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Roti, a flatbread is an important staple diet in many states of India and it is made with variety of cereals like wheat, maize, barley, jowar etc. Each cereal’s flatbread is different in taste and texture. It is eaten with pulses, vegetables and also in the form of stuffed paranthas.

One very fine way of eating roti is with jaggery. It is very good in summers as it has an effective cooling effect on our body. This is one of the reasons why farmers in India eat pieces of jaggery with a glass of water to beat the scorching heat of summers.

The powdered form of jaggery is called ‘shakkar’ in local dialect of north India. Jaggery is very fine dry powder of jaggery. This is a preferable form of jaggery and is eaten with roti because pure jaggery is in the form of solid pieces which need to be converted into powder form. So if shakkar is available it would be much better.

There are two ways of using shakkar with roti, let us discuss them in turn.


In this method the first step is to make a roti, then apply clarified butter evenly on it and make sure that no part of roti is left dry, after this, spread the powdered jaggery too in the same way on the roti.

Now roll the roti tightly and fold its bottom part a little upwards. Wrap a tissue paper around the roti so that clarified butter does not seep into your palm, if you want you can use plain butter instead of clarified butter. The roll is ready, enjoy.


Make a big roti and then make very small pieces of it, then pour 2-3 tbsp of clarified butter on it. Churn the two well enough and add shakkar to it. Churn all the ingredients once again with the hand so that they blend well with each other.

This is called churi of jaggery & roti and it tastes fantastic. Eat with a spoon and lavish its taste.



HASSAN VALLEY OF SHIMLA                                               HASSAN VALLEY

Hassan Valley is located at a few kilometers from the Shimla town just beside the national highway-22. It is a very big forest reserve and extends far and beyond. It is a very panoramic and beautiful valley and tourists halt for a short break on the highway to get a magnificent view of lush green forest. Its elevation is approximately 2,310 meters.


Its dense cover of deodar, oak, pine and rhododendron look wonderful and serene. If you are fond of driving through woods then this is a perfect place for an adventure, but you have to take permission from the forest department to drive on the forest road which ventures into the Hassan Valley.

And once you are in the valley and if you are lucky enough you may get a glimpse of animals which dwell here like barking deer, leopard, bear and birds like Himalayan eagle, pheasants, partridges and chikor. Keeping powerful binoculars could prove very useful for spotting the fauna of valley, so do not forget to carry it along.

HASSAN VALLEY                                                   HASSAN VALLEY

Even otherwise also you can enjoy the view of Hassan Valley if you are short on time from the edge of road. Have some snacks, there are numerous snack sellers on the road which sell burgers, kulcha and other delectable items, standing there enjoy your eatables and listen to the whispering deodars.

Driving on mountain roads is a very different experience altogether, you feel so close to nature and definitely it’s a great escape from the concrete jungle of cities. So never miss an opportunity to visit a hill station.



BRIYANI                                                            BRIYANI

The mere mention of the word ‘Briyani’ is enough to water your mouth. The use of different spices and alternating layers of vegetables and rice make it a fascinating dish. This dish originated somewhere in Turkey or Persia and was brought to India by the merchants. It was introduced to the Mughals, who adopted it and gradually it spread to the other parts of India.

Now, take a look at the recipe of Vegetable Briyani, which we have customized a little so as to present you something new in Briyani.


• Rice                                                                1 and 1/2 glass
• Green Cardamom                                 3
• Black Cardamom                                   3
• Clove                                                             3-4 pieces
• Cinnamon                                                  1 inch long
• Bay leaves                                                   2
• Water                                                            3 glasses


SLICED  JACK FRUIT                                CHOPPED VEGETABLES


• Unripe jackfruit (small sliced pieces)                                     1 bowl
• Cauliflower                                                                                            7-8 florets
• Potato                                                                                                       1
• Carrot                                                                                                        1
• French beans                                                                                         1 cup
• Peas                                                                                                             1/2 cup
• Onion sliced                                                                                            1 and 1/2
• Green chili                                                                                                1-2
• Ginger paste                                                                                            2 tbsp
• Caraway seeds                                                                                       1 tsp
• Green cardamom                                                                                  2
• Cloves                                                                                                          2
• Cinnamon                                                                                                 1 inch
• Bay leaf                                                                                                       1
• Whisked yogurt                                                                                     100 gm
• Turmeric powder                                                                                  1/2 tsp
• Red chili powder                                                                                    1/2 tsp
• Clarified butter                                                                                       3 tbsp
• Salt to taste


  • Mint leaves (finely chopped)                                                     1/2 cup
  •  Coriander leaves (finely chopped)                                        1/2 cup
  •  Saffron                                                                                                    1/2 tsp
  • Milk                                                                                                            1 tbsp
  •  Whisked yogurt                                                                                 100 gm
  • Grated cottage cheese for garnishing

Preparing the Briyani involves usage of different spices and ingredients as it undergoes different procedures. So, start step wise so that nothing goes amiss.


