DEEPA AMAVASYA

7D6155E5-3FB4-4126-BB8B-55DAF69D1F84This Day of the Aashadh Maasa according to Hindu Calendar is very auspicious and is celebrated by Hindus across India.Each Part of India has their own customs & rituals. This Day marks the commencement of ‘Shraavan  Maasa’ a Holy Month where people abstain from consuming meat and alcohol for the entire month. People indulge in offering prayers, observing fasts and performing Puja , each day of this month is regarded as pious. It is believed that Shraavan Maasa ushers in lots of prosperity , and well-being.

There is also another ritual known as ‘Deepa Puja’ / ‘Divyachi Puja’ that is celebrated on this day of Aashadh Amavasya ,also known as Deepa Amavasya, where people light a lot of Diyas or oil lamps in their Puja room or on a table , they decorate the diyas and offer naivedyam . It is believed that the illumination will ward off all the negative energies from the house and usher in positivity and happiness.

 

 

BENDEKAYI GOJJU | KARNATAKA STYLE OKRA CURRY

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Bendekayi Gojju is A very popular recipe from Karnataka also known as ‘Kairasa’. A Gojju is a delicious Curry- A medley of flavours I would say – sweet, spicy and tangy all at the same time. Very Simple to make, a delight to your taste buds.
Okra/Bhindi is stir fried, then mixed & simmered along  with ground masala paste made up of coconut and few spices. It goes well with Chapatis, Dosas and Steamed Rice. I personally love eating it with rice and ghee. Bittergourd Gojju, Hog Plum Gojju, Pineapple Gojju are other Variants wherein the basic   Masala base remains the same, with just little tweaks here & there.
Note down the recipe of this delicious curry.
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                                        RECIPE
 
Preparation Time : 30 minutes
 
Cooking Time: 15 Minutes
 
Serves: 4-5
 
Ingredients:
Fresh Bhindi/ Okra/ Lady’s Ginger- 15-20 nos
• Turmeric Powder-1/2 tsp
• Grated Jaggery – 2tsp
• Lemon Sized Tamarind ball soaked in warm water
• Oil
• Salt to taste
 
For the Masala: 
Dry Red Chillies-8-10
• Urad Dal- 2tsp
• Chana Dal- 2tsp
• Fenugreek Seeds/ Methi Seeds – 1/4 tsp
• Cumin Seeds/ Jeera- 1 tsp
• Asafoetida/ Hing- a pinch or two of it
• White Sesame Seeds- 2 tsp
• Coconut – 1 cup
 
Tempering:
Oil-1 tbsp
• Mustard Seeds -1 tsp
• Asafoetida/hing – a pinch of it
• few curry leaves
 
Method:
wash the okra and pat them dry , then chop them into disc shape and keep it aside.
• meanwhile soak Tamarind in warm water.
• Heat a Kadai and add little oil , add in chopped bhindi and stir fry on a medium to low flame till they turn a bit aromatic.
• Squeeze out the juice from the Tamarind and add it to the stir fried bhindi, add grated Jaggery , add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder. Cook until the bhindi turns soft.
•Now In a Pan , heat few drops of oil, add in all the ingredients mentioned under the ‘ingredients for masala ’ except for coconut and sesame seeds.
•Roast until fragrant & dals turn golden.Time to add grated coconut toast for about a minute let the mixture cool, transfer all of that into a mixie jar. Now in the same pan dry roast sesame seeds on a low flame till it turns a bit golden.
• Now Add the sesame seeds to the mixie jar, pour in little water and grind it to a very smooth paste.
• Add this Paste to the cooked Bhindi along with salt to taste, mix everything well. Add water accordingly.Now let the curry boil on a medium flame till all the flavours merge in nicely.
• Reduce the flame and cook further for 5 mins the gravy thickens by then.
• Make a tempering of Mustard Seeds, hing & curry leaves , turn off the flame.
• Our Bendekayi Gojju is ready , serve it hot along with Chapati or Rice.

