January 07, 2009

My Summer Harvest 2008 and a mixed vegetable Sambhar/Saaru

HAPPY BELATED NEW YEAR TO ALL OF YOU!!!
Here is my first post of 2009 today after almost 5 months of blog break! :)
Unfortunately, India had to go through traumatic time last year, my heartfelt condolences to all the families who lost their dear ones. I hope these things will never happen again and we will be at peace. Life is too short to endure all these violent nonsense!!!

A little peek at my brand new kitchen!
As you know, we have been remodeling our home in the last months. I know many of you are waiting to see my new kitchen, so here it is! My old white kitchen is here! :)

Kitchen2

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Since we came back home from Winter vacation last week and I had been transferring all my blog stuff to my new laptop last weekend, I didn't have anything else to post today. So I thought I would show you my usual annual Summer garden post along with a simple dish made from homegrown vegetables, a tasty Sambhar/saaru/soup. I successfully grew some Indian Ridge gourd, Snake gourd and Bottle gourds last Summer, which was very exciting for me because in the summer of 2007 I failed miserably and those plants never gave any results! :)

Heirloom tomatoes, Pear Tomatoes, Grape tomatoes and Cherry tomatoes (I forgot to add Cherry tomatoes here in the photo!)
Seeds for Indian vegetables can be bought here and here.

This is how it all started: I planted Okra, Pear tomatoes, Red Chard, Eggplants; green and purple,Cucumber, Cubano Peppers and Tabasco peppers in May in my "above the ground" vegetable patch.

Potted herbs: Balm Lemon, Chives, Mint, Oregano, Thyme, Basil, Italian Parsley, Rosemary. Some of the herbs I planted last year thrived this Summer too, didn't have to buy new ones.

Around August, I got quite a few purple Eggplants, Cucumbers, Green Eggplants and Indian Bottle gourds.Potted mixed herbs, Dill, Methi (Fenugreek) leaves and Amaranth leaves grew luxuriously:
Plenty of Tomatoes, Cubano Peppers, Red Radishes and Tabasco chillies which I love and freeze them to use all until next Summer!
Curry leaves plant is growing well, it is inside my home now. You see the Red Chard which we enjoyed all Summer. I grew Indian Snake gourd (Padavalakayi, Ridge Gourd (Heerekayi), Zucchini and few green beans this year, loved them all! :) Got loads of beautiful rainbow Red Chard, colorful tomatoes including Pear and cherry tomatoes, Eggplants, Methi (Fenugreek) leaves, Amaranth leaves and red and white radish greens as well.
More Red radishes which is great for cooking or salad, Okras, Zucchini, Snake and Ridge gourds to enjoy, Bottle gourd and more tomatoes!! Are you tired of looking at them yet? ;D
Now that vegetable showcase is over, here is the recipe for a delicious soup/saaru which is made of freshly cut vegetables from my vegetable garden last Summer. Enjoy! :)

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Garden fresh mixed vegetable Sambhar or Tarkari bele saaru, my Mysore grandmother's style:
Of course she used to make huge amount of saaru powder with 16+ spices at her home to last for a whole year and send it to her sons' and daughters' families as well! I surely can't give you that recipe here, but you can have my lighter and simpler saaru pd version! :D


To make this dish, you need:
1 cup Tuar dal (cooked in 2-3 cups of water+1 tsp oil+1/4 tsp turmeric+mixed vegs if you like,some vegs tend to get mashed if cooked in pressure cooker which is not desirable), 2-3 cups of mixed vegetables, chopped, may be cooked in the microwave in advance. (I used few of each of all homegrown vegetables shown above, some frozen green peas to add color and some carrot slices. (Make sure to roast/shallow fry the chopped Okras with little oil in a non-stick pan to eliminate the slime), 2 tomatoes, 1/2 tsp Tamarind concentrate or 2 tbsp tamarind juice, cilantro to garnish.

