Thursday 14 December 2023

Apple - Beetroot Jam

Hola - It’s the happiest season of the year… as Christmas is just around the corner and the true magic of Christmas is  Love, Joy, Togetherness, Kindness and Care…..
Apple plays a significant role during festivals … as is considered to be an image of paradise that symbolises Joy and apples being winter fruit has made its way into so many winter holiday traditions. 
During Christmas,  stockings use to  be filled with apples and oranges, over the time now the stockings are filled with different goodies, but still today the toe of the stocking is filled with an apple or an orange. Apples are given as gifts in Eastern European culture, men have traditionally given girls a decorated apple as a romantic gesture during Yuletide (Christmas time). In China many young people have developed a tradition of giving gift wrapped apple on Christmas Eve as they say in Chinese language the word for Christmas Eve and Apple almost sounds the same meaning Peaceful / Safe night. 
Apples and Honey is a traditional dish served by Ashkenazi Jews on Rosh Hashanah - The Jewish new year. A blessing is said in Hebrew for Sweet New Year. The apple is dipped in honey and eaten. Apples have been a part of the Christmas decoration too. 
- Net source 

So let’s make Apple- Beetroot Jam this Christmas- 
1 1/2 kg Apples boiled 
1 Big Beetroot boiled and grated 
Juice of 2 Oranges or juice of 1 big Lemon 
1 tbsp grated Ginger 
1 tsp Salt
750 grams of Sugar 
2 Star Anise 
1 stick of Cinnamon 

Take the boiled apples, remove the peel,  the core and seeds of the apple, blend the apple and strain the pulp through a wire mesh strainer. Take a heavy bottom pot, add the apple pulp, orange juice or lemon juice, a bottle of water, star anise, cinnamon, ginger and salt. Stir and let the pulp simmer on medium to low flame, stir occasionally. Gradually remove the jam foam that gathers on the top of the liquid. Once done add the beetroot. Continue to simmer the until the liquid has thickened. To test if the jam is ready, place a small spoonful onto a cold plate. Wait for 2 minutes or keep the plate back in the fridge for few minutes, the jam will hold its shape, incase the jam is still runny then continue to cook. Once done cool the 
Jam, while still warm, keep the jam in a clean sterilised glass bottles. This portion makes 6 bottles of jam. This jam is good to pair with bread butter, bacon and ham. The jam stay good for a year when refrigerated. 

Monday 11 December 2023

Panch meshali Sabji r Chechki


Now this time of the season the market is flooded with winter vegetables - it’s fresh,  vibrant and adds special flavour to the dish … and we tend to buy varieties of vegetables… and then finishing them is a task specially when we have less members in the family. 

Here is a Bengali recipe that is very easy to make, with many varieties of vegetables and this absolutely pairs up with paratha, luchi, ruti for breakfast, snacks or dinner. 

Panch meshali means medley of vegetables.. and chechki means vegetables cut in small strips and stirred fried in mustard oil, tempered with nigella seeds and seasoned with just salt, turmeric powder and little sugar (optional) and I have used little ghee and coriander leaves for garnishing 

We make Alu Kumro r chechki, alur chechki, phulkopi alur chechki, badakopir alur chechki that goes will for breakfast… 

Here in this recipe I used cauliflower/ Phool kopi, Kumro / pumpkin, Carrot/ gajar and  French beans and Potatoes… 


1 big bowl of vegetables -  Carrot, Potato and Pumpkin cut into small strips, small cauliflower florets and French beans cut into half.. 

2 to 4 Green Chillies slit 

Few Coriander leaves chopped 

1/2 tsp Nigella seeds 

Salt to taste 

1/2 tsp Turmeric powder 

1/4 tsp Sugar (optional) 

1/2 tsp Ghee (optional) 

1 tbsp Mustard oil 


Take a wok, add mustard oil, once the oil heats up, reduce the flame and add nigella seeds, once the seeds crackle, add all the vegetables and green chillies, salt and turmeric powder, stir and cook on low flame, sprinkle little water once in a way, cover continue cooking until the vegetables are almost tender, add sugar and continue to cook without the lid until the vegetables are cooked completely, drizzle ghee and sprinkle coriander leaves. Serve the dish with luchi, porotha or ruti. 

Thursday 23 November 2023

Oats - Barnyard Millet and Semolina Vermicelli Idlis with Carrot

Oats, Barnyard millet and Semolina Vermicelli with Carrots… 

Quick breakfast or snack,  easy to make and healthy too. Serve them with sambar or any chutney of your choice. Flatten rice can be also added. 

Measuring cup measurement 

Coconut Chutney 


1/2 cup Grated Coconut 

2 Green Chillies 

Few Curry leaves 

4 tbsp Curd

Salt to taste 


Grind all the ingredients together, if need add little water and make fine paste. 

For the Idli


1 cup Oats

1/2 cup Barnyard millet

1/2 cup Semolina Vermicelli 

1 small grated Carrot 

Few Curry leaves 

2 tbsp grated Coconut 

2 tbsp Curd 

Salt to taste 

1 tsp Eno 

1 tbsp Coconut oil


Take a grinder jar, add the oats and Barnyard millet, wash, add 2 cup water, let it soak for 10 minutes. Add salt, grated coconut and curd. Grind the ingredients in a grinder. Pour the batter in a bowl, keep it aside for 10 minutes. Add the vermicelli. Continue to soak for 15 minutes more. Take a idli steamer. Grease the mould with coconut oil. Add the eno in the batter. Gently stir the batter. Pour the batter into the idli mould. Add little grated carrot and a curry leave on the batter. Steam the idlis for 20 minutes. Check the idlis inserting a stick. If the stick comes out smooth, then the idlis are done. Once done remove the idli moulds and let it cool a bit, before scooping out the idlis from the mould. Serve the idlis with coconut chutney. 


