Wednesday, December 31, 2008

SAGPEHTA (Green lentils with bathua saag)


Green urad dal (split) - 1 cup

Bathua saag - 1 cup

Turmeric - ½ tsp

Salt to taste

For seasoning

Garlic - 5 to 6 cloves

Heeng - 2 pinches

Red chilli pdr - ½ tsp

Green chillies - 2 (slit lengthwise)

Mustard oil - 2 tsp

Desi ghee (clarified butter) to taste


· Clean bathua saag and chop it roughly.

· Pressure cook green urad dal along with chopped saag , turmeric and salt. DO NOT OVERCOOK THE DAL.

· To prepare seasoning, heat oil, add chopped garlic , green chillies ,red chilli pdr and heeng. When the garlic turns light brown, pour the seasoning over the pre pared dal.

· Garnish the Sagpehta with a dollop of desi ghee and serve.

Monday, December 29, 2008



Cooked dal (any variety) - 1 cup

Cooked rice - 1 cup

For seasoning

Onions (cut lengthwise) - 1

Garlic (cut lengthwise) - 4 cloves

Ginger (grated) - 1 inch piece

Green chillies (slit lengthwise) - 2

Cumin - 1 tsp

Garam masala pdr - ½ tsp

Salt to taste

Desi ghee (clarified butter) - 1 ½ tbsp


· Heat desi ghee in a pan and add cumin. When it starts to crackle, add the onions.

· When the onions turn pink add ginger, garlic and green chillies and fry for a minute.

· Now add rice, fry for a minute, add dal, salt and garam masala pdr and fry for 2 minutes.

· Tadke wala dal chawal is ready to serve.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

You bring out the UP-walli in me....

I came across this poem while surfing and couldnt resist sharing it with my visitors....
I am sure all the UP - wallis and wallas will relate to it .check out the author too.

You bring out the UP-walli in me,
The zari, gota, sitaraa,
The sweet, sweet bataasha,
The lilt of my (m)other tongue,
simmering under these words in me.

I play for you. For the twinkle in your eyes
when I rant in Hindi.
Kya hai.

You bring out the UP-walli in me,
The toe rings and the nose pin in me,
The glitter and the large earrings in me,
The kohl around my eyes in me,
The love of wearing bangles in me,
The folklore and the folk music in me,
The jigar and the beedee in me,
The loud weddings in me,
The raunchy numbers in me,
The beats of dholak, the songs of naughty grannies in me.

You bring out the UP-walli in me.
The love of the epic in me,
The Mahabharat and the Ramayan in me,
The chastity vows and the infinite appetite in me,
The warrior-sage ancestor in me,
The meek minions and the mighty queens in me,
The banished one, the vengeful one, the dark one who rebelled in me,
The woman who had five husbands but loved only one in me.

They say my name means Seeta, daughter of the earth.
You bring out my name in me.

You bring out the UP-walli in me.
The blue neel in me,
the pink mahaawar in me,
the crimson gulmohur in me,
the yellow amaltash in me,
the cactus in me, the crotons in me,
the redolence of Eucalyptus, the scent of henna in me.

For you I’d mulch the mehendi leaves that hedged
our government bungalow in Jhansi.
For you I’d paint my palms and
I won’t complain.

Wild roses in Ranikhet,
Empty fireplaces in Benaras,
The smell-less smell of a desolate Noida fog,
The fragrance of raat ki raani in Karbi.
Like all these, I long for you.

Come sit on the floor beside me.
Eat kaddoo curry with soft kachauris
laid out on plates made of dried leaves.
Dip your finger in the yogurt to stir the boora,
Make love to me with our fingers sticky sweet,
Say hum when you mean I,
I’d raise my skirts and let you in,
caress you with fumes from the dhoop batti
that used to be lit every dusk
in my Nani’s house,
and pat you to sleep.

Come. Call me jaan, or raaje.

You bring out the UP-walli in me,
The surprise of heeng in hot daal in me,
The shock of ghee sizzling with whole, red chillies in me,
The bite of raw ginger sprinkled on aloo-gobhi in me.
The sepia dust storms in me,
The mango orchards in me,
The tales of dacoits and bandits in me,
The bhaiyya complex in me,
its self-deprecatory humour
but the hidden pride in me.

I play for you. For your gritted teeth and
shut eyes when I move over you.

You’re the only one I’d allow to call me Raani,
You're the only one I'd let overtake the kitchen,
Bring me breakfast in bed,
And sometimes wine.

You bring out the UP-walli in me.
The proud grandfather and the generous parents in me,
The love of literature in me,
the scholar in me, the nerd in me,
the wannabe Anthropology intellectual in me,
the show-off-I-got-100-out-of-100 in me,

You’re the one I spin these yarns for,
At 4 am,
Overworked and sleep deprived.
Let me show off to you.

You bring out the UP-walli in me.
Hand pump water with a tang of metal in me,
Sugarcanes eaten on terraces
In dusty villages in me,
(hard teeth around firm flesh bursting with sweet in me),
Sugarcane juice running down my elbow in me,
The sexual innuendo in me.

The hot-white glare of the Taj Mahal,
The thick walls of the Jhansi fort,
The withered wooden door of my gaon house
Complete with iron knockers in me,
All nestled in me, marinating and
Roasting in me, always torturing me,
Never letting go of me.

Of naked feet on hard,
Cool, stone floors,
Of air coolers, of khus-khus
In summers,
Of peeling walls that smelt of wet earth
When sprayed with a hose,
Of blistering boulders with a whiff
Of heat.

You remind me of all these.
The forgotten, pushed away,
Hidden parts of me,
The lekin and the agar in me,
The abey and the oye in me,
The ab to ho gaya in me.

You bring out the UP-walli in me.
Let me love you.
(You do.)
Let me show you.
You do. Yes. You do.

