Friday, April 28, 2017

Ambe Upkari or Tangy Mango Curry

          It's been ages since I shared any recipes on my blog, so when I made this dish I felt I have to share this as this is one my favorite and also easy to make. Moreover it's an important, must prepared dish in all Konkani household in this season.

          Every household have recipes close to heart with seasonal fruits and vegetables as main ingredients. Similarly in summer, most of women are busy pickling, making preserves, papads from mango, jackfruit and other summer fruits so as to save it for a rainy day.

          Mango, everyone’s favorite, the king of fruits is the most awaited fruit by everyone. Mango milkshake, icecream, aamras, lassi, aam panna, aam papad or the recent versions, sorbet, mousse, pannacotta….the list is endless.

          But in coastal regions, our native place , where local variety of small mangoes are easily available rather than the Alphonso, the mangoes either raw or ripe are used in making curries or side dish or accompaniments or also used to add flavor to curries.

          Ambe sassam or Ambe upkari is a must and most common side dish prepared in Konkani households and is a must in all weddings and fuctions during this season. I do prefer the later as it's easy to make, ready in jiffy, no grinding masalas and all and has a host of flavors… tangy, sweet, sour and spicy.  

Sassam means mustard in Konkani and this recipe has a dominant use of mustard whereas Upkari means a subji wherein less or no masalas are used and has just a tadka of rai and curry leaves with coconut gratings.


5-6 small size mangoes
1 teaspoon udad dal
½ teaspoon methi
1 teaspoon rai or mustard seeds
1 sprig of curry leaves
1 -2 slit green chilli
2 red chilli
Salt and jaggery to taste
Grated coconut, for garnish (optional)
Chopped coriander leaves, for garnish
½ teaspoon sambhar/rasam masala.
1 tablespoon Oil

  • Wash and pat dry the mangoes.
  • Remove the skin of the mangoes and put them in vessel. Make sure you don’t separate the flesh from the mango. We need the whole mango with flesh intact on the seed.
  • Collect all the skin in a vessel and add little water (approx. 1 cup). You can later add more water if required to get the right consistency.
  • Mash the skin using your hands so that all the pulp attached to the skin is separated.
  • Squeeze the skin to remove the water and pulp and discard the skin.
  • Keep the pulpy water aside.
  • In a kadai add the oil.
  • When it is heated add rai and allow to splutter.
  • Add the udad dal and methi. Allow it to get golden in colour. Add the curry leaves and chillies.
  • Next add the pulpy water to it along with salt and the whole deskinned mango.
  • Bring it to boil. Check the sweetness and add jaggery accordingly.
  • Finish it off with the sambhar/rasam powder and coconut grating.
  • Allow the gravy to thicken a little.
  • Switch of the flame and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
  • You can relish this sweet, sour and tangy curry with hot steaming rice or hot pulkas or neer dosa or just by itself.

Couldn't click a better picture as it got over soon

Enjoy cooking… 

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Why I chose to be a Home Baker?

            We women are bit crazy. And when it comes to our family we go even crazier I suppose.  We want to try out something new and different … one which we have never done before; same with me. I am a newbie to all the baking techniques: icing, crumb coating, ganache, fondant… list is endless.

            Previously I used to bake just normal sponge cakes but whenever on any occasion we used to order cakes from shops I used to think I should try my hand at it too but didn’t have the courage or source to research and try (this was nearly 15 years back). But still whenever I used to bake, I used to love it to see the cake rising while it is getting baked. It used to give me a sense of satisfaction when my family members and friends used to devour it with relish.

            When my daughter was born, she had a difficult childhood. Later when she was advised ‘strictly no outside food’ I was in dilemma. What’s in store for my princess? On her birthdays when we used to get the cakes I used to hate the amount of cream and coloring used in those cakes and I used to promise myself ‘next year I will bake a cream cake for her’ but each time I used to fail and we used to end up either with a shop cake or plain sponge cake.

            The reason shop cakes put me off was
  • ·       It used to be tad too sweet.
  • ·       More than 50% of the cake was just cream or icing.
  • ·       More of artificial color and flavoring which used to leave a strange aftertaste.
  • ·       Last but not the least my daughter fell sick after eating the cake once.

But still every time I used to see a cake picture I used to feel deep inside will I able to fulfill my dream? Luckily last year while browsing through Facebook I came across a basic cake workshop ad by Polka Dots Cakes Academy. And I grabbed the opportunity with both hands.

            I must say it was the best decision I made and I got what I wanted; basic knowledge of icing, baking and different types of cakes and mainly my confidence of baking.  I got to know right techniques, ingredients used and many other tips and tricks.

