Cooking

Smoke it! Grill it! Roast it & Eat it!

With summer around, the weather is warmer, days are longer and people are in mood to celebrate.  Last Sunday we had a barbecue party at a park in Sunnyvale. It was fun-filled and a very relaxing afternoon, as our husbands took great interest in cooking for us. I wonder what is it about the barbecue that makes people forget their fear of cooking? Maybe it’s the lick of the flame, the smell of the smoke, or just the simple act of stepping outdoors (and away from the kitchen) that turns the whole act of cooking into something fun. However, for us spouses, the fun part was a get away from the kitchen for a day. We enjoyed gossiping over delicious Panner tikka, Veggie burger and grilled pineapple. Here are few pics of the fun-filled afternoon… Sunny day made the park more beautiful! Gang of girlsI love these BBQ flamesPaneer TikkaVeggie BurgerSome games after delicious...

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Birthday special !

Yesterday was Sagar’s birthday and I wanted to do something special for him. I first thought of arranging a surprise birthday bash but it was a weekday, his best friends are in the US and it is difficult to find vegetarian restaurants here. So I decided to keep it simple and bake a cake for him. But it was not as simple as I thought.  I set out to the grocery store nearby to get maida, my first challenge began here! All the labels, prices, name of the products were written in Japanese. I then thought of asking the store-keeper. She brought a packet of powdered sugar to me. Why? Because she does not know English. In my broken Japanese I tried to explain her that I want to bake a cake and I need maida (all prurpose flour as it is known in the US) her expressions gave me hope as I thought she understood what I was looking for. But this time she got me baking powder! Darn! I tried again and this was going to be my last attempt. She got me a ready to bake cake mix, I was really happy! I turned the packet to see the instructions on how to bake this mix. Though it was almost impossible to read and understand the instructions, luckily the packet had visuals of how to make it and guess what it required me to use eggs! All disappointed I left the store and came home.  I started cooking dinner (dosa dinner) as Sagar would be home soon. As I opened the cupboard to get the dosa mix out, my eyes fell on rawa (sooji). I love rawa because it makes my cooking easy- idlis, dhoklas, dosa, upmas list of recipes that can be made out of rawa. I don’t like to spend much time in the kitchen as I am not very fond of cooking. But I was stubborn; I had to make something special! I began my experiment with rawa and modified the recipe of instant rawa idli to make cake. I added cocoa powder, powdered sugar and pinch of soda to rawa and yogurt mix. I poured the mixture in idli moulds as I did not have a cake baking tray. In about 5 mins, soft fluffy chocolate idlis, chocolate cake, cup-cakes were ready. I then decorated them  with some icing and cake-decorating colorful sprinkles! Here are some pictures of my culinary experiments…. Chocolate-idlis in the idli mouldIdlis turned upside down so that they look like cup-cakes!Some simple decoration!This pic answers questions like: How did it taste? Were they...

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