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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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Kahani

Kahani

Hello there !

This is nive.Author/web master of handful of joy.I am SAHM of two wonderful kiddos,wife of a Godly and very hardworking husband and above all the child of God,Christ is my savior.

If you are wondering about the title of this page,let me tell you,writing an ‘about’ page is quite a task,so I procrastinated and postponed it for long.’Kahani’ is hindi for ‘story‘.Say it like (k-ha-ni).

I have been always interested in food,who isn’t?Over the years,it became more than an interest,my passion to know more about what I am putting in my plate and what I am serving to my family everyday on the table.I have become more curious,conscious and attentive towards the journey food makes in order to end up in my mouth.Cultural aspect of the food attracts me.I find it very fascinating that how some food has so many different names and nationality though they shares very similar identities even though probably prepared very differently across the globe.

I am certainly not a picky eater.However like my mom always says,you eat first with your eyes, definitely plays the vital role in what I will try and what I will leave out if served  on table in assortment.The word ‘hate‘ is too strong of a word for ‘food’ in my vocab.Being said that,some are my favs and some I would not try second time,unless of course I am left in deserted island with that one food or die !Only time I would turn down the food completely is if it is uncooked or  too salty or charred and burnt beyond recognition or I  am being served the meat I do not eat.I eat only chicken/turkey and very selective sea food,so that is what i cook.

I am not good in creating recipes in my kitchen out of blue,though I certainly try time to time !My food is deeply influenced by my Indian heritage,my mom’s cooking,place I grew up, moved around,visited, live and the food shows I watch of course !

I am not always good in copycat the recipe verbatim  while cooking.I find the practice monotonous,limiting and not fun.So I  often end up tweaking the original recipe,many times in order to improvise with what I have in pantry for the lack of original ingredient asked for and sometime just to take a chance and see what comes out of it.I am also averse to measuring and I think it is because I  never saw my mom,grandma or anyone I know of growing up  measuring while cooking  everyday meal and yet they always served the best tasting food.Indians don’t measure in general,dare i say it.I have gotten better at eyeballing over the time.When I am not following someone’s recipe,I work in reverse order for the site

  • I note down how much I added “approximately” in the notepad as i cook, just to give you some idea.So my recipes are not exact,there is a room left for your imagination:-)

After coming to US,I have gotten my hands on baking.I am not an avid baker and you can say it is partially because of my dislike for measuring.But since I enjoy those baked goodies so much that I do take a pain to measure it and follow the recipe verbatim ,quite contrary to cooking ha ! So my kitchen philosophy in short would be something like

Baking is science,i follow the empirical formula i am presented with but cooking is an art.Spices and condiments are the colors.There are hardly rules which can not be tinker with your imagination when it comes to cooking.So add little bit of your imagination in your ingredient list,just don’t forget the love.

Since I am not an original recipe creator most of the time,I would link to the site of that amazing recipe creator,if there is a site.Else,I will mention the source I took it from.I would love the reciprocation if there is anything which I made and if you liked.All food Pictures are taken by me,if its prepared by me.They are not great looking,cutting edge food photography standard astonishing pictures but they are all mine !


My family and friends share some of their food passion here too.You will get the glimpse of the food prepared where they are,different country and surrounding.

I would love the comments/feedbacks if you have anything to say about,please don’t hesitate.So keep browsing.You may find something you like to serve on your table !!!Thank you for stopping by.

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Posted by on Feb 4, 2012 in Grains, NonVeg | 0 comments

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Spaghetti and Meatballs is the favorite meal for my kiddos.Particularly my daughter,she totally loves it !I am the only one who is not crazy about it here.I wasn’t much in a mood to cook,did you guess the theme? Thats when the leftover comes for rescue.

I had frozen half of the unsauced Swedish meatballs, i had made earlier in the week.Jar of store bought marinara sauce, which i simply perked up with garlic and chili flakes oil and simmered the defrosted meatballs .Added some whole grain cooked Spaghetti to it.Sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and served along with Salad.Can’t get any lazier then that.

 

Roasted Chicken Quarters

Posted by on Feb 2, 2012 in NonVeg | 0 comments

Roasted Chicken Quarters

I wasn’t really in a mood to stand by the stove and cook ,so i thought of making something which takes less effort in my part.Rice was out,since we had it night before.I thought cornbread would be good and to go with that Roasted Chicken leg quarters,i had sitting in my fridge.Served with BBQ sauce..You would see how part of the story changes as the evening progresses.So this is what went in my Roasted Chicken Quarters.

