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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It was an ordinary day when I was finishing my chores which involved baking a loaf of bread for the next three days. The creative part of me decided to do something offbeat therefore I kneaded some extra dough of my regular White Sandwich Bread . I let it proof till it doubled up. Then suddenly craving for apple pie set inside me. I knew making an apple pie meant a lot of extra calories and labour 😛 So I sliced some apples and rolled them into spices and shaped them into a rose flower along with the dough. This technique I had seen once on pinterest from Inspired by Charm. I did not follow this recipe  to the T but tweaked it a little to make it easier and healthier.


The result was just divine!! After I finished the shoot this bread was gone in minutes nd I managed to get a tiny miny slice for myself. This was the best sweet bread ever! If you are baking your bread next time do ensure you knead some extra dough and make this baby. You will thank me later 🙂


1. Wash, Peel and Core Apples and cut them into thin slices. Place these slices in a bowl.



2. Add Cinnamon Powder, Brown Sugar and squeeze out a juice of lemon.




3. Mix everything thoroughly that the apples are well coated with the spice and sugar. The lemon will prevent the apples from turning brown and help coat the apples.

4. Take a White Sandwich Bread dough and after first proof deflate the dough. Shape it like a ball and with the help of a rolling pin , roll it in a flat disk like a pizza or roti.



5. With the help of a pizza cutter cut the circular disc into 1/2 inch strips. 


6.  Grease a pie pan with oil. I have used a removable bottom pie pan which makes things easier to remove. You can always place your order with The Gourmet Shop and buy this pie pan.

7. In the centre of the greased pie pan add the smallest strip of bread dough and curl it with your hands.


8. Now curl the other strips around it by placing a slice of apple in between each strip. The pictures below will give more clarity. Cover the entire pie pan with apples and dough strips. It will resemble like a rose flower.



9. Cover the pie pan with a lint free kitchen towel and keep it in a warm place to rise until doubled.



10. Preheat the oven to 180 degree Celsius (Learn more about Oven Temperatures and Conversions) for ten minutes. Now place the bread inside the oven on middle wrack and bake for 20-25 minutes till the top has become golden brown.

11. Remove it from the oven and brush it all over with melted butter. and sprinkle some caster sugar on top.



12. Remove the Bread from the Pie Pan and transfer it to a serving plate. Drizzle some Caramel syrup. Slice and serve hot with a hot cup of Coffee and enjoy the winters.

If you are looking for more bread recipes you can try: Vegetarian homemade PizzaRussian BubliciWhole Wheat Sandwich BreadChinese Black Sesame Steamed BunsCinnamon Raisin BreadBeetroot Bread with Garlic and ThymeHoney Oats BreadDomino’s Garlic BreadsticksGarlic Rosemary Focaccia Bread and Focaccia Bread with Fresh Cherries, Rosemary and Sea Salt.



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Turnips are one of the most hated vegetables on the planet, this is a brutal and honest fact. This root vegetable is known as Shalgam in Hindi , শলগম Shalgom in Bengali,  Kalamohare, Sherasa in Marathi, An-tam in Mizo,  Nalla avalu in Telegu, and has many other names worldover like  swede, neeps, rapes, rapa. Irrespective of its repute this vegetable is loved in my family. We not only eat it raw in our salads but also make its curry, which I will share soon and also its pickle, which is a must for the winters. As a kid my mother ensured I eat all types of vegetables which making faces. As I am writing this, a thought comes to my mind. My mother made all these despised vegetables so delicious that I never learnt to make faces. I guess that explains why I always encourage people to try out recipes from my mother if they ever hate any vegetable. You will find plenty on my space. 

My husband was one of those kids who always hated this sabji. So when my mother in law challenged me that I should make his son try this vegetable I was most happy to successfully convert him into a shalgam acceptor (I am not writing lover because you know old fears die hard :P). This vegetable is full of fibre and nutrition and you must try it out.

1. Remove the leaves of the turnips. Dont discard them, the fresh ones can be added to salads. Wash the turnips.

2. Remove the top thick skin and cut each into four pieces.



3. In a pressure pan keep a rack in the bottom and place the turnip on it. Add little water.

4. Also add salt, turmeric powder and red chili powder.




5. Close the lid of the pan and cook on high till first whistle or when it has reached its optimum pressure, then turn the flame on low and keep it simmering for another 10 minutes. It should be soft on poking.


