I ain't good at drawing but I can say with confidence that I can cook quite well and make everyone happy, with a good meal. Cooking is an art and with passion & Love for it we can create so many wonderful dishes....Loving it everytime...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Nutty Kulfi

Kulfi a favorite for everyone and for many it brings childhood memories. I still remember the kulfi man especially duirng the summer months, who would come on his tricycle and my friend and I would sit near our gate waiting for him with two rupees in our hand.If we aren't there he would stand at the gate and call out kulfi for a while. Had been wanting to make it at home, but had been putting it away as I don't have the kulfi moulds. Finally decided that having moulds is not important but to make it right.
So I called Bindiya, my best friend for years and asked her for the recipe and as usual she was very sweet and gave it to me too..and voila it was the perfect kulfi and everyone loved it... If you have the moulds good for you otherwise just pour it in a freezer safe container and enjoy it whenever you want to..

You need:-
Sweetened condensed milk - 1 can
Evaporated milk - 1 can
Heavy whipping cream - same as the evaporated milk
Pistas - 2 tbsps
Cashewnuts - 2 tbsps
Almonds - 2 tbsps
Cardamom powder - 1 tsp

1. Crush the nuts in the blender first.
2. Add the evaporated milk, condensed milk and the whipping cream
3. Add the cardamom powder
4. Blend it for a minute or two and then pour it in the container and freeze it for 6hrs
5. Again blend it in a blender or food processor for a few minutes and then put it in the freezer again.
6. By blending it twice or thrice, you will get a soft kulfi or else it will be like hard icecream.
P.S. - you can also add a saffron if you wish, but just soak it for a few minutes in the whipping cream or evaporated milk before blending it.
To make Mango Kulfi, just add mango pulp to it along with the other ingredients.
Now I don't have to wait to get back to India to enjoy a delicious kulfi as I can enjoy it right at home and share it with my son who loves it too..

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Salmon Salad

Salmon is one of my favorites and I normally fry fish or make curry with it. But this time I decided to bake it in the oven and Vivek loved it. This is how its done...

You will need -
Salmon - without the skin 1 lb
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tbsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Pepper powder - 1 tsp
Paprika - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
White vinegar - 1 tsp
Zest of 1 lemon - 1/4 tsp
any grill seasoning - 1/2 tsp
Red pepper flakes - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Cooking spray

Bell Pepper Salsa:-
Yellow/orange bell pepper - 1 seeded and chopped fine
Red bell pepper - 1 seeded and chopped fine
Jalepeno - chopped fine 1 tsp
Lime - juice of one
cilantro - handful chopped fine
Salt to taste

Mix all the above together, cover and leave it in the fridge for an hour or two.

Mix all the ingredients except for the cooking spray and the salmon.
Rub the mix on to the salmon fillet on both sides and place it in a aluminium foil and pour the balance marinade into it.
Put it in the fridge for 4 -6 hrs.
Before baking it keep the marinated fish out so that it comes to room temperature.
Now preheat the oven to 350 degrees and place the fish with the foil into the oven for about 30 minutes or until well done
Heat a non-stick skillet, spray the cooking spray, add the baked salmon and just dry fry it for a minute or two on each side.
Serve it with any salad or salsa of choice.
I shredded it up and mixed it with bell pepper salsa.
You can eat it with anything that you like, it can also be made with tilapia or any other fish of your choice.

I am sending this to Sangeeth's calcium rich

Friday, September 19, 2008

Navratna Kurma

Haven't blogged any recipes in the past three weeks, and decided to share a very favorite of mine and once you try it you sure to love it too..
A curry that became my favorite in St.Louis, that was the first time I really enjoyed it and wanted to make it at home. I have made it only three or four times until now and guess what, it just keeps getting better each time. The sweet and spicy navratna kurma goes well with jeera rice, rotis and poori. Once you have all the ingredients it will be ready in no time.

Onion - 1 medium minced or chopped fine
Tomato - 4 nos pureed or chopped fine
Green chilies - 4 crushed
Cauliflower - 1 cup of florets
Carrot cut into - 1 inch pieces 1/2 cup
Beans cut into -1 inch pieces 1/2 cup
Green peas - 1/2 cup
Potato cut into - 1 inch pieces 1/2 cup
Paneer - cubed and fried 1/2 cup
Mixed dry fruits - 1/2 cup (golden raisins, almond sliced, pista, cashewnuts chopped)
pineapple - 2 slices chopped (don't add a lot)
Heavy whipping cream - one and a half cups
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Chili powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Fennel seeds - 1/4 tsp
Cinnamon - an inch piece
Cloves - 4 nos
Cardamom - 4 nos
Cashew paste - 2 tbso soaked and ground to a fine paste
Salt to taste
Cooking oil - 3 tbsp
Butter - 1 tbsp

1. In a deep non-stick kadai pour the oil and the butter and when hot add the fennel seeds and once it splutters add the greenchilies and the onion.

2. Once the onion is done add the garam masala and the ginger garlic paste.

3. Add all the vegetables - carrot, beans, peas, potato and the cauliflower after the raw smell of the ginger garlic paste is gone.

