Friday, May 11, 2007

Long Time, no post!!!

It has been crazy at work for the past three weeks. Slowly getting back in shape. I have been reading all your posts. Read the amazing roundup's for RCI event and JFI: greens. But couldn't really post anything in my blog. Will definitely try to post in the next few weeks. Thanks for checking my blog. See you soon!!!

Friday, April 20, 2007

Methi Dal - JFI-WBB: Green Leafy Vegetables

I love to cook green leafy vegetables in any form. Who wouldn't??? I keep adding spinach, methi, amaranth, etc. in my cooking regularly once a week. Spinach has a rich source of Iron. Of course, all greens contains Iron in different proportions. We very well know that iron content in our body will give strength and prevents from anemia/weakness. It helps keep your body brisk all day.

I remember a greens seller in my hometown who sells fresh green leafy vegetables everyday on our streets. She had many different varieties of greens. Of which i remember only few of these,
Thandukeerai(Keerai in tamil means Greens),
Araikeerai(Amaranth contains vitamin A),
Vendayakeerai(Methi/Fenugreek leaves),
Vallaraikeerai(said to be good for memory power),
Mudakathankeerai(cures arthritis),
Sirukeerai(small leafy greens),
Murungaikeerai(leaves of drumstick tree),
Thooduvalaikeerai(removes congestion due to cold),
Manathakkalikeerai(good for stomach & mouth ulcers),
Ponnangannikeerai(improves eyesight),
Kezhanellikeerai(cures jaundice)
Pasalaikeerai(Palak or spinach),

The list is long and there are many other varieties of indian greens which i do not know the names exactly. Mom says even now she buys greens from her. She sells greens that are freshly picked, early morning from the fields in her village, nearby to our town and we get them right at our doors.
I love methi for its rich aroma. Though it has a slight bitter taste, when pressure cooked with dal, reduces the bitterness. It's also rich in Iron and fibre content and believed to have many medicinal properties. Methi is supposed to cool the body and is good for diabetic patients. I made Methi dal for the JFI-WBB event by Indira of Mahanadi and Nandita of Saffron Trial. Here are the steps to make it.

Methi dal with rice and lemon pickle


1 bunch of Methi, pluck the leaves
1 cup of toor dal
1 medium onion and tomato, chopped
Pulp of a lemon-sized tamarind
1 tbsp of sambar powder.
1 tsp of turmeric.
Salt to taste

1 tbsp of oil/Ghee
1 tsp of mustard seeds
1 tsp of cumin seeds
1 tsp of asafoetida
5 to 6 curry leaves

Rinse methi leaves in three changes of water, till the water looks clear.
Similarly wash toor dal too. Pressure cook toor dal, methi leaves, tomato, turmeric with little salt till 4 whistles. Let it cool and when pressure is released, mash them and set aside. Heat oil in a pan, fry onion till translucent. Add this to the pressure cooker contents. Stir in tamarind pulp, sambar powder with salt and let all this boil till the dal thickens.
Finally heat oil and toast the seasoning ingredients one by one in order provided. Add this to the dal.
Serve hot with rice and a side curry.

This recipe can be adapted with any other greens. Sending this to JFI event.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Adai - Lentil Dosa

There were days when we hated a particular dish during childhood and would cry to eat 'em when mom says it's good for our health. Later when we start cooking, we make them over and over again, saying that it's so delicious. I am sure you all would have been thro' this. I don't know what makes the food we dislike in childhood to be an all time favaourite when grown up. Once such thing is "Adai" to me. I have literally fought with my mom to make me something else when she prepares Adai during my childhood days. But when i started cooking, it's tastes heavenly now(Don't know why???). Since our everyday meal is based on my husband's likes, food i hate the most has now become my ultimate favourites.
Adai, as we call as lentil pancake, is a mix of four types of lentils and rice.
It is a protein rich diet since it contains lentils. Apart from proteins, adai also contains dietary fiber. It's also an ideal diet for diabetes. This tiffin is mostly made in south india. It's also a tradition to make Adai on the festival of lights(Karthigai Deepam). The proportion on which the lentils are added alongwith rice gives it the crunchy, rich taste. Here's how i make it.

