Custard Cookies

Inspiration; Cooking Unbound

My Laptop was feeling a bit unwell since December 25th. So we had to admit him to a repair center for a good 3 weeks. I do not know what was more difficult, surviving without a laptop or calls from the repair center and customer service. The way they acted is and was without our imaginative beings. The first and foremost thing was that there is nothing wrong from our side and the entire fault is with you people. I mean a Laptop which is barely 9 months old, and the display is gone, is my fault. Then I call them for servicing (because we paid for Warranty) on a Holiday is also my fault. Thanks HP for this kind of Customer service.

Coming back, I Finally have my laptop up and running and I could save few pictures makes my day. We made these cookies when we were invited for  a play-date making Gingerbread houses at my Best Friend V's House. I wanted to make something different than the old Chocolate chip cookies and that's when I came across the Cooking Unbound blog. OMG, Kristi is super talented girl, and It was my pleasure dedicating these cookies to her cookies. She used Brach's candy but it was a little more candy then I allow my kids to have at one time. I know my little doughnut is a cookie monster and he never ever stops at one. When I saw her post, I had some custard cookie dough freezing and thought of getting some colored candy to melt, but the day got better of me at work, and I remembered it only when I was ready to bake the cookies. I had forgotten to get the colored candy, So I switched plans. Could not afford the disappointed look on my munchkins faces, I made them crush the lolllipops that we had saved up from Dr.'s Visits and haircuts in the mall.. These cookies will be on our holiday baking now on, as we all enjoyed the  chatter and the banter while making these cookies.

You will need;
1.5 cups-All Purpose Flour -
1/2 cup Custard Powder -  I used the one I had from the Indian store.
1stick Butter  I used 1/2 cup oil and addntl milk to wet the dough.
1 cup Sugar
Milk-As needed

Crushed lollipop Candy- In red, green and purple ( get dark colored candy as light colour would be lighter after baking)

Cream the oil and sugar till sugar melts, then add the custard powder and flour, then as needed add milk, to form a soft dough, chill for 30 mins and roll out cookies.

**( If you want to skip oil use jello custard cups and add milk if needed-- This I have never tried, but unless you try, you never know, so next batch I bake these cookies, I will try this)

Once you roll out the cookies, use  the back of the icing nozzle and make holes in the cookie. Fill the holes with Crushed candy and bake for 9-10 mins in a preheated oven at 300 degree F.

How Cute is this??? Can it get any cuter? How about a tree with ornaments that you can see through..
The kids had  a blast eating these cookies and I enjoyed baking them with my munchkins.

Sending these to Kavi's Kids Delight event. Originally Started by Srivalli. and Tea Time Snack event



Tila chya Mau Wadya- Soft Sesame fudge

January is the time for Makar sankrant and Lohri. The Star ingredients for these festivities is Sesame seeds and Jaggery,. I love the Til wadi, burfi's and Gul Poli that si prepared in many maharashtian homes. Making the Gul Poli required a lot of patience and correct recipe to start with. Any mistake and you end up with the gul/jaggery spreading on the hot griddle making a royal mess to clean. I make Gul POli once during this time every year, as my family loves them. Since I will be having my mom here with me for a few days before she heads back home, I am planning on making them again on this Sunday. I will try if they turn out good to do a step- by step for them, But it is risky to promise as I am still an amateur chef with Gul Poli. These wadis are very easy to make and require less time and expertise and if you boil water you can make them, They are that easy. But am warning you, These pieces are ADDICTIVE, as in highly addictive. IT is seriously difficult to stop munching on these. They have a hot effect on your body, and if consumed in larger portions may start nose bleeds, so Eat little and enjoy more. Surprisingly my Mom never made these while I was growing up. We always had the rock solid Tilache ladoo, where the til/sesame was roasted and jaggery mind you, special jaggery called chikki gul was melted and then while hot the roasted sesame and peanuts were added, and all hands literally all hands big or small were employed to start rolling them while still hot, as if they get cold it cannot be rolled. It was the only family activity I remember form my childhood, where even my dad had no choice but to roll the til ladoo. Then there was haldi kunku day, where all married and unmarried girls were invited to my house, my mom got a southindian amma who catered on such events, and dropping and picking up kids on other days, to make yummy southindian recipes in large quantities. She used to come prepared with the stone ground batters and rest was prepared in your kitchen with your stuff. With her in charge of the kitchen, my mom arranged the vann( Usually a small token of household thing, like bindi packets, spoons, bowls) that she decided to give as gift, get my black dress and her black sadi ready, search for the gajrewala/flower vendor, who came with per-ordered gajras for each girl. The program was slotted for 4-6 pm, most girls came at the same time, ate chatted and exchanged tilgul prompting the famous "tilgul ghya goad goad bola", which means take this sweet and speak sweetly all year round; kind of bhul chuk maaf/ bygone be bygones.

