Archive for January, 2007

Ginger Lime Pachak (Digestive)

Ginger-The wonder herb is widely used in Indian cooking.


The ‘horn’ shaped pungent rhizome adds a special invigorating flavour to many dishes and is one of the crucial ingredients for many home remedies.I guess the healing properties of ginger are quite well known to most of us. Alternative medicine recommends chewing a piece of ginger daily-‘A piece of Ginger a day keeps the doctor away’ 🙂

A small piece of crushed ginger added to my daily Chai (tea) –my mantra to kick start a long day ahead!

Or you can just pop up a piece of Sunthi (sun dried ginger pieces coated with salt)whenever required.This is available readymade in many stores here.


    Sunthi (sun dried ginger pieces coated with salt)

My Mom makes a fresh Pachak (digestive) from Fresh Ginger and Lime whenever anyone has any problem associated with digestion- poor appetite, indigestion, nausea,headache etc. I love the taste of this Pachak- pungent and tangy.


       Ginger,Lemon and Black Salt –Ingredients for the Pachak

So the next time you have any of these problems try this Ginger-Lime Pachak- my entry to Jihva for Ginger hosted by Rosie of What’s the Recipe TodayJim?’ 

1 tbsp fresh juicy Ginger peeled and grated

1 tbsp lime juice

Black salt as per taste(1-2 pinches)

Mix all the ingredients together.Wait till the ginger releases all the juice and it mixes nicely with the lime juice (a pinkish tinge will be observed for the Pachak), say about for half an hour.

I usually take about half tsp of this Pachak twice daily whenever I am suffering from any of the above mentioned digestive problems.This Pachak can stay for a week if refrigerated.Make this as and when required instead of storing it for long.


                         Ginger-Lime Pachak

January 31, 2007 at 9:52 am 9 comments

Makki di Roti-Sarson da Saag

The festival of Lohri was celebrated on 13th Jan. The traditional Lohri food Sarson da Saag and Makki di Roti is specially cooked for the main course on this day along with sweets and other delicacies. I learnt this mouthwatering duo -the Punjabi way from my Punjabi colleague. Whenever she brings this for lunch I swap my lunch box with her! Now I make it often specially for dinner coz it tastes better if the Roti and Saag are both piping hot. So here’s a typical Punjabi recipe (my friend’s) for Sarson da Saag and Makki di roti.


For the Sarson Saag 

1 big bunch Sarson leaves (mustard leaves)

1 bunch Spinach leaves

½ bunch Bathua leaves (Chenopodium album) (optional)

2 onions chopped

2 tomatoes chopped

4-5 garlic pods finely chopped

½ inch ginger piece crushed

½ tsp cumene seeds

2 tsp Makki flour (Cornmeal)

Salt to taste

1tsp butter for cooking and as much as you can have for topping

1 tsp oil

Roughly chop the cleaned, washed leaves of Sarson, Spinach (don’t remove spinach stalks) and Bathua. Pressure cook for ½ hour. Cool and coarsely puree in a food processor. In a pan heat 1 tsp butter and oil. Add cumene seeds,chopped garlic, crushed ginger and onion .Sauté till onions become translucent. Add chopped tomatoes and cook till they become tender. Add the Sarson puree and cook for almost 15 minutes .Add water if required. Add salt. Make a slurry of the Makki Flour in water and add to the saag.Cook for a few minutes. Serve piping hot with Makki Roti.

For the Makki Roti 

2 cups Makki Flour (cornmeal)

Lukewarm water

Salt to taste

Oil for cooking

Butter for topping

Add salt to the Makki flour. Knead into a dough by adding warm water. Divide into small balls. Pat each ball into a small round Roti between your palms, or make rotis by patting on a flat surface like you do for Bhakri, or on a plastic sheet taking care that the Roti is not too thin.Cook on a hot griddle brushing oil on both sides.Top with a spoonful of butter and serve hot with Sarson da Saag. 

For variation try adding fresh green Methi(fenugreek) leaves and chopped green chillies to the Makki dough.It tastes even better.This can be eaten like a paratha without the saag  with lotso butter!

January 19, 2007 at 4:14 pm 13 comments

Bhogichi Bhaji (mixed veg curry specially made for Bhogi)

Kites of different shapes ,sizes and colours dot the sky as the sun commences its journey towards the Northern Hemisphere (onset of Uttarayan).The harvest festival-Makar Sankranti/Pongal/Lohri was celebrated (is still being celebrated) in most parts of India with all the traditional festivities and feasts.