• Soak rice in water for 30 minutes with the spices. Now boil the rice in about 3 glasses of water. Cook rice to one third potency.
• Drain excess water and keep the fluffy rice aside until you prepare the vegetable gravy.


• Put clarified butter in a flat bottom pressure cooker or in a pan.
• Put caraway seeds followed by all the dry spices. Put the jack fruit and sauté it well until golden brown.
• Add salt, red chili powder, turmeric powder and all the chopped vegetables. Add onion, green chili, garlic and ginger paste and sauté it well.
• Now add the yogurt and cover it with a lid and let the vegetables cook for ten minutes on a low flame. Keep aside the cooked vegetables and prepare the tempering


  • Mix saffron in little hot milk so that it dissolves fully. Let it cool
  •  Mix it with yogurt and keep it aside.

• In a pressure cooker put a little Clarified butter. Put a bay leaf, cinnamon and black cardamom. Now put little amount of vegetable gravy and spread it evenly in the cooker then put a layer of boiled rice on top of it and spread it.
• Similarly, spread the vegetable layer and then the rice layer one over the other. Then spread the mint leaves, and coriander leaves on the top.
• Lastly, spread the saffron curd over it. Cover the cooker with a tight lid and cook for five minutes on a low flame.
• Heat the tava and keep the pressure cooker on this hot tava and let it cook on a low flame (Dum) for twenty minutes.
• Briyani is ready. Garnish with cottage cheese and mint leaves. Serve it hot with plain curd and enjoy the aroma and the flavours of excellence.



Indian Colocasia Curry

Arbi (colocasia), which looks more like a potato, is in fact a lot different in its taste from a potato. This root tuber bears very broad leaves and is used to make variety of fine dishes. But, be a little careful while peeling the skin of arbi, as it may cause irritation in your skin because of its acridity. Once cooked, it loses its acridity and becomes very pleasant to eat.

Among its varied styles of cooking the best one is preparing arbi in curd.  So, give it a try and enjoy the taste.

  • Arbi (colocasia) boiled                          3-4 large pieces
  • Curd                                                                 1/2 kg
  • Ginger                                                             1 tsp
  • Garlic                                                               1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder                                      1/2 tsp
  • Cumin seeds                                                1/4 tsp
  • Black cardamom (moti elaichi)          2 pieces
  • Green cardamom (crushed)                2 pieces
  • Bay leaves                                                      1-2 leaves
  • Black pepper                                                 4-5
  • Red chili                                                            to taste
  •  Salt                                                                      to taste
  • Gram flour                                                      1 tbsp
  • Oil
  • Boil the arbi in a pressure cooker. Be very careful while boiling because if overcooked the dish will get spoiled. Remove the skin and let it cool.
  • Cut the boiled arbi into round pieces as shown in the picture below.

Colocasia round slices

  • Heat a pan and put a little oil in it. Now brown the arbi pieces from both the sides and keep them aside.
  •  Put one tablespoon oil in a pan and put ginger garlic paste along with all the dry spices. Now put the gram flour and sauté it well. Switch off the flame and pour the curd very slowly with continuous stirring so that no lumps are formed.
  • Add salt and red chili powder to your taste. Give it a boil and put the brown colocasia pieces into it. Let it cook for another five minutes by covering it with a lid on a low flame. The dish is ready to serve
  • Garnish with green coriander leaves and serve hot with rice or roti.


Sesame Parantha

Sometimes, there is an urge to break away from the monotonous routine which we follow in every walk of life. And our food habits are also no different as they too tire us beyond a point.

So, here we will tell you a recipe which will bring in a variety to your existing menu. This is sesame and crushed jaggery (shakkar) parantha. A very simple and delicious preparation and if you want you can replace the sugar with salt. Or, you can prepare it both ways to get the taste of either. Have these paranthas with butter and experience the magnificent taste.

  • Sesame seeds (roasted)                              1/2 bowl
  • Crushed jaggery or sugar                           1/2 bowl
  • or
  • Salt                                                                            to taste
  • Wheat dough                                                      to make rotis
  • Oil                                                                              to apply on paranthas
  • Knead the wheat flour in water and prepare dough to make paranthas. Make a small ball of the dough and prepare a small roti. Now, put one teaspoonful each of sesame seeds and sugar into the roti as shown in the picture below.

Filling of sesame seeds and sugar

  • Prepare a roti with the help of belan (rolling pin) on the chakla. Heat the tava and put the roti on it. Brush with oil on both sides and brown it from both sides. Serve hot with butter.
  • It tastes awesome. You may prepare salted rotis with sesame. Use salt instead of jaggery and enjoy it with butter.


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