Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Gond aata ladoo - healthy winter recipe

Hi friends. .as the mercury is dropping in this part of the world. .people are switching to foods that keep the body warm and provide the much needed nutrition for the bones.
These include.  Yummy carrot halwa..seasame ladoos..bajra khichdi..pakodas..and the all time hit gond ke ladoo. Gond Ke Ladoo, is a traditional Rajasthani sweet.'Gond' is the edible gum which is in crystal form in pearly yellowish translucent pieces of different sizes. This edible gum generates heat and that is why it is usually consumed in the winters. It comforts one as it helps to keep the body warm. Gond is fried in ghee, puffed up and added to roasted wheat flour to make Ladoos.
Prepared these over the weekend with mil. Here is the recipe :

Wheat flour/ Atta, 1 1/4 cup
2tbsp rava
1tbsp besan
Edible Gum/Gond/Khatira- 3 Tablespoons
Powdered Sugar- 1/2 cup
Black pepper powder- 1/4 teaspoon
Cardamom Powder,-1/2 teaspoon
Ghee, 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons Mixed Nuts (cashew, almonds and raisins)- 1cup
2tbsp coconut powder

  1. Heat 1/4 cup of ghee in a pan, add edible gum and fry till it is puffed up. Remove it from the pan and then drain excess ghee and roughly break them to pieces with a rolling pin and set them aside.
  2. In the same pan add 2 tablespoon of ghee and roast all the nuts for 1 minute or till they become nice brown. Set aside.
  3. Now, on a low-medium flame, heat the remaining ghee and add the wheat flour and roast it, stirring continuously till the flour starts to change its color. Add the rava and besan and keep roasting for 2 mins.
  4. Turn off the heat. Let it cool lightly so that it is comfortable to handle. 
  5. To the above roasted flour, add the crushed edible gum,black pepper powder, nuts, powdered sugar, cardamom powder, . coconut powder and mix well. 
  6. Take this mixture and shape them into ladoos of the size you want.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Madhubani/Mithila painting | Madhubani radha krishna with peacocks

Hi Peeps, as some of you may be aware that I am smitten by the madhubani bug ! :)
Yes the love affair continues with the second painting on Radha Krishna - the eternal lovers!
 Madhubani Painting is also known as Mithila Painting. Legend has it that King Janak of Mithila in Bihar commissioned artists to make paintings at the time of the wedding of his daughter Sita to Lord Rama. Madhubani Paintings are usually done on freshly plastered mud walls of homes in Mithila. Madhubani or Mithila paintings are one of the traditional paintings of India and are known for their bright colors and distinct style.

Traditionally Madhubani painting is done with fingers, twigs, brushes, nib-pens, and matchsticks, using natural dyes and pigments, and is typically based on mythological, folk themes and pastoral symbols or characterised by eye-catching patterns. The coloring is of two styles – Kachni (hatching) and Bharni (shading). Kachni uses delicate fine lines to fill the painting and not much color is used while Bharni uses solid colors to shade and fill the pictures. It uses black outlines filled with vibrant colors. A variety of inventive patterns are made with hatching and stippling added Prabat.

Even though this art is centuries old, it has preserved its original style and content in its native land of Mithila. Even now during birth and marriage ceremonies paintings are made on walls with different symbols like bamboo (lineage,) lotus, and fish. The designs announce the occasion of the celebration and solicit good fortune and divine blessings

The first Madhubani painting can be checked here

Some in the making pics:

Monday, December 7, 2015

School activities and some tidbits

Little miss is so innovative these days.

We have a singing sessions. I sing a English song (mostly from my school memories). Little miss immediately picks few words from that song and makes a song of her own impromptu song..its spontaneous, i am just amazed by her creativity. We have so much fun singing and hugging J

The other day, she was telling the whole of Rupanzel story to her grandpa. Loved her version with all the minute details.

We had a lovely week at my moms place..got to spend precious time with my sweethearts.

