Nov 26, 2008

Thanksgiving Feast

Thanksgiving is a wonderful festival here in US. We don't celebrate thanksgiving in India. Of course, we have pongal, the harvest festival. But we all love the long weekend breaks and the sale in various shops, shopping, etc,. In my girls' school, they had a thanksgiving feast on monday. Every year, they used to have this feast for parents and usually the school buy half of the food and the other half, parents bring it. They can make on their own or they can buy from shops and bring it. Its their choice. This year it was pretty different and really encouraging for the parents who like to use their artistic ideas.

They have 4 class rooms in their school. This is 3 year old school opened by an Indian lady. This year, the name of the feast was "All Around the World". Each class room was assigned a country and we have to make dishes from that country and we have to arrange the table so that it goes along with the country's tradition and culture. Winning classroom will be awarded. Italy - this was my girls' classroom theme and they have 8 kids in their classroom and out of which 2 of them were from Italy (grand parents from Italy). I had never made any Italian recipes before and I did not want to mess up the competition. So I told all my other (parent) friends that I will buy Pizza.

Since we are all recovering from the cold, cough and flu, I didn't want to strain myself cooking some new dish for 20 people. One of the kid's grandmother was here and she made all the traditional Italian recipes like Pesto, Walnut-Dates cookies, Almond cookies, and one more chocolate cookie (which I forgot the name) and everything were really yummy. Other parent brought appetizer, me - pizza, other parent got Sphagetti with meatballs. One of the parent wanted to make the Gondola for the table. She really worked hard to make it. she got help from her husband making the side part of the boat, which she attached to the regular table and me and her mom helped her to cover the table with black table cloth, and used the newspapers as water and we covered it with blue table cloth and made it as a boat floating in water.

We used the plain red, white and green table cloth (from dollar shop) for the Italian flag which we hang behind the table, and we asked our kids' class teacher to take print outs of famous cities in Italy, famous personaities from Italy and we pasted it in the flag. Also, we made a small table for the stuff for which the origin is from Italy, like grapes, Zuchini, salami, spaghetti, pasta, ricotta cheese etc., which inspired the judges too. Finally, we won the first prize.

Because of the traditional recipes from Italy and the wonderful Gondola tablescape, we won this All around the world Contest. This was really encouraging and an opportunity for the parents to get to know each other and work as a group. Frankly speaking, I have never met few parents before. But this gave me an opportunity to meet them all and talk to them. Most of all my hubby dear came to the contest and he had taken a day off on monday, because it happened to be our 6th Wedding Anniversary!

Nov 25, 2008

Award has awarded me "Best Recipes Blog of all Time" This is really encouraging. Thanks Alpesh.

Zucchini Kootu

Now a days I have started cooking without using coconut. This is the result of what I tried with zuchini. Here is the recipe.
  1. Zuchini - 1 (chop it into small cubes)
  2. Moong dhall - 1/2 cup
  3. Toor dhall - 1/4 cup
  4. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  5. Salt to taste
  6. Channa Dhall - 1 tbsp
  7. Urad dhall - 2 tsp
  8. Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
  9. Red chillies - 2
  10. Asafoetida powder - a pinch
  11. Oil - 1 tsp
  12. Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  13. Urad dhall - 1/2 tsp (for garnishing)
  14. Curry leaves - few
First, cook both the dhall with a pinch of turmeric powder and keep it aside. In the mean time, fry channa dhall, urad dhall, cumin seeds, red chillies and Asafoetida powder to golden brown and keep it aside. Grind it into a fine paste. Also in a wide pan, put the zuchini pieces, add salt and turmeric powder and let it cook. When it is half cooked, add the grounded paste and add water to adjust the consistency. Let it mix for another 3 mts. Now add the cooked dhall and mix it well. Pre heat the oil in a small pan, splutter mustard seeds, add urad dhall and curry leaves and fry it till golden brown and pour it on top of the kootu. This kootu goes really well with rice and chapathi.

Nov 20, 2008

Tomato Eriseri

This is a recipe I learned from one of my friend's mom here. I like it very much. Here is the recipe.

  1. Green tomato - 2 cup (chop it into small cubes)
  2. Toor dhall - 1/2 cup
  3. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  4. Salt to taste
  5. Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
  6. channa dhall - 1 tsp
  7. Urad dhall - 2 tsp
  8. Red chillies - 2

First cook the toor dhall adding a pinch of turmeric powder and keep it aside. In the mean time, fry, coriander seeds, channa dhall, urad dhall and red chillies to golden brown and let it cool and grind it into a fine paste. In the mean time, cook the green tomatoes to 3/4th, in a wide pan, adding salt and turmeric powder. When it is 3/4th done, add the grounded paste and cooked toor dhall and mix it well and let it cook for another 5 mts. Add water to adjust the consistency. Recipe may sound similar to Sambar. But here we are not using tamarind. If we want we can also add coconut while grinding the paste. In that case, reduce the amount of urad dhall accordingly.

