The magic of winters can be felt in its chill.. in the way the trees gracefully shed their leaves.. tinier days spent mostly in soaking the sun.. those longer nights where just about a hot cup of Chocolate makes everything warm and cozy.. sitting by the fireplace and eating Roasted Chestnuts. That just sums up my day in the hills  

There are days when I sulk that many vegetables are not available in the hills and then there are days I find myself blessed to find things which many people cannot dream of getting. So this constant tussle keeps me busy 😛 

When I saw Chestnuts in the market I knew Christmas is just around the corner. The locals call it Pangar. This name denotes all kinds of chestnuts, some are edible and some are not. But of course the one I have used are edible and oh so delicious! The skin of the chestnut is very hard and in order to roast them you must also score them with a sharp knife, carefully hunh! If you dont score them they will pop and explode and can be a little dangerous. So wise people say score them and roast them and your festivity will be joyous without any accidents 🙂 

The festive season brings out the kid in me for I love to do cookies with warm spices, pies in all its forms and having hot roasted chestnuts takes it to a new level. I roasted them and when they popped open I tossed some Coffee Butter on them. That was the best thing I have done all season  What are your plans for the holiday season? Write to me under the post I would love to hear from you. 


1. Choose chestnuts which are not bruised or open from anywhere. If their shell is punctured its likely they will be bad and rotten from inside.


2. Boil some water in a sauce pan. and when it comes to a boil add the chestnuts and let them soak in for 5 minutes. 




3. Drain them in a colander and pat them dry with a kitchen towel.

4. Now using a small pairing knife make an X on the face of each chestnut. I know its a huge talk and by the end of it my fingers were paining. But someone has to do the dirty job 🙂



5. Once this stage is done its all easy peasy. Place the scored chestnuts in a baking tray with Scored part facing up. Preheat the oven to 200 degree Celsius for ten minutes and pop the tray inside the oven and bake for about 30-40 minutes. You will hear the popping and that will bring happiness to your soul. The skin of the chestnuts will curl up that’s an indication that they are doing just fine.



6. In the meanwhile we can work on the cocoa coffee butter. In a saucepan add butter and Maple syrup. Once it is bubbly remove it from the flame.



7. Also add instant coffee and vanilla essence. Keep stirring till the coffee has dissolved. 



8. Place the roasted chestnuts in a serving platter with X side up. Drizzle this Cocoa Coffee butter on top and let it sink inside from the cracks. 

9. Cover the chestnuts for a while for nuts to absorb the flavour. When they are easy to touch season them with Flaky Crystal Salt and serve.

You can even try Roasted Broccoli with Garlic and Lemon Roasted Bell Pepper & Black Eyed Peas SaladRoasted Red Bell Pepper & Pine Nuts Fettuccine PastaRoasted Rosemary Garlic Potatoes.


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I find Bell Peppers to be the most beautiful vegetable. I have talked in length about this in my Charred Bell Pepper and Pine Nut Pasta Recipe. So I will not yap about it anymore. I had a few bell peppers in my fridge and I was looking for some interesting recipe to put them to use other than using them for pastas and stir fries. That’s when I came across this Syrian Recipe of Muhammara. This was the most interesting dip I have ever made. The addition of Pomegranate Molasses gives it that additional tangy kick which cannot be described in words. And walnuts adds magic to the dip and makes it absolutely irrepressible. 

Specially when Diwali is right around the corner, I have planned this for my teen patti or poker parties wherein you can munch crackers or salad sticks with this  delicious dip. If you have a party in your house you shouldn’t think twice just make this and amaze your friends.


1. Take some Red Bell Peppers and roast them in an oven and remove its skin and also discard its inner membranes and seeds. Learn how to roast Bell Peppers here. Add the pulp of the pepper in a blender.

2. Add chopped Onions or scallions to what ever you find it easily. Also add cumin powder and salt.



3. Add Pomegranate Molasses and red chili flakes or if can lay your hands on Aleppo Pepper.   



4. Add juice of lemon and a generous drizzle of Olive oil.



5. Add walnuts and blitz everything together,



6. Now add bread crumb or u can even add panko. And blitz again in the blender till you get a smooth thick dip like consistency. Add more bread crumb and pulse if the dip is still loose. 



