Saboodana vada

Saboodana is a food starch which is prepared by extracting contents out of a sago palm tree. It is mainly consumed during fasting ,but has become very popular as a snack item mostly in the state of Maharashtra. 

Back in India my mother is the one who observes a fast and  everyone else just pretends to fast for the love of saboodana vada or khichdi! When my parents visited us here, my mom made saboodana vada and it was the best vada we ever had ! The recipe I had been following was very different from this one, so I decided to delete it forever and follow the new one! These vada's have crispy texture and they taste awesome! Make them for your friends or family and you sure won't be disappointed! I have not met anyone who does not like the taste of a good crispy saboodana wada!


  • Saboodana or Sago (Soak it for about 6 hrs)--2 cups
  • Samo rice (Moraiyo ) --3/4th cup (cooked just like normal rice, add 1 1/2 cup water and boil for 7-8 min till soft)
  • Peanut Powder --1/2 cup (roast peanuts and grindto fine powder)
  • Jeera--1 tsp
  • Chilli powder--1 tsp
  • Coriander leaves--optional
  • Salt to taste


Combine all the the above ingredients and rub in a bit of oil . Make tiny balls  and flatten  on a greased plate with some oil, to form a thin layer or wada . Heat some oil and deep fry this wada on medium heat until it becomes golden brown. Make sure the temperature of oil is right and it is not too hot. The perfect wada is crispy outside and soft and well cooked inside..Enjoy with yogurt  or just pop it in while hot!

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Gujrati cuisine and culture are so rich in flavors and colors that it has  captivated the mind of  every food lover across the globe. The cuisine is rich with recipes that are mild in flavor ,  yet  unique in the true sense of the word. From dandia-garbha to undhiyu and khakra the culture is appealing to everyone and offers so many things for people to enjoy and relish.

I love  gujrati and try to learn the language as I find it very close to marathi which is my mother tongue. The recipes which I grew up thinking are asli marathi were actually gujrati!!  Some of them overlap and are favorites among both the states. 

I had Handvo in one of the temples here in USA and loved it. It looks like dhokla but the texture is more grainy and ingredients are wholesome and healthy. I called one of my  gujrati friend to get the recipe and tried it 2 to 3 times with several options.. It can be made with corn,spinach,carrot but my favorite was the one made with dudhii (squash). Try the recipe if you have not tried it yet ..


  • Rice – 1 cup (any type)
  • Channa Daal – 1/4 cup 
  • Toor Daal – 1/4 cup
  • Urad Daal – 1  Tbsp
  • Yogurt or dahi– 1/2 cup 
  • Ginger garlic paste--2 tbsp
  • Chilli paste--1/2 tbsp
  • Bottlegourd( Lauki) – 1.5 cups (shredded)
  • Salt – 2 tsp or to taste
  • Ajwain – 1/2 tsp
  • Sugar – 2 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Eno Fruit Salt – 1 tsp
  • Til (sesame seeds) – 2 Tbsp
  • Oil 
  • Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  • Asafoetida (Hing) – 1/4 tsp
  • Red Chili Powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves

Wash Rice and all Dals and soak them in the water for 6 hours. Remove water and  grind them with Yogurt . Take the batter out in a bowl and add ginger garlic paste,  green Chilies, salt, sugar, ajwain, turmeric Powder and the grated lauki and mix well. The lauki oozes lot of water when mixing. Let it rest overnight.

To make handvo take the fermented batter and add eno fruit salt to it. It will foam, mix it well. Pour it into a baking pan and sprinkle sesame seeds at the top. Take some oil in a small pan, heat it  and add mustard seeds, green chili paste,curry leaves, hing(asafoetida) to it. Pour this  over the batter and cover it with a aluminum foil. Preheat the oven to 350degrees and bake it for about 40-45 minutes, remove the foil and broil it for another 10-15 minutes until the crust is golden. Garnish with cilantro leaves. Let it cool and serve with chutney or ketchup. Enjoy when it is hot !

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Pumpkin puri

A visit to a friend's vegetable garden resulted in me thinking about what to do with all the fresh produce I greedily picked from her garden. Amongst  the numerous veggies , was a little pumpkin and  I had no idea what to do with it ! A phone call to mom, and I was all set to make yummy puris with the pumpkin which kids  absolutely love . So here is the recipe for the same. This puri's taste mildly sweet and come out very crisp and tasty.



  • Pumpkin--1/2 slice
  • Whole Wheat flour -- 2 cups
  • Besan(gram flour)--2 tbsp
  • Ajwain seeds--1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying


Peel  the skin and cut the pumpkin into  tiny pieces.Remove any seeds if present.