6. Drain the water and place the boiled turnips in a bowl. Mash them using a potato masher,



7. Chop tomatoes, ginger and green chillies.


8. Add ghee or clarified butter in a wok. This recipe requires a good quantity of ghee as it is a key ingredient for the deliciousness of the dish. Do not cut short.  Also add chopped ginger and saute for a minute then add chopped tomatoes and green chilli and keep sauteing it till the tomatoes turn soft and gooey.




9. Season with salt this helps to soften the tomatoes faster.



10. Add mashed turnips and mix well with the tomatoes. 

11. Add chopped green Coriander and garam masala. Check again for salt or red chilli. If you find it less you can adjust at this stage.



12. Keep the turnips on a medium  flame and stirring till you see the ghee has started to ooze out and it has just about to start sticking to the base. That’s when you must turn the flame off. 

13. Transfer it to a serving bowl and enjoy this delicious dish with hot rotis. This will make you fall in love with its flavour. 

Other punjabi recipes you can try are: Dal Ghiya with Punjabi VadiyaPunjabi Pethey Ki SabziPunjabi Style Bharwan TindaPunjabi Style Gobhi DanthalLangar Wali DalPunjabi Style Dum AlooPunjabi Dal MakhaniPunjabi Style Aloo MethiPunjabi Pindi CholeyPunjabi Style Kaddi Chawal.


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It was a season of Red Chilies. I made about 20 kilos of Stuffed Red Chilli Pickle and was busy with its distribution all winter. I am back to my hills and I spotted more red chilies in the market. Oh man! Its my weakness. I cant resist red chillies for they are so darn pretty. Then I remembered I had once asked a dear friend of mine Kiran Padsala Amin to share this recipe of Red Chilli Jam. Its originally from Megha Vikram Singh. I must thank the girls for this lip smacking recipe.


The jam or preserve was a hit in my family. My Mother in law who doesn’t like hot spicy food, also appreciated it and greedily ate with a parantha. Ah! what else do you want. If you ask me to describe the taste, its the taste of chillies with the sweetness of sugar. Of course, it has a hint of hotness which makes it to die for. I am not gonna add more words for I want you to try and leave back your comments below. 

1. Wash the Red Chillies and Red Bell Pepper and pat them dry.


2. Deseed the Red Bell Pepper and cut them into small pieces. Add the pieces in a blender and make a coarse puree. It can be just a little chunky.




3. Similarly deseed the Red Chillies and Pulse them with the Red Bell Peppers to make a chunky puree.




4. In the meanwhile add sugar in a large heavy bottom pan. Also add White Vinegar and salt. Put the flame on on medium and let the sugar dissolve in vinegar. Do not stir the sugar, let it slowly melt. If you try to stir it, it will crystalize and you don’t want that to happen to your jam. So have patience and let it take its own sweet time.




5. Once you see the sugar has melted. Its time to put all the puree to the pan. If you are adding pectin* then this is the time. Add it to the sugar syrup. Give it a gentle mix and let it boil for good 20-25 minutes.



6. After 20-25 minutes you will see the mixture is syrupy but hasn’t thickened. Dont worry! Let it sit for 45 minutes or so to cool down. It will thicken as it cools.

7.  Transfer this to glass jars and indulge. Try it on a slice of bread or paratha or just eat barely!

You can even try Stuffed Red Chilli Pickle.

Other Accompaniments you can try here are: Spicy Chinese SaucePudina ChutneySweet and Sour Raw Mango ChutneyCoconut Chutney Argentine Chimichurri SalsaFresh Plum Spiced Chutney.


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Winters are the best time of the year when you enjoy feasting and gorging on rich food. The body requires certain food to keep it warm. As a result we end up hogging so much that as the summers approach we are up by a few kilos. I know you are nodding in agreement. But this year I have decided to keep a strict watch on my diet. I am staying away from fatty, greasy, fried food by all means. In order to keep the body warm I have started making warm soups every evening, which are healthy and my family enjoys.