Raw Rice - 1 cup
Chana dal - 3/4 cup
Toor dal - 1/2 cup
Urad dal - 1/4 cup
Moong dal - 2 tbsp(1/8 cup)
Red chillies - 5 nos.
Onion - 1 medium, finely chopped
Curry leaves & corriander leaves
Coconut pieces - 1 tbsp finely chopped
Salt to taste

Soak rice and dals alongwith the red chillies for 2 hours. Grind into a coarse batter adding little water at a time. Do not add lot of water to the batter, let it be thick. The dals should just be split while grinding and not ground to smooth. Add salt, mix well and set aside for atleast 4 hours. Adai can be made in the same day on which it was ground. There is no need for fermenting.
Heat a dosa griddle. Mix finely chopped onions, curry leaves, corriander leaves, finely chopped coconut pieces. Pour the batter in the griddle and make it as dosas. Coat the sides of the adai with oil. Let it be there for two minutes on one side in medium heat and flip it over to the other side. Let it become crunchy. Cook on medium heat since the batter is thick, it might take sometime some time for this to cook. The coarse texture of dals and rice in the batter will give it a crunchy taste.
Serve it with Coconut/Peanut chutney, powdered jaggery, and chutney podi(Milagai podi). Traditionally in south indian hotels, Adai is served with Aviyal(A coconut curry made with vegetables). I like my adai with sugar and ghee mixed together.

Friday, April 6, 2007

Mushroom masala with fresh green channa

I like trying different combinations of vegetables and legumes in my curries. Yesterday i got all excited and decided to combine Mushroom and green channa. I haven't heard of this fresh green channa(Garbanzo beans)when i was in India. Recently found frozen green channa in the indian grocery store. I have always used dried kabuli channa or brown channa. These green channa are so fresh and do not require soaking in water overnight. That's one thing i liked about these. I usually think of making channa masala for the next day and would forget to soak it overnight. Any form of channa or garbanzo beans is rich in protein and fiber, and low in fat and calories. They are a good source of folate, folic acid, calcium, Vitamin B and iron.
And speaking of mushrooms, i like fresh white ones. One thing about the mushrooms is it gets dark when kept for long time. Proper wrapping with ziploc or storing them in air-tight containers can help. Mushrooms combined with green channa was so delicious as a side dish. Here is some of 'em for you.

10 to 15 nos.- White button mushrooms
1 Cup - Frozen or fresh green channa or garbanzo
1 - Medium Onion Chopped
3 - Medium Tomatoes chopped
1 tsp - turmeric powder
1 tsp - red chilli powder
1 tsp - corriander powder
1 tsp - cumin powder
1 tsp - garam masala
1 tsp of Kasuri methi
1 tsp - cumin seeds for tadka
1 tbsp - oil
Salt to taste
Fresh cilantro to garnish

Remove stems from mushrooms, clean and with a neat cloth wipe the surface of the mushrooms to remove any dirt. Cut into halves or any shape. Wash channa into two to three runnings of water, drain and set aside. Heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. Let the cumin seed splutter. Add turmeric powder to them. Then add the onion and fry till transparent. Add mushrooms and saute for two minutes. Add Chopped tomatoes to the pan and cook till the tomatoes are mushy and mixes with the mushroom. Stir in red chilli powder, corriander powder, cumin powder and mix well to coat the mushroom with the masala. Let the spices cook for two minutes. Add green channa and enough water and let it cook covered for 10 minutes. Stir in the garam masala and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. By then the mushrooms should be soft and green channa doesn't require more time to cook. Mix the kasuri methi and cook for another minute and then garnish with cilantro.
Serve hot with naan or your favourite rotis.

