Monday, July 30, 2012

Sabudanyachi Khichadi

I never prepared Sabudanyachi Khichadi when I was in India. After coming to the US, it was always a flop show. I blamed it on sabudana and really believe it!!;-) Ever since I came across Nupur's foolproof version, I have been making it her way faithfully & successfully. But I was also getting worried that I may lose my mom's version so I am sharing her version.

Mom's Sabudanyachi Khichadi
सा बु दा ण्या ची   खि च डी
Tapioca Pilaf
1 cup sabudana/sago/tapioca pearls
1 cup daanyache kooT/roasted, unsalted, coarsely powdered peanuts
salt to taste
1/2  tbsp sugar
2 tbsp. chopped cilantro (optional)

1 medium potato, boiled, peeled & chopped

1 tbsp. yogurt (optional)

2 tbsp ghee/toop/clarified butter
1/2 tsp cumin seeds/jire
3-4 green chilies, slit
2 tsp grated, peeled ginger

2 tbsp scraped, fresh coconut
1 tbsp chopped cilantro (optional)

Suggested Accompaniment
Lemon wedges
Sweetened yogurt

1. Soak sabudana in 1 cup water for 3-4 hours. The water will be absorbed by sabudana.
2. Mix sabudana, peanut powder, salt, sugar and cilantro - if using. Cover and set aside for at least 1 more hour.
Sabudana mixture - yet to be tempered

4. Heat ghee/toop in a heavy bottomed saucepan. Add cumin seeds, chilies and ginger.
5. As it splutters, add chopped potatoes. Saute for 30 seconds.
6. Add sago mixture. Sprinkle some water or 1 tbsp. yogurt. Mix and cover. Let it cook on medium flame for at least 10 minutes.
7. Garnish with coconut and cilantro - if using.
8. Serve with a lemon wedge per serving.

Note -
1. You can use raw potato instead of boiled one. In that case, after adding raw potato pieces, cover with a lid and cook the potato before adding sabudana mixture.
2. Some people do not use cilantro for their fasting food.
3. For making a spicier version, grind green chilies and ginger and add the paste in tempering.
4. Some people use dried green chili powder which is known as "hirve tikhaT" or "pandhara tikhaT" in Marathi.
5. Gujaratis do not use regular salt in their fasting foods. They prefer rock salt/sindhav/saindhav.
6. This proportion will serve  as a snack for 4 - 6 people.
7. The recipe can be made vegan by using oil instead of ghee and not using yogurt at all.

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Sunday, July 29, 2012

Fast & Fresh Apricot-Peach Icecream

I must admit that I got little carried away at Costco, a fortnight back and got a huge pack of apricots. I really thought that they will get over quickly.  If I hadn't used them yesterday, they would have to be thrown into  the trash can. So I was searching for the recipes frantically. I remembered an Indian dessert "Khubani ka meetha" - but I think it needs dry apricots. I could have tweaked the recipe and used fresh ones, but I wanted something quick that doesn't need too much work. I thought about Natural's apricot -peach ice-cream and thought I can tweak my recipe of ice cream. But looks like I was lazier than my usual self, yesterday. I chanced upon this recipe for the fast and fresh apricot ice cream. It was perfect for a lazy day. :-D

Fast & Fresh Apricot - Peach Icecream
1 quart vanilla ice-cream
1 lb apricots
1 peach (Optional)
sugar to taste (optional)

1. Peel and deseed apricots and peach . Dice them.
2. Keep 1/4 cup small chunks aside and process the remaining fruit chunks with ice cream. Process using food processor or blender. Stir in the fruit pieces.
3. Taste and add more sugar if needed.
4. Freeze.

Note -
1. If apricot/peaches are too sweet, you may not need additional sugar. Do taste before adding and adjust accordingly.
2. I added a peach just because I had it and I tried to recreate Naturals flavor. You can skip it.

