Monday, April 16, 2018

Kadhai Chicken

First of all I don’t now whether I can call this dish as Kadhai Chicken (Chicken inWok). Why the dish is specially known as Kadhai I have no idea. Anyway, I cook this dish in my own way,and the taste was so good, that I cannot resist myself sharing with you my friends. 


Two pound boneless skinless chicken thigh
One green bell pepper
One medium sized onion (If you are using onion from Costco, you need half of small Costco-onion)
Six-seven cloves of garlic
One tsp ginger paste
One big tomato
One and half tsp cumin powder
One tsp coriander powder
Two tsp garam masala powder (you can get in any Indian store)
One tsp or  more chili powder(you can add more if you want spicy or you can just omit it)
Three-fourth cup yogurt 
Salt to taste
Pinch of turmeric powder
Two tbsp of oil


Cut the chicken thighs into medium sized pieces. Marinate for two hours with yogurt, one tsp garam masala powder, and salt.  Cut the bell pepper into thin slices.Finely chop the  onion. Grate the garlic cloves. Make a fine puree of the tomato. Heat oil in a pan in medium. Add onion, and fry covering the pan. You can add a pinch of salt into it . Stir occasionally to avoid burn at the bottom. When onion becomes translucent, add ginger paste, coriander power, cumin power, one tsp garam masala power and garlic. Mix well, and fry for about one minute. Add tomato puree,mix well, and cook , covering the pan. Stir the mixture occasionally. When oil starts oozing out, add the chicken pieces along with the marinations mix, and mix well. Cook until chicken is soft. Do not add water. Then add the bell pepper pieces. Mix well ,and cook until bell pepper is soft. Serve hot with rice or roti.

Friday, April 13, 2018

Five on Friday

Monday:The spring break is over. We had to go back to our normal routine. Though I wanted to be over, as kiddo was getting bore in the house, but I was not prepared for the morning rush.I was feeling pretty sluggish is the morning. I literally dragged myself. On the top of that I woke up late in the morning. Last week I took it easy, and was not it rush. So, I was still in the slow mood in the morning. Anyway, I managed to do everything on time, and went for a good walk in the morning after a long time.


Tuesday: 
Today was not pretty much normal. I didn’t do much thing today. Yesterday I cooked, and I had leftover, so I didn’t need to worry about the dinner. 


Wednesday:
I’m forgetting everything. Today morning my son and breakfast book club. That totally went out of my mind, even kiddo forgot that. In the afternoon, while I was doing dishes, suddenly it struck in my mind. 


Thursday:
Kiddo was not a good mood since yesterday afternoon. Yesterday he was goofing around in the playground during lunchtime. One of his friend kicked in the air, and he got inspiration from him. He kicked in the air too, and one of his shoes flew off from his foot, and landed on the roof of the school. There was no way to take that down. So, he was in school rest of the day in one shoe. He was very upset as he lost his shoe. However, I felt relief. Actually, past few months I had been begging him to let the pair of shoes go, as it was in ramshackle condition, while a brand new pair was sitting in the shoe rack. Am I sneaky?

Friday:
Today was as usual a busy Friday. Since morning I did cooking, cleaning, folding laundry, and so on. In the meantime I went to school to do the Friday folder. As result of that I was extremely tired in the evening, and I declared that i was not going to any more jobs before dinner. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Whole yellow lentil curry


When I invite someone who is vegetarian, I always cook Indian vegetarian dishes. Indians have plenty of vegetarian dishes, so I don’t need to think about any other cuisine. On the top of that all of my friends love Indian vegetarian meals. So, when I invited one of such family who love Indian vegetarian dishes, I decided to cook whole yellow lentil soup with other dishes. Whole yellow lentil is full of protein, and when you cook in Indian style it tastes heavenly. I wanted cook a little different rather in my usual way. I got a good recipe from a blog . I just changed a little, to match the things which are available in my kitchen. 


Here is the recipe:
One cup dry whole yellow lentil
One medium sized tomato
One medium sized onion
One tbsp. ginger paste
Two-Three cloves of garlic
Three-four green cardamom
One bay leaf
One tsp cayenne powder
One tsp chili flakes
One dry red chili
One tbsp. of sugar
One tsp. garam masala powder
One tsp cumin powder
One tbsp oil
One tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
Pinch asafetida
Pinch of turmeric powder
Salt to taste


Wash and soak the lentil overnight. Pressure cook  the lentil about fifteen to twenty minutes. Finely chip the onion, and garlic. Make a fine paste of the tomato. Heat oil in a pan in medium. Add cardamom, cloves, dry red chili, and bay leaf. As soon as you get the fine aroma, add ginger paste. As ginger paste start splutters , add onion, and garlic. Fry until onion turn slightly brown, stirring continuously. Add garam masala powder,  cayenne powder, half tsp cumin powder and mix well. Then add tomato puree. Mix well, and cook covering the pan. You need to stir occasionally to avoid burning at the bottom. When the oil starts oozing out, add the cooked lentil. Add salt, sugar,turmeric powder, and one cup of water. Cook until the soup reaches desired consistency. Switch off the stove. Take another smaller pan, heat one tbsp of ghee, add other half tsp cumin powder, asafetida, chili flakes. Stir slightly, and immediately add in the soup. Mix well.Serve hot with rice or roti (Indian flat bread).


