August 21, 2011

Kaffir Lime and Chickpeas Salad — refreshingly light and clean flavors

Sometimes plans don’t go according to, um, plan. 

I wanted to post something festive today. In time for Eid. Right before I slipped away.

But, alas. With all the happenings behind the screen, it’s been a bit difficult even to get on to my notebook. Even more so, I was feeling kinda restless at the thought of leaving without a word. Luckily, I have a few recipes in my draft. After much second… er, third, no-no, fourth thoughts, I decided to share this light and refreshing salad instead of a biryani recipe, as planned.
It’s been quite an eventful time since my last post. Just in case you were wondering, it was my baby’s birthday. August 13. I’m a memory keeper and those beautiful yesteryears are etched like pictures in the scrapbook of my cherished memories: the day he was born; the magical moments; the sense of pride. Ah.

Today, he’s so mature, so tall, so handsome. And I’m so proud. He’s one of the greatest gifts, ever.
There were more celebrations. My nephew, Ayaan’s, third birthday for one. Ayaan's parents--Reema and Faisal--wedding anniversary. And then, today, is my brother’s birthday.

In between, there was something that made me whoop for joy, though momentarily, despite the pounding head ache, sore throat and tiredness. What a lovely surprise it was to know that I am the lucky winner of a miniature post box shaped teapot from Whittard Chelsea. See, Jehanne from The Cooking Doctor had hosted a blog giveaway and I was in luck to be the recipient of her kind and generous gift. Thanks so much, Jehanne, for enlivening my battered spirits with this lovely news and the semiya payasam (vermicelli pudding) you cooked for me, albeit virtually—you are a sweetheart! Hey, those interested in trying your good luck, check out this post for another exciting giveaway. Now, didn't I say she's a sweetheart?!!

These days I’m all limp with exhaustion. Just tired. It’s been a year, and I just can’t wait. I’ve been looking forward to getting away for a while. And I’m glad it’s just a few sleeps away. Ah... beautiful.

I hear it’s still raining in Kerala. Memories of drenching in the downpour and splashing puddles so carefree come pouring in as a welcome reprieve from the worries of the day. Aren't we all familiar with the quote, “I love walking in the rain, 'cause then no-one knows I'm crying.”? Yes, rain washes away your sorrows, quietly enough, and clenses your body and soul. And in all honesty, I’m so longing for a refreshing change of scene. Good rest, great food, plenty of rain, precious family moments and lots of celebration. That's my mantra for this season. The marriage in the family will make this trip home even more special. The whole family is out there, waiting. And here, I’m waiting for my hubby who’s been away for a while now. I’m waiting to leave the scorching sun and desert sandstorms. I'm waiting to hit the rainy weather of my homeland. Soon.
We’ll be gone for a few weeks. I’ll have a small break from working behind the range, the lens—really?—and this screen. In the meanwhile I hope to capture—oh yeah!—a bit of the happenings around me while I’m away. Like the intriguing patterns of the clouds against the bright blue sky, the silhouette of the city in the twilight, the washed away look of the trees and streets, the beautiful green landscapes, the fascinating bounty of nature… and much, much more. To share with you, on my return, indeed.
Okay, here’s a simple salad recipe with cream-colored chickpeas or garbanzo beans commonly known as kabuli channa. It makes a refreshingly light and healthy accompaniment to any meal. I particularly like its clean fresh taste and like to include it on our Iftar menu besides the essentials like fruit salads, fresh juices and other finger foods. It’s incredibly easy to make and a delicious mouthful too.
This simple recipe combines a bit of greens and plenty of legumes with a tangy, fragrant dressing. I love the intense burst of fragrance from the fresh kaffir lime leaves and the hint of heat from red chili and fresh galangal. Moreover, these ingredients add a lovely Thai accent to the dish. I also use veggies like tomatoes, lettuce leaf, bell pepper, cucumber, red onion, and coriander leaves. Sometimes I like to serve it with a crunchy topping like roasted peanuts. Other times I serve it with a dollop of Greek yoghurt (labneh). Most times, I enjoy it as it is.
For a spicy chickpea appetizer or snack, check out this recipe.

Kaffir lime and chickpeas salad

Ingredients
Serves 6

2 x 400g canned chickpeas (I usually use California Garden)
2 kaffir lime leaves, center veins removed and very finely shredded
1 small cucumber, peeled and chopped
½ small green bell pepper (capsicum), stemmed, seeded and chopped
1 small red onion, peeled and chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
1 large romanie lettuce leaf, trimmed and shredded
few springs coriander leaves, chopped
½ teaspoon fresh galangal, peeled and finely chopped (optional)
juice of 1 lemon
salt, to taste
1-2 red chili, seeded and sliced (depending on how spicy you like it)
greek yoghurt (labneh), to serve

Directions

Remove beans from can, place in a strainer and rinse to remove any additives; drain.