Last week when my mommy sent me broccoli from the plains (yeah unfortunately we don’t find this in our hills :() I knew I had to make this soup. Its the best way to ingest broccoli specially when you despise its flavour. I also made Broccoli Pasta which is creamless and a big hit in my family. The soup is made creamy not by adding whole lot of creamy fat but by adding potatoes. It gives it a smooth creamy texture and rich flavour.


1. Take two heads of broccoli and cut out their stems. Cut it into florets.



2. Wash the florets under running water for any grit.
3. Chop some Garlic and Onions finely. Peel Potato and cut it into cubes.



4. Add Butter in a large pot and let it melt. Add garlic and onions and saute them till they turn a little pink.




5. Add broccoli florets and potato cubes to the pot and mix them well.



6. Add Salt and Water.



7. Add a cube of broth. I used vegetable broth if you like you can use chicken. Cover with a lid and let it simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes have cooked.



8. Open the lid and let it cool off a little. Puree the soup with a blender and make it into a smooth soup.



9. Season with black pepper powder and a little cream.



10. Garnish with freshly chopped Chives and serve hot with soup sticks.

Other Soups you can try here are: Tomato SoupZucchini Garlic Soup with Yak Cheese ShreddingsClassic French Potato Leek SoupPeas and Mushroom Spicy SoupRussian Beetroot & Vegetable SoupChicken Soup with RiceSopa De Frijol .


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Mooli aur Mooli Ke Patton Ki Sabzi is a winter delicacy. Winters are here in full swing and the most inviting winter produce we get in India are white long radishes. In mexico I have seen red colour variation of these. But nonetheless both are delicious in their own ways 🙂 The radish which are sold now often come with the leaves on. If you are lucky to visit the market in the morning you might find the fresh radish with their greens on. That what you must pick for this recipe. The tender the leaves the more delicious they will be. This is an interesting way to cook radish than to have it just as a salad or stuffed in a parantha.

It is my maternal aunt Neena’s recipe which she often makes with ground poppy seeds and mustard seeds. I tried this first time fearing my fussy husband wouldn’t like it. He simply detests radish and its close kin turnip. But I was hellbent to impress him. The dish came out delicious and it was proved without doubt when my husband took a second helping 🙂

Its not only delicious but very nutritious. The fresh greens and radish are a rich source of roughage and helps to regulate blood pressure. It fights constipation and is extremely good for asthmatic patients. Who doesn’t wanna like this humble vegetable with such health benefits.

1. Take some firm radish with fresh tender leaves. Wash the radishes. Cut the neck of the radish and separate the leaves. Do not throw them away. Peel the radish. 




2. Cut the radish into small cubes and separate the tender leaves.



3. Wash these leaves well so that no grit remains. Chop them finely, set aside.



4. In a dry grinder or coffee grinder add poppy and mustard seeds and grind them to a powder. Set aside.




5. In a wok or kadhai add mustard oil and smoke it. Add the mustard, poppy seeds powder and saute for a minute.



6. Add turmeric powder, salt and red chili powder.




7. Add chopped raddish and mix well with the spices. Cover with a lid and cook on medium low heat for 7-8 minutes or until your see its partially cooked.




8. Add the chopped radish greens to the wok and mix well. Cover it and further cook for another 5 minutes.



9. Serve hot with Roti and with some Bathua raita on the side.

For more everyday recipes you can try: Gobhi Danthal ki Sabji, Aloo Methi Punjabi Style, Swanjhane ki Sabji, Methi Matar Malai.


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Chyawanprash also spelled as chyavanaprasha, chyavanaprash, chyavanaprasam is a jam like mixture of Indian Gooseberry or Amla, Jaggery and other herbs. Traditionally, it is prepared as per the instructions available in the Ayurvedic Texts. It is a comprehensive herbal tonic with wonderful health benefits. It promotes anti-aging and longevity. Apart from other benefits it also builds your immunity against cough and cold during thick winters. The original recipe calls for a lot of herbs and many of those I cant even pronounce the name 😉 

