Sunday, August 25

Banana Stem Mocktail

Okay, I can hear that ‘what the heck…’ on seeing the name J. People say that many a time boredom is in the way things are presented rather than the things itself. So here is my attempt to make a not so interesting banana-stem juice more alluring. Try it and I bet you won’t regret it. And a well known piece of info is 'It is said to be very good for people with kidney stones'.

Serves:  2

Preparation Time:  NA


1.      Banana stem – 4 “ long
2.    Coriander – few sprigs
3.    Curry leaves – 1 sprig
4.    Green chili – 1 small
5.     Lemon – 1
6.  Salt to taste


Step 1: Wash and chop the banana stem into 1” size cubes; place it in a mixer jar.

Step 2: Wash and add green chili, coriander leaves, curry leaves, lemon juice and salt to the mixer jar.

Step 3: Grind them with some fresh water. Filter using a mesh and grind the pulp again with some more water to extract the juice completely; filter and discard the mush.

Step 4: Now taste and adjust salt, water and lemon juice in it.

Step 5: Serve and relish the refreshing mock tail immediately.

Saturday, August 24

Veg Sandwich

Sandwiches are very flexible and customizable in terms of what can be filled in between. Sandwiches, in addition to attributing as any of the meals (breakfast or lunch or dinner or just snack) happen to be one of the healthy-tasty foods ever which is also usually easier to prepare. In fact it is more convenient for packing and munching on travel.

Yields:  5 Sandwiches

Preparation Time:  15 minutes

Cooking Time:  10 minutes


1.      Bread Slices - 10
2.    Tomato –  1 + ½
3.    Onion – 1 + ½
4.    Capsicum – 1
5.     Cucumber – 1
6.    Lemon – 1
7.     Coriander – 1 small bunch
8.    Green chilies – 2
9.    Ginger – 1” piece
10.  Garlic – 4 cloves
11.   Oil – ½ tbsp
12. Butter – 1 tbsp
13.  Grated cheese – 2 tbsp
14. Salt  to taste
15.  Chaat Masala – 1 tsp


Step 1: Thinly slice one onion, one tomato, capsicum, cucumber and season them with little salt, chaat masala and lemon juice.

Step 2: Chop and sauté half an onion, half a tomato, ginger, chilies and peeled garlic in the oil.

Step 3: Clean, wash and chop the fresh coriander leaves.

Step 4: Grind it along with the sautéed vegetables along with some salt. This is the green spicy spread for our sandwich.

Step 5: Now take bread and spear butter on outer side of it and green spread on the inner side. Arrange the sliced vegetables on it and scatter some grated cheese over it. On the top side of the covering bread smear some butter and cover the sandwich. Get the entire sandwiches ready this way. (oops! the pic has a wrong focus)

Step 6: Now toast it on a tawa or sandwich maker and serve hot with sauce or ketchup.

Friday, August 16

Vegetable Biriyani

Strangely I am not a big fan of Biriyani but Kundan is, so I prepare it once in a while and this time I have captured it for the blog. Biriyani basically refers to rice dish prepared with roasted vegetables or meat and a rich blend of spices. This dish was invented during the period of mughal empires and now is fondly relished largely in south asia. There are umpteen biriyani varieties each having its own origin and flavour; this one is quite a simple version of biriyani that I tried this time.

Serves:  2

Preparation Time:  20 minutes

Cooking Time:  20 minutes

1.      Basmati rice – 2 cups
2.    Tomato - 3
3.    Carrot – 2
4.    Broccoli or Cauliflower – ½ head
5.     Onion – 1 + 3
6.    Green chilies – 4
7.     Coriander – ½ of a bunch finely chopped
8.    Meal maker – 1 cup
9.    Biriyani masala powder – 2 tbsp
10. Butter – 1 tbsp
11.  Oil - for deep frying onion to make barista + 2 tbsp
12. Cloves – 3
13. Cardamom – 2
14. Bay leaf – 1
15.  Marathi moggu – 2
16. Star anise – 1
17. Cinnamon – 2 “ piece
18.Ginger garlic paste – 2 tbsp
              19. Salt as required
              20. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp


Step 1: Wash and soak basmati rice in the water required to cook (I use 1: 1.5 proportion)
Step 2: Thinly slice 3 onions and deep fry them in oil, this is called barista and is a major flavour of any biriyani.

Step 3: Chop other vegetables and keep ready.

Step 4: Boil salted water and add the soy chunks to it; after 3 minutes squeeze out the water and keep it aside.

Step 5: Heat 2tbsp of oil in the pressure cooker, temper with cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, star anise, Marathi moggu, bay leaf and then sauté ginger garlic paste, onion and some coriander in it.

Step 6:  Add other vegetables in the cooker and add to it the prepared soy chunks or meal maker.

Step 7: Add biriyani masala, turmeric, some more coriander leaves, butter and mix well.

Step 8: Drain and add the soaked rice, season with required salt and fry for 2 minutes.

Step 9: Pour in the rice soaked water, add half the barista and some coriander leaves. Close the cooker lid and let it cook for two whistles.

Step 10: When the pressure subsides, open the cooker, garnish with crisp barista and fresh coriander leaves.

Step 11: Serve hot with the classic onion raita combination.