7. Transfer the dip in a serving bowl and make a swirling well in the center with the back of a spoon and add a generous drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle some crushed walnuts. Serve with crackers, cucumber sticks, lavaash, pita bread and anything else you fancy 🙂

Other dips you can try are: Greek Purslane Yogurt Dip Indian Plum & Mint DipCharred Aubergine Curd DipBathua Ka Raita.

Other dishes with Red Bell Pepper you can try are: Charred Bell Pepper and Pine Nut Pasta RecipeRoasted Bell Pepper & Black Eyed Peas SaladRed Chilli & Red Bell Pepper JamMalai Bell Pepper MushroomSautéed Red Bell Pepper and Olive Pasta Salad.


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Its the third day of Navratras, the holy week of fasting for Hindus. Already I am tired of eating Sama Ke chawal ki Khichdi, Halwa, Phirni, Sabudana Khichdi, Sabudana Tikki and even the new Tapioca Pudding with Coconut Milk I tried a day back. The problem with me is I have to find something new to eat, whether fasting or not fasting. Its the kick which I get after trying new type of food. Of Course there are times I wanna stick to the traditional food which is where the comfort lies.


Potato is one versatile vegetable which can be modified in any way you like. It makes great appetizers for parties, a fabulous main course option and even for desserts you can use it. And when you are fasting that’s one vegetable which saves the day 😉 I tried to make a minty tangy Potatoes which we can enjoy as a snack in the evening. They are without Garlic and Onion which makes it suitable for fasting as well. It has a very tangy flavour which will be simply fabulous for parties as a finger food.

1. Wash and Boil some potatoes in water until al dente. Peel off their skin and cut them into cubes, set aside. You can also use baby potatoes for this.


2. In a blender add some washed coriander and mint leaves separated from their stems and also green chilies. Blitz them and make a smooth puree. Set aside.



3. In a pan or wok add some ghee or clarified butter. The vegans can substitute it with cooking oil.

4. Add Cumin seeds and wait for them to sputter.

5. Add the mint coriander puree and cook for a minute until the rawness fades away.

6. Season it with Salt, Red Chilli Powder.



7. Also add turmeric Powder and Amchur Powder. Combine them in the mint puree for another minute.



8. Add cubed boiled potatoes and toss them in the masala.



9. Add a little water and keep it on simmer till the potatoes absorb all the spice and the liquid evaporates.

10. Serve hot and enjoy the tangy minty Potatoes.

You said you love Mint? try this Mint Pulav or Mint Chutney you will thank me later.

Other Potato recipes you can try here are: Punjabi Style Dum Aloo, Rosemary Garlic Roasted PotatoesPomegranate Potato in Spiced YogurtYam Potato ChatPotato SmileysTapioca Potato in Indian Spices



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I always thought I can handle spices and chillies very well. I also thought Punjabis make the most fiery curries and other recipes. But this chettinad Pepper Chicken won hands down and proved me wrong. I was surprised how amazingly hot can be those red dried chillies be if you put one extra than called for in the recipe. Nevertheless it was an awesome recipe. You can limit the chilies as per your taste buds.

The way the Curry leaves, mustard and other spices marry with the chicken creates an unforgettable harmony of flavours. This is a welcome change to your regular way of making chicken. I am sure this will leave a lasting impact on your mind and on your tongue 😛

1. Take boneless chicken and cut it into cubes or bite size pieces.

2. For the dry spice mix add cumin seeds, whole coriander seeds and green cardamoms in a small pan for toasting.




3. Also add whole pepper corns, Cinnamon Stick and dry Red Chillies. You can remove the seeds from the red chilies to make it less fiery.




4. Toss these spices on a medium low flame until they become fragrant and on cooling down ground them in a coffee grinder or spice grinder. Set aside.



5. In a wok or kadhai add ghee. Add mustard seeds and let them crackle for 10 seconds or so. You could even add fennel seeds, I did not add as I am allergic to it.



