Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Baked brinjal crisps

This recipe, if I may call it that, is so simple that I wasn't sure if I should post it. It has been in my drafts for a very long time. The inspiration for this dish is a post by Srivalli ages back. It is something that my little girl loves to munch on and so I thought it would be the perfect way to end this month's blogging marathon in which my chosen theme is Kids Delight.

What you need:
Brinjal/eggplant - washed and dried individually
Red chilli powder
Oil - a little, just enough to lightly coat the sliced brinjals

Slice the brinjals into thin circles. In a large mixing bowl, toss it with the salt, chilli powder and oil. Arrange the slices in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Microwave on high for 6-7 minutes, turning over once midway.

Microwave times and powers please keep a close watch as the brinjals get done.
The fact that I only have a "before" photo should tell you how good and addictive this is. I had no crisps left to click an "after" photo.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other marathoners doing BM#16.
This post goes to Smitha who is hosting Kids' Delight this month 

Monday, May 28, 2012

Roasted peanuts

There is no person who does not wish to relive childhood, to go back to that golden age where everything was fun and frolic. What makes childhood so special, irrespective of the circumstances that you grew up in? I believe that memories have a large part to play in this. There are so many pleasures of childhood that we forget as we grow up.........we no longer have time to just be - to 'stand and stare'.

I was just transferring a newly bought packet of peanuts into a jar when I suddenly remembered the kappalandikkaran (literally translates into peanut man) who used to be eagerly awaited every evening. He was a wizened old man who came on the dot at five every evening, pushing his peanut cart. A bell on the cart, rung every now and then would alert all the kids in the households that he was on his way. The cart was set up with everything that he needed to supply freshly roasted peanuts to eager, shiny eyed kids. There was a stove on the end closest to him. On top of it was a large, broad pan filled with sand. On top of the sand was a thick, heavy iron kadai on which he tossed and turned peanuts with a little bit of salt sprinkled on top. Next to the stove was a bunch of old newspapers cut into neat squares. These would be deftly rolled out into cones even as the kids looked on with glee, and filled with hot, sand-roasted peanuts. All this for 50 paise. Time went on and the old man couldn't be seen on the streets anymore. He probably fell ill or passed away. I had all but forgotten about this simple eat that had given me so much happiness as a child.
Luckily, at some point, I started thinking about all this and even told my daughter about this treat that my grandfather would buy for me every evening. And then, while she watched, I put my kadai on the gas stove, threw in a handful of peanuts, sprinkled some salt over it and toasted them over a slow fire for 12-15 minutes until they were well browned. Then, she rolled some old newspaper into cones and I filled them with hot peanuts for her.

As I type this, she is munching on those peanuts.....and making happy memories.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other marathoners doing BM#16.
This post goes to Smitha who is hosting Kids' Delight this month 

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Green peas uttappam

I try to add as many veggies as possible to everyday dishes, so that they look colorful and are nutritious.

What you need:
Dosa batter
Cooked sprouted green peas - 1 cup
Tomato - 1, large, chopped fine
Curry leaves - a handful, chopped fine
Corriander/Cilantro leaves - a handful, chopped fine.

Mix the cooked peas, tomato, curry leaves and cilantro with some salt in a large mixing bowl.
Heat a dosa pan/griddle. Spread a ladleful of batter in a thick circle. Spoon about 3-4 tsps of the veggie mixture over the batter. Drizzle some oil over this. Cook on a medium flame till the underside turns brown.

Flip over, reduce the flame and cook for a minute or two.
Serve hot with chutney of your choice.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other marathoners doing BM#16.
This post goes to Smitha who is hosting Kids' Delight this month 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Bajra Vermicelli Upma

Cooking in summer is all about spending as little time as possible in the hot kitchen. It is about making one pot meals that are nutritious, filling and quick to make. This bajra(pearl millet) vermicelli upma is one such dish that can be made with minimal effort.

What you need:
Bajra (pearl millet) vermicelli - 1 pkt (180 gms)
Onion - 1, chopped fine
Green chilli - 2, minced
Ginger - a one inch piece, julienned
Sprouted green peas - cooked, 1/4 cup
Peanuts - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Oil - 1 tbsp
Broken Urad dal -  1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - a handful

Soak the vermicelli in plenty of water for a minute. Drain and transfer to a perforated pan. Steam cook for 5 minutes. Set aside.
Heat oil in a pan. Add the urad and mustard seeds. When the seeds pop, add the curry leaves, green chilli and ginger. Saute on low heat for a minute. Add the peanuts and fry till they start to brown. Now add the onion and saute till translucent. Stir in the green peas and heat for a minute. Add the cooked vermicelli and salt. Stir well and heat for a minute or two.
Serve hot with pickle and curd or with any chutney of your choice.

