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Monday, 31 July 2017

Puranache Dind - Steamed Sweet Bengal Gram Parcels From Maharashtrian Cuisine

Puranache Dind is an authentic Maharashtrian sweet delicacy specially made for the Nagpanchami festival. It is a steamed dish made from whole wheat flour with sweet Bengal gram stuffing called puran , hence the name. These aromatic and flavorful melt in mouth treats are very healthy and taste best when served piping hot topped with generous amount of home made ghee ...ahhh ! the thought itself makes me salivate :) This is also a great way to use the left over puran after making Puran Poli . 

 Steaming is considered as a healthiest way of cooking as it retains the nutrients and healthy goodness of the food . Steaming not only saves time , but also it makes sure the food is not over cooked or burnt . Also as the steamed food is oil free it is great way of cooking for weight watchers and calorie conscious people. Moreover our body is more susceptible to health issues during rainy season , so steaming is the preferred cooking technique during this time of the year. With this thought , we have #Steamed Food as a theme for our 103rd Foodie Monday Blog Hop. These healthy, delectable traditional Puranache Dind is my contribution to this theme . Do check out my fellow blogger's posts for some wonderfully delicious steamed food ideas.

To make Puranache dind , first a sweet lentil stuffing called puran is made. Boiled Bengal gram is strained and cooked with jaggery to make Puran. Puran is flavored with fennel seeds, cardamom , nutmeg and dry ginger powder. For the outer covering a dough is made using whole wheat flour. Small discs are rolled out from the dough, puran is stuffed in it and a parcel shape is given while sealing the dind. The parcels are then steamed on banana leaves using a steamer for 15 minutes. 

Short Video for Purnache Dind


Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Serves : 4

Ingredients: Measurements used 1 cup = 200 ml

For making Puran - Sweet Bengal Gram stuffing
  • 3/4 cup Bengal Gram / Chana Dal
  • 1/2 cup grated or powdered jaggery / Gur
  • 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder / Haldi
  • 1/4 teaspoon Cardamom powder / Elaichi
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed Fennel Seeds / Saunf
  • 1/4 teaspoon Ginger powder / Saunth
  • Pinch of Nutmeg powder / Jaifal
  • 2 teaspoon oil
For Outer covering /  wrap
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 tablespoon hot ghee/ clarified butter
  • Salt to taste
Other Ingredients : 
  • 1-2 tablespoon ghee 
  • Banana leaf (optional)
  1. Wash the Bengal gram /chana dal and soak for 30 minutes. Soaking step is optional but it certainly reduces the cooking time. 

   2. In a pressure cooker add the soaked dal and 3 cup of water. Add pinch of turmeric and 2 tsp of oil to it. Put on the flame. Once the water start boiling on a medium flame, lower the flame and put the lid of the pressure cooker.( this step ensures the dal water will not come out through the whistle while cooking and thus reduces the mess created while cooking the dal) Now increase the flame to medium and allow the dal to cook for 3-4 whistles or until the dal is cooked very well. ( if you are not soaking the dal then the dal may take 6-7 whistles for cooking )

   3. While the dal is getting cooked , we can prepare the dough. In a mixing bowl take whole wheat flour. Add salt to it and mix . Add 2 tablespoon hot ghee to the flour . Rub the floor when it is cool enough to handle to get a bread crumb like texture. 


   4.  Add water little by little and knead the flour to a semi soft dough. Keep covered until our stuffing is ready.



   5.  After cooking the dal for 3-4 whistles, allow the cooker to cool down. Open the lid once all the pressure has been released. Now strain the dal . Reserve the water(stock) , as it will be used to make another Maharashtrian delicacy (Katachi Amti- a thin tempered dal). Even if you do not want to make katachi amti , you can use the water in soups or gravies. The dal has to be strained very well.

   6.   In a nonstick pan or a heavy bottom pan take the cooked strained dal and the crushed jaggery. Heat the pan , and keep cooking the mixture on low to medium flame. Keep stirring continuously to make sure the mixture does not stick to the bottom and sides of the pan.

