Kung Pao Tofu n Broccoli Served with Rice

A simple Chinese dish to whip up  infused with mild Indian flavours. Rich with minerals and nutrients by adding Tofu and Broccoli , sure help you win the hearts of many.

What To Make:

1 Broccoli Florets 2 cups
2 Tofu Cubes 250 grams
3 Carrot Slices 2
4 Chopped Garlic 2 tsp
5 Chopped Spring Onions 2 tbsp
6 Dark Soy Sauce 2 tbsp
7 Tomato Sauce 1/2 cup
8 Chili Sauce 1 tbsp
9 Vinegar 1 tbsp
10 Worchester Sauce 2 tbsp
11 Salt To taste
12 Sugar To taste
13 Water 1 glass
14 Corn flour 2 tbsp
15 Oil 3 tbsp
16 Roasted and Crushed Peanuts 2 tbsp
17 Dry Red Chili 2

Steps To Make:

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a non stick pan.
Add tofu cubes and cook all sides till it turns golden.
Heat another 1 tbsp oil in the same pan.
Add broccoli , cover with lid till it turns soft. Turn occasionally to prevent burning.
In the same pan, add carrot slices and cook for 2-3 minutes on both sides.
In a deep flat pan, heat remaining 1 tbsp oil.
Add chopped garlic and spring onions and dry red chili.
Mix all the sauces with corn flour and water.
Add to pan and bring it to simmer.
Add tofu , broccoli and carrots .
Add salt and sugar to taste and cook till you get the desired consistency to go well with   steamed rice.
At the end, add some roasted and crushed peanuts.
Serve hot with steamed rice

Bread Upama

This is an effective way to use bread for a filling breakfast or snack if your bread is no more fresh. The recipe below will serve two people (5 bread piece per person)

What You Need:

1 Bread cut into small cubes About 10
2 Oil 2 tbsp
3 Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp
4 Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp
5 Onion 1 chopped
6 Tomato 1 chopped
7 Potato 1 chopped
8 Salt To taste
9 Sugar To taste
10 Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp
11 Green Chili 1 broken into half
12 Coriander Leaves 2 tbsp chopped
13 Dry red chili(optional) 1 broken into half
14 Curry Leaves 5 or 6

Steps To Make:

Heat oil in a pan.
Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves, green chili and red chili.
Add onions, potatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add chopped tomatoes, salt, sugar and turmeric powder.
Mix and cook for another 2 minutes.
Add bread cubes and mix well.
Sprinkle few drop of water so that bread is well coated with spice.
Add chopped coriander leaves and mix.
Serve with a hot cup of tea.

Muga Dalma| Habisa Dalma | Moong Dal- Temple Preparation | Mandira Dalma

Daalma is a traditional dish of Orissa. It is prepared with daal and vegetables. Coconut is added many a times. It is highly nutitous and has the essential minerals and vitamins of vegetables intact during its preparation. It is also prepared by Bengalis.

What You Need:

Moong Daal 3/4th Cup
Tomato 1 chopped
Grated Coconut 1/4th cup
Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp
Grated Ginger 1/2 incg crushed
Salt To taste
Raw Banana 1/2 cup cut into cubes
Potato 1/2 cup cut into cubes
Parwal 1/2 cup cut into cubes
Raw Papaya 1/2 cup cut into cubes

Other Ingredients for Tempering:

Ghee 2 tbsp.
Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp
Fennel Seeds 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek Seeds 1/2 tsp
Kalonji 1/2 tsp
Dry Red Chili 1
Roasted Cumin 1/2 tsp
Roasted Dry Red Chili 1

Steps To Make:

