Monday, February 25, 2008

Gujarati -That's what I am :)

A Gujarati, native in rich cultured Saurashtra region, bought up and schooling in Capital of Gujarat , studied engineering in yet another part of Gujarat and did jobs in 3 such places where earlier I was never been.

Though I was not much keen about knowing/discovering the history and culture of different parts of Gujarat at that time , Life just passed such a way that I interacted with many different people from each part of Gujarat. These things made me aware of the rich history and culture of Gujaraties (“Gujarati loko” as we call :) - loko means people in Gujarati language), different yet always the same kind of neat and well managed life style they have.

With their hearts always ready to give a warm welcome to guests and supporting for any new people in the area. I can see the same hospitality in Gujarati people here too, and perhaps this are what we Gujaraties inherited from our Land :z .

Today when I think about my past I feel even more proud of the life I spent there . Especially the support I got from the people from the places where I had never been before, and where I was not even intending to stay for a long. Knowing all these things if someone is still helping you, I just understand that, that is some unconditional help and favor they are doing to you, without expecting anything in return. And when you are a part of such juncture, definitely you can say humanity is not finished yet ( Manavata haji mari parvari nathi , as we say in our Gujarati :) ) .

It’s the place where ,

when you meet someone for the first time they welcome you as if they have been waiting for you - just as a long lost dear friend,
where the hospitality of the hosts make you eat almost double than you can :D
and where even a simplest single meal is not complete without buttermilk – “Chhash “ ,Understand that you are somewhere in Gujarat :) .

We celebrate many lovely festival , be it Navarti with Garba and Dandiya or New year day following Diwali day or Kite festival on 14th of Jan. every year :~...



Now when it comes to Gujarati meal , My dil go sooooonnnn...... :O ,…. Ahhh let me decide where to start from :d ………..
As you all know , Khaman , Dhokla , Handavo, khandavi , khichdi – kadhi , Undhiyu,Muthia,
Patra etc...are very close part of Gujarati kitchen and now much liked by people of other regions too :L .


Not only that , we have a large variety of main course , side dishes, pickles , snacks and dinner items, some of which is very specific to the season - like in winter Bajri na rotla ne ringana no olo or methi ringan nu shak ne bhakhari .

Be it Puri , rotli (fulka roti ), thepla, Bhakhari or Rotla we have different veriety in those too.

For example if you talk about thepla, we have Dudhi na thepla (lauki thepla) , methi na thepla ( fenugreek thepla) , Masala thepla, Lasaniya thepla(garlic thepla) etc…


And not to forget a large array of sweets – churma na ladu , shiro, mohan thal , magaj , penda , lapsi , dudh paak , dudh pauaa, bundi ladoo , and many more I think.


Here is a traditional dish I would like to share with you today .
That is Ringana na olo .(Roasted Eggplant Subji )

This traditional shaak is famous since a long time where there were no gas stoves available , and the best taste of it you get when you roast it using chulha, where it gets the opportunity to cook really well from all the side with real falmes of wood.
You will this find this as a Gujarati version of baingan ka bhartha.
The main difference being that it don’t take any other veggies like tomato or onion for making this.

Basically a much more spicier and oily version of this shaak , has now turned into a little mild and less oily version to suit our much idle life of today . This during the winter days specially is the food you can find in kitchen of each farmer families, those were the days where agriculture were the only main source of income for people, their life was so busy , active with different activities in farm and home stuffs ,where one don’t need to worry on how to loose pounds of weight, instead it was necessary to eat sufficient source of all kind of food to keep one more lively and active .

Now as my clock is reminding me that I have last one hour left to post and send this entry I better hurry and share the recipe of it to you all…


Ingredients :
Big eggplant
2 tsp garlic minced with 1 tsp red chili powder ,
2-3 green chilies ,
2 tsp oil ,
Salt to taste , coriander leaves to garnish .

