Friday, 31 December 2010

Alvida 2010..Namaste 2011..Goodbye 2010...welcome 2011 !

Our memories of yesterday will last a lifetime. We'll take the best, forget the rest and someday we'll find these are the best of times......  Good Bye  2010 !

Welcome 2011 !




The New year is upon us
Bringing hope and anticipation
And if in our faith we trust
There is cause for celebration
May all your dreams come true
Whatever that dream maybe
May good health always follow you
And bring blessing to your family
May you build memories to treasure
May your wishes granted as well
May this year bring you pleasure
And leave you with great stories to tell
May you find happiness in your heart
May you find Joy and never be sad
May your resolutions give you a new start
And this be the best year you ever had

Wish you all very Joyful, blissful and peaceful 2011.....

Please do watch this ......

 



See you all in a New Year.....with a Smile on your face:)











Thursday, 30 December 2010

Celebrating togetherness of 20 years with Gajar Halwa - Carrot Pudding !



It's so"There are three things that amaze me,


no, four things that I don't understand:

how an eagle glides through the sky,

how a snake slithers on a rock,

how a ship navigates the ocean,

how a man loves a woman."


 "Love is one long sweet dream, and marriage is the alarm clock".
 
 
Really????????????????....let me ask Raj..;)....
Me:- Raj........I want to ask you something...Love is one long sweet dream, and marriage is the alarm clock...? what is your take on it?

Raj:-I don't mind calling our marriage an alarm clock, as long as the time on the alarm clock is not set....;)we got married so many years ago,but it feels like yesterday.... you have more power over me than the state has.I love being married with you, Enjoying every second of it..  It's so great to find that one special person you want to annoy for the rest of your life....

Me:- That's enough Raj.........I am going in the kitchen to cook Halwa..so I can shut your mouth;)



Hey Friends
Today me and my husband Raj are celebrating our 20th wedding anniversary...Years past by so quickly and doesn't seem like it's been twenty years...! It has been a joyous journey for both of us..and one would wish great journey to continue.........................................
On this happy occasion I made GAJAR KA HALWA...me and raj are huge fan of this delicacy and it was my Mum's too.....actually in our wedding Gajar Halwa was on the menu...and this great dish I learnt it from my late beloved Mum...Mostly in winter she used to make and I used to watch her...and before our wedding she used to ask me to make it...I remember I made this dish at least 20 times that winter before I got married on 30th December.....Gajar Halwa last sweet dish that my mum ate made by myself in India 20 yrs ago.... Love you mama.............



Gajar Halwa is one of the most popular traditional Indian dessert in Indian households , very rich,creamy, tasty with the goodness of milk, nuts and natural sweetness of carrots..very easy to prepare. You can make on any festival or happy occasion... 



You will need:-
  • 2 cups carrots scrapped and grated
    2 cups milk (any)
  • 1 cup grated Khoya or Full fat milk powder
  • 3/4 cup Sugar
  • 2-3 tbsp Ghee
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cardamom powder
  • 4-5 tablespoons Pistachio and Almonds nuts, and cashew nuts
Method:-
In a heavy bottom pan add grated carrots and milk. Bring it to boil and cook over medium heat until all the milk gets dried up. Stir the mixture occasionally to prevent any sticking.Add Sugar and Cardamom powder and continuously stir for 5-7 minutes. Now add ghee and khoya .Stir well and fry on low heat until ghee starts separating. Remove from heat. Garnish with dry fruit and serve hot or cold..enjoy as much as me and Raj did..!

Monday, 27 December 2010

Roasted Tomato and Basil Soup !

I don't know about you guys, do you feel the same as me or not ,but this year awful freezing weather is making me depress and fearful...four of us were down with cold, cough and sore throat...So past few days I did not cook a proper meal..we were surviving on ready meals or take away...
Today I am feeling little better so I thought I'll check out fridge if there is anything in there to cook...Surprise I found big pack of tomatoes....checked expiry date, luckily date was till 28th of December...I thought I better use them quickly...and first thought came in my mind something hot and spicy...and when there is a tomato , you obviously think of SOUP....so I asked kids and hubby if they want are interested in my choice....and we had a four yesssss ! very easy and tasty soup was ready in 40-45 minutes...let's see how I made it...

