1.     Soak the dal; overnight in water about 2 inches above the dal.

2.     Drain dal.  Pour half of them into the food processor.  Add half the yogurt blended with water and grind coarsely.  Take care not to over grind.

3.     Repeat until all the dal; is coarsely ground.  Pour the mixture into a mixing bowl.

4.     Add the salt, hing, baking soda, citric acid, ginger and chillies.  Mix well with the hands so the mixture becomes light and fluffy.

5.     Lightly oil three 8-inch cake pans.  Pour 1/3 of the mixture into each pan. Arrange the pan on 3 tiers of a steamer and steam about 5 minutes or until cooked.  (The tip of a knife inserted in the center will one out clean.) If you do not have a steamer with several tiers,. Steam one pan at a time and repeat until all the dhoklas are cooked.

6.     Let the pans stand outside the steamer briefly.  Cut the breads into 1 ½ inch cubes and transfer top a platter.

7.     Heat the oil in a large skillet.  When it is almost hot add the mustard and cumin seeds.  Cook briefly.

8.     Add the hing and water.  Add the cubes of bread (there will be more than one layer). Sprinkle with half the coriander and grated coconut.  Toss the pieces in the skillet until they are all covered with spices.  Leave on the heat for a few minutes until warm.  Transfer the dhokalas to a platter and sprinkle with remaining coriander and coconut. Serve with coriander chutney.

                                                               Serves 6-8



Stuffed Bread with Dal Filling

(Mung dal kachori)



1 cup mung dal; without skin,                     2 tsp ground chilli (optional)

  soaked in water 4 hours                              1 tsp ground turmeric

5 Tblsp oil                                                  1 tsp hing

½ tsp mustard seeds                              2 Tblsp garam masala

1 ½ tsp mustard seeds                              Juice of 1 lemon

Salt                                                             ½ coconut, grated

2 Tblsp ground cumin                                      2 Tblsp raisins

1 Tblsp chop. Coriander leaves



1 cup all-purpose flour                               Salt to taste

3 Tblsp ghee                                         Vegetable shortening for frying


1.     Heat 2 Tblsp of oil in a pan.  Add ½ tsp mustard seeds.  Add washed dal.  Add 1 ½ cups of water and salt.  Allow to cook till the dal becomes tender and the water is absorbed (about 25 minutes).  Remove from heat and set aside.

2.     Heat the remaining 3 Tblsp of oil in a pan.  Add cooked dal (from step 1) and keep stirring till dal becomes dry and of golden color.  Remove from heat and let it cool.  Add all the other ingredients and mix well.

3.     In a bowl, mix the flour with melted ghee and salt.  Make dough by adding water and knead well.  Form balls the size of lemons and roll out into rounds 3 inches in diameter.  Fill them with 1 Tblsp filling.  Turn into kachori shape by pulling up the edges to form a pouch with the filling inside.  Pinch the puch opening together to seal.

4.     Preheat the oil and deep fry 4-5 pouches in vegetable shortening on medium heat.  Do the same with the rest of the kachoris.  Serve with date sauce.

                                               Yields 15-18 kachoris


Baked Vegetable-Dal Cake

(Handavo – No. 1)


1 ¼ cup cream of wheat                                      2 green chillies & 1 inch ginger,

¼ cup chick-pea flour                                ground into a fine paste

¼ cup rice flour                                        2 Tblsp chop. Coriander leaves

¼ cup wheat flour                                        ½ cup peas

4 Tblsp oil                                                  1 med.  Potato peeled & grated

2 cups yogurt                                                1 cup grated zucchini

½ cup water or more                                        2 Tblsp oil

½  tsp soda bicarbonate                                     1 tsp mustard seeds

Salt to taste                                                  1 tsp sesame seeds

2 tsp sugar                                                 ¼ tsp hing


1.     In a mixing bowl put the cream of wheat, chick-pea flour, rice and wheat flour.  Add oil,. Yogurt, water, soda bicarbonate and salt and mix well.  The batter should be like a pancake batter consistency.  Leave the batter for 12 to 14 hours for fermentation.

2.     Add sugar,. Chilli, ginger,. Coriander leaves, peas, potato and zucchini to the batter and mix well.

3.     In an ovenproof pan, heat oil.  Add mustard seeds and sesame seeds. As soon as the mustard seeds start popping, add the hing and the batter to the oil mixture.  Mix well.

4.     Bake in a pre-heated oven at 3000 for about 1 hour.  It is done if inserted knife comes out clean and top of cake is brown and crispy.  Cut into squares and serve with coconut chutney and date sauce.

                                                           Sserves 4-6


Baked Vegetable-Dal Cake

(Handavo – No. 2)


1 cup rice, dry, ground,                                    2 green chillies & 1 inch ginger

½ cup tuver dal, ground coarse                             ground to a fine paste

¼ cup udad dal, ground coarse                            1 tsp soda bicarbonate

¼ cup chana dal, ground coarse                            1 tsp turmeric

3 cups buttermilk                                         1 tsp mustard seeds

1 cups vegetable cut small                         2 tsp sesame seeds

  (any combination of green                       ½ tsp hing

  peas, white pumpkin,                                 ½ cup cooking oil

  potatoes, carrots)                                             curry leaves

Salt to taste


1.     In a food mill dry ground the rice and all the dals.

2.     In a large mixing bowl, place the ground rice and dal.  Mix buttermilk and salt. Let stand overnight to ferment.

3.     Mix rice and ground dal batter,. Chilli-ginger aster, vegetables, Soda bicarbonate,. And turmeric.

4.     In an ovenproof pan, heat ½ cup of cooking oil.  Add mustard seeds, sesame seeds, curry leaves, hing and fermented batter.  Mix and remove from the heat .

5.     Bake in a pre-heated 3000F oven for 45 minutes or until the top turns brown.  (Insert a knife in the center of cake, when it comes out clean, it is done).