Tip all ingredients into a salad bowl and toss well to combine. Season to taste. Cover and rest in the refrigerator for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse. Do a taste test and add more lemon/salt to adjust flavors, if needed.

Serve topped with a handful of roasted, chopped, peanuts, for a bit of crunch. You may also serve with a dollop of Greek yoghurt, for a cooling effect, if you like, or just enjoy as is. Serve immediately.
It is the last ten days of Ramadan. The most blessed of the month. I wish all my readers observing the fast a truly blessed time. May god accept our prayers and grant us our wishes. Ameen.

On another note, I’m so ready to relax, catch the drizzle on my face and enjoy good times with family and friends. Live, love and let go. I don't want to be too hard on myself. Not this time. Life is too short... and, zindagi na milegi dobara. (Hey anyone watched that movie? I loved it!).

Finally. I’m almost ready to board the flight. I still have bags to pack, I know. And shopping to do. I haven’t even selected a sari for the big event. Oh boy!

98 comments:

  1. Hi Nashi,

    Congrats for the giveaway. It looks sooo cute and pretty :)

    So, you are all excited abt ur trip to home, na.. And your excitement gets infectious girl... Ohh!! Even I wish to get home... mummmyyy...

    All these pics - they are just mesmerising... You've got real talent to capture the beauty of nature in its real sense into the digital media. Hats off!!

    Wish you a safe journey and have a wonderful time ahead with family and friends... Come back with a bang!! We wud be waiting to see more pics of Kerala from u... so, better carry ur camera along everywhere :)

    The salad is sooo refreshing... Warm and comforting blend of colours and flavours!!

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  2. Thanks for your lovely note :) (I replied on the post!)

    Your pictures are always so gorgeous and inspiring. Is that a pear tree?
    So beautiful. Happy birthday to your son. Mine will be a year old in October...I can't believe it's been a year since he was born, but I cherish everyday. I'll be like you and remember it all, collecting every moment in my heart.

    Emily

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  3. Hey Ayeesha, thanks sweets. I too loved the teapot when I first saw it on her giveaway post :) Hey good luck with the current giveaway!

    Emily, that's so sweet of you! Btw, that's a mango tree.. :)

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  4. Aww, Nashi sweetie thanx for the mention, I am all embarassed now:-)..I'm glad that my lil news made your day! And many belated bday to your baby. Enjoy Kerala, you deserve a good break!x

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  5. Salad looks healthy and delicious ....

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  6. What a lovely post...struck so many chords within me...fatigue, needing a change, refreshingly light salad recipes, and your phenomenal photography. Hope you have all the fun downtime and family love possible in Kerala - safe travels!

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  7. As usual beautiful clicks,Nash..Hope you have a wonderful time with your family back at home..!!!

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  8. Love all the pics as always....Belated Happy Birthday Little One....When is eid? End of this month, isn't it? Advance wishes!

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  9. your pictures are beautiful! My colleague at work says that you should participate in food photography contests. (For the record he's a guy who LOVES food)

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  10. Beautiful pics. Breathtaking really. Your eye for detail and all things beautiful is something I can take lessons from.
    I hope you have a lovely holiday and pray the weather be a little clement to enjoy it to the fullest.

    Congrats on the giveaway. checking it out myself.
    The salad seems a thing I can manage with all the readily available ingredients in my pantry.

    Take care..

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  11. and and and... happy birthday to your son and your brother..

    Wishing them all the happiness, good luck and prosperity

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  12. Congrats on the giveaway.....
    Perfect healthy salad and amazing clicks ....absolutely love it

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  13. I always love chickpeas in salads! This one looks so refreshing and filling at the same time! As always great photos!!

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  14. beautiful clicks as always. love your kerala clciks. the salad looks refreshing and healthy.

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  15. Hi Nashi
    Belated B'Day wishes to your little one.
    Superb Salad. Amazing clicks as ever.

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  16. Some really stunning photos! I love the salad a lot.
    The birthday cake looks so pretty.

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  17. nice salad and awesome pics...the pics of kerala makes me homesick too...

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  18. congrats on the win, enjoy all the celebrations Nash
    Salad looks superb. Love all the fabulous pictures

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  19. Loved that simple n yummy salad:-) Njoy ur holidays in kerala:-)

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  20. Breathtaking pictures! I admired it a lot and yummy salad

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  21. Simply beautifully captured shots and the fresh, yummy and easy to make recipe...lovely!

