Fall is back!

•September 21, 2011 • Leave a Comment

I am sooooo glad Fall is back!

All my favorite TV shows are back … its going to be so much fun, yay!!

You thought I was going to go on, about the fall colors, nature, weather, and what not, didnt you? 🙂 🙂 🙂

 

Reine de Saba

•September 21, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Ever since I saw Eric smear this awesome chocolate cake all over his face, Ive wanted to do the same.I had read about this chocolate cake in Art of French Cooking before, but never knew it would turn out so awesome.

To think of it, I didnt know, because I did not see a picture of it. The cookbooks these days have such a perfect blend in of food photography, I feel like I am eating off the pages of the book itself 🙂

Anyways, back to this goddess of all cakes …. the gooey center, the dark chocolate dense-ness, the nutty almond flavor, yum yum and more YUM!!

I wont repeat the recipe here, its pasted all over the food blogo-sphere.

I am so glad I finally made it.The BH and I have saved some for ourselves for tomorrow 😛

Getting back …

•September 9, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Ramzaan is finally over and I am just getting back on my feet. I think I am way more scared with the idea of fasting than the fasting itself 🙂 I had started groaning about it long before the fasting started, but it wasnt half as bad. There were unfortunate days when the temperature was in the 90’s and our AC broke down, but otherwise things went pretty smooth. Then of course, I had awesome company of my 8 year old niece. We had the most wonderful time with her being around for the summer. Pretty hectic, new experiences, but loads of fun!!!

In my search for making something new, I wandered around TasteSpotting and found some very luscious photos and I had to try those recipes out. I made the Vegetable Quiche Casserole from Kayotic Kitchen. and the Quinoa salad from Spoon With Me.

I got a few shots of the casserole before we dug in, but the quinoa was gone before I could serve. Both of these turned out pretty well, though I would add some more veggies in the casserole next time and also a tinge more of spice, you know the Indian taste, always wants more spice 🙂 🙂

The Ensemble

The Cooking of Veggies

The Final tray ready for Baking

Hope to have a good weekend and hope all of you too!

Update: Here is the quinoa salad – just mixed in cooked red quinoa, tomatoes, spring onions, grated carrots, parseley/coriander, salt, pepper and lots of lemon!!

Parija’s Mushrooms

•May 31, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Thinking of friends often triggers the memories of what I used to eat with them, over all the lunches we enjoyed at work 🙂 I cannot imagine the number of topics we could squeeze into our lunch hour, it was quite some fun! And enjoyable it was, because practically everyone in our group was fond of cooking and discussing about it too.

Today, I didnt have many bright ideas for dinner, and then I remembered the quick mushroom recipe that P used to make all the time. Of course, this is a much dull’ed down version of it, if you ask her, she probably makes it more chatke-daar (spicy and tasty) than I do, but nevertheless, here is my version of it …

Simple Mushrooms
10 – 15 white button mushrooms, sliced
Half an onion, chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
Spices (1 tblsp cumin-corainder powder, 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1 pinch turmeric, 1 tsp of garam masala if you like it a bit more spicy)
Oil
Salt

Method:
1. In a pan, heat some oil and toss the onions. Let them cook for 2-3 minutes.
2. Add the spices and let them cook for 2 mins.
3. Add the tomatoes and cook until they are soft.
4. Add the sliced mushrooms and gently toss. Do not stir too vigorously, otherwise the mushrooms break and get all bruised.
5. Add salt according to taste.
6. You can garnish with coriander, or add some lemon to make it a little tangy.
Serve and enjoy with rotis!

Moving and what not!

•May 31, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Life has done another 180 degrees and here we are back again. Between thinking and re-thinking decisions, quitting work and moving to IL, months have passed in a blur and finally now I have the time again to get back to some of the more mundane, less impact-ful activities – like reading, cooking and blogging. Well cooking I have been, but never had the chance to actually click some shots or write about stuff or even cook something from cookbooks.

Anyways, moving on ….

