#Amma’s Green Pulao

It was my 16th birthday. My friends had come over for a pyjama party/sleepover. I remember vividly, Amma(Mom) had made her ‘Green Pulao’, with French Fries as a garnish for dinner & I had loved it. She probably gave it the name ‘Green Pulao’ for ease with her three children, my brothers & me. That was the first time I ate this dish and since then most special occasions at home are incomplete without it. Continue reading “#Amma’s Green Pulao”

#raita with cherry tomatoes

‘Raita’ is a curd/yogurt based Indian side dish and this one is particular is one of the simplest foods I’ve whipped up in my kitchen. It takes hardly any time but don’t mistake it’s simplicity for a meagre tasting dish. Like Julia Child says, “Cooking well doesn’t mean cooking fancy”. The luscious cherry tomatoes marry perfectly with the mint & curd and is a perfect side for any rice pilaf/pulao. Continue reading “#raita with cherry tomatoes”

MALDIVES

“Close your eyes, fall in love, stay there.”
-RUMI
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Never had I seen a blue so beautiful….A tinge of teal, a sparkle of turquoise, a tint of aqua. The blue waters of the ocean pervade the entire vision and they glisten & shimmer as the beaming sun lays his eyes on them. The sands are warm & white with shells & conches strewn around here & there. The majestic sun, the radiant sand & the infinite blue sea in all their splendour give us a glimpse of heaven. Maldives is truly paradise on earth. Continue reading “MALDIVES”

#Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting-Eggless

In the words of the famous cartoonist Charles m Schulz, “All you need is love. But, a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt”.
So you know how chocolate makes everything better…well it does for me & my husband! We love it, eat it & never regret it!
These cupcakes are brimming with the goodness of sweet pumpkin & chocolate chips. The chocolate melts into the subtle flavours of the pumpkin and & makes it glorious. Slather them with some glossy & gooey chocolate cream cheese frosting…Needless to say, I was in heaven! So here present a recipe that’ll hopefully steal your hearts too:) Continue reading “#Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cupcakes with Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting-Eggless”

#Pumpkin and Cinnamon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting-Eggless

Being South Indian, the idea of sweet pumpkins being incorporated in desserts was something unknown to me. My grandma makes delicious curries & stews that are infused with the sweetness of the vegetable no doubt, but they are in fact savory. When I came to the western world, a ‘pumpkin doughnut’ at a popular store intrigued me but in vain. It didn’t appeal to my palate & I vowed to keep away from pumpkin related desserts. Little did I know what a big mistake I was making. Continue reading “#Pumpkin and Cinnamon Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting-Eggless”

Goa Vacance – 3

Hi, I’m Mr.DM, D’s other half. I was greatly excited when my wife pitched in with this idea of me contributing here specially about Goa. So I got started from that moment on & hope you enjoy yet another one of our “stories” about Goa!

LOCATION: IAF AIRBASE, BANGALORE
DATE: 21-FEB-2015
TIME: 1400 HRS
EVENT: AERO INDIA SHOW 2015

TRANSCRIPT:
D: We were planning for the Goa trip this time last year
Dee: Well, we could go this year too
D: DM, what say?
DM: Hmmmm…OK.
D: But this time, not in a car.
Dee: Hahahaha
DM: Ya…Not again
Dee: I heard there are cheap air tickets on offer.
D: Let’s go then!!!
DM: Roger that
Dee: Over and out

…And that’s how another Goa trip and yet another very special chunk of something called life came into existence. Tickets were booked, resort was booked, leaves applied, approved and we were all set for yet another wonderful holiday in Goa by the end of March. This time, unlike the rest of the times we were ready well over a month in advance. D, Dee and DM all set and waiting for that amazing day to arrive. From then on, we had 99% of our brains used up by one thought…the idea of a holiday in Goa.
However, what’s life without some drama 🙂 … Much had changed by the first week of March, both professionally and personally. We were staring at a possible expedited relocation from Bangalore into one of possible 3 continents, with the relocation date somewhere in the first week of April. We had to make a choice and the options were hard to choose from and to add to that there was a heap load of work coming our way in terms of packing, paper work, etc. D would ask me this once every morning, afternoon and night – “DM, with all this going on, you think we should cancel the Goa trip? How will we wrap everything up if we go on a vacation?”. I kept telling her every time – “I think we will be able to manage, let’s wait and watch”, though being equally or more anxious about the situation. Goa 2015, what seemed like a sure shot on 21st of February, was turning into a highly likely dissolution.

