Chillar -- Change .....A Metamorphose

Hi All

Hope you all are in  good health. Many changes have happened financially,personally and politically since my last blog. I don't know how this change has affected you all. In fact, it has really affected or not. But, my life has been on a roller coaster ride. It's like...been there, seen that. Many times thought of writing about some event or some happening that I have witnessed, but what really interests me need not engross somebody else. But, I really feel some things touch all of us simultaneously and we can relate to it at once.

What prompted me to write this post is ..... the current happenings in each of our lives, at least mine. Yesterday, we went shopping at Begumpet Lifestyle,  We both were super excited as we had plans for the whole day and its been a while since we both went out. So, the story is, we went, in the parking section a man came and directed my husband with parking. His style was so good I couldn't help noticing. And to top it all I even commented saying, "Siraj aaj tak kisi ne aap ko itni achi tarah direct nahi kiya", Siraj, till date no one had directed you in such an animated way. 

Anyways, we entered the shop, selected our products, at the cash counter my dearest hubby asks me,I don't have any "chillar", change, to give for the parking, do you? And I started repelling, because, whatever "chillar" I had, I removed from my clutch thinking, "husband ke saath hai, mujhe paison ki kya zaroorat?" I am with my husband, why will I need any money?.  And my mind reacted within fractions and I replied ask the cashier to swipe a rs.100/-, extra and give us cash. We had already done this at a medical shop, and that good man, understanding the situation did oblige. But, this cashier here bluntly refused saying "Chote shops mein dete saab aisa, bade dukaanon mein koi nahi deta", they may give in small shops sir, but no one will give in big shops.

I don't know how many of you have faced this situation, but for me, I was thinking of ways to pay that man there, who was standing in the scorching heat to earn a living. Then I suggested my better half, they might have paytm. Even he agreed and we got near our car and called out the guy. And told him, "bhayya cash nahi hai, aap ka paytm number hai to bolo," brother we do not have any cash, tell us your paytm number. And that man promptly said "KOI BAAT NAHI SAAB, AAP AGLI BAAR AATE NA JAB DEDO, BEES RUPYE KOI BADI RAQAM TO NAHI". IT'S OKAY SIR, RS. 20 IS NOT A HUGE AMOUNT, YOU CAN GIVE ME WHENEVER YOU VISIT NEXT TIME.

These words coming from a daily wager did surprise me. I have seen elite people travelling in big cars argue for Rs. 2/- , saying "kaiku chodna?, why should we leave?, and here, a man's reply left me gaping. This chillar has always taught me valuable lessons. Baba always insisted to carry some extra cash, some change, whenever we leave home, saying "kab kya zaroorat padti nahi maloom bete", when will need arise we cannot say. But to err is human. Long back when I was in my intermediate, we used to have exams on sundays, though I had a pass, but they used to give us student pass after march and these passes do not apply on sundays and holidays.One such sunday baba gave rs. 100/-, and I left home with those 100 bucks. During those days ticket from nalgonda * roads to dilsukhnagar was rs.2.50. Got in the bus and looked for the change to buy ticket.

And to my dismay had only rs.1.50, so handed over 100 bucks to the conducter. He said "chillar do", give change, I said "chillar nahi hai", I do not have any change. He told the driver to stop the bus, and asked me to get down. I was thrown out of the bus because I did not have re 1/-,but I had 100 bucks, the rest was a long walk on a hot sunday morning with overflowing tears. After that incident I never stepped out without any money but this demonitisation has really set us back. We are tried for our own money.

Recently read somewhere, "AUQAAT DIKHA DI EK CHOTE SE DARWAZE NE ... LIKHA THA ...ZARA CHUK KAR CHALIYE!!!".Just like that auqaat dikha di is chillar ne ki kitne hi cards kyun na hon, aur kitne hi  rs. 500, 2000 ke notes kyun naa hon jab tak chillar saath naa ho insaan bebas hai. Hope you will agree.

The hero of this post
A big salute to this man and many more kind hearts who go unnoticed. And let's try to be grateful to Almighty for such people who make the world a better place to live.
Do share this with him, if you happen to visit lifestyle begumpet.

Have a nice weekend. And take care.

Semiyan / Vermicelli breakfast

Dear Friends

Hope you all are doing well. And I also hope that you might have tried my recipes. Today I shall post one easy, quick and nutritious breakfast recipe which keeps you full at least for 5-6 hours. There are a lot of variations of this recipe. Some even add qeema / minced meat to make it even more tasty and nutritious. And there are also many variants of this semi. This semi / vermicelli is different from what we use for making sheer. It is a bit thick and broken into small pieces.

