all purpose flour · baking soda · carrot · cinnamon · coconut · cooking oil · dairy free · dessert · egg · flour · golden raisin · medium · nut · nutmeg · ovo vegetarian · pineapple · salt · sugar · sweetener · tropical fruit · Uncategorized · vegetable oil · walnut

Spiced Pineapple Carrot cake ~ Not your usual “upside down” fare

The makings of this spiced cake took root, when this utterly sweet-smelling golden pineapple sitting on our kitchen counter, literally piqued my imagination wild. Whoever has gotten a whiff of a ripe pineapple knows for sure the compelling aroma of the prickly fruit! To be more articulate - the inte

bay leaves · chili powder · cilantro · cinnamon · cooking oil · coriander · fish · garam masala · ginger garlic · Indian · Main Course · masala · medium · mustard oil · onion · potato · salt · seafood · sugar · sweetener · tomato · turmeric · Uncategorized · water

A page from my Ma’s cookbook ~Odia style fish curry/ Maachha Aloo Jhola/Macha Tarkari~

As the aroma of the fish curry wafted through the hallway into the bedroom, M (that’s my hubby) came sniffing into the kitchen. Often it’s quite unlikely to elicit such a response from him when I am conjuring up a fish recipe. But this as you might have guessed was a very pleasant surprise. It is my tested way of getting assured that this dish is here to stay and going to be served on demand on many mundane occasions. More so a total win especially when you are trying to think of ways you can make fish recipes without it tasting fishy. Quite tricky eh? Ahh yes and to complicate things – I am an absolute fish eating, true Odia at heart. So you see my attachment to this very sensitive subject and my extensive efforts to make this a success. My memories of this recipe goes way back to days when I came home from school to a plate of piping hot rice served with this special hand licking fish curry. In those days, the comfort and luxury of getting delicious meals without preparing them was a

asafoetida · chilli · cilantro · cooking oil · eggplant · garam masala · gelling agent · Indian · masala · medium · mustard oil · onion · pepper · salt · side dish · sugar · sweetener · tomato · turmeric · Uncategorized · yogurt

Thinking out-of-the-box with baby eggplants ~ Achari Baingan~

Our Sunday morning visits to the local farmer's market have become a weekly ritual that I really look forward to these days. Heading out to pick veggies for the week, brings about an innate sense of responsibility and satisfaction of going the extra mile to take care of the self. The soothing sight of fresh and vibrant produce complement the hustle and bustle of the accompanying frenzy and bring back pleasant memories of visiting a busy Indian vegetable market (much more cleaner and organized though!). If given an option, I would just about buy everything that looks fresh and appetizing. It's really that tempting! But one of the challenges that I often face when I am back home, is to step out of my thinking box and try something new especially when on a time crunch. The biggest criteria being - it has to be appetizing as well as healthy and easy to cook for a regular day to day meal. Personally, I try to experiment as much as I can by trying out altogether different recipes or on some

cooking oil · cumin seed · curry leaves · garlic · green chilli · Indian · jeera · Main Course · medium · mustard oil · mustard seed · non vegetarian · onion · salt · seafood · shrimp · sugar · sweetener · turmeric · Uncategorized · yogurt

The simple Odia classic – “Chingudi Dahi Besara”/ Steamed yogurt and mustard shrimp curry

Before I begin, I must admit that this post is sure going to have a counter for the word “simple” and might even break the records - the only reason being that this recipe is truly-that-SIMPLE. Being an iconic Odia dish, time and again this preparation would accompany a few more curried dishes on our lunch/dinner table but still manage to hold its place impressively well. Fresh shrimp marinated with yogurt-mustard paste and steamed till the shrimp is melt-in-the-mouth tender does indeed sound like a very good proposition. While “good” shrimp and fish curries are relatively easy to find at the restaurants, rarely have I seen this preparation on any of the restaurant menus here at all and that makes me very sad every time. Time and again my Ma would prepare this shrimp curry and I would be blown away every single time. Honestly I have been craving for this recipe for a long while now and what better opportunity than to learn from the in-home chef a.k.a my Ma when she was visiting me. So

asafoetida · bean · chickpea · chilli · cooking oil · cumin seed · curry leaves · green chilli · Indian · jeera · legume · mango powder · medium · nut · peanut · peanut oil · pepper · rice · salt · snack · sugar · sweetener · turmeric · Uncategorized

Ushering in Diwali with Chivda a.k.a. Chuda mixture

Being away from something that you absolutely adore makes you feel in either or both of these ways – intermittent feelings of guilt for not paying attention and/or the unnerving tinge of self- doubt on returning to doing it. At this moment I feel the second while the first has been bothering me all this while I was away from this blog. Even though I am very thankful that new and exciting experiences like organizing events, teaching a class and learning a group dance, have been keeping me away, it nonetheless kept bothering me with the question – when am I writing my next post? Well now that I am back, that answers it I guess. Having done with explaining my absence from the blog, I shall now move on to the real reason and motivation of today’s post a.k.a. the Chivda. Relieved of my responsibilities as an event planner, I was now left with the much needed space to finally think of making something for Diwali. Diwali and snacks almost seem synonymous and my first post on the series of Diw

cauliflower · cilantro · cooking oil · garlic · Indian · lemon · lemon juice · masala · medium · olive oil · ovo vegetarian · pav · potato · red chilli · salt · side dish · spice blend · sugar · sweetener · turmeric · Uncategorized · vegetarian

Spiced & baked cauliflower bhaja

What happens when life hands you a lemon? well of course, make a lemonade right? now don't get me wrong over here..this post has nothing to do with lemons, lemonade or anything remotely citrusy for that matter...but it most definitely has to do with that unfateful day when a normal walk down a classroom turned fatal for my wobbly left ankle. It decided to take a twist leaving me immobile for a while (seems like eternity though .. sigh). Now that means me being away from my haven - the kitchen (if you didn't know that already..duh!) for a while. I accepted the challenge (err the lemon) and the message - with a lot of grace. It was high time I took things slowly and literally keep my feet up. This creation actually signifies that laid back approach to making something absolutely gorgeous sans the scrambling around. It signifies the ultimate ease of preparation for anyone who wants the break or wait- gets handed over that break 😉 Now without digressing any further and running the risk

basmati rice · bell pepper · carrot · Chicken · chicken stock · chili oil · chilli · chinese · cooking oil · garlic · green bean · green bell pepper · green chilli · legume · Main Course · medium · pepper · red bell pepper · rice · salt · sauce · scallion · sesame · stock · tomato · tomato sauce · Uncategorized · vinegar · water · white vinegar

Roasted garlic fried rice – Bursts of “garlic-ness”

When renowned chef and culinary writer, Louis Diat said “There are five elements: earth, air, fire, water and garlic”, he echoed my sentiments quite exactly. I couldn’t possibly deny because in my tiny world it does represent the fifth essential life force. I have always been a “add-some-more-garlic please” person (well, who isn’t?). It’s one magical pod of intense flavor that perks many a dull, somber dish. But the hundredth (or maybe thousandth) dimension of this multi-faceted little pod is its very surprising aspect - mild sweetness. Very surprised right? I couldn’t ever imagine garlic being sweet AT all, before having been to Gilroy of course. In fact, I was quite apprehensive, when I stopped by Gilroy (The garlic capital of the world) to taste some garlic ice-cream. Just out of sheer curiosity, I tasted it. I must agree that I found the concept of garlic ice cream a little too weird but I must mention that the sweetness and intense flavor was something to commend. That kind of con