The past few days have been crazy busy but lots of fun nonetheless. I do miss not being able to write on my blog, but I am glad that its been taken care of by some really superb blogger friends of mine: Ameena, Jane, Sawsan and today Leigh from Luv’n Spoonfuls.
Leigh not only has great recipes with beautiful photographs on her blog, but all her recipes have a wonderful balance between flavor and nutrition. I don’t remember now how I stumbled upon Leigh’s blog, but am so glad I did because there is so much to learn about healthy food that tastes great too. You should read her soapbox section on how and why she insists on 100% organic ingredients.
Today, Leigh shares awonderful Gingerbread cake recipe that not only looks delicious but is packed with stuff that screams good-for-you!
Thank you Leigh for taking time out for my blog and sharing the perfect recipe for the coming holiday season!
India hosted its first Grand Prix last week at the Buddh International Circuit. I wish I had the opportunity to witness it but some other things had to be tended to. Not only did India offer Formula One a racing circuit rivaling the best in the world but it did so with its typical Indian warmth.
This is what Sebastian Vettel, the winner of India’s inaugral Grand Prix, had to say about his experience in India:
If you keep your eyes open I think you are able to learn a lot from the way people handle things here. It is a big country, a lot of people.. But they get along and are happy..even though people don’t have a lot here, in a way they are much richer than a lot of people back in Europe.
So true. And when the warmth of the people isn’t enough, the food and the culture of India will surely make you feel richer than usual.
A week back, on this day- Tuesday, I started a new thing on the blog– Garam Masala Tuesdays or as someone I know put it GMT (I tell you, these things are not intentional- they just happen 🙂 !). This Tuesday its my second post for Garam Masala Tuesday and even though I have been in no mood of cooking- it has been a 2 1/2 months long break from cooking– but I had to post something today. How can I start something a week back and not live up to the promise!
Since I had to post, and there were no two ways about it, I thought I would make something that would not require too much effort. And, something that I knew V had eaten rarely in the last 2 1/2 months. And something I love quite dearly. So it had to be Dal Makhani.
Dal Makhani is the quintessential Punjabi dish (Punjab is a state in the northern part of India). Dal means lentils and makhani means buttery; so, literally translated dal makhani reads “buttery lentils”. Dal Makhani, butter naan and butter chicken are staple to Punjabi food- the above three and rajma chawal are always top of every Punjabi’s favorite food list.
Dal makhani is a rich, creamy lentil dish that is traditionally cooked on a low simmer for hours in a pureed tomato and butter gravy. Traditionally, the dal was cooked by leaving overnight on burning charcoal. It is also called Maa ki Dal. Though Maa means mother in Hindi, Maa is also the name given to whole unskinned black lentils and hence the name for the dish.
If you notice, the common thing to most Punjabi dishes is, yes, you guessed it- butter. Ah, butter- utterly butterly delicious butter! Being a north Indian and a hard core Punjabi, now you know the reason behind my affinity to butter and the reason for my tendency to put on weight. Well, tradition is a tough thing to break from and when tradition comes in the form of butter, you know the battle is lost!
There are lot of different versions of this dish but I like this one as its easy and the results are always great. Plus, there is no chopping involved in the recipe I use (that is exactly why I chose to make it today). And requires very little time in the kitchen. It does take 2 hours for the whole preparation but you are not required to be in the kitchen the whole time. This dish is great even the next day- so feel free to make a day before you plan to serve it. The dish is great both with rice and with Indian flatbreads like chappati/roti or naan.