June 29, 2008

T&T: Achari Baingan & TofuPilaf

"I love her blog. She has been a wonderful source of inspiration for many bloggers like me and the best part is, all her recipes are 100% fool-proof! I must have prepared more than a dozen recipes (before and after starting my own blog!) and every time I ended up with a yummy plate of delectable food!"

...and she is none other than lovely Nupur of 'One Hot Stove'!

I was thrilled when Zlamushka has chosen 'Nupur's blog' for her 'Tried & Tasted' event this month. I dugged into my prospicient list of bookmarks.. and chose to make two of her scrumptious dishes!

I already sent 'Aloo Posto' as my first entry and now I am back with - 'Achari Baingan' and 'Tofu Pilaf'..:)

Recipe 1: Achari Baingan: the very idea of stuffing cooked onion masala into big, Chinese Eggplants is so cool! I loved preparing this Rajasthani delicacy and was soundly enjoyed by all! the only variation is - Nupur stuffed in the onion masala into the big whole eggplants. I diced them into 2-3 pieces, slit them and then stuffed in the masala, just to make it more manageable.

Recipe 2: Tofu Pilaf: the original recipe calls for 'Paneer' . to have a vegan version of the same, I used some extra firm cubes of 'Tofu'. It was so delicious that the entire pot was finished within minutes! Yohoo!

Thanks Nupur for such yummy recipes and I end up tasting some new flavors every single time!


Just 2 more days left (June 30th EST midnight) to send in your Open Sesame 2 entries! The official voting will begin on July 1st till July 5th 2008. the lucky winner(s) would receive a surprise gift from us! So, hurry up folks@!

To view the OS 2 entries photo stream (received until now): Click here**.

** updated for every 48 hours upon receiving the entries.


June 27, 2008

Guess Who am I : Revealed!

Can you guess whats this dish? its ingredients???

....answer and the recipe will be revealed tomorrow!!

till then have fun guessing...:))

[UPDATE]: I am NOT an Omelet! I have a veggie burried beneath the egg layer.. Can u guess that???

Answer: "Cabbage Cutlet" (..recipe coming up on July 1st '08..)

....Yes, the veggie beneath it Cabbage..:)

Congrats Alka and Uma for getting it correct..! I know its a bit difficult to guess it right!


June 26, 2008

Simple Bread Loaf

June 25th 2008

Knead...Rise...Knead...Bake... Dance....this is what I was doing yesterday- all day! U ask why? becoz I was trying to bake my first ever home made bread! I must confess, about my 'yeast-phobia' that transpires into me from my mom! She never baked! Oh ya..Never Ever!!

But I desperately wanted to get over it! After all there is nothing deary and pleasurable than 'your own baked bread'! Isn't it!

and here I am with 'My Baking Ballyhoo' - where I would share all of my 'baking' experiences with my dear readers - good or bad and its a promise! what we are doing here is not - 'creating some masterpieces' and its NOT necessary that your dough must always rise..and u will end up with a 'perfectly baked bread!'. Mistakes are bound to happen and we tend to learn a lot from them - like I did!

Yes, the first time I started off with 3.5 cups of flour with whole bunch of ingredients, kneaded and kept for its first rise. Alas! it didn't.... not even an inch!

this is how it looked after two hours of resting...

then I consulted one of my baking gurus and she gave me this lovely tip to warm up the oven for couple of minutes and then keep the dough to rise. the tip worked and I ended up with a beautiful looking bread! Yay Yay!

Here is the first look...

I must mention about 'The Fresh Loaf'(TFL), an amazing community of bread bakers, where in they had introductory lessons for amateur bakers like me.
I referred to
Lesson 1 and its surely a nice way to begin the 'bread (b)making' !!

My Notes:

1. I used 1 packet of Fleischmann's Rapid Rise yeast. I directly mixed it in the flour while kneading (no proofing in warm water required.)

2. I halved the ingredients presented in the Lesson 1 of TFL. this 'Simple Bread Loaf' recipe calls for just 4 ingredients: Flour, Yeast, Salt and Water! My next experiment would be to add in more and make a flavorful bread.

3. 'Kneading' is an important part of the 'bread making' process and proper strokes help the bread rise - the right way!. Click here to view some kneading techniques.

Lets bake the bread then....


