Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Sprouted Moong Dal Sabji

Sprouted Moong Dal Sabji

Seems like a green week at home this week, last weekend picked up sprouted moong dal from local desi store. Growing up sprouted moong dal was eaten everyday by my uncle and grandpa and we as kids were forced to eat, which we successfully would try to avoid for most time. Infact moong is one of the easiest to sprout and when temperature gets hot all it takes is overnight for moong to sprout.

Today's recipe is very simple and can be made according to choice of spices.
2 cups sprouted moong dal
1 big tomato cubed into peices
garlic about an inch cut finely
1 tbsp amchur powder (dried mango)
1 tbsp red chili powder
1 tbsp jeera
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp spice powder of your choice (garam masala/dhania powder/godha masala)
salt according to taste
1/2 tbsp haldi/tumeric
2 tbsp oil
and juice of half a lemon (optional)
1. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan, add jeera and mustard seeds. When mustard seeds start to pop add tomatoes and tumeric and saute for 3-4 minutes.
2. Microwave sprouts for about 4-5 minutes and then add them to above pan.
3. Add salt, choice of masala and chili powder and mix well.
4. Allow to cook covered for 5 minutes
5. Remove from heat and add lemon juice if you desire.

Makes for one healthy protein filled sabji/curry.

Monday, March 29, 2010

I Love Trader Joe's

Had one of those rare days yesterday where we as in a family ventured out for shopping during a weekday, I can't recall the last time this happened. Kids sulk at the sound of shopping or mall, they get this from their dad's side hands down. After cajoling and coxing finally was able to get everyone rounded for trip to mall. While I enjoyed strolling around, kids and their dad settled in a book store. I classify myself as a shopaholic doesn't' matter what kind of store I can always look for things to buy and I usually buy, now with my blogging addiction it's gotten even worse.
Anyways long story short ended up in book store which I absolutely love and given a chance I can hang out the whole day, book stores give me such a high. While wandering around found few books that caught my attention.
I love Trader Joe's I meant the groceries store, those in US might be familiar. Unlike the mass produced stores Trader Joe's offer such a variety and seem to sell more local produce and for some reason seem much more connected to customers.
So found the below three book focused on ingredients from Trader Joe's, I picked up I love Trader Joes by Cherie Mercer

Looking forward to whipping up some really cool recipes, first in list to try is warm goat cheese with arugula. Hmm sounds delicious isn't it.

Reposting my very favorite -Very Berry Smoothie

Very Berry Smoothie
Reposting one of my favorites ..

Nothing better to cool of California summer then Berry Smoothie. Simple recipe yet very refreshing and good source of anti oxidants.
Fresh from the market red raspberries, yellow raspberries and blackberries
1/2 cup Red Raspberries
1/2 cup Yellow Raspberries
1/2 Black Berries
1/2 Strawberries
2 scoops of Vanilla ice cream (substitute with any berry flavored ice cream)
1 tbsp flax seed powder (optional)
1/2 cup milk
cup of crushed ice.
1. Blend all the above ingredients
2. Depending on the fruit if required add a little bit of sugar
3. I pass the smoothie through sieve for its easy for my kids.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Hara Channa Masala - Green Channa Masala- Green Chick Peas Masala

This week picked up a pack of frozen green channa from local Indian store, its first time trying green channa, I really love dried channa and cook it quite regularly. So today made Channa Masala instead of using regulars like garbanzo or dried black channa tried it with green channa. Though I was a little disappointed that there was absolutely no difference in taste between dried and fresh, never the less I loved spicy channa masala.

