Thursday, December 27, 2007

An aimless meal with an awakening!

There was no direction.. no aim.. I just chopped the cauliflower.. not even in nice shaped florets. After all I just had half a head of cauliflower...
All because I torn between making a vegetable preparation or a stuff paratha. Finally the mind latched on to a proper roti-subzi combination, then came the struggle of making either a curry based subzi or a dry one. With a frustrated 'tsk', I flung the knife down and drifted towards making a dough for rotis.
Not satisfied with the idea of rolling out soft fulkas, I absently added a bit of chopped spinach , salt, some turmeric, cumin-coriander powder to make a stiffish dough. Covered it and then decided to once again apply my mind to the (at that time) insurmountable problem of dealing with the roughly chopped cauliflower.
Hmm... roll the sleeves...
Chop 1/2 an Onion ( a big size one)
Open a can of diced Tomato (fresh would have been a far better option, but I did not have any on hand)
Placed a kadhai on the gas
Now what?
Add 2 tbsp oil
Stare with a blank expression , then on an impulse, grab the 'panch phoron' bottle and add approximately 1/2 tsp to the now hot oil.
Add a dash of Turmeric (approx. a little less than 1/2 tsp)
pitch in the onion , saute for a while, add the cauliflower, mix well. Cover and cook. Add the tomato .. cook.
I kept checking at regular intervals for the 'doneness', I don't like my cauliflower all mushed up in a unrecognizable mess.. I like it when it has a slight crunch to it!
Just the way i like it!! Added a bit of cumin - coriander powder and very little garam masala ( no measures, sorry, used 'andaz') salt , red chilli powder, water to make a gravy. Covered and cooked for another 2-3 mins. Finished!!!
Quickly re- knead the dough, make small portions... by this time I had decided puris would make a nice combination with this subzi.
Placed another kadhai on the gas.. with guilt nagging me, poured as little oil as possible.. Rapidly rolled out small discs of the dough and deep fried them with a few of them turning out cluris , oh well, I can always eat those!
Let out the usual yowl, " Dinner Ready!!"
Surprisingly, this combination turned out really well! The Husband grinned and happily started tucking in, all the time his eyes seemed however, to search something.. I wondered, as I put the first morsel in my mouth, if I had missed out salt.. no... that was just fine. Cocking an inquisitive eyebrow at him, I asked, " 'sup?"
"Where is the camera?"
"Huh? what for?"
"Don't you want to blog about this? it's very tasty!!"
"Oh!!"
So hastily swallowing my morsel, I washed my hands and grabbed my camera, clicked pictures and then dashed back to my dinner plate!
The keen observer, made a comment which made me realise something... he said, " happy now that you have another recipe to blog about? Your face shows it!!" And then it hit me (like a sock full of wet sand, I might add) my aimlessness in the kitchen was because I did not think of blogging ! I have been away too long!!! Shame on me!! Getting caught up in the daily routine I compromised and neglected doing something I love!!!
All these days I made just the regular stuff and sometimes recipes from other blogs ( that is another post to thank all of them!).

I hope I won't be as laid back now, especially since it is almost the year end and a new one is just around the corner!!!

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Saturday, December 01, 2007

JFI Toor Daal - Rasam

Brrrrrrrrrr.. it's cold (people living in the East Coast, skip this line!)

It definitely is the season for warm soups and for those, like me, who also want some 'spice' in their soup make ... Rasam!
Cold nights, steaming hot bowl of rasam.. it's tantalising aroma wafting.. you dip your spoon in and raise it to your cold lips and sip.......... the warmth travels down your throat and warms you and then you dip you spoon into the steaming bowl again.. ahhhhh!

I dug up an old recipe which has been on the back of my mind for a long time now, I call it 'Bangalore Rasam'. My first taste of this awesome rasam was when I was visiting my cousin. Her Mother-in-law had made this rasam. I still remember ignoring the rest of the food to only consume this. The lady of the house was amused and pleased at my deep admiration for her culinary skills and actually blushed when I praise her rasam! But I did not stop at that, I insisted that she tell me the recipe, which I noted on a handy notepad at the dining table! Being the superlative cook that she is, she of course used 'andaz' (approximates) for the Rasam powder/ masala.. and being a novice, I wanted accurate measures, it finally ended up that she actually measured the amount for me while I was noting it.
As soon as I went back to Mumbai I made this powder, which to my delight produced the same results as the Rasam I had tasted in B'lore!! (Oh I was all puffed up at that point of time, patted myself on the back at my accomplishment, as in those days I did not cook much).
Cut to the time I was a newly wed, and I made this rasam for the first time at my new home, my hands were actually trembling and a short prayer escaped my lips and I added the ingredients, hoping to re-create the magic! My brow was fevered as I set the pot of bubbling rasam on the dining table and ladled it out for everyone.. But I should have trusted my guardian angel and my novice skills, it turned out great and my MIL was all praise and coming from her, a superlative cook herself, I treasured those words and her gentle encouraging smile!!

What also encouraged me to make this rasam again and also post about it is M's rating!! Oh Yes, he actually rates every dish I make! and this rasam had 'THE PUNCH' and recieved an A+ and therefore makes its debut on my blog!!!


This is my contribution to JFI- TOOR DAL hosted by Linda.
Toor dal is 'the' dal used in my home as long as I remember..and so making this rasam was my first choice.
You need:
1/4 cup Toor Dal washed and cooked to a mush
1 Tomato, cubed
2 Tsp Rasam Powder (recipe at the end of the post)
1 tsp Tamarind paste
1 lump Jaggery
Salt to taste
1-2 tbsp Oil
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1/4 tsp Asafetida
2 Dry Red Chillies broken
Toor dal Water ( add extra water while cooking the dal and take off the water before mashing the dal)
Finely chopped cilantro to garnish
Heat oil , add the mustard seed. After they pop, add the asafetida, curry leaves, red chillies and tomato. Cook till the tomato is soft and mushy. Add toor dal water (add plain water as well depending on the consistency you want) and let it all come to a rolling boil.
Add the tamarind pulp, jaggery and salt.
Add the rasam powder and the cooked toor dal..
Boil the rasam for a good 5-7 mins. Garnish with cilantro and serve.
This rasam is my soup on a winter evening, I sometimes make it a little thick so it can be mixed with rice as well.

RASAM POWDER:

1 cup Corriander / Dhaniya seeds

100 gms (approx. 7 tbsp) Cumin / Jeera seeds

25 gms (approx 2 tbsp) Fenugreek / Methi seeds

50 gms (I used only 3 tbsp.) Black pepper

approx 2 tbsp Asafetia

andful Curry leaves

3 tbsp red Chilli powder

Little oil

Turmeric and Salt (2 pinches each)

Heat oil in a kadhai/ wok and roast all ingredients up to curry leaves.

