Makhane ki Kheer

by Shivani Khanna


Euryale ferox or Fox Nut, also known as Makhana in Hindi  is a flowering plant classified in the water lily family which grows best in locations with hot, dry summers and cold winters. The plant produces starchy white seeds that are edible and  are collected in the late summer and early autumn. The seeds may be eaten raw or cooked.


Makhana represents an outstanding source of carbohydrates, proteins and minerals. These seeds are low in saturated fats, sodium and cholesterol and have a substantial amount of minerals such as magnesium, potassium and phosphorus.


In India, in the northern and western parts of the country, Euryale ferox seeds are often roasted or fried, which causes them to pop like popcorn and are eaten with a sprinkling of oil and spices. Makhana is an auspicious ingredient in offerings to the Goddesses during festivals and is used to show reverence. Makhanas are used to make a porridge/pudding called Kheer of Makhana or ‘Makhana  Kheer’ . ~ Wikipedia


Makhane ki Kheer

Ingredients ~

100 gms makhana
2 cups milk
3 tbsp sugar
2 green cardamoms, powder
saffron strands/kesar
1 tbsp ghee

Method ~

1. Cut the makhanas into quarters.
2. In a heavy bottom pan, saute the makhanas in the ghee.
3. Add the milk, sugar and cook on medium flame stirring occasionally.
4. Once the milk is thickened and the makhana is soft, take off the fire and add the cardamom powder.
5. Serve hot or cold topped with saffron strands.

Meetha Narangi ka Achar

by Nirupama Khunnah

The Narangi or the Round Kumquat is an evergreen tree, producing edible golden-yellow fruit. The edible fruit closely resembles the orange but  is much smaller, being approximately the size and shape of a large olive. The fruit is small and usually round but can be oval shaped. The peel has a sweet flavour but the fruit has a sour centre. The fruit can be eaten cooked but is mainly used to make marmalades and jellies.

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The plant is native to south Asia and the Asia-Pacific region. The earliest historical reference to kumquats appears in literature of China in the 12th century. They have long been cultivated in India, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Southeast Asia. It is grown as an ornamental plant and can be used in bonsai. The plant symbolizes good luck in China and other Asian countries, where it is kept as a houseplant and given as a gift during the Lunar New Year. Round kumquats are more commonly cultivated than other species due to their cold tolerance. ~ Wikipedia

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‘Narangi’ refers to the colour orange in the Hindi language. The round kumquat is called ‘Narangi’ in India because of its orange colour peel and its close resemblance to an orange.


Nirupama Khunnah is proud of her skill in making pickles. For her, pickle making is a round the year activity. In India we have a large number of seasonal fruits and vegetables which every household converts into pickles to spice up  meals and snacks. She is passionate about the pickle recipes she has inherited from her mother and aunts. Her pickle recipe book is a treasured item, which she will bequeath to the person she thinks worthy of it.

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Here she shares with us a recipe for a Meetha Narangi ka Achar, which she spices with chilli powder. This is an original recipe her aunt shared with her. For convenience sake and due to bad weather in the winter months in recent times, she warms the pickle on the stove every morning to hasten the cooking process. She says that while making her morning tea, she warms the pickle to body temperature and gives it a good stir. She then tries to keep it in a well-lit or sunny area for the rest of the day.

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Meetha Narangi ka Achar

Ingredients ~

½ kg narangi/round kumquat
½ kg sugar
65 gms salt
1/4  tsp hing/ asafoetida
1 tbsp red chilli powder

Method ~

1. Cut the narangi into halves around the centre and take out the seeds.
2. In a steel vessel, add the sugar, salt and hing to the cut narangi pieces.
3. Cover the vessel with muslin cloth and place in a sunny corner. Take care that it is in a covered area so that no frost can fall through the cloth.
4. When the juice turns syrupy and thick, add the chilli powder. This will take about 1 ½ -2 weeks.
5. Place in a glass bottle and keep in a dark place.