This recipe is so easy and quick that you can also prepare it when you have unexpected guests. Instead of going for bakery bought puffs/ samosas you can serve them home made tasty semi and receive appreciation.

So here we begin with the recipe.


Semiyan / Vermicelli - 1 glass
Onion - 1
Potato - 1
Tomato - 1
Ginger garlic paste - 1 teaspoon
Green chillies - 2-3
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Haldi / Turmeric powder  - 1/4 teaspoon
Coriander leaves - 1 bunch for garnishing
Salt - 2 teaspoon/according to taste
Cooking oil - 5 teaspoon

Method : 

Dice the  potato and tomato. 
And slice the onions. 
Cut the green chillies into small pieces or even we can make a slit.

Heat some oil and roast the vermicelli until it turns golden
And in a large pot pour the oil and start frying the onions, also add the cut / slit green chillies and potatoes as they need to be properly cooked.

Dear friends I usually make full use of the available resources, i.e. if any recipe requires roasting separately and preparing the masala separately I try to do it simultaneously. Just like for this recipe we have to roast the semi/ vermicelli with a little bit of oil until it turns golden. And then add it to the boiling water. It not only saves time but also makes it easier for you.

Adding potatoes along with onions make them soft and also the onions are not burnt. Else if we add them later the onions get burnt and also the potatoes remain raw. You can also add diced carrots and peas. But since my hubby doesn't like too many veggies early in the morning I avoid them.

Once the onions turn golden brown we can add ginger garlic paste, and fry for a minute. And then add diced tomatoes. If you do not have ginger garlic paste, need not worry, taste still remains the same. You can add 1/4 teaspoon of sugar to remove the sourness of tomato.

Also add the remaining spices, i.e. haldi/turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt and fry all the ingredients. Once the tomatoes are soft add water in 1:2 ratio, i.e. for 1 glass of semi 2 glasses of water.
And bring it to a boil. Once the water starts boiling add the roasted semiyan. and allow it to cook, if you feel the semi requires more water then add half glass of water or else when you leave it for dum it gets cooked. Do not add excess water as it completely dissolves the semi and you will have a paste of it.
Once the water is reduced leave it on dum for 4-5 minutes. Add coriander leaves for garnishing. Always add fresh herbs at the end as once you leave them on dum, the aroma is infused and when you open the vessel your whole house radiates with the aroma. after 4-5 minutes close the stove and let it rest for 2-3 minutes before you open the lid.

Your hot, easy nutritious breakfast is ready. Serve it hot with pickle or some chutney. you can also make the chutney which I posted in the previous blog to go along with it.  

Hope you will try this recipe. And do let me know if you have tried any of my recipes.

Chutney for South Indian Breakfast

Dear Friends

Starting from tomorrow its an extended weekend in India as 15 of August, the Independence Day falls on Monday. I hope you are ready to surprise your family with some mouth watering delicacies. Today I shall post a side dish which goes well with idli, dosa, vada, semi and upma..... A tasty chutney.
You can try it this weekend, as just like me even you would be in a dilemma as to what should be breakfast special for all these three days.

So here we begin.


Phule chane ki daal / First gram - 1/2 cup
Khopra / Coconut   - 1/2 cup
Phalli/ Groundnut - 1/2 cup
Garlic pods - 4-5
Green Chillies - 4-5
Coriander / kothimeer - 1 bunch
Salt - 1 teaspoon/according to taste

For tampering :

Zeera / Cumin Seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Rai / Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Chana daal / Bengal gram - 1/2 teaspoon
Maash ki daal / White lentils -1/2 teaspoon
Sookhi lal mirch/ Dried red chillies - 2-3
Curry leaves - 2-3 sticks
Oil - 2 teaspoon

Method :

Dry roast phule chane ki daal, khopra, phalli each at a time. Dry roasting removes the wet smell which comes from keeping them sealed in an air tight container. And it also helps in removing the outer layer of phalli easily.

I am using desicated coconut, you can use fresh coconut if available. And keep an eye it gets burnt easily.
No need of roasting for fresh coconut.

Remove the skin before grinding.

Once roasted put garlic pods, chillies, coriander along with them and grind.
We can also grind chillies, coriander
and garlic along with salt
 before adding the ingredients

Once the ingredients get a dry run
and they are grounded
we can add water and
grind once more.