4. Mix it well and maintain the heat in medium. Can add a tsp of vinegar or lime juice if you wish.

5. When the vegetables are half done add the tomato puree. If necessary add a little water.

6. Make sure you add the chili powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder and coriander powder after the tomato is cooked, other wise the smell of tomato will keep lingering for a long time.

7. Mix it all well and add salt. Cover and allow the vegetables to cook completely, add water if needed.

8. When the vegetables are fully cooked add the fried paneer and mix it carefully to avoid breaking of the paneer.

9. Mix in the cup of mixed nuts and the cashew paste let it simmer until the vegetables are fully cooked.

10. Pour in the whipped cream and let it simmer for 5 minutes and then add the pineapple pieces and leave it on low heat for 5 - 10 minutes.

11. Serve hot or warm with roti, rice, parotta anything that you like. Enjoy it.........
If you are making it for a party then follow till step 9 and put it in the fridge and then do step 10 just before the party and it would still be fresh and taste great too....

I am sending this to Sangeeth's calcium rich.

Friday, September 12, 2008

A wonder vacation!

And so we left for the airport after lunch with all the bags and baggages and Arya was excited about going in the plane. We were on time of course and the flight trip was not very exhausting as Arya did sleep through most of it. From Las Vegas we drove (I mean V) to Boulder City and we stayed there that night. And as usual I did over pack and V kept reminding me throughout the whole trip that it wasn't right, and he was right! And the most important thing that we carried around throughout the trip was the walking wings (belt) to hold on to Arya,so that he could walk whenever he wanted to and trust me it was a good choice.
Please click on the link photos to see a few of the snaps taken during the trip.
The next morning after a good breakfast we left for Hoover Dam and we were told that its been in drought for the past 10 years. But I couldn't believe my eyes as it sure didn't seem like drought to me. It was a day of good weather and we did enjoy our morning there. We took the tour to the power plant and saw the generators and the marvelous structure form within. We spent about two hours there and then we left for the Sky Walk.
Sky Walk is a part of the great Grand Canyon, where you have a platform of glass built in a U shape called the Glass Bridge and you get to walk over it. The Indians who live there are called Hualapai tribe. The sky walk is also called the Eagle's Point as you can see a rock formation in the form of an eagle with its wings stretched and a sleeping dog on top. It was an awesome experience as it felt like walking over the canyon thousands of feet above it.
It is a wonderful sight for the eye to see, and seriously it is not for the weak in heart with fear of heights. Unfortunately we weren't allowed to take our cameras there and the picture that they took wasn't good enough. The canyon with time changes shape and as per the view from there we were shown two points the the flying eagle and the sleeping dog. There was another view point too but it started to fog and rain an so we had to rush back to the shuttle bus and get back to the car. Other than that it was a good one. There was a tree called Joshua tree over there and lots of it and the only place where one could find it too. There was a board that said Joshua Tree Forest. We started the long drive from there to the Grand Canyon where we had intended on spending 2 days.
A small info on the Canyon, (from the US National Park) - Grand Canyon is in the northwest corner of Arizona, close to the borders of Utah and Nevada. The Colorado River, which flows through the canyon, drains water from seven states, but the feature we know as Grand Canyon is entirely in Arizona. A 277 mile long (446 km) canyon separates the park into South and North Rims. The Grand Canyon of the Colorado River is a mile-deep, (1.6 km) and creates a barrier that bisects the park(National Park).
We visited the South Rim and the North Rim is not very famous due its weather, altitude and so on. We reached there at around 8.00 at night and we decided to see the movie on the Grand Canyon that is shown at the Imax, at the south rim entrance of the Grand Canyon National Park, the National Geographic Visitor Center a must-stop before visiting the ‘rim of the world’ (as it is called). It gives a wonderful view and idea about the Grand Canyon. We stayed at the Yavapai Lodge which was next to the Market Plaza which is the main business center for the village. I was all excited to see the Canyon and much to my disappointment it was foggy and couldn't see a thing and a very cold morning too. We tried to wait for around 2 hours and see if it would clear up but it didn't and we were told that the weather was gonna be like that for the whole week and I was like I only have one more day.
So we made a quick decision to leave that day itself for Zion National Park instead of monday.
At the Canyon there are a lot of view points along the road which gives a good view of the whole grandeur. I should say that it was my lucky day to get to see the Grand Canyon at some of the view points and it was a beautiful site. I did not wanna leave from there and all I wanted to do was just stand there and watch the Canyon and the Colorado River that was rushing by in its path and the clouds that were passing by. It was a view worth waiting for and so we started to hit most of the view points to see it and we were lucky. There is a point called the Desert View Watchtower, it was built in 1930s and it is now maintained by the National Park. The view is exactly as the word desert view means, the flat view of the land which is a desert and a marvelous one too..
