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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sapaada Bhakshya


According to the Hindu epics, performing Satya Narayana Vrata brings one happiness, peace and prosperity. It is said that people who observe / attend the worship, hear the sacred story of Satya Narayana Swamy and eats the prasad are relieved from the miseries of the world. The Hindu months of Magha, Karthika, Vaishaka are considered auspicious for the vrata. The vrata is generally observed on pournami (full moon day), ekadashi and surya sankramana days.
In Andhra Pradesh, it is a custom to celebrate this popular vratam after auspicious functions like marriages and gruha praveshams. It is said that you should never leave the pooja with out eating the prasad. Coming to prasad, there are several variations. The most common one in South India is being made of semolina. In one of the versions made at my mother's place, no liquid is added. It is supposed to be dry so that they can share this prasad with other family members / friends later. It stays for months.
Today's version, Sapaada Bhakshya is from Karnataka which uses both semolina and bananas.

Ingredients required:
2/3 cups of Semolina, Sugar, Milk & Ghee
2 Bananas peeled, finely chopped
1/4 cup of raisins and cashews

For an authentic version, use equal quantities of semolina, sugar, milk and ghee in this recipe. I have used 2/3 cup of each ingredient. If you have tasted Satyanarayana pooja prasadam, you would know how almost ghee would be dripping from it. I personally feel that prasadam tastes so 'divine' because of the excess ghee used and 'meagre' servings at the pooja. The quantity of the ghee can be reduced. (If it would have been kesari bhath, I would have used just a Tbsp of ghee).

Cooking:

  • Peel the bananas. Chop them into tiny pieces.
  • Melt the ghee in a deep pan and add cashews and raisins. Toast them till the cashews turn golden brown and raisins turn plump. Remove them with a slotted spoon and save them in a bowl.
  • Now add the chopped bananas to the same ghee and fry them for a few minutes till they change into golden color. By the time, they would have turned mushy, add semolina to the pan and keep roasting till you notice the pleasant aroma.
  • Then add sugar and keep stirring till all the sugar melts and blends into one lump.
  • Add milk and keep stirring till the semolina is cooked.
  • Turn off the stove and add the toasted raisins and cashews to the cooked mixture and stir well.

This goes to JFI - Banana hosted by Mandira of Ahaar.

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Saturday, September 29, 2007

Chicago : From Hancock Observatory

These are some of the pictures taken from the Hancock Observatory, on a foggy evening. Located on Michigan avenue, Chicago - The Hancock Observatory located on 94th floor has spectacular views spanning up to 80 miles and 4 states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan and Wisconsin. In our opinion, Hancock observatory has better views than Sears tower. You see glimpses of downtown Chicago, Michigan lake and Navy Pier in these pictures.
The John Hancock Center is a 100-story, 1,127 ft tall skyscraper. When completed in 1969, John Hancock Center was the tallest building in the world outside New York City. It is the third-tallest skyscraper in Chicago and the fourth-tallest in the United States, after the Sears Tower, the Empire State Building and the Aon Center. This skyscraper was named after its builder the John Hancock Insurance company.
More about the building here and here.


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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Greengram Sprouts Subzi

Here is a simple yet nutritious sprouts subzi which can be prepared in a jiffy. Just for a change, I added sambhar powder to the dish and ended up with a new, delightful flavor. Serve this healthy side dish with rotis / pooris / tortillas.

Ingredients:
Green gram sprouts - 1 cup
One big onion & one tomato, chopped
Sambhar powder - 1 tsp
Chili powder - 3/4 to 1 tsp
Salt
Oil - 1 or 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds & cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp each

Cooking:
Heat oil in a small wok / pan and add mustard and cumin seeds. When mustard seeds start to pop, add onions and fry it till turns translucent and then add tomatoes. Fry till the tomatoes turn into a mush.
Mean while, add a little water to the green gram sprouts and cook them in a MW for a minute or two. Add this cooked sprouts, salt, sambhar & chili powders and a little water to the above tomato - onion mixture. Simmer this mixture on a low to medium flame for a couple of minutes. Turn off the stove. (If you have not cooked sprouts in the MW earlier, cook for somemore time till the sprouts are well cooked).

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Monday, September 24, 2007

Badami Poori

When RCI Karnataka was announced, I had four dishes in mind besides the simple ones I have posted. A couple of my 'the most' favorite dishes and two sweets from Karnataka. I posted 'Bisisbele bhath' from the former category and at last from the latter, is this delicious Kannadiga sihi (sweet) 'Badami Poori'.
Badami poori is triangularly folded sweet bread garnished with dry grated coconut and chopped almonds. I followed my mom's recipe here.
There are a couple of variations to this recipe in the virtual world. One of them is in which almond powder is sprinkled on the rolled out dough and then folded into triangles.