6.     Serve with chutney.

                                                 Serves 4-6


Chick-Pea Flour Rolls



1 cup chick-pea flour (besan)                           Garnish

3 cups buttermilk                                         3 Tblsp oil

1 tsp red chilli powder or                               2 Tblsp grated coconut

1 ½ Tblsp green masala                                     1 Tblsp chop. Coriander leaves

½ tsp ground turmeric                                  ½ tsp mustard seeds

½ tsp hing                                                   ½ tsp cumin seeds

Salt to taste                                                  ½ tsp sesame seeds


1.     Mix chick-pea flour, buttermilk, red chilli powder, turmeric, hing and salt in a heavy saucepan.  Place pan on medium heat,. Stirring constantly, for about 30 to 45 minutes.  When mixture becomes thick, try spreading one spoonful on a plate, when it can be lifted and rolled it is ready.

2.     Spread the mixture very thinly with the help of a spoon on a plain metal surface. When cool, Apply very little oil on your fingers and roll the mixture as tightly as possible.

3.     Cut the roll into small pieces and arrange on a platter.

4.     Sprinkle grated coconut and coriander leaves.


1. Heat the oil in a pan.  Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds the sesame seeds and allow to pop.  Remove from heat and pour over Khandvi and serve.

                                                  Serves 4-6


Deep Fried Filled Pastries




3 cups all-purpose flour                               3 Tblsp ghee

1 tsp salt                                                     ¾-1 cup water



2 boiled potatoes (1/2 pound)                     ½ cup boiled fresh green peas

2 Tblsp vegetable oil                                    (about ½ pound unshelled)

2 tsp scraped, finely                              1 tsp salt

  chopped ginger                                                1 Tblsp finely chop. Coriander

1 tsp fennel seeds                                                 ½ tsp garam masala

¼ tsp cumin seeds                                                 1/8 tsp hot red pepper

¼ tsp turmeric                                            2 tsp amchur powder



1.     In a deep bowl, combine flour, salt and ghee.  With your fingertips,. Rub flour and ghee together until they look like flakes of coarse meal.  Pour ¾ cup water over the mixture all at once,. Knead together vigorously, gather dough into a ball.  If dough crumbles,. Add up to 4 Tblsp water, a Tblsp at a time until the particles adhere.

2.     On a lightly floured surface,. Knead the dough by folding it end to end,. Then pressing it down and pushing forward several; times with the heel of your hand.  Repeat until the dough is smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes). Gather into a ball, brush lightly with vegetable oil,. Set in a bowl and drape a damp kithen towel over the top to keep the dough moist.  (Covered with the towel, it can remain at rook temperature for 4 top 5 hours.)


1.     Peel and cut the potatoes into tiny cubes.

2.     In a heavy saucepan or skillet,. Heat the vegetable oil over moderate heat. Add the cumin seeds and when they brown, add ginger.  Stirring constantly, fry for about 1 to 2 minutes.

3.     Stir in fennel seeds and turmeric.  Add the potatoes,. Peas, salt and coriander leave. Reduce the heat to low.  Cover the pan tightly and cook for 5 minutes.

4.     Remove pan from heat.  Stir in garam masala, red pepper and amchur powder. Taste for seasoning.  Put in a bowl and to cool; to room temperature before using it.


Shape and Fill   the Samosas two at a time in the following way:

1.     Pinch off a small piece of dough and roll into a ball about 1 inch in diameter.  (keep remaining dough covered.) On a lightly fouled surface, roll the ball into a 3-inch round.  With a pastry wheel or small knife, cut the round in half.  Moisten the straight edge with a pastry brush or finger dipped in water.  Shape each semicircle into a cone, fill with 1 ½ tsp of filling.  Moisten and press top edges closed.  (Covered with foil or plastic wrap, the pastries may be made ahead of time and kept for 2 to 3 hours.)

2.     To deep fry pastries, heat 3 cups of vegetable oil in a 10-12 inch wok (in a deep fryer, heat 2-3 inches oil to a temperature of 3750F on a deep frying thermometer).

3.     Preheat oven top 2000F line a large baking dish with double thickness of absorbent paper towels.

4.     Deep fry Samosas 4-5 at a time for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown.  When done, put them in lined dish and keep warm in oven.

5.     To serve, mound samosas on a platter.  Accompanied with chutney in a separate bowl.

                                                     Yields about 60 samosas 



Vegetable Fritters



1 small cucumber                                          Batter

2 small potatoes                                            2 cups chick-pea from (besan)

2-3 cabbage leaves                                      ¼ tsp hing

1 small zucchini                                             ¾ cup water

1 banana                                                    Salt to taste

3-4 spinach leaves

Oil for deep frying


1.     Wash and slice vegetables thin, except for cabbage and spinach leaves, which are cut into 1 inch squares.

2.     Combine batter ingredients.  Add enough water to make batter of pancake consistency, or slightly thinner.

3.     In a wok or deep fryer,. Heat oil until very hot.  Lower heat.  Test the oil by dropping a drop of batter into the oil, it will rise to the top immediately if the oil is of correct temperature.

4.     Mix 1 tsp of the hot oil into the batter top make the Bhajias crispy.

5.     Dip the vegetable pieces into the batter.  Make sure the batter covers the vegetables thoroughly.  Drop 4-5 pieces in oil at a time.  Fry until brown.  Continue until all the vegetables are fried.  Drain on paper towels.  Serve with mint chutney.

                                                              Serves 4-6



Dal Ball with Yogurt

(Dahi pakodi)


Batter                                                          Sauce

1 cup udad dal                                           4 cups whipped yogurt

2 Tblsp finely chopped green                    1 cup water

  pepper (use chilli pepper or                       3 tsp sugar

  sweet green pepper)                                    1 tsp salt

½ tsp salt                                                    2 Tblsp oil

Water to blend                                       2 tsp mustard seeds

Oil for deep frying                                        2 tsp udad dal

                                                                   10 dried curry leaves

                                                                   3 Tblsp finely chopped

                                                                     coriander leaves



1.     Clean dal and wash thoroughly.  Soak in water to cover for 4 hours.

2.     Strain dal and place in a blender.  Adding just enough water to facilitate blending, grind to a coarse consistency.

