Basil Pesto

Homemade pesto is one of the best ways to enjoy a bounty of fresh basil. This basil pesto recipe uses pine nuts,but I have replaced the same with walnuts.
Make it in just 10 minutes and enjoy.

Pesto is a versatile sauce which can easily be enjoyed in or on many different dishes, not just pasta. You should try it on pizza, garlic bread,baked potatoes,sauted vegetables or grilled chicken.

Originally from Genoa, Italy, pesto traces its name to the Italian word “pestare,” which means “to crush or pound.” For hundreds of years, pesto was made by pounding the ingredients in a mortar and pestle. It dates back from Roman times when Genoans would crush walnuts with herbs and garlic.

The most popular variety of pesto now is made by “crushing” basil, garlic, pine nuts, olive oil and some hard cheese in a food processor or blender. It’s fun to use a mortar and pestle, but the modern way is much easier.

I like my pesto smooth so I have added a tbsp of water….same can be avoided to get a coarse texture.

I have used home grown Basil from my kitchen garden 😀


1 cups fresh Basil Leaves.

1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese.

1/2 cup Olive Oil.

1/4 cup chopped Walnuts.

8 to 10 cloves Garlic.

Salt to taste.


Place all the ingredients in a mixie jar or a bowl of a food processor and pulse several times…
Occasionally, stop to scrape down the sides of the mixie.

Add salt and mix well.

Toss with pasta for a quick sauce, dollop over baked potatoes, or spread onto crackers or toasted slices of bread.

Happy Cooking!!!

Jini Dosa

They say “You can take Mumbaikar out of Mumbai but you can’t take Mumbai out of a Mumbaikar”……so true na.

3 years in Pune and I was so very much missing this popular dosa from khau gali outside Mithibai College…so Ordered it in one of the south Indian outlet in a mall…but was very much disappointed,so finally made it at home and my soul was satisfied.😀

Now this dosa is made once every fortnight in my kitchen 😀


½ cup Dosa Batter.

1 tsp Butter.

2 tbsp Onion (finely chopped).

2 tbsp Cabbage (thinly sliced).

2 tbsp Capsicum (finely chopped).

2 tbsp Tomatoes (finely chopped).

2 tbsp Beetroot/Carrot (grated).

1 tbsp Coriander Leaves (finely chopped).

½ tsp Schezwan Chutney.

2 tsp Tomato Sauce.

1tsp Mayonnaise.

¼ tsp Pav Bhaji Masala.

1/8 tsp Chat Masala.

2 tbsp Mozzarella/ Cheddar Cheese (grated).


Cut all the vegetables and keep ready.

Pour a ladle full of dosa batter on hot tawa and spread gently.
simmer for a minute, allowing dosa to cook.
now spread butter evenly keeping the flame on low.

Add tomato sauce, Schezwan chutney, mayonnaise and pav bhaji masala.

Mix well and spread evenly on the dosa.

Now add, cabbage,onion, tomatoes,capsicum and beetroot, sprinkle chat masala,mix well and spread the stuffing covering the entire dosa.

Let it cook for few minutes,now add cheese and chopped coriander leaves.cook till dosa turns crisp and cheese melts completely.

Cut the dosa into thin strips using a pizza cutter or sharp knife.

Roll each strip tightly.

Place in a serving plate and sprinkle some onion,grated cheese and chopped coriander leaves.
Serve the jini dosa rolls with coconut chutney.

Tips:1.You can add less or more of the various sauces.

2.You can add less or more of the veggies as required.

3.Spring onions can also be added instead of onions.

4.If using non stick griddle, remove dosa on a chopping board before cutting,if using iron griddle cutting can be done on the griddle itself.

Happy Cooking!!!


Papad Churi.

This is a Marwari side dish which is served as accompaniment with meal,this is basically crushed papads mixed with spices and ghee.

Traditionally Bikaneri Moong papads are used for this recipe,but if you don’t have them any variety of Papad can be used.


2 Bikaneri Moong Dal Papads.

1/2 cup Onions finely chopped.

1/2 tsp Red Chilli Powder.

Pinch of Chat Masala.

2 tbsp Coriander Leaves chopped.

1 tbsp Ghee melted.

Salt to taste


Roast the papads evenly on medium heat on both sides and set aside to cool slightly.

Crush the roasted papads roughly and put them in a bowl.

Add red chilli powder, salt, coriander leaves, onion and ghee and mix well.

