Urban Food

Cuisines for the colourful festival of HOLI

HOLI is the festival of colours and adding variety of flavours and taste, definitely adds wonderful food experience with family and friends. Besides smearing each other with bright hues, Holi is the time to savour on tasty food and exchanging sweets and gifts.

HOLI is the festival of colours and adding variety of flavours and taste, definitely adds wonderful food experience with family and friends. Besides smearing each other with bright hues, Holi is the time to savour on tasty food and exchanging sweets and gifts.
Today every restaurant and sweet shop are hopping on traditional trends when it comes to serving scrumptious dishes to serve to their customers on the occasions of this colourful festival.
Creating a rejuvenating ambience with traditional Holi special sweets like Kheer, Sondesh, Malpua, Gujhiya or introducing some original fusion food can awaken the festive flavour of the people.


Santre ki kheer

5 cups of full-cream milk
1/2 cup sugar
4-5 green cardamoms
3 large oranges (break evenly), peeled
12-15 almonds (shredded), blanched
2 tbsp pistachios (shredded dark leaves), blanched


 Bring the milk to boil in a wide, heavy-based pan; add the sugar and cardamom and simmer over low heat.
 Stir often enough to avoid scorching
 Simmer till the mixture is thick
 Time taken will depend on the richness of milk and your vessel.
 The wider the vessel, the faster the milk will thicken.
 When thick and colour darkens a little, shut off the heat.
 Cool and add pieces of orange
 Mix well, chill and serve garnished and silver leaves, almonds and pistachios.




Gujiyas are sweet dumplings made of maida or flour and filled with a delightful khoya and dry fruits mixture and are popularly made in Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh. Deep fried in ghee and dipped in a sugary syrup, this Indian dessert is commonly made during the festival of Holi. The crisp outer layer cracks in the mouth for the sweet filling to take on your senses.

2 cups of refined flour
1 cup of clarified butter
Water (to mix)

1 cup khoya
1 cup sugar
1 tsp green cardamom (powdered)
1 tbsp almonds (finely chopped)
For deep-frying Ghee

1 cup sugar
1 cup water

Prepare the dough
1. Rub 1/4 cup ghee into the flour and knead into a stiff dough with water
2. Leave to rest for at least half an hour

1. Saute the khoya over medium heat till it looks slightly fried.
2. Take off the heat and when it cools, mix in the sugar, cardamom and almonds.
3. Shape the fillings into ovals
4. Make balls of the dough and roll out into thick rounds
5. Take a round, wet the edges with water and place a piece of filling over one half.
6. Fold the other half over and press the edges together to seal.
7. Either cut off the edges with a fancy cutter or make a design by pinching and twisting all along the sealed edges.
8. Make all the gujhiyas in this way. Heat ghee in pan. Turn them over and lower the heat to medium. Fry till golden brown on all sides. Lift out and leave to drain on absorbent paper.
9. Make sugar syrup by cooking water and sugar together, till one thread consistency. Dip the gujhiyas in it, lift and let dry on a plate.
10. Fry the rest, increasing the heat for a few seconds before adding the next lot.

Serving tip: Can be eaten hot or at room temperature and can be stored in air-tight containers.


Foodie Delights for This Spring

The onset of spring brings in a new flavor in the weather as well as the quality of fresh, seasonal vegetables and fruits, as if to mark the beginning of the new harvest year. For this very special time of the year, below are a couple of recipes that are sure to tickle your taste buds.

By Executive Chef Suresh Khanna From Fortune Landmark Hotel, Ahmedabad.

Mushroom & Cheese ki Galawat

Mushroom grated 1200g
Brown Onion 20g
Cashewnut 200g
Yellow chilli powder 30g
gram masala 30g
G/G Paste 20g
ginger cut 10g
Roastedchana powder 50g
Amul cheese 200g
fresh coriander 100g


1. Heat ghee in a kadhai, add ginger-garlic paste, onions and sauté till well-browned. Add chopped ginger, green chillies, turmeric and chilli powder. Stir for a few seconds. Add grated the mushrooms, then add roasted Chana powder, brown Kaju. Mix well and remove from heat.

