Oh Camping we go!!!!

 Hello Dearies!!! Firstly sorry for being MIA for one whole week. Reason being we went camping. Oh Yes!! our very own first camping family vacation. We had a lot of fun and relaxing and spent time outdoors in a true camping spirit. Well if you count renting a cabin and a RV for 4 families as camping, then yeah we did it all!!! We had booked a tent space and our friend did set up the tent, but we never got to spending the night there. Must admit that someone chickened out of the whole tent story. We did go river walking, singing in front of the campfire swimming in the pool, bouncing and bike riding. I came to know how talented my friends are who sing so well, some even danced the dance. This was so hilarious, it was like a big mad party with no parents watching us.

Will I do it again, Absolutely YES!!! We never had so much fun on any vacation. The family behaved well, no yelling, no timeouts or even eye staring was in place. Yes I am the mom who gives her family THE LOOK!!!

Important part of any nature activity is spotting natural elements. We did spot a toad, my friend saw  a bear, like a big grizzly bear, I did not spot any deers in the deerpark. I never seem to spot any where the signs are put, do you spot any animals where they put signs of spotting? But I did see some treats in the camp site store where we took the kids for some ice cream. Enjoii these rare treats. I did not gather enough courage to try them. Just eye candy and pictures satisfied me.

I also learnt the craft of making carnation flowers from tissue paper; which I will be showing you guys in later posts. My friends 8 year old girl taught me to make these flowers, we attached them to a tic-tac clip and I was in Hawaii. I got so many compliments on how beautiful the flower looked and where did I get such a cute flower in the deep woods midst the mountains. 
What did you all do in the summer? Small Vacations and getaways refresh your mind and give you a different prospective towards life.


Chavli chi usal-Blackeyed bean usal- and an Award

Hello Dearies!!! I know I hear the groans, but relax, I am back again cooking after a small break posting only soaps, lotions and sundry. I am posting a very down to earth and humble bean dish. This is so versatile, pairs well with steamed rice, roti or even bread. Peeps in Ashland like to have this as is with some chopped onions, lemon juice and shev. This is  a very maharshtrian preparation sans the coconut and kadhi putta. A truly hearty subji which you can have as a soup also. I love dunking my bread in this on a rainy day!!! Making usal is my Go-o thing on busy dinner nights. I make usal all the time, as I usually have some or the other kind of sprouts ready to go. The base of the curry can be kept the same and variety of beans like White peas, green peas, lentils, black kidney beans or black beans can be used.

You will need; 
1 cup dried Chavali/Blackeyed peas - soaked in hot water for 5-6 hours and boiled with 2 cups water in a pressure cooker for 2-3 whistles. Alternatively used canned. Just wash and drain the beans from the can.
1 onion diced small
1 tomato diced small
1 inch ginger grated
3 cloves garlic mashed
1 tspn Usal Masala- Substitute with 1/2 tspn Garam masala + 1/2 tsp Cayenne pepper 
1 tspn Goda Masala- Black Garam Masala commonly used in Marathi speaking homes.-Optional
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt to taste

2 tbspn oil
1 tsppn Jeera/cumin seeds
1 tsp rai/mustard seeds
pinch of hing/asafodita
1tsp turmeric/haldi

Heat a wok on medium heat and add oil, add the tempering ingredients, rai/mustard seeds and jeera/cumin seeds, let it sizzle and then add the onions, tomatoes, ginger and garlic, then add the turmeric/haldi and hing and fry till the onion and tomatoes get cooked and oil starts separating from the sides. Then add the boiled peas with the water in which it was cooked.Then add the usal masala, salt and lemon juice and cover and cook for 5-7 mins. The usal is ready.
** The Usal masala I have is very spicy, so adjust the heat levels as per your liking. Generally it is wiser to start with less amounts and increase to you liking.

It''s Award time again. Shailaja also shared this award with me. thank You Shailaja for keeping me in mind and sharing this award.

Rules for receiving award:
1)  Each person must post 11 things about themselves.
2)  Answer the questions, the tagger has set for you.
3)  Choose 11 people and link them in your post.
4)  Create 11 questions for the people you’ve tagged to answer.
5)  Go to their page and tell them.
6)  Remember, no tag back.

