Cold or Chilled Cucumber Soup

Easy Chilled or Cold Cucumber Soup

Cold Cucumber Soup is just what I needed in this year’s unusually hot summer. With temperatures flirting with 40°C in April, I dread to think what lies in store for Mumbai in May and June. These hot and humid days actually put me off eating altogether or I keep yearning for something cold.

I have been meaning to make this Cold Cucumber Soup or Chilled Cucumber Soup for a while now and the weather had handed me the perfect opportunity. This soup can be made with ingredients readily available in many Indian homes and is very light on the stomach. The best part about this recipe for the Cold Cucumber Soup is that there is no cooking involved and so it frees us from using the hot stove as well.

I made a big batch of this soup and then left it to be chilled in the fridge and had it for lunch over 3 days. It stayed fresh and so that meant even less cooking. 🙂

Cold or Chilled Cucumber Soup

How to Make Cold Cucumber Soup

Easy Chilled or Cold Cucumber Soup
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This chilled cucumber soup is just perfect for hot summers. This soup is served cold and so can be made in advance.
Recipe type: Soup
Serves: 4 Cups
  • Finely Chopped Cucumber – 2 Cups + ½ Cup
  • Regular Yogurt or Dahi – 4 Cups
  • Fresh Dill Leaves – ½ Cup
  • Fresh Parsely – ¼ Cup + For Garnish
  • Garlic Cloves – 6 Large
  • Olive Oil – 5 tbsp
  • Pepper Powder – To Taste (I used white pepper powder)
  • Salt – To Taste
  1. Grind 2 Cups of Cucumber, Dill, Parsley, Garlic, and 4 tbsp Olive Oil into a coarse paste.
  2. Beat the yogurt till it is smooth.
  3. Add the ground cucumber paste, ½ cup cucumber pieces and mix well.
  4. Season with salt and pepper powder.
  5. Cover and chill for 6 to 8 hours.
  6. Just before serving, divide into 4 portions.
  7. Drizzle some Olive Oil onto each portion.
  8. Garnish with some Parsley.
  9. Serve chilled.

Cold Cucumber Soup Recipe

Masoor Dal Biryani

Masoor Dal Biryani – Guest Post by Mahjabeen Sayed

This recipe for Masoor Dal Biryani has been contributed by Mahjabeen Sayed, the mother of one of my colleagues, Afreen Sayed. In fact, the recipe that Mahjabeen-ji has shared is very versatile and can be adapted to make a variety of biryanis. This is my first adaption of this wonderful recipe.

I have never met Mahjabeen-ji personally but seem to know her well through the lovely dishes I taste in Afreen’s lunch. Afreen herself is a great foodie and is brimming with recipe ideas.

Me thinks my recruitment team subconsciously evaluates every potential team member for their “foodie quotient.” Not much else can explain how so many foodies congregate at one place. 😀

Anyway, coming back to the recipe for Masoor Dal Biryani, this is the first time I have cooked with whole Masoor Dal. I now realise what I have been missing.

What I particularly liked about this Biryani recipe is that it gets done very easily and is a no-fuss recipe that yields great results. Thank you, Mahjabeen Sayed, for this recipe. It made for a perfect Sunday lunch. Hope to have many many more recipes from you and cook for you someday. 🙂

