Thursday, December 11, 2008


Exotic Diabetic Cooking

Millions of people worldwide live with the word "diabetes" marring their daily routines – treating it with a dread undeserved for a health condition that merely requires a good understanding and relevant adjustments in lifestyle.

In general, a healthy lifestyle includes nutritious food, maintaining an ideal weight, and being physically active. Not surprisingly, healthy eating is an important part of managing diabetes too. Unfortunately, most people translate this to mean abstinence from all their favourite foods, and living on a bare diet – where sweets, traditional treats and international cuisines barely find a place. Why, it is piteous that hosts hardly bother to serve diabetic-friendly treats even at parties! While it is important for diabetics to control their diet to maintain a healthy blood glucose level, this certainly does not mean that one should feel guilty at the very thought of exotic food or delicacies from Mexican, Italian, Continental, and such cuisines.

Exotic Diabetic Cooking” is a cookbook that shows you how to prepare diabetic-friendly versions of luscious, exotic foods such as Vegetable Tortilla Soup, Antipasto Duo, Phadthai Noodles, Momos, Dates and Apple Kheer, etc, in your own home. This cluster of 80 interesting and nutritious recipes from different cuisines viz. Indian, Chinese, Mexican, Thai, Italian and Continental, is sure to make the task of cooking as delightful as the resulting food. Not only are these recipes simple to follow, they are also made using ingredients that are readily available in a regular kitchen. The end result is healthy food that is so delicious that non-diabetic members of the family will also enjoy it, thus doing away with the need to prepare 'special' food for a diabetic person. What’s more, to help you to monitor the calorie intake, a crucial aspect of diabetic care, every recipe is supplemented with information regarding its protein, fat and carbohydrate content, the total calories per serving.

We have used certain ingredients like sugar, rice noodles etc, which are usually forbidden for diabetics, in restricted, healthy amounts in order to ensure that the dishes remain delicious and authentic, even while being healthy. That said, I would recommend that such recipes be relished only occasionally and within the suggested serving quantity. Remember that these recipes are formulated only to satisfy your craving for exotic dishes, which you would otherwise abstain from owing to their high calorie content. So, these cannot be substituted for your regular diet – they are merely occasional treats that enable you to relish all your favourites in moderate amounts without compromising on taste and health.

So, here you go – a collection of diabetic-friendly recipes befitting a feast! Enjoy yourself, but also remember that food is only a part of healthy living; fortify that with a beautiful mind and a positive mindset, and tiredness and illness can always be kept at bay! nor over-indulgence will work!

Mexican Kodri

Mexican Kodri

Very similar in taste to Mexican rice but healthier, kodri can be used for an unlimited variety of recipes – Mexican, Indian and others.

Preparation time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 10 minutes. Serves 4.

½ cup kodri
2 to 3 cloves garlic (lehsun), peeled and roughly chopped
2 tsp dry red chilli flakes
2 tsp oil
½ cup finely chopped spring onion with the greens
½ cup chopped coloured capsicum (red, yellow and green)
½ cup soaked and cooked rajma (kidney beans)
Salt to taste
2 tbsp finely chopped spring onion greens for the garnish

1.Clean, wash and soak the kodri for 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and keep aside.
2.Boil a vesselful of water, when the water starts boiling add the kodri and ½ tsp oil and simmer for 10 to 12 minutes or till the kodri gets cooked. Drain, refresh using cold water and keep aside.
3.Mix the garlic and red chilli flakes together in a mortar-pestle and pound till smooth. Keep aside.
4.Heat the oil in a non-stick kadhai, add the garlic and chilli paste and sauté for a minute while stirring continuously.
5.Add the onions and capsicum and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
6.Add the rajma and salt, mix well and cook for a minute.
7.Add the kodri, mix well and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes while stirring continuously.
Serve hot garnished with spring onion greens.

Handy tip:
·½ cup raw kodri when cooked in enough water, yields 2½ cups of cooked kodri.
·If kodriis not easily available, use daliainstead of kodri.

Nutritive values per serving
Energy: 106 calories
Protein: 3.3 gm
Carbohydrates: 16.6 gm
Fat: 2.8 gm
Vitamin C: 24.5 mg
Calcium: 28.6 mg
Folic acid: 2.2 mcg

Grape Surprise

Fruits contain fruit sugar or ‘fructose’ which does not raise blood sugar levels unlike other form of sugar like table sugar, glucose, honey etc. Any form of added sugar in fruit juices or fruit milkshakes can increase your blood sugar levels; so it is better to always buy fully-ripe and sweet fruits to avoid adding any sugar or sugar substitute. Besides this, grapes are also rich in antioxidants, cancer-fighting flavonoids and vitamin C.

Preparation Time: A few minutes. Cooking time : Nil. Makes 4 glasses.

½ cup fresh black grapes juice
¾ cup finely chopped apples
1 cup finely chopped orange segments
4 tsp sugar substitute
2 tsp lemon juice
2 bottles soda

1.Combine the grape juice, apples, oranges, sugar substitute and lemon juice in a mixer and blend till smooth.
2.Divide the mixture equally into 4 individual glasses.
3.Pour ½ bottle of soda over it in each glass.
Serve immediately.

Nutritive values per glass
Energy: 85 calories
Protein: 0.7 gm
Carbohydrates: 19.6 gm
Fat: 0.4 gm
Vitamin C: 15.0 mg
Fibre: 2.4 gm

Lettuce wraps

Lettuce Wraps

This recipe goes to prove that healthy food can also be fun and interesting! Veggies are stuffed in small lettuce squares that are rolled up to make wraps.

Preparation time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 15 minutes. Makes 6 wraps.

For the stuffing
2 tsp oil
2 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 tsp finely chopped galangal/ ginger
¼ cup chopped spring onions with the greens
¼ cup chopped mushrooms (khumbh)
¼ cup finely chopped carrots
¼ cup finely chopped cabbage
¼ cup chopped bean sprouts
¼ cup chopped tofu (bean curd/ soya paneer)
½ tsp lemon juice
1 tsp soya sauce
Salt to taste
¼ tsp dry red chilli flakes (paprika)

Other ingredients
6 lettuce leaves
2 tbsp peanuts, roasted and coarsely ground
2 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil leaves for serving

For the stuffing
1.Heat the oil in a non-stick kadhai, add the garlic, ginger and onions and sauté till the onions turn translucent.
2.Add the mushrooms, carrots and cabbage, mix well and sauté for 2 to 3 minutes.
3.Add the bean sprouts, tofu, lemon juice, soya sauce, salt and red chilli flakes, mix gently and cook for another minute.
4.Divide the stuffing into 6 equal portions and keep aside.

How to proceed
1.Wash the lettuce leaves, dry them on a towel and keep aside.
2.Place a lettuce leaf on a clean, flat surface and place a portion of the stuffing along one side of the leaf.
3.Add ½ tsp of peanuts and ½ tsp of basil over the stuffing, roll it up gently and secure the roll by inserting a toothpick or tie using a spring onion green.
4.Repeat with the remaining ingredients to make 11 more wraps.
Serve immediately.

Nutritive values per wrap
Energy: 36 calories
Protein: 1.8 gm
Carbohydrates: 2.6 gm
Fat: 2.2 gm
Calcium: 36.2 mg
Iron: 1.2 mg

Methi Dhal Koshimbir

Methi Dal Koshimbir

This is a special snack recommended for diabetics, as methi has soluble fibres that help in regulating blood glucose levels and also expel extra cholesterol from the body. To mellow down the taste of methi, which everybody may not relish, I have added moong dal, cucumber and sugar (just ½ tsp though!) You can also add pomegranate seeds and tomatoes to vary the taste.

Preparation time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: Nil. Serves 4.
Soaking time: 2 to 3 hours.

