Malai Kofta Curry

Before I got interested in cooking, I used to order Malai Kofta Curry whenever we ate out as I used to think that this must be a very complicated dish to make. But believe me it’s not! Not only is it easy to make, it’s not too time consuming either. It’s a fantastic dish to make as it’s rich and spicy but also contains loads of vegetables.

Ingredients for 4 servings:

Time: 45 minutes to cook  (Suggest that you allow more time for the koftas to soak in the gravy before serving)

Ingredients for the koftas:

2 cups of any mixed vegetables – (I used frozen carrots, cauliflower, green beans and peas)
1 cup of diced potatoes (I used small new potatoes)
Small bunch of fenugreek or spinach (whatever is available)
1-2 cups of breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon chilli powder
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon blended green chilies
1 teaspoon blended garlic
1 teaspoon blended ginger
1 teaspoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon garam masala
1 litre oil for frying (I used sunflower oil)

Ingredients for the gravy

2 cups of blended tomatoes (I used Passata as it helps to make a thick gravy)
2-3 small onions
2-3 spoons of melted butter
½ teaspoon of cumin seeds
2-3 cloves
1-2 small sticks of cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon chilli powder
½ teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon blended green chilies
1 teaspoon blended garlic
1 teaspoon blended ginger
½ teaspoon of garam masala
½ teaspoon of mixture of ground cinnamon and cloves
2 teaspoons of lemon juice
2-3 teaspoons of  brown sugar (or any sweetener)
1 cup of cream – (I used double cream)
½ cup of cashew nuts
2 teaspoons of cornflour (or you can also use chick pea flour)


1. Mix the frozen vegetables, fenugreek and potatoes and cook them until soft.  I washed and drained the vegetables and microwaved them for 5 minutes and again 5 more minutes.  The time would depend on the size of your microwave.

2. When the vegetables have softened, blend them either by using a masher or a food processor.

3. Add the spices – salt, chilli powder, turmeric, blended green chillies, ginger, garlic, garam masala, lemon juice and mix.

4. Now add the breadcrumbs slowly until the mixture feels firm enough to make into small balls. You should get 15-16 kofta balls.

5. Deep fry the kofta balls.  To stop the kofta balls from being sticky -the best way to make them is to either coat your hands with some oil when forming the balls or you can dip your hands in some breadcrumbs. I tried both ways and it worked fine and the koftas fried well without breaking. In the picture below, the koftas on the left were coated with breadcrumbs and the ones on the right with oil. 

6. Now to make the gravy – Blend the tomatoes, onions and cashews in a blender.

7. Heat the butter and add in the cumin seeds, cloves and cinnamon.

8. When the cumin seeds get darker – add in the blended tomatoes.

9. Add the spices, salt, chilli powder, turmeric, blended green chillies, garlic and ginger, garam masala, ground cinnamon and cloves, lemon juice and the brown sugar or sweetener.

10. Add two cups of water to the gravy.

11. When this gravy starts to boil, lower the heat and add in the cornflour.

12. Allow the gravy to cook for 5-6 minutes and add in the double cream (saving a bit for the garnishing) and stir well.

13. Transfer the koftas to a serving dish and pour the gravy over the koftas.

14. Garnish the kofta curry with some cream and cashew nuts.

15. Allow the koftas to soak up all the gravy spices for half an hour and serve hot with rice. Be gentle when serving as you don’t want to break any of the koftas.

Peas and Potato Curry

A fast and easy dish to make. Simple flavours but a classic curry that makes a good accompaniment to any rice dish or chapatti.

Preparation Time-20 minutes
Cooking time 20 minutes
Serves 4


240 grams peas (fresh or frozen)
2 medium potatoes peeled and diced.
2 medium tomatoes de seeded and blended to a puree.
1 clove garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
1 teaspoon tomato puree
1 tablespoon fresh chopped coriander leaves.
2 tablespoons olive oil
100 ml water
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds


1.Heat oil in a pan , when it is hot add the mustard seeds and wait for them to splutter.
2. Saute the garlic in the oil and  add the blended fresh tomatoes and tomato puree.
3. Add the salt, turmeric, chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and cook till the tomatoes start to separate from the oil.
4. Add the potatoes and peas and the water.
5.Bring the curry to boil then turn down the heat .Cover and cook till potatoes are  fully cooked.(approx 10 minutes)If you want more gravy than add a little extra water.
6. Transfer to a serving dish and garnish with the fresh chopped corriander.

Serve with Rice or chapattis


Like the Gulab Jamuns, Jalebis are one of the most popular sweets within the Indian community. The shape of the jalebis is mostly spiral and it’s made from a variation of flours depending on tradition. In some parts of India, it’s made from gram flour, in some parts from urad dall flour and in some places from plain flour. Most jalebis are small but I have seen large jalebis made the size of a large pizza for some Parsi friends when they were celebrating their New Year.

Jalebis are best eaten fresh and warm. Most tend to go soft and limp if left around overnight. Gujarati’s like to have jalebi and lamba gathia with sambharo, chutney and fried chillies for the Sunday brunch. For those of you living in London and Leicester will have seen the queues outside the Gujarati takeaways on Sunday mornings.

I will admit that it is not an easy sweet to master. I thought that creating the spiral shape would be the hardest part but actually, it’s the making of the jalebi batter to the right consistency which requires real talent. The jalebis when cooked should be able to soak up the syrup and stay crisp.

I grew up watching my father and later my father in law make these hot and fresh during Diwali celebrations and at weddings they catered at but never attempted to make them. I was too busy tasting them. My poor family had to keep trying out my jalebis as I made at least 4 batches of jalebis since Christmas before we were all happy with the results. I am glad that I did not give up.

Ingredients for about 20 -25 jalebis
Time: 1 Hour
Requires preparation

For the jalebi:
2 cups of plain flour
Half a cup of live yoghurt (preferably sharp too)
1 litre cooking oil for frying the jalebis
2-3 drops of orange or red food colouring

For the syrup:
1 and half cups of sugar
A pinch of saffron
A pinch of cardamom powder
A couple of drops of lemon juice


1. Take one cup of plain flour and add the yoghurt to it. Using sharp yoghurt helps with the fermentation of the batter. Add half a cup of warm water and mix well. The batter should be quite thick and smooth.

2. Cover this mixing bowl and keep it in a warm place for about 12-14 hours. I kept my bowl inside an insulated box.

3. After 12-14 hours, you should see little bubbles which means that the batter is fermenting well.

4. Add the remaining plain flour to the mixture and stir well. Also add the food colouring. Getting the right colour can be hard but this can be adjusted if the jalebis turn out a paler colour.

5. Stand the mixing bowl in a bigger bowl which should be filled with hot water. Let this stand for half an hour. The warmth will help with the fermentation of the dough. Whilst the batter is being fermented, prepare the syrup.