MURUNGAI KEERAI VADAI | DRUMSTICK LEAVES FRITTERS

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I usually don’t indulge much in deep fried stuff, but I when I do, I just indulge in guiltlessly. I fried these super delicious fritters/vadai named ‘Murungai Keerai Vadai’ i.e drumstick leaves fritters. Its a Tamil recipe. Keerai is a Tamil word for Spinach in English; Murungai translates to ‘drumstick leaves’ or ‘Moringa’.Moringa leaves /Drumstick leaves has a host of health benefits. Its rich in Iron and Proteins, helps lower blood sugar levels and is a natural energy booster. So you see I had quite a healthy indulgence !! It’s a perfect Tea-time snack very easy to make with just a handful of ingredients, read further to note down the recipe for this addictive healthy snack.

RECIPE

Preparation Time: 3 hours (includes time required for soaking chana dal)

Cooking Time: 15 Minutes

Serves: 4-5

 

Ingredients:

  • Chana Dal – 1 cup
  • Murungai Keerai /Drumstick Leaves –1 Cup
  • Onion – 1 Large finely chopped
  • Green Chillies – 2-3 finely chopped
  • Dry Red Chillies -2
  • Ginger-1/2 inch
  • Garlic pods -3-4
  • Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil

 

Method:

  • Firstly, wash and soak Chana dal for a good 2-3 hours in water.
  • Wash the moringa leaves and keep it aside in a colander and let the excess water drain off.
  • Now once the chana dal is properly soaked and reay, drain off the excess water and add it to the blender.
  • Add in garlic pods, ginger, dry red chillies and cumin seeds.
  • Blend this into a coarse paste. Do not add water.
  • Now transfer this ground chana dal mixture into a bowl, roughly chop the drumstick/moringa leaves and add it to the bowl, add in finely chopped onions, green chillies and salt.
  • Mix everything together very well. Divide the mixture into mini sized lemon balls.
  • Flatten the mixture into round tikkis, gently presing between the palms.
  • Heat sufficient oil in a kadai to fry, once hot gently drop in the vadai and fry until both the sides are crisp and golden.
  • Remove once the vadai are ready on kitchen paper and serve them hot along with chutney and a hot cup of coffee or Tea.

 

Note: If you do not wish to deep fry you may also shallow fry them or use a Paniyaram pan and cook them similar to Paniyaram by dropping in the batter/mixture and drizzling with oil.

IYENGAR BAKERY STYLE MASALA TOAST

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Now who doesn’t love those Yummy goodies from the very famous Iyengar Bakery ? You all do right ? Yes I know !! Iyengars Bakery is a very famous bakery chain that has its origin in Bangalore. Even though there are many fancy boulangeries in the Metros these days, trust me nothing can beat the goodness and warmth of our good ‘Ol Iyengar Bakeries. Right from sweets to savouries everything is scrumptious. I love Masala Buns, Spicy Nippatu, Benne ( Butter ) Biscuits, Honey Cake, Dilpasand, Flaky Veg Puffs and Veg Masala Toast from the whole lot of things they make.
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I made these Iyengar Bakery style Masala toasts, extremely simple to make and very delicious! These toasts are like open sandwiches. A mix vegetable filling of grated carrots, capsicum, tomatoes and onions sautéed in masala is placed on the top of crisp toasted bread. The mix vegetable filling is full of flavours – slightly tangy, little sweet and little spicy !! Read further to make these easy toasts, that are a great accompaniment with a cup of tea !
RECIPE
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
 
