Sunday, 28 September 2014


SABUDANA TIKKI ( suitable for vegans)

Normally these cutlets are eaten on Navaratri fasting days. Hindus celebrate navaratri in the month of April and September every year. The April one is celebrated mainly in north India. But the September one before Dashehra is celebrated in many states of India, with a big bang in Bengal and in Gujarat people are in a real mood of celebrating it with garba dance. In this festival, we worship Goddess Durga and her nine forms.

During the time of navratri, hindus fast from grains for 9 continuous days, those who can not fast for 9 days, they fast on first and the last day of navratri. Some people only eat fruits for nine days. I remember in my youth, when I was in Delhi, my brother's friend was fasting on only two cloves and water for nine days. In those nine days he was walking around 6-8 km to the temple of Kalkaji daily. Kalkaji, is a very old and famous Kali (Durga) temple in south delhi. During navratri lots of devotees are going there to offer their prayers and to have a glimpse of Goddess Kali.

The interesting thing is that during navratri days, though we fast from grain, but still eat very tasty, good, rich and variety of food . Many sweet, savory and fruity dishes are made without grain, the only problem in those days is that our consumption of calorie count is increased because of the type of food we make.

During navratri days lots of special ingredients are also available for cooking on fasting days. Some of them are sabudana (sago), samak chawal (fasting rice), kuttu ka atta (Buck wheat flower), singhade ka atta (water chestnut flower) etc. I do a lot of cooking experiments with these unique ingredients, together with some fruits and vegetables, during navratri.

These sago cutlets are my son-in-law's favourite and he enjoys a lot together with other fasting curries etc. So sometimes I make them in dinner, even when we are not fasting. Sago cutlets go very well with fasting rice, fruit salad, yoghurt and some sweets like any halwa or kheer etc.

In these cutlets I use boiled potatoes, ground peanuts and little potato flower, which helps in binding. Curry leaves and sliced green chilli gives nice colour and taste.


  • 100 grams sago
  • 1 big boiled potato
  • 50 grams ground peanuts
  • 100 grams potato flour
  • Chopped curry leaves/coriander leaves
  • Finely chopped green chilli
  • salt to taste
  • chilli powder to taste
  • Oil for frying.

  • Soak sago in small amount of water for 3-4 hours.
  • Wash, boil and grate potato.
  • Mix grated potato, peanut powder and potato flour in sago.
  • Add salt, chilli powder, curry leaves and green chilli.
  • Mix well and make small balls and flatten them to give shape of a cutlet.
  • Heat oil on a high flame and fry them in batches, till golden brown..
  • 15-20 cutlets can be made depending on the size.

Can be served to 4-5 people with any chutney of taste.

Sunday, 21 September 2014


( suitable for vegans)

In Calgary, bell peppers are available throughout the year, in red, orange, yellow and green colours. I read in Wikipedia that they also come in chocolate/brown, vanilla/white and purple colours. I have not seen these coloured peppers here, maybe I will have to visit some specialist veg stores/organic shops to see if there are more colours available here.

Bell peppers are also known as sweet peppers, in India they are called capsicum or Simla mirch ( in hindi). Colours of these peppers are actually encouraging people like me to make use of them in my kitchen, as I read in a health magazine that we should make a habit of using rainbow colours of fruits and vegetables in our daily diet to maintain good health. In the same magazine it was also mentioned that these peppers are good for health, can be eaten raw in our salads, as they are a rich source of antioxidant and vitamin C. Now I am also using them raw in my salads.

When I talk about the health magazine or magazines in general. I remember in 90's in Africa, how we were forced to read old magazines in the doctor’s clinic, while waiting to see the doctor, we had no choice but to read them. I was always wondering why they can't (doctors) buy new magazines for their clinics. But now that problem is automatically sorted out by the cell phones. Cell phones are keeping us busy, no matter where ever we are, at the shop, at the airport or at the doctor's clinic, and moreover we are in contact with everybody, as if the whole world is in our pocket.

I use these bell peppers in many recipes in my kitchen, this is one of my favorite recipe. The aroma of roasted chick peas flour with ground mustard seeds really go well together with bell peppers. This is my mom's recipe, I still miss the other one my mom use to make, small sized green bell pepper stuffed with boiled potatoes and shallow fry on tava (cast iron flat pan). These days, tiny, pretty, green bell peppers are no where to be found.


-4 large bell pepper
(1 red, 1 orange, 2 green)
-100 grams chickpeas four (Besan)
-1 tablespoon sesame seeds
-2 tablespoon oil
-salt and chilli powder to taste
-1 tablespoon black mustered seeds (grinded)
-pinch asafautida
-2 teaspoon coriander powder


  1. Wash and chop all bell peppers in one cm squire pieces together.
  2. On a medium heat first roast the sesame seeds for few minutes till golden brown, leave it aside.
  3. On a medium heat dry roast the chick peas flour ( besan) in a fry pan for few minutes till light brown and change the colour, leave it to cool.
  4. On a medium flame, heat the oil in a wok or fry pan, add mustered seeds and asafautida, roast for few seconds.
  5. Add the chopped bell pepper with salt, chilli powder and coriander powder, mix well and cover with tight lid.
  6. After 10-12 minutes you will find the pepper is tender but still little moisture in the pepper, if moisture is too little sprinkle some water in it.
  7. Add roasted chick peas flour, which will absorb all the moisture, mix well, cover the lid and switch off the gas.
  8. Garnish with roasted sesame seeds and serve hot with roti or parantha.
    This can be served as side dish to 4-5 people.

Sunday, 7 September 2014


(Kerala style mix vegetable)

Happy onam to all those who are celebrating.

My son-in-law is from Kerala and his palate is very specific about every cuisine, with a fondness for good food. Apart from Kerala food, he loves many north Indian dishes too. Whenever I am making Kerala dishes, I make sure that they are perfect in taste.

Before my daughter's marriage I had no idea of kerala food. I only knew masala dosa and sambhar with three- four colourful chutneys. My husband also loves masala dosa, whenever I go to the Indian restaurant, the first thing I check is if they have masala dosa in the menu. In south indian restaurants I go for paper masala dosa, which is more crisper than masala dosa.

This photo is of onam sadya. Sadya is a term used in kerala for the full meal that is had on onam. This meal comprises several number of dishes (sometimes 10) served with rice, papad and aachar, and several chutneys. My daughter made all the dishes except aviyal, which I made. You can notice the mango pickle which I posted on by blog on 11th august.

Aviyal is one of my favourite dishes from Kerala. If I do not eat it for few months, I really crave for it. It is very colourful and its aroma is very nice with yoghurt, coconut and green chilli.


  • 200 grams carrots
  • 200 grams beans
  • 200 grams pumpkin
  • 200 grams cucumber
  • 200 grams plantain
  • 1 cup yoghurt
  • 2 tbsp spoon grated coconut
  • 2-3 green chilli
  • 1 tsp cumin powder (jeera)
  • salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds (rai)
  • pinch asafoitida (hing)
  • 6-8 curry leaves

  • Wash and chop all the vegetables and grind the green chilli, cumin powder and coconut with little water and make a paste.
  • heat the oil in a fry pan, add mustard seeds, asafoetida, after few seconds add curry patta and saute for a minute.
  • Add pumpkin, carrot, plantain and beans with salt and cover it, till they are tender but not very soft, it will take 10-15 minutes.
  • Add the coconut paste and switch off the gas.
  • When aviyal is warm, fold in yoghurt.
A big bowl of aviyal is ready which can be served with rice. I even enjoy with roti or paratha.