Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Masala Puri (Spicy fried flat Indian bread)

Winters and festive season – a perfect time for yummy food.  So today I'm going to share an easy way to enjoy festive season with you – it's called masala puri/ poori  .

1 Tsp               Black cumin or Kalonji  
1 Tsp               Bishop's weed or Ajwain 
2 cups              Full-wheat flour
4-5 drops         Oil
Salt (according to taste)
Red chillies (according to taste)
Turmeric (a pinch)
250 ml Oil


1.               Put 2 cups flour in a bowl.
2.               Add kalonji, ajwain, salt, red chillies, turmeric and oil. 

3.               Knead the dough.

4.               Make a small ball with the dough.  Ensure that there's no crack in the ball. 
5.               Put oil on the flat board and flatten the ball on it.  Use rolling-pin and make a 2 – 2.5 inch circle.
6.               Pour 250 ml oil in a wok or frying pan.  Heat it.
7.               Put a minute piece of dough in the oil to check that it is hot enough.  If it is then it will rise and become brown.
8.               Once oil is hot enough, put the raw, flat 2.5 inch circle of dough in the oil.
9.               Take a sieve like steel spatula and start giving light taps on the puri.
10.            The puri will puff up.
11.            Take it out and drain the excess oil.

12.            Serve it with potatoes or chaney or raita or any other vegetable.

Of course, puri is considered heavy but then so are several things that we eat.  Anyways, how many of us have puris everyday.

Enjoy a hearty and healthy meal this festive season.

Friday, 16 December 2011

The magic of garlic

Quite a few of us love the taste of garlic but avoid eating it because they are scared of smelling of garlic.  Everyone has his or her own preference.  Personally, I don't have anything against the fragrance of garlic.  Though my father's family doesn't consume garlic because it is considered 'tamasika' according to Indian philosophy but it is consumed in my mother's family.  So I didn't really eat garlic in the beginning but tasted it from time to time when I stayed at my maternal grandparents' house.  I used to like it so I use it from time to time whenever I am alone. 

Of course, as my maternal grandfather was into Ayurveda and Hippocratic medicine, I learnt the benefits of garlic from him.  It is tamasik in nature and is beneficial for root (i.e. Muladhara) and sacral (Swadhishthana) chakras. 

Garlic is considered excellent for preventing heart diseases and digestive system.
So if you are one of those who avoid garlic because of its smell, here's how you can eat it and yet avoid smelling of garlic at the same time. 


Other benefits of garlic include, but are not limited to:
1. It helps increase hunger.
2. Helps maintain body heat and glow on face.
3. Helps one get rid of intestinal parasites (commonly called stomach worms).
4. Increases blood
5. Is considered useful in asthma, cold, whooping cough, head-ache, etc.


1. Peel garlic.
2. Take a garlic clove. 
3. Cut it longitudinal and look carefully.  You'll see a greenish white part in the middle that is sort of a seed. 

4. Take a knife and point it at the bottom of the germ and simply remove this part.

Now you can use garlic and you won't smell of garlic as much. 

Easy, isn't it?

Monday, 12 December 2011

Simple Indian Tea (Chai)

Though tea is not a traditional Indian drink and was introduced in India around 1820 by the British but Indians have adopted it willingly.  Today, even though India is one of the largest producers of tea, it consumes almost 70% of its produce.  And tea, or chai as it is lovingly called in India, is an important part of Indian hospitality.  Tea is best when one has it with one's friends and loved ones.  It is not just a drink, it is an institution.  There are several ways to make tea and I'm sharing the recipe for making basic tea.


1 Cup               Water
1 Tsp               Sugar
½ Tsp              Tea-leaves
¼ cup              Milk


Put 1 cup water on gas and add sugar immediately.  Bring it to boil. 
When it starts boiling add tea-leaves.  Let it boil for 1-2 minute. 
Add Milk.
Bring it to boil.  Lower the flame and let it simmer for 1 minute.
Take off the heat and sieve it.

Look at the picture, do you see a light cream (almost white) ring around the brownish circle? Well, as far as I am concerned that is when my tea is perfect ;-)  Of course, I am a chai lover :-)

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Basic sauce for North-Indian cooking

When we talk of Indian cuisine, the first thing that comes to mind is the sauce or as some people wrongly call it curry, a misnomer as curry is probably derived from Kadhi which is a different dish altogether.  Knowing how to make this basic sauce is a very useful step of making Indian cuisine.  So, today, I am going to share the recipe of this basic sauce.


4 teas spoons   Grated ginger

1                      Grated Onion

1 tea spoon      Garlic paste (optional)
500 ml             Tomato purée
1 Table spoon Desi Ghee (clarified butter) or Sunflower oil
Salt, according to taste
Red chilli powder, according to taste


Heat oil in a pan, add grated ginger. 

Sauté till it is red. 

Add garlic paste and grated onion. 

Continue stirring from time to time till it is reddish-brown. 

Add tomato purée.  Stir and let it reduce till it is completely solid. 

Add salt and red chilli powder.

Mix well.


If you know how to make this basic sauce then it simplifies things a lot for you.  At times, I just make this sauce and I keep it in ready my fridge (3-4 days)/ freezer (2-3 months) as then it saves me a lot of time when I'm actually cooking.

Note that ginger is excellent for health, especially in winters.  Ginger and garlic also help avoid gas.

Armed with this basic sauce, now you are ready to enter the world of Indian cuisine.