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Sunday, November 29, 2020

Pav Bhaji .... Mumbai Street Food

Pav Bhaji is a Mumbai Street Food popular all over India. It is sold in every nook and corner with the name 'Bombay Pav Bhaji' written on the stalls. The basic ingredients in this mouth watering dish are potatoes and tomatoes. While cooking this dish at home I try to make it healthy by adding as many vegetables as possible. You can add whatever veggies are available at your home. Cut them in bite-size pieces and pressure cook them with water for 7 whistles or slow-cook them for 10 minutes after one whistle. Mash the cooked mixture and temper with ginger & garlic paste, onions and butter. Street food is always prepared with lots of butter. But you can adjust the quantities if you are calorie conscience. However the taste will be a little different if you use less butter. My family loves to have it as breakfast on Sundays. The recipe I am sharing today is very easy to prepare. You can boil vegetables a day before, store it in the refrigerator (without mashing) and use it the next day. This way you can enjoy Pav bhaji even on the days when you are too lazy to cook, because the subsequent steps don’t take much time.

Traditionally, the Pav is cooked on the Tawa (Girdle) with Bhaji but that way the paav soaks up a lot of butter. Therefore, there is a twist here. I cook it on an electric griller to reduce butter. Please try it once. I am sure you will like it. 

So without wasting much time let us start with the dish. 

We need

  • 1 Cup Peas

  • 1 Large Capsicum

  • 200 Gm Potatoes

  • 250 Gm Tomatoes

  • 12 Cloves Of Garlic

  • 2" inch Ginger

  • 1 Green Chillies

  • 1 Large Onion. 

  • 1 Lemon

  • 2 Onions Chopped. 

  • 1Tbsp Oil

  • 2 Tbsp Butter

  • 1 Tsp Cumin Seeds (Zeera) 

  • 1 Tsp Kasuri Methi

  • 2 Tbsp Chopped Coriander

  • 3 Tbsp Pav bhaji Masala 

  • ¼ Tsp Red food Colour (optional) 

  • 1 Tbsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder. 

  • 1 Tsp of Salt. 

Let us Start:

  1. Wash all the vegetables . Peel potatoes. Cut them into cubes. De-seed Capsicum and cut into cubes. Chop tomatoes. Grind ginger, garlic and green chilli together to a fine paste.

  2. Add all the vegetables to a pressure cooker with 2 cups of water along with salt and 1 Tsp of Pav bhaji masala. Cook it till 6 whistles. Don't release the pressure, let it cool on its own. Open only when the pressure is totally released.

  3. All the vegetables are soft by now. Mash them well with a hand masher. Don't use a blender otherwise bhaji will become like a chutney without any texture! 

  4. After everything is blended together , keep another pan on flame. Add butter and oil to it. It is always advisable to add oil along with butter to prevent the butter from burning into an ugly brown colour. Add 1 Tsp of zeera. When it starts sputtering, add chopped onions to it. Saute them on low flame till translucent brown. 

  5. When the onions turn to translucent brown add ginger, garlic and chilli paste to the pan. Saute for one minute. 

  6. Add a pinch of salt, turmeric powder, Coriander powder, Kasuri methi, 2 tsp of Pav bhaji Masala and kashmiri red chilli powder. Add 2 tbsp of water and saute till oil separates out on the sides. Adding water prevents the masala from burning. 

  7. Now our masala is ready. Add mashed vegetables to it. If you want market style red colour of Bhaji then you can dissolve ¼ tsp of food colour in 1 Tbsp of water and add to the bhaji . Give it a good mix. ( I am not using red colour)Now let the vegetables simmer for 4 to 5 minutes to absorb all the flavours in it. 

  8. After 4 to 5 minutes of simmering,  bhaji is ready to serve. Just squeeze one lemon on it and mix well, right before serving it to give it a tangy taste.

  9. Heat an electric griller. Soften around 3 Tbsp of butter. Now paste the Pav with the softened butter. Put it in the griller and grill it till your desired level of crispness. Avoid tightly closing the griller. Just keep the lid softly otherwise the pavs will become hard and crisp. 

  10. Pav Bhaji is ready to be served! Just top the bhaji with butter, serve it with grilled pavs, green chutney and chopped onions. Enjoy the street food of Mumbai in the hygiene of your kitchen.


The masala should not be over-cooked, it should be lightly cooked only, else the taste of bhaji will be spoiled.

Squeeze the lemon juice only when you are ready to serve, because if it stands for long it will make the bhaji bitter.

