Indian Curry for Lunch

An Indian lunch for kids or work

Ava's school encourages outdoor play - even when it snows. For this I am  SO grateful (if kids in northern climes like Alaska, Sweden, or Canada can go out to play when it's cold outside my daughter can handle it, too). But if she's going to face the elements, she also needs a hearty lunch to keep her furnace running. Curry is great for taking the snarl out of the winter air. This vegetarian chana masala warms with tomato cooked down into a bed of spices - cumin, coriander, turmeric, … [Read more...]

Finding a Drink Worthy of Nobel Peace Prize Laureates, Malala & Kailash

besan doodh recipe

One thought crossed my mind every time I took a sip of the Besan Doodh. The thought overwhelmed the bold cardamom and it distracted from the warm milk tinged with saffron. A small thing, really - a sentence, again and again, bringing tears to my eyes. "I didn't clip her wings." These are the words of Malala Yousafzai's father. Malala is a young woman from Pakistan - just 17 years old. She is easily the greatest superstar in the peace movement right now thanks to her unapologetic … [Read more...]

Chana Masala & The Remarkable Quest of Chris Guillebeau

Chana Masala Recipe

Psst... Be sure to enter the giveway at the bottom of this post! I want to tell you a story about Chris Guillebeau - a man who traveled to every country in the world. It took him 10 years.  He's not the first to do it, and he won't be the last. And yet his quest is remarkable. Let me explain. From Quest to Calling I stumbled across Chris' journey a few years back  when he had about three years left in his quest. I read with amusement about his jogging escapades on strange terrain, … [Read more...]

Celebrating World Vegetarian Day with Gandhi and Lemon Rasam

Lemon Rasam - one of Gandhi's favorite recipes.

In our house we live by Michael Pollan's addage: "Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants."  This week we're going one step further, invoking Mahatma Gandhi's strict vegetarian diet in honor of World Vegetarian Day (October 1st). While most people think of Gandhi as a famous pacifist, he also had a lot to say about eating a pant-based diet, led in great part by his compassion and respect for the lives of even the smallest creatures. Not one to mince words, Gandhi wasn't afraid to puts his … [Read more...]

5 Secrets to Springtime in January, thanks to the Hindu Harvest Festival

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You know that old saying, "It's 5 o'clock somewhere"? Well the same can be said of springtime. Even while ice and and snow pummel the northern hemisphere and hot days sizzle in the southern, there are plenty of people celebrating springtime in India and other South Asian countries... Yes, in January. After the wild hair seventy degree day we had a couple of days ago, Ava and I were ready to say goodbye to winter, too. So how do we get there? This January 14 marks Makar Sankranti, the … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: India

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THE SCENE On my brother Keith's last day in Tulsa, in the very last half hour, he said something that will stick with me for a long time. I was sipping my tea, watching him play with Ava, thinking how happy I was. Conversation turned to our next visit and how work always tries to ruin plans. The way they make you guilty for taking even a little time off.  How, inevitably, they squeeze as much out of you as they possibly can. Rather abruptly he said: "I won't cancel, no matter … [Read more...]

Recipe: Masala Chai for Uncle G (Spiced tea with milk)

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Serves 4 I've officially learned how to blackmail my brother into doing anything I want. Make him a pot of masala chai. He drank this sweet, milky treat his entire visit. A mug was never far from reach. The flavor is as intense as any local coffee shop, but the satisfaction is 200% greater, as we made it ourselves. One more thing - you can serve it hot or cold which makes it the perfect drink in my book. I'm honored that this recipe was featured in Penzy's Spices' 2012 early summer … [Read more...]

Recipe: Kulfi

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Makes 4.5 cups The sweet, rich flavor of kulfi will transport you (and any toddlers you know) to India quicker than quick. No need for fancy equipment, either. Freeze the kulfi in any mold you have - I used plastic shot glasses from a party supply store. The two year-olds I polled had no problem with this. Ingredients: 1 12 oz can evaporated milk 1 14 oz can sweetened condensed milk 2 slices bread 1 cup cream, whipped 2 Tbsp pistachios 1 tsp rose water 1/4 tsp cardamom red food … [Read more...]