Berry-root mix

I love to go on my weekly fruits and vegetables shopping expeditions to the Kotla market. This is one job I refuse to outsource simply because just the sight of fresh produce gives me an absolute high. Variety of berries, good source of Vitamin C and anti-oxidants, on the carts these days. Though usually called vegetables, tomatoes and cucumbers too are botanical berries. So are grapes. Carrots and beats, like all other colourful fruits and vegetables, have pigments like carotene which boost Vitamin A assimilation in our system. Make a morning drink out of these for a healthy start of the day. It’s not a ‘dil-mange-more’ tasty drink, but an agreeable way to put good stuff in.


  • Goose berry
  • Cape gooseberry
  • Tomato
  • Black grapes
  • Cucumber
  • Lemon juice
  • Carrot
  • Beat


Dunk them all, or any of these you can find in your fridge, in a blender with some water and run on frappe. Strain in a soup strainer. You can drink it without straining too, if you mind a grainy and pulpy texture in your drink. Just takes care of your roughage daily intake too. Add some tang of lemon juice and zing of mint leaves. Customize your drink with salt, honey or chat masala.

What’s shown in the picture above gives you a small jugful to serve a family of 4-5.

Rice Peetha

Rice peetha is what you see in the picture on the first page of this tab. Steamed rice flour dumplings stuffed with Bengal gram dal

This is a light, healthy and wholesome, yet filling snack for guilt free munching. It’s much liked by my colleagues and I promised to share the recipe. It’s really been long overdue. At long last….cook and eat.


  • 1 cup rice flour or ground poha
  • ½ cup chana dal soaked for 3-4 hours 


  • 4-5 cloves of garlic
  • 1 green chili
  • Fistful of green coriander leaves
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Coarsely grind the soaked chana dal along with garlic, green chilli and as little water as possible. The stuffing shouldn’t be runny. Hang it in a fine mesh – tea strainer – for excess water to drain off. Recycle this run off to make the rice flour dough. Add lots of finely chopped green coriander leaves. Add salt just before using it for filling.
  2. Set up a double boiler and turn the heat on. To make a double boiler, you can use a steel sieve on a larger vessel filled with water so that a steam chamber is created. Alternatively, you can boil the peetha in water.
  3. To make the dough use rice flour or poha. Grind poha in the dry mixer to a coarse powder. Make soft but pliable dough using warm water. 
  4. Take a large ball of dough and roll it into a 1/2 cm thick oblong the size of a small chapati. Roll it between two layers of thick poly bag (rice packet).
  5. Place the chana dal stuffing along the center of the oblong along shorter diameter. Fold it and press the edges to shape it like a well stuffed roll. When you cut this roll into slices later the layer of rice and dal should be equal in proportion. This is your guide to how much of filling to stuff in.
  6. Place the stuffed rolls, a few at a time on the steamer, cover and steam for 15-20 minutes. Alternatively, carefully drop these rolls into boiling water and let them cook for 15-20 minutes. They will float up when they are done. 
  7. Drain and leave them to cool for 10 minutes.
  8. Cut them into thick slices along the girth of the roll. They will look like slices of boiled egg. 
  9. Heat half a tablespoon of oil in a pan or wok, crackle mustard seeds, steep curry leaves and red chillies in. Quickly turn off the heat and add the slices of peetha to it. Toss them and take out. Ready to eat with a green chutney. Enjoy!