This was when I was in school, when people had time to spare for such activities. Flash forward the time to when I started working in Mumbai, we had the haldi kunku program in Trains. Mumbai trains are jam packed with no space to rest even one foot, forget about standing on two. Amidst all the crowd we did our haldi kunku, sometimes applying haldi kunku to strangers, The containers of halad/turmeric and kunku, a red powder was passed and we took turns applying them on the person sitting/standing next to us,, some of us had got the food to distribute like dry kachori/chips/nuts and then everyone exchanged vann/token with ONLY friends. I am still surprised of how the vann got to the right person in that train, girls are really honest in not taking what does not belong to them. But Tiilgul was for all to share. Since we all got some tilgul, there was always enough for all.

After coming to US, I did not know what to do without the chiki gul. Mr, Ash was disappointed that there would be no tilgul for him nor any Gul Poli. I had no cook book with me, as I knew basic cooking and no one ever thought that I would cook anything else. My uncle gifted a pressure cooker to me saying at least cook dal/rice for Hubby or else poor soul will starve. They still have  a tough time believing that I am cooking all the food and I have a Food blog now.  My friend M came to my rescue as she had a traditional Marathi cook book, and I scribbled the recipe for this soft tilwadi on a receipt/grocery bill. This was the start of my culinary journey. After I was successful in attempting this, I tried Gul Poli and wonders never cease, they turned perfect.

You will need;
3 cups of mashed Gul or Jaggery
3tbspn water
2 cups Roasted Sesame powder-Til
1 cup roasted Crushed peanuts
1 cup roasted Dry Coconut
Elaichi -1 tspn

Add the dry powders + Elaichi and mix well.On low flame, mix the gul/jaggery and water in a pan. Heat on very low flame till the jaggery melts and the mix is sticky. The mix should be slightly sticky to dry fingers.. not very sticky. add the dry mix to this. Grease a cookie sheet with some ghee, and pour this mixture and spread in a thin layer. cut the shape of the wadi and let cool for about two hours. Once cooled , break the pieces and store in  box.

Pictoral is as follows.

ESSSSSSSSSSHHHHHHH........Sorry I forgot to take pictures after this step.........I am really sorry please bear with me. But you get the drift, so after adding the dry mixture to the jaggery mixture, stir well and spread on a greased plate and cut the diamonds/wadi's and allow to cool and dig t-in once cooled.

I am sending this to Kavi's Kids Delight event. Originally Started by Srivalli. 
Also sending this to Gayathri's Walk down the Memory Lane event. 
Reva's Sesame event

And to Sensible Vegetarians  Cook Eat Delicious event



Sweet Rasam-Cooking with Pedatha series.

What do you do when everyone is sick at home? Make Chicken Soup.. but being a vegetarian home, you either make tomato soup or hot and spicy rasam. Maharahstrian homes hardly made Rasam, we always made saar..tomato che saar and bhat/rice is an ideal lunch for a person who is little under weather. After coming here and having mingled with people outside my home state Maharashtra, my taste buds have changed drastically. We love South Indian food. And have adopted many traditional recipes and twisted and tweaked to our liking. This is one such classic from Cooking With Pedatha series. I have tweaked this recipe to my liking and added the rasam powder which is not added in the original recipe. This surely relived my cold and cough and got me my voice back,,maybe a little hoarse still People could hear me out.

