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Friday, November 30, 2012

The End of NaBloPoMo 2012 + Roundup of all posts

 
"Nothing builds self-esteem and self-confidence like accomplishment." ~ Thomas Carlyle 


With great pride, relief and little sadness, am saying that today is the last day of my month-long NaBloPoMo journey. I never did this before in my 5 years of blogging - hitting the Publish button diligently every single day. Indeed it was a beautiful challenge which needs a lot of dedication, effort and creativity (to come up with new posts) on one's part. It isn't for the faint heart which I would love to take it up again in future. :-)

Being honest, I never thought that I would pull it off considering how tumultuous our lives were because of dad's accident. I was looking for a good distraction, an outlet where I can take my mind off from happenings around me. Indeed, it worked!. Yay!

Below is a small roundup of posts I wrote and recipes I cooked since past 30 days! 

Day 1 - Happy Halloween
Day 2 - Black and White Photography: Kneading Dough
Day 3 - World Vegan Month: Raw Plantain Chips Recipe | Quick Snacks | Family Favorites
Day 4 - Sunday Link Love # 1
Day 5 - Photography: Finding Strength in True Love!
Day 6 - Broccoli Paruppu Usili - a Step by Step Recipe
Day 7 - Wordless Wednesday: Divine Power
Day 8 - 100 Favourite Diwali/Deepavali Recipes from around the blogosphere
Day 9 - Punugulu | Punukulu | Crispy Fritters with Dosa Batter Recipe
Day 10 - Black and White Photography: Come Dine With Me!
Day 11 - Sunday Link Love # 2
Day 12 - Vaidehi Ashram Kids Shirdi Trip Photographs Part 1
Day 13 - Vaidehi Ashram Kids Shirdi Trip Photographs Part 2
Day 14 - Vaidehi Ashram Kids Shirdi Trip Photographs Part 3
Day 15 - Vaidehi Ashram Kids Shirdi Trip Photographs Part 4
Day 16 - Black and White Photography: Spoons
Day 17 - Unusual Combo - Upma + Mirchi Bajji
Day 18 - Sunday Link Love # 3
Day 19 - Green Cabbage and Lentil Rice + Canon Powershot Camera Giveaway
Day 20 - Tomato and Carrot (No Cream) Soup + Amazon & Olive Garden giftcards giveaway
Day 21 - Toor Dal Chutney | Kandi Pachadi
Day 22 - Thanksgiving special - Vegan Potato Latkes (Potato Pancakes)
Day 23 - Black and White Photography: Dessert First!
Day 24 - Pearl Millet and Brown Rice Khichdi
Day 25 - Sunday Link Love # 4 + Self Portrait!
Day 26 - Its Monday! What are you Reading?
Day 27 - Arbi Tamarind Dry Curry | Chamadumpala Pulihora Koora 
Day 28 - Wordless Wednesday: Tomato Patch on our roof garden
Day 29 - Black and White Photography: Green Tea
Day 30 - The End of NaBloPoMo + Roundup of all posts

I know I am a bit late, but please bear with me. I will announce the giveaway winners in tomorrow's post.

until then, Chao!





Thursday, November 29, 2012

Black and White Photography: Green Tea

 

“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”  ~ Henry James, The Portrait of a Lady


the above quote is as perfect as it can be in my case. The ritual of drinking 'tea' every single day restores normality in my life and helps to keep me sane. :-)


The photograph is of Honey and Ginger Green Tea which I end up making pretty often - served hot in winters and cold in summers.

Sending this as an entry to Rosa of Rosa's Yummy Yums who is guest hosting the Black and White Wednesday # 61 this week, currently being manged by Cindystar.

Today is Day 29 of my NaBloPoMo challenge. Check out all of the posts previously published here.



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until tomorrow, which is last day of my NaBloPoMo challenge!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Tomato Patch in our roof top garden..



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***Giveaways for this Holiday Season***

Last Date: November 30th 2012 (Just 2 more days left)

{Holiday Giveaway 1} A chance to win Canon Powershot Camera giveaway (Open for Indian Residents only ) - Try your luck here.



