Category Archives: basic

Doodh Masala/ Milk Masala

As much as I love doing mega marathons, my challenges every six months surmount the previous ones…but this is something I enjoy as well…my final post on dry powders is the popular masala doodh mixture. While it is just throwing in few nuts and spices, I make it protein packed mixing in some things on and off usually thus avoiding the regular sugar laden milk additions.

The masala doodh is a popular beverage even for popular functions in marathi households. Haldi kumkum was one such event where this is made and served. Since it is served hot I used to hate it as a kid, but now I make it along with my kid who helps me grind it as per his whims and fancies playing with different nuts.

The good part is when he prepares it , he does not let us drink it , and uses it up very fast.

1/2 cup almonds
1/2 cup cashew nuts
1/4 cup pistachios
1 tspn cardamom seeds
1/2 tspn nutmeg powder (optional)
2 tbsp sugar
1 pinch of saffron threads / kesar

1) Roughly crush them in a mortal until it resembles bread crumb like coarse
2) Store in an airtight container and use with more sugar added in the milk as needed

1) You can add wheat gluten/ roasted wheat flour / roasted ragi/ roasted sprouts powder
2) You can add a pinch of ginger/ turmeric when you want to treat cold/ cough or digestive problems along with this powder

Signing off this lovely mega marathon until next time…


Vegetarian Chorizo/ Soyrizo

Chorizo is so commonly used in Spanish and Portuguese cuisines that one can feel deprived of so many good recipes if they do not eat meat  the kind of meat that is used to make the chorizo. But like all things in modern world we are able to find a substitute recipe. While chorizos are made in sausage factories the vegetarians have to depend on their own kitchen to make one…


1 cup soaked and boiled Kidney Beans 
1 cup Soy Chunks Boiled and squeezed
1/2 cup wheat flour
1 tspn paprika
1 tspn coriander and cumin powder
salt to taste
black pepper powder
2 tspn lemon juice
1) Grind the cooked kidney beans , cooked soy chunks to make a fine paste.
2) Add the wheat flour. and all other ingredients to make a pliable mushy looking paste.
3) Roll out the dough into sausage like shape
4) Steam this using a steamer, Grease the base of the steamer plate
5) Once cooled, grill this sausages.

Use directly to stuff your rolls or to use them in your soups and salads

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 44

Pav Bhaji Masala Powder

It is not required to be made at home especially in India. It is so easily available around that you would hardly want to invest your time an energy. However, going by the sub standard flavours coming primarily from the need to be competitive it is always worth trying it once at home. The other advantage is that you can adjust the taste as per your requirement. Some like their bhaji spicy others prefer tangy. I prefer a bit of both. 

1 cup red cry chilli (I used Kashmiri colorful+ Bedgi – spicier)
1/2 cup coriander seeds
1/4 cup cumin seeds
1 tspn cloves
1/4 cup dry mango powder
1 tspn  black pepper
4 tspn fennel seeds
2 sticks of cinnamon
1 tspn garam masala powder (optional)

1) Dry roast each ingredient (except garam masala) separately in a non stick pan
2) Let them cool down completely
3) Grind them together in a dry grinder. Keep the powder slightly coarse
4) Mix and store in an air tight container.

Homemade Pickled Jalapenos

This has been on my mind for a while to do as a post. Both me and my hubby really love the jalapenos in our salads, sandwiches, as toppings for pizzas, in our wraps, in pastas, on noodles, sometimes also wrapped in our dosas and rotis.