Method :
Choose not too hard eggplant , from the veriety of largest possible size of it .
Using knife just make little slits on its skin and roast it on flame from all sides ,
Untill you can see its skin easily getting saparated from the inner part.
Roast it whole until too tender .

Keep it on a large dish or aluminium foil and let it cool for a while, then carefully remove all the back skin from it and then on a chopper board cut it length wise and then cut it from width ,such than it will make small piece of it , which actually u can see as the smallest part it. Keep in mind that you roast it such that it will not be like piece at this stage just a soft little bite you can say .

Next in a kadai heat the oil , when it is warm add the minced garlic with red chili and then chopped green chili . Add the cut eggplant and salt , stir will ,mix every thing and cook for just a min or two.
Turn off the heat and garnish with fresh coriander leaves.


This makes a perfect desi gujarati thali when served with bajri(pearl millet) na rotla with fresh home made butter on it and gol(jaggery) In winter days makes perfect warm meal that is good and warm for body too.





Since I am not that perfect with making Rotla I would recommend you to check this for step by step process of how to make perfect bajri no rotlo .



This goes straight to Mythili of Vindu for RCI-Gujarat. I just realized that today is the last date , and don’t wanted to miss this opportunity to share this and many lovely things of a Gujarati .Thank you Mythili for chossing Gujarti cuisine for this month it was wonderful participating with this my all time favorite dish , and may be its favorite of all Gujaraties :) .


I think I can write and share much more about the region –Gujarat , may be some other time , its already 11.55 pm :f , today is fight with time just 5 mins left now :D , also not to bore you much today ;). A very good morning to you if you are reading this in early morning and have a nice day ahead :) .

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

"Vegetable of the Week" with some Revised rules

Vegetable of the week has always been very close part of this blog and so of me.

In past I started this, to show case all the different dishes I make with the same vegetable, and invited others to be a part of this making it a weekly event. I used to select a new veggie each week and was posting a recipe daily with the chosen veggie along with entries from others, daily posting and daily round up has been like a routine for me also it was a lot of fun knowing many dishes with the same vegetable. Started with the whole intention to make different verity from a single main ingredient has always a good motivation for me to run this blog and event.

Now as time permits me , I am starting this “Vegetable of the week “ again with little bit modifications to its “used to be” rules and schedule :) .

With so many confusions in my mind to modify the original rules/duration of the event , along with that, as from many old buddies and well wishers suggested it , I have changed this to a monthly event , though the name I find so much loved by me that I am not changing it hence it will continue to be known as “Vegetable of the Week “ only, now the fact is we will celebrate it for 4 weeks (i.e. – a month ) .

Here are the rules to be a part of this resourceful event , I make it little flexible by not restricting current posts, and make this event fun for all- to be a part of it.

Rules :

  1. Cook any Vegetarian dish having “Vegetable of the Week “as main ingredient. You can also send already posted recipe, provided it should be linked to this event before you send it as an entry. You can send as many entries as you want.
  1. Send your entries for :Vegetable of the Week -Bottel Gourd on or before 17th july 15th July 2008 to blogpooja@gmail.com , Along with clearly mentioning

· Your name,

· Your blog name & URL,

· Name of the dish you made ,( don’t forget to mention the name of the dish you made. It happens many times that your post title is not indicating your dish name and hard to find from write up, So just be clear about what you are sending. )

· URL of your entry

Along with picture of the dish you cook - if possible resized in 300 pixel width .

In the subject line mention with the chosen vegetable and the type of dish you made. i.e, - if you make a soup using Brinjal the subject line should be “VoW -Brinjal – starter “.

  1. Follow all the rules as indicated here to make it easy for event holder at the time of round up. Be a nice participant :) ,I no longer intend to accept entries who didn’t mention their entry as link back to this "VoW" Post. If possible use the logo too (it takes time and effort when created :f :O)
  2. If you are a non -blogger send me recipe along with picture , I will post it here as a guest post by your name and include it in round up with your name.
If you don’t get my reply or comment within 2 days of sending your entry, Leave a comment as reminder, lately some of your emails happen to delivered in the bulk mail folder and I was not aware of it since some of your inquired about it.

