Lauki/ Bottle Gourd Tamatar ki sabzi


 250gms lauki
 2 medium sized juicy tomatoes chopped roughly
 1" piece ginger chopped fine
 3t.sps cooking oil
A pinch of haldi / turmeric powder
chilli powder to taste
Salt to taste


  • Peel the  lauki and cut it into four long pieces. Now slice it into 1/4 " thick pieces.
  • Heat oil in a kadai/ saucepan on medium heat, add the lauki and mix well with the oil.
  • Add haldi, chilli powder and and cook till the raw smell goes, about a minute.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes, chopped ginger and salt, mix well, turn the flame to low and when the tomatoes begin to soften, cover with a lid.
  • Cook for about 2 minutes, remove the cover and check if there are enough juices.Add about 1/4 cup water if needed. If the lauki is very tender you may not even need to add water.
  • Cover and cook on a very low flame for about 5 minutes or till the lauki is tender and the tomatoes well blended.
  • Serve with hot rotis or rice and dal.

  Note: Can be made in a pressure cooker but you need to be careful and take it off the heat before a     whistle.
 The flavour should be predominantly tomato and ginger but you can adjust it to your liking.
 Used to be a hot favourite with my kids, hope you enjoy it too.

Meze Mazaa with Bean Sprouts and Egg Plant/ Aubergine


  1 medium sized eggplant/aubergine
  1 tomato sliced
  100 gmsbean sprouts
Any soft cheese of your choice( Ricotta, crem cheese, cottage cheese)
  200 gms of thick yoghurt( this may be a little time conuming but the results are excellent)
  1//2 t sp coriander powder
  1/4 tsp cilli flakes or powder
  a pinch of rasted cumin powder
  salt to taste

  1 finely chopped spring onion
  1 tb sp chopped parsley or coriander leaves
  1 small green chilli optonal
  1/2 t sp finely chopped garlic
  julliens of raw mango ( sliced olives or gherkins could be an option)
  roasted p nuts coarsely pounded
  Olive oil for frying


  •   If using yoghurt topping, put the yoghurt into a muslin cloth, secure with a rubber band  and hang it over the sink for 4-5 hours so that the liquid drains out and you are left with a cream cheese consistency. Add salt and minced garlic  and mix well. Your topping is ready.
  • Cut the egg plant into3/4 " thick slices and soak for 15 minutes.
  •   Pat dry on a paper towel and sprinkle with salt.
  • Heat 1tb sp oil in a flat fry pan or tawa and lay the egg plant slices on it. Flip the side when golden brown and do the same on the other side. Add a little more oil all around if needed. Cover with a lid for 4-5 minutes to cook through).
  • Drain on a paper towel, arrange on a platter and sprinkle with spices.
  • Place  a slice of tomato on each piece.
  • Put a dollop of your topping over it and spread it thickly.
  • Mix bean sprouts with the chopped spring onion, parsley/coriander leaves, chopped garlic, a pinch of salt and lime/lemon juice.
  • Put a tb sp full of the mixture over each slice.
  • Garnish with raw mango Julienes and the pea nuts.
  • Tastes as good as it looks.


Devilled Eggs (A hearty quick meal to beat the autumn chill)

   2 hard boiled eggs
   1 tb sp cooking oil ( a bit more if you like.)
   11/2 t sp chilli powder
   A pinch of oregano ( optional)
   Salt to taste
   Chopped  black olives
   Grated cheese to taste

  •  Cut the hard boiled eggs into half length wise.
  • Heat the oil in a fry pan till smoking.
  • Lower heat and add the chilli powder taking care not to burn it. The oil should turn a nice red colour.
  • Add the salt and oregano.
  • Place the egg halves in the hot oil  and let them colour lightly.
  • Flip them over and cook the other side as well. Total cooking time should not be more than 2 minutes after putting the  egg halves in the oil.
  • Place on a plate and sprinkle cheese and the chopped olives on top.
  • Garnish with any fresh green herbs of your choice.
  • Enjoy with toasted or plain bread which has been rubbed with the remaining chilli oil.
  • Will certainly hearten a cold gloomy autumn evening.

