Showing posts with label Chaat/Street Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Chaat/Street Food. Show all posts

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Homemade pita bread with spicy panner

#PitaBread #TandoorPaneerPitaBread #Recipe #SimiJoisPhotography

#PitaBread #TandoorPaneerPitaBread #Recipe #SimiJoisPhotography

I just cannot believe that it has more than a week since I blogged. Time seems to be slipping through my fingers like sand. Last week was rather hectic with back to back photography assignments. It was fun, but when you are cooking, styling and photography all in one, it becomes rather taxing. I really love the process, but I tend to overdo it by obsessing about the smallest details. And let’s not even start talking about the clean up….there was a time when, I would clean while cooking, so clean up was not a stressful chore. I remember all my spices and daals, well almost all the ingredients in my kitchen were labeled and neatly stacked. If you see me working now, seriously, it is not the same person, you will see stuff on every inch of the counter space and strangely I am more productive than I ever was. It started as a one off thing and over the months it has become a habit. Its something I need to address this year. Will see how that goes ;)

It has been a while since teen has been asking me to bake pita at home. I sincerely thought it was a long drawn process and was keeping the baking  for a relaxed weekend. This bread is so easy that I feel rather stupid waiting for a weekend to bake this. This is THE quickest bread I have ever made and I just love the soft fluffy texture. I can eat this without filling, just with hummus. If you are looking for a hummus recipe, click here.

#PitaBread #TandoorPaneerPitaBread #Recipe #SimiJoisPhotography

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Monday, June 10, 2013


There are some marriages made in heaven and one should never try and mess with that. Idli-sambhar is absolutely one such pair. Am not sure if my photography has done justice to this pair. These pictures were taken in April, when I was attending the LFP challenge and for some  reason it got lost in the zillion pictures that I have. When my better half told me last week that I should not have space issues for a couple of years at least  ( referring to the  iMac with 1tb of space, that he got me last year), it was a panic moment and I began a  ruthlessly spring clean  my Mac...and guess what I found :) I have mixed feelings about  the rustic styling, I am happy with it but am not sure if the whites of the idlis are real white, I could  have done a better job. But this blog is a journey, so I did not want to trash the photographs as it is part of my memories doing the LFP - 30 day food photography challenge. So here it is, the idlis not as perfect white but the recipe is perfect.

If you have never had idlis: they are steamed lentil and rice pancakes, the dough is fermented overnight, it is extremely healthy and sambhar is a spice curry made with vegetables and a coconut gravy.  I Made the sambhar with red pearl onions and tomato.

For the idli you will need an idli stand for steaming the dough. There are a lot of stands in the market, I have a simple one, you can go in for something fancy but I like to keep my traditional dish simple.

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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Mini Cocktail Samosa

Nostalgia, a sure sign of aging? You will not see a 13 year old getting nostalgic about her toddler years....or do you ? Well at least my teen does not ? Maybe I just have an old soul, cos seriously who you calling old ?? Ok correction here, Finally Teen says she does get nostalgic about her toddler am glad we got the age thing behind us !! 'Finally teen' got back from school and guess what she way playing 'Simon and Garfunkel' "bridge over trouble waters".  I was trying to read but I ended up closing my eyes soaking in the song and we must have played it for over an hour.....sometimes there is so much power in silence, yes we did play "sounds of silence" too and that moment was precious for me...!! A moment to step back and document in my mind heart...for in a couple of decades, I shall look back and think of this evening and cherish it in my mind and nothing can bring it back to life other than  my own memory of it.  How I wish I can lock this moment of time and throw away the keys. Well, there are days when I truly anticipate the future with excitement and then there are those moments like today, when I want to lock in to the beauty of NOW. Well, hope I did not push you guys into a sea of tears cos 'Finally Teen' thinks this is a whee bit depressing. Well, I think not, so I shall post this and have you decide. Throw in your opinion and we are both ( Finally Teen and me) curious to know :))

Assuming that I did throw you off a bit, here are some cute cute bite size samosas that might cheer you up. I don't need to add, it will go very well with some chilled beer, a wonderful sunset and some great music in the background.....and yes ! so easy to put together that you will have plenty of time to enjoy.