1.5 cups All Purpose Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp of Fleischmann's Rapid Rise yeast
3/4 cup of Water


1. Kneading: Mix all the ingredients in a bowl with a wooden spoon. When the dough gets sticky, sprinkle some flour on your hands and knead the dough for minimum 10 minutes - squish..roll...squish..turn..roll..fold ...till the dough becomes silky and smooth. Drop the dough in a greased bowl and cover & let it rise in a warm place.

Tip: Its important to place the dough in a warm place for the yeast to act. If you fail to find one (like me), warm the oven for about a minute, turn it off and then place the dough into it!

2. Rising: Typically it takes about 45-90 minutes for the dough to rise and to double its size. It may take couple of hours at times, depending on the amount of yeast, time and temperature. So, not to worry. Keep checking for every 90 minutes. After its first rise, punch down the dough and knead for couple of minutes. Put back the dough into the greased bowl and leave it for its second rise.

3. Shaping and Baking: After its second rise, shape the bread by placing in a loaf pan or any baking dish. Dust the bread with some flour and place it in a greased dish! Scoring the bread (slice it with a knife or a fork) is necessary to release out the tapped gases in the bread dough. Brush some egg wash over it and place it in the center rack of the oven.
Bake for about 40-45 minutes at 375 F. Keep checking for every 15-20 minutes.

Tip: Pour some water in an empty baking dish and place it in the below rack, while baking the bread, for a golden rustic bread! (Use this tip at your own discretion! steam may result in a shortened life span of the oven.)

Cool it down and slice it up... !!!

...and to know how I felt after 'baking my first bread!'..Click here! (.....nothing scary.. its just my joy and happiness!!)

...Another look...

P.S: U gotta check out Anu's First Bread too!! It looks beautiful!

I served with some yummy Garlic Olive Oil Bread dip (..recipe follows..). !!! Yummmy..:))

Garlic Olive Oil Bread Dip

3 tbsp of Olive Oil
2-3 cloves of Garlic, finely minced, crushed
Salt & Pepper - to taste
1/2 tbsp Lemon Juice.

Microwave all the ingredients for 3-4 minutes on HIGH and Serve with a slice of bread!

Off this simple bread dip goes to dear Valli's MEC: Bottled event!

Thats it for now folks!.. will be back again with another adventure of 'My Baking Ballyhoo'.

...till then keep smiling!!!!


A hearty Thanks to one and all who participated in Open Sesame 2 and made it a huge success. We are all waiting for your yummy entries now!!

To check the entries received up till now: Click here

To view the cumulative score card for Open Sesame: Visit here*

* the participant's details are added to the list as and when their entries for OS 2 are received.

Reminder: Only 4 days left 'Frozen Yogurt' event! (details on the sidebar!).. :))

signing off for now,

June 22, 2008

WBB: Akoori

Once again I am back with a yummy egg recipe. This time a Parsi breakfast entree - Akoori.

Akoori - Parsi style eggs

Adapted from here.

2 Eggs
1 tsp Oil or clarified butter
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp crushed ginger
1 medium Onion, chopped
1 handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
1 tbsp tomato puree
2 tbsp Milk (Rec: light cream)


Saute the onions in oil/butter until soft. Add the garlic and ginger and Cook for a minute. Add tomato puree, cilantro and cook until it forms a mixture, the consistency of gravy. You may need to add a few tbsp of water if needed.

Add the milk, stir in and crack in the eggs. Scramble to the desired consistency.

Serve with any kind of bread.

Raaga asked for breakfasts which can be made in 15 minutes or less. Hence, Off this yummy Akoori goes to her event - WBB: Express Breakfasts!



T&C: Pitod/Patod ka Saag

'Taste & Create' is one innovative idea of Nicole where she pairs up we food bloggers randomly, and each of us got to whip a yummy dish from our partner's blog! this is my first time and I must say, I thoroughly enjoied it!

I was paired up with the prolific baker - MS of Sometime Foodie. Oh boy!, she has this amazing talent of baking beautiful cakes and am glad to know that she took this up as a profession now! Visit her 'Cakeworks' blog to have a peek of her lovely decked up cakes!!

.....I am not that good a baker yet, so I chose to make a simple Pitod/Patod Ka Saag for T&C. this very close to 'Besan Ki Sabzi', I made earlier, but had a very different and unique taste!

Here is a look....

I followed measurements as per MS's recipe and just added a tbsp of tomato puree for the color and taste!

