Sunday, January 20, 2008

Weekend Stuff

I was watching a documentary on TV where they were showing sled dogs racing along in Alaska. I pointed out to Dale that so many dogs have to work hard for a living, and maybe it is time for him to get off the couch and get a job and stop being such a freeloader. His response:

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Here's a little update of the recipes that I have been trying from fellow bloggers...

1. Dahi Vada without the deep-frying from Red Chillies: I have come to the conclusion that my snacking habit is an incurable one, and now I try to stock up on healthier snacking options in a desperate attempt to stop the potato-chip binges. I have to say that the appey pan has come to the rescue time and again by offering a lower-fat version of so many favorite foods (koftas, dumplings for vegetable manchurian etc.). I had been wondering about using the appey pan for making dahi vadas when I saw the delicious results on "red chillies". Last week, I tried it myself, using my usual recipe and only cooking the vada in the appey pan instead of frying it. I was very happy with the results. Of course, the vadas were not as fluffy as when deep-fried but once they were soaked in the spiced yogurt, they worked just fine. A stash of dahi vadas in the fridge is going to be a regular feature in my home, come summer.

2. Fried Rice with Brussels Sprouts from Thyme for Cooking: A simple and hearty weeknight meal. We love brussels sprouts and when quickly pan-fried this way, they retain great texture and readily take on a crispy golden-brown coat. Cooking the rice in stock instead of in water resulted in such heightened flavor in fried rice! This few-ingredient nutritious recipe is a keeper.

3. Maple-Poached Pears from The Perfect Pantry: This year, I have decided to start a small tradition for all the times when we have company over for dinner- to include some raw vegetables and some fruit as part of the meal. This is just a small way for me to ensure a well-balanced meal while the focus is on menus that are tasty and crowd-pleasing. To this end, I tried doing something I rarely do: cooking with fruit. I did follow Lydia's recipe for poaching but did not make the sauce (so I never needed the last three ingredients in her recipe). Instead I served the poached pears with some store-bought vanilla ice cream and a piece of buttercrunch candy. Cobbled together as it was, the dessert worked well! The ice cream is actually quite unnecessary because the meltingly luscious pears are a superb treat just by themselves- the subtle maple and lemon flavors permeate through beautifully. Now that I know the basic technique for poaching fruit, I hope to poach the pears in red wine (it dyes them a gorgeous jewel-red), and perhaps with different flavors like ginger, cardamom or saffron. On some special occasion, I hope to use the poached pears to make this classic French dessert: Poires Belle-Hélène.

and finally, a sweet treat for the eyes: have you seen the cutest cupcakes EVER? (a must-see for knitters and crafters, especially).

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A few days ago, a very sweet person sent along a package with prezzies for me and Dalu. Manasi, your rasam powder is fragrant and phenomenal! St. Louis is bone-achingly cold right now and your spicy Bangalore rasam is the only thing standing between me and the winter blues :)
Lest you think we have raised a dog with a sass mouth and no manners, Dale wants to say something:

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Check back tomorrow (same time, same place) for an easy-breezy recipe to make these delicious morsels:


  1. Ooh! is that khandvi? I am definitely waiting for an easy recipe for that! :)

  2. That was sweet as well as funny :)

  3. Whoa! Thanks Nupur for trying out the dahi-appe and I am so glad that you liked it. Even I love snacking and can't seem to have enough of it. It gets worse during the weekends that I literally have to run away from home to keep myself out of the kitchen and the pantry.
    Hope you are having a great weekend.

  4. wow surali chya wadya....cant wait to see an easy recipe for it!!!

  5. So glad you enjoyed the poached pears! I love ending a meal with fruit, as I'm not into super-sweet desserts. Now I'm going to search through your archives -- I'm have a craving for some Indian finger food to make for this afternoon's football game -- samosas, maybe?

  6. I *WUV* *WUV* *WUV* Dale !!! He makes the bandana look so good!!Glad u liked the rasam powder!!

    The next thing i'm trying from ur blog is pizza ( I am NO baker, so just x-ing my fingers and hoping it turns out well)
    The appey pan- wada for dahi wada sound terrific!!! I have a terrible weakness for dahi wadas and only indulge once in a blue moon, to avoid the deep fring, but I will make this version!Thank U!
    Waiting for the 'suralicha wadya'/ khandvi recipe!

