Life lessons at bhelpuriwala’s

By Karanvir Arora

It was an indecisive walk back home. I mean who eats two melt-in-the-mouth chicken puffs, three-fourth-of-a chicken frankie, a chilled glass of ginger lemon at 6 in the evening but still thinks of dinner closer to 8! Well, sadly I was.

Many thoughts were erupting for a ‘light’ dinner plan ahead. Cuisines, restaurants, roads leading up to those restaurants, packed tables, menus. Most seemed a bit much for a plan of a bit less. Then, right at the turn of the road stood the answer. The Bhelpuriwala! Light, low on calories, freshly made in a sea of lip smacking flavours. It was almost picture perfect.

The bhelpuriwala, for 8 at night, had quite an audience around him. The two aunties on his left, who must been in their early 60’s were chit chatting in between every gulp, most colony gossip it seemed, seeing a stranger like me, a new entrant to he neighbourhood bhelpuri scene, seemed a bit perturbed. They keenly listened to my order, exchanged glances at each other and quickly arrived at a judgment of me being harmless. They couldn’t bother anymore and effortlessly swung back in full flow of their gossip-golguppa routine, reminding the bhelpuri guy about the count and how they had still 3 more to go!

What I forgot to mention was initially when I approached the circle of people around the bhelpuri man, he had cut me short half-way through the order, saying, it would take some time. Lining up his with eyes the queue of people waiting.  I thought about it for a second. My ego was hurt but I understood his problem. He was a one-man army who was the owner, manager, chef, waiter, bouncer, cleaner, cutter, peeler. I thought the man deserved some support. He was probably working very hard, probably from out of town, probably very poor, probably sending money earned back home to wife, children, parents. Probably the only the breadwinner. I waited. Of course.

The aunties by now had finished their round of gol guppas and the bhelpuri man proceeded to make the extra piece of gol guppa (given mostly to regulars) which is dry without the spicy water and has selected stuffings of potatoes, chickpeas, coriander and variety of salts. The perfect cherry on top for every regular gulguppa eater. So as he gave the aunties their freebie of the day and from the corner of his eye saw-me-see-him-give-them. Out of nowhere he handed me one too! I was taken aback. Such delicious act of kindness touched a few chords in my heart and from a disgruntled-waiting-in-line customer within seconds I became a delighted-ready-to-wait-another-10-minutes-customer!

Lesson # 1: A freebie goes a long way!

The aunties now looked at the Bhelpuri man in his eyes and nodded. Which turned out to be the sign to get the Sevpuris going. He laid out one papri a time slowly towering it with onions, potatoes, tomatoes, coriander, tamarind, mint chutney and his secret ingredient – finely sliced thin strips of unripe mango and finally finishing it off with a storm of bhujia in the end.

Just as that was done a man in really short shorts, who seemed have come from a run approached the circle and announced, ‘Mahesh is it done?’ I looked around to see who Mahesh was. Mahesh was nowhere to be found. I looked again and still there was not a single whimper out of any Mahesh around. In that silence of no-Mahesh-ness the bhelpuriman was seen making eye contact and giving the slightest nods of approval.. Bhelpuri-wala was Mahesh! And that just made me furious. Clearly the next order was not going to be mine and here’s why:

(A) the man in really short shorts knew the bhelpuriwala on first name basis! Whereas I on the other hand was abruptly cut short midway through my order

(B) The man in really short shorts, very smartly used the words ‘is it done’ and not ‘Make my order’. Quite clearly a code phrase he conveniently uses to cut the line when he comes to order, often the same time, often in the same rush, after his run, in his really short shorts. Mahesh plays along obviously since he was a regular with a regular order.

Lesson # 2: No matter how (embarrassingly) short shorts you are wearing, it always helps to know people on first name basis.

Next had to be me! I was all ready to protest! There was no way I could this time be dislodged from my bhelpuri eating position. And along came an uncle. Holding many bags of polybags sweating profusely from an intense vegetable shopping session it seemed. He had the perfect clichéd Indian uncle moustache and the perfect clichéd Indian man belly. He stood there, completely ignoring me and catching the eye of Mahesh. I was scared. I was almost sure he knew him too. And Mahesh knew him back. Maybe for many years now. Probably both had been around each other good times and bad time and all that shit. But what about me? I had waited for 20 minutes now. Silently, patiently with a simple honest intention to just take my bhelpuris home. Mahesh in the midst of peeling another round of boiled potatoes and squeezing the living daylights out of them stared at the cliched-moustached-potbellyed-uncle acting over friendly and in a killer mover just pointed towards me and the two people already in line behind.

Finally there was triumph of good over evil! I always knew god was catching all this injustice LIVE! Uncle seemed a bit a disappointed but smartly turned the topic to how sometimes in life you have to wait in line. How the fruit of patience is always sweet and all that bitter sour grapes crap. Soon trying to include me too in his one-man impromptu monologue. I played along. I indulged in ridiculing nowadays politicians-cricketers regular society talk. Talked about round the year hot topics of potholes, mobile taking over lives and of course the evergreen, how kids grow up on the internet these days! By now Mahesh had neatly packed my sevpuri, shaken the hell out my bhelpuri and was all set to parcel it.

I thanked Mahesh for my bhelpuris. Uncle for his trivial conversation. God, for the ordeal to be over and of course for intervening when most needed.

Lesson # 3: Note-to-self: Make early judgment when it comes to bhelpuris. It could be tricky. Never wait again for 25 mins!

