Forays into homemade cheese

Completely frustrated with the variety of cheese available in India, I set out to create my own. It was surprisingly easy and the outcome is damn yummy 🙂

Home Made Cheese



  • 400 grams yogurt
  • Cracked pepper (to taste)
  • Sale (to taste)
  • 1 dry red chilli, finely chopped
  • 1/8 tsp. thyme
  • 1/8 tsp. parsley
  • 1/8 tsp. rosemary

Clean muslin cloth, handkerchief size will suffice


  • Mix all ingredients in a bowl
  • Pour it into a very fine sieve, and press to get as much water out as possible (optional)
  • Add the yogurt mixture on the muslin cloth, and make a bundle.
  • Keep tightening the bundle to get as much water out
  • Hang the entire muslin cloth bundle, with a bowl below to catch the dripping water. I hung it for about a day, tightening the bundle as the water dripped out
  • Allow it to hang for between 12 – 24 hours. Length of time till determine the hardness of the cheese.
  • Remove from muslin cloth
  • Optional: If not serving immediately, drizzle some olive oil on it to keep it moist until consumed later

The possibilities are endless! One could mix all kinds of wonderfulness into this mixture. I am thinking of trying a orange zest and ginger cheese the next time around.



Spicy squash


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 whole red chillies (halved)
  • 2 tablespoons garlic chopped
  • 1 large onion julienned
  • 2 cups of squash (or pumpkin) cubed
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1/4 tsp amchur (mango powder)
  • 1/4 tsp chat masala


  • Heat the oil
  • Add the fenugreek seeds and cumin seeds
  • When the seeds start to splutter and the red chillies & garlic
  • When the garlic is slightly cooked, add the onions
  • When onions are light brown, add the squash, and cover the pan
  • About 5 minutes later, once the squash is about 1/2 way cooked, add all the dry powders (except chat masala). Keep the pan covered & cook for another 5 minutes.
  • When fully cooked, add the chat masala and mix nicely.

I think adding some lime juice might be nice too if chat masala is not available, though I haven’t tried this!

Chowmein .. desi style


  • 1 pack of egg noodles

For sauce

  • 1 tsp chopped garlic
  • 1 tsp chopped ginger
  • 1 tbs white wine vinegar
  • 1 tbs soy sauce
  • 3 tbs Maggie chilli-tomato sauce
  • 1 tbs chilli oil
  • 1/2 tbs sesame seed oil
  • 2 tbs vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup beans – chopped french style
  • 10 – 15 snow peas – whole, with edges off
  • 10 mushrooms – sliced
  • 1 green or red pepper julienned
  • 5 scallions sliced
  • Bok choy
  • Sprouts
  • And pretty much any other vegetable that fancies you!


  1. Cook the egg noodles as per instructions
  2. Heat the wok, then add the sesame seed oil, chilli oil, and vegetable oil
  3. Add the garlic, saute until light brown. Add the ginger and saute for a few seconds longer.
  4. Now add the veggies, in order of cooking time (leave the scallions out until the end)
  5. Once veggies are almost cooked, add all the sauces.
  6. Now add the noodles & stir fry until everything is evenly coated.
  7. Add more soy sauce for salt, and maggie chilli-tomato sauce for heat.
This dish serves 8 people.

Spicy black beans


  • 1 onion: diced fine
  • 3 cloves garlic: diced fine
  • 2 tomatoes: diced fine
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 small piece cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • Chili powder to taste
  • 2 cans black beans


  • Heat oil, once hot add the cumin seeds.
  • When then begin to sputter, add the cinnamon stick and garlic.
  • Saute for a few seconds and add the onions
  • When onions become brown, add the tomatoes
  • Cook until the tomatoes are fully cooked and add the powders & salt
  • This is a good time to taste!
  • Now add the black beans, cover and cook for 20 minutes


Kadhi Pakora



  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1/3 cup besan (gram flour/chickpea flour)
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • red chilli powder & salt to taste
  • 1/2 inch piece of cinnamon
  • 10 whole black peppers


  • 3/4 cup besan
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • red chilli powder & salt to taste
  • Pinch of baking powder (optional)
  • 1/2 cup oil


  • 4 tblsp oil
  • 1 tsp. cummin seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 whole red chillies
  • Handful of curry leaves
  • 3 medium size onion – sliced or julienned


  1. Blend together the turmeric, besan, chilli powder, and salt. Add water slowly, make a thick paste, remove all the lumps, then gradually introduce more water. 
  2. Now add the black pepper & cinnamon.
  3. Put on stove on simmer, stirring frequently. This needs to cook for at least an hour. More water can be added if it becomes too thick.
  4. Blend together all the elements for the dumplings.
  5. Add the oil in a flat sauce pan & bring to frying temperature. Add a teaspoon of the dumpling mixture, turn over to fry on both sides, and remove when light brown. Make the remaining dumplings.
  6. Take a larger frying pan. If some oil remains from the previous step, you can use this after straining out any remnants of the dumplings.
  7. Once the gravy has cooked for about an hour, add the dumplings and cook for another 10 minutes.
  8. When the oil is hot, add the cummin seeds. When the begin to sputter add the remaining ingredients (except onions).
  9. A few seconds later add the onions & fry until brown and crispy.
  10. Transfer the gravy & dumplings to your serving bowl.
  11. Top courageously with onions mixture.
  12. Serve hot with rice!

Lauki with tomatoes

Tried out a new recipe today, modified from this version here: Came out well, and that’s not just my word 🙂


  • 1 Lauki (bottle gourd), cut into long, thin strips. I sliced the Lauki (Bottle Gourd) lengthwise into 6 pieces and then cut them into long thin strips.
  • 1/2 tsp Jira (cumin) seeds
  • 1/4 tsp asofetida powder (optional, though a nice touch!)
  • 3- 4 red whole red chillies
  • 1 1/2 tsp Jira powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbs. oil


  1. Add oil, when hot – add the cumin seeds & red chillies.
  2. When cumin seeds begin to sputter add canned tomatoes.
  3. Then add the asofetida, cumin powder, and chilli powder.
  4. Cook on high heat, constantly stirring until the break down partially (about 5 minutes).
  5. Add the lauki, reduce heat and cover.
  6. Open occasionally and stir so it does not catch at the bottom. A sprinkling of warm water may be required.
  7. Cook until lauki is tender

… and voila

Someone told me that they peel the lauki, this probably makes for faster, more even cooking. Though the skin does add some nice texture to the dish!

This could probably work with some other veggie, maybe potatoes 🙂

Split Moong Dal


  • 1 cup split moong dal
  • 1 onion: julienned
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 3 red chillies
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder


  • Boil the moong dal until it’s fully cooked, add salt to taste. A cup of dal, probably needs about 2 – 3 cups of water.
  • In a pan, add some oil. When hot, add the cumin seeds & red chillies broken
  • When cumin seeds begin to sputter, add the onions.
  • When the onions are brown, add the turmeric and cumin powder. Cook for less than 5 seconds
  • Add everything to the dal, and cook for another 4 – 5 minutes.