Ukdiche Modak

ऊकडीचे मोदक

Sweet coconut dumplings

Its that time of the year again. Its ganesh chaturthi today . It is the much awaited and much loved festival of all maharashtrians. 

The handsome and benevolent bappa brings with him blessings and love to ward off all evils and obstacles.

He stays with us for a few days and he is pampered with food, fruits, flowers, dhoop, songs of his greatness and most of all, his favourite food, the MODAK.

Modak can be made in many ways but I personally love the original steamed recipe.

Modak making is truly an art. Shaping and moulding them requires some practice and dexterity.

The process demands that you immerse yourself into making them because every step is very crucial for a perfect end result.

Here is my recipe for ukdiche modak, that I have learnt from my mother. 

Thanks to her, I make pretty decent modaks. She would insist that I try to make atleast one with her , every year. And I am so glad she did that. 

Lets begin….

For the filling

  1. 2 big fresh  coconuts , grated
  2. 2 ½ cup grated jaggery
  3. ½ cup sugar
  4. ½ tsp nutmeg powder

For the covering

  1. 6 cups rice flour
  2. 6 cups water
  3. ½ tsp white butter
  4. ½ tsp salt


For the Filling

  1. Mix the coconut, jaggery, sugar in a pan and keep on a low flame, stirring constantly
  2. The jaggery and sugar will melt. Cook till the mixture is dry, but not too dry.
  3. Remove from flame and add the nutmeg powder. Mix well and keep aside.

For the Covering

  1. Heat the water till is starts boiling. Add salt and butter to it.
  2. Slowly add the Rice flour to the water, stirring constantly, ensuring that no lumps are formed. 
  3. Reduce flame, cover the pan and allow the mixture to cook. This takes about 2-3 minutes.
  4. When cooked, remove from flame .
  5. Take a little of the dough at a time in a plate (paraat).
  6. Apply some ghee to your hands and knead the mixture while it is still hot.
  7. Knead well till the dough is not sticky any more.
  8. Keep covered under a damp cloth.

Shaping the Modak

  1. Take a ball of dough, roughly the size of a large lemon.
  2. Now make a dent in the center and with the help of both your hands, start shaping the dough like a flattish bowl.
  3. Ensure that you have ghee on your hands so that the dough does not stick to your hands.
  4. Now take a heaped spoon of the filling and put it in the dough bowl.
  5. Start pinching  / pleating the edges and bring together to seal.
  6. Your modak is ready.
  7. Make the rest of the modaks accordingly.
  8. Keep them covered with a damp cloth till you are ready to steam them.

I like to use a modak patra for steaming the modaks.

Make sure you keep a banana leaf on the ‘jaali’ of the steamer.

Before you place the modak in the steamer, dip it in cold water and then place on the banana leaf.

Stem for 15 to 20 minutes till the modaks start glistening.

Serve hot with a dollop of ghee.

Let me share Some tips to ensure flawless modaks

Do not cover the steamer tightly, allow some steam to escape.

Sprinkle some cold water over the modaks before you remove them from the steamer. 

Use wet hands to remove them or else the modaks might crack.

You can use only sugar for the filling. Though I recommend using jaggery because it gives a nice caramel colour to the filling, plus jaggery is way healthier for our diet than sugar.

You could add food colouring to the rice flour dough to make different coloured modaks.

The most important tip of all is that before you begin, say a prayer to Bappa.

Like all Ganpati Bappa followers, I too seek his blessings before I begin any task.

And remember there is no such thing as an imperfect Modak.

Any offering that is made for Bappa with love and faith, He will gladly accept.

Ganpati Bappa Moraya!

Aluchi Patal Bhaji अळूची पातळ भाजी (colocasia leaves, sweet n sour curry)

Alu or colocasia , is such an amazing vegetable, beautiful to look at and so versatile to cook.

It has deep green, big, broad leaves and a beautiful purple coloured stem. It’s fleshy root (called arbi or alkudi in Marathi ) is delicious too and is used to make various savoury dishes.

