Poha Recipe [en]

[fr] Ma recette de poha, que je croyais avoir publiée!

For years, people have been asking me for Nisha’s Poha recipe. Here it is — well, my variation of it, because I seem to do it slightly differently (at least the result tastes different).



  • heat oil in pan or karahi
  • half a teaspoon of black mustard seeds and half a teaspoon of cumin seeds (more if you like more, or are cooking big quantities)
  • when the seeds are popping, add curry leaves (anywhere from a dozen leaves to more if you like more)
  • let them sizzle a little, lower the heat
  • add a chopped onion (red if you have that) and green chilli broken in pieces (one chilli, two, three… depends how hot your chillies are and how hot you like your poha)
  • let the onion soften; wash the poha (don’t let it soak, just rinse and drain) — I use roughly two big handfuls for one big serving
  • add a teaspoon of salt (or less), a teaspoon of sugar, a tip of turmeric (upto half a teaspoon, but don’t overdo it), red peanuts and/or frozen green peas/sweet corn
  • mix it all up and leave on low heat 3-5 minutes (for the peanuts mainly)
  • add poha, mix well, turn heat off
  • add chopped coriander leaves
  • serve and sprinkle with lemon/lime juice

Bon appétit!

Nisha's Fried Kingfish and Red Fish Curry [en]

[fr] Poisson grillé et curry rouge de poisson. (J'avais d'abord écrit: "curry de poisson rouge", cherchez l'erreur.)

Here’s a dish Nisha made almost a week ago, but I’ve fallen behind in publishing recipes I took notes about. Here we go!

Start with the fried king mackerel (kingfish) as it has to marinate:

  • wash the fish
  • put the fish on a plate, sprinkle with lemon, salt, turmeric, chilli powder and a good spoonful of garlic and ginger paste: mix it all up and leave to sit (half an hour? an hour? more? something like that)

Lemon, salt, turmeric, chilli powder, garlic and ginger paste on the fish

  • mix rawa and rice flour, and dip the marinated fish in that mixture before frying at a low temperature on a tawa (it really takes quite a while, a good 5 minutes per side, so depending how much fish you have and what size your pan is…)

Pune - Kingfish Frying

Now for the red fish curry (you do this in parallel, actually, you want both dishes to be ready as they’re eaten together)

  • grate the coconut (not sure how to do it without the special coconut graters they have around here — by the way, Nisha says that for chicken and lamb curry, which is a different recipe, you can use dried coconut, but fresh coconut is mandatory for fish curry)
  • soak lots of red chillies (about ten) with two spoonfuls of coriander seeds in some water
  • add garlic and make a paste in the mixer
  • add half the coconut (or more, depending on how much paste you’re making) and blend — add some water to help liquidize, you need make a very smooth paste
  • heat oil, put crushed garlic and curry leaves in, then add paste, salt, 1 small spoon of tamarind paste (or dried tamarind) and cook about 5 minutes (the paste needs to boil)
  • add in a few pieces of fish (like the less nice bits of king fish after keeping the nicer parts for frying)
  • boil another 5 minutes or so.

Pune - Red Fish Curry

To eat, pick up a piece of fried fish with some chapati, and dip it in the fish curry. Yum again!

Nisha's Prawn Bhaji [en]

[fr] Crevettes!

Another recipe! Yes, we eat more than once a day here 🙂

Week-end delicacy: we had fish and prawns for lunch today. I’ll post the fish recipe separately. The prawn recipe is pretty easy if you get the prawns already prepared — otherwise it’s quite a lot of work taking the shells off, as I got to see.

  • remove heads, tails, and everything you’re not going to eat from the prawns
  • mix the prawns with lemon, salt, haldi, ginger-garlic paste; leave to sit for a few hours
  • in a flat pan (Nisha says to use a tava, not a non-stick pan!) fry curry leaves, onion (quite a lot) and a little salt (the prawns are already salted so not too much salt)

Getting ready for the prawns

  • add a chopped tomato (not too much because there is already lemon in the prawns) — let the onions brown a bit
  • add a teaspoon of tandoori chicken masala and one spoon of red chilli powder (Nisha tells me she’d put two in if it were just for her and Shinde, they like it spicy)
  • stir the prawns in and cook slowly (no water!) — stir once in a while but mostly leave it alone until the prawns are cooked.

Pune - Prawn Bhaji in Tawa

Eat with chapatis!

Giving Yesterday's Daal a Second Life [en]

[fr] Un petit truc pour ressusciter la daal de la veille en y ajoutant d'autres épices.

Here’s what Nisha did the other day to give a second life to leftover toor and mung daal. Take a small pan and fry the following in oil, then add to the daal:

  • cumin and mustard seeds
  • garlic (crushed cloves)
  • red chilli powder
  • coriander leaves
  • goda masala

Add the coriander leaves and goda masala near the end, you want to roast the rest for longer.

Nisha's Toor and Mung Daal [fr]

[en] Une des deux recettes de daal que je fais régulièrement.

So far, when I’ve been making daal in Switzerland, I’ve been doing either Aleika’s masoor daal recipe, or this one — which I’ve had for some time but never written up. Time to do it!

  • boil toor daal and a little mung (roughly a quarter) to a paste
  • add chopped tomatoes, mix and cook a bit
  • in a separate pan, heat oil, half a spoon of black mustard seeds, half a spoon of cumin seeds, curry leaves, 2 green chillies (chopped if I remember correctly)
  • add turmeric (a quarter spoon)
  • add to the daal (or add the daal to it, but be careful, it will spit! the daal is water and the oil is hot!)
  • add a teaspoon of salt or to taste, and lots of chopped coriander leaves

I usually make a lot and freeze it in handy portions — comfort food!

