Urban Food



By: Komal Rao

In today’s fast-paced life we need to have food that is healthy and quick to make and of course tasty. Vegetable wrap is one such item – an all-time favourite with kids as well as grown-ups.

For stuffing (serves 4/6 persons):

• Carrots – 2 pcs – peeled and chopped in long slices
• Capsicum green, red and yellow – 1 each
• Shelled sweet corn – 1 cup boiled
• Onions – 2 medium size sliced long
• Cheese optional
• Boiled and mashed potato medium size – 2 optional
• Oregano, black pepper, salt to taste, and red chilly powder, one lemon or 1 tea spoon amchur (dry mango powder)
• Black Sesame Seeds (optional)

For wrap

• All-purpose flour or whole wheat flour – 2 cups
• Corn flour – 1 cup
• Salt and black pepper and ajwain to taste
• Water to mix flour



• Mix flour, salt, pepper, ajwain and 1 tea spoon of oil and water to knead a soft dough
• Cover and leave on the side for an hour
• Take a tea spoon of olive oil and once hot add onions and other vegetables
• Sauté well and once semi-cooked add the mashed potato and salt, pepper, red chilly powder and some lemon juice or amchur powder (dry mango powder) if required for tanginess
• Mix well and remove from flame
• Now roll out large breads – 12”(rotis) from the dough and cook on a flat pan
• Once ready stuff the vegetables, grate some cheese and make a roll
• Alternatively you can roll the wraps when you are free and store them in fridge
• Ready-to-use wraps available in market
• This is a wholesome meal and healthy as well

We shall see some more wrap recipes in our coming issues.

Happy munching!


Words: Komal Rao

Pongal is festival time and tamarind rice is a popular dish. Here is the traditional but quick method of making it

Rice -2 cups
Tamarind pulp – 2 serving spoons
Ground nuts -1/2 cup
Chana dal – 1/4 cup
Ginger and green chili paste – 2 spoons
Curry leaves
Whole dry red chillies – 4/5 pcs
Oil – 2 spoons for tempering
Turmeric – 1 tea spoon
Salt as per taste


Cook rice separately so that it is cooked nice and fluffy. Then heat oil in a pan, and fry groundnuts.

Then add Chana dal and fry till it turns golden brown. Add mustard seeds, ginger, chili paste, cumin, curry leaves, red chillies, asafoetida and fry well.

See that the sequence of adding ingredients in tempering is followed. Now add tamarind pulp and turmeric. Once the pulp is cooked well add to the cooked rice and mix well and add the fried groundnuts.

Tamarind and spice can be adjusted as per one’s taste. This will serve 4/6 people. Enjoy tamarind rice with some Payasam (milk sweet).



Words: Alka Kumar

With Christmas around the corner, cakes are certainly the flavour of the month. Our reader, Alka Kumar, has contributed her ‘Apple – Oat Cake’ recipe which is sure to make your Christmas merrier.

It’s simple to make, hardly takes time and is a sure shot way to make everyone drool.



½ tin condensed milk (200 gms)
50 gms oats. ½ cup
15 almonds roughly crushed
25 gms wheat flour
1 tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. cinnamon powder
½ cup oil
1 tsp. vanilla essence
1 red apple finely chopped (with peel)
2. Tb. Sp. Flour


1. Prepare a 6-7” cake tin
2. Sieve wheat flour with baking powder and soda and ½ tsp. cinnamon oil
3. Add oats and crushed almonds
4. Beat the condensed milk well, add essence and mix
5. Add oil and beat
6. Add flour mixture gradually and mix gently with a wooden spoon
7. Sprinkle flour on the apples and mix well.
8. Fold chopped apples into the batter with a spatula
9. Transfer batter into the prepared tin.
10. Bake in a preheated oven at 180 degree Celesius for 40 to 45 mins

Apple oat cake

Alka Kumar is a resident of Visakhapatnam and a passionate cook. She runs an Academy called ‘Alka’s Kitchen Academy’ and shares her expertise and knowledge with those with a similar passion. She can be reached at



By: Komal Rao

Diwali is all about celebrations and new clothes, crackers and colours of rangoli…and of course sweet dishes! Come try this very traditional but trendy and easy to make dish this Diwali and I am sure your family and friends will relish it!

