Monday, July 1, 2013

My kiddo pals

What could be better 'Perfect Moments' than when our kids think worthy of us to share their little hearts' secrets, gently prod us to go for makeovers, try different hairstyles, lipstick shades and snugly fitting clothes and then look on appreciatively?

Better still, 'Perfect Moment' are when our kids' friends from primary school who are now in universities, share a sweet rapport with us - parents, even though the kids have parted ways.

'Perfect Moments' are perfect for me when some of my daughter's friends, nieces, nephews and friends' children, forward messages, links, share recipes, tips, discuss movies, anything and everything.

My oldest kiddo pal is my niece, Puja who is an adult now and the youngest is my high school friend Meena's daughter Ria who is nine and whose jokes are worth publishing a book on.

Another kiddo pal is one of my daughter's friend, Jessica. She's been our savior since primary school. One 'Perfect Moment' I distinctly remember was in the first grade when the kids were taught 'Time'. 

Each student had to make a model of a clock. All had submitted their models except my silly girl. She hadn't even mentioned it at home. Jessica, who was around when I was mentioning to other moms in school, promptly made a neat little one on construction paper and gave it to my daughter the very next day. Another perfect moment was this summer. We were having difficulty in submitting college applications online and this same girl kindly obliged us.

I am posting one of her recipes which she learnt this summer in her cookery class. The images too were forwarded by her. I just edited her text a bit.

Ingredients to make the outer covering for koftas

  • 3 boiled potatoes (mashed)
  • ginger & green chilly paste 1 tsp each
  • 1 tbsp cornflour
  • 1 tbsp bread-crumbs

For the paneer (cottage cheese) stuffing:

  • 1/2 cup mashed paneer
  • salt to taste
  • ginger & chilly paste 1 tsp 
  • garlic paste 1 tsp
  • coriander (finely chopped)

Method to make koftas
1. Mix the mashed potatoes, corn flour, bread crumbs, green chilly & ginger paste and keep aside.
2. Mix the ingredients for the stuffing and keep aside.
3. Take a tablespoon of the mashed potato mixture on the palm of your hand and pat it into a disc shape.
4. Add a teaspoon of the stuffing mixture to the disc shaped mashed potato on your palm and gather the edges to form a round ball (kofta).
5. Continue to make the koftas till the potato and paneer mixture is used up.
6. Deep fry the koftas and keep aside..

Ingredients for the curry 

  • 5 tbs tomato puree 
  • 3 onions (grated or finely minced)
  • 5 garlic flakes or 1 tbs paste
  • 2 tbs grated coconut 
  • 1 tbs khus khus (poppy seeds)
  • 1/2 tsp jeera (cumin)
  • 5 each black pepper corns & cloves
  • 1 tsp ginger paste
  • 1 tsp red chilly powder
  • 1/2 inch piece cinnamon
  • 7 cashew nuts or 2 tbs cashew paste
  • 1 or 2 tbs cream 

Grind all the above ingredients except onions and tomato puree.

Method to make the curry 

  1. Heat 2 tbs oil & fry the onions. 
  2. Add the ground paste. Saute for a minute on very low flame. 
  3. Add the tomato puree. Saute for another minute.
  4. Add salt, 2 cups of water and let the gravy cook for 5 minutes on the lowest flame.
  5. When the gravy starts boiling add the fried koftas.
  6. Simmer gently and add cream just before switching off the flame. 
  7. Garnish with a tablespoon of finely chopped fresh coriander leaves

Note: The koftas and the gravy can be made ahead and kept separately. At the time of serving, heat the gravy on a slow flame and dunk the koftas in the warm gravy.

I wish all my kiddo pals a beautiful, fulfilling life ahead.


Lori from says Perfect Moment Monday is about noticing a perfect moment rather than creating one. Perfect moments can be momentous or ordinary or somewhere in between.

On the last Monday of each month we engage in mindfulness about something that is right with our world. Everyone is welcome to join in.

To participate in Perfect Moment Monday, Follow

Monday, June 24, 2013

My Legume Love Affair 60 - Monsoon Memories

Its been raining cats and dogs this past week. Just staring through the glass panes brought back a flood gate of memories.

The typical fragrance emanating from the earth, getting wet in the first monsoon shower, paper boats, taking a longer route from school just to play in the rain, most of all, the yummy evening tea time treats of fritters (bajiyas), soups and porridge like drinks made with either semolina, ragi or legumes. 

