Monthly Archives: March 2012

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Our plane to Udaipur got pushed to depart at 7:45 instead of 6. Amit picked us up from the hotel at 12 so we had some serious time to waste. We went to a place called Little Italy for lunch. Oh man – to have a break from curries and rice was nothing short of awesome. Maguiver got a margarita pizza, I got a mushroom and tomato sauced pasta and we shared a garlic bread and ice cream. Wash it well down with a pint of kingfisher beer and you have a well deserved westernized meal that pleased our palettes and soothed our tummies. Yum Yum.

After wasting an hour and a half there we still had ages so went to some gross museum and a “zoo”. A few pelicans and some antelope didn’t make for great entertainment and the tigers were stuck in tiny little cages so it was…

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Music from India/the US – Philip Glass & Ravi Shankar

World Music - the Music Journey

I think most of you know Philip Glass, an US-american composer and Ravi Shankar, an Indian musician and composer. Here an awesome piece called “Ragas In Minor Scale“, my daily favourite!

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Holy guacamole lots has happened.

We spent one day in Agra which was enough. When we arrived Amit picked up a man who claimed he would be our tour guide in the city then said he cost money. We were caught off guard and sort of let it be then we told him we wanted to go somewhere local for lunch but, surprise surprise, we ended up at some western restaurant with high prices that no doubt he got commission for. The son of a gun had swindle us. I snapped. I sat at lunch frowning and fueled with anger unable to be cheered by Maguiver. The only thing that brought a twinkle of joy to my eye was the Navrattan Korma we ordered – a sweeter curry with a mixture of fruits and veg which is now one of our favorite meals here. When it was time to go…

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Indian Spiced Cookies (Nankhatai) Recipe

Source: Posted by Prerna Singh, Special Contributor

Prerna Singh

Credit: Prerna Singh

These are Indian shortbread cookies called nankhatai. A nankhatai is a simple eggless cookie with butter, flour, and sugar as the main ingredients. Some spice is added to give the cookies an extra zing. I used a mixture of besan (chickpea flour), all-purpose flour, and semolina as the base. Black pepper adds warmth to these sweet, buttery cookies and a little bit of fruity jam or almond on top gives these thumbprint cookies their last finishing touch. You can use any kind of nut or jam of choice.


  • 1 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 cup besan (chickpea flour)
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup semolina
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 16-18 almonds, halved
  • 2 tablespoons fruit jam
  • Chai tea, for serving


In a bowl, whisk together the butter and sugar. Beat until light and pale yellow in color and set aside.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flours, semolina, salt, pepper, and baking powder. Add the flour mixture into the sugar-butter mixture, a little at a time until everything is mixed well together to form soft dough.

Knead the dough for 2-3 minutes to form a smooth big ball. (If it’s a little sticky, wrap it in a plastic wrap and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. After about 30 minutes, take the dough out of the refrigerator and knead again for 2-3 minutes. The warmth of your hands will soften the butter in the dough slightly.)

Now divide the dough into equal parts; make about 30-35 smooth balls. (Because of the butter, the cookies flatten and crack when baked so make sure your dough balls are smooth with no cracks in order to make pretty cookies.)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place the dough balls on the sheet and bake until the bottom of cookies are golden in color, about 20-22 minutes. Remove from the oven and top ½ of the cookies with the almonds and the other ½ with jam. Enjoy warm cookies with chai or store them in airtight containers for several weeks.

Recipe Details

Click here to see more recipes from Indian Simmer.

Cuisine: Indian Special Designations: Kid-friendly

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