Lemon Squash n Pickled Onions !!!

Labor Day weekend is just around the corner and we are planning a road trip... thanks to Anupama's Picnic Food event, I now have so many tasty options to pack for munching n brunching.

One of my favourite things to do before road trips is pickled onions, just because it can be made way ahead of time, its easy to do, is ready in no time , jazzes the taste of any plain old sandwich/ wrap n looks gorgeous hot pink :) .

All you need is :

2 large thinly sliced red onions, i use the food processor,
some boiling hot water,
juice of 1 -2 lime/lemon, preferably lime,
salt , to taste.

Method :

Pour boiling water over the sliced onions n keep aside for few secs. Strain the onions in a colander, remove all the water by tapping the colander and dump the onions in a container, to this add the lemon juice n salt n refrigerate till you use.

You can immediately see the onions start to change their color. These onions go well with tacos too. Though this is the basic recipe for pickled onions, u can add green chillies or sugar or any pickling spice .... try any combination of flavors.

Now time for some home made lemonade. Why not make a lemon squash ? Keep it in your cooler/ icebox n just stir in some water when ever you want to have a cool sip.

I flavored mine with ginger, you can use mint or both ginger n mint ....what ever u like ...

Feel free to add n reduce the quantity of lemons n sugar, depending on how sour the lemons are n how sweet u like your lemonade. The following recipe yields 1ltr. of syrup


2 cups lemon juice,
cups water,
3" ginger root, chopped into thin slices,
2 cups sugar,
1 tbsp white vinegar.


Boil water n sugar in a pan , till the sugar dissolves (at this stage u can add more sugar if you want , but make sure that u boil the syrup after sugar is added) . When all the sugar is dissolved remove it from heat n let cool completely. Then add the lemon juice and vinegar, mix well, throw in the ginger , cover n let it steep for at least 12 hrs , the more you steep the better. Now remove the ginger slices with a spoon, give it a stir n store in a sterilized glass bottle. You can also strain it before transferring into the bottle. Keep refrigerated.

Once the syrup is made , all you have to do is, stir in 1 part of the syrup (or to taste) to 3 parts of water n enjoy.


Microwave Milk Peda !

We once had to visit one of my husbands friend who just had a baby girl, we were running late n were not sure if we would have enough time to pick some sweets on the way, that was the first time I tried these Pedas .....ready in a jiffy....n it was a huge hit in their family ... I have made these many times since then ....after all who does not want a quick n fuss free dessert !

So when I learnt about Srivalli's Microwave Easy Cooking Event I thought of sharing this recipe of Milk Peda with all of you.

Come to think of it, it would also make a good picnic food, a traditional Indian dessert for picnic in park :)


1n 3/4th cup Milk powder,
1 can sweetened condensed milk (14 oz.),
1tbsp. butter, at room temperature,
1/4th tsp. cardamom/elaichi pdr.,
few strings saffron, crushed or whole,
few chironji/ sunflower seeds , slightly dry roasted, to garnish, optional.

Whisk together milk powder, condensed milk n cardamom pdr. You can also beat the mixture nicely using a fork. Add butter n whisk again for a min. Stir in the saffron n mix well . Now microwave this mixture on high for 2 mins. Remove, let cool slightly, so that you can handle it with your hands.Grease your hands with a little ghee, make small balls of the mixture while its still warm n flatten slightly or roll in desired shapes. Garnish with sunflower seeds/ saffron strands. You can also use a toothpick to decorate.

As simple as that, this recipe is also very versatile. You can try the same recipe with different combinations of flavorings and garnishes . You may also add more milk powder if you experience problem forming the pedas. Enjoy !

Good thing !

I feel extremely happy to share with you all the award which was passed to me by Pravs of Simply Spicy over the past weekend. Thanks Pravs :)

Though most of my Fellow Bloggers have already received this award earlier...I would like to pass it on to,

Keep Rockin' :)


Dal Fry

This is my kinda comfort food ....some hot rice , dal fry , lots of mom-made desi "ghee" (don't panic :D ) , achaar or papad as a side n I am all set.

There are many different recipes for dals or dal frys. In fact every Indian household will have its own unique recipe. As a child I loved the dal my Dadi (paternal Grandma) made ...nobody makes it like she used to. Back in my school days, once in a blue-moon my Dad would cook biryani, desserts , Kheema etc ...n it would be a huge event ......all of us would "assist" him ....I mean everyone who was present ...kids, maids, friends, relatives.....distant relatives :D It was fun.

So the point is I had my first lesson about "dal" from my father. While he was cooking he would give us all his expert tips, talk about food n cooking etc...I will share "his" recipes hopefully in near future. For now lets talk Dal Fry...


For Dal:

0.5 cup yellow Moong dal / split green gram
0.5 cup Masoor dal /split red lentils
1 medium onion, chopped,
2-3 green chillies (or to taste),
1/4 tsp. haldi/turmeric powder,
1/2 tsp. ginger paste,
1/2 tsp. garlic paste,
few coriander leaves, chopped
1 tsp. oil,
at least 2 cups water, or more,

1 lemon size ball of tamarind, soaked in warm water,
salt to taste.

