Thursday, 27 March 2014

Delhi ki Paranthe wali Gali ke Paranthe Recipe (Spicy Flatbreads Recipe)

A few years ago when I was about 12 years old, I saw a T.V. food and travel show episode on Delhi's very famous Paranthe wali Gali. I was fascinated on finding out that there is a whole lane of just parantha walas! One of the parantha walas interviewed on the show demonstrated the recipe of his very popular paranthas and I immediately noted and made this recipe the same day.

Delhi ki Paranthe wali Gali ke Paranthe

I have tried this recipe many times over the years and am in love with these crisp, flaky and spicy paranthas. Though these take some more effort to make than our regular paranthas, they are really worth the little extra effort. This step-by-step recipe with pictures should make it easier to make them. The paranthas can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner.  They are best served with Amul butter and eaten as is or with some yummy dal makkhani.

Delhi ki Paranthe wali Gali ke Paranthe

Delhi ki Paranthe wali Gali ke Paranthe Recipe

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Making Time: 5 minutes for each parantha

Serves: 4


For the dough

3 cups whole wheat flour
2 tsps oil
A pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups water

For the spice mix

2 tbsps salt
2 tbsps red chilly powder
2 tbsps garam masala powder

Ghee or oil to apply on the paranthas when rolling them out
Ghee or oil for shallow frying the paranthas


For the dough

Mix the salt and the oil in the whole wheat flour using your fingers. 

Keep adding in the water slowly and knead a firm dough.

Cover and let it rest for about 15 minutes.

For the spice mix

In a bowl mix together the salt, red chilly powder and the garam masala well.

To make the parantha

Make a ball of the prepared dough about two inches in diameter.

Delhi ki Paranthe wali Gali ke Paranthe: Step 1

Flatten in and roll out a thin flatbread of about 6 inches in diameter

Delhi ki Paranthe wali Gali ke Paranthe: Step 2

Now take 1 teaspoonful of ghee or oil and spread it well all over this rolled out dough.

Delhi ki Paranthe wali Gali ke Paranthe: Step 3

Now take the spice mix and spread it liberally all over the rolled out dough. 
Using your fingers mix it with the oil so that the spice mix sticks to the dough well. 

Delhi ki Paranthe wali Gali ke Paranthe: Step 4

Next, make horizontal and vertical cuts about an inch apart from each other on the parantha such that you get squares.

Delhi ki Paranthe wali Gali ke Paranthe: Step 5

Start stacking these squares on top of each other.

Delhi ki Paranthe wali Gali ke Paranthe: Step 6

You will get a pile like this.

Delhi ki Paranthe wali Gali ke Paranthe: Step 7

Now, flatten out this stack to make it ready for rolling out the parantha.

Delhi ki Paranthe wali Gali ke Paranthe: Step 8

And roll out a parantha. Don't worry much about getting a perfect round shape, it will look like this!

Delhi ki Paranthe wali Gali ke Paranthe: Step 9

Heat ghee or oil on a flat girdle (tawa). 
Place the parantha on it and lower the flame to a medium high. 
Shallow fry the parantha till it is golden-brown and crispy on one side (as seen below).

Delhi ki Paranthe wali Gali ke Paranthe: Step 10

Flip over and fry till golden-brown on the other side too. 

Serve hot with a dollop of butter!

Delhi ki Paranthe wali Gali ke Paranthe: Ready to Eat!

Thursday, 20 March 2014

10 Must-Have Gujarati Dishes

Gujaratis (people from the state of Gujarat in western India) have a big love affair with their food. No wonder, as soon as people find out that I am a Gujarati and a food blogger, the conversation turns towards Gujarati food.

If I had to use three words to describe Gujarati food they would be 'sweet', 'sour' and 'abundant'. Yes, Gujarati food is unapologetic about the presence of sugar or jaggery and lemon or tamarind in most dishes and about eating and feeding in hearty quantities.

As I have often declared, I am a Gujarati who eats very little Gujarati food. This is because I am not a great fan of all the sour and sweet flavours being there in the food all the time. However there are few dishes of Gujarati cuisine that I truly relish and that make me go back to my roots. 

