Saturday, December 12, 2015

Murungai Keerai (Drumstick leaves) Porucha Kuzhambu

Thanks to all my friends and readers who continuously support me and they are the reason for me to make this post after a,most 2years.

Murungai Keerai is native to India, but now available in more parts of the world. It is the most powerful health enhancing plants. It is a natural energy booster without sugar, a multivitamin providing, vitamin c, calcium, vitamin A, potassium, and protein too.

Keerai or Spinach has never been my favorite when I was a kid or before marriage. Well, for sure things changed after marriage. And when I got kids, my liking for the healthy foods grew more. I am one happy person as my kids like these healthy ones unlike me.
My love for Murugai Keerai grew with the murungai keerai adai. So mouth watering..My friend Priya's mom used to make it and I get to eat it there. Staying away from your hometown, you cannot expect to get all your hometown foods. So I used to make the Ragi adai without the murungai leaves. And suddenly one day, I got the murungai leaves in my town. Now, I regularly buy and try different recipes.

It is very important to pick murungai keerai. Do not pick any yellow leaves, or any leaves with black ones. The leaves has to be removed nicely from the stems. This is the more time consuming work.


Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Onion Raita

Onion raita is the common raita or pachhadi. In southindian meals, thayir pachadi is part of the meal. Also in northindian meals, they are served as raita. Just the garnishing is different in both of them.
In my house, curd or yogurt is a must after every meal in the day time. I either serve in the form of raita or we take as simple curd. Ofcourse, I prefer home made curd. I do not like that creamy or the sticky flavor of the curd. So I make at home. The store bought yogurt does not taste the same as we get in Aavin. Here, they add guar gum or xanthum gum. So, if you have kids who love to eat curd, then take that little effort to make them at home. You can prepare by boiling the milk in microwave too. Its not much an effort, just the calculation of boiling the milk.

When choosing to prepare onion raita, I always like to use small onions and not the pearl onions. When I was in US, during the initial days, I used to buy the pearl onions and wondered why it tasted different here. Then I started buying shallots. I just love the shallots even for my upma.


Sunday, November 4, 2012

Carrot Almond Gheer

Gheer or Payasam is made on auspisious days, birthdays, & anniversaries. So if you are a 6 member family including grand parents, am sure to prepare payasam at least once a month. I always get bored with vermicilli or rice or poha. So I prepare the carrot badam payasam or beetroot payasam on any one such occasions.

Basically, I am not fond of gheer. When my mom used to prepare gheer, I never have it the same day. But, Sundar is just the other way. He loves gheer, and it gets exhausted very soon. Both my kids love to have gheer. I always make a savory to my craving when all others have the sweet @ my place.



Chilli Parotta | Kothu Parotta

It is more than 18 months since I visited India. When this time gap increases, you begin to crave more for the authentic local dishes, events, and meeting people. You cannot make the events happen here very like it happens in India neither can you have all of them here. At-least, we can prepare the foods we crave for. This way, I have satisfied myself with the road-side foods I eat there.

It is so much fun to be with your friends, watch the road side vehicles, stay in the fresh air. And wait with the watering mouth for the food to be served. Especially, if you are living near the beach side, then you will never like to relocate to any part of the world. The bajjis, sundal, tender coconut, cotton candy, chats, etc., cannot be replaced.




Chilli Parotta is one such food, which brings some nostalgic moments. I was telling all my childhood stories during my preparation to my daughter. Well, I would exaggerate quite many things and she enjoys them.

The easiest way to prepare is to use the frozen parottas. One of my friends, asks me why don't you buy chilli parotta itself from store instead of buy frozen parottas and preparing. I always prefer fresh ones, so I do not even buy the parotta from shop. I preapre at home and store in the fridge and use it the following day or within a week. If you are trying the first time, you can try with frozen parottas.

Paneer Butter Masala | Party style

Let's talk about Paneer Butter Masala today. Not just any kind, the kind that you get in Indian restaurants. Why? Its one of most wanted recipes for almost all of us once in a while.

Sundar likes it so much so do I. Little girl comes frequently to pick a piece of the paneer from the masala. When you hit the search button for paneer butter masala, you get pages and pages of recipe. Almost all will be similar, but not all will give you the taste from the restaurant. 



