Just half a spoon of Haldi (Turmeric)

“Half a spoon ( about 1 teaspoon) is enough!”, my mother would say. The first thing I learned about cooking veggies was “add some haldi ( turmeric)”  after about two – three minutes of sauteing, be it potatoes,  peppers, cabbage, cauliflower, they all needed that little bit of haldi, followed by a dash of salt. Cook… Continue reading Just half a spoon of Haldi (Turmeric)

Squash Blossom – Dolmas

I made Squash Blossom – Dolmas today! Thanks to my friend who plucked 50 blossoms from her garden and a suggestion by Ronit Penso of Tasty Eats. They were super delicious and easy to make. It reminded me of the time, we soccer moms stood around the  kitchen counter making samosas for a fundraiser!  Dolmas would be fun to make in a group, they would be healthier and quicker to make too… maybe next time.

All I did was, wash the blossoms, fill them with the rice filling, fold them, arrange them in a baking tray with a drizzle of oil and bake them at 400 F for about 20 minutes till the edges turned crisp.  As for the filling, I added chopped Parsely & Mint ( 4 – 6 tbsp), Lemon juice ( 3 – 4 Tbsp), Red pepper flakes ( 2 Tbsp) and Sesame oil ( 2 Tbsp) to about 2 cups of cooked Basmati rice.

 

I baked some of the Blossoms plain, and they were good too, nice and crisp. Either way, a good Appetizer….

 

 

 

 

 

Squash Blossoms: Dosa (Crepe) & Salad

My friend, Stephanie gave me Squash blossoms from her garden today. I have never cooked with them before.

What does one do with Squash blossoms?  Well I ask Google and find many recipes that urge me to “Fill them up with cheese and then deep fry.”  While other recipes call for putting them in Omelets, Frittata, Quesdillas or use them as a Pizza topping.

So now what am I going to do with them? I eat one raw, it is delicious!  Then I chop some of the Squash blossoms, put them in an existing Dosa ( crepe) batter. And I make some Dosas for lunch! Delicious!!!

I stir fry the remaining Squash blossoms  on a medium-hot sauce pan for about 4 – 5 minutes, then add them to shredded to Red Cabbage -Cucumber salad with a bit of lemon juice and a sprinkle of crushed pepper on the top.

Yummy! Next time, I will stir fry the Squash blossoms with some rice, peas ….and cumin………….

 

 

Steamed rotis – Auntie Trejavathi’s Kitchen

Soft, moist and yummy is how I remember Bilavalege – a steamed roti of sorts with tomato gojju, a spicy, tangy, sweet sauce.  It was one of my favorites at Auntie’s kitchen. Even after 25 years, the warmth and her immaculate kitchen remain unchanged! She was really happy to show me how she made them.   To… Continue reading Steamed rotis – Auntie Trejavathi’s Kitchen

Cooking Class party for Myrna Loy @ Creperie

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These ladies had fun making Dosas, Chutney, Raita, Alu & Masala Chai

Tamara Blank and her friends won my cooking class at the Myrna Loy Auction. They wanted a gluten free class, what could be better than a dosa ( Indian crepe)? It was a fun group and I had met some of them before. Anyways, one can’t go too far in Helena without bumping into someone you know:)

This time I experimented with setting up stations for the different items and it seems like it worked out just fine….The Cucumber Raita(blended yoghurt) went well as a dip with crackers and so did the Cilantro-Coconut chutney…. The Alu ( Boiled potatoes) had just the right flavor with all the spices and a sprinkling of freshly chopped cilantro on the top. The Chai had a strong flavor of black cardamom. And Jeff’s Crepe griddles are the best for making dosas.

Everyone experimented making dosas of varying shapes and thickness, they all tasted good. I think!

Jeff was in the background prepping food for the next day, I saw him blending some delicious looking strawberries and blueberries for his crepes. I can’t wait to have them tomorrow…. yum!

 

 

Spiritual India – Dinner for 12 @ Creperie

Beautiful Altar & Table set up with steel Thaali & tumblers by VJ, Jeff Spurlin & Taylor – We are ready for our guests

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Jeff & VJ friends for 30+ years…
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Our guests all in white ready for their journey to Spiritual India
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Naan with Tomato- Date Chutney & Masala Chai  – Appetizers-

And ….I forgot to take pictures of the food, as we got busy serving…… I got so taken in by the ambience and the lighting. VJ did an excellent job of setting up the Altar with pictures and idol of lord Ganesha with flowers, tea candles & lighting around them. It was nice of Taylor to help us, besides, he can tie a turban so well, after watching it being tied once. Jeff brought out his beautiful table clothes and Napkins.

When the guest arrived, all dressed in white ( as a part of the spiritual theme), I got busy making Naan. While VJ did a little ceremony and Taylor served tea. I was the only one not wearing white, while VJ wore a white saree. I just wasn’t thinking when I was getting ready….

All I did was make the food. It was the usual Langar ( community kitchen) kind of vegetarian food with Rajma Dal ( Kidney beans & Black lentils in a creamy sauce), Alu Gobi ( Caulifower & potatoes), Matar- Paneer Pulao( Rice dish with peas, nuts & homemade cheese), Raita & Halwa ( Semolina pudding with cashews & raisins) and of course Naan made right there on Jeff’s special griddles….All organic & made extra special with Ghee and coconut butter.

And everybody got to take a banana home as prasadam ( religous offering)

It was a TCEF fundraiser – “Indian dinner for 12 with a theme”-

 

Naan on the griddle… Everyone’s favorite …

” We never make Naan at home”, I would proudly tell any Naan- Indian food enthusiast. It is made of white flour, while the humble roti that is made of whole wheat flour is much more nutritious. But then, after making dosas ( Indian Crepes) on the griddles at the Creperie for six  Indian dinners. I was ready to try something new… so why not try making Naan…

… Continue reading