Transfer into a serving plate, sprinkle chat masala and serve immediately.

Happy Cooking!!!

Capsicum Potato Fry

This is an easy to make vegetable side dish which goes very well with chapati as well as dal rice,can be made in a jiffy..

I love it when it’s overcooked and turns out a bit crispy…shengdana kut adds required crunch to the dish…


1 cup Capsicum(diced)

1/2 cup Potato(deskinned & diced)

1 tbsp Oil.

1 tsp Mustard seeds.

1/2 tsp Jeera .

1/4 tsp Asafoetida.

1/4 tsp Turmeric Powder.

1 tsp Dhana jeera powder.

Salt to taste.

2 tbsp Shengdana Kut.(roasted and powdered peanuts).


In a pan heat oil.

Add mustard seeds,jeera asafoetida let it splutter.

Add diced potatoes and stir fry on high flame for 2 minutes.

Add capsisum,turmeric powder,dhana-jeera powder and salt,mix well.Cover and cook for 5 to 6 minutes,stir once in between.

Once potatoes are cooked add shengdana kut and chopped coriander leaves,mix well.

Remove from heat.

Serve hot with chappati.

Happy Cooking !!!


Ragi Oats Banana Chocolate Cake.

My body has recently developed intolerance for gluten… no wheat,maida,rava any more…

Was craving for some chocolate cake so in my search for gluten free cake,came across this recipe on youtube….and it is amazing!

Eggless Healthy Ragi Banana Cake with no flour or refined sugar! We love it so much that we make it quite often now.

So here goes the amazing and easy to make recipe.


1.5 Cup Ragi Flour.

1 Cup Quick Oats.

2 tbsp Cocoa Powder.

1 tsp Baking Soda.

1 tsp Baking Powder.

1/2 tsp Salt.

3 Ripe Bananas.

1.5 Cup Jaggery/White Sugar.

1/2 Cup Coconut Oil or Refined Oil.

1/2 Cup Curd.

1 tsp Vanilla Essence.

1/4 Cup Walnuts.

1/4 Cup Chocolate Chips.


Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Prepare the Cake tin by lining it with butter paper and oiling it on all sides.

In a large bowl,Mix the Ragi,Oats,Baking Powder,Baking soda & Salt together.

Take another bowl and Mash the Bananas.Add the Powdered Jaggery, Oil,Curd and Vanilla essence whisk well.

Pour the liquid banana mix into the Flour mixture.Mix it all well together.

Mix the chocolate chip and Walnuts.

Pour into a cake tin and bake for 30-40 minutes till the toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Tip:1.Use dairy Free Yogurt for Vegan version.
2.Make sure the jaggery doesn’t have any lumps.

Happy Cooking!!!


Dal Pakwan.

Dal  pakwan is a traditional Sindhi breakfast dish. These are crispy puris served with chana dal along with tamarind and mint chutney.

Traditionally this dish is served mainly for breakfast, but can also be served for brunch and evening snack. the preparation is time-consuming, but certainly worth the effort.

Make sure to fry the pakwan on low flame, else the pakwaan will not turn crispy and crunchy. This dish can also be served as a chat by pouring dal over pakwan and topped up with chutneys.

I was introduced to this dish by my ex boss Mr Jamal Syed,a hardcore foodie,who loves food.He had a maharaj at his home who used to make amazing dal pakwan and we used to wait for him to get it in lunch.I was so fascinated with the dish that I Googled for the recipe and finally got a perfect one and nailed it.

So here goes the recipe….

Ingredients :

For Dal:

1 cup Chand Dal.washed and soaked in water for 4 hours.

1 tbsp Ghee.

1/2 tsp Asafoetida.

1/2 tsp Cumin Seeds.

1/2 tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder.

1/2 tsp Dhana Jeera Powder.

1/4 tsp Turmeric powder.

1/2 tsp Aamchur Powder.

Salt to taste.

For Pakwan:

1 cup Wheat Flour.

1 cup Plain Flour.

2 tbsp Ghee.

1/4 tsp Carom Seeds.

1/4 tsp Cumin Seeds.

Salt to taste.

Water to knead.

Oil for deep frying.

For Serving:

2 tbsp Green Chutney.

2 tbsp Tamarind Chutney.

1/2 Onion finely chopped.

1/2 Tomato finely chopped.

1/2 tsp Chaat Masala.

