Maithili Pradhan

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Arbi Chi Bhaaji (Indian style taro root)

This week is turning out to be all about revisiting my childhood favorites. I got my okra fix earlier and today I'm going to share with you another beloved vegetarian dish - arbi (taro root) - but this time, with a bit of twist. 

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Bhendi Chi Bhaaji (Marathi style okra)

I'm super excited to share today's recipe with you because it is my number 1, hands down, definite, complete, utter favorite vegetable dish ever. It is also ridiculously simple, quick, and easy. Even as a vegetable-abhorring child I would inhale this dish by the spoonful, and I still find myself going back for more. In fact, I don't think I've ever made it and not finished it in one sitting.

Ta da! Bhendi chi bhaaji - okra, cooked Marathi style.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Kohlrabi and Kheema

The past year has been intense in every which way. There have been some beautiful moments and some exciting new endeavors, but also a lot of sadness and loss that have threatened to overshadow everything else. And while I've been caught up in all of these things (I think they call it life), my little blog has languished in a corner. It's cheered up every now and then when I used it as a quick resource when I wanted to recreate that green tomato bhaaji or whip up a batch of maple olive oil gingersnaps for the holidays, but it's been largely ignored. So it started getting antsy and prodding me and poking me, and I've decided it's just too cherished to lie around getting dusty and faded.

And here's the perfect recipe to kick off the new year. Just familiar enough to be comforting, and with a hint of something different to make it a little exciting.

It all started a few months ago when my sister bought a peculiar, stubby, green vegetable called kohlrabi and knew she'd seen it before. Thankfully we've got aunts, cousins and a mom who are only too happy to chime in and solve life's little mysteries. Turns out, it's what I've grown up knowing as "navalkol" - a faintly turnipy, potatoey vegetable that typically got pushed to the sidelines. Jumping ahead a few months, when I spied these little green monsters last week, I thought I'd pick them up and then go directly to the source for a dish that would bring kohlrabi in as a central player on our table. I called up my grandma and announced, "I've got some navalkol - now tell me what to do with them." After her momentary bewilderment (I suppose it's not quite the conventional conversational gambit, but she should be used to it by now after the many times I've asked her ridiculous kitchen questions) she started off by asking me what I had in my fridge and my pantry, gave me a quick and dirty recipe (no measurements here) and set me on my path.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Sugar and spice and everything nice

You know my predilection for putting just a dash of this and a hint of that in everything I make. Spices are the joy of life. I mean, don't get me wrong - I'm all for the true flavor of things and enjoying the freshness and tasting the dew that quivered on the leaf just that morn and all of that. But now that I've started learning how to use spices not to cover up, but to enhance, I see how the right spices and herbs can really wake up the food you make - bring out the essence of even the dew, if you will - and take a dish from tasty to scrumptious in 2 seconds flat.

And so, when the good folks at Aromatic Spice Blends sent me a heap of spice mixes to try, of course I was excited! They use quality ingredients and all the blends are small batch and freshly made, which is pretty much the key to a good spice blend. And after trying these, I can't wait to get to the other little packets!!

Combine that with just a little time on hand (enough to cook, but alas not enough to freshly grind my own spices - as is most often the case) and a certain husband's upcoming birthday, and I was hopping around with delight.

Plus, MIL had gifted me a Bundt cake pan (Bundt! Oo! Doesn't the word just promise fun?) that's been giving me a come hither look ever since Christmas.

So first up, a little spiced bundt cake. And then, a quick curried eggplant that comes together in under half an hour with the help of a pre-mixed spice blend.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Turmeric Pickle (Haldi cha Loncha)

Welcome to 2014 at M in the World! Is it too late to wish you all a brilliant new year? Yes? Oh well - I do wish it to you! A year of strength and joy and beauty to you all.

