Roasted Red Pepper & Chili Chutney Recipe

Pepper Jam 5Morning y’all! How have you been keeping in your neck of woods. It’s apocalypse here in Mumbai: I have a feeling we will have to buy rafts and start tying our things, going by the way its raining. We woke up at 5:45, had our breakfast but couldn’t step out. While the husband got a little irked and went off to catch up on his lost sleep, here I am sipping a cuppa and blogging to you about my fiery, red pepper & sweet chili chutney recipe. It’s a grey, dull day and thought a bit of zing-zang would be good for the eyes and the taste buds. What do you say? And as i write to you, I hear an ambulance. i am sure someone’s raft is toppled.

You know, up from my 9th floor hall, I can see the local trains running. You will not believe the amount of people I see at 5 in the morning. Sometimes I see them wading through waters in between the railway tracks with a bag on their shoulder, perfectly dressed for work. Sometimes I see them walking by the train line as the train falters and stops: They must reach work by 9:30 or they’ll lose half day’s pay. Then there are daily motorbike commuters whose entire monsoon is divided between wearing the rain coat and taking it off: Yes, Mumbai has a peculiar rainfall structure. You might be drenched in a certain place and at certain places it’ll be sunny as Sahara. And while doing this, they must reach by 9:30. I see them taking the wrong side, over the divider, desperately trying to reach work on time, and I am no exception. I feel bad for them, for us. I go in an AC bus or my husband drives me down but at the end of the day, we are all running for that half day’s pay, risking our lives. Is it even worth it? Here you go, see my reluctance and do whatever you want but I am not stepping out. Nor am I letting my loved ones go out in this torrential rain. Work can happen.

Red Pepper 2


Instead, I’ll take a pay cut (my office doesn’t cut my pay, they let me work from home) make some chutney, drink tea and watch TV. I shall take photographs of insignificant vegetables and try and make them look beautiful. I am going to enjoy this day like a human being is supposed to.

Lol, so utterly dramatic. Get back to the roasted red pepper chutney shall we?

I bought two green peppers which due to ignorance and intentional avoidance turned bright red. When I took them out yesterday, my husband curtly pointed out how I wasted the peppers and how I have absolutely no regard for things and their soaring prices. Men, I tell you do so little and talk so lofty that it makes me nauseous. It’s all preach and no practice. Later in the day when I told him what happened to the “wasted” pepper he shrugged with a ‘hmm’ like making pepper chutney is something I was born to do. Lol, maybe I was and I know that under his ‘hmm’, he really liked the idea. He just won’t show. That’s his dig. We two are like this chutney too: I am very sweet (ROFL, beating one’s own drum doesn’t get any more obnoxious), he is peppery, we are perfect.

pepper chutney 7


Without any more deviation, here’s The Recipe for Roasted Red Pepper & Chili Chutney

  • red bell peppers
  • large tomatoes
  • cloves garlic
  • 1 onion
  • cup sherry vinegar/ plain vinegar
  • 1/2 cup granulated white sugar
  • tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 green chilies
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 tsp dried Basil
  • teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Olive oil: 1 tbsp + 1/2 cup


In a baking tray, add everything except 1/2 cup oil, sugar and vinegar and put to roast. On 120 and about 40 minutes.

In a pan, heat 1/2 of the 1/2 cup olive oil and pour the roasted veggies in. At this point, check salt.

Add vinegar, sugar and let it cook for about 10 minutes on medium, stirring continuously.

Once the mixture has a sauce like consistency, turn the heat off.

Add basil and let it cool.

In a clean jar, pour your chutney, add half of the olive oil and refrigerate.

Pepper Jam 6


Slurrp it with dumplings, Flatbread, Paratha or bacon sandwich!

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Curing It Naturally: Homemade Peppermint Tea & 2 Other Tasty Healing Drink

IMG_1474Broomstick days people, dark broomstick days. The girl behind the blog had been going berserk with cold, flu, cough, throat ache, etc- just name it- and I am telling you it’s disgusting. Thanks to our super hot Indian Summers, constant AC and then surprise cold splashes with the advent of monsoons that I am now a soft mush of muscles with half opened eyes and a very runny nose. But this day, I’m looking better. Also, this time I consciously avoided antibiotics and took to natural cures that can be whipped up in your kitchen. The experience was pretty interesting.

You see, I am used to pills. Different kind, for different things and maybe two for the same thing. I remember growing up in a household with cabinet full of medicine and you could possibly open an illegit clinic and start treating people. Motions, cough, cold, flu, common cold, viral, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, pain-killer, and also anti-nausea, headache and dizziness. I can tell you the names if you want me to!

