Monday, 27 July 2015


There are times when you try so hard that you lose yourself! (Ahm... Ahm...I'm in a philosophical mood today). So, people who just want to check the recipe, please scroll down :) Those who have some time at hand, join me in for a talk! :)

I see so much struggle everywhere - the constant need to prove you are the best, at times, even stepping on others! Can't we all just smile at the fact that we all are born as individuals and we all are unique. We each have our own space and place in this world (of course, hard work and talent matters!). Past one week i did a lot of social media (just checking other people's posts or pages on Facebook and Instagram), and at times i would feel sad/get depressed. There is so much of hatred, pulling other people down attitude and jealousy amongst people that it started affecting me. And i wonder why such posts get highlighted and the one's who are doing their work with genuinity always lies in the bottom. Why can't we all work together towards a better living?

Love this quote!
I always feel, competition is good, but it should be healthy. In old good days, or even now when you visit any wholesale market, you will always find similar product-selling shops in one lane. Like for example, there are lanes of spice market, or lanes of stationery shops or lanes of medical shops. Why, then do they not feel competition when two adjoining shops are selling similar items. Why do the owners sit and have a cup of chai together discussing about life and business? Guess, the elders know- that each has their own!!!

My granny always used to tell us, "Appreciate each person for what they are and what they are doing". I have followed that and always wished well for others. At times, i have been cheated or even taken for granted, but those are life-lessons learnt. That wont stop me from wishing well for others!

Well, on days like these when i feel black and white or grey, i want to add some colours to this post! So i decided to write about "Chunda". It's the very last month of getting nice fresh raw mangoes!! Last week i got some to make more of chunda, so it lasts us till the next summer. The earlier one i had made was just of 1/4 kg mangoes (For trial, it's always best to make in small quantities). It turned out so delicious that it was finished in a jiffy!!!

There is "Saakharamba" (sweet mango pickle) that my mom used to make often, but this one here is a little of this and a little of that! You will get flavours of spice, sour and sweet. I have made this the traditional way by keeping the mixture in a glass jar and in sunlight. There is a quick stove top method too, but since i had time at hand, and usually the sun God favours us a lot in Delhi, i thought why not make it the "old-style" way?!!

Chunda is basically a Gujrati pickle and is called as Chundo in the local language. It tastes best with Theplas (you can check the recipe of Methi thepla here ). The same way masala thepla or ajwaiin thepla can be made to have with Chunda. Chunda tastes best even with poori-sabzi, daal-chawal or just with a simple chapati.


Raw mangoes - 1/4 kg
Sugar - Around 2 cups (Add less or more depending on the taste. Adding more of it, will give it a sweeter taste removing all the sourness of the raw mango. But i like it a little sour, so 2 cups was perfect. If you want, you can later on mix powdered sugar if you find it too sour)
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Cloves - 1/2 tsp (optional)
Cinnamon - 1 inch stick (optional)
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp (I roasted the cumin seeds and crushed them in a mortar and pestle)


Wash the mangoes and pat them dry.

Peel the skin and grate them. Add in the salt and turmeric powder and keep it aside for about 3-4 hours.

You will see that the mangoes have left some water. Now add in the sugar little by little till the sugar is dissolved.

Place this mixture in a glass jar or steel vessel and cover it tight with a muslin cloth and keep in the sun everyday for about 7-8 days. You will see that the sugar melts completely and starts to thicken. At the end of the day, bring the vessel inside, stir it with a spoon and store it covered in a cool, dry place. The next day follow the same procedure.

Now, add in the red chilli powder, cloves, cinnamon, salt and the cumin powder. Stir it all well and place in the sun again for a day or two so that the flavours get mixed properly. You can eat it immediately but it tastes best when the flavours are blended in well.

Cinnamon and cloves addition is totally optional, but it does help enhance the taste and aroma too. You can also add it to the mango-sugar mixture instead of adding it later on.

Chunda lasts for about a year if the mangoes chosen are absolutely raw and fresh. Don't buy mangoes that have become little ripe or have yellowish pulp.

