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Tuesday, May 30, 2017

(without preservatives)

Preparation time : 5 minutes
Cooking time :      5 minutes

  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon oregano ( optional )
  • 2 cloves garlic, cut in slivers ( optional )
  • 2 tablespoons sugar ( optional )
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 20 - 30 medium sized jalapeno peppers, washed, dried with tea towel , sliced evenly into desired thickness

 Method :

  1. Combine the vinegar, water, garlic, sugar, and salt in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Add jalapeno slices, stir, and remove from heat.
  2. Let sit for at least 10 minutes then use tongs or a slotted spoon to remove the jalapeños from the pot to a jar; cover with the brining liquid to fill the jar. 

  3. Make sure that the jar is clean and dry. It's a good idea to squirt some vinegar in the jar, shake it and discard before adding the Jalapeños.

  4. This can be stored  in the fridge for up to two months. 
  5. Every time you take out some of the pickle ,make sure that the brining liquid covers the remaining pickle. 

Saturday, December 10, 2016


                                                              HOT SAUCE

                                A basic Mexican Sauce

                                   Preparation time : 5 minutes
                                                     Cooking time  :    15 minutes

whole dry kashmiri red chillies , broken into pieces(Or chilly flakes)
1 tbsp oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
3 medium tomatoes cut into cubes
1/2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp sugar (Optional)
salt to taste

  1. Soak the red chillies in ½ cup of warm water in a deep bowl for 15 minutes. Do not drain. (Omit this step when using Chilly flakes)
  2. Heat the oil in a deep non-stick pan, add the onions and sauté on a medium flame for 1 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes and soaked red chillies (along with the water), mix well and cook on a medium flame for 6 to 7 minutes or till the tomatoes turn soft, while stirring occasionally.
  4. Allow it to cool completely and blend in a mixer (or with a hand blender ) till it forms a smooth paste without using water.
  5. Transfer the paste in a deep non-stick pan, add the oregano, sugar and salt, mix well and cook on a medium flame for another 3 to 4 minutes, while stirring occasionally.
  6. Cool slightly before serving or store refrigerated.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Paneer Makhanwala

  1. Ingredients:
  • 1 cup paneer (about 10-12 pieces)
  • 2 tbsp. oil
  • 1 medium onion-chopped as finely as possible
  • 2 medium fresh tomatoes-finely chopped
  • 1/2 packet-250 gms tomato puree (if using both, u can decide the proportion)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 " piece of ginger (opt.), peeled
  • 1/2 tsp jeera
  • 1 to 1 1/2 tsp  choley or pav bhaji masala
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp salt (to your taste)
  • chopped fresh coriander to garnish(opt.)
  1. Method:
  • Put oil in a pan. Add jeera and cover. When it changes colour, add onion. Mix well. Increase the heat little bit and let it cook till just changes colour....being careful that it doesn't burn! so, stir occasionally
  • While the onion is getting cooked, finely chop or grate the garlic and ginger 
  • When the onion gets slightly coloured, on a LOW HEAT , add the garlic + ginger add the grated onion garlic and stir, cook for a bit. You will smell the aromas of garlic/ginger.
  • Add the  choley masala and stir.
  • Then add the tomatoes , cover and let it cook for a few minutes.
  • At this stage you can add steamed vegetables or just capsicums , salt to taste, mix well.
  • Add some cream. Cook covered for further 4-5 minutes.
  • Garnish with coriander.
  • If you find the curry sour(depending on the flavor of the tomatoes), u can add extra  cream.
  • If the gravy is too thick, u can add little water.
  • For that extra bit of nourishment,  you can grind some ground almonds or cashews and add at the stage before adding the masalas .

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Eat at home or eat out?

Eating out vs. eating at home

Everytime I have been to a restaurant to eat, no matter how good the food is, I've always come home with the feeling that I can cook better than that or I definitely do cook better than that.
One reason I enjoy watching cooking programs on tele .....they never show anyone washing up!!!!!!

Sometimes we are so tired that the last thing we feel like doing is cooking and ending up with a pile of vessels to wash. So it's logically justified to order a take away pizza or any food for that matter from the comfort of your couch !!!!!!!!

Despite the convenience, in reality, eating out or ordering take aways is never going to be the healthy option.

It is very easy to prepare a meal which will need minimum ingredients and still be tasty and healthy and will require least washing up.

Just be brave and adventurous enough to start.

This blog is my effort to simplify recipes and focus on minimum ingredients, tweaking recipes so they need least time in the kitchen .

Please feel free to request recipes and I will do my best to post a version that will cater to a quick satisfying meal .

Sunday, April 24, 2016


Rava Uttapam is so easy to make with the minimum of ingredients. It's great for breakfast,as a snack,
or for lunch or dinner.
If you mix excess batter,you can leave it in the fridge for a day or two.
It is quite filling and definitely way healthier than a take away pizza !!!!
Very budget friendly with least washing up !!

Rava ( Wheat semolina)  1 cup
Yoghurt        1 tablespoon
salt to taste
1 medium onion finely chopped
1/2 medium tomato finely chopped (Optional )
1 green chilly finely chopped (Optional)
Coriander  1 Tbsp finely chopped (Optional )
Oil - few tablespoons

By optional I mean to indicate that you can go ahead and make it even if few of the optional ingredients are missing .
It tastes good on it's own without accompaniments.


