Friday, April 23, 2010

Dahi Alu Puri - Indian Fast Food

This Chaat is also a favourite fast food among most Indians. It is also known as Dahi-Batata-Puri. "Dahi" meaning curds & “Alu “ ( in Hindi) and “Batata” (in Marathi) meaning potato. In most of the chaats, all the ingredients have to be prepared well in advance and just before eating, they need to be mixed & served in a specific order. The final product not only looks attractive, but the sweet, tangy & spicy taste makes it a very mouth watering snack. It is a hit at all parties.

Dahi Alu Puri

Ingredients for Imli chatni

Imli /Tamarind

100 gms

Dates /Jaggery

100 gms

Corriander seeds

3-4 tsps

Cummin seeds

1 tsp

Red Chilies

3 or as per taste

Green chilies

3 or as per taste


1” piece

Corrainder leaves *

A small bunch


A cupful of leaves


as per taste

Method :

  1. De-seed the tamarind and dates.
  2. Clean and wash mint and coriander leaves.
  3. Grind (1) and (2) along with all the other ingredients to a smooth thick paste.
  4. *Keep a few coriander leaves for garnishing.

You will also need the following :


1 pkt

Potato (boiled peeled and mashed)


Boiled green gram or white peas (vataana)


Curd Chatni :

Whip a small bowl of curd and to it add salt and jeera powder.

For Garnishing :

Red Chilly powder 1 tsp

Chopped coriander leaves 1 tbsp

How to serve :

  • Place about six puris in a plate .
  • Crush only the top portion (as in Paani puri. - You can refer this to my earlier post for details.) and stuff each puri with the mashed potato or boiled green gram or both.
  • Top each stuffings with 1 or 2 tsps of imli (tamarind) chatni.
  • Then add the curd chutney (1-2 tbsps) over each puri.
  • Finally garnish with red chilly powder & chopped coriander leaves.

Serves : 4 to 5 persons

Note :

Imli chutney when refrigerated lasts for a week or so.

It is also available in super markets. I generally use “Fun Foods” Imli chutney.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Paani-Puri - Indian Fast food

This Indian Fast food is called by different names in different regions of India. In Mumbai it is called Paani Puri, in Delhi, “gol guppas” and in Kolkotta it is known as “puchkas”. This was not very popular in the south a decade or so ago. But now you find them in every street corner. No matter what name you call it – the taste is awesome and having grown up eating these since childhood in Mumbai, I have learnt the art of making it from my mother who was an expert in preparing these “chaats” (general term used for bhel-puri, paani-puri, sev –puri, alu puri or dahi-batata-puri etc.)

Can you believe it, as I am writing this, I am salivating just by thinking of the word “Paani Puri” ! Such is the effect this item has on the person who has tasted it !

In fact, during our picnics (three families would generally go) each family would be asked to bring some food items. Believe it or not, my mom would invariably be asked to bring any one/two of the chaats and she would ofcourse lovingly prepare it with a little help from us.

The preparations for “Paani Puri “ need to be done in advance since it involves a lot of items namely : puri, the Paani (masala water), boiled potatoes and green gram sprouted and boiled.

Preparing puri is a little laborious (my mom used to do it and I have the recipe for preparing it). Since these puris are readily available in the market, I prefer to buy them. Even the masala water is available in the powder form but according to me it lacks the “zing” and hence I prepare this myself. Next comes boiling of potatoes. And lastly sprouting the green gram and steaming them. Once these items are ready, then come the best part …..eating !

Paani Puri
Puries stuffed and ready to be dunked and eaten

Ingredients for the Paani or Masala Water


About 100 gms


About 1 litre


1 tsp

Kala namak/rock salt

To taste

Dry red chilies


Green chilies


Black pepper corns


Fresh ginger

1” piece

Dry ginger powder

1 tsp

Corriander seeds

1 tsp


1 tsp

Ajwain/caraway seeds

1 tsp


1 tsp

Mustard seeds

1 tsp


To taste


As per taste


A small bunch

Corriander leaves

One small bunch

Method :

  1. Boil the water with tamarind, kalanamak and hing. Let it to cool and using your hands, mash the tamarind well and then filter it.
  2. Clean and wash coriander and mint leaves.
  3. Grind rest of the ingredients along with the washed mint & coriander leaves to a fine paste by adding a little water.
  4. Add the ground mixture to the boiled, cooled and filtered tamarind water. Mix it well and keep it in the refrigerator.

For stuffing the puries (advisable to buy Puries from the market), you need the following:

  1. Boiled potatoes (2-3) Mash them add a little salt and keep aside.
  2. Green gram sprouted and boiled with salt.

How to eat :

  • Take each puri in your hand and with your thumb gently crush the top portion to create an opening for stuffing.
  • Next stuff the filling of your choice (boiled potatoes or boiled green gram or a combination of both) into the readied puri from the previous step.
  • Now fill each stuffed puri with the paani/masala water to the brim and put the whole thing in your mouth and just relish the taste.
  • OR - Dunk the whole stuffed puri in the paani/masala water and then right into your mouth

    which is the general way of eating this item though appears less polished!!


A packet of puris (available in the market ) is sufficient for 4-5 persons.