Nisha’s Famous Sweet Sheera [en]

[fr] Une autre recette de Nisha à base de rawa, sucrée cette fois.

Here’s another rawa dish of Nisha’s — a sweet one (see upma for the salty one). I really think I need to get myself a karahi, because pans with flat bottoms just don’t seem to cut it when it comes to making spices and stuff swim in oil or ghee. I’m just wondering if a karahi is compatible with an electric stove like the ones we have in Switzerland. Anybody know?

Nisha's famous sweet sheera for breakfast

  • heat quite a lot of ghee
  • add half a cup of rawa and mix them together — the rawa absorbs all the ghee
  • mix in half a small banana cut into little pieces, and mash everything up
  • add in cashew nuts (broken up), raisins, and pine nuts (I think they’re pine nuts)
  • heat half a cup of water and half a cup of milk separately, then add them in
  • heat for five minutes, add lots of sugar, and some green cardamom powder


Lunchtime: Nisha’s Sweet Aloo [en]

[fr] Encore une recette indienne de Nisha.

Another recipe! I already have one of Nisha’s aloo recipes from my last or previous visit (aloo = potato) — I have it in my notes but haven’t published it here yet — here’s another, more saucy one, and somewhat sweet (not that sweet, though).

So, here we go:

  • in enough oil, add mustard and cumin seeds, curry leaves, and salt (the mustard seeds start popping when you put them in if the oil is hot enough, and the curry leaves will fizz — give them a few seconds before continuing)
  • chopped onion: add and let it soften
  • then, add red chili powder (quite a bit — Nisha added a teaspoon and a half for two smallish potatoes… a good handful when chopped up), garlic/ginger paste (Nisha liked my idea of freezing it in an ice-cube tray), coriander powder, and goda masala
  • add in the potatoes, a tomato, enough water, and cook
  • after a while add in some jaggery or sugar

Goda masala, which I’m discovering for good today, is a typically Maharashtrian spice mixture. There are of course multiple variations if you want to make your own (see one, two, three for starters). I’m going to buy some to bring back (hear that, Raph?)

Here’s the dish, somewhere in the middle of the cooking process:


And jaggery, if you’d never seen it.

Weird sweet thing Nisha doesn't know the name of

Bon appétit!

Breakfast of the Day: Nisha’s Upma [en]

[fr] Recette de l'upma de Nisha (petit-déjeûner indien).

I promised myself I would steal all of Nisha’s recipes during this trip. Here’s the first one: her upma. This is what it looks like:

Nisha's upma for breakfast

And here’s how she made it:

  • heat enough oil in a karahi (maybe I should get one? I wonder if it would play nice with my electric stove)
  • throw in mustard seeds, cumin seeds (half a spoon or a spoon each), curry leaves (give those 15 seconds before continuing), a spoonful of urad (urid) daal (you can replace the daal with whole peanuts) — let the daal go brown
  • add a green chili broken in half, onion, salt, and let the onion soften for a bit
  • add two small cups of water, chopped coriander leaves, a little sugar, and bring to a boil
  • add rava (roast it when you buy it before storing it in an air-tight container), turn the heat off, stir well, and let it sit for a few minutes
  • remove chili and fluff it up before serving

You’ll have to figure out the exact quantities through trial and error 🙂


Indian Scrambled Eggs Improvisation (Potato, Tomato) [en]

So, just because it was yummy and if I don’t write it down I’ll forget how I did it (and because some of you are jealous of my Indian cooking skillz), here’s what I threw together for lunch. (Words in bold will give you the list of ingredients.)

Indian Scrambled Eggs Improvisation 2

  • slice a medium-sized potato finely (I do it with the peeler)
  • chop some variety of onion in fine slices (I used one small yellow onion and one shallot that was lying around)
  • put a large amount of butter in a pan (+ some cooking oil so it doesn’t go brown), maximum heat (I never lowered the heat till the end)
  • add 1/4 teaspoon of black mustard seeds, 1 teaspoon of whole cumin (not black cumin, eek), and a healthy quantity of curry leaves (10-15 I guess — they freeze very well btw, best way to store them)
  • when all that has crackled for a bit, add potato and onion, salt generously, stir around (and keep on stirring while you continue doing what follows)
  • chop some garlic and a small green chili (freezes well too) rather finely
  • add that in the pan, and half a teaspoon of turmeric (keep stirring!!)
  • chop a tomato (I did one and a half) into rather small pieces
  • when the onions start looking tender and the potato slices start being cooked (shouldn’t take more than 5 minutes in total) add the tomato, and salt again
  • break 4 eggs in a basin (or however many or few you wish), salt, pepper, 1/4 teaspoon of garam masala (mine contains black pepper, cinnamon, black cardamom, and cloves) add chopped coriander leaves (they also freeze well), and beat that all up (don’t forget to keep an eye on the pan, you don’t want anything to burn)
  • by now the mix in the pan should be reasonably dry (if it’s swimming in tomato juice you’re in trouble), so add the eggs, and keep on stirring gently so the eggs start looking like scrambled eggs with lots of nice indian stuff inside
  • when the mixture seems dry enough and edible to you, you’re done!

I’d normally eat this with naan or a chapati or lebanese bread (sometimes easier to get by here), but as I had none available I just used a spoon.

Indian Scrambled Eggs Improvisation 3

Bon appétit!