Kachori (Rajasthani Savory Snack)

Kachori (Rajasthani Savory Snack)

Kachori is an Indian snack similar to samosa (its more famous cousin) but yet different. It is a flaky pastry filled with different spices and lentils. Just like other famous snacks, there are lots of varieties of kachoris in different parts of India. This one is my grandmother’s recipe aka Bhoji wali Kachori and one of her most famous ones. Everyone in our family loves this snack made by my grandmother. I love this kachori so much that I do not eat the kachoris available outside. For me THIS is kachori 🙂

The filling made with besan is what makes this kachori different from the other kachoris. Mostly kachoris are filled with different lentils but this one has no lentils. Roasted gram flour and spices complement the flaky crust perfectly.

Only tricky part with this filling/masala is to roast the gram flour(besan) well. If the besan is not roasted properly, the kachoris will not be fluffy. If it is roasted too much, the taste is ruined. It is very important to keep mixing the besan continuously while you roast it. Our house lives on no onion garlic diet most of the times so no onion in this one. You can add onions to this masala if you like.

The dough for kachori should not be too firm. Soft and pliable dough makes better kachoris. Another trick that I learnt from my grandmother is to roll the kachoris twice (only twice) after you have filled the masala and shaped the kachori. This distributes the filling evenly and each and every kachori puffs when you do this.

These kachoris can be stored up to a week in airtight container. Eat them plain or with chutney of your choice or make a chat by adding yogurt and different chutneys.

Kachori (Rajasthani Savory Snack)


Makes 20 kachoris

For Dough

  • 2 cups all purpose flour (maida)
  • 3 tbsp oil
  • ½ tsp salt

For Masala

  • 2/3 cup gram flour (besan)
  • ¼ cup oil
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • ¼ tsp citric acid (nimbu sat)
  • 4 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 4-5 green chillies coarsely ground
  • ½ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Oil for frying


For Dough

Mix the all purpose flour, salt, and oil. Add little water at a time and make soft dough. Cover and keep aside for 15 minutes.

For the Masala

Put oil and besan in a thick bottomed pan/non stick pan and mix well. Do not heat the oil before adding the besan. This will help you avoid lumps in the masala. Now switch on the flame and roast the besan and oil mixture for 3-4 minutes on low flame. Roasting time varies according to the heat. The color of the mixture should be light brown. Besan can burn quickly so make sure to keep mixing it nonstop. Switch off the flame. Add green chillies, coriander, red chilli powder, turmeric, citric acid, garam masala, salt, and 1 tbsp water. Mix well. Keep aide to cool.

Divide the dough and masala into 20 equal portions. Take one portion of the dough and stretch it (appx 3 inches) using your fingers. Put one portion of masala in the center and seal the edges and flatten it very lightly.  Roll the kachori twice using a rolling pin. Follow the same process for rest of the kachoris.

Warm oil in a kadhai/thick bottomed pan. Oil should be just warm and not hot when you put the kachoris in for frying. Fry on low flame till the kachoris are golden brown. Serve hot or at room temperature.



Namak Para (Indian Savory Pastry)

Namak Para (Indian Savory Pastry)

Namak para is a popular savory tea time snack. It is a part of the variety of sweets and snacks made in marwadi homes during Diwali. This fried Indian pastry seasoned with cumin and carom seeds is a favorite with tea. My mom makes this snack in batches of huge tin boxes as every one at home loves to have them with the morning tea. This used to be a popular travel snack whenever we travelled. Namak para with lime pickle is an awesome combination.

The crunch of this snack should be like a pastry and that calls for ghee or butter to be added in the dough. You can use oil too but I like it light, flaky, and buttery. The basic rule of pastry applies with namak para too. Add all the dry ingredients before adding butter. Use cold butter and work quickly using your finger tips for a lighter pastry. The flour should resemble bread crumbs. If the fat you are adding is hot, it will absorb more oil while frying and the namak para will be heavier. Add cold water and add as less water as possible and add it gradually.  Do not over knead the dough. After you rest the dough, just knead it lightly.

You can make namak paras in any shape. The diamond shape is the most popular one in India. Fry the namak para on a slow or medium flame. Cumin and carom seeds are the most common flavours. You can experiment with other herbs too like kasuri methi or even oregano. Coarsely ground black pepper can be added for a hint of spice. Namak para can be stored in an airtight container for 3-4 weeks. These can be served with tamarind chutney or lime pickle.

