I am never short of words. I always have more than one person’s share to talk. But there are times, even for people like me, when the words just don’t seem to come. I am going through such a phase when it comes to writing here in this small space of mine.
My son is growing up fast, I am not able to catch up with him or run along with him (literally and philosphically). He says things, which I enjoy at that moment and then totally forget it later because he has done some other new thing. I am not able to capture those here, so I have just decided to enjoy the moment. Whenever he says something funny, my mind unwinds and a smile comes in my lips despite my trying to be stern. Little things in life really makes it worth living!
It is definitely a blessing when the only worry in your life is ‘What to cook for dinner tonight?’. A real blessing, actually!
Valli makes even the toughest question of the day (What to cook today) easy with her BM themes. This week its stuffed breads, so here is a chapati with a different version than usual. A chapati with an Italian pesto filling!
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for more themes and more recipes from other participants.
- Whole wheat flour : 2 cups (makes about 6-8)
- Water to make the dough
- Mint Pesto, about 2 tsp per chapati
- In a big bowl, make the chapati dough. Add water in quater cup fulls to get a stiff yet pliable, soft dough. Keep aside for 15 minutes
- Divide the dough into 6 or 8 lemon sized balls. Roll into 2″ circles, keep the pesto filling. Close from the edges so that the filling is sealed inside. Roll again into round chapatis. Repeat with the rest of the dough.
- Heat a tawa, cook the roti on both sides till brown spots appear. Serve with Green Peas Masala.
Linking this to Valli’s Kid’s Delight, for this month’s theme : Healthy Lunch Box Recipes hosted by PJ of Seduce your Tastebuds.
‘You will forget, Mommy! I will write it in a paper and give it to you.’ That’s kiddo’s dialogue now a days. I guess thats his way of accepting that I have a pathetic memory!
So when kiddo and hubby sat together and made the dinner list for the week, they put it down on a paper, so that ‘Mommy won’t forget!’ (The list hasn’t helped much, but we are still trying to make him eat.)
For Thursday, its dosa per the list, but I served him rice and dal. Kiddo, who now checks before he eats, took his school ID card - checked his dad’s number from there and called him.
Imagine my embarassment and my hubby’s surprise when he gets a call from kiddo, saying :’Mommy is not making me the dish from the list. She has forgotten to check it again, Daddy!’.
A minute after the call, I was back to where I was the week before. Making dosas, and serving them hot.
And I am doing the same in the blog. Serving you the same naan I made a week back, for the Restaurant theme. For this week’s Blogging Marathon, I have chosen ‘Stuffed Bread’ as the theme. And the naan fits the bill well :)
I modified the recipe at Experiments at Kailas Kitchen. I added 3-4 tbsp of yogurt and used all purpose flour for the naan. I added some crushed garlic too to the dough. I will update the recipe here later.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for more recipes and more themes.
Day three of Blogging Marathon 24 and I have put together a meal from the take away menu of India House Veg Restaurant. There is a dish each from their Hari Bhari Subjiyam (Dal Fry), Hamari Pasand (Bhindi Masala) and Koyle Ki Khan Se (Stuffed Garlic Naan). I skipped the Breakfast section, since it wouldn’t suit with these dishes.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page to see whats cooking up!
Bhindi Masala : This curry was a bit of a let down after all the work that went in it. It tasted OK, but nothing like what you get in the restaurants. It may be because I didn’t deep fry the bhindi. Anyway, this is what I did!
- Wash, clean and pat dry 500 gms of ladies finger. Coat them in a tablespoon of oil and microwave for 5-6 minutes, without lid.
- Saute one chopped onion, 1 tsp ginger garlic paste, 2-3 green chillies in a tablespoon of oil. Add one chopped tomato once the onion turns pink. Add 1 tbsp coriander powder, salt and 1/4 tsp turmeric powder. Mix and cook for two minutes. Check the seasonings. Take off the heat, cool and grind into a paste. This is a standard paste for all curries and can be made in advance and frozen for making life easy!
- For the curry, saute an onion in a spoon of ghee or oil. Add the cooked bhindi and let it cook for 3-4 minutes. Donot mix too much since the okra might break, but do stirring it now and then carefully. Add half a tomato, chopped to this mix, followed by the prepared paste. Let everything come together and check and adjust seasonings if required.
