Monthly Archives: March 2014

Stuffed Chilli Pakoras



If it rains, then the first food that comes to the mind is pakoras, and Chai (tea) to go with them. Unseasonal rains resulted in me ending up making the chilli pakoras and they got served as the dinner menu. It’s always good to eat something different for dinner once in a while!


Long green chilli- 4


Potato- 1 Big (Boiled)

Onion-1 Small

Gram Flour (Besan)-1bowl/cup

Carom Seed (Ajwain)-1/2 tsp

Oil- For frying

Salt/ Turmeric/ Chat masala/ Cumin/ Coriander- As per taste.

Bicarbonate of soda- 1 g (one pinch)







  1. Wash and pat dry the green chillies on a kitchen towel.
  2. Slit the chillies and remove all the seeds, and apply lemon juice on the inside.
  3. Mash the boiled potato and add the ingredients-finely chopped onion, green coriander leaves, salt, turmeric, cumin, chat masala and mix it to make a filling for the chilli.
  4. Fill the potato mixture inside each chilli.
  5. Take 1 cup/bowl of gram flour (besan) in a bowl, add salt, turmeric, and water to make a batter of medium thickness. Add 1 pinch of Bicarbonate of soda to this batter and mix well.
  6. Heat oil in a karahi.
  7. Dip the chilli in the besan batter and deep fry on medium flame. Fry the chilli till they are cooked and crispy in appearance.

SERVING OPTION: Serve the hot bhajias with tomato sauce or green chutney.

I enjoyed them for dinner with buttered baguette, hummus and mint chutney. Enjoy!!!!IMG_8066



Feta Cheese and Spinach Calzones

IMG_7472Pizza loving people like me and my family can never say no to a Calzone, the folded form of a pizza. The first time I saw Calzone mentioned was in the menu card in Pizza Hut. Anything that I like has to be compulsorily cooked in my kitchen, obviously it has to be as per my specification and taste. Thus the seed for Calzone making was planted in my mind.

One afternoon, my son’s friends were home for a school assignment, I made these feta cheese calzones as snacks for them and they turned out to be an instant hit with the kids. From then onwards it is a baking dish that the kids look forward to. After writing the homemade pizza post, this recipe has to follow. Surprisingly it is not a very difficult dish to make, but does need some planning in advance for the dough making. I use the pizza base dough for making the Calzone. The filling can vary according to our taste and preference. I like to make it using feta cheese and spinach. Feta cheese is the brined salty crumbly cheese which perfectly goes with boiled/steamed spinach. As the cheese itself is salty, no seasoning is required in the mixture. Let’s get making the yummy Calzones.



Refined flour(Maida)- 3 cups (300g apprx), Active dry yeast: 5-7 g (1 tsp heaped), Water: 30 ml (lukewarm), Sugar : 10 g(2 tsp), a pinch of salt, Oil: 2 tbsp Olive oil.


Mix salt to the refined flour. Take water in a bowl and heat to make it lukewarm and dissolve the sugar in it. Add the active dry yeast to this bowl of water. Cover the bowl and keep aside to let the yeast dissolve and the liquid to become foamy.

Take 3 cups/bowl of refined flour in a big bowl. Mix the foamy liquid of yeast with the flour. Add 2 tbsp olive oil to the flour. Mix the flour, and form a soft sticky dough of the flour. Knead the dough and place it in an oiled bowl and cover with a plastic wrap/cling and keep aside for 45-60 min approximately or till the dough rises to double its size. Knead the dough again for couple minutes to make it soft. This soft dough is used to make the calzone. (Check the homemade pizza post for detailed pictures.)


Feta cheese- 100 g IMG_7974

Spinach- 150-250 g

I steam the spinach in my rice cooker for couple minutes instead of boiling the leaves in water. This retains the dense green colour of the leaves and also the nutrients and vitamins. For this little quantity of spinach 2-3 min of steaming is enough.


  1. Preheat the oven to 220 C.
  2. Take a small portion of the pizza base dough, make a ball and roll it to form a circular base for filling the feta cheese mixture. Try not to roll the base too thick, it tastes better with a medium thin coat.
  3. Place the filling -mixture of crumbled feta cheese and roughly chopped spinach. Close the ends using water or milk to seal. I used a mould to get small perfectly shaped calzones.
  4. Brush the top with egg wash or milk, it gives a nice shine to the top coat. (I have used egg)
  5. Bake the calzone in a pre- heated oven at 220 C for 20-25 min or till they are evenly baked on both sides. After 10 minutes of putting them in the oven, turn them over to ensure both sides are evenly cooked.



If you have reached reading till the end, I am sure you would agree with me that it is a very easy recipe. Go ahead and try it out and find out if your family loves it as much as my kids love it.

Serving  Tip: Serve these yummy calzones with hot green chilli sauce or Tabasco sauce.


