Thursday, August 28, 2014

Tomato Rice

I was just wondering how fast time flies. The summer vacations for the kids are almost over. They gear up for their next term at school from Sunday onwards, which means that my routine also goes for a change. Now starts early sleeping, early waking up, racking my head over the snack box and breakfast, uniforms, books, studies, traffic, etc... the 18 hours awake will be a test of patience! With two going to school and with different timings, it gets all the more difficult. Without my usual support of parents around, it is time for me to set up schedules and have time tables for each and every activity from now on for the kids and myself. Both of them are excited about going back to school with their books and to meet their friends, which is such a relief, however the thought that Rasha will be having her exams in a couple of weeks time and that she has not touched any of her books during this vacation gives me a lot of goosebumps. She is just in grade 2 and I really hate to push, unfortunately, marks and grades are all that matters these days and I don't feel like wanting her to feel left out or behind from her classmates. Maybe I just should take a deep breath and take things as it comes...

Making a simple lunch is a challenge in our home, especially since we are so used to umma's routine of matta rice, curry, fish fry and pappadam. Being a working mother, I make such elaborate lunches only during weekends and resort to quick fix meals over the other days. One rice I love to have is tomato rice, as it pairs well with almost everything - a simple vegetable stir fry or the previous day's chicken curry. Off to the way I make it...

Tomato Rice
Serves 4


Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Maharashtrian Gavachi Kheer/ Whole Wheat Payasam


Some posts can be tinged with some sadness. Just like this one - due to lagging response, Divya has decided to call off her once-successful South North Challenge and this month happens to be the last challenge.I am sure she must have a hard time taking this decision, as this has been her baby ever since she has had her blog and I have seen some active participation, which is one of the reasons I became a part of this group. However, off late, the response has not been very enthusiastic. I would not say that I was regular with my challenges. I have already mentioned during previous SNC posts that the importance given more for sweets have kind of made me wary of participating, not because I don't love sweets - then there would be no justice to my blog name! - but the calories in North Indian sweets have always made me really worried. Yet, I would wait eagerly for the monthly challenges to see what was on challenge and try my level best to participate.


For the last challenge, both teams selected sweets - Manjula with Maharashtrian Gavachi Kheer and Sandhya with Badam Halwa. The time I saw the challenge, I had intended to participate, despite my travelling plans and tight schedules. Since it was not much of a work, I made the kheer as dessert for lunch over the weekend and we absolutely loved it. Very similar to our Gothambu payasam, with just some variation in the procedure, the end result is a thick creamy payasam, which can be enjoyed without feeling guilty!

Maharashtrian Gavachi Kheer
Serves 4
Recipe adapted from here


Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Niracha Koonthal Choru - Filled Whole Squid Rice

Sometimes, I feel that life comes to a dead end with no idea of how days are going to progress from now on... Don't we love to plan out our life, if not the whole life, but at least the coming months so that we feel secured? We do this without realizing that our life is not confirmed, even at the current moment. Though it does make me jittery of the days coming, just this one verse and I feel calm at heart, Alhamdulillah...


Since the below recipe is a different way of making what I have already shared previously, I thought I must feature it as soon as possible. This is one rice that Rasha totally loves. Whenever we buy squid, she only wants it this way and considering her love, umma would always make this rice. The recipe I shared previously used cut squid, while this one has filled whole squid, which is a more authentic version, which I learned from umma during the learning classes I took from her prior to her departure. Off to the recipe...

Niracha Koonthal Choru - Filled Whole Squid Rice
Serves 4


Monday, August 25, 2014

Rose Milk Pops

What a relief it was when I landed here and felt that the temperatures have gone down! I did go home expecting some rains, however all my hopes were seriously dented. While the first week saw some decent amount of rain, sometimes really heavy, the next week had literally nothing, apart from some drizzles that hardly wet the grass. The temperatures were literally hovering close to 30 degrees and it was pretty much warm, that I had to force the kids to wash themselves at least 3 times a day - one time in the morning, then evening and finally when they would go off to sleep! Very unlikely during the monsoons, however this time, we had a fair share of ice cream wherever we went.

Coming down here and seeing that the temperatures have gone below 40 degrees is really a relief. Now the climate will start getting better - hopefully! The climate these days is really funny, thanks to all the damage that our mankind has done to the Earth. We can't complain, but just hope that the Almighty shows a part of His Mercy and showers us with some good climate in the coming months! Just what the climate demands, here are some really easy pops that the kids would enjoy and literally wipe it out!

Rose Milk Pops
Makes 6 popsicles


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Chicken Bread

The group, We Knead to Bake founded by Aparna, was one group that I have been eyeing to join every since I have started blogging. I love baking and trying out new breads and cakes, but I was really not sure how much time I would be able to give this challenge and therefore delayed myself from joining the group. Last month, they baked the Gibassier, which is a French anise and orange flavored loaf. I couldn't join in this challenge due to Ramadan and other commitments. For the month of August, since Aparna was busy with the preparation of the first successful Indian Food Bloggers Meet, she suggested the members to try baking any savory filled bread with a design. As soon as I saw the post, the first bread which came into my head was this Chicken Bread, that I had baked some time back and I had completely forgotten to bake it again.


The Chicken Bread is basically a Chef Shireen Anwar recipe. I absolutely adore her recipes and have lost count of the bookmarks I have done, one that has already got featured on the blog is the Shinwari Kadai. At the time she had done the show at the famous Pakistani cookery show, Zaiqa, this bread had totally flooded all FB walls. I was at that time starting to be addicted to cooking and was overwhelmed by all the beautiful Chicken Breads that was all over the cookery pages on FB. That was when I tried it the first time and totally fell in love with it. It is a multi purpose bread - you can have it as breakfast, snack or dinner, the choice is yours. The lovely braids makes it attractive to children and the creamy chicken filling really compliments the bread well. Since I wanted to bake this again, I set to searching on Google, however I found that only two blogs have so far featured this delicious recipe. I really don't know why. So there you go, this is my start to this wonderful group. I sincerely hope that I will be able to participate regularly and do justice to the bakes. Off to this recipe...

Chicken Bread
Serves 4-6
Recipe adapted from here