The word "khana" in Indian Khana Made Easy means food. So come on, let's explore and cook some easy Indian food together including gluten-free and vegan dishes.


March 25, 2013

Where Art Thou Spring?

Spring started 5 days ago? Really? It doesn't feel like it, especially since it's still snowing in some States. I'm so over this weather. I want to add some color to my wardrobe again; really feel like it's Spring. At least Holi (aka Festival of Colors) is just a couple days away, 3/27.

Holi is predominately celebrated in Northern India, but parts of the South (i.e. Telangana) also participate in the festivities. I was really small when we moved here, so I don't remember much. When asked about it, my mom had lots to share. She loved playing with her siblings and relatives.

The colors also included gold and silver, which were sometimes difficult to wash off. They used to smear so much on each other, that they couldn't recognize the relatives from one another. After playing, the parents bought sugar candy garlands for the kids and of course the kids were all smiles. My dad only celebrated Holi when he was in Kanpur (after marriage and living in the North). My parents visited their friends' houses and smeared color on each other. After the fun, they celebrated with good food, drinks and sweets especially Laddu. My mom told me eating Bhung laddu is popular too. I wonder where we can find those here? Our Holi memories story was shared in a post by Lassi With Lavina, check it out here.

Holi is more than just fun and games; it's about bringing people within a community closer together for one purpose - celebration of life and nature. 

I celebrated Holi for the 1st time in 2011 and I have to thank NYC Bhangra for that. They hosted this free event, Holi in New York City, with numerous dances, bands and food. It was a blast! Oh and the best part was all the colors! They distributed plates filled with colored powder for everyone to smear on each other like they do in India. People of all ages and backgrounds came together to celebrate the arrival of Spring. It was just magical!

If you are in New York City or live in the area, definitely stop by NYC Bhangra's free Holi event this upcoming weekend, March 31st from 12-6pm. It's being hosted at a park located at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza 47th St & 2nd Avenue New York, 10017. 

This Holi, Come, Spring Forward with me!! 

March 24, 2013

I Cheated On My Vitamix Blender!

It's tough to eat healthy when you're traveling on business. Last week I attended PITTCON in Philly and boy did I miss the Vitamix blender. Ever since we bought this baby, we've been whipping up all sorts of shakes, soups and sorbets. I didn't know veggie smoothies tasted so good. Vitamix, where have you been all my life?

The Reading Terminal Market, a delicious wonder!
It took me a day or two to get acclimated with my surroundings and find this wondrous place called the Reading Terminal Market, steps away from the convention center. Hallelujah!! So many cuisines at one location: Japanese, Indian, Middle Eastern, Cajun, Greek, Mediterranean, Gourmet cheeses, etc. I can go on and on but I think you get my drift!

Flying Monkey Whoopie Pies
My favorites:
Kamal's Middle Eastern - good Shwerma sandwiches & platters
Nanee's Kitchen - Spinach and paneer curry, yellow dal, and the other veg varieties; Mango lassi (just be mindful that veg and non veg mixed platters - not cheap!)
Flying Monkey BakeryWhoopie Pies: Red Velvet and Banana Foster (oh so heavenly)
El Rey, 2013 Chestnut St. location (my cousin's pick) - Loved the ambiance! Corn on the cob w/ chipotle and queso fresco, the tacos and Salted caramel ice cream. Yum!!!

Though I cheated on my Vitamix diet regime, I maintained my figure with exercise. I took advantage of the jog parks by the hotel and jogged as far as my legs could take me. I even participated in a 5K Run/Walk (benefiting Wounded Warriors Project) that took place at the Boathouse Row, a couple miles away. It felt great kicking off my heels for a pair of Skeletoes, my new running footwear.

After a week long of experimenting with my palate, there's nothing more I enjoy than good ol' home cooking and a healthy shake. I called from the road and my mom had hot rotis served with Sarson Ka Saag waiting at home for her baby (me of course). Moms are awesome, aren't they. They know just what you need. Recipe will be up soon.

March 6, 2013

There's No Food Like Home

In The Wizard of Oz, Dorothy taps her shiny red shoes together and chants "There's no place like home, there's no place like home" and gets transported back to her home. 

Savories & Sweets from Andhra Pradesh
I don't have shiny red shoes like Dorothy, but I have something else that works just the same. With every bite of these goodies pictured above, I feel like I'm transported back to my hometown in India. A place filled with so many varieties of sweets and savories one can only imagine. Each one has an unique flavor made with various lentils, nuts, dried fruits, and spices. I have to use all my will power not to eat them all at once.

Which sweets and savories can you name? Which ones are your favorites?