I am back in action after a long hiatus. I took a short break from blogging as i was with my family in India..This trip was was a memorable one as i got a chance to meet some amazing bloggers. We are back with a heavy heart but tons of good memories. Now I am looking forward to next public holiday here. This week I am sharing a lip smacking Steamed Eggplant recipe perfect for the upcoming Chinese New Year.
What is Chinese New Year?
Chinese New Year or the Spring Festival or Lunar New Year is celebrated every year according to the traditional Chinese Calendar. This year it falls on January 25th.In the Chinese astrology, each year is represented by an animal. This is the year of the Metal Rat, which is predicted to be a lucky year. The Rat has the first position in the zodiac. The Rat is a representation of diligence, kindness, and generosity. This is celebrated for 15 days . Lantern festival celebrated with night lantern displays, ends 15 days on the full moon.Check out which Zodiac animal you represent and learn more about this Festival here. Well I represent Dragon. “Dragon babies” are considered to be lucky and have desirable characteristics that supposedly lead to better life outcomes . These 12 Chinese Zodiac animals and their characteristics makes an interesting read.
What is the Tradition followed during this period?
Day 1 – January 25, 2020 The first day of the Metal Rat lunar New Year . The gods of heaven and earth are welcomed and meat is avoided to promote longevity and happiness
On Day 2 : Prayers are sent to the gods and ancestors.
Day 3&4 Son-in-laws pay respect to their bride’s parents.
Day 5 : Named Po Woo, this day is spent at home to welcome the God of Wealth. It is bad luck to visit anyone on this day.
Days 6-10 : The Chinese are now free to visit their loved ones, and pray for good fortune in the temples.
Day 7: The birthday of all humans celebrated with a drink made by the farmers from seven types of vegetable. Raw fish is eaten to promote success, and noodles for longevity.
Day 8: Prayers are sent at midnight from the Fujian people, to Tian Gong, the God of Heaven.
Day 9: Offerings are made to the jade Emperor.
Days 10 to 12: Invites are sent to friends and relatives, to visit for dinner.
On Day 13: Simple foods are eaten so as to detox after rich foods eaten at friends and relatives house.
Day 14: Time is taken for preparation for the Lantern Festival celebration on the 15th night.
Day 15: Jai, a vegetarian dish is enjoyed by the family.(Source)
what is Foodie Monday BlogHop Theme?
This week I suggested the theme for 230th #Foodiemonday #Bloghop theme #ChineseNewYear. Do check out some amazing recipes from my fellow bloggers to celebrate Lunar New Year.
Recipe for Steamed Eggplants (Chinese Style)
2 Medium Size Eggplants (Chinese or Japanese Variety)
1/4 Tsp Sesame Oil
1 Scallion / Green Onion finely chopped
1/2 Tsp Sesame seeds
1 Tsp Minced Ginger
2 Tbsp Chilli Oil (I have used store bought and it is mildly spicy)
1 Bird’s eye chilli (Optional)
2 Tsp Soya Sauce (I have used dark soya sauce)
Salt to Taste
1 Tbsp Sesame Paste
1/2 Tsp Sugar
1 Tsp finely Chopped Green Pepper
3 Garlic Cloves Minced
1 Tbsp Fermented Black Beans (I have used store bought)
What is the method to prepare Steamed Eggplants in Chinese style?
Wash and clean the eggplants. Cut them into quarters lengthwise. Steam the eggplants using a steamer for about 10 minutes or until soft. I have steamed them in my rice cooker using a metal steamer. Transfer them on to a bowl.
Heat a wide bottom pan with sesame oil on high heat .Now add fresh ginger and sesame seeds.After 10-15 seconds pour the chilli oil, sesame paste,salt , soya sauce and sugar.Mix well untill combined. The mixture begins to simmer. Next step is to add minced garlic, green peppers,black beans and half of the chopped scallions.Lastly add bird’s eye chilli. You may skip this if you don’t like it to be too spicy.
Pour this Sauce on the Steamed eggplant and serve hot. This is one of the vegetarian dish served as a side, appetizer or even as a complete meal with Rice on Chinese New year.
