Those Lemons in That Milk

In August 2011, just a few months after I had moved to US, I volunteered to bring a dessert to a pot luck dinner.  The dinner was held at someone's place who was hosting the Teej festival for people around the area, and was expecting about 90 adults and kids for the get-together.  The pot luck was a first for me, and without understanding the time and energy it would take to make something for 90 people on the day I would be fasting – I told them I would bring Ras Malai.  I was an idiot.  An over-confident idiot.

After I brought all the ingredients and was ready to make Ras Malai, I called a neighbor-friend over to help me out.  She was as newly married and as inexperienced in the kitchen as I, but we both were prepared to make Ras Malai.  At least about 90 pieces of Ras Malai to feed 90 people, also considering there would be couple of other desserts brought by two other volunteers.

Angoor Malai | Angoor Rabdi | Mini Ras Malai Recipe

Some people in the past made various wonderful desserts with chhena (paneer), and gave them lovely names, and made it look like only sweatshops could make such tempting desserts that seemed impossible to attain at home.  But the truth is  once you learn to make chhena (paneer) at home, and once you learn how to make basic Rasgulla at home, you can make SO many desserts with it.  

Spusht | Angoor Rabri Recipe | Chhena Balls in Milk Sauce

Samosa in a different shape, size, and color | Appetizer Ideas

Samosa can be formed in a shape other than a triangle, for example the bag shaped Potli Samosa.  A samosa can be made in various sizes, some big or some small ones like the Cocktail Samosa.

Samosa can also be given various kinds of fillings, savory ones such as: potato, peas, cauliflower, onion, paneer, and the likes; or sweet stuffing with coconut, raisin, and so on.
spusht | colorful samosa in a different shape

Layered Vanilla and Chocolate Pudding | Eggless Dessert

You can easily make some desserts at home look SO good, it will almost make people think they're bought from a bakery.  For example, this kind of a eggless pudding in layers served in a shot glass.  There are different combinations and numbers of layers you can make with this chocolate and vanilla pudding.  I have previously posted a variation to the eggless chocolate and vanilla layered pudding.

Spusht | Vanilla and Chocolate Pudding Layer Dessert

Eggless Banana Walnut Muffins | Banana Nut Muffin | Eggless Muffin Recipe

There is a never a dearth of overly ripe bananas at our place.  If Alok does not eat one before going for his work out, the banana almost gets unnoticed.  I have frozen some of the ripe bananas, but when I thaw them they look strange and smell weird, so I have stopped freezing and started using them.  So this time with the ripe bananas on hand I tried Banana Walnut Muffins again with another recipe and some modifications.
Spusht | Eggless Banana Nut Muffin
Eggless Banana Nut Muffin

Potli Samosa | Dhan Gathri Samosa | Party Appetizer Idea

What will the first guess in your mind be when I ask you to tell me the shape of a samosa?

Triangle, right?  That is how it has forever been, always shaped in a triangle, and that is how it is the most popular as.  But we want to do things differently these days.  Each one hosting a party at home (or taking a dish to a potluck get together) looks for diverse ideas, a new recipe, some unique style of presentation.  For example, this:
Spusht | Peas and Potatoes Potli Samosa
Peas and Potatoes Potli Samosa

Rasgulla: Paneer Balls in Sugar Syrup | Indian Dessert

After you curdle the milk, drain the whey, mash the fresh crumbly chhena (paneer) until you can form smooth balls, then boil them in sugar syrup  you know what that makes?

The popular dessert, Rasgulla.
If you thought making rasgulla at home was complicated, time-consuming, or a big deal - I am going to change the way you think.

Spusht | Indian Sweet Dish | Rasgulla | White, soft, and spongy

failed attempt: chocolate chip cookie batter - what to do?

I have made chocolate chip cookies more number of times than I can remember.  But some days, I still screw it up.  Every other ingredient would be measured correctly, but some days in order to experiment the eggless chocolate chip cookie, I add more egg substitute than required.

One day, I added more liquid to my chocolate chip cookie dough than necessary.  Instead of a thick dropping consistency kind of dough, my chocolate chip cookie dough became thin and runny.

Uh-oh.  I have got chocolate chips and walnuts too in the cookie-dough-turned-batter.  What should I do now?

Spusht | how to fix thin and runny cookie dough?