Sarson ka Saag

by Taramani Kalra

Sarson ka Saag is a traditional Punjabi dish. Come winter and the fields of Punjab and its neighbouring states are golden yellow with the colour of the mustard flowers, gently blowing in the breeze. In every Punjabi household, and most restaurants, Sarson ka Saag is a popular dish and can be eaten at every meal accompanied with Makki ki Roti. The dish is made from Sarson/ Mustard leaves to which smaller quantities of Palak/Spinach and Bathua/Wild Spinach are added. Though each household has its own tempering method using ginger, garlic, onions, the main method of cooking the greens slowly with a lot of love, remains the same.


Sarson or Mustard plant leaves or Brassica juncea, is a nutritious green leaf vegetable available in the winter months in North India and its leaves are most flavourful from November until March.  It has been cultivated for its leaves and oil seeds since ancient times. The young tender green leaves are gathered when the plant reaches about 2 feet in height and used as green leaf vegetable. If left to grow to 4-5 feet in height, it bears golden yellow coloured flowers which develop into mustard seed pods and are used as a spice as well as in oil production.

Mustard greens are the storehouse for many phyto-nutrients that promote health and have disease prevention properties.They are low in calories and fats. It’s dark green leaves carry ample amounts of phyto-nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. It contains a good amount of fiber that helps control cholesterol levels and aids in smooth bowel movements and hence offers protection from hemorrhoids, constipation as well as colon cancer diseases.

The greens are also a very good source of Vitamin K, which aids in the bone mass building function by promoting osteotrophic activity in the bone. It plays an important role in Alzheimer’s disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in their brain. They are also a rich source of anti-oxidants and have proven benefits against prostate, breast, colon and ovarian cancers by virtue of their cancer-cell growth inhibition.

Fresh Mustard leaves are also a moderate source of B-complex group of vitamins, an excellent source of vitamin-C and an incredible source of vitamin-A which is an essential nutrient required for good eye-sight. A source of several essential minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc, selenium, and manganese. Regular consumption of mustard greens in the diet is known to prevent arthritis, osteoporosis, iron deficiency, anemia and believed to offer protection from cardiovascular diseases, asthma and colon and prostate cancers.

Bathua or Chenopodium album is a winter crop in North India. It is extensively cultivated and consumed as a food crop. Bathua leaves are high in fibre and  a very good source of high quality protein, nutrients, antioxidants and vitamins, particularly Vitamin C and Vitamin A, potassium, iron, calcium and zinc. Bathua leaves are good for the liver, spleen and gall bladder. It improves haemoglobin level and is considered a heart tonic. The juice of Bathua leaves also helps purify blood.

Palak or Spinach or Spinacia oleracea belongs to the Chenopodiaceae family. In India, Palak is available throughout the year and  is of the smooth, flat, dark-green variety.

Spinach is beneficial for weight loss as it is rich in fibre and aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar and curbs overeating. It is anti-Cancer and has proven to be effective in providing protection against the occurrence of aggressive prostate cancer. It is also effective in slowing down cell division in human stomach and skin cancer cells. It also contains vitamin A which is very important for eye health and contains antioxidants which protect the eye from cataracts. Spinach is rich in Vitamin K which is vital for maintaining bone health. It lowers hypertension, promotes gastrointestinal health, lowers blood pressure, maintains proper brain functioning specially during old age. Being rich in Vitamin K, spinach aids in calcification and also helps prevent anaemia as it is an excellent source of iron.

Loaded with useful vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and Vitamin K as well as vital minerals, spinach plays an important role in skincare. It also promotes healthy hair as it is loaded with nutrients and antioxidants that promote hair growth and combat hair loss.


Taramani is from a village in Jharkhand and has been staying in Delhi for 12 years. She got married 5 years ago. Her family is well established but the economic freedom is what drives her to keep working.  She loves talking on her mobile and keeps in touch with most of her community, who look up to her for guidance. Her husband indulges her love for new mobiles often. She has a special gift of flavouring the food and can organise parties very efficiently. Once she leaves full time employment, she is being encouraged to take up catering for parties, train girls in cooking or start a tiffin business as she is an able organiser and mobilises her fellow workers very efficiently.