Another look:
Simple Saaru/Sambhar powder:
Roast these spices lightly until crisp without oil and cool them before grinding with the fresh coconut:
2 tsp poppy seeds, 1 tbsp yellow roasted Chana dal/chutney dal/Dalia, (Hurikadale), 2 tbsp Coriander seeds, 1/2 tsp Methi (Fenugreek) seeds, 2 dry red chillies, (or as many as you like), 1-1/2" Cinnamon stick (Indian Dalchini).
Grind the above with 1/4 cup fresh (dry coconut can be used but fresh is better, do not roast), few curry leaves, Cilantro, 1 garlic, 2 slices of onion and little water until smooth and keep aside.
Seasoning ingredients: 2 tsp oil+1-2 tsp Ghee, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 tsp cumin seeds, few curry leaves, 1 broken dry red chilly, 1/2 cup chopped onion, 2-4 garlic chopped, 1/4 tsp hing (Asafoetida) and 1/4 tsp turmeric (if you haven't added it to dal already when pressure cooking).
You can also add this seasoning at the end of cooking to the Saaru as well. Seems like most Lingayat saaru is not complete without "Bellulli oggarane" (garlic seasoning)! ;D
How to:
1. Heat oil+ghee in a deep pot, add the seasoning ingredients and fry one by one until reddish, adding hing and turmeric at the end.Now, add 2 cups of water and chopped vegetables, cover and cook until veggies are soft ie if they are not cooked before in the microwave.
2. Add tamarind juice and salt, simmer until raw smell goes for about 3 mins. Add cooked Tuar dal, mix well.
3. Turn down the heat to low and simmer for 2 mins before you add coconut paste. If the sambhar is hot and bubbling and the ground coconut paste added, it will look curdled and separate, it will make the sambhar thin and grainy instead of a smooth gravy, so don't add the ground masala when saaru is hot!
4. Now, add the ground coconut masala paste. Simmer gently for 3-5 mins. Adjust the salt. Saaru/Sambhar shouldn't be too thick or too thin. Adjust the water, chilli pd or salt as needed when simmering.
5. Garnish with cilantro. Tastes better the next day.

Note: Instead of mixed vegs, sometimes I use 1 huge Rutabaga, peeled and cubed with carrot slices which makes a sweetish saaru which my kids approve or with 3-4 Turnips as well.
Once you added the dal, do not boil the saaru too much, just 1-2 mins is enough since vegs are already cooked. Seasoning can be made separately and can be added at the end of cooking as we usually do.

This warm and comforting soup or Sambhar goes to Trupti of "Recipe Center", who is hosting "Winter Treat" event and Sunshinemom at "Tongueticklers" blog's "Food in Colors-Yellow" event as well. Thanks for hosting girls, enjoy! :))


That's all folks! Hope you enjoyed my homegrown vegetable galore as much as we did last Summer. See you all next Wednesday, I have got to catch up with old and new RCI event posts now! :D

PS: While on vacation in Orlando, we watched few movies. I highly recommend these two, "The curious case of Benjamin Button" (very moving and amazingly shot in New Orleans etc, Brad Pitt (Teenage Brad Pitt! OMG!! :D) and Cate Blanchett are excellent in this movie!) and I was thrilled to get a chance to see "Slumdog Millionaire" too. This movie was sad, shocking (Mumbai slums and survival; how could any democratic country would let her citizens live like that in this time and age is beyond me, makes me very very sad, specially for those slum kids who are supposed to be the citizens of tomorrow!!), sometimes hilarious, engrossing and very romantic! Dev Patel (Jamal in the movie) is a very talented young man.
Both of these films are nominated for Golden Globe awards. Hope you get a chance to see both of these wonderful, interesting "out of the box" movies.

143 comments:

indosungod said...

Happy New Year! and Welcome Back!
Thanks for the bit of sunshine in these dreary cold days.
Sambhar my all time favorite and a life saver in many ways.

sra said...

Hello, hello, welcome back! And please don't get too non-personal, what makes our blogs what they are are the people behind them - even if we do without pix, we can't do without the stories and rants.

Happy New Year, Asha!

ranji said...

Hey thr Asha so good to have u back...its been a very busy 2008 for u ....beautiful kitchen...gr8 job done....cooking dishes with ingredients from ur own garden must have been satisfying....i hope to do that 1 day :)...

SDM is on my list of must watch movies...AR rehman is nominated for the original score...:)...and i dont think i can watch it until it comes on dvd coz its released in limited theatres only :(...

Sambar saaru looks divine...i love anything made with toor dal..i can have it anytime...:)

Trupti said...

wow Asha, your kitchen & garden looks wonderful.. welcome back

Trupti said...

Hey Asha, if you want you can send sambar recipe to winter treat event

Sunshinemom said...

Long time, and I really enjoyed reading and seeing the vegetable garden! Amazed at the variety of veggies you have grown, and your saaru reminds me of days when we had our own patch, and my Mom used to ask us to just pluck off some of this and that for that fresh tasty lunch!! Happy New Year!!

The kitchen looks beautiful!

Aparna said...

