Bhakarwadi/Tangy Swirls

After preparing so many different sweets this Diwali, preparation of a savory item was the need of the festival ;). This too had to be different from regular yet one of our favorite. Having stayed in Pune for around 5 years, bhakarwadi has become one of our favorites. Our family members back home really relish Chitale’s bhakarwadi.


Recipe :

Ingredients :

For the stuffing :

  • 1/2 cup desiccated coconut
  • 1/4 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder
  • 1/2 tsp red chilli powder
  • sugar as per taste ( I used approx. 1 tbsp)
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp dry mango (aamchur) powder
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp cumin (jeera) powder
  • 1 tsp sesame seeds (til)
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds (khus khus)
  • salt as per taste

For the dough :

  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour (maida)
  • 1/2 cup gram flour (besan)
  • 1/4 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
  • pinch of turmeric powder
  • pinch of asafoetida (hing)
  • salt as per taste
  • 2 tbsp hot oil
  • water as required for kneading
  • 4 tsp oil for greasing
  • all-purpose flour for dusting
  • oil for deep-frying


  1. In bowl, mix well all-purpose flour, gram flour, chilli powder, turmeric powder, asafoetida and salt.
  2. Then add the hot oil and crumble.
  3. Add water as required and knead into a tight dough.
  4. Allow the dough to rest for at least 30 mins by covering under a damp cloth.
  5. Grind all the ingredients of the stuffing in a mixie  to a coarse powder.
  6. Divide the dough into medium-sized dough balls. (With the given measurements, I could get 4 dough balls).
  7. Roll one of the balls into a thin disc. Apply a thin-film of oil on it.
  8. Spread a layer of coarse stuffing on top of it leaving a little space at the edges.
  9. Now tightly roll the disc into a pipe and seal the ends by turning the edge inwards.
  10. Now cut the roll into slices of about 1 cm thickness.img_20161027_203757
  11. Flatten each slice a little with your finger.
  12. Repeat the procedure for rest of the dough balls.
  13. Deep fry all the slices till golden brown.
  14. Drain on a kitchen towel.
  15. Store in an air tight container.




Badam Katli/Almond Fudge

The festival of Diwali could not be celebrated without the preparation of the sweet – burfi or katli. Kaju Katli or Cashewnut fudge is considered to be an expensive sweet but still is quite common as people don’t hesitate. So I thought of making something different than regular. Katli means a thin square or diamond shape piece of sweet.


Recipe :

Ingredients :

  • 1/2 tin condensed or sweetened milk
  • 1/2 cup almond meal or flour
  • 1 tbsp ghee pr butter
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • slivers of almond for garnish
  • Aluminium foil or parchment paper for rolling
  • butter/ghee for greasing

Method :

  1. In a non-stick pan, heat the ghee. Mix sweetened milk, almond flour and cardomom powder.
  2. On a low flame continue stirring till the mixture starts leaving the sides of the pan and comes together as a single lump. Switch off the heat.
  3. Grease two sheets of aluminium foil or parchment paper.
  4. Spread the cooked lump on one of the greased sheets and then placing the other greased sheet on top of it, roll into a 1/4-1/2  inch sheet.
  5. Allow it to dry a bit. Then using a pizza cutter or a knife, cut diamond shaped or square pieces. You can also use cookie cutter of desired shape to cut out the barfi
  6. Badam katli is ready to be relished.



Bombay Ice Halwa/ Mahim Halwa

I have childhood memories associated with Mahim Halwa. My uncle stayed in Mumbai and whenever he came down with his family to our place during summer vacation, he got this halwa from the famous sweet mart D’ Damodar.

We always relished it the store-bought one’s. I never imagined that it was simple enough to be prepared at home. While exploring various posts on a food group on Facebook, I came across this recipe posted by blogger Smruti Ashar-Shah presenting the Bombay Ice Halwa (Base recipe by Shruti). I was so damn amazed. That very moment I decided, I definitely need to give this a try.

