole Eggs---today I eat only the Egg Whites---thanks to my Health constraints!!!Many people are sailing in the same boat as me so I thought I'd share this recipe.Combined with a Multi Grain Bread Roll it makes for a great Breakfast or Evening Snack---in fact anytime you need some nourishment!!!!

Curried Egg Sandwiches

These are Egg Saandwiches which were a part of my childhood Teas way back in the 1950s and 1960s.Simple to make and tasty, these provide the perfect Evening Snack with a glass of Milk or a cup of Tea---Green or with Milk.The Chilli and Curry Powders add a tangy twist to the otherwise staid taste---you can increase or decrease these to suit your taste---or do away with these altogether---adding a dash of Black Pepper Powder instead!!

Rajma--Chaawal(Red Kidney Beans On Rice)

My comfort Food is mostly North Indian---because that was the Cuisine that I grew up on.The hearty Recipes that I learnt by observation of the various Cooks my mother employed taught me more than one way to prepare this---each had his own special Ingredient---this Recipe is my favourite.Of course we would add enough Ghee to the Food-----and the Curry would be literally swimming in it---and the Taste of that rich preparation would be highly satisfying and yum!!!Specially in the cold Winter days it used to act as a warming agent----chasing away the Cold by creating a warm sensation in the Belly!!!

Chaat Masala Powder

I learnt to make this from our Cook ,Narayandas.He was the first Cook my Parents employed when they moved into a Tent first and later a Row House among the first 8 homes built in Chandigarh---way back in early 1953.Mummy had a notebook in which she would note down these various Proportions and she handed these to me on her return from Mauritius after Daddy passed away.This Masala can turn even the simplest Food into lip smacking delicious!!!Sprinkle it on Plain thick bowlful of Yoghurt or on boiled,peeled,cubed Potatoes/Sweet Potatoes with a squeeze of Lemon Juice ---it adds zing and enlivens these mundane Foods up!!!Even a bowlful of Fresh Fruit perks up when this is added to it with a dash of Lemon Juice---we Indians call it "Fruit Chaat"!!!

Ragda---Patties

This is a well loved Maharashtrian Snack----Maharashtra's answer to the Punjabi Chholay--Tikki!!!Both are healthy Foods---since addition of Oil is in our hands!!!Both of these are literally irresistable----one can make one's meal on it!!!

Aunty's Mughalai Haleem

This is one of my favourite Mughalai Dishes and cooked mostly in the holy month of Ramzan/Ramadan by my Muslim friends.During this month they fast from Sunrise to Sunset----and are forbidden to swallow even their own Saliva during the fasting period----but once the night falls,they celebrate with Prayers and sumptous Meals----sometimes till early Dawn!!!My very dear friend----late Zubeida Jacob was a very pious Soul---and a fantabulous Cook!!!This was one of the dishes she'd cook during that month---- it would cook slowly throughout the day----and by Dinnertime would be simmered to delicious perfection------I write the Recipe in your memory---Dear Aunty!!!

Bharli Mirchi 1(Stuffed Green Peppers)

Stuffed Peppers are a very tasty preparation and for those who enjoy Spicy Food,these are an ideal accompaniment with a serving of steaming White Rice and Dal!!!This is my maternal Grandma--Aaji's rrecipe and for those who don't like it hot---just remove the Seeds---the Taste and Flavour remain without the heat!!!

South Indian Gun Powder Chutney

These are Condiments and used extensively in Indian Meals to spice up everyday Fare.This chutney is a favourite in our home and is served often during the "Vegetarian" only days and with Ceremonial Food served during the various "Poojas" that take place.

Healthy Dal,Wheat and Vegetable Muthia

These are a very Healthy Snack which can double as a light Meal as well.Served with Garlic Chutney this gives a balanced Nutrition as it contains the goodness of Dal(Pulses),Bulghur(Cracked whole Wheat) and Fresh Vegetables.The addition of a little Oil and Seasonings add a tongue tingling taste---and these taste wonderful when curried and served with Indian Breads as a side dish!!!!

Kishoriben's Green Undhiyu

My neighbour Kishoriben is a very spry 74 year old----looking at her spare frame one wouldn't put her beyond 60!!!!She is a great Cook---and loves to keep her hand in touch with all the Traditional Flavours for both her sons live away-----the older one in Australia the younger one in the U.S.A.----so her efforts are greatly appreciated by us---her neighbours for 35 years----for the great variety she adds to our Menus!!!This is a Winter Speciality---given the abundance of Vegetables available then in the Markets!!!However outside India,packets of Frozen Undhiyu Vegetables are easily available in Indian Stores for those interested in trying this recipe out.

Anuradha's Eggless Semolina Cake

Most of the people in our complex are Vegetarian---and being Vegetarian in India means not eating any Non-Vegetarian Food---this includes Fish as well as Eggs.Anuradha is an expert at adding various Ingredients while making this Cake-----she flavours it with fresh Fruit Pulp and it really makes a very tasty treat!!!!