I intend to publish Round up category wise with categories like, starter, main course, side dish , dessert , breakfast, snacks etc….

For this month we will be celebrating “Vegetable Of the Week - Bottle Gourd “ .

Here is the logo for it . Use it in your entry post if you can along with a link back to this post .

Do remember

  • This is your event, do it for delight. Participate if you can, send already posted recipe if you have any, or in future if you manage to cook up anything with that send me along mentioning it, I will keep it as update note in the round up section with the date you submit it.
  • The idea behind this event is to share and to know the verity of authentic and creative dishes we all make with chosen vegetable.
  • Along with that, I will always be happy to hear from you to choose any particular veggie you like for any particular month, you know I do care for your ideas , :) .

For any questions or suggestion get back to me at blogpooja@gmail.com , and have a nice time cooking many dishes to serve your love to all.


Btw , Have you tasted “Pineapple Lemonade “ yet ?

Friday, February 15, 2008

Theme of the Week - Valentine's Day(2008) Round up

Lets first give a warm welcome to ,
Anu sriram , Alpa, Apu , Bhags, Chris, Deeba, Divya A,Divya K, Divya P (all 3 Divya(s) :D ) , Easy Crafts, Mansi , Home cooked, Lavanya raj, Miri , Namratha , Richa, Sig, Srivalli, Sandhya and Uma for participating for the first time with their entries on this blog. Thanks for all being a part of this blog and making it even richer with your lovely entries :).

(Click on this collage to see a larger image of it )

Here are the entries in alphabetical order by the sender's name :

  1. Alpa - lychee pomogranate Martini ,
  2. Anamika- Two tier Cupid cake
  3. Anu shriram - Strawberry orange cookies
  4. Anuzi - chocolate founde with fruits
  5. Apu-Rose colored kalakand
  6. Archy- Rose falooda
  7. Asha - Heart shaped Sukhadi
  8. Bee & Jai - Pouches of Potato Love
  9. Bhags-Hash Browns
  10. Cham -Brownie whipped with raspberry mousse
  11. Chris- chocolate cups cakes
  12. Deeba- Hearty Almond Shortbread
  13. Divya A- Cinnabun roses
  14. Divya K- Beans cutlets
  15. Divya P-Lemony hearts
  16. Easy Crafts- Whole mung cutlets
  17. Home cooked - Valentine cookies
  18. Kajal- Red chilli chutney and Raita Marcha
  19. Kalai-Pomogrante Rice
  20. Kaykat- Chocolate Mousse Tartlets with Greek yogurt
  21. Lavanya-Carrot halwa
  22. Maheshwari -Rava ladoo
  23. Mansi- Liquer infused Heart shapaed Chocolate cake
  24. Meera -Bhelpuri
  25. Miri -French Vanilla Cake with Chocolate ganache
  26. Mishmash -China grasspudding with praline toppings
  27. Nags - Heart shaped shortbread cookies
  28. Namratha -Lemon Tea Cakes with Lemon Satin Icing
  29. Nanditha- Mung beans and chocolate
  30. Pooja -Lemon rice , Strawberry slush, Tomato beans soup and saffron halwa
  31. Richa - Avocado ,Mint & peas soup.
  32. Sig - Steamed Asparagus with Star Anise infused Pomegranate Molasses
  33. Srivalli - Mung dal halwa
  34. Sandhya - Strawberry jelly heart shaped cheese cake
  35. Uma - Orange gel Pie
  36. Vijaya - Beet root burfi
  37. Viji- Almond chocolate Brownie
    (As blog of Viji is accessible to members only , you can reach her to viji.jeyakumar@gmail.com and be a member to access a very nice healthy food blog . Here is the recipe for her entry.....

