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Showing posts with label MY CULINARY INVENTIONS. Show all posts
Showing posts with label MY CULINARY INVENTIONS. Show all posts

Friday, January 10, 2014


This time when I went for my weekend grocery shopping, I saw bags of frozen Toovar Lilva, all neatly picked, sorted and frozen. The fresh ones are not available so easily in Singapore and seeing such a convenient pack I decided to buy it.
Usually when I buy this I use it in the Surti Undhio. This time I thought I will make something different from it and decided to make a Pulav out of it which is a one pot meal at home on the days when I am lazy to cook and I need to rustle up something quickly.
Here is a recipe of the Toovar Lilva Pulav for people who like some variety in their palette.
The Toovar Lilva Pulav was such a hit in our house that it got over in no time.

Toovar Lilva / Pigeon Peas – 1 cup
Basmati Rice – 1 ½ cup washed and drained
Bay leaves - 1
Cumin Seeds – 1 tbsp
Cinnamon sticks – 1
Clove / Lavang – 1
Turmeric – ½ tsp (Optional)
Asafetida – a pinch
Onion – 1 finely chopped (Optional)
Freshly chopped coriander leaves – 2 tbsps
Oil – 2 tbsps
Salt as per taste

To Be Ground Into A Smooth Paste (using Little Water)
Chopped Coriander leaves – ½ cup
Green chillies – 4
Ginger paste – 1 tsp
Lemon Juice - ½  tbsp
Fresh Green Garlic (Hara Lehsun) – ¼ cup (Optional)

Rinse out 1 ½ cups of long grained Basmati rice and then soak it for a while in water.
I used the frozen pigeon peas, Incase you are using the frozen Toovar Lilva, kindly soak it in some warm water. If you are using fresh ones just rinse the pigeon peas out through a colander and they are ready to use.
Now, take the chopped coriander leaves, green chilly paste, ginger paste, a pinch of salt, Lemon juice and the fresh green garlic and blend to fine consistency in a mixie / blender adding a little water.
(I didn’t use the green garlic & onion in this recipe)

In a wok, put 2 tablespoons of oil, once the oil is heated add in the Bay leaves, Cinnamon stick, clove and the cumin seeds, once you see the cumin getting fried, add in a pinch of Asafetida (I always like to asafetida in my dishes as it has property to remove gases and in this recipe we have beans so it is good to add some), and fry for a minute.
Now add in the finely chopped onions and sauté until transparent. The onion should look shrunk and well fried.
After this, add in the Corriander-green chilly-ginger-lemon juice paste and sauté well. The color of the paste when fried well becomes slightly light.
Ensure that you don’t burn the masala as then the pulav won’t taste so good.
Meanwhile drain the water of the Toovar Lilva by passing it through a colander (if using the frozen ones).
Once, the masala turns into a lighter color. Add in the Toovar Lilva and sauté until the Pigeon peas turn into a lighter green,
After this add in the rinsed and soaked Basmati rice without any water and sauté for 2-3 minutes adding salt as per the taste and mixing everything well.
Once this is done you can put this in a rice cooker and add water according to finger level consistency for example when you put your finger in you will know how much rice is there, that much water has to be added or alternatively add water until the rice is completely immersed and there is another tea-cup of water on top. The water level has to be perfect for a perfect pulav, now switch on the rice cooker and keep to cook position.
I always use the electric rice cooker for pulav in Singapore but you can make it in a non stick wok by closing the lid and keeping the gas on a low flame.
Either way it cooks well. Once the rice cooks, give it a light stir so that everything mixes well without breaking the grains of rice Put the lid back and let it stand for another five minutes. Then turn off the plug.
Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot.
If you want to decorate it some more you can even garnish it with freshly grated paneer.
Enjoy the refreshing Toovar Lilva pulav with any gravy of your choice or just with Papad, pickle and raita, It’s a complete meal.

