Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Black and White Wednesday # 125 Gallery

Once again, I am extremely happy and honored to host the rich and wonderful gallery of Black and White Wednesday. I was in awe every time I was downloading the images from my inbox.Truly, each and every picture is so unique and beautiful! I thank Susan and Cinzia for initiating and organizing this wonderful event. Also, a big thank you to all who participated for your time and effort.

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So here for you all, the wonderful images I was talking about. The images are in the order I received.

Ivy Gourd from Aparna of "The Stories form the Mahe Coast"

Snail strolling on parsley from Simona of  "Briciole"

Cantaloupe from Priya of "The Humpty Dumpty Kitchen"

Garden Onion-A Gift From a Neighbor Gardener

Silhouette Amongst the Clover and Dollarweed

Both from Lynne of "Cafe Lynnylu"

Green Asparagus Bouquet from Cinzia of "Cindystar Blog"

Cucumis sativus from Shri of  "Tiffin Carrier Anticque's"

Indulgence from Rosa of "Rosa's Yummy Yums"

Lunch Delight from yours' truly of "Pocketfull Of Spices"

Enjoy the gallery, friends. Next week see you all at Lynne's Cafe Lynnylu.

Happy Wednesday!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Bulgur Wheat Pilaf/Pulao

This bulgur wheat pulao has been inspired by this recipe. Bulgur wheat is a nutty tasting grain made from whole wheat kernels and is widely popular in Middle east and Indian cuisine. A quick search will tell you that it is high in fiber and protein and low in fat and calories. It is also rich in minerals and vitamins. And this salad is very delicious and perfect for a light yet comforting lunch.


Bulgur wheat - 1 cup
Onions - 2 medium, chopped
Tomatoes - 1 medium, chopped
Cumin powder - 1 teaspoon
Coriander powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Garam masala powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Water - 1 1/2 cup
Yogurt - 1/2 cup
Ginger - 1/2 inch piece, grated
Lemon/lime - 1
Cilantro leaves - 1/4 cup, chopped fine
Parsley leaves - 1/4 cup, chopped fine
Peanuts - 1/2 cup, roasted
Salt - to taste
Pepper - to taste
Oil- 2 tablespoon

Soak the bulgur wheat in water for 10 minutes.

Heat oil in a pot, add the onions, saute them well till they are light brown, 8-10 minutes. Add the tomatoes to it and saute for another few minutes.

Add the bulgur wheat, add the spices, salt and pepper and give it a mix. Add water to it, enough to cover the entire wheat.

Bring it to boil, and then let it simmer for ten minutes.  Turn off the heat and let it cool down.

Add the chopped cilantro and parsley leaves and mix it well with the pilaf.

In the meantime, mix yogurt with pinch of salt, and grated ginger, add a squeeze of lime juice to it.

Add dollops of yogurt on top of the pilaf and sprinkle the roasted peanuts on it. Serve it cold or at room temperature.

Delve in and enjoy! It is such a delight.

I converted this image to sepia and this is my contribution for this week's Black and White Wednesday, a culinary event started by Susan and now organized by Cinzia. This week it is hosted by yours' truly. For participation details, click here

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Black and White Wednesday # 125

This week I am your host for Black and White Wednesday-A Culinary Photography Event. This is one of the event I really like and try to participate as much possible. Every week, very talented chefs contribute to set up the beautiful gallery of black and white photos. This wonderful event was started by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook, and now organized by Cinzia of Cindystar.

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For the newbies, here are the rules:
  • Your clicks have to be  anything of a culinary nature or show anything related to food
  • You can shoot either in b/w mode or in color, then process in b/w. You can use any effect you like but keeping the image in a monochrome/grayscale, with Sepia and Cyanotype tones allowed. No color details allowed.
  • Approximate sizes of your pictures should be portrait/500 wide & 700 long - landscape/700 wide & 500 long - or 600 square.
  • No need of a recipe, nor a story nor a location (but they are welcome if you like), simply a title for the picture is required.

Please send me your photographs at pocketfullofspices AT gmail DOT com with following details: 

  • Subject: BWW #125
  • Your Name that you want to be published in round up
  • Your Blog's Name
  • Title of Your Pic
  • URL of your post
  • The image(s), max 500 px wide
You have until Tuesday, JApril 15, to send me your images. Even if you do not have any blog, you can send me your photos for the roundup.

So, take out your cameras and happy clicking my friends!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Chickpea with Spinach aka Palak Chole

Chickpeas, also known as garbanzo, is one of my favorite and is often used in the household to prepare ghugni, a very delicious snack. A quick search will tell you that it is  packed highly with protein and dietary fiber, and importantly, very low in fat.

I had this preparation only recently at a local road side eat out and immediately liked it. It uses spinach and mustard greens, you can use any green leaves of your choice, so it makes the dish a even a little more healthy.


Chickpea - 1 cup
Spinach - 2 cups, chopped
Onions - 1 medium, chopped
Tomatoes - 2 medium, chopped
Ginger - 1 inch, grated
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Garam Masala Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Milk - 1 cup
Oil - 2 tablespoon
Salt to taste

Soak chickpeas overnight or atleast for 3-4 hours. Ofcourse, you can use the canned once. Rinse them well and boil them for 30 - 40 minutes or till tender. I used pressure cooker to boil them and it took 8- 10 minutes.