About Karanvir Arora

Karanvir works with Bounce, an ad firm in Bombay. He was born and brought up in Calcutta with most of his schooling at Sanawar – a residential public school tucked away in the hills of Kasauli. In the past, he has worked and lived in Delhi as well as Bangalore. He moved to Bombay only 2 years ago. He is the proud owner of a beautiful she-lab who goes by the name Scrabble. She is as cool as Karanvir himself!


This post is part of Holachef’s Write Ho! program which is open to Holachef’s fans, critics, customers and their loved ones! To participate, write to [email protected]

Casu Marzu: Cheese with live worms!

By Nadia Vitari

Most of us really surrender in front of Italian food, and coming straight from that country, I can guarantee you, surely Mediterranean cuisine is often unbeatable! Olive oil, ham, authentic gelato, past, pizza, fresh seafood, fish and cheese… but do you know one of its dairy product is actually featured on CNN list of the world’s most disgusting foods? That’s right, if you are ever vacationing in the beautiful island of Sardinia, would you have the courage to try the local cheese called Casu Marzu, which in the local dialect means “rotten cheese”?

Casu Marzu Cheese. Source: Wikipedia

So what is it really? It comes from sheep milk and it follows a very old and traditional preparation and obviously you won’t find it in stores but just sold “illegally” by farmers. It’s not rotten, as many assume but it is basically infested by fly maggots which you are supposed to eat together with the cheese. In fact, what is peculiar is that farmers deliberately insert these fly eggs into whole Pecorino cheese and leave them there to ferment until they create a smoother and soft paste inside.

Think that a female Piophila casei (the name of the cheese fly) can lay over five hundred eggs at once, so the cheese is really infested by these maggots, but they are essential to create the cream as it’s their digestive acid that turns the otherwise hard cheese into this smooth paste.

Not only that, but locals consider it unsafe to eat it if the worms are dead, so you really have to taste it while they are still pretty lively! For this reason, it can’t be refrigerated as low temperatures kill these very nice insects!

So are you ready to give it a try? How, you will probably ask!

Well, it is not sliced up but you are supposed to spread it on bread slices (if you want to follow the tradition in full, you spread tiny stripes onto moistened Pane Carasau, the local dry and flat bread which comes in very thin layers) as you first cut off the top of the whole cheese and then you use the creamy paste as a dip, eating those worms with it! The taste is quite peculiar and spicy and it is usually paired with local superb red wine Cannonau. Moreover, these worms don’t really enjoy being eaten or bothered so they will try to get away by jumping off and they can even cover a distance of 15 centimeters / 6 inches: this is why “foodies” have to protect their lovely snack by placing their hands over it.

Last but not the least, Casu Marzu is considered to be aphrodisiac, you believe that, don’t you? 

Most recently sheep farmers have worked jointly with the University of Sassari to come up with a method that would comply with the strict European Union food hygiene-health regulations as to overcome its ban; yet, its status remains unclear as Casu Marzu is not listed as an officially recognized traditional product. Some variants of cheese with worms can also be found in the neighboring Corsica, France and Germany.

So are you ready to give it a try?!


About Nadia Vitari

Passionate traveler and backpacker, Nadia comes from the Lake of Como area in Italy (yes, where George Clooney lives!). She moved to Mumbai to work for an NGO. Being Italian and having lived, worked and studied in different countries, she is passionate about food and other cultures, especially anything Japanese! She also loves reading, football and rock music.


This post is part of Holachef’s Write Ho! program which is open to Holachef’s fans, critics, customers and their loved ones! To participate, write to [email protected]

10 Summer Special Drinks With Easy Recipes

Summer is unleashing its wrath and the sweltering heat is on its peak. On the brighter side, it is times like these when you can bask in sunny afternoons, the company of good friends and a cool drink in your hand. A variety of fruits available during this season can quench your thirst all season long. Here are 10 drinks that can be easily blended at home – smooth, sweet and with a very distinct taste.

1) Sparkling Cherry Lemonade

A sweet and citrusy combination of cherries and lemon in a refreshing drink. A glass of this on a blazing summer day will help you stay calm and cool, while also giving your immune system a boost.


  • 340 grams of pitted cherries
  • 3/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ a cup of sugar
  • 4 cups of water


  • In a blender, combine the cherries, lemon juice and sugar into a cherry syrup.
  • Refrigerate and when intending to serve, mix it with ice and cold water.

2) Mango Lassi

As this is a yogurt based drink, it is a natural cure for issues related to the stomach and helps keep the body cool. Lassi is a popular beverage and has its roots in the Northern parts of India.


  • 2 cups of fresh chopped mangoes or mango pulp
  • 1 ½ cups of fresh yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • 5 tablespoons of sugar/ honey
  • Mint leaves


  • Peel the mangoes and chop them into fine pieces.
  • In a blender, puree the mango pieces along with sugar/honey and cardamom powder.
  • Add the yogurt and further blend for a minute.
  • Add ice cubes and blend for a few seconds, till the ingredients are mixed well.
  • Serve in a glass and garnish it with mint leaves.

3) Watermelon Pomegranate Cooler

Watermelons are a favourite during summers and are also recommended for the water content they hold. There’s nothing quite like the burst of juices when biting into watermelon chunks. Its juice is an ideal way to keep oneself hydrated with delicious flavours.


  • 3 cups watermelon chunks, deseeded
  • ½ to 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • ½ tsp freshly grated ginger
  • Honey or sugar, as per choice
  • 1-2 sprigs mint leaves, for juice and for garnish
  • Water or soda, as per choice


  • In a blender jar, add watermelon cubes, pomegranate seeds, ginger, honey/sugar, a few mint leaves and give it a whizz till everything is completely blended.
  • Add required amount of water and blend it again for a minute or two.
  • Pour in glasses, garnish with mint leaves and serve.
  • If adding soda, add just before serving.

