Aloo Parantha (Potato Pancakes)

Aloo Parantha (Potato Pancakes)

Aloo paranthas or wheat pancakes stuffed with potatoes are a favourite with most people. I have found that my friends all enjoy hot potato paranthas, irrespective of race, nationality or gender.

This aloo parantha can be made even if you don’t have the traditional implements — chakla or marble rolling tile, belan or rolling pin, and tawa or concave griddle. The potato stuffing is mixed into a batter of whole wheat flour and water and then made into pancakes.


Potato 1 large, boiled, peeled and grated

Onion 1 medium, finely chopped

Green chilli 2, finely chopped

Red chilli powder 1 tsp

Salt to taste

Coriander leaves, a bunch, chopped

Atta or whole wheat flour 1 cup

Water for batter

Oil 1 tbsp


Mix the boiled potato with the onions, green chillies, salt, coriander leaves and red chilli powder and mix well. Add the oil and mash it all together.

Add water to the atta and make a smooth better. Add half a teaspoon of salt.

Add the potato mix to the batter and whisk well. Add more water if needed.

Heat a nonstick griddle and pour a ladle full of batter. Spread to make a thick pancake. Cook for a minute and flip it over. Apply some ghee and cook.

Transfer to a plate. Make similar pancakes with the rest of the batter.

Serve hot with a salad and plain yoghurt.

Chicken Meatloaf

Chicken Meatloaf

This is an extremely moist and flavourful meatloaf that goes well with a green salad and mashed potatoes. I use Ching’s Secret brand of red chilli sauce that is delicious in this dish. I also soak the bread in skimmed milk that keeps the loaf moist. I also use a mix of red chilli sauce and tomato purée for the topping. The addition of olives, jalapeño peppers and dried oregano gives the meatloaf a robust taste.


Chicken mince 500 g

Bread, roughly chopped 4 cups

Skimmed milk 1 cup

Olives 10

Jalapeño pepper 2, chopped

Oregano 2 tbsps, dried

Red chilli sauce 1 cup, divided into two

Tomato purée 5 tbsps

Salt to taste

Onion 1 large, chopped

Vegetable oil 2 tbsps

Olive oil to grease the loaf pan


Add the vegetable oil to a wok and sauté the onions till they turn golden brown.

Add the chicken mince and cook for 15 minutes till all the water evaporates.

Soak the bread in milk and add to a bowl. I use rye bread or sourdough bread, but any artisanal bread works.

Add the olives, jalapeño peppers, 4 tablespoons of red chilli sauce, oregano and salt to the bread.

Toss well and add the mixture to the cooked mince.

Add salt and mix well.

Transfer to a greased loaf pan and pack it down tight.

Mix the rest of the red chilli sauce and tomato purée and pour on top of the meatloaf.

Bake in 190 degree C oven for 50 minutes.

Cover with aluminium foil and leg it rest for 10 minutes.

Serve hot with a green salad and mashed potatoes.

Chilli Cheese Toast

Chilli Cheese Toast

I have grown up with Chilli Cheese Toast. I loved ordering it all the time and I still go back to it often. It is like a security blanket. It takes me back to my childhood and a less complicated, happy life.


Bread 2 slices of any bread

Mozzarella cheese 1/2 cup, grated

Green chillies 3, minced

Coriander leaves, minced


Arrange the slices of bread on a wire rack. I prefer sourdough bread, but any bread that has a bite to it is good. You can use country loaf or whole wheat bread.

Sprinkle generously with mozzarella cheese.

Sprinkle minced green chillies and coriander leaves.

Bake for 8 minutes in a 230 degree C oven.

Serve hot.

Choley Bhature

Choley Bhature

This combination of fried Indian bread made from all-purpose flour and chickpea or garbanzo bean curry is a favourite across the country. It is easy to make as well. I have broken down the recipe into workable bytes.