Cocktail Samosa with Potatoes and Peas Filling

Cocktail Samosa is smaller than the regular size samosa, more so for a party or large gathering and easier to have along with a drink.  Serving these bite-size cocktail samosa as appetizers or transforming them into a samosa chaat is also possible and a great idea.

Alike the regular samosa, you can make a cocktail samosa with any of the stuffing: potato, peas, onion, cauliflower, paneer, and so on too.  The only difference would be smaller pieces of vegetables chopped, crumbled or mashed to be able to fill inside a small samosa.

Spusht | Small Sized Cocktail Samosa for Parties or Large Gatherings
Small Sized Cocktail Samosa for Parties or Large Gatherings

There are three parts to making a samosa:
(i) cooking the potatoes and peas stuffing, and making the samosa dough,
(ii) shaping the dough, and filling the stuffing in samosa dough, and
(iii) frying the samosa, and resisting the urge to eat it hot.

Cabbage and Paneer Stuffed Paratha

Name me one food that can be:
- eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner,
- rolled or cut into pieces and packed in lunchbox,
- carried to picnics or take while traveling,
- a full meal on its own,
- made in various ways?

Spusht | Cabbage Paneer Stuffed Paratha Recipe
Cabbage Paneer Stuffed Paratha Recipe
Stuffed paratha, that's right, absolutely fits the bill.

Chocolate and Vanilla Eggless Pudding Layer Recipe | Make-Ahead Party Dessert Recipe Ideas

Making the eggless vanilla pudding as I have shown earlier is simple, making the eggless chocolate pudding posted previously is easy too.  And to make these chocolate and vanilla pudding layer here – you only have to put them together in layers.  This method does take a little more time and patience, but it is well worth the effort in the end.

Spusht | Chocolate and Vanilla Eggless Pudding Layered Dessert

Bakarwadi Recipe | Crispy Savory Rolls with Spicy Filling

Can you relate to days when you cook something for the first time and it turns out SO good that you can’t wait for your husband to get home in the evening so he can taste it too?  That is how I felt when I made this popular Maharashtrian snack Bhakarwadi, which generally appears too complicated to make at home.  But it is not.  I can especially vouch for this after having made plenty of times at home.

Spusht | Bhakarwadi Tea Time Snack recipe
Bhakarwadi - Tea Time Snack recipe

Whole Wheat Eggless Banana and Walnut Muffins | Eggless Baking

I wish bananas lasted as long as apples did.  But they don't.  They insist on ripening, darkening, and mushy-ing faster than they should.  Several times I threw the very ripe bananas that were browned on the outside and too pulpy on the inside to consume.  Then I learned a little late that the ripe, soft bananas are perfect for making Banana Walnut Muffins.
Spusht | Banana Muffins with Walnuts | Muffin Recipes
Banana Muffins with Walnuts | Muffin Recipes

failed attempt: paneer bhurji - what to do?

I have not bought paneer from the store in a long time.  I make paneer at home and prefer so too.  But there are times when in a rush, despite the number of times I have made paneer in last few years, I blow it.

This time I had put the fresh paneer under a heavy container in order to use it for Paneer Bhurji.  We both love it and especially when I buy colorful bell peppers, I love making a colorful Paneer Bhurji.

spusht | paneer too soft for paneer bhurji - what to do now?

Poha: Spiced Flattened Rice | Healthy Indian Vegetarian Breakfast Idea

I rarely wake up early enough to cook breakfast.  So it is mostly milk and cereals for Alok and chocolate milk or Ginger-Cardamom Chai with biscuits for me.  But some day if he gets lucky, he gets a breakfast  may be poha, upma, or pancakes, or stuffed paratha.  I wonder when I would get lucky to eat breakfast prepared by him.  Never, perhaps.  But while I keep my hopes high, allow me to share this poha recipe with you. 
spusht | vegetarian breakfast poha
healthy indian vegetarian breakfast poha

Eggless Vanilla Pudding with Various Toppings | Easy Dessert Recipe

I can’t even begin to tell you how much I depend on an eggless vanilla pudding or eggless chocolate pudding to save the day when I have to prepare dessert for dinner – either for ourselves or dinner party. 
Spusht | Eggless vanilla pudding with various toppings
Eggless vanilla pudding with various fresh berry sauce toppings

Aloo Paratha Recipe | Potatoes & Peas Stuffed Paratha

If you have read up the posts here on blog so far, you must have understood how I like 2-in-1 use of things.  Such as, I have told you how you could use the same stuffing recipe of this Moong Dal Paratha to make Moong Dal Kachori.

