Thursday, March 20, 2008

peanuts chutney

Khichdi, chutney, Paapad, ghee !!!

yummy, this was the regular breakfast in our house on Sundays!

khichdi,with a a spoonful of desi ghee,made by my mom, adding to it the tang of peanut chutney and crunchy munch of pappad and of course with chandrakanta on television was what sunday was like........
Some foods have a lot of memories attached to it,this is one of it!
khichdi is very simple, my mom used masoor daal,I used moong instead!

Usually khichdi was either accompanied by khatta or chutney, khatta is nothing but tadka of zeera and dried red chilly on tamarind juice,with salt and green chilly paste and chopped cilantro!
But I prefer the chutney. Mummy used to make til-phalli(sesame-peanuts) ki chutney,since I had only peanuts at home, my version is only phalli ki chutney i.e, peanuts chutney.


peanuts 1/2 cup
tamarind -lemon size ball of tamarind
cilantro 1/4 cup chopped
onion 1/2 sliced
green chillies 2(as much as you can dare to bear)
ginger garlic paste 1/4 tsp
zeera for tempering
1 dried red chilly saabit(optional)

Roast the peanuts on a tawa, for about 5 mins, or till the it turns dark pink,!let it cool.
--Simultaneously squeeze out the tamarind pulp and keep it aside
--After the peanuts are cooled, rub it so that its flaky skin comes out.
--In a blender,put the peanuts,green chillies and tamarind pulp,ginger garlic paste,salt and blend it.
--Now transfer the mixture in a bowl and add to it chopped cilantro and sliced onion.
--heat oil in a wok for tempering, when it is hot, put zeera and dried red chilly saabit, let it get brown...immediately put the zeera in hot oil to the peanut ,tamarind mixture.
--Enjoy this chutney with khichdi,or anything you fancy!

P.S: Just in case you need the recipe of khichdi, Mona's khichdi recipe is great on her blog zaiqa


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Kadhi pakoda or dahi ki kadhi

Oh its already half past 1 and I have not yet decided what to make for lunch!
What was I doing? well, just yesterday I got hold of a dvd, that had both the movies OSO and chakde india!
I saw OSO long back, I didnt like it much!...In the whole movie they were saying"picture abhi baqi hai mere dost!", and making us sit through it!`And one thing they beautifully copied from Paulo Coelho's novel, the Alchemist,where Coelho says, when you want something from the core of your heart,the entire universe conspires to give it to you
"itni shiddath se tumhein meine paane ki koshish ki hai, ke saari kaaynaath ne mujhe tumse milaane ki saazish ki hai"
Anyways, then I saw chakde I loved the movie!!I didn't like it much when I saw the promo..they were singing "ek hockey doongi mein rakhke!!", what wierd thing I thought,but it turned out as a fantabulous movie!
So, I was so engrossed in this movie that,I did not take notice of the time, then suddenly I realized its so late!
So I wanted to make something hassle free ,yet tasty, no cutting and chopping onions and tomatoes,so kadhi pakoda struck my mind, well good I have to chop onions ,but only one,no big deal!
So as my younger daughter was sleeping I thought I will do chopping work done,coz when she is up,I will be in and out of the kitchen every 1-2 min interval,now that she has started crawling, she comes and sit near the kitchen door,look at me accusingly and cry.
Anyways moving on,if you have one big onion
chop half and slice half,if the onions are small,chop one and slice one.chop the cilantro,slit 2 green chillies
Oops,I did not write the ingredients

2 cups yogurt
1big or 2 small onions
1 large bunch cilantro
4 green chillies
1/8 tsp haldi
3 tbsp besan
2 sprig curry leaves
1/2 tsp red chilly powder
4 tbsp oil
1 tsp zeera
1 dries red chilli (saabit)

for pakodas:
1/2 cup besan
1/2 chopped onion
ginger garlic paste 1/2tsp
red chilly powder
oil(for frying)

--If you have big onion chop half and slice half, out of the huge bunch of cilantro,blend half of the cilantro with 3 green chillies, chop the remaining cilantro.
--Take yogurt in a large bowl, and beat it with a fork or a whisk,to make it smooth,add to it the blended mixture of cilantro and chillies,haldi,salt,red chilly powder,ginger garlic paste.
--mix the 2 tbsp besan with half a cup water,,in a cup and keep aside,see that lumps arent formed.
--Now put the saucepan on heat and then put the entire yogurt mixture,slowly add the besan mixture to it,keep stirring while adding the besan mixture.
--put half of the chopped cilantro,slitted green chilly,curry leaves and the sliced onion.
--when this starts boiling lower the flame ,and stir occasionally.
--in a bowl take the chopped onions,besan,salt,haldi ginger garlic paste,red chilly powder and remaining chopped cilantro, mix it using water,to form a smooth batter.--heat oil in a skillet,when it is hot put a tablespoon of bater in hot oil,you can fry 5 at a time,when the color changes,turn the pakoda and fry till golden on both sides.
--Add these fried pakodas in the boiling mixture of yogurt, check the consistancy,if its thick enough turn off the stove.
--heat about 4 tbspof oil,when its hot add zeera, dry red cholly, when it turns brown,put it on the kadhi(yoghurt mixture).

