Saturday, 28 November 2015



Last year, around Christmas I made some cookies, which I had posted on my blog, they were soooo tasty that I gave them the name “Eat sum more Christmas cookies”. I thought it was a fantastic idea to give that name. Even on my blog people liked that name, some even appreciated it. But that was a festive season and everybody was in a festive mood.

I wish I could give some interesting name to this recipe too- like “Christmas on a plate” :). I do not know what people will think about it, but I hope you will like it. This idea came to my mind because this dish is so colourful, and three dominating colours of this dish - green, white and red appear at the same time on a plate.

Few months back, when I was watching Master chef India, the first vegetarian master chef TV show. I really liked some of the names given to the prepared dishes by some contestants in it. In a few episodes of that show, the judges gave some strange combinations of ingredients to the contestants, e.g. sweet potato, orange, cheese, lemon grass and oats (I just made up this combination, I do not exactly remember, what were the ingredients). The contestants were asked to choose at least three of them to make a snack item. I remember one contestant, after preparing a snack item, gave the name to the dish “Tea with mom”. The other one gave the name “Shadow of umbrella”. Judges laughed and appreciated the names given to the dishes by the contestants. Sometimes they look funny, but if they correspond together with the idea or some incidence with the dish they make sense to me, I really liked those names.

 Also, a very well known Indian chef, Sanjeev Kapoor, has given a name “Shaam Savera” to a dish on his website. Shaam savera means “Evening-morning”, in this dish two contrast colours are used, that is, dark green and white. It is spinach and paneer balls in the tomato curry. Wow, what a nice name.

Coming to the recipe: this is a low fat recipe because very little oil is used in potatoes and low fat cream cheese is used with broccoli. I have sprinkled paprika on top of the potatoes to give a nice colour and slight taste of chilli because paprikas give more colour than heat. This plate can be served as a full meal, as vegetables are there, protein is there in cream cheese and carb is also there in the form of potatoes.



  • 500 grams baby potatoes.
  • 1 bunch of broccoli (500 grams)
  • 2 big tomatoes sliced
  • 150 grams low fat cream cheese
  • 2 tbs milk
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • Salt, black pepper and paprika to taste
  • Few coriander leaves for garnishing.


  • Boil potatoes till they are well done.
  • When cold, cut potatoes in half, toss with olive oil and spread on an oven tray, sprinkle paprika and salt on it.
  • Heat the grill at 200 degrees C, roast potatoes for 10-15 minutes till they look golden brown and crispy.
  • Slice broccoli in small pieces, either steam it for 10 minutes or heat in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, till tender but crunchy.
  • Leave the cream cheese out of the fridge to come to room temperature, mix milk, salt and black pepper in it.
  • When broccoli is cold, mix the cream cheese mixture in it.
  • Serve with sliced tomatoes, garnishe with green coriander.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015



(Green pepper subzi in baghare baingan style with chestnut)

Whenever I have visited India in winter, I have enjoyed a fruit called ‘singhara’ and its name in English is water chestnut. It has a dark green colored shell and pure milky white flesh inside. I have no idea how this fruit got the name of a nut.

Chestnut is a new member of the family of my grocery list (pantry) because I had never seen or used it before I came to Canada. It’s strange that there are a fruit and a nut with the name ‘chestnut’. Although I don’t see any resemblance between the two, the only similarity I see is the flat outer skin shape, which is the same for both.

Three years ago, when I saw these nuts for the first time in the shops, I had no idea how to use or eat these nuts. I was also surprised to see that their prices were very low compared to other nuts, and they were only available in winter season.

I wanted to try them so I bought one kilogram of these nuts in their shells, assuming they are like raw peanuts and thought that I will boil or roast and use them in my kitchen and will try some new recipes with them.

When I read about chestnuts on the Internet, to my big surprise I found them low in calories and high in fiber. Quickly an idea came to my mind to replace peanuts with chestnuts. In Indian cuisine in some of the recipes we use peanuts, and they have high-fat content and they are high in calories too. So I was eager and exited to use this new ingredient, in my kitchen. We foodies or bloggers feel excited when we get a new ingredient and try some new recipes.

In Indian cuisine, there is a recipe of “bhagare baigan”, a very tasty, sweet and sour dish of Andhra Pradesh in which brinjals (eggplants) are cooked in a peanut gravy. But here I have replaced- brinjal with green pepper and chestnuts with peanuts, but the rest of the ingredients are the same with the same flavors. I am sharing this recipe on my blog because it was a great hit in my family when I tried it for the first time with green pepper and chestnuts.



  • 3 big green bell pepper (500grams) sliced in small pieces
  • 1 big finally chopped onions
  • 200 grams boiled and ground chestnut/tinned chestnut (If you do not get chestnut, you can use groundnuts) *
  • 2 tbs sesame seeds
  • Salt and black pepper to taste
  • 4 tbs lemon juice/tamarind juice
  • 4 tbs brown sugar or jaggery
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • Few curry leaves
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 tbs oil
* I boiled chestnuts in a pressure cooker for five minutes after the whistle.