Cool the mixture, add red chilly powder, turmeric salt and grind to a powder and store in an airtight box.


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Thursday, November 15, 2007

RCI - Bihar .... Dal-Puri

Sangeeta, our hostess for RCI this month has us travelling to Bihar! Luckily for me, I had a super shortcut!!! My friend S (I affectionately call her - Heroine!!) is from Bihar and is my sure-shot source for the regional recipes!
My very first attempt to secure a recipe was to contact her, I did not even bother browsing thru any sites!! And pat came her reply... though she did mention (with a sigh) that 'sattu ka atta' was the ingrdient she would have recommended, but since it is impossible to procure it here, she was sending me another simple and tasty recipe.. DAL -PURI.

After some back and forthing about the recipe details, where she mentioned that Dal-puri is eaten with pickle/ chutney/ yogurt , but the real thing is making 'Ali ki rasdar subzi' with it, so ofcourse I had to haunt her for that!!! Now heroine is smart! so in her reply, detailing the Alu ki subzi, she also sent me the recipe for a sweet, as a bonus!!
I also asked her if there was a special ocassion that this was made or a specific season? It seems that Dal-puri is usually prepared during Holi, but there are of course no set rules!

Now, I am a puri fan... but I don't usually indulge.. afterall, one has to 'weigh' the pros and cons before biting into these deep-fried goodies! But this is the festive season! time to shamelessly indulge ( after all those chaklis, karanji, laddu, shankarpalis, puris can squeeze in!!!)
After all a foodie can but say... eat and be merry, for tomorrow me may diet!!!

For the Dal -Puri:
Do the prep:
My measurement are sufficient just for 2 people ( and that too after a warning about ' keeping the oily stuff within limits')
For the Puri Stuffing:
1/2 cup Chana daal
One pinch Asafetida
1/8 tsp. Turmeric powder
1 Green chilli minced (+/- as per required heat)
1 tsp. Ginger-Garlic paste (I used the store brought, but fresh paste is a much better option)
1 Bay leaf/ Tej patta
1 whole Red Chilli
1/2 tsp Jeera / Cumin seeds
1/4 tsp Garam Masala ( I added 1/4 tsp, M does not like the 'too strong' taste of GM)
Salt to taste
1 tbsp. Cilantro minced
1 tbsp Oil for tempering ( preferably mustard oil, but refined works just as well)
Making the stuffing:
In a wide pan boil the channa in adequate water with salt and turmeric powder. Ensure that the daal is cooked, but firm, we do NOT want a mush. Drain all the water. The daal should look dryish.
Grind the daal (do not use a blender) I used my handy chopper, to a fine crumble.
Heat oil in a kadhai/ wok, add cumin, asafetida, bay leaf and the whole red chilli. Next add the minced green chillies, ginger-garlic paste and the crumbled daal. Add salt as per taste, garam masala and cilantro. Mix well. The stuffing is now ready. Keep it aside to cool completely.
For the Puri Dough
Whole wheat flour ( roti atta)
1 tbsp Farina/ sooji/ rawa
A few pinches Salt
2 tbsp Hot Oil
Water to knead dough
Oil for deep frying
Mix all the ingredients and make a semi-stiff dough. the dough should not as stiff as puri dough and not as pliable as roti dough. . Cover and keep for 15 - 20 mins.
* It is not mandatory to add the farina, I added it for some crispiness. My friend also suggested that regular roti dough can be used just as well.
To make the puris:
From the stuffing, discard the red chilli and the bay leaf.
Take a portion of the dough and roll out a disc (this puri has to be slightly bigger than the regular puri), spoon the mixture and close. Roll out a regular puri, just like you would roll a stuffed paratha! Deep fry in oil.
* care: Ensure that the stuffing is fine crumbled, otherwise roiling the puri will be difficult and will split in places and cause the stuffing to come out. Look at the picture below, there is a small split in the puri (rt. hand corner, bottom), the puri will puff up, but when you turn it , the stuffing may out. ( BBoy ! is it difficult to fry and take pictures at the same time!!)



This puri is a superb variation from the regular puri and is a delightful change. It pairs well with the Alu ki rasdar subzi and will pair well with pickles/ chutney or can be eaten as it is!! Great for lunch boxes and picnics too!

For the Alu ki rasdar subzi:

2 Potatoes (boiled/ cooked in a microwave)

1 Onion chopped

1-2 Green chillies chopped1 Bayleaf

1 Whole Red Chilli

1/2 tsp Cumin / jeera seeds

1/2 tsp Ginger-Garlic paste

2 med. size tomatoes

Cumin & corriander powder (1/2 tsp each)

Red chilli powder (optional)

1/8 tspTurmeric powder

1/2 tsp. Garam Masala

Salt to taste

2 tbsp Oil

Cilantro leaves for garnishing

First : boil the potatoes…let them cool, then break them unevenly into small sizes,u need not mash them.Set aside.
Heat oil in a kadhai.
Add cumin seeds…when it splutters add tej patta and the red chilli. Add green chilly…and onion…when the onion turns brown add the ginger garlic paste…cumin- corriander pwd, turmeric , red chilly pwd…sauté for a little while then add the chopped tomatoes…when they become soft and leave oil add in the potatoes and salt…sauté till the potatoes blend in with the masala….then add water…cover and cook for sometime…..when the gravy becomes thick…add garam masala!remove it from fire and garnish it with coriander leaves!
Voila its done!

Thank you Sangeeta for hosting RCI this month, which gave us another opprotunity to explore a different cuisine! And thank you , S, my Heroine for the recipes and for clarifying all my doubts and being patient with me!!!

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Monday, November 05, 2007

A Box Full of Love!!!

It was late, I was tired and dragging my feet in the passage and doing something that comes naturally (to me) when tired... thinking morbidly about climbing the stairs (even though it is just one flight up) and cleaning up the house.. which I always leave in a mess when going off to work in the mornings.. and of the weather and the laundry.. and ironing (and how I can make M do it again this week). Does that happen to you guys and gals too?

Somehow in all these thoughts, another slid into my mind, that of my Mother and how she managed to do everything when I was a kid. If I leave my house in a (kind of) mess in the mornings, it is NOTHING compared to the hurricane that used to hit our home every single day when I was a kid! But I rarely heard my Mom grumble (not until I was *old enough* to start tidying up behind me), somehow that memory gives me comfort and the strength! So on this (grumbly) evening as M and I climbed the stairs, I decided to go and tidy up, afterall, it is not so bad!