1 tbsp Coriander Leaves finely chopped.


For Dal:

In a cooker pressure cook 1 cup chana dal along with 3 cup water for 5 whistles.
Once the pressure settles down, open the cooker and check the dal has cooked well yet not mushy. keep aside.

In a large kadai heat ghee and splutter cumin seeds and asafoetida,keeping the flame on low, add turmeric powder,dhana jeera powder and Chilli powder,saute until the spices turn aromatic.

Now add cooked chana dal along with 1 cup water and salt,mix well,simmer for 2 minutes,add amchur powder mix well adjusting the consistency as required..
Remove in a bowl and keep aside.

For Pakwan:

In a large bowl take wheat flour,maida,carom seeds,cumin, seeds and salt,mix well.
Add ghee and mix well.
Now add water slowly and start to knead the dough.
knead to a stiff dough.

Pinch a ball sized dough and flatten, roll slightly thick as for paratha.

Prick the pakwan with a fork to prevent puffing up while frying.

Deep fry the pakwan in hot oil.

Fry the pakwan on low flame making sure they turn crisp and are cooked completely.

Drain off on an absorbent paper to remove excess oil.

Pakwan can be stored in an airtight container for 10-15 days once its cooled completely.

Assembling of Dal Pakwan:

Pour the prepared chana dal in a bowl and top with 1 tsp of green chutney and tamarind chutney,top up with finely chopped onions and tomatoes, sprinkle little chaat masala,sev and chopped coriander leaves.Serve with Pakwan.

Happy Cooking !!!


Ambe Dal.

The Maharashtrian hospitality is legendary.

The cuisine has subtle variety and strong flavours and varies from region to region.
This is one such traditional dish from Maharashtrian cusine and is usually prepared during Chaitra month, the first month in the Marathi calendar to welcome spring.It is served as a tea time snack and traditionally served with Kairee Panhe, a sweet sharbat drink prepared using raw mango,during Chaitra Haldi kumkum, a ceremony where vermilion and turmeric is offered to married ladies.

Ambe Dal is a no-cook recipe the only cooking is the tempering poured on top. An easy recipe that is very delicious.

This recipe is from my jet airways colleague,my tiffin partner and my dearest friend Mrs Poonam Kolhatkar,who makes awesome Dadpe Pohe….ohh I so very much miss our tiffin and gossip time…

So here goes the recipe….


For the Ambe dal:

1 Cup Chana Dal (Split Bengal Gram).

1 Cup Raw Mango grated.

2 Green Chillies.

1/2 tbsp Sugar.

1 tsp Lemon Juice.

1 tbsp chopped Coriander Leaves.

Salt to Taste.

For the Tempering:

1 tbsp Oil.

1/2 tsp Mustard Seeds.

1/2 tsp Cummin Seeds.

1/2 tsp Asafoetida.

1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder.


Soak chana dal for 4 hours in the water.

Peel the raw green mango and grate it,keep aside.

Drain all the water from the dal,transfer drained dal to a mixie jar add roughly chopped chillies. Pulse in the mixie once or 2 times.
Just before 2nd pulse,Scrape the sides and pulse again.
Remove dal in a bowl,add grated mango,sugar, chopped coriander, lemon juice and salt. Mix everything well.Keep aside.

Heat oil in a small kadhai,lower the flame and splutter in mustard seed and cumin seeds. Add asafoetida and turmeric powder.,keep aside let the tempering cool down completely,then add to the prepared dal and raw mango mixture,mix well.

Remove in a serving bowl and serve with chilled Panha.

Picture & Recipe courtesy Mrs Poonam Kolhatkar.

Happy Cooking!!!


Chicken Chettinad.

Chicken is loved by people all over the world at all times! One meat that is a favourite of all beyond belief! When cooked, it can be presented in many ways,Sauté it, fry it, toss it, bake it, steam it – eat it the way you want to. Whatever its form may be upon being cooked, its flavour may change but its flesh remains high in protein, low in fat and can be digested easily.

Chettinad Chicken, is a simple chicken cooked with classic Chettinad flavours that can be served with parota,neer dosa or as a side dish along with rasam rice.

My family is not a big fan of chicken with bones so I have used boneless chicken,you can use as per your liking.

Here I have used dried coconut powder instead freshly grated coconut can also be used in this recipe.


1 kg Boneless Chicken,curry cut.

3 tbsp Oil.