Dry Roast lentils in a pan for 10 to 15 minutes.
Add lentils, tomato, coconut, ginger, turmeric, salt and 3 cups of water in a pressure cooker and cook on high till one whistle. Switch off the flame and allow gas to come out. Daal will be 75% cooked.
Add all the vegetables to the pressure cooker and cook again for one whistle. Switch off the flame.
Gently lift the whistle of pressure cooker to allow all the gas to come out forcefully. Else, the vegetables will be cooked to a fine paste. What we want is daal to be cooked completely to a fine paste and vegetables just cooked.
Dry roast cumin seed and red chili powder and grind to a fine paste.
On other hand, heat 1 tbsp ghee in a kadai.
Add cumin, mustard, fennel, fenugreek and onion seed , red chili powder and dry   red chilies. Add this to the daal prepared above.
Add the roasted cumin-chili powder to daalma and mix well.
Serve with Rice or Pitha

Paneer Bhurji | पनीर भूर्जी

A popular and simple dish made out of curdled milk. It goes very well with parathas and becomes quite a filling breakfast.

What You Need:

1 Paneer 2 cups
2 Onion Chopped 1
3 Tomato Chopped 2
4 Ginger Garlic Paste 1 tsp
5 Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp
6 Red Chili Powder 1/2 tsp
7 Curry Powder 1 tsp
8 Chopped Spinach/Fenugreek Leaves 1 cup
9 Salt To Taste
10 Cumin Seeds 1 tsp
11 Oil 2 tsp

Steps To Make:

Heat oil in a pan.
Add cumin seeds.
Add ginger garlic paste. Cook till the raw smell is not there.
Add chopped onions. Once onion turns brown, add chopped tomatoes.
Add all dry spices, tomatoes and chopped spinach or fenugreek leaves.
Cook till leaves and tomatoes are well cooked.
Add paneer, salt and mix well. Cook for 2 -3 minutes on high.
Serve with roti.

Tomato Dates Chutney

Try the very famous Oriya/Bengali preparation of Tomato Dates Chutney aka Tamata Khajuri Khata .
Dates are rich in dietary FIBRE, ANTIOXIDANTS and the essential minerals POTASSIUM and MAGNESIUM. A diet that regularly includes low-fat, nutrient-dense foods like dates may enhance your health and help decrease your chance of developing many chronic disease.
If you are using meaty juicy dates and you don’t have a very sweet tooth, you will not even need to add sugar. You can replace brown sugar with Jaggery/molasses too. However, jaggery/ molasses generates some heat in the body especially when you have it in summer. So the choice is yours.

What You Need:

1 Tomatoes 6
2 Seedless Meaty Dates 10 or 12
3 Oil 1 tbsp
4 Mustard Seeds 1/4th tsp
5 Cumin Seeds 1/4th tsp
6 Fennel Seeds 1/4th tsp
7 Fenugreek Seeds 1/4th tsp
8 Onion Seeds 1/4th tsp
9 Fenugreek Seeds 1/4th tsp
10 Salt 1/4th tsp
11 Curry Leaves About 5
12 Brown Sugar (Optional) 1 tbsp
13 Dry Red Chili 1 broken into half
14 Water 1 cup

Steps To Make:

Heat mustard oil on high till smoking point.
Reduce flame and add all the seeds in the order mentioned above from point 4 till point 7.
Add curry leaves, red chili, dates, chopped tomatoes and pinch of salt.
Add sugar, 1 cup water and mix.
Cover and cook on low flame till water is well absorbed, dates and tomatoes are well cooked.

Enjoy this divine dish with rice and daal.

Stuffed Bell Peppers | भरवां मिर्च | Bharwa Mirch

Did you know red capsicum is healthier than green capsicum. Oh it tastes better and sweeter too. You can go for a healthier stuffing by adding some sprouts, some cottage cheese and some corn. I have made a basic stuffing of potato and green peas this time.

What You Need:

1 Red Capsicum 5 small
2 Boiled Potatoes 3 big
3 Green Peas 50 grams
4 Onion Chopped 1 big
5 Ginger Garlic 1 tbsp
6 Turmeric Powder 1 tsp
7 Red Chili Powder 1 tsp
8 Salt To Taste
9 Coriander Leaves Chopped 2 tbsp
10 Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp
11 Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp
12  Fennel Seeds 1/2 tsp
13 Garam Masala 1 tsp
14 Grates Cheese 1 tbsp
15 Curry Leaves 5 or 6

Steps To Make:

