Friday, May 31, 2013

Khaman Dhokla

Today I am posting the recipe of Khaman Dhokla a Gujarati delicacy.  My room mate in Hyderabad used to love these Dhoklas. Every time we went shopping to the supermarket on Sundays, we used to check whether ready made Dhoklas were available and buy them. She taught me to enjoy these Dhoklas with its special chutney if it was available. Otherwise she used to mix and prepare some Tamarind based chutney very quickly and serve. Well, it sort of became a routine with us. And since old habits die hard,  after coming to US, I decided to prepare them at home. Searched recipes online and found microwave based and steaming versions. As always, I decided to try the easy and quick one first. Found out half way of preparing the dish that I dont have fruit salt with me. Tried with baking soda and lime juice. But they didnt taste like the ready made ones we used to buy and the color was orange rather than yellow. But still taste was good. For my second attempt with the microwave version, I tried with fruit salt and they came out well. Looked the right color, tasted really good. But still it didnt taste like the ones I used to buy. I was left wondering about the authentic taste of the Dhoklas. 

I decided to try the steaming version next. I searched many recipes and saw that some required soaking chana dal alone and some required soaking both chana dal and rice. And they were some recipes with Gram Flour ( Besan). Since my first two attempts were with  gram flour, I decided to try with Chana Dal this time. Hmm.. But requires a bit of time for cooking. Any way I decided to go for it and let me tell you, it was totally worth it. I soaked dal alone overnight and in the morning ground it to a coarse paste. Then added curd, salt, lime juice and let it ferment till evening. When I opened it in the evening, I knew that it was going to taste like my ready made ones. The smell I got reminded me in fact of my ready made ones. Added turmeric, green chilly - ginger paste, fruit salt and steamed for around 15 - 20 min. Came out fluffy and soft. Loved them. Thoroughly delicious. Enjoy them with a cuppa Tea. Adapted the recipe mostly from here.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Potato Stew

Hello every one, I am back from my short vacation. Last week end was the memorial day week end in US. Just for a bit of wikipedia knowledge, Memorial day in US is the day for remembering the men and women who died serving the United states armed forces. It falls on the last monday of May every year. My hubby took two more days off and we went for a short 5 day vacation in Portland, Oregon. I was very nervous on the trip due to some health constraints. But thanks to God, everything went off fine.  Visited some scenic places in Portland including several water falls and two light houses. Absolutely breath taking scenery. More over with light rain during our stay (and heavy rain otherwise) and overcast clouds and you can see only greenery where ever you look. Fresh new leaves were sprouting and many flowers were also in bloom. Loved the experience. Very rejuvenating. The place reminded me of the monsoon in Kerala. By the way, Monsoon starts on the last week of May in Kerala too. And on June 1st, when the school reopens, pouring rain follows. And raincoats and umbrellas were a must while shopping for the new school year... Remembrances aside, the trip was fun... 

As for today's recipe, I am part of a group called "Vegan Thursdays" started by Priya Suresh of the famous blog "Priya's Versatile Recipes". We post vegan recipes first and last Thursdays of every month. As part of the Vegan thursdays, I am posting the recipe of Potato Stew today. Recipe source is my mom and I absolutely love the way she makes this stew. Ya, I am one of those rare species who do not like potatoes that much. But with this recipe, I just drink up the stew in a bowl and finish the potatoes as well!!! My mom usually prepares potato stew as a side dish with Appam or Idiyappam and it tastes delicious. The recipe is very simple and very very quick to prepare especially for morning break fast. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Chola Tikki / Chickpea Patties

Dear Friends, Hope you are all enjoying the summer well... We have a long week end due to memorial day in US and I am currently on a very short vacation. A visit to my sister's place in US. I am really nervous about this trip... After leaving my job and before coming to US with my hubby, this is the first trip I am making.. 5 months since I have been idle... waking up in my own time, cooking in my own time and then reading and making friends with neighbours... Leading a life which is completely different from what I led so far... 5 months have been wonderful... I never knew time flew so quickly without doing anything... At the same time, I have been sick since January struggling with various health issues which has become a serious deterrent to my otherwise jolly life... Now, all my schedule is going to be turned upside down with the trip... Fearing that my health issues may spoil an otherwise should be fun trip... Praying or hoping that it should not be the case... I am also eagerly waiting to return home so that I can meet my new neighbours :) Hoping to make new friends... All in all should be a happening week... 

Today I am posting the recipe of Chola Tikki/ Chickpea Patties as part of Jagruti's Potluck Party Cyber style . Potluck Party works this way.. Tenth of every month we post recipes of our own and then we are assigned a partner and we try out the recipe posted by our partner and post the recipe on our blog on 28th of the same month... So, on 10th of this month, I posted the recipe of Khubani Ka Meetha and was assigned Manjula Kanted of Desi Fiesta blog as my partner. She had posted the recipe of this yummy starter - Chola Tikki. I tried out the recipe and the tikkis tasted delicious... My only concern is the pics that I took... What do you think guys?  Do give me tips to improve my blog photos :)

