Dum Biryani


  3/4th cups black channa(Bengal Gram) soaked overnight
  2 cups Basmati rice
  3 tb sps chopped onions
  1t sp ginger paste
  11/2 t sp garlic paste
  2 tomatoes chopped or 2tb sps tomato puree

  Whole masalas for the rice
  5-7 green cardmoms
  5 cloves
  3 1" sticks of cinamon
  11 pepper corns
  3 bay leaves

  Dry masalas for the channa
  1 tb sp dhania(coriander) powder
  1/2 t sp chilli powder
  1/2 t sp haldi (turmeric) powder
  1 t sp garam masala made with coarsely ground (3green cardmoms, 1" stick cinamon, 3 cloves 5 peppercorns)

  Msalas for the layers
  1 large onion sliced fine and fried crisp.
  1 cup fresh chopped mint  and coriander leaves and 3 green chillies

  2 tb sps cooking oil
  2 tb sps pure ghee (clarified butter)
  a good pinch of saffron strands soaked in 1 tb sp milk
  1/2 - 1 t sp kewra essence for the aroma

  • Wash and soak the rice for 1/2 an hour.
  • Boil 8 cups of water in a large saucepan with 2 t sps of salt and all the whole masalas. Add the washed rice and boil till its almost cooked.
  • Drain the excess water and spread the rice in a platter so that the grains stay separate.
  • Heat the oil in a pressure cooker, fry the chopped onions till golden brown.
  • Add the ginger garlic pastes and fry till the raw smell goes.
  • Add the dry masalas with a little bit of water and fry for 3 minutes.
  • Now add the channa that has been soaked over night.
  • Add the tomatoes/tomato puree and cook for a further 5 minutes.
  • Add the coarsely ground garam masala and mix well.
  • Add 21/2 cups of water, close the lid and pressure cook on high heat till high pressure is reached.Lower heat and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Let the cooker cool down , open the lid and dry out the excess water if any.It should be moist with thick masala but no curry.
  • Now you are ready to put the biryani together.
  • Take an over proof dish and spread the ghee at the bottom.
  • Divide the rice into 3 portions and spread 1 part in the dish.
  • Layer the rice with the fried onion, green mint , coriander and green chillies.
  • Add a layer of 1/2 the cooked channa and top with a layer of rice.
  • Repeat another layer similarly and top with the 3rd portion of rice.You are ready to add the flavours.
  • With your finger ,make holes in the layers of rice . Pour a few drops of the saffron milk into each hole along with a few drops of Kewra essence (optinal).
  • Cover and seal with aluminium foil .Cook in a pre heated oven for about 20 minutes.Alternately cook on an indirect low flame (on dum).
  • Open the foil just before serving.
  • Serve with raita of your choice.


Kadai Chicken


  800 gms chicken
  200 gms/ approximately 1cup chopped onions 
  1tbsp ginger paste
  1 1/2 tb sps garlic paste
  200 gms /1 cup yogurt
  3 tbsps oil
  1" stick cinnamon
  4-5 cloves
  5 green cardmoms
  1 tb sp coriander powder
  1 t sp red chilli powder
  2 tb sps kasuri methi /dry fenugreek leaves crushed and soaked in 1/2 cup warm water
  salt to taste
  1 tb sp chopped green coriander
  ginger julliens


  • Wash and cut the chicken into 8 pieces skin removed.
  • Heat oil in a kadai/ large frypan.
  • Add all the whole masalas, add the chopped onions and fry till golden brown and a bit soft.
  • Add ginger paste and fry well ,not letting it stick to the pan.
  • Add the chicken pieces and fry till brown on all sides.
  • Now add the garlic paste  and Kasuri methi/ dry fenugrrek leaves that have been soaked in water for 10 minutes and fry well for atleast 5 minutes.
  • Add the dry masalas and let it cook till the raw smell goes. Sprinkle a little water if too dry.
  • The chicken should be well browned by now.
  • Lower heat and add well beaten yogurt, stirring all the time so that it does not split.
  • Mix well with the chicken and cover the kadai /pan with a lid and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the cover and gently turn the chicken, it should have enough liquid, if not add 1/4 cup water, mix well and cover for another 5-7 minutes.
  • Check if the chicken is tender and cook on slow heat without the lid for another 2-3 minutes, taking care not to break the pieces.The masala should coat the chiken well but should not be too dry.
  • Sprinkle chopped green coriander and ginger julliens on top and serve with rotis/parathas or rice.


Meal In One (Daal saag)


  1/2 cup channa daal (split gram)
  250 gms spinach
  1/2 cup chopped onions
  2 large tomatoes
  2 tsps chopped garlic
  1 tsp chopped ginger
  1tb sp cooking oil/ghee
  1/2 t sp haldi/turmeric
  1/2 t sp chilli powder
  3 t sps dhania/ coriander powder
  1/2 t sp whole jeera/cumin
  1 pinch of asafoetida
  1 dry red chilli
  salt to taste

  • Wash and soak daal for 2-3 hours.
  • Heat oil /ghee in a fry pan or pressure cooker,  add the dry red chilli broken into two and as it changes colour add whole jeera and asafoetida.
  • Add chopped onions as jeera  begins to crackle and cook till soft and golden brown.
  • Add ginger, garlic and cook till the raw smell goes.
  • Add the dry masalas and salt to taste and cook for 2 minutes , taking care not to burn the masalas.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and cook well till oil begins to show on the side.
  • Now add the drained daal and spinach and mix well with the masala.
  • Add 2 1/2 cups of water and pressure cook for 5 minutes or till the daal is tender.
  • Let the pressure reduce naturally, open the cooker and stir really well so that the spinach and daal are mixed well.
  • Adjust the consistency to your liking by letting it cook without the lid for 2-3 minutes.
  • A delicious meal is ready full of proteins and iron from the spinach.
  • Enjoy with roties or parathas or steamed rice.Pickle and chutney will be a good accompaniment.