Rule 1: Post 11 things about yourself
1. I like gardening, OK I try very year, but this year my garden has been kind on my soul.
2. I like to create with hands, make soap and lotion. The whole process calms me.
3. Spend time with my munchkins.
4. read blogs/ pintrest like bible or text books.
5. I am a good friend
6. I am MAD- Recently people around me have been saying this a lot of times.
7. I am die hard foodie
8. I like to admire people on loop roller coasters, but never dare ride one.
9.  I heart people who are organized, wish I could be more like them.
10. I  an a blogger 24/7
11. I am a MOM 24/7
1) Who was the inspiration behind your blog?
Pallavi of a Cook @Heart and Manali of Cravings mainly planted the seed of blogging. Also want to specially Thank Aparna of Square Meals who comments regularly and also shared all of her awards with me.

2) What you will do when you are free?
Will.. I already am making my soap and lotion in my free time.

3) What kind of movies do you enjoy?
Family and comedy based movies, no rona dhona for me.
4) What kind of people you like?
Frank and honest
5) What kind of food you like?
Spicy then sweet then again spicy. U get the picture. I like Food.

6) Most memorable moment.
Many. Cannot name one. Each moment taught me memorable things.

7) Who is the best teacher in your school?
My Tuition teacher Mrs. Nalavade.

8) Who is the role model in your life?
Have many women as role models.
9) What is your favorite movie?
I like to watch Jaane bhi do yarroon again and again!!!

10) Name one book you had to read but hated?  
School text Books
11) What is your favorite album?
have different choice of music depending on the day and occasions.

Rule 2: Answer the question
Who inspire you for creating such a wonderful food blog and what you think about Shailaja's blog? Any suggestions for her?   

 Inspiration behind the blog is mainly my readers and blogger friends who without knowing me, offer me free advice, suggestions and they are trying constantly to improve my space. Some hinted and pushed me to start exploring my writing skills, which I eventually am enjoying. They take pains to read each and every word I write, which is huge for me.

Suggestions for you, I am still new to be giving any suggestions, just do what you like to do and keep doing/blogging without a care in the world. Followers and fame is not the essence of blogging, but doing what you enjoy is.

Rule 3: Choose 11 people and link them in your post
I would like to Share this award with;
1  Manasi of Cook@heart
2. Manali of Cravings
3. Smitha of smithasspicyflavors
4. Ms. Chitchat  of chitchatcrossroads
5. Amarendra of Amu's Recipes
6.Neelam of Kane's Coop
7. Balvinder of Gluten Free Food
8. Shirley Of Shirley's Luxury Haven
9. Jagruti of JCO
10. Aparna of Square Meals
11. Kavi of Foodmania

Rule 4: Create 11 questions for the people you've tagged to answer
1) Reason behind your blogging?
2) What do you do when you are free?
3) What kind of movies do you enjoy?
4) What kind of people you like?
5) What kind of food you like?
6) Why do you follow a blog?
7) What motivates you to comment on certain blog posts?
8) Who is the role model in your life?
9) What is your favorite blog post and why?
10)What blog post you thought would receive most comments and were you disappointed when It did not?
11) What is your take on being inspired? like Plagiarism in covers?



Homemade Lotion and Lip-balm totally Natural and Organic

 Hello Dearies!!! Today I bring to you some homemade natural and  beauty enhancers from your very own pantry. I also have a confession to make. I am addicted to something that is not harmful but dangerous in many ways!!! I am not on drugs nor am I an alcoholic, but yes I am addicted to Pintrest. And this is what happened to me when I bumped  into Wellness Mama. This Mama is AMAZING!! she makes everything natural and homemade, using everyday products and oils we have at home. She makes her own baby wipes. Impressed. not yet, run over to her space.

I also tried making her lotion and it won many thumbs up from my elder Donut who does not like any cream or lotion either coz its too creamy or too sticky. Most Winters I worry about his lips chapping and his skin turning into a dessert for camel rides. I am also not blessed with a glowing skin, so my search for one lotion for all ailments from cracked heels to chapped lips is always on. What I loved about these lotions is that most ingredients are very easy to get, except for bees wax which Mr. Ash ordered for me online. I am super impressed with the variations I can use from my pantry and mix and match the oils and essences. This winter is going to be soft and glowing in Ashland. I followed Wellness Mama to the T and stuck to her recipe except the addition of Shea butter and Cocoa powder to the lip balm.I needed to do that, it's just me that if I change the ingredients, I get creative satisfaction of doing something different. I will update you on the progress of my cracked heels and chapped lips after using these lotions for  a while, and keep watching this space as I am seriously thinking about sharing the lotions and soaps with one lucky reader soon. Just that I need to be super confident about the product I am making. There are no side effects as the oils are pretty much used in everyday cooking, like olive oil, coconut oil, bees wax imparts a  soft honey scent and addition of shea butter only adds in the effect.