Have a great Sunday ahead!

Signing off for now,

June 19, 2008

Roti Mela: Onion Bhakri

Here is my last and final entry to Valli's Roti Mela - Onion Bhakri.
I usually prefer rotis over rice..and am eagerly looking forward for the roundup of Roti Mela! Yeh Yeh!

Onion Bhakri


2 cups Wheat flour
1 medium sized Onion , finely chopped
1 Green chilli, finely chopped
2 tbsp Curd
1/2 tsp Red Chilli powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric
Salt - to taste
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
2 tsp Oil


1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl and knead with adding water as needed. Set aside for 15-20 mins.

2. Make small balls out of the dough and roll them into rotis.

3. Fold in the ends into its center and turn over to roll it again into a bigger roti.

4. Heat the pan and place the bhakri over it. Cook both sides with oil/butter.

5. Serve warm with curry.

For a step-by-step preparation of Bhakris: Click here.

To accompany these yummy rotis, I made......

Tried & Tested # 9: Namratha's Spicy Chickpea and Eggplant curry!

- Siri

June 18, 2008

For Bri....

This is an appeal on behalf of a group of food bloggers who are friends of Briana Brownlow @ Figs With Bri.

Bri was diagnosed with breast cancer two and half years ago. A mastectomy, chemotherapy and two years of relatively good health later, the cancer is back. It has metastasized to other parts of her body. At the age of 15, Bri lost her 41-year old mother to the disease. Now, she’s waging her own war against breast cancer. More about it here.

She is going through intensive chemo and other treatments and needs to focus single-mindedly on healing and finding what treatment works best for her. Her health insurance, unfortunately, does not cover holistic alternatives which she would like to try. Bri and her husband Marc have enough on their plates right now in addition to worrying about her medical bills.

The team organizing the JUNE edition of CLICK at Jugalbandi has organised a fundraiser to help Bri and her family meet her out-of-pocket medical costs for ONE YEAR.

CLICK is a monthly theme-based photography contest hosted by Jugalbandi. This month’s theme is: YELLOW for Bri.

Yellow is the colour of Hope. Through the work of the LiveStrong Foundation, it has also come to signify the fight against cancer.

..............Get Well Soon Brii!!..All our prayers are with you.

All the entries can be viewed HERE. The deadline for entries is June 30, 2008. The fundraiser will extend until July 15, 2008.

The target amount is 12,000 U.S. dollars. We appeal to our fellow bloggers and readers to help us achieve this. Bri deserves a chance to explore all options, even if her insurance company thinks otherwise.

There’s a raffle with exciting prizes on offer. After viewing the list, you may make your donation HERE or at the Chip-In button on any participating site.

Your donation can be made securely through credit card or Pay Pal and goes directly to Bri’s account.

This month’s photo contest also has some prizes. Details HERE.

You can support this campaign by donating to the fundraiser, by participating in CLICK: the photo event, and by publicizing this campaign.

This is my earnest appeal to chip in, whatever you can, as I did and let the world know that - 'WE DO CARE!'

Love U Bri...and May God Bless You with Good Health.


June 17, 2008

Tofu Butter Masala

After the grueling, yet basking roundup, here I am back with a short story ...and a yummy Tofu Butter Masala!

Off this goes to Kalyn's Weekend Herb Blogging, this week guest hosted by Joanna from
'Joanna's Food'

Story first...

Long Long ago, a king wanted to test his subjects. He placed a huge boulder in the middle of the main road leading to his city. Then he hid himself and watched to see people's reactions. Some of the king's wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it. None did anything about getting the big stone out of the way.

Then a peasant came along, carrying a load of vegetable basket. On approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to move the stone to the side of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded. As the peasant picked up the vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder was placed.

The purse contained gold coins and a note from the king -

Smooth roads never make good drivers,
Smooth seas never make good sailors,
Clear skies never make good pilots,
A problem free life never makes a strong and good person.
Have a tough but winning day ahead!
Be strong enough to accept the challenges in life.
Don't ask Life, 'Why Me?', instead say 'Try Me!'...!!!!

Now.. the recipe...

