Gongura Pickle

Gongura pickle is one of the most popular Andhra pickles. Gongura is called Sorrel leaves in English, Pulicha Keerai in Tamil, Gongura in Telugu and Pandi in Kannada. It comes in two varieties, green stemmed and red stemmed. I've used the red stemmed variety here.

Gongura - 3 bunches (Remove the leaves from the stem)
Red chilly powder - 4-5 tsp (Adjust as per your taste)
Fenugreek , roast and ground - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds, roast and ground - 2 tsp
Hing - ½ tsp
Salt to taste
Gingelly oil 6 tbsp

·        Clean the gongura leaves with water and dry them in sun for a day or two. When you are ready to make the pickle, chop the leaves into chunky pieces and set aside.
·        Heat half of the oil in a pan. Add hing, fenugreek powder, mustard powder and chilly powder. Fry it for a minute and remove from heat.
·        Heat another skillet, add the remaining oil to it, and fry the gongura leaves for a few minutes till the leaves shrink completely.
·        Add salt and the powder ingredients to the leaves, mix well so that gongura leaves blend in nicely with the spices.
·        Fry the garlic flakes in a little oil. And pour onto the gongura mixture.
Once the pickle has cooled you can store it in containers and use as required. If it’s stored in the refrigerator, this pickle can last for atleast 6 months.

Arabian pulpy grape juice

Purple or red grapes ½ kg, preferably seedless

Sugar  ¼ kg

Water 1 liter

· Boil all the ingredients till it starts to thicken slightly. Remove from heat. Keep it aside.

· After about 4-5 hours, squish the grapes well with a masher or with hands. The pulpy part of the grape should be left in. Remove the skin, which will be floating above and blend it with a little water, strain and add it to the juice.

· Chill in the refrigerator. Serve chilled. 

Chocolate Mud Cake


Flour – 1 ¼ cup
Cocoa powder – ½ cup
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Baking Soda – 1 tsp
Powdered sugar or castor sugar – 1 ¼ cup
Eggs – 2
Milk – 1 ¼ cup
Hot water – ¾ cup
Oil – ¼ cup
Salt – 1 pinch
Vanilla extract – 1 tsp


Icing sugar – 1 cup 
Powdered sugar – 1 cup
Cocoa powder – ¾ cup
Softened cooking butter – ½ cup
Milk – ¼ cup
Vanilla extract – 1 tsp

  • Mix all the ingredients to make a thick mixture. Keep aside till the cake is done.


    Chocolate Mud Cake
  • In a large bowl sift together maida, cocoa powder, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Keep it aside.
  • In a moisture-free bowl, add the eggs, and beat it till its very fluffy, this may take about 10 to 15 minutes with an egg beater. Now add the milk, oil, vanilla extract and boiling water to the eggs. Beat again at medium speed for a minute or until the mix is well-combined.
  • Add the powder ingredients to the batter and mix slowly till it’s well-combined. Pour into a greased round pan and bake at 170° C until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. This may take about 30 to 40 minutes, but start checking on the cake after 20 minutes. When it’s done, keep it aside to cool.
  • When it’s cooled completely, top with the frosting.
  • Store in the refrigerator for atleast a couple of hours before serving.

    Apple pie

    Apple pie is probably one of the oldest pastries. The English and Dutch Apple pie are said to date back centuries.  The first printed copy of the English apple pie recipe was by Geoffrey Chaucer in 1381. The ingredients for the pie were good apples, good spices, figs, raisins and pears. He also mentioned a cofyn, which is simply a casing of pastry. The last ingredient, saffron, is used to color the pie filling. Most the above mentioned ingredients aren't used in my pie, but then, I’m not English. I adapt to food from all over the world and learn to cook it and eat it in my own way, here’s a tried and tested apple pie adapted from my mom’s cookbook.