As we came in view of the door M spotted a package left at the doorstep... perplexed we both ran forward to see what it could be.. we had not ordered anything, we were not expecting anything! Picking up the box and looking at the senders address was even more confusing.. the label said ' Godbole, Mumbai'. We don't know any Godbole, Mumbai!!
What do you suppose this is?? and what is it doing on my doorstep? Oh it was for me... no mistake about that! Had my Name, my address... yet???? Do mistakes as big as this box happen??


I'll be honest, it did not click! Mom had made a reference to "don't make any Diwali sweets/ namkeens this year, don't strain yourself " a few days ago, but I did not associate that conversation to the box or to Godbole, Mumbai!
On opening the box I was stunned!!


And then I read this e-mail...(excerpt)

When I came to know that this facility is available in Vashi, I was thrilled. I always wanted to send Faral to you for Diwali. My wish is fulfilled now. Hope you will enjoy it. You need not wait till Diwali to taste it. You can enjoy it after you get it. I know the quantity is too small but can not help!
Love and ashirwad,
Aai
So this is my Box FULL of LOVE!!


RockYou PhotoFX - Get Your Own

And NO, the contents are NOT limited in quantity!!! They are perfect and of course the unlimited love that comes with it satiates us!!!
My throat welled up and I could not say a word! All that was left unsaid coursed down my cheeks in a warm wave of love! My vision was blurred for a few minutes (just like it is now, as I type this post) but once again my own words came back to me...... I used to quote this to my trainees ( when I was a Trainer in India with one of India's largest mobile phone networks) in reply to their queries about 'free calls' .." Nothing in this world is free, except parents love". Am I right, or am I right????
This time last year my parents were with us, celebrating my very first Diwali after my marriage and it was a very very special time for me and I was feeling a bit flat this year and missing them a lot, but now, now they are with me in spirit and this display of their undying affection has bridged the huge gap between two countries!

What more can a Daughter ask for? I am truly blessed!
Happy Diwali!!
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Friday, October 26, 2007

Golyanchi Aamti

Last week my friend A visited me and was also generous in letting me borrow her cook book " Hamkhass PakaSiddhi" by Mrs. Jayashree Deshpande. As the name suggests, it is a cookbook which details Marathi Cuisine Recipes and also includes a very wide variety of others.


My knowledge of Marathi 'Jevan' is very basic, a lot was added on after RCI- Maharashtra! In fact I feel that I have been unjust by not attempting to make these dishes, or even the fact that having grown up eating 'rozcha jevan' (everyday meals) it may not be a novelty to anyone! I couldn't have made a bigger mistake! What we cook in our day to day meals is but the tip of the iceberg! There is SUCH a variety of dishes that it may take me years & years to cover even a percentage of it!!

Another reason why I did not post about these recipes was due to the fact that these were handed down to me by my Mother. Years of watching her cook without a cook book or a sheet of paper with the details ( decorated with a splattering of oil, mustard and other spices!) could only mean that there are no measurements, everything is 'andaz' (eyeball the ingredients).

If there is one word that is total chaos in the world of cooking, this 'andaz' is it! Take for example the time when I asked my Mom to send me this particular recipe (which we had tasted at her Aunt's house, who by the way is one Terrific cook) , now my Mom promptly replies with the recipe which only states the ingredients and the procedure, but measurements?? So one frantic call and I get the the answer, "Aga, andazane kar ki! soppa ahe!" (just use your judgement, it is easy). Since that is exactly what I did not want to do ( how can I post it on the blog if I do so?.. see what bloggging does?? You cook, so you can post!!)I kept postponing it!! I was delighted to find this recipe and wasted no time in preparing it!!
You need:

1 cup Channa Daal soaked for 4-5 hours

1 med. Onion chopped fine

1 inch Ginger

5 cloves Garlic & 4 green Chilies +/- to taste (grind to make a paste)

4 tbsp. Besan

1tbsp Tamarind pulp / 1 small lemon size ball of Tamarind pulp

1 lump jaggery

Salt to taste

Oil (for tempering 2 tbsp)

1/2 tsp Mustard seeds

1/2 tsp Cumin seeds

Dash Asafetida

Oil for deep frying

1/4 tsp Turmeric

Few curry leaves

4 cups Water


Drain the soaked channa daal and grind it with the ginger. Add the fine chopped onion. Add salt and turmeric and 1 tbsp Besan.Mix it well and make small marble sized balls. Heat oil and deep fry the balls to a crisp golden brown.

In a saucepan, heat 2 tbsp oil, add the mustard seeds, after they pop, add cumin seeds, asafetida, turmeric and curry leaves. Add the water to the tempering. Bring this to a rolling boil. In the mean time add some water to the remaining 3 tbsp besan and make a smooth paste. Add this paste to the boiling water, this will make it thick.
Add the tamarind pulp, salt, jaggery and the chilli-garlic paste. Boil for a few mins.
Add the deep fried balls and boil for 2 mins. In about 30 mins. the balls will have soaked well and the daal will be thick.

This was a good variation to the everyday daal/ sambar and was a great accompaniment to piping hot rice!!




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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Simple fare- Dudhi bhoplyachi bhaji

These days M keeps ranting about me being a 'Spicitarian' and not a 'Vegetarian'.. that I need 'garam masala' in everything... Wrong!!! I don't need garam masala in everything.. and that was what I was about to prove!
I always associated doodhi with doodhi halwa, since I am partial to sweets and otherwise a 'not so tasty' vegetable. But the simple way in which my mother prepared it with no spices tasted very nice. To my surprise, all my friends in school also liked this version (I was one of those kids who did NOT like 'roti-subzi' in my lunch box, but sometimes condescended!). My fondest memories of eating roti-subzi are at home, sitting cross legged at the dining table and my Mom serving hot fulkas with home made ghee smeared on it with a generous helping of vegetables! YUM!! How I long for those days!! The luxury of being served food, not to worry about doing the dishes after a hearty meal!!!
M was pleasantly surprised when I served him this simple yet tasty vegetable with fulkas and loved it! ( he has a psychological allergy to fulkas/ rotis) .. I was thrilled to hear him rave about the soft and tasty fulkas (some credit goes to the fact that I now make fulkas on a proper gas and not a coil stove! Oh how they puff up!! ) and the tasty vegetable and even asked me what 'masala 'I used in it!! and ending up with....' you see, I never 'really' liked doodhi, but the way 'you' make it.... loved it!!

You need:
1 med. size Lauki/ Doodhi/ Bottle Gourd
2-3 tbsp Channa Daal (soaked in water for atleast 2 hours)
2-3 green chillies
3-4 Curry leaves
2 tbsp Oil
1/8 tsp. Asafetida
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
3/4 tsp Turmeric
Salt (to taste)
Sugar (to taste) ( I quite like the slightly sweet taste )
Cilantro to garnish


Peel the gourd and cut it into small cubes. The peel can be used to make a chutney, but I did not do so.

