April 30, 2008


A big HELLO to all my beautiful blogger friends out there! Hope you all had a great Ugadi (Hindu New Year) and a great start for colorful Spring. I know it has been quite a while since I have seen you and I am very happy to be back. I am sure you are all wondering what the heck did I do in all those 5 weeks of my blog break! :D

Quite a lot actually! After celebrating two birthdays and the brief vacation at the beach which we enjoyed thoroughly in warm weather(75F+), came home and started planning my days of "leisure". As you can see in the collage at bottom of the post, went on a cooking Marathon from other blogs' recipes, absolutely enjoyed each and every dish, I read few books, watched movies, spring cleaned the house, updated my blogs, built a red barn (no, I didn't, got it built for us, yet to be painted!:D) and worked in the garden to get it ready for Summer, which made my Spring allergy worse but who cares when there is that very painful allergy shot to take care of me! :D

My family enjoyed the new tastes so much that I have decided to blog and comment just 3 days a week (Mon., Wed., Fri.) from now on and cook for very few events if I can. I will continue to surf all your blogs and cook more dishes from you which I always wanted to do but never had the time before! I am grateful to all of you for posting so many wonderful recipes, my family thanks you too. Don't forget to check out the tail end of this post! :)

As all parents with school age children know by now, kids also have their "End of Grade" exams coming up in May and June, one more reason for me to make myself free a bit and spend a little more time with them for "emotional" support. They wouldn't dare ask me to help with their Algebra and AP Calculus!:D

Now, let's celebrate the gorgeous state of Rajasthan, India:

Rajasthani Thali (platter) is my two cents for "Regional Cuisine of India", a event started by Lakshmi from "veggie cuisine" and Padmaja from "Spicy Andhra" blog is hosting RCI event this month showcasing the princely state of Rajasthan. Thanks for hosting Padmaja!:)

Beautiful Lake Palace Hotel on Lake Pichola, Udaipur ("City of Sunrise"), Rajasthan,India.

Photo from Brittanica.

About Rajasthan:
Rajasthan was formed on 30 March 1949 when those princely states ruled by Rajput kings, it's also known as Rajputana is situated in the North West and is the largest state of India in area, about the size of Germany! Large area of Rajasthan contains inhospitable and beautiful Thar Desert, also known as "the great Indian desert. The state capital Rajasthan is Jaipur.

One of the world's oldest mountain ranges, the Aravalli Range cradles the only hill station of Rajasthan, Mount Abu and its world-famous Dilwara Temples, a sacred pilgrimage for the people Jain faith. Eastern Rajasthan has two national tiger reserves, Ranthambore and Sariska, Bharatpur as well as Keoladeo National Park are famous for bird sanctuaries.

Historical traditions of Rajasthan are that of Rajputs, Nath, Jats, Bhils, Ahirs, Gujjars, Meenas and Marwaris with their diverse and interesting contributions to the development of rich Rajasthani culture which includes their unique culinary expertise, Music, folk Dances and many architecturally beautiful palaces, majestic forts and Havelis. Rajasthan is often called a shopper's paradise and is famous for it's crafts; textiles, semi-precious stones, handicrafts and furnitures has intricate with bright colors.

Land of Princes, as Rajasthan is called, shows off a fine gastronomy cooked up by the 'Khansamas' (the royal cooks) as they are called. Lack of leafy green vegetables in the desert land, a heavy use of lentils, chickpea flour and the use of milk, Yogurt and buttermilk in place of the water in cooking lends a remarkable contributions to Rajasthani cuisine.

Read this article for more interesting facts on regional cuisine! Take a photo tour of Rajasthan here! (Above info from WIKI and links from various Rajasthan tourism sites).

Rajasthani Thali:
Here is a very simple thali, Rajasthani style! Lal Maas(red meat/red chicken in my case, although lal maas is originally made with Mutton/Gosht), spiced Bajra-Aloo-Besan rotis (Millet,Potato,Chickpea flour), Panchmel (five lentils) dal, plain rice with onion, green chilli and lemon slice on the side. Recipes mostly adapted from Nita Mehta's Rajasthan cookbook with my slight changes. Enjoy!:)

Rajasthani Thali1

Lal Maas:
Lal maas/Lal Maans is a traditional Rajasthani dish, usually made with Mutton/Gosht/Lamb. I have used chicken here in this recipe. Bright red color for this dish mainly comes from Kashmiri chilli pd and paprika, not necessarily spicy to taste because of the use of milder chilli pepper powders.You can adjust the spices as you wish.Tastes better the next day reheated in the microwave.

You need:
About 4 boneless, skinless Chicken breasts or mix of dark and white meat, cut into bite sized pieces,
2 Onions, finely chopped or blended to a rough paste,
2" ginger and 2 Garlic, ground to smooth paste,
1/2 cup Tomato sauce+ 1 tsp Tomato puree,
2 tbsp Coriander powder,
2 tsp Kashmiri chilli powder, 1 tsp Paprika for color, Chilli pd for heat if you like it hot,
1 tsp Garam Masala,
Salt, Cilantro.
2 tbsp Butter+1 Tbsp oil.

How to:
1. Heat the butter and oil in a pan. Add onion, saute for 2 minutes until translucent. Put in ginger-garlic paste, saute for 2 minutes. Add in the tomato sauce+puree, stir until it leaves the side of the pan,oil shows on top.
2. Add all the chicken, stir until it's coated with masala and whitish. Put in all the dry masala, 1 cup of water, heat and then simmer for 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked and sauce is fairly thick.
3. Adjust the salt and heat. Garnish with cilantro. Serve with lemon slices, sweet onion slices, Parathas/Rotis or with rice seasoned with ghee, cloves and cumin seeds.

Bajra rotis with Panchmel dal:

Panch=5, mel=mix, one of the most popular dal of Rajasthan, is a delicious and nutritious mix of five different lentils combined with light spices makes a great accompaniment for rice or rotis. It's also very easy and quick dal to make if you use a pressure cooker. Try it.

