Sunday, October 30, 2011

Little Princess Pinky Birthday

Our little pinky silly princess has turned "4".

The Big day was so great and enjoyable. Thanks to all the people who made it for the party and to all those who are far away, thanks for your wishes and blessings!
This was slow picking up party, like a slow cooker! Well, the end result has to be pleasant and happy, likewise the party princess was happy to have all her friends. Our roaring Lion was the hero of the day, to wish his sister and exchanging gifts with her. The dishes all turned to be great and yummy! No doubt, all enjoyed the dishes. To tell you something, non-veg eaters also enjoyed our veggie curries.
It all began with a starter - Cookies, Garbanzo beans, black beans, assorted veggies, mixture, & Masala Idli with mint chutney.

Followed by Chapathis, Grilled Gobi, Pepper'n paneer curry, Mattar masala. Then the Biriyani, curd rice.

To finish off with the dessert, is Kala Jamun.

Thanks once again to all who made this event happen and in a Grand way! And this is our special guest who has come to NJ (in Oct) after 50 years...

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Diwali Recipes - Sweets and savories

A festival full of sweet childhood memories,
sky full of fireworks,
mouth full of sweets,
house full of diyas and heart full of joy.
Wishing you all a very happy Diwali!

Diwali(Deepavali) is a Festival of Lights. The significane of Diwali is that, it removes the darkness and brings light to the life. This auspicious occasion comes on the tamil month Ipasi(late october or early november) on krishnapakshi chaturthi.This festival is celebrated to enjoy the happy moments of vanquishing of the demon Narakasura by Lord Krishna, the triumph of good over Evil!.Diwali is a festival where people from all age groups participate. They give expression to their happiness by lighting earthen 'diyas' (lamps), decorating the houses, bursting firecrackers and inviting near and dear ones to their households.

On Diwali day, early in the morning, elderly people will put kolam and will keep sweets, snacks, crakers, new dresses, vetrilai paaku(Beetel leaf) and coconut for neivehdyam. The Hindus usually awake early in the morning of deepavali around 3am and the first ritual will be having an oil bath, which is an important feature of Diwali. In brahmin familes Diwali Legium will be offered to every individual which will make your stomach ready for the marathon between your hand and mouth on diwali. Then the new cloths will be offered to the every individual by the elderly people. Most of the ladies would be clad in silk saris or Punjabi suits of various bright shades. Hindus would also pay their respects to the elderly and most families would go to the temple. The houses would be decorated with oil lamps and children will play with firecrackers to celebrate the festival.

On this day, we prepare sweets and snacks and offer the same to friends, neighbours and relatives. You can try some of the recipes mentioned below.

Boondhi Laddu
Kaju Katli

Kasi Halwa

Madras Mixture

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Bean (Garbanzo) Pulao

Ever since Navaratri, I tend to prepare some dish with different kind of beans. These beans are extremely nutritious and great to eat. It is little more than a week since I went to Indian store. I wanted to prepare pulao. Just had onions and tomatoes. I wanted to try preparing pulao with a mixture of dry beans including garbanzo beans, kala channa, black beans, navy beans, rajma, green peas etc.
I usually keep cooked beans in my freezer for easy use whenever required. So it became easy for me to prepare the pulao. Ever since my mom left to India, I'm trying to prepare dishes which is less time consuming. So I'm trying this new recipe. It came out well, and to my surprise Hasini enjoyed her plate of pulao.

You need
2 cups Basmati Rice
1 1/2 cup cooked dry beans (can include any of these - Garbanzo beans, black beans, rajma, kala channa, navy beans, green peas)

6-8 green chillies
1 onion thinly sliced
2 Cardomom pods
4 Cloves
1” pc Cinnamon stick
2 Bay leaf (dry)
3-4 tbsps oil
11/2 tsp Ginger Garlic paste
1 tsp fresh Mint leaves
Salt to taste
Few drops Lemon juice
Coriander leaves to garnish
Water to cook rice

The Beans combination - 3/4 cup garbanzo beans, 1/4 cup kala channa, 1/4 cup black beans, 2 tsp navy beans, 2 tsp green peas, 2 tsp rajma). For cooking instructions check here.

1.Heat oil in a skillet. Add cardamom, cloves, cinnamon stick, aniseed and the bay leaf. Fry till fragrant and then add half of sliced onions and chillis.
2. Fry till they are soft and transparent. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry for a few minutes. Now add the mint, stir for 2 minutes and grind the masala to a nice paste.
3. In a pan, add a tsp oil and add the rest of the sliced onions. saute for a while. Now add the cooked beans and saute for 2 mins. Add the ground paste to this and saute for a while.
4. Now, wash the rice and start cooking the rice. I used the electric cooker. You can add some portion of the masala along with the rice so that it gets blended well with the rice.
5. Once rice is half cooked, add the cooked beans from the skillet. Cook in medium. Add salt and mix well.
6. Once it gets cooked, add the lime juice and coriander leaves. close the lid and keep in warm.

7. Mix well before serving. Serve with mixed vegetable salad with or without yoghurt.

(It is great to have a glass of buttermilk after the meal. For recipes check here.)

I'm happy to send this for Legume event MLLA-40 hosted by Veggie platter by Suma and susan.
Cooking with seeds of Karasaram,.

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