Avoid using electric blender, use hand mixer only to mash the vegetables.

Preparation time: 10 mins

Cooking time: 30 mins

Serves: 4-5 people

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Shalgam Ka Saag

Winter is a season of Saags in North India especially Punjab. There are variety of saag cooked ie. Sarson ka saag, chaulai ka saag Or Shalgam ka saag. With lots of butter and Desi ghee accompanied by bajre Or Makki ki roti, saags rule the winters. In rural Punjab, saag is cooked in batches so there are enough servings ready to be consumed anytime of the day. These saags are very Nutritious as well as delicious

Shalgam or turnip by the way is the most hated vegetable. I myself despised it till I ate it at a village in Punjab. Believe me now it is the most liked dish in our family. Years after I came to know that turnips  are loaded with fibres and vitamins and are very nutritious . They are also rich in magnesium, copper, iron , potassium, calcium and omega3 fatty acids as well as protein. 

Shalgam ka saag is made by boiling turnips with ginger, garlic and tomatoes which are later mashed and tempered with Desi ghee and onions. All saags are loaded with ghee and Shalgam ka saag is no exception. So keep the calorie count for summers and enjoy the delicacies of winters. 

We Need:

  • 500 gm Turnips 

  • 2 Medium Tomatoes

  • 2 Green Chillies

  • 6 to 7 cloves of Garlic

  • 2" Piece of Ginger

  • 2 Medium Onions finely chopped

  • 1  Tbsp Sarson Oil

  • 1Tsp Turmeric Powder

  • ½ Tsp Red Chilli Powder.

  • 1 Tsp Cumin Seeds. 

  • 3  Tbsp Maize Flour

  • Salt to taste

  • 4 Tbsp Pure Ghee

  • 1 Tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder

Let us get started:

  1. Wash and peel Turnips. Cut them into medium sized cubes. Peel garlic pods and ginger. 

  2. Grind tomatoes, ginger and garlic together. Make a smooth paste. No need to add water while grinding. Add turnips, tomato paste , salt, turmeric powder and 1 tsp of oil to a pressure cooker.

  3.  Add 300 ml of water. Close the lid and keep it on high flame. After one whistle ,keep the saag for another 15 minutes on SLOWEST FLAME. Let the pressure release on its own. 

  4. After the pressure has been released, open the pressure cooker. Add Maize flour ( Makki ka Atta) to the turnips. Mash them thoroughly till smooth. You can use either a wooden masher or the steel one. Put it again on the slow flame. Place the lid and Let it boil for another 10 minutes. Placing the lid is important as while simmering the saag will come out of the pan after adding Maize Flour ( Makki ka Atta). Be careful while handling this part. 

  5. After 10 minutes when the Maize flour has been cooked, put off the flame. Time for the tempering. Heat a pan and add 2 Tbsp Desi or Pure ghee to it. Add 1 tsp of cumin to it. When the cumin seeds start sputtering, add chopped onions. Fry until golden and then Add red chilli powder to it. Add Mashed saag to the pan. Let it simmer for 2 minutes. 

  6. Now the saag is ready to be served. Take this out in a serving dish. Again heat 2 Tbsp of Ghee. Add Kashmiri Chilli powder to it. Put the tadka on top and serve hot with Parathas or rotis. It tastes best with makki ki roti and radish salad. 

Preparation Time : 15 min

Cooking time : 45 min. 

Cooking Tips: 

Add makki ka atta only after the saag has cooled down otherwise it will form lumps

Keep on stirring saag after adding Makki ka atta otherwise it will stick to the bottom of the pan. 

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Chilli Garlic Mushrooms

Chilli Garlic Mushroom is cooked just like any other Indo Chinese dish. Button mushrooms are cooked in chilli sauce and served as a starter or along with fried rice and noodles. Button mushrooms are deep fried and tossed with capsicum and onion cut into squares. Since mushrooms are full of moisture they need a firm and crispy coating. I have used corn flour and rice flour to make it firm and crispy from outside. This dish is made dry as well as with gravy. I have taken a middle path. I have made it slightly moist and juicy by coating it with a thick sauce. I have not added the ajino motto but if you desire you can add it. 

I suggest using firm and fresh button mushrooms which are full of moisture. As they will then be firm from outside and juicy inside. If you wish you can add more gravy by doubling corn flour slurry and water. Serve them as a snack or accompany them with fried rice and noodles. 

