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Sunday, January 17, 2021

Carrot Halwa " Gajrela "

In winter season Indian kitchens are full of life. And why not, winter is the season of food lovers. There are many Indian  winter recipes and one of them Carrot halwa or " Gajrela"as called in Northern India is a chartbuster . My niece specially requested this recipe and her wish is my command. So here it is. 

Carrot Halwa or Gajrela is made with two basic ingredients, yes you guessed correctly Carrot and Milk. This recipe originally belongs to my mother. This recipe is of homemade Gajrela made with ingredients available at home. It is healthy too. You can make it in batches as it can be stored for about fifteen days in the refrigerator. You can enjoy it every day of the season. It cooks slowly and takes about one and a half hours. Yes pretty long but worth the patience. Though there are quick methods also but believe me the slow cooking method takes the taste to the next level. After all it is Mom's recipe. Can't go wrong. 

As we all know carrots are full of nutrients. These are rich in beta - carotene , a compound which our body changes into Vitamin A. This keeps our eyes healthy and lowers the chances of cataract. 

Apart from this we add almonds, raisins and cashews which are again full of healthy nutrients and keep our body warm in winters. . " Gajrela " Is roasted with Pure Ghee which again is healthy according to Ayurveda. It boosts your metabolism, aids digestion and is good for eyesight too. 

There is enough reason now for us to make Carrot Halwa right now. Just forgot to mention that it is Super Tasty too. So let us start right away. 

We Need:

  • 1 Kg Red Carrots

  • 750 ml Whole Milk

  • 150 gm Sugar or to taste

  • 2 Cardamoms

  • 5 Tbsp Pure Ghee( 100 gms) 

  • 2 Tbsp Raisins

  • 10 to 12 Cashew Nuts. 

  • 1 Tbsp thinly sliced Almonds to garnish

Here We Go. :

  1. Peel and wash Carrots. Grate them with a medium grater. 

  2. Boil milk in a wide pan . When it starts boiling add grated Carrots. Mix it well. Keep the flame low. 

  3. Keep stirring so that the milk doesn't stick to the bottom. Also keep on scratching the sides of the pan thus removing the milk and carrots which stick to the sides of the vessel and mixing it again with the boiling milk and carrots. This residue is ' Khoya'... The thickened milk which enhances the taste of Carrot Halwa. The more you boil the milk, the more it will be thickened. The more taste is added to Carrot Halwa. 

  4. When the milk is fully absorbed by the carrots, add Sugar. Keep on stirring till the sugar is fully dissolved. The Sugar will leave some water when dissolved, dry up that water also. But continue stirring the " Gajrela" or carrot Halwa, otherwise it is more likely to stick to the bottom at this stage. 

  5. Heat Pure Ghee in a pan . Add dry fruits to this pan. Roast a little and pour it over Carrot Halwa aka Gajrela. 

  6. Now roast the Gajrela again for 10 minutes till everything binds together and it is of Halwa Consistency. Serve hot topped with sliced almonds. Enjoy this Hot and delicious Halwa in this cold weather. 

Preparation Time  20min
Cooking Time : 1 and a half hour to 2 hrs

Keep on scraching the sides of the pan and mix again in the milk. It has two benefits: firstly it will enhance the taste and secondly it will be easier to wash the pan. 
Roasting of Gajrela with ghee is very important as that creates the real taste and the consistency. 
Make Sure the Carrots are cooked before you add Sugar because after adding sugar the cooking process will stop and the Halwa will not taste that good. 

Monday, January 11, 2021

Mixed Sauce Pasta

 Mixed sauce Pasta is the Indian derivation of Red Sauce pasta & white sauce pasta. This recipe is not an authentic Italian recipe. This is an Indian street food and now officially adopted by the Chefs. It tastes great and is loved by both kids and adults. My daughter loves it . I have done the authentic Italian recipe of Penne Arrabiata also. You can check out my website for that recipe by the same name. 

I have received so many requests asking for how to boil perfect pasta without making it soggy. I have explained the full process in my Penne Arrabiata recipe and I am again giving it below for the first timers visiting my website. 

