Category: Glutenfree Recipes

Dal ka Phara | Dal Fara | Glutenfree and Vegan Lentil Stuffed Steamed Rice Cakes

Dal ka Phara or Fara is a very popular snack if your visiting eastern Uttar Pradesh or Bihar. The ‘pithii’ or the filling is made of ‘chana dal’ a.k.a split chick peas. Alternatively, this filling can also be made with ‘urad dal’ a.k.a skinless white lentils. However, it’s  always made using the former in our house. The outer covering that holds the filling in place is made with rice flour a.k.a ‘Chawal ka atta’. These along with some spices and condiments makes for an delicious and tempting dish which is vegan and also gluten free. 🤗

Dal ka Phara | Dal Faara recipe Polkapuffs recipes Steamed dal Phara recipe

The Phara is then either steamed or boiled in some salted water. Some people even choose to shallow or deep fry these dumplings once they are steamed or boiled. However, I do not do that. I feel the actual taste lies in keeping it as it is and thus making it much more healthier than the fried ones! That’s how my Mom makes them…and they taste divine 😘 Yes…most of these traditional recipes that I make come from her kitchen…stuff that I have grown up eating and savour the most!

What I like with these personally is my Mom’s spicy, tangy Pudine aur Dhaniye ki Imli Wali Chutney!  Doesn’t the sound of it make you drool….it’s one of my favourite dips/ chutneys to go with anything savory and I always have a little porcelain potful sitting in my refrigerator 😉

Dal ka Phara | Dal Faara recipe Polkapuffs recipes Steamed dal Phara recipe

So this time when my Mom was visiting us, I told her to teach me how to make these Pharas the traditional way and She did! She made the first couple of them as I watched her closely and then she guided me to make the rest….which obviously don’t look too perfect but I managed!! It’s a little lengthy procedure no doubt, but not very difficult if you follow the little tips.

The filling which is made with chana dal needs to be organised first by soaking the dal for at least 5-6 hours and then so on and so forth…..every bit worth the effort!

I will also share the recipe of the delicious Chutney that you see in the pictures! But that’s not even the best part, the best part is that my Mom modelled for me again…..this is her experienced hand which you had also seen in Vanilla Sponge Cake made in a Pressure Cooker, again her recipe!

So let’s get started….read carefully. It’s simply but a little technical….

Yield: 7-8 pharas

Equipment: a large open mouthed pot, measuring cups/ spoons, a large mixing bowl, a small mixing bowl, a slotted spoon, a basic blender.


For the outer covering:

1+1/2 cup rice flour (I use store bought)

salt to taste (season carefully, as we will season the filling too)

2 tsp refined oil

warm water as needed to knead a dough


In a large mixing bowl, take rice flour and season with some salt. Then add oil. Slowly, add the warm water a little at a time and make a dough. This is a Glutenfree flour, hence the dough will break if much pressure is applied. Once the dough comes together, cover it with damp kitchen napkin for 15-20 mins so that the dough absorbs enough moisture.

Dal ka Phara | Dal Faara recipe Polkapuffs recipes Steamed dal Phara recipe

For the filling:

3/4 cup chana Dal (split chick pea)

2″ piece fresh ginger

1/4 cup fresh coriander leaves

salt to taste

2-3 nos. green chillies

1/2 tsp cumin seeds (jeera dana)

a pinch of hing (asafoetida)


Wash the dal well and soak in about 2 cups of water for 5-6 hours.

Next, drain all the water from the soaked dal.

Place the dal in a blender jar. Add very little water, season with salt, ginger, green chillies, coriander leaves, cumin seeds and hing. Grind them together until you have a smooth paste.

Remove the paste in a small bowl.

Assembling the Phara: 

Keep a small bowl of water handy and weyor fingers and palms well. Take a lemon sized ball of the dough. Using your fingers and palms flatten the dough to a circle of 3″ diameter. The thickness should be approximately 1/2 a cm but not more as they won’t cook well otherwise.

Dal ka Phara | Dal Faara recipe Polkapuffs recipes Steamed dal Phara recipeimg_5564img_5565

Then place about 1-2 tbsp of the filling in the centre of the flattened dough and gently fold over the dough to cover the filling and pinch the edges to secure the filling within.

Do the same for the entire dough and keep the uncooked pharas ready on a plate.

Now, heat about 2 litres of water in a large pot, season it with some salt. Once it comes to a rolling boil, drop 3-4 pharas at a time. Let them boil on medium flame for about 5-8 mins. They will float on the top once they are cooked.

Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the boiled Pharas from the water and place them on a plate. Cut one of them to see if they are cooked, if the dal is set and looks dry, it means the dal and the rice dough are both cooked well.


