Bharli Vangi/ Stuffed Eggplant Maharashtrian style-Step By Step

Hello Dearies!!!! Who taught you to cook? Did you start early and were cooking under the guidance of your mom/aunt/granny. I was like many young girls who spent carefree days doing nothing, never dared enter the kitchen unless the cook took off and we had people over+ mom working late or hunger striked when no one was at home. Such days were pressure free as I did not have to please any culinary standards, just satisfy my hungry tummy. Besides we never dislike our own cooking, that is reserved for moms cooking at that age. TO sum up, I started early in the kitchen just unsupervised. I did what I liked, mixed with flavors that fancied me that moment. Many experiments and many accidents later I realized that flavors are important to any dish, not in just enhancing the tastes but also they all have a job to do in our system. I matured in understanding the spices and using them wisely. I must credit my mom to never complain the mess I left her with after I was done with my cooking experiments. Not only the mess, at times the inedible waste of food, that resulted from use of wrong ingredients and overuse of salt. I am what I am all coz of my Aai. Her silence was more encouraging than any of her praise.

After marriage I moved to US, where I had to cook 2 meals a day at least and it needed to be edible not just for me, but for Mr. Ash and occasional out pour of our friends here. IT was no age of blogging or google friendliness; the time belonged to reading cookbooks, following your moms tips and cooking with elders to learn. I was lost as no elders at home, no cookbooks with me, as NO one thought I would be needing them to pack me with some. I was left to my own aid. Then I met a wonderful girl "K" who has been with me in good and bad. She automatically became my teacher in a foreign land teaching me the traditional recipes that ideally I should have watched my mom make. So there you have the secret out. My moms cooking and my cooking are poles apart. I have no clue of my moms recipes. Most of my cooking is in signature K's style and K's family recipes, which she willingly shared with me. She taught me the nuances of fine chopping and why some spices are used more than others in everyday cooking. This is her recipe, off course changed to my tweaks, but you will like it if you make it any which way you like.

You will need;

6-7 small Eggplant-- washed and slit at the bottom with  a plus. Keep this soaked in salt water.
** see pictures to get an idea of how to slit an eggplant for stuffing.


2 Tbspn oil
1 tspn Mustard seeds
1 tspn jeera

 You will need;

 1 medium onion, caramelized in oil.
**In a hot pan, take 1 tspn oil, add in finely chopped onion. Let it caramelized without getting burnt. Once the onion has caramelized enough, remove from heat and cool.

1/2 cup roasted peanuts powder
1 tbspn Jaggery or Gul
Juice of Tamarind about 1 tbspn
Fresh chopped Cilantro- 2 tbsns
salt to taste
Red Chili powder-1 Tspn
Goda Masala- 1 tspn-- This is a typical Brahman masala...also called as Black Masala
Cumin Powder-1 tspn
Coriander Powder- 1tspn

Mix all of the above, if the tamarind juice is not enough, use very little water. The mixture should be sticky, not wet and easy to hold itself inside the veggie. Now take the eggplants out of the salt water and stuff each one with the above mixture.

Now in a pan over medium heat, take the remaining oil, make the tempering and add the veggies... Note that the lid should not be removed, if needed slightly shake the pan, so as to ensure nothing sticks to the pan. On a low flame, cook the veggies. If you want  a little gravy add little water, and cook for 10 mins.

Enjoy with Steamed rice or fresh hot phulka's....Mr. Ash would eat it as is that good!!!!!!!!! Munchkin and Donut run away from eggplant in general. Reminds of me a sweet friend who does the same.



Happy Dasra- Celebrating with Amrakhand-Mango Shrikhand

*Fortunate is the one
Who has learned to admire, But not to envy.
Good wishes for a joyous Dassera,

With a plenty of peace and prosperity.*

Hello Sweeties!!!! Happy Dasera to you and your loved ones. Dasera is the 10th day of Navratri, which is celebrated as good wiping out the evil in our minds and deeds. We celebrate any festivals with a sweet and the whole nine yards through Food. In India garlands of marigold flowers are used to decorate our home entrances, called torans. Cars/Vehicles are worshiped, smaller garlands are hung on the bonnets and small puja is performed  for safe travel and life of the auto. OH How badly I miss my days in Bombay during such times. But one thing is constant with me where ever I may go, is that Food Memory will be along with me all the time. I always try to make some sort of sweet whenever we have  special days and nothing speaks celebrating to me like sugar does. "Kuch meeth ho jaye"( Translates to how about some sweet?), is my favorite term. I make shrikhand often, but my kids have taken a fancy to mango now, I made amrakhand which is nothing but mango shrikhand.