Monday, May 20, 2013

Cabbage Thoran / Cabbage Stir Fry Kerala Style

A new week has started... Time to post a new recipe :) As much as I would love to post every day, it simply doesnt work out most of the times. Either the pics do not come out too well because of the lack of proper lighting or there is no time to take pics before serving or the dish is good but you expect a bit more flavors and would like to experiment and try the dish again. Then again there will be a delay before I cook the dish again as I cant repeat the dish very often or my dearest hubby may start complaining... Lots of reasons... Ufff.. struggles a blogger has to go through!! but I tell you, the end result and inspiring comments by the blog's readers is simply worth it!! After seeing so many beautiful blogs, I have also started striving for perfection in the dishes that I make and the pics I post. I have published a couple of recipes in my blog for which there are no pictures uploaded. The reason being what ever pictures that I took was not satisfactory enough to upload. This happened during my initial days of blogging when I really wanted to share more recipes rather than worrying about pics.Constantly I am amazed by the so many beautiful blogs that are present today, recipes, unique dishes, enthusiastic bloggers who blog every day despite their hectic schedule with Kids, office and family; I have learnt so much from each and every one of them just by browsing through their blogs, knowing them through their blogs and FB and would like to "Thank" them for their constant presence and encouraging attitude.  

Today I am posting the recipe of Cabbage Thoran or Cabbage Stir Fry Kerala Style. This is one side dish that I love having with my lunch. Also Cabbage thoran or cabbage stir fry forms an important side dish in our Kerala Feast or Sadhya. And if you prepare Kerala Style Dal - Parippu currry, Cabbage thoran and pappadam for lunch, its a heavenly combination and I am drooling just thinking about it :)  Now a days, when ever I come to Kerala for vacation, both my mom and mom in law prepare this lunch specially for me as its my favorite combo :) 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Strawberry Falooda

Yesterday was the hottest day in California I think since last december. We stayed indoors taking rest after the vigorous shopping we did on Saturday :) . In the evening we went out for our weekly grocery shopping and then for a short drive. At around 7.30 in the evening, the sun was bright as if it was still 5 pm in the evening and I didnt feel like cooking dinner yet. It was so hot and stuffy inside the house especially after coming from outdoors!! Then I decided to cook something that will fill us up and cool us down. I thought about the Indian summers and suddenly Falooda came to my mind. Yummy, delicious and cooling!! 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Khubani ka Meetha or Qubani ka Meetha

Khubani ka Meetha or Qubani ka Meetha ( I am not sure which spelling is correct. So decided to give both :) ) is a yummy dessert that I happened to taste in Hyderabad. For people who are not familiar with Khubani Ka Meetha: It is a delicious dessert made from dried apricots. Very popular in Hyderabad and served most commonly in the Hyderabadi Weddings. The word Khubani in Urdu means Apricot and Meetha as you know means Sweet. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Masala Idli

Tired of having plain old idli for Break fast? Try out the Masala Idlis. Thinking how to finish the left over idlis? Try making yummy Masala Idlis. I love idlis and during my childhood, used to have only idlis for break fast. Another reason for having idlis for break fast is that it is very easy to swallow it and run out of the home where dad is waiting outside the home to drop me to the school/ college bus stop :)  :) These days I have cornflakes, bread, oats or other smoothies for break fast. Chose them due of the ease in making them definitely. But still miss my idli days. Occasionally I make idlis for dinner and then make enough of them to have for break fast as well. And for a variety, I make masala idlis. Easy to make, over in a jiffy and tastes delicious...

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Dates Banana Almond Milk Shake

Resolutions !! I absolutely love resolutions!! Making them and then breaking them as well !!  Whats the maximum time that you have adhered to resolutions? Me, around 1 month... Thats all.. Then forgotten until next year.. Well, I made such a resolution around 2 weeks back that I will try to post every day for a month continuously excluding the week ends!! But I ended up breaking the resolution in just a week!! Reasons are many... Main issue was the health problems that I have been encountering quite frequently for a while and the second issue was purely lack of time.. Hopefully very soon I will able to adhere to posting daily.. But right now all I can manage is probably 2 posts a week... 
Today I am posting the recipe of Dates Banana Almond Milk Shake. Do you know that consuming one date a day is necessary in a balanced and healthy diet... I didnt like dates much in my childhood. But recently I brought a packet of medjool dates and loved them. Aboslutely sweet and very plump.. Loved them so much that I made sweet chutney for the Chaats with them (Recipe coming soon). It came out so well that I started thinking about how else I can use them other than having them as snacks. Then I found that we can make milkshakes with dates. Decided to try it out and have as my break fast smoothie today. It was so filling and yum!! Here goes the recipe... 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Dhokar Dalna or Lentil Cakes curry for SNC Challenge - May

In April, I was one of the last few people to complete the SNC challenge. Well, This time, I want to be one of the first. As you may know, SNC challenge is an event started by Divya Pramil of "You too can cook". As part of the event, the bloggers are divided into two groups based on region - Southern Group and Northern Group. Each month, each team challenges the other with one recipe. The event is so much fun, challenging and very informative. I joined the event very late last month and then posted last month's challenge which was a Gujarati dish - Khandvi here. So this month, Nabanita Das of the blog "Esho- Bosho-Aahare" has challenged the Southern team with a dish called  "Dhokar Dalna". Now this is a dish from the Bengali cuisine and I have never heard or tasted it before. That made the event even more challenging!!