There are a few moments in life when you are truly & completely happy. My yearly visit to hometown in Udaipur, Rajasthan is one such occasion when I wish I could stop the time and live in those moments forever. Though many old building have given way to high rise apartments and there are very few familiar faces to greet, but every visit is worth preserving the childhood experiences and keeping
'Our house is clean enough to be healthy, and dirty enough to be happy'. Yes, we decided to repaint the house after putting the long due project to back burner for years. The house is in total mess, but this exercise is a good lesson not to collect things which we may never use in life. There are sackful of such useless articles peeping errr..sleeping in the cupboards and overhead lofts, and I am
Home is where the heart is....my heart belongs to Chennai, the place where I got married and have been living since 1996. I have wholeheartedly accepted the city and have accustomed to the traditions, climatic conditions and the food here.
But even after spending a good 17 years in Chennai I feel that a part of my heart still lives in Udaipur. The place where I grew up, studied and spent the mo
“One friend with whom you have a lot in common is better than three with whom you struggle to find things to talk about.” ~ Mindy Kaling. I have experienced the same during many of the regular family meets with hubby’s office-mates. When everyone else would be seriously involved in discussing Cinema, TV serials, fashion world, latest gadgets to who is the best dressed man/woman, the feeling of be
You can take a girl out of desserts, but you can’t take desserts out of a girl. Oh yes, I was born with a dessert spoon! According to my nanny my mom was feasting on hot Malpuas dipped in creamy Rabdi a few minutes before she went into labour pains, much to the chagrin of my stressed out doctor father.
Desserts were an important part of our everyday meal during growing up years in Udaipur, Raj
“So you are a housewife and you blog at your free time, lucky you” I am still trying to figure out what the young blogger wanted to convey when we met in a blogger meet recently. Am I lucky because I am a housewife, a blogger or because I have extra free time?
To me ‘Time’ is a luxury if you are bound with responsibilities and also have a passion to follow. I feel that only the achievers know t
I don't know to roll a perfect Sushi and I get cold feet when I bake Macaroon and probably will never be able appreciate a glass of wine alongside my dinner plate...but still, cooking to me is a way to unwind. I am in my most happiest of moods when in kitchen, cooking for family and friends.
Did I hear 'Old school'? I accept it with pleasure :)
I was added to this group by Charan Sarvanan a
World is celebrating International Women’s day today. Hmm...Is a single day enough to celebrate womanhood? May be, who cares…
Though a little late but am glad that I came out of the veil of a daughter, a wife and a mother to appreciate in broader perspective, the most precious gift of God – womanhood!
'It’s the simple things in life that are the most extraordinary.' Paulo Coelho. Life is harder when you complicate the simple things and my cooking follows suit to a greater extent. Most of the days I prefer dishes which need less time to cook, have fewer ingredients and still retain the freshness & nutrient quotient intact. These simple recipes are a perfect antidote for those busy days when
' If you truly love Nature, you will find beauty everywhere'. ~ Van Gogh. Early morning walk with my hubby is one activity I eagerly look forward to each day. Its a wonderful time I see some of the miracles of nature unfold as we walk along the narrow lanes and parks nearby.
The dim sky, the fresh morning air, quietness and the gentle pace of life is so enchanting. The thumping of joggers zip
'Life was much easier when Apple and Blackberry were just fruits'. Inventions in modern day technology has reached to its pinnacle whereas I am still sitting at the bottom, hoping to catch hold of the tech dragon by its tail some day. But by the time I apprehend a little about how these applications work something new crops up and the former become obsolete. Alas, till date an Apple and a Blueberr
Creativity has no boundaries and is best expressed when the mind is free and the world is your canvas to work upon. For the last couple of days South Indian cinema and politics is abuzz with a certain ban on the release of a Tamil movie. Though I don’t follow the happenings from the field of cinema or politics much, but this one caught my eyes. People in the shops, morning walkers, school children
Like all the best families, we too have our share of family disagreements. Daughter likes plain flat breads (chapattis) while son prefers stuffed breads and if hubby likes Lachha parathas, its a big no-no for me. But there is something at home we all are one with...our good old Tandoor or grill, and anything cooked or baked in it is liked by one and all.
