Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Dudhichi goad bhaji (Sweet bottle gourd fudge)

Ingredients (4 servings):

1. Peeled and chopped/grated bottle gourd: 3 cups
2. Ghee: 2 tbspn
3. Sugar or jaggery: 5 tbspn (add more if required)
4. Cloves: 3-4
5. Salt: pinch
6. Mawa (condensed milk): 200 gm
7. Crushed cardamom from 3-4 pods or 1/2 tspn
8. Nutmeg: pinch


1. Heat the ghee in a wok
2. Add cloves and switch off heat.
3. Add bottle gourd, switch on heat, cover with a heavy lid and cook until tender, about 10 minutes.
4. Add the condensed milk, sugar/jaggery, cardomom and nutmeg and mix well. Rest for 10 minutes after switching off heat. Serve warm or chilled as you prefer.

This can be eaten by itself or along with phulka. 

Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Vegan Cauliflower Bolognese

Huge cauliflowers sitting in all the vegetable shops here. Got one such colossal cauliflower delivered home and was wondering what to do with it when I happened to see this recipe on

Note: Bolognese is pronounced bolo-nees and not bolo-ganesh

I didn't have all the ingredients mentioned on the site above, so I changed a few bits and the result was delicious too. Here's what I added:

1. One cauliflower finely chopped or coarsely ground in the food-processor (It was huge, so I used half)
2. Basil leaves 6-7 (Growing in my balcony)
3. Dried Italian herbs
4. Tomatoes crushed, without seeds (5-6 big)
5. Pink masoor dal 1 cup
6. Red chilli powder 1/2 tspn (add more for a spicier sauce)
7. Grape wine vinegar 1 tspn
8. Salt 1 tspn
9. Pepper 1/2 tspn
10. Ghee 1 tbspn (Til/groundnut oil for vegan recipe)
11. Cooked pasta 3 cups
12. Paneer cubes (omit for vegan recipe)

What I did not add: Onion and garlic (The original recipe called for 1 onion and 3 cloves of garlic, but we were cooking without these and the result was great too, although I am certain that these would add even more flavours.)

Heat ghee/oil in a big pot. If adding onion and garlic, add at this point and saute for a minute. Add the coarsely ground cauliflower and saute for 2-3 minutes. Add a few chopped basil leaves (reserve some for garnish), crushed tomatoes, lentils, vinegar and chilli powder. Cover with heavy lid and cook for 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper and dried Italian herbs (thyme, oregano, etc). Add the cooked pasta and cook for 5 minutes to let the pasta absorb the juices. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.

Dig in!

We ate the Bolognese with rigatoni, but it will go well with any kind of pasta. There's no strong cauliflower taste and the lentils add an amazing depth to the flavours. I will write and let you know when I try it with onion and garlic.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Idli dosa when you do not have a grinder

Don't have a grinder and hate the decibels of a typical mixer-grinder-food-processor? Here's an easy recipe to make idli or dosa batter without a grinder.

1. Udad dal 1 cup
2. Rice flour 1 cup
3. Methi seeds 1 tspn or methi powder 1/2 tspn
4. Water as required
5. Salt 1/2 tspn
6. Poha 1 handful (optional)


On a weekend evening, soak the udad dal (and methi seeds) in water (let the water level sit an inch above the dal). The next morning, get up and have a cup of warm lemongrass tea. Then, eat cereal with a banana. Now that you are energised, take the soaked dal and grind it in your mixer quickly before you go deaf with the sound. Next add the rice flour and salt to the ground dal and stir to mix well. Leave it out in a warm place and go out and play badminton or tennis or just do something outdoors. The batter will rise to double its volume by tea-time. Wash the poha and let it sit for 5 minutes after draining off excess water. Grind the poha and mix it with the batter. Mix more water to make the batter thinner (for dosa).

For dosa:
Heat an iron tava and spread some oil on it. Plop some batter on it and spread with a steel bowl or a dosa spoon. Let it cook and flip it when done. Enjoy with chutney and batatyachi bhaji.

For idli:
Spoon the batter into the idli mouls and steam for 10 minutes. Enjoy idlis with chutney and sambar.

