Oct 31, 2007

Cooking from other blogs for my parents

After spending the most beautiful and fastest month of my life, my parents went back to India. The house suddenly seems very large and everything we do or say reminds us of them. We had loads of fun in this past month. We had candlelit lunches in the afternoon and talked, ate, laughed, roamed, and shopped non-stop.

I started cooking on a regular basis after coming to the US. Before that I did not have the knowledge nor the interest in cooking. After I got comfortable with cooking, I started this blog. But every time I blogged about a delicious dish cooked at home, I repented for not having cooked anything for my parents. I had decided to cook loads of dishes for them during my recent India trip. But then I got engrossed in eating 'maa ke haath ka khana'.

Their trip to US gave me the perfect chance to cook for them on a daily basis. For the first time I was responsible for feeding four hungry adults. I got 2 more guinea pigs in addition to the one I already have. Mom taught me a few dishes I always wanted to learn. My parents got a first-hand experience of my blogging. My dad often complained and teased me while taking snaps. He would say, "Here we are, hungry and staring hopefully at the food. And this girl is busy taking pictures." To top it all, P would bring his tripod, spend the next 5 minutes doing adjustments, and then 15 more minutes taking pictures. My dad's face would be a funny sight. Dad also commented on my cooking style. There are three ways in which I cook from other blogs. The first method is by writing down the entire recipe and remembering the method. I would often get bored of writing and resort to method 2. I do the preliminary preparations such as cutting the vegetables, taking out the masalas, and then make frequent trips from the kitchen to the living room. If P is using the computer, I would often turn it towards me with a swift, sudden, and not-so-humble fashion towards me. The third method is that I would be in the kitchen barking questions while P would sit at the computer and shout instructions. It's a funny sight when he tells me how much masalas to put. He says '1 tsp red chilli', I shout 'Next', he says '1/2 tsp turmeric', I say 'Next'. And finally the dish is ready! Method 3 happens to be my favorite method as it saves my trouble of writing or walking:))

This was the cake I baked for them the day they arrived here. Today also happens to be my dad's birthday. Happy Birthday Baba!

Here are just some of the dishes I cooked for my parents. Sorry, no pictures this time. Many thanks to all my blogger friends for sharing these wonderful recipes and giving me the opportunity to cook for my parents.

Nupur's Kothimbir Wadi, Wangi bhaat, and Lasuni Daal Palak
Manasi's Vegetable Sambhar
Coffee's Samosa
Sia's Coriander chutney
Anupama's Kathi rolls
Priya's Alu palak
Cooker's Cornflakes chivda
Jasmine's Mushroom Capsicum masala

Oct 30, 2007

Peach Iced Tea

Waitress: Would you like to order anything to drink?
Me: Yeah, I will have Peach Iced tea.
Waitress: I am sorry, but we are out of Peach iced tea.
Me: (Thinking to myself..then why did you ask me if I can have 'anything' to drink)..OK. I will have plain iced tea.

Every time I asked for Peach iced tea I would not get it. I got so fed up of trying that I decided to make iced tea at home. I thought it would be complicated, but recipes found from Google told me it was a easy matter. Before we move to the recipe, here's some history of iced tea.

Iced tea became popular in 1904 at the St. Louis world fair. Richard Blechynden, a tea plantation owner had planned to distribute free samples of hot tea. But his plan flopped when a heat wave struck the city. At the fair, his eyes fell upon huge crates of ice. He served the brewed tea topped with some ice. It was an instant hit. Over the years, all types of tea (black, white, green) have been sold as iced tea. You can buy cans or bottles of packaged iced tea. But making iced tea at home is no big deal. To brew a cup of iced tea, boil a cup of water with a teaspoon of tea. Add tea, 2tsp sugar, ice-cubes, and lemon juice and blend together. Here's the recipe for Peach iced tea.

Peach Iced Tea
Serves: 4-5


  1. 1 can peach nectar (I used Kern's peach nectar)
  2. 2 cups water
  3. 3 tsp tea powder
  4. ¼ cup sugar
  5. 2 tsp lemon juice
  6. 3-4 ice cubes + more for serving


  1. Boil 2 cups water in a pan. Add 3 tsp tea powder.
  2. Turn off the gas after tea boils. Let it cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Combine the tea, peach nectar, sugar, lemon juice, and ice cubes in a mixer. Blend together.
  4. Serve the glass chilled with 1-2 ice cubes.

This tea is a sweet variation from the normal iced tea. Peach adds a sweet and tangy taste to it. Iced tea is good for body's immune system and hydration.


Peach Iced Tea is my entry for this month's AFAM hosted by Mansi at Fun and Food. The fruit this month is Peach.


