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bread and buns, Lunchbox bites, stuffy delights/Indian flat breads, Veggies/curries »

[21 Dec 2013 | 6 Comments | ]
Recipes | Charmagaz Curry and Pita Bread – Reliving Childhood Memories

Food is a gift and should be treated reverentially – romanced and ritualized and seasoned with memory” ~ Chris Bohialian
For some time now I was thinking about the spicy Chole (chickpeas) with fluffy deep-fried Bhature (flat breads), mom used to make during weekends in Udaipur.
The star ingredient of the recipe is CharmagazCharmagaz is an assortment of four different seeds of Cucurbitaceous plants. Musk melon, water melon, pumpkin and cucumber seeds together are called CharmagazChar is a Hindi word fo four and Magaz means intelligence.

Apart from making a healthy, filling and delicious snack, Charmagaz is extensively used in Rajasthani cuisine. If Rajput families use a paste of these seeds for their exotic non-veg cuisine then the Marwaris make scrumptious desserts using the same.

Baking bites, cookies »

[15 Dec 2013 | 5 Comments | ]
Recipes | Three Eggless Wholegrain Cookies and being Thankful for the Choices I Have Made in Life

There is nothing more admirable than when you see your work getting recognized in your own homeland, all the more so, when you are staying away from it. But as they say, we may leave a house or a town, but that does not mean those places leave us.

Whenever I miss my hometown in Udaipur, I would sneak into this online News portal ‘Udaipur Times’ for hourly updates and latest happenings in my town. But never thought that some day I will make ‘News’ in the same.

And just when I was sitting back and reminiscing about what all good the year 2013 has brought in for me, I got yet another pleasant surprise. I found my name in the list of “Top 30 Indian Food Bloggers of 2013, first on Awesome Cuisine and then on Rediff.com, a very trendy online web portal.

I couldn’t have asked for anything better. These are times when I take pride in what ever I have achieved and feel thankful for the choices I have made in life.

Lunchbox bites, Veggies/curries »

[29 Nov 2013 | 4 Comments | ]
Recipes | Yogurt and Two Indian Curries – Opposites Attract, I Know For Sure They Do

Hey, turn back and see who is sitting right behind you” hubby spoke to me in hushed tone during a special cocktail dinner party organized for the senior officials of his company in Leela palace last night.

I gently turned around to see a dashing young man in body-hugging white shirt and tight fit blue jeans behind me.
I used to wonder whether opposites really attract and do they make a perfect couple?  But after being together for the last 20 plus years with him, I know for sure they do 🙂

Festive bites, festive medley, fudge, nutri bombs »

[29 Oct 2013 | 15 Comments | ]
Recipes | Sugar Free Date Rolls and Millet Churma Ladoos – The Power of Food to Bring Back Good Memories

Various legends associated to the origin of a festival in India leads to different rituals people follow to celebrate it which keeps the ‘amusement quotient’ quite high.
I received a call from the office of a very popular regional magazine  Dinakaran, sometime back. The editor informed  me that they are planning to feature 7-8 celebrities from various fields in Chennai with a traditional sweet recipe from their respective states in their special Diwali issue. And I am one among them.

What“!? I almost screamed…err..huh…did I hear it right?

healthy snacks, Lunchbox bites »

[9 Oct 2013 | 6 Comments | ]
Recipes | 6 Easy and Healthy Festive Snacks Aka Sundal Recipes – Life is What You Celebrate

Look at this pretty Idol of Sarawati with Veena, this one is more than 100 years old, it was passed on to me by my mother. And this white Shiva Idol….a friend of your Tatha’s father (great-grandfather) brought it  from Sri Lanka about 70 years ago.” She wipes the idol gently and asks my son to place it on the ladder specially created for Navaratri festival.

For a change there is a silence at home for long, as the children are sitting patiently next to their grandmother, waiting eagerly for her to open that heavy iron trunk which is rusted beyond repair. I could see the amusement written all over their faces. The trunk which opens up with a creaky noise is like a Pandora box for them with small bundles of memories, moments and untold stories.

Her face lightens up each time she unfolds the fragile age-old clay dolls wrapped in small muslin clothes. I wonder how she never gets bored of narrating the (same) history of each Idol to my children, year after year… 🙂

And I am sure when they hold some of these Idols which belong to their fore fathers, it gives them a feeling of belonging and reminds them from where they came from.

