I have finally mustered up the motivation to lose the last bit of chub I’ve been holding onto since the India trip. I’ve been fully intending to lose the weight for a while now but last week it donned on me that our India trip was seven months ago and I could no longer put it off. What finally kick started me into action was the opportunity for Hubby and me to participate in a photo shoot in early July. A friend of a friend is working on a portrait book of “mixed-culture couples” (is that the right P.C. term?) and my friend contacted us about being in the book. Well, I didn’t need to be asked twice about doing a professional photo shoot! Needless to say, I am now full of motivation to eat clean and get lean.Read More
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 familyRead More
In India, I would sit in the living room with Hubby and Mummy-ji, hunching over the coffee table while we peeled pods of peas and tried to see who could fill their bowl the fastest. I always lost. I had never peeled a pea pod in my life. Meanwhile Hubby and Mummy-ji would be onto their second bowl before I had even gotten halfway through my first. I could never put my finger on how a chore like peeling peas could become so fun, but Punjabis seem to be experts at turning chores into competitions.
Before last year’s trip, I had never seen real peas in a pod. The only peas I’ve had exposure to is the kind you buy in the frozenRead More
For Hubby’s birthday, I decided to make him a dish he has been requesting for about the last 8 years of marriage. Why haven’t I made this dish yet? Mainly because my sister-in-law makes such an amazing version, I never dreamed I could live up to his expectations.
This year however, he arrived home from his India trip with a full video of his sister making this recipe. That’s when I realized it was time to give it a go.
To be honest, I have always been intimidated to try this dish. It has complex flavor and uses a variety of vegetables, so I figured itRead More
When you indulge in a great Indian dish do you find the spices linger long after you’ve finished eating? A great way to cool off those hot flavors is with cooling side dishes like the raita recipe I posted earlier or with this cucumber salad. When Hubby and I are in India, almost every lunch and dinner is accompanied with a cucumber salad and we’ve now gotten into the habit of making it here at home.
What I love the most about cucumber side dishes is they replace my craving for dessert. After a spicy meal, which in my house is every meal except breakfast, I always crave something sweet to clear away the heat. Once I discovered cucumbers mixed with lemon and salt, I had a favorite new snack and a way to cut my craving for more cake.Read More
Indian food can be spicy. That’s putting it mildly. Spice is what gives Indian food it’s excitement. Almost every Indian food fan I meet shares my love of a great buffet of spicy and colorful food selections. Once the meal is over however, those spices and flavors can linger on your tongue, so it’s important to have something on hand that can cleanse away that stubborn heat. To avoid always resorting to sweets, Hubby and I like to keep a yogurt based dish on hand, which immediately cools and refreshes. This dish is known as Raita and is often an accompaniment to meals.Read More
One of the things I love about my family is how often we gather for celebrations. For most folks, January is a welcome break from the jam-packed holiday season that is Thanksgiving through New Years. In my family however, we hit the new year running. Almost every month of the year provides us with a great excuse to get together and eat some cake. January is a birthday party, February brings Valentine’s Day and Hubby’s birthday. Although throwing a party for Hubby is a bit of a tug of war. He doesn’t like to have a party held for him…and my mother is adamant on throwing him a party every year. Last year she said, “we are throwing you a party, you can show up if you want”. You gotta love her for the fact that she willRead More
This recipe for chole is part one of a two part recipe of a Punjabi food favorite, chole bhature. Chole bhature can be found at fancy restaurants, street side vendors which line the streets of Bombay (famous for spicy Punjabi food), railway stations and many more places.
Chole is chickpeas cooked in spicy gravy and bhature is the bread – deep fried bread – which is what makes it such an extra special treat. Next week I’ll be posting our video recipe for bhature. In the meantime, you can get in some practice on the main dish.
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 aboutRead More
This recipe comes from my new friend and Hindi teacher, Seema. Everyday we meet for an hour and half and I struggle through not being allowed to speak English. When I told Seema I write a blog about Indian cooking and that I make videos with my Mummy-ji, she immediately invited me to her home to make some videos with her and her family. I went to her beautiful home and met her sister-in-law, Madhu, who joined us in the kitchen to show us how she makes one of her best dishes, Shahi Paneer. Shahi Paneer roughly translates as “Royal Paneer” and the taste of this dish lives up to it’s glamorous title. Seema and I recorded a great video on how to cook perfect rice, which will be posted next week. For today, we all get toRead More
I have got many of my friends addicted to chai. Once they experience what real chai tastes like, they tell me a store-bought chai just doesn’t do it anymore. I’ve sent many a new chai addict home with their own bundle of Indian tea and an index card with instructions, to help them enjoy chai anytime they’d like. Now, with the help of this video recipe, they can make it whenever they want. Maybe I’ll start coming to their place for chai.Read More
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.Read More
I’ve been having a curious desire to return from machine made to handmade. It all started from a realization with chapati dough. I had learned to make chapati dough by hand, using a traditional Indian dough pan. When the day came to make a new batch of dough, I dreaded it. The job was time consuming and tedious, mainly because the large pan was so shallow I wasn’t able to mix easily. Eventually I switched to the food processor and soon progressed to the electric mixer, complete with dough hook attachment. These convenience machines made the once daunting task quick and easy, with hardly any effort on my part; until it came time for cleanup. They may knead dough in record time, but every crevice and attachment had to beRead More
If you’ve been joining me in trying a hand at homemade ghee, you know I decided to carry out a little experiment to see how much it would cost to make my own ghee using butter bought in bulk from Costco. The results are stacked in my fridge…two large jars worth. The savings were so inspiring that I began to wonder what other ways I could cut kitchen costs.
My new curiosity: would this work with paneer? Twice a month, I buy two full gallons of milk at Costco. Even though Hubby and I are avid chai addicts, this is much more milk than we need, but it’s still so much cheaper than shopping at my local Safeway. So I decided toRead More
Whether you want to save money, or you don’t have access to store bought ghee, making your own ghee at home is cheap and easy. I’ve always bought my ghee from the Indian store, being perfectly content getting it ready made. I never would have considered making my own…until I noticed the price of ghee slowly but surely increasing. The twenty ounce bottle of ghee I add to my basket every couple months started out around seven dollars and now costs me thirteen. I didn’t think much of it beyond wishing the price would stay put. Then on a trip to India, I saw so many people in the neighborhood making their own ghee at home. To them, store bought ghee was completely unnecessary, a waste of both time and money.