It was raining Cats and Dogs on Saturday Morning..and it was decided we are having soup for lunch . The menu was so apt for the weather . An hour after it was all ready, the sun was shining bright, rain drops cleared up from my french window and kids were all excited  to open up the door and start playing outdoor. Well that's the London Weather! Totally unpredictable. Thanks to the nearly perfect weather update on BBC, H did tell me the weather will improve. I didn't have the slightest hope though ...


Guess it was a week and half before,  PR firm and I were having a casual mail exchange about Soup Boosters. I was all excited to try the 4 flavors that were introduced new in the market. But when the courier arrived, little  did I expect the hamper to have a rustic wooden crate loaded with fresh vegetables and soup boosters - Aromatic Thai Paste,Wild Garlic and herbs,Roasted Moroccan and Mexican Chilli. Happy Feet indeed! The crate is a beautiful prop, any food blogger would die for.


Soup Boosters from the New Covent Garden Soup & Co are flavor enhancers. According to the recipe printed on the backside of the tubes, they ask you to squeeze in at least 1/2 the tube for 1 kg vegetable used for the soup. I so wanted to try the Thai Paste , but only when I went through the ingredients, I realised it contained Fish Sauce. Thank God !! I read the label.. I would recommend the company to label the paste V, if its suitable for vegetarians.


Let me warn you , this post is images Loaded. I just couldn't stop snapping .. If you would like to be a part of my photography exploration , continue reading...

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Vanilla Cupcakes

The New year has just begun and we are already in April . Time really flies.. or let me say , things have been soo buzy and hectic over the last 3 months ,we didnt realise we are in the fag end of the first quarter. We returned from a fantastic India trip early this January. After which my daughter - miss butterfly had been going through a rough face settling down in her nursery. This is for the first time ever, she is staying without me anywhere. Its being quite hard on her as ever since she has embraced this world, it has just been me and me all the time. Even though her best est loving dad or her favorite big brother would be around ,she would look for her comfort in my arms and around me .But its a stage where every kid battles, some accept it quicker some take a little longer. My missy battled, refused ,cried the whole sessions and finally now one happy Bee ! Ufff !!It took her nearly 12 sessions..to begin enjoying her happy days.

Vanilla Cupcakes

After an awesome fun filled India holidays , I was still rejoicing for a month that I never mustered any enthusiasm to regular chores and blogging. Guess its just a phase. Once you start working on the first post, the want to do it better and more grows. In the month of March , I enrolled myself to Neel's LFP course and believe me it was an eyeopener. The course made me work hard with more dedication and brought out the better side in me. The lessons encouraged us to work multi angle, multi level and manifold. The month of March overall has been self rewarding and I have been pleased with the outcome after every lesson.
Vanilla Cupcakes

In the meanwhile , towards the end of March , gracefully packed parcel arrived. When I opened them ,we ( Miss Butterfly & me ) found a hamper inside a beautiful wicker basket with leather strapped locks and handle. In them contained a variety of Billington's Golden Icing Sugar, Billington Golden Caster Sugar, Nielsen Massey products - Vanilla Extract , Vanilla Pods & Vanilla Bean Paste and a recipe card for Nielsen- Massey's Vanilla Cupcakes.
This Easter, BakingMad.com is teaming up with Nielsen- Massey and is going Vanillaa laaa laa as it celebrates the holidays with one of its favorite flavors Vanilla. There are many more recipes in my space where I have incorporated Vanilla as a flavoring agent - FairyCupcakes - my favorite one and the most popular recipe , chocolate cupcakes, coffee chocolatechip cupcakes


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Product Review | teavivre - Tea for life



Sometime in early January, I was sent a package of Tea's from China. It was from TeaVivre.com - a company that specialises in Chinese Tea.  Their tag line - Tea for Life.

TeaVivre pronounce as [ti:'vivrÉ™] , composed by tea and vivre. Vivre means "living" or "life", it firstly comes from French phrase "Joie de vivre", means "joy of living"or "enjoyment of life".

The beautiful package had a number of tiny packaging with  different varieties of Tea. Two varities of Black Tea , Two varieties of Fruit Tea  and Rose Tea.
Superfine Keemun Mao Feng Black Tea,Rose Dian Hong Black Tea,Apple Awakening Fruit Tea,Waterlilies Fruit Tea ,Superfine Tan Yang Gong Fu Black Tea .
The packaging had detailed information about the origin, whether it contains tea leaves /tea buds , how to brew the tea?

Most of their fruit tea's are great, low calorie, caffeine-free, refreshing drinks for anytime of the day. Made only from carefully matched flower petals, dried fruit and berries, they all have high levels of vitamins and minerals and – most importantly – taste and smell great! They are all fantastic to drink either hot or iced. All our fruit teas are made without any added sugar, and so naturally have a very slight sour taste. If you'd like a slightly sweeter drink, simply add a small amount of sugar or, better yet, a small amount of honey.


