Showing posts from August, 2009

UkaDiche Modak - Indian cooking Challenge - Ganesh Chaturthi Special

Ganesh Chaturthi is celebrated bit differently in Maharashtra. Its celebrated at home as well as as community. Lokamanya Tilak transformed that into a community based event. Most of the time a group of people come together and form a committee and decide on the agenda, decoration and programs through out 10 days of the celebration. A pandal is hoisted and decorated with colorful fabric, lights, flowers. Some community decides to decorate the pandal with a theme from Mahabharat or Ramayan or choose a topic from current events. These days some communities even started using eco-friendly methods to celebrate and spread importance of making ecologically smart choices in day-to-day life. Some communities have daily programs in the evening that showcase local talent.

Here in US, we try to do as much celebration we used to do in India. We bring Ganesha home, decorate as much as we can, make garlands, draw rangoli. And of course for every festival there has to be some special food. For Mahar…


Here is a fruit bouquet to celebrate the lovely award by Jaya and Vaishali. Thank you both for sharing the award with me.

Fruit Bouquet For Celebration

Here are some (non)interesting things about me -

1. As a child I was extremely slow and would take at least an hour to finish my lunch or dinner. My mom would get mad at me almost daily (make that multiple times). A classmate from 4th grade who knew that 'slow' me, met me in grad school. After observing me for couple of days, she said just because I know only one girl with that name, I have to believe its you otherwise you have changed drastically!

2. My mom once made dhokla and she did not give me more than one piece as it would have upset my stomach. I still remember the corner of the house where I sat crying and saying 'I want Thokla (means block in Marathi)' and my father gave me wooden blocks of alphabets and I refused is saying not this Thokla, the eating kind! I guess my love for dhokla started back then when I was …

Tomato, Bell Pepper and Garlic Chutney

I recently got few heirloom tomatoes, couple of Fresno chilies, few tiny bell peppers. I was hoping for well growing healthy plants which would yield giant bell peppers and tons of fresnos when I planted my vegetable garden this spring. Creatures that own 'our' backyard had some other plans! squirrel ate all the pepper plants leaving just hard stems, birdies ate cilantro, basil, fenugreek and whatever they could. The only plants survived were tomato plants and mint. Later we built frames with wire net to keep these creatures out of my vegetable patch. Finally we started getting few tiny bell peppers, few stems of cilantro, garlic leaves, tomatoes! This year I decided not to harvest the almonds from trees in the backyard because I wanted save my vegetable patch for myself and let them eat the fresh nuts as many as they want. Something for me and something for me. I am happy and I hope they are happy too.

Tomatoes-bell peppers-garlic

Even though the name of the post is mouthful, …

Kacchi Dabeli Sandwich

'Dabeli' was something that I ate very late in life but I am glad that I did. It is very different than any other quick meals that you get. Its not deep fried and does not have tons of butter, or may be it does and I did not notice. I still remember I had it first near 'HongKong Lane' Pune. Those who know Pune, very well know what lane I am talking about. There was this small book store at the end of the lane and then there was a Dabeliwala with his bicycle. He would warm the potato mixture spoon it on the paav and then generously apply green and tamarind chutneys, sprinkle shev, masala peanuts and pomegranate seeds and voila! the dabeli was ready to enjoy. It was fun to watch him do the whole process and the dabeli was definitely one of the better tasting ones.

In recent India visit I saw a vendor was selling 'Amul butter Dabeli' in Bombay and I kept on wondering why would someone want to add butter on such a tasty filling. But I guess there are people who like…

अडाई (Adai)

मी अडाई पहिल्यांदा खाल्ली त्याला बरीच वर्षे झाली. मग अचानक विसरून गेले. मग अचानक एका मैत्रिणीकडे खिसलेले गाजर आणि कोबी घातलेले अडाई खाल्ले टोमॅटोच्या चटणीबरोबर आणि मला ते खूपच आवडले. हे तिला सांगितल्यावर अमचे एकदम साटेलोटे ठरले, मी तिला पालक डाळ करुन द्यायची आणि तिने मला अडाई पीठ करुन द्यायचे. हे वर्षभर नीट चालले पण मग ती देशात निघुन गेली आणि मग तिला माझी पालक डाळ मिळेनाशी झाली आणि मला अडाई. मग रेसिपी एक्स्चेंज झाले मी ब्लॉगवर पालक डाळ तिच्यासाठी लिहिली आणि तिने इमेलमधे मला अडाईची रेसिपी पाठवली :) तर तिची ही मस्त रेसिपी लिहुन ठेवायची तर ब्लॉगवरच का नको? म्हणुन मग मी जरा त२-३ वेळा करुन पहिल्यानंतर लिहितेय -

Adai Rolls
१ भाग हरभरा डाळ (चणा डाळ)
१ भाग मूग डाळ (शक्यतो साल असलेली)
१ भाग उडीद डाळ (शक्यतो साल असलेली)
१ भाग तूर डाळ
१ भाग तांदूळ (मी ब्राउन राईस वापरला)
४ लाल सुक्या मिरच्या
२-३ पाकळ्या लसूण
चवीप्रमाणे मीठ
२ टेबल्स्पून खोबरे (सुके/ओले कोणतेही चालेल)

कृती -
सर्व डाळी आणि तांदूळ नीट निवडून धुवुन पाण्यात कमीतकमी ६-७ भिजत ठेवावे. भिजवतानाच त्यात लाल मिरची आणि लसूण घालावा. ६-७ तासानंतर त्यातले…

Orange Coconut Barfi

Priya, had this amazing orange barfi on her recent visit to India and told me all about it. The combination was really interesting. I have heard about Haldiram's Santrabarfi but I am sure it has Khoya/Mava but I did not ask her. Then I remember seeing Nupur's version of Orange Basundee by Sandeepa. Looking at all these things I wanted to make something sweet with home grown oranges but did not want to use any milk product. I have tried orange rice and that also tastes great and I have blogged about it here. Then decided to try only with fresh coconut and orange juice avoiding any milk products. And result was amazing. This was special treat for Rakhi/Narali Pournima this year and I have got 'farmaish' for more!

Here is how I made it -

2 cups freshly grated coconut (can use frozen unsweetened coconut)
1 cup orange juice
1.25 cup sugar (can add some more if needed)
1 tsp cardamom powder
2-3 threads of saffron
10-12 pistachios (optional)
1 tbsp orange zest (optional)

Preparation …

Visit to farmers market and three pepper salad

Farmers markets give me a feeling of going to Mandai/Sabji Mandi in India. I went to mandai with my mom since I was baby. My mom remembers couple of times I just disappeared in the market while she was paying the vendor. We both laugh at the memories now but, although I do not remember much, I can imagine it must have been a very scary moment for both of us. After a while I learnt to go to mandai alone. Vendors would recognize me by face and give special treatment as any girls of my age would rarely go to the mandai alone. I really enjoyed bargaining for the price while picking best possible tomatoes, okra, carrots and all the favorite sabjis. I used to be a weekly chore that I enjoyed. Later my brother started going too and then we would go alternate weekends and compare prices :)

I had been planning a trip to San Francisco Farmers Market for a while now and recently managed to go and spend entire morning there. I love the ferry plaza area, love watching people jogging, tourists taki…