You will need;
5-6 cups water
1 tbspn- Cooked Toor/arhar dal-
1 tbspn-Tamarind paste
1tbspn jaggery
1 tsp Ginger paste
1 tsp Garlic paste
1/2 tsp black pepper powder
1/2 tbspn Cumin/jeera seeds
Corriander chopped for garnish
1 tspn ghee
salt to taste

1/2 tsp Mustard/rai seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp Hing/Asafoedita

Cook the dal in  a pressure cooker and mash it well.Take the water in a deep vessel and mix all the above ingredients except the tempering, corriander leaves and ghee and bring it to  a boil. allow it simmer for 10 minutes. Add the ghee and pop the mustard, add in the cumin and hing, let it sizzle and then add the tempering to the water mixture and again boil it for 5 minutes. Add the cilantro and serve hot.

** I added one tbsp MTR Rasam powder to the water when I added in the other ingredients.

We enjoyed this sweet rasam with hot steaming white rice and few sneezes and little coughs in between. Even my kids gave this a big thumbs up.




Raddish-Spinach Dal- Mulyachi Palak dal

Hi everyone. i am back again being the mom I am; sneaking all kinds of veggies in our food in one way or other. My younger son is in protest mode again. He simply refuses to put a morsel of veggies in his mouth. Its a battle and even Mr. Ash has kind of accepted defeat with him. So it's up to me and my antics to get him eat veggies in any way or form. I take challenges well and execute them equally well.. I make dal/amti almost 3 times a week. It's plain dal or varan on one day and amti on other. The real thing is balancing likes and dislikes between 2 kids.My elder son loves plain dal with ghee and little salt and younger one loves it with tadka and garlic.. loads of garlic fried in oil. To solve this puzzle, Ms. Ash decided that it will be Varan on day 1 and amti or tadka dal on day 2. Alls well that ends well.

You will need;
1 cup cooked Toor Dal or Pigeon Peas/Arhar dal --
**while cooking add 1/2 tsp Turmeric and pinch of hing. I generally pressure cook dal before hand. A couple of whistles in a pressure cooker does the trick to a mushy dal.
1/2 cup washed and chopped spinach
1/2 small Radish or around 8-10 thinly sliced discs of Radish 
1 tspn jaggery
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp red chili powder (cayenne pepper powder)
1/2 tsp Garam Masala powder
1 tsp Cumin+Coriander powder
1tsp lime juice
2 cups water

1 tsp oil
1tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp cumin
1 pinch hing/aesafodita
1-2 cloves garlic--Optional

In a pot, take the oil and on medium heat add the mustard seeds and cumin. Let it sizzle and then add the hing, garlic and then the chopped spinach and radish discs. Once the spinach wilts a little add the cooked dal and water, add the red chili/cayenne pepper powder, salt and jaggery. Let it come to a boil. Then add the garam masala powder, cumin+coriander powder and lastly the lime juice. Reduce heat to low and cook covered for 5 minutes and the dal is ready to be served with rice or phulka.

** when serving to picky eaters like my younger donut, I give him only the dal with spinach. He does not see the radish so no complaint on that part.

Hope you make this soon and loads of good health and healthy dishes on Indulge coming soon.

Sharing this with Sudha's event; Love for lentils 



Corn-Cilantro Upma/ Cream of wheat/ Sanja

Upma or Cream of rice/wheat is  a very popular Indian Breakfast item. Indian breakfasts seldom consist of cereal and milk,danish or donuts. When we were growing up, we had morning session school starting at 7.10 Am. It was nothing less than torture to get out of bed at 6 Am, have a bath, drink a glass of horrible chocolate milk and even squeeze in a toast or roti/poli roll. I never ever had any breakfast in the morning, the glass of milk would fill me up so much that I would throw up at the thought of any more food. My Mom was a working parent who had to absolutely leave the house by 8.30 am as to not miss the 8.50am local train starting from my train station. I am still in awe of how much work she had done by then like cooking  for the school recess boxes, lunch and even evening snacks including taking bath and doing a small pooja for the gods, sometimes even bathing each god. I am still struggling to do half of what she did each morning and my commute to work is less than 15 minutes.

