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“Mitha Dali” – Ratha Jatra special – Puri Jagannath Mandira

On the auspicious occasion of Ratha Jatra, I could not help but recollect all the fond melodies and memories associated to this grand festival. I found myself looking for ways to feel closer to home. Warm memories of the occasion swept over me, with the drum beats and jhanja kirtana being so distinct that I could actually feel the reverberation of those beats. For a short introduction, Ratha Jatra is the grandest chariot festival that takes place annually in the mystical coastal city of Puri in Odisha. The three deities- Lord Jagganath, Lord Balabhadra and Subhadra are decked up in their finest adornments as they travel out ceremoniously in their newly built chariots to visit their beloved aunt at Gundicha Mandira about 2 km from their abode at the Sri Mandira. I scoured the internet for any live broadcast of the grand event and was lucky enough to find one. Utter joy swept over me as I saw the three grand chariots with the deities on their way to their beloved aunt’s home. It brought

ajwain · all purpose flour · cilantro · flour · green chilli · Indian · maida · mango powder · medium · salt · seed · side dish · Uncategorized · water

The irresistible team –  “Coriander Luchi” & “Khatta Mitha Aloo”

Isn't it quite fascinating to observe your own thoughts when faced with options? Thoughts seem to run in all directions but its only when both the heart and the mind concur that the final decision is made. This is exactly what happened when I readied to prepare my first entry for the Magic Mingle Challenge for this month. Magic Mingle is a group of talented food bloggers who all come together once a month to present their creations based on a common theme. Its very exciting to see the world of possibilities these talented bunch put forth with seemingly very mundane ingredients. I decided to take on this challenge more so to challenge myself and push my limits. Seems quite similar to the TV show "Chopped" when as soon as the ingredients are "out-of-the-basket" my mind starts racing in sync with the chefs on the show. There was always a tiny desire to be there working with the ingredients and this is my way of satisfying my desire. This month's two special ingredients are - Cilantro (co

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“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

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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