  7. Dale the cutie at his best :). The wadas made in appey pan is really good, especially because it kinda' prevents one from munching on just the fried wadas, as the wadas are a lil' bit softer than fried ones, but perfect for dahi-wada :). Looking forward to the suralicha wadya :).


  8. An easy way to make Khandvi (we call it Patwadi)?! My Mom needs to hear about this...

  9. Lovely post. I was telling my mother about you, and more specifically Dale, just yesterday :-)

    Waiting for the khandvi recipe :)

  10. Hi Nupur! Doesn't Dale look adorable lounging... loved his new bandana from Manasi,too :)

    The tea truffles looked lovely with the pistachio coating! That's one sweet I haven't tried making -- probably a good thing considering how easy you make them sound ;) Also, your delicious-looking pav smothered in soft Amul butter has got me thinking... they sell Amul around here... hmm... :)

    Lastly, I really enjoyed the vivid picture you've painted of the endless parade of wallas. I can almost hear the hollering now :)

    Hope you enjoy the rest of the long weekend. I am off to google 'suralicha wadya' and 'khandvi'. It looks like a sheet of dhokla rolled up -- looks yummy, too!

  11. I'm with Dale on this one. His JOB is to look cute and be the mascot of One Hot Stove! I just love reading about him and his new antics. BTW tell him he looks even more handsome in his new bandana. (see he is working hard)
    The khandavi looks delicious, I will be waiting for this recipe.

  12. ur dog is so cute!!! and i loved the appes that you had linked to.. will make it as soon as i acquire that pan :)

  13. ohh kandhvi..we all love it...waiting for ur recipe

  14. Thanks for the mention - I'm glad to find another Brussels Sprouts lover....
    And what a cute doggie - smart mouth and all. My girls would like to arrange a play-date....

  15. Oh Nupur....

    Surlichyaa wadyaa... wow... mala khoop khoop khoop aavadtat...
    Will wait u for you to post the recipie....
    Dale is looking cute... And i can relate to you talking to Dale about the animals who work hard for living stories. I have 2 of the most laziest cats in the world back in Mumbai... Rum & Raisin... :)

    Another thing... do you encourage guest bloggers & would you post it if you like the recipie ??? Lemme know..

    Loved the 'Simple Life' article in daily Tiffin too.... :)


  16. oh Dale, you can't fool me - I know you're really a very well-mannered dog all the time!

  17. Mishmash, you are sweet as well as kind!

    Red Chillies, I so agree with you...when I am outside the home, I am fine, but in the home, surrounded by temptation, I just break down and snack away to glory :)

    Lydia, unfortunately, I have so few Indian finger foods covered on this blog :( maybe you can try the onion pakodas, if you have no fear of frying :D I think I am really into fruit desserts now, after the success of the poached pears.

    Manasi, Dale says "red is my color" and he is so thrilled that you are fashion-savvy and noticed that :D LOL
    The rasam powder is so wonderful! There is nothing like getting home-made spices that were made with such love. You are very sweet, Manasi.
    I think you will like the appey dahi-wada. Soak it in slightly dilute yogurt so that it is able to soak through well and give softer results. Good luck with the pizza recipe...baking is fun and I am sure it will work well for you!

    Musical, you are so right...all the wadas went into the actual dahi wada, which is a first for me :D

    Raaga, sigh! Dale will always beat me hollow in the popularity contest LOL my regards to your mum!

    Linda, the tea truffles are great for get-togethers where people will be sharing them. If you keep a batch stashed in the fridge, that might be an exercise in self-control :D
    Amul butter was wonderful because that we grew up with in India, but I love the organic unsalted butters in the US better (sssh...don't tell on me :D)
    You must make a trip to India and see the excitement of life for yourself! I hope to move back in a few years and you can come stay with me :)

    Namita, I think Dale just hired you as his attorney and PR agent :D Right now he is working hard curled up on our futon!

    Katiez, Dale says that a play date would be great fun, but he wishes you lived just a little bit closer :)

    Leena, your kitties are *too* cute for words! Do you have a recipe that you would like me to try and post? Feel free to mail it to me, in that case! Glad you liked the Daily Tiffin article...I appreciate your feedback very much :)

    Cathy, well, he's curled up on people-furniture right now, shedding all over it...just so you know :D

  18. Nupur,

    Your dog may be a bit lazy, but he seems to be learning some manners :-)

  19. I so love love love Dale! :)



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