You need: 1/2 cup Moong dal, 1/4 cup each of Chana dal, Tuar dal and Masoor dal and 2 tbsp of Urad dal, 1/2 tsp Turmeric, salt and cilantro.(adding 4tbsp of tomato sauce which is optional but enhances the flavor)

For Tadka/tempering:
2 tbsp ghee/butter+ 2tsp oil, 1 tsp cumin seeds, 2 bay leaves, 2 crushed slightly cardamom pods,1" cinnamon bark(Dalchini),2-3 cloves, 2 green or red chillies, 2 tsp grated or ground ginger,1/2 tsp more chilli pd, pinch or two of Mace powder,(1 tsp good quality Garam masala if you want to skip all the khada masala/whole spices).

To make dal:
1. Wash, drain and cook the dals with 3-4 cups of water and Turmeric in the pressure cooker until soft, mash roughly and keep aside.
2. In a pan, heat ghee+oil, add all the whole spices first. When they are plump, add ginger, chillies, stir fry for a minute or so.(Add tomato sauce if you are using now and cook until it's thickish)
3. Take the pan off of the heat, add the powders.Do not burn them,sprinkle little water to prevent that. Pour in the dal mix quickly to the pan, mix and heat through.
4. Add some chopped cilantro, lemon slices and serve with rice or rotis.

Bajra Aloo Besan rotis:
Again, a combination of 3 ingredients along with some spices makes this a great roti to dip into the dal or scoop up the Lal maas dish.

You need:
1 cup Bajra flour, 1/2 cup mashed boiled and potatoes or use potato flakes to make mashed potatoes like I did, 1/4 cup Besan/Chickpea flour, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1/2 tsp Cumin powder, 1/4 tsp chilli pd, 1 tsp grated ginger,1/2 tsp Amchoor/tangy mango pd and enough salt, about a cup or more hot water to mix, only if needed.

To make them:
1. Mix all the above flours with mashed potato and spices first, which has enough moisture to bind. If not, use little hot water just enough to bind it to a firm dough, cover and let it rest for 15mins. Divide into equal Tennis ball sized rounds to roll.
2. Spray a foil with no-spray(this is how I do it here but surely not by Rajasthanis!:D)oil and take a ball,flatten and press the dough with your fingers to make about 4-5" circles and place it on a clean kitchen towel.Repeat with other dough.
3. Heat a Tawa/griddle, cook the rotis on both sides until red spots appear and brush with ghee or butter as soon as you take them out of the tawa.
4. Serve immediately or store in Tortilla warmer to reheat later.

Variations: Skip the Potato and Besan and add 3/4 cup of cornmeal and make rotis.

You can skip all the spices above and make plain rotis and serve with spicy gravies.

That's my simple and delicious thali for Rajasthan, loved it! :)


Dishes I have tried and loved from other blogs while I was on my month long blog break, thanks again to all of you for posting these. Click on the collage to see the bigger photos of the dishes!:)

Depending on what I had in my pantry and my mood, I randomly went on searching in all the blogs I know, came upon these wonderful dishes and enjoyed cooking them. I will be surfing for more yummies like these, watch out for a silent wanderer in your blogs, I will be listing more! ;D

Broccoli Lemon Chicken from ChrisB's blog.

Eggplant Pithlai from Ssriranjini's blog.

Tomato Gravy from Cham's blog.

Bhagara Baingan from Seema's blog.

Majjige Huli from Red Chillies blog.

Bisi Bele Bhath from Vani's blog.

Cabbage saagu from Suma's blog.

Dosa Podi from Siri's blog.

Chettinad Chutney from Hema's blog.

Garlic Chutney from Meera's blog.

Green Mango dal from Uma's blog.

Dal Makhani from EC's blog.

Poondu kuzhambu from Myth's blog.

Hotel Sambhar from Indo's blog.

Okra in green sauce from Lakshmi G's blog.

Churmuri from Saakshi's blog.

Radish Pachadi from Krishna and Arjuna's blog.

Karahi Murgh (Gosht, originally) from A.R.A.D. blog.

Odiyan Aloo Chop from Saswati's blog.

Mallige Idlis
from Seema's blog.

Aloo Methi from Kribha's blog.

Garlic Aloo
from Nags' blog.

Alu Posto from Sandeepa's blog.

Vada Pav from Vanamala's blog.

Kerala Chilli Chicken
from Rachel's blog.

Egg fried rice from Priyanka's blog.

Omelette with Potato from happy cook's bog.

Raw Tomato chutney/curry
from Vijaya's blog.

Chole from Padma's Kitchen blog.

Kollu(Horse gram) chutney from Paati's blog.

Mor Kali
from Suganya's blog.

Butter Chicken from Mona's blog.

Kadala Curry from JaiBee's blog.

Kultha Saar from Raaga's blog.

Huruli saaru from Ramya's blog.

Avarekalu Saaru
from Suma's blog.

Egg Roast
from Seena's blog.

Paneer di Kadhi
from Musical's blog.

Chettinad style chicken curry from Sailu's blog.

Spicy popcorn chicken from Sig's blog.

Sajjige Rotti from Sia's blog.

Paneer Butter Masala from Mansi's blog.

Few books I read and Movies I saw:

I have my usual Spring allergy right now, can't read for a long time at a stretch but managed to read these lovely books and enjoyed them.

Three plays; Naga-Mandala, Hayavadana, Tughlaq by Girish Karnad.

Daughter of Ganges by Asha Miro.

The Ruins by Scott Smith.

Tender at the bone by Ruth Reichl.

Movies I watched:
There will be Blood,
Charlie Wilson's war,
The Other Boleyn girl,
No country for old men,
The forbidden kingdom.(kids!! :D)


A little note to all my dear fellow bloggers/foodies:
I know lot of you including me are getting few nasty comments lately from some unhappy person or persons. Bloggers, please ignore these "anonymous" comments, enjoy blogging and the friendships we have developed thru' blogging. We are lucky to have a wonderful and talented blogger community here. Don't let few nasty comments worry you, scare you to make your blogs private or make you stop from blogging altogether!

