Indian food all over the country is so varied that in spite of spending much of my childhood in India, I’m not really familiar with Bengali cooking. (Bengal is a state in East India bordering Bangladesh) I’ve eaten at a few Bengali friends homes but never given much thought to their unique spices. Read more >
I fell in love with khandvi making when I was about six years old. I used to love helping my mom make these spicy garbanzo bean flour rolls. My mom would make large batches and I would help her spread out the dough into thin sheets all over the counters and tabletops. Then we’d roll the thin sheets of dough into delicious little scrolls and smother them in spices. It was messy and so much fun!
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I accidentally spilled some fresh cranberries on the kitchen floor as I was opening the package. Our dog, Xaxi, ran into the kitchen (her superpower is the ability to instantly appear in the kitchen as soon as something falls to the floor) like she does and licked up all the cranberries in seconds. Read more >
I picked up an old yellowed copy of the Joy of Cooking at a library book sale in Arlington years ago. It was such an old copy that it even has a section on how to prepare game. I remember jumping past the part where it teaches you to skin a hare. Steve eventually bought me a new copy for my birthday that is much more up to date and reflects more modern cooking. It even has a recipe for naan in it that Steve used for a while. Read more >
When I was growing up, parathas were a staple in my household. Parathas are unleavened Indian flat bread that are much thinner than naan and thicker than roti (also known as a rotli or chapati). My mom made them all the time. She’d make basic ones like I’ve made today; or she would throw in spices, vegetables or greens she had on hand to add flavor or make them healthier; or on occasion she’d even stuff them with a potato or cheese filling. They were all delicious! I love them so much that I will happily just eat a paratha plain with a little butter, yogurt or pickle.Read more >
A couple of weeks ago Steve and I went up to Los Angeles for a Halloween party my brother and his friends threw. While we were up there we visited Steve’s grandfather in Pasadena. Down the street from him we noticed a garage sale going on. As food bloggers, we’re always on the lookout for props and often stop in on garage sales we happen by. We found a great little copper bowl, a few tart pans and the people having it were so nice, they threw in a couple of marble tiles for free. Read more >
The potato is such an integral part of modern Indian cuisine that it’s hard for me to believe that it is a relatively new addition to the cuisine. Even though India is one of the largest producers in the world today, there was no potato in the Indian diet two hundred years ago. Personally, I am really happy that the potato was adapted into Indian cuisine. I don’t think there is any cuisine that has more variety of applications for potatoes than Indian food. Potatoes are used to make curries, sandwich fillings, added to snacks, used in place of eggs to bind patties, and so much more. Indian food just wouldn’t be the same without the potato. Read more >
The first year Puja and I lived together she asked me to make her Sticky Toffee Pudding for her birthday. What, I asked, is Sticky Toffee Pudding? She handed me a recipe and said this is what you are making.
I had done very little cooking or baking at this point in our relationship. But I went out and bought a bundt pan and all of the ingredients while she was at work. I believe I thoroughly trashed the kitchen, getting sticky caramel sauce and date splatters in various corners of the kitchen and stove. But the end result was amazing, and that’s what matters.
Every year since then, Puja has, let’s say requested, Sticky Toffee Pudding for her birthday. I’ve made some mistakes with it. One year I used Deglet dates and as a result I became a big champion of Medjool dates. Deglets just don’t compare in sweetness or depth of flavor. Another year I made the Sticky Toffee Pudding for a bonfire party and we didn’t have any way to warm the caramel sauce. That was disappointing. The warm caramel sauce soaking into the cake is what really makes it so delicious.Read more >
Ten years ago, tomorrow, I went to Las Vegas with a club I was in in college. It was my 21st birthday. Some of the group decided they wanted to go clubbing. The rest of us wanted to go to the big Oktoberfest event the hotel was having. They had a giant tent, huge beer steins, Hoffbrau on tap and an actual German band from Germany wearing lederhosen and playing pub songs all night. This was also the first time I hung out with Steve. I had met Steve a couple of times before this but hadn’t really given him much thought. Our German friend, C, made friends with the band and we requested songs all night and danced on the tables to their music. It was so much fun!Read more >