Taramani says the sweetness of Palak and Bathua leaves counteracts the peppery sharpness of the Sarson leaves. Though the combined weight of the leaves is about 2kgs, after the cleaning and chopping of the leaves, we are left with about 1kg 600gms. Cooking it with the bare minimum of accompaniments brings out the flavour of the greens.


To pander to differing tastes she tempers the greens after cooking with onions and sometimes garlic, cooked in pure ghee. With her proportions, the Sarson ka Saag tastes exceptional and the tempering is optional and not a necessity. She also adds a tablespoon of makki flour to bind the greens as such.


Sarson ka Saag

Ingredients ~

1 kg tender sarson/mustard leaves
700 gms palak/spinach
400 gms bathua/wild spinach
2-3 green chillies or to taste
50 gms ginger
50 gms jaggery
2 cups water
Salt to taste

Tempering ~

2 medium onions
2 tbsp pure ghee


Method ~

1. Wash and clean the sarson/mustard leaves, palak/spinach and bathua/wild spinach.
2. If the mustard leaves are mature, then peel the stringy part of the stem.
3. Pluck the bathua leaves and discard the woody stems.
4. Cut away the hard spinach stems.
5. Take all the greens and cut finely.
6. Chop the chillies and peel and dice the ginger.
7. Place in a pressure cooker with water and the knob of jaggery.
8. Pressure cook for 1 whistle and then simmer for 30 minutes.
9. Once the steam has reduced, open the pressure cooker and blend the greens with a hand mixer to a rough puree consistency.
10. In a small frying pan, heat the ghee and sauté the chopped onion till translucent and slightly pink.
11. Add to the puree in the pressure cooker along with a tablespoon of makki flour.
12. Cook open on a slow flame till the puree becomes thick.
13. Serve steaming hot with ghee or home-made butter and Makki ki Roti.



Makki ki Roti

by Anita Kumari

Makki ki Roti, a Punjabi staple in the winters,  is a grilled, unleavened flat bread made with corn/maize flour.  It is usually eaten with Sarson ka Saag which is vegetable dish prepared using mustard leaves. The combination of Makki ki Roti and Sarson ka Saag is delicious and one cannot speak of one without mentioning the other. It is seasonally prepared during the winter months in the state of Punjab and its surrounding areas.  In fact, this is a much sought after comfort food during the winter months.


Makki atta/flour is made from corn/maize seeds. The outer green coating of corn or the hull is removed and the corn seeds are finely ground to make flour. This flour has all the nutritional benefits of corn seeds.

While it is mainly a source of carbohydrate, it is also high in fibre content, making it a complex carbohydrate. Due to its high fibre content, it releases its sugar in the blood very slowly and is very healthy for the body and heart. For patients with wheat intolerance, corn is a good source of carbohydrate. Corn also has a very low fat content. It is also a source of folic acid, phosphorous and vitamins like B1, B5, C, E and carotene.


Anita Kumari left her home in Jharkhand about 9 years ago to come to Delhi for work. She loves cooking. She has the gift to cook delicious meals and serves them with love. She has a whole family back home whom she supports but enjoys her stay in Delhi. She has become independent, tech. savvy and proudly dresses up to go out. Her gentle and loving nature shows in her food preparations which are unhurried and delicious.


Makki flour does not have the binding qualities of wheat flour. Anita Kumari’s recipe for Makki  ki Roti is makes it easy to cook, even for a lay person. To aid in the rolling, she adds 1/4th of all purpose flour to the makki flour. She also adds some oil, salt and red chilli powder to the mixture.


Makki ki Roti

Ingredients ~

1 cup makki/corn/maize flour
¼ cup all purpose flour
1 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt and red chilli powder to taste
Water for kneading

Options ~

1 white radish, grated
2 green chillies, chopped

Method ~

1. Mix all the dry ingredients together.
2. Add the oil and enough water to knead the flour into a stiff dough.
3. Cover and keep aside for 15 minutes.
4. If using white radish, squeeze the grated radish and use its juice to knead the dough. If more liquid is required, use some water.
5. Take enough dough to form a small ball the size of a golf ball.
6. Dust it in plain flour and roll it into a round disc, the thickness of 1/4th  of an inch.
7. Heat a frying pan or tava and dry cook the roti on both sides till brown blisters form.
8. Coat with a little oil and cook till crisp, turn and cook the other side in the same way.
9. Serve hot with Sarson ka Saag, radish, onions, chillies.