4) Rose Lemon Drink

Rose syrup is known for its cooling properties and is loved for its aromatic presence. An amalgamation of this syrup and lemon juice is a refreshing change and provides energy to the body. A light and invigorating drink, it is packed with vitamin C.


  • ¼  cup sugar
  • 3 cups water
  • ¾ cup lemon juice
  • 4 tbsp rose syrup


  • Take a saucepan and bring sugar and 1 cup water to a boil. Stir until the sugar has fully dissolved. Once done, remove the saucepan from the flame and let it completely cool down.
  • In a jar, combine together lemon juice, sugar syrup, 2 cups water and rose water. Stir it well and serve in glasses with ice cubes.

5) Coconut and Kiwi Smoothie

This is a super hydrating combination of coconut and kiwi in a refreshing drink. Kiwi is a well known source of copper and also supplies your body with essential dietary fiber; while coconut water is famous for its nutritious properties and also helps the body stay cool.


  • Ice cubes, as desired
  • 1 cup coconut water
  • 1 banana
  • 1 kiwi fruit, peeled and sliced
  • Honey


  • Except honey, combine all the ingredients in a juicer jar.
  • Blend really well, for approximately 2 minutes.
  • Add honey at the end.
  • Serve in tall glasses.

6) Boondi Jaljeera

A healthy Indian drink of jaljeera, consisting of mixed spice powders and topped with boondi, which are deep fried, small pearls made from gram flour. This drink is an excellent source of iron and helps prevent anaemia.


  • 1 tbsp seedless tamarind
  • ½ cup mint leaves
  • 1.5 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp dry mango powder
  • 1 pinch of asafoetida
  • 1 tbsp of boondi
  • 1 tsp chaat masala
  • Black salt, as per requirement


  • Rinse the mint leaves and tamarind well.
  • Except boondi and chaat masala, blend all the ingredients well.
  • Strain this juice and add 4 cups of chilled water.
  • Refrigerate. Just before serving, add boondi and pinch of chaat masala.

7) Pineapple Ginger Coconut Cooler

A zesty, refreshing drink of pineapple and ginger which is native to Paraguay and Brazil. It has become a favourite all over the world for the punch of fruity flavours it provides and is welcome especially during summers. Ginger is known to relieve nausea, loss of appetite and motion sickness.


  • 75 ml pure pineapple juice
  • 30 ml coconut water
  • ½ tsp freshly grated ginger
  • 2 pinches orange bitters
  • Pineapple slices for garnish
  • Ice cubes, as desired


  • Combine pineapple juice, coconut water and ginger in a juicer jar. Blend well.
  • Fill a glass with ice cubes and pour this juice over.
  • Top with bitters and garnish with pineapple.

8) Lychee Chilli Cooler

The sweet flavour of lychee is balanced exceptionally well with the added heat of chilies in this unique and refreshing drink. Oligo, which is abundantly present in lychee, possesses antioxidants and anti-influenza properties.


  • 1 ½ cups lychee (just the flesh), a few kept aside for garnish
  • 1 cup fresh lemon juice
  • ½ cup sugar
  • Salt (1 pinch)
  • ½ small green chilli
  • 3 cups cold water
  • 1 quart ice


  • Blend the lychees, lemon juice, sugar, salt and chilli into a smooth paste.
  • Strain this mixture, discard the solid particles, add cold water and whisk well.
  • Chop the leftover lychee flesh and add it to a glass along with some ice.
  • Pour the blended juice over the ice and garnish with whole chillies for a zing.

9) Cucumber Lemon Chiller

The soothing nature of cucumbers makes it a must have ingredients during summers. The fruit keeps the body hydrated owing to its water content, helps fight the heat and flushes out toxins from the body.


  • ½ cup cucumber chunks, peeled and deseeded
  • 1-2 tbsp lemon juice (quantity depends on preference)
  • Honey or sugar, as required
  • A few mint leaves, for juice and for garnish
  • Ice cubes
  • Soda or water


  • In a juicer jar, blend together cucumber chunks, lemon juice, honey/sugar and mint leaves.
  • Add 1 cup or less of water, and give it a whizz for a minute or two.
  • For serving, add ice cubes to a glass, pour the cucumber juice and garnish with mint leaves.
  • If adding soda, add ice cubes to a glass, pour half of cucumber juice and fill the rest with soda.

10) Muskmelon Juice

Another fruit from the melon family, muskmelon is rich in fibre, helps keep the body cool during summers and is an antioxidant. The soft, squishy fruit makes for an excellent juice ingredient and hence, becomes a great source of hydrating the body.


  • 1 medium sized muskmelon
  • Sugar or honey, as per choice
  • A pinch of black salt
  • Sabza ke beej or chia seeds, optional
  • Lemon juice, optional
  • Water, only if required


  • Cut the muskmelon into half, then into slices. Remove the peels and seeds. Cut into chunks.
  • In a juicer jar, add muskmelon chunks, sugar/honey, black salt and lemon juice (if adding). Blend this really well.
  • If there is a need to add water, add in little amounts to get the desired consistency. And give this juice a whiz for a minute. Generally thick juice is preferred.
  • In a glass, add a pinch or two of chia seeds and pour this juice to the brim.

Tweets that meme us GIF a laugh!

Holachef’s Twitter handle manages to keep us on our toes with persistent feedback, queries, comments and more. And amidst those weighty concerns and questions, these hilarious memes crack us up and brighten the day. What can be more exciting than knowing that you have spent some precious time on finding the right expression to get your point across in style! Here are a few ones we absolutely loved.



