Tag: healthy

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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Roasted Red Pepper Bread

I got tagged!

Well, this is something that has been going around food blogs for a while and is called the Seven Links Challenge, where bloggers choose 7 of their posts that deserve to be recognized and talk about them.

Sawsan of Chef in Disguise tagged me.

Firstly, I want to thank Sawsan for thinking of me for this challenge and secondly, for taking me back on sort of a walk down the memory lane of all my posts.

By the way Sawsan has a great blog and some amazing recipes and stories. Do check her out.

Now the rules for being tagged are simple. The first thing you have to do once you are tagged is to list out 7 of the following things from your blog:

1. THE MOST BEAUTIFUL POST:

It has to be the post I did on my brother and my mom’s famous chocolate balls. Why is it beautiful? Well, because it was dedicated to one of the most beautiful persons I know (and I am talking about the inner beauty here) and it talks about a recipe by another beautiful person in my life (here I am talking about both inner and outer beauty)- my mom.

2.THE MOST POPULAR POST:

According to site stats, its the Macaron Cake post I did. And rightly so that it is the most popular one. It is also one post I am really proud of because I turned a complete failure into a great tasting delight!

3.THE MOST CONTROVERSIAL POST:

I don’t think I write anything too controversial; well, at least I try not to. But I guess the one on Mooli Parantha is the only post that comes to my mind. Well, at least my mom thought it was controversial as I was really heavy worded in that post! The post is also an example of my previous photography!

4. THE MOST HELPFUL POST:

Hopefully, my GMT posts are the most helpful ones because I really do put a lot of research in them. But I guess, if I had to pick one it would be the carrot cake truffle post I did. Again a failure that turned into something really delicious!

5. THE POST THAT WAS SURPRISINGLY SUCCESSFUL:

It has to be the coconut ice cream post. And the surprise has to be more from my Mom’s side than mine’s. She was sure that I would fail in making a nice creamy ice cream. She tried her best to convince me not to make it, but I did and she was pleasantly surprised by the taste, the texture and the fact it was made without an ice cream maker!

6. THE POST THAT DID NOT GET THE ATTENTION IT DESERVED:

I think the Caesar Salad post. It was one of the earlier posts I did and I actually can’t complain about the lack of hits on that post because I did not even put a picture up for it. Plus, hardly people viewed my blog then- my blog and its existence was only known to a few of my close friends and family. But, the recipe that I used has always been a hit with everyone. And that’s why I feel I wish it should have gotten more attention.

7. THE POST I AM PROUD OF:

It has to be my April Daring Bakers’ Challenge because of the creativity involved. I love those vegetable bowls even though I would most probably use them as decoration pieces (as they do get a little chewy when you dehydrate them). It was also the first time I tried my go at fried ice cream and noodle bowls.

Now that that is done. As part of being tagged, the second thing you have to do is to carry the tagging on and tag 5 more bloggers.

I would like to see what the following bloggers have to say about their posts:

And since all of you were kind enough to read through this (and even if you weren’t), I will leave you with the recipe for this Roasted Red Pepper Bread I had made the other day.


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Garam Masala Tuesdays: Missi Roti

Last week I did not post on GMT. Not that I had no recipe. In fact I had cooked three different Indian dishes that could have potentially been blogged about. But, I was not able to take any pictures. And, then I sprained my ankle and could not cook for a while, thus, taking a break from cooking and blogging. But, I am back this week with Garam Masala Tuesdays (I know I am posting this a day late on a Wednesday but I could not post yesterday as I do not practice BUI- Blogging Under Influence- yes! it’s a term..well, actually I just made that up but I do think there should be such a term and I do think it is not safe to BUI- you never know what secrets come out!)

Anyway, yesterday, we installed Indian channels. Its been a year we have been here and we hadn’t subscribed to them earlier because I was never a fan of Hindi serials- they all start off well and then drag on, and I could never follow or understand them. So, we thought it might be pointless paying so much for these channels. But, for the last one month we had been contemplating giving these channels a chance. So yesterday when the guy installed the dish and I switched on the TV to a bollywood number on our TV, I was nostalgic like crazy. And there I was. On my sofa. A tear in my eye. Nope these weren’t tears of happiness. But me, missing my home, my country, my people, missing the senseless lyrics of Bollywood songs, the colorful dresses, the bargaining for a Rs.10 (20 ¢) hairband, the food, the crowded streets, the blaring music, the non stop horns for no reason- I started missing it all.