3.     Place blended dal in a bowl.  Add chopped green pepper and salt.  Mix well.


1.     Place whipped yogurt in a large bowl.  Mix to a smooth sauce with a mixer.  Add sugar, salt and stir still blended.

2.     Heat oil in a small saucepan.  Add mustard seeds and when they begin to pop, add udad dal and curry leaves.  As soon as the leaves brown, add the mixture to yogurt and stir to blend.  (Udad dal will turn slightly pink. Do not allow it to brown.)

To assemble savory

1.     On low heat, heat 3 incase of oil in a wok or deep fryer.

2.     Using your fingertips or a spoon, take a Tblsp of dal mixture and gently ease it into the heated oil.  Fry only 5-7 balls at a time.  They will puff to twice their size and should not be crowded in the wok.  Turn the balls gently in oil with a slotted spoon to brown evenly on all sides.

3.     When the balls are brown, put them in a bowl of cold water.  Let them soak for 5 minutes.  Gently remove balls from water and press them between your two palms to remove any oil or water.  Place dry balls on a platter.

4.     Repeat steps 2 and 3 until all balls are done.  Place the yogurt  sauce on the balls.

5.     Garnish with coriander and chill in refrigerator before serving.

6.     Serve 3-4 balls with a liberal quantity of sauce in individual bowls, topped with date sauce.

                                    Yields approximately 45 1 inch balls


Potato Rolls




1 cup whole wheat flour                              2 Tblsp ghee

¼ cu unbleached white flour                      ¼ tsp salt

                                                                   ½ cup water (approximately)



1 pound mashed potatoes                                  2 tsp amour powder

4 Tblsp ghee                                         Salt to taste

2 tsp cumin seeds                                                 1 Tblsp chop. Coriander leaves

1 green chilli, chopped small                     1 tsp garam masala

2 tsp ginger root                                         Oil for deep frying



1.     Sift flour and salt into large bowl.  Add ghee and mix with fingertips until; flakes are formed. Add water, gather the flakes and make a soft dough by kneading.  The dough should be like a pie dough.

2.     Cover dough and set aside.


1.     In a skillet, heat ghee, add cumin seeds.  As the seeds brown, add chilli (opt.) ginger, mashed potatoes and mix well.  Add amchur powder, salt, coriander leaves and garam masala.  Mix everything together thoroughly with a flat wooden spoon.  Turn off heat.

2.     Set aside and let cool.


To assemble savory

1.     Knead dough thoroughly and divide in half.  Form each into a ball

2.     Dust ball with flour and roll out into 9 inch round.

3.     On rolled dough, place half of potato mixture.  Sported potatoes evenly, leaving a margin of ½ inch at the outer edge.

4.     Fold ½ inch of dough at top and bottom of pie over filling Repeat at sides, forming a square.  The pie is now secured, and ready to be rolled.

5.     Take 2 upper corners of dough and roll toward you, until ½ inch of dough remains.  Seal; the roll securely by pressing the remaining edge into the roll with your fingers.

6.     Cut roll in ½ inch slices.  Press each slice gently but firmly between your plams preventing slices from falling apart when deep fried.

7.     In preparation for deep frying,. Heat 3 inches of oil on low heat in a wok or deep fryer.

8.     Repeat steps 2-6 with remaining portion of dough.

9.     Deep fry the slices, 5 or 6 at a time, until; golden brown.  Drain on paper towels and serve warm or at rook temperature with coriander chutney.

                          Yields approximately 26 pieces.


Stuffed Crepe



Puda                                                                     Stuffing

1 cup mung dal                                           2 cups boiled green peas

¼ cup udad dal                                           ½ coconut, grated

2 tsp ground chillies and gingers                 Coriander leaves

Salt to taste                                                  2 tsp garam masala

Oil as required                                            Salt to taste

                                                                   1 Tblsp oil


1.     Wash and soak dals together in water 2-3 hours.

2.     Drain water and grind into fine paste in an electric blender using very little water.

3.     Add chillies,. Ginger, and salt to batter, allowing them to ferment for 4-5 hours.

4.     Heat a non-stick skillet; and lower heat to medium.  Pour a few spoonfuls of batter in skillet and spread with a spoon (like a crepe about 6 inch in diameter). Pour 1 tsp oil around the crepe and let it browns on the bottom.  Browning indicates end-point for turning over; brown on other side and place on a plate.  Do the same with rest of the batter.

5.     Mash the peas and cook with very little oil for 2-3 minutes.  Add grated coconut, chopped, coriander leaves, garam masala and salt and mix well.  Remove from heat.

6.     Spread 1 Tblsp pea mixture on each crepe and form a roll.  Do same with all crepes.  Serve with date sauce and mint chutney.

                                                                  Yields 12-15 crepes


Bean Sprouts and Cabbage Samosas



1 cup mung bean sprouts                                    2 tsp finely chopped or grated

1 ½ cups shredded                                            ginger root

  white cabbage                                             1 Tblsp oil

1 green pepper, put into strips                       Salt to taste



1 cup whole wheat flour                              2 Tblsp oil

1 cup all-purpose flour                               Salt to taste

          `                                                        Rice flour for rolling out dough



1.     Warm oil in a pan.  Add ginger and cook until light brown.

2.     Add cabbage,. Mung bean sprouts, green pepper, salt; cook until water is absorbed and filling dry.  Remove from  heat and cool.



1.     Mix flours and salt.

2.     Add oil, salt and sufficient water to form dough like pie dough.

3.     Pinch out 24 balls.  Take 2 balls and roll each into 3 inch rounds.  Sprinkle rice flour on one round, place the second round over it and press together. Roat lightly on both sides on a griddle or cast-iron pan.  Remove when half done and separate when still warm.  It will separate easily.  Cut the rounds in half.


