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Thursday, 7 December 2017

Stand Strong by Shubha Vilas | Book #4 of Ramayana- The Game of Life Series

Book review of Stand Strong by Shubha Vilas -

Stand Strong by Shubha Vilas #Book Review
 Book #4 of Ramayana - The Game of Life Series

Stand Strong by Shubha Vilas is the fourth book of the Ramayana –The Game of Life Book Series. Since I have read the first 3 books of the series; I was elated when I got the opportunity to read this one. Stand Strong is a modern retelling of the Kishkindha Kand of Valmiki Ramayana - it tells us all about the events occurring in the monkey kingdom of Kishkindha. Like the previous books, this book too doesn’t just narrate the stories from Ramayana but also imparts insightful life lessons to the readers. The book is motivational, enlightening, and encouraging, all in the same breath.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Bombay Masala Sandwich Recipe | How to make Bombay Masala Sandwich

Bombay Masala Sandwich Recipe | A very popular roadside snack from the city of Mumbai, India. Check the recipe to know how to make Bombay Masala Sandwich
Bombay Masala Sandwich #Recipe

Bombay Masala Sandwich is a very popular roadside snack from the city of Mumbai. Between two grilled bread slices smeared with a generous amount of green chutney and butter is a spicy potato mixture topped with onion and tomato slices and grated cheese. The roadside vendors are very generous when it comes to filling it and topping it with cheese. I, however, exercise caution when I make it at home. However, if you like it cheesy you can be as generous as you like!

It is best to have this sandwich when it is freshly made - crisp and hot, along with a cup of masala chai.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Jhaal Muri | How to Make Jhaal Muri from scratch | Street Food Recipes

Jhal Muri Recipe - A healthy and easy snack recipe to munch on from the streets on Kolkata|
Jhaal Muri #Recipe
Jhaal Muri is another popular street food from the state of Bengal. It is a light snack and is quite healthy too. ‘Jhaal’ in Bengali means ‘spicy’ and ‘muri is puffed rice – and it translates to spicy puffed rice. In the streets of Kolkata, the street vendors prepare them instantly and serve them in newspaper cones. With chopped onion, tomato, boiled potatoes, peanuts, sev bhujia, mustard oil and a blend of spices, it is a delightful snack to munch on. Using mustard oil is a must, as it imparts the dish its characteristic taste. While it might look somewhat similar to Bhel Puri, it’s taste is altogether different.

Monday, 4 December 2017

Ghugni Chaat | How to Make Ghugni from Scratch | Recipe

Ghugni Chaat | How to Make Kolkata Style Ghugni Chaat at home |
Ghugni Chaat #Recipe

Ghugni Chaat is one of the most loved street foods from the lanes of Kolkata. And contrary to the popular belief about street foods, it is quite a healthy protein packed dish to indulge in. Try any area in Kolkata that is famous for its street food, you are bound to find a conspicuous vendor selling Ghugni.

In simple words, ghugni is a spicy curry made from dried white peas (that has been soaked for at least 6 hours or overnight) topped with chopped onions, tamarind chutney, a handful of coriander leaves and a specially roasted masala. Ghugni is to Kolkata what chole chaat is to Delhi. It is one of those dishes I make when I am running out of veggies in my pantry. With just a few ingredients, you can have a hearty and tummy satisfying meal.

When I was in school, there was a vendor who could come to our school park to sell ghugni during lunch breaks. From what I remember, there used to be a huge crowd surrounding his cart – all enjoying a plate of hot ghugni chaat. Back then I was quite averse to street foods since I was not sure what kind of hygiene standards they maintained. So, I never bought a plate of ghugni from him. Although today I enjoy having street food from street vendors, I am still very choosy. Well, that’s just me. These days whenever I crave street food, I end up making it at home.

Looking for more street food options, check out the recipe for

Ghugni Chaat | How to Make Kolkata Style Ghugni Chaat at home |

How to make Ghugni Chaat at home

1 cup dried yellow peas
1 large onion, chopped
2 tsp ginger-chilli paste
1 tsp garlic paste
1 tsp cumin powder
2 medium tomatoes blanched and pureed.
1 large boiled potato, boiled, peeled, and mashed roughly.
A pinch of hing
1 tbsp oil
¼ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp chilli powder
Salt to taste

To serve:
Chopped onion
Chopped fresh coriander
Lemon slices
Specially roasted masala (bhaja masala)

In order to prepare the roasted masala, take 2 tbsp cumin, 1 tbsp coriander seeds and 2 whole red chillies. Dry roast it in a pan over medium heat till they change colour. Grind it into a coarse powder in a pestle and mortar. Add 1 tsp of black salt and mix. Store it in an airtight container and use as needed.


