Pepper Medley-Mix of Red, Yellow and Orange Peppers stir fried with chick peas flour.

Hello Dearies!! I am back again with a favorite at my home.There are some veggies that my kids actually wait for me to cook.  With all the festivities associated with Ganpati and all the sweet that we have been eating, I made this spicy and tangy subji for  a quick dinner. I know using peppers can go in any way, it is one of the veggie that you either like or dislike. But it is the most flexible veggie I have known after Potato. I use peppers on a pizza, noodles, pasta, subji or grilled. My grocery list seems unchangeable and few veggies are  a must have on the list. This is because at time, I send Mr. Ash for grocery shopping and if he knows what he has to shop it is easy for poor Ash during the week with less food fights and grumpiness at the dinner table. I just have to keep changing the tastes and styles of cooking the veggies. I have observed that simply by changing the way you chop the veggies, you can actually make a  lot of difference in the taste and texture of the dish. I have been making peeth perun bhaji with spring onions, and it is well accepted  by all. So, I tried making the same with peppers but changed the way I chopped the peppers. Instead of dicing them, I cut them lengthwise into ribbons. Result, I needed less of besan to make the subji which is always good and easy on our tummies.

You will need;
3 Peppers, any color or single color, I took one each of red, yellow and orange peppers.
3 tbspn besan/chickpea flour

2 tbspn Oil
1 tspn mustard/rai seeds
1/2 tspn Cumin/jeera
1/2 tspn carrom/ajwain seeds
1tspn Turmeric
1 pinch hing/aesofodita
Salt to taste
Sugar a pinch, Optional

In a wok, heat the oil till hot, then add the mustard seeds, let them splutter then add the jeera, ajwain and let that sizzle for one second, then add the turmeric, hing and the chopped peppers, cover and let it sweat the water out, reduce the heat to low. Add in the salt, sugar and let it sweat a bit. You will need to add a bit more salt than regular as we will be adding besan. Once the salt is incorporated and the peppers are wilted well, add in the besan spoon by spoon. The quantity of the besan will depend on how much water the peppers have given out. Adding spoon by spoon helps in judging how much flour would be needed. Once the mixture looks wet and the peppers get covered with the flour, stir it well and cover and let cook for 5 minutes, on low heat. After 5 mins, stir once and see if the flour is cooked, if not let it cook covered for anr 2 minutes. The subji will stick to the pan, use more oil if needed, or use non stick pan to cook. I like the burnt scrapping so I let it stick before scrapping it into a serving bowl. The peeth perun bhaji is ready for your loved ones.



Masoor chi Usal/ Orange lentil curry

Hello Sweeties!! I am back with one of my family favorite. Its what rajma chaval is for a north Indian. My family loves this amti/usal with rice and phulka or just as is like soup. This dish is full of good stuff for you and tastes equally good. The masoor is kind of a lentil, which is orange brown in color and packed with protein. This lentil is good for your heart, skin and even in illness, a soup made from this dal has proved beneficial. It helps loosen cough, we were given this dal/usal almost 2 times  a week in different forms for its many uses.