 You will need;
take a glass bottle and a wide pan with 2-3 inches water, keep the water to boil. in the glass jar take;
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 th cup bees wax
2 capsules Vit E oil

1tsp rose water-Optional-
*I used this

2tsp shea butter-Optional
*I used 2 tsp as I have the shea butter which was costly. so thght will use little than none

When melting, stir often and then when the whole thing has melted, store in a glass jar and use little as it will go a long way. I added cocoa powder to the lipbalm for a brown tint.

 I know I am teasing you now, but I have given you all the resources to go ahead and curb your fear of making such treats from your kitchen. This really does not take any time, as it is only melting the oils and letting them do their own thing, I made these in less than 20 minutes. If I can do it, so can you!!!!! Thanks again Wellness Mama for doing the work for us.


Homemade Granola Trail Mix

Hello dearies!!!I have some awesome friends. Some help me by motivating me to keep aiming for my target weight loss some even send me awesome goodies in mail. Some post healthy food and snack options for me. Such an amazing friend is M who has her blog as Cravings. True to it's name, it does satisfy all e-Cravings, as the technology is not there yet where food can transported through the computer screen, I drool and drool looking at some creations. M posted her granola recipe few weeks back and its has been on my mind ever since. Luck by chance I was ordered a days rest from all the computer and TV by the Dr. for an eye infection. I was send home from work. Mr Ash soon killed my excitement of getting a day off and doing nothing but watching some TV and reading some blogs,Also the mean daddy he is, he took away my phone as I can read blogs on my phone too.. Boo hoo. I was left to do nothing but REST. How can anyone do nothing is beyond me, so I bribed Mr. Ash to give me 30 Minutes of some REST time in return of nothing to do. I made M's Granola with my pantry list of things.

 Recipe Source; Cravings

You will need;
3 cups old fashioned rolled oats
1 cup Organic Agave Syrup/Honey can be used
* I used organic blue agave syrup
3 tbspn water
vanilla essence
1/4th cup each of;
 raisins, cranberries, almond , walnut, sunflower seeeds.
(You can pretty much use anything you fancy)

Preheat oven to 350degree, Mix the oats and the nuts, stir once. In a bowl add in the honey/agave syrup, vanilla essence and water and stir, pour it over the oats and nuts mixture,  roast the oats, stirring every 7-10 minutes in between.. I used party aluminum tray, keep roasting in the oven for anr 30 mins, stir as not let it stick and burn, keep doing this every 7-10 mins. remove and cool, your granola is ready. Add in pretzels sticks, M and M's or sugar coated candy when you are ready to pack for hikes, trails or store in air tight jar and use for breakfast every morning.



Shadi ka ladoo-

**** This post is written for Indiblogger and Sony entertainment television Contest on Indiblogger for the upcoming show LoveYaArrange

 Before I start my post a Quick dekho of this concept.

Coming back to today's post, in some parts its hilarious and in some plain pathetic. Y so, read on. I guarantee I will not bore you or  make you bang your head on the nearest wall. But most if not all will definitely relate to it if you have ever been subjected to this sort of match making. If I begin telling my kids teachers that I did not fall in love and then get married, I get a look. Yes the look which says where the hell do you come from where you get married in a blind date set up. That is my dear readers, happens only in India. Girls and boys are not allowed to date openly. The list of don't exceeded the list of do's.  The alarms were raised if someone reported talking or being extra friends with any male before the girl even reached home. Girls are allowed many boys as friends, but strictly no boyfriend. That is a clear NO No at home.

