Month: October 2010

Chicken Lasagna

Chicken Lasagna

I’ve never gone for cooking classes, my cooking is all what I learnt at home seeing my mom, MIL, and friends cook. I know my limitations and hence never come out of a restaurant thinking how I can make this dish at home! I cannot follow cookbook recipes – the dishes are a disaster; so I avoid them and prefer if someone can show/narrate it to me.

For a few months we were lucky to have a cook who knew a bit of continental cooking. I wrote down a couple of pasta and lasagna recipes from her. Yesterday, I decided to attempt the lasagna. It was my first attempt at non-Indian & non-Chinese cooking and I think it turned out fine:-)

So here it goes:

Lasagna Strips:

Get the readymade lasagna strips from any supermarket in town and boil 6 of them in water for 7-8 minutes. Lay them separately in a plate so that they do not stick to each other.

  Chicken Mince Stuffing:

Heat olive oil in a pan, add 3 finely chopped onions and sauté till onions are pink. Then add 5-6 piece of garlic cloves and sauté for another 2-3 minutes. Add ½ kg of chicken mince and mix well. Let the mince cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add chili flakes, oregano and dry parsley leaves. Mix well, add salt to taste and let the mince cook on medium flame (approx15-20mins). Once it is done, add 1-2 table spoons of tomato paste or tomato puree and mix well. Let it cook for another 10 minutes on slow flame.

White Sauce

Heat 1 ½ tablespoon of butter in a small vessel, add 1 ½ table spoon of maida (Wheat Flour) and stir well. The mixture should stay in liquid state. Then close the stove, let it cool down a bit and then add cold milk, shredded mozzarella cheese, salt and pepper. Mix well to form thick white sauce

Lasagna Layering

Take a flat casserole, apply olive oil. Place 2 strip of lasagna, add mince stuffing, add white sauce. Then again repeat this layering. Lay the final 2 strips on the top, add lots of mozerella cheese on the final lasagna strips and then bake the casserole in the oven for 10-12 minutes at high temperature.

Your hot steaming lasagna is ready in less than an hour!

Recipe: Misal Paav

When you grow up in Mumbai there are 2 things that become your absolute favourites – Vada Paav and Misal. If a person claims to be a true Mumbaiite and has not heard about these two items, be rest assured he/she will get condescending looks from the rest!

 If you wish to have the best Misal in Mumbai you must visit the Dadar area and head over to “Prakash” or “Aaswad” hotels in Shivaji Park area. They have been there for ages and are the typical Maharashtrian food joints you must visit to enjoy the authentic taste. But if you are not able to visit these places, do visit Sango’s Kitchen in Dubai or my mom’s home in Worli, just give 2 days advance notice please.

Misal originated from the other side of the Sahayadri Mountains, famously known as the “GHAT” or “DESH”. My mom’s side is from the Ghats while my papa’s family is from the Konkan side. My grandmother, an excellent cook herself passed on this amazing recipe to her daughter which has come to me. So here goes the next one in the list of “patented” recipes :

Misal Paav
Following combination serves 4 plates (I cannot say 4 people because it depends on how many plates one can have:-))

a) Matki Usal

  • Matki  – 1 cup soaked
  • Green Chillies – 2-3 finely chopped
  • Mustard Seeds – 1 tea spoon
  • Asafoetida – 1/2 tea spoon
  • Onion – 1 medium-sized finely chopped
  • Ginger-Garlic Paste – 1 tea spoon
  • Turmeric Powder – 1 tea spoon
  • Red Chilly Powder – 2-3 table spoons
  • Salt – To Taste
  • Tamarind-Jaggery Mix – 1-2 table spoons
  • Goda Masala – ! table spoon
  • Coriander Leaves – finely chopped
  • Lemon

Soak one cup matki pulse to sprout. Matki takes atleast 2 days to sprout well. Soak overnight in water. Then remove all the water, wrap it in a cloth and leave it in refrigerator for one more day, even if you leave it in a vessel it will sprout.

