Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Update on Plagiarism!

Dasara, the festival of Victory of Good over Bad, God over Devil. Nothing very dramatic, but being wrongly accused leaves a bad taste!

Thanks to Lissie's son Alfred, who investigated this plagiarism and cleared the accusation with technical reasonings.

There is no reason for me to gloat over it, I know truth prevails in the end.

If you read through the comments in Malar and Viki blogs, it was obvious they were not ready to listen to reasons. They decided that it was me and were not willing to accept that I am not at fault. They even didn't publish few comments that carried technical reasonings.

Ignorance can be a bliss, but it can also be devastating and have serious repercussions as in this case.

I don't want to take legal action on these bloggers for defaming me. But I demand a public apology from both Malar and Viki on their blogs, so that their readers and friends know they were misinformed. If they don't take corrective actions, it will be seen that they purposely defamed me with cunning intention.

Everybody can exercise freedom of speech on their blog, but they need to have moral responsibility on what they write and claim.

And to those bloggers who were ready to jump the gun on me based on the misinformed mails sent by these two bloggers, I understand you felt the need to support your friends in need. But I only wish you had exercised it better than this. I have no ill feeling towards anybody!

My sincere heartfelt thanks to all my readers and friends who had the faith in me.



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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Navaratri Recipes | Navratri Special Day 9 ~ Moong Dal Sundal, Kalkandu Sadam!

Happy Vijaya Dasami to all my readers and friends!

Today's Neivedyam was Moong Dal Sundal, Kalkandu Sadam


We are going on a two trip since its holidays for the kids, will post the recipes on return!

So I will be missing cooking the feast that I planned for Vijaya Dasami.

Kalkandu Sadam!

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Moong Dal Sundal

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Catch you all soon!

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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Navaratri Recipes | Navratri Special Day 8 ~ Channa Dal Sundal, Pal Sadam (Kheer)!

Today's Neivedyam was Channa Dal Sundal, Pal Sadam (Kheer)

Channa Dal sundal is something I have always loved. Its what makes the navratri pooja even more fun, because I used to get to eat these only during the visits to the golus. Amma has never made this to my knowledge. So I used to look forward to this sundal.

Of course, I came about to make this, because it was too late last night to soak the other dried varieties and I thought this was the easiest. And tastiest too. With just simple seasoning you get a whole lot of difference to the usual and simple dal!

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Milk Rice was the one supposed to be cooked today. I really didn't know one makes Milk rice or if there was a specific recipe. Finally thought, maybe they meant the Kheer! Well kheer is something that is never made at home. At least in mine, because hubby dear says we eat rice so much why consume as sweet too!

But the Kheer that I have eaten in my North Indian friend's places were just too delicious. I thought I should make it someday. Then of course the recipe that's called for kheer is quite a lengthy one. In the end I resorted to the short cut one that was easy and had this done within minutes.

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Preparation Time : 10 min
Soaking Time : 30 mins

Channa Dal Sundal

Channa Dal - 1 cup
Salt to taste
Curry leaves - 4 -5
Green Chillies - 3 nos
Red Chilies - 2
Mustard seeds, Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1 tsp
Grated Coconut - 2 tbsp

Method to prepare:

Wash and soak Channa dal for 30 mins. Then pressure cook with enough water for about 5 -6 whistles or till its cooked but not over done.

Drain the water and heat a kadai with oil. Splutter with mustard seeds and urad dal.

Then add the curry leaves, chopped green and red chillies. Fry for 2 mins.

Add the drained channa dal and salt. Combine everything well. Cook for 2 mins. Add the grated coconut.

Remove after 2 minutes.



This makes a quick and tasty sundal within minutes.

Happy weekend to all. Kheer will be posted later (Posted here Pal Sadam). Hope you are enjoying your holidays!

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Plagiarism, Blogging Etiquette, Defamation and some more!

I didn't want to do this post, but well you must know I am forced to take this step!


I sent a mail asking explanation for accusing me, from these two bloggers, Malar and Viki. They have not responded to my mail. After not getting a response from them, I spoke about it yesterday. But when I saw that the point was missed, you finally get to read about it fully!

I don't like pointing fingers at anybody for anything, least without a proof! Accusing without proof is a case for defamation and can be sued for libel.

If they thought I was the one owning that spam blog, they could have mailed me to ask so. Instead they wrote a post, making it a public issue. Now lets get it cleared out in the open.

For those of you who don't know what happened, here is a background.

On Tuesday, I spoke about my entire content being lifted along with few other bloggers. I didn't check it until I got few mails from friends alerting me. Seeing that my entire blog has been lifted, lodged a complaint on Google, left it at that. I didn't even have to time to look at the other blogs that were also copied.

On Wednesday, I got a mail from another blogger stating that these two bloggers have sent her, including many others, mail stating that I am the person who lifted their entire content and copied to the new spam blog. She was asking me to clear the doubts, as they have clearly stated in their mail and their posts pointing fingers towards me.

The reasons for this conclusion she said was, all their posts in the culprit blog was dated few days later, while my blog posts appeared even before it was published in my own blog. Now this is a brilliant deduction. Maybe they don't know one can change dates in all blogging platforms.

