Sunday, June 14, 2020

Crunchy Gourd Cutlets

Crunchy Gourd Cutlets

   It was another lazy day during the lockdown. The day started late in the morning. Mind was full of guilty feeling due to the recently developed habit of waking up late. Of course, the  lockdown has to be blamed for this.  It was also a result of late night reading, which is a more valid excuse. In short, it was a lazy and hungry morning.

   The refrigerator was empty except one small bottle gourd, a few chillies and my favourite green coriander. Keeping everything on the kitchen platform, I started staring at the treasure. It had to be a brunch menu as the time was about to cross 12 in the noon. The absence of too many ingredients and a hungry tummy conspired together to bring out a fresh recipe - Crunchy Gourd Cutlets. It turned out really well and the foodies at home appreciated the efforts.


- One grated bottle gourd
- One big chopped onion
- Three green chillies, chopped
- Ginger paste one Teaspoon
- Handful of grated green coriander
- Besan two Tablespoon 
- Suji (Rava) six Tablespoon
- Red chilli powder one Tablespoon
- Oil One Tablespoon
- Salt to taste
- Oil to shallow fry cutlets


* Peal off a medium size bottle gourd and grate it. Do not remove water from the bottle gourd.

* Chop the onion, green chillies and coriander finely.

* Take all four ingredients in a bowl and add ginger paste, besan and suji. Then add chilli powder, garam masala, salt and oil.

* Mix it well. No need to add water as the bottle gourd contains a lot of water in it. The mixture will come out as a dough with medium consistency.

* If you find the dough to be very thin, you can add some more suji and adjust its consistency.

* Keep the dough aside for 10 minutes.

* Put oil in the fry pan and heat it on low flame.

* Shape the cutlets as shown in the picture.

* Shallow fry the cutlets.

* Serve them with some chutney or sauce. I like to have them with sweet and sour tamarind chutney.

   Happy brunching with the crunchy cutlets!

Sharmishtha Gupte-Shinde
The Food Expert

Sunday, June 7, 2020


Rasmalai Recipe

Rasmalai is a traditional Bengoli dessert. It is famous due to its heavenly taste. It can be prepared using milk with high fats.

Milk - 1.5 Litre
Sugar - 500 gm
Lemon Juice - 2 Tablespoons
Corn Flour - 1 Tablespoon
Elaichi, Keshar and Dry fruits

Serves 3 to 4 people


1. Boil one litre of milk. Once milk starts boiling, reduce the flame and add 2 to 3 tablespoons of lemon juice into it. Keep stirring till the milk is curdled. Ensure that water and paneer are separated. Pour and collect it in a cotton cloth. Wash the paneer with cold water to remove the sourness of lemon. Tie the cloth as shown in the picture. Keep it aside for an hour. Let the whey drain properly. It will help in making round balls without cracks.

2. Take a wide-mouth vessel to prepare the sugar syrup.  Add 500gm of sugar to 1 litre of water. Add two elaichi for flavour.

3. Once water is completely drained from paneer, take it out and make fine dough out of it. Knead it nicely for 10 to 15 minutes. You can add one tablespoon of corn flour for binding the balls we want to make.

4. Take half a litre of milk and boil it. Add sugar according to your taste. You can add elaichi, dry fruits and keshar. Rose water can add flavour to the milk. You can also add a little saffron color to the milk. Boil it for some time, let it cool down. Keep milk in the fridge for chilling.

5. Roll small sized balls of paneer dough.

6. Keep the sugar syrup on medium flame. Once it starts boiling, add paneer balls into it one by one. Boil it for 10 minutes. If you simply cool this down and refrigerate them, you will get Rasgullas.

7. For serving them as Rasmalai, squeeze the rasgullas gently to remove extra sugar syrup and drop them in the cold flavoured milk. Keep them in refrigerator and let them soak for some time. Serve them cold whenever you want.

Sharmishtha Gupte-Shinde
The Food Expert

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Bigg Vada Paav at Kothrud

In Pune, we had a pleasant rainy atmosphere. It was the first day after lockdown was lifted. We had a list of items to do. After two and half months, we moved out of our area. We were looking for food outlets that we cherished, but we were disappointed to find all of them closed for serving. To our surprise, there was a brand new outlet serving Vada Paav in Kothrud. And there was a pleasant attendant to welcome us. I asked for a parcel of two Vada Paav. The person behind the mask, Parag Bharat Kanhere recommended their proprietary Kharda Vada Paav. I was hesitant to go for it thinking it would be too spicy Vada Paav. But as per his recommendation, decided to give it the try. The outlet is brand new and looked hygienic. Vada Paav was really big as the name indicates. Kharda Vada Paav is not too spicy, but tasty with the flavour of green chillies. Red chutney applied to the Paav had good flavour. Also to my surprise, there was mayonnaise sauce with kharda flavour applied to the Paav. It was the wow factor. Can say that Big Vada Paav made our first outing after lockdown a memorable one. Thank you team Bigg Vada Paav! Location: Sarthak Terraces, Opposite Gandhi Lawns, Kothrud.