- Add 2 tbsp coriander leaves, 1 tsp of garam masala and mix. Take off the heat and serve hot with chapatis/roti/naan.
Dal Fry Recipe
- Moong dal : 1 cup, cooked
- Onion : 1 medium, chopped
- Tomato : 1/2 of a medium one, chopeed
- Ginger : 1 tsp, shredded
- Red chilies : 1-2 tsp
- Turmeric Powder : 1/4 tsp
- Garam masala : 1/2 tsp
- Coriander leaves ; 2 tbsp
- Jeera seeds : 1 tsp
- Ghee/Oil : 2-3 tsps
- Wash and clean half a cup of moong dal and pressure cook for 4 whistles or till done. Mash and keep aside.
- Heat ghee in a pan, add the jeera and red chilies. Once jeera splutters, add the onions and cook till pink.
- Add tomatoes and after a minute, add the dal, turmeric powder and salt. Mix and add half a cup water if its too thick. Once you add water, ensure that you mix everything together and the water doesn’t form a separate layer on top. You might have to add more water, if the dal is too thick.
- Add the coriander leaves. Let it boil. Keep mixing at regular intervals, though I do this out of habil than of need :D. Do a taste test and adjust seasonings. I sometimes add red chili flakes if I want a bit of spice. You can add chilli powder or green chillies or more red chillies at the beginning itself.
- Take off the heat, serve hot with rice or chapatis.
I will be sharing the recipe of the naan later! The naan and the daal fry compensated for the OK tasting bhindi. The naan esp. took the meal truly to a restaurant level.
There are times when we are happy, and times when we are sad.
And then there are times when we are plain stupid.
Now, these, I can tell you, are recollected with so much of embarrassment and so much of laughter (depending on which side of the joke you are in)!
Like, the lunch I gave to my hubby’s colleagues. I served dry, tough rotis with a lukewarm curry, followed by a totally sour curd rice. The over enthusiastic me, had double cooked the rotis and forgot to add milk to prevent the yogurt from turning sour.
The saving grace was the brownies. Though, by the end of the meal, everyone was skeptic to try them. Then finally with a ‘how much worse can it get’ attitude, they plunged in and were pleasantly surprised. Then they all watched a movie together to get over the lunch experience and went back home with a ‘I will never come here again’ promise to themselves.
I haven’t gotten over the experience yet. And to this day, I order food from outside if someone is visiting. That way, if the food is not good, I too can join in everyone’s “what the food!” cursing with an open heart.
Its the final week of Blogging Marathon 20 and my theme for this week is ‘BM paired’. I am paired with Preethi of Preethi’s Kitchen Life and I have chosen her Onion Parathas as the first dish to feature here.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for more recipes from the other participating bloggers.
Recipe Source : Preethi’s Kitchen Life
Makes 6-8 parathas
For the dough
- Wheat flour : 2 cups
- Salt : as required
- Oil : 1 -2 tsp
- Onion : 1 big, chopped fine
- Chili powder : 1/2 tsp
- Coriander leaves : 1 tbsp, chopped fine
- Kasuri Methi : 1 tsp
- Chat masala : 1/2 tsp (optional)
- Add the flour, salt and a tsp or two of oil in a wide opened bowl. Add with one cup of water and bring together the flour to make a dough. Add more water (in quarter cupfuls) as required. Knead the dough to the chapati dough consistency and keep aside for 20 minutes.
- For the filling, chop the onion and coriander leaves fine. Add the chili powder, salt, chat masala and kasuri methi to ti. Spread out in a piece of tissue paper or old news paper for half an hour. This is to dry out the filling as the onions will let out water. I forgot to do this and ended up with small sized parathas as you won’t be able to roll them properly.
- Divide the dough into small lemon sized balls. You might get around 6-8 dough balls. Dust them in flour and roll them into 4″ circles with a rolling pin. Keep a tablespoon of filling inside and bring together the edges into the centre so that the filling is enclosed.