Know more on the health benefits.
Health Benefits of Masoor dal (Lentils)
  • Lentils are extremely rich in soluble fiber, which forms a gel-like substance in the digestive tract, thereby helping in removing bile from the body. It further helps in eliminating and reducing blood cholesterol levels.
  • The higher fiber content of lentils helps in increasing the size of stool; hence, speeding the journey of waste products through the gut. In short, lentils are useful for alleviating constipation. The fiber content also reduces the risk and the symptoms of diverticulosis, a condition in which small pouches form in the colon wall.
  • The soluble fiber in lentils has the property of trapping carbohydrates. It slows down the digestion and absorption process, hence preventing major changes in blood sugar level throughout the day. This helps diabetic patients.
  • The insoluble fiber in lentils leads to the feeling of early satiation; hence, people eat less and gain fewer pounds. Besides, insoluble fiber is indigestible, which passes through the body adding just a few calories.
  • Lentils are rich in flavones, a class of antioxidants with antioxidant properties. Studies have proved that regular consumption of lentils can reduce the risk of breast cancer.
  • Lentils prove to be significant for a healthy heart as they prevent heart coronary problems. Fiber in the lentils reduces blood cholesterol levels and plaque forming on the walls of the arteries, thereby eliminating the risk of stroke or other cardiovascular diseases.
  • Apart from providing low burning complex carbohydrates, lentils increase energy levels by replenishing iron stores. This is particularly very important for menstruating women, who are at a higher risk of iron deficiency.
  • Besides fiber which contributes to the health of the cardiovascular system, lentils contain folic acid and magnesium, significant for reducing the level of homocysteine, a compound known to be dangerous for the heart and artery walls. Also, lentils promote better blood flow and passage of oxygen and nutrients to the organs.
  • Rich in the antioxidant, molybdenum, lentils assist the body in breaking down harmful substances hence reducing allergy symptoms. This antioxidant is also essential for preventing impotency, particularly in older men, and avoiding anemia.
  • Researches indicate that the vitamin E found in lentils helps prevent the risk of Parkinson’s disease, though the exact connection is not yet determined.
so now that we have done our study about the goodness of the masoor dal, we will go towards making it.

You will need; 
1 cup dried Masoor/Orange lentils - 
1 small onion diced small
1 medium size tomato diced
1 inch ginger grated
(soak the dal in hot water for 1-2 hours and boil with 2 cups water in a pressure cooker  with onion, tomato, ginger for 2-3 whistles.)
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

1 tbspn oil
1 tsppn Jeera/cumin seeds
1 tsp rai/mustard seeds
pinch of hing/asafodita
1tsp turmeric/haldi
3 cloves garlic mashed
Heat a wok on medium heat and add oil, add the tempering ingredients, rai/mustard seeds and jeera/cumin seeds, let it sizzle. add this to the pre-cooked dal with onion, tomatoes and  add more water if needed. 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.



Malai Powder Mava Modak Peda

Hello Dearies!!! We celebrated Ganpati Bappa for 5 days. I tried making prasad for 3 days. Day 1 I made Ukdiche Modak, Day 2 I made Sheera and Day 4 I made These Pedas. I was invited for the aarti and puja at my dear friends home. I took these along for prasad. The kids had  a blast eating these and declared they were better than the store brought. Ideally the recipe said use Khoya or fresh mava, But I could not find fresh mava that I liked at my regular grocery store, so I replaced the fresh with dry mava powder. The texture is not dry like peda but creamy like  a barfi. Make them for Ganpati bappa today. It's only day 6 or the 10 day celebrations. 

You will need;
2 cups Mava Powder
1 Cup Confectioner Powder
1/2 Milk

1 tspn Cardamom Powder

1 tbspn Everest Milk Masala- Optional--** Substitute with almond and pistachio powder--Optional
1 Tsp Clarified butter
little yellow food color-Optional

In a wok, heat the ghee, then add the milk/mava powder and the milk and stir well and cook on low heat till the mixture gets well incorporated, add the milk masala, cardamom/dry almond pista powder and stir well and cook till the mixture starts collecting on the spoon. cooking this in a non stick would work well. Turn off the heat. add in the confectioners sugar, mix well till the sugar mixture gets incorporated. add in the yellow food color and mix well.Cool the mixture for about 5-6 hours. Take a teaspoon of the mix and roll out small pedas or shape them into modaks. I d not have the mold to make these pedas so I shaped them with my hand.

Ganpati Bappa Morya!!!! Mangal moorti Morya!!!

Sharing this with 'Walk Through Memory Lane', brainchild of Gayathri of Gayathri's Cook Spot, guest hosted by Smitha's Spicy Flavors. 
and with EZCookbook guest hosting Prasad event of Surabhi's My Cookbook announcement page.



Vinayak Chaturthi- Ganpati Bappa Morya!!!!!

 Hello Dearies!! Today no story, no write up, just a glimpse of how I celebrated the Vinayak Chaturthi/ ganpati bappa at my home. I did the modak and the puja before coming to work. For the modak recipe, refer my previous post. Only change I did this time was make the stuffing in a Microwave. What can electronics do for you.. Save time. I made the stuffing in less than 5 minutes. The first minute was to melt the jaggery, than 2 mins for the cooking, stirring in between and anr 2  mins to end the cooking process.. How easy can this get. I made around 18-20 modaks in less than 45-50 mins.