Also make sure the glass jar you store it in is dry and sterlized.

Chunda is ready :)) Comes to the rescue when you are bored of doing elaborate cooking :) Just spread it on a bread and eat or make a plain paratha and serve with this chunda :)

Wishing you all a great colourful week ahead. Much smiles :)

Happy Cooking :)

Friday, 17 July 2015


We all get cravings from time to time...Burger cravings, sweet cravings ( my favourite!!! :)), cheesy cravings, specialty cuisine cravings and then there are tea-time cravings, midnight cravings... The list goes on.. But i always wonder how most of our cravings are related to food, like we don't get a shopping craving at midnight or a craving to read a book one fine day!!! Isn't it? Well, i still remember when we were kids and it was summer vacations, we cousins or friends used to get together for night-sessions of playing games or watching movies or just chit-chats and the next day Mom would find the buiscuits dabba half empty!!! Yes, we would always feel hungry at nights and would hunt down buiscuits or namkeen  from the kitchen :)

I no more get midnight cravings. Maybe because i am not awake so late nights these days or maybe because my eating habits have matured enough to eat right at right time! Or i am just getting old ;) But yes, i do get sweet cravings, so even if it is just a small bite of chocolate or a mini bite of some mithai, i need it after my meals. Thankfully, my mother-in-law keeps sending some homemade stuff and some from my favourite sweet shop "Chitale Bandhu" in Pune, like these "Mango burfi" and "badam burfi" that she sent last month!!!

Also, the last time she came here, she got a huge slab of what is called "Gul-Patti". I specially wanted to mention it in the blog. This is a specialty of Akola, the Vidarba region of Maharashtra in India - My hubby's hometown! It is made with a special type of jaggery that is available there, peanuts and water! That's it! It tastes so so awesome that just writing about it has got me drooling :) It made a perfect in-between snack for us and what more? Healthy too! 

Tea-time cravings or rather coffee-time (since i am a coffee-drinker) have always stayed with me, since the time i have started drinking coffee. So, a piece of Cake ( Chocolate nut cakeYogurt cakeFruity sponge cake ) or some Nankhatai or just a small Peanut ladoo is good enough for me. Sometimes snacks such as wafola or Paatvadya tastes awesome and is filling enough till dinner time too. But this time, when my mother-in-law visited us, she taught me one awesome snack that goes so well with tea or coffee. My husband has grown up eating these and now they are my favourites too. I would always have it when we visited Pune, but never really learnt the method of making it. This time, though, i made them along with my mother-in-law. Its so easy that now i always make them and store them in air tight containers. 

There is a different type of Mathri that i see in stores here in Delhi, but they are solid, heavy and stuffy. These, on the other hand, are crunchy, light and super tasty.


Maida (All purpose flour)- 2 cups
Atta (Wheat flour) - 1 cup
Suji (Rava) - 2 tbsp (optional but helps in making the mathris crisp)
Cornflour - 2 tbsp (optional)
Salt - to taste
Cumin powder - 1 tsp or more as per taste
Pepper (crushed) - 1 tsp or more as per taste
Oil - 1/4 cup


In a mixing bowl, mix maida, atta, rava, cornflour, salt, cumin powder, and crushed pepper. 

Heat 1/4 cup oil and mix it in the mixing bowl with the help of a spoon. Dont mix it with hand as the oil is too hot.

Now warm some water (Not too hot) and knead a dough adding water little by little. The dough should not be too soft and sticky niether too hard. So use water little by little to knead.

Cover the dough and let it rest for about 30 minutes.

Now make equal sized balls of the dough. The balls should be of size of a puri.

Try not to apply flour while rolling the balls. Use only if necessary. Or you can apply some oil on your hands while making the balls from the dough. That way, you won't require to use flour.

Roll the balls into small puris. Now make small cuts on the puri along with a knife. This is to prevent the puri from fluffing up and for the mathri to be crisp. Make sure the cuts are just small and all over the puri.

Heat oil in a kadhai for frying. Now, add the mathris one by one both sides and fry till golden on low flame. Don't fry the mathris too brown.

