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May 27, 2006

Breakfast from Leftovers

R had made spinach curry the previous day ( sauted some onions, red chilli, one pod garlic and spinach together with salt) , it tasted delicious and we had some leftovers.
The next day for breakfast this is what I did.

egg whites of 3 eggs well beaten with a dash of milk.
A Pinch of italian seasoning
Salt and pepper for seasoning
Hot sauce.

In a pan with a little bit of oil saute the spinach and then pour in the egg white, and there you have it scrambled eggs with spinach. Have it along with toast and some fruits for a kind of balanced breakfast

May 23, 2006

Thenga Manga Pattani Sundal

Just those words bring a flood of memory in mind. Trip to Madras for summer holidays meant going to the beach. A whole bunch of cousins huddled in one small car and hoards of snacks from Grand snacks ( a famous sweet store in Madras). But as children, were we satisfied..hmm
The moment we see the vendors with the bhajji's (fritters) and sundal (boiled green peas with mango and coconut) we used to start the nagging that did not stop till the elders bought it for us.
I decided to make this snack for picnic in the park http://www.hookedonheat.com/.
Hope all of you enjoy this snack which is healthy as well. To make it more attractive, fill the sundal in paper cones. I did not do a good job of that, I am sure you will do better then me.

Dried Green peas - 1 Cup
Dried red chilli - 1-2
Grated coconut - 4 tbsps
Raw green mango - Diced into small chunks 1 cup

Tadka - Mustard seeds, a pinch of hing, some cumin seeds, curry leaves.

  • Boil the green peas after you soak it in warm water for atleast 6-8 hours.
  • In a saute pan, add a tsp of oil and do the tadka.Add the red chillies and saute for 30 seconds, add salt and then the mangoes, saute till they are soft.
  • Add the green peas and let it cook and blend with all the spices.
  • Sprinkle the grated coconut and allow it to cook for another 5 minutes.

Sundal is ready to serve! Enjoy

May 16, 2006

Weird Food Combos

What are yours?

Yogurt rice and Banana

Yogurt rice with Jaggery

Chapathi and banana with milk

Pooris with sheera

pooris with yogurt

Yogurt with milagai podi and sugar with crisp dosa

Yogurt with sugar and rice

Funny that almost all the weird food combos that I thought of has yogurt in it.

May 15, 2006

Nilla Choru (Dinner Under the moon light)

When my husband and I were going for a walk at night, I happened to look at the clear sky with the bright moon shining upon us and stars twinkling away. I immediately remembered the time we used to go on vacation to our village called Chinatamani (near Tenkasi, Tamilnadu).

We are from a large family and hence had almost 14 to 15 kids minimum in the house at one time. It was a large palatial bungalow and for the elders it was a chore just getting us together to have our dinner. Our parents wanted us to have dinner first and then wanted to savor and enjoy theirs. They used to cook a whole lot of rice in the morning and the left over rice would be soaked in cold water, a little bit of yogurt, salt, hing, curry leaves and coriander. My grandma used to let it sit in a clay pot so that it stays cool.

At night, she would add a little more of yogurt and have us all sit around her under the moonlight in a huge circle. She would sit in the middle and make balls of the rice and place it on the palm of our hands. To go with the rice, ripe mangoes from our groves, some pappadum, some chutney. All of us who fussed to eat would be competing with the others. Even before my grandma finished one round we would have our arms stretched for more. To go along with stories about our dad or uncles and sometimes fictitious stories. My older cousins sometimes made up ghost stories to scare us all.

Soon cousins went in to college or started working and then my parents became grand parents. When my nephews and niece came home for vacation, my mom did the same thing. All the kids carried one item at a time to our terrace and my mom or dad fed us with food and stories or just talked and joked around.

I am sure a lot of you would have experienced what I just mentioned. It was such a joyous occasion, yet so simple. It is these simple get togethers with no frills and fancies that are engraved in our minds forever.

May 10, 2006

Fruit Medley and Eggless Custard

This custard powder is available in Indian stores.

Going to the ice cream shop in India (before the Baskin Robbins, Amul Ice Creams...)meant going to a tiny mom & pop joint that served fruit salads and ice creams. We never stored ice cream at home coz of the frequent power cuts, so going to the ice cream parlor was always a treat.

Come summer and we use to try to convince my mom to buy some popsicles from the ice cream vendor on the street and my mom in turn made custard and fruit salad and always convinced us that it tasted better and it did. My mom used to divide it equally among the siblings and boy did we still fight over it...

Ok here comes the simplest recipe ever...

