2014, What a year it had been

9:02 AM

2014  started with so much anticipation. We were awaiting the birth of our second kid and secretly hoping to have a daughter this time. Even on January 10th when they were taking me inside the OT I was praying to God to bless us with a daughter. and when my Doctor said those magical words 'It's a girl' joy knew know bound. Tears rolling down my cheek I just felt did my family. We cheered, we celebrated her birth and I thanked God thousand time for making my dream come true...

But I did not know what he had in store for me. He just made me realise that "Sometimes the dreams that come true, are the dreams you never even knew you had." So true.

Bread Paratha etc

Wholegrain Pancake with Orange-honey Syrup

6:06 AM

We had very grown up talk with the five and half year old of the house this morning. Like every year he is ready with his letter to Santa. This year he not only have written down his lists but also has included his sister's wish.
While having breakfast we wanted to make sure that we have got the kids's wishes covered and ready for their morning surprise.
So I asked him, "so what do you want from Santa this year?"

The boy got all excited and said "Kinder joys, story book and a carbox".

Now a carbox is something very new to the parents. I mean we never have heard it. We looked at each other and asked him "What is a carbox?"

The visibly disappointed son at the ignorance of their parents, pouted his lips and said " you dont know the carbox!!! Remember the toy shop near our doctor's chamber they have that toy with plenty of mini cars in it".

Now the Hubby intervened, "But Santa does not know that shop, how could he get you that".
Letter to Santa, year 2013. This year the list is much bigger
"Santa knows everything" pat came the answer. 'He has a toy vending machine from where he gets all his toys".

Well thats something new. so it was my turn. "but you know if its very expensive then Santa cant get you that. Think how many gifts he needs to buy for all the kids all over the world." I tried to convince him.

"Then send him a Cheque Mummum. We all need to help him." Well this boy definitely knows his way and no wonder the conversation ended then and there.

So while we figure out the shop and the toy, you enjoy this simple Breakfast recipe which is one of the most favourite breakfast of the little boy. We are banking on this in case the husband cannot locate the gift he wished for.

Whole grain pancake with Orange syrup

Wholegrain flour(Atta/Whole wheat flour): 1 cup
Oats: 2 tbsp (the quick cooking variety)
Baking powder: 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda: 1/3 tsp
Sugar: 2 tbsp (powder in your food processor)
Melted Butter/ white oil: 5 tsp
Egg: 1 large
Milk: 1 cup (or see notes)
Yogurt: 1/4 cup
Vanilla Essence: 1 tsp
For the orange syrup:
Oranges: 2
Honey: 1/4 cup or 4 tbsp

Make the syrup:
First put the syrup for the pancake on to boiling. Grate the rind of the oranges and collect the zest in a small heavy bottom pan. Add the honey and the juice from the two oranges. Add 2 tbsp water and put on to boil. Once they start to simmer reduce the flame and let it become syrupy for another 3-4 minutes. Take off heat and keep aside.
You can store this in a clean sterilised bottle in the fridge for a couple of days.

Make the Pancakes:
Sieve the flour with baking powder and baking soda. Mix in the Oats. Keep in a big bowl.

Whisk the yogurt and milk together and keep aside.
In a bowl whisk the egg with sugar till the sugar melts. Add the melted butter/oil, milk mixture and vanilla essence. Whisk to incorporate. 

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour the liquid in it. Start whisking to incorporate. Do not over whisk and make the batter fall flat, which in turn will result in hard disks, not airy bubbly pancakes. Its better to under whisk in this case than to over whisk.

Heat a heavy bottom fry pan, tawa, or griddle. Grease with melted butter or oil and pour a small ladle full (3 tbsp or so) of batter in the center. Let it cook for a few seconds and once you see bubbles appearing on top, carefully flip it. Cook till the center becomes springy and set. 

Take out and serve out of the pan with the orange syrup poured on top.

A Homemaker's Notes:
You can make your own buttermilk if yogurt is not readily available. Pour 1 tsp white vinegar to 1 cup of warm milk. Cover and keep aside for 15 minutes. Whisk and your buttermilk is ready.

