Rajasthani papad.

The legendary Rajasthani papad is thin, crisp, round shaped made from pulses along with black pepper and cumin seeds. You can roll them out either large, medium or small depending on preference. These papads can be served as an accompaniment, can be cooked as a subzi, crushed to make a churi –  along with ghee and spices, served with fresh onions, tomatoes and masalas for a quick snack.


250 gms moong dal flour

250 gms urad dal flour

250 ml water

2.5 tsps salt

1 tsp Papad khar

3/4 tsp Cumin seeds

3/4 tsp pepper corns coarsely crushed

1/2 tsp turmeric powder.


Sieve the flours together. Tip the water into a pan and add the cumin seeds, turmeric powder, papad khar and salt. Bring to a boil. Switch off and allow to cool down for around ten minutes. Keep about 7 tbsps of flour aside to dust the pellets while rolling them out. Take the flour in a large bowl. Drop the crushed pepper corns into the flour. Pouring a little water at a time bind a stiff dough. Divide the dough into four portions. Take each portion and pound it in a mortar till it becomes smooth and elastic. It takes about fifteen minutes to pound all the four portions. Keep them covered for about five minutes. Take one portion and pinch off equal sized balls depending on how big you want the papad to be. I prefer making small sized ones as they are easier to roll out and fry too.

Dust the ball/ pellet with a little flour and roll out the papad as thin as possible. Similarly finish off with the remaining dough. At no point of time the dough should be left uncovered.

Spread a cloth or a plastic sheet and place the rolled out papad on them. Allow to dry thoroughly in strong sun for around four hours. Dry them for a longer time if you are making a large batch and plan to store them.

These papads can be fried or roasted as per preference.

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Copyright © 2023 by Vinaya Prabhu. All rights reserved.

Spaghetti in Pesto sauce.

This is a recipe which both kids and adults will simply enjoy! Spaghetti in pesto sauce is an Italian dish with the richness and aroma of basil which is it’s basic ingredient. It keeps the flavour of the dish fresh for long. This recipe, that can be cooked in under 30 minutes, has spaghetti tossed in a blend of cheese and pesto sauce along with cherry tomatoes.

Ingredients :

250 gms spaghetti (boiled in two litres of water, a pinch of salt and some olive oil till al dente)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 sprig mint leaves

5 cherry tomatoes halved

2 garlic cloves crushed slightly.

For pesto sauce:

2 cups basil

1/2 cup parmesan cheese grated

1/2 cup roasted walnuts


4 garlic cloves

3 tbsps olive oil


Tip all the ingredients mentioned under pesto sauce in a blender and grind to a coarse consistency. Keep aside. Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the garlic cloves. Toss till they turn golden brown. Add the cherry tomatoes. Remove the garlic. Add the pesto sauce. Cook for a minute. Add the boiled spaghetti. Mix thoroughly. Garnish with a mint sprig , cheese and serve immediately.

Copyright © 2022 by Vinaya Prabhu. All rights reserved.

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Potatoshroom Masala

Mushrooms are a rich source of protein, selenium, vitamins and antioxidants. Button mushroom cultivation has become an alternative source of income for the Indian farmer and also a profitable one.

This post though is not about mushrooms. It is for those who are allergic to them as I am. I decided to prepare a Mushroom masala but with potatoes shaped into button mushrooms.

All one needs is an apple corer and a sharp knife. Just slice the tip of a potato and stick the apple corer about 2/3 into it. Cut it in a circle. You can feel the knife touching the metal.. Remove the corer and you are left with a pretty looking button mushroom.


250 gms baby potatoes

2 large onions sliced

2 tomatoes chopped fine

7 cloves of garlic

1 inch piece of ginger

2 tbsps Kashmiri chilly powder

1 tbsp coriander powder

1tsp Garam masala

4tbsps curds whisked well

3 tbsps oil

2 tbsps ghee/ clarified butter

1tsp cumin seeds



Prepare the potatoes into the shape of a mushroom as mentioned above. Wash and drop them into boiling salted water. Switch off , cover and allow to stand till you are able to handle the potatoes. Peel the skin and keep aside. Roast them sprinkled with salta in a little oil so that they become firm. Heat the ghee and oil mixture in a pan. Drop in the cumin seeds and after they splutter add the sliced onions and ginger garlic paste. Saute till the onions are translucent and the raw smell of the ginger garlic disappears. Add the chilly, coriander and garam masala powders and saute for a minute. Add the tomatoes and roast till mushy. Drop in the whisked curd and mix thoroughly. Add enough water to bring it to a gravy like consistency. Drop in the potatoes and bring to a boil. Allow to simmer for a couple of minutes and check for salt. Add if required. Cover and cook for about five minutes. Switch off and keep aside for about fifteen minutes for the flavours to infuse. Serve with Jeera rice or roti.

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Makhana and toasted seeds Chivda

A healthy, delicious and extremely nutritious Chivda to make during Diwali this year. Makhana or foxnuts are a stellar Indian super food. Low in fat and sodium, and high in calcium and potassium. They are an ideal snack to munch on when one feels those mid morning or late evening hunger pangs.

