Thursday, February 28, 2013


Election scene is high on the Kenyan turf. Of what I have heard it was pretty bad last elections with a lot of riots resulting in killing of innocent lives. It's the same in all parts of the world - isn't it? People loose lives for petty issues or even big ones. The one's in power don't give a damn because it was nobody they knew or cared for. But is it the way it is supposed to be? Definitely not!! God did not make it that way. God's biggest rule is "love one another as I have loved you". Do we did that. No we don't. We keep grudges, hold animosity, scorn, get hurt, we are unforgiving. We all do this sometime, or even most of the times.

It is very difficult to just let it go and look forward and forget the pain and hurt and embarrassment. Isiint it? But you know over the years there is one thing I have learnt. It is mostly we who are hurting ourselves. The other person concerned is past it. N and we scorn all the more as to why it doesn't affect him or her!

Long ago a when I spoke to a priest of this hurt that I kept with me for long time, he said just forgive yourself first and then forgive the person. I said that is sooooo very difficult Father. He told me something that changed my life. H said "I know. Just pray to Jesus to help you forgive. Just pray that he forgives your first and heals the pain, so that you can forgive the person. Keep on praying till you really feel the hurt go away". I have tried this sooo many times since then and believe me the hurt just vanishes. It's as if God just wipes the hurt and the pain away. It becomes very easy to move on!!!

Try it sometimes and let me know But for now try out these incredible Dahi Bhallas. Believe me, they are superbly handy in easing out worries and making you happy, coz you soooo get drowned in the lovely smooth sweet yoghurt and the soft dumplings.


For the Bhalla

1 cup - urad dhuli daal soaked overnight
1/4 tspn - fine asefotida
1/2 tspn - black salt a few raisins - one each for each dumpling
a fork to beat vigourously :)
oil to fry

For the yoghurt

3-4 cups - fresh yoghurt
2 tspn - powdered sugar
1 tspn - bhuna (roasted) jeera/cumin powder
1/2 tspn - black salt powder
Corriander chutney - as much as you like
Tamarind Chutney - as much as you like
Red Chilli Powder - as much as you like

Recipe For the Bhalla

Grind the soaked lentils with as little water as you could possibly used. They should be a smooth paste
Pour into a bowl and beat it with a fork. Beat them very well till fluffy.
Add rock salt and hing and beat again.
Meanwhile heat oil in a wok
Wet your hands and take small portion from the batter and with your other wet hand pat into a disk.
Once the oil is heated well, lower the flame
Put the batter into the oil and fry well on slow/medium heat till golden
Once you've fried all the batter, and if you have any left till the end of the frying, dip these fritters into very thin buttermilk.
Let them soak for about 5 mins.

For the dahi

Beat the curd well so that there are no lumps.
Add the sugar into it and mix well Taste and see.
It should be on the sweeter side
Add the rock salt and the jeera powder and mix again

For the assembling
Take a beautiful glass dish and pour in a layer of dahi into it
Squeeze the dumplings of the butter milk but do not crush them please and dip them in the dahi one by one and layer them in the dish
Pour out the rest of the dahi on top of the dumplings
Spread the corriander chutney, tamarind chutney and sprikle red chilli powder, jeera powder on top of it.

Enjoy them with rice or tandoori roti or just have them on their on own.

Monday, February 18, 2013


Last two weeks have been pretty bad with my little one being ill.  She somehow teeths and falls ill the same time!! and it really makes it very worse for all of us.  Her coughs send me down the depression mode oh so badly :(

With lots of hard work and running around, she finally is better, though her teething isint over yet.  Before she could be fine, my MIL caught the cough and fever, and then me and then my husband :) 

I was just mentioning at home that all our illnesses would have been worth the while if only she was better.

I read at a clinic once "deciding to have a child is deciding to see a peice of your heart walk out in the open"!!!

I today realize how true it is.  Yes, I as a parent would smilingly take up all that comes her way.  Protect her, keep her away from the blazing sun, the icy cold wind (ok maybe its not that cold, but still), a bee that came through the window, a hot cup of tea...........the list is endless.  I would hate myself if even after all this something does cause her tears to flow.

You know I put her in school this January, and the school to my convenience is right across the road.  It is so close that I sitting on the chair at my table, next to the window keep my ears so sharp open to listen if she is the one who is crying!!

Initially, I used to run across whenever I heard her cry.  I dont do so anymore. Hey, its not coz I dont want to do that - its coz the teachers dont allow me to!!!!  They laughed their heads out, wanting to know if I am always sitting by the window!!