For this recipe also we are using Penne pasta made of Durum Wheat. You can use any other type also. Penny takes around 12 to 15 minutes to get done. Do add salt to pasta while boiling otherwise the pasta tastes bland. Not to forget a spoonful of cooking oil which keeps the penne apart. All said and done, let us begin the recipe. It tastes  awesome and you will love it. 

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We need

  • 1 Cup Penne Pasta

  • 1 Big Tomato

  • 12 Cloves of Garlic finely chopped. 

  • ½ Red Bell Pepper

  • 2 Tbsp Sweet Corn

  • ¼ Cup Broccoli Florets

  • 1 Tbsp All purpose Flour / Maida

  • 1 Tbsp Salted Butter

  • 1 Tbsp Chilli Flakes

  • 1 Tbsp Mixed Herbs

  • 1 Tsp Chilli Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp Tomato Sauce. 

  • 250 Ml Milk. 

  • 3 Tsp cooking Oil

Here We go :

To boil the pasta:

  1. Heat water in a deep, thick bottomed pan, bring it to a boil. Add one tablespoon salt and one tablespoon of cooking oil to it. Add the one cup of pasta to it.Let it boil on high flame for 15 minutes exactly. To prevent overflowing of water, place a wooden spoon/spatula/chopstick diagonally over the pan. Try it today and thank me later. After 15 minutes of boiling, turn off the flame. Do not cover with a lid. To check if your pasta is just right, take out one Penne and cut it with a knife. If it cuts smoothly, the pasta is done. If it shows rough edges and uncooked insides then boil it for 1-2 minutes more and re-check. The pasta should not be over boiled, else it will be soggy, drooping and the dish will not taste good. Strain the pasta out. 

To Make Sauce :

  1. Give a cut at the base of the tomato and keep it on flame till the skin is charred. Remove the skin and cut it into small pieces. Keep aside. (This is called dry roasting) 

  2. Heat a pan. Add 1 Tsp of oil to it. Saute the vegetables in it till a little soft but Crunchy. Remove the vegetables from the pan and keep aside. 

  3. In the same pan add 1 Tsp of oil and saute chopped garlic till fragrant . Add chopped tomato and saute for 1 to 2 min till the rawness goes away. Take this out and put it in a grinder jar and make a smooth puree. Keep aside. (Instead of making a puree yourself, you can even use readymade tomato puree, adding a teaspoon of garlic powder) 

  4. In the same pan add 1 Tbsp of butter and as soon as it melts add 1 Tbsp All purpose flour or Maida to it. Saute for 30 sec or till it turns slightly pink. Add 250 ml milk to it and keep on stirring to avoid lumps.


  5. Stir in the previously made garlic tomato Puree and Add the saute vegetables to it. Mix them in the sauce. Also add Chilli flakes, mixed herbs, tomato sauce and chilli sauce. 

  6.  Toss the pasta in the sauce and coat it with sauce gently so as not to break the pasta. The pasta should be coated well with sauce. Serve it hot as a snack or as a light meal. 

Preparation time : 20 minutes

Total Cooking Time: 20 minutes


Always boil the pasta al dente otherwise it will lose its shape in the sauce. 

You can make the sauce in advance and can add the pasta at the time of cooking. 

You can also add mozzarella cheese if you like after adding pasta. 

Saturday, January 2, 2021

Chicken Curry

The winter season is here and everyone is trying to keep themselves warm and cosy. So how about eating the food which keeps us warm from inside. So here we are making Chicken Curry with my special spice powder which not only keeps you warm but has health benefits too. I have combined the goodness of flax seeds and Sesame seeds as well as other Indian spices in my Tripta’s Spl Spice Powder.

Sesame Seeds are rich in magnesium, plant protein, calcium , potassium and fibre. They have nutty flavour which is enhanced when we roast them. Flax Seeds are also known for their various health benefits. They are rich in Omega - 3 , dietary fibre, lignans which reduce the risk of cancer, may improve cholesterol and may lower the risk of High blood pressure. Javitri is pungent and bitter in taste so we have to be cautious about its quantity but on the other hand it is good for the heart. It also balances the vata and kapha doshas it checks the mucus formation in the body. 

