Saturday, March 22, 2014

Why Writing is Important

Before I write on any particular subject I read at least 10-15 articles and combine them with my ideas and then jot it down for the readers. Writing has helped me a lot. Writing has helped me move easily among facts, without confusing myself and gaining clarity on a particular topic with my entire energy focused on it. A few other advantages are jotted down.

1. Writing is the primary basis on which you will be judged throughout your life.

Be it school, college or your workplace. Our learning and intellect is often reflected on what we write. Even in our community our intellect is judged based on what we write.

2. Writing helps us express ourselves.

In my school as  a kid the assignments were given for summer vacation too. We were asked to write down the daily news. Write book reviews ( at least 5). We considered it to be a huge task. I mean 5 books? And read the papers daily? But all those things helped us shape our intellectual aspect and made us a person with our own opinions. Each person has a different perspective when he/she reads a book. Writing a dairy can help you keep a track of your own thought's and activities and reflect on them later ( and probably have a laugh a few years later).

3. Writing can help us make a complicated thing appear simple.

All the things can be explained in a much simpler way. We can rephrase any particular topic which appear difficult to other's in a much simpler way. With the help of examples we can make thing much easier.

4. Writing helps communicate with other's as well as ourselves.

We can get some response on (in case we are not certain about any idea). It can give us feedback. It can help us question our ideas too. It helps to evaluate the adequacy of your arguments. Our ideologies help shape up our society.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Punjabi French Beans and Aloo Stir Fry


French Beans- 250 gms (Chopped into small pieces)
Potato- 2 big (Chopped into small pieces
Turmeric- 1/2 tsp
Red Chilli Powder- 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala Powder- 1/2 tsp
Amchur Powder- 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds/ Jeera- 1/ 2 tsp
Fennel Seeds/ Saunf- 1/2 tsp
Oil- 1 tbsp
Salt- According to Taste


1. Take a non-stick kadai/pan add oil and once the oil starts heating add the cumin seeds and fennel seeds.
2. Once the seeds start sizzling and turn slightly brown add the chopped potatoes and cook for 2 min.
3. Add the chopped beans mix well with the potatoes.
4. Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt, cover it and cook for 5 min.
5. If the potatoes are getting stuck to the pan sprinkle some water.
6. Once they are cooked sprinkle garam masala powder and amchur powder.

Cook this on a small flame or the vegetables might get burnt.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Aykere tu Putta-Sampoorna Sita Kalyana

This is Sampoorna Sita Kalyan sung in Konkani. I have previously used sound cloud to upload my songs. I have uploaded the same on you-tube.

This song goes on to explain the Ramayana. How was Rama born, how he was taken by his guru to kill the Asuras, how he ended up marrying Sita.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Mathura ki Dubki Wale Aloo ki Sabji

Well the above title can be roughly translated as Potato dipped in mathura's water. Isn't it a funny name? This is one of the simplest curry with no onions, no garlic and no tomatoes. Just spice powder's and potatoes.

During Navrathri season we had gujrathi neighbors who used to invite small girls (i.e. the girls who haven't attained puberty). It is a custom to worship young girls during the festival of navrathri.

I used to look forward to eating the food rather than the pooja. There used to be numerous items served like puri, sweets and this particular aloo ki subji. And I still have that lingering that in my mouth. Finally I found the recipe.


Potato : 3-4 (Boiled. peeled and slightly smashed)
Green Chillies : 3-4 (finely chopped)
Cumin seeds/ jeera: 1 tsp
Coriander Leaves : 1 tbsp (finely chopped)
Water : 2 cups
Oil : 1 tsp
Salt according to Taste

Spice Powders:

Ginger Powder: 1/2 tsp or 1 inch ginger finely chopped
Chilli Powder : 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder: 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida : 1/4 tsp
Amchur Powder : 1 tsp
Garam Masala : 1/2 tsp

1. In a deep bottomed pan add oil, jeera and once the jeera starts spluttering add green chilli followed by chopped ginger in case you are not using the ginger powder.
2. Off the flame and all the spice powders except Garam Masala and Amchur and let the spices roast for 1/2 a min.
3. Add the smashed potato (don't smash all the potatoes, keep some small pieces in the curry) and mix with the spices.
4. On the flame and keep it on medium and add 2 cups of water and cook till it starts boiling.
5. Once it starts boiling add garam masala and Amchur powder.
6. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve with hot poori's. In the picture I have served it with neer dosa (as I had not made poori's :P)

Bread Dosa

This is an instant dosa recipe you can whip up if anyone comes home unannounced.

Wheat Bread : 10 Slices (Can substitute with white bread too)
Semolina/ Rava : 1/2 cup
Yoghurt : 1 tbsp
Rice Powder : 1 tbsp
Ginger : 1 inch
Green Chilli : 4-5 (finely chopped)
Curry Leaves : 8-10
Salt according to taste
Oil: 2tbsp+ for cooking

1. Sprinkle water over bread slices or soak the bread slices in water till they become slightly wet and softer and keep aside for 10 min
2. Meanwhile in a blender to prepare the batter add semolina/rava, curd, Ginger, green chilli, curry leaves,  and rice powder and grind/blend them.
3. While blending add water little by little so that the ginger and green chilli are blended well.
4. Add the water soaked bread pieces and add water carefully along with salt to get a consistency of batter.
5. Spread the batter over the tawa and cook for 5 min. (Cook both the sides)

# Be careful about the water consistency
# Cooking takes more time than the normal dosa.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Rice Kheer

This is one of the easiet dessert I have ever made. But taste wise it is worth drooling.