- Dust will flour again and roll them out again into 7″ circles. Do not exert too much pressure on the rolling pin, as the filling might break out of the parathas.
- Heat a pan and cook the parathas on both sides adding half a teaspoon of ghee on both the sides while cooking. Serve hot with yogurt and pickle or with a simple dal.
It would have been their fiftieth wedding anniversary in September. That’s when our neighbor uncle passed away, peacefully, in his sleep.
A few days short of fifty years of togetherness. A happy lifetime together with aunty.
They weren’t financially well off. But looking at them, you would know that you don’t need money to be happy.
And our poor aachi aunty, she has to get up every morning alone, knowing that the familiar face will not be around. I wish her the courage to face the coming days and years.
Your silent presence will be missed, uncle. May your soul rest in peace.
Recipe Source : Yummy Tummy
- Cabbage : 1 cup, very finely chopped
- Onion : 1 small, finely chopped
- Chili Powder : 1 tsp (or to taste)
- Turmeric Powder : 1/4 tsp
- Coriander Powder : 1 tsp
- Ginger garlic paste : 1 tsp
- Wheat Flour : 2 cups
- Make the chapati dough by mixing and kneading the wheat flour with about a cup of water. Cover and keep aside. Mince or grate the cabbage for stuffing. I use food processor for mincing cabbage and for making the chapati dough. So it gets done in a jiffy.
- Heat about 2 tsp of oil in a kadai. Add the ginger garlic paste and the onions. Saute till the onions turn pink. Add the cabbage and the chili, coriander, turmeric powders and salt. Cook for about 10 minutes plus, stirring now and then, till the cabbage is cooked and the stuffing is totally dry. Keep aside.
- Divide the dough into 6 equal balls. Roll out one ball out into 4″ diameter circle first. Dust the dough with some wheat flour for easy rolling.
- Add about a tbsp of the cabbage filling and seal the dough ball from all sides. Dust in flour again and roll out into a 6 – 7″ big paratha. Do not apply a lot of pressure since the filling might break out.
- Cook both sides of the paratha in a hot tawa, smearing ghee or oil. Repeat the rolling, filling and cooking with the remaining dough balls.
- Serve hot with curd and pickle.
A month and a half has flown by since we moved in to our new apartment. Yet life is as unsettled as it can be. Like the mythological goddesses carrying many things in many arms, I too don a 4-5 things in my two hands all the time. A broom, a mop, a duster and a bucket of water is what you would find me yielding most of the time.
There is too much of work going on all around and even inside the house. So its hardly surprising that cooking and blogging has taken a backseat for the time being. It was only when the husband hinted about the monotonus food being served everyday, that I decided to make something different.
So here is the Lachha Paratha I made, from my Blog Hop partner Pallavi’s blog for this month. Check out her space for a lot of interesting recipes or if you want to learn the ABCs of Gujarati Cooking. I served it with Capsicum Stir Fry from Nupur’s blog.
- Wheat Flour : 2 cups
- Extra Flour
- Take the flour in a broad vessel and add a tsp salt (or as much as you prefer). Mix.
- Add about half a cup of water and start making a dough, adding more water as required to get chapati dough consistency. I usually add water in 1/4 cupfuls, that way I won’t add too much water and end up with a sticky dough. You can add a tbsp of oil or ghee while making the dough. Cover the dough and keep aside for 15 minutes.
- Divide the dough into 5-6 balls, each about the size of a lemon. In a separate plate, take about 2 tbsp of flour or wheat flour.
- Dust the dough ball in the flour and roll it into a circle, like you would do for a chapati. Add a teaspoonful of ghee in the middle and spread it out. Sprinkle about half a tsp of flour on top of the ghee.
- Now fold it from one end like a fan. Please check out Pallavi’s step by step pictures to see how it is done. You can also check out this video for another way of doing it.
- Once you have folded the dough to the other end, roll it into a circle like a snail. Stick the end with a bit of ghee. Dust in the flour and roll out the circle again. Do not apply a lot of pressure, since the layers might get pressed out. Repeat with the rest of the dough balls.