Heat oil , add mustard seeds, when they crackle add the cumin seeds, asafetida, chillies+curry leaves and Turmeric.

Add the pre soaked channa daal and about half a cup of water and let the daal cook (almost done)

Add the doodhi cubes, mix well. Add a little water if needed , cover and cook till the doodhi is fully cooked. Add salt and sugar, mix well and cover and cook for another 2-3 minutes.

Serve garnished with chopped cilantro and soft hot fulkas/ roti.
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Saturday, September 29, 2007

MBP- BREAD: Cheese Parathas.

I'm LATE... so what's new, huh? But I couldn't miss MBP!!! The darned right thumb delayed me! Anyway, now that we are firmly ensconced in our new apartment, which to my delight has a regular gas (like India) and NO Coil stove, I couldn't be happier! Food tastes better and cooks faster than the dreadful coil (M claims it is all my fancy... Men! I tell ya, they are weird!)
For MBP- BREAD I found so many varieties of Breads in our blogosphere, but I finally decided in favour of Cheese Parathas

Like Musical, parathas have always been my favourite type of bread too! Parathas hold a special place in my heart! They are a constant reminder to me of my BEST Friend who is from Delhi and the YUM! parathas I have eaten at home!

In fact, I still vividly recall my first instruction in making a paratha.. (it was not the stuffed variety) and inexperienced as I was in making Parathas, I rolled one all nice and round and .... thin! like a Fulka!! Oh boy!! did I feel like an ostrich? I sure did!!! Just wanted to bury my head in some soil and hang in there till eternity!

Around that time, I also learned that parathas need not be round (or as thin as fulkas!!) and when I found Musical's Recipe, after chuckling awhile, decided 'this' is it!

I followed her recipe, copy pasted in here for convenience, with a couple of variations...

Thanx Musical! Loved the parathas!!

MUSICAL'S RECIPE :

We need:
Whole wheat flour, water, a pinch of salt, ajwain and grated cheese of your favorite variety (i used five cheese Italian blend).Sift the flour, add salt, ajwain, knead into a smooth dough with water. The essence of any good Indian bread is a good dough, so knead, knead, knead :). The dough should be flexible. Set aside for a few minutes. Heat the tava/griddle and roll a nice chapati as shown in the picture. Heap some grated cheese and fold into a square (or a triangle if you like). Dust with some flour and roll this square. Fry it with lil' oil/ghee on the tava-the cheese melts and makes this ordinary bread into something extraordinary :).
Variations I made :

Used Mozzarella Cheese

Added 1/2 very finely chopped onion

Used Olive oil spray


..... My favourite smells in the kitchen....

- Daal (Varan) and Basmati Rice and the lingering smell of an incense stick ( something one encounters in a typical Maharashtrian Brahmin kitchen!!)!!

- Tadkas (tempering) (with or without ginger-garlic paste)!!

-Cake baking in the oven!! ( I am going to try my hand at baking proper bread soon, so I'm sure that will be another to this list!

Thank You , Coffee, for this wonderful theme and Okaying my late entry!!

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Ganesh Chaturthi and RCI-Karnataka!

What happens when you apparently fall asleep? What happens when you wake up, but just gaze dreamily at the ceiling, thinking of nothing particular? What happens is..... a good friend comes along and nudges you out of the semi- comatose state!!
I was a bit lazy ... okay... okay, going in reverse gear, where blogging was concerned.. but so much was happening.. we are moving to a new apartment this weekend, so in a fit of high enthusiasm M and I packed stuff last weekend and in that very fit, I dunno what I did, but messed up my right thumb, which to date, is throbbing!

But, keeping in mind the RCI-Karnataka event, hosted this month by our very own superwoman, ASHA .I decided to make 'Kadabu'. My memories of Karnataka cuisine are linked to the small village of Badami in Karnataka. We would go to the Banshankari Temple (Kuldevi) and would stay there for a couple of days. My Mother's friend is of the Pujari family and so we always had a very pleasant time there (along with the privilege of sometimes helping in the kitchen! but the rules were SUPER orthodox and I always lived in the fear of royally messing up the whole thing and thereby incurring the wrath of the Goddess and the pujari family!)Thursday was the day of the Goddess and as usual there was a GRAND feast prepared and the rows and rows of devotees would await their turn to enter the great hall and feast!

Kadabu ( or simply put, puran - karanji) was a regular along with Chitranna, Holgi (puran poli) , Palya ( vegetable) , kousambri, and buttermilk. Thus satiated everyone would feel very happy and content and friendly with the world!! The evenings (after the sumptuous food) was my favourite time of the day, way back when I visited the temple, there was no electricity inside the Temple (they had everything in their homes) but the temple would glow in the soft light of the oil lamps. The wonderful smell of camphor, flowers would linger in the air and a flock of the womenfolk would gather in the space and sit making tiny packets of 'haldi-kumkum' and singing songs glorifying the Goddess and other dieties. These would be sung in Kannada (which I only partially understand) and full of devotion which would stir the heart and make even the most restless person feel at peace and one with the Almighty!

So this time for Ganesh Chaturthi, I decided to make Kadabu along with 'Ukadiche Modak' , Sheera and Pal payasam.



Kadabu Recipe

For the filling:



1 cup chana daal

1 cup Jaggery (or 1/2 cup jaggery & 1/2 cup sugar)

1/4 tsp Cardamom Powder

For the cover:

1 cup Wheat flour (atta)

1 tbsp oil

Water to bind the dough

OIL to deep fry the kadabu

Bind the dough for the cover, like roti dough, just a little stiff.
Wash the daal in 2-3 changes of water and put it to boil with about 3 cups water.
Cook the daal until it is soft. Drain and reserve the water, this can be used to make Katachi aamti
In a heavy bottom pan combine the daal and the jaggery and cook till it becomes a homogenous mixture. leave it to cool ,then add the cardamom powder. If you want to make the stuffing amooth, run it through the blender, I left it chunky as I do not have what is called as the 'puran yantra.Take a small lemon size ball of the dough and roll it out like a puri. Spoon 1-2 tbsp. (depending upon the size of the puri) of the filling and fold it over, pressing the edges together to seal it. Heat oil in a kadhai and deep fry the kadabu till golden brown.When serving, add a dollop of pure ghee and serve.



Ukadiche Modak :

For the filing

1 cup fresh grated coconut

1 cup jaggery

1 cardamom powdered

1 tbsp Poppy seeds (khus-khus) (optional)

For the Cover:

1 cup rice flour

1 cup +3-4 tbsp Water

2 pinches salt

2 tbsp Oil

In a kadhai, add the coconut and jaggery and cook till it is a homogenous mixture. Take care not to overcook.