California Apricots

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Friday, July 27, 2012

Noriya Navmi's Mixed Kathol to celebrate Rikki Tikki Tavi

This beautiful month of Shravan brings many traditions and customs. Ever since I have started food blogging, I am taking  keen interest in all the familiar and new traditions. I must confess that I am really fascinated by the festival foods. I came across this festival called "Noriya Navmi" that my MIL observes. If I am not mistaken, this is celebrated only in Gujarat and I haven't seen it in Maharashtra but I may be mistaken.

We all are familiar with "Nagpanchmi" celebrated pretty much all over India on the 5th day - Panchmi of Shravan. Noriya Navmi is celebrated on the 9th day of Shravan to thank - a Mongoose (called noriyu in Gujarati).  There is this age-old story in the Indian Culture about a mongoose saving the baby of the family from a deadly attack of Cobra. [I am sure you have read/seen Rudyard Kipling's Rikki Tikki Tavi?] So on this day, some Gujarati women pay their tribute to a Mongoose - a replica that is made using rice flour paste, a pooja is performed and then in the evening, the rice mongoose is left near a peepal tree.

Well, I - the self proclaimed foodie - am very much interested in the food part. So what's for food on this special day, you may ask? Surprisingly, the food made on this day is not the usual decadent, rich, cloyingly sweet or sinful at all. It's actually a health food!

They sprout 9 different types of beans and boil with salt. That becomes the "Prasad". If someone wants a tad spicier version, "Mixed Kathol nu Shaak" is made sans garlic.

Noriya Navmi's Mixed Kathol
2 tbsp each any beans of your choice
[e.g. choose any 9 from Moog, Matki, Masoor, Black chana, Laal Vaal, Kulith, Black vatana, White peas, Green peas, Rangooni Vaal, Kabooli chana, Black eyed peas, Red chori etc]

salt to taste

1. Pick any impurities from the 9 beans of your choice. Somehow, laal vaal always makes the cut.
2. Mix all the beans in a container and sprout them per instructions here.
3. Boil or pressure cook adding enough water and salt so each sprout is cooked but should not be mushy.
4. Serve.

Note -
1. If this is very bland, make "Mixed Kathol nu Shaak"without garlic.

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Thursday, July 26, 2012

Rajgiryachya Polya

Fasting doesn't mean you can't have your daily "PoLi-Bhaaji"!!;-)
Rajgiryachya PoLya (makes 7-8 small chapatis)
राजगिऱ्याच्या  पोळया
1 cup rajgira flour
Water as needed to knead
salt to taste (A pinch)

2 tbsp rajgira flour for dredging

Suggested Accompaniment (Any of the following)
Upasachi Batatyachi Bhaaji
Upasachi Mirchi chi Bhaaji
Upasachi Ratalyachi Bhaaji
Upasachi Bhoplyachi Bhaaji

1. Take rajgira flour and salt in a paraat.
2. Add water carefully to knead the dough.
3. Knead till the dough is not sticky anymore.
4. Use a spoonful of ghee or oil and knead again.
5. Make 7-8 small but uniform balls.
6. Roll into chapatis using rajgira flour for dusting.
7. Heat a pan/griddle. Place the flatbread onto the pan.
8. Flip when there are brown spots. Cook on the other side.
9. Serve with upasachi batatyachi bhaaji.

Note -
1. Make sure that your rajgira flour is not too old sitting on the shelf. It will make a difference while rolling using rolling pin.
2. Based on whether you want to use ghee - for fasting or oil - for vegan diet, choose your grease.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

KantoLyachi Bhaaji

KantoLe is available in Mumbai markets during Shravan/monsoon. If I am lucky, I sometimes get to see it at our local Indian market as well. This prickly veggie is used by Konkanis, Maharashtrians and Gujaratis. At least there are 3 different ways, this simple stir fry is prepared at my home. This veggie also goes by the names Kartola or FaggiL.

