Showing posts with label Curries/Dals (lentils and legumes). Show all posts
Showing posts with label Curries/Dals (lentils and legumes). Show all posts

Monday, December 1, 2014

Potatoes N Peas in a curry

#PotatoesNPeasCurry #IndianCurry #EverydayCurry #ComfortFood #SimiJoisPhotography

#PotatoesNPeasCurry #IndianCurry #EverydayCurry #ComfortFood #SimiJoisPhotography

I lived a considerable part of my life in North India, winter is the best season in Northern India, the sun is glorious and the nippy air is perfect between bouts of strong sunshine. I have so many memories of sunny nippy afternoons. Sitting outside in the warm winter sun with hot adrak (ginger) chai…oh, that’s something that money cannot buy. Aloo mutter reminds me of Indian winters. It was my favorite while growing up, With hot puris and raita……best thing ever.  It pairs well with rice, puris or even rotis. Comfort food taken to the next level.  I love to use baby potatoes for this curry and I love to use it with the skin, the skin is so thin and it adds flavor. If you are new to Indian cuisine, this is a great way to start. Very simple and everyday curry. 

This Week has been super hectic to say the least, I have been wanting to post this since Thursday …it’s already Saturday Monday. I really wonder where the week went. My list of to-do items for the blog and photography assignments are growing in such huge proportions that I cannot keep up. I am planning to take a week off between now and the end of the year, it’s so hard to take time off from something you love. But I seriously need to do this for myself. There is so many books I want to read and I do want to spend some time doing ’nothing’. I hope I can give that to myself…


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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Mixed Lentil Curry

#MixedLentil #MixedDaal #DaalCurry #LentilCurry #Recipe #IndianLentilCurry #IndianDaalCurry

#MixedLentil #MixedDaal #DaalCurry #LentilCurry #Recipe #IndianLentilCurry #IndianDaalCurry
This post was ready to go live last week,  I took some pictures posted it on some of my forums and many of my photographer friends thought I could do a better job on the images.  That was really enough to push me to restyle and reshoot. This post is really to all the amazing people out there who think that a camera in one hand and photoshop in another you can make great images. Am sorry to burst your bubble,  photographers work very hard at their craft, we are constantly stretching our selves. If camera and Ps made images, I would not need to cook again and restyle and reshoot. 

Phew! am glad that was easy and is off my chest now.  Overconfidence and lack of confidence are both harmful for a creative person, but when good critique comes from reliable sources, it’s always wise to embrace it. That is the only way to grow,  at least  for me. So thank you guys! Also, kind of went overboard with my camera,  picture heavy post ;)

The rejected image is after the jump break. 

Before I forget two things, First, Thanks Neel for adding Turmeric and spice to the Amazing food photographers with amazing food photo list.  Quite an honor to be featured with some of the major players and amazing photographers. ( doing the happy dance here). 

Second,  saw some of my images stolen and used without my permission. You may wonder why I do not have watermark on my images, well I do and it is embedded in my images. Wonder why people steal…. !! Well, I  will keep that rant for another day. 

#MixedLentil #MixedDaal #DaalCurry #LentilCurry #Recipe #IndianLentilCurry #IndianDaalCurry
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Friday, September 19, 2014

Tofu in rich N’ creamy curry


#TofuCreamycurry #TofuCurry #Tofu #Recipe #SimiJoisPhotography #TofuCreamycurry #TofuCurry #Tofu #Recipe #SimiJoisPhotography

With each year I see myself stretching to do things I never dreamt of, it’s a feeling of liberation.  I must have been such a boxed thinker. We are all born free, but somehow somewhere we all form opinions, biases and try and fit all our thinking into specific boxes. We judge a book by the cover, even before we  have read a few pages, we make rigid opinions and conclusions. We forget to be a child, curious and happy. By no means free thinking means lack of disciple, see even here am trying to define, trying hard to put it in a box. Old habits die hard, it’s hard to let go. Art is curative, whether it is cooking, baking, painting, writing or photography. It cures and makes us into better people, at least some of us.

I wonder if writers feel the same way, I happen to have a writer friend and she told me about her writing class. That’s really out of the box for me . I kept telling her in different words than this, “I cannot write” she told me something that will stay on my mind and is a valuable life lesson, “just write don’t judge ,  If you start judging when you write, the inner critic will win and you will not be able to progress. “ I call it  a life lesson, as we constantly judge our own selves and in the end we end up being something we are not. I am so glad I enrolled, it’s definitely going to open up some rusty windows in my brain and let in some fresh air and sunshine. I am curious to see, how my thinking will change and how this will effect the way I think and photograph. Super excited! Thanks Monica!.  She’s amazing, I just have to tell you her food essay is included in :  Best food writing 2014. Now you get the idea of who she is.  I really hope to stop thinking about the outcome and enjoy the process, give myself up to be molded and cured as life should. 