Hope that Ganapti Bappa blesses you all with health, wealth and wisdom.



Junoon--An experience with master Chef Vikas Khanna

Indiblogger and Masterchef Vikas Khanna hosted the first International meet for Indian bloggers. This was my first time experience attending any bloggers meet. I met some exceptional bloggers and this was an truly awesome experience. The Meet was supposed to be around 11 AM, some of us were right on time, so we started a quick introduction amongst ourselves with a nice coffee, the bloggers had no clue about the agenda and we jumped to the introducing ourselves, that is what happens when you have a bunch of chatterboxes. Junoon's Lounge area seemed a perfect setting for our Hello's and we kind of took off like we have been friends forever.

 The restaurant is done very beautifully interpreting the open kitchen concept. True to it's name , Chef Khanna, drives the restaurant and his crew with a passion/junoon for food and fine dining. The interiors and the ambiance is top notch and the chef takes a keen interest in all aspects of entertaining. For his stature, he is used to attending to President of the USA, NY Mayor and enumerable business and political head honchos, he left no stones entertaining a bunch of bloggers. A very simple and humble chef. One thing I would say is all he knows is cooking good food, Kind of a Fakir chef, whose junoon is only cooking and serving home cooked food.

Few Important things to note about Junoon is that IT HAS NO FREEZER. They cook from scratch every day, chopping, making chutneys, making curries, even their meat is organic and free range. All leftover food is donated to a NY food bank. I am a vegetarian, so I opted for vegetarian menu, being a non drinker, wine was also not in my review. I am sure there will be many reviews on Junoon which will be more complete. Another interesting thing was their light and temperature controlled spice room, which was full of exotic spices, which Chef Khanna handpicks travelling all over the world. He really is passionate about what spices and kind of spices he has in his trove. This room is on display and Chef Khanna is more than willing to give you a tour of the spice world.

 Some things were unique at the meet were unique blog name contest and the one with the most unique name won $50 from Indi and Junoon team. Another was a soup tasting contest where Chef Khanna had  created a soup with unusual combination of ingredients. I missed by one ingredient, the prize was his own autographed cook book. Maybe next time I will be lucky. It's the second time I have missed winning that book. Pray that the third time will prove lucky for me.

Overall, I had  a fun lunch with good food and smart bloggers, meeting Indibloggers and Thanks again for the Inditeam specially Anoop and Diana for making this possible. They both were really working non stop looking after us and making us comfortable. I apologize for the early exit, but life at times gets better than us, I am really sorry that I missed the fabulous round of desserts.

Junoon restaurant Location;
27 W 24TH ST
NEW YORK, NY 10010


 Main Course

Intresting Collection

Spice Room at Junoon.

Well, what can I ask for more. This was beyond words and I am already waiting for another Indimeet. Not Just for the food but overall this was one of the cherished experiences of my life.

 Leaving you with some fun filled memories, Courtesy Panfusine



Virgin Twisted Banana Pina Strawberry Parfait

Hello Dearies!!! Today I present to you a very  easy and quick breakfast item which can be enjoyed as a snack or dessert. The idea came to my mind, when Indiblogger announced  the Del Monte contest. We have been using fruit snack cups by Del Monte since my kids were born. They are super easy to carry and convenient and they are real fruit minus the syrup, I always discard the syrup as it is too sweet for me.  Being a non drinker even socially, I  always ask for the mocktail to be made virgin, so pina colada is one of my go to drinks when we are out and at formal dinners. My Donut loves coconut milk and anything with coconut in it, unlike my younger munchkin. Guess he takes after his mom and Donut after his dad.

Now that school has started, I am always thinking of what to give for breakfast. The usual milk and cereal is not for kids in Ashland. They drink a glass of milk, but no cereal. They eat cereal like a snack but they dislike the soggy cereal much like Ms. Ash. Guess the apple did not fall far from the tree. So I made this parfait today for them. Who would resist this yummy breakfast. Thanks Indiblogger/Del Monte, for planting the seed in my little head, which motivated me to use the ingredients wisely and come up with something nice for the kids in the morning.