Yummy kadhi pakoda is ready in a jiffy! Well, if you want to make an elaborate meal, and you are pukka non veg, then, along with it make kheema-methi.

Steamed rice, dahi ki kadhi and kheema methi is the best combination! my mom used to make it, ohhh I miss her so much! Inshallah I will soon make kheema methi and post it's recipe!!

till then MAA SALAAMA!!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

birth story of Sameeha--9th march 2005

8 March 2005!
Oh God I have an appointment at the hospital to check my sugar levels,the delivery is due anytime next week,I have to go early for fasting blood sugar, my sink is full of dishes to be washed,my house is in mess, oh I just wish I had to go a little later so that I can finish off the clean up and then go,tch tch ,leave it ,will do it after I come back,will take 2-3 hours for fasting and then post lunch sugar levels.

Oh this was what I was thinking when I left my home, done with fasting blood sugar,I went to my gynecologist , I waited in the waiting room patiently,as anyway I had lot of time to kill for my post lunch test. The wait didn't seem long,next was my turn!

After a few mins , there I was lying with all the stuff around me, the nurses checking the baby's heartbeat...dhab dhab dhab dhab...oh it was so great, although this was not the first time I was hearing it, but I looked forward to each visit to the doctor to hear this ...!

After this, the series of events that occurred were,so high paced and unexpected that I dont remember so exactly,but here is what happened, the Doctor said the amniotic fluid content is less...your labour should be induced!!

Oh my God!!

I was happy! I was scared!I was anxious(normal or C-section)!I was confused!I was just dumbly following through the proceedure of the hospital, showing the insurance cards,then they gave us bands,with my name and husband's name to me and my husband ,and after baby is born , the baby will also have the band with my name, oh I guess for obvious reason that all babies look alike and they don't mix up!(aww )

hmm mmm with all the range of feelings ,there was one intense, I was HUNGRY!!!
I told my husband I am dying of hunger get me fooooood!!
Oh poor dear! he went and searched for the canteen, he got fries,bread ,butter! thats what he could find halal there!

Oh I hungrily munched into those fries!!!mmmmmmmmmmm, I only had a couple of the fries when, the doctor came in , and said..after the labor is induced I am not supposed to EAT anything!! only liquids....ohhh, now I was not fretting at the idea of labor pain ,but at the idea of no food,you know how hungry pregnancy makes us, and thank God alhamdulillah, I never had nausea!
Even after what doctor said I sneaked some fries, but then a nurse came in and threw it in the dustbin!!!
now I was induced at 12 noon, oh nothing happened,till 6 just feeling hungry,aaah from 6 in the evening mild pains started,the nurses came put the those things that shows the contractions on CRO on my tummy,with gel and stuff, wow this was so new to me, actually I was enjoying it coz the actual pain had not started and I didn't had the idea how much painful that pain is!!

OK@ 6 contractions started, I was looking into the graph beside me, the intensity, it was very very around 8 the nurse came in made bed for my husband, ohhh nice fluffy pillow and sheets!! oh somebody is lucky!
oh then the contractions intensified, Oh i gasped, then when it wasn't there I told the nurse I was hungry! She got me a Popsicle, I thought wow what great food to fill me, even in those pains I was craving for solid carbohydrates!

oh by 10-11 I was having high intensity contractions, my husband tried to deviate me,he asked me what to name the baby? we decided on Afeefa!, but still the name wasn't ringing the bell, I said look for some other names, there he was searching,.

I am a movie buff,anytime of the day you ask me to come watch movie ,I am Eveready!!
Our room had a television, with cable, all my favorite serials were being aired FRIENDS,titanc movie on another channel,oh that time the nurse trying to distract me, switched the tv on, I felt like throwing anything I can grab on the tv to shut it down!

Now 2 .am ,9th march, very much in pain! waiting for my next contraction,I saw my husband blissfully sleeping! first I was really annoyed,for I was in pain and he was sleeping, but then he had a hard day! my admission in the hospital was out of the blue!He had to go to office then come here, go home, get things...he needed the sleep!
I was also catching up with the sleep in between the contractions!
morning 5, I thought I'll die of the pain,I could not take another 5 mins of the pain, I wanted them to do whatever but take the baby out of me,but I didn't had the energy even to open my mouth,12 hours of labor pain almost 36 hours of deprivation from food, made me really weak.
The doctor came in at around 5.30 and said, haaa haa you gotta wait another 3-4 hours .

