Sunday, April 14, 2013


I have always loved this time of the year. During school days, either exams just got over or about to get over. So plans would be made with friends for vacation hangout. By this time, parents also would have finalized summer trip. After coming to US, this time offers the most pleasant climate of the year. Finally we bid adieu to heavy winter jackets. Warm crisp air entices to indulge into outdoor activities. 

But prime reason to feel so special about this time is the most important duo in my life celebrate their special days. My dad's birthday and parents' anniversary are just a day apart. So one day mom would make special feast and other day we would dine out. Mom mostly has made Shrikhand on this day as long as I remember. I am talking about the time where Shrikhnad would be bought occasionally only for special days. So making it home was definitely like going an extra mile. Mom would load it with dry fruits and it would be savored for next few days. 

I am not a big fan of Shrikhand, but K loves it so I thought at least I should start making it for him. And time could not be better. Considering first time venture I used Greek Yogurt. It is thick and creamy so no need to strain it. K was a bit skeptical in the beginning but after tasting it, he compared it with Amul Shrikhand of India :).

Happy Birthday Dad and Happy Anniversary to the most Wonderful Parents!

Serves 4
Preparation Time: 10 Minute + Chilling time
Cooking Time: Nil

2 cup Greek Yogurt
1 Cup Confectioner's sugar
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
12-15 strands of saffron
2-3 tsp warm milk
2 tbsp pistachio, roughly chopped

1. Mix saffron in warm milk and keep it aside
2. Mix yogurt and sugar, whisk thoroughly
3. Add cardamom, saffron and pistachio
4. Chill it for at least couple of hours before serving

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Veggie Stew with Beans

Being a stay-home mom, I face different dilemma on Sunday evenings. After spending Saturday and most of the Sunday on cooking, cleaning, grocery, outing and entertaining guests, I want my weekend to end in a healthy and tasty way. But neither I want to go out nor use leftovers or frozen food. And cooking a complete menu is entirely out of question. So I always look for simple options like Bhel, Fada Khichdi etc. These dishes are filling and serve as a complete meal i.e they have got veggies, protein and carbs. 

On a cold and dreary Sunday evening, this steaming hot stew is to die for. Whenever we hear about Stew, we think about beef in background of vegetables. But as I do not eat beef, I do not want to be left out. So I have created my own version of stew where I have used tomato and broccoli puree in background.   Have it all by itself or pair it with your favorite bread, this cheesy-chunky stew is definitely a great addition to your list. When I am in a mood of extensive cooking, I make this stew with Dhebra/Thepla or Paratha.

Serves 4
Preparation Time: 30 Minute + soaking time
Cooking Time: 45 Minute

1 cup veggies of your choice, finely diced (I used onion, zucchini, green and orange Peppers, carrot, corn, scallion)
1/2 cup rajma/ beans
1/4 cup small pasta
4 medium tomatoes
2-3 florets of broccoli
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp butter
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper
Parsley and fresh cream for garnishing (optional)

1. Soak rajma for 6-8 hours and pressure cook them
2. Pressure cook/ boil tomato and broccoli. Pulse them into puree (You can strain them if you want)
3. Heat oil in a pan, add garlic and saute it for 2-3 minute
4. Add veggies, add salt and cook them covered stirring occasionally

5. When they are half cooked, add tomato puree, beans and pasta. Add water as required

6. Cook it uncovered till pasta are tender
7. Add butter and turn off the heat
8. Add cream, cheese and garnish with parsley