Showing posts with label snacks. Show all posts
Showing posts with label snacks. Show all posts

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Seyal Bread- or Bread Upma

The very first childhood friend I can recall was a very pretty little girl who lived two doors down from us. She was a year older than me. We met when we hadn't even started school, and remained friends till her marriage right after graduation. Those early years, we were inseparable. She was Sindhi, and I loved her mom's food. Around 4pm, her mom would stand on the balcony and call me- that was her tea time, and she always made a warm "tiffin" to go with it, which I devoured.

Those early years, all our dolls married each other....until that last time......

My uncle brought me a life-sized baby doll that could walk, talk and blink her eyes from some far-away land. The day after I showed off my "Rosie" to my friend, she fished out an old moth-eaten bean-bag doll and declared that we should have a massive wedding for them. All aflutter, I agreed. we set up a roof-top tent on a warm summer evening. My mom stitched up a red dress for Rosie, while my friends' doll got boys' clothes and a turban. The menu included those little sweet Sindhi rotis that I think were called Loli; and my mom's chole-chawal. We were happy enough to invite our younger siblings to the wedding, and serve food in my "real" China dinner set- again a gift from my sailor uncle from some mysterious land.  Our brothers provided music by beating out-of-sync on their drums, while my friends' younger sister was the designated gypsy dancer. All went smoothly.  My bride arrived in my brother's prized, battery-operated car. We sang, danced and had a very fun wedding. 

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Munch bowl: Sprouted chana chaat

A common saying I've grown up with, is that sprouting whole legumes makes it easier to digest them.
Back in India, my mom did a lot of sprouting; especially during the monsoons - our favorites being whole green moong beans, moth bean (Turkish gram) and  kala chana (Bengal gram). While I loved to eat mung and moth sprouts raw, the chana was another story. Even after being sprouted and slightly sautee-ed; the gram is extremely chewy. And the lazy bum that I was (am); I dismissed chana sprouts by justifying that the effort-to-satiation index was (is) just not worth it.  

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mix it up: Black Bean Salsa

I find entertaining to be very stressful. Don't get me wrong- I love  company. I just hate the little jiggles of worry that come with planned partying.  I worry about the house not being clean, about things not being right before the guests arrive. Most of all, I worry about not having enough food on my table. With that in mind, chips and store bought salsa and/ or guacamole.is a staple, as well as an emergency go to, for my entertaining.  Then last year, a dear friend introduced me to her black bean salsa....and I fell in love. When I asked her what went in the salsa, her response was very characteristic of her - "beans, and corn; then keep tasting and adding things till it tastes right...."! Knowing her, this is probably what she does. And actually, the first couple of times I made it, that was the approach I took. Lately though, my right brain has been niggling at me to standardize the recipe - that's my training in science; sometimes it interferes at home. As a result of this cross-boundary interference, the last couple of times I made this salad/salsa; I actually noted down what I put in there. And as with any good standardization that I do at work, today I figured it was time to document a protocol for this :-)) Here goes....

Friday, March 18, 2011

Encore! Tadka Idli.


 The weather has certainly cleared up quite a bit. Grass looks a lot perkier, and little shoots of daffodils are breaking ground in my flower beds. Looking at the bright sunshine and temperatures in mid 50s, we thought  last weekend that we'd go to a park and initiate the picnic season. Before we could settle on a  menu, our plans got washed away; literally. Heavy rains Thursday night into Friday left all the surrounding creeks and rivulets overflowing, with flash flood warnings. All our favorite picnic places turned into mini swamps. Rather than lose the opportunity to get together, our friend R suggested we come to her place.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Raising the Bar- Carrot Haandvo

Apparently, the sweet and savory combination is a love it or hate it deal. There can be no happy middles here. I fall into the 'love it' camp. And I believe I get this from my mom's Western Rajasthan genes. Most of the north-west belt of India mixes sugar and salt in everyday food. I can almost hear my dad, who was more of a northern-Haryana product, scoffing at food with this kind of presentation, as in my naani's dal-chawal-boora-ghee combo.

We'd spend the whole 5 weeks of summer vacation at my naani's, without eating rice even once. This is probably why I remember the only time that we got to eat rice at her place was when my dad had come to pick us up - it was a rule that my naani imposed on him - and my naana (grand dad) suggested that rice be served for lunch as a special treat for my dad. And I, who loved rice enough to want it for every meal, was ecstatic. The request was nothing short of a major catastrophe in the kitchen though, for my naani's bhandara (a large room designated as grain and spice storage for the whole harvest year) was lined to the roof with sackfuls of wheat - but there wasn't a grain of rice in the house. I remember my youngest uncle being sent out to buy rice with special instructions as to whose farm it should come from. And if my memory serves me right, then my uncle 'paid' for that rice with an equal amount of my naana's best quality chana dal.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Moong Dal Dosa

I am bad about weekend mornings... Weekends make me crave for GOOD food.... Food that ignites memories of happy ole times when mom cooked and we ate... And most weekend mornings lead to frustration....about HAVING to cook...about WANTING to eat....and about NOT being able to satisfy whatever the little devil inside of me wants at that moment. So this saturday a couple weeks ago, I was working hard to ignore the little perp inside my head that kept reminding my tastebuds of masala dosas. And no, the instant, rava dosa variety wouldn't do. And no, we couldn't go to a restaurant- after all we were in the midst of a major nor'easter here. But I did want dosas didn't I? Dare I improvise? After all, people to the south of the Indian peninsula made all kinds - and I'm pretty good with improvising with rotis; so what's the big deal with dosas? The biggest lament in my dosa-making ability is that I can't get the batter to ferment in this weather. A close second, my food processor doesn't do a good job of grinding the Urad dal required for the batter. Could I, should I, dare to bypass both? I did, and boy, was that one satisfying meal for me!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Fasting Feasting

My thought for today is- why does fasting make you think of food? I am really not kidding, I challenge you to prove otherwise! Probably that is why the fasting holidays in any religion end with scrumptious feasts! The nine days of Sharad Navratris, saluting the strength, power and the femininity of the Supreme, are celebrated with a flurry of fasting, poojas and all-night dandiyas. The Navratras also herald the beginning of the annual Hindu festive season. The fasting during these days means that you can only eat one meal a day, and you can't eat "Anaaj", which loosely translated includes all grains, dals and legumes so staple to an Indian diet. That brings us back to comment on feasting - when I decided to fast these Navrartras, I had all intentions of truly fasting, with only a once-a-day fruit diet. On the very first day, I had my stomach growling with hunger at 11am, and I was hallucinating about the yummy food my mom made during this time. I could smell, and even taste, the sabudaana vadaas, makhane-ki- kheer, kuttu ke pakore, sabudaana kheer, aloo tikki and what not.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Going Nuts and Bananas

Well folks, I'm back again. One more impromptu "We're craving for...." request sent me hurrying over to the kitchen. Don't get me wrong; I do feed my kin. But they definitely have a knack for putting me up against odds. Oh sorry! No more rambling; here's what happened. One of the holiest season amongst Jains is what is observed as 8-day long Paryushan by the Svetambra sect or the 10 holy days of Das lakshna by the Digambars. Its essentially celebrated as a festival of forgiveness, and observance includes fasting and abstaining from your favorite foods, to build self-control. So, we (read "I") decided that my family will give up store-bought baked products (as in cakes), which is essentially a staple snack around my home.