Welcome aboard!

Indian cuisine is a riot of colours, flavours, and spices. Every state has its own unique culture- ingrained taste bud. And, to many of us staying within familiar tastes is a sacrosanct act. Of course an occasional trip to a speciality restaurant that serves another fare is ok. But, as a matter of routine ...at home...NO!

One of the benefits of being born to parents who dared an interstate marriage (am talking about India of the 70's) was being able to widen a regional taste bud to accept, experiment and, relish eclectic cuisines :-)

I love food! Be it traditional or fusion, cooking is all about turning out fare that is tasty and healthy.I welcome all lovers of good food to come on aboard and share your kitchen adventures.

If you like what you see, do leave a comment. If you don't, please leave a suggestion to help me make this better.

You can also request for any recipe you want. Just leave a note in a comment box.

Happy cooking!


Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry X'mas

Monday, December 21, 2009

Introducing The Hunger site for those yet unaware

I speak 'food' and 'recipes' out here in my tiny nook. While we are mooting if the nutritional quotient of potatoes are inferior to sweet potatoes; if flax seeds boost heart health or the immune system more; if the more expensive, fancier grains at our neighbourhood organic stores are a better alternatives to rice and millet...pause...every 3.6 seconds a little someone dies for lack of basic sustenance.
Let's join in the fight against hunger.The Indian tradition says, 'Annadanam Mahadanam'. Translated this means, feeding the hungry is the most pious of all charitable acts.

Since, we are on the topic of food and recipes, let's do our little bit 'annadhanam'.

The Hunger Site is a valid internet campaign. The concept works this way - a number of corporate sponsors place their advertisements on the said site. Each time a visitor clicks on the "Click To Give" button on the home page , he/she is automatically navigated towards the page that has sponsor ads. Each of these clicks are counted and the sponsor pays the promoters the equivalent of 1.1 cups of food. The promoters distribute this accumulated fund to feed target needy population in Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, Latin America, and North America.

It doesn't cost you anything, so why not click. I've been doing this for the past 2 years.

Click on Logo to reach the hunger site

The Hunger Site

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Coconut flavoured wheat halwa and a story

My husband is a november born saggitarian. Basically a nice guy and very sweet but where temperaments and habits are concerened we are poles apart. I believe and thrive on little gifts, remembering dates, candle light dinners , barefoot walks on the beach, and flowers. Hubby tries hard but still requires reminders and prodes (sometimes as blatant as, "Hey, remember tommorrow is my birthday, what about a bouquet, huh?" ).

I remember dates and go all the way out and plan! It takes effort for him to get over the "shock" err...surprise of these episodes The first birthday after we got married was the one that caught him completely unawares. I got a made to order lovely, heart shaped birthday cake, a big bouquet, loads of balloons, candles, and returned from work early to cook a full fledged four course dinner. Conspired with our landlady who lived on the first floor to lock me in so that hubby would return as usual by 7PM, open the door using his own key, and then I would surprise him by suddenly switching on the lights and giving him a magnificent display of all the goodies bought and cooked.

Everything would have gone fine except for the fact that hubby's spare key refused to turn the lock that evening. I listened to him twist and turn it for a full five minutes before switching on the lights inside. The poor guy thought we had burglars inside! By the time I tried opening from within, he was at his wits end and thought I was deliberately playing the fool and locking him outside. Anyway, in all that ruckus our landlady rushed down and saved the situation by opening the door with my key which was with her.

After this I keep my surprises a little more predicatable! This time, with Abhi around and me being stuck without a driving license, decided the simplest way would be to just cook something special. Made a coconut flavoured wheat halwa. Did not have the time to patiently stir it till it reached the consistency where it could be cut into neat blocks. It was just as fine scooped by a spoon! And, guess what! Had just bought a Luminare juice jug set and upon opening found a pretty looking ashtray along with the jug, glasses, and snack jars. Both of us don't smoke or encourage smokers in the house. To cut a long story short, decided the ash tray would make a spectacular receptacle for my halwa! And, before you ask...No, I have not lost my nuts during pregnancy...well, not all...

Broken wheat (sambha godumai/bulgar) - 2 cups

Coconut palm jaggery - 150 gms (if unavailable, just use plain jaggery)

Coconut milk - 100 ml ( I used readymade coconut milk powder)

Cardamom (Elaichi) - 5 Nos

Fresh coconut pieces - 1/4 cup

Canola oil - 1/2 cup

Soak wheat overnight. Pulverize to smooth paste adding a little warm water.Place a fine pored sieve over a deep vessal or alternatively drape a thin muslin cloth over the mouth of the vessal. Strain the wheat paste through this. If using the sieve, coax out all the milk by pressing with a ladle. If using the cloth, secure it over the top of the vessal and allow the milk to slowly trickle out. The white whey you get is wheat milk.

In a seperate vessel boil about 150 ml water and dissolve jaggery. Filter to remove scum. Pour this into a thick bottomed skillet and simmer till it reaches a thick,syrupy texture. Pour in the wheat milk and the coconut milk, simmer stir till the mixture reaches a jam like consistency.
Cut the coconut into tiny bits and fry them till golden brown. Add these, the cardamom seeds, and canola oil to the halwa mixture. Keep stirring till the oil gives a glazy coating to the wheat mixture. Voila, halwa ready!

By the way, hubby loved it, huh.

Sending this across to the Food for 7 Stages of Life - DDPI (15-24 yrs) event being hosted at Sourashtrakitchen and co-hosted by http://bengalicuisine.net/

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Simple Spinach soup

I saw an expat celebrity chef's show on TV the other day. She was making a spinach based gravy. Her method was to boil lots of water , cook the spinach in it, drain the water and dunk the leaves in cold water! "Preserves the color", she chirped! I was outraged at the sheer waste of all those fabulous nutrients. Why not preserve the nutrients instead! Greens are delicate store houses of nutrients. Treat them easy. Here's a quick n healthy spinach soup going right to Sunshine mom's TumyumTreats Monthly Mingle - Soups event. The Monthly mingle event was started by Meeta of "What's for lunch, Honey?".

Fresh Spinach (palak) - 1 medium sized bunch
Coriander leaves (cilantro) - 3 to 4 sprigs
Shallot - 1
Ginger - 1/2"piece
Green chillies - 4 Nos (more or less)
Low fat milk - 1/2 cup
Grated parmesan - enough for sprinkling over each serve
Salt to taste

Rinse the greens well. Slice up the shallot, ginger, and green chillies. Place these and the greens in a thick bottomed pan. Cover and simmer cook till the leaves wilt (3-4 minutes). Blend to smooth puree, add the milk and salt and simmer for a couple of minutes. Ladle onto serving bowls, sprinkle on grated parmesan.

Blog Blog