French Style Chicken Stew with Peas

Below you will find a non-Indian recipe. To understand why I am putting this recipe up you need to know where my family is from. My mom and dad’s family are from a French territory in India, Pondicherry. (If you are wondering why this name sounds familiar it might be because of the book, Life of Pi is set there in the beginning of the book)

My mom knows a lot of recipes that are unique not only to South India but in particular Pondicherry. One of the great things about Indian cuisine is there are lots of variety from different regions of India. This is my grandmother’s recipe that she shared with my Aunt and Mom, which is a French recipe common in Pondicherry. I hope you enjoy it, as much as we do!

Chicken Stew with Peas

½ of a whole chicken cut

1 large onion, sliced

2 bay leaves

5 garlic cloves, sliced

2 medium tomatoes, sliced

8 oz of frozen peas

salt

pepper

½ cup of tomato sauce

This is how the onions and tomatoes should look before moving on.
This is how the onions and tomatoes should look before moving on.

Add ¼ cup of oil in a pan and heat. Add sliced onion to oil, with 2 bay leaves and sliced garlic. Fry onions till they are brown, once they are brown add tomatoes. Add a little water to the tomatoes and onions to help them cook. Cook till it is well done.

Add chicken to the onions and tomatoes and cook. Once chicken is about 1/3 of the way down add the peas to the pan and add the tomato sauce. Cover pot and let it boil. You want to let some of the water to evaporate and the sauce to thicken.

This is what everything looks like when we are cooking the chicken.
This is what everything looks like when we are cooking the chicken.

Once you are doing cooking it you can serve it with bread. My grandmother used to serve it with French bread.

Chicken Stew will look like this when it's done.
Chicken Stew will look like this when it’s done.
Finish Chicken Stew
Ready to be served!

 ~ Till Next Time

Pidabean

Pork Chop Marinade

Here is a marinade for pork chops.  My Aunt gave my mother this recipe and we have been enjoying for the last few months.   It’s nice easy to do and very good!   Hope you enjoy it!

~Till Next Time

Pidabean

Pork Chop Marinade

For this recipe you can either bake or grill the pork chops.

Ingredients:

11 pork chops

3 inches of ginger (peeled)

12 cloves of garlic

2 ½ tablespoons of cumin

1 ½ cups of yogurt

Chili powder

Salt.

Grind the peeled ginger, cumin and garlic together with a little water. (We used the blender to grind all the ingredients together.

Add the yogurt and the paste to the pork chops. Add Chili powder and salt to taste. Mix all together and marinate overnight or for 6 to 8 hours.

Bake at 375 for 35 minutes. Or grill till cooked.

You can eat the pork chops with a salad or with dhal rice.

Cabbage Poriyal

I know it’s been awhile since I posted a recipe but I actually had written this one up before the holidays. The holidays at our home is always busy so I didn’t get a chance to post it, which actually works out well since Mom doesn’t want to cook Indian Food at the moment. She did a lot of cooking over the last few weeks especially Indian Food. In a dream world I would have gotten all of the recipes but I may have been told to go away or she didn’t have time to measure things out for me. Like I said before someone (Mom) has a tendency of putting ingredients in when no one is looking. We will get back to it soon but here is something very yummy if you like cabbage.

~Till Next Time

Pida

Cabbage Poriyal

½ cup of chana dal

3 tablespoon of oil

½ teaspoon of mustard seed

1 sprig of curry leaves

1 medium onion sliced

½ teaspoon asafetida powder

4 garlic cloves sliced

3 chilies chopped

½ teaspoon of turmeric

Half a head of cabbage finely chopped

Salt to taste

½ cup of freshly coconut

In a pot boil water and add ½ cup chana dal. Cook until the dal is almost done. (We don’t want to cook it all the way because we will be adding it later when the cabbage is cooking.)

In a different saucepan add 3 tablespoons of oil and heat. Add ½ teaspoon mustard seeds, ½ teaspoon of cumin seeds, sprig of curry leaves and sliced onions to the saucepan. Also add ½ of teaspoon asafetida powder, 4 garlic cloves sliced, 3 chilies chopped and ½ teaspoon of turmeric. Once the onions are browned add half head of cabbage finely chopped. Add 2 cups of water to help the cabbage cooked and salt to taste. Cover and let cook. When the cabbage is almost done add the partially cooked chana dal into the pan. Don’t over cook the dal and the cabbage as you don’t want it took become too mushy. Stir in ½ a cup of freshly grated coconut to the cabbage and turn of the stove. You are done!

You can enjoy the cabbage with some rice and curry or have it on its own with some naan or chapati.

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BFITWWW wants Book Recommendations

A few weeks ago BFITWWW wanted a few book recommendations since she was done with her semester.  So instead of giving her actual book recommendations I am going to give her some author recommendations. I have read over 225 books in the past year which makes it hard for me to pick a few of my favorites.

