Fig Almond Cake



For the foodies amongst us (we too!) here’s a lovely recipe from Jame’s in-house super chef MALCOLM WATCHA.

Bake it and enjoy karjo jee!!!

Fig & Almond Cake

  • 285 gms dried, chopped figs
  • 1 ½ cups water
  • 1 tsp soda bicarb
  • 125 gms softened butter
  • 1 cup powdered sugar/castor sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup self raising flour
  • ½ cup almond powder
  • ¼ cup finely chopped blanched almonds


  1. Pre heat oven to 180c gas mark 4. Grease and line the base of a cake tin.
  2. Combine the figs and water in a pan, bring to a boil. Remove from heat, add soda bicarb, cover and let it cool slightly. Blend to a smooth puree in a blender.
  3. Beat the butter and sugar until light and pale. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Sift in the flour a few table spoons at a time and mix lightly.
  4. Add the powdered almonds and the chopped almonds.
  5. Stir with a wooden spoon until well combined.
  6. Add the warm fig puree and mix together.
  7. Pour batter into a cake tin and bake for one hour.
  8. Keep the cake in the tin for about 10 minutes before turning over onto a wire rack to cool.

Tip: Test if  done by inserting a metal skewer before removing from the oven.








  •       1 liter of pasteurized cold milk.
  •       4 tbsp of Ravo (semolina or suji)
  •       4 tbsp (equal quantity ratio to ravo) of sugar
  •       4 oz of Ghee (or 1/2 stick of unsalted butter)
  •       1 Egg
  •       1/2 cup water
  •       2-3 drops of Vanilla or Rose essence
  •       ½ tsp of cardamom and/or nutmeg powder
  •       1/2 cup mix Slivered and blanched Almonds, Pistachios, Cashews
  •       Raisins to taste
  •       2 tsp Charoli nuts (optional)


  1. In a non-stick pot, on very low heat  fry the ravo in ghee till it releases aroma and is fried to a crisp beaded state.
  2. Add the cold milk, sugar, essence and bring to a slow boil. Stir all the time.
  3. Beat one full egg and add 3 tsp milk to it, add this to the ravo slowly beating all the time.
  4. When it starts to boil, lower the flame to full simmer and keep stirring continuously without letting up. In about 10-15 minutes it should be done. Remember to allow it to remain fluid and flowing when you shut the flame and not to overcook it or allow it to reach a level of being too thick and congealed, as upon cooling, it will get dry and more thick!
  5. Add some milk or water if you find it has got extra thick and mix it while it is still hot and steaming.
  6. In a different small pan fry the soaked raisins, almonds, cashews and charoli in  4 tsp Ghee for just about 3-4 minutes to golden brown color.
  7. Garnish the Ravo to cover the top surface all around.
  8. Serve hot with Mitthu Dah (Sweet Yogurt)


  • A few (4-5) pink or red Rose petals (optional but extremely delightful in for added flavor and final appearance.
  • ½ tsp powdered green elaichi (cardamom)
  • ½ tsp grated or powdered jaiphal (nutmeg)
  • Wash, clean and soak in a glass bowl dried raisins say about 2-3 tbsp and as per requirement – broken cashews, blanched and thinly slivered almonds and charoli. Fry on low heat in butter or ghee to a glden brown color. Garnish on top of Ravo just before serving.

 This is a sample recipe from our latest cookbook Desserts, Sweets and Snacks. Click here to purchase the printed paperback book or E-Cookbook.


New Video posted on the Parsi Dhansak Meal – Meat and Vegetables with Lentils.


Dhansaak Dal






Whiskey Fruitcake


Note: This Whiskey Fruit cake was made in Bombay by many Irani Bakeries and was a favorite among the Irani and Parsi Community. It is also known as the Easter / Christmas Cake around Easter or XMas.

Whiskey Fruitcake

Makes 2 medium size cakes

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Candied Fruit

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Whiskey Fruitcake Recipe


  • Wheat flour – 1 1/2 cups
  • Sugar – 3/4 cup
  • Eggs – 3 no.s
  • Oil – 3/4 cup
  • Baking powder – 1 tsp
  • Baking soda – 1/4 tsp
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp
  • Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
  • Caramel syrup – 1/2 cup
  • Whiskey as needed

Soak in 1 cup whiskey (more if needed, fruit should be all soaked).