1.       Wash the dried yellow peas and soak them in fresh water for 6 hours or overnight.
2.       In order to cook the peas, add the drained yellow peas to a pressure cooker and water such that the peas are covered in water. Add ½ tsp salt and cook it on high until one whistle. Wait till the pressure is released and open the cooker.
3.       Heat a Kadhai, add oil and when it is heated add hing and cumin seeds. Will the cumin seeds splutter, add ginger-chilli paste, garlic paste and stir. After a few seconds add the chopped onions and a pinch of salt. Cook till the onions are translucent. It will take about 3-4 minutes.
4.       Now add the tomato puree and stir. Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder, cumin powder and stir again. Cook till the tomato puree leaves oil in the sides.
5.       Now add the cooked peas and mashed potato. Give it a good stir. Check the spices. Add more if necessary. Bring it to a boil and then cover and lower the heat. Cook for about 5 minutes. When done turn off the heat.
6.       To serve, add the ghugni to a deep plate. Top it with a dash of lemon juice, tamarind chutney, chopped onion, chopped coriander, and the specially prepared roasted spice mix. Serve it hot.

Ghugni Chaat | How to Make Kolkata Style Ghugni Chaat at home |

This post is a part of the Blogging Marathon under the theme 'Make Street Food at Home'.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#83

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Anything But Books Tag

anything but books tag jyoti babel
Anything But Books Tag #Ramblings

Long ago I had been tagged by my blogger friend Tarang for this interesting tag post – Anything But Books.  For reasons unknown, I have taken almost an eternity to answer it. I took a blogging break in September when I went on my annual holidays to my mom’s place. After coming back, blogging has somehow taken a back seat and that is evident from the sparse posts I have done in the past 2 months.

Anyways coming back to this tag post, there are some interesting questions that are not related to book in this tag and the tagged person has to answer it and pass it on to other bloggers. Let’s start now.

Name a cartoon(s) that you love.

As a kid, I loved watching Mowgli (Jungle Books), Duck Tales, and Tom & Jerry. I am somehow glad that in our times we didn’t have YouTube and had to wait almost a week to watch our favourite cartoons. That taught us to be patient and to value our precious Sunday TV hours.

What is your favourite song right now?

I am still a big fan of songs from the old B&W Hindi movies. I remember their lyrics too. Unfortunately, I am not very mindful when listening to songs these days – I can’t even recall the lyrics if you ask me. Generally, these days I listen to songs on Radio sometimes and I love the songs by Arijit Singh. But, no favourite song in particular.

What could you do for hours (that isn’t reading)?

Spending time on Pinterest and fantasizing about cooking flawlessly decorated cakes and exotic dishes. However, I seldom get enough time to do that. Maybe someday!

What is something you love to do that your followers would be surprised by?

I have nothing very surprising to share. But, there is something I like to do that I have seen not many people like to do – if my mood is set (of course not every day) I can spend hours in cleaning and organizing my kitchen and home. Yeah!

What is your favourite unnecessarily specific thing to learn about (this can do with books, I guess)?

I didn’t get this question. If it means what I want to learn - well there are a ton of things. I want to learn how to swim (Yes, I can't swim - maybe I will learn with Baby M), I want to learn to apply makeup (I am too bad at it and usually don't bother about it ) and many more things (the list would be too long if I went on writing).

What is something unusual you know how to do?

I thought really hard, but I don’t think I have any such special talent.

Name something you’ve made in the last year (and show us, if you can).

I think I can mention about some new dishes I have learnt to cook. Check out my Vegetable Biryani, Beets Brownie, and Tortilla Chips from scratch.

What is your most recent personal project?

I am working on my second blog. It is still in a work-in-progress phase and will most likely go live from January next year. Apart from food, I will be writing about a number other things that interest me.

Tell us something you think about often (maybe while staring out of windows).

I think my mind wanders easily when I am staring out of the window. Often the thoughts vary drastically – like sometimes I might be thinking about what to cook, and somedays I might be pondering over the philosophical nuances of life.

Give us something that’s your favourite, but make it something oddly specific, not like your favourite food, but like your favourite food when you’ve been studying for hours and forgot to eat. Or, you know, something like that.