Do the same with the remaining uncooked pharas too, serve them hot with Chutney.

If you wish to steam them, do steam them as you steam Idlis in a idli cooker. Cook time will be 12-15 mins and cut them to check if they are cooked.

For Chutney:

1 cup fresh coriander leaves

1/2 cup fresh mint leaves

4-5 cloves garlic

2 nos. green chillies chopped

1 nos. small onion sliced

4-5 tbsp fresh tamarind pulp

salt to taste

water as needed


Take all the ingredients in a blender jar and blend until smooth. Adjust the consistency by adding more or less water. This Chutney keeps well for 10-12 days in a porcelain or steel or glass jar under refrigeration.

Dal ka Phara | Dal Faara recipe Polkapuffs recipes Steamed dal Phara recipe

This is one of my favorite versions of Dal-Chawal if you ask me! Healthy, filling and delicious 😘




Achaari Aloo Gobhi | Vegan and Glutenfree Cauliflower and Potato Stir Fry

“Can we have cauliflower for dinner”….I hear this at least three times a week! And no I don’t cook cauliflower that often….lol! I mean if my hubby had his way, I’d probably be cooking it almost every other day but it’s more of ‘my kitchen, my rules’ kind of a thing with me. Besides, I usually plan the entire weeks menu over the weekend…so, I exactly know when he’ll be having his beloved cauliflower next 🤗

It’s not that I am not fond of this vegetable, it’s just that I can only have it sometimes and it has to be spicy, full of flavour and not in a curry….I feel it looses all it’s flavour when added to a curry…that’s how I feel!

That’s why I am sharing today’s recipe…this has to a be a hands down winner for me when I am eating cauliflower cooked in the Indian way….North Indian to be more specific. This again comes from my Mom’s kitchen…and it’s finger licking good. This is made at least once in a week at my place as my hubby likes this semi-dry version better than a gravy too!

Achaari Aloo Gobhi Vegan cauliflower recipe How to make Gobhi Aloo dry Polkapuffs recipes

Achaari Aloo Gobhi…. this is a no onion no garlic recipe which needs very little preparation, except that we make a fresh spice mix (masala) to add to this recipe made from whole spices like cloves (laung), cardamom (elaichi), etc. These spices along with other powdered spices adds flavour to the cauliflower and potatoes.

If you like, you can add some green peas and other seasonal veggies to the cauliflower and potatoes as well. Else, add some water and make a gravy of it…enjoy with Tahri (veg rice). We usually enjoy the semi dry version with Laccha Paratha (see step wise pictorial recipe here)….and some Bharwa Hari Mirch (click here for recipe)

Let’s make you some spicy, rustic style Achaari Aloo Gobhi👌🏼..

Yield: serves 2

Equipment: a heavy bottomed wok, a slotted spoon, a mortar-pestle or a small blender, measuring cups/ spoons.


300 gms fresh cauliflower florets

2 nos. small potatoes

2 tbsp mustard oil (we use mustard oil, feel free to use regular refined oil. However, the real zing of the achaari flavour comes from mustard oil)

1/2 tsp paanch phoran (click here to see the picture) contains a mix of cumin seeds, Nigella seeds, whole black mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds and fennel seeds

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

a pinch of hing (asafoetida)

1 tsp red chilli powder

1/2 tsp degi mirch powder

1 tsp cumin powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp fresh ginger paste

1/4 tsp amchur powder (dry mango powder)

salt to taste

For the spice mix:

4-5 nos. cloves (laung)

1 nos. black cardamom

1 inch cinnamon stick

7-8 nos. black peppercorns

To garnish:

fresh coriander leaves


Cut, peel and wash the cauliflower florets. Drain all the water completely. Keep the size of each of the florets on the medium side as they must cook well but not turn mushy and disintegrate completely.

Peel, wash and cut the potatoes into medium sized cubes. Again, don’t keep them too small else they’ll just become a mash!

For the spice mix:

Dry roast cloves, cardamom, peppercorns and cinnamon for 4-5 mins. Once they release their aroma, turn off the flame and let them cool down completely. Grind them to a fine powder in the blender or keep them slightly coarse if using a mortar-pestle. The entire quantity of this spice mix won’t be used in this recipe, store the excess in a dry, airtight jar. It stays fresh for upto 20 days. You can use that in any vegetarian or non-vegetarian preparation or even for Biryanis and Pilafs.

Next, heat oil in the wok, once it hot, add the paanch phoran and hing. Let them splatter.

Next, add the cubed potatoes and the cauliflower florets. Add salt to taste and turmeric. Mix these well. Cook for about 5-6 mins on low flame.