Am I the first here? I think that's a record for me! :) Welcome back and a Happy New Year. Love your kitchen, of course.

I don't make new year resolutions but I agree about the blogging decisions. I took them a couple of months back.:)

I think your garden is just great. We call this sambhar "kadamba sambhar" because of the mixture of vegetables in it.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back Asha!! Good to have you back. A very happy new year to you and your family. I hope that was the last of your 'long breaks'.

Your kitchen looks beautiful - can't wait to see all the masterpieces created there.

Mamatha

Purnima said...

WOW..that kitchen looks straight out of a mag! Asha, HAPPY NEW YEAR..the bounty looks so fresh, the sambhar very appealing! Tks for sharing n posting after thesee lonnnnnnnng longgggggg months! Shall await more recipe posts! :D

Namrata Kini said...

Thanks Asha and wish u too a very Happy New Year. I must say you have a lovely garden and a beautiful kitchen. What I liked the most is the methi(fenugreek) that u have grown in a cup. What a creativity.

Laavanya said...

Welcome back dear Asha!! So good to see you... Happy New Year :) Love your kitchen.. looks awesome. I'm sure you are super excited to cook in it. Nice to read about your bountiful garden... and the sambhar looks perfect. I've not made it with so many veggies at once before.

Meera said...

So glad to see your post. Happy New Year, once again. Lovely sambhar. I loved that container too. & your new kitchen is so beautiful. Have fun. Enjoy your breaks but do post whenever you can, please. I miss you.

Hugs,

Smitha said...

Happy new year! And it is a pleasure to see you back and hope to see you post more often... Congrats on your successful gardening venture.. My mouth is watering after the green egg plants what we call 'eeringere badanekai' or 'mysore badanekai'. It has been ages since i had them, how i miss Vangibhat made from those beauties...

Uj said...

hey... so good to see you back...Happy New Year dear..welcome back...very nice kitchen :) Looks great... your blog is always a pleasure to read :)
It is such a pleasure to cook with home grown veggies...They some how seem to taste better isn't it?

Ann said...

Asha,very happy to see you back..many of your recipes i tried and aloo dalna i have put in my blog too.http://thepassionatecookinme.blogspot.com/2008/08/independence-day-meal.html
Welcome back and happy new year..hope to see more from you..

Happy cook said...

Yupieeee you are back.
I am so happy to see you here.
You should see my smile as you are back, i think it is miles and mile long :----------------------------)
Now reading the your post i think i should take out shyamass pic as i addded two of her in my place.
And it is better to see you here once a while than seeing you at all as you know we all missed you a lot and lot.
Sambar looks yumm.
Happy Newyear to you,Aravind, and the kids.
I love your garden, i am really jalous ;-) and not to mention you totall refurnished home.
Good too see you here.

Divya Kudua said...

Happy new year to you too Ashakka...boy am I glad to see you back..;-);-!!Great post as usual,the vegetable bounty is excellent and I hope to have a small veggie garden of my own someday..;-).Tarkari saaru is looking delicious and I have tasted it once while in bangalore...it will be even more tastier with home grown veggies am sure..;-)

Maya said...

Yaay, great to see you blogging again Asha, and welcome back..Kitchen and the whole house has come up so well..Beautiful veggies there and all so colorful.Nothing must be greater than growing your own veggies and getting to eat them, rite? Your sambaar looks so delicious and yummy..About the movies, I did see SDM, great movie but very sad one like you said..

notyet100 said...

hii,..welcome bck,.wish u nd ur family members very hppy nd prosperous new yr,..:-),..
liked ur kitchen a lot,..nd loved ur kitchen garden,..even i wan to watch slumdog millionare,..:-
),..hppy bloggin ceeu soon..

Cham said...

Welcome back! And Happy New Year 2009! Love ur cherry cabinet! Wow such a bounty of vegetables.
Blog needs some personal touch may be as u said better to remove pict... There is always some anonymous jealous eyes looking what we do around...
Sambar looks very inviting... Glad to see u back!

Anonymous said...

Happy new Year Asha. Yeah I did check your blog , but comment was blocked on your last post. Your re-done kitchen look beautiful, really people invited themselves over, is that allowed, and then may I ;-) Just kidding but seriously too much, don't post personal pics but let us peek into your life thru your posts.

Congrats to T, may she achieve all that she shoots for

sandeepa

Cilantro said...

Happy New Year and welcome back.

notyet100 said...

thnks ,..It was yummy too,..all thnks to lakshmis taste of mysore,...:-)

anudivya said...