            After attending 1-day workshop I had that spring in my step and couldn’t wait try out all the recipes taught. My first trial was all-time favorite black forest cake and it turned out awesome. Slowly I tried couple of more cakes and everyone liked it. Slowly I started to get orders from friends to bake for their occasions. 

My 1st Black forest cake

            Since I had been thinking of starting something of my own to keep me busy and sane, Chocodisiac was born. During this journey is past 1 ½ year I met many helpful and talented fellow bakers and experts who never shy away from sharing their knowledge or experience. I am really thankful to Gauri, Prabhjot, Shivani, Divya, Rakhi, and many others and also to the awesome group called Home Bakers Guild for helping me out whenever I am struck anywhere. I also want to thank Sujata and Mousam my daughter's physiotherapist who always become guinea pigs for my experimentation.  

            “Fear is just a state of mind” someone had told me recently and yes its true. I was afraid of many things. I was afraid of failure and wastage. I was afraid of trying out new things and ideas. But that didn’t deter me from trying out rainbow cake last year on my daughter’s birthday nor the doll cake and checkerboard cake with couverture ganache this year.

Checker board cake with dark Belgian chocolate ganache with leopard print on top

Doll cake 

Inside view

            But when I started working on cakes I felt “what was I thinking”. I went overboard, wanting to try lot of things all for first time. The fondant flowers which I wanted to put up on doll cake were fine till the D-day morning, but heavy rains turned the flowers in a soggy mess. For first time I tried buttercream and though it didn’t turn out as expected, it tasted yummy…

            Finally when I tried the leopard print on the checker board cake I didn’t get it right. But I thing I got right. And that was overcoming my fear. Though these cakes had lots of firsts, and not everything turned out right but atleast I overcame my fear.

            Everyone liked the cake and my daughter had her fill. Usually I used to just give her little bit of sponge after separating the cream but since I started baking I don’t separate the icing for her.

            Many people ask me why I became a home baker? The answer is for my daughter, for my passion. I know what ingredients I use in my cakes. I avoid using artificial color or flavor. Things which I know are not good for our children. And atleast I know its fresh and not stale. And my cake has more of cake than sweet icing. Moreover the satisfaction of having baked a cake from scratch is just so therapeutic.  

            I wrote this blog not to promote me or anyone else but to thank all who have helped me through this journey and have always supported me and stood by me. Being a mother to differently able child is difficult and doing something like baking and starting a business from home which requires lots of patience and time and energy is not an easy thing.  

Still a long way ahead… lots of new techniques and recipes to learn and try. Hope I will be successful. Wish me luck. 

Happy Baking .... Protection Status

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Mango appe

          It's Mango season and we have made and stuffed ourselves with aamras, ice creams, pannacotta, milkshakes, cheese cake and many more mango dishes Indian and international.

          Last month when we had mango mania challenge in bakers guild, I had asked Mom for some recipes which are different, not the usual ones and that’s when she gave me this recipe. It's an easy to make, instant snack. Today when I made this dish made some changes and it's turned out even better than my first try.


1 cup jada rawa/semolina
Pulp of 1 mango and 2 small Elachi bananas
Milk (approx. ½ cup)
Pinch of salt
Gul/ jaggery according to taste
Cardamom and nutmeg powder ¼ teaspoon
1 tablespoon + Ghee for greasing
½ teaspoon soda


  1. Put 1 tablespoon ghee in a kadai and roast the rawa till golden brown.
  2. Allow to cool.
  3. Add mango and banana pulp.
  4. Mix well. Add salt cardamom and nutmeg powder and jaggery.
  5. Add jaggery if you feel the mixture is less sweet. I added approx. ¼ cup.
  6. Mix the batter well. Now add milk to get the batter in a pouring consistency.
  7. Finally add the soda and keep it aside for 15-20 minutes.
  8. Check the consistency after 20 minutes. If you feel the batter is dry add more milk to get the right consistency.
  9. Put the appe patra on heat. Put some ghee in the moulds and pour spoonful of these batter in each mould. Cover and let it cook till it's golden in colour in bottom.
  10. With a fork turn it around and let it become golden brown on other side too.
  11. Serve hot with a dollop of ghee on the top…


  1. You can add either dry fruit powder or chopped nuts roasted in little ghee. It will definitely take the taste to another level.
  2. If you don’t like bananas you can add just mango pulp. In that case increase quantity of pulp.

Happy Cooking J Protection Status

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Instant Oats Utappam

      Oats is wonder food which is fast catching up with all due to its various health benefits. Oats is rich in dietary fiber, helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar level and many more. 

Image from Google

     Usually, oats is served as a porridge which kids sometimes don't like. Oats can be ground into flour and used in rotis, cookies, cakes etc.