This is for the Indblogger and Delmonte contest. FB Link

You will need;
1 pineapple del monte snack pack 

1 ripe banana
1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tbspn organic agave syrup
1 8oz cup plain/ raspberry yogurt
** I use rasberry yogurt as I had it on hand, use plain or Greek yogurt if you like.
1 tbspn Granola Mix
1 tbspn strawberry jam 

In a blender mix the agave syrup, banana, pineapple and coconut milk. In a nice clear glass/bowl, take the strawberry jam at the bottom, blended fruit mix and top with yogurt and Granola Mix, and set it in a fridge till it sets. usually for about an hr or so, enjoy the dessert that is not only good for you but  loaded with health. This is my entry for the Del Monte contest. If any of you are o the Indiblogger network, do give me a nice shout out.



Lotion Bars with 3 simple ingredients.

Fall is in the air and in Ashland!!!  Really every thing is falling in its place for sure. School started and routine fell in its place, kids  went back to school falling deep into the books. With fall comes the worry of chapped lips and cracked heels for most of us. I usually hunt for coupons during this time of the year to stock up on the usual petroleum jelly, moisturizing lotion and Aveeno Lotions. Why you ask, because peeps in Ashland are blessed with rough a d dry skin. My Munchkin gets irritated with rashes and red blotches due to dryness. He itches till the point it starts bleeding. Donut refuses to apply any cream or lotion as it makes him sticky and shiny all day and kids kind of make fun of him. My hunt for an all body suave ended when I came across two of the most helpful sites. Wellness mama and crunchy betty. I mean they are the best when it comes to wellness the pantry way. If you remember I made home made lotion and lip balm not many days ago, I made them again and again. This time I set them in these cute molds from IKEA. I wanted some thing to carry with me in small boxes which were not messy, easy to carry and would not leak or spill in my tote. These lotion bars solve all the hurdles and they work from hair to cuticle. Apply bit of it on wet damp hair and say bye bye to frizz., apply on cracked heels at night and say hello to pampered feet. The recipe is simple and needs only 3 simple ingredients. The oils can be changed as per your likes

You will need;

 Bees wax
 Coconut Oil
 Olive Oil
 All the above 3 in equal parts.

For the lotion bars, take bees wax, olive oil and coconut oil in same proportion and melt in a glass jar in double boiler. if you want to add in essential oils or essence add in after the base oils melt, once all is melted, set in molds. or in small jars. use as you like.

So what are we waiting for, welcome to the wonders of your kitchen and get set go on making all natural, easy on your pocket and good for you treats.


Sheeryachi Poli-Sooji Halwa Paratha

Hello Dearies!! Have you seen something new on Indulge!! Hint hint!!!

The new Recipe Index Page. Took a lot of time and energies for me to finally do the index and have it up and running. I did it once, only to accidentally click on delete instead of save. All the work was blown away by a mere click. How frustrating was that? Adding insult to injury, I lost some of the drafts I had done for the index on my email message. So playing the blame game, I concluded that it was just not my day!! Some days are good where unexpected things happen and some days are so bad that all expected things go the wrong way! Life is very big to remember such sour days and live by many sweet days. So I went home and made this for dinner ending my day on a much sweeter note. Actually it was not what happened. I had a tiring day at work, so was in no mood for cooking regular dinner. Mr. Ash being out of town helps me on such days as my Munchkins have serious sweet tooth and anything with hint of sugar works for them.

Sheera Recipe

 For the cover:
2 cups Flour/Atta
Salt to taste
Oil..and water..
Knead the dough like regular roti.

Making the poli,
1. Make equal size balls of the cover and sheera
2. Roll a small round of the cover and put the stuffing in it and fold from all sides and roll that in some flour, dust the rolling surface with some flour and
3. Roll into a small round roti or paratha.
4. cook on both sides flipping every 20-30 second so both sides get cooked. serve hot with achar/pickle or ghee.