To assemble

1.     Take one half of a round and with a pastry brush dipped in a water moisten the straight edge of the semicircle.  Shape it into a cone, and fill it with about 1 ½ tsp of filling.  Moisten and press the top open edges together and seal lthe cone.  Do the same with the rest of the dough.  (This can be done ahead of time).

2.     Deep fry the samosas as in the samosas recipe.

                                       Yields 48 to 50 samosas





Sapiced Corn with Pomegranate

(Makai no chevado)


1 cup cooked corn kernels                           1 tsp mustard seeds

½ cup fresh pomegranate seeds                          ¼ tsp black pepper

¼ cup sev (vermicelli made                    Salt to taste

  from chick-pea flour)                              ½ tsp lemon juice

2 tsp oil                                                      2 Tblsp chopped coriander leaves


1.     Heat oil in skillet on low heat.  When hot,. Add mustard seeds.

2.     When mustard seeds stared popping, add corn and mix well, Add salt, pepper and lemon juice.  Mix well and turn off heat.

3.     When cool, and pomegranate seeds, sev and coriander leaves.

4.     Serve in individual bowls as a tea-time snack.

                                           Serves 4


Pressed Rice with Potatoes

(Bateta poha)


1 cup poha (pressed rice)                      2 tsp sugar

2 med.  Potatoes,. Boiled & cubed                    2 tsp lemon juice

½ cup peas, cooked                                    2 Tblsp oil

1 med. Tomato chopped                                   Dash of hing

1 tsp minced ginger                                      ¼ cup water

¼ tsp turmeric                                            2 Tblsp finely chopped

1 tsp salt                                                       coriander leaves


1.     Wash poha in a colander.  Squeeze out as much water as much water as possible from the poha with your palms, making a fist, so they are dry.

2.     Spread the poha in a medium sized pan or bowl.

3.     Add potatoes, peas, ginger, turmeric, salt and lemon juice.  Mix well.

4.     In a frying pan, heat oil. Add mustard seeds.  As they start to pop, add hing and tomatoes.  When tomatoes become soft, and poha mixture.  Mix well.

5.     Add the water and mix everything together.  Leave on low heat for 5-7 minutes.

6.     Add coriander leaves and mix.  Remove from heat, and serve in individual bowls.

Tastes good with coriander chutney and masala tea.

                                                    Serves 4-6


Cabbage cheese Toast


1 cup finely shredded cabbage

1 cup finely chopped coriander leaves

¼ cup finely chopped green pepper (capsicum)

¾ cup grated mild, rennetless cheese

¾ cup chick-pea flour

¼ tsp hing

¼ cup water

Salt to taste

9 slices of brown bread

Oil for deep frying


1.     In a bowl, mix together cabbage, coriander lease and green pepper.

2.     Add cheese, flour, hing and salt, mix well with your hands.

3.     Add water, a little at a time, until mixture takes on the consistency of a spread.

4.     Cut away the crusts of the slices of bread and cut into 3 inch pieces.

5.     Spread mixture on bread.

6.     Heat oil a deep fryer.  Deep fry bread pieces.  Remove from oil and place on absorbent towels.

7.     Serve with coriander chutney and ketchup.

                                             Yields 18 pieces


To make a quick snack: cut plain cheese sandwich into small squares.  Dip in chick-pea batter and deep fry as in bhajias.



Yellow Split Pea Balls

(Chana dal wadas)


¾ cup chana dal, soaked for 4-5 hours

¼ cup poha (pressed rice)

1 cup spinach, finely chopped

½ cup coriander leaves, finely chopped

1 Tblsp coriander seeds, crushed or coarsely ground

½ tsp ground black pepper

2 Tblsp lemon juice

Salt to taste

Oil for deep frying


1.     Coarsely bland the drained chana dal in a blender with a little water.  Set aside in bowl.

2.     Wash the poha in hot water.  Squeeze out as much water as possible.

3.     Add all the ingredients along with the poha to the ground dal and mix thoroughly.

4.     Shape the mixture into medium-sized balls.

5.     Heat oil in a deep fryer.  When oil is hot,. Add balls a few at a time and lower heat.  Cook until golden brown.

6.     Do the same with rest of the mixture.

7.     Serve with coconut chutney and date sauce.

                                                          Serves 4-6



Raitas and Salads


          In India, raitas and salads are served as a side dish rather than eaten as a dish by itself.

          Raita is made of yogurt combined with different vegetable and/or fruits.  The soothing effect of the chilled raita as opposed to the spicy dal and vegetables brings a good balance to the palate.  Raitas are simple to make and take just a few minutes to put together.  One the basics are acquired,. You may end up with your own combinations,. Besides the ones you find in this book.  Taitas are some times just spiced with salt or mustard seeds and hing.  It is very important to maintain the natural flavor of the yogurt and the vegetables or fruits.

          As salad is to a Westerner, Cachumber is to an Indian.  The Indian version of a salad requires no dressing.  Cachumber is spiced with salt, pepper and lemon juice just before serving.  Sometimes it is flavored with other milled spices like coriander and cumin seed powder.  The crunchiness of this salad is the secret of its success. Swerved with khichadi,. Dal-dhokali or regular lunch, it enhances the taste of food.

          So raitas and cachumbers heighten the aesthetic and nutritional appeal of the food with their natural color,. Texture and coolness.  They also add an artistic touch to the whole menu.


Chick-Pea Salad


1 cup uncooked chick-peas or                          1 tsp salt

  2 20 ounce cans of chick-peas                      1 tsp chopped coriander (opt)

1 carrot, chopped into small bits              ¼ tsp cayenne (opt.)

1 tomato, chopped small                               2 Tblsp oil

1 tsp fresh roasted cumin seeds                              2 tsp lemon juice


1.     Soak and cook the chick-peas in water.  Drain and set aside.  (If using canned chick-peas, drain and wash quickly under running water.)