Tomato Magic


  4 large tomatoes chopped thick
  1 medium onion chopped thick
  1 green chilli chopped (optional) or 1/2 green bell  pepper cut into small squares
  2 tb sps chopped coriander/cilantro
  salt to taste
  chilli powder to taste
  sprinkling of coarsely ground black pepper
  1tb sp sugar
  1 tb sp olive oil or any other cookin oil

  • Heat oil in a fry pan, add onions and cook till transparent.
  • Add chopped tomatoes, mix well and cook for about 3-4 minutes.
  • Add salt and chilli powder, mix and cover with a lid for 2-3 minutes or till the tomatoes are tender.
  • Add the bell peppers and cook till its soft.
  • Mix in the sugar and cook till it dissolves and thickens to the consistency you want.
  • Turn the heat off and sprinkle with coriander, green chillies and black pepper.

   Serving Suggestions

  Its great to have on toasted bread or use it as a filling for a sandwich.
  You could mix it with pasta, top it with grated cheese and put it under the grill till the cheese melts.
  Use it as a base for paneer/ tofu cut into cubes and mixed together.Add chilli sauce to spike it a bit.
  Serve in a flat dish with hard boiled eggs cut into halves, arranged around the dish, sprinkled with pepper, finely chopped green onions and coriander.
  Last but not the least, try it as a dip with french fries or crisps.
  A slightly thinner version is a good accompaniment with kidchri or pulao.
  So make the tomatoes do magic for you. 


Quick Fix Dahi Kadhi ( Yoghurt kadhi)


  1 cup /200gm dahi/yogurt
  1 small tomato
  1 green chilli chopped
  1 t sp chopped ginger
  1/2 t sp methi (fenugreek seeds)
  1/2 t sp rai (mustard seeds)
  1/4 t sp haldi (turmeric)
  a pinch of hing (asaphoetida)
  chilli powder to taste (optional)
  salt to taste
  3tsps cooking oil

  • Heat oil in a small saucepan, add hing, methi seeds,mustard seeds and as they begin to crackle add finely chopped tomatoes and cook till soft.
  • Add haldi ,salt and chilli powder.
  • Add chopped ginger, green chillies,chopped coriander leaves and mix well for a minute or two.
  • Lower heat, add well beaten dahi, stir well to mix all the ingredients and turn off the heat. Continue to stir for two minutes even after switching off the heat so that the dahi does not split.
  • Dahi Kadi is ready. Enjoy it with boiled rice and vegetables .
  Note: You can change the consistency to your liking by adding water to the dahi when you beat it.
            Try the thick version as a dip with nachos,crisps or french fries.

Green Crunch (crunchy green salad with spices)


  2 cups finely shreded cabbage
  1/2 cup finely sliced green beans
  1/4 cup carrot julliens
  7 curry leaves washed and dried
  1 green chilli
  1/4t sp cumin seeds
  1/tsp mustard seeds
  1/4 tsp methi (fenugreek seeds)
  salt to taste
  1tb sp olive oil or any other cooking oil

  • Heat oil in a kadai or frypan.
  • Add mustard, cumin and methi seeds. When the seeds begin to crackle, add curry leaves and broken green chilli.
  • Add the cabbage, beans and carrots,stir fry for a minute  and cover and cook for 3 minutes on low heat or till the vegetables are cooked to your liking.Do not over cook as the veg's should be crunchy.
  • Take the lid off, add salt and  stir fry for a minute or till no moisture is left.
  • Can be served hot with rice and daal or  at room temparature as a salad.
  • Add grated coconut for an exotic touch.

   Note:Innovate as one of the layers of a club sandwich or use it in a tortilla or paratha roll with other accompaniments.Try it out as a raita mixed with well beaten yoghurt, topped with roasted and powdered cumin seeds and coarsely ground black pepper.

Lucknow ki aloo tikiya ( Fried potato cakes with chutney)

  4 large potatoes
  salt to taste
  Oil for frying
  2t sps ghee(clarified butter)
  1 cup beaten youghurt

 Green chutnney

  1 cup coriander /cilantro leaves
  1 small onion
  3 cloves of garlic
  1green chilli
  1/2 t sp salt
  juice of 1/2 a lemon or lime
  Grind all the ingredients in a grinder and your chutney is ready.

  Tamarind chutney

  1/2 cup tamarind paste
  1 cup jaggery powder or brown sugar or refined sugar
  2 tsps dhania (coriander powder)
  1/2 t sp rock salt 
  1/2 t sp jeera /cumin powder ( dry roast jeera /cumin seeds and pound them coarsely or grind in a grinder)
  red chilli powder to taste
 coarsely ground black pepper
  Table salt to taste

Boil the tamarind paste with 1/4 cup water, add the jaggery powder, add all the masalas and cook till it thickens. Should be a syrupy consistency.Pour into a small jar when cool and store in the fridge.

  • Boil poatatoes with the skin.
  • When cool peel the skin and mash potatoes to a smooth paste with the salt.Should be like a soft dough.
  • Make tikiyas / round balls with the mash and flatten them on your palm about 1/4" thick and 1 1/2" diameter.
  • Heat  2 tb sps oil in a heavy bottom fry pan or a griddle till smoking and spread it around the pan. 
  • Place the tikiyas in the fry pan and adjust the heat so that it browns slowly and evenly.
  • Turn the side with a flat spatula taking care not to break it and let it brown evenly.
  • Add a few drops of oil around the sides if required.
  • Keep turning the tikiyas till both sides are well browned and crisp.
  • Spread the ghee or butter on the tikiyas and turn the side. Now spread the ghee on the other side,turn again and fry till you get the aroma of the ghee.
  • Slide on to a small plate, put 1 tb spoon of beaten yoghurt, over the tikiya, top with the green and red chutney and sprinkle chaat masala.
  • Take a bite, close your eyes and find yourself transported to the land of the Nawabs.