I usually roast foxnuts with just half a teaspoon of ghee and a sprinkling of salt. I decided to make a chivda this year, adding a variety of seeds to make it more nutritive. The amount of fat used in this recipe is also extremely less. Enjoy it with your evening tea or pack it for your children in their tiffin boxes.


100 gms Makhana

25 gms flax seeds

50 gms pumpkin seeds

25 gms sunflower seeds

2 tbsps sesame seeds

25 almonds

1/4 of a dry coconut/ copra slivered

1 tbsp chilly powder or paprika

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

1tbsp coriander seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1tsp sugar or Stevia

1 tsp Hing/ asafoetida

2 sprigs curry leaves


1tsp ghee/ clarified butter


Tip the Makhana into a wide mouthed pan or kadhai. Sprinkle salt, turmeric powder, curry leaves and add half a teaspoon of ghee. Mix thoroughly and switch on the stove. Roast on a gentle flame till the Makhana is crisp. Keep aside. Take half a teaspoon of ghee in a pan. Roast the coconut slivers to a golden brown. Keep aside. Roast the pumpkin seeds till they change colour and turn crisp. Remove and tip in the flax seeds. Roast till they splutter. Remove and add the sesame seeds. Roast till they splutter. Mix all the three roasted seeds and sprinkle a little salt over them when they are still warm. Mix thoroughly and keep aside. Roast the almonds till they change colour and keep aside. Powder the coriander seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida and sugar. Heat a pan and add the roasted Makhana, the seeds, almonds and sprinkle the powdered spices. Drop in the chilly powder and heat the entire mixture till the spice powder coats the Makhana well … Allow to cool thoroughly and store in an airtight container.

Note: All seeds need to be roasted separately or they could burn as roasting time for each varies. The entire process of making the Chivda took me just fifteen minutes. Keep all the ingredients at hand so you do not lose time heating the pan over and over again. Do not roast the coriander and cumin seeds as you are powdering them along with the sugar. The sugar will melt and the resultant sticky mass cannot be used.. the asafoetida will give out it’s aroma when the mixture is being re heated.

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Home made Paan Beeda

Offering a Paan Beeda or Tambool is a sign of auspiciousness for Indians. Betel leaves with a dash of lime and betel nut is eaten as a digestive after a meal. The commercially prepared ones have a variety of ingredients added to woo the customer. The traditional home made Paan has fennel seeds, cloves, cardamom, shavings of scented betel nut and Gulkand. You can use home made Gulkand or the one which is available at any of the grocery stores. Betel leaves come from various regions in India and each has it’s own unique texture.


One large betel leaf

A dash of lime

1tsp fennel seeds

1tsp scented Supari/ betel nut shavings

1 Cardamom

1 clove

1heaped tsp Gulkand

A sprinkling of dessicated coconut


Wash and pat dry the Paan. Snip off the stem and apply just a hint of lime on the lower side of the leaf. Tip in the remaining ingredients mentioned above in the centre and fold it in the shape shown in the picture. Secure it with a clove to hold the ends of the leaf together. Though paan is always eaten fresh you may refrigerate and store it up to two days.

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Spaghetti in tomato sauce

A quick, easy to make pasta which can be prepared within fifteen minutes… Delicious and filling… Load it with veggies or keep it simple… The choice is entirely yours.


250 gms wheat pasta

2 tbsps Amul butter or any salted butter

10 flakes of garlic finely chopped

2 bulbs of spring onions chopped

1 medium sized onion chopped fine

1 carrot cut into thin wedges

12 cherry tomatoes

1 tbsp mixed herbs

1 tsp Oregano

1 tsp paprika

6 tbsps tomato ketchup

Salt and sugar only if required

2 tbsps Olive oil

Grated cheese as required.


Boil the pasta as per the instructions on the pack. Drain and toss with the olive oil. Keep aside. While the pasta is getting ready you can easily prep the rest of the ingredients. Heat butter in a pan. Add the garlic and roast for a minute. Drop in the onions, spring onions, carrot and the cherry tomatoes and saute till the onions turn translucent and the tomatoes are blistered. Add the tomato ketchup, the other seasonings and mix thoroughly. Drop in the cooled spaghetti and give it a good mix. Heat well. Garnish with grated cheese of choice. Serve hot.

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Curd Sevai

Curd Sevai is a quick and easy dish that can be prepared in no time.. all one needs is to tip the rice sevai which is readily available at the grocers, into boiling water. Allow to stand for three to four minutes. Drain and spread in a plate to cool. While the sevai is cooling, one can prepare the curd and the seasoning which goes into it.