 That’s a Dam cool thing, Supratim. Your request – our command!



Thandai thandai, cool cool!


Our Rasmalai can lead to wars.. or funny memes


Whatever you s..s..s..say! *scared*

Keep them coming at @Hola_Chef or tag us on Instagram at @Hola_Chef.

What’s cooking inside the Holachef kitchen?

You must have been told this many times over when you were young, “Eat vegetables, they are good for you.” And remember when you didn’t like that bowl of lauki or karela or one of those other greens on your plate and yet you were made to eat them – why, because they were good for you.

At Holachef kitchen we went back to the same philosophy that we all grew up on at home. Our chefs follow cooking techniques that are good for you!

Before we get into details of what conspires at Holachef kitchen every day, here’s a brief explanation of what food preparation is all about and you will be surprised to know that cooking is but a small part of the entire process.

To make something which is fit for consumption requires selection of right ingredients, measurement of these ingredients in the most suited proportion and combining these ingredients in such an orderly procedure and with appropriate technique so as to achieve the desired results. Hence, it is safe to say that food preparation includes cooking but is not limited to it.

The choices we make at every step of food preparation decides the amount of nutrients retained in the dish being prepared. Thus, it is of extreme importance that we understand and can differentiate the good practices from the bad ones.

Here’s what our chefs follow at Holachef kitchen to make certain that the food presented to you for consumption has been made with the most suitable process:

1) Procurement of the freshest produce

The vegetables and fruits utilized in cooking are procured directly from the main marketplace of farmers soon after they arrive in thebazaar, fresh from the fields. The raw material thus acquired is then put in cold storage for a few hours till the kitchen is prepped for the day. Before the ingredients are utilized, each variety of vegetables / fruits is washed and cleaned thoroughly in salt water and with Suma tablet.  This detaches them from any undesired particles that there may be. They are then cleaned again in an automated vegetable and fruit washing equipment which gives them a rigorous swirl in fresh water. This ensures that the fresh produce is thoroughly rinsed and is ready to be used for cooking.

2) Skin on

It is a well known fact that peels of vegetables and fruits have a high concentration of nutrients in most cases. Depending on the type of vegetable, the peel or the skin of the food can be a rich source of fiber,  anti-oxidants, calcium, vitamins and various other nutrients. At Holachef, we keep the skin on for as many vegetables and fruits as possible, keeping in mind the dish it is being used for.

3) Steamed, not boiled

Did you know that the longer the vegetables are cooked, the more nutrients they lose? It is for this reason that we apply techniques which, while fully cooking the raw vegetables, also retain nutrients. Steaming vegetables (instead of boiling) allow us to cook the vegetables with the heat without making them soggy. In fact, steamed vegetables are crispier and preserve original texture and flavor to a large extent.

A simple example that deserves to be mentioned here is that of potatoes. Have you ever wondered why potatoes from the Holachef kitchen don’t feel as ‘soft’ as the boiled potatoes that you might have eaten at home? The answer is simple: boiling robs the potatoes of their texture, maximum nutrients and even leaves them slightly overcooked. Dull flavor is another result of such a cooking method. Steaming them helps us avoid these after-effects.

4) Big cuts to retain maximum nutrients.. and freshness

Chopping whole vegetables into really small pieces presents the risk of dehydration of the vegetable, flavor loss, texture loss and above all, nutrient loss too. Basically, finely chopped vegetables serve little or no purpose if not consumed soon enough as they tend to lose freshness and all benefits very quickly.

Hence, to keep the vegetables at Holachef kitchen fresh and to ensure they present maximum advantage in their consumption, our food preparation process maintains large cuts as much as possible.

5) The cooking itself

After all the preparations are done in the right manner, the food is cooked with the requisite spices and other ingredients based on recipes by expert chefs. The chefs standardize these recipes to ensure that the taste is authentic and palatable. The chefs oversee the exact proportion in which the ingredients need to be blended and the steps that are required to be followed in strict precision.

This is followed by packing of food as per standard quantity and combinations. The packaged boxes are then dispatched as per the orders received after QA/QC.

Thus concludes the cooking process at Holachef every single day! So while you bite into your next Holachef meal, remind yourself that it’s good for you!

10 Interesting Soups From Across The World And A Recipe

Soups are a common meal course world over and every country has its own specialty, using indigenous ingredients. Served hot and cold, the entrée is a good start to calm the hungry tummy before enjoying a delicious meal.  Here’s a list of 10 soups from around the world, that use interesting ingredients right from dirt to fennel. Read on!

1. Meggyleves Soup

Traditionally a summertime delight in Hungary, meggyleves is a soup consisting of cherries and is served cold. Typically, sour cherries are preferred for this soup that has sweet-tangy flavours. The thickness is achieved by adding cream and an important ingredient is red wine. Cinnamon and sugar add aroma and sweetness to this beautiful soup which has light pink colours with blobs of red cherries. A treat for the tongue and eyes alike!

2. Kiburu Soup

A soup with unusual elements, kiburu is made by inhabitants residing near Mount Kilimanjaro who believe in using ingredients that surround them. Kiburu is a sweet flavoured soup that uses bananas and to complement the taste and there is coffee as well. But these two are not the star ingredients, the seasoning of dirt is! The natives think using dirt brings a natural saltiness to the soup and hence is an important component.

3. Binignit Soup

An interesting soup that is stewed with coconut milk, binignit is native to Philippines and has different versions across the country. It is more of a dessert soup and what makes it different is the use of locally available ingredients – all together – for an unusual blend. Yam, jackfruit, sago or tapioca pearls and glutinous rice are some of the elements that concoct the beautiful soup.