Boil water in a saucepan, add the salt and oil to it. Once the water comes to a rolling boil, add the rice flour and mix well so that there are no major lumps. Cover and cook for a minute. Remove cover and mix again, cover and switch off the heat/ flame.

After a while (2-3 mins) take out the mixture and knead it into a soft pliable dough. Divide into lemon size balls and carefully using palms and fingers flatten the dough into a puri like shape, spoon the coconut-jaggery mixture into the rice dough . Carefully squeeze the sides to form petals and bring them together at the top. Do this for all of the rice dough. Cover the ready modak by a damp cloth to prevent drying. The modak now need to be steamed. I used the regular pressure cooker (without the weight/whistle)

Arrange the modak carefully and steam them for approx 15 mins.

When serving serve with a dolop of pure ghee! YUM!!

Pal Payasam (I made limited quantity)

4 tbsp Basmati Rice

2 cups Milk

5 tbsp Brown Sugar ( add extra sugar if u like it sweet)

A few threads saffron

1 cardamom powdered

1 tsp ghee

Few Raisins, Almonds and Cahews

Wash the rice and drain all water, set it aside

Heat ghee in a saucepan, lightly fry the almond and cashews, add the rice and then the raisins and saffron ( I usually add raisins at this stage for the simple reason that on a few occasions they were burnt beyond recognition and I had to chuck the whole thing) Once all the rice grains are well coated with ghee and the raisins are plump, add the milk.

Here you have 2 options, the quick way to make Pal Payasam is to put it in the pressure cooker and cook for 3-4 whistles of let it slow cook in the stove till rice is completely cooked. I used the pressure cooker. After removing the vessel from the pressure cooker, add sugar and bring to a boil, let it thicken a little, lastly add the cardamom powder.

I made Sheera like I always do , but one thing is for sure, Sheera made for prasad tastes a whole lot tastier than the regular sheera!! Don't ask me how!! It just does!!

My prasad thali

Chitranna

1 cup rice

1 tsp Urad Daal

1tsp chana daal

1 green Chilli

1 Dry red chilli

Few curry leaves

1-2 tbsp Oil

1 tsp mustard seeds

2-3 tbsp. Roasated peanuts

1/4 tsp Asafetida

1/2 tsp Turmeric

Salt to taste

Juice of one med. size Lemon

1/2 tsp sugar (optional)

5-6 cashews (optional)

Cilantro (minced) to Garnish
Wash rice in 3-4 changes of water and keep aside for 20 mins. Cook rice. Once rice is cooked, spread it ona plate and allow it to cool.

Heat oil in a kadhai. Add chana and urad daal and let them turn a light brown, add mustard seeds, once they pop, add the asafetida, green and red chilli ,curry leaves, turmeric and peanuts. Saute a while.

Add the Rice, mix thoroughtly, cover and cook for 2 mins. on medium flame. Uncover add salt and sugar, mix and cove and cook for another 3-4 mins. Afte r the heat is turned off, add the lemon juice. Garnish with Cilantro before serving.


We now come to one amazing Fruitzi the Pineapple Kairas! The unusual combination of pineapple chunks with spices creating an explosion of taste in every mouthful is difficult for me to describe!! Every year during the month of Shravan, the Kannada Community in Navi Mumbai (or New Bombay as I call it) have the Raghavendra Swami Ashtotarra and SatyaNarayan pooja. They have this caterer ( who was also caters to most of our family functions) who makes the MOST AMAZING Food and his pineapple kairas is to die for, so are the Jalebis, and the sambar and the rasam and ... (stop calling me a greedy p**, what I am stating is the absolute Truth!!)

So since I have missed the food for 2 years in a row, I mean the pooja .. pooja... ahem.. yes.... I got my Mom to somehow procure the recipe... which she did from her friend, Mrs. B !

Pineapple Kairas

1 cup Pineapple chunks ( I used a can of chunks)

1 lump Jaggery

Marble size Tamarind Pulp

Salt to taste

Masala

1 tsp White sesame seeds/ til

1/4 tsp Fenugreek/ Methi seeds

1/2 tsp Urid dal

1 spoon Corriander seeds/ Dhane

2-3 Bedagi chilli

1/2 cup fresh coconut grated

Few Curryleaves

1 tbsp oil for frying masala

Heat a kadhai , add the sesame to it and dry roast till they turn a light brown.Remove and keep it aside.

Heat 1 tsp oil, add the urad daal and methi seeds and saute for about 20 seconds. Add the corriander seeds, saute. Add the Byedgi chilly and curry leaves, by now the urid daal has turned light brown, add the grated coconut and mix and cook for acouple of mins.

Grind to a paste in the blender/ chutney attachment 9 do not add too much water0

In the same kadhai, add the Pineapple pieces , tamarind pulp, jaggery and salt. Mix these 4 items together and cook for a minute Mix the masala paste in the cooked pineapple mixture and boil for 2 minutes or till the pineapple softens (time may vary if you use fresh pineapple).Your pineapple kairas is ready to serve.

If ALL that ain't enough, finish off your meal with soothing Yogurt Rice!

You need: (no measures for this!! I just did this mechanically! So used to it since my childhood!)

Cooked rice

Fresh yogurt

Milk

Salt to taste

For tempering

2 tsp oil

1 spn mustard seeds

1/4 tsp pinches asafetida

Some grated ginger (1/2 tsp, if you like ginger)

1/2 spoon chana daal + urad daal

5 curry leaves

1 dry red chilli broken into 2-3 pieces / 1 green chilly chopped

Fresh chopped cilantro (optional)

Mix the yogurt and milk in the rice, add salt .. mix well Heat oil, add chana and urad daal, mustard seeds, once the daal is nice and brown (by this time the mustard will crackle) add asafetida, ginger, chilly and curry leaves. Add the tempering to the yogurt rice, garnish with cilantro if u wish….and complete your meal!

Thank you Asha for being our hostess for RCI this month!!

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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Kheer (Semiya) for Janmashtami

Pic courtesy: Google search

Childhood stories tell us that Lord Krishna was partial towards milk, so befitting this occasion, I made kheer. But are there any guidelines for making ‘prasad’? Oh! Everyone knows what NOT to use, but who actually decided that He likes x,y,z dish? God embraces everything and every act of devotion be it ever so humble. So kheer it is!
Take a moment to consider this, does one need a reason to make Kheer? Any occasion, festival day, birthday.. or or the matter guests for dinner ! Kheer can me made from vermicelli, farina, sago, rice, carrots... if there are any more variations, I am not aware of them.

