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Posts tagged "thanksgiving"

That’s me cutting my 6th year birthday cake baked by my Mom(she’s in the right corner of the pic making sure I don’t hurt myself), wearing a dress she stitched for me. I still have the chair I’m sitting on though I don’t fit on it anymore :) This year I celebrated my 28th birthday away from her and I missed her terribly. This was also my 1st Bday with (r)oomie so its got that bittersweet feel to it. :)

It’s also been a while since I got back to blogging - can’t believe that the last I actually blogged about food was in August for (r)oomie’s bday!!! Life sometimes does that to  you – it flies by so fast leaving you to wonder why you didn’t catch up with it. Google+ seems to have caught on, facebook is making tons of changes, the Govt is trying to control the internet and I’ve finally gotten some time to get back to baking. And because of the long break, this post is going to be super uber long. You have been warned!

We’ve made a few changes to our eating habits. We gave up rice – 100%(Well, it’s been 3 weeks now). We almost gave up all other grains too except for the odd parle-g/marie biscuit we treat ourselves to once a day. So well, what do we eat instead? – Samo seeds/Moraiyo/Vari Tandool/varyache tandul/ bhagar . It is quick to cook and the quantity required is very less compared to the regular rice/chapatti.

We have noticed that the craving for rice/chapatti and other grains have reduced drastically since we started on Samo. I’m not sure how long we will continue with it but as long as it doesn’t do us any harm, why not? I do get a craving for Pasta once in a while though and at such times I go with the flow - I don’t like to deny myself of anything :) An added plus is that it is Glutenfree!

On and I finally found one source that describes Samo a little more in detail here and some more here

An excerpt:

One such food is known here in Marathi as Vari Tandul, Bhagar or Kodri. It is the seed of a grass  ( Echinochloa Colonum) which frequently grows amongst the rice paddy as it requires damp, or even waterlogged, soil. Instead of removing it with weedkiller, farmers harvest it. When cooked, it makes a tasty and filling meal. Tandul means rice and though Vari is not a grain it provides the nourishment and energy that rice does. In the west it is called ‘Samo’ or ‘jungle rice’.

I’ve come across recipes like Khichdi, Upma, Pulav, Kheer, Kadhi, Dhokla, Dosa, Soups with Samo… The easiest way to make it is to wash it and cook it with excess water(1:4 samo:water) in the microwave for about 10-12 minutes. You can add salt and ghee for taste.

On that note I’ve been making ghee at home for sometime now. Apart from cooking I also use it to light the lamp everyday. I’d love to share the recipe with you but I honestly feel this post by Lakshmi from Purevege does it perfect justice!

A few weeks ago our friends dropped by for dinner and shared with us this unique treat called Turkish delights or Locoums/Lokums. I loved almost all the flavours they had to offer. These are perfect gifts to take home to anyone with a sweet tooth– I have them on my list. They were also suspiciously close to Kerala style Halwa - texture wise.

We also got to contribute to a wine and cheese party for the 1st time ever! I’m the wine “connoisseur”(not) of the family so I reached out to Sala and got a ton of help from her via twitter and finally got our act together. Everyone loved the cheese – can’t say the same about the wine. Since it was a day time event people preferred the white wine to the red which made me sad for some reason. After this party I totally got into the wine and cheese mood and got a pinterest board fully dedicated to it.

I also finally figured out a way to bake eggless cookies so I could share them with (r)oomie!(when we go off of being grainfree) Yay! Will put up the recipe soon. Meanwhile all my friends are having babies and so I decided to bake cookies for one of them. I’m super proud of these cookies because I managed to find a balance with the ingredients and an amazingly mess free way to do the icing. Once again thank you Pinterest! I have so much more to learn about icing though. You’ll notice the boo-boos in a bit. I also dedicated 2 cookies to Dude who celebrated his birthday on Oct 25th!

I just cannot bring myself to eat/break these! :)

It’s holiday season!!! I had to redo the red icing because of a taste issue.


I love how soft and white these cookies have come out though I used brown sugar.