Take little oil in a pan and fry the pumpkin for a minute, add salt  and cover it till it gets fully cooked and soft.  This may take 5-6 minutes. Let it cool and add the pulp in the wheat flour, add besan, turmeric,salt, ajwain seeds and knead it without adding any water. Add oil if it gets too sticky and let the dough rest for an hour. Roll out puri's and deep fry them in oil. Serve with ketchup or yogurt(dahi). 

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Spicy Vegetable Chutney

Spring arrived finally and it is a welcome relief from the long lasting winter season. This year  the winter was like a visitor who overstayed his welcome. But come to think of it, if there would be no winter would we value spring as we are right now? Perhaps not!

Spring also means lots of green and fresh produce in the farmers market which was overwhelming after the winter, when we wonder what to cook with the clad produce imported from distant places. All this colorful vegetables made me think of the amazing chutney I ate at my friends party. So shopped everything and made it immediately, the result was a lip smacking tasty chutney that goes well with almost anything. Can also be used as a dip or spread if you like spicy flavor. You can try using any vegetables you have and can alter the quantity of vegetables , it is super simple and takes very little time.


  • Big eggplant--1 (diced into small pieces)
  • Tri colored peppers--3 (diced)
  • Zucchini--1-2 (peeled and diced)
  • Onions--2-3(chopped finely)
  • Tomatoes-4(chopped)
  • Green chillies-4-5 make a paste (according to spice level)
  • Ginger garlic paste-1 tsp
  • Coriander Powder--1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder--1/2 tsp
  • Hing (asafoetida)--1/4 tsp
  • Tamarind paste--1 tablespoon
  • Oil-1/2 cup
  • Salt-to taste


Take a big pan and heat oil in it, add sliced onions followed by ginger garlic paste, turmeric powder, coriander powder,  tomatoes, hing and fry for some time. Add all the diced vegetables and sauté them, do not add water as the vegetables will ooze out lot of it.Add salt, tamarind paste and chili paste. Fry them until all the water is evaporated and it becomes a thick paste. Cool it down and grind it into a paste. For tadka add little oil to pan , add curry leaves (optional) , mustard seeds, hing and add it to the chutney. The chutney will be good for 2-3 weeks when refrigerated.

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Tri-Colored Biryani

Hyderabad is famous for Biryani and whoever comes to visit us expected we take them to  a earth shattering biryani place! We enjoyed exploring biryani joints which cooked the fragrant rice in huge earthen pots with generous amounts of ghee and  the aroma of spices filling the air. The biryani is a complete meal in itself and is a treat for taste buds for rice lovers like me!  

I saw this recipe somewhere and tried it many years back. It was prepared by a chef as an independence day special recipe and hence the tri-colors sybolising our flag.

It was  hard work back then making all three layers seperately and cooking it together but the recipe was very popular among our friends and family and so it was always worth the effort!

Down the lane the recipe was forgotten and I could never find it on the internet or elsewhere so I decided to recreate it again. This time it was so easy with so many ingredients washed , cut and ready to use! The result was awesome as always! Try this recipe for special occasion or for a party and you wont be dissappointed!


White layer

    • Rice- 4 cups ( fry rice in little oil,  and cook it with  around 6 cups of water and salt to taste . After the rice is cooked place it on a big plate so it wont stick )
    • Take 1 tablespoon of milk and soak Saffron in it for about 1 hr.

    Green Layer

    • Spinach--4  bunches(cook in water for 2-3 min and puree in mixer)
    • Onion-1 (pureed)
    • Ginger garlic paste
    • Green chillies--4-5
    • Yogurt--1 tablespoon
    • Cloves--4-5
    • Cinnamon--1 stick
    • Pepper--1 tablespoon
    • Garam Masala -1 teaspoon

    Take some oil and heat it on medium flame.Toss in all the spices--cloves,cinnamon,pepper . Add the pureed onions and fry for some time. Add green chilli paste, ginger garlic paste and pureed spinach paste. Let it cook for around 7-8 minutes and add yogurt and garam masala . Season with salt and keep this aside.

    Red Layer

    • Organic tomato puree- 1 can
    • Paneer cubes --1 cup (deep fried )
    • Onion--1 (chopped finely)
    • Kasoori methi--1 teaspoon
    • Bay leaves--1-2
    • Star anise--2-3
    • Garam Masala--1 teaspoon
    • Salt to taste

    Take a pan and heat oil in it . Add the spices , onion puree and fry for some time. Add the tomato puree and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the paneer cubes, garam masala and season with salt.

    Note-- Check the tomato puree you are using by tasting it before use. It should not be too sour. 

    Tri-Colored Biryani

    Take a big pan or pressure cooker. Place the white layer of rice, and then alter red and green layers between white layer of rice. Add some saffron milk on top . Place aluminium foil around it and cover it tightly with lid of you are using pan. Cook for 30-40 minutes on low flame. If making in over place at 300 degrees for 45 minutes. Garnish with fried onion or coriander leaves and serve hot.

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