4. Pickle Soup

Pickling vegetables or fruits is basically preserving them for the seasons that they won’t be available in. While India has the masaledaar version, other countries simply use vinegar and salt to pickle vegetables. In this soup of Polish origin, cucumbers pickled with dill and vinegar are brought to a boil with the pickle liquid and just before the soup is almost done, flour or milk is added for the creamy texture. The burst of flavours is pungent yet something that lingers on for a long time.

5. Palm Nut Soup

This unusual soup from West Africa is made from the fruits of palm nut tree, where the red fruits are pounded and boiled for a good amount of time to deduce its pulp. The pulp is boiled in water which is used in the soup. It should cook for almost an hour until enough palm nut oil gathers on the surface. While some prefer to keep the oil, it can be removed for those who don’t like to see it floating on top. Palm nut soup is traditionally consumed with fufu, which is a dish made from yam.

6. Apple Soup

Apart from being regularly used in desserts, apples are also a part of several soup recipes which bring a fruity flavour and texture to them. The natural sweetness of apples is one of the reasons that it is added, especially in countries that prefer sweet soups. Carrots, tomatoes, parsnips and onions combined with apples, are some of the most loved soups in western countries.The wonderful melange of flavours is worth a try.

7. Pozole Soup

Pozole is a traditional soup from Mexico which is mostly prepared during celebrations. The most important ingredient for this soup is hominy – dried corn kernels that are paired with meat, pork being the most preffered. A simple seasoning of authentic Mexican spices brings out an appetizing soup that is quite a favourite in the country.

8.Elderberry Soup

A berry found widely in most parts of Europe, elderberries appear similar to blueberries. They have an acidic flavour, which apparently tastes much better after cooking offering a deep purple colour with hues of dark red. Elderberry soup is a dessert soup concocted in Germany, traditionally served with little roundels of semolina dunked in.

9. Cheonggukjang Soup

This soup is a staple in Korea and is made from soybean paste. What makes it special is the process and the distinct smell. Soybeans are fermented for 2-4 days after which, they develop a pungent odour (disliked by many) and sticky thread like texture (similar to spider webs!). Cooked together with a few more fermented ingredients, this soup might have repellent whiffs but is a powerhouse of nutrition.

10. Coriander-Coconut Soup

The specialty of shorba is the use of aromatic and strong spices that lend a distinct flavour to the soup. Native to Middle East and Central Asia, shorba also made its way to India, way back in the Mughal era. Known in India as hara nariyal shorba, this soup uses coconut milk as the base and the green colour is because of coriander leaves and green chillies. A simples shorba recipe with minimal spices, this is an absolute delight to the tastebuds.

1 cup coconut milk
½ tsp cumin seeds
A handful of curry leaves
1-2 tbsp clarified butter/ghee
1-2 tbsp chopped coriander
Lemon juice, as per taste
2-3 green chillies

In a chutney jar, grind the coriander leaves and green chillies together. Remove in a bowl and mix in lemon juice. Keep aside.
In a pan, heat the ghee and add cumin seeds. Once the seeds sizzle, add in curry leaves.
Add the green paste and saute for just about a minute, making sure not to burn the paste.
Now add coconut milk and stirring continuously, just about bring it to a boil.
Season with salt and serve.

It’s A Love-Love Relationship With Holachef!

What can be bigger than loving every bite of your meal? Infact, as much as we want you to absolutely love our menu and meals, we are super delighted when you let us know of your affection. Like, compare the taste to your mom’s dishes, enjoy reading up our menu every day and not just adore the meals but also the little gifts!


So from the list of non-stop daily tweets that pretty much decide the mood at office, here are a few ones that shout and shower LOVE!

We’ve got the cure for everything!

What to say? We love the sequence of events!!!


We are living in a sweeter bubble after reading this! #bubbleblowergift


Presenting the …King of all tweets. We take fakr in you! #hindiwala


Awww, mom you say? You are such a lucky daughter we tell you!


Superrr….but wait. What about lunch? And snacks? And breakfast?



We want more love! Share your adorable moments with us by tweeting us at @Hola_Chef or tagging us on Instagram at @Hola_Chef.

10 Must Try Gujarati Dishes at Holachef and Chundo Recipe

Gujarati cuisine is famous for its elaborate thalis and the crisp, spicy munchies served as snacks in many Indian homes. Largely vegetarian, their dishes and recipes use a lot of yogurt, groundnuts, sesame seeds and not to forget the pinch of sugar in almost everything! At Holachef, our chefs make some of the most sumptuous Gujarati dishes and drinks, check this delicious list!

1. Palak Theplas with Chundo

A Gujarati flatbread wherein wheat flour is mixed with spinach leaves, powdered spices and cooked for a healthy meal; served with a sweet-tangy pickle of raw mangoes.

2. Dal Dhokli with Methi Nu Gota

Steamed rotis made with gram flour, carom seeds and curd are cut into pieces and soaked in a lentil preparation of toor dal, garnished with pomegranate seeds on top; accompanied by deep fried dumplings made from a thick batter of fenugreek leaves and gram flour mixed with masalas.

3. Batata Nu Chaalwalu Shaak with Baked Chapatis

A Gujarati dish of potato chunks cooked in a curry laden with masalas; to be relished with baked chapatis.

4. Tomato nu Shaak with Parathas, Khatta Moong with Rice

A Gujarati dish of tomatoes cooked in a thick curry laden with masalas; to be relished with parathas. This combination is accompanied by a tangy lentil preparation of moong dal seasoned with spices and paired with rice.

