Semiya Payasam | Shevyachi Kheer

Semiya Payasam

The other day, as I puttered around the web, I ran into an old friend — the Amul girl. If you’ve ever lived in India, you don’t need an introduction to the Amul girl. You know the bright orange face that’s at once shy and pert. The blue pigtail gushing out of a huge, perfectly round… 

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Sprouted Mung Salad (Moong Usal)

Moong bean Usal

I have for you today a very simple, very nutritious and very delicious sprouted mung bean salad that, in my part of India, goes by the name of Moong Usal. There’s something about sprouting beans that brings out the poet in me. Watching those tiny little white squiggles shoot out of the legume and grow,… 

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Peanut Curry, Spiced Brown Rice, and Cabbage Subzi

…Or Shengdanyachi Aamti, Phodanicha Bhaat ani Kobichi Bhaaji. This is the kind of meal we cook and eat in our home most days. It’s traditional Indian food at its wholesomest. The kind you won’t find at an Indian restaurant, but is better than anything you could eat out. To make this protein-packed meal I dug… 

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Saffron Shankarpali

Saffron Shankarpali

Anticipating festivals can sometimes be more fun than the festivals themselves. The evidence is all around us. Take the holiday season when just about everyone you meet appears to wear a halo of enchantment and goodwill. Charity spikes, and so does courtesy. The day before Thanksgiving, for instance, you just can’t do anything to annoy… 

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Poori Bhaji

Puri Bhaji

Poori Bhaji(puri bhaji) is about as delicious as Indian food gets: and by that I mean pick-your-fingernails-with-your-teeth-to-devour-every-last-crumb delicious. This is pure comfort food: the kind that gets made at every festive occasion in an Indian kitchen, no matter where in the world that kitchen is. The kind that kids carry to picnic lunches, the oil… 

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Chavde (Mande) for Ganesh Chaturthi

I have a real weakness for crispy sweets. And at the top of my list is an exquisite, lacy, sesame-seed-and-cardamom-sprinkled delicacy that’s perhaps not very well-known outside Maharashtrian and Konkani homes: Chavde, or Mande. In my childhood home, sweet-making was a joint endeavor between my parents and I can still see them as they made… 

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Puran Poli for Chalks and Chopsticks

Puran Poli

  The Ghost of the Banyan Tree The story was that the Ghost lived in the 100-year-old banyan tree that stood just behind Building No. 13 in J. P. Nagar. At night he or she (for no one had actually seen the Ghost) would come out and hang around the domed water tank that sat… 

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Mints’ Khandeshi-Style Methichi Bhaji

Are sansaar sansaar, jasa tavha chulhyavarAadhi hatala chatake, tevha milate bhaakar  (Rough translation: Life is like a hot griddle on a stove/You will burn your fingers before you learn how to make bread) I love poetry spun from life’s gritty fabric because not only is it starkly beautiful, but it can be transcendentally wise and… 

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Golden Plantains (Kelyache Kaap)

Plantain slices

Here’s a dish straight out of my mom’s kitchen. On hurried nights, she would sometimes put it together using either plantains or potatoes, capitalizing on the natural, starchy deliciousness of these vegetables to make a perfectly sumptuous side-dish in very little time. Kelyache Kaap are not too unlike that delicious Mexican dish, fried plantains, except that we add some typically Indian spices… 

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Kande Pohe

Kande Pohe

Miles and miles of beautiful beaches. Seas, rivers, lakes. Crooked mountain roads that make you feel you are on a roller coaster instead of in a car. Breathlessly grand mansions. The birthplace of a man whose message of peace and nonviolence resonates to this day, more than 40 years since he was assassinated, and the… 

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