2.     Roast cumin seeds in a dry pan on low heat, till they are slightly browned and exude a pleasant, pungent aroma.  Then grind them in a coffee grinder or crush them into a coarse powder with a mortar and pestle or the back of a spoon.

3.     Chop the carrots and tomatoes.

4.     Mix all ingredients together in a bowl.  If you make this salad ahead of time and allow it to marinate  a few hours, it gets even better.

                                                              Serves 4-6


Cucumber-Apple Salad


1 cup shredded carrots                                    1 Tblsp finely chopped coriander

1 cup diced cucumber                                2 tsp lemon juice

1 cup peeled, diced apple                              Salt and pepper to taste


1.     Chop vegetables and fruit.

2.     Mix together fruit,. Vegetables, lemon juice and chopped coriander, in a serving bowl.

3.     Chill briefly in the refrigerator.

4.     Just before serving, and salt and pepper to taste.

                                               Serves 4-6


Cabbage-Pineapple Salad

(Kobi-nanas nu raitu)


1 ½ cups plain yogurt                                       1 cup grated carrots

1 cup crushed pineapple                                 Salt to taste

  (fresh or canned)                                             ½ cup chopped walnuts

1 cup shredded cabbage                                   ¼ cup black raisins


1.     In a large bowl, whisk the yogurt until; creamy.

2.     If using canned pineapple, drain it well.

3.     To the whipped yogurt, add the pineapple (drained, if necessary) and the remaining ingredients and mix well.

4.     Chill for at least an hour before serving.  Very refreshing and cooling in the summer.

                                                                    Serves 4-6


Carrot Salad

(Vagharela gajar)


4 cups finely shredded or                                    1/8 tsp hing

  grated carrots                                              ½ tsp salt

2 tsp sesame oil                                         2 tsp lemon juice

1 tsp black mustard seeds


1.     Prepare the carrots and set aside.

2.     Heat oil in a saucepan and when it is almost smoking add mustard seeds. Cook about 15 seconds and add carrots.  Sprinkle with hing, salt, lemon juice and fresh coriander.  Stir to coat shredded carrots.  Cook briefly, stirring until heated through.  Remove from heat.

3.     Empty the mixture into a salad bowl and set aside until ready to serve.

                                                Serves 4-6


Yogurt-Carrot Salad

(Gajar nu raitu)


4 cups shredded carrots                                    Salt to taste

1 Tblsp oil                                                  2 cups plain yogurt

1 tsp mustard seeds                              2 tsp finely chopped

1/8 tsp hing                                                   coriander leaves


1.     Heat oil in a pan and add the mustard seeds.  As soon as seeds start popping,. Add the hing.

2.     Add the carrots, salt and yogurt to the oil.  Stir mixture while the pan is still on low heat.  Turn off the heat.

3.     Put the carrot-yogurt mixture into a serving bowl.  Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and chill.

                                                     Serves 4-6



Banana Yogurt

(Kela nu raitu)


3 cups yogurt                                                1 Tblsp brown sugar

3 medium ripe bananas                                   Salt to taste

½ tsp mustard powder


1.     Beat the yogurt in a bowl.  Add mustard powder, sugar and salt and stir well.

2.     Slice the bananas into ¼ inch thick rounds.

3.     Add the bananas to the yogurt.  Mix well the serve.

                                             Serves 6-8


To substitute prepared mustard for dry mustard, use 3 times as much prepared mustard.




Banana-Cucumber Yogurt

(kela kakadi nu raitu)


2 ripe bananas, mashed                                    ½ Tblsp brown sugar

½ cup yogurt                                                ½ tsp salt

2 Tblsp shredded cucumber                       ¼ tsp mustard powder


1.     Mix all ingredients together.  Chill and serve.

                                                     Serves 6-8


Cucumber Raita

(Kakadi nu raitu)


2 cups yogurt                                                ¼ tsp cayenne (optional)

6 small cucumbers                                         Salt and peper to taste

1 tsp freshly roasted                                    Chopped coriander leaves

  cumin seeds                                         for garnish (optional)


1.     In a good sized bowl, whip yogurt with a whisk.

2.     Peel; cucumbers in stripes, alternating peeled sections with unreeled.  This preserves nutrients and adds some color to the raita.  Grate the cucumbers.  (waxed cucumbers must be completely peeled.)

3.     Roast cumin seeds in a dry pan on low heat.  Then crush them into a coarse powder with a mortar and pestle or the back of a spoon.

4.     Mix yogurt, spices and cucumber in a serving bowl, garnish with chopped coriander leaves.  Chill the raita before serving.  (Once the cucumbers have been added, it should not be allowed to sit outside very long as the cucumbers will give up their juices and thin the raita).

                                                 Serves 6-8


Tomato Raita


3 cups yogurt                                                3 tsp udad dal

2 Tblsp oil                                                  4-5 curry leaves (optional)

5 medium firm tomatoes,                       Salt to taste

  chopped finely                                       1 Tblsp fresh coriander leaves

½ cup dry shredded coconut                          Dash of hing (optional)

1 tsp mustard seeds


1.     Beat yogurt in a bowl.  Add tomatoes, coconut and salt.

2.     Heat oil in a pan.  Add mustard seeds and udad dal and as soon as it begins to crackle (just prior to popping), add the curry leaves and hing (optional) spoon this mixture into the yogurt/tomato/coconut mixture in bowl.  Mix well and serve garnished with coriander leaves.

                                                    Serves 4-6


Potato Raita

(Bateta nu raitu)


2 med. Potatoes, boiled                                      2 tsp ground cumin

2 cups yogurt                                                3 Tblsp chop. Coriander leaves

1/8 tsp chilli powder (optional)                        Salt to taste


1.     Beat the yogurt in a bowl until soft and cream.  Add salt, chilli powder and ground cumin.

2.     Peel and chop the potatoes into small cubes.

3.     Add the potatoes to yogurt mixture.

4.     Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.  Chill in the refrigerator.