Tofu Butter Masala


2 cups of Tofu cubes
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
1 tsp Ginger Garlic paste
Salt - to taste

For Masala Mix:

1 tbsp Coriander powder
1/2 tbsp Garam Masala powder
1/2 tbsp Red Chilli powder
2 tsp Tomato Ketchup
2 tbsp Tomato Puree
1 cup Milk
1/4 tsp Turmeric


1. In a bowl, whisk in all the ingredients listed for 'Masala Mix' and keep aside.

2. Heat some oil in a wok, saute onion and ginger garlic paste for couple of minutes. Add in the 'Masala Mix' mixture. Cover and cook for 5-6 minutes on low flame.

3. Finally add Tofu cubes and season with salt. Simmer for 7-8 minutes on meduim-low flame. Make sure the cubes are dipped into the sauce.

4. Serve hot with roti, naan or any flat bread!

Have a great day ahead!

Signing off for now,

June 16, 2008

AWED: Middle Eastern Cuisine - Roundup

Disclaimer: Enter at your own risk! Highly addictive stuff coming ahead. Any resemblance or reference to persons living or dead is purely unintentional and the main motive is just 'Fun' & 'Humour'. For any questions or concerns reg the roundup, send me an email...:)

Finally Finally, the Mega Roundup for AWED: Middle Eastern Cuisine is here!

...Grab a cup of coffee and relax in your couch folks..!! its time to ride away to deserts of Middle East and taste some yummiest delicacies of the region!!!


All thanks to this wonderful lady, who gave me this opportunity to guest host this awesome event and Oh boy! I thoroughly enjoyed it!.

Lets kickstart the ride with her yummy 'Beetroot Hummus'. Shall we?

This beverage was indispensable during exams for me,
Anu went ahead and gave it a fancy name as 'Kuwaiti Tea'[1]

When again, we challenged Anu to flatter
she came up with her yummy ‘Zattar Platter’[2]!

Its one sure way to refresh your senses...
the budding cook's home made 'Bakhlava'[4] and 'Roasted Red Pepper hummus'[3]!

I started cooking a dish for this event, which turned out to be a mystery
I boldly went ahead and named it 'Spinach Pastry'[5]

Then I made Seena's yummy Arabic 'Eggplant rice'[6],
....... for which u have to pay no price.

Sangeeth whipped up a yummy appetizer - 'Salatat Bhatinjan'[7]
trying to pronounce it would be great fun!

Have to say, Aparna's kiddo damn lucky,
for (s)he gets to taste her ‘Shortbread cookie’[8].

Bee and Jai made a beautiful 'Whole Wheat Challah Bread'[9],
...... again they prove, so difficult is their path to tread.
Ranji creates a 'Turkish seeded bread - Pide'[10],
the sight of first bread filled her with immense pride!

EasyCrafts whips up a yummy dish - 'Lemon juice and Lentils'[11]
with sumptuousness, our stomach it fills!
Check out Kalai’s colorful 'Saffron Couscous'[12]
on tasting, I am sure the worst of enemies will call over for a truce!

Lovely Nupur writes for One Hot Stove
where she unveils her Middle Eastern ('Kizartma'[13] & 'Couscous'[14]) treasure trove.
To taste Uma’s yummy 'Baboosa'[15]
I would, any given day jump off the Leaning Tower of Pisa!
Lara made these beautiful 'Turnip pickles'[16]
Yum! see how they give you luscious trickles!

Ashaji’s entry this time is 'Khoubiz and (Adas bis silq) Lentil Soup'[17],
go! check out her blog and you will know why is she the leader of the troupe!

Here is a yummy 'Hummus dip'[18] by dear Meera,
continuing the saga of irresistible Middle eastern aura!
Our next stop is at Sreelu’s Tasty Travels,
where, 'Sun dried Tomato Hummus & Baked Pita chips',[19] she unravels.
Coming up, Lisa’s 'Chickpea & Olive Salad'[20]
............is a truly colorful culinary ballad!

Next is a healthy 'Lentil Fattoush Salad'[21] from Suganya’s Tasty Palette(s),
don't you agree, if I say - She will win an election without the ballot!
Smitha made a delicious 'Chipotle hummus/bean dip'[22],
was wondering - if for free she could ship!
How about Priya with her home made 'Pita Bread Sandwich'[23],
it will for sure add to your dinner plate, a soothing touch!
Ever heard of ‘Yemeni Ginger Coffee’[24]? from Petra of ‘Food Freak’,
it is one stop place for all the food, that you always seek!