None of us foodie bloggers claim to be "perfect" or "Ultimate cooks" or "authority on traditional cooking" but we all just take pleasure in posting/sharing what we have or cook at our homes and express/share our lives and thoughts. Delete these unwanted comments which are juvenile and silly without giving a second thought and do what you do best ie blogging, with a smile and positivity.

A request: Some of you also have this "particular" feeder on your sidebars which exposes our location (where we come from/cities etc) for all to see whenever we visit your blogs, which makes me very concerned! We don't want stalkers in our hometowns or in front of our homes, do we? May be we can get a feed which only we can see privately like site meter etc which allows us to check in privately but do not expose our location publicly. Just a humble suggestion to help us all to guard our privacy for our families' sake, hope you consider it. Hugs to all of you!

See you next week! :)


bee said...

what a spread!!! you're back with the bang. thank you for mentioning the feeders which state locations. i've stopped visiting those blogs. it's an invasion of privacy.

and thanks again for not having those jumbled letters in the comments section. i don't see the point of those.

Padmaja said...

Asha!! YOu are just amazing!!! Love your Rajasthani thali, it looks delicious!! OMG, did you make all those dishes?They all look yummy. how's the other boleyn girl? I missed watching it.
I saw with my friends, U me aur hum which is a masterpiece. You know Asha, I sat for 2 hrs with literally tears rolling down all the time. You gotta watch it. I am sure you will love it. Lastly thank you so much for sending me this amazing thali

Deepa Kuber said...


Miri said...

Good to see you back Asha - hope you had a restful and enjoyable break :)
The Rajasthani thali looks delectable. And the number of dishes you have tried from other blogs is like your own MBP!!

TBC said...

Hey Asha,
Good to see that you enjoyed your break.:-)
You've been busy cooking up a storm!

FH said...

Thanks to all of you girls. I am really enjoying cooking from your blogs!:))

Padamaja, I didn't know Boleyn girl movie was about Elizabeth 1 until the last minute!! ;D
Try and get U, me and Hum, sounds like fun!

Bee, I wish everybody takes that feeder out, otherwise I will have stop going there too. Typing letters irritates me too, even though some have activated the moderation as well!!:D

Namratha said...

Hii Asha, pleasure to see you back! My My what a vacation and you really have been cooking a LOT haven't you? Super duper..welcome back! :)

Mishmash ! said...

Hey Asha!!! How ve you been..? I was about to come and drop a message here as I wondering why there is no posts from u...I was not very active in blog land for more than a month coz of relocation and stuff and just when I was wondering where you went, I saw ur posts in my reader...so nice to know that u re doing well and enjoying too..happy to see u back :)

EC said...

You always rock when it comes to RCI...and the list of the recipes tried from other blogs is sooooo long...thanks for trying out dal makhani from my blog too...

Unknown said...

So good to hear from you and read ur blog,loved the thali.
Akki roti is my fav too.

Cham said...

Wow, wow, Hope u had a excellent time. I can see in ur vacation pictures. Oh gosh, u ve been stiring, mixing in ur kitchen those 5 weeks. Glad that u like my recipe and what a spread of Rajastan? Lovely, i ve tried ur recipe of Chayote, carrot saagu.We all loved it and made it again and again....Thank u , ur blog is ispiration 4 us :)
I ve seen another blogger got hurt by anonymous comment too :(

Trupti said...

Hey Aasha, nice authentic Rajasthani dishes..thanks for sharing these recipes

Tee said...

What a GRAND entry! Loved your Rajasthani Thali. :)

I agree fully with you on feeders which state locations...it is pretty scary to think who might be watching you.

Vanamala Hebbar said...

Thank you asha
Glad you liked vada Pav

ChrisB said...

Hi Asha you have packed a lot into five weeks. I love your barn. The birthday celebrations looked like fun and your beach photos are beautiful.
A friend of mine has just come back from three weeks in India. I can't wait to see all her photos. Her in-laws have a house there so they are lucky enough to be able to visit. It's lovely for her children to learn more about their culture through visiting. :)

ms said...

Welcome back asha! Very appropriate music for spring. Looks like you are back from a busily happy vacation. I love your delicious looking rajasthani spread.

Pooja said...

Same pinch , same pinch , same pinch:) . 3 times coz there are 3 things similar we have . I too make Panchmel Dal for RCI -Rajasthan . I too watched forbidden kingdom . ( and just like your kids- as we too liked it ... he he he we are still too young :D ) . And I too made bisilebe bhat from another blog , know what ? I made it from your blog :) , and we loved absolutely . D liked it too much , basically a food lover he is :) .
And you are true about those place feeders ... when you speak something +ve ,it makes a good impact on us bloggers , you know that . your words having a great impact on many of us already . hugs to you .

FH said...

Thank you girls! I LOVED cooking from your blogs more than anything. I used to bookmark so many but never could find find the time to cook, glad I did. It's addictive and I don't have anything of my own to blog now!:D

Chris, good to see you. Your friend is lucky, bet she visited Taj Mahal too!:))

Pooja, word verification is another thing which irks me too. Got say to something about that next time!:)
I made your aloo paratha too, yummy!:)

KayKat said...

Yay! You're back! And with a bang. I *love* your spreads for RCI :)

I'm totally with you about the location display - that definitely isn't something most folks are comfortable with. I really like your alternative option.

ranji said...

lovely yummy thali...my 1st time here....amazing collection of recipes..i loved the way u have put up this delicious thali...nice presentation...Thanks for sharing..

Unknown said...

Wow..Asha u r back again!glad to see u again..Hpe u recover from your allergy soon..The thali looks great..And amazing that you have tried so many recipes during your break..

Bong Mom said...

As usual, as soon as I had seen RCI Rajasthan, I was waiting for your post :)

You had a gala time it seems, where is the garden, did you start planting ?

FH said...

Kay, hope bloggers take that feed off, it's making me run the opposite way!

Ranji, welcome. I will check your blog in a minute. Enjoy!:)

DK, I made your's too, coming up next wek.Kids loved it!

