Vegetables only

Bottle Gourd Chutney - Doodhi Chutney


This is an easy to make tasty chutney which lasts about a week in the fridge.


125 gms doodhi / bottle gourd

125 gms green mango

25 ml oil

50 gms coconut, grated

25 gms green coriander, wash well, dry and chop

25 gms green chillies, chop

5 gms rai /mustard seeds

25 gms salt


Prepare the ingredients. Peel and chop the bottle gourd and the mango. Dry roast the grated coconut .

Fry the bottle gourd in 3 tbsp of the oil till cooked. Grind all the other ingredients in a blender till smooth and add the fried gourd. Blend well till it becomes a paste.Do not add water.

Heat the rest of the oil and pop the mustard seeds. Pour this over the prepared paste. Mix well.

Yummy with rice or chapathis, idlis or dosas.



How to keep herbs fresh


Pune has become a place of plenty. Earlier on about the only fresh herb one could get was green dhania ( coriander) in generous bunches.Now you get fresh Thyme, Parsley, Flat leaf parsley, Basil, Sage and Marjoram , even though the bunches are quite slender.

One of the problems about fresh herbs is that they don't stay fresh very long and soon become a sodden mess when kept in a plastic bag in the fridge. Unless you go veggie shopping everyday, these herbs need to be replenished frequently, and sadly the day that I need one or the other I find a green mass of what looks like seaweed in the said plastic bags instead of  the nice, springy, fragrant leaves I want.

To circumvent such utter disappointment I have taken to freezing my herbs.

Blanch-herbs Herbs-in-ice-waterPack-herbs

All you need is lots of ice, a large bowl and a wire basket  in the same size as a pan.I use a 6 " pan and and a 6" wire basket.

  • First remove any wilted or damaged bits from the herbs , then wash them in cold water. Tie them into tiny bunches .
  • Now bring a pan of water to the boil. When it is giving off a good amount of steam hold the bunch of herbs in a steam/wire strainer/ basket over the pan and  blanch them for  1 minute.
  • Immediately remove the bunch and plunge into a bowl of ice water.
  • Shake of f the excess water and pack in a clean plastic bag and tie.
  • You can now store them in the freezer for individual use. Tada...herbs at hand everyday!

Tofu Bean Curd Makhani



Photo Courtesy Little Blue Hen

Nowadays all types of Tofu are available on the market, both fresh and processed.The coagulant used  to curdle the soya milk to make fresh tofu is what makes the difference in the final product.

Making tofu is similiar to makiing paneer and you can use lime juice or vinegar to curdle the milk though this gives it a slightly sour taste and this type of tofu does not lend itself well to making sweet dishes.

Fresh Tofu should always be kept underwater in the fridge and should be used within a few days or it  will get cloudy and slimy.

Our local make is a little dry as compared to the "Silken Tofu" from Japan but it works well for Indian style dishes.Here is a nice recipe for all vegetarians wondering how to dress up their weekly dose of Tofu.

Perhaps the heaviness of the Makhan is offset by the healthiness of the Tofu....


250 gms tofu

1/4 cup soy curd

1 tsp ginger paste

1 tsp garlic paste

1 tsp salt

2 tsp red chilli powder.

450 gms tomato

2 cups water

3 cloves/ lavang

3 cardamom/ elaichi

1 " stick cinnamon/ dalchini

1 tsp oil

1/2  tsp turmeric/ haldi

1 tsp cumin /jeera powder

1 tsp coriander /dhania powder

1/2 cup butter

1/2 cup cream

1 1/2 tsp dried mathi leaves / kasoori methi

1 tsp sugar



Mix the beaten soy curd with half of the ginger and garlic paste, the red chilli powder and salt .Cut the Tofu into cubes and mix with the curds. Stand for 15 minutes. Shallow fry the pieces in hot oil till slightly brown on the surface.

Cook the tomato in two cups of water along with the clovesm cinnamon and cardamon.

Put into a blender and make tomato pulp of it.

Heat the oil and fry the tomato puree till it reduces and the oil seperates.Add the rest of the ginger and garlic paste and fry for a couple of minutes.Add the cumin and corainder powder, the red chilli powder and the turmeric and fry for another minute.

Add water to make a thick gravy. Cook on low heat for 10 minutes to let the flavours mingle. Now add the butter, cream and kasuri methi. Add th e sugar and the tofu and let it simmer on a low fire for another 5 minutes.

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and strips of fresh ginger.

Wonderful with roti.

Do not plan on eating another meal for the next 12 hours!