1 pack frozen green channa/ green chick peas
2 medium size Potatoes ,peeled and cubed
1 big tomato cut into small cubes
2 red onions sliced thinly
2 tbsp Ginger Garlic paste
1 tbsp pepper
1 Tbsp Red chilli powder
2 tbsp Channa Masala ( I used MDH Channa masala)
1 tbsp amchur powder (dried mango powder) optional
1 tbsp Turmeric (Haldi)
Juice of 1 lemon


1.Pressure cook frozen beans and potato add salt and tumeric/haldi.
2. In a separate pan add 2 tbsp oil , add tumeric and ginger garlic paste add onions and fry till onions turn translucent
3. Now add tomatoes , channa masala powder ,amchur powder, red chilli powder and pepper
4. Add boiled green beans ,keep aside a small cup of boiled beans
5. Grind the small cup of beans into a fine paste
6. Add the above paste to the rest of channa and allow to cook for few minutes add water if channa seems to thick
7. Allow to cook covered for about 6-8 minutes till channa soaks up all the masala flavors
7. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and garnish with coriander

Add raw red onions and fresh tomato cut into small cubes as garnish on channa and serve with warm roti/naan/chapathi.

Check our my previously blogged recipe Lahori Channa using dried black beans .

Happy Weekend

Happy weekend everyone !!!

Friday, March 26, 2010

Earth Hour -2010

on Earth Hour hundreds of millions of people around the world will come together to call for action on climate change by doing something quite simple—turning off their lights for one hour. The movement symbolizes that by working together, each of us can make a positive impact in this fight, protecting our future and that of future generations. Learn more about how Earth Hour began, what we’ve accomplished, and what is in store for 2010. (Source www.myearthhour.org)

So do your part and enjoy an hour of darkness at 8.30pm tomorrow 27th March and show that you care. Information to get your kids involved here

More info at

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Spritual monstary at Ladhak - Pic courtsey http://travel.paintedstork.com/blog/

Visting Ladakh and spending time in monasteries is one of the things to do in my "before I die list". Few days back Arun had written few posts on his visit to Ladhak. Sharing those links for you to go on a virtual vacation.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Bubbly Sparkling Blueberry Thirst Quencher

Bubbly Sparkling Blueberry Thirst Quencher

This week seems to have been so long, Monday seemed to have started a while ago and yet it's only Wednesday, sigh !!!. Is it me or anyone else experiencing midweek blues ? I think day light saving is also adding to it, just makes the day longer, not that it's fun, its just getting used to it I guess.

Also last weekend seemed like we have skipped a season and went right into summer, it was perfect time for chilled thirst quencher, as many of you who read my blog know how much I brag about my small little farmer's market , blueberries sold there are fantastic and that's one of the foremost reasons I go there in the first place. I love blueberries in any form or shape. I love'em so much that I attended few classes on how to cultivate and grow them. Have few bushes which are yet too fruit, crossing fingers :)

Made Sparkling Blueberry this Sunday simple and so versatile that you can mix and match flavors.

1 basket Blueberries (rinsed and cleaned)
1 bottle of sparkling soda of your choice ( I used lemon lime yum !!)
sugar (optional)

1. Freeze a handful of blueberries for decoration in the refrigerator.
2. Blend the remaining blueberries in a blender and run them through a strainer to remove any skin/pith. Add sugar if blueberries seem tart.
3. Take a champagne glass, fill the glass half with blueberry syrup/juice, now pour chilled lemon lime sparkling soda and mix it with a spoon.
4. Add frozen berries and serve chill.

Had such a hard time photographing , realized its a tough job to make liquids look appealing.

Sending this across to Meeta who is celebrating her 4th birthday with a bang, if you follow Meeta you realize that she brings in the same spark and bubbliness to her blog just like my thirst quencher. Happy Birthday Meeta and here is wishing you many many more :)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

I Can't Belive It's Art

Few weeks ago we went on a weekend trip with our friends to Lake Tahoe, it was a day trip ,had super fun. On our way back there was a sort of art fair in one of the counties( forgot which one it was darn !!) and saw these art for sale, couldn't believe how realist they looked and were are all hand painted. I got myself a miniature version of the flowers below, which I absolutely love.
Wish I had enquired a bit about the artist, could have mentioned on my blog, too bad I was so into the art that I completely forgot about it.
I hope you guys love his art too..

