Monday, April 28, 2008

Bhel Puri Chowpati Style

I can't really remember the taste of bhel puri I ate at the Chowpati beach but I do remember detesting the beach because it was so filthy. Yet, I always associate bhel puri with Chowpati. This is a very simple "semi-homemade" (as in Sandra Lee's show) version. Its a deliciously healthy snack for a weekend evening with chai:)

The other place I associate with bhel is this really famous bhel stall in Kolhapur called "Rajabhau Bhel". The bhel here is simply mind blowing and you really get spicy when you ask for spicy. I am drooling even as I write about this place.

Again, credit goes to my mommy dearest for the excellent bhel puri she always made for us customized according to individual likes and dislikes. :D:D Also another crazy fan of this dish is my sis Rashmi, ensuring that this is regularly made no matter where she is. There is nothing great about this recipe here except putting the right things together. So it is really easy to make.

To start off with I use an instant bhel puri mix which contains puffed rice, papdi, sev and some other yummy stuff. This is a shortcut to the way my mom used to make it with bhadang from scratch and other stuff bought individually from the Gujarati store.

The above pic shows the chutneys I use for the bhel. The one on the left is a sweet/sour tamarind chutney. Now this can be bought in the store and it is called tamarind-date chutney. The homemade version I make is slightly different and its recipe is below. The one on the right is a mint, green chillies and cilantro chutney. You get this in store too but I made this one at home and recipe is below.

The above picture shows the rest of the ingredients.


  1. 1 packet bhel puri mix
  2. Cucumber - 2, chopped finely
  3. Red onion - 1, finely chopped
  4. Tomate - 1 large, finely chopped
  5. Raw Mango - 1/2, finely chopped and a few long slices for garnishing
  6. Cilantro - 1 bunch, finely chopped
  7. Tamarind chutney - 1 cup
  8. Mint/Cilantro Chutney - 1 cup
  9. Salt
  10. Red chilli powder
  11. Sev for garnish


  1. The bhel can be mixed in batches of 2- cups each. In one large bowls, take 2 cups of bhel mix.
  2. Add in as much of the cilantro, onions, tomatoes, cucumber and mango as desired (according to taste, I usually take less of onions and more of everything else).
  3. Add in salt, red chilli powder (I add lots of this to make it spicy), tamarind chutney (1-2 tsps), mint/cilantro chutney (1-2 tbsps) and mix everything thoroughly.
  4. Serve in smaller bowls and garnish with cilantro, mango slices, sev and green chillies:).

Tamarind Chutney Recipe:


  1. Tamarind - 2 inch ball
  2. 1 1/2 cup water
  3. Jaggery - 2 tbsps
  4. Salt
  5. Red chilli powder - 1/1 tsp
  6. Jeera - 1tsp, roughly powdered


  1. Soak tamarind in the water and extract all the pulp.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pulp and boil until it thickens into desired consistency.

Mint/Cilantro Chutney Recipe:


  1. Mint - 1 bunch
  2. Cilantro - 1 bunch
  3. Green chillies - 2,3
  4. Salt
  5. Ginger - 1 inch


  1. Grind the above into a soft paste with enough water to make the chutney into a runny consistency

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Alu Poha / Pohe

This is a very typical Maharashtrian snack/breakfast that is healthy and yummy. It is made from poha which is essentially flattened rice. Health freaks can also make this with brown poha which is high in fiber and olive oil and can skip the potato. This can also be relished with roasted peanuts and a raw green chilli for those who enjoy spice. I sometimes add ginger in the tadka but that is optional too. I do not have a pic for this yet simply because I never thought of posting this recipe assuming that it is something everyone would already know. This recipe is in response to a request from a special friend who remembers my mom making it and would love to have the recipe...;)...Good luck Vinitha!

  1. Thick poha - 2 cups
  2. Potato - 1 big or 2 small ones - Diced into thin slices about 1 inch long
  3. Onion - 1 small one - finely diced into slices - not chopped
  4. Ginger - 1 tsp chopped (optional)
  5. Tomato - 1 - chopped
  6. Vegetable oil - 1 tbsp
  7. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  8. Jeera - 1 tsp
  9. Green chillies - 2/3 finely chopped
  10. Curry leaves - 5/6
  11. Lemon - 1
  12. Salt
  13. Turmeric - 1/4th tsp
  14. Cilantro - 2 tbsps finely chopped
  1. Wash the poha in water and keep aside. Make sure you drain the excess water
  2. Heat oil and to it add the mustard seeds, jeera, turmeric, green chillies and curry leaves and let the mustard seeds sputter.
  3. Add the oinions and saute until golden brown.
  4. Saute the potato until soft and cooked.
  5. Add in the tomato and saute until cooked.
  6. Now add in the poha, which should be soft by now and salt and mix well.
  7. Let this steam until the smell of raw poha goes away.
  8. Sprinkle lemon juice, garnish with cilantro and enjoy hot!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Vepam Poo Pachadi

A belated happy tamil new year to all of you. I had fun this tamil new year because my in-laws were around and it was a proper family affair. I also had to cook less because we split up the dishes. I got Pushnika Sambhar, Vepampoo Pachchadi and Aama Vadai. The recipe of Aama Vadai I have already posted here. The pic above is from last year -

Vepam Poo Pachadi: This is a traditional tamilian dish made on new years day. It has all the tastes possible - bitter/sweet/sour/spicy and I guess the idea is to start your year with all these tastes including bitter which is a result of the neem flowers or vepam poo.


