Stuffed Tinda / Indian Squash ( bharle dhemse)

Some recipes are forever! This particular one was my mum in law’s speciality. Aai used to make this with utmost pride and love, never rushing through it. Being raised in a purely non vegetarian household, I never understood her fascination for vegetables and to top it all, this was as bland and harmless as it could be!!! But once i tasted it, I was addicted.

Aai may no longer be with us but she lives in me through the recipes and cooking skills she passed on to me and Deepa tai. We would protest and whinge about it then but now, it’s something I hold dear to my heart.

Thanks to Deepa tai, her basic masala recipes are still intact and I hope , some day, kids, you will make this too…..

Ingredients :

12-15 pieces of tinda ( Indian squash) cut the top and scoop the inside pulp out .

1 large onion finely chopped

Chopped coriander (a lot)

1/2 cup of coarsely ground roasted peanut

1 tbsp of coarsely ground roasted sesame seeds

1 tbsp of roasted dessicated coconut

1 tbsp roasted khus khus (poppy seeds)

1 tsp of red chilli powder

1/2 tsp of haldi

1 tsp of hing

1 tbsp of red masala powder (recipe in blog)

Salt Sugar Curry leaves


Mix all the above ingredients and stuff it in the tinda .

In a pan heat 2-3 tbsp of oil, temper it with mustard seeds, hing, add stuffed tinda, and remaining masala.

Stir. Add 2 tbsp of curd and one cup water, cover and cook till tender.

Butter chicken

Aditi Gupte’s Butter Chicken recipe:
PS: tastes exactly as the restaurant dish!

Boneless chicken 1kg
Tandoori masala powder 3tbsp
Yoghurt 5 tbsp
Lemon 1

Onions 3, very finely chopped
Ginger garlic paste 3tsp
2 cans chopped tomatoes ( prefer Napolitana tomatoes)
Kaju paste 2tbsp
Kasuri methi 4tbsp roasted and crushed
Kashmiri chilli powder 2tsp
Sugar and salt to taste

1. Wash and marinade the chicken pieces in yoghurt, tandoori masala, red chilli pd, lemon juice and salt. Keep aside for few hours. Bake in the oven at 180* till done.

2. Heat oil in a wok , add onions and ginger garlic paste. Heat till the onions turn transparent.

3. Add the tins of chopped tomatoes and keep stirring over low flame till the mixture thickens and becomes doughy in consistency. This is the main part of the recipe ( the make or break point)!!
It takes time but is worth the effort. This is what gives the restaurant taste.

3. Add kaju paste and water to attain the desired consistency. Sugar and salt to taste.

4. Add some butter ( after all it’s butter chicken 😇) and a dash of cream.

5. Add the baked chicken pieces. Add roasted and crushed kasuri methi at the end.

6. Viola, and it’s ready to serve.

Aai’s garlic chutney

Some memories forever entrenched in our hearts are our treasures indeed. One of them is early morning golden toast with amul butter topped with aai’s garlic chutney.

4 ingredients, 4 minutes

I promise 😍😍

Ingredients and method:

6-8 pods garlic
1 cup grated coconut ( not dessicated)
2-3 tsp Red chilli pd
1 tbsp groundnut powder

Grind all together, store in an air tight container.