For the syrup:

6. In a deep frying pan or saucepan, add the sugar and one cup of water. Allow this to dissolve.

7. The syrup should be of one-thread consistency. To check this, take a drop of the syrup and rub it between your thumb and first finger. When you separate the thumb and finger, the syrup should be thick enough to form a thin string. Add a couple of drops of lemon juice to the syrup. This stops the sugar from crystallising.

8. Add the saffron and cardamom to the syrup and lower the heat.

9. Now it’s time to make the jalebis. Pour the jalebi batter into an empty plastic tomato ketchup or mustard dispenser. You can use any similar plastic dispensers. Traditionally, the chef uses either a muslin type cloth or a metal container called a “lota” with a hole at the bottom. Most chefs take their own jalebi makers with them if they are catering anywhere.

10. Heat some oil in a large frying pan. Once the oil is hot, reduce the temperature to medium. To test whether the oil is hot, drop a few drops of batter to the oil. If the batter rises too quickly to the top, the oil is hot and the heat should be reduced to medium. Gently pour the batter directly into the oil in small spiral like patterns, taking care to make sure the edges are joined to the rest of the jalebi. I started from the middle and made my spiral outwards. (Don’t worry if the shape doesn’t happen – even mis-shapen jalebis taste great and won’t go wasted!)

11. The batter will sink to the bottom and rise up slowly. Turn the jalebis and cook the second side until they are slightly firm, crisp and of a dark yellowish colour. (If you are not happy with the colour of your jalebi’s you can add a couple more drops of the food colouring.)

12. At this stage, remove the sugar syrup (often called Chasni) from the heat.

13. Remove the jalebis with a tong and dip them into the sugar syrup for less than a minute.

14. Remove and finish making the rest of the jalebis. Enjoy them whilst they are nice and warm and sweet!

Images courtesy of Mina Joshi

Tomato Chutney

Whenever I make any kind of  bhajias or samosas  I like to serve them with this tomato chutney/dip.   It’s tangy and sweet to taste but can be made hot by adding chillies if you like hot chutneys.


Time – 10-15 minutes

4 -5  ripe tomatoes
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon of tomato puree
1 tablespoon splenda or sugar
2-3 cloves of garlic
2-3 green really finely blended chillies (use less or none if you don’t like hot food)
½ teaspoon salt
Pinch of turmeric (optional)
½ teaspoon of cumin/coriander mixture (dhana jiru)
½ teaspoon basil


1.  Make a small cross at the bottom of your tomato and boil it in just enough water to cover it for a minute or two.

2. Once boiled, remove from the hot water and dip the tomatoes in cold water.  This helps to remove the tomato skin quicker.

3. Chop the tomato into really small pieces.

4. Add the rest of your ingredients to the tomatoes and allow this to cook until the tomatoes have really softened.

5. Blend this mixture with a potato masher or electric blender.  You can allow the chutney to thicken more according to your preference.

6.  Taste and add salt or lemon as necessary

7.  Allow to cool.

8.  Sprinkle some basil before serving your tomato chutney.

9.  Any left over chutney should be fine for 2-3 days if kept in the fridge.

Tip: You can use tinned tomatoes if you haven’t got fresh tomatoes.

Spicy Buckwheat Pancakes


I used Orgran Buckwheat Pancake mix to make some spicy pancakes.  Buckwheat is not a grain but a fruit seed and part of the rhubarb family of plants.  This link  gives you more information about Buckwheat.

Ingredients for 5 pancakes:
½ cup buckwheat pancake mix
1 small onion -grated
1 fresh green chilly chopped into small pieces
small bunch of freshly chopped coriander
small piece of grated ginger
2 gloves of garlic minced using a garlic press
½ tsp. salt
pinch of turmeric
2-3 tbls oil
1.  Transfer the pancake mix into a mixing bowl.  Add the onions, ginger, garlic, green chillies, coriander, salt, turmeric to the pancake mix.

2. Add 2 tablespoons of cooking oil to the mixture and mix it all using a spoon.

3.  Add half a cup of water to the mixture and stir.

4. This water should be enough but if you feel that the mixture is thick and you can a couple of tablespoons of water.

5. Grease and heat a non stick frying pan with oil.  Rub off the excess oil using a kitchen paper.  Pour in a small ladle of the pancake mix and using a tablespoon, spread it into a circle.

6. Once the little air bubbles start to appear, it should be easy to turn the pancake over.  If the pancakes feel dry, you can add a couple of drops of oil to allow them to brown.

7.  Cook until golden brown on both sides. Finish making all the pancakes in the same manner. I didn’t need to add much oil to the pancakes and they cooked fine and tasted great too.

8.  Serve them hot with your favourite sauce.

Massor Lentils and Sweetcorn Daal

Did you remember the recent hose pipe ban in the United Kingdom? It was rather strange that our country faced one of the driest periods on record. So the government issued a ban that effected almost 20 million people, introducing fines of up to £1000 if used. The government urged householders to be “smarter about how we use water”.

However, after some praying we were blessed with quite a rainy period lifting the ban and that made me so happy. However, the rain also brought a traffic chaos and I did not leave the house to go shopping much. We didn’t have any Indian vegetables in the house and my daughter seemed to be rather delighted.

So I thought I would soak some lentils and cook them for dinner. Then at the same time I saw that in my freezer we had two open bags of sweet corn and I thought I could make corn curry, too. But then contemplating again I didn’t want to prepare two dishes at the same time. So why not use lentils and sweet corn in the same dish? Here is the recipe I came up with:

You will need:

  • 1 bowl whole Masoor (I used green Masoor) you can use red kidney beans too
  • 1 bowl sweetcorn (I used frozen but tinned should work equally well)
  • 2-3 tbp green chillies, ginger and garlic crushed
  • 2-3 tbp roasted peanuts powder (optional)
  • 2-3 medium tomatoes, crushed
  • few fresh curry leaves
  • 1/2 tsp kasoori methi (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp dhana jeera powder
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tbp oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds


Rinse Masoor 2-3 times, soak for an hour and pressure cook with 2-3 cups of water. I cook mine on a medium heat with 6-7 whistles or until soft.

Grind chillies, garlic and ginger in a grinder with tomatoes. Heat oil in a heavy bottom pan, add mustard seeds, and then add curry leaves and kasoori methi, fry for few seconds and add tomato pulp with garlic and ginger paste. Lower the heat, add red chilli ,tumeric, garam masala, dhana jeera powder and salt. Cook masala until oil is appears on the side of the pan.

Now add frozen sweetcorn and peanut powder. Let everything cook for 3-4 minutes. Add boiled Masoor and mix very well. Add 1/2 – 1 cups of water. Cook everything for 10-12 minutes and stir in between. Add a little water if massor dal is too thick. Then cook for another 1-2 minutes. Turn off the heat. This dish is now ready to serve with hot roti and mixed salad.