So I formulated a spice powder which has health benefits as well as enhances the taste of the Chicken Curry which we are making today. So try this Chicken Chicken with rich nutty taste and enjoy it's health benefits also. You can enjoy this dish with jeera rice , naan or chapati. Since the gravy is thin so makes a delicious lunch/ Dinner served with jeera rice. 

We Need:

  • 700 Gm Chicken cut into Curry pieces

  • 3 Medium Sized Onion

  • 2 Medium Sized Tomatoes

  • 12 Medium sized Cloves of Garlic

  • 2" Piece of Fresh Ginger

  • 2 Fresh Green Chillies

  • 1 Tbsp Dried Fenugreek leaves

  • 1 Tsp Turmeric Powder

  • 1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder

  • 2 Green Cardamom

  • 1 Tsp Salt to taste

  • 2 Tbsp Thick Curd

  • 2 Tbsp Triptas Spl Spice Powder

  • 4 Tbsp Cooking Oil

Ingredients for Triptas Spl Spice Powder:

  • 1 Tbsp Flax Seeds

  • 1 Tbsp Cumin Seeds

  • 1 Tbsp Coriander Seeds

  • 2 Tbsp Sesame Seeds

  • 1" Piece of Javitri

  • 1 Tsp Black pepper

  • 6 Cloves

  • 1 Black Cardamom

  • 2" Piece of Cinnamon

Dry Roast the above mentioned ingredients in a pan for 1 minute. When cooled, grind them in a mixer to a fine Powder. You can store the leftover powder in an airtight container to be used later. 

Here We Go:

  1. Cut thin long slices of Onions. Grind ginger, garlic and green chillies to a fine paste adding a spoon of water if required. Put tomatoes in a blender and make a smooth puree. 

  2. Heat a pan. Add 4 Tbsp of cooking oil to it. When the oil is heated add green cardamoms and cinnamon stick to it . Roast a little and add sliced onions to it. Saute onions till light golden brown. 

  3. When onions are browned add ginger, garlic and chilli paste. Saute till fragrant. Keep on adding a little water in between for smooth roasting. When Ginger garlic changes colour add tomato puree. Saute till the oil is separated. Add thick curd. Saute for two minutes. 

  4. Time to add 2 Tbsp of spice powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, kashmiri red chilli powder, salt and  Kasuri Methi ( Fenugreek Leaves) Add 2 Tbsp of water as well. This prevents burning of spice powders. 

  5. Now add chicken pieces to the masala and saute for 4 minutes. You will notice the change in the colour of chicken. It will no longer be pink. It will be slightly brown now. 

  6. At this stage add 1 cup or 250 ml of water. Mix everything properly. Cover it with a lid and keep the flame low. With a slow cooking process the chicken absorbs all the flavours well and becomes delicious. 

  7. It will take around 20 minutes for the chicken to be fully cooked. Add fresh coriander and switch off the flame. Serve it with roti, naan or rice  

Preparing time : 15 minutes

Cooking time : 35 minutes


In case you don't want to make sp spice powder, add a Tsp of Garam Masala. 

Keep on adding a spoonful of water when you saute Masala. This prevents burning of masala and also makes it smooth in texture. 

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

Roasted Chicken

Roasted Chicken is popular all over India, but it can be ubiquitously found on the menus of take-away joints of Punjab. Served with mint and coriander chutney, this hot, crispy chicken, tender from inside is a favorite snack of Punjab. In the evenings in bustling market-places when you walk around on foot you can actually feel your senses tingle with the aroma of roasted chicken and fresh green chutney. 

The recipe I am giving below will give the same taste and aroma as the popular chicken joint near you. It is also very easy to achieve. Another plus point is that this recipe requires no garlic & ginger, thus saving you a lot of time gone in peeling and chopping. The chicken is cooked with whole spices and marinated with cream melts in the mouth. Do give it a try. You will love the taste and recipe too. 

We need :

  • 2 Chicken ( 1400 gm) 

  • 200 gm Dairy Cream

  • 2 Tbsp Lemon Juice

  • 2 Tbsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder

  • 2 Tsp Salt

  • 4 Green Cardamom

  • 2" Piece of Cinnamon Stick

  • 1 Tbsp Whole Black Pepper

  • ¼ Tsp Nutmeg Powder

  • 2 Tbsp Chat Masala for sprinkling

  • 1 lemon for Garnish. 

