Kalakand has been one of those melt in the mouth sweet dishes that make you feel all warm and fuzzy. I made this one for Janmashtmi and it has been a hit among family and friends.

You shall need: [Time taken- 2.5 hours]

2 L Full cream Milk

3 tbsp lemon juice

60 gms sugar

1.5 tsp cardamom powder

20-25 soaked raisins- chopped

Chopped nuts

muslin cloth

Ghee greased tray/plate



  • Boil 1L milk in two bowls.[1L in each bowl]
  • With one we shall make paneer and with the other we need to reduce it to half.
  • The milk to be reduced in half should be on a medium slow heat.
  • To the milk for paneer, add a tsp at a time of lemon juice. We want to be cautious about adding the lemon because we do not want the paneer to be sour.
  • Once the milk solids separate, collect the paneer in muslin cloth and let it sit there for 20 min.
  • Once the milk to be halved has reached the desired level, add the sugar, raisins and cardamom powder.
  • Once the sugar is dissolved, add the paneer, little at a time and stir continuously.
  • Now after this point, you cannot really leave the mixture and loiter.
  • Watch it well and keep stirring it so that the mix does not stick to the bottom and burn.
  • So that we want to do here is remove the moisture as much as possible, we want to left with milk solids with a beautiful colour.
  • Once the liquid is evaporated, pour the contents on the greased plate and shape as desired.
  • Put the nuts on top and cover with a lid and put some weight on it. Any liquid that didn’t escape earlier shall find it’s way out.
  • Cut and serve.

kalakand (1)


  1. After adding the raisins, the colour of the kalakand shall change a bit. It will look very pale brown. Don’t get alarmed, this is the desired result.
  2. Your milk vessels must me very clean with no trace of soap.
  3. You may add some saffron to get the yellow tinge.

The entry is for The Urban Spice Sweet September Giveaway.



Moong Dal halwa – Ganesh Chaturthi Special #ganeshchatruthi

So Ganesh ji and I have always been friend’s of some sort. I have high respect for him and he makes sure I stay in line. Last year I made some Nariyal laddos so this year I wanted to serve the Lord something that I absolutely Love. Moong Dal halwa holds a very special place in my heart. It is that hearty, wintery and warming dish that reminds me of childhood.

However life goes on and we grow older; this is an ode to the Lord for all things great and the blessings that he bestowed on us. Thank you for being there.

You Shall need: Scantly adapted from Veg recipes of India- Time taken- Soaking [overnight] Cooking [2 hours]

2.5 cups Soaked dhuli moong dal

1.5 cup ghee

3 cup milk

1-3/4 cup sugar – We dont like it sickly sweet hence reduced quantities.

1.5 tsp Cardamom powder – elaichi powder

1/4 cup water

Non stick pan




  • Grind the dal in a mixer to a course paste using the water as scant as possible.
  • Remove to contents from the jar using a spatula or a spoon as deem fit.
  • heat the ghee in a non stick pan on a medium low heat.
  • Add the moong dal mix.
  • Stir it well until the ghee is combined, it will take a few minutes.

halwa1 (1)

  • Let the flame be on medium low and stir as frequently as possible so that the mix does not stick to the pan and cook unevenly.
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Processed with VSCOcam with g3 preset
  • This will make sure you make a few trips to the kitchen every now and then.
  • The mark of cooked mix is that the ghee will float on top.
  • Don’t be shy and let it brown.

halwa2 (1)

  • You might feel the ghee is too much as this point, I even took out 3/4 cup of the ghee. But trust me the halwa needs this.
  • Heat the milk and sugar with cardamom until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Once the dal is browning nicely, you may add the milk.
  • Stir and cook until the milk is absorbed. Once the milk was absorbed, I added the ghee back little at a time.

halwa3 (1)

  • Let the halwa brown to the colour that you prefer.
  • Serve with love.
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Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset


  1. Do not worry about the dal when it looks like sand after browning- before adding the milk. it is just fine
  2. You may add a few tbsp more sugar if you have a sweet-er tooth
  3. Recipe can be easily halved or doubled.
  4. Be careful with hot ghee, it can cause serious burns.
  5. Keep an eye on the halwa as frequently as possible so avoid uneven browning.
  6. Stir continuously after adding the milk to avoid lumpy mix.
  7. Always cook this halwa on medium-low heat only.
  8. The mix shall bubble a lot, don’t worry. :)

The entry is for The Urban Spice Sweet September Giveaway.