  • Use candied red and green cherries, pineapple, apricots, plums, orange, lemon and ginger,
  • Candied cherries -1/4 cup
  • Candied apples – 1/4 cup
  • Dates – 1/2 cup
  • Raisins – 1/2 cup

Chopped Nuts – 1 cup each

  • Cashew nuts or peanuts
  • Almonds or pecans
  • Walnuts


  •  1/4 tsp cloves
  •  1/4 tsp cinnamon
  •  1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
  •  1/4 tsp dry ginger powder

Caramel Syrup

  1. Take 1/4 cup sugar and 1 tbsp water in a utensil and let it boil in medium heat
  2. After a while, the syrup will start becoming brown in colour
  3. When it becomes darker, add 1/2 cup warm water and mix well
  4. Be careful while adding water to the very hot caramelised sugar, it might sprinkle and cause burns
  5. Caramel syrup is ready for cake


  1. Soak candied fruits, raisins and chopped dates in orange juice for minimum 12 hours
  2. Finely chop dried nuts and keep aside
  3. Make fine powder of spices
  4. Take a wide bowl or a cake blender in a processor can be used
  5. Beat eggs, sugar and oil
  6. Add caramel syrup, spice mix and soaked fruits without the juice into the blender
  7. Add wheat flour, baking powder and baking soda and blend well
  8. Add salt and vanilla extract and mix well
  9. Add the left over orange juice if needed
  10. Mix the chopped nuts in 1 tsp flour so that nuts do not settle in the bottom of the mixture
  11. Preheat oven at 325 degree F
  12. Grease a baking tray and sprinkle some flour
  13. Pour the cake mixture into the tray and sprinkle chopped nuts
  14. Bake for 40 to 50 minutes and check with a tooth pick to see if done
  15. After nuts were sprinkled,  I did not mix it. That is why, nuts remained on top and formed a nutty covering. If mixed a bit, nuts would have mixed well in the cake for a better nutty flavour throughout.

Cake is ready.  

Add more whiskey if cake is dry.

Cool and store in an airtight tin for 15 days at least before enjoying.



Fried Pomfret


Fried Promfret
Serves – 4
Preparation time – 10 minutes;
Marination time – 45 minutesIngredients:
Silver pomfrets – 1/2 kg, cleaned and drained well, make small slant cuts over the skin (you may want to use any other fish of your choice that is available)
Turmeric powder – 1/8 teaspoon
Red chilli powder – 3 teaspoons
Black pepper powder – 1 teaspoon
Ginger – 1/2 inch piece, finely chopped and crushed to a smooth paste
Vinegar – 1 teaspoon
Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
Oil – for shallow or deep frying in batches


Mix together well all the ingredients except oil along with a few teaspoons of water to a thick and fine paste.

Apply the marinade as a very thin layer on both sides of the fishes and marinate it for 45 minutes.

Shallow or deep fry the fishes in batches on both sides until golden brown and drain the oil.


Here is the fresh Promfret :

Here is the cleaned pomfret with masala and marinate:

Here is the fried pomfret – beauty!



Pickled Cranberry Apple Sauce


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For the pickled cranberries:

  • 1 cup  cranberries
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup salt
  • Combine Cranberries, White Vinegar and salt in a glass bottle.
  • Cover and pickle for a week.

For the sauce:

  • 14 oz Jellied Cranberry Sauce from Ocean Spray
  • 1 cup chopped Apples
  • 1/2 cup Sugar


  1. In a non stick pan add the pickled cranberries and  chopped apples,  sugar and  Jellied Cranberry sauce.
  2. Boil for about 15 minutes till thick.
  3. Serve hot.

Goes well with Roast Turkey, Gravy, Mashed Potatoes and Stuffing.

Dar ni Pori



Dar ni Pori Recipe 

Dal ni Pori (Sweet Pastry) (Award Winner)

Original recipe from my Mother Parin Homi Munshi and dedicated to her.

Also known as Dar ni Pori, Daar ni Poli in gujarati.

Dal ni Pori is a pastry to be served at tea-time.
A Zoroastrian custom at weddings: 5-7 Dal ni Poris are sent by the Bride’s family to the Bridegroom’s family.

On Ava roj(day) and Ava mahinoh(month) Poris are sent and eaten. The devout parsis go to the sea or any form of water to pray and pay respect to the water that nourishes the body, while enjoying the Dal ni Pori.

Ingredients for dal:

  • 2 cups Toor dal (oily or plain)
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 tbsp or more shortening (Crisco is good)
  • 2 tbsp sliced or chopped Almonds
  • 1/2 cup mixed fruit (candied fruit peel)
  • 1 tsp rose essence (or 1 tsp vanilla essence) – your choice
  • 1 tsp powdered Nutmeg, cardamom and mace
  • 1 tsp Charoli (optional only if you have it, Charoli can be found in Indian grocery)

Ingredients for pastry:

  • 1 cup cream of wheat (ravo)
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour (maido)
  • 1 tbsp shortening

Ingredients for Maan:

  • 4 tbsp shortening
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour or rice flour

Soak dal overnight. Next day put in pressure cooker with very little water, just enough to cover the dal completely. Keep cooker on lowest heat for 20 minutes. Take off heat and add sugar and 2 tbsp shortening. Cook on low heat stirring all the time, till thick. Now add Almonds, Charoli, mixed fruit, essence, Nutmeg, Cardamom, taste while adding. This dal can be cooked and kept one day ahead. Make 3 inch round balls.