I have shown how using the same recipe of Eggless Chocolate Cookies you can replace cocoa powder with desiccated coconut and make Eggless Coconut Cookies.

And I have also given you examples on how you can use Almond & Pistachio Rabdi in not just 2, 3, or 4 but more than 7 ways.
Spusht | Potato and Peas Stuffed Paratha
Potato and Peas Stuffed Paratha
Similarly, here's a 2-in-1 advantage of making this aloo-matar paratha.  The secret?

Eggless Chocolate Pudding Recipe | No Bake No Gelatin No Egg

Usually in a plain vanilla cake recipe, when you substitute a certain amount of flour with cocoa powder – you basically get a chocolate cake recipe.  In this pudding, however, we will not substitute but we will add cocoa powder or melted chocolate to our basic vanilla pudding in order to get chocolate pudding.
Spusht | Eggless Chocolate Pudding using Cornstarch
Eggless Chocolate Pudding using Cornstarch
After having made this eggless chocolate pudding recipe plenty of times, I must tell you this has become my favorite make ahead party dessert.

failed attempt: chocolate chip cookies - what to do?

This was in 2012 when I was testing and trying various chocolate chip recipes with substitutions for eggs in the recipe using flax meal, banana puree, milk, applesauce, yogurt, and so on.  Trials and errors help us understand the concepts better.  Experiments from my Electronics and Chemistry labs in university taught me at least this, if nothing else.

Eggless Vanilla Pudding Recipe | Four Ingredients Pudding Recipe

You know the pudding mixes and custard packets you get from the store to make vanilla puddings or fruit custards?  Do you know what ingredients the packs contain?

Cornstarch, salt, artificial vanilla flavor, modified substances, thickening agents, all sorts of preservatives, and food colors, to which you have to add milk and sugar until the custard or pudding reaches your desired creamy consistency.
Spusht | Easy Vanilla Pudding Recipe
Easy Vanilla Pudding Recipe

what my blogging has done to my husband

When the blogging bug bit me two years back, it came with a baggage of boons and banes for both my husband and I.

While blogging made me cook more variety of dishes ... it spoiled Alok for choices, starting to think of himself as a king who would have a feast and enjoy watching TV, leaving the food right there in front of him.
April 2012

Eggless Brownie Recipe | Chocolate Brownies with Pecans

Eggless brownies with nuts and eggless chocolate chip cookies are my favorite baked goods to gift the host when I am invited over for lunch or dinner.  But I do not have a single final go-to recipe that I make all the time, because I keep trying a new brownie recipe or a new cookie recipe each time.
Spusht | Eggless Brownies | Chocolate Brownie Recipe

Gajar ka Halwa Recipe | Carrot Halwa Recipe | Indian Dessert Recipes

Some five years back...

Me to my mom: "What? You are making gajar ka halwa AGAIN?  What's the point of making something that reduces so much in quantity? Such a waste.  Waste of time, money, energy, food.  You should make desserts that require less ingredients but double in volume or size."

My mom to me: "Can you just keep quiet, stir the halwa one time and go?"
Spusht | Gajar Ka Halwa | Indian Mithai | Indian Sweet

Bhel Puri Recipe | Indian Chaat Recipe

Bhel Puri is another one of those Indian Chaats that is irresistible - spicy, tangy, crunchy, yummy.  Each one has a different way of preparing Bhel Puri - some prefer certain chutneys and some can do without, some like baareek sev (thin sev) whereas some like moti sev (thick sev or bhujia), some prefer a little spicy or some like it a bit tangy.

Spusht | Yummy Indian Chaat Bhel Puri Recipe
Yummy Indian Chaat - Bhel Puri
The best part is: there is no certain recipe for Bhel Puri because the ingredients can be absolutely added in random quantities and mixed to suit your personal preference, and still taste damn good in the end.  And why not - with the blend of different flavorful chutneys, the crunch from peanuts and papdi, the mixture of spices, the tartness from pieces of raw mango and lemon juice - all combined together wonderfully with the puffed rice makes this Bhel Puri a tempting chaat.