After returning from my moms place, father in law asked little miss..”Your mom would be missing your nani(maternal grandma) no?”
The prompt reply comes: “ why, ma hai na!” (Ma she is referring to her paternal grandma that is my mother in law ) J
We all were very happy and proud of her answer. She has started understanding relationships!

When little miss is upset with her grandma or grandpa, here comes her blackmail
“aap aisa karte na, me chali jaungi australia aapko chodke!” aww sweetu..cant stop laughing when she says that!

She is learning dance on “landon thumakda”
This is for the annual day in our society.
Missy loves to perform it for her grandparents after coming home.
Yesterday she made it a point to make her grandpa do the steps she was doing. MIL and I could not suppress out amusement. Fil would have barely danced in his entire life and now has to comply to little missys demands!

We went to watch a play the other day – ye dil abhi bhara nahi
Lovely pay casting reema laagu, vikram gokhale and jayant savarkar.
As soon as we got seated..here comes little missy’s question – Why are there all dadaji and dadi’s here?
Oops! We looked around and saw, yes there was more of mature crowd around. But then thankfully a family with mummy, papa, dada dadi and kiddo came in front and we showed here there are mummy papas and kids as well..and not just dada dadi’s here J what a observations!

Mummy’s little magic trick – Some itching in little ones eyes..yes too much of phone and ipad L. Mumma does her magic trick with a soft cloth and some warm breath..put on little ones eyes..feeels better J itching gone !

Little S loves to recite jana gana mana (Indian national anthem) anytime anywhere J

She loves to do her worksheets with me.

She knows her name spelling and is able to read it anywhere.

The other day i was watching some image on my phone and she said, thats my name! Bingo!

I have a name plate of hers with Saachi’s written on it. But now since she knows her spelling, she wanted to know why this name plate has two “S” where as her spelling has only one!
Good question!
I said the train nameplate belogs to saachi, that is why it says saachi’s
Difficult to convince her though.

FIL: saachi pray to god to give you a good mind
S: bhagwanji meri buddhi sudhar do..
FIL: saachi tell god to reduce your anger
S: no , not anger
ME: why saachi, anger is not a good thing, tell god to reduce it.
S: then he should reduce mummy’s anger too!
Me: oops
FIL: ye baat sahi boli hai
Me embarrassed..kids have so many reasons silently built up in their minds for the actions they do.
We do not realize but our behaviour greatly influences theirs.

FIL and MIL were having some discussion on a dustbin that MIL bought.
FIL was scolding mil , that it is not a good quality one, why she wastes money on cheap stuff.
Hubby returned from office at night
Little S reporting to him: Ma ne faltu ka dustbin layi hai . (grandma bought a useless dustbin)
Could not stop getting amused at her tone and her catching up the conversation and reporting it.

Mamma i have a secret, i will tell that to you in the morning..shhhh

We love playing hide and seek these days
Earlier when little miss used to hide and i used to call out her name..saying where are you..she would jump out from her hiding place and say..here i am!!
But now she is getting a hang of the game
She has decided a very nice hiding place in our home, which if someone is new, will be really bit difficult to find out!
She literally scared us out, when she chose a even better hiding place, not making any sound and staying still..stay safe sweet heart

Little S’s love for pigeons is not a secret. She loved to feed them in Sydney and the love is growing by the day here too in india.

We have a cleaner for our car in the society. He returned the car keys at night. MIL was hanging the key on the key stand, but my little one asked for it. She said this is not our key. I asked her to show me, and it really was not our key! It was a merc key! We would have not payed any attention had my daughter not pointed out that it is not our key. Children have such amazing observation, never thought she payed so much attention to the key.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Tomato chutney for idli and dosas

Chutney and dips have a special place in Indian cuisine, different types of chutneys are made to serve along with snacks and meals.
 When ever we make south Indian snacks we usually make coconut chutney, but tomato chutney is also a  popular tangy and easy accompaniment to serve with soft idlis and dosas. It is easy to make and stays well for a fortnight if kept refrigerated. The roasted lentils give a nice nutty flavour and texture to this tomato chutney.

