Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year Resolution

The year is almost coming to an end, just a few hours to go now. The year 2011 was great, but personally I would like to make this new year even better. So this year my resolution is - to be a better person. Being more tolerant towards other peoples  mistakes and more careful to not repeat them myself. I would like to be less selfish and more considerate. Also I would like to respect myself and my body by eating right and being fit.
This is what I wish for myself this coming year, and sincerely hope that I can keep up this promise to myself.

Happy New Year.................and may all good things come to you all in 2012....


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Drink up your veggies...

Yes, you read it right...that's what the title says - Drink up your veggies and get all the nutrients. Even fussy eaters will relish a bowl-full of warm and creamy vegetable soup. Get back at those hunger pangs with this satisfying soup. Here is the recipe...

Creamy vegetable soup ( recipe):

1/2 potato
1 large tomato
1/2 onion
1 pod garlic
5-6 pepper corns
1/2 cup peas
1 cup spinach
1 cup assorted mixed vegetables (squash, bottle gourd, french beans, carrot, beet, turnip) any vegetable get the idea?
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp cream (optional)

1. Pressure cook all the vegetables in sufficient water until tender.
2. Let the cooked vegetables cool for a few minutes.
3. Puree the entire mixture with the cream.
4. Sieve the puree, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to serve.

You could use vegetable or chicken stock instead of water.

Enjoy the warm soup when it is chilly outside.... 

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Corn Bhel

This is a really easy recipe for a light snack. Its is healthy too....

Corn Bhel (recipe) :


1 cup boiled corn kernals
1 cup chopped boiled potatoes
1 tomato chopped
1 tbsp multipurpose green chutney (recipe in an earlier post)
2 finely chopped green chilies
1 small red onion chopped
juice of one lime
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup roughly chopped coriander leaves
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 cup crushed potato chips or anything that is savory and crispy.

Toss all the above ingredients in a large bowl, mix well and top with the chips before serving.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What a thought........

1. Start each day with a grateful heart.
2. Focus on the positive aspect of every person you encounter.
3. End each day with a grateful heart.
- Lucy MacDonald

I wish we could all follow this......I try my best though.

Almost Panko........

It was only last year I got to know about Panko. Its another name for Japanese bread crumbs. And what makes Panko different from our normal bread crumbs? Well to begin with they are absolutely white in colour and a lot more flakier, so the final product is much more crisp and has a lovely golden hue. And it also does not clump up like the regular bread crumbs.

So I used the store bought one for quite sometime until I made my own out of laziness ....literally. I usually make my own regular bread crumbs - you know the drill I guess. Slightly toasting the leftover bread in a low oven and then grinding it all up. Now the other day, I had sliced baguette and another loaf, without the crust which I had kept in the refrigerator and both were rock hard. As usual, I was feeling lazy to get the food processor out. And since the bread was already hard I decided to skip the oven too. Instead I used the mandolin (vegetable grater/ slicer) with the widest slit/ holes to grate the bread. And I got my panko ....just like that. Of course it helps to use a large plate or bowl for the flaky crumbs as they have a tendency of flying in all directions no matter how careful you are.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Roast Chicken promised........

Yes, when I make a promise i try my best to keep it. So here is the recipe for my roast chicken as promised. Please note this is my version so obviously it will not be the it is supposed to be. This roast is easy and hassle-free. And to top it, you do not have to stand next to the oven, worried about either burning the chicken or under-cooking it. Because I do not use the oven at all. Yes this is what I mean by my version of roast chicken.....Ohh also I do not use the whole chicken , just the thigh pieces so the result is juicy and the dinner is ready within 20-25 minutes.

Pan -roasted chicken ( recipe):


6 pcs chicken thighs with the skin
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
juice of 1 lemon
1/2 tsp honey
1 tsp Italian mixed herbs(dry)
1 tsp ginger paste
1tsp garlic paste
1 tsp  coarsely crushed black pepper
salt to taste
2 tbsp olive oil

Method :
1. Wash and pat dry the chicken. Beat the thighs slightly with a meat tenderizer or the base of a heavy pan.
2. Mix all the ingredients and 1 tbsp olive oil with the chicken and marinate for minimum 30 minutes. The longer, the better though.
3. Heat a frying pan or a grill pan and place the chicken thighs skin side down. Let it sizzle for 3-5 minutes on high heat, then lower the heat to medium for 5-7 minutes.
4. Drizzle the remaining olive oil on the un-cooked side of the thighs a 3-5 minutes. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
5. Turn off the heat,  let the chicken pieces rest for at-least 5 minutes before serving.