Wednesday 22 November 2023

Bombil Pakoda / Lote Macher Bora / Bombay Duck Fritters

Bombay Ducks / Bombil / Lote is one of my favourite fish… Today we have made crispy Bombil Pakoda. This dish can be eaten with dal rice, or eaten as a starter. 

Serve this dish with green chutney and onion slices. 


10 pieces of big size Bombil, clean deboned and cut into half. 

1 tsp Ginger - Garlic paste 

1 tsp Lemon juice 

Salt to taste 

1 tsp Red Chilli powder 

1/2 tsp Turmeric powder 

1/4 tsp Carom seeds 

6 tbsp Gram flour 

4 tbsp Rice flour 

Oil to fry 


Take the Bombil pieces, and rub little salt and 1/2 tsp lemon juice on the bombil pieces. Take a bowl, sieve the gram flour and rice flour together. Add the remaining lemon juice, salt to taste, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, ginger- garlic paste, carom seeds and little water at a time to make a thick batter, beat the batter well. Heat oil in a pan, once the oil is hot, keep the oil on medium flame. Dip the bombil pieces into the batter and fry them in hot oil until golden brown in colour. Remove the bombil pakoda on a paper towel. Serve the crispy bombil pakoda with green chutney and onion slices. 

Saturday 18 November 2023

Stewed Rice

One of our favourite dish is hot stewed rice with loads of vegetables and chicken or prawns. Easy and quick to make, the dish has to be eaten with steamed rice and has to be steaming hot.. 
Vegetables like bok choy, mushrooms, capsicum, zucchini, carrot, broccoli, baby corn etc can be added.. I have added vegetables that was available in my kitchen.. 

1/2 cup cleaned medium size Prawns 
1 big bowl of cut vegetables - Few  Spinach leaves, capsicum, carrot, mushroom and broccoli and onion cut into cubes 
1 tbsp chopped Garlic 
1 tsp chopped Ginger 
2  Green Chillies slit
Few chopped Spring Onion leaves 
1 Vegetable stock cube
2 tbsp light Soya sauce 
1 tbsp Fish Sauce 
Salt to taste 
1/2 tsp Pepper powder 
1 1/2 tbsp Corn flour 
2 cups Water
2 tbsp Sesame Oil 

Take 2 cups of hot water, add the vegetable stock cube and stir well until the vegetable cube has dissolved in water, add the soya sauce, fish sauce, salt and  pepper powder in the water and keep it aside. In another small bowl mix the corn flour and water. Take a wok, add 1 tbsp oil, let the oil heat, add prawns and stir fry until the prawns changes its colour, remove the prawns and keep it aside. Now add the remaining oil, add the chopped Ginger and garlic, sauté for few seconds, add the onion and carrot, stir for few seconds, add the broccoli and spinach continue to stir for few seconds, add the mushrooms and capsicum, stir for another few minutes, add the prawns and the vegetable stock water. Cover and let the stew cook until the vegetables are half cooked, add the corn flour water and cook on high flame until the gravy becomes thick. Sprinkle spring onions and serve the stew with steamed rice. 

Thursday 16 November 2023

Drumstick - Potatoes and Mung Dal fritters cooked in Mustard and Poppy seed paste gravy


Munger Daler Bora diye Alu ar Shosnerdata r shorshe - posto r Jhal / Drumstick - Potatoes and Mung Dal fritters cooked in Mustard and Poppy seed paste gravy. 
This dish comes under Niramish ranna / vegetarian cooking where no onion and garlic is used. 
The look of the dish may not be fancy, but this is a rustic regional dish from Bengal. These kind of dishes are still made in rural villages or in the state of Bengal, but are gradually losing its identity outside the state, as now a days many don’t cook or don’t prefer to eat … specially our next generations to come. I remember my mother use to make it often, but now we too rarely make it.. as we avoid mustard paste for health reasons.. once in a way it’s good to enjoy with hot steamed rice. This dish is eaten during lunch. 

For the Mung dal fritters 
1/2 cup Mung dal washed and soaked in water
1 small piece of Ginger 
1 Green Chilli 
Salt to taste
Mustard Oil to fry 
Coarsely grind the mung dal, ginger, green chilli and salt together without adding much water as we need a thick paste. Remove and keep the paste aside for 15 minutes. Beat the paste well. Take a pan, add oil, let the oil heat, add very small quantity of the paste into the oil, with the help of a tsp, repeat the process until the pan is filled, shallow fry the fritters until golden brown in colour from both the sides. Remove and keep the fritters aside. 

For the Mustard Poppy Seed paste 
2 tbsp Poppy seeds 
1 tbsp Mustard seeds
1 Green Chilli

Add all the above ingredients into a grinder and grind all the ingredients into a smooth paste adding little water at a time. 