Tomato,chopped -400 gms (4 medium)
Bengal gram/chana daal - 3 tbsp
White lentil/urad daal -1 tbsp
Red kashmiri chilies -2
Curry leaves -10
Turmeric /haldi - 1/3 tsp
Tamarind/imli ,dried - 1tsp (optional, i did not add it)
Salt - to taste
Asafoetida /hing- 1/4 tsp
Cooking oil -2 tsp
Grated Coconut -  tbsp
For Tempering:
Cooking oil -1 tsp
Mustard seeds/rai - 1/2 tsp
Whole red chilies -2
Curry leaves-6
Wash and chop tomatoes into small pieces. Heat oil in a pan and bengal gram and white lentil.Saute on low heat till they become golden in colour.Add dried red chilies and curry leaves and saute till chili gets a nice colour,but do not overcook otherwise the lentil may get burnt.Add turmeric, asafoetida, salt  and chopped tomatoes.Cook on medium flame till tomatoes become soft.Remove the mixture in a bowl and let it cool down completely.Add the tomato mixture, tamarind (if using), grated coconut in the mixer jar.Grind the mixture to make a smooth paste.Take out the chutney in a bowl.Heat oil in a small pan and add mustard seeds.When seeds start crackling add whole red chilies and few curry leaves and  add in the chutney. Mix and serve with dosa and idlis. Keep refrigerated the left over chutney.

Lets check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked today for BM# 58.

Muhamarra dip

I made this dip and asked my friends at office and home to taste. I told them this does not have onion, tomato, ginger or garlic. So guess what it is made up of. Yep they could not guess it but loved the taste. I enjoyed watching them tickle their brains. And since they loved it so much and asked me so many times, I did share my secret..hehe

I know it is not much of a secret in the food blogging world, it is fun to share none the less..

I was simple amazed by the lovely red colour of this dip! With few healthy ingredients you have a yummy dip ready in no time.  It tasted heavenly with a toasted bread. Do give this recipe a try if you have not already made it.

Muhammara is a red pepper and walnut dip which originated in Syria. It is one of the most popular dips in Middle Eastern Cuisine. This is a very simple dip and one just has to blend the ingredients to a paste.
1 big red bell pepper
1/2 onion
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup bread crumbs
Handful walnuts
1-4 tsp red chilly powder
1/4 tsp cuminseeds
Lemon juice
Salt to taste

Roast the bell pepper on slow fire till completely charred.
Let cool.
Scrape off the charred skin.
Wash the pepper and chop it roughly.
Blend the bread crumbs in a food processor, adding a little water and making a purée.
Sauté the onion till golden.
Now add these onions to the bread crumb puree .
Also add the walnuts, pepper,chilly powder, cuminseeds, lemon juice , salt and olive oil.
Blend it to a smooth paste adding olive oil as needed to get the right consistency.
Serve as a dip with pita, wedges, chips or as a spread over a toast. It can also be served as a sauce with kebabs.

Lets check out what my fellow marathoners have cooked today for BM# 58.

Friday, November 13, 2015

Namak Paare | Easy diwali snacks

Hope you had a good diwali! Sharing one of the very popular diwali snack. .namak paare..these munchies are so addictive and so easy to prepare! 
You got to try these if not already! 
These are excellent with tea or pickle or on their own too :)

Ingredients -
  • 3 Cup – APF(maida)
  • 1 cup - Wheat flour
  • 2 tsp – Carom Seeds
  • 3 Tbsps – Oil for kneading the dough
  • 2 tsp - crushed kasoori methi
  • to taste – Salt
  • Oil for frying
Method -

  1. In a large bowl mix flour, salt, kasoori methi & carom seeds.
  2. Add oil for knading mix gently. Now hold the flour in your fist, if it forms a loose clump, then the amount of oil is fine, if it doesn’t then add a bit more oil.
  3. Using water knead the dough. The dough should be slightly hard to touch. Wrap in a wet muslin cloth & keep it aside for 1/2 hour.
  4. Form big balls with the dough. Roll these balls using a rolling pin. Use a knife to cut square or rhombus shaped pieces.
  5. Heat oil in a big wok, fry these pastry till golden brown.
  6. Enjoy warm with tea or coffee or pickle. :) It will store well in air-tight container at room temp for several days.