Masoor Dal Biryani or Masur Dal Biryani

How to Make Masoor Dal Biryani

Masoor Dal Biryani – Guest Post by Mahjabeen Sayed
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe for Masoor Dal Biryani is very easy to make and nutritious because it uses Whole Masoor Dal (Whole Red Lentil).
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 6 Cups
  • Basmati Rice – 1 Cup
  • Whole Masoor Dal – ½ Cup
  • Finely Chopped Tomatoes – ½ Cup
  • Dahi or Curd – ½ Cup
  • Finely Sliced Onions – ½ Cup + ½ Cup
  • Freshly Grated Ginger – 1 tsp
  • Freshly Grated Garlic – 1 tsp
  • Red Chilli Powder – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric – ½ tsp
  • Ghee – 2 tbsp + 2 tsp
  • Yellow or Saffron Food Colour - 2 or 3 drops (optional)
  • Mint Leaves for Garnish – A Few
  • Salt to Taste
Whole Garam Masala for the Rice
  • Pepper Corns – 5
  • Cloves - 5
  • Coriander Seeds - 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon - 1" piece
  • Green Cardamom - 3
  • Black Cardamom - 1
  • Javitri or Mace - 2-3 Petals
Whole Garam Masala for the Masoor Dal Gravy
  • Pepper Corns – 5
  • Cloves - 5
  • Shah Jeera - 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon - 1" piece
  • Green Cardamom - 3
  • Javitri or Mace - 2-3 Petals
  • Dry Bay Leaves or Tej Patta - 2
Preparing the Masoor Dal
  1. Wash and soak the masoor dal in 2 cups water for about 2 hours.
Preparing the Basmati Rice
  1. Wash the basmati rice thoroughly.
  2. Soak the rice in about 3 cups of water for 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the water.
  4. Tie the spices mentioned as whole garam masala for rice in a small piece of cloth to form a “potli.” (I have a tea infuser and put all the spices in that).
  5. To 3 cups of water, add the whole garam masala “potli” and ½ tsp salt.
  6. Bring the water to a rolling boil.
  7. Add the soaked basmati rice.
  8. Cook till the rice is al-dente or 75% cooked.
  9. Drain all the water and set aside.
Prepare the Sliced Onions for Garnish
  1. In a non-stick pan, heat 2 tsp of ghee.
  2. When the ghee is hot, add ½ cup sliced onions and 2 large pinches of salt.
  3. Over medium flame, stir-fry till the onion slices are golden brown.
  4. Set aside.
Making the Masoor Dal Gravy
  1. In a heavy bottomed vessel, heat 2 tbsp ghee. This vessel should be large enough to accommodate the rice that will be added later.
  2. Add the spices mentioned as whole garam masala for Masoor Dal gravy.
  3. Stir-fry for 10 seconds.
  4. Add ½ cup finely sliced onions.
  5. Stir-fry till the onions start to turn brown.
  6. Add the ginger and garlic.
  7. Stir-fry till the raw smell of ginger and garlic disappears; about 10 seconds.
  8. Add finely chopped tomatoes, red chilli powder, and turmeric.
  9. Stir-fry till the tomato pieces are softened.
  10. Add the soaked and drained masoor dal.
  11. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
  12. Add ½ cup water.
  13. Cover and let the masoor dal cook. Add a little bit more water, if required.
  14. After the masoor dal has cooked and the water has evapourated, turn off the heat.
  15. Add ½ cup well-beaten dahi and salt.
  16. Mix well. Add a bit of water, if required.
  17. Set aside for 5 minutes.
Making the Masoor Dal Biryani
  1. Add the partly cooked rice to the masoor dal gravy.
  2. Mix well.
  3. Place a lid on the vessel. The lid should fit tightly so that no steam escapes from the vessel. Place a small weight on the lid, if required.
  4. Over low flame, cook the biryani till the rice is cooked. This takes about 10 minutes. Stir after 5 minutes.
  5. Let the Masoor Dal Biryani rest for 10 minutes.
  6. Garnish with deep-fried onions and mint leaves.
  7. Serve with Cucumber Raita.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4

Recipe for Masoor Dal Biryani or Masur Dal Biryani

Watalappan – Spiced Coconut Milk Custard from Sri Lanka

Srilankan Watalappan - Spiced Coconut Custard

Watalappan is a spiced coconut milk custard from Sri Lanka, the Emerald Isle of Asia. It is quite simple to make and need relatively few ingredients; eggs, coconut milk, a touch of spices (nutmeg, cardamom and cinnamon) and special Sri Lankan Jaggery called Kithul Jaggery. I had Karupatti or Coconut Jaggery at home and used it in place of Kithul Jaggery. This also accounts for the chocolate brown colour of my Watalappan. However, I found that this technique enhanced the flavour of this wonderful custard.