Studying for hours and forgot to eat! Yes, that has happened to me in the past. But, I can’t think of any food item I would crave then. But, here is one thing oddly specific – when I am watching a movie in a movie theatre I want caramel popcorn. If that’s not available, I would rather not binge on anything else.

I would like to pass on this tag to a blogger I recently discovered through Twitter – Anagha. If you happen to read this post, do check her blog too.

Thank you for stopping by! Cheers!

Monday, 30 October 2017

Harnessing the Windmills of the Mind by Abraham Thomas | Book Review

Harnessing the Windmills of the Mind by Abraham Thomas

In the pell-mell of life, who has not sometimes felt overwhelmed? The mind seems to be in an endless churn...leading us in circles of despair, anger and frustration... Where do we turn when we are floundering? The answer lies within. Windmills offer practical and sustainable ways forward through Effective Mind Control (EMC).

How to control your temper

How to cultivate patience

How to face grief

How to deal with guilt

How to escape from the well of sudden disappointment

How not to feel dissatisfied with life

How to avoid despair over the lack of meaning in your life

These pages abridge the behavioural aspects of the AI thesis about the mind on the Effective Mind Control website. EMC has drawn keen interest from around the world, logging over half a million page views from over 150 countries. EMC assumes that IA, an intuitive algorithm, enables the mind to apply inductive reasoning to manage attitudes and behaviours. Windmills suggest simple mental and physical exercises, followed by wise men across the centuries, to change our own views and actions...pointing the way towards a positive life experience.

The review of this book has been long due. I had received a review copy of the same from Leadstart Publishers. Actually, I had chosen this title from a list of books they had to give way for review. The reason why I was interested in this particular book was the tagline of the book – achieving effective mind control. Well, who doesn’t want to have a full control over their minds? All of us and we all know that it is a herculean task.

As I read this book I realized that you cannot read it in a go. The book is thought-provoking and you have to slowly soak in the nectar of the book. And also unless you apply what you have learnt through the book, you can’t give your opinion about the same, right? That is one of the many reasons (travel, blogging block, Diwali, etc., among others) why it took me so long to write about it here.

The author has described the human brain as a composition of millions of windmills that control how we are, how we behave and how we live our lives. If we can guide and have control over these windmills we can take charge of our lives. And this can be done by following some mental and physical exercises. Sounds easy, right? But, to be able to practice them in everyday lives needs a person’s willingness to change, patience and above all discipline.

The author has touched on every aspect of our lives, the problems and dilemmas we face – sadness, guilt, fear, disappointment, anger, impatience, low self-esteem and more. All these take a toll on the quality of our lives and make us show the futility of our meaningless lives. The irony is that the solutions to all our problems lie within us. But we do not know how to go about it. That is what the book shows us - with the help of breathing exercises, mindfulness exercises the book shows us some ways that can help in fostering positive thinking and a positive attitude towards life and help us fight our own demons.

While I can say the content of the book is great, I wish it was written in a different way. At some point, it starts to sound boring. If it had been written like a practical workbook, it could have been utilised better by the end users.

You can check out the book in Amazon

Thank you for stopping by. Cheers!

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Book Review | Return of the Trojan Horse – Tales of Criminal Investigation by Amit Dubey

Return of the Trojan Horse – Tales of Criminal Investigation 
by Amit Dubey #BookReview

The blurb says:

Hello Amit, don’t waste your time; you can’t hack my system. But we will hack your country! Ameen.

They know me! This wasn’t good. The greatest fear a hacker has is having his identity revealed. During investigative operations, I always guarded my identity like the Kohinoor diamond. Then how could they have reached me? It was a-l-m-o-s-t impossible. 

A young software engineer, who, as a hobby, starts helping the Police in solving criminal cases, turns into a critical resource for the Force. He becomes entrapped in the system. Return of the Trojan Horse is the riveting narration of how he is compelled to draw inputs from his personal life and use sharp thinking and advanced technology to solve the criminal cases he is brought into. Based on real life, the book reveals the next generation methodologies used in crime investigation.

With the advent of internet and technology, our lives have changed drastically. We cannot imagine living a day without internet and our gadgets. Every facet of our lives is touched by technology; from the way we shop our groceries, plan our holidays, to how we book our cabs, movie tickets, etc. Whatever we do on the internet, we leave our digital footprints behind. While technology has made our lives easier, it has also made us more vulnerable.

