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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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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.

International Potluck recipes – Pot of beans with cornbread

Posted by on Nov 15, 2013 in Side Dish | 1 comment

International Potluck recipes – Pot of beans with cornbread

Do you get asked to bring specific items to a potluck?

Well,my friend Amanda does.She makes this amazing pot of beans soup,which everyone raves about.I learnt from her that it has been their Tuesday night family tradition,eating bowl of beans soup with cornbread.

Though i could not taste Amanda’s beans(because i don’t do red meat,i know  i know),it was gone before the party was over.So i asked her to share the secret family recipe with us and she happily did 🙂

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I could not wait to make it.My daughter loves this soup.So during one of our recent cold front days,i cooked a pot of bean soup and  modified her recipe to keep it vegetarian.I didn’t had tomato bouillon cube,so i used canned tomato.I also cooked in slow cooker because you know, i am impatient about stirring and checking.Amanda serves her beans with honey corn bread.I served ours with pumpkin corn bread.Both are great choices.

This soup is a keeper.following is Amanda’s original recipe.


International Potluck recipes – Peruvian Ceviche

Posted by on Nov 15, 2013 in International | 0 comments

International Potluck recipes – Peruvian Ceviche

Last week,my husband and i hosted a family  night at our home as a part of playdate with purpose fellowship.Considering the diversity of our group,we decided to have international potluck.Needless to say,i ate my weight out that day.So here are some of the recipe i got to taste.

Peruvian Ceviche 

Thought of eating the raw fish never sounded appealing to me.Even though i have been told by the food scientist that acid breaksdown the proteins and cooks it.In my mind,food must be cooked by ‘fire’ alone in order for me to consume.It changed that night.

My friend,Rebekah,who along with her family have served faithfully as missionary in Peru,brought the taste of Peru for us.I have to say,tangy,peppery ceviche dispelled my raw fish myth :-).She shared the recipe with us.

recipe card 1

Chtit’ha Djedj(Algerian Chicken with chickpeas)

Posted by on Nov 8, 2013 in International, missions, NonVeg | 1 comment

Chtit’ha Djedj(Algerian Chicken with chickpeas)

As we are at the tail end of our trip to Algeria, I wanted to share some more about Lilias Trotter, since we started in my last post. I have yet to read the biography of Lilias Trotter. Followings are what I have gathered after reading Noel Piper’s book, “Faithful Women and their Extraordinary God”. I am encouraged by Lilias Trotter’s 


 Lilias Trotter sailed to Algiers for the first time in 1888 with her two friends. She was 35 years old at that time. She was frail and had heart damage. She knew nothing about the language, culture and people of the land she was ready to venture into, yet she was determined. “The power of talking can only come by being among the people-but time will shew God’s plan.” she says when she was learning Arabic.


(Photo:Rita S) Quotation reference- Noel Piper(Faithful women and their extraordinary God)


Before Lilias Trotter learnt Arabic, she used French, which many Arab men knew (with the history of French rule) to reach them with gospel. To reach women and girls, she along with her two missionary friends, developed embroidery and bible classes for girls and women. They started ‘open house’ for the Arab women to relax and socialize, to use the rare opportunity to meet with  them, when the arabic women got out from their homes on rare occasion.


 Lilias Trotter,a talented artist, gave up painting as a main fulfilling aim of her life.She pursued the higher calling of being a missionary for Christ.She used her gift of painting and art in many forms to spread the good news of Jesus. Noël Piper writes, “She was among those at the forefront of her missions’ era with the idea to create and publish booklets that would look and feel Arab to Arab leader. She and her co-workers wrote many stories and parables that displayed various aspect of Jesus and the gospel.” Her journals were a combination of words, painting and sketches, Noël piper notes.


I have been challenged by Lilias Trotter’s ‘never give up‘ , pioneering spirit.She was tenacious through the circumstances for the sake of gospel. Noel Piper writes, Lilias dream was to create outposts for the gospel in outlaying desert towns. She traveled to the Saharan desert,south of Algeria, where mode of travel was by camel only, reliant on unfamiliar guides, not to mention typical challenges the desert poses. She knocked door to door just to see if someone, anyone would talk to them and listen to the story of Jesus.