Rajgira ani Naachanichee Bhaakri(Amaranth and Horse Millet Indian Bread)

This is a high fibre Nutritious Indian Bread first dry roasted on a hot Griddle and then on the flame.This tastes great with all Foods--Vegetarian and Non-Vegetarian.Amaranth is something like the Indian version of Quinoa and is rich in Protein and supposed to have a hot Constitution while Horse Millet is rich in Calcium and Iron and supposed to be cold--a mix of the two gives the perfect blend for a healthy nourishing Bread.

Braised Shredded Chicken

I Pan roast skinless and boneless Chicken Breasts this way and shred them fine to use either a part of a Salad or in a Sandwich made from Whole Grain Bread,Lettuce Leaf, thinly sliced Cucumber ,Tomato and Green Bell Pepper rounds with 1 pat of unsalted Butter and a pinch each of Salt and Pepper.Filling and satisfying.

Papaya Yoghurt Mousse

Papaya has large amounts of Pectin which helps it set without adding any Gelatin.Besides it has a unique taste,rich colour and plenty of Nutrition.Most of the time it does not need added Sugar---being naturally sweet as well.This is a favourite Dessert of mine as a Diabetic who has limited Fruit choices.

Sindhi Koki with Yoghurt

This tasty treat is a speciality of the Sindhi Community in India.This can be eaten as a Breakfast or taken along as a packed Lunch to work or while travelling.Traditionally eaten with Plain Yoghurt it makes for a satisfying Meal-----I have modified my fried Radha Dhanani's recipe only as far as the Ghee(Clarified Butter)is concerned to lighten the Fat calories.

Pudina Chutney Parathas with Raita

My friend Radha Dhanani is a wonderful cook---specially her traditional Sindhi Cuisine is her forte.This Paratha is a filling and light Lunch when eaten with a serving of Fresh thick Yoghurt----just wonderful during the Summer Heat!!!

Scrambled Egg Whites in a Roll

This is something I created out of desperation---need to vary the Methods of cooking Egg Whites on a daily basis!!!Turned out okay so thought I'd share it here.

Fish Koshimbir(Fish Salad)

This is a light and preferred manner of cooking Fish in the Konkan----very popular with Green Leafy Vegetables, steamed White Rice and Solkadhi at night during the Summers.Traditionally the Solkadhi is drunk as a digestive anfd the Fish used for this dish varies according to the catch----King Fish,Salmon,Flying Fish,Mackerel or Tuna are the more popular choices for this preparation.This dish can also be prepared with Shrimps,Clams or Mussels as well.

Aawalaa Sarbat-1

Indian Gooseberries are highly prized as a medicinal Fruit in Ayurveda----these are called the secret healing food.It has a sharp tart taste but leaves a sweet after taste.The fresh Juice of this Fruit is beneficial in Diabetes,Cholestrol control as well as being a rich source of natural Vitamin C and is drunk first thing in the morning for maximum benefit.

Kokum Tival(Spicy Kokum Drink)

This is a spicy preparation---served both as an Appetizer or an after Dinner Digestive drink.It is very popular on hot Summer nights as a coolant.Also called "Phooti Kadhi" it can be eaten with plain boiled White Rice----I prefer it as a Drink---very good for Diabetics!!!!

Kokum Sarbat(Mangosteen Sherbet)

This is a favourite amongst all the Konkanis----people hailing from the Konkan Region of Maharashtra as well as Goans and Karwaaris from the Karwaar region of Karnataka.This is the way my Great Grandma Ba-aji made it and I follow the same method.Both Coriander and Cumin Seeds are considered to be coolants and are used in various Recipes---either by themselves or together.Today ready made bottles of this Concentrate are readily available in shops.As a result, the Fruit is becoming hard to find in Mumbai markets.
This recipe makes two different kinds of Syrup and both taste truly wonderful!!!

Mori (Shark)Mutton

This is a popular Konkani preparation------particularly with those who don't eat Chicken or Meat.It tastes like Red Meat but cooks really fast.In fact if made a day earlier and kept overnight before serving,it acquires a richer taste.

Bhaazaani chey Thaalipeeth( Spicy Pancakes)

This is a very popular dish made from a mix of various Lentils and Cereals made into a coarse Flour.This is then flavoured with finely chopped Onion,Methi(Fenugreek)Leaves or Fresh Coriander(Cilantro)Leaves,Salt and Spices and bound to a firm doughwith warm Water.Made into 7"diameter rounds and roasted on a griddle,it can be eaten by itself with plain Yoghurt for a full meal.Or smaller rounds can be made tto be served as a Breakfast dish or an afternoon Teatime Snack.This flour is kept ready in our households always as a popular and versatile Diet Option.