Add oil to the pan and crack a red chilli to it. Add the cumin seeds and fry for a minute or two. Add the onions and fry them till they are light brown in color.

Add tomatoes to them and a teaspoon of sugar to bring the color out on caramelization. Cook for 3-4 minutes or till they are soft.

Add the chopped spinach (or whatever greens you have) and saute them for few minutes till they are soft. At this point, you can cool and puree the entire things to get a paste of smooth texture . Of course I do not take such pain for my every day cooking.

Add the grated ginger to it.

Next goes the boiled chickpeas and then add the cumin powder and the garam masala powder (usually I dry roast  red chili, green cardamoms, cinnamon and cloves together and grind them well in coffee grinder). Add one or two green chilies to spice it up. Saute for few minutes to mix up the spice well with the chickpeas.

Add the milk, mix and boil till the spices mix together and the gravy turns creamy in texture. You can add few tablespoon of warm water if you wish.

Add 2 tablespoon of kasoori methi (dried fenugreek leaves) to it for a nice flavor, give it a mix, turn off the flame and keep it covered for few minutes.

Your yummy chickpea spinach curry is ready.

We had this for dinner with rumali roti (a flatbread, very thin and supple and can be folded as handkerchief and hence the name ), sliced onions and green chillies.

This is my contribution to this months My Legume Love Affair # 69, hosted by Cinzia of Cindystar. This event was founded by Susan, and is now managed by Lisa.

Also, I converted the above photo to gray mode for this weeks's contribution to Black and White Wednesday, also started by Susan and now taken care of by Cinzia. Deepali of Lemon in Ginger is the host for this week. For participation, click here.


Saturday, March 8, 2014

Egg Muffins - Perfect Snack

It has been a while that I was thinking of silicone bake wares and doing research of whether to buy it or not. I finally decided to get them since mostly I read positive reviews about them. So, these beauties finally arrived in my mailbox yesterday. 

I twisted and turned them and could not find any white filler marks, so I think they are okay to use. I wanted to use them at once, so looked for an easy recipe to try. I decided to try baking egg muffins with these beauties.

These are very easy to make, requires minimum ingredients and packed with proteins. Perfect for kid's snacks, breakfasts or evening treat.

Ingredients (For 6 small muffins)

Egg - 3, medium
Skim milk - 1/4 cup
Grated/Chopped veggies - 1/4 cup
Cheese - 6 tablespoon, grated
Salt and pepper to taste

 I grated carrots and chopped green peppers and mixed them together.

For the first time, a cute little girl helped me in the kitchen. I am planning to get an matching apron for her.

Gently whisk eggs, milk, salt and pepper together. A little munchkin helped me with whisking too.

Pour them in cups, ramekins or muffin tray, or anything that can bear the heat of the oven.

Top it up with a tablespoon of grated cheese on each cup.

Pre-heat oven at 180C. Bake these for 20-25 minutes or till fork comes out clean. It took 25 minutes in my mini oven.

Let them cool before you take them out. Taking them out of these silicone cups was so easy. 

And you have your delicious egg muffins.


I converted one of the above photo in black and white and this is my contribution for this week's Black and White Wednesday #120, a wonderful culinary event started by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook, and  is now managed by Cinzia. This week it is hosted by Susan herself. For participation details, click here.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Banana Oats Cookies

Okay gals, without any doubt this is the healthiest recipe I have on my blog. As I said before, I am trying to cut back on processed foods. I am not very happy to say that I am not even close enough, but I keep trying to substitute as much as possible with healthy versions. There are many variations of this cookie in the internet, I went through few of them and made this batch. Many recipes call for sugar, some do not. I very bravely omitted the sugar at last after having several self-talks. I almost added 1/4 c sugar but at the end, I am glad that I did not. This recipes tastes so good even without sugar. These are perfect at breakfast with a glass of milk, or as an afternoon snack with tea or coffee.

You can pack some for a nice gift for your friends.

Makes 12 cookies

Oats - 1 and 1/2 cup
Bananas - 3 medium
Chocolate chips - 1/2 cup
Almonds- 1/4 cup, chopped
Raisins - Fistful
Vanilla-1/2 teaspoon

Mash the bananas well, few chunks are absolutely okay. I used very ripe bananas, if yours are not ripe enough, you may add 2 tablespoon of sugar.

Add the oats to it and mix well.

Add the chocolate chips to it. I did not have any chips, so used regular bar of chocolate.

Add the chopped nuts, raisins and vanilla to it. Mix well.

Roll them in whatever shape you like. Grease a baking pan and spread on it.

Preheat oven at 180 C. Bake them for 15 minutes or till golden brown. Let it cool for 10 minutes more.

Tastes best straight out of oven. Also it is very good after school snacks for hungry kids. Not to forget it is equally good for my odd hours hunger pangs.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Love - Black and White Wednesday 116

This week we are celebrating Valentine's Day at Black and White Wednesday and Lynne of Cafe Lynnylu is hosting this week.

This is a homemade fruit cake that I did last holiday season. You can find it here.

This is my contribution for this week's event. This amazing event was started by Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook and is now managed by Cinzia of Cindystar. You can find the participation details here.