Ingredients:
All purpose flour (Maida) - 1 cup
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Dry coconut grated - 1/4 cup
Almonds, chopped - 2 Tbsp
Cardamom powder - 1 /2 tsp
Crushed saffron - 1 /2 tsp
Ghee - 2 to 3 Tbsp
Little Orange food color (Though badami pooris are orange in color, I haven't used it here)
Oil to fry


Making Badami puris:

  • Combine flour, saffron, food color, ghee in a mixing bowl and rub together well. Then gradually add the water and form a firm dough (as poori dough). Knead the dough for a couple of minutes and keep aside.
  • Add sugar and 3/4 cup of water (Use the same measuring cup for both sugar and water) to a sauce pan or a small vessel. Heat the mixture until the sugar melts and the syrup is slightly sticky to touch on the spoon. Add cardamom powder to the syrup. Turn off the stove.
  • Divide the dough into equal portions and shape each into a small ball. Work with each portion at a time, keeping the rest covered. Take a ball, flatten it a little with your fingers and roll it into a thin circle, 4 -6 inches in diameter. If the dough is sticking while rolling, lightly dust the circle with flour. Fold the rolled out circle into half, press lightly, and again, to form a triangle. Press gently with the rolling pin so that there are no gaps between the layers. Keep aside and roll out triangles in a similar fashion with the rest of the dough.
  • Heat sufficient oil in a deep frying pan. Drop a pea sized dough into the oil and if it sizzles and immediately comes to the surface of the oil, then the temperature of the oil is the right one to fry the pooris. Carefully slide a triangle into the hot oil and fry it on medium flame till it turns golden brown on both sides. Repeat with the rest of rolled out triangles. If pan can hold more triangles, fry more at the same time. Remove the poori with a slotted spoon.
  • As soon as you take a poori from the oil, dip it in the sugar syrup for about a minute so that the poori is covered with syrup through out. Remove them from sugar syrup and arrange on a serving plate. (The pooris can be drained in a perforated container to remove the excess syrup). Sprinkle some grated dry coconut and chopped almonds on top of each poori.


This goes to RCI - Karnataka hosted by Asha of 'Foodie's hope'.

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Thursday, September 20, 2007

A Couple of Kosumbaris from Karnataka



Kosumbari (Kosumbri) from Karnataka is sort of a salad prepared primarily with carrots / cucumbers / beans like chana dal, moongdal, green gram. Simple, healthy kosumbaris are an integral part of any festive meal. Food served on such ocassions always starts with kosumbaris and usually two varieties of kosumbaris are present.
Dal kosumbaris are also served at temples as prasadam and are shared with friends / neighbors on Sri Rama navami day.

CARROT KOSUMBARI

Crunchy carrots coupled with coconut are lightly seasoned and lemon juice is added to bring out slight tanginess in the dish. Kosumbari makes a delicious salad on it's own and carrot kosumbari can be eaten with rotis as well.

You need:
Two large carrots, ends cut, peeled and grated
Fresh, grated coconut - 1/4 cup
2 small green chillies finely chopped
Few curry leaves
Finely chopped cilantro - 1 Tbsp
Oil - 1 Tbsp
Mustard seeds & Chanadal - 1 tsp each
Juice from a small lime / lemon

You do:
Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and chana dal. When chanadal starts to turn red, add green chillies and curry leaves. Saute for a minute and turn off the stove. Then add grated coconut, carrot, cilantro and lime juice to the pan and mix well.

KADALE BELE (CHANADAL) KOSUMBARI


Ingredients:
Chanadal - 1/2 cup
Grated fresh coconut - 1/4 cup
Grated carrots - 1/4 cup (optional. You can even add finely diced cucumbers instead)
Finely chopped cilantro - 1 Tbsp
Oil - 2 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
2 finely chopped, small, green chillies
A pinch of asafoetida
Juice from half a lime / lemon

Preparation: Soak chanadal in water for a couple of hours and drain all the water. Add coconut, carrot and cilantro.
Heat oil in a small pan and add mustard seeds. When they start to pop add chillies and asafoetida. Let it remain for a few seconds. Remove this and add to the chanadal mixture.
Squeeze the lemon juice over the mixture and stir well.