 Note: The tikiyas in Lucknow are actually made with pure ghee only and are really yummy.
Try it when you are in an indulgent mood or go for this watered down version as often as you wish.

Quick Fix.......Tawa Paneer (cottage cheese)/Tofu

Just the thing when you are too tired to cook but can't look at another pre cooked meal.


  10, 1" cubes of paneer/tofu
  amchur/ mango powder
  red chilli powder
  salt to taste
  3 t sps cooking oil

  • Heat a tawa/ gridle or a non stick frypan.
  • Add 1 tsp oil and spread it around when smoking.
  • Lower heat and place the paneer/tofu on the tawa, fry till lightly browned.
  • Turn the paneer and add another t spoon of oil all around.
  • Keep turning the sides and adding few drops of oil till all the sides are done to your liking.
  • Transfer to a plate and sprinkle, amchur, chilli powder and salt to taste.
  • Magic!!Your main dish is ready in two minutes.Enjoy it plain or toast two slices of bread,spread it with your favourie chutney or pickle,top it with thin tomato and cuchmber slices, place the paneer cubes on top,close your eyes take a bite,remember Roma and feel your tiredness vanish.
  •  Little more effort??? Cut an onion into half and then slice it roughly.Sprinkle amcur powder, a few drops of lemon juice.Heat a paratha or roti, spread your favourite chutney or pickle and roll it with the fried paneer and onions,sit in front of the TV and enjoy your kathi roll.

Kashmiri koftas (Meat Balls)


  500 gms mutton keema(mince)
  1 1/2 tb sp yogurt
  300 ml water
  3 tb sps ghee/ cooking oil


  2 medium sized onions chopped fine
  11/2 tb sp garlic chopped fine
  1 tb sp chopped ginger
  1t sp whole jeera(cumin seeds)
  a good pinch of  hing (asaphoteida)
  1/4 t sp ginger powder
  1/2 t sp chilli powder
  salt to taste
  2 tb sps chopped coriander leaves
  2-3 green chillies chopped fine
  1 tb sp mustard oil

  • Fry onions and garlic together till golden brown.
  • Add half of the fried onion/ garlic mixture to the mince and reserve half.
  • Marinate the keema with all the  marinade ingredients including the mustard oil,green chillies and coriander leaves and mix well.Leave aside for atleast 2-3 hours.
  • Heat ghee/ oil in a very heavy bottomed pan.
  • Add the fried onion /garlic paste .
  • Beat the curd well and mix with 1 1/2 glasses of water. Add to the onion mixture and let it come to a simmer.Keep the flame low so that the mixture doesn't curdle.
  • Form koftas (round balls) about the size of a lime, with the marinated keema and drop them gently into the simmering curry.Keep the flame low and let the koftas bind and  cook gently.Do not cover.
  • Do not stir with a spoon , just shake the pan gently, taking care not to break the koftas.
  • When the water dries up, sprinkle some more and let it cook till ghee separates and the koftas are well coated and golden brown.
  • Garnish with fresh coriander leaves chopped fine.
  • Serve with hot parathas or enjoy as a snack.

 Thanks to Raj aunty and Raina uncle who fed us generously and shared their  recipes enthusiastically.

Mutton Pasandas


  1 kg lean mutton cut into pasandas (method given below)
  3/4 ccup curd
  1 1/2 t sp red chilli powder
  1 tb sp dhania/coriander powder
  1/2 t sp haldi/turmeric powder
  1/2 t sp whole jeera/cumin seeds
  salt to taste
  2 tsps Kasoori methi/ dry methi leaves or 2tb sps fresh methi leaves chopped fine
  3 green chillies finely chopped
  2 medium sized onions sliced fine
  1/2 cup ground onion
  11/2 tb sps ground garlic
  1 tb sp ground ginger
  3 black cardamoms
  7 cloves
  two 2" sticks cinnamon
  3 tbsps oil
  2 tbsps ghee 

  • Clean and cut the meat into1/2" thick and 2" square pieces.(Your butcher will do this for you.)
  • Beat each piece into pasandas with the back of a  wet a knife or hammer ,till it is flat and fibres separate.
  • Mix curd, salt chillies, dhania powder, cumin seeds, haldi, methi leaves, ground onions,ginger and garlic with the meat and marinate for atleast 1/2 an hour.
  • Heat the oil in a large fry pan, add the cardamom, cloves and cinnamon.
  • Add sliced onions and fry till golden brown.
  • Remove the pan from fire and place the pasandas flat and evenly.
  • Add 1 cup water and cook covered with a lid on medium heat till tender and very little water remains.
  • Add ghee and place the pan on a hot tawa/ griddle with the lid on tight till water dries up and ghee remains.Serve with hot roties or parathas.

Dilli ki Aloo Matar Chaat ( Peas and Potato Chaat from Delhi)


  1 cup boiled peas
  2 medium size potatoes boiled and  cut into halves
  1green chilli, slit
  1 tb spoon ginger julliens
  juice of 1/2 a lime or lemon
  1/2 tsp whole jeera (cumin)
  1 tb sp roasted dhania (coriander powder)
  1/2 t sp roasted chilli flakes
  1/2 tsp amchur (mango powder)
  1/4 t sp hing (asafoetida)
  1tb sp cooking oil
  1t sp ghee or butter
  fresh coriander for garnish

  • Heat oil in a fry pan till smoking.
  • Add whole jeera and as it begins to crackle, lower heat and add hing/asafoetida.
  • Add coriander powder, chilli flakes and quickly add the potato halves taking care not to burn the masalas.
  • Fry the potatoes till evenly browned on all sides and well coated with the masalas.
  • Add boiled peas and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the ginger julliens and mango powder,and toss.
  • Garnish with fresh chopped dhania/coriander/cilantro leaves.
  • Add a tea spoon of ghee or a knob of butter and fry till aromatic.
  • Serve hot, on a platter with a good squeeze of lime juice.