Sending this to blogging marathon 58 hosted by Srivalli.

Pink Pound Cake

Like most girls, little miss loves everything pink! And then she wanted a pink cake! I thought of few options to make the cake pink—beetroot, strawberry..then thought why not add rooh afza to the batter and get lovely rose flavoured and aromatic cake..and yes it was pink too J

Any suggestions to get a lovely pink color for the cakes ?


Unsalted butter (at room temperature) - 1/2 cup 
Sifted Cake flour - 150 grams 
Milk at room temperature - 3 Tbsp
Granulated sugar - 150 grams ( 3/4 cup)
Pure Vanilla extract - 1 and 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Large eggs (at room temperature) - 2
Rooh afza - 2 tbsp
Preheat the oven to 350 F or 177 C and place the rack in the middle or center of the oven.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, rooh afza and the vanilla extract.
In another bowl add the flour, baking powder,sugar and salt and mix. you can use a hand mixer. Now add the butter and half of the egg mixture and mix at low speed just until the flour is moistened.
 If you are using hand mixer, you might want to do it a bit longer. This will help to aerate the cake batter and to develop the cake structure. Scrape down the batter and add the remaining egg mixture in 2 additions beating for about 30 seconds after each addition.
Scrape the batter in to the loaf pan which we kept ready earlier. 
Bake this cake for about 55 - 60 until the tooth pick when inserted comes out clean and the outer crust is golden brown. Keep an eye on the cake. At about 30 minutes, if you see that the outer crust of the cake is browning to too fast, here is what you do. Take an aluminium foil large enough to cover the open part of the loaf pan. Apply butter to it and cover the loaf pan with foil (butter side inside ).
When the cake is done, remove from the oven and let it cool for about 10 minutes. Transfer the cake to a lightly butter wire rack.
This cake can be frozen for up to 2 months or remains fresh in the fridge for about a week or so.


Sending this to blogging marathon 58 hosted by Srivalli.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Garlic and cilantro/fenugreek rolls | Bread baking

Baking is therapeutic, its like creating something magical! I baked these garlic cilantro fenugreek pull apart rolls for the first time for a birthday party. They came out excellent with the yummy filling.
It was loved by my friends and vanished in no time!


For the  dough

4  cups – All purpose flour  (Maida)
1 Tbsp Instant yeast
2 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 ½ cups warm water
2 Tbsp olive oil/butter

For the filling

Mix all the ingredients given below to prepare the filling.

2 Tbsp butter at room temperature
1 tsp mixed herbs – oregano,basil,rosemary and garlic powder
¼ tsp fresh ground pepper
¼ tsp salt
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp fine chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
Few sprigs of fresh fenugreek leaves.. You can use kasoori methi if fresh not available
Prove the yeast – add the sugar to 1/2 cup of warm water. Mix well. The water has to be just the right temperature- not too hot because that will kill the yeast not too cool because the yeast won’t prove. Drop some on the back of your wrist and it should feel warm there. Add the yeast and rest covered for 10-15 minutes. The yeast should froth like soapy bubbles. If it doesn’t, throw the mix and start afresh. Proper proving of the yeast is vital to good bread!
In a big bowl, take the flour and salt. Mix.
Once the yeast has bloomed, add it to the flour and knead the dough with the remaining 1 cup of water. It will be sticky and it is meant to be like that.
Add the Olive oil/butter and knead for another 10-12 minutes.
Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover with cling film, or a kitchen towel and rest for 11/2 to 2 hours. The dough should double up. The time actually depends on the weather conditions-if very hot, it doubles sooner than the 1 ½ hours. This is the first prove.
Remove from the bowl once the dough is doubled and gently knock out the air. Here I split the dough into two. I used one half to make the pull apart rolls and the other half for a square focaccia and 6 mini burger buns.
Roll it out into a  big square or circle as desired of about one inch thickness . Spread the filling generously.
Roll the circle/square to make a cylinder.
Cut into equal pieces using a pizza-cutter or a knife.
Place the cut cylinders into a well greased baking pan.
Cover and let it rise for about 45 minutes (till doubled)
When there are 20 minutes to go, pre-heat the oven at 200C.
Brush gently with milk and bake  at 180C for 20-25 minutes till golden brown
Serve fresh out of the oven.

