Varamahalakshmi festival greetings! Cashew burfee à la Mysore pak

May you be blessed with Health, Earth, Learning, Love, Peace, Fame, Pleasure, and Strength

Wishing you a joyous Varalakshmi festival

Wishing you a joyous Varalakshmi festival


2 ½ cup cashews

2 cups sugar

1 pint whipping cream

2 tea spoons ghee or butter

¾ tea spoon cardamom powder

1/2 tea spoon saffron strands


Coarsely grind cashews. Consistency should be that of sooji. Keep aside. Mix cream, sugar. Cook until 1 thread consistency. This will take about 10 minutes. Add cashew powder. On medium low heat, cook the mixture until it all comes together and doesn’t stick to the pan. This will take about 25 minutes. Add ghee, cardamom powder, and saffron. Stir for 2 more minutes. Pour onto a greased plate,, level with a spoon and cut after about 8 minutes.

Makes approx. 25 large pieces.

Note: For Almond Burfee, follow the same recipe as above but soak almonds in water and remove skin before grinding.

Baghara Baigan – Hyderabadi-style eggplant in a spicy gravy

For anyone who loves eggplant, spicy curries or Indian food in general, and most importantly, likes to cook, here is a great recipe for Baghara Baigan.
  1. 6-8 small, oval-shaped eggplant/baigan/brinjal
  2. 1/2 cup peanuts
  3. 1 table spoon sesame seeds
  4. 1/2 to 1 table spoon shredded coconut
  5. 2 dried red chilies
  6. 1 tea spoon coriander seeds
  7. 1/2 tea spoon cumin seeds
  8. 1 medium size onion, cut into large pieces
  9. 1 table spoon tamarind juice (use fresh tamarind)
  10. 1/2 tea spoon jaggery
  11. Just a pinch of turmeric
  12. 1 tea spoon Ginger-garlic paste (optional)
  13. 1 – 2 tea spoon red chili powder
  14. About 3/4 tea spoon salt
1. Make a 1 -2 inch (depending on the size of the eggplant) cross-cut from the top of the eggplant  keeping the stem intact. This will open up the eggplant enough to soak in the spices.
2. Steam or microwave the eggplant in 1/2 cup of water for 3 minutes or so, until just about cooked. Make sure they don’t get overcooked. Remember, we are going to cook them again with the sauce.
3. In a pan, take 1 table spoon of oil and fry peanuts for about 5 minutes on medium-low flame.
4. Add sesame seeds red chilies, coriander seeds, cumin seeds and continue to fry for 3-4 minutes.
5. Lower the heat, add coconut, stir, and empty the mixture in a bowl.
6. In the same pan, fry onion for about 3-4 minutes.
7. Grind the spice mixture by addint a little water until it is well blended but still quite coarse.
8. Add the onion and grind until the mixture is well blended and slightly coarse.  You will have to add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water. (Do not make it into a paste. Blend it well, but keep it slightly coarse)
9.  In a pan, take 3-4 table spoon oil and add 2-3 red chilies, 2-3 cloves, and fry the ground mixture for about 3 minutes.
10. Add red chili powder, turmeric, and mix well.
11. Add tamarind juice, salt and jaggery. Cook for 4-5 minutes and taste the mixutre to adjust the spices/salt.
12. Add the eggplant, About 1 cup of water and cook for about 15 minutes. The gravy when done, should not be too watery so add water accordingly.
This dish goes very well with both biryani and roti.

તુવેરના ટોઠા અને બાજરીનો રોટલો (Tuver na totha and Bajrino Rotlo)

Kathiawad holds a very special place in my heart. I lived in Bhavnagar (a big town in Kathiawad) for about 5 years and it is here that I developed a love for Gujarati language and its literature reading books and poems from writers and poets such as Chunilal Madiya, Jhaverchand Meghani, Kag, Kavi Dalpatram, Sursinhji Gohil (Kalapi), Govardhanram Tripathi just to name a few.

I am very happy to blog two signature dishes from Kathiawad today. The first one is a subzi called Tuver na totha (ટોઠા / ઠોઠા ? I have heard it both ways) made from green pigeon peas. Typically it’s made during winter but for better or worse, these days we get most  everything year-round and hence that seasonal distinction is gone. It’s a wholesome curry that can be had just by itself or with any type of roti.

