My mother’s Masala vadai are simply delicious. They are very easy to make and do not consume much time. They are a perfect snack on a cold rainy day.


1 cup Bengal gram dal (washed and soaked in water for at least 8 hours)

½ tbsp garlic paste

½ tbsp ginger paste

1 tsp fennel seeds

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp red chilli powder

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp asafoetida

Coriander leaves


Grind the Bengal gram dal into a fine paste, add all the other ingredients and mix well. Then heat oil in a frying pan on medium heat, take medium sized balls of the mixture and drop in the oil. Cook till they are golden brown in colour. Remove on a tissue paper and serve hot with tomato sauce. This recipe makes about 12 masala vadais.


Chawal ki roti or pashte is a very popular breakfast item at my home. Pashte along with groundnut chutney is simply yummy. Though it takes time to make this type of roti, the end result is simply great.

3 cups Rice flour
3 cups water
1 tsp salt

Boil water in a vessel along with salt. When water starts boiling, reduce the heat and add the flour. Mix well. When water has evaporated, switch off the gas and let the dough cool. When it is slightly warm sprinkle some water and knead the dough. Then make small balls, flatten it and set aside. Then take a thick plastic sheet and place it over the surface where you are going to roll the pashte. This is used to prevent the pashte from sticking to the surface. Then apply a drop of oil on your palms and take one piece. Apply a drop of oil on either sides and roll it into a round shape of about 1/8” thickness. Then take a circular lid and place it over the pashte such that it cuts the pashte into a round shape. Set aside the extra bits. Transfer the pashte to a tava and cook for about 1 or 2 minutes. Turn over the pashte, add 1 tsp of oil, cook for some time and again turn to the other side. Cook till the pashte slightly puffs up or gets golden colour patches on both sides. Similarly cook all the other pashtes.

This recipe makes about 12 pashtes. Serve hot with groundnut chutney.


Groundnut chutney is a perfect accompaniment for idly, roti, pashte, etc. It is very easy to make and is simply delicious.


1 cup roasted groundnuts (cleaned)
5 to 6 cloves of garlic
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp salt

For tempering (optional)

½ tsp Mustard seeds
A pinch of asafoetida
2 tbsp oil


First take a dry jar and add the roasted groundnuts. Grind for about a minute. Then add garlic cloves, red chilli powder, and salt and sprinkle some water. Grind to a fine paste and set aside in a bowl.

You can serve as it is or add seasoning. For this, heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and asafoetida. When mustard seeds crackle, switch off the gas and add this seasoning to the bowl. Mix well. Groundnut chutney is now ready. It tastes good with roti, chapathi, pashte, etc.


This is a simple wall hanging made using cardboard and thermocol. It is 7” long and 5” broad. If you wish to make it bigger adjust the proportions of the various components in it accordingly. To make this type of wall hanging you need the following.

Acrylic or poster colour paints
Chart paper
Emery or sand paper
Cello tape
Paint brushes
Thick thread


Using scissors cut the cardboard into a rectangle of 7” length and 5” breadth.

Then take the chart paper and cut a rectangle of 6” length and 4” breadth.

Paint the cut cardboard piece brown and the cut chart piece blue. You can also paint them in any colour of your choice. I have used acrylic colours here because it gives a shiny and finished look. You can also use water colours.

Once the colour in the two pieces has dried, place the chart piece over the cardboard piece and stick it using cello tape on all sides. You can also cover the cardboard entirely with cello tape to get a glossy effect. But care has to be taken so that there are no gaps or untidy overlappings. Alternatively you can use fevicol to stick the chart paper over the cardboard.

Then take a big piece of thermocol (the thickness can be about ¾”) and draw a large oval shape on it. Cut the piece using scissors and use Emery paper to shape the oval in the shape of the fish body. Similarly cut pieces for the fins, tail and eye and shape them accordingly. Glue the pieces together and allow it to dry. Then paint the fish with any colour of your choice. Once the paint has dried, stick it on top of the chart paper.

Now take the extra chart paper and cut the paper in shapes of leaves or weeds as shown and using scissors gently draw a curve at the centre of the cut pieces. Fold along the curve gently. This is done to get a 3D effect. Paint green colour over it. Once the paint has dried, stick it to the chart paper next to the fish.

