Aloo Palak Sabji - Basic Recipe with Minimum Ingredients

Sharing a super simple and super basic recipe today.  This is a result of:
1) us moving to another city in a corporate accommodation with a kitchen that was furnished with just the minimum necessities, and
2) us purchasing a small amount of grocery only for the 2 weeks I was there before I flew to Asia.

So all we bought was:

6 basic spices - cumin seeds, mustard seeds, turmeric powder, red chili powder, dry mango powder, and coriander powder
5 most used vegetables: tomato, spinach, potato, onion, and carrot
4 pantry items: sona masoori rice for dinner, flatted rice (poha) for breakfast, toor dal, and peanuts
3 pastes that I couldn't make on my own (because there was no grater, grinder, blender): garlic paste, green chili paste, and ginger paste
And of course the basic necessities: ghee, oil, sugar, salt, and milk.

And I pretty much did most of my cooking with just those items in the first week.  That's when I learned how to make use of the minimum number of ingredients to cook stir-fry dishes (I couldn't make a gravy dish because there was no grinder)...

Spusht | Aloo Palak ki Sabzi | Potatoes and Spinach Stir Fry
Aloo Palak Stir Fry

How to Cook Dal WITHOUT a Pressure Cooker?

When we moved out from Texas, we had everything packed and shipped (to reach to us 2 weeks later) and forgot to keep a pressure cooker with me.  Since Alok would only pick up the shipment from storage a month later, and since I already had 3 pressure cookers in the cartons, I did not want to purchase another one for the month.  That meant cooking our mixed vegetable dal without a pressure cooker every day.  It reminded me of a reader who once asked me how to cook chickpeas and red kidney beans without a pressure cooker because she forgot to bring one from India.

This post is for those who want to cook lentils, but don't have a pressure cooker, or destroyed one because of excess/less water (yes, I did last month :-/).

notes for my husband

1.5 years into my marriage, and I'm still trying to understand how Alok thinks and why he does what he does.  For one, leaving things here and there and not where they are supposed to be.  I keep telling him I may be a housewife but this is not the only thing I want to do all day!  It is easier to put things where they belong right away after using them.  And it is better to get into a habit of doing something or same thing every day.  Simple, right?

But with him?  Oh no.  He wouldn't listen.  So I got an idea.  I became a little more creative than my creative husband...

... because it never goes back into the toothpaste holder ...

... and I started putting notes on things and places all around the apartment.

time to clean the refrigerator

The cleanliness bug has bit me.  After pantry organization, it's now time for me to clean and organize the most important storage in the kitchen - the refrigerator.

I have decided to clean my refrigerator once a month.  It's a lot of work.  But think about how easily everything gets dumped in there - leftover food, half-cut vegetable or fruit, partly-used sauce bottles, etc etc etc.  So much food goes unnoticed and then in the trash. Sometimes I discover something after a month, rotten in the far corner of the bottom shelf.  Please tell me I'm not the only one?!  :-/

time to clean the pantry

I couldn't even click the "BEFORE" photo, the pantry was such a disaster.  Super, super lazy me - just don't get around doing something until I just can't take it anymore.  But finally I decided it was high time I cleaned the pantry.  Time to refill partly empty bottles, throw away unnecessary packets, make a list of items needed to be restocked, sort out everything, and use the space efficiently.

a new chapter

Last few weeks have been extremely busy.  Everything was packed and moved from our place.  The car was picked and shipped.  For two days we slept on sleeping bags and made newspaper our dining table.  Had our farewell get-together with some friends, and stayed up all night with some.  Recalled memories of Dallas, then bid adieu to Texas.  Left a lot behind to move a lot ahead.  To add a new chapter to our life.  

Wedding Planner / Wedding Organizer List

Ever since I started planning my trip to India for my brother-in-law's wedding, I've been revisiting my own wedding albums, photos, and memories of those wonderful moments.  And how I was involved in planning my wedding with my family, the menu, the stage decor, the invitation card and message, and many other things.  Mostly for the final selection based on my preferences; the relatives did the actual hunting for shops, services, and sources.  And then, while looking through my "Nisha's Marriage" folder, I came across this file I had created so that I could keep track of everything because I am a very organized person (mostly :P).  More of a perfectionist, Alok says.  But it's not just me - we all need everything perfect for the biggest event and most special day of our life.

Poetry: i want

I write poems when I go through extreme happy moments, unusual imaginations, or intense emotional outbursts, and can't think of any other way except words to give them freedom.