Monday, March 22, 2010

Anapakaya Palu Kura - Lauki with Milk - Bottle Gourd with Milk

Anapakaya Palu Kura - Lauki with Milk - Bottle Gourd with Milk
Today's recipe is a new way to cook Anapakaya/Lauki or bottle gourd,usually I would use bottle gourd just to make dal or add it to sambar, ever since I started cooking it with milk kids have been liking it . Adding milk gives Lauki sabji a very creamy texture it almost tastes as if we have add Koya/kova to sabji.

( Pic from Epcot center research lab in Florida, vegetables were humongous)
Very simple with very few ingredients and kid friendly

1 medium size Anapakaya/Lauki/Bottle gourd
2-3 garlic pods
1 cup of milk ( I used 2%)
1/2 tbsp turmeric/haldi

For seasoning
1 tbsp urad dal
1 tbsp jeera
1 tbsp mustard seeds
8- 10 curry leaves
2-3 green chilies ( adjust accordingly)
salt according to taste.
2 tbsp oil

1. Peel Lauki and cut them into 1 inch cubes.
2. Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan, add urad dal, mustard seeds, jeera and curry leaves and saute till mustard pops.
3. Chop garlic finely and add to the above and saute.
4. Add cubed Lauki and salt and haldi/turmeric.
5. Allow it to cook covered for about 6-8 minutes till lauki turn translucent and seems cooked.
6. Now simmer and add 1 cup of milk and allow to cook in slow for about 6-8 minutes.
7. Check for salt and adjust accordingly.
8. Remove from heat and serve.

Can be eaten with roti or rice.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Upma with Seven Grain Harvest Mix

Upma with Seven Grain Harvest Mix

Today's recipe is courtesy of my friend, a friend who is of actions more than words, a friend who is so selfless and can look beyond self. She was the first friend I made when I first came to US. A creative foodie who can wip up some awesome food with usual and unusual ingredients.I Always learn a thing or two every time we meet.
Today's recipe is made from Harvest mix found at Traders Joe, I am sure you can find these in local grocery stores as well.

1/2 Pack harvest blend
1/2 onion chopped
1 potato cubed
1/2 cup coconut
1/2 cup roasted peanuts

For seasoning
1 tbsp Mustard
1 tbsp cumin
8 - 10 curry leaves
2-3 green chilly (per taste)
1/4 inch ginger chopped finely
1-2 tbsp oil

1. Heat oil in a pan, when hot add all the seasoning ingredients and saute for a minute or two, then add onions and potato.
2. To this add water per package directions and allow it to boil then add salt, coconut and harvest blend.
3. Cover it with a lid and allow it cook.
4. Once it is done add the roasted peanuts and garnish with cilantro.

Serve it hot, Lemon juice can be sprinkled if you like.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Welcome Home

We have been living in the same house for about 10 plus years now and over a period of years you get used to patterns of seasons, climate etc. We have three huge trees one in the front yard, one to the side and one in the back yard. Every spring I see the young leaves and flowers blossoming and come summer they change colors and fall and winter we see the leaves fall and trees go barren. Of one of these seasonal patterns I have seen or observed during the last 4 -5 years in specific is come march when weather gets warm we have a birdie visitor come and have babies in the nest on one of the trees.
I still remember the first time birdie made a nest and babies hatched they would start chirping in the early hours and if you have ever heard piegons grunt (not sure what's that called) it can really get on your nerves. We were so close to getting the nest down, but it just felt so inhumane so we left it alone and in a month or so they just flew away and all was same again.Until next year when the Pigeon came back and my instant reaction was no, not again, but since I knew its just for a month it did not seem that bad to deal with chirping for a month or so. And since then every March my little visitor is back and hatches her eggs and all of them fly away leaving empty next , last week I saw Pigeon come back and all I could think is "Welcome Home".

Not sure if its the same bird every year but I look forward to my visitor.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Masoor Methi Sabji - Fenugreek with Lentils

Masoor Methi Sabji - Fenugreek with Lentils

Today’s recipe is one of my newest addition/experiment. Its seriously so boring to eat the same stuff, same vegetables, same lentils and same spices over and over again but that said, I am lazy to experiments, earlier on it used to be so much fun creating and experiments, these days end goal is always to finish up quick with as much less effort and as healthy as possible. My mom always says that we in US eat just to survive. That is true to a large extent with the whirlpool of activities scheduled getting dinner on to the table is a top most priority.

