They Wanted Vada Pav For Comfort .. Here’s What I Gave Them

Dear reader, isn’t it fascinating how we carry our childhood memories of specific comfort food!  Speaking one’s mother tongue, serving someone their comfort food must be two definite ways of taking friendship to the next level with people.

But sometimes, people tend to develop unexplained deep liking for something they’ve only just seen or experienced. So much so that it baffles the person feeling it. I feel fortunate to see and meet people here who feel this way about India and Indian food.

“How did I live all these years without this?”, they said of vada pav 🙂

The genuine warmth of the chaat person serving it, the vibrant bustle of  Mumbai and it’s sweet everyday people – they were smitten by it all! And they wondered if I could make some … at 9 pm in the night!

At any time of the day (or night) I don’t deep fry stuff in my house ..  but didn’t have the heart to say it out loud to them. And I wasn’t going to relax this small but absolutely critical rule I’ve made for myself about 8-9 years ago.

So here’s what I came up with. And DELIGHTED report it was a huge hit.

I don’t have pictures the final of the final product, as it got eaten up right away .. but you’ll definitely get the point – so here we go!

Step 1 – Warm a lavash bread on the tava

 

Step 2 – Place the alu sabji and garlic chutney as seen in the picture

 

Step 3 – Roll it tightly as seen in the third picture

I’ve no pictures from this point onward –

Step 4 – Cut the roll into 1 inch rounds

Step 5 – Roast the alu exposed sides of the roll on the tava until it turns a crispy golden brown

Step 6 – Serve with green and red chutney, plus tomato ketchup or sauce

It comes very close to the real thing MINUS all the evil of oil and deep frying. And that, in my books is a huge PLUS!

You know lovely reader, food must feel good long after you’ve eaten it. Isn’t it? What’s the point in eating something if it’s going to make you feel guilty and miserable ten minutes after??

Well, that’s my yardstick for saying yes (or no!) to anything in life.

On that note, Jai ho to desi food  ❤️

Phir milenge!
g

Masala Vada Recipe That Turned Out To Be A Big Hit This Vijayadashami

Hi lovely reader,

Here’s a savory Amboday or Masala Vada recipe – sent well ahead of time for the upcoming Diwali!

All summer long we got to eat the sweetest corn this time .. it was so juicy and so delicious that it has totally turned me into a corn-snob for the first time.

So, as summer is slowly fading into fall season, the produce that is available is changing too. But the tongue has it’s own longings and it delighted upon seeing the corn on the cob at Costco.

But guess what, the corn-snob (yours truly!) felt it was tasteless. Like how they say of even a non-working clock reads time correctly twice a day, even this absolutely tasteless  corn inspired this creation of truly fantastic Amboday for this Vijayadashami.

So here goes –

Amboday:

Ingredients –

5-6 corn on the cob – steamed and stripped
1 med red onion – minced
1 handful of cilantro or mint – finely chopped
1/2″ fresh ginger, chopped
Oats – as required
1 or 2 green chilies – chopped fine – use only if you like heat

Procedure –

Put the stripped corn and ginger into a food processor with an s-blade and get a coarse mixture.

Take the mixture into a bowl and mix in onions and greens. I happened to have methi leaves on hand I loved using in this recipe. If you have used green chilies pl use a spatula.

Now, you’ll find the mix is way too moist on its own – so add in oats to bind the mixture, until you get a a dry enough mixture.

And put the mix in the refrigerator for 10-15 min.

Then scoop out 1/8 or 1/4 cupfuls and shape them like a Vada.

And bake them at 350 or 400 until they lift easily – then flip over and bake until they turn golden brown or crisp to your liking.

And enjoy!

A Zero-Guilt Laddoo You Can Make In 5 Minutes Or Less

Hi there my dear reader,

It’s been the busiest two weeks since I’ve last spoke with you .. but tests are over, assignments submitted and am on my way to getting better as a fragrance artist 🙂

Someone engaged me in a conversation over this .. I explained everything I knew in great detail from a nutrition standpoint, about which I’ve written here.

And after a lot of head-nodding and ” absolutely agreeing” they said they are going to go home and make paneer out of buffalo’s milk to use in recipes for the upcoming festivals.