The large store bought cans got consumed in months. It was only natural to make them at home. Especially it is such an easy thing to do that you would never go back to the store bought stuff ever again. During winters we get excellent crop of jalapenos in local market. The variety will spoil you but I stick to the tried and tasted, slightly darker shade of green plump chillies. These are distinctively different in shape from the regular pakoda mirchis. The shape is slightly tubular at the base. So as part of the home basics for BM I am sharing this first recipe

For 1 bottle of 200 gms
200 gms Jalapenos
1 cup water
1 cup white rice vinegar
2 tspn salt
1 bay leaf (optional)
1 clove of garlic (optional)
1 tspn cumin (optional)
1 tspn coriander seeds (optional)

1) Clean and sterilise a glass jar that you plan to use to store the jalapenos. Place the jar in boiling water for 10 min
2) Chop the jalapenos in roundels.
3) In a pan, add the water and vinegar. Boil it till its just about coming for a rolling boil. Reduce the flame
4) Add the salt and let is stand
5) If you like, place the bay lead, garlic, cumin and coriander at the base of the bottle.
6) Add the jalapenos to the bottle, press it in.
7) Now pour the brine solution until 1 inch above the rim
8) Seal the cap.
9) You can can it by processing it in a canning tool or simply place it in refrigerator.
10) It can be consumed within a week’s time however tastes better after 4 weeks 

Mascarpone Homemade

I tried it finally and so very loved it….the experience of making something so good. was mind boggling..I had put off the idea of buying the mascarpone tub way too many times, worrying that I may not get to use it in time before it hits the expiry date.
I used Amul fresh cream and will be hooked to this one for long. Nothing seemed this simple even the paneer which can at times go wrong

700 fresh heavy full fat cream
1 tspn white vinegar

1) Boil the cream in a large pot on low -medium heat using a double boiler. 
2) If you have a candy thermometer , wait till the temperature rises to 90-100 c. Else, let it heat till it is just under boiling, slightly bubbling.
3) At this stage, add 1 tspn of white vinegar.
4) Using a spoon keep stirring for another 5-7 min.
5) The cream will not coagulate but sort of thicken (or may coagulate little). Keep stirring until it starts coating the the back of the spoon, about another minute or so.
6) Now, strain this liquid, in a muslin cloth (large) in a huge basin.
7) Tie it from all sides .
8) Leave it overnight in refrigerator.
9) About a cup of water or more will be accumulated
10) If the texture appears grainy , then beat using an electric beater.
Your mascarpone is ready.

Watch the space to know what I did with mine…

Sending this to 
– Gayathri’s – Tell your kitchen secret

Home made garam masala (maharashtrian style)

This summer I ended up making quite few plans for my pantry stockings. I barely could achieve the plans but whatever little I could do made me very happy. Especially now during the rains when I end up using some of the good old work.
One such thing on my to-do list has been the popular kanda lasun masala (also known as Kolhapuri masala) which is stocked round the year by Mom and also provided to me . I want to make it at home..some day..

Yes I could not fulfill that wish yet I am happy as I have made part of it…the garam masala that is prepared and added to the onion , garlic coconut roasted powders….
So this year, I ended up making a large bottle which dear mother feels would last me couple of years..I dont know whether she is unhappy about me not going to borrow her masala this year….it may be difficult to see the wings and watch your little worm turn into a butterfly, maybe….just want to tell her though that I owe you so much and I am yet so to learn so many things that this worm will keep crawling back into your cocoon

Coming to the masala that I am now using in all my dishes and getting appreciations.
1 Kg Dry Coriander Seeds (Dhania)
1/2  kg Cumin Seeds (Jeera)

90 gm Mustard Seeds (Mohri/ Rai)
20 gm Black Cardamom (Badi Elaichi)
40 gm Bay Leaves (Tejpatta/ Tamalpatra)
40 gm Cloves (Laung/ Lavang)
30 gm Black Pepper (kali miri)
40 gm Cinnamon (Dalchini)
20 gm Shaha Jire
40 gm Nakeshwar (has a very strong flavor, you can leave this out if you find it overpowering)
40 gm Sesame Seeds
40 gm Poppy Seeds
20 gm Choti Elaichi / Cardamom