Next goes in the ginger paste along with cumin powder, coriander powder, degi mirch, red chilli powder. Mix well so that the spices coat everything. Cook for 5 mins without a lid, then cover the wok with a lid and cook for another 10 mins.

After 10 mins, the potatoes are done and the cauliflower needs about another 5 mins of cooking. At this point add 3/4 tsp of the fresh spice mix and give everything a good toss.

Once again, cover the wok with a lid and let the cauliflower cook out for the next 4-5 mins. If the cauliflower is still undercooked, you can let them cook for another 5 mins but ensure that they do not turn too mushy.

Lastly, add the amchur powder and mix well. Turn off the flame.

Garnish with chopped fresh coriander leaves and serve with piping hot Phulkas and some Dhaba Style Dal Makhani (click  here for the recipe). I usually serve all this with an onion salad that has a lot lemon juice, some salt and a bit of freshly cracked black pepper! And we are in bliss….😀

Achaari Aloo Gobhi Vegan cauliflower recipe How to make Gobhi Aloo dry Polkapuffs recipes

This is something which has to be a part of our ‘soul food’ spreads …. if you are in the mood for rice…then this goes so well with some Dal and Chawal too!



Bharwa Hari Mirch | Spicy Stuffed Green Chillies | GF vegan recipe

So, now that Diwali is done and dusted with…and having gorged on like a ton of sweets and chocolates..I don’t think I will be having anything sweet for a while!! Lol! My otherwise sweet and ‘meetha’ loving hubby too agrees with me on this😂 Now that’s a serious relief for at least a few days…no more worrying about dessert every night! He will be wanting light, non greasy but spicy food…as will I!!!!!! 

Bharwa hari mirch recipe How to make instant Bharwa hari mirch Polkapuffs recipe

So coming to today’s recipe…Bharwa Hari Mirch. This can be made in so many different ways, some are stuffed with spicy potato filling, coated with gram flour mixture and then deep fried or baked (baking them is the latest fad to keep things healthy, but for me it tastes no where close to the authentic version). Some recipes call for a sweet and spicy filling of lentils as a filling and then they are later shallow fried in the pan until the green chillies char a bit on the outside! Wow…all of them are absolutely yum and bring a balance of flavours to any platter.

There is another version of these stuffed Hari Mirch which I will be sharing soon…😍

Bharwa hari mirch recipe How to make instant Bharwa hari mirch Polkapuffs recipe

These, as you can see aren’t filled with anything even remotely complicated. I think Diwali prepping took care of that for a while😂….these are filled…and generously at that, with the most basic spice mix that one can find in any pantry and they are my Mom’s signature instant Bharwa Mirchi. I can assure you that these will get you hooked! They have the correct balance of tang and heat…nothing sweet! I mean, you can add some sugar to the filling but that won’t be as delicious as having them in their original avatar! Besides, these are a must make during winters…when instant pickles are enjoyed with parathasdal Chawal or practically any meal. …yummm!

Anyways, for these I have used organic green chillies, the thick variety, easily available with the onset of winters. They were pretty hot but I let the seeds stay intact. You can discard them if you feel they will be too much handle. Let’s make them, shall we?!

Yield: serves 3-4

Equipment: a kitchen towel, a pointed knife, measuring spoons, a skillet, a clean and dry glass/porcelain jar to store them.


10-12 organic green chillies (the thicker variety which is usually available during winters)

2 tsp amchur powder  (dry mango)

salt to taste

a pinch of asafoetida (hing)

3-4 tbsp refined oil


Wash the whole chillies under running water but carefully as we don’t want to loose the stems.

Wipe them dry. Let them air dry as well for 15-20 mins. They must be absolutely free of any moisture.

Tip: These chillies are usually medium hot. Therefore, I always let the seeds stay intact. However, if they are very hot or you cannot handle the heat, feel free to de-seed them after they ha e dried completely.

To make the incision, keep the chillies straight on a board or hold them and using a pointed knife, cut them down the centre from the top to the bottom edge, carefully not to split them as you do so. See the picture below.

Bharwa hari mirch recipe How to make instant Bharwa hari mirch Polkapuffs recipe

For the filling: Mix together amchur powder, salt and asafoetida in a bowl.

To stuff: Using a spoon fill each chilly with generous quantities of the filling mix but ensure that the stem and the entire chilly stays intact as you stuff them.

Heat oil in a skillet, once it’s hot, add the stuffed chillies and toss them in the oil for about 8-10 mins. They will shrink as they cook and the filling will ooze out in places. That’s it, remove them from the skillet and serve them hot or cold with your meal. These keep well in the refrigerator for upto a week in a glass or porcelain jar.