 The story is about  a young girl, for story telling and disclaimer purposes just call her Uma, a very Typical Indian name. Uma was a very independent girl focused on her law degree to find any guy interesting or soul mate type. Some boys her age thought of her as a book worm some thought of her as  good old girl with whom you can share your girlfriend woes, borrow money to buy them gifts and then never return that and some simply stayed away. The whole idea of being married for life without knowing the boy and his family sounded like a  blind game of poker for her. Ms. Uma had huge arguments with her mom who simply refused to let off the guard and allow Uma a free life out of holy matrimony. The Mom searched high and low, registered her name in various Marriage Bureau's and portals with Glossy Profile of tall, slim Wheatish skin Brahmin Girl, who can cook and willing to learn more kind of language. Some truth some plain lies, the profile was created. Then proposals started pouring in with similar family backgrounds, horoscopes started to match few places and the whole tamasha of dekho and dikaho began. What still wonders Ms. Uma is how did she ever  consent to all this in her strong Rebellion Glory? Yes she was and still is a rebel.

Being the Nari/Women/girl of today, she does not consent until fully convinced of the concept and most prob its only on her terms does she ever say yes. She did meet a few prospective grooms on her mothers insistence. She was not sure if she was destined to meet those prospective grooms (PG) or just plain DUMB is written on her face. She met half a dozen well educated brahmin boys as out of community was a strict NO-NO at home. In her words we will list a few of her  experiences and let you decide for that.

Enter Mr PG1
 A Software Engineer with a reputed MNC based in Pune, MS and traveling often to England the land of the Queen. This was enough for Mr. J1 to think of himself as no less than any Prince. His list of wants exceeded his list of needs. He was fair and handsome and his mother kind of made a comment on Ms. Uma's skin color and profession. But they were willing to give poor Uma a chance of pleasing MR. Charming and a second meeting was fixed. Uma's mom had high hopes only to be later told that Her pretty Daughter was placed on 3rd rank by Mr. J1 akka Mr. Charming.

The rebel that Uma was found this reason enough to place him on her NEVER see NEVER talk list again. Hush, Uma was very happy that day, that She had found a solid ground to reject this groom, Not that IT made her any difference as all she ever wanted; was to wiggle out of this whole Matchmaking drama every weekend.

Enter Mr. PG2
A Chartered Accountant by profession working with a State Govt entity. All he wanted was to get married and start having family with the lovey dovey wifey. After the first episode of the arranged marriage interview, Mom asked Uma to get a facial/face polish done just in case they objected to her skin color. So the meeting was arranged and the family left the two to discuss the matters out while they chit chatted over a cup of coffee. The excerpt of the interview was something like this;

Mr. PG2; so how do you like my house?
Uma; Its OK

Mr. PG2; So How do you like OUR bedroom?
Uma; (Bhag Uma Bhag!!!!) Speechless, next Q please

Mr. PG2; So how many kids you want, I want 2?
Uma; We will see

Mr. PG2; My sister is in Dubai, she wants to talk to you now?
Mr. PG2; I like yummy food everyday, so no stale food for me or morning meals for dinner
Mr. PG2; I dont like Girls wearing western clothes, so just Saree and Salwars
Mr. PG2; And I don't Like short hair, it's ok you have it now, But I like wifey have long black hair, yours is little brown, so no henna now on just godrej Black dye............

Uma was just listening to the ranting as her idea of a life partner was much beyond the looks and likes and Me, Myself and Mine.

Uma found another valid reason to run away from this joker as the whole idea of being desperate in the first meeting did not go down with her.  If only he would have asked about her likes, interests and dreams in life,w would she have considered him.

Enter Mr. PG3;
A PhD student in environmental Studies in India. Looks Promising. So the meeting was set up, since the Mom had some professional arrangements, Uma's Newly married SIL was designated to go along with her for the meet. Being a newly married bride, the SIL was decked with the mang mein sindoor and the nine yard mangalsutra and green bangles. Ek dumm traditional bahu she was. When the family met, J3's mom started talking to the SIL and asking her all questions meant for the bride to answer, beta, do you know cooking, my son is very absent minded, his wife has to be alert and manage all finances and bills, can you do that? Beta did you like the snacks I made, If you say yes, I will always make them for you?? Uma was finding this hilarious and the poor SIL was trying her best to divert the questions to Uma. Then finally the SIL turned the subjects and suggested that the Girl and the boy should Talk and  see for them, if they would like to meet again.. Hushhhhhhhhhhh for SIL, the mom agreed.

