Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Here's to fun and friendship :)

Hi, friends! I finally am back from my hibernation :). Now, haven't you heard similar stuff on this blog before :-D. This probably could have ended up as one more of those posts :). But what makes this one different is a very special word called "Friendship". Its the power of friendship that's finally brought me back.....

I'll narrate you a lil' story. Sometime ago, i prepared a simple soup for dinner-a simple fair, yet something that tasted great! It was then, that i felt this sudden urge to share.....share that bowl of goodness, that thrill of enjoying good food! It was then, that i felt that i would love to get back here again.....

Several days later, i received a heart-warming note in my mailbox, from a person whose enthusiasm and passion for food is infectious. She, who weaves foodie dreams at her "One Hot Stove", wanted me to send a foodie surprise. The note had "hello friend" written all over it. The spirit behind the Arusuvai Friendship Chain is to share foodie surprises and extend a hand of friendship through blogosphere. This exchange of lil' surprises first started in India, and is the brain child of Latha ji and her daughter Lakshmi from from The Yum Blog. Dear Latha from Masala Magic has now brought this wonderful concept here.

And the surprises now travel from one kitchen to another, carrying along smiles, thoughts, flavors and fun :). Nupur, thanks for thinking of me, dear friend.....

Also, thanks Sunita and Sia, for the tempting events that totally got the better of me. I'll be sending my entries soon :).

Last weekend, i received a package, full of lovely surprises :). I now take you through those beautiful surprises, one picture at a time :).

The surprise:

This had to be the freshest, tangiest and most fragrant and vibrant kokum i have seen in recent time, paralleled only by what i relished at my friend Golden Girl's house, a home grown treat, which her Aayi had brought all the way from India :). It was so tempting that soon as i opened the package, i popped a cpl. of pieces in my mouth :-D. And i knew that the meals in the coming few days would be livened up by this beautiful surprise :). Watch out for the recipes tomorrow :).

The sweets:

Trust Nupur for her innovative creations. The tangy kokum was accompanied by what has to be one of the best chikkis ever! The caramel treat loaded with almonds was topped by chocolate and more nuts :). YUMMY!

The suvenir:

This chappal has to be special :-D. Guys, this is no ordinary slipper i am talking about. Its a lovely suvenir from Kolhapur, the place where our buddy Nupur comes from. Yes, the famous Kolhapuri chappal :). The miniature is just as gorgeous as the real deal!

The thoughts:

And all this, along with a beautiful note on a pretty card, made from hand-made paper :). Thanks again, Nupur......for all the affection, for all the goodness you packaged in that envelope and for all the yummy foods that you've shared through your hot stove. Above all, for thinking of me as a friend. Here's to the power of friendship :).

From my kitchen to yours:

The Arusuvai Friendship Chain would like the fun to travel along. So, time for me to mail lil' surprises to few friends. It really means a lot me, dear friends:

Sig, Richa and Pel, thanks for all the affection and for being the great friends that you are. Hope you enjoy the lil' surprises. This is so exciting and am really looking forward to the yummy creations from your kitchens. Let the fun times roll :).

And now a special recipe. Remember that soup i mentioned about in the beginning. That is the friendship soup, my friend and embodies the warmth of friendship :). This one is to friendship :).

Coconut milk-beans soup:
This soup combines the milky sweetness and aroma of coconut, with the hearty and comforting
texture of beans. Topped with the lively and fragrant ginger, flavorful garlic and spicy sambal, this one is perfect for relaxing after a long day :).

We need:

  • 2 cups cooked (boiled) beans, i used canned Pinto beans (1 can)
  • 1/2 can coconut milk (preferably light/low-fat variety, i used Chao-Koh brand)
  • 1 bunch spring onions, chopped
  • 2" piece of ginger (julienned)
  • 1 clove garlic (grated)
  • 1 tsp. (or to taste) sambal oelek
  • Salt to taste
  • Ground pepper (to taste)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tsp. oil
Heat oil and saute' the spring onions. Add the cooked beans and stir. Cook for 2-3 minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, sambal oelek and water. Bring to boil, and add the salt and coconut milk. Cook till the soup thickens to desired consistency. Add a lil' ground pepper and serve hot :). Enjoy!