Tandoori Chicken

by Sabina Kapoor

Tandoori chicken originated in the Punjab before the independence of India and Pakistan. In India, tandoori cooking was traditionally associated with the State of Punjab and became popular in the mainstream after the 1947 partition when Punjabis resettled in places such as Delhi.

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Tandoori Chicken was popularized in post-independent India by the Moti Mahal Restaurant, owned by Kundan Lal Jaggi, Thakur Das Mago and Kundan Lal Gujaral, Delhi, when it was served to the first Prime Minister of India, Jawaharlal Nehru. The tandoori chicken at Moti Mahal so impressed Nehru, that he made it a regular at official banquets. Visiting dignitaries who enjoyed tandoori chicken included American Presidents Richard Nixon and John F. Kennedy, Soviet leaders Nikolai Bulganin and Nikita Khrushchev, the King of Nepal, and the Shah of Iran. ~ Wikipedia

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Sabina Kapoor is a beautiful human being, through and through. Beauty is synonymous with her. Her home, her family, her entertaining, her work at her Beauty Spa, all carry her sense of beauty and style. Mother of two charming daughters and now grandmother to two energetic grandchildren, her home is always welcoming visitors from near and far.

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Staying in Punjab, a staple on her menu is Tandoori Chicken, a favourite of the Punjabis. Her recipe is a simple, fuss free and delicious version of the Tandoori Chicken made famous by the ‘Moti Mahal’ restaurant in Delhi. For the modern household, using a tandoor indoors and in apartments is not possible. Sabina Kapoor uses her kitchen counter top oven to get the same taste and texture as chicken cooked in a tandoor. This makes her recipe of Tandoori Chicken a must have for all of us.

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Her secret is that she buys a raw chicken and deep freezes it for about 24 hours before defrosting it to start the marination process. According to her this helps in softening the chicken and makes the flesh less stringy. For getting the right flavour she uses two marinades. It is also important to marinate the chicken for as long as she has suggested. In fact, for convenience sake she marinates portions of the chicken in food grade Ziploc bags and keeps them in the freezer. This makes it easy to have a party dish ready when unexpected visitors arrive.

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Tandoori Chicken

First Marinade

Ingredients ~

500 gms broiler chicken, cut into 6 pieces
3 inch piece ginger
6 garlic pods
1 tsp salt

Method ~

1. Weigh the chicken and cut into appropriate pieces.
2. With a knife, make deep gashes on both sides of the chicken pieces.
3. Make a paste of ginger and garlic and rub this thoroughly on the chicken pieces.
4. Leave in the fridge for a minimum of 2 hours.

Second Marinade

Ingredients ~

½ inch piece nutmeg/jaifal,  ground
3-4 flakes mace/javetri, ground
1 tsp roasted cumin, ground
¼ tsp salt
6 tbsp hung yogurt
2 1/2 tbsp mustard oil
A pinch of dry powder orange colour, optional

Method ~

1. Heat the mustard oil to smoking point, cool.
2. Beat the hung yogurt.
3. Add the powdered masalas, nutmeg, mace, roasted cumin and salt to the yogurt.
4. Mix in the mustard oil and the powdered colour if using.
5. Apply the second marinate to the chicken pieces and refrigerate for minimum of 24 hours for best results.

Cooking Method ~

1. Heat the oven to 250*C, use the setting to heat both the upper and lower electric rods.
2. Place the chicken pieces on the oven wire rack. This will ensure the chicken pieces are heated from the top and the bottom.
3. Cook the chicken for 20 minutes.
4. Take out the wire rack from the oven and brush the chicken on both sides with cream.
5. Place the wire rack back in the oven and cook for another 10 minutes or until cooked through.
6. Once cooked through, take the wire rack out and sprinkle some roasted cumin powder/jeera and dry mango powder/amchoor on the chicken.
7. Squeeze some lemon juice over the chicken pieces.
8. Serve hot with green coriander and mint chutney, onion rings and roti or naan.