Diwali Treat........

I like Indian festival, almost all of them. And the sole reason being the sweet treats. Even if I do not celebrate them, nothing stops me from preparing at-least one treat exclusive for that particular festival. Like during Ganesh Cathurti I tried my hands at something similar to modak, it turned out well so what the shape was very...very different. Well now that Diwali is close, I chose to prepare something simple and quick.
I started with a recipe for nankatai, tweaked it here and there and came out with my version of coconut macroons. Sounds strange right ? read on and see how a nankatai got turned into a macaroon.

Diwali coconut macaroons ( recipe)


2 cups all purpose flour
1 cup dessicated coconut
1 cup fine semolina
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup raisins
1 1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cup  unsalted butter
1/2 tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
1/2 tsp cardamon powder

( I think you have already noticed the tweak ...almond, raisin, dessicated coconut etc..wait there is one more twist)

1. Pre-heat the oven at 180 degree.
2. Mix all the above ingredients to form a dough.
3. Make small lime sized balls and slightly flatten them.
4. Time for the twist- leave the baking tray alone, grab the muffin tray or (even better) a mini cup cake tray, place the flattened dough balls and bake for 12- 15 minutes. I did not grease the tray as mine is non-stick.
5. Let the macaroons cool completely before de-moulding them (a fancy way of saying- remove them fron the muffin tray).
6. Store them in an air-tight container.

The macaroons will be perfectly shaped, at-least their bottoms........hehe..........enjoy !!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Light and easy mashed potato

Well what can I say .......... I prepared this mashed potato by chance. Hubby dear was in a mood for some roast chicken and mashed potato.So like an obedient wife I started the preparations. The recipe for roast chicken will be featured in another post -I Promise. Lets deal with the mashed potato first...

I began by boiling 3 medium sized potatoes in a pressure cooker( I love the pressure cooker, it saves time and energy). Then realized there is no cream in the house, so looked for happens all the time with me. Anyway, I came up with a plan 'B'. I had unbelievable success, so here is the recipe...

Light and easy mashed potato (recipe)
2 servings, 3 if you really stretch it

3 medium sized potatoes
1/2 cup low fat high calcium milk
2 tsp butter
2 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp nutmeg powder

1. Boil the potatoes, drain and peel while the are still hot. Use a fork, to hold the hot potato.
2. Roughly chop the potatoes and put them in a food processor- chopper attachment ( I do not own a potato ricer, never needed one!).
3. Add in all the ingredients and half the milk, pulse the mixture until smooth.
4. Add some more milk if the mixture is too dry. Pulse again.
5. Adjust the salt and pepper before serving.
The potatoes must be hot / warm at all time.

Multipurpose Green Chutney

I love this green chutney of mine. I usually make it in large quantities, freeze it and use it  as an when i like. This chutney is a chameleon in some ways, use it an a condiment or add it to curries to enhance the flavors. Marinate the fish or chicken in it or mix it with yogurt for a refreshing dip. Thus I call it a multipurpose chutney. So here is the recipe ......

Multipurpose Green Chutney (Recipe):


1 large bunch fresh coriander, stems included
2 large bunches fresh mint, only leaves
1 cup curry leaves (optional)
1 cup celery leaves
5-6 fresh green chillies ( more if you like it spicy)
2 inch piece ginger
4-6 garlic cloves
6-8 shallots
1 tbsp roasted cumin seeds
1 tsp  black pepper corns
1/2 tsp roasted carom seeds( optional)
1/2 tsp rock salt (optional)
salt to taste
juice of 2 lemons
1 tsp olive oil
2 tbsp water
pinch of sugar

1. Wash all the fresh ingredients, drain and roughly chop them.
2. Blend all the above dry and wet items together, until smooth.
3. Using the lemon juice and olive oil, as a lubricant for blending.
4. If the mixture is still too dry add little water .
5. Store in freezer proof containers and freeze until required.
6. Thaw and use as and when required.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Mini Puff Pizzas

Here is an anytime snack recipe loved by kids and grown-ups alike. This one is extremely easy to prepare with minimum ingredients.