KantoLyachi Bhaaji
कं टो ळ्या ची  भा जी 
12 oz sliced kantole, fresh or frozen
2 medium potatoes, peeled, sliced
salt to taste
1 tsp chili powder

1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp asafoetida

1 tbsp fresh coconut

1. If using frozen kantole, place them in a colander and run against tap  water so they are thawed. Drain.
2. Slice or cut potatoes in finger chips or matchsticks. Place in water till ready to use.
3. Heat an iron kadhai - nonstick can also be used. Add oil, and tempering ingredients.
4. As they splutter, add drained veggies. Stir fry for 5 minutes. Add chili powder.
5. If you like your veggies very crunchy, you may need more oil to saute to the desired crispiness.
6. Otherwise, cover with a lid and keep some water on the lid. Let it cook for about 20-25 minutes or till the veggies are cooked.
7. Add salt and garnish with fresh coconut - if using.

Note -
1. Traditionally, for making "partun bhajya", lid is not used but it needs more oil. So I like to cover it to save oil.
2. Traditionally, "partun bhaajya" are made in iron kadhai and then, cooked bhaaji is transferred to non-iron serving bowl. If kept in iron kadhai after cooking is done, the veggies tend to change color.
3. For South Canara Variation - use coconut oil and add 2-3 dry chilies, like byadgi in the tempering. Do not use chili powder.
4. For Gujarati variation - add dhana jiru or coriander-cumin seed powder along with the chili powder.
5. This bhaaji tastes best when you use fresh kantole.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Upwas Thalipeeth

Shravan month started last week. This month brings lots of festivals and ample opportunities for fasting and feasting. Now everyone has a different take on fasting. For some people it's paying respects to God, for some, it's the season of being thankful and for some, it's a lifestyle! I asked my mom about her reason. She observes Shravani Somwar - or Shravan Monday. Her answer is simple. She said - "Somehow, Shravan Somwar transports me back to my mom's house. It makes me very nostalgic. and now that's the only link remaining to my childhood...Well, I do understand those feelings perfectly. My entire blog is my link to my childhood.

Upasache Thalipeeth
उ पा सा चे  था लि पी ठ 
1 cup Upasachi BhajNi
1/3 cup daaNyache kooT/roasted, unsalted, coarse peanut powder
2 green chilies, minced
1 tsp grated, peeled ginger
salt to taste
1 tbsp minced cilantro (optional)

Ghee or oil for roasting

1. Mix all the ingredients except ghee/oil.
2. Add water gingerly to form a dough.
3. Heat a pan or griddle.
4. Make 4 uniform balls of the dough.
5. With wet hands, place one ball on the pan. Pat into a circle. If you are not familiar with this method, Place the ball on a saran wrap. Fold the saran wrap over and pat or roll it into a circle as shown below. Later, remove the saran wrap and place it on the pan.

6. Using the back of a wooden spoon, make 4-5 holes around the circumference of the thalipeeTh. Place one hole in the middle.
7. Drizzle some oil or ghee in the holes and cover with a lid.
8. Cook from one side and flip and make crisp on the other side.
9. Serve hot with sweetened yogurt and/or upsachi chutney.

Note -
1. Upasachi bhajNi is a fasting special mix readily available in Mumbai. It contains sabudana flour, shingada flour, rajgira flour, vari flour and cumin powder. I got mine from Sarvodaya Stores, Ranade Rd, Dadar, Mumbai 400028
2. Every family has different view about "fasting" ingredients that are considered "kosher". So use ghee or oil, use cilantro or not, use regular salt or saindhav/sindhav/rock salt per your own preference.
3. If you want to make it spicier, grind green chilies and ginger.
4. You can also add a grated boiled or raw potato (medium) into the dough ingredients.
5. Above proportion gives 4 small thalipeeThs.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Gujarati Thali @Thackers

After blogging about some delicious Gujju food for past few days, let's go to savour a delicious Gujju thali at Thackers at Chowpaty.

