Kesar Peda

View my step-by-step video

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Indian sweets mark a celebration or festive occasion and I’m going to show you how easy it is to make one of the most popular sweets –  Kesar Peda. Like any recipe there are many different ways to making this and the end result is a fresh tasting fudge that you simply cannot resist. In this recipe, I’m going to be making my peda with fresh paneer, milk powder and saffron strands for colour and aroma. Screen Shot 2015-11-04 at 12.45.14 PM

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This recipe was inspired by Manjula ji whose videos I have been watching for a while. I really admire the fact that we have wonderful people like her who can pass down these wonderful recipes so they are not lost with the hustle and bustle of everyday life.

Kesar Peda

Ingredients

  • 4 cups + 1/3 cup whole fat milk
  • 1/4 cup Juice of one lemon + some water
  • 3 tbsps unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup milk powder
  • Saffron strands
  • 1/4 tsp crushed cardamom seeds
  • 1/4 - 1/2 cup superfine sugar

Instructions

  1. Bring the 4 cups of milk to the boil and add the lemon juice and water
  2. Once curdled, strain in a cheese cloth, squeeze out the water and leave the soft paneer to cool
  3. In a saute pan, heat the butter and add the 1/3 cup of milk and pinch of saffron strands
  4. Add the milk powder and mix
  5. Add the soft paneer
  6. Using the back of a spatula press down the mixture to remove lumps, keep stirring for 10 - 13 minutes till it has the consistency of dough
  7. Remove and spread on a plate toll completely cool
  8. Add the cardamom powder and sugar and knead till it comes together
  9. Divide and roll into flat peda shapes
  10. Garnish with a whole pistachio
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/kesar-peda/

Jhinga Makhni – Shrimp cooked in a buttery curried gravy

View my step-by-step video

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Jhinga Makhani is a very popular Indian curry where Jhinga or Shrimp is cooked in a well balanced buttery gravy. I learned how to make this gravy from the very talented Sanjay Thumma of vahrehvah.com.  This base gravy is so delicious that you can use this to also make fish, crab or even chicken.

What I love about this recipe is that you can make your base gravy ahead and cook your seafood right before you serve it so it’s not overcooked. You can also make it and freeze it ahead and add seafood and finish off with cream when you’re ready. It’s great sopped up with some crusty bread or also served with long grained Basmati rice.

If you don’t have a pressure cooker, don’t worry you can make the same recipe on your stove top, it will just take a lot longer and require you to keep stirring so it doesn’t burn.

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Jhinga Makhni – Shrimp cooked in a buttery curried gravy

Ingredients

  • 1 stick butter (1/2 cup)
  • 2 bay leaves, 2, 1 inch cinnamon sticks, 10 cloves and 3 cardamoms
  • 2 sliced red Onions
  • 15 red dried Kashmiri chillies (cleaned and deseeded)
  • 3 green Chillies
  • 1Ž2 a cup of raw Cashews
  • 1 tbsp. of ginger and garlic paste
  • 4 diced red tomatoes
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 lb Shrimp
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 tsp Fenugreek leaves(Kasuri Methi)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream

Instructions

  1. Heat the butter in an open pressure cooker
  2. Add the whole spices
  3. Add the onions and cook till somewhat golden brown
  4. Add the red Chillies
  5. Add the green Chillies
  6. Add the ginger and garlic paste and the tomatoes
  7. Add salt to taste
  8. Cover and pressure cook for about 10 mins
  9. Cool, open pressure cooker, wait for the contents to cool and blend in a food processor
  10. Strain a few times into a sauté pan adding some water as needed
  11. Heat the gravy and add the shrimp, cover and cook till done
  12. Add a pinch of sugar, 1 tsp of fenugreek and finish off with some heavy cream
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/jhinga-makhni-shrimp-cooked-in-a-buttery-curried-gravy/

Mango Kulfi

View my step by step video

MangoKulfi_HNTI haven’t met anyone that doesn’t love Mangoes. In India Mango season is celebrated and the abundance of the fruit is everywhere in every form – Mango desserts, custards, lassies and of course Kulfis – India’s answer to the perfect un churned ice-cream.
This may have originated in India but has gained popularity all over the world. I’ve made this recipe many many times investing in Kulfi moulds to a large batch in advance for a party and then simply throw it into a bag to serve later. If you don’t have a Kulfi mould, have no fear, this also works set in a popsicle mould, a cake pan or even tupperware. This is my shortcut version, I’m using whipped cream to get that creamy consistency and there is no cooking involved as well. You need to make sure that your equipment and ingredients are chilled so you don’t drop the temperature of the ice-cream.
Mango Kulfi

