Thursday, 18 December 2014

Eggless Banana Bread with walnuts and chocolate chips

Eggless banana bread - super moist, soft and buttery inside and crispy crust. Loaded with walnuts and chocolate chips. These are perfect for breakfast or as snack with your evening tea. Perfectly sweet and healthy.

Prep Time: 20 min
Bake Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 5 minutes
Yield : One Loaf


  • 3 over ripe Bananas / dark speckled bananas are yield a moist bread than fresh banana. I always buy fresh bananas and leave them in the fruits basket for 2 days until they over ripe and have dark speckles
  • 1/3 Cup Melted Butter
  • 3/4 Cup powdered granulated white Sugar
  • 1/4 yogurt / curd / Plain natural yogurt
  • 1 Teaspoon Vanilla extract
  • 1 and 1/2 Cup All purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon powder / ground cinnamon
  • a pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 1 Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 Cup roughly chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 Cup Chocolate chips


1. Preheat Oven to 180C. Grease one loaf pan with butter and set aside
2. In a mixing bowl mash 3 banana. You can use potato masher to mash banana. Then Add melted butter and sugar and mix everything together with a spatula or wooden spoon until sugar dissolves
3. Add 1/4 cup yogurt and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract and mix everything together
4. In a separate bowl add all purpose flour, baking soda, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg and salt and mix
5. Add dry ingredients to the wet mixture and mix until there are no lumps
6. Add 1 Teaspoon all purpose flour to the walnuts and chocolate chips and fold in the nuts and chips in the cake batter. Adding all purpose flour prevents them from sinking to the bottom of the cake while baking
7. Pour the content into the prepared loaf pan and bake at 180C for 45 minutes
8. Cool in the pan for 5min, then invert the bread on the wire rack and cool completely
8. Make slices and serve with jam or butter or just plain with Tea / Coffee

Monday, 8 December 2014

Batata Vada

Batata Vada is a popular fast food from Maharashtra, India. Batata Vada translates to 'Potato Fritters'. Seasoned potato patties are coated with chickpea flour / besan flour and deep fried to golden perfection.
Batata vadas are typically served with hot dry red chutney and fried salted green chillies. They can also be served inside pav with green chutney as vada pav. Will post dry red chutney recipe soon.

Yield : 12 vadas


  • 2 Large potatoes
  • 2 Tablespoon Vegetable oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Urad dal
  • 1 Green Chilli chopped finely
  • 1/2 Inch fresh ginger chopped finely
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • a big pinch of hing / asafoetida
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves chopped finely
  • 4 mint leaves chopped finely
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves
  • Oil for deep frying the batata vadas

For the Gram flour / besan batter

  • 1 Cup Besan / Gram flour
  •  a pinch of baking soda
  • a pinch of turmeric powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1 Teaspoon rice flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon fine sooji/ rava
  • a pinch of hing / asafoetida
  • Salt to taste


1. Cook potatoes in a large pot with plenty of water seasoned with salt until the potatoes are cooked through and soft. I pressure cooked them with 1/2 cup water + 1/2 teaspoon salt for 4 whistles on low flame
2. Peel the potatoes and chop them roughly
3. In a large pan, heat 2 tablespoon vegetable oil
4. When the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and wait for them to splutter
5. Add cumin seeds and let them sizzle
6. Add urad dal and fry until they are golden
7. Add green chilli, ginger and fry for a minute
8. Add curry leaves, mint leaves and chopped cilantro leaves and give it a stir. Add turmeric powder and hing and stir in
9. Add roughly chopped potatoes and mix everything together. Switch off the flame


10. Let the potatoes cool down slightly
11. Then mash/ mix the potatoes to fine consistency


12. Make small sized balls out of this potato mixture. I measured out 1 and 1/2 tablespoon of potato mixture for one ball


13. Slightly press the potato balls with hand and flatten them slightly. Set aside


14. Make the besan batter - in a small bowl, add beasa, turmeric powder, salt, red chilli powder, hing, rice flour, sooji, baking soda and mix everything
15. Add 1/2 cup water and mix
16. The batter should be thick and it should be like the consistency of the dosa batter


17. In a wok heat oil for deep frying vadas
18. When the oil is hot, dip flattened potato discs in besan flour mix to coat them evenly
19. Gently slide in the vada in hot oil and fry until they are golden. You can fry 4 vadas in one batch
20. Remove from oil and drain on kitchen towel
21. Fry the remaining vadas in batches of 4
22. Serve hot with fried green chillies and authentic dry red chutney made of lehsun, coconut and red chillies
23. The most common way of eating these vadas is in the form of vada pav. Will post recipes for green chutney, dry red chuntney and how to assemble the vada pav.