#TofuCreamycurry #TofuCurry #Tofu #Recipe #SimiJoisPhotography

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Gobi Masala / Cauliflower Curry


#GobiMasala #CauliflowerCurry #EasyIndianCurry #Cauliflower #Curry

I am such a sucker for cauliflower, love it to bits. I grew up on this curry & hot rotis dripping with home made ghee. I had an appetite of a horse, lol! Thin as a stick and always outside playing or running….no wonder I could eat like a pig. Every time I make this it transports me back to my childhood. A lot to be thankful for, my mom has not only been my best friend, but a big influence in my life. From the first crush to gossip…there was nothing I would not tell her, intact even today I share a lot with my mother. She always reads ALL my posts and gives me numerous suggestions. When some of her suggestions are not in line with my thinking,  she tells me she’s ahead of her times :).  This one to her and the numerous meals she has fed us over the years with a smiling face. 

Cauliflower is the new fashion icon, so I hear…never been the kind to follow trends. For me it’s up on my food pyramid right from childhood. The crispy roasted cauliflower coated with the curry is irresistible. If you are new to Indian cooking, this might be a great place to start. 

#GobiMasala #CauliflowerCurry #EasyIndianCurry #Cauliflower #Curry
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Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Beet Coconut curry

#BeetCoconutCurry #BeetCurry #IndonesianCurry #Beet #CoconutMilk

#BeetCoconutCurry #BeetCurry #IndonesianCurry #Beet #CoconutMilk
Reluctantly I got out of bed, washed up and opened my physics books,  Thermodynamics yaaawn... ! Maybe it will not be so cold (read sleepy), if I have the comforter on my feet, hoody on my head. Nice !!! Feels so good, dramatically Ditu unveils my hoody..., " you better finish that page and move on" sheepishly, I read on, with an obvious lack of interest..! She helps me with some study tips and my mom hands me a glass of hot milk, I gulp down the milk and get back to where I had left. My mind wanders, I get a nudge...she's watching me like a hawk...grr! How I wish I was the older one. She walks out of our room and I rummage through her stuff, I dont even know what am looking for, the paper reads "Industrial psychology and organizational behavior", how boring, I put her papers down and get back to mine. She walks in and looks straight at me,  “stop touching my stuff” , she must have an invisible set of eyes.

 Its almost six in the evening,  Ditu is not back yet, its getting dark. My eyes our glued to the gate. The thermodynamics test was not all that bad, after all. Finally, it's Friday, I can sleep in... But wait where is my sister? Mum, is not worried,  “she is at Mitu's place", but it's getting dark. I get my bike out and ride with urgency, she walks along with me, not a word. " Don't be out so late, or ask Mitu's brother to drop you...this road is unsafe". She nods in agreement. It never crossed my mind that she is six years older than me and she's capable of managing herself. She never protested, it was an unwritten code, if she was late, I would go pick her. She has never said no to me, no matter how unreasonable I get ( hope I have not). My first lessons of diplomacy, of patience was from her. That's another post that am still a novice in training. When I try and make things complicated, she makes things easy. ( it's the degree in psychology that's talking ;)) She will never say no, but have it her way...I have no idea how, but she does it with perfect grace...we are so different yet we have so much in common. Thats my childhood in a nutshell.

Am glad for sisters, glad some are super creative ;). And glad mine can design ;) Check out my logo  (on my photographs), what do you guys think? Thanks guys,  for your help, and taking the time to pick one for me. Really appreciate it. 


#BeetCoconutCurry #BeetCurry #IndonesianCurry #Beet #CoconutMilk
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Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sweet Potatoes baked in coconut curry






#SweetPotatoCurry #SweetPotato

It has been a long week, what? it’s only Tuesday ? This is what happens when you end up working on a weekend. I have been doing a photo shoot for a cook book, ( photography), I can’t  reveal much about it, but when it is out, you guys will be the first to know. Am really excited about it…some very different stuff, you will see ;).

