Sep 29, 2015

Photos of Orchid Garden, Kuching

These photos are taken during our recent trip to Kuching. Kuching is the capital of Sarawak. 

Source - Sarawak Tourism 

 Orchid garden is located next to Astana (the official Residence of the State Governor), across the Sarawak River and opposite, the Kuching Waterfront, Kuching  Orchid Garden, has become an icon for Kuching. The 3.54 acres garden overlooks the magnificent new Sarawak State Legislative Assembly building.

Opening hours:

     - 9:30am to 6:00pm (Tuesday to Sunday including Public Holidays)
     - Closed on Mondays for maintenance.

Entrance fee:

FREE and no charge is imposed on the camera and photo taking.

Getting there :

Crossing the Sarawak river on a wooden boat from Kuching waterfront.  Charge for a one way trip costs RM 1/ person.

Sep 28, 2015

Potato - Drumstick Gashi

Potato  - Drumstick Gashi (kook ani dento galnu dhevi gashi) - A tasty main dish / curry in Konkani cuisine of Cochin GSB's. Best with rice  !!! This gashi's  made of homegrown tomatoes and drumsticks.


2 potatoes, wash, peel and cut into cubes

2 tomatoes, cubed

3 drumsticks, gently peel off outer skin and cut into 2 - inch pieces

1  1/2 cup water (300 ml)

½ teaspoon salt

For  the coconut paste:

6 tablespoon  grated coconut

¾ teaspoon red chilli powder

¼ teaspoon turmeric powder

2 tablespoons water


In a small mixer bowl, make a smooth paste of above ingredients with 2 tablespoons of water. Keep aside. This's called massolu (coconut paste) in Konkani cuisine.

Homegrown drumsticks (masingasaang / muringakka)


In a bowl, mix potato cubes and cubed tomatoes with 1 1/2 cup (300 ml ) water and salt. Cover with a lid and cook on a medium heat for 10 - 12 minutes or until ¾ done / potato cubes softens.

Add drumstick pieces and cook till done and soft.

Add coconut paste, mix well (dilute with extra 2 – 3 tablespoons water) and cook on a low heat for 8 - 10 minutes. Gashi should be of pouring consistency. Switch off the heat.

For the  seasoning:

2 teaspoons oil

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon jeera ( cumin seeds )

½ teaspoon methi seeds (fenugreek seeds) - optional

1 spring curry leaves (6 curry leaves)  

Heat oil in a frying pan. Add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add jeera, methi and fry for 1 – 2 minutes or until fragrant.. Add curry leaves and saute for 1 minute until fragrant. Pour the seasoning over potato gashi and mix well. Serve with rice and other accompaniments.

Sep 26, 2015

Chole Bhature (New Recipe)

Chole Bhature  - A delicious  deep fried dish in North Indian cuisine !!!

Makes: 9 Bhaturas 

No added baking powder / baking soda


1 cup maida (all purpose flour ) (Please measure in Indian standard measuring cup of 200 ml / 8 oz capacity), sieve maida

1 tablespoon  suji ( Bombay rawa )

½ teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon oil

6 tablespoon  thick curd / yogurt

300 ml oil for frying


In a wide bowl, mix maida, suji, sugar, salt and 1 teaspoon oil and knead to a firm dough with curd (first start with 4 teaspoon curd. Later  adjust with remaining 2 teaspoon curd.. (It depends upon the texture of maida. Sprinkle maida or curd if required. Dough should not be very soft like chapatti dough. Neither too soft nor too hard. Cover with a wet cloth  (or store it in an  airtight container - Tupperware) and keep aside for 2 hours (or overnight in refrigerator). Minimum 1 hour. 

Divide bhature dough into 9 portions and make balls. Flatten them to make rounds (just like puri - 4 - 5 inches in diameter) with the help of little dry flour and flatten them into 4 - inch rounds).

In a kadai / deep frying pan, heat oil on high heat. Reduce heat to medium and fry bhature one at a time till it puffs up. Turn over till both sides are golden brown. Drain on paper towels to absorb extra oil and serve hot with chole. 

Tip - Please use 2 - 3 kitchen towels to absorb extra oil from the bhaturas.

Punjabi Chole

A very popular dish in Punjabi cuisine. Delicious with batura / puri / rotis !!!! Homestyle preparation

Serves: 3 – 4


For chole (channa):

1 cup (200 ml / 8 oz – Indian standard measuring cup) chole (white chick peas / Kabuli channa)

3 cups  water

1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder


Wash and clean kabuli channa. Soak it in 3 cups of water for 6 hours or overnight. 

Add turmeric powder and pressure cook (pressure cook along with soaked water – Final water level should be 1 – inch above chole / channa / chickpeas) for 30 minutes ( reduce heat from high to medium after 3rd whistle and cook for 25 minutes ). Allow to cool naturally. Open the lid.  Reserve ½ cup (75 – 100 ml) stock for later use.

For the masala (spice paste):

3 onions (medium size), roughly chopped (adding onion will make a creamy and thick gravy) Bombay onion or white onion 

6 cloves garlic, chopped

½ - inch piece ginger, chopped

Transfer all the ingredients into a small mixer bowl and make a smooth paste. 

Other ingredients

1 tablespoon oil

Spice paste

2 tomatoes, pick well ripe (1 big size or  2 medium size or 3 small size), finely chopped

3/4 teaspoon red chilli powder

1 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder

1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

Boiled chole

3/4 to 1 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

1/2 teaspoon amchur powder (dried mango powder)

1/2 teaspoon cumin powder (jeera powder)

Extra 50 ml (1/4 cup) water

Extra salt to taste

2 teaspoon chopped coriander leaves


Dilute red chilli powder, turmeric powder and coriander powder in 2 tablespoons of water and keep aside.

Heat oil in a wide pan on a medium heat. Add spice paste (masala) and fry for 3 – 4 minutes on a medium to low heat until the raw smell goes and thickens (stir continuously).

Add chopped tomato (along with the juice) and stir well for 5 - 7 minutes until it's well blended and a smooth paste like consistency. 

Add diluted red chilli powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder. Stir well on a low heat for 2 minutes until the water dries up.

Add boiled chole (along with the stock - may be ½ cup (75 – 100 ml), salt to taste, amchur powder, cumin powder, add extra ¼ cup (50 ml – extra water, adding water should not be more than 100 ml / ½ cup. It won’t be delicious if the gravy is too thin)). Mix all the ingredients well. Cover with a tight lid and cook on a medium to low heat for  20 minutes until the gravy thickens / well coated on chole. 

Sprinkle chopped coriander leaves, decorate with onion rings / lemon wedges when serving with batura / puri / rotis. Consume chole after an hour. Then it will absorb all the flavors.