Monday, September 28, 2009

Churma Ladoo ( Wheat Ladoo)

We tasted this irresistable ladoos for the the first time in Swami Narayan temple in London. Since then, I and Mr.B are big fans of it. I didn't know what it is made of until my Gujarati friend brought this sweet.


Wheat Flour - 5 Cups
Sooji - 3/4 cup
Jaggery - 2 cups
Coconut - 1 cup (grated)
Sesame seeds - 1/4 cup
Ghee - 1 cup
Cardomom - 1 tbs (powdered)

Mix wheat flour and sooji together. Add water and knead to make a stiff dough (as you would make for poori).

Roll the dough into small balls and make it little flat (Just press the ball in the middle with the thumb) .

Deep fry the mini rounds in oil.

Once it cools down a bit, powder them coarsley in the food processor or blender. Slightly roast the coconut and sesame seeds in a tablespoon of ghee. Add it to the ground mixture.

Mix the powdered jaggery with ghee and heat the mixture on low to medium heat. Add the melted mixture to the ground wheat and mix it together with the spatula as the added liquid is too hot.

Make small ladoos while it's hot(bearable hot).


Lesson learnt: Never try a new recipe for pooja as you can't taste. As my friend couldn't give the measurements, I got to make it twice to perfect it.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bitter Gourd Curry

This method of Bitter Gourd preparation doesn't need much oil compared to the Bitter Gourd chips recipe that I had posted earlier. Mr.B prefers this over the fry as it has less oil and it retains the bitterness till the end. Pairing Bitter Gourd with onions and tomatoes gives a sweet note to it.


Bitter Gourd - 5
Onions - 2 Big
Tomatoes - 1 Big
Corriander Leaves- 3 tbs
Chili Powder
or Sambar Powder - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Hing - a pinch
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp

Coconut Paste (optional)

Grind together 2 tbs of freshly grated coconut with a tsp of cumin seeds to a fine paste

Method :

Cut the Bitter Gourd , Onions and Tomatoes into small pieces. Heat oil in a pan.
Tamper the mustard seeds. Add curry leaves then add Onions and Bitter Gourd pieces . Fry till it gets half cooked. Add tomatoes, chilli powder and salt and close the pan with the lid. Let it cook for 10 minutes. Stir in the ground coconut paste to the pan. Keep cooking for some more time. Toss some finely chopped Corriander leaves and give a nice stir and switch off the flame. Serve it with Rice.


This is my maiden online recipe that I sent to Bawarchi more than a decade back. It's still out there.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Home Made Pizza


All Purpose Flour - 3 cups
Active dry yeast - 1 packet
Warm water - 1 cup (microwave for 30 secs)
Olive oil - 2 tbs
Salt - 1 tsp
Sugar - 1/4 tsp


Thinly sliced Bell Peppers,Onions and Jalepenos
Pizza Sauce


Dissolve the yeast and sugar in warm water. Wait for about 5 minutes until you see some bubbles. Combine the flour with the salt on a working surface. I did mine on a wide bottomed nonstick pan. Pour oil and the yeast mixture slowly to the flour and mix it well to blend .

Place the dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead the dough until it is smooth and elastic (as you would do for chappati). Sprinkle little flour if the dough is very sticky. Make it as a smooth ball. Keep the dough in a bowl . Cover it with the cling wrap and set it in a warm place till the dough doubled in volume, about an hour. If it's a sunny day the dough rises very quickly.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Divide the dough into two equal balls to make 12" thin crust pies. I kept the dough to sit again for another 40 minutes which is optional. Take one ball, flattened it with the rolling pin or with your fingers (I used both) into a disk. Stretch it gently to make a nice round pie. Transfer in to a pizza pan. Spread a thin layer of pizza sauce over the pie. Sprinkle Mozzarella cheese or combination of cheeses on top. Spread the sliced vegetables on top.

Bake it for about 10 to 15 minutes or until is cheese is bubbly and the crust is crisp.

Slice the pie into 8 equal pieces using a pizza wheel and serve hot.

Enjoy with your loved ones.

I find it very easy to stretch the home made dough than the store bought one. If your dough shrinks back while stretching, let it sit out for some time and then try stretching it out.

Pesky weed and Blood Pressure

A long pending post that I planned to publish in April is finally here.

"A weed is just a plant whose virtues have not yet been discovered."
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

It’s so true. Don’t you agree?

Wondering what am I talking about? , It's about the most annoying weed that grows in lawn, the Dandelion. Though it is considered as a pesky weed, it has lot of culinary and medicinal uses in Ayurvedic as well as in herbal treatments.

The name Dandelion is derived from its French name "Dents-De-Lion" given for its serrated leaves that resemble "Lion's Tooth".

Why to talk about this weed now? There's a reason. Mr.B was diagnosed with above-normal blood pressure and his better half is on the quest to find food that lowers it and dandelion green is one among them. I had never eaten dandelion or thought it's edible until I did research on food that lowers blood pressure. It is one of the natural diuretics (the only potassium-sparing diuretic) that help to get rid of excess fluids in the body without potassium loss, thus helps in lowering high blood pressure. They are also rich in Vitamins, Iron, Magnesium and Potassium.

There are several mythologies/folklore about Dandelions. It’s called Sheppard’s Clock as its flowers open about 5 am and closes at 8 pm. I have vivid memories about dandelions as a kid in elementary school. One, who succeeds in blowing all the seeds in one shot, would get the highest marks in the class and so forth.

Dandelion greens can be steamed or sautéed and the tender greens can be eaten raw in salads. My favorite farmer's market carries fresh Dandelion greens. I tried different dishes with Dandelion greens as I would cook any other greens.
Dandelions are mildly astringent and has slightly bitter flavor (we love bitter vegetables and greens) like arugula.


Dandelion - 1 bunch (washed and cut)
Toor dal - 1 cup
Tomato - 1 (quartered)
Onion - 1 (cut into big pieces)
Green chilies - 3
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Garlic - 3 cloves
Ginger - 1" piece
Chili Powder - 1 tsp
Water - 3 cups
Puree - gooseberry size

For Tadka:

Oil - 1 tbs
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Channa Dal - 1 tsp
Dried Red Chilies- 3(broken into pieces)
Curry Leaves


Wash the dandelions and chop them into pieces. Add toor dal, tomato, onion, ginger,
garlic and green chilies to the greens and pressure cook it for about 15 minutes. I usually keep one whistle that takes about 7 minutes and keep it in simmer for about 5minutes. Once the pressure is released, mash the dal with a wooden masher or hand blender. Add salt and tamarind puree and cook for few more minutes. Heat oil (add 1 tsp of ghee for flavor) in a pan, add mustard seeds and the rest of tadka ingredients. Add the hot seasoning to the dal.

Serve hot with Rice/ Roti.

Another Version:

Heat oil in the pan. Sauté the onions and dandelion. Add the cooked dal, chili powder and salt. Add little tamarind puree and water. Let it cook for some time. Do the tadka along with broken chilies and add the hot seasoning to the dal. I prefer this when I have already cooked dal in my fridge.