Wednesday, 5 November 2014

One pan chocolate cake

Ingredients: (Serves 4)
1. Maida or refined wheat flour 1 cup
2. Salt pinch
3. Baking soda 1/2 tspn
4. Cocoa powder unsweetened 3 tbspn
5. Powdered sugar 1 cup
6. Oil/melted ghee/butter 3 tbspn
7. Vanilla extract 1/2 tspn
8. Vinegar 1 tspn
9. Warm water 1 cup
10. Walnuts 5-6 optional

Preheat oven to 170 deg C. Mix all dry ingredients (1-5) together in the baking pan (small, 8X8 in). Next, pour in all the wet ingredients (6-9) and mix. Sprinkle the walnuts on top. Bake for 30 minutes.

Cool and slice. Enjoy this cake! I was amazed that something so delicious could be achieved with so little effort. :)

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

The quintissential CKP Ninaava, a wonderful vegan nutritious dessert

We all know निनावं,  the soft yumminess of it and the melt-in-the mouth-ness of besan and jaggery and coconut milk and cardamom. Well, here's a slightly different (lazier) take on our favourite vegan dessert!

Ingredients: (use organic ingredients for that extra taste and texture, normal is fine if you can't get organic)
1. Besan(chickpea flour): 2 cups
2. Powdered Jaggery: 1.25 cups (or more if you like it extra sweet)
3. Coconut Milk: One pack of Dabur hommade or 2 cups freshly extracted
4. Cardamom: Ground, 2 teaspoons
5. Nutmeg: Ground, pinch
6. Water: 1 cup

1. Preheat oven to 180 deg celcius.
2. Add water and coconut milk to besan and beat until no lumps are seen.
3. Now add everything into a mixie/blender bowl and mix well. The resultant mixture should be runny, NOT thick. Add more water if required. Coarser besan tends to absorb more water, so the quantity of water required may be different every time.
4. Pour the runny batter into a cake mould.
5. Bake at 180 deg celcius until top turns dark brown, approximately 40 minutes.
6. Remove from oven and cool. Cut up into pieces and serve warm.

The traditional ninaava is steamed, not baked. But you need to keep stirring that and that is definitely not what a lazy cook would do :)
My son eats his with a bit of vanilla ice-cream, obviously he's not vegan! But I like to have it plain.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Wheat and nuts ladoo

Well this is not necessarily CKP or even Maharashtrian, it's north indian aate ke laddo, a favourite of my husband's. Maybe it IS essentially ckp, since ckpees are known to have been absorbing food and culture from around them for centuries now. :)

1. Organic whole wheat flour, 4 cups
2. Ghee, melted, 2 cups
3. Crushed nuts and seeds (almonds/walnuts/cashew/pine/hazel/any/all....half cup)
4. Cardomom, crushed fine, 1/2 tspn
5. Nutmeg, grated fine, pinch
6. Sugar, powdered, 2 cups
7. Milk, half cup

1. Mix ingredients 1 and 2 in a bowl and roast in a tray in oven at 150 deg celcius for 45 min. Mixture should turn golden brown and give off a heavenly aroma by now.
2. Take out of oven and let cool
3. Mix ingredients 3-6 to the golden brown mass.
4. Add milk, spoon by spoon until mixture comes together in your hands. (Note, add only as much milk as required)
5. Laadoo valaa! Make balls of the mixture and press them within your palms to bind well.

Eat them up and share them with family and friends! These are lovely to eat in winter. :) Be sure to run an extra kilometre the next day!

Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Kothimbir Vadi

1. Besan 2 cups
2. Kothimbir (coriander): 1 big bunch, chopped coarsely
3. Turmeric: pinch
4. Red chilli powder: 1 tspn
5. Jeera powder: 1 tspn
6. Ova (Ajwain): 1/2 tspn
7. Salt: 1 tspn
8. Lemon juice/tamarind paste: 1 tbspn
9. Water: as required to make the dough
10. Oil: 1 tbspn

Mix ingredients 1-9 together and form a soft dough. Flatten it out into a circle (or oval or square or rectangle or any shape) with a rolling pin ( लाटणं ) until it's half an inch thick. Note: Oil all surfaces, even your hands, or else the dough gets too sticky and messy. Now, lift up the flat dough from one side and start rolling it up, just as you would roll up your yoga mat. Pinch the ends of the roll close from both sides. Cut the roll of dough as per the size of your steamer and steam the roll of dough for about 20 minutes. Take it out of the steamer and cut it into slices. You can either temper these slices with green chillies and mustard seeds, or you could shallow fry them on a griddle ( तवा ). Another option is deep frying them, but that's a pain and then what's the use of all that yoga? Enjoy hot kothimbir vadis by themselves or as a side to liven up your plate.