Fruit Carving



I've always enjoyed watching and creating fruit and vegetable carvings. After knowing the Vegetable carving event at Roma's blog. I was inspired to do something different, so I took up fruit carving based on the famous Thai style.

Thailand's fruit and vegetable carvings are one of the best in the world. The photo below is an attempt to do one of the designs on a watermelon.

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Since I did not have any carving tools with me, I used the pairing knife found commonly in any kitchen. This was my first attempt at carving out a watermelon so it took some time but I really enjoyed carving this. Below are the step by step photos to provide an idea of how to create a watermelon carving.

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Fun Time during Tea Time



A couple of friends had come over during evening and we were having tea. Suddenly my husband engaged others in rural Indian style of tea drinking, which is using your saucer to drink tea . To make it funny they started making a slurping noises. This snap captures one of those moments. I like the way the ripples are forming in this photo.

This is my entry for the Coffee and Tea Click Event

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Sweet Corn Veg Soup


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This recipe was a great hit among my friends in Rochester. I miss Rochester a lot. All of our friends and their families used to live inside the same community. It was a great fun. How to spend 6 long months of winter? We used to have frequent potluck parties. We started our parties with this soup and bread sticks. Generally we don't get this soup in restaurants here as compared to India, so people used to enjoy this soup a lot whenever I prepared it for the parties. Its very simple in cooking and appetizing.

(serves 2)


  • 1/2 cup corn kernels
  • 4 cup water
  • 2 green chilles
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 table spoon finely chopped carrot
  • 1 table spoon finely chopped beans
  • 1 table spoon finely chopped capsicum
  • 1 table spoon finely chopped spring onion
  • 1 tea spoon minced garlic
  • 1/2 tea spoon minced ginger
  • 1 tea spoon vinegar
  • 4 tea spoon corn starch
  • black pepper powder to sprinkle
  • salt to taste

Microwavable Method

  • In a microwavable container, pour water,add corn kernels and chillies.


  • Microwave on high for 8-10 minutes, remove chillies, keep aside.
  • Take butter a microwavable bowl, microwave it for 30 sec.

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  • Add ginger and garlic in the butter and microwave it for 1 min.
  • Add all vegetables in the above butter mixture and microwave it for 2 minutes.


  • Mix these vegetables and salt in the soup.Microwave it for 2 minutes.
  • Dissolve corn starch in cold 1/2 cup water. Add to the soup.


  • Microwave it for 2 minutes or till it gets thickened.
  • Add vinegar, sprinkle black pepper powder.
  • Serve hot with garlic bread or any appetizer of your choice.


This recipe I am submitting for MEC: Soups / Stews

Microwave Ovens and Food Safety


Normal Method

  • In a pressure cooker pour water,add corn kernels and chillies. Take 1 whistle.Remove chillies and keep aside.
  • Heat butter in a pan add ginger and garlic. Fry it for 30 seconds.
  • Add all vegetables. Fry for 1 min.
  • Add salt and soup.Boil it for 2 -3 minutes.
  • Dissolve corn starch in cold 1/2 cup water. Add to the soup.
  • Boil for 2 minutes or till it gets thickened.
  • Add vinegar, sprinkle black pepper powder.
  • Serve hot.

Garlic Bread


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A nice appetizer, quick to make and goes well with any type of soup.

(4 pieces)

  • 2 hot dog rolls
  • 2 table spoon crushed or minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup shredded cheese


  • Mix butter and garlic in the bowl.
  • Separate the hod dog roll.


  • Apply the garlic butter on the top of the roll.
  • Sprinkle shredded cheese on the top of the roll.


  • Keep it in the pre heated oven(350F) for 8-10 min, depending upon the crispiness you want.
  • Serve hot.

Khaman Dhokla


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Khaman Dhokla is a famous dish from Gujarat. You can say Khaman is to Gujarat is as Idly & Dosa to south India, Poha to M.P, Vada Pav to Maharashtra, parathas to Punjab. Many of my friends, complain that their Khaman Dhoklas are not spongy as mine so I thought to put its recipe step by step, with photos. Whenever I have unexpected guests at home I use the Khaman Dhokla ready mix. It's quick and easy to make with instant mix but whenever I have time I make mix at home.


  • 1 cup khaman dhokla mix
  • 2 table spoon oil
  • 2 green chillies 
  • 8 curry leaves
  • 1 tea spoon mustard seeds
  • 1 tea spoon til (sesame seeds)
  • pinch of hing (afsofedia)
  • water as required
  • coriander for garnishing


  • In a large vessel,pour 3 cups of water and keep it on the  gas to boil.

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  • In a khaman dhokla mix, add water to make a thick paste like very thick ice cream shake, start with half cup of water then slowly add more as required.
  • Add one tablespoon of oil to the paste.
  • Pour batter into greased round container.

