Friday, September 25, 2015

Instant Khatta Dhokla (3-minute microwave recipe)

Dhokla is one of my favorite snacks because it is so quick and easy to make, light and can be easily had at tea-time. It is also really famous among my readers and the 3-minute microwave dhokla is the most famous recipe on my blog of all time!! I can prepare dhokla even after I come tired in the evening because it takes just 3 minutes to prepare in the microwave. It can also be prepared in the regular steamer on stove top; I will describe both methods in this recipe.

Other dhokla recipes from the blog:

3- minute microwave dhokla
Dhokla in idli stand  (3-minute recipe)
Rawa Dhokla (3-minute recipe)


Chickpea flour (besan): 1/4 cup
Semolina (sooji/rawa): 1/4 cup
Rice flour: 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Lemon juice: 1 tsp.
Sugar: 1 tsp.
Green chilli (finely chopped): 1
Cooking oil: 2 tsp.
Eno fruit salt: 2 tsp. (you can use a 50-50 mix of baking soda and baking powder instead)
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp.
Asafoetida: a pinch
Sesame seeds: 1 tsp.
Red chilli powder: 1 tsp.
Coriander leaves for garnishing

  1. Mix the chickpea flour, semolina and rice flour in a wide bowl. 
  2. Add salt to taste and add sugar, green chilli, lemon juice and slowly add water to make a uniform batter. The batter should neither be too dry nor too runny, it would be like the consistency of idli batter. Keep aside for 20 minutes and do whatever you like in the meanwhile ;) 
  3. After 20 minutes check the batter consistency, it will be thicker because the flours will absorb the water; so add a little more water but make sure the batter is not runny. 
  4. Add the eno fruit salt and stir well once and leave.
  5. Grease a microwave safe bowl with oil and immidiately transfer the batter to the bowl. Alternatively you can use a normal steaming bowl; grease and add the batter. 
  6. Cover the bowl and microwave it at highest power for 3 minutes. The highest power in my MW is 750W, if you have less or more, adjust the time accordingly. Do toothpick test after 3 minutes and if the toothpick comes out clean it means the dhokla is done. 
  7. If making in regular steamer, steam for about 10-12 minutes. Do toothpick test after 10 minutes and stem until done.  
  8. Take out the dhokla on a flat plate and let it cool for 10 minutes.
  9. Cut the dhokla into desired shapes and sprinkle the red chilli powder. 
  10. Prepare the tempering: heat oil and crackle the mustard seeds and sesame seeds. Add the asafoetida and turn off the flame. 
  11. Pour the tempering over the dhokla and spread evenly. This will be a dry variety of dhokla because we don't add water in the tempering. 
  12. Garnish with coriander leaves and refrigerate for an hour. Tastes best when served cold with a spicy Mint-coriander chutney and hot tea !!

Loved this recipe? Please leave a comment/feedback in the comments section, it really inspires me.
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Monday, September 21, 2015

Hyderabadi Kofta Curry

Few weeks ago I had shared a wonderful snack recipe: zucchini balls/lauki kofta recipe which is an easy recipe and can be served with any chutney or sauce as tea-time snack. I usually make a big batch of lauki kofta and freeze them. I make curries whenever required for those koftas and it makes an easy and quick lunch/dinner.

This Hyderabadi curry with lauki koftas is light and easy to digest as well. The use of fragrant spices and the curry masala makes this an awesome dish which can even be served to your guests or in a party.

More curry recipes on the blog:

Black eyed beans curry
Kaju curry korma
Paneer Makhani
Restaurant style tomato gravy
Hyderabadi mirch ka salan

For the kofta:
Zucchini balls/Lauki kofta recipe

For the curry:


Onion (sliced): 1 big
Ginger-garlic paste: 3 tsp.
Cooking oil: 3 tsp.
Cloves: 2
Black cardamom: 1
Cinnamon stick: 1 inch
Yogurt: 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Dried red chilli: 2
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp.
Lemon juice: 2 tsp.
Green chilli (chopped): 1
Mint leaves: a handful
Tomato (chopped): 2
Saffron strands: a few

  1.  Make a paste of the following: ginger.garlic, cumin seeds, green chilli, yogurt, half the mint leaves, salt, red chilli and lemon juice. Keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in a pan and add the sliced onions. Fry until they are crisp and golden brown. Drain from oil and remove, keep aside.
  3. Heat the same oil again on medium flame and add the whole spices: cloves, cardamom, cinnamon. 
  4. Add the paste prepared in step 1. after half a minute. Mix well and let it cook for about 3-4 minutes.
  5. Chop the remaining mint leaves and add to the paste.
  6. Add the chopped tomatoes, sprinkle little salt and mix everything well. Cover and let cook until the tomatoes are soft and mushy. 
  7. Remove cover and turn off the flame. Add the fried onions and mix well. Curry is ready. Sprinkle some garam masala if required and garnish with coriander leaves (optional)
  8. For serving: add the koftas in a big bowl and pour the curry over the koftas. Add a few saffron strands over the curry and let sit for 2-3 minutes. Serve hot. 