Janmashtami, in childhood meant NO school and Dahi Handi !!! We (my gang of friends) would run thru our colony where we stayed to check which building had the ‘handi’ at the highest level/ floor and who would break it. We would also sing ‘ mach gaya shor saari nagari re, aya Biraj ka banka, sambhal teri gagri re’ Gazing in wonder at the human pyramid trying to reach the ‘handi’ on the fourth floor level, we would go ‘oooohaaaahhhhhh’ and laughing uproariously when they fell and yell, ‘areyyyyy Govinda padla rey!!!!
I have also had my share of breaking a ‘handi’ when I was in a day care and the lady in charge had a small ‘handi’ set up for us and waaaaaaaaaaaaay back then, I was wiry and somewhat of a monkey so I had the chance to sprint up everyone’s backs and try to break the handi!!! ~sigh~ small and wiry!!! That’s the way I wanted to be all my life!!! But we are digress from the topic.. this ~ahem~ can be taken up at a later date…
Growing up, I never tasted kheer.. reason... a marked dislike for the 'malai' in the kheer! It is only recently that I have started making and eating it, of course, without the 'malai' dangling in every spoonful!

Here's how I make it:


~6 tbsp Semiya /vermicelli (I have used the Bambino variety , which is a bit thick)

3 Cups Milk

1/2 tsp Ghee

6 tbsp Sugar ( +/- on how sweet you like it, the sugar I have is not as sweet so I have used 6 tbsp, otherwise 5 tbsp is good enough)

1 cardamom powdered

Pinch saffron

6-7 Cashews

4-5 Almonds sliced thin/ slivered

7-8 Raisins


Heat the ghee in a wok. On medium heat , frythe semiya, nuts and raisins till they turn a nice light golden brown. Add in the milk and saffron. Bring this to a boil (this is where I keep a watch like a hawk for the malai and remove it!). Cook till the semiya is soft and the milk thickens a little. Once cooled, the semiya will further thicken it, so over cooking/ boiling will result in a thick mass that needs extra milk to make it look like kheer (and then tasting to check if sugar is ok... )
Once almost cooled, add sugar and cardamom powder.Serve!
Now isn't that the easiest thing!!!??!!
Sending this off to The Yum Blog as my entry for the Janmashtami event.

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Wednesday, August 29, 2007

JFI- Rice - Fried Rice, Mumbai Shtyle!!

I grew up eating Maharashtrian, South Indian and Punjabi Food... Chinese food was something rare (gosh , I sound so ancient when I say that!.. ahem, just to set the record straight, I'm not THAT old!) My parents were not really into experimenting with Chinese cuisine, having notions that creepy crawlies were used in food, made them rather averse to it!!


With these mixed up ideas, finally in my F.Y.B.A, I scooped a forkful of dangling noodles and 'slooshed' them into my mouth... fully expecting to scream and choke and expire all over the floor. What happened instead was an explosion of hitherto unknown taste! I was hooked! I still remember, I ate Indianised Hakka -Noodles and Fried Rice everyday in that week, couldn't get enough!!MySpace Smilies.. Later I came to know that the Chinese food I eat in Mumbai is 'Indianised'.. loaded with spice to suit the Indian palette and that the original version is a lot healthier! Well, I'm sticking to my version!


So when Sharmi announced JFI-Rice I decided to make my version of Fried Rice, Mumbai Shtyle! Mumbai's landscape is dotted with restaurants catering to Chinese cuisine and in the street food category the red carts (with a multicolored dragon of an unknown breed breathing fire) stand out and make their presence felt. The food is redolent with ginger and garlic, smells so tempting that one is naturally drawn to it!

So without further ado, here is my recipe!!!
1 cup long grained Rice
2 cups mix vegetables- Steamed (Carrots and French Beans)
1/2 cup Spring Onion Greens
1 small Capsicum
1 tbsp Oil
1 tbsp. Butter
1 tbsp Soya Sauce
1 pc coal * (optional)
for smokey flavour

Clean & wash the rice. Drain all water. Heat oil, add rice. Ensure that every grain of rice is coated with oil. Boil 2 cups of water, add salt. Add rice to the boiling water. Cook rice till almost done . Spread the rice in a plate and let it cool completely In a wok, heat butter, add chopped onion and capsicum. Add the steamed vegetbles. Add rice, soy sauce, salt if required. Mix with a light hand.

*for smokey flavor: Heat the piece of coal until it glows red.

Transfer it to a steel cup/ katori.
In the wok (which has the rice) make a small well/ depression, place the cup in it, pour 1 tsp. oil on the coal.Cover the wok IMMEDIATELY. Leave the lid on for a minute.
Iserved this fried rice with glazed Tofu , YUMMY!!


And now!!! My turn to brag!!!!


Yep, IMySpace Smilies!!!!! Tee of Bhaatukli has honoured me with this ...

MySpace Smilies



Keeping in mind the tradition, I would like to pass this on to my fellow bloggers

Nupur

Nandita

Suganya


The Cooker

Raaga

Sharmi

Oh!! it looks like everyone on my list already has won the award.......... but in my humble opinion, everyone of you deserve this award!!

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Friday, August 17, 2007

DALMA RCI - Orissa And an Award!!!

It's time for RCI and our hostess this month is Swapna and the theme is Orissa Cuisine.Having little or no exposure to this branch of cooking, I also admit that it has so far been neglected.. why? Born and brought up in Mumbai, I was exposed to a large variety of cuisines, but I have never seen a restaurant serving Oriya food! The closest I came to anything eastern, was Bengali sweets!
When we moved to CA, I caught up with the local Indian fauna as quickly as a moth gravitates towards light. My very first taste of Oriya cuisine was at this potluck which led me to my very first experiment in Oriya cuisine a wonderful chutney which was also an introduction to panch phoron (a mix of mustard seed, cumin, fenugreek seeds, kalonji/nigella & fennel in equal portion).
Sadly, what I know about Orissa is also negligible.. somehow over time, getting caught up with scores in tests, higher studies and trying to scale the corporate ladder (and you are right at the bottom) leaves one ignorant about anything else!And now that I have the time, what better way to start learning something, than to start off with food!! (spoken like a true foodie!!)
To start off with, I got hold of my friend B who is from Orissa and asked her to give me a 'nice Odissi recipe'. she was prompt in sending me the recipe, which in her words ...main ek pura special odissa ka item bata rahin hoon...DALMA

Ingredients: (the measures are good for 2 people)
1/4 cup Channa daal
1/4 cup Moong daal (lightly roast the daal)
Vegetables (this dish is perfect to make use of all vegetables u have!) I used 2 cups of mixed veges : Cauliflower, potato, French beans, carrots and peas.
1/2 medium Onion finely chopped
2 tbsp. oil
1 bay leaf
1 tsp Cumin/ jeera
1/2 tsp Panch Phoron
5 whole Dry red chilies
1/2 tsp grated Ginger
Salt to taste
Do the prep: Dry roast 1 tsp cumin and 3 red chilies. Cool and grid to a powder, this will be used for garnishing
Soak Channa Daal in water for 30 minutes. Dry roast the yellow moong daal.
Boil the Channa daal and Moong daal . When the daal is nearly cooked, pitch in the chopped vegetables and cook till done.
While the daal and vegetables are cooking merrily, heat oil in a wok/ kadhai. Add Panch Phoron, tejpatta/ bay leaf. After the PP pops. Add the red chilli, ginger and then the finely chopped onion. Saute till the onion turns translucent.
Add the daal and vegetable mixture. Add salt and cook this for a few mins. Add the cumin-red chilli powder. Dalma is ready!!