We live in a world where criminals and terrorists are using hi-tech methods and equipment to plan their acts. And hence it is no surprise that those involved in criminal investigations also use advanced technology and next generation methodologies to crack crimes cases. Return of the Trojan Horse – Tales of Criminal Investigation by Amit Dubey gives us a sneak peek into the world of crimes and criminal investigation and how big a role technology is playing in today’s time.

Before I talk about the book, here is something about the author Amit Dubey that you should know. He is a well-known persona in the field of Crime Investigation in India and helps various police departments and security agencies in India to solve criminal cases. He is an IIT alumnus and a software engineer by profession. He speaks regularly at international conferences on cybercrimes and ethical hacking. He has also been featured by CNN-IBN as a National Security Expert.

Given the author’s background, I had high expectations from the book as I felt that the author will be drawing in from his rich experience in the cybersecurity field and will have something interesting to share. The book didn’t just meet my expectations but surpassed it. There are three different fictional case studies in the book - one dealing with a terrorist attack, one involving a kidnapping case and one revolving around a hit and run case (although I do feel somewhere they do have some resemblances with real incidents). All of them are narrated in simple and easy to follow language. The author doesn’t aim to preach or educate you about anything – he just narrates you a story of criminal investigation and how with the help of technology he helped in solving them. The use of technical jargons is minimal and hence the storytelling never feels overwhelming at any point in time.

As you go through the pages of the book, you will know how easy it is to track anyone who uses a smartphone and is connected to the internet. It is quite scary in a way that we are all oblivious to how vulnerable we all are in today’s time connected by technology.

The narration in the book is crisp and to the point. Yet, it often evokes many emotions in the reader– at some point, you will feel angry, sometimes anxious and helpless and often you will feel a strong sense of patriotism. A good pick for anyone interested in reading stories from the field of cybersecurity, criminal investigation and ethical hacking.

This book makes for a great gift for any book lover. So, this Diwali you can gift it to a book-loving friend of yours.

I received a free copy of the book from Leadstart Publishers in lieu of an honest review.

Friday, 1 September 2017

Jason Cage (Jason Cage Series #1) by aKay Brothers – A Book Review

Jason Cage (Jason Cage Series #1) by aKay Brothers 

Books can make you travel places and that is one way it helps in breaking the monotony of life. Last few months things were quite busy at my end and I was hardly getting any time to read anything worthwhile. All the titles I had at hand were not looking very inviting and were pushed away with the ‘read later’ tag. And then I got a mail from the authors of this new book ‘Jason Cage’ for a review and as I read the blurb I was instantly interested.

The authors of this book call themselves aKay Brothers – a pen name under which they are writing a series of books centering around the life of the protagonist named Jason Cage. The book review I am posting today is for the 1st book that has been published recently.

What an interesting and exciting read this book has been! And now I can’t wait for the next book in the series. At first instance, I felt it was a crime thriller, but then there are elements of paranormal fantasy and also some sub plots in historical settings. The best thing about the book is the pace of the story – it builds up interest in the readers and gets them hooked. Even when the settings in the book change, the pace is maintained and that I believe is one of the hallmarks of a good writer.

But, then there is something that needs to be worked upon. I came across a number of editing errors and spelling mistakes in the book that needs to be done away with to enhance the reader’s experience. A tighter editing is recommended for future books.

Jason Cage is a man with a mysterious birth and has a life that is far from normal. He is tormented by his dreams – they are the precursor of events that are about to happen in someone’s real life or in some cases have already happened. But one thing is common - his dreams bring bad tidings. After losing his parents to unnatural deaths and after a stint at a Medical school where he befriends Lisa and Bill, he finally seeks solace in a Buddhist Monastery in Ladakh. Jason knows that his stay there won’t last forever, so he tries to make the most of his time there by keeping a very low profile. But, little does he knows that his dreams will strike him again and he will not have an option but to follow them.

Don – a peculiar creature resembling a lion is Jason's companion and has been by his side most of the time since his birth. The uncanny and peculiar thing about it is that it is visible only to Jason. The author takes us places through Jason’s dreams – sometimes to a time more than half a century ago where a doctor is trying to frame his friend as a blood sucking vampire and then to place where a man meets his death in the most mysterious circumstances after opening a parcel. There is again a sub plot with the settings in ancient Egypt where a man’s folly leads to the rising of the devil.

