Tomato Mint Pilaf

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I have to give full credit to DH for this recipe of Tomato Mint Pilaf, as he took over the mantle of chopping, cooking, preparing and even cleaning. Now DH is a talented, but reluctant cook.  In a decade’s time that I have known him, it must have been a handful of times; he has done any full fledged cooking. But when he cooks he does it with passion and enthusiasm and that readily shows up in the final outcome. But then for the past few weeks (knock on the wood) DH is on a roll in churning out recipes with keen interest and passion. So I am making good use of the opportunity by remaining ‘invisible’ as much as possible.

This recipe came out on a need basis. It was one of those lazy Friday nights when we did not have interest to do any full fledged cooking nor did we have interest to order a Pizza. There was some left over rice, almost empty fridge except for some Tomatoes and Mint.  We discussed through some ideas and came up with this recipe; however we did not have any expectations for its taste. But then the rice was actually prepared we were in for a pleasant surprise. The rice jelled very well in combination with Tomatoes, Onion-Garlic, and the daals in the background. Addition of mint enhanced the flavor of tomatoes.

This is a good one to prepare if there is left over rice, just some basic vegetables and when there is no enough time on hand.

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Raspberry Lemon Tea

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As you might already noticed the first two pictures are quite different from the last one. I did take the earlier pictures when I had the energy and enthusiasm, but not so much with the last one though. Frankly it was not meant to be that way. Two weeks ago I had brought a big box of fresh and juicy raspberries with plans of using them in some baking experiments. But alas that was not meant to be, the baking escapade did not materialize. I fell sick for few days and did not have the energy to work, cook, bake or eat.

The raspberries just sat in the fridge waiting for their turn to be used up and that is when DH used them to make this wonderful tea.  Now DH and I have opposite choices when it comes to tea. I swear by hot tea made using cream and sugar the Indian way, where as he swears by ice tea and finds delight in trying out some ‘weird’ combinations chamomile, lemon grass, spearmint…you get the idea. This tea was an exception however and for a change I enjoyed the taste. I would like to think that it was the high fever, cough that did the trick, but I am willing to give this a good benefit of doubt.

This is a very easy tea idea and is more of a guideline than a recipe. Even though the tea does not look appetizing in this picture, trust me the flavor and the aroma is just heavenly. It had that warm, nourishing feeling that regular black tea would just not do it. Substitute raspberry with other fruits like strawberry, blackberry etc.

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Mirchi Ka Salan Recipe

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Time flies and how! This year’s Diwali is also over. But then hope you all had a wonderful and a blessed Deepavali. We had a crazy time both on the home front and the work front and so could not post any Diwali related sweets and savories. Compound to that both me and my son fell sick and so we had a very subdued festival this year. Ah! But that is life and now hopefully things are coming back to normal.

Coming back to this recipe of Mirchi Ka Salan, we had this quite recently at one of our friend’s place for dinner along with Ghee Rice and Raita. This was a new dish for us (OK not the name, but the taste), but we enjoyed the sweet-spicy-tangy gravy along with hot rice. We enjoyed it so much that we promptly took the recipe and could not wait to try it at home ourselves.

For those not familiar with this dish, Mirchi ka salan is a spicy-sweet-tangy curry made of roasted chili, peanut, sesame. This is a popular dish of Hyderabad and is traditionally this is accompanied with chicken or Vegetable Biryani. Even though the title says ‘Mirchi’ (Chilli), this is not spicy and the spice level can be altered based on taste.

We tried making this at home few weeks ago and I enlisted the help of DH for this as he has a penchant for cooking traditional, exotic stuff. As we proceeded we realized that it is not all that difficult to make. Couple of attempts and we should be well on way cooking like a pro. We enjoyed the combination of peanuts, coconut, and sesame gravy with Rotis and plain Rice.

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