Friday, March 8, 2013


I would like to share this wonderful and healthy chai masala recipe that I got from my Punjabi friend here in Singapore.
Being born and brought up in the state of Maharashtra I learnt to savor tea infused with spices known as “Masala Chai”(Tea infused with spices) back in Mumbai.
The spice mix would always manage to give a punch to the otherwise normal cup of tea.
So when it’s raining and we are totally drenched or having a cold we would always go for a ginger laced tea or Masala tea.
Even the street stalls and restaurants serve the masala chai, its commonly available in India.   
What totally surprised me was when I found a version of the Masala chai at the McCafe at Singapore known as the Himalayan Tea Latte - A hot and calming exotic milk tea with a soulful infusion of spice flavor. They claim it to be a hot favorite. I nudged Yo (my husband) and pointed to the Menu feeling proud to find our Masala chai being internationalized and described so beautifully.
So what should be the ideal mix of spices one may ask.
The spices vary according to the place, the climate conditions in a particular region and sometimes due to personal preferences. But a typical Indian tea masala includes a combination of the following spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, ginger and peppercorns. They may also include Bishops weed, fennel seeds and other variants in some recipes.
Ideally if the spices are ground fresh and added to the tea it would taste good, But, since I belong to the generation which hardly has time for such luxuries. I made my tea masala for keeps. I made a small batch which I could use over a period of a month.
The spices in the tea masala are known to aid in digestion, provide heat during cold weathers like winters or rains, they are believed to chase a fever or cure a cold.
I believe that they are soothing and refreshing and add a zing to your regular cuppa.
My friends recipe doesn’t have peppercorns, but mine has.
Here is my recipe for Punjabi Tea masala, do make it and savor your tea with the soulful infusion of the spices.

Cinnamon stick – 1 whole stick
Big Cardamom (Badi Elaichi) – 3
Small Cardamom (Choti Elaichi) – 10-12
Cloves (Lavang/Laung) – 3-4
Dried Ginger (Saunth / Soonth) – 1 piece or alternatively you can use the ginger powder about 1 and a half tablespoon.
Bishop’s weed (Ajwain) – a pinch
Black peppercorns – 5-6
Fennel seeds(Saunf) – 1 tablespoon

Dry roast all the ingredients for 7-8 minutes until you can get a faint aroma of the spices. Let it cool completely. Once it is cool run it in the dry jar of a mixer/blender and grind into a fine powder. Cool completely and store in an air-tight container. Use the masala as and when required to make tea.

Indian Masala Tea
To make 2 cups of Masala tea. Boil 2 cups of water in a pan. Add sugar, Tea leaves and the powdered masala and let it come to a boil. Once it starts boiling, add some milk and let it boil for a couple of minutes. Strain and serve piping hot.

Enjoy this with some biscuits while catching some news in your morning newspaper.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


Nutty Paratha is something I invented while thinking of how to feed my little one with nutritious food, considering the small portions that she has. She is a fussy eater and it’s tough to feed her. She likes chappati, so I thought of hiding some goodness or the other inside it and feed her. Nuts are good for health so I hid inside the conventional chappati roasted & chopped nuts and she fell for it. The secret was the slight sweetness imparted by the Roasted Sweet almonds, which gave it the taste of Puran poli (but less sweet)
The nuts I used were. (Please click on the link, to know more about the health benefits of the nuts.
Almonds Cashewnuts , Pistachios
You can see that this Paratha is worthy of the royals…..
Whole wheat flour - 2 cups
Roasted sweet Almonds – 3 tbsp
Roasted Cashewnuts – 2 tbsp
Roasted Pistachios – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Water for the dough
Oil – 1 tbsp & for cooking the paratha
Mix the wheat flour, one tablespoon of oil, salt, mix well and make a dough adding a bit of warm water. Now slowly add in some warm water to make the dough. Knead it well till it becomes one uniform dough mix. Keep aside for half an hour. After this knead again well. Make small balls of the dough and roll it into a puri first, fill in the roasted & chopped nuts )close the filling by making it into half moon shape and then roll the sides and make a ball and then roll again like you do for chappati .
Then cook the Nutty Parathas on a flat bottomed pan (tava) using a few drops of oil / ghee, till u see brown spots appear on both sides as in the picture. Serve the hot parathas with any sabji of your choice.