As a little girl my parents often fed me with a spoon full of Chyawanprash everyday with a glass of lukewarm milk. Honestly as a kid it was difficult to eat, as its flavour is a little too strong. My husband still makes faces 😛 But with age I realised its benefit. Its the most popular herbal tonic sold in India and even endorsed by a lot of film stars. Having said that I wanted to make own chyawanprash at home as you cannot trust what is inside that bottle and one day I found recipe posted by Alka Bhayana, a very sophisticated, warm and well respected women I have known over time through Facebook. Her recipe of Chyawanprash mesmerized me. It required a few basic ingredients which you can easily find at home. The very next day I brought home amlas and gave it a go. The chyawanprash was sooo delicious even my picky Big Boy (my husband) ate without a hitch and was gaga over it. He called his real mommy (thats my mother in law) and told her that he was a big boy and that he finally eats chyawanprash 😉 

Truly even I loved the flavour of chyawanprash it may not have all 80 or more herbs but I know for sure whatever it has is pure, healthy and made with love. Thankyou Alka Mam, this post goes to you!


1. Wash Amlas or Indian Gooseberry and pat them dry with your kitchen towel.



2. Arrange a pressure pan with a rack at its bottom and add amlas to it. Add water and close the lid. Boil the amlas for 2 whistles or 10 minutes on full pressure. Turn the flame off and let it sit in steam till the pressure is released.

3. Drain the water and remove the pit. After they boil they become soft and you can easily remove the pit.



4. Put the pulp in a blender and make a smooth puree. You make use a spoon of water to ease grinding.



5. In a pan add some ghee or clarified butter. And add amla puree to the ghee. Keep sauteing for good ten minutes or until you see it leaves out the oil.



5. Add Jaggery or Gur to the amla puree. I decided to put a big chunk as it was soft. But incase your jaggery is hard as a rock, I would recommend you to break it into small pieces or make a powder.


6. Add Honey. Keep sauteing till you achieve a thick, sticky, messy mass.




6. Take green cardamom, fennel seeds, whole black pepper,  few strands of saffron and cinnamon in a dry grinder and make a powder .



7. Add ground spiced to the pan and mix well. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes till everything is well combined. 



8. Let it cool down and transfer to an air tight jar. Eat a spoon full daily with a glass of milk and have a healthy, illness free winter. 

Other healthy recipes you can try here are: Mexican Black Bean and Mango Salad, Couscous Chickpea Salad, Classic Russian Borsch Beetroot Soup.



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These days you can easily find fresh ginger root sold in the markets. The newly dug ginger root is pinkish in colour and is very soft without any membranes which makes them perfect for pickling. This is a very easy recipe of Adrak Lehsun ka Achar or Ginger Garlic Pickle which I learnt from my mother. I made this pickle for the Uttrakhand Food Festival where I participated last month. I sold more than 30 bottles of pickle in one day. That was quite an achievement for me. 

My husband is completely gaga over this pickle. He eats his every meal with this. Oh well he hasn’t been fond of pickle ever but wonder why he is hooked to this 😉 You must try this for you will fall in love with its simplicity.

1. Wash Ginger Root thoroughly and remove all the mud. Cut or break it into small pieces. Peel its skin using a sharp knife.



2. Cut it into thin slices and further cut into thin sticks.



3. Place the ginger sticks into a bowl and add white vinegar. Add half teaspoon salt and cover. Let it rest overnight. The ginger will absorb vinegar and become pink in colour.




4. In a dry grinder add rai or red mustard** and make a course powder and set aside.



5. Also make a paste of garlic and set aside.



6. In a wok or karahi add mustard oil and smoke out the oil. Add garlic paste and saute till you see it changing its colour.




7. Add powdered rai powder, salt, black pepper powder.




8. Add ginger sticks and discard the vinegar. Mix well with the spices and let it cook a couple of minutes more. Turn the flame off. 



9. Let it cool down and transfer it to an airtight container. Keep it at room temperature. The pickle stays good for up till a year.

Other Pickle recipe you can try here: Jalapeño PickleKacchi Haldi ka Achar, Instant Raw Mango Pickle South Indian StyleBharwan Lal Mirchi ka Achaar


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One afternoon we were eating at our favourite restaurant in Mexico. It was a busy afternoon. We ordered food and were expecting it to take time and then suddenly two bowls of soup appeared in front of us. We told the waitress we never ordered this. She apologetically said your order will take another 3 minutes so till then you enjoy this soup on the house. It was such a beautiful gesture. It was Mushroom and Peas soup. When I took its first sip it took me back home, it tasted exactly like the way my mother makes matar mushroom thin curry. Just that it had chicken broth in it. That day we realised that this can be had as a spicy soup as well. 