   Note: Jingling glass bangles......colourful bindies in all shapes and sizes........long "parandies" with silk and gold tassles...........mehendiwallies calling out for clientele............finger licking ALOO MATAR CHAAT!!!!
 Oh take me back to the excitement of  Tuesday evenings outside Delhi's Hanuman Mandir and the giggling company of college friends !

Jeera Aloo (Potatoes with Cumin)

  250 gms  new potatoes or any potatoes of your choice
  1/2 t sp whole jeera/cumin
  1/4 t sp chilli powder
  1 t sp coriander powder
  1/2 t sp amchur/mango powder optional
  salt to taste
  1t sp ginger julliens or chopped ginger
  2 tb sps chopped  fresh coriander/cilantro
  1/2 tb sps cooking oil

  • Wash and boil potatoes with the skin and let them cool.
  • Peel the potatoes and cut them into 3/4" pieces.
  • Heat oil in a kadai or frypan, add jeera /cumin and as it begins to splutter add the potato cubes.
  • Stir fry for a minute, sprinkle all the dry masalas and salt.and mix to coat the potatoes.
  • Lower heat,add finely chopped ginger and cover with a lid for two minutes to let the masalas  assimilate with the potatoes.
  • Uncover and let the poatoes cook on low heat for 7- 10 minutes, stirring of and on and letting them crumble a bit.
  • Finally raise the heat and fry for 2-3 minutes until lightly browned.
  • Sprinkle the fresh herbs and stir once or twice.
  • Serve on a platter garnished with fresh coriander and ginger julliens.

Note: A good side dish for any meal or can be enjoyed as a snack rolled with roties.
         To serve it as a cocktail snack,cut the potatoes into bite size cubes or wedges.
         Squeeze a few drops of lime juice to give it an extra zing.

Channa Kebabs

  1 cup black channa ( Bengal gram) soaked for atleast 4  hours or over night
  1/2 cup soya granules soaked foe 1/2 an hour or as per instructions on the packet
  1 medium sized onion sliced
  1"" piece ginger chopped
  2 1/2 t sps coriander powder
  11/2 big cardamom
  3 small cardmoms
  1 t sp peppercorns
  1 whole red chilli or chilli powder to taste
  1 '' stick cinamom
  Oil for frying
  1finely chopped onion
  1/2 cup chopped coriander
  A few chopped mint leaves
  Green chilli chopped fine

  • Drain the channa and soya granules and put them in a pressure cooker with 1 1/2 cups of water.
  • Add all the ingredients except oil , green chillies chopped onions and coriander leaves and pressure cook for 7 minutes.
  • Let the steam escape naturally, open the pressure cooker and dry out the extra water if any and let it cool.
  • Grind the mixture to a fine paste in a grinder or food processor.
  • Add finely chopped onions, green chillies(optional),chopped coriander leaves and a few drops of lemon juice and mix well with the kebab mixture
  • Shape into round flat kebabs and shallow fry in a hot frypan evenly browned on both sides. Keep ad justing the heat so that the kebabs are crisp on the outside but soft in the centre.
  • Serve on lettuce leaves with sliced onions and  coriander/mint chutney.

  Note: Channa kebab can be served as a snack or rolled up as frankies or sandwiched between bread rolls to make burgers.........Let your imagination run !!and have fun

Rogan Josh

  250 gms mutton from leg
  1 onion sliced fine
  1 onion ground to paste
  1/2 cup sour yoghurt
  whole garam masala (3 cloves 1/2 t sp chilli powder
  3 cardmoms, 1" cinamon,1 bay leaf)
  1 1/2 t sps ginger garlic paste
  2 tomatoes chopped
  salt to taste
  1/2 t sp tandoori garam masala
  1/2 t spcumin powder
  1/2 cup coriander leaves

  • Soak mutton in yoghurt for 1/2 an hour.
  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker, add whole garam masalas and sliced onions and fry till golden brown.
  • Add onion ,ginger garlic paste cumin powder and chilli powder, fry for 2-3 minutes.
  • Add chopped tomatoes and coriander leaves and stir fry till tomatoes are tender
  • Now add mutton pieces and stir fry for 10 minutes.
  • Add t1 1/2 cups of hot water and pressure cook for 5-7 minutes.
  • Check if the mutton is tender, and let it cook without the lid till its well coated with the masalas.
  • Serve sprinkled with coriander leaves and garam masala,


Chana Dal Ki Kichdi (Split Gram with rice)


  1 cup Basmati rice or any other good quality rice washed and soaked for 20-30 minutes
  1/2 cup chana dal (split gram) soaked for atleast 1 hour
  1 small onion sliced fine (optional)
  1 1/2 piece ginger cut into fine julliens
  1 t sp cumin seeds
  1/2 t sp red chilli powder or chilli flakes
  salt to taste
  1 1/2 tb sps oil
  2 1/2 cups of water

  • Heat oil in a sauce pan,add cumin seeds,add onions as soon as the cumin splutters and fry till golden brown.
  • Drain and add the dal (gram), ginger julliens, salt and chilli flakes/powder, mix well with the onions
  • Add 1/4 cup water, cover with a lid , lower heat and let the dal cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the remaining water,let it come to a boil on high flame.Now add the rice and cover with a lid when boiling.
  • Lower heat and cook till the water has dried up and the rice is tender, about 8 minutes.
  • Serve with cucumber and onion raita, papad, chutney and pickle.