2. Place the mixture in a bowl. Place a small steel vessel (katori) in the center of the bowl. Hold the charcoal with a long tongs (chimta) and place it on fire. When it starts burning, place the live charcoal in the katori, pour 1 tsp. ghee on the charcoal and immediately cover the bowl. Leave to smoke the mixture for 5


3. Make kebabs of the smoked mixture.

4. Heat a non-stick pan or a Tawa, grease with ½ tsp. ghee. Stuffed mushroom with nuts and cheese Shape the mixture into flattened roundels (kebabs) and cook on medium heat un till brown.

5. Garnish with lemon slices, onion rings, mint leaves and sprinkle chaat masala and it’s served with mint sauce.

Vegetables in Hot Coconut Sauce

• ½ red pepper, cut into chunks
• ½ green pepper, cut into chunks
• 10 mushrooms, quartered
• 100g green beans, topped and tailed
• 1 tbsp vegetable oil
• 1 tbsp cumin seeds
• 2 medium onions, blended in a food processor to a grated consistency
• 200g tinned plum tomatoes
• 1 tsp salt
• 1 tsp turmeric
• ½ tbsp chilli powder (optional)
• 2 or 3 green chillis, chopped
• 200ml coconut cream
• 1 tbsp garam masala
• 1 handful fresh coriander, chopped

1. Heat oil and butter in a pan and add cumin seeds.
2. When sizzling and aromatic add the minced onions and fry until golden colour.
3. Add the tomatoes, salt, turmeric, chilli powder and fresh chillies.
4. Stir together and leave to cook so the tomatoes break down and you are left with a thick paste.
5. Add the mushrooms and beans to the masala and stir. Cook for about five minutes
6. Pour in the coconut cream and cook gently for a few minutes so the flavours combine.
7. Reduce the heat and leave to cook for about 10 minutes before adding the peppers.
8. Taste the sauce and adjust seasoning if required.
9. Remove from heat and add garam masala and throw in the fresh coriander to serve.


Sarson Da Saag- Makki Di Roti

IF you are looking for a delicious and indulgent meal, then this Sarson Da Saag recipe is a perfect dish to prepare on wintery days and gorge with your friends and family.
Sarson da Saag te Makki di roti is a classical Punjabi dish and is best served with some white butter and jaggery. This combination is winter special and makes everyone drool in winters. As a traditional Punjabi dish, “saag” means green and “sarso” means mustard. Along with a steaming hot makki roti and a dollop of butter or ghee this recipe is a yummy and lip-smacking treat in winters.

By Executive Chef Suresh Khanna From Fortune Landmark Hotel, Ahmedabad.

Ingredients for Sarso Da Saag

• 1000 gms Fresh green Sarson
• 250 gms Palak
• 250 gms Bathua
• 2 cups Water with a pinch of salt
• 1 1/2 cup Makki ka atta
• 4 Green chilly
• 25 gmsGinger
• 2 Onions
• 6 cloves Garlic
• 100 gms Ghee
• 1/2 tsp Red pepper powder
• 1/2 tsp Garam masala

Method of Preparation:

• Add the three bunch saag, salt and water into pressure cooker & cook over low heat for 1-1/2 hours.
• Squeeze out saag and keep saag water aside. Mash the saag in the cooker until coarsely ground, and add makki atta and stir.
• Put back saag water and a little fresh water & boil over slow fire.
• Add green chillies & ginger & cook till saag gets thick.
• For tadka, add chopped onions, ginger, garlic, red pepper powder; garam masala, coriander & sauté until onions are light brown.
• Mix into saag & garnish with thread cutting of ginger fried in ghee.

Ingredients for Makki ki Roti
• 1/2 kg Makki Atta
• Kneading Water
• Ghee

Method of Preparation:

1. Knead the makki atta until it becomes a ball, add flour to dry it & knead.
2. Heat the flat pan and add a little ghee, so that it does not stick.
3. Make round shapes of makki roti on the kneading plate & carefully place it to the flat pan.
4. Cook with ghee till golden brown.
5. Serve with hot sarson da saag, crumbs of jaggery and white butter.