The plant grows easily in damp soil and is relatively easy and non fussy to grow .

There are two varieties in this particular plant. One has darker, thicker , broader leaves while the other had smaller, softer and lighter coloured leaves.

The broad leaves are used to make Alu vadi ( colocasia rolls).

See the recipe here.

For the ‘patal bhaji’ (loosely translated as gravy vegetable), usually the smaller variety of leaves is chosen because for this preparation, the leaves have to be chopped finely.

Colocasia has calcium oxalate crystals in its leaves, that could cause irritation in the throat when consumed. The good news is that these crystals can be dissolved and rendered harmless, when we add an acidic content (something sour) while cooking.

It is extremely important to take a note of this while making any dish that uses colocasia leaves as an ingredient.

Ambat chukka or Green sorrel thus becomes a crucial element of this preparation.

Ambat chukka is a leafy vegetable that has extremely sour leaves and acts as the supporting hero to colocasia leaves.

The liberal use of tamarind pulp (to neutralise the crystals) and the equally liberal use of jaggery (to counter the sourness of tamarind), gives this unique preparation a sweet – sour – spicy – tangy taste.

The white radish (mooli) adds a distinctive flavour to the bhaji while the peanuts , cashews and chana daal add a nice crunch , texture and nutrition to it.

in order to really understand what I am saying, just have a spoonful of this bhaaji, and experience a burst of flavours in your mouth.

You will be amazed how beautifully the ingredients pair together, each one not only complementing each other but also retaining it’s own special flavour.

It is this taste that makes this preparation hugely popular in the maharashtrian cuisine.

Aluchi patal bhaji is one of the main features in the menu of maharashtrian wedding pangat (sit down meal). This special bhaaji is made during most festivals or during traditional meals.

It pairs very well with varan – bhaat, batatyachi bhaaji, papad and chutney.

The recipe that I am sharing is the one that my mother in law has taught me. Its an amazing method, she had simplified the recipe so creatively, that making it is a dream.


  1. 5 cups chopped colocasia leaves, along with their stems
  2. 1 cup chopped Ambat chukka ( green sorrel)
  3. 1 medium sized white radish, sliced finely
  4. 1/2 cup Fresh coconut, sliced
  5. 1/2 cup soaked groundnuts
  6. 1/4 cup soaked chana dal
  7. 1/2 cup cashews, halved
  8. 8-10 green chillies (ground coarsely) . Quantity can be adjusted according to personal preference.
  9. 1/2 cup jaggery
  10. 1/4 cup thick tamarind pulp
  11. 2-3 table spoons besan ( this is used to thicken the curry, can be adjusted to personal preference)

For tadka

  1. 2 table spoons oil
  2. 1 tsp mustard seeds
  3. 2 tsp Hing
  4. 1 tsp haldi
  5. 2 sprigs curry leaves


  1. Put ingredients (item 1 to 8) in a pressure cooker.
  2. Add 3-4 cups of water and pressure cook.
  3. Open the lid of the cooker after the pressure drops.
  4. Using an wooden spoon, blend the vegetables, taking care not to crush the nuts and daal.
  5. Mix the besan in 1/2 cup of water.
  6. Put the cooker on the flame, and add the jaggery, tamarind, and besan.
  7. Add about 2-3 cups of water and cook till the bhaaji thickens.
  8. Adjust the besan and water to desired consistency.
  9. Add salt
  10. When cooked, turn off the flame.
  11. In a small Kadhai , heat oil and make the tadka.
  12. Pour the hot tadka on the prepared curry and serve hot.

I always like to taste the vegetable before I add my tadka. The balance of the flavours can be adjusted to the one that you are familiar with.

Some households prefer it to be sweeter while others prefer it spicier.

With practice, you will be able to make this bhaji and perfect the flavours.

Here are a few suggestions in case some ingredients are not available .

Colocasia can be substituted with Spinach.

Green sorrel can be eliminated and use more tamarind pulp instead.

Sometimes leftover gulab jamun syrup is used to sweeten the bhaaji. In that case, eliminate the jaggery.

