“It is the food which you furnish to your mind that determines the whole character of your life.”
Emmet Fox

Kadhi  indian yogurt curryKadhi {Indian vegetarian yogurt curry}. Ask me to pick my favourite Indian curry, and chances are that kadhi will be the first thing that comes to my mind. It is the best comfort food ever, leaves me deeply satiated, fills me with nostalgia right from the aromas that rise from the first tempering. As the flavours of aesofoetida and curry leaves dance wildly in the summer air, I am transported to the air cooled house of Sheela Aunty, my mothers friend from Delhi University.

tadka spicesShe passed away several years ago, but a large part of our growing up unfolded under her wings. It is rare for even a few days to go by when we don’t exclaim like her, and then dissolve into giggles. Large-hearted, earnest, easily shocked, far too loving, the best collection of crisp summer sarees, jewellery to make the heart sing {after all she was born into one of Delhi’s leading jewelers families}, too humble, a great Indian vegetarian cook, she left a deep impact on us.

Kadhi  Indian yogurt curryI wasn’t foodily aware or obsessed at the time she was around and still rue the fact that I didn’t get a chance to chase her with paper and pencil to record recipes …I did that a lot {A LOT} after I got married in the mid 1990’s. Pages and pages were filled and I am glad I managed some. Aesofoetida was introduced into our rather differently spiced house thanks to her.

Spice Market, Khari Baoli, Old Delhi Spices became a fascination, hing or aesofoetida ‘the spice’ I fell in love with. I have grown to love the spice, not very well known in the West, very popular with Indian vegetarian food, and extremely popular down in South India too. Surprisingly enough, you see influences of the spice in non-vegetarian cuisine in Kashmir too! {One of my favourite haunts is Khari Baoli, Old Delhi to visit the spice market seen above. That was at the Lumia shoot 2 days ago}

Kadhi  indian yogurt curry tadkaNo tadka or tempering is complete without this magical ingredient, the nostalgia lingers on. So that morning when I looked at the Hamilton Beach MultiBlend Blender and Chopper on my kitchen counter, I didn’t have to think of what to make for lunch. With buttermilk and homemade yogurt in the fridge, I knew it was time for my favourite summer curry.

Kadhi  Indian yogurt curry Sometimes it seems like a bit of work, the pakoras or dumplings actually but in time I have cut the work out for me. Blenders the way to go for curry always, and the Hamilton Beach Multiblender did the job to perfection. In seconds. It also cut the work out when it came to making pakoras, or the dumplings. A friend whatsapped me the other day to say she was waiting for my review as she wanted to know how the onions got cut in the bender. A 100% good I have to say! Finer than I could ever manage, and within seconds. I love that there are two separate jars, complete with blades etc which allow you to multitask!

Hamilton Beach Multiblender chopped onionsI’ve been doing a lot more with the multiblender. Grinding oats as I develop recipes for Fit Foodie.

oatmealWhisking up delicious smoothies inspired by Aditya on Instagram. #CreateFearlessly is a great hashtag to carry. Goes in line with the ‘Good Thinking’ that spells out the Hamilton Beach line of products! ‘Really Good Thinking’. I’m loving it.

Papaya Yogurt SmoothieDid I tell you we’re not the only ones who are in love with papaya and smoothies this summer? There’s a little someone who shares every papaya that is cut in the kitchen. She makes a meal of quarter at least before it gets to the blender!

Coco & PapayaThen there is someone else smitten with the blender. The lad wakes up every morning in a somnambulent state and glides into the kitchen to make himself a frozen strawberry almond smoothie. Goes on to slurp his way through, enjoying it to the last drop, then even washes up the blender! On Mother’s Day, he  burst into my room with a tall {and really really good} glass of Guava+Strawberry+Lychee Smoothie that he conjured up for me.Guava, Strawberry, Lychee SmoothieHonestly, this is one kitchen companion I am enjoying fearlessly! There have been glasses of cold coffee, mango shakes, papaya flax seed smoothies, 3 batches of kadhi, buttermilk lassi, pineapple apricot coolers, watermelon strawberry delights, aam panna … and plenty more this last month.

Cold coffee

Smoothies etc

aam pannaThe upside is having one kid enjoying it even more. The downside? Yes there is one! The daughter has now threatened to take the Hamilton Beach MultiBlender back with her when she goes back to uni after the vacations. #CreateFearlessly might well reach the battleground between the two kids!