Serving size: 5

Monday, April 9, 2018

Visit to Mission San Jose

As a part of field trip of the 4th graders, we went to visit Mission San Jose. The weather was not in our favor. It had been raining since the night before. It was not at all a weather to venture out. However, as it was prescheduled, we had to make it possible on that day. Only the kids missed few things.

 

The top of the bell looks like Crown. Actually the bells were created like that way to show gratitude to Spanish Emperor who was main patron of the missions.


When we started from school the sky was gloomy, but not raining. As soon as we reached the mission, it started raining. It was mostly indoor visit, so we just took a group picture of the kids on the staircase of the church in rain, and quickly went inside. Though the church  of the mission looks like as it was built in late 18th century, but it was not the original one. After a devastating earthquake the church was totally destroyed, ultimately it was rebuilt in 1985, replicating the original one. So, the water stain on rooftop, is not actual stain, but was colored like that  during reconstruction to give original look. Only one part of the original structure is still standing there, and the mission authority is trying desperately to preserve. So, kids were strictly instructed not to touch the walls, as the oil from hands would diminish the longevity of the structure.


First we went inside the remaining original structure, which is now the mission museum. To keep the structure, the original floor was changed , keeping the color of the tiles. Only in a small portion of the floor, the original tiles  still exist. From that we can clearly understand how much it differs from handmade tiles to machine made tiles. 


Anyway, we came to know about the history of the mission. Before the Spanish explorers came to the land, it was inhabited by Ohlone Indian for thousands years. There were no horse on this very land, so the native Americans had no ideas about horse. In their life time they didn’t go further that 10-15 miles from their home. The homes were little huts, which was mainly used for sleeping in the night. Other than that they used to stay outside home, the whole beautiful world was their home. Life was peaceful. 


The Spanish explorers took the Indians as laborer, to built the mission, and the supervisors were the Franciscan padres. They taught  the Indians to built tiles, bricks, and to built the mission. They were baptized. Baptism of the Indians was an integral part of the mission. The life in mission was strange to them. Their traditional life was much more independent, and they were habituated to keep pace according to the work. During the acorn gathering they used work day and night. The relation between the mission authority on the Indians was not always smooth, rather it was rocky enough. They often faced the soldiers of the Spanish Army. The most tragic part was that, which even the educated Spanish couldn’t anticipated was diseases. The Indians were not immune to small pox or measles, which the European brought with them. Those diseases finished the Indians within two generations.



After Mexico declared independence from Spain and make California secular, the Missions were abandoned. After the United States captured California, from Mexico, the missions were again revived.  


Next we went to see the small cemetery just beside the church. Hundreds of people from mission period were buried there. Then we came back inside the church. The church was rebuilt in the year 1985. Only few replicas are still there, and beautifully preserved. Most of the colors are red,green, and yellow, because those are the colors were available at that time. They used to make colors, what were available in their hands, all colors were made from vegetables.


Anyway, then we came back inside the museum. The museum was actually the place where the Father used to live. Where our guide talked about the mission was the dinning room the Father. We saw many of the artifacts are kept from that era. Even the dress, the chair, and the cot are still kept there. We were there from for about three hours, then we came back.



Saturday, April 7, 2018

Five on Friday

Monday:


The weather was very beautiful. The sun was shinning brightly. The beautiful emerald green rolling hills were looking happy in the bright sunshine. I started my day in a lazy note. Today was the first day of spring break. Kiddo was fine, he didn’t bother me much, which I anticipated before the spring. In fact he was very good through out the day. He finished his studies without any fuss. I tried to keep my normal schedule, but I couldn’t do that properly.


Tuesday: 


The day was fine, and passed peacefully. In the evening I took kiddo to his swimming class. He was very good today also. I became slower than yesterday. Somehow I manage to do exercise today. I was not at all in the mood of cooking. Anyway, I at least cook a good dinner.

When don't like to cook, just bake everything


Wednesday:


Oh! I just couldn’t myself lift from the chair. I had been sitting at the dinning table, and worked on blog. Then I was just sitting there doing nothing. The clock was ticking 12:00,but I yet to move from there. At last I got up, cooked a little for kiddo, as he had been asking me for lunch since long.