   7. The jaggery melts completely and the mixture cooks further to become thick. To check for the doneness of puran , there is a tip , i learnt from my mother. The Puran is said to be done when a ladle stands straight into it without falling. Put off the flame , once this stage is achieved.

  8.  Pass this puran through a soup strainer while it is still hot. (Ideally it is passed through a special strainer meant for it, called Puran Yantra , i use this soup strainer, as i did not have Puran Yantra.) Keep pressing the puran with a ladle against the strainer. The fine puran collected below is what we will be using to stuff the parcels.

  9.  Add Cardamom powder, nutmeg powder, crushed fennel seeds and dry ginger powder to the puran and mix well.

  10.  Make gooseberry size ball of the dough and roll it into a poori size disc using rolling pin. Apply little oil if you need while doing so. Pinch out large gooseberry size puran and give it oblong shape. Place it at the center of the disc.

  11. Make a small hole inside the puran with the help of thumb and add 1 teaspoon of ghee to it. Close the hole.

  12.  Take one side of the disc and fold it over the puran stuffing vertically.  Now take the other side and flip it over the first side like shown in the picture. Now close the upper and lower sides similarly, giving it a parcel shape while sealing all the sides.

  13. Make all the parcels similarly.

  14. Arrange a clean banana leaf over the steamer. if you do not have a steamer, arrange it over a  steel colander as shown in the picture. Grease it with little ghee. Keep a big vessel filled with 3-4 cups of water below the colander. Put on the flame.

  `5. Arrange the dind ( parcels) over the banana leaf in the colander. Cover it with a lid. Allow the puranache dind to cook on steam for about 20 minutes.

   6. After 20 minutes, carefully lift the dind and plate them , preferably on a fresh banana leaf.

  7. Serve it piping hot with ghee and enjoy this melt in mouth delicacy with your loved ones !

   This recipe is my contribution to the #Steamed Dishes theme of our #103rd Foodie Monday Blog Hop .

  For more Steamed recipes, do check my posts on

Friday, 28 July 2017

Achari Bhindi / Okra In Tangy Spicy Yogurt Gravy

Achar in Hindi means pickle and Bhindi is Okra , so basically Achari Bhindi is a delicious curry in which fresh okra is cooked with yogurt and pickling spices. This North Indian curry is mildly spicy and has a dominant tangy taste which comes from both yogurt and tomatoes. The pickle spices impart an irresistible peppy flavor and aroma to the dish. Serves as a perfect side dish and goes well with any Indian flat bread. This is an onion garlic free recipe. 

Fresh lady finger is sliced and shallow fried before it is simmered in a tangy spicy yogurt based gravy. This step ensures the curry does not end up gooey and sticky. The pickled spices i have used are fennel seeds (saunf), mustard seeds (rai), fenugreek seeds (methi dana), asafoetida (hing) , turmeric powder (haldi), red chili powder (lal mirch) apart from amchur powder ( raw mango powder) , cumin powder (jeera ) and coriander powder (dhaniya). As in pickles, mustard oil gives best result in this curry , however if you are not used to the strong pungent flavors of mustard oil, you may use any other oil. 

I have tried making achari aloo a few times, and it turned out very well each time. The local markets here are flooded with fresh tender okra and my family was bored of eating the same okra stir fry and Bharva Bhindi so thought of trying this dish. My house was full with the aroma of the achari masala and the dish was a hit at my place. 

Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves : 3-4

  • 250-300 grams fresh okra
  • 1/3 cup curd
  • 1 tomato finely chopped
  • 1/2 inch ginger chopped
  •  1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon amchur powder
  • 1/4  teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • Pinch of asafoetida
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoon oil ( preferably mustard oil)
  • Fresh coriander leaves for garnishing

1. Wash the okra under running water. Pat them dry using kitchen towel. Slice off the top part and cut the okra length wise into two parts.

  2. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a wok. Add okra and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Season with salt and cover cook the okra until tender.

  3. Remove the fried okra from heat and spread on a plate.

  4. While the okra is getting cooked, whisk curd in a bowl. Add all the spice powders( turmeric powder, red chili powder, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, amchur powder and salt to it and mix well.