6. Once the seeds begin to sputter add the dry spice mix. Saute everything on low flame for a couple of seconds.

7. Add Sliced onions, Ginger Garlic paste* and Kaddhi Patta. Saute the onions till they become soft.




8. Add chopped onions and continue to cook them till they become soft and gooey.

9. Add chicken pieces to the wok and combine together.

10. Add turmeric powder and season with salt.



11. Mix together and let it saute for a minute or so.

12. Add water, bring it to a boil and put the lid on, simmer on low flame till the chicken is well cooked. It should take 15 minutes or so. 



13. Dont forget to open the lid in between and stir and see if anything is sticking to bottom. The spice should have coated well with the chicken.

14. Serve hot as an appetizer or even as a main course with a roti or tawa naan.

You can try other Chicken Recipes here: Butter Chicken, Grilled Chicken Salad. Mexican Chicken Soup with Rice.


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Shami Kababs also known as Shaami Kebabs are predominantly part of Punjabi Cuisine but nonetheless it is a popular snack in Kashmiri, Bangladeshi and Uttar Pradesh Culture. Traditionally it is made with some kind of meat and black bengal gram or channa dal along with spices. But this version is completely vegetarian made with Black Bengal Gram or Kaala channa. This snack is an ideal snack for evening tea.

The goodness of kabuli channa mixed with spices and crispy texture makes it very inviting. You can even air fry them for a guilt free snacking. I make this often from leftover boiled channas. With rest of them you can try the delicious Dry Spiced Kale Channey

1. Soak Kaala Chana or Bengal Gram overnight and boil them in a pressure pan with water for an hour or so till they become soft. Place them in a bowl.

2. Mash them coarsely with a potato masher.

3. Add chopped green chilies. You can omit if you are making for your kids.

4. Add chopped onions, fresh coriander leaves and grated ginger.




5. Season with Salt and Red chili powder



6. Add Garam Masala and Coriander Powder and Besan or Chickpea Flour.



7. Mix them thoroughly and using your hands roll them into small discs or croquettes.



8. Heat oil in a wok and submerge them. Fry them on both sides till they become brown and crispy.



9. Remove them on a paper towel to absorb extra oil.


10. Serve them hot with Onion Rings and lemon wedges. You can also serve them with Good old fashioned Ketchup or Mint Chutney.

Other snacks you can try here : Arbi Ke Patton Ke Pattode, Baked Paneer Corn Kebabs, Healthy Kachalu Aloo Chaat, Sabudana Tikki.


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I first ate Arbi Ke Patte Ke Patode when my friend brought this in office during lunch. I relished its taste so much that the memory stayed fresh in my mind in spite of all these years. Then the other day my maid asked me if I use colocassia leaves or arbi k patte for cooking. I felt overwhelmed on hearing this and said yes yes!! She brought me some the next day from someone’s abandoned farm (my meaner self says I don’t mind ;))

I called my friend and quickly asked her the recipe. I planned to make this for evening snacks. My husband seemed not so excited and the idea sounded weird to him. Its a normal phenomena with him, things he hasn’t tried he doesn’t trust. When I finished making them he couldn’t stop eating them. Infact my little boy also ate couple of them. What a bliss it was 🙂

They are made in many ways in different part of India and known by various names. In Maharashtra its known as Alu Wadi, in Gujarat it is known as Patra, in North India it is known as Arbi Ke Patore or Patode.


1. Select the softest and youngest leaves, they taste the best. I had no option of selecting.. you see beggars are not choosers 😛 Cut the central stem and remove the hard membranes using a knife.




2. Wash them thoroughly and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Set aside.

3. In a bowl add besan or chickpea flour. Also add salt and red chili powder.




4. Also add Coriander powder, Amchur and Cumin Powder.




5. Add Ginger Garlic paste.

6. Add a little water and make a paste. Do not add all water at once, add little by little and keep stirring to make a lump free batter. The batter should not be thick nor runny. Just right.

7. Place one leaf on a flat surface. The glossy and smooth part facing down. Spread the batter generously on top .

8. Place another leaf on top of it and keep doing this for 5-6 times. If you have large leaves you can stop after placing 4 leaves.

9. Fold the ends from both sides as depicted in the picture.

10. Now start rolling them from one end. Keep applying the batter in the inner side also.




11. Now repeat this with another set of leaves. And keep them ready to be steamed. Heat water in a vessel.


12. I placed the rolls on my dhokla stand. But you can use a wire mesh or steel plate with holes too. 


13. Cover with a lid and let it steam for 15 minutes on high heat.

14. Once steamed they will look like this with all the batter steamed and non sticky.

15. Let them cool down and come to room temperature. Now cut them into slices using a sharp knife. If you try cutting them while still hot they might break.