1 cup green moong dal (split green gram)
1 cup finely chopped tender small fenugreek (methi) leaves with the stalks
2 green chillies, slit
½ cup grated cucumber
1 tbsp lemon juice
Salt to taste
½ tsp sugar

For the garnish
1 tbsp chopped coconut
3 tbsp finely chopped coriander (dhania)

1.Clean, wash and soak the moong dal in enough water for atleast 2 to 3 hours. Drain and discard the excess water.
2.Combine the moong dal along with 2 cups of water in a deep pan and cook over a medium flame for 10 to 12 minutes or till the dal is cooked. Drain and keep aside to cool.
3.Add the fenugreek leaves, green chillies, cucumber, lemon juice, salt and sugar and toss well.
Serve immediately garnished with coconut and coriander.

Nutritive values per serving
Energy: 156 calories
Protein: 9.9 gm
Carbohydrates: 25.2 gm
Fat: 1.8 gm
Iron: 1.8 mg
Folic acid: 56.3 mcg
Zinc: 1.1 mg

Coffee And_Walnut Mousse

Coffee and Walnut Mousse

Desserts no longer feature in the list of forbidden treats for diabetics. Here is an innovative way to dig into a spoonful of your favourite dessert, without being ridden by guilt! Reish this mousse made with China grass and low fat milk, flavoured with cocoa, coffee and walnuts. Remember, however, ambrosia too should be limited to a small portion!

Preparation Time: 5 minutes. Cooking Time: 15 minutes. Serves 4.

4 cups low fat milk (99.7% fat-free milk readily available in the market)
10 grams (1 packet) unflavoured china grass (agar-agar), cut into small pieces
2 tbsp sugar substitute
3 tbsp cocoa powder dissolved in 2 tbsp low fat milk
2 tsp coffee powder dissolved in 2 tbsp warm water
1 tbsp low fat cream

1.Combine 1½ cups of water with agar-agar in a non-stick pan and cook over a slow flame till it dissolves completely, while stirring continuously. Keep aside.
2.Strain the mixture through a muslin cloth and keep aside.
3.In the same pan boil the milk, add the agar-agar, sugar substitute, cocoa powder, mix well and simmer over a slow flame for 5 to 7 minutes, while stirring continuously.
4.Remove from the flame, when cool, add the cream and mix well.
5.Divide the mixture into 4 equal portions and pour each into 4 long stemmed glasses.
6.Refrigerate for 4 to 6 hours or till the mousse has set.
Serve chilled.

Nutritive values per serving
Energy: 123 calories
Protein: 8.5 gm
Carbohydrates: 11.3 gm
Fat: 5.0 gm
Calcium: 318.8 mg

To buy this book or other books simply click diabetes collection

Saturday, November 01, 2008


Here's my wonderful research team...whose efforts and hardwork has been just as important as my creative inputs.
Tarla Dalal and Team
let me introduce them to you..(starting from my left)is my nutritionist and senior research team-Mrs.Sapna Kamdar, junior nutritionist-Mrs.Tirtha Gala, research team- Ms.Preetha Srinivasan, senior nutritionist and senior research team-Mrs.Nisha Katira, (and to my right) research team- Mrs. Brinda Mehta and assistant editor (Cooking and More)- Ms.Nivedita Nair.

along with Membership & Online Purchase assistance team-Mrs.Jharna Patel and Mr.Ravindra Gawade, Accounts- Mr.Vaihav Ghatge and Marketing-Mr.Rajesh Pandey
and others Mr.Ramesh Devadiga, Mr.Subramaniam Pujari, Mr.Devendra Pujari, Mr.Eillas D'Souza, Mr.Shashikant whose valuable contribion count as much.

Happy and healthy cooking!

Saturday, October 25, 2008


Who is Golgappu? No, we are not referring to golgappas here – we are talking about a chubby five-year -boy who is full of questions on how his favourite dishes are made! The Golgappu "Farm to Table" and "How to Make" series of children’s educational and informative storybooks by Mrs. Tarla Dalal was recently launched in Mumbai. Targeted at children between the ages of 2 and 7, the books are a fun way to teach kids about food, how it grows, and how things we eat everyday are made. Through simple, colourfully illustrated stories about the lovable Golgappu and his family, the books introduce children to science and maths skills, and help cultivate healthy eating habits.

The launch at Crosswords attracted loads of curious children and their equally interested moms. The event began with a story reading session from one the books - Golgappu Makes a Pizza, and the kids listened to the story with rapt attention. They participated in the question and answer session with enthusiasm, and were able to recount how a pizza was made! Said a child, “Take pizza bread, spread some sauce on it, put the toppings over it, sprinkle the cheese, bake it, slice it, and eat it. So easy!”

After the story reading session the kids moved to the activity corner and made a paper pizza. They imprinted onion, mushroom and tomato prints on circles of paper, rolled on some sauce with red paint, sprinkled some shredded yellow paper cheese and crumpled green olives, and placed the finished pizza on a paper plate with glee. “Yummy, mummy,” exclaimed an excited four-year-old. “This is fun. Let’s go home and make pizzas today with Golgappu.” To round off the event the kids were treated to delectable mini pizzas.

Other books in the series include Golgappu Makes French Fries, Golgappu Makes Ice Cream, and Golgappu Makes Orange Juice. Each book also has recipes that go with the theme of the book, and mothers and children can spend happy moments learning about different foods. The books are available at leading bookstores so introduce your kids to Golgappu soon! Coming soon are Golgappu Makes Tomato Soup, Golgappu Makes A Dosa, Golgappu Makes Popcorn, Golgappu Makes A Cake, Golgappu Makes Fruit Salad, and Golgappu Makes Vitamin Bhel.

The books will make a great gift for the festive season…not only are they informative, they are entertaining too!

Thursday, September 25, 2008


‘Baked Dish’ – This very term reminds us of continental cuisine. There is no denying that it is a very “Western” concept, but it has started making headway into Indian homes and that too at breakneck speed. The reason for the growing popularity of baked dishes could be attributed among other things to the excitement-seeking palates of today’s youngsters, or to their desire to cook exotic dishes quickly and easily!

I know that the word ‘bake’ would immediately have conjured up the image of aromatic cakes, cookies, breads and pies, which delight the sweet tooth, but I have broken away from the stereotype and focused on savoury meal-time baked dishes, which involve everyday bakes, quick bakes, party fare, and quiches and pies.

I am sure you would have encountered the common baked dishes such as Vegetable Au Gratin and Baked Macaroni sometime in your life. Exciting though they are, the repertoire of baked dishes is in no way limited to these. Different cuisines have their own versions of bakes dishes. For example, the Mexicans have enchiladas, Italians have lasagne, and the French have the famous au gratin!

Here, I have recorded a lot of traditional all-time favourite recipes and presented various new recipes. Hope you enjoy this latest offering of mine, and may you bake your way to everybody’s heart, through their stomach!

Minty Baked Potatoes

Preparation Time: 10 minutes. Cooking Time: Nil. Serves 4.
Baking Temperature: 200C (400F). Baking Time: 30 minutes.

For the baked potatoes
4 large parboiled potatoes
Oil for brushing
Salt to taste

To be mixed into a corn filling
¾ cup boiled American corn
½ cup grated cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

For the mint sauce
½ cup cream
2 tbsp curds (dahi)
4 tbsp mint leaves (phudina)
Salt and pepper to taste

Other ingredients
¼ cup grated mozzarella cheese

For the baked potatoes
1.Brush the potatoes with oil. Sprinkle with salt.
2.Wrap in an aluminium foil and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200°C (400°F) for 10 minutes.
3.Cool slightly and cut each baked potato horizontally into two halves.
4.Scoop the potatoes from the insides to make a hollow. Keep aside.
For the mint sauce
1.Beat the cream until thick.
2.Add the curds, mint leaves, salt and pepper and mix well. Keep aside.