Finally take a thread of about 3” long and glue or stick it to the back of the wall hanging about 2” from the top. Alternatively, you can also use a hook. The wall hanging is now ready.


All of us are addicted to snacks like chips, muruks, etc. Salt cracker is one such snack which will definitely find many takers. It is easy to make and is very tasty and crunchy to eat.


½ cup wheat flour
½ cup maida
1 tbsp semolina (sooji)
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cumin powder
¼ tsp red chilli powder
3 tbsp oil
Water as needed
Oil for frying


First take a bowl and add wheat flour, maida, semolina, salt, cumin powder and red chilli powder. Mix well. Then add oil and mix well. Then add water little by little and knead well so that you get a firm and smooth dough. Cover the bowl with a lid and set aside for 10 minutes.

Now divide the dough into two or three parts. Take one part and roll it into a circle. Roll it as thin as possible. Then using a knife, cut the circle into several small pieces according to the design you like. Similarly roll the other parts into a circle and cut it into small pieces.

Then heat oil in a pan on medium heat and deep fry the crackers. Once cooled, store in air tight containers.


A mobile phone pouch can be made using thick cloth, or even thick plastic sheet. I have made the pouches using leather but you can use any material of your choice. Make sure that the material is stiff so that it will retain its shape.


Material (in which the pouch is going to be made – leather, cloth or plastic)

Velcro of 1’’ area (which is used to close the flap over the pouch)

Matching thread

Sewing machine



First measure the size of the mobile phone. Add 1”along the length and 1 1/2” to 2” along the breadth (depending upon the thickness of the phone). So that when the phone is inserted, it goes into the pouch easily and completely. The length and breadth thus taken form a to b measurement and e to f measurement respectively.

To make the pouch cut the material using the following measurements

1. Main piece

      Length of the material = 2 times a to b measurement (for the front and back)

                                            + 3/4 a to b measurement (for the flap)

      Breadth=e to f measurement

2. Second piece

     Length=a to b measurement

     Breadth=e to f measurement

3. Third piece

     Length=3/4 a to b measurement + 1/3 a to b measurement

     Breadth=e to f measurement

After cutting the three pieces, take the main piece mark ½” or 1” from the top on either side and cut a v shape as shown. Do the same thing on the second piece also. The length of the flap and its design can also be taken according to your choice.

Stitching method

First take the lower end of the main piece from fig (1) and stitch the lower part of the velcro about 1" from the end as shown. Then place the second piece from fig (2) over the main piece such that the right sides of the two are facing each other, and stitch on the reverse leaving ¼” allowance.

Then fold the main piece at ‘db’ such that the right side of the material is facing each other. There will now be three layers, the lower layer of the main piece along with the flap, on top of it is the continuation layer of the main piece and on top of this is the second piece which has been stitched to the main piece. With this assembly in place, stitch at the two sides leaving ¼” allowance and giving back stitches at all the four ends.

The actual part of the pouch is now ready. Now take the third piece as shown in fig (3) and stitch the upper part of the Velcro on its right side at the centre making sure that on closing the flap, the upper part of the Velcro should overlap the lower part. Then place the piece over the assembly with the right sides of the flap of the main piece and the flap of the third piece facing each other. Stitch on all the sides leaving 1/4" allownace as shown, and give back stitches at the two ends.

Turn the pouch to the right side. The pouch is now ready.

The pouch can be made in different designs.

Sequins can also be glued to increase the appeal of the pouch. You can also design using fevicryl glitter colours, fabric paints, etc


Biryani is an exotic dish made using a variety of spices, meat and rice. No doubt it is one of the most sought after dishes in India and festivals, special occasions and feasts are incomplete without it. There are several varieties of Biryani available throughout the country like the Hyderabadi Biryani, Awadhi Biryani etc. I have shared below my mother's chicken biryani recipe which is simply delicious. This is an easy to cook recipe and can be cooked in about half an hour. Here we have used a pressure cooker to create 'dum' for the biryani. This ensures that flavour and aroma are intact and the biryani comes out perfect.


This is the recipe of the cauliflower curry I made recently. It tasted great and can be made in just about 40 minutes. It can be had either with chapathi or with rice.


