Monday, February 19, 2007

Valentine's Day Special Round Up!

Did I keep you waiting for this round up? Sorry  as our trip got little extended this round up got bit delayed too. Now with the round up....
We have many new and lovely participants this time , A warm welcome to our new participants here , who presented their recipe for the first time with the event here.

Manjushree Mukkala(non-blogger)
Aarti Mahajan- etkapure(non-blogger)
Jai and bee

Here you go with the round up.

Lovely Soumya of Home Spices reached to me First.
Pink Slush is her entry for the event . Check out her recipe for it here .

Maheswari is with us with her beyond the usual recipe – Strawberry Ginger lassi .
Sharing along with that some nice experience of her 5 years of togetherness with her hubby. :), check out her recipe and lovely words here .

Gattina from Kitchen Unplugged is sharing with all of us the favorite of her hubby - Cherry coconut chocolate .
Just a picture is enough to make mouth watering for a chocolate lovers. :D

Jyotsna Vasudevan from Currybazaar is sharing here with all of us Date flavoured Tiramisu .

Sri from Daavat is Sharing here with us – Rice Pudding. She also shared her nice experience with hubby, and I agree with her words, as far as it concerns to me, I also feel the same way. Sri : )) .

Asha from Foodieshope , or should I say from Aromahope(confused…!!! : )) ) , is sharing touching story from her past with all of us, along with the Vegetable pulao she made for her rice lover hubby. : ) . as usual she is making us all hungry with her nice picture of this vegetable pulao, when decorated in such a nice way, I think even non rice lover will fall in love with dish , Asha ! :D

Seema of Recipe Junction is sharing here with us Rose ice cream soda. Such a lovely idea and the color is perfect for the theme. I think if there is any prize for the theme then you muct have deserved one for bringing out the perfect color in it for the theme : ) .

Usha is sharing here with us Strawberry -french vanilla Cake along with some sweet memories of her first valentine’s day ! How sweet of her to share such nice memories with all of us : ) .

Jai and bee from Jugalbadi is sharing very creative Bouquets for valentine. See the picture below to sheck out the nice presentation with different food and chutneys. .

Jayashree of spice and curry , made her hubby’s favorite recipe - Bengali fish Curry , and shared with us along withsome nice facts of Allahabad. : ) .

Mishmash has taken a slight twist and sharing her memories of bachelorhood, the old ang old days with friends…. She is also sharing with us berry-grooms-and-berry-brides. What a lovely idea to participate with the theme , Mishmash ! : ) . Indeed lovely pictures too !

Jasmine from Spicetrail is sharing here with us here delicious way of making Creamy vegetable soup for her valentine. She asked me to put this lines on behalf of her to to share with all of us.
In her own words …

“Valentines day was a strict no-no for me and hubby ( ours was a chuppa-chuppi we used to be as far away from each other on that particluar day.. know how it is in India..when you walk with your brother on V-day you will be end up raising many eyebrows. ..
But now we are at peace after marriage after many years of courtship.we dont have to worry much...and just wonder about those loverlorn couples who maybe doing the same thing like us .and it just brings a smile on our face..hoping that they will be at peace someday like us..where everyday is Valentines day!”

Prema of my cook book is here with her unique way of making Strawberry cheese cups along with dosa and sambhar for her dosa lover hubby :D . do not forget to go through her nice words for her hubby dear… :) .

Beetroot Halwa from Coffee of My khazana of recipes… , what can be perfect than this for Vday ? its red, its sweet and it looks heart warming…. Such a lovely entry Coffee ! : ) . Along with this coffee has shared her experience of the dilemma before choosing a her hubby dear , and the past and loving experience of that too….

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting
A lovely entry from Trupti of the spice who loved me is Cinnamon streusels cake, made with the help of her 3 year old kid…. Such a lovely contribution from mom and sun to this event , I think this entry is really special in a way that it is accompanied by the help of little angle at home , a special hug to Sahil for this from me. :) .

Lakshmik of veggie cuisine ,has presented here lovely blueberry pecan coffee cake here to make this Valentine’s day real Sweet. :D . This is really a nice entry , Lakshmik, where have you been , I missed you with my roundup since last few weeks dear.