- Heat a tawa or a non stick pan and when its hot, cook the lachha paratha for a minute. Flip over and cook the top side too. You can add a tsp of ghee while cooking, that really adds to the taste and stops the paratha from drying out later. I cooked the paratha in open flame too in the end to get a charred tandoori effect.
- Enjoy with yogurt and pickle. We had it with a quick and easy Capsicum stir fry.
A decade before, I had been to a Gujarati restaurant with my two brothers. We ordered the unlimited Thali meals. The pleasant waiter started fine, bringing all the delicacies with enthusiasm. But towards the end, he totally ignored our table.
Can’t blame him, because that’s how much my brothers ate! After all the restaurants too are there to make a profit. With a few patrons like my brothers, they can kiss good bye to their profit.
Anyway, it was all long time back. My brothers are grown up now (old old old!) and their food intake is normal now. But I can never forget those growing up years and our appetite at that time.
So even though my brothers were not received kindly at Gujarati restaurants, this food has held a fascination for me. I love the light phulkas they serve for the thalis. Super soft and fluffy.
I have tried recreating a mini thali here, and it indeed proves how much old I have become, I just had to look at the spread to feel full!
Some of the dishes are from Nita Mehta’s book Taste of Gujarat. Others are from the internet, so I have no idea how authentic they are. So please bear with me in case I have gotten them wrong.
- Vegetable dishes and Curries
- Sev Tameta Nu Shaak : Tomatoes cooked with spices and served with farsaan sev
- Tindora Nu Shaak : Ivy gourd cooked with simple spices
- Batata Nu Shaak : Simple Potatoes subzi
- Khatti Mitti Dal : Sweet, sour and spicy lentil preparation
- Gujarati Kadhi : Yogurt and besan based preparation
- Plain rice
- Bakri : A thick flat bread, made with whole wheat
- Mint Coriander Chutney : same as in Punjabi Thali
- Khaman Dhokla: A healthy snack made with besan. Microwave version
- Panha : A drink made with cooked raw mango that is pureed with cardamom powder and sugar
- Jalebi : A fried sweet, dipped in sugar syrup. Store bought!
Ingredients for Panha:
- Raw mango : 1, peeled and chopped
- Sugar : 1/4 cup
- Cardamom powder : 1/2 tsp
- Cook the raw mango with half cup of water. I did this in the Microwave.
- Once its cooked and has cooled down, puree it in the mixer with sugar. Strain.
- Add cardamom powder and mix. When ready to serve, in a glass tumbler, take about 2-3 tbsp of this concentrate.
- Add cool water and bring it to the brim. Serve chilled.
The jalebi and the sev used for tomato curry is store bought. Everything else was made at home.
I have made kadhi multiple times, but other than that I am cooking most of them for the first time. Surprisingly, I found that the dishes weren’t all that different from our typical South Indian cooking. There was no coconut used, but the side dishes were cooked with chili powder and coriander powder. Not too much of masalas or unheard of exotic spices!
I am at my in laws place now. I came two days back, for collecting something from here. Kiddo refused to come back to our place and so me and him stayed back for a couple of days.
And here I am – waking to wholesome breakfasts. And my hubby, 14 kilometers away in our house, is staying alone and facing dry bread/corn flakes to start the day.
My day extends to a scrumptious lunch and an awesome dinner. My MIL is an amazing cook and even an everyday meal is a mini thali here. My poor hubby has to have ordinary canteen food for lunch and a dosa from a nearby tiffin center for dinner.
But I am sure on Friday he would have ordered Pizza. Friday was our Pizza day. We used to buy pizza and slowly graduated to making pizzas at home. Below is one of the blast from the past pizzas.
- All purpose flour : 500 gms
- Yeast : 2 tsp
- Sugar : 1 tsp
- Salt : 1/2 tsp
- Water : lukewarm
- Olive Oil : 1 1/2 tbsp
- Pizza Sauce : 1 cup
- Cheese : 2 cups, approx
- Onion : 1 medium
- Tomato : 1 – 2 medium
- Capsicum (Red/Green/Yellow) : 1 small
- Baby Corn : 2-3
- Dissolve yeast and sugar in 1/4 cup of lukewarm water. Keep aside for 10-15 minutes for the yeast to foam and rise. If it doesn’t form any bubbles, discard it and start again with a fresh batch of yeast.