Namak Para (Indian Savory Pastry)


  • 1 cup all purpose flour (maida)
  • 1 tbsp semolina (optional)
  • 4 tbsp Oil/butter
  • 1 tsp salt (you can add the salt as per taste)
  • ½ tsp cumin seeds (jeera)
  • ½ tsp carom seeds (ajwain)
  • Ice cold water
  • Oil for frying


Lightly pound the cumin and carom seeds. Mix the all purpose flour, salt, cumin and carom seeds. Rub the butter using finger tips. The flour should resemble bread crumbs. Add little cold water at a time and knead stiff dough. Cover with a damp cloth and keep aside for 15 minutes. Knead again lightly and divide the dough into four portions.

Roll each portion to a 1/8cm thick circle. Cut into desired shape. Diamond is the commonly used shape. Heat oil in a kadhai or a deep pan and fry the namak para on slow flame till they turn light brown on both sides.

Cool and store in an airtight container.

Manchurian Pav

Manchurian Pav

Manchurian Pav or Manchuria Pav as it is known in Hyderabad is a street food from Hyderabad. It is a twist to Pav Bhaji and what a yummy twist! I love it. Despite the fat. That is why I decided to try making it at home so that I can make it healthier. I am yet to find a city (with exception to Mumbai) where you can get yummy food 24×7. Street food in Hyderabad is amazing. The city is dotted with tons of stalls selling roadside snacks. One such place is a juice/pan shop called Mayur. I don’t know if this dish is available elsewhere but I love it at this place.  I always prepare extra bhaji and freeze it for the days I am too tired to cook. It comes in handy for quick snacks like this one.

This snack should be cooked on high heat throughout. Idea is not to let the capsicum lose it’s crunch or not to overcook the onions. It should be cooked but still crunchy.  You can cook it in butter if you like but using oil or even olive oil does not alter the taste a lot.

This dish gets soggy very fast. You need to make it just before eating. You can prepare the ingredients in advance and cook it just before eating/serving. This is a perfect snack with evening tea or for that 5 pm hunger. You can enjoy this Indian fast food with hot tea or finish it off with a glass of chilled juice.

Manchurian Pav


  • 2 Pavs/burger buns cut into 8 pieces each
  • 4-5 tbsp bhaji
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 small green chilli chopped
  • 1 tsp ginger finely chopped
  • 1-2 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 tbsp onions chopped
  • 2 tbsp capsicum chopped
  • 2 tsp pav bhaji masala
  • ¼ tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp fresh coriander chopped
  • 1 tbsp sev
  • salt to taste


Heat oil in a deep pan or kadhai.  Add ginger, garlic, and green chillies and cook for a minute. Add onions and cook for a minute or till the onions are translucent. Add capsicum and cook for 30-45 seconds. Add pav bhaji masala, garam masala, bhaji, and salt. Mix well. Add the pav pieces and mix well. Transfer to the serving dish and top it with sev and chopped coriander. Serve immediately.

Pav Bhaji (Indian Street Food)

 “Pav Bhaji (Indian Street Food)” is locked Pav Bhaji (Indian Street Food)

Pav bhaji is one of the most famous street foods from India. It is a snack made with mixed vegetables mashed and cooked in spices and butter. It is served with a bread called pav (similar to hamburger buns). While it is made with fresh vegetables, the amount of butter added to it makes it an unhealthy snack. This recipe is my mom’s pav bhaji recipe which she makes without butter, onion, and garlic. For years, this was the only pav bhaji I knew. It was kind of fixed menu for our birthday parties. I have made slight change to the recipe and added onions.

Whenever my mom is left with a less quantity of different vegetables, she just boils them all and makes pav bhaji for us. This was her idea of not wasting the vegetables and giving us something healthy and tasty to eat. I remember her using even bottle gourd (lauki) in the bhaji. I love the flavour capsicum and peas add to this dish. You can add fresh red chilli paste and garlic to enhance the flavor. My mom makes it in oil and I made it with olive oil last time and did not miss the butter at all in this yummy dish. For the butter lovers in my family, I just top the individual serving of bhaji with a generous dollop of butter.  