Here is my list of Gujarati dishes you MUST have-

Fresh Toor Kachoris (Leeli Tuver ni Kachori)

This is a seasonal snack made in winters when fresh toor (leeli tuver) is available. This fried crisp kachori is filled with minced fresh toor that is sauteed with sesame, ginger, garlic, and flavoured with lemon and sugar for the Gujarati touch. It is a great snack and a traditional dish not easily found outside Gujarati home kitchens. So you either need to make it for yourselves or get invite to a Gujarati home in winters to have it!

Mag ni Dal na Pudla

This five ingredient quick fix make the taste of the moong dal (split green lentil) the hero of the taste of this dish. Neither too pungent, nor too spicy, this dish is great for kids and foreigners who love Indian food but beware of the pungency levels. It is full of proteins and makes for a great breakfast dish or a snack at any time of the day.

3. Lapsi

Lapsi: Image Courtesy:
Lapsi is a sweet dish made of finely broken wheat. It is made by roasting broken wheat in ghee (clarified butter) and then cooking it in water with sugar and cardamom till it is soft. Lapsi holds quite some significance in Gujarati cuisine and is often cooked during a lot of festivals and weddings.

4. Handvo

Handvo: Image Courtesy:

Handvo is a dish made famous by the scene in 3 Idiots where a drunk Kareena Kapoor asks Amir Khan as to why Gujarati dishes sound so dangerous with names like 'handvo' and 'dhokla' that sound like the name of bombs. Handvo are savoury lentil cakes made on the gas stove top that are served with a tempering of sesame seeds, red chillies and corriander on top. They make for a good snack or a light lunch or dinner dish.

5. Undhiyu

Undhiyu: Image Courtesy:

Undhiyu is the most popular and elaborate Gujarati dish I have come across. Like tuver ni kachori, it is a seasonal dish, made only when fresh garlic with greens, surti papdi (broad beans) and leeli tuver are available. A main course dish had with pooris or rotis, it is made of different vegetables like papdi, tuver, baby brinjals, potatoes, sweet potatoes, purple yams and peas and muthiyas (fried spicy balls of fresh fenugreek with wheat flour, semolina and gram flour) in a green gravy made of fresh corriander, fresh garlic with greens, coconut and corriander seeds powder. This is a Sunday favourite in most Gujarati homes during winter when the family sits together to eat it and then can have a long afternoon nap afterwards (as it is very heavy!)

Gujarati Kadhi

Move over Punjabi pakodewaali kadhi, this is kadhi as we Gujaratis do it! Undeniably sour and sweet with hints of spice from the chillies, curry leaves and cumin, Gujarati kadhi is a yogurt sauce best had with plain steamed rice. It is usually served with chhuti dal steamed yellow moong dal as an accompaniment, the scientific reason being to make up for the proteins needed in the meal!

7. Panki 

Panki: Image Courtesy:

Panki is a steamed crepe made of rice flour flavoured with turmeric, cumin, salt, garlic and green chillies. It is steamed by wrapping in a banana leaf and is served hot wrapped in the leaf. It makes for a great appetizer that gets the juices flowing.

8. Mag ni Dal na Dhokla

Mag ni Dal na Dhokla

Dhoklas are very famous Gujarati snacks. My experience has often been that it is the most popularly requested recipe from me. Mag ni dal na dhokla are made from split green lentils instead of the regular fermented rice batter (white khatta dhokla) or gram flour dhoklas (yellow khaman dhokla). Again made from 5 ingredients, these steamed dhoklas are light, lovely and tasty. They are perfect for vegetarians, vegans or those on a diet.

9. Khandvi


Khandvi are delicate, thin gram flour and buttermilk rolls that take some practice and effort to get proficiency in. The rolls in themselves are only flavoured with salt and buttermilk but the tempering of mustard, cumin and corriander adds another layers of flavour to it. I love this dish for it's delicate texture and flavours.

10. Masala Chaas 

Masala Chaas
With our love for hearty meals with plenty of food, no meal can be complete without masala chaas (spiced buttermilk) as an appetizer or after-meal digestive beverage. Masala chaas is a very easy and quick beverage and has beautiful flavours of cumin, ginger, chilly and fresh corriander that spice up the regular buttermilk made of  yogurt, water and salt.