  • Dry roast sesame seeds, grind when cold, keep it aside.
  • Heat oil in a frying pan on medium flame, splutter the mustard seeds.
  • Add onion and saute till light brown, add curry leaves saute for one minute and add sliced green pepper with salt and coriander powder, cover the lid.
  • Check after 8-10 minutes till the pepper is done, if bell pepper is releasing too much water, slow the gas till water evaporates.
  • Add chestnut, sesame seeds, brown sugar, lemon juice, and black pepper and mix well.

Sunday, 8 November 2015



# Edited- This post was featured as number one on 2nd January 2016, for Legume Love Affair for December 2015, Check the round-up here

#Edited- This recipe is featured as one of the best posts of the week on Jebbica's World. Check here- Food and Fitness Friday on 20th November 2015.

#Edited- This post was featured as one of the best posts on "Cook Blog Share" on 16th November 2015, This can be viewed at COOK BLOG SHARE here.


Diwali is the biggest, most famous and auspicious festival of Hindus, which is celebrated in the month of November, not only in India but all over the world. This is the festival of light or brightness over darkness. I am wishing everyone a happy Diwali with the note that the brightness of the lamps of this Diwali, should brighten our minds and our opinion towards people and the humanity of the world so that we can live peacefully and love each and every one on this planet.

In my youth, I had heard a very interesting story about chickpea flour. Today I think it is the right time to share this with my readers when I am talking about the recipe of “besan ke laddoo”, where the main ingredient is besan (chickpeas flour). The story is about one of the Moghul emperors that ruled India for several centuries: Here is the story:

Shah Jahan was the fifth Mughal Emperor of India, who built the world famous Taj Mahal in 1653, in memory of his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal, Taj Mahal is one of the seven wonders of the world. After building the great monument, when he was old, his own son Aurangzeb (not the eldest son) forcefully took his throne, which was against the will of the great emperor; he wanted his eldest son to become king after him.

Later, Aurangzeb his own son imprisoned the emperor for life. Actually, it was a house arrest, in one of his own chambers of the Red Fort of Agra, a Qila (fort), where Shah Jahan, the great emperor, spent the last 8 years of his life, and later died in the same chamber. During the period of his house arrest, his eldest daughter Jahanara was looking after her father, in his last years of life.

At the time of his house arrest, the new king, his own son (Aurangzeb) ordered him to choose only one grain (food item) which he will be allowed to eat every day during his imprisonment. Shah Jahan discussed with his royal cook (Chef), who advised him to choose BESAN (chickpeas flour) because it is so versatile that many items can be made with it. The Great emperor Shah Jahan, survived on this main ingredient and lived there in that chamber for rest of his life. Through the big windows of that chamber, he could see Taj Mahal which is just across the road. After his death, he was buried inside the Taj Mahal dome, next to his beloved wife Mumtaz Mahal.

In 1996, when I went to see the Taj Mahal, it was the third time in my life I had seen the beautiful monument. When you first see it, you will be mesmerized and stunned by its beauty; it is breathtaking indeed, I also saw the Red Fort, which is near the Taj Mahal. I have personally seen that chamber where Shah Jahan was imprisoned for the rest of his life. Actually, the Red Fort is so beautiful even today, that it took my breath away, and I was imagining how more beautiful it would have been in those days.

Here I would like to appreciate the intelligence of that royal cook for his suggestion to the emperor Shah Jahan to choose besan (chickpea flour) as one of the ingredients because it is truly a versatile ingredient in Indian cuisine. Apart from different types of curries, many snacks and many sweet items are made with this one ingredient- Besan (Chickpeas flour). Right now I can think of 25 items off the top of my head that are made from chickpeas flour and I am sure I have left out much more. Chickpeas flour is a protein, so it seems the king had a good supply of protein in his diet, haha.

Coming to the recipe, on the occasion of Diwali, these laddoos are made in many Indian households, not only to be enjoyed by the family members but also to distribute to friends. In this recipe, very few ingredients are used, but it still tastes awesome, this is my daughter's favorite sweet dish.

This recipe is my mom's recipe, and I am very happy to share her recipe on my blog. I have some memories of my childhood when we kid (brothers and sisters) were waiting for the Diwali festival when my mom will cook nice sweets and savory dishes, which we will enjoy on that day, plus many more days after Diwali.



  • 1 kg besan (Chickpeas Flour)
  • 500 grams ghee or unsalted butter
  • 750 grams sugar
  • 1 tsp nutmeg or cardamom powder
  • 50 grams chopped almonds or any other nuts


  • Heat ghee in a big wok, add cardamom powder and chickpeas flour and mix it well.
  • On a medium heat roast the flour with ghee, it will take 10-15 minutes. After 15 minutes, flour will start losing ghee, and then it will be much easier to stir.
  • Roast till the flour is golden brown and you will get a nice aroma of roasted chickpeas flour in your house.
  • Leave it to cool, when warm, add sugar and nuts, mix well.
  • When it is still warm give a round ball shape with your fingers and palm.
  • Laddoos are ready to eat, around 30-35 laddoos can be made depending on the size you choose.
  • They can be stored in a container, can last two weeks on the shelf and two months inside the fridge.