Sprouts and Barley Flour Pancakes / Bajre ka Pooda

Poodas or savory pancakes are our go to breakfast after long walks. They are easy to put together and very healthy. A Pooda is basically a mix of flours, spices and water. When I was younger, mum used to make these with besan/chick pea flour, onion and green chilly. However I out-lived my love for them and had stopped eating them for good 10 years. Recently my mother in law made the most soft and delicious poodas with wheat flour. Since then there is no looking back, I am hooked with flours like bajra [pearl millet], ragi [finger millet], jowar [white millet], singhada [chestnut].

So here is one of the versions of many that we make now :)

You shall need: [Serves 4]

1/2 cup Wheat flour

200 gms steamed and mashed sprouts- I used moong sprouts. Put them in a cooker with 1/4 cup water and it shall becomes soft in 2 whistles. Mash using a spoon or fork.]

1/2 cup Bajra Flour

1/4 cup Rice flour


2 green chillies- chopped fine


Red chilly powder

1/8 cup chopped corriander



Non stick pan



  • Mix the flours, corriander and spices.
  • Add 1.2 cup water and mix, now add the sprouts mash.
  • Add more water and mix.
  • The batter should be of a pouring consistency.
  • Heat a pan, add few drops of oil.
  • Pour a ladleful of the batter on the pan and spread evenly.
  • Cook it well on a medium heat.
  • Once the lower part darkens, flip gently and continue cooking.
  • Repeat the process until the batter is done.

pooda2 (1) pooda1 (1)



2 green

Many Layer cake/Tree cake

Some days you see a picture and it stays in your mind. This picture then wants you to move ahead and give your best shot at achieving it. For me it was the picture I saw on SBS.com. This cake is a work of art and has so many delicate steps that the time at hand seems less. 2.5 hours to achieve the symmetrical layers is no joke. It is sheer love.

You shall need [Recipe adapted from SBS.com]

10 egg yolks
1.5 cups caster sugar
250 g butter, plus extra, melted (optional)
2 tsp natural vanilla extract
8 egg whites
1½ cups plain flour, sifted
3 tbsp cocoa powder mixed with 3 tbsp warm water


  • In a bowl, add the egg yolks and 1/2 cup of sugar. Beat it till it is nice fluffy and frothy.
  • In another bowl, beat the butter and 3/4 cup of sugar until it is pale and fluffy. Add in the vanilla and mix well.
  • Now in a large dry bowl, whisk the egg whites till they form stiff peaks.
  • Add the remaining sugar to the whites and mix gently.
  • Mix the egg yolk and butter mix. Fold in the sifter flour.
  • Now take a little of the whites and mix in the yolk, butter and flour mixture.
  • Now pour all the yolk mix in the whites bowl and fold it through without knocking out much air.
  • Divide the batter in two equal halves. I used 1/2 a cup measure to equally distribute.
  • Mix the cocoa and water mix in one of the batter.
  • Pre heat an oven to 160C.
  • Grease a springform pan and add a layer of butter paper/parchment paper on the bottom. [I used a 7″ pan]
  • Now pour 1/3 cup of the vanilla batter and swirl the tin to spread evenly.
  • Bake for 12 min or until the sponge springs back at you.
  • Take it out and put 1/3 cup of the batter and repeat the process.
  • Keep a brush and melted butter at hand to grease the edges each time before adding another layer. This will make sure the cake comes out clean.
  • Once the last layer is baked, insert a skewer in the center and confirm the done-ness.

