Thursday, December 9, 2010

Got vegan drink?

For years, I have been trying to get rid of my habit of black tea with sugar + milk. I live in place where everyone walks around with one nose and one Starbucks cup (Seattle). I can blame my habit on rainy and cloudy days in Seattle but ultimately, I wanted to remove sugar and milk with tea.

Other than trying various types of tea with water only, now I am this spicy drink which takes a little bit preparation but allows me a lot of variation.
Also, you can create this in bulk and it has shelf life of a week

Here is recipe along with variations….


1 tsp Cumin seeds
1 tsp black mustard seeds
2 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp black pepper powder
1 pinch of Asafoetida powder
Few leaves of cilantro
1 tsp oil
3 Roma tomato (make puree in blender)
3 cup water

1 tsp tamarind paste (If you have tamarind block and sock and take out the juice, you would need about 1/3 cup as it will be diluted)

1.     Boil tomato puree with water.(Add tomato and water in pot and when it starts boiling, let it simmer for 15 minutes)
2.     Now in smaller pan, heat oil and add all spices (this will roast spices and bring out the flavor)
3.     Add tamarind past/water.
4.     This is ready to consume.

1.     You can skip all or some of the spices if you find the list overwhelming or you do not like some of the spices.
2.     You can replace tamarind with ½ tsp lemon or lime juice.
3.     You can chop and sauté tomato and then boil it. This will taste better.

Monday, December 6, 2010

I can bake...

After multiple failure, I kept going and going....
I tried yesterday this recipe yesterday. We loved the outcome. I did do some modification though....
I used 1/2 tsp soda instead of 1 tsp. And I used total 1 and 1/2 cup of flour (no almond pieces).

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Evening plan for 10.11.10

Dictate simple sentences such as ‘I love my new puppy’
Math – Money problem (you had $10 and bought hat for $5, how much left)
Hindi – Letter recognition for Swar and simple words like अंक, अंग, खाओ, आओ, गयी etc
Revise table for 2, 3, 4, 5, 6,

After taking bath plan was to go to temple as we are observing Navratri. Prasad was supposed to be our dinner.

However, when I went to school for pickup, Kids told me their afterschool activity at school(I totally forgot about it otherwise I would have gone to Gym).
Anyway, after we arrived home at 5, we finished
--school homework and bath
-- son worked on his friendship book
-- Simple sentences for daughter and simple words for Son (part of his homework)

We did go to temple but I had to leave early and without Prasad (don’t ask why). So we came home, kids did some reading and I worked on stir fry veggies with tofu along with yogurt plus boondi raita with lemon rice.

After kids brushed their teeth and went to bed, and I soaked red kidney bean for next day dinner, I went to bed…Happy, feeling blessed.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

forgotten food in my family

I was looking for one thing after another and arrived at Bong Mom's Cookbook
On her site, it says for Giveaway
Tell me in your comment "What is a forgotten food in your family that you would like to bring back"

Here is what I have to say about this….
I want to bring Kadi back to our table…

Kadi. Actually it is not forgotten food but ‘not liked food’. It is so hated food in my house that kids and hubby will not even taste it. For some reason, they just do not like it. I fail to understand it why?
Why I want to bring it back? Simply because it is one dish you can make in 10 minutes or in 4 hours, depending on time availability.
It’s quick version is extremely healthy, see for yourself
1 spoon oil,
2 spoon besan
1 cup yogurt (if it is less sour, you can increase the qty)
Turmeric and hing (Asafoetida)
Water (2 cup)
Few fenugreek seeds for tampering.

Mix besan, and yogurt. Heat oil in pan once it is hot; add fenugreek seeds and Hing and turmeric. Few seconds later, add water. Once you see it boiling, add yogurt mix along with salt. Let it boil for at least 10 minutes (more if you have time).
Variation: you can add sautéed veggies, pakodas, onion to this gravy…Possibilities are endless (off course, it needs preparation for whatever you want to add)
You can even add many flavoring as well like kasoori Methi, spinach, curry patta, ginger
You can add Boondi

So far I have not been successful in incorporating this to our regular food.
Here is recipe from Tarla Dalal

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Packing Lunch

In my house, I make food everyday so packing lunch is not issue. However, we have two issues, Most Indian food tastes best when it is either hot or warm, never cold…so in school, kids do not like Indian food (not to mention that it smells and looks different).
Second issue is that we are vegetarian, so we really do not have better option than cheese pizza. I hate that pizza but kids beg me that I let them buy their own lunch.
My money sense also looks at $ amount that I end up spending for that pizza which school would have to pay me, if they want me to eat it.
On hunt for ideas on dealing with thsi issue

Friday, September 10, 2010

sleep deprive...

I am trying new schedule which is to be in office before 7 and leave at 2 for kids pick up for last two weeks.
My kids are used to aftercare so they will miss the snack 

The struggle is getting in bed early. I am so used to be up till 12, getting in bed by 9 seems unnatural to me. After two week of this schedule, lack of sleep and fatigue made me go to bed yesterday at 9 and then I woke up at 6.
I have not had so much sleep since…I do not know..I am so used to being sleep deprive that 9 hours sleep is making me wanting to go back to bed again…
My next post will be on lunch box for my kids. I just read Carrie’s blog and was impressed by comment from Scout's Honor. Imagine kids packing their own lunch….
I guess I need to train myself first on How-To-Train-Your-Kids-to-Pack-their-Own-Lunch first.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Writing at school

So in our school, kids are not supposed to have notebook (blinded or spiral) till third grade. I think at least first graders are ready to use a notebook so that they can go back and check their work. I hate loose sheets that they use at school, which goes to recycle mostly. Do you go back to your notebook or loose sheets to see what you did last month?

Worst, I got the response from teacher saying that “No thanks you for notebook suggestion, loose sheets are better for younger kids”. Come on, these are order kids! They can handle a notebook.
Looking for ideas on dealing with teachers, specially the experienced teachers because their resposn is mostly, “I know better as I have been doing this for Xx years.”
Grumble in frustration…

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


I do agree that it would be wonderful if school did use 6 hours of school time to do actually do academic work. This will ensure that no homework is needed. This also means more time for kids to be kids (family time, other activities etc).
   However, as school days are mostly filled non academic stuff, Kids have no time for academic work. Also, I realize that many academic lessons are easier to teach at home than at school. I do not like role of teacher AND parent for same kids, however, I see no other options to improve kids academic skills.

I am not so worried about American-kids-falling-behind-rest-of-the-world but
I do believe that mere love of learning, intelligence and can-do-attitude is enough for good and successful life.  One does need discipline, basic training to do something which he/she may not love to abut do it anyway.
I see Disney movies always happy ending where kids/hero challenging the norm and conventional wisdom only to become very successful. However, I have NOT seen such thing in real life.

So unless we fix school where kids can work on academic skills, I see no other option but to live with homework (or Kumon or Brain Child or other such worksheets)

Also, I see PTA arranging events such as “Math Bunny” or “Eager Reader” where kids are encouraged to study at home for some rewards. This is not essentially homework but it does eat family time. So in this case, it is not mandatory homework but it is kind of homework that more teachers and parents encourage kids to do.
I do feel little discouraged by size of this issue. Look forward to hear opinion from other parents.