Last night while going to sleep a thought occurred to me, why is it that in our Indian culture we don’t have mother’s day or father’s day? Instead we celebrate bond of brother and sister on Raksha-bandhan and Bhai-dooj.
I’m sure there must be some legend behind why we celebrate Bhai-dooj. But when discussed with elders at home I got this reason and I quite agree to it. They said in our culture parents stay together with children or if I put in a better way we stay with our parents even when we are grown up. Unless, our work requirement makes us to stay apart so, apparently we don’t need days to remember our parents.
While brother and sister are separated after sister’s marriage, so we celebrate their love on these two occasions. Also, these occasions give them chance to meet. Sister visits brother on Raksha-bandhan and brother visits sister on Bhai-dooj. We celebrate Bhai-dooj on second day after Diwali.
I never thought it in this way that in India we have festivals only for brother-sister relationship.
We sisters understand that our brothers are busy in their life but give us a call sometimes for no reason at all. Just a phone call from brother makes a girl forget all her worries and reassures her of her parents well being.
We sisters always have well wishes for brothers well being and success in our hearts. Our hearts swell in pride on your achievements. Remembering all my loving brothers on this Bhai-dooj and sending love to you all.
Diwali is a big affair in India, its fun filled festival reuniting family and friends. From my childhood days Diwali at home meant cleaning and decorating home. Ladies of house prepared lots of homemade sweets and snacks.
After marriage I helped my Mom-in-law in making lavish spread for Diwali. Gulab-jamun and chandrakala are to name few sweets that we make at home on Diwali. But still I use to miss some of the traditional dishes made by my mom on Diwali.
This year I thought instead of missing and getting sad why not try making them. So this time I made few of her specialties like Moond dal barfi, dahi-vada and green chilly pickle. I felt so good making them and felt even better when it was liked by all in family. Dal preparation are usually liked in my family (moong dal tikki was liked by all too). Here is the image showing that me and my Mil together prepared for Diwali.
Bhailis be your own light and make yourself feel special by doing things you love. It’s natural to miss “maa ke hath ka khana” but wouldn’t it be great if we learn to make it our-self too.
My mom-in-law was all smiling when I was clicking pictures throughout the Diwali day. She was like, “I haven’t seen you clicking so many pictures, what’s it with camera this time?” 🙂
My inlaws reached Pune a day before so she didn’t knew about Bhaili.com in detail. I explained her that I have to click pictures as I have to share it on Bhaili. It was my MIL who suggested clicking the picture of rangoli as soon as I completed making it before Narayani (my daughter) adds her contribution. 🙂
This year I also painted these diyas at home using acrylic colors and giving detailing by 3D outlines.
I love it when so many diyas are lit together at Laxmi pujan time, it looks divine to me. There is something with diyas. I just love the light of diyas.
I arranged some diyas on big plate along with marigold flowers. It was a simple thing but looked beautiful.
Along with traditional decoration I also did some contemporary decoration at one corner. Filling bowls and vase with colorful water and sprinkled flower petals and lit the floating candles.
So here is my story of Diwali, what’s yours? Share with us how you celebrated your Diwali.
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This dessert is my trial dessert and I’m happy that I took a risk of experimenting. The outcome was so satisfying and I was so delighted that I named it “Coconut-Delight”. 🙂
It so happened that I had fresh coconut and some whipped-cream lying in my fridge. I had to make some use of it. I was in no mood to make coconut ladoos as I had already made them last week. Wanted to try something else. I was browsing internet for some recipe which had coconut and cream in it.
Then my husband said why don’t you try something new. Create something of your own, your innovation. He always encourages me to try on new things, be it cooking or art. He gives correct and helpful reviews which help me in improvising further.
This made me think what can be made, which flavors will blend with coconut. As its festival time, so was in mood to try something sweet.
After some thinking, finally came-up with this dessert and it was liked by everyone in family.
I have added orange flavor in it and it added a twist to this dessert. I myself was pleasantly surprised how well the orange, saffron and coconut flavors blended together.
As you take a spoon in mouth, orange bursts first, then you are greeted by saffron and cardamom and then you’ll feel the texture of coconut. Finally comes a sweet smile on your lips by realizing how well they all taste together. 🙂
So with no further delay here is the list of ingredients and the procedure I followed.