You will need:-
  • 1 pack of tomatoes ( 750 grams) halved
  • 2 medium red onions
  • 1 small carrot diced
  • 1/2 red pepper diced
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • 500 ml hot vegetable stock ( I used vegetable stock cube )
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • handful of torn basil
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • salt to taste
  • black pepper powder
Method:-
Preheat the oven to gas mark 6-7. Place the tomatoes, onion, pepper,carrot and garlic in a roasting tin. Drizzle with olive oil and toss to coat. Season, then roast for 30-35 minutes, or until softened.Transfer the roasted vegetables to a saucepan and add the stock, basil and sugar. Bring to the boil, remove from the heat and liquidise with a hand blender or food processor.  Serve hot with any type of bread or croutons. Enjoy as much we did !!!!!

Sunday, 26 December 2010

One More Joyful Moment- Lights, Camera, Cook !!!!!!!!

Started helping my mum in cooking at age of 8-9, and I took that intrest very seriously...past 30 yrs I been cooking and always most of the times ;)getting good feedback from my family and friends...from this, I started a cooking blog which took me to completely new heights in cooking...my confidence in cooking grew and grew and i knew that i was ready to take on a completely new challenge..yes my friends, it gives me great pleasure to tell you about a fantastic opportunity that came knocking at my door... I appeared in a national Asian TV station.  Just a week or two ago, my kitchen was turned into studio set and i recorded two cookery programs (Aap ki Kitchen mein) for Sunrise TV on 13th of December... and one program aired yesterday morning 25th December as the Christmas Special. the second program will air soon...
As soon as the program is uploaded onto youtube, I will share the link with you guys...
I have to thank you guys for this because without your amazing comments and support I would not have had the confidence to go on TV...
and ofcourse my family too, have given me immense support as well to do this show...

Please read this post too
http://joyofcooking247.blogspot.com/2010/12/awards-and-answering-tag-questionsomg.html

Awards and answering Tag questions...OMG HARD JOB ;)

Recently I have been tagged with a questionnaire by my few fellow bloggers...and they are
madhra manoj - she tagged me
 Sayali - Shared One lovely blog award with me
 Rupali -she tagged me in Questions & Answers

 Quay Po Cooks shared  Stylish Blogger Award with me

I would like to say a very big thank you to all the girls...it's an honour to me receive so many awards..They all have a wonderful blogs...Please do visit their blog to see  mouthwatering recipes..

Quay Po Cooks .....Thanks a lot for sharing Stylish award with me...She left a very kind comment on my blog...I'm touched !

"one of the rules is to pass on to other bloggers whom I think are fantastic and you are one of them in my list. Thanks again for sharing with us all the wonderful stories and recipes. HUGS! "

To claim this award, I have to do the following three things:


1. Thank the person who awarded me.

2. Share 7 things about myself.

3. Pass the Award on to blogger I think are fantastic.






Let's look at the 7 things about me;)
  1. Short-temper girl....trying really hard not to get angry at people......but have regrets afterwords..
  2. I do remember peoples words spoken by even 10 yrs ago...
  3. Not a good writer...but very good reader...
  4. Love to travel...want to see whole world in this life...
  5. Like to watch those movies which portrays positive message in our community...
  6. I always like to keep myself fit and healthy...
  7. Great believer in Quality of life not Quantity of life...
Sharing this Stylish award with
Mia
Smitha
Jisha



Tagged by Rupali.......Questions and Answers :)


Here are the tag questions ....
 
1. Are you a vegetarian, or have you thought about being one?
I am a pure vegetarian...don't use eggs or fish in my cooking..although they do count as  vegetarian..whenever I buy any product I always check the labels first.



2. Who inspired you to cook or bake?
Hmmmmmmmm...tough question to answer...I've seen most of the bloggers answer this question by saying that they are inspired by their mums or relatives..in my case I will answer this question little different...since young age I wanted to learn to cook..I built that passion on my own..as I am a foodie;)..My mum was a working Mum...she never had a passion for cooking..she had so many other qualities in her ..which I adore...that doesn't mean that she wasn't making good food..whatever she was making I always loved it..