Monday, August 25, 2008


I had made Khichdi (Also known as Pongal down south) and a lot got leftover, since we are not supposed to eat leftovers on festival days(It was Janmashtami the next day), we couldn’t finish eating it the next day and the khichdi was kept in the refrigerator.
Rice has become so expensive these days in Singapore that I didn’t have the heart to throw the khichdi, it was so tasty.
So on Day 3, I took out the khichdi and invented this new recipe Khichdi Vada,
You can make this with plain leftover rice also. The khichdi already has some spices, as it is already cooked and ready to eat, so when adding the salt etc, taste and see how much is required.
Leftover Khichdi /Rice – 2 bowls(Can serve 2 people)
Gram Flour – 1 cup
Bread crumbs – 2 tbsp
Onion – 1 medium size
Ginger paste – ½ tbsp
Green chillies- 2 finely chopped
Red Chilly powder – ½ tbsp
Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Freshly chopped coriander leaves – 1 tbsp
In a bowl, Take the khichdi, add all the ingredients and mix well. Khichdi is usually soft and overcooked so the texture is a bit gluey unlike Pulao rice etc. This vada can be made with slightly overcooked rice only as that can be mashed to mix with the rest of the ingredients.
Heat oil in a frying pan and when the oil is hot, drop small balls of the batter, while dropping spread your fingers so they drop unevenly and look shapeless, this makes it more crispy. Fry the Khichdi vadas till golden and crisp on a slow fire. Remove and drain on a kitchen towel to remove excess oil. Serve hot with green chutney/ coconut chutney or tomato sauce.
Believe me the vadas were so tasty that no one at home could believe that it was made from leftover khichdi.
This taught me a lesson that its not necessary that we must throw leftover food, we can always make something so interesting that no one would be able to guess what it was just like in the Comic I had made earlier.

Friday, August 22, 2008


PEANUT CHAATI rustled this up yesterday evening, since we were hungry and I was bored to make anything detailed, I decided to make this chaat. Peanuts are Yo’s favorite snack and I love Kurkure. So I thought why not combine the two. This is my twist to the dish.. Hope all of you enjoy this chaat also.
Groundnuts (with shells) - 3 cups.
Onion (chopped) -1 medium sized.
Tomato (chopped) -1 medium sized.
Green chillies (chopped)- 2.
Chaat masala - 2 tsps
Roasted cumin powder - ½ tsp
Salt to taste
Freshly chopped coriander leaves – 1 tbsp
Lemon juice - 1 tsp
Kurkure (Spicy corn puffs) – 1 cup
Pressure cook the shelled groundnuts with some salt for about 3 whistles. Drain and remove the peanuts inside the shell. Take these peanuts in a bowl. Add salt as per taste, chaat masala, powder, roasted cumin powder, onion, tomato, green chillies, coriander leaves, lemon juice and mix well. Add 3/4th cup kurkure (Spicy corn puffs available in Indian stores). Since this is spicy it will incorporate some spice into the chaat. If you are not adding kurkure u can add ¼ tsp of red chilly powder. Garnish with coriander leaves and kurkure and serve.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


ONION FRITTERS WITH RED JALAPENO PEPPERS AND CASHEWNUTSIn the desi style we can call it Onion Bhajji/Bhajiya lal Mirchi aur kaju ke saath.
I guess I am hooked onto red Jalapeno peppers, I love the color, the flavor, the extra funk or you may say punch that it adds to any dish. Don’t replace the red jalapeno peppers with any other pepper, the taste won’t be the same. If you don’t get Jalapeno peppers in your country, you can use Red Capsicum. Here is yet another Original recipe of mine.

