22 December, 2015

Aam Papad Recipe | Mango Fruit Leather Recipe

Learn ho to make Aam Papad ~ Mango Fruit Leather recipe two ways

Last few days have been absolutely crazy with festive school performances, school trips to the local church, volunteering, Christmas shopping, signing hundreds of cards, product and recipe testing in the kitchen and a mountain high load of never ending things! I am not exaggerating! If that was not enough to bring the whole house down, I have LD hanging upside down holding on to my apron strings moaning he is bored every 5 minutes. Bored 5 years old?! Like, seriously?!!! I can’t wait for the school to reopen in a fortnight! Just kidding. :)

We are off to meet our friends up north in Yorkshire for the Christmas and then travelling to London for the New Year. There will be a lot of partying, eating, cooking, shopping and activities planned for the week long fun filled holiday season. I have been busy sorting out the presents, packing our bags, going through the truck load of laundry, ironing never ending pile of cloths, dusting and cleaning every nook and cranny, answering to dozens of emails, running around the energetic 5 year old, and god knows what else! In between the entire hullabaloo, I decided to make some edible presents for friends! I tried to find the reason and completely failed to answer why I am doing this!!! Call me crazy, but the perfectionist and the ever lurking OCD in me makes me go an extra mile to make everything perfect for my loved ones.

03 December, 2015

Aloo-Guvar Subji Recipe | Spicy Potato & Cluster Beans Curry

Learn how to make Aloo-Guvar Subji ~ Spicy potato and cluster beans curry recipe

After running like headless chicken during Diwali, I decided to slow down and smell the roses. As the winter has slowly crept in my corner of the world and I went on hibernation from social networks. It was rejuvenating, relaxing and most of all uplifting, just like a spa experience for a mind.

My days are full with reading, learning, creating, writing, working on a project which I love, recipe testing and of course, lot of cooking. With the Christmas just around the corner, LD’s school is gearing up for the festive season with school fayre, plays, choir, festive lunch and many activities which means close involvement with the parents. I am really looking forward to watching LD perform on the stage. Interestingly, LD is very cool about performing in front of big audience while I am the one who is hyperventilating! Fingers crossed, I should be fine! ;)

12 November, 2015

Besan Ke Laddu Recipe | How to Make Besan Ke Ladoo

Learn how to make Besan Ke Laddu ~ Sweet chickpea/gram flour balls flavoured with cardamom and ghee

The festival of lights is here… Diwali or Deepavali is the occasion which brings lot of joy and laughter to fill our days with cheer and hope for something best to come! We are having a quiet Diwali at home as the man of the house is away in Scotland attending a conference and will only be back on Friday night! Which means the young man of the house is seen following me everywhere chattering and asking me non-stop questions as why we have lit dozens of the candles and diyas, what am I cooking, why the house is decked as a bride, what is Diwali, why are we celebrating it, why are we Hindus, who made us Hindus, does it mean we can’t celebrate Christmas, will he still get Christmas presents from Santa and many more until I pretend to faint! I don’t miss the fire crackers back in India as my little fire cracker is here to bombard me with his never ending questions and chatter. :)

On the Diwali eve, our home came alive with flickering of diyas and candles lit in every nook and corner with the soulful evening raga playing in the background. The fragrant smoke of incense, camphor and dhoop waltzed with the fragrance of roses and jasmine. The clang of pots and pans, the heady aroma of saffron, rose water and cardamoms and the joyous laughter in the background was everything that any festivals are about. Unlike last year’s extravagant and loud Diwali which was the first for LD with his grandparents, this year’s celebration is quiet and mellow with just three of us. As it was the case with any festival, we were missing our loved ones on this joyous occasion. The beautiful memories of Diwali of my childhood are something I treasure the most. The light, laughter, joy, great food and a lovely company is something that makes this festival so special. So I feel the real need to create wonderful memories for my young man by carrying out century old traditions passed from one generation to the next. And what better way than the stories of the festival accompanied with a delicious food which is heart and soul of any Indian festivals?!