Oh yeah, I loved Slumdog Millionaire too! Nice movie esp. with the Bolly. ishtyle song and dance at the end!
Thanks for your comments Asha. Very sweet of you.

Your kitchen looks amazing! Happy New Year.

Mythreyee said...

Happy Newyear and welcome back.

Pavani said...

Wish you and your family a very Happy New year.. Welcome back Asha.. Missed you a lot. Your new kitchen looks awesome. Hope to see many yummy dishes made in it..

Madhu said...

A very happy new year to you to Asha, so good to see you back.
Kitchen looks fantastic, love the cabinet colour. enjoy cooking in your new kitchen ..:)

Ashwini Kenchanna said...

Happy New Year Asha! Your kitchen looks very nice.
Very nice veggies there especially when i saw the green brinjal.. Cooking with fresh veggies is always good and healthy.. sambar makes my mouth water..

DEESHA said...

Hi Asha. Welcome back. Your new kitchen does look very neat. Happy cooking, & a very Happy New year

bee said...

woohoo!!! welcome back.

Anali said...

Welcome back Asha and Happy New Year! It's so good to see you here again. Your vegetables look so good and remind me of summer. And that's a nice reminder, because we are in the middle of an ice storm here in Massachusetts.

Uma said...

So happy to see you back into action Asha! a very happy new year to you and your family too! thanks for the tour of your veggie garden. Thanks for the links to veggie seeds too! So useful for me! Sambhar looks so rich and mouth-watering. Oh I almost forgot! your brand new kitchen is so gorgeous and chic.

deepsat said...

happy new year asha!! nice to see you back after a long time!!

i always mess up the measure of tamarind in sambhar. yet to get it right!! ;-))

Deepa Hari said...

Hi Asha,

Wish you a very Happy New Year!

Welcome back....Beautiful kitchen and garden looks wonderful.

Asha said...

Satish, good to see you too! Regarding Tamarind, I always add 1/2 tsp of paste you get from the jar (like Swad) at a time. If it's less, can add more but very sour Sambhar dosen't taste good at all. That's why I don't grind with coconut like some do,so I can moderate the amount later! :)

AnuSriram said...

Hi Asha, Good to see you after a long time. I took a break from mar 2008 and when i returned after 6 months you went on a break. So for almost 10 months i missed your recipes and comments. Welcome back! Hope you had a wonderful start of the new year! Your kitchen looks beautiful.

sunita said...

Yaay! you're back! And look at the booty from your garden...love your kitchen too :-)

ms said...

Hi asha, welcome back and wish you a very happy new year!! Your kitchen and garden look lovely.

ChrisB said...

It's lovely to see you back. Your kitchen looks great. I understand about wanting to protect your privacy. However, I admit I'm going to miss the personal stuff as those are the bits I really love, together with photos. My reason for blogging is the pleasure from getting to know people or am I just plain nosy!

Happy New Year to you and your family.

Gita's Kitchen said...

Hi Asha, thanks for the comment. Lovely pictures from your garden. Nice to have home-grown veggies and herbs for everyday cooking...

Anonymous said...

Welcome back dear Asha.The kitchen looks beautiful.

Shalini

Anonymous said...

Dear Asha,

Happy New Year to you & your family. Nice to see you back after a much needed break.

The vegetable Sambhar looks so delicious.

Regards,
Kate.

Priyanka said...

Happy New Year Asha....So glad to see you back. The sambhar looks delicious.

Nags said...

Happy New Year! Its great to see you back :)

Suma Rajesh said...

welcome back..happy new year...nd i must say ur kitche is gorgeous. nd no doubt ur sambhar is super dupper hit when mixing of homly veggies...nice entry on the beginning of this year...

musical said...

Hello Ashakka! Welcome back and a very very happy new year. That vegetable patch is such a treasure!

Best wishes,
musical.

delhibelle said...

Look who's here !
Welcome back..Great to have you posting again:)

delhibelle said...

Look who's here!
Welcome back..Great to see you posting again:)

Archy said...

Welcome Back Asha.. Happy New year !!I was so happy to see ur comment on my blog :) !!
I'm just drolling over the vegg snaps !! I guess no need to visit indian store to get indian vegetables :), Shall surely try this sambar

Vibaas said...

Hi Asha, Happy New Year! You have a wonderful blog. Love your kitchen :-) and your herb collection looks so nice.

Sunshinemom said...

Hey! Thank you for the entry to FIC:) Seeing your resolution I kept quite - I understand how difficult it is to keep pace with the events because it happens with me all the time despite the fact that I started off only sometime back!