                                                Serves 4-6




4 cups homemade yogurt                             ¼ tsp salt


1.         Line a large strainer with two layers of muslin or cheesecloth and place strainer over a 4-5 inch deep pan.

2.         Place yogurt in the strainer.

3.         Cover pan and refrigerate for 8 hours to allow the water to drain into the pan.

4.         Remove yoga-cheese from the strainer and put it into a glass bowl.  Add salt and mix well.

5.         Cover glass bowls with plastic wrap and refrigerates.

6.         The excess water can be used in soups.


Note: This cheese keeps for a couple of weeks.  It tastes like cream cheese and is delicious on rackers.  It can also he used as a dip, in pies, etc.


Variation: Add fresh herbs and choice of spices, e.g., cumin, paprika, caraway seeds, or fresh basil.

                                               Serves 6-8


Coconut-Coriander Raita

(Nariyal-kothmir nu raitu)


1 cup freshly grated coconut                          Salt to taste

1 cup finely chopped                                   ¼ cup golden raisins or

  coriander leaves                                                ¼ cup fresh pomegranate seeds

1 cup thick plain yogurt


1.     Put all ingredients in a serving bowl and mix well.

2.     Chill in the refrigerator before serving.

                                                     Serves 4-6


Kohlrabi Salad


2 small kohlrabi                                            1 tsp brown sugar

½ tsp cumin seeds                                       Salt to taste

¼ tsp hing                                                   1 green chilli,

1 Tblsp chopped                                              finely chopped (optional)

  coriander leaves                                                1 Tblsp lemon juice


1.     Peel the kohlrabi and slice into paper thin 1 inch squares.

2.     In a dish, put sliced kohlrabi and all the spies.  Mix thoroughly and allow salad to stand for 2 hours.

                                                Serves 4-6

Mixed Vegetable Salad



1 small grated beet                                        1 large tomato chopped fine

1 small grated carrot                                      1 Tblsp oil

1 small grated cucumber                                1 Tblsp gr. Coriander-cumin

½ cup shredded cabbage                                   ¼ tsp hing

1 med.  Green capsicum                                 Salt to taste

    chopped fine


1.     Mix all vegetables together in bowl.

2.     Add oil and spices and toss well.

                                                       Serves 4-6


Sprouted Mung – Bean Salad


1 cup mung-bean sprouts                                    1 cucumber, chopped small

1 cup alpha-alpha sprouts                                    Salt and pepper top taste

1 tomato, chopped fine


Mix all the ingredients together in a bowl and chill.

                                                         Serves 4-6


Carrot – Raisin Raita


1 cup grated carrot                                      1 tsp sugar

½ cup black raisins                                     1 tsp lemon

2 Tblsp salad oil                                             Salt to taste

¼ tsp mustard powder


Mix all ingredients together in a serving bowl and chill.

                                                     Serves 4-6


Grape Raita


2 cups green and red grapes                     1 tsp sugar

  chopped in small pieces                                      ½ tsp ground cumin

1 Tblsp mint chopped fine                       Salt to taste

2 cups whipped yogurt


Put grapes in a serving bowl, add all ingredients.  Mix well and chill in the refrigerator.

                                                              Serves 4-6


Spinach Raita

(Palak Raitu)


2 cups spinach, chopped fine                       ½ cup whipped yogurt

1 cup cabbage, chopped fine                       2 tsp oil

½ cup grated carrot                                      ½ tsp mustard seeds

¼ cup mint, chopped fine                                 Salt to taste


1.     Heat oil in a pan.  Add mustard seeds.  As soon as it begins to crackle, add all the vegetables.

2.     Cook briefly, stirring until heated through.

3.     Add yogurt and salt, and mix well.

4.     Chill and serve.

                                                       Serves 4



Health Salad


1 head of lettuce                                               ½ cup cream

1 capsicum, chopped fine                                 1 tsp lemon juice

1 apple, chopped small                               Salt, peper and sugar to taste

3 cucumbers, chopped small

2 grated carrots


1.     Wash lettuce and separate leaves.  Arrange around a plate.

2.     Combine cream, salt, peper,. Sugar and lemon juice.  Add this to the chopped and grated vegetables and fruit.

3.     Place this mixture in the center of the lettuce leaves.

4.     Chill and serve.

                                            Serves 4-6




Sweet Dishes


          One of the foods loved by all is sweets and desserts, served at the time of feast festivals and special occasions.  It is an age- old practice to share sweets and cakes with family, relatives and friend to express joy and happiness in festive celebrations.  In India, as it is in other countries, festival time is fun time- sweet time!

          In India, in olden days, sweet dishes were prepared only on special occasions and festivals-to mark the day.  As every dish had to be prepared from scratch, cooks had to be especially careful to have every ingredient at home.  Women of the town got together to help each other in the making of the sweets.  They shared their time and talent endlessly, with each other.  Singing folk songs while working made their task easy and faster.  It was a time of intimacy and joy.

           The sweets in this section are chosen from all the regions of India.  The ones make u of milk and paneer are generally Bengali sweets.  Today they are among the most popular all over India.

          Most of the Indian sweets, called “Mithi” in the Indian language, are made with refined sugar, but to maintain the nutritional value of the sweets I have tried to substitute maple syrup, brown sugar or gur wherever possible.  Sweets can be kept for 4 to 5 days in the refrigerator, but crisp sweets like peanut brittle can be kept outside in an airtight jar for a couple of days.

          The recipes chosen for this section are relatively easy to make, and the ingredients easily available on any grocery store.

         Sweets  are served along with the meals to balance the spicy and sour taste of the dals and vegetables.  Unlike the Western countries, Indians eat their sweets along with the meals, so as top enjoy all the tastes of the food at one time.  Exceptions top the rule are ice-creams and kulfis (Indian ice-cream) which are served after the meals.

          You can enliven your holidays with these delicious sweets and treat your family with new and different tastes and flavors.



