Posted January 14, 2014 by vchokshi
Categories: Blogroll, Uncategorized

Thanks to all of the readers for their interest and support over the last seven years since I first started this blog. Wishing you all a very healthy, happy and prosperous New Year! And A Happy Makar Sankranti!

Makar Sankranti holds a very special meaning to me. This year in particular I remember our India trip of five years ago during Makar Sankranti. Please see my earlier entries posted on January 14, 2008 and January 14, 2012. I would like to welcome 2014 with the following pictures depicting my favorite fruit anar and sesame candy.

Happy New Year!

Happy Makar Sankranti!

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Methi Fritters

Posted November 29, 2013 by vchokshi
Categories: Blogroll, Cooking, Food

Methi (fenugreek seed) is a versatile spice. In fact, it’s actually a legume and is often used whole, crushed and ground in a number of ways throughout India. The whole fenugreek seeds are used in tarka (spice-infused ghee or oil) and are also found in a variety of spice blends. Please see Fenugreek (Methi) posted on this blog dated June 8, 2012. To make these fritters simply follow the recipe given for Chickpea Pakora on this blog posted on August 19, 2008.  Below I would like to share two pictures.

Methi (fenugreek)

Methi fritters

Amaranth Plant

Posted November 26, 2013 by vchokshi
Categories: Blogroll, Food

Amaranth plant, the herbaceous plant grown from amaranth seed, is a leafy vegetable used in a myriad of ways throughout India. As autumn rolls around every year I like to take advantage of fresh herbs, tender leafy greens, and root vegetables in a variety of ways in my daily cooking. Leafy vegetables are used extensively in soups, dals, fritters, dumplings, and parathas and are combined with a variety of root vegetables.

I wanted to share a few pictures of this wonderful plant. The first two pictures below are from my garden while the final picture is an ornamental amaranth flower from the botanical garden in Bangalore.

Amaranth (chau lai)

Amaranth seed head

Amaranth flower

Happy Deepavali!

Posted November 1, 2013 by vchokshi
Categories: Blogroll, Uncategorized

Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous Deepavali (Diwali)!

Happy Deepavali! (2) Shubh Deepavali!

Simply Delicious

Posted October 26, 2013 by vchokshi
Categories: Blogroll, Cooking, Food

A dessert served at a recent family gathering reminded me of the various berries that grew in the northern hills of India, which I remembered growing up as a child with both sets of grandparents. I am sharing two pictures below.

Refreshing berries

Wild Blackberry Murabba

Simply Delicious

Quinoa Fritters

Posted October 15, 2013 by vchokshi
Categories: Blogroll, Cooking, Food

Quinoa is quite versatile seed that is used in a myriad of ways ranging from sweet to savory dishes in India. Around this time of the year in particular I like to make these fritters combined with root vegetables along with amaranth leaves.

Quinoa Fritters

Amaranth Poori

Posted October 13, 2013 by vchokshi
Categories: Blogroll, Cooking, Food

Amaranth plant (chau lai), the herbaceous plant grown from amaranth seed, is a staple in the northern hills of India. Amaranth (rajgira) flour (atta) milled from amaranth seed is often available in two grades – coarse and fine. Finely milled amaranth flour (rajgira ka atta) is used for making amaranth poori. Coarsely ground amaranth flour is often used in making porridge and halwa. Around this time of the year, particularly during Navratri celebrations, I like to make this type of poori (or puri). Below is a picture of amaranth poori that is made with amaranth flour combined with potato.

Amaranth Poori

Amaranth

Posted September 25, 2013 by vchokshi
Categories: Blogroll, Cooking, Food

Amaranth has been used for centuries in India particularly during periods of fasting associated with religious celebrations. It is actually a seed of a plant related to pigweed. Cooked amaranth has a sticky gelatinous texture compared to something like cooked quinoa, which has a nutty texture and is great when used in salads, burger, or pilaf. To celebrate 25 years cooking with amaranth (seed) in my western kitchen I wanted to share this picture of amaranth below.

Amaranth

Amaranth (Chau lai)

Posted August 30, 2013 by vchokshi
Categories: Blogroll, Cooking, Food

Amaranth, known as chau lai, is a vigorously growing vegetable in warm weather. Certain varieties of amaranth can grow between one to six feet tall. Young leaves and stems can be harvested periodically for a long time during the growth. It was one of the vegetables grown for seeds and leafy greens in my dada-dadiji’s farm (paternal grandparents) in the northern hills of India. There are a number of different species of amaranth and a huge number of varieties within those species. Amaranth flowers can look spectacular ranging in crimson red, to dark purplish and yellow in color (depending on the variety) and may produce a huge number of seeds. Amaranth seeds are used in a variety of sweets and flour while amaranth leaves are cooked the same ways we cook any green leafy vegetables. As we approach the end of summer, I like to take advantage of the chau lai growing in our garden. I’ve been growing amaranth in my backyard garden mainly for greens for over three decades. Here I would like to share a couple of pictures of amaranth plant in my garden.

Amaranth (Chau lai) Amaranth

Bounty of Summer

Posted August 19, 2013 by vchokshi
Categories: Blogroll, Cooking, Food

Summer is a perfect time to enjoy desserts prepared with strained yogurt. These desserts can often be assembled in a variety of ways within 15 minutes. What makes the summer especially a good time for these types of desserts is the abundance of a various fresh fruits that go very well with yogurt. Enjoy the pictures below of desserts I have made incorporating yogurt and various fruit.

Bounty of summer Peaches with yogurt cheese topping Sliced peaches