Saragva Ni Kadhi| Gujarati Drumstick Kadhi

Saragva ni kadhi, a Gujarati dish made using curd and drumsticks (‘saragva’ is Gujarati for ‘drumsticks’), is a hot favourite at our place. One of our Gujarati friends taught us how to make this kadhi, years ago, and I have been making it ever since. The husband loves it, the bub loves it, and so do I. This kadhi is something I prepare often at home, whenever there is sour curd left over. Hey, sometimes I even set extra curd just so I can make this! šŸ™‚

Check out the recipe, just in on my photo blog!

Advertisements

Ras No Fajeto| Gujarati Ripe Mango And Curd Dish, My Way

Ras no fajeto is a beautiful, beautiful Gujarati dish made with pureed ripe mango and curd. It makes for the perfect side dish for piping hot steamed rice, with a little ghee mixed in. I love having it with rotis, though, with or without another simple curry on the side.

The sweetness of the ripe mango, the sourness of the curd, and the heat of the ginger and green chillies meld together to give this dish a gorgeous flavour. Beautiful as the fajeto is, it isn’t a dish that is really well known in states outside of Gujarat.

Here is my way of making ras no fajeto!

Ugadi Special| Ellu Bella Ice Cream| Tilgul Ice Cream| Lonavali Ice Cream| Creamy Home-Made, No-Eggs, No-Churn Sesame-Jaggery Ice Cream, Without Ice Cream Maker

Yesterday, on the auspicious day of Ugadi, I managed to recreate my favourite Lonavali ice cream from Ahmedabad. This ice cream is a tribute to the hill station of Lonavala, with bits of sesame chikki in it. It has a faint hint of rose to it, and makes for a gorgeous summer-time treat. 

Check out my recipe, here

Bombay Sandwich-Style Paratha Frankie|Using Up Left-Overs

I am a huge fan of Bombay vegetable sandwiches, which I learnt how to make by watching a street-side vendor at work. šŸ˜› The family loves them to bits, too.

Just yesterday, I got inspired to try out a paratha-based frankie using the same stuffing. The Bombay sandwich-style paratha frankies turned out delish, and were much loved at home.

Do check out the recipe for the frankies, here!

Nostalgia Overdrive!

I’m on a nostalgia overdrive since yesterday.

You ask why?

Well, I discovered this Facebook page called Jolly Food Fellow (brilliant name for a foodie website, BTW!) yesterday. This fellow is really jolly good, and a big-time foodie, who is bent on posting about all the gorgeous food that is available across the length and breadth of Ahmedabad.

How do I not get nostalgic on seeing a video about my very own Swastik Ragda Pattice or Old Pizza? How do I not miss the countless number of days I have gulped down these goodies, to much satisfaction? How do I not start craving for them all over again?

I was not much of a food blogger back when I used to stay in Ahmedabad, a fact that I deeply regret now. There was so much to gorge on, so much to write about, so much of interesting stuff, so much variety, and yet not back-breakingly expensive. Had I been then the food blogger that I am today, these favourite Ahmedabad eateries of mine would definitely have found pride of place on my blog.

I wasn’t much of an explorer then and, I realise now, that there are a whole lot of eateries and eat streets in Ahmedabad that I never bothered to check out, in spite of them being around for ages! Sad, right?

What’s more, the city has changed so much since I left it, in 2008. The food scene, lovely as it was then, has become all the more lovely. There are a whole lot more interesting eateries that, I am sure, I would have thoroughly loved, were I there.

The food, just the food, is enough of a draw for me to plan a visit to Ahmedabad right now. Sigh!

 

If We Were Having Coffee…

… I’d tell you of how we still haven’t decided on a school for Bubboo. This fact has been scaring the living daylights out of me, but the OH is super cool about it. We are almost 80% sure we are going with the Montessori method of learning, though, and all of the schools we have visited in this regard have told us there’s no hurry. For them, the ideal age to start schooling is 2.5 years and above, and they aren’t bothered even if we bring the kid in at 3.5 years of age. But then, I am concerned about securing an admission in the school we choose for her, whenever we do so!

… I’d tell you of how fast I think Bubboo is growing up, how she is now a little girl with a mind of her own, tastes and preferences of her own. The baby features are going, going, gone!

… I’d tell you of how I have been enjoying attending some foodie events, lately. There have been restaurant launches, menu samplings, awareness programmes, and what not. I have been learning a whole lot about the way the world of food blogging works. There is a lot for me to work on in this regard, and I am constantly amazed at the possibilities.

… I’d tell you of how I shamelessly sent my latest book hit-list to the in-house Santa, the OH, and of how, after some hounding, he ordered Come Into My Kitchen and Tiffin: Memories And Recipes Of Indian Vegetarian Food for me. A friend was kind enough to share her copy of Butterflies In November with me. I’m still hunting for the other books on the list, but I’m all set as far as my next three reads are concerned. šŸ™‚

… I’d tell you of how, by the day, I am growing more and more enchanted with cookbooks with stories – books with recipes and anecdotes from the author’s personal life. There’s such warmth, such beauty, such passion for food in these books! I am in no doubt I am going to check out more such books in the near future.

… I’d tell you of how I got charmed by all the winter veggies on offer at our regular vegetable vendor’s, when I visited yesterday. There’s tonnes of things I could make out of them, so many winter specials, some known to me, some unknown. God bless me with strength, good luck, patience, and a well-behaved toddler, so that I could get around to doing at least some of the things on that huge list!

… I’d tell you of how we are invited to a lot of birthday parties for 5-year-olds these days. Like, there have been four or five such parties in a row. I’m clueless about what to gift them. Suggestions, please? I’d love to give them creative things, but I’m not sure whether such small kids would really take to them. I’d like to gift books, but I don’t know what kind to pick up for them!

… I’d tell you of how, this time around, I am just not able to feel the Christmas fervour in the air, though we are just four days away from the festival. Normally, I’m hopping with excitement this time of the year. Any suggestions to bring back the cheer?

… I’d tell you of how it has been ages since I wrote any fiction – poems or stories. I used to write good ones, now that I think of it. They just don’t come to me these days. šŸ˜¦ Will I ever get my mojo back, in that regard?

… I’d tell you of how there are a lot of interesting things happening in Bangalore this time of the year. The annual cake show, for instance, and the Night Market Festival at The Fatty Bao. I don’t know whether I’ll be able to attend any of these, but I know I’d love to.

… I’d tell you of how I’ve been daydreaming about strawberry picking in Mahabaleshwar and visiting the Rann of Kutchh ever since I heard that the official ‘season’ for visiting has started. I know I’m craving to visit these places, but I don’t see any way we’ll actually get to visit. Everyone around me is raring to go to Goa this time of year, but these are the two places I am lusting after this year.

.. I’d tell you of how I think it is high time I take Bubboo to Ahmedabad, the place where I grew up, the place that I share a special bond with. I do want that trip to happen soon, but then, there are way too many chores waiting to be done before I can take this up.

… I’d also ask how you and your loved ones have been!

**********************

For Weekend Coffee Share, an interesting meme here. Do check it out!

If We Were Having Coffee…

… I’d tell you of how I am eagerly waiting for Bubboo’s second birthday, just a few days away. We have arranged for a little celebration at home, with just very close family and friends present. There is going to be a little lunch and then cutting of birthday cake in the evening, followed by some light snacks. I have ordered for a special cake, and am sure Bubboo is going to love it. Now, my fingers are crossed and I’m hoping fervently that nothing, absolutely nothing, will play spoilsport and that our little, homely celebration will be a lovely success. Keep us in your prayers, will you?

… I’d tell you of how I have been craving to get my hands on the pulao masala from Honest, Ahmedabad, ever since I heard of it? I was always a big, big fan of Honest’s pulao (it’s different!), among other things. Now, they are retailing their special pulao masala at their outlets, I hear. Not available online, and no one to send it across to me. I guess now is the time to make that trip to Ahmedabad, eh? šŸ™‚ While there, I could do some saree and dress shopping, too, as well as pick up a lovely ghagra choli for Bubboo. I could gorge on some delicious street food, as well. But then, ever since my parents sold off our house in Ahmedabad to shift to Bangalore, I don’t feel like going back there any more. We could stay in a hotel, yes, but I don’t think I am prepared to do that.

… I’d tell you of how much my dressing sense, my taste in clothes and jewellery is changing at the moment. I would say it is only now that I am discovering the real me, as far as dressing sense is concerned. After discovering Bohemian necklaces, I am discovering a new-found love for beautifully patterned and designed saree blouses. I picked up a gorgeous Krishna-patterned Kalamkari blouse piece recently, something the old me definitely wouldn’t have bought. I can’t wait to wear it now. I have just delivered a couple of blouses to my tailor to get stitched, after long discussions with her on the kind of patterns that I want (you must understand that this is the first time I am indulging in such an exercise – I didn’t get elaborate blouses stitched even for my wedding. I kid you not!). I have always worn saree blouses that have high, high necks (prudish, almost), and now, I have asked for them to have a neckline that is lower. A revolutionary move for me, I would say. And then, I am in love these days with quirky silver nosepins (the kind that can be worn without a nose piercing) and silver jewellery with multi-coloured glass. Oh, and I am also discovering a love for ghungroo jewellery. šŸ™‚

… I’d tell you that I am reading Marlena de Blasi’s Amandine. I am simply loving some parts – with the author’s lyrical, thought-provoking, powerful, vivid writing. I am not much liking some other parts of the book – thanks to the storyline getting overly dramatic in these parts, mostly. That said, this is definitely looking like a book that I would recommend to you guys.

… I’d tell you of how I got into the festive spirit at the fag end of Navratri, after not feeling like it was festival time at all. Just before Dassehra, some Durga Pujo pandal hopping happened, as did some festive dressing up and visiting relatives. That was enough to set my spirits right.

… I’d tell you of how we met this little girl, the daughter of the OH’s deceased cousin, a week back. She is currently with her paternal grandparents, is 5 years of age, and had come to visit her mother’s maternal home for the Dassehra holidays. It was a heart-breaking experience, for sure. I can’t even put in words what I felt as I watched her watching me holding Bubboo tight. I can’t tell you just how sad I feel that she won’t ever know her mother’s hug, her smell, her special comforting touch. I really, really wish her well in life – life as she has known it hasn’t been very good for her, and I hope she learns that that isn’t all there is to it.

ā€¦ Iā€™d also ask after you and your loved ones. Iā€™d ask you what you have been up to lately, and what has been making you happy and sad these days.

***********

For Weekend Coffee Share, an interesting meme here. Do check it out!

Is It Just Me….

…. who feels that buying fabric off a bale and getting it stitched by a tailor is quite charming and romantic?

For me, there is something quaint and old-fashioned and lovely about going to a fabric shop, getting enchanted by the silk and cotton prints and tulle and organza, dreaming up dresses for yourself and your family, having lengths of fabric cut out and paying for them, and then going to the tailor and explaining what you want, brainstorming with him/her, and then watching the fabric becoming a beautiful dress or frock? It is a process not unlike the making of a beautiful statue from a piece of stone. It takes dreaming to see what a piece of uncut stone will look like when made into a statue, and then going on to convert that dream into reality.

My sister-in-law and brother-in-law’s wife (and so do many of my friends) tell me it has been ages since they went to a tailor. Now, all they do is take their pick from the hundreds of ready-made kurtis available in malls or cloth shops, and mix and match with a pair of leggings. That way, they can have different looks for a single kurti, and can avoid the hassle of visiting the tailor umpteen times and running the risk of the final product turning out to be something totally different from what they had envisioned.

When you use a tailor, yes, those hassles are to be anticipated. I agree. I have had my own set of problems with tailors, but still. There’s something to be said about the joy of wearing a dress exclusively tailored for you, something you envisioned and which the tailor makes exactly the way you wanted it to be (that does happen!). There ‘s something about wearing a dress that wasn’t produced, along with thousands of other dresses, in a factory, not keeping you in mind at all.

Back in Ahmedabad, I have had a few favourite tailors and a whole lot of favourite fabric shops that I would frequent. I have always been on the heavier side, and have always found it difficult to find good ready-made dresses that didn’t cost the moon. Tailors helped me mix and match, made garments for me that fit me perfectly, made me look good and kept me comfortable. There were goof-ups, too, but then that does happen when you are working with people, right? I found a serious lack of good running fabric when I shifted to Bangalore, as well as a dearth of good tailors, and my parents continued to get all my dresses stitched in Ahmedabad and couriered to me, til they moved to Bangalore too. After 7 years of staying in Bangalore, I found a tailor who spoke my language, who understands my needs and stitches the kind of clothes I need. Touchwood. My interactions with her make me happy. I finally have somewhere to take all the bits and pieces of fabric I picked up from here and there. I now have an idea of whom to consult for all the little frocks I have dreamed up for Bubboo, but didn’t have anyone to talk to about. Yay!

That said, it might not be long before this small business establishment, the tailor shop, becomes a relic from the past, like telegrams and landline telephones and STD booths. Well, times change, and the things associated with those times have to change too, I guess. This is not a change I am happy about, though.

Using Up Leftovers| Gujarati Snack| Khaman Chaat| Amiri Khaman| Sev Khamni For The Cheat

I am a huge lover of khaman, the pillow-soft Gujarati snack usually made out of besan, commonly known as dhokla in other parts of the country. Dhokla is something else entirely in Gujarat, though, and made out of an urad daal and rice batter, which is very similar to idli batter, though not the same. Khaman, too, can be of two different types – one an instant version, made using a mix of besan and curd, and the other version, called Vati Daal Na Khaman, made of soaked and crushed chana daal. While I love both versions, I have only ever made the besan khaman at home. I have never tried my hands at the vati daal na khaman – hopefully soon!

When there is leftover khaman at home, a rare occasion, we make a chaat out of it which all of us love. You get this chaat commonly on the streets of Gujarat, called Amiri Khaman, wherein crumbled khaman is mixed with pomegranate arils, an assortment of chutneys and sev. Don’t get Amiri Khaman confused with Sev Khamni, though – that is something entirely different! A lot of roadside stalls, even in Gujarat, try to pass off Amiri Khaman as Sev Khamni, because the earlier dish requires a lot less effort to make than the latter. Now, you know, though! šŸ™‚

Today, I am going to tell you all about my version of Amiri Khaman or Khaman Chaat, if you like. It has a beautiful texture with the crumbled khaman adding a softness and the sev contributing to its crunchiness. The pomegranate arils, chopped onions and chutneys that one adds gives the dish a gorgeous, unbeatable flavour. You must try this out to believe how delicious it is.

Untitled.png

Here is how I make this dish.

Ingredients (serves 4):

About 10 pieces of leftover khaman (at room temperature – crumbled with the hands, garnish and all)

A handful of pomegranate arils

A small bunch of coriander leaves, finely chopped

1 medium-sized onion, finely chopped

2 fistfuls of nylon sev (store-bought, I used the Garden brand)

1 fistful of aloo bhujia (store-bought, I used the Garden brand)

4 tablespoons of sweet chutney (Click here for the recipe)

2 tablespoons of spicy green chutney (Click here for the recipe)

Method:

Mix everything together, well, in a large mixing bowl.

Serve immediately.

Do you like the sound of this chaat? I hope you’ll try it out, too!

Notes:

1. I commonly make the khaman at home, and if there’s any left over, it goes into the preparation of amiri khaman. Occasionally, though, if there’s someone coming over from Gujarat, I ask them to get packets of Talod Nylon Khaman Mix, which turn out just gorgeous. Sadly, they aren’t available anywhere in Bangalore. šŸ˜¦ Lately, though, I have discovered Shree Ganesh Nylon Khaman mix, available in a few shops in Bangalore, which turns out khaman that are just as beautiful as those from Talod or home-made khaman. Do ask around in the little Marwari shops in your neighbourhood – they usually stock it!

2. If you are wondering, ‘Nylon’ is not yet another type of khaman. It just refers to khaman that is super-duper spongy soft and fine in texture, like nylon. šŸ™‚ The nylon sev, too.