Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

Something old and something new…

Monday, October 17th, 2011

Couple of weeks ago, when I posted about dussera, this friend of mine wanted to see the hand made bead work dolls I had written about.Since we live so far away from each other, this is the only way I could show her the dolls :). These are the dolls made by my grandmother nearly 60 years ago, the stove was newly introduced in Indian homes, so she had made a doll like a stove. Other dolls are tulsi plant and a well,some rocking chairs(called as EZ chairs in India) and a cradle with a baby:) There are many other dolls like this at my parents place in India, like a wedding set with orchestra,carrom boards,parrot cages etc etc., I never had the opportunity to be with both my grandma’s as they had passed away before I was born, these are the only personal items they had left behind for their youngest grand daughter.

Continuing with the something old,this festive season, I thought of doing something different instead of publishing my recipes. Here are some of the events I hosted in the past that has many new recipes as well as good old traditional ones and I am sure they will make the task of cooking for a crowd easy for this season. A big thanks goes to all my friends who had participated in these events.

Virtual Party snacks(includes murukku,kai murukku and all the crunch munch works!!!)
Paneer Recipes-Both sweet and savory
Recipes with Legumes-From Appetizers to Entree– My Legume Love affair 22.

Here is a link to download Diwali Sweets, a compilation of 100 Yummy recipes in an ebook format,from Indus Ladies. Download the ebook from here.

Now for the something new part,PJ of Seduce your tastebuds gave me the Inspirational blog award.
Thanks PJ :) As far as the tagging part, I had to answer couple of questions that came with the award,so here goes…

1. What makes you laugh, smile or giggle?

I would have said a 1000 different things had PJ asked me this question last year, right now, all my laughs and smiles are reserved for my son and his mischiefs, his non stop efforts trying to walk and talk and sometimes trying to do them at the same time!

2.What are your dreams for your future?

Right now, I’d say healthy and happy life(was it to general??)

3. If you are to go to a cruise, where would it be and why?

Alaska! It has been on our to do list for a long time and it will be loads of fun now given that lil R can understand things and he will enjoy it too.

4. How would you spend your vacation time and with whom?

Family, especially my loved ones who will spoil me rotten even now :)

5. If given a chance, what life would you choose? Your life now or your past?

I don’t know who I was in the past, so obviously present life but I’d add a little of this and that to it :)

6. Is there something that you wished before when you were young but you didn’t get it?

Nah..I kind of took whatever came my way and enjoyed the moment, so…nope..

7. Have you been in a situation where you might have given up but still you chose to move on?


8. Is their someone in your life who has been your source of strength and inspiration?

Yes,lots of people.Before marriage it was my Sister, after marriage it’s N :)

I have to nominate blogs for the award as well,instead of choosing 7 people I’d say friends who are visiting this blog are very welcome to accept this award and post about their views/thoughts for these questions.

Anzz cafe also tagged me in this fun game.Wish I could munch some of those lovely crepes she had posted about while I write this..

1. My most beautiful post:
Paneer kofta Biryani in my most guarded utensil in the kitchen(a clay pot). It looks good and tastes great!

2. My most popular post.

What else can you expect on a typical Iyer blog? Arachu vitta Sambhar!!

3. My most controversial post.

Thankfully, none so far.

4. My most helpful post.

Making idlis I should say for the past and right now I am getting a lot of response on making baby food at home.

5. A post that’s success surprised me.

Hmmm…I should say arachu vitta sambar, coz I thought it is so simple and everyone will know it and I should not publish it, but it is the one that has most hits.

6. A post which I feel did not get the attention it deserved.

The first few ones I had posted when I started blogging, they are close to my heart and they are still waiting comments, even after two years. Like this aloo curry patta by Marut Sikka or
Kadappa, my favorite side dish for idli/dosa.

7. The post of which I am most proud of.

Recipes that I learnt for postpartum and for lactation, I had no idea it will be of use to so many new moms out there.I was quite apprehensive when I started it but given the feedback I got, I am really proud that my post was useful for someone somewhere.

Again, this fun game is a chain, so please do share about your most loved recipes/feedbacks you got in your blog if you’d like to participate in this game!

Thats all for now, see you next week with some new recipes.