You can add either chocolate chips or raisins to the batter.

If you get good quality Maple syrup buy and enjoy your pancakes with that.


Mulo Bata (Spicy Radish Paste Relish)

6:25 AM

No this is not one dish that I grew up eating rather it never existed in my recipe book until a few months ago. This spicy, zesty and pungent radish paste is a new found gem for me. I made it on one fine winter afternoon and was sold for life. Under its creamy appearnce it hides several layers of taste and the sweetness of the coconut, the zest of the raw radish and the pungency of mustard is all so balanced well with the heat of the green chilies. When mixed with rice this very humble looking dish has the potential to turn a somewhat dull day to a spunky one.


Shahi Dum Alu (New potatoes simmered in spicy gravy)

9:40 AM

There is something about Winter that ignites the nesting instinct in me. After all its the season to snuggle under the duvet and cherish life at a slow pace. Though we dont get to experience snow here still the chill in the air makes us comfortable enough to increase our appetite for all things good. 

Afterall its the season to enjoy things that we generally don't get to. Think of outdoors, think of picnics, think of all the shawl and carpet sellers flocking in the neighbourhood ground and their exquisite offerings, Think of the riot of colours in the garden and the delicate flowers, think of those foggy smoky mornings and taking a long walk in search of a glass of Date palm sap, think of all the fairs and catching up with your old friend in the ground, Think of all the colourful produce in the market and having a great meal out of them, think of soaking in the afternoon sun and preparing a big batch of boris for the year ahead, Think of putting up the Christmas tree and your house smelling of orangy-cinnamony with all your Christmas bakes, think of the smell of khejur gur during Sankranti...Winter definitely makes me dizzy with all its promise for a good life.

Bread Paratha etc

Animal and fruit shaped dinner rolls (pictorial)

11:43 AM

This is going to be a picture heavy post and absolute favourite of mine and your little ones. You gotta trust me on this.
Yes am talking of animal shaped dinner rolls today. If that's not enough how about stuffing them with yummy cheesy veggies to make it a meal in itself. 
What not yet ....
Then look at the above picture... 
The Hot dogs in all its true senses, Just out of the oevn with a sausage roll in his mouh and cheesey tongue.

or these super cute pumpkins that smell like cinnamon. 
How about this fluffy eared suffed Bunny? Doesn't that melt your heart?

Or these plain cotton soft pillowy dinner rolls to go with your soup or to munch on with your evening cuppa with a big dollop of butter?

Hope that's enough to convert you to try them at least once. Not only these are super cute to look at but super fun to make. Provided you have a some time to knead, shape and proof them, the rest is taken care by the oven.
The best part is they are so very versatile. you can stuff them with anything, make them sweet or savory, shape them whatever way you want and still they will look pretty and taste awesome.
Think of the surprised giggling face of your kid. That awe in their eyes while you present these as an after school treat...Or think of Christmas gift, Kids party menu...the possibilities are endless.

So here they are my super easy, most versatile Dinner rolls recipe.

Shaped dinner rolls and buns
Stuffed bun, caterpillar Nutella roll and stuffed bunny roll


Dhonepata Mach (Fish in Fresh Coriander Sauce)

2:01 AM

Have you ever tried going silent for sometime? I mean a deliberate choice to go hear nothing, to do nothing that creates any sound or at least to try to minimize all voices as much as possible.  We do it quite often.Intentionally. Dropping sounds one by one to make everything go silent. 
At least for some time to make the little girl in the house sleep in peace.

She is very active yet sleeps very less, say for 20 minutes at a stretch and if that need is not met. She turns into a babyzilla. fussing about everything, shaking her head vigorously, saying na nna nna. So we understand and try to buy us some peace by keeping the world go mute around her. We try to do things, everything in silence and 
when we must need, we talk in whispers.  
If we must need to reach for things... we tiptoe around. 
The phone goes on vibration.
The gas goes off, so is all other kitchen appliances.
God bless the man who said 'silence is golden".

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