Uma said...

glad to see you back, Asha! You're back with so many lovely dishes. Thanks for trying out my recipe. Rajasthani thali looks so mouth-watering. Lovely entry.

ServesYouRight said...

Asha! You are my favorite whirlwind :-) As always you've gotten a TON accomplished. Lovely food, delighted to hear all your news. Many thanks for sharing,



FH said...

Sandeepa, weather is so fickle right now, I am waiting for mid May to plant Eggplants etc. I do have Mint, chives, Red Chard and Tomato going on right now!:)

Uma, thank you for the wonderful dish, loved it!:)

Smita, great to be back girl. Still has work to do, so I will blogging less than before but will be surfing blogs for more dishes though!:D

Kalai said...

Wow!! Amazing thali, Ashakka!! They all look delicious. Glad to see you back. :)

sra said...

Hey, when did you start the Life Happens blog? Nice pix, and that pic of you and Arvind, is it a recent one?

I have an interesting nugget about Lal Maas - may tell it in one of my posts!

FH said...

Good to see you too Kalai!:)

sra, they are just temp photos, didn't want to flood the FH with those! Yes, two yrs old taken on a cloudy day!:D
Can't wait for that nugget of info, you always make it interesting!:)

Prema Sundar said...

You are always grand in presenting the dishes for RCI. Its the same here with the rajasthani cuisine too.
U really amaze me by trying so many dishes from our blogger friends..

indosungod said...

Missed you a lot Asha. But great to hear you had a relaxing time. Love your barn by the way. Didn't realize you had been visiting and cooking from the blogs. I am happy to hear you tried the Hotel Sambhar. The Rajasthani spread looks absolutely fabulous.

Sreelu said...

Asha, great to see you back. what a lovely spread. I love rajasthani food, 2 years back during our trip to India took a fabulous vacation to rajasthan and stayed in Lake palace and spotted tiger in Ranthambore. I think I gained pounds exponentially cause I ate so much food. It was the best food I have ever eaten.

On an other note read your suggested reads my Amulya maladi boy loved it so much, had to make an emergency trip to India so these books gave a good company. Not just recipes I am looking forward to your book recomendations a well.

Good to see you again :)

Jayashree said...

BAck with a bang.....love that thali......

Jaya M said...

simply great spread Asha ...
I guess Lal mans in Rajasthani cuisine seems to be very interesting ..
thanks for sharing
hugs and smiles

Suganya said...

Beautiful, Asha. Hope you liked mor kali. I agree with your suggestions. Its scary to see all our locations exposed.

FH said...

Indo, once I started cooking and tasting other's recipes, I couldn't stop myself!:D

Prema, Sreelu (enjoy the books too) , Jaya, JayaShree, thanks girls. It's wonderful to be back. You all make me feel so wanted,I am a lucky girl!:))

AnuZi said...

When you make an entrance...you really make an entrance! I am very glad to have you back in my blog life ;o) The thali looks amazing. Also which beach did you guys go to? it looks soooo relaxing!!

FH said...

Thanks Suganya. Mor Kali was yummy, I had it for lunch with chutney, I will make it again since it's so easy!:)

Hi AnuZi, usually we go to Myrtle Beach which has all the entertainment too, so kids don't get bored!:)

Richa said...

hi Asha, how hv u been? u've come back with such a lovely spread, loved the bajra besan roti :) blog at ur own pace, it shud be fun no pressure ;) u r right @ the feeder location thingie!!

Rajitha said...

you sure have cooked up a storm asha..those rotis are waay too cute..

FH said...

Richa, I am doing well. You are right.When you are relaxed, you get more creative and I would love to try more recipes from others too, so it's all good!:))

Rajitha, good to see you..thanks. Rotis were so good with dal and lal maas too!:)

Beyond Curries said...

Asha thanks for visiting my blog. This is my first time here. You have an amazing food blog. Truly inspirational. Especially trying out recipes from other blogs and posting them. Kudos! I also have conceived an idea like that this week and will be posting more about that coming Sunday.

Anonymous said...

hey sis
good to see u back n to see a huge post
happy to hear from u n
belated wishes to ur kids
n thats a beautiful condo. i luv hte blue touch
allergy shot? that hurts.
yet to read the rajastani dishes
but wow u did one thing which many of us yet to do. tryin multiple recipes
n do u buy the books u read?
watched most of the movies in the list
have a great week ahead

Unknown said...

Hi Asha, Nice u see u back,me too a secret wanderer in ur blog.I love the dishes u cook. The rajasthani lal mans looks divine.Thanks for a wonderful spread.I throughly enjoyed it.

mallugirl said...

oh u really went all out!good that u had awonderful break. end of the year is imp so be good luck for ur kids. i agree with u.. i tried the location feeder for a day on my site and got so freaked out, took it off.it made me feel real creepy and i too don't like going to those sites now.
Also i too am getting all these nasty comments for some reason now. make me feel better than its not just me alone.thanks for writing abt that.

DK said...

hey Ashaaaaaa! This is awesome..seeing u back after AGES and as usual with a feast:)

U r so right w.r.t the side bar visitor tracker..i see it in so many sites. I luv ur new barn. It luks amazing..so whats the plan for that :) anything special?

Do take care of ur health...and as always luking fwd to your posts :)

Anonymous said...

WoW! Asha!
you have already accomplished so much this spring.

Here Spring is still threatening to visit and teases us with a warm day here and there. We are still using our goose downs and jackets! Can't wait to work in the yard!

And thanks for the pep-talk about the 'losers' who post those anonymous comments! Yes! hit delete; report as spam and move on!


Anonymous said...

Wow, your back with a bang and look at that spread. Awesome! Really appreciate your effort in taking photos of recipes you tried from our blogs.

Missed you, Asha.:)

A Cook @ Heart said...

U are back with a BANG!!! I loved the panchmel daal!
And u have been cookig up a storm! look at that array! Super woman!!! Have said it before & maintain it!!!
What feedrs do u mean, I hve something on my blog, that shows a live traffic, is that what u mean? Pl do lemme know.