Roasted Chicken Quarters

Ingredients

  1. 3 Chicken Leg Quarters
  2. Handful of cilantro leaves, chopped
  3. Olive Oil
  4. Salt to season the Chicken
  5. 1.5 Tbl Coriander seed
  6. 1 tsp White Peppercorns
  7. 1 tsp Fennel seeds
  8. 1 Tbl Sweet Hungarian Paprika

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F
  2. Grind all the spices.
  3. Mix the ground spices with chopped cilantro leaves,oil and salt.
  4. Poke the chicken quarters and stuff the spice mixture under the skin and every nook and corner of the chicken generously.
  5. Roast the chicken at 425F for 20 mins until the skin is browned.
  6. Turn the temperature down to 375F,cover it with Aluminum foil and cook for another 30-40 mins i guess.
  7. When the skin is pulling off from the chicken legs,its done.Let it rest and then serve.
http://www.handfulofjoy.com/roasted-chicken-quarters/

I told you, story will change as  the evening progresses.I decided not to make cornbread after all.Measuring and putting it all together felt too much work at that hour.So served it  with Flour Tortilla (‘Roti’ in Hindi) and side dish of thinly sliced sauted  potatoes instead.Gladly it was well liked by my husband and kiddos.Always a winner in my book !

Yummy Notes:

  • You can substitute the White Peppercorns with black,reduce the amount may be little.Its more pungent and peppery then its  milder and mellower counterpart,white Peppercorns.
  • I would have loved to add juice of 1/4 to half lemon but was out of it.
  • You can use totally different cut of meat and lather the chicken with spices early in the day and let it dry marinade in refrigerator.Taste will be deeper and sharper.I always decide in the last minute,not much of a planner,can you tell?




Unified Chicken Drumsticks

Posted by on Feb 1, 2012 in NonVeg | 0 comments

Unified Chicken Drumsticks

I am having problem christening this dish.Since i threw in the stuff as i opened my spice drawer and walked to my pantry.One good thing was,it received 3 out 5 rating from my husband and son.Much improvement over 0,don’t you think?
It has black mustard seed as seasoning,which is quintessential  ‘South’ Indian.Notice the black round seeds in Onion.Then it also has ‘Cumin’ (thin and  long seeds)and ‘Coriander’ (round seeds which are certainly used powdered everywhere but as ‘seeds’ mostly in ‘North’ Indian cooking.They are  the seeds of  green and leafy ‘Cilantro’ you buy in store.

I did grind them using my handy dandy Coffee grinder(no i don’t use that for coffee!).

When i opened the spice drawer,i saw the Southwest  seasoning by Mrs Dash and i thought why not?Sprinkle a little,it wouldn’t hurt.This is where my  ‘christening’ dilemma comes from…I am calling it ‘Unified’.Feel free to shoot your naming ideas.
This is what went to it

Unified Chicken Drumsticks

Ingredients

  1. 1 and half small chopped onions
  2. 2 chopped med size tomatos
  3. 2 Russet Potatoes(Optional,i add them if i feel like it).They are usually big.
  4. 5 chicken drumsticks
  5. 2 Tbl spoon Yogurt to marinade.
  6. --Spices
  7. 2-3 garlic cloves chopped.
  8. 1/2 tsp grated ginger (optional)
  9. Sweet Hungarian Paprika(Optional,I love saying it,it sounds exotic and so not Indian ingredient)
  10. Chili flakes(i like the visual of it better then powder and its more controlled)
  11. 1/4- 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  12. 1/4 tsp black mustard seeds(optional,you can use cumin / coriander or leave it all out)
  13. 1 Tbl Coriander seeds
  14. 1 tsp Cumin seeds
  15. 1/2 tsp Mrs Dash Southwest Chipotle Seasoning(You can use your fav brand)

Instructions

  1. Marinade the chicken with 2 tbl spoon of Yogurt,dash of Turmeric powder.
  2. Start sauteing the onions in oil seasoned with black mustard seeds while chicken is marinading.
  3. Add the chicken after Onion is translucent.
  4. Add cumin and coriander ground powder,and other spices listed.
  5. Saute it till chicken gets little brown color.
  6. Add water ,bring it to boil then simmer it for 40 mins i guess.
  7. Voila,you have name struggling dish .
http://www.handfulofjoy.com/unified-chicken-drumsticks/

Yummy Notes:
  • I wrote  the amount after i cooked,so its approx.
  • Poke the chicken with fork or knife and marinade longer if you want to.This was my last minute deal.
  • Mustard seeds are optional,you can completely leave them out.However being raised as Indian,i almost always season the oil with different spice seeds while cooking Indian.It adds that extra nuttiness and zing to the dish.
  • I peel and freeze my ginger and grate it directly over the dish.Its very potent spice,so not too much.
  • Turmeric powder,you can leave if you want to.I would not because my Mom always says “You eat first with your eyes.” I know i would  not like the limp colorless look of the dish at the end, besides its good for you.So its a staple spice in my drawer.It perks up the look.

