Tag: garam masala

Garam Masala Tuesdays: Jeera Aloo

Today, me and my heating pad are inseparable.

Today, cooking is the last thing on my mind.

But today, is also Tuesday. One of the two days of the week that V does not eat non-vegetarian food.

Staying where we do, to-go options are slim, and vegetarian to-go options are next to none. The only things that count are pizza and really cheesy mexican food. V is not fond of really cheesy things and I did not care for pizza.

So, I had to think of something easy that I could make that would fill and satisfy V and my stomachs.

Jeera aloo came to the rescue.

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Garam Masala Tuesdays: Chicken Khada Masala

India hosted its first Grand Prix last week at the Buddh International Circuit. I wish I had the opportunity to witness it but some other things had to be tended to. Not only did India offer Formula One a racing circuit rivaling the best in the world but it did so with its typical Indian warmth.

This is what Sebastian Vettel, the winner of India’s inaugral Grand Prix, had to say about his experience in India:

If you keep your eyes open I think you are able to learn a lot from the way people handle things here. It is a big country, a lot of people.. But they get along and are happy..even though people don’t have a lot here, in a way they are much richer than a lot of people back in Europe.

So true. And when the warmth of the people isn’t enough, the food and the culture of India will surely make you feel richer than usual.

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GMT: Chicken do-piaza with a Twist!

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Garam Masala Tuesdays & Guest Post for Ram Pyaari: Lotus Root Curry

The other day, when my friend Ram Pyaari asked me to do a guest post for her blog, I was more than thrilled.

Imagine, someone else wants my random blabbering on their blog, and that too, someone who is the author of an upcoming book (translation: knows what writing is all about, unlike me who just goes on and on in unwinding sentences, mostly boring people with my mundane housewife life.)

Yup, I was beyond thrilled. Of course, a few seconds later I had nervous sweat beeds all over my face.

If I am writing on a writer’s blog– I have to do a really good post. And there was this 50 kg load on my brain- and I was busy scouting for ideas that would result in an interesting blog post- worthy enough to be put on a writer’s blog. But then Ram Pyaari assured me its my random blabbering that she wants on her blog, along with a recipe of course.

Poor thing, what can I say, she really did ask for it!

So, there I was thinking what I could guest post about.

My first thought was to share my experience of the first thing I made at my in-laws place right after I got married- halwa!

What a disaster it was!

Luckily, my in-laws weren’t at home when the kitchen catastrophe happened and more luckily enough, their cook was, who came to my rescue and made a great halwa. I masqueraded that as mine and scored brownie points! Well, actually I did not. The honest-me could not take credit for someone else’s work and told them the truth. Well, we all had a good laugh. They liked that I made an effort in the kitchen, knowing very well I had not cooked at all before. Yup, I did score brownie points after all!

But, then today when I started writing the guest post, I wanted to write something else. Also, I had made this lotus root curry that I wanted to post about for Garam Masala Tuesdays. So, I scrapped the original plan and since Ram Pyaari’s book revolves around arranged marriages I thought I’ll tell my “arranged” marriage story today.

Head over to Ram Pyaari’s blog for the story !

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Recipe Swap: Triple M Sandwich Cookies- Molasses, Masala & Marshmallows

About two weeks back I stumbled upon Christianna’s site, and not only did I find a great blog, I also found out about this thing that she has going on, called the Recipe Swap.

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 in on the idea and now, the recipe swap has been on for eight months, each month the bloggers dishing out absolute delights that showcase their creativity.

I am thankful to Christianna to let me be a part of this really talented group and to push me into being a little more creative every month!

Do visit the other Recipe Swappers: Dennis, Toni, Christianna, Alex, Lora, Lindsay, Mari, Crissy and Lauren, Pola, Jamie, Claire, Shari, Joy, Monique, Linda, Priya, Rachel, Alli, Katy, Emily, Krissy and Jaclyn. In case you want to know a little more about everyone and the Swap do visit the swap page.


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April DB Challenge: Maple Mousse served in Edible Containers

It’s that time of the month again. The Daring Bakers’ challenge time. I joined the Daring Baker (here on referred as DB) gang in February. I could not complete my first DB challenge. For the March challenge I posted late (all DB members have to post their version of the challenge recipe on the 27th of every month irrespective of when they complete the challenge).  So for the April DB challenge, I really had to get it right and that too on time. Luckily I was at my parents house and not traveling so I got the time to complete the challenge.

The April 2011 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Evelyne of the blogCheap Ethnic Eatz. Evelyne chose to challenge everyone to make a maple mousse in an edible container. Prizes are being awarded to the most creative edible container and filling, so vote on your favorite from April 27th to May 27th at http://thedaringkitchen.com!

You do not get maple syrup where my parents stay and places in India where you do get it, it is pretty expensive. Luckily, my mom had a bottle of maple syrup which she grudgingly allowed me to use, else I would have had to sit this one out too. I did have a lot of ingredient and other technical issues though because of which things I would have liked to make as containers I couldn’t. It was fun nonetheless.

Since I am still learning my way with gelatin, I did experience some problem with the cooking of the mousse and thought it wouldn’t set but the next day when I checked it had set. I made three different types of mousses to go with the different containers I planned. I divided the mousse into three parts and added flavorings accordingly. To one part I added garam masala, the other I left plain and to the third I added instant espresso powder.

