Showing posts with label Summer munch ideas. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Summer munch ideas. Show all posts

Monday, September 8, 2014

Wild Black Rice n’ Pumpkin Masala

Browsing through the grain section of the grocery store, my eyes fell on long shiny black rice, that was labeled wild rice. I was drawn to it like an artist is drawn to paint. I felt it with my hands, it was slippery and shiny and had extremely long grains, for a minute it looked too perfect, as though it was pieces of ebony that were hand polished. It made it’s way home with me and it lay on the pantry shelf for weeks. I was beginning to get skeptical, even thou I cook brown rice but my true love is pure white basmati:long aromatic grains of rice. A girl who likes her rice pure white, has here in her hand deep black shiny rice. Being attracted to black shiny long grains is one thing, eating it is another.

I took the plunge and put out some water to boil. Waited for 20 minutes, it smelled nothing like white rice. Very, very strong nutty aroma, and when I say strong, I mean really very strong. Something, told me this was not for me, with lot of inner courage I tasted the almost raw rice that was boiling away on the gas stove, I loved the crunch. First there was a crunch then a bit soft…. The aroma of the rice boiling in the water, grew on me, but definitely not my favorite. The taste: I really liked. It sat on the gas stove for 40 minutes, and barely cooked. Out came the pressure cooker and in went the rice - 3 whistles later there was nutty, aroma-less black rice. It’s has a strong flavor, so for me it is definitely not the main ingredient in the dish.  It really pairs well with pumpkin and together they can make a great tasting side. One cups makes almost two and a half cups, so keep that in mind when you cook it. 

#BlackWildRice #PumpkinNWildRice #Recipe #MasalaWildRice
#BlackWildRice #PumpkinNWildRice #Recipe #MasalaWildRice

#BlackWildRice #PumpkinNWildRice #Recipe #MasalaWildRice

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Stir fried Noodles

It was a lazy kind of afternoon, finally teen and I were bumming around in the living room, watching an old movie (read boring). Finally teen wanted to make something and I was too lazy to step out of the living room. I had planned a simple sandwich for lunch but finally teen had a different plan. She wanted to make chow mein, I prefer juicy, moist noodles and am not particularly fond of chow mein. Can’t believe am saying that, I almost survived on chow mein when I was doing my post graduation. None of us had money to eat anything else, it was the cheapest dish on the menu.  

Coming back to today,  chow mein was ruled out and I was really not in the mood to browse for recipes, so we improvised and the result was lip smacking. We stir fried the veggies and added ginger and galangal for flavor. This is the first time I am using galangal. It looks like ginger and is a rhizome like ginger but the taste and texture is very different. It is a tough root and hard to cut, the flavor is a mix of citrus and lemon grass. I just loved the flavor. It is  a seasonal produce so I am planning to pickle it in vinegar. I might even do a post on it. The noodles were lapped up in no time. 

It’s almost August and I am so not ready for fall, I am still holding on to summer, to start with we had a late summer and looks like an early onset of fall. The tomatoes are still green and  my impatiences are still kind of tiny.  On the other hand my herbs are doing so well.  I think I should use them up before the first frost burns it all. If you have a post on how to preserve herbs for winter, please share it, thanks! I am looking forward to warm slurpee soups :) If noodles is your thing, you are going to love the curried noodles

#StirFriedNoodles #AsianNoodles #CurryNoodles #NoodlesRecipe #Recipe
#StirFriedNoodles #AsianNoodles #CurryNoodles #NoodlesRecipe #Recipe