However, tried this recipe for a change and seriously it turned out very delicious, may because I love fresh methi in any form or shape. I love the bitter taste and when roasted it really gives a smoky flavor and this compliments red masoor dal very well.

2 bunches of fresh methi (chopped finely and cleaned to remove any sand and mud)
1 cup of red masoor dal
1 tbsp urad dal
1 tbsp mustard
1 tbsp jeera
A pinch of hing /asethophodia
1 tbsp kasoori methi (dry fenugreek)
½ tbsp of amchur
1 tbsp dhania powder (coriander seeds powder)
2tbsp oil
Salt according to taste

1.In a pan add masoor dal, add two glasses of water, and allow it to boil for about 6 minutes.
2.Masoor dal should not be cooked to a mush but should remain tad crunchy.
3.In a separate pan add 2 tbsp oil and when hot add all the ingredients for seasoning and sauté until mustard starts to pop.
4.Now add finely chopped methi and sauté until raw smell is gone, it takes about 5 minutes.
5.Now drain masoor dal and remove any excess water by placing a tissue to absorb all the water.
6.Add the drained masoor dal to methi and mix well.
7. Now add amchur, salt, and mix again to make sure all the ingredients are well incorporated.
8.Remove from heat and sprinkle lemon juice however, this is optional.

Serve with roti’s, rice, or serve it my way like a wrap with sabji.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Cabbage Pakodi- Cabbage Fritters

Cabbage Pakodi- Cabbage Fritters

Had an unexpected reunion of my husbands friends from Kharagpur this Sunday,made cabbage pakoda's for snack. It's actually been more than a year since I made food that's fried, after last years fiasco of oil splattering all over my face and neck, I was too scared to fry anything. It's been a year and I still have those scars, except for the ones on the eyes and thank god for that.

Here goes today's recipe
1 medium sized Cabbage
2 cups of chick peas flour/besan
1 tbsp ajwain (vamu)
2 tbsp rice flour
1 tbsp red chili powder
very finely chopped curry leaves (optional)
finely chopped green chillies (optional)
very finely chopped coriander leaves (optional)
about 1 - 2 cups of oil for deep frying
salt according to taste

1. Roughly chop cabbages into strings of medium size.

2. Make a dry mixture of Besan, salt, red chili powder and rice flour.
3. Pass the above through a sieve to get any lumps out, having lumps might cause oil to splatter.
4. In a bowl add cabbage and if you choose all the other optional ingredients.
5. Now sprinkle the besan mixture and toss so that cabbage is well covered, sprinkle few drops of water to make it stick.
6. My version of pakoda's are very crunchy and crispy, if you would like your a little softer add another cup of besan and pour about a 1/4 glass of water and make it into a thick batter.
7. Now heat about 1-2 cups of oil in a pan and when oil is hot ( not smoking hot !!!), spoon a tbsp of batter into the oil, I personally use my hands to drop the batter into oil.
8. Allow it to fry for 2 minutes and then turn around and allow it to fry for another 2 minutes.
9. When fritters turn golden brown , remove from heat and place on a tissue to absorb any oil.
Now serve these piping hot with Chai/tea a classic Indian favorite combination. You can also serve then with regular ketchup or Indian Maggie sauces. These pakoda's can be made/ substituted with onion, spinach or a combination of both.

Caution :- Please be very careful while working with hot oil, keep your hands water free and do not have children near by ( if applicable).

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Farmers Market Buy

Farmers Market Buy
At $3.00 a bunch, these are such a steal. The pleasure and love you feel when you see them bloom is priceless.