Having had only everyday brew tea's every day , I have been skeptical about tasting black tea and the fruit flavoured ones.. But these tea's were definitely ice breakers to our everyday brews. The black tea's that were sent were among the four world’s best black tea.Having read that, some exciting buds kicked off , having high expectations.  Since these were our first ventures with black tea, it was absolutely scintillating with some honey.
Waterlilies Fruit Tea had some exciting blend of fruit flavors like Orange, Pineapple,Apple and Rosselle .They are red colored pineapple dominant tea , that can be had hot or iced. We loved it warm with a few drops of honey for sweetening them.
Apple AwekeningFruit Tea contains Apple,Roselle and Peppermint. They are absolutely refreshing in taste with a hint of lemon and Apple. We loved it chilled.
We are yet to experience the Rose Tea. May be one holiday evening when we are all relaxed !
 
Thank you Teavivre for sending across the Sample Packets. All the opinion expressed here are of my own and are under no influence.

 

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Moong Dal Tadka

Some food is just comforting and its purely for its simplicity yet delightful. There are many days when I want to eat something elementary ,healthy and delectable. When we talk about contentment and complacency in our meals ,every one has their own choices and they are mostly associated with childhood and growing up memories. Food that Mum's makes always has a personal touch of warmth and cozyness. She exactly knows what is that one favorite ingredient that can add a special touch to the same dish. My son loves his Aloo Paratha , Dosa's and Jaggery infused rice made just by me. Jacket Potato with cheese and beans is one of the fav food in UK , so is Crepe in France. Every single person will have their own definition and a different meal in comfort zone.
One of my favorite comfort food is just some warm phulkas with a bowl of Moong Dal and some yogurt.

Moong Dal Tadka

Moong Dal Tadka

Dal is a dried pulse that has been split. Both Husked and un Husked variety of Pulses are available and they can be cooked with an assortment of spices and served . Dal , also known as Lentil Stew is one of the staple dishes included in the meals in South Asia. In the South of India , Dal is served with Rice where as in the North of India it is served with Phulka's , Roti and other flat breads. In countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh, Srilanka too , Dal is cooked with variant spices that is locally produced and served with Rice or Flat bread.

Inspiration for this set of images is Deeba Rajpal's Dal Post. The moment I had seen the matka's containing the dal's , I couldnt hold my self back but try some pictures .Total coincedence that my friend had lent me her matka's the very same day .

 Moong or the Mung Beans is native to India and is used in an assortment of food , be it savory or sweet. One such adaptation is Moong Dal Tadka. Its a widely cooked dal and every house has their own touch in preparation.  In todays post , I am sharing a recipe that I have grown up eating. A recipe that my mum would make it any day ,when you need something quick and heavenly. This recipe has absolutely no frills. Moong Dal cooked with tomatoes and then tempered ( tadka )with seasoning ingredients .

There are more recipes made with Lentils in this blog. Savory Curry - Dal Makhani , Chana Masala, Rawlpindi Chole, Dal Tiranga , Molagooshyam , Keerai Mashiyal,Chickpea Sundal
Sweet - Maaladu

Chapathi / Phulka

Moong Dal Tadka

First of the recipes that I have learnt to cook . So I would recommend it to anyone - be it first timers or bachelors who want some Simple Ghar ka Khana ( Home made ) Dal  ( Lentil Soup/Curry) flavor packed.

INGREDIENTS ( Size of the Cup : 1 Cup - 250ml)

  •  Moon dal Yellow - 1/2 cup
  • Tomato - 1 Nos chopped into quarters
  • green chillies - 1 -3 depending upon hotness
  • coriander leaves
  • lime juice ( optional)
For Tadka
  • ghee - 2 tsp ( if ghee is not available , use any cooking oil)
  • jeera ( cumin seeds) - 1 tsp
  • mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • Onion - 1 small onion chopped finely ( Optional )
  • asafoetida (hing) - 1 pinch
  • Dried Red Chilli - 1 Nos
DIRECTIONS

  •  Dry roast the Moong Dal in a heated pan until you could feel the aroma coming up. Allow it cool .
  • Wash the dal nicely under running tap water twice. Once washed well , add twice the amount of water to the dal , turmeric powder , diced tomatoes , green chillies and a pinch of salt. Cook the dal in the pressure cooker.
  • Once the dal is cooked ,transfer it to a pan . Add 1/4- 1/2 a cup of water to achieve the desired consistency, allow the dal to boil for about a minute. Pop in the required amount of salt.
  • Heat 2 tsp of oil or ghee in a small wok , now add cumin seeds & mustard seeds  and dried red chillies.Allow it to splutter and Sprinkle the hing powder.Turn of the gas and add the seasoning to the dal in the pan.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and add a squeeze of lemon juice.
  • Serve your dal with hot phulkas/rotis for dinner.

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Steam

Sending my  Black & White Wednesday entry in to Week #160 at Bricole 

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