Monday, March 30, 2009

Brinjal Chips from Microwave!

Its another week to roll by and I am all set to begin with a good planning to get most things done as per plan. Konda's exams are going on and will get over by next week. She is all so excited thinking about her long summer vacation. Not just that, she is also excited about my parents coming back. Well I am too! These past four months seem to so long with them being so far away. Infact everybody at home are, including the boys. Every night they pick up the phone and talk over blank line, saying Ammamma and Thatha come back home, then they used to say gud night before calling it a day!

I had just a day off and it was quite hectic playing and trying to keep the boys busy the whole day. I guess every body's aim at home, including their sister, is to make sure the boys enjoy their day at home! Whenever I speak to their teacher, she tells me that they are such a sweet content boys. But then if they don't' be naughty, who else will be! I wonder why they feel so bored at home! These days their pass time is playing with water. They take mug full of water and keep playing with it or sit in their tubs and play with toys. They even did a social service to our building by cleaning the gate outside. We could do nothing but ensure they don't take their hands to their mouth! They even got their school work file, neatly pinned with their class photo. The school had neatly filed all their work sheets, I was surprised they even sat for few minutes to paint those sheets. But when it comes to watching an animal movie or something related, we can make Peddu sit in a place. He sat with Konda and watched Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend last evening. And he was so involved that he was crying when there was a break for Ads in between. I finally had to tell the story all over again before he slept.

Chinnu was playing on his own, movies or likes, least interest him! Since all of them were occupied, I thought I should prepare something that was long pending. I was thinking for quite a while on what to prepare for this month's Microwave Cooking event, and saw that most things that I planned were already done. The idea for this snack was on my mind for a long time, but never came around making it. Now I thought was the right time. I had fresh Brinjal on hand and decided to quickly pop them into the microwave.

Believe me, these got disappeared in seconds. The best part was the kids loving these crisp brinjal chips. I think I found the best way to make them eat brinjal, I have never known Konda eating brinjal and she said it was really yummy.

The recipe is so simple that I don't even have to write them in a format. You have a wide range to choose the masala you sprinkle over the brinjal slices and you can experiment over many. I just chopped them very fine, tossed them in 1 tsp of oil, sprinkled salt and chilli powder over few and micro for 6 minutes. They turned out to be very crisp. Finally sprinkled pepper and salt again.

Few slices had garam masala and cumin powder sprinkled. Everything taste good with Tomato sauce. Few slices were bitter maybe because of the brinjal, but overall the slices were yum!

While Konda wiped out the plate within seconds, Peddu ensured he licked the sauce bowl clean. He was looking so cute with sauce all over his face and he returned the bowl back, nodding his head to mean he has done a good job of saving me the trouble to wash!

I am happy I have something to contribute to my Microwave Easy Cooking, themed on Savory Snacks, hosted this month by the ever energetic Priya, who has so many recipes up her sleeves. I always wonder how she manages to cook so many!! Thanks Priya for taking time to host this event! Do rush up with your entries too.

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Friday, March 27, 2009

Ugadi Wishes with Ugadi Festival Lunch!

Ugadi Wishes to all my readers and friends!

Since we have a fixed menu for our Ugadi lunch, we decided we should do something different this year. Amma always makes Poli on Ugadi and Athamma makes Poli on all festivals. So I guess I can't beat that. Anyway since its a favorite with my kids, decided to make that along with a different stuffing too. Masoor dal is what was finally decided. Konda had a holiday but the boys had their school. So till they went, I didn't make much. Will give them these once they get back in the evening.

Ugadi always meant an elaborate lunch and of course the new cloths and Ugadi Pachadi along with Poli. I remember only eating polis the whole day through when I was young. And another very favorite sweet of mine was always these Poornam Boorelu or Suguntallu as we call them. Not sure of the spelling but that's what I remember it as. Whenever I visit my ammamma, my aunt used to make these specially for me and I used to eat them by tons! I had been meaning to make these for so long. Finally I thought today was the day.

The kids had a fun time trying to wear their sister's cloths. Somehow they like her colourful cloths and would like to wear them. Infact after Chinnu wore his sister's dress, he asked his father to click a photo of him. When it was time for their school, they happily waved us and left.