Swedish Chicken Meatballs

Posted by on Jan 31, 2012 in NonVeg | 1 comment

Swedish Chicken Meatballs

Spaghetti and meatball,a classic American fare is well liked in our home.Particularly my little pasta lover girl,begs for it regularly.So  i obliged them today :-).We like regular meatballs in red sauce but my hubby,LOVES Swedish style meatballs and so do I.

However,as much as i have heard the glory of IKEA Swedish meatballs,none of us have tasted it and  not being a red meat eater,I could never taste one in future either.Also I am kinda picky about meatballs.Yes I would like an Asian inspired meatballs “may be” but it’s not something I get excited about eating.I have prepared this  Swedish Meatballs recipe  before,so we stuck with it today as well.

  • I used 1 lb ground chicken and adjusted rest of the ingredients accordingly.I used melon baller to scoop out the meatballs,which is not round but flattened and I call it Chicken Fritters.I wasn’t counting but it made 3 dozen meatballs easily.I froze some.It was great just as it is without sauce.It will be a great filling for pita bread unsauced.
Chicken Fritters | handfulofjoy.com

Chicken Fritters | handfulofjoy.com

  • You know i often tell you to adapt and tweak the condiments per your liking, well, you can but i would be very hesitant in replacing cardamom and nutmeg.It not only gives subtle aroma to the dish,it adds bit of mellow sweetness,touch of ‘omph’ to the meatball.MUST HAVE  in my book.
  • I  just added plain water to make gravy.It looks dark because i made the gravy in a same nearly burn out pan,i shallow fried the meatballs and no, it was not burnt for the record 🙂
  • I forgot to add any Jelly this evening but i have added plum jelly before.Of course,add Lingonberry Jelly,if you have, for traditional touch.
Swedish Chicken Meatballs | handfulofjoy.com

Swedish Chicken Meatballs | handfulofjoy.com

  • I added 2 tablespoon or may be less of yogurt in the end.Yogurt(sour cream) adds subtle tang to this dish and i would say MUST ADD as well.
  • I served the dish with Linguine mixed with Oil marinated Artichokes-sundried tomatos-olive blend.Lets just say,we just had enough leftover for next morning lunch for my daughter.
Bird's Nest | handfulofjoy.com

Bird’s Nest | handfulofjoy.com

Swedish Chicken Meatballs

Ingredients

  1. 1 pound ground Chicken
  2. 1 small onion chopped
  3. 1 small clove of garlic crushed.
  4. 1 TBSP butter + 1/2 TBSP oil + more for shallow frying
  5. 1 egg
  6. Soak
  7. 2 slices of bread,soaked in milk
  8. Condiments
  9. Salt and pepper to taste
  10. 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  11. 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
  12. Sauce (for dozen and half meat balls)
  13. 2 Tablespoon Butter
  14. 2 Tablespoon flour
  15. 1/2 teaspoon cardamom powder
  16. 1-1/2 cup water
  17. 2 Tablespoon Yogurt
  18. Lingonberry Jelly /Plum Jelly( if you have it )

Instructions

  1. In a pan,saute the onion and garlic in oil-butter mix,until translucent.
  2. In a separate bowl,squeeze out the milk soaked bread.
  3. Add egg.
  4. Add sauted onion and condiments to it and stir it well.
  5. Add ground chicken and gently fold it with hand or spatuala.
  6. Make a meat ball of the size you desire.
  7. In a same pan,add enough oil to just coat the surface.
  8. Add meatball to it without touching each other.
  9. Shallow fry it until it is cooked at medium-low.
  10. Sauce
  11. In the same pan,add 2 tablespoon of butter.
  12. Add flour and stir it well.
  13. Add water and scrap the surface to loosen the tid-bits from frying the meatballs.
  14. Once it starts boiling,add meatball.
  15. Simmer it down till the desired consistency is reached.
  16. Add yogurt or if you have sour cream,mix that.
  17. Serve it with Pasta.
http://www.handfulofjoy.com/swedish-chicken-meatballs/

Foodie Journey

Posted by on Jan 31, 2012 in musing | 0 comments

I created this blog on blogger little over 2 years ago and it existed in utter futility, breathed internet air for nothing…Years rolled and many things  happened,like pinterest 🙂 .Encouraged by some other friends,i decided to put an end  my  long time procrastination, i started,what i call Project 365(366 for this year for all you picky ).I decided that i will take picture everyday of whatever it is.1 or 2 or many..
So today when my darling husband suggested ,taking pics of the food would help him select what  he would like for dinner.Yes to answer the age old profound question “Whats for dinner?”, which i face every evening . And thats when i had an epiphany,may be i should revive this fruitlessly breathing,merely existing blog which i created years ago and turned it into a foodie journal.Listing food which i make on regular basis and we can look back  for future menu planning.I am too lazy to do menu planning or stick with it,if i do indeed plan one.I thought may be i should just write somewhere what i made and look back to it over the period of time to get some idea…so there it goes..Bon Appetit !