This goes to RCI - Karnataka hosted by Asha of Foodie's Hope. RCI was created by Lakshmi of VeggieCusine.

Also see Moongdal - Cucumber Kosumbari

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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Eggplant - Onion Chutney / Vankaya - Ullipaya Pachchadi

When preparing Andhra style Pachchallu (Chutneys), I find eggplants more versatile. They can be prepared alone or with other vegetables to bring on different, new flavors to the table each time.
In today's recipe eggplants are paired with onions and this is a mouth watering fusion of all flavors. Serve this with some hot rice and a tsp of ghee or as a relish along with Indian breakfasts, it tastes fabulous. This recipe is my SIL's and it turned out an excellent accompaniment to Tomato pooris.


You need:
6 purple, round brinjals/eggplants chopped into medium sized pieces or two cups of chopped eggplant.
One onion, finely chopped
Red chillies - 12
Coriander seeds - 1 Tbsp
Urad dal - 1 Tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds (Methi) - 1/4 tsp
A little asafoetida powder
Jaggery powdered - 1 tsp
Tamarind extract - 4 tbsp - 1/4 cup (depending upon the sourness you prefer)
Salt
Oil
Preparation:

  • Wash the eggplants and wipe them dry. Chop them into medium sized pieces.
  • Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a saute pan and add the chopped eggplants to it. Fry them on low to medium heat till they are done.
  • Heat two tsp of oil in a small pan and add urad dal and mustard seeds. When urad dal start to turn slightly red, add coriander seeds, red chillies and asafoetida. When coriander seeds start to turn brown and urad dal, fenugreek seeds have turned red, turn off the stove and transfer them to a plate.
  • Heat another Tbsp of oil in the same pan and add finely chopped onions and fry them till they turn translucent.
  • Now add the fried eggplant, spices, jaggery and required amount of salt to a blender and blend to a coarser consistency with out adding water. Then add onions and whizz/run the blender so that the onions are just blended with the eggplant mixture. You don't want the onions to get pureed.
  • Remove and serve with hot rice and tsp of ghee or as a relish.
Note: If you need to add water to blend the chutney, transfer the contents to a pan and fry it on low heat for five to ten minutes.
For a tangy, spicy variation, see Eggplant - Green mango chutney.

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

Poha / Avalakki Bisibele Bhath


Bisibelebhath, this one wholesome dish from the sandal wood land, Karnataka needs no introduction. It is a perfect combo of carbohydrates, protiens, vitamins and minerals thrown into one dish. Here is a variation of this dish from the regular version. Bisi (hot)-bele(lentils)-huli(tanginess from the tamarind) -anna (cooked rice) or bisibelebhath (as called in the rest of India) is usually prepared using rice, lentils, vegetables and powdered spices. In this version, rice is replaced by avalakki / poha. Sometimes I even replace the lentils with moongdal. Though moongdal - poha combo tastes great, I prefer toordal to moong variety because of the familiar flavor. Toordal taste seems more right in this dish, as my mom always prepares it with toordal.


Ingredients:
Thick Poha - 1.5 cups
Toordal - 1.5 cups
Chopped vegetables - 2 cups ( Don't chop the veggies too fine. I have used a potato, two carrots, some green beans and peas)
Two Tomatoes (I use them instead of tamarind)
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt
Ghee - 3 Tbsp
Cashews - 1 tbsp
Few curry leaves
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp

For bisibelebhath masala : (This ingredients will give you two servings of masala powder. You can use half of it each time. You can also add grated, dry coconut to this list of ingedients).
Chanadal - 3 Tbsp
Uraddal - 1.5 Tbsp
Coriander seeds - 1.5 Tbsp
Red Chillies - 13
Moggu - 2
Cloves - 2
1x1 inch Cinnamon pieces - 4 to 6
Oil - 2 tsp


Preparation:
Wash the toordal with water and drain all the water. Put the toordal, vegetables, whole tomatoes, turmeric powder into a pressure cooker. Add sufficient water and cook till you hear one whistle.
Alternatively, you can cook it in a big pot. See that there is sufficient amount of water till the dal is cooked soft. Keep stirring in between.
Mean while, heat oil in a small pan and add chanandal and uraddal. When they start to turn red, add the remaining ingredients and fry them till the dals turn completely red and coriander seeds turn brown. Switch off the stove and let them cool. Then grind them into a fine powder using a spice grinder or blender. If you think, your blender cannot grind this because of the oil, dry fry the ingredients with out the oil.
Wash the poha twice with plenty of water and drain all the water. Cover the lid and leave it for 10 minutes. It would be ready. If you get real thick poha as in India, you can soak it in water for 10 minutes and then drain the water.
When the valve pressure is gone, remove the lid of the cooker. Mash the tomatoes with the back of the ladle. Add the salt, half of the masala powder and poha. Adjust the quantity of the water as required and let it simmer for about 10 minutes.
Heat the ghee in a small pan and add mustard seeds, cashews and curry leaves. When cashews turn golden brown and mustard seeds start to pop, turn off the stove and add this to toordal and poha mixture .
Serve hot with a spoon of ghee and papads.