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Friday, July 18, 2014

Mysore Masala Dosa

So many memories are flooding in as I write this post. Our home was the official headquarters of dosa, or should I call it the dosa factory. All my friends will vouch for that and to many of them my mom was a friend and a confidante more than a mere ‘aunty’. In India we do not call elders by their name, so every friend’s mom is an aunty. Now that I think of it, I would always bring in friends from school and it was understood that they would be having lunch at my place. When I turned 16, my mom threw me a surprise party,  she invited all my friends and had a huge poster of sweet sixteen up in the living room - which she painted herself.  We must have been some 20 kids - dosas for 20 giggly teens is not an easy task. Can you imagine, I do not have a single photograph from it, but everything is crystal clear in my mind…I remember it like yesterday.  A baby pink poster with a pink rose (hand painted) and sweet sixteen painted on it. My teen turns sixteen next year, am not sure if anything can top what mom did for me…life is such a full circle. I can’t imagine that so much time has gone by. As I make dosas for my teen and her friends, I always think of my mom and her kitchen, her 1000 watt smile, that can light up a room even today - she has never frowned, it’s always smiles, in good times and otherwise. She did have her share of anger - but frown, hardly.  Life has always smiled back at her. Her smile is still as young as probably when she was sixteen. 

To me dosa is not a mere south Indian delicacy, it’s memories, it’s soul food ….it’s the key to Indian hospitality. Probably that is why my family thinks  it’s one of the things I make best. (if I may say so myself). Probably some where I feel the need to keep up with my mother’s standards of not only making perfect dosas but of hospitality, of  serving food with a smile, that shines from within. 

I have tried to capture dosa so many times but I have never really been  satisfied, am not as happy… I might redo the post with better pictures. I don’t think it is even possible to capture this amazing delicacy. Crisp on the outside and soft on the inside, when you bite into it, you can taste the crunch, the sweet-sourness of the fermented lentils, the rich aromatic flavor of ghee (clarified butter). Close your eyes, use your hands to break into the dosa and feel the texture, put it into your mouth, the crisp crunchy dosa, the sweet and spicy chutney, the potato filling….culinary ecstasy! I can be really dramatic :)

#MysoreMasalaDosa #HomeMadeDosa #ButterDosa #Recipe

#MysoreMasalaDosa #HomeMadeDosa #ButterDosa #Recipe

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Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Chipotle Mozzarella Sticks (It’s baked!)

There has been a lot of action in the Jois kitchen: crowded counter tops, dishes piled up in the sink and the aroma of freshly cooked food lingering around the household. Finally teen is often (very often) seen lurking in the kitchen trying out her culinary experiments.  In three years she will be off to college and it goes without saying I will miss her a lot. I have tons of time to clean up then, now is the time to enjoy and make messes. My friends who know me well will be quite shocked to read this. I am not only embracing the mess around me but even enjoying the hustle and bustle that goes with a messy kitchen. Well, this post is really about finally teen, and not the mess in our kitchen.   She has show her displeasure that I have not been speaking much about her on the blog. Even though she has now become an almost regular contributor to TnS.

Someone is really fond of cheese and when we are at the deli section, I see her spend a lot of time at the cheese bar. She picked up some fresh mozzarella, a few weeks ago, I had no idea about the plans and in a couple of days I saw her working with it. She made the mozzarella sticks and froze them for almost 2 days, then one weekend evening, when I had my feet up ready to watch some mindless telly, I was asked to take pictures - and it was now or never. So out came the camera, no thinking, no planning and I was given twenty minutes, 15 images later I came down to crumbs of half eaten mozzarella and a plate with hot mozzarella sticks and marinara for me. (awww moment). 

Finally teen has not only been busy in the kitchen but she and her friends have developed an app (available on google play). It is an app that monitors your calories and includes social media to motivate you, pretty cool app, here is the link if you want to download Fittastick. Version 3.0 is currently in the works.  

#MozzarellaSticks #BakedMozzarellaSticks #ChipotleMozzarellaSticks

#MozzarellaSticks #BakedMozzarellaSticks #ChipotleMozzarellaSticks
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Thursday, July 3, 2014

Triple Berry popsicles - 2 ways

This post reminds me of my love affair with water color painting. A few years back, when I was trying to get in touch with my artistic side, I took some water class lessons. I don’t think it was an absolute disaster, but it was really not my thing. I learnt a technique called ‘wet on wet’ : when u add two colors to a wet paper, they tend to have a mind of their own and blend to create something absolutely stunning. When I mixed the berries with vanilla ice-cream,  I loved the way the rich pink blended into the white, creating swirls and patterns - each popsicles was different from the other. We loved the flavors and the rich patters it created. No artificial color or flavors used. Edible art :)