I love this eggplant recipe. It is a regular dish at my place now.
May this year of Rat bless us all!!!!!!!!!!!!
GONG XI FA CAI!!!!!!!!!!!!
This week I am sharing a delicious 3 Ingredient recipe that can be made without any hassle. Dates,Almonds and Coconut rolls are so nutritious and delicious that you are tempted to eat more. You can gift these nutritious home made rolls to your family and friends this festive.
Are Dates good for health?
Dates are powerhouse of nutrition .They improve bone strength ,Lowers Cholestrol,rich in vitamins ,proteins and iron. My family eats dates regularly to maintain good health.I have used organic mejdool dates in this recipe.
What are the benefits of Almonds?
Almonds are popular tree nuts rich in nutrients . Almonds are high in healthy monounsaturated fats, fiber, protein.Almond milk is a substitute for diary milk.Good alternative to people who are allergic to diary.
My humble contribution for this month’s recipe swap challenge is this Dates,Almonds and Coconut rolls from my partner Jolly’s wonderful blog.I had shortlisted many recipes but as i am travelling and other constraints i made these Dates ,Almonds and Coconut Rolls with a little tweak in the recipe. You can find the her recipe here.
Recipe for Dates ,Almonds and coconut Rolls:
1 Cup Pitted organic Mejdool dates
1/2 Cup Roasted Almonds
1 Tsp Poppy Seeds
1/2 Cup Desiccated Coconut
1 Tbsp Desiccated Coconut for coating
Pulse the roasted alomnds to a fine powder. Next add the pitted dates , desiccated coconut and poppy seeds and pulse again. Transfer the mixture to a plate. Take small portions and shape them into small balls. Roll them in the desiccated coconut .Repeat the process for the balance mixture.
Store the rolls in an airtight container.
Use good quality dates
No sugar or sweetner is used
We are all gearing up for Christmas and long holidays to celebrate the festivities.Gifts will be exchanged with family and friends during this festive occasion.If you are looking for last minute gift ideas then this recipe is perfect . It is quick and nutritious too. People will not mind spending on healthy ingredients. Check out this delicious Pistachio Coated Dry Fruits and seeds ball.
What is Christmas?
Christmas is an annual festival commemorating the birth of Jesus Christ, observed on December 25 as a religious and cultural celebration among billions of people around the world.It is a time to exchange gifts and treat your family and friends. Homes are well decorated with Christmas tree and presents are wrapped and kept under the tree. Santa Claus, also known as Father Christmas or simply Santa, is a legendary figure originating in Western Christian culture who is said to bring gifts to the homes of well-behaved children on the night of Christmas Eve or during the early morning hours of Christmas Day.
What is this week’s Foodie Monday Bloghop Theme?
This week’s 225th # Foodiemonday # Bloghop theme #ChristmasTreats was suggested by our fellow blogger Mayuri dee who blogs at https://mayuris-jikoni.com/ . She is a humble person who is always ready to guide . She is such a wonderful collection of traditional Gujarati recipes and some amazing bakes as well. You need to check it out. I have bookmarked her Karela Nu Shaak recipe, Kansar recipe to name a few. I love the way she explains the recipe and weaves a wonderful write up sharing her memories of that recipe.
Recipe for Pistachio Coated Dryfruits and seeds Ball:
400 Gms dry fruits and seeds Mix (Details in Notes)
180 Gms Shelled Pistachios
100 Gms Chocolate Raisin
2 Tbsp Choco Chips
2 Tbsp Ghee
Coarsely grind the shelled pistachios . Transfer it to a plate.
Grind the dry fruits and nuts mix to a fine powder.
Heat a wide bottom pan. Add ghee. Now add the ground dry fruit and nut mixture and keep the flame low.Ghee is fully absorbed in 1-2 minutes. Switch off the flame. Now add the chocolate raisin and choco chips. It will melt in the heat itself. Take the mixture and make small balls. Roll the balls in the coarse Pistachio powder. Repeat the process for the balance mixture.
Store them in an airtight container and gift them to your family and friends this christmas!!!