Vini is here with all of us to spread her whirl of aroma among all of us… : ) , this time she is presenting Chocolate mousse for her little Ananya and Tiramisu for Hubby . such a lovely idea Vini. Thanks for participating inspite of ananya’s injury . A brave and very loving mom you are. Hugs to you !

Supriya of Spice corner is sharing with us Fresh Strawberries with Ice Cream and Chocolate Sauce . A lovely entry for this Sweet event from lovely Supriya. :)
Yum of Spice of life is sharing her with us Moolangi ambat with kerala red rice. Yum is also sharing another entry for the event – Raspberry Scones .

Swapna of Swad is sharing – Tomato rice for this special day with all of us.

Mommyof2 from Mommy friendly recipe has made garlic chicken & thai green curry for her 2 little valentine and hubby dear. Such a lovely idea to make all happy around… : ) . this is her first food post , as she mentioned in her post, thank you very much for contributing here with your first post, G P.!

Now is the turn of our another 2 special participants of this Theme. They are non blogger and sent their entry to me by email along wiht the picture.

First is Manjushree Mukkala

She made beet root halwa
Rest here is a her email in her own words and recipe.

Our wedding anniversary falls just one week before the Valentine’s Day. This year we couldn’t celebrate as our son was sick. So, I decided to make up for it by celebrating the Valentine’s Day and surprising my husband. Beetroot is one of my husband’s favorite vegetable and hence came the thought of making beetroot halwa to my mind. I made the halwa the day before the Valentine’s Day and shaped it round so that it looks like a cakeJ.
At 12 in the night I took it upstairs and he was really surprised at my creative idea. Then we cut the halwa together pretending it to be a Valentine’s Day cake. It was a perfect starting for the Valentine’s Day. In turn he surprised me in the evening with roses.

The basic ingredients required for this recipe are beetroot, ghee, sugar and nuts. Some form of milk product, may be milk or condensed milk or ricotta cheese is optional.
Below is how this particular preparation is made:
Beet root grated - 2 cups
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Ghee - 1/2 cup
Milk - 1/2 cup

Preparation method:
1) In a frying pan, add, 1/4 cup of ghee
2) When the ghee is hot, add beetroot and fry till it is soft (<5min)

Second non blogger buddy we have with us is Aarti mahajan–etkapure
She made – strawberry lassi
In her own words...

I came acros your blog a few days back and am following most of your recipes from then on. :) Your recipes are really good and aptly named-- "creative". I read about the theme for this week and decided to contribute the easiest recipe availabe. I hope you will accept my recipe though I am not a blogger.

This was my first Valentine day with Hubby dear as we got married in June 2006. Both of us beleive that we dont need any "day" to celebrate/express our love.. So "Every day is a Valentine day for us" ;)

One fruit that you'll find in my house most of the times is Strawberry. My hubby, Rahul, loves strawberries. Another thing he is crazy about is Yogurt. None of his meal is complete without Yogurt. So I decided to try out something with his favorites. And Strawberry Lassi was the first thig that came to my mind. It was ready in 5 mins and resting in fridge for another 3 hrs waiting for compliments. Needless to say, Hubby dear loved it :) Here goes the recipe-


1/2 cup plain Yogurt
1/2 cup cold water
5-6 big fresh strawberries
4 tbspn sugar (amount may depend on strawberry taste and may vary according to desired taste- sweet/sweet n tangy- typical strawberry taste)

1) Wash and cut strawberries in big pieces. Grind them in a mixer with sugar.
2) Whip yogurt using a blender and add water.
3) Add the strawberry sugar mix to yogurt and mix well.
4) Best served chilled.

Here are Entries from me For the theme of the week -Valentine's Day.
Refreshing Drink - Black Grapes with Orange Juice(2:1 portions).

Brunch- Aloo Paratha with Spicy Tomato Chutney

Main course- Matar Paneer(Green Peas with Cottage cheese)

Dessert -Strawberry Icecream

Apetizer -Beat treat, check the recipe for it Here .(this is also my secind entry to AFAM- Strawberry)

I hope that I have not missed anyone of yours entry for this round up I checked it for 3 times ,still if I missed someone's please wihtout hesitation just write to me soon, I will update it .... Have fun and celebrate each day with love. Love is all around us.... :D

My another entry for Vday Special.