IMG_1479After I moved to Mumbai, and specially after I met Rohan, I saw this general reluctance to medicine. They’d go without pills as far as possible and pop one only when things are beyond natural cure. Honestly, I am completely alien to the idea of suffering and not having pills. I just had to sneeze to pop an antibiotic. I suffered a Tonsil condition for a very long time as a child and I had to literally live my childhood on Septillin. Days and days of not being able to eat food properly, fever and weakness: I think its this panic which makes me have medicines like crazy. Like before this disease catches up and i suffer, I’ll fill my body with random antibiotics. But in doing so what really was happening was my body was getting immune to the prescribed dosage. I eventually found out, most medicine that once worked on me now required double strength. I began with Sporidex 250. Soon I was taking Sporidex 500, 3 times a day. I also somehow believed that without Sporidex, I wont be okay. It had affected me psychologically.

IMG_1476So this time, I sort of put my foot down. I wanted to cure it naturally. I just didn’t want weakness and unending antibiotics and skin rashes later.

Now, let me tell you though it seems like meds work faster and home remedies take their time, the truth is, the recipes I am about to shell out are just as effective. But remember these are effective for in common-cold, throat-ache and pharyngitis. You see, I am a seasoned sufferer. It took me years to shake my inhibitions and turn around and i have to agree that it worked wonders. I am much better than I was yesterday!

Here’s My homemade Peppermint Tea Recipe

A handful organic peppermint- preferably from your garden

A teaspoon of organic honey

A dash of lime

1 mug Boiling water


add mint leaves to water and boil for about a minute or two.

Keep leaves in a tea-infuser and pour the liquid

Add honey and a dash of lime

Have atleast 4 cups a day and you’ll see a considerable change in your throat condition


Homemade Ginger lemon and Honey Tea

Just add about 2 teaspoons of chopped ginger to boiling water

Boil it for a good 2-3 minutes

Strain, add lime and honey


Milk with Turmeric and Honey

Boil a cup of Milk

Add a teaspoon of turmeric and 1 teaspoon of honey

Have as hot as you can

Turmeric is antiseptic and has been used in our culture to disinfect for centuries. You won’t believe how effectively it soothes itchy throat. This is best when taken at night before zzzz.


Do you have any home remedies up your sleeve? I can still really use some, so feel free to suggest.







Baking Artisan Bread At Home from Scratch

Homemade Bread 4Wuddup! What’s going on at yours and hows the almost midweek treating you. As for me, I think it’s treating me quite nice. I’ve taken ‘work from home’ for a couple of days and got to try my hands on baking some artisan bread at home: I have to tell you that it popped out a beauty. Nice, golden, crisp top. Perfectly hollow when you tap. Soft and springy at the base. And whoa, what a shocker of a bread with regards to taste. Fresh, nutty and perfectly hole-y! You see, the thing about good fresh bread is you can have it on its own. Just drizzle a bit of olive oil or slather some fresh butter and you are good to go. It’s wonderful. The store bought breads taste so synthetic as opposed to home made ones: there is a stark difference if you have it side by side. Honestly, had I the time, I would have never bought bread again, for homemade bread tastes so much better, and so I did tell to two of my favorite men at the pub where I was having a couple of Buds. Man! That was not taken well, at all 😛 Firstly, the boys completely failed to understand what’s in a bread. Secondly, Why would i waste so much time and energy to ”make bread”. And thirdly, a bread’s a bread. What’s the hype all about.  Gah…It is so difficult to get these men to understand that “you don’t need to be a baker, a foodie or even fully awake to notice that tearing into crusty, freshly-baked loaf is a lot nicer than the supermarket sliced variety”- Jamie Oliver


Call me loony but I support goodbreadism. Why? Because as a rule, a bread that’s given enough time to ferment is a bread that has longer shelf life. That’s you saving a lot of bread which goes waste due to moulds. Second, the amount of effort put is directly proportional to the taste. Third, if you make your own bread, it also turns out to be much cheaper. 4th and most importantly, it gives me immense joy. That you can make your own bread is supreme to me. I don’t know why.

One more thing which I learnt from my bread research is Artisan bread is not actually a type of bread but the way a loaf is made. A bread that has been given enough time to ferment, rest, fluff and knead and one which has been handcrafted by a baker is an artisan bread. Basically, its not factory made and attention has been given to its quality.

Pretty much the way bread should be had right?

Homemade Bread 2But some people just wouldn’t buy this shit. Maybe I should convince them by telling homemade bread, one which has been given enough attention is actually good for your tummy too because the enzymes have been given time to break down so you can digest better. Which is one word is ‘healthier’ than machine produced one.

To be honest, I so wish I had enough time to bake my own bread. Unfortunately I don’t. So, I’ll have to settle for packaged ones till I can but it was definitely worth the effort.

I have made bread before but none of them came out as superb as this one. I altered the recipe several times to see what suits my climate and this is what I found works best. Hope it works for you too!