This is going to be a pix heavy post as I am sharing 2 recipes: creamy vanilla-berry pop and the other one plain berry pops. Summer is all about ice-creams, fruit pops, bbq, picnics, finger foods. Am always looking for something EASY and quick, I really do not want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen and at the same time I want to create something that looks and tastes good. If it is healthy, a big thumbs up! I love pops and this one is guilt-free and I did eat multiples of them ;) The best part, it has real fruit - not from some concentrate with tons of food color,  If you are looking for something rich and creamy, you have these tiny vanilla-berry pops. I love the size, it’s really so cute. I loved both and it is hard for me to pick one over the other. There is nothing much to it. They looked so bright and summery and tasted so delicious, I just had to share it on the blog. 

Hope you guys have a wonderful long weekend, here in the US. Happy 4th of July and can’t wait to bloghop to see some amazing grilling recipes. 

I had some questions about my gear - I use Sony Nex-6 ( mirror less camera), lens 16-50mm and 50mm, that’s all, nothing fancy. For post processing I use photoshop elements - since am not so tech savvy, am not that good with post processing, something I need to work on.  Any questions, inputs, email me or just leave a comment. 

#Berries, #Popsicle, #SummerFood, #4ofJuly #, #FrozenTrests # Homemade, #recipe

#Berries, #Popsicle, #SummerFood, #4ofJuly #, #FrozenTrests # Homemade, #recipe

#Berries, #Popsicle, #SummerFood, #4ofJuly #, #FrozenTrests # Homemade, #recipe

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Friday, January 31, 2014

Baked Aubergine Pizza with garam masala

#BakedAubergine #BakedEggplant #EggplantPizza #Snack #GameFood

I have been planning to post since afternoon, but there was a bunch of things that had to be taken care of and some pending photo shoots, am so glad it’s all done and I have the weekend to myself.   There was a time when I did not understand anything about photography, it was Latin and Greek to me…Anything to do with the DSLR was my husband’s department. He liked photography, and I did not know anything about it, it was perfect. Things have changed, now I instruct my husband to stop shooting in program mode. He’s an amazing photographer and his angles and frames are very aesthetic and he uses light to his advantage, but when in a hurry, he loves and swears by the program mode and it bothers me no end. The other thing that bothers me is auto white balance. I could not have imagined  myself saying this two years ago. It really amuses me when he watches me shoot, he cannot understand why I keep staring into the frame for so long before I hit the shutter, am sure am not really cut out for action or sports photography. Lol! 

I remember about 5-6 years ago, I was searching for something that could quench my creative urges, I tried sketching and pastels, even thou I enjoyed it a lot, I did not feel passionate about it. I think I might have found it in photography,  I may not be that good, but my heart is in it. Blogging has really helped me bring together all my skills. My husband often asks me, “don’t you get bored looking at food pictures and blogs all day"…actually sometimes I wish I had an extra pair of eyes, there are so many talented people who inspire me. You will see me on my iPhone multiple times in a day, chatting, texting my photographer friends. We share jokes, that only we understand, and I catch myself chuckling away on my iPhone. I am telling you, take my phone away, someone. Jeez, I almost feel like am rambling and I don’t even drink…lol! (imagine if I did) 

#BakedAubergine #BakedEggplant #EggplantPizza #Snack #GameFood
Aubergine as the call the eggplant in France (I was recently told this) is one of my favorites, actually I really do not have any vegetable I dislike, well probably brussel sprouts is the last thing I will eat, but other than that.  I just dig this recipe, it’s healthy, delicious and easy to put together. 
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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Baked Aubergine

#BakedAubergine #BakedBrinjal  #BAkedSpicyBrinjal  #BakedPasta  #BAked VEggiePasta

#BakedAubergine #BakedBrinjal  #BAkedSpicyBrinjal  #BakedPasta  #BAked VEggiePasta

Aubergine or eggplant, remind me of my childhood. I have loved roasted eggplant  (baigan ka bharta) with my rotis. Coming back from school on cold winter afternoons, baigan ka bharta and hot rotis was a treat that I would not miss. The smell of wheat roasting on the girdle is still fresh in my mind. The charm to sit on the kitchen ledge, feet dangling, with fresh food and stories to probably my most cherished memory from childhood. Every time I go back, I try to re-live that's not half as magical as then. Homework was never my priority, it was eating lunch, narrating my stories to mom and then running off to Parul's house. Sunset was like a silent bell that beckoned me to get home. Almost always, before dad could get home...and then the realization of reality aka homework.