And like they say “Where there is will there is a way”, my determination to prepare it gave me good results in first attempt. I think many would be interested to know this recipe and would be willing to give it a try at least once. So here goes the recipe. I shall definitely work towards capturing detail step by step pictures when I try this recipe for second time as it will be easy to understand and follow.


Recipe :

Ingredients :

  • 1/2 cup butter or ghee
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • few saffron strands
  • yellow food color (optional)
  • ghee/butter for greasing
  • aluminium foil/parchment paper/plastic
  • slivers of almonds, pistachios
  • 1 tsp of seeds from cardamom pods

Method :

  1. Grease a long sheet of aluminium foil using ghee or butter.
  2. In a non-stick pan, melt the ghee or butter completely.
  3. To this add the all-purpose flour, milk and sugar. Mix well.
  4. Keep stirring continuously and then add the saffron strands and color.
  5. You need to stir continuously till the desired consistency is achieved. The desired consistency can be judged by spreading a tsp of the mixture on the greased foil. If the mixture sets in 3-4 mins, then it implies that the mixture has reached the desired consistency and requires no more cooking.
  6. Put off the gas and pour the mixture on the greased foil and spread.
  7. Put a greased parchment paper sheet or plastic on top of the mixture and roll into a thin sheet of 1/8-1/4 inch thick.
  8. Remove the parchment/plastic and sprinkle the mix of almonds, pistachios slivers and cardamom seeds.
  9. Put the parchment/plastic back again and roll over again so that the garnish is firmly embedded in.
  10. Allow it to set. It takes quite some long time to set. As per the blog recipe I referred the author mentioned that it takes 4-6 hours which can vary based on the climate of the place. However, I had to keep it overnight for setting.
  11. Once its set, you cut it into squares or rectangles using a pizza cutter. You can also use cookie cutters to cut out the halwa in desired shapes.
  12. Store in an air tight container separating each piece of halwa from the other using a parchment piece.



Sweetened Coconut ladoo/balls

Diwali is round the corner. I wanted to prepare some sweets and snacks but some thing different from the traditional one’s. We – my husband and me, we dont like ladoos much, specially the traditional one’s. However, on some food groups members had been posting coconut ladoos which seem to be really tempting.

So I too decided to try making these ladoos and they turned out to be really delicious and yummy.


Recipe :

Ingredients :

  • 1/2 tin sweetened milk (around 200 ml)
  • 2 cups desicated coconut
  • 1/2 cup milk powder
  • 1/4 cup desicated coconut for garnish
  • cupcake liners
  • oil

Method :

  1. In a non-stick pan, mix all the ingredientson a low flame.
  2. Keeping stirring so that the mixture does not get burnt and continue till the mix comes together as a lump.
  3. Pu off the flame. Apply oil to your palms.
  4. Take little amount of the mixture lump and roll between your palms to shape into a smooth golf size ball.
  5. Roll this ball into the desicated coconut and place into a cupcake liner.



Modak – Kaju (Cashew), Chocolate, Dryfruits

As per mythology, it is believed that Lord Ganesha loved a sweet very much – the Modaks. It is also believed that you can please the Lord by making devotedly his favorite sweet. Traditionally, a modak has the same base and stuffing like Nevri but its shape is not half circle bur rounded. Here, the filling is put right at the center of the dough disc and its covered by getting together the edges of the disc,giving tiny folds to form a frill and seal.

Here, in this recipe I have tried to make modaks using milk, cocoa powder, chocolate chips and dry fruit maintaining the traditional shape while avoiding the dough base. I will be sharing the recipe for 3 types of modak here – Cashew (Kaju), Chocolate and Dry Fruits.




Recipe :

Recipe for cashew modaks is inspired from a recipe shared by lady on a food group with slight modifications while Dry fruit modaks is inspired from Hebber’s kitchen dry fruit ladoos. You can also do the cashew modaks in microwave following similar steps to chocolate modak for microwave part.