Instantly, I soaked green mung beans for next morning's breakfast. It's a simple no frills preparation. The use of jaggery (gur) and coconut juice gives it that distinct south Indian flavour which I adore. I mixed 25 grams of coconut powder with half a cup of warm water for the coconut juice.

Ingredients for 3 to 4 servings
  • Full green mung beans - One cup
  • Thich coconut juice - Half cup
  • Jaggery - Quarter cup
  • Cardamom powder - Quarter teaspoon
  • Dry fruits & nuts (roasted in a teaspoon of ghee) - Two tablespoons (optional)
  1. Wash and soak the beans for at least 5-6 hours or overnight.
  2. Drain the beans in a pressure cooker. Add a cup of water, quarter tea spoon salt and cook for only one whistle. May be just 3 to 5 minutes. The beans should be cooked but not mashed.
  3. Switch off the flame.
  4. Open the cooker when the steam subsides.
  5. Add the coconut juice, jaggery and cardamom powder.
  6. Let it simmer very gently in the open cooker for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the jaggery melts and it resembles a porridge like consistency.
  7. Serve warm garnished with dry fruits and nuts or plain.

The warm tablespoons of this porridge not only warmed the cockles of my heart, but kept me energized until lunch break.

Sending this post to Lisa's on going 'My Legume Love Affair 60' which is hosted for this month on Nupur's blog All entries are welcome up to 30th June 2013. Check out both the links, they're good.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Spring Fruit Medley

In India, we don’t really experience different seasons, especially in Mumbai. I always joke that Mumbai has only two seasons – summer and monsoon.

The only difference is that from November to April we get a better choice of fruits and vegetables. I suppose it’s because most of the crops come from out of Mumbai.

Taking advantage of the almost disappearing fruits, I decided on a dessert which is milk based custard, layered with orange jelly mixed with other fruits. It’s almost like a fruit trifle but without the cake at the base.

The recipes are adapted from two different sources. The milk based custard is from an old ‘The Australian Women’s Weekly Chinese Cooking Class Cookbook’ which was picked from the roadside stalls in Mumbai approximately 25 years ago when there was no inter net. The jelly with mixed fruits is from a pullout of some other magazine which I can’t find now. Since I make it often for my daughter who is not a fruit lover, I'm comfortable making it without the recipe at hand. 


  • Fresh Milk - 2 cups
  • Sugar – Half cup 
  • Gelatin – 3 tea spoons 
  • Cold water – 1/4 cup 
  • Boiling water – ½ cup

 Soak gelatin in ¼ cup of cold water for five minutes. Pour the boiling hot water on the soaked gelatin and whisk it well.

Warm the milk and add the half cup sugar to the milk. Stir until sugar dissolves about 2 to 3 minutes. Put off the flame.

Pour the gelatin in the warm milk and briskly whisk to blend both.

Pour the custard in the bowl in which the dessert is going to be made. Allow it to cool a bit and refrigerate to set. This is the base of the dessert.

  • Jelly - One packet (I used Rex Brand and orange flavor) 
  • Fruits – One and a half cup cleaned and cut. (Any fruit will do. I used green and red grapes, strawberries and pomegranate)

In half a cup of boiling water, stir in the contents of the jelly packet. Whisk briskly and add the other half cup of cold water. (These instructions are on the jelly packet)

Refrigerate the jelly.  

When it’s almost set, add one cup of the mixed fruit. 

Whisk it well and add it to the milk custard that is firmly set.

Refrigerate again to finally set the whole dessert.

Decorate with the balance half cup of mixed fruit and serve chilled.

Note. The image of the small dessert bowl is where jelly is omitted. Only mixed fruits are decoratively placed on top of the set custard.

The stand on which my dessert bowl is placed was used as a cake stand on my daughter’s first holy communion. 

It is hand made. Small cotton balls were wrapped in satin ribbon to make grapes. Leaves too were made with satin ribbon and the chaff of wheat was pulled out of dry flower arrangement.

Photographing this dessert brought back nine year old memories.

The credit for cutting the fruits neatly and the photography goes to my better half. And of course, as he has always encouraged and cooperated in all my endeavors, he will eat it too. Thank you dear!

I enjoyed sharing this recipe and hope you enjoy trying it out.