Tamarind pulp can be substituted with Lemon juice.

You could use thalipeeth bhajani instead of besan to thicken the bhaaji.

Green chillies can be substituted with red chilly powder.

This vegetable is super easy to make and very forgiving. It allows you to experiment with the flavours and to add your own touch to it.

I love making such preparations. They help me channelise the wabi -sabi spirit of cooking.

अळूची वडी or Colocasia Rolls

Also known as ‘patra’, this recipe is my all time favourite.

It can be served as a snack, a starter or even as an accompaniment with the main course.

Choose freshly cut, dark green, big , wide leaves.

Here is the recipe


  1. 12 colocasia leaves
  2. 1/2 cup besan
  3. 2 tablespoons rice flour
  4. 2 tablespoons thalipeeth bhajani
  5. 1 tablespoon wheat flour
  6. 2 teaspoons sesame seeds
  7. 1/2 cup tamarind pulp (thick)
  8. 1 cup jaggery
  9. 1 tablespoon red chilly powder
  10. 1/4 teaspoon haldi
  11. salt to taste
  12. oil for deep frying


  1. Mix all the above ingredients (except the leaves).
  2. Add water and make a thick paste.
  3. Now take the biggest leaf , lay flat and apply the paste liberally on it.
  4. Then take a slightly smaller leaf , keep it in reverse direction on top of the first leaf (as shown in the drawing) .
  5. Keep layering the leaves (about 4- 5 leaves).
  6. Now fold the longer edges of the leaf inwards , towards the centre of the leaf.
  7. Apply the paste to secure the folds
  8. Then start rolling these leaves tightly .
  9. Keep applying the paste between the folds, to secure the rolls.
  10. Make three more rolls in the same manner.
  11. Steam these rolls in a steamer for about 25 – 30 minutes till they are cooked.
  12. When cooled, cut into thin slices.
  13. Deep fry the slices in hot oil.
  14. Alternately , for the weight watchers, you could shallow fry the slices in a pan.
  15. Garnish liberally with chopped coriander and fresh coconut.
  16. Serve hot

Haldi wala Doodh (aka Golden Milk)

The Pandemic is real.

The paranoia should not be.

The virus is closing on us and there is really very little that can do to stop it. But certain precautions will surely slow down the spread of it.

Yes, there are many preventive measures that we are taking, including staying at home , under lockdown.

However, there will be a time when we will have to step out and we will have to learn to live with the virus.

The best defence against is will be to built your immunity. If you are stronger from within, then you will be in a better condition to fight any infection.

Golden milk is one such immunity booster.

Its benefits are huge. It was every ajji’s and every mom’s ‘go to’ solution for everything ranging from sore throat, coughs, colds, fevers and injuries. Such a simple elixir. One that we always knew for generations, funnily, the rest of the world thinks that they have ‘discovered’ this magic potion!

The hero of this drink is of course turmeric, which gives this drink this name.

It is vital that only pure, 100% organically grown and unadulterated turmeric powder is used.

The rest of the ingredients are modest and easy to find.

Here is the recipe

  1. 1/2 cup Milk (preferably cow’s milk)
  2. 1/2 cup water
  3. 1 tsp turmeric powder
  4. 1 tsp coconut oil (or desi cow ghee)
  5. pinch of black pepper
  6. pinch of cinnamon powder
  7. 1/2 tsp grated ginger
  8. 1 tsp honey


  1. boil water. to it add all the ingredients, except milk and honey.
  2. allow to boil for 3-5 minutes
  3. add the milk and stir well
  4. strain in a cup and add honey
  5. add the coconut oil (or ghee)
  6. mix well and sip while warm

Have this cup of goodness every night before bed.

Here are the benefits of this drink


  1. helps to relieve sore throat and colds.
  2. improves skin
  3. helps prevention of cancer
  4. boosts immunity

Black pepper

Helps to absorb turmeric


Increases metabolism and aids weight loss


  1. Treats gastric refluxes
  2. Soothes stomach aches
  3. Helps process of digestion

This drink is used as a home remedy in all Indian houses since ages. It is only now that the world had discovered the health benefits of our age-old traditions and diets.