Gujarati cuisine is full of flavours and colours with plenty of dishes in terms of variety and quantity.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

Homemade Jaljeera Recipe

Jaljeera... so many memories! Of childhood summers. Of vacations at Ahmedabad. Of one rupee coins demanded everyday for it. Of carrying so many packets back in our bags. Let me elaborate.

My mother's sister lives in Ahmedabad and we used to go there once every couple of years for summer vacations. I was introduced to jaljeera buy her son, my first cousin. We used to take one rupee coins everyday after lunch from our mothers to buy it. Our mothers at that time would have been relieved from their morning duties and would be free and in a relatively good mood to give us the money.  After some time when the heat lulled them to sleep we would go down in Ahmedabad's blistering afternoon mid-May heat to the shop to buy one packet each of this spice powder. You see, despite their strict warnings that we would fall sick if we went out in the heat, we could not wait till evening to get our daily dose of this yummy, sour, pungent drink. 

Homemade Jaljeera Recipe

We are old enough now to understand why we were asked not to go out in the heat, but we are never too old to crave and love jaljeera! 

Homemade Jaljeera Recipe

Now that I cook, I have tried to make this summer favourite at home from scratch. It turned out great and I have decided not to buy powder any more but make it fresh every time! It hardly takes 10 minutes to do so! 

Homemade Jaljeera Recipe

Jaljeera in Hindi literally means 'cumin water' and refers to this spiced beverage that makes for a great appetizing summer drink. Jaljeera has mint which has a cooling effect on the body during the hot summer months. It is packed with flavour from spices like black salt, asafoetida, dried ginger powder and cumin that also aid digestion. Jaljeera, like masala chaas, can be served at the beginning of a meal or as a drink any time of the day. 

Homemade Jaljeera Recipe

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Making Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 4


1 cup packed fresh mint leaves
3 tsps cumin powder
2 tsps rock salt
2 tsps red chilly  powder
2 tsps dried mango powder (amchur)
1 1/2 tsps black pepper powder
1 tsp dried ginger powder
1 tsps asafoetida
2 tbsps lemon juice
Salt to taste

4 cups water

Boondi (fried crispy chickpea pearls) to serve


In a grinder, grind together the mint with the dried spice powders

and lemon juice till they form a smooth paste.

Add in the water and stir till the paste dissolves well into the water. Adjust salt if required after adding water.

You can strain the prepared jaljeera if you do not like the ground mint leaves. I like the way they taste, so I did not strain them.

Serve with some boondi in it. 

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Masala Chaas (Spiced Buttermilk) Recipe

Mumbai winters are of the 'blink-and-you-miss-it' kind. And we often say that the only season Mumbai has is summer with three months of summer monsoon thrown in. The point being that summer is already in the air and it's barely mid March.

The weather has already reached the summer vacation season level (sigh. vacation!). The levels of mercury are soaring, and so is the humidity. This season comes with decreased appetites and a greater desire for refreshing and thirst-quenching cooling beverages.

Masala Chaas: Spiced Buttermilk

There are a wide variety of beverages available - but for me nothing beats the heat like 'aapdi masala chhas' (our spiced buttermilk)! A light drink of cooling yogurt with a hint of spice from ginger, green chilly and cumin.. ah! 

Chhas can be served in various ways. In the Gujarati tradition of food, chhas is usually served before a meal as it increases appetite and aids digestion. It can also be had as a refreshing beverage any time of the day. It also forms a good accompaniment for khichdi

Masala Chaas: Spiced Buttermilk

Masala Chaas (Spiced Buttermilk) Recipe

Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes

Serves: 4


2 cups yogurt
4 cups cold water
2 green chillies
1/2 inch piece of ginger
2 tbsps finely chopped corriander leaves 
1 tsp cumin powder
Salt to taste


Grind together the chillies and ginger to form a fine paste.

Mix together the yogurt and water in a deep vessel.

Add in the salt, the cumin powder and the ginger and green chilly paste. Blend well with a hand blender.

Now add in the chopped corriander leaves.

