Monday, June 30, 2008

Medhakaki's Mexican Rice - Dish 2 of the Mexican Dinner

Like I said in my Enchiladas ... post, Dhrumil's parents and sister had come over for dinner. We planned a mexican menu and this is the second dish from that dinner. Now, I had been planning on making this mexican rice for couple years now and just never got around to doing it. The first time I had Medhakaki's mexican rice was the in the first week of my coming to the US in 1996. She had made it for us along with Enchiladas and it was yummy.. I've been a fan ever since.. I modified her recipe just a little. I couldn't find any ginger in my house (it was in the fridge, I just couldn't locate it..) and then mom doesn't like garlic, so, I didn't add that either.. Also, I cooked the rice in part vegetable broth and part water. I think it added a little different flavor to it. I liked it a lot and I think everyone liked it as well.. So, here goes the recipe


1 cup washed rice
1 can vegetable broth
2 cups water
1/2 medium white onion diced
1/2 medium white onion sliced
1/2 medium green pepper sliced
1 tomato sliced
1 tbsp butter
salt to taste


1. In a pot, mix the vegetable broth and water and start heating it up
2. Sauteé the diced onions in 1/2 tbsp of butter
3. Once the onions are translucent, add the washed rice and sauteé for another few minutes
4. When the rice is also translucent, pour in the water/broth mixture and add salt to taste and let the rice cook for 20 minutes
5. While the rice is cooking, sauteé sliced onions, bell pepper and tomatoes in butter
6. When rice is done (i.e. no water left), spread the onion/pepper/tomatoes on top of the rice
7. Serve warm

Friday, June 20, 2008

Enchiladas with Sital's Special Sauce --- Dish 1 of the Mexican Dinner

We (my mom - who is visiting me and I) had invited Dhrumil's parents and sister, who are visiting from India over for dinner yesterday. My mom was suggesting Indian food cos, she wasn't sure if they would like any other cuisines.. Normally, I would be up for that, but I've had too much Indian food last week, so, I wanted to cook something else.. Now, the closest thing (in my mind) that comes to Indian food and is also easy to cook is Mexican food.. So, I decided to just make Cheese and Onion Enchiladas (Generic Recipe with Sital's Special Sauce), Mexican Rice (Medhakaki's Recipe) and Warm Corn and Zucchini Salad (My Recipe). We served all this with Fruit Punch and Ginger Ale (Mom's Recipe). And for Appetizers, I made Guacamole (Raja's Recipe) and served it with Tortilla Chips. And then for dessert, we had Strawberry Rhubarb Pie (Shaw's Recipe ;-)). All the food was amazing and everyone loved it.. Dhrumil's dad said that he generally doesn't like foods other than Indian food, but, he loved this.. Yea!! Here is the recipe for the Cheese and Onion Enchilada with Sital's Special Sauce..

15 Flour Tortillas Soft Taco Size
1 Tsp Butter to grease baking pan
1 Large Yellow Onion Diced
2 8oz Packets of Mexican Flavored Shredded Cheese
3 Cans of Refried Beans (Your favorite flavor, we used a mixture of Ranchero and Original)
1 Red Onion Diced
1 Green Pepper Diced
1 Red Pepper Diced
1 Can of Tomato Puree
1/2 Cup water
1 Tsp of Red Chilli powder or 2 Jalapenos finely chopped
Salt to taste
1/2 Cup Corn Oil
1/2 Cup Sour Cream

Sital's Special Sauce:
1. In a sauce pan heat up about 2 Tbsp of Corn oil on high heat.
2. Once the oil is hot, sauteé the onions till they are translucent
3. Next add the peppers and sauteé them for a few minutes
4. Now add the tomato Puree and mix well
5. Then add the Chilly power or Jalapenos and add some salt to taste
6. Next add about 1/2 cup of water
7. Reduce the heat to medium low and let this sauce cook till you are ready to top the enchilads

Tortillas (This step should be done when you are almost ready for filling):
1. Start Pre-Heating your oven to 350F
2. Add the rest of the corn oil in a frying pan and heat this up till its at frying temperature
3. Take 1 tortilla at a time and fry this for 2 - 3 seconds on each side till they start puffing up just a little
4. Remove it from the frying pan and lay it on paper towels to drain the excess oil

Filling + Baking + Serving
1. In a microwave safe bowl, heat up the refried beans for about 2 minutes

2. Next form a little assembly line on your counter as shown in the picture
3. Grease your baking sheet with butter.
4. Take 1 fried tortilla, lay it on your assembly plate
5. Lay about 4 Tbsps of refried beans in a line in the center of the tortilla
6. Sprinkle the beans with about 2 tbsp of onions and 2 tbsps of cheese
7. Fold the left half of tortilla half way till it covers the beans
8. Fold the right half of the tortilla over this.
9. Hold this folded tortilla with 2 hands between your thumb and 2 fingers with the thumb at the bottom and fingers holding the tortilla shut
10. Now flip the tortilla such that your thumb is on the top taking care that the tortilla remains shut
11. Lay this inverted tortilla on your baking sheet
12. Repeat Steps 4 through 11 for the rest of the tortillas.
13. Pour the Enchilada sauce over the tortillas (About 1 medium ladle full for each tortilla) such that they are completely covered in sauce
14. Sprinkle the rest for the cheese on the sauce
15. Bake this in the pre-heated oven for 10-15 minutes or untill the cheese starts to bubble
16. Remove it from the oven and let it sit for couple minutes
17. Serve this fairly hot with couple dollops of sour cream and enjoy!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

At day at the beach..