Crispy Missi Rotis (chickpea flour flat
How true is the saying, “Something that is yours forever is never precious”. I was reading a post on Lonely planet stating ‘ Udaipur tops the list of World’s ‘best’ cities and was amused with the report!
And to think of it, I never realized the worth of living in Udaipur and spending some of the precious moments of my life there. The magnificent gardens, grand Havelis & palaces, hist
''The 3 C’s of life: choices, chances, and changes. You must make a choice to take a chance or your life will never change.' Unknown. Choices I did make and chances I did take in the year 2012. Some were good…some were bad. While the good ones are carried forward to 2013, the bad ones are buried then and there.
Life has been a roller coaster ride to me, just when I thought I have had enough of
“Travel wasn't fun if you didn't get to see or do what you wanted.” Though we have traveled extensively to many beaches of South India, there still are a few things left in my wish-list. Sit on a beach and gaze a ship leave the shore till it meets horizon, observe a day in the life of fishermen and wander in marshy Mangrove forest are a few of them. Our recent trip to a few places in South India l
'Life is full of surprises. Just say 'never' and you'll see.' I did say 'never' to this Samsung Notebook after posting my entry for a recipe contest by Del Monte. And today when I open the parcel marked with 'Winner - 1st Prize' I understand that it takes more than just magic to make any dream a reality. These are the moments when all those unseen tiny efforts you put in to keep your passion alive
Whoever said 'Life' is a beautiful journey for those who are willing to learn something new at every stage, was absolutely right. I never thought 'life' will unfold countless avenues for me to discover at the fag-end. And am thoroughly enjoying my self- learning sessions of content writing, web technology, social media interactions and photography nuances.
The couple of projects I did in recent
My knowledge about Middle Eastern cuisine is very limited, its either a creamy Hummus, spicy Kebabs, handy falafel sandwich or a luscious Baklava. I always think that there is not much scope for a vegetarian to venture into the same. But the past couple of years of food blogging changed my perspective of food and I now enjoy cooking & eating out of my comfort zone.
Sometime in July 2012 whe
'Sports do not build characters. They reveal it.' I would never have known this side of my son but for the sports day celebrations in their school. He along with other friends helped their teachers organize the props, dresses and other essential accessories for the shows on Sports day. Some of the students (including him) who stay near school premises took extra food, water and goodies daily to s
'A Brinjal by any other name is still a Birnjal'...was my one liner when mom used to cajole us eating eggplant or brinjal dishes in the name of Bharta, Brinjal Chokha, Raitas, stuffed Baingan and so on. But then most of the children I know have love-hate relationship with Brinjal...and I too had mine, so no regrets.
I feel the pinch when I watch Asian chefs tossing out exotic eggplant recipes o
Festivals to me are to celebrate the happiness that family & friends share together. A perfect time to celebrate just living! In India we have celebrations all round the year. Festival of lights (and sound) – Diwali being one of the major festivals of India everyone look forward to.
Though the festival is same, people all over India follow different rituals to celebrate it. In South India D
There comes a time when priorities win over passion and you stand confused and run-down staring at the golden opportunities pass by.
When the equation of life changes…
A senior person from a popular holiday resorts in India approached me to get involved in a photo shoot project some days back. A few phone calls and mails from them made it clear that it is going to be a large scale project. T
“If more of us valued food and cheer above hoarded gold, it would be a much merrier world.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien. 27th October 2012 Saturday, quite afternoon, beautiful place, passionate bloggers and a perfect set up for a cheerful evening filled with good food and fun. The grand event is organized by Indi Blogger at ITC Grand Chola in Chennai, India.
“Mom do you know about Chola dynasty?" My son
It was just another day in paradise...spent an evening on beach, had fun and listened to each drop of water tell a story of life! The pleasing sight of vendors selling colorful snacks, lovey-dovey pair lost in their world, elderly couple walking hand in hand and children from the most affluent to common families playing together on the beach...the more I see, the less I know about life.