I was planning to make something to easy to make and likable by both of us too, so that I don’t have to spend lot much time in kitchen and can spare some time for both of us to recall the old(though not so old, we are married since just 1 year and 9 months :)) ) and golden memories. Though we are less than 2 years married, it always seems like past when recalling the days before marriage or the starting of marriage.

Hubby is a big paneer fan . He loves any food cooked with paneer.
And as he knew already that there is going to be something special for him in lunch , I think he was expecting some nice change too.

I made matar paneer(Green peas with cottage cheese) with plain flour roti. Which also he loved very much. It’s the first time I make roti from maida(plain flour) at home, normally only when eating out in restaurants we had it.
Along with his favorite vegetable Pulao . .. and he was totally happy to see it.
Matar paneer here I made is from ready made masala of rasoi magic, which includes everything in it, just I add green peas and paneer, as instructed in it.
If it is available in any store around your place, then I strongly recommend to try this one, easy and too tasty . also cooked within minutes. : ) . I tried other vegetable masal of rasio magic too , but this one is defnately better tan all of the rest, the second one I would recommend to you is Paneer tikka masala from rasoi magic. Try it some time, and just like me you will fall in love with it.
Here is how I make it.
Take 1 tsp of oil and when hot add , finely chopped 1 tomato to it. Cook for a while and then add the rasoi magic masala mixed with 1-2 cup of water , such that there isno lumps formed in the gravy . cook it on high flame and add green peas to it. Cover with lid and cook till the gravy reach to desired thickness, finally add paneer cubes to it and cook for another 1 minute.
I added 1 cup fresh green peas and 200 gms paneer cubes to it. And the result is in front of your eyes. This was simply great that what we get in restaurants. Not so spicy not so mild, I just love it, and so does hubby. :D .
Basically he loves anything thing with paneer, such that when in the evening we went to a Chinese restaurant – Mainland China here, he ordered tofu with exotic vegetables there… : )) .

For vegetable pulao :
½ cup green peas,
1 carrot peeled and cut into small cubes,
1 onion finely chopped,
1 potato , peeled and cut into cubes,
2-3 cloves,
Ghee for tadka,
2-3 Bay leaf,
Pinch of turmeric, salt to taste,
2 cups cooked rice.

Cook rice with water and keep it aside draining extra water from it.
In a pan add 2 tsp of ghee/oil, when hot add bay leaf and cloves to it, along with onion to it. When onion turns translucent add potato cubes to it, cover with lid and cook it until potatoes are tender. Next add carrot ,green peas and salt to it and cook until they are soft. Add turmeric to it and mix in the cooked rice with it. Mix well together and turn off the heat. Serve hot with anything you like.

For desert we had Strawberry Icecream, this is my first attempt to make ice cream with strawberry .
12-15 strawberry
3 cup milk,
2 tsp custard powder,
½ cup thick cream,
Sugar to taste, I used 1 cup.
In a big vessel heat the milk, when it come to boil add custard powder to it, mix in well and stir such that no lumps will be formed from it. Cook it on high flame and stirring continuously until milk is half of the original size ,add sugar and milk cream to it. And stir again for few minutes on medium heat. And turn off the heat after 1-2 minutes. Place it on side and let it get to room temperature. Until then in a mixture grind the strawberries to a fine paste without adding any extra water. And when milk mixture is at normal temperature add it to that, and mix in well . Place it in a freezer in a container and and when it get frozen for the first time, remove all of them in a grinder and make fine paste out of it, it will help the ice cream to be turn little more thick in consistency and will remove ice particles from it, if any .
Again in a container let it freeze and serve when it get to normal ice cream coldness.
With scooper remove it in a small bowl and decorate with strawberry and serve chilled. If you like, add some fresh honey over ice cream to make it even richer in taste.
This also goes as my entry to Maheswari for her AFAM-Strawberry

Some memorable moments :
We got married on 29th of May 2005. on 14th feb. 2005 it was the first Valentine’s for us after we come to know each other, before our marriage He used to work for late hours and he loved his work, though now he has changed totally with that and don’t give an extra moment to office : ) .
On that day , I got a long email from him , and a part of it I am going to share here.
This is what he wrote

"Hard to make a sentence, as words are slipping out of my hands as Ithink more of you.I know that you are the most beautiful girl on this earth for me to love and I am happy that I am doing so.
Most beautiful not for whatyou look but for what I felt of you.
Beautiful for what you make me inyour love.
Beautiful for selfless love and tender care that you gave me.
Beautiful for loving me in spite of all my weakness.
Beautiful for believing me even though we meet once in life.
Beautiful for loving me not by looks and the thousands that I earn butfor what your heart and soul tells you."