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  • Keep a steel ring in the center of a vessel as shown in the picture. Now put the round container on it. Idea is to keep the container above the water so that water doesn't get inside the container, containing dhokla paste. Cover the vessel with the lid.

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  • If you are using Dhokla maker then it is fine. If you are making in pressure cooker don't put the whistle.
  • Steam on high flame for 15 minutes.
  • Remove and allow to cool for 5 min and cut it into square pieces.
  • Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small pan. Add mustard seeds,when it splutters add hing,til, curry leaves and green chilles. Fry for 30 seconds. Add 2 table spoon of water and immediately put the lid on the pan. Turn off the gas and pour this seasoning over dhoklas.
  • Garnish with coriander chutney and serve hot.

How to test dhoklas are ready?

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  • Test it with knife or toothpick, poke the dhokla in the middle if it comes up with some wet batter, keep it on the gas for another 5 minutes.
  • If it comes out clean and dry dhoklas are ready.There should be a nice sponge in the dhokla.

khaman dhokla mix at home

If you want to make khaman dhokla mix at home, ingredients are
1 cup besan (gram flour)
1 tea spoon salt
1 tea spoon sugar
2 table spoon lemon juice or 1 tea spoon nimbu ka sat(citric acid)
1 tea spoon fruit salt (eno)

Mix besan, salt, sugar,  lemon juice, and oil and then add  water enough to make a thick paste.Then add soda or eno and stir it well. then follow the stemming and seasoning process as written above.



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It is my favourite tea time snack. Its very filling and tempting. While drafting this recipe I was pondering what is the difference between pakora, vada,bonda and kofta, I searched on the net and came across some definition which I would like to share with everyone.

PAKORA-A piece of vegetable deep fried in a batter flavoured with spices.

VADA-A vada (also vadai, wada, vade), pronounced 'vah-daa' or 'vah-die', is a savoury snack from South India, shaped like a doughnut and made from lentils.

Bonda is a typical South Indian snack. Bonda comes in two major varieties: Sweet and Spicy. Keralites prefer the sweet one and follow a completely different recipe than the majority of Indians. The spicy version is called as Batada vada in Maharashtra.

Koftas consist of balls of minced or ground meat, mixed with spices and onions. The vegetarian varieties like lauki kofta, shahi aloo kofta, and malai kofta are popular in India.

This is also my entry to Hot and Spicy Pakora Contest


for batter-

  • 2 cup besan (gram flour)
  • 1/2 tea spoon ajwain (seeds of carom plant)
  • 1/2 tea spoon chilly powder
  • 1/2 tea spoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tea spoon baking soda
  • salt to taste
  • water as needed


  • 6 slices of bread
  • 1 boiled potato
  • 2 table spoon tomato ketchup 2 table spoon coriander chutney 1/2 tea spoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 tea spoon minced ginger
  • 1/4 tea spoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 tea spoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tea spoon garam masala
  • 1/4 tea spoon dried pudina (mint) leaves
  • 1 green chilly chopped
  • salt to taste
  • oil for frying
    For Pakora Batter:

    • Mix all the ingredients and make a thick paste.Keep aside.

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    For Potato Masala(Stuffing):

    • Mash the potato.
    • Heat 1 table spoon oil in the pan. Add cumin seeds.
    • Add ginger, garlic and green chilles.
    • Add spices.
    • Add mash potato, mix well. Fry for 2 minutes and keep aside.

    For pakora:

    • Heat the oil in deep pan.
    • Spread potato masala on first bread slice,corinader chutney on second and ketchup on third.

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    • Now put the bread slices one upon other in such a way that bread slice with potato masala comes in the center.

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    • Repeat the procedure for remaining three bread.
    • Dip the layered breads in batter.

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    • Fry the battered dip bread slices in the oil.

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    • Serve hot with chutney of your choice or without chutney as it already has chutney inside it.

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    This is an excellent dip for all varieties of pakoras.

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    • 2 cups chopped coriander with stem
    • 2 green chillies
    • 1 clove of garlic
    • 1/2 inch ginger
    • 1/2 tea spoon cumin seeds
    • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
    • salt to taste.


    • Put all the ingredients in the mixer and grind along with water.
  • Add water according to your desired consistency.


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    Alu Palak is my husband's favourite dish. He can eat it any time with roti or rice. He likes it in nice green color.



    • 1 lb spinach
    • 2 potatoes
    • 1 onion chopped
    • 2 green chilles long,if small take 4
    • tea spoon minced ginger
    • tea spoon minced garlic
    • tea spoons lemon juice
    • 1 tea spoon maida(all purpose flour)
    • /2 tea spoon cumin seeds
    • /4 tea spoon turmeric powder
    • /2 tea spoon red chilly powder
    • /2 tea spoon garam masala
    • table spoon oil for tampering and frying
    • salt to taste


    • Boil 3 cups water in a pan. Add washed spinach in boiling water. Take out spinach after 2 minutes in a colander,now pour some cold water on it.
    • Make a coarse paste of spinach and green chillies in a mixer.
    • Half boil the potatoes. If you are boiling in the pressure cooker, take 3 whistle. Peel the potatoes and cut into big pieces.
    • Take 2 table spoon oil in pan, heat it and fry the potatoes from both the side. Keep aside the fried potatoes.