½ Cauliflower
2 medium onions
2 medium tomatoes
½ tbsp garlic paste
½ tbsp ginger paste
½ tsp cumin seeds
¼ tsp asafoetida powder
¾ tsp red chilli powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
2 tbsp yoghurt
1 ½ tsp garam masala powder
Salt to taste
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves
4tsp oil


Heat sufficient quantity of water in a vessel to boil the cauliflower florets. Add ¼ tsp salt and bring it to a boil. Then add the florets and boil for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile chop the onions and tomatoes and grind them separately. Once the cauliflower florets are cooked, drain the water and set aside in a bowl.

Then heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. When they sputter, add asafoetida powder and stir for a few seconds. Then add the onion paste, sauté for some time, then add garlic and ginger paste and mix. Then add tomato paste, red chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, turmeric powder and salt. Keep stirring for about 1 minute so that all the masalas are blended well. Then add yoghurt and stir for a few seconds. Finally add the boiled cauliflower florets and mix well. Close a lid and cook the curry for about 5 minutes on medium heat. Then add the garam masala powder, coriander leaves and 2 cups of water. Mix well and bring to a boil. Let it boil for about 5 minutes. Then lower the heat, close the lid and cook for about 5 minutes or until the florets are cooked. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot.


This is yet another traditional recipe from my mother’s kitchen which I simply relish. The strong flavour of black pepper makes the dish very tasty. Mutton can also be replaced with chicken. The chicken curry is equally tasty.



250 gms mutton

1 tbsp garlic paste

1 tbsp ginger paste

1 Big onion chopped

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tbsp pepper powder

1 tbsp coriander powder

2 tomatoes pureed

¼ cup yoghurt

3 tbsp coconut paste

½ tsp salt

Coriander and mint leaves chopped

1 cardamom

1 cinnamon

2 tbsp oil

¼ lemon


Heat oil in a pressure cooker, add cardamom, cinnamon and the chopped onions, and sauté for some time. Then add garlic paste and ginger paste and mix well. Then add the tomatoes, pepper powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, and salt. Cook for about 1 minute. Then add the mutton pieces, yoghurt, and coconut paste. Mix well so that there are no lumps in the gravy. Finally add coriander and mint leaves and 2 cups of water. Mix well. Close the lid and cook for 10 minutes. Then remove the lid, and add the lemon juice and bring to a boil. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with rice or chapathi.


Samosas are one of the most tastiest Indian snacks. There are different types of samosas depending on the flour used, the vegetables and spices used for the filling, and the method in which they are made. I am giving below the recipe of the potato samosa we make at home. The outer part is crunchy while the inner potato mixture just melts in the mouth.


For the dough

¾ cup wheat flour
½ tbsp semolina flour (sooji) (optional)
¼ tsp salt
11/2 tbsp oil
¼ cup lukewarm water

For the filling

3 large potatoes boiled and cut into small pieces
4 tbsp oil
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garam masala powder
1 tsp dry mango powder
3 tbsp chopped Coriander leaves


First take the potatoes, wash and cut them into halves. Then pressure cook the potatoes with water and ¼ tsp salt for about 7 minutes. Then make the dough. For this add all the ingredients for the dough in a bowl except water. Then add water little by little and keep kneading till you get a firm and smooth dough. Once done, close the bowl with a lid and set aside.

Then peel the boiled potatoes and cut them into small cubes and set aside. Now heat oil in a frying pan, and then add cumin powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and ¼ tsp salt. Then add the boiled potatoes and mix well. Finally add dry mango powder, garam masala powder and the chopped coriander leaves. Mix well. The potato filling is now ready. Allow it to cool down.

Then take the dough, and divide it into 4 equal portions. Roll each portion into a circle and cut it into half. Form each semicircle into a cone and fill 1/8th of the potato mixture into it. Seal the edges of the samosa by applying water on one edge and overlapping it over the other edge. Make sure that the potato mixture does not come out. In this way make all the 8 samosas.

Then heat oil in a frying pan on medium heat and fry the samosas 2 or 3 at a time. Cook till they are golden brown in colour. Serve hot with tomato sauce.


This is a traditional recipe and is one of my most favourite dishes. It takes certain amount of time to prepare but it is worth the effort. This curry tastes good with almost everything, be it rice, chapathi, idly, dosa or upma.The chicken can be replaced with minced meat for making mutton kofta curry.

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