04 November, 2015

Tameta Reveya | Vegan Stuffed Tomato Curry Recipe from Kaushy's Prashad at Home

Learn how to make Tameta Reveya/Stuffed Tomato Curry ~ Sweet and spicy peanut stuffed tomato satay

After the success of her first cookbook ‘Prashad Indian Vegetarian Cooking’ which is one of my most favourite cookbooks, Kaushy Patel’s second cookbook ‘Prashad at Home’ focuses on simple, quick and fuss free Indian cooking from her vegetarian kitchen. The recipes are little quicker and easier compared to the restaurant recipes from her first cookbook which will find its way into your dinner tables and hearts! The heart and soul of the cookbook remains the same, Gujarati inspired vegetarian Indian food with tantalising recipes which any home cook will find delightful to cook with easy to follow recipe instructions.

There is a short introduction by the author Kaushy Patel in her own words mentioning the idea behind the cookbook with simple home food which is quite different from her previous cookbook showcasing the restaurant dishes.  The recipes range from fuss free recipes to cook on weekdays to suit the busy lifestyle to elaborate dishes to enjoy in leisure to Indian fusion dishes. Kaushy emphasises on enjoying the cooking whether you have 20 minutes or 2 hours, bringing you and those you are cooking a great pleasure. Kayshy’s ‘Spice Tin and Seasonings’ contain the detailed guide to ingredients used in the cookbook and the ‘Practical Points’ shares top tips and how-to's  into preparing and using the ingredients in cooking.

Quick and Easy Diwali Sweet Recipes | Deepavali Sweet Recipes

There is always something warm and bright about this time of the year, when everything has a special glow! There is always something special about this time of the year when all our hearts are full of cheer!

Yes, the festival of lights is here… Diwali or Deepavali is the occasion which brings lots of love and laughter to fill our days with cheer and hope for something best to come! 

The Monsoon Spice household is gearing up for this special occasion. The house is dusted, the vessels are scrubbed, the Diyas are glowing, and the kitchen is a hub of activities! We are hosting a Diwali party for our close friends and that can only mean one thing; fun, laughter and good food!

For the next couple of weeks, I will be posting the recipes of the delicious and exquisite food I am cooking for our friends. But for now here are some of the sweet/desserts that you can cook for your loved ones!  While you are at it, don't forget to check the list of Simple and Easy Snack Recipes for Diwali to delight your taste buds!
Wishing you all a very Happy and Sparkling Deepavali!

Warm Regards

 Mysore Pak
 Semiya Kheer
 Carrot Kheer
 Pineapple Kesari
 Saffron Nan Khatai (Eggless)
 Kesari Bhaat (Suji Ka Halwa)
 Vegan Avalakki Payasa
 Doodh/Milk Peda
 Sabudana Kheer
 Peanut Laddu/Chikki
 Mango Panna Cotta
 Rava Laddu
Ela Ada

Payasa/Kheer (Indian Pudding)

03 November, 2015

Quick and Easy Diwali Snack Recipes | Simple and Easy to Make Snack Recipes for Deepavali


It is almost that time of the year in India when winter begins. It is almost that time of the year when the dawn is lightly caressed by the frost. It is almost that time of the year when the golden rays of morning sun passes through the dew drops on the grass making them look like a precious diamonds sewn on the lush green carpets. It is almost that time of the year when the trees sway to the gentle morning breeze in the cool mist. It is almost that time of the year when the soft sun light appears from the distant hills and the birds tweet as they flutter through the dew laden sky! It is almost that time of the year when the summer’s blistering heat and the monsoon’s thundering rains give way to a season of crisp winter months. It is the golden season of Kartik, a season of cool air, chirping birds, dew drops laden fresh grass, the blossoming trees and the time when the entire Indian subcontinent adorns itself in the silky golden hued sunlight to greet the heavenly bodies into welcoming arms!

When the paths are dotted with the carpet of heavenly perfumed dainty paarijata flowers and the air is heavy with the aroma of sugary treats, it is that time of the year... It is the time of Deepavali or Diwali, a Hindu festival of lights!