Amidst all this, there is this dream where Jason sees that Lisa’s (who used be his crush in his college days) life is in danger. That’s when he decides it is time to venture out and save Lisa. But how is he going to do it? He has no idea where Lisa is and to top it, he has no money. How will Jason embark on his journey to save Lisa and will he be able to do it?

Another plot running through the book is that of Dr Dhristi from RAW. After a successful mission of capturing LeT head (seriously that reminded me of the Akshay’s Kumar starter movie –Baby), she deploys her best man to get hold of Jason Cage. Why? That’s a question I am hoping would be covered in the next books.

Just as is expected from books where the story is revealed in a series, there are too many unanswered questions in the first book of the Jason cage series.

What has the Egyptian devil from centuries ago and RAW from the present times got to do with Jason?

How all of these are going to converge to Jason is a thing to read in sequels as and when they get released.

This is a book outside my frequently read genres and it was a welcome change for me. Anyone who is interested in crime thrillers or books on paranormal fantasy will surely find it a great read. If you want to know more about the book, you can visit the author’s website. www.akaybrothers. You can grab a copy of the book on Amazon too.

I received a free r-copy of the book from the authors for an unbiased review.

Thank you for stopping by! Cheers!

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Stuffed Aloo Paratha | How to Make Aloo Parathas | Weekend Breakfast Recipe Ideas

Stuffed Aloo Paratha recipe - a very popular breakfast dish in most North Indian households -

Aloo Paratha is a very popular breakfast recipe in most North Indian households.

Even though we love parathas, they are not a regular thing in my house. They make an appearance on the dining table once or twice a month and that too when I run out of veggies in my pantry. But, we like to have parathas for breakfast when we are travelling or are on a vacation and want to have a filling meal.

When I was thinking about what to post for the 3rd day of  'Special Weekend Breakfast' theme for BM#79, I realised that I have never posted a paratha recipe on this space. So naturally, I decided to post the recipe for one of the most popular parathas that are made in most homes as a special weekend breakfast. It's none other than Stuffed Aloo Paratha.

Let's check out how I make it -

Stuffed Aloo Parathas


1½ cup whole wheat flour.
Pinch of salt
Water to knead the dough.

For the filling:

2 medium potatoes, boiled, peeled and crushed
¼ cup of cooked green peas, slightly crushed
1 green chilli, minced
1 tsp grated ginger
2-3 tbsp chopped coriander leaves.
1 tbsp oil
½ tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp jeera
½ tsp amchur
½ tsp garam masala
salt as per taste

Ghee or oil for shallow frying

Stuffed Aloo Paratha recipe - a very popular breakfast dish in most North Indian households -


1. In a large bowl, add whole wheat flour, salt and knead the dough using water as needed. Cover the dough and let it sit for at least 15 mins before you proceed with rolling.

2. Heat a pan and add oil. When the oil is heated, add the cumin seeds, minced green chillies and grated ginger. Add the crushed green peas and the mashed potatoes and all the spices and seasoning. Give the mixture a good stir. Add chopped coriander leaves and mix again. Heat it for another 2-3 minutes and then turn off the gas. Take the pan off the gas and let the mixture cool completely before using them to fill parathas.

3. In order to make parathas, take the dough, knead it for a few seconds and divide the dough into 6 to 8 equal sized dough balls.

4. Using some dry flour roll the dough ball into a roti about 3cm in radius. Place 2-3 tbsp of the prepared filling in the middle. Join the edges and close it forming a ball. Roll it again about 6 cm in radius.

5. Meanwhile, keep a tava for cooking the paratha on gas flame. Place the rolled paratha on the tava, when one side is done turn it over and heat on the other side. Brush ghee on the top and turn it over. Brush ghee on the other side as well. Apply pressure with a turning spoon to ensure even cooking.

6. Repeat the same with rest of the dough balls.

7. Serve the parathas with pickle and yoghurt. Enjoy them hot.

Looking for more Weekend Breakfast Recipe Ideas, check out


Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Paneer Veggie Grilled Sandwich Recipe | How to Make Paneer Veggie Grilled Sandwich | Weekend Breakfast Recipe Ideas

Paneer Veggie Grilled Sandwich is a lip-smacking, easy to make sandwich and can be made under 30 minutes.
Paneer Veggie Grilled Sandwich #Recipe

Paneer Veggie Grilled Sandwich is a lip-smacking, easy to make sandwich. With just a handful of ingredients, you can have a filling dish for breakfast in under 30 minutes.