Girija of 25 years ago would have cried rivers of frustration over this 😂 but Girija of 2019 just went and took a luxurious nap for 30 minutes!

Coaching, counselling and teaching are all activities focused on people that are open to receiving.

Even with self-directed and/or unassisted activities like reading, information that one is reading needs openness to be received.

And true learning always brings about a relatively lasting change in behavior. It needs practice for it become a habit though.

I see people with various levels of readiness to coaching and learning. But I work exclusively with those who are committed to objective self-assessment. These people are my tribe.

So, I wanted to help my tribe with a delectable yet easy sweet recipe for the upcoming festivals. And I came up with this Oats Laddoo for you.

 

Here’s how to make these delicious Oats Laddoo-s  

Ingredients:

Oats – regular old fashioned – 1.5 cups
Almonds – handful
Medjool Dates – 10-14, depending on how sweet you want it
Cardamom Powder – 1 tsp

Place the dates in a cup of water.

Put the oats in a food processor and powder it.

Then add the almonds into the processor, powdering it and mixing it with powdered oats.

By this time, the dates would have softened. So, drop the dates in to the processor – you may chop them if you want to be kind to your machine – and turn the mixture to look like moist bread crumbs. Somewhat like this –

 

At this point, take some of this mixture and clump it to form a lump. It must hold the shape well. If you find it kinda powdery, add a couple more dates and process it again.

Add the cardamom powder and process one final time.

Then take 1 tbsp amounts of this mixture and form them into laddoo-s.

There you have it, my friend! A Laddoo that’s actually healthy for you.

Sssshhh … don’t tell anyone it came together in 5 minutes!

Enjoy prepping for the festivities, talk soon!

Love,
g

This Is How To Make Mushroom Pulao With 1/4 tsp Oil

That was just me being very generous there and saying 1/4 tsp, lovely reader .. hehehe

So, last week when I sent you that recipe for chia pudding a handful of  my adorable peeps wrote back asking,

“savories??”

Of course, savories ke bina kya jina? Hai na!?

I had made this Mushroom Pulao that’s a crowd pleaser, husband-pleaser and me-pleaser too!

So, here you go my dear friend – make this mushroom pulao and tell me what you think! It is sooo good that my landlady followed her nose, came in and exclaimed ‘ooooh what is that!’

Mushroom Pulao:

Ingredients –

cloves – 4
cinnamon – 1/2 inch
oil – none to max 1/4 teaspoon (use a measuring spoon – am watching!😂 )
Onion – 1 medium, sliced
Mushrooms – 400 gm, sliced
Green peas – 1 cup
Pumpkin seeds – 1/4 cup
Tomato – 1 small
Ginger – 1/2 inch or less
Garlic – 1-2 pods
Kitchen King Masala – 1 tbsp
Rice – 2 cup, uncooked
Salt to taste

Method –

Cook the rice as you’d cook for rice dishes such as this – no oil or salt or spice required at this point. Allow the rice to cool and have it ready before the next steps.

Put a pan on heat and put no more than 1/4 teaspoon of oil in to the hot pan.

Add the cloves and cinnamon, and add the onions after 30 seconds and mix.

While the onions are getting done, place the ginger, garlic, tomato, pumpkin seeds and masala in a blender and blend it using little to no water.

By now, the onions would have turned translucent – add the sliced mushrooms and peas. Mix everything and cover with a lid.

Once the mushrooms and peas look done, add the blended paste and mix. Add salt to taste and turn the heat off.

Gently add in the rice and give it a mix.

At this point, I usually taste-check and if salt tends to be on the lower side, I love to add a vinegar-jalapeno sauce to round it off.

Mushroom Pulao is now ready to serve! Find the prettiest platter there is and present your pulao with a slice of tomato on the side and some finely chopped green onions sprinkled on the top.

Here’s a pic of my fav vinegar-jalapeno sauce. I’ve no pictures of my mushroom pulao of last week 🙁 but you’re welcome to show me yours when you make it!

 

A Sweet I Made In Celebration Today

Hi there lovely reader,

Today morning I received some sweet news that I’d been waiting for. A creative piece of work I had submitted for evaluation came through successfully. From that moment on, my heart and taste buds were chasing after me to pin me down for a ‘treat’ 😂

Oh dear, these patterns go really deep, don’t they! I was observing myself fighting the impulses, and I was beginning to feel weak as I inched towards giving in. I decided action is the best strategy to calm myself down. And see what I made!

