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COLD COFFEE – UNIQUE RECIPE

Hey All You COFFEE LOVERS. For years now my friends have asked me for my coffee recipe and so here is how I make it and why you won’t find it elsewhere! Cold Coffee is called Iced Coffee in USA. It is my favorite, quick recipe to drink on hot summer days. Now this is an old post, I am re-sharing because over the years my coffee has remained true to it’s heroic talent.

So welcome Arizona, to yet another year of a heated mess. Although I love the heat any way, I love it even more with my Cold aka Iced Coffee. What I hate about iced coffee from Starbucks or elsewhere is that they pack with a load of ice with coffee and dairy that tastes very separated, non-blended and unappealing. Or, they pack it up with froth and cream that is heavy fat and sugar, unnecessary for making a tantalizing coffee shake.

Yesterday i.e. on May 6th, 2018, I made this cold coffee once again for my daughter’s teacher and that too without any sugar in it and with v. little dairy. She loved it and sipped every inch to the bottom.

Ingredients:

 – Cold milk of any kind: Dairy or Non-dairy: 250 ml

– Instant Coffee Powder: Nescafe normal or African coffee powder

-Sugar / Stevia / Agave: as needed

-Spices: Pinch of Cinnamon Powder or Cardamom Powder, pinch of Ginger Powder

-2-3 ice cubes, blender and a Coffee-ing Heart

HOW TO MAKE IT:

– Add milk, sugar, coffee and ice. Be sure not to overdo the ice beyond 2-3 cubes . Blend it. Taste it for sugar and modify the sugar as needed. 

  • LOVE: I make it with immense love. I love coffee and love making it for others!

 

  • CREATIVE: I have never looked up any coffee recipe, let alone other recipes. I am not the person who can be patient reading recipes, I rather create one of my own!

 

  • SPICES: Cinnamon powder and ginger powder. Appx. 2 pinches in each glass.

 

  • OTHER STUFF: 4 med. sized ice cubes per glass, blender, milk (any), sugar, coffee.

 

  • Other times I switch the cinnamon for cardamom. Cinnamon gives a spicy ‘kick’ and cardamom gives it sweetness, choose either.20160821_231951

 

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Indian Tortilla Dough – Simple and Nutritous

# Original recipe
‪#‎Chappati‬ ‪#‎Roti‬ ‪#‎Rotli‬ ‪#‎Tortilla‬ ‪#‎Pancakes‬ ‪#‎Indian‬ ‪#‎Asian‬

INGREDIENTS:

Boiled potato = 1
Whole Oatmeal flour = 1 cup
Millet or Bajri flour = 1 cup
Whole wheat flour = 1.5 cups
Oil = 1.5 Tbsp total
Salt to taste
Cinnamon powder = 2 tsp.
Cilantro finely chopped 3 Tbsp. (optional)
Water to make Dough (appx 1 cup and better if warm)

indian dough

HOW TO:

Mix all the flours in a large mixing bowl
Mash the boiled potato with your fingers and mix well with the flour
Add 1Tbsp Oil
Add rest of the ingredients

Slowly add bit of water (1/6th cup) and work it all around the mixture. Once that water is absorbed, add more water and in 3-4 parts, work with the water and flour mixture to make a semi-soft dough.

Your dough is ready to be rolled into thin or thick tortillas / rotis / rotlis / chappatis

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MATAR PANEER – Veg. High Protein Fresh Cheese and Peas!

A few days ago, I was lucky to have the chance to make this special dish for a very special person and my husband loves paneer dishes too! Paneer is a popular North Indian delicacy enjoyed in several meals especially during special occasions or treats. It is a dairy product and hence very high in protein. In India, we call it Cottage Cheese but in USA it is termed as Fresh Cheese (I am unsure of the other names for it).

Being the person that I am – I totally dislike being a ‘follower’. I have to add my own creativity or you can say a streak of ‘experiment’ or ‘rebel’ into my work. Hence, I am not the recipe book follower. This makes me want to make my own dishes, the way I want and add ingredients or procedures that others may refuse or normally not follow.

I can assure you that you will love this dish. It will leave you and your guests with a clean plate as long as you know how to ‘waist’ the salt and pepper ;)

1. Defrost Paneer

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2. Put green peas to boil

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3. Saute fresh chopped Onions in oil or butter

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4. Prepare the spices – hand grind them fresh: black pepper, bay leaf, garlic (quantity as per taste), cinnamon stick, cloves.