Kali Gajar ki Kanji

by Maya Khanna

Kali Gajar ki Kanji  or Black Carrot Kanji is a fermented drink made in North India with black carrots around the time of Holi, the festival of colours. Black carrots along with ground mustard are fermented in water to make a delicious beverage. This traditional fermented drink is healthy and aids digestion.


Before the 17th century, almost all cultivated carrots were deep purple, almost black in colour. Dutch farmers developed the modern day orange carrot by crossing various cultivated and wild carrots. According to the World Carrot Museum, black or purple carrots are Middle Eastern in origin, and may have first appeared in Turkey or Syria. They are more common in countries like India, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Egypt and Turkey.


While purple carrots provide many of the same health benefits as orange carrots, they also offer some extraordinary nutritional benefits due to their high concentration of anthocyanins, which give black vegetables and berries their intense hues and strong health-boosting properties. Anthocyanins in purple carrots may provide health benefits like anti-carcinogenic effects against colon cancer cells, strong anti-inflammatory properties, eye health protecting qualities and improved vascular health.

Maya Khanna is an exceptional cook and the person to go to for traditional Indian recipes, sweet or savory. Her skill in the kitchen has been enhanced by her having to entertain at home on her husband’s insistence. From having large family gatherings to entertaining business associates, she has cooked for all and her food is much appreciated for its taste and variety. Her expertise in the kitchen is much acknowledged by all and documenting her recipes is a must.


She shares with us the recipe of a traditional drink, Kali Gajar ki Kanji. It’s generally made in the beginning of the year when black carrots are available in North India. She demystifies the making of this delicious drink with her super easy recipe. The only hard part is waiting for it to ferment so as to achieve the right degree of sourness.


Kali Gajar ki Kanji

Ingredients ~

1/2 kg black carrots
2 lts water
5 tbsp red rai/mustard, ground
2 tbsp salt
1/4 tsp red chili powder

Method ~

1. Wash the carrots, peel them and cut them into 2 inch batons.
2. In a steel vessel, boil the water. Add the carrots and bring the water back to a boil.
3. Take it off the stove and leave to cool uncovered.
4. When cold, add salt, ground rai and chili powder.
5. Cover the vessel with a muslin cloth.
6. Keep it covered for 5 days in the sun, for the flavours to mature.
7. Once sour, convert into a glass, covered jug and refrigerate.
8. Serve cold in glasses accompanied with the carrots, which can be eaten on their own as pickles.
9. Keeps well for 2 weeks in the fridge.


Punjabi Cauliflower, Carrot & Turnip Pickle

by Sharda Kapur

Winters in North India see the abundance of seasonal vegetables like cauliflower, red carrots and turnips. This abundance has encouraged people to make use of these vegetables in a variety of dishes whether sweet or savory. They are cooked on their own in a number of ways, added on to meat dishes, used raw in salads, stuffed into rotis and converted into a number of pullaos. The Punjabis use these vegetables to make delicious pickles, some sweet, some sweet and sour, some with just a hint of spice. Each household has its own special recipe.


Sharda Kapur shares with us her recipe of a Punjabi Cauliflower, Carrot & Turnip Pickle or as it’s popularly called ‘Gajjar, gobi, shalgam ka aachaar‘. She uses onions, garlic, ginger, jaggery and vinegar in the right balance to impart a sweet and sour flavour to the pickle. While the vegetables are in season do try this recipe and enjoy the pickle with family and friends.


Born in Amritsar, Sharda Kapur, was a sportsperson throughout her growing years. In college she represented Punjab University in Badminton and was a State level Table Tennis player. Her interest in food started only after her marriage into a large family in Mumbai. On her insistence that her mother make her pickles, she was told to learn to make them herself. She started collecting recipes and trying her hand in making seasonal pickles. The recipe for the Punjabi Cauliflower, Carrot & Turnip Pickle has been shared with her by her sister-in-law Promilla Khanna, renowned for her culinary skills, with many Cook books to her name.