Nut Brittle


Mixed Nuts (Almonds, Pistachios, Cashew nuts) – 1 Cup
Poppy Seeds / Khus Khus – 2 tbsp
Cardamoms – 4 -5
Sugar – 1 Cup
Ghee Clarified Butter ( ghee)- 1 tbsp


1. Slice all mixed nuts. Powder the Cardamom seeds.
2. In a heavy bottomed pan, add ghee and sugar. On low heat melt the sugar.
3. When the sugar is melted and caramelized to a light brown color add the sliced mixed nuts, Khus Khus, and powdered cardamoms. Mix till nuts are coated well with the caramelized sugar.
4. Pour this mixture onto the back of a thali/ greased plate or on a rolling board.
5. Using the back side (flat side) of a cup, flatten the mixture like a thick chapatti or disc. You can use a rolling pin to roll the mixture. This has to be done very quickly as the mixture begins to harden as soon as it is removed from heat.
6. Before mixture begins to set score lines where you want to break the varo as this will make it easier to get uniform size pieces when set as Varo will break on the scored lines .
7. Leave the rolled Varo to set for some time.

Break into pieces and store in air tight containers

High Protein Chocolate Chip Cookies

I was making some basic recipe chocolate chip cookies with oats and my son comes in the kitchen and said “Can you put some of my protein powder  in the cookies?”  Just to explain the protein powder is a supplement people  generally consume immediately before and after exercising and my son is really into his sports and exercise.   Well I am always open to new ideas so I took up his challenge and made these cookies which I think should be called high protein chocolate chip cookies.   I still followed the basic cookie recipe so the results will be good even without the addition of the protein powder.

Preparation: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes

Ingredients for 20 medium sized cookies

125g salted butter at room temperature
90g brown sugar
1 organic egg
90g self raising flour
100g choc chips
20g rolled oats
100g protein shake powder

Method :

1. Using a coffee grinder – grind the oats for 2-3 spins.

2. In a food processor, mix the butter and sugar until creamy.

3. Add the egg and mix again.

4. Add the self raising flour, oats, protein powder and chocolate chips and mix well.

5. Remove the dough and shape it into a roll; wrap it in foil and put it in the freezer for 30 minutes.

6. After 30 minutes, heat the oven to 180°C (350°F) and prepare the baking tray by lining it with greaseproof paper.

7. Remove the cookie dough and cut into slices 1 cm thick.

8. Slightly shape them round and put them on the baking tray.

9. If you have a fan oven – cook for only 6 minutes. Convention oven will take 10 minutes. I suggest that you keep checking so that the cookies don’t burn.

10. The cookies turned out lovely and soft and had a creamy taste because of the protein powder added to the cookies.

11. Enjoy them with a glass of cold milk like we did.

Tip: You can make the cookie dough in advance and keep it in the freezer for a few weeks.

Date and Tamarind Chutney


This chutney is often referred to as the sweet chutney or Imbli/Ambli Chutney. It’s made using dates which are sweet and tamarind which is sharp and sour so I would say that this is a sweet and sour chutney. No Indian snack is complete without this chutney and the green coriander and chillies chutney.

Ingredients for 2-3 cups of chutney:

12-14 fresh dates – washed and de-seeded and chopped
1-2 teaspoons of tamarind concentrate (you can use fresh tamarind or prepared tamarind blocks too. If using fresh tamarind, use only 3-4 pods of tamarind or just a inch square block of tamarind)
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp chilly powder
1 tsp ground cumin and coriander mixture
¼ inch of ginger
1 fresh green chilly – chopped in 4 pieces
1-2 tbls jaggery (or brown sugar)


1. Mix the chopped dates, tamarind and all the spices apart from jaggery into a deep microwave safe bowl and add 1 cup of water to the mixture. Cook on high for 3 minutes. Stir the mixture and feel to see if the dates (and is using fresh tamarind) have softened. Give it a further 2-3 minutes to allow the dates and tamarind to soften.


2. Strain the mixture. If using fresh tamarind, you may find that it needs a lot more straining and you may have to add ½ cup of boiling water to the mixture to enable you to strain well.


3. Add the jaggery/brown sugar and cook for 2 minutes or until the jaggery or sugar have blended in. You may have to cook it for a minute or 2 longer  if you had to add water during the straining process.


4. The chutney should not be as thick as tomato sauce but more like a dipping sauce kind of thickness. Taste the chutney and add ingredients to make the chutney to your taste.

5. Keep the chutney in the fridge to cool and serve with any Indian snacks.


6. The chutney can be kept in the fridge for 3-4 weeks.

Vegetarian Cottage Pie


This cottage pie is made using Quorn Mince. Quorn is the brand name for a range of meat-free ingredients and meals sold here in UK.  Quorn products are  versatile and quick to cook. The mycoprotein used to produce Quorn is extracted from a fungus, Fusarium venenatum, which is grown in large fermentation vats.

Quorn produces both a cooking ingredients and a range of ready meals. It is sold as an alternative to meat and vegetarians love the taste.   The only downside is that the binding agent for Quorn is egg and  vegetarians who do not eat eggs will not be able to eat their products.  Please checkout for more information.

I used Quorn Mince and mixed vegetables to make my cottage pie.

 Ingredients for 2 -3 servings:

For the topping

5 -6 medium potatoes, peeled and diced largely
1 tablespoon butter
2 tbsp milk
2 or 3 cups of grated cheese
1 tsp oregano
salt and pepper to taste

For the Filling

175 g of  Quorn mince
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
4 cloves of  finely grated garlic
1 small Onion
1 cup mixed vegetables – I used peas, corn and carrots
half a can of chopped tinned tomatoes
1 tablespoon tomato purée
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 small vegetarian stock cube or 1 tbsp vegetarian bouillon powder


1. Preheat the oven to 190°C, Gas Mark 5

2.  Using just enough water to cover the potatoes,  cook the potatoes until tender,  soft  and mashable.

3. Meanwhile heat the oil in a saucepan and add the Quorn Mince. Add the salt and pepper and cook the Quorn mince at a medium heat until the mince  starts to slightly brown.

4.  Add the garlic , onions and the mixed vegetables.

5. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato purée, half a cup of water with the Oxo cube/ boullon powder  and allow this to cook very gently on medium heat – stirring all the time, until the mixture has thickened.  The Quorn mince  will absorb all the flavours from the tomatoes and garlic.