A moment that lasted an eternity.....It was a weekday when I got a call from the talented & inspiring co-author of two wonderful cook books Mrs. Pratibha Jain. She invited me to be on the panel of judges along with some of the industry bigwigs and renowned chefs for a culinary event. The event is being conducted by a group of enthusiastic youngsters from Rajasthan in India, who are working to
'Passion surprises. One doesn't search it. It can happen to you tomorrow.’ ~Adjani. Today is that tomorrow for me. Sunday morning turned delightful with a mail, congratulating for winning a food photography contest on an online site of a National Daily 'The Hindu'! And then the happy feet dance begins with baking loads of cinnamon rolls to celebrate the same with family & friends.
I have lost count of the number of times I tried soaking sago for making this popular breakfast recipe and using the same for starching my sarees. Those were the days when I stayed away from mom for higher studies in Delhi and later for job prospects. Bored of my usual sandwich breakfasts I wanted to try my hands on some of the Indian breakfast recipes I used to love eating but would dare not make
There are things I love to do for my children even though it least interests me, going to movie is one such. I could never connect myself with the world of cinema except for listening to good songs. When hubby’s choice ruled there were more of detective English movies which later changed to animation and comic movies once the children started to influence us. But all I remember & cherish about
'So much chocolate. So little time'! Yes, that's what my children say whenever there is a chocolate dessert on their menu. Wish they said the same for studies also. I often take advantage of their chocolate love by sneaking in healthy foods which in its normal form are non acceptable. Oats, peanuts, almonds, dates, prunes and the list is endless. Most of the recipes on Lite Bite revolve around my
Baking is a real challenge if you wish to avoid two of the most important ingredients which give your cake that spongy and light texture, one is egg and the other is All purpose flour.
Though there is no specific reason for avoiding eggs in my bakes, I dislike using all purpose flour (maida) mainly due to health aspects. And this is what exactly happens with each bake of mine…will it rise...wil
It really amuses me how our taste buds evolve with time and quickly get accustomed to new foods. Bitter gourd, cluster beans, pumpkin which never made to my favorite list of veggies during childhood are now some of the most cooked vegetables at home.
Though I haven’t succeeded in making my children eat bitter gourd and a few other veggies as yet, they do like to bite on a pumpkin bread, Zucchi
“Mom, make your Rajasthani Pasta today” Said my son enthusiastically. History repeats, I murmured to myself handing over the bowl of dough to both of them. Yes, I am a happy mom to see my children enjoy rolling these Dhoklis as we did in our childhood. They love to make shapes and faces with the dough and later struggle hard to search for their creations in the final recipe.
This soupy comfort
The rustic iron Wok which was abandoned long back sits pretty in the backyard of my mom’s place after the entry of that swanky oven in her kitchen. This black heavy-bottom wrought iron wok has been a part of our childhood memories for long. The melt-in-mouth cookies, Naan Khatais, Baatis and sort of spongy cakes she baked in it makes this 'wok' an important part of our growing years.
"Desserts are made of sugar and love" No wonder most of us like to round off their meals with something sweet. In my house most of the times it is a seasonal fruits or even a hot cup of green tea. During weekdays it is either Indian dessert, baked cheesecakes or just a simple and easy fruity dessert like this Pomegranate Mousse' I made yesterday to end a cozy family dinner.
Mousse is normally
"Dicotyledonous, low in fat, loaded with nutrients, fibers and protein, nodules in their roots, red, speckled, white purple colored beans are some of the salient features of legume family" heard my son muttering from his study room. I think know my beans much better after reading & learning with my son.
Lentils are an integral part of any Indian kitchen. Be it a simple Daal recipe with gree
"Mom, today is the last day of practice session, make some good Pizzas, all my friends have been asking for long, and please don't add too many veggies...keep it simple and crisp" informed my son taking out his cycle from the garage. I knew it was going to be a long & hectic day. For I need to drop my daughter in school for the last drama practice session in morning, bring her again, dress her
'If there is no chocolate in heaven, I am not going' ~ Jane Seabrook Oh no I am not jumping in the bandwagon of chocoholics. I enjoy my celibacy with chocolates barring a few occasional indulgences now and then. And given a choice between different flavors it is vanilla for me.