Multi layer cake2 (1)

  • Let it cool to touch and remove from the pan.

Multi layer cake 4

  • Cut and serve with love.

Multi layer cake 1 (1)



Restaurant Review: Pizza Express- Powai #RnMOnAskMe

What do you do when your friends are coming back to town after a year stint abroad, you eat pizza. :) We had not been to Pizza Express and after hearing the awesome reviews, there was no reason to wait.

I had the Ask me app downloaded on the phone. All we had to do was a quick search based on location and the intuitive search shall yield results.

askme2 askme1

The location of choice was Powai and the place to eat was Pizza Express. A classy, upscale pizzeria with an attitude to match with the pizza quality. However please note that this place is not ONLY into pizzas, they make kick ass pastas, desserts and appetizers as well.

The menu is extensive and for pizzas we have two crust choices: Romana and Classic. Romana is Thinner, bigger and crispier.

Here is what we ordered:

Verdure in the Romana Crust- Verdure is one of their best selling pizzas. It is made with char-grilled veggies, Grilled tomato, mozzarella and pesto as the base. The best thing about this one is the sweetness of the peppers and zucchini on that gorgeous crust. We loved it so much that we had to order two of these. ;) The loaded pizza has all the good things in life <3

pizza exp 2 (1)

Quattra Formaggi in the classic crust- This classic four cheese pizza. Mozzarella, gorgonzola, emilgrana and fontal make this oozy gooey pizza. The crust to topping ratio is fabulous. This 8 piece pizza shall happily satiate the cheesy lovers.

pizza exp 3 (1)

Dough Balls- This was one of the specials they had, dough balls risen to perfection and served with pesto, soft butter and sun dried capsicum sauce. Yumm yumm yummm…. The gorgeous and generous olive oil in the sauces get soaked in the warm dough balls. It was absolutely beautiful. We wiped the plate clean in 5 minutes.

pizza exp 1 (1)

Pasta Siciliana- This one was to die for as well. The spicy eggplant, basil, tomato, chilly and baby mozzarella wrap the penne pasta with perfection. The spice level  was not too high  as well. I had never tried eggplant with pasta before and trust me it could not have been better. The eggplant breaks down and makes a wonderful compliment to the tomato. Thankfully the dish is not acidic at all because tomatoes do that to the pasta. Sorry for now putting up a pic, we were just in a hurry to gobble it up :)

Tropical Mocktail- Watermelon, mint and lemon is a basic mix that we make at home as well. So there was nothing more happening in this one.

They serve gorgeous desserts as well. We didnt get to try it but I hear the banoffee pie is to die for. They also have a dessert platter with cheesecake, fudge cake and tiramisu.

My only regret would be that they didn’t have salads. What kind of Italian pizzeria does not have salads? It was really shocking as we had gone there for lunch and it was a weekend too. They should have been well stocked [at all times in the real world] .

So here is my rating:

Ambiance- 4/5

Food- 4/5


G-14, A-Wing Ventura, Hiranandani Business Park, Powai, Mumbai, Maharashtra 400076
Phone:022 6166 9088
‘I’m participating in the #RnMOnAskMe activity at BlogAdda.

Paneer Methi Paratha – Cottage Cheese Fenugreek Leaves Flatbread

My earliest memories of food have been with Parathas, All sorts, aalu, mooli, gobhi, paneer, missi roti, dal paratha, leftovers paratha… Oh so many.

Most of the lunches at school were parathas too. :) Here is my fav version.