Pair them up with my Benarasi Samosas for that lip smacking evening snack!

Bharwa hari mirch recipe How to make instant Bharwa hari mirch Polkapuffs recipe

Do try these soon…



Chawal ke Namak Paare

Diwali is just around the corner….and I am sure everyone’s planning what to make for our families and friends, to gift and to enjoy! Delicious, obviously everything must be delicious…and I think they ought to be healthy too….I mean as far as possible😄

So today, I am sharing a glutenfree recipe of our very famous North Indian ‘namak paare‘ (savory crisps). I don’t really think there is anyone out there who’d not like the taste and the texture of some ‘namak paare’…😋


These ‘Chawal ke namak paare’ are very crisp and light, I was almost surprised with the flavours. To be honest, these are the result of small blunder in my kitchen from this weekend 😂..yeah!! I had to make something else with APF (Maida) and I accidentally measured out the rice flour and only when I’d started kneading the dough did I realise my mistake… was quick thinking from there and I just made these crisp treats in the next half an hour! My Mom loved them…and I know so did my hubby. These taste just yum with some hot ginger tea or even as a munchy while you watch your favourite show on the television….😉

Although, these are fried…rice flour on its own absorbs very little to almost no oil and stays crisp for at least 3-4 days. I am hooked!

Let’s make them…they’re fast, easy and absolutely mess free!! So barely any cleaning up after you are done👌🏼

Yield: serves 2-3

Equipment: measurging cups/ spoons, a large wok, a slotted ladle, a chakli press/ kitchen press, some kitchen tissues.


1 cup rice flour (Chawal ka atta)

salt to taste

a pinch of baking soda (soda bicarb)

1/2 tsp black pepper powder

5 tbsp ghee

water as needed

oil to fry


Seive rice flour in a large mixing bowl, add salt black pepper, soda bicarb and ghee.

Keep rubbing these together until the flour resembles a bread crumb like texture and it holds it’s shape when held in a fist (I do it for about 20 mins to get a crisp texture later).


Then using little water make a hard dough. Cover the dough and let it rest for 15 mins.

Next, fill the dough in the kitchen and use the plate shown in the second picture above to make the shapes of the namak paare (as the dough is glutenfree, I wasn’t comfortable rolling it and cutting it into small diamonds, you can do so if you are able to manage to roll the dough).

Heat sufficient oil in a wok, once it’s hot, turn the flame to low. Now drop the pressed pieces of dough into the oil and fry on both sides. Remember to fry on low flame so that they cook evenly and turn crisp.


This is what it looks like after frying ⬆️

Once done, remove from the oil and place on kitchen tissue to absorb excess oil. Let them cool off completely before storing them in airtight containers.


If you are looking for more ideas for savory treats this Diwali, click here for crispy Rawa Chakli recipe, click here for Masala Sev recipe, click here for Khasti Mathri recipe.



Awadhi Dal | Lucknowi Dal

Awadhi cuisine belongs to the royal city of Lucknow in Uttar Pradesh. The cuisine boasts of rich flavours, use of milk, cream, yogurt and the delicious aroma which comes from the use of saffron, cardamom and other whole spices in most preparations. 

Awadhi cuisine (Mughlai cuisine) is hugely influenced by Mughal cooking techniques, namely dum style (cooking food on low flame for long hours) to infuse the flavours! Similar cooking patterns of cooking are found Hyderabad and parts of Punjab too. 

Lucknow is very famous for non- vegetarian fare ..namely biryanis, kebabs and other meat preparations. However, most households in Uttar Pradesh are pure vegetarians and do not eat meat and that is where you will find flavoursome vegetarian  mughlai or awadhi food. Paneer (cottage cheese), fried potatoes, pulses, etc form the base of such vegetarian meals that are essentially flavoured with whole spice and slow cooked. One such mouthwatering, rich preparation is Awadhi Dal a.k.a. Dal Sultani or Lucknowi Dal. 

Awadhi dal Sultani dal Mughlai recipes Polkapuffs recipes

This dal is an extremely flavourful, aromatic and a rich preparation. Simple cooking techniques that are fast and ensure authentic taste.

Awadhi dal Sultani dal Mughlai recipes Polkapuffs recipes

If you are looking to give your everyday dal Chawal a regal makeover, then this is the recipe for you! Everyday ingredients and a bit of magic is all that goes into making this bowl which makes you feel no less than a royalty yourself 😀

Yield: serves 2

Equipment: a pressure cooker, small pan, a ladle, measuring cups/ spoons.