Loved this recipe? Please leave a comment and/or feedback in the comments section below.
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More Hyderabadi recipes on the blog:

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Chana Masala Powder

My Nani always, always makes her own spices at home in the most traditional way; in a stone mortal-pestle. She sometimes wonders at the fact that people don't make their own spices when they so easily can; but she doesn't know that not everyone is gifted with the most wonderful art of proportioning the whole spices to create a wholesome and wonderful flavor.

She makes masalas for every dish; you name it. Tandoori masala, paneer masala, chicken masala, rajma masala and what not !! I'm lucky to have her for all her awesome spice recipes but I can only note down and prepare a few at a time. So this time I have learnt Chana Masala spice powder from her which we specially just use in Punjabi Style Black chana masala curry to exponentially enhance the flavor of the curry. You can use this spice mix as a garam masala as well if you wish but my nani says no because this is just "Chana Masala".

Other spice recipes on the blog:

Punjabi Garam masala
Kolhapuri Masala
Dhansak Masala
Chai Masala
Masala Spice mix


Coriander seeds: 2 tsp.
Cumin seeds: 2 tsp.
Green cardamom (with outer cover): 2
Black peppercorns: 1 tsp.
Cloves: 4
Cinnamon stick: 1 inch
Dried red chilli: 2
Dried ginger root: 1 tsp.
Black Salt: 1 tsp.
Pomegranate seeds (anardana): 1 tsp. (Use mango powder if you don't have anardana)

  1. Dry roast all the whole spices on a pan on medium flame: coriander, cumin, green cardamom (roast seeds and cover both), peppercorns, cloves, cinnamon, dry red chilli, ginger root and pomegranate seeds.
  2. Let cool and grind to a fine powder.
  3. Add the black salt and mix everything well. Also add mango powder at this stage if you didn't use pomegranate seeds. 
  4. Store in a air-tight container and use 2 tsp. of this masala everytime you prepare the Punjabi Chana Masala curry.
Recipe for chana masala: Black Chana Curry recipe 

Loved this recipe? Please leave a comment/feedback as it really motivates me all the time.
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Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Besan Ladoo

Besan laddoo doesn't need any introduction for most of Indians. It's a popular sweet made of chickpea flour, sugar and ghee. Simple ingredients make up this lovely and perfect melt in the mouth sweet and I bet you can't just eat one at a time !!

Laddoos are ball-shaped sweets popular in India and they are prepared for religious offerings in temples, for celebrating festivities in homes and even just like that a lot of times. Whenever there is a big festival in India, we miss home and the celebrations with pomp and show, weather or not we celebrate the festival at home. The least we can do in a foreign land is to try and have celebrations in our own little ways..

So just in time for the big Ganpati festival (Ganesh Chaturthi), I prepared these lovely, melt in the mouth besan laddoos. I also prepared mini bite-sized laddoos for potion control. This is my Nani's recipe but we usually used to get them from sweet shops in India, while they are not so readily available here.

Here's the recipe:


Gram flour (besan): 2 cups
Powdered sugar: 1 cup
Ghee: 1/2 cup (add more if required)
Saffron strands (optional)
Pistachios: a few (optional)
Green cardamom (crushed): a few (optional)

  1. Heat a deep-bottomed pan over medium heat and add the gram flour. Begin to dry roast the gram flour, stirring continuously so that the besan is roasted evenly and is not burnt. This will take about 10 minutes and after that you see the change in color of besan (it will start getting darker) and a lovely nutty aroma. At this stage the besan is done.
  2. Now immediately add the ghee and mix in the besan. The consistency should be such that it would be able to bind in shape. If it is of crumbling consistency, add little more ghee till it reaches the desired consistency. Don't add a lot of ghee at once but add very little at a time. 
  3. Add the powdered sugar and mix everything well. Again keep stirring for few minutes until everything is mixed perfectly and a you feel the nutty aroma of the roasted ghee and besan. Add the crushed cardamom at this stage if adding. 
  4. You can also add the chopped pistachios at this stage instead of cardamom. I added pistachios at this stage and did not decorate with anything at the top. For mini laddos, I have added cardamom at this stage and decorated with saffron and pistachios. There are so many ways to do this, so you can choose what you love. 
  5. Turn off the flame and let it cool for few minutes so that it is warm to touch and shape but not too hot. 
  6. Slowly make round balls with your palms and decorate with chopped pistachios, saffron or any other dried fruits you want. 
  7. Besan laddos are ready !! Refrigerate for about an hour to let solidify. Take out and devour or offer as prasadam for the festival. (I'm not sure weather or not to refrigerate if using as offering to god because I have never celebrated this festival, please do confirm). 

