Punjabi Style Gobi, Gajar Aur Shalgham Achaar. (Punjabi style cauliflower,carrot and turnip pickle).

Pickling and chutney making has become a cherished pastime now. With the lock down and working  from home, I have had the luxury of a bit more time to pursue this pastime in earnest. I have been wanting to make this sweet, sour and hot pickle for sometime now and having chanced on some turnips in Tesco I grabbed the opportunity  to make a jar of this sweet, sour and hot delight. It is a great accompaniment to parathas, chappathis, rice and even as a sandwich filling.

What Do I need to Make it?

  • 250 g Cauliflower (cut into small florets)
  • 250 g Carrots (peeled and julienne)
  • 250 g Turnips (peeled and julienne)
  • 11/2 tbsp garlic paste
  • 3 tbsp ginger paste
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 100 g jaggery
  • 11/2 tbsp garam masala
  • 3 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tbsp coarsely ground mustard (rai bhardo)
  • 1 cup mustard oil
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Almost 3/4 of a 1 kg kilner jar.

How do I make it?

Wash, peel and julienne the turnips and carrots. Wash and cut the cauliflower into small florets. Spread the vegetables out on a tray lined with kitchen paper to remove any moisture. Heat the mustard oil in a deep bottomed pan till it is smoking hot. Add the ginger and garlic paste and saute till the raw smell of ginger and garlic disappear. Now add the cauliflower, carrot and turnips and saute for about 5 to 8 minutes till the vegetables lose their moisture but still have a bite to them. In a separate pan bring the white vinegar to a boil. Reduce the heat to simmer and add the jaggery, stirring continuously till the jaggery is completely dissolved. Take off the heat and set aside. Add the garam masala, chilli powder and salt to the vegetables and make sure all the vegetables are coated evenly. Add the jaggery and vinegar mixture and bring to a light simmer. Add the coarsely ground mustard and stir well. Adjust seasoning before taking off the heat. Let the pickle cool completely before transferring to a sterilized jar. This can be stored in the refrigerator for a few weeks. Always use a clean, dry spoon. Enjoy as an accompaniment to your meals. This pickle always tastes better a day after it has been made.

Orange Peel Injipuli (Ginger and Tamarind chutney)

2018 was a roller coaster ride of a year for me. It was a year of loss of a dear one, big changes, major realizations, self examination and reflections. A year that saw an enterprise that I started with a friend soar to success and die a sudden death within months of setting flight but what’s life without falling down and getting hurt a few times? True success can never be tasted without experiencing failure. But hey ho, here I am in the beginning of 2019,  vowing  not to give my writing such a big break again. Pickle and chutney making have become a great passion of mine and I’m always trying to create new avatars based on traditional recipes handed down to me by my grandmother, mother and aunts and here I am with an Injipuli made with orange peel and dried bird’s eye chilies.

What do I need to make it?

  • 1 lime size ball  Tamarind
  • 1 Cup  Fresh Ginger (Julienne)
  • 1 Cup Fresh Orange peel cut into pieces
  • 10 to 12 Dried Bird’s eye chilies
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp Asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Split Urad Dhal
  • 1 tsp Black Sesame seeds
  • 8 to 10 Fresh Curry Leaves
  • 2 tbsp Cold pressed Sesame Oil
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

One 300 g Jar

How do I make it?

Soak the tamarind in a little bit of boiling hot water to make a thick paste and set aside. Heat a thick bottomed pan on a medium flame and add the oil to it, get the oil up to temperature and then add the mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds begin to splutter add the asafoetida powder, urad dhal, black sesame seeds, turmeric powder, curry leaves and


dried bird’s eye chilies one after the other and saute’ for a couple of minutes. Add the ginger and orange peel and saute’ till the peel softens. Now add the tamarind paste and one cup of water, reduce the flame and let it simmer. When the mixture begins to thicken, add salt and the powdered jaggery. Check seasoning  before removing from the heat. Let it cool completely before transferring to a sterilized jar. Can be refrigerated for up to two weeks. Always use a clean dry spoon. Enjoy with rice, rotis, as a sandwich topping or with idlis and dosais.



Opening a Jar of Sunshine

I was gifted a jar of home made marmalade recently. This special marmalade was  lovingly made by my foodie friend Alison Grayer. I must say that it is  the most lip smacking, gorgeous marmalade I’ve tasted in eons. It was made with orange, grapefruit and lemon  and had the perfect balance of sweetness, tang and  bitterness. Alison’s marmalade ticked all the boxes of taste, texture and colour. The juicy, chunky bits of  citrus are a serious delight. I’m someone who prefers a savory breakfast normally and not a huge fan of any jam or preserve save marmalade. My love for marmalade was cultivated in boarding school.   St.Hilda’s School in Ootacamund, India. The head cook in our school, Mari, made awesome marmalade, the taste of which I and my fellow Hildites still remember fondly.  Alison’s marmalade very much stands on that same lofty pedestal . Thank you Alison for your jar of sunshine. It sure has brought a lot of joy to our breakfasts. 14698899-Citrus-fruits-lemon-lime-orange-and-grapefruit-isolated-on-white-background-with-shadows-Stock-Photo

