Bhel Puri – Simple Indian Snack

Bhel Puri – Simple Indian Snack

Happy New Year to all my blogging mates. I have become a rather whimsical blogger since summer of  13 – but life, as it is won’t to do, has been giving me a lot of lateral challenges and has made sure I am busy, one way or another.A round up of the highlights of 2013 for me First 5 months – working with my son on college applications, essays – working as in being on his case to complete tasks in a timely manner; blogging, jogging and getting physically fit for wedding in the family and wonderful family reuniongraduation of my son and preschooler (lol)  helping my 11th grader make course selections for schoolan idyllic summer with the family  my new venture at the local market  new beginnings – one to college, and one to elementary school an unforgettable trip to Spain and San Fran trying to get my children’s story critiqued by the powers that b Such fun cooking classes – my first venture Cooking, baking and super duper winter holidays that have alas come to an end now New Year Resolves To pray and love more, eat less – chocolate at any rate :); To write more on my blog and other stuff Be good about my Yoga and exercise, if my achy breaky joints will allow me Be a better guide and role model to my kids A more supportive wife for my hubby Travel to a new part of the world To be happy with all the blessings I already have been given. A super response to my Facebook photo of the sumptuous lunch from Sunday has encouraged me to kickstart...
Swiss Chard & Beet Greens Kootu (stew)

Swiss Chard & Beet Greens Kootu (stew)

What has become of me? I seem unable to get the right moment to sit and blog – Heaven knows, with the veggie garden producing hearty veggies, I have been cooking up a storm. Something to be said for the lazy hazy crazy days of summer! Kids around, chillaxing when we are not hustle around the garden or doing other “summery” things, like keeping up late and trying to sleep in late – an impossibility with my rooster husband who wakes up the sun! So much so, the layers of lethargy that has built up is so high, it needs super will power to knock it down and get down to being productive in the blog world. My interest in cooking remains alive and steady. And, my experiments continue, especially with the homegrown veggies.  And it is with pride I present to you this super food in a most delectable stew or kootu Beet greens (which are red, lol) and the ever so colorful and beautiful swiss chard together make for an excellent combination. Couple those with coconut and spices and man, have you made yourself a healthy dish that is a perfect combination with either rice or chapatis. Here is my simple recipe Ingredients 2 cups of chopped swiss chard 1 cup of Beets greens chopped fine 1 beet chopped fine (I threw this in since I had it) 1bay leaf 1/2 tsp of black pepper 1 red chili to grind and 1 to saute 1/4 cup coconut powder/ or grated coconut 1/2 cup of cashew, hazelnut, & almond milk (optional) (available in TJ’s) 1 tsp of coconut /sesame oil)...
Paneer Parathas

Paneer Parathas

The kids are home. It is the summer vacation – One is sick, the other volunteering and the third chilling with me! I am on FB and checking out my updates as I hear “amma, what’s for dinner” queries brewing in the background. I lay my eyes on some mouth watering paneer parathas that our blogger friend Divya or ChefinYou has posted. She is a versatile chef and has many interesting tips on her page, as I did find out clicking on to her blog. I was making karela subzi anyway and I thought this would make a great combo! It does not take beyond 15 minutes for prep time (she was not kidding) and beyond 20 to make about 10 of these delightful parathas. My kids, mother-in-law and hubby loved it. Will be blogging the Karela subzi next. For about 10 partathas Ingredients 2 cups of chakki atta (stone ground wheat flour) 11/4 cups of warm water 1 tsp of salt 2 tsp of oil (I used my mixer to make the dough) For the stuffing 1 cup of cubed paneer 3 green chilies finely chopped 1tbsp of fresh cilantro Method I did as Divya suggested I Soaked store bought paneer in hot water, drain after a few minutes and proceeded to crumble it Knead or use mixer to make the dough soft, yet firm Keep covered until you get the paneer crumbled, salted, and chilies and cilantro added Make lemon sized balls of the dough Roll out into rounds bigger than your palm, as Divya puts it Make a smaller ball of the paneer and place in...
Paneer Tikka Masala in Orange Juice

Paneer Tikka Masala in Orange Juice

There are few Indians and non Indians who dislike Paneer – Not only is it a favorite cheese, but is also versatile in its ability to soak in any and all flavors that it’s infused with. Of course, I would like to try something different with it. So I decide I will marinade in deliciously sweet and sour tangerine juice – I proceed to make fresh juice, dice up some onions, tomatoes, some paneer, and fresh jalapeños. Using a small amount of oil (olive or mazola) I stir fry the tomatoes, onions and jalapeños. I drizzle a tad bit of oil on the paneer and take a table spoon of bread crumbs in a plate and roll the oiled paneer in it, just to keep it from crumbling (ironic to use crumbs to prevent crumbling lol)  Anyhow, I add the paneer to the  stir fry along with salt. Then when everything is browning, I add the orange juice and allow the sizzling to happen. The bread crumbs facilitates the soaking of the juice. Garnish with cilantro and fresh cut jalapeños  – Voila and Ta-dah!  This takes all of 15 minutes to make, cutting veggies included. Enjoy the tantalizing flavors of this dish – they dance on your tongue long after you’re done eating – And that is a promise Your ingredients Orange...
Potatoes in Peanut & Onion Gravy (Urulai Thiratal)

Potatoes in Peanut & Onion Gravy (Urulai Thiratal)

Let me start by saying this is was a runaway hit with my family. We are blog hopping for Avant Garde Cookies and I was delighted that my first hop in this category was to my blogger bestie, Priya Sreeram’s  blog, Bon Appetite – First thing that struck me as i keep flipping web pages is – How did I miss this? My sweet friend is so — because she is a dessert junkie! She has cakes, and brownies, and all kinds of delicious bakes and scattered in between are her savory/spicy dishes… I loved browsing and rereading some of her wonderfully written posts. I had made a peanut and onion chutney not too long ago which was a super hit too and I thought, hmm, the potato monsters I have in my son, hubby and daughters would love this.  But for adding a few of my favorite tastes, I stayed pretty true to my soul sister’s recipe and we enjoyed this to the last lick with chappatis- Thanks PS for enriching my repertoire with this fab dish. And to really confess, I am not big on potatoes at ll – clearly prefer sweet potatoes to the regular kinds and even I loved it Off to the recipe now Ingredients 8-10 medium sized red potatoes 1/2 can of diced tomatoes (or 1 big beef tomato) 1 huge red onion (or 2 medium sized ones) 1/2 cup of roasted peanuts (without husk) 4-5 of your spicy-est red chilies A pinch of turmeric A pinch of asafetida 2 tsp of olive or other oil Curry leaves, mustard seeds for tempering Method...