So I ended up checking their posts, and saw them clearly pointing me as the accused person. But they have changed their content some three times since. In both these blogger's post the original content read something like this. "All our post was published few days later, but not this cooking 4 all " They have blatantly stated they don't want to mar any body's name and they have proofs. Yet in doing this they have done it anyway. If you have proofs, bring them out in open! I am ready to answer your questions.

I have come to know that they are spreading rumors that I am the person behind this blog.

Manisha left a comment last night in Viki's post, asking them to get their attorney press Google to reveal the blogger's identity, or else they will have to get their attorney to fight a case of defamation. This comment was deleted within 5 mins of being published.

If you weren't scared, why did you delete this?

I won't say I lost sleep over this, but accusation has to be fought. It wont take me two minutes in pointing back to the people who complain so much every other month!

Instead of making this a public nuisance, they could have mailed me and cleared the air. No they want a drama, so you get one for sure!

Blogging has to be a fun thing, done for relaxation. But when so much jealousy, hatred, commotion is made over such silly thing. It looses its meaning and objective!

I fail to understand one point though. When one can share so many recipes so freely, some folks actually try that and don't credit you anyways. Why is there such a huge cry when somebody copies your content online and publishes it. That copied content has your copyright marks right, for any intelligent person to understand that it has been copied from you. So why create a big scene?

I can understand if a print media publishes after removing your copyrights. But this is beyond my understanding!

There has to be some etiquette. When you are part of a community, you got to respect the other person and their credibility. By your actions and accusations that are so blatantly I am not loosing my popularity but you are loosing your credibility and stand.

I am sure all bloggers digest plagiarism, but can't be blind to such false accusation!

If you are interested you can check the culprit blog "hot-kitchen.blogspot.com/"

And the two bloggers post

"elitefoods.blogspot.com/2009/09/side-dish-for-chapathi-event-round-up.html"

"kitchentantra.com/2009/09/plagiarism-i-have-seen-enough.html"

My intention in bringing this issue out in open is not to embarrass or find fault with said persons. Neither is this a case for getting sympathy nor an opportunity for readers or bloggers to take sides. This is purely to have an open discussion since they are not ready for a private one.

I am sure everybody is mature enough to understand and act accordingly!

Updated on 26th in response to Malar and Viki's post.

Malar & Viki,

You said you sent me alerts on my content being copied and didn't get any feedback on it. The reason being, my content has been copied so many times, that I have stopped being concerned about it. I do not have time for such things. Being online so many such things happen and we cannot do anything about it.


Maybe you haven't noticed but my entire blog has been copied too. You can check from may 20th 2007.

Comment moderation has been enabled on for all my blogs since the day one. I have published all your comments, except one which had just hi. I still have that comment in my mail box, can forward you to if you want.

If you are referring to the Microwave Event announcement page, I have more content in my blog because I had recently update the page with latest details. I don't have to explain myself but just to let you know.

You are talking about links of my post going back to the spam blog but not yours. Seriously I don't have a clue on how this can happen but I think we have better job than going and investigating all these things.

You are talking about your labels being in tact, even yours is partial like in
elitefoods.blogspot.com/2008/08/how-to-clean-banana-flower.html

hot-kitchen.blogspot.com/2008/08/how-to-clean-banana-flower.html

And when we are talking about comments why did you delete Manisha's comment, if you weren't guilty?

Finally I have stated that I have nothing to do with that spam blog. If you want to believe that you can, else its your wish.

I repeat again, when you want to be part of a community, you got to respect and trust others. Instead of making this such a open mockery, if you had such doubts, you could have mailed me or else atleast responded to my email.

You did neither. Just because you want to keep pleading to your loyal readers saying you stood by their side, doesn't change the facts.

Thanks for the dropping that anonymous comments to let me know you updated this!

I am updating the same thing on my blog for anybody who might be interested to know!



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Friday, September 25, 2009

Navaratri Recipes | Navratri Special Day 7 ~ Sunnundalu, Thengai Sadam!

Today's Neivedyam was Sunnundalu and Thengai Sadam



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Thursday, September 24, 2009

Navaratri Recipes | Navratri Special Day 6 ~ Verkadalai Sundal, Elumichai Sadam!

Today's Neivedyam is Indian Style Peanut Salad, which is going to be featured in my forthcoming book. It is going to be part of the salad meant to spice the meal!


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And Lemon Rice.

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I have posted this today because I didn't want to break my intent to post my daily puja, But otherwise I have said enough for today, so will get back with tomorrow's post!

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Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Navaratri Recipes | Navratri Special Day 5 ~ Kadambam Sundal, Thayir Sadam!

After Kadamba Sadam, its only natural I make a sundal out of it right? You are right, when you just take one fistful of this and that, you end up having so much more than what you need. So I saved up half of what I had soaked, planning to make a sundal with it.

Chinnu saw the bowl with the raw lentils and wanted to eat. When I said no it's not cooked yet, he looked at me with a puzzled look and asked "Inka Vanta chelada (You have not cooked yet)". For both the boys, everything is referred as cooking in an full term. And once the whistle came off, he was insisting I send it for his school. Poor darling, I knew he is going to miss this and ask me later in the evening as he did!