How to proceed
1.Fill each potato half with 2 tbsp of the corn filling.
2.Place the potato halves in a greased baking dish and pour 1½ tbsp of the mint sauce on each halve evenly.
3.Sprinkle cheese on top and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200C (400F) for 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Baked Mushroom Macaroni


Preparation Time: 10 minutes. Cooking Time: 20 minutes. Serves 4
Baking Temperature: 200C (400F) Baking Time: 15 minutes

2 cups boiled macaroni

For the vegetable layer
½ cup chopped onions
1 cup chopped coloured capsicum (red and yellow)
1 cup chopped tomatoes
1 cup sliced mushrooms (khumbh)
2 tbsp oregano
2 tbsp chopped olives
2 tbsp butter
Salt and pepper to taste

To be mixed for the mushroom sauce
¼ cup readymade mushroom soup powder
1½ cup water

Other ingredients
¼ cup grated mozzarella cheese
Butter for greasing

For the vegetable layer
1.Heat the butter in a pan, add the onions and sauté till they turn translucent.
2.Add the capsicum, tomatoes and mushrooms and sauté for another 2 minutes.
3.Add the oregano, olives, salt, pepper and mix well. Keep aside.

How to proceed
1.Arrange the macaroni on the bottom of a greased baking dish.
2.Spread the vegetable layer on top of the pasta, and pour the mushroom sauce on top.
3.Sprinkle cheese on top and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200C (400F) for 10 minutes. Serve hot.

Mediterranean Vegetable Pie


Preparation Time: 20 minutes. Cooking Time: 40 minutes. Makes 1 pie (6”).
Baking Temperature: 200°C (400°F). Baking Time: 20 to 40 minutes.

¼ cup basic tomato sauce, given below
¼ cup grated mozzarella cheese

For the short crust pastry {makes 1 pastry (6”)}
¾ cup plain flour (maida)
¼ cup butter
2 pinches salt

For the topping
½ cup sliced brinjal (baingan / eggplant)
½ cup sliced yellow capsicum
¼ cup sun dried tomatoes
1 tsp finely chopped garlic (lehsun)
2 tsp oil
Salt and pepper to taste

For the short crust pastry
1.Sieve the flour. Add the butter and salt and rub in with your fingertips.
2.Add about 1 tbsp of ice-cold water to make a dough
3.Roll out the dough to about 3 mm. thickness.
4.Arrange the rolled out dough in a greased 150 mm. (6”) diameter pie dish.
5.Press the dough into pie dish and prick with a fork on the bottom and sides.
6.Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200°C (400°F) for 15 minutes.
7.Do not remove from pie dish. Use as required.

For the topping
1.Heat the oil in a pan, add the garlic and sauté for ½ minute.
2.Add the brinjal and yellow capsicum and sundried tomatoes and cook till half done.
3.Add the salt and pepper, mix well and keep aside.

How to proceed
1.Spread the basic tomato sauce over the short crust pastry.
2.Arrange the brinjal, yellow capsicum and sundried tomatoes on 1/3 part of the pastry individually.
3.Sprinkle cheese on top and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200C (400F) for 10 to 15 minutes.

Baked Pasta Shells


Preparation time: 25 minutes. Cooking Time: Nil. Serves 4.
Baking Temperature: 200C (400F). Baking Time: 15 minutes.

12 boiled big shell pasta
1½ cups basic tomato sauce, given below
Salt and pepper to taste

To be combined as a filling
1 cup grated paneer (cottage cheese)
1 cup blanched and chopped spinach (palak)
Salt and pepper to taste

Other ingredients
¼ cup grated mozzarella cheese
Butter for greasing

1.Place each shell pasta on a 200 mm. (8") diameter greased baking dish.
2.Fill each shell pasta with 2 tbsp of the mixture.
3.Pour the tomato sauce on top of the shell pastas evenly.
4.Sprinkle cheese on top and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200C (400F) for 10 minutes. Serve hot.


Preparation Time: 10 minutes. Cooking Time: 20 minutes. Makes approx. 1 cup.

4 large tomatoes
1 cup finely chopped onions
2 tsp finely chopped garlic
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tbsp cream
1 tsp oregano
1 tbsp olive oil
Salt to taste

1.Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water.
2.Peel, cut into quarters and deseed the tomatoes.
3.Chop them finely and keep the tomato pulp aside.
4.Heat the oil in a pan, add the onions and garlic sauté for 3 to 4 minutes.
5.Add the tomatoes, tomato ketchup and salt and sauté for 4 to 5 minutes until the sauce thickens.
6.Add the cream and oregano and mix well.
7.Use as required.

Handy Tip: You can make the sauce in advance in large quantities by multiplying the above recipe and refrigerate until required.

Thursday, August 14, 2008


The microwave oven has revolutionized the way we cook. The fast cooking, fast clean up qualities of microwave cooking fit right into the life styles of today’s busy homemakers. Little wonder then that microwave ovens have now earned a place in thousands of Indian homes. So what is it that makes microwave cooking so special? First, of course, is the speed with which it heats and cooks food. So you cut down on cooking time and seal in the freshness as well.

Microwave cooking also tends to be low-fat and hence is good for calorie watchers. Finally, as you will learn from your own experience, the microwave oven provides a host of new shortcuts and problem solvers for chores such as roasting papads, blanching and steaming vegetables, making popcorn etc. Soggy and soft namkeens and nuts become crisp on microwaving for only a minute.

You will be surprised at the numbers of recipes on Indian food that can be made in the microwave. I would like to share some recipes with you so that you can also be adventurous with the microwave oven. You’ll realise that it goes much beyond the regular reheating of food.

Masala Peanuts

Preparation time: 5 minutes. Cooking time: 2 minutes. Makes 1 cup approx.

½ cup Unskinned and salted peanuts
½ cup Bengal gram flour (besan)
2 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp fennel (saunf) powder
1½ tsp black salt (sanchal)
1 tbsp oil
2 to 3 tbsp water

1.Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl ensuring the batter coats the peanuts evenly.
2.On a greased microwave safe plate drop each of the coated peanuts separately and microwave on HIGH for 1½ minutes.
3.Remove and cool. Store in an air-tight container.

Pineapple Kesari

Preparation time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 9 minutes. Serves 2.

½ cup rawa(semolina)
½ cup pineapple purée
1 cup water
½ cup milk
5 tbsp sugar
a few strands saffron (kesar)
2 tsps ghee
¼ tsp cardamom (elaichi) powder

1In a microwave safe bowl mix together the pineapple purée and 1 tablespoon sugar and microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes.
2.Add the milk, water, remaining sugar and saffron and microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes.
3.In another microwave safe bowl mix together the semolina and ghee and microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes, stirring after every 30 seconds.
4.Add the rawa to the pineapple mixture and microwave for 4 minutes on HIGH, stirring once after 2 minutes.
5.Add the cardamom powder, mix well and serve hot.

Spicy Pulao

Preparation time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 13 minutes. Serves 4.

1 cup long grained rice
½ cup green peas
½ cup diced carrots
2 tbsp curds
a few mint leaves
2 tbsp ghee
salt to taste

To be ground into a chilli paste
6 Kashmiri chillies
3 cloves garlic (lehsun)
12 mm. (½”) piece ginger (adrak)
2 tsp coriander-cumin seed (dhania-jeera) powder

1. Clean and wash the rice. Soak in lukewarm water for about 10 minutes. Drain and keep aside.
2. In a glass bowl, combine the ghee and the chilli paste and microwave on HIGH for 1 minute.
3. Add the rice, peas, carrots, curds and salt with 2½ cups of hot water. Microwave on HIGH for 12 minutes, stirring twice in between after every 4 minutes.
4. Add the mint leaves and toss lightly.
Serve hot.

Doodhi Muthia


Preparation time: 10 to 15 minutes. Cooking time: 9 minutes. Serves 4 to 6.

For the muthias
2 cups white pumpkin (lauki), grated
1 onion, grated (optional)
1 cup whole wheat flour (gehun ka atta)
¾ cup semolina (rawa)
½ cup Bengal gram flour (besan)
2 tablespoons green chilli-ginger paste
½ teaspoon turmeric (haldi) powder
½ teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon cumin (jeera) seeds
½ teaspoon fennel (saunf) seeds
juice of 1½ lemons
2 tablespoons sugar
2 to 3 tablespoons chopped coriander
½ teaspoon soda bi-carb
½ teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
4 tablespoons oil
salt to taste

For the tempering
2 teaspoons mustard (rai) seeds
1 tablespoon sesame (til) seeds
½ teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
4 tablespoons oil

For the garnish
2 tablespoons chopped coriander
2 tablespoons grated coconut

For the muthias
1. Strain the liquid out of the grated pumpkin and onion, keeping the liquid aside to use if required to knead the dough.
2. Combine all the ingredients for the muthias in a bowl and knead into a very soft dough adding the strained vegetable liquid if required.
3. Using oiled palms, divide the mixture into 4 parts and roll out into cylindrical rolls approximately 200 mm. (8”) long and 25 mm. (1”) in diameter.
4. Place 2 cylindrical rolls in a greased shallow glass dish and cover with a lid.
5. Microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes. Allow to stand for 1 minute.
6. Repeat steps 4 and 5 to make 2 more rolls.
7. Cool and slice into 20 mm. (¾”) pieces and keep aside.