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{Holiday Giveaway 2} Win $25 Amazon and Olive Garden giftcards. (Open for everybody) - For more details, Click here.

















until tomorrow,

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Chamadumpala Pulihora Koora | Arbi (Tara root | Colocasia) Tamarind Curry Recipe | Quick and Easy Side Recipes

 
Sometimes simplicity belies a truth about one's cooking and it is hard to prepare simple food so delicately that there is no hiding behind artifice where each ingredient shines through by itself. It doesn't have to be those butter-laden pleasure bombs like Palak Paneer or Makhani. On a day when am out of time or bored of eating rich, high calorie food, I opt for dishes like today's which are quick, easy and come very handy with less than 5 main ingredients. This Arbi Curry is still a family favorite and my mum makes it at least weekly once. Its tangy and its zingy! Try it today.

Enjoy.



{Recipe} Arbi Tamarind Dry Curry | Chamadumpala Pulihora Koora 

Ingredients:

10-12 arbi/colocasia/tara root/chamadumpalu
few curry leaves
salt - to taste
1/8 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp red chilli powder
2 green chillies, chopped
2 tbsp (or more if desired) tamarind pulp

For Tadka -

1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp each of - cumin seeds, mustard seeds, chana dal and urad dal
1 pinch of hing

Preparation:

1. Pressure cook arbi for 2 whistles. Peel and cut into even sized pieces.

2. Heat oil in a shallow pan and add all the ingredients listed under 'tadka'. On low-medium flame, let them sizzle a bit. Then add green chillies, curry leaves, tamarind pulp, salt, turmeric and chilli powder. Once the spices are cooked for 1-2 minutes on low flame, add boiled arbi. Toss gently until evenly coated. Cook on medium-high flame for 4-5 mins until they are nice & golden. Serve as a side with rice and rasam.

Note: If you haven't - Check out these two giveaways - a chance to win a Canon Powershot Camera or Amazon + Olive Garden Gift Cards. Last Date: November 30th 2012.



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Today is Day 27 of my NaBloPoMo challenge. Check out all of the posts previously published here.


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until tomorrow,






Monday, November 26, 2012

Its Monday! What are you Reading?

 


I was never into reading books especially fiction until few years ago. I find it strange saying that out loud as now, most of the times you will find me with a book in hand, wherever I go. It was my ex-roomie R when I was working in Virginia who very diligently took me to the library every Saturday. That day was also our grocery day as well. Every weekend for 2 long years the schedule was almost the same. - First drop was to library, next was Trader Joes and then a coffee at nearest Star Bucks. Now, I miss those carefree, freedom-to-do-whatever-you-want days!

Goodreads is a fun way to create a virtual book shelf and keep adding books one wish to read. Right now, I am deep into "Kitchen Counter Cooking School" by Kathleen Flinn. For those who live on frozen dinners and boxed foods (I don't), this book can be really inspiring and make you want to cook everything right from scratch. There are few recipes too which I bookmarked at the end of each chapter and can't wait to try them.

Other books in the pipeline - The Runaway Jury by John Grisham  and Istanbul: Memories and the City by Orhan Pamuk.

Tagging this blog post to It's Monday! What Are You Reading? meme over at Book Journey.

Today is Day 26 of my NaBloPoMo challenge. Check out all of the posts previously published here.



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until tomorrow,

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Link Love # 4 + Self Portrait!

 

Quote of the Week: You must do the thing you think you cannot do.   – Eleanor Roosevelt

The above quote sits perfect for me, right now. I never thought I would be able to do a blogging challenge which involves hitting the "Publish" button every single day of November. Yay! I proved myself wrong and Today in already 25th of November. Just 5 more days to go! Nupur and Arundati are two of my other blogger friends who doing a beautiful job with this challenge. Recently I started to read Cheeky Chilli written by Sharmila, another NaBloPoMo challenger. A special mention goes to her as well. :-)

Below are few links I enjoyed reading this past week -

How to Stay Healthy With Weekly Meal Planning, a comprehensive lesson by Jennifer Blanchard on Lifehack.