For tadka/tempering:

2 tbsp. Ghee,
1 big clove of garlic, smashed with back of knife n roughly chopped
1/2 tsp. zeera/cumin seeds,
1/4 tsp. black mustard seeds,
few curry leaves/curry patta.

Few coriander leaves .


Cook together all the ingredients for dal except tamarind and salt using sufficient water till the dal is soft n tender/cooked thoroughly. Remove from heat, now smush it using dal ghotni/ rawi/hand blender or just pulse it in ur blender. Return to stove on low-medium heat. Extract and strain the pulp of the tamarind. Add it to the dal. Add more water to get the consistency you want(thinner/ thicker) Now add salt and bring it to a boil. Keep aside.

Meanwhile heat ghee in another vessel(large enough to accommodate the cooked dal) for the tadka/tempering. Add the garlic clove , zeera/cumin seeds , mustard seeds to the hot ghee. Let them splutter then add curry leaves, cook all this till the zeera n mustards turn black. Immediately add the cooked dal to the tempering n cover the vessel , cook on med. heat for a min. Remove from heat add chopped coriander leaves n cover with a lid. Serve hot/warm.


Walnut Cookies

When I got to know about Anupama's Picnic Food event, the first thought that came to my mind was that it was a brilliant theme , just on time for the labor day weekend !! Good thinking Anupama :)

My idea of ideal picnic food is something which can be made ahead of time (usually), which need not be served warm/hot, does not become soggy, and is easy to serve, eat and clean up.

Stuffed parathas, frankies, spiced rice varieties, sandwiches, one pot meals, soups, savoury rolls, snacks like cakes, cookies, dhokla, sago kichdi, chivda, bhadang , kebabs ,spiced nuts, chips , nachos , fresh fruits n juices etc.... etc.... etc. I was so inspired by the many options one has, that I decided to dedicate a category for picnic foods on my blog :) .....hopefully you will see me sharing some recipes fit for picnics there. For now I am sending this quick and simple Walnut cookie recipe for this event ....Fun in the Sun

If you have never made these cookies , I highly recommend trying out this recipe at least once. The whole process is so simple, and the aroma when these are baked is soooooo good ....you must try it to believe it. So lets get started.


2 cups flour
2 cups ground walnuts,(I used mini chopper to grind )
2 sticks butter, room temperature,
1/3 rd cup sugar,
½ tsp salt,
1.5 tsp vanilla,
powdered sugar.


Mix flour, ground walnuts and salt and whisk them together. Beat butter and sugar for 1.5 minutes scrapping the sides of the vessel. Add vanilla and the flour- walnut mixture. Beat till it just mixes well n comes together. Scoop out cookies using a tbsp. measure just to ensure they are of same size.

Roll in desired shapes.

Align on parchment paper and bake at 325 for 17- 19 mins., turning around half way through once.

Remove and let cool for 1 or 2 mins. (not more) , roll them in pdrd. sugar. This recipe will yield approx. 25- 30 cookies


Kesari bhaat in five !

This is another quick n easy recipe. It hardly takes five minutes to cook. The secret is.... the pressure cooker. Try this when you have no time for elaborate desserts and want something simple. This is my entry for Shaheen's Express Cooking Event.


1 cup Semolina / sooji / rava,
1 cup Sugar,
1/2 cup ghee,
2 cups water,
cardamom powder,
1/2 tbsp. raisins,
1/2 tbsp.cashews,
1 tsp. chironji / charoli (optional),
Yellow food color.


Heat ghee in pressure cooker, add raisins and nuts, add rava / sooji and stir for 2 mins. Meanwhile bring water to a boil and add yellow food color to it. Now add sugar to the roasted rava. Pour the hot water, close the cooker, put weight and cook for 3-4 mins. Reduce pressure by placing the cooker under running tap water. Open , sprinkle with elaichi pdr and serve warm. Enjoy !


Quick Kulcha

This is one of the recipes I learned from my sis. It does not need baking in oven or tandoor, no resting time,etc... I also call it "tava (griddle) top" kulcha :).

Remember its not the traditional
kulcha...its quick kulcha :)


2 cups maida / all-purpose flour,
1 cup dill, finely chopped,
1 small onion, grated,
2 green chillies, minced, (optional)
3 tbsp. curd / yogurt,
ghee / oil, for frying,
salt to taste.


Mix all the ingredients, and knead into a soft dough using water. The onion and the curd, both have water content, so be careful with it, don't add too much water. Divide the dough into lime size balls. Roll these balls into flour.

Now roll out each ball into 3" circle, apply ghee / oil , fold it into half to get a semi-circle and then fold it one more time to get a triangle. Again dip into flour and roll out into a circle.

Cook on a hot griddle (medium heat) till brown specks appear on both sides. Apply ghee and serve hot.

I served it with a mix vegetable curry. It also goes well with minced meat (Kheema).