I also need to post the 365 days post about photography, I have been working on responding to all the messages, sorry if I have been a bit slow…

The most exciting part of all this is all the prop shopping, I just love picking different colors of plates, bowls and cups.  I have painted at least eight new boards and am excited to use them. I love all the possibilities out there, just painted a deep red  and a hunter green. The one I have used in this post is new too and I love the gray blu tones. Am so proud of my props, just love collecting them.  Hubs cleared up one side of his workshop and offered to keep some of my props there, I thought that was so cute. I always thought I was shy of color, but apparently not, loving the bold new set of props.

I have to talk about these sweet potatoes before I go ahead and write the recipe. It’s so creamy that it just melts in the mouth. After a frown and a “ ohhhh, sweet pottttaatoooes, do you have something else” finally teen had seconds and thirds…. that’s saying a lot.  I can’t wait to have one of my friends over and bake it for her ( you know, who you are )


#SweetPotatoCurry #SweetPotato
The curry looks dry in the images, it was so hard to shoot, but really very moist.

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Monday, December 30, 2013

Pepper Rasam / Clear soup for the flu season

#Rasam #ClearSoupForCold #ClearIndianSoup #PepperRasam
I really did not plan to have this as my last post for the year… I wanted to make something more exotic, - something that had a ‘wow’ factor to it.  I was browsing through my recipe folder a couple of days ago, to plan the last post. ‘Finally teen’ walked in sneezing and sniffling, (it’s hard to escape the flu at this time of the year); she saw all the recipes, and usually her eyes light up, but this time, she looked at me and asked, “Can you make some pepper rasam for me?”  So I made some rasam for her and went back to my quest. Sipping through the rasam, she asked, “Do you have this on the blog? If not, you should.” I looked at her. Even if I had made something exotic, she wasn’t going to enjoy it as much as she enjoyed sipping the rasam. Sometimes small pleasures give us so much more. So I went ahead to photograph the rasam… I enjoyed photographing this simple recipe, I’m usually so picky on the way my photographs look, but I felt so good about this one. I don’t know if it is technically perfect, or aesthetically wonderful, but I truly felt fulfilled. I guess that’s what this blog has been for me, very fulfilling.  It has helped me open up to understand my strengths, my weakness, made me stronger in my convictions. This year has been amazing: I did my first paid photography gig, my first sponsored post by Campbell, and I was featured on The kitchen, Fox news magazine, and The Daily Meal, to name a few. I’m part of some exciting projects in 2014, and I hope it comes through (keeping fingers crossed here). But more than anything, I’m thankful for all the associations I have made through the blog. Thank you guys! Hope you have a wonderful 2014 - Happy New Year to all of you and your family. Spread the love!

#Rasam #ClearSoupForCold #ClearIndianSoup #PepperRasam

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Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Curried Noodles



#CurriedNoodles #SpicyNoodles

My friends often think that, as a food blogger, I never run out of creative ideas. My teen is the luckiest as there is always something new cooking in my kitchen. Well, to tell you the truth, my home is like any other home on this planet. Every day, the same question is repeated: "What’s for dinner?" After my response, I usually hear a disgruntled plea to eat something different (read "better"). Yesterday’s favorite is today’s "boring", so it’s not an easy game to win, and I’m sure that all my readers can relate to that. There is a good amount of thought involved in creating a menu, and this process can seem daunting at times. Yes, I love to whip up a meal from scratch, but then there are days when you really don’t want to spend a lot of time in your kitchen. This definitely does not mean that you compromise on taste. My ardent fans and strongest critics are my teen and my better half as they propel me to pursue new adventures in the kitchen. I was really excited when Campbell approached me to develop a recipe from their cooking soups or make one from their existing list of recipes.  If you have picky eaters at home, you need to check out WisestKid.com: you will be pleasantly surprised by the options available.

I went on to check out the website and I was happy to find numerous options for everyday meals. When I started browsing through the recipes, my mind started to churn out creative ideas.  I felt like the possibilities were endless, and I eventually came up with a recipe. Creamy curried noodles made from the Cream of Celery soup by Campbell. I got a thumbs up from my "ardent fans." Don’t forget to check out Campbell's kitchen.

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Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Spice coated baby potatoes





It was a relaxing long weekend. We love to spend time with friends but we also need our space - not really party animals. Thankfully, the three of us are similar. Saturday and Sunday was time well spent with friends, and Monday was really quiet... in fact we watched an old Indian movie together (which was hilarious).  I really like weekends where we do a little bit of everything, malling, eating out, spending time with friends, watching silly movies that don't make sense and still having some time to spare. 