3. How do you celebrate Christmas?...or a favorite holiday of your choice?
In India we never celebrated Christmas..Past 19 yrs I celebrate Christmas with my family at home..we do decorate a Christmas tree, exchange gifts and cards with friends and families...watch so many great movies and Christmas programmes together...specially we love to watch " SNOWMAN "...movie on Christmas eve...Indulging in food..like Mince pies with custard..basically I love to spend time together with my loved ones...but same time I  love my" ME time " tooooooooooooooooooooooo;)

"Christmas as a child - Awesome! Christmas as an adult - Sweet! Christmas watching your child smile for days on end - Priceless!"

having said that this year we didn't have a joyful Christmas..as we all were in a very bad health..so no one was in the mood to celebrate...My favourite holiday of my choice is to go somewhere where you can stay very near to nature...could be snowy mountains, sun and sea or lush Jungles or woodland where I can walk miles and miles with my I-pod...:)

4. Do you prefer to celebrate New Year's Eve with friends and/or family, or prefer to ring in the New Year quietly, and privately, at home?
I do love to celebrate New Year's eve with family and friends...at home or maybe a night club too...depends...



5. If someone were to ask you to bring dessert to a party, what would you bring? Store bought, or homemade, and if you were to make homemade, what would you make?

Depends on time...if I am informed well in advance I definitely love to make dessert at home..coz cooking is my passion and I would love to give people a homemade taste..having said that I need to know number of people sorry I can't cater for more than 15-20 people..;)...If I make dessert I would see the theme of the party and menu as well.....if they need Indian dessert or any other...love to make any type of Halwa,kala Jamun,fruit salad,Pannacotta, cheesecakes, shrikhand or bread and butter pudding...ohhhhh I am drooling guys;)


6. How will you celebrate your next birthday?
I always believed in Fate...I do not plan or build so many dreams...life is a unpredictable...but having said that I do enjoy and celebrate my birthday with my loved ones...and I love those mystery pressies from hubby and kids........I am hinting here hope they are reading this
...because my next birthday is going to be very important number..any guesses.......?;)

7. Do you have a New Year's resolution-and will you be sticking to it?
ha ha ha.........every year I do make resolution and break too........Guys resolutions are here to break..otherwise you can't make any resolutions can you?;)

Tagging 12 another bloggers ..please answer these same questions...:)

Priya of Enveetu Kitchen
Akila
Torview 
Madhvi
Mina Joshi
Priya of Mahro rajsthan's recipe
Sandhya
Kairali Sisiters
Sayanti
Deepa of hamaree Rasoi
Love to Cook
Kiran

Tagged by Madhra Manoj...
1. What is your take on organic food, is it a big deal for you?
Tell you the truth I am not fussed about organic food...as long as GM food is fresh, easily available and has lots of variety..who cares ?...
2. Do you time your breakfast, lunch & dinner or eat when you are hungry?

I do prefer give it a fix time and managing it quite well ...

3. What inspired you to write a food blog?
My passion of cooking started at a very early age...if I liked something I did not get hesitate to ask people for that recipe and would write it down in a notebook....I do make so many dishes...same time I like to try it out other's too.. last year this time I was going through a sad time (I lost my MUM).. just a thought came in my mind and I discussed it with my hubby and kids..they encouraged me and here I am with my own blog...Hoping my Grand Kids will visit my blog and learn something from here;)

4. You try a new recipe and it does not turn out good, what will you do?
I would leave it that time..but do try it out again soon

5. Name three ingredients you consciously avoid or eliminate even when the recipe calls for it?
Eggs, Meat ( I use veg option) and Mushroom

6. Name three things you have to use in most recipes?
Ginger, Garlic and Green Chillies 

7. How important is eating meals together as a family to you?
Very very important to have meals together as a family..However when kids were small they were making me angry with their fussy eating habits..but I never gave up and now they are ready to try anything..;)
8. You do not like a particular dish at your favorite restaurant, what will you do?
I never tell there and then..maybe after coming back home I would phone them or write them..UNLESS I SEE SOMETHING NASTY STUFF IN THE DISH...I would go maddddddddddd...

