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 dishes.

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December 27, 2019

For the Love of Podis - Putnala Podi

You know what I love about Indian cuisine, the fact that it's not just all curry. It's not tikka masala or some sauce-based cuisine. There's more to Indian cuisine because there are 29 provinces or states in India. We are all Indians but the dishes are as diverse as the people who live there.

I am originally from Andhra Pradesh which is in South India. We eat "curries" with rice. The curries can be dry or wet depending on our mood really. We also eat rice with pickles or podis.

Indian pickles are not pickled cucumbers. Pickles are vegetables or fruit which are cooked and cured/pickled in oil and spices. 

Podi is a Telugu word for powder. Powder sounds a bit odd because it's not like powder that you put on your face or even confectioner's sugar which is finely powdered sugar.  

Podi is a coarse powder. It is generally made with roasted lentils and whole spices which are then ground to perfection (consistency depends on you). 

Today, we're making Putnala podi or roasted chana dal powder. 





Ingredients

1 cup of chana dal (roasted chickpeas)
1 tsp jeera (cumin)
½ tsp chili powder
¾ tsp salt


Grind all of the above ingredients together in a blender until the chana dal is powdered. It is alright if
the jeera or whole cumin do not get powdered. Adjust the chili powder and salt quantities to your taste.

We like eating putnala podi with warm, white Basmati rice. Heat up some rice, add some ghee
(clarified butter) and mix in this podi. This mashup of rice and podi goes really well with vegetable fry
as well.

There are many podi varieties. Putnala podi is the well known amongst my family. There is also Peanut podi, Dry Garlic podi, Mint podi, Karvepaku (made with curry leaves) podi, Poppy seeds podi just to name a few. This post is first of many in a series about podis. Stay tuned for more.

October 31, 2019

Diwali - All You Need is a Spark!


When tensions are high and there is political unrest...we all need hope. We all need to be positive and have faith that things will get better. It is also the time to come together, not let our differences get the better of us. 

Although, my husband and I have different backgrounds, we still make the time to learn about each other's cultures and celebrate together. Every year, my family celebrates Lunar New Year with his family and they celebrate Diwali with mine. We don't let our backgrounds hold us back and don't let them divide us either.  

Diwali known as the Festival of Lights symbolizes the spiritual "victory of light over darkness, good over evil and knowledge over ignorance. Although the day started out gloomy and wet, by sunset all was well.  

We enjoyed the Diwali lunch with yummy food including dishes, such as Indian fried rice served with cucumber raita, cauliflower and potato curry, egg curry with mushroom and bell peppers, mixed vegetable curry, Singapore mei fun, and of course garlic naan. There was a dish for everyone! 

After lunch, we relaxed and played cards. I taught everyone how to play Egyptian Rat Screw, everyone can play this game. After cards, we indulged in some yummy sweets: jalebi, milk cake, badam halwa, and fresh fruit. 



Of course, it wouldn't be Diwali without fireworks! It was truly the Festival of Lights Sunday night! 

                                                

We all gathered outside the house to light the night with sparklers and fireworks.



I really enjoyed spending time with my family and friends. Everyone joined in the fun; for a moment it felt like we were in India again. 

How did you celebrate Diwali this year? Please share it with us in the comments below.