3 Things Thursday {Week 30}

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Happy Diwali! Wishing you and yours a happy and blessed day! Sharing three of my favorite Diwali ad campaigns in this week’s link up.

If you are new to 3 Things Thursday and would like to learn more check out my initial post about it. For directions on how to link up, follow the post!

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Ghar Wali Diwali {At home Diwali}

Pepsi and Kurkure did a great job making us nostalgic with their latest ad. #gharwalidiwali

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No more shor {no more noise}

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Over the years people have started opting for a firework less Diwali, better for the environment and a calmer atmosphere this clever campaign urges to do just that. #nomoreshor

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My Diwali Break

Kit Kat celebrates India’s mission to Mars with their latest Diwali music video

Now it’s your turn! Share your blog post in the link up below. Just a few rules (well requests really). Please link back to one or all of the hostesses; Nisha from Love Laugh Mirch, Raj from Pink Chai Living, or Salma from The Write Balance, and share a link to your post (not your blog’s home page). Feel free to use the 3 Things badge in your post. We’re looking forward to reading your posts!


Kala Chana | Spiced Black Chickpeas

DiwaliSong

I’ve been singing this all week at home – driving Hubby Darling crazy. Is it obvious I’m in the Diwali spirit? Anndd that would be my lyrical talent for the year.

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Kala chana, halwa & poori, without these three things, the festive season in our house is incomplete. The first time I made Kala chana was my first married Diwali. I was fasting and wanted to prepare a perfect Diwali thali (Diwali plate) just like my Mom did while we were growing up. I asked her for the recipe over the phone and set forth making the dishes one by one. As I started to make the dish I followed the recipe step by step, checking every ingredient off the list. After Diwali puja (prayer) my husband and I sat down to eat. I was so excited for him to try the kala chana (it’s one of his favorites). He gave it a taste and did all he could not to spit it out. In all the jumble of cooking so many dishes I had notated the recipe wrong and double the salt! They tasted terrible to put it gently, but we had a good laugh at my fumble. You can bet the next time I made this dish was on a non fasting day, so I could taste as cooked.

This recipe is a fasting version (meaning onions, garlic are omitted) but it’s full of flavor and tastes great any time of year. If you are looking for a “wetter” version with more gravy you can sauté 1/3 cup chopped onions and tomatoes as step one in the recipe. Black chickpeas are high in protein and fiber and are considered a ‘super food’. Growing up if we made a fuss about eating then my dad would reply “It’s horse’s food, it will make you strong!” After getting married I remember my husband mentioning how it was horse’s food, all I could do was smirk at the coincidence. Black chickpeas are very dense so soaking them overnight is not only suggested it’s almost necessary to ensure quicker cooking time.

Kala chana are a great finger food for kids if they are at the chewing stage. You can add them in chaat, salads; have them with roti or just on their own. My favorite thing to do is roll them in a hot poori with some halwa… a sweet and spicy poori roll – yum!

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Ingredients:

1 cup Kala chana (Black Chick Peas)- soaked overnight
2 teaspoon finely crushed ginger
1 1/2 teaspoon jeera (cumin)
1/2  teaspoon Red chili powder
1 teaspoon roasted jeera powder
1 1/2 teaspoon kala namak (black salt)
1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
fresh cilantro for garnish

Method:

Wash the soaked chick peas and pressure cook them for 3-4 whistles (or until soft). In a heavy bottom pan heat oil and add cumin seeds to it. Once the seeds start sputtering add the drained chick peas. Add the black salt, ginger, red chili powder, jeera powder and mix thoroughly. Keep it on simmer for 10-15 minutes. Turn off heat, add lemon juice and chopped cilantro.

Enjoy!



A version of this recipe first appeared in Masalamommas magazine.

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30 Children’s Books on Indian Culture & Festivals

Having to raise my brother and I outside of India my parents had to make extra efforts to teach us about our culture, language and religion. When you live in India, you just know when the festive season is around the corner, shops start putting out their finest pieces, it’s blasted across televisions and street signs, families start hosting big dinners and mothers get busy in the kitchen. Due to the zero commercial influence in the States, my parents would have to make up for it at home by making it a big deal. They would tell us colorful stories from their childhood, cook our favorite foods, and get us involved in fun and festive help tasks. My dad had a shelf in his library dedicated to Indian books and comics, just so he could teach us the culture in a ‘fun’ way. Years later I still find myself indulging in those books every time I go home to visit my parents.

