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31 October 2007

Stories after the silence & what plans for Diwali?

October has been a record low on Saffron Trail and I wanted to break the jinx. Initially it was the internet. The MTNL broadband connection is still down, but I have kind of gotten used to the Reliance data card. If the see the positive, it means, I'm always connected to the net even in the outdoors. And I've got used to the slower speed.

To add to the internet problem, both the hubby and me fell sick one after the other - and since I was going under weather after a long long time, it was a heavy bout to make up for all the time the flu bugs have missed me! The loss of appetite that comes with taking medicines, made me stay away from all food blogs, even my favourite ones.

After we got up and running, I thought, I'll get back to my blog now. But that inertia and boredom of blogging had grasped me completely. Except for sneaking into a few blogs off and on, and barely making it to text Raaga a birthday message, it's been total hibernation for me. Honestly, I have not been too busy with work, which means a lot of posts could have happened. It's been a strange situation where I know blogging would make me happy and yet I did not want to type blogger.com. The camera is sitting in some unknown location in the house, which has rarely ever happened with me, or any of you food bloggers. I realized it is now or never. If I do not get back now, I probably will distance myself too much from something I love so much.
With Diwali round the corner, I just did a peek into the archives of ST, and discovered that I had gone bonkers making some SIX Diwali treats last year - and most of them being tried for the first time.

Today, gingerly I went into the Another Subcontinent forums, into the Diwali treats thread, checking out on all the goodies. Also, checking out Indira's Mithai section
as well as Manisha's tantalizing Orange Burfi - plus browsing through JFI Diwali Round Up -2006 at Vee's Past, Present and Me - to get some inspirations.

Hope all of you are having a lovely time preparing for Diwali. What are the plans at your end if I may ask? I'd like to try something new and get out of my cooking rut this festive season.

By the way after a really long while, I tried something new yesterday - a one pot Gujarati dish called Daal Dhokli from the Hungry Monster site. It turned out pretty good. Besides that, I've been making homemade thin crust pizzas at least once a week - thanks to the super active yeast sent across by Anita. I can't thank her enough for that. I managed to gather the enthusiasm to try her Potato Bread, but may be the bread read my hastiness and decided not to rise at all, and I thought it would rise on baking, but that did not happen. It turned out to be what I'd call a flop show, but clearly the recipe is not to blame. So I want to try it once more with some more patience on a sunny day.

Otherwise we've been eating out a lot, thanks to my kitchen boredom [translating into blog boredom]. Sernya, a small shack like Tibetan joint run by 78 year old Uncle John, serves heart warming Thukpas, vegetables stir fried Tibetan style, rice and noodles, all for a small sum. If you are in Bombay and you'd like to try out authentic Tibetan food, I'll gladly share the address with you. We also managed to go back to Urban Tadka. I don't know if I've already raved about this place here. We like to call it the one-hour wait place, because no matter how early you land up and which day of the week it is, the minimum wait is one hour. One look at the prices and one taste of the food, and you'll know why people don't mind waiting over an hour to have grub. It's Punjabi fare at its very best. Their biryanis are out of the world and so is their simple yellow dal tadka, or Punjabi Kadhi.

Please share with me your Diwali treat ideas, I desperately need some inspiration this year.

8 October 2007

WBB # 15 : Breakfast from Leftovers - Round Up

[This round up is sadly without the beautiful pictures, all you bloggers sent me, because I've been working on a makeshift data card internet connection which is slower than the internet you must have experienced in the early 90s. So please forgive me! Also, in case SPAM swallowed some of your entries, please post your permalink in the comments, so that I can link that up.]

Few reasons why cooking with leftovers is good for you:

1. Using leftovers means recycling and recycling is good for the environment.

2. Throwing lesser leftovers into the bin saves more space in your bin which means fewer trips to take the garbage out. Or you can save bucks on the electricity which your 'insinkerator' uses.

3. Since many ingredients are already there, saves more time for blogging.

4. Some weird leftover ingredients can trigger off some extremely creative ideas.

5. Your fridge gets cleaned up relieving some expensive refrigerator real-estate.

6. You can dish out some extra dishes leading your better half to believe that you've been slogging for real long, and bargain a massage in return.

7. Saving food equals saving money. Saving money means more $$ to buy Google Adwords.

7a. You get to participate in WBB 15 and get featured in the round up. (Is that good for you?)


This time, I've also chosen a Blog of the Round-Up. Each time during an event round-up, many new blogs and bloggers are discovered. It's fun to give recognition and a pat of praise to someone well deserving it.

My vote goes to Sivani from Ruchi Chuchu. Sivani has a delightful style of writing, great attention to details in her words, which make reading fun. She has sent in delicious Sweetcorn-Rice Fritters. I bet even a novice cook will be able to make them to perfection thanks to the detailed explanations plus painstakingly done recipe cards, a very professional approach, I'd say.
Rohini of Vegetarian Recipes
Leftover South Indian style Chana served with toasted bread the next morning.

