We love chapatis, but eating with chapatis can be a daunting task if you have not grown up eating with them and it took me a bit of time to get used to it. I remember when I met Hubby and started learning more about Indian food, I had no clue about what to do with the accompanying Indian bread that comes with the meal. The bread served with an Indian meal, either naan (yeast risen bread) or chapatis (whole wheat flat breads), are actually used as utensils and a spoon is sometimes only used once the bread has run out.Read More
This weekend Hubby and I took part in the ultimate American Labor Day pastime…we went mattress shopping. A few months ago we decided to finally fill our empty guest room with a guest bed. We have been to over 5 mattress stores and have done endless research of our own online so that we could make an intelligent purchase. Guess what?! Mattress shopping is about as confusing as it gets! Buying our first home was easier! But in the end we succeeded and got a fantastic deal due to Hubby’s and my team effort of haggling. I never would have known about the art of haggling had I not learned it from Hubby and his family. We have come to realize that most people think Haggling is only meant for flea markets and street stalls in Mexico. Indeed, most of the world haggles and I know on our trips to India there are hardly ever any set prices because haggling is expected.
Realizing the need for some basic instruction in haggling, Hubby has written his first guest post for your own haggling education.Read More
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.Read More
Here is a first in a new series of posts all about Indian spices. There is no doubt that Indian cooking uses a large array of spices and it can be overwhelming when one is first learning to cook. What are the spices, how do you use them? Where do you get them and how do you store them? All these questions will be answered for each and every spice in a recipe (an ongoing project). Check back under the new category “The Indian Spice Cabinet” to learn everything you wanted to know…and probably much more…about the spices used in these recipes.Read More
Ever since I began teaching myself to cook Indian food I’ve always measured myself against my favorite restaurants in the area. But the one measurement I hold myself in comparison to has always been and always will be Hubby’s mother, “Mummy-ji“.
Mummy-ji’s cooking has always been what I strive for. I have only been to Hubby’s family home twice now and both times I have been amazed at Mummy-ji’s ability to make the most humble and simple dish taste full, complex and completely satisfying. That ability to make a simple dish taste amazing is the mark of a great cook.Read More
This recipe is an adaptation from one of my favorite Indian food blogs called Veggie Belly. Veggie Belly is one of the blog I frequent a few times a week. Reading her stories, seeing her recipe ideas and learning from her stunning photography (one of the best features of her website) makes me even more excited to try something new or jump into the kitchen. Sala, the talented author, creates amazing vegetarian and vegan recipes ranging from Indian food to Thai, Mexican and anything in between. I usually can’t wait to try out her recipes. One evening Hubby and I were brainstorming our grocery list for the week and trying to come up with ideas for new foods to experiment with.Read More
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.Read More
I’m starting to learn to make things at home that I would have never considered in the past. Desserts and little snacks and treats for example have always been things we have gone out for. If Hubby and I wanted to treat ourselves to our favorite cookies, we went down to the corner store and picked up a package. If I wanted a fresh lemon tart, I walked over to the local bakery and brought it home to enjoy after dinner. I am now finding that if I want a special treat of cookies or a favorite childhood snack food, I’m looking up a recipe rather than driving directions.
Take for example, this recipe for cake rusk which is a tea cookie, a favorite accompaniment to Indian chai. Hubby and I used to buy boxes of these until I couldn’t resist having four or five of them each time I had a cup of chai. At that point we decided not to continue buying them. Realizing my weakness for no self-control, we banned the crumbly golden cookies from our kitchen and I haven’t thought about them in years. I’m actually quite proud that I kicked the tea cookie habit.Read More
As I’ve been teaching myself to cook Indian food, I have noticed there are certain types of dishes I am attracted to and eager to learn and then some types of dishes I avoid. The ones I enjoy learning are most often the more difficult dishes. I just seem to be more attracted to the show stoppers, the types of dishes usually bought at a restaurant because most people don’t make them at home. When I learn these dishes, it feels as though I have created something unexpected and special and it feels very rewarding. The dishes I tend to avoid are usually the easiest. They are the everyday meals most people know how to make and for some reason I avoid learning them and feel they are actually more difficult than the harder, gourmet dishes I tend to go for.Read More