Even before Little Mirchi was born I started a running list of Indian inspired books that I wanted to add to our home library for her to learn and read from. My hope is that she too will learn and hold on to the memories the way I cherish the books my Dad collected for us when we were kids. Sharing some of my favorite books that teach children about Indian culture, festivals and language below. I’ll be adding to this list as I come across more Indian inspired fun reads. If there are any children’s books in your collection that you think should be on the list, please share in the comments section!

 

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1. Amma, Tell Me About Series

  1. Amma, Tell Me About Holi
  2. Amma, Tell Me About Krishna
  3. Amma, Tell Me About Diwali
  4. Amma, Tell Me About Ramayana
  5. Amma, Tell Me About Ganesha
  6. Amma, Tell Me How Krishna Defeated Kansa
  7. Amma, Tell Me How Krishna Fought The Demons

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8. Diwali (Bright Baby Touch & Feel)

51uMuegH5EL

 

 

 

 

9. The Drum: A Folktale from India

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10. Indian Children’s Favorite Stories

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11. The Story of Divaali

divaali

 

 

 

 

12. Ramayana: Divine Loophole

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13. Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth

ganeshatooth

 

 

 

 

14. Mina Goes to India: Mina Chali Bharat

mingoestoindia

 

 

 

 

15. Lots of Lights

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16. Rani and the Safari Surprise

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17. The Diwali Gift

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18. Rani Vists the Taj Mahal

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19. The Little Book of Hindu Deities: From the Goddess of Wealth to the Sacred Cow

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20. Rani Saves Diwali

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21. The Big Poster Book of Hindu Deities

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22. Chaat and Sweets

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23. Elephant Prince: The Story of Ganesh

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24. Diwali: A Cultural Adventure

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25. Lighting a Lamp: A Diwali Story

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26. My Dadima Wears a Sari

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27. Hot, Hot Roti for Dada-ji

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28. Monsoon Afternoon

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29. The Road to Mumbai

roadmumabi

 

 

 

 

30. Lily’s Garden of India

lilygarden

 

 

 

 

**Added after original publish**

31. The Story of Little Babaji

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32. Chachaji’s Cup

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33. Celebrate your Name

celebratename

 

 

 

 

34. The Happiest Tree: A Yoga Story

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35. India ABC’s

IndiABC

 

 

 

 

30 Children’s Books on Indian Culture & Festivals


3 Things Thursday {Week 29}

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Happy Thursday! I’m not sure about you all but I am SO looking forward to the weekend.

If you are new to 3 Things Thursday and would like to learn more check out my initial post about it. For directions on how to link up, follow the post!

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Scientific Reasons behind Hindu Traditions

Pretty interesting article as to why we follow certain cultural traditions.

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messykids

So this was me today. Entire house cleaned and ten minutes later a 2.5 foot storm comes in. Sigh…

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Tired

I’m feeling super exhausted lately. In between construction errands and Diwali planning – I need a mini mental vacay.

Now it’s your turn! Share your blog post in the link up below. Just a few rules (well requests really). Please link back to one or all of the hostesses; Nisha from Love Laugh Mirch, Raj from Pink Chai Living, or Salma from The Write Balance, and share a link to your post (not your blog’s home page). Feel free to use the 3 Things badge in your post. We’re looking forward to reading your posts!


3 Things Thursday {Week 28}

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Hi All! This week I’m sharing a few of my favorite articles that I’ve read in the past few days.

If you are new to 3 Things Thursday and would like to learn more check out my initial post about it. For directions on how to link up, follow the post!

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What kids all around the world eat for breakfast

Rise & Shine – While I completely agree that culture should influence a families breakfast vs. the sugary food industry I am curious if the proportions depicted in this article are correct. They seem massive! I did however enjoy seeing all the diversity in the meals and am a sucker for savory breakfast foods myself!

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 Beauty

31 backstage beauty secrets - Loving all the simple makeup tips in this article that are actually doable!

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Nom Nom Nom

Getting your kids to eat everything – Mark Bittman’s story on how he introduced a variety of foods to his children while they were growing up and how they ate them (and enjoyed them!). We have also noticed that Little Mirchi is much more interested what is on our plates vs if we try and feed her separately. This is one of the reasons we try and keep our meal times at a similar time when she eats, so that she will be open to trying new foods and enjoy them.

Now it’s your turn! Share your blog post in the link up below. Just a few rules (well requests really). Please link back to one or all of the hostesses; Nisha from Love Laugh Mirch, Raj from Pink Chai Living, or Salma from The Write Balance, and share a link to your post (not your blog’s home page). Feel free to use the 3 Things badge in your post. We’re looking forward to reading your posts!