Coming to IL has been quite a roller coaster of an experience. Selfishly, I chose to move as close as possible to the spring-summer best of weathers (its altogether a different thing that it snowed in April!). Getting used to the house, the roads, stores, etc … has been different. Fortunately, now we have settled into a routine of what one can call a “normal life” 🙂 Things are getting on track and Schaumburg is slowly growing on me. Atleast I dont get lost anymore 🙂 🙂

Well, lets hope that now I can keep up with the blogging regularly, especially when the days are getting better and better progressively. Of course the definition of “better” is very different in our household. For me the warmer the day, the better it is. The BH however cannot seem to wait for this so-called summer to get over. The thought of mid west winters does set me shivering even now, but its ok …. as they say in hindi “Jo hoga dekha jaayega!” and so I am planning to enjoy the summer to the max, gather my nuts and hibernate in the winters 🙂

Vegetable Korma – Madhur Jaffery’s Recipe

•October 7, 2010 • 2 Comments

One of my very good friends just got back from India after a nice long vacation. Pretty sure she wouldn’t have wanted to come back, given all the familiar faces around and all the pampering and celebrity treatment one gets in India. And coming back to what? Laundry, dirty dishes, cleaning, and busy days at work …. 😦 Well anyways, these days lunches are so much more fun, because of all her stories from home. And the best thing is she is a very good narrator, with full-on expressions, gestures and everything, so its so much fun listening to her 🙂 But makes me miss home more. Good thing that half of my family is arriving here today. I am sooo looking forward to meeting everyone, albeit for a short time. But what the heck …. if its a small installment, small it is, I am up for whatever life has to offer!

Anyways, enough story-telling, lets get to some good food … I made vegetable korma today, which turned out pretty well, given all the chopping, it better be!

Here you go ….

Ingredients:
2-3 cups of assorted veggies: green beans, peas, bell peppers, carrots, onions, cauliflower, etc …  – chopped bite sized
1 tblsp yoghurt
2 long green chillies
1 tblsp mustard seeds
1 tsp chana daal (yellow split pea)
Oil
Salt

For the paste:
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 large tomato
4-5 tblsp cilantro (leaves from 12 sticks or so)
Salt
1 tsp Cayenne Pepper
1/2 cup cashews

Method:
1. If you are using frozen veggies, defrost them in water in the microwave for only 5-6 minutes. Not more, coz we will have ample time to cook them fully later and anyways, the crispness in the veggies actually feels better than the fully cooked version.
2. In a pot/pan, place the oil. Add the green chillies and mustard seeds and chana daal. Once the mustard pops and chana daal darkens slightly, add the veggies. Stir around. Add 1/2 cup of water and bring to a boil. Turn to medium-low heat and let it simmer while you prepare the paste.
3. Place all the paste ingredients into a blender except cilantro. Blend to a smooth paste. When done, add the cilantro and blend for a second. This will just break the cilantro into tiny flecks dispersed in the paste. Looks cool 🙂

4. Once the veggies are slightly cooked but still sort of crisp (dont let them get too mushy), add the paste into the pot. Stir in well. Add in some water to adjust consistency of curry. If you like, you can add some heated chicken stock instead of water to get some more flavor in. Adjust salt and hotness. We have already some green chillies and cayenne in, but if you like it hotter, go for it!

5. Let it simmer for 5-7 minutes. Finally stir in the yoghurt, give a nice mix, simmer for couple more minutes and you are done.
6. Serve with hot rotis dipped in ample ghee 🙂 🙂

Enjoy!!!