I want somebody to make me this Ful Medames (Stewed Fava Beans) with some homemade crackers. Looks so damn delicious.

All my blogger friends might find this article on Write to Done useful - 8 Sneaky Little Ways To Make Your Blog Posts More Shareable

26 Alternatives to Tastespotting and Foodgawker (for more blog traffic and to increase your online presence)

Official blog of Jeff & Zoe (Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day fame) - Simply love it!

Read these foodie columns - Alan Richman on GQ ; A Good Appetite Column by Melissa Clark ; David Tanis on New York Times

Best Books of Year: Top 100 Picks for 2012 (Amazon.com)

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***Giveaways for this Holiday Season***

Last Date: November 30th 2012

{Holiday Giveaway 1} A chance to win Canon Powershot Camera giveaway (Open for Indian Residents only ) - Try your luck here.



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{Holiday Giveaway 2} Win $25 Amazon and Olive Garden giftcards. (Open for everybody) - For more details, Click here.
















*********************************************************************************

Today is Day 25 of my NaBloPoMo challenge. Check out all of the posts previously published here.


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until tomorrow,








Saturday, November 24, 2012

Quick and Easy Meals: Pearl Millet and Brown Rice Khichdi Recipe

 
It has been a very long, tiring and hectic week from all fronts - at home, blogging-wise (NaBloPoMo) and at work. That's when my mind wheels around for some quick and easy meals. Put everything together in one pot and Voila, it should be done. Today's recipe - Pearl Millet and Brown Rice Khichdi  is such dish which I made today for lunch. Instead of the traditional white rice, I substituted the same with pearl millets and brown rice.

A small bowl of this khichdi with pickle and papads on the side is sumptuous enough for a busy weeknight or to spend your weekend, just lazing around without spending too much time in the kitchen. :-)

Enjoy!


{Recipe} Pearl Millet and Brown Rice Khichdi



Serves 2-3

Ingredients:

1/2 cup brown rice
1/2 cup pearl millet
1/2 cup moong dal
1/2 cup chopped spinach
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tbsp melted ghee
2 tsp finely chopped ginger
few curry leaves, corainder leaves
1 green chilli, slit lengthwise
4 cups of water
pinch of hing
salt - to taste
1/2 tsp black pepper

Preparation:

1. Wash and soak brown rice, millet and moong dal for atleast 1 hour.

2. In a pressure cooker, add soaked brown rice, millet, moong dal, spinach along with 4 cups of water. Cook for 4 whistles. Keep aside and let the pressure subside.

3. Heat 1 tbsp of ghee in a pan and add cumin seeds, ginger, hing, green chilies, curry leaves and coriander. Once they brown up a little, add pressure cooked rice and dal mixture. Season with salt & pepper powder. Mix well. Cook for 4-5 minutes until everything comes together.

4. Just before serving, drizzle the rest of the melted ghee and Serve with any chutney/pickle & papads.


More Simple Weeknight Meal Ideas:

Barley Lentil Chunky Soup
Margherita Tortilla Pizza
Easy Vegetarian Bean Chilli Recipe
Spaghetti Aglio Olio
Brown Rice Bisibelebath
Home-made Coconut Milk Fried Rice 
Roasted Cauliflower with Whole Cumin Seeds
Gobhi/Cauliflower Paratha, with Pickle Raita
Easy Spaghetti with Tomato Sauce and Fried Egg
Jeera Aloo 

Today is Day 24 of my NaBloPoMo challenge. Check out all of the posts previously published here.


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Delivered by FeedBurner

Be the first one to know what I am going to post next by "Liking" Cooking With Siri page on Facebook and follow me on twitter.



***Giveaways for this Holiday Season***

Last Date: November 30th 2012

{Holiday Giveaway 1} A chance to win Canon Powershot Camera giveaway (Open for Indian Residents only ) - Try your luck here.



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

{Holiday Giveaway 2} Win $25 Amazon and Olive Garden giftcards. (Open for everybody) - For more details, Click here.

















until tomorrow,





Friday, November 23, 2012

Black and White Photography: Dessert First!