Finally teen is not crazy about  baigan ka bharta, however this is one of her favorites. I really don't blame her, if I were given a choice between the two, even thou am a die hard bharta fan, it would be very hard for me to pick one. You could just roast the eggplant without dunking it in pasta sauce, or cook in the pasta sauce. I occasionally break an egg on the roasted eggplant and boy! that's awesome too.

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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Roasted masala soybean

This is actually the first time I am writing up a post without photographing the dish. I prefer to have a visual inspiration, and then write. I am surprised that I have an urge to write. I always thought writing would be my waterloo, not really! I finally said that! For the longest time I would claim on the blog, about my bad writing skills. Some reprimanding from friends from the blogging community and my own family, 'stop saying that'. I have stopped saying that and am finally ready to embrace the writer in me. I read somewhere, we are all born story tellers. So true! I certainly am not Shakespeare, but I love to share the little happenings from my world.

Last week was the week of 'clutter attack' and it was dealt with an urgency! Don't ask me what was the urgency, it was like a woman with a mission. Every nook and cranny has been examined and taken care of, except the basement, am not cleaning the man cave and risking it. I did take care of the little prop space I have there, it's shinny and gleaming. I dislike clutter and de cluttering was like yoga (I hope my better half is reading this) Finally teen was ecstatic, finally I was not breathing down her neck, asking her to clean her room, I took charge. ( hope she's not expecting that, every week). Well, my family is used to these outburst every two to three months. Probably this is what has spoilt them. I really don't mind spoiling them, they are so worth it. It did give me a pain in my neck ( literally) and I almost thought of taking a couple of weeks of from blogging. All the gawking at the food pictures did not help, and slowly I found the way into the kitchen... ;)

Something very simple today, simple but healthy. Snacking is my middle name, and I try and eat healthy ( key word is 'try')...this is something I enjoy with my chai. Btw it goes great with beer. You can add some onions, cilantro and pomegranate and squeeze some lime juice over it and enjoy. Don't we always love chaat and try and make chaat with every possible thing ? I dig chaat!

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Monday, September 30, 2013

Fried poha / flattened rice

Last week was spent in trying to understand the technical aspect of blogging, ( I have no idea, what triggered it, but occasionally I do get such impulse in my brain)  I am aware that I am technically challenged. I told myself, "how hard can this be?" "It's all in the mind, if you think you can do it, you can" hmmm...I guess this law does not hold true for everything. You need some basic prerequisite. I did gather a few words, parroted it to my better half, he tried to explain them, all I had to say was "can you do it on my blog?" He did not know what I wanted, and frankly I did not know either. I crawled back to my iPhone, did some blog hopping, spent some quality time on social media, felt alive again. Jeez! It really tired me, I may not understand SEO, to alt tag my images, to view source to figure out keywords...Even if I knew, that's not really where my heart is. I write what I write as it comes from my heart, not because I need to hashtag keywords. I click pictures, cos I love to express my artistic self through photography, I cook, as I love food and enjoy sharing it with people I love. I bloghop and spend time on social media, as I love to interact with like minded people. Now,  that's simple and brings a smile on my face. I see the fog clearing! :) 

