Tomato Pickle

All my neighbors  have been best of my friends. They are a call away in time of need and important part of every celebration.

 Our neighborhood is filled with good cooks who surprise me with piping hot pakoras when I crave them during rain, or give me comfort food when I am down and out :) And of course the pickles..I love my neighbors pickles so much that I take all my ingredients to her and get it made the same way to get the authentic South Indian taste. One such recipe is tomato pickle. I loved this pickle as it is very spicy and different from the regular tomato chutney. It is perfect to eat with dosa,idli,paratha or rice. Try this recipe if you love spicy tangy pickles and you sure will love it !


  • Tomatoes--600 gms
  • Tamarind-80 gms
  • Salt-1/2 cup
  • Chilli powder--3/4 cup
  • Cumin seeds--2tbsp
  • Mustards seeds--2 Tbsp
  • Methi seeds--1 Tbsp
  • Oil--1/2 cup
  • For tadka
  • Cumin seeds--1/2 Tbsp
  • Mustard seeds--!/2 Tbsp
  • Methi--1/4 Tbsp
  • Garlic--7-8 pods


Grind tomatoes with tamarind pieces in a grinder to a smooth paste. Heat some oil and put this mixture, add garlic pieces and cook for 10-15 minutes till oil separates. Cool the mixture completely.

Take a small pan and dry roast cumin seeds,mustard seeds, Methi seeds till the aroma of the spices fill the air. Grind this into a powder and add salt and chill powder. Add this powder into the cooked tomato and mix thoroughly.

For tadka take come oil and add all the above mentioned ingredients one by one. Pour it into a bowl and let it cool. Add to the tomato paste and mix well. 

This pickle can be stored into an airtight jar for couple of months.

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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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