Kalachana Poha

Poha is what aval Upma is called in the west. And yes! The ingredients is a tad more sexy!

Onions, potatoes, fried groundnuts… topped with the evil aloo bhujia. Am thankful that this hasn’t fallen prey to the hands of melted-mozzeralization, like most of our chaats have turned out!( ­čśĆ)

Poha is actually very versatile. I try to make it in a lot of ways keeping just one thing in mind – I don’t fry it much. Poha is one of the  healthiest ways of consuming rice. 

Try this:

Soak 1 cup of Black Chana over night, drain water and pressure cook with a lot of water, turmeric, salt, one bayleaf, a couple of cloves and some ginger.

Open cooker and drain out the water. Save this water.

Take 2 cups of flat poha (aval) and soak it in just enough of the Chana water (above). Remember, too much water will turn it into a mush. So add water carefully. It can soak for an hour.

In a pan, add a table spoon of any oil, drop in a teaspoon full of mustard and half a teaspoon full of Jeera

After it splatters, add a couple of teaspoons fulls of chanadal and /or broken cashew. 

Once it is golden, drop in finely chopped onions (one large), fry till translucent. Then, drop in the cooked kalachana, some grated coconut, some turmeric, and one chopped green chilly.

After a toss, add the soaked poha and give it a mix. Switch off the stove, add another few teaspoons of ghee or oil, and squeeze half a lemon to it. 

You can add some coriander leaves or curry leaves to it if you like. And that’s it!


Do you like chilly chocolate?

Yesss! I do! And I tried baking a Chilly Chocolate Cake, ofcourse it was eggless, but this time it was even butterless!

Cake mix

Wheat flour – 2cups

Plain flour – 1 cup

Sugar – 2 cups

Cocopowder – 2 tablespoons

Instant Coffee powder – 2 teaspoons

Cinnamon powder- 1 heaped teaspoon 

Vinegar – 1 tablespoon

Vanilla essence – 2 teaspoons

Yogurt + milk whipped ( as much as is required for coming to folding consistency, I used around 2 cups of it)

Coarse ground red chillies 3 (Kashmiri chillies/badege chillies)

For anglaise:

Sugar 2 tablespoons 

Vinegar 3 teaspoons

Red chillies 2 (coarse ground)

Mix all the cake ingredients. The consistency is what I always watch out for, am not to rigid on quantities. After a good mix ( I always mix by hand) the batter should drop into folds. Am sure there are you tube videos to demonstrate this.

Line the tray with oil, pour in the mix and bake in preheated oven for about 30 minutes.

Anglaise is something I tried for the first time, this is because I don’t like frosting. I try to use as less animal products as possible. 

Heat half a cup of water, drop in all the three ingredients- sugar, vinegar and chilly powder. Let it come to a boil. Wait till it slightly thickens and switch off.

Once the cake is done, just pour this on top of the cake and let it rest!

Mine turned out yumm! It bursts with various flavours each time you take a bite and you really can’t have enough of it!

Cooking Chetan Bhagat style

… when south married north….

As always, this was yet another accidental success story.

I had organic chapati dough, a mix of wheat and jowar this time. I didn’t want to go over board with tubers as I had already made red-beet pulao. Aloo parathas would make it very fartsy-fartsy for all of us! (Yes, aparently all tubers, except carrot ginger and garlic are gassy! – or vayu veggies as we call them). 

The quintessential summer component of my kitchen – the cucumber salad has to be part of the day’s menu too. So what do I fit in this roti- was a question that bothered me more than usual this morning. It is weekend, stock of veggies running super low!

Eyeing me with a devilish smile sat this, the story of this is quite amusing!

Yes these are dry coconut shavings. My dad has a way of shaving them paper thin- don’t know if I will ever be able to stand close! He sent this to me – white. I sundried it outside in my yard. And this is how it turned out. Beautifully crisp and golden!

I gravitated towards this with my small blender, grabbed a handful, threw in a dry red chilly and some salt and whipped it to a fine powder.

The. I just stuffed the powder into the rotis and rolled them out into parathas!


It tastes really swell and goes very well with a lemony crunchy fresh salad. Try it!