Since we weren't so keen on making vada, thought onion pokadas will be a good change.

Our Ugadi special today - Ugadi Pachadi, Brinjal Potato Curry, Onion Pakodas, Poli, Masoor Da Poli, Poornam Boorelu.

Ugadi Pachadi

Ugadi Pachadi is a special preparation prepared in every Andhra home on Telugu New Year’s day. Its made with tamarind, jaggery, fresh mangoes and neem flowers.

Each home will have different combinations. Apart from this, Chili powder, salt are also added. All these form the shadhruchulu or six tastes. This pachadi reflects life as it has a mix of sweet and sour things including some bitter and spicy moments. Elders say that we should eat this mixing all the taste to know life is a mixture of everything and we should have the alom to face all things equally!

Thinking of Ugadi pachadi, reminds of my days in parents home. Whenever Amma offers the Ugadi pachadi to Daddy, he will say, let me start this year with a sweet beginning but of course with a bit of this and that.

I have always known Amma making this with tiny Mango pieces, new jaggary, and tender neem leaves.

How was your Ugadi celebrations?

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Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Ginger Tomato Chutney ~ Allam Pachadi!

When life offers lemon, go make lemonade is what is told. Well being an Indian, I might just pickle it alright! But to be frank, I neither like Lemon pickle nor lemonade, much rather prefer lemon juice with more sugar, if you must know! Then again I wasn't offered with many lemons, nor a pickling is in process. Rather I found myself with lots of Ginger! Grreee...Whatever be said, I don't actually like munching on a ginger bit, aptly said in Tamil, which translates to "like the monkey that ate the ginger"! Anyway the weekend I went shopping, got more ginger than I could use and found it lying around in the fridge. Since the week was kind of hectic that I could not get around making the ginger garlic paste, most of my curries took a different turn the whole week, what with being ground to paste along with onions, garlic and of course the ginger.

The dishes which demands ginger to be added, else be doomed, will have me chopping them into as big ones as possible. Well I know they always land in my plate, so I might make things easy for myself. After all I assume, whatever good it has to offer, it would've infused while it was getting sauteed in oil. Having said that, you won't find me adding this to any chutney that I might end up eating. But, since this wasn't for me and I have my folks health in the utmost of my thoughts, felt I needed to give them something good with ginger. The devil in me, oops..the angel beg your pardon, wanted to try something different. And thus I have something interesting to share with you.

The fact that hubby dear said it was delicious, is a bonus, I tell you! Afterall we do things to please our family right, no matter our thoughts run around the lines of something new every day.

According to me, a dish gets its name from two pointers. One its named after its main ingredient or by its Star ingredient. So when I was faced with the difficult task of christening this dish, I decided to go by choosing its star ingredient. I can't fathom how a chutney with just ginger might taste. I really can't find myself ever tasting it, so I won't be in a position to tell you!

Ingredients Needed:

Tomatoes - 2 medium
Onion - 1 medium
Ginger - 3 - 4 " (less/ more as per your taste)
Red chilli powder - 1 & 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves few

For seasoning

Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds
Curry leaves

Method to prepares:

Chop tomatoes, onions to big chunks and saute in oil till brown. Allow it to cool

In a mixie, add the tomatoes, onions, finely chopped ginger, along with coriander leaves, red chili powder and salt.

Heat a pan and temper the chutney with mustard and curry leaves.

Tastes great with Dosa or Idli.

FYI: my folks said it tasted great, and I trust their taste a lot, so do try this if you haven't already!

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Monday, March 23, 2009

Soya Bean in Rice Dosa and Uttappam ~ 101 Dosa Varieties!

Weekends always seem to fly right of the window or so it seems. Especially when I have the Saturday also off, I plan for so many things, ultimately most of it would be still pending. First it was Chinnu was down with fever, but luckily he recovered after one dose of crocin. Since he was fine on Saturday, we sent them to playschool. So we were surprised getting a call from them, asking me to pick up Peddu as he was down with fever. We thought they got mixed up with names, but it was Peddu who got it from his brother. He slept back home and was up by 2.30. The first thing he asks was where Chinnu was. He won't agree when we said he was at school. He refused to eat saying he wants Chinnu. So I had no option but to take him back to school. The moment we reached the door, he turned to me and said Bye Amma, good night! Well I hurried back fast lest they thought I was a weepy mother!