Watalappan is very easy to make. You essentially mix all ingredients together and then steam or bake the dessert. I steamed this Coconut Milk Custard though there are many versions out there that recommend or use baking.

Watalappan was the recipe assigned to me by Lina for her April Challenge. Lina has become quite famous for her challenges and comes up with very innovative ones. This time, we had to give her a number between 1 and 30 and she assigned us a recipe based on the number we chose. 🙂

How to Make Watalappan – Spiced Coconut Milk Custard from Sri Lanka

Watalappan – Spiced Coconut Milk Custard from Sri Lanka
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Watalappan is a spiced coconut milk custard from Sri Lanka made with coconut milk, eggs, a touch of spices (nutmeg, cardamom and cinnamon) and special Sri Lankan Jaggery called Kithul Jaggery.
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: Sri Lanka
Serves: 6
  • Coconut Milk – 200 ml
  • Eggs – 3
  • Grated Jaggery – 120 gms (Kithul Jaggery Preferred)
  • Nutmeg Powder – ¼ tsp
  • Cinnamon Powder – ¼ tsp
  • Cardamom Powder – ¼ tsp
  • Roasted Cashews - 6
Getting Ready to Make Watalappan
  1. Set aside a 5-6” round mould.
  2. In a pressure cooker, add enough sufficient water to ensure steaming for 1 hour.
  3. Place a vessel filled with water and cover with a plate. We will place the mould on top of this vessel. This is to ensure water does not touch the mould.
  4. Remove the weight from the pressure cooker lid.
  5. Close the pressure cooker.
  6. On a high flame, let the steam build.
Making the Watalappan
  1. Grate the jaggery.
  2. Add the spice powders to the jaggery and mix well.
  3. Add the coconut milk and mix well.
  4. Set aside for 10 minutes so that the jaggery melts and blends into the coconut milk.
  5. Beat the eggs till frothy.
  6. Add the eggs to the spiced coconut milk.
  7. Mix well.
  8. Pour the mix into the mould.
  9. Cover the mould with a foil to ensure no water enters it.
  10. After the pressure cooker starts steaming, open it.
  11. Quickly place the covered mould into the pressure cooker.
  12. Close the pressure cooker.
  13. Over medium flame, let the Watalappan steam for at least 1 hour.
  14. Turn off the heat.
  15. Let the Watalappan cool completely.
  16. Remove the foil.
  17. Place a plate over the mould.
  18. Turn over so that the Watalappan comes out of the mould and onto the plate.
  19. Divide into 6 portions.
  20. Garnish with roasted cashews.
  21. Serve warm or chilled.
This is a calorie laden dessert so eat in moderation. :)

Ensure that all ingredients are at room temperature.

The steam must build before you start steaming this custard.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 6


Green Peas Pattice - Matar Pattice - Ole Vatana Patties - Maharashtrian Style

Vatana Pattice or Green Peas Patties – Guest Post for Sandhya of IndFused

I was pleased to do this Ole Vatana Pattice (Matar Pattice or Green Peas Patties) as a guest post for Sandhya Nadkarni of IndFused.

I am in awe of Sandhya’s fusion cooking. Perhaps because I am a traditionalist when it comes to my cooking, I admire people who happily mix-n-match with awesome results. Want to know what I mean? At this very moment, I am drooling over Sandhya’s Broiled Stuffed Indo Mexican Jalapenos. Sandhya even takes the traditional and gives it her own twist; see her Pumpkin Gharge – Roasted, Not Deep Fried (very stirred, not shaken!)

You can follow Sandhya’s work on:

A few months ago, Sandhya did this wonderful guest post on Peppers and Nuggets in Spicy Orange Sauce for me. Today, it is my turn to reciprocate and I present Ole Vatana Pattice, a traditional Maharashtrian snack that is my personal favourite.

Let me tell you the story behind my love for Vatana Pattice or the Maharashtrian Style Green Peas Patties. The Venkateshwara Temple at Fanaswadi, Girgaum is a family favourite. Built in 1927, it is situated in the bylanes of Girgaum and is an island of serenity in this busy, busy city. We visit this temple on most auspicious occasions and I like to come here early in the morning, which is the quietest time of the day.