The prayer,she started her missionary journey to Algeria with,she realized part of it towards the end of her life.

I know,you probably didn’t expect to see the tale of a missionary on a food blog but aren’t you glad to know about this woman?

I am pretty sure,Arabic food was one of the thing,English woman like Ms Trotter must had to get used to.Fortunately for us,this dish was loved by all of us.I served it with rice, Algerian prefer it with couscous.


 As i was looking for the main dish to cook for our Algerian night,I came across  chicken stew cooked with chickpeas.I must mention,most of these recipes were in French.I guess,french history is still very evident in Algerian culture.Again i have not followed one particular recipe.I understood the basic idea and spices used in this stew.I would mention,at some places ,i noticed the use of ‘Harissa’,a very spicy blend.I don’t have one,so i deconstructed and used the spices.

My husband led us in the prayer for the outreach of gospel in the country.We prayed for a friend,who is currently in a mission field there.

Chtit'ha Djedj

Chtit’ha Djedj

Chtit’ha Djedj(Algerian Chicken with chickpeas)


  1. 5 chicken legs
  2. 2 chicken breast(cubes)
  3. 1 bunch of cilantro
  4. 2 onions chopped
  5. 4-6 cloves of garlic
  6. 1 can (15.5 Oz)garbanzo beans
  7. 1-1/2 tablespoon Tomato paste
  8. Oil
  9. Water
  10. Salt to taste
  11. Spices
  12. 1/2 teaspoon Harissa
  13. OR
  14. 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
  15. 1/2 teaspoon dry mint leaves
  16. 1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds
  17. 1/2 tablespoon black and white pepper corns
  18. 1/2 tablespoon allspice peppers
  19. 2 red dry chili


  1. In a pot,heat some oil,about 2 tablespoon.
  2. Add chopped onion.Saute it until translucent.
  3. Add chicken legs.
  4. Meanwhile grind all the spices.
  5. Add spices,tomato paste,crushed garlic.
  6. Cover and turn the heat low.Let it cook for couple of minutes.
  7. Add cubed chicken and garbanzo beans,stir it well.Season it with salt.
  8. Add Water enough for desired consistency.
  9. Let it come to boil and simmer it down,until it is cooked.
  10. Serve it with Couscous/rice.
  11. Enjoy


Posted by on Nov 6, 2013 in Food-lens, Snacks | 3 comments


My aunt Rita sent me these fabulous pictures during last winter. As I looked these pictures after pictures, I was reminded how diverse India is.Though i knew of sorghum(‘Jowar’ in hindi).I didn’t know the unique way it is consumed in this part of India.

So what is ponk?

It is green immature sorghum grains. It is local to the area around Surat, ‘economic capital’ city  of  the Western state of Gujrat.It is available during winter months only. End of November to February. 

Ponk, sorghum stalks are  ready for cleaning.


Photo (Rita S.)

It is roasted at the bank of river Tapti.


Photo (Rita S.)

Ponk grains are sorted out by the ladies. 


Photo (Rita S.)

This picture makes me very nostalgic.I see ‘soop’ ,’baskets’ and steel ‘Thali’. It reminds me how in villages, my grandmother and aunt  would do similar kind of thing with rice or wheat crop.Notice what women are using with both of their hands.I don’t know what it is called in english.We call it ‘Soop‘ in our home. Its light, woven thing women in India use everywhere to clean and separate say tiny rock fragments,dirt or inferior small grains from rice or wheat or mustard etc.You see the women, second from the right; she is moving the ‘soop’ in up and down motion.By doing this, smaller grains come to the front edge of the ‘soop’ and it’s easy to pick out the unwanted grains.

 Beautiful ponk, green and clean sorghum grains.


Photo (Rita S.)

 Ponk fritters, called ponk ‘vada’s and patties for yummy snack served with chutney.Yum.


Photo (Rita S.)

Ponk Bazaar (market) at the bank of river ‘Tapti’ by the temple, in Surat.


Photo (Rita S.)

Raw ponk grains are eaten with  fine ‘sevs’, kind of like super thin and delicate vermicelli, available in India commonly.


Photo (Rita S.)

Now i am craving ponk vadas with no possibility of eating this.


