Happy Ganesh Chaturthi – Besan Ke Laddu

Happy Ganesh Chaturthi to all my readers! While it’s not yet time to pack the winter clothes here in Sydney, I can smell Spring in the air. The days are getting warmer and the flowers are in full bloom everywhere. The most awaited season of the year is here!IMG_9791I particularly look forward to Spring in Sydney, as it not only brings lovely long sunny days but it also marks the beginning of festivities and celebrations that continue until year-end. Starting with Krishna Janmashtami and Ganesh Chaurthi, there is a festival every couple of weeks until Diwali followed by my little one’s b’day,  Christmas and then New Year. With so many occasions to celebrate, it is also a very busy time for me but I love the festivities and, of course, the awesome food.IMG_9842

Besan ke laddu is a rich traditional sweet that is not only very easy to make but also tastes delicious. My Mum makes a batch every few weeks as my Dad loves eating these laddus every night after dinner. He warms them slightly in the microwave before eating that makes them taste even better.IMG_9840

I make these laddus only once a year on the occasion of Ganesh Chaturthi, when I bring my Ganpati home, to welcome the Lord with His favourite food. Are Laddus your favorite too? Read more

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Peanut Butter and Basil Sandwich

Peanut butter and Basil sandwich – never heard of it? Sure, you did not as this recipe is my creation! I am always on the lookout for quick, easy and ‘not so unhealthy’ breakfast recipes and one website suggested Peanut butter and banana sandwich. I decided to give it a go. Being honest here, I had never tasted peanut butter before, seriously, never! So, I got a jar of peanut butter and made the peanut butter and banana sandwich the next morning. Unfortunately, it didn’t turn out quiet to my taste. Now, I had the whole jar of peanut butter lying in my kitchen and I wondered how I could use it. And then suddenly an idea struck me. I remembered how my Thai Stir fry with Satay sauce (recipe coming soon) tasted so good with some fresh basil leaves. This meant that the combination of peanut butter and basil was worth trying, after all, Satay sauce is made of peanut butter. I went ahead with this little experiment of mine and the results were simply deee-licious. I just couldn’t stop eating after the first bite. Thus, the Peanut Butter and Basil sandwich was born. If the Thai restaurants ever thought of having a vegan sandwich on the menu, then it will surely be this one!!! Wanna try a simple recipe with complex flavours? Read more

Makki di Roti – Winter Special

In celebration of Autumn, Mother nature is painting Sydney with beautiful shades of orange, red, yellow, brown and green. Leaves have fallen off the trees revealing the bare, vulnerable branches underneath. Wherever you turn your eyes, there is a picture perfect scenery to be taken in. I and my daughter enjoy jumping up and down in the dry leaves just like Peppa Pig. Crunching through the carpet of leaves, I sometimes wonder if Autumn is more beautiful than Spring.

Winter is just around the corner and its time to change the diet to include winter foods. ‘Makki di roti’ is a must-have during winters.  It is a traditional handmade bread using maize flour. While the combo, Makki di roti and Sarson da saag, is the most popular delicacy of Punjab, you can also enjoy this roti without going through the long process of making the saag. This recipe uses the winter vegetables, radish and fenugreek to make these scrumptious rotis. I like to enjoy them with dollops of desi ghee, spiced yoghurt and homemade achar. After all, Winter is the time for a little indulgence, isn’t it? Love to indulge this Winter? Read more

Coriander Chutney – the Versatile Condiment

Coriander Chutney is a popular condiment in the northern and western parts of India. You can use it in a variety of ways – put it as sauce in a sandwich, use it as a dip with pakoras or enjoy it as a relish with Dal Rice. Most households will always have a jar of chutney in the fridge. With readymade chutney available in the supermarkets, nowadays many people prefer to buy it instead of making their own.  With this simple and easy recipe you can make your own chutney in 5 minutes using only 3 ingredients – coriander, green chilli and lemon. Would you like to add some kick to your meals? Read more

Kadai Paneer – Bring Home the Restaurant

Last weekend was an exciting time for my blog. A number of friends, colleagues and family members told me that they regularly try out my recipes and wait for new posts on the blog. Well, that was a pleasant surprise as I always thought no one really tries out a recipe (liking and commenting is a lot easier). This feedback has certainly got me motivated and all charged up to bring some discipline into my blogging routine and I will try my best to be more regular with my posts.