Ingredients :

For Cashew modaks

  • 2 cups fine cashew nut powder (I used around 2 1/2 cups of cashew nuts to yield around 2 cups of cashewnut powder after grinding and sifting)
  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp heavy cream
  • raw whole milk (just enough to dip the sugar)
  • 1 spoonful ghee (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder

Note : In case you do not have cream, you can just use the milk. In this case, 1/4 cup milk will suffice to dip the sugar.

For Chocolate modaks

  • 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 tbsp ghee (unsalted butter)
  • 1 1/2 cup milk-mawa powder (If specialized powder is not available, you can use just milk powder but then you need to adjust the sugar accordingly. Milk-mawa powder does not have sweetness of its own)
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/4 cup whole milk

For Dry fruit modaks

  • 1 cup seedless dates
  • 1/3 cup chopped almonds
  • 1/3 cup chopped pistachios
  • 1/3 cup chopped cashew nuts
  • 1/3 cup raisins
  • 2 tbsp ghee


Modak mold :FB_IMG_1472754660297-COLLAGE

Method :

For cashew modaks:

  1. In a non-stick saucepan, add sugar. Then add milk plus cream (as mentioned earlier you can use just the milk) just enough to dip the sugar.
  2. Heat the sugar till it dissolves and you get a string consistency.
  3. Put the flame to low and add the cashew nut powder. Keep stirring the mixture till it leaves the sides.
  4. Put off the gas and continue to stir till the mixtures dries out and comes together to forma ball but is still not completely dry.
  5. Before putting off the gas, you can add ghee (optional).
  6. Remove on a greased plate. Also grease the mold.
  7. Stuff the batter while it is still warm in the mold.
  8. Fill complete mold then de-mold to get the desired modak shape.

For chocolate modak:

  1. In a microwave safe bowl, add sugar, ghee and milk-mawa powder and mix.
  2. Microwave the mixture by adding milk a tbsp at a time for 5 mins in intervals of 1 min. Keep stirring between intervals.
  3. Finally, remove from microwave and keep stirring continuously till the mixture begins to thicken but is still hot.
  4. Now add the cocoa powder and chocolate chips and continue to stir. The heat in the mixture will dissolve the chips. Stir till the mixture begins to dry out and comes clean from the sides and begins to form a ball.
  5. Grease the mold.
  6. Stuff the batter while it is still warm in the mold.
  7. Fill complete mold then de-mold to get the desired modak shape.

For Dryfruit modaks:

  1. Blend the dates in a mixie to a coarse paste.
  2. In a non-stick pan, heat the ghee.
  3. Add all the dry fruits except the dates.
  4. Once the dry fruits are well fried in ghee, add the date blend and mix.
  5. Put off the gas. Grease the mold.
  6. Stuff the batter while it is still warm in the mold.
  7. Fill complete mold then de-mold to get the desired modak shape.



Shankarpali/Diamond shaped sweet/Sakkar paara

Shankarpali – a diamond-shaped sweet made out of flour which is prepared during festivals almost in all states along the west coast of India. It can also be had as a snack with tea.

This recipe was passed to me by my cousin co-sister which was passed to her by her mother in law. My hubby likes the shankarpali made from this recipe a lot.



Recipe :

Ingredients :

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup powdered sugar ( I used granulated sugar so used 1 cup plus 6 tsp more)
  • 1/2 cup ghee (liquified)
  • salt as per taste

Method :

  1. Mix the all-purpose flour, ghee and salt well.
  2. Then add the powdered sugar and mix well again.
  3. Knead into a soft dough by adding very little water. Very minimal water will be required for kneading as the sugar will melt and this will be almost enough to knead the dough.
  4. Allow the dough to rest at least for 2 hours.
  5. Then pound the dough a little for around 5 mins.
  6. Take big balls of the dough and roll into a thick disc. (thickness should be between 1/8-1/4 inch)
  7. Cut into diamond-shaped pieces of the disc. (First cut half-inch thick strips of the disc and then cut diagonal strips to obtain diamond shape)
  8. Heat oil in pan on medium flame.
  9. Once hot enough, reduce the flame to low and deep fry the diamond-shaped pieces of dough on low flame only, till slight light brown.