 
"Happiness is life served up with a scoop of acceptance, a topping of tolerance and sprinkles of hope, although chocolate sprinkles also work." 
~ Robert Brault


This was one delicious piece of Blueberry Cheesecake I ate at Under the Mango Tree, Bangalore.


Sending this as entry to Haalo of Cook Almost Anything who is guest hosting the Black and White Wednesday # 60 this week, currently being manged by Cindystar.

Today is Day 23 of my NaBloPoMo challenge. Check out all of the posts previously published here.




***Giveaways for this Holiday Season***

Last Date: November 30th 2012

{Holiday Giveaway 1} A chance to win Canon Powershot Camera giveaway (Open for Indian Residents only ) - Try your luck here.



-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

{Holiday Giveaway 2} Win $25 Amazon and Olive Garden giftcards. (Open for everybody) - For more details, Click here.














Enter and Win Today!


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until tomorrow,







Thursday, November 22, 2012

Vegan Potato Latkes (Potato Pancakes) Recipe

 
The concept of Thanksgiving was alien to me until a few years ago. When I went to US to study, it was quite intriguing and fun to just watch, with how much gusto people over there celebrate their holidays from now onwards till New Year. Many meticulously plan their Thanksgiving dinners ,looking forward to  entertain their out-of-town relatives and get into the spirit of the season. I have seen that most of them are quite nervous about how their family would react to the food that's served!. ;-).

I personally don't celebrate Thanksgiving as a holiday, but I love the spirit of it. As I said in my last year's post, where I made some Rosemary Cheese Biscuits - "Its a time for remembering, cherishing and being thankful for all the wonderful things one has been blessed with". Indeed am surrounded with tons of positive minded people who became pillars of strength during my good and bad times!

a painting made by a little girl Kavita from Vaidehi Ashram.
This year I am particularly thankful to the wonderful readers of this blog. Thank you for being a part of my little journey, reading what I write and just supporting the cause I truly believed in. It still feels like a dream that I was able to raise about 4.5 Lakh Rupees through two Fund Drives this year and helped those little girls at the Ashram.

Thank YOU for having faith in me and trusting me. On this happy occasion of Thanksgiving, I am so super excited to announce that the entire amount of Rs 3,20,107 raised from the Fund Drive held in February 2012 has been spent for the children of Vaidehi Ashram with the recent of cheque of Rs 50,700 as their school fees. Click here for more details on how the money was spent. Words cannot describe how happy they are for the love and support you guys have showered on them.

Our responsibility to give the girls a better future doesn't end here. There is a constant need of funds for Kid's Education Fund (Vidya Nidhi) as every month more than 25,000 Rupees has to be paid as school fees for about 100+ school going girls. If you wish to lend a helping hand to the girls at the Ashram, please feel free to send me an email at - info[dot]siri[at]gmail[dot]com. I will be happy to coordinate in any which way you want to contribute. Thanks in advance. :-)


For most of the Thanksgiving meals must-have is a potato dish on the menu. Hence, here is a super simple, quick to make recipe - Vegan Potato Latkes (Potato Pancakes). Serve it with any kind of accompaniment or just as-is. These taste best when served warm.

potato pancakes on the griddle!


Thanksgiving Recipe Ideas:

Jalapeno Corn Bread Muffin with Easy Vegetarian Bean Chilli Recipe
Chocolate Coffee Almond Blondies
Indian Tater Tots
Rosemary Cheese Biscuits 
Oven-Fried Sweet Potatoes with Cilantro Gremolata 
Thanksgiving Meal: Baked Broccoli Rice Supreme, and Stuffed Bell Peppers 

{Recipe} Vegan Potato Latkes (Potato Pancakes) 

Makes around 10 small pancakes

Adapted from Vegnews

Ingredients:

2 big potatoes (~ 500 gms)
1 small onion, grated
1/4 cup all purpose flour
few tablespoons of chopped coriander/cilantro
salt -to taste
(Optional spices) - 1 tsp cumin powder, 1/2 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp coriander powder
few tbsp of oil, for shallow frying.