Let the mathris cool down. They become crisp only when they are cool. If you eat it immediately, they will be soft. Once the mathris have cooled down, store them in air tight containers and enjoy along with tea or coffee :)

Happy cooking!!! :)

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Lemon pickle (Sweet)

Hello everyone! Here i am back to my writing :) Yes, my last post was almost 15 days back and i have been feeling guilty about it for quite a while, but giving it a thought, all bloggers have gone through this phase, isn't it? Where we wanted to write but couldn't find time, got busy with something else, some other commitment or priority took our interest or sometimes just too lazy to pen down things! I have seen some dedicated blogger friends who post almost everyday and salute to them. But for me, blogging is all about "me-time", about finding peace, about getting relaxed, refreshed and rejuvenated! Yes, that's exactly what this blog means to me. I don't want to get into a compulsive mode that i have to write posts! This is no competition, no race, no ego but just my space :)) And thank you to each one of you who read it regularly and appreciate my efforts.

So, in my post of The chaat trail in Old Delhi, I had mentioned about my mother-in-law teaching me some "Dadi ke nuske" :)) This easy pickle is one i learnt from her. A friend once told me that in old days, all the elder ladies of the home (those days, there were joint families) would get furious if the young bahus (daughter-in-law's) of the home made a good pickle or chutney. And why??? Because that was their "department"... Haha, yes! "Elders only department" wherein the expertise would only be centered to the dadi's and nani's (Grannies) or sasu-maa's (Mother-in-law's). Hence, we know a lot of recipes are lost. Some are carried forward with daughters trying it out seeing their mothers do it, but a lot of them are lost due to the ego's of humans :(

Well, so before some more recipes are lost in history, it's best to pen them down in a blog for generations ahead to remember :) I always thought making pickle was tedious and tough. But i learnt that it's all about the basics:
1. Using vinegar/salt/sugar/lemon juice or oil is the best form to preserve a pickle.
2. Always use a clean sterlized and dry bottle to store the pickle.
3. Pickle stays best in glass or ceramic containers.
4. No drop of water should touch the pickle whatsoever, so while taking out the pickle, always make sure the spoon is dry.
5. The most important - a pickle tastes best when you add the ingredients on your judgement and not by measuring cups :))

The last point we will learn with time, but for the time being, all we got to know if use good quality ingredients with the basics of red chilli powder, salt, turmeric, and oil and your pickle is ready! Unless you are making a specialty pickle or a sweet pickle like this one :

While choosing lemons, take ones which have a thinner skin. If you buy thick skinned lemons, then blanch the whole lemons, pat them dry and then use. 


Lemons - 1/2 kg
Salt - to taste ( about 1/4 cup )
Turmeric powder - 1 tbsp
Sugar - 1/2 kg
Red chilli powder - 1-2 tbsp
Cumin powder (jeera) - 1 tsp


Wash the lemons and pat them dry or keep in sun for about an hour or so. Now cut each lemon in about 8 pieces equally. Remove seeds.

Add salt, cumin powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder to the lemons and cover and keep overnight. ( You can keep this for more number of days but since my mother-in-law was here only for a week, we kept it overnight. Keeping for more number of days would surely enhance the taste, but this, my friends, is as yummy as it looks )

Add about a cup of water to sugar and make a one-string consistency sugar syrup. 

When the syrup cools down, add the marinated lemons to it and mix well.

Fill the pickle in a dry clean sterlized glass container and close the lid tight.

The pickle tastes best when eaten after a week or so, but the real taste comes after about 3-4 months. These pictures seen here are for 2 month old pickle.

Make sure you periodically stir the pickle well with a dry spoon. This pickle should not be kept in sun, but can be made in traditional way by adding sugar to the marinated lemons, stirring/mixing it everyday till the sugar melts.

Either ways, the taste would be different, so it's worth a try :)

I simply love making chutneys and pickles, for the very fact that i have to worry less to make breakfast recipes for hubby's tiffin. A plain paratha with pickle makes him happy :)

More pickle recipes coming soon :)

Happy Cooking :)