On another note I have something about the plagiarism that I spoke about yesterday. Though I don't want to go into details, I thought I will make things clear and open. I know being subjected to plagiarism is upsetting, but that shouldn't blind one so much that they start accusing anybody and anything one wants.

I know what I am and I don't think I am answerable to anybody on my actions. But yes to my readers and friends who drop in here, I need to make things clear. I don't have to resort to such cheap tricks for popularity nor do I have time or energy for such things.

I don't have any clue about this spam blog nor did I check it until I got about 10 emails on my blog being copied. I have only this to say, before you lift a finger to point accusations, you will have three fingers pointing back. So never do it without solid proof. Least they can do is ask first, instead of accusing without reason. This is a clear case of defamation and should know they can be sued for libel!

I aim at perfectionism, if I ever wanted to copy, I would at least ensure I don't look stupid by not removing the copyright information! Huh!

Ok, lets get back to the post on hand. Today I made Kadambam Sundal and Seasoned curd rice


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This is just like the usual Seasoned curd rice that we make it little different by adding more milk and less of curds if its packed for lunch!


And you can check out the Kadambam Sundal though the proportion was different this time, but you get the draft!


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I hope I get back to other things and will be back tomorrow with a new one!


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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Navaratri Recipes | Navratri Special Day 4 ~ Pattani Sundal, Kadambam Rice

Today's neivedyam was Kadambam Rice and Pattani Sundal (Tricolour Salad). Though I have a recipe for Kadamba Sadam, thought I would just look around to see how everybody makes it. Surprise surprise, each one was different! One recipe I referred was from Suganya who, of course, has beautiful pictures to boot. The other one was from a recipe site. So looks like one can adapt this recipe to your own way. Though true to its name, different vegetables are added in. So I was pleasantly trilled to realize I had soaked all the lentils in my pantry last night. You know that I intend to clear my overstocked pantry of lentils right.

Kadambam in Tamil means a melody of different things put together. It's normally used in reference to flowers, where different flowers are strung together to be made as a garland and offered to God. These flowers are also worn by the ladies on their hair. Kadamda Sadam calls for all types of vegetables and made more like the Sambar Sadam or Bisi Bela Bath. But a much milder version and quicker too.

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Before I jump on, I should make a note on Renuka who has given such detailed account on the Navratri poojas. When I was running short of ideas for the Rice dish to be offered as the prasadam, I happened to check her notes on what to make each day and was happy to note I followed the first three days right on spot!

On a different note, I got couple of mails from blogger friends, who alerted my blog, including few others, have been entirely copied. Plagiarism is depressing, knowing how much time goes into a post, its sad to note few don't acknowledge that.

On a positive side, I find it elevating that the person found it interesting and worth for the entire blog has been copied. Maybe it stems from the fact of hearing one statement often from Daddy and Hubby dear. They always keep saying "Think how you can do it, find a solution rather than saying you can't do it" Positive attitude and thinking "nothing is impossible" paves to a better mindset!

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Well after reporting Google, I shrugged to carry on with cooking. Hubby dear was hinting that I was way too relaxed. After all with Konda having her holidays, I thought I could start a bit late. But in the end its like preparing for a war! The boys had only fruits for breakfast. Their dad was enticing them with different fruit and they amicably agreed to eat them all. That reminds me that I still have couple of those posts to shoot! God I seriously wish I had more hours in a day, don't you think so too?

What's life if its not coloured with all the hue? Well this was on top of my mind last night when I was soaking the dried peas in a bowl. I was thinking up different combination to add to this salad, when a rat literally ran down the stove! Yes a rat, one of these days I am going to set a trap, will tell the story on another post. This post is threatening to be never ending.


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Pattani Sundal ~ Tricolour Salad!

Dried Peas / Pattani - 1 cup
Salt to taste

Tempering
Mustard Seeds, Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 4-5
Red Chilies - 4

Seasoning

Grated Carrots -1
Grated Coconut - 2 tbsp

Method to prepare:

Soak peas overnight or about 6 hrs minimum. Pressure cook with little salt for about 3 -4 times or till done. These need not be very soft. The crunchy feeling adds to the taste.

Once done, drain the peas and keep aside. You can use the water as soup stock or add in rasam.

Heat a kadai with oil, once hot, splutter the mustard and urad dal along with curry leaves.

After sautéing for 1 minute, add the cooked peas combine everything well and cook for 2 -3 mins depending the water content.

Remove from fire and add the grated carrot and coconut. This need not be cooked and it adds a great taste to the salad.



Kadambam Sadam will follow soon.

Meanwhile get ready to see what is offered tomorrow! Good night folks, my kids have come out twice already and I can't hope to keep them still any more, so see you all tomorrow!

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Monday, September 21, 2009

Navaratri Recipes | Navratri Special Day 3 ~ Mochai Sundal, Sakkari Pongal

Planning for today's neivedyam was hectic as I had to prepare the regular lunch along with the prasadam. And yes mulling over the many lentils is again another topic. We finally decided on the Mochai, which apparently Athamma is very fond of. She always keeps asking me to grab this for her.