Tagging 8 bloggers and they are
Uma
Nivedita
Kitchen Queen
Subhi Arun
Panchpakwan
Ashkuku
Stefania

Once again Big thank you girls..please accept these awards and post them on your blog...


Friday, 24 December 2010

Ho Ho Ho...It's CHRISTMAS ! - Celebrate with SUGAR and BUTTER free Fruit and Nut cake !

" Oh! You better watch out,

You better not cry,

You better not pout,

I'm telling you why:

Santa Claus is coming to town!



He's making a list,

Checking it twice,

Gonna find out who's naughty or nice.

Santa Claus is coming to town!



He sees you when you're sleeping,

He knows when you're awake.

He knows if you've been bad or good,

So be good for goodness sake!



Oh! You better watch out,

You better not cry,

You better not pout,

I'm telling you why:

Santa Claus is coming to town!



Hey Guys....Hope you all are having wonderful time in this festive season with your loved ones...!


In normal circumstances Christmas is about indulging in rich sugary foods...but I thought this time I'll go for healthy option...instead of Butter I used oil also instead of sugar more dry fruit is used as an alternative...It will equally satisfy your cravings for rich and sugary food...



You will need:-
  • Any oil 30 ml
  • Milk 30-40 ml
  • 40 g rolled oats
  • 60g bread flour
  • 140 g plain flour
  • 150 g chopped dates, dried apricots, glazed cherries,dried cranberries
  • 20 g sultanas
  • 50 g chopped walnuts, almonds and hazelnuts
  • 2 small carrots shredded
  • 1/2 tsp five spices powder
  • 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
Method:-
I made this cake in my bread maker...! Reactions from my family were wow !!! "please make this a regular MUM :) !"

Sending this to Sara's Corner event Sugerless Sweets ..event started by Nivedita
also sending it to Cookies and cakes for XMAS evevnt by Dr Sameena Pratap

Curry Named Britain’s Favourite Boxing Day Dinner-BRUSSEL SPROUT BHAJJI and CHRISTMAS PUDDING NAAN !

I have been requested by the associates of the famou Indian Premium  Beer " COBRA " to publish on Joy of Cooking some fantastic CHRISTMAS LEFT OVER recipes..which they have provided to me..
"All of these recipes are designed as a perfect taste match for authentically Indian Cobra Beer and alcohol free Cobra...."...I request all my visitors to try out this dishes and give me feedback..


BRUSSELS SPROUT BHAJI


Makes 10 bhajis

This recipe adds a fiery twist to a classic Christmas vegetable. With the addition of a few extra vegetables and a spiced batter, you’ll soon be wishing you’d left more on your plate the day before.

INGREDIENTS


225g assorted leftover cold cooked vegetables

(for instance, Brussels sprouts, peas, beans, carrot

and parsnip)

112 g (8 oz) onion, chopped into fine 2.5 cm

(1 inch) strips

vegetable oil for deep-frying

FOR THE BATTER

125g gram flour

1 tablespoon mild curry powder

1 teaspoon garam masala

.5 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 or more green chilli, finely chopped (optional)

1 teaspoon dried fenugreek leaves (optional)

2 tablespoons fresh coriander leaves, chopped

1 dessert spoon uncooked yellow lentils (optional)

1 dessert spoon freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice

.5 teaspoon sugar

1 level teaspoon salt

METHOD

STEP 1:

Mix the batter ingredients together adding sufficient water to achieve a thickish paste which will drop sluggishly off the spoon. It must not be at all runny. Mix in the vegetables and raw onion, then leave to stand for at least 10 minutes, during which time the mixture will fully absorb the moisture.

STEP 2:

Meanwhile, heat the deep-frying oil to 190˙C/375˙F. This temperature is below smoking point and will cause a drop of batter to splutter a bit, then float more or less at once.