Serve with rice or roti.
Verdict: Beauty lies in simplicity! The lack of any 'masala' is the USP of this dish! The twist in taste comes from the panch phoron. Talk about nutrition!! this dish packs it all!! A wonderful recipe! A very forgiving one too... add any vegetable at hand eg: eggplant, yams, raw papaya in addition to the above mentioned mix. Grated fresh coconut can be used for garnishing as well.

Doubts: Did I get it right? How well was I supposed to cook the daal and veges? to a mush? Errr... is this supposed to be a gravy vegetable? I followed the recipe, but these doubts kept popping into my mind. Oh well, B and my blogger friends can review it and give me the feedback.After all, there are no mistakes, it is all learning! Isn't food blogging just awesome!!!!

Swapna, Thank You for hosting RCI! All the best for the round up.

NOW for something THRILING!!!

Spaz



"The Power of Schmooze Award is for bloggers who "effortlessly weave their way in and out of the blogosphere, leaving friendly trails and smiles, happily making new friends along the way. They don't limit their visits to only the rich and successful, but spend some time to say hello to new blogs as well. They are the ones who engage others in meaningful conversations, refusing to let it end at a mere hello - all the while fostering a sense of closeness and friendship."

Oscar Red Carpet 1


The Budding Cook has honoured me with this award!! Big Hug

I was thrilled to recieve this!!! Do I deserve it? That is debatable! Nevertheless, it is so motivating! When I stepped into the world of blogging, I was kinda sure of what I wanted to do, but what I was worried about was how well it would be accepted. One year down the line, I have realised, I am a part of this world which has now become a very important part of me. Fellow bloggers have reached out and welcomed me into this world and taught me so much! This is an award for ALL my blogger friends who have motivated me and brought me this far! I love you all! And so, I deserve this honour only when I share it with you all!

Given a choice, I would want to extend this award to all my blog buddies, as it is I had a tough time in choosing a few!

I would ike to pass on this award toAwards

Asha of Foodie's Hope
Coffee of Spice Cafe
Nupur of One Hot Stove
Trupti of The Spice Who Loved Me

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Z is for.... Zafrani Pulav

As we come to the end of our journey in the A-Z of Indian Vegetables, I want to present a Nawabi Dish...the flavourful Zafrani Pulao.
This has been on my mind ever since I saw the movie 'Cheeni Kum', where a proud Amitabh claims that he makes the Best and most Authentic Indian Food in the UK.. until Tabu returns the Zafrani Pulao and pops his pride!
Bits and pieces of the recipe remained in my memory(I liked the movie a lot, and in enjoying the movie, I quite forgot to jot down the recipe!!) So I hunted around the net and found a recipe which was similar .. not the exact, so tweaking it a bit to suit my requirements I attempted this aromatic rice preparation . The end result was a wonderful and delicately coloured and flavoured rice and I was rather pleased with the outcome! What however left me in doubt was.... do you eat this with any gravy vegetable? Please do let me know. I did enjoy eating the pulao without any gravy, savouring every morsel which sometimes brought a whiff of the spices in it, sometimes the sweetness of a plump raisin and the crunch of an almond! (now I know why the Nawabs must have favoured this preparation!!)
Here is the recipe with my tweaks: (for the original recipe, please click on the 'recipe' link given above)

1 cup Basmati Rice (uncooked)

A generous Pinch Saffron Threads

2 tbls. Ghee

1/2 Red Onion sliced thin

1/2 tsp Ginger and Garlic paste

1 Whole Clove

1 Cardamon Pod

1 Cinnamon Sticks (3” pieces)

1 tbsp. Golden Raisins

2 cups Water

3 tbsp Slivered Almonds

5 tsp milk

1 tbsp Yogurt

Salt

Procedure:

Rinse rice 3 to 4 times in cold water, drain well. Set aside for 30 minutes.

Lightly toast the saffron. Remove and add it to some water and keep aside.

Heat the Ghee over medium-high heat; add onions, ginger and garlic. Stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until onions soften slightly.
Stir in cloves, cardamom and cinnamon. Cook 1 to 2 minutes more, stirring occasionally to blend flavors.Add rice, and mix till every grain of rice is coated with ghee. Add the almonds and raisins. Add salt and mix well. Add water. Bring it to a boil. Add the saffron, Yogurt and milk.Cook (covered) till the rice is done and every grain of rice is separate. Serve immediately.

This will go to Nupur for the A-Z series.
Nupur has been a great hostess and this whole journey has been an awesome learning experience! Thank You Nupur for this wonderful opportunity!!

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Wednesday, August 01, 2007

JFI-CHILLIES.. Mirchi Ka Salan .. sort of!!!!