God bless us all!!!!!!!!!
This dry fruit and seeds mixture consists of dried apricots,Pumpkin seeds,Sunflower seeds,Almonds,Dates,Cashews,Raisins, Hulled Buckweet,Walnuts, Hazelnuts, Dried Goji Berries,Sultanas, Dried Coconut pieces.
This will keep you energised .
These Balls are Nutritious
Dry fruits and seeds are used raw
You can avoid Chocolate if you want to have it on a regular basis.
You can replace normal chocolate with dark chocolate
No refined sugar is used. Sweetness is from Choco chip, chocolate raisins and dates.
Stays good in airtight container for a month provided you can resist eating them.
Today I am sharing a delicious snack recipe from Mauritius called Gram Bouilli. It is Vegan and Gluten free too. It is perfect for snack time as it is protein rich too. Mauritian cooking is very similar to our Indian Cuisine. Black chickpeas are also known as kala channa in Hindi. It is a powerhouse of nutrients. I love the black chickpea sundal.
This week’s theme for 224th #Foodiemonday #Bloghop is #Duesouth was suggested by our fellow blogger Kalyani who blogs at http://www.sizzlingtastebuds.com/ .She has a wonderful collection of recipes on her blog. Do check it out. I am yet to try her Chocolate pancakes with a desi twist.We were asked to share recipes from the southern hemisphere. I chose this delicious recipe from Mauritius. Its been pouring here and Gram Bouilli was a perfect snack to enjoy the wet weather.
Recipe for Gram Bouilli:
We are in the last month of 2019. The wet weather is here in this part of the world and will stay until the Chinese New Year in Jan 2020. It is cold and wet as it is pouring whole day. My Older Son was home this weekend and younger one had just finished in exams ,it called for a celebration at home.I treated my family with delicious Mixed Lentil Masala Vada and Masala Chai. A perfect treat for all of us.
This week 223rd #Foodiemonday #Bloghop theme #CrunchyMunchyDal is this humble Mixed Lentil Masala Vada that tasted amazing.This week’s theme was suggested by our Co Blogger Aruna who blogs at https://vasusvegkitchen.blogspot.com/ . She has some wonderful collection of recipes from Andhra.I am yet to try some of her delicious Papad and pickle recipes.
Recipe for Mixed Lentil Masala Vada:
2 Cups Channa Dal / Split Chickpeas
1 Cup Horse Gram / Kulthi / Huruli
1 Tsp Black Pepper Corns
2 Green Chillies
5 Dry Red Chillies
3 Onions Finely Chopped
3/4 Cup finely Chopped fresh Coriander
1″ Ginger Chopped
Salt to Taste
1 Tsp Jeera / Cumin
1/4 Tsp Haldi
1/2 Tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
1 Cup Bread Crumbs
Oil for Frying
Soak Channa dal and horse gram for 4 hours or overnight.
Drain all the water and grind the channa dal , horsegram , ginger, green chilli,pepper corns and red chillies.Make a Slighlty coarse mixture. Do not add water while grinding. In case you find it very difficult to grind add 1 Tbsp of water .Transfer this mixture to a wide bottom bowl. Add jeera, haldi,kashmiri chilli powder, chopped onions, bread crumbs ,finely chopped coriander and mix well.
Take a small qty of the mixture and give it a round shape, then flatten it between your palms .It should not be too flat. Repeat the procedure for the balance mixture.
Take a wide bottom pan. Add oil and heat it. Once the oil is hot fry the vadas.Once both the sides are cooked and turns brown.Fry these vadas on medium flame. Remove and transfer them on to plate with paper towels to absorb extra oil if any. Thankfully my vadas were not at all oily.They turned crisp and delicious.
Serve with any chutney of your choice. I Served these Vadas with Masala Chai and they made a delicious combo.
It has been pouring for the last two days. The weather is cool and wet. Hence we decided to spend the weekend at home and decided to make this absolutely lip smacking Greek Style Potato Wedges served with a simple yogurt and dill dip.It was polished off in no time.You should definitely try this recipe. A perfect treat for a wet weather. It can be served as a side dish or a meal in itself. Its works as a perfect meal for me.