"Anything tastes good if it has chocolate in it" says my little princess as a matter of fact. No doubt that this l
Two phone calls and a few mails changed the entire perspective of my dream. And it was probably the first time ever that I truly appreciated these lines “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
When I sit back and retrospect, I feel amazed by the pace at which life has moved forward since I planted the dream called Lite Bite. I really had no plans as to where my dream
The two things that still lingers long after our visit to the hills of North India are the unpolluted air and the juicy fresh apples & plums we ate on our way from the orchids. Blessed are those mountain people who are surrounded by the natural beauty and bounty. I was amazed by the abundance of fresh fruits in the valleys strewn all over the farms and roadsides, while back at home I often co
All good things in life are simple and I feel that it is our expectations and desire to get more from it makes it complex. The junk food addiction, chopping down trees endlessly to make paper marooning animals of their habitats, plastic menace....we are moving from simple ways of living to the more complex world. And to think of it, the idea of wrapping around leaves and eating apples straight fro
“Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.” ~ John Lennon.
I was content with what life offered to me for many years, overlooking the stagnancy it brought in my personal growth. Taking care of children, managing routine household chores kept me ticking, confined in the four walls of my sweet home. And then Lite Bite happened in 2009 and changed the entire perspective of
'All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn't hurt'. ~ Charles M. Schulz
You know your children are growing when you start getting gifts from them. I was pleasantly surprised this year when I received a beautiful card and a precious gift from my children. Oh..well, they did give a hint that both shared equal amount from their piggy bank for the same, you smart a... I know,
After years of endless cooking and constant blogging, hubby declared that I am serious about my work! And finally I get a new toy to play with and Lite Bite goes digital. Whats more is that this sophisticated gadget as a gift is combined with my 43rd birthday. He is one happy lot now-a-days, for he escaped buying a separate gift for me and is temporarily relieved from his nagging wife 8-O who henc
I knew very little about rice and Basmati rice was the only rice I ate and cooked till I got married, as rice is not a staple food to the place I was born. In many households of Rajasthan in India an occasional Pilaf, a Biryani or simple Daal Chawal (lentil-rice) at times would break the monotony of eating wheat based dishes the whole year.
It was much later in life that I came to know about bo
“Madam these are a special variety of sticky rice, quite popular in Thai cuisine and cost almost 4 times more than normal rice.” Replied the salesman hurriedly, after seeing a perplexed look on my face holding a small bag of Black rice. This rare and aromatic sweet rice is not a very common site in many Indian stores.
Black rice was once called as 'The forbidden rice' in ancient China and it wa
The vast open Saffron fields in Jammu is worth a visit for any traveler in India. I was amazed to see these tiny plants with no prominent shoots and leaves, but just large bright violet flowers with crimson colored stigma or saffron as the main plant body. Acres of farm land could yield just a few grams of Saffron. No doubt the hard work that goes in cultivating Saffron makes this spice rare &
Never knew that an unplanned and totally unorganized trip could become one of the most memorable vacations for us, acknowledging the golden words “A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.” ~ Lao Tzu. Just back from a rejuvenating five day trip to the unpolluted & off beat travel trails in the natural surroundings of Blue mountain range- Nilgiri. The breathless pris
“Gudia, I would like to eat our simple and traditional food” informed my paternal aunt during her first visit at my home. The very popular rustic treats from rural India Daal Baati and Lapsi (couscous dessert) are on her menu for most of the days. "But both the recipes are way too simple, your small Gudia of yesteryear knows to cook many varieties now, aunty" I tempted her with many food choices.
Whole wheat buns/Baatis and Litti Chokha - the two most rustic regional recipes from Indian invoke a mixed emotion in me. If the later brings back the memory of my carefree days the former reminds me of the insecurity I felt during my childhood. Unable to cope up with the work pressure and childcare my working parents arranged for a 60 something nanny to baby sit me. The most prominent features I