Lauki ke kofte ki sabzi (grated bottle gourd dumplings in curry)

Louki, gheeya or bottle gourd… use any name but this vegetable hardly brings smile on anyone’s face. My mother used to prepare this in plain curry form with tomatoes and I always liked it. But other than my mother and me everyone else in the family used to eat it forcibly.

But there is one more way through which we can cook this vegetable and serve to our guests. It’s slightly time consuming but tastes wonderful and no one can deny once served on his\her plate!!!!

Process :

1.To prepare Kofta:
Besan (gram flour)     just enough to bind koftas

Grated bottle gourd 1+1/2cup
Red chilli powder 1/4 tsp
Chopped green chillies 1 tsp
salt… as per taste
Asafoetida… a pinch
Coarsely grinded fennel seeds 1/2 tsp


For paste:

Onion… 1 medium size
Tomatoes…. 3 medium size
Green chillies…. 3 medium size
Ginger…. 1tiny piece
Garlic……. as per your taste (I didn’t add)

Spices :

Red chilli powder 1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder 1tbsp +1 tsp
Salt as per taste
Garam masala 1/2 tsp

Green coriander leaves for garnishing.

Process :

Peel and grate bottle gourd.


Squeeze out all the juice from the grated bottle gourd. Keep this juice safe because we will be using it for curry.


Mix red chilli powder, salt, hing(asafoetida) , besan (gram flour) and fennel seeds (sauf) in grated bottle gourd and prepare koftas(small balls.)


Heat oil in a pan and fry these koftas keeping the flame between sim and medium. Once done, keep them aside.


Now chop onion, tomato, garlic,  ginger and green chillies.


Grind them in a paste and heat oil in a pan, crackle rai hing jeera and add grinded paste. Add rest of the spices.


Let this cook on medium heat until it leaves the oil from the sides.


Now add two cups of water including squeezed out bottle gourd juice and let it boil for 10-15 minutes on sim to medium heat. Add kofta in the gravy after 15 minutes.



Cook for 5 more minutes on sim heat and take out louki ke kofte ki sabzi in a serving pan and sprinkle green chopped coriander leaves. Serve with plain rice or roti.



Methi Palak ki sabzi

Green leafy vegetables are my weakness. I can have them in lunch and dinner both. And these nutritious leaves can be cooked in many different ways. We can cook them as normal vegetable, can add them to prepare green paratha, roti or poori, can add them in curd, prepare chutney or add them in salad.
In the morning my next door vegetable vendor sometimes gets really good green leafy vegetables . Yesterday he had clean bunches of methi, palak and pudina. I used mint leaves to prepare dry powder and spinach and fenugreek leaves to prepare sabzi.

Ingredients :
Spinach leaves 2 bunches
Fenugreek leaves 1  bunch
Potato 1
Tomato 2 medium
Green chillies 1
Rai                 1/8 tsp
Hing                a pinch
Jeera                1/4 tsp
Oil                    2 tbsp
Coriander powder 3/4 tsp
Red chilli powder   1/4 tsp
Turmeric powder    1/4 tsp
Salt           as per your taste

Process :
Cut the roots and thick stems and wash spinach and methi leaves. Keep them on a strainer so that all water drains out.


Once water drains out, chop the leaves.


Heat oil in a pan and crackle rai, hing jeera. Peel, wash and cut potato into small pieces and add in the pan and let it cook for a minute.


Add spinach and fenugreek leaves and cover it. Keep the heat on sim. In five minutes the whole bunch of leaves will settle down. Now you will have an idea for how much quantity of spices and salt you need to add.
Add chopped greens chillies, coriander powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt according to taste.


Mix well and cover it again till potatoes become soft.

Add chopped tomatoes.

When tomatoes are soft and completely cooked , switch off heat and serve nutritious palak methi ki sabzi.



Baigan ka bharta (roasted balloon eggplant/brinjal cooked with spices)

For the last two days Apoorva was really sick with cold, cough and throat pain – so I wanted to pack something really good for her school lunch box. At 6:00 in the morning I decided to prepare baigan ka bharta. She doesn’t like baigan ki sabzi (though I don’t spare her for that) but she loves bharta a lot! If I prepare bharta for dinner, she keeps the rice aside and wants to have one extra roti to relish with her favorite bharta.

So when she came back from school I asked her if she liked her lunch. She said that she was barely managing to get some baharta for herself because all her friends wanted their share!!!

Who wouldn’t love to hear such nice stories about his\her cooking😂😂.

But honestly there are so many people who don’t want to eat brinjal veggie, but if you cook this bigger size oval shaped balloon brinjal in a different way, they love it. So, if you are interested in learning how to cook brinjal in such a different way that it becomes every one’s favorite, let’s start…….