Salatat Khiyar(Algerian Cucumber Salad)

Posted by on Nov 5, 2013 in International, missions, Side Dish | 0 comments

Salatat Khiyar(Algerian Cucumber Salad)

 Lilias Trotter, have you heard of her? I found out about this amazing lady through Noel Piper’s book “Faithful women and their extraordinary God”.

Well before she sailed to be a missionary in Algeria (more on that in my next post).She was a very gifted watercolor artist. She says, “I cannot give myself to painting in the way he [Ruskin] means and continue still to ‘seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness“{John Ruskin, the renowned artist of the time, said about her watercolors ‘extremely right minded and careful work’}.She enjoyed her art as a gift not a passion, Noël piper writes in her book.

She had the ministry back home in England, to help create and run places and programs for poor working girls to get meals and sleep. She taught Bible classes and was involved in rescue work. It meant watching over the vulnerable girl in bad situation who might end her life otherwise .Imagine the looks she must have got, at the time of Victorian England to associate with the people who were considered lowest in the society. I am challenged by her audacity to care at the cost of reputation and friendship for the love of Christ. 


Photo:Rita singh ; Content: A passion for the impossible-
Miriam Huffman Rockness,referenced by Noel Piper

You must be thinking why I am talking about Lilias Trotter on a food page? Simply because, I like history and I like to know about the culture. I would also commend the people who made the difference for Christ in the culture and I hope that you do do too.

I served this salad with Algerian chicken dish. I liked the salad however I felt I wanted it to be slightly sweet. I will add a pinch of sugar next time, even though it’s not Algerian.


Salatat Khiyar(Algerian Cucumber Salad)


  1. 1/2 English cucumber sliced
  2. 1/4 Green Bell pepper,fine chopped
  3. 5-6 green olives sliced
  4. 2 tablespoon White wine vinegar
  5. handful of chopped parsley(or cilantro if you have)
  6. 1/4 cup Olive oil
  7. Dash of paprika
  8. salt and pepper to taste


  1. Mix all the ingredients,let it chill for little bit.
  2. Enjoy with chicken dish.

Couscous with vegetable stew

Posted by on Nov 4, 2013 in International, missions | 0 comments

Couscous with vegetable stew

Continuing on the journey to Algeria, we checked out a visual geography series book on Algeria by Francesca Davis DiPiazza. I read part of it with kids and met with questions about sand dunes and desert fox, Fennec 🙂


Did you know that this country has been the battleground for centuries by many empires? Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs, Byzantines, Ottomans and French have invaded this country.

Prayer points

  • Arab brought Islam to the country in 7th century A.D.It continues to be religion of the land despite of many invasions and change in wind over the centuries. Algerians continue to debate the role religion should play in the democracy.Pray for the clarity in legislation to lead.
  • Many Berbers are gravitated towards Christianity more out of disdain towards Islam then to love for Christ. May their eyes be opened.Pray for the reconciliation efforts.(operation world)


I also learnt that Couscous, not rice, is staple of Algerians. So we had to try it.A very specific, vessel couscousiere,is used to make couscous by Algerians .It is fair to say the couscous that I found at my grocery store is not the authentic couscous. Mine took 5 minute to cook, not what the Algerian couscous will take.

  • I will be honest; my rice loving family didn’t like the couscous itself.I even chose tri-color couscous to make it appealing to the eyes!I simply cooked 1 cup of couscous as per the package direction.
  • I served it along with vegetable stew. Both of my kids quickly picked out chick peas, to my son call it ‘chippies’.
  • I browsed several recipe to get an idea about what makes up this stew and did my own adjustments.

I am pretty sure that the vegetable stew will make a return with or without couscous in our home 

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Couscous with vegetable stew


  1. 1 Zucchini
  2. 2 Carrots
  3. 1 Yellow Bell pepper
  4. 1 Onion (chopped)
  5. 1/2 can (15.5 Oz) Garbanzo beans (Chick peas)
  6. 1 Tablespoon Tomato paste
  7. pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg (optional)
  8. Cayenne to taste
  9. 1/4 teaspoon Turmeric
  10. Salt to taste
  11. Oil
  12. 1/2 cup water(You can use chicken broth)


  1. Chop the vegetables,zucchini,carrots,bell pepper in bite size pieces.
  2. In a pan,add oil.
  3. Add onion,saute it for couple of minutes.
  4. Add rest of the vegetables.
  5. Stir it for couple of minutes.
  6. Add garbanzo beans,tomato paste and rest of the spices.
  7. Add water.
  8. Cover it and simmer it down until vegetables are soft.
  9. Enjoy it with couscous or rice.