Past couple times that my mom visited Boston, she mentioned that she had never been to Cape Cod so, this time around, I figured I shoud take her there... And then this past week, Sapan's sister (Shruti) and brother-in-law (Neelesh) were visiting so, we wanted to have a nice family outing. Also, Shivani and Dhrumil had also been trying to plan a cape trip for a while. The weather report said it would be a perfect day with thunderstorms in the evening. All these things put together seemed like the stars were aligning for a Cape Cod trip.

On Saturday morning, we woke up and decided to make thikhi poori and mango ras to take with us. Sapan and Co. were supposed to come pick us (me and mom) up at 10, so, we were already running a bit late. And, indeed they did get to my place on time. And, I hadn't even showered till then. (very bad!!). So, a really quick shower and about 1/2 hour later, we were out of the house driving south. We called and asked Shivani and Dhrumil to meet us by the highway.. And, they were running a bit behind as well. Oh well, we all finally got together around noonish and started driving!

Our first destination was the Cape Cod National Seashore . We drove down Rt. 3 South for an hour or so, hit a *little* bit traffic. About half way to the beach, we took a little bio-break at a rest area. Finally, we reached the beach! yea! The weather was perfect. Nice and hot, just the way I like it. One thing we forgot were beach towels. I wasn't exepcting a sandy beach, instead I was expecting a nice rocky one with picnic tables. Well, we didn't care. We found a nice spot and just plopped down. Opened our lunch and started eating. Viraj had a lot of fun just running around near the food.
After food, we decided to just hang out at the beach for a while. We dipped our feet in the chilly water. Here is a photo of my mom taking Viraj in the water for the first time.
And he just loved it. Didn't want to get out. Everytime we would drag him out of the water, he would just run back in.

After spending some time here on the beach, we decided to start heading further up the coast to Provincetown, a small town at the tip of Cape Cod. To get a caffine fix, we first went to a small bakery in by the town ceter and had some coffee and tea (and romantic moments ;-)). After getting some energy we decided to walk down commercial street and pop into tiny little stores along the way. This was more or less like walking down any other main street of a New England beach town. After couple more hours and another round of food, we decided to head back to Boston. Once we were back in Boston, we decided to go to an indian restaurant Grain And Salt . The food there was OK! Has gotten smaller in quantity and didn't come with free rice.. Oh well. We enjoyed nonetheless. After dinner, we went home, plopped into bed and were fast asleep in a manner of minutes.

The rest of the pics from the trip are posted here. The first few ones are of Neelesh and Shruti's visit to Boston Public Gardens. Whew.. That was fun exhausting day.. Looking forward to many more..

Monday, June 9, 2008

Sabudana - Ni - Khichadi --- Its really not as hard as it looks!

In my previous entry Whats Been Going On In My Life , I had promised to write about the sabudana ni khichadi. So, over this past Memorial Day weekend, my gradmother had come over for a visit.. We've had a tradition of her teaching me something new to cook everytime she comes over.. This time, it was Sheera, Gol Papdi and Sabudana Ni Khichadi. Sabudana are also known as Pearl Sago and are used quite often in Gujarati and Marathi foods. One of things with sabudana is that if not soaked properly, they either remain very hard or they become slimy and sticky, and that is what would always make me think twice about even buying them. Anyway, my grandmother showed me the "trick" to perfect sabudanas, which is to soak them for atleast 2 hours! Shivani and Viraj had come over as well to hang out with us, so, even she got to learn the trick.. And rumour has it, that she indeed tried it out at home by herself and the result was awesome.. Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to take a picture, but, without further ado, here is the recipe ..


1 cup sabudana
1 cup water
1/4 cup chopped peanuts
1 medium potato
1/4 tsp jeera
1 - 2 curry leaves
1/4 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp grated ginger
1 tbsb finely chopped green chillies
1 tbsb corn oil
salt and hing to taste


1. The longest step in the preparation is soaking the sabudana. In a bowl, add 1 cup water to 1 cup of sabudana.
2. To this, also add 1/2 the ginger and 1/2 the chillies, 1/2 the salt.
3. Mix well and let this soak for ATLEAST 2 hours.
4. Meanwhile, start chopping the potatoes and peanuts
5. After about 1 1/2 hours of soaking, start heating the oil
6. Once the oil is hot, add the hing and curry leaves
7. As the curry leaves start to cook, add the jeera
8. When the jeera also starts to sputter, add the potatoes
9. Add the remaining ginger, chillies, salt and sugar.
10. Cook the potatoes covered for a good 15 to 20 minutes till they are tender.
11. Next, if its been 2 hours since the sabudana have been soaked, add them to the potatoes.
12. Also add the peanuts
13. Cook this for a few minutes (around 5 or so) so that all the flavors marry.
14. Serve this hot with buttermilk.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Whats been going on in my life....

1. Sapan and I are back together and will be getting married at some point in May 2009.. Stay tuned for updates

2. Have way too much work to do
3. Learned how to make Gol Papdi, Sheera and Sabudana-ni-khichdi . Stay tuned for recipes and pics..