How to proceed
1. To prepare the tempering, heat the oil in a large pan and add the mustard seeds and sesame seeds. When they crackle, add the asafoetida.
2. Add the sliced muthias, toss well and stir over a medium flame for 2 to 3 minutes.
3. Garnish with the coriander and coconut.
Serve hot with green chutney.

Handy Tip: To check if the muthias are done, insert a toothpick in the centre. If it comes out clean, the muthias are cooked.

Variation: You can use cabbage or fenugreek leaves instead of pumpkin.


Tuesday, July 15, 2008


Chips & Dips

Chips and Dips offers a fabulous variety of recipes with something for every food lover depending on your tastes and preferences, from extra-rich and savoury combos to amazingly low-fat and subtle choices. Inspired by a range of ethnic traditions, the recipes include old and new favourites for bean, vegetable, cheese, and lentil dips and unbeatably tasty chips to go with them. Served hot or cold, these irresistible snacks are sine qua non for entertaining, and compliment every party for every occasion.

More than being interesting appetisers, chips and dips can be seen as hors d’oeuvres, as they go well with various alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages in parties and other social gatherings. These are small bite-sized titbits, which tease rather than appease your appetite, leaving you craving for more. Chips and dips are perfect for ‘time-pass’, as they are light on the stomach and build up a healthy appetite as well.

These recipes are sure to excite your gastronomic juices and stimulate you to go straight to the kitchen and put together some interesting chips and dips right away.

Walnut Vegetable Pate


The walnut vegetable pate serves as an interesting appetiser. Remember to fill the mould right upto the top and make sure you refrigerate overnight, so that it is easy to remove from the mould.

Preparation time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 5 minutes. Makes approx.1½ cups.

¼ cup walnuts (akhrot)
1 cup finely chopped mixed vegetables (mushrooms, spring onions, carrots, capsicum)
1 tsp chopped garlic
½ tsp mixed dried herbs
2 tsp olive oil
Salt to taste

For serving
Toasted bread
Tabasco sauce

1.Heat the oil in a pan, add all the vegetables and sauté for 2 minutes. Remove and keep aside.
2.Combine the walnuts, sautéed vegetables, garlic, mixed dried herbs and salt together and blend in a mixer with a little water to a grainy purée.

For serving
Spread little paté on toasted bread and top with few drops of Tabasco sauce.
Serve immediately.

Chunky Asparagus Delight

Whirled to a delicate smoothness and lightness, this mixture is heartily loaded with asparagus and an interesting flavouring of agar agar, sour cream and Tabasco sauce.

Preparation time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 25 minutes. Makes 8 pieces.

For Asparagus Mousse
½ cup asparagus, cut into ¼” long pieces
2 cups asparagus water ???
5 gms agar agar (unflavoured china grass)
1 tbsp sour cream
A dash of Tabasco or Capsico sauce
Salt to taste

For serving
Sour cream
Cream crackers

1.Boil the asparagus in water till they become tender. Keep aside.
2.Mix the vegetable stock and agar agar and boil till the agar agar melts.
3.Strain the liquid and add salt. Mix gently.
4.Arrange the asparagus stem in a 3” x 5” baking dish and pour the agar agar mixture on top of it.
5.Once the mixture is set cut into squares.
6.Refrigerate for at least an hour. Remove and cut into 8 bite sized pieces

For serving
Place one asparagus mousse piece on a cream cracker, top with some sour cream and serve immediately.

Handy tip : Vegetable stock…mrs rege copy from one of the old books.

Achari Dip

Never before would you have seen such a variety of Indian spices assemble together to create a lip-smacking Achaari dip. Enjoy!

Preparation Time: A few minutes. Cooking Time: 2 minutes. Makes 1 cup.

¾ cup hung curds (dahi), whisked
¼ cup chopped coriander
½ tsp finely chopped green chillies
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste

For the achaari spices
¼ tsp fenugreek (methi) seeds
¼ tsp mustard seeds (rai / sarson)
½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
½ tsp fennel seeds (saunf)
¼ tsp onion seeds (kalonji)
A pinch of asafoetida (hing)
½ tsp oil

For serving
Plain Khakhras

For the achaari spices
1.Heat the oil in a pan, add the fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, fennel seeds and onion seeds.
2.When the seeds crackle add the asafoetida and switch off the gas.
3.Remove and keep aside.

How to proceed
1.Combine the achaari spices, coriander, green chillies, salt and sugar together in a mixer and blend to a fine paste using little water.
2.Pour it into a bowl, add the curds and whisk well. Serve immediately with khakhras.

Tahini Dip

A traditional Middle Eastern dip made of roasted lentils and seeds mixed with hung curds. This creamy dip is nutrient-rich too, and includes a generous dose of proteins and iron.

Preparation time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 20 minutes. Makes approx.1 cup.

¼ cup sesame seeds (til)
2 tbsp chana dal (split Bengal gram)
2 tbsp fresh curds (dahi)
½ tsp vinegar
1 tsp finely chopped garlic
1 tsp green chillies
½ tsp chilli powder
½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera) powder
½ tsp oil
Salt to taste

For serving
Cream Crackers

1.Dry roast the sesame seeds and chana dal separately. Grind them together in a mixer to a fine powder. Keep aside.
2.Whisk together the curds, vinegar, garlic, green chillies, oil and salt in a bowl.
3.Add the roasted powder and mix well.
4.Sprinkle chilli powder, and cumin seed powder on top of the mixture.
5.Keep refrigerated for atleast an hour. Served chilled with cream crackers.

For more interesting recipes refer the book "CHIPS AND DIPS", simply click on .. CHIPS AND DIPS

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Magical Monsoon....

A Platter of Pakodas!

The Rain Gods are here! Let's say good-bye for a while to summer salads and tall coolers and welcome crispy pakodas washed down with endless cups of piping hot masala chai.

Pakodas and rains have the most amazing synergy and there is that something special about not just eating but even frying batches after batches of pakodas when it’s pouring outside. Everybody starts to feel good long before tasting these delicious goodies as the aroma spreads through the house...a perfect way to enjoy a wet rainy day with the family.

Different kinds of pakodas are relished all over India. Plain pakodas are deep-fried pieces of flavoured batter like dal vadas, bondas etc. Veg pakodas are pieces of vegetables or fruit coated with a batter and deep fried.

Almost any vegetable can be made into a pakoda - though potatoes, onions and chillies are generally preferred. Yam, raw banana, ajwain leaves, spinach, ripe bananas, mangoes, bread fruit, capsicum etc make terrific pakodas too. Nowadays, pakodas made of vegetables like broccoli, babycorn, zuccini etc are the rage. The batter is usually made of spiced up besan (bengal gram flour) though rice flour, cornflour, urad dal, chana dal etc are also used. Adding a small proportion of rice flour or maize flour to the besan batter helps to make crisp pakodas.

Here we bring to you a selection of delicious recipes that are easy to rustle up in a jiffy, ensuring that you spend more time enjoying the weather than in the kitchen. They’re sure to make those rainy days something to really look forward to! It is hard to describe exactly what is so irresistible about a perfect pakoda…but when you make them with the recipes given here you’ll know!

Ajwain Patta ka Pakoda

Tender ajwain leaves are dipped in a besan batter and deep fried. They add a great ‘digestive’ element to a plateful of sinful pakodas.

