Homemade Ghee (Clarified Butter) and some beautiful memories!

I use a lot of Ghee or Clarified Butter in my cooking.

I was raised in Kerala where lunch started with boiled rice mashed with ghee and salt. My grandmother used to send me a 3-tiered lunch box to school during lunch break where the first compartment always had this gloopy mash which I hated then. I would send it back with the driver untouched and drool on the neighbouring kid's Kissan jam sandwiched puris. Today, I would love mashed rice with ghee for breakfast, lunch and dinner. All what I loathed in terms of food during my younger days are my favourites now. I don't have memories of cakes or muffins or bread, baking in the oven because in my simple childhood home we never had those oven luxuries in the kitchen nor were we, as a family, cake or bread eaters. What I remember is only the typical Kerala food where Ghee formed a basic ingredient of our existence.

The making of Ghee was also ceremonial in my grandmother's house. She used to skim the cream from milk every day…

Ginger-Lemon Cooler, Red Bell Pepper Soup and Egg Club Sandwich! A total meal!

2 years!

I am writing a fresh post after 2 years.
I started off with this blog in July 2011. I wrote here primarily when I cooked and photographed something. If you have noticed, I never adhered to a particular cuisine here. More than a cuisine oriented space, this was where I poured out my thoughts. My happiness. My anxiety. My sadness.
I made a lot of friends along the way. Many who shared my passion for food and cooking. Many who looked at my food photographs and sent me lovely feedback. Many who were around the social media silently, and spoke encouraging words when they met me. Today, I think of all of them in gratitude. 
Although I left writing in this space, for not any particular reason, but because 'busy'ness of life happened, I never stopped updating my Facebook or Instagram page with my food. But now, I feel I need to give this blog a facelift. 
I want to blog again. I want to write again. I want to share my food again.
Today, is a medley of recipes that is already…

Life... and Peanut Butter Cookies!

How do we know... as we go through every day life... who is real and who is not?

Who is artificial and who is not?

I am tending to think more than what is necessary, these days. About life. About people.

What have I been doing these days! Some interests that kept me going in the past, have been abandoned, just because I find it hard to keep those interests going. Funny though, no new interest has been taken up :)

Cooking food is like falling in love. I still do it with a lot of passion. For family, for friends. Life has also been a roller coaster of emotions for me, lately. Some big, some small. To each person their problems are the heaviest.

Not that I am a fan of peanut butter or cookies. Sometimes I just fall in love with the idea, the recipe.

I made these quite sometime back. I remember I just needed to feel liberated on the day I made this. The want to feed family was the last thing on mind and I am brutally honest on that.

You need a vent. You need a space.


Nutella Cake... Second Innings!

So, I just decided today, that I will hunt my way through my picture files and find something to post as a jump start to blogging again. This cake was made about three months back and it never made its way here, due to sheer lack of time on my part. No one at home are sweet eaters including my son. He devours chocolates in huge quantities that I always need to keep a dentist number handy. Anything other than chocolate gets a 'no' from him. According to him, I am the lousiest cook on earth due to my inability to make good quality chocolates at home. Not that chocolate making is a task. Just that fitting that into my schedule is a task!

If the chocolate-only lover at home has to eat a cake, it has to be a chocolate cake which his father loathes. Next best alternative is Nutella Cake! I never bother with icing or frosting, no one at home is interested either.

I searched high and low for a good nutella cake recipe, and finally chose this one. It is a pretty straight forward recip…

Because life is not a fairytale...

I have not posted anything since a long time. As I sit down today, thinking of posting, I fail to find a recipe. I fail to find a picture to post. It has been long that I clicked food. It has been long that I baked. It has been long that I browsed food books, thinking of what new food I should cook for my family. Where did I stop being the person I used to be at one point in time?

Did I build sandcastles in the air? With rainbows and unicorns? How did I not realise at 38 years of age that sandcastles can crumble? There is this famous Yiddish proverb that I keep posting here and there and everywhere I find an opportunity...'Man plans, God laughs!' For a while, I thought my life was the best life in all imaginable ways. But we all get to learn lessons... and I learnt mine a bit late. Time to start over again. Realising that I make and break my happiness. It is my choice.

So, leaving yesterday to mourn over itself and hoping for a tomorrow that will bring bigger smiles to my fac…

Pepper Mutton Masala!

I honestly don't know why I hardly update this blog of mine! I have a facebook page that I keep posting in, those are mostly quick posts, with one picture and the recipe given, and a huge time-saver. I have resolved innumerable times that I will not procrastinate... I will be regular... but things just never work as planned in my life, specially when this food blog is concerned. So I'm doing a quick post, about a dish which is not frequent here. I have posted innumerable chicken recipes, I have plenty more up my sleeve! Now a days, with chicken I hardly need to read or follow any written recipe. The permutations and combinations that I have tried, have been many... that I just need to lay my hands on it, that something comes up naturally. The natural process of coming up with a recipe is directly proportionate to the time I have on hand too:) Works well, all said and done, I try to keep mealtimes at home, with whatever little I can provide the family with.

Now the stuff that …

Canned Pineapple Pachadi... From God's Own Country!

I need an easy way out with all recipes. Or I would not even venture trying them. If I can do away with the hour-long cutting and chopping required for one, I am the happiest person on earth! Not that I support packaged or frozen stuff. I do a fair share of cooking fresh vegetables, meat and fish, but when it comes to preparing a big feast and what I mean here is the typical Kerala feast, I want to take some easy ways out, somewhere.
Pachadi is a typical  Kerala dish that features in all grand feasts. It can be made with any vegetable, but the one made with Pineapples, stand apart. The sweetness, the sourness and the spicy-ness, all in balance.

This is an easy version to making Pineapple Pachadi using canned, cubed pineapples and doing away with the cutting and chopping of fresh ones. An easy way out for the modern woman!
INGREDIENTS: Canned Pineapple (Cubed) – 1 tin of drained weight 300 grams Turmeric powder – ¾ teaspoon Red Chilli Powder – ½ teaspoon Grated Jaggery – ½ tablespoon …