Category: Lunch Box

Onion Uttappa/ Uttappam

So..what’s for breakfast?!….Asks my hubby every morning. Okay…so I am one, tiny person battling sleep and I have to think of breakfast/ food the first thing once I am up 🙄🙄🙄!!! Hellloooo…yes I love food! But I don’t think about it 24*7..Lol!! 

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But we have to eat…..and I like to serve something healthy for my hubby too…breakfast being the most meal of the day. I truly believe it’s important to kick start your day with healthy & wholesome food😊

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As a rule…I usually have some Dosa/ Idli batter sitting handy in my refrigerator..it could either be store bought or homemade…& I either make dosas or some spongy idlis in minutes when I am pressed for time! That’s when these Udupi Style Onion Uttappams come to my rescue. They are quick, delicious and something that my hubby & I, both enjoy😁 One can add any variation of toppings…but I keep it simple with the onions.

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It’s my Mom’s Peanut & Curd Chutney that we enjoy with these Uttappams. This chutney is simply too yummy…..bursting with flavours & gets ready in minutes. The perfect dip even for my Sabudana Wadas or Rava Dosa 😍

Common, let’s get started..

Yield: 4 Uttappams & 1 bowl of chutney

Equipment: non-stick pan, a spatula, a ladle, measuring cups/ spoons, mixing bowl.

Ingredients:

Uttappam:

2 cups thick dosa batter (seasoned with salt, I used store bought)

1/2 cup chopped onions

chopped chilli as needed

1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves

1 tsp Idli Podi (I used store bought)

oil as needed to cook the Uttappam

Chutney:

1/2 cup roasted, husked and coarsely ground peanuts

1/2 cup thick curd (not hung)

salt to taste

red chilli pwd to taste

1/2 tsp roasted jeera pwd (cumin)

To temper:

2 tsp oil

few curry leaves

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

a pinch of hung (asafoetida)

Method for Uttappam:

Heat the pan, once it’s hot enough, spread a ladleful of the batter. Keep it thick and perfectly round. Drizzle oil around the batter. Top the Uttappam with the chopped chillies, onions, coriander leaves, Podi pwd. Let the bottom crisp up before flipping it over. Cook for another 2-3 mins to get a rich golden color on the topping. Once done, serve hot with the Chutney.

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Method for chutney:

Take the coarsely powdered peanuts & curd. Season with the spices mentioned above. Give them a mix. Next, heat the oil in a pan, add the ingredients mentioned in “to temper” above, let everything crackle for a minute or two, then add them to the peanut-curd mixture. Mix well and serve. This chutney keeps well in the refrigerator for a day.

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This is a finger-licking good combo…do try!

Love,

Shreya💗

 

Paneer Tawa Masala

Another great recipe using cottage cheese (paneer) and an assortment of rustic spices. This makes for a great weeknight meal option which goes well with Wholewheat Naan or Phulkas too☺️

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You can even make this on a weekend and indulge a bit👌🏼 …flavours of kasuri methi along with saunf (fennel) & the tang of chaat masala makes for a great palate pleaser!

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Pretty easy to whisk up too…it was ready in about 30 mins! Let’s get started…

Yield: serves 2

Equipment: a non-stick pan/ tawa, measuring cups/ spoons.

Ingredients:

To marinate the paneer:

250 gms cubed paneer

2 tbsp kasuri methi (dried fenugreek leaves)

1 tsp red chilly pwd

1/2 tsp turmeric pwd

1 tsp chaat masala

salt to taste

2 tbsp oil

To make the Tawa masala:

1 tbsp oil

1 tsp butter

1/2 tsp jeera (cumin seeds)

1/2 tsp saunf (fennel seeds)

1 cup chopped onion

2 tsp chopped green chillies

2 tsp garlic paste

1 1/2 cup tomato purée

1 tsp coriander pwd

1/2 roasted cumin pwd

pinch of sugar

1/2 tsp garam masala 

salt to taste

2-3 tbsp fresh cream

chopped coriander leaves to garnish

Method:

Marinate the paneer with the ingredients mentioned above except the oil and keep it aside for 15-20 mins. After 20 mins, sauté the marinated paneer in 2 tbsp oil for 5 mins in a pan/ tawa. Set it aside.

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Next, add 1 tbsp oil to the remaining oil in the pan, once it’s hot enough, add the jeera & saunf seeds. Let these crackle for a few seconds. Then add the chopped onions, chillies & garlic paste. Cook until the onions turn golden.