With the festival of lights just a week away, our house gets busy with preparing for the Diwali. It’s that time of the year when clattering of pots and pans are heard for most part of the day and the evenings as we plan the menu for the festive food. So while planning for the Diwali party menu, I thought it may be useful for my dear blog readers to have a compilation of some simple, quick and easy snacks recipes for Deepavali. I hope you will find this post useful in deciding what to cook for your friends and family and make this Diwali a special one for your loved ones.While you are at it, don't forget to check the list of Simple and Easy Sweet Recipes for Diwali to sweeten your taste buds!

May the festival of lights be the harbinger of joy and prosperity. As the holy occasion of Diwali is here and the atmosphere is filled with the spirit of mirth and love, here's hoping this festival of beauty brings your way, bright sparkles of contentment, that stay with you through the days ahead. Wishing all my dear readers and friends, a very happy and prosperous Deepavali!

Warm Regards

Paneer Stuffed Mirchi Bajji
Khara Kaddi
Chattambade/Masala Dal Vada
Aloo-Kala Chana Chaat
Mangalore Buns
Delicious, deep fried sin! Aloo Bonda
Gobi 65
Methi nu Muthia
Spicy Stuffed Buns

From Home (Udupi-Mangalorean)

30 September, 2015

Khara Kaddi or Spicy Sev Recipe | How to Make Kharada Kaddi

Learn how to make Khara Kaddi or Spicy Sev ~ Deep fried spicy chickpea or gram flour sticks flavoured with cumin, carom seeds and asafoetida

It’s been over a fortnight since Lil Dumpling started his big school and finally, I feel I can pen down the whole experience without my heart shattering into thousand pieces or shedding truck load of tears. There was no surprise when LD started school it wasn't him who cried. It was me! The sight of that small person vanishing with unfamiliar faces into an unknown classroom was terribly painful. I couldn't understand the pain I was feeling.

Spicy Sev or Kharada Kaddi

For weeks, I had prepared LD to start his new school in a new town. I was so immersed in preparing LD for his first day in school, making the school sound like a fun place, I completely forgot to prepare myself for the day when I had to let go of him and place his small hands into the capable hands of his class teacher. I kept my mind busy making sure that the transition will be as smooth and as painless as possible. By doing so, I kept pushing every worry and thoughts of my own feelings in the back-burner. It was a lethal combination, LD’s pride, joy and excitement mixed with my whole range of worries, apprehensions and anxieties! I never imagined in million years that it would be one of the most painful experiences of my life.

24 September, 2015

Whole Wheat Tibetian Vegetable Momo Recipe | Step by Step Recipe for Veg Momos

Learn how to make Whole Wheat Tibetian Vegetable Momos ~ Steam cooked whole wheat dumpling stuffed with crispy vegetables, a delicacy from North East India

Who would have ever thought that the day will come where I will sit down to write this post?! A post about blog-anniversary! Believe it or not, Monsoon Spice just turned 9 years old. It’s been NINE YEARS since this blog was born on a lazy afternoon and I really find it difficult to digest the fact that I have stuck to blogging after all these years. With my two men army fighting nasty cold and fever, I almost missed the blog milestone. 9 years of blogging is a huge milestone for someone who strongly believes ‘change is the only constant in life’! It looks like my love and passion for food blogging has not dulled or died down even after all these years of food blogging and if anything else, my love affair with food writing, photography and blogging has grown stronger and deeper.

 It was the peak of winter in 2005 when the days were really short and the sun disappeared for days. I was a new bride in unknown city, new country and different continent and had nothing worthwhile happening in my life. After spending long hours on phone, reading books and flipping the channels on idiot box, I was still left with many more hours of solitude and boredom! I began to spend more time in kitchen to relive the husband of mine from cooking the same meal every day. Slowly I began to cook one dish after another that I learnt from my mother through our hour long telephone conversations and expanded my recipe repertoire which was limited to half a dozen recipes. After many misadventures, small kitchen accidents and blunders, I decided to document my culinary journey for posterity to have some laugh at my expense! After couple of months I decided to take a plunge and give my personal diary an online presence for amateurs home cooks like me who struggled to differentiate pigeon peas from split chickpeas and cilantro from parsley. Well, who would have imagined that the blog born out of boredom and necessity would complete 9 enjoyable years! Not me!!! Never in zillion years! It has come a long way from being amateur cooking blog to much confident and passionate cooking blog of today!