This week some wonderful memories were created. I had a brief interaction with the honorable President of Singapore. A memorable moment for me to cherish for a lifetime. She is such a warm and humble person.
This week’s theme was suggested by our co blogger Archana who is a wonderful blogger and blogs at https://themadscientistskitchen.com/ . She has an amazing collection of Goan Recipes.I have tried hr sweet potato halwa and Spicy Garlic Chutney. Love all her recipes.Do visit her blog and check it out.My humble contribution for #222nd #Foodiemonday #Bloghop theme #MystiqueMediterranean is this easy and delicious Greek Style Potato Wedges.
Recipe for Greek Style Potato Wedges:
4 Large Potatoes cut into wedges
10 Gms Fresh Oregano
10 Gms Fresh Rosemary
1/2 Tsp Garlic Powder
1.5 Tbsp Olive Oil
1/4 Tsp Paprika
Salt to taste
1/2 Tsp Freshly ground Coarse Pepper
For the Dip:
1 Cup Plain Greek Yogurt
Salt to Taste
1/4 Tsp Chilli Flakes
2 Tsp Finely Chopped fresh Dill
A generous Pinch of Coarse Pepper
For the wedges:
Heat a wide bottom Pan. Add Olive Oil. Add in the Chopped Potato wedges. Roast on medium flame. Keep tossing until all the sides are well cooked and turned brown. Add salt , paprika, garlic powder, freshly ground coarse pepper and finely chopped fresh herbs. Mix well. It will take about 20-25 minutes. Transfer them on to a plate.
In another bowl mix all the ingredients for the dip.
Serve Greek Style Potato wedges with this delicious dill dip and enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
This week my post is about Konganadu Kadanja Pachai Payaru or Green Gram curry . This a nutritious and delicious recipe.Green gram is rich in fiber and also a good source of Protein for Vegetarians. This is mostly used in the both Savory and sweet dishes across Indian and South Asian Sub -Continent. You can even Sprout them and add them to salads and Sabzi or even curries.
Kongu Nadu is a region comprising the western part of Tamil Nadu. Rice is predominently eaten here. As it is also native to an arid area, the cuisine includes cereals like jowar , bajra , ragi , and different kinds of pulses and sesame .Today’s recipe is a delicious and healthy Green Moong curry that I have prepared in Pressure Cooker. It is very Simple and comes in Handy when we don’t have enough time to cook.
My humble contribution to #212 th #Foodiemonday #Bloghop theme #MoongMagic is this humble Konganadu Kadanja Pachai Payaru / Green Moong Curry.This week the theme was suggested by our Co Blogger Swaty who is an amazing blogger and has a fabulous collection of recipes on her blog https://foodtrails25.com/ . Do visit her blog to check it out. I have bookmarked her Bharwan Karela and Bajra Methi Poori recipe . There are many more recipes to try too.
Recipe for Konganadu Kadanja Pachai Payaru :
250 Gms Green Gram / Whole Moong soaked overnight or for min 1 hour
3 Onions Finely Chopped
2 Green Chillies Slit
1 Tsp Jeera / Cumin
6 Garlic Cloves
2 Sprigs of Curry Leaves
1.5 Tbsp Gingelly Oil
Salt to Taste
1 Tsp Kashmiri Chilli Powder
Place the cooker on the stove and turn on the heat. Add 1 Tbsp Gingelly Oil. Add jeera , finely chopped onions ,garlic (keep some chopped onions and garlic aside for garnish). Once they turn slightly brown throw in some curry leaves and slit green chillies.Mix well. Strain the soaked Green gram. Add the green gram . Add 6 Cups of water (160 ml cup). Close the pressure cooker and cook upto 4-5 whistles. Allow it to cool completely.
Remove the lid and mash the nicely cooked green gram. Add water and bring to boil if needed to adjust the consistency.
Heat the balance oil. Add balance chopped onion and Garlic and red chilli powder. Garnish this on the Green Gram curry and serve hot with Rice or Phulkas.