Homemade Pizza


Pizza, a food loved by almost all family members, young and old. This was my dad’s favourite too, he always looked forward to eating this at home. The early or first pizza preparation done during my growing up days at my parents house was using a readymade pizza base, but not any more. Though the readymade base seems an easier option, but baking the base at home is also easy, though it needs a bit of planning ahead. As the base uses yeast, so it needs some time before we can put the dough in the oven.

Use of fresh ingredients makes pizza eating an experience in itself. The freshly baked pizzas eaten in Italy were the most cherished moments of that vacation. But I am yet to master the pizza base flipping in air done by the pizza chefs that I witnessed in Italy. Baking it fresh at home for dinner becomes a meal that is looked forward to by my pizza loving family. The best part of the home baked pizza is that each family member’s pizza topping specification is met. The thickness and crustiness of the base can also be done to one’s own preference. The tomato sauce is perfect to my taste, a bit of chilli and garlicky taste. The toppings choice could be endless depending upon our taste. In this post I have used both chicken, that was sautéed and cooked with spices to make it taste tandoori style, and also used only bell peppers and onion in the vegetable style pizza. Let’s start noting the ingredients and method to start with baking the pizza base.



Refined flour(Maida)- 4 cups (400-450g apprx), Active dry yeast: 10 g (2 tsp), Water: 50 ml (lukewarm), Sugar : 15 g(1 tbsp), a pinch of salt, Oil: 2-3 tbsp Olive oil( any oil would do, but best is olive).


Mix salt to the refined flour. Take water in a bowl and heat to make it lukewarm and dissolve the sugar in it. Add the active dry yeast to this bowl of water. Cover the bowl and keep aside to let the yeast dissolve and the liquid to become foamy.

IMG_7775IMG_7777IMG_7618Take 4 cups/bowl of refined flour in a big bowl. Mix the foamy liquid of yeast with the flour. Add 2 tbsp olive oil to the flour. Mix the flour and form a soft sticky dough of the flour. Knead the dough and place it in an oiled bowl and cover with a plastic wrap/cling and keep aside for 45-60 min approximately or till the dough rises to double i’ts size. Knead the dough again for couple minutes to make it soft. This soft dough is used to make the base of the pizza.

Let’s make the tomato sauce for the pizza.


INGREDIENTS: Ripe red tomatoes-3 nos (blanched), Long red chilli-1, Garlic cloves- 2-3, Onion-1 small.

METHOD: Boil water in a pot and add the tomatoes (give it a cut) to it. As the tomato skin gets torn, remove the tomatoes from the water and peel out the skin. Chop these blanched tomatoes roughly, chop the chilli, onion and garlic and grind to a smooth sauce consistency. Add red chilli powder if a more hot sauce is desired and salt as per requirement.


INGREDIENTS: Chicken-250-350 g (Sautéed in little oil with spices, red chilli powder and salt to get tandoori flavour), Bell peppers, olives, shredded mozzarella cheese, and dried oregano.

Prepare and keep the toppings ready as shown in the picture.


Preheat the oven to 220-230 deg C.

IMG_7323Take some portion of the pizza dough, form a ball, and using extra flour roll the dough ball to make a circle of desired thickness, but make sure not to make it too thin. Using a baking tray, bake this circular pizza base at 220 deg C in a preheated oven for 10 min. Remove the tray from the oven and top the base of the pizza with the freshly made tomato sauce, and all the required toppings- the bell peppers, onion slices, olives, tandoori chicken, mozzarella cheese and sprinkle the oregano herb on top. Insert the tray with the pizza  into the oven again and bake till done, cheese melted and the base is crusty. Remove from oven and cut into slices and serve hot. The snaps show both the veg pizza and also the chicken pizza. Go ahead give it a try and enjoy the home baked pizza meal. Though it would seem a time consuming recipe, but once you do it, it turns out a very easy recipe.


Do give it a try and find out how the experience turns out for you and your family. Enjoy!!!


I used a pie dish to make the chicken pizza. Roll over the circular base to the pie dish and press the edges and bake.

Mushrooms, broccoli, corn etc can also be added to the vegetable pizza, the choice is endless.

Whole wheat flour could also be used along with refined flour, but the taste is little different.


Mutton Chops


Mutton chops coated with herbs and boiled mashed potato, a dish that was first tasted during childhood. I relished only the outer potato coating then, and this hasn’t changed even today. My elder brother had first bought these home from an eatery that was famous for its mutton chops in our hometown. Today, I make them in my kitchen, according to my taste, and the family loves this preparation. It is an easy dish, but needs slow cooking and hence lots of patience before one can finally put them in the mouth and relish. Slow cooking ensures the meat is cooked completely. The potato coating holds all the juices coming out of the marinated chops when they are being cooked.

Mutton Chops: (Recipe for 4 chops)

Ingredients: Mutton chops- 4 (cleaned, washed, and dried on paper tissue to remove water)

Green chillies-2 nos.

Garlic- 4 cloves

Cumin seeds- 2 Tsp

Herbs-Coriander and Mint

Red chilli powder/salt/turmeric- As per taste.