Last week I picked pink and this week it's peach, thinking yellow next week. Spring is springing in.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Ugadi Subhakanshalu

Ugadi Subhakanshalu

Wishing everyone a very happy Ugadi, Gudi Padwa and Yugadi, may this year bring lots of happiness and peace.
Andari ki Vikruti Nama Samvatsara Ugadi Subhakanshalu.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Methi Dal - Fenugreek with Lentils

Methi Dal - Fenugreek with Lentils

Aah finally what a weather, perfect sunny day with temperature in the upper 70's, a perfect sunny California day. well technically yesterday was the same too, we went out to hike and see the caves at Pinnacle National Park, with beautiful weather, surroundings and family it could not have gotten any better. We hiked for about 4 miles and surprisingly kids did not complain, caves were beautiful. I think kids are ready for their first 5K walk, if all goes as planned we will do this next week for a good cause.

Coming to today's recipe this is a family favorite, take more time than usual but so worth the taste. If you can't find fresh Methi frozen Methi can be very well substituted

1 bunch of fenugreek/methi leaves
1 cup masoor dal/pesara pappu
1 medium sized tomato
2 garlic cloves
juice of one lemon
for seasoning
1 tbsp urad dal
1 tbsp mustard seeds
1 tbsp jeera
few pinches of hing
pinch of haldi/turmeric
5-6 dry red chilies
1 tsp of red chili powder (adjust according to taste)
1-2 tbsp of oil
salt according to taste

1. Chop methi finely and rinse to remove any mud and keep a side
2. In a pot add masoor dal/pesara pappu add enough water to cover and allow to cook for about 6-7 minutes on medium.
3. Now heat a pan and add oil, when hot add all the ingredients for seasoning , chopped garlic.
4. Saute for a minute and when mustard starts to pop, add tomatoes and saute
5. Now add chopped methi and saute till methi looses its raw smell, takes about 3-4 minutes.
5. Add boiled masoor dal/pesara pappu and salt and little bit of water.
6. Cook covered for about 3-4 minutes, use food processor to blend if you do not like the dry consistency. I blend it very roughly.
7. Remove from heat and add lemon juice and mix well.

Serve with roti's or rice.

Saturday, March 13, 2010


(Pic from hiking trip)
Happy Saturday everyone, too tired to write. Had a lovely day and visited one of the most beautiful national parks around. It was perfect sunny day in San Jose a day that's to be enjoy outdoors.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Paneer Bhurji

Paneer Bhurji

Yay !! it's Friday and I am looking forward to weekend like always :) Have few fun things planned hopefully rain will not ruin it for us. Planning to watch Food 101, watched bits and part of it, seems like in your face kind of movie about food we eat especially in US, one thing that caught my attention right away is the emphasis in knowing where your food comes from, quality vs. quantity. Will update once I get to watch the movie without interruption and in whole.

Today's recipe is one of the most common recipe, more so in northern India I presume.As with any Indian recipe, this can be customized and tailored to ones preference of spices and flavor. So here goes my version.

1 Pack of Paneer (14 oz) cubed in about 1 inch
2 tomatoes cubes
1 red onion
1-2 tbsp ginger garlic paste (optional)
1 tbsp Kasoori Methi
1 tbsp Garam masala
1 tbsp dhania powder
1/2 tbsp amchur
1/2 tbsp chat powder (optional)
1/2 tbsp haldi/tumeric
1 tbsp red chili powder
1 tbsp ketchup (add if you like your sabji to have sweet flavor)
Salt according to taste
1-2 tbsp of oil

1.Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a pan, when hot add ginger garlic paste, kasoori methi,garam masala, dhania powder,haldi and mix well for few seconds.
2. Add chopped onions and saute for about a minute or two till onions turn golden and translucent.

3. Add chopped tomatoes and remaining ingredients.
4. Add cubed paneer and salt and mix well.
5. With a hand masher, mash paneer into small pieces being caution of not making a mush.
6. Add ketchup and about 1/4 glass of water, check for salt and cook covered for about 4-5 minutes.
7. Remove from heat and garnish with coriander and serve.
Works well with roti's,naan and chapathis.
Happy weekend everyone !!!

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