Ramya's Mane Adige said...

beautiful spread, Ashakka!!! I recently had panchmel dal at one of my friends place and I just loved it....
And, glad you tried the hurali saaru. I hope you liked it! That was very nice of you to try so many recipes from fellow bloggers.. :)

Swati said...

Its great to have you back Asha and nice to know about the way you spent the past month (which really seemed longer though :))

Rajasthan is where I belong from and your spread looks so tempting..

Srivalli said...

Thats one lovely spread!...and yes looks like you have been cooking so much!...bhooohooo..none from mine...:0..kidding!...all of them looks great here...and yes I too don't like that feeder!..hope everybody understands that...

and those pictures in your other blog are just too fab!

Meera said...

Welcome back, Asha. Missed you so much!! Glad to know that you had a GREAT vacation. As usual your spread is mindblowing. Thanks for trying my garlic chutney.
Thanks for mentioning about anonymous too.

Red Chillies said...

So glad that you are back Asha. It is actually a weired feeling of not having you around. But I am very sure your family feels otherwise.
You are so spirited to cook up soe many fellow bloggers dishes. Thank you so much for trying the Majjige Huli and glad you liked it.

I loved the list of movies that you watched, 3 of them are on my last too.
Also your advice about anonymous comments is very apt. I am saving it for a later time. Hugs and thank you.

Keshi said...

wow u were bak already? HUGGGGGGGGGGGGGGZ n WB I missed ya Asha!

How was ur vacation? Tell us abt it too.


Anonymous said...

Hi Asha,

Wow, what an awesome spread!!! I enjoyed reading your other blog (Life as it happens). You look great :-)!! I will definitely try your dal and roti and will let you know. I was amazed looking at the amount of things you have done the past five weeks!!! Keep up the gret work!!


Sumitha said...

Hello Ashaakka!Nita Mehta is my favourite cookbook author.Will try out the spicy laal maas sometime.

Raaga said...

What a lovely spread! Ashakka - hugs. It is great to have you back... whatever your schedule is and whatever conditions you may place. God I missed you!

How was the Kultha Saar? Did you enjoy it?

Raaga said...

lovely pics in your other blog :-)

Daily Meals said...

Hi Asha! Happy to see you back.Hope you enjoyed your break.
Rajasthani tali looks so delicious. Glad to know that you have tried the recipes of fellow bloggers.

FH said...

Madhu, welcome!:)

Anusha, good to see you. Yes, most Indian books are not available in our local library,so I do buy them in Amazon. Most of other books I do buy if I can get used ones there too!:)

Hi Pearl, thanks, great to see you here too!:)

Shaheen, Trisha is taking 5 AP(college level) exams this year, will be finishing HS a yr early, that's why it's a bit stressful right now! We are unfamiliar with US college procedure, so lot of asking and researching going on too!:)

FH said...

DK, I have loads and loads of boxes with kitchen things piled up in the garage. They are all going in that barn, so we could be able to park all 3 cars in the garage at the same time!:D (I cleaned the barn y'day and allergy came right back, sneezing today!)
Next post here is for you.Made something from your blog too, will post.

Arun, we had 80F for 3-4 days and then a week worth of rain.Y'day, it was 48F at night.It's really eaky weather. Right now, I have Tomato, Mint and chives,that's it. Arvind said I should wait until ground heats up 65F atleast, so mid May it is for planting!:)

Hi Sailaja, thanks girl. I missed all of you too but had to resist!:D Instead I cooked a lot from you all, which made me happy. Glad I am back now!:)
See you tomorrow, hugs.

Manasi, that is the one girl, so many of you has it without realizing what it's doing!:D
I didn't want to say the name but it does show where I am from when I visit you. Get a different one if you can please, there are plenty others which are private. Hope you don't mind, hugs to you!:)

FH said...

Ramya and Raaga, Huruli saaru and Kultha saar both were very tasty.Paati's Kollu chutney was yummy too. I had soaked lot of Horse gram and started looking for recipes, eating each dish with a bit of ghee felt like home, even Arvind liked it! Thanks to all of you!:))

Raaga, good to see you. I do better when I am relaxed,this is a great plan, I can cook more as well in that time!;D

Meera, I wanted to say that to bloggers for a long time. Hope bloggers don't get their feelings too much and enjoy blogging.I know it's shocking for new bloggers but got to get tough!:)

Swati, a real Rajputani,huh?:)
That's great, hope these were authentic, relied on the book of course but enjoyed it very much.One day, will visit Jaipur!!:)

Sri, I cooked Alu Kurma, spicy peanuts from you, remember? Both were yummy and will be choosing one of the non-veg next which kids like, from your blog!:))
Yeah, I hope everybody take it off too and those dreaded jumbled letters as well when we are posting comments!:D

FH said...

RC, glad all of you are ignoring these nasty comments and still blogging. We shouldn't let them win!:)
I really enjoyed cooking from you all, love new tastes and makes you proud that everyone of us is so unique even though we cook the same or similar dishes at home! Love it!

Hi Keshi, vacation was great. Did all the kiddie things we parents usually do!:D
Most vacation are always around kids' wants and needs, so this time we wanted to do something for us grown ups too. We went and bought a time share condo in Sheraton.(click on the link) From next yr, we plan holidays for us, thinking of going to Hawaii since Sheraton has a 2 bedroom condo there too. It should be fun. Trisha will be ready for college then, a good holiday before moving out of home will ease her mind, we hope!:)

Thanks Sudha. I had bookmarked so many recipes but never had the time to try them. Once I started, I couldn't stop!:D
Will list more from on. There are so many recipes to try, hope I will manage. Take care!:)

FH said...

Hi Sumitha, good to see you. I was in your blog too, looking for recipes!:D
I will try some of them whenever time permits. Hugs to you!:))

Raaga, Kultah saar was excellent. I love the taste Kultha or Huruli, so I really enjoyed it. Your recipe reminded me of my ajji's dish called Uppu saaru with crushed green chillies cooked with it. She is used to serve my Thatha with Ragi Mudde since he didn't have any teeth to chew!:D
Thanks girl, I love traditional recipes.See you tomorrow!:)

Hi Vijaya, how are you? Thanks for your recipe too Vijaya. I will be trying more!:))

Nanditha Prabhu said...

if after breaks you come up so rejuvenated i prescribe more breaks for you.... as usual your spread is amazing. saw the birthday snaps too ...:)
really good to see you back.. was missing that positive energy vibrations from you:)

J said...