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Then add the tomato purée along with coriander pwd, sugar, roasted cumin pwd, salt & garam masala. Sauté for until the tomato purée cooks out and the oil seperates from the masala. Then add the cream, butter & cooked paneer. Mix well and cook for another 3-5 mins. That’s it! Turn off the heat and garnish with chopped coriander leaves & serve it piping hot..😀

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Do try it out soon….you will love the flavours!

Love,

Shreya💞

Adapted from Tarla Dalal

Masala Pav

What’s your favourite snacking option? Can’t think of one?! Well…the same happens with us too😜 I just can’t pick one favourite! My hubby and I are die-hard street food fans….but I make them at home whenever we have a craving to ensure its healthy. ☺️ 

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Masala Pav is almost like Pav Bhaji but so different in terms of preparation using fewer ingredients and time. Also, it’s the best way to use up some left-over Pav bread or even make a instant snack for kids too👌

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Masala pav is spicy, robust and the Pav simply soaks up all the flavours and the becomes so moist..it melts in the mouth! 😉

Common, let’s get started…

Yield: serves 2-3

Equipment: a wok, a griddle/ non-stick pan, measuring cups/ spoons.

Ingredients:

5-6 nos. Pav

1/2 cup chopped onions

2 tbsp ginger garlic paste

1 tbsp chopped green chillies

1/2 cup chopped capsicum

1/2 tsp turmeric pwd

1 tsp degi Mirch

1 tbsp Pav Bhaji masala

1 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes

salt to taste

2 tbsp oil

butter as needed

lemon juice as needed

Method:

Slit all the Pav horizontally, butter them on all sides and set them aside.

Heat oil in the wok, once it’s hot add the onions, green chilli, ginger- garlic paste. Sauté until the onion turns golden. Then add the capsicum and cook for a few mins until it turns soft. Season with salt and add the remaining spices along with the Pav Bhaji masala as well. Mix well and add the tomatoes. Now cover and cook until the oil seperates. You can add some water if the cooked mixture looks dry, about 1/2 cup or so. Turn off the flame.

To assemble the Masala Pav, add butter to a hot pan, place the buttered Pav in the pan and add the prepared mixture and coat the Pav well with it. Cook for about 2-3 mins. Serve hot with some lemon juice and garnish with chopped coriander leaves!

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Lip-smackingly good….😀

Love,

Shreya💖

Vada Pav

A typical Mumbaiiya staple….if you’ve ever been in Mumbai or lived here for as long as I have…Vada Pav will be your go-to meal on the move! It’s famous as an Indian Burger…but I don’t like calling it that…for me, it’s Aamchi Mumbai’s Vada Pav with Spicy Dry Chutney! 😊👌😋😋

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It brings a smile on my face each time I have had one! Ever since schooling days…till date, it’s happens to be one of my absolute favourites! And the best part is…my hubby loves it too! 😀 So, that way I can even make some at home whenever I like…and he enjoys it just as much😎..almost every Mumbaikar knows how to make these at home! It’s too easy😜

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This spicy..dry garlic chutney is a must with Vada Pav along with fried green chillies! And making this chutney at home barely takes 5 mins! The Pav that you see here is store bought…..what do you expect from me?!! 😬😬

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Doesn’t that look deliciously inviting! Spicy potato mash coated with a light batter…deep fried until crispy, served between soft Pav with some chutney….I could live on this stuff👌👌

Let’s get cooking…

Yield: 7-8 vadas

Equipment: a wok, a coulpe of mixing bowl, a slotted spoon, measuring cups/ spoons, a blender.

Ingredients:

For the Vada:

5 nos. large, boiled & mashed potatoes

2 tbsp oil

3 tbsp on ginger-garlic-green chilli paste

7-8 nos curry leaves

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing)

1 tsp lemon juice

1/2 tsp turmeric pwd

salt to taste

For the batter:

1 cup Besan (gram flour)

water as needed

1/4 tsp baking soda

salt to taste

oil to deep fry

Method:

To start with the vada, heat oil in a wok, add hing, mustard seeds, curry leaves. Once they crackle, add ginger-garlic-green chilli paste. Sauté for 2 mins, then add the lemon juice, turmeric pwd & salt to taste. Stir and add the mashed potatoes. Mix everything well. That’s it. Set it aside to cool. Once it’s cool enough, make equal sized balls and set them aside.

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Now, to get the batter ready, mix salt & besan with some water and make smooth, thick batter. Add the soda too and mix again. The consistency should be thick so that it coats the potato balls.

To fry them, heat enough oil in a wok, once it’s hot enough, reduce the flame to medium. Now, dip each potato ball in the batter and coat it well all over and drop it in the oil. You can drop 2-3 balls at one go, fry them until golden and crispy on all sides. Drain on kitchen paper. The vadas are done.