Come 18th of March, we were still undecided, with less than 20 days to pack up the entire house and move to another continent. Goa 2015 was probably not meant to be. But wait, what the heck…. It’s GOA. In the wise words of Madam D, “We have a 2/3 probability of moving to a country with cold weather. Where are we going to get sunny beaches and a ride on the bike with the wonderful breeze to enjoy… and it’s GOA”. So, Goa 2015 was indeed a trip meant to be and a very special one at it.

We landed at the same resort we were last time around – Riva beach resort and spa, sipping some wonderful tropical flavored drink in the pool, overlooking the beach….Heaven.
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Dee by now had developed a special liking for swimming. He was in fact addicted to it, so much so that day or night did not matter.IMG_6611D by then had done a lot of thinking about the relocation and had narrowed down her choices of relocation from 3 to 2. And she was ok with either one of them and frankly did not care which one of the two it was going to be. With the weight of that decision making off her back, she was enjoying every bit of it in what I would like to call “A colony of Heaven” – Goa. I on the other hand, though was enjoying, used the tranquil, heavenly environment to ponder over various pros and cons of the choices I had.
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In Goa, there are these cool jeeps (warning: they appear cool, but are super uncomfortable for passengers sitting at the back) you can rent for cheap/decent rate depending on your bargaining skills. We also rented one such jeep to get around. We would go to this vegetarian restaurant called Krishna Bhavan in Calangute and feast on Sabudana Khichdi each morning – A must try.
IMG_20150321_102720… And in the evenings, we would sit in these cool gazebos at the resort with some fries, manchurians, and sandwiches and have long talks as the sun set across the ocean, making it a pretty spectacular experience.
IMG_6940It was already Sunday, the dreaded day where we were scheduled to head back to Bangalore. It was almost time I made the final decision about our relocation as well. I had decided to stay on with my current employer and relocate to this wonderful country, Canada (one of the 3 choices). What this also meant was that since I had decided to stay on with my employer of last 10 years, I had the liberty to buy a week or two of time to begin the relocation formalities. And what that meant was there was a possibility of Goa 2015 not coming to an end on Sunday and the party continuing for a few more days. Made a couple of calls at work and yes, more good times were to come. Sadly for Dee, it was time to head back to Bangalore. After one last Sabudana Khichdi meal for the trip for Dee, with a very heavy heart, D and me dropped Dee off at the airport.

Knowing fully well that we would be missing Goa thoroughly, D and me decided to enjoy every bit of our extended stay in Goa. We went on dinner dates to Taj, did some shopping, again enjoyed scrumptious breakfast buffet at Taj. We wanted to imbibe every bit of Goa.

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We then rented a bike for the rest of the trip. We rode around the narrow lanes of North Goa jeweled with coconut plantation, Old Portuguese styled houses and beaches. Calangute – a small, more of a commercial town in North Goa with lots of shops, restaurants, spas, coffee shops used to be a regular stop on our route. We would stop there to buy a cup of ice cold coffee or a fake designer watch or to grab a bite.
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Now, about the resort we stayed in – Riva Beach Resort was a and probably continues till date to be a good value for money resort in North Goa with access to the beach and back waters and the wonderful gazebos that I made a mention of above. The resort itself is built on a hill which leads up to the beach. You can catch a glimpse of the sunset over the beach right from the room or any of the gazebos or even the pool.

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Those talks with D and Dee at the gazebo, those moments spent laughing, and those nice little brother-sister fights between Dee and D, the strolls along the beach or along the lush green paths of the resort are amongst the best moments of my life. I was sure that I had made the best decision for us and Goa 2015 seemed like a promise, a promise from God of the good times ahead.

#Dal with KALE

Dal is an Indian delicacy made with dried pulses. The pulses are cooked with spices, vegetables with a generous tempering made with ghee(clarified butter). Plainly done, cooked with some salt, mixed with a good serving of ghee & hot white rice is my “go-to” comfort food. I remember having this packed for lunch every single day during my internship at college despite all the delicacies my mom & grandma used to lay at the table. As you can imagine, dal & it’s variations are a regular affair in my kitchen, my husband being a big fan as well. Continue reading “#Dal with KALE”