The festivities have come to an end and we are back to having simple lunch and dinner.This week I am sharing a delicious and rich Ivy gourd recipe.My son was back home after two weeks and I had to treat him with a rich and royal curry with Ajwain rotis. Shahi Tendli Masala is a lip smacking curry which will leave you craving for more.
Ivy Gourd is said to have potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects that may aid in the prevention or treatment of a diverse range of health conditions, from diabetes and high cholesterol to high blood pressure and obesity. This is mostly used in Indian Cuisine , Indonesian Cuisine and Thai Cuisine.
A few years back when we had move to Vizag, I remember someone telling my mom that Ivy Gourds should not be eaten as the child will become dull as it affects the brain. I wonder why people spread such false rumors without any scientific proof. Well that did not stop me from eating Ivy Gourd. It is one of my favorite vegetable.
This week’s 220th #Foodiemonday #Bloghop theme is #GourdsAre Beautiful was suggested by our co -blogger Sujata who blogs at https://batterupwithsujata.com/ . She is an amazing baker and has shared many healthy bakes on her blog. Do check her blog for amazing recipes.I have bookmarked her Sondesh and Rasagulla recipes.
Recipe for Shahi Tendli Masala:
3 Red Onions
10 Dry Red Chilli
300 Gms Chopped Tendli / Ivy Gourd
2 Tsp Poppy Seeds
1/2 Cup Cashews
1 Tsp Mustard Seeds
1 Tsp Jeera
1/2 Tsp Coriander Powder
1/2 Tsp Sabzi Masala
1 Tsp Kasmiri Chilli Powder
1/4 Tsp Turmeric
2 Bay Leaves
1 Tbsp Coconut Cream
2 Tsp Oil
Salt to Taste
1 Cinnamon Stick
1 Tsp Kasoori Methi
Roughly chop the onions. Boil 3 Cups of water and add the chopped onions and dry red chillies. Allow it to simmer for 7-8 Minutes. Remove the Onions and transfer them on to a plate. Allow it to cool. In the same water add whole tomatoes and allow it to boil for 7-8 minutes along with the red chillies. Tranfer the tomatoes (after you peel the skin) and red chillies to a plate and let it cool.
Grind blanched Onions , tomatoes, red chillies , cashews and Poppy seeds to a fine paste. Keep it aside.
Heat a wide bottom pan. Add oil. Once the oil is hot add Chopped Ivy Gourd and roast on medium flame until they are slightly brown and crisp. Once it is roasted transfer it to a plate. Add remaining oil in the same pan. Add cloves,cinnamon, jeera ,bay leaves and mustard seeds. Once the mustard seeds splutter add the roasted ivy gourd and mix well. Add the ground onion tomato paste. Add the water used for blanching tomatoes and onions. After it starts to boil, add turmeric, chilli powder, salt ,sabzi masala and coriander powder. Let it simmer for 7-8 Minutes. Lastly add coconut cream .Garnish with Kasuri methi and serve
Serve hot with Rotis ,Phulkas or steaming hot Rice.
This week was amazing as we were on a short get away.Enjoyed our trip with my cousins. Although we enjoyed the local food during our trip, I missed my spicy curries. First thing after I came back was to treat my family with insanely delicious Achari Matar Masala. A perfect accompaniment with rice ,roti,phulka or Naan.We have been having a lot of sweet treats since Diwali. Now we have come back to the simple food we always enjoy at the comfort of our home.
This week for our 219th #Foodiemonday #Bloghop theme #WinterVeggieAffair was suggested by Sasmita who blogs at https://www.firsttimercook.com/ . She has an amazing collection of local Odiya delicacies. I had tried Potala Rassa from her blog and it had turned out so delicious. Do check her wonderful space for interesting recipes.
I love winters. We don’t have winter season here though. I only remember by childhood days when i enjoyed winters in different states as my dad had a transferable job. Miss those days now. Beautiful memories are etched in my mind. Will cherish them always.
Coming back to the delicious recipe now…….