This time, I wrote a poem after almost a two year hiatus.  Penned few months back, I just went through it again today and thought of sharing here.  I'm finally planning a trip to visit my family after a long time, and the emotional girl in me is appearing again.

Very strongly attached to my family, I still haven't got used to living without them; even after one year of marriage.  Technology helps to connect, but does not do justice to what we sometimes really want.  And here's how I'm expressing what I want.

Guest Post #1: FREEZE!

Welcoming my super talented, ultra gorgeous, chirpy-bubbly-lively, and a very sweet friend Rashee Pandey for the first guest write-up on Spusht.

Rashee is a Communication Arts-Advertising student in the final year of her undergrads.  Seeing her passion for media, she teamed up with a couple of friends to launch the YouTube channel rasheetweet in which they script, shoot, and edit videos on various topics in their free time.

Rashee gladly agreed to kick-start my Guest Post series.  After reading her write-up, I realized Alok & I have a similar issue and usually complain about it to each other but neither of us changed our habits. *sigh*  So people, here's a "Thought for the Day" message for you.  (And a reminder for us too!)
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

How to store coriander leaves and keep cilantro fresh

How many times have you seen your herbs and vegetables wilting, turning yellow, or rotting while you were waiting for that one day to use it for that one thing?  I have done over a hundred times.  The amount of coriander leaves, curry leaves, and mint leaves I have wasted so far is unbelievable.  Not to mention other greens, fresh herbs, vegetables, and fruits.  For some damn reason I have usually not been able to consume my grocery quick enough or store them up long enough.  Fed up of my wasteful self, I had to find ways to keep the produce fresh.  Especially figure out how the heck should I store and coriander leaves fresh.

Networking Buttons / Social Media Icons: Blogging Tip # 4

I had been wanting to have some of those cute little networking buttons on my blog, but always thought it probably needed some HTML coding.  Or I thought may be if I bought a domain I could add them.

Since I had no intentions of buying a .com domain for Spusht anytime soon or ever in the future (because Alok said he cannot buy the entire Spusht Technologies businesses located in UAE & India just for my hobby :P), I dropped the idea of adding the social networking icons.

In a few months I realized how simple adding the social media icons to blog was.  How adding icons did not need any kind of advanced coding knowledge.  And how all these months I missed out on having readers easily connect with me.  One year, precisely.

It is so much better to have the small icons at the top of page instead of a long list or big boxes for social media on the side bars.  All that clutter and mess on the blog, no good.

So here it goes - how to add social media icons to your blog/website - making it as simple as I can for those of you who want to add these to your site.

Birthday Surprise for Husband | Scavenger Hunt Idea for Husband's Birthday, Father's Day, Anniversary

Alok liked the fortune cookie idea on Valentine’s earlier this year.  Something told me men like mystery.
He likes giving me (unnecessary and unasked for) solutions to problems I don’t even have.  Something told me men like solving issues.
Put those together – you get treasure hunt (scavenger hunt).  And men love it.  And that’s what I planned for his birthday.

While I was explaining to him in our room that I would give him his birthday gifts in the form of treasure hunt, suddenly the timer on oven started beeping.  I asked him to quickly go check on the cookies I had put to bake, hoping they did not burn.

He opened the oven and there were no cookies.  Because his first gift and clue to the next was inside the oven and I had intentionally set the timer.

birthday surprise for husband

And here, the treasure hunt begins.

Marwari Badi Teej Festival Customs

Ah.  I had mentioned in the sattu decoration post that I would make my sattu on 31st July for Badi Teej - but I had been extremely, extremely busy last month; did not get the time to make my sattu and decorate for Teej.

Instead, a friend made the below dalia ka sattu for me and even decorated it.  She added a supari in the center (last year I put a silver coin in my main sattu), topped it with chaandi ka vark (super thin edible silver foil put on Indian sweets), and decorated with chopped pistachios & almonds.  Pretty, right?
badi teej sattu

Giveaway # 3: Cake Pan, Brownie Pan, and Muffin Pan {closed}

I was super excited when I won the Scharffenberger gift hamper and the Joy of Cooking book as giveaways.  And now, it’s my turn to give back the love to the world that has been given to me and my blog.