The second dish is Bajri no rotlo, a type of roti made from millet flour. It’s an extremely nutritious, tasty and simple roti but surprisingly it has never made it into mainstream Indian cuisine. Unlike the Gujarati phulka roti which requires a good amount of  effort and skill, a rotlo just needs to be rolled into a roundish thick roti and cooked on both sides for a few minutes. I love it with butter and jaggery.

Tuver na Totha

Tuver na Totha



Tuver Totha:

  • 2 cups fresh green tuver (Pigeon peas), cooked until soft
  • A small bunch spring onions
  • 1-2 stalk green onion
  • 2 medium size tomatoes chopped very fine (or put in a blender)
  • 1 medium size onion (make a paste in a blender)
  • 2 green chilies chopped fine
  • 3-4 pods of fresh garlic
  • Grated ginger (1/2 tea spoon or so)
  • 3-4 table spoon oil
  • Spices:
  • 1/2 tea spoon cumin
  • 1/3 tea spoon hing
  • ½ tea spoon Turmeric
  • 3/4  tea spoon red chili powder (more if you want it spicy)
  • 1 tea spoon coriander powder
  • ½ tea spoon garam masala
  • Salt
In a pan, heat 3-4 table spoon of oil.
Do a tadka with cumin seeds and hing.
Add chopped spring onion, green onion, onion paste and cook for a 3-4 minutes.
Add tomatoes, chopped chilies, ginger and garlic paste and fry for about 5-6 minutes.
Add all the spices, including turmeric, cooked peas and salt.
Add a cup of water and cook covered for about 8-10 minutes.
If you want, you can garnish with coriander leaves (cilantro), thin sev etc.
To make bajri rotlo:
  • 1/2 cup bajri flour / millet flour
  • About 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 tea spoon salt
  • Flat pan / tava
  • 2 tea spoon ghee/ butter
Take the bajri/millet flour, add salt and prepare a dough by adding water little by little.
Don’t make it too loose or stiff. You should be able to knead it nicely without exerting any pressure.
Continue to knead for about 2 minutes.
Immediately, roll it into a thick roti and cook on both sides for a minute until there are dark brown spots all over.
As it gets cooked, if you press the top of the rotlo with a cloth, it will puff up nicely.
Apply a generous amount of ghee and eat it with jaggery or any subzi with gravy.
Both these dishes are absolutely delicious and I hope you will give it a try.


I am lucky to have two exceptionally talented cooks as my sisters. Like Akshay Patra अक्षयपात्र, the amazing number of delicious things they can cook is inexhaustible. Here is a recipe to make super delicious Chaklis from my sister Sharada. It took me just about 45 minutes to make these – from start to finish.
1 + 1/4 cup rice flour
3/4 cup daliya/soft, split chickpeas/hurgadle
2/3 tea spoon salt
3 table spoon butter
1/3 tea spoon hing
1 tea tea spoon til/sesame seeds
1/4 tea spoon jeera/cumin seeds
Approx. 2/3 cup water
1. Grind Daliya to a fine powder.
2. Mix all ingredients except butter and water.
3. Add warm, melted butter and mix it well into flour.
4. Add water little by little and knead into a dough. 
5. Make sure the dough is soft yet stiff.  
6. At this point, heat approx. 3 cups oil in a frying pan.
6. Continue to knead the dough for at least 5 minutes.
7. With a chakli maker, make round chaklis and fry 2-4 at a time, depending on the size of the frying pan, on medium-low heat. 
This recipes will make approx. 15 medium size chaklis. 

Weekend brunch: Doodhi thepla etc.

Hi friends, how are you all doing?
Here is a tasty and brunch menu for those of you who like to eat and laze around at home on a weekend.

Doodhi (opo) thepla with wheat and barley flour
Broccoli and potato subzee
Gujarati dal or South Indian rasam


Ingredients for doodhi thepla:
1. 1 cup shredded doodhi
2. 1 cup wheat flour
3. 1/4 cup barley/jawar flour
4. 1/4 tea spoon turmeric
5. 1/2 tea spoon red chili powder
6. 1 table spoon oil
7. 1/4 cup yoghurt
8. 1 tea spoon finely cut green chili
9. A Pinch of hing
10. 1/4 tea spoon grated ginger

Mix all the ingredients and make a dough soft enough to roll into rotis. Keep aside for 15 minutes.