Sometimes I need both of them together

Thursday:


The sky was gloomy. I didn’t have much thing to do. So I finished one book which was due in the library. Then both of us went to library. This time I lend a big pile of books. Hope I will finish all of them.

Blueberry cake


Friday:


What happened today! Since I woke up in the morning it had been raining incessantly. Whenever I was looking through the window only I could see dark gray sky and  big raindrops. However, loads of chores were waiting for me. In the kitchen I could hear the continuous tinkling sound on raindrops on the chimney. Then the bed we ordered was delivered. Mr. Man and I pulled it inside the master bedroom, and set it up. Rest of the day I retired in the couch, and sat under the blanket. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Cauliflower -Bell Pepper Stir fry


When the weather outside is gloomy, I loose energy to cook. I love to sit back in the couch with a cup of steaming hot tea. The best I like watch the rain drops falling in my backyard pool. The dark grey sky, and the pitter-patter of rain alway reminds me all the small funny moments of childhood. However, now we cannot avoid the responsibilities of life. I have to cook, whether I like or not. So, I try to cook something easy one those very days. Here is one. 


Few florets of cauliflower
One green bell pepper
One small onion
One small tomato
One tsp cumin powder
One bay leaf
One tsp. cumin seeds
One tbsp oil
Salt to taste
Pinch of turmeric powder
Cut cauliflower the florets into medium size. Cut the onion into cube, and separate them. Cut the tomato into small pieces. Cut the top of the green bell pepper, deseed, and cut into big squares. Heat oil in a pan in medium. Fry the cauliflower florets, and keep them aside. If you need, add another one tsp oil in the same pan. Add cumin seeds, and bay leaf. When the seed starts splutter, add the onion. Fry onion until translucent, covering the pan. Stir the onion occasionally to avoid burning at the bottom of the pan. Add tomato, and cook, until tomato is mushy, covering the pan. Then add cauliflower florets, and bell pepper. Add one tsp cumin powder, salt, and turmeric powder. Mix everything well. Cook until all the veggies are soft, covering the pan. If you need you can add water little by little (one tbsp at a time)to avoid burn at the bottom. Serve hot with rice.

Monday, April 2, 2018

Garbanzo bean curry

It was a Saturday, and I invited one my son’t friend and his family. His mother C is one of my very good friends, and I had been thinking of inviting them for dinner, but I somehow, I didn’t do that. So, finally I decided to invite them. That Saturday was St. Patrick’s Day , and Mr. Man was going to SFO. I asked him to take us with him , I wanted to watch the parade in city. That was a big mistake I made that day. My plan was to coming back around 2, and could come back at 4:30. Luckily I finished cooking in the morning. My only regret is I couldn’t make any sweet dishes. 


Anyway, C was very excited to come, as she wanted to see our home, after renovation. Her husband came a little later, and she was so excited, that she wanted to show her husband, all the renovation we did. We had a really good time, after a hectic. Her son J and my son played a lot. In fact my wanted a playdate with J. However, we couldn’t make it possible. Lastly my son stopped asking me to fix a playdate. So, those two enjoyed that evening most.  As C’s husband is Indian, and vegetarian, I mostly cooked Indian vegetarian dishes. Also I cooked chicken as she loves it.


Here I’m sharing one of those recipe.
Chhole (Garbanzo bean curry)
Three cups of soaked garbanzo bean (you can use canned garbanzo beans)
One medium sized onion
One medium sized tomato
One tsp. coriander seeds
One tsp cumin seeds
Half cup coconut powder
One tsp. garam masala powder
One tsp ginger paste
Two cloves of garlic
Three-four green cardamom
Three-four cloves
One  bay leaves
One dry 
Pinch of turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Pressure cook the garbanzo beans with two cups of water. If you are using canned garbanzo beans, then you don’t need this step, only drain the water. Finely chop onion, and garlic. Cut the tomato into chunks. Take a grinder Grind one tsp cumin, and one tsp coriander. Then add coconut powder, and grind again. Finally , add the tomato chunks and make a fine paste. In a pan heat oil in medium, add cardamom,cloves,and bay leaves. As fine aroma starts oozing, add the chopped onion. Fry the onion in medium heat, covering the pan, stirring occasionally, until slightly brown. Add ginger and garlic. You can add a little salt in the onion, so the onion will get soft quicker. When the onion becomes soft, add cumin power, coriander powder, and garam masala powder. Then add the curry paste, and mix everything well. Let it cook in medium heat. Stir occasionally to avoid burn at the bottom of the pan. When oil starts oozing out, add the garbanzo beans, salt , and turmeric powder. Mix well, ands add one cup of water. Let cook until the gravy reaches desired consistency. Serve hot with steaming rice.
Serving size: 5