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So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.~ 1 Corinthians 10:31

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Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in Dessert, Indian | 0 comments

Spaghetti Squash Halwa

Spaghetti Squash Halwa

Couple of days back,i bought spaghetti squash for the first time.It sat at my counter for couple of days.I was trying to decide what to do with it.I have never been a big squash fan.I decided to give this a try for its obvious healthy goodness,though i know this halwa seems like 180 degree turn from healthy road 🙂 So i asked my family if there is equivalent to it in India to find out how Indians would make it.My sister,Shuchi, and aunt Rita enlightened me with some very interesting facts. Indian use a cousin of spaghetti squash.Most popular ones are ‘opo squash’ and  ‘Ash gourd”.It is not orange color and is not sweet.It is used in sweet and savory dishes alike.If you ever go to India to see ‘Taj Mahal’,you must taste “Agra Petha”. Agra is a name of a city Taj Mahal is in and “Petha” is sweet dessert made out of ‘Ash gourd.Very very popular dessert. Sweet version of Indian squash, which i know only the local dialect  name of,’Kohra’,...

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Posted by on Mar 6, 2013 in Dessert, Frozen dessert, Fruits, Indian | 1 comment

Amarkhand

Amarkhand

Couple of days back,i bought mangoes.There weren’t many varieties available,so i got only few.My kids loved just the sliced mangoes.Then i was thinking what else i can do with it?So i thought of ‘Amarkhand’. ‘Amar’ is derived here from Sanskrit ‘Amre’ which means Mango.Amarkhand is thick chilled dessert made with mango pulp and very very thick yogurt.Two of my kids favorites.It was win-win. Traditionally,in order to make Amarkhand,yogurt or curd,as we call it in Indian english,is hung for hours so  the water drains out.Here i have luxury to use Greek strained yogurt.I use ‘Fage’.Did you notice,we are told how to pronounce it?I like that little detail.Comes from the person,who has heard many version of her name 🙂 Now,the pulp.I didn’t make it.I bought the sweetened canned pulp.I have hard time finding  great tasting,reasonably priced mangoes here like we do India during summer.By all means, go ahead and make your own pulp,if you so desire :-). My kids like the frozen treats.So i froze some of the Amarkhand for them to slurp...

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Posted by on Feb 13, 2013 in Indian, Veggies | 0 comments

A Compassionate Meal – Kobhi Zunka

A Compassionate Meal – Kobhi Zunka

You might have noticed a banner for Compassion International in my blog.I put this banner on the day,we started sponsoring a little girl in India.A constant reminder to us that oceans away there is this sweet girl,who we haven’t met personally,is been connected to us by God.  To celebrate this sponsorship,i decided to make a meal from the state where this sweet girl lives.A state of Maharashtra.You may or may not have heard the name before but if i ask you,if you know ‘Bollywood’,then it might ring a bell.Mumbai,home of Bollywood, is a capital of Maharashtra.India has 25 states.There are at least 25 languages,one per each state spoken with numerous dialect.I can understand only few of them.People who are original to Maharashtra are called ‘Marathi’,which is also the language they speak. We decided to have a candlelight Marathi dinner,as we prayed for her and her family.My kids looked up in their table mat where the place is located within India. Now a little bit about Kobhi Zunka.Basically ‘Kobhi’ is...

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Posted by on Feb 6, 2013 in Condiments, Indian | 3 comments

Roasted Indian Eggplant Dip

Roasted Indian Eggplant Dip

It sounds funny when i was writing a title of this post.Back home we called it ‘Baingan ka Chokha’.The homemade version is much less spicy and oily then what is sold in Indian restaurant here under the name of ‘Baingan Bharta’.  ‘Baingan’ is hindi for eggplants or as i knew it as Brinjal in Indian english growing up.’Bharta’ and ‘Chokha’ just means mashed up.The best kind of this dip are the ones which are cooked  in “chulha” in Indian villages,like my grand mother  still prefer to do. Notice the man in this picture,he is making Roti over chulha,a clay oven.In the villages,they use woods or hay for the fire in these ‘chulhas’. You can use any eggplant but if its big Italian eggplant,i would cut in two pieces just so that it roast properly.I prefer Chinese/Japanese eggplants which are smaller in size and cook evenly. You can cook the eggplant by broiling or directly char it over the stove top,top of cast iron skillet  covered.You can also boil and roast it.I...

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Posted by on Feb 6, 2013 in Bread, Indian | 1 comment

Rajma Paratha

Rajma Paratha

One consistent piece of conversation when I am talking with my family across the ocean is food .They told me recently,there is a street where they sell 100 different kind of parathas. You name it and they have it.Wow that must be paratha heaven 🙂 Thats the beauty of paratha.A flat bread cooked on skillet with generous amount of Ghee.What not to like about it?Now let me tell you a thing or two about ‘Rajma’. It is Indian red kidney beans stew cooked with array of spices.Since spice list is long,not to mention soaking and cooking the beans.Rajma is reserved for special occasion treat in the houses. It is very popular in North India.Think Delhi,Pujab,Utter pradesh.My sister says that they have ‘Rajma’ plate in Delhi available at every lunch joint probably.Why won’t it be?These states are one of the biggest producers of legumes in India. Now the moment of truth,growing up i wasn’t fond of Rajma.And may be thats why i hardly ever make it.However after the recent talk with my sister,i geared up to make it and ended...

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Posted by on Jan 17, 2013 in Grains, Indian | 2 comments

Coconut Rice

Coconut Rice

Its 7:30 P.M in the evening.Back from the work and ready to settle down in very humid evening.I quickly make my way to the kitchen where couple of other girls are there too,holding their dinner plates.I can smell the aroma and asked the girl before me,whats for dinner tonight?Coconut rice. I did’t know what to expect.I never had coconut rice.I was not a fond of coconutty food after spending 3 months in Kerala,where street is permeated with smell of coconut and food has distinct coconut aroma.I had still not gotten used to it.So i served myself a small scoop of it.I quickly noticed the subtle familiar aroma,i tasted it despite of it.With that one bite,my coconut myths have been dispelled .I have been fan of coconut rice ever since.That time i never asked how they prepared it,i wished i did. That was more then 10 years ago,when i lived in crowded girls hostel(dorm),commuted via company bus to work,lived in very humid city where tap water was salty(it was unthinkable...

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