Thursday, November 26, 2015


Happy Thanksgiving everyone ! Hope all of you are having a wonderful day. I am spending the day with friends, who are very close to being family. I do miss my family like crazy . Similarly today, as like every other special and not so special day, in the calendar. So what are your plans? Are you in the middle of prepping up your show stopper turkey and hosting the grandest party at home.

For me, I was not born in this country, I now call home. So I did not grow up with Turkey Day dinners and yummy Stuffing and super perfect pumpkin pies. Over the many years, that I have called the Midwest my home, I have experienced a few different kinds of Thanksgiving Meals . But what  has stuck very close to my heart, is a meal I had at our friend Sonal and Mayukh's in Columbia, Missouri. It was supposed to be a mini re-union of my husband's batch mates from college. Three friends who went to Grad school , together were meeting up, after years, with their families,for Thanksgiving. And the host, Sonal and Mayukh , delivered a stellar meal. They kept alive the spirit of Thanksgiving, but added their own touch to it.

They brought forth the every major aspects of a typical Thanksgiving meal, but added an Indian immigrant touch to it.Every immigrant family would have their own spin on Thanksgiving and this was probably theirs. But it became ours, with their subtle touch.

Rather than the big Turkey, there are two roast Chicken. But they were roasted with Tandoori spices. Demi Tadka, as you could call it.

Every item of the traditional Thanksgiving table had an Indian flair to it. So the mashed potatoes, became Oven roasted masala Aloo, accompanied by Garlic Green Beans with toasted sesame seeds, Jeera Rice , Matar Panner(as we had an veggie friend), and Cranberry Churtney with Pita. 

Enough Dutch Beer to wash it all down. And decadent Caramel Pudding.

Just like every family have their own family tradition, I think Sonal created a benchmark in our friend circle for the perfect Thanksgiving Meal to  appeal to the Indian diaspora in the heartland of US.

So here's wishing everyone of you a wonderful Thanksgiving. Wear your favorite PJs and tuck into your favorite meal of the year. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015


If you've grown up in a Bengali household, high chances are that you would have been used to the idea of having Sunday lunch with ample helpings Goat Curry and steamed rice. Followed by a siesta. Aaah Bliss!

Life has changed a lot over the years. But any mention of a Goat Curry on a Sunday, does bring back many memories and sends my taste buds on a salivary overdrive.

This particular Goat Curry is a bit different from the drier Kosha Mangsho , which is usually served with Luchi (deep fried white bread). If you want to read about Kosha Mangsho , then click here . This is a runnier curry, but it does not compromise on the taste by any way. Flavored by whole garam masala, whole red chillies and cooked in mustard oil, this packs in layers of flavors at every step.

Ideally its cooked with goat meat, with a good percentage of fat in it. The fat renders during the long and slow cooking process and adds to the taste. It gets its iconic red color, from sugar which has been caramelised in the mustard oil. It always has potatoes, cooked in the gravy with the goat.Adding potatoes to Curries, is essentially a Bengali culinary trait. And honestly , I cannot imagine my Goat Curry without a serving of potatoes along with it.

 My mind is coming in and out of food coma, as I scribble this post,for the nostalgia stirred up. And also because, I have some leftovers from the very same Goat Curry , I had last night. Yes, I am trying to carry forward the Sunday Goat Curry saga.

Without much further ado, let me take you to my kitchen, and make some Sunday Goat Curry together.


Goat : 2 lbs ( I used meat from the leg, with bones in it. i had asked my butcher to cut into medium sized pieces)
Red Onion: 1 large (chopped finely)
Garlic : 6-7 large cloves
Ginger : 2 inch piece
Bay Leaves : 5- 6
Dry Red Chillies: 4-5
Cinnamon Stick : 1 (broken into pieces)
Green Cardamom: 5-6
Cloves: 5- 6
Tomato Paste: 2 tbsp
Sugar : 1 tbsp
Salt To taste
Mustard Oil
Potatoes: Peeled and halved : 4 Medium sized ones
Paprika : 1 tsp
Coriander powder: 1 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder : 1 1/12 tsp
Cayenne Pepper : 1 tsp

I used a large non stick stock pot to cook my goat. I start off on the stove top and finish it in the oven. The  secret to cooking great goat curry is to fork tender yet not disintegrate in the cooking process. The slow cooking process releases the fat off the meat which builds the flavor profile.

Pre-heat your oven to 350F

Add mustard oil, to your stock out and let the sugar caramels. be careful that it doesn't get burnt. Add in the onions and whole garam masala and bay leave sand red chilies.

Cook it down till the onions start to change color on turning translucent.

Add in the ginger and garlic, ground together to a paste. Sauté it till the oil starts to leave from the sides. Keep stirring in-between, so that it doesn't stick to the bottom.

Next comes the tomato paste and the dry spices. Mix well, and fry for around 5 to 7 minutes.

Add in the goat and the potatoes and mix well. Mix well. Cover and cook for around 10 minutes. Be sure to keep stirring.

Next add in a 2 cups of hot water to the pot and mix well. Seal with a aluminum foil and put the lid back on. Braise in a pre-heated oven for around an hour.

 Take it out of the oven and serve warm with steamed rice .  And yes, you are allowed to slurp down that gravy and no one will judge you.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


Recently I was at a  Blogger Meet up, where I was chatting with one of my Blogger buddies. And we both realized that there are so many posts which we mean to write, or even start writing, but the Publish button is not pressed for those posts. I am super guilty of this. And if the posts happen to be seasonal, there are chances that you might even forget about them, next year.

I am super guilty of this behavior, or storing posts in my draft, or taking pictures and planning  post and not going ahead with it. So this time around, I thought, lets try and change that habit .