So here’s my Giveaway # 3: Cake Pan, Brownie Pan, and Muffin Pan

How Blogging Made Me a Nicer Person

WARNING:  this post is a rant, partly sarcastic, and could appear rude to some – read at your own risk.  and try not to hate me; i’m still struggling to become nicer ;-)

The past Nisha used to be picky and brutally critique, though intentions were always only to improve myself or others.  But ever since I started blogging, a lot has changed the way I write and respond.  Part of it is because of what I see others do.  That doesn’t mean I do what people do.  I can’t be preaching “dare to be different” if I don’t follow it myself.  But the present Nisha has changed and how!

Let me give you a few scenarios of some food blogs I’ve come across and comments some  bloggers usually write:

Rajasthani Teej Sattu Decoration Ideas

The Marwari festival of Chhoti Teej just went by yesterday and Badi Teej is coming up on 4th August 2012.  Lots of preparations begin early, starting from teej saatu decoration planning to Teej dinner menu planning.  I know hundreds of people out there must have started searching ideas for teej pinda decoration and decorations of teej ka sattu.

marwari teej festival | badi teej festival | rajasthani teej festival

Two weeks back one of my sisters-in-law surprised me with her e-mail sending me all Teej sattu designs she made in the past.  Since there's still time for me to make my saatu for this Teej 2012 (my saatu decorations for teej 2011 are here), today I thought of sharing her photos here so that those who are going to make saatu and celebrate Teej get a headstart.

Tomato Paste, Purée, Juice, Gravy, Soup, Sauce, Ketchup

Some questions I had when I started cooking that I think other beginners might also have:

What is the difference between tomato ketchup and tomato sauce?
What is the difference between tomato sauce and tomato paste?
What is the difference between tomato paste and tomato puree?
What is the difference between tomato puree and tomato juice?
What is the difference between tomato juice and tomato soup?
What is the difference between tomato soup and tomato puree?

What it is called in one country may be called as something else in another country.  But there is a sure difference in either cooking methods or consistency for each of them.

Fairy Tale Reversed at Botanic Garden

We went to Fort Worth Botanic Garden one weekend.

"The oldest botanic garden in Texas, a 109-acre living museum displaying over 2500 species of native and exotic plants." ~

We didn't get to see as many beautiful gardens as displayed on their website, I wonder where they were, but whatever we saw was average.  After roaming around the gardens, we went to the "Butterfly Exhibit" - the main reason we were there for.

Simple Stir-fried Okra Recipe / Basic Bhindi ki Sabzi Recipe

After the stuffed okra recipe weapon I told you about last time, here’s a simple stir-fried okra (bhindi ki sabzi) that makes Alok fall down to his knees.  Nooooooooo, I’m dreaming :'(   :'(   It just makes him take few extra servings, enough to finish the sabzi that I cook extra for his lunch next day.  And I’m not jealous of these lady’s fingers, because I love them equally too =)

How to Make Tomato Puree at Home, Quick & Easy

I don't like purchasing certain items from stores that I can make at home without preservatives.  And Alok doesn't like my habit of making things at home and freezing them.

What do I freeze?
c) paneer, corn kernels, and mint leaves;
d) fruits/vegetables about to rot;
e) tomato purée, such as in this post;
f) a lot of other things.


You can definitely use store bought tomato purée in your cooking, but if you want to know how to make tomato purée at home and freeze it, continue to read.  Especially if your tomatoes are turning very soft and are about to rot, or you bought tons of tomatoes on sale, or you don't know what to do with extra tomatoes.  Basically, just read on  =)

Giveaway # 2: Silicone Spatula, Spoon Rest, Wooden Spoon Set {closed}

I was super excited when I won the Scharffenberger gift hamper and the Joy of Cooking book as giveaways.  And now, it’s my turn to give back the love to the world that has been given to me and my blog.

So here’s my Giveaway # 2: Pair of Silicone Spatula, Cast Iron Spoon Rest, and Wooden Spoon Set

5 Things I Didn't Know Before I Moved to USA

5 Things I Didn't Know Before I Moved to USA
In retrospect at my one-year stay in the United States of America

Carousel near food court INSIDE an outlet mall!
In the initial days here in the US I compared everythingfrom places to pricesto what I was familiar with back home in Bangkok.  Every other weekend my husband took me shopping to the big stores and retail stores around, at times to shopping centers, and sometimes to Galleria and NorthPark, the upscale shopping malls in Dallas.  I realize I actually could have saved hundreds of the thousands of bucks I’ve splurged so far if I’d gone to the smaller off-price department stores instead like Ross, Marshalls, TJ Maxx, Burlington Coat Factory, Big Lots, and outlet stores or surplus warehouses for certain items.  I didn't know there was a lot of good stuff to shop at those off-price or discount stores.