In most Indian restaurants, dishes are more creamy and have thicker gravy. The reason is very simple - they use cream. Also they use food colors for most of the dishes to get the rich color. When I cook on day to day basis, I do not appreciate both the above. But when you prepare for the party, use of cream enhances the taste.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Preparations for Navaratri

It is Navaratri time, today being the eve to the Navaratri, the Mahalaya Amavasai. Today is the Auspisious day to arrange the Navaratri dolls. This is an important event in India, especially for the women. Colorful dolls and clay statues of Indian Gods, common folk etc are neatly arranged on wooden or steel mounted steps "padis". Varieties of sundal are made on the nine days and neighbors and friends are invited to view the Navaratri and take Thambulam.



It is really great fun to have your friends invited to your home like a get together. Isn't this so close to living in India-having the best of both worlds. I am sure that several other cities that have a siginificant number of
Indians like California, Austin/Dallas in Texas etc have their own Indian community.

Just the word Navaratri calls to my mind the childhood days. We lived in apartment and golu was not kept in all the hosues.  Those navaratri days as a kid with my friend priya, we used to go to all the house on all the days. Sundals from different homes used to be our dinner. If priya looks into this, I'm sure it bring the same nostalgic memories.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Chilled Guacamole Soup

Slowly the sun peeps in the windows and makes and creates a warm climate. I always find hard to wake from my bed whether it is summer or winter. But who wants to miss even a tiny bit of summer. Of-course, not I love to play outside with my kids or with my SH. It is fun in the sun.


I always like to make my foods and recipes season specific at my place. We have soups in winter time and salads in summer. Also insist on low calorie food in winter. I came across this guacamole soup. I am so nuts about Avocado and anything about it. So wanted to try it out and we loved it. My daughter do not like plain avocados, so I made like with less spice for her and more cheesy. You would surely like it, if you are a lover of avocados like us.


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Road-side Serva | Salna | Kurma

The Serva or Salna are usually served with Parottas or very rarely with Biriyanis. And they taste the best only on the road-side shops. The road-side shops serve the serva along with the parottas. They are also served in some country sides in TN. There is a road that goes from venkatnarayana road to T.nagar, a shop opens every night at 9.00 pm. They make wonderful variety of dosas, parottas and some days biriyanis too. In that one of them specializes in vegetarian food.


When I was talking to India, my aunt always watches the recipe program that comes in tamil channel and she makes note of few things. I give it a try, and tell her how it was and let her to try. This was one of that. But it was noted down 4-5 months back. Suddenly when I was surfing around my notepads, I saw this and I tell you it is just easy to try. As it takes basic ingredients which we will have in our daily cooking, so no big preparation is required.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Kerala Parotta

Have you had road side parottas with the gravy called Salna or Serva, have you had beach side bajjis? I just do not care anything around for these parottas or bajjis or even the masala sundal I eat outside. But ofcourse, they do cause some stomach upsets and some allergies too!

My SH just loves this Serva and he has a very big story behind eating serve. Well, he always has stories for everything and my lil girl loves to hear every bit of his story. I have always wondered how could one narrate such creative stories and Hasini has begun to narrate her own stories these days!


The Parottas I made were soft and fluffy. I also prefer not to use the baking soda for my casual cooking. Although, for some preparations like Parotta or rava idli we ought to use, still I excuse the the final texture in not using the baking soda. Here, am posting the recipe with baking soda as that is the usual procedure and if you want you can avoid it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fresh Home baked Bread without Machine

When I step out to buy any grocery, I get confused with too much of options these days. One such confusions comes in choosing the yeast I buy. I wanted to look into what each yeast is for and what major variations they could bring?

Some facts from the web, the particular brand which I buy has these options for the type of yeast to choose;

Cake (moist) - the traditional live yeast; needs to be dissolved in water
Active dry - the traditional dry yeast; needs to be dissolved usually with a bit of sugar
Instant - contains a bit of yeast enhancer (citric acid, maybe some other stuff?) and is possibly more concentrated than active dry; does not need to be dissolved
Bread Machine - exactly the same as instant in a different package
Rapid Rise - larger amount of yeast enhancers and other packaging changes to the granules. Does not have to be dissolved. Works very fast and is intended for straight doughs that you want to complete within an hour or so. Generally not used by artisan bakers who seek slower, not faster, rise.

The confusing part is that some manufacturers reverse the meaning of "instant" and "rapid rise", and vary on which they call "bread machine".


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