Pastry: Mix together all the ingredients and knead with enough water to make a soft dough. Cover with wet cloth and let stand for atleast 3 hours. Overnight is better. Roll out in 3 big balls.

Maan: Mix flour and shortening with hands, until very smooth and light to touch. I mix it in a wide thali (wide round dish). Keep immersed in cold water.

Assemble the Pori:

  1. Take one ball of pastry and roll it out flat.
  2. Sprinkle few drops of cold water and then spread some of the maan onto the flat pastry.
  3. Sprinkle flour. Roll out another ball of pastry same size and layer it on top of the maan, again go thru the steps of sprinkling water, adding another layer of pastry and sprinkling flour at the end.
  4. Roll out last ball of pastry and put it on top.
  5. Turn edges inward and roll up like a strudel roll. Keep covered with damp cloth.
  6. Cut out one 3 inch piece from above roll, put flour on hands and twist the roll, press down the twists and shape into a round ball.
  7. Flatten this ball out and lift it and form a cup shape in your hands, put in this cup the dal ball.
  8. Seal edges together with a little water. Now is the hardest part – flatten this out till it is 1 inch thick circle, 5 to 6 inches round. (See photo above)
  9. Bake on a hot tava (griddle) on medium heat, keep it white as possible. Add a little ghee to help. I find it useful to wear oven mitts while pressing down the pori on the griddle and keeping it moving around. Do both sides. (See photo above)
  10. The pastry layers will show cooked (when you cut it apart to test) if it is done.

Purchase complete book of desserts:

Besan Ladoo


Besan ladoo (bengal gram flour ladoo)

besan ladoo


  • 4 cups Bengal gram flour (besan)
  • 3 cups Powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp Green cardamom powder (elaichi powder)
  • 2 ½ cups of Ghee (clarified butter)
  • Dry fruits for garnishing

1. Take 4 cups of Besan and 2 ½ cups of ghee in a kadhai and roast the besan flour while on a very very low flame with continuous stirring so that the flour does not burn and it will burn easily if you leave stirring,till the besan is roasted. It may take 45 minutes to 1 hour for the besan to roast.
2. Remove from the flame and keep aside to cool.
3. When it is cool enough add the castor sugar and mix well with the roasted besan. Add 1 tsp of Green cardamom powder and mix well.
4. Bind the ladoo’s with 1 or 2 raisins.
5. Keep the prepared ladoo’s on a plate and leave them to dry overnight.
6. Store in airtight containers so that remain fresh.

Chicken Coconut Curry


Chicken Curry made from coconut powder (khaman)

chicken curry

Chicken Curry :

  • 4-5 marinated pieces of chicken(haldi,red chilly powder,salt n ginger-garlic paste )
  • 2-3 spoons of oil
  • 3-4 roughly chopped onions
  • 1 full cup of coconut powder (khaman)
  • 2 tea spoon of kashmiri chilly powder (Sugran Brand )
  • ½ spoon tumeric powder
  • 2 spoon home-made dhan-jeera powder
  • 3 spoon home-made Ginger –garlic paste
  • 1 spoon homemade garam –masala
  • 1 small tomato
  • 2 cubes of Maggie veggie cube (imp ingredient for more taste)
  • Salt 2 taste


  1. Take a pan add oil , then add onions fry till slight brown in color.
  2. Then add ginger-garlic paste , red chilly powder, haldi, dhan-jeera powder and stir for 2-3 mins.
  3. Then add coconut powder and roast till it smells coconuty.
  4. Then cool d mixture and grind it 2 paste with tomato .
  5. Then take another pan add 1 spoon oil add the mixture n water as per gravy texture .
  6. Then add chicken pieces n then the 2 maggie veggie cubes and sprinkle garam masala and salt on top n cook for about 20 -30 mins or in cooker for 10 mins.
  7. Serve it hot with boiled rice or bread as per your taste.
  8. Tips – Don’t add too much salt as veggie cubes contains enough salt.

Mysore Paak



1. 1 cup Besan.(Gram flour)
2. 2 cups Sugar.
3. 3 cups Ghee.
4.1/2 cup Milk.
5.1/2 cup Water.

