27 April, 2017

Veg Hara Bhara Kabab Recipe | Simple Vegan Kebab Recipes

Learn how to make Hara Bhara Kabab ~ Mildly spiced Indian vegan spinach and potato kebabs flavoured with fresh herbs and aromatic spices

We made these Hara Bhara Kababs exactly a month ago when LD was recovering from another bout of viral infection. When I say we, it means my 6-year-old and I, mom and son team. Cooking with over enthusiastic kid means fun, but it also means mess! I kid you not. The kitchen will end up looking like a bomb sight with flour covered kitchen floor and counter tops, sauce smeared kitchen cabinets, and a child who is covered with every ingredient that went into that pot or pan of food you are making! Then why teach your kids to cook when it means more of a mess than its worth?! Absolutely. Well, there is not just one, but 101 reasons to introduce our kids to the joys of cooking.

Teaching our kids to cook is one of the most basic life skills we can pass on and most importantly, it gives us the opportunity to teach them valuable lessons. I find him curiously touch, smell and taste the ingredients. This natural inquisitiveness of LD turns into total fascination and then surprise when he watches the dramatic transformation the food goes through in terms of colour, texture and size right before his eyes during cooking and baking. The once firm and hard potatoes turn soft and mushy, the delicate, easy to crack eggs become hard when boiled, the crystals of sugar and salt completely gets dissolved, the fruit is turned to juice and how it becomes one of his favourite treat ice lolly when kept in freezer overnight! If this is not magic, then I don’t know what else is?!

21 April, 2017

Bhara Baingan or Stuffed Baby Eggplant Recipe | Simple and Quick Eggplant or Brinjal Recipes

Learn how to make Bhara Baingan or Stuffed Pan Roasted Baby Eggplants ~ Simple and easy spicy pan roasted baby eggplants stuffed with sesame, coconut and spice mix

Time stands still best in moments that look suspiciously like ordinary life!
~ Brian Andreas

I am inching back to routine and virtual world after a weeklong holiday with friends and family. Before I feel too comfortable to this routine of digital lethargy and loose myself in my own little world, I decided to bounce back with some recipe posts that will keep my creative juices flowing. I am yet to pick my camera to shoot food or beautiful spring landscapes despite golden spring light bathing every corner of our home and world around us. My eyes and soul have replaced the camera as they capture the magnificent beauty of this world. One thing at a time… Until then, let me share the recipe of this amazing and ridiculously simple to make Bhara Baingan or Spicy Stuffed Baby Eggplant Roast that I cooked and clicked two weeks ago when my camera was constantly clicking and capturing food in every angle and composition!

I am a huge fan of eggplants and keeping my modesty aside, I make some mean eggplant curries which knocks off the feet of my guests whenever I serve them. Unfortunately, husband is allergic to eggplants and LD is not too fond of the texture of them. Which means the only person who must finish the entire pan of eggplant curries is me! How unfortunate (not) for me!!! As much as I love these little beauties, I find it difficult to spend an hour prepping and cooking them, only not to have a company to share the pleasure of devouring them. So, I end up buying some purple beauties only when I lose couple of night’s sleep! ;)

11 April, 2017

Tawa Paneer Recipe | Simple and Quick Paneer Recipes

Learn how to make Tawa Paneer ~ Griddle roasted Indian cottage cheese and veggies marinated in aromatic spices

When last week LD’s spring break began, I was euphoric! No school meant waking up late, no running around the house prepping breakfast, ironing school uniforms, shouting at top of my voice asking LD to finish his breakfast for hundredth time in a minute, watching my hair turn grey as he finishes his morning business at snail’s pace, pulling my hair in anxiety as he asks hundreds of questions while sitting on a potty, and literally dragging him out of the house and all the way to school to make sure we are just in time before the school bell rings! Only to come back home to sink full of dishes, basketful of laundry, high pile of cloths to be ironed, mountain high work load, photography assignments, answering to dozens of emails, and of course, worrying about what to cook for dinner and if time permits, food photo shoot for the blog!

6 hours of back breaking work later, I am ready to rush back to school to take him for after-school activities and bring him back home. Before I know it, it’s time to make dinner, watch him slowly pick small spoonful of food at snail’s pace for over an hour, snatch the spoon from him hand and shovel what is now ice cold dinner that I slaved to cook, watch my hair turn grey and fall as he slowly brushes his teeth before tucking him into bed after reading half a dozen stories! If I am not snoozing or half dead by then, stare at telly with hubby or stare at the blinking curser wishing and even praying for some words to magically pop in my half dead brain and flow into my finger tips to tap dance on the keyboard for a blog post! By the time I hit the sack, it doesn’t take more than couple of moments to fall into dreamless sleep after my head touches the pillow, if not hit by migraine or insomnia! 7 hours later, I am ready for another day of routine! That’s when I desperately look forward to school holidays…

One week into 2 weeks of spring break, I am ‘almost’ looking forward for the schools to re-open!

05 April, 2017

Rama Navami Panakam Recipe | Jaggery Limeade ~ Healthy & Refreshing Summer Drink

How to make Panakam or Panagam ~ Jaggery Limeade flavoured with crushed cardamoms, peppercorns and dry ginger, a refreshing and healthy summer drink

Today is the ninth and last day of Chaitra Navaratri as per Hindu calendar. Today is also Ram Navami, a festival that celebrates the arrival of Vishnu’s 7th avatar, Lord Rama. Growing up in South India, it meant eating kosambari (cucumber and moong bean salad) while guzzling down tall glass of Panakam (sweet and summery health drink of jaggery and lime flavoured with crushed green cardamom, peppercorns and dry ginger), listening to the tales of Ramayana.

I am not a religious person, but that doesn’t stop me from cooking and eating festive foods. As with any other Hindu festival, Ram Navami is also celebrated with special food offered to the deity called neivedyam. Once the food is offered to the god, it is distributed among people as prasad or prasadam, a blessed food. Panakam is one such food that is made during Ram Navami along with other neivedyams such as kosambari, and majjige neeru (spiced butter milk). They are simple and quite refreshing summer recipes, showcasing the wisdom and scientific reason with great health benefits behind every festival food designed by our ancestors. The word Panakam in Sanskrit means ‘sweet drink’ and as the name suggests, it’s a sweet drink of jaggery and lime flavoured with crushed green cardamoms, peppercorns and dry ginger.