Btw, my samosa are not the perfect an apprentice at samosa making. Maybe it does have something to do with the word patience. Am sure yours will be perfect and if you want to leave a link of samosa recipe from your blog, pl leave a link here in the comments - I would love to better my craft.
Finally the days of shorts n sunshine, fireflies n flip-flops, bbq and beer and picnics n parties ! After weeks of cold, wet days...finally some bright sunshine and real spring temperatures...Any plans for spring/summer ? Well, I have some exciting stories/news to will just have to wait :)

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Vada Pav

Dark clouds were moving quickly...darkening the little day light that we had. As the thunder roared and the rain poured, I stood by the patio door ...looking outside at the drenched chair, yearning for an evening under the bright summer skies, with fireflies and stars....shining ever so bright. My eyes fell on the little droplets that were trickling down...almost slipping away to the floor ....I saw the reflection of the dull evening light on the drops.....each of them almost lit up against the dark, dull backdrop....!! This moment was so always thinking of the next step, the next thing on my living in tomorrow....! This moment, really made me think ....made me stop, take a deep breath. I don't know how long I stood felt energized and relaxed...! 

I had to take some shots of the beautiful evening. It has been an exciting fortnight. Me and my camera have been inseparable, literally! Everyday I am learning something new and just when I think I have created a beautiful work of art...I wait for a day and go back and revisit my photograph and I can see the flaw or the shortcoming in it, definitely developing an eye for detail. 

 Neel's 30 days food photography challenge has been FUN. It's fun to work and interact with people who share the same passion. It's amazing how none of us have seen each other and we come from different parts of the globe and we bond so well... Thanks Neel, for making this happen, and yes we do get homework...every day! But, it's not like school ...this kind of homework am willing to do 365 days not just 30. Am sure all my friends at the challenge will agree with me. If you want to explore LFP - here is the link for google plus. Am sharing today our lesson about lighting. Shooting with different light helped me learn about the relationship between textures and light and mood and light. The pix below is the same subject with different lighting. You can see, how lighting changes the mood, texture and meaning of the food.

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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Pumpkin and fenugreek flatbread/Paratha with pomegranate in yogurt raita

Parathas always take me back in time, when I lived in Delhi. Anyone who has ever lived or visited Delhi will know about the famous 'Gali paranthe Wali' or ' Parathe Wali Gali' in Chandni  chowk. The world's best place for stuffed Indian flat bread...hands down! I don't think there is any other place that can be a close contender.  I do not recommend you to peak into the don't ask why ! But you got to eat there with your eyes focusing on just the food, not the kitchen....and yes if you do have a sensitive digestive system....let's say your palette will thank you but I don't guarantee anything else. I have never had issues eating there, but you make your call.  Most of the stores only serve vegetarian parathas not even onion and garlic. Big history for a small narrow gali (lane) . Chandni chowk dates back to Shah Jahan era (1670), the first paratha shop in the gali was opened in 1870. Till date the parathas are shallow fried in pure ghee. Some of the recipes dates back to a century - that is what I have been told. You will find all kinds of filling - from cashew n almonds to the more common potatoes. I do recollect Anthony Bourdain feasting on some of the parathas @ CC, then again am not sure, maybe it was Rajasthan. Anyway Paratha gali is surely a haven for paratha lovers with some history .....

While this one is an original from my kitchen, I could not help but think about the paratha gali and different exotic parathas they serve there. Flaky, juicy and full of flavors.  The sweetness and mushiness of pumkin with the mild bitterness and crunchiness of fenugreek leaves and the spices makes this a perfect combination.  I went a little easy on the ghee, but if you don't believe in the philosophy of less is more....go for it!!It's worth the extra calorie :)) 
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Monday, November 26, 2012

Bhel Puri lettuce wrap

When you have a whole week of good food and fun, it is very hard to embrace Monday morning afternoon evening with enthusiasm. I have been trying ! My to do list is a booklet now and I don't think it is going to be a relaxing 'read a book and watch TV' kind of a week. Anyway going back to the extended weekend, this year we actually ventured out shopping on black Friday. Don't get me wrong, I am not a deal snob, but standing in long lines is not my cup of tea. Since Ak (my sister's son) was visiting and he wanted to experience the black Friday frenzy, we obliged... And to make a long story short, I was browsing in the mall and my eyes fell on a shiny BLACK blender : the price a steal and also it was the LAST black they had. There was no way I was letting go. So I tucked it between my feet and bent down looking for more colors/options...(getting greedy). I felt the box slide from between my boots and looked up to see a smiley face. Smiling back I assumed that the blender box will soon find its way back into my arms. This is the moment where there is a twist in the story! The smiley woman was walking away with the box- my box. what followed.....
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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving !

Thanks guys for all the guidance, support, encouragement and most of all your friendship. Truly feel blessed being part of this community.  Cheers to more. Celebrating 100,000 plus views (I know it is a small number in the blog world, but feels great) Thanks and hugs !!