Heat oil – 2 tb sp in a pressure pan. Add mustard seeds and asafoetida. Add 2-3 finely chopped green chillies. Stir for 1-2 minutes. Add the onion. Once the onion turns light brown add turmeric powder and ginger-garlic paste. Stir well for 2-3 minutes. Add red chilly powder. Add salt to taste. Boil the mixture in a pressure pan until 2 whistles. Let it cool then add ‘goda masala’. (This is readily available in all shops in mumbai, if not search for “misal masala” in any Indian store and that will do to)
Boil the mixture and add the tamarind-jaggery water (Soak tamarind and jaggery in 2-3 tablespoons of water for 10-15 mins)
Bring to boil for 5 mins. Matki usal is ready

b) Potato Vegetable


  • Potatoes – 3 medium sized
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tea spoon
  • Asafoetida – , ½ tea sp.
  • Curry leaves – 5-6
  • Green Chillies – 3-4 finely chopped
  • Turmeric Powder – 1 tea spoon
  • Salt – To taste

Boil the potatoes. Heat oil in kadhai/vessel. Add mustard seeds, asafoetida, curry leaves, green chillies and turmeric powder. Cut the boiled potatoes in small pieces and add to the above seasoning in the kadhai. Add salt to taste, sugar and lemon juice. Stir well till it cooks.


c) Farsan
Pick a packet that is readily available in all stores.

Take a plate, first place the potato vegetable , then add the matki usal to it, then add the farsan (as much as you like), add chopped onions, chopped coriander leaves, and add little lemon. Serve hot. You may also eat this along with same bun bread as the one used for vada paav or have it plain. You can also have it with curd and then it is known as “Dahi Misal”


Enjoy and do let me know how it turns out!

Recipe: Bread Poha

Have you ever given it a thought that mothers ought to be given the award for being the best inventors. The reason is the food items they come up with so as to ensure their kids have some novelty to look forward to in their meal items every time. Tough task on hand but they make it look so easy. 

I loved restaurant food as a kid and was very finicky at home with regards to my eating habits. How my mom managed to please me every time with homemade stuff only she knows and which is why in my books she is a genius.

Tandalachi Bhakri was presented as Butter Naan; I hated leafy vegetables so off they went into cutlets and parathas. I get bored easily, so chicken curries underwent a million modifications to make them look different everytime. Phew! Thanks to her I’ll be better prepared if my little one turns out as finicky as I was!

I will share her “patented” recipes through this section. Let’s begin with a quick single.

Bread is a must have item in our kitchens –especially for women who start their cooking heroics after marriage or are too tired to make the effort to make rotis (I’m tired all the time). Not the best substitute for rotis but we can live with it. Bread is also a relief when deciding breakfast items – quick sandwiches make the best breakfast when you have come dead tired the previous night!
But how often have you got bored with the routine bread stuff and wished you could innovate with it and make a tasty quick dish. Presenting my mom’s bread poha

8-10 Slices of bread
1 tomato medium-sized
1 onion medium-sized
6-7 curry leaves
2-3 green chillies
Mustard Seeds – 1 tea spoon
Cumin Seeds – 1 tea spoon
Asafoetida – 1/4 th tea spoon
Turmeric powder – 1 tes spoon
Salt – To taste
Sugar – 1/2 tea spoon
Lemon Juice – 1 tea spoon
Oil – 1 table spoon
Coriander Leaves – 6-7 sticks

Heat oil in a pan , add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida and finely chopped onion. Sauté well till light brown, add finely chopped tomato and sauté till the tomato cooks well, add finely chopped green chillies, curry leaves,turmeric powder, sugar, salt and lemon juice. Add a couple of tablespoons of water to mix the masala well.
Chop the bread slices into small pieces. You can just break the slices into pieces by hand no need to use a knife. Add these uneven pieces to the above masala and mix well.
Stir well for 3-4 mins and then garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.
A yummy breakfast is ready in 10-12 mins max!

Recipe: Thalipith


I have often mentioned on this blog that I love cooking but hate spending too much time in the kitchen. This was ingrained in me since childhood as I observed my mother – a working woman and a fantastic cook. So through this space  will share some quick fix recipes for snacks and main course.


We all rave about everything homemade – spend time and effort in getting things right when some of them might be readily available in the market and could save you truckloads of time in the kitchen. My mother is not too fond of food items in stores but she is also a practical woman. She does not shy away from trying the new instant world that is hitting our generation. If the items available are of good quality from reliable source and could save her time in the kitchen, she will definitely give it a shot. The two things she has got used to is readymade Idli-Dosa Dough and Thalipith Bhajni. I share her quick recipe for thalipith.


(Image courtsey:


Ask any Maharastrian about thalipit and I guarantee that their mouth will water at the mere mention of that word. Not only is it a tasty dish but it is an extremely healthy one too. The Bhajni or flour is a mixture of different flours-  rice, wheat,bajra,besan and ground pulses.

This fine mixture is readily available in stores and I suggest you pick yours from Sarvodaya stores on Ranade Road in Dadar,Mumbai. I carry 6-7 250 gm packets on my bi-annual trips from India that suffice me for 3-4 months till then next lot arrives. So here goes the recipe for this awesome quick snack – serves as tea-time snack or a nice healthy breakfast.