Variation:
Use Moongdal instead of toordal in the above recipe.
Use Cracked wheat instead of rice / poha.

This goes to RCI - Karnataka hosted by Asha of Foodie's hope.

"HAPPY GANESHA CHATURTHI" to everyone.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Toasting / Roasting Nuts, Dals, Flours & Spices In Microwave


After that oil free roasting of papads and fryums, here is another post about the toasting / roasting stuff I do in the microwave.
Indian cooking involves roasting / toasting / dry frying the ingredients, when it comes to some preparations. While we roast chana and urad dals for a South Indian chutney powder, cumin and coriander seeds are powdered to go with North Indian dishes. While toasted moongdal tastes great for preparations of savoury and sweet

Pongals, toasted peanuts and dalia taste best in chutneys. Lightly toasted rice and all purpose flours make great snacks like Kodbale, while toasted besan is used to make delicious desserts like Mysore pak or Besan laddu. Toasted semolina, cornmeal, vermicelli make great Upmas and desserts. The list goes on. Traditionally all these are done on stove top. I usually use microwave when toasting in small quantities and here is how.
Please note that the following information is to give just an idea about toasting some Indian ingredients and toasting times in a MW. The timings may vary depending upon the microwaves and the quantities of ingredients used. I have provided the toasting times for a 1/4 cup ingredients. Always keep an eye on the MW during the whole process, if you are attempting toasting for the first time.

WHAT:
I toast those ingredients which I have mentioned here.

HOW:
Place the ingredient you want to toast in a flat microwave safe dish and microwave on high. It is very important to keep stirring the ingredients at regular intervals for uniform toasting.

Some of the MW toasted ingredients. Click on the image for a better view.

ROASTING DALS:
When it comes to chutneys, chutney powders, some dry spicy powders and other dishes, roasting the dals till they turn golden brown is an usual thing. In MW, the dals like toordal, chanadal, moongdal and uraddal take around 3 minutes to brown while for the roasted chickpeas (dalia / pappulu) it would take a couple of minutes of toasting. (Roasted chick peas don't require browning).

Toasted dals

TOASTING NUTS & SPICES:
Toasted nuts are crispier, crunchier and taste better. While almonds take around two and half minutes, pistachios are done in about 75 seconds. With peanuts, if you are planning to make chutney, toast them for about five minutes. If you are planning to eat them as a snack, 2 to 3 minutes is enough.

Some toasted nuts and coconut

While cumin seeds take around 4 minutes, coriander seeds brown in a couple of minutes. Sesame seeds turn crisp in about two and half minutes but need around eight minutes to brown. Frozen coconut can be toasted golden brown in seven minutes. Red chillies take less than a minute to get crisp.

Toasted spices

TOASTING FLOURS:
Toasting flours is a common thing when you are planning Indian savoury dishes or sweets. Semolina, vermicelli and cornmeal are always toasted before using.
While semolina and cornmeal take four to four and half minutes of toasting, vermicelli and cracked wheat need about a couple of minutes. Besan needs around seven minutes to release it's pleasant aroma. I just warm the rice flour and all purpose flour for a couple of minutes.

By experimenting, probably most of the ingredients we use in kitchen can be toasted in a MW.

This goes to Microwave Easy Cooking - Basics event hosted by Srivalli of 'Cooking 4 all seasons'.

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Monday, September 10, 2007

Roasting Papads & Fryums in the Microwave


Though papads are fried in a traditional Indian kitchen, I roast them in a microwave. Thanks to my husband who learnt this oil free roasting from some of his former roommates. Obviously, it is a healthier version than the oil - fry method and so I am following it gladly, from many years. Some of the types of papads I roast in MW are pictured below.

Upper row - Appadalu/Papad, Fryums, Wheat Fryums
Lower row - Mini papads, Fryums, Uraddal vadiyalu

Place a flat, microwave safe dish / paper plate in a microwave and arrange papads / fryums with enough space in between them so that they have space to expand. I usually place two or three large papads at a time. Small sized papads, fryums and other such stuff may be roasted in large quantities at once. Microwave on high till they are done.

