Tag: recipes

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: Baingan ka Bharta

Marriage changes you. It influences your personality, and your responsibilities and priorities change. Your partner’s personality rubs off on you a little and vice versa. I have definitely become more calm, and patient after marriage. Things that would bother me earlier, still do bother me, but to a lesser extent. I would not attribute all the changes to V, although his role is undeniable, but marriage brought with it certain changes which have changed me, for the better. So, yes marriage changed me.

Marriage also changes your eating habits. I have seen a change in what V eats. He has started accepting mushrooms in his diet- he is still not crazy about them but has made his peace with mushrooms. All for me.

I too have adjusted my taste buds to his. From someone who wouldn’t touch bharta with a ten-foot pole, here I am writing about it on GMT.

That’s Change.

That’s Growth.

Baingan bharta is a dish made from roasted eggplants cooked with onions, tomatoes, chillies, ginger and garlic. Some people also add peas and other various vegetables to it.

Baingan (pronounced bane-gun) is what Indians call eggplant in hindi. And bharta (pronounced bhharta with the first “a” in bharta pronounced the same way you pronounce “u” in mud. Pardon me, but phonetic symbols are not my strongest point!), is the hindi word for roughly mashed/pureed vegetables.

This dish can be prepared two ways with roasted eggplant – one with accompanying raw ingredients which typically includes mustard oil and the other with cooked ingredients. The recipe below uses the latter method.

Honestly Baingan ka bharta was my least favorite dish growing up. It was hardly made at home, and when made, I never ate it. I wanted to like it, because eggplants are good for you, but I just found it too slimy to look at.

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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: Mutton Patiala

The cuisine of India that we love and cherish today is, to a large extent, indebted to the raja/ maharajas (kings) that ruled India.

Until the second half of the 19th century when India officially became a British possession, rajas (kings) ruled different states of India. When the British officially took over, Rajas and otherwise styled Hindu rulers were elevated to Maharajas. Stripped from most of their political power, and the worries of protecting their states from other invaders, lots of Maharajas took their attention to finer details of life.

Under the British, Patiala (a city in the Northern Indian state of Punjab) was the most important Sikh state. The most famous Maharaja of Patiala was Bhupinder Singh (1900–1938).  Maharaja Bhupinder Singh was a larger than life personality. His appetite for everything wine, women, jewels, sports etc was gargantuan. It was he who gave the Patiala state a prominent place on the political map of India and, in the field of international sports. Most of the buildings with splendid architectural designs were constructed during his reign. He was also the only Maharaja to be gifted a Maybach by Adolf Hitler!

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Spinach & Mushroom Omelet baked in a Bread Boule

An omelet baked in bread.

What the F, right??

I know, that was my reaction too when I saw this on Josie’s site Pink Parsley.

Like her, I too wondered why can’t I ever come up with such brilliant ideas.

You have dips served in bread boules, soups served in boules- but have you ever had an omelet served in a boule?

This is the best breakfast meets any-other-meal kind of dish.

Josie made this for dinner and calls it a fantastic breakfast for dinner food. I actually made it for lunch. And thought it tasted great for lunch as well!

Unlike some people, who are particular that certain things can not be had for dinner, or lunch- I always feel eat what you want, at whatever time you want (well of course if that rule is applied sensibly- not eating junk every hour of the day- that’s not doing anybody any good).

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February SRC: TSRI’s Tomato Feta Pasta Salad

I am not used to posting recipes one day after the other. And that is why I should have drafted this post earlier. Especially since this month I was very good at managing my SRC recipe selection. For once I did not procrastinate till the last moment to try a recipe. But that’s the only thing I was good at it this month.

I thought I would have the weekend to complete the writing part of the post- as the making part had been taken care of. But on Saturday, we had a pre-Super Bowl party at home and I got busy with that. And on Sunday, half day was spent hungover and the rest watching the super bowl. I also managed to lose $10 to V, betting on the Patriots to win! I was not happy.

So, as always, even though the intitial planning was great, by the end I was left rushing through another SRC post.

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Marbled Matcha & Refried Bean Swirl Bread

I wanted to post about this bread yesterday as part of catching up on the backlog of recipes/photos I have in my drafts, but after the news of the terrorist attacks in Mumbai, I just did not feel like talking about food. Of course, life has to move on, but my prayers still go out to everyone affected and hope that the guilty will be found and accordingly dealt with.

This bread is actually inspired from David Lebovitz’s blog post where he blogged about this bread during the March Japanese tragedy. And I post about it today in the hope that the people of India also show the same calm and resilience as the people of Japan. (Of course, I hope the politicians do not misinterpret this calm to mean that they can slack with their appropriate measures to avoid such tragedies in the future!)

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Chocolate cupcakes with Salted Caramel Chocolate Ganache

“Johnny, Johnny
Yes, papa,
Eating sugar?
No, papa
Telling lies?
No, papa
Open your mouth
Ha! ha! Ha!”

It’s my dad’s birthday today!

