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Monday, February 17, 2014

GOOD NEWS : Blessed with a little princess!

Hi friends,

I am back after a looooong break. But, with some good news for all of you!

We have extended our family by two tiny steps. A sweet little one is a part of us now.

The delivery was as planned in Gurgaon however much earlier than thought. I delivered in the 7th month of pregnancy. I lost my dear uncle & the news came in as a great shock to me due to which my baby went in distress & had to be delivered early.

By God's grace & all the blessings & good wishes of all my dear ones, my baby did well. So, as she is a gift from dear God we named her Raavya. It also means the one who is worshiped.

So, there are a lot of experiences to share with all of you!
After having stayed at the NICU with her for 2 months I learnt a lot & there are experiences like... perseverance, determination, being hopeful, enduring silently, remaining calm, believing in the supreme power, reading positive books, reciting & chanting prayers and keeping faith. All this has only made me strong & I also let go off many negativity from my life. Be it people or thoughts.

Someone once told me - after having a child, you will no more live for yourself but for your baby. How true is that! I now live for my dear daughter & all I want is that she keeps healthy always!!!

So, now that all of you know about the addition, let me confess that I am mostly busy juggling between work & my lil one. My parents are with me so they take care of my daughter when we are out working.

I am also mostly found browsing the internet to find some information or the other about the new born babies. I stumbled upon this interesting milestone guide from whattoexpect.com.

Sharing it with you all as it might be of help to some of you.

Cheers!
:)





Monday, June 3, 2013

The Great Indian Samosa - Potato Fritters

Oh yes! I love Samosas! And I bet you love it too. 

My love for Samosas started when I was a little girl. Every Saturday I used to eagerly wait for my father to bring home those mouth-watering Samosas with hot syrupy Jalebis. This is the best combination.
I do not really know why I still love Samosas so much but what I do know is that I have many many memories around it.

I now live in Gurgaon where I surely do not get the same kind of Samosas as in Bokaro. Actually there are many versions of Samosas which I discovered when travelling across India. And, I have loved every version that I've tasted.

Samosa is also called Singhada in the East. The version that I prepared this time is from this part of the country where it is just heavenly in taste.

In and around Delhi we have these famous Aggarwal Sweets where they make quite nice Samosas too but they put a lot of Garam Masala or sometimes even dry fruits like Cashews & raisins. They do not mash the potatoes well & sometime just fill in cubes of cut potatoes. I have even seen non-vegetarian Samosas filled with mutton or chicken shreds. Have you also tasted Chinese Samosas? I have! They stuff it with noodles.

Once when in Chandigarh I found that the menu read SMOSA (A missing) which is exactly how they pronounce it too. 

So to please me all you guys need to do is invite me over a Samosa Party! :)



To taste my version you will need:


  • Maida (All purpose flour) : 250 gms
  • Potatoes: Boiled & mashed: 4 Large
  • Peanuts: Handful or as per desire
  • Green Chillies: 6
  • Red Chillies: 4
  • Garlic: 1 big pod
  • Salt: As per taste
  • Oil for frying


METHOD:

For the Dough - 
Add salt & some oil ( 2 tbsp) to the maida & make a dough. The dough should not be very soft.
Keep aside.

For the filling - 
Cut Potatoes in halves add salt & turmeric & put to cook till done.
When done, mash it softly
Prepare a paste of green chillies, red chillies & garlic. You could user a grinder or even a mortar & pestle.
Heat a pan & add some oil to roast the peanuts. Remove when done.
Add the chilli garlic paste into the remaining oil & saute for a minute. Now dump the potatoes into this pan & mix in well. Add peanuts & salt to the filling. Keep aside.




Samosa's Cover:
Take a ball of dough goo enough to roll out like a chappatti. Now take a knife & cut it into half.  So now you have 2 semi-circles which will make 2 Samosas.
We will now need some water in a bowl which will help us seal the samosa.

Take one semi-circle & place it circle side down. Pick one corner & fold from the mid point downwards so it covers a half. Now, dip your finger in water & wet the other side - top line. Fold it from the midpoint over the first layer so that the wet portion sticks to the other layer & seals it to make a triangle. Now pick it up softly & fill in the cone shape. Again wet the front edges & bring the circled layer on top of the wet portion to seal it.  Your Samosa is ready.




