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. .

Orange Cake with Almond meal

My cousin recently gifted me a cake book “Traditional Family Cakes”. From the time, I had the book in my hands I had been trying to find sometime out of my busy schedule to try out the recipes. And, today I finally could save sometime for myself. Now, came the toughest question “Which cake should I try first??”. After going through the index I opted to go for Orange Cake- A simple, decent and impressive cake that makes a great dessert. I followed the recipe word by word, except for the glazing part and the cake came out nice and soft.


Here is the recipe (as given in the book) for you all to try!


2 small oranges
3/4 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup superfine sugar (you can bring the regular sugar in a mixer)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups self-rising flour
3 tbsp almond meal
3 tbsp light cream

8 tbsp orange juice (The original recipe mentioned using 6 tbsp but i used 8 tbsp)
2 tbsp superfine sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree F. Grease and line a cake pan. (I used bundt cake pan to make it)

2. Pare the zest from the oranges and chop it finely. In a bowl, cream together butter, sugar and orange zest until creamy and fluffy.

3. Gradually add the beaten eggs to the above mixture, beating thoroughly after each addition. Gently fold in the flour, almond meal, and light cream. Pour the batter into the cake pan.

4. Bake it for 55-60 min, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. Let it cool on a wire rack.

5. Meanwhile, make the glaze. Put the orange juice into a small saucepan along with sugar. Bring to boil. 

6. Drizzle the glaze over the cake until it has been absorbed.

7. Cool before serving.



Note: You can also use clementines or tangerines instead of oranges.

Baked Indian Dumpling (Gujia) with Semolina, Condensed milk, Coconut and Nuts Filling


Ohhh…these beautiful dumplings filled with sweet filling makes me feel so nostalgic! My mum use to make so many of these little devils on Holi and Hartalika Teej. She has magic in her hands! No matter how many times I make them its impossible to get the very same taste. It’s the magic of her hands that makes gujias even more delicious 🙂

Gujia is a North Indian delicacy, particularly Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. The filling and form of gujias vary from region to region. In the Northern parts of India (Where I come from 🙂 ), the filling is usually made with sweetened khoya, coconut and dry fruits.

On the occasion of Hartalika Teej this year, I decided to make it. I wanted to go for the filling that my mum use to make, but I soon realized I was running out of Khoya 😦 . I looked for the option of making Instant Khoya, but soon I found that I was running out of Milk powder too.

“Now what???” I asked myself

I started searching for other option on Google and came across an interesting filling made with condensed milk. I had brought few cans of condensed milk the day before and it got me all excited to give it a try.

This was the most delicious gujias I have ever had in my life, after my mum’s. Crisp from outside, soft and juicy from inside, Just the way it was meant to be! Totally in love with the baked version ❤ ❤

Won’t keep you waiting for the recipe any longer. So lets start!!


For the covering:

1 1/2 cups All-purpose flour
4 tbsp Oil
1/4 cup Water or as required


Take the flour in a bowl and add oil to it. Rub oil into the flour with soft hands until it resemble bread crumb like texture.  Gradually add water and mix it  to form a stiff dough. Knead the dough till pliable. Keep aside covered for half an hour.


For the Filling

1/2 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk (If you don’t have sweetened condensed milk you can also add 1/2 cup sugar)
1/4 cup Semolina
1/4 cup grated Coconut
1/4 cup Almonds, Cashewnuts (chopped) + raisin
1/2 tbsp Green Cardamom Powder (Grind it fresh if you can)
1 tsp oil


Heat oil in a pan. Add semolina and roast it on slow heat till it changes colour. Mix in all the other ingredients for the filling.

Cook on slow flame, stirring occasionally, till the mixture is dry. ( Stirring is very important or else the mixture will stick to the bottom of the pan).

Divide the prepared dough into about 20 balls.

Roll each ball into a thin flat round. If you have the mold, place the rolled dough onto the mold, covering it. Place a teaspoon of the filling onto the rolled dough. Apply little water on the edges to seal it and fold it into semicircle. Close the mild tightly.

Alternatively, take the rolled dough in your palm and put about 1 tablespoons of the filling mixture in the center and fold it into a semi-circle. Now press the edges together with your fingers or a fork. Make sure the edges are completely sealed

Bake them in a preheated oven at 400 deg F by placing on a baking tray, lined with parchment paper, for about 25 min. Tun them over after 25 min to cook on both the sides. You can Bake for around 25 minutes and then broil them for one minutes so that they get a nice golden brown colour.

Serve hot or cold. You can also drizzle over some condensed milk or chocolate sauce while serving.




I have always been amazed by the richess of the different cuisines from all around the globe. When I started cooking, I was tempted to try out new dishes in my kitchen, thereby expanding my knowledge about the world cuisines.

Today, while rummaging through the internet, I came across so many delectable Middle Eastern desserts on a Nestle page. I went ahead with the one which was quick and easy to prepare.

So, here I am sharing with you all a toothsome Middle Eastern dessert, Mugasgas. It is sort of a fried cookie filled with cardamom flavour coupled with Pistachios or Almonds. You can even enjoy it with a drizzle of condensed milk or chocolate sauce over it. It lifts the taste to yet another level.



2 Cups All purpose flour
1 Tablespoon Ground Cardamom
1 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Can Sweetened Condensed Milk
¼ cup Water, warm
Oil for frying
2 Tablespoon Pistachio meal or Almond meal + Some for garnishing


Take a bowl and to it add All purpose flour, Baking Powder, Cardamom, Pistachio meal/Almond meal and mix well.

Add in the Condensed Milk and Water. Mix until dough is smooth.

Leave the dough to rest at room temperature for around 2 hours.

Roll the dough out on a clean surface dusted with flour, cut into triangles and deep fry in oil until golden brown.

Serve at room temperature, with sprinkled pistachio meal or almond meal on top. You can also enjoy it with a drizzle of condensed milk or chocolate sauce on top.