Here We Go:

  1. Cut the Chicken into big pieces. One chicken ideally cut into eight pieces. Wash the chicken. Keep aside to drain water. When the water is completely drained, wipe the chicken pieces with a kitchen towel. When the chicken is dried make an incision on every piece for the marination to be fully absorbed. 

  2. Rub salt, Kasmiri red chilli powder and lemon on the chicken pieces and set aside to Marinate for 15 minutes. 

  3. Meanwhile Grind whole black pepper, cinnamon stick, green cardamom and nutmeg powder. Add cream to this masala powder and set aside. 

  4. After fifteen minutes , add masala mixed cream to the marinated Chicken. Mix everything together. Keep it in a refrigerator for 5 to 6 hours for Marination

  5. After the Marination process, take out the chicken and let it come to room temperature. Meanwhile preheat OTG at 250 degree for 15 minutes with both rods on. When the oven is preheated, assemble chicken pieces on the middle grill inside it. Set the temperature at 180 degrees and cook for 30 minutes. You can cook it in an air fryer too. The process is the same. Preheat Air fryer at 200 degrees for 10 minutes. Keep marinated chicken pieces and roast for 25 minutes at 160 degrees . 

  6. When the chicken is done take out and sprinkle some chat masala and lemon juice. Serve with Coriander Chutney and onion wedges

Preparation Time : 30 min. 

Marination Time : 5 to 6 hours

Cooking Time : 45 min. 


The longer the Marination Time, the better the taste. 

Do slit chicken pieces for better absorption of Marination. 

Saturday, December 12, 2020

Amritsari Fish Fry

Amritsari Fish fry is a street food originated from the streets of Amritsar, a city in Punjab and famous all over the world. Boneless and skinless cubes of fish are marinated, deep fried and then served with green chutney and radish salad. For this recipe you can use any river-water fish (white Fish eg Basa, Soul.) The reason behind using river-water fish is that these fish have a long skeleton which can be removed without much difficulty. And in Amritsari fish we use a skinless and boneless fish. Big fish fillets are cut into smaller cubes and marinated with spices and chickpea flour or 'Besan' and deep fried. 

This recipe requires two very simple types of marination. The first marination is gently rubbing some salt and lemon juice and keeping it for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes the marination of spices and flours is given. But this marination is not to be kept for too long, because fish is delicate in texture, if kept too long in marination it is bound to lose its crispness. The recipe is very simple and requires not much active effort. So let us get started. 

 We Need:

  • 500 Gm Boneless skinless Fish cut into cubes. 

  • 1 Tbsp of Lemon Juice. 

  • 2 Tbsp Chickpea flour (Besan) 

  • 2 Tbsp Corn flour

  • 2 Tbsp Rice Flour (Mandatory) 

  • ½ Tsp Turmeric Powder

  • 2 Tsp Red Chilli Powder

  • 1 Tbsp Carom seeds (Ajwain) 

  • 1 Tbsp Dhania Powder. 

  • 1 Tbsp Sour Curd / 1Egg

  • 1 Lemon. 

  • Salt to taste or 1 Tsp. 

  • 1 Tbsp Chat masala 

  • Oil for Deep frying

  • Garlic- 10-12 cloves

  • Green chillies- 2

Let us start:

  1. Marination One: In a bowl take the cubes of fish, lemon juice and salt. Mix everything and keep aside for 15 minutes. This helps to remove smell from the fish and it also becomes tangy and tasty. 

  2. Grind garlic cloves and green chillies to a fine paste. 

  3. Marination Two: In another bowl mix chickpea flour, rice flour and corn flour. To this add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, carom seeds, dhania powder, garlic and green chilli paste and sour curd or one egg. Add fish pieces. Mix everything together with your hands rubbing each piece. Set aside for another 15 minutes. 

  4. Heat cooking oil in a pan on medium flame. When heated add fish pieces. Fry them till half done and the fish pieces are of golden  colour. Drain them on tissue. Fry all pieces like this. Set aside for 5 minutes. 