For the Gravy 
2 Drumsticks cut into 1 1/2 inches pieces 
1 Big Size Potato cut into cubes 
1 small size Tomato cut into cubes 
2 Green Chillies slit
Few Coriander leaves chopped 
Mung Dal fritters 
Salt to taste 
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder 
1/4 tsp Nigella seeds
Mustard - Poppy seed paste 
2 tbsp Mustard oil 

Take a iron skillet, best cooked in iron skillet, add 1 1/2 tbsp oil, once the oil heats up, reduce the flame, add the Nigella seeds, let the seeds crackle, add the tomato, let the tomato sauté for a minute, add the potato cubes and the drumsticks, continue to sauté for a minute, add salt to taste and turmeric powder, stir and continue to cook for another minute, now add the mustard - poppy seed paste, stir and cook for few seconds, add 1 cup of water, on low flame, cover and let the gravy cook until the drumsticks and potato cubes are cooked, add the fritters and continue to cook, if the gravy has dried up then only add little water, the gravy shouldn’t be too watery or too dry. Once done drizzle the remaining oil and sprinkle some coriander leaves before serving .

Thursday 9 November 2023

Dried Mix Fruit Cake with leftover bread served with Custard


If you have left over bread at home and don’t know what you want to make… here is a easy recipe of a Cake with leftover Bread that you can easily prepare at home… it’s delicious.. the ingredient measurement are taken in measuring cups and spoons. Please follow the proper recipe. Here I have made 2  cakes in 2 different methods. One is on the gas in a heavy bottom vessel and another cake in the oven.. 

10 slices of Brown Bread 
2 cups of Toned Milk in room temperature 
100 grams of Butter
2 tbsp Curd
1/4 tsp Vanilla Essence 
3/4 cup of Caster Sugar 
3/4 cup Dried Mix Fruits chopped and chopped Nuts - Cranberries, Raisins, Apricot, Kiwi, Almond, Cashews etc. 
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Baking Soda 
1/4 tsp Soda Bicarbonate 
1 tsp Wheat flour 

Take a bowl, cut the bread pieces into small pieces, add 2 cups of Milk, let the milk soak into the bread. In another bowl, take butter, sugar, salt, curd and vanilla essence. Beat the ingredients together until creamy and sugar has mixed well with the ingredients. Add the soaked bread, continue to beat until all the ingredients have combined together and there are no  bread pieces seen. The batter may look curdled but it’s ok. Now keep half of the dried chopped fruits and nuts aside. Add the wheat flour into one portion of the chopped dried fruits and nuts, mix well, add this into the batter, also add the soda bicarbonate and baking powder, beat once more. The batter should be of thick dropping consistency. Don’t over beat. Now take 2 moulds, grease both the moulds with butter. So here I have taken one normal mould and one bundt ring cake mould. Pour the batter in both the moulds, up to 3/4 of the containers. In the normal Cake mould, after pouring the batter, sprinkle some chopped dried fruits and nuts. Rest of the dried fruits and nuts keep aside. 
To cook on the gas - Take a heavy bottom pot, place a ring at the bottom of the container so that the cake tin doesn’t come in direct contact with the pot. Cover the pot and on medium flame let the container heat for 2 to 3 minutes until the pot becomes hot. Remove the lid and keep the cake container over the ring, cover and let it bake for 20 minutes. After that insert a tooth pick to check. Switch off the flame and let the cake cool down. 
To make it in a oven - 
Preheat the oven at 180 degrees celsius. Bake the cake for 20 minutes, check the cake after 20 minutes by inserting a stick. Once done remove the cake from the oven and let it cool. 

To make the Custard 
2 cups of Milk
2 tbsps Custard Powder 
1 1/2 tbsp Sugar
The remaining chopped dried fruits and nuts 

Take a cup, add 1/2 cup milk, add the custard powder. Mix the custard powder well with the milk. Keep the rest of the milk to boil, add sugar, let the milk simmer for a 2 minutes, add the custard powder milk and on a low flame keep stirring the custard, so that no lumps are formed. Cook the custard until the custard has thickened up and has reduced half in quantity. Switch off the flame. Let the custard cool a bit. Add the chopped dried fruits and nuts. Stir and mix well. Let the custard cool down completely. Keep the custard in the fridge to chill. 

To serve the cake - 
Before serving the ring bundt cake, pour the chilled custard into the centre cavity, garnish with dried mix fruits and nuts. 

Thursday 2 November 2023

Oats Uttapam


Oats Uttapam - A quick, tasty and instant snack / breakfast that is also very healthy….. 

its easy to make and I am sure children will love it.. Serve this with chutney of your choice. 

Here is how I make it at home …


For the Veg Masala Spread - 


4 tbsp chopped Onion 

4 tbsp chopped Tomato 

1 chopped Green Chilli 

2 tbsp chopped Coriander 

Few chopped Curry leaves 

2 tbsp Grated Coconut 

1 tsp Sambar powder 

Salt to taste 


Mix all the above ingredients together and keep it aside 

For the Batter- 


3/4 cup Oats 

1/4 cup Semolina 

2 tbsp Curd 

Salt to taste 


Take a blender jar, add the above ingredients and add 1/2 cup water, mix and keep it for 10 minutes, now add little water at a time and blend all the ingredients together, the batter should be thick dropping consistency. Let the batter rest for another 15 minutes. 

To make the Uttapam- 



Veg Masala spread 



Take a skillet, once the skillet is hot, reduce the flame to medium low, pour a big ladle spoon of batter on the skillet, spread the batter a bit, spread the veg masala spread over the batter. Drizzle little ghee. Cover the uttapam and let it cook for a minute, open the cover and check, turn the uttapam and let it cook for another minute. Serve the uttapam with Chutney of your choice.

Sunday 29 October 2023


Its a classic Sicilian starter or a side dish.