Mr. PG3;
 I am an avid environmentalist and I do go for protests and dharna's... Weeks or months I do NOT COME HOME, just so you know, you are free to do what you like in that time. Also being an environmentalist, I do not allow, Silks, Makeup or leather in my home.
(Uma recollected the precious leather mojdi's she was wearing, the batik leather bag she cherished and fought for with SIL, and the en-number of lipsticks and liners in her pouch...)
I also believe in sustainable life, so my plan is to built  a shack and do gardening all my life. Probably get a cow or goat and  find solace. IF you want to have kids, get them education or luxuries you have to find a way for that YOURSELF. I am getting late for my meditation and have to leave for the protest preparation. So let me know what you think.

Uma was happy and sad at the same time. Happy coz she was again free and would not have to justify her denial but sad  because such people existed, who taught that home, kids and future of them, is still in one persons hand. IF she wanted to raise any kid by HERSELF, why would she even marry??? she might as well adopt a baby and give him/her  a better future without the baggage of marriage.

Enter Mr. PG4;
A Chartered accountant and only son of his aging parents. A true Shravan baal in many ways except he did not want just a wife, he wanted  a WORKING wife. He wanted a secured life, so he need not have to work hard to achieve simple joys. He wanted  a 3 BHK in the prime location in the city, wanted a ideal daughter in law for his mom, who would not enter the kitchen once he is married. He wanted a wife who will be quiet and and not ever complain, ask or crib about the work around the house, give her MIL all her salary to decide how much she would get for her expenses, and if she would ever get some days to visit her parents and also the girl will have to manage everything Alone.  Uma was not mentally prepared for all the work laid out for her even before she committed to it. Being a daughter to a working mom, Uma was used to doing housework, studies and even working while studying, but having it spelt out made it look like a BIG job. Having brother and him being married, Uma knew about the saas- bhau(MIL_DIL) drama and clashes that usually would arise, but her SIL and Mom being so extra sweet to each other, she had never experienced any clashes first hand. Of course the opinion differed between them, but it was resolve din a very friendly neutral way. NO hair pulling or biting words hurled at each other.

Uma rejected this proposal also, sole reason being she valued her financial independence more than anything. NO way would she throw her in laws out at that age, she would not tolerate her parents subjected to this agony, so she would never dream of doing that to anyone's. What pained Uma was the thought of giving up the financial freedom, begging for her own money and working like  a dog with no benefits of simple happiness and peace of mind, all this for  a total stranger. Seemed like too much of  a bargain. Being a lawyer plus having worked in family court, alerted all the red flags such marriages invoked. Uma successfully wiggled out of the situation.

Days passed turning into weeks, Stories of Uma' groom search started making the vines of gossip. Uma often was labelled as the Hunterwali, meaning a strong feminist. Relatives posing as well wishers started questioning about Uma choice, saying why do you want an educated understanding groom, just see if he has  a job and settle down, Free your Mom from this trouble. Uma was hurt with the ways were going and frustrated equally that she was not finding anyone tor relive her mom from this burden.Result was, Uma started staying alone, stopped attending family events and in general stopped going for any get together where any closely related  groom search talk was involved. She concentrated on  building her legal practice and clients. She was doing extremely well and rounds of a new promising lawyer took Uma to a happy place in life. She regained the confidence that was butchered by some proposals who denied her because she was not fair and  beautiful like Aishwarya Rai, some rejected Uma as she was a lawyer poking fun as in you like to fight so you are  a lawyer, how lame can you be, do you ask a surgeon, oh you like to cut people so you are  a surgeon!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Uma had enough of this whole drama that was arranged every weekend in hopes that this Sunday might be the lucky day!!!

Uma requested her Mom to kind of give her a time out for  a few weeks and resume the whole thing if Uma is not successful in finding her a husband in the next few weeks. Mom understood her pain so she agreed and search for Uma husband was put on hold. Uma decided to take  a break and planned a small vacation to be with her brother and SIL. Off she went happy to be out of the weekly episodes. In the time she was gone, Mom got a call that sort of changed things for Uma.

Lucky One
Mr. One's mom called Uma's mom asking to meet the girl as her son would be visiting  from London for 2 weeks only for business and she would like him to be hitched in that time. Mom told her that it would not be possible as Uma was not in the country and was unlikely to be back in the 2 weeks. Both moms decided that if both are not able to find respective partners they would call again in December when Mr. One comes for his annual vacation.