5. Dhokla and Patra with Chutney

A Gujarati snack of steamed gram flour cakes seasoned with simple spices; paired with a snack of gram flour mixed with powdered spices and smeared on nutritious colocasia leaves, rolled, steamed and then sauteed with spices; served with chutney on the side.

6. Pudina Masala Thepla with Curd

A Gujarati flatbread wherein whole wheat flour is mixed with mint leaves and powdered spices, rolled into rotis and cooked for a delightful blend of flavours; served with yogurt on the side.

7. Undhiyo with Pooris

A Gujarati delicacy wherein eggplants, flat beans, potatoes, pumpkin and yam are cooked together with a traditional spice mix of peanuts, sesame seeds and coconut, topped off with methi muthiya; to be relished with pooris.

8. Fafda with Jalebi

Deep fried Gujarati fafda (similar to papad) made from gram flour flavoured with spices; coupled with spiral-shaped, crunchy jalebis made from flour are dipped in sugar syrup for a platter with a balance of savoury and sweet.

9. Khatti Meethi Gujarati Kadhi with Rice and Fried Mirchi

A sweet and sour yogurt based sauce, thickened with gram flour and finished off with a seasoning of traditional Gujarati spices; best relished with rice and served with a side of fried chillies.

10. Doodhi Chana Dal with Rotis and Sambhariya Tindora

Bengal gram cooked with bottle gourd chunks and infused with the flavours of Indian spices; to be relished with rotis; accompanied by a Gujarati dish of ivy gourd cooked with a selection of spices and coconut.

Recipe – Gujarati Chundo


1 grated raw mango

1 cup sugar

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 ½ tsp cumin powder

1 tsp chilli powder

Salt to taste


Mix the grated mangoes, salt and turmeric powder, add sugar to the mixture and keep aside.
Heat a pan and saute the mixture till it thickens. When it begins to glisten and bubbles appear, add the cumin powder and let it cool.
Transfer to a glass jar and seal it well.

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10 Delicious Indian Pickle Recipes

Pickles have always been an integral part of the Indian meal. And what better way to preserves seasonal fruits and vegetables than to pickle them? Here’s an interesting list of recipes from across the country. Pick your favourite and try now!

1)   Kamal Kakdi Ka Achaar or Lotus Stem Pickle

A crunchy vegetable that is high on nutrition, lotus stem dishes are generally a part of the north Indian cuisine. It’s a rich source of fibre, is low on calories and considered good for health. It has a subtle taste of its own and acquires the flavours of spices that it is cooked in.

500 gms lotus stem
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp asafoetida powder
1 tsp carom seeds
1 tsp fennel
½ to 1 tsp black pepper powder
1 cup oil, mustard oil preferably
Salt to taste

Peel, wash and cut the lotus stems into small slices.
In a deep vessel, pour water. Once it starts to boil, add in lotus stem slices and cook till they are just tender. Strain the water and pat these slices completely dry. Set aside.
Grind together coriander seeds, carom seeds and fennel to a coarse powder. You can also crush it in a mortar-pestle.
Heat mustard oil in a pan and add this coarsely ground masala along with asafoetida. Add in slices of lotus stem, season with salt and turmeric powder. Give it a nice stir so that everything is mixed well.
After this mixture cools down completely, store it in an air-tight glass container. This will be ready to eat in 4-6 days.

2) Karonde Ka Achaar

This small fruit with enchanting colours of pink, red and white has properties that are good for the digestive system and apparently helps the liver stay fit too. Because of its tangy flavour, the pickle is absolutely delectable.

200 gms karonda
50 gms green chillies, cut into pieces and slit
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp onion seeds/kalonji
1 tbsp fennel
2 tbsp mustard seeds
½ cup mustard oil
3-4 tbsp salt

Wash karonda and pat them dry, completely. Slice these into half, lengthwise.
Grind the mustard seeds into a coarse powder and keep aside.
Heat mustard oil in a pan till fumes appear, switch off the gas and cool it down completely.
In a bowl, take karonda, chillies, add all the remaining ingredients and toss them with the cooled down oil.
Transfer to a glass jar and let it sit in sunlight for about a week.

3) Lasode Ka Achaar or Glueberry Pickle

A slightly sticky fruit, lasoda has a thick skin which makes it a crunchy fruit to bite into. Its claim to fame is the pickle which is a north Indian speciality.

500 gms lasode
½ to 1 cup mustard oil, to be used according to quantity
½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp fenugreek seeds
2 tsp fennel
3 tsp mustard seeds, ground into a coarse powder
2 pinches asafoetida
2 tsp salt

Wash lasode well and pat them completely dry.
In a deep vessel, take enough water and bring it to a boil. Add these fruits and cook on a low-flame, covered for about 6 minutes. Strain them through a colander and let them dry. Once cold, cut each fruit into half and remove the seed. Keep aside.
Roast fenugreek seeds and fennel without oil, lightly. Once done, grind into a coarse powder.
Heat oil in a pan, add lasode, the ground powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, crushed mustard seeds and asafoetida and mix everything well.
Store in an airtight glass jar and it should be ready in about 7-8 days.

4) Gobhi Gajar Ka Achaar or Cauliflower Carrot Pickle

A delicious achaar with tangy flavours, this goes very well with parathas and just any meal. While cauliflower is a good source of fibre, keeps the heart in good health and helps fight cancer; carrots are rich in Vitamin A and have Vitamin K stored inside them too.

