Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Booky MeMe

Passed on to me by fellow hosteller, cook n confectioner extraordinaire - Arundati....

The rules:

Pick up the nearest book

Open to page 123

Find the 5th sentence

Post the next three sentences

Tag 5 people and acknowledge the person who tagged you.

For a book-worm like me, it is more difficult to settle on a book, since I have more than one at ,as I commented to Arundati, after a game of eeny meeny miney mo, I got my hands on Tibetan Folk Tales by Frederick and Audrey Hyde-Chambers.

Page 123 - the Story of THE MAGIC BAMBOO

.....And so......

The three sisters' movements were like an improvised, graceful dance, as they
leapt, ran, and kicked to keep the shuttlecock aloft. Nyima, the youngest, gave
a despairing yell, realizing that she had kicked the shuttlecock towards the
dense bamboo grove. Her two sisters joined Nyima as she struggled to part the
bamboos in an effort to find the shuttlecock.

It is now my turn to pass it on to...

Sripriya, Shreya, Sagari, Hetal and Notyet100... Hope you guys have'nt already done this..

The Magic Lamp of Luck....

My blogger friend notyet100 has passed on the MAGIC LAMP OF LUCK to me...

The mighty Genie King and the beautiful Genie Princess from the magical Land of Faraway are back! Upon escaping the clutches of their Evil Master after being held captive for 1000 years, the magical genies have been busy flying on their Magical Flying Carpet granting wishes and spreading love throughout the blogosphere.
And now, the genies are back with a special gift for everyone! Behold the sacred,
Magic Lamp of Luck! With this magic lamp, your blog will enjoy much good luck and fortune, warding off all things evil lurking around in the blogosphere. We would like to share this magic lamp with you so please pass on the Magic Lamp of Luck to those in need of some good luck. Remember, do not be greedy or unkind, evil or vengeful and good luck & fortune will always be with you! Join us on another exciting magical adventure as we spread goodwill and good luck to one and all!

* Start Copy Here*

1. Add your site(s) to the list once you have received the Magic Lamp of Luck.

2. Pass on the Magic Lamp of Luck to as many people as you like. After all, everyone needs some good luck!

3. Leave a comment HERE once you’ve passed on the Magic Lamp of Luck. Once the Genie King and
Genie Princess have visited your site to make sure your links are complete and proper, you will then be added to the Master List

.4. To ensure everyone receives equal link benefit, please UPDATE your list regularly!

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Am passing on the Magic Lamp of Luck to Arundati,Cindy and Sagari

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Potato Masala - 1 filling, two preparations

Potato Masala

Potatoes - 1/2 kg (Boiled, peeled and crushed)

Onion - 2 large (sliced)
Green chillied - 3(slit)
Ginger - 1 inch (sliced)
Tomato - 1 (optional)
Curry leaves - 2 stalks
Coriander leaves - chopped (a handful)
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Oil - 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chilly powder - 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Heat oil, splutter the mustard seeds, add the sliced onions, ginger, curry leaves, green chillies . Once the onions have turned golden, add the turmeric and chilly powder and fry well. Now add
the tomatoes and add the crushed potatoes until coated well. Add salt to taste. Pour a half glass of warm water and keep the lid on till the potatoes go realy soft and the whole masala belnds in well. The final result will be semi-dry. Take off the stove and sprinkle the coriander leaves.

Malsala Dosa

Heat the tawa, add a few drops of ghee or oil, spread the dosa batter and keep a lid on top to cook the dosa. I prefer to fry both dises and then add the masala. If the lid is kept on , you can cook both sides at the same time. Add a tbsp of masala on the middle of the dosa and fold in half.
Masala Dosa is ready.

Potato Bondas

Prepare the batter to dip balls of the masala in.
Besan/ kadala maavu/ powdered channa - 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Asafoetida .- 1 pinch
Jeera - 1 tsp (dry fried )
Mix all the above ingredients in water till the mix coats the spoon smoothly, but doesn't run. (drip off)
Roll the potato masala into lemon-sized balls.
Heat a wok/deep bottom pan , add enough oil for deep frying . Dip the masala balls in the batter and drop in the oil. Deep fry till golden brown.
Serve hot with tomato sauce, pudina chutney etc....

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hummus (Chickpea dip) - Tuesday Toot

Anyone who is familiar with Hummus making will be wondering what there is to toot about...aah..but my hummus is made absolutely the tedious way..hence the toot!!!

Hummus is an absolute must in Middle Eastern cuisine. It is a great dip, and can be great combined with the various salads, kebabs, and other meat preparations.

Hummus is absolutely vegetarian and made predominantly from chickpeas (white kadala). Now a days it is very easy since there are canned chickpeas available. The next essential ingredient needed is tahina or paste made from white sesame seeds. (ellu /til). Yet again, tahina is also readily available in the market.