Cut Each Capsicum into Half and deseed them. While slitting, check for the flatter portion. The more are capsicum gets heat when you cook , the better and faster it will cook.
Boil water in a deep pan, add a pinch of salt and cook capsicum for 5 minutes.
Drain and wash with cold water to retain color. Keep them aside to cook down.
Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and fennel seeds.
Add curry leaves and ginger garlic paste.
Add chopped onions and cook till it turns light pink.
Add green peas, mashed boiled potatoes, turmeric powder, red chili powder and garam masala powder.
Add salt to it and cook covered for 7 to 8 minutes.
Add chopped coriander leaves and mix well.
Switch off flame, add grated cheese and mix so that cheese melts completely and blends with hot cooked potatoes.
Stuff this mixture with help of a spoon inside the half cooked capsicum.
Preheat Oven at 250 degree centigrade.
Grease a baking tray big enough to hold all the capsicum.
Place the stuffed capsicum and cook for 18-20 minutes.
Check at regular intervals as some oven have different settings.
You can optionally cook them on a non-stick flat pan with little oil.

Sugar Free Raw Mango Chutney (Sweet to Taste)

It’s the season of mangoes and we all love mangoes. Mango Shake, Mango Kulfi, Mango Mastani, Mango Lassi, Mango Kalakand all made with ripe Mangoes and Mango Chutney, Grated Mango Chutney made with raw Mangoes.
Raw mangoes are not sweet and we need to put a lot of sugar to make it edible. This time I wanted to make it sugar free. I decided to experiment by adding some soaked raisins to it while grinding. The result was unbelievable. Do try it out friends. I am sure we would all love this combination.

What You Need:
1 Raw Mangoes, peeled and cut into small cubes 2
2 Soaked Raisins 1/2 cup
3 Green Chili (Slit and Deseeded) 1
4 Mint Leaves (options) 4 or 5

Steps To Make:
Grind Everything to a fine paste in a blended without adding any water. Its Damn Simple.
Enjoy with your regular meals.

Note: Add more raisins or currants if you think mangoes are too sour

TastyKhana.com - Order Food Online ~ Save Energy, Time, Petrol (*****)

What if my favorite teams are playing in IPL today. It is a Saturday Night and I am tired after my weekly official activities and then heavy Cleaning Chores in the morning.. My fridge is empty because I shopped for a week’s grocery only. I had to do grocery shopping again today. I didn’t get time. I need some me time, some time to just relax, I don’t even want to go out for eating food. There is traffic and there is rush and I have to waste my time in commute. I could have done something productive in that time.

Oh so many excuses but don’t you relate to it ? I don’t want to end up eating Pizza or Maggie again. I wanted to eat my favorite Chinese from Mainland China. Aah, it’s possible now. If I want to have Chinese, it has to be from Mainland China or from Chungfa. I didn’t want to take my car out , just thinking of the traffic on the road makes me tired already.

Now I have TastyKhana.com. What a boon for me and for so many. Well, the order and delivery process has been so smooth that I have now dropped the idea of dressing up for going out, wasting time in traffic completely. Instead, I want to dress comfortably, sit in front of television and gorge my favorite Thai Noodles . Friends, that is possible now. Yes, India is developing.

So proud to be a Puneite. It was a Pune  startup project by Sachin Bharadwaj, a computer sci graduate from MIT in 2004, the same year I completed my Engineering Degree too. He is truly inspiring. . His initial audience was Pune, but within 5 years, he expanded his business to other cities like Mumbai, Bangalore and Delhi. An motivating entrepreneur , a simple idea but the 1st one to think and execute it. I was so impressed by his venture that I had to do some research as to who started, when was it started and then finally thought to write about him today.

You can pay by cash, by credit card, debit card and food will be delivered within 30-45 minutes at your door step, piping hot. I have till now had an amazing experience with TastyKhana.com.
The website is http://tastykhana.in/ . Download the app on to your cell phone and enjoy your food from your favorite restaurant anytime.