Raaga said...

missed missed missed you so much! I can't tell you how happy I am to see you back. The kitchen looks like my dream kitchen :-) Lovely bounty, nice sambar..........happy new year to you all.

Hugs

Sreelu said...

Asha, Happy New Year and good to see your update, summer bounty looks amazing, I am planning on planting few heirloom tomaotes this year let see how it goes

Jaya said...

Asha,
Hi there! great to see you back again..
and OMG! so many fresh home grown vegetables , simply wow!eat fresh and healthy ..
soup looks very delicious ..
wish you a very happy new year filled with joy and happiness..
hugs and smiles

Swapna said...

Happy New Year and it's great to see you back:) beautiful kitchen...

bindiya said...

Dear Asha, I see both of us are back around the same time!,even I had taken a long break, but glad to see ur post, a very happy new year to u too and welcome back, also the charu looks good!

Linda said...

Hello, Asha dear! I am trying to get back for 2009 too -- you can inspire me as always with that gorgeous sambhar -- did someone say sambhar!??? :):):)

Love the beautiful new kitchen too -- wish you a wonderful 2009 and many more happy new years cooking there!

Surely it must be nearly time to plant the garden...

RAKS KITCHEN said...

Happy New Year asha! Great to see ur fully renovated Kitchen! I missed you so Much!!!

Priya said...

Happy 2009 Asha...thanks for taking us to ur amazing garden..great post..n sambhar looks delicious!!

Kitchen Flavours said...

Happy New Year. New kitchen rocks. Nice to see you back. Nice garden clicks. sambhar looks spicy and yummy with all those garden fresh veggies...

jayasree said...

Happy New Year to you and your family, Ashakka. Nice to see you back. Newly done kitchen looks gorgeous. The photos of fesh veggies are indeed a treat to the eyes.

Mona said...

Happy New Year to you & your family Asha!

The kitchen looks just WOW! & The veggies are amazing! Can't believe you grew some in a tea cup! :)

The Sambar sounds Yum. Must try making it your way, with freshly grounds Sambar masala. I usually Use the MTR masala , which is also good.

arundati said...

dear asha, happy new year and congrats on the lovely new kitchen...am sure you will be cooking up a storm in there!! hugs!!

spicelover said...

Hi asha,
Wish u a very happy new year.UR kitchen ..wow no words to say.this resembles my dream kitchen.great u maintain a beautiful garden.Nice sambnar too...

Rekha said...

Nice kitchen, Asha...I am sure you'll whip up many more delicious recipes here!

Kay said...

Welcome back, Asha! Happy new year! May this new year be very happy for you!

You have a beautiful kitchen! I loved reading about your garden and Indosungod's and the fruits of your labor. It motivates me to start a teeny tiny indoor garden of my own.

Amanda at Little Foodies said...

Welcome back Asha! Happy New Year to you and your family. Nice kitchen! xx

Keerthana said...

Hello Asha, you have a nice blog and i enjoyed reading through your post. The kitchen garden looks great.

Shionge said...

Happy New Year my dear pal :) Love your new kitchen and love having you back.

Mallika said...

Welcome back Asha and Happy New Year! I can't say I'm too suprised by your resolutions. It's all totally sensible and you are far too lovely to be firm with stalkers et al!!

arunshanbhag.com said...

OMG! You are BACK!

What a beautiful Kitchen! I am sure we are going to see a lot of dishes made in that kitchen! Can't wait!

And wow! what a beautiful garden you have. Those herbs and veges looks delicious enough to eat right away! I miss that!

Wishing you too a wonderful New Year filled with Peace, love and Great Food!

SriLekha said...

wow! welcome back asha! Wish u a very happy new year!
garden pica re so good!

Sharmi said...

HI ASha, Wish you a very Happy New Year! Nice to see you back in a full swing. Your kitchen looks so beautiful.
I envy your curry leaf plant. I don't know where to find its sapling here in Chicago.

Asha said...

Hi Sharmi, thanks! :))

Curry leaf plant; Don't know where you can get in Chicago but click on the first Indian seed site I have linked. They had plenty of 4" plants,you have to keep checking with them. I also once saw few plants in Raleigh but it's are to find here.
They grow very slow, so you can't really pluck them as you want even if you own one but can pluck one or two very carefully! :D

Usha said...

Wish you and your family a Very Happy New Year, the kitchen looks awesome....you definitely have a green thumb, those are some amazing veggies you have grown, especially the curry leaves...

