Archive for the ‘OFF THE RACK..’ Category

Lime Pickle with a Hot n Sweet Twist:

This is my mum’s age old recipe for lime pickle. Ravi just loves this version of lime pickle and has it ritually everyday with his curd rice. Lime pickle is a great combination with curd rice and is generally served in whole of  South India. The one that is popularly made, has red chilli powder added to it. This pickle on the contrary is made with green chillies and sugar. My maid had got me tons of lime from the city market. So one afternoon when I was jobless, decided to take on this task of making lime pickle. It’s been 4 weeks now, the pickle looks and smells very fresh. The minute I open the bottle, my whole kitchen is filled with the lovely tangy aroma..Try it I’m sure you’ll love it.

You’ll need:

Lime (nimbu)- 8-10 nos (chopped and deseeded)

Sugar-1/2 cup (if you feel that the sugar is not enough to coat the lime, add more)

Green Chillies: 3 nos (add more if you like it)

Salt: 1 teaspn

Fenugreek Seeds (methi): 1/2 teaspn (fried  and powdered)

Asafoetida: 1/2 teaspn

Oil: 1/2 teaspn ( to fry the fenugreek seeds)


In a sterilized bottle / pickle jar, add chopped lime and pour in the sugar. Close the lid tightly and let it marinate for 3-4 days. The sugar will start melting and will get mixed with lime. Keep shaking the bottle everyday to ensure that the lime is soaking in the sugar syrup. After about 4-5 days add long slitted green chillies. Don’t remove the lime pieces from the bottle, just tuck in the green chillies with a wooden spoon. Add some salt at this stage and mix it properly with a wooden spoon. Always use a wooden spoon to mix pickles to prevent the pickle from fungus.

The chillies also need to marinate for 3-4 days. Again keep shaking the bottle from time to time. By this time, the lime and chillies would have soaked in the sugar and the salt would just about start acting.

Take a small kadai, add little oil to it and fry the fenugreek seeds and asafoetida. Once this mix cools, pound it to fine powder. Add this powder to the pickle marinate and mix it thoroughly. The pickle is ready to be consumed after 2 days of mixing the fenugreek powder. It tastes better as it ages. Enjoy the hot n sweet n sour pickle along with some tasty curd rice.


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Raw Mango Chutney:

This chutney can be made and stored for a year. Has a very good shelf life and tastes good with hot dosas, chapatis and ghee rice.

You’ll need:

Grated raw mango: 1 cup

Jaggery: 1 cup (add more if the mango is too sour)

Oil: 1 teaspn

Fenugreek (methi) seeds: 1 teaspn

Asafoedita: 1/2 teaspn

Red Chillies powder: 1 tablespn (the spicy variety-I use Everest Tikhalal)

Salt: to taste.


In a vessel mix grated raw mango and jaggery and keep it aside for an hour or two till the jaggery melts by itself. In a wok, heat some oil, add methi seeds, asafoedita and fry them for a while and grind to  a powder form. In a thick bottomed pan, pour the jaggery-mango mix and let it boil so that the water gets evaporated and a thick paste like consistency is achieved. Add the methi-asafoedita powder , salt and some red chillies powder and keep stirring. Once the chutney thickens, switch off the gas. Let it cool and store it in a jar. The thicker the chutney, longer the life.

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I had tasted thepla for the first time when I was in college and we were travelling to Bombay for zonal NASA. My friend who happenend to be a gujju had carried thepla for the journey and I simply fell in love with them. I was looking out for the recipe and found it on Roma’s blog (www.romasharma.com). Thanks Roma for this wonderful recipe! I have made a few changes to suit our palette as my husband is not much of a garlic fan. I need to really mellow the flavour of garlic in any dish. She has also used methi(fenjugreek ) leaves, which I didn’t have. So there’s a slight variation from the original, baaki everything else is pretty much the same. Theplas are lovely and light whilst travelling and can be stored for 2 days. While storing they need to be thoroughly cooled to avoid heat condensation and sogginess. So here’s to travelling healthy…

You’ll need:

Wheat Flour: 1 cup

Besan: 1 tablespn

Oil: 1 tablespn

Turmeric powder: a pinch

Chilly powder: 1 teaspn

Corriander powder: 1 teaspn

Cumin powder: 1 teaspn

Garlic: 1 pod

Curds: 1/4 cup

Cumin seeds: 1 teaspn

Ajwain: 1 teaspn

Til Seeds: 1 teaspn

salt: to taste

sugar: 1/2 teaspn

Freshly chopped corriander: 1/4 cup.

water: to knead.