Green Goddess Dessert

(Vatana no dudhpak)


1 quart whole milk                              1 medium apple, cut into

2 cups fresh or  frozen peas                     small pieces

2 cups water                                                          ¼ cup sugar

1 medium banana, cut into                       1 tsp rose essence or

  small pieces                                                ½ tsp ground cardamom

                                                                   ½ tsp ground nutmeg


1.     Bring 2 ups of water to a boil and add peas.  Cook till soft and tender; drain.  Set aside to cool.

2.     In a blender, puree the cooked peas with 2 cups milk and empty into a serving bowl.  Add remaining milk to puree.  Add sugar, rose essence and chopped fruit.  Mix until sugar is dissolved.

3.     Serve in small bowls, well chilled.

                                                 Serves 4-6


Carrot Halwa

(Gajar no halwo)


3 ¾ cups grated carrots                                    ¼ cup slivered almonds

3 1/3 cups milk                                           and pistachios

1 can condensed milk                                2 tsp ground cardamom

2 Tblsp ghee


1.     In  a non-stick pan, bring to a boil the grated carrots and milk.

2.     Lower heat.  Add condensed milk and cook until all the milk is evaporated and mixture becomes dry (about 25-30 minutes), stirring frequently.

3.     Add ghee and ground cardamom.  Stir well.  Cook for 10 minutes.

4.     Garnish with slivered almonds and pistachio and serve.

Variation: Serve warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

                                                   Serves 4-6


Saffron  Flavored Sweet Yogurt Dish

(Shri Khand)


12 cups yogurt                                                1 tsp ground nutmeg

1 tsp saffron strands,                                   ½ cup slivered, unfrosted,

  loosely packed                                               unsalted pistachio nuts

½ tsp water                                                          1 tsp ground cardamom

1 cup sugar


1.     Line a large colander with a double thickness of cheesecloth.  Scrape yogurt into cheesecloth.  Cover and let drain about five hours.  The yogurt will give up a good deal of liquid and will thicken as it drains.

2.     Discard the drained liquid.  Empty the firm yogurt into a large mixing bowl.

3.     Blend saffron and water in a small mortar.  Blend to a paste with a pestle.

4.     To the yogurt add saffron, sugar and ½ tsp nutmeg and cardamom. Blend thoroughly.

5.     Cut the pistachios into thin slivers.  Add half of them to yogurt. Mix well.

6.     Use remaining pistachio slivers and nutmeg as garnish on top.  Chill and serve in individual bowls.

                                                                 Serves 8-12


Saffron Flavored Yogurt with Fruits and Nuts

(Shri Khand)


4 cups plain yogurt                                      5 Tblsp sugar

1 cup mixed fresh fruits,                                       9-10 strand saffron

  chopped (apples, bananas,                         ½ tsp ground nutmeg

  grapes, pineapple, oranges,                         2 Tblsp slivered pistachio nuts

  strawberries)                                             2 Tblsp slivered almonds


1.     Drain yogurt in a cheesecloth three layers thick or in a piece of muslin cloth.  Let yogurt drain for 5 hours.

2.     Grind saffron in a mortar with a pestle with 2 or 3 drops water to make a paste.

3.     Add sugar,. Saffron, nutmeg and 1 Tblsp pistachios and 1 Tblsp almonds to yogurt and mix well.

4.     Add chopped fruits and stir gently to mix well.  Chill in refrigerator until ready to serve.

5.     Serve in individual bowls, garnished with remaining pistachios and almonds.

                                                           Serves 4-6


Simple Halva



1 cup ream of wheat                                  15-16 strands saffron

½ cup sweet (unsalted) butter                             3 Tblsp golden raisins

1 ½ cups water                                                 1 tsp ground cardamom

½ cup brown sugar                                       ½ tsp ground nutmeg

4 Tblsp slivered almonds


1.     In a mortar with pestle, make a paste of saffron with 3 to 4 drops water. 

2.     On low heat, heat butter in a pan and roast cream of wheat in butter until it is light brown (approximately 6-8 minutes).

3.     Add water, 2 Tblsp almonds, saffron and raisins and stir carefully with wooden spatula until all the water is absorbed by the cream of wheat.

4.     Add sugar.  Continue stirring until all the sugar is dissolved.

5.     Add ground cardamom and nutmeg.  The mixture will begin to pull away from the sides of the pan and become like a big lump.

6.     Empty it into a glass bowl; garnish with remaining slivered almonds.  Serve warm or cold.

                                                Serves 4-6


Cheese Squares in Milksauce

(Ras malai)


2 cups (15 oz.) ricotta cheese                            3 Tblsp milk masala

8 Tblsp maple syrup or sugar                    5 fresh strawberries

1 ½ cups milk                                         ¼ tsp rose essence or water

1 ½ pint light cream


1.     Mix ricotta cheese with 3 Tblsp maple syrup or sugar and rose essence.

2.     Spread mixture in a greased 8-inch square cake pan.  Bake in a preheated 3000F oven until slightly brown.  Remove from oven, let cheese cool before putting it in the freezer to chill.  When cheese hardens, cut into 1-inch squares.

3.     In a saucepan, add milk 5 Tblsp syrup or sugar, milk masala and bring to a boil.  Turn off heat.  Add cream.  Allow sauce to cool, chill in the refrigerator.

4.     Serve Cheese squares floating in the sauce in individual bowls.  Garnish with this slices of strawberries.

                                Yields approximately 64 squares.