Prepare them all & then deep fry in medium to low flame to cook it well.

Serve with ketchup, sauce or any chutney.

Do not forget to write back to me if you ever make it.





Note:

  • Garlic can be avoided if you do not like the taste/smell
  • You may add some freshly ground garam masala too







Monday, April 15, 2013

Tender Coconut Chutney/Dip

Being a South Indian brought up in the East & in a cosmo city I have enjoyed all the multi-cultural cuisines there. I developed a taste different from that of a typical South-Indian.

All dishes ranging from Bihari, Bengali, Maharashtrian, Gujarati, Punjabi, Sindhi and of course South Indian is what I have grown up with.

But, each time my mother prepared Dosas I would ask her to necessarily grind some fresh coconut chutney for me. I loved it more with the chutney than a Sambar or any curry.

I also have a new found love for Tender coconut water. It is very  nourishing & rejuvenates your skin.
Many people just drink the water & throw away the coconut. Instead try the sweet & slurrpy coconut meat which is gel like. You can ask the seller to scrape out the meat. When the coconut matures the meat is thicker & will require a strong bite.
When tender it is more like gelatine. 

I sometimes like to stock tender coconuts at home & offer the chilled drink it to my family whenever they come home tired. It is just so refreshing. 

At home my husband wanted Dosa for dinner & the nearest vegetable vendor did not have coconuts. So, instead of using a mature coconut I thought of experimenting with the tender coconut.

I emptied the water in a glass & stored it in the refrigerator before serving. Meanwhile, I asked my husband to give me a hand to get the malai/coconut meat out of the coconut. And, VOILA! I happened to make one of the best chutneys ever!




Here is what you need:

  • Tender coconut meat/malai - of 1 coconut
  • Garlic - 6 cloves
  • Green Coriander leaves - a small bunch
  • Green Chillies - 2
  • Mustard seeds - 1 tsp, for tempering
  • Oil - 1.5 tsp, for tempering
  • Salt - as per taste




Method:
Get a blender & throw in the malai, garlic cloves, coriander leaves, green chillies & salt. Blend them all!
Temper it with mustard seeds.

The fresh, healthy & refreshing chutney dip is ready to go with your dosas, idlis & appams!

Note:
You may skip garlic if you don't like it.


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sprouted Green Moong Parantha (Sprouted Green Gram Flat Bread)

I was watching Turban Tadka on FoodFood Channel which showed Chef Harpal cooking this parantha.

However, I was not able to watch the entire show so missed out on half of the recipe.

That did not stop me from trying this recipe though.



Green Gram are a great source for healthy skin & protect us against many illnesses.
Many call it POWER FOOD!
Most legumes when sprouted become an excellent source of nutrients! 
Most of us prepare either curries or salads out of these however try them on a parantha like I did & they will taste divine & super healthy ;)

We will need:

Wheat Flour - 3 cups
Gram Flour/Besan - 1 cup
Green Gram Sprouts/Ankurit Hara Moong Dal - 1 cup
Green Chillies - 3 finely chopped
Red Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Dry Mango Powder/Amchoor Powder - 1tsp (if required)
Curd - 2 tbsp
Salt - as per taste
Water  - as required for making the dough
Oil/Ghee/Butter - for cooking









Method:

Boil the sprouts for half a minute to remove the pungent taste. Due to the sprouting process you will find a smell & taste which is pungent.
Now, combine all the ingredients together to prepare the dough.
Keep aside for about 30 mts & then roll them out round.
Heat your griddle & put the paranthas/flat breads on it & cook till you see a few spots on them.
Drizzle some oil/ghee/butter over this cook till done.

They will really taste wonderful & you will want to cook them often.
Perfect for breakfast & kid's tiffin box :)


Note:
You may serve them with sauce/chutney/dips/pickles & even with gravied potatoes.
You can put the sprouts in a blender & coarsely grind it & prepare the dough
I served it with the Gujarati Choondu - Sweet Mango Pickle & it was a HIT! :)







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