Despite all this wonder why I made mine from scratch? Simple..just to see if I could..!!!So this is how I made hummus..

Chickpeas dried - 1 cup
Soak overnight, wash and drain and cook them till tender.
Or drain 1 1/2 can of chick peas

Sesame seeds - 2 tsp
On a non-stick pan, dry-fry the sesame seeds, keep shaking or stirring to roast evenly, dont let them brown.

Olive oil - 4 tbsp
Garlic - 1 clove, crushed and minced
salt - to taste

Add the sesame seeds, salt, garlic and 2 tbsp oilve oil and grind to a paste. Now keep aside a few whole chickpeas for garnish and grind the rest. Mix well.

Lemon juice - 3 tbsp (or according to taste)

Add the lemon juice, the chickpea paste and another tablespoon of olive oil and blend well. (Take note that from 4 tbsp mentioned, we had used only half that)

Garnish with the whole chickpeas, olive oil and a spinkling of paprika powder.

Superb with fried chicken or kebabs.

My First Award - Blogging Forever Friend Award

This award has been passed on to me by notyet100

These are the rules for passing on the award...

1. Only 5 people are eligible for this award

2. 4 of them followers of your blog

3. One has to be new to your blog and live in another part of the world

4. You must link back to whoever gave you this award.

I would like to pass on this award to

Arundati of Escapades

Sagari of Indian cooking

Hetal of Isha's Kitchen

Jigyasa and Pratibha of Pedatha

And finally, passing on this award to

Joanna of Applique today whi is in the US and is a new reader to my blog.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Corn-flour garlic chicken (dry)

This is a dish that is strictly my own experiment.

Boneless chicken - 500 gms
Butter milk/ beaten curd - 1/2 cup
Garlic paste - 2 tsp
Crushed pepper - 1 tsp
Salt to taste

Cut the chicken into strips approximately 1 by 2 inches. Add the rest of the ingredients and keep aside to marinate for half an hour.

Corn flour - 2tsp
Dried herbs - oregano, tarragon (optional)
Salt - a pinch

take the chicken pieces from the marinade and evenly coat the corn flour mixture. Refrigerate for 10 minutes for ease in frying. add oil in a shallow frying pan and wait till it is hot. I used about 1 tbsp of oil.Shallow fry the pieces until the chicken is evenly brown.

Take the pieces from the oil and add the left-over marinade to the oil. Reduce till the oil comes on top and coat the fried pieces. THIS STEP MAYBE AVOIDED FOR THOSE WHO WANT THE CHICKEN CRISPY.

Garnish with spring onions and serve hot.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Rasam - without using rasam powder

Tasty, spicy, tangy...rasam is a favourite with most people I know.. Of course they may prefer to have the rasams hot, mildly spiced, liquid alone, pulpy or without sieving the aromatics out, like I do...

There are so many varieties like tomato rasam, pepper rasam, lemon rasam etc.. That is a speciality of the tamilian community..In kerala, rasam is made with tomatoes mostly. And that is the only version that I am confident with.

I have tried many ways of making rasam and have hit upon a fail-proof method. And since I do not add any ready-made rasam powder, the result is fairly pleasing at all times. Before I arrived at this recipe, my experiments left me at the mercy of the rasam powders which never used to yield the same results.. sometimes the same brand would give a different taste and were not very reliable.

So here goes.. I do not usually use cooked dal or dal water in my rasams. Unless i have already got some precooked dal at my disposal. This method ensures a good taste without the dal.

Tomatoes - 2 large ripe (crushed well)

Jeera - 1 tsp
Pepper corns - 1 tsp
Coriander seeds - 1/2 tsp
Garlic - 6-8 cloves

Lightly dry fry (ie, without oil)the jeera, pepper and coriander seeds , add the garlic and coarsely grid or mince them.Add this to the crushed tomatoes.

Boil the above in 2 cups of water, with a pinch of turmeric and 1/2 tsp red chilli powder.

Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp (dry fry lightly)
Tamarind pulp - extracted from a lemon sized ball (or ready made 1 tsp)
Asafoetida - to taste
Salt -to taste
Sugar/ jaggery - 1/2 tsp

Once the ingredients are joined well in the boiling rasam, garnish with chopped coriander leaves (absolutely compulsory)

Switch off the stove and temper in coconut oil with ;
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 2 stalks
Red chillies dried - 2

Add a spoon of ghee for added flavour . Enjoy with hot rice, just off the stove

Monday, July 21, 2008

A visit to the Qutub Minar

It has been a very lazy ten days for me with regard to blogging... Not that I did not have anything to post, on the contrary, I had made and photographed a few dishes, but did not have the time to post them.