I have made sugar bowls (for my homemade coconut ice cream) and bread tartlets (with caramelized onion fillings) in the past which would have made excellent pairings with the maple mousse (though would suggest you to make some changes in your maple syrup if you using the sugar bowls- it would just become too sweet). But since we were not supposed to use anything from previous posts I came up with the following four containers for this creamy, sweet maple mousse.

One, I made with cucumber and carrots, that I boiled and placed on a plate and microwaved between paper towels with a weight on top (to absorb the water that the vegetables have naturally) . The result was this paper-thin vegetable bowls- which were beautiful (The idea for this came from something I read about vegetable papyrus sometime back). I think they are a very easy and attractive way to dress up any appetizer/dessert. The crispiness of the vegetables contrasted well with the delicateness of the mousse. Also, since I read that the mousse will be very sweet (I did reduce the amount of sugar called for), to pair it with the paper thin vegetable bowls I added a heaping teaspoon of garam masala. I think the taste was great!  You could glaze the bowls at time of serving with some maple syrup to give a nice flavour to the bowls.

One could come up with several variations of these bowls. Even orange rind would be a great combo. I wanted to make zucchini paper bowls as well as lotus roots paper bowls since I though they would pair up well with the sweet mousse but finding ingredients where my parents stay was a task. So I stuck to what I had on hand and with the garam masala mousse the cucumber and carrot bowls were great.

My second attempt at edible containers were nest bowls from noodles. I thought the noodles would give an excellent crunchy and salty contrast to the mousse and oh boy I was right. I paired the noodle nest bowls with the espresso mousse. (While photographing I realised that the mousse actually looked like an egg- making it a fabulous addition for an Easter Day spread!). The espresso mousse was divine. Maple and coffee are a wonderful combination.

I wanted to make waffles bowls to pair with the plain maple mousse but since the waffle iron that my mom has, was packed in some trunk in the garage, I was not be able to make them. Also, since I am not a fan of bacon I did not try any bacon bowls- but I am sure those who like bacon would love the mousse with the bacon.

My plain mousse did not set properly, as a result of which I thought of freezing the mixture for my third shot at an edible container. I decided to make some maple mousse filled white chocolate bites. I put a little melted white chocolate in an ice cube tray. Added some mousse and topped with a mix of white chocolate and dark chocolate and froze the mixture. It made delicious bites.

My fourth edible container was a take on fried ice cream- a Fried Maple Mousse. I had some mousse left of each kind. So, I mixed it all up, all the while thinking- what am I doing mixing garam masala plus coffee plus maple syrup- I can’t be thinking straight, can I? Surprisingly, it tasted quite good. And combine this with deep fried goodness- voila! you have a great dessert!

My favorite, purely based on taste, among the four containers was the espresso mousse in the noodle nest bowl. The prettiest, of course, were the paper thin vegetable bowls. My parents and I had a fun time devouring all the versions.

I was blown away by everybody’s creativity for this challenge. Some really awesome and innovative edible containers. The DB group is a talented lot and be sure to check out everybody’s creation on the Daring Bakers’ site.

I am sorry for not having any pictures for the method I used to make each container. It was the first time I was trying each version and was not sure whether I will be able to pull each off. But, I will try to explain it in the best possible way I can.

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ALOO PUFFS

I did not blog for one day but feel that its been ages since I blogged last. Weird! I wanted to blog about the aloo puffs (Stuffed puffs with a spicy potato filling) I made on Sunday but could not do so till today. There are two reasons for the delay.

One, my computer – it got infected by a virus and I could not access anything! Luckily, I was able to switch on my computer in Safe mode and delete the root cause file. Then, I installed MalwareBytes, and that too deleted some infected files and when I restarted, my computer was back with me! What a relief! But it did give me a scare!

Two, yesterday I was busy mapping out what all I have in my pantry and the refrigerator. The thing is, in two weeks time I am leaving for India on a looooong vacation. 🙂 🙂 So, I have two weeks to finish the frozen blueberries, cranberries and the other stuff I have in the refrigerator that I am sure V will not use. (Yes, V is not coming along :(!). And, yesterday was spent figuring out how I would do that without throwing it all in the dustbin!

Well, now, the list is made and each day, for the next two weeks, I have some experiment lined up. Its going to be real busy in the kitchen till I leave. For today, I had Indian styled chowmein and a raspberry cake on the list. Tomorrow, it is okra and chilli paneer and of course, Office Thursday!

On Sunday, I used the leftover puff pastry dough (from the time I made the apple turnovers) to make some puffs stuffed with a spicy potato filling. These puffs are very popular in Indian bakeries and a famous to-go for tea parties at home. One of my friends had made these puffs as a snack for us on our trip to Vegas. So, while thinking of ways to use up the leftover pastry dough- I though this was the perfect way to use them.

V loved them. I mean he loves everything I make (I think he is just nice) but these puffs- he really did love them. Even looking at the pictures now while I was writing my blog, he was like- I want more! 🙂 The pastry puffed up beautifully and the filling was perfect for Sunday breakfast!

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