- Combine the flour, salt and whisk. Mix in the yeast mix, oil, lukewarm water and kneed to form a soft pliable dough. It will take about 8-10 minutes.
- Place it in a greased bowl and set aside until the dough has doubled in size. This might take about an hour or so. A transparent bowl with a rubber band for marking the initial size of dough will be very useful here.
- Preheat the oven to 200 C. Grease the pizza pan.
- Once the dough has risen, kneed it for a minute or two and then shape it into a circular base. Prick holes all over with a fork randomly.
- Once the oven is heated (approx 15 minutes), bake the base for 5 minutes. Take it out and spread the pizza sauce on it. Add the grated cheese and then the toppings. Go easy on the toppings, since too much of it make the pizza heavy. Top with cheese again.
- Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and the base looks cooked.
- The above quantity will give around 3 -4 medium pizzas, depending on the thickness.
I was making a new gravy for lunch today and was following the given recipe correctly. That’s when innovation struck me and pretty soon cooking disaster followed.
I have given strict instructions to my brain not to use itself when it comes to cooking, but then who listens! The rest of my day will be spent in thinking up convincing excuses to defend my lousy curry.
Now coming to the recipe here, this is a fail proof one. Its an excellent way to sneak in vegetables into your kids diet. This chapati was really really soft, making it excellent for lunch box. This is a sweet version, you can make a savory version by adding red chilli powder, coriander powder and some fresh or dried methi leaves.
- Sweet Potato : 1 medium, cooked and mashed
- Wheat Flour : 1 1/2 cups
- Sugar : 1 tsp (optional)
- Water : as required
- Cook and mash the sweet potatoes. There shouldn’t be any lumps. I cooked them in microwave.
- Add this and the flour in a bowl and make a dough, adding water as required.
- You might have to add/adjust the flour to get the dough to the consistency of chapati dough.
- The dough will be very soft. Cover and keep aside for half an hour at least.
- Roll into chapatis. Try using all purpose flour instead of Atta while rolling these.
- Heat a tava and cook them on both sides, these puff up well too if placed directly on the flame.
- Soft and sweet chapatis are ready, serve with a nice side dish!
Can you see me shouting ‘Hooray’ with joy, doing somersaults, grinning foolishly, being extremely happy in general? That’s because my four days of misery without the internet is over!
When the guy from Airtel called up on our landline and informed us that the problem is fixed, I was so happy that I would have given my daughter in marriage to him! Well, lets say its a good thing for me (and the telephone guy) that I don’t have a daughter.
Oh, How I missed seeing ‘No new messages’ on my mail box! I so really missed marking the promotional mails that fill up my inbox, as spam. God, life without the net is a real horror story, and a boring one at that too!
The minute the net came, I sat in front of the laptop, to catch up with the huge bundle of emails I was sure I would have got. I wasn’t disappointed, the eBay, Shop Your World and other sites hadn’t forgotten me at all. They didn’t mind being ignored by me for the past couple of days. Ah…loved deleting them without even reading.
So I am back to blogging too! Here is my post for Srivalli’s Blogging Marathon which is entering the tenth edition now. I missed the first four days (no net, no post!).
I have chosen the theme Lunch Box recipes, and here is my entry for the fifth day : Roti with a simple cabbage salad (Sambharo) and yogurt.
- Chapatis : 3
- Cabbage : 2 cups, shredded
- Carrot : 1, grated
- Lemon Juice : 1- 2 tsp
- Green Chillies : 2 -3, per taste
- Mustard seeds : 1 tsp
- Asafoetida : a pinch
- Curry leaves : a sprig
- Oil : 1 tsp
- Microwave the shredded cabbage and carrot together for 3 minutes, till its 3/4th cooked.
- Heat oil in a pan, add the asafoetida, mustard seeds, curry leaves and green chillies. Once it all splutters, add the carrot cabbage mixture and salt. Cook for a minute or two till its all well blended.
- Take off the heat, add lemon juice. Check the seasonings and adjust.
- I packed this and a small bowl of yogurt as a side dish for rotis for hubby’s lunch.