  5. Heat remaining oil in the same wok . Add mustard seeds . Once the seeds splutter add fennel seeds followed by fenugreek seeds. Now add chopped ginger and saute.

 6. Add chopped tomato and saute for 2-3 minutes.  

  7. Now add the spiced yogurt mix followed by 1/2 cup water. Stir well.

  8. Allow the gravy to boil. Now add shallow fried okra pieces , mix well and allow the gravy to simmer for 4-5 minutes .

  9. Once the gravy has reached desired consistency, put off the flame. 

  10. Serve the achari bhindi with hot chapati and enjoy the flavors !

  • Always select fresh tender okra for this recipe.
  • Always saute or stir fry the okra pieces in little oil , before adding them to a gravy dish to prevent the dish turning gooey and slimy.
  • If you do not have amchur powder, you may squeeze juice of one lemon.

   For more similar recipes, do check my posts on 

Monday, 24 July 2017

No Bake Chocolate Swiss Roll

Chocolate Swiss roll is a delicious , easy to prepare snack for kids. This no bake chocolate and coconut flavored dessert is ideal for birthday and kitty parties. Best part about these yummy lovely treats is that , they are egg-less ,do not require any fancy ingredients and can be made ahead of time. The roll is soft and flavorful and just perfect to make any occasion special. Serve it as an after school snack to kids or enjoy it yourself just to satisfy those sweet cravings. 

The recipe calls for use of any tea biscuits as a base , chocolate syrup and desiccated coconut as main ingredients. Powdered sugar is used as a sweetener. I have made the chocolate syrup at home. Click here for the recipe. You may use any good brand chocolate syrup instead. As this is no cook recipe, you can involve kids in making these yummy treats. 

  Making this egg-less chocolate Swiss roll was on my to- do list from a long time. I had seen the recipe long back on a cookery show on television. The easy and quick recipe tempted me to try them out. So when Preethi di (our fellow blogger Preethi Prasad of Preethi'sCuisine ) chose fire less cooking as a theme for this week for our Foodie Monday Bloghop , with no doubt i knew i had to make these no bake Chocolate Swiss roll. The dish was a hit at my place..and my son Chinmay who has a sweet tooth , enjoyed every bit of this treat :)

Preparation Time: 20 minutes + the time required for refrigeration
Cooking Time: 0 minutes
Serves: Around 15 roundels 

  • 200 grams of any tea biscuits ( i have used whole wheat digestive biscuits)
  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/4 cup Chocolate Syrup ( I have used homemade)
  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 teaspoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder 
  • 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 3-4 tablespoon milk or as required

  1. Powder the tea biscuits in a mixer grinder or food processor. Place the powdered biscuits in a large mixing bowl.

   2. Add 1 teaspoon butter and  instant coffee powder to it.

  3. Now add the chocolate syrup and mix well. 

  4. Add milk little by little to knead the mixture into a soft dough. Keep aside.

  5. In another bowl , take the desiccated coconut. Add powdered sugar and remaining one teaspoon butter to it . Flavor it with cardamom powder. Mix well. Our filling for the Swiss roll is ready.

  6. Grease a parchment paper with little ghee .

  7.  Roll out the chocolate dough using a rolling pin. Try to shape roughly into a square.

  8. Spread the desiccated coconut mixture evenly over it. Press it with a spatula , so that the filling sticks well to the rolled out chocolate base.

  9. With the help of parchment paper, make a tight roll taking care the coconut filling does not come out . Wrap the chocolate log in a parchment paper and seal the corners . Place the log in refrigerator for 4-5 hours or overnight for setting.

  10. Remove the log from refrigerator once it is hard and firm. Cut into equal sized roundels using a knife.

  11. Serve the delicious chocolate Swiss roll as tea time snack or as an after dinner dessert and enjoy with your loved ones !

  • Store the chocolate Swiss roll in an air tight container.
  • Any tea biscuits can be used in this recipe.
  • Almonds can be powdered along with biscuits and used as a base for this roll. 
For more no cook recipes, do check my posts on