We go to a couple of Rajasthani restaurants here and the food is awesome. Besides they take good care of their customers and insist on pouring a potful of ghee over the dal, on the roti, dal bati....Lal maas looks great!

FH said...

Hahaha! NP, I think if I start cooking from blogs now, I will LIVE on these until the end! There are so many I want to try, will try as many as I can during other days I am off blogging!:)

Hi J, lucky you! I have never seen a Rajasthani restauran or eaten authentic food from there so far.I bet they have some Rajputani restaurants in New York though, got to look when I go there next. Hope you are doing okay there, taking my time off today!:)

Mythreyee said...

Happy to see you back and that too with a wonderful Rajasthani Thali.
Bajra Aloo Besan roti is an interesting recipe that I have not heard of. Must try. I like to try different rotis. This can go to the roti mela that is comining up.

Regarding the feed that you had mentioned. I had one too. After I read your request, I removed it. It had an option of disabling the IP address if you didn't wish to be tracked, and that's why I had it. Thanks for bringing this to our notice.

Mansi said...

You rock girl! with you cooking, fantastic spreads and all the sane advice!! and thanks for trying out the Paneer Butter masala! glad it turned out great for you:)

Sig said...

Wow Asha, you have gone all out... Look at that spread... Beautiful pictures of all the dishes you tried from other blogs... :) Looks like you had a fun break.... Thanks for trying the popcorn chicken, hope you liked it!

SMN said...

Hi Ashakka.. Nice to see u in action.. I always look forward for your RCI spraeds.. Nice one these too.. I hope u had a great Break and Happy Ugadi Wishes to u and ur family..

That was such a nice write up and thank you for your information on the unwanted feeds.

jayasree said...

Nice to see u back. Your regional thali always inspire me to cook a nice spread for weekend.

Regd the feeder the locations, thanx for writing about that. I never thought abt that in the perspective mentioned by you. I removed it from mine.

Sagari said...

welcome back ashaji ,u always rock in any cuisine ,love the chicken curry a lotttttt

Deepa Kuber said...

That was very quick Asha. Thanks.
im quiet surprised by this cos my post is not yet Updated in TOI, how did u come to know about it ;D ?

Btw, u might find this funny, in my dreams last night, u had invited me for dinner. Food was excellent :D u had prepared my fav vegetarian dishes hahahha..

FH said...

Myth, thanks and thank you for taking the live feed off too. Lot of bloggers have it without realizing, so that's okay. I don't know how to make the IP unavailable, I would have done it!:)

Mansi, I left a comment in your blog after I made the Paneer butter masala, hope you read it!:)
It was yum, thank you!

Sig, loved the popcorn chicken kids fave snack. Trisha even took some to school for lunch which she usually do not do!Thanks friend!:))

Hi Sush, hope you are doing okay!:)
Yeah, that feed is menace, makes me avoid the blogs which have it. Thankfully, few took it off. Have a good weekend!:))

FH said...

Thanks Jaya, lot of bloggers have it without realizing what it could do, so it's okay!:)
Have a great weekend sweetie. See you Monday.

Thank you Sagari, goodto be back. Enjoy the curry and the weekend, see you later!:))

Haha!! Anjali, STOP dreaming about me girl, you are scaring me! ;D
Yeah, it's good to be back. I am blogging 3 days a week now, so I just started commenting in the morning and your post popped up in my blog roll. I don't go to TOI at all, rely on my own blogroll which is convenient for me atleast! Enjoy the weekend, I will see you on Monday again!Hugs!:)

Coffee said...

Hey! So good to see you back! :) I was certainly missing your write-ups dear aunty!! ;)

FH said...

Hiya Coffee, I came back Wednesday, good to be back. Hope everything is going well there. Hugs, have a grand weekend sweetie!:))

Shilpa said...

What an awesome spread Asha. Simpy loved it. Good to know you had a relaxing break. Me too. Now having bit trouble to get back to busy schedule and the blogging :(. Missing family too much.
I am with you on rude comments. They affected me so much before the break that I wanted to either close down or make my blog private. Now I have learnt to hit delete button :). Looks like some people have too much free time to do all that.

FH said...

Hi Shilpa, so good to see you again. I bet you had a great time in India. I know, it's very hard to get back to blogging after a break but you will get used to it.
About nasty comments, I even got one today! Don't get scared and let them win.Just ignore it. They do have lot of time on hand or may be they are just jealous of our blogs!!:D
Have a great weekend, hugs to you. I will be cooking from your blog too next week!:)

Archy said...

Wow, What a smashing entry Asha !!
Thali looks perfect,

U tried out so many recipes great !!Welcome back !!

Unknown said...

Hi Asha :) Welcome back, its so nice to have you back in the blogging community :) Seems like you had a very good spring break !! I saw the pics you posted , did you buy that condo as a vacation condo? It looks so beautiful !!

The Rajasthani meal looks refreshing :) Nice pic of Lake Pichola!
I have removed the feedjit , and who amungus,as you told I got intimidated when I saw my personal details in another blog :)
Also hats off to you for trying sooooo many dishes from fellow bloggers !! It indeed requires lot of effort to do something like that !

Chickoo said...

Ashakka - You are the best!! I was waiting for your posts, dina nim blog check madtha idde. Don't worry, nan blog nalli feeds capture madode illa. Glad to know that you enjoyed a wonderful and much needed break.

FH said...