Athamma came back from her vacation and we spent the rest of the day filling her up with her grandchildren antics through the week. And we even took them for lunch to the restaurant. Only to know that they are ever the naughtiest kids around. They won't sit for even a minute!

I know I had planned for many a different Dosa variety and a hoard of breakfast items. Looks like I have fallen behind. Anyway here comes a version which makes use of Soya beans. For those of you, who want to include soya in your diet, this is a neat way to do it and very tasty too!

This is very simple recipe if you have soya bean soaked and of course rice as the regular one.

Ingredients Needed:

Raw Rice - 50 gms
Soya Bean - 25 gms
Urud Dal - 3 tbsp
Salt to taste

Makes about 6 medium size dosas

For Uttappam:

Onions - 1 medium
Green Chillies - 1
Coriander Leaves

Method to Prepare:

Wash and soak Rice and Urad Dal together. Soak Soya bean separately. Since dried Soya bean was used, soaked all for about 6 hrs.

Then grind everything to get a smooth batter. Let it ferment overnight.

You can follow the same process that you do as your regular dosa.

Uttappam can be made by adding the onions, chilies and coriander. Just ensure you have a thin batter and cook this in sim, that way you get crispy dosa or uttappam.

This makes a great change and very healthy too!

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Friday, March 20, 2009

Aloo Tamatar Sabzi with Kasturi Methi!

I guess most of our Indian meals can be cooked under 30 mins, provided you don't have 3 kids barging into the kitchen every other minute! Hubby dear has taken off permission to baby sit the kids and its fun to see him plan on what to feed the boys when they come back home. Normally with great amusement, I watch Athamma plan for the boys snacks and she also prepares something for them. Since hubby dear can't cook, he is managing with fruits and other treats.

I normally make the sabzi and chapatis after I get back home. When I asked him what to make, he suggested Aloo Tamatar, remembering his days in Delhi. I guess he can never get tired of accounting the delectable treats that Delhiwalas treated him with. And he says the aloo tamatar he eat there, still remains fresh. One incident that I can never forget was him telling me about his first experience in a restaurant in Delhi. The waiter regaled the menu and everything went with aloo either prefixed or suffixed! But then I didn't hear him complain either.

So he told me that I could make aloo tamatar along with Ghee rice for a change. He was apprehensive to know if it would take more time. I said he just reminded me of a new label that I can put for my post, the Under 30 minutes Meal! Actually speaking most of our dishes can be done under 30 mins, if you can plan certain things ahead. But I want to record these dishes for more clarity and benefit. If you must know, both these dishes got complete by 20 minutes but lets make 30 mins anyway.

While it was simmering, hubby dear came in to say that it smells heavenly. Guess that's the Cumin seeds and kasuri methi at work! A quick click was taken and off I went to feed the kids, the wow feedback from them, let me knew this is something I can make again!

This is the snap I took of the kids in action when we went for a trip last weekend. Since it was only us, we had the back seat down and they had a jolly good ride, lying down!

Ghee rice was same as what I have already blogged.

Aloo Tamatar with Kasturi Methi

Preparation & Cooking Time : 15 mins
Cuisine : North Indian
Serves : 2 - 3

Ingredients needed:

Aloo - 2 medium
Tomatoes - 2 medium
Onions - 1 medium
Kasturi Methi - 1/2 tsp
Ginger - 1 "
Garlic - 1 small pod
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder - 1 /2 tsp
Chili powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder 3/4 tsp
Turmeric a pinch
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves for garnish
Oil - 2 tsp
Salt to taste
Water as required

Method to prepare:

Since the objective of this is to complete both under 30 minutes, let me put things as I did.

Washed rice and had it soaking. 10 - 15 mins is enough

Then had the pan on the stove. Since my Ginger Garlic paste was not handy, grated the garlic and ginger, crushed again to ensure there are no big chunks.

Add oil to the pan, drop in the cumin seeds, then add the crushed ginger and garlic. Simmer, while you chop the onions.

