Monday, 20 April 2015


Tomorrow is Akshay Tritiya, a holy day for Hindus. I had already explained about Akshay Tritiya in my last year's post of Dudhi Halwa. As it is said, that Akshay Tritiya is a good time to purchase gold, experts had a different view published in Economic times. Low inflation and rising interest rates are bad news for the metal, they say. The dollar prices might rise, and hence the gold prices would drop down by 10 % by the end of year. So, all my friends who are wanting to purchase gold tomorrow, just buy a token. For people like me though, purchasing kitchen items is as good as buying gold :) (All my blogger friends here would agree, won't you?) So i have treated myself to a new Mixer-grinder on this Akshay Tritiya. My old mixer started showing tantrums two days ago (Guess it knew some festival is coming!!!)

No auspicious or holy day is complete without a sweet. So, here i am posting the recipe of Shrikhand. A simple meal of homemade Shrikhand, puri and batata bhaaji (Aloo sabzi) completes a Maharashtrian festival for me. Shrikhand-puri is a match made in heaven. I have stressed on the homemade, because the store bought Shrikhands are way too sweet these days. Shrikhand has a lot of Maharashtrian charachter to it, i feel, and has mixed flavours of sweet, sour, smooth, rich and yet simple to make. My hubby almost finishes 2-3 vaatis of shrikhand at one go, so i have gone easy on the sugar addition here. 

Shrikhand is basically saffron infused yogurt. I normally make yogurt at home, but you can use thick readymade yogurt too. If you get Chakka (Yogurt cheese) readymade, then this dessert is ready within minutes. I couldn't find Chakka near my place, so i made it at home the traditional way. When we were kids, there used to be a machine(Puran Yantra) which would have to be operated manually to uniformly mix the chakka and sugar. So me and my brother would take rounds to turn the knob round and round to see the thin noodle like shrikhand coming out of the yantra. In the end our hands would pain, and mom would always end up cleaning the mess :) Nostalgia!!!

For a fruity version of Shrikhand, check my recipe of Aamrakhand - Mango Shrikhand .


Milk - 1 and half litres of whole milk (You can't eat shrikhand if you are calorie conscious. This dessert will not taste good with skim milk or any kind of toned milk)
Yogurt - 1 tbsp
Sugar - 1/2 cup (Adjust according to taste)
Saffron strands - 4-5 
Nutmeg - 1/4 tsp
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp

Nutmeg and Cardamom powder is optional. You can use both or one or omit them altogether. Traditionally, Charolya or chironji is used too, but i didn't have them handy.


To make yogurt: Boil the milk and let it cool to room temperature. Pour the milk in a wide bowl.

Add the yogurt to this milk and stir it along with the cream on top. Cover with a lid.

Let the yogurt set in a warm place undisturbed till firm. If the place is warm, it should set in about 6 hours or so.

You can set this yogurt the previous day and refrigerate and prepare the shrikhand the next day.

To make Yogurt Cheese/Chakka: Place a muslin cloth (pancha as we call in marathi) in a strainer (or colander) over a bowl. Make sure you take a big cloth, so you have enough space on the side to tie it later.

Pour yogurt in the cloth. Now bring the sides of the cloth together and tie a knot tightly just above the yogurt. It looks like a firm ball. The whey starts draining out of the cloth.

Now you can either put some weight on this and let it drain or tie it to a place from where it keeps dripping or draining. The whey can be used to knead doughs or make gravies.

After about 4-6 hours, the ball of yogurt would look dry. 

To make Shrikhand: Remove the chakka in a bowl. You can refrigerate the chakka in an air tight container for upto 2 days.

Now, beat the chakka well till it becomes smooth.

Grind the sugar to powder.

Warm about 2 tbsp of milk, add saffron to it.

Make a coarse powder of cardamom seeds in a mortar and pestle.

While beating the chakka, add the powdered sugar little by little and keep mixing it well.

Now add the cardamom powder, nutmeg powder and saffron milk to it. Add more milk if you require a thinner consistency. The shrikhand should not be runny. It should be as thick to remain on a plate. 

Mix everything well till smooth.

Tastes best when served cold, but even at room temperature. 