½ cup thickened milk/ condense milk
1 cup whipped cream/ fresh cream
3 tbsp powdered sugar
1 cup fresh coconut, grated
1tsp clarified butter ( ghee)
1tsp orange essence
1 tbsp saffron and cardamom syrup
Few strands of Saffron and some cardamoms for garnishing
In a heavy bottom vessel, add milk and bring to boil and reduce the flame. On the low heat let the milk simmer for 15 minutes. It should reduce to half cup. Do remember to stir it in between. If you boil ½ liter of milk it will give you ½ cup thickened milk. Keep aside and let it cool. Alternatively condense milk can also be used.
In another pan heat ghee and roast grated coconut on low flame till it turns pink. Add sugar and mix well, switch-off flame after a minute. Let it cool.
In a bowl combine everything together – roasted coconut, thickened milk, cream, orange essence, saffron and cardamom syrup. Keep folding till everything gets mixed well.
The saffron and cardamom syrup gives it a nice flavor and happy yellow color. Saffron and cardamon powder can also be used by dissolving few strands of saffron in warm milk instead of ready-made syrup. Increase the quantity of sugar to 4 tbsp if doing so.
Keep the mix in fridge for some time. It tastes awesome on cooling. Serve it little cold for warm compliments. Sprinkle some saffron and cardamom just before serving.
Do try it bhaili. Trust me it really tastes good and is super easy to make. You will love it if you love coconut or orange or both. 🙂
My husband is found of dal preparations of any kind and style. I’m more confident while trying recipes that include pulses, as I’m sure he will like it. So thought of why not try moong dal into tikki. The result was healthy, aromatic, crisp tikki’s with little use of oil.
As dal is used in these tikkis along with potatoes, they remain crisp unlike plain potato tikkis. Potato tikki consumes more oil to turn crisp and become soft after cooling.
You can even make kebabs by using the same recipe. Just cook it in seekh (metal skewer) over a charcoal or electric barbeque. So here is the recipe of moong dal tikki.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 1 minute
Makes 6 tikkis
1cup boiled yellow moong dal (split yellow gram)
1 cup boiled potato
¼ cup finely chopped onions
2 table spoon spring onions
¼ teaspoon garam masala
¼ teaspoon cinnamon powder
2 tea spoon red chili powder
¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
Salt to taste
Oil for grilling tikkis
Wash and soak ¾ cup moong dal for half an hour before boiling, as after boiling we want 1 cup moong dal. Soaking ¾ cup dal will give us 1 cup boiled moong dal.
Boil the dal in ¾ cup water. Cooked dal should be soft and moist with no water remains. If there is excess water then burn it. Let it cool.
Grate the potatoes. After grating, quantities of potatoes and boiled dal should be equal.
Combine dal, potatoes and rest of the ingredients and mix well. Divide the mixture in to 6 equal parts and shape them. You can give them any shape you want.
Brush each tikki with little oil and grill them on both the sides. I have used non-stick griddle for grilling, you can use iron griddle as well.
It’s a simple process with basic ingredients but the combination of moong dal with potato and spring onions tastes really good. Also, the strong aromatic flavor of cinnamon and other spices just takes these tikkies to next level. Enjoy these tikkis with a hot cup of immunity booster masala chai.
If you are fond of dal preparation I’m sure Farra a healthy steamed preparation will delight you. It’s made from Bengal gram filling in rice flour dumplings.
One of my bhaili Komal moved into her new home and I was thinking of gifting her personalized house warming present. I prefer gifting something handmade by me instead of ready-made store-bought gift.
So, I was wondering what could be a suitable gift. I considered gifting a Madhubani painting or some Ganesha bottle paintings for shelf in her drawing room. Then realized even she is blessed with a mischievous daughter, so she might not prefer decorating her home with delicate showpieces as of now.
Finally, after lot of thinking I finally decided to gift her a personalized name plate. So, here I will be show you how I made this name plate for my bhaili.
Before starting the work I thought it would be a better idea to discuss it with her. If they have already bought a nameplate or they wanted their first names or last name on the name plate etc. So, when we met next time, I brought up the topic that I was thinking of making nameplate for her new home. She was really happy that I have thought about her and was planning to make something for her.