Let me jog my memory and write what you can see above. I am trying to provide the links to my versions to each dish wherever applicable.
1. Dahi Vada
2. Vatana nu Shaak
3. Rasawala Bataka
4. Tindora nu Shaak
5. Kathol nu Shaak
6. Daal
7. Kadhi
8. Shrikhand (Not  in the picture)
9. Gulabjambu
10. Khandvi
11. Patties
12. Bajra na rotla (Not in the picture)
13. Puri (Not in the picture)
14. Fada ni Khichdi (Not in the picture)
15. Bhaat (Not in the picture)

Birla Kreeda Kendra, Chowpatty, Girgaum, Mumbai, 400007

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Navu Aadu nu Athanu - New Ginger Pickle

This pickle is made with the freshest, recently harvested ginger. If you use old ginger, the pickle may taste spicier and more pungent. It does have a bite due to ginger, whether it's new or old.

Navu Aadu nu Athanu
New Ginger Pickle
1 knob of freshly harvested ginger, peeled & minced or grated
salt to taste
1 or 2 lemons, freshly squeezed

1. Mix all the ingredients.
2. Adjust lemon juice so the ginger pieces are covered with lemon juice.
3. Store in an airtight glass bottle or jar. Refrigerate.

Note -
1. This pickle comes handy while making any chutney that requires ginger. Just take a spoonful or so from the jar and add to your blender. Just make sure that the spoon your are using to dip in the jar is clean and dry.
2. This pickle is also considered good for any indigestion problems.
3.If you grate the ginger, lots of juice comes out. Do add that juice to the pickle. If you are going to chop instead of grating, please make sure that the ginger is very finely minced.

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Kobij nu aaduwalu shaak - Cabbage with ginger

A simple stir fry with cabbage, ginger and leeks.

Kobij nu aaduwalu shaak
Cabbage with ginger
1 small cabbage, shredded
1 stalk of leek, chopped
salt to taste
A pinch of sugar
1/2 tsp mild chili powder/paprika

1/2 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tbsp grated ginger

Suggested accompaniments

1. Heat oil in a nonstick kadai. Add all the ingredients for tempering. Saute for 1 minute.
2. Add cabbage and leek stalk. Saute for 5 minutes.
3. Add paprika, salt, sugar. Keep on sauteing sprinkling water in between if needed

Note -
1. Instead of leeks, you can use 2 stalks of spring onions.
2. Sometimes I prepare the same shaak using"Savoy Cabbage".

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Thursday, July 19, 2012

Ringna Vadi nu Shaak

Moong or chora daal vadies give a protein boost to the simple vegetables.

Ringna Vadi nu Shaak
Eggplants with vadies
7 small eggplants, sliced
1/2 cup mag or chora vadies
1/2 tsp paprika or mild chili powder
2 tsp coriander-cumin powder
1 tsp jaggery or 1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 cup water

1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp ginger-green chili paste

1 tbsp chopped cilantro

1. Heat oil in a pan. Add all the tempering ingredients. Saute for 1 minute.
2. Add vadies and saute for 2 minutes.
3. Now add eggplants and all the powders. saute for 2 minutes.
4. Add water. Cover with a lid. Let it cook on a medium heat for 10-5 minutes till eggplants and vadies are soft.
5. Check from time to time so the eggplants are not sticking to the bottom of the pan. Add more water if needed.
6. Add salt, sugar or jaggery.
7.Garnish with cilantro.

Note -
1. Keep a little gravy but do not make it too watery.
2. A potato can also be added to the above preparation.
3. Traditionally, vadies are fried in tablespoon ful of oil separately before adding to the curry. I tried to save the oil and hence, the calories. ;-D

Anand Mara Nahi, Anand Marte Nahin. We waved at you last year and you waved right back with a smile when Mom & I were taking a stroll at the Carter Rd Promenade and you were in the balcony of your Ashirwad... I couldn't believe it.... You made our day that day....Mom was a huge fan when Aradhana was released. I have just heard the stories about  your super stardom...
RIP, Rajesh Khanna!

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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Valor Ringna nu Shaak

I love to try out these different combinations of vegetables that are staple in the Gujarati Cuisine. Let's savor round eggplants with valor - valpapdi today.