We always had some things fixed for breakfast on weekends, when my mom cooked at peace and ate in peace sometimes. I have the image of my mom sitting on the patio with a coffee cup and crossword puzzle most Sunday mornings. A memory I refuse to part with. I always want to think of my mom like this. Funny thing was she almost never solved the puzzle on her own, till slowly we all woke up and helped her with the words. She always had upma or tikhat sheera or kanda batate pohe ready with tea for us each weekend for as long as I remember. Idli, dosa, pav bahji and chats; such items were kept for high tea on weekends where they substituted dinner and we had people over. This upma is one basic upma which can be made into veggie upma, potato upma or even cauliflower upma. Trick is to substitute the amount of corn with the veggie you like or use little of everything 

You will need;
1.5 cups Sooji/Rava/Semolina/Cream of wheat
1 onion-Finely Chopped
1/2 cup corn kernels or frozen
2 green chilies for medium heat
Few curry leaves
3 Cups water with inch ginger grated mixed in the water
Salt as per taste.
Cilantro for garnishing, I like more so added more.
1 tsp Lime juice-Optional

1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Jeera/cumin seeds
1 tsp Turmeric/Haldi
1 pinch Hing/Aesafodita
2 tbspn oil

In a wok, heat 1 tsp oil, and roast the sooji/rava till the aroma fills the room. Remove this on a  plate and keep aside. In the same wok, now take the rest of the oil, add the tempering, mustard and jeera till it sizzles, then the onions, then the green chilies, curry leaves, corn and haldi and hing. Simultaneously in a pot take the water and the ginger grated, and keep it on medium heat til it boils. Now add the roasted sooji to the onion mixture and roast till the sooji gets incorporated well. Add salt as needed. stir well, and then add the boiling water with ginger in it. I like to add water in batches and mixing while I go on adding the water. This gives me a better estimate of how much water will be needed. Once the sooji mixture looks wet, cover with a lid and let cook on low heat for 3-5 minutes. Sooji cooks faster so this should be enough time to cook it. After 5 minutes, take off the heat and stir in the cilantro and add a dash of lime if you like little tang. Mix well and serve. Adding grated ginger is completely optional. I love the flavor and freshness  ginger brings to this upma, but if you don't like ginger or cannot stand it, keep it out.

Januaryis showering awards here in Ashland. Thank you Aparna of Square Meals for this Award.

I am sharing this award with all my blogger friends. You will find this in your inbox soon.

I am sending this Upma to  Sweet Heat challenge hosted by Food and Football and Baby.  


Go Diego Go Cake--Sweet Gift by Swati and Surprise on Friday the 13th

 As promised by me and dear Swati, She send me this recipe with pictures for you all. The cake turned out Awesome and any 4 year old would have loved this cake for his birthday. Go Diego Go!!!!! Happy birthday T. May your adventures never end with age.
Over to Swati's message
 Hi all,

This is my first themed cake for my love , my 4 yr old Son “T”.
I baked 3 cakes, two 8 inch round and one sheet cake and used store brought ready cake mix.For water fall icing, I used Whipped Cream with blue color. 

I used some tips from Ashwini of indulge-ashscorner.
I started with the base sheet cake and for cake filling I used Pineapple pudding and covered it with “Green “color. I then added one round section over the bottom of the cake with Pineapple filling and covered with green butter cream icing. Then on top of the round cake I added semi circle /half round cake and for waterfall I used whipped cream with blue color. Then added Diego on top and positioned him a little off to the side.and added some coconut trees and with butter cream icing grass around the waterfall and diego compass. I added some orange colored grass flowers made with butter cream icing with the same tip used for making grass and I finished using some orange border around the edge of the cake.
Finally it turned out awesome (as per my point of view…... :D)
Hope you all like the cake I made.
With Love,
Swati S

One more picture for your viewing pleasure. If you are wondering where Swati used the cupcakes, she told me that they were from the leftover batter and were enjoyed by her son.