For the chole (chickpea curry)

Kabuli chana (dry chickpea or garbanzo beans) 1 cup

Onions 1 large, sliced

Tomatoes 2 medium, sliced

Green chillies 2, slit

Potatoes 2 medium, cubed

Coriander powder 2 tbsps

Red chilli powder 2 tsp

Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp

Amchoor powder or dry mango powder 1/2 tsp

Garam masala 1/2 tsp

Salt to taste

Coriander leaves for garnish

Ginger 1” piece

Garlic 5 cloves

Oil 2 tbsps

Baking soda 1/2 tsp

For the Bhature (fried bread):

All-purpose flour 3 cups

Yoghurt 5 tbsps

Baking soda 1/2 tsp

Baking powder 1 tsp

Salt to taste

Oil 1 tbsp

Oil for frying


Soak the chickpeas or garbanzo beans overnight. Wash and drain the chickpeas and steam along with the baking soda in a pressure cooker. Let it cook for four whistles on high flame and one on low flame. Switch off the heat and let the pressure release naturally.

Pound the ginger and garlic in a pestle to make a crushed paste.

Heat oil on a heavy bottomed pan and sauté the onions till they become transparent.

Add the ginger-garlic paste and sauté till the raw smell disappears.

Add the steamed chickpeas with 2 cups of water.

Add the turmeric powder, coriander powder, red chilli powder, amchoor and salt.

Add the tomatoes, potatoes and green chillies.

Cover and cook on medium heat till the potatoes are cooked. Add water if needed.

When the potatoes are done, add the garam masala and cook for two minutes more.

Garnish with coriander leaves and serve.

Sift the all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt into a bowl.

Add the yoghurt and make into a soft dough. Add water if needed.

Add 1 tbsp of oil and knead the dough for two minutes.

Cover and let rest for an hour.

Make into small lemon-sized balls.

Roll out on a lightly floured surface into circles and deep fry in hot oil. Ensure the oil is hot, but not smoking. Test with a small piece of dough and it should immediately rise to the surface. This will ensure that the Bhature are not oily.

Serve hot bhaturas with the choley and sliced raw onions.

Bread Upma

Bread Upma

This is my mom’s recipe and makes a delicious dish in minutes. She made this for our school lunches and it is comfort food for me.


(Serves 2)

White bread 4 slices

Potatoes 2 medium, boiled and peeled

Tomatoes 2 medium, chopped

Tomato ketchup 5 tbsps

Oil 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds 1 tsp

Salt to taste


Slice the bread into 1/2” squares. Chop the potatoes into small cubes.

Heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the mustard seeds and let it sputter.

Add the potatoes and sauté till they turn golden.

Add the tomatoes and fry for a minute. Add salt.

Add the ketchup and mix well. It will caramelise a bit.

Switch off the heat and serve hot.

Country bread

Country bread

This rustic country loaf is healthy, tasty and easy to make. The mix of bread flour and whole wheat flour makes this a bread for all occasions. It goes well with soups and also makes great sandwiches.


Bread flour 3 cups

Whole wheat flour 1 1/3 cup

Olive oil 1/3 cup plus for greasing

Italian herbs 2 tbsps

Yeast 3 tsp

Salt 1 tsp

Sugar 2 tbsps


Mix all the ingredients and make a dough in the bread machine or stand mixer.

Roll the dough on to a floured surface and knead for about five minutes.

Shape into a ball and let rest covered in a greased bowl for two hours. I leave it overnight in winter.

Punch down the dough and give it a second rising.

Keep a tray of water in the oven and bake in a 210 degree C convection oven for 40 minutes. Spritz with water a few times during the first 15 minutes.

Cool on a rack, slice and serve.

Bacon and Tomato Bread

Bacon and Tomato Bread

This bread is a meal in itself. It does not need any butter or cheese, it is moist enough and the flavours of bacon, tomato and herbs blend in beautifully in every bite.