Add the onions to the pan, fry well. Have it on high flame, keep stirring, while you chop those tomatoes into fine pieces. Best way to get them soft fast is to add the salt, so add salt and turmeric. Simmer with the lid slightly covering it.

Then add all the spice powders and stir everything together and slightly cover with the lid. Let the moisture get into it back to get the tomatoes soft.

Meanwhile peel the skin off the potatoes, cut into big cubes. Add the potatoes along with katuri methi to the pan and combine everything together. Simmer for few mins so that the outer side of aloo gets crispy.

Get the pan for the Rice ready and follow as the instructions goes there!

Check on the aloo and once its par boiled, add water, cover and put on the whistle. I normally put it on for 3 - 4 whistles. But basically you just cook till the potatoes are tender.

This is done in 10 mins time, get the cooker off the stove, this way the pressure inside gets out fast. Bring to boil if the gravy is thin. Finally add the chopped coriander leaves and serve with Ghee Rice!

Aloo Tamatar tastes great with any chapati or even dosa.

This makes a great lunch for Kids, so taking this for this month's Mingle hosted on my blog. Hope you have your Kid's dishes on making.

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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Karivepaku Podi (Spiced Curry Leaf Powder) ~ another way!

Its been a while I know, since my last post. But this week has been so hectic that I didn't get a moment to think about what to post! Athamma has gone for a short vacation to her daughter's home. She will be back by this weekend. We knew it would be tough but somehow we have been able to manage these past four days quite well. I guess all things in life are such. You fear a change and do your best to avoid. But when it happens, you ultimately get used to it and even wonder how simple things are! Do you think that one ends up being reflective, as they grow older? Or being with small kids good enough to teach one a life time of lessons? Whatever, I know it helps me.

We didn't tell the kids that Athamma was going for a vacation, knowing they would cry. The moment they knew their "Namma" was not at home, I could see a change in the boys. The first day Peddu kept asking every 10 mins, where she was. They subsequently got used to her absence. Previously when we go to a restaurant, we take turns to eat and baby sit them. This time we had no choice but to take them along. We were so pleasantly surprised to see both of them sitting in their chairs quietly for more than 5 minutes! After a while, they did try to get down and play around but it was definitely much better than we expected. Infact they eat something, which was more relieving than anything else!

I felt we as a family grew few more notches these past few days. With this hectic schedule, I haven't got around making anything new. But thought I would share this wonderful Curry leave powder that Athamma made few months back. It was just awesome and best part was its shelf life. It just stayed great and fresh for almost 3 weeks on the table. I never even bothered to store it in fridge. And the aroma and the taste was even good until it lasted! I know the list seem long, but its worth its weight in gold, if you know what I mean. So do try it when you get your hands on all the ingredients listed!

Preparation Time : 15 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins
Cuisine: Andhra Cuisine
Makes: 150 gms app

Ingredients Needed:

To be Roasted

Curry Leaves - 1 cup
Whole Coriander Seeds / Dhaniya - 1 tsp
Fenugreek / Methi - 5 nos
Cumin Seeds / Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Vaamu / Ajwain - 1/4 tsp
Whole Peppercorns - 10 nos
Water Melon Seeds - 1 tsp
Sonti powder / Dry Ginger - a pinch
Asafoetida or Hing - a pinch
Dry Red Chilies - 4 nos
Turmeric a pinch
Salt to taste

For Seasoning:

Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Dry Red Chilies - 2 nos
Curry leaves few

To be added as whole

Tamarind - marble size
Jaggary - marble size

Oil - 2 tsp

Method to prepare:

Wash and pat dry the curry leaves. Allow it to dry for a while.

Meanwhile dry roast all ingredients listed under the first set. Then remove and allow to cool.

Once cool, take all the roasted ingredients along with tamarind and jaggary. Run till you get an almost a fine powder but not very fine, still not very coarse.

Then heat a kadai with oil, add mustard seeds, then curry leaves. Once its done, add the dry red chillies, fry for a moment, then goes the crushed garlic.

Finally add the ground powder and simmer for 2 - 3 minutes.

Let it cool, before you store in a air tight container.

Actually I had it in a steel tiffin box for over a period of 3 weeks, just on our dinning table. Never bothered to do much about it, until it lasted. But as I said even if the list seem long, the taste was awesome!