1 Kg Carrots
1- 1/2 Litre Milk
4 Green cardamoms
5-7 Tbsp Pure Ghee
5-7 Tbsp Sugar
2 Tbsp Raisins
1 Tbsp shredded almonds
2 tbsp chopped dates

• Peel and grate the carrots.
• Simmer in milk with the cardamom until liquid evaporates.
• Heat ghee in a heavy pan and add the carrot mixture.
• Cook over a gentle flame for 10-15 minutes.
• Stir in sugar and continue cooking until the halwa turns deep reddish colour.
• Stir in dried fruit and serve.


Traditional Plum Cake For The Festival!

The popular tradition of Plum Cakes started in medieval England. It is the ritual of observing fast and abstaining from any kind of feast before Christmas. As per the custom, in the Christmas Eve, a rich buttered porridge is prepared with oats, dried fruits, spices and honey, eventually turning into a Christmas pudding. People started using the same ingredients and made fruitcakes with plums and other dried fruits to celebrate Christmas. It is believed, that is how plum cakes came into existence as a traditional dessert.
Plum Cakes are the staple dessert enjoyed by friends and families. Preparing this special dessert at home makes the festival extra special for the loved one. Here’s a wonderful recipe of Plum Cake.

By Executive Chef Suresh Khanna From Fortune Landmark Hotel, Ahmedabad.


• 250 gm refined flour
• 150 gm brown sugar
• 30 gm almonds
• 30 gm walnuts
• 1/4 cup milk
• 150 gm Unsalted butter
• 1 teaspoon powdered cinnamon
• 100 gm prunes
• 5 drop vanilla essence
• 2 teaspoon baking powder

Method of Preparation:

• Take a large bowl and sieve together the flour and the baking powder. Keep it aside. Now in another bowl mix together the brown sugar and butter, till the sugar dissolves completely. Take the help of an electric blender. Now break the eggs and add them one by one. Keep beating the mixture till it is light and frothy and stiff peaks are formed.
• Gradually add the flour to this egg-butter and sugar mixture spoon by spoon so that no lumps are formed. Keep stirring so that a homogeneous mixture is formed. Add the milk and the vanilla essence and mix. Add the cinnamon powder and blend well. Allow the batter to rest for 10 minutes.

• Meanwhile chop the nuts and the prunes finely. Mix in the batter. Beat well again. reserve some nuts that you can put on top of the cake. Now pre-heat the oven at 180 degrees for 15 minutes. Prepare a baking tray by lining it with butter paper. Grease it with oil or butter and dust some flour. Add the batter.
• Bake at 180 degrees for one hour or at 200 degrees for 45 minutes. The temperature mostly depends on the type of oven you have. Insert a skewer to check if the cake is ready. If it comes out clean, take out the cake and place it on a wire rack to cool.
• Carefully take the cake out from the baking tray. Slice it and serve with tea, coffee or with an assortment of snacks. This cake also goes well with vanilla ice-cream. You can also make a quick icing by beating together one cup icing sugar and one cup unsalted butter. Mix vigorously, till the mixture becomes creamy. Put it in the fridge for one hour. Now put it in the piping bag and use it to decorate the cake. If you want your icing to be colourful, you can divide this butter-sugar mixture into two parts and then add the two colours of your choice in both the parts. Put them in separate icing bags and use them to rave up your cake. You can also use gems and chocolate chips to decorate your cake.


• 40 gm Broccoli
• 30 gm French Beans
• 30 gm Baby corn
• 30 gm Carrot
• 30 gm Zucchini
• 30 gm Thai yellow curry paste
• 250 ml coconut milk
• 30 gm Cherry egg plant
• 10 gm Kaffir lime leaves
• 30 gm Sweet basil leaves
• 6 gm Sugar
• 5 gm Salt
• 5 gm Aromat (veg seasoning powder)

• Slice broccoli into florets, beans and baby corn into batons, carrot and zucchini into slices.
• Blanch broccoli, beans, baby corn and carrot and keep aside. Peel in the middle string of the kaffir lime leaves and tear it into two and keep aside.
• Peel out the leaves of sweet basil leaves keep it aside. In a pan pour in coconut milk and green curry paste along with kaffir lime leaves, cherry egg-plant. Stir well and bring it to boil.
• Add in the mixed vegetables and boil it for few minutes. Season it with salt, sugar, chinese seasoning.
• Finish it with sweet basil leaves and serve hot in a bowl with a garnish of chillies and sprig of basil leaves on top.

