Monday, 10 September 2018

Paneer Tikka

Paneer tikka is a popular north-indian starter which is readily found in mostly all the restaurants. Being a big fan of all sort of vegetarian grilled food, it is one of my comfort food that I like to make quite often at home because of its hassle-free recipe. Moreover, the amount of oil or butter used during grilling can be easily controlled and the addition of cream by most of the restaurant chefs at the end of grilling the tikkas can be completely omitted, making it healthy. Check out step by step preparation of this delicious appetizer and do give it a try as it is simple and appealing yet filling dish at the same time.

Preparation time: 15 min.
Marination time: 2 hrs
Grilling time: 20 min.
Cuisine: North-indian
Type: Starter
Serves: 4-6

  • 500gms cottage cheese (paneer)
  • 1 cup bell peppers (capsicum-red, yellow, green) cut into 1" pieces
  • 1/2 cup onion (cut into 1'' pieces)
  • 1/4 cup tomatoes (deseeded and cut into 1'' pieces)-optional
  • 2 tbsp oil or melted butter (for brushing)
For Marination:
  • 1 cup hung curd
  • 1/2 tbsp kashmiri red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tbsp salt or to taste
  • 1/2 tbsp chaat masala
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste or crushed 
  • 1 tbsp kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice

  1. Cut cottage cheese, bell peppers, onions, tomatoes into 1'' pieces.                                                                                    
  2. Take 500 gms of yoghurt or curd in a sieve and keep refrigerated till all the water gets seperated and a cup of hung curd is left on the sieve.                                                                                                                
  3. In a bowl take all the ingredients of marination.                                                                                                                       
  4. Mix well using a whisk.                                                                                                                               
  5. Add all the pieces of paneer, bell peppers, onions etc. and mix gently in order to coat all the pieces well with the marination. Keep refrigerated for atleast 2 hrs. or overnight to get the best taste.                                                                                                                                                              
  6. If using wooden skewers, soak them in water for atleast an hour. No need to soak, if using metal ones.
  7. Pre-heat the oven at 200 degree celcius for atleast 15 min.
  8. Arrange the marinated pieces of paneer and vegetables on the skewers, keeping 3-4 paneer pieces on each skewer and vegetables in beween each paneer piece.                                                                                   
  9. Brush oil on the skewered tikkas and keep in the oven over wire rack.
  10. Grill for 10 min. on each side, until slightly charred or grill marks appear on the tikkas.
  11. Serve hot with mint chutney, onions and lemon wedges.

  • The more you marinate the tikka, the more tastier and juicier it will be.
  • Mushrooms and broccoli can also be added in the veggie list. But do keep onions and green capscicum for extra crunch which after caramelizing give better taste to the buttery and juicy paneer tikka after grilling.


Dhokla is a famous gujarati snack which is not only healthy but mouth-melting as well. It is a steamed savoury sponge cake made using chickpea flour soaked in flavourful sweet and sour water infused with green chillies and curry leaves. I really enjoy it as an evening snack and sometimes in the breakfast also. Today, I am sharing the fool-proof recipe of dhokla which makes soft, spongy and juicy dhokla everytime I make it.

Preparation time: 5 min.
Steaming time: 20 min. + 10 min.
Type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Gujarati
Serves: 4-6


For Dhokla Batter:

  • 1 cup chickpea flour (besan)
  • 2 tbsp semolina (sooji/rava)
  • 1 cup curd 
  • 1 pinch turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp ginger+green chilli paste
  • 1/2 tsp salt 
  • 2 tsp eno or fruit salt
  • water as required
For tempering:
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp black mustard seeds
  • 5-6 green chillies (slit)
  • 8-10 curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 400ml water
For Garnish:
  • coriander leaves as required
  • coconut grated(optional)
  1. In a mixing bowl, add besan, sooji, curd, ginger+green chilli paste and mix well.

  2. Add salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and water to make a smooth batter.                                        
  3. Grease a pan using oil.                                                                                                                                                
  4. Heat around 500 ml of water in a kadai or pressure cooker.                                                                                                         
  5. Add eno to the batter and immediately pour the batter into the greased pan.  
  6. Steam on high flame for 15- 20 min. in a kadai or pressure cooker till a knife inserted comes out clean.    
  7. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and let them splutter.
  8. Add green chillies and cook for few seconds.
  9. Next, add curry leaves and cook for 30 sec.
  10. Add water and let it boil. 
  11. Add sugar and cook for 10-12 min.      
  12. Finally, add lemon juice and remove from flame.
  13. Pour this flavourful boiled water on the steamed dhokla and let it rest for 30 min. until all the water gets absorbed by the dhokla.                                                                                                                                                 
  14. Garnish with coriander and coconut.                                                                                                                                              
  15. Enjoy hot or cool alongwith tamarind chutney or coriander-mint chutney.
  • In order to make a soft and spongy dhokla, the batter should be beaten well but don't overbeat after mixing eno, immediately pour in the pan and keep it for steaming.
  • Always use fresh packet of eno otherwise eno won't be effective enough and you won't get a fluffier dhokla.