Recipe: Kadhi {Indian vegetarian yogurt curry} 
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Summary: A quintessential Indian vegetarian yogurt based curry, which can be found adapted to regional taste. This is my version and it is fragrant, addictive and finger licking good. The Hamilton Beach Multiblender makes it the quickest curry I have made in ages! Serve this gluten free dish with boiled rice or even parathas.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes

  • For the curry
  • 300g yogurt, home made or store bought
  • 250ml buttermilk
  • 1 heaped tbsp besan {chickpea flour}
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/8 -1/4 tsp hing {aesofoetida}
  • 1 tsp salt
  • First tempering
  • 1 1/2 tsp ghee {clarified butter}, or oil
  • Pinch hing {aesofoetida}
  • 2-3 whole red chillies
  • Few sprigs fresh currypatta
  • 1/2 tsp whole zeera {cumin seeds}
  • 1tsp sarson {whole mustard seeds}
  • 1/4 tsp whole methi seeds {fenugreek seeds}
  • Second tempering
  • 1 tsp ghee {clarified butter}
  • pinch hing
  • 2-3 whole red chillies, broken
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh curry patta
  • 1/2 tsp sarson {whole mustard seeds}
  • Pakoras {dumplings}
  • 3/4 cup besan
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • pinch baking soda
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 2 green chilies, broken into 2-3
  • 1/4 cup fresh coriander/curry patta, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup oil for frying {else shallow fry }


  1. For the curry
  2. Place all ingredients in the blender, and process for 30 seconds until well blended. Reserve.
  3. First tempering
  4. Keep all the ingredients ready as listed. They need to go in rapidly, one after the other, to avoid them getting burnt. The fenugreek is the last and tends to get a little bitter on over browning, so take care.
  5. Heat 1 1/2 tsp ghee in a deep heavy bottom pan, and add the ingredients as listed, ending with the methi seeds/fenugreek.
  6. Immediately pour in the blended yogurt mixture. Keep over high flame until it comes to a boil, stirring often, else it will overflow {and make you weep}.
  7. Once it comes to a boil, simmer for about 30 minutes until fragrant and cooked, stirring once in a while. Keep an eye on it on and off and it tends to come up to the rim of the pan.
  8. Pakoras
  9. Put the onions, green chilies and fresh coriander in the small blender. Chop for 30 seconds, stir, chop again to desired size.
  10. Place ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Stir in enough water to make a thickish batter of dropping consistency. Whisk well with hand to aerate the batter.
  11. Heat oil and gently drop in spoonfuls. If the batter is very thick, the pakoras will be hard. Experiment with one pakora first to check.
  12. Fry over medium heat until they turn golden on one side, then gently turn and fry the other side. Don’t overcrowd the pan.
  13. Drain from oil, blot over kitchen towels, and slide into hot kadhi/curry. Allow to sit for 10-15 minutes so that the pakoras get nice and soft.
  14. Final tempering {Optional. I sometimes skip this as the first tempering flavours the kadhi well}
  15. Heat ghee in a small tadka pan {frying pan}. Throw in all the ingredients. Once they sizzle and splutter, get aromatic, take off heat and pour over kadhi.
  16. Serve with boiled rice {with a side of papads if you like}


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“Barbecue should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler.”
Albert Einstein

Grill In with herby Italian chicken Summer’s here and with it fun, healthier and lighter food. Did I forget the D word? Delicious too! There’s been quite a shift in the way I look at food, develop recipes, serve it up etc. The grains have gone whole, the sugars are less refined, usually natural or brown, and the oils are cold pressed or then clarified butter. Natural homemade white butter too. If you look at things, it’s actually a lifestyle change, teenie step by step, and it’s interesting to see how things can change bit by bit.

Eat healthyWith developing healthy and tasty recipes for Fit Foodie, to drinking more water, upping the protein and walking the extra mile with the GOQii campaign, this year couldn’t have begun on a better note. It isn’t about losing weight and the eternal calorie count. I’ve learnt as time goes by that holistic is better, that lifestyles are better when balanced, that changes don’t happen overnight.

Baby mustard greens stir fryAll this aligns with my food philosophy, being a locavore and eating seasonal. With the temperature rising, I thought I’d buy a sandwich grill. Online browsing is the best option for housebound me these days as I have work going on at home. landing up at the recently launched Home Store section of one of my favourite haunts, I was blown away by the choice.

Outdoor grill, FlipkartSO MUCH CHOICE! I almost forgot what I had landed up for…. my imagination took flight. Beginning from singular thoughts of a sandwich press, the boundaries expanded and how! I shifted gears and knew I now wanted a grilling something. Oh yes, good thought now that I was also cutting back carbs. I wanted a grill! So I set off and OH DEAR! Faced with more choice, online shopping has never been better. My search for grills threw up more temptation by way of the header ‘Barbeque & Grills’. Such fun. The prices are quite reasonable too from under Rs 1000 to about Rs 5000, I found enough choice for my kitchen and home. I have never seen so many colours too.

enamelware charcoal grill, flipkart So it was definitely this I zeroed in on an enamelware charcoal grill. Such a compact fun design, with the option of no legs {counter top}, half stand or stand on wheels, couldn’t have asked for more. Time to toss coins. Which colour? Red blue, green, white, yellow, black? Good heavens! Asked the lad at home because I oscillated between black and red. White he said with conviction, so white it was!Grill In with herby Italian chicken

An outdoor grill in summer is fun, fun, fun. This one is so convenient to use and compact too. The store {can mention Flipkart} is very prompt with updates and delivers expertly. Unpacking it, I loved the packaging and the thought behind the product. Such fun… I ave myself a pat on the back for such a great choice!