6. Transfer the cooked mixture to an  oven-proof dish.

7.  Mash the potatoes with the milk and butter until smooth, season to taste with the salt,  pepper and oregano.

8.   For the topping:  Cover the Quorn mixture with a layer of grated Cheese.

9.  Next cover the cheese layer with the mashed potatoes

10.   If you are feeling adventurous, you can use a piping bag  to decorate the top of the cottage pie.

11.  Cook in the centre of the Oven at 190 degrees Centigrade for 20 minutes.


12.  Serve hot with a variety of vegetables such as  parsnips or Green beans.


Savoury Cereal Snack

A few weeks ago myself and my friend Nayna went to a cupcake decoration class in London. We both had a very great time there.

On the way back Nayna invited me to her house for lunch. She really spoiled me with an elaborate lunch and she cooked Methi Poodla, and Rice Khichee and served them with lots of dips and pickles. Everything was so delicious and she also served this Cereal Chevdo to me. I was amazed by just looking at it and when I ate it I was blown off my feet! Before I had even said anything she filled up a big bag for my family. She told me that this recipe was from one of her other friends.

Thank you so much Nayna! Next time it is your turn to come to my house. Since then I have been making these chevdos every week for my family. Also they are not only a hit in my family, but in my daughter’s friends family too! I adapted the recipe a little bit and did not add turmeric powder or dried red chillies.

You will need:
Basic cereals:

1 small bowl of each around 100 gr

  • Cornflakes
  • Cheerios
  • Bran flakes
  • All bran sticks
  • Rice crisps
  • Shredded wheat
  • Shreddies
  • Multi grain start
  • Almonds
  • Cashew nuts

For the Masala:

  • 2-3 tbp oil
  • 3-4 green chillies sliced (round)
  • 10-12 curry leaves
  • 5-6 cloves
  • 1-2 small Cinnamon sticks
  • salt to taste
  • 2-3 tbp sugar
  • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp citric acid  (limbu na phool)
  • 1 1/2 tsp red chilli powder


Roast almonds and cashew nuts in the oven or in microwave for about 5-6 minutes. Place all the cereals and nuts in a large bowl.
Grind sugar and citric acid in a coffee grinder and grind until it turns into fine powder. Add three quarters of that  into the cereals. Add chilli powder and salt to the cereals and mix very well.

Heat oil in a small pan, add cloves and cinnamon and fry them for few seconds, remove them from the oil and add into cereal bowl. To the remaining hot oil add curry leaves and fry until they are a little crispier. Remove them and add them to the cereal bowl. Add green chillies to some oil and fry till they are crispy (be careful as chilli seeds might pop out). Pour the oil and chillies into the cereal mixture.

Gently give it a good mix with your hands, so that all the spices and the sugar coat the cereals really well. If you wish to make the flavour even more intense, then add the remaining ground sugar and the citric acid and give another good mix. When the cereal mixtures cool down transfer them into an air tight container. Serve on its own or with a bowl of yoghurt for breakfast.

Enjoy as much as my family does. I have to warn you as the above measurement of ingredients is not enough for more than one week.

Savoury Lentil Cake (Ondhwo/Handvo)


This savoury lentil cake called Ondhwa/Handvo by the Gujarati’s is a perfect dish to serve for weekend brunches, snacks and picnics.  I often serve it at BBQ’s too.

Ingredients for 4 servings: 

2 cups of ground chick pea dall (I soaked 2 cups of  chana dall and blended it in a blender using some water.  You can freeze the left over mixture)
½ cup corn flour
½ cup chick pea flour (Chana flour)
½ cup wheat flour
½ cup yogurt
½ cup chick peas or which should be soaked overnight and then boiled until soft. (you can used canned version too!)
1 onion – chopped finely
1 carrot – grated
1 cup grated cabbage
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables ( you can use any mixture you like)
3-4 cloves of garlic – minced
1 tsp. grated ginger
1-2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon chilly powder (optional)
3-4 green chillies – finely chopped (optional)
½ tsp soda bicarbonate
3-4 tsbp lemon juice
1 tsbp sunflower seeds  (optional)

For the tempering:
1 tsp. cumin seeds
4-5 tbsp oil
3-4 tbsp sesame seeds (save some to sprinkle on the top of the ondhwa)
2-3 cloves
1-2 cinnamon sticks
1 dried red chilly (optional)


 1.  Pour all your flours into a mixing bowl and add yogurt and 1 cup of warm water and stir until smooth.

2.  Mix all your vegetables and chick peas in one bowl.  If you are using frozen vegetables, make sure they are defrosted.


3.  Mix the vegetables and the mixed flours in a big mixing bowl.  Add all the spices and the ginger, garlic and green chillies and mix well.


4.  Add the lemon juice, mix and add the soda bicarbonate.  The mixture should now rise a bit.

5. In a separate saucepan, heat the oil and add the tempering mixture – sesame seeds, cloves , cumin seeds, cinnamon sticks, dried chillies.  Once the spices stop popping add them to the ondhwa mixture and stir.


6.  Transfer the mixture to a greased cake or bread tin and sprinkle some sesame seeds and sunflower seeds on the top and cook at 170 degrees C for 30 minutes.  Lower the heat after that to 140 degrees for 20 minutes.  Check if its cooked by putting a knife into the middle of the ondhwa.  It should come out dry if its cooked.  The top of the Ondhwa should be crispy and look fairly dark brown.

7.  Serve it hot or cold with any sauce.



Chana Rice – Chick Pea Rice

Today I will present to you Chana Rice, a delicious rice with chick peas.

You will need :

1 cup basmati rice
1 cup chickpeas boiled (can use tinned chickpeas)
2-3 tsp oil
4-5 slit green chillies
1 big onion finely chopped
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1 tsp cumin seeds
salt to taste


1/2 tsp whole black pepper
1/4 tsp cloves
2-3 small cinnamon bark
2-3 star anise
4-5 green whole cardamom
2-3 black cardamom
3-4 bay leaves


Wash the rice with cold water and put it a side to soak for half an hour. Heat the oil in a heavy bottom pan or kadai, add the sliced onion and fry until light brown. Now add all the whole spices and green chillies. After 2-3 minutes add chopped tomatoes and boiled chick peas, cook for another 3-4 minutes. Add soaked rice without water and mix well. Now add 1 cup of hot water and salt and lower the heat. Cover with the lid and cook rice until tender. If needed, add another 2-3 tsp water and keep cooking the rice. Now add cumin seeds and cover the rice again with a lid. Now simmer the rice 3-4 minutes on a very low heat. Turn the heat off and leave the rice cool for 5 minutes.

Serve with yogurt, pickle and papad and enjoy!

Punjabi Samosas – To Fry or Not to Fry?

Samosas are available in most places in the world as little triangle pastries filled with a variety of vegetarian and non vegetarian fillings.  They can be eaten as a snack with a cup of tea or served as a starter with any meal.   Gujarati samosas are usually smaller and crispier.  However, they are a bit complicated to make.  If you are interested, my recipe for Gujarati samosas is here.

This recipe for punjabi samosas is much easier and quicker to make but as with most cooking – preparation is the key to making these.