Algerian Fruit Medley (Chalda Fakya)

Posted by on Oct 23, 2013 in Fruits, missions, Salad | 94 comments

Algerian Fruit Medley (Chalda Fakya)

We are in the second ‘A’ country and it is: Algeria. Yay!!

This country has been in mind lately.Thanks to Noel Piper talking about Lilias Trotter in her book “Faithful Women and their Extraordinary God.”

As I continue to research on Algeria, one people group which I never knew until know is sticking out to me: Berbers of Algeria.

Berbers’, this name was given by early Romans who came to the country centuries ago, to the native Algerians of that time. Berbers have been historically nomads and preferred themselves to be called “Imazighen” (Free people).Islam is the religion of the land however Christianity had blossomed here centuries ago. Berbers have identified themselves with Islam, old rooted tradition as well as Christianity over the time. Many Kabyle Berbers are seeking Christ today.


  • Pray that Christ will reveal Himself to Kabyle Berbers.
  • Pray that Bible will be accessible to them in their language.
  • Pray those evangelists who are reaching to this people group will be strengthening.

As i was looking for the food of this country,i came across the fruit salad.I learnt that in most Algerian homes, eating fresh fruit after the meal is very common.Fruit bowl is placed at the dinner table.It is customary for  each person sitting on the table to peel their fruit and eat.So we started our Algerian tour with refreshing fruit bowl !

What makes this fruit salad “Algerian” fruit salad ?

Algerians prefers aromatic fruit salad with touch of cinnamon and vanilla 🙂 


Original recipe idea  from : Holidays of the Wold Cookbook for students

..And if you are like me,you can top it with dollop of whipped cream to take it to heavenly level 🙂

Algerian Fruit Medley (Chalda Fakya)


  1. *1/2 honeydew
  2. 5-6 mandarin oranges
  3. 1 cup strawberries
  4. 1 Apple
  5. 1 banana
  6. Aromatic mix
  7. 1/2 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  8. 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
  9. 2 Tablespoon Sugar
  10. 1/3 cup Orange Juice
  11. Juice of 1 Lemon


  1. Wash and cut the fruits in bite size pieces.
  2. In a separate small bowl, mix the aromatic ingredients.
  3. Pour the aromatic mix to fruit bowl.
  4. Toss it gently and let it refrigerate for at least 30 mins.
  5. Enjoy !


*You can use other melons too.

Afghanistan Meal Review

Posted by on Oct 21, 2013 in International | 0 comments

Afghanistan Meal Review

Past couple of weeks,we have been cooking the food of Afghanistan.It is the first country in our list of prayer through Operation world.

Our prayer



This is what we feasted on,not all in same day 🙂

Qabili Pilau


Banjan Borani

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Sheer Pira


Sheer Pira

Posted by on Oct 21, 2013 in Dessert, missions | 0 comments

Sheer Pira

Last week i found out that Muslims around the world celebrated the Eid -ul-Zuha.I grew up in Hindu-Muslim community in India.Schools are out on this day there.I had the opportunity to witness the festivity growing up.

My prayer through this : May the people worship one true god,The Lord.

Sheer Pira

‘Bakreed’ is the term that I am familiar with.Literally means “Bakra Eid” .”Bakra” meaning goat.On this day, Muslim faithful sacrifice the animal.One third of the meat is kept for the family, one third is distributed among family and friends and one third is given to the poor.


So I decided to close out our Afghanistan tour on sweet note.Though “Firni” (thick milk pudding)is the most popular dessert of Afghanistan,I chose a candy like dessert  called “Sheer Pira”.

  • Sheer Pira is very sweet cardmom scented candy like milk dessert, hard and chewy at the same time.
  • Traditionally it is made with whole cream milk powder.All I could find was non-fat milk powder in my grocery store, so that’s what i used.
  • Syrup is the part which requires time and attention.Also once the syrup is ready, mixing the milk powder and spreading it out in a sheet,needs to happen quickly,since it starts hardening as it cools.
Sheer Pira |

Sheer Pira

It is probably too sweet and hard for us.Our children took couple of bites of it.Too hard for them.For me, aroma of cardamom in every bite is defining.