Ingredients

  • 200 ml whipping cream
  • 200 ml Canned Mango puree
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 370 ml can Evaporated milk

Instructions

  1. In a chilled mixing bowl, whisk the cream till thick and fluffy and add the mango puree at intervals
  2. Add the sugar to taste
  3. Remove and scrape into another chilled bowl and refrigerate
  4. In the same mixing bowl, whisk the Evaporated milk
  5. Fold the cream into the Evaporated milk
  6. Pour into moulds and cover with a square of foil with a slit in it
  7. Freeze for a half hour till semi set
  8. Remove and add the sticks through the slits
  9. Freeze for a few more hours or overnight till fully frozen
  10. Remove from mould and serve
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/mango-kulfi/

Prawn Masala

 View my step-by-step video instructions

PrawnMasala_H3

As long as I can remember, Prawn and Shrimp have been the center of our family’s menu. My father’s side of the family comes from Goa surrounded by beaches so seafood is always the protein of choice. My mom’s side are based in Mumbai, also on the coast and famous for it’s seafood dishes in the coastal areas. No aromatics are spared in this recipe and they are paired beautifully with fresh prawn or shrimp. This dish is not overly spicy and is great sopped up with some rice, roti or naan.

PrawnMasala_H2This recipe has become in favorite in my own household, it’s not overly spicy and extremely flavorful. I like the laziness of just roughly chopping everything, throwing it into a pan and grinding it together later.

Prawn Masala

Ingredients

  • 600 gms/1.3 lbs Prawn of Shrimp shelled and deveined
  • 1 diced red Onion
  • 6 cloves Garlic roughly chopped
  • 1" piece Ginger roughly chopped
  • 4 Green chillies(small) roughly chopped
  • 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp Coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp Mustard seeds
  • 2 Tomatoes diced
  • 1/4 cup Curry leaves
  • Salt
  • Fresh black Pepper
  • Chopped Coriander leaves to garnish
  • 4 -5 tbsps oil

Instructions

  1. Heat some oil and saute the Onion till golden brown
  2. Add the Garlic, Ginger and Green Chillies
  3. Add the Cumin and Coriander seeds
  4. Add the Turmeric powder
  5. Add the Tomatoes and some salt, cover and cook till the tomatoes are mushy
  6. Remove, cool and grind
  7. In the same saute pan, add some more oil and add the Curry leaves and the Mustard seeds
  8. Follow this with the Prawn and cook for a minute turning over
  9. Add the ground spice paste and cook for about 3 minutes covered
  10. Add more salt to taste and 1/2 cup of water by adding water to the food processor to remove all of the masala paste
  11. Add some fresh black Pepper and garnish with chopped Coriander leaves
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/prawn-masala/

Bangalore Biriyani

View my step by step video

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Throughout my 18 years of married life, I’ve heard people rave about Bangalore Biriyani. During this period, I’ve learned how to cook, mastered the art and even competed in culinary competitions. I can make a pretty mean Biriyani myself, it took years of perfecting and tastes pretty good but is different from a Bangalore style Biriyani.

This recipe is almost always made with the most tender mutton that is cooked together with ginger, garlic, chillies, fried onions, spices and yogurt, layered with long grain Basmati and is prepared in large pots for special occasions and weddings. I think if you didn’t serve Bangalore Biriyani at a typical Muslim wedding, your guests would be pretty darned upset.

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Every time we visit Bangalore, I’ve had the chance to eat this Biriyani, but it was only till my trip in 2015 did I decide to corner my sister-in-law in her kitchen and document the entire process armed with a video camera. The ingredients are almost identical to the ones I use in my Biriyani, but the process varies. I noticed that my sister-in-law used a heavier hand with most of the ingredients oil, ghee & spices and the end result is fairly different from my usual Biriyani but oh so delicious! Follow the ingredient list below, but also play the video to watch the entire process.