Paneer and Methi :)

You shall need: [serves 1]

75 gms crumbled Paneer [put the paneer on a cloth and let the excess water come off]

1/3 cup finely chopped Methi leaves/Fenugreek leaves

Salt to taste

1 tsp coarse Anardana powder

1 tsp lemon juice

Chilly powder to taste

1/2 tsp dhaniya powder

1/2 tsp roasted jeera powder

Paratha dough [wheat flour kneaded with oil, salt and water to a nice and tight consistency. let it rest for 20 min]




Dry flour

Rolling board and pin [chakla belan]

Tava [flat griddle]


  1. In a bowl, mix the paneer, methi, salt, chilly powder, lemon juice, salt and anardana powder.
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Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset
  1. Take a golf size ball of the dough. Roll it using some flour.
  2. Apply some ghee in the center and place half of the paneer mix on it.
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Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset
  1. Wrap it in a parcel and roll it again.
  2. Heat the tava and add few drops of oil on it.
  3. Place the paratha on it and cook it on both sides.
  4. Add little oil as need be.
  5. Be sure to cook the paratha on medium flame.
  6. Serve with love
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Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset



Herb Crusted Paneer [Without bread crumbs]

All these food shows on TV show some version of crusts being used on different ingredients. What has been stopping people to use different things to make the crust – other than Bread crumbs.

To be fair this was not the first thought that came to me :P. I was out of bread crumbs and was too lazy to make fresh one. So I googled “Crust without breadcrumbs”; all the results were telling me was “How to make breadcrumbs”. So I thought lets atleast read a recipe and then decide how to tweak it.

First thought for the base came to me was salted peanuts. Second thought was blanched almonds. Third was rolled oats – coarsely chopped. And I promise the final one was Wheat/oat bran. So I used the bran for this recipe because there was a box that was just lying around :P. I have been using this bran in chapatis and parathas but since husband didnt really like it, I use it only for mine.

Let us get to making this gorgeous paneer. :)

You shall need: [ serves 1]

75 gms paneer [2 chunks/slices of the size that you like]

4 tbsp oat bran

3 tbsp chopped fresh herbs [ I used corriander, Basil and mint]

1/2 tsp Salt

1/4 tsp red chilly flakes

1/4 tsp lemon juice

1/4 cup milk


Shallow non stick pan


Two small plates/shallow bowls


  • Mix the bran, herbs, lemon juice, flakes and salt in one plate.
  • Pour the milk in another plate.
  • Cut the paneer in the slab of the size that you like.
  • Dip the paneer in milk, on both side.
  • Move it to the bran herb mix.
  • Cover it generously and press some mix on it lightly ,as well.
  • Heat the pan on a medium low heat until it is nice and hot.
  • Add few drops of oil. Once it is hot enough, lower the paneer in the pan and let it stand there for a few min. Do not move it to check.

crusted paneer1 (1)

  • Once you can see brown edges, add a few drops of oil on the uncooked side and flip it gently.
  • Press it gently to make sure the crust cooks well on the other side as well.
  • Transfer on serving dish and serve with a lemon.

I ate it with a methi roti and added a tsp of cheese spread on it, turning the paneer and roti into a burrito-ish.


  1. Next time I will like to add a few nuts to the bran as well.
  2. In case you do not have fresh herbs, go ahead and use the dried ones- but fresh ones are more preferred. :)
  3. Adding more oil is not necessary, trust me. Your pan needs to be good, though.
  4. Adding a few drops of milk on the crust [while adding the crust on top of the paneer] will make sure it sticks well.

crusted paneer2 (2)

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Processed with VSCOcam with p5 preset



Pear Salad with Sweet lime/Mausambi Juice dressing

What a party in my mouth this one was <3 This healthy salad has very less oil and is gorgeous to serve and even travels well [pack the vinaigrette separate]. :)

You shall need: [serves 1]

100 gms Salad leaves of your choice [Personally I love a mix but yesterday I had only iceburg] – tear it up

1/4 cup Pomegranate Seeds

1 medium size pear [peel and chopped]

Juice  of 1 Sweet lime/Mausambi

1 tsp Lemon juice

1/4 tsp Red chilly flakes

1/2 tsp Olive oil

1 tsp Fennel seeds

Salt to taste


  • In a small bottle, add the sweet lime juice, lemon juice, flakes, salt and fennel seeds.
  • Shake it well and  keep in the fridge – This one can stay for upto 3 days in the fridge in an airtight container
  • On a bowl, put the salad leaves, pear and pomegranate. Sprinkle dressing as need be and devour with love.
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Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset



Healthy Broken Wheat/Daliya Snack

So you are sitting in the living room and staring at the gorgeous stuff that people that people click with their magical little boxes called camera. While you can sit there and feel about you not having the patience to do the same or you can work your magic in creating something you are proud of you.