You will need;

2 lb hung yogurt;
**I get the 2 lb greek yogurt box and tie it in  a cotton cloth over  banana holder and let the whey drip overnight., the chakkka/hung yogurt is ready to be made into some shrikhand.
1 cup sugar
1 cup mango puree(I used store brought)
1tbspn nuts powder or milk masala
1tsp Elaichi or cardamom powder.

The hung yogurt can be sieved or used without sieving.  In a bowl, take the sieved hung yougurt/chakka, Mix in the sugar, mango puree,nuts powder and mix well. The shrikhand is ready to be served with piping hot pooris. But since we are not into frying foods at home now, for health reasons, we had this with phulka, i,.e puffed roti,



Bhindi Masala- Okra stir fried with Indian spices

Hello Dearies!!! When I was making the recipe index for indulge, I realized that I for some reason do not have  the everyday home cooked recipes on the blog. I cook one and half times everyday. Excuse me, you do not know what one and half times cooking is, let me explain, I cook full fledged dinner every evening, leftovers are our lunch, our meaning Mr and Ms Ash's. Kids lunch I cook every day in the morning. There you have it, cooking one and half times. So I make these subji's or veggies regularly one because being a vegetarian family, we eat veggies like goats, be it greens, lentils or simple veggies. I try and make the everyday veggies not so boring by changing few spices and techniques of cooking.Similarly so, sometimes chopping the veggies takes them to a different level. The okra or bhindi I got at my grocers was small and thin as compared to the fat ones I have been always buying. They were young and carefree so to say with very less stickiness or glue to them. This seemed perfect to try some stir fry with spices on them. Thew spice blend is very easy essentially only 4 major spices.

You will need;
1.5 lb okra- small and young slit in between after discarding the tops
1 big onion thinly sliced
Salt to taste
Cilantro to garnish

1 tspn Cayenne chili powder
1 tspn turmeric/haldi
1 tspn Dry Mango powder/Amchur
1 tspn Garam Masala

2 tbspn oil
1 tspn dry garlic powder or use 2-3 cloves of garlic chopped fine

Heat the oil in a wok, add the thinly sliced onions, and saute for a minute, add in the dry garlic powder, than add in the slit okra and saute for a minute. Add the amchur/dry mango powder and cook the okra for 5-7 mins. Lastly add in the spices and salt and stir well. Cook till the okra gets cooked. Lastly add in the garam masala and garnish with cilantro. Serve hot with roti, naan or with rice and dal/ or ambat varan..

This is what screams comfort food for us, what is your comfort food. you might travel the world, enjoy the finest dining experience yet there is something about the home and  simple food, that kinds of de stresses you and makes you go strong in your faith and beliefs.

This is also something that we bloggers cherish and appreciate the time and efforts that our friends shower us with. Gauri of the Runner Girl in the kitchen showered Indulge with. One lovely blog award. Thanks and we truly appreciate it.

The rules are easy to follow.

The Rules for the award are
  • Share it with 15 other friends
  • Write 7 things about you
  • Don't forget to inform the person whom you have awarded by leaving a comment in their space
 I have already been tagged before in a similar tag, so answering the same questions again, I might quickly do a recap now. 

I am shy of naming 15, so this award is for all my lovely friends. Pleas efeel free to collect the award from me.



Vrat Ke chawal ka Halwa--Varyachya bahtacha sheera.