Idli Upma

Steamed idlies cut into tiny bite size pieces and then tossed with sautéed shallots in simple flavorful tempering. Mildly spiced and perfect as a evening snack with tea. Next time you have left over idlies , try this idli upma.


  • 4 Idlies
  • 2 Tablespoon Vegetable oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Mustard Seeds
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Urad Dal
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • 2 Dry red chillies or 1 green chilli chopped finely
  • 10 Shallots chopped finely
  • 1/4 Teaspoon turmeric powder
  • a pinch of hing / asafoetida
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Teaspoon of chopped cilantro leaves for garnish


1. Steam idlies and cool them slightly. Then shred /cut the idlies into tiny bite size pieces


2. In a pan / wok heat oil
3. When the oil is hot, mustard seeds. When they splutter add urad dal and fry until they are golden
4. Add curry leaves and wait for them to splutter
5. Add dry red chillies and fry for 10 seconds
6. Add shallots and fry until they are soft
7. Add turmeric powder, hing and season with salt
8. Add the idly pieces and toss everything
9. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves and serve hot

Friday, 5 December 2014

Paneer and Palak filled Croissants with homemade pastry

Homemade Croissants are so worth the effort. Ever tried savory Croissants ? Try this one... Paneer and palak filled rolls with homemade pastry. Perfect for brunch or as a evening snack with tea. If you get ready to use crescent rolls pastry, go ahead and use that with this filling. Get creative and use your favourite filling like samosa filling, left over aloo methi subzi.
These are perfect party snack / appetizers to impress your guests. The crust is so flaky, buttery and crispy.  Paneer and Palak filling is marriage made in heaven. These are addictive...



For the croissant Pastry ( If you get ready made Croissants pastry,  you can use that instead of making pastry at home)

  • 1/4 Cup warm water to proof yeast
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated white sugar
  • 2 and 1/4 Teaspoons of active dry yeast
  • 3 Cups of all purpose flour
  • 1 Teaspoon Salt
  • 3/4 Cup Milk
  • 1/4 Cup plain yogurt / curd
  • 1/2 Cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 Cup milk to brush the Croissants

For the filling

  • 100 Grams Paneer grated finely
  • 1/2 Cup palak / spinach chopped finely
  • 1/2 Teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 Teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garam masala
  • 1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper or red chilli flakes


1. In a microwave safe mug, heat 1/4 cup water in microwave for 20 seconds. Water should be jus warm , it shouldn't be hot. Hot water will kill the yeast and yeast won't proof
2. Add 1 Tablespoon sugar to the warm water and stir in. Add 2 and 1/4 teaspoons of active dry yeast to the warm water and let it proof for 5 to 8 minutes. Yeast will be frothy and bubbly. If the yeast doesn't proof, start with a fresh batch of yeast and warm water and repeat step number 1 and 2
3. In a large mixing bowl, add flour, salt and mix. Add the yeast mixture, milk and yogurt to the flour and mix until it comes together as a dough
4. Transfer the dough to a floured surface and knead until the dough is no longer sticky and it is elastic. I kneaded the dough for 8 to 10 minutes
5. Place the dough in a large bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough for 20 minutes. It is easier to work with chilled dough than the fresh dough
6. After 30 minutes, take the dough out. And roll the dough in to a large rectangle that is about 1/4 inch thick. Spread the butter all over the dough
7. Fold the one side of the rectangle towards the center and place the other side of the rectangle over the folded side. At this stage, the dough will have 3 layers. Freeze the dough for 10 minutes


8. After ten minutes, take the dough out. Gently roll the dough in a large rectangle and repeat step number 7. At this stage, the dough will have 6 layers.
9. Freeze the dough for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes remove the dough from freezer and repeat step number 7. Now , the dough will have total 9 folds / layers
10. Roll the dough into large rectangle and mark triangles using a pizza cutter


11. Cut triangles out of the markings on the dough

12. In a small bowl, mix all the ingredients listed under ' For filling'


13. Place a tablespoon of the filling on the triangle and gently fold in the triangle to form a crossiant





14. Grease a baking tray with butter. Preheat the oven to 200 C


15. Place the filled croissants in the greased baking tray
16. Brush them with milk and bake at 200 C for 15 minutes until they are light golden
17. Remove the crossiants from the oven and cool slightly

For some of the croissants I applied nutella and tried nutella filled croissants. And few with jam as filling. Kids loved the nutella and Jam versions over the savory ones.