One of the popular requests was for paneer recipes. When talking of paneer recipes, Kadai Paneer is my favourite, it being such an awesome medley of contrasting flavours.  Cubed paneer and capsicum are tossed in a hot tomato gravy seasoned with crushed coriander seeds and finished with a generous sprinkle of dried fenugreek leaves, the aroma of the spices is sure to tantalize your senses!  Are you a Paneer fan? Read more

Alu Sandwich with a Cheesy Twist

Even though sandwiches originated in the West, the Alu (potato) sandwich is a truly Indian variation. Potatoes are cooked with Indian spices and stuffed in bread layered with chutneys – a perfect example of fusion food. An all-time favorite with both kids and grown-ups, Alu sandwich is easy to prepare, delicious and ready in no time. The best thing about this sandwich is that you can prepare the potato stuffing ahead of time. Relish it as a weekday breakfast or a weekend tea-time snack with different chutneys and ketchup! Love Potatoes? Read more

Kale Chane – the Iron Man’s Curry

Kala Chana or black chickpea is a cousin of white chickpea. Also known as desi chana, it has smaller, darker seeds than Kabuli chana(white chickpea). Being extremely rich in iron and protein, it is a power food for children. I remember, as a kid, Mum would give us the soup left after boiling the chana to drink.  It didn’t taste very good, so I used to just gulp it down!

Kale Chane can be prepared in many ways. A lightly seasoned dry recipe cooked during Navratri is very popular. Kala Chana Sundal and Kerala’s Kadala Curry are some other lip smacking recipes from South India where the chane are tempered with mustard seeds, curry leaves and coconut.

This recipe is the north Indian Punjabi version in which chickpeas are cooked in an onion tomato gravy. The masala prepared in this recipe is same as the one used for Rajma. Enjoy this delicious curry with rice/rotis. Can’t get enough iron? Eat kale chane

Masala Idli – A Breakfast Makeover

It’s a beautiful Saturday morning – start of another relaxing weekend. You are thinking hard about what to make for breakfast. You have had enough cereals, muesli and sandwiches during the week. You want to have something more interesting but you are still a little tired from the week to make an elaborate breakfast sweating in the kitchen. You want to avoid rich and deep fried foods – the breakfast should be healthy. But it is also a weekend – so breakfast should also be tasty and appealing too!

So, what do you cook?

Masala idli is the perfect answer to your ‘what to cook for breakfast’ problem. It is quick, healthy and most importantly yummm. Idlis are tossed with crunchy onions, tangy tomatoes, peppy peppers and tempered with aromatic mustard seeds, curry leaves and sambhar powder – this colourful makeover of idlis will certainly make your mornings brighter! Run out of breakfast ideas? Read more

Thai Red Curry – Cook, Smell, Eat

Traditional Thai cooking is a celebration of fresh and fragrant ingredients. The  most captivating dish in the Thai cuisine are the curries – Red, Green and Yellow for their complex distinctive flavours.  I love Thai food as the spices used are so similar to Indian curries.

All curries start with a  curry paste. Most curry pastes available in the supermarkets have shrimp paste, but in this recipe we will be using a ‘make your own’ vegan Thai red curry paste. After trying this ‘made from scratch’ curry paste, you’ll never buy packaged paste again. You also do not need to drive to your local Asian grocery store to buy a plethora of ingredients before you can enjoy this awesome curry. I will be showing how you can substitute most ingredients with spices easily available in your kitchen.

Fiery red chillies are blended with pungent onion and garlic, lime and coriander add plenty of zing that is balanced by the coconut milk. Hot, sour, sweet and salty – perfect harmony of contrasting flavours  – that makes an authentic Thai Red Curry. Love fresh and fragrant curries? Read more

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