The weekend was really productive. I found these cute fingerlings baby potatoes at the farmer's market by my house and instantly I had a recipe in mind. The dish was finger licking good, if I may say so myself. I had exactly 15 min to capture these. It is indeed hard to photograph  when you have a hungry family waiting. So obviously there was no time to use a diffuser. I try not to even look at my camera over the weekend, as it is very stressful to photograph, with a constant 'are you done' unison. I managed to take a few shots. After lunch I  transferred  the pics to my iMac, I was not that happy with the results. And, I got conflicting inputs, my better-half loved it and finally teen was iffy about it, to be precise "you can do better mom" is what she said. So, I decided to share it on my photography group, and guess what - conflicting results there too. Read here if you are interested. I did think the highlights were a bit harsh, making the photograph look a bit over sharpened. So, I had few of my friends help me learn how to post process and they even did a video for me. (click here to view video) Thank you, Borje Ensgard and Viana de Leon. Finally, am somewhat happy with the result, I know I could have done better. But here is a side by side comparison for you guys. 
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Monday, August 26, 2013

Simple everyday dal




 I have never tasted masoor dal. Hard to believe but true.  So, last week, I got a pound of dal and just fell in love with the color. Once cooked, it does not retain its coral color but I love the mushy texture of the dal, blends so well with the masala. I have seen it being pared with spinach, so I took the  safer route. Loved the outcome!

 Did you notice the cute wooden spoon, aren't you in love.  Well, got it as a gift from my mother, I think dad had got this from his travels or maybe some one gifted us this spoon. It is over 30 years old. Iis a typical Russian wooden spoon, with so called Khokhloma pattern (red and gold and black), made in Khokhloma village. Hand painted and hand crafted and it's not just  a handicraft but can be used. I really did not know much anything about the spoon, but thanks to my friend Olga, am well informed now.

Before I forget, thanks for all the encouraging comments on my previous post. I think am going to go back and start taking my sketching seriously. 

 I used home grown tomatoes, it did add to the flavor and made it extra special. 
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Monday, June 10, 2013

Idli-Sambhar



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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Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Spelt Flour and Lentil Paratha/Flat Bread


Spicy, savory, aromatic and soul filling. You cannot complain if it is healthy too. Flat bread or rotis and parathas are my all time favorite. Am not really a rice eater, I prefer bread/ roti/naan/ paratha to rice, any day. Coming from a person who is from the south of India, this is unusual. Brought up in the north of the country, my palette is heavily influenced by the northern cuisine. But, I cannot give up my dosa, similarly, I cannot give up on parathas or rotis.  A dollop of ghee, is a perfect accompaniment.  I keep trying out different recipes of parathas and have never been really disappointed. Among all the wild and not so wild experiments in my kitchen, this one is a favorite. Here to stay, repeated many times in the Jois household and each time getting better. It has the goodness of grains n lentils. A meal in itself, when served with some raita or daal. Simple, easy and great for week nights. 

I shared this recipe with a very good friend of mine and she asked me "what is spelt flour ?" I am sure most of you are aware of this wonder flour.  If not... Well, I really did not know that it is older than wheat and I do believe it is a distant cousin to wheat. Easier to digest, and lesser gluten, so can still be substituted for wheat in baking, it needs a little more kneading for the gluten to get working than wheat. Also, a better nutritional profile.  Am not a nutritionist, this is just from my reading. Forget about the nutritional profile, am telling the taste profile is awesome, I could tell it is a bit nuttier than wheat, needs less water to kneed into a dough and is absolutely great tasting. So am not complaining ! 
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Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Sambhar Spice Blend


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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Baked spinach curry



I love greens and if you tell me to eat them everyday - I certainly can ! As a matter of fact, I love all veggies and was never really a picky eater...I need my food to look good and yes taste good  (duh!). Am glad I don't have picky eaters at home, but very critical people ( raising an eyebrow) by very I mean very....!! They ( I mean both of you two people, who read my blog and live with me - yes BOTH  ) critical only in the context of food. The bright side, when something is super delicious, they shower me with compliments that could last for weeks and it get's embarrassing when we are outside and even after repeated pleas to dial in down ...they don't ! I know it's cute but a bit embarrassing when we are out.  Yesterday, when I baked them the spinach n eggs, they loved it - just makes me so happy.  I was a bit skeptical at first ...as finally teen said "I love it, am not sure dad will"  but looks like this baked dish is here to stay in my household, hope you guys enjoy it as much as we did and they are going to rave about it for days or even weeks :)