  5. Again fry them in medium hot oil till reddish brown and crisp. This double frying method makes the fish pakodas nice and crisp. Sprinkle some chat masala for extra tang. Serve them hot with green chutney and grated raddish . Enjoy them as evening snacks. 

Preparation Time 10 min

Marination Time 30 min

Cooking time 20 min. 


Unlike chicken, fish needs less time in Marination as it is very delicate and cooks early. 

You can fry once also but frying twice makes it more crispy. 

I recommend mustard oil for frying as it enhances the taste of the fish. 

Friday, December 11, 2020

Apple Salad

This sweet and savoury Apple salad is  a treat in itself whether you serve it as a side dish or make a lunch of it. It is simple to make and hardly takes 15 minutes to assemble it. Diced apple, cucumber and deseeded tomatoes tossed in mayonnaise and topped with pumpkin seeds is my version of Apple Salad. Either you serve it on a bed of Lettuce or you chop Lettuce leaves and add to it. I prefer the second option. You can top it with toasted walnuts too. If you are health conscious then you can substitute Mayonnaise with yoghurt. But then add a bit of Honey too. However I prefer the Mayonnaise version. 

We Need:

  • 2 Medium Red Apple cored and Diced

  • 2 Tomatoes 

  • 1 Cucumber Diced with skin

  • 4 Lettuce Leaves

  • 2 Tbsp Mayonnaise

  • 1 Tsp Black Salt

  • 1 Tsp Red Chilli Flakes

  • 1 Tsp Mustard Sauce

  • 2 Tbsp Pumpkin Seeds/Chopped Walnuts

Here We Go:

  1. Cut Apple & Cucumber  into cubes with their skin. 

  2. Remove the seeds of tomatoes and cut it into squares. 

  3. Roughly Chop lettuce leaves. 

  4. Take a large Bowl and add mayonnaise, mustard, salt and chilli flakes. Mix everything . 

  5. Now toss Apple, cucumber and tomatoes in this dressing and serve it topped with Pumpkin Seeds. Enjoy my version of Apple salad. 


Preparation Time: 10 min

Assembling Time: 5 min


Serve it as a Side dish with roasted or fried Chicken. You will love it. 

Zafrani Kheer

In traditional Indian cuisines, sweet dishes hold a special place. According to ayurveda , the food should have three elements ie. savoury, sour and sweet. Therefore, Every Indian meal is incomplete without a sweet dish. Kheer has always been a favorite of everyone. It has many varieties. Zafrani kheer is one of them. This recipe includes a tip which reduces cooking time and effort. I have taken full fat milk and added soaked and ground rice and almonds to it, thus making it an easy and quick recipe. For extra flavour saffro jin or Kesar has been added. To make it more rich some more dry fruits are added. Do try it once you will love the Royal flavours it has. 

We need:

  • 1 Litre Full Fat Milk (8%) 

  • 75 gm Rice

  • 50 gm Almonds

  • 4 Green Cardamom / 1 Tsp Cardamom powder

  • 75 gm Sugar

  • Few Strands Of Saffron or Kesar

  • Cashews and raisins to garnish

Let us get started:

  1. Soak rice and almonds in water for 15 minutes. 

  2. Boil 1 litre of milk in a heavy pan. When it boils, keep the flame on low and let it boil for 5 minutes. Keep on stirring otherwise milk will stick to the bottom of the pan. 

  3. Drain water from rice and almonds and coarsely grind them.

  4. Add these ground almonds and rice to the milk. Keep on stirring milk while adding them otherwise lumps of rice will be formed. 

  5. Keep the pan on low flame foranother ten minutes. Meanwhile keep on stirring the milk mixture. Scrap the milk which sticks to the side of the pan. 

  6. Take two tbsp of warm milk and mix  saffron strands to it. Keep aside. 

  7. Crush cardamom and add it to the rice, almonds and milk mixture. Let it boil for another 2 minutes. Add the saffron milk to the pan and continue to stir for another 2 minutes. 

  8. The Zafrani Kheer is now ready. Garnish it with chopped almonds, raisins and cashews. Refrigerate it for two hours and enjoy this Royal Zafrani Kheer. 

Preparation Time : 10 min
Cooking Time : 30 min. 
Refrigeration required: 2 hours.