Note: This is a complete meal providing protien and carbs.

Bagare Baigun (aubergine)

  200 gms baby aubergines washed and slit lengthwise or 200gms of round aubergine cut into medium size pieces.
  2 tb sps finely chopped onions
  1t sp finely chopped ginger
  2t sps finely chopped garlic
  1 chopped tomato or 1 tb sp tomato puree
  1 1/2 panch puran (mix mustard seeds, saumph/ fennel, methi seeds/ fenugreek seeds, jeera/ cumin, kalonji/ onion seeds in equal quantities)
  1/2 t sp haldi/ turmeric
  2 tsps dhania/ coriander powder
  chilli powder to taste
  a good pinch of asafoetida
  salt to taste
  3 t sps tamrind paste/ 1 heaped t sp of amchur/ mango powder
  2 tb sps cooking oil
  coriander, ginger julliens, green chillies for garnishing

  • Heat oil in a kadai or frypan. 
  • Add panch puran and when it begins to splutter add asaphoetida.
  • Add chopped onions and fry till golden brown but still soft.
  • Add ginger and garlic and fry well.
  • Add dry masalas and cook till the raw smell goes.
  • Now add the baigun, mix well with the masala, add salt and cover with a tight fitting lid, lower heat.
  • Let it cook in its own steam for 5 minutes turning once or twice.Sprinkle little water if dry.
  • Take off the cover and add tomato or tomato puree and mix well. Cook till tomatoes are soft and blended with the masala.
  • Test if the baigun is cooked , if not cover for a few more minutes.
  • Add the tamrind paste/ amchur, cover and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Serve in a flat dish garnished with chopped coriander, ginger julliens and slit green chillies.
  • Goes well with rotis, puris or rice and daal.

Tangri kebab (tandoori drumsticks)

  1kg chicken drumsticks
  1/2 tsp salt
  1 tsp red chilli powder
  11/2 t sp jeera powder
  1 tb sp ginger garlic paste
  1 t sp tandoori garam masala ( 1'' piece cinamon, 3 green cardamoms, 5 cloves, 1black cardamom,5        peppercorns ground together)
  1 t sp lemon juice
  1/2 cup sour curd (yoghurt)
  3 tb sps oil
  a pinch of tandoori colour (optional)

  •        Method
  • Wash the drumsticks and wipe dry with a kithen towel.
  • Make small slits on both sides.
  • Rub lemon juice and all the dry masalas on the chicken and keep aside for 1/2 an hour.
  • Whip the curd ,add 3 tb sps oil, tandoori colour and marinate the chicken in it for at least 4-5 hours.
  • Preheat the oven to 250 deg.C
  • Put the chicken in an oven proof  tray or dish and cook for 15 minutes,
  • Pull out the tray and turn the chicken pieces and cook for 7-10 minutes or till done.
  • Excess marInade if any can be dried under a hot grill.
  • Sprinkle chat masala and serve with onion rings and lemon wedges.

Nutty Beans


  200gms round green beans cut into 1/2" bits
  1 tb sp finely chopped onions
  1 t sp finely chopped ginger and garlic
  1 tb sp tomato puree
  3/4 t sp whole cumin seeds
  1 heaped tsp coriander powder
  1/2 t sp haldi/ turmeric powder
  salt and chilli powder to taste
  1 tb sp roasted pine nuts
  1 1/2 tb sps cooking oil

  • Heat oil in a kadai or frypan till just beginning to smoke.
  • Lower heat and add cumin seeds and let them splutter. Quickly add chopped onions and fry till soft.
  • Add ginger garlic and fry for three minutes.
  • Add haldi, coriander powder and chilli powder and fry for two minutes without letting the masala burn.
  • Add tomato puree and cook for 3 minutes till all the ingredients are well blended.
  • Add the beans, stir well till all are coated with the masala.
  • Sprinkle a tb sp of water, cover and let it cook  in its own steam till the beans are tender but still crunchy.
  • Take off the lid, add fresh coriander and toss well.
  • Sprinkle the roasted pine nuts, toss and cook for a minute so that the flavour of the nuts blends with the beans.
  • Enjoy with hot rotis,dinner rolls or rice and dal.

 Note: This is a dish that I've tasted in a restaurant in Bangalore and tried to recreate following my taste buds. Hope you enjoy it as much as I did.  

Adraki Gobi Aloo /Cauliflower and potatoes with ginger



  6 cauliflower florets
  2 medium size potatoes
  1 1/2" piece of ginger cut into julliens
  1/2 t sp haldi(turmeric) powder
  salt to taste
  chilli powder to taste
  coriander / cilantro for garnish
  2 tb sps cooking oil


  • Wash and cut the cauliflower florets into four.
  • Wash, peel and cut the potatoes into wedged and then cut into halves.
  • Heat oil in a kadai or fry pan.
  • Add cauliflower, potatoes and mix well with the oil.
  • Lower heat, add haldi, chilli powder and salt and mix it well till evenly coated.
  • Add ginger julliens, stir and cover with a tight fitting lid to cook in its own steam. Keep the flame low.
  • Remove the lid and stir gently from time to time making sure that any drops of water on the lid fall back into the pan.If it looks dry, sprinkle a few drops of water and cover and cook till tender but not disintegrating.
  • Remove the lid and let it fry gently till no water is left and the oil begins to separate.
  • It should be quite soft but not mushy when done.
  • Transfer to a flat dish and garnish with coriander leaves and ginger julliens.
  • Enjoy with hot roties or rice and dal.