Farasbeanchi Bhaaji(French Beans Vegetable)

This is favourite way of cooking French Beans in our family.We string these and slice them very finely into tiny rounds.These are then seasoned and cooked on a low flame and if desired garnished with raw shredded Fresh Coconut for added flavour.I do not add any.

Muthia

This is a steamed dish---a very healthy way of cooking a mix of Vegetables and Cereals together.Instead of Bottle Gourd one can substitute Fenugreek Leaves/Spinach/Amaranth/Pumpkin and use the method to cook it.If so desired it can be eaten without seasoning it in the Oil preparation.

Sodya Vaangyaachi Bhaji

This preparation is made with Dried Shrimps.It is a spicy Vegetable mix very popular for either Lunch or Dinner.

Home Made Bangdyachi Kismoor(Salad)1

During the Monsoons(Rainy Season)Sun-Dried Fish is an integral part of the diet as stormy Seas make fishing difficult.Dried Mackerels,Dried Shrimp,Dried Kingfish(Surmai) and dried Bombay Ducks are used in various dishes.Of these the Suka(dried) Bangda(Mackerel) Kismoor (Salad)is one of the most popular preparations

Ba-aji's Home Made Goda Masala(Kaala Masala)

My maternal Grandfather retired to Pune or Poona as it was then known.Ba-aji took this recipe from one of my Grandma's Brahmin friends and modified it a little to suit her Konkani tastes.This Masala is spicier than the other varieties and should be used in moderation.

Home Made Aluchi Vadi/Patra/Pataud(Taro/Colocassia Roll)

This is a very popular snack all over India though the methods of making this differ.In Marathi cooking this is served as a snack by itself or as part of a meal.This Vegetable is particularly available in the Rainy season and forms an integral part of our staple religious diet.

Home Made Aamra Khand(Mango Flavoured Yoghurt)

Yoghurt based Shrikhand is one of the favourite traditional Sweets in India----specially in the States of Maharashtra and Gujerat.This is easily converted into into Fruit or Mango Shrikhand also called Aamra Khand in Marathi.

Home Made Aaloo-Tamatar Rassa(Potato-Tomato Curry)

Potatoes are a prime favourite and a staple part of our family diet and we have found various ways of cooking them palatably.This is a gravy dish with a thin gravy is very popular in North India from where it originates.

Home Made Kheemyaachey Thapthapeet(Minced Goat Curry)

This a spicy Minced Meat dish cooked with new potatoes in a curry-----this can be eaten both with plain steamed Rice and Chappaties(Indian Bread).This time on my visit to the U.S.A. my daughter bought Kaiser Rolls---these taste a lot like Indian Bakery Paav(Bread).These Rolls are a favourite of my husband as these soak up the Curry and are great for mopping up your plate!!!

Home Made Bharli Bhendi (Bharwan Bhindi/Stuffed Okra)

This too is an easy way to prepare Okra.I am giving 2 recipes here for different ways of stuffing it.You can steam these in the Microwave if so desired.

A Home Made Indian(Marathi)Thaali(Vegetarian)

Even today at home we eat in stainless Steel plates called Thaalis.Small Steel bowls called Vaatis(Katoris)are used to serve Dals(Lentils/Pulses),Bhaajis(Vegetables)Ra
itas(Salads)and Curds(Yoghurt).While cooking we take into consideration the no.of people eating the Meal and adjust the quantities accordingly.Also we eat 1Katori(Vaati/Bowl )of curds(Yoghurt with our meals as it helps digestion and keeps the body cool.

Home Made Aluchi Paatal Bhaji(Taro Leaf Curry)

Taro Leaves are extremely popular in India.The mature Leaves are used to make a snack while the tender Leaves are cooked into a Curry in Maharashtra,Goa,Karnataka and the other three Southern States of Kerala,Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh.This Vegetable is specially popular in Wedding and Pooja Menus as well as being relished on Vegetarian days and is a very tasty preparation.

Home Made Dry Bombil Lonchey(Bombay Duck Pickle)

The East indian people were the first settlers of Mumbai or Bombay as the Portuguese named this set of seven islands.Converted to Christianity by them this community retains a quaint mixture of their Indo-Portuguese heritage in their cuisine.Their Fish dishes are truly fabulous.I have adapted some to our taste and one of these is this Dry Bombil Chutney. If you can get hold of their lovely Bottle Masala you could taste the REAL taste.The Bottle Masala is a closely guarded Recipe-----I used to get mine from an elderly friend who since has passed on---God rest her soul.Hence the adaptation!!!

Chholay Tikki(Traditional Garbanzo Beans and Potato Patties)

This hearty dish is a product of the Punjab and echoes the robust character of the people of the area.This is an exceedingly popular and well relished dish all over India and is cooked according to various recipes.
The recipe I am sharing is one that was used in my parents's kitchen by our cook Sohan Singh when I was a child.His Spices( Masalas) were always freshly made but I have managed through trial and error to duplicate the taste of his preparation with store bought Spices(Masalas).

