July 22, 2013

Winner of the giveaway

Yay, I have a giveaway winner! I am thrilled that the event received all the attention from my readers and so many friends and bloggers dropped by to wish Ahaar. I am truly touched!

So let's get to how the winner was chosen for the giveaway.

1. First I entered all the comments in the order they had left their comment on the blog in a spreadsheet with the number for each comment.

2. There were also some comments on Facebook, so I added them in the sheet.

Ahaar giveaway
There are about 35 numbers/ commentors.

Then I went to random.org and entered the numbers with Min=and Max=35 and hit Generate. The random number thus generated was 24.

Ahaar giveaway
The person corresponding to number 24 is Rima Sengupta. Drumroll!

Rima, I don't have a e-mail address for you. Please leave a comment with your e-mail or drop me a line at: ahaarmail@gmail.com so I can arrange to send you the goodies. I hope to hear from you soon.

Thank you for playing and I hope you will continue to visit.

July 15, 2013

Kumro aar uchhe chorchori

Kumro karela chorchori

This recipe is not for the faint-hearted, there are strong tastes and flavors in this chorchori. But once you've tasted the combination of the bitter uchhe (bittergourd/karela) mixed with the sweetness from the kumro (pumpkin) cooked in pungent mustard seed paste, you'll be hooked forever.

Let me start from the beginning. I look forward to my parents' visit. Every time they are here, I get to taste something new and different. Last year it was shorshe begun, this year they made this chorchori.

I didn't grow up on this recipe. In fact, I had not even heard of a combination like this. The recipe comes from my sister-in-law who learned it from her dida. And my dad has been making it every other week here and is now ready to share it.

You want to pressure cook the karela for one whistle and then discard the water, it makes the karela less bitter. If you don't want to pressure cook, you can boil it in an open pan till it is half-cooked.

1big karela chopped into small pieces
200gms kumro or butternut squash cleaned and cut into small pieces
1/4 tspoon kalo jeera (nigella seeds)
2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 green chilli cut into 2 pcs and seed taken out (if you want it more spicy, include the seeds)
1/4 tspoon turmeric powder
1/4 tomato
Salt to taste
2 tbspoon oil
Grind the mustard seeds and chopped green chili with the tomato with 2-3 tbspoon water to a fine paste.

Put the chopped karela in a pressure cooker with a cup of water and a little bit salt. Let it cook for one whistle, or cook it in an open pan till it is half-cooked.
Heat the oil in a pan and temper it with kalo jeera and saute for a minute. Then add the uchhe and saute it till it starts to turn brown. 

Kumro karela chorchori
Now add the kumro and let it cook together for a couple of minutes. 

Then add the mustard seed paste, turmeric powder, and salt and let it cook for another minute or two. Add about 2/3 cup water and cook it in medium heat and covered till the water is absorbed and it becomes makha makha.

Serve warm with rice.

July 07, 2013

When in doubt, make herby chicken

Herby chicken

When life gives your lemons, make lemonade. And when the backyard gives you a bumper crop of herbs, make herby chicken. And that's what I did for July 4th!

It was a busy July 4th weekend for us, what about you? When we woke up on July 4th, we were ready to go to the Toledo Zoo. Lil A was excited and helped us make some almond butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch. We had a wonderful time at the zoo. Lil A and I just counted that we saw more than 30 animals, birds and reptiles including Baru, the largest crocodile in the Americas.

Herby chicken
Herby chicken

For the evening, we went to a friend's home for potluck dinner. I decided to try out the herby chicken.

I have a nice little backyard vegetable patch, thanks to my dad. I've planted cilantro, parsley, and mint among other things and have enjoyed them in different recipes. So this time I went and got a nice little bunch from each and started chopping them while the chicken was baking in the oven. Then I mixed them together and the chicken was ready in no time.

Herby chicken
Aswin made some tindora bhaji and we baked some samosas and we were ready for an evening out.

The chicken was a hit in the potluck. And the highest praise came from my dad, who is a good cook himself. He asked that I make it again!

Herby chicken
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup mint
1/4 cup parsley
2 chicken breasts
1 onion
1 tbspoon minced garlic
1 tbspoon sriracha sauce
1/2 tspoon fresh black pepper
salt to taste
2 tbspoon olive oil

Marinade the chicken with salt, sriracha sauce, 1/2 tbspoon garlic, 1/4 tspoon black pepper, olive oil and salt. Let is sit aside for at least 3 hours. 

Then bake it in the oven for 22-25 minutes turning it over midway. Take it out and let it cool. Once cooled, chop it in small pieces.

In the meantime, take the cilantro, mint, and parsley, wash and mince it with a knife. It should come to about a cup and a half when minced.

Slice the onions, thin and long. 

Now heat the oil, and then add the garlic and sliced onions. When the onion is starting to caramelize add the chicken pieces, the chopped herbs, sriracha sauce, leftover pepper and little bit salt to taste. Let it cook for another 4-5 minutes till they all mix together nicely.
Herby chicken
Now it's ready to eat. You can serve it as a starter with some crackers or make it a main course with pita or bread. Or a side with dal and rice. The options are endless.

Two more weeks to choose a giveaway winner. So if you haven't left a comment yet, do so. Looking forward to hearing from you.


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