Make Berry Topping / Jam / Puree / Sauce at Home

I love berries in any form – cheesecake, smoothie, ice cream, or eating as is.  But there are seasons when they’re super expensive and there are days when I forget about them in the overstuffed refrigerator and end up throwing away.  So I started to freeze the berries rather than wasting them – by rinsing them well, draining water, placing on tray in freezer, and then storing in a Ziploc the next day.

Spusht | Freezing blueberries
Freezing blueberries

Vermicelli Pudding - Seviyan ki Kheer

Like I explained the variable X and concept of basic kheer, here I’m using X = vermicelli to make Sevaiyan Kheer (Vermicelli Pudding).  This is a pretty simple dessert recipe.  Especially if someone’s coming over and you can’t think of any other sweet dish to make – you can easily depend on kheer.  And once you get the basic one right, you can definitely add other combinations to it.  Like Carrot-Vermicelli Pudding (Gajar-Sevai ki Kheer)?  Why not.

How effortless is it to contact you? Blogging Tip # 1

In my one year of blogging, among the other things I have learned, one is to make it easier for readers to approach the blog author.  The simplest way is to include a “Contact Me” page, write your e-mail address over there, and expect readers to e-mail you.  But for a reader to ask a quick question, having to copy-paste the address and send an e-mail requires some effort.  Result?  The reader may skip to some other website.

Lauki ki Kheer: Bottle Gourd = X

When I tried Sweet Potato Kheer the first time, I used the basic concept of making kheer (pudding).  You could replace the sweet potato with X ingredient and make different kinds of puddings.

raw rice grain
Chawal ki Kheer
Rice Pudding
raw vermicelli
Sevai ki Kheer
Vermicelli Pudding
grated carrots
Gajar ki Kheer
Carrot Pudding

Get the picture?

Here I’m using X = grated bottle gourd = Lauki ki Kheer = Bottle Gourd Pudding.

Thought for the day: Dare

"We follow people; We act as they say.
Scared of being rejected; We follow their way."

When I wrote those lines, I was at the age where peer pressure was the strongest influence.  Sometimes I gave in; sometimes I stood up for myself.  Along the years, among the lessons, one of the things I have learned is that I don’t have to be scared of rejection.  Heck, I don't even have to try to please everybody.  And if I want to accomplish something in life, I must first strongly believe in myself.  Do I have to do what others do?  No.  I will dare to be me, I will:

Do you?

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Kurkura Karela - Crispy Fried Bitter Gourd

I don’t think bitter gourd (aka bitter melon) has many fans.  I used to hate it.  If I heard mom say she made “karele ki sabzi” (bitter gourd fry) I used to go “ewwww”.  And one among the million differences my husband & I have is he loves bitter gourd sabzi.  So around mid of last year I tried making it first time.  Even after rubbing it in salt it was so disgustingly bitter that I swore I’d never make it again.  But then you know, when your husband really likes something, you just feel like giving it another try.

Kukura Karela - fried bitter gourds & onions, rubbed with a salty-spicy-tangy masala mixture

What do you give / take / like from USA?

Last year a friend asked me what kitchen items to bring from India to USA.  I was thinking even apart from kitchen items there is so much you can get from India, for yourself or as gifts for others.  Things that have an Indian touch – in terms of traditional clothes (kurti, salwar suit, sari, etc) and accessories (bangles, earrings, handbag, etc), Indian art / painting, small idol statues, food items (like dessert boxes or Haldiram's snacks), etc.  There are SO many options.

Pattagobi ki Sabzi; Cabbage Vegetable?!

In Hindi we say Bhindi ki Sabzi, Aloo Gobhi ki Sabzi, or Tamatar-Palak ki Sabzi and it is understood – but is there an appropriate translation in English for the ‘sabzi’?  I don’t know.  I don’t think I can call them ‘curry’ if they’re dry, can I?  Calling it Okra vegetable, Potato-Cauliflower vegetable, and Tomato-Spinach vegetable, respectively sounds vague.  Then what is the right word to use – stir-fried?

Oh well, here I’m sharing two styles of Pattagobi ki Subzi (Stir-fried Cabbage?) that I usually cook and like the taste of.

Simple Coconut Crunch Cookies (eggless)

I’m beginning to realize one doesn’t need hundred different measurements, proportions, and ingredients for some recipes – getting a basic recipe right then working around it creates a new dish.  Or a new cookie.  Like these coconut cookies.

Let the Q and A begin!

Since I mentioned last time I enjoyed reading search queries, I thought of following up with some examples from March 2012.  With the hope that you not only get entertained, but you and I also learn something new together.

Let the Q & A begin.

Tadka Noodles

The day I had made Hakka Noodles for a dinner get-together, I had boiled excess noodles so reserved some for later.  Since our intake of soya sauce, chili-garlic sauce, ketchup and vinegar was high that week, I did not want to reuse the noodles for anything Indo-Chinese.  While I was beginning to make my regular dal, with the tadka and veggies, I added the remaining noodles instead of lentils – and so was the birth of Tadka Noodles, the Indian touch to Chinese noodles but NOT a part of Indo-Chinese cuisine.  I believe you can call this dish a cousin of Semaiya Pulao / Seviyan Upma / Vermicelli Pulao.