Vegetarian Rogan Josh

The Flavour and basic Recipe is for a classic Non-Vegetarian Meat dish which is one of the most loved of all Indian Curries.
I love converting some of these Non-Vegetarian recipes into Vegetarian ones 'coz I don't see why the taste should be confined only to dishes enjoyed by a select few.

Bhindi Mutton(Okra and Meat Curry)

This is an old Mughalai Recipe which tastes really great.However a little modification was needed to reduce calories from Fats.
To make this easier to cook I've reduced the total Fat by 75%----if possible interested people could try reducing it further.Adjust the spiciness to suit personal tastes as this Curry looks great and tastes great with a rich red colour.

Bheeda Pe Eeda(Eggs On Okra)With Bread

I was born in Mumbai in my maternal grandparents home .Their neighbours were Parsis who gave me a lot of love during my childhood.
The Parsis migrated to India from Persia centuries back and have a fabulous and unique cuisine which blends together a variety of flavours.The spices and various Masalas as well as Lentils,Vegetables and Desserts are cooked in a very tasty but unique recipes.
The Parsis eat a lot of Eggs----in fact they literally eat Eggs by the dozen.This is a popular way of preparing Eggs----teaming these up with Vegetables.My recipe is modified to suit all as Parsi spices are not available everywhere.
Here I would like to say that the Parsis eat Eggs by the dozen yet the average Parsi lives a very active life to a very ripe old age----more often than not they cross into their nineties with all their faculties intact and leading very healthy lives---here I would like to cite premier lawyers like Mr.Nariman and Mr.Sorabjee as examples.
I havealways loved and admired this community which though small has cornered the lion's share in the fabric of Mumbai living.

Stuffed Aaloo Dum(Stuffed Seasoned Potatoes)

This is a very easy but tasty recipe which I have modified to reduce calories and promote healthy eating. Instead of using the traditional method which involves deep frying the Stuffed Potatoes I just stuff these par-boiled and the cook these in gravy to get the same taste.

Sweet Coconut Karanji/Ghugra/Gujhia(Coconut Stuffed Crescents)

Diwali is one of India's premier Festivals and is a time for celebration and family.
This is a popular Sweet traditionally made during the Festival of Lights or Diwali which falls during late October to mid November depending on the lunar cycle for the months of Ashwin and Kartik.
Traditionally five-six Sweets and five-six Savouries are prepared for this 15 day period which starts with Vasu Dvadashi in Ashwin and ends with Tulsi Vivah in Kartik.
Large boxes full of home-madeSweets and Savouries are exchanged and a lot of family get-togethers are held during this period.

Keshari Kharvas/Balli(Saffron Milk Pudding)

This popular Dessert is made from the Colostreum rich Milk produced by Cows who have just calved.The thick Milk produced by these on the first three days is mixed with regular Milk,Sugar,Saffron Threads and Cardamom-Nutmeg Powders and steamed.When set this is cooled to room temprature,cut into squares and served cold.
However due to religious constraints, this Milk is not used for any Poojas or any auspicious Occasions.Hence this is a Dessert eaten only during non-religious get-togethers.
We do not like too sweet desserts in our house but do adjust the sweetness to suit personal tastes.

Spicy Flower-Chana Bhaji

This is a spicy Konkani Vegetable Curry which is a part of our Puja and SpecialMenus.Made without Garlic or Onions it adds a touch of Spice to the otherwise bland meals.The listed items in our Special Thalis have a lavish menu and include Chutneys,Pickles,Koshimbirs/Raitas(Salads)
, Panchamrut, 1 Curried Vegetable,1dry Vegetable,1 Usal(whole Seeds fresh or dry e.g Green Peas)1Coconut based Curry,Plain Dal(Varan),Steamed Rice,Masala Rice and Poories(deep fried Indian Bread).2-5 Sweet preparations also form a part of this menu.
This is a curried Vegetable and needs to be served in a Katori(Bowl).

Mishti Doi(Sweet Yoghurt)

This is very special Bengali Dessert which I just love immensely.Made from whole Cow's Milk it is very simple to make but really great on taste.In the Winters this is made with Date Palm Sugar(Nolen Gur) which elevates the taste even further raising it to divinity!!!
Traditionally set in Earthern Ware Pots this is one of the simplest but best Desserts India has on offer!!!

Kheema Kofta Biryani(Spicy Meat Balls and Rice)

This recipe is great for a layered Rice dish and makes a great one dish meal for either Lunch or Dinner with a Salad or a Raita.I personally prefer a Raita as it is the traditional accompaniment with a Biryani.

