Monthly Archives: September 2016

Fried Chura (Beaten rice with Potatoes)

After having Chhori, I am always looking for easy and quick meals as I don’t have lots of time to spend in the kitchen.

Chura (beaten rice) is one of the widely used to replace rice in Nepali culture. I used to make fried chura a lot with eggs and onion but recently discovered that they are very yummy with potatoes too so sharing the recipe here.

I used flat thick Chura as shown in photo below. Make sure it is not too thin otherwise it will be very mussy when soaked.

Ingredients

  • 2 cups Beaten/Flattened Rice Flakes, thick variety (Poha)
  • 1 medium sized potato, peeled and cut into small cubed size
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Few curry leaves
  • 2 green chilli

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Method

  • Gently rinse Beaten/Flattened Rice with cold water. Let it sit in a colander and drain the excess water and sprinkle salt.

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  • In a microwave safe container, add the cubed potatoes and add 2 table spoon of water, cover it and cook for 5 minutes. This process will semi cooked the potatoes making it easy to fry.

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  • Heat oil in a medium non-stick pan/work on medium heat.
  • Add the mustard in it and when it starts popping, add the cumin seeds.

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  • When it gets aromatic, add turmeric powder, onion, chillies along with curry leaves
  • Cook for 1-2 minutes until the onion gets soft.
  • Add the potatoes and mix until combined.

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  • Cook potatoes for few minutes until tender but not mushy.
  • Add beaten/Flattened Rice  and gently mix everything.

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  • Fried Chura is ready to serve.

Take care everyone,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Hamilton Gardens: New Zealand

When I was googling places to visit in Hamilton, I discovered Hamilton Gardens and so glad I did. The garden receives over 1 million visitors a year.

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Hamilton Gardens won International Garden of the Year 2014 and it is one of the beautiful gardens I have visited. On top that, entry is free so we went there two days in a row so we could look at everything there. There is plenty of parking as well so it is a must place to visit if you are in Hamilton.

The garden is separated into five themed collections, which are Paradise, Productive, Fantasy, Cultivar and Landscape. Within each of these collections are individual themed gardens.

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The Paradise Collection consists of an

  • Indian Char Bagh Garden – an interpretation of a 16th – 17th Century garden built for the Mughal aristocracy who spread their empire eastwards from Persia into northern India from the 13thcentury onwards. WE loved the garden as it reminded me of our visit to Taj Mahal and garden around it.

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  • American Modernist Garden -a late 20th Century garden designed for outdoor living, in the American West Coast tradition featuring swimming pools, barbecue and outdoor eating areas. There is a huge mural of Marilyn Monroe.

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  • Chinese Scholars Garden – an interpretation of the 10th – 12th Century Sung Dynasty gardens consist of windy path, rock décor, red bridge, moon door, lake with plenty of koi and pavilion.

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  • English Flower Garden – designed in the style of an English 19th Century Arts and Crafts garden which emphasised simple forms and natural motifs.

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  • Japanese Garden of Contemplation – an example of the 14th – 16th Century Muromachi Period gardens which we couldn’t view unfortunately as it was under construction.
  • Italian Renaissance Garden – an interpretation of the 15th – 16th Century Renaissance Gardens with fountain in the middle of the garden, the high surrounding walls, flat square beds with edges lined with plants, beds of simples, flowery meads, and the arched trellis work making it so beautiful.

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On day one, we mostly did only this section and we really enjoyed it. So we decide we will go back and finish the whole garden.

The following day we went to visit Productive Collection consists of following edible gardens.

  • Kitchen Garden – traditional European productive garden with a variety of vegetables and small fruits.

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  • Herb garden – 20th century invention using four beds defined by their purpose, – culinary, medicinal, cosmetic and perfume herbs. Two other sections of the Herb Garden contain herbs used for dyes and for herbal teas.

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  • Sustainable Backyard – designed around sustainable gardening principles so some things have many functions and most available space is used and waste is used as a resource.

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  • Te Parapara Garden – traditional Māori horticulture garden that displays plants that can be used as resources as well as plants of cultural significance. I have never been to garden like this before. You get some kind of feeling when we were there looking at Maori handicrafts.

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The next one is Fantasy Collection which includes

  • Chinoiserie Garden – European interpretations of Oriental design that were fashionable in late 18th and 19th Century gardens.

