I spotted this root like vegetable in a small town market of Karwar where its appearance attracted me. I got to know from locals that ...

Saturday, 18 November 2017


The aroma of paalak dal takes me back to my childhood memories when after getting back from school in the afternoon I would treat myself with a bowl full of such tasty dals prepared by Ma with a spoonful of ghee. Such blissful days they were….

 Paalak or spinach is popular for its health benefits. Thanks to Popeye for that. It is a widely consumed leafy vegetable in India. It is prepared in the form of sabzi, parantha, rice and snacks.

I have prepared paalak dal with tuvar dal or pigeon pea lentil. The process includes three easy steps.

Initially pressure cook lentil with paalak, then simmer and finally season it with a tempering.

Here is a key to a tasty dal. The simmering has to be done for at least eight to ten minutes.

Recipe for Paalak Dal

Ingredients for Paalak Dal

  • ¾ cup tuvar dal or pigeon pea lentil
  • 1 ½ cups paalak or spinach (chopped)
  • ½ cup onion (chopped)
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chilly powder
  • 4 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 green chillies (slit into two pieces)
  • 1 tbsp tamarind pulp
  • Salt to taste

For Tempering

  • ½ tsp mustard seeds
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds
  • 6 cloves garlic
  • ¼ tsp asafoetida
  • 2 whole red chillies (broken in two pieces)
  • 1 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)

How to make

Take the dal in a pressure cooker with two cups of water. Add onions, green chillies, red chilli powder, garlic, cumin seeds, turmeric powder and chopped paalak. Pressure cook the dal until done.

Let the pressure come down.

Use a balloon whisk or hand blender to blend the cooked dal. Add one cup of water, salt and tamarind pulp to it. Blend again.

Simmer for eight to ten minutes.

Heat ghee in a small kadhai (skillet). Add crushed garlic, asafoetida, mustard seeds, cumin seeds and red chillies.

Serve with steamed rice and papadams.


Milkshake is the best way to start your day. It is packed with energy and is filled with goodness of fruits and dry fruits. Milkshakes keep you full for a longer period of time.

In this recipe dates are used for sweetness, also it gives body to the milkshake. Apple is good for immune system and brain. It is also good for weight watchers. The given proportions are suitable for two servings.

Apple and dates milkshake is a thick milkshake. Amount of milk and dates can be adjusted according to requirement.

Recipe for Apple and Date Milkshake

Ingredients for Apple and Date Milkshake

  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup apple (peeled and diced)
  • 8 to 10 dates (seedless)
  • Walnuts for garnish

How to make

Soak the dates in lukewarm water for fifteen minutes.

Put the apple, dates and milk in a blender. Blend well to get a thick milkshake.

Garnish with chopped walnuts.

Friday, 17 November 2017


Stir frying is a cooking technique in which vegetables are cooked in a wok or a pan on high heat for few minutes. It is advisable to do all the preparations in advance as the dish may get burnt if left unattended.   Stir fried dishes are quick to make dishes. In such dishes vegetables need to retain their colour and crunch.

Stir fry dishes require comparatively more oil. To avoid oil non stick pan or skillet can be used.

Stir fried baby corn is a sweet and spicy dish which can be served as a snack as well as side dish. In case sweet soya sauce is unavailable, you can use dark soya sauce with a teaspoon of sugar as a substitute.

Recipe for Stir fried baby corn

Ingredients for Stir fried baby corn

  • 1 cup baby corn (diced)
  • ¾ cup red and yellow capsicum (diced)
  • 6 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1 green chilly (finely chopped)
  • 1 tbsp sweet soya sauce
  • 1 tbsp red chilly sauce
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste

How to make

Heat oil in a pan. Add garlic and green chilly to it.

As the garlic turns golden in colour add in the baby corn and capsicum. Saute for one minute or till the vegetables get light brown marks on them.

Add soya sauce and red chilly sauce. Taste the dish. Add salt if required.