There are  a lot of things wrong with my country. I am aware. But, like every mother who knows his kid isn’t the perfect one and still loves him/her nonetheless, I love India. The country is imperfectly perfect for me. And like every mother who is away from her child, I too ache to be back in my own country. No matter how comfortable life is here in the US and the independence I have in running my house the way I like, I miss the crazy life of India. I really do. I have never been a person happy away from India. I experienced the same feeling when I stayed in Moscow for two years. I did enjoy myself there too but there was a part of me that craved India, and that craving in me is alive, now and always.

Another thing I miss about India, a feeling that I have bandied about on the blog before, is the food. And thanks to the small town we stay in I miss eating Indian food in restaurants or from roadside vendors even more! So, recently, when our friends from phoenix were over, we went to Tucson and had dinner at this Indian restaurant- Sher-e-Punjab and it was pretty good. Some of the dishes had seasoning issues but the flavors were bang on target for most dishes. (All ten of us, though, are pretty convinced that there was some mistake with our bill because we ordered a ton of things and the total came to be very affordable, bordering around the lines of really cheap food, especially since its Indian)

The one thing that all of us loved at Sher-e-Punjab were the missi rotis (an indian flatbread), served with butter. Even though some people had stuck to their usual order of rotis and naans, the 2-3 of us (like me) who did order missi roti, convinced the others to try them. And, they were glad that they did!

Missi roti, pronounced “Miss-ee Row-tee” is a staple in Punjabi homes and is basically roti prepared from besan or gram flour/chickpea flour. Served with a dollop of butter and accompanied with any Indian vegetable or lentil dish, missi rotis are an excellent way of sprucing up the proteins in your diet. Missi Roti can be served for breakfast with curd or pickle. Missi Roti is good for diabetics too because of gram flour added to it as an ingredient. Gram flour is said to keep insulin levels in check!  Missi roti makes you very thirsty, so be prepared to drink a lot of water after eating it!

Traditionally Missi Roti made in the tandoor but at home I make it on the tawa (cast iron skillet). My mom adds pomegranatae seeds and is supposed to be key to the missi roti flavor. I did not have it, but if you do, for sure add pomegranate seeds (anar dana). You can also change the ratio of besan (gram flour) to whole wheat flour but accordingly change the amount of water you will require for kneading.

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INSTANT KHAMAN DHOKLA

Khaman Dhokla is a very tasty Indian snack made from gram flour. It is a dish typical to the western state of Gujarat in India, but enjoyed all over India. Traditionally, chickpeas, or gram flour in some recipes, are soaked overnight. This paste is fermented for four to five hours, then is spiced by adding red chilli powder, ginger and baking soda. The dhokla is then steamed for about 15 minutes on a flat dish and cut into pieces. Once done, mustard seeds, green chillies are tempered in oil and along with a little sugar and water, poured over the dhokla. Garnished with fried green chillies, coriander and sometimes grated coconut, it is best served with tamarind and mint-coriander chutneys and a hot cup of tea!

Now, we don’t have the luxury of buying freshly made Dhokla from the local sweet shop here. We had been getting our doze of Dhokla off frozen boxes available in an Indian store in Phoenix. I know! The horror! hate frozen stuff but sometimes you have to look at the bigger picture and when it came to no Dhokla Vs. Frozen Dhokla, the latter won. Sigh!

But things are gonna change from now on- thanks to my in-laws who gave me these amazing books on microwave cooking. I made the Dhoklas at home today! And I still can’t believe what a snap they were to make. I mean, I made it for V’s breakfast- they were that quick. While he took a shower to get ready for work- I was done with making the Dhoklas! Half groggy and sleepy at 6.30 in the morning, the Dhoklas came together in under 15 minutes! Woop woop! And they taste so good- so much better than the frozen kinds! Double woop! 🙂

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