Vermicelli Pudding



4 cups milk                                                 1 tsp ground cardamom

1 cup very thin whole                               ½ tsp ground nutmeg

  wheat vermicelli                                          ¼ tsp saffron powder

8 Tblsp sugar                                       1 can (11 oz.) Mandarin oranges


1.     Bring milk to a boil in a pan, stirring constantly.

2.     Add sugar, cardamom, nutmeg and saffron, let it cook for 2-3 minutes over low heat.

3.     Break vermicelli into 1-inch pieces, add to the milk and let cook for 10 minutes, stirring gently occasionally.

4.     Turn off heat and let it cool.  Then refrigerate for 4-5 hours.

5.     Cur the orange segments in half.  Serve the dudhpak topped with some orange segments in individual bowls.

                                                                Serves 6-8


Baked Pineapple-Cheese Squares


1 small can of pineapple chunks                  ½ cup sugar

Pinch of ground nutmeg                                    1 tsp ground cardamom

1 ½ cups paneer                                               Pinch of saffron powder


1.     In a 9-inch pie dish, arrange pineapple chunks to cover the bottom.  Sprinkle ground nutmeg over it.

2.     In a blender, blend the rest of the ingredients for a few seconds.  Pour this mixture over the pineapple chunks.

3.     Bake in a preheated oven at 3000F  for 15 minutes.

4.     Cut into 1-inch squares.

Serve hot or cold


           Do not use fresh pineapple for baking, it will turn bitter.



Soft, Spongy Brown Balls is Syrup

(Gulab Jasmbu)


Gulab Jambu                                               ¼ tsp baking soda

1 cup nonfat milk powder                           ¼ tsp ground cardamom

½ cup white, unbleached,                            ¼ tsp ground saffron

  all-purpose flour                                        ¼ cup water

3 Tblsp melted ghee                                Vegetable shortening for frying


Syrup                                                          2 cups water

2 cups light brown sugar                                       6 drops rose essence



1.     Cook brown sugar and water in a medium size pot over low heat until sugar melts (approximately 10 minutes).

2.     Remove from heat and set aside.


Gulab Jambu

1.     In a large mixing bowl, mix together milk powder, flour, soda, ground cardamom and saffron.

2.     Add melted ghee.  With your finger, rub mixture so ghee is evenly distributed and form flakes.

3.     Add a little water to the flaky mixture and try to form stiff dough.

4.     Break away about a quarter portion of the dough (the dough may crumble aqt this stage.  Just add ½ tsp water and knead lightly.)

5.     Knead this portion of dough with the palm of your hand until it becomes soft,. Smooth and manageable.  (You may find it necessary to add another ½ tsp water to make it adhere and get it to the right consistency.)

6.     When dough is smooth, pinch off portions to make balls about ¾ inch in diameter (about 5).

7.     Heat vegetable shortening and lower heat.  Slide dough balls one-by-one into shortening set on low heat.  Turn balls frequently with a slotted spoon to ensure even cooking.

8.     When the balls turn dark brown, remove with slotted spoon allowing them to drain completely and place them in prepared syrup.

9.     Work with the rest of the dough in this way but remember to work with a small portion frying only five or six balls at a time.

10.When all the balls are in the syrup bring syrup to a boil.  This will puff the balls.

11.When the syrup cools,. Add rose essence and mix carefully, do not break balls.

12.If you refrigerate Gulab Jambu, rehearing will bring back its spongy quality.

                                        Yields 20-22


Milk Cake



1 cup unsalted butter (2 sticks)                             1 cup milk

1 cup sugar                                                           1 tsp ground cardamom

1 cup finely ground almonds                          1 tsp ground nutmeg

  and pistachios                                          ¼ tsp saffron

                                                                   4 cups milk powder


1.     Melt butter in a saucepan on low heat.

2.     Add sugar and allow it to dissolve completely, stirring occasionally.

3.     Add milk, nuts, cardamom, nutmeg and saffron. Mix well.

4.     Add milk powder and mix thoroughly.  Leave mixture on low heat for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.  Set aside to cool.

5.     When mixture is cool, pinch out a small portion and form into flatfish rounds 1-inch in diameter.  With your thumb make a depression in the middle on one side of the round (so that it appears concave.)

6.     Repeat with the rest of the mixture.

                                              Yields 25-30 pieces.


   Peadas can be stored for a week without refrigeration.



Orange Fudge

(Santara ni barfi)


4 cups cashew nut powder                           2 tsp grated orange rind

1 up sugar                                                  ½ tsp orange essence

1 cup orange juice


1.     In a saucepan, dissolve sugar in orange juice and boil over medium heat.  Cook for 10 minutes or until; the syrup is of three-thread consistency.  (To test for the right consistency, place a drop of syrup in a bowl of water.  If the syrup has attained the right consistency, the drop will settle down in the bowl; without disintegrating.)

2.     Add ground cashews and mix well.  Continue stirring mixture on low heat until a lump is formed and mixture starts to draw away from the sides of the pan.  Turn off heat.

3.     Add orange rind and orange essence.

4.     Spread mixture in a 10-inch cake pan and allow to cool.  Cut into desired shape.

                                                   Yields 25-30 pieces


Coconut Fudge

(Kopra Pak)


1 cup condensed milk                                1 tsp ground cardamom

3 cups desiccated coconut                          ½ tsp ground nutmeg

½ cup coarsely chopped                                   ¼ tsp saffron powder

  cashew nuts                                         1 Tblsp ghee

½ cup coarsely chopped walnut                            ghee for greasing hands

                Slivers of pistachio nuts and glazed cherries for garnish


1.     Mix condensed milk, coconut nuts and ghee in a non-stick pan and place over medium heat.

2.     Add cardamom, nutmeg, and  saffron. Stir until it forms a lump.

3.     Grease hands lightly with ghee and make 24 balls with the mixture.  Place each ball in a decorative paper cup.  Garnish with pistachio nuts and cherries.

                                              Yields 24 pieces.


Rice Pudding



1 quart milk                                                   1 tsp ground nutmeg

1/3 cup desiccated coconut                          4 Tblsp slivered almonds

1 cup cooked rice                                                  and pistachios

¼ cup sugar                                                 1 tsp rose water

1 tsp ground cardamom


1.     Bring milk to a boil, reduce heat to moderate and stir occasionally, cook for 10 minutes.

2.     Add rice, sugar,. Coconut, nuts, cardamom and nutmeg and cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Be careful not to burn milk.  The milk tends to sit at the bottom of the pan if not stirred.

3.     Cool.  Stir in rose water and chill in refrigerator for about 4 hours.

                                                    Serves 6-8