The sweet and sour dish is eaten with bruschetta,  meat or fish, rice or pasta. It’s a type of vegetarian relish, some add fish to the dish. It’s made with egg plants , bell peppers, celery, tomatoes, zucchini, onions, olives, capers etc. Apart from the vegetables white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar is added for the tanginess and honey, raisins or sugar is added to the dish for sweetness. Some time pine nuts are also added. Each house has their own variant of making Caponata. This dish is eaten when warm, room temperature or cold .. this dish can be cooked a day prior and refrigerated and eaten the next day. 

3 Long Eggplant cut into cubes 
1 Yellow Zucchini cut into cubes 
1 small Red Bell Pepper cut into half and sliced 
1 Onion cut into half and sliced 
1 Celery stalk sliced 
5 to 6 crushed Garlic 
4 tbsp Green Olives sliced 
Few fresh Parsley for garnishing 
2 tbsp Capers or Pickled Green Peppercorn 
Salt to taste 
1/2 tsp Pepper corn crushed 
4 tbsp White wine vinegar or Red wine vinegar 
3 tbsp Tomato sauce 
1 tbsp Honey 
2 tbsp Olive Oil 
Sprinkle little salt and drizzle little oil on the egg plants and zucchini, grill the vegetables at 180 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes. Keep them aside. Take a pan, add the olive oil, add the onion, garlic,  bell pepper, and celery, sauté until the onions are lightly browned. Add the olives, capers or pickled pepper corn, tomato sauce, white wine or red wine vinegar, honey, salt and crushed pepper. Stir and sauté for few seconds, add the grilled egg plants and zucchini. Stir and cook for another minute. Sprinkle fresh parsley. Let the dish come to a room temperature, serve the dish with bruschetta. 

Tuesday 10 October 2023



It’s a quintessential Bengali sweet dish made with Coconut and Mawa. The name of this sweet derived from the shape of the sweet “Chandra” means shape of the moon.. I remember during my childhood days in Kolkata, there use to be a sweet seller visiting my Aunty’s house to sell sweets required for offerings to God. One of my favourite sweet that is mostly offered to God mainly during Durga Puja and Laxmi Puja and during other pujas too and then for our pet puja as Prasad.. 
There are many ways of making this sweet. Wooden moulds are available in the market to make this sweets. I am using a clay mould which I have inherited from my mother. Here is one of the easy way you can make this sweet at home.  

Preparation time - 15 minutes 
Cooking  time - 30 minutes 
Number of Sweets made - 14 pieces 

1 small Coconut grated (around 1 cup) 
1/2 cup Mawa 
1/2 cup  Milk or Coconut Milk 
1/4 tsp Cardamom powder 
5 tbsp  Sugar 
1/4 tsp Salt 
1 tsp Ghee for greasing 

Add the grated coconut, mawa, salt, cardamom powder and coconut milk in a grinding jar. Grind all the ingredients into a smooth paste. 
Add the paste into a non stick pan. Cook the paste on low heat. We have to keep stirring the paste. When the paste thickens, add the sugar and continue to cook. Continue to cook and stir further on low heat until the paste starts to leave the side of the pan. To check take a very small portion of the mixture, when the mixture begins to roll easily without breaking then the paste has cooked well. Remove the paste on a plate. Grease the Chandrapuli mould, with ghee. Take small portion of the mixture while it is still warm, gently press the mixture and shape the mixture with the help of the mould. Gently demould the sweet  and keep it on a greased plate.  Repeat the same process for the remaining mixture. Keep the sweet aside for 3 to 4 hours before consuming. 
We got 14 pieces as our mould was small. 

Monday 9 October 2023

Kala Chana and Ragi Soup

 Kala Chana and Ragi Soup (Desi Style)

This soup is wholesome, healthy and delicious .. 

I have added coconut milk for enhancing the flavour (optional). Ragi is added not only to thicken  up the soup, but it is also  healthy and has high nutritional values. 


1/2 cup boiled Kala Chana / Black Chickpeas 

3 tbsp Ragi / Nachni flour 

1 small Onion finely chopped 

1 small Tomato finely chopped 

1 Green Chilli finely chopped 

5 to 6 Garlic cloves finely chopped 

1 tbsp chopped Coriander leaves 

1 tsp Roasted Cumin powder 

Lemon wedges for serving 

Salt to taste 

3/4 cup Coconut Milk (optional)

1 tbsp Ghee 


Coarsely grind the Kala chana without water. Take out a tbsp of the coarsely grounded Kala Chana and keep it aside for garnishing. Add 2 cups of water In the rest of the ground Chana. Take a pot, add ghee, once the ghee melts, add the garlic and onion. Sauté until translucent, add the tomato and green chilli, sauté for a minute, add the ragi flour and continue to sauté for another minute. Add salt and roasted cumin powder. Stir all the ingredients. Now add the ground Chana with water and constantly stir the soup as no lumps should form. On a low heat let the soup cook, until the soup has thickened up a bit. Add the coconut milk and continue to simmer for few seconds. Switch off the flame. Garnish with some coarsely ground chana, coriander leaves and serve the soup hot, squeeze some lime juice before having the soup. 

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Wednesday 4 October 2023

Stuffed Whole Wheat Pita Bread


 Stuffed Whole Wheat Pita Bread… 
It’s a wholesome meal loaded with vegetables …  delicious.. This dish can be enjoyed anytime of the day… This dish can be easily made at home with little bit of planning and most of the dry ingredients are available in our kitchen. 
Lebanese Spice powder is available online.. incase you don’t want to make it. 