I had shot for this post, at the beginning of Fall this year. We had been on the annual Pumpkin Patch visits and I asked the Man to take a few pictures of my ensemble. Denim on denim is a classic Fall staple. No way am I referring to Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake denim craziness. in fact  had done a post on Men's fashion a few months back, on how to do Denim on Denim . You can read about it Here .

My denim jacket is one that I had picked out from H &M this year. I was looking for something cropped and the rose gold detailing on the jacket, sealed the deal for me. I paired it with an orange and blue shirt from Gap and my American Eagle Jeggings. I was playing up with blues and orange in this outfit choice as an ode to the venue. So I bring for you, a Fall Fashion post, when we are almost on the last days of Fall. Its a no nonsense combo for me,which always adds that extra touch.  I had rolled down my Steve Madden Boots, to reveal their plaid interiors. A touch of Plaid never hurt anyone. My trusty Rayban Wayfarers to complete the ensemble.

Sunday, November 15, 2015


Hello Sunday !!! How are you all doing ? I am in the mood to binge eat on some Indian sweets. But my pantry isn't that great stocked. So what do I do? I need me some Food hacks , right. Yes, I do.

Speaking of Food Hacks , I  recently came across an idea while I was chatting with some friends of mine. I was having a similar craving for some Indian sweets, just like I am having today.  I learned how to make Gulab Jamuns(Golden Fried Ricotta dumplings, soaked in sugar syrup), from bread. Yes , Bread. So if you have stale bread at home, which you were planning to re-purpose in to some Bread Pudding, you have another Dessert option. The bread soaked in some whole milk and a dusting of cardamom powder can get a new lease of life and transform itself into some yummy Gulab Jamuns.

Honestly speaking when I had first heard this, I had my doubts over it. I mean how can you re-craete the taste and texture of such an iconic Indian sweet. I decided to give it a go and check out the rumor for myself. If all the hype surrounding this supposed food hack was true. I mean half the internet was full of everyone's version of how to make Gulab Jamuns from day old bread and everyone was gushing over it.

I made a small batch and I must admit , mine were a bit over fried and maybe not exactly the most round in shape. The pictures were not that pretty as were the ones doing the rounds on internet and getting viral. But when it came to taste, I was pleasantly shocked. Boy oh boy , these Gulab Jamuns were the real deal. If I didn't tell you that they were not made from some store bought sweet mix, or churned up from someone's Momma's family recipe, you would find it hard to believe that it was plain bread and some good old whole milk replacing the ricotta.

Go ahead, give it a try. This food hack is every bit worth it. And its a great last minute dessert idea for any Desi party you might be throwing at home.


Ingredients : 
For the Jamun: 
Bread : 4 slices
Milk : 1/3 cup
Green Cardamom : 2- 3
Granulated sugar : 2 tbsp

For the sugar syrup :
Sugar : 1/2 cup
Water: 1 cup
Green Cardamom: 2-3
Bay Leaves

To make the basic sugar syrup, which you can use for a host of Indian sweets, mix the ingredients in a heavy pan and let it come to a boil. Once it come stop a rolling boil, then reduce heat and let it summer till the liquid reaches a string consistency. Let it cool .

For making the Jamun, trim the brown crust of the bread. I used regular white sandwich bread.

Soak the bread into the milk, till all the mil has been absorbed by the bread.

Mash the bread and form it into a dough. if you feel your dough is too wet, then you can squeeze out excess milk. Add the sugar and add the cardamom seeds in it. Use a light hand to midx this dough, so that the jamuns don't get tough.

Form the dough into equal sized balls.

Heat oil in a non stick pan to medium heat and then deep fry these balls, carefully till they are golden brown on all sides. Dont fry these jams at high heat or else the jamuns will get burnt easily and inner part of it will remain uncooked.

Dunk them in the warm sugar syrup for at least two hours.

Serve them warm or cold.

Bon Appetit !!!

Thursday, November 12, 2015


Last evening I attended a mini workshop organized by the lovely ladies of BLOG TALK KC. 40 plus KC Bloggers got together, with notebooks and pens in hand, to learn about how to make your blog your full time income. I have been blogging for over five years now, but honestly when it comes to monetization, I realized I have not been that worldly .

It was a super windy evening, but we were in an ancient stone castle sipping on our cocktails and soaking in all that our lovely speakers had to share with us. No, I am not kidding about the castle bit at all. Chef Renee Kelly hosted our lovely bunch at her amazing restaurant HARVEST . I had been to Harvest earlier and if you want to read about my experience, then click Here .

Huge Thank you to Chef Renee Kelly for all the tasty appetizers she sent for us. From a crazy good cheese platter, to truffle fries with aioli, to clams and braised rabbits, the plates kept coming up. Chef Kelly spoke to us about her culinary journey and mentioned that she would be contesting for the next Top Chef. Well, we would be rooting for you big time Chef. Its always a pleasure meeting her.

Mingling , with the clinking of our cocktail and champagne glasses carried on, as the storm raged outside. My spirit of choice for the night was Pimms and Gin.

Finally it was time for our Keynote speaker, Kelly Snyder of the blog Redefined Mom  She literally blew my brains away with her business ideas. I was surely living under a rock, when it came to earning money from my blog.She took us through the ropes of how to fine tune the approach of our blogs, how to prepare a proper media kit and finally make our blog, a better marketable product.

"Your Blog is the only startup in the US, with the least amount of capital involved." As I was crazily scribbling down, it was indeed a wake up call for me.

Last but not the least, as it was so chilly and windy last night, I went the typical skinny jeans and leather jacket route for my OOTD. Some pointy shoes and my powder blue top from Express was my pop of color for the outfit.

Thank you Blog Talk KC, Chef Renee Kelly and Kelly Snyder for such a wonderful evening. I have a lot of work to do on my blog for sure.