Category: Snacks

Garam Masala Tuesdays: Chicken Samosas

Samosas are the quintessential Indian tea time snack. Everyone loves samosas, and when ever you crave one in India, only a few blocks away from you you will find be a guy scooping out some fresh samosas from a big pot of hot oil. Needless to say, that option is not available where we live. So when I am craving one, I have to make some on my own.

My favorite are of course the regular potato kinds – about which I have posted in the past. But since I make them every time for any potluck where non-Indians are concerned, I thought I would try a different filling this time.

This time I went for a non vegetarian filling.

Generally, the non vegetarian filling that my mom uses is made from lamb meat, but since I was cooking for my non Indian friends, I decided to go with chicken as the filling. From my experience I have realized that Americans (or at least the ones I have come across) are not too fond of lamb preparations. Maybe that’s why none of the grocery stores in a 100 mile radius of where we stay carry lamb meat.

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Oven baked Rutabaga Fries, a Review & a Giveaway

So after more than a month of no blogging, I am back and plan to keep it that way. I could give you the reasons for not blogging, but I realize I will just end up whining. And that is something I just don’t want to do, especially today.

Since I have been away for so long I thought I would come back with not only a recipe but a giveaway as well.

A few weeks back Ariosto seasonings sent me some samples to review.  (Do understand that even though these samples are free, I have not been paid for the review and the opinion I share today is unbiased, or as far as being unbiased goes)

Ariosto seasonings have been very popular in Italy for over 47 years. They have an excellent range of Italian seasonings which combine the right amount of specially selected herbs, spices and Sicilian sea salt to perfectly flavor meat (chicken, beef, pork and lamb), fish and side dishes. The seasonings use herbs such as rosemary, sage, juniper, bay, oregano, garlic, thyme, sweet marjoram, basil, coriander, onion, parsley, carrot and celery to create traditional Mediterranean mixes. All the seasonings are natural as they don’t contain preservatives, colorings or MSG.

I received several packages of Ariosto seasonings. One was for poultry and meat, one for tomato sauces, one for roasted or fried potatoes, one for fish, and one with garlic and chili pepper.

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Garam Masala Tuesdays: Channa Masala with easily available ingredients

I started Garam Masala Tuesdays with three aims- one, to familiarize non-Indians with Indian cooking; two, to familiarize Indian cooking to Indian ladies like me, who had only recently forayed into Indian cooking and who like me did not have the pleasure of their moms to guide them through various aspects of Indian food and three, to share recipes handed down by my mother or friends or relatives or seen on different sites along with giving a little background about the dish.

Now, because of the above three aims I am always in a dilemma when I write any post for the GMT. I wonder if I am writing the recipes for Indians, non-Indians or for Indians who are living abroad.

Indians living in India have access to all kinds of spices and vegetables and their taste buds are used to eating Indian flavored dishes. Indians living abroad have access to most spices, but might not have access to all and if they have been born and raised abroad might not be used to the different flavors of Indian cuisine. Non-Indians might not have any of the spices and even though they like Indian food, they might find it a pain to stock up on the oh-so-many spices that most Indian dishes call for. On the other hand, if I post a recipe without the necessary spices, Indians who might cook from my blog will lose out on the flavor that these very spices hand to the dish- and then for them the particular dish won’t be the real thing.

So, the dilemma always remains- how do I make sure I cater to everyone’s needs?

Of course I can’t and won’t even attempt to. And today I thought I’ll try to cook from a non-Indian’s pantry perspective. I think that’s something that GMT misses out on occasions.

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March Recipe Swap

For the month of March, our Recipe Swap group split in two for the first time. While one half would continue posting the first Sunday of the month, the other would now be posting a different recipe the second Wednesday of the month. Its a big change and I hate that the group is splitting, but the change means newer members- newer perspectives and interpretations of two different recipes each month. In a nutshell, the change means a lot of creativity to be inspired from throughout the month. And that’s a change I am looking forward to.

I chose to be part of the group posting the first Sunday of the month and honestly I was glad that I was, because it meant I had to swap a Pizza recipe.

The idea for the Recipe Swap was born out of a Vintage cookbook find by Christianna. Christianna decided to make her own recipes inspired by those in the cookbook. She also got a bunch of talented bloggers (and me) in on the idea and now, the recipe swap has been on for more than a year, each month the bloggers dishing out absolute delights that showcase their creativity. Of course, now the creative juices will be flowing into cyber space twice a month, starting this March.

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Garam Masala Tuesdays: Split Green Gram Pancakes

…and a lesson in knowing your “Moong” dal.