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Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Drumstick Coconut Curry

When we moved to the US and started our lives here, going to the grocery store was a chore restricted to the weekends. At first I did not have a car for myself nor a driver's license. So, the grocery store was a weekend outing. I loved the huge stores with aisles and aisles of food, I loved the idea of semi homemade and I fell in love with margarine, heat-n-eat soups and felt a strange sense of belonging to the modern world, since now I had an access to 'modern food'  (yes, sadly I have been guilty of that). Did not realize that it will not take me long to yearn for fresh, local foods and miss my vegetable vendor back home in India. I still remember before coming to the States,  my aunt had told me that my life will change for the good, forever....I will no longer have to have hours in the kitchen - "you get ready pasta sauce, ready pasta, ready-to-eat soup...". Well no comment on ready to eat meals, but I do see myself more in the fresh produce aisle, farmers markets and my love affair with margarine was short-lived. I do spend hours 'laboring' in the kitchen, cause that is just who I am and I'm glad it is no other way.  Well going back to drumsticks - since visits to the grocery store was limited to the weekends for us back then,  I would stock up on frozen vegetables, for days when I would run out of fresh ones. Never been allured by drumsticks. I don't know how, over the years, I have come to really like drumsticks, and, to tell you the truth, enjoy them.

Drumsticks stir up some precious memories. Two decades ago, when we lived in Lucknow,  India we had a drumstick tree in our yard and had fresh drumsticks when ever it was harvested. Lucknow has  given me great friends and great memories.  I could not have imagined then, that some day opening a pack of frozen drumstick, my heart would yearn for fresh drumsticks and life gone by. Twenty years ago, what was a mundane regular life has become a part of my memories that I will cherish for years. Well, as they say life is a full circle - most times we do not value what we have, till it is taken away from us. Wonder what my bag of memories will hold twenty years from now...


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Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Apricot Curry and Cumin Rice


 I was at the local library, in the cook book aisle, while finally teen was rampaging through the mystery isle...searching for "that" book which is almost always checked out. "Go check in the teen section" was my instant response, meaning more time in the cook book section for me. Doesn't matter if it's a toddler or a teen, once their job is done, they are hungry or tired or falling apart and it becomes an immediate emergency that we leave the given place and drive to the next destination. So with the limited time window, my eyes fell on "50 great curries of India by Camellia Panjabi" and while browsing through it,  the page landed on "mixed dry fruit curry " I knew instantly my family is going to love this one.... the key word savory with a hint of sweet. We never need an excuse to eat spicy food!! The constant complaint is "it's not spicy enough", never "it's too spicy"... Not so much finally teen, but the other person in the house. Not naming any names here. :)  But, mind you, if the curry in question is rich n creamy with a mild sweet savory after taste... the spice nagging is thrown out of the window. Weird, but as they say, the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Can't argue about that - spicy or not. My mother always says men are weird like that, they have contradictory likes....she does have a point here. Well the curry is NOT at all spicy and was LOVED by the family. Love is a mild acknowledgement of the emotion - "best thing I ever ate" was finally teen's response. The other half thought it was a "great recipe and well made", a big compliment from a person who is a perfectionist. I thought it was a great recipe too.  If you are having people over -  wow factor - this is it... not for a late dinner, though, it's rather heavy. Let's say a great lunch curry. It's very unique (in a good way) and extremely rich in flavors, not too much masala but very fragrant.  You can use the same curry base and add koftas or even paneer, I don't see why not. Any great curry recipes leave me the link - it's the next best thing after chocolate. I did alter the recipe, by reducing the amount of nuts, so I can eat more, guilt free.

The recipe is called - Mixed dried fruit curry or Dry fruit Korma. I thought apricot curry was a better name as, apricot is the real star in this recipe.

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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Jamun Kofta

Fall is in the air, or at least here in the Midwestern USA. It's from 100 degrees to 80s... love the early morning nip in the air but I am not crazy about the sun setting early and am not looking forward to the time change, with shorter days!! On the brighter side : not being able to be outside will give me some time indoors. My home needs help!! I do have a lot on my bucket list - need to reorganize the house, too many things in the wrong spot and it just throws me off -  it is a disaster !! And am not looking forward to school starting in a week - I am going to miss having almost teen constantly asking me "whatcha doing?" She is going to get her nose back into a book or into a laptop !! I don't want summer to go away baaaahhhaaaa!!! (Ok, I know it's not a word...) 

You guys looking forward to fall, or... baaahing like me ?