Ingredients Onions – 3-4
Red Jalapeno Peppers – 2
Cashewnuts – 1 tbsp
Gram Flour – 1 cup
Bishops weed (Ajwain/Omam) – ½ tsp
Asafetida – 1 tsp
Red Chilly powder – 1 tsp
Salt as per taste
Chop the onion in thin slivers, Slit the Red Jalapeno peppers de-stem and de-seed them. Chop them in thin strips also. Put them in a bowl, Add the cashewnuts, then add 3 tbsps of gram flour, the bishops weed, Asafetida, Red chilly powder, salt and mix well. Allow the onions and chillies to marinate in the mixture for about 5 minutes. The onions start to sweat and you will notice the mixture to be moist, at this point, add the rest of the gram flour and some water, The water is added to make the mixture a bit loose and in dropping consistency as shown in the picture. Again keep aside for 4-5 minutes.
Heat oil in a frying pan and when the oil is hot, drop small balls of the batter, while dropping spread your fingers so they drop unevenly and look shapeless, this makes it more crispy. Fry the Bhajiyas(fritters) till golden and crisp on a slow fire. Remove and drain on a kitchen towel to remove excess oil. Serve hot with green chutney/ coconut chutney or tomato sauce

I would like to send this dish also to Lore's Original recipes Event.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


Alfalfa sprouts are germinated from Alfalfa seeds. They are so easy to sprout that you can sprout them even in your refrigerator. Their dietary fibre contains substances called saponins which can remove cholesterol from the blood. Alfalfa is also extremely rich in antioxidants, including one powerful antioxidant called tricin, and is used as a commercial source of chlorophyll and carotene. It is said to help in stimulating milk flow in breastfeeding mothers and for alleviating menopausal problems in older women. Alfalfa has also been used traditionally as an appetite stimulant, to promote weight gain and to stop bleeding. Unsubstantiated claims include treating abnormal growths, alcoholism and bone and joint conditions. Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C, a useful source of vitamin E with some vitamin A and dietary fibre. I got some cherry honey tomatoes in the market, Cherry tomatoes are small and oval in shape, they are especially used in salads, they are sweeter than the normal tomatoes that we usually use in cooking. I have used them in this recipe. Lettuce provides potassium, carotene, dietary fibre and small quantities of other minerals and vitamins. Onions are a good source of vitamin C, B3 and calcium.
Ingredients 1 ½ cups of Alfalfa sprouts
1 Cucumber
Cherry Tomatoes – 5-6
1 ripe red & juicy tomato
1 Red Onion
Lettuce – 3-4 leaves
Olives – 5-6
½ Red Capsicum
Freshly ground pepper for seasoning
Salt as per taste
½ tsp - dried Oregano
½ tsp – dried Basil
½ tsp – dried Dill
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1½ tablespoons lemon juice
Feta Cheese(Sheep/Goat Cheese) – 120gms cut into cubes.
Salad dressing as per choice
First of all peel the cucumber in stripes, means peel one strip out and leave the skin on the next strip and so on. We would like to retain some skin on as it is nutritious. Now chop into square chunks, Chop the Tomatoes into square chunks. Chop the Cherry tomatoes into halves so that they get the spices as well. Slice the onion into a half and then into semi circles and then peel out the rings, so you get thin semi circular rings, this will give the salad more flavor of the onion. I have used the longish red peppers easily available in Singapore and it has a fantastic flavor too. Discard the seeds inside the red peppers and chop them .Add in the olives.
Now in a large bowl, put in all the vegetables, tear the lettuce and put in, also add in the afla alfa sprouts. Now add the olive oil, salt as per taste, freshly ground pepper (use a pepper crusher and crush freshly into the salad), Add in the dried oregano, dried basil and dried dill. Toss it all well and top it with Feta cheese. Feta cheese is very soft, it crumbles very easily so don’t toss it along with the Feta cheese. Do all the tossing before adding in the feta cheese. The Feta cheese cubes must be on the top like a dressing, when you serve yourself your portion you can toss it in. Toss lightly as you don’t want your feta cheese cubes crumbled and squashed.
You can dress this salad with a Thousand Island dressing or some Mayonnaise before adding the Feta cheese, but since I am off eggs now, I didn’t put it my recipe, but you can add this and the salad will be very tasty.

Garnish with some alfalfa sprouts and dunk into this nutritious salad.

This salad can be a complete meal in itself or you can have it with some light crusty bread.

I would like to post this for Lore's Original Recipes Event


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