Rambling, Radishes, and Farewell To 2009 ~ A Feast! It Was Only Missing…


green chilies, luxuriating in summer sun

I have an old friend I’ll call S.

She lives in NH and I live in MA and we try to get together every so often.
Whenever we meet, I pass a small Indian market en route; every time,
I mention to her “one day we should go there —
you would love the array of spices etc”.

To which she replies: “yes, and then you can come to my house
and show me how to use them”!

We’ve been talking about this for months, but you know how that goes —
reality gets in the way. Yesterday we finally managed to pull it off.
A dinner at S’s house is never for two; between her kids and friends,
it ended up a small feast — just in time for the New Year.
This was a new and welcome challenge for me, but I was nervous!

I used a couple of recipes I’d bookmarked in the past, and a couple I got from newfound bloggers who are also participating in Nupur’s delightful marathon.
I did tone down the heat — my own tolerance has been slowly but steadily acquired, and I didn’t know most of the attendees well enough to gauge how heat would be received!

In restrospect, I would add more chilies. Otherwise very few changes were made; where they were, they are so noted.

Also, the photos aren’t the greatest I’ve ever taken 😦

Please do visit these talented ladies for the original recipes and better pics,
and please add all the chilies! πŸ˜‰

On the menu:

Mathangi’s decadent Dal Makhani ~ the only change here was fewer kidney beans.
If you’re like me and always skimp on the butter in the name of health, I say, try it this way just once. Sometimes it’s healthier to be sinful πŸ˜‰

dear Sudha’s Veg Biryani ~ I did add a fruit-and-nut garnish which was not exactly ‘sprinkled’, more like tossed on! And it’s obvious there is no turmeric in my version. I have never tried to cook five Indian dishes simultaneously — for a crowd to boot. I suspect turmeric isn’t the only thing I missed last night πŸ˜‰
Otherwise, this one is completely Sudha’s, and completely delicious!

Palak Paneer from Sandeepa, the best I’ve ever tasted.
This was nothing short of perfect, even though it had no milk — yup, I forgot it.
We did not suffer! πŸ™‚

Ashwini’s Punjabi Chole, to which I added more tomato than intended ~ hence the reddish tone. I loved the new flavor from the tea bag, Ashwini! πŸ™‚

Here’s the whole kit and kaboodle:

clockwise from bottom left: palak paneer, chole, veg biryani, naan (in covered dish), radish-snap peas saute, potato crisps, chick pea chaat, boondi raita and dal makhani

We also had an assortment of chutneys that S’s friend brought, bottled — I would call them sauces more than chutneys and I think she brought seven kinds! And some hot mango pickle from a jar (could not get to dear ISG’s for this!).

I have seen so many spreads from other blogs over the years — it’s always been a secret desire of mine — to post my own. Thank you all, for sharing your encouragement, inspiration, kindness, and friendship.

Oh, and of course — your wonderful recipes, too! πŸ™‚

So last but not least, my own little recipe:

Radish and Snap Pea Saute
don’t forget the mustard seed ~ yup, I did! πŸ˜‰

1 small onion, diced

2 bunches fresh red radishes, scrubbed, trimmed, and quartered
(if the greens are really fresh, you can save them for Anita’s haak
[though I like mine best with kohlrabi greens — not to mention the fab
sambhar that makes… oh my, for another day!] or add to this dish at the end)

2 handfuls fresh snap peas, washed

1 tsp canola oil

1 tsp mustard seed
1 tsp cumin seed
3-4 slit green chiles
a dozen curry leaves, more if really aromatic

salt to taste

As easy as it sounds:

Heat the oil and do the tadka. Add onion and saute a few minutes, until it begins to brown. Add radishes and saute a few minutes more, until the red starts fading to pink. Toss in the peas and saute a few minutes more, until the peas take on a brighter green color — add a sprinkle of water if necessary to avoid burning.

Cook this to your preference — I like it a bit crunchy — about fifteen minutes all told.

Salt to taste and serve hot.

radish fry with sugar snap peas

I have enjoyed this marathon of blogging, especially after a long sojurn.

Thanks, Nupur πŸ™‚

Of course life unexpectedly gets in the way at all times; the kids’ dad was in a car accident today. While there were no serious injuries, I may be out of the kitchen for a day or two, so… I hope this will be ok to serve as the rest of my marathon recipes. Thank you for all the kind comments — I will be back in short order, visiting all the other marathoners, and cooking up something special in a surprise gift ~ that made my day today! πŸ™‚

I am wishing you all a very happy and healthy new year!


  1. Nupur said

    Oh, sorry to hear about the car accident 😦 hope all is well!

    Now your dinner looks like an incredible feast! So how did your friend and her family and guests react?

    Your last marathon entry is fantastic- thank you so much for joining us and adding to the fun!

    Thanks for the invitation, Nupur — you are ever the gracious hostess! S and her guests were all very receptive — a few wondered where the chiles were too πŸ˜‰ Live and learn. Happy New Year, dear Nupur!

  2. meeso said

    Those are a lot of wonderful recipes! Everything looks so delicious!

    Thanks Meeso — the great recipes were the key! πŸ™‚

  3. Linda, what a lovely spread! Looks like a lot of work. Sorry to hear about the accident, but hope everything will be alright soon. Happy New Year to you and your family.

    Thank you ET — all’s well that ends well yes? It was fun and I had alot of help with the ‘grunt work’ ie chopping onions etc — Happy New Year!

  4. elaichietcetera said

    That’s SOME spread, Linda! You really went all out! Isn’t it nice to be in company of others who enjoy good Desi food? Cheers and all the best to you- and a speedy recovery for the kids’ dad and his car. Happy New Year.