Mini Puff Pizza Recipe :

1 sheet of ready-made puff pastry
1/2 cup chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped bell peppers
1/2 cup canned corn kernels (drained)
2-3 tbsp chopped spring onions
salt and pepper as per taste
1 cup grater cheese ( melting type)
circular cookie cutter, a greased cup cake baking tray

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree.
2. Lightly roll out the puff pastry on a floured surface, almost doubling the size of the sheet.
3. Using the cookie cutter, cut out circles from the puff pastry sheet.
4. Place the circles into the greased cup cake slots, press lightly.
5. Mix the filling in a bowl and put 1 tsp in each slot on top of the pastry shell.
6. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and top with the melting cheese.
7. Bake for 20 minutes.
8. De-mold  and serve warm with tomato ketchup.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Easy Dal-Ghosht

This is one of the easiest and quickest way to prepare yummy Dal Gosht. And without much ado is the recipe.

Easy Dal Gosht Recipe:


1/2 kg mutton ( with bones)
1/2 cup red lentils ( masoor Dal)
1 large onion (thinly sliced)
3 tomatoes ( finely chopped)
2 tbsp garam masala
1 tsp chili powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp dry mango powder(amchoor)( optional)
1 tsp kasoori methi ( optional)
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp Ginger paste
1/2 tsp garlic paste
1/2 tsp green chili paste
3 tbsp cooking oil

1. Soak the Dal for 30 mins,drain and pressure cook it until done. Set aside.
2. In a wok, heat the oil and fry the onions until golden brown.
3. Add the tomatoes and the Ginger,chili and garlic pastes. Stir well.
4. Add all the dry spices and mix well. Fry on medium low heat till the oil rises on top.
5. Now put in the mutton and continue frying. When the meat is amply browned transfer to the pressure cooker with the cooked Dal.
6. Add enough water and pressure cook till the meat is tender.
7. Garnish with fried onions,mint and coriander leaves, serve with steamed rice.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Grilled Eggplants

In my family, we love eggplants. And this recipe just popped in my mind when we had guests for dinner and I was falling short of one vegetarian side-dish. Well the dinner was a success and grilled eggplants were polished off. This has now become a staple in my house. I do hope you enjoy the recipe too.

Grilled Eggplants (recipe) :

2-3 medium sized eggplants
2 tbsp cooking oil or olive oil
salt to taste
1 tsp red chili powder
juice of 1/2 lemon

Method :
1. Slice the eggplants diagonally, about 1/4 inches thick.
2. Rinse in cold water and drain well.
3. mix the oil and make sure every slice is coated on both the sides.
4. Heat a thick bottomed pan (preferably grill pan) and arrange the sliced eggplants in a single layer.
5. Cover and let it cook for about 3-4 minutes on medium-high heat.
6. Cook both the sides in the same manner.
7. Lower the heat and sprinkle the salt, chili powder and lemon juice. Cover and cook for 1 minute.
8. Turn off the heat. For serving, arrange the slices on top of each other like a pyramid.

This is a very simple and quick to make recipe with amazingly good results, just make sure you don't burn the eggplants.....

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Fruity Dessert

This is my version of fruit cream. Its easy and quick to prepare.

Fruit Cream Recipe:


1 can mixed fruits (drained) or 2 cups chopped (strawberry, mango, apple and grapes)
200 ml whipping cream
3 tbsp powdered sugar
3 cups strawberry ice cream, softened

1. Whip the cream until thickened. Now add the powdered sugar and whip till soft peaks are formed.
2. Add the ice cream spoon by spoon and fold slowly.
3. when all the ice-cream is incorporated, whip once more for 30 seconds, cover and freeze.
4. Keep the fruits refrigerated.
5. Remove the ice cream mixture 5-7 minutes before serving.
6. Spoon out the fruits in individual bowls and top with the ice-cream mix.
7. Garnish with some more fruits and serve.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Spicy Peas Pulao

This yummy rice dish is my take on the regular peas pulao. Here the recipe..