STEP 3:

Inspect the mixture. There must be no ‘powder’ left, and it must be well mixed. Scoop out a tenth of the mixture on a desert spoon and place it carefully in the oil. Place all ten portions in, but allow a few seconds between each one so the oil maintains its temperature.

STEP 4:

Fry for about 8 to 10 minutes each, turning once. Remove the bhajis from the oil in the order they went in, drain well and serve with lemon wedges and chutneys. Serve hot.
 
CHRISTMAS PUDDING NAAN

Please click here for this recipe...

Monday, 20 December 2010

Joy in the Snow Bollywood Style (for some)...with Mixed Vegetables Pakoda !

Once again UK is witnessing freezing weather ....Snow and icy conditions are bringing lots of problems...In London since Friday we are having heavy snowfall...Our central Heating working on Full speed...Thank God Kids started their CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY for 2 weeks...what about me..?...am I enjoying this weather...NO WAYYYYYYYYYYYYY....However yesterday in the morning I was looking out of the window..Snow was falling, my daughter went out to play in the snow..and Raj asked me if I can join her too..and suddenly in my mind came Yash Raj's so many movie songs which are shot in Snow...actresses with pastel colour chiffon sari's and hero's with big long boots with furry coat...I know it's happen only in Bollywood...;0) ...but I love that stuff..it's been always my dream to wear lemon yellow or Blue Sari in snow..and guess what ? I dared myself...I did put on blue sari and went outside in snow without any coats, scarf and gloves...I always wanted to have that experience in my life since I was young girl...and oh boy I enjoyed those few minutes (around 10-15 minutes)...actually..:)...I know you all are thinking was I mad to do that going outside in below zero temperature...ha ha ha...yes I was ! While we were outside few of our neighbours was amazed..they told me go and put some clothes on ;)..they find it odd why the hell this woman wants to put a sari in this weather...THEY DON'T KNOW THE SECRET DO THEY?....




After that fun in the snow we needed  hot and spicy food So I thought why not make some Mixed vegetable Pakoda and Masala Tea....I know deep fried Pakoda is not a good idea for my size zero figure ;)..but now and then it's ok in life..as long as you don't repeat these unwise habits...Then life goes very smooth for you.......:)...Let's look at the pakoda recipe...



You will need :-
  • 3 cups Gram Flour
  • 1 cup Rice flour
  • Oil for deep Frying
  • salt to taste
  • 2-3 tbsp Green chillies and ginger paste
  • Shredded Vegetables like : Cabbage, onion, Carrots, Spinach, methi Leaves, Potatoes and coriander
  • Chili Powder
  • Garam Masala
  • Asafoetida
  • Black pepper powder
  • Caraway seeds
  • Pinch baking soda
Method:-
Mix everything except oil . add little water (few spoons) and mix very well and leave it a side for at least about 40-45 minutes. Heat oil in a frying pan for frying on a medium-low heat ..Carefully dip batter in a oil tablespoon one by one. Fry them until golden brown and enjoy with Hot cup of tea or any type of chutney..

Enjoy as much as my family did...

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Gujarati Kadhi - Seasoned Yogurt and Gram Flour Soup ! Kem Cho?

Gujarati Kadhi is a popular dish, which is prepared with yogurt and besan. It is sweet, spicy and tangy, perfect with hot and steamy rice or khichdi.

Gujarati Kadhi, is a yogurt based creamy soup. Gujarati Kadhi is thinner than Punjabi kadhi, mildly spiced, sweet-sourness that is typical of Gujarati cooking.  This kadhi is great to eat with plain rice or khichdi.

Two-three weeks back we were invited by our family friend to a dinner and dance party, after 12 at midnight it turned into a night club ;). It was my friend's 50th birthday! We had a nice time there, met few other friends too. As usual, I always ended up in foodie conversation, and I mentioned my blog to them.

Gujarati Kadhi is a popular dish, which is prepared with yogurt and besan. It is sweet, spicy and tangy, perfect with hot and steamy rice or khichdi.


