Easy Basundi Recipe (With Condensed Milk)

When I think of the years we lived in Ahmedabad, I cannot not think of basundi. It used to be a favourite, favourite sweet dish, rich and creamy without being overly so, loaded with nuts. This cousin of the North Indian rabri is something I associate with festive times, specifically Diwali.

Check out the recipe, just in on my photo blog!


The Husband’s Birthday Lunch At Farzi Cafe: An Underwhelming Affair

Farzi Cafe had always been on my list of eateries to visit in Bangalore, thanks to a number of blog posts I have read praising the place. I was in awe of the very innovative ways in which the cafe presents its food. So, it was Farzi Cafe in UB City that we chose to celebrate the husband’s birthday recently, and headed to for lunch. True to the reviews that we had read, the cafe did dish up food in very different ways, but we, sadly, ended up underwhelmed by the whole thing.

Read all about our experience of lunching at Farzi Cafe, on my photo blog!

Proso Millet Sweet Pongal| Millet Sakkarai Pongal

This festive season, let’s offer something healthier to the Gods and to our bodies, shall we? How about some millet sweet pongal?

This sweet pongal contains absolutely no rice, which has been substituted with proso millet. You can even use a mix of different types of millet, really. The pongal also uses jaggery and not sugar, which is commonly used in festival sweetmeats. It tastes absolutely delish, just like the regular sweet pongal, but a much healthier alternative. The hint of edible camphor that is added to it takes the fragrance and taste of the pongal to new heights. What’s more, this dish is a breeze to prepare too!

Check out the recipe, just in on my photo blog!

Gulkand Coconut Laddoos| Easy No-Cook Dessert Recipe

If you are still thinking about what sweet dish to whip up for the upcoming festivals, I am here to rescue you, with some beautiful Gulkand Coconut Laddoos!

These laddoos are super simple to make, and can be done in minutes, with just a few ingredients. They taste absolutely delish, if I may say so myself, and make for a refreshing change from the regular Indian sweets. Coconut and gulkand go really well together, and the gentle rose fragrance in these laddoos will surely make them a hit with family and friends alike. What’s more, this is a dessert that requires absolutely no cooking!

Check out the recipe, just in on my photo blog. 🙂

Saragva Ni Kadhi| Gujarati Drumstick Kadhi

Saragva ni kadhi, a Gujarati dish made using curd and drumsticks (‘saragva’ is Gujarati for ‘drumsticks’), is a hot favourite at our place. One of our Gujarati friends taught us how to make this kadhi, years ago, and I have been making it ever since. The husband loves it, the bub loves it, and so do I. This kadhi is something I prepare often at home, whenever there is sour curd left over. Hey, sometimes I even set extra curd just so I can make this! 🙂

Check out the recipe, just in on my photo blog!

Eid Special| Thoughts About Shan Special Sheer Khurma Mix

Eid Mubarak to all those who are celebrating today! 🙂

This day, I had to break open the packet of Shan Special Sheer Khurma Mix that I had been hoarding for a while! It is the day of Eid after all! Let me tell you, I absolutely loved the way it turned out, and so did everyone at home.

Check out my thoughts about the mix, just in on my photo blog!

Ugadi Special| Ellu Bella Ice Cream| Tilgul Ice Cream| Lonavali Ice Cream| Creamy Home-Made, No-Eggs, No-Churn Sesame-Jaggery Ice Cream, Without Ice Cream Maker

Yesterday, on the auspicious day of Ugadi, I managed to recreate my favourite Lonavali ice cream from Ahmedabad. This ice cream is a tribute to the hill station of Lonavala, with bits of sesame chikki in it. It has a faint hint of rose to it, and makes for a gorgeous summer-time treat. 

Check out my recipe, here

Lemon Semiya| Lemon Vermicelli Upma

Vermicelli upma, for our family, has always meant upma with onions and green chillies, sometimes with green peas added in too. That is how vermicelli aka semiya upma has always been made in our families. In spite of the flexibility of the vermicelli – in spite of its ability to go with a whole lot of seasonings and ingredients – somehow, we never got around to experimenting with it until very recently. 

Some time in the last month, I tried out making vermicelli upma in a different way – with lemon. It turned out brilliant, so lovely that I have made it many times over since. For the sake of records, this lemon semiya upma was breakfast this Valentine’s Day, because it is one home-made breakfast that the husband loves a whole lot. 

This upma tastes delicious, and is super easy to make. It makes for a refreshing change from other routine breakfasts like rava upma, idlis and dosas

Now, without further ado, let me get around to telling you how exactly I make the lemon semiya upma

Ingredients (serves 2-3):

  1. 1-1/2 cups roasted vermicelli (I use Bambino) 
  2. Salt, to taste
  3. 1/4 cup groundnuts
  4. 2 green chillies, slit length-wise
  5. 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  6. A pinch of asafoetida 
  7. 1-1/2 tablespoons oil
  8. 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  9. A few curry leaves
  10. A few stalks of fresh coriander leaves, finely chopped 
  11. A 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and finely chopped
  12. Juice of 1 lemon, or to taste


1. Take about 3 cups of water in a pan, and add a little salt to it. On high heat, let the water come to a boil. 

2. Add the roasted vermicelli to the boiling water, and turn the flame down to medium. Mix well once. 

3. Let the vermicelli cook till it is almost done, but not too mushy. You need to keep stirring the vermicelli every now and then, and keep checking its done-ness. Switch off the gas when the vermicelli is almost done and pour the contents of the pan into a colander. 

4. Immediately run cold water over the vermicelli in the colander, to stop the cooking process. Set the colander in the sink and let all the water drain out. Allow the vermicelli to cool down fully before you begin making the upma

5. Meanwhile, dry roast the groundnuts in a pan on medium flame, till they turn crisp. Ensure that they do not burn. Remove the roasted groundnuts onto a plate. Keep aside. 

6. Heat the oil in the same pan and add the mustard. Allow to splutter. Add the asafoetida and let it stay in for a couple of seconds. 

7. Turn down the flame to medium, and add the chopped ginger and roasted peanuts. Let them stay in for a few seconds. 

8. Now, add the cooked vermicelli, turmeric powder, salt to taste, curry leaves, and slit green chillies. Mix well. 

9. On low-medium flame, let the upma cook for 3-4 minutes. Stir intermittently, ensuring that the upma doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. 

10. Switch off the gas. Stir in the finely chopped coriander and lemon juice. Mix well. 

11. Serve hot. 


1. If you want to up the spice level, add more green chillies to the upma or some red chilli powder along with the green chillies. 

2. Ensure that you stop cooking the vermicelli in the boiling water when it is almost done. Do not let the vermicelli cook overly, otherwise the upma will turn out to be mushy and tasteless. This is the most important step in the entire process, and if you get this right, chances are that your upma will turn out perfect. 

You like? I hope you will try this out too, and that you will love it!