Spicy Peas Pulao Recipe:


2 cups basmati rice
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 onion, sliced thinly
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 bay leaf
1 tsp garam masala or all spice
3 cups water
1 tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp butter or Ghee
1/2 tsp ginger- garlic paste
3-4 green chillies slit
salt to taste

1. Wash and soak the rice.
2. Heat the oil in the dutch oven (handi with well-fitting lid) and the cumin seeds.
3. When the cumin crackles, add the onions and bay leaf. Fry until soft.
4. Add the ginger-garlic paste, slit chillies and fry for a minute.
5. Now add the garam masala and salt, fry for a minute
6. Now add the peas. Drain the rice and stir slowly.
7. When the rice and peas are well coated with oil, pour in the water.
8. Bring to boil and then simmer the heat. Cover partially and cook until almost all the water content evaporates.
9. Cover fully and cook for another 10 minutes, on very low heat.
10. Turn off the heat, stir once or twice with a fork and serve with raita.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Beany Surprise

At our regular restaurant, we usually order this dish, and it vanishes within minutes. Me and my hubby dear love it so much. I tried to make it at home n it turned out really good. So now I am sharing this recipe.

Beany Surprise Recipe:

300g french beans, stringed and blanched
300g lean minced beef or chicken
6-7 shallots finely chopped
2 garlic pods finely chopped
2-3 dried red chilis finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp soy sauce
2 tbsp cooking oil

1. In a wok, heat the oil and fry the shallots, garlic and dried chillies.
2. Add the mince and stir fry until done. Season with salt, pepper and soy sauce.
3. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
4. Now add the blanched beans, stir well. Cover and cook for 5 minutes, turn off the heat.
5. Serve with steamed rice.

Note : All the cooking must be done on a med- high flame.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Watching Titanic

I watched Titanic the movie, in the morning, right after my tea. i did not move from the couch until noon. I did not cook lunch and offered my hubby an instant breakfast. The point is that I was so engrossed in the movie that nothing else mattered for the next 3 1/2 hours. Just so you know I have watched Titanic umpteen number of times and every time is like the first. Each time I am awestruck by the grandeur of the ship itself, the detailed costumes, the tragic love-story and the flamboyant Jack Dawson .

This time though, was different. I realized, through the movie that no matter what ones social status is, we all want to be alive. Money has no value when it comes down to a breadth for a few more seconds. We all, be it rich or poor, young or old are afraid of the unknown and hence of death. Though admitting this fear or dealing with it is different from person to person.

So, like Jack from the movie made Rose promise to live life to its fullest, we all should do the same. Make every moment count.............Happy Living!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Mini Corn- Spinach Pies

Remember, almost a month ago I promised to do a few tweaks on the Spinach-Corn Delight and make it even more interesting.Well the time has finally come for me to share the tricks.
So, I start with Mini Corn Spinach Pies...

Mini Corn Spinach Pies:
1 sheet ready to use puff pasrty
1/2 cup flour for dusting
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup grated cheese (any melting cheese)
cup cake tray or small ramekins

1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degree.
2. Roll out the pastry sheets, on a well dusted surface and cut them into 12 squares, approx. 2"x 2".
3. Place each square in the each ramekin.
4. Fill it with  spoonful of spinach corn mixture(earlier blog).
5. Season with salt and pepper and top with the cheese.
6. Bake n the hot oven for 20-25 minutes.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

A New Enterprise

I have been busy, busy and more busy these past few months. To begin with , my house help had vanished for almost an entire month. But more importantly I had been making handbags, lots of them. What began as a hobby, ended up in an exhibition, at a crafts bazaar. And my dear friends supported me hugely. Thanks a ton you all. Now is the time to share my creations with the rest of you. I have uploaded the pictures of some of my pieces, of course, the best ones are taken.....already.

There is more to come................I take orders for custom made bags too.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Nutritious and Filling

In a perfect world we all would like to eat healthy without compromising on health and nutrition. So here is one such recipe that would meet both the criteria. It looks great, tastes delicious and is nutritious too. An interesting side-dish, one which can be turned into a snack or a main dish with a slight twist with the basic recipe. Twists later though, lets get on with the basic recipe first.

Spinach-Corn Delight Recipe:
3 cups finely chopped spinach
1/2 cups boiled corn ( can use well drained tinned corn)
1 onion chopped
1 large tomato chopped
1/2 tsp ginger paste
1/2 tsp garlic paste
3-4 dried red chilies
salt and pepper as per taste
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1 tbsp cooking oil

1. In a pan heat the oil and saute the onions until soft.
2. Break the chilies into 4-5 pieces and fry with the onions.
3. When the mixture is fragrant add the cumin powder,salt, pepper, ginger and garlic pastes, fry well.
4. Add the chopped tomato and cook until, the mixture leaves the sides of the pan.
5. Now, throw in the spinach and saute, stir until mixed well.
6. Cover and cook on a med-high flame for 2-3 minutes.
7. Time to add the corn, mix well, cook for 5-7 minutes,stir occasionally.