Though the procedure of the pickle seems a little daunting, it is easier to follow the recipe step by step and once you’ve got that in place, all the ingredients simply need to be mixed together.


An important tip is to coarsely grate the onion, garlic and ginger. This way they add bulk to the masalas, yet don’t over power the main vegetables. As Sharda does not get too much sun in her apartment in Mumbai, after the boiling the vegetables, she places them under a fan to speed up the process of drying.


Punjabi Cauliflower, Carrot & Turnip Pickle

Ingredients ~

1kg combined cauliflower florets, carrot batons, turnip slices
60 gms red onions, coarsely grated
30 gms ginger, coarsely grated
30 gms garlic, coarsely grated
60 gms red mustard/rai, ground
60 gms salt
60 gms Kashmiri red chilies, ground
1 tbsp garam masala, ground
150 gms jaggery
100 ml malt vinegar
250 ml mustard oil

Method ~

1. Cut the cauliflower into medium size florets, peel the carrots and cut into 11/2 inch long batons, peel the turnips and cut into half moon slices.
2. Boil water and add the vegetables. Take off the fire and leave for 5 minutes. Strain and discard the water.
3. Spread the vegetables on a clean kitchen towel and leave to dry on the kitchen counter over night.
4. Combine the jaggery and the malt vinegar in a pan and heat to mix. Leave to cool.
5. Heat the mustard oil to smoking point. Take off the stove and leave to cool.
6. Grate the onion, ginger and the garlic coarsely. Keep them separate.
7. Fry the onion in the mustard oil till golden, remove with a slotted spoon.
8. Similarly fry the garlic and the ginger.
9. Combine all the ingredients in a steel vessel. The blanched vegetables, the spices, the sautéed onion, garlic and ginger, the malt vinegar and jaggery mixture and the remaining oil.
10. Transfer to a glass bottle, shut tightly and place in the sun.
11. The pickle should be ready in about 5 days.
12. Serve with rotis and pullaos.


Sweet & Sour Chili Pickle

by Urmila Kapoor

The chili pepper is the fruit of plants from the genus Capsicum. In Britain, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, India and other Asian countries, the word “pepper” is usually omitted.


The substances that give chili peppers their intensity when ingested or applied topically are capsaicin and several related chemicals, collectively called capsaicinoids.

Chili peppers originated in the Americas and were introduced to Europe by Christofer Columbus. Cultivation of chili pepper spread across the world and was used in both food and medicine. Chilies were brought to Asia by Portuguese navigators during the 16th century. ~ Wikipedia


South Asian pickles or Indian subcontinent pickles are made from certain varieties of vegetables and fruits that are finely chopped and marinated in brine or edible oils along with various Indian spices. Some varieties of fruits and vegetables are small enough to be used whole. Some regions also specialize in pickling meats and fish.

The most common South Asian-style pickles are made from mango and lime. Others include cauliflower, carrot, radish, tomato, onion, pumpkin, palm heart, lotus stem, rose petals, ginger, Amla, garlic, green or red chili peppers, kohlrabi, cordia, kerda, purple yam, karonda, bitter gourd, jackfruit, mushroom, eggplant, cucumber, turnip and lapsi.


A wide variety of spices may be used during the pickling process such as asafoetida, red chili powder, turmeric, fenugreek. Salt is generally used both for taste and for its preservative properties.

Homemade pickles are prepared through the year and kept in the sun while stored in porcelain or glass jars with airtight lids. The high concentrations of salt, oil, and spices act as preservatives. Many commercially produced pickles use preservatives like citric acid and sodium benzoate. ~Wikipedia


Urmila Kapoor or Ammi as she is fondly called by all who know her is an expert cook. Her innate sense of taste has made her cooking legendary among family and friends. Her recipes are much sought after. Seasonal pickles are a gift much looked forward to by her appreciative family. She makes two kinds of Chili Pickle, a Stuffed Red Chili Pickle and the Sweet and Sour Chili Pickle whose recipe she is sharing here.


