Spiced Chickpea Mango Salad

  Most of my cookbooks are instant purchases. I just flip through and purchase. At least buying that way has given me decent cookbooks compared to some of my online purchases that have literally made me cry once the books have landed in my hand. 😀 I guess I better not talk about them and move on with the book chosen for this month’s book review… 🙂   “Chilli Notes” by Thomassina Miers happens to be the author’s fifth cookbook. And she is no mean one – she is a Masterchef winner. I really didn’t know that when I picked up the book. 🙂 I picked it up from the Borders store at Mirdif City Center, along with the “Low Fat Baking Book” that I reviewed the first in the series. I don’t know what exactly pulled me to buy it but there were surely these factors: Hardcover – I… 

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Varutharacha Sambar ~ Malabar Style Mixed Vegetable Lentil Stew

  I would really call sambar as the ultimate comfort food of a South Indian. Why not? We would have sambar with everything. Recently, I discovered that sambar went amazingly well with porottas too! If you are wondering what a “sambar” is, it is a South Indian stew made with lentils, mixed vegetables and lots of spices.   I had mentioned in this post that I am not fond of store bought sambar powders. Each brand tastes different and somehow I don’t seem to like any. I prefer to make my own little batch each time I make my sambar. When I discovered that we had our own version of making sambaar using roasted coconut paste, my joy had no bounds. Umma was never aware of a version like this, so I never grew up with one. I have adapted this recipe from many sources so can’t pinpoint just one…. 

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Daal Paratha ~ Lentil Flatbread (with leftover daal!)

  It’s been sometime since I participated in the Shh Cooking Secretly Challenge, I guess. When was the last time? My last post was this delicious dessert way back in July. Then vacation and hangover came into play and finally I gave myself in to make it up for this month’s challenge. The theme for the month was “Breakfast” and I was paired with Mayuriji for the secret ingredients.   As we all know, breakfast IS most important meal of the day. If you don’t eat well then, you may have a haphazard day to follow. I am not somebody who has a heavy breakfast but I ensure to eat something good enough to keep my energy levels on for the whole day. I have already shared a few breakfast ideas that I resort to on the blog. So when Mayuriji gave me my ingredients as wholewheat flour and methi… 

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Muringayila Parippu Upperi ~ Drumstick Leaves with Lentils

  Allah has His own ways. Each time, my blogging enthusiasm starts taking a downturn, He immediately surprises me with something that helps me take the U-turn, Alhamdulillah. 😀 I have had two things happening over the weekend, the smaller one is winning a gift voucher from Siri’s space and the big one was a mighty surprise: a feature on Manorama Online as one of the six Malayalee foodie accounts to follow on Instagram! It was a real surprise, since I feel I pushed behind a lot of well deserving foodie accounts, but it made me a stronger believer on His Will that may have caused me to be in that list in between all top shots! So rest assured, I am not stopping my blogging in the near future, InShaAllah… 😉   I did a little story on “Muringayila” or drumstick leaves when I had done this post. Drumsticks… 

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Hearty Bean Barley Soup

  Time for the Secret Recipe Club reveal day! I must admit this is one challenge I am so happy to be in! Every month, once our reveal is done, I eagerly wait to see which blog is assigned for the coming month. A food blogger never gets tired of going through another food blog. The only issue is that it gives a feeling that there is still so much to try! 😀 I don’t think that is bad at all. As long as we realize that cooking is a continuous learning process, it will make you feel fine. 😉 The blog assigned to me for this month was “Our Eating Habits“. The owner of the blog, Jamie is the mother of three lovely kids, who are home-schooled, and she absolutely enjoys cooking for them. It is so well evident on her blog. The range of recipes on the blog is… 

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Lauki Chana Dal ~ Bottlegourd Chickpea Lentil Stew

  Last week saw some awesome movement on the blog. All I did was share the Chocolate Biscuit Pudding on a few FB groups and what happened was the least that I expected! The day it was posted and the next day showed some really good hits on the blog, in fact last Wednesday showed the highest hits ever since I started the blog. The other time I got close to it was when I shared the Fluffy Biscuit Pudding. I get asked by all as to how to keep a blog running. In fact, there is no formula for it. If you are ready to spent a lot of time looking at ways to emaciate your blog in the way of social networking and otherwise, and if you are lucky, you will get in a healthy amount of hits. It is a lot of work. But more than work,… 

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Nawabi Qabooli Biriyani ~ Chickpea Lentil Biriyani

  Alhamdulillah, today is the day of Arafah. For the people who are Makkah for the pilgimage of Hajj, they will all assemble in the vast ground of Arafah, continuously supplicating and praying to the Almighty for themselves and for all of the others. The Prophet (SAW) said, ‘There is no day on which Allah frees people from the Fire more so than on the day of Arafah. He comes close to those (people standing on ’Arafah), and then He revels before His Angels saying, ‘What are these people seeking.” (Tirmidhee). It is said that He forgives all their sins, even if it is as much as the foam on the surface of the sea, SubhanAllah! How can we count foam? To read more about this day, you can check out this link. For those not on Hajj, it is highly recommended to fast, since fasting on this day with sincere intentions… 