Spinach - Corn Delight is ready, about the twists to modify it into different meal ideas time.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Easy Cooking...

This recipe for fried rice works well with left- over rice. And if you omit the egg and chicken, it is a yummy vegetarian alternative. A few minutes in preparation and with practice this fried rice is ready within minutes.

Easy Fried Rice Recipe:


2 cups cooked rice
1/2 cup of green beans finely cut
1/2 cup finely diced carrot
2 tbsp finely chopped spring onions
2 tbs baby peas
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 eggs
1 cube stock ( vegetable or chicken)
salt and pepper to taste
 3 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup boiled chicken shredded ( optional)

1. In a wok, heat 1 tbsp oil and stir fry the beans, peas, carrots and boiled chicken with the stock cube crumbled, add a tsp of water if required. Fry for 4-5 minutes and set aside.
2. Whisk both the eggs with a dash of soy sauce, salt and pepper. Make an omelet with 1 tbsp oil , cook on both sides and place it on a chopping board. When cooled , roughly cut into small squares. Mix with the stir-fried vegetables.
3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in the wok and fry the spring onions, add the egg and vegetable mixture. Fry for 2 minutes and add the rice, mix lightly and sprinkle the soy sauce, salt and pepper.
4. Mix well, cover and cook for 5 minutes on low heat. The fried rice is done. Enjoy it with chili chicken.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A well deserved victory............

Yesterday was one of the most exiting days of my life. The Indian Cricket Team won the highest honor in the cricketing world The Cricket World Cup 2011. Wow, I still cannot believe it. We won by a good 6 wickets, thanks to the impressive knocks by the captain  M.S.Dhoni (91) and Gautam Gambhir(97). Though I wish atleast of them would have made a century. India bowled first and created trouble for the Lankan batsmen, with spot on fielding and a catch by Yuvraj was really outstanding. While the opposition fumbled  in that area. So its true that catches win matches! Things could have been a lot different if the Lankans had taken a couple of key wickets or stopped a few more runs through fielding.

Apart from that, it was really thoughtful and rather sweet of the entire team to dedicate the World Cup Victory to Sachin Tendulkar. He deserved it, this probably being his last world cup tournament. But me being the dreamer that I am,who believes in fairy-tales...expected a century from the Little Master so that he could complete his Century of Centuries. After all Mumbai is his home and Wankhede his home ground. Imagine the height of SachinMania then.....Wow the thrill would have been something else.Though it does not matter because Sachin was, is and forever will be the God of Cricket.

I watched the final with a bunch of my close friends, giving hubby dear the ball by ball score via sms. He is in Samoa for his own tournament. I felt so sad for him and missed sharing the thrill of winning the cup with him. All in all, missed centuries, dropped catches, missing hubby does not count , when the bottom line is - India wins the World Cup after 28 years.
Three Cheers for India , Three Cheers for Sachin.............

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Cooking in minutes...

This is quicker version of Chili Chicken and it does not involve deep frying or more than 20 minutes in the kitchen.

Quick Chili Chicken :


 1 boneless chicken breast (cubed)
 1 capsicum cut into cubes
7-8 green chilies slit vertically
1 tsp freshly crushed black pepper
2 tbsp soy sauce
1/2 tsp ajinomoto
salt to taste
2 tbsp cornflour
1/2 cup water (optional)
1 tsp grated ginger
1tsp grated garlic
1 tbsp cooking oil

Method :
1.In a bowl mix the cubed chicken with  1 tea spoon soy sauce, cornflour, black pepper, ajinomoto and salt. Mix well and keep aside.
2. In a deep wok, heat the cooking and lightly fry the slit green chilies and grated ginger- garlic.
3. Now add the marinated chicken and stir to coat all the chicken pieces with the oil.
4. Let it cook for 5-7 minutes on a medium high flame. Stir again and add the capsicum.
5. Cover and cook on a low flame for 5 minutes. At this point you can add water to make a gravy if you like.
6. Check and adjust the seasoning, when the chicken is done turn off the heat.
7. Garnish with chopped spring onions and enjoy with steam rice (gravy version) or fried rice (dry version).