Idli Fry

People make idli fry out of left over idlis. I make idli only to have idli fry. Make Fresh Idlis and then store it in refrigerator for atleast 24 hours before you fry them with spices. I like my Idli fry to be soft, sweet, sour, tangy and spicy.

What You Need:

1 Idli (atleast a day old and not the fresh made) About 15
2 Oil 2 tbsp
3 Mustard Seeds 1 tsp
4 Cumin Seeds 1 tsp
5 Curry Leaves 10
6 Hing 1/2 tsp
7 Fennel Seeds ½ tsp
8 Rasam Powder 2 tbsp
9 Coriander Leaves 2 tbsp Chopped
10 Dry Red Chili 2
11 Green Chili 2 slit into half and deseeded
12 Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp
13 Salt To Taste
14 Sugar To Taste
15 Lemon Juice 1/2 Lemon

Steps To Make:

Heat oil in a pan.
Add hing, curry leaves,  green chilis, dry red chilis.
Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and fennel seeds.
In a small bowl, add rasam powder, turmeric powder, lemon juice, salt and sugar and ½ cup of water.
Add this to the pan .
Add idli and mix well.
Cover and cook till water is well absorbed and idlis turn soft.
Add chopped coriander leaves. Mix well. Serve hot with a cup of filter coffee.

Travelkhana.com (08800-31-31-31) - A blessing for Train Travellers - Spread the Website

It has been long since I have wanted to write about Travelkhana.com. It somehow skipped from my mind completely until I read recently about how much a person suffered by eating Railway Catered Food. I thought it is high time I bring to notice to people about this amazing service started by Travelkhana.com who provide food while you are travelling and not carrying home cooked food. Well, many do not get the privilege and time to carry home cooked food and also not many have the option to travel by flight.

Travelkhana has been found jointly by Pushpinder Singh, CEO with acumen business skills who decided to open this website to make Train Travel experience of people better , Matteo Chiampo , Chief Advisor and Strategic Investor and Siddartha Misra, Director- Market Operation.

Last year I was travelling to Rajasthan and I decided to order food from this site. While going I ordered online and while returning I called help desk and ordered. I provided only my PNR number. When the concerned station arrived, a person was ready with a big packet, very nicely packed. I gave him Rs 500 thinking whether he will crib for change. But I was again startled to see, he carried change. He returned me with exact change and didn’t expect for any tip. Well now I wanted to see the quality of food.

When I opened the packet, OMG, I had a spread infront of me of Gujarati Food. Phulka, extremely soft and hot, Sev tamatar nu shaak, daal tadka, dhokla, kachori, one more sabji I don’t remember now and a nicely packed gulab jamun. Now I wanted to give him a tip.
While returning I again decided to order food through the same website. But where I was there, I didn’t have internet . So I decided to call helpdesk (08800-31-31-31) and ordered. This time they said would deliver me food at a different station. Oh this time, I had a yummy rasmalai in my food tray. Glad I had tipped the guy this time.

I was travelling in 1st class and others in my coach decided to buy Railways Food. I could not miss the disappointment in their eyes. The Uncle who was travelling along with me took their helpdesk number and site address from me since he was a frequent traveller in that train.
Guys please spread this message if you read my post. It is an extremely useful site. Please encourage them to continue providing their service since we don’t see any hope from Railway Caterers.

And Indian Railways, if you are reading this, please take this seriously as you have serious competition ahead.

Travelkhana.com provides food for lunch and dinner only. They serve food in selected stations only. I am hoping they will soon plan their expansion to all regions of India if they get good response from travellers. The food might be little expensive but it is every worth the penny. They also provide local to their region.

Undoubtedly, It has been voted as the Best Travel Website @ the IAMAI Awards 2013.

Other links :


Lemon Rice

Lemon is rich in Vitamin C or Ascorbic Acid. This water soluble vitamin is an important ANTIOXIDANT. It helps the body build new cells and repair damaged ones. It promotes the absorption of dietary IRON. The body does not produce vitamin C and does not retain stores of the vitamin C for very long. So, you should eat C-rich foods often. Indians love to eat most of their food by squeezing lemon on almost every dish. The recipe below is a simple recipe which is rich in Vitamin C.