The interesting thing about bhaji is that it tastes best the next day. It is a perfect dish to make ahead for any party. You can even freeze it and heat it for a quick snack. At my place it is more of dinner than a snack and my siblings and I enjoy this dish a lot. We eat it with naan, we spread it on dosa, and we even use it as a grilled sandwich filling. The latest is Manchuria pav. Shall post the recipe soon.

Pav Bhaji (Indian Street Food)



Serves 3-4

For Pav

  • 10 pav or burger buns
  • 1-2 tbsp butter/ghee/oil
  • 1 tsp pav bhaji masala
  • ¼ tsp red chilli powder
  • ¼ tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste

For Bhaji

  • 4 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp grated ginger
  • 1 green chilli chopped
  • 2 tsp red chilli powder
  • ¼ cup finely chopped onion
  • ½ cup finely chopped capsicum
  • 2/3 cup chopped tomatoes
  • ¼ cup peas
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp pav bhaji masala
  • 1 cup chopped potatoes
  • 1 cup cabbage
  • ½ cup beans
  • ½ cup carrot
  • ¼ cup cauliflower florets (optional)


Boil or pressure cook potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower, beans, and carrots. Drain excess water (Do not throw the water). Keep aside. Boil peas and keep aside.

Heat oil. Add green chillies and ginger. Cook for 30-45 seconds. Add onions and sauté. Cook for 1-2 minutes or till onions are translucent. Add capsicum and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for 3-5 minutes till oil separates. Add tomato paste, salt, red chilli powder, pav bhaji masala and ¼ cup of water reserved from boiled vegetables. Cook for 5-7 minutes mixing in between till oil separates. Add the boiled vegetables and peas. Mash the bhaji well using a potato masher. Add more of reserved water from boiled vegetables as per desired consistency (1/2 cup should be good). Let it cook on slow flame for 10-5 minutes mixing in between. Serve with hot pav/dinner rolls and chopped onions with a wedge of lime.

For Pav

There are two ways to serve/eat pav with bhaji. One is, Slice the pav/dinner roll into two pieces, smear with generous amount of butter and warm or lightly toast on a hot griddle.

Another way is to cut each pav or dinner roll into 4-6 bite sized pieces. Sprinkle the pav bhaji masala, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, and salt on the pav pieces. Heat oil or butter in a thick bottomed deep skillet or a kadhai. Add the pav pieces and mix well. Cook for 1-2 minutes mixing very frequently. Serve with hot bhaji, chopped onions, and a wedge of lime.

Paneer Wraps (Cottage Cheese Wraps)

Paneer Wraps (Cottage Cheese Wraps)

Paneer roll or Paneer wrap is a whole wheat wrap filled with paneer (Indian cottage cheese) and capsicum filling. Call it a roll or a wrap or a wrap and roll, for me it is a twist to my mom’s way of making us eat the roti sabji. She would just roll the potato curry in the roti and present it to us as a new snack she made for us and voila it would be finished in no time. I make this whenever I want to eat something “different” for dinner but still want to keep it healthy. This snack reminds me of my childhood and all the experiments I have done in the name of creative fillings for these wraps.

I did move ahead of the potato curry and roti combo and experimented with lots and lots of combinations of fillings. I added herbs to the roti dough to add more flavour. My love for adding herbs to food makes this snack stand out from the regular rolls with creamy sauces. You can experiment with the filling and add the vegetables/spices of your choice. I like the ginger and basil combo and nothing can go wrong when paneer is paired with capsicum. You can also add various fresh or dried herbs to add flavour to the rotis or wraps. You can even add pureed vegetables like carrot or spinach to make the wraps colourful and healthier.

I don’t like the wraps which drip while eating. You can be creative with rolling the wraps but this simple method works well for me. You can shape them like calzone and use cheese to seal the wraps or just simply roll them and seal with cheese. When cooking the wraps you can just warm them on a hot griddle or cook them slightly longer to make them crispy at the centre and soft at the edges. The filling and wraps can be made ahead and you can just roll and warm them before eating.

