Ambat Varan

This is a CKP Special Maharashtrian Dal.  Tur Dal / Pigeon Lentils cooked with tamarind and jaggery. It has a delicious sweet and tangy taste, a comfort , soul food and everyone's favorite,  especially my daughter's. She had this at a restaurant and would pester me to prepare it, made it for our Diwali lunch. She enjoyed it with just steamed rice. After having her lunch she exclaimed Ma! over ate my lunch today, it was delicious and real soul food, loved it!
Here is the recipe for this simple and delicious soul filling meal.

1 Cup Tur Dal / Pigeon Lentils
1/2 Teaspoon Turmeric powder
A pinch of Asafoetida / Hing
1 Medium Onion -chopped
2 Big Light Green chilies - made into pieces
1 Tablespoon Jaggery
2 Tablespoon Thick Tamarind paste
1 Teaspoon Salt or to taste
To Grind to paste
1/2 Cup Freshly Grated Coconut 
1/3 Cup Fresh Coriander Leaves  
4 Curry Leaves
For Tadka / Tempering
1 Big Curry Spoon Oil
1 Teaspoon Mustard seeds
A pinch of Asafoetida / Hing

Wash and soak the dal for at least 30 minutes .
Pressure cook the dal with turmeric powder, pinch  of asafoetida, onion, green chilies and sufficient water till  soft and tender.

In the meanwhile as the dal is getting cooked, lets grind the  coconut paste.
In a blender jar add coconut, coriander and curry leaves, add  2 tablespoons water and grind it to a fine paste. 
Once the dal is cooked transfer the dal to large pan / kadai add coconut paste and  water enough to make a thick consistency, then add  salt, jaggery and tamarind paste. Keep it on high flame stirring till it come to rolling boil, reduce the flame and  let it simmer, stirring at intervals so that the dal does not settle at the base of the pan and get burnt. Let simmer for 7 to 10 minutes on low flame,  keep stirring at intervals.  Taste for salt and the sourness of dal, add more of either if necessary. 
Now let's prepare the Tempering / Tadka

Heat oil in a small pan, add mustard seeds when it crackles take off flame, add the asafoetida and immediately pour this on to the simmering dal. Cover with a lid, switch off the flame and let is stand for 5 to 7 minutes.   Ambat Varan is ready.

Serve hot with rice or chapatti and a teaspoon  of desi ghee on rice... hmmm delicious.
The next day with the remaining dal.  I, had it with stale chapatti broken into pieces, heated the Ambat Varan poured it over the chappati pieces,  added  a teaspoon of desi ghee. Let it soak for a couple of mins and then relished it.. hmmm.. delicious....

Labels : Dal, Vegetarian, Vegetables, Ambat  Varan, CKP Cuisine, Maharashtra,  Maharastrian Cuisine, Healthy, Complete Meal

Continue Reading
No comments

Tomato Saar - A Soup of Maharastra #Soupswappers

Our Host Ashley Ramaker Lecker for Soup Swappers asked to share a recipe unique to your state, city, or even your neighborhood! Today I, am sharing a recipe from my very own state.. Maharashtra.

Maharashtrian Tomato Saar is a spicy tomato soup made with curry leaves, coconut and chillies. This soup is staple food in every Maharashtrian household, it's light and usually had with Masale Bhaat , This combo is must in Maharastrians wedding menu.
4 Red Ripe & Firm Tomatoes
1/2  Cup Packed Freshly Grated Coconut 
3  Dried Red Chillies  - soaked in warm water
1'' Piece ginger
1 Teaspoon Jaggery
1 Teaspoon Tamarind paste 
Salt to taste
A Spring Curry leaves
1 + 1/2 Teaspoon Cumin seeds
2 Tablespoons Desi Ghee
A Pinch Asafoetida (hing)


Cook the tomatoes in a pressure cooker, add 1/2 cup  water. Take 2 whistles and let the cooker cool. After cooking remove the tomatoes and peel the skin.  Then blend it along with the water in which they were blanched.
In a small blender jar add grated coconut,1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds, soaked dry red chillies, ginger and make a fine paste. 

In a large pot or skillet add this paste, tomato puree, tamarind paste, salt, jaggery and bring it to boil. Reduce the flame to sim and let it simmer for a few minutes for all the flavors to blend.  
In the meantime let's prepare the tempering /tadka 

Heat ghee in a small pan, adding cumin seeds, curry leaves, when they sizzle take off flame  and then add the asafoetida.

Pour this immediately into the Tomato Saar and cover it . Let is simmer on medium flame for a few  minutes.  
 Serve hot and enjoy with Masale Bhaat.