Stuffed Mirchi Vada(Stuffed Green Chiles)

Batata Vada is a very famous Mumbai snack.This is my recipe in which I use Bhavnagari Chillies for giving a twist to the original recipe. This makes just the right sized bites per person.Coupled with fresh Dinner Rollsand Chutney this forms a very filling but slightly heavy snack.

Rose(Rooh-Afza) Fallooda(Flavoured Milk Sherbet)

This is a very popular Drink in Mumbai as we have Weather which ranges from warm,warmer and hot throughout the year.This is basically an Iranian Recipe which is delicious and filling.Earlier I would make our own Vermicelli but now I use the Bambino Brand Vermicelli for this.
I have also given the Recipe for making the Saffron Syrup if you like the taste and flavour of Saffron.Rose Syrup and Rooh Afza are available in Indian Stores everywhere.You can also use Fruit Crushes like Strawberry,Cherry etc.to vary the taste.So also any Ice Cream Flavour can be used---the Sky is the limit to experiment with Food!!!!

Shevaya ani Rasayan(Rice Vermicelli with Sweet Coconut Milk)

This is a favourite sweet in the Konkan,Goa and Karwar regions specially during the month of Shravan(mid July-mid August).As Coconuts and Rice are the main crops in that region this is made with these two things and adds a sweet touch during the Poojas during that month.
We use a 'Sora' or a wooden Mould.It is a hollow Teak Wood Cylinder with handles.Thin Brass discs fit into one end while another solid Wood Cylinder---also with handles,forms the other half.This fits into the hollow Cylinder. By applying pressure the Dough is forced out through interchangeable brass discs with have various shapes on them.These are something like the nozzles in an Icing Gun.Today Steel Soras are also available on which we need to use far less pressure and therefore are way easier to use.We use the medium Vermicelli mould for these.

Mulga Podi(Pulse Spice Powder)

This is the Recipe given to me by my neighbour Shetty Aunty.This tastes great with Idlies,Dosais as well as hot plain Steamed Rice.Like Methkut this versatile Powder is an asset to keep in the house.This tastes great if eaten as a Chutney too!

Methkut Powder 4 (Rice and Pulse Spice Powder)

This the recipe given to me by my mother's friend Prabha Maushi.She used to make this and keep for us to eat with plain hot Steamed Rice,melted Ghee and a pinch of Salt during the Monsoons.Her name always conjures up lovely childhood memories of pouring Rains and steaming hot Methkut Bhat with Ghee and Papads----the ultimate comfort food!!!

Methkut 3(Pulses Spice Powder)

This is the recipe used by folks in Kolhapur.This town lies near the States of Karnataka and Maharashtra Border and has a slight Kannad influence on certain condiments.This is a spicy Powder which is eaten with plain hot steamed Rice,a pinch of Salt and lots of melted Ghee----this really transforms plain Rice into Ambrosia!!!

Kashmiri Chicken(Bombaychey Chicken)

My mother used to make this often when I was a child.She passed on the recipe to my mother-in-law who cooked it so often that it became her signature dish!!!This a very popular dish in our home known to all of us as 'Bombaychey Chicken'and was a must have at each of our family get-togethers which were ever so often when the kids were younger AND all of them lived in Mumbai!!!Today it is just us oldies and two kids left here---the rest have all flown the coop!!!
My younger daughter Sayali wanted this recipe so I am posting this for her.

Malai Kulfi with Falooda(Milk Ice Cream with Vermicelli)

I used to make this often because I love Kulfi and am not too fond of machine made Ice Cream.This Milk based Dessert is of such a creamy and smooth texture that the Saffron Threads add to the taste.You can convert this basic recipe into a Dry Fruit one by adding slivered Dry Fruits like Almonds and Pistachioes to give it a richer taste.Chopped Cashew Nuts,Dried Figs and Apricots as well as any Fresh Pureed Fruit can be used.Ripe Strawberries,Mangoes and Custard Apples are also favourites.Add these to the basic recipe given here.
This is accompanied by the Vermicelli Threads dipped in any Sherbet Concentrate preferred.I use an Indian Sherbet called 'Rooh Afza' which is available the World over.Made from Water Melon Juice and many other Ingredients it helps to keep the body cool during the hot Indian Summers particularly in the Indo-Gangetic Plain made famous by Sir Rudyard Kipling as the 'dusty,dry and windy Plains' of India.These lie just below the Himalayas and it's Foot Hills in the North of India.

Dal Pancham Sookhi(Dry 5 Dals)

This Dal is used as an extra Vegetable and is a very tasty and nutritious addition to any Meal.This too is a North Indian dish(Punjabi) and used to be made mostly during Summer as the variety of Vegetables is less.