Since we went this weekend to visit th Qutub Minar, I thought the photographs of the trip would be of interest..a break from the usual recipes and craft...

Guess no explanations are necessary..

Loved the entrance archways and the brilliant masonary, though sadly there is not much of it left ...wonder what the original structure would have been like, when the ruins alone are so awe-inspiring and majestic....

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Parippu (Dal) Vada

`My mom makes the bestest parippu vadas ' . I remember telling this to a lot of my friends..They were so popular, that I remember her making them in huge tins to take to club functions and such. And if there were parties at home, this was an item everyone would ask for.

These vadas have a starring role in many of my sweet mom's dad used to love these too..whenever we landed in his part of the world. which was often, he would buy us hot, paper-wrapped vadas from a shop in the junction. Of course, at home there was Mattemma always ready to make us her own lip-smacking tasty vadas too!!!

My dad's dad was more inclined towards payasams and fruits and anything sweet, but parippu vada was his favourite too...there it was mainly made during the Vaavu celebrations..

One of my most favourite memory is of me, my brother and my cousins cursing the rain
which prevented us from going out to play, and suddenly ,........the lovely sounds of the vadas being dunked into hot oil , and the most beautiful aromas of frying vadas and coffee waft to our nostrils...a few minutes later, there was only the sound of the heavy rain on the roof and all of us with contended smiles on our faces...

So any time it rains, I have this yen to have a parippu vada with coffee and if I do manage it, I always think that I have that same old silly grin on my face...)

Thur dal/ split chana dal - 2 cups (soaked for 4 hours)
Onion - 1/2 of a big one (cut for mincing/ or cut finely)
green chillies - 2
Curry leaves - of 1 stalk
Ginger - 1/2 inch
Chilly powder - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Asafoetida powder - 2 pinches

wash and drain the soaked chana dal. In the dry grinder, put the onion, green chillies, curry leaves and ginger and mince them..dont let then grind too fine into a paste. If satisfied, take it out and put in a bowl for mixing. Now add the dal about halfway in the jar , then mince again. Dont use the speed switch, use the pulsing switch so they are just coarsely ground.. some of the dal can be grond fine, some coarse and some can be left whole. That way, the consistency of the vadas will be perfect. Alternately, you can use a mincer to push through the dal and the others and that will make great vada mix too.

Add the salt, chilli powder and asafoetida..mix well so that everything is evenly mixed. Heat enough oil in a wok and bring it to boil. Take lemon sized balls of the vada mixture, smooth well and then flatten between your palms . Ease slowly into the hot oil..make sure there is no water on your hands or the hot oil will splatter.

When one side starts to go golden brown, turn the vadas to fry the other side.
Enjoy with piping hot coffee ...

Monday, July 7, 2008

Mutton kheema with mushrooms

This recipe came out really well..I usually make mince with green peas and potatoes, but I got these really fresh mushrooms and decided to make a few changes in the recipe.

Mutton mince (kheema) - 500 gms
Onions - 2 (cut very fine)
Celery - 1 stalk(cut fine)
garlic - 3 cloves (crushed)
Tomatoes - 2
Tomato ketchup - 2 spoons
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder - 2 tsp
Coriander powder 1 1/2 tbsp
Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
Green chillies - 2 (sliced)
Mushrooms - 200 gms(sliced_
Pepper - crushed - 1/2 tsp
Oil (1 tbsp)
Salt to taste

Heat a wok, heat oil, add the onion, garlic and green chillies sliced.

Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder and coriander powder ( if mixed with water and made into a paste, the frying will go better) fry till the oil separates.

Now add the mutton mince and mix well. keep stirring to fry it very well.

Then add the tomatoes and celery Put a lid and let the tomatoes soften.

Now add the garam masala powder, tomato paste, mushrooms and pepper powder. keep the lid on, add water if required. I did not want it too watery.

Once the oil comes on top, it is done.

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Superb with rice and raita or rotis.

Sewing - the result

I finished sewing the dress for my sweety... I am not displeased with the results.

for a first attempt at sewing, I think it has come out okay ..and it got an airing too..when we went out to celebrate her 2nd Birthday..

The simplest of designs..and creative use of lace to hide some flaws rather than just a design.. I always love it when things have multipupose...ha ha..

Friday, July 4, 2008

Water colour and Acrylic on paper

Another effort with the endlessly fascinating form of Ganesha. The soft colours have been done in watercolour and the bolder ones with acrylic.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Art attack!!!

This is a painting I did for my brother's room. I had just a few days and a large area to fill..

This was done with not fully happy with it..but for something doen in a rush, it is okay..

This is one situation I hate to encounter. When I do something, I just hate to be rushed off my feet...but this couldn't be helped...

So, I owe my brother another work..hopefully I'd be able to make him happy with my next effort..Love u ...