Solutions for Search Queries – Blogging Tip # 7

Last year after I mentioned about search queries and referrals, I followed up with few search query examples.

From the thousands of other search queries in my database since I started this blog, here are some exclusive ones I picked from my Google Analytics for some learning and a little entertainment.  Some search queries are interesting, some funny, some possible doubts that beginners could have in kitchen, some really good questions, and some are … just out of the blue!

California State Pacific Coast Highway Route 1

When Alok said we will take the Highway 1 from San Francisco to Los Angeles which would be a 9 hour scenic drive – I was already dreading the trip.  NINE HOURS of mountains and ocean is going to get boring, I thought – how much of this lengthy scenic drive can one take?!
Spusht | Highway One Route | San Francisco to Los Angeles
There is a reason why Highway 1 is known to be one of the most scenic drives in United States. Breathtaking!

The Most Embarrassing Dinner I Hosted. EVER.

The Most Embarrassing Dinner I Hosted. EVER.
yes, it happens

This was on 20th July 2012, one year back.  I knew a week ahead that I would be hosting a dinner at home that Friday.  Of all the recipes I had tried, failed, and succeeded at in the last two years, I planned a menu days beforehand for the special evening.  Because a very special couple (Bhaiya-Bhabhi) and their two kids were going to come over for dinner for the first time at our place.  But my high expectations from that dinner failed.  You know one of those days when you are running late, only then you find all red signals on the way?  It felt the same.  Though in my case, everything I did seemed to 'run over' a red signal.

Pani Puri Recipe | Indian Chaat | Street Food

To me, a trip to India is incomplete without Pani Puri, Pav Bhaji, and Paan.

Every time I visited India I ate my heart out – especially from the stalls, the roadside food, the chaat.  LOVEEEEEE it.  I don’t think there is any single person who does not like pani puri.  Please tell me if there is, I would like them to come see me.  I am serious.
Spusht | Pani Puri Recipe | Gol Gappe Indian Chaat
Pani Puri Recipe - Gol Gappe Indian Chaat

Capsicum and Corn Curry Recipe | Shimla Mirch aur Makai ki Sabzi

I made this Capsicum and Corn in Tomato Gravy last night for dinner.  The original recipe by Shobha Indani uses "malai" but I used regular whole milk instead.  Malai is clotted cream - the thick layer that forms on top of the milk after you boil it and let it cool.  A lot of gravy recipes using malai for the taste and texture can be substituted with heavy cream.
Capsicum and Corn in Tomato Gravy
Capsicum and Corn in Tomato Gravy
This Shimla Mirch aur Makai Sabzi recipe also suggests adding a few cubes of paneer if you wish.  So if you add heavy cream and paneer to this Corn and Capsicum dish, it qualifies as party food or the kind of sabzi you would cook for guests.

Aloo Baingan Recipe | Baigan Aloo Sabzi | Potato and Eggplant Stir Fry Recipe

Ever since I came from India last year, anytime I mention or hear "baingan" I remember the Hyderabadi slang "baigan mein mila diye" which if translated in English goes like "to mix something in an eggplant" but the slang actually means along the lines of 'ruining something'.  It's funny when someone with a proper Hyderabadi accent says it.

Anyway, the Aloo Baingan (Baingan Aloo; same thing) in this post has been the only dish that has been cooked the maximum number of times in my kitchen anytime I bring eggplants - whether the baby ones or the hulk ones.  I originally tried the Aloo Baingan recipe from Madhura's Kitchen where she uses ketchup and that seemed unusual but the dish did taste great.

Although the procedure to cook Aloo Baigan Sabzi does seem lengthy in this post, it is actually a simple sabzi and I hope after trying this you will not tell me that you 'baigan mein mila diye' ;-)

Spusht | Aloo Baingan ki Sabzi

Create Photo Index – Make Browsing Easier: Blogging Tip # 6

99% of you may not even have noticed - but last year I created a recipe index on a page.  What's the big deal, you ask?  The thing is, the index was not a huge LIST of boring, overflowing TEXT - it was PICTURES AND TEXT.  
how to create visual index on your blog
how to create visual index on your blog
The recipe index was the result of a reader’s suggestion.  In fact, a lot of changes on Spusht have been results of reader’s suggestions.