So to her extreme pleasure, I had this soaked. And the rice variety decided for today is Sakkari Pongal or Bellam Annam. It's quite a tough job to match the perfect way that Amma makes, one of these days its my project. The end result is not soggy but seperate grains, yet the rice are so well cooked in jaggary and ghee.

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On the other hand since the Mochai has too much of flesh, I had to make the sundal a bit more spicy and flavoursome. After the pooja, we hurried to office. Its quite late and nothing seem to come to mind, so I leave you all with the recipe and hope to catch you tomorrow with much news!

Sakkari Pongal was little differant than what I have posted, so will get back to that recipe soon.

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An adapted version of this Mochai sundal will be featuring in my cookbook. Here are the pictures for you to enjoy!


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Hope your celebrations are getting on well!



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Sunday, September 20, 2009

Navaratri Recipes | Navratri Special Day 2 ~ Konda Kadalai Sundal, Puliyodarai

The second day of the Navratri saw us hurrying to prepare Konda Kadalai Sundal and Puliyodarai. As Athamma was making the neivedyam today, I gave her the choice to select the lentil. I guess the fact that we still have a never ending flow of this lentil, she choose this over the rest! When I have to make neivedyam on a Sunday I normally make Pulihora, but since hubby dear is off tamarind and lime for a while, I haven't made either of these in recent times.

It always amazes me seeing Athamma asking me for each measurement when she attempts Pulihora. Though a good cook herself, this dish somehow baffles her always. I get perplexed seeing how a simple dish for me, sounds so complex for her. That I think is the reason why even though we have so many blogs, recipe sites, people still write asking for some dish or the other. Life's complexity is shown varied so often in such simple moments. When we understand and implement we will get to see the difference!

Starting today, I thought I would read up again on what I did the same day a year back, and two years back. Though one leads to a non veg post, my account of the day was very interesting for myself to remember that day! Life gets captured in a motionless picture, while a blog post captures in a moving sensation!

One year : Pepper Chicken Curry
Two years : Jonna Roti or Indian Bread with Jowar flour




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Hubby dear is away for the weekend. We planned well ahead on how to manage our cooking and spend time with the kids. We realize again how being with them is full time job. I made Appam with Tomato Kurma and Coconut Milk. Once the puja was done, we went ahead with the breakfast. I really enjoyed the day playing with them non stop. But yes, though its interesting and exciting, I don't think one can manage the kid's energy to play play non stop!

Throughout the day, they kept asking for their dad and even worse for their car! We told them that Daddy has taken it for a wash. They won't rest and were worried that their bus was not to be seen. Finally I put them for their afternoon nap. Konda has gone festival shopping with Amma.


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Konda Kadalai Sundal


This is very similar to the way we made the Karamani Sundal. Except this tastes great with grated coconut.

Konda Kadalai - 1 cup
Onions - 1 small
Green Chillies - 2 medium
Curry Leaves
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds , Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
Grated Coconut - 2 tbsp

Method to prepare:

Wash and soak Kadalai overnight. This needs to be soaked for atleast 6 hours. When you are using it, drain wash again and add enough water to the lentil.

Pressure cook till it's soft and tender. Drain the water. Since this tends to be little more hard, you need to put it for extra whistles.

Heat a pan with oil. Add in the mustard seeds and Urad dal. When the mustard splutters, add in the onions, green chilies and curry leaves. Saute till the onions are transparent.

Then add the cooked channa, salt. Combine everything well.

Simmer and cover for a minute. Just before switching it off, add the grated coconut and mix again.


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If you are thinking why I haven't covered anything with specific to Kolams and other related things, think no further. When it comes to Rangoli, I am hopeless. I am thinking I should ask Konda to do some kolam, as she shows much talent in that area. Since I can't do, I haven't thought much about them, though Amma was saying about traditional things to be followed daily.

Well this is the extent I can stretch myself! I wish you all a great week ahead. And for those of you still in your sunday, well have a great day.

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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Navaratri Recipes | Navratri Special Day 1 ~ Brown Karamani Sundal, Ven Pongal

Happy Navarathri to all my dear readers and friends!

Navratri is always a special time. It's even more fun because kids around here get their 10 days holidays or the puja holidays after completing their quarterly examinations. For one, in the back of my mind, I still think I have exams to give! For another my daughter just completed her exams today and refuses to take her book out again for the next 1o days or so.

Its been a fun day for her coming back home and not feel that she has to read. Not that she does anyway. I made Uggani for dinner which got over before even I could think properly. Now that they are all asleep, I was thinking now is the time for the post.

If you guys are ready, then I am. Yes I have been having grand plans to celebrate Navaratri this year. Though we don't keep the Golu, we take great pleasure in visiting our friends home. When we were living in the colony, the 10 long days were spent visiting all the friends house for their golu and rightly enjoying the day. And it becomes even more interesting because of the Sundals offered as prasadam.

So this year, I planned to make one sundal for each day with one more special Neivedyam.

