Mushroom Tikka

My first ever attempt to cook mushroom for TH. As he doesn’t like the slippery chewy texture of mushroom, I never cooked it in my kitchen. I learnt somewhere that mushrooms are the only vegetarian source that is rich in vitamin D (not to mention that most of us are discovered to be Vitamin D deficient during pregnancy), so after lots of long discussions TH is now ready to try eating mushrooms. And here I go with the mushroom trials in my kitchen…


Mushroom Tikka
Serves 2
A Simple Mushroom Treat
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
10 min
Total Time
15 min
  1. 1. Mushroom - 1 Pack
  2. 2. Hung curds - 1 tbsp (I used thick curds as such)
  3. 3. Tandoor masala - 1/2 tsp
  4. 4. Chili Powder - 1/5 tsp
  5. 5. Pepper Powder - 1/4 tsp
  6. 6. Salt as required
  7. 7. Cumin powder - 1/4 tsp
  8. 8. Carom seeds - 1 pinch
  9. 9. Lemon juice - 1 tsp
  10. 10. Butter - 1/2 tbsp
  1. Clean and prepare mushrooms by cutting them into even bite sized ones.
  2. Take the hung curds and all other ingredients and mix well.
  3. Coat the marinade to mushrooms and refrigerate for about 15 minutes.
  4. Pile them onto wooden skewers and roast them all sides on a heated tawa drizzling some butter over. Alternatively, grill them in oven.
Grammars of cooking

Adikaram: வாழ்க்கைத் துணைநலம்.

Kural: 58

பெற்றாற் பெறின்பெறுவர் பெண்டிர் பெருஞ்சிறப்புப்
புத்தேளிர் வாழும் உலகு.


Woman that serves as a virtuous wife shall live as the Gods in heaven do.



Lauki Kofta Gravy or Bottlegourd Dumpling Curry

Bottle gourd is such a healthy vegetable: it helps digestion, it cools the body, it is beneficial to skin and is mainly sought-after for weight loss.  But I have never heard anyone call it a favourite veggie; in my mom-in-law’s home they don’t even include it in anyway. When we had Kundan’s cousin for lunch, I wanted to try this lauki kofta curry as I thought that’s a cheering way to feed bottle gourd to people who abhor it on plate. I’m not sure how far my guests or Kundan liked it but our maid appreciated it pretty much.

Serves:  4

Preparation Time:  15 minutes

Cooking Time:  30 minutes


1.      Bottle gourd – 1 small
2.    Gram flour – 3 tbsp
3.    Red chili powder – 2 tsp
4.    Salt to taste
5.     Lemon – 1
6.    Oil as required
7.     Cinnamon – 2 “ piece
8.    Cumin seeds – ¼ tsp
9.    Onion – 1 large
10.  Tomato – 4
11.   Coriander powder – 1 tsp
12. Cumin powder – ¼ tsp
13. Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
14. Ginger garlic paste – ½ tsp
15.  Almonds – 6-10 no.
16. Coriander – 2 tbsp chopped


Step 1: Soak almonds in hot water.

Step 2: Peel and grate the bottle gourd into fine shreds [I did a mistake by making thick shreds; it made the kofta chewy even after cooking]. Add 2 pinches of salt and leave aside for 30 minutes after which you need to squeeze out the juice (save it for gravy) and take it in a mixing bowl.

Step 3: To the grated bottled gourd, add gram flour, ½ tsp of chili powder, juice of half a lemon, salt and mix well. Add more flour if required, roll into 2” balls and deep fry them until golden brown.

Step 4: For tomato gravy: grind the tomato and soaked almonds into smooth paste.

Step 5: Heat a tbsp of oil in a pan, splutter cumin seeds, add cinnamon and sauté finely chopped onion & ginger garlic paste in it until translucent.

Step 6: Add tomato puree to it and sauté until the oil starts coming out. Add remaining chili powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder, required salt and sauté further for 2 minutes until the raw smell goes off.

Step 7: Add 3 cups of water and let it boil in simmered heat and form thick gravy. It takes around 15 minutes.

Step 8: Transfer the gravy to a serving dish and drop in the crisp koftas; some people like the koftas crisp and some like them soaked in gravy, serve as per preference.

Step 9: Serve garnished with fresh coriander along with roti/ naan.


* Substitute cashew nuts for almonds if you wish the gravy to be creamy.