She confirmed they have not yet bought nameplate and they would like to have their last name. The smile on her face that day made me think, she would have a bigger smile when she will finally see the finished nameplate. 🙂
I had this plain wooden name plate with me. So, I planned the design and layout of the nameplate. Once the design was finalized I proceeded further. I have used these materials in making this nameplate: wooden name-plate, Fevicryl Shilpkar (white M-Seal), Fevicol, plaster-of-paris (POP), varnish, old cotton cloth, Fevicryl acrylic colors, Camel-3D Cone, brushes, palette, paper-cutter, toothpick, pencil, talcum powder.
Following is the procedure:
Made a thick paste of POP, Fevicol and water (all in equal proportion). Spread it on the board with the help of a spoon and gave texture with the help of a toothpick.
In the same paste, I dipped old thin cotton cloth and spread it on the empty surface (with POP paste not applied) on the board.
Left the board to dry for a day.
While the board was drying, I made Ganpati on leaf by giving shape to Shilpkar. This was made separately and stuck on board (post drying) with Fevicol. Here I would like to mention that Fevicryl Shilpkar (or white M-seal) can be bought from any stationery and craft store. To use Shilpkar, mix the resin base and hardener in equal proportion to make a smooth dough. You may sprinkle little talcum powder on your hands to avoid stickiness.
Before writing the name with M-seal, I gently wrote the name with pencil on the board. This helps in better utilization of space and equal distance between letters. Now, the dough was rolled in thick long coil and was pasted on the board with the help of Fevicol.
Then left it to dry for 2 hours and then applied black acrylic color all over the board. Again, leave the color to dry completely before moving to next step. Don’t worry, we will make a colorful name-plate, this black color is just a base coat. 🙂
Start with the darkest shade and then move towards the lighter shade. I started from center, with the darkest color.
I applied white colors on parts I wanted to highlight the most. Like name, two parallel lines and string of the curtain on left side of the name-plate. (Since it’s a name-plate for the door, the name should be visible from distance and even in low light. So, white color is the perfect choice for it).
With the help of 3D cone-liner, I then made a Swastika on the top-right and Om on the bottom-left. These are auspicious symbols and blend well with Ganpati, also this added little detailing on the nameplate.
Left to dry for 10-12 hours and then applied varnish. Varnish actually protects the coating of paint from wear and tear. Also, varnish being water-proof, regular cleaning can be done with moist cloth. Komal is very hygiene-conscious and always keeps her home sparkling clean, so I had to think about how she can clean it regularly.
So, the nameplate is finally complete and I will gift it to my bhaili. I hope she likes it and I get to see a bigger smile on her face. 🙂
Few days back, one of my bhaili Komal asked me to suggest some snack ideas for welcoming guests on Diwali. Her exact words were “It’s Diwali time again and my sasuji (mother-in-law) will ask ‘kya banogi iss bar? kuch hatke sochna’ (what will you be making this time? Make something new.)”.
Although Komal is a good cook, according to her she is not an avid cook and prefers easy recipes with minimum use of oil. So, I suggested her to try “Momos” this time. It’s light and will be non-oily among other fried Diwali preparations.
Momo is easy to make though it takes a little bit of time in preparation. You can prepare it beforehand and keep aside. Diwali guests usually don’t stay long and just like to have small portion of dishes served, so momos can be a good option as you can quickly reheat and serve it. When served, it looks good in small quantity as well.
So, in this post I am sharing the recipe of Momos. It’s a good alternative if you are searching for a steamed snack preparation.
First let’s see how to prepare its accompaniment – Garlic Chutney.
Ingredients for Garlic Chutney
Dry red chilies:
Garlic: 1 pod
Onion: 1 medium size
Tomato: 1 big size
Salt: as per taste
Soak the dry chilies in water for few minutes – this helps easy and smooth grinding of chutney.
Coarsely cut onion, garlic and tomato.
Grind all together and make a smooth paste.
Mix well after adding salt and transfer into a container.
Note: If kept in refrigerator, this chutney can last and taste good for up to 1 week.
Ingredients for the base (outer cover):
Maida (finely-milled wheat flour): ¾ cup
Corn flour: ¼ cup
Salt: ½ tea spoon
Oil: 1 tea spoon
Ingredients for stuffing:
Cabbage: ¼ cup
Carrot: ¼ cup
Capsicum: ¼ cup
Garlic: 1 teaspoon
Oil: 1 tablespoon
Salt: ½ tea spoon
Black pepper: ¼ tea spoon
Finely chop all the vegetables and garlic. I prefer finely-chopped vegetables for stuffing vis-a-vis grated vegetables, because fine-cut vegetables look more attractive after cooking.