Hello Dearies!!! How is the Navratri festival celebration going at your end. Today is day 3 of this festival and I am still going strong with my fasts. I do carve for regular food specially when I made Sooji Halwa for my kids school lunch. Not to let my cravings get better of my will power,I made the same halwa substituting the sooji with Vrat ke cahwal or Varya as it is called in Marathi. Ideally a savory and spicy preparation is the traditional way to treat Varyacha bhat called bhagar and is enjoyed with peanut soup akka danyachi amti . You can find the recipe here as it is  staple in my home and Mr. Ash also loves it. But when sweet cravings call me, I kind of become a slave to the sugar and my mind gets obsessed with that particular flavor. If only I had started to experiment with different ingredients and dared such dishes, my 9 days of previous fasting years would have been bliss. Nonetheless, I loved the end result of this experiment and it did taste better.

You will need;
1 and 1/2 cup of vrat ka chawal
1 and 1/4 cup sugar

 1 very ripe banana mashed.
3 cups mixture of milk and water or use milk wholly. 

3 tbspns Ghee-Clarified butter1 tsp Elaichi or Cardamom Powder
1 tbspn Cashew nuts-Optional
1tbspn Raisins Optional
few Saffron strands-Optional

-In a pan/wok, heat the ghee over medium or low flame and then add the Vrat ka chawal, roast the chawal stirring continuously, till the it changes color and the aroma fills the house. add in the mashed banana and roast well. Simultaneously boil the milk+water mixture and once boiled, add the milk+water mixture and continue stirring...the chawal will be slightly wet, cover for 2-3 minutes, taking care that the rice is not getting burnt, if needed reduce the time to about 1.5 to 2 minutes. After this add in the sugar and stir well, the mixture will be wet now, cover and lower the flame to low and cook for 5-7 minutes. Then add the saffron, elaichi and the raisins. Serve hot or cold. It's yummy either way.

What do you eat on such fasting days, do you fast for religious reasons or a s a Detox for your system? However you do it, fasting should not be starving, just going easy on regular food and control over cravings. Well sometimes, giving in a little is allowed, y? coz I say so. Happy navratri festival to you and your loved ones.



Kachya Kelya che Thalipeeth- Plantain Flatbread

Hello Dearies!!! Happy navratri festival to you all. Navratri days are specially fasting days, where you eat only fasting foods for 9 days and break the fast on the 10th day which is Dasserra.  History and story of celebrating Navratri is also interesting. Most Hindu festivals come with a story. Since I am not 100% sure of the story told by my Granny, I seek help from the internet.

" Navratri is a very important Hindu festival celebrated in India, which is devoted to Goddess Durga. The festival is celebrated with great reverence and faith across the country. It stretches over a period of nine days, with each of the nine days being dedicated to one of the nine forms of the Goddess. Talking about the history of Navratri festival, it can be explained through the stories mentioned in the Hindu scriptures.

The legend in North India goes that Mahishasura, the mighty demon, worshipped Lord Shiva and obtained the power of eternity. Soon, he started killing and harassing innocent people and set out to win all the three lokas. The gods in swargaloka appealed to Lord Shiva, to find a way to get rid of the demon. To protect the world from the atrocities of Mahishasura, the Trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva united their powers and created a divine female warrior, known as Goddess Durga. Mahishasura, when he saw the divine beauty of Goddess Durga, got mesmerized. 

So fascinated was Mahishasura by Goddess Durga's beauty that he approached her with the intention of marriage. The goddess agreed to marry him, but put forth a condition - Mahishasura would have to win over her in a battle. Mahishasura, proud as he was, agreed immediately! The battle continued for 9 nights and at the end of the ninth night, Goddess Durga beheaded Mahishasura. The nine nights came to be known as Navratri, while the tenth day was called Vijayadashmi, the tenth day that brought the triumph of good over evil. 

Yet another legend of Navratri relates to the Hindu epic Ramayana. It goes that Lord Rama worshiped Goddess Durga in nine aspects, for nine days, in order to gather the strength and power to kill Ravana. He wanted to release Sita from the clutches of powerful demon king Ravana, who had abducted her. Those nine nights became to be known as Navratri and the tenth day, on which Lord Rama killed Ravana, came to be called Vijayadashmi or Dusshera, signifying Rama's (good) triumph over Ravana (evil)."

