(Lima) Beans and Delhi Cha(a)t

Monday, November 05, 2007

We Promise....

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Season's Greens

A couple of posts back, Cesar promised I would be blogging about some Indian festivals. Well, here I am, with one that is celebrated on this very day (13th January) every year. Lohri heralds the harvest season in north India, when fields are awash with Rabi crops, sown in early winter. Two months from now, the sparkling golden wheat will be ready for harvest.

In Punjab, the breadbasket of India, wheat is the main winter crop, which is sown in October and harvested in March or April. In January, the fields come up with the promise of a golden harvest, and farmers celebrate Lohri during this rest period before the cutting and gathering of crops.

Born and brought up in Delhi, which is situated in north India and happens to be a bastion of north Indian culture, I have been witness to many a Lohri celebrations. It’s a fun festival, with an evening bonfire being the highlight. A fire is lit outside houses, and people move around it in a circle, dropping popcorns, peanuts, and other wintry goodies into it. Supposed to mark an offering to the fire god wishing for prosperity, this is a tradition that perfectly fits the season. Nothing can be more heartwarming than the community coming out in the evening and sharing joy before a warm, glowing fire.

As the evening wears down, the celebration is rounded off with a traditional dinner of Makki di Roti (maizemeal bread) and Sarson da Saag (mustard greens curry). Let’s gather then for a hearty meal, shall we?

Sarson Saag (Mustard Greens Curry)


Mustard Greens: 500 grams
Bathua Greens: 250 grams
Ginger paste: 1 teaspoon
Onion paste: 2 tablespoons
Garlic paste: 1 teaspoon
Tomatoes: 2, chopped fine
Green chilies: 3-4, chopped
Ghee/White butter: 1 teaspoon
Salt: To taste
Sugar: A pinch


1. Chop the greens finely and wash well. Boil until soft, then blend with the green chilies.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a wok. Add the onion, ginger, and garlic pastes. Fry for a few minutes.
3. Add the chopped tomato and stir until the oil separates.
4. Add the blended greens, salt, and sugar. Keep stirring until the greens thicken. Turn off heat.
5. Add the ghee/white butter.
6. Serve hot with makki ki roti (recipe follows).

Makki ki Roti (Maizemeal/Cornmeal Bread):


Maizemeal: 1 cup
Wheat flour: ½ cup
Radish: A small piece, grated
Green chili: 1, chopped fine
Coriander leaves: Few sprigs, chopped fine
Lukewarm water: Enough to bind the maizemeal into a soft yet firm dough.
Salt: To taste


1. Combine all the ingredients and bind into a soft yet firm dough. Add half of the wheat flour if needed.
2. Make small balls out of the dough. Use a rolling pin to flatten the balls into round breads or rotis. Keep the bread a little thick.
3. Place the roti on a warm griddle. Be careful; maizemeal dough tends to be a little brittle.
4. Fry on both sides until you get that nice golden hue.
5. Plop it straight to the plate and serve with hot sarson ka saag and a piece of jaggery. This is the traditional accompaniment.


~ Sury

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Mushrooming My Way Back...

It's been a while, hasn't it? As I write this first proper foodie post of 2007, I have some Thank Yous to say. My gratitude to all of you who kept our humble blog listed on your blogrolls despite our unexplained absence; a big thank you to new friends who wished to exchange links with us (the links will be up with this post, I promise); much appreciation for all the kind comments that came in to our sporadic posts, reassuring us our blog hadn't yet been sucked up by a big black hole. Many thanks for staying our friends. :-)

I have missed the food blogging experience and have been every bit sore about it. I missed the encouragement and inspiration from fellow food bloggers, the propeller which fuelled my culinary adventures with such gusto. I hope to get back on that adventure trail with you all soon. That's what brought me back here to share with you my experiment with...