You can call it by any name either ‘golden milk’, ‘turmeric latte’ or anything else…..

for me it will always remain “haldi wala doodh”, that reminds me of my nani.

Raw Mango Pickle

कैरीचं लोणचं

Homemade Kairi ( raw mango) pickle

There are certain family traditions that are unbroken. One such ritual in our household is the making of our annual batch of raw mango pickle.

This pickle recipe is the signature item of the kirloskar kitchen and has stayed in my family for ever.

Each generation adds its own touch to it. Ingredients are measured not in grams or cups, but rather in measures like ‘fistful’, ‘handful’, ‘two fingers height’, or ‘a pinch of…’ etc etc

On my part , I have converted the units into grams so that it is easier to measure.

The whole process is a treat to watch and to make. My mum in law conducts this ritual with utmost love and with the same flair as the maestro of an orchestra.

Each step has to be followed scrupulously and there can be no short cuts .

I am pleased an honoured to share this recipe with all of you.

The recipe is for 1 kg of raw mangoes, cut into chunks. Keep their skins on. Discard the sees.


1 kg fresh , green raw mangoes

1 cup salt

3/4 cup mustard dal

3/4 cup red chilly powder ( mix Kashmiri chilly powder and the regular red chilly powder in equal amounts to make 3/4 cup)

1 tablespoon haldi powder

1/4 cup methi seeds

50 grams compound hing (solid hing)

3 pieces of dry turmeric , each about 2-3 inches in length, broken into smaller pieces . Use a mortar pestle for this step.

1,1/4 cup sesame oil.


1) Take a flat bowl and arrange the salt, red chilly powder and mustard dal, as shown in the illustration. Make a well in the centre and keep aside.

2) Take a Kadhai and heat the oil in it. In that, first fry the methi seeds. (To make this step easier, put the seeds in a strainer and hold it in the oil.) Keep aside.

3) Using the same strainer, fry the hing pieces till they change colour. Keep aside.

4) Next fry the turmeric pieces and remove from oil.

5) When cooled, put the methi seeds, fried turmeric pieces and hing in a mixer and grind to a fine powder.

6) Put this powder in the centre of the dry ingredients that you have arranged in the bowl. On that, add the 1 tablespoon haldi powder.

7) Meanwhile, reheat the same remaining oil that is in the Kadhai till it is super hot.

8) Turn off the flame and carefully pour this hot oil on the dry ingredients. Starting from the outside and slowly moving to the centre in a circular motion.

Be extremely careful while doing this.

9) Mix the masala thoroughly, while the oil is hot.

10) When cooled, add the chopped mango pieces and that’s it, your mango pickle is ready!

Store in airtight glass bottles.

This pickle lasts for a year and can be stored in a refrigerator .

You can even make this masala a couple of days in advance and then toss the kairi pieces in it later.

Do try this recipe and feel free to send your queries if you need any clarification.

Share / post the pictures of the pickle when you make this recipe.

Kairichi Dal

कैरीची डाळ or आंब्याची डाळ

Kairichi dal
Art by Nikita Kirloskar Mohite

Kairichi dal and Panha ( raw mango cooler) make a perfect pair .This combination is served during the ladies haldi kumkum ceremony during month of Chaitra.

Every time I make this dal , I am reminded of elegantly dressed maharashtrian ladies, gathered together for a haldi kunkum ceremony.

I have already shared the recipe of panha in my earlier posts.

Today I am sharing the recipe of the Dal.

This preparation requires no cooking and is made from fresh ingredients and has to be consumed immediately,

It has a tangy , sweet and sour taste.

The dal used is chana dal that adds to the nutritive value owing to its high protein content.


2 cups chana dal (soak in water for 3-4 hours, then drain properly on a sieve for at least 2 hours)

2 medium sized kairis (raw mangoes), peeled and grated

4 green chillies

pinch of sugar

salt to taste

For tadka

1 tablespoon oil

mustard seeds



1 dry red chilly


Divide the dal in 2 parts,

Chop the green chillies in big pieces.