 It is  a practice at my moms home to fast for 9 days which I try and follow even in the US. This is something that we do on our own faith. There is no compulsion or rule for fasting. I do the fasts to build refrain from the cravings and as a Detox for the whole system before the big festival of Diwali. Diwali is all about food, snacks and bringing the good in our minds, souls and homes.

I will try and post a fast food recipe a day. Today being Day 1, my meal would be this Kachya kelya che thalipeeth or plantain flatbread. My mom makes this with boiled potatoes. Since it is about Detoxing the system, I opted for a better starch i. e plantain. This tastes amazing when hot, but can be still enjoyed as  a lunch box item.

You will need;
1 big boiled  and mashed Plantain/Raw Banana

Approx 1 cup Water-chestnut flour-Singada Atta
The proportion will depend on how soggy the mushed plantain is, if its less you will require less flour
1 small boiled potato-Optional
2 tbspn roasted peanut powder
1 tbspn Cayenne powder
1 tspn cumin powder
1 tspn Cumin seeds
1 tsp sugar
Salt to taste.
Water if needed to knead into  a pliable dough
Oil for greasing the pan.

In a bowl combine all the ingredients and mix well. Use little water if needed to bind it into a ball. heat the pan and spray it with a non stick spray or use oil whichever you prefer. Press the dough ball into a flat roti and cover with a lid and cook it for about 2-3 minutes. Flip the thalipeeth and repeat the process of covering and cooking.  Enjoy as is or with any sauce/ketchup or green chutney.

This is my Day 1 of the 9 days recipe. I will try and do one recipe each day if its not already here. Wish me luck and strength to complete the 9 days of fasting. I will keep all my friends and well wishers in my prayers.



Batman the Dark Knight on the bowling track Cake

Hello Dearies!! how is life treating you? the last few days have been busy for peeps in Ashland. The school started with a bang and then Ms. Ash banged herself on the floor. I had a small smack on my wrist. I know born with two left feet, that's Ms. Ash. anyway, that is not why I am here, so back to this cake. The cake is  a dream come true for one of our sweet buddies who turned 8. Ever since I made the bowling pins birthday cake, I have had over dozen requests to make the same bowling pins cake. This friend is no different and as he is a die hard Batman fan, who modified the challenge by asking me to use his favorite toy on the cake. What a mom to do? I casually asked him what he imagined the batman doing in  a bowling alley, I was so naive in thinking he will want just the figure with a bowling ball in hand, instead he wanted the batman full on action on his bike  kind of wrecking the pins!!!! He also wished a specific toy that he wanted to be on the cake.

There is no recipe as such for the cake, I made from the box, for the lack of time and convenience the boxed mixes offers to me. We used basic vanilla  and chocolate cake mix poured alternatively in the pan to get the swirl cake pattern. Here are the cut picture of the swirls.

The icing is whipped cream pudding icing.

** Whipped Cream icing can be made by using simply Heavy Whipping Cream and Conf Sugar,, The Rec is as

One Cup heavy Whipping Cream
Half Cup Conf Sugar
**One packet Instant pudding mix. OR
IF desired One Packet Unflavored Gelatin dissolved in water.

Take a bigger bowl and keep some ice cubes in that.. Over the cubes place anr bowl. Take one cup cream and add sugar and Pudding mix( if needed )... and beat with electric mixer for about 5-7 mins on medium till soft peaks are on the blade. The icing is ready.
 I guess I achieved the main condition set my my 8 year old client.

What do you think about my efforts? do I pass the test? Would you give me  a high five or thumbs down. The mom told me that the kids had a blast over the cake and the birthday boy even told people not to miss the cake as it would be  a never seen before cake for sure.


Angoori Ras Malai-- Sweet Milk Balls in Thick Milk Pudding.

 Hello Dearies!! A sweet treat for you today, is what I bring to you. I love Ras malai. That is my go to sweet when I am happy or sad. It is something about the way the ras gullah and the rabdi melts in your mouth. I am all for quick take on traditional recipes.I managed doing this in less than couple of hours. Why do you ask did I make it out of  a blue moon, with no special days or celebrations in sight?  We visit a Sai Temple here in NJ on most Sundays for evening Aarti. This Sunday we missed and landed for the Monday Arti. The Priest had cleaned the temple fridge and was over stocked with Whole milk. He distributed those gallons of Milk as prasad. Oh Boy!!! What to do now, cannot say NO to Gods offering, and cannot drink the whole-fat Milk nearing expiration date. So I thought will make Paneer and finish the milk and use it as per my need. Bingo!! Thats what I will do, I picked the small Half Gallon can of milk and came home thinking of a set plan of making paneer.