Kelyacha Halwa(Banana Pudding)

This Sweet is made from a special varity of Bananas called 'Rajali' or 'Kingly' Bananas.These are specially grown at Vasai or Bassein as the British called it and are highly valued for their unique taste.Available during the Monsoon period these are used to make various Sweets and certain Savouries for those Fasts where we do not eat any Cereals for 24 hours.This is one dish which is very popular and well loved by all.
Any ripe Bananas can be used instead of these to make this Sweet.

Modak( Sweet Coconut Dumplings)

Every fourth day of the 15day Lunar cycle called Vinayaki(waxing period) and Sankashti(waning period), these are made as an offering(Prasad)for Lord Ganesha,India's favourite Elephant headed God.These are supposed to be His favourite food along with certain other stuff.Every year He is brought home and worshipped on Ganesh Chaturthi.He stays with us at home for a 36 hours(1.5 day) or 5 days or 7 days or 10 days and maximum for 21 days period.During His stay He is worshipped and feted and treated like a favourite relative. Ganapati is perhaps our (Maharastra's) best and most loved and popular Festival.
The Rice flour is generally made at home by washing and drying various fragrant varieties of Rice and drying it between the folds of old Cotton Saries.They dry the Rice this way for 4-5 days till absolutely dry and then grind it to obtain this Flour.

Mughalai Mince Meat Cutlets in Gravy

Our Dinner Parties always had to have new dishes which were not repeated except by requests.This recipe was one such often requested Party favourite and being a gravy dish
was easy to serve with hot Parathas or Naans.

Sookhi Kaali Dal(Dry Split Black Bean(Urad) Dal)

This is one simple,tasty and healthy dish I truly love.In fact you can substitute Split Moong Dal for Urad Dal and Ginger instead of Garlic for a variation in taste.This is a North Indian recipe and is eaten as a side dish with Indian Breads.

Mugachey Laadu(Moong key Laddu/ Sweet Mung Balls)

This is another popular traditional Marathi Sweet.My Mother and Grandmothers always kept these ready to serve any one who may pay a visit.A fresh batch would be made as soon as the earlier one got over.These are nutritious and keep for a month or two on the shelf in an airtight jar.

Khoya Barfi(Milk Squares)

These Milk Squares or Barfi are a much loved treat in all Indian households.The old method of preparing this Sweet calls for cooking the Milk in a wide mouthed, heavy bottomed pan and stirring constantly till it solidifies.Not just Time consuming but exhausting too.
This is a lighter Recipe and healthier because it has lesser calories than the original and is quicker to make.Tastes good too----purists however may not agree!!!

Dry Bombil Sukey(Dry Bombay Duck Curry)

This is another preparation with Dry Bombay Ducks.this tastes really good and can be served instead of a Vegetable preferably at night with a Dal,Salad,Bhakri and steamed Rice.

Chana Dal Aamti(Split Chick Pea Curry)

This curry is a hot,spicy and very aromatic dish.Though simple to prepare this takes some time to make.I make all my Masalas(Spice Powders) in advance as well as keeping roasted Dry Coconut ready in my 'Fridge so I require very little time to make this.The proportions for making the Spice powders are listed in my Cook Books so whoever is interested in making them can do so.

Padwal Chana Dal Bhaji(Snake Gourd and Black PeasVegetable)

This Gourd is so named because it resembles a snake. The name puts many people off this extremely healthy,tasty and nutritious Vegetable. This Gourd is long,thin and pale green in colour with darker green stripes.Quick and easy cooking a great variety of dishes can be made from this.Here are two easy ways of cooking this Gourd.


Incredible! (1 rating)
Dumka Mutton(Steamed Meat Curry)

This is a very easy and simple way of cooking Goat Meat.This method can apply to Beef/Lamb/Pork or Chicken and Turkey too.

Chavalichya Bokyaanchi Bhaji(Tender Black-Eyed Bean Leaves vegetable)

In the Konkan region Black-Eyed Beans are sown during the Monsoon.The tender tips and Leaves are plucked and made into this tasty Vegetable.This adds the mandatory Green Leafy Vegetable to the daily meal.
Ba-aji cooked this very simply.The ingredients are the simple yet this Vegetable is rich in various nutrients and Dietary Fibre.

Bhoplachya Paanaanchi Bhaji(Pumpkin Leaves Vegetable)

When I was a child we grew most of our Vegetables in our backyard.My father loved simple food and most of our daily meals included lots of Vegetables.This Vegetable is made from the tender Tips and tender Leaves of the Pumpkin Vine.We would pluck this fresh and Akka would cook these with lots of Garlic and Oil.The Oil has been modified but you can still use as much Garlic as you like!!!!

Dahi ki Kadhi(Yoghurt curry)

This thick Yoghurt Curry is very popular all over India but each State prepares it differently.I am giving the North Indian style of making this.This is the recipe used by one of our cooks named Sohan Singh and one of my personal favourites.This should be eaten with piping hot plain Steamed Rice specially in the heavy Monsoon days.Heaven!!!

