Khichdi – One of my favourite kind #Seed the Rise by Mahindra

A couple of weeks ago I came across a blog post in one of my favourite blogs – Sin-a-Mon about this wonderful fund raising campaign being run by Mahindra to help farmers in India. Through this campaign it strives to raise almost 2 crores from public and then match up this amout which will be donated to the farmers through few able NGO’s working in this field. See this video to know more :

#Seed the Rise by Mahindra

As a food blogger, I felt it is a wonderful initiative and I wanted to be a part of spreading awareness regarding this. I first had to choose an ingredient , quintessential to my country and what better than rice. Rice is my first love! And I would not leave any chance to devour it whenever I can. I love cooking up one pot rice based meals on and off , be it biryanis or pulaos and even my favourite khichdi. Khichdi is my comfort meal . While I love the Bengali runny kind of the khichudi, I completely love this particular U. P style Toor Dal Khichdi that my dear friend P used to make for us during our PG days in Delhi. I learnt it from her and still make it all the time. Usually Moong dal is used for khichdis as its extremely light on the tummy, but this one uses Toor dal that gives a nice bite to the dish. Serve it with pickles and papad and you are good to go. Joining me in this initiatve is A Homemaker’s Diary

toor dal kkhichdi 1


Khichdi - One of my favourite kind #Seed the Rise by Mahindra
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
A simple dish made of rice and dal with tempering of spices
  • Basmati Rice - 1 cup - washed and soaked in water for 10 mins
  • Toor Dal - 1 cup - washed and soaked in water for 10 mins
  • Ghee - 1 tbsp.
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Black peppercorns - 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida - a big pinch
  • Dry red chillies - 3-4
  • Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  1. Drain the rice and dal and keep aside.
  2. In a pressure cooker , heat the ghee.
  3. Add the asafoetida, cumin seeds, black pepper corns and red chillies.
  4. Let it splutter and release its aromas.
  5. Now add the rice and the dal.
  6. Give a good mix. Add the salt and 1½ cup water.
  7. Close the lid and cook until 2 whistles.
  8. Serve hot .

Paneer Kali Mirch – Cottage Cheese with a hint of pepper

Exactly four ingredients and you have on your table a delicious creamy paneer dish. I am not particularly a paneer person,but Tuesdays in my kitchen calls for me to be as innovative as I can get. This dish ticks on all the right boxes – creamy,subtle and delicious. A perfect accompaniment to rotis and pairs exceptionally well with pulaos. Its winters almost and we can now indulge in rich indulgent food. The use of pepper in this dish surely elevates the tastes.

paneer kali mirch 1


Paneer Kali Mirch - Cottage Cheese with a hint of pepper
Recipe type: Main course
Cuisine: Indian
A rich creamy cottage cheese dish
  • Paneer / cottage cheese - cut into small cubes
  • Onion - I medium - boiled and made into a paste
  • Cashewnut paste - 2 tbsp.
  • Ginger paste - 1 tsp
  • Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
  • Black pepper powder - 1 heaped tsp - can adjust according to taste
  • Salt - to taste
  • Sugar - a pinch
  • Kewra water - few drops
  • Butter - 1 tbsp
  1. In a non-stick pan heat the butter , add the panner cubes and sauté it lightly. Keep them aside.
  2. In the same pan , add the ginger paste and boiled onion paste. Saute till the pungent smell is cooked through.
  3. This should take around 5 mins.
  4. Now add the cashew paste, garam masala powder, black pepper powder, salt and sugar.
  5. Give everything a good mix.
  6. Add half a cup of warm water and let the gravy simmer.
  7. Add the paneer cubes and the kewra water, simmer for 10 secs and remove from heat.
  8. You can sprinkle a little more black pepper on top just before serving.
  9. Serve hot with rice/rotis/naan