Makes 20

20 whole ajwain leaves
Oil for deep frying

For the batter
1 cup besan (bengal gram flour)
½ tsp chilli powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
2 pinches asafoetida (hing)
1 tbsp hot oil or a pinch of soda bi-carb
salt to taste

For the batter
Mix all the ingredients together with a little water to make a thick batter.

How to proceed
1.Dip each ajwain leaf in the batter.
2.Deep fry in hot oil until golden in colour and drain on absorbent paper.
Serve hot.

Onion Pakoda

An all-time favourite, known in western India as ‘kanda bhajia’. The trick to making crisp onion pakodas is to refrain from adding any water to the mixture. The water released by the onions after applying salt is enough to bind the ingredients together.

Makes 24

2 cups thinly sliced onion
1 to 2 green chillies chopped
¼ tsp red chilli powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
¾ cup besan (Bengal gram flour)
2 tbsp hot oil
salt to taste
oil for deep frying

1.Cut the onions into thin slices, apply salt and keep aside for 10 minutes.
2.Sprinkle besan and add all the remaining ingredients except the oil for frying, and mix well.
3.Divide this mixture into 24 equal portions. Form small, uneven clusters and drop each portion into hot oil.
4.Deep fry in till golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper and serve hot.

Kand Na Pakoda

Thin slices of purple yam coated with a gram flour batter and deep fried makes for unusual and subtle-flavoured pakodas. The crushed coriander and peppercorns sprinkled on the batter coated slices of kand impart a nice crunch and flavour as you bite into the pakoda.

Makes 20

250 grams purple yam (kand)
a pinch black salt (sanchal)
a pinch asafoetida (hing)
½ tsp chilli powder
juice of ½ lemon
½ tsp coriander (dhania) seeds, crushed
¼ tsp black pepper, crushed
oil for deep frying

For the batter
¾ cup besan (Bengal gram flour)
¼ cup rice flour (chawal ka atta)
¼ tsp asafoetida (hing)
¼ tsp chilli powder
a pinch turmeric powder (haldi)
a pinch of soda bi-carb (optional)
1 tbsp hot oil
salt to taste

For the batter
Mix all the ingredients together with a little water to make a thick batter.

How to proceed
1.Wash and peel the purple yam. Cut into 50 mm thin slices.
2.Sprinkle the black salt, asafoetida, chilli powder and lemon juice on the yam slices and keep aside.
3.Dip each slice of yam in the batter.
4.Sprinkle a pinch of crushed coriander seeds and pepper on top of the batter-coated kand slices.
5.Deep fry in hot oil till golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper and serve hot.

Masala Wadai

Crisp on the outside and soft inside, these authentic South Indian wadai are also known as dal wadas in the west. Served with coconut chutney, they make a delicious snack. While frying the wadai you have to start with hot oil, and then reduce the flame in order to cook the dal without over browning the outer surface.

Serves 10

1 cup Bengal gram dal (chana dal)
2 whole dry red chillies
2 tsp finely chopped green chillies
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
½ cup finely chopped onions
4 tbsp chopped coriander
½ cup grated fresh coconut
2 tbsp chopped mint leaves
salt to taste
oil for deep frying

1.Pick, wash and soak the dal overnight. Drain.
2.Grind the dal with the dry red chillies, green chillies and cumin seeds and a little water to get a thick coarse paste
3.Add the remaining ingredients and mix well.
4.Shape into small wadais and deep fry in hot oil till golden brown. Ensure that the wadai are cooked in the centre.
5.Drain on absorbent paper and serve hot with coconut chutney.

Thursday, April 17, 2008


I love entertaining and having parties, like most of you. And when I talk to fellow-hosts, I find that they are almost always worried about what snacks to serve – the main course and desserts are easier to finalise! It so happens that after much thought they usually settle for common, tried-and-tested dishes such as Paneer Tikkas. Hmmm, there will be a time when your guests would have had enough of it!

Keeping this in mind, I present Kebabs and Tikkis – A compilation of 61 delicious and innovative kebab, tikka and tikki recipes. And well, there is something for everybody, from the live-for-the-day eater to the more discerning health-conscious ones.

That said, variety alone does not ensure that the starters/snacks served during your party become a huge hit with the guests. A major part of the planning involves combining these snacks appropriately into what is today popular-known as a “platter”. Platters are a dominant phenomenon today – they ensure guests a well-chosen selection of snacks replete with rotis, a salad or two and suitable chutneys and sauces. A well-planned platter is wholesome and nutritious and capable of serving as a meal in itself for the snack-lover (while serving as a starter for the rest).

This book comes replete with 10 platter suggestions that guide you on how to serve your tikkis, tikkas and kebabs, and the accompaniments that we feel they would ideally combine with. These platters are based on specific themes. Plus, there is a second index included in this book, which categorises the recipes according to type – this enables you to exercise your imagination to come up with your own platter options too… and I’m sure those will be a success too. Innovation is the key! Go ahead and put together one of the recommended platters or come up with an original platter full of your favourite recipes, Indian and beyond!

The next time you plan a party or are attacked by a sudden hunger pang, fret not, prepare these easy-to-follow recipes and watch the platters empty while the diners’ faces light up!
Makhmali Paneer Tikka

True to its name, this tikka will melt in your mouth, delighting your taste buds!

Preparation Time: 10 minutes. Cooking Time: 10 minutes. Serves 6.
Baking temperature : 200°C (400°F). Baking time : 20 minutes.

3 cups paneer (cottage cheese), cut into 50 mm. (2”) cubes

To be mixed into a marinade
¾ cup thick fresh hung curds (dahi)
¼ cup cheese spread
1 tsp green chilli paste
2 tbsp cashewnut (kaju)powder
½ tsp garam masala
Salt to taste

1.Combine the paneer cubes with the prepared marinade and toss gently till the paste coats the paneer pieces evenly from all sides. Keep aside for 15 minutes.
2.Arrange the paneer pieces on the wire rack in a pre-heated oven at 200°C (400°F) and grill till the paneer is done (approx. 15 minutes).
3.Remove from the oven and serve hot.

Mutter aur Phudine ki Tikki


Green peas make great tikkis when combined with potatoes and a handful of mint leaves.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes. Cooking Time: 10 minutes. Makes 8-10 tikkis.

1 cup boiled green peas
½ cup boiled and mashed potatoes
2 tbsp mint leaves (phudina)
Salt to taste
1½ tsp garam masala
2 green chillies, finely chopped
Oil for deep-frying

1.Combine all the ingredients and blend in a mixer to a coarse mixture (Add a little water if required).
2.Divide the mixture into 8 to 10 equal portions and shape each portion into a round tikki.
3.Heat the oil in a kadhai on a medium flame and deep-fry the tikkis till they are golden brown in colour from all sides. Drain on an absorbent paper and serve hot.
Rajma Galouti Kebab


A delectable vegetarian version of the traditional galouti kebab, where meat has been replaced with rajma.

Preparation Time : 10 minutes. Cooking Time :30 minutes. Makes 5 kebabs.

Oil for deep-frying
¾ cup sliced onions
2 tbsp ghee
2 tbsp finely chopped ginger (adrak)
1½ tsp finely chopped green chillies
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
½ cup paneer (cottage cheese)
1 cup soaked and boiled rajma (kidney beans)
¼ cup boiled, peeled and mashed potatoes
1 tbsp chopped coriander (dhania)
Salt to taste
½ tsp garam masala
1 tbsp oil

1.Heat the oil in a kadhai on a medium flame and deep-fry the onions till they are golden brown. Drain on absorbent paper and keep aside.
2.Heat the ghee in a pan, add the ginger and green chillies and sauté for 30 seconds.
3.Add all the remaining ingredients except the oil and cook for 3-4 minutes.
4.Divide the mixture into 5 equal portions and shape each portion into flat, round kebabs.
5.Heat the oil in a kadhai on a medium flame and deep-fry the kebabs till golden brown in colour from both sides. Drain on absorbent paper and serve hot.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Charity Demonstration by Padmashree Tarla Dalal

Charity Demonstration by Padmashree Tarla Dalal
For the Fellowship Of The Physically Handicapped

On Friday, 28th. March, 2008
From 11.00 A.M to 1.00 P.M

Garware Sabha Griha
FPH Building, Haji Ali
Mumbai 400 034

Demonstration of Main Course with Quick Desserts & Snacks

Welcome Drink & Delicious lunch will be served

Registration Fees Rs. 400/-
Entry by Donor Cards Only

Proceeds of the fees will go to the F.P.H

For the Donor Cards and other details contact

Contact : Jharna Patel - 24968068

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Press release of Tarla Dalal's "Play and Learn ACTIVITY + COOKBOOK FOR TWO’S”

Dear Friends,

Why a book specially dedicated for 2 year olds?