How to Make Artisan Bread


Plain flour or Maida: 3 cups + more

Water: Lukewarm, 1 cup

Active dry packaged Yeast 4 teaspoon

Sugar 3 teaspoon

Salt 1 teaspoon

Margarine/ Unsalted butter: 1/4th cup cut in small cubes

Egg: 1, beated


How to

In a bowl add warm water , yeast, sugar, and salt. Let it proof for 10 minutes. Warm water and not hot. The mixture would be frothy.

Now keep adding flour till u get a smoth non sticky dough.

Next add in ur butter and knead again.

Rest the bread dough for 3 to 4 hours in a warm humid place. U can cover it with a wet cloth and keep it near the oven.

Once its doubled punch out the air and knead again with little flour.

Shape ur bread, brush with egg wash and let it sit for about 10 to 15 min.

Preheat ur oven to 250 and bake at 180 till the top is golden. hour before u slice it or ur bread is gonna be gummy and will not have holey texture.

Enjoy with butter tuna salad poached eggs or anything u fancy.

Thats from the baker this night.

Night night.


My Role Model: Celebrating Men Who Make A Difference


What a place to get refreshed: The boy in Chandra Tal Lake, 4,300 metres, Himalayas.

My Role Model! Yup, its time you all had an exclusive sneak peek into my soul and not just my house. It’s time I let you into my life and told you about those two people who shaped me into who I am, being who they are and what they do and the way you like me. The old whites in my tatty house made me think beyond white paints this arvo…

Sipping a cup of tea, thinking of all the wonderful accolades, it dawned upon me that maybe it’s time to stop, reflect and show gratitude to those men whose everyday greatness brought me here. Greatness that they will never talk about or will go down in history. Then again, history celebrates the big, the cheat, dead, the sung, the cruel, and the bloody. History doesn’t celebrate the living. History doesn’t celebrate those everyday little things that transform people and their lives, making history. History doesn’t celebrate those unspoken moments which become the very pivot of our existence. History never celebrates the common day mendicants’ uncommon dilemmas and the people in whom they find answers. Heroic has a very twisted connotation in our world. This is greater than history. This is celebrating those men of solid steel who change your life uncelebrated, unspoken. Those who do but never demanded a piece of any of those awarding pies. Those who become the Rainbow in your cloud etching a spot in your heart, everyday. They never speak much, they go unsung. Reason why we should talk about them so “So long lives thee, this gives life to thee”. No? That’s Shakespeare by the way. Sonnet, 18.


He taught me how fun is riding a rickshaw in Thailand

This blog post is about immortalizing those people who taught me to not just learn but unlearn and relearn. Not just look but perceive. Not just do but perfect. Not just comfort but explore. Not just make but innovate. Not just take but seek. Those great human beings who makes me call them My Role Model. Today, it gives me much pleasure to break it to you that behind this one happy- if not successful by society standards- woman there are no women but two Men: two stout, strong men; dissimilar by design, distinctively individualistic with very strong views and yet undifferentiated by values. They are two opposites and yet strikes such a beautiful balance in me: I feel honoured that they are my men. Both. And I am a proud woman simply because of these two men in my life. What you don’t know is I began my life as a fat kid, uncool, scared, nervous and always taken for granted. I am still fat but I am strong as steel inside out.

Before I get to my role models, let me tell you this celebration doesn’t end with them for I know 4 more extraordinary gentlemen who has somehow or the other contributed to this evolution called Rukmini Roy. This post is dedicated to those 2 + 4. If you are reading this: Your mother, wife and sisters must be so proud of you, for who you are.

379937_10150587314054989_1999734084_nI’ll begin with this man because having come to my life for only 8 years, his significance is so massive that I’m having to take his name first as my role model. Rohan Kadam is his name and he practically scooped the scared, fearing, crying me up and changed my life. Many years ago, he told me, “Your life will be divided in two parts. One before you met me, the other after you met me.” And believe me so has happened. He made it happen. One of the many things that makes me ever so grateful to this man is the fact that he taught me how to stand up for myself. He taught me how to tell NO to things, decline what’s wrong, stand up for what’s right even if it means offending people you love. He taught me how life is never about the sofa you buy, indoors < outdoors and that you can be everything all at the same time. He taught me how to live a complete life and not get typecasted. He forced me to join him in a band and sing, the praises of which I enjoy is the fruit of his labour. He pushed me off boundaries only to help me climb. He rebuked me only to make me perfect. He critiqued me to tears so I can set benchmark. He taught me to face fears, face facts, be strong. He told me to travel by going miles himself and telling me how insignificant life’s problems are when you are facing the great Himalayas. He filled me with good music, exposed me to brilliant movies, books and literature. And in doing all this, he never asked me to change who I was from within. I was a rock. He was the river that sometimes lashed its water on me and sometimes gently flowed by me, everytime shaping me into a shiny, smooth pebble which now many would find beautiful. He is the makeover I really needed for my soul. From bars to road trips to marriage ceremonies and hill-top parties: We did it all together collecting memories getting wiser. He is the one who never believed in keeping me away from life’s pressures or situations. He taught me how to deal. And then one day, when I have learnt it all, he went ahead and asked me to marry him. That’s a man you should celebrate.