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Gatte Ki Subzi( Garbanzo flour dumplings in yogurt sauce) and Awards

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Last year, when we had new neighbors move in and we had a get together, we had a chance to taste Gatte Ki Subzi. At first, I was wondering what vegetable could be in that gravy till I found out it was not a vegetable at all, but a dumpling made of gram flour(besan/chick pea flour/garbanzo bean flour). This is quite easy to prepare, takes about 15-20 minutes and guess what, you do not need any vegetable to make this gravy!

This recipe is adapted from my neighbor, from here and here.

Ingredients: (Serves-2)

For the Gattes:

Gram flour – 1 cup
Salt- to taste
Yogurt- 1 tbsp
Red chili powder- 3/4 tsp
Coriander seed powder- 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala powder- 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1 pinch
Oil- few drops
Water- just enough to knead

For the sauce:

Thick Yogurt (preferably sour)-1 cup
Water- 1 cup
Salt to taste
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Whole red chilies- 3
Red chili powder- 3/4 tsp
Gram flour(Besan)- 3/4 cup
Cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
Oil- 1 tsp


To make the Gattes:

Add salt, red chili powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, coriander seed powder to the gram flour and mix well. Add yogurt and water and knead the gram flour to a thick and firm dough.

Take a lemon size ball of the dough, using your palms and fingers, elongate it to a thin, long, cylindrical rod. Repeat the same for the remaining dough.

Boil about 3 cups of water (it should be bubbling), add a drop of oil and carefully drop the gattes(cylindrical rods) into the boiling water. Once the gattes are cooked, they will float on top (5-6 minutes). Adding oil will prevent them from sticking to each other. Remove the gattes from the water, drain on a paper towel. Either use them as whole or chop the gattes to 1″ pieces.

Making the sauce:

Whisk yogurt and water together, then add turmeric powder, salt and gram flour and whisk well to avoid any lumps.

Heat oil in a saucepan and add cumin seeds, red chilies and red chili powder. Once the chilies sizzle, pour in the yogurt- gram flour mixture into the hot pan and let it simmer for 10 minutes. You can see a shiny layer forming on top while the gravy thickens, and this is the indication that the gravy is done.

Gently drop the chopped gattes into the gravy, let it absorb the yogurt sauce. Garnish with cilantro leaves and serve hot, with pooris or chapatis or khichdi. The gattes are quite tasty on their own too, and half the time I munch on the boiled gattes even before adding it to the gravy.

I got some awards from my blogger buddies last week.


Sunshine Award from Nayna of Simply Sensational Food and Rupali of Recipegrabbag and Priya who can give you authentic Rajasthan recipes. Thanks Nayna, Rupali and Priya.

Second comes the Honest Scrap Award from Priya: Thanks Priya.

For this award, I have to share 10 honest things about me. I have shared a lot of honest things about me here.

Now comes the tough part. I have to keep the award cycle going by nominating 12 people for the awards. I guess in blogosphere, we all are connected and these awards have been shared with people I know/whose blogs I read and enjoy. And it won’t do justice if I just pick 12 people who came to my mind first. I read/follow a lot of blogs and I do not want to hurt anyone by missing out their name in the hurry. So, anyone who reads this post, please feel free to accept these awards and post it at your place. Then I can see how many friends I have got through blogging :) and I can know a lot about dozens of friends instead of just one dozen 😀

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Defending the Snow with gifts and Spicy Chutneys

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

I thought moving south will make us feel warm. But we have already had two days of snow in December. Moving into February I thought all the freezing conditions would move on and we can show off the 100F and Hurricane stories. I guess our minds are set for the warm weather that even if it is snowing we pretend not to bother and still walk around in T’s and slippers(shivering ofcourse)

Last week, when visiting a friend in Dallas, I was in for a surprise. With a cup of coffee in hand early morning, I wanted to check out the sunshine but I saw that the entire place was looking like the NorthPole. We had about 12″ of snow!!

Here are some photos of the snow. The stairs one is my favorite so far. Once I read somewhere that stairs can take people up or down. Looking at this one I was sure that anyone trying to go up will surely come down! And I did not step out till the snow was cleared from the staircase as it was too slippery.

Ashlatha shared some awards with me this Valentine Weekend. Thanks for the “Tofas” Ash didi. Your creative card making activity is making me want to join the activity too.

