Tag: potato

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: Aloo Parantha (Indian flatbread stuffed with potatoes)

Aloo Paranthas, where I come from, are comfort food at its best.

Parantha is nothing but a flat bread. Its an unleavened dough made from whole wheat flour and cooked on a tawa/skillet. Paranthas can be made plain or stuffed and aloo (potato) is most popular when it comes to stuffing paranthas. Paranthas can be eaten  just like that, on their own, but a really good way to eat is to pair the paranthas with yogurt/curd and your favorite pickle.  Aloo paratha is a great one-dish meal for the family that can be served anytime of  the day!

The best paranthas that you will ever find are served in small shops on the roadsides, called dhabas. Some of the best ones I have had, were outside the GE call center (BPO) in Gurgaon, India. The first time I had a parantha there, was when I was an undergrad and my cousin and his  then girlfriend (now wife :)) took me and my brother out partying. After a fun night, my cousin took us to this dhaba for paranthas. Even at 2am the place was crowded with people. My cousin ordered aloo paranthas for us and after a brief wait, a small boy came with our plates of paranthas with a cube of melting butter on top. The parantha was huge and I was sure I would end up wasting it- but one bite and I could not stop myself. I had to really restrain myself to not order another. I did take a few more bites from my brother’s second parantha! Well, I could afford it then!

The second best I have had were when my senior sneaked us out from our hostel during my first year in undergrad and took us to a dhaba next to the IGI airport, Delhi. You should all know Delhi is not a safe place for woman, even during the day and at night time it gets worse. So there we were- just us girls out at 2 at night in a place that was full of scary truck drivers, waiting for our paranthas. And boy, were they worth it. I would still not recommend any girl to go their alone- it did not look like a safe place. But, if you have bodyguards with you, do pay this place a visit!

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Garam Masala Tuesdays: Tokri/Katori Chaat Station

So, I had an awesome 4th of July weekend. We went to the Grand Canyon. Spent the night in Sedona. Had a day trip to Flagstaff. Watched a Bollywood movie and thoroughly enjoyed it. Saw Transformers: Dark Side of the moon. Weren’t too impressed by it. On our way back home, got caught in a major dust storm and thunder showers. Overall, a tiring but fun weekend.

The weekend started with a night out with my girlfriends.

Now, the thing about me is that I just can’t hold my alcohol. My drinking capacity on most days is just a glass of wine. On certain days its a little more. But, most of the days its just one glass. When my body is a little brave, I can hold in 2-3 glasses. But, some god-forsaken days, I try to be braver than usual. And those days are followed the next day by a very horrible, sickening feeling called a hangover! The girls’ night out was one such day- where not only was I braver than usual, I was trying to be smart as well and mixed my drinks! Now, mixing drinks is a no-no especially if you want to avoid really bad hangovers. But, that night I tried to act too smart with my alcohol. And like anyone who tries to act too smart but actually isn’t- I fell down real bad the next day.

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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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Yesterday it rained and with it my plans to go for a run were washed away. Instead V and I went out for dinner. Since I had overeaten at the Christmas party, and my running plans didn’t materialize, my order consisted of garden salad, fish, corn cob, dinner rolls and wild rice. It was pretty filling. But, you won’t believe it at 3 in the morning I had hunger pangs. My stomach was growling. I was mumbling in my sleep- I am hungry, I want food! Gosh! What’s wrong with me?? I mean I ate a lot. In fact at dinner, it was so embarrassing because while my plate was clean as a whistle, V had just managed to eat only 1/4th of his dish- the rest he took as to-go! So at 3 am in the morning I was wondering to myself- seriously what’s wrong with me?? Why am I such a glutton?? Do I have worms??? But, then if that was the case, I would be really thin. Then, do I have a really really fast metabolic rate? But, then again that being the case, it would still mean a very slim me! But, then neither am I slim nor am I anywhere close to it. (I checked my weight yesterday, and it wasn’t a pretty site 😦 !) Am I compulsive eater then? Or were the hunger pangs a result of what I was thinking about before I fell off to sleep (a.k.a the Black Forest Cake I am planning to make- I know glutton!). Anyways some how I slept again.

That was yesterday and today is a new day. I had some leftover samosa filling from the samosas I had made to take for the Christmas party. And I thought along with that some spicy chickpea curry would be perfect for lunch. (It’s almost like my mind blocked the memory of seeing my alarming weight- here I am planning to eat some more deep fried stuff! Glutton!)

Now Samosas, to explain in english, are like savory turnovers with a spicy potato and pea filling, deep fried (yes, deep fried) in oil. They are a very popular Indian snack served with mint and tamarind chutneys. When I was in India I would eat my samosa with a little curd and chutney. I always found the filling too spicy and the curd helped in balancing the flavors for my palate.

My dad is crazy about all stuff fried, all stuff sweet, actually all stuff fattening (I think that’s how I developed my love for food- from my dad). He once took me to this small shop in Panchkuian Road, near Connought Place, Delhi, called Frontier Stall to try their spicy samosa with chhole (a hot chickpea curry). Ah! Sweet fried goodness! It was mouth watering delicious! (By the way I found this link for things to definitely try when in Delhi- I could check only 6 out of 12) So when I decided to make Samosas for the Christmas party, I had already made a mental note to myself that with the Samosas left I would try recreating that chaat. Unfortunately, there were non left (secretly, I was happy because that proved that they were good!) but fortunately, I was left with some of the filling.

The only thing I would change the next time I make them is to make the filling more spicy. Both times I have made Samosas, I have made with the purpose of serving it to my foreign friends who are not used to too spicy food. Though perfect for people who prefer less spice, to make it more spicy add some red chilli powder to the dough and in the filling, add the green chillies with the seeds. You can also check Harini’s version (I found this site today so haven’t tried the recipe but to make a spicier version I’ll definitely give this a try too)

I took the recipe for the chhole from Manjula’s Kitchen’s website.

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