The cool breeze and the cloudy evening  made me yearn for some hot spicy curry and naan - Jamun kofta. Yes, kofta made from jamun mix and dunked in a spicy curry !!


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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Massaman Thai Curry



A few weeks back I was lunching with a friend of mine, we discovered a small kitchen store next to the eatery. It was a cute little store tucked in a corner - we were like kids in a candy store.....I fell in love with these bowls.  I thought it was perfect to serve curry.  I really think the curry tasted better in them ;)  

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Monday, March 5, 2012

Vegetable balls in curry - Kofta

Indian curries have always been exotic - they are becoming increasingly popular. Almost a staple in the United Kingdom - Chiken tikka masala being the national dish now. Don't blame them for falling in love with the rich mosaic of exotic spices. The varieties and blends are innumerable - from galouti kababs to tikka masala to koftas to chettinad to  .............. I have not even started talking about the bread, biryani, starters, snacks, chutneys and dips......oh the list is endless! And like true art - each curry is different, even the same recipe, cooked by the same person on a different day will taste different - and that is why cooking is an art form - no two paintings can be alike - even though it has been done by the same artist. For me,that is what makes it so much more fun, that is also my reason to dislike not limit myself to the boxed/bottled curry paste - which is so predictable. I must confess I have been guilty of using them - but have almost always regretted it.

This is originally a recipe from my mother, which I have altered a bit - these koftas are great with , naan, rotis or just plane pilaf. Some plain yogurt and hot papads and you got a best seller there.

Remember I was talking about  'know our ingredient' - read here - featuring  'starr anise' in this post. But first the  kofta.


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Monday, February 20, 2012

Pongal - Rice and lentil porridge

Thanks to my sister for designing the new header.Thank you sista. Flashback to childhood, I remember as a child I was always asked to go to my sister for homework help and seriously I always felt it was like timeout - some how, she made things look harder then it was. I don't now how when or where things changed and now when ever am in doubt I  reach out to her, somehow she makes things look so simple. It is amazing how perspective change with time.  And thank God they do.


 I have never been a picky eater but neither  the kind to be pleased with everything on the table and I was very vocal about my disappointments. It amazes me to think - pongal which was top on my list of  "what I don't want for dinner" has moved to the other side.I enjoy the one pot meal - it's a wonderful meal for a busy weeknight. Love the way it turns out in a crock pot.

For those of you who are new to this - pongal is a  savory rice and lentil porridge, a traditional South Indian delicacy, named after the festival Pongal -  It is a  four-day festival of thanksgiving to nature, which takes its name from the Tamil word 'pongal' meaning "boiling over" signifying abundance and plenty.  It is celebrated in the month of Thai (January-February) Jan 14th to be specific, during the season when rice and other cereals,  are harvested. 


There is a sweet version of pongal too, but for today savory is the flavor of the day !! Served with some tomato chutney . 



For Pongal 

1 cup Rice
3/4 cup Moong daal (split)

For seasoning
1/2 tbs crushed black pepper
3-4 cloves
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1-2 green chili split
3-4 curry leaves
2 tbsp ghee or more :)
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp asafoetida
salt to taste


Wash the rice and daal and roast it in 1 tbsp of clarified butter or ghee. In a crockpot add the rice and daal with 4 cups water and salt.


In a small sauce pan add the remaining ghee, add mustard - here it pop add the cumin , cloves, pepper crushed, green chili, curry leaves and asafoetida in the order. Add it to the crock pot and turn it on to high - 4 hrs !!  If you like your pongal more on the dry side reduce the water and the cooking time, I prefer mine, a porridge consistency. Serve how with a dollop of ghee and tomato chutney.


Finally spring seems like it is almost around the corner or is it ? Am yearning to get to the yard and get my hands dirty - literally. But for now I look at the frozen tomatoes from last season, this is the last batch I have, tucked away in my freezer. Frozen or fresh whatever you prefer.
 chutney 
2 large tomatoes finely chopped
1 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard
1 tsp cumin seed
1 tbsp rasam powder
1 tbsp crushed jaggery or  brown sugar
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp tamarind juice
salt to taste

In a sauce pan add the oil followed by mustard - here it pop, add cumin, green chili and curry leaves add the chopped fresh tomatoes or frozen along with salt and jaggery and bring to a boil. Close the lid and simmer for 10-15 min . Add the tamarind, stir and serve with pongal.


Submitting for the event - walk through memory lane  hosted by Gayathri. Thank you !!




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