Here is the surprise that I have been keeping from you. I was always told that dreaded stuff happens on Friday the 13th. I am not very sure why people say this, But it's like a black cat crossing your path. Reality is I waited and longed for such cats to cross my path when I went for exams. The result day did not affect me much back then, my nightmare was the exam day itself. I was not a very smart kid where studies were concerned, But I was a very street smart kid. I was doing small bank jobs like dropping utility bill checks, depositing checks and all such types where hard money was not even a closer part of it, repairing light fuses around the house under my dads supervision and making soap with my Dad from age 8. I do not speak much about my dad here, but he was/is one talented guy and guess my creativity comes from him in many ways. I even was a proud recipient of the Presidents Award for Girl Guides in year 1992. Why I am telling you all this now, I have no clue. Today I received a surprise in email by none other than Prathibha of Cook-Eze. She showered multiple awards on me. I am overwhelmed with her kindness and these awards do make me feel accepted in the blogland. If you have not yet visited her space, I would like you to do so now like stop reading and check out her blog.

 My belief that Friday the 13th is lucky for me, is getting confirmed  now with such things happening to me on Friday the 13th.. My elder son was born on Friday the 13th(India Date) and  I was promoted from Miss to Mom on that day. Hope you also find all the luck this Friday the 13th.



Radish Salad--Khamang Mulyachi Koshimbir and an Award

I am trying to include some raw vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, radish, beets and some other crunchy veggies in our daily diet. As you know by now, I am the queen of disguising veggies in our food. My mom made this salad at least three times a week, that I stopped making it after marriage. The thought of radish gave me a weird taste in my mouth. But things change with age, I now enjoy eating this as is or with phulka.

You will need;
1 cup grated radish
1 medium green chili
cilantro to garnish
1 tbspn roasted peanut powder
salt and sugar to taste
1 tspn lime juice

1 tspn ghee/clarified butter
1 tsp jeera/cumin
1 pinch hing

In a bowl, mix h grated radish with the peanut powder, salt, sugar, cilantro and lime juice and mix, In a small wok/pot/kadhai heat the ghee, splutter the jeera and then add the green chili and the hing. Take it off the heat and mix it with the radish mixture. the salad/koshimbir is done. Adding the tadka is completely optional, but add it as there is a noticeable difference in the taste after adding it. Please use ghee for the tadka. the taste will be different with you replace ghee with oil for the tadka.

We love making such koshimbir/salad with grated carrot or cabbage also. Add a salad to you meal now on. make this your new year resolution.

I am sending this to Color Palette, Kids Delight and Healthy and hearty events happening in the blogland.

Now this brings me back to the award. Gauri of Pasta and Paratha   and Aparna of Square meals shared a Happy Blogger award with me. This surely makes me extra Happy and so far 2012 is looking promising for all. To make everyone Happy, I am sharing this award with one and all. whoever likes to collect it, drop me an email and will send it over to you. Happy Blogging and sharing.



Cheddar Garlic Biscuits- Gift Post BY Swati.

Happy Monday Peeps.. How are you holding out on the Monday Blues...I am still keeping awake at work, but the day seems so long...but today seemed like a good start to the week for me, I woke up on time,,actually without snoozing the clock for 2-3 times before actually rushing out, even cooked lunch for Mr.,Ash and kiddo, exercised for 10-15 mins and came to work on seems like a decent start to the week, hoping that the week sails by as smooth as this Monday morning. Today's recipe is a gift by a sweet friends Swati. We are virtual friends as we have yet to meet each other. We discuss the cake designs and icing a little too much on the net, so I expected a cake recipe for her.. S if u are listening/reading loved your Diego cake..wink wink.. (hint).. but she was kind enough to send me this savory recipe and as she says it is so easy and fast and with few things. Her advice is though to eat it fresh out of the oven , can stay good for 2 days. so what are we waiting for, note the stuff and make it appear on to-nite's dinner menu, y'all.