And then there’s my Role model since 1986: He doesn’t have another name than “Dad”

The ‘immaterial, quick to say sorry’ me is the direct result of who’s daughter I am. For the longest time that I have known him, I have not seen him buy anything for himself. Having made large architectural plants and many a government rest homes, he built his own house in a not so posh area in Kolkata: a little nook, beautifully frugal. He never denied me what I wanted but everything had to be earned. Other than smothering us with toys, he took us to great forests that belts the lesser Himalayas. Other than telling us how to be good women, he taught us how to be good human beings. He taught me how the one who apologizes for a fault that’s not even hers gives the person a higher pedestal than the one who demands it. He taught me how forgiveness is the greatest insult to tyranny. He taught me how to ignore and yet not be rude. He told me how people who has little knowledge are always the most boisterous, loud, self-loving. He made me see the how this world is full of unnecessary dramatic situations that could have been avoided with a simple apology. He taught me how to hear and not listen if that’s tarnishing your soul. He taught me how to be in the middle of everything and yet be in nothing. He taught me to chase happiness and not money and told me that the only thing that you must aim at being rich is everything that money can’t buy. I am proud to be his daughter. People say hard hitting is the only way to inculcate values in children: I do not believe that. He is a man who never hit us, never rebuked us and yet effectively soldered the values in our veins. Seeing him, we learnt and never forgot! That’s the difference between a tutor and a role model.

He told us to keep good company because a good company is the most important find of your life: happy that I ended up being friends with some of the greatest men I have known through Rohan. I sometimes wonder how I would have been without these people in my life? Coincidentally, other than one other girl, all my friends are men. Those men are my only friends. People who taught me to laugh, taught me patience, taught me music, taught me how to react to criticism. While some taught me photography, some taught me how to see rainbow over clouds and some- well, nothing at all but how to finish a cheese cake in exactly 4 minutes. But tell you what? These are great men. Men, who are my friends and who should be celebrated.

Proud to have the two as my own and know the 4. My world ends here.



Creamy Mocha Granita Recipe With Salted Caramel Brittle

Mocha Granita 3Howdie do you do this beautiful Sunday arvo, peeples? As for us, we are homebound, air-conditioner bound and Granita bound. It’s so hot in here that it almost feels like we are living on mars: whiskey has been substituted with G&T, Coffee with Mocha/Coffee Granita and lots and lots of beer. Can’t even touch my favorite red. 6:45 a.m and you’d  you’d find the damn Sun up and high and glaring at us with some weird vengeance of which I have no idea. It is getting almost unbearable. The only good thing is, its giving birth to Granitas and slushes.

Among the few drinks that my husband enjoys, cold coffee’s at number 1. He just loves it. Whether with his breakfast or when he is back from his cycling sessions, you can get him to gulp a glass or two. And I do take pride in making it for him…! So, you can understand my disappointment when he told me this Saturday, “It’s very frothy… It’s spilling all over me when I am trying to drink…what have you done to the recipe?”.

IMG_1379I got a bit cross and told him I didn’t change the recipe, you have changed. Yes, I can be very mellow-dramatic when it comes to taking criticism. i don’t take criticism well: more so if its my cooking involved. Still very cross, I told him I’ll fix it, and that’s when I saw the beautiful cream on top which he was referring to as “foam”. I immediately knew some creamy Granita is in the making.

See, it’s necessary to have someone point out things to you or you’ll never get around to make Mocha Granita 😉 I was in two minds, whether to make granita or sorbet, but finally made Granita owing to my love for Gola.

Now if you don’t know what a Gola is: A gola is an ice candy of sorts but is typically made with fresh crushed ice and flavors. Think of it as Granita on stick and served with a syrup in which you can keep dunking the cushed ice lolly. Google it out, my favorite is Kala Khatta and Rose with milkmaid gola. Come back and tell me which one would you like when you are here in India! So here’s to a wonderful frozen dessert at its most primitive!


Here’s what you need to make Mocha Granita:

  • Instant Coffee Powder: 2tbsp
  • Milk: 1 cup
  • Water: 1/2 cup
  • Sugar: 4 teaspoons
  • Drinking chocolate: 2 heaps teaspoon

Mocha Granita 5

How to make Mocha Granita

  1. Blitz all ingredients in a stand mixer
  2. Freeze for an our in a 1″ high, flat plastic container
  3. Once the mixture has frozen take a fork and scrape the frozen mocha
  4. Do this twice, in a gap of about 40 minutes for flaky ice crystals that melt in the mouth.

