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

3 Things Thursday {Week 24}

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No three things today, just one – 9/11.

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I’m pretty sure everyone remembers what they were doing and where they were that September morning in 2001. I was in American History class. The TV’s were on for a while as we tried to understand what was happening. Soon our teachers were requested to turn them off in fear of desensitizing us. That was 13 years ago.

Every year as the date approaches I promise myself I will keep the TV off, not watch the countless documentaries running on TV or read the various conspiracy stories floating around the web.  Of course, I end up watching, reading and am reminded of the madness that surrounded the day thirteen years ago. I hope and pray our daughter doesn’t have to experience such hate and such sadness  in her lifetime.

Three years later on 9/11 in 2004 my maternal grandfather also passed away. Suffice it to say 9/11 is a day I will never forget.

Sending love & prayers to those who lost their loved ones on 9/11.

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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!

3 Things Thursday {Week 23}

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Yay for short weeks.  Yay for almost the weekend. Sharing this weeks favorites.

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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This video. Hilarious.

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 Coveting Fall nail colors

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Smart and trendy West Elm Hacks. 

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 Ganesh Chaturthi with Kids

Lord Ganesha, the Hindu god is characterized by numerous attributes, his elephant head being the most noticeable. Known as the remover of obstacles, the patron of arts and sciences, he is also the deva of intellect and wisdom. Ganesha is also invoked as the advocate of learning. Traditionally, prior to school starting children pray to Lord Ganesh for any obstacles to be removed. As the god of beginnings, he is also honored at the start of every religious ritual and ceremony.

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via | Google images

Ganesh Chaturthi is the festival that honors Lord Ganesha. A ten day festival is held where clay sculptures of the god are installed in temples and homes. On the last day there are grand celebrations, street parties and feasts as the idols are taken to sea to be immersed in water.

Due to his elephant head many kids are attracted to the plump, sweet loving god. My husband tells me stories about when he was a child and how he would go sit at the clay makers shop next door to his house. The clay maker would let him help mold the ears and other simple parts. As evening struck my husband would plead and beg his mom to take home one of the Ganesh Idols. Even to this day my in laws always remember my husbands childhood antics surrounding the festival.

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Celebrating these festivals with young kids doesn’t always have to be an elaborate affair. You can do arts, crafts and other simple activities to involve them. Here are some fun ideas to celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi with your little ones.

Bake & Decorate Elephant Sugar Cookies

Adorable sugar cookies cut out in elephant shapes and decorated with royal icing.

Make a Ganesh Idol out of clay (or playdoh)

Print & color in Ganesh pictures

Choose from a library of black & white Ganesh images to color in

Make Lord Ganesh’s favorite dessert – modaks (sweet pastries)

7 types of Modaks

 

Wishing you & yours a Happy Ganesh Chaturthi!

3 Things Thursday {Week 22}

3thingsfinal-1 Happy Thursday All! Last week I took a break as I was flying back from Florida and after airport delays and our flight I was too exhausted to post. Somebody please tell these airline people that ground delays are the worst for parents traveling with young kids. Trust me it’s no fun having your cranky toddler “sweep” the entire airport floor while rolling around out of boredom.

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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This video

Good job Pampers! This ad was pure emotion.

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Not Ready. There I said it. I’m not ready for fall. While everyone’s eagerly awaiting their pumpkin lattes and layering jackets I’m holding on to warm Summer days with a tight grip!

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This song:

Ganesh Chaturthi is tomorrow and I absolutely love this song. It gets me so excited for the festival!

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!

 

Krishna Janmashtami

Two years ago on Krishna Janmashtami while flipping through devotional songs on You Tube I stumbled upon this video. I remember a flow of emotions sweeping over me and leaving me yearning for something. I had never felt this feeling before, a hollow type feeling wanting almost needing ‘it’ to happen immediately. I placed my hand on my stomach and made a wish, “Please Babaji (god) make me a mother”. One month later Little Mirchi was conceived. I will never forget that day. It was almost as if my inner core was saying, “I’m ready for motherhood”.

Krishna Janmashtami is the annual festival celebrating the birth of the Hindu deity Krishna, the eighth avatar of Lord Vishnu. This year Krishna Janmashtami will be on Sunday, August 17th. There are thousands of colorful tales sharing the naughtiness and sweetness of Bal (Baby) Krishna. Storybooks are filled with tales of his love for butter and yogurt and how he & his friends would sneak into neighboring homes and devour all their dairy. Many have written of how his mother Yashoda would have to hear a long list of complaints of her naughty little one. One thing however that everyone agrees upon in anything penned or pictured is the love between mother and child.

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A popular depiction of Mother Yashoda and Baby Krishna

On the day of the celebration babies and toddlers are dressed up as Bal Krishna. Competitions are held where teams of young men form human towers to reach high-hanging pots of butter to break just as Krishna and his friends would do. Many stay up fasting until the wee hours of early morning when he was born.

