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Archive for November, 2006

Sweet fenugreek pongal

Mothers always want to give their children  their best. You are right, for a nursing mother, lactation is always an issue. I had  spent hours browsing to find lactation aids. But now, I don’t. The reason is rediscovered the power  of garlic and fenugreek. I add them to my diet in all forms, by all means. I am happy to share my recent finding , an exclusive diet for lactating moms. Also this is very tasty with no hint of bitterness of the fenugreek , all because of the fabulous jaggery.  

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Ingredients:

Sona masoori rice- 1/4 cup

Fenugreek seeds- 1/4 cup

Jaggery – to taste

Cardamom- 1 no

Method:

Soak the fenugreek seeds over night.

Cook the rice and fenugreek seeds  in  pressure cooker with 1 cup water.

Heat little  water, dissolve jaggery in it. Once  it is melted , filter out the dirt, if any. Simmer the heat, add the cooked rice to the jaggery back, mix well. Powder the cardamom  and add to the rice. Cook till all water is absorbed. Serve hot with ghee. Add fried cashews and raisins if you like to be treated specially. The quantity I said is just enough for a person.

sweet fenugreek pongal

PS: I found it really helpful. Hope it helps who is in need for iron rich food and other nursing moms.

This is my entry for JFI of this month- Jhiva for Jaggery hosted by the super mom ,Kay.

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Honey wheat bread

I was much inspired by my fellow bloggers Anita, Priya , Monisha, Asha  by their culinary experiments in baking. I have been wanting to indulge  in bread making for long time but never had the time and heart for it. I  found that this is a perfect chance to learn bread making. I must thank Nandita for inspiring me  in the new arena.

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I just love the sweet smell of yeast and always walk real slow near the bakeries and now that I brought the yeasty smell into my kitchen, you would wonder where I slept last night. Ha Ha Ha!

Now to the bread,  I got the recipe here and  made little alterations.

wheat bread slices

Hodgson Mill  active dry yeast  – 1/2  packet ( dissolved in 1/4 cup warm water)

Water-2/3 cup wbb

Olive oil- 1/8  cup

Honey- 1/8  cup

Nonfat dry milk- 1/8 cup

Salt- 3 pinches

Whole wheat flour- 1 cup

All purpose flour- 3/4 cup

Proof the yeast as said in the packet to test whether the yeast is active.  

Combine all ingredients in bowl and mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of bowl. When dough starts to come together, turn out on a floured surface and knead 5 to 7 minutes or until dough is smooth. Transfer dough to a clean bowl, cover with a damp paper towel and let rise for  about 60 minutes. It would have doubled in volume. Sprinkle flour on work surface. Lightly knead  and shape the dough into a ball. Place it on a lightly greased cookie sheets. Cover loosely with greased plastic wrap and let it for  a second rise, for about 30 to 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle sesame seeds (the original recipe called for wheat bran) on top. Bake bread 30 minutes. Let it cool completely before you slice it.

Lesson learnt: Don’t show your hurry in slicing. After all you waited for hours, so wait till it cool down completely.

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Pasta with Lima beans and spinach

Whenever I announce that ‘I am gonna make pasta  today’,  ‘Pastaaaa’ (read with lower tone) stretches my hubby  and nods with  no other go and on the other hand, ‘Paastaaaa’  (read with high tone) screams my daughter out of joy. What a scenario? But I vote for pasta always and we get  the majority and win. It is always a perfect way to make my daughter eat the veggies.        

pasta

Ingredients:                           

 PastaMostaccioli type -1/2 pound

Fresh lima beans- 1 cup

Pasta sauce- 1/2 cup

Onion-1 no

Garlic- 4 cloves

Spinach- 1 cup

Mozarella chesse- 1 cup

Olive oil- 1 tbsp

Ingredients- Chopped onion, chopped spinach,Garlic,Mostaccioli and lima beans

 Method:

Bring a large pot of water to boil, add salt  and cook the pasta to al dente. It should not be well cooked  for it is going to continue cooking in the oven. Drain the pasta and keep aside.

Chop spinach, onion and garlic. 

Heat olive oil in a pan. Add garlic followed by onion. After onion turns transparent add lima beans and spinach. Fry till spinach wilt and add the pasta sauce and salt (just for the veggies). Mix in pasta and stir slightly and transfer them to the baking pan. Cover the top layer with grated mozarella cheese.

Preheat the oven to 375 deg. Bake the pasta for 20 min. Atlast, turn the oven to broiler setting for another 3-5 min. Keep an eye when it is broiling for it may burn your cheeses. Dig in for healthy start in the morning.

