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Archive for October, 2006

Fall colors everywhere!/Rawa Kesari

Fall colors

It is lovely to walk along the road side, making a ‘charak charak’ sound with the leaves . As the leaves fall, they know their destination , still they give their life a colorful ending. Their  bond  with the tree is in the hands of a breeze. Some leaves get knocked by a mild breeze, some are stubborn and yield only to a stormy wind. Some go by the gravity. However they fall, they dress the mother earth  with their vivid colors and do a wavy dance with the kissing wind.

Hey, come on , I know I bored  you. I can hear you  saying ‘come to the point’. I know you guessed it right, it is our first fall in US. Being for the first time, my daughter loves to celebrate all the seasons of the year. She  attended a fall festival in our neighbourhood and  was mimicking it at home . She organised few games and activities, and  set up a food stall. For the food, she chose the  snacks according to the theme like mango juice ,colorful fruit loops etc. So she wanted a dessert in the fall color . There comes our handy menu- rawa kesari. I made in minutes and moulded it like a pumpkin to cheer up my girl’s festive mood.

Ingredients:

Semolina/rawa/sooji- 1 cup

Water- 2 cups

Sugar- 2 cups

Ghee/clarified butter- 1 cup

Cashews and raisins-  – handful

Cardamom- 2 no

Food color-1 pinch

Roast the rawa in ghee slightly. In a heavy non stick pan, boil the water . Add food color to the water. Add the rawa stirring  continuously.There should  not be any lumps . Stir well till it is cooked thoroughly. Now add the sugar , the  rawa will get loosen a little. Add  the powdered cardamom. Heat the ghee on another stove  and pour the melted ghee . First the ghee will get absorbed and later it is ooze out . Stop stirring when  the sweet comes out as a ball. In a separate pan , heat ghee, roast the cashews and raisins. Add to the kesari. Serve hot.

Rawa kesari- celebrating fall

Read here for  ‘why leaves change colors?’

 Read here for ‘ How leaves change colors?’

Read here  for ‘How to  photograph fall colors?’

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 Tomato potato pulav

‘Mummy, This is not fair’ grieved  my daughter.

‘Whats the matter?’

‘You never serve me with a rose.’

‘But, you don’t eat raw tomatoes.’

‘Thats ok, I want that plate.’

She went ahead, ate half of it and rushed to school. I grabbed another serving and clicked my dish.

Evening when I was editing the  photos and regretting for a poor lighting, my school returned scholar was watching me . She asked ‘ Do you have it anymore?’

I nodded, she went and fetched her own leftover from the fridge , microwaved and ate  all by herself. Thats the power of taste .

I learnt this dish from my  chitthi (mother’s younger sister) and  is always my rescuer when I am late to get up in the morning.

Ingredients:

Basmati rice- 2 cups

Oil – 1 tbsp

Butter – 1/2 tbsp

Tumeric powder- 2 pinch

Chilli powder- 1 tsp

Cilantro

Few  mint leaves

Medium onion- 1

Red poato-1

Frozen peas- 3/4 cup

Fennel seeds- 2 tsp 

Large  tomato-1  (Should be juicy and  ripen one)

Green chilies- 3

Garlic- 4 cloves

Ginger- 1 inch piece

cloves- 3 no

cardomom- 1

cinnamon- 1 inch stick

Wash the rice once and soak for 10 minutes. Chop the onion finely. Peel and chop the potato into 1 cm cubes.  Grind the last 7 items in the list into a fine paste. Heat oil + butter in the pressure pan. Sputter fennel seeds. Saute the onion. When it turns transparent, add potato , peas, mint leaves and ground  paste. Add salt, tumeric powder, chilli powder.  Saute till all  oil comes out. Add  the rice and fry slightly. Pour  4 cups of water. When the water boils, cover the pressure pan and  cover the  nozzle with a tumbler instead of  the weight. Cook on medium heat for 12 minutes. This gives similar result of a dum briyani.Garnish with cilantro and roasted cashews. Serve  with raitha/coconut chutney.

Anyway, I learnt a way how to tickle my girl’s hunger. So, for the moms who want to impress thier kutties, here is the illustration for the rosy tomato.Peel the tomato with a knife and take care  not to break the continuity.Gently coil from one end, spreading as you proceed.

              Peel the skin spirally Start winding from one end Spread as you wind Rosy tomato

In our home, nobody eats it , so today’s rose will be in  tomorrow’s  salad/raitha.

 

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Have patience, have patience

Don’t be in such a hurry

If you get impatient

You only start to worry

Remember, remember

God is patient to you

Think of all the times

When others have to wait for you

… 

Hello, just a second , don’t get confused whether you have landed in a wrong blog. It is me relaxing on my sofa,  remembering the good old song of my school days. This is  the song I  sing to myself whenever I am waiting especially at the crowded bus stops in Chennai.

Just like this song, I have special songs for  every occasions. My mom hums sweet telugu tunes while she cooks. Those are great tunes  which none would have ever heard except her stove and vessels.

Hey that gives me an idea!! Why don’t we play a meme game with this ? At the latest , ‘partha mudhal naalai’  from ‘Vettaiyaadu Vilaiyaadu’ is the hit in our kitchen kacheri. Now you tell me the most frequent song/tune/ slogam you  hum/recite while you cook. I tag  my favourite bloggers Indira ,  Menutoday , Vee , My Dhaba, and Saffron Hut.