Well 2 year olds are a special lot, a tough age to handle though. No wonder we call this stage as the terrible two’s – they seem as if in a hurry to grow up fast, learn things fast and get annoyed easily. A two year old is a copycat, so it’s the best time to teach them what you want by enacting the same yourself.

And so emerged the idea of this cookbook, which encompasses fun activities between the mother and child, to develop and boost several skills in them.

The book is divided into 7 sections viz. Creative Fun, Mathemania, Rhyme Time, Abra-Ca-Drama, Fine Motor Skills, Talk To Me and Its Story Time. Each section tells you why and how each skill is important and the role it plays in the overall development of your child. It will also provide you with fun learning activities that will develop different skills like hand-eye co-ordination, verbal skills, identification of different shapes and sizes, cognitive skills and so on in your child. Along with is also shared a delicious recipe with each activity specially designed keeping in mind the taste, interests and nutritional requirements of your two year old.

Planned and conceptualised in co-ordination with Mrs. Mona Dalal and Anupama Selarka, this book is an approach to explore two year old to a whole new world activities and food fare. Priced at just Rs. 89/- it’s a valuable guide for all the mothers of a two year old child.

Thanking you for your support, in making this new venture a successful one.
Cheers to a new enduring relationship!

Whip up these tasty and nutritious recipes for your little one and see them smile at every bite
Vitamin Bhel
Serves 10

1 cup boiled and peeled potato cubes
½ cup boiled peas
½ cup boiled corn
½ cup pomegranate
½ cup chopped apples
½ cup chopped orange segments
¼ cup boiled peanuts
¼ cup grated carrots
2 cups crisp mamra
1 cup sev
½ cup khajur imli chutney
2 tbsp green chutney
Salt to taste

1. Combine all ingredients in a big bowl and mix gently.
2. Serve immediately.

Banana Walnut Muffins

Makes 15 muffins

½ cup refined flour (maida)
¼ cup butter
¼ cup powdered sugar
½ cup mashed banana
¼ tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp milk
2 tbsp chopped walnuts
2 tbsp quick cooking rolled oats
1 tsp fruit salt

For the topping
1/4 cup Chocolate Chips

1. Sieve the flour. Keep aside.
2. Cream the butter and sugar till smooth and creamy
3. Add the mashed banana, vanilla essence and milk and mix well.
4. Add chopped walnuts, oats and flour and mix well.
5. Add the fruit salt and sprinkle a little water on it. When bubbles form, mix gently.
6. Spoon the mixture into 15 paper cups. Top with chocolate chips
7. Microwave them for 1 minute and 30 seconds.
Serve warm.

Mango Cubes
Mango Cubes
Makes 30

½ cup fresh curds
¼ cup milk powder
¼ cup condensed milk
2 tbsp roasted and powdered oats
1 cup mango puree
2 tbsp castor sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
Ice cream sticks cut into half

1. Combine all the ingredients in a mixer and blend into a smooth mixture.
2. Pour into ice cube trays and freeze for 4 to 5 hours till firm.
3. Insert wooden ice-cream sticks into the semi frozen lollies and freeze again for 6- 8 hours
4. Unmould and serve immediately.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

‘Dawat E Kushi’ cooking demo at hubli by Mrs.Tarla Dalal

“Tarla Dalal” a culinary expert name so famous and so well known in India
needs no introduction by anyone. Under the banner of ‘Ladies Circle’, when we circlers decided to call Mrs.Tarla Dalal to Hubli, we were quite hesitant that she would accept our proposal to come to Hubli?

We coordinated with Mrs. Sapna Kamdar, nutritionist ( with whose support and co-ordination this project would not have been possible. Yes, Mrs.Tarla Dalal was coming here for a cause. Ladies Circle No.45 comprises of wives of Round Table Hubli No.37. We are group of 14 Circles who give service to humanity. Whatever funds are raised goes to Charity. Over the last 10 years LC - 45 has done several meaningfull projects like building Classrooms, Kitchenette’s, Bathrooms and many educational projects to name a few.

Mrs.Tarla Dalal willingly accepted our proposal without any fee. Our
circlers enthusiastically started working towards this Mega project with all small detailing. Hubli being a small town the News of Mrs.Tarla Dalal classes conducted in Hubli was the talk of the town and was much awaited by everyone. Tickets were sold in no time.

On 17th Feb 2008 with little anxiousness a few bunch of circlers went to the
airport to receive her. Within minutes of her arrival her sweet & kind
nature made all of us comfortable. She stayed with us in our house. My joy knew no bounds and I tried my best to make her comfortable. We arranged for a typical South Indian Brahmin style lunch served on a banana leaf, which was enjoyed by all.

On 18th the day started with delicious breakfast at Chairperson Smita Dubeer’s house. Yummy Dosa’s & Idli’s with mouthwatering hot Sambar started
our day with a good note. Later in the early afternoon a programme on “Health – Small steps big rewards” was conducted by Dr.C S Patil in a school, where Mrs.Tarla Dalal gave a talk to parents and children on Obesity and Diabetes.

Several questions were asked by the children, very soon we could see a long queue of children standing to meet Mrs.Tarla Dalal and asking innocent questions. She was so touched by the innocence of the children. After a delicious lunch, we hurried to our Demo Venue, where we soon started off with the demonstration.

Lovely 4 Party cooking recipes were demonstrated by Mrs.Tarla. The audience too asked their queries, all in all the participants went home satisfactorily with beautiful memories in their mind.

All of us are great fans of her. Mrs.Tarla Dalal’s magnetic personality has
touched all our hearts and we are very thankful to her for all her efforts she’s put in to make our project a Grand Success. It is a lifetime remembrance for all of us Circler’s and to all the people of Hubli who got the opportunity of attending her live show.

Thank you very much, mam.

Jyoti Bidasaria
Ladies circle, Hubli


Preparation time: 20 minutes. Cooking time: 30 minutes. Makes 6

6 flour tortillas, recipe below

To be mixed into a stuffing
½ cup cooked corn, slightly crushed
½ cup finely chopped green, red and yellow capsicum
½ cup crumbled paneer
½ cup cooking cheese
1 green chilli, finely chopped
1 tomato without the pulp, chopped
Salt to taste

For the flour tortillas
¾ cup wheat flour (gehun ka atta)
1½ cups plain flour (maida)
4 teaspoons oil
½ teaspoon salt

Other ingredients
Oil for cooking

For the flour tortillas
1. Mix the flours, oil and salt and make a dough by adding enough warm water.
2. Knead the dough well and keep aside for 30 minutes. Knead again.
3. Depending on the diameter you require for the dish, roll out the dough into 150 mm (.6") diameter thin rounds with the help of a little flour.
4. Cook lightly on a tava (griddle) and keep aside.

How to proceed
1. When you want to serve, spread a little stuffing on one half of a tortilla. Fold to get a half moon shape and press well so that they stick. Cook on a tava (griddle) spreading a little oil on both sides. Cook until crisp.
2. Cut into pieces and serve hot.


Preparation Time: 15 minutes. Cooking Time: 15 minutes. Serves 8.
Baking Time: 20 minutes. Baking Temperature: 200°C (400°F).