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We have a tradition in our family of dressing up all the babies as Krishna at least once. My Nanima (maternal grandmother) would take out her pearls and saris to dress us cousins up as the naughty butter thief when we were young. Keeping with tradition, Little Mirchi’s Nanima (my mom ;)) dressed her up this year. We decided to do it a few days early as we would be busy in the Mandir (temple) the day of. My mom was so excited that just as her mom dressed up her baby she did the same for my baby. And as if life wasn’t full circle enough, that same song that had me yearning for a child is now my darling’s favorite song. Funny how life works huh?!

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My mom feeding our “Baby Krishna” homemade yogurt

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Wishing you and yours a blessed Krishna Janmashtami!

3 Things Thursday {Week 20}

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Happy Thursday All! Hope you are having a great summer so far. Can you believe it’s already mid August? I just don’t understand how fast the time is flying by. This week I’m sharing something very special to my heart, my parent’s home… my Florida home. Our formal living room is one of my favorite places at home. My mom has adorned it with special pieces from our travels to India and it’s a sweet reminder of the beauty in India. Whenever I sit there I feel like royalty. Here are three things in the room that I absolutely love!

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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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This Ganesh Idol that is adorned with jewels & gems

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This puja ki thali (prayer plate). She used it on our wedding day to welcome Hubby Darling.

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These detailed “treasure” boxes that my mom serves paan in

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 19}

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Earlier this week Little Mirchi & I flew down to Orlando to visit my parents. We’ve been basking in the sunshine and enjoying pool time and home cooked favorites. After being away from home for sometime you start noticing how parents cherish small things of yours. This week I’m sharing things I made in the past that my mom has still kept on display around the house. Oh mothers, we will always be their baby’s no matter how old we get.

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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Medium: Fired Clay & Ceramic glaze

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Medium: Stretched canvas & Acrylics

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Medium: Fired Clay & Acrylics

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 Raksha Bandhan

“Siblings are the people we practice on, the people who teach us about fairness and cooperation and kindness and caring, quite often the hard way.” -Pamela Dugdale

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When I saw this quote all I could think about was how much “practicing” my brother and I did on each other growing up. He was the first to try my cooking, my first best friend, my first ‘kid’ in many ways. I remember the first year my brother and I didn’t get to celebrate Raksha Bandhan together, I was devastated! I’m thrilled that this year we’ll be celebrating the festival together. Raksha Bandhan (also known as Rakhi/Rakhri) is the Hindu festival that celebrates the love and loyalty between brother and sister. On this day sisters tie a rakhi (blessed thread) on their brother’s wrist. This thread symbolizes the sister’s love and prayers for her brother’s well-being, and the brother’s promise to protect her. After the rakhi is tied, sweets are exchanged and the brother gifts their sister a token, as a thank you for their prayers and blessings.

This year Raksha Bandhan falls on Sunday, August 10th.

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One of my favorite childhood pictures of my brother & I

There are stories in Indian history going back to the Rajput Queens and how they would send rakhis to neighboring kingdoms, as peace offerings & binding the kings in brotherhood. In India and Indian markets around the world, weeks leading up to the festival stores are filled with an assortment of rakhis, sweets and gifts.

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Last year I chose Little Mirchi’s rakhis for her cousin brothers (after all she was only 3 months old!) This year we took Little Mirchi to the local Indian market and let her choose the rakhis herself. (Mostly it was her trying to grab all the hanging rakhis out of excitement, but a fun experience none the less.)

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Although she’s not old enough to make any handmade ones as of yet, I thought these DIY Rakhi crafts were too cute not to share.

DIY: Baby Animal Rakhis

DIY: Twist & Turn Rakhis

DIY: Braided Rakhis

Wishing you & yours a Happy Raksha Bandhan!

Friday Favorites: 9th & Elm

Ever since 9th & Elm contacted me about an opportunity to review their products I’ve been eager to share them! 9th & Elm is a boutique website that specializes in handmade and independent designers. There is everything from apparel to jewelry and more!

There’s something so intimate about engraved jewelry pieces. I’ve always loved engraved and personalized pieces as they just feel a part of you and your collection right from the beginning. They take you to the time when that “date” was in the moment, or that feeling was fresh in your heart.

These are some of the personalized pieces that have made their way into my collection recently courtesy 9th & Elm.

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Little Mirchi admiring my new cuff

My hand stamped silver cuff  that houses one of my all time favorite quotes by poet Rumi… “Close your eyes. Fall in love. Stay there.” The simplicity of the slim silver silhouette and basic font is wonderful for everyday wear.

My math band ring is another sweet but simple addition that was too adorable to pass up. It’s etched with my husband and my initials with a dainty little heart to sum up the equation. See what I did there ;)

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Disclaimer: I was provided with these pieces free of charge for the purpose of this post. All opinions mentioned are my own.

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