Ingredients for making salted Caramel Brittle

  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons light corn syrup
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

How to make Salted Caramel Brittle

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Place sugar, water, and corn syrup in a medium saucepan and stir to combine. Cook over medium-high heat, without stirring, until mixture starts to brown, about 14 minutes. Gently swirl the pan until the mixture is an even, deep amber color, about 1 minute more.
  3. Immediately remove from heat and quickly stir in salt. Pour immediately onto the prepared baking sheet, spread in an even layer, and let cool. Once cool, break into small pieces and serve.

Mocha Granita 8

(How cute is the vintage swan porcelain spoon? 😉)

How to make Creamy Mocha Granita with Salted Caramel Brittle

Break caramel into tiny pieces. Mix caramel bits and granita. Serve in chilled dessert bowls with mint or caramel sauce. Bon Appetit!

Do you like Granitas? What’s your favorite frozen dessert?

Sukha Jawala: A Traditional Maharastrian Dry Fish Delicacy

Javala Bhakri 1

Indian Cuisine is difficult. Period.

If you are not cooking for more than 6 years at a stretch, you’d go miserably wrong I guess. Or maybe its me.

Fun part is, when you approach mom or moms for that matter of fact, for a good dope on “how to”, they have a standard answer: “Put a lot of onions and turmeric and chili powder and jeera powder.” Press a little more and they’d add, “ginger-garlic paste, dhaniya {coriander powder}, garam masala”. Press a bit more like you mean it and you’d get, “Khada garam masala paste {Whole garam masala roasted and powdered} and sesame paste.” Now, this is when you know truths coming because you have tasted that beautiful smokey mind blowing sesame flavor in the mutton.

My mom, mom-in-law, my own darn sister- they all need to be taken to a corner and pressed for truth. MIL and Mom not so much, sister- definitely. Thanks to her I cooked a blob of a Thai seasoned stir fry the other day till her maid revealed, “Madam to chicken baad me daalti hain” {Madam adds the chicken later}. So much for food 😉

javala 3

Anyway! Having been married for about more than a year now and having traveled the entire Konkan belt I have realized that in India, if I must vote for my favorite cuisine it would be a tie between Konkani/Malvani and Bengali. Bengali- because I am born one: the taste is in my heart more than my tongue and Maharashtrian because the taste is in my head. It’s a burst of taste. It’s everything all at the same time.

Strangely though, when i first came to Mumbai, I struggled with food. I practically hated everything I tasted owing to generous helping of coconut in everything. But that’s before I tasted the Maharashtrian home food at Rohan’s. I was sold at the very first ‘vade-mutton’ she prepared for lunch. There in began my love for Konkani food. Today, I vouch for authentic Konkani food and have some recipes up my sleeves as well. This is one of them.

I’d mention three people who would do practically anything to eat this: First, my dear husband who dotes on this and to him its “The s**t”. Next is our dear Georgie aka Orge aka George Kurien aka the anarchist and then our favorite, the calm, poised, never angry good boy whom we lovingly call…ah well, let’s just keep it to Ankur Chugh. He’d switch the cooler and cycle down in a hot summer afternoon just to catch a bite of this.

CollageBut like everything, Jawala has its own negatives. Because of its strong smell some of you might not like it. But if you can get yourself used to the smell, this maharastrian delicacy promises you a whole lot of flavor.

Dried prawns/shrimps is cooked in a bed of caramelized onions and garlic with only 2 spice: Chicken Masala and Red chili powder, and is had with Bhakri, which is a ‘roti’ or flatbread made out of rice flour. Tastes nothing like rice but melts in your mouth.

Note: You can substitute dried prawns for fresh prawns too in the same recipe and it would taste just as good. That can be had with a loaf of bread too! Whatever you have it with, this dish brings people close. Precisely why I dedicate this recipe to a wonderful girl and a food blogger I met from Pune- Aditi from Aditicooks who not only went beyond her means to help me with an event but is also a wonderful soul. Aditi, this is for you to judge 🙂



Sukha Jawala Recipe

Dries Prawns: 2 cups, soaked in water. Change water twice and leave it for 30 minutes.

Onions/Shallots (kanda): 3 large, chopped fine

Garlic: 8-10 cloves, chopped

Chicken Masala: 2 tbsp

Red Chili Powder: 1/2 teaspoon

Coriander leaves

Oil: 1 tbsp

Salt and sugar to taste

How to make Sukha jawala

In a pan heat oil. Add in onions and garlic and fry till the onions are translucent.

Add in soaked dry prawns (squeeze dry before adding) and mix well. On low heat, let it sit covered for about 5-7 minutes. You can toss once in between.