To make it easy for all, I have clubbed few already posted dishes made on Navaratri. Check them on the right sidebar!





Though all sundals are made the same way, each one tastes different. We make sundal with White Channa, Brown Channa, Green Peas, Black Eyed Peas, Kidney Beans, and many more. The seasoning can also vary with each one.

The other dish that's made today was the Ven pongal.


Brown Karamani Sundal

Ingredients Needed

Brown Karamani / Alasandalu / Brown Black Eyed Pea - 1 cup
Onions - 1 small
Green Chillies - 2 medium
Curry Leaves
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard Seeds , Urad dal - 1/2 tsp

Method to prepare:

Wash and soak Karamani overnight. This needs to be soaked for atleast 6 hours. When you are using it, drain wash again and add enough water to the lentil.

Pressure cook till it's soft and tender. Drain the water. The water can be used in making Rasam.

Heat a pan with oil. Add in the mustard seeds and Urad dal. When the mustard splutters, add in the onions, green chilies and curry leaves. Saute till the onions are transparent.

Then add the cooked peas, salt and a pinch of turmeric if you want. Combine everything well.

Simmer and cover for a minute.

Serve hot.

Catch you tomorrow with the Day 2 happenings! Happy Sunday!

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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Lunch Box Series : LBS#52 ~ Cabbage Moong Dal!

Every time I sit to write a post, I think for a moment what story I have got to share or how to improve my recipe writing. Well I know its a whole topic on its own. But I have aimed to write simple sentences with crisp notes to make the recipe sound as simple as how the dish is. Most of our everyday cooking involves dishes that are very simple and not so complicated. Yet they are the most satisfying meal one can ask for.

Though I am extremely fond of Paneer Butter Masala and can eat it everyday, I will still welcome a dal with open arms. And most times I really can't tag a dish as belonging to a particular cuisine as I always end up tweaking to my own taste. So unless I try a dish from a source who claim authenticity over it, I don't tag it anything but from my kitchen! I am sure this is true with many of you. Recipes are only there to guide, we are at liberty to add in a flavour that's close to our heart.



Like I love tasting and feeling that pungent and striking sense when you bite into a garlic. I can add garlic to anything and still love it. But if you give me ginger, please I may not talk to you again. Well not literally but I am somehow a bit biased on ginger. Haven't got over my childhood outlook towards that, I guess.

Coming back to the dish for today, I have posted something similar already. Just wanted to try a different combination along with a vegetable. I truly believe even adding or introducing a new spice to the same old dish, makes it a refreshing change. And that's what happened. It was the same old Moong dal but a simple change here and there, you have a new dish all together!

And cabbages are such things that when you buy them, they never seem to get over. I make a stir fry, then a kootu, then something else, finally this dal. There is still something left.

Of course it made our lunch box experience better as we had a new topic to discuss!

Today's Lunch Box had

Chapatis
Moong Dal with Cabbage
Curd Rice



Moong Dal with Cabbage

This takes about 15 minutes from start to completion and adds as a great boon for a quick lunch box!


Ingredients Needed:

Moong Dal - 1 cup
Cabbage - 150 gms
Onions - quarter of an onion
Tomatoes - 1 medium
Red chili powder - 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 - 2 tsp

Method to prepare:

Shred cabbage into fine pieces. Wash and pressure cook Moong dal along with cabbage with a pinch of turmeric. One whistle is enough as we don't want the moong dal to be over cooked.

Heat a pan with oil, add in the cumin seeds. When they splutter add the onions, fry till they are done but not brown. Then goes the tomatoes, salt. Cover with a lid and cook till the tomatoes are soft and done.

Add the Red chili powder and simmer again till oil comes out of the sides. Now add in the cooked dal with cabbage. Mix everything well. Simmer till the dal is done.

Serve with chapatis.

Do check out these delicious Ribbon Pakoda before you take off!


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Monday, September 14, 2009

Making Rice Flour at home ~ Indian Basics for Cooking

Unlike years before, these days my Mondays are coloured by satisfaction I get over the quality of work done over the weekends! Its been many weeks since I had a Saturday off, even otherwise nothing much gets done. So naturally I am prone to Monday blues. Well I am no in school or college, to get that kind of trepidation and butterflies running around in the tummy on reach of the date! To be frank I used to get that feeling on Sunday nights during scholar days. Its utterly ridiculous to expect the same to happen now.

I panic when I don't see such feelings expressed by Konda. She is least bothered that today is Monday. Maybe she gets upset that her holiday was over. Talking about holidays, Peddu on getting up on Sunday morning exclaimed and proclaimed that it was a holiday to them and we ought to go to "Ooru". Hubby dear sorely regrets ever taking them out every other weekend. Result was, though he managed an escape for a while, back home he ended up taking us for a tour round the city. In the end, Peddu wasn't happy that he wasn't taken for a tour. Well, we can't have everything to our liking or so we told. Not that a soon to be 3 kid will understand that!