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Chicken with Kidney Beans

  Blankness seems to be the call of the day. Mostly when I open a blog post, I stare at the screen with an empty feeling, not knowing how to go ahead. Writer’s block, I suppose. 🙂 Or maybe I am just overwhelmed by a lot of things around… hehe… I really don’t know. But since I am not in a mood to keep the blog blank, I will go ahead and do the post for the day.   I love combinations of lentils with non-veg, just like this Murg Chanay. As soon as I saw this recipe on Haffa’s space, I had to try it. Even the name she mentioned was so interesting. But when I searched Google just for my information, I noticed Mexicali Chicken was a totally different dish, so I refrained from using that name, instead just kept it straightforward. Hehe… This is just the type… 

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Ethapazham Madhuracurry ~ Ripe Plantain Lentil Sweet Curry

  As we roll into the last days of this precious month, it is a two fold feeling – the sadness that Ramadan is leaving us this time and the excitement that Eid is coming. Eid-ul-Fitr is Allah’s way of giving us relief from the tough days of Ramadan that we have had, at the same time, for some serious stock taking of how much we have learned from the month and how much of it can we move forward with during the rest of our life. It is a festival where we thank Him for giving us the strength, perseverence and willpower to submit to His Will. However, just like I stated, it is also a time for us to consider continuing the work that we carried out during Ramadan till the next Ramadan, InShaAllah… How easy it is to do, is totally upto us but with His help,… 

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Palak Daal ~ Spinach Lentil Gravy

  Galloping towards the fag end of the precious month… and not feeling good at all! 🙁 Alhamdulillah, we are having a lovely time with my parents and InShaAllah, tonight my sister and her boy will join us, so we are all excited about the few weeks that are coming up. Time with family is always welcome and especially, when you have festivities coming around… Even the hot summers don’t seem to affect the spirit, isn’t it? 🙂   I totally love lentils. For me, it is a totally comfort meal. Normally, in Malabar cooking, the use of lentil is very minimal, like using it in masala vada or in this aubergine curry. Umma doesn’t like much of daal, so she used to hardly make them at home but once I was in charge of the kitchen, I started cooking it at least a week – yeah, I know my… 

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Masoor Dal Pakodas ~ Red Lentil Fritters

  Ramadan is almost around the corner. I always wonder how quickly it passes from one Ramadan to another. Every Ramadan starts with the thought of taking maximum advantage of the blessed month but as we approach the end of the month and introspect ourselves, we feel that we have lagged from our initial enthusiasm. 🙁 I sincerely hope it is not like that this year… One thing I love about this month is the feeling of it – it is the time when we can look more into ourselves, think more compassionately for our fellow beings, sincerely appreciate the blessing that we already have, which we fail to see and accept whatever has passed by. Alhamdulillah for everything, right? 🙂   This month, till the end of Ramadan, I will be focusing on light meals and snacks for Iftar and Suhoor meals. InShaAllah, I hope you will find some… 

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Mathan Vellapayar Erisseri

  The feel of calm after a storm is different. I really don’t know whether I like it. When life is a bit topsy-turvy, our mind is full on at work – looking for signals of any more trouble coming, being content if there is nothing coming, getting tensed when something comes by, not mentioning the constant pain and heart aches which comes along with it. But once that phase passes by and things come back to normal, there is an eerie emptiness. All of a sudden, you feel that the moment passed by, even though it has taken ages to move on. Fighting that emptiness and filling up your time with worthy hobbies is what is then required. No wonder why He tells us, “Verily, in the remembrance of Allah do hearts find peace.” (Surah Ar-Rad:28) Irrespective of whether we are going through turbulent times or peaceful times, keeping… 

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Lobia (Black Eyed Beans) Salad

  There was a time when I used to so keenly look out for weekends. But now, even though I love weekends, I have been turning terribly lazy to move out of home off late. With the doctor advising against sleeping in the morning, which means that I must be awake from 5 am even if I don’t have much to do, I feel the days longer and thankfully a lot of my chores finish off in the morning. But waking up early also means sleeping early, but on a weekend it is a difficult thing to happen, so I try my maximum not to go out or if we do move out, we don’t go off to any far off destinations and we are back home in time to sleep early. HD is the happiest, since I have moved from a cranky wife who wanted to go out to… 

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Mixed Daal Curry ~ No Oil!

  While I was listening to Surah Al-Baqarah on my drive to the office a couple of days ago, in the portion where Allah describes the creation of mankind (from verse 30), this one verse always entices me:   “They (the angels) said, “Exalted are You; we have no knowledge except what You have taught us. Indeed, it is You who is the Knowing, the Wise.” (Surah Al-Baqarah:32) This is what the angels replied when Allah asked them to name certain things that He showed, which then our father Adam (AS) went on to answer, with the permission and information received from Him. What I love about this verse is how humble they are about themselves and how they are fully submissive to His Will. Definitely, angels are the most submissive of His Creations, who only perform as per His instructions. Whereas, He has created us with a clear mind… 

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Bessara ~ Moroccan Fava Bean Dip

  I have a confession to make – I would have never picked up these wide boring looking beans, also called as ful, if not for blogging! I know so many foodies who pick up all sorts of ingredients to try and cook for their equally foodie family, but since I have a very dicey set of tongues (repeating the same dialogue umpteenth number of times!!!), I am very wary of picking up and trying new ingredients. Most of the time, it happens that I only end up eating them, because everybody frowns and that can be plain frustrating. Thankfully, after a lot of hard work, I can say that HD and B have converted, though not 100%, into eating whatever is on the table. In fact, umma was pleasantly surprised when B said that he wanted chickpeas salad for his lunch takeaway to office, considering that he has always… 

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