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  22. Loved that beautiful and mouth watering cake. The salad looks so refreshing...

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  23. Amazing clicks looks really refreshing.

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  24. What a beautiful post, in EVERY way. Such lovely prose, photography and recipe. You are amazing!

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  25. Happy belated birthday to your boy. Colorful and healthy salad! Your clicks are always amazing and hope you will have an enjoyable Eid with your family.....

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  26. Eid Mubarak in advance... and enjoy ur break, Nashi... love the pics! And the light refreshing salad :)

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  27. Aww..You make the simplest of salads seem so gourmet and exotic ! :) I love this salad. Whenever I have excess boiled chickpeas, end up turning them into hummus or this salad. Really refreshing and a filler ! Belated happy birthday to your son and bro ! Hope it was all of a great family celebration. The cake looks awesome. Where's it from??

    Luvvdd ZNMD. A welcome change from the recent stuff. Really liked the concept of adventure sports. Those shots of Kerala made me really nostalgic especially about rain.

    I so wish we could have met up before you left ! Nevertheless, have a fantabulous vacation and rocking Eid !!

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  28. Wow.. Awesome spread here.. :D Lucky you.. I wish I could be home too.. ANd enjoy the rain .. :( and moms food..

    Yea.. ZNMD was really awesome.. Love the songs.. roshini mill :D

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  29. Salad sounds so refreshing and beautiful clicks.Enjoy your break and the rains.When you're back I hope to see some beautiful pictures of Kerala through your lens.

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  30. Jehanne, lol…you are funny …and sweet :)

    Kalyani, Arwa and Farwin, thanks a lot!

    Indu, oh yea, Eid is end of this month..!

    Anonymous: Hey. So sweet of you to say that—thank you!

    Anita, aww, I’m flattered! Thanks, sweetness. And, yea, I conveyed your birthday wishes to Jaad and Nabil.

    Kurryleaves, Chinmaye, Sayantani, Deeksha, Angie, Ramya, Akhila, Ramya, Padhu, Kalyan, Vimitha, Simple food: thanks girls for the sweet comments and wishes!

    Luv’nspoonfuls: Ah, you are too kind and generous!

    Treat and trick and Sarah: thanks so much!

    Gayathri, the cake’s from Patisserie Suisse. They have a branch close to my place in Matar kadeem. And hey, I hope to see ya before I leave!

    Hey Gopka, thanks for the support. Rain and mom’s cooking…such a deadly combo! Yep, ZNMD was an awesome watch. Wish we could conquer our fears and live life to the fullest...!

    Vidhya, thanks sweetie!

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  31. Beautiful Clicks....N wat a perfect n coloful salad

    http://www.panchamrutham.blogspot.com/

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  32. Wow...that's an feel good salad....looks yum....many wishes to u r lil one, nephew and his parents....u r bro too...do take care of u r self.....forgot to tell u....loved those city clicks....

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  33. Beautiful post down memory lane..And bealted wishes to ur lil one, nephew, his parents & ur brother..And thats a inviting & healthy salad!!
    Prathima Rao
    Prats Corner

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  34. Thats nice!! Sometimes i give my hubby kabubli chana chundal as a snack... next time i am gonna try this

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  35. hey dear....yea I am from doha...i guess even u... where do u stay?

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  36. wow adipoli salad with chickpea

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  37. nice light salad recipe...and a very beautiful birthday preparation.....hope you will enjoy the vacation with your family :) glad to follow you
    A Girl's Diary
    Event:
    What's On Your Kebab Platter:win a gift

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  38. oh my my...clicks r damn good...superb looking salad.

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  39. Your space is so inspiring and gorgeous! Proud to be your latest follower!

    http://personalfoodjournal.blogspot.com

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  40. Nice salad and stunning pictures..colorful and flavorful salad..have a wonderful time..hugs

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  41. What a beautiful post Nash... hop across my friend. I can see I have more than plenty to learn from you. Would love to have you over. That is one stunning cake, and a delightful chickpea platter. I wish I had kaffir lime growing in my garden. The flavours sound amazing and fresh! Hope you have a wonderful vacation. Do give me a call if you have the time.

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  42. Have wonderful vacation and the pictures are damn good and beautifully captured. The salad looks so refreshing and wish I can finish the whole bowl.. Awesome !!! Have safe trip.

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  43. Hi Nashira,
    Thanks and congrats to you 2 for winning the giveaway.
    Your clicks are amazing..loved the presentation of dishes...can't wait to try out some of them...right now I am on a holiday in Brazil.

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  44. Hey Nash...Awesome awesome post dear...U have turned that salad platter into a gourmet affair...Looks stunning...have a wonderful vacation....