500 gms cauliflower florets
500 gms red carrot chunks
300 gms jaggery powder or grated jaggery
½ cup white vinegar
2 tbsp finely chopped ginger
1.5 tbsp finely chopped garlic cloves
250 ml mustard oil
5-6 tsp red chilli powder
3-4 tsp garam masala powder
7-8 tsp salt

In a vessel, bring enough water to boil and then drop cauliflower and carrots in it. Let these boil for 3-4 minutes. Once done, drain the water and dry these completely.
Grind ginger and garlic together, without using any water. Keep it aside.
In a deep pan, add vinegar and jaggery together, stir continuously till the jaggery melts. Keep this aside and let it cool down completely.
In another pan, heat mustard oil, add the crushed paste of ginger and garlic. Saute till the raw aroma goes away.
Once done, add in the vegetables, red chilli powder, garam masala powder and salt. Give it a stir to mix the masalas well.
Now add the vinegar-jaggery syrup and coat the vegetables well.
Let this mixture cool down completely.
Transfer in an airtight glass jar and keep in sunlight for 4-5 days.

5) Khajoor Achaar or Dates Pickle

Dates have been a favourite in Indian households for their sweetness and their use in desserts, chutneys and pickles. These are rich in iron, a good source of fibre and contain calcium, apart from other nutrients.

200 gms seedless dates
¼ cup powdered sugar
½ tsp ginger powder
2 tbsp lemon juice
½ to 1 tsp black pepper powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
½ inch cinnamon
3-4 cloves
1 tbsp dried pomegranate seeds

Wash the dates, wipe them completely dry and slice them lengthwise.
Lightly roast cumin seeds, cinnamon, cloves and dried pomegranate seeds.
In a chutney jar of a mixer, grind these to a coarse powder.
In a bowl, mix this powder along with sugar, ginger powder, lemon juice and pepper.
Add the dates and mix everything well.
Transfer to an airtight glass jar and let it rest for 2 days.

6) Jhinge Ka Achaar or Prawns Pickle

Prawns are a rich source of proteins and are light on the stomach, making them an excellent option to be included in the diet.

500 gms prawns
½ tsp turmeric powder
1-2 tsp red chilli powder
½ tsp mustard seeds
5-6 green chillies, finely chopped
1-2 tbsp garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp ginger, finely chopped
A handful of curry leaves
¼ cup or less, vinegar

Marinate the prawns in salt, turmeric powder and red chilli powder for 20-30 minutes. Once done, fry the prawns in oil and keep aside.
In another pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Then add finely chopped chillies, garlic, ginger and curry leaves. Saute for a while and add salt, turmeric powder and red chilli powder. Saute this well so that the masalas blend well.
Now add fried prawns and vinegar, give it a stir.
Let this mixture cook completely, check for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
Once this mixture cools down completely, transfer to an airtight glass jar and let it sit for 2-3 days.

7) Amba Haldi Achaar or Mango Turmeric Ginger Pickle

Amba haldi or mango ginger is an interesting variety of ginger that always fools us into believing that it’s raw mango. Amba haldi is good for strengthening the immune system, helps improve digestion and is used to fight cold.

1 cup finely chopped or grated amba haldi
4-5 green chillies, slit lengthwise
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp yellow mustard
¼ to ½ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 pinches of asafoetida
Salt to taste
Oil 3-4 tbsp

In a bowl, mix together chopped or grated mango turmeric, slit green chillies, lemon juice, yellow mustard and salt. Keep aside.
Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and let them splutter. Switch the gas off, add turmeric powder and asafoetida.
Let this tempering cool down completely and then add it to the mango turmeric mixture. Mix well.
Transfer to an airtight glass jar and let it rest for 2-3 days.

8) Methi Dana Achaar or Fenugreek Seeds Pickle

Fenugreek seeds are high on the nutrition factor with being an important source of fibre and iron. These are also recommended to lower blood sugar levels.

40 gms fenugreek seeds, washed and completely dried
3-4 tbsp mustard oil
Juice of about 5-6 lemons
½ to 1 tsp red chilli powder, as per taste
¼ tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp crushed fennel seeds or fennel powder
2 pinches of asafoetida
Salt to taste


Heat oil in a pan and add fenugreek seeds. Saute till they change colour slightly, about 3 minutes or less. Switch off the gas and add red chilli powder, turmeric powder, fennel powder, asafoetida and salt. Give it a stir to mix everything well.
Remove this mixture in a deep bowl and let it cool down completely.
Once done, add in the lemon juice so that the fenugreek seeds are completely soaked in the juice. Mix it well.
Transfer in an airtight glass container and let it sit for 3 days.

9) Fish Achaar

Another coastal favourite, this pickle is a good way to store and relish fish for a longer period of time, full with the flavours of spices. Fish is one of the richest source of proteins and is full of more vitamins and minerals that are essential for the body.

400 gms fish, the fleshier, the better
½ tsp turmeric powder
1-2 tsp red chilli powder, as desired
1 tsp black pepper powder
5-6 fenugreek seeds
½ to 1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp full of finely chopped ginger
2-3 tbsp full of finely chopped garlic
5-6 green chillies, depending on preference
A handful of curry leaves
¼ cup vinegar
Salt to taste
Til oil for frying

Marinate the fish chunks with half quantity each of salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and black pepper powder. Keep aside for 20-30 minutes.
Heat oil in a pan and fry these fish pieces, keep aside.
In another pan, heat oil, add fenugreek seeds and just when they begin to sizzle, add mustard seeds. Let them splutter.
Now add ginger, garlic, chillies and curry leaves. Saute till the rawness of ginger-garlic goes away. Add remaining half quantity of salt, turmeric powder, red chilli powder and black pepper powder, stir well.
Lower the flame and pour vinegar, mix everything well. Add in fish chunks and coat the fish with this masala, saute for 2 minutes.
Let this cool down completely. Transfer in an airtight glass container and let it rest for 1-2 days.

