Bombay Chutney

I was hardly 5 years old then; it was a nice evening when I was playing in the backyard of my pattama’s (maternal granny is called pattama) home. Few guests arrived in a car to invite the family for wedding or something. Pattama along with thatha(grandpa) and uncle went out to receive them while I peeked into the hall to see if anything interesting to me happened; nothing so exiting as elders were sharing pleasantries and so I returned to the garden to play around the well with calves there. At times I help pattama pluck the flowers from her garden for the temple visit later in the evening, that day I volunteered to do as she was busy taking care of the guests. Sometime later the aroma of hot puris dragged me to the kitchen and there I saw pattamma had almost readied the dinner while she presented me a bowl of hot kesari topped with extra cashews. That is her love, that’s her knack- nice delicious dinner in no time; and for me hospitality is synonymous to pattama even now. Now comes the intro of our protagonist ‘Bombay Chutney’, yeah puri was to go with it for dinner. They had no mixie in those days and so this instant side dish was a pretty wise choice. When I was done with kesari she sent me back to garden for getting some fresh coriander to add to the glamor of Bombay chutney. That is probably the first time I can remember having Bombay chutney. Don’t ask me the etymology, I have no idea; but to me, till date it is pattama’s Bombay Chutney that is mapped mentally when I come across this recipe. However, making it more nutritious by augmenting veggies was done by my mom and I follow that.


Bombay Chutney
Serves 3
An instant side-dish for rotis and dosas
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Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
Prep Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Total Time
10 min
  1. 1. Oil - 2 tsp
  2. 2. Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
  3. 3. Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
  4. 4. Asafoetida - 1 pinch
  5. 5. Curry leaves - 1 sprig
  6. 6. Green chilies - 2
  7. 7. Carrot - 1
  8. 8. French beans - 4
  9. 9. Potato - 1
  10. 10. Tomato - 1
  11. 11. Onion - 1
  12. 12. Ginger - 2" piece
  13. 13. Garlic - 4 cloves
  14. 14. Chickpea flour/ Besan - 1/2 cup
  15. 15. Water - 3 cups
  16. 16. Salt to taste
  17. 17. Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  18. 18. Coriander for garnish
  1. Mix chickpea flour and turmeric in a cup of water without lumps.
  2. Chop vegetables into small cubes. I have slit green chilies as they were very hot and cut the onion into quarter slices.
  3. Heat oil in a tawa, splutter mustard seeds and cumin seeds in it. Add ginger, garlic, asafoetida and curry leaves. Then saute the onion in it till translucent.
  4. Saute chopped vegetables except tomato and sprinkle some salt. Add a cup of water and cover until the veggies are cooked.
  5. Pour the chickpea flour mixture by stirring continuously in low flame. Adjust salt and add the chopped tomatoes.
  6. Pour more water as per consistency when the gravy thickens. It ideally has a chutney or gravy consistency. Turn off heat when the flour is cooked well and the gravy no more thickens.
  7. Garnish with coriander and serve hot.
  1. * Bombay chutney thickens when it becomes cold and can be heated with little water.
  2. * It goes well with pooris, dosas, chapathis and even idlis.
  3. * Other choice of veggies like green peas, cauliflower or so can be added.
  4. * The classic version has only onion & tomatoes and not any other vegetables.
Grammars of cooking



Mixed Vegetable Curry

The other day I had tried this mixed veg curry for roti which I liked very much but Kundan only kind of liked it. It is slightly creamy and bland as though it is a tweaked version of avail (A famous kerala mixed veg dish cooked in coconut milk). Best thing about this recipe is we can make it with different combination of vegetables like carrot, capsicum, bush beans, potato, cauliflower, green peas, beetroot and so apart from tomato and onion that are added as base. It is quite healthy; however, may not go as well with rice varieties.

Serves:  2

Preparation Time:  10 minutes

Cooking Time:  20 minutes


1.      Carrot – 1
2.    Beans – 5-8
3.    Capsicum – 1
4.    Onion – 1
5.     Tomato – 1
6.    Green chili – 1
7.     Oil – 1 tbsp
8.    Salt to taste
9.    Turmeric powder – 2 pinches
10.   Chili powder – ½ tsp
11.   Coriander powder – 1 tsp
12. Cumin powder – ¼ tsp
13. Chopped coriander – 2 tbsp
14. Milk – ½ cup


Step 1: Cut the vegetables into small cubes and roughly chop chili, tomato and onion.

Step 2: Add ½ tbsp of oil in a heated tawa and sauté onion, tomato and chili in it until soft by adding a pinch of salt.

Step 3: Cool the sautéed mixture and grind into fine paste.

Step 4: Heat few drops of oil in the same tawa and sauté the vegetables with required salt, one by one preferably to retain their crisp & colours (each vegetable requires different amount of time depending on their nature and cut size).

Step 5: Now add the tomato-onion paste to the tawa and sauté for a minute and then add salt, turmeric powder, chili powder, coriander powder, cumin powder to sauté for another 2 minutes.

Step 6: Pour a cup of water and add the vegetables to it. Adjust salt and spices if necessary and cook covered.

Step 7: Once vegetables are soft and the gravy becomes thick add the milk and stir in slow heat until it starts boiling and then turn off heat. (Skip milk if you don’t want)

Step 8: Transfer to the serving dish and garnish with fresh coriander. Serve hot with roti/ phulka.


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.


Palak Phool Gobi / Spinach Cauliflower

I have adapted this ‘palak gobi’ recipe from Priyanka Panigrahi’s and altered slightly for convenience. I always had only option to cook green leafy vegetable for roti which is palak paneer, this gives another choice. I had packed it for his lunch the other day and it came out decently. I would like to try it with few other locally available green leafy vegetables.

Serves:  3

Preparation Time:  10 minutes

Cooking Time:  20 minutes


1.      Spinach/ Palak – 1 bunch
2.    Cauliflower – 1 head (small)
3.    Tomato – 1
4.    Onion – 1
5.     Green chili – 1 or 2
6.    Ginger Garlic paste – 1 tsp
7.     Cloves – 3
8.    Cardamom – 2
9.    Cinnamon – 1 “ piece
10.   Oil – I tbsp
11.  Ghee – 1 tsp
12. Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
13. Chili powder – 1 tsp
14. Coriander powder – 1 tsp
15.  Cumin powder – ½ tsp
16. Salt to taste


Step 1: Wash and chop palak/ spinach, make bite sized cauliflower florets and wash them in salted warm water, chop green chili, onion and tomato.

Step 2: Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the cauliflower florets so that they get nice brown spots and flavour. Drain and keep aside.

Step 3: Temper the same oil with the cloves, cinnamon and cardamom; sauté ginger garlic paste, green chili, onion and tomato in it. Add all dry masala, salt to it and fry until mushy.

Step 4: Add chopped spinach to it and mix well; cook by closing the lid and occasional stirring until the vegetable is soft and cooked.

Step 5: Turn off heat, once it cools down grind it into a smooth paste in mixer jar.

Step 6: Bring it back to boil in the same pan with some more water. Add the fried cauliflower to it, check for spices and cook until the gravy gets thicker and cauliflower becomes soft.

Step 7: Finally drizzle with few drops of ghee and relish with phulkas or rotis.


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.