Nov 17, 2008

Shower of Awards

Again a separate post only for awards :).

Jaishree has passed me a whole lot of awards this time. Butterfly Award, Kreative Blogger, Hard Working blogger, cup of friendship, Good job, Inspiration Award. Thats a whole lot Jaishree. Thanks for passing these awards.

Again Jaishree, Gita, Deesha, Vidhas and Pavani has passed me this wonderful Kreative Award
Vidhas, Kitchen Flavours, Pavani has passed me this wonderful360* foodie award.
Gita, Kitchen flavours, Pavani, Jaishree has passed me this Great Buddy Award. Thanks guys. This means a lot to me.
Jaishree has also tagged me. Will post the tag soon Jaishree. Thanks.

I would like to pass this award to all the visitors in my blog.:-)

Nov 14, 2008

Ginger Pulikachal

This receipe comes under hot-hotter-hottest side of cooking. Spicy lovers love to use this pulikachal. This is basically a side dish which can be used with Molagootal or any kind of kootu, curd rice, for dosai... The main ingredients are as follows:-
  1. Ginger - one small cup or 4 table spoon (finely chopped)
  2. Green chillies - 3
  3. Jaggery - 3 table spoon
  4. Tamarind paste - 3 table spoon
  5. Salt to taste
  6. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  7. Sesame Oil - 3 tbsp
  8. Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  9. Urid dal - 1/2 tsp
First take 3 table spoon ginger out of 4 table spoons and green chillies and grind it into a fine paste. Now take a wide pan, pre heat the oil, when it splutters add urid dal, add the remaining 1 tbsp ginger, fry it for a minute. Now add the ginger+chillies paste. Add one or 1 1/2 cups of water. Add turmeric powder salt and tamarind paste to it and let it cook for 10 mts under medium heat. Add jaggery to it after 10 mts and mix every thing well and again let it boil for another 10 mts. When sesame oil comes out of the paste, its time to turn off the stove.

It will be really really hot. If we want we can reduce the number of green chillies. Ginger is good for digestion. Its better to consume a little. We can keep this pulikachal for 10 days under refrigeration.

Nov 11, 2008

Grilled Sandwich with Veggies

First of all thank to all my buddy bloggers who visited my site during my absense. First my husband was sick with flu then I got sore throat and now one of my twin is sick. Couldn't concentrate on my blog for the past one week. One my twin hates to eat veggies. But she likes this grilled cheese sandwich. So I wanted to try adding veggies in it and grill it. Here is the recipe.

  1. Bread slices - 2
  2. cheese singles - 1 (or 2 according to your taste)
  3. Green peas - 1 tsp
  4. Shredded carrot - 1 tsp
  5. Shredded bell pepper - 1 tsp
  6. Spinach - 1 tsp
  7. Black Olives - 4 (chop it finely)

I first toast the bread lightly and add the cheese and on top of cheese just arrange the vegetables and olives. If you are using 2 slices of cheese, then cover the veggies with the second piece now and put the second piece bread slice on top of the veggies (or cheese). Just heat the dosa pan, put toast this sandwich till it becomes golden brown on both sides, keeping a slighly heavy vessel on top of it. I usually use coffee mug to place it on top of the bread slices. Cut it into half and serve it hot with tomato sauce. My little one liked this very much and she started eating veggies now a days. I don't know how long this is gonna help me. I have to think something new before she gets bored with this one (!)

Nov 10, 2008

Brinjal Poricha Kozhambu - Kerala Style

This poricha kozhambu is also a Kerala style kozhambu. In this kozhambu we use Azuki Bean (Black Kaaramani) instead of Toor dal. The main ingredients are as follow..