After a visit to the temple, we often have breakfast at Vinay Health Home before heading home. Vinay—which is but a few meters from the temple—serves classic Maharashtrian fare like Thalipeeth, Sabudana Vada, Puneri Misal, Farali Misal, Kokum Sarbat, Piyush, and a lot more. I have been coming here for decades and am always drawn to its Ole Vatana Pattice.

This Green Peas Pattice or Matar Pattice is slightly sweet and is made with a mixture of mashed blanched fresh green peas, coconut, peanuts, sugar, and green chillies coated with a boiled potato and then deep fried. In keeping with Sandhya’s theme of healthy cooking, I have taken tried to make a healthier version of Vatana Pattice by making it in an Appe Pan or an Ebelskiver Pan instead of deep-frying it. While it took time to cook, the taste was just the same. 🙂

So here, without much further ado, is my version of the Green Peas Patties or Matar Pattice from Maharashtra.

Ole Vatana Pattice - Matar Pattice - Green Peas Patties

How to Make Vatana Pattice, Matar Pattice or Maharashtrian Style Green Peas Patties

Preparation Time: 45 Minutes

Cooking Time: 45 mins

Makes: 10 to 12 Pattice

Ingredients for the Outer Covering

  1. Potatoes – 300 gms
  2. Green Chilli Paste – 1 tsp
  3. Bread Crumbs or Corn Flour – 2 tbsp (Optional)
  4. Salt to Taste

Ingredients for the Filling

  1. Fresh Green Peas – ½ Cup
  2. Grated Coconut – ¼ Cup
  3. Crushed Roasted Peanuts – 2 tbsp
  4. Green Chilli Paste – 1-2 tsp
  5. Sugar – 1 tbsp
  6. Cumin Seeds – ½ tsp
  7. Ghee – 2 tsp

Other Ingredients

  • Oil for Shallow Frying

Method to Make the Outer Covering

  1. Pressure cook or boil the potatoes till they are just done.
  2. Drain all the water.
  3. Let the potatoes cool to room temperature and dry from the outside.
  4. Peel and mash the potatoes so that there are no lumps.
  5. Add chilli paste and salt.
  6. Mix well.
  7. Make into a ball and set aside.

Method to Make the Filling

  1. Boil about a litre of water with ½ tsp salt.
  2. Add the peas to it.
  3. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  4. Turn off the heat.
  5. Cover the vessel and set aside for 15 minutes for the peas to cook in the hot water.
  6. Drain the water and set aside till the peas cool.
  7. When the peas cool, mash the peas a bit.
  8. In a pan, heat the ghee.
  9. Add cumin seeds and stir-fry till they change colour.
  10. Add the peas, chilli paste, sugar, and crushed roasted peanuts.
  11. Mix well.
  12. Turn off the heat and set aside.

Method to Make the Vatana Pattice

  1. Divide the potato mix and the filling into 12 equal parts.
  2. Take one portion of the potato mix and shape into a cup.
  3. Place one portion of filling into the potato cup such that it is ½ full.
  4. Close the edges to seal the filling within the cup.
  5. If you are going to use an Appe Pan or an Ebelskiver Pan, using a gentle hand, roll the pattice into a ball.
    If you are going to use a regular Pan
    , using a gentle hand, press the pattice into a disc.
  6. Set aside.
  7. Repeat steps 2 to 6 to make the rest of the pattice.
  8. Spread the breadcrumbs or corn flour in a plate.
  9. Roll each pattice till fully covered with corn flour or bread crumbs.
  10. To make the pattice in an Appe Pan:
    1. Heat an Appe Pan.
    2. Add a few drops of oil in each cavity.
    3. Place one pattice in each cavity.
    4. Over medium flame, cook till the side touching the pan in golden brown.
    5. Using a knife or a thin spoon, turn the pattice till the uncooked side faces down.
    6. Drizzle a few drops of oil along the edges.
    7. Over medium flame, cook till the side touching the pan in golden brown.
  11. To make the pattice in a regular pan:
    1. Heat the pan.
    2. Add about 1 tbsp oil.
    3. Place a few pattice in the pan. Ensure there is enough place to move and flip the pattice.
    4. Over medium flame, cook till the side touching the pan in golden brown.
    5. Turn the pattice over so that the uncooked side faces down.
    6. Over medium flame, cook till the side touching the pan in golden brown.
  12. Serve the hot Vatana Pattice with some Tomato Ketchup or Coconut Chutney.