1 Bay Leaf.

6 Dried Red Chillies.

1/2 cup grated Coconut fresh or dried.

2 tsp Poppy Seeds.

1 tsp Coriander Seeds.

1 tsp Cumin seeds.

3 Green Cardamoms.

2 Cloves.1 inch Cinnamon Stick.

1 Star anise.

1 tsp Fennel Seeds.

10 Black Peppercorns.

1 inch Ginger chopped.

10 cloves Garlic chopped.

10 Curry Leaves.

1 large Onion chopped.

2 large Tomatoes chopped.

1 tsp Red Chilli Powder.

1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder.

1 tbsp Lemon juice.

Salt to taste.

2 tbsp chopped Coriander Leaves for garnishing.


Wash and clean chicken,add salt and lemon juice,mix well and keep aside.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan and roast the bay leaf,peppercorns,red chillies, poppy seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, green cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon, star anise and fennel seeds till fragrant.

Now add grated coconut.

Roast well till the colour turns light brown.

Remove in a plate and keep aside to cool.

Once Cool,add to a mixie jar along with ginger and garlic,grind to a smooth paste with adding some water.

Heat the remaining oil in a thick bottom pan, add curry leaves and chopped onions,sauté till golden.

Add the prepared masala paste and sauté for two to three minutes.

Add the chopped tomatoes, red chilli powder,turmeric powder and little salt.

Sauté for few more minutes,till oil separates.

Once the masala is cooked add chicken, mix well and sauté for five minutes.

Add 1/2 cup of water and mix well. Cover and cook till the chicken is done.

Serve hot, garnished with coriander leaves and accompanied with boiled rice,neer dosa or parota.

Happy Cooking !!!



Falafal is a traditional middle east cuisine delicacy which is deep fried balls made from chickpea.
It is mostly served in pita bread as patty stuffed with other veggies or in shwarma.

Tastes yummm with hummus.


1 cup Chickpea / kabuli Chana.

½ Onion ,finely chopped.

1/2 cup Parsley Leaves.

5 cloves Garlic.

2 Green Chillies.

1/2 tsp Coriander Powder.

½ tsp Cumin Powder.

1 tbsp Lemon Juice.

¼ tsp Baking Soda.

Salt to taste.

Oil for deep frying.


Soak 1 cup of chickpeas in enough water,overnight.
Next day, drain off the water and transfer to food processor,add onion, parsley leaves, garlic,green chillies, coriander powder, cumin powder, lemon juice and salt to taste.

Blend coarsely in a food processor without adding any water,add in baking soda and mix well.

Now with wet palms,prepare small lemon sized balls.

Keep it in fridge for 20 minutes.

Now, on medium heat deep fry the balls in hot oil.

Stiring occasionally.

Once the falafel turns golden brown, remove on an absorbent paper.
Serve falafel hot with hummus or sauce of your choice.

Here I have served falafel with beetroot humus,fries and vegetable fingers.

Happy Cooking!!!


Baked Sweet Potato Fries.

crispy baked sweet potato fries with ketchup
These sweet potato fries will leave u wanting for more… They are salty-sweet and crunchy. Baked sweet potato fries have been one of my favorite snacks.
Sweet Potatoes are Nutritious,unlike regular deep-fried French fries, these baked sweet potato fries have a lot of redeeming nutrition properties.

Sweet potatoes are also full of antioxidants and fiber, and have some beneficial blood sugar-regulating properties. Plus, they’re a very good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6 (source).

So here goes the recipe…


200 gms Sweet potatoes (about 2 medium).

2 tbsp Extra-Virgin Olive Oil.

1/4 tsp Chilli Flakes.

Salt and black pepper to taste.

1 tbsp chopped Parsley for garnishing.


Preheat the oven to 200°C .

Wash the sweet potatoes and cut them into fry-shaped pieces about ¼″ wide and ¼″ thick. Try to cut them into similarly sized pieces so the fries will bake evenly.

Add oil, salt,pepper powder and chilli flakes to the fries. Toss until the fries are lightly coated.

Arrange the fries in a single layer on a baking tray lined with silver foil and don’t overcrowd otherwise they will never crisp up.

Bake for 10 minutes, then flip the fries so they can cook on all sides.

Bake for 10 more minutes, or until the fries are crispy. Keep an eye on them, as they can turn from crisp to burnt quickly.

Remove in a serving bowl, garnish with chopped parsley and serve warm!

Happy Cooking!!!