Maxixe- cute little cucumbers!

Brazilian cucumber- a farmer’s (Harvard University ) market buy!

Use them as you would in any salad- mine had carrots, sprouts, cilantro and the star MAXIXE with a minimal lemon-olive oil dressing. Oh and by the way don’t be scared the spiky looking skin- they are harmless.
You can read all about it here

Jalebis for Indian cooking challenge

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This month @ ICC we were challenged with Jalebis. I made them as soon as the challenge was announced- experimented with it for Ganesh Chathurthi. I am not going to post the entire recipe here- I followed  the one here very closely. While it tasted great, it was too thin to form any shape- hence the ugly clawy photograph (but do not be fooled by the looks- they tasted like jalebis, I was quite proud of it :D)

Things I have been doing

A plain mirror (the one I had was from Ikea)- decorated with left over wall paper- I love this wall paper and love the fact that I can see some wood through it! I cut out different parts of the wall paper and hot glued it on to the mirror (the back is covered too)

Wall shelves need not be boring- the plain MDF board has been transformed using citron green outdoor paint with Martha Stewart stencil in brown (again outdoor paint). This shelf is to house more plants in the teeny-tiny balcony that we have in our apartment. I did paint one more to hang above my desk (that was painted in teal blue with some flowers as a border)

An afternoon with Clara and Mr.Tiffany

Since I am home these days- my lunch is usually something extremely simple (like 2-minute maggi noodles withe some veg). On those rare occasions when I cook for lunch, it tend to be one-pot meals like this lauki dal or lauki-lentil soup.


1 medium lauki, cut into 1 inch cubes
1 cup washed toor dal or masoor dal (I used toor)
1/2 can (16oz) whole peeled tomatoes
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 green chilli pepper, slit in the middle
1 tbsp ghee/ oil
2 cups water/ veg broth
For tempering

2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tbsp roasted crushed coriander powder
a pinch turmeric

1 tbsp shredded coconut for garnish


In a pressure cooker, heat the ghee- add mustard seeds, once it starts to splatter add cumin, fennel, green chilli peppers- saute these for about 10sec

Add the tomatoes, lauki, ginger, turmeric and crushed coriander seeds- saute for about 4-5 minutes.

Add the dal and saute for another minute or two.

Add 2 cups of water, salt and pepper to taste- pressure cook the whole thing (I let mine go for about 5 whistles); you can do this even without the pressure cooker but it will take longer for the lentil to cook.

Once the pressure is all gone- open the lid, taste it- adjust for seasoning, check if everything is cooked- garnish with cilantro and coconut.

Serve hot with chappatis, rice or even as a soup!


I love these multi-functional one pot meals- you eat ’em with rice/ rotis one day and the next day think ’em out and ladle some out in a big bowl- you got yourself some nice warm soup. I loved everything about this dal- a delicious light any-time meal. I enjoyed it while reading Susan Vreeland’s Clara and Mr.Tiffany.

Did you know

Bottle gourd or calabash gourd (lauki) actively flowers at night- the nocturnal insects help in pollination