Cheddar Garlic Biscuits
·         Heat oven to 450.
·         Combine Bisquick, milk, and cheddar cheese.
·         Stir together.
·         Spoon onto an un-greased cookie sheet.
·         Bake for 8-10 minutes.(till its turn golden)
·         In a small sauce pan combine butter, garlic powder
·         Heat until butter is melted.
·         Spoon butter mixture over hot biscuits.
·         If you want more golden then put back in oven for 3-4 mins.

Can it get easier than this. Love Swati for her addition to my space.



Hot Chocolate

We are hit with  a cold wave again.. The past few days have been the coldest and I have been working my brains to cook something that is light and yet satisfying. I have been making various kinds of soups and dishes that are warm in nature and using spices that generate heat within the body like Ginger, cloves and the other Indian spices. The New years came and went by without we being in action. We missed the new years party as we were down with cough and cold and fever. What a great way to start the new years!!! IF this was not enough, My Laptop got sick as well. Poor thing, IT was working hard as well. So kindly excuse me for taking such pictures. But you still get the whole picture, that all did not start well in Ashland. Not to dampen the new year spirit, I tightened my belt and decided that no fever or no sneeze could stop us from enjoying the new years. Who needs a bunch of people to enjoy outside when you have a few little people at home. Besides make your own pizza in your comfy pyjama sounded more fun than anything else.

The pizza post will be up shortly after my unwell Laptop is running again. We polished all the pizzas and were still hungry for something to end the great meal. Since we were already little under weather, Ice cream was ruled out a s an option by Mr. Ash. The coffee for kids is NO NO in my books. We kind of settled for Hot chocolate. This is so easy that even my 8 year son could do it. He swirled the whipped cream and put the candy cane on the glass. His interests in the kitchen are only with the can of the whipped cream. The chef lies in my younger one, who loves to make dough, stir and even roll Indian bread/phulkas. I still have hope that my blog will be used extensively by him.

You will need to make 4 cups
1 cup water
3 cups milk
3 tbspn chocolate chips-- we use milk chocolate
2 tbspn Chocolate Nesquick powder or nay drinking chocolate
Whipped cream Optional
 Mini candy cane Optional
1 tspn Vanilla extract Optional but highly recommended

In a pot, mix the milk and sugar and add in the chocolate chips, vanilla and nesquick powder, stir well and heat on medium till the chips melt and the mixture looks well incorporated. We do not like things overly sweet, but if you like so, feel free to add  a spoonful of sugar to it. When it comes to  a smaller boil, take off heat and pour in a cup with some space on top, about 2/3 rds of the cup. Swirl some whipped cream and use a candy cane to stir it. Njoii it with your family and stay happy!



Baakar Bhaji - Pumpkin Subji and an Award

This type of vegetable was/is  a grand affair in my birth-city, Nagpur, Maharashtra. It is made for all occasions, be it puja's, ganpati, Diwali or marriages. My aunt calls the Achari/ Maharaj/Chef who does all the cooking alone or at times with one assistant on her terrace for around 50-100 people in a matter of couple of hours. He comes equipped with his utensils, spoons and knives, all we need to do is give him the stuff to cook and some space. It is an pleasure and a s a kid I loved looking at him stir, chop and play with food in such huge quantities. The image of him stirring besan to make ladoos is fixed on my mind and takes me to a happy place, when he lovingly offered all kids smaller ladoos when he was done with the cooking. He was a strict chef, who was a brahmin and insisted that if he is cooking for the prasad/offering to god, then all things be clean and neat when he entered the place he was going to cook. After the ladoos this subji or vegetable preparation refuses to leave my mind and make space for new things. I dislike Pumpkin a s a kid, my grandma used to make bharit, a kind of dip/salsa with mashed boiled pumpkin and it was mandatory for us to finish that before leaving our seats and announcing we are done with the meal. It tasted decent, but the way of preparing was at fault, I mean, she chopped the pumpkin fine, then boiled it and then mashed it with fingers..and then added the spices, curds and made it a royal sloppy mess. The very thought of the process is enough for me to throw up. Another disgusting way of her preparation was making Shirkran, where she mashed ripe bananas with her fingers and added milk and sugar to it. Yuck.. and phew...god bless the person who invented spoons and knives.