  • If you want a spicy version, leave out the sugar.
  • If your potato mix is too soft to hold shape, add some corn flour or bread crumbs.

Green Peas Patties - Ole Vatana Pattice - Maharashtrian Style Matar Pattice

Punjabi Aloo Gobi - Cauliflower and Potato Curry

Punjabi Aloo Gobi – Cauliflower and Potato Curry

Punjabi Aloo Gobi. Most Indians do not need any introduction to this eponymous dish made with Potaotes (aloo) and Cauliflower (phool gobi). This was a regular curry made in our home but it gained special significance after we saw the movie Bend It Like Beckham. In this movie, the soccer-crazy Punjabi girl is regularly chastised for not knowing how to make even something as simple as Aloo Gobi. Now I cannot hear Aloo Gobi without thinking of the movie! 😀

I guess I never posted this recipe so far because it is one of those super simple dishes that we make so often that it loses any special significance. I thought of this dish this week because I am back on my diet and weight-loss trip. This normally means I eat loads and loads of sabzi with about 1 roti or a bit of rice. I was thinking of what to make for lunch on Friday, when I thought of this simple yet super tasty dish.

Aloo Gobi is one of those soul foods whose charm cannot be explained to those who have not tasted it. On the face of it, this is a simple stir-fry. On the other hand, a well-made Aloo Gobi has the power to elevate the mood and satiate the soul.

Want to know why I am waxing so eloquent? Try this recipe.

How to Make Punjabi Aloo Gobi

Punjabi Aloo Gobi
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Punjabi Aloo Gobi is a very popular dry curry that is eaten with rotis. I love this simple potatoes and cauliflower curry because it gets done in a jiffy, is tasty and is healthy.
Recipe type: Sides
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 4
  • Cauliflower - ½ Kg
  • Potatoes - 2 Large
  • Onion - 1 Medium
  • Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
  • Grated Ginger - 1 tsp
  • Crushed Garlic - 1 tsp
  • Garam Masala -1/2 tsp
  • Red Chilli Powder - ½ tsp
  • Coriander Powder - ½ tsp
  • Turmeric - ⅛ tsp
  • Kasuri Methi - 1 tbsp
  • Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Asafoetida - A Large Pinch
  • Fresh Coriander for Garnish
  • Salt to Taste
The Preparation
  1. Separate the cauliflower into small florets.
  2. Wash and set aside.
  3. Peel and dice the potato int ½"cubes.
  4. Peel and cut the onion into ¼" pieces.
To Make the Punjabi Aloo Gobi
  1. In a wok, heat the oil.
  2. Add the cumin seeds and stir-fry till they change colour.
  3. Add the asafoetida and onions.
  4. Fry till the onions are translucent.
  5. Add the grated ginger and crushed garlic.
  6. Stir-fry for 10 seconds.
  7. Add the kasuri methi and mix well.
  8. Add the red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala, and turmeric.
  9. Mix well.
  10. Add the potato pieces.
  11. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
  12. Add the cauliflower florets.
  13. Stir-fry for 2-3 minutes.
  14. Ensure the potato and cauliflower florets are completely coated with the masala.
  15. Turn the heat to medium-low.
  16. Cook covered while stirring occasionally till the cauliflower and potato pieces are cooked. I also pour some water on the plate to help the vegetables cook faster. Stir every 2-3 minutes.
  17. Garnish with finely chopped fresh coriander.
  18. Serve warm with hot rotis.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4


Punjabi Alu Gobi - Potato and Cauliflower Curry


I am taking this best of comfort foods to Fiesta Friday #115 hosted by Julie @ Hostess At Heart and Ashley @ Too Zesty.