Celebrating Karva Chauth

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Karva Chauth is almost here and I can’t wait! Karva Chauth is a North Indian festival celebrated around the world in which married women fast from sunrise to moonrise for the health and long lives of their husbands. You’re probably thinking what could be so exciting about fasting? But that’s just it, the day is spent in adorning yourself like a bride, the full deal from clothing, jewelry to applying mendhi (henna). In addition, housework is restricted and you are so busy in preparations for the chaand puja (moon prayer) that you hardly notice the fasting. Traditionally mother in laws prepare saargi, the pre-sunrise early morning meals for their daughter in laws and fast together. In essence, it’s a celebration of the wife and her promise to always pray and protect her husband.

karvachauth mendhi

Second to Diwali this is the festival I look forward to most. When I was a little girl I would ‘ooooh’ and ‘aaahhh’ as my mom adorned herself the day of. She would take out her crimson color sari, adjust her kamar baand, select something from her jewelry collection and apply sindoor (a red powder, the symbol of a married woman) on her forehead. I would shriek out of excitement of how beautiful she looked. All I could do was hope that I too had the glow of love and femininity like her when it was time for me to celebrate.

My first Karva Chauth as a married woman!

My first Karva Chauth as a married woman!

When it was time for me to celebrate my first married Karva Chauth a few years ago, my mom made sure everything was as beautiful and romantic as I imagined it. She had a mendhi artist come the night before to adorn our hands and feet. A few days leading up to the festival we decorated our plates and accessories needed for the prayer. In the wee early hours of the morning after showering, we sat together in prayer which was immediately followed by a meal of paranthas and jalebis dunked in milk. That evening I took out my wedding trousseau to wear, it felt just as magical as it did the first time. Everything was perfect, even better than I had imagined.

Karva Chauth through out the years

Karva Chauth through out the years

The romance, colors, significance and traditions have me counting down as the festival approaches each year. This year a group of girlfriends and I are having a mendhi celebration the day before – to get us in the spirit and start the adorning early! I love celebrating traditional holidays even more now that Little Mirchi is growing up. I hope that she too will be as enthused as I was watching my mom celebrate.

Wishing all the beautiful ladies celebrating a Happy Karva Chauth!

3 Things Thursday {Week 27}

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Happy Thursday! The past few weeks have been filled with chaos and fun as we had family visiting. Mornings were filled with chai and childhood stories and by night we were sprawled across the couch, playing cards and pulling legs. This morning I woke up to the sound of silence, missing the fun and family time. Sharing a few happenings from this week this 3 things Thursday.

If you are new to 3 Things Thursday and would like to learn more check out my initial post about it. For directions on how to link up, follow the post!

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New Phone

I have been loooong overdue for a new phone. My storage was shot, screen semi cracked, and model unable to update to the latest software. So when my phone fell last week and I couldn’t see the screen anymore, I knew it was time. I am loving my new iPhone 6! I got the gold (of course) with much more storage… so I don’t have to worry about the number of pictures I take of Little Mirchi.

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 Kitchen Drama

So here’s the deal. A few weeks ago we got our kitchen (which was a fiasco on it’s own as we had to go to 3 different locations to source all the parts). Since then everyday we are discovering a missing screw, a missing nut, bolt, you get the deal. I’m running low on patience and am ready for it to to be done with.

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Kanjak Puja

I was up early today prepping for Kanjak Puja. Kanjak Puja is an important ritual during the Navaratri. It falls on the eighth day (Ashtami) of the nine-day Navaratri festival. Young girls (Kanjaks) and one boy (lainkda) are worshiped on this day in North India. On the day of, people invite young girls to their homes and wash their feet and tie red color thread on their wrists. They take blessings by washing their feet, as it is said Mother Durga resides in them. The children are given prasad (holy offered food) and a small gift  or money. Last year Little Mirchi wasn’t mobile so she sat still during the prayer… we’ll see how she does this year now that she is on the go!

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 Now it’s your turn! Share your blog post in the link up below. Just a few rules (well requests really). Please link back to one or all of the hostesses; Nisha from Love Laugh Mirch, Raj from Pink Chai Living, or Salma from The Write Balance, and share a link to your post (not your blog’s home page). Feel free to use the 3 Things badge in your post. We’re looking forward to reading your posts!

3 Things Thursday {Week 26}

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3 things Thursday… on a Friday this week. A sick child, needy contractors, a broken phone all make this Mamma overly exhausted and ready for the weekend!

If you are new to 3 Things Thursday and would like to learn more check out my initial post about it. For directions on how to link up, follow the post!