Enjoy these sheera poli or sooji halwa paratha whenever you have any leftover halwa or if you want to send some healthy and nutritious parathas in the kids lunch at school. My munchkins love these parathas, am sure yours will too.

Sending this to Jagruti's I'M Stuffed event



Palak Banana Paratha- Spinach Banana Flatbread


 Hello Sweetpeas!!! How was your first day of school!!! Yes, Summer is OVER and now back to the routine, school, lunches and homework. Yeah!! Happy days for Moms. Most moms will not admit but secretly agree that they cannot wait for school to start. How to keep the kids busy and occupied in summer vacation is a regular challenge we all face. Start of the school also means, what to pack for lunch everyday for 5 days. Kids want variety and moms want nutritious meals, achieving anything closer to both is a nightmare. I admire all moms who plan their kids lunch menu's and shop accordingly. They are able to hit the bulls eye and the kids actually bring home empty lunch boxes.
I try and give kids a different meal everyday so that they do not get bored. Busy mornings or daddy traveling calls for a quick cheese or egg sandwich. I am not a supermom who can make hot lunch and get both kids and myself dressed and breakfast fed before 8.30 AM. Such mornings call for sandwich lunch for all the 3 of us. PB & J is not popular with folks in Ashland so is Nutella. (And you thought I had it all easy.) Anywho, Today's lunch was tried and tested before just coz of I added a ripe banana to the spinach. Yes, you heard it right, I added a ripe banana to the spinach and flour and rolled the parathas. The hint of banana tastes amazing. I had seen this in some cookery show while browsing through you tube. It was on some Marathi TV channel. Luck by chance I had 2 very ripe bananas mushed by my munchkin while they were not so ripe. He simply likes to hold the banana specially so when we are driving on a road trip. He at times dozes off with the banana in hand. We get the mushed banana only when we reach home peel intact but mushed in places where he held them. I cannot throw food away. It just is in my upbringing that food is not to be wasted. so I conspire new ways of using up such food that is not quite edible in its form. We went camping and on our return I gave each kid a banana to eat, to kind of cut the I am hungry, I am bored song. Munchkin never ate his and so did donut. Since they are brothers some traits are very similar in them and I had not one but 2 mushed bananas from that trip. I tried this recipe once before and it turned  a success, so it has made to our school lunch menu. I am happy to who ever thought of this recipe and it is very tasty and soft and these parathas stay well at room temperature.

To make the Parathas;

2 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 cup palak chopped
1 Very ripe Banana
Salt to taste ( I used Sindhav Salt known for its medicinal uses. )
1 tsp Red chili/cayenne powder
1 tsp Turmeric/ Haldi
1/2 tsp cumin powder
1/2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp Garam masala
2 tbspn oil to knead the dough
Water as needed to make the dough soft. The banana will bind the dough so this will require little water. use your judgement. The water should only be used at last and only if needed.

In a wide bowl, take the chopped palak, mushed banana  and the dry powders and add salt, add oil and mix well, now start adding the flour and start mixing in the flour. Add teaspoon by tea spoon water till you have a soft pliable dough. Do not add water initially, as the banana  will help in binding the flour. Once  the dough is soft enough, cover  and let rest for 15-20 mins.

After the dough is rested, roll out the parathas like you would make roti's( make small balls  of the dough and roll out thin rounds tortillas dusting flour if the tortillas stick to the surface). Heat a griddle or tawa on medium heat and cook the partahas on one side. Flip the parathas and spray oil and cook the other side. Repeat on side one and cook both sides. Serve hot with some ketchup. or green chutney or any curry of your choice.


Peak into my Garden

Rosemary and Sage
Hello Dearies!!Today I am doing no talking just showing around a few of my priced flowers/herbs that gave me immense joy and prove to Mr. Ash that the brown thumb is shedding making way for  a greener one.

Celery root planted from the store brought celery. Best out of waste project

Celery and Spring Onion root planted from the store brought celery and spring onion. Best out of waste project

Rope of the bell made from assorted old shoelaces, best our of waste project

 Front view of the home Garden

Hibiscus Plant a Mothers Day Gift.

Jasmine Glory