Monthly Archives: April 2017

Dal (lentil) fry

I have written a recipe about dal before but this one is slightly different as this is thicker and I have used different spices.

  • ½ cup red lentils
  • ½ cup  brown lentils
  • 1 pinch turmeric powder
  • 1 tablespoon ghee
  • 1 medium red onion finely chopped
  • ½ inch ginger crushed
  • 6 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 dry red chilies
  • 1 teaspoon methi, crushed
  • 1 large tomato finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon turmeric powder
  • ½ teaspoon red chilli powder
  • ½ teaspoon coriander powder
  • ¼ teaspoon garam masala powder
  • ½ to ⅔ cup water or add as required
  • salt as required
  • 2 tablespoons chopped coriander leaves
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • ½ inch cinnamon stick
  • 2 to 3 cloves
  • 2 green cardamoms
  • 1 bay leaf

Instructions

  • In a pressure cooker, pour all lentils and add 1 teaspoon salt, a pinch of turmeric powder and add 2 cups water.
  • Cook for 15 minutes on a low to medium flame.
  • When cooked, the lentils should be soft. Lightly mash and keep aside.
  • In a pan, heat 1 tablespoon ghee and add cumin seeds, cinnamon stick, cloves, cardamoms and bay leaf to the pan and sauté them till they crackle and become fragrant.

  • Add turmeric powder, ginger garlic and fry for a few minutes.
  • Now add the chopped onions and fry till the onions turn light golden brown.

  • Add chilli and methi and stir for a minute.
  • Add the chopped tomatoes; stir and sauté till the tomatoes soften.

  • Now add chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala powder and mix with the rest of the onion-tomato masala.

  • Add the cooked dal and mix well.

  • Add water and stir very well and season with salt as required.

  • Simmer the dal on a low flame till the dal thickens a bit. Keep on stirring the dal at intervals so that it does not stick to the bottom of the pan.
  • When the dal is done, switch off the flame, add chopped coriander leaves .

Take care and have a great weekend.

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Chhori turns 2: the celebration party

We decided to have a party to celebrate Chhori’s birthday with our friends and family after puja. We started planning when we were here in Sydney with my in laws so we had a venue booked months in advance. I also found photographer via Facebook so they were booked for the day as well.

I am sure anyone who is trying to book an event from overseas goes through lots of frustrations when you can’t find the right vendor to execute your ideas. I had the same problem when we planned our wedding and it was no different this time.

We had no idea what was available in Nepal in terms of decoration so I bought everything I could think of from here and I am so glad I did. Because when we got there, I couldn’t get the things that we wanted.

As the venue and photographer were sorted, the next big thing was cake and decoration. I bought the Dora cake topper from here so we got the baker to do a cake with those. I was pretty happy with the cake.

We also ordered cupcakes which did not turn out as planned. The cupcake was not the pink colour we wanted and it was not decorated as we had explained but I guess we shouldn’t have set our expectation too high since everyone seemed to use their own ideas instead of following ours 😦

The biggest problem we faced was not finding a person to do helium balloons. After searching and talking to so many people, finally when I put out a call for help on Facebook and a friend gave us the number of a guy who did the balloons. We got the number just a day before the party and I was so worried on what to do until then.

The other big problem was our outfit. I had this vision to have me and Chhori wearing similar colour outfit and AS can have tie to coordinate with us. It turned out choosing the outfit was not easy as I planned because there are too many choices. Finally after going to a few boutiques, I settled on golden and fuchsia pink lengha and Chhori was getting fuchsia pink princess style gown.

It took many visits to get the dresses right fitting but the end result was perfect. I loved them.

It was a big job to find fuchsia pink tie in Kathmandu. The shop keepers had millions of other suggestions on the tie if they didn’t have the one I needed. But finally we found a shop that sold one and was super happy with it.