1. Always buy big size balloon brinjal to prepare bharta.

2. Check brinjal by slightly pressing it; if it’s too hard, don’t buy because there will be many ripened seeds inside and they don’t taste good at all. Buy the one which is fresh and soft.

3. Always check minutely if there is a tiny hole – if it is there, don’t buy….. it means insects have entered inside..and it’s their cave, so leave this cave for them……..generally it happens a lot during rainy season.

4. Keep a careful eye while roasting brinjal… burnt brinjal wouldn’t taste good.

Ingredients :

2 big size brinjals
3 medium size chopped onions
2 medium size chopped tomatoes
3-4 choppped green chillies
1/2 tsp grated ginger
salt… as per your taste


3 – 4 tbsp oil
5 tsp coriander powder
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1/4 tsp cumin seeds

1/8 tsp rai

1/8 tsp asafotida

Finely chopped green coriander leaves


Roast brinjal either in your oven or gas top as per your convenience, till it is soft and tender.


At the end of the roasting, brinjals will shrink and will be very soft. Make sure not to burn them.


Keep them aside and let them cool down. Heat up oil in a pan and crackle rai, cumin seeds and asafotida. Add chopped onions and sauté them till they are light brown. Add chopped tomatoes, green chillies, grated ginger, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and a pinch of salt. Mix all together and let it cook on sim heat till tomatoes are cooked. Keep on turning this mix upside down in between.



By now roasted brinjals would have cooled down. Peel out their outer skin carefully and take out all the pulp in a pan and mash it.


Add this to onion tomato mix and add salt as per your taste. Mix well, cover it and let it cook for 4 – 5 minutes.



As brinjals are roasted, tomatoes and onions are already cooked, so this 5 minutes time is sufficient to absorb all the flavours by brinjal pulp. Add some finely chopped coriander leaves and mix it. Switch off gas and shift bharta in a serving bowl, sprinkle some more coriander leaves and serve with your meal.





Bhaji is a semi solid mixed vegetables dish which is extremely popular in North India. It is served with baked pav roasted with butter.

Pav bhaaji is one of the most popular and easily available street food. It’s popularity is evergreen in any season – be it summer, winter or rainy. Best part is that it doesn’t cost you much and you are completely satisfied with your meal.
Preparing bhaaji in your kitchen is not at all a complex process. In fact, if your kids are too fussy about eating different vegetables, prepare bhaaji with all veggies of your choice and see the magic!!! Kids are going to love it and you will be satisfied to find their empty plates!! “What more a mother can ask for”!

Whenever I prepare bhaaji, I always end up preparing a lot. So, next day I serve it in breakfast with plain paratha. Along with cooking bhaaji, if you are interested in baking homebaked fresh buns you can check the recipe in my blog for …Pull apart buns

We can use peas, bottle gourd, green capsicum, carrots, yellow pumpkin, cauliflower, cabbage, potatoes, onions and tomatoes. I didn’t have all these vegetables so I prepared whatever was available, but you can add all vegetables or can just skip some. But just try to keep peas, carrots, cabbage, potatoes, onions and tomatoes as basic veggies and skip or add the rest of them as per your choice.

Ingredients :

Chopped cabbage       150 gm
Chopped carrots         250 gm
Chopped tomatoes      2 big size
Grean peas                    100 gm
Chopped onions            3 medium size
Potatoes                          6 medium size
Chopped capsicum        1 big size
Chopped green chillies  4-5
Grated ginger                   1 tsp
Lemon                                1
Green coriander leaves   1/8 cup
Salt                                       1 tsp
Turmeric powder              1 tsp
Red chilli powder               1 tsp
Pav bhaaji masala             3-4 tbsp
Garam masala                    1tbsp
Cooking oil                          3 tbsp
Butter                                   3 tbsp

Process :

Wash all vegetables nicely. Pour 1 cup water in the cooker and add chopped cabbage, carrots, green peas, salt and turmeric powder. Put on the lid along with pressure and boil these vegetables until they are very soft. Vegetables are chopped and we have added salt also, so boiling wouldn’t take long time.


While your vegetables are boiling, heat oil in a big heavy bottomed pan and crackle cumin seeds, rai and asafoetida. Add chopped onions and saute them until they are light brown in colour. Add chopped tomatoes, grated ginger, green chillies, turmeric and red chilli powder and pav bhaaji masala. Mix everything together and let it cook on sim heat.




By now vegetables will be boiled – take them out in a vessel along with water.


In the same cooker boil potatoes.


When boiled veggies are hot, mash them with vegetable masher or with the help of a broad laddle.


In a seprate pan heat some oil and fry capsicum and keep them separately.


Peel boiled potatoes when they are warm and mash them.