 

Masoor Pulav Kadhi

•October 5, 2010 • 2 Comments

Did I ever mention my stupid craze for Navy NCIS (not the LA one) a couple of months ago. It started with watching a few random episodes from random seasons and it quickly grew on me. The very balanced mixture of just about the right amount of humor and seriousness makes it just perfect! The good thing is, irrespective of how many seasons they have had, the chemistry between the people has not changed a bit. I like it when they dont introduce unnecessary complications between the characters and keep their concentration on building interesting cases. I have successfully watched all the seasons, all the episodes in a rapid fire round 🙂

Anyways, here is a very funny NCIS moment:

An officer teaching a class for office sexual harassment (you know those mandatory ones …)

“blah blah …. and finally there is red light behavior such as deliberate un-welcomed touching…”
“ummm… what if part of job involves touching naked people”
“That’s inappropriate at any time!!!”
“Even if they are dead?”
“Why are you touching dead naked people?”
“You see, I work in autopsy …”
“Arrghhhh! Can we stay focused here ..”

I am glad they came back with season 8. Cant wait for Tuesdays!

Well, lets talk food now …. this morning I cooked one of our typical bohri meals – Masoor Pulav Kadhi. Masoor is nothing but brown lentils. Pulav is a rice preparation with layers of rice and cooked spiced masoor. Kadhi is a yoghurt based curry prepared to be eaten with the Masoor Pulav.

Without further ado, heres how it goes ….

Ingredients:
For Masoor Pulav
2 cups masoor (brown lentils)
1 medium onion – sliced
1 medium onion – diced
1 long green chilli – sliced
1 tsp cumin seeds
3 cups rice (basmati rice preferably)
2 tblsp ghee (purified butter)

For Kadhi
1 cup yoghurt
1 tblsp besan (gram flour)
1 long green chilli – sliced
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tblsp ghee (purified butter)
1 tblsp brown sugar (or regular sugar is fine too)

Oil
Salt

Method:
1. Soak the masoor in water overnight (or atleast 4 hours). The masoor should be soaked in water with one finger division extra water from the masoor surface. Just like
while soaking regular daal.
2. After soaking, pressure cook for one whistle only. As soon as the whistle goes off, turn off the heat or else the masoor will become too soft.
3. Separate the masoor and the cooking water. Do not throw the water away, it will be used to prepare the kadhi.
4. While the masoor is cooking, you can get the rice cooking. Soak in excessive water and 1 tblsp of salt and let it come to a boil. Turn to medium and let it simmer, until the
grain is just about soft. Turn off the heat and drain the rice. The rest of the cooking will be done later.
5. In a pan, heat 1 tblsp of oil. Add the onions and cumin seeds and ginger-garlic paste and one long sliced green chilli. Let it cook for 3-4 minutes until the onion is soft. Add the tomatoes and let it cook for another 3-4 minutes. If you like spicy, you can add some red chilli powder and cumin-coriander powder.
6. Now add the drained cooked masoor to the pan. Stir well and cook for another 2-3 minutes. Everything is already cooked at this point. We just want all of the ingredients to mix together.
7. In a pot, place 1 tblsp of ghee and swirl around the bottom of the pot. Layer the half-cooked rice on the bottom in a thin layer. Lay the masoor from the pan on the rice
layer. Finally finish with the rest of the rice on top. The masoor finally will not be visible at all. Only when you serve. Drizzle some ghee from the top and let the pot cook
on medium heat for 5-7 minutes. Check the rice grain that it is cooked after 5-7 minutes. Turn off the heat. The pulav is ready. You can keep it in a pre-heated oven to keep it warm if you like.


8. After/While the pulav cooks, we can now make the kadhi. In a pot, add the yoghurt, besan and the saved masoor water. Add additional water to adjust consistency if you run out. Whisk well and mix. Add the sugar and adjust salt to taste. Bring to a boil on high, then turn to medium heat and let it simmer while we prepare the tadka.
9. In a small pan or tadka vessel, place the last tblsp of ghee on high heat. Add the long green sliced chilli, 1 tsp of cumin seeds and 1 tsp mustard seeds. Allow to splutter for a few seconds. Add the tadka to the simmering yoghurt-besan mixture. Mix and bring to a boil again. Turn off the heat. The kadhi is now ready.
10. Serve the pulav gently with a ladle to get all layers together. Serve with hot kadhi and sliced pickled onions 🙂

Enjoy!!