Cooking Time : 10 minutes
Ingredients:
• Whole wheat bread / White Bread -6 sliced in a triangle shape
• Butter (to make toasts)
• Finely  Chopped Onion – 1 Large
• Finley Chopped Tomato- 1 Large
• Finley Chopped Capsicum – 1 Large
• Grated Carrot – 1/2 Cup Or 1 medium
• Curry Leaves – 6-8
• Finely Chopped Green Chillies – 1-2
• Oil
• Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
• Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
• Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tsp
• Red Chilli Powder – 1/2 tsp
• Coriander powder- 1/2 tsp
• Garam Masala Powder- 1/2 tsp
• Salt to taste
• Finley Chopped Coriander leaves
Method:
• Heat a tbsp of oil in a Kadai , Once hot add in mustard seeds, let it splitter, add cumin seeds,let it sizzle. now add Finley Chopped onions and mix well.
• Add Chopped Green Chillies and curry leaves.
• Cook until the onions turn translucent. Add tomatoes, a pinch of salt, and cook well till the tomatoes soften.
• Now Add Chopped capsicums and grated carrot, also add in turmeric powder, red chilli powder, Coriander powder and Garam Masala. mix and cook very well.
• Add salt to taste. Cover and cook these veggies till they are done, also sprinkle a little water if the veggie filling looks dry. Cook until they are done.
• Add Chopped Coriander leaves and turn off the heat. Mix everything well and keep aside.
• Heat a Pan, drop in some butter and toast the bread triangles on a low flame ,until they turn golden and crisp on both the sides. Now place the filling over the top of the breads and spread it evenly. Lift the Toasts once the base is nice and crisp. Serve hot along with ketchup or as is  and a hot cup of tea.

ACHARI DAHI BHINDI | PICKLED OKRA IN A YOGURT GRAVY

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This Punjabi recipe of Bhindi/Okra is perked up with ‘Achari Masala’ ( Masalas used in a pickle ) and  cooked in a yogurt gravy, which makes it simply delectable. This Subzi is packed with aromatic flavours of Achaar and the addition of tomatoes and yogurt gives that tangy punch to the dish. Achari Dahi Bhindi goes well with hot Phulkas, Dal and Rice. You may also add in readymade achar to the subzi and cook along with yogurt or else dry roast the pickle masalas and add it. I used the latter method. Read further to note down my recipe for Achari Dahi Bhindi.

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 RECIPE

Preparation Time: 15 Minutes

Cooking Time : 30 Minutes

Serves : 3-4

 

Ingredients:

  • Bhindi/Okra/Ladiesfinger -500 grams
  • Onion – 1 Large finely chopped
  • Tomato – 1 Medium finley chopped
  • Ginger- Garlic Paste – 2 tsp
  • Turmeric Powder – 1 tsp
  • Red Chilli Powder – 1 Tsp
  • Coriander Powder/ Dhania Powder – 1 tsp
  • Besan/Gram Flour – 1tbsp
  • Yogurt/Dahi – 1 Cup
  • Mustard Oil – 2 tbsps
  • Salt to taste
  • Coriander leaves for garnish

 

For Achari Masala:

  • Cumin seeds/Jeera – 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds- 1tsp
  • Carom Seeds/Ajwain – 1tsp
  • Dry red Chillies – 2-3
  • Fennel seeds/Saunf – 1tsp
  • Nigella Seeds /Kalonji – 1tsp

 

Method:

  • Wash and dry the Bhindi and slit them into long slices and keep it ready.
  • Firstly begin with making Achari Masala.
  • Dry roast all the ingredients mentioned under ‘Achari Masala’ until they are fragrant.
  • Keep it aside to cool. Transfer these roasted ingredients to a mixer jar and grind it to a coarse powder. Keep it aside,
  • Heat oil in a kadai, and stir fry the slit bhindi slices for 5-6 minutes, sprinkle a little salt. Once they are a bit charred, turn off the heat and transfer it to a plate.
  • Now in the same kadai, heat 2 tbsps of mustard oil (you may also use regular oil instead of mustard oil, but using mustard oil gives that authentic taste to this Punjabi dish).
  • Add finely chopped onions, sauté till the raw smell disappears, then add ginger-garlic paste to it, fry till the smell goes away.
  • Now goes in chopped tomatoes, sprinkle with a pinch of salt so that the tomatoes are cooked well quickly.
  • Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder and the coarsely ground Achari Masala. Mix everything well.
  • Now in a bowl mix and whisk curd and besan together and pour it in the kadai, keep cooking continuously for 3-4 minutes.
  • Add in Stir-fried Bhindi/Okra into the yogurt gravy, season with salt. Mix well and cook under a low flame with closed lid.
  • Cook slow for 5-8 minutes so that all the achari flavours are absorbed into the Okra.
  • Turn off the heat, transfer it to a serving bowl, garnish with fresh coriander leaves.
  • Achari Dahi Bhindi is ready, serve it along with hot Phulkas or Lachha Parathas.