    Ingredients:

    All purpose flour ¾ cup ,Coco powder 1/3 cup,Semi-sweet chocolate chips ½ cup
    Baking powder and salt ¼ tsp each,Vanilla sugar ½ tsp,
    Butter 50 gms or ¼ cup (I don’t prefer oil which spoil the taste in cakes)
    Sugar ½ cup,Eggs 2
    Semi sweet chocolate squares 50 gms + 2 tbsp butter for extra flavor
    Slivered almonds ¼ cup,

    Preparation:

    Pre heat the oven to 175oC.Line a 8 inch square pan with foil and grease it well.Mix the first 5 dry ingredients and keep it aside.Melt the chcolate squares with butter in MW high for 1-2 minutes. Let it cool.Beat the sugar,butter and eggs well. Add the melted chocolate to this and mix well.Now fold the dry ingredients to this and mix gently.Spread this in 8 inch square pan and garnish with slivered almonds.Bake it for 35-40 minutes. Don’t over do it.Leave it cool before slicing.The leftovers can be reheated in MW for 30-60 seconds. )


Thank you all for your Loving entries with innocent memories and nice write up:) .

We will continue celebrations on this blog with my much loved Vegetable of the week from next week on. Check out its announcement and revised rules on Tuesday, I will be posting that soon.
Till then Have a nice long weekend. Stay tuned .... and think a little bit more about the puzzle , will post that answer soon along with the best given answer from you.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Love me for a Reason, Let the Reason be Love .....


"There`s something about the
look in your eyes. Something I
noticed when the light was just right
It reminded me that I was alive
& it reminded me that you`re so
worth the fight."
A Very Happy Valentine's Day to all of you @}:- .

This Strawberry slush I made for you today to celebrate the love you have shown here , lets share your love together and let it grow even more :). This blog is obliged with your response warm wishes always .

Well , With many nice entries around , I am busy arranging round up , which I hope to publish by tomorrow evening. Today is the last day to send entries, so by any chance ,if you forget to send it to me ,send it soon.

By that time Here is a nice Puzzle for you , just think a little on that, I really hope to get a good answer for this :)

" Why do we close our eyes when we pray, when we cry, when we imagine, when we kiss? " .

I hope to hear some real nice answer from you , if you had any!!!
I know there are many great minds around and great mind thinks a like, Isn't it ? At least you can try to guess the answer :)

Enjoy the day with great spirit , life is too fast to gather some nice memories . See you all you at round up.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

My Valentine's Day Entries, with some cute hearts, click click click..... :D

About two weeks ago , while recalling some nice memories of India, suddenly hubby remembered something ,and that brought smile to his face …

He : You know , when we were kids , in summer vacation when we used to travel back from south India to our home, Nani used to pack a lot of food stuffs with us, and along with that without missing one kind of Khatta chawal .
Me : Khatta chawal ??? I never heard of it .
He: It’s a south Indian dish. I like it a lot.
Me: Is that something made up with Lemon…………
He : Yes, it is. It has also lots of peanuts in it , and some more things , I don’t remember it now .But that tastes I still remember….

(Ahhhhhh, here I am- I was thinking, it must be the more seen on blogworld lemon rice ,which usually south Indian bloggers make often ).

Me: I think it is called Lemon rice.
He : Yes, perhaps, and he spoke some name which was a Tamil word for that dish I think.

And then , that day we continued our talk of summer vacations and literally we lost ourselves in the childhood memories of traveling in summer days , visiting cousins and all that masti and everything, The card games we used to play , eating ice Gola in noon times, teasing each others , playing cricket and braking neighbor’s window glass n and then running away and finally for the simplest one from all players is supposed to caught by them to speak all the truth in from of neighbor’s family, and then elders all time ready to scold us ,and then rushing to mom and hide under her pallu, mom being unaware of such things sometimes protects us so well…. both os us spend those days in almost opposite part of India , still memories were so similar... I think childhood is all like that ,no matter in which part of world you spent it. We shared many memories and laughed a lot, also missed those days very much …

Above all these talks, one thing that clicked to my mind that day, is surprising hubby with his favorite dish going to be easier this year. With many blogs around I find a nice recipe for it, and finally made it the way Indira makes : ) . Easy to make and quick too , Surprising Deepak was really easy ;) .