Easy Fried Rice recipe next time.....till then try your hand at the Chili Chicken.....Happy Cooking!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Cooking time............

This one is on request, one of my friends asked for the lasagna recipe a long time ago, well here it is. I hope all of you out there will like it and prepare it someday. This a non -vegetarian recipe, but replace the mince meat with finely chopped vegetables (any assorted veggies) and it is just as good.

Chicken Lasagna:
300g minced chicken
150g tomato puree
1 onion finely chopped
4-5 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 tomatoes finely chopped
2 tbsp chili sauce
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 tsp sugar
1 bay leaf
2 tsp mixed herbs
salt and pepper according to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp chili powder (optional)
6-8  instant lasagna sheets
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese or any melting cheese
For white sauce:
3 tsp flour
3 tbsp butter + 1 tsp oil
1 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste
2 tbsp grated cheese

1. In a deep pan heat the olive oil nand saute the onion and garlic, until soft.
2. Now add the chopped tomatoes and cook. Add the minced chicken, stir well.
3. Stir in all the seasonings, cook for 5 minutes and add the sauces along with the tomato puree.Stir well , cover and cook until done.Add water if  too dry , this meat sauce should have a gravy consistency.
4. To make the white sauce,on a low flame, heat butter and oil in a pan.
5. Now add the flour and keep stirring ,till the mixture changes colour slightly.
6. Add the milk slowly ,while stirring.Stir until smooth, add more milk if required.
7. Turn off the heat and mix in the seasonings and cheese.

Assembling :
1. Take an ovenproof rectangular dish, and grease it with olive oil. Now spread a thin layer of the meat sauce.
 2. Place the lasagna sheets in a single layer with 2 mm gaps between them ( since the sheets are instant , they will expand).
3. Spread another layer of meat sauce,  followed by a layer of cream sauce. Cover with the lasagna sheets.
4. Make another similar layer, if you wish and for the final layer instead of the sheets, cover the white sauce with the grated cheese.
5. Bake it in a pre-heated oven for 25-30 minutes at 180C.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Obeying my sweet-tooth

I have a problem. Yes, the problem of giving in my sugar cravings. Like I had mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I inquire about the dessert before the food at dinner parties. The past week I was successful in keeping sweets away from me. But one week is all that I can manage. It is really difficult, I am addicted to sweet treats. On a rebound, I gave in and prepared my version of suji (semolina) ladoos. Actually it can be called suji-coconut ladoos, they are cooling in the kitchen right now. As soon as I finish this post I will savor my first glorious ladoo. Here I am sharing the recipe so that someone out there might satisfy his/her sugar craving too.

Suji-Coconut Ladoo Recipe :

1 cup suji ( semolina)
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tbsp rose water
1 tsp cardamom powder
1/2 + 1/4 cup dessicated coconut (dry)
1/2 cup chopped almonds and raisins
2 tbsp ghee

Method :
1. Heat ghee in a heavy bottomed pan,add the chopped almonds and raisins and fry on low heat.
2. Now add the suji and roast until slightly golden.
3. Add the sugar and cardamom and keep roasting for 5 minutes. The heat should be low throughout.
4. Now add the dessicated coconut, mix well and pour the milk along with the rose water.
5. Mix well and remove from the heat.
6. Let the mixture cool for a couple of minutes. Form tiny balls with the mixture and roll it in the 1/4 cup of dessicated coconut. Set aside to cool.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My new ironing board

Like I usually mention , I like to do things by myself....get a thrill out of it. And this time I re-invented my ironing board, gave it a face lift and also made it slightly more energy efficient.

Well there was nothing wrong with the old board to begin with. It was strong and sturdy and did its job well. But I kind of got bored of its cover. It was orange with tiny teddy bears, cute but I was done with the teddies. Besides, there was an old cotton bed-sheet with a better print and I really wished to re-commission it. If things do not get thrown or given away, I re-use them in a new avatar. So I started this new project. Measured up the board and the sheet, cut according to size and got stitching. Hand- stitch that is... An hour of sitting on the floor with my poor neck craned upwards, not a very comfortable position though, the job was done.