Oct 17, 2007

Eggs in a nest

We looked pretty ridiculous picking up dried grass and pine cones. Few friends asked us why we were doing this activity. We replied we wanted to make a nest to keep eggs. Oh, how would they understand the importance of Click?

This is my entry to Click, the lovely event started by the dynamic duo of blogosphere: Jai and Bee of Jugalbandi. The challenge this month is to click Eggs.

(Eggs in a nest)

I took this snap with my Canon S2IS digical camera.

Oct 10, 2007

AFAM Grapes round-up

Drinks, bars, pies, chutneys - these are just some of the dishes that bloggers created using grapes. Blog events really make you creative, a fact proved true once again with AFAM:Grapes. Thanks for your enthusiastic participation and many thanks to Maheshwari for giving me the oppurtunity to host this event.

Sorry for the delay in posting the round-up. My parents are here and I am spending each day touring with them.

Here's the wonderful array of grape dishes:

Grape and Green Tomato Chutney: Mansi of Fun and Food

Date and Raisin Chutney: Mansi of Fun and Food

Black Grape Sorbet: Aarti of Aarti's Corner

Grape tea: Nags of For The Cook In Me

Curd-rice with Grapes: Madhu of Ruchii

Stretched stuffed grapes: Sona of A Kitchen scientist & a white rat hubby

Raisin Syrup: Chandrika of AkshayaPatra

Scones with apricot, raisin chutney: Padmaja of Spicyandhra

Caramel Energy Bar: Viji of Vcuisine

Sicilian Harvest Salad: Sig of Live to Eat

Green Goddess, Grape Chaat, Raisins Gojju: Namratha of Finger Licking Food

Black Currant - Raisin Whole Wheat Muffins: Raaga of The Singing Chef

Chicken Kebabs with Green Grapes Chutney : Sheela of Delectable Victuals

Grape pie: Julie of The Persnickety Palate

Soft Raisin cookies: Keerthi of Esculent Cuisine

Banana Raisin Bun: Srivalli of Cooking 4 all seasons

Wine drunk tofu with sweet sour vegetables: Rajitha of Hunger Pangs

Antu Unde: Latha of The Yum Blog

Grape Banana Smoothie: Swapna of Swad

Strawberry and grapes preserve: Marta of An Italian in the US

Tapioca and Tir-color Grapes Pudding on Pastry: Asha of Aroma

Chelsea Buns: Jai and Bee of Jugalbandi

Mansi at Fun and Food is hosting AFAM:Peach. Do participate!

Oct 1, 2007

Kelyacha Sheera

Certain occasions and festivals remind us of certain dishes and tastes. Ganpati festival reminds us of modaks, Diwali of ladoo and chivda, Christmas of cakes and puddings, and Sankranti of sesame ladoos. Similarly, Satyanarayan pooja reminds me of semolina sheera loaded with ghee and nuts. Maharashtrians perform Satyanarayan pooja to mark the beginning of something auspicious. When something good is about happen, this pooja is performed to pray to God that it takes place without any calamity. Similarly, when a good event has taken place, this pooja is performed to thank God.

Kelyacha sheera is made as a 'prasad' for Satyanarayan pooja. Loaded with ghee and raisins, the sheera tastes delicious and is served in small paper cups. Each of the main ingredients is used in multiples of 1.5 for making this sheera. This number is considered auspicious and so everything is in multiples of 1.5.

We used to ask for this prasad again and again, forgetting that it is a prasad, expected to devor in small quantity. You can go easy on the ghee if you are calorie conscious. You can skip the banana and make simple semolina sheera. If you are making this for Satyanarayan pooja, take 1.5 cups each of rava, sugar, and ghee.

Kelyacha Sheera/Banana Sheera

  1. 1 cup ghee
  2. 1 cup rava/semolina
  3. 1 yellow banana
  4. 1 cup sugar
  5. 3 cups milk
  6. 1 tbsp raisins
  7. 1 tbsp cashew pieces
  8. 1 tsp cardamom powder
  1. Peel and cut the banana into slices. Boil the milk in a pan.
  2. Heat the ghee in another pan over medium flame.
  3. Add the banana slices and fry till they turn light brown. Add raisins and cashew pieces. Fry for a minute or two.
  4. Next add the rava and fry till it turns light brown.
  5. Add the boiled milk and mix well. Cover and cook for 3-4 minutes.
  6. Add the sugar, mix together, and cook for 5-7 minutes.
  7. Let the sheera cool down. Once it is cooled, add cardamom powder and mix.
This is my entry for JFI: Banana hosted by Mandira of Ahar. Thanks Mandira for hosting this lovely event.