Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Tax Season and Recipe for Pujanbi Chhole

Today we got our taxes done at H&R Block.  It's so nice to be done!  Before we were married we used to do our taxes ourselves, but there were too many questions the first year so we've gone to H&R Block ever since then.  It's so nice now to have it done with in 1 1/2 hours and to know they'll take care of any audits or questions from CRA (Canadian version of the IRS).  I sound like an advertisement for them!  The peace of mind and less stress (especially during Lent) is very worth the money for us!  As you can see from the photo, Liza is happy having taxes over and done with!  We were happily surprised at what a great little tax deduction she is in addition to her other good attributes.  Anyway, both this year and last we just happened to have an Orthodox Christian tax preparation specialist!  Last year we had a Russian guy and this year a Serbian woman.  It's so nice to run into other Orthodox Christians... and seems to be a lot more common than it was before!

Today, I made Punjabi Chhole using a recipe from The Poliva Family blog.  Here is a photo of my finished product:
I'm not so sure I can legitimately say I really made this recipe since I made so many substitutions.  Here's what I did:
green pepper -> yellow bell pepper (not a big deal)
fresh ginger -> powdered ginger
cilantro-> flat leafed parsley
canned chickpea -> dried chickpeas I cooked myself

And the bigger deals were that I did not have the spices it calls for.  I picked up a spice mix for $1 at the grocery store for "Chana Chaat" (Chickpea Salad).  It contains: paprika, salt, red chili, corriander, amchur powder, cumin, cinnamon, fennel, black pepper, fenugreek seed, carom, and bay leaf.  I had ginger powder, cayenne, and used powdered mustard instead of crushed mustard seed.  So basically, I added a bunch of spices it didn't call for by using the mix and didn't use black salt or cardamom.  I don't know how it's supposed to taste, but it turned out very well seasoned in my opinion and tasted great.  I think I'll cut back on the cayenne next time since it was a little too hot for us.  Definitely a recipe I'll keep, so I encourage you to try it.  It's also very economical (especially using dried chickpeas) as well.  I haven't tried to cook much Southern Asian food, but I love to try new things!  

Have any of you tried any new types of cooking lately?


Martha said...

Did you serve it with rice? If it's too spicy, that often helps...or with boiled potatoes. I ♥ that picture of Liza in her playpen, looks like her hair is growing more - is it reddish? strawberry blonde?

Mary said...

We had it just plain... I think it would be great with rice or potatoes of some sort! I'll probably try that with the leftovers. Her hair does look reddish in real life too... we'll see what it becomes. :)

elizabeth said...

Nice! tax season is so stressful! glad it went well for you (I had a really bad experience with H&R B in Ottawa... so glad yours is better!)

Beautiful pictures! :)

Mary said...

Yeah, I've heard of other people not having great experiences with H&R Block... I guess we've been lucky! Maybe they're nicer in Kanata :)