Thursday, July 24, 2008

This is what I woke up to last weekend.....
The misty mountains of Coonoor

No vacation is complete without good food....

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Drumstick leaves(Muringa ila) dal

Drumstick leaves are super healthy and packed with a variety of nutrients. I have given these leaves the royal ignore when I had them rampantly growing in my backyard. Now that i can't just walk out of the house and pluck them off the tree, I seem to have become suddenly aware of how good they are for health and end up buying them whenever I see them in the market.To make dal with drumstick leaves, you need:

Drumstick leaves (DUH!!!) - 1 cup, washed
Channa dal - 1/2 cup
Whole green gram dal - 1/2 cup
Onion - 1 chopped
Garlic - 3 or 4 pods, chopped
Green chilli - 2, minced
Ginger - a small piece, chopped
Carrot - 1, grated
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala - 3/4 tsp

Cook all the ingredients along with sufficient water in a pressure cooker until 4-5 whistles. Adjust consistency to your liking by either adding more water once cooked or if you feel there is too much water, boil it for a few minutes until it reaches the desired consistency.
Serve hot with rotis.

  • This is a highly adaptable recipe. You can add any veggie of your choice to make it more flavourful and healthy. You can also try out different combinations of dal. You can use all green gram dal or a combo of masoor+channa+green gram.....
  • It tastes even better the next day once the flavours have had some time to blend in.
This is my entry to Mansi's Healthy Cooking event and to Sangeeth's Eat Healthy Protein Rich event.

What makes this recipe healthy???
  1. Drumstick Leaves - A rich repository of nutrients including iron, Vitamin A, calcium, phosphorous, and antioxidants.
  2. 0 tsp oil/fat
  3. Protein rich lentils.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

It's not food but it's been on my mind lately

  • Why do most women insist on babying the men in their lives even though the men are usually much older???
  • Why do they act as if their sole purpose in life is to carry out the whims and fancies of their husband/boyfriend/whatever???
  • Why does it make me mad when I see perfectly intelligent women let their lives revolve around deciding on what their husband should wear to work and then go about happily laying out his clothes. C'mon Iam sure it won't kill him to take his own clothes out of the wardrobe or to make himself(and you) a cup of coffee.
  • Why do people give out unsolicited advise??? Is there some law out there which I am not aware of that says that you should butt into things that just aren't your concern in any way? Oh.....and if you have a are done for.....literally everyone from the watchman to the corporation worker who sweeps the road will have some gyan for you.
  • Why do some people think that the purpose of a "No entry" board is to give them a stretch of road on which they can test their bike's maximum acceleration???
Edited to add: A lot of you wanted to know what brought this on.......The answer to that is both simple and complex.....observing the way a lot of people I know have changed is one of the reasons.....the other is the fact that people tell me Iam "lucky" to have a husband who helps out around the home and with the kid. What has luck got to do with it??? Why is it my "duty" to do things while it is my "luck" to have a partner who willingly shares my chores???

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Easy breezy wheat halwa

When you hear the words wheat/godambu halwa, what do you think of???
Quite likely, you are reminded of your grandma or mother stirring the mixture for hours together in a heavy iron kadai while the aroma swirled around the household tantalisingly. While they sweated and toiled, you stood around waiting for them to finish so you lick the spoon clean once they were done.
Now, what if I were to tell you that you could recreate the same taste and smell without really breaking your back? No, don't look sceptical....I really do mean it.
In my kitchen, I always look for ways and means to make cooking less of a chore and more of a fun thing....I try and make things simpler without compromising on the taste. Here's how you can make wheat halwa with minimum stirring and maximum taste....

What you need:
Samba wheat rava(the kind with fine grains) - 1 cup
Ghee - 3 tbsp
Food colour - a pinch(I used red)
Fried cashew (optional)

Soak wheat rava in plenty of water for 30 minutes. Drain the water. Take the rava in a juicer or blender. Add a glass of water and blend to extract milk. Strain and keep this milk aside. Repeat this process three times. Let the milk stand undisturbed for 30 minutes. Gently pour away the water that would have collected on top by then and measure the thick milk that would have settled at the bottom. For every cup of milk that you have, add 3 cups of sugar and 3 cups of water.
Stir well and cook in a pressure cooker until one whistle. Then mix well and transfer the contents to a large microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high heat for 30 minutes.....making sure that you stop and mix the halwa gently every five minutes. Be careful when you do this 'coz the mixture does tend to bubble and release a lot of steam. The time taken could vary depending on your keep a close watch to see when it is done.
Garnish with fried cashews.
At this point, you can cut this into dainty little squares or triangles or whatever shape you fancy.....I choose to leave it as is and just scoop it up with a spoon everytime I pass by.This halwa is made for the lovely duo who came up with Open Sesame 2.