Rice Kheer (Pudding/ Payasam)

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Dear Friends,

Wishing you all and your loved ones a very Happy Diwali. 

Hope you are all having a wonderful time with family and friends celebrating Diwali.

Deepavali called Festival of Lights has had been my favorite festival while growing up in India. The excitement would begin even before the festival actually started. As compared to the other festivals this had fun, excitement right from the get go. First off we get the much needed holidays from school/college, then we get to wear new clothes, indulge on varieties of goodies, light up fire crackers, light some beautiful diyas(lamps), meet with friends relatives, chit chat etc. So it was just non-stop excitement not just for 1 day but for many days after, even extending to a week.

 

 

That was then. But now physically being 10,000 miles away from home things are totally different. Being in a society with different culture and traditions it is hard to feel the same joy and excitement. Apart from occasional email from friends or phone calls from relatives the euphoria is missing. The hectic work schedule, the long commute and the daily grind does not help either. Also the thought that we are so far away from our parents and loved ones changes the mood to gloomy and somber.

That is one dispiriting thought process running in the background. Yet another bright and lively thought process focuses on the little one and spouse reminding of our responsibility towards them. One of our responsibilities as parents is keeping our traditions alive and passing it on to our children in our own way. What better way of keeping it alive than actually celebrating the festival and passing the joy and sentiment that we grew up with to our next generation?  

 

 

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Rice Kheer is a classic and traditional Indian dessert/ pudding, made during festivals and special occasions. Rice is cooked along with milk, sugar, cardamom and finally garnished with nuts and raisins. Simple to make yet divine in taste.

This is my contribution to JFI-Sweets hosted by Srivalli of Cooking for all Seasons.

 

   Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup cooked basmati rice
  • 3 cups milk (low fat)
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 tsp cardamom powder
  • Raisin, cashews
  • Saffron few strands
  • 1 tsp Orange rind for garnishing (optional)
  • (Note: make sure that the rind does not have the white part of the orange as that is bitter)
  • Oil/ghee

Method:

  • Boil the milk and water in a big heavy bottom pan, then add the sugar and continue to boil.
  • Add the cooked rice, saffron strands and mix thoroughly at intervals. Make sure that the rice does not get stuck to the bottom.
  • Add the condensed milk and then continue to stir on medium flame.
  • Please note that even though at the beginning the quantity of liquid seems to be more than the rice, stirring for a long time reduces the quantity and the rice soaks the liquid and plumps up to a creamy consistency. This takes about 35-40 minutes.
  • Add the cardamom powder when the mixture has thickened considerably but still warm.
  • Heat some ghee/oil in a small pan on medium flame and roast the raisins and cashews. Add this to the mixture.
  • This can be served warm or chilled. Garnish with orange rind before serving (optional).

 

 

Pumpkin Coconut Curry (Dudhi Ghashi)

 Last week, we had a visit to the local Pumpkin Patch. Dear Son’s school had a trip there and we had a fun time with the other kids and the parents. The weather was good and the kids had a great time playing, exploring, and running around while the adults had a good change from the usual grind. While returning back we got to carry some pumpkins back home.    

 I am a huge fan of pumpkins and could not wait to try out different things with that. I am not good at carving or baking so the next best thing was to cook something with it. I love the sweetish taste of pumpkin when cooked and when added to a spicy coconut curry makes a great combination in my opinion.

This curry called Dudhi Ghashi/ Pumpkin Curry is a Konkani speciality and a childhood favorite of mine. I used to relish this with rice after I got back from school/college. I remember that in the morning before leaving to school when my mother would tell me what she would be cooking for the day, just the name of this curry would brighten up and make my day. At the end of the day, I would look forward to going back home and indulging it. 

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This is my contribution to AFAM – October 2008 hosted by Madhuram of Eggless Cooking.

 

  •   Ingredients:
  • 1 1/2 cups of cubed pumpkin (kaddu in hindi)
  • Salt
  • Mustard seeds
  • Curry leaves
  • Turmeric a pinch 
  • handful chopped coriander leaves (garnishing) 
  • Oil

To make the coconut masala

  •  1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 Tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 Tbsp tamarind paste
  •  3-4 red chillies
  • Jaggery for taste

Method: 

  • Boil the pumpkin in sufficient amount of water separately either in the microwave or the stovetop. Make sure it is not overcooked, there should still be a crunch and bite to it.
  • Make the coconut masala, by grinding coconut along with red chillies, salt, tamarind, water and raw coriander seeds. The masala should be made into a very fine paste. Add more water if required.
  • In the meanwhile heat oil in a thick bottomed pan. Add the mustard seeds and curry leaves.
  • Add the coconut paste, turmeric and cook until the raw smell of coconut is gone. Check for taste and adjust the seasonings if required.
  • Add the boiled pumpkin and allow it to boil on medium flame.
  • Finally garnish with chopped coriander. Serve hot with rice or rotis. 

 

 

 

 

RedChillies and other Food Bloggers in a press article (Telegraph India)

Ever wonder why food blogging is getting so popular? Ever wonder why so many people prefer to visit the blogs for recipes rather than referring cookbooks, cookery shows or other websites? Are the food blogs predominantly written by women? What are the important things to keep in mind if you want to start your own food blog?

If you have spent sleepless nights pondering over these questions and did not know where to look, then look no further. For all your answers are here. You get insights from so many different bloggers and get to see of them too. And Oh! Did I mention that RedChillies has been featured in that Telegraph article ? Congratulations to the other bloggers featured there as well.

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If this link does not work, copy the link below:

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1081012/jsp/7days/story_9956303.jsp

 

As you can imagine I am totally excited about this article. I started blogging in May of 2007 as a hobby and now it has become my passion. I blog here at RedChillies mostly Indian vegetarian recipes. I think of it as a creative outlet, a platform for sharing traditional family recipes, my own tried and tested recipes, food ideas and culinary adventures with friends, family and other people. It is also a great way of passing on recipes to our next generation.


Food blogging not only involves showcasing beautiful recipes, displaying good food photographs but also showing depth and substance in writing. The exciting part for me is bringing all this together on one canvas thus unleashing my creativity. This food blog RedChillies is a manifestation of that creative expression. Thank you all very much for the continued support, warm comments, queries, recipe requests etc and hope to have  more years of food blogging to come.