Monday, March 31, 2008


I had been craving for some tangy green tomato chutney for quite some time, but I never saw any green tomatoes at the local grocery stores. I had some nice, green tomato salsa at S's place and then I couldn't take it anymore. L suggested I look for Tomatillos in the stores. Last week I found the green tomatoes at the Indian grocery store. I asked the clerk there if they stocked any green tomatoes. He gladly took me to a box full of green tomatoes that he had stowed away fearing nobody would want them!!

Armed with the perfect, sour green tomatoes I turned them into this spicy-sweet n sour chutney.

The secret of life? The secret's in the sauce.

I am an absolute bum when it comes to writing down recipes. G, you asked for it ;)

  • Roast some sesame and cumin seeds.
  • Roast some garlic cloves and green chillies with just a little bit of oil.
  • Roast coarsely chopped chunks of green tomatoes till they soften. Optionally you can saute them in oil. In order to save my non-stick pan I added just a little bit of oil. You can also add onions if you wish.
  • Grind the ingredients together after adding salt and sugar as per taste.
  • For the tadka - Heat a little bit oil (may be like a tablespoon). Add asofoetida, mustard seeds. When the seeds begin to crackle, add methi seeds, curry leaves and dried chillies.
  • Pour this over the ground mixture.
  • Garnish with cilantro.


Holi is an important Indian festival celebrated enthusiastically almost all over the country. To most Indians, the word Holi conjures images of people spraying color and water on each other, but my Holi is always sans colors. Until a few years ago my family used to light the traditional Holi bonfire in our front yard. Neighbours would gather and we would enjoy the warmth of the fire along with multiple rounds of sweet, wet coconut as 'prasad'. Often we would toss potatoes and onions in the fire and later savor these roasted veggies. In our effort to be as green as possible, we no longer have the bonfire in our yard. Instead we go to the community bonfire in our society.

This year's Holi was away from home. I did miss the bonfire and the festive spirit, but I tried to ring in some cheer by making the traditional Holi fare - puranpoli. Here are some images of our Holi meal.

Corn Pakodas

Puranpoli and Katachi aamti

Potato bhaji

Thursday, March 20, 2008


Spinach-grilled vegetables wrap and beetroot-tapioca cutlets

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I love cilantro rolls (pudachi wadi to me). The preparation is time consuming but this time I mustered the courage to make them.

Cilantro was cleaned and left to dry before chopping it finely. Green chilly-ginger-garlic paste was sauteed, after which I added some finely chopped onions. Once the onions were done, I added the cilantro. At the same time I also introduced salt and amchur powder. After sauteing the cilantro for a bit, I turned off the heat and added previously roasted sesame, poppy seeds and dry coconut to the mixutre.

The dough for the rolls is a combination of wheat flour and besan. A small portion of the dough is taken, rolled into a smallish round. One side of this rolled dough is coated with a mixture of garam masala in oil. Cilantro mixture is placed in the center on the same side. Edges are folded and sealed to form a roll.

The rolls are fried; guess what is the next step - chomp, chomp, chomp :)

Monday, March 17, 2008


Cakes are synonymous with birthdays, aren't they? and the more the merrier... ;)

Chocolate never loses favor

My creation - Banana bread

Friday, March 14, 2008


I was never a sports person, not even the kind that spends time watching and cheering for a favorite team.
An uncle of mine, a yoga exponent introduced me to sun salutations. I never imagined myself to be flexible enough to do yoga, yet I started practicing sun-salutations; more to stay trim than as a fitness regimen. Over time, I was exposed to more yoga. To my surprise, I found that I was pretty flexible (at least more than I had imagined) and was able to do the asanas pretty well. That sure motivated me. Somewhere during my late teens, staying fit gained as much priority as staying trim. Also, I began to feel the need for some aerobic activity - as a consequence I started jogging/running. The sprawling campus of the colony where I lived provided the perfect environment; serene, quiet, pollution-free and traffic-less.
And so I have been running for many years now; for this post, let us focus on running for fitness and stay away from all other connotations (for those of you who know me - running away from being a responsible organized adult and whatever else your mind can conjure). My running regimen has always been ad-hoc, unstructured and prone to long lapses; of course one can’t run during the persistent monsoon and I used to find it extremely difficult (maybe impossible) to wean myself from my warm rajai in the cold winters and summers are too hot to be out running anyways. Despite my irregular running schedule, I have observed that I enjoy running. I like it for the meditative rhythm that it puts me into while I am at it…for the ‘runner’s high’….and also for the sweet hurt. Considering my cushy, laid-back lifestyle and proclivity to gain weight, I decided, it was time to embark on a regular fitness regimen and make running a part of it.
I stumbled upon the ‘couch to 5K’ running program while surfing the internet. I found that the program has been around a while and has many followers. It seemed simple and doable; I decided to give it a try. ‘M’ jumped at the idea and decided to be my running buddy. I also discovered Robert Ullrey’s podcasts for each of the couch to 5K workouts. The podcasts are wonderful; they save you from keeping track of time or distance and make the workout a lot of fun. 3 cheers to Robert!! :)
We run MWF and I am in the middle of Week2. I hope to complete the program by mid-May and continue regularly with my 5K runs. Who knows, someday I might even run a marathon!
If you are looking for a program to get off the couch, this is worth a try. Go for it!
I’d also like to hear your experiences about running, couch to 5K and anything related that you would like to share. Well, its almost time for today’s run. Adieu for this time.
Happy Running!

Monday, March 10, 2008


Last thursday was Mahashivratra and I decided to fast just so I could rid myself of the guilt for eating the special foods that are associated with fasts in Maharashta. Below are some pictures of the food that I made for the day. Going by the pictures, mine looks more of feasting than fasting... ;)

How do you fast?

Sabudana Khichadi

Grated sweet potato stir fry aka 'Ratalyacha kees'

Peanut-Jaggery laddoos
Sweet potato chips

Friday, March 07, 2008


Calero County Park, CA

I look at the tree stump and see an eagle poised for flight. Do you?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008


I love salads.....I enjoy the process of creation even more than eating them because it gives me satisfaction of having created something cheery, colorful and healthy. I like my salads to be colorful and a mixture of different flavors and textures like this cabbage-carrot-tomatoes salad or imagine a corn-bell pepper salad or a cabbage-black grapes salad...a cucumber-tomato-carrot salad......

Will try to post more salad pictures as I make them..

Tuesday, March 04, 2008


Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.

Go to your bosom: Knock there, and ask your heart what it doth know.
-William Shakespeare

Monday, March 03, 2008


Radishes (aka Daikon aka Muli) don't find favor with many among us. I am not too fond of it either, but I like it in a salad that goes by the name 'mulyacha chatka'. I force myself to eat things that I don't like just so I don't miss out on the nutrients they provide.
I bought some white radishes a couple of days ago and made salad out of them. I was wondering how to cook the leaves. I don't like the way they are cooked traditionally - with besan flour, so I decided to experiment. I wanted to couple them with something that would add bulk but also minimize the strong flavor of the radish leaves hence I chose tapioca. Another option could have been potatoes or yams.
Here is how my muli leaves-tapioca sabzi (vegetable) looked. I garnished it with a little bit of sev to make a pretty picture.