Kaju usal

ओल्या काजूची ऊसळ

Usal means a preparation made using a pulse or a sprout.

Kaju usal is made using tender cashews. These tender kaju’s have their skins or kernels intact. It is very rare to procure these since they are available for a limited time of the year. Plus they have a very short shelf life and tase best when consumed fresh.

This usal is very simple and uses my favourite formula. तिखट + मीठ +गूळ + गोडा मसाला. This formula never goes wrong!

My tadka formula is also constant . Oil + mustard seeds +hing + haldi

Start by soaking the cashew nuts in hot water. The hot water helps to remove the kernels easily. Remove their skins, rinse and keep aside.

Make tadka, add the cashews and sauté for a bit.

Add some water and bring to boil. Add the cooked and mashed potatoes to the gravy to thicken it slightly. Adjust the water content as per your preference.

When the mixture starts boiling, add some jaggery, red chilly powder, some Goda masala and salt to taste. Put some grated fresh coconut in it too.

The usal is done when the cashews are cooked.

Garnish liberally with fresh grated coconut and chopped coriander!

Sometimes I skip the potatoes. I grind some grated dry coconut and jeera and add this mixture to to thicken the gravy.

This formula can be used for most usals, be it matki, moong or chawli!

Enjoy with hot polis or even poories, with samras on the side !

Doodhichya salichi chutney

Doodhichya salichi chutney

Doodhi/ lauki/bottlegourd..such an amazing, versatile vegetable. From sweet to savoury to everything in between, there is nothing that this vegetable cannot perform!

I get super excited when I see fresh doodhi. I can think of so many dishes that I could prepare with it.

From soup, to avial, to sambar, to koftas, to halwa, to parathas… the list is endless.

This vegetable is so humble that it does not allow a single shred to be wasted.

The white tender fleshy inside is what is consumed most.

But guess what, the peels can be used to make a nice spicy dry chutney. Incidently the peel has the maximum nutrients.



Just grate the doodhi outer peel, stopping just before the whites start showing. Keep aside.

You will need

  • Finely chopped green chillies (quantity according to your spice tolerance level and also according to the variety of chillies)
  • Sesame seeds
  • The “tadka kit” (oil, hing, haldi, mustard seeds)
  • An iron kadhai ( this gives a nice colour to the chutney and also increases the iron content in it)

In the kadhai, make a tadka, add sesame seeds and green chillies. Roast lightly.

Then add the grated doodhi peels.

Keep roasting in low flame, stirring constantly, till the mixture becomes crisp. Add salt to taste.

Cool and store in an airtight container. This chutney lasts upto a week.

Tastes best with Bhakri or even with hot steamed rice with toop and salt.

There are many variations of this preparations.

Sometimes I like to add grated dry coconut too. In the absence of green chillies, you may add red chilly powder. Just add it after the mixture becomes crisp, so that the powder does not burn.

Not only is this chutney nutritious, it can also instantly pep up a boring meal.