1. In a pan, tip in the flour, and a tbsp of Ghee.
2. Heat till the flour becomes warm, and saute for a few minutes till it loses it’s raw odor. (About 2 minutes). Remove from pan and keep aside.
3. In a different pan, start heating the Ghee on sim.
4. In the pan which you sauteed flour, heat together Sugar, Milk, and Water.
5. After it starts boiling, you will find scum gathering in the center. Collect this with the help of a strainer and discard.
6. Boil till the Sugar achieves a stiff 1 thread consistency.( this can be checked by taking a drop between Thumb and the Forefinger, pinching and releasing it. The thread formed is a little thicker than the normal “one thread consistency”)
7. Tip in the gram flour, and let the sugar syrup and flour mix to a smooth paste.
8. By now the Ghee is real hot, but not smoking point.
9. Put ladle full of ghee in the flour mixture. It will rise.(gas mark should be medium high). Then settle down. Repeat, till you are almost through with all the Ghee, but, 1 ladle full.
10 Now, stir till the mixture starts rising on its own, and suddenly achieves a “Netty” consistency.
11. Pour in the last batch of Ghee and stop stirring. The mixture then rises to a foam.(reminds you of Milk boiling over).
12. Slowly, tip into a 8 x 8 baking tray.
13.Tilt the tray with help of cloth or a ladle below it.(as shown in pic No.1)
14. Let cool till the top layer becomes firm. Cut to square sections, and remove one line of Mysore Paak Vadi. (as shown in pic No.1).All the ghee from the upper layer will start infiltrating in the empty cavity created.
15. Let cool for the next hour, separate the cubes, and store in airtight container when cool.
16. The crumbs can be kept on a strainer, and let all the excess Ghee drain out.(Pic No 2).
17. Before serving, zap a Vadi of Mysore Paak in the microwave for 10 seconds, and serve warm. (PS: this Vadi is mandatory to be served warm).

Health benefits of Ganthoda powder


Ganthoda is a powder made from the root of a long pepper. This powder is known by several other names, which include pipramul and peepramul; however, ganthoda is a word native to India. Ganthoda powder mixed with ginger powder, water and jiggery is an Indian natural remedy for gastric discomfort and joint pain, according to Spices Online. Ganthoda powder is used in many Indian recipes and in tea as an ayurvedic treatment.

Individuals who want to increase their magnesium intake to prevent bone problems may find the most benefit in drinking milk or consuming milk-based dairy products. This is because some milk-based dairy contains both calcium and magnesium, which work together in this respect. This may not be ideal for a person with lactose intolerance or irritable bowel syndrome, as milk can trigger a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms. Some people add ganthoda powder to milk to ease these discomforts, although there are no studies to prove its effectiveness.

Although magnesium is FDA-approved for use, ganthoda is not. Neither magnesium nor ganthoda are FDA-approved to cure illnesses, so before using them to treat or prevent any illness, speak to your physician. Magnesium is an important mineral to consume and although it is possible to consume enough through diet, your physician may suggest that you take a supplement to meet your needs. Ganthoda has no known contraindications or side effects, but since no studies are published on its effectiveness, speak to your physician before consuming large quantities of it.

Hot Chilli Tomato Sauce


Hot tomato chilli sauce

Hot tomato chilli sauce


  • Tomatoes 250 gm
  • Big red chili 6
  • Tamarind pulp 1 cup
  • Garlic 6 cloves
  • Vinegar ½ cup
  • Jaggery 50 gm
  • Roasted cumin 2 tsp
  • Salt ½ tsp
  • Sodium benzoate a pinch


  1. Peel 250 gm tomatoes and cut into pieces.
  2. In a pan add in 1 cup water,chopped tomatoes , 6 red chilies, 6 garlic cloves and cook.
  3. Now cool the mixture and blend in a blender.
  4. Now put this paste in a pan, add 50 gm jaggery, ½ tsp salt, 2 tsp roasted cumin, 1 cup tamarind pulp and ½ cup vinegar.
  5. Cook till it starts boiling.
  6. Now turn the flame off, add a pinch of sodium benzoate.
  7. Cool and fill into the bottle.

Mutton Biryani


Pariz Neville Gandhi

Mutton Biryani


  • 1 kg mutton (I used boneless)
  • 4 large onions
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 2 potatoes (fry)
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 2 tbsp red chili powder
  • 1 tbsp garam masala powder
  • 2 tbsp biryani masala powder
  • 2 tbsp ginger garlic paste
  • 3 cups basmati rice
  • ½ tsp yellow food color
  • ½ tsp nutmeg and mace
  • ½ tsp large and small cardamoms
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 2 Bay Leaves (tej patta)
  • 4 – 5 large green chilies
  • Mint and coriander leaves
  • Cashews fried (optional)
  • Boil eggs.
  • Salt to taste


  1. In a bowl, marinate mutton with yogurt, red chilli powder, garam masala powder, biryani masala, ginger garlic paste and salt for 1 to 2 hrs. In a different pan, heat oil or ghee fry onions until it turns golden brown remove half. Then add tomatoes, marinated mutton fry for 10 minutes and pressure cook.
  2. Soak rice for 30 mins. In a heavy bottom pan, heat water to boil rice with salt, whole garam masala and oil. Drain rice, pour half of the rice add mutton gravy, sprinkle brown onions, mint and coriander leaves, green chillies, cashews again give a layer of rice. Then mix 2 tbsp kewra (optional) and ½ tsp yellow food color and fried onions. Dot with some oil or ghee, give dum for 15 mins. till rice is fully cooked. Serve with raita or yogurt dip.