Result- Man Proposes God Disposes. I am not good at making paneer so thought will check some video on making paneer, and my search landed on a popular maarthi TV show Aamhi Saare Khavvaye, where some celebrity was showing how to make Angoori Rasgullah and Rabdi. The way she showed was super easy and do able even for me. She added food colors to make her Angoori colorful. I added a dash of Rose Syrup to mine. The end result was not the color I expected, I wanted it to be baby pink, it became a tad too baby for me. Nonetheless, it got thumbs up from munchkin and big smile from Donut. Mr. Ash always finds room for improvement.

Ras Malai is  a royal sweet royal as in it is rich and high calorie food. So if you are watching your weight, stop reading now and go on to the soup section. This cannot be made low fat as it would lose out on its characteristic. The only consolation I can give you is to make the ras gullah like angoor or small balls instead of the big ones, so you can eat one and feel good about it. Rest all as I say, Indulge intelligently and eat good, After all you have only one life to live. Eat well live well.

You will need;

to make Paneer for Rasgullah 

1 ltrs or 16 oz Whole Milk
3 tbspn White Distilled vinegar
Cloth to strain and tie the milk

Boil 1 ltr milk. When it comes to a slow boil, reduce heat and start adding the vinegar tbspn by tbspn. I needed 3 tbsps to get the milk to tear and the whey to separate.When the whey and the milk solids separate, drain the solids in a cotton cloth and save the whey. This whey can be used for other recipes. I will post few as and how I use it.  Wash the milk solids to remove the sourness from the vinegar, squeeze the cloth with the milk solids and remove as much water out as possible. Tie it around the cotton cloth and keep weight over it to form a cheese ball. Once set for 2-3 hrs the paneer is ready to be used.

Making Rasgullah

Take the paneer and crumble it and knead it. Add 2 tbspn conf sugar and 2 tbspn Rose syrup, and knead into a very soft ball. The paneer should be kneaded till there are no wrinkles in it and it is so soft that the balls are markfree. I kneaded the paneer for 12 mins. I got around 25-25 small balls.

You will need;

Paneer from 1 ltr Milk-As Above
5 cups water
1 cup sugar
1 tspn kewra Water-Optional

In a pan take 5 cups water and add 1 cup sugar to make syrup. When the syrup comes to a small boil, start adding the rolled paneer balls over the boil, take care that the pan is big enough and they have enough room to swim and not break. The balls will grow bigger a sand how they cook. Cover and let cook on low heat for 8-10 minutes. The ras gullahs are ready. Add in a tspn of kewra water to the syrup for essence.

Making Rabdi

3/4 ltr Whole Milk
1 cup Sugar
2tbspn Mava Powder- Khoya
4 tbspn Corn Flour
1 tspn Cardamom powder
Nuts Powdered, or Everest Milk masala.-Optional

In a pan take 1/2 ltr milk and boil it on slow heat. In anr bowl take the 1/4 ltr milk, add in the khoya/mava powder, corn flour and the sugar and stir well, till the corn flour and the milk powder are lumpfree. Add this to the 1/2 ltr milk and mix well. Stir continuously, burnt milk is a disaster to clean and make the rabdi smell bad. The corn flour is  a cheat to make the rabdi, but in this fast paced life, little cheat is doable. The Milk will thicken in about 10-12 mins. Switch off the flame and stir for another 5 mins. The Rabdi is ready. I flavoured it with kewra water to tie the Rasgullah and the rabdi together.

In a serving dish, take 2-3 angoori rasgullah Squeeze out as much sugar syrup out as possible, , and add the rabdi till they are well coated. Chill for 2-3 hrs. The colder they get better they taste. Or Alternatively add in the rasgullahs to the rabdi and chill all of them. Whichever way you serve them, serve chilled to enjoy full tastes.



