Guest Post – Paan Bahaar (Betel leaf Raita/Yogurt)

Poojan and I met in the virtual world of Facebook on a food group “Chef at Large”, about 3 months ago. Very soon we started interacting and sharing our love for food. As we got to know each other well, we realized we had so much in common, apart from the love for food. He is a kind soul, humble, polite and super talented. I am amazed to see so much of creativity in him! He loves to cook but is not into blogging. so, I thought of sharing one of his lip-smacking and decent recipe with you all 🙂

But before I get to the recipe, here is something about him in his own words.

I am basically from Gujarat, and being a true Gujarati, I am a super foodie, who likes to eat, cook, present and enjoy food in any veg form, as I am a vegetarian. I am having a flair of preparing food since childhood and try to make one or more things in kitchen whenever I get a chance, and sometimes I grab opportunity to do so.

Nicely prepared, neatly presented, colourful dishes always attract me , and I always dig into it to get into detailing. I like to see the food preparations always, and I like to be there and see the total ongoing processes of the fabulous recipes. I like to read and appreciate nicely prepared food stuff always.

I believe having the sixth sense of understanding the wide range of spices, grains, flours and preparation of exquisite and mouth watering delicacies, is the gift of Almighty to the very selected personalities , who conquer the hearts of people, around the world, by selecting and presenting heavenly food to the mankind. And I also believe, a pure heart, a sweet smile and a pinch of love added in the ingredients, at the time of cooking, always helps, making fabulous and out of the world kind dishes, always.

Now comes the recipe!

Ingredients :
Plain whole milk yogurt– 2 Cups
Betel Leaves – 6 to 8
Powdered sugar – 2 tbsp
Gulkand – 1 tbsp
Paan Masala – Sweetened 1 tbsp (tutty fruity, sweet finely crushed betel nuts, sweet chutney, fennel seeds, dried sweetened dates, gulkand)
Roasted Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
Chaat Masala – 1/2 tsp
Green Pista Essence – 2/3 drops


Method :
1. Take 2 cups of the plain yogurt, fresh and not sour, in a bowl.
2. Gently whisk it and bring it to even and thick consistency, there should be no lumps.
3. Finely chop 4 to 5 betel leaves, and keep rest for decoration.
4. Add chopped leaves to the yogurt, and mix gently.
5. Add rest of all the ingredients in curd and mix well, slowly.
6. Take a serving bowl. Transfer the mix in serving bowl, and decorate with chopped betel leaves and a small quantity of sweet paan masala on top.
7. Keep in a fridge, and serve chilled at the time of lunch or dinner.



  • A couple of drops of essence can be added for colour as well as fragrance.
  • Amount of sugar level can be increased as per required sweetness and taste.
  • I have avoided, but roasted unsalted pistachios can be added in raita, to make it crunchy n nutty. .

Baked Schezwan Chilli Potato

Baked Schezwan Chilli Potato….Doesn’t that fill you with excitement???

I always had those fried chilli potato so far in my life. But now, I guess I am done!!  I am really sick of all the fried version of dishes. To avoid this, lately I have been trying to bake everything possible just to make it healthy. I was a bit hesitant of trying the baked version of Schezwan Chilli potatoes, but when I took my first bit it tasted heavenly. Perfect blend of sauces gave a spicy, sweet and tangy flavour making it lip-smacking. Guilt free indulgence, as everyone says 🙂

Happy me, Happy family and no compromise in health!


This recipe is an adapted version of Sanjeev Kapoor.


For the Baked Potato Wedges:


1/4 cup All-purpose flour
1 tablespoon Rice flour (optional) (Gives an extra crunch to the baked potatoes)
2 medium sized potatoes
2 tbsp cornflour
Salt to taste
Black pepper powder to taste
1 teaspoon sesame oil (if you don’t have sesame oil you can use regular oil)


Cut the potatoes into wedges.
Keep the potatoes in cold water for 30 mins. Drain well.
Take a bowl and add all-purpose flour, rice flour, cornstarch, oil,  salt and pepper. Mix well.
Add a little water to form a paste.
Drain the potatoes and coat them well with the paste.
Arrange the dated wedges in a single layer on a baking tray. Bake at 350° for around 45 minutes or until crisp from outside and tender/cooked from within. Make sure to turn the potatoes once after 25 minutes to ensure they are done on both the sides.