Once the prawns catch a bit of color, add chicken masala, red chili, salt and sugar. Mix well, and cover cook for about 7-8 minutes.

The last 2 minutes, cook in high heat and dry it up completely.

Add chopped coriander and cover for 5 before you serve.


Pandhara Rassa Recipe: A Fragrant stew from Maharashtra

IMG_1326Pandhara in Marathi means yellow and Rassa means gravy which pretty much sums up what I am about to blog. Its a wonderful comfort food, made with coconut milk, chicken broth and a few fantastic roasted spices. Though the original recipe doesn’t call for Chicken pieces but only stock/ broth and is generally more runny: I have added my own little twist to it simply because no chicken + runny anything doesn’t work well in my home. In this table, we scrutinize texture, body and taste. Last week, when my mom in law talked about her secret recipe book, I couldn’t help but sneak a chance. Over tea and a long chat she revealed her kitchen secrets and that most recipes come from a girl, who was my SIL’s class mate and who went to IIHM {Indian Institute of hotel management} who forgot her school copy at hers: need I say that the recipes are fantastic? I now have a copy of that copied book and I’m dying to try them all out. This is restaurant quality shyte 😉 IMG_1317   I don’t know if you’d agree with me but I do think that Indian Cuisine is more difficult than most cuisines in the world. Maybe second most: the first being Japanese. It’s just a whirlwind of masalas and steps and one step missed = half tasting dish dilemmas. You are either over the ‘kadai’ or you are burning it: No scope for leave and go. That is a set rule. But if you had to identify one cuisine that’s really cool within India, it would be Maharashtrian. Most of the dishes involve very little steps and only a couple of ingredients, give or take 2-3 and they all retain the flavor of the food without overdoing or overcooking. By far, whatever I have had, this is one of my favorite. Collage A beautiful stew wherein you can taste each and every element that has gone in the dish without one over powering the other and yet everything coming together in a wonderful, wholesome, exploding taste- everything just shines through- one you just cannot forget. And while cooking…I thought of two people who would really appreciate the taste. This very thought brought me to think… Squeezing a little on Friends I’m the happiest when I am in the kitchen cooking something I like for people I love. That is a time when I am a lot more reflective and travel trough time. The kitchen corner has a core warming effect on me and emotions sort of cloud my head when I cook something nice. Maybe because to me, showing love is equivalent to making food. To see that glee on people’s face when they taste something nice makes me happy: I really don’t know why. My affections are my food. So, while cooking this and thinking of how a couple of my friends would really appreciate it, my thoughts steered towards how, countless times have I spent in the kitchen cooking for people I called friends, toiling from 6 in the morning, happily and selflessly. Away from family, to me, these people are my favorite after my husband 🙂  They are my brothers: a set of people I hold next to family and a set that almost have me mistake myself for a boy: they never cease to make me feel comfortable. I’d probably tell this on each of their weddings should they give me a chance to do a toast. But as facts fall I think its time I stopped tagging along with these men everywhere. I’m laughing loud, really, it’s almost funny that I should not have a ladies night out and climb a hill and drink with boys. I am enjoying a vital awakening. The awakening that I am a girl and I should have a real life. Really, I’ve been living wrong all my life. Like an onion? i don’t know why I am sayin’ that: maybe because I can see an onion below. Onions Maybe I should shake away these feelings and think how we will laugh at this stupid plan 40 years down the line. Maybe I’ll be called an Emo in front of my children for even thinking this… But for now, its time to take life as it comes and give away the recipe of a wonderful stew that repairs your soul. One must never quantify the things they have done for others or else it would beat the whole purpose, right? Pandhara Rassa Recipe Ingredients Paste of 2 medium onions 2 tablespoon each: Poppy seeds, Cashew Nuts, Sesame 1 Teaspoon each: Clove, Stone Flower, 1″ Cinnammon, Pepper corns, Green Cardamom Chicken Broth: 3 cups Coconut Milk: 1 cup Water: Add as per choice Salt & Sugar to taste Green chilies slit and seeded How to Make Pandhara Rassa Stew Step 1: Make the Rassa Powder Toast cashew nuts, seasame, poppy seeds on medium heat till its fragrant. Cool and make a powder. Step 2: Make the Garam Masala Powder I do not know if ready Garam Masala would work this well because I have not tried that. I insist on not skipping this step. On medium heat, toast cloves, cinnamon, stone flower, elaichi or cardamom and pepper corns till they are aromatic. Cool and make a fine powder. Keep aside Make paste of 2 medium onions. Step 3: make the Rassa In a pot, bring chicken broth to boil. Add coconut milk, Rassa powders and cook for about 3-4 minutes. Add water as per your taste and cover cook for about 5-8 more minutes. Add green chilies and rest it for 5. Enjoy with a loaf of bread or Bhakri {Indian bread made of rice flour} My own Twist: Add boiled chicken pieces or pieces of Basa for a whole meal feel That’s 20 words short 1000. I must leave. Sharin’ at:


make it pretty monday


My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia – Tuesday’s Treasures Coastal Charm – Nifty Thrifty