Original recipe idea : Afghan Kitchen Arts

Sheer Pira


  1. 4 cups milk powder
  2. 2 cups water
  3. 2 cups sugar
  4. 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
  5. 1/4 cup crushed pistachios + 1/4 cup more for topping
  6. 1/4 cup silvered almonds


  1. Make the syrup by cooking sugar and water at medium heat.
  2. While syrup is cooking,mix milk powder,cardamom powder,pistachios and almonds in a bowl.
  3. Prepare a tray or sheet lined with parchment paper.
  4. When syrup starts to thicken,it is done.
  5. At this point,turn the heat off.
  6. Add the milk powder to the mixture and mix it well.
  7. Spread the mix to the parchment paper lined sheet using spatula in a 1/4 inch layer.
  8. Top it with remaining 1/4 cup of pistachios.
  9. Cut it in diamond shape.
  10. Let it chill in refrigerator for 30 mins at least.
  11. Enjoy.

Banjan Borani

Posted by on Oct 16, 2013 in missions | 0 comments

Banjan Borani

Sitting in a cozy corner of my home as i enjoy the sound of rain and cool morning,i go over the list of prayer and challenges for Afghanistan from Operation World.I look into the pictures and couldn’t help but  wonder how does rain feel like there?Is it cozy or uncomfortable?

Afghanistan (Photo :Jim C.)

Afghanistan (Photo :Jim C.)

People of Afghanistan are facing  many challenges from recovery to rebuilding .To the very least you and i can do is to pray for the wisdom and courage among many other things for them.May we intercede for them.

{Insert the name of the country,as you pray this prayer}

Prayer for Afghanistan

Now this recipe which i am going to share with you, i made it as a side dish to go with Kitchadi,a comfort food,when i had sore throat couple days back.

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  • It is a layered dish of eggplant and bell pepper,topped with tomatoes and served with the spoonful drizzle of yogurt sauce.
  • Eggplants or bell peppers can be fried or baked or grilled.I simply sauted it one after another.If you are going the baking route,you can bake the veggies on a cookie sheet and layer it in end in a casserole dish.
  • I used Italian eggplants and peeled the thick skin off.If you are using the Chinese eggplants,you don’t need to.
  • Many people season the eggplants with salt in the beginning and let it sit.It is suppose to take the bitterness away.I always skip this step.

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Recipe Idea : AfghanCooking

Banjan Borani


  1. 1 Italian Eggplant
  2. 1 Red Bell pepper
  3. 3-4 Roma tomatoes
  4. 4-5 cloves of garlic crushed
  5. 1/4 Teaspoon Turmeric
  6. 1/2 Teaspoon Paprika
  7. Pepper to taste
  8. Salt to taste
  9. Oil
  10. Yogurt Sauce
  11. Mix 3/4 cup thick yogurt,salt,crushed garlic and fresh mint leaves.


  1. Peel the eggplant and slice it in half then slice each half in thin circles.
  2. Don't crowd the pan,do it in batches,if you need to.
  3. Slice the red bell pepper thinly.
  4. In a pan,add oil,just enough to saute the eggplant,not cooked all the way.Season it with salt.
  5. Take the eggplants out.
  6. In a same pan,add red bell pepper and saute it lightly.
  7. Take the bell pepper out.
  8. In the same pan,add more oil,if you need to.
  9. Add garlic and tomatoes.Season it with salt,pepper,paprika,turmeric.
  10. Cook it half the way.Take it out.
  11. At this point,in the same pan,layer the half way cooked eggplants to the pan.
  12. Top it with bell pepper cooked earlier.
  13. Top it with tomatoes cooked earlier.
  14. Cook it covered for 15-20 mins at medium heat.
  15. To serve
  16. Spread a layer of yogurt sauce on the plate.
  17. Add the cooked eggplant-pepper-tomato mixture.
  18. Drizzle the yogurt sauce at the top with spoon.
  19. Serve it with Pita bread.