(A couple of blogger buddies were about to hit me with a rolling pin for making avocado pooris last week, I got this one on time to defend myself)

After a lot of promises on posting recipes I tried out from other blogs,I still have not finished posting all of them. This one is a special gojju from Ashaka. She gave me the recipe for Daikon Chutney to try with Ragi Mudde. I made it according to her recipe and it was fantastic. I never thought plain daikon with yogurt and coconut can be so tasty. The best part is that there is no cooking involved. The tempering with garlic is the only part you need the stove for and it is a topper. This one is a keeper for sure. N loved it as well and we had it with dosas for dinner.

Daikon(Radish) Chutney:

Ingredients (Serves-2)

White Daikon(Radish)- Medium size-1
Dahlia (Pottu kadalai)- 4 tsp
Coconut- 1/4 cup
Green chilies-4
Salt- to taste
Cilantro leaves- a handful
Curry leaves- few
Yogurt- 1/4 cup

For tempering:
Oil- 1 tsp
Urad Dal- 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida- 1 pinch
Broken Red Chili-1
Finely smashed garlic(chopped)- 1 clove


Wash the daikon, peel the skin and grate it.

Blend the coconut, dahlia, curry leaves, green chilies, cilantro and salt into a fine powder. Add the grated daikon to the blender and give it a quick blend to mix all ingredients together. Add the yogurt and blend till the chutney is smooth.

Heat oil in a tadka pan and add asafoetida and cumin seeds. When the seeds start sizzling, add urad dal, red chili and smashed garlic. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes till garlic is slightly golden brown in color. Pour it over the chutney and serve with Ragi Mudde or Idlis or Dosas.

Garden Update:

Cilantro and Mint are growing very well in the cold conditions and I also made a Idicha Thokku (Dry Relish) with cilantro this weekend. It is my favorite from childhood and I would often pester mom to make it.

Ingredients for Cilantro Relish (Kothamalli Thokku)

Cilantro- atleast 2 bunches
Salt- to taste
Red Chilies-3
Chana Dal – 1 tsp


Wash the cilantro couple of times with water to remove any soil or weeds. Spread a cotton towel or paper towel in a cool dry place inside the house and spread the cilantro in it. Let it dry in air for 3-4 hours. You will need lots of cilantro to start with because when you grind for the thokku, the quality will be 1/4th of what you started with.

Once all the moisture is removed from cilantro, chop them roughly. Toast chana dal and red chilies till golden brown in color. Grind to a fine powder without adding water. Add salt to taste, the chopped cilantro and blend them again. Though the water has been removed from cilantro, while grinding it will give off some water so at any stage, do not add water.

Once all the cilantro is blended with the powders and comes together like a thick mass, scoop it out of the blender. This can be stored in the fridge for a week. It tastes good with hot rice and a dollop of ghee. For quick cilantro dip, take a tea spoon of the relish and mix with half a cup of water and serve with samosas or vadas.

You can also add a peppercorn size of tamarind while roasting and grind it along with other ingredients to give a tangy taste.

This cilantro relish is my entry for weekend Herb blogging hosted by Cindy .

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Saturday, January 30th, 2010

When I first saw the Master Card ad with the caption,”There are things in the world that money can’t buy, for everything else there is MC”, I thought the ad was too sentimental even for the 1990’s. But thinking about it, there are a lot of things that cannot be measured with a scale. Like amma’s patience, her love for her kids, the eagerness of a baby to experience the mother’s face, her smell and touch especially if the mom is a working woman(super woman if you ask me), the first time pedaling a cycle without crashing (;)) and friendship.

Having some one who cares about you and keeps you in mind is quite special, and sharing with friends is always a joy. The minute you get an email from a friend, even a one liner- it can lift the mood up and it will put a smile on your face. Though I have not seen my readers or blogger buddies in person, the minute I get a feedback or a mail from them, it feels like I have known them for ages and  it happens every time I see their name.

This morning when I saw a mail from dear Sara, I felt happy and started my day with a smile. Thanks for giving me the Beautiful Blogger award and the Sweet Friends award.

Thanks for the awards and for your encouragement Sara :)

See you all on Monday! I am off blogging this weekend.

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