Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mung Lau Dalma

After Mom is gone, I am cooking the basics over the weekend and eating through the week. This Mund Daal Dalma is my husband's favorite Dalma. He takes this for lunch atleast once on most weeks. I am not a big fan of Mung Daal or Lau or Lauki... But fried Mung dal changes the flavor of mung and becomes palatable for me too...

Sending this to Think Spice : Think Coriander seeds event , hosted this time at Priya’s easy N  tasty recipes, originated at  Sunita’s World! 

1 cup Mung Daal
1/2 of a lau - chopped into small pieces (about 2 cups)
Salt to taste
1 table spoon of Oil for tempering
1 tea spoon of cumin seeds
2 tablespoon of coriander powder
2-3 red chillies
1 tea spoon of Turmeric powder

How To
Dry roast the Mung Dal in a pan until it changes color to light orange (and gives a nice aroma). Makes sure it doesn't turn completely orange or brown, else you have to start again.
Clean the Mung daal and soak the Dal for few hours (2 should do) in water.
Take a large pan and add oil. Once it gets hot, add red chillies and coriander seeds.
Once the seeds splutter, add the daal and chopped lauki and add the double the quantity of water.
Add salt and turmeric powder and any chili powder that you need, mix well and let it cook for 25-30 min.
After that open the cover, add coriander powder and cook on high heat for about 10-15 min until the water evaporates and the daal thickens.

Usually it takes 40 minutes to get this done and then eat it fresh with rice or pack in your lunch box for next day.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Simple salad with kidney beans

I hope you all had a happy diwali... We had a great time and made full use of it being on the weekend. In the evening, while I was blog hopping in my Happy Diwali mood, I had a dhamaka of a different kind. I got some spyware on my laptop, inspite of having Mcafee as the anti-virus software. I have tried quite a few things, but now the laptop is unusable. So before I can restage the laptop, my blog hopping will be minimal. Anyone has any tips on how to prevent such spyware attacks in the future? Did you face such problems earlier? What did you do? Please give any suggestions....

Now coming to my salad, this is inspired by our chef in the cafeteria. He served this salad on flat bread and a bed of mixed greens. It was amazingly good... Though I do have the recipe of the flat, I am still to try it out. So this is my version of his salad. You have to like either red kidney beans or goat cheese or both to like this salad. I am not a big fan of red kidney beans, but I still loved the salad enough to try it at home and my husband loves it now...

This chili is for Divya who is hosting JFI-Rajma, event created By Mahanandi.


1 can of Red Kidney Beans - drained and washed several times in cold water
2-3 handful of goat cheese crumbled
1 handful of basil leaves (I used cilantro at home)
10-12 red cherry tomatoes - chopped
few olives chopped (I had none at home)
salt to taste
peper to taste

How To
Warm the red kidney beans in the microwave for 1 or 2 minutes to get it slightly warm. (The cafeteria chef put this salad on the flat bread and baked it for 5 minutes).
Add the goat cheese, basil leaves and cherry tomatoes and olives and toss well.
Serve with salt and pepper sprinkled on the top...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Happy Diwali with Magaja Ladoo

Happy Diwali and have a great year ahead.

Magaja Ladoo is one super duper easy sweet. It is loaded with calories and the goodnedd of wheat. This is also offered in the Jaganath temple, Puri as a bhog.
I have very sweet memories of making this with my grandma. She makes it really well and would packs loads of it for my hostel days. I used to try making it with her and most of it would break and I would happily eat the crumbs.
When I called Mom last week at home, she gave me a list of sweets that she had already made. When she mentioned Magaja Ladoo, I quickly took down the recipe and here it goes...

These magaja ladoos go to to CFK-Wheat guest hosted by Sireesha, event started by Sharmi , Sanghi's FIL-Ghee and Sireesha's Sweet Series and to Purva's Diwali Dhamaka

1 cup wheat flour (atta)
1/2 cup ghee
1/2 cup sugar
2 cardamom ground
4 cloves ground

How To
Take a big pan and heat it. Add the atta and keep frying at low fire for about 10 minutes. Once the atta starts changing color and starts smelling wonderful, add the ghee and mix well. Then add the sugar and mix well and put the stove off. Add the cardamom and cloves mixture and let it cool.
Before the mixture is completely cooled down, makes round balls and store in an air-tight container. I made about 15 small balls with these measurements.

Can't get the balls to form, just scoop in a spoon and eat. It tastes wonderful, but then with so much of ghee and sugar what's not to like about it....

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Awards Time and Meme tag

I am thrilled to receive this  beautiful award from my blogger friends Sushma, Prasu, Shubha , Aysha, VS. Friends check out their blogs, amazing recipes and clicks...
Sushma, Prasu, Shubha, VS - Thank you so much for passing on this award. This award goes with a fun meme, which has to be passed on to 6 of your favourite blogs and which has to be answered with only one word.