Tamatar Palak Sabzi Recipe | Tomato and Spinach Recipe

“Are you really going to cook within 10 minutes or should I order pizza?” my hungry husband asks in a ‘dhamki’ (intimidating) tone.  Especially when he sees house in a mess, no signs of dinner on table, and it appears like I have been on internet all day.  A hungry man is an angry man. 

Tamatar-Palak ki Sabzi, my go-to 5-minute recipe
And I am a bored-of-eating-pizza-again woman.  So here’s what I do within the 10 minutes:

Places to visit in Bangkok, Things to do in Bangkok

Seeing the interest readers showed after the previous post Planning a Trip to Thailand, here is my take on part one of places to see in Bangkok and things to do in Bangkok.  In the land of smiles.

If it’s a 3-4 day visit to Bangkok, you have options of:
a) spending a whole day at one place (which may be a bit far but unique & worth visiting), or
b) visiting some places although near but may require a whole day trip, or
c) combine 2-3 places together within a day, as per their locations and your interest.

Pressure Cooking 101: How to cook lentils in a pressure cooker

pressure cooker with different style lids
Pressure Cookers
Pressure cooker saves a lot of time and energy.  Your time and cooking time.  Your energy and electrical energy/gas.  

But I have observed that some people are either apprehensive about using pressure cookers or don’t exactly know how to use it.  Cooking lentils in an open pot or slow cooker takes hours and is a sheer waste of time for something that a pressure cooker can cook within an hour.

This post is for the beginners to help understand how to cook lentils (dals) in a pressure cooker.  These are the exact questions I had when I started to learn cooking (and picked my mom’s brains), and hope this will help someone new to get comfortable with the basics of pressure cooking lentils.

(Click here for cooking lentils WITHOUT a pressure cooker.  And not just lentils, you can use a pressure cooker to cook many other things, for example watch my video how to cook rice in a pressure cooker and how to parboil potatoes in a pressure cooker, both at the same time)

Food Photography: Makeshift Props on a Budget – By a Beginner, For the Beginner, Part 2

Another food photography post, as promised after the previous (Food Photography: Light), was long overdue.  But a comment today triggered me to write one.  Because while all the “great clicks” and “looks tempting” type of comments blinds your eyes, there comes a person who opens them, pushing you to do better.

With all due respect to the realistic commenter who gave her constructive criticism (about my photos not being as good as another blogger's), there are some things about comparing one blogger’s food photography with another, that as an amateur food photographer I’d like to share.  I know it’s normal to compare, but there are several factors that make a difference.  Props collection and creative vision, for starters.

Moong ki Dal Recipe | Whole Green Mung Bean Recipe

I did not write a single recipe down and bring with me – nor from my mom, neither from my mother-in-law, when I moved to US.  I don’t know what I was thinking at that time.  May be depended too much on internet and phone, but overlooked the time zone differences when I had to call at the time of need.  So November last year I asked my mom to e-mail me recipes using Moong Dal because I was bored of (until I started adding variety to it) eating the same Toor Dal and Chana Dal (yellow lentils) every day.
Sabut Moong ki Dal

Planning a trip to Thailand?

I received that e-mail from my cousin to help him plan his trip to Thailand.  After growing up in Bangkok for some 14 years, after traveling around the country and after taking several relatives around the city – I knew no one else could help him better.  Then I figured I should also share my suggestions and tips here for people having similar questions.

Bharwan Bhindi ki Sabzi Recipe

I love bhindi. In any form. Bharwan bhindi. Bhindi masala. Bhindi do pyaaza. Dahiwali bhindi. Anything works.

Stuffed Okra Masala - Bharvan Bhindi Sabji - Stuffed Lady's Fingers Recipe

Giveaway # 1: Cupcake Carrier Bake n' Take {closed}

I was super excited when I won the Scharffenberger gift hamper and the Joy of Cooking book as giveaways.  And now, it’s my turn to give back the love to the world that has been given to me and my blog.

So here’s my Giveaway # 1:  Cupcake Carrier

Mixed Vegetables in Yellow Lentils Recipe | Toor Dal Recipe

Lentils (dals) are such an important part of a vegetarian’s meal everyday, for all the protein it has, and for its accompaniment to rice and roti.  And my hubby being brought up in South India, needs rice and dal every day, while I’m happy with only roti and sabji.  But since I have to cook dal daily, I get really, really bored making and eating the same thing everyday.  So what I do is add variety to the simple dal.