Uma came back refreshed from her vacation and was not able to find any husband, so the search was back on. This time around she was lucky enough to escape the meetings as Uma was rejected in the bio itself. Grooms from USA/outside India thought what will she do in USA as she will not be able to work and help them financially, some in India taught she has short hair, wears western clothes and is a lawyer, maybe she would not be an wife material. December came too soon and as not expected, Mom got a call. This time again Mr. One's mom asked for the meeting saying that some or the other reason being, the search for the bride was still on for Mr. One. So the meeting was decided. We were invited to their home. The reason given was, Mr. One insisted that its Uma who has to live here, she better see the kind of home we have.

Meeting day;
Uma was feeling restless for no apparent reason the whole of that Saturday, the day she was supposed to meet Mr. One. She had met many prospective grooms before, so today should be no different. Her Mom kept saying that she was getting positive vibes from the first call she had in June. Uma tried to ignore all the butterflies in her stomach and her moms words in her ears and concentrated at work. After finishing all her work, she decided to go home and get ready for the big meet. As planned she was going to meet her parents at some common junction point and then go together from there. Uma was wearing her favorite mojdi's, yes the leather ones. She smiled looking at them and suddenly something snapped. The sole came off and the mojdi was  in need of help. Having no cobbler in sight and no time on hand, Uma decided to pack the torn mojdi's and  buy new sandals. She carefully packed the torn mojdi's and hid them in her bag and went to meet Mr. One.

After the casual formalities and hellos were exchanged, The girl and the boy were left alone to talk. Silence was what followed the initial Hi. Then more silence. Uma being the chirpy girl could not take the silence with the stranger so she asked the formal regular questions about his hobbies, work and in general chit chat. She was out of all her questions and what followed after that was more SILENCE.
The meeting was over. ON the way home, Mom was curious to know what she felt. TO play it safe and avoid  100 questions after that, Uma said she will need time to think about what she felt(of all that SILENCE.)

Sunday night., Mom got a call again. From Mr. One's mom saying he wants a second meet and ask few questions. FINALLY!!! he is talking. Now Uma was nervous. She had to take some decision and all eyes were on her now. SIL and Uma had a long talk and she decided to meet him again. This time in a public place or a cafe. Uma reached the spot early and had to wait for him for whole 10 minutes. He came bang on time. Uma liked punctuality and was happy to start the note positively. The questions that followed after that were very new for Uma. he seemed practical reasonable, never asked how much she made every month. He was more interested in knowing more about the person Uma was. What made her happy, what disturbed her, what issues she faced everyday while working. He asked Uma to learn a new hobby as He was posted in London for 2-3 years, so that time she would need a hobby to pass her time. He agreed to help in cooking, housework and said if the house is theirs then work is also theirs. He disliked the idea of one person working all the time and the other idling his time over TV.

Uma was sold on the idea of helping in housework and liked his approach to life. He wanted  a life partner who would be his best friend and his best critic, a girl who has her own identity, speaks her mind and calls spade a spade. The whole idea of matches made in heaven started making sense to Uma. She finally found a life partner and a friend who understood her without any words and had no major expectation from Uma apart from being a reasonable wife and making reasonable adjustments.

This is the just one story of one Uma and her search of Mr. Right. This story is partly fictional partly true, maybe self experienced maybe imagined, who knows, IT might be your story or mine.Shadi ka ladoo( Fruit of marriage) however you have it, be it love or arranged, needs equal amounts of sweetness, trust, stability, and most time saying I love you when in fact you want to scream get the hell out of here. Marriage is  a bond that gets stronger as you get older, give it time, nourishment and efforts for it to start bearing any fruits. Love can happen or it can be arranged to happen, how and what you do with it makes all the difference.

 This entry won a runner up prize in the contest



Bhajani Thalipeeth- Multigrain Spiced Flat Bread

Hello Dearies!!! How did you all celebrate the Friendship day? While in college this was the day, most boys and girls awaited t o make new friends. Just out of school and uniforms and disciplined lives, they all enjoyed the new found freedom, Bands were exchanged and ribbons were cut, names were jotted and tied on each others wrists, celebrating the bonds of friendship. Some friendships were eternal but some faded with time. We all had such special friends in all phases of our lives, with whom we shared our feelings and a cuppa of chai.  We always need someone or other to talk to, to express our emotions. We befriend any person of any age to be friends. Facebook is filled with many odd friends, perhaps the desire to be friends is what the social networking sites are thriving on. I met few wonderful people through through Blogger who are not only important but kind of must-haves in my life now. The weird part is, I have not yet come face to face with them, but if and when I do, it would be no different than meeting my childhood friends, with whom you can sit cross legged on a chair and  crack silly jokes and laugh endlessly for no reason. 