      This recipe is a simple, easy to make snack which can be prepared in a jiffy and served as an evening snack for your child who comes home hungry after school or as an idea tiffin snack.


1 cup Oats
2 tablespoon besan
1 tablespoon rawa (optional)
1 chopped onion or spring onion
1 chopped tomato
1 grated carrot
Chopped coriander leaves
1 tablespoon Pudina chutney
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
Salt to taste.
1 cup dahi

Healthy & Instant Oats Utappam
  1. In a mixie jar, add oats, rawa, ginger garlic paste, Pudina chutney and besan.
  2. Add the dahi and make a fine paste.
  3. Add little water if required.
  4. Remove the grind mixture in a bowl, add the veggies and salt.
  5. Add water if required to get the dosa batter consistency but little thicker.
  6. Add grated cheese if required.
  7. In nonstick dosa pan pour a ladle of the batter, drizzle some ghee on sides.
  8. Cover and cook till its brown on bottom. Now flip and let the other side cook.
  9. Serve hot, tasty, healthy oats uttappam with tomato sauce or chutney or as it is.


  • You can add spring onions instead on normal onion.
  • Add finely chopped beans, spinach, methi, shredded cabbage to batter.
  • Add grated cheese to the batter if your child loves cheese. Protection Status

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Healthy Soup

          December is here and there is a nip in air. You long for something hot and soothing for your taste buds. You try out different kinds of soups, which will make you feel warm.

This soup is a changed version of famous and all-time favorite Monchow soup. This soup contains lots of veggies and oats and is filling and soothing too especially since this weather brings in cold and cough and you just long for some warm soups…

So here is list of ingredients.

Time for preparation : 30 min
Serves : 2 people

Ingredients :

2 cups finely chopped mixed vegetables (broccoli/cauliflower, cabbage, French beans, carrot, mushroom, baby corn/American corn, bell peppers green/red/yellow)

1 tomato – finely chopped
1 large onion – finely chopped
1 tablespoon garlic – finely chopped
1 tablespoon grated ginger
1 green chilli finely chopped (optional)
1 tablespoon dried or fresh herbs like basil, oregano, thyme, sage or just coriander leaves will do
1 tablespoon oil or butter
1 cup plain oats or masala oats
Salt and black pepper powder to taste

Method :

1.     In a thick bottom pan add the oil/butter.
2.   Sauté ginger, garlic and onion till translucent.

3.   Add the chopped veggies and tomato.
4.   Sauté for a minute.
5.    Add 1 litre water, salt and herbs and let it come to boil.

6.   Add the oats and mix well and cover the pan and let it cook till all veggies are cooked.
7.    Adjust the salt, add pepper powder.
8.   Serve hot.

Hot n yummy soup.... 
PS : I am not a good at clicking snaps, one might not find the pic tempting but I can assure you one thing you will definately love the soup...

  • If not broccoli you can use normal cauliflower.
  • If you don’t like oats in your soup, you can avoid adding it while cooking.
  • Now-a-days lots of flavored oats are available in market; you can use it instead of normal, plain oats. It will also give different flavor to the soup.
  • If you don’t have fresh herbs you can add dried herbs or just add coriander and mint leaves.
  • Instead of onion you can use spring onions also with its green leaves.

Enjoy cooking… Enjoy winter J Protection Status

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Stuffed Capsicum

          Diwali festive are over … you have stuffed yourself with all the ghee loaded sugar-loaded sweets and now you crave for some spicy but non greasy stuff.

          Here is an easy and non-greasy recipe of stuffed capsicum which can either be baked in an OTG or roasted in a kadai. This is a recipe handed down from my Aayi so it’s a traditional one. And it is made from ingredients easily available at home so you don’t have to rush to buy the ingredients.

Cooking time 10 min

Total time 20 min


½ kg Small sized capsicum
½ grated coconut
1 cup chopped coriander leaves
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
Red chilli powder to taste
Salt to taste
1 teaspoon sugar
2 teaspoon oil + oil for greasing
1 lemon juice
Besan / chickpea flour 1 cup or as required


  • Buy capsicums, which are small in size and has flat bottom so that they can stand on their bottom J

  • Cut the uppermost part but retain it with stalks so as it can be used as lid
  • Clear inside of seeds and white strings.
  • Lightly cover it with oil inside out and keep it aside.
  • Mix coconut, chopped coriander, lemon, salt, sugar, turmeric, red chilli powder and 2 teaspoon oil.
  • Add besan 1 spoon at a time till it forms a homogenous mixture.
  • The mixture should be sticky but not forming a lump.