Masoor Palak ani Kolambi 2(Shrimp,Lentils and Spinach)

This thick stew like dish is a very tasty and spicy recipe- -- very popular with all our family. This is specially relished during the heavy Monsoon days and is very filling and satisfying.

Mulyachi Bhaji 1(Radish Vegetable1)

This preparation is generally cooked for dinner as we eat lighter Meals at Night.Simple,tasty and nutritious this can be cooked as a part of any Meal.

Suranachi Bhaji or Suranacha Kees

Suran is a Yam and is very tasty.The only problem with this is that it sometimes causes itching on the hands and in the mouth so one has to be careful while buying it.Look for the non-itchy variety. This same preparation can be made with purple Yam called Konphal(Jimikand) or the White Yams that are shaped like Sweet Potatoes.The fresh Coriander leaves are optional because some folks use them while others do not.

Daanyaachi Aamti ani Varyacha Bhat

Peanuts,Grass Seeds,Sweet Potatoes,Potatoes,Milk products and such are on the approved list of Faraali Foods.These are all to be cooked only in Ghee(Clarified Butter) and therefore are heavier than the daily Meals.Also one tends to over eat these because one mentally feels that fasting is tiring and eating renews lost strength.Many people who fast do not eat Salt for the day.They fast only on Coconut water and certain Fruits like Bananas,Pineapples and Apples being the most popular and Milk too is another popular drink.This Meal is eaten only once--for either Lunch or Dinner as Salt is eaten only once a day during Fasts.

Varichi Bhagar,Chutney ani Dahi

The Ashaadhi or Devashayani Ekadashi is the beginning of the Chatur Maas or the next 4 months according to the Lunar Cycle which begins with the New Moon and ends with the Moonless Night.The months are divided into 2 parts---the Waxing Fortnight or Shukla Paksha and the Waning Fortnight or the Krishna Paksha.The major Fasts and festivals fall mostly during this period.
Ekadashi is the eleventh day of the each Fortnight and the this day of both fortnights is dedicated to Lord Vishnu the Sustainer.This Ashadhi Ekadashi is a very holy day and a huge pilgrimage takes place at Pandharpur the home town of Lord Vitthala as He is known in Maharashtra. People walk to Pandharpur from far and wide and these are called Vaarkaris---people who regularly repeat this Pilgrimage every year on foot.

Kolambichi Khichadi(Shrimp Masala Rice)

This is a well loved dish in my family.This is a Mumbaikari preparation as very few Mumbaikars including my father-in-law ate Meat or Chicken.Aspicy way of cooking Rice this is one dish Meal with any accompanying Salad.

Pomfret Curry(Tilapia Curry)

I make this fish curry with either Tomatoes or Mangosteen Shells(Kokum) as I avoid using Tamarind.If desired feel free to use Tamarind instead. The Tomato Puree gives a richer red colour to the Curry.This is a thicker preparation than any Thai Curry though the taste is somewhat the same----that's why my husband loves Thai food!!

Fish Curry Masala(Curry Powder)

This is the basic traditional Masala that I bottle and keep for making Fish Curries.Grinding this fresh everyday is too tiresome so I make this in bulk these days and keep.This has a long shelf life but I prefer to keep it in the Refrigerator as this keeps the flavours fresh.

Ivy Gourd Raita & Koshimbir

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The Ivy Gourd is a very nutritive fruit Vegetable.Eaten raw it helps control diabetes and lowers Cholestrol too.It is a powerful anti -oxidant as well.Here are 2 recipes for serving this as a Salad.

Hingachya Tisrya(Asafoetida Clams/Mussels)

Laadu Atya ,my mother's youngest paternal aunt was one very beloved relative I loved visiting.Blessed with her mother's(Ba-aji's)awesome culinary prowess combined with a very large and loving heart and a nature as sweet as her name(Laadu/Laddu--a traditional Indian Sweet) she was one person who cooked with both,heart and soul.This was one of my favourite childhood dishes which I loved to eat with Rice.

Stuffed Bread Rolls

I used to love making this for Breakfast or Brunch on Sundays.These hollow Hamburger Rolls are perfect for stuffing.I dry the Bread Crumbs that result due to t6he hollowing process in the Oven so that there is no wastage.These can be used as Croutons in Soups and are far healthier than the fried ones.

Bread Upma(Paavacha Saanza)

Maharashtrians and Goans are all very fond of Bread.It is a Break Fast staple in every home today.The Paav Wala(Bread Wala)delivers fresh Bread to us daily in Mumbai(Bombay) warm from the nearest Bakery.This dish is made from day old Bread.This is a spicier version of the original and can be made from left-over Rotis or Bhakris as well.Tortillas can be used too----use whichever type of Bread you prefer.