Shivapriya said...

Hey Asha,

Happy New Year. Love the Kitchen and granite counter.

Good to see u back. You have just gone for 5 months for me an year. :).

Everything started with my India Trip and i'm still in jet lag;)

Love the Saaru recipe. I'm sure going to try it.

Paru ... said...

Happy New Year to you Asha..
Sambhar has been my comfort food always. Looks delicious and nutritious..

My granma always adds a final touch of powdered roasted urad+roasted coriander seeds after switching off the stove and mixing a tsp of this powder..It gives an amazing flavour..

priar's, said...

Hi ashaji,
Warm welcome dear....
Wish u a very happy and a healthy new year!!!
sambhar looks so yum...ur kitchen is gorgeous...:)

Anonymous said...

Good to see you back. I is very warmth for all of us.

How do you consider my question "some backstabs you?" like. You are sincerely helping them, but they did not cared, shown there powers and at teh time of review and feedback, gave very -ve feedback.

Mahimaa's kitchen said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU TOO ASHA. IS IT FAIR ON YOUR PART TO PUT UP A BEAUTIFUL BRAND NEW KITCHEN?

Mythreyee said...

Srimathi of few minute wonders (www.fewminutewonders.com) is hosting the RCI for vegetarian chettinad cuisine.

Kristen said...

You have been soooo missed :) Happy new year to you.
That kitchen... oh my goodness! It is gorgeous!! I love the cabinet color!

Vcuisine said...

Nice to have you back with full spirit Asha. The fresh veggies are eye pleasing. Enjoy cooking in your new kitchen. Love to kids. Viji

Red Chillies said...

Happy New year to you and your family Asha. You were truly missed. Congratulations on the new kitchen and we hope to see lots of delicious stuff from there.

No resolutions for me here, just do not work for me. Warm hugs to you.

Margie said...

Welcome back, Asha!
Oh my, what a gorgeous kitchen.
Enjoy it!

Wonderful post....as always!
Thank you, Asha.
Happy New Year....may 2009 bring you and your family much joy!

Margie

Asha said...

Anonymous, yes some did! I won't post the details here but I am a grown woman and I can handle it in my own way. Thanks for caring! :))

Thanks Myth, didn't know this new blogger, will update!:)

Pravs said...

Nice to see you back :) love the kitchen. I wish i had a kitchen garden like this and cook fresh veggies.
A very happy new year to you and your family :)

Daily Meals said...

Hi Asha! Wish you a happy new year:) Your new kitchen looks beautiful. Love the saaru and fresh vegetables...

Sukanya Ramkumar said...

Hi Asha....
Nice to see u back after a long time.

Those garden vegetables looks so good and fresh.... Loved the sambar recipe. Will try it soon...

BTW.... Ur new kitchen rocks....

Belated New year Wishes to u too.....

Passionate About Baking said...

Welcome back Asha...that was a LONG break. Wonderful to have you back, & wonderful to see the garden! WOW!!

Roopa said...

Wow, absolutely in awe of your garden, hope you have a great summer this year!! Been a great admirer of your blog for a long time......

Kimberly said...

Nice kitchen, has lots of counter space for cooking! I always wanted to have a garden and grow fruits, vegetables, and spices. Must give you a nice feeling when you eat them/cook with them. :) BTW That Sambar looks good.

Vanamala said...

welcome back asha :) Happy new year to you too. wow gr8 garden full of veggies....iam so impressed. Where did you get all those roots and plants? is it Home Goods ? Love the sambar .... looks nice color.

DK said...

u r back u r back yeheyehyeheyeheyeheyeheyheyeheyehyeh! I am glad at least I got to chk house pics - so it was not that bad :-D You indeed have a bountry harvest! Apt for Pongal ;-) hehehe

lots of hugs - i am just so happy to see u back, thats all

Sambhar looks amazing and I am sambar crazy i can have it for all 7 courses! (!!!)

Vibaas said...

thanks for stopping by my blog and your lovely comments. have a wonderful weekend!

sagari said...

happy new year ,your kichen looks
veryyyyy elegant ashaji

Sanjay said...

Happy New Year to you and the family and welcome back. I am all for slow blogging! It should be fun and slow and pleasurable like the slow food movement.
Sorry about some people crossing the personal space.
We grew some veggies and herbs to this past summer, our first try and it went well. Nothing on your scale though. But thank you for the links to get the Indian seeds. Am surely gonna check those out.
Take care.. and go Panthers!

