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.