Yogurt dip: Grind 2 green chillies, few coriander leaves, mint leaves, 2 cloves garlic, roasted jeera powder, sugar and salt with 2 tblspn with yogurt, add this to 1 cup of yogurt and mix.

Other Biryani Recipes


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Chilli Mushrooms




Chilli Mushrooms

This is a very easy method of chilly mushroom making, takes only 10-15 minutes as the Chinese cooking is very fast cooking and also as we are using mushrooms, the cooking will be done very soon. A very good recipe for bachelors. A very good starter for vegetarians and very tempting when well garnished and presented.


  • White Button Mushrooms- 10
  •  Finely chopped Onion – 1/2
  •  Grated Ginger – 1 tsp
  •  Grated Garlic – 1 tsp
  • Finely chopped Green Chillies – 3
  •  Capsicum thinly diced – 2 tbsp (optional)
  • Soy Sauce – 2 tbsp
  • Pepper Powder – 1 tsp
  • Spring Onion greens chopped-1/4 cup
  • Vegetable oil – 3 tsp
  • Green chilly Sauce- 1 1/2 tbsp
  • Celery,finely chopped-3 tbsp
  • Salt – to taste

Preparation Method:
1. In a pan, heat oil and saute onion,ginger,garlic and green chillies.
2. When onion is half done add the soy and chilly sauces,celery and half the spring onion.
3. Add the washed and cleaned whole mushrooms and saute well.
4. Close and cook for 5 minutes, till mushrooms gets soft/cooked. Do not cook the mushrooms too much, it will become very soft and its crispiness and the original taste will be lost.
5. Finally add the pepper powder and saute twice. Close the lid and switch off the flame.
6. Serve warm with tooth picks inserted into each mushrooms and a spoon for its onion masala. Garnish with some spring onions on top and a rose flower.(Purely Optional)
7. This is not a gravy version, this is served as starter with some coating onion masala. To make it into gravy, mix some(1 tsp) cornflour in some(1/4 cup) water and add into this,Simmer for 2 minutes.Stir well, while it attains a thick gravy consistency, switch off the flame and serve warm with rotis, fried rice or paratha.


Corn Soufflé


by Parveen Wadia


  • ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup grated Aged Gruyere cheese
  • 3 cups whole milk
  • 5 tsp unsalted butter
  • 6 tblsp all purpose flour or maida
  • 1 can Sweet corn Kernels (water squeezed out completely)
  • 2 chopped green chillies
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika or Tabasco
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 5 large egg whites


  1. Preheat oven to 400F.
  2. Butter a Soufflé dish or glass bowl
  3. Add butter in a non-stick pan over medium-low heat.
  4. Add green chilies and sauté for 1 minute.
  5. Add flour and whisk until mixture begins to foam and loses raw taste, about 3 minutes (do not allow mixture to brown).
  6. Gently pour in milk, whisking constantly until smooth and thick consistency.
  7. Remove from heat.
  8. Whisk in paprika, salt, pepper, nutmeg
  9. Add grated Gruyere, Parmesan and Corn kernels.
  10. Let sauce cool.
  11. Whisk the egg yolks and add to sauce.
  12. Transfer sauce to the prepared Soufflé dish.
  13. Using electric mixer, beat egg whites in another large bowl until stiff but not dry. .
  14. Gently fold in to the sauce with a wooden spoon.
  15. Place dish in oven and immediately reduce oven temperature to 375F.
  16. Bake until soufflé is puffed and golden brown on top for about 25-30 minutes (or more depending on the varying oven temperature.)
  17. Let Soufflé stand for 5 minutes.
  18. Serve immediately

Vegetarian Manchurian Bhel


by Ava Hoshang Desai

manchurian bhel


  • 1 bowl of finely Chopped mix veggies like Carrots, Cabbage Capsicum and Spring onions
  • 2 tea spoons of maida (white flour)
  • 2 teaspoons of cornflour.
  • ½ teaspoon soya sauce
  • ½ chopped green chilly(as per ur choice)
  • Oil for frying
  • Salt to taste (be careful, sauce already has the salt


  1. Mix all the above ingredients with little water in bowl .
  2. Make small balls out of it and deep fry. Remove them.
  3. Then take another bowl, add raw shredded cabbage, carrots, chopped spring onions, fried noodles, then add fried veggie balls and add 2 teaspoon of Ching’s Schezwan Chutney, ½ spoon of soya sauce n mix well
  4. Remove in a plate and serve.