Friday, 31 August 2018

Panchmeva Paag (Dry Fruits Burfi)

Panchmeva Paag is a Krishna Janmashtami as well as Ganesh Chaturthi special bhog or prasad. On the auspicious day of Krishna Janmashtami, we make this alongwith panchamrit as bhog for Ladoo Gopal ji. This is made with the mixture of 5 different types of nuts as the name suggests. Choice of nuts depends totally on personal liking and availability at home. I have used the ones that i find taste good in this. You can also make it during vrat or fast days.

  • 1.5 cups fox nut or lotus seeds (makhana)
  • 1.5 cups dry coconut, shredded
  • 1/2 cup melon seeds
  • 2 tbsp almonds
  • 2 tbsp chiraunji
  • 1 tsp green cardamom powder
  • 1/4 cups clarified butter (ghee)
For Sugar Syrup:
  • 1.5 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water
  1. First step is to roast all the nuts seperately, take a tbsp ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan and add the makhana. Roast for 4-5 min. on slow flame till light golden in colour and crisp while touching. Take it out on a plate.
  2. In the same pan, heat a tablespoon of ghee, add almonds and roast for a min. and take it out seperately.
  3. Similarly roast melon seeds, chiraunji and dry coconut.
  4. Crush the roasted almonds and fox nuts coarsely using a mortar and pestle.
  5. Mix together crushed almonds and fox nuts with roasted chiraunji, melon seeds and coconut.
  6. Add green cardamom powder and mix well.
  7. For the sugar syrup, heat a heavy-bottomed pan, add sugar and water. Bring it to a boil.
  8. Let it cook for 8-10 min. till one-string consistency.
  9. Finally add the above nuts mixture into the prepared sugar syrup. Mix well and cook for a min. on low flame.
  10. Take a greased thali or any square baking dish, and pour the mixture. 
  11. Let it cool for a few min. only and cut into desirable shapes.
  • This can be stored for a couple of weeks in an airtight container.
  • Make sure the sugar syrup is of one-string consistency before adding the nuts mixture in order to ensure perfect pieces.

Friday, 24 August 2018

Instant Jalebi

Who doesn't like hot and crispy jalebis straight from the flavorful and aromatic sugary syrup. During my childhood days, there was a sort of a ritual of eating jalebis alongwith our city's famous street food moong dal (going to share its authentic recipe soon) on the sunday mornings. So here i am with the recipe of jalebis which is instant and doesn't require any kind of yeast or fermentation. Try frying them in ghee for the awesome aroma and taste.

Preparation time: 15 min.
Cooking time: 30 min.
Type: Dessert
Serves: 5-6


For sugar syrup:
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp green cardamom powder
  • 8-10 strands saffron
  • few drops kewra essence
For jalebi:
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour (maida)
  • 2 tbsp chickpea flour (besan)
  • 2 tbsp sour curd or yoghurt
  • 1 pinch orange food colour or turmeric powder
  • soda water as required
  • clarified butter (ghee) or oil for frying


For sugar syrup:
  1. Combine together sugar and water in a heavy-bottomed pan.
  2. Cook on medium high flame till all the sugar dissolves, meanwhile stirring continuously.
  3. Cook further for few min. till it reaches single thread consistency.
  4. Add saffron, elaichi powder and kewra essence.
  5. Remove from flame and keep it warm.

For jalebi:
  1. In a bowl, mix together maida, besan, food colour and curd.
  2. Add soda water to make a batter of pouring consistency. It should neither be thin nor too thick. Keep aside for 15 min.
  3. Heat ghee in a heavy-bottomed broad pan which is approx. 1" deep.
  4. Fill the jalebi batter into a plastic bottle with a small opening in the lid or use a piping bag with single hole nozzle.
  5. Press out swirls of the batter into the hot ghee or oil of 2" diameter each.
  6. Deep fry the jalebis in hot oil or ghee till golden in colour.
  7. Immediately put fried jalebis into warm syrup for 2-3 min. and drain out.
  8. Serve hot with curd or rabdi.
  • As soon as u take out fried jalebis, transfer immediately to warm syrup.
  • The sugar syrup should not be hot while adding jalebis else the jalebis will turn soft.

Tuesday, 21 August 2018


Idli is a popular south-indian breakfast dish generally eaten with sambhar or coconut chutney. It is a soft and spongy steamed cake made by fermented batter of rice and udad dal. I am a big fan of south-indian food for the soul reason of it being not only tasty but at the same time very healthy if eaten in moderation.