And for the energy efficiency, I slid in a layer of aluminum foil between the new cover and the old one, before stitching. The foil will reflect the heat from the iron and make the ironing process easier and quicker. I had read this somewhere and promptly applied it, I hope it works.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Okra with potatoes

We Indians call it 'bhindi', the good old lady-finger or okra is on of my favorite vegetables. Green on the outside and sticky-slimy on the inside. Its seeds are like tiny pearls and one might find an odd worm wriggling inside too once in a while. Not many people are a fan of this product from natures garden, but nevertheless it has won quite a few hearts. For those who eat it really love it(you can either love it or hate it ,but cannot ignore it). Here is a unique way to prepare it with potatoes.

Bhindi Aloo Recipe :

200g tender okra
1 large potato
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp cooking oil
salt to taste

1. Wash and dry the okra, cut into 1cm thick pieces.
2. Wash and peel the potato and cut into cubes of 1cm.
3. Heat the oil in a wok and add the cubed potatoes. On medium heat fry for 4-5 mintues or until almost tender.
4. Now add all the dry ingredients, stir for well.
5. At this point add the okra. Stir lightly, cover and cook for 6-7 minutes.
6. Cook for another 4-5 minutes or until done with the lid off.

Delicious Bhindi Aloo is ready to be savored with chapatti or  steam rice accompanied with dahi kadi (yoghurt curry).

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Spring Cleaning ......and its not even spring yet!

God knows what hit me today, I have been de-cluttering my home since morning. A little back-breaking exercise that requires some brain exercise too. Got out all the boxes, cartons, suitcases and emptied their contents. Then I made three piles - 1. throwing away, 2. giving away, 3. holding on (until next time). Must say the first two piles were way larger than than the third, and I am very pleased with myself. The job was pending for quite sometime now and it had to be done. Now my storage space is much more organized and my mind is at peace. Even as a young girl I enjoyed the job. It is kind of a de-stressing technique for me.

I have never been a hoarder for things at any point in my life, be it personal items, artifacts, clothes, furniture...whatever. If there is something that does not come in use for a year, it is transferred to one of the first two piles. I love handbags, but each time I buy a new one, an old one is given away or recommissioned. The same rule applies to my clothes and shoes( in a way I make room for newer stuff). I try to do it for hubby dear and my princess too( toys are inevitably rescued).

I feel good about myself and am thinking of newer ways to busy myself for the week ahead.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Restless hands

Yes, as the title suggests, my hands are getting restless. And this time around I am not re-inventing my blanket. Instead, doing some art and craft, just like in the school days. Lots of glitter and glue, laces and ribbons, scissors and sticky tapes.

I am making some hand-made name cards(I don't know what is the exact term). The ones that you attach on a gift or a bouquet. Actually, last weekend we were buying gifts and preparing for the upcoming occasions. And during the exercise I realized, how ridiculously expensive the tiny tags are, and there is nothing special or unique about them. Just mass printed stuff with a tinge of glitter. I decided to make my own. So now I have 24 pretty name cards that are all unique, made from scratch and totally hand-made. I am happy , and hope the ones who receive them will be delighted too. 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Time to put on the reading glasses...........

A few minutes ago I finished this book, but to honest I was itching to blog about it the minute I started it. Two States by Chetan Bhagat, what a wonderful read. A love-story between two young adults from different communities. One might find many such books, but this one is different, because it is humorous. No heavy duty emotions, very cool and casual, just the way young people are these days. Of course it has a happy ending, but the journey is exciting.

The characters and situations are so real, they remind you of your own relatives. The ones that make you go "geeeezzzzz" sometimes. We all have them, lets accept the fact. Also the conversations the protagonist has with himself in his mind while talking to others, reminded me that I do it quite often too.

The story pushed me down the memory lane and re-visit my own experience of choosing a life partner, sticking to the decision and getting married by hook or by crook (thats one helluva story too, I promise you). And for a split second I thought maybe we could have done things differently. But naa....... even before the thought could form properly, it disintegrated, in our case not possible. Getting back to the book, its a great read filled with self-gyan that makes a lot of sense, a small helping of nationalism, an introduction to the typical features of two different communities(that is really interesting), slightly touching a few social issues. If I say more maybe the fun of reading it all will ruined.

So I stop now and hope you get a copy and enjoy reading the book, because the one thing about this story is that you feel the urge to share it (or is it just me?), read it and find out.