Variations: The variations on this are endless. I've made the soup so many times, and it turns out yummy each time. Try it with corn or peas instead of beans, try it with bell peppers and tomatoes, try changing the spices to dried herbs instead of ginger and garlic. I've even used sour yogurt instead of coconut milk once and ended up with an entirely different, but equally yummy soup.

Have a wonderful day. I will see you all tomorrow with the recipes with this lovely surprise :).


sunita said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sunita said...

Yaay! Dear Musi is back! It's so nice to see you back in action.

Now, I am really getting envious about all the fun that you are having with the friendship chain...hmm, let me think...

...love that soup of yours...will check back again tomorrow.

Asha said...

Hi Musie, so great to see your post!:))
Love the Kokum, it's available in Indian stores here fortunately. LOVE the Chappal key chain, so cute! Enjoy!
Soup looks delicious, comfort food for winter!:)

Nupur said...

Thank you, dear Musical, for accepting the arusuvai chain; it sure is nice to see this space alive with activity :)
The kokum is from India- I have an aunt whose extended family lives in a village in the Konkan region. She got the kokum from there. When you soak it in water, it be will PINK as can be :D
I knew I had no chance of fooling you- you guessed right away what it was!
And finally, to end this super-long comment- that is one delicious soup!

Sia said...

am i happy or what!!!???? thank god u are atlast back from ur hibernation. i thought it was going on and on;)
and with that lovely heart warming bowl of soup. slurrrrrrp:)
and u received kokum? its staple in mangalore and i am surprised at myself for not posting any authentic managlorean kokum dishes!!! i have one big bag of kokum hidden in my kitchen cabinet which is crying to be used:) guess its high time i used some and posted.
enjoy all the goodies and will look forward to ur kokum recipe:) hugs to u sweetie:)

sra said...

Finally! Good to see you on your blog, Musical! I've seen that Kolhapuri miniature here and there, and the hand-made card is simply beautiful! The soup looks nice - reminds me of coral!

TBC said...

It's nice to finally some some sign of life on this space! :)
You have been missed, Musical...
The Kolhapuri chappal looks so cute!
I'm waiting to see what you do with the kokum. I've some too from the Indian store here...it's not half as good as the original stuff that u have,I'm sure.

Sig said...

Yay! She is back, and with a bam... :) What a lovely soup...You can feed me coconut any time of the day... :)Loved the addition of sambal oelek too...

Kokum looks fantastic, so fresh! Cna't wait to see what you whipped up with it... Eagerly waiting for my packet... This is so much fun, feel like a small kid waiting for Christmas... :D Thanks again for thinking of me darling...

Mishmash ! said...

Happy to you blogging again but jealous that you got all that sweet gifts from Nupur especially that mini-Kolhapuri chappal...it is my fav and always had one in my collection till i was in India.....shall we make a deal? :D :))

Anonymous said...

:-)Wonderful Musical! It is so fun when i see stuff going around in the blogosphere!
Yummy looking soup! Perfect for a cold day.
That kokum looks really fresh! Are'nt those candy brittles the yummiest - dear nupur sent us some of those and the kids gobbled them up before i could get any pictures!

Mansi Desai said...

OMG Musi!! you wouldn't believe how happy I am to see one of your posts!! welcome back gal, and thanks SO MUCH Nupur for getting her out of hibernation!:)

Cheers to Friendship!:)

indosungod said...

yay musy, glad to see you back with the wonderful soup - beans and coconut got to taste awesome. Dear Nupur that was great of you to wake musical from her slumber.

bee said...

what a lovely soup!! kokum is such a wonderful ingredient. hope to see some inspired creations from you.

musical said...


Thanks, dear! I am feeling so excited to be back :). I hope i can dish out something good with the star spice :). Hey, you guys should have a chain in UK too, isn't that what you are thinking :).