Recipe for Achari Matar Masala:
1 Cup Green Peas
2 Onions finely Chopped
1 Tsp Achari Masala
1/4 Tsp Turmeric
1/4 Tsp Kasmiri Chilli Powder
Salt to taste
2 Tomatoes Pureed
1 Tsp Jeera / Cumin
2 Tsp Oil
1 Tsp Kasuri Methi
3 Onions finely Chopped
1″ Ginger finely chopped
3 Green Chillies
Heat a wide bottom pan. Add one tsp of oil. Saute the chopped onions ,cashews, ginger and green chillies. Once the onions turn golden brown switch off the flame. Allow it to cool completely. Grind all the ingredients to get a fine paste. Ensure no lumps. Keep this mixture aside.
Puree two tomatoes and ensure there are no lumps.
Heat the pan. Add the remaining oil. Add cinnamon, cloves and jeera. Once you get the aroma add green peas and saute for a 3-4 minutes. Now add turmeric and achari masala and mix well. Once the oil starts to leave the sides add the tomato puree. Mix again and add 1/2 cup water. Allow it to simmer for 2 minutes. Add the onion mixture , salt and mix well. Close the lid and allow it to simmer for 3-4 minutes.Switch off the flame. Garnish with crushed Kasuri Methi.
Serve hot with Rice, Roti,Phulka or Naan and enjoy !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Diwali the festival of lights is around the corner.We always look forward to this vibrant festival. The best time to celebrate with your family friends and treat them with so many delicious sweets and savory recipes. One such recipe i am sharing today. Try this absolutely lip smacking masala Nimki.
Diwali is called the Festival of Lights and is celebrated to honor Lord Rama . It is believed that on this day Lord Rama returned to his kingdom after 14 years of exile during which he fought and won a battle against the demons and the demon king, Ravana.
The whole house is decorated with beautiful diyas and lights. Many of us are now celebrate green diwali hence no crackers and pollution.I am happy to decorate my home and spend time with my loved ones. Living abroad we do miss the typical celebrations way back in India. We make the best of out whatever is available.Try to help the local street vendors by buying mud diyas from them You will help to light up so many homes and help them celebrate festivities too.
This week we at #Foodiemonday #Bloghop decided to share some amazing recipes for #218th Theme #DiwaliDhamaka.It will help many of you who are still thinking what to make. Check out all the fab recipes for #DiwaliDhamaka.
Recipe for Masala Mathri:
For the Dough:
2 Cups -All Purpose Flour (Unbleached)
1/2 Cup Whole wheat Atta
1 Tsp Kalonji / Nigella Seeds
Salt to Taste
2 Tbsp Ghee
Water for kneading (about 1/2 Cup)
Oil for Deep frying
For Masala Sprinkle:
1.5 Tbsp Pudina Powder /mint leaves powder
1 Tsp Red Chilli Powder
2 Tsp Chaat Masala
1/2 Tsp Kala Namak / Black Salt
1 Tsp Ghee for greasing
1 Tsp Amchur / Dry Mango powder
Take a wide bottom bowl. Add all purpose flour , whole wheat flour, salt and Kalonji. Mix well. Add ghee and mix again to get a crumbly texture. Add water slowly to knead to a stiff dough. Ensure not to add more water. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and allow it to rest for 30 minutes.
Once the dough is ready divide the dough into small equal balls depending on size of the nimki you prefer. I made about 25 Nimkis. Take a dough ball and roll it into a round disk. Apply ghee and fold it into semi circle. Apply ghee again and fold it into a triangle.
Pick the Nimki and press the edges lightly.Repeat the process for the balance dough balls.
Heat oil in a deep pan. Once the oil is hot, deep fry these nimkis on low flame as it will ensure the inner layers are also fried.Each set will take about 15-20 minutes. So patience is the key.Once they turn golden brown transfer them on to a Bowl.
In a bowl add all the ingredients of Masala for sprinkling. Grease the nikis with ghee and toss them in this masala untill evenly coated. Tranfer them to a plate and allow it to cool completely. Once cooled store them in an airtight Container.
Enjoy with your family and friends!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
WISH YOU ALL A VERY HAPPY AND SAFE DIWALI!!!!!!!!!!!!
DO YOUR PART TO SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!