  1. Tamarind - 1 hand full
  2. Jaggery - 2 tsps
  3. Salt
  4. Dried red chillies - 2 or 3
  5. Gingelly oil - 1 tsp
  6. Rice flour - 1 1/2 tsp
  7. Neem flowers - 2 tsps
  8. Curry leaves - 4 or 5


  1. Soak tamarind in 1 1/2 cup of water and extract the pulp.
  2. Roast the neem flowers in a little spray of oil until brown. Let it cool and grind it roughly into a powder in a pestle and mortar or just using a spoon
  3. Heat gingelly oil and to it add mustard seeds, red chillies, curry leaves. Let the mustard seeds sputter and to it add the tamarind pulp and boil until the smell of raw tamarind goes away.
  4. Add the salt and jaggery to the boiling pulp and bring to a simmer.
  5. Mix the rice flour in 2 tbsps of water and add to the mixture above. Boil until the it reaches a thicker consistency and bring it off the stove.
  6. Mix in the crushed neem flowers and enjoy hot!

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Gudi Padwa Recipes - Neem Chutney, Amti, Cauliflower-Peas Sabji and Mango Rice

Gudi Padwa is coming up and this will my first one in the new house. I am looking forward to celebrating it grandly. There are some very typical recipes associated with the festival and will be posting there here soon:)

---- Follow up ( Pics will get added once I locate my camera charger)---------

Recipe 1 - Neem chutney

  1. Chana dal - 1 cup
  2. Green chillies
  3. Curry leaves - 4 or 5
  4. Dried red chillies - 2 or 3
  5. Tender neem leaves or neem flowers - 2 teaspoons
  6. Asafoetida - 2 pinches
  7. Salt
  8. Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
  9. Oil - 1 teaspoon
  10. Corriander leaves - handful

  1. Soak the chana dal overnight
  2. Grind the dal with green chillies, salt, corriander leaves
  3. Heat oil and put in mustard seeds, curry leaves and red chillies. Garnish chutney with this.
  4. I usually separate out a little chutney and add the tender neem leaves or fried neem flowers to it. The rest can be enjoyed without the bitterness.

Recipe 2 - Amti : Amti is a traditional maharashtrian dal which is a staple part of every meal.

  1. Toor dal - 2 cups
  2. Turmeric - 1 pinch
  3. Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
  4. Jeera - 1 teaspoon
  5. Oil - 1 tablespoon
  6. Amsol or Kokam - 3-4 (This is a very typical ingredients used in some Maharashtrian and Konkani dishes )
  7. Corriander leaves - handful, chopped
  8. Red chilli powder - 1/2 teaspoon
  9. Kala Masala - 1 teaspoon (This is again a very typical Marathi masala. I use the Joshi brand )
  10. Salt
  11. Asafoetida - 1 pinch


  1. Pressure cook the toor dal and keep aside.
  2. Heat oil in and add mustard seeds, jeera, turmeric, asafoetida and wait until the mustard sputters.
  3. Add the cooked toor dal, kokum, salt, chilli powder, kala masala and let the dal boil for 15 mins.
  4. Garnish with corriander and serve with hot rice!
Tips: Variations of this amti are yummy too - I love the addition of brinjal, drumsticks and my favourtie is the one with pressure cooked jackfruit seeds.

Recipe 3 - Cauliflower/Peas sabji : This is a very simple sabji that I make on a regular basis.


  1. Medium sized cauliflower - cut into small chunks
  2. Green chillies - 2 finely chopped
  3. Frozen peas - 1 cup
  4. Salt
  5. Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
  6. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  7. Jeera - 1 tsp
  8. Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
  9. Vegetable oil - 1 tsp


  1. Heat oil and add mustard seeds, jeera, turmeric, green chillies and let the mustard seeds sputter.
  2. Add the cauliflower and salt and saute until soft.
  3. Add peas and chilli powder and let it cook for 5 more mins.
  4. Garnish with lemon and corriander leaves.

Recipe 4 - Mango Rice (Chitranna): This is basically "lemon rice meets raw mango". A very simple yet delightful way of enjoying summer's arrival.

  1. Basmati rice - 1 cup (any rice is ok)
  2. Raw mango - 1, grated
  3. Lemons - 1 or 2
  4. Salt
  5. Green chillies - 2
  6. Red dried chillies - 2
  7. Curry leaves - 7 or 8
  8. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  9. Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
  10. Urad Dal - 1 tsp
  11. Chana Dal - 1 tsp
  12. Oil - 1 1/2 tsp


  1. Cook rice and keep aside. Make sure it is not over cooked and grains are separate.
  2. Heat oil and add mustard seeds, turmeric, green chillies, red chillies, curry leaves, urad dal and chana dal and stir fry until the urad dal turns golden brown.
  3. Add the cooked rice, grated mango and salt and let it steam.
  4. Take the rice off the stove and sprinkle lemon juice. Enjoy with raita!