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 !


A New Look and a Salad

I really hope to stick to this theme ! My dear brother found it and tweaked it for me . I love the layout and  I am still doing a cleanup of the website , but I hope my readers and visitors really like this theme.  I have been working on this continuously for the last week , cleaning up , uploading , deleting stuff.  Its a lesson learnt that I need to be more organized and not neglect my virtual baby !

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Spicy and sour , a traditional recipe , a must during the festival times. This is a bit tricky to make , but surely a winner amongst the lot and a sure to be on the menu , for every occasion , festival. I cannot remember a time when it was not cooked  and I cannot remember a time , when I didn’t stamp my foot in anger and walk away because it was “this” dish again !

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Veggie and Quinoa Salad with garlic chili Oil

The summer heat here is killing and we were showered with a bit of rain due to the Jimena hurricane hitting Arizona and New Mexico.  Its hard for me to step into the kitchen , especially when its raining . I dont want to miss even a teensy weensy bit as rain is a rarity in this part of the world. However , the rumbling in my stomach reminded me that I had to make a meal for us. I set about throwing almost everything I had in the pantry as we are going away for the long weekend and I want to empty the crisper. I dislike coming back from a vacation , just to realize the stale veggies in the crisper. I threw in whatever I could find , the end result was a beautiful spicy faux grain and veggie salad. Quinoa is actually a fruit seed.

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