Canoodling with Kale

Shiv and I have  recently started a romantic threesome with kale. On shopping trips we’ve always regarded it with a lot of curiosity. We’ve bought a packet of chopped curly several times ,experimented and tried adapting it to various Indian recipes made with greens and have been disappointed with the taste. Not being happy with the out come I’ve been searching for exciting ways to cook Kale. I stumbled on a brilliant idea while watching BBC’s Countryfile.  The idea isn’t mine unfortunately, it belongs to a chef in Somerset, originally from Andhra Pradesh in India, who runs a small cafe in Somerset called ‘Lungi Cafe’. He made crispy pakoras with freshly harvested locally grown Kale. I thought that it was a brilliant idea and would make Kale more palatable and sexy. I made Kale pakoras at home the other day and  it tasted awesome. A sinful way to including the healthy super food in our diet.


What do I need to make it?

  • 1 500 g packet of chopped curly kale
  • 2 cups gram flour
  • 1 cup rice flour
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp ajwain seeds
  • a pinch of powdered asafoetida
  • a pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • water as needed
  • salt to taste
  • oil for deep frying


How much will I make?

Enough to serve 4

How do I make it?

Wash, drain and pat dry the Kale. Mix together the gram flour, rice flour, chilli powder, ajwain, asafoetida, salt, pepper, turmeric powder and enough water to make a thick batter. The batter should be lump free and of the consistency to coat the kale evenly. Put the Kale in the batter and make sure it is coated evenly. Heat oil to 180 degree C and fry the kale in batches till the pakora is golden brown and cooked through. Serve with a sauce of your choice. We like it with tangy tamarind sauce.

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Home Grown Tomato Thokku (Chutney)

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Goodness me! It’s been a while since I posted anything on our blog. Life has taken over. Both Shiv and I have been busy at work and our writing has taken a back seat. We have been cooking a lot but have not been very good with posting our recipes lately.

I had a bumper crop of tomatoes this summer and what best way to celebrate the lot than to make a yummy South Indian Tomato chutney called Thokku. This is my mother -in-law’s recipe which I followed and believe me it was delicious and is a great accompaniment to idlis, dosais, chappathis and even curd rice.

What do I need to make it

  • 11/2 kg Tomatoes
  • 200g  Ginger cut into thin long pieces
  • 1/2 cup Sesame oil (you can use any vegetable oil but I prefer to use sesame or gingelly oil for its authentic flavour and because sesame oil is healthy and is called ‘Nalla Ennai’ or good oil in Tamil .
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Red chilli powder
  • 10 to 15 Curry leaves
  • 5 to 6 Whole dried red chillies
  • 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds (Methi)
  • 1/2 tsp Coriander seeds (Dhania)
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Approximately 1 kg of chutney.

How do I make it?

Wash tomatoes thoroughly and dry well. Chop the tomatoes into big chunks. Wash, peel and cut ginger into thin long pieces. Use a mortar and pestle to make  the coriander seeds into a  coarse powder. Heat the oil in a deep bottomed pan. When the oil is heated add the mustard seeds, wait for them to splutter and then add the curry leaves, fenugreek seeds,the coarsely powdered coriander seeds and the whole dried red chillies . Stir this around for a minute or so . Now add the turmeric and chilli powders. Saute briefly and lower the heat so that the spices do not burn. Add the chopped tomatoes, sprinkle salt and let the tomatoes simmer gently and cook in their own juices. It will take a while for the tomatoes to break down and cook into a pulp leaving their skins. When the tomatoes have cooked down completely, add the finely chopped ginger. Cook on a low heat till you see the oil leaving the sides of the pan. Adjust seasoning and cool before transferring the chutney to jars. It keeps well for 2 to 3 weeks if refrigerated. Enjoy as an accompaniment to dosas, idlis, curd rice , chappathis or even as a sandwich spread.

Hara gobi masala (dry green cauliflower subji)

Cauliflower is one of our favourite vegetables and it cooks fairly quickly.   The following started off as an experiment and we are quite happy with the outcome so we thought we would share it with you.



What do I need to make  it?

  • 1 medium cauliflower broken down into florets
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 1 tsp panch phoran
  • Pinch of asaefoetida
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • Paste ingredients
    • 3 cloves of garlic
    • 3 green chillies
    • 1″ piece of ginger peeled
    • Handful of fresh mint and coriander leaves
  • Powder ingredients
    • 1 tbsp coriander seeds
    • 1 tsp cumin seeds
    • 1 tsp black pepper corns
  • 3 tbsp ghee
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Serves 4

How do I make it?