Vaalor Ringna nu Shaak
Indian string beans with Eggplants
2 cups vaalor/vaalpapdi, strings and both ends removed, halved and torn into bite sized pieces
1 longish or 2-3 round eggplants, chopped
salt to taste
1/2 cup water
A pinch of sugar
1/2 tsp paprika or mild chili powder
1 tbsp coriander-cumin powder/dhana jiru

2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp sesame seeds
1/4 tsp ajmo/owa/ajwain
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tsp ginger-green chili  paste

1 tbsp chopped cilantro (optional)

1. Rinse, cut and set veggies aside.
2. Heat oil in a pan/kadai. Add all the tempering ingredients. Saute ginger-chili paste for 1 minute.
3. Add vegetables, chili powder and coriandercumin powder.
4. Add water. Cover with a lid and let it cook for15-20 minutes on medium flame. Keep checking in between so veggies aren't burnt.
5. Add more water if needed. Add salt and sugar after veggies are cooked.
6. Serve with rotla or thepla.
7. Garnish with chopped cilantro if desired.

Note -
1. Keep a little gravy to this preparation. So you may need to add more water after veggies are cooked. But be sure not to make it too watery.

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Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Ringna-Saragawa nu Shaak - Eggplants with Drumsticks

Eggplant, Drumsticks and Indian lima beans is a classic combination in many states of India. Today I am featuring my mom-in-law's recipe.

Ringna-Saragawa nu Shaak
Eggplant with Indian Drumsticks
6 small eggplants/brinjals/gol ringna, sliced
3 small potatoes, peeled & sliced
3 small green tomatoes, sliced
10 oz Surti Papdi Lilva (I used frozen packet)
1 or 2 Saragawa ni shing/Shevgyachi sheng/Indian Drumsticks vegetable

salt to taste
2 tsp gujarati Garam Masala
1 tsp Coriander-cumin seed powder/dhana jiru
1 tsp paprika or mild chili powder
1 tsp jaggery

Grind to a coarse paste
3-4 garlic cloves
1 1/2 " ginger, peeled
3-4 green chilies (depending on the desired heat level)

1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp ajmo/ajwain/owa
1/4 tsp asafoetida/hing
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
2 tbsp Kasoori Methi

1. Rinse, peel and cut the vegetables and immerse potatoes and eggplants in water till ready to use.
2. Heat oil in a kadai. Add ajmo, asafoetida and turmeric powder. As they sizzle, add kasoori methi.
3. Saute for 30 seconds, Add paprika, coriander-cumin power, Gujarati garam masala.saute for 30 seconds. Add 2 tbsp water.
4. Now, add drained eggplants, potatoes, green tomatoes. drumsticks & Indian lima beans.
5. Fry for 1 minute. Add 1 cup water. Cover with a lid.
6. Let it cook on a slow flame for about 1/2 hour or till the veggies are cooked but not too mushy. Check for water in between, and add more if needed, taking care not to burn the vegetables.
7. Add salt and jaggery.
8. Garnish with freshly scraped coconut.
9. Serve with rotla or methi thepla.

Note -
1. Baby Lima beans or butter beans can be substituted for surti papdi lilva. Use green and freshly frozen beans and not dry/white beans from the pantry.
2. Keep a little gravy to this shaak.

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Monday, July 16, 2012

Papad nu Shaak - Papad Curry

This is a perfect shaak for a rainy day. This is made entirely from the pantry ingredients so when vegetables are not available, this curry comes handy.

Papad nu Shaak
20 mini papads or 5 big papads torn into bite sized pieces
1/4 cup moong daal vadi
1/2 tsp tamarind pulp
2 tsp jaggery, grated
1 tbsp crushed kasoori methi
salt to taste
1/2 tsp paprika

1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/4 tsp asafoetida
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/8 tsp ajwain/ajmo/owa
1/8 tsp methi seeds/fenugreek seeds
2-3 boriya chilies or any dry red chilies

1. Heat oil in a kadai.
2. Add all the ingredients for tempering.
3. As they sizzle, add moong vadies and saute for 2 minutes.
4. Add kasoori methi and paprika. Saute for 1 minute.
5. Add 2 cups water. Add paprika, salt,  tamarind pulp and jaggery.
6. Bring to a rapid boil. Reduce the gas and let it simmer for 5 minutes.
7.  Add papad and simmer till they are cooked.
8. Serve immediately.