Indian Shrimp Fried Rice

This was a firm favourite for the School Picnics my daughters went to.Their friends and teachers all loved this and I handed out the recipe ever so often.This is a meal in itself with a light fresh Salad added to it.Substitute Vegetables like Cauliflower,Carrots,French Beans,Ivy Gourd,Bell Peppers(any colour or all colours) and Green Peas for the Shrimp in the Vegetarian version.

Dal Mughalai and Fried (Taheri)Rice

This is a very popular Dal and Rice recipe in our house which I prepare for special occasions or when I'm in an expansive mood.

Dal Recipes

I grew up in North India and love the Dals prepared there.I have adapted these because the Ghee based preparations are too heavy for comfort.I am giving only those Recipes as can be comfortably eaten today.

Mussels(Tisrya)

On the Indian West Coast we get rounded triangular Mussels called Tisrya/Shivlya or Shimplya in Maharashtra and Goa.These come in hues of beige/brown or black and in small,medium or large sizes.These are available in Chinese Stores outside India.

Pohey(Parched Beaten Rice Flakes)

Another traditional favourite it can be eaten for Breakfast,Brunch or Tea.Pohey is prepared from boiled Rice which is beaten and dried during the Summer months.By washing it under the tap in a colander this is re-constitituted into an edible
Cereal which is tasty when had with Milk and Sugar like Corn or Wheat Flakes. It is available
in the two Varieties---Thick and Thin.The Thin Variety is eaten after just sprinkling Water on it .Otherwise it turns into mush.Travellers used to carry this with a pouch of Salt in the old days as a makeshift Food in case they were unable to get a cooked meal

Bhendi(Okra/Bhindi/LadyFinger)Fry

Though easy to make this dish is a little on the higher side where the use of Oil is concerned.However by using a Non-Stick Pan and draining on paper towels the intake of Oil can be reduced.I saute in the pan instead of deep frying it.

Chavali(Black-Eyed Beans)Usal

This is a spicy preparation and very easy to make.We use Goda Masala for this and the gravy can also be used as a Curry with Steamed White Rice instead of the usual Dal.

Kataachi Aamti aani Pooran Poli

This is one of our favourite combinations---specially in the Ghats as the Satara-Kolhapur region is called.This Ghati combination is a mix of Sweet,Hot and Sour tastes.Traditionally Pooran is made for every Pooja or Religious Ceremony.It is known as 'Poorna-Varanachey Jevan'.It is also a must have for the festival of 'Holi' which is last important Festival in the Hindu Calender and eating this on that day means completing the year on a happy note.

Dudhi Drink(Raw Bottle/White Gourd Drink)

This is the recipe which I take first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.This helps reduce Fat, Constipation,Cholestrol,Diabetes and High Blood Pressure.And it does work albeit a little slowly.Results show after a month or so of drinking this and the the effect is gradual----not sudden.I could not find Amala(Amalaki/Aavala)also known as the Indian Gooseberry in the calorie chart.If fresh is not available use the dried Powder instead.

Kheema(Minced Meat) Patties

These are stuffed Patties and the stuffings can vary from Vegetarian to Non-Vegetarian.We prefer to stuff these with Minced Goat Meat or tiny Shrimp or even hard boiled eggs.These are an any time filler---part of Lunch,Dinner ,Cocktails or even a Tea-Time Snack!!

Green Peas Usal

This is a must have for all our(Marathi) religious ceremonies.We use fresh shelled Green Peas for this.Frozen Green Peas can be used--these should not be the sweet variety.The same recipe can be used for any fresh seeds like Green Beans as well.In that case you would need to use a half teaspoon of Organic Brown Cane Sugar as well.


Very Good (1 rating)
Dal Thoy

This is a simple Lentil recipe made with split Pigeon Peas(Toovar/Toor/Arhar)dal or a mix of Mung Dal and Red Masoor Dal taken in equal quantities.Easy to make the calorie-count is comparable as well.In fact it is the same.Dal is an integral part of every Indian meal and is given the respect it deserves.

Dal Methi

This is another everyday staple recipe as we eat Dal almost daily.Our daily Thali or Meal consists of Dal,Rice,Salad(Koshimbir/Kachumber),Yoghur
t(Dahi),1or2 Vegetable preparations and Whole Wheat Indian Bread.This is one of our favourite recipes for preparing Dal.Non-Vegetarian items are added as and when desired.Mondays are fasting days in our family so the meal does not contain either Garlic or Shallots.

Kolambi(Shrimp) Sukey

This is a very simple dish to make.It is one of the everyday dishes in our house and the recipe is our old family traditional one.This can be made a part of our Lunch or Dinner menu and the Coconut is optional for those who do not want it.

Dal Palak Sabzi with Phulkas

This is an oil free recipe which is an ideal side dish for dieters or health food fans.If fat is needed clarified butter(ghee) can be added while serving with Phulkas.


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