Preparation time: 5 hrs soaking + 8 hrs fermenting
Steaming time: 10 min. + 5 min. resting
Cuisine: South-indian
Type: Breakfast


  • 3 cup idli rice
  • 1 cup udad dal
  • salt to taste
  • water as needed

  1. Wash thoroughly rice and udad dal seperately 3-4 times.
  2. Soak atleast for 4-5 hrs.
  3. Drain all the water and grind dal and rice seperately to a smooth batter adding a tbsp of water if needed.
  4. Keep the batter at warm place to let it ferment for 8-10 hrs. till it is risen and doubled in quantity.
  5. Add salt to taste to the portion of batter that you are going to steam.
  6. Grease the idli stand with oil and take a ladleful of the batter and fill the idli mould till 3/4th only.
  7. Meanwhile, bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a pressure cooker or idli steamer.
  8. Put the batter-filled idli stand inside the cooker or steamer and cover the lid. Remove the pressure or vent if using cooker before steaming.
  9. Steam on high flame for first 5 min. and then 5 min. more on medium flame.
  10. Switch off the flame and remove the lid. Let the idli stand rest for 5 min. inside the steamer.
  11. Remove the stand and scoop out the idlis using a spoon or knife.
  12. Serve hot with sambhar or coconut chutney.
  • Do not add salt to all the batter at once. The batter will get sour quickly instead add the required amount that you are going to steam.
  • The batter should be of dropping consistency, neither thick nor runny. Adjust by adding water if needed a teaspoon at a time to get soft and spongy texture.

Oats Uttapam

Instant oats uttapam is a healthy breakfast loaded with the goodness of nutritional vegetables. I make these very often at home as it helps in weightloss as well, due to the high fibre content in oats, we tend to feel full for longer period of time. Use any seasonal vegetables for topping either chopped or grated for extra crunch and nutrition.

Preparation time: 30 min.
Cooking time: 10 min.
Type: Breakfast
Serves: 3-4

  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 cup semolina (sooji/rava)
  • 1 cup curd (dahi)
  • 1 cup water
  • salt to taste
  • 1 cup diced vegetables (onions, tomatoes, capsicum, carrot, cabbage)
  • 10-12 curry leaves (finely chopped)
  • 2 green chillies (finely chopped)
  • handful of coriander leaves (finely chopped)
  • oil as needed
  1. Grind oats to a fine powder in a mixer grinder.
  2. In a bowl, mix together ground oats, semolina, curd and water. Cover and leave for 30 min.
  3. Add salt to taste and mix well.
  4. Heat a non-stick pan, put 1 tsp oil and grease well.
  5. Pour a ladle full of batter and lightly spread it in a round shape.
  6. Sprinkle chopped vegetables and curry leaves, gently press with a wooden spoon. Put few drops of oil on top.
  7. Cover with a lid and let it cook for a min.
  8. Once the base is nicely browned, flip it and let it cook for a while.
  9. As it gets nice and crisp, serve hot with any chutney or sambhar.
  • Adjust the quantity of water in the batter depending upon the water absorbed by semolina. It should be of pouring consistency.
  • You may use grated carrot or cabbage for topping as well.

Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Baked Samosa

Samosa is one of the most popular snack of north India. It is a triangular shaped crisp and flaky pastry filled with spicy and tangy potato filling. The list of choices available for the filling is endless. It can be served at small get togethers like high tea or kitty parties alongwith a hot cup of tea or coffee. These are generally deep-fried but today i made them baked brushing a very little amount of oil on these and they came out very crisp and flaky.
Shaping these samosas becomes a fun activity for my 8-year old daughter who is always keen to know what i am making and will always accompany me in the kitchen.
So, try these healthy yet delicious samosas and am sure you will not miss the deep fried ones.

For the pastry cover (dough)
  • all-purpose flour (maida)
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
  • clarified butter or ghee
  • water as required
For the filling:
  • 6-7 potatoes (boiled and peeled)
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 1-2 green chillies
  • 1/2 cup green peas
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp mango powder
  • 1 tsp rock salt
  • salt to taste
  • coriander leaves chopped
  • 10-12 raisins
  • 10-12 cashew nuts
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • oil for deep frying

  1. Firstly, mix the ingredients of the covering and make a hard dough. Cover and let it rest for 30 min. 
  2. Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and let it splutter. Add green peas and green chillies and cook for few min. add roughly mashed potatoes, raisins and cashewnuts and all the spices. Mix well. 
  3. Divide the dough into lemon sized balls and roll out a thin roti. Cut the roti in two halves. now take one semicircle and make a cone, place a tablespoon of filling in the centre and apply little water to seal the open edges carefully and give the shape of a samosa.
  4. Lightly brush all the samosas with very little oil and bake for 30-35 min. in a preheated oven at 200 degree celcius.
  5. Serve hot with the coriander chutney or tomato ketchup.
  • Do not over knead the dough of samosas else they will not be flaky and crisp.
  • You may deep-fry these samosas instead of baking.

