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A Curry of a Life

When West Meets East, Everyday is a Feast

Malai Kofta

Posted by on Jan 18, 2015 in Advanced Recipes, All Posts, Colleen's Kitchen, Indian Recipes, Paneer Dishes, Recipe Index, Vegetarian Entree - Curries | 41 comments

Malai Kofta

It would be honest to say this is the most exciting post for me so far.  Malai Kofta is a vegetarian dumpling dish made with the best curry sauce you will ever taste. It is also my all-time favorite Indian dish.  What is most significant about this dish is that we served it at our wedding.  It’s a very fancy dish, which you don’t find cooked regularly in Indian home kitchens.  It’s mostly made for special occasions such as weddings and large festivals.  Surprisingly though, my first exposure to Malai Kofta was an Indian TV dinner. We used to spend every weekend in Santa Cruz (my home town) and rather than cooking two and a half days worth of food, Hubby and I would stock up on Mirch Masala brand TV Dinners.

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My Indian Pantry

Posted by on Jan 18, 2015 in All Posts, Colleen's Kitchen, The Indian Spice Cabinet | 35 comments

My Indian Pantry

The other day I was in the Indian grocery store and as I was rounding the corner into the aisle with spices of all colors and sizes stacked higher than I can even reach, I realized that shopping for new spices is my favorite part of going grocery shopping.  My pantry and spice cabinet are so well stocked that I can pull out almost any new recipe and I’ll have every spice that’s needed.  That’s an exciting feeling for me.  I feel like a real cook now.

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Learning Hindi

Posted by on Jan 18, 2015 in All Posts, Videos | 23 comments

Learning Hindi

Nine years ago, I began my journey into Indian culture. The biggest obstacle to breaking into the culture is language. Hubby’s family speaks Punjabi at home but use Hindi when out and about. I knew that learning the language was the biggest way I could show my new family how much I love them.

Well, it’s been nine years and I can easily say that, for me, learning an Indian language is the most exciting and most difficult thing I have ever attempted.

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Cardamom Cookies

Posted by on Jan 18, 2015 in Afternoon Tea, All Posts, Beginner Recipes, Dessert, Desserts, Indian Desserts | 23 comments

Cardamom Cookies

What is it about a plate piled high with cookies that is so hard to resist? I certainly can’t resist.  Apparently neither can my family, who ate four bags worth of cookies in two days when I brought them the results of last weeks recipe testing.   I had just spent the previous week working to find just the right cookie for dipping into chai. I’ve actually been searching for the perfect chai cookie recipe for the past two years and I think I finally found it.

My fixation for the perfect chai cookie started on my first visit to India.  We had been married in the US and flew to India for a wedding reception.  Our month-long trip turned into my new family

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Aloo Gobi Video

Posted by on Jan 18, 2015 in All Posts, Vegetarian Entree - Dry Vegetables, Videos | 25 comments

Aloo Gobi Video

Our first full cooking video with Mummy-ji is here.  This was one of the first recipes we made together, potatoes and cauliflower known as aloo gobi in Hindi.  It is one of Hubby’s childhood favorites and a dish I like to turn to when looking for something quick and tasty.

As for making the first full video tutorial, it look me this entire week to learn how to edit in iMovie and it has been well worth the trouble. I have always wanted to make step-by-step videos as watching someone make a recipe is the way I learn to cook, so I’m thrilled to finally have the opportunity to offer this to everyone.

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Chapatis: Indian Flatbreads

Posted by on Jan 18, 2015 in A Homemade Pantry, All Posts, Breads, Colleen's Kitchen, Healthy Eating, How To's & Tutorials, Indian Recipes, Intermediate Recipes, Learn the Indian Basics, Recipe Index | 51 comments

Chapatis: Indian Flatbreads

We are Punjabis – I happily include myself in this statement – and because we are Punjabis, we eat chapatis.

Chapatis (pronounced chah-PAH-tees) are flat breads made from whole wheat flour, water and a little oil.  If you’re feeling extra fancy you can add a bit of salt.  If you experience Indian food mostly in restaurants, you may not be familiar with chapatis, since naan is more popularly served.  But in our household, they accompany almost every meal.  Basically, chapatis are like utensils – used for scooping up a bite of lentils or vegetables or smooshing items into bite-size pieces, even wiping a plate clean.  A “real” Punjabi can tear off a piece of chapati, fold it into the perfect scooping device and scoop up a dish without ever getting their fingers dirty – all with one hand.

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Indian Chai

Posted by on Jan 18, 2015 in All Posts, Beginner Recipes, Colleen's Kitchen, Drinks, Indian Recipes, Learn the Indian Basics, Recipe Index | 27 comments

Indian Chai

There is nothing better than a true cup of Indian Chai, and what can be better than being able to make it in the comfort of your own kitchen.  Those who are chai obsessed (like Hubby and me) are VERY particular about their chai.  Chai can be made in many different ways; with ginger added for “ginger chai”, with cardamom and cloves added for “cardamom chai”.  There’s even a spice mix you can buy at the Indian store for “masala chai”.

Many of my American friends tell me they love chai.  I’m always very interested when they tell me this because I immediately wonder where do they get chai from?  How are they experiencing authentic Indian chai?  Then they almost always tell me…Starbucks.  

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Chole

Posted by on Jan 18, 2015 in All Posts, Beginner Recipes, Colleen's Kitchen, Indian Recipes, Lentils & Beans, Recipe Index, Vegetarian Entree - Curries | 27 comments

Chole

This is a nostalgic dish for me.  It’s one of the first dishes Hubby cooked for me when we were in college together and it was also one of the first he taught me how to cook. Chole is a famous Punjabi dish (also known as chana masala in other parts of India).  It’s made with garbanzo beans (or chickpeas) cooked in a tangy sauce and sometimes a very spicy sauce.  Hubby had learned the dish from his mother.  When Hubby decided to come to the US, Mummy-ji gave Hubby a crash-course in some simple Punjabi favorites that would be easy enough for a bachelor to cook.  Chole was top of the list.  It’s easy and mouth-watering.

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Palak Paneer Video

Posted by on Jan 15, 2015 in All Posts, Paneer Dishes, Vegetarian Entree - Curries, Videos | 22 comments

Palak Paneer Video

One of the best things about making these videos with Mummy-ji is that it has given us something to connect over. As I’m still struggling to learn Hindi, Mummy-ji and I cannot say much to each other.  How do you bond with someone when you can’t talk and joke with them?  It’s been a tricky situation and one I often struggle with as I would love to be close with her.  Spending everyday in the kitchen, hovering over her shoulder or under her elbow has certainly helped to bring us closer together.  Before I publish a new video, I always show it to Mummy-ji so she can see the results of our work together.  I love to see the smile that spreads across her face when Hubby and I share with her the comments and emails so many people send us about

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