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  45. congrats for winning.salad is healthy and tempting .pic are beautiful.

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  46. Love ur clicks...amazing talent...the salad platter looks stunning.

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  47. Lovely post Nash.. Truly captured the beauty of God's own country.. I can have chickpea salad anytime :) This one looks absolutely delish .. Enjoy you vacation..in btw, where is your hometown?

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  48. Love chickpeas and this salad sounds full of textures. Congratulations on the win & belated wishes to your boy.I really enjoyed all the colorful pictures- keep'em coming!

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  49. the salad may be simple but looks heavenly! Congrats on the win and wish your boy a happy birthday :) I always enjoyed Kerala and hope you have loads of fun!

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  50. Amazing photos very nice, the cake is perfect.
    Nice post dedicated to the child, congratulations, a few days ago I was a birthday, it sure is a loving child if born in the month of August, hugs.

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  51. Salad looks so colourful and its always a treat for eyes when I visit your space...thanks for sharing the pics!

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  52. Refreshing salad... as always superb clicks...Enjoy your break dear...belated b'day wishes to ur baby...

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  53. Wowie..what a gorgeous presentation1 Thanks for coming to my space..have got to connect with this lovely blog. need to meander a lot here.

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  54. Congratulations. Salad looks colourful, yummy and tempting. Very nice and healthy salad. Wonderful presentation.

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  55. Beautiful salad, looks super colourful,simple and refreshing..Enjoy ur break thoroughly..My hearty belated birthday wishes ur lil one..

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  56. wowwww... this is awesome... superb snaps yaar.. love to have it now :)

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  57. That salad is beautiful, colorful, refreshing and really appetizing!

    Cheers,

    Rosa

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  58. OMG!!! Amazing and lovely snaps dear. I don't have any words to explain. Simply mind blowing. You really rock Darling. A perfect photographer. Congrats, you deserve it. Enjoy your time with your family and friends.

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  59. Nashira thanks for stopping by my blog and for ur words of appreciation, ur mirror cake way too gorgeous! Nice to be on ur space, your pic's are stunning! Happy b'day to ur little one and enjoy ur break :)

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  60. Congrats on winning the give away. Such stunning pictures can't take my eyes of them.

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  61. Incredible photography. A really beautiful sald full of colour.

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  62. pics are amazing and salad refreshing! there is nothing better on a hot summer day!

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  63. Beautiful pictures! Kerala looks amazing...so lush and green. Love the refreshing flavors of your chickpea salad.

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  64. truly gorgeous and refreshing post in every way...happy bday to ur son and enjoy your vacation.. I love kaffir lime but am yet to lay my hand on these...do post the recipe of that irresistable strawberry cake soon..:)

    enjoy
    Sukanya

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  65. Hey y’all—Deepti, Lubna, Prathima, Entepachakasala, Prathibha, Suja, Pavithra, Tanvi, Kankana, SouthIndianHome, Rak, Reshmi, Sanjeeta, Babil, Priya, Lena, Rosa, Zari, Sensible Veg, Anthony, Smitha, Karen, Sukanya—a HUGE thanks for the wishes and lovely notes!

    Manjoo: Nice to meet someone from Doha! I live in Matar Kadeem—Old Aiprot area. And you?

    @Khushi and Food Glorious Food: Hey, thanks for the follow!

    Hey Deeba, if only I could meet with you!! I’ll sure try to buzz you.

    Foodiecorner, thanks sweets. I’m from Thrissur. You?

    Hey Rosita, happy belated b’day to you!

    Hi Ananda, glad to see you here. Thanks for popping over!

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  66. Delicious recipe and gorgeous photos! Have a wonderful holiday with your family:)

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  67. Looks soo tempting, yummy and delicious...congrats for giveaway...the pics r superb and truely awesome..hav a happiest trip..tc..enjoy..:)

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  68. Hi Nash - Hope I get to catch you and send you the warmest wishes from Penang before you board the plane. So much joy, excitement and wonderful memories you have shared in one post. The recipe is a delight too! Kaffir lime is a great choice.

    Have a safe trip and enjoy a lovely time with your family in Kerala.

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  69. Lovely Photographs!!!! Delicious and healthy salad, so colorful.... Have a lovely time with your family. I just found your blog and I am loving it.

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  70. the salad looks gourmet and delicious...wonderful clicks...following you now

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  71. I just came across your blog, what stunning photos and I love your writing style. Beautiful food. Have a wonderful getaway with your family and may you return rested and restored.