Roll into thin 5-6 inch diameter rotis and cook on both sides for about 30 seconds smearing oil or ghee on sides.

Pastel de Tres Leches

Feliz Día de San Valentín!

Tres Leches Cake – “Three Milks Cake” – is a popular dessert from Mexico and Latin America. This rich cake oozes with the goodness of three milks: Sweetened condensed milk, Evaporated milk and cream. Ever since I had this cake at the Cafe Versailles in Miami, I couldn’t wait to make it at home. If you have a sweet tooth and like milk, you’ll love this cake.

Tres Leches Cake

Feliz Día de los Enamorados!

For the Cake:
1 cup Flour
4 eggs
1 tea spoon Baking powder
1 tea spoon Vanilla Extract
1 cup Sugar
¼ cup milk

For the Tres Leches (Three milks) Mix:
1 ½ cup evaporated milk ( I boiled 2 cups milk for about 20 minutes; You can use store-bought evaporated milk)
1 cup sweetened condensed milk (I used nestle brand available in a can)
½ cup cream

For the Icing:
1 cup whipping cream
3 table spoon sugar

1. Pre-heat oven to 325 degrees.
2. Grease and flour 9 x 13 inch cake pan.
3. In a wide bowl, sift flour, salt and baking powder together.
4. Separate egg whites and yolks.
5. In a blender, mix yolks and ½ cup sugar for about 2 minutes. Add ¼ cup milk and the vanilla extract and stir into the flour mixture gently.
6. Similarly, whip Egg whites and ½ cup of sugar for about 3 minutes and stir into the flour mixture gently.
7. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for about 35 minutes. 8. Keep an eye on the cake after 25 minutes. You will see the cake browning lightly soon after you put it into the oven. Don’t get alarmed.
Take the cake out from the oven and let it cool.
9. As the cake cools, mix the three milks.
10. Prick the cake all over with a fork (7-8 times)
11. Pour the three milks all over the cake, including the slides.
For the icing:
12. Whip the cream with sugar for 2-3 minutes until stiff. Spread it on the top and sides of the cake.

13. At this time, if the presentation is important, transfer the cake to a decorative tray/plate, along with the extra milk floating on the sides. Make sure you pour the milk gently on the sides of the cake.
You can decorate the top of the cake with strawberries or raspberries.

14. Keep the cake in the fridge for at least 3 hours before serving.
15. To serve, cut a slice of the cake, arrange it on the serving dish and drizzle 2-3 table spoon of the milk sauce on the sides.

Mexican Dip

Niners or no Niners.. the show must go on…

Here is a zesty recipe for Mexican dip to set the mood for the Superbowl XLVIII Seattle Seahawks vs. Denver Broncos. I had found this recipe in my collection of handwritten recipes years back and since then have made it many times. It’s always a hit.

Mexican Dip

1 ½ cup refried beans
¼ cup cooked black beans (optional)
1 Avocado
2/3rd cup regular or low-fat sour Cream
¼ cup pack regular /low fat Cream Cheese
1 cup Salsa (I used a combination of Tostitos and Pace, Hot)
1 ½ table spoon taco seasoning
2 table spoon spoon Mexican Hot Sauce
¼ cup of pickled jalapenos and olives
2 tbsp. finely chopped green onion
1 cup of shredded cheese
A bag of Mexican chips

1. Remove skin from avocado and mash it.
2. Mix sour cream, cream cheese, and avocado to form a smooth paste.
3. Add ½ tea spoon salt, taco seasoning and Mexican hot sauce and mix well. Taste to adjust salt/spices.
4. In an 8 inch round tray, spread the refried beans evenly.
5. Spread the black beans, if using.
6. Layer with the smooth paste we made in step 2 above.
7. Spread the salsa.
8. Top with pickled jalapenos, green onions, olives and cilantro.
9. Sprinke the shredded cheese on top.

Enjoy with tortilla chips.


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