ajwain · baking soda · bengal gram · chana dal · chilli · cilantro · garlic · greek yogurt · green chilli · Indian · lentil · medium · mint leaves · onion · pepper · salt · seed · snack · sugar · sweetener · turmeric · Uncategorized · yoghurt

“Piaji” – Our very own Falafel – Chana dal vada aka

As we sinked into our homey seats at the popular Mediterranean restaurant last weekend, it took us almost no time to agree upon falafel as appetizer. Just about then, it struck that irrespective of different tastes and disposition towards food almost everyone loves falafel. It’s undoubtedly the perfect starter which doubles up even as an entrée as a delish Falafel wrap. For those very few of you who might want an introduction, falafel refers to Middle eastern seasoned fritters made with chick peas and/or Fava beans. One bite into the crispy goodness and I had that Aha! moment wherein it actually dawned upon me as to how very similar it is to our chana dal fritters or “Piaji” as it is known in Odia. The mere mention of “piaji” almost instantly transports me to the rainy, stormy evenings that turned fragrant with these fresh out of the oil, crisp, spicy and completely wholesome fritters accompanied with puffed rice and onions marinated with lemon juice and green chilies. It wasn’t the fi

all purpose flour · baking soda · cardamom · dessert · flour · Indian · medium · milk · rose · rose water · saffron · seed · sugar · sweetener · Uncategorized · unsalted butter · water

Of Gulab Jamuns and new beginnings

The advent of spring and the end of the winter season in India is heralded by the festival of colors, Holi. In my years of having lived here in the US I have longed and missed the bonhomie that trademarks this spring festival. Uncle, aunts, distant cousins and relatives come together to mark the beginning of spring and gorge on the delicious spread of the scrumptious dishes which would be incomplete without a wide range of sweets and snacks. I have missed all of that these years until this time when a group of friends came up with the idea of a potluck lunch that would then be followed by applying “tikkas”(What happened later is completely another story in itself! ). While thinking of something to contribute, Gulab Jamun popped straight at me. Now, here goes the story! Gulab Jamuns have always always been one of my most favorite-“est” of desserts. A few months back one of my friends suggested to try making Gulab Jamuns. I was supremely excited to even know that it could be “prepared” a