I thought I cannot live through these 3 hours,the pains were unbearable, but in another 5 mins ,the doctor came and said, The baby's heartbeat is going down we gotta operate her!

they transfered me from bed to stretcher, wheeled me in to the labor room, I was really scared, Alhamdulillah, in US they allow husbands in the labor room,the anesthesiologist injected anesthesia, on the lower part of the spinal cord, my body below the abdomen felt numb,then they put a curtain sort of thing so that I cannot see people tearing off my tummy:-(
I held my husband's hand throughout,that comforted me,I knew he will be there for me,and he loves me.....and the baby, will strengthen our relationship!
Oh I wasn't feeling the pain, coz I was numb ,but the emotional outburst of thoughts made me cry!

6:59 am 9th march 2005 born a baby girl Sameeha
weighing 6 lbs
length 21 cms
and of all she was born with 2 teeny weeny teeth (huda also)

(forgot to tell,as they were wheeling me into the labor room,my husband walking with the stretcher said what about "Sameeha"how is the name?,I was in so much pain that I literally said,kuch bhi rakhlo naam,So Sameeha was named by her father!)

then after the cutest crying I ever heard,I heard the sounds of somebody stapling,I wondered,wow paperwork in labor room?hmmm!
but actually they were stapling me(yaaa,wierd,in India they stitch, I never know that people staple also...maybe US doctors do that).
then I saw the baby,,,,,mashallah she was so cute,so tiny,so precious,I love you baby, alhamdulillah! thanx allah for giving me a healthy baby!

After that I don't remember anything,I was in total unconscious state, getting up only when the nurse came in with the baby to be nursed.

Its 3 years now, it just seems like it was yesterday,how fast children grow!

Not much was done on her birthday, we went out for dinner. This post was long overdue, I had been writing it for a week, saving it in draft.

Monday, March 3, 2008

my babies

Of late Huda has become very very naughty,she has started crawling and is into everything, she finds the minutest kachra that goes unnoticed by us! Her favourite is the pistachio's shell, however hard I try to dispose that off in dustbin, Somehow,I guess Sameeha drops it around ...(Sam loves pistachios and kaju). We have named Huda kachra detector:-D ! I know, too bad on our part. Huda has now also learnt to pull herself up in standing position holding furniture,door or wall...but she has not learnt how to get down after standing up...So that's the main problem now...when I am busy in kitchen doing dishes..she pulls herself up and gives a 100watts smile...proud of her accomplishment on getting up on her own tiny feet, ''Oh dear'',by the time I come running from the kitchen...DHUM she falls down!

I was wondering how different two children can be,even sisters...I am seeing the clear differences how sameeha was and how huda is....sameeha started walking really really late...she started walking at the age of around 14 -16 months but started speaking way before that, but huda on the other hand already started crawling and...pulling herself up...just at the age of months! Sameeha has power in her pitch...Huda is mashallah strong.

I sometime think might be Sameeha took time to walk because she was born out of C -section and Huda normal...but then that's stupid, I am talking like an idiot!

Sameeha is very very sensitive, I don't know what will happen when she starts going to school, she starts crying at slightest comment on anything, and cannot defend herself,this I am saying by an incident that occurred yesterday which forced me to think what to do..

We have a girl of Sameeha's age in the house next door,who sometimes come in the evening in our house to play with Sameeha, but while playing, she hits Sameeha really bad,sometimes pulls her hair ! What does any child react to this...I don't know? might be some will hit back,some may not hit back but defend themselves so as not to get hit...but Sameeha got hit every time and came crying to me....Now I am in a confused state...I am really angry...but then that is also a baby!what do I do? I explained to her lovingly..but again she hits her ...I took her back to her house and left her there. Again today she does that right in front of me and her mother, but the mother doesn't say a word, just lightly says"beta don't do that"! I was so pissed off...coz if the same kinda bullying happens to her in school, who will comfort her? she should learn to defend herself, was I at fault , coz I taught her not to hit other children,might be that's why she doesn't hit back or defend herself. I just don't know..probably time will teach her to be brave with bullies!

Now the greatest challenge of having 2 kids is giving attention to both! It is so very obvious that a mother loves both her kids, but it comes naturally when one is totally dependant on you and the other at least is able to walk,eat ,do things herself, you give attention to the one who is totally dependant,but the older one,who has been getting 100% attention till now sees the attention,love,everything divided...will be sad,whenever I give a bit more attention to the younger one!

