Back to the Grind…

It took me almost a year to get back to blogging. Sorry folks , but life has been a roller coaster so far this year. I was in India for about 4 and a half months , initially vacationing  and then realizing , it might be a permanent move and then figuring out that it was indeed a long vacation. Now , I am back to where I was and slowly getting back to the grind.

We also realized a little angel has choosen us to be her parents. Yes! you got it right , little Ishya will soon be having a  baby sister this fall ! The past month has been all about settling down , innumerable shopping trips for the new baby , driving my little one to play dates and classes and keeping her from being bored.

Realization struck that I haven’t been cooking regularly for a long time now , just an occasional quick fix in the kitchen to survive . I started cooking full fledged meals only since last week and this one of the first hits that I’d like to share with you. I might not be regularly blogging , but will drop in occasionally to say Hi !

Chickpeas have always been a source of comfort for K and handy to throw in a quick meal for me.. These slowly grew on me and now I thoroughly enjoy them. Instead of the normal chole or a chickpea stew , I decided to add some zing to them and turned it into a sweet and sour sensation. It was a huge hit with both roti and rice. This recipe is adapted from the Curry Bible , 660 Curries  By Raghavan Iyer.



1 cup of dried chickpeas soaked overnight

1 medium sized onion

2 medium sized tomatoes

1 tablespoon of thick tamarind paste

A big squirt of agave nectar/maple syrup ( use as needed)

A bay leaf

1 teaspoon of kala jeera/ cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon  of cumin powder

1/2 teaspoon of coriander powder

1 teaspoon of coarsely ground ginger and garlic paste

A pinch of garam masala (optional)

A pinch of turmeric

1/2 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

Oil and Salt to taste

cilantro for garnish


1. Cook the chickpeas on a stove top until tender or in a pressure cooker until at least 5-7 whistles. They should be intact but cooked.

2. You know the drill , Heat oil in a kadhai add some  kala jeera or Jeera ( black cumin or normal cumin seeds, i prefer black cumin for the flavor they impart to the dish) , a dry bay leaf , turmeric .once they sizzle add the onions and brown them ,

3. Next , add the chopped tomatoes and let that simmer into a mushy sauce and then add the cooked chickpeas . Add salt and a cup of water and let the chickpeas simmer for at least 10-15 minutes. Then add the cumin , coriander powders and the cayenne pepper and cook for another couple of minutes. Just 5 minutes before you switch off the flame , add the tamarind paste and the agave nectar and mix well. Let the curry simmer until mixed well . Remove from heat , garnish with cilantro and savour it with rice , roti or thick crusty bread .

Notes and Variations:

1. Add the spice powders almost at the end to avoid a bitter taste , if you are letting the curry simmer for a longer period  or slow cooking it.

2. I add vegetables like potato /eggplant / Kale and spinach for a twist.

3. Dont worry if the curry becomes mushy and you over cook your chickpeas , It tastes great with thick crusty bread , You can top the bread with this curry or simply dunk it and have a hearty meal.

4. I also cook the chickpeas and add raw chopped onions and tomatoes and use the ingredients to make a dressing for a salad . I also top it off with some store bought sev or some urad dal papad .It tastes great !


Sleepless nights… and I’m thinking Pickle

I have some great news to share with all you folks !!  We have been blessed with a little angel 3 weeks ago and apart from experiencing ” The joy of motherhood/parenthood”  we are having sleepless nights and innumerable diapers to change !!! So far we are enjoying this phase  though its a tad difficult( not impossible) to do so without help as both sets of parents could not make it in time.

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My 100th Post and a childhood favorite

As much as I love sambhar , being an Andhrite I don’t think any savory south Indian breakfast/tiffin is complete without ginger chutney and Kharapu podi.Well, to be honest , sambhar was made when my mum was in a hurry and always eaten with rice. It was always Kharapu podi and ginger chutney with Idlis/pesarattu and dosa all drizzled with ghee unless we were eating breakfast in a restaurant which was rare. But once I got a the taste of the quintessential sambhar , there was no looking back, The kharapu podi and allam pachadi , was moved to the attic of my mind and stored as a memory. My mum makes an awesome allam pachadi and kharapu podi… I dont think anyone can beat her when it comes to this… and she is very proud of this one thing and can lure my dad to get her anything that she wants by making them for him.

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A Minty Affair

Our car broke down yesterday and we couldn’t go grocery shopping. For the first time in my life , I was challenged to make a decent meal as there were hardly any vegetables in the refrigerator , I am one of those kinds who stocks up the pantry and refrigerator enough for an army. Neither of us were in a mood to cook something elaborate after spending an hour in the phoenix summer but had enough enthusiasm to take pictures , lest the dish I made turned out interesting :D. So I decided to make a simple pachadi apart from some garlic rasam and yogurt. A great one for a binge day !

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