Serve chilled!

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

On Being A Guest Blogger on

There is some great news on my end! A few days ago I was invited by to be a guest blogger for their blog. So....

Salt and Pepper (With a Lot of Spice!) is now also on

You can see my contributions here:

Here's how my first post looks on

And here's me on the site!

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Indian Spices: Rai, Raai, Sarson (Mustard Seeds)

One of my most favourite comparisons about a person is "like mustard seeds in hot oil" for someone who is impatient. Ah, mustard! What tales could be told of these little black pearls!

Mustard Seeds: Rai, Raai, Sarson
Mustard seeds are known by various names across different regions in India. Gujaratis call it "raai", Maharashtrians calls it "mohri", North Indians call it "sarson", and in the South it goes by "avalu" in Telugu and "kadugu" in Tamil.  Just as there are different names for the mustard seed, there are different kinds of mustard seeds - black, brown and white/yellow. The most commonly used form of mustard in cooking is the black mustard. 

Black mustard seeds are used in Indian cooking primarily for tempering. In Indian cooking, no dish - be it curry or lentil, vegetarian or meat preparation- is complete without tempering of some form. And that makes mustard seeds an inseparable part of Indian cuisine. Mustard seeds have a characteristic pungent taste that lends a spicy tang to the dish. 

Mustard Seeds: Rai, Raai, Sarson

Other parts of the mustard plant also lend to different dishes and condiments in regional Indian cuisine. One of the most famous dishes of Punjabi cuisine is sarson ka saag and makke ki roti, which is a gravy made of mustard greens and spinach served with maize flour flatbreads. The cooking oil used widely in North Indian and Bengali cuisine is mustard oil which is extracted from mustard seeds. 

Mustard seeds have many health benefits. Poultices of mustard seeds are traditionally used for decongesting blocked nose and chest during colds. Adding a tied bundle of mustard seeds to your hot bath water will relieve aching muscles and joints. The use of mustard seeds also boosts the effect of the Omega-3 content of fish and oils. 

Monday, 3 March 2014

Moong Dal Khichdi (Mag Ni Dal Ni Khichdi) Recipe

I have been down with a cold for the past two weeks and have been gobbling down comfort food. Two of my go-to comfort foods when I am sick are tomato soup and khichdi. This time it had to be only khichdi as my doctor had asked me to stay away from sour foods so that I wouldn't get a cough apart from the cold.

Moong Dal Khichdi (Mag Ni Dal Ni Khichdi)

Moong dal khichdi is a soft, pliant, soupy dish of rice and split green gram. I make mine very lightly spiced by adding whole spices to it when cooking it instead of dried spice powders. This adds a flavourful aroma to the khichdi without being overpowering. 

Moong Dal Khichdi (Mag Ni Dal Ni Khichdi)

Moong dal khichdi is a quick one-dish meal fix for those days when you are in a hurry and want something comforting. It is best served slightly mashed when it is hot with a little bit of ghee. You can eat it with a variety of accompaniments such as salads, yogurt, kadhi, papad, pickles etc. to add different tastes and textures to the meal. 

Moong Dal Khichdi Up Close

Moong Dal Khichdi (Mag Ni Dal Ni Khichdi) Recipe

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes

Serves: 4


1 1/2 cups rice
1 1/2 cups split green gram (chhilkewaali moong dal)
5 cups water
1 tbsp ghee
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilly powder
4-5 whole black peppercorns
1 star anise
2 inch cinnamon stick
2 dried bay leaves
Salt to taste

Mix together the rice and the split green gram, wash them well and soak them for 30 minutes in 3 cups of water.

In a pressure cooker, put in the soaked rice and green gram mixture and the remaining 2 cups of water.

Add in the salt to taste,  the turmeric powder and the red chilly powder. Mix well.

Now add in the whole spices - peppercorns, star anise, cinnamon stick and dried bay leaves.

Pour the ghee on top of the water.

Pressure cook for 4 whistles on a high flame. Then lower the flame and cook for another 10 minutes.

Remove the whole spices from the prepared khichdi and mash it a little using a potato masher or the serving spoon.

Serve hot with the other accompaniments.