Sunday, January 14, 2018

Instapot Pepper Pongal

Over the holiday break we had our friends visiting from India. We had a lovely time spending Christmas and New Year's together, celebrating with our multicultural family's traditions. The day before they left, NJ was hit with the 'bomb cyclone'  and at least 12" of snow. This gave us a relaxing snow day to learn and trade recipes! This Pepper Pongal is her recipe adapted for an Instapot, and just in time for Makar Sankrati!

Makar Sankranti marks the start of longer days. It is also known by various names such as Lohri, and Pongal.  In Telangana, people wear new clothes, pray to God, fly kites, and make offerings of traditional food to loved ones who've past on. Kishore often talks about his childhood memories of flying kites from the apartment rooftop, competing with others to capture each others kites. For this festival traditional foods are prepared like: Murukulu, Vadas, Sweet and Savory Pongals and other sweets and snacks.

This hearty gingery bean and rice dish is perfect for a cold winter day's lunch. Tasty, and filling with just the right amount of crisp warming spice from the ginger and black pepper to keep a cold at bay.

Here's my recipe for Instapot Pepper Pongal:

Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Winter Melon Soup with Meatballs


The start of the New Year has been a cold one. The 'bomb cyclone' delivered about a foot of snow and arrived on strong blistering cold winds. This cold weather can mean only one thing in our house...soup's for dinner, and lunch if it's a weekend! It seemed fitting given the crazy cold weather we've been dealing with to warm ourselves up with a soup who's key ingredient is named after the season, Winter Melon.

Courtesy of Specialtyproduce.com
Winter Melon, also known as ash gourd, wax gourd, pethakaddu, boodida gummadikaaya, and kumbalanga; is a gourd that is native to Southeast Asia. Used in both sweet and savory dishes, you can find the vegetable in local Asian markets. The immature melon has thick white flesh that is sweet but once mature, the fruit develops a waxy coating giving it a long shelf life. The mature fruit's taste is neutral which is perfect for picking up a variety of flavorings. It is also full of vitamin C, almost twice as much as Chayote.

This hearty and quick soup is the perfect comfort food after a long cold day. The vegetable soup can stand on its own if you don't have the time or inclination to make the meatballs. There have been days that I'redone without the meatballs, and the soup was still delicious and satisfying.

Here is my recipe for Winter Melon Soup with Meatballs:

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Happy New Year! 2018 - A return to blogging!




Hi Everyone, Happy New Year 2018!

I’m back! Did you miss me? You may have noticed my posts had disappeared for awhile... a long while, but I promise there is a good reason!

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