Preparation:

1. Peel and grate the potatoes. Squeeze out excess liquid from the potatoes. Place the grated potatoes in a bowl and add grated onion, flour, cilantro, salt, cumin powder, chilli powder and coriander powder. Mix well. Don't add any water.

2. In a skillet, add a tbsp of oil. Take a heaping tablespoon of batter and flatten it before gently placing it in hot oil. Make three or four more potato pancakes and add to skillet without crowding pan. Cook on low-medium heat until golden brown on both sides.

3. Repeat with remaining potato mixture, adding more oil as necessary. Remove cooked potato pancakes to paper towels to drain excess oil. Transfer to an ovenproof platter (if serving a little later) and keep warm in oven until all pancakes are cooked. Serve.



Wishing you all a very Happy Thanksgiving 2012.


***Giveaways for this Holiday Season***

Last Date: November 30th 2012

{Holiday Giveaway 1} A chance to win Canon Powershot Camera giveaway (Open for Indian Residents only ) - Try your luck here.



{Holiday Giveaway 2} Win $25 Amazon and Olive Garden giftcards. (Open for everybody) - For more details, Click here.





Today is Day 22 of my NaBloPoMo challenge. Check out all of the posts previously published here.


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until tomorrow,







Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Amma's Recipes: Toor Dal Chutney | Kandi Pachadi Recipe

 
Amma's recipes is one such column on this blog, which is very close to my heart. These are the recipes which my mother perfected over many many years and reflects how awesome a cook she is. It is also fun to just photograph once in a while, without thinking about what and how to make a recipe, worrying whether it would turn out well or not. She Cooks, I Photograph. That is the deal. :-) If you guys have any questions, do drop in a line or comment. My mom will be more than happy to answer all of them. 


Toor Dal Chutney | Kandi Pachadi as we call in Telugu

Being a working mom, with two picky-not-so-obedient kids and no support from either of in-laws, it was quite challenging for my mother to effectively take care of both work and home fronts. But, she did such a beautiful balancing act that we never felt she was not around or we are not being fed with proper home-cooked meals. Eating out in fancy restaurants was a bit of a luxury for us, growing up and reserved for only super-special occasions like birthdays.

Simple ingredients, quick & easy chutney recipe

On days when my mother would reach late at home, she would quickly whip up this super simple chutney for us. My dad would put the rice in the rice cooker, melt the ghee and fry few papads by the time she is home. In less than 15 minutes everything would come together and dinner is served. Even till today, this recipe tops the list of favorite-childhood-recipes-one-cherishes-forever. !! :-)

{Recipe} Toor Dal Chutney | Kandi Pachadi


Ingredients 

1/2 cup toordal (split pigeon peas)
3-4 dry, whole red chillies
a pinch of turmeric powder
1 garlic clove
1 tsp cumin seeds  (jeera)
1 tbsp tamarind pulp
1 tbsp oil
salt - to taste

For Tadka - (1 tsp each of mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad dal) + few curry leaves + a pinch of hing + 1 tbsp oil

Preparation:

1. Heat a pan and add oil. Once hot, roast the toor dal until its light browni-sh color. Add in red chillies, garlic and cumin seeds. Fry for 1-2 minutes on low heat. Season with turmeric and salt. Remove from heat and cool a bit.

2. Grind the dal mixture along with tamarind to a coarse mixture by adding water little by little. Transfer the chutney into a serving bowl.

3. Heat oil in a small pan and add all the ingredients listed for "Tadka". Once the mustard seeds start to splutter, pour the tadka over chutney and Mix well.

4. Serve it with hot rice, ghee and papads. Yummilicious!


Kandi Pachadi


***Giveaways for this Holiday Season***

Last Date: November 30th 2012

{Holiday Giveaway 1} A chance to win Canon Powershot Camera giveaway (Open for Indian Residents only ) - Try your luck here.



{Holiday Giveaway 2} Win $25 Amazon and Olive Garden giftcards. (Open for everybody) - For more details, Click here.






~ Dinner is Served ~


Today is Day 21 of my NaBloPoMo challenge. Check out all of the posts previously published here.


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until tomorrow,







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