Take any fruits that are in season, I had plums, mangoes, strawberries and banana. So I diced them in to small chunks and let it cool. Dice the banana when you are ready to serve or they turn brown.

Follow the recipe for the custard recipe from the box. I once tried microwaving the milk instead of boiling it on the stove and it turned out horrible.

I like to put mine in small cups to make a mould, when you are ready to serve topple it on the plate and serve with chilled fruits. You can add raisins as a garnish and drizzle some honey on the fruits. (I was too impatient and hence did not let it set enough)

May 09, 2006

Mother's Day - Happy Mother's Day Amma..

Never does a day go by without I thinking of my mom. As she grows older I worry that I am not spending so much time with her and try my best to call as much as I can to make for it. When I think back, we take our mom's so much for granted.
My mom was a real homemaker, my dad's responsibility ended with him bringing the paycheck. My mom used to and still does all the other stuff like paying bills, buying groceries and the whole nine yards and in the midst of all this , she does her puja(which she does with total dedication and concentration), cooks, cleans and takes care of us, a dog ,and a live in maid( a young orphaned girl they adopted).
When we came home from school, there was always a glass of cold rosemilk(she made it from scratch) and some home made snack on the table for us. I don't know how my mom managed, my dad liked typical tirunelvelli food, my oldest sister always wanted tiffin items(idli,dosa for school lunch) , my middle sister like all middle sisters adjusted to everything and I being the youngest and pampered always wanted fried rice or chitra anna(lime rice, tamarind rice & the likes) My poor mom got all this ready by 8:00 and packed our lunches for us.
She used to spend most of her time cooking and cleaning and now here I am with all modern amenities still complain every once in a while. We make payments online, a dish washer to do the dishes, the faithful washer dryer to wash and dry our clothes ( I complain about folding clothes, gosh, I am spoilt) and a vaccum cleaner to clean the house.

After all that work, she had the time too see if we did our homework. Wow that is amazing.

May 08, 2006

Healthy Breakfast

I just could not help posting this, after I finished laying the fruits on the toast. Had to share it...
I toasted two slices of whole wheat bread, a little bit of peanut butter and then alternated the strawberries and banana. The burst of fruits in your mouth along with the bread is simply delicious.
Try it and tell me what you think.

May 06, 2006

Our Saturday Meal

Since I love to cook, I decided to incorporate that in my blog as well. I have decided to add one recipe a week. We are trying to eat healthy, here is one of the recipes

Sprouted Moong Dhal Kozhambu
Moong Dhal - 3 Cups (sprouted)

Tomato - 2
Onion - 1/2
Red Chillies - 2
Tamarind paste - 1 tsp
Cumin - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds and urad dhal for tadka - 1 tsp
Coconut milk - 2 tbsps
Rasam or sambhar powder - 1 tsp
Potato - 1/2 diced into cubes
Fry the onion,red chillies and tomato in a tsp of oil and let it brown.

Grind the tomato, red chillies, tomatoes along with the tamarind paste and coconut milk.
In a pan with a tsp of oil, do the tadka , added the cooked moong dhal ,potatoes and the ground mixture along with the sambhar powder and let it simmer.
Add salt to taste and coriander leaves for garnish. Serve with piping hot basmati rice.
I got the inspiration to make this from http://onehotstove.blogspot.com/2005/12/m-is-for-moogambat.html.

Since my husband comes from a family of meat eaters, he craves for it. My family on the other hand would not even touch an egg, anytime I have even tried to talk about meat in my house, my mom and sis would almost
throw up and I would roll on the floor with fits of laughter. My dad would say, "indha tirunvelvelli saiva pillai vittil yarum meanai koduvandhal pichiduven"( I will belt you if you bring fish in to this vegetarian's house) I used to always pull my mom's legs about bringing meat home. Soon we moved into a house whose owners ate meat and when aunty got to know my love to try chicken, she would save some for me on Saturdays and then call me sometime in the evening, so that my parents don't even get a scent of it and feed me chicken and rice. My friend and I used to go to the terrace, sit on top of the tank to finish my food and I would then brush my teeth before I enter my house. My mom however became party to this little secret in a couple of days as I can never stay without telling my mom everything.

Coming to my mock fish, we decided that we will stop eating chicken for health reasons. I found mock fish and chicken in Asian stores that are purely made of soy. It is amazing how they make the texture and shape to
look just like meat.

Mock Fish
Defrost the fish for about thirty minutes. In the meanwhile make a paste of lime juice,salt and chilli powder for the marinade. Apply the paste on both sides of the fish and let it sit for as long as possible (a couple of hours). In a pan with a tbso of oil fry the fish on both sides.

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