Can you resist the taste of golden, crisp, grilled sandwich with a cup of hot tea?

Grilled sandwiches are a regular fare during weekends in my house. So, on the 2nd day of Week#4 of BM# 79 under my chosen theme of 'Weekend Breakfast Ideas', I am sharing the recipe for a much loved Paneer Veggie Grilled Sandwich. I use freshly made homemade paneer in making the filling for this sandwich. However, you may use grated ready to use paneer also and it will make the process faster.

Let's checkout the recipe below:

Paneer Veggie Grilled Sandwich


8 brown bread slices

For the filling:
1/4 cup freshly made paneer
3 tbsp chopped capsicum
1 small carrot, grated
1 small green chilli finely minced
2 tbsp chopped coriander
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp tomato sauce

To assemble:
green chutney
tomato ketchup
butter to grease

Paneer Veggie Grilled Sandwich is a lip-smacking, easy to make sandwich and can be made under 30 minutes.


1. In a bowl, add all the ingredients for the filling and mix. Taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly. Set aside.
2. Apply butter on one side of each bread slice. On the unbuttered side of 4 bread slices apply green chutney and on the remaining 4 slices apply tomato ketchup.
3. Take the slices with green chutney side up and spread the prepared paneer filling. Cover with the bread slices smeared with tomato ketchup with buttered side up. Repeat the same with the rest of the bread slices.
4. Grill them on a sandwich maker till golden lines appear on both sides. Slice them into two halves.
5. Serve hot with ketchup and green chutney and a cup of hot masala chai. Enjoy!

If you like sandwiches check out my Bombay Masala Sandwich Recipe.


Thank you for stopping by! Cheers!

Friday, 25 August 2017

Club Kachori Recipe | How to Make Club Kachori | Special Weekend Breakfast Recipe

Club Kachori is a quite a famous weekend breakfast dish from the city of Kolkata. These are bite sized puri served with spicy potato curry. Find the recipe on
Club Kachori #Recipe

Club Kachori is a quite a famous weekend breakfast dish from the city of Kolkata.

Anyone who has lived in Kolkata for a while will know about this quite popular weekend breakfast dish - Club Kachori. This dish is DH's favourite and whenever he is in Kolkata, he doesn't miss to indulge gorging on it for breakfast at a popular snack shop in the locality.

For the uninitiated, the name of this dish can be a little misleading. The kachoris here are not like the khasta kachori which are well known all over India; they are more like bite-size puri. But, there is a difference. Into the dough of these kachoris, goes coarsely urad dal paste, suji, little chilli and ginger paste and some hing which gives it its characteristic taste

These kachoris as deep fried and are served with a spicy potato curry. In some places, pumpkin is also added to the curry. Panchporan - a Bengali whole spice mix added to this curry, makes it taste a little different from the regular potato curry.

Typically, maida is used to make the kachoris, but at home, I use atta (chapati flour) to make them.
Without much ado, let's check out how to prepare Club Kachori Kolkata style.

This is the first recipe I am posting under Weekend Breakfast Theme of BM#79

Club Kachori is a quite a famous weekend breakfast dish from the city of Kolkata. These are bite sized puri served with spicy potato curry. Find the recipe on

Club Kachori Recipe


For the Kachori/Puri

2 cups atta
¼ cup suji/semolina
2 tbsp oil
¼ cup urad dal washed and soaked in water for at least an hour
¼ tsp hing/asafetida
1 tsp chilli paste
1 tsp ginger paste

For the Potato Curry:

6 medium-size potato, boiled, peeled and chopped
2 tomatoes, blanched, peeled and pureed
2 cloves of garlic, grated
1 green chilli, chopped
1 tsp ginger paste
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp hing
½ tsp each of sauf, methi seeds, ajwain, kalonji and rai (panchporan)
1 red chilli
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder, or to taste
2 tsp coriander powder
Salt to taste
½ tsp amchur
½ tsp garam masala
1 tsp kasuri methi
Handful of coriander leaves
Club Kachori is a quite a famous weekend breakfast dish from the city of Kolkata. These are bite sized puri served with spicy potato curry. Find the recipe on