10) Chicken Achaar

Simple mix of masalas brings out the best of the flavours and what can be more appetizing than being able to store it for a comparatively longer time!

500 gms chicken chunks
1 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp finely chopped ginger
¼ cup lemon juice
A pinch of fenugreek powder
2 tbsp red chilli powder
4 tbsp crushed poppy seeds
10 cloves, crushed
Salt to taste
Mustard oil

Marinate the chicken chunks with turmeric powder and a little salt, for 15-20 minutes.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Once the water starts boiling, add the chicken chunks and cook them till they turn tender. Once done, drain the water and keep the chunks aside to cool.
Heat oil in a pan, add ginger and saute till the raw aroma goes away.
Now add the chicken chunks and fry them till they turn golden-brown in colour. Once done switch the heat off and let this mixture cool down completely.
In a bowl, mix together lemon juice, fenugreek powder, red chilli powder, crushed poppy seeds, crushed cloves and salt. Add chicken chunks and mix well, to coat the chicken with this masala.
Transfer to an airtight glass container, and let it rest for 2-3 days.

10 Gudi Padwa Special Delicacies on Holachef

Guḍī Pāḍavā, Ugadi, Yugadi, Samvatsar Padvo, Cheti Chand, Sajibu Nongma Panba Cheiraoba, Navreh – one festival, many celebrations! The beginning of a new year is invariably celebrated with great fervour, enthusiasm and traditional recipes. To mark this auspicious occasion as well as the beginning of Navratri, Holachef is serving an exclusive festive menu on 8th April. Here are some of the special Padwa delicacies on the menu.

1) Pooranpoli with Aamti

In Maharashtra, pooranpoli is almost always made during festivals and is an elaborate part of the decadent Padwa thali. This flatbread is filling, sweet and doubles up as a meal and a dessert. The stuffing of pooran made from Bengal gram can make or break this dish. To balance the sweetness of this poli, it is served with aamti – a side which is a combination of sour-spicy-sweet flavours.

2) Shrikhand and Pooris

There are high chances of shrikhand being on the list of most hearty meals, during festive celebrations especially in Gujarat and Maharashtra. The dessert is paired with salty, deep fried pooris and they complement each other very well. Prepared in various flavours, mango shrikhand is most popular and evidently summers are the best time to relish on it.

3) Kesari

Kesari is the South Indian version of sooji ka halwa and holds importance during festivals, especially in the state of Karnataka. There are versions like milk kesari, rava kesari and fruit kesari, all of which are equally delicious. The simplest of ingredients come together for one of the desserts that’s an instant favourite.

4) Gudwali Chawal Kheer

The new year brings new harvest with it, which is why naya gud or fresh jaggery is used throughout the country during Padwa celebrations. Chawal ki kheer or rice kheer signifies the importance of the harvest cycle and hence uses rice and jaggery for an irresistible dessert. Replacing sugar with jaggery in this recipe, the dessert is a healthy deviation from the regular one.

5) Malpua Rabdi

Indian homes offer a stunning variety of desserts with milk as the base ingredient and malpua rabdi is one of those. Malpuas are fluffy pancakes, small in size, which are made from flour and sweet spices. These are deep fried and soaked in sugar syrup so that these porous pancakes absorb all the sugary delights. Rabdi is an enchanting concoction of milk simmered and reduced to a thick consistency and added with aromatic-sweet spices to enhance the flavour. A bite of this heavenly dessert is all that is needed on the first day of the new year!

6) Aam Panna

Indian summers are synonymous with aam panna. This drink is consumed around the country to fight the tropical summer heat and indulge in the king of mangoes in its raw form. Raw mango pulp is boiled and blended with spices and kept in most Indian homes as a concentrate, to be consumed before heading out in the heat. Aam panna or kachi keri no baflo as it is known in Gujarat, keeps the body cool because of its cooling properties. The sourness of the mangoes, the sweetness of sugar and the aroma of cardamom powder is a combination that is simply alluring and mouth-watering.

7) Shengdana Batata Usal and Upvasi Chivda

Fasts and foods are never opposites in India! From the delectable variety, shengdana batata usal is a popular one. Peanuts provide much needed energy and carbs help keep the energy level up, hence the use of potatoes. Maharashtrian cuisines also have interesting snacks such as the crunchy chivda prepared with limited ingredients to be consumed during fasting.

8) Sabudana Khichdi and Curd

Sabudana khichdi is another favourite from the fasting friendly dishes. Sago pearls cooked with peanuts, potatoes and chillies is a delicious burst of flavours and a popular snack in Maharashtra. A dry dish by itself, sabudana khichdi is generally served with salted lassi or plain yogurt.

9) Lassi

The use of probiotic yogurt blended with chosen ingredients and water has always been fruitful, especially during summers. Yogurt is consumed in higher quantities during this season as it tends to keep the body cool, and lassi is known to be good for digestion as well. Salted, sweet, masaledaar or the one with dry fruits, lassi is one of the most popular energising drinks in India.


10) Vari Ke Chawal and Curd

Since fasts and feasts go hand in hand in India and there is quite a collection of recipes using interesting ingredients which are apt for both. Vari (from the millet family) ke chawal are mainly consumed when observing a fast. These are full of nutrients and with Indian recipes, the dishes turn out to be absolutely flavoursome.