1/2 cup tur dal (split pigeon peas)

2 cup water

salt to taste

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1/2 tsp red chilli powder

1″ cinnamon stick (dalchini)

2 nos. bay leaves (tej pata)

2-3 nos. cloves (laung)

2 nos. green cardamom (choti Elaichi)

1 tsp ginger garlic paste

1/4 cup fresh yogurt (dahi)

1/4 cup milk

5-6 strands of Kesar (saffron)

chopped coriander to garnish

For the tempering:

2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)

1/2 tsp jeera dana (cumin seeds)

1 tsp chopped green chillies

a generous pinch of asafoetida (hing)


Wash the dal and soak it in 2 cups of water for 15 mins.

In a pressure cooker, add the water and the soaked dal. Season with salt, red chillie powder, turmeric, cardamom, cinnamon, cloves, bay leaves and ginger garlic paste.

Mix them all well. Turn on the flame and let the dal and the spices come to a slow boil (take about 10 mins). Put the lid of the pressure cooker and cook it for 2-3 whistles.

Let the steam release slowly on it’s own from the cooker.

In the mean while, soak Kesar in 1 tsp of milk and let it rest.

Also, whisk curd until smooth and add the remaining milk to it. Whisk again to make a smooth paste. Set it aside.

Open the pressure cooker, remove all the whole spices. Now, add the saffron (Kesar) infused milk to the dal. Mix them well and mash the dal with the back of your spoon as you mix.

Now, let the dal cool down a bit for 5 mins. Then, add the whisked milk and curd paste. Mix it well with the dal. Boil the dal for another 4-5 mins on low flame. Turn off the flame.

Prepare the tempering: 

Heat ghee in a pan, add jeera, hing and chopped chillies and let all splutter for 1 min.

Add this tempering to the dal, garnish with chopped coriander and serve piping hot with plain rice, Tehri (North Indian mixed veg rice) or with Laccha Parathas. Add a squirt of lime juice for that extra tang with the spiciness of the green chillies 😊

Awadhi dal Sultani dal Mughlai recipes Polkapuffs recipes

Also try my Dhaba Style Dal Makhani and Rajasthani Dal Panchmel. 



Vrat ke Pakode | Phalhari Pakode ki recipe | Glutenfree Fritters

I am a Northern Indian and having spent many winters up there, I love everything that the winters have to offer in terms of the local fresh produce! I particularly enjoy roasted or sautéed Singhara (water chestnut or water caltrop). The flavour is very earthy and not many spices are needed to enhance it further 🙂 They are commonly seen in green or brown colour…I’ve heard about the pink ones but haven’t come across any yet. Although, the green ones do have a light pinkish hue around the skin. I wish I had a few fresh ones at hand to show it’s beauty! 


So, as I was saying…it’s available up North…usually you will find local vendors selling these on small stalls. These Singharas or water chestnuts are usually roasted on coal embers and are sold hot. The earthiness (‘sondhapan’ in Hindi) is something that grows on you and you will want to enjoy them even more! Usually paired with the evening tea, they make for a toothsome snacking option.

Since it’s a fruit, it can be enjoyed during the Vrat (fasting) season in Navratri or Mahashivratri. It can be enjoyed raw,boiled or sautéed or even roasted as I mentioned above wth some Vrat ka namak.

Vrat ke pakode recipe Polkapuffs recipes Navratri up was ka khana Vrat recipes Fasting recipes 

The Singhara is dried and powdered to make Glutenfree flour which too can be used for recipes during Vrat (fasting). It’s full nutritional properties and almost no fats!

So, today I am going to be sharing my favorite Vrat (fasting) dish, Vrat ke Pakode! Anyone who knows me well, know that’s I am not too fond of sweets…(Yes!! My blog archives tell a different story…but that’s courtesy my hubby😘😂). This is my Mom’s recipe…and I freak out over them. So much so, I refuse to share any when these are on the menu. Luckily enough, my hubby has become fond of them so he wants a share even though he isn’t fasting….so obviously I make a large batch!!

Let’s see how…

Yield: serves 1

Equipment: a large wok, a mixing bowl, measuring cups/ spoons, a slotted spoon, kitchen paper.

2 nos. large potatoes

1/4 cup Singhara ka atta (water chestnut flour or any other Glutenfree flour like buckwheat or finger millet but I always use water chestnut flour)

vrat ka namak (or regular salt) to taste

1 tsp grated ginger

1 tsp chopped green chillies

1/4 tsp black pepper powder

1/4 tsp degi mirch (optional, use it for the colour)

2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves and some extra to garnish

water as needed

oil to fry


Peel the potatoes, wash and pat dry them.

Then cut the potatoes into small cubes. Set them aside.