100 gms Sevai cooled

250 ml thick curd

100 ml milk

2 green chillies finely chopped

2 inch piece ginger grated

1 tsp Ghee/ clarified butter

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp urad dal/ split black gram

1 tsp jeera/ cumin seeds

2 sprigs curry leaves

2 tbsps finely chopped coriander leaves

2 tbsps grated coconut

1/2 carrot grated

Grapes halved



Beat the curd to a creamy consistency. Pulse the grated ginger, green chillies and coconut and tip it into the curds. Heat Ghee in a pan. Drop in the urad dal.. as it turns golden yellow add the mustard seeds. After they crackle add the cumin seeds followed by curry leaves. Drop the seasoning into the curd. Add the cooled sevai, milk and salt. Mix thoroughly. Finally add the grated carrot, coriander leaves and the grapes. Serve chilled.

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Pasta in white sauce.

An all time favourite with children and adults alike, this pasta in white sauce is extremely easy to make and ready in no time. See that you cook the pasta and chop the vegetables side by side to get it ready in just fifteen minutes.


200 gms pasta

Half of a red, yellow and green bell pepper cut into cubes

A small head of Broccoli

100 gms boiled sweet corn

1 large onion cut into petals

3 tbsps of garlic finely chopped

5 tbsps of butter

3 tbsps of maida/ all purpose flour

2 glasses/ 500 ml of milk

Pepper, salt, chilly flakes and mixed herbs as per taste.

4 tbsps grated cheese


1/2 tsp oil.


Boil two litres of water. Add a heaped tsp of salt and then drop the pasta into the boiling water. Always bring the water to a boil before adding pasta and use salt while cooking it so that it gets infused. Lower heat and keep boiling for around ten minutes. It is to be cooked al dente that is 85 percent cooked. It gets cooked in the sauce too later. Drain the water and immediately wash with cold water to stop further cooking. Drain thoroughly in a colander and drizzle with half a tsp of oil to prevent clumping. Toss and keep aside. Heat two tbsps of butter in a pan. Drop in the finely chopped garlic and roast to a golden yellow. Add the onions and toss for a couple of seconds. Drop in the cubed bell peppers, brocolli and the boiled sweet corn. Add salt and pepper and keep tossing on a high flame. The vegetables should cook but retain their crunch. Tip them into a plate. Heat the remaining butter in the same pan and add the maida to it. Roast on a very gentle flame for about two to three minutes till it loses its rawness. Drop in the milk and keep stirring to avoid lumps. Once it comes to a boil drop in the vegetables, the pasta and sprinkle the chilly flakes, mixed herbs and pepper. Check for salt. Do remember that you have added salt while cooking the pasta. Drop in the cheese.. Simmer for a minute or two and serve hot.

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Bittergourd subzi

You can find any number of recipes of preparations of Bittergourd on this website. I had totally forgotten to upload this one which the children loved when they were young. My son who is still working from home, reminded me about it today and I realised that I had not made it ever since the children have left home. This subzi is not just easy to make but also goes well with both chapati and dal rice. I enjoy eating it with curd rice as well.


2 medium sized Bittergourd cut into thin slices

2 tomatoes chopped fine

2 medium sized onions sliced thinly

1 tbsp Sambhar powder

1 tbsp Kashmiri Lal chilly powder


Oil to fry the bittergourd.


Sprinkle a little salt on the bittergourd. Mix and immediately fry in hot oil till crisp. Those who want to tone down the bitterness can wait for the bittergourd to release water. Squeeze and then fry. I prefer not to wait as most vitamins are lost if the bittergourd is squeezed.

Heat the oil in which you have fried the bittergourd and drop in the sliced onions. Roast till translucent. Add salt and the chilly powder. Toss and drop in the tomatoes. Roast on a gentle flame till the tomatoes start releasing water. Add the Sambhar masala and keep roasting till the tomatoes turn mushy. Drop in the fried Bittergourd pieces, mix well , cover and cook for a couple of minutes. Switch off. Set aside for about fifteen minutes to allow the flavours to infuse. Serve hot.

Note: Use oil just enough to cover the bittergourd while frying to prevent wastage. The remaining oil can be used while seasoning the subzi.

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Mango jam in microwave

Today making jam is as easy as it can get! No stirring, no standing near the gas stove and everything ready within minutes. The microwave is a boon and the jam is ready within no time at all. The entire process took me precisely eighteen minutes.


1/2 kg ripe Rajapuri mangoes

200 gms sugar

Juice of one large lemon

A pinch of salt.


Wash, pat dry and peel the mangoes. Chop them into cubes and tip them into the mixer. Puree. Pour the puree into a microwave safe bowl. Add the sugar and salt. Mix thoroughly. Place the bowl in the microwave and cover it with a glass plate or lid to avoid getting the microwave dirty. Power cook it for four minutes. Remove, add the lemon juice , mix and again power cook for three minutes. Remove, stir and finally power cook it again for another three minutes. The jam is ready. Allow to cool thoroughly. Store in a sterilised glass jar.

Note: The shelf life of the jam varies from place to place basically because of the weather conditions. I usually refrigerate the jam the next day . Though sugar is a natural preservative, not worth taking a chance of it getting spoilt because of the humidity.

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