Coming back to food, I  wanted to enter My dhaba’s VCC Q3  2006. But all the snacks and sweets are all coming to a grand closure.Yet, I managed to grab the last few murukkus for a photo session. Here  is the recipe for arisi murukku

     

Murukku

                 Arisi murukku- a deep fried snack made with rice flour  

Ingredients:

Rice flour – 2 cups

Fried gram dall / udaitha kadalai/- 1/2 cup

Red chilli- 4 Nos

Asfoestida- 3 pinches

Curry leaves- 7/8

Sesame seeds- 1 tbsp

Cumin seeds- 1/2 tbsp

Butter /heated oil – 1 tbsp

Salt – to taste

Oil -to fry

Powder the fried gram dall and the  chillies in the blender. Mix the flours ,cumin seeds, asfoetida, sesame seeds ,butter / oil , salt  with water.Load the dough into a murukku press. Make long strips on a greased plastic sheet/ ziploc bag simultaneously coiling them into spirals.Deep fry in oil on both sides.

                                  

Murukku press

          Murukku press – Much easier than the old styled press.

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Weekend reading!

A touching poem about diwali in US!

Read here.

A real model village  for future India- article in kumudam –  The seventh article in that page.

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Oven baked idol of Lord Ganesh

Yet another creation by my girl. As I told you here, my girl attended  and  really enjoyed the ‘Art  Afternoons’ on wednesdays  at the SMART musuem, this summer.  One such afternoon, we did crafts with oven bake  clay. This is just like  a play doh but needs to be baked at 350 deg for 45 min for hardening.

Oven baked idol of Lord Ganesh

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Lemony idli uppuma

We ,back home, are  a big family and always  guests are common. So, it is not uncommon to have leftover idlis. Whenever ildi is leftover  my grandma makes a yummy uppuma with it for an evening snack.

Here in US , I go by measuring cups and calculations never fail. Even that is boring. So, I went on and made extra idlis wantedly  last night and made this uppuma for breakfast. I made a little trick with the limes and was as tasty as my granny’s.

                

Lemony idly uppuma

Ingredients:

Leftover idlis: 12 nos

Two big onions

Ginger- 1 inch piece

Green chillies- 3 or 4

Lime- 1 no

Curry leaves

Cashews- To taste

Oil- 2 tablespoon

For thalippu: Mustard seeds, urad dall, gram dall, roasted peanuts

Get ,Set ,Ready, Gooo:

Break the idlis into tiny bits .Smaller the better.  Chop the onions and ginger finely. Heat oil in a skillet, sputter mustard seeds,followed by  urad dall, gram dall, roasted peanuts and curry leaves in the order said. Throw the ginger bits and onion next. Let the onions turn transparent. Sprinkle little tumeric powder. Add  the idlis and salt  to taste. Saute well. Add  lime juice at the end and serve  with cilantro  and roasted cashews.

This could be an entry for Nandita’s Weekend Breakfast Blogging:->

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Diwali is approaching

Next saturday is diwali, but there are no signs of it. There are no advertisements with  Sneha dancing inside  Saravana Stores (as rightly called ‘Indian Walmart’ by vinod ) .There is no shopping list in my hand bag to keep me wander in the busy streets of Ranganathan street. There are no  kids in my street  bursting crackers. There are no film previews about the diwali releases.

Still, there are ways to encourage our kids to  anticipate the upcoming festival. I thot of  making a homemade sweet my daughter  likes the most.Though , I learnt it  at late from my friend, I  was confident to try myself and it turned  out a real success. Here is the recipe.

 To make  20 medium sized laddus:

Ingredients:

Sugar – 1 and 1/2  cups

water- 1 and 1/2 cups

Gram flour- approx 2 cups

rice flour- 2 tsps

Orange food color- a pinch

warm milk- 1 tsp

saffron – 2 pinch

cardomom- 7-8 nos

cloves- 3 nos

Nutmeg- 1/8 th the ball

Edible camphor/ pacha karpooram- 3 pinches

Cashews & Raisins – to taste

How to make laddu:

Sieve the gram flour .

Mix the saffron in the warm milk.

Boil the sugar and water in a non stick   pan. Bring it to 1 string consistency.

Add food color and the saffron.

Heat good amount oil in a kadai.

Mix the gram flour and rice flour with water without any crumbles. The consistency should be like that of  a bajji mix. When the oil is real hot, pour the mix via a laddu laddle and take it when it is cooked 3/4th. Damp out the extra oil  with a paper  towel and soak it in the sugar syrup. Continue this without break until all the syrup is absorped well. Note: It is important that the mix to be in correct consistency. If it is watery, it will get burnt , else if it is too thick , the boondis will not have a round shape.

Let the boondis get soaked for 1-2 hours.

Powder cardomom, nutmeg, cloves and  camphor in a coffee grinder. Now add this to the boondis and run them in a food processor/ wet grinder coarsely for few seconds.

Roast the raisins and cashews in ghee and add to boondi mix.

Make balls of uniform size and enjoy eating

Laddu

Wish you all a happy diwali!

Food for thot: ‘Diwali in Sivakasi’ – A poem by Srinivasan.

As suggested by Indira, I am happy to submit this entry for JFI.

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