Paneer Wraps (Cottage Cheese Wraps)


Makes 6 wraps

For Wraps

  • ½ cup whole wheat flour
  • ¼ tsp oregano
  • Salt to taste
  • Olive oil/butter to cook the wraps


  • 1 cup chopped mixed bell peppers
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 7-8 basil leaves chopped
  • 1 tomato chopped
  • 2/3 cup paneer
  • 1tbsp ginger chopped
  • ½ tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 cheese slice
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • Salt to taste


For the Wraps

Combine all the ingredients for wraps, add enough water and knead a firm dough. Cover and keep it aside for 10 minutes. Knead the dough again for 1 minute and divide into 6 portions. Roll out each portion into approximately 8-9 inches circle and cook on a hot griddle/tava till light brown spots form on both sides. Cook rest of the wraps and cover and keep aside.

For the Filling

Heat oil. Add ginger and sauté for 30-40 seconds. Add chilli flakes and oregano. Wait for few seconds and add onion. Once the onions are translucent, add capsicum and cook for a minute. Add paneer, tomato, salt, tomato puree, and basil and cook for another 1-2 minutes. Add the cheese slice and switch off the gas. Once the cheese slice melts, mix the filling well and keep it aside.

To make the Wraps

Divide the filling in 6 portions. Take a wrap. Add one portion of filling at the centre of the wrap and roll it tightly. Follow the same procedure for rest of the wraps. Cook the wraps on a hot griddle using little olive oil or butter. You can just warm them or cook till they are lightly crispy. Serve with ketchup or a dip.


Corn and Paneer Cigars

Corn and Paneer Cigars

Corn and paneer (cottage cheese) cigars. This very quick and easy to make snack is just mushy paneer and corn filled bread, rolled and deep fried. This is a twist to the sandwich I make with corn and paneer filling. With the IPL going and Football World cup round the corner, it is going to be lot of night outs and even more snacks and finger foods.

I don’t get the Indian corn here so I used the frozen sweet corn. This adds a hint of sweetness to the filling. If you don’t like sweet flavour, use the Indian corn which is not as sweet as the sweetcorn. Make sure not to crush the corn too much. Grind it very coarsely just enough to be broken into two pieces.

If you can use fresh paneer its great. Otherwise try thawing the frozen paneer cubes before you use them. I soaked the frozen paneer cubes in hot water for couple of minutes and it was good enough to crumble in the mixture.

I used white bread for this recipe but I would strongly recommend using the multigrain bread. It adds a lot to the flavour. Cut off the edges and roll the bread flat using a rolling pin. Do not forget to seal the edges well by wetting the edges with enough water. You can prepare the filling in advance and fry the cigars when you want to eat/serve them. You can serve these with ketchup or any other dip of your choice.

Corn and Paneer Cigars



Makes 8 cigars

  • ½ cup corn kernels
  • 6-7 cubes paneer
  • 1 green chilli
  • 2 inch piece of ginger
  • 8 slices of bread
  • 1 tbsp oil + more oil for frying
  • Salt to taste


Steam the corn kernels and grind them very coarsely with green chillies.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a non-stick pan. Add grated ginger and sauté. Add the corn and chilli mixture, paneer, and salt. Mix well. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Keep it aside.

Trim the edges of the bread. Roll the bread flat using a rolling pin. Add approximately 1 tsp of the filling in the centre. Wet the edges of bread with water and roll the bread carefully into cylinder shape and seal the edges.

Heat oil in a frying pan or kadhai and fry the bread cigars on medium heat till they are golden brown. Serve with ketchup or choice of dip. You can even cut the cigars into two to make bite sized snacks.

Eggless Oatmeal Cookies

Eggless Oatmeal Cookies

Eggless Oatmeal cookies – I tasted these cookies for the first time in Peterborough; a very beautiful and peaceful city in the east of England. I even asked for the recipe from my husband’s cousin but never got to make these cookies again. Almost 10 years later, when I found the recipe again, I decided to make these cookies. I made some basic changes like switching the white sugar with brown sugar and adding chocolate chips instead of dry fruits. The cookies turned out equally delicious.

The basic ingredients for these cookies are same like most of the cookies. Sugar, butter, and flour. Oats add the crunch and also help lessen the guilt of having butter and flour. You can change the toppings as you like. The cookies I had originally were loaded with dry fruits like almonds, cashews, and raisins. I have substituted that with white and dark chocolate chips. I also added my favorite cinnamon for the nutty flavor. You can leave it out if you don’t like cinnamon.


You can roll the dough and cut the cookies using a cookie cutter. This dough is bit softer so I recommend flattening the cookies with hand or may be cut 2-3 cookies at a time by rolling small amount of dough. Do remember to leave space between the cookies when you bake them. They might feel soft when you take them out from the oven but they will harden up as they cool.