Hyderabadi Vegetarian Biryani



By Nazneen Khodaiji

The Rice:

  • 1 and half cup basmati rice
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 2 black cardamoms
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon of 1 inch
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 mace strands
  • 3 cups water
  • salt

The Vegetable Gravy:

  • ½ medium sized cauliflower, florets removed
  • 1 medium sized carrot, diced
  • 1 medium sized potato, cubed
  • 1 cup of chopped french beans
  • ½ cup frozen/fresh peas
  • 1 and half onion, finely sliced
  • 1 green chili, slit
  • 2 tbsp julienned ginger
  • 1 tbsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds/shah jeera
  • 2 green cardamom
  • 2 black cardamoms
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 cinnamon of 1 inch
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 mace strands
  • 100 gms whisked curd
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ½ tsp red chili powder/cayenne pepper
  • 2 tbsp cashewnuts
  • 1 tbsp sultanas/raisins
  • 2 tbsp almonds, blanched, peeled and sliced
  • 3 tbsp ghee
  • salt

Herbs and Spices for the assembling:

  • ½ cup chopped coriander/cilantro leaves
  • ½ cup mint leaves
  • 100 gms whisked curd
  • a few saffron strands
  • 1 tbsp milk


  1. Pick and clean the rice in running water. Soak the rice in water for 30 minutes.
  2. Now you can microwave or pressure cook the rice. You have to cook the rice till its ¾th done. The rice should not be fully cooked but almost cooked.
  3. In a pressure cooker or a microwave cooker, add the pre-soaked rice, all the spices mentioned above, salt. Cook till the rice till is almost done. I microwaved the rice and cooked it for 9 minutes at full power. Fluff the rice and keep it separate.
  4. Traditionally biryani were made in clay pots, known as handis. If you have a clay pot, you could use it. I did not have a clay pot or handi. But I have a pressure cooker shaped like a handi, so I used it. If you have a handi shaped pot made up of aluminium, you could use it also.
  5. Heat ghee in the handi.
  6. Add all whole garam masala: cardamoms, mace, cloves, cinnamon, bay leaves. Fry the garam masala till they crackle.
  7. Now add the onions. Fry the onions till golden brown.
  8. Add the green chilli, ginger and garlic. Fry for a minute.
  9. Add the turmeric and red chili powder.
  10. Give the mixture a stir.
  11. Now add the vegetables and stir for a minute.
  12. Add the curd/yoghurt.
  13. Stir and then add ¾ cup water plus salt. Stir the mixture well.
  14. If using a pressure cooker for cooking the veggies, then cover the cooker with a lid and pressure cook for 2 minutes.
  15. If not using a pressure cooker, then bring the entire vegetable mixture to a boil. Then simmer until the vegetables are cooked. Add the dry fruits – almonds, raisins and cashew nuts to the vegetable gravy.
  16. Check the salt. Add more if required.
  17. Warm the milk. Add saffron to it. Let this saffron-milk mixture cool. Add the curd to this mixture and mix well.
  18. In the same handi with the cooked vegetables, sprinkle half each of saffron-flavored curd/yoghurt, mint and coriander leaves.
  19. Now spread half of the rice.
  20. Sprinkle the remaining saffron-flavored curd/yoghurt, mint and coriander leaves.
  21. Spread the remaining rice.
  22. Sprinkle rose water. This is optional and you could skip it.
  23. Place a moist cloth on top.
  24. Cover with a lid.
  25. Then seal with wheat flour dough or keep a heavy weight on the lid.
  26. This is one technique that you could use for dum cooking if you do not have the wheat flour dough.
  27. Place the sealed handi on the gas stove at low fire.
  28. Cook for 20-25 minutes more. If you think and feel, that you do not want the base to get burnt while cooking the biryani… there is a technique for avoiding this disaster.
  29. Right at the beginning, before dum cooking the biryani……. take a tava/griddle and heat it on medium flame. Now keep the sealed handi on the tava. Keep the flame to the lowest and cook for 20-25 minutes.
  30. For the first 15 minutes, I dum cooked the biryani on direct low flame and for the last 10 minutes, I placed the handi on the tava and cooked on a low flame.
  31. You could also preheat the oven to 190 degree celsius and then bake the biryani in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Please remember to use an oven proof utensil like the pyrex ones for baking in the oven. You will have to assemble the veg biryani as mentioned above in the oven proof utensil and then bake it.


While serving, make sure you equally serve the vegetables as well as rice.

Serve the vegetarian biryani with your choice of raita, onion-mint salad-kuchumber, mango pickle, roasted papad.