Garnish with thinly sliced green chillies.


The fact that gujrati kadhi is always a part of gujrati thali prives its significance in gujrati cuisine.

Sindhi kadhi, Punjabi kadhi, south Indian kadhi are few different types of kadhis. Gujrati kadhi is unique because of its sweet and sour taste. The curd gives a nice tanginess and jaggery or sugar is added for sweetness.

Gujrati kadhi recipe is very simple to prepare. It is generally enjoyed with gujrati khichdi. The combination of flavourful kadhi with simple khichdi is a perfect balance of flavours.

Gujarati cuisine has quite a few variations of their khichdi like masala khichdi, vegetable khichdi.

Here I have a basic dhuli moong dal and chawal ki khichdi. Dhuli moong dal can be replaced with whole moong dal, it tastes equally good, also enhances the nutrional value of khichdi.

Recipe of Gujrati Kadhi with Khichdi

Ingredients for Gujrati Kadhi

  • 1 cup yogurt (dahi )
  • 2 tbsp gram flour ( besan )
  • ½ inch ginger
  • 3 green chillies
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 ½ cup water
  • Salt to taste

Ingredients for Tempering

  • 2 whole dry red chillies( broken in 2 or 3 pieces)
  • ¼ tsp mustard seeds
  • ¼ tsp cumin seeds
  • ¼ tsp asafetida
  • 4 curry leaves
  • 2 tbsp oil

How to make Kadhi

Make a paste for ginger and green chillies.

In a mixing bowl mix the curd, besan and ginger- chilli paste . Beat until the mixture is smooth and shiny without any lumps.

Add water and mix well.

Transfer the curd mixture in a pan. Put the pan on medium heat stirring continuously until it comes to a boil. Stirring at this stage is important as besan tends to sit down.

Simmer for five minutes. Add salt and sugar.

Heat oil in a small skillet for tempering.

Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, red chillies,, curry leaves and asafoetida.

When mustards seeds begin to crackle, remove from heat and pour it on the kadhi. Also remove the kadhi from heat.

Serve with piping hot khichdi or plain rice.

Ingredients for Khichdi

  • ½ cup split green gram (without skin) or dhuli moong dal
  • ½ cup rice
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida
  • 4 cloves
  • ½ inch cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ghee
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 2 tsp clarified butter or ghee

How to make Khichdi

Soak dal and rice together for half an hour.

Heat ghee in a pressure cooker. Keep the heat at medium.

Add cloves and cinnamon stick to it.

As cloves and cinnamon releases its aroma add the asafoetida followed by the soaked dal and rice.

Add the turmeric powder and salt.

Also add water and pressure cook until done.

Enjoy with kadhi, plain curd or mango pickle.


Soup is generally served before meals. It can be eaten as a meal in itself. It keeps you full for some time.

Soup is nothing but a broth made from variety of vegetables. It is a bowl packed with nutrients.

Spring onions give benefit of both onions and greens. They are rich in vitamin A, C and K. They are close relatives of shallots, garlic, leek and chive.

Spring onion soup is mild in taste. If you intend to keep it light then replace butter with olive oil and avoid cream completely in the recipe. Amount of water in the recipe can be adjusted according to the consistency required.

Recipe for Spring onion soup

Ingredients for Spring onion soup

  • 1 cup spring onion with leaves  (chopped)
  • 2 cloves garlic (chopped)
  • 1 small boiled potato (diced)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp low fat butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • A pinch for dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp fresh cream for garnishing

How to make

Melt the butter and olive oil in a sauce pan.

Add the onions, garlic and thyme to it. Cook for two minutes until the greens wilt. Do not overcook as you may lose its fresh green colour.

Put onion, garlic and thyme mixture in a blender. Add boiled potatoes and water to it. Lend to get a light green homogeneous mixture.

Transfer the contents back to the sauce pan. Bring it to a boil. Simmer for five minutes.

Season salt and pepper. Garnish with fresh cream before serving.