For the Pita Bread 
2 1/2 + 2 tbsp  cups Whole Wheat Flour 
2 tsp Dry Yeast
1 tsp Sugar
Salt to taste
1/2 cup Lukewarm water + More water as required 
1 tbsp Olive oil
Add yeast, sugar and water in a bowl and let it proof for 10 minutes. Add 2 1/2 cups of  flour and salt and mix it well. When the yeast is ready pour the yeast on the flour. Mix the dough well. If required add more water little at a time and start mixing the flour and kneading it into a soft dough. Add a tbsp olive oil and knead it for 5 minutes. Brush some olive oil on the dough. Cover the bowl with a towel and let rest until it rises double its size. When the dough is ready, sprinkle some flour on the dough and remove the air from the dough.  Knead it again for few seconds and make 6 equal portions of the dough. Arrange the balls on a greased tray leaving some distance, cover and let it rest for 10 minutes. With a help of a rolling pin roll out each ball into a 1/3 inch thick oval shape or in circles. Let the pita rest for 10 minutes.
To Make  Pitas on the Stovetop...
Warm a cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Put the rolled-out pita on the skillet and cook until you see bubbles starting to form. Flip and cook for few seconds on the other side, press the surface gently with a towel. Flip again and cook another few seconds.  The pita should start to puff.  Keep cooked pitas covered with a clean towel while cooking the remaining pitas.

Lebanese Spice Blend 
2 tbsp Coriander powder 
2 tbsp Cumin powder 
2 tbsp Pepper corn powder 
2 tbsp Paprika ( used Kashmiri chilli powder)
1 tbsp Clove powder 
1 tsp Cardamom powder 
1 1/2 tsp Cinnamon powder 
1/2 tsp Nutmeg powder 

Mix all the above ingredients and store the spice blend in a glass bottle. 
For the stuffing  - 
3 Soya Chaap Stick cut into small pieces 
3 to 4 Mushrooms cut into half and sliced 
1 small Onion cut into half and sliced 
5 to 6 Garlic cloves chopped 
1 medium Tomato deseed, cut into half and sliced 
1 small Capsicum sliced 
2 Green Chillies chopped 
1 tsp Lemon juice 
Salt to taste 
1 tsp Lebanese spice powder 
1 tsp Olive Oil

Take a pan, add olive oil, add the soya piece, sauté for 2 minutes, add the onion, garlic and continue to sauté for a minute, add the capsicum, green chillies, continue to sauté for another minute. Now add the mushrooms and tomato. Continue to stir fry on medium low flame, add the salt and the Lebanese spice powder. Continue to stir fry for another 2 minutes, until all the vegetables are cooked and the all the ingredients have mixed well… switch off the flame. Add the Lemon juice.. mix and keep it aside.. 

For the Salad 
1 small Cucumber cut into thin strips 
1 small Tomato deseeded, cut into half and sliced 
1 small Onion sliced 
1/2 cup of thinly sliced Cabbage 
1 tsp Lemon juice 
1/2 tsp roasted Cumin powder 
Salt to taste 

Take all the ingredients in a bowl, mix all the ingredients together and keep it aside for 15 minutes. 

For Assembling - 
Pita bread 

Cut the pita bread into half.  Take one half of the pita bread. Create a pocket. Add some salad into the pita bread pocket, add some soya Chaap stuffing and some more salad.. and it’s ready to be served. 

Saturday 9 September 2023

Chicken Mandi

 Mandi is a traditional dish originated from Yemen, it many consist of  meat and rice cooked with Yemeni spice blend called Hawaji. It is cooked in a underground pit. It's extremely popular in most areas of the Arabian Peninsula. 

There are many ways one can make this dish. Mainly the meat has to be moist. The meat is marinated and cooked separately with the rice in a steamer and then the chicken is grilled in a tandoor.. The dish has a smoky flavour. This dish is served with Tomato Chutney called Salata Hara.. 

Here is how I have made the Chicken Mandi inspired from Yummy O Yummy. 

Spice Blend 
1 tbsp Coriander seeds
1 tbsp cumin seeds
1 tsp Peppercorns
6 Green Cardamom 
6 Cloves 
2 inch Cinnamon 
1 small piece of Nutmeg 
2 Bay leaves 
1 tsp Paprika (used Kashmiri chilli powder here)
1 tsp Turmeric powder 

Dry roast all the whole spices for few seconds, let the spices cool down. Add the turmeric powder and paprika / Kashmiri chilli powder and grind all the ingredients together into a fine paste. 

Marinate the Chicken 
2 pieces of the Chicken thighs
1/2 tsp Garlic paste 
1 1/2 tbsp Spice blend
Salt to taste 
1 tbsp Lemon juice 
Few strands of Saffron in 3 tbsp of hot water 
2 tbsp Olive Oil 

Take a bowl, add the spice blend, salt, 3 tbsp saffron water, 2 tbsp oil,garlic paste, lemon juice and salt. Mix all the ingredients together. Give few slits on the chicken pieces. Rub the spices on to the chicken pieces. Keep the chicken pieces aside for an hour or more. 