DIY Felt Flower Pins and headbands

Hello dearies!! Today is no food post, But a different kind of DIY. Ever since I came on Pintrest, I am going crazy with ideas and things that can be done from nick knacks around home or for few dollars. I am all for frugal shopping and hobbies. Any hobby that requires me to spend a ton on materials is a turn off for me. Hobbies that start and end at Dollar stores are win win for people like me. Trash to Treasures are also big YES!!!!

When I was in school, I made book marks from wedding invitation cards. A hobby long forgotten was reminded to me by dear fried Radhika who blogs at imprints handmade. Another surprise was I received  a package from Neelam of Kane's Coop, she send me some small containers to store and gift the lotion for the upcoming holiday season. She also claims that the postal services added an apron for Ms. Ash. With so many good wishes and love send my way, I better get started with my gifts. So I raided Pintrest for some ideas. I saw number of handmade flower pins, some for little girls and some for big girls. I settled on making few flowers using some felt pieces which were left out from another craft project, my needle and thread and some pins from a craft store and making these. They would go in goody bags which I will start putting together with my homemade soap and lotion boxes. I will seal the goody bag with these pins, So I think I will. I am blessed with some very nice people who wish me well, care for me and even though having never seen me, know what I would like and send generous gifts. I love them not for the gifts but for what they mean to me. This is the faith that keeps me going on. Positivity is spread by thinking good about your enemies and wishing them well, however mean they are to you. At some point in life they will only think of how good you have been to them.

This is a very easy flower to make. I will do a step by step once I get over "I did it" excitement part. What is the recent hobby you have taken up? What is your stress buster thing? Share with me if you have any crafting projects going on. I would love to learn  a new skill from you.



Aloo Paratha-Spcied Potato Flat Bread

 Hello Sweeties!! Today I bring to you from my kitchen hot hot aloo paratha. My kids swear by these and till recently I heard my younger Munchkin explain his friend that his mom cannot make aloo paratha and how lucky his friend is to enjoy them at home. It is an all time favorite and  you would seriously doubt if they are born in maharashtrain homes  for all they love is spicy punjabi food. The same levels of spice bothers them and they run with open mouths on fire with marathi food, but bring on tangy chole and spicy  parathas, and there is nothing but absolute bliss on their faces. I messed up many times on aloo parathas. every few weeks I make up my mind and gather all courage to make them for my kids. I follow the recipe to the T, change the type of potatoes every now and then, to see if there is a problem with the starch, but hell no, nothing ever comes to calling it a an aloo paratha. Most often it gets changed to making patties or batata wada. I even consoled myself that not all things are easy for all, I can make most difficult dishes so not being able to roll out a simple aloo paratha does not make me less. But all these thoughts changed yesterday when I rolled out not one but 7-8 parathas with ease and no hassle. The buns for burgers were also ready  just in case I messed up and goofed again. Always have a  'Plan B' when dinner is a short notice away. Hopefully the jinx is lifted and my donuts will be able to enjoy the aloo aprathas at their homes too now.

 For the stuffing;
2 medium boiled potato mashed
1 tspn crushed garlic
1 tspn red Chili/Cayenne powder
1 tspn Cilantro chopped
salt to taste
1tspn Garam masala

Mix the potato, garlic, cilantro, garam masala, red chili/cayenne powder and salt,  to make it into a soft pliable dough. Keep aside.

 For cover;
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tspn salt
1 tbspn oil
water as needed to knead into a soft dough

In a bowl, mix the oil and salt and water and knead into a soft pliable dough.

Making the parathas,
1. Make equal size balls of the cover and stuffing
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.

Heat a pan/skillet/tawa and roast it on both sides applying little oil or ghee on it . When it gets cooked, serve with yogurt/pickle/ketchup or sour cream., salad or just enjoy these with hot chai.