Dibs said...

Hello Phoenix! The Kitchen looks great, and so do the veggys! Your comment section looks like a food blog aggregator :-))). I can just come here and surf around from now on!!

Anonymous said...

Thanks Asha for the response. It has happened to me. I was helping them sincerely, and at the time review/feedback - they backstabbed me.

It is still hurting me;I could not get out this. It is getting harder to see their faces again and continue to have realtionships. But we need to be professional here, I'm going more senti and emo here.

Curry Leaf said...

Thanks for visiting my blog,Asha.Coming from an esteemed blogger like you,the comment is really a compliment.
Happy New Year .Waiting for all the delectable dishes with veggies from your garden.The sambhar is perfect for winter. :)

starry nights said...

Welcome back and happy new year to you and your family.I agree with you that sometimes blogging does take up a lot of time.I took a break too.You are quite the gardener, all your plants looked so healthy and the sambhar looks delicious.and love your kitchen too.

LG said...

Welcome back!!!!! We all missed you soo much on blog world. Sambar looks spicy and yumm Ashakka. Nimm tarkaree bagge en helodu good job in gardening :)

A_and_N said...

Welcome back! We got depressed after you left ;) and left too. Now that you're back, we're back too, Asha :D

And your garden is envious and let's not get to the kitchen :)

And nothing like good ol' Sambar to make a great comeback eh?

krystyna said...

Welcome back dear Asha!
I missed you!

I saw curry leaves here and I put link to your site.

May this New Year 2009 be your best!

TBC said...

Look who's back!
A very Happy New Year to you and your family, Asha. :D
Your brand spanking new kitchen looks fabulous. Looking forward to many more good eats from your kitchen.:D

Slumdog is on my list of movies to watch.

Anjali said...

That is a bumper harvest Asha! Happy new year to you and family.

Kamini said...

welcme back welcome back and a really happy new year to you too.... The garden produce looks deliciously yummy.

Keshi said...

HAPPY NEW YEAR ASHA HUGGGGGGGGGZ!

And WELCOME BACK! I so missed ur genuine presence here! Im so happy ur bak now :)


**Some just don't know where to draw the line, so it's better to be safe than sorry! :P


I agree! it happened to me too...some realu curious ppl ya know! also, some ppl abuse their freedom on the net and harassed me too.


Im glad abt the decisions u took. Do wut suits u Asha. And all the best!

I love love love ur new kitchen! SO beautiful!

And ur plants? omg ur a superb Gardener! Love the herbs and veges...Im a big fan of Okra too :)


Hope all is well with ya and Im looking forward to ur YUMMY posts in the new year!

Keshi.

Jyothsna said...

Good to see you back, Asha! :)

Anonymous said...

Hello Asha, good to have you back even at half speed. A wow garden and a wow kitchen too! Can imagine what you will churn out from there. Have fun blogging no matter... in the final analysis its not about 'them' its how much you enjoy it... Take care and regards.. Angela

Cynthia said...

Dearest Asha! It is so good to see you again! HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU AND THE FAMILY!

Love, love, love the kitchen!

easycrafts said...

Good to see you back...am also in the stages of coming back from my break.. saw aroma blog too.. I too didnt cook anything new from 2 months..hoping to get back to some interesting cooking soon...nice produce for the season and of course--beautiful remodelled kitchen

Yasmeen said...

Good to see you back Asha.That looks like a pretty nice kitchen space and vibrant summer garden.Love the spicy sambhar with garden fresh veggies.
Have a healthy and wonderful new year Asha:)

Madhu said...

Hi,this is my first time at ur blog.Happy new year!
The sambhar looks delicious :)

TheKeyBunch said...

Such fresh, beautiful, wholesome veggies! :) Happy New Year! Here's to a great year of blogging

- Sharon

Seena said...

At last you are here, Asha!
Its a good decision to remove all the personal pics from the net.I have always been surprised seeing them, bcos of the insecurity it provides..
Nice to see your new kitchen and veggies too..
Any way, Glad to see you, me too very slow to visit blogs, not much time as before.. hope to see you again.

A kitchen scientist & a white rat hubby!!! said...

Ashaaajeee.....belated New year greetings to you too!!!my...just was falling over all the veggies in ur garden...my!! just wish we too get to have spme piece of land ..but not here in the middle east..well, got myslef on the planting spree abt a month ago with cucumber, tomatoes, chillies...spring onions...but blummmmm...gone!.all passed away while i transfered it to larger pots,the spring onions are the only one that i have got now....

sowmya said...

wow..so good to see you back..and lucky you..new kitchen looks awesome..hoping to see more intersting cuisines coming out from your new kitchen...