But these`days I enjoy watching both play together, Sameeha jumps around like a monkey and Huda laughs out loud, then they hug each other, Huda`tries to kiss Sameeha opening her mouth full as if going to eat:)
May God keep this love between them throughout their lives...Ameen

Saturday, March 1, 2008

tomato rasam or tomato chaar

Last week, all of us were suffering from flu, It started with my husband,then passed on to Samy ,then to me ,then finally to poor lil Huddu. Oh God that was an awful time, it felt like somebody was hammering inside my head, and then children were cranky, I was cranky. What bad timing for all of us to fall sick together.....There was a time when I was in school I loved getting sick(yeah I know, I was crazy), but you know that time getting sick came with so many incentives, first and foremost CHUTTI from school :-) ,then all the VIP treatment from everyone at home, mumy used to make gulatti for me(very soft rice,with ghee...yummy),lots of hugs from everybody.Anyways now I hate getting sick, coz now I have got many people who are dependent on me..... its only when you have your kids that you realize what it is to be a parent! Only then you will realize what all your parents went through raising you! Your baby's hurt,hurts you more than your own hurt!!

Here is a song dedicated to all the mothers out there...
This song is really touching...just listen to each word, it has great meaning!!
Anyways coming back to the topic,so me and my husband needed something really steaming hot to open up our ears and nose that were stuffed, No seriously, I thought I have become deaf, I could not hear anything , this rasam opened up my nose and ears. Its tangy taste keeps your taste buds tingling.
So here are the ingredients

5-6 ripe tomatoes
lemon size ball of tamaring
1 tsp methi seeds
1 tbsp zeera
1 tsp Asafoetida
20-25 peppercorn
2-3 sprigs curry leaves
2 dry red chilly
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1 tsp mustard seeds
2 tbsp oil
2 flakes garlic


ash the tomatoes and tamarind, cut the tomatoes in halves.
--In a saucepan,put the tomatoes and the tamarind and 2-3 cups of water and boil for around 5 to 10 mins.

--Let it cool, then using clean hand, mash the tomatoes and tamarind, strain the juice.Set aside.
--Now on a tawa put zeera ,peppercorns,methi,red chilly,garlic,curry leaves and roast for about 2-3 minutes.
--now in a dry grinder or using mortar and pestle make the above roasted masala into coarse powder
--Now heat oil in a saucepan,when its hot,put the mustard seeds,when it starts spluttering, out the ground masala and fry for about 2 mins or till the fragrance of the masala starts coming,then put the strained juice of tomato,salt and Asafoetida . Let it boil till it foams, remove it from heat as soon as it starts foaming.
--Serve hot with steamed rice, any stir fried vegetable and pappad.

spicy chicken curry

Some days back Nabeela of Trial and error had posted the recipe of salmon coconut milk curry, I liked that recipe a lot, but I dont like fish a lot...I mean in curries and gravies..I just like fish different marinades...So I thought lets make a little deviation from what nabeela originally made,I used chicken instead of salmon ,also instead of chopping onion and tomatoes..I made a paste of both separately in mixer,to make it a little spicy I added about a couple tsp of achar gosht...anyways what turned out was a spicy ,tangy chicken curry....the preparation time is less, so this can made when u have lotta work and yet you have to cook something good, here is how you should start
4 tbsp oil
1/2 Kg chicken(whole)
2 medium onions
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tomatoes
14 oz coconut milk
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
2 tsp shan (or any) achar gosht masala
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chilly powder
1/8 tsp haldi
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1 tsp zeera
2 pods cardamom
1 inch cinnamon stick
3-4 peppercorns


Chop the onions and tomatoes in large chunks, blend the onions and tomatoes separately in a blender to form a paste

--Heat oil in a saucepan, when its hot put zeera, after it starts spluttering,put cardamom, cinnamon,peppercorn ..and fry till it gets golden brown, then put the onion paste, fry for some time..about 3-5 mins, then put ginger garlic paste and fry for some time, then put salt, haldi chilly powder, fry for about 15 secs, then put achar gosh masala(this is optional,if u want less spicy you can skip the achar gosht masala).

--Now put the tomato paste, both the one you have blended and the ready made tomato paste, I have used the ready made paste to impart the red color, that will not be much conspicuous with only the fresh tomato paste. Fry till the oil separates, then put the chicken pieces, fry for some time.

--Now put the coconut milk, and mix well,put a cup of water if required, cover the saucepan and cook on low heat for about 40 mins, stir occasionally.

--Garnish with the chopped cilantro.

--Serve hot with rice, I made pea pulao, while frying the peas I added a cube of maggie chicken stock instead of salt, it tasted really great!