This Biriyani was prepared in a large batch to feed a huge group of family and friends but feel free to try this out in a smaller batch. There are two ways to cook the Biriyani in it’s final stage – on the stove top or in the oven. Personally, I will always choose the oven for it’s even heat but if you are going to attempt cooking it on the stove top, be sure to protect the base of your dish with another pan or tava, to reduce the impact of the direct heat as the rice at the bottom of the vessel could burn.
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Bangalore Biriyani

Prep Time: 1 hour

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 2 hours

Yield: 20

Bangalore style Biriyani - This recipe is almost always made with the most tender mutton that is cooked together with ginger, garlic, chillies, fried onions, spices and yogurt, layered with long grain Basmati and is prepared in large pots for special occasions and weddings. Read more at http://ifood.tv/indian/1011262-bangalore-biriyani#J4XoGeEbCPTmMx6O.99

Ingredients

  • Marinate the meat
  • 3 kgs or 6.5 lbs Mutton or Lamb shoulder cut in pieces
  • Turmeric
  • Red Chilli powder
  • Gravy
  • 3 cups Oil
  • 3 Cinnamon sticks
  • 10-12 Cardamoms and cloves
  • 8 cups sliced red Onions
  • 8 tsps Ginger & Garlic paste
  • 6-9 tsps red Chilli powder
  • 3-4 tsps Turmeric
  • 5 tsps Garam Masala
  • 6 cups sliced Tomatoes
  • 18 green Chillies slit horizontally
  • 1/2 + 1/4 cup chopped Coriander leaves
  • 1/4 cup Lemon juice
  • 3 - 4 tbsp salt or to taste
  • 3 cups stirred Yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cup Ghee
  • 3 - 4 sliced fried Potatoes (half cooked)
  • 1/2 + 1/4 cup chopped Mint
  • Fried onions
  • Yellow food colouring
  • Rice
  • 19 cups Basmati rice soaked for 1 hr in water
  • Whole spices
  • 3 green Chillies
  • Marinate the meat for a few hours or overnight

Instructions

  1. In a large cooking pot add the oil and when heated add all the whole spices followed by the onions and cook till golden brown
  2. Add the ginger and garlic paste, the chilli powder, turmeric and garam masala and mix
  3. Add the tomatoes, cover and cook till the tomatoes are mushy for about 10 mins
  4. Add the green slit chillies and 1/2 cup coriander and follow that with the meat
  5. Add the lemon juice and salt and combine
  6. Follow this with the stirred yogurt and ghee
  7. Cover and cook for 15 mins before adding the half cooked potatoes
  8. Add mint, cover and cook for about 30 mins till the meat is tender
  9. In another pot add double the amount of water as the rice and bring to the boil together with salt, some whole spices and 3 green chillies
  10. Add the rice and cook till half done
  11. Drain and keep aside to drain
  12. In another large vessel, add a layer of rice, make a well in the center and add some meat in the well as well as a layer on top of the rice
  13. Add another layer of rice with another layer of the meat and gravy
  14. Also add more chopped coriander, mint and fried onions in between and on top of the final layer
  15. Also add some yellow food coloring at the top
  16. Seal the vessel with some foil, you can also use a wet cloth or dough to make the vessel airtight
  17. Use a pan or kadai under your vessel so the heat is not directly touching your vessel and cook for about 40 mins. You can also use the oven
  18. Mix the grains and meat together with a large fork and serve
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/bangalore-biriyani/

Pahadi kebab

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PahadiKebabs_HNTI am so excited to bring you this recipe today. Pahadi kebabs are delicious nuggets of chicken marinated in mint, coriander, garlic and ginger and tenderized with hung yogurt.

This is skewered and barbecued to delicious perfection. I first tried this in India when my dad ordered some Indian takeout from a local kebab place and I was hooked. As soon as I got back I had to try to recreate it and I’m happy to report that I got it all figured out. Although this kebab looks very similar to a hare kebab or a hariyali kebab, it does have a distinct taste that sets it apart.

I’m using hung yogurt in this recipe, this just means that I’m going to remove all the water from the yogurt by placing a 1/4 cup in some cheese cloth and squeezing it.