Malar Gandhi said...

Welcome back, Happy New Year!

Kitchen looks great! Love the finish!

All the fresh produce sounds so nice...it put me on the mood to garden more, thanks.

Smita said...

Welcome back Asha and wish you a very happy new year!!! It is so wonderful to have you back to blogging and I have missed your blogs so much! I am trying to find some blog events that I can contribute to. Please help! Oh and btw your kitchen looks fabulous!!!:)

So Simple said...

Hi Asha
Welcome back. What a wonderful garden. You are such a bust person...Re Brad Pitt's movie My daughter said she sobbed and sobbed... must go when we get off the high seas.
Cheers

Miri said...

Happy New Year Asha! I love the pics of your garden and home grown produce!

Dalicia said...

welcome back! wish you a happy new yaer to you and your family. looking forward for most posts!!!

wow look at that garden of yours!

prajusha said...

Asha,
Belated happy enw year wishes..
Great to c u back.
your new kitchen and veggie garden looks wonderful..
Saaru looks yummy.

Priti said...

Dear Ashaji...it's gud to see you back..and am sure you are doing gr8. Kitchen looks beautiful...so do the vegies ....so many of them..wow!
Wish you & family Happy New Year and Sankranti ..

Asha said...

Smitha, check the sidebar under "Blog events" and click on each for details. Enjoy contributing!:)

Prajusha, I can't open your blog because it says "invalid code, let the author know". I will try again later, hopefully, I can get in! :))

Mallugirl said...

Happy new year!! Ur garden is awesome as is the kitchen. love it!! so what was the first thing u cooked in the new kitchen?

Smita said...

Thanks for the note about the food blog events. I am excited!!!:)

Navita said...

Hey Asha, lovely greens...as I said earlier..n sambar my all time fav. :)

homecooked said...

Hey Asha...Wish You A Happy New Year! Your kitchen looks awesome...touchwood! And I love the cup-saucer pot. The sambhar looks so delicious! And pls continue your stories....I enjoy them :)

Asha said...

Shaheen, here is my first ever bake in my new kitchen!:)

http://aromahope.blogspot.com/2009/01/spinach-and-feta-cheese-bread.html

Vinita said...

Hi Asha,

I don't remember how your earlier kitchen looked like but this looks just out of a home decor magazine. Very trendy and stylish. The lighting and the cherry cabinets make the whole kitchen look so inviting and warm.

Vinita

Asha said...

Vinita, here is the link for my old kitchen, very white kitchen it was too! :D

http://foodieshope.blogspot.com/2006/11/pearl-onion-theeyal-with-side-dishes.html

Ramya's Mane Adige said...

Very nicely done!!! the granite counter tops look sooo good!!! And your kitchen garden is awesome as well!!!

Rajee said...

Lovely kitchen and lovely garden. Can I have ur mail id? My id is rajikarthik@hotmail.com

Asha said...

Thanks Ramya, enjoying the new kitchen! :))

Thanks Rajee.Please go to my profile to find my email and mail me. I don't check my mails that often but will reply you as soon as I can! :))

Varsha Vipins said...

Wow..am all green now Asha..its my dream to grow veggies at home..u got a beautiful garden..Where did u get all the seeds n plantings from..like..feugreek n amaranthus etc..

Asha said...

Varsha, fortunately NC gets atleast 6-7 mnts of very Sunny days, so it's a joy to grow these! :))

Fenugreek, I just throw some of the Methi seeds which I use for cooking, you get those in any Indian store in packs, must be whole Methi,not broken.

For Amarathus, I have linked 2 websites where you can buy them. I think it's www.seedsofindia.com or something! Wait until April to order for them, you may start planting once the ground gets warm probably in May.

veggie belly said...

Thanks for sending me this link, I love your counter tops!

Asha said...

Me too VB, I hated the old one. Granite is so cool! :)

Joie de vivre said...

Hi! First time on your blog. I found you through Veggie Belly's comments! What a change in feel from your white kitchen. You and Veggie Belly are going to be bad influences on me to redo my kitchen!

Asha said...

Hahaha! Hi J, that's true. It's very tempting to plan and replan when we see something we like, isn't it? Believe me, I am tempted to have VB's sun room now! :)

Anu Karthik said...

Hi Asha,

I sent you an e-mail to your foodiehope e-mail id. Please respond when you can.

Thanks!