Sitaphal Pudding aka “Sugar Apple” or “Custard Apple” Pudding


Sitaphal is also known as “Sugar Apple” or “Custard Apple”


 has a typical buttery, delicate flavor.
  •  Sitaphal pulp – 1 1/2 cup
  • China grass – 1 packet
  • Water – 1 cup
  • Cream cheese – 500 grams
  • Powdered sugar – 3/4 cup
  • Fresh cream – 1 cup
  • Almond – Finely chopped, to garnish
  • Pistachios – Finely chopped, to garnish
  • Walnuts – Finely chopped, to garnish
1. Cut china grass into small pieces.
2. Boil water in a vessel & allow china grass to dissolve in it over low heat.
3. Continue stirring till dissolves completely. Allow to cool.
4. In another large bowl, place the cream cheese, china grass & powdered sugar; and beat with an electric blender till smooth.
5. Fold in the fresh cream & sitaphal (Pudding Recipe) pulp.
6. Blend again.
7. Pour the entire mixture into pudding cups & set in refrigerator.
8. Garnish & serve chilled.

Tomato Rice


Tomato Rice

by Zarina Cama Clowsley 


  • 2 cups of rice
  • 2 cups of pureed tomatoes ( use the desi ones for a better flavour)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tblsn pepercorns
  • 1 tspn degi mirch pwdr
  • salt
  • 2 cups of water/veg stock or chicken stock
  • half a cup of milk
  • 1 tblspn ghee or oil


  1. Heat the oil
  2. Add the bay leaves and pepper corns
  3. Add the tomato puree and fry until the tomato is cooked
  4. Add salt and chilli powder
  5. Add the rice..mix well
  6. Add the water or stock
  7. Mix well and cook until rice is almost done
  8. Mdd the milk and mix ( milk cuts the acid)
  9. Place the vessel on a tawa and cover
  10. Cook it on a slow flame for 5 more minutes

Note: I serve this a bit over cooked as it tastes better that way
( roasted meat or chicken could be added to it too towards the end)

Dodhi Chicken (also known as Doodhi, Winter melon or White Pumpkin)


By Yasmin Percy Hansotia

Dodhi Chicken

Dodhi Chicken


  • 1 kg Dodhi peel and cubed
  • 1 kg Meat/Chicken
  • 4-5 onions chopped roughly
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 2 to 3 tsp chilly powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2-3 pieces of taj(cinnamon) and eliachi(cardmon)
  • 5 tbsp sugar
  • 2-3 whole dry red chilles
  • 5 tbsp oil


  1. Take oil in a pressure cooker
  2. Add onions and fry till pinkish brown
  3. Add ginger garlic paste and saute for few minutes
  4. Now add chicken, chilly powder, salt, red chillies and let it saute for 2 more minutes
  5. Add dodhi and mix well
  6. Add very little water if needed. The dodhi gives out it’s own water so prefer none is added
  7. In a pressure cooker cook for # 5 whistle and 10 minutes
  8. Note: Chicken can be substituted with Lamb, Turkey or Beef. (Cook for 20 minutes  in pressure cooker)
  9. Open cooker and  take out meat pieces and keep aside
  10. Add sugar and boil on high flame till water evaporates
  11. Keep on mashing dodhi till it is smooth and thick
  12. Next add chicken and serve hot

Serve with Vagharela Chawal, Brown Rice (like dhansak rice) or Rotli

Note: Chicken can be substituted with Lamb, Turkey or Beef. (Cook for 20 minutes  in pressure cooker)

Related Doodhi Recipes

Doodhi no Halwo


Saucy Garlic Fish


Saucy Garlic Fish

Saucy Garlic Fish

Saucy Garlic Fish Recipe:


  • 1 kg white fish fillet
  • One medium onions finely chopped
  • 1 tsp whole jeera
  • ¼ tsp haldi
  • ¼ tsp red chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp coriander powder
  • ¼ tsp curry mixture powder
  • 3 tbsp ginger/garlic paste
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste
  • 2 gloves of garlic finely chopped
  • 1 finely chopped green chillies and 2 chillies slit into half (remove the seeds)
  • 1 tsp all purpose flour – make paste adding little water and stir it.
  • Coriander leaves


  1. Clean the fish with water and haldi.
  2. Marinate with ¼ tsp haldi, ¼ tsp chilli powder, 1/4 tsp coriander powder and 2 tbsp ginger/garlic paste and 1 tbsp of oil.
  3. Marinate for one hour in the fridge.


  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the marinated fish crisped. And set it a side.
  2. Heat little oil in a wok and add finely chopped onions, finely chopped green chillies, finely chopped garlic and whole jeera.
  3. Saute for 5 minutes then add 1 tbsp ginger/garlic paste, ¼ tsp curry mixture powder.
  4. Saute for 5 minutes and add 2 cups (as you require your consistency) of water gradually.
  5. Add the flour paste slowly and keep stirring. Once the sauce is cooked, taste and add the fried fish and keep on slow fire for 5 minutes.
  6. Garnish with coriander leave and slit green chillies.