For the Schezwan Chilli Sauce:


10 to 12 dry red chillies (soaked in water for an hour)
6 to 8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 inch ginger piece, finely chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp red chilli sauce (store bought)
1 tsp vinegar
1 tbsp soya sauce
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1 tsp black pepper powder
1 tbsp sesame oil
Salt to taste


Grind the soaked red chillies into fine paste by adding little water.
Heat oil in a pan, add chopped ginger and garlic  to it. Stir and cook for a minute.
Add chopped onion and cook for 2 minutes more.
Add the chilli paste, vinegar and keep cooking for 5 minutes. Don’t forget to keep stirring.
Add ready made red chilli sauce, soya sauce, tomato ketchup, black pepper powder  and salt
Cook till oil seperates.
Cool it down and it can be stored in the fridge for few months.

 For the Sauce:


1 medioun Onion, sliced
5-6  Garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp Schzewan Chilli Sauce
2 tsp Soy sauce
1 tbsp Tomato ketchup (optional)
1/2 tsp Sugar
4-5 Spring onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp Vinegar
Black Pepper Powder to taste
Water as required
1 tbsp Sesame oil
1 tbsp Cornstarch
1t tbsp Sesame seeds
Salt to taste


Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add in the chopped onions and sauté for few seconds.
Add garlic and saute well.
Now add Schezwan chilli sauce and little water. Mix well.
Add soy sauce, tomato ketchup, sugar and salt. Stir and mix well.
Take 1 tbsp cornstarch and mix it in little water to form a paste. Pour this mixture into the sauce prepared. Mix and the sauce will start to thicken. (If its too thick then you can a little water)
Add the baked potato wedges into the pan and mix well so that each of them get nicely coated with the sauce.
Add the vinegar, spring onions and roasted sesame seeds and mix well.
Serve it hot with fried rice, noodles or even chapati.

Note: Always make it when you are ready to eat or else the wedges will turn soggy.




Quinoa and Beetroot Croquettes

As a mother of a 2-year-old, who is a fussy eater,  I constantly have to try innovative ways to make my  food appealing, both in terms of taste and look. My daughter is a big fan of chatpata stuffs (The credit goes to me!) and would simply throw up if I give her something she doesn’t like. The best way to such feed fussy eaters is to create something keeping their taste buds in mind. Not to forget, it should be appealing to!!

There are a number of things that she even doesn’t like to see, forget about eating and Quinoa is on top of her “NO” list.

Quinoa being high in protein content and a goof source of iron and fibre is like a blessing for vegetarians like me.  I love it even more because of the fact that it can be cooked and eaten on its own as well as combined with other ingredients to give it a new look altogether.  So, I have been trying out ways to incorporate quinoa in her diet without her even knowing it.

As I was thinking of something new, I recalled how my non-vegetarian friends incorporate quinoa in their kebabs. I adapted this and came up with something vegetarian to suit our palate.

What would you say if I ask “What will happen if we combine 2 healthy ingredients together, and that too in the form of a chatpata snack???”

“The result will be MAGICAL!!” I would say

I thought of combining QUINOA and BEETROOT  in the form of croquettes and it turned out super delicious. They were gone within minutes of making. And guess what??? It’s made with just 1 tsp oil . Isn’t it amazing!!!

Taste ka tadka along with health 🙂 ❤

IMPORTANT: If your kids is fussy about eating quinoa, these croquettes are a perfect way to make them eat it without any fuss ❤



Quinoa – 1 cup; cooked (I used rice cooker to cook it)
Potatoes -2 large; boiled and mashed
Ginger-1/2 inch piece; minced (you can also use ginger paste)
Carrot – 1 Finely chopped
Beetroot- 1 Finely chopped
Capsicum 1 Finely chopped
Frozen Corn – 1/4th Cup, thawed
Garam Masala-1 tsp
Chaat Masala- 1 tsp
Fresh Coriander
Green chillies -2 Finley chopped
Corn flour – 1 tsp
Salt- to taste



Take a microwave bowl and to it add finely chopped carrots, beetroot, capsicum and corn. Microwave them for 5 min so that they are cooked.  (You can also add spinach. I was running out of it so didn’t use it)

Let the vegetables cool for few minutes. Now add in the mashed potatoes along with ginger, coriander, green chillies and all the dry ingredients. Mix well. Check the seasoning.

Made round croquettes with the mixture.

Heat a non stick pan. Place the Croquettes and cook on both the sides. Let it develop a golden color on one side before flipping over and repeat the process for the other side as well. Take care not to break them while flipping.