These cookies are best eaten as is. But if you want, you can even ice them. I made these for Aryan’s friend so I iced them with letters of his name using fondant. Store the cookies in an airtight jar and you can eat them for weeks.

Eggless Oatmeal Cookies


Makes 30 cookies

  • 500 gms all-purpose flour (maida)
  • 250 gms unsalted butter
  • 250 gms sugar
  • 120 gms oats
  • 1 cup chocolate chips (you can also use dry fruits or raisins)
  • 85 gms fresh cream
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 ½ tsp cinnamon powder (optional)


Mix sugar and butter till smooth. Add cream, baking powder, and baking soda and mix well. Add flour, oats, cinnamon powder, nuts, and milk to make a dough. Divide the dough into 30 portions. Take each portion, roll it into a ball, and press between palms to make a round flat cookie. You can even use a cookie cutter to shape your cookies.

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees. Line a baking tray with baking sheet. Place the cookies on the sheet with at least 2 inches gap between each cookie. Bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 20 mins. Cool on a wire rack and store in airtight container. You can Ice the cookies or eat them plain.



Dabeli is a famous street food in Gujarat and Mumbai. This gujarati version of burger is filled with spiced potatoes, sweet, spicy, and sour chutneys and fresh pomegranates. Usually smeared with butter and served hot. Post wedding dinners can be disasterous if you are served puri-sabji and kheer combo for 5-6 dinners in a row. Dabeli was a big respite when one of my husband’s cousin made it for dinner for us. This was the first time I enjoyed a snack with sweet taste. She is a pro at making lip smacking snacks and I have borrowed this recipe from her to share it on Vegetarian Khana.

The potato filling is layered in a plate with edges and then cut into portions. The common layers are potato and spice mixture, masala peanuts, fresh coriander, pomegranate, and sev. Some people add fresh grapes too. If you want to prepare the masala ahead, add the pomegranate and sev layers in the end so that the sev does not get soggy.

Dabeli is filled with three different types of chutneys. Sweet, spicy, and sour. You can layer the chutneys and toppings on the dabeli as per taste. I like to use fresh red chillies for the garlic chutney but if that is not available you can use red chilli powder. These chutney can be made ahead and refrigerated. Left over chutney can also be stored for few days.

You can make your dabeli healthier by using the whole wheat or multi grain burger buns. Substitute the butter with olive oil. I did not see a major difference in taste when I made these substitutions. Just spread the chutneys evenly, add the potato filling and press the dabeli a little while cooking. Dabeli can be enjoyed both hot and cold.




  • 4 pav/burger buns
  • 4-5 tbsp garlic chutney
  • 4-5 tbsp coriander chutney
  • 4-5 tbsp sweet chutney
  • 4-5 tbsp thin sev
  • 4 tbsp pomegranate
  • Butter to cook the dabelis

For filling

  • 1 ½ tbsp dabeli masala
  • 2 potatoes boiled and roughly mashed
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 2-3 pinches turmeric powder
  • 4 tbsp masala groundnuts
  • 3-4 tbsp chopped coriander
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • Salt to taste

For the garlic chutney

  • ¼ cup peeled and chopped garlic
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 fresh red chilli (substitute this for 1 tbsp red chilli powder if fresh red chilli is not available)

For coriander chutney

  • ½ cup chopped coriander
  • 1 tbsp groundnuts
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • Salt to taste


For the coriander chutney

Grind all the ingredients to a smooth paste using little water. Keep aside.

For garlic chutney

Grind all the ingredients to a smooth paste using little water. Keep aside.

For the filling

Heat oil in a kadhai or non-stick pan. Add the onions and cook for 1-2 minutes till the onions are translucent. Add the potatoes, turmeric, dabeli masala, and salt. Mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes.

Transfer the mixture to a round or square plate with edges and fill it evenly. Add a layer of masala groundnuts and top with a layer of chopped fresh coriander. Cut the filling in four portions and keep aside. If masala groundnuts are not available, you can make them at home. Just roast the groundnuts in very little oil and add salt and red chilli powder.

