Tuesday, 28 January 2014

Veggie Quinoa.....Healthy and Hearty

Are you a vegetarian and want to include healthy protein in your diet? Are you looking for gluten free food to include in your diet? 

QUINOA... is the answer for all these questions. It is loaded with proteins and is gluten free. In addition to that, it is high in dietary fiber, phosphorous, magnesium and iron. So undoubtedly quinoa is called as the superfood. 

So here is my new invention (recipe).....bored of the regular chapatti (indian bread) and bhaji (veggies) for afternoon lunch, this what i came up with:

Ingredients: (Serves 2)
1/2 cup Quinoa (anyone which is available, i used the organic tricolored quinoa)
1 onion finely chopped
1 tomato finely chopped
1/2 - 1 cup of chopped button mushrooms
1/2 - 1 cup of broccoli florets
1/4 cup of cottage cheese cut into small squares (you can also use tofu)
2 tbsp of olive oil
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp of cumin seeds
1/2 tsp of chili powder 
1/2 tsp of cumin powder
1tbsp of minced garlic (u can also use ginger-garlic paste)
1/4 tsp of oregano
1 tsp lemon juice
Coriander leaves for garnishing
Salt and pepper for seasoning

For that extra indian kick you can also use garam masala :)



Wash and rinse the quinoa in cold water. Place 1/2 cup of quinoa and 1 cup of water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. Simmer then cover and cook until all the water is absorbed which takes about 15-20mins. You will know the quinoa is cooked when the grains appear translucent and the germ ring will be clearly visible on the outside edge of the grains.

In another pan heat the olive oil. Once the oil is hot add the cumin seeds and bay leaf. You can also add the bay leaf in the quinoa while its cooking. Add chopped onions. Saute and cook the onions for few minutes. Now add the chili powder and cumin powder and mix well. Add all the vegetables except the cottage cheese and mix well. Add oregano, salt and pepper for seasoning. Let the vegetables cook for about 5-10 mins. Add the cottage cheese and stir carefully without breaking them. Finally add the quinoa into the vegetables and mix well. Let it rest for about five minutes before serving. Serve hot with coriander leaves and a splash of lemon juice.






Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Chocolate Truffles



I never realized making chocolate truffles was so easy until i searched for the recipe online. I tried my hands on making this yummy sweets when hubby and me were in New Jersey. The idea hit me when we shopped for a bag full of chocolates from a store in New York (apparently we had a groupon which was about to expire :P) and when we were back home, i just couldn't get over the complimentary truffle i had at the store. 

And trust me guys you can never go wrong with this. Unbelievably easy to make, this no bake dessert can me made on any special occasion. And the best part of all, you can make it before hand. Try this and you will never run to the stores again to buy the expensive stuff.

All you need is just 4 ingredients and a little bit of patience.

This recipe makes approximately 10-12 truffles.

Semi sweet chocolate or dark chocolate - 113gms (make sure its a good quality chocolate, chocolate bar or chocolate chips, whatever you can get your hands on). You can also use regular chocolate instead semi-sweet if required, but i find semi-sweet to be more delicious.

1/4 cup of heavy cream

1 tbsp butter

Cocoa powder for coating.

Break or cut the chocolate bar into small pieces into a bowl and set aside. In a medium saucepan heat heavy cream and butter until you see small bubbles appearing at the sides of the saucepan. Pour this hot cream and butter mixture into the chocolate and stir this mixture until the chocolate is completely melted. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight. After keeping this mixture overnight, you will notice that it is hard. With the help of a spoon, scrape and remove a little amount of the chocolate and roll it in between your palms to make small chocolate balls (it will be a little sticky and messy because of the body heat). Roll the chocolate balls in cocoa powder and generously coat them. Chill the truffles in the refrigerator for few hours before serving.


The truffles can also be coated with powdered sugar, desiccated coconut, nuts or even with colorful sprinkles.

Give it try and let me know how they were :)

Happy Cooking.


Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Home Is Where The Heart Is

Back in Austin and back to blogging. 

I was so busy back in india i literally had no time to blog. But once i was back i was delighted to see that my total pageviews for the blog had crossed the 1000 mark. I know its not that great but it is a small achievement in itself for me as i have recently started to blog and i am still learning the tricks of the trade. Nevertheless, a big thank you to all who follow me regularly and keep encouraging me constantly.

So back to the post.....

It feels as if it was a dream. Our trip to india got over so quickly it seems unreal. 3 weeks flew by at the blink of an eye and we both (me and my hubby) are left wanting for more. It feels like it was only yesterday that i was all excited packing our bags for india and now suddenly i find myself unpacking.

Although our short trip had us all exhausted and sick, we enjoyed each and every moment of it. Right from my brother in laws wedding, to celebrating new year's eve in matheran, meeting my best buddies and our day long trip visiting our relatives. 

Someone has rightly said that "There is no place like home"and you will only realize it once you are away from it for a really long time. Now i know how it feels. And I so miss home already.


We used to kick start our day with the morning chai/coffee and used to end our evenings with chaat (sweet and sour indian snack....slurrp) or sandwich. We ate kadak pav (type of bread) and anda bhurji (scrambled egg) every morning for breakfast. The entire family sat together and ate for lunch and dinner. Evenings went by having tea, chit chatting and laughing our hearts out at silly jokes. It was also during this trip that we finally got to see our wedding albums after one year. Ohhhh it was such a delight. 

The noise, the dust and the pollution of mumbai...yes it can be irritating and you will never stop complaining, yes we both fell sick the day we set our foot in mumbai.....but yet you ignore them coz you know that you are at home. 

And when we think about home the next thing that comes to mind after family is FOOD. Eating food cooked by our moms is a different feeling altogether and we devoured every bit of it. Nothing in this whole wide world is as delicious as your "mummy ke haath ka khana"(home cooked meal by mom). But at the same time we did eat our fair share of junk food. Now who can possibly miss the junk food of mumbai :P.. 

Then somewhere down the line...you realize...how the simplest of things in life gives you immense joy.

I wish we could have stayed a little longer, i wish i could have spend more time with my family, my in laws, my sister and my niece, i wish i could have met my besties and my ex colleagues whom i couldn't meet. I guess no amount of time is never enough. But whatever time we spent in India we had loads of fun.


Its hard to describe how happy it makes you feel to see the smiling faces of your family and how immensely sad it makes you see them cry and bid you good bye. And now we are back again in a foreign land, its very quiet and peaceful yet i am longing to hear some noise, noise of our fast paced mumbai life.

It feels empty. It feels as if a void has surrounded us. But i am sure it will be alright and as the 3 weeks flew by, days and months will also fly by and in a matter of time we will be back again. And i will have more interesting stuff to blog about :P. So until next time.

Wishing you all a very Happy New Year. 



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