Ingredients for 30 samosas

6 medium potatoes
6 medium carrots
1 ½ cup of frozen peas
I finely chopped onion (medium size)
A teaspoon of blended ginger
2 or 3 finely chopped green chillies (can be reduced or missed out if you do not like hot food)
Small bunch of finely chopped coriander
1 tsp salt
2 tsps sugar or sugar substitute
1 tbp lemon
1 tsp of garam masala (optional)
1 litre sunflower oil if you wish to try the samosas

For the pastry

2 ½ cups of plain flour
¼ cup of butter
½ tsp of carom seeds (optional)
½ tsp of rosemary
½ cup warm water
½ cup plain flour to help roll out the pastry


1. Add butter, carom seeds and rosemary to the plain flour and mix. Add some warm water a little at a time to the flour to make the pastry dough. The dough should be of a similar consistency to play doh. Cover this dough and leave in a warm place.

2. Dice the potatoes and carrots into small cubes. Wash the vegetables and transfer them to a microwave dish with the frozen peas. Add in the ginger, salt and sugar. Let this mixture cook for 10 minutes, stir and cook again for 10 minutes. The vegetables should now be cooked. Add in the lemon juice and stir.
3. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl and add in the garam masala , finely chopped onions, green chillies and coriander and mix well. Allow this mixture to cool. By adding the garam masala and uncooked onions, chillies and coriander at this stage will give the samosas a nice flavour.

To prepare the somasas

4. Knead the dough and divide the pastry dough into 30 small balls ( about the size of half a golf ball). Take one ball and using some dry flour roll out a circle of about 4-5 inches in diameter.

5. One circle will make two samosas. Cut the circle into two, place the samosa mixture on one quarter of the semicircle and pull the second quarter to cover the samosa mixture. Join the edges by pressing them with a fork. Finish making all the samosas and save them on a lightly floured surface.




6. You can now choose the healthy option for cooking your samosas by rubbing/spraying some sunflower oil on the samosas and baking them for 20 minutes at 180 degrees (350 degrees F) or you be naughty and deep fry them until golden brown. I baked half and fried the rest. Both tasted equally nice.

The samosas shown at the top of the recipe were fried and the ones shown below were cooked in the oven:

7. Serve them hot or cold with any dip.

Spinach Curry

I made this really quick and easy Spinach Curry (also called Saag in some restaurants) as we were hungry and didn’t have time to make an elaborate meal. I usually serve spinach curry with khichedi and chapatis but on this occasion we had it with rice and naan bread.

Ingredients for 4 servings:

2 cups of leaf spinach (fresh or frozen)
1 cup of tinned tomatoes
2-3 cloves of fresh garlic
2-3 green chillies (or less)
1tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp salt
1 tsp turmeric
1 tbs sunflower oil
1 tbs melted butter
1 tbs room temperature butter
half cup fresh single cream
1 tsp corn flour


1. Place the fresh or frozen spinach in a microwave dish, add half a cup of water and cook it for 5 minutes.

2. Allow this to cool.

3. In a blender, mix the tomatoes, garlic, salt, turmeric and fresh chillies.

4. Heat the melted butter and oil and add the cumin seeds. Once the cumin gets brown, add in the blended tomato mixture and allow this to cook for 2-3 minutes.

5. Transfer the cooked spinach to the blender and blend it well and add it to the tomato mixture.

6. Allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes and add in the corn flour.

7. Now add in the fresh cream, stir well and cook for 5 more minutes.

8. Add a small knob of butter and serve it hot with some naan bread.

Stir Fried Rice


I  made this quick and easy stir fried rice for us all when we were all hungry one midnight after playing Monopoly!!

Ingredients for 4-6 servings:

4 cups cooked plain basmati rice
1 medium potato
1/2 cup peas (I used frozen peas)
1 onion sliced finely (I used red onion)
1 fresh carrot
1-2 green chillies for garnishing (optional)
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon turmeric


1. You need to make sure you have cooked the rice. This recipe would also work with left over rice.

2. Chop your onions finely.

3. Dice the potatoes and carrots into very small cubes.


4. Heat the oil and add the cumin seeds to the oil.

5. Once the cumin seeds get brown, add the onions and allow them to soften.

6. Add the potatoes, carrots and peas.

7. Add the salt and turmeric powder to the vegetables. Stir well and allow the vegetables to cook for 5-7 minutes or until the potatoes soften. When using frozen peas, you do not need to add any water to the vegetables.

8 .Once the potatoes have softened,  add the plain cooked rice to the vegetables and stir gently.


9. Cover the mixture and cook for 2-3 minutes on a low heat.

10. The rice is ready to serve with love. For special occasions, you can garnish it with cashews and peanuts.


Mango and Ginger Cheesecake


The inspiration of this recipe is from a dessert called Eton’s mess which a friend of mine had made and my son loved it. I was looking to make something similar but eggless. I managed to get some juicy Indian mangoes so I used them to make this layered dessert which I have named mango and ginger cheesecake. It’s quick and easy to make and tastes great too. Perfect dessert for the summer.

Ingredients for 5 servings:

250 gms of mangoes (I used 2 large Indian Alphonso mangoes)
1 tsp fresh ginger – grated
1 tsp cardamom – coarsely ground
½ tsp nutmeg – finely ground
3 tbs sugar- finely ground/ Diabetics can use sugar substitute
250 gms Mascarpone cheese
200 gms Philadelphia soft cheese
200 gms Greek style yogurt
2 tsp lemon juice
2-3 drops of Vanilla essence
100 gms shortbread cookies – broken into small chunks


1. Peel the mango and chop it into small chunks. Save 8-10 thin long strips of mango for garnishing.

2. Add the one tsp lemon juice, all the grated ginger and 1 tablespoon sugar to the chopped mango. Mix and cook this for 1 minute in the microwave. (Please note that every microwave has different wattage). Stir the mixture and cook for 1 minute again. Remove the mango mixture, crush all the fruit using a fork and chill the mixture for 30-40 minutes.

3. Mix the mascarpone cheese, philadelphia cheese and greek style yogurt together with the remaining lemon juice. Add the nutmeg, cardomom and 2 tablespoons of sugar or sugar substitute and mix well. If the mixture feels too thick – you can add a spoonful of warm milk to soften it.

4. Take 5 glasses and add a teaspoon of the cheese mixture in each glass. Add a second layer with a spoonful of the chilled mango. Add the third layers with the crushed biscuits. Repeat this layering again twice more finishing with the soft cheese layer.

5. Garnish the top of the dessert with a couple of slices of mango and a piece cookie and chill for at least an hour before serving.


Tip: You can use other fruits such as strawberries and raspberries instead of mangoes. Just adjust the sugar depending on the sharpness of the fruit.