  1. Mix all the ingredients.
  2. Heat a pan on medium heat
  3. Put few drops of oil on the pan and lightly wipe it with a scrunched up paper towel.
  4. Spread a ladle of the mixture and spread it on the pan like you would spread  pancake batter.
  5. Add few drops of oil around the edge of the Uttapam. Let it cook till the top side looks translucent and the bottom would have coloured a bit.
  6. Flip it over and cook further until the other side is a bit coloured.
You can eat it with Idly Podi, coconut chutney or ketchup.


Makes 8 large bars or 16 small square-shaped bars
Very easy recipe. 


1 cup nuts
1 cup dried fruit
1 cup (12-15 whole) pitted dried dates, preferably Medjool
Food processor (Any basic one will do )
Plastic wrap or wax paper
Sharp knife


  1. Roast the nuts (optional). Nuts can be used raw or roasted; roasting will add a toasty, nutty depth to the bars. If desired, roast the nuts at 180°C for 10 to 12 minutes, until fragrant and golden. Allow to cool before using.
  2. Combine the nuts, dried fruit, and dates in a food processor. Combine all the ingredients in a food processor. Pulse a few times just to break them up. Separate the dates if they start to clump together.
  3. Process continuously for 30 seconds. By now, the ingredients should all have broken down into crumb-sized pieces. Scrape the edges of the bowl and beneath the blade to make sure nothing is sticking.
  4. Process continuously until a ball is formed, 1 to 2 minutes. Continue processing for another 1 to 2 minutes, until the ingredients clump together and gather into a ball.
  5. Press into a thick square and chill. Lay a piece of plastic wrap or wax paper on your work surface and dump the dough on top. Press the dough with your hands until it forms a thick square, roughly 8"x8" in size. Wrap and chill for at least an hour or overnight.
  6. Divide into bars. Unwrap the chilled dough and transfer to a cutting board. Cut into 8 large bars or 16 small squares, as desired. Wrap each bar in plastic wrap or wax paper.
  7. Storing. The bars can be stored in the fridge for several weeks or in the freezer for up to 3 months. The bars can be eaten straight from the fridge or freezer and will be firm, but chewy. Room-temperature bars are perfectly fine to eat and can be kept in a lunch bag or backpack all day, but will be more soft and paste-like.

 Shredded coconut
 chia seeds,
 chocolate chips, 
 cacao nibs,
 cocoa powder, 
 crystalized ginger,
 ground cinnamon, 
ground nutmeg, 
ground cardamom 

Thursday, July 16, 2015


I am posting this recipe on my younger daughter's request. When she lived at home, she never really liked Upma. I usually made it for a weekend brunch and pretty much every time she used to be in tears.She did manage to eat some,very unhappily. I cannot really recall what on Earth made me continue to keep making it inspire of her dislike.

During our recent visit to see her, I was surprised by her request to make Upma for her. I must say,  I had to coax my husband and hop into three shops in pursuit of finding the right semolina. I prefer to use the medium one. I bought few onions. To my delight I found coriander and green chillies. I found it hilarious that the shopkeeper tried to weigh 4 chillies !

It was quite interesting to watch her relish every morsel of it. And I am so happy that she asked me to post the recipe.

Don't worry about all the optional ingredients.Just go ahead and make it with what you have in your kitchen . It will turn out delicious anyways.

  • 1 cup semolina/sooji/rava (fine or medium variety) [If you want to,you can add part oatmeal to the recipe,for a healthier option]
  • 1 medium sized onion, chopped finely
  • 1 green chilly, sliced lengthwise (Optional)
  • 1 tsp chana dal/split and skinned bengal gram (Optional)
  • 1 tsp urad dal/split and skinned black gram (Optional)
  • ½ inch ginger grated or chopped finely (Optional)
  • 1 medium chopped tomato (Optional)
  • 2.5 cups boiling water (more if needed)
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds/rai
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves/kadi patta (Optional)
  • 10 to 12 cashewnuts/kaju or Peanuts ( Optional)
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves (Optional)
  • 2 tbsp oil or ghee
  • salt as required
  • A pinch of asafoetida (Hing)
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

  1. prep up the ingredients for the upma - finely chop 1 medium sized onion, 1 to 2 green chillies and ½ inch ginger and some coriander leaves. also take the 8 to 10 curry leaves, 10 to 12 cashews or peanuts , 1 tsp chana dal and 1 tsp urad dal.
  2. in a pan, heat 2 tbsp ghee or oil.
  3. add 1 tsp mustard seeds.
  4. when you hear the crackling sound of mustard seeds, it means they are getting fried.
  5. now add the 1 tsp chana dal and 1 tsp urad dal.
  6. fry till they begin to brown a bit
  7. immediately then add cashews and begin to fry. by the time, the cashews get golden the dals would also get golden.
  8. now add hing and the finely chopped onions. saute the onions till they become translucent.
  9. then add the chopped green chilly, ginger, curry leaves. saute for a minute.
  10. add rava,mix in and let it roast for few minutes taking care not to let it brown.
  11. then add 2.5 cups water to this mixture. add salt as required.
  12. on a medium to high flame, heat the water and let it come to a to a rolling boiling.
  13. when the water comes to a full boil, lower the flame to its lowest.
  14. the rava grains absorb water and thus swell and get cooked.
  15. cover and allow the rava upma to steam for 2 minutes on the low flame.
  16. then swtich off the flame. here the rava is cooked and the upma is ready.
  17. lastly add about 2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves and the lemon juice . stir well.
  18. serve upma with coconut chutney or lime pickle. (If you have) or yoghurt.