No weekend is complete with out a chaat night for dinner - that is my home. Thanksgiving is no different. I incorporated bhel puri as an Indian inspired lettuce wrap as starters for today's Thankgiving meal. Since it is almost evening and dark - the pix are terrible... so I will repost this recipe sometime next week. Thanks and happy times :))

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ganesh Chaturthi - Sharing a Tradition

Karanjikai (karjikai)

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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Mango Panna - A Raw Mango Drink

I was going to post on Father's day but got busy having fun. Yesterday was a day out and by the time we got back home, I was too pooped to lift a finger let alone finalize a post and publish it.

Every summer as I pick flowers from my yard to arrange at home, I think of my childhood. My father was a botanist (a paleo-botanist, to be precise) and my mother is an artist. My father's knowledge of botany and my mother's artistic sense made our little garden a work of art. Our garden was filled with blooms, rare orchids, ferns, exotic begonia, and my mother's bonsais - to me, it was near paradise. I would always see my mother arrange flowers on Fridays (even now) - every Friday had new table setting with fresh flowers year round. What I considered a norm is a luxury in this part of the world. Summer is my season, when I go overboard, even though I do not have a huge yard to boast of. I enjoy picking flowers from my yard and bringing the outdoors in. Food and entertaining was a big part of our household - I remember huge gatherings and tons of food - almost everything was home made! My father was an active member of the menu planning party, and so was Ditu (my sister) and I.  Each of us wanted our favorites and Dad's would almost always prevail, so my mother would sneak in our favorites somewhere in the menu. No matter how busy dad was, he would always notice the fresh flower arrangement or a new art work at home and never fail to compliment my mother for her choice.

I remember my mother making Panna a lot during the summer months and it was a huge hit with family and friends. A great beverage for a party, as you can make it ahead of time. It was dad's favorite!

The size of a house doesn't matter, nor does the size of the city, village, or town that you come from. It is more important to grow up with values and principles. If I could go back in time, I would not like to change a thing! I learned a lot of life lessons from my father... To enjoy the little things, to question things and not follow blindly, to be fearless in pursuing your dreams because you believe in them, self discipline, and my first and finest spiritual lessons. To dad, wherever you are,  I love you - Happy Father's Day.

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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Frankie/kathi rolls

Mumbai has always had a special place in my heart, I have never lived there but spent a good chunk of my summer vacations in Mumbai - every year,as far back as I can remember.  My mother's family home was always filled with people, good food and the sound of chatter. We had so much to share,  there was never a dull moment . Despite the heat, we would always be outside, shopping or eating.  I don't think any one of us realized how hot it was, the cool evening breeze with the smell of the sea is something I can never forget and brings back great memories. Day or night - Mumbai streets are full of life - this one to the city - that never sleeps :) :)

Street food - bhel, pani puri, kachori, samosa...  you name it. The first time I tasted Frankie was in Mumbai and absolutely fell in love with this spicy roll.....since then must have consumed a few hundred dozen of them - still can't get enough.

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Tamarind n Dates chutney

The week went by too quickly .....!! I love spring break, its a sneak peak of my favorite season - summer!! It was a great week - the best part being, no alarms to ruin the morning slumber - and the birds chirping happy songs. We had so many things on our to do  wish list, we could accomplish only a few, went and watched "hunger games", ate out, shopping and cooked some yumicious food, but the pix were a disaster. I was in so much of a hurry to take pix that I forgot to re-set the white balance and ended up a bluish hue on all the pix, yes all of them :( !! haste does make waste!! Well on the brighter side the next week will be a repeat - telecast of all the yumminess !!  I did manage to salvage this one. Thanks to Photoshop!! It is not the best :( sorry guys!!

 I always yes you read it right always have tamarind n dates chutney in the refrigerator. It is one of those chutneys that is so versatile, it is the back bone of chaat. Chaat is a staple in our household - almost every other weekend, so much so that I have friends who just walk in and expect chaat  if it is a Friday and I love  surprises and since chaat is such a quick snack, with so many variations it never gets boring. It has taken me many trials to perfect this chutney and this is the recipe I have been using for over 10yrs now.

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Monday, March 19, 2012

Dahi vada

The main ingredient in dahi vada is urad daal and yogurt. Whenever I think of urad daal  I think of my visit to Ditu's  (my sister) place last year. I have a funny story to narrate.  She made urad  ki daal  it was absolutely delicious and at first no one noticed me eating the daal - soon when I reached out for a second helping, there was a alarming scream from ditu "Simi this is urad daal" (simi being me) I did not understand the reason for the alarm - I thought it was a delicacy and should not be taken lightly. So I nodded  and said -"it's really nice". Ditu, looking at B-I-L ( her husband) screamed in delighted, shock, amazement all the emotions at once - " Simi loves urad daal".   B-I-L was so happy - well apparently  Urad daal is a delicacy in  B-I-L's home and apart from B-I-L  and his mother no one - I repeat no one will touch it. My sister has been married for long years and she has never made urad daal when I am visiting as - obviously no one is supposed to like it !! lol !! I loved it and imagine after so many years. News of my 'new fond love for urad daal' reached  B-I-L's mother and soon -  B-I-L and his mother bestowed upon me the title of - 'honorary Tyagi'. Since it is a delicacy in every Tyagi household. It's not everyday u get an honorary title ;-)