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  • Tropical Garden – uses plants from other climatic regions to recreate the luxuriant beauty, colour and fantasy of tropical gardens.

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  • Tudor Garden -traditional garden reflects the fascination 16th century English aristocracy had with geometric patterns and symbolism with double meanings. I love this garden as it t is surrounded by mythical beasts on top of the pole like Unicorn, Dragon, Satyr, Centaur, Sea serpent etc. and it was really good.

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  • Surrealist Garden – under development

After these garden, we went to next collection called Cultivar collection which includes

  • Hammond Camellia Garden – tells the story of the discovery and development of the Camellia genus, which is one of the most popular ornamental plants in New Zealand gardens. We spend lots of time around this garden as they have chairs provided for us to rest.

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  • Rhododendron Lawn – Nepal’s nation flower is Rhododendron so it was exciting for us to walk around the wooded area and other gardens bordering the path that circles the Rhododendron. They were so many tress and they have lots of flowers, just beautiful.

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  • Rogers Rose Garden – tells the story of the development of the modern rose through a series of themed areas that each focus on a different aspect but unfortunately as it was winter, we didn’t saw only few roses. I could imagine how beautiful it will look in spring.

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  • Victorian Flower Garden – the Victorian Flower Garden there are really two themes. Firstly, the garden and greenhouses featuring plants bred for colour and curiosity; and secondly, a 19th century garden in the English gardenesque tradition.

All of us, including my parents and Chhori enjoyed the garden. We felt like we went to different places as we walk around different theme gardens.

I highly recommend anyone going to New Zealand to stop here for a day and enjoy the nature.

Take care everyone,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Father’s Day celebration

It was Kushe Aushi (Nepali Father’s Day) on Thursday and Australian Father’s day on Sunday so we combined the celebrations for AS and my dad.

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This is AS’s second Father’s day so it is still very special like the first one.

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Also it is very special father’s day for me as my dad is here and I could actually celebrate the day with him.

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As it was a weekday, my mum helped me to prepare Sagun (traditionally a plate of boiled egg, smoked fish, a “bara”, fried chicken and yogurt). It is such a great help when your parents are near you, I am going to miss them so much when they leave.

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I baked a cake and muffins too. I picked a card as well along with some biscuits, cookies and fruits.

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I am so glad that we got to celebrate the day as a family.

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First we celebrated AS father’s day. We did a normal tika and sagun. Chhori was quite curious and happy to do the process.

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I don’t think she understands much yet but she loves it when there are lots of people around her and she is definitely daddy’s little girl.

Then I celebrated my father’s day with tika and sagun as well.

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It was followed by cake and gifts.

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Hope you guys have a great celebration too.

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Take care everyone.

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Teej 2016 with Chhori and mum

Yesterday was Teej, a day when woman fast for the whole day for marital bliss, well-being of their spouse and children and purification of their own body and soul. Married women fast for their husband’s long life, prosperity and long and strong relationship between them until death in this life and all the lives to come, while the unmarried pray for the perfect husband. Unless someone is ill or physically unfit, fasting is followed by women and girls who have reached puberty.

Please click here if you want to know more about the festival.

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Like every year, we celebrated Teej with lots of food and dancing but this year Teej was extra special for me because my mum is here with us.

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Chhori has started enjoying and understanding celebrations too. She loves to be around people and wants to dance when the music is on. I am hoping she will be interested in Nepali culture and traditions in future when she has an understanding of their importance.

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For the first time, I dressed Chhori in Kurta and Nepali chapal (Nepali velvet sandles) with chura (metal bangles). I know I am biased but I think she looked so cute in the traditional outfit.

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And look our matching chapals, loved them.

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I also dressed up in the traditional red outfit. The first celebration, we had was at my friend’s house. I baked a cake for the occasion and everyone contributed toward the food. We had a great time eating, dancing, laughing and having fun. Chhori also enjoyed in her own way :).

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Then on Saturday, we went to a Teej celebration program organised by Nepali committees.

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Photobombed by Chhori 🙂

 We dressed up again and enjoyed the celebration with hundreds of other ladies dancing and enjoying the yummy food.

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Wishing Happy Teej to all of you out there celebrating . Have a great time and enjoy your day.

Take care everyone,

M from nepaliaustralian

XOXO