From the severe lack of posts you've probably guessed that something's up. And it is. And it sucks. This isn't the "I'm out of dark chocolate too bad so sad" variety of sucks either. It's stuff that makes you think about the great unknown and shuffling off this mortal coil. Stuff that makes you appreciate the things in life you so often take for granted. Stuff that focuses on the words we often throw around without really feeling the bigness of them - words like grace and mindfulness, peace and dignity, joy and family. So bear with me while we ride this roller coaster out, will ya? Things might be a little erratic on M in the World, but keep checking back in please!

And in the meanwhile, let's push this stuff under the rug for a minute (man my emotional rug has a lot of crap under it - what about you?) and talk about something else. What about the weather eh? Oh, you have a snow day, do you? Polar vortex, you say?

Well do I have something exciting for you! The perfect project for a day at home. Something sour and salty and briny and earthy. Something bright and fun (probably best handled in small-ish doses though). Something that makes your mouth pucker up even as you're reaching for a little bit more. Something that adds a little spice to your life.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Fondue and Vin Chaud

Snowflakes dashing past my window, whirling and twirling and drifting and swirling. It's a cheese and wine kinda night. A hot delicious melty cheese and sweet and strong spiced wine kinda night. Pull on your favorite slippers - you know you don't want to go outside. Whip up a salad if you must - but that's strictly optional. This evening is all about being comfortable and homey and falling asleep while watching movies.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Spiced Hot Toddies

It's the first real snow of the season and I declare it hot toddy weather. It's time to rush home through the snow, time to leave the Christmas shopping in the doorway, time to slip on the cosy socks and warm pajamas, time to grab your favorite book, time to crush some spices, time to chase those shivers away.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Mustard Spiced Sliders with Mint Cilantro Yogurt Sauce

What is it about making tiny versions of real food that makes it that much more delicious?

I don't know, but these little munchkin sliders definitely fit the bill.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Butternut Squash and Ricotta Pizza

The clouds are gathering over the city and the raindrops are splatting and splotching over the windows, and I find myself heating up cup after cup of hot cocoa to stave off the gloominess that inevitably accompanies a dark cloudy afternoon. And although chocolatey goodness is all well and good in the chilly afternoons, one can't just live off hot chocolate (can that be the new diet trend please - it might be one I'd actually want to try) and now that it's nighttime by 5pm, dinner seems to call for something hearty and warm, with a good helping of fun as well. 

Something caramelized and chewy and roasty and toasty. And cheesy of course. Always cheesy.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Lemon Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Now that it's November, I'm setting my sights on Thanksgiving (am I late to the game? I mean, I think all the stores around here put up cornucopias and turkey decorations at 12:01am on November 1st - or even at the same time as they had pumpkins up for Halloween! It's really making me feel inadequate.). And although MIL always takes care of the turkey (whew! Not my cup of tea - I'll stick to roasting a guinea hen or two now and then), I'll be contributing at least one side dish, so I'm keeping my eyes open (perhaps these carrots?).

And these brussels sprouts might just fit the bill. Dark and crunchy in spots, full of meaty flavor, with a nice bit of sweetness from caramelized onions, and a burst of bright lemony flavor to boot.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Glazed Meatloaf

This is a dish you make when you want something satisfying and hearty and simple and delicious. This is for a night at home, when all you want to do is dinner and a Netflix movie.

And so, when FIL came for a visit and requested comfort food, this was the comfortiest of comfort foods that popped into my mind.

Friday, November 1, 2013

Diwali cha faraal: Shankarpalya

It's pretty festive around these parts - Halloween with all the bakingroasting, and carving it involves, and Diwali with all of its lights and food and family fun! Happy Diwali everyone!!

Now I don't know about you, but whenever we celebrate a festival around here, we seem to focus on the eating, drinking, and general merry-making parts of it. Not for us the fasting and penance (though oxymoronically enough, fasting or "upaas" food is absolutely delicious and worth making even if you're not fasting, and happens to make "fasting" pretty freakin' enjoyable - in fact, watch out for an upaas food post here soon). 

And when the festival in question is Diwali, that means you start mixing up some dough and frying up some deliciousness! It's time to get busy making some "Diwali cha faraal" - or festive treats specially for Diwali.

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