Bhindi Do Pyaza (okra with onions)


200 gms small tender bhindi (okra)
1 medium sized onion sliced thick
1 medium sized tomato sliced
1/2 t sp dhania( coriander) powder
1/4 tsp haldi (turmeric) powder
chilli powder to taste
salt to taste
1/2 cup oil for frying

  • wash, drain and dry the bhindi.
  • trim both the ends and give a small slit length wise.
  • heat oil in a frypan and fry bhindi in two batches till golden brown.Drain out the excess oil on a kitchen towel.
  • remove excess oil from the fry pan to be used later, leaving 11/2 tb sps in the frypan.
  • add sliced onions and fry till just turning golden.
  • Add sliced tomatos and fry for 3 minutes.
  • add dhania, haldi,and chilli powder and fry till the raw smell goes.
  • add the fried bhindi and mix well without breaking it.
  • add salt and mix it gently and cover with a loose lid for 2 minutes.
  • take the lid off and fry for another 3 minutes turning the bhindi gently.
  • transfer the bhindi to a dish and garnish it with ginger julliens.
  • serve with hot rotis or rice and dal.

Mixed Vegetable pulao


1cup basmati rice
1 medium sized onion
1 large tomato
1/2cup cauliflower florets
1 medium sized carrot
10-15green beans stringed
1/2cup shelled green peas
salt to taste
1/2 tb.sps cooking oil or ghee
3/4 t sp cumin seeds
1 large cardamom
1 1" stick cinnamon
1 t sp black pepper corns
2cups water

  • wash and soak the rice for 1 hour.
  • peel and slice onions.Wash and chop tomatoes.
  • Peel carrot and dice it into small cubes.
  • string beans and cut them into1/2" pieces.
  • heat oil in a thick bottomed saucepan.
  • add cumin, cardamom, cinnamon stick broken into two,cloves and peppercorns
  • once they begin to crackle, add sliced onions and fry till golden brown.
  • add chopped tomatoes and fry till soft.
  • add salt and 2 cups of water and bring to a boil.
  • add the vegetables. Drain water from the rice and add to the pan.Once it begins to boil, lower heat and cover the pan.
  • Stir gently as the water dries up and cover again till all the water has evaporated and rice is done.
  • Serve with yoghurt, pickle and chutney.

Note: For a new flavour each time vary the vegetables, using your imagination.

Mung Daal (yellow lentils)

11/2 cup mung daal
4 cups of water
1t sp finely chopped ginger
7 cloves garlic chopped fine
salt to taste
11/4 tsp haldi/turmeric powder
chilli powder to taste

For Tempering
1tb. sp finely chopped onions
1/2 t sp jeera /whole cumin
3 tsps or more ghee or butter or cooking oil
asefoetida a pinch (optional)


  • wash and soak daal for at least 15 minutes
  • put daal, water, ginger, 4 cloves of chopped garlic, salt, haldi/turmeric and a pinch of chilli powder in the pressure cooker on a high flame
  • bring to high pressure, lower heat after 1 whistle and let it cook on low heat for 2 minutes
  • take it off the heat and let the pressure reduce naturally
  • open the cooker and stir the daal well, put it back on flame and let it boil till well blended  but not mashed
  • put the daal in a bowl and keep warm
  • heat ghee in a fry pan and bring it to smoke,add chopped onions and fry till lightly brown. Add 3 cloves of garlic and fry till golden brown, add jeera and when it begins to change colour add asefoetida and chilli powder. Pour this mixture over the daal evenlly and gently spread it,taking care to have the tempering on top.
  • Serve piping hot with boiled rice, roties or toasted bread of your choice.
  • pickle, chutney and a salad made with roughly chopped onions, tomatos cucumber add to the meal.

Note: If not using a pressure cooker,soak the daal for over an hour and use extra water and a sauce pan with a tight fitting lid. When it boils, lower heat ,keep the lid slightly open and keep stirring off and on till the daal is tender and well blended.

You can temper the daal without onions, using the rest of the ingredients.If using oil for tempering, adding a knob of butter before serving will enhance the taste. 

Kaddu ki sabzi (pumpkin)


200 gms yellow pumpkin
1 heaped t sp panch puran (mix mustard seeds,saumph/fennel, methi/ fenugreek, jeera/cumin, kalonji/onion seeds in equal quantities and store.)
 1dry red chilli
1t sp. chopped ginger
1/2 t sp coriander powder
salt to taste
chilli powder to taste
1/2 t sp amchur(mango powder) or 1 tsp tmrind pulp or a few drops of lemon juice
3-4 tsps cooking oil
corriander /cilantro for garnishing


  • peel, wash and cut the pumpkin into cubes
  • heat oil in a kadai or frypan till it begins to smoke, lower heat, add the dry red chilli broken into two pieces
  • add the panch puran and as it begins to splutter add the pumpkin and stir well
  • add coriander powder,salt and chilli powder(optinal) and stir well for a minute
  • add the chopped ginger
  • cover the pan with a tight fitting lid and let the pumpkin cook  on low heat in its own steam
  • stir after 3 minutes and cover again.It should leave moisture which should be enough to cook it but if it seems dry, sprinkle a bit of water.
  • let it cook covered till tender stirring once or twice
  • Remove cover and dry out the extra moisture if any
  • add the mango powder/ tamrind pulp/ lemon juice and mix it in
  • cook for a further2-3 minutes .The pumpkin should be soft and begining to break but should not have any water left.
  • transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with coriander/cilantro leaves and ginger julliens
  • tastes best with puri or roti and is pretty good with rice and daal

Punjabi Rajma


1 cup rajma soaked over night or 1 can pre cooked red kidney beans
2 medium sized onions chopped
5 flakes of garlic smashed or 1 tsp garlic paste
1 small piece of ginger grated or ground  or 1 t sp of ginger paste
2 tomatoes chopped fine or 2 tb. spns of tomato puree
11/2 tb, sps cooking oil
1/4 t sp. haldi
1 tb sp corriander powder
salt to taste
chilli powder to taste
5 pepper corns
1/2  big  cardmom
3 cloves
2small sticks cinamon
chopped corriander/ cilantro leaves
11/2 -2 glasses of water..........if using pressure cooker to boil the beans