Potato- 2 Big size (Boiled and mashed)

Breadcrumbs- 1Bowl (approximately 2-3 large dried bread slices)

Oil- 2 Tbsp


  1. Boil the potatoes and mash them.
  2. Grind the chilli, garlic, herbs, and cumin to fine paste.
  3. Apply the ground green masala and seasonings to the chops and let them stand for 30 min for marinating.
  4. Mix some of the ground green paste with the mashed potatoes and season it with salt.
  5. Take some of the mashed potato and coat the marinated chop so that it is completely covered with potato.
  6. Coat the potato coated chops with breadcrumbs. Firmly press with hands so that the potato and breadcrumbs tightly hold the marinated chop. If this coating is loose then it might break in the pan.
  7. Heat pan with oil and cook the coated mutton chops.
  8. Cooking should be done on a slow gas flame, turning the chops on all sides so that even cooking is possible.

The pictures below will illustrate how to make the chops. Go ahead, try making them and do share your experience with me.






When the supermarket visits make us see something unusual, a fruit or vegetable that was never tasted or seen, imagine the curiosity attached with it. This was the case with me when I had first seen Mangosteen a couple years ago. I had then decided to buy and check out how the fruit was from inside and see how it tasted. I was glad I did that. If it is available in markets near you, go ahead and give yourself the experience of tasting it at least once to find out the taste for yourself.

Mangosteen is a tropical fruit, native to Southeast Asia. The fruit is hard and quite big, but the edible part is very small. Opening up the outer cover springs a surprise at us. The outer covering protects a small soft, delicate pearly white part which is the edible portion of the fruit. This is so wonderfully arranged, each segment, it’s a joy to the sight. The fruit is delicate and melts in the mouth and has a sweet and tangy taste.


Baked Thalipeeth with Spicy Tomato Chutney, my alternative for a Pizza Dinner.


Most of us are fond of eating pizza, I am no exception. Pizza is something the kids would never say no and possible would eat almost regularly, every day, only if I allowed it. When the mood is for eating pizza, but to avoid the frequent intake of refined wheat flour and yeast to make the pizza base, for those evenings this is my quick menu to satiate the pizza hungry kids. My mother used to make something similar to this recipe but used the regular gas stove for cooking, but I baked it and the family was happy with the final product. It does not take very long time for making this recipe, except for the baking time.

Thalipeeth: Thalipeeth is a type of flat bread, a dish from Maharashtra state in India. Though typically it is made of multigrain flour mix, but for today’s dish I am using only wheat flour as the main ingredient.  It is mixed with onions, spring onions, green chillies, seasoned to personal taste and baked to get the desired crunch and crispy taste. An extremely spicy tomato dip/chutney is served along with it.

Ingredients For Thalipeeth:

Whole Wheat flour-3 cups (300-350g)

Oil: 3 Tbsp

Onion: 1 large (finely chopped)

Spring onions: 1 cup (finely chopped)

Green chillies: 3-4 Medium sized (finely chopped)

Green Coriander: 1-2 Tbsp (finely chopped)

Carom seeds: 1 Tsp. (Ajwain)

Flaxseed: 1 Tbsp (I use it, its a good source of fibre and omega-3 essential fatty acid)

Sesame seeds: 1 Tbsp

Salt: To taste

Turmeric powder: 1/2 Tsp.

Curd: 2 Tbsp

Baking powder: 1/2 Tsp

Water: As required to make a medium soft dough.


  1. Preheat oven to 180C/160C fan assisted. Grease a square baking tin, I used a brownie baking tin.
  2. Sift the wheat flour and baking powder together.
  3. Take a clean, dry bowl and add the sifted wheat flour. To it add the finely chopped onions, spring onions, chillies, coriander,  the three types of seeds mentioned above, salt, turmeric and curd.
  4. Mix all the ingredients of the bowl thoroughly. Add 2 tbsp oil to it and mix well.
  5. Using the required quantity of water make a medium soft dough and knead well.
  6. Taking the greased baking tin firmly press the dough inside the tin. Press with fingers to get even thickness on all sides.
  7. Brush the top of the dough with oil and drop few drops along the walls of the tin.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for 25-35 minutes or till we get golden brown crust.















One can enjoy this dish with chilli sauce or a curd dip, but I prefer the tomato dip. Recipe of the tomato dip follows.

Spicy Tomato Chutney/Dip:


Ripe red tomatoes- 2 Large

Onion-1 small

Green chillies- 2-3 (spicy variety)

Garlic-2 cloves

Salt/ red chilli powder/ turmeric- As per taste.

Oil- 1-2 tsp.

Mustard seeds- for seasoning


  1. Heat oil in pan and add the mustard seeds, chopped green chillies, garlic and onion. Sauté till they are soft.
  2. Then add the red chilli powder, turmeric, and salt.
  3. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook till done.
  4. Remove from heat into a bowl and cool.
  5. Blend this in blender to get the smooth dip.

Tip: If one does not wish to use a blender, then you can add a little water to the tomatoes and cook them to a very soft and saucy consistency.