For the chutney:

2 tbsp red chilli pwd

9-10 cloves of garlic

4 tbsp dedicated coconut pwd

2 tbsp raita boondi

salt to taste

2 tbsp oil

Method:

Grind all the ingredients except the oil in a blender to a coarse texture. Now, heat oil and sauté the ground mixture for 3-4 mins. That’s it. The chutney is ready too.

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To assemble:

Take a Pav, slit it in half and sprinkle some dry chutney and place a Vada in between & press it down…enjoy with some fried green chillies! 😊👌

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Grab one…you’ll be hooked😉

Love,

Shreya💓

Recipe of the chutney is Adapted from Sanjeev Kapoor. 

Rawa Dosa

This happens to be my hubby’s favourite variety of Dosa…specially when he’s at any Udupi restaurants around here. It’s crispy, crunchy and really flavourful! 👌 

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We usually make it at home on weekends…as a healthy and filling brunch…paired with my Mom’s spicy & simple coconut chutney. The crispy Dosa goes so well with the earthiness of the this grassy green chutney. Although you can have some potato masala or a spicy sambhar to go with it too. Or even my fiery Schezwan Chutney! 😉

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This a really common preparation in most homes…being instant & super easy to make..although, a few ingredients here and there & the proportions may vary…but the results are always mouthwatering! Here’s my take..

For the Dosa

Yield: 4-5 Dosas

Equipment: a non stick pan, a spatula, measuring cups/ spoons, a mixing bowl, a ladle.

Ingredients:

1 cup Rawa/ sooji (semolina)

3 tbsp rice flour

1/2 tbsp maida (APF)

salt to taste

1 tsp whole peppercorns

1-2 tbsp chopped cashews

1 tsp chopped curry leaves

1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

1/2 tbsp chopped green chilli

1/2 tsp grated ginger

1/2 tsp sugar

1/4 tsp asafoetida (hing)

1 tsp Jeera (cumin seeds)

water as needed

oil to cook the Dosa

Method:

Take all the dry ingredients in the bowl, stir them well. Then add water and make a runny batter. Let it sit for 5-7 mins.

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Heat the pan, and spread a ladleful of the batter on the pan…and drizzle some oil around the pan. Cook on low heat for about 5-6 mins…you need to cook it that long as it will crisp up..and there is no need to flip over to cook the other side. Once done, it starts leaving the pan from the edges. That’s it, your Rawa Dosa is ready! Serve it piping hot😀

(P.S. Stir the batter well before pouring out the next ladleful!)

For the chutney:

It’s really simple… Gives you about a big bowlful.

1 freshly grated coconut, about 1 bunch of coriander leaves, 2-3 green chillies & some salt. Grind these with some water.

Adjust the seasoning. You can temper it if you like..although I usually don’t do it! Done! This chutney stays fresh in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

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Doesn’t that look absolutely tempting😬😉 they taste so good..

Love,

Shreya💓

Nimona/ Green Peas Curry

Winters for us are incomplete if we don’t make Nimona… Rustic flavours and hints of spice make this a family favourite! 👌😊 

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The onset of winters brings really soft and sweet green peas….and this one of the best ways to enjoy the fresh produce. Nimona is best enjoyed with some short grained rice…lots of salad..a dash of lime and a healthy drizzle of melted ‘ghee‘ over it all! A soul warming meal…☺️

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My Mom makes the best Nimona…hands down! It’s a family recipe which I am sharing today…it’s so delicious & healthy.

Let’s start with my Mom’s recipe..

Yield: serves 2

Equipment: a wok, a ladle, measuring cups/ spoons.

Ingredients:

1 cup coarsely ground fresh raw green peas

1/2 cup shelled fresh raw green peas

1/2 cup cauliflower florets

1/2 cup cubed potato

1/2 cup sliced onions

1-2 tbsp ginger-garlic paste

1/2 cup cubed tomato

5-6 tbsp mustard oil (use any oil of your choice)

a pinch of asafoetida (hing)

1/2 tsp cumin seeds (Jeera)

1-2 nos Bay leaf

1 nos. slit green chilly

1/2 tbsp cumin pwd

1/2 tbsp coriander pwd

1/2 tsp degi mirch

1 tsp red chilli pwd

1/2 tsp turmeric pwd

1/2 tsp Garam Masala 

salt to taste

lemon juice as needed

Method:

Heat oil in the wok, shallow fry the cubes of potatoes & cauliflower florets until golden brown, drain them from the oil and set aside.