Grind the dal and chillies (in two batches) in the mixer. Take care not to make it too fine. Use the pulse mechanism . The dal should be ground very coarsely.

In a bowl, mix the grated kairi, dal, salt and sugar.

Make the tadka, cool slightly and pour on the dal mixture.

Mix well, garnish with chopped coriander and serve immediately .

Enjoy with a glass of cool kairi panha.

This time, the illustration of the recipe is by my beautiful and talented daughter, Nikita .

KelFul Bhaji

Kel-Phoolachi Bhaji

केळफूलाची भाजी

Banana flower sabji

This is a delicious preparation made from the florets of the banana flower.

The flower of the banana tree has an amazing structure. It is fairly large .

The florets are hidden under the layers of the large purple colour bracts. When you peel away these bracts, you will notice a row of florets nestling under them.

The bhaaji is made from the florets. The bracts are to be discarded.

Cleaning these florets is a tedious process but the delicious taste and their high nutritive value , makes it all worth it.

Each floret has a thin black pistil ( a part of the flower) and a transparent plastic like part (the calyx). Discard both these.

Keep peeling off the bracts and use all the florets in the flower.

As you reach the rows towards in the end, the florets become very tender.

You can use these whole, without discarding the calyx and the pistil.

The bhaaji is a very simple recipe with basic ingredients. various parts of India make it in there own unique style.

At my place, we make it the ‘maharashtrian Konkani style”.

Black peas (kala vatana)are added to the dish to add volume and enhance the protein content.


1 kelful /banana flower

1/2 cup black peas (soaked overnight)

2 Tablespoon freshly scraped coconut

1 teaspoon green chilly paste

1 tablespoon thick tamarind pulp

For tadka

2 teaspoons oil

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/2 tsp jeera

1/2 tsp haldi

1/2 tsp hing


Pressure cook the soaked peas .

Clean and chop the florets of the kelphool.

Soak these in tamarind pulp for 30 minutes. Add enough water to completely cover the florets.

Heat oil in a pan and make the tadka.

Add the chilly paste and sauté.

Drain the florets and add to the pan.

Cover and cook for a few minutes.

Add the peas.

Add salt, 1/2 tsp of sugar or jaggery, coconut, chopped coriander and mix.

Add water if required, this is a dry sabji.

Serve hot with poli or steamed rice .

Here are some suggestions to making this bhaji

You could use fresh green peas if available .

You could bring the coconut, jeera, green chillies and coriander together and use it.

You could use red chilly powder instead of green chillies.

You could use buttermilk to soak the florets , instead of tamarind pulp.

Enjoy hot!!


Sweet and sour mango chutney


A unique pairing of methi seeds and raw mango, hence the name .

One of my childhood delicacies was methamba. A sweet chutney made from raw green mangoes.

During summer, fresh vegetables are usually not available in abundance due to the intense heat. For most homes, it is always a challenge to decide on a vegetable that would please all members, especially when availability is scarce.

The modest methamba always came to the rescue. This tangy sweet and sour chutney is a perfect accompaniment with hot poli (roti) , bhakri or even toop meeth bhaat!

The slightly bitter taste of roasted methi seeds adds to the balance of taste plus amps up the nutritive quality of the pickle. Methi and jaggery also helps to keep the body cool during the scorching summer months.

The mere sight of luscious green raw mangoes makes my tongue tingle ! I immediately visualise methamba, kairi panha, kairi daal and kairi saar! I love summers only for this reason.


1 cup peeled and chopped raw mango

2 cups grated jaggery

1/2 teaspoon roasted methi seed powder

2 teaspoons red chilly powder ( more if you like it spicy)

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup water

For tadka

1 tsp oil

1/2 tsp hing

1/2 tsp mustard seeds


Heat oil in a pan, make the tadka.

Add the methi seed powder to it. Fry for a few seconds till aromatic.

Add the raw mango pieces. Saute for a minute and cover for half a minute.