Chillies.. a necessary ingredient in Indian Cooking... and so thinking of a dish that uses chillies was not really difficult, but selecting A particular dish.. was difficult. Finally I, zeroed in on MIRCHI KA SALAN.. a dish where MIRCHI was the focus, and more importantly, it was a dish I had not tried earlier. I had seen some ready to cook pack 'Kitchens of India' brand I guess.. intrigued by the name, I almost picked it up, but later hesitatingly put it back.. I was not into blogging at that point of time and well, the mind was not as open to experiments as now!
The idea however lingered, and then I started collecting recipes.. and so pulling out my SUPER heavy file, I flipped pages over pages (of recipes collected, but not tried) till I came to a bunch , neatly stapled and labeled "MIRCHI KA SALAN"- Hyderabad Special. I had about 10 different versions, so I finally picked out one,and decided to make this with slight variations to suit my taste.
Ideally Mirchi Ka Salan is served with Biryani, but I like it just as well with plain Rice , Paratha and ...~sheepish grin~ sliced bread as well!
My variation to the standard salan was I added Green and Red Bell Pepper to the Serrano chillies. I simply love the slightly sweet and smoky flavour of the red bell pepper and it blended well with the salan.
Here is my adaption of Mirchi Ka Salan:
3 Serrano Chillies
1/2 (each) Green and Red Bell Pepper, cut in chunks
1 Med. size Onion
1/2 tsp Tamarind Concentrate
Small lump Jaggery (optional, I like sweet-sour taste and so I added it- NOT a part of the original recipe)
1/4 tsp Mustard seeds/ Rai
Few Curry Leaves
Oil
1-2 cloves
For the Paste:
3Tbsp Dessicated Coconut
3 Tbsp. Roasted Peanuts
~2 Tbsp Sesame/ Til
2 Tbsp. Corriander seeds/ Dhania seeds
4 Peppercorns
3-4 Dry Red chillies
Do the Prep:
Slit the green chilli (do not cut into 2), deseed
Chop the bell pepper into chunks
Roast the ingredients for the Paste in just a drop or 2 of oil.. let it cool before grinding
Chop the Onion and saute till golden brown, cool and grind to a paste.
Shallow fry the green chilli and the pepper chunks till you see blisters on it.
Heat 1 tsp oil, add the mustard seeds. After they pop, add the curry leaves and cloves.
Add the onion paste and stir well. Add the Salan Paste, mix thoroughly and cook for 2 mins, stirring continuously on a medium flame.If the paste sticks to the pan, add some water and cook well.
Add the tamarind concentrate, jaggery and cook for about 3-4 mins, till the gravy thickens.
Add salt, chillies & pepper chunks. Mix well and cook for a minute.
Serve with Biryani, Paratha, plain Rice... Yummy
* I chickened out at the last moment and removed the dry red chillies before grinding the paste, thinking that the Serrano chillies would make my hair stand on the end!! but made a mistake there. My adaptation of the salan was VERY tasty, but not fiery! But those who want to enjoy this side dish without smoking at the ears, all I have to say is, go right ahead!
This is my entry for JFI CHILLIES, hosted by our own Nandita !! Thank U Nandita for a wonderful choice of ingredient!
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Saturday, July 28, 2007

A Year, A Century and a MeMe with a simple recipe!

Yaaaaaaaaaaay!!! Today is my 100th. post and it's been a Year since I started this Blog!!!! (ok, I admit, I was waiting so I could combine these 2 'events'!)

Unlike many of you, I was not as confident about how, if at all, I could manage to blog, post recipes and over all, keep it going! I was also not aware of blogs.. it's only when we came to California, that I had the leisure to surf without restraint and explore new avenues. It has been such an enriching experience. Though I liked to cook, I had never experimented before and never dreamt of a blog!

There were times when I was doubtful about being able to blog with office , chores , but I guess, when I love blogging as much as I do, it comes naturally! (not to sound nasty and b****y, but ... this did not make some people happy, who think this is a ridiculous idea, and have made snide remarks and maybe even hoped that my job would put a stopper to my blogging!!)


This year has also been a humbling experience. So many AWESOME bloggers! So many recipes and themes! Talk about creativity! My blogger friends, I owe you all a lot!! all the encouraging comments have worked wonders on my confidence.. THANK U ALL!!!! It is because of all of you that I will step into the second year of blogging with renewed enthusiasm. I wanted to make something fancy -shmancy today.. but that can wait, I have some maintainence work happening in the apartment and it is a bit difficult to manage a simple meal in all that mess.. I keep reminding myself that I have miles to go before I can be like my fellow bloggers who can whip up amazing dishes ! But I'm gettin' there!!
In the mean time, as summer temperatures soar, we look at something that looks cool!! Dahi wada comes to my mind (with a lot of other options!!) .. This is one of my favourites!!!

If you are familiar with the geography of Mumbai, you would know what I am talking now... I was born and brought up in Wadala, and Dadar was a stone's throw from my house.. so any shopping (school uniform, bags, shoes..... school books ~shudder~) we went to Dadar West. Now, shopping in Dadar is not like making a beeline and getting the items on the list... it usually takes about 4 hours to do a half an hour shopping! And 4 hours is a very long time to go without food in an area which has restaurants at practically every step!!

My sole aim in accompanying my Mother for shopping was to eat out.. I knew that along with my books she would want to buy some fresh vegetables and fruit, some matching blouse piece and we were also bound to meet one of her friends in the streets and spend time with her... after a couple of such sessions I had gleaned as much that if I start making a nuisance of myself after the book buying and before the matching blouse piece, she would take me to one of my favourite joints and stuff me well enough not to make any noise for at least the next 3 hours and spoil her bliss! This arrangement suited both of us!! She would take me to fixed restaurants, 'Natraj' or 'Visava', whichever was closer. The waiters there knew me and knew what I wanted, so Mom would place her order and just nod in my direction, the waiter knew... sada dosa and later dahi wada and GlodSpot, to wash it down. The salt, pepper and red chilly powder shakers would be placed on the table. With a gleam in my eyes I would attack the food in front of me and my Mother would look on.. thinking.." that has given me 3 hours to finish off till the next round.. wonder if she will ever grow up liking shopping for shopping purpose or just for the food.." Well, I have grown up and grown up with a passion or both food and shopping.. and she still isn't happy with me!!!

I often wonder how these wonderful dishes were created in the first place... who was 'that one person' who added the wadas to yogurt with a bit of garnish .. well, whoever he / she was, they were brilliant!!
YOGURT( DAHI) WADA
1 cup Urad Daal
5-6 Methi/ Fenugreek seeds
Salt to taste
Oil to deep fry
Water to soak the wadas
1/4th. Ltr. Yogurt (should not be sour)
Sugar to taste
1 inch Ginger
3 Green chillies (+/- to taste)
Red chilly powder, pepper, cilantro, chaat masala (for garnish)

Soak the Urad daal and methi / fenugreek seeds in water for 4 hours.
Grind the daal. Add salt. *Tip to make soft and light wada: mix the batter in one direction only and with a light hand. Heat Oil. Make wadas and deep fry them to a golden colour.Transfer the fried wadas in water and let them soak for 3-4 minutes.Lightly squeeze the water out .
Beat the yogurt and make it smooth.Grind together the ginger and chilly. Add this to the yogurt. Add salt and sugar. Dip the wadas in the yogurt, garnish and serve chilled!I would like to send this to Nupur for the A-Z of Vegetable series... if, she will accept this entry (no vegetables u see .. :(( )!!
And now for this MeMe!!
I was tagged byTee and Valerie Adams for this MeMe!!



Fact 1: My Sunsign ...



Fact 2: I believe...







Fact : 3


Fact 4: (with reference to Fact 3)
Now don't go getting the wrong idea about me.. I am fairly good at a few things... like??


Fact 5 :


and may I also mention.....
(mind you ... never had any training!!!!)



Another talent......



So all in all I am....(Fact 6)


Fact 7 : CONCLUSION:


I would like any blogger friend to take up this MeMe... I sure had fun doing it!!!!
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