Coming back to my satisfied state, I was happy getting more than couple of dishes ready this weekend. Its far better than what work had progressed during the past months. Naturally it really got me happy. Not only was I able to get to make a dish that I ate as a child, it was liked by Konda. What more can I ask for? Yes that's for the book. So naturally the positive response from her made me extremely happy.

Over the weekend I was reminded again on the fact that I have been lagging in post on Indian Basics. I actually planned on doing one per week. Not sure where all those weeks have gone. Can you believe today gets us to the middle of the month!

And what's more I totally forgot that my Spice your Life completed 1 year this month! Though I haven't been able to spend or write so much as I did in this blog, I really love those quality information that I was able to get from my Dad. The posts may be less, but it packs more value than I can think.

As it seem customary to celebrate an occasion with something worth remembering, I have announced an event. Please do check it out and join in!

Coming back to our post for today, its all making making Rice flour at home. I know getting a ready made flour makes life much simpler, but I am all for making it at home. One thing is you get really fresh flour. Second is you get more and of course third is the satisfaction that you ground it at home. I know all these because I was really thrilled knowing I was making it at home. I always remember Amma making it at home. And I always thought that way wasn't mine. But guess what I simply loved to feel that damp rice flour as it got ground in the mixer!

The rice flour is used in many dishes in Indian Cuisine. We make Biyam Roti (Rice Roti), Murukus, Puttu, Ariselu and many more.

4 cups Raw Rice yields 6 cups of rice flour.


Wash the rice and soak it for 15 - 20 minutes. Drain the rice and spread it on a cloth for shade drying.


After 30 mints, grind to a smooth powder in your mixer. Take 1 cup at a time and run it and stop in intervals. Else your jar can get very hot.

Pass it through a sieve to get the fine powder. And grind again until you get the most of your rice into fine powder.


If you are not going to make a dish out of it right away, store it in an air tight container after its cooled enough.

Another way of making this is by lightly roasting the rice over hot pan for few minutes, grinding it to a fine flour once its cooled. This way you can store for longer days.

Making flour at home is so convenient as it only takes about 15 mins to soak and another 15 mins to dry. And your dish is bound to come out tasty.

I leave you here, wishing for a great week ahead. Of course do take a look at my Spice your Life and join in the fun!

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Thursday, September 10, 2009

Kadambam Dosa, Mixed Lentil Crape ~ 101 Dosa Varieties!

Maybe I have already written about it. Yet reading Manisha's post on memories, kindled me so much that all those memories came flooding in. If you are regular here, then you would know my memories are all always associated with food. I may sound so obsessed with food, but then hey I am! The other day I was chatting with a friend, who said she didn't want to come across as being obsessed with just food and nothing else. Well I said that's the only reason why I ended up creating so many blogs but in this you will get to read what food I cook everyday to feed my family.

With hardly any time to cook fancy stuff, we get so carried away. Be it new or those treasures from childhood days. Every time I meet my parents, somehow food creeps into our discussions and Dad will remember something. Amma would then remark, "Aww, its been so long since I made it!" And then of course, there are few dishes that she makes only for particular occasions. Like the Borugulu undrallu / Poha Laddu that's made for Navaratri or the Poli for Ugadi. It took lot of efforts from my side to convince her otherwise. But during childhood, I have always longed for those days to come.

Another favorite dish was the delicious Adais that Amma makes. What's was so special about these you ask? Well I have always been in love with Adais. And Dad never liked it. So it rarely found its way to our table when he was at home. Since his job involved traveling during my childhood, Amma used to make it for us then. Apart from the fact that I used to feel guilty for liking something Dad didn't like, I had my brother for company. We used to feel bad for enjoying without Daddy. But I guess our love for these Adais were more than our guilt struck conscious. Though we complained why Dad never like these delicious crapes, which we devoured with coconut chutney!

But as my bad luck would have it, hubby dear doesn't like it too. For all that Dosa lover I am, I am bound by resistrictions in not making the many varieties I want to. And ever since then, when I sniff these Adais at a place that I may cross or see this on the menu card, I remember all those nights spent longing at my Amma's side in the kitchen, watching her make those delicious Adais. Not to help things, almost all south Indian bloggers feature these! Each one as tempting as the other, I am left slobbering incapable of making it!

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So memories of those nights keep me company, when every time it used to be the same, the griddle would not heat up enough or the batter wouldn't be thin enough to get those thin crapes. The first few would not be given to us. When thin paper crapes made their way, its usually to my plate, topped with ghee and cooked over slow flame. The white coconut chutney, tempered with curry leaves, crunchy Urad dal, yum they make such perfect dip for these Adais. Sree used to tell Amma that she has to make a big bowl of chutney as we used to whip it clean. So much so that Amma would not have anything left for her.

Memories, memories are what carry us forward. And I feel so cherished because my parents always made us feel so special, no matter what happened. Even now they do!

Later when Amma realized that we always miss Dad during such dinners, she started making it on regular days, with something special for him. He used to see us enjoy and keep smiling at us. I think those Adais tasted awesome more because of that!

Its been a while since I made these. It was rectified with Athamma remembering these and said we should. As expected, we had the Dosa batter on hand too. While authentic Adai has a different proportions, this version is more healthy as we have included as many lentils and legumes as we could! Its packed with protein and great taste.