Hyderabadi Daal

Today I would like to share with you a new dish, that was novel to me too until a few weeks ago.

Many people have a certain mental image of daal when they hear the word. When I saw the recipe for this daal on TV, I was itching to try it. It is something new, yet beautifully Indian and homely!
When I served it for the first time, I received the thumbs up from everyone at the table. My daughter in particular loves this daal. She says it is different to any other daal she has ever eaten before.
I will definitely keep this daal on my menu and I hope you will do so too once you have tried it.

You will need:

(These lentils are widely available in most supermarkets and Indian grocers).

  • 1 cup Toor daal ( split pigeon pea daal )
  • 1 cup Chana daal
  • 1/2 cup Moong daal ( yellow daal )
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp ghee – clarified butter (vegans can use oil)
  • 1 tsp tamarind pulp or lemon juice
  • handful freshly chopped coriander

For seasoning:

  • 1 tsp ghee
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • few curry leaves
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic chopped
  • 4-5 bulb chillies


Mix all the daals, wash them and place them in a big pan. Then, add 5-6 cups of water, salt, ghee and turmeric powder. Make sure the mixture is stirred well, then bring it to a boil and let it simmer for half an hour. Cook the daal until it is tender. Add the tamarind pulp or lemon juice and then turn off the heat.


In a small pan heat ghee add seeds, hing, curry leaves, garlic and bulb chillies. Once the seeds have popped, add them to the cooked daal. Stir well and garnish with chopped coriander and serve hot with steamy rice.

Spicy New Potatoes with Garlic

You can serve these Spicy New Potatoes as a starter or at barbecues with salad too.

Ingredients for 4 servings:

25 small new potatoes
½ tsp salt
½ tsp turmeric
1 tbs chick pea flour (often called besan)
1 tbs ground mixture of coriander and cumin (often called dhana jeeru – available in most supermarkets)
3-4 cloves of minced garlic
2-3 green chillies – sliced into two (optional)
Bunch of fresh coriander
6-8 fresh curry leaves (optional)
1 tsp cumin
2 tbs lemon juice
1tbs sugar or sugar substitute
2 tbs sunflower oil


1. Steam the potatoes and peel the skin.

2. Heat the oil and add in the cumin seeds. Once the cumin seeds go brown, turn the heat to medium and add in the potatoes and stir them so that they are coated in the oil. Add the salt, turmeric, chick pea flour and the ground mixture of coriander and cumin. Add the garlic and sliced green chillies.

3. Stir the mixture and allow to cook on a medium heat for 5-6 minutes. Allow the potatoes to brown very slightly and become crisp.

4. Add the fresh coriander and curry leaves if you have them available. Stir in the coriander as this will give it a lovely lemony fragrance of the coriander and curry leaves.

5. Add the lemon juice and sugar and cook for a couple minutes more.

6. The spicy potatoes are ready to be served. They can be served hot or cold.

Tip: By adding the garlic after the tempering allows the garlic flavor to remain stronger.

Spaghetti with Mixed Vegetables and Orange Juice

A couple of weeks ago, I had dinner at a lovely vegetarian restaurant in London where I picked up a recipe card for this dish.  It’s a really nice touch when a restaurant is happy to share their recipes with their customers.  I had to make a few changes to the recipe as I did not have all the ingredients at the time.  The dish turned out great and I hope you will enjoy making it too.

Ingredients for 4 servings:

300 grams spaghetti
300 grams mixed vegetables (I used carrots, broccoli, green beans , green peas and cauliflower)
500 mls semi skimmed milk
100 mls freshly squeezed orange juice
100 mls vegetable bouillon
1 tablespoon olive oil
30 grams fine corn flour
1 teaspoon of salt to add to pasta when it’s boiling
1 teaspoon of olive oil to add to pasta when it is boiling
Salt and pepper to taste
Oregano to garnish


1. In one saucepan, take plenty of water, add 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon olive oil to it and cook the mixed vegetables and pasta. (I cook them together but you can cook them separately too if you like)

2. In a second saucepan, mix the cold milk, orange juice, vegetable bouillon. 

3. Put this to boil and keep stirring it all the time to ensure that the milk doesn’t separate.   I was also worried about mixing orange juice and milk but it works fine as long as you keep stirring the mixture. 

4. Once the milk boils, add the corn flour and keep stirring until the sauce thickens.

5. Drain the vegetables and paste.

6. Add the white sauce to the vegetables and pasta and mix. The sauce does thicken as it cools and coats the pasta.

7.  Add the remaining olive oil, salt and pepper and oregano and serve immediately.

8.  This dish was nice and creamy and the addition of fresh orange juice gives it a lovely tangy flavour.

Steamed Bottle Gourd Fist Cakes

For me any type of muthiya and a hot cup of masala tea is a welcome treat any time of the day! For us this perfect spicy snack is always very satisfying! What more can one ask for in life than a cup of tea, a bowl of dudhi na muthiya and a book to read in the garden when the sun is out. Of course I am dreaming still as sunny spells are rare at the moment.

Today I will reveal the secret of how to make dudhi na muthiya, small cakes which are moist and fluffy inside and and have a golden crispy texture outside. Over the years I have tried so many different ingredients to make dudhi na muthiya. I always try to make these lovely cakes even better even though I love them just as they are.

I have tried to use green chillies at times and also pickles or varying flours. A few years back, when I was making dudhi na muthiya, I spotted a bottle of Achaar Masala (Pickle Masala) and I thought instead of pickle oil, I’ll add Achaar Masala and regular flower oil. I improved the recipe and had the result that I wanted. The cakes just melt in your mouth …

You will need:

For the fist cakes (muthiya)

  • 250 g grated dudhi (bottle gourd)
  • 250 g whole wheat flour or chapatti atta (I use wholemeal flour, which is healthy and coarse)
  • 50 g Dhokla flour (alternatively you can use ground rice and gram flour)
  • 25 g semolina
  • 100 ml oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp carom seeds
  • 2-3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp dry mango powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • 1 tsp kasoori methi
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp ground cumin and coriander
  • 1-2 tsp achaar masala
  • 1 tsp Desiccated coconut
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

You will need for the seasoning: 

  • 3-4 tsp oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds (I use more than that)
  • pinch of asafoetida
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds


Place all the ingredients of muthiya in a big bowl.

Mix very well to make a dough. Do not add any water as dudhi releases its water. Put a little oil onto your hands and divide the mixture into 2-3 parts. Then press the dough in your fists into cylindrical shapes and place them into a steamer.

Insert a knife after 20-30 mins and check if it is cooked by inspecting if the knife comes out clean. Let it cool a little and slice each roll into thin oval-shaped pieces.

Heat more oil for the seasoning and add the mustard seeds, sesame seeds and asafoetida. After a short while add the muthiya pieces and sauté them for few minutes until they get slightly golden brown. Now they are ready to serve.

