Handvo (Gujarati Lentil and rice Savoury cake)

6:51 AM

Remember that movie three idiots where drunken Kareena says to Amir Khan, tum Gujarati logo ka khana itna khatarnak kyon hota hai???? Dhokla, Fafda, handva, thepla...aise lagta hai jaise koi missiles hai ..." (why does the name of Gujarati food sound like dangerous weapons? Dhokla, Fafda, Handva, Thepla...sounds not like food but missiles).
Exactly my thought. I love Gujarati food especially their elaborate platters but the names always bring a smile on my face. while we were growing up we only heard of Dhokla, that quintessential sweet shop staple for breakfast. Yellow spongy squares of steamed gram flour batter soaked with a salty sweet spicy syrup and sprinkled with coconut and not so fiery fried green chillies. Seriously I can survive on this snack with some hot tea. but now with the globe opening up and people being interested in various cuisines more of Gujarati food are coming into limelight and more such names are being familiar. and I don't see anyone complaining. 

Events Awards Interview


2:37 AM

It's Giveaway time friends.

My blog A Homemaker's Diary will soon complete 9 years in this bloggy world and to celebrate that I am here with a few Giveaway.

The first one is this set of two beautiful hand embroidered cushion covers from our Kantha Boutique Suryabartta.

In return all you have to do is 
1. share your fondest food memory with me and

To do so You can leave a comment here or Mail me to

Last Date 15th April'2017


Keema Matar (Curried minced meat with fresh peas)

12:01 PM

Hope you all had a wonderful Holi celebration this year!

Ours was not that good and both hubby and I laid in bed and watched the festival of fun and frolic around colour go by. Yes both of us were down with Chicken pox after the daughter and thank God the Doctor this morning announced us completely healed. It was a complete nightmare as somehow we were very scared of this contagious disease and sent baba and the sonny boy to My brother's at the earliest possible. Even released the house helps in the fear that they might catch the bug. At the end it was just us managing the house and the little one.


Kachki Macher Baticharchari (One bowl Ganges River sprat with veggies and spices)

9:52 AM

Recipe writing is not easy. You got to trust me on that.

Accurately measuring each and every ingredient is difficult but more difficult is to find an englisg name for every recipe.
Especially Bengali recipes. Where we use so many methods of cooking that calling every dish a 'curry' just doesnot seem right.

As a kid we used to joke about how simple everyday recipes would sound gourmet when translated in English. simple Alu seddho, a homey dish when becomes mashed potato with virgin mustard oil sounds so posh and upmarket. but when it comes to true representation of the dish it needs a rather deep understanding to name it in English.

 For example this bati charchari dish which is nothing but all ingredients mixed and cooked on very very low heat. What will you call it? It definitely not is a gravy dish, nor a steamed one or sauteed. This is a lazy dish where everything is mixed and cooked on slow fire. For some reason I associate such recipes to the women of the household. 

Growing up I have seen the hustle and bustle of a traditional joint kitchen. Ours was a family of eighteen with additional live in maids and servants. The men of our family worked in the service sector, some Govt. servants some school teachers and all of them had to go out by 10 to attend to their work. Unlike other cultures we Bengalis strongly believe in having our macher jhol bhat before we head out of home for the day. So morning was the most busy time. 

After a round of Cha and Muri for breakfast ( tea and puffed rice) The ladies will engage themselves to serve lunch on time. The day's veggie and fish will come home early in the morning and cutting veggies, washing fish, grinding fresh spices will take quite some time. Mother, grand mother, aunts all would share the job. so while on one stove the rice would bubble, on the other stove someone will prepare the spices for fish curry, one will pack snack box for the kids and other will arrange the table for the meal. It was busy yet functioned on some unique harmony.


Topa Kuler Achaar (sweet and sour jujube pickle)

6:12 AM

It's that time of the year again when the weather is more whimsical than me during my PMS. Somedays it's warm beyond reason and makes us feel is it summer already in February but come morning the nip in the air makes you cold. As a result the kids are taking turn in bringing home some unwanted bugs.

First it was the daughter who came down with a bacterial infection similar to chicken pox. She had blisters allover her body and scalp without fever or body ache. Now that she is recovering Friday son came home with high fever and headache. On such days I dont feel like doing anything as there's nothing more heart breaking than to see your child suffer. Glad that they are small and are easily cheered on. A batch of cookies here and some drawing sessions there make them happy. and when their smile comes back I am assured that there's everything right with this World.

Having said that one thing that is naggingly worries me these days is this sudden changes in weather. Even five years back there were clear demarcations of weather. Spring came with full glory with a very pleasant weather and colours everywhere. Now not even winter stays for more than a couple of months that too has become so warm. Global Warming definitely is a reality, the quickly we recognize that the better.

The recipe that am sharing today has nothing to do with  it. but the fact that with growing urbanisation these fruits might soon become a distant reality makes me sad. Also this year when I first saw them in the market I had this strange urge to make the pickle. I never had made it before as it was Maa who would make it year after year for us. She would ask her artisans to book trees so that when the fruits ripen she could take them home and make big batches of pickle to give to everyone in the family. 
But not this year. 
With a small bottle of her pickle still on the shelf I knew I had to make it.
I knew I needed to get it right.

So here it is, her simple recipe but without the magic of her hands. I wish I could recreate that...

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