Water 1 1/3 cup

Olive oil 4 tsps

Bread flour 4 cups

Sun dried tomato in oil 1/2 cup, sliced

Bacon 1 cup, cooked

Italian herbs 1 tbsp

Salt 1 tsp

Sugar 4 tsp

Instant yeast 1 1/2 tbsps


Add all the ingredients to the pan of the bread machine in the order given.

Use the Basic cycle.

Cool in the bread machine pan and slice. Serve with Tangy Tomato Basil Soup or Tomato Soup and a green salad.

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

Cinnamon Raisin Bread

This is a favourite recipe that I use to make in the bread machine. It is a slightly denser bread that goes well with soups and stews. The slight sweetness of the raisins cuts the spiciness of a stew.


(For 1 lb loaf)

Milk 3/4 cup

Bread flour 2 cups

Cinnamon 1 tbsp

Yeast 3 tsp

Brown sugar 2 tsp

Salt 1/2 tsp

Raisins 1/2 cup


Add all the ingredients to the bread machine in the order given and use the Basic setting.

Cool the bread in the pan and slice when cool.

Book Review: More Bread Machine Bounty

Book Review: More Bread Machine Bounty

Gayle Shockey Hockster; Better Homes and Gardens; Des Moines, 1994

I picked up this book when I was a novice with the bread maker and it soon became my go-to volume. I loved the recipes, which are easy to follow, and the tips given by the side or at the bottom are invaluable, especially if you are just starting to bake your own bread.

Baking bread has been something that we seem to have adopted en masse as we cope with the pandemic. Stores have been running out of bread flour and yeast, but people are continuing to bake. I agree that there is something magical about bread, watching the loaf rise and then bake to golden perfection.

Maybe it is an attempt by man to gain some control in a world that is spiralling out of control. That warm loaf of bread not only smells wholesome and delicious, it is life giving. Bread was what Christ broke with his disciples. Bread is essential to every culture in the world, to human being’s very survival.

One of the most popular breads that people around the world have been making during the current Covid-19 pandemic is sourdough bread. One reason could be that once you make the sourdough starter, the recipe for which is given in the book, you can continue to replenish it without adding more yeast. So even if yeast disappears from the store shelves, you can continue to bake your bread.

This book has a whole section devoted to sourdough breads.

I have tried many of these breads and each one has turned out perfect.

My favourite is the sourdough cheese bread, which is a fail-safe recipe. I make it pretty often as it goes so well with soups and stews and also makes a great sandwich.

Fail-safe Focaccia Bread

Fail-safe Focaccia Bread

This is a recipe I have honed to perfection over the years. If you follow the steps, I can guarantee perfect focaccia bread every time. This is a simple recipe using just rosemary, olives and sundried tomatoes. It goes well with soups, stews and pasta. The spaced out puffy texture makes it good to scoop up liquids on the plate.


Warm water 1 1/2 cups

Olive oil 1 tbsp

Bread flour 3 cups

Instant yeast 3 tsps

Salt 1 tsp

Sugar 1 tbsp

Dried rosemary 1 tbsp

Dried oregano 1 tbsp

Olives 10, sliced

Sun dried tomatoes 5, sliced thin

Himalayan salt 1 tbsp

Fresh rosemary sprigs

Virgin olive oil 1/3 cup


Add the first eight ingredients to the bread machine and use the dough cycle.

Punch down the dough and spread on a rectangular baking tray greased with olive oil. Leave the dough to rise for 30 minutes.

Poke the dough using two fingers and add a generous splash of olive oil.

Add the sliced olives and sun-dried tomatoes.

For a variation, you can add olives and jalapeño peppers.

Sprinkle Himalayan salt and tuck in fresh rosemary sprigs in the grooves.

Bake in a 230 degree C oven for 15-20 minutes till the crust is golden brown.

Let it cool for about five minutes and cut into squares.

Serve with stew and a salad.