Puranpoli / Sweetened bengal gram stuffed tortilla

Puranpoli is a sweet form of chapati – a chapati(poli) stuffed with puran – a mixture of boiled bengal gram and jaggery. It is an item prepared in most states of India like Goa, Maharastra, Gujrat, Karnataka,etc during festivals. If I need to translate it in English, I would name it as sweetened bengal gram stuffed tortilla. There is another form of stuffed tortilla – Saanjori whose recipe I shall share in future.

Some people in some states even use sugar instead of jaggery. You can even use botth in equal proportions. My mum-in-law bears the expertise in making puranpoli. When she made and fed us, I never bothered to indulge in noticing the recipe. But after coming here, I decided to attempt it on my own to surprise my hubby, my parents and my mum-in-law too.


Recipe :

Ingredients :

  • 1 1/4 cup bengal gram (channa dal)
  • 1 1/4 cup jaggery
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder (If the cardamom powder is too strong, use only 1/2 tsp of it)
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric powder (haldi)
  • salt as per taste
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (maida)
  • salt , oil for kneading the dough
  • extra flour for making the polis

Note : Remember that to make the best puran, you need to take bengal gram and jaggery/sugar in equal proportion. Eg. for 1 cup bengal gram, use 1 cup jaggery or 1 cup sugar. If you intend to use both jaggery and sugar, then for 1 cup bengal gram, use 1/2 cup jaggery and 1/2 cup sugar.

Also, many use same quantity of maida as that of bengal gram. But I preferred using a little more so that I should not fall short of . 😉

Method :

  1. Wash channa dal thoroughly well, soak for 5 hours and then pressure cook it for 5-6 whistles.
  2. Once pressure is completely released, remove the dal and drain any water that remains.
  3. Put this dal in a non stick pan, to it add the jaggery and turn on the gas. Keep stirring occassionally so that the mixture does not get burnt and stick to the bottom of the pan. The jaggery will melt down.IMG_20160712_114510
  4. Add the cardamom powder, tumeric powder and salt as per taste. Mix well.
  5. While the mixture almost begins to dry but still has slight watery consistency, put off the gas.
  6. Transfer the mixture into a mixie jar and grind it. After grinding, it will ideally dry on its own and form a lump. If not, then again tranfer to the saucepan and heat till puran dries up, leaves the sides and forms a lump. Take care that it doesn’t get burnt or stick to the pan.IMG_20160712_115156
  7. Knead a soft dough with all purpose flour, oil and salt as per taste. You can also add little of turmeric powder(optional) while you knead the dough to enhance the color of the final poli. Coat the kneaded dough with excess oil and keep it covered for half an hour. I usually keep the dough wrapped in wet but squeezed muslin cloth.
  8. Make golf size balls of puran and similarly make equivalent number of balls of dough.IMG-20160712-WA0025-COLLAGE
  9. Take a dough ball and roll it into a small roti just enough to cover up the puran ball.
  10. Put the puran ball in the middle of the roti and cover the puran with the roti.IMG-20160712-WA0033-COLLAGE
  11. Cover the puran stuffed dough ball with more than enough flour and start rolling into a medium sized disc. Keep applying enough  flour while rolling.WhatsApp-Image-20160712_10
  12. Tip : Sometimes, some find it difficult to achieve step 8-10. Alternate for this is – divide the dough into twice the number of puran balls i.e. two dough balls for one puran ball. Take two dough balls and roll each ball into small discs ( around 2-3 inch in dia., enough to accommodate the puran ball). Flatten the puran ball into a patti and place it in between the dough discs. Seal the edges of the dough discs together such that the puran is well sealed and locked between the dough. Roll this stuffed dough disc further into a medium sized disc, applying enough flour while rolling.
  13. Cook the poli on a hot tava or griddle on both the sides by applying ghee (butter) and flipping over only once.IMG-20160712-WA0041
  14. Serve hot with melted ghee for breakfast or snacks.