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Now, add bay leaf, Jeera & hing in the same oil. Once these crackle a bit, add the onions & ginger-garlic paste. Sauté until golden brown. Then add all the spices except salt & Garam masala. Cook until the oil is seperated from the spices. Now, add tomatoes and cook again until the oil seperates once again.

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Then, add the ground green peas and sauté for 5-8 mins on low heat. Season with salt at this stage & add the garam masala. Give it a good mix…add the fried veggies now. Sauté for 4-5 mins to incorporate the flavours. Now add some water to correct he consistency of the gravy and cover to let it boil for about 5-8 mins on low heat. That’s it….turn off the heat…taste and adjust the seasonings. Add a dash of lemon juice! Enjoy 😬

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Make the most of the Winters….😀

Love,

Shreya💖

Poha/ Matar Poha

I have memories of countless weekends….my breakfast/ brunch would be Sunshine on a Platter…yes! That’s what Poha has always been for me…and my Mom makes the world’s best Poha! Hands down! 😘😘😘we’d fill our tummies with it..and then skip lunch. Some well deserved rest for Mom…what are weekends for then!? 

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She would even pack this for our lunch boxes sometimes..but I must confess – it tastes best when you have it piping hot! Straight out of the wok..onto your plates..no frills…just some home style cooking👌👌

She had learnt to make this almost 43 years ago..when she had come to Mumbai post her wedding….and ever since then it’s her Signature Dish! That’s because she changed the ingredients a bit to make something similar to one of her favourites from U.P./ Bihar..’chuda matar’ (‘chuda’ means beaten rice flakes and ‘matar’ is green peas)..often eaten as snacks😁 we don’t usuall add any Sev or peanuts while serving it….but you can😛

Let’s get on with my Mom’s recipe..

Yield: serves 2-3

Equipment: a wok, a spatula, a colander, measuring cups/ spoons.

Ingredients:

2  cup Poha (thick variety/ Jada Poha)

3 tbsp oil

1 nos. sliced onion

1/2 tsp mustard seeds

1 pinch hing (asafoetida)

2 nos. chopped green chilli

5-6 nos. Kari Patta (curry leaves)

1/2 cup green peas

1/2 tsp turmeric pwd

1 tsp grated ginger

salt to taste

1/2 tsp sugar

juice of 1 lemon

chopped coriander leaves to garnish

Method:

Firstly, we need to moisten the poha. For that, take sieved poha in n colander, pour 1 cup water over it. Let the water drain well. Keep it aside. Make sure you don’t drown it in any more water else, you will end up with a big lump of mushy poha.

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Now, heat oil in the wok. Once it’s hot, add mustard seeds & hing. Let them crackle a bit. Then add onions, curry leaves, ginger & chillies. Cook on medium flame until the onions turn golden colour. The season with salt, sugar & turmeric pwd. Add 1 tsp of water if needed to avoid the ingredients to stick at the bottom. Also add in the peas. Cook for about 5-6 mins. Stir in the moistened poha next. Cook for 2-3 mins. Add lemon juice. Mix & garnish with chopped coriander leaves😊 enjoy it piping hot!

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Try this…it’s just so yummy! You will be  hooked 😬

Love,

Shreya 💗

Schezwan Paneer

Schezwan Paneer or Chilly Paneer happens to be one of my favourite starters when I am at a restaurant….😁 perfectly spiced sauce with juicy paneer makes it irresistible for many of us! 

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Veggies give it a lovely crunch in between bites of velvety sauce..👌..this is something so easy to make at home.. I am sure everyone has their own version. So do I! I keep making it often and never really follow a recipe! But one thing that I try to always use is my Homemade Schezwan Sauce for making this! The flavours are so awesome…just like the restaurant style Schezwan Paneer! 😉

Here’s the easy peasy recipe…

Yield: serves 2

Equipment: a pan, a spatula, measuring cups/ spoons.

Ingredients:

200 gms cubed paneer (cottage cheese, or you can use tofu too)

1/2 cup cubes of capsicum

1/2 cup cubes of onion

8-9 cloves of garlic sliced roughly

5 tbsp Schezwan Sauce

salt to taste

sugar to taste

4 tbsp oil

1 tbsp toasted white sesame seeds (optional)

Method:

Heat oil in the pan, once it’s hot, add the sliced garlic. Let it turn golden brown, then add the cubes veggies and season with salt & sugar. Cook until these they a slightly soft but not completely cooked. They must retain their colour as well.

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Then add the cubed paneer and Schezwan sauce. Give them all a mix but be careful not to break the cubes of paneer. Cook for about 5 mins. Turn off the flame and serve it hot. This goes well with some Hakka Noodles or Fried Rice too👌☺️

Garnish with some sesame seeds if you want to.