Knead all these ingredients into a soft dough and roll them just like a chappati. On a griddle or tawa, pour 1/2 teaspn of oil and fry it on both sides. Tastes yum when eaten hot with some pickle. If you need to carry them for your travel, let them cool so that all the heat vanishes and pack them in fresh wrap and they will be edible for 2 days. I had prepared some tomato sabji which goes well with any roti. It’s also a healthy recipe to be carried for kids while travelling…enjoy and happy journey:)

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CHUTNEY PUDI: (Chutney Powder)

This is that magic powder which seems to get along with everything..you can have it with hot idlis, poha, upma, curd rice, ghee rice and it gives that little spicy twist to your palette.. Every South Indian home will always have a bottle full of chutney pudi just like sambar or rasam pudi. There are various types of chutney pudis, some made only from urad dal, some from chana dal, groundnut etc. In this chutney pudi I have tried out a combo of chana dal, peanuts and Urad dal. I have tried a small quantity, to increase the quantity please increase the proportions accordingly.

You’ll need:

Chana Dal: 1/2  cup

Urad Dal:  1/4 cup

Roasted peanuts: 1/2 cup

White Sesame: 1.5 table spn

Corriander Seeds: 1 tablespn

Red Chillies(byadagi): 10-13 nos.

Curry Leaves: 1/4 cup

Copra (dry coconut): 1/4 cup grated

Salt: to taste

Asafoedita: 1.5 teaspn

Turmeric: 1.5 teaspn

Oil: 1 teaspn


Dry roast all the dals like chana dal, urad dal and peanut and keep them separately. Next roast  white sesame and keep aside. Dry roast red chillies and copra too and keep aside. In a small wok, heat very little oil and add curry leaves and corriander seeds. Keep sauteing untill curry leaves turn a little crispy. Add hing or asafoedita to it.

In a mixie, first grind all the roasted dals to a coarse powder. In the next round in a separate jar grind all the rest of the roasted ingredients viz. white sesame, red chillies, copra curry leaves and corriander seeds, salt and turmeric.

Mix both these powders and you can just grind the whole mixture again to make it homogeneous. Adjust the salt or the spicyness by adding salt and chilly powder before the last time you grind it and delicious spicy chutney pudi is ready.

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This is my all time favorite jam. Very easy to make and tastes just as yum as any other jam. The best part about this homemade jam is that it is minus all the preservatives, therefore a healthy option. Unlike the jams available in the market, we are not using sugar but jaggery in this recipe. Jaggery is rich in minerals and proteins. It has a great nutritive and medicinal value. Always a better option to sugar, as sugar is always treated with chemicals.

The shelf life of this jam depends on the consistency. I generally make lots of it during the mango season and stock it for a year at least.



You’ll need:

Raw Mango grated: 1 cup.

Jaggery : 3 cups


Elaichi: as per your taste.

Mangoes come in a lot of variety. Some can be very sour. The sourer the mangoes are the more jaggery you’ll need. Another way to cut down on the amount of jaggery is to boil the grated mango for some time to remove the sourness. Meanwhile you could keep the jaggery with  a little water for sometime so that it thins up. In a kadai, mix this jaggery water and grated mango (pre-boiled) and keep it on a simmer. Keep stirring at intervals. The mixture will start thickening. Once you are satisfied with the consistency you can add the elaichi and switch off the stove. General rule is, thicker the consistency, longer is the shelf life. So go ahead and make the yummy gharelu jam, you can have it with hot chapatis or with bread….


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