Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Capsicum Biriyani

We are in the middle of a move right now, and needless to say it’s a very stressful time for me. It’s not just the actual work that stresses me, but more so the anticipation of the work, because I know exactly what to expect. You see, within a span of 11 years, we have relocated to 6 different cities and within a city we have shifted form one house to another at least 2 times.. and we are not minimalists you know, we have stuff and it needs to be shifted... and it’s all manual labour!!!

In chaotic times like these, I take refuge in food. 
If generally I prepare just sambar and rice for dinner, during these times I prepare an elaborate meal, like chapathi, sabzi, and rice bath.
It’s not only during shifting, it could be during any boring or tiresome activity. Even when I am vacationing, my first priority is food :) 
It’s not junk food that I look for, just some comfort food. Knowing that I’ll be eating something nice gets me through the day. I have something to look forward to, some assurance that all this stress is temporary, to know that there is light(aka good food) by the end of the day. 

Thank you food! 

And incidentally I came across this, which brought a huge smile on my face :)

But the one thing that has stayed consistent through our crazy transient life is the hand of our Lord over it all. We've seen it day in and day out. Moving in and moving out.
He stays the same and we can be confident as we can rely on Him as our Rock when the storms pick up and toss us in a new direction” (read full story here)
Okay, it’s food and God! Thank you God :)
Well, moving on from my love affair with food..

Capsicum Biriyani is again from “YummyTummy..”, my favorite blog. It tastes heavenly. 

The recipe asks to pressure cook the whole thing directly, but I loved it more when I cooked the rice separately and mixed it with the masala paste. 

Do try!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Benne Muruku

Being married for more than a decade, Valentines day has lost its charm completely!

I no longer get mushy watching Bollywood romantic movies, like I used to. Reality has set in :D
It actually angers me more now when I see a guy falling head over heels over any girl just over a glance!! or ‘love at first sight’ type stories.

I remember vividly, when my whole family went to watch ‘Maine Pyar Kiya’ in a theatre, back when I was little girl. It was a blockbuster movie of that time. In the second half of the movie, Salman Khan is beating himself up to prove his worth to his future father-in-law(daughter is already in his “butti”, now it’s father-in-law’s turn), and sitting next to me, my father is grunting  “chhe”, “thoon”(as in “what nonsense is this”) loudly... I still remember how embarrassed I was feeling then.. My father just couldn’t take that movie, and he didn’t have any qualms showing it. 
Now it’s my turn, I guess. I hate love stories. Either it has been passed down to me through genes (though I may never go to the extent of grunting in a theatre.. :)) or my hubby has killed romance for me :)

Oh well, there’s always anniversaries and birthdays to celebrate..

Coming to the recipe -

Benne muruku is nothing but softer version of chakli, broken chakli to be precise. It is more buttery than regular chakli. And also, since it is directly pressed into the oil, you are actually saving a lot of time by not pressing chaklis. 

And as claimed, a whole batch can be made within 20 min. Pretty easy if you ask me! 

Do try and enjoy with your Valentine :)

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Green Peas Curry

This is yet another North Indian style curry that goes well with rice as well as Chapathi. The procedure is fairly easy, though a little time consuming. This recipe is from one of my favorite food blogs Jeyashri’s Kitchen. I’ve only added few paneer pieces which was not in the original recipe. 

Do try!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Sorekayi/Bottle gourd/Lauki_Channa Curry

According to my mom, Sorekayi/Lauki/Bottle gourd is some wonder vegetable. She says, and she heard somewhere(Baba Ramdev, I think), that no part of this vegetable should be thrown out. So I use it often... though only in south Indian curries and sambars, which only go well with rice and not necessarily chapathis. 

This recipe is more North Indian(like a sabzi) and could be eaten with Chapathis as well. It is very simple tasting, as well as easy to cook. Requires less oil, and tastes great.

Enjoy this healthy sabzi with chapathi/rice. 

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Low Fat Okra Fries

Happy New Year!!

Made any resolutions yet? Is losing weight one of them by any chance ;).. 
It was always on my list until one fine day I decided not to believe in making resolutions anymore :) If it’s going to happen.. it’s going to happen.. right? I don’t need to reserve one day for making resolutions and then the whole year for regretting for not keeping up with it ;) 

Anyways, if you are still making resolutions, and if eating healthy is one of them, then please do try these low fat okra fries.. they are yummy!

Okra has always been hit and miss for me.. okra dry sabzis are okay, but the moment you introduce any water into it, like in sambar, they become very slimy.. sometimes very very slimy, and this after taking all precautions that I know of.. 
So when I came across this promising recipe of okra, I tried it immediately.. and boy oh boy! does it taste good!! There is almost no oil in it, and still it tastes so crispy and crunchy!
My daughter just kept asking for more and more.. 
This is definitely a keeper of a recipe!

All you need to do is toss cut okra in bajji/pakoda flour and microwave them.. it’s that simple.. 

Do give it a try! 

Monday, December 22, 2014

Eggless Fruit Cake

It’s impressive how our elders insist on fresh food all the time, even on bakery items, which have pretty good shelf life. I remember, whenever we craved for some bakery food in the evenings, my mom would send my brother to get some freshly made stuff from the bakery. Fruit cake was always on my list. My mom would specifically instruct my brother to ask for fresh loaf of bread or any stuff; if it were an old batch he may not buy it. Packaged food was never appreciated. After coming to US, of course, all my “fresh food” privileges got hit. The packaged fruit cake available here in Indian stores doesn’t even come close to the fresh ones I used to gobble up back home. They were/are so bad that one would just give up the idea of eating it, than getting used to the taste of it. Few years back, when I came across this fruit cake recipe, I was more than eager to try it out. Who knows, if it clicks then I don’t have to wait to go to India to eat it again. And it did click! Actually it came out better than my expectations. Since it is eggless, many of those who don’t prefer a strong egg smell(particularly in fruit cakes) can also enjoy it. 

Only after coming to US did I realize that this cake is associated with Christmas. 

Make one right now and enjoy your holidays! 

Merry Christmas!!!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Black Eyed Beans Vada

I don't know about you, but for me, deciding on what to cook is a nightmare!

My bookmark folder has grown so big that it needs another bookmark folder to sort it out. It's growing like Hanumanthana baala... it's becoming so taxing just going over the list. 

Whenever I find anything interesting I bookmark and then basically forget about it. Not only that, I also buy cook books whenever I come across anything interesting. Between these two humongous lists, I often get lost and sometimes get a head ache looking for something interesting to cook. Oh, the tragedy! 

When I saw this vada on my friend’s FB page, my memory was refreshed about this recipe that I had bookmarked long time ago. And so it got bumped up to the top on my todo list. So the next time when I got an opportunity to make an appetizer for a potluck, instead of going over and over again on my lengthy list, I instantly decided on this..

The vada is very much similar to Ambode(masala vada), except that, instead of using chana dal, it uses black eyed beans. Black eyed beans gives this a slightly soft texture compared to chana dal. 

Do try!