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5. Sift the ground spices

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6. Chop cilantro and add it to the onions. Reduce heat to medium or low.

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7. Ground dry almonds and cashews into a semi-coarse or fine powder. Salted nuts are preferred.

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8. Add the ground powder to the onions. Add home-made or bought tomato paste. Add the ground spices. Add water to make a semi-thick paste. Add red chili powder if needed. Strain boiled green peas and add to this mixture. Simmer on medium for few minutes to allow for the flavors to mix well.

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9. Prepare the Paneer: Open the defrosted pack; cut into cubes of desired size for eating. Add oil or butter to a wide skillet and add cubes to saute. Sprinkle salt and black pepper or cinnamon powder on the paneer for absorption of flavor. May take anywhere from 7 – 15 mins. (on medium to low flame) – depends on the type of stove and skillet. Lightly toss and move frequently with a soft spatula. The water or foam will eventually evaporate. Alternatively, you can make your paneer at home by boiling milk and tearing it with tartness from fresh lemon juice or vinegar. There are many online recipes for the same.

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10. Remove the paneer when: it is light brown on either or both sides, slightly crispy and most water has evaporated. Then add paneer to the gravy. Sprinkle cilantro on top if you wish for more color and flavor.

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11. Serve hot with Indian Tortillas (Roti) or plain rice. I use masoori or basmati rice.

I have re-published this article at: http://www.mycity4kids.com/parenting/parenting-booth/article/matar-paneer-veg-high-protein-fresh-cheese-and-peas

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PEDA / PENDA – Indian Sweet / Dessert

This recipe comes from Public Request. Many of you have requested this, so here it is. Email me or write to me here with any questions. For the base, I follow a certain recipe, I have posted the link below and then I re-form it my style. I have shared sweet with many friends from different cultures – Indian, American, Other Asians and luckily this sweet has everyone’s smiles and thumbs up!

Follow this link to make your peda and then follow my add-ons below to make it so much more delicious!!!

Peda

Once the base is ready, this is what you get and do:

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Ball it, flat it, cut with cookie cutter. Repeat till you have used all the base.

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MY ADD-ONS: All of them are optional. You can leave out whichever you wish to not add.

  1. Cake Sprinkles – any
  2. Cardamom – 1full tsp.
  3. Nutmeg powder – 1/4th tsp
  4. Pistachio powder – 1 to 4 tsp depending on your taste
  5. Almond powder – 2 tsps
  6. Vanilla essence – 1/4 tsp
  7. Fennel seed powder – 1/4 tsp
  8. Saffron few strands or Saffron syrup 1/4 to 1/2 tsp – check for sweetness prior to adding

Mix all the ingredients including the sprinkles. Decorate as You Wish

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VEGAN HIGH PROTEIN CREPE

Crepe is a French word for a thin pancake which can essentially be curled up. Crepes have been an integral part of North and West Indian cooking for several decades. They make for a nutritious and a filling meal, all curled up together.

Being an artistic leader is an essential part of my personality and that shows up pretty well in the kitchen too. Rarely do I read a recipe from start to end and follow it to the T!  I have always preferred to be the one creating a recipe than the one who follows it. Today was something like that. I brought out the ingredients and then asked myself – how to use these to make dinner? ‘Ting’ went my mind – OATMEAL CREPE

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Find the Ingredient Photographs below.

  1. Oatmeal – 3 cups and churn into dry powder
  2. Poha (Beaten Rice) – 2 cups and churn into dry powder
  3. Urad Daal (Split black gram: split and hulled so that only the white part is used) – 2 cups and churn into dry powder
  4. Kale – 4 cups
  5. Spring Onions – One bunch – appx. 5 thin.
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Pepper 3-4 Tbsps.
  8. Cinnamon powder – 1 Tbsp.
  9. Red Chili Powder – 1 tsp.
  10. Water to make a medium thick, flowy batter

HOW TO:

Churn all well in as many batches as needed. The batter looks a bit grainy and that is ok. Add water whenever needed. If the batter is not used immediately, it may soak up water and look thicker when removed for use. Use your discretion in adding water. Spread on warm non-stick skillet. Make crepes as usual!

PROBLEM AREAS?

If it lumps up on the warm skillet, then it surely needs water. If it is so thin or soft that the crepe breaks on the skillet, then you may churn up either of the above dry ingredient into a powder and add it. You may even directly add Bengal gram flour which helps in binding ingredients. Remember at least part of the batter a churn in the blender once you add any dry flour to it. This will help keep the batter smooth and easy to spread.