Beyond the Picket Fence

From My Front Porch To Yours – Treasure Hunt Thursday


The Shabby Nest – Frugal Friday

Show and Tell Friday



Recipe For Baklava In A Cup From A Lazy Girl

IMG_0980Welcome to Trumatter. Now that all the hoping and hype and ‘Oh-My-God-I-cant-concentrate-what-if-I-Lose’ is over, we can get back to some real deal in here. This time, its a super easy Baklava Recipe that you can make in a cup: A recipe specially created for all the lazy souls out there who would love a cup of Baklava, as fast as possible with minimum efforts.   Sounds good to you? Read along then…IMG_0986For those who are not aware of what a Baklava {also pronounced as Baaklava and Bakleva} is: it’s one of the best desserts that the Mediterranean has ever produced. I think it originated in Turnkey, considering it gets its name from the Otoman Empire, but who cares as long as you can dig in! Another beautiful thing about Baklava is it comes in many shapes and filling which gives you the courage to play around a bit with it. But no matter what filling you use, the seasoning is just the same: 1tsp CNC {cinnamon, nutmeg, clove}


Not so long ago, I had a deal with a super-sweet girl at work: she wanted to pay me for a pendant that I had made for her and I wanted no money. So we negotiated on she bringing me ‘something nice’ (Read: phyllo pastry because that’s not readily available where I stay). Then months passed and I totally forgot about the deal. Who knew the other didn’t! Much to my surprise last week, this bubbly thing walks in the office and hands me a bag of phyllo pastry: apparently, she went to shop for her brother’s wedding and chanced upon a shop that keeps these. Such a sweet girl. Her name is Shreni Sapani and the baklava is dedicated to her.


Now, I know a Baklava uses rich dry fruits and no saffron but I have always been the one to twist tales. Last Sunday, I came home with a goodie bag from the awards function and it had a box of finest saffron. I knew it had to go somewhere special {I initially thought of making chicken with saffron} and there could have been no better way! It tasted so good that I had Baklava 3 days in a row- making fresh batches each time- and loved it everytime.

Here’s the Recipe for Baklava in a cup

You’ll need phyllo sheets, cut in squares about 14-16

Melted, unsalted butter- about 3 tbsp

Dry fruit crush {Almonds, peanuts, pistachhio}: 2 tbsp {you can crush and keep and it’ll stay for months}

Caster sugar/confectioners sugar: 2 tbsp

Plain sugar: 1/2 cup

Saffron: A pinch of + a pinch for garnishing

1tsp CNC {Cinnamon/Nutmeg/Clove}

How to make Baklava in a Cup

Step 1

a) You’ll start by buttering the cup and dividing the phyllo sheets in 2 equal halves. If you have taken 16, 8 for base, 8 for covering.

b) Next, mix the dry fruit crush, CNC and caster sugar and keep aside

c) In a sauce pan, add 1/2 cup plain sugar and 1/2 cup water with a pinch of saffron. Keep it to boil while you prep your phyllo base.

d) To make the base, stack sheets of phyllo in the cup by brushing each one with melted butter.  You can simply place one on top of the other or go around the cup for a round shaped Baklava. Upto you really! Use all 8 sheets. Brush the top with melted butter.

e) Pour in the dry fruit mixture, a pinch of saffron and stack the other half of phyllo, exactly how you’ve for the base.

f) Brush top with milk {or egg wash}.

g) Preheat at 300 and bake at 180 for about 15 or until the top is beautifully golden.

Step 2

While your baklava is baking, check on your sugar syrup. It should not be too thick, not too runny either. To know if it’s of the right consistency, do the thread test. Put a drop of the sugar syrup on a cold surface and see whether its sticky but doesn’t form a thread between your finger and the surface. Or touch the syrup with a clean forefinger and then touch your thumb and forefinger together and pull apart gently.

Put on your mittens, take the cup out and pour the saffron laden sugar syrup on it. Let it rest for 30 minutes before you serve. Or, in this case: EAT.

Sharing at:


make it pretty monday


My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia – Tuesday’s Treasures
Coastal Charm – Nifty Thrifty


Wow us wednesdays- savvy southern style


Beyond the Picket Fence

From My Front Porch To Yours – Treasure Hunt Thursday


The Shabby Nest – Frugal Friday

Show and Tell Friday






Pflaumenkuchen Recipe


How have you been keeping this beautiful, beautiful Saturday? If you are up for some tart and sugary goodness to start of your weekend, I present to you a dessert straight from the German land. I am telling you, you are going to “Liebe” this.