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  72. heavens, i see you cannae stop writing and clicking now...

    gee! am back. happy Eid! you wanting to be in Kerala?? am glad am not:)

    enjoy the wedding...love to your son; and blessings too! come back soon and start all over again the spelling of form (??) board and how you do it!!

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  73. What a writeup, thoroughly enjoyed it. You have a way with weaving a story girl. Have fun when you are back home in India, am almost jealous... lol. God bless your little one, many happy returns. Totally with you on ending up making a simple salad when you feel like have a three course Indian meal :) but the end result is just fabulous... shouldn't have made you miss biryani that very much.
    US Masala

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  74. Thanks so much Raina, Mughda, Reese!

    Hi Reem, Munch and Jeanette. So sweet of you to stop by and say hello :)

    Ginza!! Branding me a shutterbug & chatterbox huh..? :P lol. Glad too see you back sweets! Let's catch up on my return.

    Puja, thanks dear for your ever lovely thoughts!

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  75. Oh My God..this is a super cute & creative post..again you take awesome pics for the post & the recipe is easy as always :)
    keep sharing fun & lots of great pics, Love you Nashi dear, take care
    MashaAllah everything is perfect :) have fun & enjoy !!!

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  76. I think You've heard it all, already, but may I just add that the pictures and the pictured are absolutely gorgeous... have a wonderful trip! hugs, priya

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  77. happy eid....belated one though....glad to know i have not missed many post.....njoi ur time

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  78. Ohh myy...your clicks are fabulous...looks so tempting and colorful...loved all your utensils as well.....

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  79. Hi Nashi, hope you are having a blast time with your friends n family in God's own country... Hope your Eid went on well too :)

    I've tagged you for the 7 links challenge. Do check it out @ http://schmetterlingwords.blogspot.com/2011/09/for-7-links-challenge.html

    Have fun :)

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  80. really wonderful pictures! love this!

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  81. Nashi, Your writing and photos are amazing. You have a true gift. TJ

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  82. gorgeous pictures, amazing recipe, loved reading the post. You inspire me.

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  83. Nashi....... guess what? One of Judy's recipes got published on foodgawker :) We are all so pleased. Thanks for your support.

    I hope you are having a lovely holiday.

    Joyce

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  84. Hey Nash , have fun on your vacation , mine is over :( , btw , you have been tagged , you are invited to join the 7 links game , ask me for the details when you get back :).

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  85. This is my first time here and boy, I am blown away! You have a great blog with absolutely stunning pictures. A bit more time and I think you can turn into a pro :)

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  86. hi nash,
    hope u r enjoying ur time with the family- have a blast really; the cake u baked for ur son looks tremendous- loved it and the salad like u said is simple, & neat; have fun n enjoy

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  87. Hi Nash
    Lovely snaps as usual. i too make a different kind of chickpea salad. Loved this one. Belated wishes to your li'l one.
    Are u coming to North Kerala.Do let me know.Enjoy your vacation dear!

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  88. Nashira, Wanted to stop by and say hello since it's been a while since I saw a post from you! Also wanted to invite you to check out my blog anniversary giveaways dear - would love for you to participate :) hope all is well with you - hugs, priya

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  89. Aw, thank you to all for visiting and for your ever kind, sweet notes. You are the best! I had so much fun back home. Hopefully I’ll be sharing a snippet of my trip and have a proper catch up with y’all soon. In the meantime, lots of love ♥♥

    Ahh Tony, YOU are amazing. So, so happy to see your note. Thanks you, my friend!

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  90. Popping over from the other side of the Gulf to say hi. Glad to have found your blog through your comment on Sips and Spoonfuls. If you are ever in the UAE do get in touch with our growing and gregarious band of fab food bloggers.

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  91. Hey Sally, so sweet of you to stop by to say hello. Thanks! I truly wish I could visit UAE soon and get to see you all face-to-face. It'll be great fun!

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  92. Thank you, Khushi. It'll be a pleasure to participate in your events. I hope to be back with recipes soon.

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  93. wow...mesmerizing cliks with awesome presentation..:)
    Hope you're enjoying your holiday with family..
    Hugs,
    Jay
    Tasty Appetite

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  94. amazing pictures... love them all... very inspiring for a noobie photographer like me

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  95. I know this is old post, but I wanted to say your photos are amazing, really A-MAZING! I enjoyed browsing your site!

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  96. K so I don't have Kaffir lime leaves, Galangal, Lettuce. And I would use dried chick peas boiled and strained. Is it still worth a try?

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A million thank you's for stopping by, taking the time to connect, and coming back to visit again. I genuinely appreciate each of your kind thoughts, lovely words, love and support. Happy, happy to hear from you, and hope to see you again!

♥ Nashi