This subji is divine and just melts in your mouth. Do not be fooled with the humble pumpkin. The poppy seeds and the dry coconut along with the spices make it a very rich gravy based preparation. People like to eat it with phulka's or rice, I like to hog it just as is.

You will need;
8-10 pieces of chopped pumpkin around 1to 2 inches with skin on
2 tbspns poopy seed
2 tbspns dry coconut powder
1 tbspn roasted peanut powder
little water to grind the paste--See notes.
5-6 curry leaves
1 tspn fenugreek seeds/methi seeds
1 tspn garam masala
1 tspn Red chili powder
1 tspn goda masala--Optional
1 tspn cumin-coriander powder
1 inch cube of jaggery
salt to taste
Cilantro to garnish

2 tbspn oil
1 tsp mustard/rai seeds
1 tsp cumin/jeera seeds
2 Green chili-Optional
pinch of hing
1/2 tsp turmeric/haldi

Place a wok on medium heat and dry roast the poppy seeds for about 2-3 minutes till they change a shade darker, then remove them in a blender pot, in the same pan, dry roast the coconut till it changes color, once cooled, add it to the same blender pot with the roasted poppy seeds, and then add little water and add all the spice(garam masala+goda masala+cumin-coriander) powders, red chili powder, dry roasted peanut powder and little water to make paste. IN the same wok, take the oil, add the mustard seeds, jeera and let it sizzle a bit, add the curry leaves, green chilies and lastly the methi seeds and hing, add the paste and fry for 2-3 minutes, till the mixture is well incorporated, add the haldi and stir once. Then add the pumpkin cubes, salt and jaggery and stir till the paste coats the pumpkin pieces, add little water to make a curry. Do not add a whole lot of water as the pumpkin when cooks gives out a lot of water. We want a dry curry not a sloppy soupy mess. Cover with lid and cook till the pumpkin looks cooked. It should be firm and not break a whole lot, so we need to make bigger pieces and not smaller ones. The curry/subji is done. Garnish with cilantro and Enjoy with some steamed dal chawal or with hot phulka's or like me, as is.

 I am sending this to  Sweet Heat challenge hosted by Food and Football and Baby.

Moving on the award and a slice of MI-Whats in my mind!!!!

Sudha of wit, work and wisdom has shared an Inspirational award with me. I had to answer 8 questions about myself - interesting stuff:. Thanks Sudha for thinking about me, such gestures keep me blogging for more.

1. What makes you laugh, smile or giggle?

I am not rude, but I burst into laughter when I see someone falling on steps. Once my friend missed a step and fell on an airwalk. She had a pan in her bag which stared rolling down the steps as well and both landed at the same time with a big bang. There was quite a crowd there and everyone had  a good laugh before we all pitched in to help my poor friend.

Other things that make me giggle are my kids.Their haywire antics and smart use of words has me in splits often.

2. What are your dreams for your future?

I have no major dreams for myself, just want a satisfying life and stay happy. I have been blessed with enough of all things. I cannot get greedy and save my wishes for the time when I will need them for self or loved one.

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

I would love to cruise Hawaii. Have heard so many things about the mystic beaches and places to visit, that sooner than later I would be planning a cruise to Hawaii.

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

Off course with Mr. Ash and my munchkins. I would love if my parents and my bro and his family also joins us. IT would truly be a dream vacation then.