The batter can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days however, best flavor when consumed within 3 days!

SUCCESS STORY!  :D

My family over-ate today! They said they loved it! It is a great recipe for kids too since they can roll it and eat by themselves by dipping in butter, sauce, or cilantro and tamarind dips. Use it while travelling!!!

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Poha - Beaten Rice

Poha – Beaten Rice

Urad Daal Or Split & Hulled Black Gram

Urad Daal Or
Split & Hulled Black Gram

The batter

The batter

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crepe

 

Also read: INDIAN GINGER TEA (CHAI)
with a Video Tutorial!

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parent of the month

Parent of the Month: April 2015: LATE KASTURBEN SAVLA

Although we may see fault in the ways of people and clearly mark out ‘souls’ that bring love and light vs. those that create painful surroundings, I intend to appreciate the greatness shown by each person in some way. Many film stars display heroic qualities but there are many more real-life unspoken ‘stars’ that have left behind examples of inspiration. I began the ‘Parent-of-the-month’ series with an intention to celebrate these ‘Parent-Heroes’, acknowledge their greatness, (leave aside any of their shortcomings), and inspire the ones on the road.

                                 THE BIOGRAPHY OF A LADY WITH GREAT VALOR

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Today I am introducing an Iron Lady who proved her buoyancy over the consistently frosty waters of life during her 91 years of courage and commitment.

Read her short story to know how she waded through the troubles of poverty coupled with many mouths to feed.

Kasturben (Ba in short) was overall a cheerful, outgoing person. In India, 80 years ago, girls got married as early as in their teens and the cultural tradition demanded a troupe of children. It sounds funny to hear but I can only imagine the burden that comes with it.

EARLY LOSS:

Kasturben lost her husband at the age of 35, leaving 9 young mouths and a 10th one (my mom) on the way. The tragedy of life was emphasized by severe scarcity of finances. She had some experience in running the provision store with her husband but after his death, it was a tough balance to create between her work and so many children. At that juncture, she did receive remarkable help from her brothers; yet, the path ahead was for her to carve.

Without a doubt, she worked day and night to ensure enough food and shelter for her little ones but there were severe challenges with her business. Most of her clients were construction workers on the airport building. Often, customers crowded at the same time after their work was over in the evening and this demanded bone-breaking work from her. The fact that women were considered as the domestic, weaker section of society, and many of her customers as well as workers would be males, demanded that she step up with exceptional bravery to assert her power.

Running a provision store requires work not only when there are customers but also before and after: bring in products, arrange them, clean up, manage the accounts, ensure that groceries are free of insects, and much more. Even after her workers left, work demanded her presence and it left her requesting help from her elder son and daughter. Her children showed similar qualities of courage and hard work and they all stepped up to drive through the dark times of life.

Ba’s sense of responsibility was very high. She looked after her parents until the end, while being dedicated to her 10 off springs, on a limited income.

WORDS FROM HER FAMILY:

Narration from one of her daughters:  “She would ask us to recite poems and tables before going to sleep. As a result, our studies were not neglected. In fact, she taught us the importance of education and sent my elder brother to USA in those times when there weren’t even proper flights from India and only 1% of the population ever left the country. It encouraged me to do my Masters and eventually I became a successful college teacher, because of my mom’s dedication and support. Had it not been for Mom’s hard work, we would not have had a shop at Church gate and a home in Juhu scheme. (Both are one of the best suburbs in Mumbai). We younger siblings were lucky to study in the prestigious -Mithibai College. Everything that she did helped us in our lives tremendously”.

Her very special religious table and family photographs corner on the cabinet and the sofa that folded into a bed... brings back special memories

Her very special religious table and family photographs corner on the cabinet and the sofa that folded into a bed… brings back special memories. With one of her daughter – Vijyaben

BA’S INSPIRATION:

As per the Indian tradition, a widow must wear only white saree (Indian dress) and Ba willingly followed that tradition too. Even though times were horrendous, she had the determination to keep moving forward with faith and courage. While fulfilling duties of the family she also became very religious. She did every possible fast from her religion and attended several religious ceremonies. Highly inspired from her, her elder daughters continued the religious tradition of fasts, known as ‘Tap’ in Gujarati and until today, they remember her for that.