Yup, while the whole of America celebrates their Independence Day, we, the Chauhan family, celebrate my dad’s birthday.

My dad’s name is Johnny. It’s actually Jasvinder. Johnny’s the name that his course mates gave him. I can totally imagine my dad as the boy in the rhyme. He was a chubby kid, lost weight during his NDA days, but then put it back on, later in his life and weighs quite a lot these days. (Don’t worry Papa, I am not telling anyone how much you weigh)

Its not that he doesn’t exercise. Oh! Poor thing! he exercises and tries so hard, but like me, he has this love affair with food that he just can’t break. Unlike me, though, he doesn’t snack, but, when he eats his meals, the portions are pretty big. The main damage though, happens when he is invited to someone’s house for dinner. He is every hostess’ dream- he will for sure be going for seconds and as a result ends up putting on weight!

He loves food. Loves trying out new stuff. If its raining outside, he will always tell my Mom, wishfully, to make pakodas (fried Indian goodness and of course,fattening!)

He also needs something sweet after every meal. Its his way to know that the meal is over.

This time when I was in India, I taught him how to use the bread machine. So, these days he loves making his own bread, and then eating it too!

I have never seen my dad sick (touch wood!)- barring this one time when he had a slight fever and cold (and of course when he had his ejection). Seeing him unwell I had tears- I guess one always thinks of their dad’s as invincible and don’t realize they too are normal human beings.

And of course, like any daughter, I think my dad is the best (no offense to everyone else’s dad). I’m of course, biased but had I been an outside spectator and a judge of my dad as a dad he would have got top marks for the job he does!

You tell my dad that something is to be done, even if you just mention it casually to him, and though you might forget, he for sure would remember and do it for you. Something he gets from his father. My grandfather is a really efficient man and so is my Dad. Every wish of ours has always been their command.

He has always given me whatever I have asked for, and remarkably, not making me a spoilt kid in the process. He, along with my mother, has kept both my brother and me grounded and I will always be thankful to them for that!

I am really proud of him. Hope one day I can give him the same feeling too- of being proud of me!

He is my guide, my mentor, and my hero.

Happy birthday, papa.

Wish you many many more healthy ones!

This one’s for you!


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Garam Masala Tuesdays: Samosas Revisited

I know! I know! I have posted about Samosas before. So why again today? Well, there are quite a few reasons why I return to these delectable fried babies.

For one, a lot of you weren’t following my blog when I first blogged about Samosas. Yes, I am aware a lot of you out there still don’t follow my blog, but I have to admit, without compromising on my modesty, my blog following has increased a bit from when I last posted about samosas. So, its only right to post it again as many of you missed out on it the first time!

Another reason why I post again today, which is probably the main reason- I think this recipe needs to be a part of Garam Masala Tuesdays. Samosas are the most popular tea time snack in India and a favorite when you have guests over and thus deserved to be here at GMT. It would be a crime if I don’t talk about them in my weekly Tuesday posts dedicated solely to Indian food.

Plus, I wanted to see if I could improve on the recipe and even though the previous one was great, these are a notch better- well, the crust has been improved-  no more bubbles on the samosa (well, significantly less) and perfectly crispy! (Note: you will see a lot of difference in the quality of pictures taken then and now. Please don’t be too harsh- I was just learning then and continue to do so even now. We have to start somewhere, don’t we!)

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Carrot cake Truffles or Life’s lessons from a failed recipe

“I beg your pardon,
I never promised you a rose garden.
Along with the sunshine,
There’s gotta be a little rain sometimes.”

So I screwed up! Who doesn’t, I say! I think mistakes are important to not only learn but to accidentally tread onto something you might have overlooked. This is my story of how my mistake turned into something really good!

I had planned to make cupcakes for this week’s Office Thursdays.  Since we were out of town on V’s birthday (which was on the 9th), I wasn’t able to bake a birthday cake for him. For the uninitiated V loves carrot cake (carrot cake and my mango kulfi are the only two desserts I have seen him asking me to make). So, I thought I’ll make carrot cake cupcakes – V would also get to eat them plus he can take some for his office!

Now, when I was in India, my mom had made these whole wheat carrot cupcakes. My mom always made an amazing carrot cake but she got this equally good recipe for whole wheat carrot cake from a sweet lady named Sanu. I loved the whole wheat versions- more so because they were whole wheat! So I decided to give this new recipe a try.

I do not know what went wrong- was it too much baking soda, or was it too much oil or did I fill the pans too much- but the cupcakes fell and then they crumbled when I tried taking them out. Some survived, but most didn’t.

Now, I could have sat there- mourned the disaster. I could have wondered, sitting with my cake crumbs and could have analyzed what I did wrong. But I didn’t. Instead, I made these- White and Dark Chocolate Dipped Carrot Cake truffles! And, boy, were they a treat! While making them, this is what I realized and here I am sharing life’s lessons learned from a failed recipe! 🙂 Read the rest of this entry »