  • Pressure cook rajma for atleast 10 minutes or open ,drain and wash the canned kidney beans.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add chopped onions and fry  on medium heat till golden brown and soft.
  • Add the last four dry spices at this stage.
  • add ginger garlic paste and fry for 2-3 minutes. Sprinkle a bit of water if too dry.
  • Add corriander powder, turmeric and chilli powder with a sprinkling of water and fry till the raw smell goes.
  • Now add the tomatoes/puree and fry for at least 2-3 minutes. The masalas and onion tomato mixture should be well blended and the oil should begin to separate on the sides.
  • Drain and save the water and add boiled rajma/beans to the pan and fry for another 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the drained water, mix well and let it boil on high heat for 2-3 minutes till the curry thickens slightly.If using canned beans, add 11/2 glasses  of water(300ml)and let it boil till well blended and the consistecy you like.
  • Garnish with chopped corriander/ cilantro leaves and serve with boiled rice.

  • Note: The last 4 dry spices can be added whole as mentioned or these can be ground and sprinkled on top at the end of cooking but it tastes just as yummy without these, so take the easiest option.
  • The same recipe can be used for black eyed beans. These take less time to cook so should only be pressure cooked for 3-4 minutes. This tastes better if the curry is kept slightly thinner than the kidney beans.

Channa Salad


1cup boiled Bengal gram/black channa
1medium sized onion chopped fine
1 small tomato chopped
2" piece of cucumber chopped
1 small carrot chopped fine
1/2 t spoon of finely chopped ginger
1 chopped green chilli
fresh corriander/ cilantro chopped, mint leaves
juice of 1/2 a lime
1/2 t spoon whole jeera/cumin seeds
1/4 t spoon chilli powder
1/2 t spoon corriander powder
11/2 t spoon of olive oil

  • If using raw channa/ gram, wash and soak it in water for atleast4-5 hours. Boil in a pressure cooker with salt and 3cups of water. When high pressure is reached lower heat and cook for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and let the steam escape naurally. Open the cooker and drain out excess water if any.,this can be added later to the channa . If using canned channa/gram drain and wash under running water.
  • Heat oil in a frypan ,add whole jeera(cumin) and let it splutter. Lower heat ,add the corriander and chilli powder and quickly add the channa without letting the masalas burn.Mix well  so that the channa  is well coated with the masalas. The excess water can be added at this stage and dried out.Remove from heat and let it cool a bit.
  • Mix all the chopped vegetables and the channa in a salad bowl , add the lime juice and toss well.
  • Enjoy it as a snack or a meal with bread or rotis of your choice.

Note: A simpler version is to mix all the ingredients except the dry masalas and toss it well with the lime juice and olive oil. Chaat masala can be added to spike it.

If not using a pressure cooker, soak the channa overnight in hot water, its best to use a pressure cooker for legumes and lentils though.

Roma's Kadhi

1cup (200ml) sour yoghurt
2tb sps. besan (gram flour)
4 cups water
salt to taste
chilli powder to taste
a good pinch of haldi/ turmeric
curry leaves optional

For  Pakoras (10-12)
3tb sps besan
1 small onion chopped
1t sp chopped ginger
1 t sp chopped garlic
1-2 green chillies chopped
dhania / coriander/ cilantro chopped
1/2 t sp ajwain
pinch of turmeric
chilli powder to taste
oil for frying
1 tb sp ghee /butter for tarka/tempering

  • Mix or beat yoghurt and besan till no lumps are left
  • Add salt, chilli powder, haldi, 1cup water and mix well
  • Pour the mixture into a large saucepan and put on heat stirring constantly.Lower heat as it begins to thicken and do not stop stirring otherwise the mixture will split.
  • Add the rest of the water, mix well and bring to a boil on high flame. Once boiling, lower flame and let it cook for at least 30 minutes strring off and on
  • Meanwhile mix besan for the pakoras with just enough water to get a dropping consistancy, add salt  and beat it vigourously till it lightens in colour.Now add the rest of the masalas and the chopped ingredients
  • Heat oil in a kadai to deep fry the pakoras till it begins to smoke, lower heat
  • With a spoon gently drop small balls of the pakora batter into the hot oil and let them fry to a nice golden brown, turning once or twice with a ladle
  • Take out the pakoras and drain on a kitchen towel
  • Add pakoras to the kadhi and let it boil for 5-7 minutes
  • Pour the kadhi into a serving bowl
  • Heat the ghee in a small fry pan ,add 1/2 t sp chilli powder and curry leaves and just let it come to smoke.Pour evenly over the kadhi and stir it gently.
  • Serve with boiled rice and mango pickle
Note: you can try adding methi (fenugreek)seeds and mustard seeds in the tempering.
You can adjust the amounts of yoghurt, besan anand water according to the consistency you like.

Busy Bees????


                          NOT  A   SINGLE  VESSEL  MAKING  ANY  NOISE!!!!