Serve them with Tomato Sauce and Coriander Chutney. You can also use these Croquettes in burgers which kids all time favourites.


Gulgandi Rose Apple Pie

To celebrate the Independence Day, I thought of baking something sweet. While surfing net for some magical recipe, I came across a video for Rose Apple Pie. I was really impressed with the idea. I just couldn’t control, but to try out the recipe and see if I could achieve the perfection. I tweaked the recipe a bit to add in the desi touch. After all, Akhir dil hai hindustani!!

Gulkandi Rose Apple Pie


Caramelizing the Apple slices:

Ingredients –
3 Apples
4 Tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 Tablespoon Gulkand

Method –

Wash the apples and cut them into half vertically. Core them and cut them into thin slices.

In a large non-stick frying pan, heat the sugar. When the sugar starts to melt, add in the Gulkand and mix. When Gulkand is evenly distributed in the sugar mix arrange apple slices in the pan. Cook over medium heat for about a minute without disturbing the slices.

When the apple slices are soft (Start appearing a bit wilted), transfer them into a plate. Let the slices cook completely before handling them.

(Note: I added food colour to give green and orange colour to my apple slices. The food colour was added along with the gulkand.)

Making the pie dough :

Ingredients –
1 cup Cake Flour
8 Tablespoon cold unsalted butter (one stick), cut into small pieces
Little ice water to make the dough

Method –

Take the butter in a bowl.Add the cake flour into the butter.

With the help of a hand blender mix in the butter into the flour. It will take around 2 to 3 min to get a crumbly mixture.

Dizzle in a little ice water and mix until the dough holds together. Don’t knead it or else it won’t be flaky.

Cover the dough in plastic wrap, and refrigerate it for at least 30 minutes, before working with it.


Making the Rose pie:

Sprinkle some flour on the working area. Take the pie dough and roll it on the surface.

Take gulkand and apply it all over the rolled sheet. (I used Gulkand which was quite sweet in itself so there was no need of adding extra sugar)

Cut the rolled sheet, with the help of pastry cutter,into 1 inch wide strips

Preheat the oven to 400 degree F

Take the apple slices and place them on the strips, overlapping one onto the other.

After arranging the slices start rolling the strip. (Make sure it is tightly rolled or else apple slices will fall apart)

Place the roses in a muffin cups.

Arrange all the roses on the muffin pan and bake it for 25-30 minutes, or until they are golden brown.

Cool it on the rack and its ready to serve.


Sweet and Sour Veg Noodle Soup

What is more comforting than a bowl of hot soup!!

Soup is something that my hubby can have anytime, no matter what the time of day it is. His favourite on the list of soup is “Sweet and Sour Vegetable Soup“….Yes, You heard right! It’s not the regular Hot and Sour Vegetable Soup but a slightly different version of it. It not only tastes yummylicious, but is also healthy being loaded with tons of vegetables. Its full of flavours which burst in your mouth with the perfect blend of veggies making it even more enjoyable.

Try it yourself and I bet you will fall in love with the spicy, sweet and tangy combination of the sauces along with the veggies



Onion – 1 Small, Thinly sliced
Garlic – 1 tsp, minced
Ginger – 1 tsp, minced
Carrot – Two, Finely Chopped
Bell peppers -One, Finely Chopped
Green Beans – 1/4 cup, Finely Chopped
Cabbage – 1/2 cup, Finely Chopped
Cauliflower – 4 to 5 florets, Finely Chopped
Vegetable Stock (You can also use water if you don’t have Vegetable Stock) – 4 cups
Noodles – 1 cup
Soy Sauce – to taste
Green Chili Sauce – to taste
Tomato Sauce – to taste
Black Pepper Powder – to taste
Vinegar – to taste
Corn Starch – 1 to 2 Tbsp
Spring Onions – 3, Finely chopped
Salt – to taste

Note : I chop the vegetables in the chopper which saves me a lot of time


– Heat Oil in a pot.
– Add Onion, Ginger and Garlic to it and saute for few seconds
– Add in all the vegetables and saute for a minute or two.
– Now add in the Vegetable Broth/Water, Salt, Black Pepper Powder, Noodles, Soy Sauce, Vineger, Tomato Sauce and Chilli Sauce
– Once the mixture comes to a boil, simmer down the heat and let the noodles cook. Do not overcook the noodles.
– Mix few teaspoons of water to the Corn Starch in a separate bowl and add it to the soup (You can adjust the amount of Corn Starch based on how thick you want the soup to be). Bring to boil once more and then take it off the heat.
– Garnish with Spring Onions

Serve hot and Enjoy!