Instead of boiled green gram, you can also use boiled white peas (Indian name vataana )

For the masala water, you can also use half tamarind and half kokum which gives the same result.

Watch out for another “Chaat” item in my next post.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sprouted Fenugreek Usli

By now you all must have been familiar with the term “Usli” (Konkani word for a dry dish) which is frequently used for some of the recipe names.

We all know that Fenugreek or Methi seeds or its leaves are very healthy and nutritive

Doctors recommend the use of methi for the diabetic patients.

But the sprouted ones are healthier and tastier too and believe me, they also look good!

Sprouted Fenugreek Usli

How to sprout :

  1. Wash & soak the fenugreek seeds in water and leave it overnight.
  2. Next day drain off the water completely and keep it covered with a lid in a warm place. Keep it in this way for 2-3 days (during cold season it may take a longer time to sprout but in summers within 2 days sprouts will appear).
  3. However, take care to wipe off (with a clean kitchen towel) the water vapor that is formed on the inside of the lid. You may have to do this at least once at night and 2 to 3 times during the day or whenever you notice the accumulation of water vapor on the inside of the lid. Toss the vessel once in a while so that the seeds which are at the bottom will come on top. This way all the seeds will sprout evenly.
  1. If you want the sprouts to grow longer, you may keep it in this way for a few more days.

Once the fenugreek seeds are sprouted, you are ready for the preparation of the Usli.

Sprouted Fenugreek

Sprouted Fenugreek (Methi) seeds

Ingredients :

Sprouted Fenugreek seeds /Sprouted Methi seeds

2-3 cups


1 medium

Green chilies

2 or as per taste

Mustard seeds

1 tsp


2 tsps

Curry leaves

1 sprig

Jaggery powder /Sugar

1-2 tsp or as per taste


to taste


1 cup

Chopped coriander leaves

1-2 tbsps

Grated coconut (optional)

1 tbsp

Method :

  1. Chop the onions and slit the green chilies.
  2. Heat a pan/wok/kadai. Add in the oil and mustard seeds.
  3. When the mustard seeds start spluttering, lower the flame and add the chopped onions, slit green chilies and curry leaves.
  4. Stir till the onions have turned transparent. Add in the sprouted fenugreek seeds.
  5. Stir gently taking care to see that the sprouts do not break.
  6. Add half a cup of water and keep the flame on medium. Cover the lid and let it cook.
  7. When half cooked, add salt, jaggery and water (if necessary) and cook till done.
  8. Garnish it with chopped coriander leaves and grated coconut.

Serves : 4


Half a cup of fenugreek seeds will yield 2-3 cups when sprouted.

A squeeze of lime juice added to it enhances the taste.

This dish tastes good with chapattis or with rice and dal.

For more information on fenugreek seeds :

Monday, April 5, 2010

Kulfi - Indian Dessert

Kulfi is a rich Indian dessert somewhat like ice-cream. It is very refreshing to have this during the summers.

This dessert is generally liked by all young and old alike. Traditionally this dessert is made by boiling milk and reducing the contents to one third and then adding sugar.

Now-a-days nobody has the time nor the patience to go through the lengthy process of preparation. For lazy people (like myself) short-cut method is more preferable. But mind you the taste has not been compromised !

I have used condensed sweetened milk thereby eliminating the need for boiling and adding sugar and thus saving time.Weight watchers should however avoid ( though difficult due to its wonderful taste!) this dessert as it is high in calories. I had made this dessert for a special occasion.

Kulfi 8

Kulfi 1
Kulfi being taken out from the Kulfi-mould


Sweetened Condensed Milk

1 cup

Whipped Cream/ Milk cream

1 cup


8 -10


½ cup

Mixed chopped nuts

20 gms

White bread slices ( crust to be removed)

4 slices

Cardamom (powdered)

½ tsp


A pinch

Method :

  1. Grind the cashews. Add 1-2 tsps of milk and grind it further to a thick paste. Keep aside.
  2. Place the slices of bread in a bowl. Warm the remaining milk and pour it over the bread slices. The slices will turn soggy in a few minutes.
  3. Put sweetened condensed milk, whipped cream/milk cream, ground cashew paste, soaked bread slices, saffron, powdered cardamom and the chopped mixed nuts in the food processor /mixer (use the whisking blade) and blend well to a thick paste. Take care to see that no lumps are formed.
  4. Fill this mixture in the Kulfi moulds (or in any container) and cover it with lid and freeze in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.
  5. Before serving, remove the kulfi from the freezer and keep it at room temperature for about 10 mins. It will now be easier to slide the kulfi from the mould.
  6. Serve immediately as it will melt quickly.

Preparation time : 15 - 20 mins

Freezing time : 2 hours

Serves : 6


  • If the Kulfi mould is smeared with a thin film of oil, before the mixture is poured into the mould, the kulfis will slide out more easily.
  • I use Nestle's whipped cream generally. But this time since it was not available in the super market, I used Amul milk cream instead. The result is almost the same.
  • Grinding cashews and adding to the mixture enhances the taste of Kulfi. This can be omitted and instead the cashew bits can be added along with the chopped nuts.

For more information: