Pasi Parippu Kosumalli|Simple South Indian Lentil Salad

Best wishes for Sri Rama Navami!

Today, I present to you the recipe for Pasi Parippu Kosumalli, a simple South Indian-style lentil salad. This mildly spiced salad is extremely delicious and healthy, and is a breeze to put together. A dish that is traditionally prepared in Tamilian households on the occasion of Sri Rama Navami, this cooling salad is just perfect to beat the summer heat that is soaring by the day.

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

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Pressure Cooker Baingan Bharta| Indian Spiced Eggplant Mash

For many, I am sure the name ‘Baingan Bharta‘ conjures up images of slow-cooked, delicious, hearty meals, often prepared by a loving mother or a doting grandmother. Baingan Bharta or eggplant mash made the Indian way is comfort food for a whole lot of locals. It is, for me too, but the smell I associate with Baingan Bharta is different from the usual.
 
Let me explain. Baingan Bharta is typically cooked by char-grilling a large eggplant on the stove. A smoky flavour permeates the dish, thanks to the char-grilling. This ‘smokiness’ is what most people look forward to, in a dish of Baingan Bharta. My version, which I learnt from my mom, does away with the char-grilling – here, the eggplant is cooked in a pressure cooker, then mashed and again cooked on the stovetop. There is no smoky flavour in our Pressure Cooker Baingan Bharta, but let me assure you that it is equally delicious.
 
Check out our family recipe for Pressure Cooker Baingan Bharta, just in on my photo blog!
 
 

Eggless Steamed Christmas Pudding

It’s almost Christmas! I absolutely have to share this Christmas-sy recipe with you – one for a Eggless Steamed Christmas Pudding!
 
As the name suggests, this is a delicious eggless dessert, a steamed one made in a pressure cooker, just perfect for the holiday season. It contains loads of fruit and nuts, cinnamon and cloves, like a Christmas fruit cake. Texture-wise, this is less dense than a fruit cake, a bit softer. Taste-wise, this is an almost-fruit cake.
 
If you are looking for something different, yet awesome to make for the Christmas season, do try this recipe out. The process is a bit time-consuming, but I wouldn’t call it laborious. The end result is totally, totally worth it, I can assure you of that.
 
Check out the recipe, just in on my blog!
 
 

Grand Palace & Temple Of The Emerald Buddha, Bangkok

The latest post on my blog is all about our visit to the Grand Palace, the former residence of the royal family, in Bangkok, Thailand. It also talks about our visit to the Wat Phra Kraew or the temple of the Emerald Buddha that the palace premises house.
 
The Emerald Buddha temple was actually one of the reasons the husband and I finally undertook a long-pending trip to Thailand, this October. Check out my blog post to read all about our ‘secret’ connection with the Buddha, and to see some gorgeous pictures from this beautiful, beautiful place!

Cocktail Idli Flowers| Beetroot, Carrot & Spinach Mini Idlis

Toddlerhood – the time when a child is between 1 and 3 years of age – is a precious phase. This is the time when kids are at their most notorious, driving their parents up the wall every so often – yet, this is when they are at their most vulnerable and adorable best. This is also when the time when they are exploring the world around them, food included. They are slowly learning to navigate the world, understand what they like and what they don’t and, as parents, it is our duty to help them do just that. In terms of food, toddlers should be exposed to a variety of finger foods – stuff they can easily hold in their little hands and eat on their own. This has a number of benefits, from improvement in gross and fine motor co-ordination and sensory integration to improved bonding with the parents and a deeper sense of ‘home’.

This week, the theme at Foodie Monday Blog Hop is just that – #ToddlerFingerFoods. For this theme, which is super close to my heart, I decided to prepare one of the bub’s favourite toddler snacks – pretty Cocktail Idli Flowers or naturally coloured mini idlis arranged into flowers.

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

Bread Rolls| Bread & Mixed Vegetable Cutlets

Eid is just around the corner! Here’s wishing good times to all those who are celebrating! 🙂

Today, I present to you a recipe for Bread Rolls or Bread & Mixed Vegetable Cutlets that you can make for Iftaar, the routine breaking of the fast during Ramzaan. You can also make these on the occasion of Eid, a hearty and nutritious vegetarian snack, a snack that I have happy memories of.

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

Healthy Indian Vegetable Noodles

These fusion Healthy Indian Vegetable Noodles are a regular at our table and much loved, even by the bub.

I make this dish using wheat noodles, with no sauces or any other bottled products. Just a hint of home-made garam masala and freshly ground black pepper add oomph to the noodles, as does the bit of raw cane sugar I put in. Further, I fortify the noodles with loads of veggies. Lots of yum, the simple, healthy and desi way!

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

Stuffed Vadu Maangaai| Stuffed Baby Mango Pickle

In most South Indian homes, baby mangoes find their way into vadu maangaai, a simple pickle that tastes absolutely delicious. I love vadu maangaai, but I simply adore the stuffed version of the same that I have grown up eating. An elderly cook in one of our relatives’ home specialised in making this stuffed baby mango pickle, and it was at their place that I first tried it out, as a teenager. I went ga-ga over it, so much so that my mother requested the cook for the recipe, which she shared happily. Since then, this Stuffed Vadu Maangaai has been an integral part of our family as well.

Here’s how to make stuffed baby mango pickle, our style!

Ahmedabad, after ages

So, so, so, that long-pending trip to Ahmedabad finally happened! On New Year’s day, the husband got confirmation for a work trip to Ahmedabad, and he asked if the bub and I would accompany us. We did just that, flight tickets were booked, and we were off the very next day – as simple as that. After 6 long years, I finally visited the place where I grew up, and it happened Just.Like.That!

Did I find traces of the city I loved so much or has it changed drastically?

Well, yes and no.

Ahmedabad has, indeed, changed drastically. I don’t know the routes in the city any more. I don’t have a home to stay there any more. The area where I used to live in has changed beyond description. There are loads of new shops and eateries that have come up, and some old favourites of mine (the school I studied in included) have disappeared. The few tourist attractions in the city have been given a huge facelift. I have lost touch with the language – I can’t speak it so fluently any more, though I managed to read the script pretty well. That makes a difference, for sure.

But then, some of my old haunts still exist. The heart of the city still remains the same, and I cannot be more thankful for that. I managed to check out a few of them, in the week’s time that we were in the city. I got reacquainted with some foods that I used to love gorging on, and got shocked at just how much the prices have increased since then. I met up with old friends, shared old and new stories, and built better connections. I managed to show my daughter (and husband) some of what my life before them had held. I stayed over at relatives’ places, and liked it better than I had expected to. I rekindled some very old memories, some pleasant, some others not so much. I fell in love with the broad roads and ease of transportation in the city all over again (though it is not the same as before, the traffic is still way better than it is in Bangalore). I discovered new food joints with the husband and friends. I fleetingly visited the apartment I used to call home, and felt stumped. People recognised me and talked to me, and I felt stumped all over again.

Overall, my trip to Ahmedabad after ages was a mixed bag. I was kind of nervous before I left, I admit, of what I’d find there, but it wasn’t so bad. It was wonderful, in fact. I should do this more often, I realise. Hopefully, my next visit won’t take 6 more years!

Stories from Ahmedabad – coming up soon!