That email was too long, here is just a part of it, and I love reading it again and again even today, at least I am happy that what he said is not a false promise or some words to impress me, it is true even today, and I feel it in each action of Deepak.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Aloo Paratha(Stuffed potato paratha) with Tomato chutney & Grapes Juice

1 cup wheat flour
2 potato boiled and peeled
½ tsp Cumin powder,
½ tsp chaat masala ,(or dry mango powder and pinch of crushed black pepper)
½ tsp redchilli powder,
Salt to taste,
½ tsp lemon juice,
Sugar to taste (optional)
Oil for shallow fry

Boil the potato until they are soft and tender. Remove sking , and mash them , mix in cumin powder ,chaat masala ,redchilli powder, lemon juice and salt in it. Keep this aside.
Knead the dough , using sufficient water and salt added to it, when done apply some oil to it, this will make it smooth. Knead it soft enough like we make for roti/paratha. Make lemon sized balls of it and roll out into a small round shape of it. Place spoonful of potato stuffing in the middle and cover it from side as shown in figure here. Now again slowly with care roll out to small sized round of about 3-4 inch diameter.

On a hot tawa place it, and let the first side cook in slow heat until it is half cooked. Turn the side and let the other side also get half cooked.
Now turn the paratha again and apply some oil from the side of Partha to the side below, this will give it chance to get puffed from side and center too. Turn the side again and do the same for another side too. Cook until golden brown on both sides and serve hot with anything you like. It goes well with a cup full of curd or green coriander chutney.

I had this in brunch this Saturday accompanied with quick Tomato chutney. Which hardly take 3-4 minutes to prepare it.
Here the method to make it.

Ingredients :
2-3 medium sized tomato finely chopped,
3-4 dry red chillies,
6-7 curry leaves,
½ tsp red chilli powder,
Salt to taste,
A pinch of asfoetida,
1 tsp oil.

In a pan heat the oil. When little hot ,add curry leaves , asafoetida powder and red chillies to it. Just in a while add chopped tomatoes too.
Cook it on a high flame, cover with lid for 1-2 minutes, then stirring occasionally cook it until all the water part of it evaporates and oil starts separating from tomato pieces, it will form a thick gravy like consistence, add red chilli powder and salt to it, serve with anything you like.

This is what we had in brunch this Saturday. Normally we take bread , toast or other light snack item with milk in the morning. I prefer to have meal on time , on week ends so normally we get lunch ready by 12.30 -1 p.m on weekends.
Just few days ago Deepak was recalling his college days when he was staying in hostel and they were getting Aloo paratha in the Sunday breakfast there , he was just telling me that it was the only reason he got up early on Sundays that time. Though I know he likes aloo paratha , I didn’t know he loves it this much ! (I made aloo paratha so many times before this , but that is for the evenings when we don’t want to have heavy dinner and for him it goes nice with plain curd. Also that time I made it different way by adding coriander leaves, green chillies and other spices to it .this time as for brunch I have added all the ready dry powdered spices ,to make it quickly. )

Now when it came to make something to make him happy I thought to make it. I know he loves spicy tomato chutney made this way, so got the perfect idea of brunch for last weekend. Accompanying this dish was fresh juice of green grapes. It was a perfect dish- tasty aloo paratha with spicy tomato chutney and soothing juice. :)

He was more than happy to see this surprise from me, as he was not aware with what’s going on in the kitchen and was busy with a phone call, when I presented the whole dish in front of him, he just stare with happiness on his face with a broad smile : )) . And still keep on reminding me that he liked my idea of brunch that day very much.
Still some more dishes from me to share with you all with some memories to cherish with that, are coming their way, till then stay tuned and keep cooking: D .
(Hubby didn’t know till then that I have announced any such theme for Valentine’s day , now when he know this, he keeps on asking me what I am going to make for surprise lunch for him : )) ) .
Check out my entries for Little chef in Kitchen and Monthly Mingle - here.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Theme of the Next Week - Valentine's Day

Remember those days just before our marriage ,how romantic we all were ! We were just feeling like love is all around us that time, right? As time passes we get used to things in life , and start understanding each other , be compatible with each other, and though life gets better by understanding our life partner well, we almost forgot to express frequently how much we love our better half, as we used to do in initial days of our marriage. Isn’t it true for all of us in one or more ways?