1.       Drain the soaked urad dal and grind coarsely in a grinder. In a mixing bowl, add the coarsely ground urad dal paste, atta, suji, oil, hing, salt, chilli and ginger and using water as need, knead a firm dough. Cover it and set it aside.
2.       To make the potato curry heat oil in a pan, add hing, jeera, red chilli, green chilli, ginger and garlic and sauté for a few seconds. Now add sauf, methi seeds, ajwain, kalonji and rai and stir so that they start crackling. Now add the tomato puree. Cook for about a minute and then add the chilli powder, turmeric powder, salt, and coriander powder. Cook for a couple of minutes. When you see oil leaving its side, add the potatoes. Stir. Now add 1 cup of water. Stir and bring it to a boil.
3.       When it comes to a boil, the gravy will also start thickening, add garam masala, amchur and crushed kasuri methi and stir. If needed add little more water, cover and bring to a boil.
4.       Check for spices, adjust if needed. When done, add chopped coriander leaves and take it off the flame.
5.       In order to make the kachori/puri, divide the dough into small balls (little bigger than marbles). These kachoris are about 2 inches in diameter.
6.       Roll them into thick rounds (little thicker than puri). Thin ones do not puff well.
7.       Heat oil in a Kadhai and when the oil is heated enough, fry them 2-3 at a time (depending on the size of your Kadhai) on high heat. When it is brown on one, flip and fry the other side for a few seconds. Drain them on paper towel. Repeat the process till you have used all the dough.
8.       Serve the potato curry with these hot kachori/puri along with a dollop of achar, sliced onion and some tomato and cucumber slices for a filling weekend breakfast/ brunch.

1. Do not roll them too thin or too big, else they will not puff well.
2. Always fry these kachoris on a high heat, it helps them in puffing. Once they puff up, you can lower the heat and fry till they are golden.

Looking for more Weekend Breakfast Recipe Ideas, check out
Bombay Masala Sandwich Recipe
Paneer Veggie Grilled Sandwich Recipe


Thursday, 17 August 2017

Penne Pasta in Red Sauce with Veggies Recipe | How to Make Penne Pasta in Red Sauce with Veggies | Italian Recipes

Penne Pasta in Red Sauce with Veggies Recipe | How to Make Penne Pasta in Red Sauce with Veggies | Italian Recipes. More such recipes at
Penne Pasta in Red Sauce with Veggies #Recipe 
Penne Pasta in Red Sauce with veggies is a regular dish in my household. On days when I am not in the mood to cook an elaborate Indian meal with roti, subji, dal and chawal, it comes to my rescue. They not only make for a filling meal but can be made relatively faster. The recipe I am sharing today is that of penne pasta in the red sauce along with some veggies. I have added just capsicum and sweetcorn, but if you are not pressed for time, you can add many more veggies - anything that catches your fancy.

I always prefer to bake my pasta for the final cooking. First I boil the pasta in water till they are just done. When the sauce is ready and I toss in the pasta, cook on stove top for a couple of minutes and then transfer it all in a casserole, top it with cheese and bake it for 15-20 minutes. I think this way flavour of the sauce seeps into the pasta making it taste great.

I am sharing this recipe under Summer Casserole Dishes Theme of Week#2 of BM#79.

Penne Pasta in Red Sauce with Veggies Recipe | How to Make Penne Pasta in Red Sauce with Veggies | Italian Recipes. More such recipes at

Penne Pasta in Red Sauce with Veggies Recipe


2 cups cooked penne pasta
1½ cup fresh tomato puree
¼ cup tomato ketchup
¼ cup finely chopped onions
1 tsp garlic paste
½ cup chopped capsicum
½ cup boiled sweet corn 
Salt to taste
1 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp butter
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dry red chilli flakes
¼ to ½ cup grated cheese

Penne Pasta in Red Sauce with Veggies Recipe | How to Make Penne Pasta in Red Sauce with Veggies | Italian Recipes. More such recipes at

1. Heat oil in a pan. Add the butter, followed by chopped onion and garlic and sauté on a medium flame for 2 minutes.
2. Add the chopped capsicum and cook it covered on a medium flame for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the fresh tomato puree and salt and cook it for 5-7 minutes. Stir in between.
4. When it looks a bit cooked, add tomato ketchup, oregano, chilli flakes and sugar. Stir well and cook on a medium flame for about 7 to 10 minute. The red sauce should be nice and thick by now.
5. Add the cooked pasta, boiled sweet corn and gently toss everything and cook on a medium flame for 2 more minutes. The pasta should be well coated with the sauce.
6. Transfer the pasta in a casserole that has been pre-greased with butter. Top it with grated cheese and bake it in a preheated oven at 180 C for 15-20 minutes. Serve hot. Enjoy!

