Tag: blog

June Daring Bakers’: Battenberg Cake

Being Indian I hate wastage. Of any kind. One of the reasons why I gained weight when I came to US (besides, the cliched that I got married) was that I was so used to finish everything on my plate, whenever we went out to eat, I ended up finishing the ridiculously huge portions of food served in restaurants here. Since we stay 4 hours away from all restaurants, doggy pack or to-go was not an option,  and since I had the habit of not wasting, I ate everything. That’s why this month’s Daring Bakers’ challenged proved to be double the challenge it was.

Mandy of What The Fruitcake?! came to our rescue last minute to present us with the Battenberg Cake challenge! She highlighted Mary Berry’s techniques and recipes to allow us to create this unique little cake with ease.

I have missed the last two challenges. Although I did a part of the April challenge, I could not get it posted because I was busy with my in-laws visit. Hopefully I should be able to post the recipe soon. ( I seriously have huge backlog!)

Now, I have been eyeing this cake- the Battenberg cake for a while now, ever since I was introduced to the Great British Bake Off cookbook. I don’t have it yet, but amazon’s site has a preview of the book and in that they show pictures of the cake. Since then it’s been on my mind. So when I saw this month’s Daring Bakers challenge, I knew come hay or sunshine, I would make it.

And make I did. Not one but two.

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Garam Masala Tuesdays: Station wale Aloo

Trains.

While growing up, that’s the mode we used when traveling long distances on vacation or postings with parents. Or when going on college trips with friends.

As we grew older and air travel became more economically viable, train journeys became obsolete.

But I miss them. Sometimes. Well some parts of it atleast.

Going to the toilets was always a problem. So, I don’t miss that. Indian Railways’ toilets are awful and something that should NEVER be discussed on a food blog. So I will just end that topic here.

I also don’t miss the oggling, desperate and mostly frustrated men that would travel in trains, staring at girls traveling alone. That was scary and one reason why I hated traveling alone besides the fact that I could never get sleep at night as I had to be extra cautious about my luggage.

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Cooking with the Books: KAF’s 100% Whole-Wheat Bread

I seriously don’t enjoy eating Ethoxylate Mono and Diglycerides, Calcium Peroxide, Datem (or uncommonly known as Diacetyl Tartaric Acid Ester of Mono- and Diglycerides), Ammonium Sulfate or even Azodicarbonmide? Like, seriously don’t like it.

You might be wondering why am I listing all these unpronounceable words.

Well, if you are eating store bought breads, and enjoying them then most probably you do enjoy eating all those long sounding ingredients I just mentioned.

And not that I want to scare you or anything (really, I don’t) but calcium peroxide (something common in lots of bread brands out there especially the white flour kinds) is a chemical that can also be used as a fertilizer. Tasty, right?

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Hungarian Roasted Pepper and Paprika Chicken

Isn’t fire roasting the most wonderful thing in the world?

Doesn’t it take everything up a notch?

Like, normal eggplants are good. They taste absolutely fine. But roasted eggplants. Well they are just great! *yes, Baingan ka bharta, I am talking about you!*

And while I know V isn’t gung-ho over bell peppers. Roast them and serve them as a sauce or in hummus, he is always begging for more!

Roasting red peppers not only intensifies their flavor and sweetness but also imparts them with a touch of smokiness.

Of course you could use canned roasted red peppers. But, when roasting red peppers at home can be so easy, why not give it a try once?

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Garam Masala Tuesdays: Roasted Masala Cauliflower

Sorry for being MIA. Haven’t been feeling too much love for the laptop and technology, keeping myself busy with other things. Of course, as a result, the blog always suffers! And since one of the ways I have been keeping myself busy is cooking, it also means recipes piling up in my folders! But, hopefully I should be taking care of them soon.

Luckily, I have GMTs to pull me out of my technology-detoxifying sessions. 🙂

When my in-laws were here, my mother-in-law made this roasted masala cauliflower dish for us. Its a fairly straight forward and easy to make dish and was a welcome change from the usual cauliflower dish I make. So I thought I will share it with you for this week’s Garam Masala Tuesdays.

If you have been following the past few GMTs, I have been cooking a lot with whole spices. If you haven’t become a convert yet, I hope you do soon. Whole spices opens a new dimension of flavors for you and will make you wonder why you didn’tcook with them earlier.

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Garam Masala Tuesdays: Chicken Stew with Appams

I am truly the happiest when I am in India. I love the freedom (in certain terms) that I have here in the US and I love having friends and a house to take care of, but when I am in India, its just something else. It’s difficult to put the feeling in words, especially since I am not that great a writer, but I’m truly happy when I’m there. It’s the country I have born and grown up in. It’s just about the place that makes me feel at peace.

Last time I was in India, I got to spend some time with my parents in Trivandrum (or Thiruvananthapuram- trying saying that!), the capital of the southern state of Kerala. My dad is in the air force and he was posted there during my last India visit.

I loved Kerala, although it is quite a bit of travel since most of my other family members and friends stay in the north. But, nonetheless, it is a great place to spend time when you are on a vacation. Picturesque palm lined beaches, backwaters, spice gardens and ayurvedic massages. What else could you ask for!

My father is now posted out of Kerala and has moved closer home. Although excited about his new position, I am going to miss not going to Kerala and to the deliciousness that Kerala cuisine is next time we are in India.

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Now we’re talking: Soy & Chickpea burgers!

We had an amazing lunch today and I am really proud of myself for getting it right in every respect.

There was Hungarian roasted pepper and paprika chicken (yum!) served with a side of tomato & basil couscous and golden crusted brussels sprouts on the table.

It was a feast and both V and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!

Yet, none of the above is the dish I will be talking about today. But don’t worry! I’ll post those recipes- because really I can’t keep all that good stuff to just me. You guys should be in the know too!

You guys should also be in the know of these burgers that I made over the weekend.

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SRC: Berries & Cherry Walnut Oatmeal Bars

The first week of the month is generally busy for me- what with the Recipe Swap post going up the first Sunday of the month and the SRC post going live the first Monday of the month. As a result, the weekend is always spent working on the posts and since I am a big time procrastinator, I end up baking/cooking, editing photos and blogging two posts in one day. I know, I really should plan things better!

Anyway yesterday proved to be doubly busy as I finally made myself a Facebook page for the blog! Yay!

After toying with the idea for months, I finally decided its time to face my fears. When asked by V why I wouldn’t get a Facebook page, I would give him the excuse that I am too scared that no one will like my page and also a big reason for no FB page was that I as it is struggle with my own profile on Facebook- a blog page will be a lot of commitment in terms of updating status and making sure they are good, etc., etc. But I knew I was just being lazy about it. So, I took the plunge and set up a page.

Since I was getting all tech savvy for the blog, I made myself a twitter account too! Woo hoo! I have to admit, I have no clue what to do with it, but I am sure I’ll learn along the way.

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Slow Cooker Red Lentil Soup

June is the month I had chosen to go on a controlled diet. And what would you know it’s here.

Now the thing with me is that I can not, for the love of god, diet. See, I don’t mind slogging it while exercising, but dieting and me have just never been good friends. Earlier this mutual hatred never was a problem. When I would put on weight- one month of rigorous exercise and I would be back in shape. Results with exercise were instant- in fact within a week I would see a difference. But now, not so much. I have been exercising quite religiously for months and still have not seen the results I would like.Of course I do admit things are different this time around.

For one, this time I have really, really, really put on weight. So there is more to shed off than the previous times. For another, (harsh reality) I am older than before. With age also comes slow metabolism. And maybe that’s why the results have not come as fast as before.

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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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