Lonavala Chikki


Story behind Lonavala Chikkis:

Lonavala was so named because of the word ‘lenya’ which means caves in Marathi. There are many rock-cut caves, which surround Lonavala. It was Shri Maganlal Agarwal (the fourth generation of Maganlal Agarwal’s family is now running the chikki business) who brought chikki to Lonavala more than 125 years ago. His great grandson, Ashutosh Agarwal says that it all started when Shri Maganlal began selling ‘gurdana’, a mixture of jaggery and groundnuts in a huge sack to the laborers who were laying tracks on the Khandala–Pune railway line. (Opened to traffic in 1858) He used to stand with the big sack, next to the railway line, literally outside where the Maganlal’s main shop stands now in the market street on the east side and sold the ‘gurdana’. ‘Gurdana’ is rich in protein and iron and the laborers used to consume it for the instant energy.

Later, the simple ‘gurdana’ graduated to the groundnut chikki and over the years other chikki varieties were introduced. Nevertheless, the whole and crushed groundnut chikki are still Maganlal’s bread and butter product making up for 70% of the total chikki varieties sold.

Recipe: Lonavala Chikki

1-1/4 cups Dry fruits (Almonds, Cashews, Peanuts, Raisins, etc)

1 cup Sugar (oryou can substitute Gor/Gud)

1 tbsp liquid Glucose

1/2 tsp Cardamom powder

Melt sugar in a non-stick pan as it just about to melt add liquid Glucose to it. Crush the dry fruits and cardamom powder. Add it to the melted sugar. Put this mixture immediately into a greased wooden surface. With the help of a roller pin, spread it evenly. Now cut it with a greased knife or cutter. Allow it to cool and break into pieces. Lonavala chikki is ready.

And if it does not turn out the way you want it add little butter just before sugar melts. You may also dust surface with cornstarch before you pour hot mixture on hard surface.


Parsi Chai with Mint / Fudino, Lemon grass / Leeli Chai


Parsi Chai with Mint / Fudino, Lemon grass / Leeli Chai

Health value:

  1. Antioxidant
  2. Removes Headaches, Muscle aches, soothes and relaxes.
  3. Dried lemon grass leaves make a zesty, refreshing drink that is highly satisfying both hot and cold. It has a light lemony taste, with slight hint of ginger. And is known to lift a sagging spirit, as well as aid digestion. Recent studies also show that Lemon Grass has anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties. Best of all, it tastes great. If you have yet to try it, we recommend it highly. Naturally caffeine-free.


  • 2 cups water
  • 4 tea bags, or 4 tsps loose black tea
  • 2 cups milk, Highfat or Lowfat – your choice
  • 4 Mint leaves chopped fine (mint aka fudino)
  • 4 leaves of leeli chai chopped fine (Lemon grass aka Leeli chai)
  • 4 tsp. sugar (or to taste)


  1. Bring water to a boil in a saucepan.
  2. Add Mint leaves and Leeli chai.
  3. Add tea, reduce heat, and simmer for 3-4 minutes.
  4. Add milk and sugar, and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Strain and serve.

Serves 4

Related Recipes and Articles:

Century-old Irani cafe B Merwan & Co downs its shutters


Back in January, mid-day broke the news that B Merwan and Co, one of Mumbai’s iconic Irani cafes and a landmark by itself, would be downing its shutters.

While we were told then that the cafe, situated outside Grant Road railway station would shut in March, the date of closure extended by a month and it finally downed its shutters yesterday evening.

We visited the cafe for one last chai with generously buttered buns, and the mood seemed like just another day at the cafe. Several customers seemed oblivious to the fact that the cafe would be closing down.

We quizzed one of the owners, Sarosh Irani, who was manning the counter about the news, only to get a rather ambiguous reply: “We are not closing; we are shutting down for repairs.”

To this, we asked further whether the cafe would reopen again, to which Irani repeated the repair theory and remained non-committal. After wolfing down their yummy Kaju Cakes and Mawa Samosas, we left for the day.

We learnt, hours later that the cafe downed its shutters, earlier than usual last evening. A simple hand-written board was displayed outside that informed that the cafe would remain shut for repairs from April 16.

So the question still looms: Will it reopen? Your guess is as good as ours.

 Article Source:

Happy Easter


This is from the Imperial Faberge Egg Collection.


Did you know that there are similarities between Zoroastrianism and Christianity/Judaism?

Er. Dr. RAMIYAR KARANJIA explains:

• The Achaemenid King Cyrus the Great freed the Jews in 536 B.C., from their 70 year Babylonian captivity, allowed them to go to their native land, returned their treasures and helped them rebuild the temple of Solomon.

• The three Magis, who went to Bethlehem to welcome and offer presents to infant Christ, are strongly believed to be Zoroastrian priests. The Magis, with their precise knowledge of astronomy, knew the exact location of the prophet’s birth, and were the first to go and greet infant Jesus.