Baingan Bartha

Baingan is Brinjal and this dish is more like a ‘kathirikai masiyal’ that we’ve in south India. Here we like to eat it with steamed rice while in north it is preferred with rotis mainly. Traditionally for Baigan ka bartha, large eggplants are chosen and charred on stove before the skin is peeled to prepare bartha as I din’t get large ones I just chopped them fine and used in the recipe. This is so flavourful and totally different in texture from other Brinjal recipes and so even people who detest Brinjal would like to try it.

Serves:  3

Preparation Time:  10 minutes

Cooking Time:  15 minutes


1.      Brinjal large – 1 or small -4
2.    Tomato large – 1
3.    Onion medium – 1
4.    Salt to taste
5.     Oil – 1 tbsp
6.    Cumin seeds – ¼ tsp
7.     Asafoetida – 1 pinch
8.    Coriander powder – 1 tsp
9.    Chili powder – 1 tsp
10. Coriander leaves – 2 tbsp chopped


Step 1: Char the large brinjal directly on stove on all sides. Cool it, wash, peel the skin and slit to check for worms and mash it with masher chop if using small ones.

Step 2: Alternatively chop the small brinjals into small cubes as I have done.
Step 3: Heat oil in a tawa, temper with cumin seeds and asafoetida.

Step 4: Sauté with it finely chopped onions then add coriander, chopped tomatoes, chilli powder, coriander powder and salt in that order. 

Step 5: Add little water if required and let it get cooked. Add chopped brinjal if using small ones and mash it using potato masher.

Step 6: Else when done add the mashed large brinjal to it and stir well.

Step 7: Serve with rice/ rotis.

Vendhya Pathartham

This is a very noble recipe that my akkama, paternal grandma had learnt from a north Indian Jain cum neighbour. I have never seen anybody not falling for it once tried; be it for taste, health, medicinal values, and simplicity of making or versatility of the dish. Through this recipe, it has never been difficult for us to consume good amounts of fenugreek which otherwise was not possible.

Serves: 3

Preparation Time: 10 minutes

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

1.     Fenugreek Sprouted – 1cup
2.     Curds – 1 ½ cups
3.     Fennel seeds – 1 tsp
4.     Fennel seed powder – 1 tsp
5.     Carom seeds – ½ tsp
6.     Coriander powder – 1 tbsp
7.     Chili powder – 1 tsp
8.     Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
9.     Asafoetida – 1 pinch
10.            Salt to taste
11.             Ghee – 1 tsp (optional)
12.            Oil – 3 tbsp

Step 1: Cook the sprouted fenugreek seeds until soft with some turmeric and salt. Drain off the excess water if any.

Step 2: Heat oil & ghee in a pan and when hot, simmer before adding all dry ingredients. The spices tend to release beautiful aroma on frying, be sure that you don’t burn the spices. It kind of foams the oil in the right temperature.

Step 3: Now add the cooked fenugreek and mix to coat masala over it. Adjust salt and cook for a couple of minutes before turning off the heat.

Step 4: Once the dish comes to normal temperature, add fresh curds to it and mix well. Add more salt if required.

Step 5: Serve with steamed rice or rotis.


*My grandma does not sprout for religious reasons but I do for health reasons. So you can do it the way you like. I personally feel, after sprouting the bitterness of fenugreek is less.

*You can soak, sprout, cook and use fenugreek or directly cook for a little longer time or if it is sprouted, you can also cook in the masala directly by covering for longer time (it is instant but sometimes it tastes bitter). My grandma explored all possible ways and so have tasted; I’ve written the best way I liked.

Papad Ki Sabji

I had learnt this recipe from a TV show and tried it recently when I ran short of vegetables at home. This is a simple, quick and tasty side dish ideal for phulkas. These kinds of recipes using papads or salted and sun-dried vegetable preparations originate from Rajastan where fresh vegetables are less available due to their climatic conditions and landscape. They are unique in taste and is slightly greasy.

Serves: 2

Preparation Time: Nil

Cooking Time: 15 minutes


1.     Pepper papad – 4
2.     Curd – 2 cup
3.     Oil – 2 tbsp
4.     Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
5.     Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
6.     Chilli powder – 1 tsp
7.     Garam masala – ½ tsp
8.     Turmeric – 1 pinch


Step 1: Stack the papads one above the other and fold it twice to break into even quadrants. Shallow fry the papads in two tablespoon of oil and keep aside.

Step 2: In the same oil along a dash of ghee (optional), add cumin seeds, once it crackles add ginger garlic paste and sauté well.
Step 3: Add chilli powder, turmeric, garam masala and then beaten curd.
Step 4: Pour some water and while it comes to boil, add broken papads and garnish with coriander. Turn off heat.

Step 5: Serve hot with phulkas.