Naral Vadi / Coconut Bites:

Today is Narali Poornima. In Maharashtra, the festival of Raksha Bandhan is celebrated along with Narali Poornima (coconut day festival). Kolis are the fishermen community of the coastal state. The fishermen offer prayers to Lord Varuna, the Hindu god of Sea, to invoke his blessings. As part of the rituals, coconuts were thrown into the sea as offerings to Lord Varuna.

This is the day when every Maharashtrian household will have at lease one dessert made up of coconut or coconut milk. Yes, at least one. And I know a few homes where you can eat everything coconuty today, literally from appetizer to dessert, three course meal with loads of coconut in it. I will gradually update all those special recipes which are made on this auspicious day. But today, I will blog about the most famous dessert, Naral Vadi (नारळाची वडी).

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Khavyachi Poli (खव्याच्या पोळ्या )

I keep making promise to myself to be regular writing my blog and whenever I do that I end up breaking the promise. So this time I am not going to promise anything to myself or to you but I guess I will keep up my work as good as possible.

Today I am going to write about this Maharashtrian delicacy that I feel is so underrated despite of its deliciousness.  That’s the main reason I want to blog it. It is very simple to make yet makes a good and tasty breakfast, snack or even a dessert. While surfing on YouTube for few breakfast ideas I came across these Ricotta cheese pancakes. Frankly speaking, I have never made pancakes from scratch. I always get the pancake mix from market and simply follow the instructions and present that as a breakfast. Because we don’t have much of a liking towards it, its just our easy to make kinda breakfast when we are in a hurry. So I decided to make those Ricotta cheese pancakes from scratch and ended up with a flop show. It resulted in lots of leftover Ricotta cheese in the fridge. And all I do with that cheese is make Mawa/ Khoya for my gajar ka halwa or to make any simple dessert like Pedha etc. While thinking about my flop pancakes, I realized aren’t those similar to Khavyachi poli? And yes they are. Why didn’t I think of that before. Yes, because it is so underrated, I opted for other alternatives. Read More


Lemon Poppy Seed Bundt Cake

I had decided to nail this beauty last spring, but it did not work out that well. Then I did my research and finally this spring I got what I wanted. And it took me summer to blog this recipe. Sometimes I seriously wonder, do I run out of time or am I just getting more and more lazy by the day! Time to work on my time management now.

This recipe is inspired from my favorite — Dorie Greenspan, with a few modifications. I did not make any icing or frosting for this cake as the beauty of this cake lies in its citric flavor and I did not want to ruin that with the sweetness of sugar. Hence, this will pair best with your evening cup of coffee or tea. That fresh citric flavor and lemony smell will keep you refreshed for the rest of the day. Read More


Vegan Banana Muffins

It’s a fact that I love baking but at the same time I can’t eat every single bit of it. We are taught sharing is caring since we were in kindergarten. So obviously I share all my preparations with friends and family. Another universal fact is, we all have that one friend in our group who keeps counting calories and fats in everything. So, this recipe is dedicated to that friend of mine who always asks the quantity of butter and sugar first before tasting the delicious food offered, because this recipe does not have any sugar and butter. Yes, you read that right! These delicious banana muffins which are topped with dark chocolate chips are a treat for your diet freak friend. Read More


Shrikhanda

The modified and upgraded transformation of curd is Shrikhanda. The famous dessert in every Maharashtrian and Gujarathi household. Be it any festival, any auspicious day or celebration, this dessert is a must. I remember all Gudhi Padwas, Dassehras and Akshayya Tritiyas of my childhood. These auspicious days never went by without the taste of Shrikhanda Poori. I have a sweet tooth and everyone in my family knows it, so my Mama always made it sure he would bring a kilogram of shrikhanda container on every festive day.

After coming to the U.S., I always searched for the best kind of Shrikhanda I used to get at Mahalakshmi Dairy, Virar or Bharucha Dairy, Dahisar but not a single brand or store had it. So finally I decided to make my own since making shrikhanda is no rocket science but nailing it is. I successfully made my Shrikhanda which was much better than any store bought one. But I definitely have not nailed it the way I was looking for. But still I am happy with the result and will keep trying to make it better so that one day I can modify this post that gives best results.

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Mango Barfi

I have a super duper sweet tooth since childhood. I remember eating a whole box of sweets in a day and then getting a scolding from parents for that. And this has remained the same to this day. I knew that this would remain the same even after my marriage and the only difference will be the person giving me a scolding will be my husband. But after coming to the US, I found that not a single brand of sweets passed my expectation. I so miss those sweets we used to get at a ‘halwai’ in India. But then I decided, instead of crying for not getting those sweets, I would attempt to make those at home. Who knows, while giving my best shot and trying out these recipes, my cravings will be fulfilled too. Two birds in one stone kind of thing! Read More


Gajar Halwa

Winter season in India brings variety of fresh vegetables in the market, along with fresh red carrots. During my childhood, I remember, when I could see those pyramids of carrots at vegetable market on my way home from school, I used to tell my friends that the season of gajar ka halwa has arrived. Being a favorite dessert of all, this dish is quiet a regular at my home in winter. Cooked in homemade clarified butter and garnished with dollop of extra malai (cream) from my Uncle’s dairy farm added royal richness to the dish.

Far from my home, where I cannot get those things, I still have tried to give my best shot at adding that extra richness to this dessert.

Though this dish has those extra calories, don’t we need those in this crazy winter 😉 Read More