Authentic Italian Pesto needs no prelude. If you have pesto in your pantry I can assure you, you can do so many things with it. It makes fabulous pasta dishes, makes a delicious marinade for your meats, a lip smacking filling for the Bread and the list is endless. Last time I made a huge batch of pesto and it was devoured by my husband simply by smearing on bread. I saved (read hid) a little for the Chicken Pesto Pasta with Sundried Tomatoes . I shall soon be sharing its recipe.

The essential thing about the pesto is that each and every ingredient in this recipes plays a very crucial role. So please choose good quality ingredients which makes a huge difference in the taste. Other than this its not rocket science to make this salsa. Simply put the ingredients in blender and blitz.

1. Remove the pine nuts from the shell and toast them on a pan on a medium low flame, till they become slightly golden in colour. Do not burn them. Set them aside to cool down.



2. In a chutney grinder add fresh basil leaves, thoroughly washed and separated from stems. Also add garlic cloves.



3. Add toasted pine nuts.



4. Add zest of a lemon and then cut it and squeeze in its juice.



5. Season with Salt and freshly ground Black pepper.



6. Add Extra Virgin Olive Oil and blend together into a creamy paste. If the blending gets difficult add more olive oil.



7.  Now add grated Parmesan Cheese to the pesto blend and combine.

8. Your pesto is ready to be used. You can transfer it to a glass jar to store in refrigerator and top it up a little Olive oil so that the moisture stays intact and it doesn’t come in contact with air. This will increase its shelf life.

You can make Chicken Pesto Pasta with this.You can also try Parsley Pistachio Pesto for a new variation.

Other Salsas and Chutney you can try on the Secret Ingredient are: Argentine Chimichurri SalsaSweet and Sour Raw Mango ChutneyPudina ChutneyGreek Purslane Yogurt DipRaw Mango Chutney with Mint and Coriander.


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Last week we baked some beautiful buns and decided to make some burgers for dinner. I decided to make Broccoli Patties for the burger but then I thought I dont have any sauce to go with it. I dont like (read “hate”) ketchup. Then something struck me, I had a lot of Parsley which was on the verge of turning yellow. I decided to make a pesto with it.


With a handful ingredients the parsley pesto came out delicious and went very well with the Broccoli Patties Burger. You can use this as a marinade for your meat or simply as a dip for your croquettes. Its a versatile dip with a sharp flavour which you wouldn’t like to miss. Its a close kin to Argentine Chimichurri but still has its own unique flavour.


1.  Separate the leaves of parsley from the stem and wash them thoroughly for any grit. Put them in a chutney blender.


2. Add Garlic Cloves.

3. Add salted Pistachios without the shell to the blender.

DSC058464. Add Olive oil.

5. Season with Salt and Pepper and add juice of lemon (not in pictures).



6. Blend together into a smooth paste. If you feel its not blending easily you may add a little more olive oil. Your Parsley Pesto with Pistachio is ready.

Other Salsas and Chutney you can try here are: Fresh Plum Spiced ChutneyArgentine Chimichurri SalsaCoconut ChutneyGuacamoleIndian Plum & Mint Dip Sweet and Sour Raw Mango ChutneyPudina ChutneySpinach Coriander Salsa| Phalahari ChutneyCoriander Chutney without Onion GarlicRaw Mango Chutney with Mint and CorianderSzechuan Sauce 


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Navratri or Navratras are very special to me. I feel so rejoiced during the entire fasting period. I love to fast, cook and feast. Thanks to my mother for introducing new food every time so every time we have something new to try.

You can eat Sabudana Tikkis, Sabudana Khichdi, Sama k chawal ki Khichdi or simple Aloo Jeera. But everything you eat is accompanied with plain simple curd or in the form of Raita and a chutney to enhance the deliciousness of food. 

Here is one such phalahari chutney which uses minimal ingredients and uses no onion garlic but primarily coriander. My mother has been making this as long as I remember. She also makes another pharahari chutney of Spinach Coriander but thats only if your fasting rules allow eating Spinach.


1. Separate the coriander leaves from the thick stem. You can spare the tiny soft stems.


2. Wash the coriander thoroughly under running water.


3. Put the washed coriander leaves in a grinder along with green chilies. I am using one because my husband has a sour throat these days.



4. Add to it sendha namak or rock salt and. little sugar



5. Also add to it roasted cumin powder and chat masala if its allowed as per your fasting rules.



6. Squeeze juice of a lemon.


7. Grind them to form a smooth paste. Check for salt Serve with your favourite food.

You can try other Chutneys and Salsa like Mint Chutney, Coconut Chutney, Chimichurri, Phalahari Spinach Coriander Chutney.

You can try other Navratri Food Like Sama Ke Chawal Ki Khichdi, Kaddu ka Halwa, Rasgulla, Khajoor & Til Laddoo.


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Pudina Chutney or Mint Chutney or Salsa de menta is a popular dip which goes with every possible Indian snack. Its minty, fresh and complements your favorite pakoras, Besan ka poora, dahi bhale. Its easy to pull together with handful ingredients, probably already available in your kitchen.  


1. Separate mint and coriander leaves from their stem and rinse them very well for any dust or mud. Peel onion and garlic cloves.




2. Roughly chop onions, tomato, garlic, green chili and coriander and mint leaves.


3. In a blender put all the above mentioned ingredients. Squeeze on top juice of a lemon. Sprinkle some chat masala, amchur and salt. 


4. Pour some water for runny consistency.


5. Combine everything to form a smooth paste. Serve with your favourite snack.



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