What You Need:

1 Kolam Rice Cooked 3 cups
2 Lemon Juice 2 tbsp
3 Curry Leaves 10
4 Dry Red Chili 2
5 Green Chili 1
6 Mustard Seeds 1 tsp
7 Cumin Seeds 1 tsp
8 Turmeric Powder 1 tsp
9 Peanuts 2 tbsp
10 Chana Daal 1 tsp
11 Urad Daal 1 tsp
12 Oil 1 tbsp
13 Salt Taste
14 Coriander Leaves 1 tbsp

Heat oil in a deep pan.
Add mustard seeds and allow it to splutter.
Add cumin seeds.
Add turmeric  powder, peanuts, chana daal and urad daal.
Add curr leaves. Cook for 2 minutes.
Add cooked rice,salt to taste and lemon juice.
Mix well.
Add coriander leaves and mix.
Serve with curd and pickle.

Egg Curry

Egg Curry cooked in Typical Oriya Style.

What You Need:

1 Boiled Eggs 3 or 4
2 Boiled and Peeled Potatoes 2
3 Onions 1 big grated
4 Tomato 3 pureed
5 Ginger Garlic Paste 1 tbsp
6 Green Chili 1 finely chopped
7 Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp
8 Red Chili Powder 1 tsp
9 Coriander Powder 1 tsp
10 Cumin Powder 1 tsp
11 Cumin Seeds 1/2 tsp
12 Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp
13 Fennel Seeds 1/2 tsp
14 Onion Seeds 1/2 tsp
15 Fenugreek Seeds 1/2 tsp
16 Garam Masala 1 tbsp
17 Oil 2 and 1/2 tbsp

Steps To Make:

Heat ½ tsp oil and fry potatoes in a non stick pan till it turns golden yellow.
Drain and keep aside.
Heat 1 tbsp oil in same pan.
Add boiled eggs and cook till it turns golden brown.
Drain and keep aside.
Heat remaining oil.
Add all the seeds mentioned above.
Add ginger garlic paste, grated onion and cook till onion turns brown.
Add pureed tomato and cook till the raw smell is gone.
Add all powdered spices.
Cook for 3 -4 minutes.
Add 2 glass of water and bring it to boil.
As water gets reduced by almost half, add half cooked potatoes.
Cook till potato is well cooked.
Add salt to taste, boiled potatoes and cook for 2 minutes more.
Your egg curry is ready to be served.

Smoked n Mildly Spiced Eggplant | Baingan ka Bharta | बैंगन का भरता


Baingan Ka Bharta is a very famous North Indian recipe. Though, it is also prepared in other parts of India as well, slightly tweaked to match the taste of that region . The twist I have made is I have used smoked eggplant, smoked tomatoes and smoked potatoes, mashed all of them together and then tempered separately with mustard oil. I have added some Arab flavour by adding zaatar powder inspired from Moutabel, (recipe found here) and at the end, squeezed some lemon. 

What You Need:

1 Eggplant 1 big or 2 medium
2 Tomatoes 2 big
3 Potato 1 big
4 Onion 1 big
5 Green chili finely chopped 1
6 Coriander Leaves chopped 1
7 Mustard oil 1 tbsp
8 Mustard Seeds 1/4th tsp
9 Cumin Seeds 1/4th tsp
10 Fennel Seeds 1/4th tsp
11 Onion Seeds 1/4th tsp
12 Fenugreek Seeds 1/4th tsp
13 Salt To Taste
14 Lemon Juice 1 tsp
15 Zaatar powder (optional) 1/2 tsp

Steps To Make:

Wash eggplant properly and poke it in places with a fork .
Roast eggplant over fire on gas stove high flame.
Turn it at regular interval to roast it evenly.
Roast tomatoes also till you the skin turning black and splitting.
Boil potato and roast it also over fire till the skin turns black.
Now peel the skin of all the three.
Mash it together. Add some salt, green chili and coriander leaves.
Heat oil in a small tempering pan. Once it reaches smoking point, reduce flame.
Add all the dry spices, chopped onion and chopped garlic.
Cook till onion turns light brown.
Add this tempering to mashed eggplant.
Add zaatar powder if using and squeeze some lemon juice.
Enjoy it with Rotis or Chapattis.