Enjoy with tea or any type of chutney or dip.

You can serve the cakes for breakfast too.

Cheese and Oregano Parathas


I meet a lot of people who love eating Indian food but don’t feel confident about making it at home.  Most of them including my children used to end up buying curry, rice and naan bread from a take away.    That’s when I decided to start sharing my recipes with step by step instruction through my food blog.    It always makes my day when  I receive an email from anyone  letting me  have their views  about any of  the recipes they have tried out.   Do leave your comments on this page if you do try out any of the recipes published on this page as it really means a lot to all the food writers.

In August, I had shared a recipe for Spicy Parathas with tomatoes, onion, garlic, ginger  and coriander.  As usual,  I love experimenting with herbs and spices when making any the Indian breads as it just makes the taste a  bit more exciting.  I  made these parathas by adding cheese and oregano and the results were amazing.   Once you have make the dough, most parathas can be rolled out in a similar way.

Ingredients for 8 -10 parathas:

2 cups of plain chappati flour (or strong wheat flour)
1 tsp salt
2 heaped spoonfuls of soft butter
pinch of turmeric
1 tsp crushed garlic
1 tbsp dried oregano
I cup grated cheddar cheese
1 cup sunflower oil for layering the poratha and frying them


1. Sieve the flour into a mixing bowl.

2. Add the salt, turmeric, garlic, butter, 1 tablespoon oil and organo to the flour.

3. Gently pour warm water to the mixture to form a nice pliable dough.

4. Cover the dough for 30 minutes.

5. Divide the dough into small balls – slightly bigger than golf ball size.

6. Sprinkle some flour on a worktop and roll out one poratha in a circle.

7. Sprinkle cheese on the rolled out paratha and fold the poratha in half covering the cheese.

8. And again in quarter.

9. Sprinkle some flour into this triangle and roll it out again.  Don’t worry about the shape as long as it’s the same thickness everywhere.

10. Fry this poratha gently in a frying pan using a minimum amount of oil.  I just brush the paratha lightly with oil. Making the poratha this way, makes it crispy and fluffy when lightly fried.

11. Sprinkle some more cheese on the parathas and serve with any curry or pickle.

Allo Bhathure – Deep Fried Bread Stuffed with Potatoes

A few weeks ago my husband wanted to have some choley bhathure for the weekend and so I prepared it for him. While I was preparing the dough I started thinking about my childhood trip to Delhi and my mind was flooded with old memories (read here if you want to know more). I thought of making stiffed bhathure. I made a few bhathures with potato stuffing and they came out so well that I decided to prepare all of them like that. They were delightful and we devoured them with yogurt and pineapple chutney for tea time!

You will need:

For the bhathure.

  • 2 cup plain flour
  • 1/4 cup semolina(fine)
  • 1 tsp fast action dry yeast
  • 1 tsp each salt and sugar
  • 1tsp ghee or oil
  • oil for deep frying
  • 1/2 cup warm milk


Sieve the plain flour, add ghee, semolina, milk, yeast and knead into a smooth dough with a little warm water.
Cover with a muslin cloth and keep aside for more than 3-4 hours. This ferments the dough.

You will need :
For the potato stuffing.
  • 2 large potatoes, boiled, peeled and mashed
  • 2 tsp green chillies and ginger crushed
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • handful chopped coriander
  • 1 tbp oil
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • pinch of hing (asafoetida)
  • 1/4 tsp ground turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder

Method :

Heat oil in a non stick pan and add the mustard seeds. Once they splutter add hing and chilles and ginger and fry for a few seconds and then add ground turmeric, chilli powder and salt. Now add mashed potatoes and mix well. Add sugar, lemon juice and coriander. Mix well and cook for 1-2 minutes. Turn off the heat. Put the mixture aside to cool and then make small balls out of the mixture.

Roll the balls into thick puri (small circles). Put one potato stuffing in each blathure.

Meanwhile put oil in a kadai (wok) to heat on medium heat.
Wrap up the thick puri and close the dough on all sides. Now you have round dough balls once more.

Gently press the stuffed ball and place it on the rolling board to make flat bhathures. Slide them into the hot boiling oil. Press them slightly with perforated spoon to make fluffy bhathuras. Fry until both sides are very light golden brown.
Remove them from the oil with the help of perforated spoon.

Serve hot with choley or any chutney and yogurt.

Stuffed Peppers

I have always had Romano peppers chopped up either in a salad, pizza topping or rice.  I got some large peppers and capsicums from the farmer’s market and I wanted to see how they would taste stuffed with vegetables or rice. I decided to experiment and stuff them at the same time as when I was making stuffed capsicums.  This resulted in a tasty colourful dish which I love serving to friends when they  pop in for a quick lunch.   This dish makes a great  lunchtime snack but becomes a “Wow” point if served as a colourful starter when you serve your guests. Try it and let me know if I am right.

Ingredients for 4 servings:

2 large romano peppers
3 large capsicums
1 medium onion, chopped finely
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tablespoon of grated or blended ginger
1 teaspoon of blended fresh green chillies (can use more if you like hot food)
3 cups of cooked rice (any rice is fine.  I used Basmati rice)
2 cups of any mixed vegetables chopped finely. ( I used carrots, peas, sweet corn, peppers and green beans)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese.
1 teaspoon salt
½ teasppon turmeric
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon any cooking oil (I used sunflower oil)


1.  Cut a slice off the top of each capsicum , remove centre core and seeds. Save the tops to cover the pepper during cooking.

2.   Slice the romano peppers lengthwise and remove the seeds.

3.    Brush the peppers and capsicums on the outside with the olive oil and then stand them upright in an ovenproof dish and allow them to cook in the oven for 3-4 minutes.

4.    In a saucepan, heat one tablespoon of oil and add in the onions, ginger, garlic and green chilies.

5.   Add the frozen vegetables and stir fry the mixture.  Now add the salt and turmeric as well.

6.   When the vegetables soften, add the cooked rice to the mixture and allow the mixture to cool.

7.    Transfer the mixture into the peppers and capsicum.

8.    Add a cheese topping to the Romano peppers.

9.  Cover the capsicums  with the tops you had sliced off.


8. Bake for 20 -25 minutes in a pre-heated oven at Gas Mark 4 (350°F/180°C) until the peppers and capsicums are tender.

9. Serve this colourful dish hot with a salad or any sauce of your choice.

Some suggested variations:

1. Vegetarians can also add Quorn mince to the vegetables when they are cooking and non vegetarians can add mince meat to the vegetables.

2.  The peppers can be served with salad or even mashed potatoes depending on whether you are having it as a quick lunch or as a starter.

3.  The peppers can also be stuffed with couscous instead of rice.

Most important of all have fun when cooking – be bold with your variations and spices.