When the day of party arrived I was happy as most of the stuff were sorted. I got my make-up done and got dressed and got Chhori ready. AS was busy getting the decoration finished and picking up the cake.

He has always been so supportive of my ideas and when I plan, he helps me to make my plans come true. I think we complement each other well.

The photographers were already at the venue when we arrived. I was glad to see all the decoration looked as we planned. The hall was looking beautiful with hundreds of white and pink balloons floating around.

We had a few hours left before the guests arrived so we took photos of Chhori, us and with our parents.

 

Slowly, the venue started to fill with family and friends. I hadn’t met many of them for a while so it was great time for all of us.

After a couple of hours into the party, we cut the cake and then on to the dance floor as usual.

I had been teaching Chhori to dance to the Nepali move song “Sirai ma sirbandi” for the last few month but I didn’t know if she would dance or not. But she made us so proud by dancing to the song with all the right moves and steps. She actually danced twice to the song and we got some amazing photos and video of that. She was looking totally adorable and princessy in her cute outfit.

All our relatives were dancing and enjoying themselves as well. It was a really happy occasion for us to celebrate the birthday of our beautiful daughter with our close family and friends.

By 10 pm the guests had dinner and stared to leave. Chhori was really tired and was fast sleep on the sofa. It was a long day but we were very happy with the end result.

Chhori was spoiled by everyone with gifts, dresses and money. I know Chhori doesn’t understand much yet but we have some great photos and videos that she can go through when she is a bit older.

I will write more about our trip to Nepal in the next post. Till then take care.

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO

Chhori turns 2 – Birthday Puja

One of the main reasons for our visit to Nepal this time was to celebrate Chhori 2nd birthday in Nepal with friends and family.

In Newari culture, for reasons unknown and out of tradition handed down from generation to generation, the first birthday of a child is not celebrated. When a child is born, we have chhaiti, nwaran then pasni. After pasni, the big celebration is second birthday, which is known as Nirbuni.

Time goes by so quickly and our little munchkin turned a BIG 2 on 20 Feb.

As we were in Nepal for the celebration, we followed Newari culture to perform her birthday puja.

In Newari culture, we make Yomari every even birthday 2, 4, 6, 8, and 12. Yomari is a delicacy of the Newars. It consists of an external covering of rice-flour and an inner content of sweet substances such as chaku (Molasses). Click here for the recipe.

We had planned things in advance for this and were happy that things came together as planned on the big day.

On her birthday, in the morning, MIL prepared for birthday puja with sagun (traditional plate typically consisting of a boiled egg, smoked fish, a “bara”, haku chhoila” and “aila” and “dhau”) .

We had other relatives who were invited for the occasion including my parents, uncles and aunts.

The puja started with tika and yomari mala (garland) from my MIL followed by ritual to pour bits of rice, radish, coins, and cucumber in a small container from her head. This is believed to drive any evil spirit.

Then it was followed by Sagun and gifts to her.She was really spoiled with gifts like dresses and jewelleries.

My parents had come with my relatives to celebrate Chhori’s birthday with lots of food which included rotis, fruits, sagun and gifts.

After my MIL my mum and aunt did similar puja. Tika and sagun was followed by gifts to Chhori, me, AS and to my in laws.

Chhori loved the whole process except when the yomari garland was put around her neck as the string annoyed her and she wanted to take it out. She was happy with so many people around us that day for the whole day. We really had a great time with all the relatives.

After all the puja was finished, we had cake smash for her too. What a difference a year can make. When we had done the cake smash on Chhori’s first birthday, she was happy to be messy and smashed the cake well, which gave us some amazing photos but this year she definitely has become a big girl.

At first she just used her finger to taste the cake and then asked for a knife to cut the cake when asked to smash it. Nevertheless we had a great time and she had a lot of fun sharing a piece with everyone.

The day was long but fun and exciting.

We had her birthday party on another day so I will write more about it in my next post.

Till then, take care everyone and happy Monday.

from nepaliaustralian

XOXO