Carrot Burst with Pine Nuts ( a refreshing summer salad)



  2 cups grated carrots
  1/2 cup grated raddish(optional)
  1 1/2 tb sps mung daal (yellow lentils)
  1 tb sp roasted pine nuts
  1 t sp finely chopped ginger
  Chopped mint leaves
  few drops of lemon/lime juice
  salt to taste

  • Wash and soak mung daal for 3-4 hours or till its soft enough to eat raw.
  • Scrape ,wash and coarsely grate the carrots.
  • Scrape, wash and grate the raddish.
  • Toss all the ingredients together and season with salt and lime juice.
  • Cool and serve with rice and curry, rolls or simple bread and cheese.

Sunny Yellow Daal Salad (A light nutrtious summer salad)


  1/2 cup yellow mung daal
  2 tb sps finely chopped onion
  2 tb sps chopped tomato
  Finely chopped ginger (optional)
  chopped corriander and mint leaves
  1/2- 1 green chilly finely chopped
  1/4 t sp haldi/turmeric
  salt to taste
  1/4 t sp red chilli powder
  1/4 t sp whole jeera/ cumin seeds
  A pinch of hing/ asafoteda
  2 t sps ghee or clarified butter/  cooking oil

  • Wash the daal well till the water runs clear,soak it for 15 minutes and drain.
  • Add 1 cup of water, haldi and salt and cook in the pressure cooker till high pressure is reached.Switch off the heat and let the pressure reduce on its own. Open the cooker and check if the daal is cooked. Dry out excess water if any.
  •  If not using the pressure cooker, cook the daal in 1+3/4th cups of water.Reduce heat when it comes to a boil and cover with a lid leaving slightly open for the steam to escape.Stir after 5 minutes. The daal should be done when the water evaporates.It should have separate grains like boiled rice.
  • Put in a flat serving dish and garnish with onions, tomatoes,ginger, corriander, mint and green chilly.
  • Heat the ghee/ oil in a tempering pan till smoking. Lower heat, add  whole cumin  and bring to a splutter taking care not to let it burn. Take off the heat and quickly add red chilli powder and hing. Pour all over the garnished daal .
  • Serve at room temparature as a salad  or as an accompaniment to vegetables and rotis.


Note: Another version is to mix olive oil and a few drops of lemmon juice to the cooked  and garnished daal instead of the ghee tempering.

Red Lady with Walnuts (A refreshing salad for the summer heat)



  1 cup red cabbage shredded fine
  Juliennes of 1/4 red pepper and 1/4 yellow pepper
  a few slices of zuccini cut very fine
  peeled segments of 1/2 an orange
  10 mint leaves chopped fine
  finely chopped ginger ( optional)
  2 walnuts broken into quarters

  2tb sps malt vinegar
  1 t sp powdered jaggery or brown sugar
  salt to taste

  Mix all the ingredients in a salad bowl and refrigerate. add the seasoning just before serving.
  A very refreshing accompaniment with shammi kebabs, tangri kebabs cutlets or hard boiled eggs.

Paneer/Tofu bhurji

     200 gms paneer/ tofu cumbled up
     100 gms coarsely chopped onions
     2 large tomaotoes skinned and chopped roughly
     2-3 green chillies
     freshly chopped coriander/cilantro leaves 3/4 t sp cumin seeds
     11/2 tb sp cooking oil
     salt and red chilli powder to taste

  • Heat oil in a kadai/ fry pan.
  • Add cumin but do not let it brown.
  • Add chopped onions and fry on high flame till golden brown.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and cookon medium flame till soft.
  • Add salt and chilli powder to taste.
  • Add the crumbled paneer/tofu and mix well.
  • Add green chillies broken into two.
  • Cook for 3-4 minutes and switch off the flame.
  • Do not over cook or the paneer will become hard.
  • Transfer to a dish and garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Serve with hot roties or on toasted bread.
  • Enjoy with lime pickle.