Talipith Bhajni -  250 gms
Green chillies  – 3-4
Onion – 1 medium size
Salt – To taste
Red chilly powder – 1 tea spoon
Coriander leaves – 10-12 stalks
Turmeric – ½ tea spoon

If you wish to make it more healthy – you can add methi/palak/carrot shredded/cabbage shredded etc



Add the following ingredients to the Bhajni- Green chillies finely chopped, Turmeric powder, Onion finely chopped, Salt, Red Chilly powder, Coriander leaves finely chopped.
Add water to the mixture and knead the dough like chapatti – but keep the mixture moist.
Take a pan – apply drop of oil and pat the ball of the mixture flat with your palm- giving round shape like a roti. Pour little oil from the sides, keep it on medium flame and let it cook till it becomes light brown – then flip the side and cook it for 3-4 mins till the other side  turns light brown. To make the second one – take the pan and turn it reverse and hold the bottom of the pan under cold water. The pan will cool down immediately and you can repeat the above process again. Add ghee/ butter on the Thalipith and serve with curd.


My mom makes the pancake on a piece of muslin cloth and slides it delicately onto the pan – I could never manage that – hence figured out the above way thanks to a friend. Those who are artistically challenged as I’m can go my way; the rest are welcome to use my mom’s method.


Circa – 1989 India Vs Pakistan.

The little boy wonder, all of 16 at the crease in Sialkot – final test – India looking to seek a draw. Knocked out by a bouncer, shirt full of blood, refused medical assistance and hit a solid 57. In the process along with Sidhu, helped India draw a series and not lose to Pakistan in Pakistan – that was as good as victory. When millions of Indians saw him take field on 15Nov1989 – he gave them hope that he would be the spine of Indian Batting in the years to come.


Circa 1996 – India Vs England – 2nd Test

Two men all of 23 took centre stage after Sidhu walked out of the tour and Manjrekar suffered an injury. One got a century on debut treating us to the best offside display we would ever see and the other almost got a century; but his knock of 95 gave us the assurance that Indian middle order would be well taken care of by this technically sound and compact player. These 2 gave us hope that the little boy wonder would be ably supported.


Circa 1996 – India Vs South Africa Ahmedabad

On what was possibly the worst test wicket , a young man of 22 held fort in the 2nd innings to make 51 on debut in a team score of 190. All silken grace , making you wonder if Azhar had come out to bat  wearing a mask. Later in the years, he would refuse to be changed to a make-shift opener, would go back to domestic cricket and score only double and triple hundreds to force the selectors to consider him for his middle-order spot. He would earn it and then in Kolkata 2001 ensure that his name would always be carved in Indian Cricket’s Hall of Fame. He gave us hope that in him we would have a man for crisis even after the above 3 had given way.


India’s fabulous and almost legendary middle order took birth in the late 90s. These men made their mark in their debut tests and have served the team for well over 10 years together. Together they were our hope for a better future of Indian cricket.


Their legacy will be tough to follow but Vijay ( 87 on debut Vs SL in 2009), Raina (120 on debut  Vs SL in 2010)  and Pujara ( 72 on debut Vs Aus in 2010) have given me hope that the famous Indian Middle Order may well be passed into good hands.


Too early to judge you may say, but what I’ve noticed is the positive attitude, and attitude is what counts most in this game. Pujara could’ve well been down and out after a nasty delivery in the first innings but I loved the way the bloke sized his opportunity and came out looking positive in the 2nd innings. Aware of the fact that he may well be sitting out against NZ when Laxman recovers, he still made most of what came his way and did justice to his captain’s faith. Apparently he is touted as the lad to take the baton from Dravid, and today as he took the Wall’s famous 1-down spot, he showed he would be ready when it finally comes his way.


They all are young blokes under 25 and the best part is that they get to grow under the shadow of the Fab 3. What better way to learn than from the masters themselves. Vijay, Raina and Pujara have all got partnerships with GOD himself and that itself would’ve been a huge learning for them . Waiting in the wings is Virat Kohli who has impressed me with his run in the ODIs. Rohit Sharma is another talented bloke.


Yes they need to be tested on foreign waters and they will have their failures. The Fab 4 went through tough tests too and came out fine. We stuck by them, we believed in them. The generation I grew up watching will soon fade away in a couple of years and it’s a thought that scares me no end. Until a year ago I kept wondering who would carry their legacy forward but the last one year is giving me hope – hope that with a few hiccups these young blokes should be able to manage fine.