• Regular rice 1 cup
• Moong dal – yellow – 1/4 cup
• Milk 1 cup
• Desi Ghee 2 serving spoons
• Sugar / jaggery (1 cup organic jaggery)
• Fresh coconut finely chopped
• Dry fruits – cashew, raisins
• Cardamom powder
• Saffron – a few strands
• Seedless dates – 3 to 4 pcs
• Honey – 2 spoons (optional)


• Dry roast the yellow moong dal on low flame until golden brown.
• Now wash the rice and pressure cook dal and rice together adding 2 cups of water and 1 cup milk until tender.
• Now in a pan add one spoon ghee and add cooked rice and dal to it and simmer on low flame.
• In another pan take 1 cup water, add the jaggery to it and bring to boil until the jaggery melts.
• Add this water to the rice and dal mix and again cook for a while.
• Fry finely chopped coconut in the remaining ghee until golden brown and also fry the cashews.
• Now add coconut and cashew and raisins to the mix and two spoons of honey and mix well.
• Add the saffron to 1 spoon of warm milk and mix well and add to the dish.
• Once the mix has got good consistency remove from stove and add cardamom powder.
• Serve Hot.



By: Komal Rao

As October marks our anniversary and is a month to celebrate many good things, I decided to present you a super salad recipe- taste and health combined!

1 cup chick peas soaked overnight and cooked till tender
1 cup low fat cottage cheese (paneer) diced cubes
2 medium size tomatoes diced
1 capsicum sliced thin
1 cup Lettuce chopped
2 spring onions finely chopped
Salt, black pepper and olive oil dressing (to taste)

In a glass cup or bottle take 5 table spoons of extra virgin olive oil, 2 table spoons of lemon juice or orange juice, some crushed black pepper, salt and 2/3 clove of garlic peeled and crushed. Mix all well stirring continuously until the mixture becomes translucent. You can alternatively close the lid of bottle tight and shake it to mix well.

In a bowl toss all ingredients together. Add salt & pepper and finely chopped mint leaves
Now add a table spoon of olive oil dressing and toss again.
Cool in refrigerator and enjoy this protein rich salad!

• One can add pomegranate seeds to garnish and add a little sweet flavour.
• Enjoy with low fat hung yogurt flavored with oregano pepper and salt!



“You can never be sad when you’re holding a muffin!”

Words: Milani Desai

If you are looking for a quick 30 minutes to happiness, I am happy to share one of my favourite recipes.

It is quick to make, easy to follow and the final product is guaranteed to disappear before you can say ‘muffin’!

Kids will love it and it also makes a good snack…. because sometimes it is okay to pamper yourself and cheat your diet.

What you’ll need:


1 tbsp. Butter
1 tbsp. Castor Sugar
8-10 fresh cherries



2 tbsp. Butter
50gm Condensed Milk
1/4th tsp Baking Powder
Pinch of Soda Bicarb
1.5 tsp Grated / Desiccated Coconut
40 gm Refined Flour
1/4th tsp Cherry Essence
Water – as required.


1. Take Butter in a bowl and mix in Castor Sugar.

2. Grease the muffin mould with this mixture.

3. Put the cherries (Without chopping) at the bottom of the mould.


1. Mix all the ingredients except the refined flour, essence and water in a bowl.

2. Fold in the Refined flour, essence and a little water and beat till fluffy.

3. Pour the batter in the mould and bake in a preheated oven at 1500 C for 15 minutes.

4. Unmould when cool.


Milani is a mother of two and a passionate cook.

She likes to create recipes with fruit and vegetables because she feels that is the only way to get kids to eat them these days!

When she is not cooking, she runs her own business and likes to paint.

You can reach her on milanidesai@gmail.com if you loved the recipe!