In a large pot or pan, sauté the onion in oil or spray over medium heat—stirring only occasionally—until it begins to brown. Stir in the next four ingredients, then stir in the protein, broccoli, bell pepper, corn, coconut milk, and sweetener. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once boiling, remove the lid and check for doneness. If broccoli is not yet soft, continue to cook until desired broccoli softness is reached. Remove from heat, stir in lime, and garnish as desired. Leftover sauce will thicken considerably in the fridge because coconut milk thickens when chilled, so just reheat and then add a little extra milk if needed to thin it out again.

Instant Pot Version: In saute mode, cook the onions and oil about a minute, or until onion starts to brown. Stir in the next four ingredients, then stir in the protein, broccoli, bell pepper, corn, coconut milk, and sweetener. Close and seal, then cook on manual for 3 minutes. Do a natural pressure release. Stir in lime, and garnish.


Delicious Diwali Treats- Sweet and Savoury

Diwali in India is celebrated with much joy and no celebration is complete without some traditional sweetmeats. Desserts are the highlight of every Indian festival and people experiment with various sweet dishes during Diwali. Just like colourful Rangolis that adorn the entrances of the homes, table decked up with varieties of sweets bring in the spirit of the festival. To add more balance, people like to gorge on the savoury treats as well…

By Chef Suresh Khanna- Fortune Landmark Hotel, Ahmedabad

Punjabi Mathari
2 cups All-purpose flour (Maida)
1/2 cup Warm Oil or Ghee
1tsp Salt
1 tsp Ajwain or Carrom seeds
1/3 cup warm Water (6-7 tbsp)
Oil for deep frying


Method of Preparation:

1. Assemble all the ingredients. Sift flour in a big bowl/plate. Add carrom seeds.

2. Mix in salt. Pour warm oil in the center, gradually work on the flour till mixture is crumbly. Use fingertips to rub oil evenly into the flour.

3. To check if the dough has enough oil, take some mixture on your fist, squeeze it tight. If it binds well and forms a shape, then the dough is ready to work on.

4. Spoon by spoon, add enough water to form a soft and pliable dough.

5. The Mathari dough is ready. Cover and let it sit for 20 minutes.

6. Heat oil in a kadai. Make a small ball out of the dough and flatten it. You can even use a rolling pin to form a small disc shaped mathari.

7. Poke mathri with a fork – this way it will not puff up during frying and will turn out crispy.

8. Now add the mathari to the hot oil. Maintain the oil temperature and make sure the oil is medium hot and not smoky.

9. Mathris should float and cook in oil until crisp and golden brown in color. Remove from oil and set it on a paper napkin to drain off excess oil.

10. Allow them to cool down completely. Store them in airtight container

Malpua with Rabadi is any Indian sweet-lover’s delight. Surprisingly easy to make, the golden Malpuas are served with a topping of creamy chilled rabadi, coming together to create an indulgent creation that’s impossible to resist.

Kesari Malpua
Ingredients for Rabadi
• 1 liter (full fat) Cow’s Milk
• Few strands Saffron
• 2 tbsp Sugar
• Rose water for aroma – few drops

Method of preparation:
1. Take a heavy bottom pan and add milk to it.
2. Bring the milk to a boil.
3. Soak saffron in 2 tbsp milk and keep aside.
4. Lower the heat to medium low and keep stirring and scraping the sides of the pan after every 10-12 minutes.
5. Cook the milk for 1 to 1.5 hours, till it is reduced to one quarter.
6. Add sugar, saffron soaked in milk and rose water and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
7. Pour the rabari in earthen pots for more flavour or else just transfer in a serving bowl.
8. Garnish with almond and pistachio slivers.
9. Either serve hot or chill in refrigerator for a few hours before serving.