To make dabeli

Slice the pav/bun into two pieces. Spread approximately 2 tsp each of coriander chutney and sweet chutney on one side and 2 tsp garlic chutney on another side. You can spread more/less chutneys as per taste. Add a portion of the potato filling and top it with approximately 1 tbsp of fresh pomegranate and 1 tbsp sev. Close the bun and brush it with butter on both sides.

Heat a tava or non-stick pan. Cook the dabeli on both sides pressing it lightly. Serve immediately with sweet chutney, coriander chutney, or ketchup.

Five Layer Dip

Five Layer Dip

Five layer dip – the best Mexican dip I have ever tasted. Just five layers of beans, guacamole, sour cream, cheese, and salsa and you are eating the yummiest dip with your snack. Each layer is loaded with flavor and taste and goes well not only with Nachos but also with lot of other snacks. For most people this is a football snack or an interesting appetizer. For me it was a savior on my first trip to the USA. I was travelling alone and was the only vegetarian in my office team. My sister in law picked a box of five layer dip and a bag of tortilla chips on the way to my hotel and a day later I was just too thankful and happy to have this for snack/dinner. The hotel I stayed at did not serve lot of vegetarian food and I was just too jet lagged and tired to go find a vegetarian place. Five layer dip was heaven for me that time 🙂

You can buy the ready to eat re-fried beans cans available in the supermarkets but if you live in India, it might be tough to find the re-fried beans. Re-fried beans are usually the pinto beans, a type of rajma beans that we get in India so If you cannot find pinto beans, you can also use rajma (kidney beans) and it tastes the same. Just make sure to cook it well so that you can mash it even with the back of a spoon.

Guacamole is one of the health foods that tastes ‘wow’. Avocado is one of the healthiest foods (eat moderately as it is loaded with fats – even though they are good fats that your body needs). Guacamole can be made as per taste. You can add chopped coriander, olives or roasted bell peppers to add more flavor. For the five layer dip, I like this particular simple and quick recipe. You can make a chunky guacamole or a smooth one. For chunky guacamole, just chop the avocado and other things finely and mix them up or mash them coarsely.

I prefer my salsa homemade and fresh. It is very easy to make so I do not rely on the store bought bottle for this. Fresh salsa is juicy, crunchy, and healthy too. I just make the make basic salsa recipe for the five layer dip.

For the sour cream, some people add fresh herbs and mayo but I like it plain. If you do not get sour cream, you can use the fresh cream and add little lime juice and salt to it.

You can prepare this dip in advance and chill it. Just keep the salsa separate and add it just before serving. Five layer dip tastes best with Nachos or Tortilla chips. My suggestion is to try this dip with Khakhra. It tastes as good as it tastes with the Nachos.

Five Layer Dip


  • ½ cup sour cream (add little salt if you find the taste too bland)
  • ½ cup grated cheese ( I used a mix of Cheddar, Mozzarella, Monterrey Jack, and Colby)

For Re fried Beans

You can buy the ready to eat cans available in the market or just soak the beans overnight and cook them

  • 2/3 cup pinto beans soaked overnight (you can use rajma (red kidney beans) too)
  • 1tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • Salt to taste
  • ¼ cup water

For Guacamole

  • 1 avocado scooped and diced
  • 2 tbsp chopped tomato
  • 1 tbsp chopped onion
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tbsp. lime juice
  • ¼ tsp white pepper powder
  • Salt to taste

For Salsa

  • ½ cup chopped tomatoes
  • ¼ cup chopped capsicum
  • 2 tbsp chopped onion
  • 1 small green chilli de-seeded and chopped
  • 1 ½ tsp lime juice
  • 2-3 tbsp chopped coriander
  • Salt to taste


For Re-fried beans

Pressure cook the beans for 8-10 whistles or until soft and mushy with enough water and little salt. Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add the beans, cumin powder, chilli powder, and water. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Check for salt and add more if required. Mash the beans a little and cook for 1 more minute. Transfer to a bowl and keep aside to cool.

For Guacamole

Mix all the ingredients and grind to a semi smooth paste. You can keep the guacamole chunky if you like. To keep it chunky, chop all the ingredients finely and just mix them up.

For Salsa

Add all the ingredients for salsa in a bowl and mix well.

To make the dip

Take a trifle glass or bowl. Add a layer of re-fried beans. Add a layer of Guacamole, Fresh cream, and cheese, and salsa. You can serve it fresh or chill it for couple of hours before serving. Serve with tortilla chips, nachos, or our very own khakhras.