Grill In with herby Italian chicken
So here we go. A simple herby lime barbeque chicken to inaugurate my latest online indulgence. You must go and check out the range available. There are some great discounts available that you possibly won’t find in store. Oh, and don’t forget to tell me what you went looking for, and what you eventually bought. Were you strong willed, or weak willed distracted like me, hopping from one page to another, spoilt for choice?

Grill In with herby Italian chicken And I bought another something. You know my love for stoneware and black Manipur pottery. I was pleasantly surprised to see quite an extensive range of this online. To add to my collection, I bought this beautiful flat rectangular serving dish. Was a perfect fit to serve the skewers on. They’ve got an enviable range. For those who cannot make it to Dilli Haat, this is the place to go.

[print_this]Recipe: Herby Lime Grilled Chicken
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Summary: A simple herby Italian chicken which is bursting with tangy, fresh flavour. The smokiness from grilling adds special earthiness to the flavours. Use the same marinade for cottage cheese, or maybe button mushrooms. The cooking time will reduce the same.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

  • 500g boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 8 cloves garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1 large lime
  • 1/2 tsp red chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp dried Italian herbs
  • 1 tbsp Ranch buttermilk dressing {optional}
  • 2 tbsp fresh oregano
  • Salt to taste
  • Bell peppers and onions


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together marinade ingredients. Stir in chicken pieces and mix well. Leave to marinade for 2 hours, or better, overnight.
  2. Skewer chicken pieces alternatively with bell peppers and onions.
  3. Fire up the grill. Grill for 7-8 minutes approx each side, as per manufacturer instructions.
  4. Serve hot with a salad on the side.


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“… the way we eat represents our most profound engagement with the natural world. Daily, our eating turns nature into culture, transforming the body of the world into our bodies and minds.” 
Michael Pollan

Roasted bell pepper pesto Roasted Red Bell Pepper Pesto is what my roasted bell peppers were headed for! It’s strange how winter in the subcontinent is different from winter in the west. Come winter and the local bazaars are flooded with the best of fresh produce. It’s the time of the year when colours paint the vegetable shops in brilliant hues. It’s time for bell peppers, celery, broccoli, strawberries, cape gooseberries, mustard greens, fenugreek, garlic greens, beets and beet greens, juicy tomatoes ... and of course truckloads of cauliflower!

herbs veggies fruitsThis year we’ve had a deluge of local bell peppers. At a dollar and a half a kilo, these beauties are a steal. I toss bell peppers into just about everything. The kids thankfully love them in every form, the dog is a willing accomplice too. Any obliging little bits that jump off the chopping board head straight into Coco’s greedy little mouth!

Roasted bell peppersEach time I bake something, I throw in a few peppers  to roast alongside. I love char grilling them; sometimes use the Air Fryer when the oven isn’t on! Roasted bell peppers work well in tossed into pastas, in salads, in sandwiches, on bruschetta, also in pasta sauces.

Roasted bell pepper pesto Which brings me to the pesto. It’s absolutely brilliant and so adaptable! Play around with the ingredients as you like. Use the pesto in a pasta sauce, as a sandwich spread, as a dip, thin it out as a salad dressing, add it to a chicken bake, in quesadillas, with kebabs, stuff it into roast potatoes, even add it to soup …. it never fails to please!

Roasted bell pepper pesto I LOVE it paired with peppery arugula which is growing with wild abandon in my very neglected patch. Add a little feta, maybe caramelised onions, some smoked chicken ham to please the kids …. and I’m in business! I love a good green pesto too, and you can well imagine where my next bunch of arugula is headed! What is your most fun way to use pesto? And which pesto do you love the most?

Nirlep Anodized CookwarePlease don’t forget to enter the ‘Nirlep Handi giveaway‘ if you have an Indian address. I’ve been cooking up a storm in mine. You could soon be doing the same very soon! The giveaway ends tomorrow!

[print_this]Recipe: Roasted Red Bell Pepper Pesto 
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Summary:  Fire up your tastebuds with this simple and fingerlicking good Red Bell Pepper Pesto. Play around with the ingredients to suit your tastes. 

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes {plus cooling time}

  • 200g red bell peppers {3 small}
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • Small bunch fresh oregano
  • 25g almonds with skin
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 35g extra virgin olive oil
  • 15g balsamic vinegar
  • Juice of ½ lime


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Place the bell peppers and full head of garlic on a baking tray. Roast / char grill the bell peppers until the skin blisters and gets black, about 25 minutes. Place in a bowl, cover lightly with a kitchen towel and allow to cool. Tip: You can grill peppers in the oven while baking a cake etc to save energy.
  2. Peel the skin off, remove the seeds and place in bowl of food processor. Squeeze out the roasted garlic from the pods and put into processor.
  3. Add the oregano, almonds, salt and balsamic vinegar. Process until you get a chunky puree. Drizzle in oil and process again. Add lime juice and mix.
  4. Reserve in a jar. This will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days, and can be made ahead.


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