Ingredients for Malpua
• 3/4 cup Refined Flour
• 1/2 cup Curd
• 1/2 cup Milk + 2 tbsp
• 2 tablespoon Condensed Milk
• 4 tablespoon Clarified Butter or Desi Ghee
• 1 tablespoon Pistachio chopped
• 1 tablespoon Almonds chopped
• 3/4 cup Sugar
• 2 green Cardamom crushed
• 1 cup Water
• A pinch of Baking Soda
• Few Saffron strands

Method of preparation for Malpua
1. Heat the sugar and water together and bring to a boil. Add crushed cardamom and cook on medium flame. Reduce to 3/4 cup or a syrup of one string consistency.
2. Add saffron strands in 2 tablespoon of warm milk and set aside. In a bowl, take refined flour, baking soda, 1/2 cup milk and 1/2 cup yogurt, mix well to avoid lumps.
3. Add saffron soaked milk and condensed milk and mix well to make a smooth flowing mixture. Heat clarified butter or oil in a nonstick pan.
4. Spread the batter with the help of deep round spoon and make malpuas (medium, round pancakes) from the mixture. Cook till golden brown from both sides, dip in prepared sugar syrup and place on serving dish.
5. Garnish with chopped pistachio and almonds and serve hot with rabadi.


Healthy Navratri-Fast Recipes

A large part of North, West and Central India observes fast on all nine days. It is believed that fasting is a way to pay gratitude to the Goddess. Devotees worship the different avatars of Goddess Durga for nine days. It is celebrated twice a year, at the beginning of spring and during the onset of autumn. People observing fast eat only specific types of food like kuttu ata, singhara ata, vegetables, fruits, and makhana and instead of regular salt, salt rock or sendha namak is preferred. This festival gives a chance to get back to the roots and experience the spirituality. Those who do not wish to fast, they follow a Satvik diet.



Low Fat Makhana Kheer
A delicious desert made of milk simmered till thick with puffed lotus seed and dry nuts and cardamom. This kheer recipe is a special one, for those who are fasting in the Navratri season and are on a low-fat diet. Serving this desert to guest post a great dinner or make it as a prasad after Pooja.

Ingredients needed:
1 litre milk
¼ cup makhana (puffed lotus seeds)
2 tbsp sugar
2 tsp pistachios, chopped
2 tsp almonds, chopped
1 tsp green cardamom powder (optional)

How to make makhana kheer
– Pour some milk in a deep vessel and break the makhanas into smaller pieces, add that to the milk and let it simmer for about 1 hour without covering. Make sure the milk boils down and seeds are soft.
– Add sugar and stir for a few minutes
– Add the dry fruits like pistachios, almonds and cardamom power and stir again and well.

Serving Tip: Best serve hot or cold

Arbi Kofta with Mint Yogurt Dip

Arbi Kofta is a perfect evening snack to try out during the navratras. It is prepared with kuttu ka aata and served with the mint-yogurt dip. These crispy bites will have everyone asking more.
Ingredients for Arbi Kofta and Mint Yogurt Dip
– 250 Grams of Arbi/ Colocasia roots
– 3-4 Tbsp water chestnut flour (kuttu ka aata)
– 1 green chilli
– ½ Inch ginger, finely chopped
– 1 tsp carom seeds
– Rock salt, as per taste

For the dip
– Few sprigs of mint
– 100-gram curd
– 50-gram cucumber finely chopped
– Pomegranate, for garnishing

How to make Arbi Kofta
– Boil the arbi in a pressure cooker till it becomes soft
– Mash well and mix everything uniformly
– Apply some oil on your palms and shape the kofta dough into cylinders.
– Bake the kofta at a temperature of 320 degree, for 20 minutes. Wait till they are golden brown and crunchy.

How to make Mint yogurt Dip
– Hang yogurt to drain excess water
– Mix chopped mint and cucumber to the yogurt
– Refrigerate it for 30 minutes
Serve arbi kofta hot with mint yogurt dip