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

Monthly Mingle 31 ~ Kids Lunches!

Mingling has always my forte and when it comes to the Monthly Mingle, a blog event started by the lovely Meeta, who doesn't require an introduction by the way, I always get excited by the theme. And this month I have the pleasure to host this wonderful event. It was almost 10 months ago that I sent a mail expressing my wish to host and bang, she said next open month is March 2009. Little wonder we are here already!

And what makes it even more special to me, is the theme that I wanted to have. Its going to be Kids Lunches! Yes, now is the time for you wonderful bloggers out there, to present to the world what exciting dishes that you would make for your kids! As you all know this is one topic that is very close to my heart. And was planning on something on the same theme to start in my Spice your life blog. I want to kick start that program with this event.

So wear on your thinking caps and send in any dish that you would make for your kids meal, it can be suitable from any course, from any cuisine, any number! This event is going to be for all kids age group. The next themes will be more age group specific.

Here’s how it works:

1. From now till April 13th 2009, cook any dish that you would give your kid and post on your blog with a link back to this announcement and Meeta's Monthly Mingle page.

2. The entry can be any course of the meal, from any cuisine both Veg and Non - Veg. You can send in multiple entries but all posted on your blog between now till April 13th. But as said its got to be the wholesome lunch theme.

3. You can send in your entries from Archive, provided they are re posted specially for this event and not clubbed together.

4. Entries sent to MM can be entered to other events but not more than 2 other events. Which means your entry cannot be sent to 4 events all together.

5. I would also appreciate if you can include the beautiful logo that Meeta designed.

6. Once done, you can send in your entries to with the following details
Sub: MM: Kids Lunch
Blogger name
Post URL
Recipe name

7. Non bloggers can send their entry with the recipe details and pic, if any to my email acct.

So lets get the party going and hopeful you will help me get a great lunch organized for our kids!

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Thursday, March 12, 2009

Mixed Vegetable Vada!

I guess there must be very few precious things that could upset a 2 yr old baby. But when it does, it must be an abyss. Kids have such innocent approach and their take on most things, make you want to cuddle them to you, to protect them from all outside hassles. Life is so cruel, it forces a baby to learn and face such adversities at such young age. What would you think when a child that young, is forced to part with its most favorite thing. Yes I was forced to be cruel enough to keep away the feeding bottle from Peddu!

He has the habit of suckling it when he feels sleepy. The moment he takes his feeding bottle, he conks off to sleep as an angel that he is. Only saving grace has been the fact that its an empty feeding bottle. I know if its a bottle with milk or juice, it would have been even worse. Still the doctors advised me that its high time I made him break this habit. It broke my heart to see him pining for his dear bottle, but I had keep it away. I explained to him patiently that its bad for him and he shouldn't ask for it. He nodded his head as if he understood. The first time was so hard, he was crying insistently. Finally I had to give in. But next morning I again spoke to him about it. He looked so pitifully at me, with a look that asked why he was forced to sacrifice his most beloved bottle. Its been four days now, there has been great progress on his detachment to his bottle. Hopefully end of this weekend, he should be able to break free from a habit he learnt as an infant. Life is really cruel to make a baby learn to be detached with material things!

Though a mother can never love one child more than the others, a wee bit is always more towards one child, whom she feels need more protection. My darling Peddu is so innocent, I know the other two can fend for themselves. Peddu is always behind one of us, with questions asking about everything he sees. He is so inquisitive to know his surroundings. While Konda and Chinnu have wheels on their feet and can never be idle for even a micro second, Peddu is more content to be sitting with us and watching and laughing at the antics his siblings will be up to. Not that he doesn't join them in their play, when he does the house is turned up side down with three little monkeys jumping around!

Coming to the recipe for the day, I feel happy sharing a snack that my kids loved when I made it for them. I don't mind giving them deep fried snacks. Its great to see how they enjoy these snacks.

I know most of you might lift up your nose at yet another deep fried snack, but what is life if its not juxtaposed with deep fried love!

And yes this is a sure way to clean up your pantry, with titbits of vegetables that you can add into this! I literally threw in whatever came to hand, more with the thought that I should make my kids eat their vegetables.