On one evening time , last week , when he was back to home….

Me : I made something special for you , guess what ?
He : Dhokla ?
Me : nope….
He: Pizza ?
Me : not this time ,

( He kept on guessing his much loved dishes which I make sometimes as a surprise to him…. )

Me :(trying to giving him some hint for guessing…. ) why don’t you guess something you like, but I didn’t made before ?
He : (tired of guessing , and eager to see what the surprise is…) Why don’t you tell me then ?
And then I presented on Table the dish filled with lemon rice. Pointless to say he was more than happy to see it.

Did I tell you ever ? He is little more color conscious for the color of the dish . For him there is a perfect color impression of each dish. And for this dish he find the one I made similar to that was in his mind since his days a kid, so that was another reason for me to be happy and for him too : ) My first take for making this was a grand success and so was for him .

Thank you Indira for your perfect recipe, you really made our day . Thank you many other bloggers too ,who posted this on their blog , as I went through many blogs around and that helped me to made my mind about how the dish should be .

Having this dish for the first time in our menu , I was little skeptical about if it will appease our hunger fully or not. So I made this not so light soup to accompany this nice lemony dish.


I named it tomato –beans soup. Yet searching for some nice name , all suggestions are welcome :D.

Ingredients :

1 Cup sprouts, any sprout will taste good, I used Green gram sprouts .
1 cup tomato pulp,
1 tsp black pepper powder,
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves for flavor.

Recipe :

Mix in tomato pulp, with 1.5 cup of water and place it on stove , let it boil till it is little thick OR boil it until it reaches the consistency you like , add sprouts and salt in it cook for 2-3 mins, add black pepper powder and washed and chopped coriander leaves. Turn off the heat and serve it hot.

Quick and healthy soup is ready in minutes to serve.
(Note : if no tomato pulp is ready, boil 2-3 the tomatoes , then remove skin and crush it to fine paste .) this goes now to Lisa for her event No croƻtons required this month . Thank you Lisa for hosting lovely event.

Along with this ,Kuchh mitha ho jaye…. This was our dessert dish I gave tt a little twist making it with saffron flavored water and without using milk at all .

Here is the recipe for Kesar flavored Suji ka halwa (Kesari suji no shiro) .

Ingredients :
½ cup Semolina (suji ) ,
½ cup sugar ( I used little less ) ,
1 tsp cardamom powder
2 tsp ghee
Pinch of saffron treads soaked in 1.5 cup hot water for 1-2 hours.

Method:
Take a flat bottomed pan , heat ghee in it , add Semolina to it , parallely in a vessel heat the saffron flavored water without removing saffron from it.Roast semolina until it spread nice aroma of it and until it is little brown in color.

Now to this add sugar and mix well keep on stirring continuously
Add hot saffron water to it , keep on stirring continuously and stir it until it reach desired thickness for sheera.
Add cardamom powder to it and mix well, turn off the flame.

Serve it hot or cold.I love it when Hot.
To make this suitable to our theme of the week I made it in heart shapes . for that, let it cool and then use mold it in any desired shape. I used cookie cutter for heart shapes. You can cut it into diamond shapes and refrigerate any left over .

All the above goes to Theme of the week –Valentine’s day .

Along with this , these lovely hearts goes to Zorra’s Heart for your Valentine.

Unlike me hubby is a sweet lover , and loved this too. So finally this story of our third Valentine’s day together ended very well , just like a fairy tale :D,no more fights now, we already had enough ;) with many surprises hidden for him .

This two lovely hearts now reaching to Bee and Jai with lots of love for their Click -Flour this month. I hope this is suitable to the theme this month Bee ! :) .