First up in no particular order, Kristan Higgins.  I started to read her books back in March when I won a virtual meeting with Kristan Higgins for my book club.  I actually had read one of her books before winning the contest and for some odd reason never went back to read her other books.  Well that changed very quickly in March, I was on a mission to read everything she had written!  I even waited to buy two of her books till November when i got to meet her in person at a book signing!  Her books are funny, and light hearted.  I think she bring a Catholic humor into her books which I enjoy because it makes the books relatable for me growing up as a child who went to Catholic School and very religious parents. I always laugh out loud when I read her books. I also will tell people funny quotes of things have happened in her books. In Goodreads, I have rated all of her books between 4 to 5 stars.

Kristan Higgins and Me!
Kristan Higgins and Me!

Next up is Christine Trent in particular, Lady of Ashes series. Currently, there are 3 books in this series.  I enjoyed this book because it wasn’t my usual to go to book when I pick something up.  It started off as a random choice on my digital library and now I recommend this series all the time.  I was very excited to find out that Christine Trent was going to be at a book signing I was going to be at.  My friend was able to ask Christine to come to our book club and speak (I know I have a pretty cool book club). She was able to tell us all about Victorian Mourning period, the publishing world and so much more.  So you are wondering what is this series about?  It is about Violet who is working with her husband as an undertaker where she takes on most of the responsibility and she is also starts to investigates some suspicious deaths.  I am anxiously waiting the next books in the series. My hope is to read the other books Christine Trent has written in 2015. In Goodreads, I have rated the Lady of Ashes series between 4 to 5.

Christine Trent and Me!
Christine Trent and Me!

This is hard there are so many authors that I really like so I am going to do Nora Roberts! If you know me personally, you know I love Nora Roberts/JD Robb.  I have read pretty much everything she has written and that is a lot of books.  I have met her numerous times at her bookstore in MD.  The bookstore has book signings throughout out the year where I get to meet wonderful new authors to me or authors who I have read.  Nora Roberts I feel has a little something for everyone. If you like a Romantic Mystery then you could ready many of her stand alone books.  Or if you enjoy a magic she has a few trilogies you might enjoy.

Nora Roberts and Me!  (One of many pictures)
Nora Roberts and Me! (One of many pictures)

So for right now those are my recommendations for BBITWWW and for anyone else who is looking for a good read.  I will put up some books that I think that you might enjoy.

Girl Scout Thank You

Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to be able to spend time with some wonderful woman.  At one point in time they were girls who I grew up with and was a girl scout with them.  For those who know me, know that Girl Scout have been a big part of who I am as a person.  I loved being able to hear what my former Girl Scouts have been doing in their lives. We were able to watch videos of activities we did together and see pictures of some of the fun things we did when we were younger.

Another amazing part of the day was it wasn’t get former Girl, Girl Scouts but as well as Mom, Girl Scouts.  Being a leader now, I definitely have an appreciation for the adults who gave us our Girl Scout experience.  Right now you hear a lot about how in areas there aren’t enough leaders or adults who able to lead a Girl Scout Troops.  So I want to thank my first leaders in giving me my love and passion of Girl Scouts as well as the other Moms and my Mom who volunteered and drove us to activities. I defiantly learned that I have Girl Scout traits from my first Girl Scout Leader.   If it wasn’t for them I would have never been able to spend the night in Museums, done lock ins, participated in etiquette class and so much more.

I hope to see my former troop some more in the future and maybe my former troop will be able to do something with my current troop.

PS. Girl Scout Cookie Season is starting so make sure you support a local troop!

My Leaders and I.  Top Picture 2014 and bottom Picture 1993
My Leaders and I.
Top Picture 2014 and bottom Picture 1993
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Girl Scout Moms
Girl Scout Troop All Grown Up!
Girl Scout Troop All Grown Up!

Merry Christmas!

I hope everyone is enjoying their Christmas.  We have had a great day.  We kept this Christmas very low key with going to mass and having dinner with just the family.  Mom showed me to how to make a special Indian dish called Biryani.  Due to how complex the dish is I won’t be able to publish it at this point.  I need to make sure I didn’t miss anything.  Mom has a tendency to add things to pot when I am not looking.

Merry Christmas! Here are some of the decorations in our home this year!

Mom loves Santa so we have tons!
Mom loves Santa so we have tons!
Our Dicken's Village
Our Dicken’s Village

Indian Christmas Sweets

In preparation for Christmas, our family joined a few of our family friends to make Indian Sweets and Savory Snacks. Everyone had a special part to play in the production from making dough, rolling, frying, or other tasks that needed to be done.