Heat oil in the pan, add garlic let it turn pink and then add all the vegetables. Keep the flame on medium. High flame will burn the vegetables while low flame will make them soggy.
Add salt and pepper and mix well.
You don’t have to cover the vegetables or they will absorb moisture. Cook further for 5 more minutes without covering and it’s done.
Transfer the final stuffing to a plate and let it cool.
Mix maida, corn flour, salt and oil. Add water in small proportion and make soft dough just like for making chapattis. Let the dough rest for some time, and then roll it to make thin small round rotis.
Put the stuffing, fold to join the two sides and press with your fingers to seal the ends. Ensure that ends are sealed properly or else during steaming process stuffing may come out.
Make impression with fork to give finishing touch. You can try any other design too. I choose this, as it’s quick and looks beautiful.
Arrange all the Momos in steamer and stem them for around 15 minutes.
So, next time serve your guests with something different and delight them with your cooking skills.
In this post, I’ll tell you how my love-affair with homemade chocolates started. Frankly speaking, the then a small start has now become a passion.
After my engagement with Sumit (my husband), one day (sometime in 2009) I thought of gifting him home-made chocolates made by me. Actually, chocolate was his first love, I came a lot later in his life.
I had never tried my hand with chocolate-making. So, I started my chocolate-making endeavor with hits-and-trials and browsing through few books. Those were the days (in 2009) when smart phones were not-so-common in India. Also for a non-techie person like me, it was not a usual thing to search recipes on Google.
Finally after some research I made the chocolates and along with Sumit I had gifted it to my elder brother. My brother tasted and instantly loved the chocolates. Though, he didn’t missed the chance of pulling my legs for not coming-up with this idea of chocolate-making for him – after all he is also such a big chocolate fan.
I was eagerly waiting for Sumit’s response. It was really a sense of satisfaction to know he really loved the chocolates. He was completely overawed by the fact that I actually learned chocolate-making for him. He suggested me to continue refining my new-found skill. Truly speaking, I was also enjoying making chocolates.
Whenever, I used to get time, I tried and experimented to learn finer nuances – like blending different flavors, colors, fillings etc. Post marriage as well, with encouragement from family, I kept my interest in chocolate-making, and whenever time permitted I gifted chocolate gift baskets to friends.
In my several trials I learned quite a few things about chocolate making like which flavor blends well with dark chocolates and white ones and other. With the support of my loving family I started taking small orders. I remember my first order was of 400 chocolates given by dear friend Premlata Rajesh for Christmas celebration in her office. She herself is a passionate cook and writes about her cooking adventures. You may check her blog here.
So after delivering my first order successfully I got confident “yes, I can do it” and continued taking small orders. Parallel to this designing was going on actively so I couldn’t divert my much attention to expanding my chocolate making interests.
But after birth of Narayani (my daughter) I pursued my chocolate making interest again as jewelry designing was on back seat. I again started by accepting orders for children birthday party return gifts
I feel if you doing something with honesty and dedication, path gets paved for you. Automatically links get joined one by one and chain is formed. I started getting other personalized chocolate gifts orders too.
Later few of my friends got interested in learning chocolate making. With support of family and friends conducted my first chocolate making workshop. It was quite an experience and I totally enjoyed myself. It was during the workshop I realized how much I enjoy teaching such creative things. This clicked the idea of conducting painting and art and craft workshops.
So one thing led the path for the other things and my creative journey continued. Friends I’m sharing all these things as I believe if I can do all this along with a small child than you can do too.
Keep yourself occupied in something or the other. Try different things, read good books, learn new skills and follow your passion with whatever resources available to you.
My Bhaili, come out of your comfort zone; throw yourself into the unknown there are lots of opportunities waiting for you. If you have fire to do something then don’t worry about failures, take a plunge.
Leaving you all with few lines by Mark Twain:
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
Few days back, we friends (bhailis) had a potluck lunch, and I had chosen to make a dessert. As my other friend Yamini was making lemon-pie, I wanted something other than cake or pie. By the way she bakes just awesome cakes that not only taste good but look lovely too – no wonder we all call her ‘Dessert Queen’ 🙂
Since kids were to be also there, I had to plan-out something that would be liked by all – kids as well as their moms. Initially, I was considering gulab-jamun or dry-fruits kheer or jalebi’s. Although, these Indian desserts are usually liked by all, I wanted to present them with something new. Something that was not commonly heard in my friends circle.