    Pel, you know it! If I made this stuff at home, I would have to eat it all alone — for shame πŸ˜‰
    Happy New Year, my friend πŸ™‚

  5. Ashwini said

    That’s awesome Linda. I am so glad you liked the recipe and what more you even tried it too! Hats off t you putting up a spread of 5 Indian dishes. I fume and fret over coking one simple meal. Way to go!!!

    Here’s wishing you and family a Happy New Year!!


    Thank you Ashwini — Happy New Year to you and yours! Your recipe was awesome πŸ™‚

  6. Linda, sorry to hear about the accident. Hope your toothache is better now.

    Lovely spread of Indian dishes, mouth watering too!

    Happy New Year.

    Thank you dear S — tooth is much better with meds from the dentist — wishing you a Happy New Year too!

  7. mm said

    Happy New Year! Oh yes, excellent post and hope that you and S had a good time in the kitchen….the mm

    Happy New Year to you, dearest mm πŸ™‚

  8. Ramya said

    Linda, sorry to hear about the car accident.I hope everybody involved is ok.BTW,lovely spread of delicious dishes.The radish-snap peas saute is a new dish to me.Happy New Year!

    Thanks Ramya — do try the radishes — they are surprisingly tasty sauteed! Happy New Year!

  9. mandira said

    What a great spread Linda! Happy New Year to you and your family.

    Thank you Mandira — and the same to you! Will be watching for the news πŸ™‚

  10. Sheetal said

    So sorry to hear about the accident! Hope your tooth is doing better to.

    This is an absolutely, wonderful spread, Linda! Wish you a very, Happy New Year!

    Thank you Sheetal — all’s well now — Happy New Year to you dear!

  11. TBC said

    Here’s wishing you and your family a very happy and prosperous 2010!

    Thank you TBC, and the same to you! Hope to see lots more of you in 2010 πŸ™‚

  12. Koki said

    Sorry to hear about the accident.
    Hope things are better now
    It was a pleasure to meet you in this marathon …
    Herz wishing you and your family a very happy new year

    Thank you Koki — no worries, all is well. I enjoyed meeting you too! Wishing you and yours all good things in 2010 πŸ™‚

  13. when are you coming to cook at my house?

    wish you a happy, healthy, tasty 2010, dear linda.

    Never know when I may show up, dear Bee — Happy New Year to you and Jai πŸ™‚

  14. Sonia said

    Aaahhhh!!! what a lovely and mouthwatering spread Linda!!! I really appreciate your efforts here dear. Gr8 work!

    And so sorry to hear about that accident! Hope everything will be normal soon.
    Happy New Year to you and your family!
    Take care dearie! πŸ™‚

    Thank you Sonia! And things are looking good — wishing you all the best in the new year πŸ™‚

  15. Anita said

    Take care in the New Year.

    Thanks, and you too, dear Anita πŸ™‚

  16. shyam said

    WOW, Linda! πŸ™‚ I bet your friends were thrilled – and I’m full of admiration for your bravery in cooking everything! πŸ™‚ Had I been you, I’d probably have forgotten more than minor merely ingredients like turmeric, I’m certain! Happy happy new year 2010 and a wonderful decade to follow!

    Re my Boston trip – I was just so sure you would have been in Michigan for Christmas, you see. I’ll definitely be visiting again because my brother is based there for now… so I’ll see you next summer, with any luck πŸ™‚ Will let you know well in advance of when we’re coming, so that you can lay out the red carpet πŸ˜€

    Red carpet is the least I can do, Shammi dear! You just holler anytime πŸ™‚

  17. BongMom said

    How did your friends react to the all Indian feast ? I think the younger ones are more ready to adapt aren’t they ? I have an American colleague who is very enthu about tasting all our Indian dishes while there is one lady at work, who is say in the higher 50’s who is very very hesitant. I made her taste Tandoori Chicken and dhokla once, she liked it but is not too eager πŸ™‚

    Happy New Year to you, the kids and everyone in the family Linda.

    I think you’re right, Sandeepa, about the young ones — other than my own of course! They’ll say, oh, smells so good mom — will they taste it? NO way!

    Wishing you and your family a wonderful new year πŸ™‚

  18. Vani said

    Happy New Year, dear Linda! You made all those dishes?! Wow!! Everything looks great! Hope you are doing good. I’m visiting different places in India right now and enjoying all the different fares each city ahs to offer. Looking forward to setting up home soon.
    Take care now! Have a wonderful 2010!

    I’m so surprised and happy to see you here! I hope you’re taking lots of pics to go along with your posts when you get settled in your new home. Happy New Year to you and your lovely family, dear Vani πŸ™‚

  19. Mathangi said

    Linda, the radish and peas look lovely and I am so happy you were able to use the dal makhani recipe:).

    Am sorry to hear about the accident though and I hope all is well now. It’s been such a pleasure chatting back and forth through this event. Here’s to staying in touch and to a healthy, happy and wonderful 2010!

    Thank you Mathangi — the recipe was fabulous! Do keep in touch and wishing you and yours all the best in the new year πŸ™‚

  20. Lavanya said

    So sorry to hear about the accident- hope he’s feeling much better!!

    And My God!- what a lovely spread!! Have a an absolutely wonderful New Year, Linda!

    Thank you Lavanya — all’s well now. Happy New Year to you! πŸ™‚

  21. Diane said

    Wow! That all looks so good. I’m going to try the dal makhani for sure!

  22. Vinaya said

    absolutely incredible feast!!!!!I seriously wish I was around to have some πŸ™‚

    Thanks Vinaya! πŸ™‚

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