And the feedback that I received regarding my recipe index, or recipe photo archive as I named it:

eggless blueberry muffins | eggless recipe

I may have tested about six blueberry muffin recipes so far.  Some used all-purpose flour, some used whole wheat flour.  Some asked for half the amount of berries, some asked for quantity of berries equal to the flour.  Some turned out dense, some still tasted raw despite ten minutes past baking time. 
Spusht | Eggless blueberry muffin recipe
eggless blueberry muffin recipe

Adrak Elaichi ki Chai Recipe | Ginger Cardamom Flavored Indian Tea Recipe

I grew up drinking Bournvita in India, then Milo in Bangkok, and Ovaltine here in US every morning for breakfast.  Although the men in my family needed their individual style of tea twice a day, it seldom made me want to drink.  Individual style, oh yes – one wanted his tea with condensed milk, one wanted with more milk, one wanted with less milk.

Ginger and Cardamom Flavored Tea with cookies
Ginger and Cardamom Flavored Tea with cookies

how to make vegetable stock at home | homemade vegetable broth

There are some things I have never and will never buy from the store: peeled garlic, vegetable stock, and baby carrots.  Peeling garlic does not take forever, chopping carrots into small pieces is not a big deal, and vegetable stock or broth - can be easily made at home.
Spusht | how to make vegetable stock or vegetable broth at home
make vegetable stock / vegetable broth at home
Here's how.

failed attempt: blueberry tart - what to do?

Instead of something red on Valentine's, I thought of going blue.  Tried making blueberry tart for the first time.  But after eating just half of one tart, we stopped.  The crust did not taste right, may be I did not bake it well.  And the blueberry topping made at home did not set well, may be because I was stingy in adding cornstarch.  So, the truth is, my dessert for valentine's dinner sucked.

But what do I do with the failed blueberry tart now?
Spusht | Blueberry Tart did not turn out right?  No problem, here's a solution.
Blueberry Tart did not turn out right?  No problem, here's a solution.

Aamras–Poori | Mango Puree & Unleavened Fried Indian Bread

‘Tis the season of mangoes in the store.  A ripe mango has a strong fragrance you can sense from a distance.  On its outside skin you see a slight green, some yellow, a little orange, and some red hues.  On the inside you get golden, sweet, ripe, succulent mangoes.  In India, mango is called as the king of fruits.  One bite of a juicy mango and you will know why.
delicious ripe mangoes
ripe mangoes

Building an Indian Pantry | Stocking Pantry Essential Items

I was very paranoid about cooking the first few days after moving to USA since I had not tried cooking entirely by myself before marriage (always had mom or the help around).  I had to start from scratch here on my own, and what more - I did not come prepared with anything for the kitchen: no recipes, no list of things required in the kitchen, no tips, no experience, and basically NOTHING.

My first challenge was to stock the pantry with essential pantry items.  Then as I began experimenting more dishes, I started building my Indian pantry with spices, grains, flours, lentils, seeds, powders, and so on.  Since then, I have been gradually stocking up items to my pantryunderstanding the basics, the essentials, the substitutions, the extras and unnecessaries, learning about a new ingredient, challenging myself to cook a new dish, making mistakes and learning from them.

Here are some spices, grains, flours, lentils, seeds, powders, etc from my kitchen with their English and Hindi names.  These are probably just 5% of the entire stock in my kitchen.  I will add more, gradually.

Pantry Essentials for the Indian Pantry (and beyond…)

shoe rack from milk boxes for zero dollars

For two years, this is how the entrance of my apartment has looked like, and this is how the coat/shoe closet has looked like.  Mess.
shoe inside and outside the shoe closet
I had to find a solution since:
a) Alok would not let me buy things I need,
b) I cannot find reasonably-priced things I need,
c) Alok would not make the effort to keep things in place,
d) even sticking instructions everywhere does not make a difference to him anymore,
e) it is annoying to organize things around the apartment every day, and
f) because ...

baking and decorating a three tier cake at home

Referring to this birthday cake I made for Alok last year (May 2012) as a surprise ...

eggless cake for my husband's birthday
A reader recently asked me:  "may i know the cake which u made for your husband is that homemade if yes may i know the recipe an was it a one day job?"