For the Mandi 
250 grams / 1 cup of Basmati Rice 
1 medium size Onion sliced 
2 Green chillies slit 
1 tbsp chopped Garlic cloves 
1 Dried Lime
Few Coriander leaves chopped 
Marinated Chicken 
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds 
2 Green Cardamom 
2 Cloves 
1 inch Cinnamon 
2 Bay leaves 
Salt to taste 
1 Chicken cube seasoning 
Few Raisins and Almond Flakes for garnishing 
Few Saffron strands in 4 tbsp of hot water 
1 tsp + 1/2 tsp Butter
1 tbsp  + 1 tsp Ghee
1 small piece of Charcoal 

Wash the rice and keep it aside. Take a steamer pot, add 1 tbsp ghee and 1 tsp butter, once the ghee and butter melts add the whole garam masala spices, cumin seeds and bay leaves. Let the spices crackle, add the onion, green chillies, dried lemon and garlic, sauté until the onion slices are translucent. Add the rice, chicken cube seasoning and salt. Stir and sauté the rice for a minute. Add 2 cups of hot water and saffron water into the pot.  Cover the lower steamer pot with the casserole pot of the steamer. Place the marinated chicken in the casserole. Cover the casserole pot and cook the rice until done. Remove the chicken, brush the chicken with butter. and grill the chicken for 15 minutes, until golden brown in colour. 
Add the almond flakes, raisins and chopped coriander leaves into the rice. Stir the rice gently. Place the chicken over the rice. Place a small bowl in the center of the pot. Burn a charcoal, place the charcoal into the bowl, pour 1 tsp ghee. Immediately cover the pot and wait until the smoky flavour has infused into the rice and chicken. Once done remove the charcoal out. Serve the Chicken Mandi with Tomato Chutney called Salata Hara..  

Salata Hara 
1 Big size Tomato chopped 
2 tbsp Tomato Purée 
1 Green Chilli
2 Garlic Cloves 
Few Coriander leaves chopped 
1 tsp Lime juice 
Salt to taste 

Take a blender, add the tomato, green chilli, coriander leaves, garlic, salt, lime juice and tomato purée. Blend all the ingredients together into a paste. Serve this Chutney with Chicken Mandi. 

Sunday 3 September 2023

Amara Diye Ilish Macher Tok

 Amara Diye Ilish Maacher Tak 

This is one of the recipe made Ilisha fish that is sour in taste.. the sourness is made either tamarind pulp, dried raw mango or the fruit of the season that is hog plum.. (Amara). I have added a tbsp of poppy seed paste too to enhance the taste of the curry… and to create new recipe from my kitchen with love.. Serve this curry with steamed rice. 


4 slices of Hilsa / Ilish 

4 small size Hog Plum peeled 

2 Garlic cloves crushed 

3 to 4 Green chillies slit

1 Dried Red Chilli

1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds 

Salt to taste 

1 tsp Turmeric powder 

1/2 tsp Red Chilli powder 

2 tbsp Jaggery powder or Sugar

1 tbsp Poppy seeds paste 

3 tbsp Mustard oil 

Method - 

Marinate the fish with 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and salt for 10 minutes. 

Add oil in a pan, fry the fish on both the sides until light brown in colour… or we can just use the fish without frying them. 

In the same pan, add mustard seeds and dried red chilli. Let the mustard seeds crackle. Add the hog plum. Stir for a minute, add the green chillies and garlic. Stir for few seconds, add 2 cups of water, poppy seed paste, salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and jaggery powder. Cover the pan and let the gravy simmer for 2 to 3 minutes on medium - low flame. Add the fish and let it simmer further for another 2 to 3 minutes. Once done serve the Hilsa curry with steamed rice. 

Monday 7 August 2023

Chingri Posto Narkel Diye Paturi


 Chingri / Prawns with posto and narkol bata (poppy and coconut paste) wrapped in kola pata (banana leaves) - Chingri Posto Narkel Diye Paturi. A side dish that goes well with rice. Here is my version that I make at home at times…

Ingredients to marinate the Prawns 

300 grams medium size cleaned and deveined Prawns 

Salt to taste 

1/2 tsp Turmeric powder 


Mix all the ingredients above ingredients together and keep it aside for 15 minutes 

Ingredients- For the paste. 

2 tbsp Poppy seeds

Few small pieces of Coconut pieces peeled 

1 small piece of Ginger 

3 to 4 Garlic cloves 

2 Green Chillies 

Salt to taste 


Grind all the above ingredients into fine paste 

Ingredients for the Chingri Paturi 

Marinate Prawns 

1 medium Onion sliced 

Few Coconut pieces sliced 

3 to Green Chillies slit

Wet paste 

Salt to taste if required 

1/2 Red Chilli powder 

2 tbsp + 1/2 tsp Mustard oil

2 medium size Banana leaves washed and gently warmed up the banana leaves over low flame. 


Take a bowl, add the marinated prawns, wet paste, red chilli powder, 2 tbsp mustard oil, coconut slices, onion slices, salt if required. Mix all the ingredients well. 

Place the glossy side of the banana leaves on top.. of each other in a crisscross manner. Transfer the prawn mixture on the banana leaves. Wrap up the banana leaves and tie the leaves with a thread. Take a pan, add 1/2 tsp mustard oil and spread the oil all round the pan. Place the parcel into the pan. Cover the pan, on a medium low flame, cook the parcel for 5 minutes, change the side of the parcel and continue to cook for another 5 minutes, repeat the process once again. Once done, open up the banana leaves and serve the dish with hot rice. 

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Tuesday 25 July 2023

Savoury French Toast with Spinach… Corn and Cheese…

A perfect breakfast or snack with a cup of tea… in monsoon… best for lunch box too… a jhat - pat recipe with easily available ingredients in our pantry..