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As seen on TV

I’m usually not one to get sucked into “as seen on tv” gadgets but I’ve always been curious to see how good the Vidalia Chop Wizard actually was. So last week when I realized I had a gift card about to expire I decided to pick one up. Oh emm geee where has it been all my life?! O b s e s s e d. Please hand me a vegetable, let me chop it!

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 Girlfriends

During stressful weeks like these I don’t know what I’d do without my girlfriends. A few weeks ago Raj from Pink Chai Living asked me how I make time for the girlfriends in my life. Check out the link to the video and remember to enter in the giveaway!

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Happy Navaratri! Wishing my readers who celebrate a colorful and blessed 9 days ahead.

 

Now it’s your turn! Share your blog post in the link up below. Just a few rules (well requests really). Please link back to one or all of the hostesses; Nisha from Love Laugh Mirch, Raj from Pink Chai Living, or Salma from The Write Balance, and share a link to your post (not your blog’s home page). Feel free to use the 3 Things badge in your post. We’re looking forward to reading your posts!


3 Things Thursday {Week 25}

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Sharing some of my favorite quotes on motherhood & children this Thursday!

ChildrenAreNot Your Children Sunbeams

If you are new to 3 Things Thursday and would like to learn more check out my initial post about it. If you would like to join in, share your blog post in the link up below. Just a few rules (well requests really). Please link back to one or all of the hostesses; Nisha from Love Laugh Mirch, Raj from Pink Chai Living, or Salma from The Write Balance, and share a link to your post (not your blog’s home page). Feel free to use the 3 Things badge in your post. We’re looking forward to reading your posts!


Chicken Chapli Kebabs

“People who love to eat are always the best people.” – Julia Child

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This recipe is dedicated to our friend S, whose love for chicken is contagious. Kid you not, she is the queen of chicken. Breakfast, lunch and dinner her meal isn’t complete without her favorite protein. A few weeks ago after our girls had gotten out of swim class we were talking about our lunch plans, weekend plans. My husband mentioned he wanted me to make him his Mom’s Upma (a spicy semolina porridge). S’s husband mentioned how they had a ritual of going to this local Turkish place after class because it was quick, fresh and easy. And that’s when it happened. S started gushing about the tender kebabs, how juicy and flavorful they were and how they just melted in your mouth. This was not the first time she was putting water in our mouths. S’s love of chicken is so deep that she will describe it in such a way that it will leave you craving it. In fact, my first choice is generally a vegetarian dish but when I’m around S, I suddenly find myself wanting chicken… crazy, I know!

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A few days later I found myself craving kebabs so I made these Chapli Kebabs. Chapli Kebabs are made with ground meat and fresh herbs and spices. They are prepared flat and round and generally served with naan. The word Chapli comes from the Pashto word Chaprikh, which means “flat”. These kebabs are great to make ahead of time and freeze wonderfully. And don’t let the long list of ingredients scare you off, the more herbs and spices you add the more flavorful they will be! The recipe is pretty forgiving as well, for example, I only had two small green chilies as opposed to the 3 the recipe calls for, so I threw in a red Thai chili I had. I used chicken as the base but you could make these with any lean ground meat.

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Oh and you can bet that we took a detour that day going home and got kebabs after swim class!

Ingredients

3 lbs of ground chicken
1 medium red onion
1 teaspoon red chili powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
2 teaspoon coriander powder
2 teaspoon crushed fresh garlic
2 teaspoon ground cumin powder
2 teaspoons shahi jeera (black cumin)
1 teaspoon white poppy seeds
1 tablespoon dried mint
3 medium sized green chilies
1/3 cup fresh cilantro
1/3 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
2 limes (juice of one lime for mixture/one for garnishing)
3 teaspoon salt (adjust to taste)
1/3 cup cooking oil

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Method
In a food processed chop all herbs and spices together. It’s important to taste for salt during this step. Once the mixture is finely chopped add to large bowl and mix in ground meat. Mix until all ingredients are well incorporated. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 30-45 minutes. This will prevent the meat from sticking to your fingers while making the kebabs.

Once chilled, take heaping tablespoon of meat mixture in your hand. Place it in center of palm. Roll it to form a smooth ball (around the size of a gold ball) and then flatten the ball by pressing firmly between your palms. Place on parchment paper and continue until all kebabs have been formed.

In a heavy bottom pan heat oil on medium high heat. Once oil gets hot lower heat to medium low and fry kababs for 4-5 minutes or until well done on each side.

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Squeeze fresh lime juice on hot kebabs and garnish with fresh cilantro and onions.

Enjoy

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