Category Archives: recipes’

Potato Peels Sabji – A Lockdown Recipe

On the night of 11 June 2020, while rummaging through the fridge for items to use for dinner, I found a bowlful of potato peels.

As it was too hot for pakoras (recipe link:, I decided to experiment with cooking them as a sabji which we could eat with dal and rotis.

I searched in the internet for a suitable recipe for this, but I just couldn’t find any. So I decided to go it alone.

I cooked them in a karahi as per Bengali style, sauteed in mustard oil along with panchforun (saunf, kalonji, jeera, methi, and sarson seeds) and slow cooked with salt, kasuri methi, chilli powder, and coriander powder. I also chopped onions too to add some sweetness and neutralize the bitterness. Once the peels and onions became nicely done, some of them had become crisp, I switched off the gas.

The final dish turned out to be unexpectedly delicious! See the pic above. Do try this out and let me know.

Keeping Papads Crispy – A Kitchen Tip

For those of you unfamiliar with Indian cooking, papads are large crispies made from cooked, salted, spiced, and sun-dried mixtures of rice, pulses, and sometimes sabudana. Some are roasted before eating, but they are mostly deep-fried, after which they swell further and become bigger in size. It is at this stage that you need to ensure that they don’t lose their crispiness and don’t fly off like birds from the plate as soon as you switch on the ceiling fan!

All you have to do is put them all inside a polythene bag and tie up the open end. See the pic above.

An empty bread polythene bag is always best suited for this purpose.

Minimising Food Wastage

1. Leftover Rice sticking to pot: Every grain matters, doesn’t it? When you find some rice sticking inside the electric rice cooker, just put some water in the container till the rice is soaked. After an hour, the rice will come off on its own and become easy to remove. Run this water through a strainer and feed the leftover rice to the birds. They will love you for this!

2. Leftover onion: When the onion you have cut is too large, keep the remaining portion in the fridge in a covered container. Use it at the earliest.

3. Leftover Chapatis: And when you have leftover rotis, you can break them into little crumbs and keep them outside for the birds. Or you can keep them in the fridge for consumption next day. Stale rotis can be used to make lots of delicious things, e.g., pizzas, frankies, pakoras, just to name but a few. If you google ‘Stale rotis recipes,’ you will find hundreds of quick, easy-to-make entries.

Potato Peels Pakoras

On 20 May 2020, I experimented with the idea of making pakoras of potato peels. They were ready in a jiffy without much effort and tasted heavenly. They were light on the stomach too and the best part was that they remained crisp even after cooling down; which was why I liked them more than the peels chips I made earlier, see link below.

With lockdown still going on in India and the need to minimise wastage, such recipes always come in handy. Another wonderful thing about potato peels is that they don’t spoil when kept in fridge. So you can keep collecting them and use them later as per your convenience.

Here are the step-by-step pics. Do try this out and let me know how it went.

1. First sprinkle salt and turmeric in the peels. Then add enough besan and rice powder to form a coating on the peels. Then sprinkle jeera powder, amchur, ajwain, a pinch of asafoetida, and dhania powder. I had some green coriander too, so I put that in as well. Mix with a spoon. No need to add water, as the peels also shed water.

2. Deep fry on medium heat in batches. Don’t put too much oil in karahi. Keep turning them over till they are golden brown all over.

3. Bring them out with a perforated handle and place them on tissue paper to drain out excess oil.

Yoghurt Setting Made Easy

Ever wondered why your yoghurt is so watery and not set properly?

Here is a tried and tested tip.

Just before keeping aside the warm milk-yoghurt mixture for setting, pour it into another container and then pour it back to the first one. Do this about 6 to 8 times.

The yoghurt or dahi, as we call it in India, will be far better and well-set.

Here are the pics.

The final stage is below, frothy and ready to be kept aside for setting.

Sweet-Sour Chutney – A Lockdown Recipe

Most Indian parties have a sweet-sour chutney as a side dish. It is usually made with imli (tamarind), which gives the sour taste, and gur or sugar or dates for the sweet taste. These ingredients are boiled together along with some water and spices including salt as per taste and the resulting concoction tastes great with snacks such as samosas, dhokla, and sandwiches.

On 2 May 2020, my daughter’s birthday, I wanted to make this chutney for our family celebration, but I couldn’t find the basic ingredient imli at our local grocery store because of lockdown.

So I experimented with amchur (dry mango powder), which was already available at home, as per the recipe from our microwave oven manual.