Well, well, what can I say.  Dont all mothers do that??

Hmm let me come down to business now.  I made some chocolate jam cookies for my little one's school.  She did love them


1 cup - wheatflour / atta
1 cup - refined flour / maida
1/2 cup - quick cooking oats
1/4 cup - drinking chocolate powder
1 cup - sugar
3/4 cup - refined oil or butter
1 teaspn - coffee powder
1 egg
1/4 teaspn - baking powder
1 teaspn - vanilla essence

Jam Filling
1/2 cup - any jam of your choice but the mixed fruit goes best
1 tspn - water

Mix the flours and oats with the baking powder well enough
Add the chocolate powder and the coffee and mix again
In another bowl beat the butter, sugar till creamy
Add the egg and beat well
Now add the vanilla essence
Mix both
It should turn into a thick paste consistency
If its very runny add some flour
If its dry add some milk
It actually shouldnt be both of the above, if the measurements are correct, but the ingredients texture may vary at places, hence this suggestion :)
Pat into small balls right onto a greased cookie sheet

Now to make the jam filling just heat the jam and add that wee bit of water to get it a little diluted.  This is so that when baked the jam doesnt get so jammed (thick) that its difficult to eat.

Into the balls makes small indents using either a oiled thumb or the back of a spoon and drop in spoons of the jam.
Your oven should be preheated to 180 deg cel
Just pop the cookie sheet in and take it out in about 10 mins.
Let them cool.


Wednesday, February 6, 2013


Life is strange, and so are we. Things happen to us which we never ever thought would be part of our lives. Never in our lives did we think that we would have to shift to a new town, let alone having moved to a new country altogether!! But somehow the shift came calmly and without much fuss. We are now more or less settled in the town of Nairobi, and I am so totally liking it out here. The weather is lovely. I can sit by the window and experience cooooool (extremely cool, but not cold) breeze touching my face, at the same time, I can experience the lovely warmth of the sun caressing me. It is such a beautiful feeling. You know just having the pleasure of this phenomenon gives me the consolation and confirmation that God is nearby. He couldnt be too far off. Every evening as I sit by my window, there is a lovely sight I behold and that is of very tall trees outside being touched by the rays of the sun only on the top, while the rest of them is shadowed. It is as if they are reaching out to catch the fading sun, and dont wanna let go. In capturing all of this beauty of the city, I am also indulging myself in extensive cooking. My daughter has begun to go to a playschool very near to my home, and that gives me a lot of spare time during the mornings. Last week I had oranges aplenty, and fortunately for me they were quite sweet, and I also a handful of raspberries. So this is what I ended up baking - AN ORANGE RASPBERRY CREAM CAKE

Ingredients - For the cake
1-1/2 cup - refined flour
1 cup - wheatflour
1/2 tspn - baking powder
1/4 tspn - baking soda
2 eggs
3/4 cup - butter
1 cup - sugar
1 tspn - vanilla essence
1/2 cp - orange juice

Now preheat the oven to about 180 deg cel
Beat the butter and eggs (add them one by one)
Add the sugar and beat till creamy
Add the vanilla essence and beat again
Seive the flours and the baking powder and soda
Now slowly mix the wet into the dry till no lumps are left
Prepare a baking dish by greasing it and dusting it with flour, which I always do
Add the batter to the dish and put in the oven for about 35-40 mins
Pls check using a toothpick or whatever that the cake has been done
Let it cool Use a serrated knife to cut the cake into two
Sprinkle the orange juice liberally onto the cake parts and keep them in the fridge

For the frosting
1 cup full cream
2 tbspn orange rind
3/4 cup caster sugar (i had to use 1 cup since sugar in Nairobi is less sweet, God knows why!!!!)
1 tspn vanilla essence

Chill the beater and the utensil for beating the cream in the freezer for about 20 mins
Beat the cream till soft peaks
Add the sugar, orange rind and vanilla essence and beat till stiff peaks

Now to arrange
Take out the two cake slices
Use the bottom of the original cake upside down on the topmost layer of the final cake.
This way the top of the frosted cake is smooth and even.
Use the upper portion first.
Place it on the cake tray or serving platter and spread a thick layer of cream on top of it.
Sprinkle it with chopped orange and rasperies.  Be liberal
Now place the other portion upside down, so that the brown and flat side is on top
Now you can cover the whole cake with cream using a spreading spatula
Decorate the top with orange slices and raspberry

This was a refreshingly cool cake. The tangy sweet orange and the sweetness of the cake blended very well and it didnt take too much to finish it. Take care till next time.