Burning your feed? Blogging Tip # 3

Novice bloggers: I don’t want you to wait until one year like me to do something as simple and useful as this for your blog, so read up on how to allow FeedBurner to add value to your blog/site.  It is not complicated; at least hopefully it will not be after you read through.

First up, let’s study Feed 101: what is RSS and RSS feed?

Avocado and Mango Salad Recipe | Joy of Cooking Recipes

I never thought I would blog about salad.  I do not read anyone’s salad recipe posts online either, unless  something is catchy.  Because salad, in my view, consists of anything you mix and add anything you wish and make it any way you wish.  I thought there was nothing special about any particular salad style or recipe.  Salad was something that could have a million combinations.

But this Avocado and Mango Salad, my friend, changed my mind.
Avocado and Mango Salad
... and I fell in love with this Avocado and Mango Salad!

Fenugreek Leaves – Boon or Bane?

The very first time I used fenugreek leaves (methi) in cooking was to make Gobhi-Methi Stuffed Paratha.  Happily bought 2 bundles of methi leaves because they were ridiculously cheap that season (2 bundles for $1) and began cleaning them while imagining what other dishes should I make with methi for the rest of the week.
After about two hours, I furiously called my husband and said “I have been cleaning the ~!@#$% fenugreek leaves past two hours, it’s such a pain in the @$$.  If you ever buy this thing again, I will give pain in your @$$.”

Poetry: Mom - Happy Mother's Day!

I found a long-lost poem I had written some 11 years ago.  Poetry was a new-found interest at that time, so looking back at it now I feel the writing was quite amateurish (may be still is, ha!).  I think I had written this one for my mom's birthday, not sure.  I will have to ask her if she still has it.  For all I know, she has treasured my dad's love letters written 28 years back - so she'd better save the love I've expressed to her too, hehe.  [This was intentional; she reads my blog ;)]   

And since it is Mother's Day today 13th May 2012, here I'm sharing this poem wishing all the wonderful moms a Happy Mother's Day and saluting their unconditional love.

How to Make Sweetened Canned Pineapple at Home

I was surprised to discover one could make this canned pineapple version at home when I made it the first time.  The next time, I'm going to try pineapple jam or pineapple topping like I tried making strawberry topping.  At least feels good to know I can preserve pineapple in natural ways before it starts to rot.  Do you think it’s better to preserve or freeze than waste?  (I do, but my hubby disagrees!)

Social Networking - Facebook Fan Page: Blogging Tip # 2

I thought I had enough activities and social circles in my life to keep me busy and did not want to add a Pinterest, Instagram, Flickr, Tumblr, StumbleUpon, Klout (what? never heard?), Twitter, and Facebook Page to the list.

Oh no, I don’t mind socializing.  I have been the queen of social networking; ask my 562 friends and family on Facebook (I’m not showing-off :P).  And though the addition of a Facebook page required investing more time, after one year as a blogger I realized it was good to keep up with the social networks.

So then, I went on Twitter.  And on StumbleUpon.  And finally created a Facebook fan page for Spusht.

Chinese Fried Rice: Indo-Chinese Food

There are plenty of vegetarian options in Indo-Chinese cuisine, all the way from appetizer to main course.  Gobi Manchurian? Check.  Manchow Soup? Check.  Chili Paneer? Check.  And especially after making other dishes that uses similar ingredients, whether vegetables or sauces, why not save some of each to cook up a Chinese Fried Rice instead of plain rice to go along with the meal?

Make Berry Topping / Jam / Puree / Sauce at Home

I love berries in any form – cheesecake, smoothie, ice cream, or eating as is.  But there are seasons when they’re super expensive and there are days when I forget about them in the overstuffed refrigerator and end up throwing away.  So I started to freeze the berries rather than wasting them – by rinsing them well, draining water, placing on tray in freezer, and then storing in a Ziploc the next day.

Spusht | Freezing blueberries
Freezing blueberries

Vermicelli Pudding - Seviyan ki Kheer

Like I explained the variable X and concept of basic kheer, here I’m using X = vermicelli to make Sevaiyan Kheer (Vermicelli Pudding).  This is a pretty simple dessert recipe.  Especially if someone’s coming over and you can’t think of any other sweet dish to make – you can easily depend on kheer.  And once you get the basic one right, you can definitely add other combinations to it.  Like Carrot-Vermicelli Pudding (Gajar-Sevai ki Kheer)?  Why not.