Add quarter cup of milk or cream before adding the garam masala. This would give the dish a rich creamy colour.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Moong dal with Zucchini

Zucchini, funny name isn't it:-). Not knowing what to do with this summer vegetable, i was reluctant to buy them. But my husband said that i could use them in stir-fry. Ofcourse it was good in stir-fry. Almost everyday we have roti's for dinner and so i get really confused what to make as side dish for roti's. Yesterday i thought of making dal for roti's and then suddenly it strike why can't i use this zucchini in my dal. Guess what, turned out to be delicious. Being calorie consicious i checked the nutritional information on zucchini. Zucchini is low in calories (19 calories/cup). It is low in fat and carbohydrates. One cup of zucchini is a significant source of vitamin C and adds vitamins and minerals when added to recipes. Also found that overcooking(adding too much water and heat)zucchini might destroy the vitamin C in the vegetable. Here is how i made the dal with zucchini.

Moong dal - 1 cup.
Zucchini - 2 nos diced.
onion - 1 medium
Tomato - 2 nos.
Green chillies - 3
Sambar powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Asafoetida - 1 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Corriander leaves to garnish

Pressure cook moong dal till soft, mash and set aside. Chop onion, tomatoes. Slit green chillies. Heat oil in a pan, splutter mustard seeds, cumin seeds, asafoetida, turmeric powder. Add the chopped onion,green chillies and fry till transparent. Then add the tomatoes and fry till it gets mushy. Stir in zucchini and fry for 2 to 3 minutes. Add sambar powder, fry for a minute. Sprinkle some water over this and let it cook till the zucchini is half cooked. Do not add more water or overcook zucchini. Cook in medium heat. Add the cooked dal and mix well. Let it boil for another 4 minutes. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve hot with Chapathi or rice. Add a tsp of Ghee on top before serving for added touch.

Check out fellow bloggers zucchini dishes.

Zucchini Kurma from Mahanadi
Easy Potato-Zucchini Stir-Fry from Foodie's hope
Zucchini and Feenel fritata from WFLH

Friday, March 23, 2007

Pineapple Salsa - Contribution to AFAM event

Dietians say that we should eat three servings of fruit per day. My husband is a big fan of fruits and he drags me to the fruit aisle when we go for grocery shopping(i am not used to eating fruits regularly). But i volunteered to the fruit aisle this week to buy pineapple after reading the AFAM event by Maheswari Madanan of beyond the usual.I 've been trying to participate in AFAM event since she announced it. Ofcourse lack of time is the reason, finally i did manage to contribute this time.
Read about AFAM event here.

Now lets get into some details of this tropical fruit.
Pineapple is native to south america and was found by Christopher columbus(Discoverer of the Americas). But they are thought to have originated in Brazil and Paraguay. It contains large quantities of vitamin C. As far as medicinal uses are concerned, pineapple is said be rich in fibre which can cure constipation. It helps to improve digestion, increase appetite and reduce excessive gastric acids. The enzyme, bromelain present in pineapple aids digestion.
Though it has a prickly top, once removed it is a delicious juicy fruit. I made Pineapple salsa and here is how you make it.
Pineapple Salsa - a colorful treat

Pineapple slices - 3 or 4.(Remove the outer skin, edges and slice them horizontally).
Onion - 1 medium
Red bell pepper - 1 thinly sliced
Green bell pepper - 1 thinly sliced
Cayenne pepper - 1 tsp
Corriander leaves - 2 tbsp chopped
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste.

Combine pinepple slices, onion, red bell pepper, green bell pepper in a large bowl. Add the cayenne pepper, corriander leaves and lime juice to it. Add salt and mix well. Jalapeno pepper is an optional additional to this salsa. Cover tightly and refrigerate until serving time. Serve with tacos, an ultimate party snack.

Check out this Easy pineapple slicer

Friday, March 16, 2007

Spicy Tomato Pulav

Thanks to all fellow food bloggers who took a peek at my blog and dropped their valuable comments.

Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C(which most of you might know very well), but do you know it can prevent cancer. The presence of pigment lycopene, which gives the red color to the tomatoes is the most powerful antioxidants which can protect us from the free radicals that cause cancer. It's also rich in vitamin A and E, which is good for your skin. All these information, i learnt by reading about health and diet. To me, its pretty much the one and only vegetable(or fruit???) i use in my everyday cooking. Be it dal, chutney, curries and so on, tomatoes are the main ingredient in any indian kitchen. I am sure you guys will agree with this. This spicy tomato pulav is a recipe which i got from my mother-in-law. BTW she is a great cook. You may also call it as tomato rice, but i prefer saying it as tomato pulav because of the varied spices used in this dish. There goes the recipe.