A cup of coffee is always a great idea, when you have exercised your brain, like I did. Evening coffee is great when it is accompanied by some snacks.  I think it is such an Indian thing. Cookies, biscuits, fritters and fried snack...there are millions of snack to choose from and you really do not have to break your back to make some of them.  Great for this time of the year, nip in the air, hot coffee and fried poha. Even thou am enjoying the nip in the evenings, it's hard for me to bid goodbye to summer, I love the colors of fall, but, I am not ready to throw away my shorts and embrace the colder temperature. We have been lucky this year to have nice warm days, (see me jinx it). I really miss the outdoors during winter.  Well, if you are imaging me  skiing through a white sheet of snow...hmmm! not really, am not going to elaborate on the details, but I have tried it and let's just say it did not work for me...If I do start talking about it, it's going to be a long hilarious post. For now, some coffee with fried poha and some clicks from my garden. 
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Thursday, September 19, 2013

Uttapam : the Indian Pizza

Rain has always evoked a romantic response from me. Am not restricting romance to just a feeling of love towards a special someone. It's a feeling of being alive, of the lush green, of being comfortable in the moment and enjoying it. Our minds are always running between the past and the future. It's strange that we forget to live in the present. I love to stand by my patio door and watch the rain, nothing on my mind... just enjoying the moment. It probably takes me back to my teen years, coming home from college my mother would make hot adrak chai with some hot savory snack, and both of us would sit and spend some good time, talking about the day. Brings on a sense of comfort,  no matter how many pot-holes life may have, finally in the end, it's worth it. It's 'this' life that has made you who you are and its more than worth it. See, what a pitter-patter does to me. It brings out the sage in me. lol!

Some hot chai is a must on such days... bring on some music, a good book and snuggle in your little corner. Blissful! My reading habits have changed over the years. There was a time when I enjoyed fiction and you would often see me biting my nails while reading a mystery or literally crying with the protagonist in a poignant scene. Now, I love to read about food, history of food, photography and even techie stuff. But the feeling to snuggle with your favorite read, chai, rain and hot uttapam... that has not changed. And last evening I did just that. What did I read ? David Lebovitz's blog. 

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Thursday, August 29, 2013


 I tend to have a bad habit of writing recipes on scraps of paper and then I lose it. So, this post is really for me, to document this recipe before I loose it.  I was talking to my aunt the other day and she passed on this recipe. I had different plan for the day, I had a pile of laundry, a messy closet and a lot more on my hands. Things changed quickly...a small voice in my head was instructing me. Before I knew it, I was bending over trying to create perfect circular chakli. I LOVED this recipe and the outcome. If you make chakli at home, I highly recommend you to bookmark this, you will be very happy you did so. I know I have posted a chakli recipe before, but this is completely different recipe and I find this one much easier.  
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Monday, August 19, 2013

Peach Sorbet - without an ice cream maker

It's been a quite weekend, last weekend before school starts. I have been having mixed feelings, I am so used to 'finally teen' being home, that it is just hard for me to have her gone for 8 hours. High school now, before you know it it will be four years and she will be off to college. Am going to miss this kid, she's a keeper, such a wise little thing! She has always been like that, even as a first grader, she had called in a family emergency meeting and told us that she does not like her school and wanted to go some other school. Am so glad we listened, we moved her to the  public school, she loved it. Well, am sure I will be sobbing my heart out after four years, but I really don't want to be that parent,  it is very hard then for the kids to move out and find their calling. For now let's see how high school goes, I think it is one of the most beautiful chapters in life. I loved high school and made some great friends and have still kept in touch with them.

The above picture of the sorbet has 'finally teen' modeling for me. I posted this on a photography forum and was asked to find a different 'hand model' someone with fancy nails... 'finally teen' was quite offended.  I love this picture, the nails are not perfectly manicured and painted to match the food, but it is real. Well, isn't that what our blogs are about? We eat the food we photograph and we manage with the limited resources we have, not all of us have the best lights, well most of us don't, I think none of us have a stylist. Sometimes, I find the commercial food photographs too perfect, almost unreal. Well, it just could be me, 'grapes our sour' maybe I can't click as well as they do. But I do gravitate towards more realistic photographs, that explains why V.K Ress is one of my all time favorite photographers. I would love to hear your thoughts? Do you like realistic or prefer picture perfect meals?

Moving on, I have been planning to get an ice cream maker for a couple of weeks now... Unfortunately,  the only space I have left is the garage;  between my props, gadgets and endless pots and pans, I have almost taken over half of the house. The reason I say almost and half is because my other half has his hobbies and his wood cutting machines, his soldering iron and endless tools from home depot have taken over the other half. To top it our teen is a lover of books... does that say it all ? I have to find a place to keep my ice cream maker, before I get it. I just hate counter clutter, so that is ruled out. Before summer went by, I just had to post something frozen, I thought sorbet was the easiest bet and then I saw a great sorbet recipe on Neel's site. Well, he used an ice cream maker, so a little google search brought me here and that is how I got my frozen dessert

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Tuesday, August 6, 2013

iPhoneography on the streets of Bangalore and a simple salad

The pile of work seems to be growing in exponential forms. Either I have become slow or it's payback time for the 4 weeks of vacation.  I have my hands into so many things that sometimes I forget what  am working on. I have been waiting to share some of my clicks from my trip, finally found some time. I have so many photographs, it is hard to share all of them and even harder to pick which once to share. Here are a few:  colorful, vibrant and full of life - that's India for me.

Walking on the streets of Bangalore with my aunt, stopping for tender coconut water ( note to self : got to locate that picture and post), buying locally grown fruits and veggies, I don't think there are locally grown any more, it's easier to find Washington apple then the local homegrown apple. You just have to experience it to understand what I am talking about...random chats with street vendors, local grown (some of them) veggies n fruits. There is something magical about the experience that the most sophisticated super markets cannot give you. It takes me back to my childhood, I would follow my mother, who would stop at every vegetable vendor on the street, examine the veggie closely, either approve and buy it or would refuse to entertain any convincing from the vendor. The purchase transaction would almost always be followed by a chat or a sermon by my mother on how he (the vendor) should send his kid to school and not have him/her sit there all day to sell the produce. They all knew her by face and called her 'aunty ji' which was latter replaced by 'mata ji', now am the 'aunty ji'! I always thought I would hate that, but I don't seem to mind and it, it does amuse me (in a good way). Well, here is a slice of life that was in the 80s/ when I was growing up, am sure it will become extinct with the growth of super markets and malls... but for now they give me so much pleasure, I could not have imagined that back in the 80s.

The photographs are followed by a simple lentil carrot salad called kosambri in kannada.  Since all these photographs are taken in or near Bangalore - I thought kosambari would be the perfect recipe to share along with these photographs, since it is a common local salad.

Note : most of these are taken from my i phone, some could be from my dslr. 
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Friday, June 14, 2013

Enjoying the outdoors :Puff pastry sticks and berry lemonade

I must have read 'The Prophet' a zillion times and every time I read it there is something new I discover...  The book is truly timeless. This is one of my favorite quotes from the book and I almost have it to memory now.

“Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.” 
― Kahlil GibranThe Prophet

Whenever I read these lines I think of a eagle in flight, free from any bondage, she flies not because she has a destination but she flies because she has wings that give her joy. There are always some people in our lives who give us that lift, to take flight.  The open skies have always enchanted me, be it star gazing at night or hot summer afternoons with impeccable blue skies...a meal or a snack under open skies is so romantic. It makes me realize how beautiful the world around me is, it helps me open my mind and realize what true flight and freedom is.

A simple snack,  walking on the grass with bare feet, lying on the sheet and watching tree tops... small things packed with life's biggest treasures. Here is a simple puff pastry sticks and berry lemonade packed with big fun !!

This is such a simple recipe, that I am wondering if I should post this... anyhow I am going to share it.

Puff pastry sheet, thawed, rolled out and cut in thin strips.

Mix garam masala, salt, garlic powder, chili powder into 4 tbsp of olive oil. Brush the seasoned oil on the pasty, twist it up for a nice shape and bake for 10- 12 min at 375 F or until golden brown. Let cool and serve.

For the berry lemonade 

Blend a cup of berries of your choice, squeeze 1 lime and add sugar, chaat masala and some salt. Now add some ice cold water - makes around 7-8 cups, instead of water if you add some sprite or a shot of vodka,  it takes it to a whole new level of awesomeness.

 Happy Father's day to all the awesome dads out there !

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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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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, 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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