Note -
1. Do not make this curry in advance.
2. Try not to keep the leftovers as it is to be consumed fresh.

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Cardamom Rose Ice Cream

Cardamom Rose Ice-cream inspired by Bombay Creamery, SF

According to me, San Francisco is the foodie heaven in the United States. And then there is one place we love to visit often for that rare (!) indulgence - Bombay Creamery at Mission. It's an Indian grocery + Snacks + Naturals type Ice-cream shop. They have some delicious flavors - Rose, Rose petals, Raja Rani, Ginger, Mango, Tutti Frutti, Kona Coffee? So what's the difference between rose and rose petals? The owner couple is so friendly they are  happy to answer all the queries. That aunty answered sweetly, "Rose has rose syrup and Rose petals has Gulkand".

Needless to say that we tried and loved many flavors there. But Cardamom Rose was the best. So, here's my interpretation.

Cardamom Rose Ice-Cream
1 pint or 2 cups half n half (I used Organic)
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tbsp corn starch

2-3 green cardamoms, peeled & crushed finely
3 tbsp Rose syrup such as Rooh Afza or Dabur
2 tsp Rose Water or Rose essence

1. Whisk half n half, sugar and corn starch in a heavy bottomed saucepan.
2. Bring to boil on medium heat while whisking.
3. Simmer for 4-5 minutes taking care not to let the milk mixture burn.
4. Take off the heat.
5. Let it cool down to the room temperature.
6. Add cardamom powder, rose syrup and rose water or essence.
7. Chill in the refrigerator at least for 1 hour.
8. Freeze in the ice-cream maker per manufacturer's instructions.

Rose Cardamom in the ice-cream maker
9. Pour in a freezer safe container. Freeze for at least 1 hour.
10. Soften in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes before serving.

Note -
1. For a richer flavor, use heavy cream instead of half-n-half.
2. This recipe is inspired from Pomegranate Gelato from I have changed the recipe per my own imagination.

Bombay Creamery
245 S Van Ness Ave
(between Erie St & South Van Ness Ave)
San Francisco, CA 94103

Bombay Creamery - Don't they look like  watercolor boxes?

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Boondi Chhas - Buttermilk with Boondi

My mom and her friends meet and dine, at least once a year, at Samrat - a vegetarian restaurant in Churchgate. Every single time, mom and all aunties order a Gujarati thali. I, as always,  am very curious to know what exactly was served in that thali. This time, I discovered - along with the usual suspects - it was "boondi chaas" - flavored buttermilk with boondies floating. Well, I had to try it myself. So here's my version.

Boondi Chaas
Flavored Buttermilk
1 1/2 cups plain yogurt
1 1/2 cups drinking water, preferably chilled
1 tbsp ginger, peeled & chopped
3-4 mint leaves, fresh
1 green chili (optional)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 tsp chaat masala
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/4 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp sugar
salt to taste

1 tbsp salty boondi per serving

1. Blend all the ingredients except boondi in a blender
2. Refrigerate till ready to serve.
3. Just before serving, pour in the serving glasses and add 1 tbsp boondi per glass.

Note -
1. I used fat free yogurt. Full fat yogurt will give a richer flavor.
2. Adjust water according to thick or thin consistency.
3. Use drinking water since we are not going to boil this dish.
4. My proportion of cilantro and mint gave a light green hue to this "chaas". If you want deeper green color, increase the amount of cilantro.
5. Do not use dry mint or cilantro.
6. Chaat masala has rock salt in it so adjust salt accordingly.
7. Boondi are generally available at your local Indian stores.
8. Do not use sweetened boondi for this recipe.

Prem Court, Jamshedji Tata Road, Churchgate , Mumbai

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Friday, July 13, 2012

White Eggplant

Why eggplant is called an egg plant!