I made many new friends through Blogging, but my connection with Pallavi from A Cook@ Heart is special.  We go way back, from the time, I had no readers, so forget about getting any comments. So I kept posting with my many Typo's and weird formatting, till one day I got a comment. She not only corrects my typo's but tells me if certain phrases make no sense, or if they make too much sense. She is the support behind indulge, who encourages me like  a nice teacher, kicks me like a stricter teacher and is always the first to congratulate me on minor or major success. She is the gem in my friendship hat, and one who I can count on day or night, sort of like a 24/7 pal. I would not say my 2 AM, pal, as I love my sleep so I am not awake at that odd hour. I never quite get that phrase what is 2 Am friend and 10AM friend?

Recently, I got a mail, like You have got mail!!!! and that too a surprise in the mail, is what I loved the best about this special package. I even reserved the envelope that it came in as a special memory. I received the package from the fabulous and multi-talented Cook @ Heart. The goodie pack had some oatmeal cereal bars and homemade thalipeeth bhajani. For the exact recipe and how to go check Pallavi's blog ASAP. She is also featured in THE NEW INDIAN EXPRESS. Now apart from I have Mail, I also have Connections!!!!!!!!!! YAY!!!!!

Thanks Cook@ Heart for the wonderful pleasures you send my way. Mr. Ash and the donuts enjoyed every bite of it. We made and had the thalipeeth for our dinner and polished off the plates. Lucky me, they did not eat the plates. It was that good.


Ras Wale Aloo- Potato Gravy

Today's recipe is  a very simple and staple recipe in most Indian homes. Potatoes being the most versatile vegetable is made in different forms, make into chips, deep fried, used in gravy dishes, make a Pattie, cutlet, it can be broiled, roasted, boiled or simply stir fired. We love potatoes and all the carb stories that we are told about it. Mr. Potato is offended big time and I apologize on everyone's behalf. I was invited to one dear friends home M a few days back. She had specially invited us for a Delhi style brunch of Aloo poori and kheer. At first I thought Alooporri would be like a stuffed puri with aloo mixture. I had to fight hard with the urge to search the net and do a quick Google search,  but I did not search the net and see other recipes, I wanted to be surprised. I asked her if she could finish the preparation after I reached there so I could really see what and how she did. This is not even remotely close to what she made, yet This is my take on her Aloo ki subji. My kids loved it and Mr. Ash approved it instantly. The doughnut and the munchkin have now gotten into a habit, if they like some thing they ate at some one's home, they kind of ask me to get the recipe and make it in larger portions at home.  My friend always cook more an we always get the goodie bags of the same food form them, Yet the concept of make more so we can enjoy it for many many days is stuck with them. Mr. Munchkin is fascinated with the term," For One whole Month", it's really cute when he says, I will be upset for one whole month, or I will not talk to anyone for one whole month, like it stays with him for the next five minutes before the focus or subject changes. I did not make any poori for this time, we had it with regular phulka or roti, but the Poori recipe can be found here.

You will need;
3 Medium Tomatoes
1 Medium Onion Finely chopped
5-6 boiled Potatoes, skinned and cubed
1 Tspn Ginger paste
1 TSpn Garlic Paste
 Salt to taste
1Tspn Garam Masala
Water as required

2 Tbspn opil
1 Tspn jeera/Sumin Seeeds
1 Tspn Shah jeera/Caraway Seeds

In a wok, heat the oil on medium heat add in the tempering, and then the onions and tomatoes, then the ginger and garlic paste, fry for few minutes, add a dash of salt and fry till the oil separates the onion tomato mixture. Then add in the boiled cubed potatoes and mix well then add the water and mash it well. Cover with the lid and let cook for few minutes. Finally add in the garam masala and adjust salt to taste. Granish with a rosemary leaf or cilantro and serve with some hot hot poori.