Check out Meeta’s 'Couscous Salad'[25] at What’s for Lunch Honey,
Microsoft might find her blog a better deal than Yahoo, for their money!
Sumathi cooked up delectable 'Moroccon Fried Eggplant'[26]
making sure you record Sumi’s kitchen in bolder font!

Sireesha’s scrumptious 'Hara Bhara Kabab'[27]
am sure will raise a frenzy in any hungry mob!
Here is Happy Cook with a colorful 'Hibiscus Tea'[28]
If it were available, this would be preferred to nectar, by the honeybee!!

Two yummy dishes - 'Majuddarah'[29] and 'Falafel'[30] made by dear Jayashree,
Wow! such lovely delights she has given us for free!
Nirmala experimented with 'Bird Nest Pastries'[31] at her Amma’s special,
…whet our appetite even if our tummies are full!
Here come delicious 'Turkish Tomato Pilaf'[32] from JZ’s Tasty Treats,
......which I am sure is sweeter than the lines of Keats!

Cham’s creativity was let loose,
the proof is this healthy 'Veggie Couscous'[33]!
'Aish sal Sarraya'[34] is from Arachana’s kitchen
A cool dessert to contrast the summer’s scorching sun!

Coming up next is yummy ‘Pistachio and Walnut Baklava’[35] made by Y,
Man! I am sure, upon trying, u will give out a delightful cry!

Here comes a classic middle eastern 'Harissa soup'[36]
Jenny, could you make it for the entire group!

Amelia made the classic middle eastern 'Hummus' & 'Tahini'[37],
I know, this will be the first thing you will ask from Alladin’s Genie.
Next is 'Baba ghanouj'[38] from Sowmya of Creative Saga
In middle eastern cooking, this is like a classic carnatic raaga!
Divya sends her delicious 'Haleeb ma hal'[39]
nothing beats this elegant drink, your stomach will instantly cool!
Mythreyee gives us her luscious 'Herbed Feta Cheese dip'[40],
a lovely accompaniment for a pack of pita chips.

Look at Bhags delectable 'Tzatziki'[41],
it is so yummy that I couldn’t take my eyes off like a tape so sticky.
Lets welcome Chitra with her 'Greek salad'[42] with 'Bean and Spinach Rice'[43]
........... to add the needed touch of spice!
Try out Rachel’s 'Millet Falafel'[44]
I am sure, you will beat Google, if you open a store for these to sell!!

Anna writes for 'Morsels and Musings',
for this event, 'Tabbouleh'[45] & 'Hummus'[46] have taken off on her creative wings!
Here comes Jamie’s 'Turkish Delight'[47]!
I challenge! try and resist it with all our might!
Welcome Zita with her 'M’sakhan'[48] – a yummy almondy Arabic bread,
any inihibitions about Middle Eastern cooking you may have, will shed!

Don’t miss Medhaa’s 'Hummus'[49] with 'Falafel'[50],
enjoi your stomach’s full, why bother u can always take a pill!!
Check out Divya’s 'Baklava'[51] and 'Potato pies'[52],
you are guaranteed to try them in 3 days, thrice!

Next in our middle eastern journey, is Bharti of Veggie Foodist,
her 'Tandoori Tikkis' and 'Moutabel with Toasted Pitas' [53] gave snacks a new twist!
Cheryl shared her secret recipe - 'Almond Rosewater cookie'[54],
............which could be easily tried by any rookie!
Right on time is Shubha with a cool 'Cucumber and Yougurt dip'[55]
......a befitting entry for this hot summer, make it.. thats my tip!
How about a bowl of pretty 'Beetroot Hummus'[56], by Dee of Ammalu's Kitchen,
............proving once again that the ‘spoon is mightier than the pen’!

P.S: A special thanks to 'S' - my husband, who came to my rescue with his ever cheerful smile, when I completely ran out of ideas, bursting out, scratching my head about what to write..
.....and I can surely say - he saved this roundup..:)
Thank you so much to one and all for sending in your delectable entries to this month's AWED: Middle Eastern and making it a grand success!!..
Wondering whats the next theme for AWED? Its "CHINESE"...!!
Check out Dhivya's space for more details!!

Before I sign off - Wishing you a very Happy Father's Day!.... I love u Dad.. and I miss u!

Source: 4KraftyKids

- Siri

June 14, 2008

RCI: Egg Shoap

I am 'day dreaming' these days......... Oh ya.... ....