So good to see you too :). I am so glad to be back in action :-D. We do get kokum here, but nothing like the fresh stuff i got in my mail box :). And i agree, that soup is a comfort food, very soothing!


Thanks, dear, for thinking of me to be worthy enough of continuing the friendship chain :). Oh, and the freshness of that kokum should have told me where it came from :). Thanks for sharing such a treasured ingredient from your kitchen, dear! It did turn the water a lovely PINK :). And the fragrance is still lingering in my mind! I look at that packet everyday and it has the same effect on me as it did the first moment :). You do know this soup, don't you :-D.


Thanks, buddy :). Thanks for the warm words :). Hey, now that we are talking about kokum, please please do blog those lovely Mangalore style recipes you mention. We need to celebrate this ingredient more :). Am glad that you enjoyed the soup, i loved the soup you made today as well! Hugs back at you, girlie :).

musical said...


Yes! Finally, i am back :-D. I love this miniature a lot! That card truly reflects the thoughtful person that Nupur is, it was simple and elegant! As for the soup, if you love coconut flavor, you'd love this one a lot! Why coral, is it the color :).


Thanks, dear! I missed blogging too :). That kokum indeed is the freshest one i've seen in days! I hope that the recipes will do justice to this lovely ingredient!


Thank you, fellow coconut lover :-D. Drop by anytime and help yourself to a bowl of this soup :).
And i was just as excited about my lil' surprise, when Nupur wrote me about it ! Arusuvai Friendship Chain has brought the child within back :).


Thanks, dear! The presents from Nupur are lovely and thoughtful and i am not surprised about how you feel :-D. I would feel the same way, if i were you :). And you love Kalhapuri chappals too, that reminds me of the college days!

musical said...


Thanks to you too, for starting off this wonderful event here! Like i said, it celebrates friendship and the childlike warmth within us! The exchange of lil' treasures from kitchen to kitchen is a beautiful concept and you truly deserve a huge thanks for that, dear! Those candy brittles are YUMMY! and that's an understatement! See, there, we shared the same great treasure :).


Thanks, dear! That's really so sweet of you! I am thrilled to be back as well! And yes, here's to friendsip! Am looking forward to all the fun and excitement :).


Thanks, dear! I am so excited that i am back, and that you loved this soup! He he, indeed i woke up from slumber :-D.


Thanks, dear! I loved the soup from the first moment! And its so quick to put together! I agree, kokum is a wonderful ingredient. I hope that the recipes will do some justice to this gorgeous beauty of an ingredient!

Ramya's Mane Adige said...

hey, good to see you back!!! Coconut milk soup sounds yummy. Super easy too.... Looking fwd to your recipes

Dee & Chai said...

Hi Musical, nice to see you back and that too with a BANG!

Pelicano said...

Hey, you know what? I use jar'd sambal oelek as my main salsa for heating up Mex food :-D great, good quality stuff! I was trying to figure out if your soup was Indonesian, Thai or South Indian, but I am thinking now that it is pure Musical, and therefore it MUST be delicious! ;-)
Thanks so much for including me in your outward-moving phase of the Arusuvai Friendship Chain- I do believe this will be fun!

(P.S. Glad to see you back...)

musical said...


Thanks, dear! I too am looking forward to sharing foodie thoughts :). Am glad that you liked the soup.

Dee and Chai:

Thanks, girls :). I am really excited :).


I like your analysis :-D. I really don't know sometimes what cuisine i cook at home. There are times when i have kalan with chapati :-D. Thanks, dear friend. I am looking forward to what surprises you'll dish out with the surprise ingredient. You use sambal as salsa! Culinary purists will protest ;).

Siri said...

Its really fun to see u back musical. I see soups n just soups today.. and m loving all of them. Nupur's suprise ingredients are lovely and can't wait to see what dish u wud create with them. take care and don't go back into hibernation again.. we love - U being around!


musical said...


Thanks, girlie! That's really very sweet of you. I am hoping to do some exciting posts :).