When I was in India this time, somebody asked me, why is your blog called the “Novice” Housewife? Going on further to explain that from the pictures and the food I make, it didn’t look like I was a novice.

At that time I took it as a compliment and smiled (reminding myself that when someone pays you a compliment you should always accept it and never protest).

In my mind though, I was saying- of course I am a novice, there is so much I do not know.

This post is a reflection of just that.

How little I know. And how much I need to learn.

(I know this doesn’t sound like a strong case for me giving my “expert” advice on Indian food at GMT!   Yikes!   Anywho….)

The other day, I downloaded a food recipe app- a Nita Mehta iPhone app.

Nita Mehta is like the Ina Garten of Indian food, if I could say so, without offending fans of either of the mentioned parties. Her recipes are quick and mostly great. Like Ina’s.

So anyway, I downloaded the app- its a breakfast recipes app. And looked good. I decided to try her version of Rajasthani Chilla.

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Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms and Gruyere Tartlets

I love Michelle’s site- The Brown Eyed Baker.

In the past I have made the portobello pesto pizza adapted from her site, and it was wonderful.

Coincidentally (although it was not intended) I chose another mushroom recipe from her site to try.

Last week, it was my turn to host the weekly coffee meets we ladies of our small town have every Friday.These get-togethers are my lifeline and thanks to the amazing group of people I have met through these weekly affairs, living in this town has actually become enjoyable.

While browsing through FoodGawker for some appetizer ideas to make for my friends, I came across these caramelized onions and mushroom tartlets. One look at the recipe and its rave reviews, I was sure this is what I had to make.

I love mushrooms.

And caramelized onions. And Gruyere.

And I loooooooove puff pastry. So I knew these would be delish.

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Garam Masala Tuesdays: Chilli Chicken Bread Pizza

Off lately, I have been very lazy with blogging and especially with GMTs.

Its not that I had nothing Indian to post yesterday. I had plenty to post. It’s just that the whole of yesterday I spent cuddled in the bed with my book.

I recently found out about Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games.

I got the book from my friend on Friday, but could only start the book on Tuesday. And that’s why I wasn’t able to post anything yesterday. The book had me hooked and I just could not put it down! Not even for blogging.

Yes, that happens!

If you haven’t read the books, you should now!

Seriously, get it!

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Garam Masala Tuesdays: Roasted Stuffed Potatoes

I started this blog in July 2010 mainly as a way to keep myself occupied and also to document the recipes I was trying as a newly wed. It helped, that as a result, my recipes would all be at one place. But, very soon it became my lifeline.

Now, being at home all day with nothing much to do is not fun at all. And more so if you are thousands of miles away from where you have been born and brought up.
Being home all day, with no job, no kids to take care of, makes you feel worthless as well.
This blog helped change that to a great extent and for that I have you all to thank.
It gave me an identity. People who I have never met know me. They don’t know me as V’s wife- but they know ME. And that counts for something.

Guest Post by Fancy That, Fancy This

The past few days have been really busy. I have been busy packing, busy with last minute measures to lose weight while clearing up the refrigerator, and getting things in order before leaving for my vacation to India! I’ll be gone for almost 3 months (I know!How cool is that!).

I have three packed months ahead- October I’ll be spending time with V’s family. V’s mom has planned a trip to a national park while we are there, plus October is the month of festivals in India. November- three friends of mine are getting married- so I’ll be busy dancing, eating and catching up with my college and hostel friends while attending three different marriage celebrations. In December, I, along with my family will be busy welcoming a new member into the family 🙂 ( fyi i am still NOT pregnant)!

So while I’ ll be busy doing ALL this I thought I would ask a few fellow bloggers to help me out and keep this blog going during my absence. Though I have tried to schedule a few posts of mine for the weeks to come, there will be a couple of guests posts by some very talented bloggers.

Today, I am glad to have Ameena from Fancy That..Fancy This for the second guest post on the Novice Housewife (check out the first here)

I got introduced to Ameena’s website fairly recently, but once hooked I have read every post of hers! I’m always laughing by the time I finish her posts. I love her blog and am glad that she agreed to do this guest post.

Before I hand over to her, one last thing as I finish this post on my Mac, the draft of which was partially written on my iPhone, all I have to say ‘Stay hungry, Stay Foolish’. RIP Steve Jobs.

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Recipe Swap: Cabbage Manchurian

I love chinese take out food. But more than that I love Indian chinese take out food.

Yes, there is a cuisine like that. Its the indianized version of chinese food- greasy, spicy and oh so heavenly.


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