Ingredients Needed:

Mixed vegetables, chopped - 1 cup
Paneer - 1/2 cup
Besan/ Fried gram flour - about a cup (enough to get a thick batter
Rice flour - 3 - 4 tbsp
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves - 3 -4 stalks
Curry leaves - 4
Oil for deep frying.
Green chillies - 1 chopped (adjust to taste
Chili powder as per taste (opt)

Method to prepare:

Chop all vegetables, in a bowl mix in the vegetables and crumble the paneer. Add the chopped chili and chilli powder if you are using, along with salt. Mix well. If this is for adults, you can very well use more chilies.

Mix in the besan and rice flour, sprinkle water and gather everything together. You will get a thick but wet dough, just enough to pat them down as doughnuts or vada shapes.

Get the oil heated up in a kadai.

Meanwhile, wet your palm and take a ball and pat it down to get a 1 inch thick of vadas. Gently slide it into hot oil, simmer the flame for a while for the inner side to get cooked well.

Drain it to a kitchen towel.

Goes great with sauce!

Note: The vegetables that went in were Cauliflower, Beans, Carrot, Potatoes, Peas. You can just about anything.

My kids sure enjoyed this, try and let me know if yours does!

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Monday, March 9, 2009

How to make Fresh Coconut Milk from Fresh Coconut ~ Indian Basics!

Well I am sure many of you make use of this important paste in most of your cooking frequently. Of course, if its Kerala cuisine, no doubt its extensively used. I use coconut paste in most of my kurmas and few rich gravies call for this coconut milk. Appam another of my favorite dish gets accompanied with this sugared coconut milk. Konda loves appam with coconut milk. So the Sundays that I make Appam, this is a must. I remember the way Amma used to make this specially for me. I was the only person eating it and she so painstaking used to make it. The first or the thick one gets added with sugar and the second milk, which is much thinner gets into the Tomato Kurma

Updated on 12th Mar:

Actually I scrape the outer layer before chopping to prevent the black layer getting in. If its a tender coconut, you can actually remove a thin layer and you will get a pure white. coconut for milk. But with mature ones, on scraping the brown outer part will peel off. If you check out the pieces you find it brown and while in most places! And also when its mature one and after pulsing it, the brown part stays back after running it through a sieve.

Thanks to my blogger friends for sharing their tips, I am sure its going to be very useful. Though grating it sounds a tough job as I can't grate a coconut for nuts!!.

If you are using coconut this is not so mature or thick, within few minutes in the mixie yields good amount. But if its really thick, you got to run it few times more to get the milk.

Wash and chop the coconut into smaller pieces.

First run them in the mixie for couple of rounds, then add required water and pulse it again.

Strain it over the sieve. Thick milk will fall down. Press firmly so that you get most of it out.

Pulse it again with more water to get thinner milk, which can go into any gravy that you planned.

Fresh Coconut Milk for Appam

Fresh thick Coconut Milk - 1 cup
Sugar - 2 tsp (depends on your taste)

The thick coconut is mixed with sugar and served for Appams

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Saturday, March 7, 2009

Lunch Box Series : LBS#45

Zipping past the signal, my eyes fell on a pinkish tiny tot footwear. A zero size girl baby's lone right one. All within a fraction of a minute, it registered to me that it was pretty one and my heart went out to the mother who will be missing out a lovely memory. If she was like me, who would store the first things your baby had, then I felt out for that nostalgia memories will give. I still have the first slip on that Konda had, those lovely blue tiny slippers. When Athamma was telling me that I should get sandals instead of buckled ones, I remembered Konda's and I knew both my boys will fight over it. Konda had many things in double, which the boys now use and she feels so proud about it. Yes, I guess its a great feeling that your siblings use your things and love it on the top!

While the boys are picking up their language, most of it is still baby talk. And each word sounds honey to our ears. Like the other day, Peddu was telling Athamma something and she didn't understand what he was trying to say. He immediately said, "how many times should I repeat, you are not doing as I told you, baad gurl!" Of course all this in his own language, I had to ask him to repeat to understand the conversation. And was laughing for ages remembering Athamma's shocked expression hearing herself being called a bad girl. Peddu keeps up his sing song, "Nanni Goodd Gurl, Chinnu Good Gurl or Bad gurl" depending on the situation.