    Roma's bored :((

Hungry "kya"??? Stir Fry Greens


1medium zuccini sliced medium thick
1/2 red pepper cut into 1/2" pieces
1/2 green pepper cut into 1/2"pieces
1/2 yellow pepper cut ito 1/2"pieces
2-3 baby corns halved length wise and cut into 3
1/2 carrot sliced medium thick
4-5 small florets broccoli
a few spinach/lettuce leaves or any other green of your choice
3-4 tiny shallots
1tb sp chopped onions
10 cloves of garlic chopped
11/2 t sp chopped ginger
1dry red chilli
green/ black pepper corns
2 tb sps chilli garlic sauce
2 tb sps light soya sauce
salt to taste
11/2 tb sp oil

  • heat oil in a kadai or fry pan
  • add dry red chilli broken into half
  • add chopped onions and fry a bit
  • add ginger garlic and fry without browning
  • add zuccini and stir fry for 2 minutes....should be crunchy
  • add carrots and broccoli and stir fry a minute
  • add the soya sauce and chilli garlic sauce and mix well
  • add the pepper corns and very little salt as both sauces are high on salt
  • now add the peppers and shallots
  • add 1/2 cup water and let it boil for a minute
  • add the green leaves just before taking off from heat
  • serve on noodles/spaghetti/or pasta of your choice
Note: the entire cooking process should not be more than 8-10 minutes to retain the crunch in the vegetables.While this is good as a quick snack, you will need to add some protein if you want to make a meal of it.
Vegetarians can add tofu/ paneer just before adding the greens.
Non vegetarians can add cooked chunks of chicken/ham/sausage.
Let your imagination run in the choice of ingredients.


Ipsy Tipsy Khowsuey

Khowsuey is essentially a non veg. soup had with noodles. I have cooked it often with a combination of vegetables and tofu or paneer with favouable results.Its great for impromptu get togethers and can turn an otherwise ordinary evening into one filled with fun and excitement. You can ask your friends to join in to prepare the garnishings and  The wilder your imaginations, the yummier your results will be.

This is an authentic Burmese recipe from a friend's ma in law who happened to be a Burmese.Have fun!!

1kg. chicken or (mutton)
milk extract of 2 coconuts or 4 tb sps of Maggi coconut milk powder mixed with 4 cups(600ml.) of water
2 tb. sps of besan(gram flour)
2 medium sized onions sliced fine
2 t sps ginger garlic paste
11/2 t sp corriander powder
chilli powder to taste
salt to taste
1 1/2 tb sps cooking oil

1 small bowl of finely chopped onions
1 small bowl of finely chopped spring onions with the greens
1small  bowl of finely chopped garlic fried golden brown
1small  bowl of crisp fried noodles
green chillies
chilli paste made with red chilli flakes/powder fried in oil
lime/lemon quarters
hard boiled eggs chopped if preferred
cubed or grated cheese if preferred

  • heat oil in a large pan
  • add  sliced onions, fry till golden brown
  • add ginger garlic paste and fry well
  • add the chicken pieces and fry well for atleast 10 minutes till golden brown
  • add salt  corriander powder and chilli powder
  • add 4 cups of water and cook till chicken is tender
  • dry roast the besan till the raw smell goes and blend it with 1 cup of water , make sure there are no lumps
  • pour the besan paste in a thin stream into the chiken soup, stirring all the time till the soup thickens
  • if using fresh coconut, add the 2nd extract and let it cook till its well blended..Or add the cocnut milk powder mixed with water and cook on a medium flame. Taste and adjust the seasoning or add more coconut if required
  • add the 1st extract of fresh coconut just before serving. Keep the flame low and let it heat well gently.
  • Boil noodles of your choice
  • serve noodles in deep bowls, add chicken and lots of soup topped with the garnishing of your choice
  • give it a squeeze of lemon for that added zing

For the vegetarian version you can use any strong vegetable stock like onion and garlic.Add mushrooms, broccoli, baby corn,zuccini or any other vegetable of your choice. Add tofu/ paneer/cooked soya chunks for the protein. Follow the same procedure as the non veg version.

Mushrooms in Spring

  12-15 button mshrooms
  6-8 spring onions with long green stems
  1tb sp chilli garlic sauce
  4-5 cloves of garlic chopped fine
  salt to taste
  coarsely ground black pepper to taste
  1 tb sp cooking oil

  • wash and dry mushrooms.
  • wash, trim and dry spring onions.cut the stems into1" bits and slit the bulbs into halves.
  • Heat oil in a fry pan,add the spring onions and stir fry on a high flame till no liquid remains.
  • Add garlic and mushrooms and stir fry for 2 minutes.
  • add the chilli garlic sauce along with pepper and stir fry . Do not add salt till the liquid from the mushrooms has dried up.
  • Take off from heat ,sprinkle a bit of salt and mix well.
  • The entire cooking time should not be more than 5-6 minutes so that the mushrooms do not shrink and the greens retain their colour.
  • Garnish with spring onion greens and parsley.
  • Enjoy with noodles or  on toasted bread.

Shru's Mushrooms


10-12 tiny button mushrooms
11/2 cups wiltted spinach
1tb sp finely chopped onions
1 small tomato chopped fine
1/2 tsp grated  ginger
4-5 cloves of garlic smashed
salt to taste
chilli powder to taste
3t sps  oil
2 t sps butter
2 tb sps of milk

  • Wash and trim mushrooms
  • Wash  and drain spinach leaves,put in a pan on the heat without adding any water and cover for a minute.Open the lid reduce the heat and let it wilt for a minute or two. Take it off the heat and keep aside.
  • Heat the oil in a fry pan and  gently fry the onions to a light golden brown
  • Add chopped tomatoes and fry a bit,
  • Add ginger garlic and fry till tomatos are soft
  • Add salt and chilli powder
  • Roughly chop the wilted spinach and add to the masala, cook for two three minute till  most of the liquid has dried up.Add the milk  and cook till its well blended. Should not be too dry.Keep aside.
  • Heat 2t sps of butter in a fry pan , add mushrooms and gently fry for three minutes.
  • Add the mushrooms to the spinach mixture and cook  on low heat for a further two minutes.Remove from heat before the mushrooms shrink.
  • Dig out a t spoon of the spinach, blow hard , close your eyes and taste........not good enough??Hmmmmm, add a blob of cream to the spinach.Taste the difference without adding  a single mm to your waist line.