One of my friend Ranjanben mentioned to me that she likes particularly "KADHI" made by LOHANA GUJARATI, which I am. She asked me if I can make this recipe and post it on my blog for her. I did promise her that soon I'll make it and post it on my blog, so here I am with Gujarati Kadhi!

Gujarati Kadhi is one of my favourite dishes since I was little girl and appears frequently on our dining table, especially I love to pair this kadhi with Tuver-Gungo or Pigeon Pea Curry or Black Chick Pea Curry , hot steaming rice. Easily I could gulp down couple bowls of this. I find this combo so delicious and comforting!

Gujarati Kadhi is a popular dish, which is prepared with yogurt and besan. It is sweet, spicy and tangy, perfect with hot and steamy rice or khichdi


Note:-
In Gujarati Kadhi we do not add turmeric.
If you really want to experience an authentic taste of this kadhi then make vaghar with ghee.



print recipe

Gujarati Kadhi
Gujarati Kadhi, is a yogurt based soup. Gujarati Kadhi is thinner than Punjabi kadhi, mildly spiced, sweet-sourness that is typical of Gujarati cooking. This kadhi is great to eat with plain rice or khichdi.
Ingredients
  • 500ml Sour Yogurt-Curd-Dahi ( I used very low fat )
  • 2-3 tbsp Gram Flour ( Besan )
  • 2 tbsp crushed Green chillies and ginger
  • 1/4 cup jaggery or sugar
  • Few Curry leaves
  • Freshly chopped coriander
  • Salt to taste
  • For tempering-Vaghar
  • 2 tbsp Ghee
  • 1/2 Tsp Cumin seeds
  • 1 dry red whole chili
  • 2-3 cloves ( Laving )
  • 1 piece Cinnamon stick ( taj )
  • 1/4 Tsp methi seeds (optional)
  • pinch of Asafoetida (hing)
Instructions
Mix gram flour, yogurt and 3 or 3 1/4 cups of water....mix with the hand blender and make a very smooth paste. Add CG paste, curry leaves, jaggery, salt and put on a low flame and bring it to boil.please do not boil for a long time but to simmer it on a low heat for a lesser time.Meanwhile, prepare heat ghee and oil in another pan, add cumin seeds when they splutter add hing, cloves, Cinnamon stick. red chili and methi seeds.Fry for a few minutes and then pour over the kadhi. Boil for a few minutes more. Garnish with fresh Coriander leaves.Enjoy!
Details
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 6-8 servings








The entry goes to Priya's event Complete My Thali - Daal-kadhi-Sambhar-rasam started by me...

Friday, 3 December 2010

Sing Dana Chikki - Peanut Brittle ! Kem Cho ?


UK is covered in a white blanket....and Britain is frozen....Glitter Graphics | http://www.graphicsgrotto.com/ Brits are struggling in every corner...whole country comes to a standstill...people started panic buying...same time snow is causing distribution problems...Officially Britain can't cope with anything like this....mostly everyone is moaning except school children....So many schools are closed and kids are having fun Glitter Graphics | http://www.graphicsgrotto.com/including my kids too....when kids are at home... means mums are prisoners in the kitchen...however I love to be prisoner in the kitchen (my kids are Jailers ).....http://zaazu.comOK friends I think I'll stop here and let's see what I made while I was in Jail (kitchen)....made Peanut Brittle... A universally popular snack form the western part (Gujarat) of India, but made in a similar manner all over the country.... which is healthy for growing kids, and keeps you warm in winter months... for peanut benefits see here and Jaggery here ....


You will need :-
  • 1 cup raw peanuts
  • 11/2 cup Jaggery
  • 1 tbsp Ghee
Method :-
Roast peanuts in a non stick pan...Let it cool slightly..dehusk them.

 


Grind them in a grinder.


Heat ghee in heavy bottom pan, add Jaggery and make into a thick Syrup on a low heat.


Now add ground peanuts into syrup and mix well...switch of the heat..


After mixing well immediately spread to 1 centimeter (1/2 inch) thickness on a greased tray or thali.

Cut into squares when cool....Enjoy as much as my kids did....!

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