It will take about 25 seconds for mini papads and wheat fryums pictured below.

Usually it will take a minute per batch for original size papads (Bigger ones) and colored fryums.

If you are trying minapappu vadiyalu (urad dal fritters, the darker shade ones in the picture), it would take around 40 seconds.

Microwave roasted papads & fryums

Since microwave strengths vary, the roasting time may decrease or increase. If you are following this method for the first time, be sure to keep a watchful eye on the papads during the whole process. A few seconds more will almost over brown them and they will have a burnt taste.
And I would
NOT recommend this method for saggubiyyam vadiyalu (sabudana papad / fritters) and atukula vadiyalu (poha papad / fritters). (Pics below)

Unfried sabudaana & poha papads

(I have used the word 'Papad' both for appadalu (Happala) and vadiyalu (sandige). I have no idea what Andhra vadiyalu are called in Hindi. I have noticed in shops that sabudaana and the rice flour variety vadiyalu are sold under the name papad. Hence I have used 'Papad' liberally.)

This goes to Microwave Easy Cooking- Basics event hosted by Srivalli of 'Cooking 4 all seasons'.

Update: As you see, sabudana papads can be toasted in Microwave. They are done in about 30 seconds. Our home made sabudana papads contain green chillies and when they are toasted in MW, we can feel (the rawness of) green chillies burning our food passage. This is avoided by regularly frying them in oil. With poha fritters, (as you can see in the picture) even before the out side is done, the inner portion starts to burn and smoke. Poha fritters and MW don't get along.

Back Row - Sabudana papad
Front row - Poha papad

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Friday, September 7, 2007

Red Chori Bean Sprouts Usli

Usli, a protein rich snack is usually prepared using soaked and cooked dry beans or sprouts. My mom used to make usli / guggillu with various beans for a quick evening snack. Based on that, I made a nutritious, sprouted red chori bean usli which you can put together in around 5 minutes (if you have sprouts ready).

Red chori bean sprouts

You need:
Red chori beans sprouts - 1 cup
Fresh grated coconut / frozen coconut, thawed - 1/4 cup
Medium sized green chillies, finely chopped - 2
Oil - 2 tsp
Chanadal - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Few curry leaves
Salt
Juice from half a lime / lemon (optional)

Red chori bean usli

Preparation:
Heat oil in a small pan, add chanadal and mustard seeds. When chanadal turn red, add chillies and curry leaves and stir them for a few seconds.
Next add sprouts, coconut and salt to the pan, stir the whole mixture and saute them for a couple of minutes before turning off the stove.
Drizzle with lemon juice, if using.
Serve hot.

This goes to RCI-Karnataka hosted by Asha of Foodie's hope.

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Thursday, September 6, 2007

Mosaravalakki & Sihi Avalakki

I am posting a couple of poha (beaten rice) recipes from Karnataka. A few poha dishes are usually prepared on Krishnastami day, Lord Krishna's birthday. Butter, yogurt, milk, poha are said to be his favorites and hence delicious dishes with some of these ingredients are prepared on the auspicious day. While sihi avalakki is a sweet dessert prepared using poha, mosaravalakki is prepared using yogurt and poha. I had posted previously some other dishes like Paalakaayalu, Rava laddu, Gojjavalakki which are prepared on Sri Krishnastami.

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SIHI AVALAKKI

Sihi - Sweet and Avalakki - Poha in Kannada.
My mom usually used to make this sweet version of poha for a quick, evening snack. This actually needs no cooking. You just mix up all the ingredients and end up with a dessert after a few minutes of waiting.


Ingredients to make sihi avalakki:
1 cup thin poha
1/2 cup powdered jaggery
1/2 cup grated fresh coconut
1/2 tsp cardamom powder
A few raisins

Note: This dish is subtly sweet. You can increase the amounts of coconut and jaggery according to your tastes.

Preparation:
Usually, thin poha (paper avalakki) is used to make this sweet dish. If using thin poha, mix all the ingredients lightly in a bowl, cover and let it rest for some time for the flavors to blend. The coconut moistens the poha and makes it softer.
The thick variety poha (gatti avalakki) available here in USA is lot different than the one we get in India. It becomes kind of mush with little soaking. I sometimes substitute 'this' thick poha to make this sihi avalakki. If using this poha, wash it twice with water to remove any impurities and drain all the water. Cover and leave it for five minutes. Then add all the remaining ingredients and let it rest for 10 minutes for the infusion of flavors.