The chutney is ready. We can have it plain or tamper it to enhance the look.

For tampering heat oil and first add chana daal and maash ki daal, followed by zeera, rai, sookhi lal mirch and at the end add curry leaves. And add this mixture to the chutney. Remember no heating the chutney after it is grounded or else it turns into lumps.

The chutney is ready to serve
Adding the tampered

It is a good combination with sambhar

Your tasty breakfast recipe of vada with sambhar and chutney comes to an end. Hope you will try it this weekend.

And please leave your comments if you have tried these recipes.

Here's hoping you will enjoy the weekend to the core.

In the upcoming post I shall write about the Fried rice and Chowmein.

Till then take care.

Sambhar Recipe

Dear Readers

Hope you all are doing good. As promised here is the sambhar recipe. This sambhar can be served with idli, vada, dosa, mysore bonda or even plain rice. If we make it in little more quantity we will be tension free till evening as it can also be served with plain rice accompanied with some fried items like bhindi/ lady finger, potato or even with papad and pickle.

The recipe which I follow takes a little extra effort and might be different from what you might have known till date. But, trust me my sambhar is appreciated alot, Alhumdulillah. And the extra effort pays off when you will also receive appreciation from your family and friends.

Here we begin.

Ingredients for Sambhar:
Tuwar daal (#1) - 1 cup
Onion - 1 (small / medium sized)
Tomatoes - 4-5 (depending on the size)
Imli/ Tamarind - a few leaves
Haldi / Turmeric Powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Red Chilli Powder - 2 teaspoon
Salt  - According to taste
Sugar - 1/2 teaspoon
Sambhar Masala Powder - 2 teaspoon
Curry leaves - 3-4 sticks
Coriander - 1 bunch

Method : 
Soak daal and tamarind as we require the pulp.Soaking daal before hand makes it easy cook as it takes less time and whistles to cook. And remember the water used for soaking can also be used for cooking. Hence soak it in cooking or fresh water.
Wash and soak daal,  we can even soak
it overnight as it takes less time to cook

 Once the daal is soaked put it in pressure cooker with some water and cook it for 3-4 whistles.

After 3-4 whistles the daal
is not completely cooked.

At this stage we add onions and tomatoes along with turmeric and chilli powder and some salt and allow 3-4 whistles more by adding some more water.
Now you can see the daal,
 onions and tomatoes are.
all cooked.
With the help of a daal ghotni/ butter churner finely grind all the ingredients. Once grounded we can add vegetables like brinjal, carrots, cucumber. Since my husband likes it plain, I do not add any veggies but if you desire you can add them and since these veggies do not require much time to cook, you can simply  boil them with tamarind pulp also.
Once done with adding the veggies now we need to add the tamarind pulp and also the sambhar powder and 1/4 spoon of castor sugar and curry leaves and bring it to a boil.

While boiling all the aromas of curry leaves, sambhar powder fill in your house. We add castor sugar to avoid the sourness of tamarind pulp. You can notice the change of color once it begins to boil.

After boiling you can simply have it plain or   
can tamper it with some zeera (cumin), rai (mustard) and sookhi lal mirch

 Now your sambhar is ready to serve. Garnish it with fresh coriander leaves and it smells even better.

In some parts of India people enjoy it drinking as a soup. And trust me it really tastes better and even children can be fed without any fear or hesitation. After all its a flavored lentils soup.
Hope you will enjoy the sambhar as much as I do.

Until my next post do try this and post me your valuable comments.

Maash / Urad Vada

Day before yesterday was reading a blog on biggest question lingering in every woman's mind and yesterday my cousin called up to ask me "What should I Cook?" 

I cannot give a solution to this universal problem but at least can help in designing a day's menu.

Weekends are supposed to be special with outings eating out and late nights. What if we start our weekend with home cook food and make way for lavish dinners? I don't know how many of you plan not just your activities but also your menu before hand for the weekends. But I do. Because that is the only part of the week when my husband eats his breakfast without saying " Agar mein yeh kha liya to lunch nahi kar karunga".
We Indians are lucky to have a variety of cuisines within our own country to choose from. On saturdays I personally prefer south Indian delicacies which pave a way for heavy sunday lunch or dinner. 

Today I shall give you a nice saturday brunch recipe of Vada with samabhar and chutney. Brunch because the left over sambhar can be easily eaten with rice and any of the fried items like potato fry or fried bhindi/lady finger or simply with boiled and fried eggs or papad combined with pickle and curds. So here we begin.