As Ammi says, since I was 11-12 years old, I started having a sore throat. So, I was not allowed to have anything sour much to my dismay, as I loved the pickles made by my mother. My mother would prepare mango pickles at home but I was not allowed to have any. Time went by and I got married. My mother-in-law used to prepare home made pickles for the family and friends but when she was no more with us, I thought that I should learn the art of making tasty traditional food including pickles that the elderly women of our times were good at.


The recipe I am presenting here has been taken from an old lady who was very good at preparing different kinds of foods and pickles. I have made a small change to her original recipe. Her recipe originally used Green chillies for the pickle, but when I saw beautiful red chillies in the market I preferred them to the green ones. I felt they gave the pickle a beautiful colour and made the pickle more appealing. The family and visiting guests love this pickle with savory matthis.


Sweet & Sour Chili Pickle

Ingredients ~

1 1/2 kg  Red chilies cut in rounds
125 gms Salt
400 gms Tamarind
160 gms Ginger, grated
125 gms Garlic, grated
40 gms Jeera/Cumin, coarsely ground
130 gms Rai/Red Mustard Seeds, coarsely ground
300gms sugar
500 ml vinegar
400 ml mustard oil


Method ~

1. Wash, dry and cut the red chilies.
2. Weigh them when cleaned to get 1 ½ kg.
3. Soak tamarind in vinegar for two hours, mash the pulp and strain it.
4. Heat the oil to smoking point. Remove from fire. When it cools down, fry the grated garlic and ginger till golden brown.
5. Add tamarind pulp, salt, jeera/cumin and sugar. Cook for about a minute.
6. Add red chilies and rai/red mustard seeds. Fry for about 10-15 minutes or till the gravy becomes a little thick. Then cool and place in a jar.
7. Put it in the sun for 2-3 days.
8. Serve with savory mattis, hot parathas.

Cocktail in a Cake

by Shivani Khanna

A Cocktail is an alcoholic drink consisting of a spirit or spirits mixed with other ingredients, such as fruit juice or cream. ~ Oxford Dictonary

A Cocktail is any of various short mixed drinks, consisting typically of gin, whiskey, rum, vodka, or brandy, with different admixtures, as vermouth, fruit juices, or flavorings, usually chilled and frequently sweetened. ~

With the count down to the year end and the feeling of festiveness in the air, I thought why not bring the flavour of the Cocktails into my cakes. Turning recipes upside down or inside out is what I love doing. I’ve taken the popular Cocktails and converted their flavours into cakes. Yes, these cake recipes are not vintage but their inspiration is from heirloom Cocktails of the similar name.

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I am a cocktail kind of girl. Maybe the sweetness of the chilled alcoholic beverage is what appeals to me. Wine I find sour, Beer I find bitter and of course Whiskey takes bitterness to another level for me, I’m unashamed to say. I’ve tasted most of the sweet flavoured cocktails and I love most of them.


Developing the recipes, I realised that all the goodness of fresh fruit, dried fruit and herbs was being used to flavour my cakes. So in fact they are nutritious cakes.  To add the alcohol or not is an option. I’ve kept the base cake recipe the same, adding flavourings and alcohol according to the cocktail I was being inspired by. The Bloody Mary Cocktail cake is the only savory one in this long list of Cocktail inspired cakes.


Sex on the Beach Cocktail Cake

The cocktail ‘Sex on the Beach’ is made from vodka, peach schnapps, orange juice, and cranberry juice.

Sex on the Beach Cocktail Cake recipe


Appletini Cocktail Cake

An Apple Martini, ‘Appletini’ for short, is a cocktail containing vodka and either apple juice, apple cider, apple liqueur or apple brandy. Optionally, vermouth may be included as in a regular martini. Typically, the Appletini is shaken or stirred with a sweet and sour mix and then strained into a cocktail glass.