Lunchbox bites, pulses and beans, Veggies/curries »

[12 Jul 2013 | 8 Comments | ]
Recipes | Three Healthy Indian Curries with Pumpkin and The Gardening Obsession

My extravagance is my little kitchen garden, these plants & flowers are the very first thing I look at and talk to every morning, it gives me so much pleasure” said mom caressing the tender bean climber near her chair. Mom’s little kitchen garden is indisputably one of the best kept secrets of the recipes she dishes out year after year. Fresh vegetables or aromatic herbs, you name it and you get it from this modest 20×20 sq. feet kitchen garden of hers. I really admire how dutifully she manages her time between cooking, gardening and doing routine mundane chores single- handedly.

It’s a delight to watch her pinching tendrils, tying ropes to support the tender climbers, plucking weeds, carefully drafting the saplings from plastic sachet to soil beds and remembering the age of every plant.

Festive bites, festive medley, halwa »

[4 Jun 2013 | 6 Comments | ]
Dessert | Wedding Delicacies from Rajasthan – A Celebration of Love and Many Emotions

An Indian wedding is a perfect blend of traditions, grandeur, delectable cuisine and sacredness of celebrations. The unbound enthusiasm and the flow of emotions of all the family members have to be seen to be believed.

My children have attended many Tam Brahm marriages of their paternal relatives in Chennai but have never seen any Rajasthani marriage from my side. They were too small to remember anything about my brothers’ marriage in 2004, son was hardly four years and daughter was just a few months old.

During my recent  visit to Udaipur in May 2013, I got a chance to take them to a typical Marwari marriage.  And they were really amused to notice the stark differences between the rituals and proceedings of marriages of two states of India. My daughter quipped that she wants to get married in Rajasthan so that the groom comes riding a horse 🙂

Lunchbox bites, lunchbox medley, Veggies/curries »

[30 May 2013 | 13 Comments | ]
Recipes | Traditional Rajasthani Cooking with Fenugreek Seeds or Methidana – And I am Spoilt for Choice

A trip to hometown is more than just yearly rituals to me. It’s the time to connect with family & friends, explore some new and some old places that remain unchanged. Vacation is ‘my time’ when I do things at my own pace, follow my passion, and get in some real life. It is the time when blog posts can wait and there is no pressure to sign in to check mails and social media interactions. I completely enjoy every moment of the laid back life and mom’s yummy food.

Networking takes a back seat and I live in the real world. The day begins with an early morning walk alongside lake Fateh Sagar, reading regional New paper ‘Rajasthan Patrika’ and gorging home cooked simple yet authentic Rajasthani breakfast.

healthy snacks, kids lunchbox, Lunchbox bites, lunchbox medley, pulses and beans »

[14 May 2013 | 17 Comments | ]
Recipes | Two Authentic Healthy Treats from Rajasthan – Time to Slow Down and Enjoy Life

There are a few moments in life when you are truly & completely happy. My yearly visit to hometown in Udaipur, Rajasthan is one such occasion when I wish I could stop the time and live in those moments forever. Though many old familiar houses have given way to high rise apartments now and there are very few familiar faces to greet, but every visit is worth preserving the childhood experiences and keeping them afresh…..from authentic Daal Baatis to exotic Gatte ki subji filled with nuts and dried fruits…they leave no stone unturned to pamper me with their love and let me indulge in my favorite food.

kids lunchbox, Lunchbox bites, Spreads & Preserves, stuffy delights/Indian flat breads »

[17 Apr 2013 | 13 Comments | ]
Recipes | Two Easy & Healthy Indian Flat Breads with Broccoli and Lentils – Home is Where the Heart is

Home is where the heart is….my heart belongs to Chennai, the place where I got married and have been living since 1996. I have wholeheartedly accepted the city and have accustomed to the traditions, climatic conditions and the food here.

But even after spending a good 17 years in Chennai I feel that a part of my heart still lives in Udaipur. The place where I grew up, studied and spent the most beautiful years of my life with family and friends.

And why not, if one is the place of my birth than the other made me a complete woman! I take it as a special privilege of belonging to the two different cities at once.

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