And last year my cousin had asked me:  "how did you make it" - to which I promised her a start-to-finish pictorial.

And one of my closest buddies, upon seeing the 65 people "like" the photo of the three-tier cake and 25 people leaving comments with tons of compliments on my personal Facebook profile last year, had asked me:

"what was the big deal about the cake that everyone is praising so much?  you just made three cakes and put on top of one another!"

mooli ki sabzi | vegetarian indian radish recipes

Am I the only one who feels radish does not seem to have many fans, or many recipes, or many variations?  At least when I have to cook radish sabzi to eat with roti for lunch or dinner, I am usually stuck.  Radish paratha (mooli ka paratha) is the only thing that used to come to my mind the first, and we have eaten enough of those already.

Here are some mooli ki sabjis to go along with phulka.  These radish recipes tried and adapted from the authors mentioned below have tasted well so far.

Carrot Chutney Recipe

Imagine you throw a chutney party or somethin'.  Not that anyone does.  But if you do, you can display a wide variety of colorful chutney options at your party.

There is...
coconut chutney: white color
tamarind and date chutney: blackish-brown color
red tomato chutney: maroonish color
peanut chutney: pale brown color
and now here comes...
carrot chutney with a nice orangish hue.
carrot chutney

Aloo Tamatar Sabzi Recipe | Potatoes in Tomato Gravy Recipe

If you have potatoes and tomatoes at home - you can make Aloo Tamatar ki Sabji.  If you are fasting or celebrating a festival - you can make Aloo Tamatar ki Sabji.  If you are bored of dry stir-fries - you can make this gravy Aloo Tamatar ki Sabji.  

If you cannot come up with ideas for your lunch or dinner today - go ahead and make this simple Aloo Tamatar ki Sabji.
potatoes in tomato gravy - aloo tamatar ki sabzi

failed attempt: moong dal pakoda - what to do?

$#!T happens.

No matter how many times you previously cook something, some days you still screw it up.

Some days, accidentally, you add a little extra salt or a little too much chili paste.  Sometimes you spill a little out, or pour a little extra in.  Once in a while you throw it away, a few times - you can fix.
pakoda batter became too runny - what to do?
I was intending to make moong dal pakoda.  Soaked the split green mung bean (hindi: chilkewali moong dal) for an hour.  And then, something happened.

pinwheel cookies | vanilla-chocolate | eggless cookies

There are vanilla cookies.  There are chocolate cookies.  And then there is a combination of both that merge to become one: pinwheel cookies.

Best of both worlds, ya know?

mathri recipe | crispy, savory, flaky indian crackers | tea time snack recipes

Mathri is a crispy, savory, flaky Indian cracker that has a great shelf life, goes along well as a travel snack, can be enjoyed with some lemon pickle, and is a perfect accompaniment to Chai - the Indian tea.

And making mathri is very simple - for lazy people like me, what could be better than making something one time and enjoying it for the rest of the month?!  Pretty much on the same lines of namak paare and shakkar paare.

mathri - savory, crispy, flaky, Indian crackers

food photography: behind-the-scenes - by a beginner, for a beginner - part 4

I love seeing the before-after images of people, places, and objects.  I love watching backstage footage of performers before or after a stage show.  I love seeing making-of of movie scenes and album songs.  I love watching bloopers on YouTube videos.  I love seeing behind-the-scenes photos of an event.

If you feel the same as I do, this post is for you.  This post has some of the behind-the-scenes pictures of food photos I have clicked over the last year.  A lot of us learn a much more from a behind-the-scenes picture than we do from the final image.  Here I'm sharing some of my behind-the-scenes secrets (*cough*).

corn on the cob, grilled corn, how to freeze corn kernels

Some time ago, corn was for 25 cents each at Walmart one day, so I bought aplenty.  When I was husking all the corn one weekend, removing its silk, breaking the corn into half, then carefully slicing the knife down to remove its kernels…Alok came by, saw what I was doing, and...

phool makhana kheer recipe | indian sweets | indian dessert recipes

My mom made this phool makhana kheer when I was with her in Indonesia.  I wanted her to teach me as much cooking as she possibly could within those three weeks that I was there.  She wanted to teach me as much as she could within the short time.

But instead of writing down recipes while she demonstrated, I clicked pictures as she cooked. And then ...