* Gauche but earnest attempt, inspired by Sandra Cisnero's lovely, lovely 'You Bring Out the Mexican in Me'...and you.



Tomatoes - ½ kg , chopped
Onions - 3, medium, cut lengthwise
Garlic - 10 cloves , cut lengthwise
Ginger - 2 inch, cut into julienne
Green chillies - 4, slit in half
Fresh coriander - 4 tbsp, chopped
Garam masala pdr - 1 tsp
Mustard oil - 2 tbsp
Salt to taste


• Heat oil, add cumin. When it starts to splutter, add chopped tomatoes and salt. Cover with a lid and cook till the tomatoes become tender.

• Now add chopped onions, garlic and ginger juliennes. Cook for 2 minutes.
• Add green chillies and garam masala pdr. Cook for 2 minutes or till all the ingredients are cooked.

• Add fresh coriander. Switch off gas cover with lid and let it stand for 2 minutes.

• Tomato chutni is ready to serve.

Friday, December 26, 2008


Fenugreek potatoes


Potatoes - ½ kgs (boiled)
Onion - 1 medium , chopped
Dried fenugreek leaves/Kasuri methi - 2 tbsp
Cumin - 1 tsp
Turmeric - ½ tsp
Green chillies - 2 , chopped
Mustard oil - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste


• Cut potatoes into cubes. Keep aside.

• Heat oil and add cumin. When it starts to splutter add green chillies, turmeric and chopped onion.

• Sauté till the onion turns pink. Add the potato cubes and salt and fry till its golden in color.

• Now add Dried fenugreek leaves/kasuri methi and fry for 2 minutes.

• Aloo methi is ready to eat.

Thursday, December 25, 2008



Wheat flour - 300 gms

Salt - 1 tsp

Water as required

For the filling:

Cauliflower - 1 medium sized

Ginger - 1 inch piece (grated)

Green chillies - 2 ( finely chopped)

Cumin seeds - 1 tsp

Garam masala pdr - 1 tsp

Fresh coriander leaves - 2 tbsp (finely chopped)

Salt to taste

Wheat flour - 50 gms (keep aside in a flat plate)


· Mix salt in the wheat flour and knead into soft and pliable dough. Keep aside.

· Grate cauliflower.

· Mix together all the ingredients for the filling except salt.

· Divide the dough into equal sized pieces.

· Take little amount of filling mixture (sufficient to fill 4 parathas) and add salt to it.

· If you add salt to the entire mixture then the mixture will turn soggy.

· Now make the parathas in which ever shape you like.


Tuesday, December 9, 2008



Methi leaves - 1 bunch (finely chopped)

Wheat flour - 300 gms
Besan - 2 tbsp
Green chillies - 2 ( finely chopped)
Garlic - 6 cloves (finely chopped)
Salt to taste

Water as required


• Dry roast besan till it turns a very light brown.

• Mix together wheat flour, roasted besan, chopped Methi leaves, chopped green chillies, chopped garlic and salt to taste .Add water and make smooth dough.

• Now make the parathas in which ever shape you like.


Monday, December 8, 2008



Bathua ka saag - 150 gms

Curds - 250 gms

Salt to taste

For seasoning:

Black mustard seeds - 1 tsp

Whole red chillies - 3

Mustard oil - 2 tsp


· Blanch the bathua leaves in water and grind to a paste.

· Churn the curds and add salt to taste.

· Now prepare the seasoning. Heat oil, add mustard seeds. When they start to splutter, add the whole red chillies.

· Immediately pour it on the prepared curds mixture Bathua raita is ready.

Saturday, December 6, 2008



Lady finger - 500 gms (slit in half, lengthwise)
Onions - 3 medium , cut lengthwise
Red chilli pdr - 1 tsp
Kalaunji masala - 1 tbsp
Amchur pdr - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Mustard oil - 2 tbsp


• Heat 1 tbsp oil in a pan. Add the onions, fry till they turn light brown. Keep aside.
• In the same pan add the remaining oil and add the lady fingers.
• Sauté for about 10 minutes or till they turn crispy.
• Now add Kalaunji masala , amchur pdr, red chilli pdr and salt.
• Mix thoroughly, add the fried onions.
• Sauté for a minute and bhindi masala is ready.

Friday, December 5, 2008


This sizzler can be accompanied by steamed rice or noodles.


Assorted vegetables:

Carrots, Beans, Peas, Capsicum and onions – 250 gms (cut into cubes)

Cabbage 4 to 5 full leaves

Potatoes - 4-5 medium sized (cut in shape for fries)

Paneer cubes - 100 gms

Tomato Puree - 100 gms

Chilly Sauce - 3 tbsp

Butter - 2 tbsp

Vinegar - 1 tsp

Salt, Pepper & Aji-No-Moto to taste


· Fry the Potato fingers. Keep aside

· Sauté the Paneer cubes in a pan with little butter & pepper. Keep aside.

For Sizzler

· In a pan, heat the butter, add the assorted veggies and sauté lightly for 5 minutes. Ensure that the veggies retain their crunchiness.

· Add tomato puree, chilli sauce & vinegar. Mix well.

· Now add paneer cubes and stir lightly.

· Add salt pepper and aji-no-moto and stir lightly.

To Arrange Sizzler

· Heat the sizzler plate on the gas stove (till it is very hot).

· Carefully arrange cabbage leaves on the plate.

· Arrange the assorted vegetable of the cabbage.

· Arrange the potato fries on one side.

· Once arranged, lift the cabbage leaf carefully from one side and slide in a cube of butter and a tea spoon full of vinegar for the sizzle effect.

· Serve immediately while sizzling.

(For Non Vegetarians instead of assorted veggies use onion capsicum along with chicken or mutton seekh kebabs)