In a mixing bowl, add the cubed potatoes, degi mirch, black pepper pwd, chopped green chillies, chopped coriander leaves and grated ginger.

Vrat ke pakode recipe Polkapuffs recipes Navratri up was ka khana Vrat recipes Fasting recipesVrat ke pakode recipe Polkapuffs recipes Navratri up was ka khana Vrat recipes Fasting recipes

Mix these well. Add the Singhara flour/ atta. Mix well again. Do not add salt right now. (If you do, the mixture will leave a lot of water and the fritters/ pakode won’t be crisp). 

Heat oil in the wok. Once it’s hot enough, reduce the flame to medium.

Now season the mixture with salt and add a little water to it and mix well. Do not let the this mixture rest, drop spoonfuls of it into hot oil and fry them evenly until golden and crisp on all sides. Remove from the oil and place them on absorbent kitchen paper to get rid of any excess oil.

That’s it, serve them piping hot with tea and some Phalhari chutney. 

Vrat ke pakode recipe Polkapuffs recipes Navratri up was ka khana Vrat recipes Fasting recipes

Also try my Roasted Phool Makhane (spiced foxnuts), click here for recipe...makes for a great fat free snacking option as you fast!



Instant Kesar Peda

Yes, everyone knows I love Pedas 😉 I like them all…well almost! What’s not to like, they are sweet, slightly fudgy and so delicious! Much like these golden beauties…my Instant Kesar Pedas (saffron fudge). A 15 min wonder..more like. 

My blog has many recipes for Pedas, some very quick and some slightly lengthy…but each hold their own…..they are yummy and so tempting.

Instant Kesar Peda recipe How to make kesar Peda Polkapuffs recipes Diwali sweets recipe

I made these Pedas on the first day of Navratri last weekend…I could think of my Kaju Katli…but I will make that for Diwali 😁along with some Karachi Halwa! I am salivating just thinking about the feast in store for the days to come 😍

Instant Kesar Peda recipe How to make kesar Peda Polkapuffs recipes Diwali sweets recipe

Anyways, coming to these Pedas….you may or may not have them during Navratri fasts depending on what rituals you follow…

Yield: 8-10 Pedas

Equipment: measuring cups/ spoons, a heavy bottom non-stick pan, a wired whisk, a plate.


200 gms condensed milk

1 cup milk powder

2 tsp warm milk

9-10 strands of saffron and some extra to use for the garnish

2 tsp ghee + extra to grease your palms while shaping them


Mix warm milk with the saffron strands and let it stand for 5-8 mins until the milk is coloured beautifully.


Next, add milk powder and condensed milk to the pan. Add the saffron infused milk too. Whisk it well until it’s lump free. Place the pan with the mixture on medium flame and cook while you stir it constantly. Add 2 tsp ghee and keep stirring, I cooked it for about 10 mins to achieve a dough like consistency which leaves the sides of the pans once cooked.

Take the mixture from the pan onto a greased plate. Knead the mixture like a dough for 2 mins. Let it now cool for the next 8-10 mins. Then, grease your palms with some ghee and take a small portion of the dough and shape it into a Peda. Do the same for the rest of the dough. You can use any stamps to make some pretty designs or simply decorate them with a few strands of saffron.

Cool them in the refrigerator before you serve. They stay fresh in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days.


You can also try my instant Dhoodh Peda, Mathura ke Pede, Khoya Peda, Mawa Burfi among many others this Diwali 😊



Chatpate Saunfia Aloo (no onion no garlic recipe)

I love potatoes! I can have them in any form except sweet 😱😱 Potatoes got to be spicy and delicious….can’t be bland and sad…! That’s what I am sharing today…awesome, spicy and so easy to make too!

Besides, it’s without any onion and garlic too…so perfect for the upcoming Indian festivals like Navratri when most of us eat food sans the onion and garlic element for 10 whole days. I won’t get into giving you the background of the festivals and the why’s and the how’s!

Chatpate Saunfia Aloo No onion no garlic recipes Polkapuffs Aloo Recipe Recipes for Navratri

This recipe can be made in many ways and enjoyed in many more too! My Mom usually makes another kind of Aloo without onion and garlic, this is inspired from her basic recipe..which by the way has way too many fans out there 😍

I have mentioned the spices that I have used, but you can always change them slightly to your preference. These potatoes can be served as starters, along with dal and some steamed rice or you can add them to any curry/ gravy and enjoy it with Phulkas (Indian flatbread).

Yield: serves 2

Equipment: a heavy bottom skillet or pan, a large pot, measuring cups/ spoons.