As T.E. Lawrence in 'Seven Pillars of Wisdom' says -

"There are dreamers, but not all human beings dream equally. Some are dreamers of the night, who in the dusty recesses of their mind dream and wake in the morning to find it was just vanity. But the Dreamers of the Day are dangerous people because they act their dreams into reality with open eyes."

Never ever underestimate the value of your night dreams for problem solving and creative approaches to your situation. And, by all means, keep dreaming during the day. I usually tap into those recurring thoughts and ideas that have followed me for years now!.. and am sure will be become a reality soon!..:)

I strongly believe that - If you can't dream it, it won't happen. Success doesn't sneak up on us. It starts as a dream that we combine with a clear plan of action! Join me.. become a 'Dreamer of the Day'.. and watch ur success soar!!!

...even though I was 'day dreaming', I didn't forget to cook for by dear friend - Bhags RCI event, featuring North Eastern Cuisine. I must confess, I had absolutely no clue about what was the food like of the people of 'Seven Sisters of India'.

'googling' didn't help me much.. but I managed to whip up a yummy breakfast/snack entree from Nagaland - Egg Shoap!

Egg Shoap

Adapted from here.

Serves 4

2 medium Potatoes, boiled and peeled
2 Eggs, boiled and peeled
1 Onion, finely chopped
1-2 chopped Green chillies
1 tsp Coriander powder
1/2 tsp Cumin powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric
Salt to taste
Bread crumbs
1 beaten Egg
Oil for frying


Mash potatoes along with the eggs. In a pan heat some oil and fry chopped onions along with green chillies. Fry till golden brown. Add salt,coriander, cumin and turmeric. Add the fried onions to mashed eggs and potato mixture. Make small balls of the egg-potato mixture.

Whisk the unboiled egg in a bowl. Coat the balls first with the egg and then with the bread crumbs. In a wok, heat some oil and fry the balls till golden brown and serve hot with black tea. This is a good breakfast or you can eat as a snack.

Serve with Tomato Oambal.

Have a great weekend ahead folks!

Coming up next: Roundup for AWED: Middle Eastern!



June 12, 2008

Roti Mela: Palak Khasta Roti

Finally I did it!.. I made the fluffiest and yummiest rotis ever.. All thanks to the tip - of adding curd and bread slices to the dough!

... and here is the proof - Palak Khasta Roti.

Off these rotis go to Valli's Roti Mela - as promised in my last post!

Palak Khasta Roti

Adapted from here.


2 cups Whole Wheat Flour
2 White bread slices, trimmed edges
3 tbsp Yogurt
1/4 tsp Baking powder
Salt to taste
1 cup blanched Spinach, chopped
water - to knead


1. In a small bowl, mix yogurt and bread slices, mash them into a smooth paste.

2. Mix the flour, yogurt mixture and rest of the ingredients. Knead into soft dough using little water. Rest the dough for about 15-20 minutes, covered.

Note: Addition of curd and bread gives a nice, soft texture to the rotis.

3. Shape dough into small balls and roll them out into circular shaped rotis.

4. Put a roti on a heated griddle and cook both sides with some oil. I used PAM spray just to cut down some calories.

5. These rotis taste divine when served immediately with any hot and spicy curry. Y.U.M.M.O!!


Dear Uma bestowed me with 'Inspiration Award'.. Wow.. feels so good to know that -
'I inspired someone!!. Thanks dear..:)

This beautiful award is started by dear Jamie of Flavour Pantry. What an awesome award, dear Jamie! In her own words:
This is given to bloggers whose stories and recipes inspire us. Whether it’s to eat healthier, dive back into our past to conjure up something we ate as children, or just make the light bulbs in our brains go on with a new idea for a recipe.
As recipients of this award, please share with us what inspires you and then pass on the Inspiration Award to 4 other deserving bloggers.
Please let them know what the award means and what to do with it.
Feel free to post the Inspiration Award Logo on your site for the whole blogsphere to see. (logo photo taken by my inspiring friend and co-author of Dueling Foodies, Beth.)
The sole inspiration in my life have been my GOD, and nobody else! Yes.. he is the symbol of strength and the only one who exalts and gives me imperturbable strength to fight back and be true to my conscience!