Labels : Soup, Tomato Saar, Maharashtra, Maharastrian Cuisine, Soup Swappers, Healthy

Continue Reading

Coconut Milk Spicy Prawn Pasta #FishFridayFoodie

This  Spicy Prawn Pasta, in coconut milk  is made with Indian spices and  has a delicious flavor - "A pasta  you will die for ".   It's so deliciously a ‘Prawn Lovers Delight’ that you  can't stop at a single helping.
The creaminess from coconut milk, the combo of spices with the tangyness  from the blended tomato , lends an awesome aroma gives a perfect taste and  flavor to the pasta. You will make this often as I, do it now.
Serves 2
200 Grams Cleaned Prawns 
250 Grams 
Rigatoni Pasta
1/4 Cup Oil
1 Medium Onion  - sliced
1 Tablespoon Ginger  Garlic paste
2 Medium Tomatoes - blended
1/4  Cup Water
1 Tablespoon 
Kacha Masala
1 Cup Water + 1 Cube  Fish Stock  - mix together
1/2 Cup Coconut Milk
A Sprig Curry Leaves
1/2 Cup Coloured Bell Pepper - sliced
Salt to taste
For the Prawns Marination
1 Teaspoon Red Chilly powder
1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric powder
1/4 Teaspoon Salt

Marinate  the prawns in  the mentioned spices. Keep it aside for 15  minutes.
Cook the rigatoni pasta as per the package directions.  Drain and rinse the cooked pasta in cold water. Keep aside.
Fry the marinated prawns in a tablespoon of  oil,  till it just changes it colour ( since these are going to be cooked again in the sauce , if overcooked will turn rubbery and hard).
With a slotted spoon drain out all the oil and keep the prawns aside. 
In a same pan add the remaining oil and sauté the onions till it turns just light golden. 
 Add the ginger  garlic paste and curry leaves .Saute it for a minute.
Add the Kacha Masala , coloured bell peppers and blended tomato  mix well on low heat.  Cook for  a minute  or two then add a 1/4 cup water.
 Cook till it reduces.
Pour in the fish stock and  the coconut milk, mix well. Let it simmer stirring in between for 2 to 3  minutes.
Add the fried prawns, give it a quick stir . Cover the pan with the lid and let the sauce simmer on low heat for 5 minutes. Now check for salt and add more if needed.
Drop in the cooked  rigatoni pasta and mix well. 
After mixing if you want the pasta to be more saucy add a little  more coconut milk. I made it a little saucy.
See the red beauties on top . Serve  garnished with spring onions greens.  Enjoy... delicious and mind blowing!!
My Notes :
I have used yellow and red bell peppers.

Be careful while adding  salt, since  the fish stock cube  contains salt already.

Can use coconut cream too instead of coconut milk.
Use any type of pasta or noodles of your choice.
Sending this to Fish Friday Foodies, our Host of the month is Claire McEwen. Thank you Claire for hosting this event.

Labels :  Seafood/Fish, Prawns, Pasta & Noodles, Indian, Fish Friday, Rigatoni Pasta

Continue Reading

Orange Chocolate Bundt Brownies #BundtBakers

These are such quick easy and delicious brownies. When the theme "Orange" Bundt Cakes, event for Bundt Bakers  by our host  Felice Geoghegan. This brownies came to my mind. Searched on line for a square bundt pan, could not find one. Gave up the idea of making this. Then one day while surfacing online found a site where they gave a tutorial how to make your own bundt pan.
I made this for our sangeet practice.  Used a square ring mold and sealed with 3 layers of  aluminium foil, placed a small turnover mold in the center, covered it with a aluminium foil and ta da my square bundt pan was ready to use.
These brownies vanished in a jiffy hot from the oven.

150 Grams Butter 
¾  Cup Chopped Chocolate
3 Eggs
1.1/4  Cup Caster sugar
Just 2 drops Orange essence 
1 Tablespoon Orange zest
100 Grams Flour
1 Teaspoon Baking powder
½  Cup Orange juice 

Mix all together in a bowl beat for 3 minutes, pour in a greased 8*8 inches square pan, line it and bake on 180 degrees for 25 minutes.  Cool, cut it and enjoy.
These are a divine treat, just be careful while adding orange essence since it is strong and if added more it gives a bitter taste.
Labels :  Cakes, Bundt Bakers, Bundt, Orange, Brownies