Archy, thanks. I really enjoyed cooking all those, new tastes! I will be in your blog too!:))

Roopa, yes we did! Another mortgage now!:D It is beautiful, it's a time share, so we get about 10 days per yr to vacation any part of the World,including India! Great deal.
Thanks for taking that feedjit off.I am sure most bloggers do not realize it when they put it up!:)

Chickoo, glad you don't have that!:D
So good to hear B's news, I was smiling wide. Glad that's over for her parents too!:))
Hope your family is doing well. I took a long break this March and enjoyed cooking, unlike other times of "break" where I still kept on commenting even on break anyway!;D
Have a great weekend, blog more!:)

Priyanka said...

Asha, glad to have you back. the rajasthani cuisine looks good. I make a different version of the panchmel dal taught to me by a rajasthani friend.

Suganya said...

Hi Asha.... How r u feeling now?... Nice to see u posting ur awesome set of recipes....Rajasthani thali looks great.... In one month u have tried so many recipe?... amazing...

accidental diva said...

asha akka, I seriously wish I lived some where near ur place..then u would have had an uninvited guest for dinner everyday!!! lol

Loved the rajasthani thali...looks so yummy.another recipe in my must try list.

FH said...

Priyanka, you should post it girl. I rely on the books mainly, authentic recipes are always welcome!:))

Hi Sukanya, yeah! I had fun!:D
I liked it so much that I will be cooking more like these!:)

Hi Dee, good to see you. Many say that too but I just cook for 4 people everyday. HeHe! ;D
Have a great wekend, hugs!:)

Manasi said...

Thank U asha, I had no idea that a live feed would cause mischief. I'll take it off.

FH said...

You are a sweetheart Manasi, thank you. Myth said we could disable our IP address so it doesn't show up. I asked her tell me how, that would solve the problem easily!:)

KonkaniBlogger said...

Just commented on Aroma saying you must have had a great vacation. Saw this post now, got an idea hoe thoroughly you enjoyed it Asha. Good for you. You cooked alllllllllll that AND Rajasthani Spread already ?? Hats off to you. What a great start it is, I must say :)...Loved each and every bit of it :)..

Purnima said...

Welcome back, Asha! Loved the vacation snaps of Dawn, Dusk, also is that you with Mr. A ? Must be! Loved the Rajas.Cusine n what a collage, seems like u cater to entire US food needs! Preparing new dishes at that frequency surely needs a lot of caliber! U never fail to amaze me! (BTW I m dropping that *akka* :D u r too far for that geee)I thought that barn has to accomodate all ur beautiful crockeries which I strongly feel you use only once :);) Take care had missed your posts!Tks for the feedjit advice.

Anonymous said...

Hi Asha, it's great to have u back - I was seriously missing yr posts - whenever I make a little time to log into blogs - the first one I visit is yrs ( even before I check out on mine ). Rajastani red maans looks so inviting- i will try it ( with chicken only - red meat -i.e goat meat has gone out of menu now for our family ). Awaiting yr next post !. And yeah.. hats off to u for trying out so many of other's recipes.

FH said...

Maya, as soon as each RCI announced, I start to make something and keep it in draft to type later!Typing tales longer than cooking for me! Enjoy!:D

LOL! Purnima, that's exactly where all my crockeries are going. I can use them more now, since I can find them easy!;D
Yeah, that is us, taken on a cloudy day! I do look more like an aunty, don't I? Hahaha!
But I do prefer to be called Asha instead of akka etc, it's fine!:))

Thanks S, I try my best always. I did this RCI with simple thali I must say and enjoyed it too. Do try and adjust the spices to your taste. Have a fun Sunday!:)

Vani said...

Welcome back, Asha! I missed you! :) Lovely Rajasthani spread. And you have been a busy little bee with all the cooking! The collage looks awesome!

FH said...

Thanks Vani, good to be missed by so many, always feels great!:))
Oh, I loved cooking from the other blogs including your BBB!! Never had the time before, now I am determined to enjoy other culinary wonders more!Hope everything is going well there. Hugs to you, enjoy the Sunday. Arvind has a meeting y'day at Chapel Hill, will be back for lunch later!:))

Anonymous said...

Asha, welcome back friend! Have missed your smiling face :) Loved all the 'break' photos. Congrats on new time share condo, and Happy B'day wishes to the kiddies... growing up fast! Rajasthani thali looks fantastic -- I especially like the dal. Waiting for the garden now!

Deeba PAB said...

Welcome back Asha...great to see so much action after the lull! WOW...lovely food coming from your kitchen & tonnes of variety! Very nice indeed!!

KonkaniBlogger said...

Hey Asha, have tagged you for a MeMe. Please check at my blog and do it if possible :)..

Purnima said...

Well not at all, if far frm akka, then farthest from aunty!! :) Hw do U manage..u always comment first on any new post, reply promptly to the comments at urs, whip out minimum 4 dishes per meal, the difficulty level or time-taken for each might run into several hours if I were even to try..btw i leisurely read the chicken and wd try to prepare it this week, shall surely fb u! Thks for being around..you sure are a Role Model n I surely wd like to have your kinda caliber n enthu in all that I do! Thanks again Asha, your presence in food blog world truly makes a HUGE difference!U R OUR "HOPE" 4 shure!

Sunila said...

Hi Asha,
i have visited ur blog many times but left a comment just once last yr i think.I have cooked some of the stuff u have here and loved it.One query,i made the Rajgaro puris the last weekend and did exactly as u have said ,but my puris turned out oily,cud it be coz i left the dough sitting for abt half an hr after mixing it?The veg rezala was a grand dish and everyone liked it.

FH said...

Hi Linda, great to see you. Hope you are little less busy now, but I know all the EOCs are coming for M! Trisha has 5 AP exams this week and next week, will be done with HS credit except 12th grade English.She will attending the local U for next year's tuition as a HS visiting student.They do grow up fast!:))
Have a great Monday.

Thanks Deeba, I do my best. May not be 100% authentic Rajasthani but similar! :D
Take care, see you later.

Maya, thanks for tagging me. I am not doing MeMes anymore, girl!:)

FH said...

Oh, thank you so much Purnima. I do appreciate it. Makes me feel good just by reading your comment, hugs to you!:))
I just got a nasty anon comment about how bad I am at Tamil cooking by someone who calls herself "youknowwhoIam"! ;D
Someone one had plenty of time last Sunday, poor girl!!