Last Saturday was Bhogi-the first day of Makar Sankrant. Traditionally Maharashtrians prepare a mixed vegetable curry with the vegetables that are available in this sesason –to counter the cold winter.This recipe has been passed on from my grandmother to my mom and from my mom to me. Many of these recipes will serve as a link between me and my grandmother, whom I recently lost. I have learnt many such traditional recipes from her -the legacy she has left behind for me amongst other things.

Here’s a traditional Bhogichi Bhaji recipe dedicated to my dearest granny. 


3 carrots peeled and diced

2 big potatoes peeled and diced

3-4 medium sized brinjals diced

½ cup fresh green chana/gram /Harbara (removed from the pods) or optionally fresh green peas

You can add any fresh vegetables available

1-1 ½ tsp green chilli paste (or crushed)

2 tsp roasted groundnut powder

2 tsp roasted sesame powder (roast the sesame and then powder)

Chopped fresh green coriander for garnishing

1 tsp lemon juice (optional)

½ tsp cumene seeds

½ tsp mustard seeds

¼ tsp turmeric powder

salt as per taste

2 tsp oil 

Heat oil in a pan.Do the tadka(cumene seeds,mustard seeds,turmeric powder).Add the green chilli paste. Add the veggies –potatoes,carrots, Harbara/Peas first. Add little salt and cook covered for a few minutes.Then add the brinjals and again cook covered till the veggies are soft (not mushy just soft). Add little water if required.Once the veggies are done add the sesame powder, groundnut powder mix nicely and cook uncovered for 1-2 minutes.

Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and lemon juice.Serve hot.

Traditionally this is served with Bajra –Sesame Bhakri. It tastes good with hot rotis too.


We sometimes add  ber or bor (Indian Jujube) the small sweet and sour variety to the curry after the vegetables have been cooked, stalks removed and washed thoroughly.I did not add since my little one would not remove the Ber seeds and eat! But it adding ber gives a special taste to the recipe. 

Happy Makar Sankranti/Pongal to all of you.

As they say here ‘Til Gul Ghya ani Goad Goad bola!’(Take Tilgul and speak sweetly-literal meaning)


   Tilgul (Seasme snaps,Seasme ladoos,sugar halwa)

Related recipes:Sakkar Pongal 

January 17, 2007 at 11:55 am 6 comments

Happy New Year

January 1, 2007 at 2:09 pm Leave a comment

Chocolate Samosa with Cappuccino cream

I happened to accidentally stumble on this recipe by Sanjeev Kapoor here while surfing the net.

I love chocolates and I had the ingredients in stock. I tried this recipe out of curiosity and it turned out to be something different and great. Frying the chocolate was something different!I halved the proportions in the original recipe for the samosa- i.e. the covering and the stuffing, since I was not sure how it would turn out to be. I made the Cappuccino sauce thicker than that mentioned in the original recipe. Also I tried 2-3 different shapes along with the triangular samosa shape. I found the karanji shape (half moon) shape easiest to make.

This is also my contribution to Nandita’s Weekend Breakfast Blogging-Christmas special WBB# 8

For the covering
Refined flour (maida) 1 cups
Ghee 1tbsp
Oil to deep fry
For stuffing
Dark chocolate 125 grams
Fresh cream ½  cup
For cappuccino cream sauce
Egg yolk 1
Sugar 5 tablespoons
Fresh cream 1 cup
Instant coffee powder 1 teaspoon
To serve
Pomegranate seeds to garnish

Sieve maida. Rub ghee into it and knead into a stiff dough using water as required. Keep covered with a damp cloth.
Mix grated chocolate and fresh cream and keep chilled in a refrigerator.


                      Chocolate stuffing

Divide dough into eight equal sized portions and roll out into oval shapes. Cut into half, fold into a cone and fill with chocolate stuffing. Seal and refrigerate.At this point I made different shapes! Be careful and seal the edges properly.The chocolate may run out from the samosa while happened with my first samosa!

To make cappuccino sauce, whisk egg yolk with sugar till fluffy.
Pour fresh cream into a pan and heat it gently. As it begins to boil, stir it into the egg mixture. Pour this back into the pan and cook on low heat, stirring continuously.
Add instant coffee powder and continue to cook till sauce coats the back of the spoon. Remove from heat and strain. Let cool if required, place in freezer to chill completely.



                     Cappuccino Cream
Heat sufficient oil in a kadai and deep fry samosas on medium heat till golden and crisp. Drain onto an absorbent paper.
Serve samosas with cappuccino cream sauce garnished with pomegranate seeds.



Wish you all a very Happy and Healthy 2007 blossoming with smiles, sunshine and happiness!

January 1, 2007 at 1:58 pm 4 comments

January 2007




Find my recipes at The Urban Spice


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