Here is the meme part:
1. Where is your cell phone: in my purse
2. Your hair: Black
3. Your mother: U
4. Your father: D
5. Your favorite food: Goat Biryani
6. Your dream last night: Can't remember, its time for todays' dreams...
7. Your favorite drink: Hot chocolate
8. Your dream/goal: Retire at 40!
9. What room are you in: Bedroom
10. Your hobby: blogging, reading
11. Your fear: cats
12. Where do you want to be in 6 years: India
13. Where were you last night: Home
14. Something you aren’t: Punctual
15. Muffins: Eggless ones baked at home are my favorite
16. Wish list item: trip on Palace on Wheels
17. Where did you grow up: Orissa
18. Last thing you did: Put my little one to sleep
19. What are you wearing: Pj's
20. Your TV: Off
21. Your pets: None, but would love to get a dog
22. Your friends:Many
23. Your life: Hectic/Chaotic
24. Your mood: Blissful
25. Missing someone: Mom
26. Vehicle: Maxima
27. Something you’re not wearing: Makeup
28. Your favorite store: Kohls
29. Your favorite color: Blue
30. When was the last time you laughed: just hours ago.
31. Last time you cried: Wasnt this week
32. Your best friend: N
33. One place that I go over and over: grocery store
34. One person who emails me regularly: My cousins
35. Favorite place to eat: Mings at Edison, NJ

And the award goes to all my talented blogger friends.

Also I received the following awards from Raje:

Thanks Raje....

And the following awards come from Indrani and Babli:


Thanks to you all for thinking of me and showering me with awards. You are the inspiration for this blog and these mid night posts... I would like to share all these awards with all my blogger friends

See you all soon.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


My mom left for India last week. Usually she cooks a whole refrigerator full of food before she leaves. But this time, 4 days before she left, the refrigerator stopped cooling. So most things she cooked had to be finished off the same day. The only dish she happily made in a large quantity was this Besara. She was sure that it wouldn't go bad that easily and it did last us 4 days inspite of the refrigerator not really working for most of those days. Besara is another typical oriya dish made with mustard paste. You can make different kids of besara and I love the one with fish too which I will post some other time. This one is the typical veggie besara. Besara has the mild mustard flavor  and a little tanginess from the dried mangoes and the heat from the green chillies...

Ushnish this post is made especially on your request!


Vegetables for boiling

1 cup of cleaned/peeled red potatoes - diced
1/4 cup beans cut into small pieces
1/2 cup plantain - cut into long pieces
1/4 cup raddish cut into long pieces
1 cup of Eggplant - cut into small pieces
few florets of cauliflower
1-2 large tomatoes cut into long slices

Salt to taste
1 tea spoon turmeric powder
1-2 green chillies
1 table spoon of Mustard Oil for tempering
1 tea spoon of mustard seeds
handful curry leaves
1-2 Dried Mango pieces (Ambula) [Optional]
sprig of coriander leaves [optional]
handful of Badi [Optional]

For the mustard paste

1 tea spoon Mustard seeds
1/4 tea spoon Cummin seeds
1-2 green chillies (to taste)
2-3 cloves of garlic

How To

Soak the mustard seeds, cummin seeds in water for 1/2 hour. Grind the mustard seeds, cummin seeds with the green chillies and garlic. Add 2-3 table spoon of water and leave it aside for  1/2 hr or you keep it in the refrigerator and you can use for about a week. Some of my friends have tried this with store bought mustard paste and swear it tastes as good. I have never tried it, but you could try it...

Soak the dried mangoes in a little cup of water for 1 hour.

Boil all the vegetables with salt, turmeric powder and little water.

Heat a pan. Ad the mustard oil. Once the oil is hot, add green chillies and curry leaves and add the vegetables and the mustard paste. Add some water and dried mangoes and let the curry boil for few minutes.

Adjust salt and garnish with coriander leaves if you like...

Serve with Fried crushed Badi at the time of serving....

Some other mustard based recipes are : Mushroom Rayee and Vegetable Patua

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Kumar Purnima festival

The Kumar Purnima festival of Orissa is celebrated on the full moon day in the month of Aswina.
In some parts of the state, girls fast all day and eat after doing puja to the Moon. The custom says that praying to the Moon gets you as handsome a husband as the Moon. Most girls wait for an early glimpse of the moon and the earlier you do the puja the younger and handsomer the husband.

My mother-in-law reminds me every year to do this puja for my daughter. While my Mom was not so stringent about it and I didn't really do it most years (well it helped to be away in hostel too), I try doing it for my daughter. So no fasting for her, just the puja.... Hmmm I didn't even get to do it early enough - but atleast these are my attempts at teaching her some of our customs.

The bhoga is usually done with Paneer and banana mashed together and made into balls. I added some honey and crushed cardamom powder...

Happy Purnima everyone!