Milk : 1 liter
Cooked basmati rice : 1 cup
Sugar: 8 tbsp
Almond (soaked in water peeled and chopped) : 1 tbsp
Cashew nuts ( soaked in water and chopped) : 1 tbsp
Raisins (soaked in water) : 1 tbsp
Saffron a pinch
Cardamom : 2-3

1. In a deep pan, bring the milk to boil and add cooked basmati rice.
2. Keep stirring so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
3. Soak saffron in warm milk and crush them along with 1/2 tsp of sugar and add it in the pan along with sugar.
4. Once a slightly thick consistency is reached get it off the flame garnish with all the dry-fruits and powdered cardamom powder.

You can serve this kheer hot or cold.

1. I have not used ghee to fry the dry fruits to make it healthy.
2. You need to soak the raisins at least half an hour prior to cooking the kheer so that the raisins fluff up.
3. Cook on medium heat.

Aloo Chana Chat

Chaats are everyone's favorite. Here is an instant chat you can whip up instantly.

Chana/ Bengal gram : 1 cup
Potatoes : 2 (Boiled and cut into chunks)
Ginger : 1/2 inch (Chopped finely)
Coriander Leaves : 1 tbsp finely chopped
Green Chilli : 3 (Slit vertically)
Lemon Juice : 2 tbsp
Salt To taste

Coriander Powder : 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder : 1/2 tsp
Chaat Masala : 1 tsp
Amchur Powder/ Fresh lemon juice: 1/2 tsp/ 1 tsp
Garam Masala : 3/4 tsp

Oil: 1 tbsp
Mustard Seeds : 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds : 1 tsp
Red Chilli : 3
Curry Leaves : 1 spring
Asafoetida : a pinch

1. First step is seasoning/ tempering using the ingredients listed under seasoning.
2. Add the cooked chana/ bengal gram (Soak overnight and cook in a pressure cooker for 4 whistles) in the tawa.
3. Add all the spice powders (except chaat masala) along with lemon juice and vertically slit green chillies and salt.
4. Now add the boiled potato chunks and mix gently so that the pieces are not broken.
5. Garnish with the coriander leaves and sprinkle chat masala.

Chana Saar/ Bengal Gram saaru/ Kala chana saaru

When the cold starts I feel like wrapping myself with a blanket and have Chana saaru ( not soup, truly amchi). Try this spicy chana saaru with rice.

Chana : 1 cup
Red Chillies : 3
Tamarind Paste : 1 tbsp or soak tamarind in hot water and extract the pulp
Coriander seeds : 1 tsp
Salt to taste

For seasoning:
Oil : 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds : 1 tsp
Curry leaves : 7-8

1. Soak the chana in water for 8 hours preferably overnight.
2. Cook the soaked chana with 4 cups of water in a pressure cooker for 4 whistles.
3. Separate the chana from water and bring the chana water to a boil with salt.
4. In a mixer mix the tamarind paste, red chillies, coriander seeds and 2 tbsp of cooked chana.
5. Add that paste to the boiled chana water.
6. In a seasoning pan add oil and mustard seeds and once it starts spluttering add curry leaves and add the seasoning to the boiled chana water.
7. If you want the chana saaru more spicy add powdered pepper powder according to the level of spiciness you prefer.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Eggplant/ Brinjal Tawa Fry

One of the most despised vegetable by me has turned into my favorite. I am on a purple mission now. Trying to find the recipe's that suit my taste. This spicy tawa fry turned out to be healthy, crispy and yummy.

Cooking Time: 10 min
Preparation time: 10 min


Indian Eggplant/ Brinjal : 2
Chilli Powder: 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder: 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala: 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder: 1/4 tsp
Amchur Powder/ Dry Mango Powder: 1/4 tsp
Cumin Powder: 1/8 tsp
Asafoetida a pinch
Salt according to taste
Rice Powder: 3 tbsp
Oil for roasting

1. Wash the eggplant properly and cut it into thin round slices.
2. In a bowl mix all the spice powders together, salt and water (the consistency should be that of a paste)
3. In another bowl or plate spread the rice powder.
4. Apply the spice paste to each slice of the brinjal/eggplat.
5. Once the spice paste is spread evenly dip it in the rice powder.
6. Take a flat dosa pan/tawa, heat it and add 1 tsp of oil.
7. Spread the spice-powder dipped eggplant slices on the tawa.
8. Cook till it turns slightly brown and flip them and cook the other side in a similar manner.

Serve hot as a side dish.

1.Once the spice powder is applied on the slices you can keep it aside for some time so that the spices are absorbed by the slices.
2. Since I wanted to make it healthy I used only 1 tsp of oil for each round of a tawa. For making it more spicy can add more oil if necessary.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Bell Pepper Bulls-eye

As soon as I moved to the U.S. I had to put on a fight with myself to settle. I was struggling to settle here. I felt ignorant about half of the stuff when I moved here. All the kitchen appliances were new to me. I did not know how to use a simple microwave oven. And there was a conventional oven too. And I realized how I don't know so about so many things. Will blog about all the difficulties later.

And then I was invited for a party at home by one of my husband's colleague. And the food platter laid there was yumm!!! This particular dish was one of them which was served there.

Recipe Source: One of my Friend

Preparation Time: 2 Min

Cooking Time: 5 Min

Red Bell Pepper: 1
Egg: 1
Pepper: According to the Spicy level you prefer
Salt: According to Taste

1. Slice the Bell Pepper horizontally in round shape.
2. Place it over a pan and press slightly.
3. Break the egg and pour it between the space available.
4. Drizzle it with salt and pepper.
5. Once it is cooked turn it over and cook for some more time.

Serve it as an appetizer. Please serve it hot. The crunchiness of the capsicum and the softness of the egg make a superb combination.