Happy Akshay Tritiya to all of you readers and May you be blessed with peace, happiness, success and satisfaction :)

Happy Cooking :))

Friday, 17 April 2015

Beetroot chi dahyatli koshimbir : Beetroot Yogurt salad

Koshimbir forms an important part of a balanced Maharashtrian meal. These salads, usually eaten during lunch or dinner mostly consist of two versions :

1. Vegetables mixed with yogurt
2. Vegetables topped with phodni (tadka)
Sometimes they are even eaten plain with just an addition of cumin powder and chilli powder.

The vegetables here can either be chopped, grated or diced. These salads are most easy to prepare and are simple too. No sauces, no fancy dressings or no cooking. Maintaining the health factor, at times, peanuts and coconut are added which are popular in Maharashtrian cuisine. 

Dahyatli koshimbir is basically Raita as we popularly call in Hindi, where the vegetables are mixed in yogurt dressing. I have already posted recipe of Kakdichi Koshimbir and Tomato chi koshimbir in the Koshimbir special . My mother makes grated beetroot salad with phodni (spiced oil or tadka), but here i am posting Beetroot salad with yogurt. This salad can also be served without yogurt, or at times by skipping the tadka and simply adding cumin powder, chilli powder, salt and sugar.

Recipe adapted from : "The Essential Marathi cookbook"


Beetroot - 2 medium
Onion - 1 (optional)
Yogurt - 3/4 cup whisked
Sugar - a pinch
Salt - to taste
Oil - 1 and half tsp (you can also use ghee)
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Green chillies - 1-2 sliced lengthwise
Corriander leaves - a few to garnish


Boil the beetroot till soft. It takes about 15-20 minutes. After it cools down, peel it and grate it.

Chop the onions finely. Mix them with the grated beetroot.

If the whisked yogurt is too thick, add in 4-6 tbsp of milk or water. Add salt and mix well.

Add this yogurt to the beetroot-onion mixture.

Heat oil in a pan till smoking hot.

Add cumin seeds and let them pop. Add the green chillies. 

Now mix this with the beetroot mixture.

Garnish with corriander leaves.

Happy Cooking :)

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Methi chi bhaaji - Fenugreek stir fry

As i had mentioned in my Methi thepla post that it is important to keep in touch with your "girl-friends", my happiness knew no bounds when recently i got in touch with all my beautiful school friends. So we have made a "girls-only" whatsapp group and kept it small and close, so we can share anything and everything there without getting biased or judgmental. Imagine a place where you can blabber anything and everything and no one really bothers to make comments about you - Just what we need in our day-to-day stressful lives, right? Well, so one of my friend there ( I don't know if she will like me taking her name here on a public page, so keeping it as N ) had mentioned about this simple Methi bhaaji that she used to get in tiffin that her mom used to make. 

"The best way to make this bhaaji delicious is to use tons of onion and garlic", these were her words. True to that, the garlic gives a terrific twist to the otherwise simple bhaaji which has nothing but regular spices (Tadka as we call it popularly). I also feel that addition of coconut takes it to other level altogether. Or maybe i am just a little biased towards coconut. I love adding fresh coconut to anything and everything. The Maharashtrian genes you see ;)

This bhaaji makes a perfect tiffin recipe and goes very well with rotis/phulkas. It tastes great with daal-chawal too.


Methi leaves (Fenugreek leaves) - 1 bunch
Onions - 2 medium
Garlic - I used around 8-10 pods
Oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Green chillies - 2
Fresh grated coconut - to garnish
Salt - to taste


Remove the methi leaves from the stem and wash them well. 

You can either chop them roughly.

Crush the garlic pods in a mortar and pestle. You can also chop it or make a paste.

Chop the green chillies.

Chop the onions finely.

Heat oil in a kadhai. Wait till the oil is smoking hot.

Now add the mustard leaves. Let them pop. Add in cumin seeds, asafoetida and turmeric.

Now add the crushed garlic and green chillies. Saute for about 30 seconds.

Add in onions and saute till they are translucent (Don't over fry or brown the onions).

Now add in methi leaves, salt and mix everything well.

Cook covered for about 8-10 minutes checking and stirring after every 2-3 minutes, so the methi gets cooked well and doesn't stick to the kadhai. If you feel it is sticking to the kadhai, you can add about 1 tbsp of water or more, but methi leaves water, so normally it shouldn't stick when you steam cook.

Once the methi is cooked, stir fry it in the open (without the lid) for about 1-2 minutes.

Garnish with coconut.

Quite easy and tastes delicious!

Happy Cooking :))