Achari mushroom. Achar is the Hindi word for pickle, as many of you may know. I had seen the recipe for Achari Paneer (cottage cheese) somewhere and thought of adapting the same for cooking mushrooms. The recipe is simple and uses the spices that usually go into the making of north Indian pickles. The experiment went well and produced a tongue-clicking, finger-licking dish. Here it is:

Achari Mushroom


White button mushroom: 250 grams, cut into cubes or halves
Mustard seeds: 1/2 teaspoon
Fenugreek (methi) seeds: 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin (jeera) seeds: 1 teaspoon
Nigella (kalonji) seeds: 1/2 teaspoon
Fennel seeds: 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder: 1 teaspoon
Yogurt: 1 cup (beaten well)
Onions: 2, chopped fine
Coriander/Mint leaves: 4 teaspoons, finely chopped
Green chili: 2-3, slit in the middle
Oil: 2 tablespoons
Sugar: 1/2 teaspoon
Salt: To taste


1. Heat oil in a wok and add the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, nigella seeds, and cumin seeds.

2. When the seeds start spluttering, add the chopped onions and stir. Fry until they turn translucent.

3. Add the mushrooms

4. Add the beaten curd and mix well, stirring constantly. Cook for 2-3 minutes.

5. Add turmeric powder, salt and sugar. Mix well.

6. Garnish with green chilies, mint and coriander leaves.

7. Serve hot with roti/paratha/naan.

Achari mushroom tastes expectedly tangy (perfect for my palate) and takes no time to cook. If you are in a hurry and want to eat something delicious, this is the perfect item for you. Give it a try and do let me know how it turns out in your kitchen.

Happy cooking and hearty eating, all!

~ Sury

Monday, January 01, 2007

Happy New Year!

Wishing all our friends a hearty and full-filling NEW YEAR!

Sury & Cesar

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Turkey Day! (yes, I mean Xmas)

Long time no see! It's been a couple of crazy months for Sury and me, which has kept us away from our little food blog. We've kept it on our minds every day though, and we hope that now that we're back, some of you will still be around.

Did the title of this post catch you by surprise? Turkey day, this guy must be waaay behind. I know our readers in Uncle Sam's land are certainly thinking that way. Turkey is the traditional dish in Thanksgiving, one of America's most significative holidays, celebrated on the fourth Thursday of November. Thousands of families get together, give thanks for the blessings they received during the year and enjoy the biggest feast of the year. As a matter of fact many American families celebrate Christmas with family and friends, children asleep waiting for Santa while the grownups share a quite evening with lots of lights, eggnog, cookies and carols.

But of course, the world is huge and the traditions vary. For starters we don't celebrate Thanksgiving in Peru. But we do have a feast one month later on Christmas Eve. And here too, turkey is the star.

So don't be shy, come in (it's sunny here, summer starting so no need for coats), sit at the table and let me show you what Christmas dinner looks like around here.

Us carnivore beings have an assortment of meat to choose from, from the traditional turkey, to glased ham, chicken roll or smoked pork...

Turkey Breast Slices

Glased Ham

Chicken Roll

Smoked Pork

Make sure to grab a scoop of that delicios Waldorf salad...

And if you are in for something sweet, the traditional apple puree is ready to serve...

Last but not least, we have an assortment of rice dishes...

Olive Rice
(rice, raisins, onions, black olives, pepper, pecans, bacon, Parmesan)

Arabian Rice
(rice, angel hair pasta, raisins, bacon, Coca Cola, pepper, pecans, paprika, sugar)

Christmas Rice
(rice, white onions, raisins, curry, mushrooms, celery, margarine, ham, pepper, pecans)

Now, if you are like me (my family is very small and we usually keep it very simple), you can grab a few cookies, a nice cup of hot chocolate and a slice of our traditional Panetón (fruitcake) with a generous spread of butter.

Our friend Sury will be also telling us about her own festivals and traditions and the traditional dishes that are present in India. what about you? How do you celebrate? What do you have?

All that's left for me to say is, Happy Holidays to everyone! Thanks for visiting :)

Now grab a plate and enjoy!


Saturday, October 21, 2006

Happy Diwali -:)

Wishing a Bright and Safe Diwali to all our readers!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Happy Birthday!!!

Dear Friends,

Please join me in wishing the co-author of this blog a very happy birthday.


~ Sury