Monday, 31 August 2015


This is a Gujarati sweet dish. I learned many Gujarati dishes from my friends in Kenya. Gujarati food is very tasty and has lots of varieties in sweet and savory.

When I was living in Kisumu, Kenya, I was living in a flat with my family in a big building. Most of the families in the apartment complex were Gujaratis. Throughout the day, the ladies were busy in making lots of papads and savory dishes. I was also a housewife at the time because I had decided to take care of my two small kids, I had plenty of time to learn and try new Gujarati items. This recipe is one of them.

When I ate Shreekhand for the first time, I really liked it and was very much interested in learning the process of making it. When one of my neighbour friend from the apartment complex taught me how to make it, I realized that it is a very simple dish to make which actually does not require any cooking at all. The main ingredient is Dahi (Yoghurt).

I love mangoes and all dishes made with mango. It is a superfruit, which is used in many recipes in Indian cuisine. Starting from raw mango to full ripe ones, we use them in our kitchen to make many types of pickles, chutneys, sweets and even use them in curries.

I have already posted few recipes of mango like mango pickle, mangosmoothie, mango trifle and mango Jam.

When this dish is made with only yoghurt (dahi) and sugar it is called shreekhand, and when mixed with mango it is called amrkhand.


  • 500 grams Full Cream Yoghurt (Dahi)
  • 500 grams pureed mangoes
  • 300 grams castor sugar
  • ½ tsp nutmeg powder (optional)
  • 50 grams sliced almonds OR pistachios
    For graham cracker crust
  • Two cups graham/digestive cracker (Finely crushed)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 tbs butter

For the crust
  • Mix graham cracker, sugar, and butter thoroughly.
  • Press mixture into small individual pie trays (3 inches)
  • Bake in the oven for 6-7 minutes to 180 degrees C.
  • Cool it well.
  • Take a white, clean muslin cloth, spread the cloth inside the big sieve or stainer, now pour the yoghurt carefully in it.
  • Tie a knot on top or put a thick rubber band to seal the top.
  • Now hang the muslin cloth on top of the kitchen sink with a tap, so that all the water can drip off the yoghurt.
  • Leave a container under it to collect the water, it can take 4-5 hours to remove all the water from the yoghurt and the only cream will be left in the muslin cloth.
  • Now remove the cream of the yoghurt in a glass bowl, add sugar, pureed mango, nutmeg powder, and pistachio.
  • Mix well and put it in the fridge.
  • When the crust is cold, fill it with yoghurt and mango mix and decorate with pistachio.
  • Serve chilled as dessert after the meals.

Saturday, 22 August 2015


When I first arrived in Africa in 1980, we landed in the city of Nairobi. My husband and I stayed in a 3-star hotel for one week, in that hotel there was nothing to eat except meat for main meals, we did not even get plain rice. There was some sort of shortage of rice there, so they were giving rice only once a week. There we survived only on breakfasts because bread and butter were available at the breakfast table only.
We were very new in the city, we had no idea of the place. One morning we went to the city center and asked people about Indian restaurants etc, there we met some Indians. Later they helped us by bringing home-made vegetarian food for us to our hotel.

This was my first foreign tour and Kenya was the first country I visited in my life. Without knowledge of local ingredients, we were walking for the first time on the streets of Nairobi, I saw some pathway vendors selling onions and potatoes. That was a big relief for me. I thought, at least, something I will get here to eat!

Potato is a type of vegetable which is used in almost all world cuisines and is also available everywhere in the world. Even in a remote area of Africa or Asia potatoes can be easily available. In Indian cuisine, a variety of dishes is made with potatoes. I particularly like this significant character of potatoes that they can be mixed and matched with many other vegetables when making curries and side dishes. We, food bloggers and foodies will definitely need this type of vegetables with which we can play around and invent new things.


  • 4 big boiled potatoes
  • 100 grams grated paneer(optional)
  • 1 cup chickpeas flour(besan)
  • salt and chili powder to taste
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • pinch soda-bi-carb
  • oil for frying
  • Grate boiled potatoes and add salt pepper and grated paneer.
  • Mix well and make small balls shape and keep it aside.
  • Make a thick batter by adding water in chickpeas flour together with salt, pepper,cumin seeds and soda-bi-carb.
  • Heat oil in a wok or frypan, when oil is hot, take potato balls one by one and dip in chickpeas batter and slip into the oil and fry lightly all the balls.
  • Take balls out of the oil, when still warm flatten them with your palms using the kitchen towel.
  • Fry again in the hot oil to make them crispy.
  • Serve hot with any chutney of your taste.

Wednesday, 12 August 2015



Normally people think that teaching is a very easy job because teachers get lots of holidays and their working hours are less compared to other civil servants, etc. They have no idea how tough the teaching job is inside the classroom itself, when dealing with different student characters and personalities, we have to treat them with love and care, and it is not easy to explain the subject matter and discipline them, till they are satisfied and understand the concept. Apart from the classroom work we have to do a lot of work outside the classroom, which takes extra time and is more effort-demanding like preparing lessons, lesson plans, marking scripts, homework planning, involvement in co-curricular activities, staff and departmental meetings etc., the list is endless!

When I was working, one day, I had a long day in school. After teaching in the morning from 7 am to 1 pm, there was a staff meeting which started at 2 pm and finished around 6.30 pm. In those long meetings when we teachers were checking time, again and again, I remember, my Headmaster (principal) reminded us jokingly by saying “Teachers!! Remember, you are 24 hours government servants, I suppose you will be marking homework when you get home!!”, and we used to reply “Oh no!”.

When I reached home after 6.30 I had neither the energy nor any mood to cook anything. Unwillingly I opened the fridge and was disappointed to see that there is no leftover food in the fridge. To my big surprise I found lots of fresh vegetables in the fridge, then I realized, maybe my husband brought them while coming back from work. That is when this recipe rescued me, in this vegetable bake, just cut and mix-match any vegetables and put it in the oven and one pot meal can be ready in around 45 minutes.

This is also a wholesome meal as it is loaded with vegetables; there is some protein in the form of cream cheese and grated cheese. Carbohydrate is there in potatoes. So here you go less labor and a tasty full meal is ready.

This is another good example of low-fat cooking. Instead of making the white sauce (roux) with butter, as is usually done in an au-gratin, I have used low fat cream cheese as a substitute and it tastes very good. I’ve replaced a carb-fat with a protein, always a better substitute.

I have used very little grated cheese on top only for garnishing so that it looks good and it still tastes good.



  • 400 grams boiled and sliced potatoes
  • 200 grams cauliflower florets
  • 200 grams green beans cut lengthwise
  • 200 corn kernels ( fresh or frozen)
  • 200 grams onion sliced
  • 400 grams tomatoes sliced
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 tbs mustard seeds (ground)
  • 150 grams low fat cream cheese + 4 tbs milk
  • 150 grams low-fat mozzarella/cheddar grated cheese
  • 1 tbs dried parsley
  • 2 tbs oil


  • Heat oil in a frying pan, add mustard seeds, fry onion till golden brown, add beans and corn with salt, leave it to cook for 5-8 minutes.
  • Heat oven to 180 degrees C.
  • Mix cream cheese and milk thoroughly.
  • In an oven tray layer the potatoes, sprinkle some salt.
  • Now layer the vegetables, pour cream cheese mixture.
  • Layer with tomatoes, sprinkle black pepper and salt and put it in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes.
  • Sprinkle grated cheese and parsley and cook for another 5-8 minute.
  • Serve hot with some salad of your choice.