We need:

For Frying Mushrooms

  • 200 gm Mushroom

  • 2 Tbsp Garlic minced

  • 3 Tbsp All purpose Flour( Maida) 

  • 3 Tbsp Corn flour

  • ½ Tsp salt

  • ½ Tsp Turmeric Powder

  • ½ Tsp. Red chilli Powder

  • Oil for Deep frying

For The Sauce:

  • 2 Onions Chopped in quarters

  • 1 large Green Capsicum cut into quarters. 

  • 3 Green Chillies diagonally slit

  • 6 to 7 Cloves of Garlic chopped

  • 1 Tbsp Chopped Ginger

  • 2 Tbsp Cornflour 

  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp Soya Sauce

  • 1 Tbsp Red Chilli  Sauce. 

  • A pinch of Red food Colour ( optional) 

  • 2 Tbsp Cooking Oil. 

Let us get Started:

  1. Wash Mushrooms thoroughly in water removing all dirt and grime. Rinse and keep it in a strainer to remove all water. When the water is rinsed, cut the mushroom head into quarters and chop the stems separately. 

  2. Take a bowl and add cornflour and all purpose flour. To this add salt, red pepper powder, turmeric powder and minced Garlic. Add a little water and make a batter of coating consistency. 

  3. Heat oil for frying. Coat the mushrooms with the batter and deep fry them till crisp on medium heat. All the water in the mushrooms should dry up. Otherwise the mushrooms will turn soggy . Drain them on paper towel and set aside.  

  4. Heat a wok or nonstick pan. Add  2 Tbsp of cooking oil in it. When the oil is heated add garlic and ginger to it. Saute till the raw smell of garlic goes away. 

  5. Add capsicum, green chillies and onions to it. Saute till vegetables are bit transparent but crunchy. The capsicum should not lose their colour . It will take around 2 minutes. 

  6. Time to add all the three sauces ie tomato, soya and chilli sauce. and mix everything properly. 

  7. Dissolve 2 Tbsp corn flour in 100 ml water and add this slurry to the vegetables in the pan slowly, stirring constantly till glossy. Avoid lumps. When the sauce starts boiling, add fried mushrooms to it. Coat them well with sauce . 

  8. Serve hot and Enjoy this snack with noodles, fried rice or simply on its own. 

While washing mushrooms don't leave them for too long in water as they will retain too much water. 
As there is enough salt in the sauces, there is no need to add salt. If you are making the gravy version only then add a little salt after tasting. 

Wednesday, November 18, 2020

Malai Kofta ( Cheese Dumplings)

Malai Kofta is a vegetarian dish made on special occasions. There are so many recipes for this lip smacking dish.  But the authentic one is fried cottage cheese dumplings in rich onion, tomato and cashew gravy finished with cream. The cottage cheese is crushed with the palm of a hand till it achieves a creamy smooth texture just like malai. The gravy is also silky smooth. Both koftas and gravy melt in the mouth. The dumplings are fried on a slow flame so that they are cooked well from inside but should not get brown from outside. 

Cook this dish on festivals and special occasions and surprise your family and friends. Happy Cooking

We Need:

  • 200 gm Cottage Cheese

  • 2 Tsp All purpose Flour

  • 1 Tsp Corn flour

  • 2 Tsp Milk Powder/ Khoya. 

  • 6 pieces Cashew Nuts

  • 8 pieces Raisins. 

  • ½ Tsp Salt

  • Oil for frying

For Gravy:

  • 1 Big Onion

  • 4 Tomatoes

  • 8 Cloves of Garlic

  • 1" Ginger piece

  • 1 Green Chilli

  • 12 pieces Cashew Nut

  • 2 Green Cardamom

  • 2" Piece Cinnamon

  • 2 Tbsp Butter

  • 2 Tbsp Cooking Oil

  • ¼ Tsp Turmeric Powder

  • ½ Tsp Red Chilli Powder

  • 1 Tsp Kashmiri Red Chilli Powder

  • 1 Tbsp Kasuri Methi. 

  • 1 Tsp Sugar

  • Salt to taste

  • 100 gm Cream

Here We Go:

  1. Grate or crumble Cottage cheese in a wide bowl. Add all purpose flour, corn flour & milk powder or khoya. Now with the help of your palm mash and mix everything till  smooth. The whole dough should be very smooth just like malai. Add a little salt. 

  2. Chop cashew nuts and raisins finely. Set aside. 

  3. Now grease your hands with oil and take a small ball out of the dough. Flatten it. Put a small amount of cashew and raisin mix. Now cover the mix with the dough shaping it like a ball. Prepare all the koftas like this. This mix will approximately make 10 koftas . 