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

Past is history and tomorrow is mystery, so present is a present(Gift).

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

Not when I was young, but recently I wished for something, which I did not get, It hurt a bit, but tomorrow is there to try again.

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

Yes of course. We all face such circumstances at some point in our life. The key is to move on and let go. Learn from past and try secure the future.

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

There are not one but many wonderful girls in my life who have been my gyan guru.
My mom taught me to be kind, be giving, she made me book smart, confident and be of substance. Her ideology is we cannot change someone, but change the way we think.
My mom in law taught me to be street smart, do good only if someone deserved the goodness.
My aunt taught me to get tougher when the going gets tough. To never give up
My SIL's mom taught me to be happy in all situations. I admire her for she loves life and lives it to the fullest. She showed me that we can be really happy if we want to be.
My SIL taught me to take good with bad, sometimes give a second chance.

I am sharing this award with;
Smitha @
Khushi @ A Girls Diary
Ms. Chitchat @
Ansh @ Spiceroots
Amy @ Food Corner

This award is for all my readers also for being an inspiration for me. Please continue with your support and make me blog more often and share wonderful tit bits from my life to yours.



Brown Rice-Moong Dal Khichadi

Holidays bring along with it the sweets, bakes and likes. It's the time when we stuff ourselves with the evils of sugar and butter and give a hoot about the weight, after all its only one time in a year. Around New years we find ourselves make new resolutions to lose that weight, eat healthy and stay fit. Something like this happens to me all the time. so if you are like me, stick around and I will show you slowly but steadily what changes I am making to our food habits and trying to keep up with the promise I made to myself to eat wise and stay wiser. First change I am making is in rice.  I switched the Rice with Brown Rice.We are so used to white rice that the any changes in mere color of the rice alarms us. But I have started using Brown rice in any rice preparation that does not include eating it alone.But  if I am making any dal or curry, I make some brown rice along with it. We are still not 100% sure of giving up dal chawal  using brown rice instead of white, so will continue using white rice for that purpose only.

Brown Rice-Moong dal  Khichadi with veggie's and hot Kadhi are my passport to heaven. They are my chicken soup on cold days kind of comfort food.It gives me unexplainable pleasure to post this recipe for my young bachelor friends as this recipe can be twisted and turned as per what you have on hand. The main ING being Mood Dal and Rice.. To add to the health content I use Green Split Moog Dal, as the husk from the lentils gives it the fiber, we lack so much in vegetarian food.Try this hot hot khichadi with Kadhi on any rainy stormy or snowy day....roasted papad or some chips on the side and you are in is that relaxinggggggggggggggggg

You will need; for two ppl
1 cup Brown Rice ..washed
3/4th cup Moog dal .. washed
1 cup Veggies- Mix of peas/corn/beans/anything you have on hand if nothing; tastes equally better without any veggies
few Curry leaves
2 green chillies
1tspn coriander powder
1tspn cumin powder
1 tspn ginger/garlic paste
jaggery or1 tsp sugar and salt to taste
Oil and things for Tadka

3 cups hot water

--In a wok, heat some oil, add the mustard seeds,cumin, hing, green chilies, ginger/garlic paste, curry leaves and let it splutter, then add turmeric powder then the veggies...fry for few minutes, then add the rice and dal and roast the mix for 5 mins... then add the hot water and salt and some jaggery/sugar, add the coriander and cumin powder stir once and cover and let cook for abt 15-20 rice cooker has  a setting to cook brown rice in 20 mins, or soak the rice for few minutes before using...njoii this Khichadi with kadhi...or plain with a spoonful of clarified butter or ghee.

 I am sending this to  Sweet Heat challenge hosted by Food and Football and Baby.
Also sending this to Lets Cook-Rice  event, hosted by Tcikling Palates. 


Happy New Year-2012 and a good news.


The new year brought with it some very good news. My entry was featured on Amy's Decorating challenge. Thanks a Lott for the great badge Amy!!!

Have  a blessed year ahead!!!