  1. Black Kaaramani - 3/4 cup (soak it in water for atleast 8 hours)
  2. Tamarind - one small lemon sized
  3. Eggplant/Brinjal - 4 (cut it in an inch size)
  4. Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
  5. Chana dal - 1 tsp
  6. Fresh coconut - 1 tbstp
  7. Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
  8. Red Chillies - 2 (or according to taste)
  9. Asafoetida powder - a pinch
  10. Jaggery - 1 tbsp
  11. Sambar Powder - 1/2 tsp
  12. Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
  13. Salt to taste.
For Seasoning:
  1. Oil - 2 tsp
  2. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  3. fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
  4. Asafoetida - 1 pinch
  5. Curry Leaves - 10 leaves
At first, take a small pan pour a drop of oil and fry Coriander seeds, Channa dal, Red chillies, Fresh coconut and Fenugreek seeds with a pinch of asafoetida powder, to golden brown. Let it cool and grind it into a fine paste. Keep it aside. Cook the Kaaramani in a pressure pan upto 6 whistles. Keep it aside. Now take a wide pan, cut the brinjal, mix the tamarind paste, turmeric powder, sambar powder salt and let it boil(cook) for 10 mts. Now add the coconut paste to it and let it boil for another 5 mts. Now add the cooked Kaaramani and jaggery to it and let it cook for another 7 mts. Turn off the stove now. Take a seasoning pan, pre heat the oil add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, asafoetida and curryleaves and let it fry till golden brown. Now pour it in the poricha Kozhambu. Now poricha kozhambu is ready to serve.

Nov 6, 2008

vatha kozhambu

Another spicy recipe. I always love to eat vatha kozhambu. But now a days because of heart burn, I reduced eating spicy stuff. But this pumpkin vatha kozhambu is my all time favorite. The main ingredients are as follow...
  1. Tamarind - one small lemon sized or 2 tbsp paste
  2. Pumpkin or pearl onion - one small cup (may 10 small cubes)
  3. Tumeric powder - 1/2 tsp
  4. Sambar powder - 1 1/2 tbsp
  5. salt to taste
  6. Sesame oil - 4 tbsp (may need more)
  7. Jaggery - 1 tbsp
  8. mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
  9. urid dal - 1/2 tsp
  10. channa dal - 1/2 tsp
  11. Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
  12. Red chillies - 1 or 2 (acc. to taste)
  13. Asafoetida powder - a pinch
  14. Rice flour - 1 1/2 tsp
Take a wide pan, pre heat 3 tbsp oil, add mustard seeds, when it splutters, add urid dal, channa dal, fenugreek seeds, red chillies and asafoetida powder and fry these ingredient in low flame, to golden brown. Now add the vegetable to it and saute for a minute. Now put the tamarind paste(if you are using tamarind, squeeze out the juice from it and pour it) and add 1 1/2 cup of water to the paste. Add turmeric powder, sambar powder and salt and let it cook for 10 mts. in medium flame. Now add the jaggery to it and again add 1/2 cup of water and let it boil for another 5 to 7 mts. In order to make the consistency thick, now mix the rice flour with a tbsp of water and pour it on top of the kozhambu and also pour the remaining oil. Let it boil for another 3 mts. Now Vatha kozhambu is ready to serve. Serve it hot with rice. Potato curry will be a good side dish for this rice.

Nov 3, 2008

Kids Friendly Chapathi 2

I got a wonderful response for the first kids friendly chapathi I made, from my girls and of course from my buddy bloggers. This is a little more addition to the previous one cos my patti wanted me to give paruppu saadam to my girls without fail and they hate to eat it now a days. Here is the recipe I tried yesterday and my kids love it.

  1. Ingredients:-
  2. Wheat flour - 1 small cup
  3. Salt - a pinch
  4. Sesame oil - 1 tsp
  5. Potato - 1 (if it is small or 1/2 if it is big)
  6. Carrot - 2 ( I used baby carrots)
  7. Raddish - a small piece
  8. Green peas - 2 tbsp
  9. Toor dhall - 2 tbsp (cooked)
Cook all the vegetable and cook the toor dhall separately. Let it cool for sometime. Now mash everything nicely ( I mashed it in my mixie). Now add it to the wheat flour, add salt and make a dough out of it. You may not need water to make it a soft dought. If needed, just sprinkle a little bit of water. Make small balls out of the dough and make small chapathis. Cook it till its soft. Serve it hot adding a teaspoon of ghee on both sides, with tomato sauce. My kids love it and most of all they are consuming vegetables, dhall at one time.

Shower of Awards

Pavani Ramya and Jaishree has passed me this yummiest chocoholic award. Even though I am not a chocoholic, I am really honored to receive this award from you guys. Thanks a ton guys for passing this award.
Sukanya has passed me this wonderful Butterfly award. Thanks Sukanya.

Ramya has also passed me this Hard working food blogger award. Thanks a ton Ramya. I feel really honored to received this award from you.

This is really wonderful to receive a handful of awards from my buddy bloggers. Now I would like to pass this awards to all my fellow bloggers to spend their valuable time in reading my blah blah, everyday. Thanks guys.