4 medium potatoes
½ cup chopped onions
1 teaspoon finely chopped green chillies
2 cups boiled mixed vegetables (broccoli, corn, baby corn, etc.) cut into cubes
½ teaspoon dried oregano
¼ cup fresh cream (rich cream)
¼ cup grated mozzarella cheese
2 teaspoons butter
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the tomato sauce
4 large tomatoes
1 bayleaf (tejpatta)
4 to 6 peppercorns
½ cup finely chopped onions
1 teaspoon chopped garlic
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon olive oil or oil
Salt to taste

Other ingredients
Oil for greasing

For the tomato sauce
1. Put the tomatoes in a vesselful of boiling water for 10 minutes.
2. Peel, cut into quarters and deseed the tomatoes.
3. Chop finely and keep the tomato pulp aside.
4. Heat the olive oil in a pan, add the bayleaf and peppercorns and sauté for a few seconds.
5. Add the onions and garlic and sauté for a few minutes.
6. Add the tomato pulp and allow it to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes until the sauce reduces a little.
7. Add the sugar and salt and simmer for some more Time.
8. Finally, add the oregano and mix well. Remove the bayleaf and peppercorns and discard. Keep aside.

How to proceed
1. Parboil the potatoes peel and allow them to cool.
2. Heat a small non-stick pan, add the butter and sauté the onions and green chillies.
3. Grease a 250 mm. diameter baking dish and spread the sautéed onions and green chillies at the base.
4. Sprinkle a little salt and pepper and then grate the potatoes evenly over it.
5. Arrange a layer of vegetables over the potato layer and sprinkle salt, pepper and oregano over it.
6. Pour the tomato sauce over the vegetable layer and finally a layer of cream.
7. Top with cheese and bake in a pre-heated oven for about 15 minutes.
Serve hot.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Tarla's visit to "Wild Dinning"

The best escape route from the hassles of the city is the nearest hill station hoping for a nearer acquaintance with the environment. Nature has become a far cry in this bustling metropolitan. But there are places which still hold on to their soils and roots and make it a welcoming gesture for people looking for a respite.

On a quest to explore such venues Mrs.Tarla Dalal came across a very unique concept in Andheri on friday, 8th feb 2008. A restaurant which had a theme of forest and called wild dining…and as the name suggests it takes you to a ride through the jungle.

The entire restaurant takes you through the primitive settlement of the tribal with caves made of rocky walls; statues of wild animals and mannequin of cave men…even the waiters were dressed in khaki uniforms. The ambience of the restaurant flaunted the jungle look with sounds of roaring animals, chirping birds, elephants blaring .Rather than being scary they transformed you a bit closer to the nature in its raw form. Exactly how the owner, Mr.Sanjay Pratap had imagined while shaping up his dream into reality. Hospitable hosts, Sanjay and his wife joined along for this adventure and made it thoroughly enjoyable experience for Mrs. Dalal and me.

Even the food did not fail to impress us. We relished on a variety of delicacies ranging from starters, soups, followed by pizzas, nachos, main course, sweets and a variety of desserts. A round of tasting each and every dish left us totally satisfied and satiated. Mrs. Dalal rated the dishes 8 on a scale of 10 complimenting the chef for a wonderful dine.

It not only turned out to be a great expedition (which would cost you just somehwere bewteen Rs. 275 to 350/-per head) roaming the forest but the result was discovering a place close to the real home away from concretes and bricks.

I am sure all you foodies must have explored exciting places like this, do feel free to share your experieces with us...

Sapna Kamdar

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


India is truly a mosaic of varied cultures, and no aspect of culture asserts this fact as strongly as cuisine! The stark difference in ingredients, procedures and practices followed in different parts of India is a typical example -- and every cuisine has its share of unique features and abundant charm.

South Indian cuisine is no different. The subtle Keralite blends of coconuts and condiments coexist with the spicy curries of Chettinad, just as the fiery pickles of Andhra Pradesh complement the slightly sweetish cuisine of Karnataka. Like all other parts of India, South India too has a large repertoire of recipes to its credit, ranging from breakfast and the quintessential "tiffin" to main course dishes, snacks, festival or fasting foods, pickles, and the lot!

Typical South Indian snacks like pesarattu, sundal, appam, idlis, dosa, uttapas etc are served in restaurants across the country (especially in a typical South Indian restaurant) but when it comes to breakfast or snacks we usually reach out for easy options like upma, idli or a dosa, and that is what exactly I am presenting to all you foodies this time…. Not only are they easy to make and nutritious but also very filling. Combined with spicy coconut chutney and steaming hot sambhar is just enough to keep you going till lunch.

Transport yourself across South India with these recipes, and enjoy yourself discovering the unique features of this cuisine with easy recipes....

Rawa Idli
Soft and spongy rawa idlis can be made in a jiffy for a quick and satiating breakfast.

Preparation Time: 5 minutes. Cooking Time: 7 to 8 minutes. Makes 12 idlis.

For the batter
1 cup rawa(semolina)
¼ cup curds (dahi)
1 cup water
1 tbsp chopped coriander (dhania)
salt to taste

For the tempering
½ tsp mustard seeds (rai)
½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
a pinch asafoetida (hing)
1 tsp urad dal (split black lentils)
1 tbsp broken cashewnuts
4 to 6 curry leaves(kadi patta)
2 green chillies, chopped
1 tsp oil
½ tsp ghee

Other ingredients
¾ tsp fruit salt
oil for greasing

For the batter
1. Combine all ingredients together, other than the fruit salt and leave aside for 10 minutes.

For the tempering
1. Combine the oil, ghee, mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad dal and asafoetida in a microwave safe bowl and microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes.
2. Add the cashewnuts, curry leaves, green chillies and microwave for 1 more minute.

How to proceed
1. Pour 1 cup of water in the base of a microwave safe idli steamer and microwave on HIGH for 1 minute. Grease the idli moulds using little oil.
2. Add the tempering and the fruit salt to the batter and mix well.
3. Pour 2 tablespoons of batter into each greased cavity of the idli moulds and microwave, covered, on HIGH for 2 minutes.
4. Repeat with the remaining batter to make 8 more idlis.
5. Serve hot with coconut chutney and sambhar.

Shepu Sweet Idli


All time favourite with a sprinkling of iron strength! Dill, besides making this recipe colourful and interesting also loads it up with iron.

Preparation Time: 15 minutes. Cooking Time: 15 minutes. Makes 15 idlis.

½ cup finely chopped dill (shepu) leaves
2 cups raw rice, soaked for 4 hours, drained
¼ cup freshly grated coconut
½ cup thick rice flakes (poha)
½ cup buttermilk
½ cup crushed jaggery (gur)
1 tsp fruit salt
salt to taste

1. Grind the soaked rice with the grated coconut to a thick smooth paste, adding a little water.
2. Wash the rice flakes, drain and add the buttermilk. Set aside for 10 minutes.
3. Grind the rice flakes in buttermilk to a smooth paste, add the jaggery and grind further till smooth. Add this to the rice batter.
4. Add the chopped dill leaves and salt and mix well.
5. Check the consistency and now add a little water only if required so as to get a thick batter.
6. Add the fruit salt to the batter and sprinkle a little water over it.
7. When the fruit salt starts bubbling, mix gently.
8. Spoon out the batter into greased idli moulds and steam for 8 to 10 minutes.
9. Serve hot.



The preparation which has put South India on every culinary hot spot of the world. Served traditionally with sambhar and chutney.

Preparation Time: 10 minutes.
Cooking Time: 20 minutes.
Fermenting Time: 4 hours.
Soaking Time: 2 hours.

Makes 8 dosas.

1 cup raw rice (chawal)
1/3 cup urad dal (split black gram)
2 tbsp cooked rice (chawal)
2 tbsp beaten rice (poha)
5 to 7 fenugreek seeds (methi)
salt to taste
oil for cooking

To serve
coconut chutney

1. Wash the raw rice, urad dal and fenugreek seeds. Soak in a little water along with the beaten rice and cooked rice for at least 2 hours.
2. Grind to a smooth paste with a little water. Cover and keep aside for at least 4 hours. Add salt and mix well.
3. Heat a non-stick tava and grease it lightly with oil. When hot, pour a ladelful of the batter, spread using a circular motion to make a thin dosa and cook on one side.
4. Pour a little oil along the edges while cooking. When crispy, fold over and serve hot.
5. Repeat with the remaining batter.
6. Serve with coconut chutney and sambhar.

