Deepavali-the light festival

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शुभ दीपावली!

I was not going to do anything this Diwali but ended up inviting about 6-7 people and made two kinds of sweets, some baked murukku. Basically had fun- by fun, I mean our arguments ranged from AIDS to gay marriages to health care to Diwali facts! That was our kind of party- food, some nice smelling candles, great people and interesting topics to cover! Here is some of what I made-  might even post recipes later because the गाजर का हलवा was my own healthier version and it did taste pretty yummy. 



Cream scones with a cuppa?



I love having snacks with my cuppa, well in my case it is a cup of coffee and not tea, but hey that does not stop me from making calling it high tea. And isn’t that a lovely theme- high tea treats, yes it is the theme for this month’s mingle hosted by Aparna. The event is Meeta’s conception. Phew,  I thought I would not be able to join them this month but boy am I glad I could make it! Yeah make it with a handful of cream scones.
I modified the recipe from here


Cream Scones


Ingredients

1 1/4 cups all purpose flour and 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp nutmeg powder
1 tbsp ground ginger
1/4 cup sugar (I mixed half dark brown and half white sugar)

1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup  heavy cream and 1/4 cup half and half
1 tbsp melted butter for brushing the tops
brown sugar for sprinkling the tops


Method

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
Whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar in a mixing bowl. Add the cream and stir gently with a fork.
(Stop mixing when it starts to come together and the cream seems fairly absorbed. Be careful not to overmix. The dough will look loose and lumpy and not like a finished dough)

Transfer onto a lightly floured work surface. Using a very light touch begin to gather and gently pat into a 9” circle.

Using a sharp knife, cut into 8 scones. Lift the scones gently onto the baking sheet. Brush the tops with a bit of melted butter and a light sprinkle of muscavado sugar.

Bake for about 22 minutes (this is how long mine took!) or until they are golden. Enjoy it warm with a cuppa coffee or tea, if you will!


Judgement
It was not as sweet as I wanted it to be but warm scones on a cold night, yummo! Tomorrow may be I would top it off with some Maple Whipped Cream (its simple, saw it somewhere- whipping cream, maple syrup and vanilla extract is all you need)



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Kadamba sadham- truly delicious

I did not realize there were this many different cuisines in India- the RCI event amazes me, the regions the hosts come with! So when Priya announced Kongunadu as this month’s theme I knew there was something to be learned there. Kongunadu comes from kongu meaning nectar (honey) and the region’s history dates back to the 8th century AD. You can read all about it here, here or even Priya’s blog.
After going through a minor episode of “dad is sick back home”, I made this dish for dinner the night of Sarawati puja/Ayudha puja/ the ninth day of navratri and trust me even in simplicity this dish rose to the occasion (believe me this was the only thing I made- did not even make a payasam/sweet dish for the puja).  I must thank Ramki of One page cookbooks for this recipe.

Ingredients


1 cup rice
1 cup tuvar dal
1 cup coconut milk
Pulp extracted from lemon sized ball of tamarind
2 cups chopped vegetables, I used green tuvar (frozen, need not chop), cauliflower, potatoes, red peppers and beans
3-4 green chilli peppers (adjust this for heat) 
salt and pepper to taste
Oil
Mustard, hing, jeera/cumin seeds for tempering


Method


In a pressure cooker, heat oil and add the mustard, jeera and hing. 
Once the seeds splatter, add the chopped vegetables and saute them with some turmeric, salt and pepper for about 3-4 minutes.
Wash the rice and dal, add them to the pot.
Add 2 cups of water, tamarind pulp and the coconut milk (total liquid should be around 4 cups). 
Close the pressure cooker and cook for 3 whistles.
Serve warm with pickle and yogurt.

 Judgement

It was very flavorful and really delicious. In fact I liked it better than the regular kichdis. Try it, I am sure you will love it too!