Since too many ingredients have gone in, the ladle used is very small. Measures about 15 gms appx (1 tbsp). Everything included yielded about 8 - 10 doses of regular size. Also as many dals have been used, this is called Kadambam, which in Tamil means a mix of different things and usually refers to flowers.

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Kadambam Dosa, Mixed Lentil Crape or Pancake!

Ingredients Needed:

Urad dal - 1 & 1/2 tbsp
Channa Dal / Bengal Gram - 1 tbsp
Pesara pappu / Yellow moong dal - 1 tbsp
Dried Soy bean - 1 tbsp
Shelled Raw Ground nut - 1 tbsp
Toor dal - 1 tbsp
Rajma / Kidney Beans - 1 tbsp
Dried Peas - 1 tbsp
Idly Rice - 1 tbsp
Fried Gram Dal / Pottu kadalai - 1 tbsp
Dried Corns kernels about 10 nos
Almonds / Badam - 4 nos
Fenugreek Seeds / Methi - 5 - 6 nos
Salt to taste
Oil for making dosas

Method to prepare:

  • Wash and soak all lentils in enough water for at least 6 hrs. Since hard lentils are also used, soaking for long helps.
  • After 6 hrs, drain the water and grind in a grinder as you do with your regular dosa batter. The stones might fumble for a while. But pat them gentle, by adding water slowly. Let it grind to a smooth paste, by adding just enough water to get the consistency of the dosa batter.
  • Remove to a big bowl and allow it to ferment for 2 hrs. Then refridgerate till use.
  • I had the batter done by 7.30 in the night. It was kept in room temperature till 10.30 or so. It went into the fridge and took it out by 7 in the morning. It was all fine when I made it by 9.30 am.
  • Heat a dosa tawa. If you are using a non stick tawa, there is no need to spray or apply oil. Check for thinness. The crapes come out well only if its thin and can be easily spread.
  • So add little more water if required. Once the tawa is hot, simmer to medium, pour one ladle full of batter and spread in a circular shape. Sprinkle oil and allow it to get cooked on all sides. Let the flame be in medium else your dosas will not be crispy.
Notes:
  • Normally people don't like lentil dosas because its soft and not the crispy ones like the rice based dosa. But when its cooked in low flame and spread very thin, you will get crispy ones.
  • If you are ok with adding a little more of rice flour, then you can add about a tbsp of rice flour.
  • If your kids are fine with these, you can also add ghee over it and serve.
  • Finely chopped onions, cumin seeds make a great topping for these lentil dosas.

Sending these to dear Manisha for her event on Memories, though she says she wants us to cook something we haven't eaten for over a decade, I am still sending this. After all whats fun if we don't break the rule!..:)..I hope Manisha won't say to these lovely crapes!

MLLA15Logo375 And also to Sia, who is hosting another favorite event of mine, MLLA15 at Monsoon Spice, an event started by lovely Susan, The Well Seasoned Cook!

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Monday, September 7, 2009

A revisit to Kala Chana Aloo Sabzi ~ Black Chickpea Potato Gravy with pictures!

The day was sunny and all, not the gloomy mornings of last week. Though I had plans to wrap my morning chore well ahead to have an early start, it again failed! And after my late night discussion with Athamma, which went way beyond 12.30 in the night, we have plans of cooking something new every week. Yaay! Discussions like such with Athamma is always bound to be interesting. And I managed to make her remember few authentic recipes.

Sunday was fun, if you think cooking only Maggi is! Kids are so fond of Maggi, that given that for all meals they happily eat without any complaints. How I really wish they treat all else in the same eye. I really wonder what Maggi has that caught these toddlers fascination. I was never a Maggi lover, though I won't say no for Top Raman. But then even that Amma used to give me very rarely. I tried hard to avoid this for Konda, was successful to some extent. But with the boys, its so hard. Chinnu is so excited saying that word out. He with his sturdy and composed way of saying out words, makes sure he gets it out clearly and correctly that he wants Maggi.

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So when he skipped his dinner on Saturday and refused to eat his favorite Poori, hubby dear suggested that I at least try Maggi, to at least feed him something. I was thinking maybe he is feeling under the sun and won't want it but I was wrong. He was as excited as always on hearing the word Maggi. Would you believe it, when one morning that I made Maggi for Konda, the maggi was all done and eaten. But on waking up, he came running to kitchen and asked if I made Maggi, cos he smells of Maggi! Well Maggi sure has its fan club strong.

Finally I made Maggi for their breakfast. Why wasn't I surprised when all 3 of them rhymed to say they wanted it again for their lunch? Guess I knew it all along. Since we used up everything on stock, I had to go shopping and got a whole lot more to last us few more days. Plus, I did my vegetable shopping after a long time. I was happy having my entire week's menu all planned, at least in mind. Because it changed the very first day itself! But then plans are bound to change right. Though the thought that I have fresh vegetables stocked makes me feel happy. And yes, the changed menu today gave me another post for my lunch box series!