Baked to perfection

 This is my entry for WBB #7 event  hosted by my friend Nandita

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Cinnamon cake

Cinnamon cake

I am  comfortable with the  cake mix cakes rather than measuring and sifting flours and starting from the scratch,  but everytime I make  a difference in it either by adding nuts,  choclate chips. This time I mixed white cake mix with the recommended oil , water and eggs and  divided the batter into two . In one half I added cinnamon  sugar mix . I poured the plain batter first in the cake pan , levelled it  and poured the cinnamon mixed batter on top. This added some color and appeal to the plain cake and of course I loved the cinnamon  in it.                                                                

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Kala jamun

‘Thank your mother, brother, father, sister or friend. Thank the weather Monthly mingleor thank the farmer. Thank your neighbor’,  says  Meeta of What’s for lunch Honey. She asks us to dedicate a thank you dish for someone special. What a great chance!

I came here in 28th week of my pregnancy and you can guess how worried  would have been my elders  back home to send me all alone. But, on the contraversy, I never had any separation depression or fear. All  bcoz of my FRIENDS. They were helpful and so caring that I felt really at home. I never want to miss a single chance to thank  them. Thank you, my friends, for being everything to me and helping me in my hard times. Hereby, I send this fabulous sweet as a dedication to  all my  friends for Meeta’s  monthly mingle.

Kala jamun

Ingredients:

Pancake mix- 32 oz pack

Nonfat dry milk – 2 cups

Butter- 2 tbsp

Oil/ghee – to fry

Sugar- approx- 2 cups

cardamom- 2 nos

Method

Bring the butter to room temperature. Mix the pancake mix and milk powder with butter, then add water to make a  soft dough. Make balls of uniform size  and fry them in oil on a low heat.

Dissolve the sugar in water, boil  and bring to a 1/2 string consistency. Add cardamom .Soak the jamuns  in the syrup till they absorp all the syrup.Serve with  drizzle of honey on top.

A must note  about the taste- it is so addicting and your kids will ask for more  and more. You wouldn’t believe I made three batches since diwali  ,still my girl asks me to make it again.

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SmART silhouettes

Silhouettes of my kids

 

Great was the family sunday at the SMART  musuem, Chicago. It is a day when everybody in a family attend art workshop, do some family project, listen to a concert etc. These silhouettes were done on one such sunday. With the kid standing against a bright light, the shadow is made to fall on a paper taped on the wall. The parent outlines the shadow , cut it out and  all make a collage on the cutout . There was no big trouble in making my daughter stand still , but with my 7 mo old son , we had great difficulty to keep him straight. The light was so bright, he kept turning towards it. The day was filled with activities and gave us memories to be cherished forever.

Silhouette

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I studied from hostel and I was the only one who was 3 hrs travel from the home town.All my friends were from far south with atleast 10 hrs travel. So, whenever my mom visits me , she brings this dish for her home sick daughter and friends in a big container. Whenever she brings this kuzhambhu, none in our group will taste the mess sambhar for a week. The reason , longer the kuzhambhu stays  out, tastier it is . It stays gud even for a week outside the refrigerator.So, I am  happy to share my friends’  all time favourite dish.

Ingredients:

Ingredients for inji poondu kuzhambhu

Medium sized onion-  1

Large tomato- 1

curry leaves

Garlic- 7-8 cloves

Tamarind- lemon size

Vadagam– for seasoning/thallipu

To grind: 

Ginger/Inji-  2 inch piece

Cumin seeds- 1 tsp

Coriander seeds- 1 tsp

Dry chillies- 5

Poppy seeds- 1 tsp

pepper corns- 1/2  tsp

fenugreek seeds- 1/2 tsp

Soak the tamarind in warm water. Extract the juice.

Chop the onion into bite size chunks. You can also use pearl onion for greater taste. Chop the tomato finely.Peel the garlic.

Heat oil in a pan and fry the ‘ to grind ‘ items one by one. Take extra care while frying fenugreek. If they are burnt, it spoils the dish.You can avoid fenugreek, if you are not  confident.

Grind the fried spices to a fine paste.

Heat  2 tbsp of oil in a kadai and sputter  the vadagam/ simply mustard seeds and urad dall.

Add curry leaves, garlic and onion. Fry till the onion turns transparent .

Add tomato , salt and tumeric powder and fry till all juice comes out.

Add the ground paste , saute a little and pour water.

When the raw smell diminishes, add the tamarind extract and  let it  cook on low heat for sometime.

Turn off the heat when oil starts floating on the top .

The aroma of the inji  will fill your house and all your digestive enzymes will start secreting at once.Go ahead and  dig in.

Rice with inji poondu kuzhambhu and potato curry

I love the onions in this kuzhambhu with curd rice. They marry so gladly and makes my taste buds happy.

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