"no mom, keep your hand this way over the pan"
"okay, pause right there"
"wait mom, I have to click to show what you are doing here"
"this one got blurred, stir it again"
until she got fed up.

This phool makhana kheer is from one of those days.

Spusht | Phool Makhana Kheer | Kheer with Lotus Seeds
phool makhana kheer

6 Tips for Smart Blogger to Save Time - Blogging Tip # 5

Of all the mistakes I made in these two years of blogging,
and I mean my-precious-time-regretfully-wasted kind of mistakes –
Here are some, which I hope, other beginners do not make.
And I am giving some tips that the bloggers can take.
Doesn't matter whether you blog on cosmetics, craft, cook, or bake.
'Coz really none of these tips are fake.
And if you are making these mistakes you gotta put a brake.
All I want is for you to be awake.
Because if nothing else, your valuable time is on stake.
So go on, read it, for your own sake.
And if the tips help you, feel free to send me a cake.

Potato and Capsicum Recipe | Aloo Shimla Mirch Sabzi Recipe

"What should I cook with these leftovers?" is a question I ask myself every evening when I cook dinner.  I mostly cook extra food during dinner to eat the same for the next lunch.  So I usually do not worry about cooking lunch or think much about the leftovers before then.  Sometimes it is leftovers of a little dal, some rice, some sabzi, and sometimes the leftovers are in the form of raw vegetables.

This one time I had half a capsicum, some chopped garlic, some cilantro, half an onion, and some lemon juice left from the previous day, as well as few dried up curry leaves and some green-chilies-turned-into-red-because-of-forgetting-to-keep-in-refrigerator from the previous week.

make your own cake board - easy, quick, cheap, yet presentable

Just thought of sharing a simple how-to: to make your own cake board at home.  These pictures are from February 2012.  When I baked a cake for a couple that was moving to another place, I wondered how I would take it for them that evening.  I did not want to carry it on a plate and cause extra work for them to rinse and send the next day.  I did not have a cake box, a cake carrier, and had no intentions of investing in one ... so I came up with cake board that will also be easily disposable.

Spusht | How to make an effortless, cheap, simple, and quick cake board
effortless, cheap, simple, and quick cake board

Eggless Classic White Bread Recipe (Cuisinart Recipe)

I have given up on my husband.  I don't think he is ever going to buy me a KitchenAid stand mixer despite all my direct pleading and indirect messages.

Was feeling ... umm, what's the right word ... LAZY, that's right ... for kneading the dough to bake bread and have been waiting to get a KitchenAid stand mixer for motivation, but the possibilities looked bleak.

So one day while flipping through the Cuisinart food processor booklet, when I saw this white bread recipe (using all-purpose flour) I gave it a shot.  And oh my, this eggless homemade bread with the help of a food processor turned out a success!

Eggless Classic White Bread

Failed Attempt: Aate ka Halwa - what to do?

How can anyone NOT get wheat flour halwa right?  Me.  It is highly possible with me.  Halvas and I don't go along well together.  I have at least abandoned Moong Dal Halwa for the rest of my life.  After 3 trials and failures at it, I think that halwa has tested my patience enough.
what to do if aate ka halwa does not turn out right?
But after making this aate ka halwa, instead of throwing it away I called my mom up and told her "something about this aate ke halwa does not feel right, it is kind of stretching, and is chewy, not halwa-like, I think I poured in milk before roasting the wheat flour properly, and I have already added sugar and almonds to it - what should I do now?"

Chawal ki Kheer Recipe | Rice Kheer Indian Dessert | Rice Pudding Recipe

Despite the limited ingredients we bought in the first weekend we moved to California and the limited kitchen items in the corporate accommodation we were in last September, I wanted to make something sweet for Alok for his new job.  What sweet dish or dessert could I make with the most basic ingredients on hand?

Can I make any dessert with poha and sugar?  Or what about peanuts and sugar?  There was rice in the pantry. OK.  And milk in the refrigerator, OK.  And sugar on the counter top, OK.  Coincidentally, I had carried saffron with me for the fear of spoiling it in during shipment and in storage, and had some walnuts that I had packed to munch on in the flight.

There - chawal ki kheer (rice pudding) was my solution.
Rice Kheer - Chawal ki Kheer