Hagalakai Palya ( Karela/Bittergourd curry)

Hagalakai ( Karela, bitter gourd) is an Indian vegetable that is known for it’s medicinal value, most notably in preventing diabetes. Although it tends to be bitter, when cooked with the appropriate ingredients, the bitter taste gets masked easily. We traditionally use this to make “gojju”, using red chilli powder, tamarind and brown jaggery. I tried making a dry curry out of bitter gourd using a very few simple ingredients.


Bitter Gourd -2 – Sliced

Sambar powder or red chilli powder – 1/2 tsp

Turmeric, hing – 1 pinch

Mustard and Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp for seasoning

Curry leaves

Oil – 2 tbsp

Salt to taste

Start by heating oil in a shallow pan. Temper the mustard and cumin seeds. Add the curry leaves,turmeric powder, hing and red chilli powder.Fry for 1-2 mins. Then add the sliced gourd and fry until the gourd turns golden brown, for about 5-6 mins. Add salt to taste. Test with a fork to check if the gourd is cooked. The dish is best served with roti.

Baked Vegetable Cutlet

Vegetable cutlet is a healthy way to eat a lot of veggies with a dash of spices. This is a baked recipe compared to the traditional fried one, so it is guilt free. Makes a great after school snack for kids too. Stuff it between some buns, you have an Indian burger or throw in some raw onion, tomatoes, sev, green chutney, you have cutlet chaat!


2 medium sized potatoes, 1 small bell pepper , 2 carrots, 1 cup green beans – Cut into small pieces

1 cup corn

1 cup green peas – Cut into small pieces

1 small onion and 1/2 cup cilantroe – finely chopped

1 tsp- Jeera powder , Red chilli powder, Amchur powder

4- 5 tbsp Bread crumb powder



First, pressure cook all the vegetables. Drain out the excess water from the cooked vegetables. Mash the vegetables into a moldable consistency. In a shallow pan, heat some oil and fry onions till they are golden brown. Then add the jeera, red chilli, amchur powder,salt and the mashed vegetables. Allow the moisture from the vegetables to evaporate by cooking on a medium flame for 5-6 minutes.

Pre-heat the oven to 350 deg. Make small round balls of the vegetables in the palm of your hands. Flatten the ball to about 1/2″ thick patties. Then roll the patties in the bread crumb powder on either side. Spraying some oil on the patty helps the bread crumbs to adhere to the patty.

Then bake for about 20 mins at 350 deg. Broil for 5 mins on low to make the top layer crispy. Flip the cutlet carefully and broil the undersurface as well.

Instead of baking, you can roast the breaded cutlet on a tava too. This is easier if you are making small quantities.

Serve with tomato ketchup or mint chutney.



Chocolate Mousse

It’s the holiday season, which means it is time to indulge in food and calories don’t count!

I have an insatiable desire for chocolate and my husband has the greatest sweet tooth! So, this dessert is a great way to make us both happy! It is a very simple recipe and if you have the right ingredients, it takes 20 minutes to make.

Like they say, better ingredients, better pizza…better chocolate, better mousse. I like organic dark chocolate ( Newman’s own 54% semi sweet dark chocolate is I what I chose).

Heavy whipping cream – 1/2 quart

Butter – 1 cube of 3″

Sweet condensed milk – 2-3 tbsp

Espresso coffee powder – 1/2 tsp

Eggs – 5

Vanilla extract – 1/2 tsp

berries Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries

Small serving cups – 2 oz

1. In a bowl, beat the egg yolk and white well to a dripping consistency.( Adding a pinch of salt helps.)

2. Break the chocolate bar into small pieces. Add the chocolate pieces, butter,1/2 tsp vanilla extract and 2 tbsp condensed milk into a bowl. Melt the chocolate and butter over a double boiler.( Boil water in a container and place another container that fits snugly over this and place the chocolate and butter in this, so the chocolate melts from the steam generated by the boiling water in the bottom container.) Stir to make sure there are no lumps in the chocolate. Allow it to cool. Then, add 1/2 tsp of espresso coffee powder.

3. To the whipped eggs, gently fold in 2 cups of whipped cream and whisk well. Then fold in the cooled chocolate adding large spoonfuls at a time. Once all the ingredients evenly mix, spoon into small 2 oz serving dishes. Refrigerate for 3-4 hrs. Garnish with berries over a pick and sweet cream or chocolate shavings.

Bhindi Fry

Bhindi (Okra) is one of those vegetables which as kids we were told would make us smart and good at math, if we ate a lot of it. Sounds hilarious now when I think about it. But science says it is rich in fiber, folic acid and vitamins A, C and K. Whether it makes you smart or not, it is certainly a smart vegetable choice, although some regard it as cumbersome to make!

Here’s an easy recipe that uses very few ingredients but yet makes the final product so delicious! You can this with Bhindi alone or add other veggies such as Green bell pepper, Potato, Onion etc..


Bhindi ( Okra) cut into small round slices about 1/2 cm thick.

Onion – 1 small finely chopped

Potato – 1 medium cut into small cubes and boiled

Tomato – 1 medium finely chopped

1/2 tsp Turmeric

1/2 tsp red chilli powder

1/2 tsp jeera powder

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

Pinch of hing

Curry leaves



In a frying pan, heat some oil and splutter mustard seeds and curry leaves. Add the turmeric, red chilli powder, jeera powder and hing. Then fry the onions till they turn golden brown. Then add the cut okra and fry till the okra turns crisp and brown. This may take a while as the okra has to lose all it’s slimyness. Once the onions and okra are done, add the tomatoes and fry till the tomato skin begins to wrinkle. Do not add any water as the crisp taste of the roasted okra will go away.


Serve with rice or roti.

Bhindi Fry

Baingan- Besan Curry ( Egg plant- gram flour curry)

Baingan Besan Curry

This is a curry I tasted at a local Gujraati place and absolutely loved it for it’s simplicity.

Besan, one of the main ingredients in this recipe is rich in protein too.


Baingan (egg plant) 6-8 small round, cut into 2 inch cubes

For the masala,

1 cup besan( gram flour)

1/2 tsp sugar

1 tsp Jeera

1 tsp Amchur powder

3-4 Red chillies

1 pinch hing

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp Urad dal

Curry leaves


Salt to taste

Dry roast the besan on low flame for about 5 minutes. Then add the remaining ingredients into a small hand held blender and blend into a fine powder, without adding water.

In a saucepan, heat 3 tbsp oil. Then splutter some mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves. Then add the slit baingan cubes and shallow fry the baingan for about 5 minutes, till the skin becomes wrinkled and the baingan beings to soften.

Then add the dry masala powder and toss the fried baingan in gently, so the masala evenly spreads over the baingan. Serve with roti.