IMG_7608A colleague at work gave me some plums on Friday- and I instantly thought of making Pflaumenkuchen. I copied this recipe from Janice’s blog– she has a plum tree in her backyard which gives the most delicious looking plums, ever- and I have to tell you that it came out far better than expected. Look at those plums… God knows I want to visit her garden. Someday! BTW- Janice is that friend who is gorgeous, talented, and multi-lingual and a very sexy belly dancer too. You gotta check her out 😉 she also has garden full of sunflower and a blue garden door that has long stolen my heart. before I forget- her lab Lucy can read Spanish. Habla?


Now, Pflaumenkuchen can be made in several ways. Like a sheet cake, a plain cake with plums sinking in, arranged plum on top, upside down, with streusels or even like a pie. Mine’s upside down and plain vanilla cinnamon cake base. We like it that way.

IMG_7611Pfalumenkuchen Recipe


A cup of plain flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

3/4th cup of caster sugar

A pinch of salt

2/3 rd cup of white butter

A tablespoon of cinnamon

A tablespoon of vanilla extract

2 large eggs

Pitted plums/plums cut into halves/any other shape you want- about a cup



Sprinkle a tablespoon of caster sugar on plums and on low heat, let it simmer for 5 minutes. Now, you can completely omit this step and use fresh pitted plums as well but I feel this gets the juices out and makes the cake a lot more aromatic.

In a bowl cream white butter, sugar, eggs and vanilla.

Sift in flour and baking powder.

Fold in cinnamon.

Most of your work is in the cake tin 😉

Note: P-Flow-men-koo-ken is generally served with streusel but the original recipe does not call for it. Hence I did not do that streusel bit.


oil a cake tin and dust with flour.

Pour in half of your plums on the base.

Pour cake batter but half.


I wanted my cake to have 2 layer of cake and 2 layer of juicy plums. You can simply pour plums on top the cake batter or below or poke the plums in the cake batter, like I already mentioned.

Bake at 200 for 15 minutes and then at 180 for another 1 minutes. For this cake – the toothpick wont come out clean. But when cooled and upturned, it will come out hassle free.

Once cooled- dust with icing sugar!

Cool and enjoy with coffee or a dollop of fresh cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Will be sharing with:


make it pretty monday


My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia – Tuesday’s Treasures
Coastal Charm – Nifty Thrifty
Vintage Wanna Bee – Talent Tuesday 


Primp – Primp Your Stuff Wednesday

Wow us wednesdays- savvy southern style


Beyond the Picket Fence

From My Front Porch To Yours – Treasure Hunt Thursday

The Vintage Farmhouse – Creative Things Thursday 

The Shabby Nest – Frugal Friday

Show and Tell Friday


Quick Fix Vegetarian Green Rice Recipe


Well hello there! I am alive. I am very alive. Don’t be sad for my demise or absence…everything’s rocking at this side of the tropical hemisphere!

It’s just that broomstick days are way too many and time is way too less and a girl like me needs to squeeze some all-night Friday night home party scenes with the set of friends I have been hanging around for eternity or else i feel pukish, after doing 50 hours of digital content, you see. Or get out with the man and sit on a green hill in the outskirts of the city and gulp down red wine and huddle inside an umbrella when that sudden splash of torrential rain decides to bum our plan. Wet till the undies we smile and drink inside that big-a** umbrella and wonder why people go to pubs! I’m telling you all man- I am having a ball of a time. Hence I don’t blog anymore.


However, this green rice recipe must be talked about.

I generally do not talk about vegetarian food much. It’s true. I am a hardcore non-vegetarian who would eat anything that has flesh and blood (You, be aware too). So when I turned down a yummy veg food, my colleague and friend, Miss fashion-savvy Dishpa Gala expressed her disappointment in me for doing so. She asked: “Tu kabhi veg nahi khati hain kya?”

Haha, which means do you ever eat vegetables?

Well, Dishpa yes I do, when there is no chicken or fish at home 😛 Here’s the proof. And it tastes awesome too! Best part is- its quick fix! The recipe is taken from a Mexican cook book: the original recipe is of a green rice salad on which I have put my own little spin.



3 cups cooked rice

1 – 9 oz package fresh spinach

1 small bunch fresh cilantro

Juice of one lime

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

3 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 jalapeno, diced very fine (optional)


Take fresh spinach, in batches, and pulse in food processor until finely chopped. Add cilantro to food processor and pulse until finely chopped.

In a wok, add a teaspoon of olive oil/ vegetable oil and add onion and garlic. Fry till fragrant.

Once the onions have lost colors, add the cilantro and spinach mixture. Accok for about a minute or two.

Add cooked riced, lime juice, remaining olive oil and jalapeno if using. Toss to combine. Serve hot with salsa.

Muchos Gracias!