Illusory term- ‘Superwoman’

I am not a superwoman or a wonderwoman. I cannot do everything on this planet, my skills are limited, I am not “Perfect” . I cannot live up to everyone’s expectations, I cannot keep my house Spic and Span like every hour of the day! I cannot be in control of everything.

Ladies…. Just let go of the need to be a ‘SUPERWOMAN’ ! This is just a glorified word across media .Do not force yourself to be ‘Perfect’! Doesn’t matter who you are or what you do- Homemaker or a Working Woman. It’s okay even if there are stained dishes piled up in the sink, The unkempt laundry, or the tasteless food you cooked some day after a hectic day at work. etc etc; it’s  absolutely okay to not have done it all , even when you can’t stand a Messy house ! Stop trying to be the best version of yourself every damn time. Trying to juggle everything and pushing yourself to the extreme gets you all worked up and frustrated eventually.

Stop overloading your plates and go easy on yourself, Reduce your To-do list:

-Delegate

-Get-help &

-let the people dependent on you get a little independent

Time to hand over that imaginary cape of ‘Superwoman’ and Breathe.Remember you all are already doing a GREAT JOB !

Celebrate yourself each day ❤️

Happy Women’s Day !!

PAAN SHOTS |FLAVOURED BETEL LEAVES DRINK

21DFC0D2-F79F-4F3C-9F32-7EF253683F51We Indians love eating Paan after a heavy meal, be it a simple Paan, Meetha Paan, Maghai,Banarasi Paan or just ‘Mukhvaas/Mouth Freshner’, right folks? Okay now, what if you were to ‘DRINK’ your Paan ? sounds crazy right? Let me tell you, yes absolutely you can drink your Paan with this ridiculously tasty fusion betel leaves drink. I first tasted this at PUNJAB GRILL  Restaurant in Bangalore and Boy I was blown away completely ! I instantly made a mental note then & there of testing and making it for my blog.

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Paan shots are the perfect twist to our regular meetha pan, the whole idea is to get the taste of your ‘Meetha Paan’ into a drink. Paan shots is the answer to your feasting woes. This drink has got all the flavours and just hits the right notes ! Burst of Flavours ! the sweetness of Gulkand ( Rose Petal Jam), Minty Fennel seeds, texture of dessicated coconut and the mild flavourful scoops of Vanilla Icecream makes a beautiful concoction.

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I highly recommend you all to make this drink and serve it to your guests at the party and I am sure they will keep coming for more !!  feature these refreshing Paan shots on the menu for your Holi and Diwali bashes. Read further to note down this gorgeous recipe.

RECIPE

Preparation Time : 5 minutes

Cooking Time : 5 minutes

Serves : 8 Shot Glasses

 

Ingredients:

  • Betel Leaves/ Paan – 10-12
  • Gulkand/ Rose Petal Jam- 2 tbsp
  • Dessicated Coconut – 2 tsp
  • Mint Coated Fennel seeds – 2 tsp
  • Cardamom Powder – 1 ½ tsp
  • Paan Masala – 1tsp
  • Vanilla Icecream – 4 Scoops
  • Water – 1 Cup
  • Ice Cubes
  • Coloured Fennel seeds/ Mukhvaas mixture for garnish

Method:

  • Wash the betel leaves thoroughly.
  • In a power blender blend in together all the above ingredients to a smooth consistency, add water or ice cubes if you feel its too thick. Blend it well such as you see no Paan bits floating.
  • Transfer it into a Jar and chill for 30 minutes.
  • When ready to serve, pour it into shot glasses, top it with coloured fennel seeds and sprinkle some paan masala powder.
  • Paan shots are ready.

Notes: you may turn these shots into a Digestif by adding alcohol like Vodka or Tequila if you love.