Sona – A kitchen scientists and a white rat hubby
5 X 3 Treat – the name is as creative as what she's done with 3 types of leftover pasta. A massive fridge cleaner of an effort.
Mighty Kappa had a great fall is another of her creations where she's chopped up some boiled kappas [much to the anguish of many 'Kottayamkars'], along with a host of other ingredients and served it as a curry with Chapati.
Another remake from Sona's kitchen, where she's remixed a remix – all the Bollywood Remix masters beware!!
Kaboos Chilli and then Kaboos Chilli stuffed into another bread.....go read her remix adventures


Keerthi from Esculent Food has dished out some Curried chapatis for breakfast – an interesting way to save those leftover chapatis.

Mansi of Fun and Food
Moong Dal parathas make a scrumptious breakfast with a healthy dose of protein, can be made without much effort when you have dal leftover from dinner.


Namratha from Finger Licking Food has used up leftover idlis by turning them into
Idli Upma, which is also good for those who get bored of eating idlis.


Timepass has cooked up a
whole storm using leftovers – Rice parathas, veggie pakodas and a sandwich spread. I like the idea of spinning all the leftover salad into a spread for breakfast the following morning.


Nags – For the Cook in Me- takes us back to childhood with her simple, sweet, buttery toasted bread bits in Toasted Sugar Bread with Honey. A perfect breakfast for one and the best way to start a Sunday I'd say!


Tee of Bhatukli has turned some leftover bhakris into an interesting eat and healthy too, with the addition of spices, yogurt, tempering and crushed peanuts ofcourse!
Dahi Bhakri for you.

Prema – Prema's Cookbook has used up leftover chapatis with onions, peppers and lots of other spices to make a spicy appetising breakfast -
Kothu Chapati

Hima – SnackORama has prepared some instant dosas with the clever addition of some leftover raita as a souring agent and to make it soft too!

Arati – Arati's cookery shares with us her version of yogurt rice called
Dahi Butti, which is leftover rice mixed with yogurt. Sweet and savoury all at once, it should be an interesting variation on regular yogurt rice.

Asha of Foodie's Hope has prepared a traditional Kannadiga recipe called
Chitranna using leftover rice and tomatoes. A South Indian like me is happy eating rice for any meal of the day!

Srivalli of Cooking 4 All Seasons has prepared some
parathas with leftover rice. Rice inside parathas – isn't that truly innovative?

Raaga - The Singing Chef displays her creative bent in the kitchen by mixing up two different batters for making
Masale Appey. You must check out her Chocolate buns where she's used leftover Cocoa Butter Icing to decorate the buns.

Arundati of Escapades has made a traditional
Andhra Pesarattu but with the addition of leftover idli batter. Her Recycle Rani story and her mom's attempts at recycling in the days when it wasn't considered 'fashionable' makes an entertaining and touching read. Arundati, you'll be a good heir to your mom, girl!


Madhuli of My Foodcourt writes about her resurrected rotis. Phodnichi Poli is a traditional Maharashtrian recycled dish and true Queen of Leftovers.


Aarti of Aarti's Corner dishes out some Chaawal Parathas, which are mashed rice with spices used up as a stuffing for a popular Indian breakfast item viz. Parathas.


Our dear friend Pushpa from Pusiva is back with a bang. We've missed her lovely baking sessions from Switzerland. She's made a lovely Macaroni Frittata from leftover Mac and it looks beautiful.


Shubha from a blog which is cutely named Chutki Bhar Pyar which means 'A Pinch of Love' has prepared a magical mishmash from left over roti, rice and some oats. This upma of kinds seems to be a nutritious way to use up the leftovers.


My own entry to this event was supposed to be Chole Parathas, which I could not post due to serious internet problems. I ground the leftover chole ground in a blender to a puree, tipped the puree into a bowl, mixed in required quantity of whole-wheat flour to make a soft pliable chapati-dough – rolled out balls of dough into 5” thick parathas cooked on a hot griddle with dots of oil or ghee. Tastes delicious with some Punjabi Pickle.

I hand over the baton to Kanchana at Married to a Desi who has announced Omelettes as the theme for WBB # 16. Egg-lovers rejoice. And do not forget to shoot (click) those eggs, whole or otherwise for the CLICK event at Jugalbandi.






4 October 2007

WBB Update

Friends,
This is an update for all of you who are waiting for the round-up of WBB # 15: Leftovers. My internet service has gone for a toss since 3 days. [Have logged in from hubby's notebook just to make this post, before he leaves for work]

Also, I'm happy to announce that Kanchana of Married to a Desi is the hostess for WBB # 16, and please keep a watch on her lovely blog for further details.

...Hope to see back here soon for the round up and please say a prayer for my net connection.

Hope you are all doing superbly.

Best,
Nandita

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