16. Heat oil in a wok or kadhai. and fry them for a minute on both sides till crisp and brown. The browner the crispier.



17. Remove them on a paper towel to absorb extra oil.

18. Sprinkle some chat masala on it and serve hot with lemon wedges and mint chutney

You can try other snacks such as Roasted Rosemary Garlic Potatoes, Sabudana Wada, Healthy Kachalu Chaat.
Other Chutneys you can club with these snacks are Pudina Chutney, Coriander Spinach Chutney, Coriander Chutney without Onion Garlic.


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I love Aloo Patty. This love began when I was in School. My school canteen used to sell Stuffed potato pastries or as we North Indians call it Aloo Patty (How Funny! Patty is the croquettes or tikki inside a burger but we call them as patty). Anyways! That patty was and is the best I have ever tasted in my life.  There are soo many wonderful memories woven around patties, canteen and my lovely school. I miss every thing about my school. This year my School celebrated its Golden Anniversary. I feel so proud to be part of St. Joseph’s Convent School and thankful for making me what I am today. I dedicate this post to my School :).

Ohh Lord! Patties can make me soo nostalgic. I almost lost track of this post 🙂 Coming back to the topic, you can make a lot of things with phyllo pastry and that too in a jiffy specially when some unannounced guests come over. I always kept some in my freezer in Mexico here in India I have to make an effort to procure them. But I still retain my stock in freezer. I recently conquered making Turkish Börek with feta cheese and spinach. And with leftover Phyllo I made aloo patty for my sheer love for them.


1. Take phyllo sheets out from the freezer and thaw them. You can keep them in fridge overnight or put them on the counter for few hours so that they get ready for use. Chop some onions and green chilies. Set aside.

2. Wash & Boil potatoes and peel their skin. Put them in a bowl and mash them using a potato masher or with fork or even your hands.



3. Add oil in a pan and add chopped onions and green chilies. Saute them till the onions become translucent and tender.


4. Add Mashed potatoes to the pan and mix them with onions.


5. Add salt, Turmeric Powder and Red Chili Powder. Combine them.




6. Add amchur and also mix.


7. Add chopped Coriander leaves and Garam Masala. Mix together. Your stuffing is ready. Keep aside to cool down.



8. Melt butter in a bowl. Preheat the oven on 180 degree Celsius (Learn more about Oven Temperatures and Conversions)

9. Now unfold the thawed phyllo sheets on a dry surface. In order to avoid their drying up, place on top a damp kitchen towel. Always ensure to take out the sheet you are working with and cover rest of them.


10. Take 3-5 sheets of Phyllo sheets, one on top of each other and divide it into equal sized six squares using a sharp knife or pastry cutter. You need to be careful with it. Try not to tear the sheet.



11. Take one set of square and butter all layers with butter.




12. Put one spoon of stuffing and place it in the center of the square.



13. In a small bowl break one egg and add few spoons of milk and whisk together to make egg wash.



14. Apply this egg wash on all four sides of the pastry sheet using a pastry brush.


15. Take one tip of the pastry and fold it making a triangle.

  16. With the help of a fork seal the sides of the triangle by pressing it down.


17. Cover a baking sheet with aluminium foil or parchment paper and brush it with oil so that patties do not stick to the bottom.

18. Place the stuffed patties on greased baking sheet.


19. Brush the top with egg wash.


20. Bake for 15-18 minutes on preheated oven till the crust has turned golden brown. Serve hot with simple Ketchup and or Pudina Chutney or Chimichurri Sauce or Spinach Coriander Chutney.

You can even try other recipes made with Phyllo Pastry like Turkish Börek


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Chat is referred to a savoury tangy snack served usually as a street food in India. It can be a mix of fruits, spices, specially chat masala, lemon, tamarind and many other combinations. There are so many types of chats, probably every city will have its own specialty. This Kachalu Aloo Chat is a specialty from the ancient and historical city of Gaya.