    • Heat 2 tablespoon oil in the pan. Add cumin seeds, ginger,garlic and onion.Saute it.(those who like tomato taste with palak at this point they can add 1 chopped tomato and fry for 2 min)
    • Add spices.
    • Add spinach paste.boil it for 2 minutes.Make paste of maida with one tablespoon of cold water and add into the spinach. Boil more for 2 minutes.
    • Add potatoes, mix well.


    • Add lemon juice.
    • Serve hot with roti, naan ,parathas or rice.


    You can replace potatoes with paneer and here is your recipe for palak paneer.
    • Those who like creamy taste, in the end before adding lemon juice they can add fresh thick cream. I would suggest you to make alu palak without cream and palak paner with cream.

    Food Event:
    This is my entry for the -

    Curry Mela event being hosted by  Srivalli of Cooking For All Season.

     WYF:Colour In Food event being hosted by EC of Simple Indian Food.




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    The famous malpua of pushkar is the signature of Rajasthani sweet dish. The delicious dish made of maida (refined flour) and milk melts in the mouth satisfying your sweet cravings.
    Manisha Bday 07 020

    • 1 litre milk or 250 ml evaporated milk 
    • 4 table spoon maida (refined flour)
    • 2 cup sugar
    • Saffron-few strands
    • Ghee for frying
    • Boil milk in heavy bottomed broad pan on medium flame,stir continuously till it reduced to 1/4 quantity.
    • Add refined flour once the milk gets cool.Mix well and make a batter of pouring consistency like the thick ice cream shake. Keep it aside for 2-3 hours.
    • Dissolve saffron in a teaspoon of warm milk or you can put saffron in one table spoon of water and microwave it for 30 seconds, see the result strands will be double of there original size. Later add it to the sugar syrup.
    • In a pan add sugar and take enough water to soak sugar,boil it and make the sugar syrup of one string.To achieve this, keep boiling the syrup until a drop of syrup leaves one string between your thumb and finger.
    • Add saffron to the sugar syrup
    • Heat ghee in the shallow small frying pan.
    • Now pour some batter with the ladle to form a malpua.(approximately of the size of small pancake or poori) When you pore the batter in the center of pan, automatically it will take the shape of circle. Fry both the sides till it becomes light golden brown in color.
    • Soak the malpua in sugar syrup for 1 min,drain and serve hot.
    • you can serve malpua with some rabri and dry fruits on the top.
    • you can serve malpua with some rabri (thickened sweet cream) and dry fruits on the top.
    • Do not confuse evaporated milk with condensed milk its different.
    • If you are using evaporated milk add refined flour directly to the milk,no need of boiling.
    • If u reheat the malpua in microwave,do it for only 10 seconds.

    AAL KE GATTE- Bottle Gourd Dumplings


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    This recipe is known as muthia in Gujrat and in Rajasthan it is known as Aal Ke Gatte. Bottle Gourd is known as Aal in Rajasthan. My husband named it rajasthani manchurian. whats there in the name as long as it is yummy.



    For Dough

    • 2 cup grated bottle guard
    • 4 tablespoons whole wheat flour (gehun ka atta)
    • 2 tablespoons Bengal gram flour (besan)
    • 2 tablespoons semolina (rawa)
    • 1/3 teaspoon garam masala
    • 1/2 teaspoon chilly powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds (jeera)
    • 1/4 teaspoon soda-bi-carbonate
    • 3 tablespoons oil
    • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
    • 1 teaspoon ginger chopped
    • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander
    • 2 green chilly fine chopped
    • salt to taste



    • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
    • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon chilly powder
    • 1 teaspoon chopped ginger
    • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
    • 1 onion chopped
    • 1 small capsicum chopped /2 big green chilly
    • 1 tomato chopped
    • coriander for garnishing
    • ghee or oil for tempering
    • salt to taste


    • Squeeze the water out from bottle guard.
    • Mix all the ingredients to make a dough.
    • Apply little oil to hand and make cylindrical rolls.


    • Take some water in the pan, bring it to boiling point and immerse these rolls(gatte) in boiling water and boil for 10 minutes or steam them.


    • Cut the rolls into small pieces & keep aside.
    • Take little ghee or oil in the pan and heat it; add mustard seeds, When they start to crackle add ginger,garlic,onion .Fry it till it gets slight brown.
    • Add capsicum fry it for 2 min ,add tomato,fry one min add the small pieces of rolls. mix them well.
    • Garnish with coriander and serve hot.

    To check whether the rolls are properly boiled or steamed, cut the roll if you see net like formation it is ready.

    this is my entry to pooja's VoW-bottle gourd