Friday, February 8, 2008

My healthy affair :)) - Sprouted Mung Dosa( Flat bread of sprouted green gram)

Sprout of any beans is always a treat for me,Among all when it comes to Green gram - Mung (or moong) , I am little partial about it .I make different main courses or dal using any of the beans but for sprouted moong .... I can eat it as it even without adding salt, thats my love for it :) .
Since a little time a friend of mine suggested me this dish and ever since this dosa has become our favorite breakfast . Easy to make and tasty too :) . Along with that it has many benefits to eat it. Here is my recipe to share with yo all for this tasty and healthy plus quick dish.

Ingredients :
1 cup sprouted green gram (whole moong) ,
1 inch long ginger piece,
2-3 green chilies,
2-3 spring of fresh coriander leaves ,
salt to taste .
To garnish / serve : Shredded carrot and cheese .
You can choose anything you like to have as toppings. I tried it with red pepper too it tastes as good with that too.

Recipe :
Wash the sprouts and ginger, peel ginger and cut chiilies into half. Take all the ingredient in a mixture /grinder bowl together and add 1/4 cup of water , grind it until it form a smooth paste as shown in picture above.

Place a non stick flat pan(tava ) on heat and take the batter in to a round spoon , spread it on tava when hot, spread it evenly on the surface of tava in a clockwise direction . cook it on medium heat and while half cooked spread little cheese and carrot on it.
I don't use oil to cook it , it turns out easily , so if you like to have less oil in your menu , you can avoid it for this Dosa :) . cook it completely on onside until it is golden brown . Serve it hot as it is . it goes nice with any Raita . You can spice up this dish with spicy tomato chutney too. For me and hubby ,we love it with Plain low fat yogurt . Tastes yummy............!!!
Note : If you need to store the left over batter of this in fridge , I recommend not to store it more than one day, the fresh made tastes far better than that.
Now this dish goes straight to Susan at Legume Love affair and to dear Suganya of tasty palettes for her WBB- Healthy eats :) .Thank you lovely ladies for organizing this , I truly enjoy participating with this colorful dish.
I enjoyed participating with this , and many more yet to come for lovely events going on along with Theme of the week -Valentine's Day. Haven't you surprised your spouse yet ???

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Theme of the Week - Valentine's Day

Sometimes we really forget to express how important we are to each other. Days like Valentine's Day are for such reasons so that we spare some time ,think on that and grab opportunity to express our gratitudes to have our beloved person around :) .

Also these are the days when in college times we were full of our romantic thoughts , life is different now, life takes turns as we move ahead with time and responsibilities. But it is always nice to make some day really special.Isn't it ?

Somewhere once I read that " Spend your life such a way , so that when you get old you will have nice memories to cherish about ". Let us try to add one more such memorable day to our life and share here with others.

All the rules are same as it was last year, so kindly refer to here , to know the rules.
Cooking with pink or red color is truly optional, just make something special and worth sharing , along with that if you wish you can add share memories from past too :). Use the following logo in your post and link it back to this theme.


I remember many blog buddies last year shared their different loving , touching ,romantic and worth sharing stories , not only this , I also had a fun time keeping this idea secret from hubby to make his favorite brunch and lunch :)).
I think, I am surely going to have a nice old age with all these good memories around . Don't worry , I will be in touch with you all that time too, to remind you of all these stories and make you laugh too:)). Btw, who believes that they are old, non of us ha ha ha...and remember that the way to man's heart goes through his stomach It's a universal fact ;) .

So be a part of this fun event , share some ideas, recipe and your stories .
Send me your entries by 14th Feb 2008(better if you can do little earlier , but not late than that), along with URL and picture .
Non bloggers can send their entries with the write up and pictures, I will publish it with their name and email ids. Last year we had many non bloggers too were a part of this fun event . and that was really fun to be together ans share some lovely stories.
Lets celebrate our love together.
Reach me on - blogpooja@gmail.com with your entries/queries. And don't forget to link your post with this theme.

(P.S. - I am much better and all good with my health now. Thanks a lot for your concerns and good wishes, this blogosphere is full of lovely friends, thats what I love about it, a big warm hug to all of you there :) )
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