Couscous Salad with Grilled Cottage Cheese

With the festival season coming to an end for the time being, now with Diwali over and before the Christmas cheer starts again, its time to give your palette some rest! How about trying this Couscous Salad with Grilled Cottage Cheese. Couscous is a versatile grain and packs a punch when served along with a variety of vegetables. With winters approaching, there is an array of green vegetables in the market, so its best to use them regularly in our meals. If your everyday Dal – sabzi doesn’t seem palatable enough, you should try this dish.

salad main

Couscous Salad with Grilled Cottage Cheese
Recipe type: Salads
Cuisine: Fusion
Vegetable packed tasty salad
  • Couscous - 1 cup - soaked in boiling water. Refer to packaging for cooking instruction.
  • Cucumber - 1 - chopped
  • Tomato - 1 - chopped
  • Mushrooms - a handful - chopped
  • Carrots - 1 - chopped
  • Raisins - a handful
  • Olive oil - 1 tbsp.
  • Black pepper - freshly crushed
  • Oregano - 1 tbsp or use any other fresh/dried herb of your choice
  • Hung curd / yogurt - 1 tbsp
  • Chilli flakes - as per taste
  • Salt - to taste
  • Black pepper - freshly crushed - as per taste
  • Cottage cheese/ Paneer - cut into fingers
  • Lemon juice - a few drops
  1. In a pan heat some olive oil and sauté the chopped vegetables along with the raisins. Season with oregano,chili flakes, salt and pepper.
  2. Add the cooked couscous, mix everything well and keep aside.
  3. In another pan , lightly grill the cottage cheese fingers. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Now just the assemble everything together.
  5. In a serving dish, lay the cous cous vegetable mix. Place the grilled cottage cheese on top.
  6. Garnish with some hung curd and serve warm.

Spicy Tomato Chutney

Various kinds of chutneys and condiments form an integral part of our meal plan. While earlier I would pick them up off the shelves , now I like to make some at home. Home made condiments and chutneys, sans the load of preservatives make for a fresh and healthy accompaniment to any meal. Like I made this very Spicy Tomato Chutney. We Bengalis love our sweet tomato chutney , that is a match made in heaven along with polao – mangsho – a celebration staple. I mean my birthday lunches would not be complete without this combo while growing up. And till date nobody makes Polao like Maa does! The one that I made here is a spicy version quite unlike the sweet one  and goes well with a simple meal of dal –  chawal. It goes extremely well with cheese and crackers or even some crudités. A perfect party appetizer I would say.



These beautiful jars that you see in the picture above are a gift from Better Butter. Well now if you still haven’t heard of them , let me tell u a bit. Better Butter is a one stop platform for food lovers – be it people who love to cook, or people who love to eat and food bloggers , its an extensive website comprising of recipes that have been tried and tested and then shared by people all across. I was approached by them to be a part of this initiative and I was only too happy to accept. It only meant that my scope of sharing  my love for food to extend.Its a great way to learn and share for me.

chutney 3

Thank you Better Butter once again for these thoughtful gifts, they are perfect to store my home made chutneys and condiments. You can find them on Facebook  here . The pineapple relish recipe is something like a family recipe that I make often can be found here

tomato chutney

Spicy Tomato Chutney
Recipe type: Condiments
Cuisine: Indian
A spicy chutney to complement everyday meal.
  • Tomatoes - 6 large - roughly chopped
  • Coriander leaves - a bunch - chopped
  • Dried red chillies - 6-8 - adjust acc to taste
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tbsp.
  • Onions - 1 large - roughly chopped
  • Garlic cloves - 4-5 cloves - pounded
  • Olive oil - 2 tbsp.
  • Salt - to taste
  • Sugar - 1 tsp
  1. In a pan, heat the olive oil, splutter the mustard seeds, sauté the garlic and onion till transluscent.
  2. Tip in the chopped tomatoes and coriander.
  3. Add the dried red chillies, salt and sugar.
  4. Cover the pan and let it cook till everything is mushy.
  5. Remove from heat and let it cool.
  6. Grind into a coarse paste and store in a glass jar.
  7. This stays well in the fridge for almost a month.