Hi Sunila, resting the dough makes it tender, so it's quite okay to rest it for 15-30 mins.
Only reason for pooris or anything fried to get soggy with oil is oil is not hot enough when frying. I use a electric fryer with atleast 370F, never fails.
You can also test the oil by dropping a piece of dough, if it sizzles and floats up immediately,then oil is hot enough to fry. Also after frying one poori or a batch, let the oil heat again for a minute before adding the next one to get temp up again.
Hope it helps, you will learn after a few tries, don't worry.Experiment with small amounts to get the idea!:))
Thanks for trying though, good luck next time.

krystyna said...

Welcome back, dear Asha!
I really enjoyed my time being here.
"Life, as it happens"/ a beautiful place/ shows that you had a wonderful and productive time.
Have you ever heard the phrase "good fances make good neighbors" ? Your yard looks wonderful.
I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed your smart advices and yummy recipes, and of course an amazing photos!
You are Special!

Be happy always!

FH said...

Hi Krys, I will miss you! Don't stop blogging altogether my friend. Keep in touch and post whenever you can. I love to hear from you now and then!:)
Hugs to you and thank you for all your great posts and comments. Have a great Spring and enjoy.Wish you the best as well!:))

Deepa Kuber said...

Haha, Asha u still have enough time to think. im sure u will come up with an extraordinary dish.
But, try my parathas once, they really taste delicious esp rice flour stuffed parathas.

Shionge said...

Hello!!! hello my dear friend I was so happy to see you visiting my blog and how have you been? I bet you have had a great time huh?

I love your energy Asha...look at your amazing blog entry I am truly amazed and overwhelmed!!!

Keep them coming, I can't cook any of them I sure love to look at it hehehe...

KonkaniBlogger said...

Oh, Sorry about the tagging then Asha, I didn't realise.

Mythreyee said...


Sorry for not replying. My internet connection stopped working for no reason for the last two days.

Regarding the disabling feature, I had a visit tracker called feedjit. In the tracker itself, there was an option for visitors to disable or ignore the current browser so that it does not display for others to see. But if the visitor clears your cookies in the browser, it will start tracking and displaying again until the visitor opts for disabling. I have seen in other blogs where they find out the place and display in block letters and also, there is no feature of disabling our browser.

Pavani said...

Welcome back Asha.. Delicious looking Rajasthani thali. Great to have you back. Have a wonderful week.

Cakespy said...

Birthdays, beautiful food, and good friends--what could be finer!!! WONDERFUL!

FH said...

Anjali, I will try that rotti one day. Now that I ma back blogging for 3 days, I get only 3 more days to cook, Saturday is cooking holiday for me! :D

Hi Shi, hope you get better soon girl, you have had enough already this year. Hugs!:))

Maya, that's okay,thanks for thinking of me. I have done so many MeMes last year, it has stopped to excite me! :D

Myth, thank you for replying, hope it's working now. Nothing more frustrating than not getting into our lappys!:D
So it doesn't help us at all, does it? Bummer! I was going to disabled that IP address in a second if I could!! Haha! Oh well, just hope others will take it off too!:)

Thank you cooks, enjoy and have a great Monday!:))

FH said...

That's so very true Cakespy! Count our blessings everyday, not a day should be taken for granted! Have a wonderful Monday sweetie!:))

Bong Mom said...

Just saw the pic of your barn and your "time share" condo too. How beautiful, you lucky girl :)

Susan said...

Asha, did you sleep at all while on vacation?!? Amazing culinary effort!
Thanks for sharing your exploits with us. Good to have you back.

I hate those location feeders, too; they creep me. When I read a newspaper or magazine, no one knows who I am nor where I am, and that's the way I like it, too.

FH said...

Sandeepa, we get about 8 nights anywhere in the World with similar condos every year for free. We just booked a Sheraton at Orlando since my son wanted to go to theme park this Dec, looking forward to it since this is the first time!It's not very expensive to buy , you should try!:)

Susan,how are you? :)
I thoroughly enjoyed cooking from other blogs and couldn't stop once I started!:D
Yes, I was and am worried. Usually, I try not to impose my opinions on others but this feed is a menace, wish everybody takes it off, fingers crossed.It is invasion of our privacy.
Have a great day.Good to be back too!:)

Smita said...

Hi Asha!!! Welcome back!!! Missed both you and your blog immensely so it is good to see you back.... I tried the Panchamel Dal last night and it was yummy!!! Two modifications were - 1) I used tomato paste instead of tomato sauce because I didn't have it but this worked fine and added a good flavor as well and 2) I squeezed fresh lemon juice at the end in the dal and this enhanced the flavor a lot and made a lot of difference....
But the recipe was good and easy to follow. Thanks!

Lakshmi said...

Amazing thali Ashakka. Hope you like bendekayi gojju. Even I do not like those feeders. Thanks for mentioning that.

FH said...

Hi Smita, modification are always good according to our taste and availabilities, lemon juice sounds great to me too!:)
Gla you tried it, enjoy.It is a very easy dal and comforting!

LG, badanekaigojju was fabulous, we loved it and will cook again. Thanks friend. I am really enjoying new tastes!:)

Latha Narasimhan said...

Nice rajasthani thali! Your knowledge of various cuisines is amazing! :)
I didnot understand about this feeds part. I too got a few nasty comments two weeks back! One of the comments used lakshmi's friends name! Definitely some sadistic person must have done this. Best is to ignore such things and carry on with our blogging! I too felt hurt for a moment!

FH said...

Latha, some blogs have this FEEDJIT feed. When you visit these blogs, it records and displays all the info about you and your location for all to see on the sidebar. Lot of bloggers are angry about it, it concerns me so I wrote about it. Some did take it out and but some still have it without realizing about it's effect on others. Hope they do take it out soon!
Yeah, that sad woman who leaves nasty comments everywhere is Indian and last time she signed it as "youknowwhoIam" in my blog. Don't respond, just delete it and blog on. Don't let her get you down even for a second.One day we will find out who she is,her IP and publish it!