Throughout the day, many laughs were shared, too many jokes for me to remember all of them to share with you. Okay, maybe some of them I am trying to forget. In the end we were able to make and learn different recipes. My favorite part of the day was listening to everyone say his or her favorite memories about Christmas cooking. I know for me, this day will be highlight in the years to come.

Below are some of the delicious treats we made. Unfortunately, due to the organized chaos of the event I wasn’t able to get written recipes to share. There is always next year!

Kormolas
Kormolas
Murukku is on the left and Sev is on the right
Murukku is on the left and Sev is on the right
Neuris
Neuris

Quick and Easy Breakfast

Upma- (Indian Style Cream of Wheat)

Mom makes this quick easy breakfast for Dad, it’s one of his favorites. You can find different versions of Upma but I hope you enjoy ours!

1 ½ Cups of Cream of Wheat

2 tablespoons of oil

½ teaspoon of mustard seeds

1 medium onion (sliced)

1 sprig of curry leaves

Pinch of asafetida powder

3 chopped chilies*

½ teaspoon of turmeric powder

Salt to taste

Roast 1 ½ cups of cream of wheat in a pan. Once you start to get the roasted smell, take off the stove and transfer to another bowl.

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roasted cream of wheat

In the same pan add 2 tablespoon of oil. When the oil it hot add ½ teaspoon of mustard seeds, 1 medium sliced onion, a sprig of curry leaves, a pinch of asafetida powder, 3 chopped chilies* and ½ teaspoon turmeric powder. Fry till onions until slightly brown.

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Browned onions

Add three cups of hot water to bring to a boil. Once the water is boiling stir in roasted cream of wheat. Add salt to taste. Reduce the heat to prevent burning and you may need to add more water to help cook the cream wheat as you go (Make sure to add small amounts so you don’t add to much water). Towards the end you can add coriander leaves as well. Dad likes ghee to be added so we add 1 tablespoon to the Upma.

Finished Upma, Hope Santa Enjoys
Finished Upma, Hope Santa Enjoys

You can also add cashews to the Upma, if you like.

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Looking good!

*Dried Red Chilies can be added instead of green chilies

Mom and I go to Hot 995 Jingle Ball

Alright, so most of you know that Mom and I took a break from Christmas decorating to attend Hot 995 Jingle Ball.  I won tickets after a very exhausting but fun filled day of collecting canned food for a food drive my Girl Scout Troop is involved in at their parish. When I heard on the radio I could win tickets, I went home and asked Mom to go with me to where the radio station was and she said No (She was busy cleaning the house because I believe we had people coming over).  Anyway I went and I won the tickets and told her I would take her to the show.

Last night was a lot of fun! We headed down and had drinks and dinner at Lucky Strike   next to the Verizon Center.  Tried to win floor seats and meet and great passes but we didn’t win.  But we did have great food and drinks and hopefully we will be going back since we have some passes for bowling.

So to the concert…

I have to say I was very excited to go and didn’t know really what to except especially when you have such a huge line up.  Mom and I were very impressed by all the artists.  Mom really liked Calvin Harris because of the lights he was using during his set.  We were very impressed by Kiesza, her choreography to her song was amazing. I was super excited to see all the duets to songs which have been so big this year (“Fancy”, “Black Widow”and “Bang Bang”).

All the artists were so energetic and dynamic, you couldn’t help but dance and sing along. The crowd seemed to love everyone especially 5 Seconds of Summer (we may have loss our hearing when they came on).  There were tons of artists that I would love to see live: Meghan Trainor, Demi Lovato and Jessie J to name a few. Mom did get a little worried at one point when the entire venue started to shake, so you know it was great show.  Mom and I both decided that we want to go back next year!

Look out tomorrow for a new recipe.

Till Next Time,

Pida

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Natsfest with Best Friend in the Whole Wide World

My Best Friend in the Whole Wide World (BFITWWW) and I went to Natsfest today. (I have known BFITWWW for the last 25 years.  We grew up together on the same street.) BFITWWW loves the Washington Nationals.  This year on her birthday she and her family as well as Mom and I were at the first No Hitter game for the Nats.  So naturally she would want to go with the Natsfats and I said I would go with her.

BFITWWW

At Natfest we enjoyed watching Natsfest Feud with Tyler Clippard and Drew Storen and also saw At the Movies with Jerry Blevins.  I had to keep asking BFITWWW who players are when we pass by them or see them.  BFITWWW was able to get her picture taken with Bob Carpenter who announces the games for the Nats.  She was pretty excited. We were both able to take a few pics with some players, Blake Treinen, Michael Taylor and Steven Souza Jr.

After lots of lines and waiting, we had a great time! We both can’t wait for the new season and next year’s Natsfest. (Let’s say we both have a plan)

Till Next Time,

Pida

Natsfest