Appletini Cocktail Cake recipe

Pina Colada Cocktail Cake

The ‘Piña Colada’ is a sweet, rum-based cocktail made with rum, cream of coconut, and pineapple juice, usually served either blended or shaken with ice. It may be garnished with a pineapple wedge, a maraschino cherry or both. The Piña Colada has been the national drink of Puerto Rico since 1978 ~ Wikipedia

Pina Colada Cocktail Cake recipe


Strawberry Daiquiri Cocktail Cake

Daiquiri is a cocktail whose main ingredients are rum, citrus, typically lime juice and sugar or other sweetener.

Strawberry Daiquiri Cocktail Cake recipe


Mojito Cocktail Cake

When preparing a ‘Mojito’, lime juice is added to sugar syrup and mint leaves. The mixture is then gently mashed with a muddler. The mint leaves should only be bruised to release the essential oils and should not be shredded. Then rum is added and the mixture is briefly stirred to dissolve the sugar and to lift the mint leaves up from the bottom for better presentation. Finally, the drink is topped with whole ice cubes and sparkling soda water. Mint leaves and lime wedges are used to garnish the glass. ~ Wikipedia

Mojito Cocktail Cake recipe


Screwdriver Cocktail Cake

A ‘Screwdriver’ is a popular highball drink made with fresh orange juice and vodka.

Screwdriver Cocktail Cake recipe


Margarita Cocktail Cake

The ‘Margarita’ is a cocktail consisting of tequila, triple sec such as Cointreau and lime or lemon juice, often served with salt on the rim of the glass. It is the most common tequila-based cocktail in the United States. The drink is served shaken with ice on the rocks, blended with ice (frozen margarita), or without ice (straight up).  The first known publication of a margarita recipe was in the December 1953 issue of Esquire, with a recipe calling for an ounce of tequila, a dash of triple sec and the juice of half a lime or lemon.

Margarita Cocktail Cake recipe


Bloody Mary Cocktail Cake

A ‘Bloody Mary’ is a popular cocktail containing vodka, tomato juice, and combinations of other spices and flavorings including Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce, piri piri sauce, beef consommé or bouillon, horseradish, celery, olives, salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, lemon juice, and celery salt. It has been called “the world’s most complex cocktail”.

Bloody Mary Cocktail Cake recipe

Sex on the Beach Cocktail Cake

by Shivani Khanna

The cocktail Sex on the Beach is made from vodka, peach schnapps, orange juice, and cranberry juice.

One interesting version of its origin –
The earliest known invention of the cocktail and name dates back to 1987 in Florida, USA. A distributor had just begun to sell a new product, peach schnapps, in the autumn.

With many tourists due for the spring holiday the distributor devised a contest that would pay the bar that sold the most peach schnapps a bonus of $1000 and the bartender that was responsible at that bar for the highest sales would receive $100.

A young bartender named Ted, working at Confetti’s Bar, mixed up a peach schnapps, vodka, orange juice and grenadine cocktail. When Ted began to sell the drink, he was asked what it was called.

On the spot, Ted thought what the main reason was that people came to Florida for their Spring break – it was The Beach and Sex.

“Sex on the Beach!” he replied, and as the drink gained fame that spring, thousands of students returned home and asked their local bartenders for ‘Sex on the Beach.’

The bartenders did not know how to make a drink they had never heard of so they asked around and this led to the many regional variations of the drink.

Sex on the Beach Cocktail Cake

Ingredients ~

100 gms soft butter
100 gms caster sugar
110 gms flour
¼ tsp baking powder
3 eggs
100 gms chunky Orange Marmalade
50 gms Cranberries
¼ cup Mandarin flavoured Vodka

Method ~

1. Beat the butter and caster sugar till pale and double in volume.
2. Add one egg at a time, beating into the batter till well incorporated.
3. Mix the marmalade and cranberries into the batter.
4. Gently stir in the Vodka.
5. Sift the flour and baking powder and fold into the batter.
6. Pour the batter into a greased and floured baking tin.
7. Bake at 160*C for 25-30 minutes or till done.
8. Serve decorated with some marmalade and cranberries.