Hope is what the world survives on and hope is what drives us. It is a different era and different generation, the cast is changing but somewhere the heart and mind seem to agree that the results we will get will still be the same. Time to sit back and enjoy the journey of the next generation of Fab 4.


Welcome aboard!

Swiss Chronicles – Interlaken

This post was selected for Blogadda’s Tangy Tuesday Picks

Interlaken is the hidden treasure in Swissland – 2 lakes, the tallest mountain peak and waterfalls! You get to see it all in this little town and when you visit these sites you know God must’ve spent a lot of time designing this nature’s wonder.

We landed late in the afternoon from Zermatt and just about managed to catch the last boat ride on Lake Thunsee. Interlaken separates Lake Brienz and Lake Thun – it is the joint connecting these two.

The best part of taking a Eurail Pass is you get these extra benefits – free boat rides & discounted fares on routes not part of the Eurail Network – all first class. You get treated royally with food and drinks served at your seat. The mood is set and you land up having the amazing ice-creams this place has to offer and the even more yummy sorbet:-) A few pics from our cruise and don’t miss the yummy Mango Sorbet –sluuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrppp

DSC02296 DSC02310 DSC02321 DSC02322 DSC02329 DSC02330

The next day we set out on our journey to the Top of Europe – Jhungfraujoch. This place is the highest railway station in Europe – 11000+ ft above sea-level. For 50% of the journey upwards from Klein Scheidegg to Jhungfraujoch is within a tunnel in the Alps. When you view the route from outside you cannot figure out the tunnel path – it has been built without disturbing any of the site! This railway line – the JhungfrauBahn will complete 100 years of operation in 2012, as you step out on the intermediate stations to enjoy the view below- you cannot help but take a bow to the inventors and the engineers of this wonder!

Once you step out you step into snow! It’s only white all over and all around. They have built restaurants and shops at 11000+ ft – how don’t ask me! There is a Bollywood restaurant here too – boy have we arrived;-) They have built ice caves which host ice sculptures of igloos , Eskimos,penguins etc. You keep wondering if you ever want to leave but then the minus 0 temperature hits you and you know you are better off in the warm world below. Don’t miss this place for the world if you ever visit Switzerland.

DSC02349 DSC02361 DSC02362 DSC02365 DSC02371 DSC02377 DSC02385 DSC02387 DSC02394 DSC02403

You can reach Jhungfraujoch from Interlaken Ost via Grindelwald or Lauterbrunnen. We went up via Grindelwald and came down via Lauterbrunnen as we could not have ended our Swiss Nature trip without a visit to the Trummelbach Falls. There are 10 waterfalls located in this World Heritage Site which drain the water from three peaks in the Alps including the Jhungfraujoch.

The falls can be accessed via a tunnel lift and as you traverse through the ten points you begin to feel that you have lost your hearing cause the sound of the water gushing down is deafening. Although safe to walk through, if you are as paranoid about water as I’m, you can’t help but think – what if I slip and fall – how will I be saved! MDH on the other hand was thinking how can I own a house in the midst of these falls! Sigh! The last leg of our nature trip – another nature’s wonder to witness – I think I’m done for now with my share of witnessing God’s creations:-)

DSC02419 DSC02424DSC02422  DSC02425 DSC02429 DSC02434 DSC02446 DSC02447

More in the series here:

  1. Zurich
  2. Rhine Falls
  3. Mt. Titlis
  4. Lucerne
  5. Mt. Pilatus
  6. Zermatt -Matterhorn
  7. European Oddities

The True Hero of the CWG Games

The True Hero is the faceless Indian as Anuradha Bakshi points in her blogpost  ‘Salute-them-we-must’

Must Read for every Indian.

We sit in our plush offices, our fancy cars and houses and criticize out loud when the media hypes CWG disasters. We forget the people who worked at a price that you pay for your coffee at Barista and Starbucks and in conditions where you would never step into.

We crib about our government’s shortcomings and forget to pay our respect to the labourers who toiled hard to make these games a success.

In our constant comparison to the western world – we forget, we forget to appreciate the efforts that have gone in this event from people who will never get any recognition forget rewards.

Therefore, take a moment from your busy lives and salute these wonderful people – that’s the least we can do for them.



A New Abode

Time to begin something new. From the rented home to self-owned.

Lots of posts held up as I was doing up this new place or rather this awesome gal who helped me decorate it! Suja what would I’ve done without you!

This is my space – my crazy world. Welcome.

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén