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Thursday, 30 November 2017

Pumpkin Oambal

Pumpkin Oambal is a delicious and a popular dish from the Assamese cuisine. It is basically a sweet and sour pumpkin chutney which makes up for an irresistible side dish. Pumpkin Oambal tastes best with any Indian flat bread like chapati or paratha and goes well with steamed rice as well. The chutney gets the sour taste from tamarind, the sweetness from jaggery and has a distinct flavor which it gets from mustard oil. Whole red chilies and chili powder adds the spicy kick to the sweet and sour pumpkin oambal , making  a lip smacking affair. The added raisins imparts a rich taste to the chutney. The recipe is very simple , quick , easy to follow, and requires basic ingredients that are almost always present in an Indian pantry. 

Last month i had mentioned about Shhhhh Cooking Secretly Challenge group where i had cooked Vegetarian Thukpa as my contribution towards cuisine of Arunachal Pradesh. We had Assamese Cuisine as the theme for November month and my partner for the challenge was Sujata Shukla Di who blogs at PepperOnPizza . Sujata di gave me two secret ingredients , mustard oil and pumpkin , the result of which is this irresistible and flavorful chutney . In return i gave her potatoes and mustard oil as her ingredients and she made a lovely traditional dish called All Pitika which is a spicy mashed potatoes in mustard oil. Cooking for state wise theme is so much fun, and i get to know about different cuisines and i am just loving it.

For those who would love to know little more about Assamese Cuisine , the cuisine of Assam is characterized by very little use of spices , little cooking over fire and strong flavors due to  use of endemic exotic fruits and vegetables that i either fresh , dried or fermented. Assamese are by and large non - vegetarian and their staple diet is rice with interestingly cooked fish and meat dishes. However , vegetarian food is abundantly available. The preferred oil for cooking is the pungent mustard oil.

Pumpkin Oambal

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Servings: 3-4
Cuisine: Assamese
Course: Side dish /chutney/condiments

  • 350 grams pumpkin red / yellow
  • 1 gooseberry size tamarind
  • 2 tablespoon jaggery powder
  • 2-3 dried red chilies , deseeded
  • 1 tablespoon raisins
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder (optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tablespoon mustard oil
  1.  Wash the pumpkin and peel it. Discard the seeds and cut it into cubes. To a sauce pan add 1 1/2 cup of water and add the pumpkin cubes to it. Allow it to boil until the pumpkin cooks very well. Mean while wash and soak the tamarind in 1/4 cup warm water for 10 minutes. Extract the pulp and keep aside until use.

2. Once the pumpkin is done put off the flame. Mash the pumpkin with the help of back of the spoon. Now add the tamarind water to the mashed pumpkin . Mix well .

3. Heat mustard oil in a wok or pan. Allow it to smoke. Now lower the heat and let the oil cool a bit. Next add mustard seeds. Once the seeds crackle add the bay leaves.

  4. Next add raisins and pieces of red chilly and fry for few seconds.

 5. Add the pumpkin tamarind mix to the spices . Cook for 2-3 minutes.

6. Now add jaggery powder and season the oambal with salt and red chili powder. Mix well. Cook for another 1-2 minutes and put off the flame.

 7. Serve the lip smacking pumpkin oambal with chapati , phulka , paratha or steamed rice.

For more lip smacking chutney recipes, do check my posts on

  • Methamba / Kairas - Raw Mango Relish                                                                                                                



Monday, 27 November 2017

Khus-Khus Khobaryachi Aamti / Poppy Seeds Curry / Indian Winter Comfort Food Recipes

Khus Khus Khobaryachi Aamti is a simple yet hearty Maharashtrian curry made with dry coconut and poppy seeds. The curry is mildly spicy and has a distinct nutty flavor which it gets both from poppy seeds and dry coconut. Khus Khus Khobaryachi Aaamti is a winter curry as it provides warmth to the body and usually paired with Bajrichi Bhakri ( bajra roti / pearl millet flat bread). It also goes well with hot chapati / phulka. This poppy seeds curry is given to nursing mothers as well. I have added fresh coriander leaves which give a vibrant green color to the other wise dull looking curry.

Winter season has officially begun in my part of the world and as temperature begins to drop down, there is transition in not only our wardrobes but also in our food. For me winter is the best season as its the time of the year for indulgence , for that extra pampering , it is the time when you actually do not mind having those rich parathas smeared in ghee , it is when you crave for that dry fruit laden dinkache laadu ( edible gum dry fruit sweet balls) , a time for sweet citrus juices and fiery hot chilly pickles , a holiday season to relish on cakes, cookies , puddings and other sweet treats !

Our theme for Foodie Monday Bloghop this week is also all about Winter Recipes. What do you cook when you crave warm and satisfying foods in cold months ? Well for many of us there is no other joy than to sip a warm bowl of soothing soup on those cold nights , for many others the definition of comfort food it is bowl of a piping hot one pot meal. In India , every state has its own set of winter foods. For Punjabi's winter is all about their favourite Makki Ki Roti da Sarson Ka Saag , for Gujarati's it is winter special vegetable preparation Undhiyo , for the people of Rajasthan , winter is incomplete without their Kachi Haldi Ki Subji and Bajra Khichdi, Thukpa ( a hearty noodle soup) in the hilly regions and Gulachi Poli , Tilgul Ladu , Bhogichi Bhaji , Dinkache Ladu are some among the must foods for we Maharashtrians  during winters. (Click on the highlighted words for the recipes)

 We all cook elaborate meals and popular winter dishes on occasions and to treat our guests, but what is a food you cook when it comes to those chilly days , when you actually feel too lazy to step out of your cozy comforts and quilts ? Well for me it is a simple desi platter with a green vegetable or curry dish, a chutney ( which is always handy) , a flat bread, with some salad and papadam and i am sorted. Today i am sharing a simple yet hearty curry made from coconut and poppy seeds , called khus khus khobyrachi aamti in Marathi. This curry provides warmth to the body and is usually paired with Bajra Bhakri (a flat bread made from pearl millet flour). The platter has a lip smacking Til Chutney( sesame seeds chutney), roasted Nachanicha papad ( Ragi Papadam) , onions and green chilies (Salad) along with Bajra Roti and the poppy seeds coconut curry. A piece of jaggery fits perfect in this platter to end the meal with a sweet , here i have served a Dinkacha Laadu( an edible gum dry fruit ladu) instead.

Preparation time: 5 minutes.
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 4

  • 2 tablespoon poppy seeds / khus-khus
  • 2 tablespoon dry coconut , grated 
  • 1 tablespoon roasted gram 
  • 4-7 garlic cloves
  • 1 small bunch of fresh coriander leaves
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Pinch of asafoetida / hing
  • 1 teaspoon red chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garam masala
  • 2 tablespoon oil / ghee
  • Salt to taste
  1. Heat 2 teaspoon of oil in a pan. Add the poppy seeds and fry on a low to medium flame until the poppy seeds turn aromatic and turn light pink in color. 

2. Add the grated dry coconut to the pan and stir fry for 1 minute or so on low flame. Keep stirring continuously to ensure the poppy seeds and coconut do not burn.

3. Now add the roasted gram and fry them too. Remove all the ingredients from the pan and allow to cool down. 

4. In the same pan , add few drops of oil and fry the garlic until it turns light brown.

5. Transfer the fried garlic, coconut , poppy seeds and roasted gram to a grinder jar along with fresh coriander leaves. Grind to a fine paste. add 2-3 tablespoon water while doing so.

6. In the same pan , heat remaining oil . Add cumin seeds. Once the seeds crackle, add in the asafoetida and turmeric powder. Add the ground paste to it and stir fry for 1-2 minutes. Now add the red chili powder and garam masala . Add 2-3 cups of water and stir the curry very well.

7. Season the curry with salt to taste and allow it to boil for 4-5 minutes. Put off the flame and serve the curry with Bajra Roti or chapati.


  Sending this recipe to the #120th #FoodieMondayBlogHop where the theme for this week is #WinterRecipes.

  For more Indian winter recipes  do check my posts on 
Sarso Ka Saag
Makki Ki Roti
Kachi Haldi Ki Subji
Fenugreek Curry
Bhogichi Bhaji

Bajra Khichdi
Bajra Khichdi

Monday, 20 November 2017

Bisi Bele Bath

Bisi Beli Bath is a delicious and healthy dish from the state of Karnataka which is prepared with rice , tur dal (lentil) and vegetables and is flavored with freshly made spice blend. Bisi Beli Bath translates to hot lentil rice in Kannada language. This classic dish has a unique flavor and is bit spicy , a bit tangy and a bit sweet all in one go. The traditional preparation of the dish is very elaborate as the rice, dal and vegetables ,all are separately cooked and then mixed together and simmered with the freshly made special spice blend- Bisi Bele Bath masala powder , jaggery and tamarind extract. Tempering is done towards the end. I know the method may sound lengthy , but the final outcome is worth the efforts and time. The consistency of the Bisi Bele bath is porridge type and is a complete and wholesome meal on its own. It can be served at brunch , for lunch or dinner. It is served hot topped with ghee and some potato chips / papad and salad if preferred.