4 Eggs 
1 small Onion chopped 
2 to 3 Garlic Cloves 
1 small piece of Ginger 
2 to 3 Green Chillies or more as per taste 
Few Coriander Stems 
2 to 3 Spinach Leaves chopped 
1/2 cup Corn
6 White / Brown Breads 
Salt to taste 
1/2 tsp Pepper powder 
2 cubes of Cheese
2 to 3 tbsp Butter 
1/2 cup Oil 

Take a pan, brush the pan with butter, add the spinach leaves, sauté the leaves for a minute or 2 until the water from the spinach evaporates. Boil the corns and drain the water out. Grind the corns into a coarse paste. Remove the corn paste into a bowl, cut the cheese cubes into small pieces, mix the cut cheese pieces into the corn paste. 
Take a grinder / blender / chopper, add the onion, garlic, ginger, green chillies, coriander stems and spinach. Make a coarse paste, add the eggs and blend. Add salt and pepper. Mix all the ingredients together. Remove the eggs batter in a flat bowl. 
Savoury French Toast with Spinach… Corn and Cheese… 
A perfect breakfast or snack with a cup of tea… in monsoon… best for lunch box too… a jhat - pat recipe with easily available ingredients in our pantry.. 

4 Eggs 
1 small Onion chopped 
2 to 3 Garlic Cloves 
1 small piece of Ginger 
2 to 3 Green Chillies or more as per taste 
Few Coriander Stems 
2 to 3 Spinach Leaves chopped 
1/2 cup Corn
6 White / Brown Breads 
Salt to taste 
1/2 tsp Pepper powder 
2 cubes of Cheese
2 to 3 tbsp Butter 
1/2 cup Oil 

Take a pan, brush the pan with butter, add the spinach leaves, sauté the leaves for a minute or 2 until the water from the spinach evaporates. Boil the corns and drain the water out. Grind the corns into a coarse paste. Remove the corn paste into a bowl, cut the cheese cubes into small pieces, mix the cut cheese pieces into the corn paste. 
Take a grinder / blender / chopper, add the onion, garlic, ginger, green chillies, coriander stems and spinach. Make a coarse paste, add the eggs and blend. Add salt and pepper. Mix all the ingredients together.  Remove the eggs batter in a flat bowl. 
Take a pan, add the butter and oil, heat the oil moderately, take a bread piece, dip the bread paste into the egg batter and coat the bread well. Place the bread piece into the oil, keep the flame medium to low. Spread the corn - cheese spread over the bread piece. Now take another bread piece. Dip and coat the bread piece well in the egg batter. Place the bread piece over the corn paste. Now shallow fry the bread on both the sides until golden brown in colour. Once done, remove the French toast on a paper towel. Repeat the same process with the remaining ingredients. Cut the French toast into half. Serve the French toast with sauce of your choice.

Thursday 20 July 2023

Vateli Dal na Khaman Dhokla

This is a very popular snacks from the state of Gujarat.. I have grown up enjoying this with fafda and Jalebi from my childhood days, this was my father’s favourite combo… very often this was our breakfast in the morning specially on weekends as I have grown up in Gujarati neighbourhood… 
Lots of Chana dal was there in my pantry, so had to make this recipe.. Here the Chana dal has to be fermented overnight.

Here is the recipe - 
1 cup Chana 
1 tsp Ginger - Green Chilli paste
1 Green chilli cut into half and slit
Few Coriander leaves chopped 
Few Curry leaves 
2 tbsp Fresh grated Coconut 
2 tbsp Nylon Sev (optional)
Salt to taste 
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder 
1/2 Mustard seeds
Pinch of Asafoetida 
1/2 tsp Eno 
2 tbsp Curd
1 tbsp Sugar 
1/4 cup Water
1 tsp + 1 tbsp + 1 tsp Oil

Soak the Chana dal for 5 to 6 hours. Grind the Chana dal into smooth paste, the batter should be of thick consistency. Let the batter ferment overnight. Take the batter, add ginger- green chilli paste, salt, turmeric powder, curd and 1 tsp oil. Beat the batter well. Add eno, mix the batter once. Take a steamer, grease the dhokla vessel, pour in the batter, fill 3/4 of the vessel. Steam the dhokla for 20 minutes,  insert a toothpick to check. Once done, remove the dhokla vessel and keep it aside to cool, meanwhile take a small pan, add 1 tbsp oil, let the oil heat, add the mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves and green chilli, once the mustard seeds splatter, switch off the flame. Take 1/4 cup of water and add sugar. Once the sugar dissolves add the sugar water into the seasoning. Cut the dhoklas into diamond shape, drizzle the seasoning over the dhokla, garnish with coriander leaves and grated coconut. Serve with green chutney and nylon Sev. 

Sunday 16 July 2023

Thalassery Biriyani


Thalassery biryani is a popular dish from Thalassery that is situated in the Malabar cost of Kannur district in the state of Kerala. 

The history says that this dish dates to the 18th century, during the reign of the British East India Company.  The biriyani along with other local dishes were introduced to the The British officers by the local Muslim Mappila Community, who have settled in Kerala coming from the Middle Eastern — Arab or Persian. The British officers were very impressed with the unique aroma of the dish. This dish not only become famous amongst the officers but also amongst the other local communities of Kerala. 

- Net source 

The biriyani is made using spice blend that consists of fennel seeds along with other spices that is not used in other biriyani masala. Cashew and Raisins are fried and used in the dish. Aromatic short grain Kaima/Jeerakasala rice that is locally grown is used for this dish. Chicken or Mutton is cooked separately with the spices, curd, onions, ginger - garlic paste and tomato. The rice is cooked separately with whole spices.The rice and meat are then layered and cooked together on dum / sealed pot. 

There are many versions of this dish… Inspired from Swasthi's Recipes blog, here is the recipe from my kitchen.. 