The pull aparts are great on their own or can be served for any of the meals :).
Happy Diwali! !

Sending this to blogging marathon 58 hosted by Srivalli.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM#58

Monday, November 9, 2015

Kids rangoli

Wishing you a very happy diwali dear friends.  Today is the first day of this 5 day celebration called as dhanteras or dhantrayodashi..today the goddess of wealth is worshiped.

The above is a lovely rangoli prepared by my 11 year old niece.  Isn't it pretty :)

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Madhubani painting

 Madhubani is a district of North Bihar, a place where art and crafts have reached its stage of excellence. This part of the country is renowned for wall paintings,floor paintings, canvas painting and decorative crafts like wooden toys, Pottery toys and papier-mache products. Madhubani painting is an emblematic expression of day-to-day experiences and beliefs. As such, symbolism, simplicity and beauty hold them together in a single school of traditional art. The symbols that these Maithili painters use have their specific meanings as,for instance, fish symbolize fertility, procreation and good luck, peacocks are associated with romantic love and religion, and serpents are the divine protectors. Characterized by vibrant use of colour, underlying symbolism and traditional geometric patterns supporting the main theme, the Indian folk art form of Madhubani succeeded in creating a place for itself in the international house of fame and is
now recognized worldwide. Thematically, Madhubani paintings are mostly based on religion and mythology. (source google)

I have always been enchanted by this art and wanted to give it a try. I found lovely inspiration in google and pinterest and tips and tutorials shared by crazy lassi really helped.

Some of the pictures while making this:

Do let me know how you liked my humble attempt. Thanks for stopping by.

Sending this tohttp://www.creativejewishmom.com/2015/10/w-1.html

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Pottery | Handmade diya for Diwali | Clay diya for Diwali

Handmade pottery diya - clay diya for diwali

Hi Friends

Sharing a lovely work by little miss and me. Yes it is our pottery attempt last year for Diwali. Do you rememebr our earlier pottery attempt? You can check it here. I confess it did not get easier at second attempt! This is no easy task :) Miss S and me made this clay pot.Loved it to the core.Then when it got fully dry,gave it two coats of acrylic red color and later I made the rural design with yellow paint.We used a wax candle inside this to get the lovely aura.Do let me know how you liked our handmade diya.Thanks for stopping by.


 Before painting.
Handmade pottery diya - clay diya for diwali

Sending this to 


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Ma Durga Rangoli

Isn't this gorgeous!  Could not stop myself from sharing this.  It is a rangoli for the ongoing navratri festival , made by  one of my neighbors. 

Monday, October 12, 2015

You are wonderful in every way!

Hi friends. .sharing with you a card I made for the hop to stop. It is a blog hop for the cause to stop domestic violence. 
So many people silently suffer from domestic violence day in and out.  Sometimes they do not have an option to escape. .other times they just need a little push..motivation to change things and be free. Through my card..just want to assure then that they do not deserve any of the violence that they are subject to. .They are wonderful in every way. .and only they can change the situation they are in...hope to Kindle their souls so that they have the courage to start a new leaf of life. 
I created this beautiful quilled humming bird for the family frame of mine. But then the bird was looking too big in it..hence decided to use it in some other project.  Little miss totally loves birds..and I have to make sure there is pink and purple color in the bird ;)

Sending this to











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