Ingredients for Vada: 

  1.  Maash ki daalUrad daal - 1 glass
  2.  Rice         - 1/2 cup
  3.  Green Chillies - 7
  4.  Kothimeer/ Coriander - 1 bunch
  5.  Salt  - 1 teaspoon/according to taste
  6.  Khane ka soda / baking soda/ sode ka namak - 1/4 teaspoon
  7. Oil for frying

Method : Wash and soak daal and rice together overnight or for 6-8 hours. Some may say 4-5 hours of soaking is enough, but daal doesn't get grounded well so does the rice. We are adding rice for crispness. The next morning drain the water and in a mixer put all the ingredients together except baking soda and grind. Do not add water as it will make the batter runny and it cannot be used for frying and it will also absorb a lot of oil. But if you feel the daal is not getting grounded well then you can add little bit of water.

Do not add the whole daal at once.
It will stop the mixer.
Add daal in batches.
Add salt while grinding for proper mixing.
Once the daal is properly grounded, remove it in a mixing bowl add baking soda and let the batter rest for nearly an hour. This is for the aeration, after an hour mix the batter once more, this makes the vadas more fluffy and crisp. This resting period can also be utilised for making chutney/ sambhar.
Now heat oil in a kadhai/wok for frying vadas. Frying the vadas should be the last stage of cooking before serving, as they are piping hot and very crisp.

Turn the vadas upside down to avoid burning. Once they are slightly brown remove them in a plate

Serve hot vadas with sambhar and chutney.

Sambhar recipe in the next post. 
And please let me know if you have tried the recipe. It motivates for doing more.

Rejuvenating Drinks - Part 2

In the previous post I could only write about the basil seeds soaked water. In this post I will give you an insight into how it can be used for making different types of cool drinks in the confinement of your home and for all the members of the family suiting their needs and requirements just by one teaspoon of seeds. You can also soak them in bigger pots and add if you are expecting guests.

So here we begin with the first one.
Squeeze half a lemon and add salt/ sugar / honey and drink it as your first drink in the morning.

Add our favorite roohafza with a dash of lime and some sugar and here you have a nice drink.

Or add few spoons of tang to make a different glass.

Or simply add Glucon-D to make it more appetising for your child.

 Or make a plain barley water more interesting
You can also prepare a glass of buttermilk/ lassi using these seeds.

So you have a variety for all the members of your family 
and also when your guests arrive you have something for everybody that not just looks good but also tastes good.

All the drinks placed together and left for your family to choose from.

So go on and try and impress everyone. We can also carry the bottle to our work place . These seeds remain fresh for 24 -36 hours after soaking.

Do let me know if you happen to try this out.

Rejuvenating Drinks

Dear Readers

All this while I was waiting for some people to spare some time for me and share their success stories, but as you all know everyone's got busy and hardly has any patience to go through rigorous question and answer routine. Hence couldn't post anything for so long. Anyways let us see if someone comes forward. But meanwhile there is a twist.

Recently all my cousins and few friends have started requesting me to share my cooking videos. Since it is not possible for me to shoot videos alone ( as my hubby is busy with his office and I cook either before he gets up or while he is gone). I decided that I will take step by step pictures of my dishes. I know there are a lot of sites and blogs on cooking, but mine will be different. My dishes would be simple and will consist of everyday menu which can be prepared by using simple ingredients which can be found in each and every Indian house.

In this regard I am starting with a simple rejuvenating drinks which can be prepared at home. Though I make these drinks mostly during Ramazan and weekends (as we have guests visiting us mostly on weekends), you can make them daily for your kids and also for yourself. They are a change from your aerated drinks. And can be prepared easily using our home ingredients.

So here comes our first recipe.

Rejuvenating drinks: 

The main ingredient for these drinks is just one : Basil/ Sabza seeds.

Basil / Sabza Seeds

These are also called as black pearls because of their color and beautiful texture they get when they are soaked in water.

Just one teaspoon of seeds are enough for 1 litre of water.
Add these seeds to a bottle / jug/ pitcher of water and leave them overnight.
 I f you are in an emergency you can use them within an hour of soaking as they gain size quickly but these seeds are known for their medicinal properties and we can benefit maximum if they are left untouched for a night.
They help in keeping the body cool during summers and can also ease bowels.
Children can also drink and is much better than aerated drinks and above all the drinks are being made by their lovely mothers under hygienic conditions.

They look like this the next morning

We can simply drink this water plain or add a lemon juice with salt/sugar/honey.