When it comes to cooking, it’s in my nature to explore something new, to try something that I haven’t done earlier. I always ask this question to myself – “when was the last time I did something for the first time”. Let me tell you, it’s quite a thought-provoking question, and works really well whenever I feel stagnated or bored in life.
OK coming back, however I as not able decide the final recipe. Therefore, I called my sweet sister – one of my closest bhaili and who is always there to give wonderful ideas.
I told her about potluck lunch and the dilemma I was in regarding finalizing the dessert. Within no time, out came the suggestion – Mocha Souffle. She often makes this recipe and was very confident that it will be liked by everyone.
However, my first concern was how will I manage a baking-dessert during lunch time. I had to leave by 1 pm and before that I had to prepare lunch for hubby and daughter as well. Reason behind this worry was my experience with my daughter. Seeking attention, she usually play more tantrums whenever she senses that I am busy in some work – no wonder you can’t run away from Murphy’s Law 🙂
So, my sister advised to go with non-baking option of souffle. But then, can a non-baking preparation be called a souffle. However, with her explanation and some research on web, I got convinced that Souffle can be prepared in two ways – either baked or can be set in fridge. Generally, the baked option (with egg) is more common.
Since, we are pure-vegetarians, I went for the second option – the not-so-common egg-less souffle. It’s an easy recipe which can be set in fridge for an hour before serving.
However, I had just one day to go (discussed this recipe with my sister on Wednesday afternoon, and lunch was on Thursday), and I had never made this recipe before. So, I thought to first prepare it according to the procedure that my sister shared, and then if time permits and if everything goes well, I’ll make the final dish with my variation.
Now, thankfully everything went according to the plan. I was able to prepare the original dish as-is, and was liked by both – my daughter and husband. I shared the picture of final dish with my sister, and she also okay-ed its final look. I was now feeling confident that I was on right track.
It was now late Wednesday evening, and my plan was to experiment with my variation by Wednesday night itself. Get it tasted by my hubby and daughter, and if they will like it, I’ll be good to go with my version of souffle. Otherwise, original souffle recipe was always there to fall-back on.
My variation of souffle was ready by 10 pm. Got it tasted by my husband (daughter had already slept), and he instantly approved it. However, with kids in mind, I had to get it tasted by my little angel as well.
So, the next morning when she woke up, instead of offering milk, I presented her my last night creation. She, was literally surprised that without any demand how come her mummy was offering ice-cream (she thought it was ice-cream) instead of that boring milk 🙂
Anyways, she also loved it, and now it was final that I’ll go ahead with my variation of souffle.
Thankfully, it was liked by all friends and their kids as well. It felt really satisfying when they asked for the recipe. Isn’t it a great feeling when someone asks the recipe of any dish that you prepared! That is actually a genuine appreciation which is most heartening.
So, here goes my version of Mocha Souffle. It’s a very easy to make dessert that surely will leave a very good impression on your guests.
Servings – 6
Preparation time – 25 min
Setting time – 60 min
½ tin (200 gm) condense milk
2 tbsp coffee powder
1 cup fresh cream
1 tbsp sugar powder/ icing sugar
125 gm unsalted butter
3 tbsp cocoa powder
100 gm Oreo biscuits crushed (kids just love Oreo, so I opted for it. Otherwise, you can go for any other chocolate biscuit as well.)
¼ cup roasted and crushed almonds and walnuts
Take butter and sugar in a bowl.
Mix them till light and fluffy.
Add coffee and cocoa powder, and mix well.
Whip the cream, and add condense milk to it.
Add this to butter and cocoa powered mixture and slowly start folding with the help of spatula.
Add crushed Oreo and nuts into the mixture (keep aside approx 1 tbsp for topping).
Transfer to serving bowl.
Keep in fridge to set for minimum 1 hour.
Sprinkle crushed Oreo and nuts before serving. You can also add chocolate chips or crushed chocolates. All these taste good and make souffle more tempting.
So, keep this easy dessert recipe in your bucket-list of trials. Also, be always open to experiment and add new twist to the original version. Let your creative juices flowing and let everyone of us get a taste of it by not forgetting to share the final result in the comment section below 🙂