Tomatoes - 5 nos. chopped
Basmati Rice - 2 cups
Red Onion - 1 big chopped
Garlic - 2 pods
Ginger - a small piece
Coconut - 1/2 cup
Green chillies - 2 or 3
Aniseeds/Fennel(Saunf) - 1 tsp
Poppy seeds - 1 tsp (optional)
Garam masala powder - 2 tsps
Cinnamon stick, bay leaf, Clove, cardomom - 1 no. each
Coriander leaves
Oil and salt to taste

Wash the rice well in water, drain and set aside. Grind Coconut, green chillies, garlic, ginger, saunf and poppy seeds into paste adding little water. Heat oil in a kadai and the whole spices(lavang elaichi, patta fry for a minute. Add the onion and fry for a minute. Add the ground paste and fry till the raw smell of the paste leaves. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook till they turn mushy. Add the garam masala powder and fry for a minute. Then add the rice and mix well till the rice gets coated with the tomato curry. Transfer this to a pressure cooker, adding 3 cups of water. Add salt, coriander leaves and leave the pressure cooker open until it starts to boil. Place the lid and leave it in high until the regulator weight blows twice.
Switch off the flame, let it cool and serve with potato fry or onion-curd raita.

P.S. If you follow the measurements of tomato, rice, water and the time to cook exactly as given above, the pulav will definitely not stick to the bottom of the pressure cooker.

Monday, March 5, 2007

Interior decorating I - An inviting and comfortable space to dine

I have been thinking of posting my ideas on decorating a home for a while and voila! Apart from food blogs, i also read a lot about interior decorating.
Interior decorating is an art of creating a beautiful home by improvising color plans and accessorizing with elegant features. We often confuse interior decorating with interior designing. There is a distinct difference between these two. Interior decorating mainly focusses on finishes/accessories. Interior designing focusses on creating a lifestyle with the architecture of the interior space by analyzing the human psychology.
Basically we will be discussing about decorating ideas for each room in a house one after another. While i was thinking of which room to start with??! Since aahaar vihaar is a food blog why not start with the dining room...
Yes, here are some steps by which you can decorate your ordinary dining room to an attractive yet easy to use space. I greatly appreciate your comments on improving this subject. Check out this Dining Hall


  • Select a theme for the dining room which uniquely blends with the living room.
  • Painting the room with varied color palettes will be the next step. Select a color for the wall and match the ceiling with the contrasting color. The color on the wall should be in contrast with the floor color.
  • The window treatments should complement the paint color in the room and also the furniture in the room. One example, a pale colored drapes will suit well to a dark cherry dining table furniture.
  • Add a rug to the dining room based on the floor type and the one that enhances the look of the furniture.
  • Choose furnitures that are simple and gives room for a family of 6-8 for dining. Floral slip covers for the dining room chairs matching the theme of the room adds an elegant look. Also, adding buffet/server is optional, but they can help you organize your serveware and dinnerware. Keep it simple and not too cramped.
  • Choose a center piece for the dining table, let it be a floral arrangements or candle holders. Of course, there are no hard and fast rules of center pieces, you can decorate with the flowers or the candle holders or with an antique center piece. But in spring, bring in some fresh flowers instead of the silk or artificial floral arrangements.
  • Adequate lighting will project your rooms beauty. Select a chandelier that will lighten up the entire dinging area and also enhances your center piece.
  • Then comes the wall hangings. Choose pictures that suites best for the color of the wall. Again, no hard and fast rules, choose according to your ideas.
  • Tablecloths, placemats and runners should be chosen to mix with the furniture.
  • Choosing the dinnerware which resembles the color of the room is a wise idea, but going on with a classic white and cream based set of dinnerware is also a good choice.
  • Last but not least, keep your room so comforting and serve your food with love.

