Monday, December 14, 2009

Zhunka bhaakar

This weekend, the family braved the Delhi-Gurgaon traffic to visit Dilli haat after a long time. I was keen to check out the week long Crafts fair, and reckoned it would be a nice day out for the kids as well. Little did I know!

DH started grumbling midway about the traffic and the commute and about the 'non-neccessity' of driving to Delhi for anything. And when we saw half of Delhi parked outside the Dilli haat and the other half jostling for parking space, a 'high' truck stuck in front of a low gate with cars bumper to bumper behind it and no way to go forward, it didn't seem like a good idea for a 'nice day out' anymore...

Of course the no. of cars was only an indication of the crowd to be expected inside. The haat grounds seemed bursting at the seams with people, stalls and stuff. So, it was nothing less than a miracle that we found a table near the Maharashtrian food plaza( it was unanimously agreed to fuel in first before tackling the crafts stalls).

Between the 5 of us adults, Manoj's cousin Charu also joined us for the weekend, we ordered a variety of items - vada paav, misal paav, shreekhand poorie, paav bhaji, sabudana vada, pooran poli and Zhunka bhakar (my choice), and let me tell you each one of them was good. Especially the Zhunka bhaakar. I thoroughly enjoyed the platter - the zhunka which is roasted chick pea floor with a tadka, raita, bajra rotis, the baigan sabzi and the spicy gunpowder and mint chutneys. And the pooran polis! the sweet chapatis were so yum... melt-in-the-mouth soft with jaggery inside, Renee and Robin relished them and so did we ;-) So much so that a second round of this sweet bread was ordered. The sabudana vadas were crisp on the edges and soft with potatoes in the centre. Though I didn't try the various paav combinations, I'm told they were also equally good. And so was the Shrikhand Aloo sabzi and Poorie platter. All in All, a very satisfying meal. One that saved the trip from being written off and one that I'd go for again. ( oh by the way, we did get some rustic wooden toys and woollen shoes for the kids, and a nice durrie in muted green and blue for the study)

Hmm, it occurs to me that I can have Zhunka on a 'besan day', adding more veggies to it than just a spartan tadka of mustard seeds and red chillies. Wot say? Any ideas?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Too much Cake...

Ever given a thought to where and how would you like to die, if given a choice? I have. (just now)

On the dining table, after I've finished a self-made cake. Yes, not just a slice of it, but the majority of it. DEMOLISHED...single handedly.

Why do these feelings of guilt and sickness crowd in when the deed's done?? Either strike before so the deed may NOT be done at all, Or let me enjoy all the cake I've had!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Spinach soup

Mum used to prepare this spinach soup when I and Nidhi were in college and at 'home'.

So when Nidhi sent across some fresh, tender spinach leaves from her kitchen garden, I was tempted to make soup out of them. (wrong day for palak (spinach) pakoras...)
We had this soup with the Moong dal Salad I'd prepared for the main course, and it was a hearty 'green' meal!

Ingredients (for 2):

1 tsp Butter
1 small Onion - chopped fine
1 small Potato - cubed (optional)
2 cups Water
2 cups Spinach leaves
Salt, Pepper, Garam masala according to taste
2 cups Milk (heated) / Cream
Cheese cubes (optional)
Parsley to garnish


-> In a heavy bottom saucepan, heat up the butter and stir in chopped onions and cubed potatoes if using. (By the way, the potatoes add a 'french' touch to the soup which I myself had avoided for diet purposes.) Stir and let cook until the onion's translucent.

-> Add water and again let cook.

-> In the meantime, wash the spinach leaves and roughly chop them if they are large and full grown. Add them to the saucepan.

-> Add Salt and Pepper to taste. And a pinch of garam masala. We don't really want anyone to know its there!

Cook for about 10-15 minutes, or until the potatoes are done, and the spinach nicely wilted.

-> Let the soup cool to room temperature. And then blend it. It'll be a dark green creamy puree at this stage. (Also, at this stage you could refrigerate it for use later).

-> Reheat the soup, and spoon it into bowls, and then stir in the milk / cream. This lightens the colour as well as the flavour of the soup. Hence you need to go slow with the pouring. Keep a spoon handy to taste the soup in between.. Adjust the salt & pepper if required.

-> Stir in cubes of your favourite cheese and garnish with parsley.


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Monday, November 16, 2009

Recipe on Request

Hi Anu, this is for you :-)

Fresh shelled pea soup (for 2)

1 tbsp oil
1 medium sized Onion
1 fat clove of garlic
1/2 inch ginger
1 cup green peas
3 cups water
Salt, Pepper to taste
Spinach leaves (Optional)
Coriander (Optional)

croutons (fried bread cubes)
Crisp bacon pieces (optional)


- Heat oil in a heavy based pan / pressure cooker
- Add in the crushed garlic clove, and the ginger. saute until golden and fragrant
- Add in the chopped onion. Saute until translucent.
- Add the peas, spinach, coriander etc and give it a good stir
- Add water after a minute or two
- Add in salt and pepper according to taste

Let cook over slow fire (without the whistle if cooking in a pressure cooker) for about 40 minutes atleast. Blend / Liquidise well.

Serve in warmed soup bowls with a swirl of cream and some croutons. You can also add some crispy bacon bits for that extra dash.

you'll know the soup's turned out right if its creamy ( and not runny) and the predominant flavor is the natural sweetness of peas.

Its the season for soups :-) Enjoy!
Planning to eat, and then EATING! is so important for eating right. Yesterday's 'Non-Veg plan' went horribly wrong for the very reason that I had no plan what I was going to eat, and then was too busy to eat timely during the day. As a result dinner time turned out to be 'hog time' :-(

I really wonder at those who starve themselves, go fewer meals in the name of dieting/ weight loss. Its NOT normal and doesn't help. Certainly not for me!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Fresh shelled pea soup

We are a predominantly 'Butter chicken & Tomato soup' family. So, when I thought of trying out the new (for us) green pea soup, it was with a bit of trepidition. How would the family like it? How would I like it??

Anyways, went ahead with collecting the ingredients & throwing them together in the saucepan to sweat it out. 20 minutes later there was an appetising aroma wafting out of the kitchen. Encouraged, I proceeded to blend the soup together and served it with a dash of cream and croutons.

Mmmm, the bowls looked lovely. And the soup was delicious! Apparently, the 'different' green didn't deter DH from enjoying his soup as he finished up his portion in record time :-)

Next time I'm going to add some crispy bacon along with the croutons to garnish.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Had a miserable day today...How is it that we manage to beat ourselves up about small little things once in a while..things that we'd otherwise laugh/shrug off?...must be the lack of sleep 3 days in a row..
Well, managed to burn Robin's dinner also sure way to gauge the state of my mind is when I forget to add love in the food I cook. It shows!

Anyways, its been a rubbish week all together...what with a 3 kg fluctuation right at the beginning of the week ( I mean 3 kgs?! I didn't eat so much on the weekend...)Wasn't until Shubhda explained to me today the dynamics of bloating and too much carbs on a 'dieting' body, that I made peace with myself.

Friday, October 23, 2009

I did the difficult 'Egg plan' today. And went through everything from 'this is good for me' to 'why am I doing this??' to the 'martyr' phase...
Don't know how will tomorrow's 'detox' turn out. I've been known to default on the detox plan as sure as the sun rises every time. Will tomorrow be different? Will I be able to hold out against the mithai when it beckons seductively " Pick me up! I'm all that you need to have right NOW!"

Oh By the way, today Darling Hubby (DH hereafter) commented that not only am I looking slimmer these days, I look young too!, radiating good health. WOW!