I was amazed to see how wonderful it tasted; and it was ready in a jiffy with no messy soaking, grinding, boiling, and repeated tasting and adjustments of ingredients to get the desired viscosity and sweet-sour taste.

Here is the recipe: Take a glass bowl, add one tablespoon of amchur, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and a small cup of water. Add salt as per your taste and about a quarter- teaspoonful each of your favorite spices, e.g. asafoetida, red chilli powder, jeera (cumin) powder, coriander powder, saunf, kalonji, etc, and microwave for 5 minutes. Voila! Your sweet-sour chutney is ready. See the pic above.

Keep it in a glass or porcelain jar. Once it cools down, keep it in the fridge. The chutney tends to get more viscous and darker in color after cooling down. So do add enough water, keeping this in mind.

Potato Peels Chips – A Lockdown Recipe

During lockdown, when nothing is certain, you need to be careful with food items and avoid wastage. What do you do with raw potato peels? Do you throw them? Don’t.

My friend Sampa Das recently told me about what how you can make chips with potato peels. My version is below with self-explanatory pics.

1. The smaller katori contains peels kept in fridge from the previous day.

2. Wash them properly and drain out excess water.

3. Sprinkle some salt, rice powder and besan on the peels to make them crisp.

4. Mix with your fingers.

5. Deep fry them on medium heat to prevent burning.

6. Once they turn brown all over, place them on tissue paper to absorb excess oil.

Beetroot Tikkis – II

Two years ago, I wrote about how my beetroot chutney evolved into beetroot tikkis. Click below.

And last Sunday, 9 February 2020, I made potato-beetroot Tikkis for breakfast. My family loved them and I was happy to see them disappear in a jiffy. But I got far greater satisfaction from the fact that I could finally put a jarful of corn flakes, which were close to their expiry date, to a good use.

Here are the step-by-step pics. They are self-explanatory.

1. First assemble all the ingredients, boiled potatoes, green coriander, curry leaves, grated beetroot, salt, coriander powder, jeera powder, red chilli powder, salt, ginger-garlic paste in a mixing utensil. Also add a handful of frozen peas and about 2 cups of corn flakes powder (not shown here) got after microwaving cornflakes and grinding them in a mixie.

2. Mash and gather it all into a soft dough.

3. Take out little rolls in your palm and shape them as Tikkis.

5. Deep fry the Tikkis in a karahi in batches. Don’t overcrowd them.

6. Once they turn brown all over, take them out and place them in a sieve. Don’t keep them on tissue paper, as they may become soggy and lose their crispiness.

Have them with a chutney or any other dip of your choice.

We had them with green chutney made from green mint and coriander leaves, green chillies, lemon juice, and peanuts. I removed the stalks of coriander twigs and put them into the Tikkis dough (see pic 1) instead of the chutney as they make the chutney bitter. See below.

Note: If you don’t have cornflakes, you can instead use rice powder, or soaked poha, or microwaved and powdered bread/oats, or semolina (sooji) as binding agent.


Mooli Bhurji – A Simple Radish Recipe

It’s winter time in Delhi now and white radish is easily available. It is fresh, soft, juicy, and not very bitter. Try out this easy and simple recipe of white radish bhurji. It will take you just 5 minutes and this includes peeling and grating of radish as well.

Ingredients : 3 white radish (grated), 2 tablespoons of green peas, 2 tablespoons of oil, one whole red chilly, a teaspoonful of whole mustard seeds, some green coriander for garnishing. A pinch of turmeric, hing, red chilli powder, and salt as per taste.

Method: Take a karahi and add oil. When it becomes hot, add mustard seeds. Allow them to splutter. Then add turmeric, hing and grated radish. Stir for a minute or two. Then add chilli powder and salt. Stir again for a few seconds.Your bhurji should be ready now and you can test this by pressing some grated radish between your fingers. If it is still not soft enough, let it cook some more till it is done. Garnish with green coriander. See below. Enjoy. Have it with chapati or parantha.

1. In the karahi

Garnish with green coriander

Green Chutney With Roasted Gram & Tulsi Leaves

Here are the step-by-step pics. They are self-explanatory. Next time, I will experiment with palak (spinach) leaves.

1. First assemble the ingredients, one onion, a small bunch each of leaves of mint (pudina), dhania (corriander), 3-4 green chillies, some curry leaves, Tulsi leaves, and half cup of roasted, de-skinned gram.

2. Wash all the leaves properly and grind them in a mixie with some salt as per taste.

3. Garnish.