Jahni Aloo Posto ~ Turai Aloo Khus Khus ~ Ridge Gourd Potato in Poppy Seeds


Jahni is Oriya for Ridge Gourd. They are called Jinghe in Bengali. Well, its jhinge and not jhinga which means prawns in Hindi. When ridge gourd is cooked in posto or poppy seeds paste, the out come is a mild flavours gravy, very subtle to taste and calming to eat. You can cook only ridge gourd or you can add some potatoes to it.
This method of cooking is prevelant mostly in eastern parts of India.

What You Need:

1 Turai Peeles and cut in small pieces 3
2 Potato peeled and cut in small pieces 2
3 Onion Finely Chopped 1
4 Green Chilies Finely Chopped 3
5 Oil 1 tbsp
6 Panch Phoran 1 tbsp
7 Turmeric Powder 1/2 tsp
8 Roasted Cumin Powder 1 tsp
9 Salt To Taste
10 Garlic 4
11 Poppy Seeds 3-4 tbsp

** Panch Phoran is an equal mix of cumin seeds, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeks, onion seeds and fennel seeds

Steps To Make:

Soak khus khus or poppy seeds in ½ cup luke warm water for half an hour.
Grind to a smooth paste along with green chillies and garlic.
Heat oil in a pan.
Add panch photan.
As it starts spluttering, add onions and cook till it turns light brown.
Add potatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes.
Add cut ridge gourd or jahni pieces, poppy seed paste and salt to taste.
Add half cup water.
Cover the lead and cook till water is reduced and vegetables are cooked properly.
Remove the lead frequently to mix the ingredients well and prevent them from sticking to the pan.
Serve with Rice/Roti and daal.

Raw Jackfruit Curry ~ Kathal ki Sabji ~ Panasa Tarkari

Kathal(hindi) or Panasa(oriya) or Jackfruit (English) is another ingredients which people dare not to talk owing to its complexity. It is because of this I have a given a detailed recipe for cooking jackfruit. You will find them in plenty in this season and can make a variety of recipes including cutlets, chips, dry and fry the seeds etc.

What You Need:

1 Jackfruit Cut in cubes 1/2 kg
2 Potato peeled and cubed 1 big
3 Mustard Oil 3 tbsp
4 Onion finely chopped 1 big
5 Tomato Pureed 3 big
6 Ginger Garlic Paste 1 tbsp
7 Green Chili Chopped 1 big
8 Turmeric Powder 1 tsp
9 Red Chili Powder 1 tsp
10 Everest Kitchen King Masala 1 tbsp
11 Everest Garam Masala 1 tbsp
12 Salt To taste
13 Sugar (optional) To taste
14 Cumin Seeds 1 tsp
15 Coriander Leaves 1 tbsp
16 Cinamon Stick 1/2 inch
17 Green Cardamom 2
18 Cloves 2

Steps To Make:

Apply oil in your arms, palms and fingers properly.
Cut the jackfruit in half or 4 and immerse in water for 10 minutes. Let all the milk release in water.
Remove from water and remove the skin with a sharp knife.
Cut in small cubes.
Pressure cook in 1/2 cup water, 1 tsp salt,1/2 tsp turmeric water for 2 whistles on high.
Switch off the flame and allow pressure to release.
Heat 1 tsp mustard oil and fry potato till it is half cooked.
Add 1 tbsp oil and fry the jackfruit pieces for 5 to 6 minutes on high.
Remove and keep aside.
Heat oil in a kadai.
Add cumin seeds and dry whole spices.
Add chopped onions, ginger garlic paste and green chilies.
Cook till onion turns brown.
Add tomato puree, all powdered spices and cook covered till tomato is well cooked.
Open lid, add half cooked potatoes and jackfruit.
Add salt, sugar to taste.
Add 1 and 1/2 glass of water and bring to boil.

Garnish with coriander leaves.