Tarte aux Pommes


The final result of the tart was worth all the time spent in mixing and chopping and waiting !! Do not look for too many shortcuts to reduce the time to make a flaky and delicious apple tart but the entire process is actually a real stress buster! A nice way to relax one Sunday morning, with the slightly cool breeze suggesting the coming winter, and having this as a dessert to end a lavish Sunday meal.

A traditional French Apple tart recipe calls for the apple filling to be covered with apple slices placed in concentric circles before the final baking. But here I have replaced it with a crumble topping. It gives a nice buttery crunch on top.


Ethnicity – French

Total time- 2 hours  

Makes one 8” to 9” tart base

Serves 4 to 6


For tart base

Plain flour (maida) – 200 gms

Butter, unsalted & chilled – 100 gms

Salt – ½ tsp

Castor sugar – 1 to 2 tsp

Ice cold water – ¼ cup (approx)

For apple filling

Apples – 3 big or 4 medium

Brown sugar – 3 tbsp

Cinnamon powder -1/2 tsp

Lemon juice, freshly squeezed – 1 ½ tbsp

Lemon zest – ½ tsp

Raisins – 3 tbsp

Corn flour – 2 tsp

Butter – 2 tsp

Water – about ¼ to 1/2 cup

For crumble topping

Plain flour – ½ cup (approx)

Demerara sugar – 2 ½ tbsp

Chilled & chopped butter – 4 tbsp

Oats (quaker, quick cooking) – ¼ cup


For the tart base

Chop the chilled butter and keep on fridge again to chill till you sift the flour.

Sift together plain flour, sugar, salt in a bowl. Add the chopped chilled butter and rub into the flour with fingertips gently until it resembles breadcrumbs i.e pea sized pieces of butter remain.

This process of mixing butter into flour can also be done in a food processor. Blend at low speed intermittently (not continuous) till mixture turns crumbly. Then transfer to a mixing bowl.

Now make a well in the center of  the crumbly flour-butter mixture add 1 tbsp water and knead lightly and quickly just until the dough holds together, adding more ice cold water only if necessary. Water should be added 1 tbsp at a time. It is important to work quickly to incorporated all the ingredients into a dough so that butter does not melt/ soften too much because of warm fingers.

When kneading to a dough, crush any big lumps of butter if any with the heel of your hand and press them back into the dough to combine. Do not add too much liquid, else dough will be sticky and tough. Do not overwork the dough.

Gather the just formed dough together and form into a thick disk (flatten very slightly). Wrap with cling film and refrigerate for minimum 30 mins or maximum 24 hours.

At the time of blind baking the base, grease a 8 to 9” tart tin.

Roll out the chilled dough between 2 cling film sheets to 1/8 inch thickness and slightly larger in diameter than the tart tin. Transfer rolled out dough onto greased tart tin with help of rolling pin. Using your fingertips gently press the dough into the tin to make a neat fit. Pinch off any excess dough around the edges to neaten. Refrigerate the base for 15 to 30 mins to chill again.

Preheat oven at 180 C for 10 mins. Remove base & prick all over to prevent it from puffing up. Then blind bake (to bake the base alone without the filling) for 15 mins or till very light golden.

Remove and cool slightly.

For the filling

Wash, peel apples and cut into dices. Sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent from darkening. Transfer all the ingredients for filling, except butter and corn flour, into a saucepan and cook over low heat till just soft, about 10 mins or so.

Remove from heat and cool a bit. Then add in the corn flour and butter, stir once.


For crumble topping

Mix together flour, oats, demerara sugar. Add chopped, chilled butter and mix with fingertips or fork till it resembles breadcrumbs/ is crumbly. Do not overmix as the butter might melt.


Pour the apple filling onto the tart base and spread to cover the base evenly. Sprinkle the crumble topping all over the top.

Bake in preheated oven at 180 C for 15 to 20 mins till top is golden.

Serve warm or at room temperature, sliced with some crème anglaise or whipped cream or vanilla custard, ice cream or as is.

Store leftovers in refrigerator for upto a day. May microwave before serving or serve chilled!


As I had some bits of the base remaining, I rolled them out and cut into leaf shapes and kept few on the top alongside crumble topping & baked. This is optional. If you want to do lattice work on top instead of crumble, use 250 gms flour (instead of 200 gms) & 125 gms chilled butter for the base. Keep ¼ of the dough aside. Roll out remaining for base and fit into the tin. Roll out ¼ th portion, cut into strips (or any shape desired) and do lattice design (or any design desired) on top after keeping the filling. Brush with little milk and bake till top is golden (180 C for 15 to 20 mins).

Evaluating the success of your tart base

1. When rolling out dough, small pieces of butter should be visible for a flaky tart baked base. If the butter pieces are too large, fold the dough several times and roll it our again. Too large pieces of butter will form holes when baking base. Also, overworked dough will be too elastic.

If no small butter pieces are visible, it means the dough was overworked and the butter has melted into the dough. So the baked pastry will not be flaky.

2. If the dough is too crumbly and cracks when rolled out, not enough water was added. If the dough is extremely soft even after chilling, too much water wad added.

3. The base/ pastry should be tender and flaky when baked.

Chana Masala Spiced Roasted Peanuts

Love it or loathe it, it’s a fact that the IPL (Indian Premier league), cricket’s most glamorous Twenty-20 tournament, has returned in full swing in its fifth season! T-20 fever has not only been spreading all over India, but has spread to every corner of the earth. Certainly it has come to my family too! Being cricket fanatics we love to watch IPL matches with the whole family. However, I personally do not like to support any particular team, as I do not live in India. Also, there is no team from Gujarat state, so I support every team and just want to enjoy good entertaining matches.

And whilst watching and enjoying these matches, the family expect some shandaar (delightful) snacks to munch! So I prepared this Chana Masala and Kasoori Methi peanuts for them. If you think Chris Gayle can hit sixes and watch the ball vanish every time, make these super and mighty spicy Masala peanuts and watch them too vanish in no time! I can guarantee you that they are as highly addictive as IPL.

You will need:

  • 1 cup raw peanuts
  • 2 tsp chana masala (choley masala)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper powder or red chilli powder
  • 2 tsp oil
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tsp kasoori methi (dry fenugreek leaves)


In a non sticky or heavy bottom pan heat 1 tsp of oil and add the peanuts, salt and chana masala. Mix well and roast them on a low heat for at least 5-6 minutes. Now add red chilli powder or black pepper powder, kasoori methi and then add one more tsp oil and roast them another 3-4 minutes. Stir every few seconds so that the peanuts don’t get burnt. Turn off the heat and let the peanuts cool completely. Store them in air tight container.


You can use any nuts. Instead of kasoori methi use dried basil or rosemary leaves. Chana Masala and dried fenugreek leaves are available in any Indian store.