Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Travel Times

Ideas are like Pizza dough; made to be tossed around. Anna Quindlen

The news is that Communicooking has a new look. Ak, being his usual kind self has revamped the design of the Blog to be more in sync with me- Simple and clean. How I like things to be.
And to add to it, I have decided to sync the blog with what I do. And hence, a new section of Inspiring Travel times will now frequent this webspace more often. A lot of things inspire me, sometimes it is food that i eat, food that i read about, Pinterest and very often, Food that I come across on my travels. Some of them are recreated through memory, while some are researched, and attempted.
Just like Pizza, here are some travel ideas that have tossed their way into my life- and maybe will find their way into yours too. Enjoy.



Tuesday, October 9, 2012


On a recent trip to the hills, on the way back we stopped by at one of Ak’s favourite stores- Himjoli.
No matter how often the trips are, this visit is like a visit to the Temple, that we cannot avoid. Ak loves the jams, I – the herbs. My first tasting was of their scrubs, and cosmetics, when I had initially met Ak, and now, we restrict our share to the foodie yield. Quite often, our pantry is stocked with enough of an assortment of products, despite us constantly sharing the stuff with both sides of the family. Almost, well, actually Everyone has loved the products- from the flavourings, to the jams etc. I must say, their stuff is quite good. My personal Favorite is the Himalayan Herb Salt- adds some wonderful flavors to anything and everything! The only one thing that one must be vary of, which was a tip shared with us recently, was  the date of expiry- some of the products at the store- could be expired or due to expire soon.

So, back to the last trip, Ak insisted we pick up some ‘Wild Red Rice’. Personally, I really like Brown Rice, or Wild rice, or rice in any form- But I know that a lot of people don’t appreciate the healthier forms of rice. I was quite surprised on his keenness to try it out, and hence, jumped at the opportunity to pick up a packet.

And am I glad that I did! I am a complete rice person- plain, basmati, sticky, jasmine- I could have rice every day. But with this new discovery to into the healthy rice world, I am quite pleased with the results, of a great, HEALTHY meal. So much so, that even though I had made this for the first time quite a while back, and have just managed to write down the post, I was recently asked to make it again on a sick day, as comfort food. That- I think, is a big deal, and a significant compliment to the dish.

To be honest, I didn’t test out the recipe that was written on the back of the packet. By simply adding a few vegetables, and some basic kitchen ingredients, and slow cooking it like a risotto, and a salad as an accompaniment, I think I may have a new visitor to our list of regular meals.
For all the Health Freaks- I totally recommend it.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Warm Chutneyed Baby Potatoes

My idea of heaven is a great big baked potato and someone to share it with. 
Oprah Winfrey 

I don’t like potatoes.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a complete potato chips/crisps/fries/hash browns/baked potatoes etc. addict, but I don’t like the way potatoes are used in traditional Indian Cooking, just as a side dish. For me, it disrespects the vegetable that the potato is accompanying, and of course, the potato itself. The flavors of both the vegetables end up getting compromised, and it all just doesn’t come together in my head.
It’s almost like the plight of a 25-30 year old ‘single’ girl, who without a man in company, is, kind of considered, incomplete. The thing that is missed however is that, it really is ok to be single.
And yes, that should be the life of Dear potato. We must appreciate it, and love it in its singular form!

Ak loves baby potatoes, and I kind of like them too. I usually like to use them in the form of a salad (one of the recipes can be found here), but on a day when I was making regular Indian food, with dal and rice, I thought of making something, a bit more Indian. Using some remnants of Green chutney in the fridge, I was hoping to add some zing and of course, use up the green chutney. This warm, chutneyed baby potato dish can be tried with regular potatoes too, but I think, the thin potato peel of the baby potatoes, adds a third dimension to the dish. Both my Mom, and mom-in law make something similar, with full potatoes, and this recipe I guess, is adapted from a bit of both, and is an adaptation of the traditional jeera aloo. Can be served as an easy accompaniment to Indian food, both as a main course, or as a snack as well. Enjoy!

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