Bisi Bele Bath is commonly found in restaurants that serve the Udupi cuisine. Udupi cuisine is a cuisine of South India. It forms an important part of Tuluva - Mangalorean cuisine and takes name from Udupi , a city on the southwest coast of India in the Tulunadu region. Cuisine of Udupi is not only famous in Karnataka but throughout India. Udupi cuisine comprises dishes made primarily from grains, beans , vegetables and fruits. The variety and range of dishes is wide and a hallmark of the cuisine involves the use of locally available ingredients. Udupi cuisine strictly adheres to the Satvik tradition of Indian vegetarian cuisine. Source : Wikipedia


If you are wondering , why we are discussing about the Udupi cuisine , let me remind you that today is Monday , and we people at #FoodieMondayBlogHop are back again with an interesting theme for our #119th week and it is none other than #UdupiCuisine. The theme for this week is chosen by Preethi di. She is a very talented blogger and blogs at PreethiCuisine.Com. My contribution to the theme is the flavorful and wholesome Bisi Bele Bath. Do check my fellow bloggers post as well for more dishes on this theme.

Preparation Time: 30 minutes
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Serves: 4


For Bisi Bele Bath Spice Blend
  • 3-4 dry red chilies 
  • 2 tablespoon dry grated coconut
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  • 1 tablespoon chana dal (Bengal Gram)
  • 1/2 tablespoon urad dal ( skinned and split black gram)
  • 1 teaspoon poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon fenu greek seeds
  • 1 inch stick cinnamon
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 2-3 black pepper corns

Ingredients for Bisi Beli Bath:

  • 1/2 cup raw rice
  • 1/4 cup pigeon pea (arahar / tur dal)
  • 3-4 tablespoon bisi beli bath masala / Spice blend
  • 1 teaspoon jaggery
  • 1 tablespoon of tamarind
  • Salt to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Pinch of asafoetida
Vegetables - 2 cups
  • 1 carrot finely chopped
  • 5-7 french beans , chopped rough;y
  • 1-2 brinjal , chopped
  • 1-2 potatoes , chopped
  • 3-4 shallots or 2 onions chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh green peas
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced 
For tempering :
  • 2 tablespoon ghee
  • 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 sprig curry leaves
  • 1 dry red chilly
  • 1 tablespoon peanuts
  • 1 tablespoon cashew nuts
  • Pinch of asafoetida


  1. Rinse and soak the dal and rice separately in little more than normal water. ( i used 3 cups water for 1/2 cup rice and 2 cups water for 1/4 cup dal) . Soak the rice and dal ( lentil) for 20-30 minutes. Soaking is purely optional , but it certainly reduces the cooking time. 

2. Add turmeric powder and asafoetida in dal . I arranged the containers of dal and rice, one above the other and placed them in pressure cooker and cooked for 2-3 whistles and then simmered for 10 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, we can make the bisi bele bath powder. In a non stick wok, dry roast all the ingredients under the list of bisi bele bath masala powder at low flame . Allow the spices to cool down. Now pulse them to powder using a grinder.


4. Soak the tamarind in 1/2 cup of  warm water for 10-15 minutes. Extract the pulp and keep aside until use.

5. Wash , pat dry and chop the vegetables . Cook them in separate sauce pan or wok with around 3 cups of water. The vegetables should be cooked well but should not be mushy and should be able to hold their shape.

6. Add tamarind extract to the vegetables followed by cooked dal and rice . Blend all the ingredients very well using a spatula.

7.Now add jaggery powder , salt and bisi bele bath masala powder to the mixture of rice, lentil and vegetables followed by salt. Cook for 4-5 minutes on low to medium flame.

8. Lastly , for tempering , place a small wok on the gas . Add ghee to it. Now add cumin seeds. Once the seeds crackle, add in the other ingredients. ( peanuts, curry leaves, cashew nuts, asafoetida . Pour the tempering over the bisi bele bath. Put off the flame.

9. Serve the bisi bele bath hot topped with ghee and potato chips or papadam.

  • Do not use long grain rice / basmati for making Bisi Bele Bath.
  • The consistency of dish should be of that of a porridge. The rice should spread when served on a plate and the rice grain should not be separate.
  • The dish is a bit spicy in taste.
  • The bisi bele bath masala powder can be made ahead of time and stored in an air tight container for about a month on refrigeration, yet would suggest to make the masala fresh every time, as the flavors and aroma are distinct and more when the spice blend is freshly pound.
  • The vegetables of the bisi bele bath should be cooked well but not mushy and should hold their shape.

  I hope you would love to try out this recipe. Please feel free to drop in a comment below this post. Would love to hear from you. Follow me on Facebook ,  Instagram,  Twitter and  Google Plus for new recipes and updates.

For more recipes from south Indian cuisine, do check my posts on (Just click on the titles for the recipes)