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Aloo Batura - for JFI Potato

Who wouldn't like this vegetable -- Potato??!
Be it the kids or grownups, everyone likes potatoes in any dishes... When i first saw the JFI for potato announced by vaishali of "Happy Burp", ideas flew into my mind. But somehow managed to end up with something new which i tried for the first time. "Aloo Batura" is my contribution to JFI-Potato...

Maida - 2 cups
Aloo or potato - 3 (medium)
Jeera - 1 tsp
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Oil for frying batura
Salt to taste

Boil the potatoes, peel off the skin and mash well without any lumps. With this add maida, salt, ghee, jeera and mix well adding little bit of water. The dough should be in chapathi dough consistency. Do not add more water to the dough as it may get loose and gets all sticky to roll. Roll the dough into batura's and deep fry in oil.
Serve with chana masala or any korma.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Sambar with freshly ground spices

Since my husband mostly prefers variety rices packed for lunch during weekdays, i get to make sambar and gojju only during weekends. Sambar mixed with rice and a dollop of ghee has a heavenly taste. Back at home, mom makes sambar and gojju alternately all week. Honestly, in my home even if it's sambar or gojju, the type of dish once prepared is not repeated until atleast a month. Though usually sambar is made with the home-made sambar powder, there are other varieties of sambar made with instantly ground pastes and powders. Here is one variety of sambar which we usually call as "Arachuvitta sambar" made on festive occasions. This is a thick gravy of vegetables(in any combination) with a freshly ground spicy paste.

Vegetables(red pumpkin, drumstick, potato, raw banana, broadbeans) - 2 cups
Toor dal - 1 cup.
Tamarind - large lemon sized ball
Chana dal - 1 tbsp
Coriander seeds - 2 heaped tbsp
Methi seeds - 1/2 tsp
Red chillies - 5-6
Jeera - 1 tsp
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
curry leaves - 6 leaves
Oil - 2 tbsp

Pressure cook toor dal in 2 cups of water along with turmeric. In a kadai heat one tbsp of oil. Fry chana dal, red chillies, coriander seeds, methi seeds, jeera. When the spices turn light brown, switch off the flame, add coconut and fry for a minute. Cool and grind to a paste adding water. Get pulp out of tamarind(i usually boil tamarind with water in microwave for 2 minutes and then extract the pulp).
Boil vegetables and tamarind extract until vegetables are half cooked. Add the ground paste and let it boil for few more minutes. Add cooked toor dal and let it boil for 5 minutes. Fry mustard seeds, curry leaves, asafoetida in remaining oil and add this tadka to sambar. Serve with rice and a side dish, rice crispies.

Pair radish and small red onions(sambar onions) as vegetables for this sambar. The rich flavor of red onions adds a unique taste of the sambar.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Rasavangi and Cabbage Palya

Though we do not get the exact taste of indian brinjal in here, I always keep brinjal in my crisper. My weekly grocery list will definitely have brinjal listed in it. We have a strong desire for eggplant. Kojju and vathakuzhambhu are the ones with a heavenly taste. My grandmother(Dad's mom) makes kojju which tastes yummy even after 2 days. My mom used to say that she learned many dishes from her. She is not with us today but she gave all her magics of cooking to my mom. Rasavangi is one among them which we got from my grandma.

Brinjal - 6-8 nos.,preferably small ones, Cut into plus shapes easy to stuff masala
Tamarind - big lemon sized
Urad dal - handful
Red chillies - 5
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Methi seeds - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 4 tbsp
Salt to taste

Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 5 leaves

Heat little oil in a wok and fry urad dal, red chillies, mustard and methi seeds. Cool and grind to a fine powder. Stuff the eggplant with half of the ground powder. Heat oil and fry the stuffed eggplant seasoning with salt. Extract pulp from tamarind, add turmeric and asafoetida to it. Set aside. Once the eggplant is fried and half cooked, add it to the tamarind extract alongwith the remaining ground powder. Let it boil until it becomes a thick curry adding salt to taste. Fry mustard seeds and curry leaves in oil and add it to the rasavangi. Serve with rice and papad and cabbage palya(fry).