LACK OF A FATHER:

While Ba was swimming against the odds of her life, all of her children had their own trials. They did have a powerful mother to show them care and strong will, yet they missed the roof of a father that would shade them from the heat of life. They deeply missed having a father figure to give them the confidence to bring themselves out in the world and guide them through. Her children showed their own kind of courage which cannot be worded in any way. Later in life, her son who flew abroad gave her continuous and immense financial support.

FURTHER TRAGEDIES:

As if life had not offered her enough trouble, Ba had her biggest blow with the untimely death of her last born (my mom) at a very young age. This was an irreparable loss for her that left her completely shattered. She also steered through the pain of losing her sister, eldest son, and her grandson! Ba showed her high morals and helpful nature by caring for her Special Needs’ cousin brother and for her sister’s children like her own.

BA with her GRANDCHILDREN:

Ba had a lot of affection for her grandchildren and enjoyed cooking for them. I remember how she would insist we eat (more than we could) to show her care. Most of us enjoyed her white dhoklas and rice flake treats (mumra ladus). Her cooking clearly reflected her motherly love for us. One of her daughter-in-law says that Ba’s cooking skills sparked interest in cooking for her.

One of her grandchild says – “She did not have just will power, she had horse power, she was such a strong person”.

MY MEMORIES:

My memories with my maternal grandmother are surrounded by the moral stories she narrated. I saw very little of her until my early 20s but the time I spent after my 20s was highly memorable. The fact that her face would light up just when we entered, told me a lot about her affection for my sister and me. Last, I saw her in 2007 when I had visited my home country. She had severe health problems, yet she would daily give food to the birds on her window roof.

Ba was extremely strong-willed and I applaud her for the way she waded through getting her children to study, the girls to get married, sending her son abroad, and being at the funeral of her own children. Wherever you are Grandma, know that it is my honor to write about you and be inspired with courage and determination like yours! We all Miss You and Love You!!

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————-Original article and copyright by Rima Desai May 3, 2015—————–

      www.rimadesai.org

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Falafel Fiesta – Yum!!

Chick pea paste with Tahini Dip on the right

Chick pea paste with Tahini Dip on the right

Although Falafel is a Mid-East recipe, every Indian knows how to incorporate his /her own taste and definition to a recipe from around the world. In case if you haven’t already heard, Indians are good ‘Creative Copy-Cats (CCC)’, the way I put it! lol

So here is my CCC Falafel half inspired by me watching my talented aunt cook Falafel a few years ago and half inspired by my crazy mind. This purely Vegetarian dish can also be made VEGAN by keeping out the Optional Ingredients and can be awed for its nutritional fillers- high proteins, calcium, iron, with moderate carbs and fats.

We need:

  1. Butter as per needed on the bread slice when preparing final serving
  2. ½ Onion – white or red (in India onions are way smaller in size, may require to use 2 onions, refer to my picture below to know the quantity)
  3. 2 inch stick of cinnamon
  4. 2 cloves
  5. 1 tsp black pepper – crushed or powder
  6. Sesame seeds – ½ cup
  7. * Optional ingredient: Yogurt – ½ cup
  8. Salt as per needed for each time of use
  9. 1 cup chick peas or garbanzo beans soaked for 6hours.
  10. 1 big palm sized potato or equivalent number of small size
  11. * Optional: Paneer – cottage cheese, crushed to make half to one cup. Make at home by boiling and tearing boiling milk with vinegar or lemon. You can find tons of recipes for how to make paneer at home or get Ready paneer from store. In Usa, you will find Paneer in the frozen section of Indian stores
  12. * Optional: Cheese – 1/4th cup
  13. Tabasco: 4drops
  14. Sriracha Sauce: 1/4th to ½ tsp (as spicy as you want

HOW TO COOK IT

  1. 20150408_181124 Roast white sesame seeds in a non-stick pan on med to low heat until they turn light brown. Stir every minute, making sure you are tossing those seeds around pretty well. They do love carousel rides!
  2. Once light brown remove from stove and allow to cool in a cool area of home, preferably out of the kitchen and under the fan (make sure your fan is clean ;))
  3. Meanwhile, we will prepare the base of our stuffing.
    20150408_180147 chop fine. Red onion is ok too.
  4. Pressure cooker or any untensil to boil the garbanzo beans.
  5. In med. to big sized Pressure Cooker (or Rice cooker), 1 Tbsp of oil; when hot, add 2 inch stick of cinnamon, 2 cloves, 1 tsp crushed black pepper or black pepper powder.
  6. add onions, roast on med to high flame till translucent in color.
  7. Add garbanzo / chick peas and fill water to 2-3 inches above chick peas.
  8. To make the chick peas softer, add salt to
  9. Boil in cooker with 6 whistles. (Adjust whistle no. as per your cooker)

20150408_180303 Kept to boil in pressure cooker

10. Meanwhile we will make our own version of ‘ Tahini Dip’. Crush the cooled sesame seeds in a dry grinder 1st 20150408_183101

11. Once crushed, add 1 Tbsp cooking oil to the dry, ground sesame powder. Churn it once if needed. Add 3 Filled Tbsp of Yogurt (*optional, this is my own addition) and store this dip in a tightly covered container to preserve the flavor.

