HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Wishing you all a very wonderful 2017!!
I woke up on NYE, reflecting on how it was a wonderful 2016.
When I say wonderful, it was, with some complexity. It had its ups and downs. And when I say wonderful, I meant that I chose to focus on the wonderful things. I tried to focus on the positive things. I learnt how to heal myself and look at what I had in front of me. I learnt that there’s no right way of life, no right way of living, or a perfect life. Perfection is a perception. It’s what we make of it.
Late fall brings excitement over the return of soups, spicy meals, desserts, pies, and the opportunity to fill the kitchen with the heat and heady smells of herbs and spice. Winter follows with spectacular holiday celebrations, with friends talking around grand feasts.
This is one dish which is present always at winter parties and meat eaters adore it equally.
Hello there my friends!! Long time, no see.
Boy, is it hard to get to a routine after a fun 2 months of no cooking, no photography, and just lazing around.
Hope your summer went well. Any interesting things you did during summer, would love to hear.
It’s quite appropriate to say that we traveled the whole globe in the last 2 months. It was one heck of a fun summer, travels, family, lots of food and more food.
I have a post coming up soon on my travels, with pictures of monuments, food, and all the colors. Well, before I could jump into that post, life happened. School and routine began, and what to pack for school lunch is now always on my mind. This is one of my go to lunches for the boys and makes for a colorful and healthy meal. Pack the sauce separately and add any veggies you like. It’s a base and tastes absolutely good even when it’s only slightly warm.
Healthy and a perfectly balanced dish, with an amazing sauce. Hope you get to try it out!
Have a wonderful week! All the best for all the kids who start school this week.
Chickpea-Cherry Tomatoes-Basil Pasta Salad with Peanut Curry Dressing
- 2 cups dry pasta(any pasta with some
- 8 oz of canned chickpea or cooked chickpea 1 cup
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes halved
- basil - 15-20 leaves
- Toasted Peanuts - 2 tbsp
- Almonds 2 tbsp
- sesame seeds -1 tbsp
- Lime juice from ½ lime
- ⅓ tsp red chili flakes
- sriracha- 1tsp
- 1 tsp honey
- 4 garlic
- 1 tsp Apple cider vinegar
- ¼ tsp curry powder
- Olive oil -1 tsp
- cumin seeds- ½ tsp
- roasted fennel seeds -1/3 tsp(optional)
- 1 stalk green onion/scallion
- Water to thin the dressing
- Cook the pasta till al dante and run it through cold water to take away any starch. Set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, you can make the dressing.
- Grind everything required for the dressing to a smooth paste. Add a tablespoon or so of the hot water to thin it down. It should be of pourable consistency.
- Take a pan, add a tsp of oil and ⅓ tsp fennel and add the cooked chickpeas. If you are using the canned, drain it very well and then use.
- Toss them well and add the cherry tomatoes and toss for 30 seconds to a minute. Take it off the heat.
- Add the pasta and veggies in a bowl and top it with basil.
- Add the dressing 15 minutes before serving.
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Low and slow, is the mantra for a good Curry.
Curry comes in a variety of colors. Cooking is an art, curries are the colors.
Indian Curries are pretty time consuming, especially with the ones that involve meat. The pan or pot that a curry is made in also adds to its complexity. Everything must be slow cooked and sauteed without burning, and the meat almost always is cooked for long periods of time left unattended. For example, a good fish curry would always take a while to make. If it sat overnight before serving, the dish became exquisite the next day. A lamb/goat meat dish prep would start a few hours before lunch time and it was almost on Sundays. Cookers or slow cookers were never used. It cooked long hours leading to a ‘fall of the bone’ tender, flavorful and juicy meat. All these different curries really required a lot of time and love, but were so worth the wait.
One of the main things that makes me smile about this soup is its name. The word is derived from Tamil (South Indian language). Mulliga means pepper, and tawny/tanni means water. I speak that language, so you can imagine why I find it slightly amusing.
I have had my share of this soup in restaurants, not because I love soups, but only because I was intrigued by the name. Because soups were not part of meals growing up, we were adventurous and just had to start off very daintily with a soup at restaurants. When a bowl of soup was kept in front of us, I always had this expression: like how could this be pepper water? Some served it with a mango relish, some were soupier and had tomatoes in it. Chicken broth was used in many and chunks of chicken were found in some. I even had mulligatawny soup once which was so bombarded with cream that I wanted to chat with the chef. Honestly though, I have no clue what the original was and how it came about.
Eggplant is a love or hate kind of a vegetable. Most of our household belong to the latter. A reason that this is my first eggplant dish on the blog:). In the words of one of my friend, ‘this is a curry even a non-eggplant lover would enjoy’.
It’s just that growing up I was never fond of aubergines/eggplant and dad would sit next to me for hours staring and waiting for me to take a small bite. Time would go by slower than normal..tic toc tic toc. I didn’t give up, I didn’t eat. He gave up..poor dad. Although not a big fan then, now I am. I have found a formula that I love. Just that now, hubby will eat a burnt toast but not eggplant and he is the most non fussiest person I know. Oh well…to our post.
Why measure when you have your taste buds, right?!
As long as I can remember, my grandma and mom never measured anything in their cooking. There would be huge family gatherings and lots of food. Just watching grandmom(Amma) cook with a pinch of this, a teaspoon of that, tasting every now and then was pure joy. Despite all the chaos I would be called to taste and see if it was OK. Let’s just say, it wasn’t just O.K, it was all so perfect. Maybe because of their inconsistency in how they cooked and got it right always, inspired me to see what cooking was all about.
It’s October, it’s Autumn. To me, it’s the start of a lot of baking, cooking, festivities and entertaining. I hope everyone’s as excited for Fall, Pumpkins, Warm Spices, and Soups.
All of that can get overwhelming at times.
But, sometimes, even too much of a good thing is really good, like this soup!
You’ve heard it many times, read many experiences and you will hear it many more times.
When I stepped out into the cold chilly San Francisco airport as a new bride, I really had no clue what I was getting into….
I walked into a blank canvas in every sense. A large apartment with not a chair to sit on. No pots and pans, no spoons, I felt almost helpless. Really helpless and very thankful because for the name God, I could not make a decent coffee. Eating out was the only option until I got really bored of it.