I’m also using fresh mint which at this time of the year my garden is just bursting with the delicious herb. Let’s look at the ingredients

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Pahadi kebab

Ingredients

  • 2 oz each fresh Mint and Coriander
  • 1/2 cup yogurt, hung in a cheesecloth
  • 6 cloves Garlic
  • 3 tbsps chopped Ginger
  • 3 fresh green chillies
  • Juice of one Lime
  • 2 lbs boneless Chicken cubes
  • Oil

Instructions

  1. Set the yogurt in some cheesecloth and squeeze all the water out of it
  2. Grind together the Lime juice, Ginger, Garlic and Chillies, Salt & Pepper
  3. Add the green paste to the washed and cleaned Chicken
  4. Add the yogurt, mix and leave to marinate overnight
  5. Before skewering and cooking on the grill add some oil and more salt to taste
  6. After the Pahadi kebabs are cooked, sprinkle with some Garam Masala and serve
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/pahadi-kebab/

Murgh Methi – Chicken Cooked in Fenugreek

Murgh Methi

View my step by step video

Murgh MethiWhat fascinates me about Fenugreek (Methi in Hindi), is that the seeds are considered a spice, the leaves are considered a vegetable and when the leaves are dried, they are considered a spice! Inspired by Chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s recipe, Chicken is simmered in a delicious blend of three states of Fenugreek – the seeds, the leaves and the dried spice together with yogurt and sour cream, turmeric and red chilli powder till tender. This is a deliciously mild curry perfect for those that love a curry but cannot handle spice.
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I’m using a whole and delicious Ontario chicken for this recipe. As mich as possible, I like to buy my birds whole. I find that breaking them down at home is more hygenic and also I can use all the bony parts of the chicken to make a delicious stock. Watch my mom break down a chicken – https://youtu.be/Y102Okdqe0s
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When I was researching and developing this recipe, a friend of mine told me that eating Fenugreek leaves an unusual body odor. I didn’t believe her at first, but when I ate this a few times in preparation for this recipe, I know know this to be true. Yes, it does leave a faintly distinct smell however, this will only happen if you consume a lot of it. Fenugreek or Methi is not only tasty, it’s so good for your health, it reduces blood sugars and cholesterol and also helps fight cancers – the benefits totally outweigh the odor it could leave behind, and there’s always deodorant!Screen Shot 2015-05-22 at 8.18.12 AM

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Murgh Methi – Chicken Cooked in Fenugreek

Ingredients

  • Ingredients
  • 2- 3 pounds chicken with bone
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 tsps dried Fenugreek (Kasuri Methi)
  • Salt & Pepper
  • 2 tbsps mustard oil
  • 2 tbsps regular oil
  • 1 medium red onion finely chopped
  • 3 – 4 tbsps each chopped ginger and garlic
  • 3 green chillies
  • 1 tsp red chlli powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp methi seeds crushed
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped fresh Fenugreek

Instructions

  1. Process
  2. Prepare the chicken by cutting it and add it to a large bowl
  3. In a seperate bowl, mix together a cup of whipped yogurt, a cup of sour cream, 1 tsp dried Fenugreek, salt and pepper
  4. Pour the marinade over the chicken and leave aside for 30 mins
  5. In a saute pan add 2 tbsps each of mustard oil and regular oil
  6. Saute the onion followed by the chopped ginger and garlic, followed by the green chillies
  7. Add 1 tsp each chilli and turmeric powders and 1 tsp of the crushed fenugreek seeds
  8. Add the chopped fresh Fenugreek
  9. Pour in the chicken and the marinade
  10. Mix and cover and cook for the 1st 20 mins
  11. Uncover and keep cooking for another 10 mins
  12. In the last 10 mins, check for salt and wait till the gravy dries up before adding about 1/2 cup of water slowly.
  13. Serve
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/murgh-methi-chicken-cooked-in-fenugreek/

Mushroom and Chickpea Curry – Dhingri Chole

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I recently flew from Mumbai to Dubai on Emirates Airlines and I was served this delicious Mushroom and Chickpea curry. I researched it when I returned home and learned that it is also known as Dhingri Chole. I loved the earthy taste and the combination of mushroom and chickpeas. Once back I developed this recipe till I got the taste ‘just right’ and now I’m ready to share it with you.
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This curry can be rather spicy, you can tone this down by adding less chillies and chilli powder. In my opinion it’s stellar taste comes from the fact that I ground my garam masala fresh, it really makes a huge difference. Making your fresh Garam Masala spice is super easy, click here to watch step by step instructions.
Mushroom and Chickpea Curry – Dhingri Chole

