May 25, 2013

[A Copy-Cat Recipe] Potato Smiles | Potato Smileys

1. a french fry that has been flattened and shaped into a circle, with two eyes and a smiley mouth cut out.

May 20, 2013

How to make Fresh Egg Pasta (Step-by-Step Recipe) + Orecchiette, the easy way

“Life is a combination of magic and pasta.”  Federico Fellini

..and I wanted to make some of my own pasta for a really long time, though a box of dried penne, spaghetti or farfalle is a beloved staple in my pantry. I love them so much that every time I watch a food or travel-based show based on Italy, I imagine myself rolling out a sheet of dough and making long pasta ribbons out of it. Such was my craziness!

After reading quite a few blog posts on the internet and flipping through Mark Bittman's book - How to Cook Everything Vegetarian cover to cover, last weekend I ventured into the kitchen to make atleast two kinds of fresh pasta. By the end of the day I was super thrilled with the fantastic results. Here I am sharing the first batch of pasta I made - Orecchiette, the easy way.


May 12, 2013

{Amma's Recipes} - Tangy Green Tomato Chutney 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.

A meal must always be given the respect it deserves. My mother made sure we did exactly that when we were young. She taught us the value of money, value of having good people around and how to be street-smart in this hard, competitive world. Rather than just saying, she always followed her heart and did things the right way. Will you ever be wrong?, I always tease her. :-)

May 9, 2013

Chilled Cucumber Salad With Garlic

It all started while I was reading Andrea Nguyen's interview in Monica Bhide's brilliant ebook - "In Conversation with Exceptional Women." If you crazy passionate about food and wish to know more about some of the best food writers of this generation, I highly recommend to read the book.

May 6, 2013

Stuffed Okra (Bhindi) with Indian Cottage Cheese (Paneer) in Tomato Gravy Recipe

My favorite vegetable is Okra i.e ladies finger or bhindi as we call here in India. Many of my friends tease me for my cravings to this supposedly a "slimy vegetable". But, I say any vegetable if cooked properly will taste fabulous and Okra is no exception. Today's recipe is one such fantastic variation (If I may say so) which I learnt from my mom. It is as simple as: stuffing okra with grated paneer, pan frying it until slightly charred and then dunking into a tomato gravy. This dish goes well with rotis and rice. Try it, am sure it will enter your favorite list too!.


May 3, 2013

20th Annual Day Celebrations at Vaidehi Ashram

“You have not lived today until you have done something for someone who can never repay you.” 
~ John Bunyan

It was a day to rejoice and to celebrate at Vaidehi Ashram as it completed 20 years of its existence  That's a big milestone, especially when an ashram survives all these years on its own with the help of generous donors and without any government support. Kudos to the people behind it who diligently attend to the needs of all 150+ girls who either have no parents or with a single parent who no longer want them. I deliberately don't delve into their life stories as the two times I tried, I found myself crying inconsolably right then and there. Some are such sad stories that one wouldn't believe that such an incident can actually happen in these modern times. The mindset of the parents who think girls as liabilities has to change. So, I go there, play with the kids, talk to them and see the brighter side of their lives. When I spend time with them, they give these wonderfully radiant smiles filled with hope for better times ahead. And every single time, I hope & wish they have an opportunity to live normal lives, surrounded with lots of love, joy and compassion. :-)

“No one has ever become poor by giving.”  
~ Anne Frank, diary of Anne Frank

 If you want to help these girls at the ashram, please read more details here. There is a constant need to pay their school fees each month and every penny will take them a step closer in meeting their right for basic needs such as education.

Below are few photographs of their annual day celebrations I took to share with you all. Enjoy. 

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