As per the rule, I have to pass this on to 4 other bloggers who inspired me the most:

Dhivya : for her ever lasting friendship and fo being my BEST FRIEND ever!.
Lathamma : She is one motherly figure whom I adore the most!
Ashaji : I admire her zeal and passion for delectable food!
Arundathi (Anu) : Though, I have known her for a very short time, she ushered so much love and compassion that I see her as my GOOD FRIEND!

Have a great day ahead!


June 10, 2008

Garlic, Chickpea, Spinach Soup

Before the Spinach and E.Coli outbreak , which created a havoc here in US, resulting in recall of tonnes of fresh spinach from the grocery stores could be soon forgotten, our 'Love Apples' a.k.a Tomatoes are bitten by the bacteria bug!

As The New York Times reports - Fresh Tomatoes have been pulled off from stores like Mc Donalds, Wal-Mart, Burger King and many other popular food joints due to a bacteria called Amid Salmonella.

Some notes about Salmonella:

Salmonella is a bacteria that lives in the intestinal tracts of humans and other animals. The bacteria are usually transmitted to humans by eating foods contaminated with animal feces.
Most infected people suffer fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps starting 12 to 72 hours after infection. The illness tends to last four to seven days.

I strongly feel, its always better be safe than sorry. Be careful while consuming 'uncooked tomatoes' for a while, atleast till the FDA determines whats the cause for this outbreak!

Now coming to today's recipe - its a combo of garlic, pureed chickpeas and spinach with some seasoning... what else can we ask for in a soup....:)

Garlic,Chickpea,Spinach Soup


1 can Chickpeas, rinsed
1/2 medium Onion, chopped
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 tbsp Olive Oil
4 cups Vegetable stock
1 tsp Cumin powder
1 tsp Coriander powder
2 tsp Cornflour
1 tsp Sesame paste (optional)
1 medium Potato, cubed
1 cup Spinach, blanched
Salt & Pepper - to season


1. Heat oil in a pan, add garlic and onion. Saute for 5 mins until golden brown. Add cumin powder and coriander powder. Cook for 1 more minute.

2. Add vegetable stock and chopped potatoes. Boil and simmer for 10mins. Add chickpeas and Cook until tender.

3. Mix in cornflour(with little water, make sure there are no lumps!) , sesame paste, seasoning. Cook for 2 minutes and blend together.

4. Add to soup with spinach. Bring to boil for couple of minutes. Season with salt & pepper.

5. Serve hot!

Off this warm soup goes to Lisa's No Croutons Required event, this month's theme is soups or salads featuring legumes.


Pallavi of 'All thingz yummy' has tagged me for '10 things I hate' Meme: here goes the list...

1. I hate waking up early in the morning.. I am an owl - a night person!

2. I hate people who offer their unsolicited advices. typically I stay away from them, as I easily get influenced by other's remarks!

3. I hate being Lazy, but at times (or should I say most of the times!) I AM LAZY, even - to pick up a glass of water!

4. I don't like people who break their promises, unless they have a genuine reason. If u can't do it, then why create hope in others?.. Don't u see a point??

5. Smoking - this is one habit which gets onto my nerves.

6. I hate Indian Politics - I strongly feel, its a garbage full of leaders who are good for nothing, corrupted people!

7. Loud Music - I can't take music that too loud, esp the gaana-bajaana during marriages until early mornings!!

.. I guess, am done...can't think of any others right now!

By rule, I have to tag just 4, but am gonna tag all my fellow recipe marathon runners - Laks, Anu, Raaga, Dhivi, Ranji, Swati, Divya, Valli and Bhags for this Meme!

If any of you guys has already done this..give me the link ok.. I wanna know what u ppl hate the most!!! *wink*


Coming up next - Palak Khasta Roti for Valli's Roti Mela!


June 8, 2008

YRTML: Aloo Posto

A man of character finds a special attractiveness in difficulty. Since it is only by coming to grips with difficulty, that he can realize his potentialities.

- Charles de Gaulle

Let me share a small story with u all...

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared and he watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole.

Then it seemed to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it could go no further. So, the man decided to help the butterfly. So, he snipped off the remaining bit of cocoon. The butterfly then emerged easily.

But it had a swollen body and small, shriveled wings. The man expected that the wings would enlarge and expand to support the body, which would contract in time, but neither happened. Instead the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shriveled wings. It never flew.

What the man, in his kindness and haste, didn't understand was that the restricting cocoon was God's way of forcing fluid from the butterfly's body into its wings so that it would fly once free from the cocoon.

Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need. If God allowed us to go through our lives without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong and could never fly!! Isn't it..

...now coming to the recipe...You all know that Dee has sent me Koora podi as a part of Arusuvai goodies and I had this recipe from Nupur's blog bookmarked for a while now!.. I thought this is the best time to entertain myself.. with some Aloo Posto...;)

Variations: I just added a tbsp of tomato puree and Dee's Koora podi!

Off this goes to Zlamushka's Tried & Tasted event, this month featuring Nupur's One HotStove!

Have a great Sunday ahead folks!


June 6, 2008

Arusuvai has arrived!!! and Winners for Open Sesame 1

Yes, u heard it right.. my most awaited moment has finally arrived!.. when I got my USPS package from lovely Dee. Thanks for the lovely treats Dee ..U surely made my day !!

Here are some clicks..

Dee's sweet letter and yummy Mango Tandra!

Koora Podi (Curry powder)

Koora Podi recipe for Dee's blog!

Homemade oats spelt with nuts, maple syrup and honey!

Oats spelt recipe.. coming up on Dee's blog!

Bamboo Utensil set

Thanks Dee, for all the goodies. I love them all!!.. I am all set to whip some yummy dishes with these ingredients this weekend..:) will post the recipes soon!


Winners of Open Sesame 1:

Its time for some more fun now..its time to announce the winners of Open Sesame 1 - the voting took place from June 1st to June 5th 2008 and here are the results:

Box 1: Okra

Kalai - 75% (9 out of 12 votes)
Divya - 25% (3 out of 12 votes)

Winner is - Kalai.. Congratulations dear!

Box 2: Spice

Winner is Arundathi. Congrats Anu!!

Box 3: Grain

Uma - 33% 6 out of 18
Srivalli - 11% 2 out of 18
Madhu - 27% 5 out of 18
Rachel - 11% 2 out of 18
Cham - 16% 3 out of 18

...and the winner is Uma. Congratulations dear!!

My hearty wishes to all the winners. Please send in your shipping address to ifl(dot)opensesame(at)gmail(dot)com and a surprise gift would be sent to u soon!.

Open Sesame 2 is already announced...Here I present you some rules for the game!

Note: Please do note that some rules have been modified..:)

You have 4 boxes to choose from...each of them has a riddle about - a veggie, a grain, a fruit and a spice(not necessarily in this order.. any box can have any category)

Rule 1) You can make any random selection of any the boxes which would contains one of the above mentioned ingredients (only 1 box per person) by shooting an email to ifl(dot)opensesame(at)gmail.com, with your Name and Choice of box. Within 24 hours, a riddle would be sent to you.

Rule 2) By June 24th 2008 (midnight EST), you need to crack the riddle and find out the hidden ingredient.

Note: 3 chances in total would be given to each participant. Once the riddle is sent, the member replies back with her first guess. If its correct, then BINGO! - She gets 25 points. In case, the first guess is incorrect, a hint would be automatically sent to the participant and will be playing for only 20 points; 2nd hint - 15 points; 3rd hint - 10 points.

Each line of the riddle has a hint to the secret ingredient.. Please do place a close attention to those.. and believe me, cracking the riddle is a no-brainer..:D

Rule 3) Once we confirm that you have the ingredient right, you can go-ahead and make a super duper preferably a vegetarian recipe with it. Recipe along with the puzzle will have to be posted in the week of 25th-30th of June 2008 with a link back to this announcement and Dhivya's blog.

Send in your entry details -"Name", "Recipe Name", "Recipe URL", a 300 X 300 photo to ifl(dot)opensesame(at)gmail(dot)com.

Rule 4) Common Voting will begin from 1st - 5th of July (midnight EST), where forum members get to vote for their favorite recipe and we have one winner who will receive a surprise gift!!..:lol:

Note: Yes not only the prize but points help too since every 6 months there is a count of total points which get that person another surprise gift. Isn't that exciting!!! :)

Lets be a sport and crack the code by ourselves or ask family members. NO fellow blogger's help allowed :D

[Non-bloggers can also participate. All they need to do - send an email, solve the riddle and send in the recipe, I will post them on my blog at the end of this month!]

In any case, if you donot receive ur riddle in 24 hours, please leave a message here in this thread.

So, Are u all set for the second edition of Open Sesame. Lets get cracking then,,:lol:

Have a great weekend ahead!

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