Chole with a twist


Adding a little touch of my own to different dishes, and turning them into “Magical twisted recipe” has always been my forte. My friends and family love my twisted version of authentic Indian dishes.

So today, I am sharing one such twisted recipe – Chole with a twist. I had the privilage of tasting this scrumptious dish at one of my friends house, in India long back. After moving to Canada, I started making Chole following her recipe. I tweaked the recipe a bit to suit my palate. I love the lingering roasted flavours that keep ticking your palate after consuming it. Hope you all like it too 🙂

Ingredients :

Chickpea 2 cups (Soaked overnight)
2 medium sized onions
One large tomato
2 to 3 green chillies
1/2 green bell pepper
One inch ginger piece
5 to 6 garlic pods
Pomegranate seeds – 2 table spoon
Chole masala – 2 teaspoon
Garam masala – 1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds – 1 teaspoon
Dried Fenugreek leaves- 1 tablespoon
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves for garnishing

Method :

Boil the overnight soaked chickpea with salt and one tea bag (teabag imparts a perfect brown color to the chick peas).

Preheat oven to 375 degree.

Cut onion, ginger, garlic, bell pepper, green chillies and tomato into small pieces. Spray them with cooking oil and roast them for 30 min in the oven. Take them out after 30 min and allow them to cool.

Blend in the roasted ingredients along with pomegranate seeds to a perfectly fine paste in the blender.

Heat oil in a pan. Add cumin seeds and let them splutter. Now add the dried fenugreek leaves.Then add in the smooth roasted vegetable paste and sauté it. Stir continuously so as not to burn it. Add in the Chole Masala, Garam Masala and salt. Don’t forget to continuously stir. Add in the boiled Chickpeas along with 2 cups of water. Let it come to boil and them simmer the heat. Let it cook on the low heat for around 20 min covered.



Garnish with Coriander and serve with Naan, Chapatis or Kulcha.

Indo-Chinese Style Potato Gnocchi


Indo-Chinese Style Gnocchi

Potato Gnoochi is one my favourite and always cooked it in sage, butter, garlic and cheese sauce. But today I stir-fried them the Indo-Chinese way (inspired by a friend of mine who is an excellent cook) and they were perfect in taste and healthy as well being loaded with veggies. Totally fell in love 💕💕 with these soft potato pillows with glistering flecks of roasted garlic and pepper.



3 medium sized Russet potatoes boiled (I used microwave to boil them)
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
Black pepper powder
Roasted garlic and pepper seasoning (optional, I like to use it at gives a nice flavour )

Peel the potatoes and grate them. Add all the seasoning and mix. Now gradually add the flour incorporating it into the potatoes until you get a dough which is soft, smooth and not sticky. When the dough is ready keep it covered and let it rest for 10 min.

Gnocchi Dough

Gnocchi Dough

Lightly flour or oil your work surface. Divide the dough into three parts and roll it on the floured surface until it looks like a rope. Cut into pieces. (Classic Italian homemade gnocchi are pressed on a fork to curl them and give the traditional ridges but that is time consuming so I do it my way)

Boil water in a deep vessel and add little oil. When the water starts boiling put the gnocchi into the water. They will sink and when cooked they will gradually rise to the top. Take out the cooked gnocchi from water and put little oil so they don’t stick together.



Oil – 1 tbsp
Garlic – 3 cloves, finely chopped
Onion – 1, finely chopped
Green chillies – 1 finely chopped
Carrot – 1 peeled and cut into julienne
Cabbage – 1/2 cup shredded
Spring onion greens – 1/4 cup finely chopped
Capsicum – 1 finely chopped
Tomato sauce – 1 tbsp
Soya sauce – 2 tbsp
Red Chilli sauce – 2 tsp
Vinegar – 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Black pepper powder

Heat oil in a wok.
Add garlic in the oil followed by onions and green chillies. Saute for a few seconds on a high flame.
Now add in the vegetables and toss.
Add in the Gnocchi and toss them well with the veggies.
Add in the seasoning and the sauces. Blend well. Saute everything on high flame while continuous stirring so that the crunchiness of the veggies is retained.



Gnocchi is ready to serve. Garnish them with spring onions and serve hot.