40 gm Fenugreek Seeds
20 gm Dagadphul (yet to figure out its english name, but you can skip this)
20 gm Jaypatri / Mace
1/4 Kg Red chilli powder
2 Nutmeg
1) Clean the ingredients and also check for any moss or pests.
2) Spread them out under the sun if possible.
3) Dry roast each of them individually until they start giving out the aromas
4) Grind them in the coffee grinder or dry chutney maker to make fine powder.
5) Sieve through a mesh and keep grinding the remains until you are able to grind it.
6) Store in a clean dry air tight container. Lasts well for a year

You can use this as a replacement to standard garam masala, kitchen king, or any other masala. You can adjust the flavors to suit your palate like adding more cinnamon or cloves. My suggestion is not to add these to the base masala but could be added separately while cooking to give that extra flavors.

– Add this masala along with cardamom (black for meat based and green for vegetable/ paneer), Green  Bay leaf and Cinnamon to make tasty biryani masala

– Add the masala along with more cloves, black pepper, dry mango, rock salt to punjabi dishes
– Add this masala along with crushed ginger powder or fresh ginger to make gravy based items

Clarified Butter/ Desi Ghee

The most therapeutic work by far in my kitchen each fortnight is the process of churning the cream curds into butter and then watch it melting away separating from its scum to form something so divinely aromatic.
Surprisingly a lot of my friends think it is a mammoth task to do. I know of some who even do not hesitate discarding the milk cream that floats to the top while using the milk. This has to be a ritual and pretty easy to follow provided you use desi ghee often. If you intend to make Indian food often it is well worth it to have a pot of desi ghee with you.
The overall process may take days together of efforts (if you call it an effort).

A few essentials to remember in making this habit 

– Have a clay or porcelian or stainless steel pot dedicated to collecting cream in your refrigerator
– Remember to refrigerate the pot until you plan to prepare the ghee
– Churn in lightly with a spoon once in 5 days
– Add a spoonful of curd/ yogurt to enable healthy fermentation
– Do not delay the ghee making process beyond 40-45 days in normal weather and 20-25 days during hot weather

Now jumping to the detailed process.

Milk Cream (Buffalo milk cream/ Cow’s milk Cream) (collected over days or store bought)
1 tspn yogurt/ curd (optional)
1 pot to collect the cream
thick bottom vessel
strainer/ mesh

1) Collect the cream only until you have sufficient quantity. I often collect a litre or 2. Adding a spoonful daily
2) After a few days add a spoonful of curd or yogurt and mix well. This will aide healthy fermentation.
3) When you have sufficient quantity of cream curd you can decide to churn it to extract fresh butter (desi makkhan)
4) To extract the butter, take the cream curd in a large vessel early in the day (preferably before 8:00/9:00 AM)
5) Start churning with hand blender or old fashioned churner.
6) Add ice cubes or ice cold water to help in churning the cream
7) After a while the whey will start separating and butter will start coming together.
8) Using spoon or finger start removing the butter and drop them in another vessel filled with ice cold water. Dont worry if it appears to be dissolving in water. In a while it will start floating back to the top. 
9) When you are satisfied on the amount of butter extracted and the whey appears very thin and feel like you may not get more you can discard the whey or use it for making chapatis
10) Wash the butter using the water until the water appears clean. This will ensure aromatic ghee. You have to keep dipping the butter back in the water using finger to remove the buttermilk smell.
11) Now take the butter in a heavy bottomed vessel.
12) Heat it on low flame. The butter will start melting and will keep boiling till there is a crusty scum formed.
13) To taste the readiness, drop a couple of drops of water(carefully). If they sizzle the ghee is ready
14) Let it cool down completely
15) Strain in a pot.
16) Discard the scum – although I know some people use it (will find possibilities soon and make a post)

1) You can add 1/2 tspn fennel seeds/ cardamom pods for additional pods
2) Buffalo milk’s cream will yield white ghee and Cow’s milk will yield yellow ghee