300 gms baby potatoes (I have used the smallest kind, you can also use regular potatoes and cut them into cubes for this recipe)

salt to taste

3 cups water

1 tbsp refined oil

a pinch of asafoetida (hing)

1 tsp fennel seeds (saunf)

2-3 nos. green cardamom (choti Elaichi)

1 tsp roasted cumin pwd (bhuna jeera pwd)

1/4 tsp turmeric pwd

1/2 tsp red chilly pwd (I used degi mirch)

1/2 tsp crushed anardaana seeds

1/4 tsp chaat masala (optional)

a pinch of Garam masala 

chopped coriander to garnish


Wash the baby potatoes well, do not peel them.

In a large pot, boil water with salt. Add these potatoes in boil until 80 percent cooked. They must not be mushy in texture. Drain the water and let the potatoes cool (skip the boiling bit if using large potatoes cut into cubes).


Now, heat oil in the skillet. Add hing and saunf along with cardamom. Let them crackle. Next, add the dry spicies mentioned above except anardana pwd and chaat masala. Sauté them together for 2 mins. Next, tip in the potatoes and check the seasoning, add more salt if needed. Mix well and cook for about 5-8 mins (I let the skin crisp up a bit). Finally, add the anardaana pwd and/ or chaat masala (I always add a bit, tastes so good!). Turn off the heat and garnish with some chopped coriander leaves. Serve them piping hot!


Also, try my dahi aloo (no onion garlic), phalhari Kadhai paneer (no onion garlic), Phalhari chutney (no onion garlic) or see my collection of Navratri Recipes here.

Happy Cooking folks!



Moong Dal ka Halwa

I welcomed Ganpati Bappa with a simple and delicious Moong Dal ka Halwa. Yes, no Modaks at my place because I am not good at shaping them. So, I offer him goodies which I am good at making myself😊 ….maybe next year I will get a cute little Modak mould/ maker and then use that to shape them well! So much to learn 😀  

We do not actually bring a Ganesh Idol home every year but we do decorate our home with garlands of fresh marigolds and lots of roses…bright ‘diyas‘ adorn our Pooja Ghar and I do cook a special meal for my favourite Lord!

This year the menu consisted of Phalhari Kadhai Paneer, Masala Puris, Vrat ki Chutney for Dahi Wade as we don’t include onion and garlic in our meals on auspicious days…and of course, the moong dal ka halwa..:)

How to make moong dal ka halwa Polkapuffs blog recipes Festive recipes Recipes for Diwali Indian traditional sweet recipe

My hubby likes the halwa to be slightly grainy and moist..hence the quantity of ghee is obviously more…one can adjust that while making it. Also, I only prefer pistachios with this halwa, feel free to add almonds or walnuts…anything you like! As always, this is easy and turns delicious👌 Simply mouthwatering…I had to really resist hard until we had offered the bhog to the Lord before we could gorge on some😂

Let’s make some…

Yield: serves 3-4

Equipment: a heavy bottomed non-stick pan (I use non-stick, it’s easier to work with it), measuring cups/ spoons, a small pan.


1/2 cup split yellow lentils (dhuli moong dal)

8-9 tbsp ghee

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup water

1/4 tsp cardamom pwd (elaichi pwd)

Slivered pistachio to garnish as needed


Rinse and soak the lentils (dal) in lukewarm water for 2-3 hours (I always use lukewarm water here as it ensured that the lentils are soaked well in less time).

Once the lentils have soaked well, strain them. Blend them in a mixer without adding any water until smooth (I leave them a bit grainy as I mentioned above too). Set it aside.

Heat ghee in the pan, once it melted, add the blended lentil paste and keep stirring on low flame for 15-20 mins. Do not cease stirring as the lentil paste will burn or colour unevenly. After 15-20 mins, the ghee will seperate from the lentils and the lentil paste will be a bit crumbly and golden in colour. Turn off the flame and set this aside.

How to make moong dal ka halwa Polkapuffs blog recipes Festive recipes Recipes for Diwali Indian traditional sweet recipeHow to make moong dal ka halwa Polkapuffs blog recipes Festive recipes Recipes for Diwali Indian traditional sweet recipeHow to make moong dal ka halwa Polkapuffs blog recipes Festive recipes Recipes for Diwali Indian traditional sweet recipeHow to make moong dal ka halwa Polkapuffs blog recipes Festive recipes Recipes for Diwali Indian traditional sweet recipe

Now, heat water and sugar in a small pan. Melt the sugar in the water, add cardamom powder and stir well. Turn off the flame. (We are not making a sugar syrup with a thread consistency, we are just melting the sugar here, that should take 3-5 mins)

Now, add the sugar syrup to the cooked lentils and turn on the flame, keep it on low. Keep stirring it and let it come to a gentle boil. Cover with a lid and let the sugar syrup reduce and cook for 5-7 mins with the lentils. Open the lid, check the consistency and cook further if it’s still watery, else, add 1 tbsp of ghee and turn off the flame.