Well, then lets all do it once again , tell our beloved how much we love them and how good our life is by having their support in each matter of our life.

Having all of your suggestions with me, I thought to celebrate this week as Valentine’s week. And the theme for this is little versatile .
They say 'the way to man’s heart is through his stomach' : D.

Cook anything to make your better half happy in a special way , and let us all share our experiences together here in round up .Like what you cook, why you cook it, and how did he find it etc etc… (if you wish you can write about your story like how you met him and all , that is if you would like to add then only, but I think it will be great fun to bring back memories of those days and share with out buddies here. You can also share what he gifted you,and how special you were feeling that time etc..., In short anything related to Valentine's day from your treasure :) )

Let us all remind our special One , of his value in our life, and just for some time forget anything else , like- our responsibility , our busy schedules , or other priorities.

Having something with the color red or pink in the dish will be like ‘Sone pe Suhaga ‘ (adding fragrance to gold, and ), but that is truly optional( I think there are many options to have red/pink color in our dish , i.e. Pomegranate seeds, red grapes, Beet root, anything of rose or straberry flavor) I keep it optional as there is different choice for our favorite meal for all of us, :) so Cook anything you like to make a perfect evening for two of you and share it with us .

I think as all of us will have some other plans to celebrate 14th feb. in a special way , or some where outside home , I think this weekend is a good time to make our beloved happy. So go on, try it and share it here. Will wait for your entries to , the round up will be done after 14th February. Take your time to make a special dinner , and have a great time together.

Valentine's day is few days away !

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Green Peas Pickle

Though to try this way of making pickle out of peas :), and it turn out really nice. Hope you pickle lovers there will enjoy it. i jsut know that Supriya and Sra love differet kind of pickles, so atleast forthem it will do good , right Supriya and Sra? :) . Well, Hubby is in your line, so I try making different variety of Pickles at home a lot. This was tasting nice will good aroma of fennel seeds spreaded in the whole dish. Here is the way I make it, simple and easy.

½ cup peas
4-5 green chillies
2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp fennel seeds(saunf) – roasted,
1 tsp salt
½ tsp turmeric
4 tsp oil
2 tsp lemon juice
½ tsp red chilli powder

In a grinder grind mustard seeds and fennel seeds to a smooth powder.
Cut green chillies in to 1 inch long pieces.
In a pan heat the oil, and turn off the heat when oil is hot.
In this hot oil add green chillies and green peas, then add powder of mustard seeds and fennel seeds along with red chilli powder, turmeric powder and salt.
Add lemon juice when the mixture is cold. Store it in a air tight container. This pickle can be eaten after two days.

Entries for today
Lakshmik and Soumya made Peas soup to share with us and go healthy this winter. :) Check out their versions here and here .

next is from Kajal ,who made Peas Potato Ring to share with all of us. Nice entry and good idea to have this kind of colorful snack.
And a wonderful twist from Swapna , who made Matar puri ! what a wonderful idea, I loved it. check out her delicious recipe of matar puri with dum aloo here. thanks for eminding me about this, Swapna.

Thank you Lakshmik , Soumya,Swapna and Kajal for your wonderful entries and timely efforts. :)

Will post a theme for the next week, before that I would like to have your suggestion on this, as already some buddies have suggested. I think this theme idea should be fun for all, and as valentine's day is coming near , all seems to be Pink in mood :D. Let me have your ideas about how we all should celebrate the next 10 days together when 10th day is going to be a valentine's day ! Will wait for your idea , and decide about the theme and post it on monday ,for which final round up will be done on 14th february -wednesday . Come up with something nice, and have a fun .

Roses are blooming all the way ,
Valentine's Day is few days away ....

Drop me your suggestions soon either on email or in comment here and Have fun with family & friends this weekends..
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