Chole bature- Chandani Chowk to NJ

Hello Dearies!!!! Today we bring to your attention the humble dish on any Punjabi or chat menu card that reads chole and bature. Most dhabas and most udipi restaurants have taken this dish out of Chandani Chowk in Delhi and given it their own tadka and made it into a Indian dish. Like Idli sambar is not  a madrasi dish anymore, so is chole bature not a punjabi dish anymore. Pardon our ignorance, but living in Bombay for 25 yrs does that to you, you kind of divide the lower south into madrasi and upper north into punjabi. There are no individual states and cuisine in Bombay.

This dish was not a most wanted dish in Ashland until Donut tasted it at his friends lunch date. Suddenly it became the most awaited and most wanted go to food. Like I said while growing up, I always thought that my friends moms were the best chefs around and my mom had a long way to learn things. Sadly so Donut thinks the same for his old ma, and claims he never tasted  chole better than what his friends mom had prepared. Was I happy? Yes certainly so; very happy that Donut was willing to finally shed his motto that Indian food is Spicy  and try tasting and even liking Indian spicy food.

More happy that someday when he will be older, he will start liking my food better than his own, after all we all agree that Moms food is always the best.

This dish will require some planning unless you are cracking the can of chick peas open, yet give it about 2 hrs to finish off this elegant dish, that will leave you craving for more.

We will see stepwise recipes for each of the dishes prepared. First starting with Punjabi chole.

Punjabi Chole

You will need
1 14 oz can of chick peas/ Garbanzo Beans
** Alternatively soak 1.5 cups of Chickpeas overnight and drain and pressure cook the beans with the  following spices.

Wash and drain the beans and in a pot take some water till the beans get soaked, add in whole spices like cinnamon sticks, 5-6 cloves, 1 inch ginger sliced, 5-6 peppercorns, 1 black cardamom, 1 bay leaf and 2 Assam tea bags, let it boil for 10 mins. Discard the ginger and tea bags after cooking.

**If pressure cooking the beans, add in all the above spices and pressure cook till the beans turn soft but not mushy.

2 Medium Onions
2 Medium Tomatoes
1 Tbspn Cilantro
1 Tbspn Mint-Optional
3-4 cloves Garlic
1 green chili
* The one I have on hand are really hot, adjust heat level as per your liking.

1 tspn Garam Masala
1 tspn Amchur/Dry Mango Powder
1 tspn Chole Masala
Salt to taste

1 tbspn Oil
1 tspn Cumin Seeds/Jeera

In the blender jar add the masala ingredients,and blend into a fine paste.

In a wok, take the oil and add the cumin, let it sizzle, add in the blended masala and fry till the masala gets fried and oil starts leaving the sides of the wok, add in the cooked beans. cook on medium heat till the beans get cooked with the masala, add in the seasonings and adjust it to taste. Garnish with onions and cilantro and ginger. Serve with batura and rice.

Whole Wheat Batura

You will need;
2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup All Purpose flour
1 cup Sour Yogurt
Salt to taste
water , ONLY if  needed to knead the dough.
1 Tspn Clarified butter to grease the dough. -Optional

Oil for Deep frying

In a bowl add in the flours and the curd, salt and mix well, Add water only if needed to knead into  soft pliable dough. Grease with clarified butter and Set aside for about an hour or so. The more you keep is better for the batura to be light. Since we had hungry kids hovering over with "is it done yet!", we kept it for an hr only. Heat the oil for deep frying in a kadai/pot, and let it smoke once, once it smokes, reduce the heat to medium. Roll out the batura or poori as big as you want or depending on the size of your fryer. Since I have  small kadai, I made small poori to fry. Be extra careful when dealing with hot oil and frying and not splash the batura and spill oil all over you. Fry one side of the batura and then turn and fry the other side to ensure a full cooking of the batura. Enjoy with spicy and tangy Chole.

Jeera Rice

You will need
1 Cup Basmati Rice
1 tbspn Cumin/Jeera
Salt to taste
2 Cups Boiling water

Wash and drain the rice. Keep aside for 30 mins. In a pot, take the water, add salt. Once it comes to a rapid boil, add in the drained rice, jeera and cover and cook on medium for 10 mins. Switch off the gas and keep it covered for another 5-7 mins.

Enjoy the meal with you loved ones and cherish the memory that this plate is offering you. You might not have the best of everything, but to make the best of what you have is everything!!!!!