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MOSARAVALAKKI

Mosaru is curds / yogurt and Avalakki is poha in Kannada. Mosaravalakki, as the name suggests is poha mixed with yogurt and is well popular in Karnataka. This also needs no cooking unless you are planning to make the dish more colorful and spicy. Though thick yogurt (the kind which you can slice with a knife) is preferred to make this, I have opted for home made yogurt using 1% milk. You just add yogurt and a dash of salt to the (well soaked and water drained) poha and you end up with a no fuss kind of quickie breakfast. Or for a flavorful tindi (that's what you call breakfast in Kannada), add some seasoning to the poha - yogurt mixture as below.

Ingredients to make mosaravalakki:
2 cups poha
1.5 - 2 cups of yogurt
Green chillies - 1
Grated ginger - 1/2 tsp
Freshly grated coconut - 4 Tbsp
Mustard seeds, chanadal & urad dal - 1 tsp each
Few curry leaves
Chopped cilantro
salt to taste
Oil - 2 / 3 tsp


Preparation:
The thick variety poha is used to make this dish. The poha available in India (as I have seen in South) needs more soaking (10 - 15 minutes). The variety available here in USA needs no soaking. Wash the poha twice and drain all the water. Let it sit covered for five minutes. Then add yogurt, coconut, ginger, cilantro and salt to the poha.
Mean while heat the oil in a small pan and add chanadal, urad dal and musatrd seeds to the oil, in that order. When the dals turn red, add green chillies and curry leaves. Saute for a few seconds more and turn off the stove.
Add this seasoning to the poha yogurt mixture and mix well.
Serve immediately. If using later, refrigerate it to avoid the yogurt go sour.

I am sending this to two events.
It goes to 'Sri Jayanthi' event hosted by Latha of 'The Yum Blog' & also to 'RCI - Karnataka' hosted by Asha of 'Foodie's hope'.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Badami Haalu (Badam Milk) & Awards



Almonds are valued for their healthy properties besides their unique, delicate flavor and crunch. Nutritionally, almond is the most dense nut which is rich in vitamin E and mono unsaturated fats. High in protein and low in carbohydrates, these nuts are best even for a low calorie diet. There are several ways to include almonds in one's diet. Of course eating a handful of raw nuts, is the simplest.
Among my personal favorites, here is one nourishing, wholesome drink prepared using almonds and milk called badami haalu (badam milk). This is a popular one in Karnataka.
Nutritious, delicious and refreshing - that's what badam milk is to sum up. A hot drink on a cold winter day or a chilled one on a sultry day - it fits the bill either way.


Ingredients:
Almonds (badami, badam pappu) - 1/4 cup
Milk - 2 & 1/2 cups
Sugar 3 Tbsp
Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
Saffron strands - 10

Preparation:
There are no hard and fast rules about the quantity of almonds you use to prepare this drink. You can reduce or increase them according to your preference. I have used whole milk. You can add 2% milk or replace half the quantity of milk with evaporated milk for the extra richness.
  • Soak the almonds in hot water for 15 - 30 minutes. Then peel the skins of the almonds. (I usually bring water to a rolling boil, add almonds and then turn off the stove. This way, almonds need about 1o minutes of soaking to remove the skins. Also, removing the skins is optional. If you don't want to remove the skins, skip this step).
  • While the almonds are soaking, heat the milk, powder the cardamom and soak the saffron in a little hot milk for about 1o minutes.
  • Grind the almonds and saffron smooth, adding milk as needed.
  • Add this ground paste, sugar and cardamom powder to the milk and stir well, till the sugar is dissolved.
  • This can be served hot or chilled.

This one goes to RCI - Karnataka hosted by Asha of Foodie's hope. the original creator of RCI event is LakshmiK of Veggie Cuisine.

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Now on a special note, Many many thanks to dear friends TBC , Roopa, Bharathy & Kribha who have been generous enough to think I deserve these. Bharathi honored me with both. Ladies, thank you for this wonderful gesture.


"The Power of Schmooze Award is for bloggers who “effortlessly weave their way in and out of the blogosphere, leaving friendly trails and smiles, happily making new friends along the way. They don’t limit their visits to only the rich and successful, but spend some time to say hello to new blogs as well. They are the ones who engage others in meaningful conversations, refusing to let it end at a mere hello - all the while fostering a sense of closeness and friendship.”


These awards go to every blogger I have met in the virtual world, who are unique and special in their own ways.

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