Use a pestle and mortar to grind the powder ingredients to semi fine consistency and keep aside.   Next use the pestle and mortar to grind the paste ingredients to a coarse paste.   Heat ghee in a pan and add the panch phoran and asaefoetida – stir for a couple of minutes and then add sliced onions.   Continue stirring on medium heat till onions turn golden brown – add the paste and continue cooking on medium heat for five minutes.   Add the spice and turmeric powder to the mixture, stir for a minute before adding the cauliflower florets.   Sprinkle a 1/4 cup of water, cover and cook on a low heat till the cauliflower is done.   Serve as a sided dish with Indian bread of choice.

Coconut & coriander chutney

We have both been very quiet for the last few weeks as we have  gotten quite engrossed in our daily routines.   Hopefully we will get back into the habit of sharing recipes on a more frequent basis.   Apologies for the multiple posts today as we clear some of our back log.   The first recipe we would like to share with you is a simple accompaniment for dosai or idli.


What do I need to make it?

  • 1/2 cup of fresh coconut – grated or pieces
  • 1 Thai red chillies
  • 1 small red onion or 2 sambhar onions
  • Handful fresh coriander with stalk
  • Salt to taste

How much will I make?

Around 1 cup

How do I make it?

Place all the ingredients in a blender  with a little bit of water and grind to a coarse paste.  Transfer into a serving dish and enjoy 🙂

Chestnut flour chocolate pancakes

We are surprised it has taken us this long to make a chocolate based pancake.   Having made these a few days ago, we are certain to make it again and potentially serve it as a dessert pancake with a classic Chantilly cream or vanilla ice cream.


What do I need to make it?


  • 1 cup chestnut flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • Zest of an orange
  • 1 tsp orange blossom water
  • 1 tsp cinnamon powder
  • 1 tbsp coco powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp muscavado sugar
  • 50 gms chocolate chips
  • Pinch of salt
  • Butter to cook


How many will I make?

Around 6 depending on size

How do I make it?

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl to make a semi thick batter.   Heat a pan with some butter and spoon in a ladle of batter- cook on both sides and enjoy hot on it’s own or with a sprinkling of icing sugar.

Samo semolina upma

Samo is a type of wild grass originating from tropical Asia.  In India seeds of this grass are consumed during festival fasting days. In Gujarati it is also called  “Moriyo”, in Marathi it is called ‘bhagar’ or “Vari cha Tandul” and the English equivalent is “sawa millet”.   We bought some samo semolina at an Asian grocer a few days back and made a gluten free upma using it.   Texture wise it it very close to wheat semolina upma and taste is not too dissimilar either.   We think this seed could be a very good gluten free substitute for semolina based dishes.


What do I need to make it?


  • 1 cup of Samo semolina – dry roasted for five minutes
  • 1 cup of mixed corn and green peas (if frozen – microwave before use or par boil if fresh)
  • 1 small onion finely chopped
  • 1 inch piece of ginger finely chopped
  • 3-4 green chillies slit
  • 1 preserved lime finely chopped
  • 1 tsp urad dahl
  • 1 tsp channa dahl
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • 3 tbsp ghee
  • Handful curry leaves
  • Handful fresh mint and coriander chopped
  • Salt  to taste


How much will I make?

Serves 2

How do I make it?

Heat ghee in a wok before adding mustard seeds.  Once they start spluttering, add the urad and channa dahl and fry till they start turning golden brown.   Add the ginger, green chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida – stir for 30 seconds before adding the onions.   Cook on medium heat till the onions begin to change colour.   Add the vegetables, preserved lemon, chopped herbs and season to taste.   Pour in 2 cups of hot water from the kettle and bring to a boil.    Then add the samo semolina and keep stirring to ensure it doesn’t stick to the sides.   Continue cooking for 10 minutes or till all the water is absorbed.   Serve hot.

Thoughtful birthday present

A good friend from my days in high school and his wife got me one of the most thoughtful presents for my birthday this year.   They got me a two hour cooking lesson at L’atelier des Chefs (http://www.atelierdeschefs.co.uk) to master a Thai menu which consisted of:

  • Lamb massaman curry
  • Coconut and chilli prawns with a sweet chilli dipping sauce.
  •  Jasmine rice
  • Lemongrass and ginger creme brulee

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There was one other person attending and we split the tasks of prepping and cooking.  We did lamb 2 ways – one was seared cubes cooked slowly in the curry and the other was cooked medium rare on the hob.  The session was guided by a well experienced chef who’s past assignments have included 1/2/3 Michelin star restaurants and five star hotels.  The sweet chilli dipping sauce was an eye opener and will definitely feature on our next dinner party menu.   The twist on crème brulee using Thai flavours has me inspired to play around with a few other flavours.  Best part of the afternoon was getting to play with the blow torch for the first time on the creme brulee (hint to Anna – we need one of these in the kitchen!)  I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon and it has reinforced my passion for the culinary arts all the more.

Rathi & Ramesh thank you for your generous and thoughtful gift – I guess you know what we are having for dinner the next time you are over here.