Thursday, 9 August 2018

Lemon Rice

Lemon rice is a south-indian lemon flavored rice delicacy which is quite very handy to make. Its great to use leftover rice for this recipe and takes only 5 min. to prepare for kids lunch box. This can be accompanied with a variety of dishes like sambhar, rasam or coconut chutney.

Cooking time: 10 min.
Cuisine: South-indian
Type: Main-course
Serves: 2-3

  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tbsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp split bengal gram (chana dal)
  • 1 tbsp skinless split black gram (dhuli udad dal)
  • 1 tbsp peanuts
  • 1 tbsp cashew nut 
  • 3-4 green chillies (slit)
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  1. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and let them crackle.
  2. Add chana dal and udad dal, fry for a min. till golden in colour.
  3. Add peanuts and cook for 30 sec.
  4. Next add, cashew nuts and fry for 10 sec. only.
  5. Add green chillies and curry leaves followed by asafoetida.
  6. Next add turmeric powder and salt to taste.
  7. Immediately add cooked rice and mix well.
  8. Finally add lemon juice and cook for a couple of min.
  9. Serve hot alongwith rasam, sambhar, chutney of your choice. 

Tuesday, 7 August 2018

Instant Bhature

Chhole Bhature is the most famous north-indian breakfast. But making bhaturas at home requires a lot of patience and practise. Today, i am going to share my quick and easy recipe for making instant bhaturas which come out exactly like the ones we eat outside.  The addition of semolina keeps the bhatura puffed up for longer and gives a nice texture.

Preparation time: 5 min.
Passive time: 30 min.
Cooking time: 10 min.
Cuisine: North-indian (punjabi)
Type: Breakfast
Serves: 3-4

  • 2 and 1/2 cups all-purpose flour (maida)
  • 1/2 cup semolina (sooji/rava)
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1tbsp oil
  • 1-1.5 cups soda water/carbonated water (to knead)
  • oil for deep frying
  1. In a mixing bowl, take maida, sooji, sugar, salt and oil. Mix well.
  2. Gradually add soda water and knead like chapati dough.
  3. Cover the dough and leave for 30 min.
  4. Apply oil on your hands and divide the dough into equal-sized round balls or portions.
  5. Heat oil in a heavy-bottomed pan for frying.
  6. Roll out the flattened round ball into an oval or round shape.
  7. Gently lift the rolled out bhatura and slip into the hot oil.
  8. Press the centre of the bhatura with a slotted spatula using light strokes, bringing the hot oil over it. This ensures puffing up of the bhaturas well.
  9. Deep fry till nice golden colour.
  10. Serve hot with punjabi chhole and pickle.

Monday, 30 July 2018

Punjabi Rajma Masala (Red Kidney Beans Curry)

Rajma masala with rice is a very popular dish of north-india (Punjab). It is the favourite of everyone at my home. Rajma or kidney beans are a great source of protein and being a vegetarian, it becomes a necessity to cook these often. Two varieties of rajma are available in india. One is lighter called 'chitra rajma' and other one is darker known as 'jammu rajma'. In this recipe, i have used the lighter one which i find more tastier.

Preparation time: 15 min.
Cooking time: 1 hr.
Cuisine: North-indian (punjabi)
Type: Main-course
Serves: 2-3


  • 1 cup red kidney-beans (rajma)
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic-green chilli paste
  • 2 onion (sliced)
  • 4 tomatoes 
  • 1 tbsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • salt to taste
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsp cooking oil
  • fresh coriander (to garnish)
  1. Wash and soak kidney beans in 5-6 cups of water overnight.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, add ginger-garlic-green chilli paste and cook for 30 sec.
  3. Add sliced onions and cook till golden brown in colour.
  4. Remove from flame and let it cool.
  5. Grind together browned onions and tomatoes to make a smooth paste.
  6. Add all the spices to the same pan and cook for a few seconds.
  7. Next, add the ground paste into the pan and mix well.
  8. Cook this mixture till oil seperates.
  9. Now add soaked rajma into the cooked masala and mix well.
  10. Add the above masala coated rajma into a pressure cooker alongwith 4 cups of water.
  11. Pressure cook till one whistle and then simmer for 30 min.
  12. Add garam masala and garnish with fresh chopped coriander.
  13. Serve hot with roti or rice.

  • Kidney beans can be boiled seperately first and then the masala can be mixed. But I like to make my rajma the way i shared.
  • If u forget to soak the rajma at night. Next morning, soak these in hot water for an hour and use in the recipe.
  • Adjust the quantity of water according to the thickness of curry you like.