Note : If you live in or are visiting Coimbatore, Bajra vermicelli is available in Kannan Department Store, which also stocks other varieties like Wheat vermicelli and tomato vermicelli. The tomato vermicelli tastes really good too. 
Veggies like carrot, beans, potatoes can be added to the upma to make it more nutritious. My little one love peas and I happened to have sprouted green peas on hand which is why it has been added.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other marathoners doing BM#16.
This post goes to Smitha who is hosting Kids' Delight this month 

Friday, May 25, 2012

Cucumber snake

Making children eat nutritious food is a humongous task. Here is a fun way to get your kids involved in making something that looks interesting....and since they "made" it, they will be tempted to eat it too.

What you need:
Cucumber slices - cut into half moons (cut a circle and then cut it into half)
Arrange cucumber slices as shown in the picture. Cut two thin slivers of tomato to make a forked tongue and use a pepper corn for the eye. That's it.....sprinkle some salt on it if your kiddo likes it that way, stand back and enjoy the glee on their face.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other marathoners doing BM#16.
This post goes to Smitha who is hosting Kids' Delight this month

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Panakam - a traditional summer cooler

The older generations truly are wise.....they have come up with recipes that use locally and seasonally available ingredients that have a host of health benefits. Panakam is one such drink that is cools the body while at the same time providing us with much needed energy and minerals (mainly iron).
I associate this drink with Sri Rama Navami - the birthday of Sri Rama, believed by Hindus to be the seventh incarnation of Vishnu. On the nine days preceding and culminating in Sri Rama Navami, the Rama temple in our town would be at its festive best. A temple chariot would be taken out every day and pulled by devotees around the town, with regular stops made at all the homes on the way. Each home would make offerings to the God. Panagam is one of the offerings that is popularly made. Not only is it supposed to be a favourite with the God, it also works as a great thirst quencher for all the people who pull the chariot and for the devotees who have traveled long distances to see the festivities. It is usually made in huge steel vessels and served to all passersby after being offered to the Lord.

What you need:
Jaggery - powdered/grated - 1 cup
Water - 6 cups (adjust depending on how sweet you want the drink to be)
Dry ginger powder/chukku podi - 1 tsp

Making this drink is a breeze. All that you have to do is mix all the ingredients well and then chill for a few hours. That's it - a healthy, nourishing and all natural thirst quencher and summer cooler is ready.

This is my first post for Blogging Marathon #16, themed on Kids' Delight - What kids love for summer. It goes to Smitha who is hosting Kids' Delight this month. This also goes to Sangee's Show me your HITS-Iron rich foods, being hosted this month at Erivum Puliyum.
Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other marathoners doing BM#16.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Ragi Adai for a Virtual Bridal Shower

Blogging brings us close to so many people. People that we have never met face to face become virtual friends.....we share our joys and sorrows with them.
Aarthi of Yummy Tummy is one such blogger buddy who has an amazing collection of recipes with detailed step-by-step instructions and pictures. She is getting married later this month and the Blogging Marathon team is holding a virtual bridal shower for her. What better way to show her how much we appreciate her than by cooking a dish from her blog? I have followed her recipe almost to the T, except for a few small changes.
Aarthi, this is for you......Wish you a very happy married life.

Ragi Adai - What you need:
Ragi(finger millet in English) flour - 1 cup
Water - 1.5 cups
Salt - to taste
Oil - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Broken urad dal - 1 tsp
Green chilli - 2, finely chopped
Onion - 1, finely chopped
Carrot - 1, grated
Curry leaves - a few, chopped

Heat oil in a pan. Add the urad dal and mustard seeds. When the seeds pop, add curry leaves, green chilli and onion. Saute on a low flame till the onions turn translucent. Add carrot and saute till soft. Now add water and salt and bring it to a boil. Reduce the flame and add the ragi flour little by little, stirring continuously to ensure that no lumps are formed. Keep stirring until it comes together to form a firm, soft dough.
Set aside to cool.
Oil a plastic cover.
Take a  small ball of the dough and pat it into a circle on the oiled plastic sheet. Heat a tawa. Transfer the patted adai on to the tawa. Cook on medium flame until the under side turns a dark, glossy brown. This takes about a minute. Turn over and cook the other side too until dark brown.

Serve hot with any tangy, spicy chutney.