Ingredients

  • Ingredients
  • 2 medium red onions finely chopped
  • 2-3 green chillies finely chopped
  • 1 tsp each turmeric and chilli powder
  • 1 tsp each ginger and garlic paste
  • 2 tsps garam masala
  • 2 tomatoes, 1 finely chopped & one blanched and pureed
  • 300 gms canned chickpeas
  • 10 - 12 mushrooms chopped in half if large
  • 1 - 2 cups water
  • Chopped coriander
  • Salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Process
  2. Heat some oil and sautee the onion and green chillies till the onion is translucent
  3. Add the finely chopped tomato and one tsp each of of turmeric and chilly powder and mix
  4. Add one tsp each of ginger and garlic paste and stir, cooking to remove the raw taste
  5. Add 2 tsps pf garam masala and mix and keep pressing the tomatoes down with the back of your spoon
  6. Add the tomato that was blanched and pureed, add salt and mix
  7. Add a cup of water, stir, cover and cook for a few minutes
  8. Try to puree any pieces of chopped tomatoes by pressing down with the back of a spoon
  9. Add the chickpeas followed by the mushrooms
  10. Cover and cook checking frequently to make sure the mushrooms are cooking and add more water as required
  11. Garnish with finely chopped coriander and serve
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/mushroom-and-chickpea-curry-dhingri-chole/

Paneer 65

Paneer is a fresh cheese made by adding acid to fresh milk and setting the cheese overnight. Firm Paneer is cut into cubes, fried and tossed into a delicious 65 masala – onions, garlic, green chillies, curry leaves, ginger and garlic paste, red chilly sauce, cumin, red chilli powder, and red color that is typically made with the popular Chicken 65. This vegetarian version is super easy to make.

Chicken 65 is a very popular dish in India. With it’s strange name, it’s origins are debatable. Some people think that it was named for it’s 65 ingredients, other think the chicken had to be 65 days old. The story I choose to believe is the old British Canteen that simply had a typesetting boo boo and the name just stuck.

Paneer 65

Ingredients

  • 1 red onion finely chopped
  • 2 tbsps chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsps chopped green chillies
  • 1 cup(approx) fresh curry leaves
  • 2 tbsps ginger and garlic paste
  • 2 tbsps red chilli paste or Sambal Oelek
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp red chilli powder
  • salt
  • red food coloring with a little water
  • oil
  • 200 gms paneer

Instructions

  1. Fry the paneer on both sides till crispy
  2. Heat some oil and saute the onion, followed by the garlic and chillies and cook till the onion is soft
  3. Add curry leaves
  4. Add the ginger and garlic paste and cook for a few minutes, till the rawness is gone
  5. Add the chilli paste and powdered spices and mix well
  6. Add some salt and the food coloring
  7. Add more water if too dry
  8. Add the paneer, coat well in the masala and serve
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/paneer-65/

Fish Pakoras

View my step by step video

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FishPakoras_H2My boys love crispy deep fried things and Fish Pakoras are a big hit in my household. Tilapia nuggets are dipped in a chick pea batter, studded with whole spices like cumin and coriander seeds and chilli flakes and coriander and deep fried till crispy. This recipe makes a great appetizer or snack is gluten free and very easy to make.

Chickpea batter is a very common ingredient is many pakora type recipes. A lesser known fact is that a paste made of chickpea flour and water added to the skin is said to be a great face pack to make you fair. A very popular remedy in India, where most of it’s inhabitants obsess about being fair. But I digress, this recipe is all about the fish and although I used Tilapia in this recipe, any firm filleted fish will do.

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Fish Pakoras

Ingredients

  • Ingredients
  • 1 cup Chickpea flour
  • Water
  • 1 tsp Black Salt
  • 1 tsp of fresh black pepper
  • 1 tbsp each coriander & cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp Chilli flakes
  • 1 tsp each Cumin powder & Chaat masala
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 1/4 tsp Baking soda
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped Coriander
  • 8 oz Tilapia cut in bite size chunks

Instructions

  1. Process
  2. Add water to the Chickpea flour a little at a time till you get a lump free batter and a runny consistency
  3. Add all the other ingredients except the fish and mix well
  4. Heat some oil, dip the fish in the batter and deep fry for 3 – 6 minutes
https://kravingsfoodadventures.com/fish-pakoras/