18. Serve once with your favourite dip or ketchup or just plain with a hot cup of tea

Scallion drop biscuits with Indian spices folded in

Simple and easy to make drop biscuits filled with scallions , cumin seeds, carom seed, Italian seasoning and baked to beautiful golden. Light, buttery and delicious. Nothing better on a cold winter night, serve with hot soup and rich mushroom gravy.
Scallions and Indian spices & seasoning add a nice flavor to the biscuits. These biscuits tastes like a perfect marriage of Indian Samosa crust and classic biscuits. So Good !!!



  • 2 Cups All purpose Flour
  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Soda
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated white sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons cold unsalted butter
  • 1 Cup milk
  • 1/4 Cup plain yogurt / curd
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Ajwain  / Carom Seeds
  • 1/2 Teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Italian Seasoning or dried thyme + dried Oregano
  • 1 Tablespoon spring onion greens


1. Preheat the oven to 220 C / 450 F

2. Grease a baking tray with butter or vegetable oil

3. In a large mixing bowl, add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt , sugar, cumin seeds, ajwain, red chilli powder, Italian seasoning and mix


4. Grate cold butter in the flour bowl and using your fingers work the butter with the flour until it resembles coarse crumble

5. Stir in scallions and mix


6. Then stir in milk and yogurt in the mixture


7. Drop the batter on the greased baking tray in large spoonfuls


8. Bake at 220 C for 15 minutes or until they are nice golden color
9. Remove the biscuits from the oven and cool for 5 minutes
10. Serve once or store in airtight container

Thursday, 4 December 2014

Dalcha - Mutton cooked with lentils

 Dalcha is a stew made with goat meat / mutton with dal and vegetables. It is a side dish served with biryani or pilaff. Mom makes dalcha only with mutton bones. However I prefer dalcha with soft mutton pieces along with bones. Brinjal , bottle gourd and raw mangoes are the vegetables we add in dalcha. You can try with your favourite veggies too.
One of the delicacies I always wanted to learn from my mom and I am glad that I now have the recipe on my cooking diary. Do try dalcha when you are making mutton biryani next time.



To Pressure cook

  • 250 Grams Mutton cut into medium sized pieces
  • 250 Grams Mutton bones ( Bones add nice flavor to the dish, don't skip bones. Traditionally dalcha is made only with mutton bones. However I like it with half the quanity mutton bones plus half mutton pieces)
  • 1/2 Cup Toor Dal
  • 5 Tablespoons Chana Dal
  • 1 Green Chilli Slit
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1 Tablespoon Ginger Garlic Paste
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
  • 1 Teaspoon Vegetable oil ( oil will prevent dal from spilling out of the pressure cooker. I always add oil when I pressure cook dal)
  • 3 Cups of water to cook dal and meat

For the Gravy

  • 4 Brinjals / baby eggplants chopped into large pieces
  • 1 Small bottle gourd chopped into large pieces
  • 5 small raw mango pieces
  • 1 Medium sized tomato chopped finely
  • 1 Tablespoon coriander powder
  • 1 Teaspoon red chilli powder
  • 1/4 Teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 Tablespoons tamarind paste
  • 1 Cup water
  • Salt to taste

To Temper

  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin Seeds
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Fennel Seeds
  • 2 cloves
  • 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 1 sprig of curry leaves
  • 1 Medium sized onion chopped finely


1. Add all the ingredients listed under 'To pressure cook' in a large pressure cooker along with 3 cups of water and pressure cook on medium flame for 12  whistles. Do not rush through this step, cook only on medium or low flame. Otherwise mutton will be hard and chewy

2. In a large pan add all the ingredients except 'raw mangoes' listed under 'For the gravy' along with 1 cup of water. Season with salt and cook for 5 minutes until the brinjals and bottle guard are half way cooked through
3. Add previously pressure cooked dal with mutton pieces into the pan and cook it along with brinjal and bottle gourd for 10 minutes on medium flame
4. Add raw mango pieces and simmer for 3 minutes
5. In a separate pan, temper ingredients listed under 'To temper' in hot oil and add the tempering to the dalcha that has been simmering
6. Give everything a nice stir. Check for seasoning and adjust. Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves
7. Dalcha is ready to be served


Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Potato Paneer and Carrot Cutlets

A healthy and delicious cutlets / croquettes with potato , paneer and carrots. Crispy crust , soft melting from inside. Paneer and potato goes so well together, grated carrots add a nice crunch. This crust is so well seasoned and addictive.
You can replace paneer with cooked tiny pieces of chicken for a chicken cutlet.