Before I forget, I entered Konda's rangoli pictures in Chitra Amma's 'Kitchen Masterpiece' event. I know these weren't the best of hers nor in the event, but I couldn't find the other pretty ones that she had done. Running out of time, I knew I can't miss it and Dibs was kind enough to select Konda as one of the winners in the draw. I know my daughter will be so happy knowing it!

Today's Lunch Box had

Bendakaya Sambar
Palak Aloo Sukha
Curd Rice

Palak Aloo Sukha

Ingredients Needed:

Potatoes - 250 gms
Spinach / Palak - handful leaves
Onion - small one
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 3/4 tsp
Chili powder - 3/4 tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tsp

Method to prepare:

Peel Aloo and cut into cubes of 2 inches size. Wash palak and chop roughly.

In non stick pan, heat oil, add mustard seeds and jeera seeds. Then saute the onions till brown. then add palak, along with turmeric and salt. Simmer and cover with lid. After 5 mins, add the chopped aloo and cover with lid.

Once the aloo is half tender, add all the spice powders and cook till the aloo is tender.

Remember to stir in between frequently else aloo might get burnt.

This went very well with sambar!

Enjoy a great weekend!

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Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Mixed Vegetable Kurma!

I know it sounds so clich├ęd but days do seem to be have wings. The pace at which the days are flying, I am sure I will be saying this again on Dec 31st! Its already March and looking at my calendar I wonder where the past two months gone? The weekend was quite eventful. I attended the book launch of Jigyasa & Pratibha's second book Sukham Ayu. It was great pleasure meeting them both in person and the whole function was very entertaining with interesting speakers. The lovely ladies have much to be admired about. I can imagine the hard work and endless nights that must have gone into making this wonderful book. I wish them both great success with this book too.

Then come Sunday, we were off for a day's trip. Kids enjoyed the trip that every spot they got down, they ran about and felt at home. Of course, in the car I had the task of keeping them occupied with endless snacks lined up. Every now and then hubby dear would peep back and ask what was the item on attack right then! They spent the day snacking and no real food got in. At least that kept them busy enough not to insist on driving. After the temple visit, we visited my Pinni, Amma's first younger sister. My brother's wife and my 2 yr nephew were out of town, so we missed their company. But otherwise we had wonderful time at their place and were treated to some fabulous food too. I was sad I didn't have my camera to capture the spread! The trip back was event less as the boys were exhausted and slept most of the time. I was really surprised when Chinnu pulled me inside, saying he wanted to sleep shortly after we reached home. I was clueless that they were so tired though I knew they played a lot.

What we realized from this was, our kids are more keen on tours, the moment they see us, they say "oruku potham"..well we said lets wait for another weekend to be here!

Well before I forget that this is my food blog and I ought to share my recipe before signing, presenting you ladies and gentlemen (I know my Dad and Hubby dear read my post without fail..:)) awesome vegetable Kurma. Ok, this is not your typical Kurma or maybe I want to add drama, whatever, it was simply great!

Ingredients Needed:

Mixed Vegetables (peas, cauliflower, Double beans, carrot, beans, potato) - 1 & 1/2 cup
Onions - 2 medium
Tomatoes - 2 medium
Ginger Garlic paste - 3/4 tsp
Dry methi leaves - 3/4 tsp
Cloves, Cinnamon & Cardamon powder - 1 tsp
Chili powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 2 tsp
Coconut milk - 3/4 cup
Water as required

Method to prepare:

Chop all vegetables to medium size peices. Heat a pressure cooker with oil. Saute chopped onions, when they start turning brown, add the ginger garlic paste. Fry well.

Then add the tomatoes and cook in sim till they get soft, then add all the vegetables and beans. Cover with lid and cook in sim for 10 mins for the vegetables to get evenly cooked.

Add all the spices along with the dry methi leaves. Once they are done, add the coconut milk and water. Cover with lid and pressure cook till they are done.

Note: You can make home made dry methi leaves by simply shade drying the fresh methi and storing it in an air tight container. The taste it leaves in a dish is simply awesome!

And vegetables are versatile, you can add or omit as you wish!

Have a nice day!

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