I am of the latter kind. While I feel terrible at times for not paying enough attention to these details like presentation and story telling. So is it the ingredient that keeps me going, YES. I am a loyalist when it comes to food habits. I have always been a fan of the broken wheat/bulgur. My healthy eating days are here to stay so I have been giving this gorgeous ingredient a spin of all kinds.

You shall need: [Makes about 20 small balls]

1/2 cup broken wheat

3 cup water

1/4 cup chopped fresh corriander leaves

2 tbsp bajra/jowar/ragi/besan/while wheat flour [I used Bajra Flour]

Salt and red chilly powder

juice of half a lemon


Peniyaram pan/non stick pan




kitchen towel



  • Wash the broken wheat 2-3 times.
  • Soak it in 1 cup water for 20-30 min.
  • Bring 2 cup water to a simmer and add the broken wheat [minus the soaking water]
  • Reduce the flame to medium and stir using a fork occasionally.
  •  Once it cooks, it will be double in volume and the water will almost be gone. – say 12-15 min or so
  • Put the wheat in a strainer to get rid of extra moisture.
  • Cover the strainer with a tea towel. Stir it with fork a few times till this cools.
  • Move the wheat to a bowl once it is cool to touch.
  • Add the flour, salt, corriander, lemon juice and red chilly powder. Taste to adjust the spice.
  • Heat the pan and add a drop of oil in each slot.
  • Using a spoon, scoop the mix and make tiny balls of it.
  • Put these in the pan and let them brown well on all sides.
  • Once done, serve with love.
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Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset



Instant Ragi and oats Dosa

The frantic rush to fix a breakfast gets to me sometimes. But then missing ingredients also has the same effect. I wanted to eat rava dosa but there was no rice flour :(

Hence look around and find what all is available, do a quick calculation in the  head and voila breakfast is ready.

So why should we eat ragi? Here are top 5 reasons:

  • Controls Blood sugar
  • Assists in weight loss
  • Relaxes muscles
  • Fights Anemia
  • Great source for Proteins

And why should we eat Oats? Here are top 5 reasons:

  • Enhances Immune response
  • Acts as a natural laxative
  • Reduces risk of cardio vascular disease
  • Controls Blood pressure
  • Lowers Bad cholesterol

You shall need: [Feeds 4]

3/4 cup Ragi Flour

1/3 cup Whole wheat flour

1/3 cup Fine bulgar/daliya

1/2 cup oats – measure first then whiz them in a mixer to make a powder.

1 medium onion chopped finely

2 green chillies finely shopped

2 cup buttermilk [I used about 100 ml of Amul spiced butter milk as well] – mix 4-5 tbsp of curd with 1.5 cups of water

Salt and pepper to taste


Non stick pan





  • In a bowl, mix all the dry ingredients.
  • Mix using the whisk.
  • Add the onions and green chilly.
  • Pour the butter milk in the mix. We want a runny mix, like that of the rava dosa/crepe.
  • Keep it aside for 5-10 minutes.
  • In case the mix looks thick, add little water to get it to the consistency we want.
  • Heat a non stick pan and put 2-3 drops of oil on it.
  • Pour a ladle-ful of the mix on it. Flatten it well.
  • Flip it using the spatula.
  • Cook well on the other side as well.
  • Serve hot with your favourite chutney.

dosa ragi1

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Processed with VSCOcam with m5 preset