Wording to be included (can be rephrased to fit your style): Bundt Bakers Orange Bundts #BundtBakers is a group of Bundt loving bakers who get together once a month to bake Bundts with a common ingredient or theme. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme or ingredient. Host: Felice; Host blog: All That’s Left Are The Crumbs ( You can see all our of lovely Bundts by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about #BundtBakers, can be found on our home page. And don’t forget to take a peek at what other talented bakers have baked this month:
Autumn Spiced Carrot Bundt Cake by Tartacadabra
Butternut Chai Bundt Cake by ;All That's Left Are The Crumbs
Chocolate Orange Marble Bundt by The Crumby Kitchen
Creamsicle Bundt Cake with Orange Cocoa Glaze by Faith, Hope, Love, & Luck Survive Despite a Whiskered Accomplice
Halloween Bundt by La mejor manera de hacer
Individual Chocolate Orange Bundts by A Day in the Life on the Farm
Orange & Chocolate Bundt Cake by I Love Bundt Cakes
Orange Chocolate Bundt Brownies by Sneha's Recipe
Orange–Chocolate Bundt Cake with Sour Cream Glaze by Katin špajz
Orange Crunch Bundt Cake by The Queen of Scones
Orange Marmalade Bundt Cake by Patty's Cake
Orange Pound Cake by Making Miracles
Orange Sponge Bundt Cake by Basic N Delicious
Spicy Orange Bundt Cake by Bizcocheando
Sweet Potato Bundt with Apricot Brandy Glaze by Sweet Sensations

Continue Reading

Sourdough Whole Wheat Flatbreads #BreadBakers

In Indian kitchen's flatbread is a must with every meal. Karen is hosting this month's event for Bread Baker and gave us this theme"Breads with levain (sourdough), biga, poolish, soakers, etc.". Since Flatbread is a must in our house daily, I decided to make flat bread with my sourdough starter. This sourdough bread has an excellent flavor and the smells awesome. Sourdough takes a long time to rise so, if,  you plan to make it for morning breakfast then it should be kneaded the previous night and left in the fridge to rise, next morning your can make them in a jiffy for breakfast.
I kneaded this dough at 09.30 am and covered in a container and let if on my kitchen counter for two hours then refrigerated it.  Made the flatbreads in the night at 7.30 pm. Although these will not puff like the normal chapatti, but, they will taste awesome and all will definitely enjoy the taste and flavor.

I have used freshly ground home made whole wheat flour with salt and active sourdough starter. Usually, never add oil for kneading for flat breads. I, brush them with desi ghee when they are baked. If, you wish can add oil while kneading as you usually knead your chapatti dough. The most important is to see that your sourdough is active. This dough is on the moist and sticky side, rolling it into a flatbread requires a little extra flour.

These are cooked on the stove top in a flat skillet, because of the sourdough they get a lovely pattern of browned spots.

3 Cups Heaped Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 Teaspoon Sea salt
1/2 Cup Active Sourdough starter
1 to 1.1/3 Cup Water
2 Tablespoons Oil  - optional
Dry Flour as required for rolling

Desi ghee for brushing


In a food processor , add  flour with the salt and pulse it for a minute. Add the sourdough starter,  and again run it for a minute, then from the funnel add water,  little at time as the processor is running, till it form a soft and sticky dough.

Oil the work surface  and with a dough scraper take all the dough on to the work surface and with the scraper just turn the dough dusting it with little flour for 10 to 15 turns till it form a smooth dough.  Oil a bowl and keep the dough in it, let is rest covered for 2 hours  on your kitchen counter and then refrigerate it for at least 8 hours or till it rises .  
After the dough has risen, punch it down and place on a lightly oiled counter. Divide the dough into 6 to 8  equal pieces, and with oiled hands, form each piece into a ball. Rest the dough for at least an hour I kept it for  2 hours.
 Then dust the work surface with dry flour and roll each ball into a round flatbread / chapatti.  Keep this covered on a dusted surface and roll rest of the balls into flatbread /chapatti.  When all are rolled then heat a  skillet/ tava, over medium low heat.

Place the first rolled flatbread  on the hot skillet and allow to cook on the first side for about two minutes, or until it no longer looks moist on top. Flip the bread over, and cook on medium high  until  brown spots appear. Filp again and press it with a dry cloth so that it starts to puff and brown spots appear on this side too.   Take it out on to a dry cloth or 
 tea towel and brush it with ghee or butter cover and keep aside till rest of the flatbreads have baked. 
Serve and enjoy with any vegetable or gravy dish!

Labels : Flatbread, Sourdough, Bread Bakers, Whole Wheat, Healthy, Breads
See what our other Bakers have baked for this event.
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to

Continue Reading