After coming back India we have made this so many times owing to my love for Mushrooms. On the contrary my Mother In Law despises mushrooms 🙁 but when she tried this she couldn’t stop. 🙂 The taste of this thin gravy is exception in spite of the fact its simple to make it. You can have it as a soup or team up with roti or rice.


  1. Wash and slice some mushrooms into bite size pieces. 


2. Chop some tomatoes, onions, ginger, garlic and green chilies and make a smooth puree in a blender.



3. Add some ghee or clarified butter in a pressure pan. When it becomes hot add cumin seeds. Let them crackle for a couple of seconds.



4. Add the tomato garlic puree to the pan. Keep sauteing till oil separates the masala.



5. Add salt, red chili powder* and turmeric powder.




6. Add chopped mushrooms and mix well. Also add fresh or frozen peas.



7. Mix the vegetables with the masala and add water. The water should be enough to drown the vegetables.



8. Close the lid and let the pressure build up. Cook for 4-5 whistles or 8-10 minutes on high pressure. Turn the flame off and let it cook in its steam. Open the lid and garnish with green coriander and Garam Masala.



10. Serve hot with a slice of garlic bread if eating this like a soup. If eating like a full meal you can have this with roti or rice.

Other Mushroom Recipes you can try here are: Mushroom Do Pyaaza, Malai Bell Pepper Mushroom, Chilli Mushroom, Mushroom Risotto, Italian Frittata with Mushrooms and Spinach,Mexican Casserole Eggs with Mushrooms and Chili Poblano, Mushroom Lasagna in Bechamel Sauce, Kadhai Mushroom.

If you are looking for more delicious healthy soups you can try: Chicken Soup with RiceRussian Beetroot & Vegetable SoupClassic French Potato Leek Soup Sopa De FrijolTomato SoupZucchini Garlic Soup with Yak Cheese Shreddings.





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The best part about winters and spring is that you get a lot of green leafy vegetables. They are not only nutritious but also very tasty. I love to indulge in Sarson ka Saag, Palak Paneer, Methi Aloo, Methi Matar Malai every other day. But my favourite is the delicious Bathua Ka Raita. It is a yogurt dip made with a kind of seasonal weed plant known as Bathua or Bathuwa. Its english name is Chenopodium Album. It may be a weed but it is extensively grown as a crop in Northern India.

I had no clue that it was a weed until I moved to Almora. My maid came with a bag of leaves and she said would you mind if I take these home? I asked her what it was and she told me its bathua which she plucked from the wasteland above the house on the hills. I told her to take it on a condition, if she could also fetch for me 🙂

With abundance of bathua around me I can enjoy this raita more than ever before. My husband always avoids yogurt complaining its cold in here. So the other day I decided to make this for myself. To my surprise the bowl was half empty when I decided to pour for myself. He kittenishly said “why you did not tell me before it was going to be so tasty”. He finished half of it and was asking for more. 


1. Separate Bathua leaves from its stem. Also separate the coriander leaves from its stem. Wash both the leaves separately and keep aside.



 2. In a pressure pan put washed bathua leaves and 1/4 cup of water.


3. Also add salt and put the lid on. Cook  for one whistle or 2 minutes after the pressure has reached its peak  and switch off the flame. Let it cook in the steam. After the steam has released open the lid. Drain the water using a colander or wire mesh. You can use this nutritious water to knead dough for rotis.



4. Squeeze out  extra water using your hands.



5. Place the squeezed bathua in a blender.


6. Add to it washed coriander leaves, green chilies. red chili powder and salt.




 7. Add on top curd.



8. Also add ground ginger powder or sonth and roasted ground cumin powder. Pulse this together for two seconds or until the green colour appears.



 9. Transfer it to a serving bowl. Sprinkle more roasted ground cumin powder and red chili powder. Serve as a side dish with anything you please.

Other Raita or yogurt based dishes you can try are : Purslane Yogurt Dip, Aloo Anaar ka Raita, Baigan ka Raita.


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