  • Stuff this mixture in the capsicum and place the cut lids on top of it.


  • Pre heat the oven for 10 min at 180’C
  • Place these stuffed capsicum on a greased pan and bake for 10 min or till all the sides are roasted.
  • Serve hot.

Happy Baking J Protection Status

Friday, July 24, 2015

FAASOS - review

“Rocky and Mayur have ventured out to explore food from all parts of India and curate videos on  I'm contributing my part by relishing my favorite dishes at Faasos and sharing my views with you all!”

          Now-a-days, people like to experiment with food. Everyone is a foodie now. Everyone wants to tickle their taste buds with different flavours and cuisine. With a new restaurant springing up every day in every nook and corner, restaurants charging a bomb and people becoming health conscious, it becomes a very difficult choice of where to eat out. But since now-a-days everyone is hooked to their smartphones and rely on various apps from shopping to booking tickets why ordering food from restaurants should be left behind?

          So recently I came to know of Faasos app, and last week when I had little energy left to cook after a very hard day I decided to try out their food by ordering from app.

          And I was not disappointed. Their app promises exciting meal options ranging from breakfasts, full meals, snacks, desserts… you name it. They also have special menu for the day. Since I was ordering for 1st time I was bit skeptical on what to order, how the taste will be etc. 

          So I booked a value combo meal of wraps and rice. Immediately I got an email confirmation of meals booked and the total bill amount to be paid. Plus their app also indicates total amount of time before the food is delivered at our doorstep, etc. Though the estimated time for delivery was nearly an hour, my food arrived well before the stipulated time. Even their packing of food was neat and well thought of, easy to carry when on move without tension of spillage of oil or gravy.

          And the food… yummy… The wraps; soft and spicy paneer wrapped in soft rotis and the rice; long grained rice cooked to perfections with paneer and gravy. It was heaven. And for health conscious people, let me tell you, their wraps were not oily or greasy as we usually get.
   I loved their food, their service and also their app on which they keep updating their daily menus and special deals of the day. Will surely love to order again from Faasos and would love to recommend to you all atleast try out once and you won’t be disappointed.

   Protection Status

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Tomato Gojju (chutney)

          This recipe is one life saver for me and to most of us south Indians. It’s the most versatile recipe I ever came across. It can be used to mix with rice or can be used as an accompaniment for chapatti, dosas and idlis, or as a dip or as a side dish too.

          I never knew of this dish until my hubby started to travel. That’s when I came across this dish and got the recipe from 1 of my family friend. After many trial and errors, now I make it with some minor changes to suit our palette.

Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: approx. 1 hour


Tomato 1 kg
Oil ½ cup
Curry leaves 2-3 springs

Mustard seeds 1 teaspoon
Cumin / jeera 1 teaspoon
Chana dal 1 teaspoon
Udad dal 1 teaspoon
Groundnuts a handful
Methi seeds 1 teaspoon
Saunf ½ teaspoon

Haldi – a pinch
Red chilli powder
Sambhar powder 1 tablespoon
Salt to taste
Little bit of jaggery
Grated ginger 1 tablespoon
Chopped green chillies 1 tablespoon

  1. Wash nicely all tomatoes and pat dry all the moisture.
  2. Remove the eye part (stalk) of the tomatoes and roughly chop them.
  3. In a thick bottom pan or non-stick kadai, pour in the oil.
  4. Add mustard seeds, after it starts to splutter, add cumin and curry leaves.

  5. Then add the chana dal and udad dal along with groundnut. Fry till it changes its colour.
  6. Add methi, saunf, hing.
  7. Then add ginger and chillies, fry till they lose their raw flavor.
  8. Add the tomatoes and roast a bit.
  9. Add the salt so that it leaves moisture and it becomes easy to cook.
  11. Add salt to taste, haldi, red chilli powder and sambhar masala powder. Mix well.
  12. Cover and allow it to cook.
  13. After the tomatoes are half done adjust the seasoning, and mash them with the back of the ladle so that it becomes mushy and paste like.
  14. Add the jaggery.
  15. Cook well till the oil floats at the top.
  16. Allow it to cool before you store it in a clean glass bottle.
  17. It can be stored in fridge for early 15-20 days.

  • If you like you can finely chop the tomatoes or puree them.
  • You can add red chilli powder according to your taste.
  • You can increase or decrease the quantity of the dals and groundnut depending on your liking.
  • You can avoid adding any of dals if you don’t like the taste, similar with saunf.
  • DON’T ADD WATER. Then the chutney can't be stored for long.
  • You can use refine oil or olive oil for this dish.
  • The oil acts as preservative for this dish which helps in storage for long time.

Happy cooking :-) Protection Status