Rajma & Peas Pulao

This was my first experience ever with a cooking class overseas and I must admit, I was overwhelmed.

It is always so much fun to share stories and tales of your country in an international community. Here, at the International Center at Stanford, I’ve been able to try out different things and the journey has been simply amazing. I’m sharing with all of you, the joy & spirit of togetherness got by food. 🙂

Here is a glimpse of the first class that I taught here. We cooked Red Kidney Beans Gravy with Peas Rice. Recipes are given below!

Happy cooking & sharing 🙂

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Recipe :

Red Kidney Beans

Ingredients : ( Serves 2)

Kidney Beans – 1 can or soaked overnight & boiled
Water – 1 cup
Salt – to taste
Turmeric Powder – 1/4 tsp
Oil – 2 tbsp
Onions – 2 medium, finely chopped/ blended
Ginger – 1 tsp, minced
Garlic – 1 tsp, minced
Tomatoes – 2 cups, puree
Cumin Powder – 1 tsp
Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
Chaat Masala – 1 tsp                                                                                              

Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Garam Masala – 1 tsp or Rajma masala ( 2 tsp)

Method:.

  • In a medium size pan on medium heat, add in the Oil.
  • Allow it to heat up and add in the Onions & stir frequently.
  • Add in the Ginger and Garlic, mix well and cook till the onions start to brown.
  • Add in the Tomato Puree. Mix again.
  • Cook till the oil starts to seperate. Keep an eye on it and keep stirring frequently.
  • Add in Coriander Powder, Chaat Masala & Garam Masala or Rajma Masala.
  • Add in a little water to help mix in the dry spices and to prevent it from burning.
  • Cook for a couple of minutes
  • Add the kidney beans. Mix well and allow it to come to a boil again. Add salt as per taste.
  • Add in some of the fresh Cilantro leaves and keep some for garnishing.

Peas Rice:

Ingredients:

Basmati rice – 1 cup
Green peas (fresh or frozen)-1 cup
Coriander leaves – fistful/ finely chopped
Salt as required

For the seasoning 
Oil – 1 1/2 tbsp              

Cumin seeds – 1 tsp (optional)
Cardamom -2
Cinnamon – 1 inch piece
Bay leaves – 2

Method:

  • Heat oil in a pan and add the ingredients mentioned under seasoning.
  • Saute for a few seconds.
  • Add peas, chopped coriander leaves. Add rice and saute until the water (if any) evaporates.
  • Add 2 cups of water, salt as per taste (approximately 2 tsp salt) and bring it to boil.
  • Cover the pan with a lid and let it cook completely.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and enjoy 🙂

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Quilling Rakhis

A handmade gift is more precious for the simple reasons that its filled with love, customized creativity and involves a lot of your time and hardwork! Just why I decided to make rakhis for all my lovely brothers out there (who are gonna fill my pockets and shower me with gifts in return too 😉 )

Inspired by a few designs on Google, blogs and YouTube, and adding a dash of creativity of my own to them, quilling rakhis are what I’ve worked on, here they are!

The golden quilling rakhis:

golden ones

The colorful quilling rakhis:

colorful ones     colorful rakhi..

Quilling lumbas – rakhis for the bhabis:

lumbas  lumba2

Quilling rakhis for the kids, including angry birds quilling rakhis:

kids rakhi

Do let me know if you like them! 🙂

Masal Vadai

A famous South Indian snack, these will leave you feeling like bliss, especially when made on a rainy day with tea! These go well with rasam rice or kadi rice too..

Masal vadai!!

To make the masal vadai gather:

  • 1 cup chana dal ( gram flour)
  • Soak for 3-4 hours. Drain out the water completely, probably place it in a sieve for half an hour or so.

Put the above in a mixie jar or blender, and to this add:

  • 1 green chilli
  • 1 tbsp saunf ( fennel seeds)
  • 2 tbsp red chilli powder
  • A pinch heeng (asafoetida powder)
  • Salt

Grind this to a semi coarse paste. DO NOT grind it to  a smooth paste. The mix will look something like this.

The coarse masal vadai paste

  • 1 big onion (finely chopped)
  • Coriander

Add these to the above coarse mix.

You can also use cabbage instead of onions.

Let’s start making the masal vadai:

  • Switch on the gas with oil for deep-frying.

A small tip: When the oil is hot, pour 1 tbsp of this oil in the mix. This will make the vadai soft.

  • Take a small amount of the mix in your hand and make it into round balls.

round balls of the masal vadai mix

  • Flatten it using your fingers.

flatten using fingers

  • Deep fry on low to medium flame till golden-brown. Hot hot masal vadai are ready!!

The mix needs to have very thick consistency, having little or no water. In case it tends to have thinner consistency, add besan (chana dal flour) to make it thick again.