To make the Biriyani Masala - Ingredients 

2 tsp Fennel seeds 

1 tsp Pepper corn

1 tsp Shah Jeera / Caraway seeds

6 Cloves 

4 Green Cardamom 

1 medium piece of Cinnamon 

1 Star Anise 

2 Mace / Javitri 

1/2 tsp Nutmeg powder 

2 Dried Red chillies 


Grind all the above ingredients into a powder. 

To make the Rice - Ingredients 

2 cups Kaima/Jeerakasala 

1/2 tsp Fennel seeds 

2 Cloves 

2 Green Cardamom 

1 small piece of Cinnamon 

2 Bay leaves  

2 Red dried Chillies broken into  pieces 

Salt to taste 

1 tbsp Ghee


Wash the rice and keep aside. Take a pot, add the ghee, add the spices mentioned above, sauté for few seconds. Add the washed drained rice and salt, stir for few seconds, add 4 cups of water, let the rice cook until the water has evaporated completely and the rice has cooked well. Leave the rice open and stir the rice occasionally so that the rice doesn’t form any lumps.. 

To make the Chicken - Ingredients 

1 kg Chicken cut into pieces 

2  + 1 large Onions sliced 

1 large Tomato sliced 

1 tbsp Ginger paste 

1 tbsp Garlic paste 

2 tbsp Green Chilli paste 

1/2 cup Curd beaten 

1/4 cup broken Cashews 

1/4 cup Raisins 

Salt to taste 

1 tsp Turmeric powder 

1/2 cup Ghee 


Take a pot, add ghee, let it melt, add 1 onion sliced and fry the onions until golden brown in colour for the birista, remove the onions and keep it aside, in the same ghee fry the cashews and raisins, once golden brown remove and keep them aside. Add 2 sliced onions, fry until light brown in colour, add the ginger- garlic and chilli paste, stir occasionally and sauté the masala for a minute. Add the curd, tomato sliced, turmeric powder, 2 tbsp spice powder and salt, stir and continue to cook for another minute. Add the chicken, stir, cover and continue to cook on medium low flame stirring occasionally until the chicken is cooked. 

To Assemble the Biriyani - Ingredients 



1 tsp Spice Masala 

Fried Cashews and Raisins 


1/4 cup Coriander and Mint leaves chopped 

2 tbsp Ghee melted 

2 tbsp Rose water

6 Boiled Eggs (optional)

Banana Leaves (optional)


Take a heavy bottom pot, place the banana leaves (optional), add some rice, add the chicken gravy uniformly over the rice, add the boiled eggs, sprinkle some spice masala, some fried onions, some fried cashews - raisins, chopped coriander- mint leaves, drizzle some ghee and rose water, add another layer of remaining rice over the chicken gravy, repeat the process - add the remaining spice masala, fried onions, fried cashews - raisins, chopped coriander- mint leaves, drizzle the remaining  ghee and rose water. Cover the pot with a lid, seal the pot or cover the pot with a tight lid. Place the pot over a hot tawa and cook on low flame for 20 minutes. Let the pot be covered for another 20 minutes before serving the biriyani. Serve the biriyani hot with raita and Papadam . 

Tuesday 4 July 2023

Chicken & Vegetable Gravy served with Mashed Potato and Butter Tossed Noodles


When it comes to cooking just for your own self, it’s very boring… to make it interesting, here is a simple continental dish with Maggi masala and other ingredients that was available in my kitchen. Any vegetables like broccoli, zucchini, coloured bell pepper, baby corn can be added. For Vegetarians please omit the chicken.. 
1 pack of Noodles 
1 Boiled Potato 
1/2 cup Boneless Chicken pieces 
1 cup Mix Vegetables like Mushrooms, Capsicum, Carrots, Onions etc. cut into medium size cubes or sliced 
Few Coriander leaves 
1/2 tbsp crushed Garlic
1 cube of Maggi Chicken or Vegetable stock
1 Maggi Masala that comes with Maggi Noodles 
1/4 cup + 2 tbsp Fresh Cream
1/4 cup Milk 
1 tbsp Wheat Flour 
Salt and Pepper powder to taste 
1 tbsp + 1/2 tsp Butter 
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil 

Add 1 1/4 cups of water in a pot, let the water simmer, add the vegetable stock cube and let it dissolve, add the noddles, let the noodles cook, once done, separate the water from the noodles and keep both aside. 
Now take a pan, add oil and 1/2 tbsp butter, let the butter melt, add the garlic, sauté for few seconds, add the vegetables and stir fry for a minute. Remove the vegetables and keep them aside, in the same pan, add the chicken pieces and sauté them until they are cooked. Remove the chicken and keep them aside. In the same pan now add one cup of vegetable stock water used for boiling the noodles. Let the water simmer, take 1/4 cup fresh cream, Milk and wheat flour and make a slurry. Add the slurry into the simmering water and keep stirring until the gravy begins to thickens, no lump should form. Now add the the chicken, cooked vegetables, and a packet of Maggi masala that comes with the noodles. Taste and then add extra salt accordingly if required. Let the gravy simmer for a minute, switch off the flame. Take the boiled potato, grate the boiled potato with the help of a grater, add 2 tbsp cream, 1/2 tsp butter, some salt and pepper powder, mix all the ingredients very well. Take the noodles and simply toss them in the remaining butter and salt to taste 
Take a plate and assemble all the dishes together, sprinkle some coriander leaves on the gravy and serve them hot. 
Enjoy the dish with some beverage of your choice. After all Self love is the first love 💕