Month: February 2010

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St P’s Welsh Dragons say Happy St David’s Day and Happy Holi!

Today’s post is dedicated to the spring festival Holi and the patron saint of Wales, St David. Today is the first day of the Indian festival of colours, Holi (which can last up to sixteen days! Now that’s my kind of festival). Tomorrow is St David’s Day (I bet Wales will be buzzing!) One way in which Holi is celebrated is through the burning of Holika, the sister of the king of demons Hiranyakshapu and aunt of Prahlada. Hiranyakshapu prayed for thousands of days and nights to Lord Brahma (the creator) in order to be granted a boon. He asked to be worshipped as God himself; to be protected from dying ‘during day or night; inside the home or outside, not on earth or on sky; neither by a man nor an animal; neither by asthra (a weapon) nor by shastra (sacred means)’.The story states that Hiranyakshapu’s young son Prahlada, a devotee of Lord Vishnu (the preserver) was ordered by his father to sit on a pyre, on the lap of his aunt Holika (who was to be …

Pow! Pow! Pau Bhaji

Today’s post was going to be something sweet, something deviously sweet. But after the Valentines post I thought it would be really wrong to post another dessert recipe. Sinfully wrong. So you get pau bhaji. Sorry. Okay I’m not sorry, I love pau bhaji; it’s a classic and a favourite at special occasions. Like raghda patties, pau bhaji is a popular street dish from Maharashtra (those Maharashtrians really know how to rock snack food, huh?) Pau bhaji literally means bread curry. Before you start gagging, it’s not a curry made out of bread; it’s pretty much a spiced vegetable stew served with bread rolls. Hearty fare indeed. I once read somewhere that the longer you cook your bhaji, the better it tastes. I bet that’s true. But sadly I don’t have all the time in the world to stand at the cooker, stirring my bhaji. I adore pau bhaji with plenty of butter, but my thighs seem to disagree. I add only a little butter during cooking (and a little to serve) in order to …

Say Happy Valentines Day with Devils, Angels and Plenty of Calories!

So come on tell me, how many Valentines cards are you expecting this year? One? Two? Two dozen? Strolling through a busy high street with a numbing wind pinching my fingertips, I ramble past a quaint little chocolate shop. I am absorbed. I shuffle into the shop wide-eyed in merriment at the prospect of sampling the array of delightful delicacies. Shelves are chock-full of heart shaped chocolates packaged in heart shaped boxes that are tinted with deep shades of crimson and baby pink. Each box is tightly wrapped with the finest silk and organza ribbons, as if they are concealing the precious pearls of an oyster found in a cavernous, dark sea. I long to reach out and pick up one of everything, go home and eat until I cannot move. Good job the costly price tags force me to march straight out of that wicked chocolate shop which had fallen from grace. I left those heart shaped chocolates in heart shaped boxes in the shop that reminds me so much of the chocolate shop …

Spinach and Mung Bean Soup

Secretly Decadent Spinach and Mung Bean Soup

A little twist on an old Gujarati classic   Iron-rich foods are essential for vegetarians who without it, may feel constantly lethargic, tired and run-down. I speak not from formal education in food nutrition, but from experience. We all need iron in our diets to keep us strong like Popeye (Popeye, if you’re reading this, I have an inkling that you will LOVE it!) Since having iron-deficiency problems, spinach has been my number one best friend. Although I’ve been eating mung bean soup since I was a child, I was never really a fan of it (perhaps because it was a staple in the house and I probably got bored with it). I eat mung beans now because I finally realised how good they are for my health. So here is an iron-packed soup that is both rich in vitamins and flavour, that even I, (a former arch enemy of the cute lil mung bean) enjoy to the max!   Growing up, I never had mung bean soup pureed; the beans were simply served whole in …