Penne Pasta in Red Sauce with Veggies Recipe | How to Make Penne Pasta in Red Sauce with Veggies | Italian Recipes. More such recipes at


1. You can add any other veggies of choice like broccoli, mushrooms, baby corn, etc.

Looking for a dessert ides to go with this meal, check out my molten lava chocolate cake.


Monday, 14 August 2017

Lebanese Beans Salad | How to make Lebanese Beans Salad | Salad Recipes

Lebanese Bean Salad | Lebanese Beans Salad is a simple, flavourful salad but is power packed with protein. Check out the recipe at
Lebanese Beans Salad #Recipes
Lebanese Beans Salad is a simple, flavourful salad but is power packed with protein. Beans are extensively used in Lebanese cuisine and this salad is one of the great ways to add some veggies and beans to your diet.

I was very much hoping that I would be able to keep up with my schedule for the blogging marathon this month. I had been taking part in it since last 2 months so that I could keep this blog running. But, this month my schedule went haywire. A little lack of planning on my part and some unexpected writing assignments that came my way kept me busy and this little space was ignored. I am going to make up for it and will be posting my recipes here now.

My chosen theme for week #1 is Lebanese cuisine and as a part of it, I had posted my version of Fattoush Salad and a recipe for Hummus (without Tahini). The third and final recipe for the 1st-week theme is this 'Lebanese Beans Salad'.

Let's check the recipe now.

Lebanese Beans Salad


1 cup boiled chickpeas
1 cup boiled red kidney beans
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, cut into chunks
1 medium cucumber, peeled and cut into chunks
a handful of coriander leaves, chopped
a handful of mint leaves, chopped

For the dressing
Juice of 1 lemon
2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic finely crushed
salt and pepper to taste

Lebanese Bean Salad | Lebanese Beans Salad is a simple, flavourful salad but is power packed with protein. Check out the recipe at


1. Mix all the ingredients of the dressing in a bowl and whisk nicely.

2. In a large bowl add the salad ingredients and drizzle over the dressing. Shake well so that the dressing is well incorporated.

3. Cover the bowl and let it rest for at least half an hour in the refrigerator. Take it out, shake it and serve.


1. If you are using canned beans, make sure you rinse them well with water before adding to the salad.

2. When using dried beans, soak the beans overnight and cook separately in a pressure cooker till they are thoroughly cooked but not mushy.


Sunday, 6 August 2017

Hummus Recipe | How to make Hummus without Tahini | Lebanese Recipes

How to Make Hummus without Tahini. The basic version of hummus is typically made with chickpeas, olive oil, seasonings and lemon juice. Checkout my recipe at
How to Make Hummus without Tahini #Recipe

Hummus is served in many ways - you can serve it as a dip with pita bread, it is also used as a spread for falafel wraps. For those who are interested in healthy snacking, you can have dollops of it with carrot sticks or cucumber pieces.

When you think Lebanese cuisine, the first dip that is likely to come to your mind is - Hummus.

The basic version of it is typically made with chickpeas, olive oil, seasonings and lemon juice. So, for my second post of BM #79 under Lebanese Cuisine, I am sharing a simple recipe for this ubiquitous dip.

The recipe for hummus I am sharing today is without tahini. Tahini, one of the optional ingredients in hummus is actually sesame paste made with a little bit of oil. I had hummus for the first time when I was living in Dublin and to tell you the truth, I was not very delighted with its taste. For our Indian palate it seemed a little too bland - in my view, the one I had wasn't seasoned well - it could do with a little more salt and lemon juice.

In the versions I have tried at home, I use lemon juice a little too generously. Let's check out how I make the basic version of hummus.

How to Make Hummus without Tahini. The basic version of hummus is typically made with chickpeas, olive oil, seasonings and lemon juice. Checkout my recipe at

Hummus Without Tahini Recipe


1½ cup chickpeas, cooked
2 fat cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Add everything in a blender jar and start churning; add water as needed to make a smooth paste.

2. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. Serve drizzled with little olive oil and lemon juice with carrot and cucumber sticks or with some pita bread chips.

Looking for more Lebanese inspired dishes, check out

Fattoush Salad
Lebanese Bean Salad

Thank you for stopping by! Cheers!


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