 

 

 

Chia Pudding

It took me all of f-i-v-e minutes and tastes ah-mazing! Here’s the recipe in case I’ve tempted you enough.

Chia seeds – 2 tbsp
Any nut milk – 100 ml
Vanilla essence – 2 drops
Ripe Banana, sliced – 1 (or more if you like it sweeter)
Raisins – 2 tbsp
Pumpkin seeds – 2 tbsp

Place the ingredients mentioned in the very order that I’ve mentioned them. Then place the container in the refrigerator to chill. Leave it for at least 3-4 hours. The chia seeds will absorb the milk and the dish will develop a pudding like consistency. Serve it chilled.

This is a recipe you totally customize and make it your own. Let me know what you make of it. I love new ideas!

Until next week,
much love from g

Wise Counsel I Got Today

“You must be far more concerned about your current approach than about your current result”

I have a mentor .. someone who gives me precious feedback on biz and personal things. And this is what they had to say to me today.

The context was to say how everyday efforts come off as almost meaningless and too trivial. And because of that, I’ve been under the wrong impression that it won’t matter so much. What hell will break loose if I skip my salad just for a day? kinda thinking. Like you may have also, many times. Right?

That is, until they gave me this feedback. The way they said it, the situation .. I don’t know what it was. But it got me today!

We all tend to worry way more about results than about our approach to things generally .. that’s why I shared that wisdom with you, my lovely reader.

I’ll keep this email v v short – have a fun recipe for you here and here.

I’ve a recipe for a sweet variation just for you, my lovely reader of this blog post. Here’s what I did – took a 1/2 cup of boiled chickpeas, 4 soaked dates, 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder – processed it in the food processor. It made for a delightful chocolate hummus, which I used as a sweet filling in the roll.

Hope you’ll try making this!

Love,
g

 

 

Another Recipe .. This Time A Sweet One!

Last couple of weeks have seen me hosting guests at home, somewhat more than usual. I really enjoy connecting with the people, listening to the stories of their lives and showing them around. And of course,  cooking and sharing food with them.

But you know what, things could have slipped out of control had we eaten out that many times with each guest. Restaurants only care to keep us craving for their food. And so, they make it really stimulating! Oozing with grease and dripping with sugar.

And I made a lovely kheer using the humble sweet potato – and no grease or sugar! Just one failing in all this – I’ve no pictures to show you my dear reader, except for one very blah one! So, am not showing it. Because, I was running around and serving my guests it did not occur to me until it was all over.

This kheer recipe involves 3-4 steps and as many ingredients too.  So here we go!

Ingredients:

a. Sweet potatoes:  2-3  – I used orange ones one time and used purple ones two other times.

b. Fruit to sweeten your kheer – I used banana with the orange sweet potato, and used dates with the purple ones. You may use any dry fruit of your choice, like raisins or figs. But be sure to soak them in water to soften them. Also, know that dry fruit are more caloric than if you used fresh fruit like banana or apple or mango. The quantity of fruit depends on how sweet you want your kheer.

c. Nut milk to blend and adjust the consistency.

d. Spices to elevate the taste. I used saffron and cardamom in the orange sweet potato kheer. And used just cardamom with the purple ones.

Procedure:

1. Take sweet potatoes, wash well and make a few nicks using a knife.
2. Place them in a baking tray and bake them in the oven at 350 F for about 30 – 45 mins until soft.
3. Peel the skin and process it in a food processor along with fruit of your choice and nut milk, until it reaches a kheer consistency.
4. Serve it chilled or hot, as preferred.

Notes:

Baking or roasting the potatoes caramelizes them and sweeten them further. If you are using the bananas, you may caramelize them too on a non stick pan on the stove.

And! Be sure to nick those potatoes – or they will burst open inside the oven and it can get very messy.

Play around with spices – try others that may appeal to you.

I share this recipe with you to show how very elegant and delectable dishes can be made totally healthy. It’s truly possible to eat tasty food that is great for your body. Hope you’ll make this sometime .. and let me know when you do!

Until next time,
g