Enough of my rambling, guess what, I finally got around making Kala Chana Aloo Sabzi with Pooris, that too for our Sunday breakfast. I was only too glad that Chinnu, Peddu were distracted enough to let me click few pictures of it finally and update the post!


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I promise to be back with some recipe, hopefully! Until then, heres wishing you all for a great week ahead! Hope my US readers enjoyed their long weekend!


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Friday, September 4, 2009

Lunch Box Series : LBS#51 ~ Cabbage Dry Curry!

I haven't been cooking anything new lately, blame it on the releases on the work front, plus the discussions on the book, plus the regular school blues. On top of this, something like the tragic death of AP's CM YSR is bound to lower the spirits of my folks. I never knew they will get deeply affected by it. I am not so politically inclined, though I was feeling sad to know the tragic end.

Well I am sure your daily happenings are much more interesting than my usual routine, which when I think back, bores me to death. I really wonder how I can get away doing the same thing again and again and not feel I need to change it. Anyway that's another post to ponder! Out of all, the worse thing I happen to miss is to record my boys' hold on language getting better! I simply love their babbling. And when Chinnu tries to speak, I can visualize himself thinking clearing yet finding it hard to get the right word out. Guess the many languages he is being exposed too, is the culprit. He ends up using all the language he knows in one sentence!

Will try to record their antics soon, meanwhile let me share a simple cabbage dry curry that makes a great side dish for rice and dal!

Today's Lunch Box had

Endumirapakaya Pappu ~ Dal with Red Chilli
Dry Cabbage Curry
Cumin pepper Rasam
Curd Rice

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Dry Cabbage Curry with Coconut, Green Chilies!

Ingredients Needed:

Cabbage - 250 gms
Onions - 1 small
Tomato - 1 medium (opt)
Coconut - 4 tbsp
Green Chillies - 3 -4 nos
Salt to taste
Mustard Seeds, Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 3 -4 nos
Oil - 2 tsp

Method to prepare:

  1. Chop cabbage very fine. Grind the coconut and green chilies to fine paste. Keep it aside.
  2. Heat a kadai with oil, temper with mustard seeds, urad dals, curry leaves. Then add chopped onions and saute it till pink.
  3. Then add the ground coconut, chili paste and fry till its well done. Mix well and add salt. If you are using tomatoes, add at this stage, else continue with the chopped cabbage.
  4. Simmer and cover with lid and cook for 10 mins. Stir in intervals to ensure the bottom does not get burnt.
  5. Cook till done. Its always good to leave the cabbage till crispy.
  6. Serve with rice and dal.


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Enjoy your lunch box! Will be back soon, until next time, happy weekend!

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Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Microwave Easy Cooking Potluck Party 2009 ~ Next Edition!

Months roll by so very fast! I can sense the heads that are nodding right now! Well its already September today! August was the month I started Microwave Cooking Event 2 years back. Last year I had a Party celebrating the month and I thought I would do the same this year too. Had this been a party in real time, I am sure it would've been a roaring success. Not that its not now anyways.

We have some awesome 30 dishes being bought to the party all made in microwave! With few sending more than 1 this was indeed a great round up to create. Priya sent in 8 different dishes that can be made in microwave. She makes it seem such a plaything to use microwave. Naina with her friends, sends in 6 lovely entries. She is a new blogger and it was intersting to check out the different collections she has. Lata Raja and Saritha sent in 3 each.

Ladies, without you all this party would've lacked so much fun!

And before I go further, the next edition due to unforeseen reasons, will be hosted right here. And I decided not to torture my dear friends by asking them for a specific theme. So its going to be any dish thats prepared in Microwave!

Please read the Microwave Easy Cooking Details and mail me your entries by 30th September 2009 to Cooking4allseasons@gmail.com.

Now lets celebrate the party!

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Soups, Starters and Tiffin!

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Malini's Microwave Chicken Soup
Le-Bouffe's Potato Chips
Srivalli's Masala Poha


Delicious Gravy or Curry from Microwave!

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Kamala Bhoopathy's Lauki Sabji
Lata Raja's Punjabi Chole
Lata Raja's Vendaikkai kari
Le-Bouffe's Kobi Cha Zunka
Priyas' Aloo, Matar & Gobi Masala
Priya's Paneer Masala

One Pot Meal from Microwave!

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Gayathri and Renuga's Spinach Masala Rice
Meena Thennaapan's Carrot Rice
Priya's Carrot Pulao
Priya's Mushroom Briyani
Priya's Peas Pulao
Saritha's Aloo Bath
Simran's Spinach Rice


Delicious Indian Sweets from Microwave!

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Aruna's Kozhukattai
Lata Raja's Phirni
Le-Bouffe's Besan & Oats Ladoos
Le-Bouffe's Kutti
Le-Bouffe's Sevai Kheer
Priya's Badam & Pistachio Phirni
Priya's Bread Halwa
Priya's Semiya Paayasam
Saritha's Carrot halwa
Saritha's Samiya Payasam


And finally desserts to please all!

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Jyothi's Chocolate Cake
Soma's Microwave Cupcake
Sweatha's Apple Brown Betty

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Thank you everybody!

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