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Thursday, July 12, 2012

Green Kale Plant

Green Kale Plant

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Purple Kale Plant

Purple Kale Plant

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Red Okra Plant

Red Okra Plant

A lifelong (ok, may not be really a lifelong but quite a long timer!) container Gardener gets a pleasant surprise to see the ginormous growth of the plants after planting them in the veggie patch. This okra plant, for instance - I thought, would reach the sky. (ok, I am exaggerating a little!) - but I have had planted okra in the container and got plenty of crop but in the veggie patch, it grew as if it was a beanstalk of Jack!!;-D

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Poblano Peppers

Poblano Peppers

From my Kitchen Garden

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Sunday, July 8, 2012

Persian Cookies

I was looking for a new recipe for cookies without too much butter. I came across this recipe from for Persian Walnut Cookies. It didn't have any butter so I decided to try it.

Persian Walnut Cookies
1 1/2 cup finely ground walnuts
3 egg yolks
3/4 cups sugar
1 tsp ground cardamom
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp rose water
1 tbsp grated lemon zest

1. Preheat oven to 350 F
2. Mix all the above ingredients to forn a dough.
3. Roll into spoonful of balls. Flatten them slightly.
4. Place them 2" apart onto a parchment lined baking sheet.
5. Bake for 15-20 minutes
6. Let them cool in the sheet for 10 minutes before transferring to the wire rack to cool further.

Note -
1. I have reduced the amount of cardamom (1 tbsp in the original recipe) and added grated lemon zest to get the fresh flavor.
2. The cookies are soft.
3. Please check the original recipe below for more info.


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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Tandoori Tofu

Tandoori Tofu can easily be made home using a nonstick pan/tawa. This is how I make it -

Tandoori Tofu
1 Block Extra-Firm Tofu, Cut into triangles [I used Whole Foods Organic brand]
2 tbsp Tandoori Chicken Masala
1 tbsp oil
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/8 tsp ajwain/owa/ajmo
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
*Salt (check if Tandoori Masala and add only if needed)
Chaat Masala
1 tbsp minced cilantro
1 tsp minced mint
Lemon wedges if needed
1. Whisk all the ingredients for the marinade.
2. Place the marinade in a pie plate. Place tofu pieces in a single layer. Let it marinate for 1/2 hour. Flip and let it marinate for at least 1/2 hour more.
3. Heat a nonstick pan. Using an oil spray, grease the pan.
4. Place tofu pieces on tawa, shaking off excess marinade.
5. Let it cook on a moderate heat. Flip and cook on both the sides so the tofu pieces are evenly browned.
6. Garnish with chaat masala and chopped cilantro & mint.
7. Serve with lemon wedges.
Note -
1. You can use a nonstick tawa/pan with grilled marks to make Tandoori Tofu
2. You can use more(or less) Tandoori Masala based on your preference.
3. Please check for the salt content in the Tandoori Masala and adjust salt as needed.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Avocado Gelato

It's hot, hot, hot here!! So here's my chance to try out the bookmarked summer special recipes.  I had bookmarked "Avocado Gelato" from I especially liked it as it doesn't have any heavy cream but avocado with its good fat, makes this gelato very creamy.

Avocado Gelato
1 3/4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup sugar
3 strips Orange zest

2 tbsp corn starch
1/4 cup whole milk

2 ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and chopped
1 vitamin C tablet, crushed
1/4 cup sugar

Need - Ice Cream maker

1. Simmer milk, sugar and orange zest in a heavy bottomed pan.
2. Whisk cornstarch and milk and pour over simmering milk.
3. Boil it for 1 minute. Discard the orange zest. Let it cool down completely in the fridge.
4. Blend avocado pieces, sugar and vitamin C tablet.
5. Add completely chilled milk mixture and blend again.
6. Add it to the ice cream maker and freeze according to the manufacturer's instructions.
7. Pour in the freezer safe container and freeze for 1 hour.
8. Serve & Enjoy!!

Note -
1. My guess is vitamin C tablet is added so avocado doesn't get discolored. Any more guesses?