That evening we drove to Zion National Park and reached by 11 or so. The drive at night was a little scary for me, so V had to drive slowly letting the other cars drive by. At Zion we hiked on the most common trails Emarald Pool trail (lower & middle), the went and saw the weeping rock and Riverside Walk. Since it had been raining the last day or two the river was muddy and was not very safe either. People around did try to walk in the river to cross across and enjoy the riverside walk, but they turned back within a minute or two. So we just wet our feet for a while and returned. At Zion we did see 2 rock climbers too. To see Zion a whole day is more than sufficient, unless one is planning on hiking on all the trails.
The next morning we wanted to leave early for Bryce but then realized that we won't be able see anything until sunrise, so we left at around 7 and that was a amazing. We saw wild goats, deer grazing and running across. Then we stopped at checkers point, to see the huge rock that is naturally carved like a checker board and enjoying the site so early in the morning we reached Bryce. Was glad to see the tunnels in day light, well at least the entrance and the exit.
Bryce is not a Canyon(as per the park info), as it is not carved carved by flowing water. Water is the active ingredient here, but in the form of "frost-wedging" and chemical weathering. It is full of Hoodoos that are eerie at times to look at and arches and mostly whimsical. Both formed naturally but they seem so perfect. Hoodoos are rich in various colors and are formed by iron and manganese. If you go trailing you will be able to see a lot of purple colored rocks and sediments which are caused by manganese. Bryce has a lot of trails and the most easiest is considered to be the Queen's Garden Trail which starts from the Sunrise Point. Half way down I reached a point where it was steep on both sides so I turned back.
To enjoy sunrise and sunset, Bryce is the place to be. There are amazing colors around like bright red, off white, grey colors at the top of the hoodoos and the whole of it basically limestone and sand at an amazing 10.000ft elevation. There are quite a few view points Sunrise point, Sunset Point, Inspiration Point, Paria Point, Natural Bridge, Bryce Point and so on. Navajo Trail was a moderate trail and since V has already been there, he suggested that I do the trail and that I would enjoy it. He was right, I did enjoy it and much more I loved it.The natural formation of the arches and hoodoos will keep any person mesmarised forever.Here we did try and stop at all the view points and Bryce Point and Inspiration points were the best. I will never forget my experience at all the three national parks and if I do get a chance to go again I will surely do it. And in the evening bidding farewell to the great view we started our 4hr drive to Vegas.
At Vegas we had a relaxed schedule as we had 4 days there. We spent the noons sleeping as the heat was too much for all of us. It was a fun place to be in and unfortunately we couldn't hit the casinos as Arya is only two and a half and as per their state law if you are not 21 you cannot be in the casino. So we went around seeing shows, malls, saw the themes and decor of the casinos. They were good. At the Bellagio their theme this time was with air balloon and different trains and they had created a whole model demo of it all and Arya loved to see the small trains. So we went to see it twice and the dancing fountain too.
It seemed like The Venetian had tried to rebuild the whole of Venice inside this one place and they did do a decent job at it too. MGM still showing the lion show and it is said that they own more than 30 lions and during the day there are lions from 11 in the morning till around 10 or so at nite. They bring in lions in turn and they take care of them very well. Then there is Newyork Newyork, which has the ambience of Newyork inside. There were a lot of shows at every casino. Like the Sirens of TI at Treasure Island and Cirque du Soleil has around five shows at 6 casinos such as Ka, Mystere, O, Zumanity, Love and Criss Angel Believe. We watched Ka and it was a good show where in teh use of technology and imagination worked together to create a perfect show. Since wer couldn't take Arya to these shows we decided to spend more time at CircusCircus and Arya enjoyed himself there as he could go on rides there and play around, there were a lot of kids around it. He wanted to press every button he could get his hands on and everywhere we went he wanted to be the one to on the elevator and he would say "Abracadabra" for the door to open and he was very proud. The Stratosphere gives a good view Las Vegas Blvd and the surrounding, Fremont street wonderfully done with the overhead screen at night and the little Eiffel Tower for those who haven't been to France. It was fun over there and on our way back in the flight we all slept until the pilot woke us all up....
And thus a long week with a wonderful trip came to an end with a whole load of laundry and unpacking to be done....Now when is my next trip gonna be, I wonder?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Back from my trip and I get two awards from my dear friends and wonderful bloggers,Shri, Nithu and I were neighbors( until I moved to Miami) and we are still good friends and met Shriya through Nithu.

Shri of Eminent Life has passed on an award "Beautiful Site Award"
to me, ThanQ Shri for sharing it with me..
I would like to pass on the "Beautiful Site Award" to -

Sangeeth of Art of Cooking Indian Food
Rashmi of DelhiBelle
Mansi of Fun and Food
Maheswari of Beyond the Usual

Nithu and Shriya of SpicyTasty also passed a wonderful award "Wylde Woman Award" to me, thanx to you too...

The rules of this award are:1.You can give it to one or one hundred or any number in between - it’s up to you. Make sure you link to their site in your post
2. Link back to this blog site Tammy can go visit all these wonderful men and women and remember the Purpose of the Award: To send love and acknowledgment to men and women, who brighten your day, teach you new things and live their lives fully with generosity and joy.

The "Wylde Woman Award" gets passed on to -

Sowmya of Creative Saga
Hetal of Isha's Kitchen
Sagari of Indian Cooking
Mythreyee of Paajaka
SunshineMom of TongueTicklers

Happy Blogging to All of You!