By now onion tomato gravy would be ready. Add mashed vegetables, fried capsicum and mashed potatoes, mix everything nicely, add 1+1/2 cups of water and salt as per your taste.

Let it cook on slow to medium heat. Slow cooking enhances the flavor of spices. If you feel bhaaji is still thick, add some more water. Bhaaji has semi solid consistency, so add water as per your observation. Once bhaaji is ready, add 3-4 tbsp butter and garam masala. Mix it together and sprinkle finely chopped green coriander leaves.


Serve along with baked paav and add butter, finely chopped onion and sprinkle some lemon juice and finely chopped onion!!



Sukhe aaloo ki sabzi (boiled potatoes with Indian spices)

Potatoes are everyone’s favorite! This vegetable is cooked in many ways all over the world and liked by all age groups. In my  fridge, vegetable basket can be empty in 3-4 days but potatoes, never ever…..

I use potatoes  to prepare aaloo ki tikiya, dry veggie or veggie with gravy and aaloo ka halva, some snacks and aaloo ke paratheAaloo ka Paratha (paratha with spicy potato stuffing)

Last weekend my daughter had a get-together in our house with few of her friends. Preparing lunch for teenagers is a challenge as they are very fussy about their likes and dislikes. So, to be on the safer side I decided to prepare one dish called “sukhe aaloo ki sabzi” as many like it.

We can prepare this with raw potatoes or with boiled ones. I decided to prepare with boiled potatoes. It’s very easy, hassle free dish.


Ingredients :

Potatoes, green chillies, green coriander leaves, rai, cumin seeds, asafoetida, oil, salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala, dry mango powder or lemon juice.

Process :

Wash nicely and boil potatoes. After boiling keep them in a strainer and let them cool down.

IMG_20180616_130758618.jpgWhen potatoes have cooled enough to touch, peel them.


In a heavy bottomed pan heat oil and crackle rai, cumin seeds and asafoetida. Mash potatoes with your fingers and put them into the pan. Add finely chopped green chillies, salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala, coriander powder and dry mango powder or lemon juice.


Keep the flame on sim and mix everything, cover it and let it cook on sim flame for 1/2 an hour. In between keep on turning them upside down. You may wonder what is the need for cooking so long when we had already boiled these earlier. Additional cooking makes potatoes absorb the flavours of all spices and makes them crispy. Sprinkle finely chopped coriander leaves and serve.





Stuffed Capsicum (bharva shimla mirch)

Stuffed vegetables add charm to your dinning table! Though preparation takes slightly longer time, but the end result is really really good. Stuffing can be done with boiled potatoes, paneer, roasted gram flour or simply with some spices of your choice.

From my childhood, I had always liked boiled potatoes filled stuffed capsicum a lot. I have experienced that the taste of capsicum is not much appreciated by everyone, but if you serve it in stuffed form, people really like it. After our marriage, in Chennai Manish and I had invited some of  his colleagues at home and I had cooked stuffed capsicum and I remember that everyone liked it a lot!
In Bangalore also my dear friend Padmaja had called me once to her house to cook stuffed capsicum, so that she can see the entire process.

Not exaggerating, but my mother-in-law also very much likes stuffed capsicum prepared by me. Once I packed for her when they were going back to Jaipur from Bangalore and got rave reviews.

So now you have enough reasons to give stuffed capsicum a try……

Ingredients :

Green Capsicum


Finely chopped green chillies


Spices: salt, red chilli powder, dry mango powder(amchoor), garam masala, asafoetida(hing) and turmeric powder.

Process :

Boil potatoes in pressure cooker. Never let potatoes become over boiled where they get a big crack in between – this way water seeps in and they become soggy.


Keep boiled potatoes in a strainer so that all water seeps out.


Peel potatoes and once they cool down, add all spices, mash them and mix everything together.




Heat a pan and add 1-2 spoons of oil and add ready mix of boiled potatoes. Keep on turning them upside-down from time to time to avoid potatoes sticking to the pan. Don’t add too much oil here as we just have to roast them lightly for 10 minutes.


Potatoes will stick to the pan as we have added only couple of spoons of oil. To avoid this use small pan support – it’s very helpful in slow cooking.


Once they are done, let them cool down.


Wash and dry capsicum. Always buy  vertically shaped small sized capsicum for preparing stuffed capsicum. With vertical shape,  it’s easy to deseed them.


To remove seeds, make a vertical cut.


Fill in the prepared potato filling. Don’t stuff too much filling, otherwise while cooking it will start seeping out.


Heat the pan and add 4-5 spoons of oil, spreading all over the pan. Next, place all the stuffed capsicums and cover the pan.


Stuffed capsicum should be cooked on sim heat, so you can use small pan support again.

Keep on turning them upside-down till they are tender from all sides and done.


Serve with roti, plain paratha or rice.