Add the jaggery, salt, red chilly powder and water.

Cover and cook on a low flame till the raw mango is cooked.

Cool and store on an airtight container. This chutney lasts for a week in the fridge.

Enjoy 😉



Metkut is a dry powder preparation. A unique maharashtrian speciality, it is made with a mixture of dals, grains and spices.

Metkut has a special place in my heart and I have many childhood memories associated with it.

My mother would sprinkle this yellow powder on hot steamed rice, add a spoonful of home made ghee and some salt! I used to love it (I still do). This would be served to us when we had fever. The fever would typically result in loss of appetite and a feeling of tastelessness in the mouth.

गरम गरम तूप मीठ भात मेतकूट

Hot toop,meeth,bhaat, metkut was a surest way of firing the taste buds and nudging the appetite back in place! It was the one bright spot of being sick.

These days I have metkut with गुरगुट्या भात (soupy rice) and ghee after a session of binge eating. Especially post Diwali when we have had an overdose of mithai and फराळ (Faraal. )

Garam bhaat, toop, meeth, metkut is easy on the tummy and is a great way to cleanse and revive the digestive system.

The list of ingredients is a bit long but they are all easily available in most kitchens.


2 cups Chana daal

1 cup urad daal

1/4 cup long grained or any aromatic rice (indrayani or ambemohor)

1/4 cup wheat grains

1/4 cup moong daal

1/4 cup whole dhania seeds

1/4 cup jeera

Roast all of the above lightly till aromatic, and keep aside.

1 tablespoon hing

3 inches cinnamon sticks

1/4 nutmeg, grated

4 elaichis

1 teaspoon methi seeds

8 dry red chillies

1 teaspoon soonth (dry ginger powder)


salt to taste

Mix the roasted items with the rest of the ingredients and grind to a fine powder.

Adjust the salt to taste.

Make sure to keep the metkut in an airtight container so that it retains its freshness and aroma.

You can use this as such on hot rice or you can also add it to salads (koshimbeers), dips and even on hot toast and butter.

When I make भडंग (bhadang) , I add some metkut to it for that unique taste.

Do try this out, and share your feedback.


Ajwain Leaves Fritters

आोव्याच्या पानांची भजी

I can almost smell the ajwain as I am writing this recipe.

Ajwain ( carom) seeds is an item that is commonly found in most Indian kitchens.

They have a unique and distinct aroma. These seeds are used in many recipes and have healing properties. When consumed whole or in the form of a powder, they can cure problems related to indigestion.

The leaves of the ajwain plant also have the same flavour.

They have a unique shape, texture and aroma. In fact, the leaves can be consumed raw to help soothe a sore throat or a bad tummy.

Whenever I see ajwain leaves, all I can think of is ‘bhajias’! Oh how I love those leaves! Their shape, the slightly succulent texture and their distinct aroma.

The whole Kitchen gets filled with their divine fragrance when you start making these bhajias (fritters).

Choose mature , plump leaves for this preparation.

For 2 cups of besan, add

1/2 tsp turmeric

1-2 tsp of red chilly powder

Salt to taste.

Heat 2 tablespoons of oil , till it is super hot and pour it over the flour.

Add the spices and mix gently with water.

The batter should be thick ( the consistency of idli batter), so that it costs the leaves easily and stays there. Keep aside for about 30 minutes.

Carefully dip each leaf in the batter and deep fry in hot oil till they are golden brown in colour. Drain well on a tissue paper to remove excess oil.

These fritters can be enjoyed as such or with a simple green chutney or even ketchup.

Serve hot with a cup of ginger tea!

Perfect dish to enjoy when it is raining outside (or not!!) .

Don’t worry about overeating, ajwain will ensure that your fully is fine !

You can make similar fritters with spinach leaves, potato slices, onion rings, banana slices, brinjal slices, capsicum….. almost anything that you can think of !

For other fritters you can sprinkle some chaat masala on them , after frying. Do not add chat masala to ajwain fritters because then the masala will not overpower the delicate yet distinct flavour of ajwain.