Baghare Baingan – Eggplants in a nutty gravy

I am a self confessed brinjal lover. I am always on the lookout for new ideas. I regularly eat the bharta,the bhaja,the pora(chargrilled),the baked – just about everything. One fine morning I just googled to know of more brinjal recipes and that’s how I discovered Baghare Baingan. I am kicking myself for not making it earlier. Its like giving a super royal treatment to the the aubergines and turning them into this delicious dish without much sweat. Typically (and me too) used baby brinjals but one could easily use the big variety, just cut them into thick roundels.

baghare baingan 2

Baghare Baingan - Eggplants in a nutty gravy
Recipe type: Indian
Cuisine: Hyderabadi
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 person
An easy eggplant dish
  • Brinjals - 8-10 the small sized ones
  • Turmeric powder - a pinch
  • Salt - to taste
  • Onion - 1 medium sized - roughly chopped
  • Garlic - 2 pods - crushed
  • Ginger - a small piece - crushed
  • Green chillies - 2-3 - adjust as per taste
  • Peanuts - a handful
  • Dessicated coconut - 1 tbsp. You could also use fresh coconut pieces
  • Poppy seeds - 1 tsp
  • Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
  • Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
  • Tamarind paste - 1 tsp
  • Vegetable oil - 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp for frying the brinjals
  • For tempering -
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Red chillies - 2-3
  • Fresh coriander - for garnish
  1. Wash the brinjals. Pat dry and make deep slits in it keeping them joined at the stem. Smear a pinch of turmeric and salt and keep aside.
  2. In a pan , heat 1 tbsp oil and sauté the brinjals. Drain and keep aside for further use.
  3. In the same pan , add the chopped onion , garlic and ginger. Fry till fragrant. Add the chillies, peanuts, coconut,poppy seeds,coriander seeds and cumin seeds and sauté till slightly browned. Season with salt.
  4. Remove from heat and set this mixture aside to cool. Once cooled, grind this mixture into a smooth paste .
  5. In another pan, add a little oil and splutter the mustard seeds and dried red chillies. Next tip in the brinjals and the masala paste. Give it a good stir and add some warm water to adjust the consistency of the gravy.
  6. Give it a gentle simmer and garnish with some fresh coriander.
  7. Enjoy the nutty gravy with soft brinjals along with some steamed rice.

Roasted Vegetable Salad with Quinoa

For over 2 weeks now I am doing this Project #saladeveryday on my Fb page. I feel salads are a way of life and the easiest and fun way to include fresh veggies and fruits in your diet. With a fussy 7 yr old and an equally fussy husband when it comes to eating greens, I have been pretty much successful in this effort of mine.

This week its the the Salad Week at KFB and I made an easy  – Roasted Vegetable Salad with Quinoa. Now I am very new to quinoa, this is probably the first time I am using this grain as I have heard such nice things about it, it being sort of a wonder grain – gluten free and all that. My friend Sarani of Cocoawind uses it in many innovative ways! I found the texture nice and it went well with the vegetables almost making it a complete meal.

veg salad 1

veg salad 4

veg salad

Roasted Vegetable Salad with Quinoa
Recipe type: Salad
Cuisine: Fusion
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 2 person
An easy summer salad
  • Carrots - 1 medium - cubed
  • Cucumber - 1 medium - cubed with skin on
  • Mushroom - a cup - halved
  • Tomato - 1 large - cubed
  • Beans - a few - stringed and cut
  • Onion - 1 large - cubed
  • Oilve oil - 2 tbsp.
  • Honey - 1 tbsp.
  • Salt - to taste
  • Pepper - to taste
  • Balsamic vinegar - 1 tsp
  • Quinoa - cooked - 1 cup - Follow instruction on packet. The quinoa to water ratio is 1:2.
  1. In a baking tray toss together the cut vegetables with olive oil , honey, salt pepper and balsamic.
  2. Heat oven to 180 degree C and grill the vegetables for 15 to 20 mins.
  3. Serve warm along with the cooked quinoa.