    Crust and cover:
    Maida  1½ cup
    Baking powder ¼ tsp
    Salt  ¼ tsp
    Sugar  1 tbsp
    Butter  3 tbsp
    Iced water, about 4-5 tbsp

    Apple 2, peeled, cored and chopped to tiny pieces or sliced thinly, as you like it
    Lime juice 3-4 drops (so that the apple does not change color)
    Maida 2 tbsp
    Salt 1 pinch
    Sugar 2 tbsp
    Cinnamon powder ¼ tsp
    Butter ½ tsp

    · Mix lime juice, sugar, flour, cinnamon powder and salt in bowl. Stir in the apple pieces. Set aside.

    ·    Pre-heat oven to 400° F.
    ·    Mix baking powder, salt, sugar and maida together. Add butter and mix it in roughly, till it starts to look like bread crumbs. Add the water now, slowly, little at a time. Mix until the dough holds together, add a bit more water, if necessary.
    ·    Shift the dough to a lightly floured surface, knead again, and then divide it into 2 equal portions.
    ·    Flatten one portion into a disk (for the crust). Keep aside for 20-30 minutes.
    ·    Roll out the other portion on a lightly floured surface into a thin circle (for the cover).
    ·    Stick the first portion which was kept aside for the crust onto a pie dish, trimming any extra dough from the edges with a sharp knife. Poke all over it with a fork.
    ·    Add the apple filling onto the base. Drop a few specks of butter in 3 or 4 places.
    ·    Add covering as you like it. Either top the pie with the plain cover (with the rolled out dough) and put a couple of slits on top or cut the flattened out dough into strips and make a woven cover for the pie. Use a fork or your fingers to pinch the edges together. 
    ·    Once that’s done, bake the pie for about 20-30 minutes, at 400° F, until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in the crust.
    ·    The traditional way to serve apple pie in some parts of England (such as Yorkshire) is with cheese. In many Commonwealth countries, apple pie is served with ice cream, custard or double cream. But like the majority of people, I love it just the way it is with no additions whatsoever. I love to relish the flavor of the pie in itself, with no other flavors interfering.

    Enjoy your pie!

    Baby Corn Manchurian

    Baby corn - 1 packet, (about 10 to 15 nos, cut in half) 
    Maida – ½ cup
    Corn flour – ¼ cup
    Chilli powder - 1 tsp
    Pepper powder - ½ tsp
    Crushed ginger - ½ tsp
    Crushed garlic - ½ tsp
    Vinegar - 1tsp
    Salt – ½ tsp
    Oil for deep frying      
    • Cook the baby corn for 1 whistle in the cooker.
    • Mix all the above ingredients except the oil. It should be a thick batter.
    • Add the corn to the batter; it should be well coated.
    • Deep fry till it turns golden brown on all sides and keep aside.
    Crushed ginger – ½” piece
    Crushed garlic – 5 cloves
    Onion (Preferably white onion) - 1 big, (Chunky cubes)
    Green chillies - 2-3, julienne slices (As per tolerance)
    Red chilli powder - ½ tsp
    Pepper powder - 1 tsp
    Capsicum - 1 (Chunky cubes)
    Spring onion 5-6 stalks, chopped
    Chilli-garlic sauce - 2 tbsp
    Soya sauce - 2 tbsp 
    Vinegar - 1 tsp
    Corn flour - 1 tsp dissolved in ¾ cup water
    Salt as needed

    •        Heat a pan with oil and add ginger and garlic, sauté it for a minute and add the onion and green chillies and fry till onion starts to turn pink.
    •        Add the salt, red chilli powder and pepper and fry for half a minute on high flame. Add the capsicum. Sauté for ½ a minute, and add the chilli-garlic sauce, soya sauce and vinegar, sauté a little.
    •        Add the fried baby corn with chopped spring onions and mix well.
    •        Slowly add the corn flour dissolved in water and stir well, till the baby corns are well coated with the gravy.
    •        Decorate with chopped spring onions.
    ·       Serve hot with fried rice or noodles!