How effortless is it to contact you? Blogging Tip # 1

In my one year of blogging, among the other things I have learned, one is to make it easier for readers to approach the blog author.  The simplest way is to include a “Contact Me” page, write your e-mail address over there, and expect readers to e-mail you.  But for a reader to ask a quick question, having to copy-paste the address and send an e-mail requires some effort.  Result?  The reader may skip to some other website.

Lauki ki Kheer: Bottle Gourd = X

When I tried Sweet Potato Kheer the first time, I used the basic concept of making kheer (pudding).  You could replace the sweet potato with X ingredient and make different kinds of puddings.

raw rice grain
Chawal ki Kheer
Rice Pudding
raw vermicelli
Sevai ki Kheer
Vermicelli Pudding
grated carrots
Gajar ki Kheer
Carrot Pudding

Get the picture?

Here I’m using X = grated bottle gourd = Lauki ki Kheer = Bottle Gourd Pudding.

Thought for the day: Dare

"We follow people; We act as they say.
Scared of being rejected; We follow their way."

When I wrote those lines, I was at the age where peer pressure was the strongest influence.  Sometimes I gave in; sometimes I stood up for myself.  Along the years, among the lessons, one of the things I have learned is that I don’t have to be scared of rejection.  Heck, I don't even have to try to please everybody.  And if I want to accomplish something in life, I must first strongly believe in myself.  Do I have to do what others do?  No.  I will dare to be me, I will:

Do you?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
Connect with Spusht via: Facebook  |  Email  |  RSS  |  Twitter

Kurkura Karela - Crispy Fried Bitter Gourd

I don’t think bitter gourd (aka bitter melon) has many fans.  I used to hate it.  If I heard mom say she made “karele ki sabzi” (bitter gourd fry) I used to go “ewwww”.  And one among the million differences my husband & I have is he loves bitter gourd sabzi.  So around mid of last year I tried making it first time.  Even after rubbing it in salt it was so disgustingly bitter that I swore I’d never make it again.  But then you know, when your husband really likes something, you just feel like giving it another try.

Kukura Karela - fried bitter gourds & onions, rubbed with a salty-spicy-tangy masala mixture

What do you give / take / like from USA?

Last year a friend asked me what kitchen items to bring from India to USA.  I was thinking even apart from kitchen items there is so much you can get from India, for yourself or as gifts for others.  Things that have an Indian touch – in terms of traditional clothes (kurti, salwar suit, sari, etc) and accessories (bangles, earrings, handbag, etc), Indian art / painting, small idol statues, food items (like dessert boxes or Haldiram's snacks), etc.  There are SO many options.

Pattagobi ki Sabzi; Cabbage Vegetable?!

In Hindi we say Bhindi ki Sabzi, Aloo Gobhi ki Sabzi, or Tamatar-Palak ki Sabzi and it is understood – but is there an appropriate translation in English for the ‘sabzi’?  I don’t know.  I don’t think I can call them ‘curry’ if they’re dry, can I?  Calling it Okra vegetable, Potato-Cauliflower vegetable, and Tomato-Spinach vegetable, respectively sounds vague.  Then what is the right word to use – stir-fried?

Oh well, here I’m sharing two styles of Pattagobi ki Subzi (Stir-fried Cabbage?) that I usually cook and like the taste of.

Simple Coconut Crunch Cookies (eggless)

I’m beginning to realize one doesn’t need hundred different measurements, proportions, and ingredients for some recipes – getting a basic recipe right then working around it creates a new dish.  Or a new cookie.  Like these coconut cookies.

Let the Q and A begin!

Since I mentioned last time I enjoyed reading search queries, I thought of following up with some examples from March 2012.  With the hope that you not only get entertained, but you and I also learn something new together.

Let the Q & A begin.

Tadka Noodles

The day I had made Hakka Noodles for a dinner get-together, I had boiled excess noodles so reserved some for later.  Since our intake of soya sauce, chili-garlic sauce, ketchup and vinegar was high that week, I did not want to reuse the noodles for anything Indo-Chinese.  While I was beginning to make my regular dal, with the tadka and veggies, I added the remaining noodles instead of lentils – and so was the birth of Tadka Noodles, the Indian touch to Chinese noodles but NOT a part of Indo-Chinese cuisine.  I believe you can call this dish a cousin of Semaiya Pulao / Seviyan Upma / Vermicelli Pulao.