Wednesday, October 29, 2014


Since I never get enough time to seperately post recipes on my blog, I decided that henceforth I will at least post whatever I am sending in for print!! 

Wonder why I didnt think of it earlier?

So here's the article for October 2014 in What's Happening in Dar

Marriage is a thousand little things put together – it is giving up your right, to be right in the middle of a heated argument.  It is forgiving, when the other lets you down. Its loving the other so much, that you step down, so that they can shine.  Its being a friend, a cheer leader, a confidant.  It’s a place of forgiveness that welcomes one home, and arms to run to in the midst of storm.  Marriage is Grace!!!
And this is the reason why Weddings are a time to celebrate.  It brings together not just two people, but two families, and therefore a lot of selflessness and sacrifice and patience goes into making that relation work and last a lifetime….because they are meant to last a lifetime.  That’s how God chose it to be.
And what celebration is complete without Food…none at all!!  Infact, Food remains and will always remain the “cherry on the cake”.  People may forget everything after a while, but the food remains in their minds and even for years to come they will not overlook to mention the taste and quality of food they relished at a wedding. 
Weddings world wide have a totally different trend of serving their guests.  Some serve as buffet, some as sit down menus, some a course-wise meal.  Personally I prefer the buffet anyday to a sitdown meal.  It gives me the pleasure of feasting my eyes on the extensive array of mouthwatering food while I can still catch up with guests. 
Traditional and modern, regional and multi-cuisine Menus are set and the guests are spoilt for choices.  While one’s own traditional cuisine is a must, however, Indian, Chinese, Italian, and Continental cuisines are the most popular cuisines that seems to find a place in the list.
I am today sharing a recipe which would blend itself in the Indian as well as African cuisine and this is exactly what I had in mind when this month’s issue was focusing on “Weddings”. I wanted to put up something which could find a place for both an Indian as well as an African wedding.  Other cultures are welcome to try this out for themselves, and wow their guests too.
It’s the humble Chicken Pulao….you might just say, why a Pulao at a wedding.  But I feel that the concept of the chicken and rice being cooked together along with whole spices can beat the Biriyani anyday.  Though Biriyani has its own charm, but the marriage of spices and the heartiness of the rice and chicken makes your tongue sing and soul dance, making it perfect for any wedding feast.

Prep Time – 20 minutes
Cooking Time – 30 minutes
Serves – 4


6-8 good pieces of chicken
250 grms good quality basmati rice (washed thoroughly and soaked for 20 minutes minimum)
4 big onions sliced thin
8-10 flakes of garlic
1 inch pc ginger
4 big tomatoes
4 bay leaves
2 cinnamon sticks
5-6 cloves
4-5 pods of cardamom
2 star anise
6-8 whole pepper corns
1 tspn shahi jeera or caraway seeds
2 mace
1 tspn garam masala powder
1 tspn chicken masala powder
2 tbspn coriander powder
1 tspn fennel powder
1 tspn turmeric  powder
2 tspns chilli powder (optional – increase or decrease as per your liking)
½ cup plain yoghurt (Tanga Fresh Mtindi or any other)
1 tspn lemon juice
a big bunch coriander leaves
1 big bunch mint leaves

In a wide mouthed pan take 2 tbspn oil and let it heat
Add the whole spices in this order shahi jeera, crushed cardamoms, cloves, cinnamon sticks, whole peppercorns, star anise and mace.
Add the onions and fry till they start sweating
Add grated garlic and ginger and fry till onions are brownish golden colour
Add the turmeric powder, coriander powder, fennel powder, chicken masala powder and stir well.
Add the tomatoes and cook till they are pulpy and oil starts separating.  Add about a tbspn of salt
Add the chicken and fry  on high for about 5 minutes
Add yoghurt and cook till it dries up
Add the soaked rice and stir well along with coriander and mint leaves
Add the garam masala and enough salt to season your rice now and mix well
Add 500 ml + 1 cup more of water
Close the lid and let the water come to a boil once and then lower the flame and without stirring cook till the rice is done and water is absorbed. Switch off the flame.
Once this is done spread 2tbspn of clarified butter (ghee) or normal butter, give a gentle mix and close the lid again leaving it to assimilate for another 5-10 minutes

If you wish garnish with fried onions and serve with chilled onion and tomato yoghurt.


Monday, October 13, 2014


Phew I managed a gap in blogging once again.  I didnt mean to though.  Lots of reasons. I have been plainly too lazy and a little ill too.  A bout of cough and chest congestion brought me down and it look me long to just come out of the spell of lethargy.  I must confess I am still under it.

In all this, I am happy to share with you all that I have started writing the Food and Wine section of another magazine in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania "Incredible Dar".  So now its two magazines.  Makes me really happy and worthwhile.  If you wish you can check it out at

So far so good.  Its constructive use of my time sitting in a country from away from my own and having quite a lot of time to spare.

Life gives us so many opportunities here and there.  It is upto us to lookout for them and make the best use.  An opportunity once lost might not knock again, so dont let it waste.

Today I am sharing with you a recipe which is traditional in my mother-in-law's kitchen.  I really love the wholesome earthiness of the dish.  Its a simple channadahl pulao.  I have had another version of this in my mom's kitchen, and both are very different.  Mine is even more different.  What I am giving is my MILs recipe.  Anytime comfort food.

Ingredients -

1 cup basmati rice - washed and soaked
1/2 cup channa dahl - washed and soaked for about 1 hour
2 bay leaves
1 cinnamon stick
2 cardamom pods(crushed slightly)
1 tspn sugar
1 big onion - thinly sliced
1 tbspn jeera
1 tspn garam masala
1 tspn amchoor powder 
1 tbspn salt (more or less according to taste)

Recipe -

In a pan add a tbspn of ghee or oil, and let it heat.  Add the whole spices and after half a minute add the onions and sugar and saute till they are sweated and pinkish golden and caramalized
 Add the amchor, salt and the lentils.  Fry for about a minute.
 Add 1/2 cup water and and let the lentils cook till the water is consumed.
 Now add in 2 cups of water, i.e., double the quantity of rice and after one boil let it simmer and cook till done.
Add in the garam masala and a tspn of ghee (clarified butter) or butter and mix gently.
Leave to rest for 5 minutes.

Serve with pickles and any kind of raita