Garnish with nuts of your choice or just pistachios like I have done here, best served warm. Or create a fusion by add a scoop of ice cream to the bowl!

How to make moong dal ka halwa Polkapuffs blog recipes Festive recipes Recipes for Diwali Indian traditional sweet recipe

Happiness doesn’t come without calories 😉



Makhani Methi Makai Kofta

Weekends call for for something a little more yummy….specially when we are at home. Lazing around and reading books is how we usually spend our weekends in & I also put in a couple of hours in the kitchen to pamper my hubby with some delicious meals! 😘

This was made last weekend, looking around in the refrigerator, I found some fenugreek leaves (methi) and sweet corn..tomatoes and a bowl of dough (atta) kept ready to make rotis! I asked my hubby if he’d have some stir fried methi corn with Phulkas. He said no! I want malai kofta he says…I was stumped. I didn’t have any paneer or boiled potatoes ready in the refrigerator. The only option I had was to transform the methi and corn into some koftas, so I quickly put some potatoes to boil and began prepping the other elements.

Makhani Methi Makai kofta recipe Polkapuffs recipe Polkapuffs blog

I did all that and they turned out much better than expected! Hubby approved them with a vigorous nod between morsels!💃🏻💃🏻  So thought I’d share this here too…although if you like restaurant style curries, do try my Shahi Paneer recipe, Paneer Lababdaar, Reshmi Paneer, Tawa Masala Paneer, Dhabewale Chole. 

Makhani Methi Makai kofta recipe Polkapuffs recipe Polkapuffs blog

A few points to keep in mind as we make the koftas…Once you make the kofta mix, keep it in the refrigerator for 15 mins to firm it up. Always add the salt to the mix just before shaping them to avoid any moisture built up in the mixture. Then shape them into balls and place them again the refrigerator for another 15 mins. Then you can fry them, this way they will turn crisper and retain their shape. Always fry them low and slow…meaning, keep the flame at the lowest as you fry them and let them cook well slowly.

Let’s get started..

Yield: serves 2

Equipment: a heavy bottomed pan for deep frying, a pan, measuring cups/ spoons.


For the Koftas:

1 nos. large boiled and mashed potato

1/4 cup boiled and crushed sweet corn

1/4 cup roughly chopped methi leaves (fenugreek)

salt to taste

1 tsp ginger-garlic paste

1 tsp chopped green chillies

some rice flour to roll the koftas in before frying

oil to fry


In a mixing bowl, add mashed potato, crushed corn & chopped methi leaves. Mix well. Add ginger-garlic paste. Add the chopped chillies too. Mix well. Refrigerate for 15 mins. Once the mixture has firmed up, add salt and shape them into balls (I made 9 balls). Place them in the refrigerator for another 15 mins to firm up again.

Keep oil for heating to fry the koftas. Then coat the shaped balls in the rice flour. Fry them on low flame until golden brown and crisp. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.

Ingredients for the Makhani gravy:

3 nos. large tomatoes

1 nos. large onion

15-17 nos. cashewnuts

salt to taste

1 tbsp oil

1 tbsp butter

1 nos. each bay leaf (tejpatta), badi elaichi (black cardamom) & dalcheeni (cinnamon stick)

1.5 tbsp degi mirch pwd

1.5 tsp red chilli pwd

1/2 tsp haldi pwd (turmeric)

1 tsp each dhaniya & jeera pwd (coriander & cumin)

3/4 tsp Garam masala pwd

cream & chopped coriander to garnish


Blanch the tomatoes, onions & cashewnuts in 2-3 cups of water for 15 mins. Cover with the lid and let them sit in the warm water for 10 mins more. Then peel the tomatoes, cool everything and then blend the three together to a fine paste. Set it aside.

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Next, heat oil & butter in a pan. Add the whole spices in the hot oil- butter mixture. Once they crackle, add the tomato-onion-cashew paste. Keep sautéing it for 5-7 mins. Then once the oil seperates from the paste, add all the spices and salt. Add some water if neede to correct the consistency. Simmer the gravy for another 5-7 mins. That’s it, the gravy is ready.

To serve: Place the fried koftas in a bowl and pour the gravy over it. Garnish it and serve it Phulkas or Jeera rice and some salad😊

Hope you enjoy this…please do try it soon!!

Makhani Methi Makai kofta recipe Polkapuffs recipe Polkapuffs blog


Shreya 💖


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