Added touch...
Add a tsp of gingelly oil while serving rasavangi for rice since gingelly oil reduces the heat in a dish, particularly for kids.

Cabbage Palya(Cabbage Fry)
Cabbage - 1/2 of big cabbage, thinly sliced
Coconut - 1/2 cup shredded
Red chillies - 2
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Chana dal - 2 tsp
Curry leaves - 5 leaves
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

Cook cabbage in microwave adding enough water and salt. Drain and set aside. Heat oil in a wok and add chana dal. Once the dal turns slight red, splutter mustard seeds and curry leaves. Then add red chillies, fry till they turn bright red. Add the shredded coconut and fry for a minute. Then add cooked cabbage, salt to taste and fry till they fully cooked. Serve with rasavangi or vathakuzhambu.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Dal Bath(Rice and Toor dal cooked together)

Today i had to cook lunch just for myself, and was so bored to eat noodles(usually i make noodles when i have to cook only for myself). I felt too lazy to spend time in the kitchen today, since i was admiring the snow on the roads through my window. Yes, we had ice storm warning and had freezing rain too. So, thought of "Dal bath" which can be made within minutes. This dish is usually made in south india where toor dal is the main ingredient in everyday meal, either as sambar or in rasam. Dal Bath is easily digestible and can be had during fever(instead of the bread/milk which most children doesn't like). It is a best medicine for ulcer stomach too.

Rice - 1 cup
Toor dal - 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Garlic - 4-5 pods
Jeera - 1 tsp
Green chillies - 1(optional)
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Curry leaves - 5 leaves
Salt to taste

Wash rice and toor dal together. Cook rice, toor dal, turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp of jeera, salt, garlic, green chillies(optional) alongwith 5 cups of water in a pressure cooker. Heat ghee, fry remaining jeera, curry leaves and add this to cooked dal bath. Serve with papad, potato fry.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Onion Chutney - Recipe from Pedatha

"If you hear an onion ring, answer it".

It took me two weeks to post a recipe. I was busy with my work and had guests coming to my home. We had a superbowl party at my home and i made veg. biryani, paneer butter masala, roti's and onion/curd raita for our friends who came home to watch the game. So, things were kind of busy and meanwhile i started trying the recipes from "Cooking at home with Pedatha". The onion chutney was the one that i liked the most. I have tried many varieties of onion chutney's according to my mom's recipes. But this method of onion chutney was different than i usually make. So, gave it a try and guess what it turned out to be a delicious accompaniment for dosa at dinner today.
Over the days, the one thing that i have learnt from cooking is to add the right amount of ingredients to make an ordinary meal a gorgeous one. I followed the recipe from Pedatha except for the chillies according to my taste. Here goes the recipe.

Large Onions - 3, chopped
Ginger - 2 inch piece
Pulp from lemon sized tamarind
Green chillies - 2
Red chillies - 4
Coriander leaves - 1/2 cup
Curry leaves - 6-8 leaves
Black gram - 1 tbsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
mustard seeds - 2 tsps
asafoetida powder - 1 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
salt to taste

Heat oil in a pan fry the gram. When it turns golden, splutter the mustards and add fenugreek seeds. Add red chillies and as it turns red, add green chillies, coriander leaves, curry leaves, and asafoetida. Fry for a minute and add the onion, grated ginger and fry till the raw smell of the onion disappears. Grind this with the tamarind pulp and salt. Serve with Idli or dosa.

Facts about onion...
The origin of onion dates back to 5000 B.C.

Libya has the highest consumption of onions with an astounding average per capita consumption of 66.8 pounds.

Onions are also a source of vitamin C, potassium, dietary fiber and folic acid. They also contain calcium, iron and have a high protein quality.

Onion has no fat and less in sodium. Add lots of onions in your diet if you wish to lose weight.

Reduce tearing when cutting onions by first chilling the onions for 30 minutes.

Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Cooking with Pedatha

Guess what, I am cooking with Pedatha!!! Yes, i bought the precious cookbook "Cooking at home with Pedatha" recently from Mahanadi's ebay sale. When the mailman left the book at my doors, i rushed to the doors(i have been waiting for the past one week), picked the book and read from start to finish. The book not only has recipes from the 86 year old culinary queen pedatha, but also the variations and tips with which a recipe can be cooked. The good photography of the food along with the recipe adds to the fame of this cookbook. It brings the spicy vegetarian Andhra food to our kitchen...

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Brinjal (Eggplant/Kathirikai) Chutney

Do, you know, brinjal is actually a fruit but is cooked and eaten as vegetable. Brinjal is available all year, but is best in August and September. It offers antioxidants and is low in calories because it's almost 95% water, only 25 calories per serving(3 1/2 oz or 107g). I love the shape and dark purple colour of Brinjal. Of course, it's taste too.
I tried this dish with brinjal yesterday and couldn't wait to share with y'all. So, here i am posting two recipes in a week.

Brinjal(Indian Eggplant) - 1/4 Kg; Cut into bite size pieces
Medium Onion - 2; Chopped
Medium Tomato - 3; Chopped
Red chillies - 5-6
Oil - 3 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 4-5 leaves
Salt to taste

Heat oil in a kadai. Add red chillies and fry on medium. Add onion and fry for 2 minutes and then add brinjal, salt. Fry till brinjal gets cooked and then add chopped tomatoes. Fry till the tomato gets mashed and mixes well with the brinjal-onion mix. Let it cool for sometime and then grind to a thick paste. Heat the remaining oil in kadai and toast mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves. Add tadka to the chutney. Serve with idli, dosa and rice.

Brinjal is also a good source of folic acid, fiber, magnesium, pottasium, vitamin B6; it also has Vitamin C, Niacin, Iron, some protein, and pantothenic acid.
It's quite perishable, plan to use them within 4 days after buying them. Store unwrapped in a refrigerator crisper.
Choose firm, plump, smooth, smaller eggplant that are light for their size. The heavier, the more seeds; the more seeds, the more bitter.
Check out this cool link on EggPlant

Monday, January 29, 2007

Life is uncertain. Eat dessert first...

Since this is my first recipe post, i thought why not start with a sweet. Paal therattipaal is a milk sweet made mostly in south india. It is so so good that you cannot stop eating one spoon. My mom makes this sweet during many fiesta's and the container would be emptied within a day. It's an all time favourite in my home since everyone is fond of sweets. Usually it takes one to two hours to make therattipaal based on the quantity of milk. It's really tiresome but the end product is Mmm.. good. Can you believe if i say that we can make this within 10 minutes? Yes, this method of making therattipaal was told by my aunt living in Harrisburg. I visited them on New year's eve and she made this sweet for us within minutes. So, thought of sharing this to you all. Surprise your guests by making this within minutes!!!

Sweetened Condensed Milk - 1 Can(396 g)
Curd - 2 tbsp
Ghee - 1 tbsp

In a microwave safe container, add condensed milk and curd. Mix well and place in microwave for 3 minutes. Stir in every one minute. Remove the mixture, mix well again adding the ghee and place in microwave for another 3-4 minutes stirring in between until the mixture thickens and gets to a sticky consistency. Make sure you wear microwave safe gloves since the dish would be extremely hot.
Let it cool for few minutes and add the nuts of your choice. Serve cool or warm.

The time can be reduced to 4 minutes totally based on the power level of the microwave oven. Constant stirring will keep you away from burning the dish.
Also, make sure the mixture does not overflow from the container.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Aahaarshuddho Sattvashuddhi

Aahaarshuddho Sattvashuddhi
Sattvashuddho Dhruvsmriti ....
When Aahaar or Food becomes pure, sattva guna increases and when sattva guna increases, the intellect becomes subtle and things begin to look clear....

Food and cooking has always been an interest in my life. The inspiration to cook healthy and gourmet food came from my Mom. I have been reading many food blogs for a while and finally decided to start my own food blog. I have to thank my husband who has been insisting me to start this blog. Apart from cooking, one other thing that keeps me occupied is interior designing. I will be posting some interior decorating ideas soon along with the recipes. Please feel free to share your comments.

Welcome to Aahaar!!!