To serve it as a topping on Nachos

Spread Nachos in an oven proof dish. Spread each layer of dip as per taste on nachos and bake until the cheese melts (1-2 minutes in a microwave is enough). Serve immediately.

Vegetarian Dumplings

Vegetarian Dumplings

When in Rome, do as Roman do and when in Singapore celebrate the Chinese New Year with dumplings and oranges. This is our first lunar new year in Singapore and it’s been fun so far. Everything is decorated in red and orange. Four days of holidays and family reunions everywhere you see. Unlike the English New Year, Chinese New Year involves lot of preparation, celebrations (15 days), reunion, and traditions. Market is filled with oranges, pomegranates and tens and hundreds of varieties of candies and snacks. People exchange Oranges and Tangerines. Oranges symbolize good luck and Tangerines symbolize wealth. Families get together and cook dumplings with every member taking part in the process. I am not a big fan of Chinese food but I found the idea of dumplings very interesting. Especially the way they are shaped.

I wanted to try making a vegetarian version of the dumplings (also known as dimsums or pot stickers). Boiled Dumplings are called Jiaozi. Pot stickers are famous in the west and are fried in a small amount of oil before steaming them slightly.

You can practically fill the dumplings with anything you like. I have used carrots, cabbage, beans, and paneer. Baby corn, Mushrooms, tofu are good options to try.

Shaping the dumplings is not as tough as it looks. The trick is to roll out the dough thin on edges and slightly thicker at the center. You can buy the ready made dumpling sheets too. You can even make colorful dumplings by adding natural colors. Add spinach puree to the dough for green and carrot puree for orange color.

Dumplings are always served with a dipping sauce. I wanted to make a spicy sauce which could complement the not so spicy dumplings and wanted to stay away from the oily dips. You can try the traditional soy sauce based dips too which are not very spicy. Dumplings are usually served as a starter or side dish. Happy New Year!

Vegetarian Dumplings


Makes 16-18 dumplings

For the Dough

  • ½ cup all-purpose flour (Maida)
  • 2-3 pinches of salt
  • Water to knead the dough

For the Filling

  • 1 ½ tbsp. chopped ginger
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 small onion finely chopped (use spring onion if available)
  • ½ cup mixed vegetables (cabbage, carrot, beans)
  • 5 tbsp paneer crumbled
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped coriander
  • 1 tbsp corn flour diluted in little water
  • ½ tbsp. soy sauce
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For the Dip

  • 5 fresh red chillies
  • 5-6 garlic cloves chopped
  • ½ tomato chopped
  • 5 tsp rice vinegar
  • 3 tsp brown sugar
  • Salt


Add salt to the all-purpose flour and knead into a soft and smooth dough using enough water. Cover and keep aside for 10-15 minutes.

To make the dipping sauce, combine all the ingredients and blend them in a mixer till smooth.

In a wok or kadhai, heat the sesame oil over medium heat. Add the ginger and stir-fry for about 30 seconds, until aromatic. Add the onions and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the chopped vegetables, paneer, salt, pepper, soy sauce, and coriander. Add little water and stir to combine. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes or until the vegetables and soft. Stir the corn flour mixture and add it to the filling. When the mixture thickens, turn off the heat. Transfer to a bowl and set aside to cool completely before assembling the dumplings. You should have about one cup of filling.

Divide the dough into equal portions and roll out thin sheets around 3 to 31/2 inches.

To make the dumplings, hold a sheet in a slightly cupped hand. Scoop up about 1 tablespoon of filling with a dinner knife, or fork and position it slightly off-center toward the upper half of the wrapper, pressing and shaping it into a flat mound and keeping about 1/2 to 3/4 inch of wrapper clear on all sides. Then fold, pleat, and press to enclose the filling to create a half-moon. You can steam them as is or try different shapes by adding pleats, joining the ends of the crescent etc.

Place the dumplings in the steamer at least an inch away from the edges. Steam for 8-9 minutes until slightly puffed and translucent.

If you want to cook them like pot stickers, heat little oil (appx 1tsp) in a pan. Add the dumplings and cook till they are little crispy. Add little dip and some water and cover immediately. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Remove the cover and toss to coat the dumplings with the flavor sauce. Cook little more till the sauce dries.

Serve immediately with the dipping sauce.