Spot the frocks I tried to freehand for the new mommy. :)

Oh and we had a really cozy Thanksgiving this year.

And a really awesome guiltfree/caloriefree cake on my birthday!

Seitan Vegetarian rolls:

I wanted to write a post on how to make Seitan or Wheat Gluten as it is otherwise known. But trust me the pictures would have been a huge turn off. So i decided to make the seitan and then make a wrap filling out of it. A lot of discussions are doing the rounds for a vegan/vegetarian Thanksgiving. I wanted to try a tofukry but the feedback I read about it made me change my mind.

Some weeks back we went for lunch to Govindas an ISCKON food place which serves all vegetarian food. There we had a gluten beans curry which turned out to be (R)oomie’s favourite. I kinda confused it with soy chunks. Last night after 2 sleepless nights I decided to read up on how gluten was made and why some people preferred a gluten free diet. I was surprised by the ingredients and I’m sure those who don’t know about it will be too… This is where I got the initial idea…

Wheat flour   -   5 cups

Water   -   just enough to make a tight dough.

Loads of water

That’s it!!! I made a soft dough with the durum wheat flour and water. The texture should be such that when you press into the dough it bounces back(sufficient elasticity). This took me about 15 minutes of rigorous kneading. I used a huge glass bowl for kneading so that i could fill it up with enough water to submerge the dough for the night. This is called resting. Basically once you knead the dough you fill up the vessel with cold water and make sure the dough is completely submerged and leave it this way overnight(around 6-7 hours).

Once rested the dough is ready to be worked on. You will see that the dough has loosened up quite a bit so knead it well and you will see the starch coming out of the dough in the form of a white/milky paste. Get rid of the excess water. Add new water and continue the process. Another way to do this is to use a colander and knead under cold running water. Initially during the kneading process the dough will start to fall apart so don’t worry just continue the process till the rinsed water is clean. Do this till all you are left is a springy, stretchy mass of gluten. It took me about 30 minutes but that was because i wasn’t making much - just enough for the ‘seitan rolls’…

What I then did was pull and separate the mass into 2” size pieces. I heated some oil in a pan and fried the gluten/seitan till it was done all over. I poured some soy sauce over it and let it absorb the flavor. You can do it the other way too. Marinate the pieces in soy sauce and then fry. This is a good snack to have jlt. Just to complicate things further I decided to go ahead and make a curry out of it and then I saw the spring rolls skin and finally decided to make ‘prawn wraps’ to scare(read surprise) my (R)oomie.

For the gravy/filling:

Onion - 1 Cup finely chopped(Optional)

Zucchini - 2 Cups - sliced any way you want

Salt and Pepper to taste


White vinegar - 2 Tspn

Soy sauce - 2 Tspn

Tomato Ketchup - 2 Tspn

Brown Sugar - 1 Tspn

Mix the sauce ingredients and keep aside.

Heat some oil in a wok and add onion(optional) and zucchini and toss around for a bit. Add some salt and pepper.Saute for a bit till the zucchini is done. Now add the sauce and let it simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the fried and soy soaked gluten or the marinated and fried gluten to the mixture and let cook for about 7-8 minutes on medium high. Add a cup of vegetable broth or water if you like to have it as gravy. Take off heat and keep aside to cool.

Pass the spring rolls skin in water for about 5-10 seconds and spread out on an even surface. Put a bit of the ‘prawn’ gravy and roll up and make sure it doesn’t spill. Or just have the gravy with rice.

The chewy texture had a feel of chicken/prawn and it looked like baby prawn to me.

But just to clarify, this is VEGAN - 100% made from scratch, at home, by moi!

Psstt… The curry disappeared within a matter of minutes after (R)oomie plated it…

P.S: Avoid the onion and this becomes a Hare Krishna devotee dish. Otherwise this is a Vegan friendly dish.

P.P.S: Gluten can be made from multiple flours. So do try to experiment if you have the time and patience…

For the ones who cannot have gluten here’s areally nice link to gluten free food.