When the dosa is cooked, put some potato bhaji on it. Roll to form a cylindrical shape and serve hot.

Rice Appe


Traditional appes made with rice.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes. Cooking Time: 40 minutes.
Fermenting Time: Overnight.
Soaking Time: 2 hours.

Makes 20 to 24 appes.

1 cup raw rice (chawal)
1/4 cup urad dal(split black gram )
1/4 cup crushed peanuts
2 tbsp chopped onions
1 tsp mustard seeds (rai/ sarson)
1 tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
2 green chillies, chopped
8 to 10 curry leaves (kadi patta)
a pinch asafoetida (hing)
2 tbsp oil
salt to taste
oil for cooking

To serve
coconut chutney

1. Wash and soak the rice and urad dal in lukewarm water for at least 2 hours.
2. Drain and grind to a smooth paste with 1/2 cup of water.
3. Cover and set aside overnight to ferment.
4. Next day, heat the oil in a small kadhai, add the crushed peanuts and chopped onion and stir for 3 to 5 minutes. Add the mustard seeds, cumin seeds, green chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida.
5. When the mustard and cumin seeds crackle, add this to the fermented batter.
6. Add salt and a little water if required and mix to form a thick batter.
7. Heat the appe mould on a medium flame and grease it with a little oil.
8. Pour a spoonful of the batter into each mould.
9. Cook till the outer surface becomes golden brown and then turn each appe upside down using a fork so as to cook the other side.
10. Remove and repeat with the remaining batter.
11. Serve hot with coconut chutney.

Thursday, January 03, 2008


Warm your way through Winter

Wintertime – a fantastic season for that extra hour curled up under your razai; invigorating walks in the crisp fresh air; for warm and nourishing food and drinks.

Why do we feel hungrier in winter? Have you ever wondered? Cold weather brings a drop in your body temperature, which stimulates your appetite. Eating helps to generate heat and keeps your body warm. Your body works harder and spends more energy just trying to keep you warm during winter, so your desire to eat more comes from your body’s natural increase in energy use.

It is tempting to use cold weather as an excuse to overeat but you do not need a layer of extra fat to stay warm...add an extra layer of clothing instead!! While you definitely can enjoy a healthy appetite during winter, do monitor your calorie intake, or you could end up putting on unwanted weight at the end of the season.

“Eat wisely to stay healthy” is the only health slogan for cold winter days. It’s beneficial to focus on foods that keep you warm and get your body temperature back to normal. Be good to yourself this season with healthy, hearty winter foods that will leave you feeling fine and avoid adding inches to your waistline.

Bring a little sunshine into your home during the cold winter months by enjoying the bounty of produce that's available this season. Fresh fruits like citrus fruits, amla, nd vegetables, herbs and some cereals and pulses are few of the foods that make us feel warm, supported and secured. Hence eat all the tradtionaly foods like gaund ke laddu, urad pak, gajar ka halwa, etc to keep you warm but in resricted amounts though.

Healthy Oondhiya

Startling though it may seem, here is a wonderful and healthy modification of the famous festive Gujarati dish which is ordinarily loaded with oil. I've changed this recipe and cut down on the oil along with the invisible fat which you get from coconut.
The methi muthias added to this recipe are baked to a wonderful rich golden brown colour that are very appealing and also cut down a lot of the calories you get in the fried version.
A good amount of iron and calcium is available from this hearty dish and this is sure to become your family favourite.

Preparation Time : 15 mins.
Cooking Time : 30 mins.
Serves 6.

For the oondhiya
2 cups surti papadi (double beans)
1¼ cups kand (purple yam), peeled and cut into cubes
1 cup baby potatoes
1¼ cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into cubes
3 to 4 small brinjals
½ teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
a pinch soda bi-carb
salt to taste

To be mixed into a masala
1 cup chopped coriander (dhania)
½ cup poha (beaten rice flakes)
¼ cup green garlic, chopped
3 teaspoons coriander-cumin seed (dhania-jeera) powder
1 teaspoon ginger-green chilli paste
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon sugar
½ teaspoon carom seeds (ajwain)
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder (haldi)
¼ teaspoon asafoetida (hing)
1 ripe banana, mashed
salt to taste

For the baked methi muthias
1 cup chopped fenugreek (methi) leaves
1/3cup whole-wheat flour (gehun ka atta)
1/3cup besan (Bengal gram flour)
½ tsp ginger-green chilli paste
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp turmeric powder (haldi)
¼ tsp garam masala
1 tsp oil
Salt to taste

For the garnish
1 tablespoon chopped coriander (dhania)

For the baked methi muthias
1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and knead into a soft dough using a little water.
2. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions, shape into even sized rounds and flatten them by placing between your palms.
3. Place on a greased baking tray and bake in a pre-heated oven at 200°C (400°F) for 7 to 8 minutes. Keep aside.

For the oondhiya
1. String the surti papadi taking care not to separate the 2 sides.
2. Wash the papadi, add the carom seeds, soda bi-carb and salt and mix well.
3. Make criss-cross slits in the kand, baby potatoes, sweet potatoes and brinjals taking care not to separate the segments.
4. Fill half the masala mixture into the slits of kand, baby potatoes, sweet potatoes and brinjals. Keep aside the remaining masala mixture.
5. Combine the surti papadi, stuffed vegetables, remaining masala mixture with 3 cups of water and pressure cook for 2 whistles.

How to proceed
1. Transfer the cooked oondhiya, methi muthias into a large serving dish and toss lightly.
2. Serve hot, garnished with the chopped coriander.

Minty Morning


This is a variation of the most popular breakfast juice of all time, the orange juice. It is sure to appeal to everyone's taste buds as well as health.
Oranges boost overall resistance and also stimulate the salivary glands thus aiding digestion. Mint on the other hand is rich in iron and vitamin C. It is also the best digestive and cooling herb. By combining the health-giving properties of oranges with mint; this juice makes for a powerful cleanser.

Makes 2 small glasses (300 ml).

4 medium sized oranges, peeled and separated into segments
8 to 10 sprigs of mint (phudina) with the leaves, roughly chopped
crushed ice to serve

1. Juice all the ingredients.
2. Add some crushed ice in 2 glasses and pour the juice over it. Serve immediately.

1. Blend all the ingredients using little water (if required) till smooth.
2. Strain the juice using a strainer or a muslin cloth.
3. Add some crushed ice in 2 glasses and pour the juice over it. Serve immediately


Gaund is an "edible gum" that is extracted from the bark of a tree.
It is available in crystal form as pearly yellowish translucent pieces of varying sizes. The bigger crystals are more expensive.
Gaund is a "heaty" food i.e. food that provides heat to our body and is usually had only in the winters. It is deep fried in ghee and then added to the dish it is being used in. I have also discovered that if you dry roast it on a non-stick pan, it puffs up just like popcorn. This is a great way to cut down on those unnecessary calories. These delicious gaund laddus are a traditional winter delicacy that are had with a glass of warm milk for breakfast. I personally prefer them as a dessert after a nice meal.

Preparation Time : 15 mins.
Cooking Time : 30 mins.
Makes 15 laddus.

1¼ cups whole wheat flour (gehun ka atta)
3 tablespoons gaund (edible gum)
½ cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon cardamom (elaichi) powder
¼ cup ghee

Other ingredients
ghee for deep frying

1. Heat the ghee in a pan, add the whole wheat flour and roast it over a slow flame while stirring continuously till the flour turns golden brown. Allow it to cool.
2. Deep fry the gaund in hot ghee, one tablespoon at a time till the pieces puff up. Drain on absorbent paper and keep aside.
3. Add the powdered sugar, fried gaund and cardamom powder to the roasted wheat flour and mix well.
4. Divide the mixture into 15 portions and shape each portion into round laddus using your hands. If you find it difficult to shape the laddus, add a little melted ghee.
5. Store in an air-tight container.

How else can you shift your winter into high gear? Eat frequent winter-friendly meals to keep your energy levels at an even keel all day.
So go on, pull out the winter woollies, stock up the kitchen with these delicious and nutritious foods and look forward to a wonderful winter.