Kachalu Aloo Chat is  made with boiled potatoes and yam. You can even eat it during Navratras or fasting period. Since it is not fried you can eat it as a healthy snack. I made this for the first time and it was hit in my family. If you do not find kachalu or yam, you can substitute it with sweet potato. It will taste good with both root vegetables.

If you are fasting and are looking for more Navratri or Satvik recipes you should try : Swang ke Chawal ki Khichdi, Makhane Ki Kheer, Vrat Wale Dahi-Paneer Kebabs. I am listing more recipes at the end of the page. In case you try any, give me a shout out on instagram or facebook.


1.Wash Yam and Potatoes and put them ina pressure cooker for 15 minutes or 6-7 whistles or until they are soft.

2. In the meanwhile julienne ginger into thin sticks and dip them in lemon juice and refrigerate.


3. Peel the skin of potato and yam and dice them into cubes.



4. Slice a banana with the potatoes and yam.


5. In a small bowl mix tamarind pulp, Lemon juice, chat masala , salt, red chili powder and sugar.



6. Pour it over the cubed potatoes and banana. Fold the sauce with the potatoes so that all cubes are evenly coated with tamarind sauce.

  7. Add Pomegranate Pearls to the bowl along with fresh chopped coriander leaves and minced green chilies.

Transfer to a serving bowl and garnish with refrigerated ginger pickle. Serve at room temperature.

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Chicken Soup is a popular healthy soup made in all parts of the world. Each Cuisine makes it in its own unique way by adding its special Secret Ingredient. I was a Vegetarian in India before I came to Mexico, so I had no knowledge of how to cook any non vegetarian dishes including chicken soup. I happened to try one day one of their Chicken Soup which is a clear soup made with rich stock. Its known as Consomé de Pollo.

The soup was warm and delicious and a complete meal in itself because it had rice in it. I looked for the traditional recipe and made few variations and here is my version of it. The soup is perfect for winter dinner tables. You can relish it by adding a few drops of lemon juice, just the way Mexicans like it. After this trial I have tried so many other dishes from the Mexican cuisine like Sopa de Frijol, Guacamole, Pan de Muerto, and the list goes on. If you are keen on trying authentic Mexican dishes you should try some of these.

1. Take boneless skinless chicken(I used chicken breast because it is with least fat), and cut it in thin slices so that it cooks faster and evenly.


2. In a flat bottom pan, pour less than one tbsp of olive oil and when it begins to turn hot add the sliced chicken slices to it.


3. Let it cook for a couple of minutes and when you notice the pink color of chicken has turned white you can flip it upside down.  Season the bird with salt and pepper.


4. Keep flipping sides till you see the chicken has acquired a light golden brown colour. Cook until the chicken is soft but do not over cook for it will loose all its moisture hence its taste. Remove from pan and keep in a plate to cool.


5. When the chicken has cooled, shred it gently with the help of two forks. You can even cut it in to bite size pieces, completely depends on personal preference.


6. Now in a pot pour a tablespoon of olive oil and when it starts to warm up add garlic and saute them for a minute. Then add onions and Saute them till they become translucent.


7. Now add tomatoes and garnish it with salt and pepper. Cook the tomatoes till they are gooey and are in semi liquid state.


8. Add half cup of cooked rice. I prefer to use less rice because if the quantity of rice is more the soup becomes dense with chicken and rice. But if you wish you can add rice as much as you want.


9. Add to the mixture about 5 cups of water or chicken broth. I simply add water for I feel as it is a chicken soup why add additional chicken broth. Plus the packaged broth is high on sodium. But if you feel it makes a huge difference in taste, go head and add one broth or chicken bullion or cube along with water.

10.  Check for additional salt or pepper. Now cover the pot with a lid and let it sit on low flame for about twenty minutes.


Transfer the soup in a soup bowl, squeeze in some lemon juice and enjoy steaming hot on a cold cold night.


If you are looking for other soup recipes you can try: Classic Russian BorschCream of Asparagus SoupCream of Broccoli Soup with ChivesPeas and Mushroom Spicy SoupClassic French Potato Leek SoupMexican Red Kidney Beans Soup With Baked Tortilla ChipsTomato Soup , Zucchini Garlic Soup with Yak Cheese ShreddingsCream of Mushroom.


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