 Btw it was not the kali daal but split urad ki daal ( the white one ) !! I have not tried making it at my place yet. The youngest ( my daughter) has been warned by the cousins ( Ditu's sons) and the warning extended by the threesome to my other half (my husband). Well not yet but I will definitely try it at home and when I do I promise to share it with you guys - the recipe and the reaction :) For now some dahi vada :)   

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Monday, October 31, 2011

Mango Lassi

Mango lassi is one of my favorite, it goes so well with Indian food, that's another story that I can make a meal out of it  :) :) Well you can do so many variations of mango lassi....add pomegranate to add a bit of crunch, add some mango pieces or strawberries......some keveda essence. Food is like a canvas all you need is a the capability to imagine, which we are all born with . It is am amazing  how one dish with same recipe and ingredients taste so different when made by two different people, I guess that is  beacuse when we cook we add a bit of ourselves in the food we prepare. I love the deep orange color of the lassi.

The deep orange reminds me of pumkins and haloween. So what are you all planning for haloween? Am glad it is not going to rain so we can trick or treat - my little one is going to be a witch from Harry Potter !! I am told that angry birds and black swan are  the most popular costume this year for haloween....popular or not make sure you have a great time and stay safe. ENJOY !!!!!!!!!!!

You will need
Mango puree : fresh or tinned - 1 and 1/2 cup
Sweet lassi -  2 cup (Can be made from fresh homemade yogurt or  butter milk) 
cardimon powder :1/4 tsp
Pista crushed : 2 tbsp
Saffron : 2-3
sugar - 2tsp

Wip sugar cardimom powder, saffron with yogurt (homemade) so it is nice and creamy.  Keep aside. Or add sugar and saffron to buttermilk. Now sip the mango with some some more yogurt and cardamom. Mix them all together and serve chilled in a class or play around with the colors - some mouthwatering with nuts, saffron and cardimom powder.

Serve chilled with your favorite meal!!

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Thursday, August 5, 2010

Bhutta- Rosted Spicy Corn

There are a lot of things money cannot buy - eating roasted corn on a rainy evening is one of them. Small pleasures! Hoopeston IL, is the 'sweet corn capital of the world'...and even if we have never been to Hoopeston...we live in Midwest and corn is everywhere, so roasted corn is something we enjoy regularly...... with the pitter patter of rain, on our window sill .....what could we think of...but roasting some corn with some hot chai...!!

Mix the salt, chili powder, dried  mint powder and set aside on a small plate. On a gas burner or charcoalgrill roast the corn on the cob,  keep turning  until the kernels acquire a brownish black color.

Take half a lime and  dip the open end of the lime into a mixture of salt, dried mint powder and red chili then massage the length of the cob with the lime and the spices. Enjoy it while the corn is hot....spicy and savory with the sweetness of the corn..... !! Print Friendly and PDF

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ragda Patties

Chaat is an integral part of Indian cuisine...always available at every "galli nukkad" (small street corners) and you don't have to break the bank to enjoy it! Be it pani puri, dahi chaat, bhel or ragda...classic combo never fails :) !!


Ingredients: Serves 4

250 gms green or white peas, soak in water overnight and pressure cook till soft
Onion: 1 large
Tomato: 2
Green chilies: 1-2
Ginger: 1 inch
Turmeric powder: 1/4th tsp
Cumin powder: 1 tbsp
1 tsp coriander pwd
Garam masala powder: ¾ th tbsp
Fresh cilantro leaves finely chopped for garnish
Salt to taste
1/2 tbsp oil

Wizz onion, tomatoes, ginger and green chilies in a blender. Heat oil in a pan, add cumin seeds and let them splutter; now add the onion- tomato paste. Cook on medium heat for 4-5 minutes. Add the spice powders and salt, followed by cooked peas, stir well and bring to a boil.

 Aloo tikki/ Patties:

 Combine 3-4 mashed potatoes and 2 bread slices, pinch of red chili powder or finely chopped green chilies, 1 tsp jeera(cumin), little grated ginger and finely chopped cilantro and mix well. Make small patties/cutlets and shallow fry till golden brown on both sides.

To serve: place two aloo tikkis, spoon some warm ragda over the tikkis. Add some tamarind chutney and cilantro chutney over it…with some finely chopped onions and cilantro… dig in that fork….!!
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