And here are the bite-sized laddoos I made for potion control, even though I'm sure of the fact that nobody can resist and eat just one !!

Loved this recipe? Please do leave a comment and/or feedback because it really inspires me everyday. Don't forget to connect with me on my Facebook Page

Looking for more sweet recipes for the festivities? You might love this Instant Gulab JamunStrawberry Kaju Katli or the holy offering of Kadha Prasad

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Zucchini balls/Lauki kofta

Tea time snacks are really important for so many households and so is mine; and there are only so many times you can eat dhokla and chaat for snacks and you need something else. This snack item I discovered a month and a half ago and have been making this regularly since then. You can use the normal lauki (bottle gourd) or zucchini to prepare these.

These melt-in-the-mouth koftas are so light and lovely you can eat many at a single time. I get two or three zucchini every week and I grate all of them at once and make koftas to serve as evening snack for the evening, make a curry for koftas for dinner and store the rest to be used in a week or freeze for later. This has made my life really easy in multiple ways.

The recipe is really simple and easy so let's begin to see how to prepare this:


Zucchini: 2 (large size)
Salt to taste
Red chilli powder: 2 tsp.
Coriander powder: 1 tsp.
Cumin powder: 1 tsp.
Garam masala: 1 tsp.
Mango powder: 1/2 tsp.
Gram flour: 3 tbsp. (for binding)
Oil for deep frying

  1. Grate all the zucchini and keep aside. 
  2. Now, as you need to squeeze out the water from the zucchini to make koftas, squeeze as much water as you can with your hand and keep in a bowl. Don't throw away the water which you can use in the curry. 
  3. Now put the grated and water-squeezed out zucchini in a muslin cloth and bind it and hang it for about 15 minutes and all the excess water that is remaining will be collected to the bottom.
  4. Squeeze hard and try and remove all the water from the zucchini while it is in the muslin cloth. I personally find this method easier than doing it directly by hand. 
  5. Open the muslin cloth and you will find almost all the water is removed from the grated zucchini. Now it is ready to make koftas so transfer to a wide bowl. 
  6. Add the dry spices and the gram flour and mix well. 
  7. Now make small balls from the mix really quickly because the added salt in the batter will make the zucchini release water. Keep the balls aside. 
  8. Heat the oil on medium-high flame and gently add a few koftas at a time and fry them until golden from all sides. They will not turn crispy but will remain soft and melt in the mouth, that's the beauty of these koftas. 
  9. Fry all the koftas in the same way and drain on a kitchen paper. 
  10. Serve a few as evening snack with steaming hot tea and store the rest for using in curries. 
  11. They stay good in refrigerator for 2-3 days and can be frozen for long time about a month and half. I will share all my curry recipes, stay tuned !! 

Loved this recipe? Please do leave a feedback and a comment and don't forget to join me on my Facebook Page for regular wonderful recipe updates. 

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

How to make a paper butterfly

The butterfly is a flying flower,
the flower is a tethered butterfly..
- Ponce Denis

I have always been fascinated by butterflies all my life and even as a kid I used to run after butterflies as they attracted me but I never tried to catch them. I have had butterflies sitting over the back of my hand, my shoulders and on my feet many times. I grew up, but the love for butterflies remain !!
I do try wearing some butterfly accessories sometimes in my hair and I'm always looking for more lovelies, with more colors and patterns. These are the two I wear often and love them: a blue butterfly hair clip and a butterfly wreath.

Well, working with kids one needs to grow own fantasy as well. Because of my never-ending love for butterflies, I choose to make butterflies out of paper for pre-school kids. This activity is really easy and fun to do at home, you don't need a lot of materials and it's quick and I'm sure the kids will love it. This can be done with kids of 4-5 years with adult supervision.

Here's sharing how to prepare one:

What you need:

Colored paper
Thick thread

How to make:

  1. Fold the paper in a triangle as shown. 
  2. Fold the remaining rectangle as shown in the picture. 
  3. Cut out the rectangle part from the paper and discard it. 
  4. Now you are remaining with a square with a fold in between. 
  5. Carefully cut the paper along the fold. 
  6. You will get two triangles as shown in the picture. 
  7. Begin folding one of the triangles in a zig-zag pattern as shown. Make sure to use small folds. 
  8. Begin to fold the other triangle too in the same way. You can use paper of another color for second triangle to make two-colored butterfly. 
  9. Place both the folded papers with the shorter side together as shown in the picture. 
  10. Press together and bind in the center with the thread and make a small knot as shown in the picture. 
  11. Begin to open and flatten the folded portion from one side as shown in the picture to spread as wings. 
  12. Repeat for all four sides. Lovely two-colored butterfly is ready. 
  13. Butterfly can be made in a single color as well. 
  14. Or in different sizes.  


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