  • 3 Medium sized Potatoes - boiled and mashed
  • 200 grams Paneer / Cottage Cheese - Grated finely
  • 1 Carrot grated finely
  • 2 Green Chillies chopped finely
  • 1 Tablespoon red chilli flakes
  • 2 Tablespoons cilantro leaves chopped finely
  • 1 Tablespoon Corn Flour
  • 1 Cup Bread Crumbs
  • 1/2 Teaspoon dried thyme / Italian seasoning
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 Tablespoon Vegetable oil to shallow fry the cutlets


1. Boil potatoes with 1/4 Teaspoon salt until they are soft. I pressure cooked the potatoes for 4 whistle. Peel remove the skin and mash the potatoes
2. Add mashed potatoes, grated paneer, grated carrots, green chillies, 1 Tablespoon cilantro leaves, corn flour, red chilli flakes, 3 Tablespoon bread crumb, salt and 1/2 Teaspoon freshly ground black pepper in a large bowl. Mix everything together using a spoon / hand






3. Check for salt and adjust. Make small balls out of this mixture and set aside


4. Heat oil in a tawa/ pan for shallow frying the cutlets
5. In a plate, add remaining bread crumbs. Add Italian seasoning, salt, freshly ground black pepper, remaining cilantro leaves to the bread crumbs and toss



6. Now, take the cutlet ball and flatten them gently to from thick discs


7. Roll each discs in bread crumb mixture and coat the cutlets on both sides with bread crumb mixture


8. When the oil is hot, place 4 cutlets on the pan and shallow fry them until they are crispy and golden. Flip side and shallow fry on the other side too
9. Remove from the pan and drain on a kitchen towel
10. Shallow fry the remaining cutlets in batches of 4
11. Serve hot with ketchup of your favourite dip. You can serve it as a evening snack with a cup of tea

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Paayaa - Slow cooked Goat leg curry

Paya / Paaya is a classic Pakistani dish made with lamb legs/ goat legs. Goat leg pieces are slow cooked over night on stove and then simmered in a onion, ginger and garlic based gravy. I pressure cooked them on low flame until they are soft tender and fall off the bone.
Paaya has a soup like consistency and best served with roti or naan.



To Slow cook / pressure cook

  • 500 Grams of Goat leg pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon Ginger Garlic paste
  • 1 Teaspoon Coriander powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Red chilli powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Garam Masala
  • Salt to taste

For the Gravy

  • 3 Tablespoon Vegetable oil
  • 1/2 inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2 Green Cardamom
  • 4 Cloves
  • 1/2 Cup finely chopped shallots
  • 2 Tablespoon Coriander powder
  • 1 Teaspoon red chilli powder

To grind to fine paste

  • 1 Medium sized onion chopped roughly
  • 2 Green chillies
  • 1 inch ginger piece
  • 4 Garlic cloves
  • 1 Tablespoon poppy seeds / khus khus
  • 1/2 Cup cilantro leaves along with stems
  • 10 mint leaves


1. Soak goat legs in hot water for 20 minutes. Clean and remove dirt / hair patiently. There will be so tiny hair on the leg pieces and you need to remove using a sharp knife. Use spoon and scrap and remove if the leg piece has any char on it.


2. After cleaning , wash the leg pieces in warm water 2 or 3 times with a big pinch of turmeric powder. This is done to get rid of gamey smell from the meat
3. Now, add the cleaned leg pieces along with the list of ingredients listed under 'To slow cook/ pressure cook' in a large pot. Season with salt. Add 5 cups of water. Close the lid of the pot and cook on medium flame for 3 hours.

Alternatively, you can pressure cook the leg pieces which is what I did. Add all the ingredients along with leg pieces and add 3 cups of water in a large pressure cooker. Pressure cook for 30 minutes on lowest heat setting for 20 to 25 whistles. Do not rush through this process or do not pressure cook on high flame. The leg pieces will be still raw/ hard to chew. It is very important to cook them slow on low flame until they are soft tender and just fall off the bone when you press them with your fingers

4. In a food processor, add all the ingredients listed under 'To grind to fine paste'  and grind it to fine paste without adding water
5. Prepare the gravy : In a large wok / pan heat oil. When the oil is hot, add bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom and fry for few seconds
6.Then add shallots and fry until they are soft


7. Add the ground green paste we prepared at step number 4 and simmer


8. Cook the paste until all water evaporates and the masala thickens and oil separates from the mixture
9. Add coriander powder, red chilli powder + 1/4 cup water and let the masala cook for 2 minutes


10. Once the masala thickens add 1 cup water and cook on high flame for 8 minutes until the gravy thickens and there is no water in the gravy. This is done to ensure that the green paste is cooked through well and there is no raw smell of masala and ginger garlic


11. Add the slow cooked leg pieces in the gravy and season with salt


12. Add 2 cups of water and cook the gravy until it reaches required consistency. I like paaya little runny / thin just like the consistency of a soup. However you can adjust the consistency as per your taste

13. Once done, switch off the flame and squeeze juice of one fresh lemon over the gravy

14. Serve piping hot with roti