  4. Heat oil in a pan. Keep the flame to low and fry all the koftas till they are fully cooked and are of golden brown colour. Set aside. 

  5. For the gravy roughly chop onions, ginger ,tomatoes, green chilli and garlic. Heat oil in a pan and add onions to it. When these are transparent add ginger, garlic, cashews and tomatoes.

  6.  Add salt, turmeric and red chilli powder. Saute till the tomatoes are mushy. Add 1 cup water and cover the pan. Cook for ten minutes turning it in between. After ten minutes, switch off the flame and let it cool. 

  7. When the masala is cooled completely add it to a grinder jar and grind to a smooth paste. 

  8. Heat a pan , add butter and oil. When heated add green cardamom and cinnamon. Roast for ten seconds till the flavours are incorporated in the butter. 

  9. Take out the masala from the mixer jar and add it to the pan. Adjust the consistency with milk or water. I prefer milk. Crush kasoori methi in your palms and add this to the gravy. Cover the pan and let it simmer for five minutes on low flame or till the gravy leaves oil. 

  10. Finish the gravy with cream and switch off the flame. 

  11. To serve line up koftas in a pan and pour hot gravy on it. For garnish pour some fresh cream over it. Serve hot with garlic naan for awesome results. 


Add cream after Switching off the flame otherwise it will curdle. 

The Cottage cheese should be mashed vigorously to achieve a perfect smooth texture of the Koftas. 

Don't over Brown the Koftas . They will taste bad and spoil the aesthetics of the dish  

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Methi Matar Malai

Methi Matar Malai is a much sought after dish in North Indian Restaurants. It is made with fresh methi in the winter season when fenugreek is in abundance. However in summers it is made with dry fenugreek. Both the versions taste good. But since winter has started and fenugreek is in abundance in the vegetable market so today I am making it with fresh fenugreek. The peas also are available fresh and frozen also. If using frozen ones, just microwave them for 2 minutes. But if you are using fresh peas then boil them till tender. As the name suggests it is basically made with three ingredients ie Methi, malai and matar. Malai is made with cashew paste and cream. I am using malai which is cream collected from milk. But the store bought cream is a good option too. 

Cook this special North Indian delicacy and enjoy it with Rotis or paranthas. 

We need:

  • 150 Gm fresh fenugreek leaves

  • 1 Cup Peas

  • 2 Tbsp Malai / Cream

  • 10 pieces Whole Cashew

  • 1 Big Onion Sliced

  • 8 to 10 cloves of Garlic

  • 1" Piece of Ginger

  • 2 Green Chillies

  • 1 Tsp Cumin seeds

  • 1Tsp Garam Masala

  • ½ Tsp Black Pepper Powder

  • ¼ Tsp Turmeric Powder

  • 2 Green Cardamoms

  • 4 Tsp Cooking Oil

  • Salt to taste

  • ½ Cup Milk for gravy. 

Here We Go:

  1. Wash fenugreek Leaves two to three times till all dirt is gone. After drying Pluck the leaves and chop them finely. 

  2. Boil these leaves for 5 minutes with ½ Tsp of salt or till tender. Drain & squeeze the water and set aside. 

  3. Heat a pan and add 1 Tsp of oil. Add Green Cardamoms and saute for 30 seconds. Now add sliced onion, garlic pods, chopped ginger, chopped Green chillies and Cashews. Saute till onions are transparent. Do not overcook. Remove from flame and let it cool.


  4. Boil peas till tender and set aside. 

  5. When the onion masala has cooled, put it in a grinder jar and grind to fine paste. 

  6. Meanwhile Heat oil in a pan. When heated add cumin seeds. When cumin seeds start sputtering, add ground onion masala. Saute till it leaves oil. 

  7. Add turmeric powder, garam masala, salt and black pepper powder to the onion masala . Saute for a minute. 

  8. Now add boiled peas and boiled fenugreek leaves to the onion masala. Saute for 2 minutes. 

  9. Time to add our third ingredient and ie. Malai. Add Malai & Mix everything together. Add half a cup of milk to adjust the consistency. If more more dilution is required, you can add more. Keep it on low flame for two to three minute. 

  10. Switch off the flame and serve hot with rotis or paratha. 


Use fenugreek leaves only for best results. Discard stems. 

Sprinkle kasuri methi when the dish is cooked for extra taste. 

You can cook it without turmeric also