Kid’s Snack: Chana Aloo Tikki


This recipe here is adapted based on our very own Aloo Tikki. The other day I had some left over cooked garbanzo beans/chickpeas and based on this idea of Falafel I combined this with the regular Tikki dough and made these Chana Aloo Tikki. Adding mashed chana does not make difference to the taste, but the good thing is that it provides good nutrition as it is rich in protein and fiber. 

The kiddo has been showing interest in this snack (crossing fingers!). So I even sometimes pack this as a side item for his lunch box. I prepare the dough the previous night and in the morning I make few and pack them in his lunch box.

 Now, you can be creative and add some veggies like cabbage, carrots to this and make it even healthier. You can also substitute garbanzo beans with the legume/bean of your choice. This can be had as an afternoon snack with some hot tea. It tastes good with ketchup.



  • 3/4 cup cooked garbanzo beans/ canned is also fine
  • 1 big potato (peeled and boiled)
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  •  1 tsp Aamchur powder (optional)
  • 1 tsp Jeera (cumin seeds)  
  • 1 Tbsp coriander leaves (chopped)  
  • 1 cup bread crumbs  
  • Oil  
  • Salt  


  • (If using the canned beans then ignore this step) Soak the garbanzo beans in enough water overnight. Pressure cook the beans until it is soft (not mushy).
  • Drain the water and then using a potato masher mash the beans until there are no lumps.
  • Similarly mash the potato (peeled and boiled) and keep aside.
  • On a big plate combine mashed potato, beans along with the other ingredients (except oil and bread crumbs) well making sure there are no lumps. Taste for seasonings and adjust taste.
  • Heat a flat bottom pan (preferable non-stick) and spread around 1 tsp of oil.
  • Divide this mixture into big lemon sized balls, take one and using the tip of your hands flatten it.
  • Coat this thoroughly in the bread crumbs on both sides and place them on the pan. Continue the same process for the remaining balls.
  • Put little oil around each patty and cook until it is done.
  • After one side is cooked, gently turn it on the other side and let it to cook. Transfer to plates after they are evenly browned on both sides. Eat with ketchup! 

Spicy Pepper Jeera Rasam

Winter is upon us and along with it comes the essential cold, cough sneezing sniffling etc. So at home, I try avoiding medicines as far as possible and look for some easy home made remedies. So far we have had good success with black pepper (Kali Mirchi in Hindi) and so I use it in different ways and among them one is this Pepper Jeera Rasam.

As I understand this is referred to as Milagu Rasam in TamilNadu. Milagu means pepper in Tamil. This Black Pepper Jeera rasam is a medicated rasam and because of black pepper in it is good for common cold, congestion, loss of appetite and even indigestion. (Source)

Even though making this rasam is lengthy process what with the roasting of different ingredients, powdering, boiling, blending and seasoning the effort is really worth it. Besides if you make the Jeera Pepper powder ahead of time and then making this Rasam is a breeze and does not take much time.

This is hearty concoction with good combination of herbs and very aromatic as well. We enjoy drinking this as right out of a small steel cup, instead of sipping it with a spoon (that is how it is traditionally consumed). Also one has to drink it 2-3 times a day to see some effect on cold/cough.




Jeera Pepper Powder

  • 1/2 Tbsp Channa daal
  • 1 Tbsp Urad daal
  • 2 Tbsp Dhaniya/ coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbsp Cumin seeds (Jeera)
  • 2-3 Tbsp Black Pepper
  • 1 dry red chilli (optional)

Rasam Ingredients

  • 2-3 medium tomatoes
  • 1 Tbsp chopped coriander
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 Tbsp Tamarind extract


  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1 red chill broken into 3 pieces
  • 5-6 Curry leaves
  • 5-7 garlic pods (peeled)


·         Pepper Jeera powder: Roast all the ingredients for the Jeera Pepper powder one after the other and keep aside. After it is cooled grind the ingredients to a coarse powder. Store in airtight container. This powder can be re-used many times.

·         Boil about 3-4 cups of water in a vessel and then add the tomatoes (along with the skin, with one slit on each of them).

·         Boil until the skin of the tomato wrinkles and the tomato is cooked. Keep aside.

·         When it is slightly cooled, remove the skin from the cooked tomatoes.

·         There are 2 options here. A) To pulse this tomato in a blender along with cooked water and make a thick even paste or to b) mash the cooked tomato with hand removing all lumps along with cooked water. The later version will not be thick.

·         I followed the first method as we like our rasam thick and also we like having it with rice.

·         Now add 2 tsp of Pepper Jeera powder, salt, tamarind juice to this tomato paste and boil for 3-5 minutes.

·         Meanwhile heat oil in a pan for the seasoning. Add mustard seeds and allow them to splutter and then add crushed garlic pods, curry leaves and red chilli.

·         Add this to the hot rasam, add the chopped coriander leaves and cover it with a lid.

Serve hot with plain white rice or drink it hot as is after serving in cups.

Coconut Burfi/ Nariyal Burfee


Wish you all a Happy New Year.

Hope the Year brings you joy, health and of course good food. (But not the extra weight!) 

Hope you are all having a great time with family and friends, celebrating in style. We have a simple family tradition that we follow every year on New Year’s Eve. We stock up on varieties of cakes earlier in the day from our favorite bakery. Then at the stroke of midnight we snack on them while watching some countdown TV program. Intentionally or not we like to keep it simple and have been following this for many years now. 

I don’t know how you feel about the countdown leading to the New Year. To me it is an intense feeling, the transient period of letting go of the old and welcoming the new as if we are letting go of an old friend and making friends with totally new one. One can only hope that the new one turns out to be better than the new one.

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Speaking of New Year, what is ringing in the New Year without some resolutions? I hope you are able to keep your resolutions. As usual I have started off with a long list that I have put together over the past few days. But having known myself for a long time I know that I won’t follow them for long :-). Even if I follow at least the first two then I will be pleased. 

OK, getting back to the recipe as is the norm I would like to kick off the New Year with something sweet and so here is Coconut Burfi. We love these delicate coconut diamonds and so I make them often at home. Traditionally these are made using coconut, sugar and milk, but I use condensed milk as they get done faster. The same mixture can be rolled into balls (laddos) instead of the diamond shape/burfi like the ones that I have made here.


Coconut Burfee Recipe


  • 2.5 cups shredded coconut (I used frozen variety, fresh should be fine)
  • ½ tin condensed milk /milkmaid
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder
  • A pinch saffron strands
  • 1 Tbsp milk
  • 1 Tbsp butter


  • Warm the milk and then add the saffron strands, mix and keep aside.
  • Heat a heavy bottom flat pan on low flame. Add the shredded coconut first and gently stir it for about a minute.
  • This is to remove any kind of moisture from the coconut and also to bring out its nutty flavor. Be very careful as it gets burnt very fast. The coconut should have a very pale brown color; the aroma from coconut is heavenly.
  • Next add the butter and let it melt, then add the condensed milk and stir. Also add the saffron milk to this mixture.
  • Make sure that the coconut mixture does not get stuck to the bottom.
  • Depending on the quantity it takes about 30-35 minutes to thicken up. Add the cardamom powder at this stage and mix well.
  • Grease a round plate and then transfer this mixture to the plate and flatten it out using a flat bowl.
  • The mixture also thickens up after it is cooled. After it is sufficiently cooled, cut into desired shapes.