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Thursday, July 5, 2012

Raspberry & Blueberry Muffins

Since Gudiya wanted to bake something with "Red, White and Blue" theme for the 4th of July, I decided to make Raspberry & Blueberry Muffins that I had bookmarked from the Prevention Healthy Woman. Gudiya would have loved a sheet cake with red, white and blue frosting but I wanted something tad bit healthier!

Raspberry & Blueberry Muffins
From Prevention Magazine

Mix dry ingredients
 1 3/4 cup All Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Almond Flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup ground flax seeds/flax powder
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp lemon zest (optional)

2/3 cup Fresh raspberries
2/3 cup Fresh blueberries

Whisk wet ingredients
1 cup 2 % milk
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup Almond oil

1. Mix all the dry ingredients. Add berries, stir to coat and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 400 F.
3. Whisk wet ingredients.
4. Add wet mixture to the dry mixture and fold in gently without breaking the berries.
5. Line the muffin pan with paper liners. Pour the batter.
6. Bake for 20-24 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes on rack before serving.
7. Enjoy!

Note -
1. Use fresh berries.
2. Do not over mix and break the berries.
3. This recipe makes 12 muffins. I used mini muffin pan. It gave me 24 mini muffins and a loaf.
4. The original recipe does not call for the lemon zest. I like to add it in my baking.


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Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Independence Day, America!

God Bless America!

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Monday, July 2, 2012

Fool Mudammas - Fava Bean Salad

My blogging has created a wonderful food critic in our house and she is none other than my daughter. She loves to pretend a judge on "Chopped" or very next minute she is "Anton Ego" of Ratatouillie. I must say that her tastebuds have matured from favoring just Mac n Cheese & Pizza to some complex delicacies around the world.

Just sometime back, we had tasted Fool Mudammas at a Middle Eastern Restuarant. Gudiya loved it. The restaurant also had a nearby grocery stores so I went ahead and bought a pack of "Fava Beans". After some time, I  followed the recipe on the back of the packet. However, Gudiya gave me a true feedback. She said - "Mom, this is good but the one which we had at the restaurant also had tomatoes. So it tastes different!"  That was a good observation. I discarded my picture and recipe since it wasn't yet blog worthy. :-D

Later after a month or so, I tried my hands on Fool Muddammas again. I remembered Gudiya's feedback and tried to make it as close to the restuarant one. Instead of tomatoes, I added a little twist by using Jack's Salsa from Costco.

My homegrown food critic approved it and gave me 4 1/2 stars out of 5. "Where did I miss that 1/2 star, Gudiya?" - I asked her. Very seriously, she answered - " There is always a room for improvement, Mom!" :-D

Fool Mudammas
Fava Bean Salad
1 cup dry fava beans
salt to taste
1 tsp paprika
1 cup Jack's salsa from Costco

1 fat clove of garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
2 key limes

1 tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley or Cilantro

Suggested Accompanement
Ezkeil brand pita bread

1. Soak fava beans in water for 12 hours. Change water at least once.
2. Drain. Pressure cook adding paprika, salsa and 2 cups water.
3. Pressure cook till 7-8 whistles.
4. Open the lid. Add salt to taste. Let it simmer on medium flame for 10 minutes. Add water if needed.
5. Using a potato masher, mash the beans lightly.
6. Grate a garlic clove and add to the simmering beans. Drizzle 1 tbsp olive oil. Simmer for 15 more minutes.
7. Squeeze lime juice.
8. Garnish with chopped parsley or cilantro leaves.
9. Serve with toasted Pita bread.

Note -
1. If I am using salsa for cooking, I prefer only Jack's salsa because it has a fresh flavor without any preservatives. If not using Salsa, you can use onion, tomatoes, cilantro.
2. Any pita bread of your choice will work with this recipe. I love Ezkeil brand.
3. I like to mash the fava beans lightly. But based on your preference, you can mash them completely.
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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Garbanzo Plant

Fresh Garbanzo Beans

Last time I had planted fresh chickpeas/brown chanas. So this year, I decided to experiment with "kabooli chana" - the variety that is used to make "chholay" in the Punjabi cuisine. I felt blessed to receive a harvest of fresh garbanzo beans.

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