12. When the pressure cooker cools, separate the potato from the chick peas

13. Peel potato skin. Mash the boiled, peeled potato and add paneer – cottage cheese. Top with salt and 1tsp of red chilli powder (add more or less as per requirement)

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14. Add quarter cup cheese

15. Mash the chickpeas, potato, paneer all in one

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16. Add salt, tabasco 4 drops, 1/4 to 1/2 tsp Sriracha sauce (as spicy as needed)

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17.  images All the parts are ready. Unlike Traditional Falafel, I do not make them into balls. I leave it like a paste.

Chick pea paste with Tahini Dip on the right

Chick pea paste with Tahini Dip on the right

18. Take your Bread slices, add butter, layer with tahini dip, chick peas paste, bite into this delightful dish!

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PARENTING

~Simple but highly powerful ways to show love~

Tip of the Day:

Show your children how much you love your spouse in ways other than just words and physical touch. Teach them how to serve each other by doing something that you may not like but yet do to give comfort or show love to your partner. Life is not all rosy and romantic, show love in your day to day routines.

love

What do children learn by observing such actions?

  1. The importance of sometimes putting others’ need before theirs 
  2. Teaches them practical / realistic ways to show love which will help their relationships later in life
  3. Gives them a sense of security and love in the family
  4. Teaches them to share responsibility                                                         
  5. Teaches them to respect others and others’ needs

    Real life Example:

Lately my husband has been cooking some difficult dishes. Those that typically ONLY women cook and which are totally out of his comfort zone like Dudhi (lauki or bottle gourd) vegetable, cabbage curry. More so, he has been rolling and roasting chapatis (Indian flat bread) which is not only tough for any newbie but also highly uncommon for men to do. Maybe 1% of Indian men (non-chefs) do it.

Yet, he does it with a lot of joy. His purpose is to give me my extra free fun time or my own time. Other ways we show love and our union to each other is by playing silly games like running around tagging each other, making funny faces, water splash challenges, giving massages, making food of each others’ liking, giving each other a day or evening to utilize the way we individually want, sharing daughter’s responsibilities like brushing teeth, pick and drop, meal care, and so on.

More than anything, the joy my daughter gets to see us do these things for each other is phenomenal. The energy eventually spreads.. Now at 4 years, she wants to make Tea and Sandwiches for dad 3 times a week and that too from step 1st to end.

Please do not use this post as a WEAPON against your husband. lol but by all means Share it with them! :D Do not demand or command what they SHOULD do. There are several options in cooking or besides cooking, there are many things around the home that can be done together. The whole idea is to work together for fun. It could be doing groceries together, shopping, cleaning at home together, setting the table together… anything within each one’s comfort zone.

~Working together in one great way to bond a family, experience love and produce lots of joyful energy at home~

Also read: https://mystyrimz.wordpress.com/2015/01/24/marriageastrology/
* Note – all my articles are originally written by me. Find lots more info on my Facebook Page – Parenting Booth: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Parenting-Booth/838254032904102

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Delicious Bhel recipe by Rima

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Bhel is a highly popular dish in North India. The main ingredient is roasted or shallow fried puffed rice. There are lots of raw vegetables and two highly nutritious dips (chutneys) added to the puffed rice.

This is my own (Rima Desai’s) unique recipe to make your bhel even more nutritious:

  • Mix veggies of your choice – cucumber, corn, onion, potato, tomato, broccoli, carrot, onion, etc. lightly salted
  • Roasted cashew, peanut and almond powder all mixed together
  • Raisins and pomegranate – optional
  • Cilantro chutney (dip) and Tamarind + dates chutney (dip)
  • Ready Bhel mix or home roasted kurmura (puffed rice) mixed with bhujia (sev or fried Bengal gram snack)
  • Chaat masala and cilantro.

MIX IT ALL and feast!

Google image credits
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