(*Please note that I haven’t added any extra soy or chilly sauce as my Homemade Schezwan Sauce is spicy enough. You can add extra sauce if you’d like it to be more spicy)

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There you go…your Restaurant Style Schezwan Paneer is ready…within minutes! 😀

Love,

Shreya💕

Sesame Soya Tikki

Everyone enjoys snacking on some crispy, crunchy finger food! Dipping it in some sauce just makes it all the more yummy…along with a delicious drink to wash it all down👌😁…although a cup of hot tea does the trick too! 

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These Sesame Soya Tikkis make for a great starter/ snack as they are loaded with yummy & healthy ingredients…no frying…no oily mess! Serve these with my homemade Schezwan Sauce and some Iced Green Tea Limeade…perfecto!

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They even make a great lunch box for kids…😊 Let’s get started..

Yield: 6-8 medium Tikkis

Equipment: a non stick pan, a mixing bowl, measuring cups/ spoons, a spatula.

Ingredients:

2 nos. large boiled & mashed potatoes

1/4 cup soya granules

1/4 cup grated carrot (you can add any veggies of your choice or skip them too)

1/2 tsp ginger paste

1 tbsp chopped mint leaves

1 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

1/2 tsp Chaat masala

1 tsp chopped green chillies (*omit it when you are cooking these for kids)

1 tsp roasted cumin pwd

1/2 tsp red chilli pwd*

salt to taste

2-3 tsp oil to shallow fry the tikki

1/2 cup slightly roasted white sesame seeds

Method:

Soak the dry soya granules in one cup of warm water for 15 mins & squeeze out all the water well. Place it aside.

Next, add all the above ingredients except oil and soya granules in a mixing bowl, mix them well. Then add the soya granules & combine everything well.

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Next, shape the mixture in equal sized Tikkis, roll them in the sesame seeds and set them aside. Heat the non stick pan, once it’s hot enough, place the tikkis on the pan & add few drops of oil around them. Cook them on medium flame for 3-4 mins on both sides or until the seeds turn golden brown and crunchy. That’s it, serve them piping hot! 😀

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Healthy snacks are ready!

Love,

Shreya💗

Adapted from Tarla Dalal.

Homemade Schezwan Sauce

We Indians love our Indo-Chinese cuisines to the hilt! 😜 I am no different….I am crazy for the all of them…😊

And Schezwan Sauce happens to be my favourite…ever since I first tasted it as a dip along with some Spring Rolls long back! I just fell in love with the fiery, tangy and the mild sweetness all at once!

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I even started buying this sauce by a popular brand…however it was obviously full of synthetic preservatives & added colours. So not exactly the healthiest option. So I looked up a few recipes & found one which was perfect. It tastes fiery and absolutely lip-smacking! 😬😬😉

*Please note that I have used fresh red chillies as they are in season now. However, you can use dried chillies, just soak them in warm water for 1 hour & de-seed if you wish to reduce the heat. Then, continue with this recipe.

*We don’t like a very chunky texture hence, I grind the ginger & garlic with the chillies. You can cook them with the onions.

Let’s start the recipe..

Yield: approx 400 gms

Equipment: a wok, a ladle, measuring cups/ spoons.

Ingredients:

200 gms chopped fresh red chillies (de-seed if needed)

1/4 cup chopped garlic

1/4 cup chopped ginger

5 tbsp oil

6 tbsp vinegar (I used Apple Cider vinegar, you can use any variety but avoid balsamic or a darker vinegar)

4 tbsp soy sauce (I used light soy)

2 tbsp ketchup (add more if you like it sweeter)

1/2 cup finely chopped onion

1 tsp cornstarch/ cornflour

salt to taste

Method:

Grind together chopped chillies, ginger & garlic using 2 tbsp of vinegar to a smooth paste. Set it aside.

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Then, heat oil in the wok and sauté the onions until translucent. Next add the paste you have kept aside. Cook for 5-8 mins on low flame. Season with salt, add the remaining vinegar & the sauces too. Mix well. Then dilute cornstarch/ cornflour with 2 tbsp water & add it to the simmering sauce, keep stirring continuously for a few mins. Let the sauce again simmer for about 5 mins. That’s it…turn off the heat and cool completely before storing in glass/ porcelain bottles.

It stays well in the refrigerator for at least 2 weeks although I have stored it for almost 45 days with no change in flavour & colour.

Serve it with any & every snacks 😜

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Try this today…I promise, you won’t be buying this anymore! 😉

Love,

Shreya❤️

Adapted from Sharmis Passions & Khana Khazana

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