If you are on my Instagram feed, you know what we are up to. We've left behind tropical heat and heavy rains of Bangalore and made our way to wilting snow, chill weather and stark landscape of New England region. Two weeks ago we crossed oceans and nations to join D in the US. Yes, again. And its a 3 month vacation this time too. We are back to the country that seems more familiar and less formal this time around. The chill and the numbness is as biting as it previously was, but far more tolerant; probably due to the onset of spring that's just around the corner. So does the familiarity of the naked leafless foliage piercing high into the skies and that typical smell of cold mist in the air (I strongly perceived this the moment I got out of the NYC airport), the drive-right-culture and all other contrasts.
Over the past year since we took the last break and came back to India from US, I rejoined work and our little girl joined school. I moved later to live with my parents for help with our daughter in absence of D, so that our little girl wouldn't miss her dad as often. Life just got woven into busyness and humdrum of the usuals - wake up, rush to work, return home, retire to bed, wake up, rush to work, return home, retire to bed. In iterations, in constant loop as you can imagine. This, peppered with the common juggles of a homemaker and being a mother to a hyperactive, talkative girl made it more demanding. This break was so needed. To slow down a little and make time for self. To wean away from the usual mundanes of life. This time is for togetherness, for D, our little girl and me. Time, to travel places far and around. Time to live hobbies all over again. Time to live time and the moment. Time to whip up more delicious memories together again.
On another note, I wanted to share a happy news with all of you. Veg Bowl blog has been featured in First Site Guide under the section 'How To Start a Food Blog' guide as a part of their Useful Resources under No.17 - the 'Best Vegetarian Blogs' list. First Site Guide is all about helping you make your blog the best blog it possibly can be. I am thrilled to be listed here and hope this will reach out to many more readers and help them further.
Last month Veg Bowl turned another year older. It clocked 6 years of happy cooking, blogging and sharing. And though it did not come with any customary blog post with the dessert to call for its sweet celebration, I well know through your mails and comments on the loads of love the blog has whipped up over these years. Here goes a warm and huge bear hug to each one of you from me for being supportive directly or directly and motivating me to hang around, even when the tides were not sailing smooth. A BIG thank you to each of you!
My recipe post for today is this simple, yet delicious Tomato Bread Upma that makes up for a great breakfast or a good tea time snack of bread leftovers. Its spicy, tangy, quick and delicious. Hope you make it and love it as much we do.
Tomato Bread Upma
6 slices of whole wheat bread
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 onion, finely chopped
2 large tomatoes, finely diced
2 tsp. peanuts
1 sprig of curry leaves
1 tsp. red chilli powder
1 tsp. sambhar powder
1 tsp. turmeric powder
1 tsp. sugar
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves and chopped green chillies to garnish, optional
Stack the bread pieces on top of each other and dice them through using a knife. Tear them into 1 inch cubes. Else tear them roughly using your fingers, crumbling them through into uneven pieces.
Heat oil in a pan and fry the mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add the peanut and fry till they brown lightly. Then fry the chopped onions and the torn curry leaves. Fry them on medium high flame till the onions turn slightly brown in colour. Next, add the diced tomatoes and fry them till they become mushy and you see oil on the edges of the pan. Add the chopped green chillies, turmeric powder, the sambhar powder, red chilli powder, sugar and fry further for a minute. Add the diced bread pieces and stir them well. Fry for a couple of more minutes stirring till all the spices and tomato paste has coated the bread pieces well. The bread will soften a little and this is unlike the dry bread upma we usually make. Season with salt to taste. Fry further for 2 more minutes. Remove from flame and garnish with coriander leaves and green chillies. Add a dash of freshly squeezed lime juice if required to taste. Serve hot.