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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Kandi Pachadi / Lentils Chutney

This is an example to show that Andhra people can make pickles / chutneys out of anything and everything. The list of ingredients used to prepare this chutney is rather simple and the main ingredient in this chutney happens to be kandipappu / toor dal / lentils. I used to prepare it quite often in my early cooking days as it was a fool proof recipe among the list of chutney recipes I had. I did not have the need to wreck my head over whether all the flavors balanced when it came to this chutney as it had no souring agents nor the sweetener. I just would blindly follow my mother's recipe to the tee.

Lentils / Toor dal - 1/2 cup
Dried red chillies - 4/5
Cumin seeds / Jeera - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
For tadka:
1 tsp oil
1/4 tsp cumin seeds

* Dry fry the dal on slow - medium flame till they turn golden brown / red. Turn off the stove and add cumin seeds and chillies to the dal. (The cumin and chillies turn crisp and would easily grind.) Let them cool.
* Grind the dal, jeera, salt and chillies adding enough water. It should be not very watery or dry. It should be somewhere in between.
* The tadka is optional. Heat oil and add the cumin seeds. When they crackle and turn brown, remove and add to the ground chutney. 
* Mix the chutney well and serve with hot rice and ghee.

Monday, February 26, 2007

French Beans and Indian Beans In a Sabji

Once you become a mother, you get self appointed to the post of a samurai for your pint sized royalty. You vow to take care of them emotionally and physically. You shower all your love and affection and try to be there when ever they need help. You want to be the guardian angel and you assume your kid is going to do the best because he is your kid. Even when the kid is not out of his crib, he would have reached dizzying heights in his life / career in your vision.
You want to keep them healthy and strong. You keep on searching in all possible ways to know anything and everything you need to know about health. To do so, you (think you) have to make right choices for them. You are going to install right eating habits in them from the child hood. In this mission, you expect your dear kid to eat all those which you consider healthy. It does not matter how many times you had to alter the methods of (your) cooking to make that darn thing edible and appealing to both eyes and palate.
If you are a vegetarian, you consider to feed all the vegetables you come across whether you have eaten them or not previously. Often healthy things don’t taste good and things which fall under delicious and yummy categories are not good. This does not hold good with veggies. They ARE supposed to be good. Once you achieve the task of making your kids to eat whatever on the plate, then you think of improvising, making it more healthier.

If you are like my mom, you add protein to the vegetables. She cooks healthier versions of vegetables by adding different kind of dals. Here is one such recipe. The toor dal, the Badshah of Indian dals are added to the French beans (or just the beans as called in India) to make a healthier, tasty sabji / curry which goes well with rice or rotis. Here is the recipe.

F for French beans - Indian beans sabji ~ My entry for Nupur's A to Z vegetable event.

French / Green beans, finely chopped - 2 cups
Toor dal - 1/4 cup
Shredded coconut (fresh or frozen) - 1/4 cup
4 -5 dried red chillies broken into bits (or substitute 1 tsp chili powder)
Salt to taste (I used about 1 & 1/4 tsp)

For tadka: 2 -3 tsp oil, 1 tsp each mustard seeds, chanadal, urad dal and cumin seeds, few curry leaves, 1/8 tsp turmeric powder

* Cook toor dal on stovetop until just done, in a saucepan adding some water. Toordal must retain their shape and should not fall apart when handled. Drain and keep the toordal aside.  Or you can cook in a pressure cooker for 1 -2 whistles. The water used to cook the dal can be saved to prepare soup or rasam.
* Heat oil in a kadai or a pan. Add mustard seeds, urad dal, chana dal, and cumin seeds. When the dals turn reddish and mustard seeds start to splutter, add curry leaves, turmeric powder, red chili pieces, chopped beans and salt. Combine everything using a spoon and cook on low flame, covered.
* Keep stirring in between till the beans are cooked. Then add the cooked toor dal and coconut to the pan. If using chili powder instead of chillies, add it too. Cook for a couple of minutes more with a few stirrings. Turn off the stove.
The subji can be served with rotis or rice.
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Saturday, February 24, 2007

Jhatpat Vadas

We have a 166,500 sq ft public library with two branches in our neighborhood. This two floored building is considerably a big sized one for a suburban town. We even get DVDs and books in several Indian regional languages. Every new hindi movie dvds are available in this library. Only point is they are always checked out. Coming to books, naturally Indian cook books are also available. Though my world does not revolve around cooking, I am tempted sometimes to visit the area where rows and rows of cook books are colorfully arranged. In one of my quests recently, I found a book on Indian food written by a non Indian. Of all the books I have seen these years by all those fanciful, Indian chefs who have world wide fans, I found this one to be simple with recipes of every day cooked food in most of the Indian homes. Though it contained a non vegetarian section and food with the spicy masalas which I don't consume, there were simple, wonderful food recipes which suit my palate.
The following is one of those which I noted from the book. It had another name but I would like to call it Jhatpat vadas, since vadas needed no soaking or grinding. They were quick to make and were delicious, crunchy, crispy even the next day. I don't think I am going to need a maddur vade recipe now.
This recipe has been adapted from Wendy Hobson's "Classsic 1000 Indian recipes".

Rice Flour - 1/2 cup
All purpose flour / Maida - 1/2 cup
Semolina / Rava - 1/2 cup

Asafoetida / Hing - 1/4 tsp
Salt - about 1 & 1/4 tsp
One big onion finely chopped
Finely chopped Cilantro / Koththimera - 2 Tbs
Finely chopped green chillies - 3-4
Few finely chopped curry leaves
Oil - 3 Tbsp
Water - 3/4 cup or as needed
Oil - For frying

Heat oil in a wok / deep bottomed pan.
Excepting the last two ingredients on the list, Add everything else and make a stiff dough adding as much water as needed. Take a small ball of dough and place it in your left palm or a plastic sheet / wax paper. Flatten it with your right hand, make a hole in the center.
Carefully slip the vada (shaped dough ball) from the sides into the hot oil. Repeat the same process with the remaining dough and fry them in batches on low - medium flame till they turn golden brown and cooked through out.
Remove them with a slotted spoon and drain them on kitchen towels.

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Thursday, February 22, 2007

Eggplants - Stuffed

E for 'Eggplants - stuffed' ~ My entry to Nupur's A - Z Vegetable event.

Going through other blogs, I have seen lots of varieties of stuffing that goes into the eggplants / brinjals. It seems every family has their own recipe. I too have some recipes for stuffed eggplants. Here is one from my MIL's kitchen which happens to be my husband's favorite. This is my version of it as I never saw my MIL preparing it. The oval shaped purple or greenish eggplants are preferred for this dish as it is easier to stuff. There is no gravy in this as compared to other eggplant stuffed dishes. The dish is relatively dry and the only succulence comes from the eggplants. In this dish, the natural beauty eggplant (Don't you love the dark purple color?) is stuffed with tasty pappula podi / daliya powder and shallow fried to make it delicious as well.

Oval shaped greenish or purple eggplants - As many as needed
Daliya powder - As needed
Oil - 2 / 3 Tbsp

Wash eggplants and wipe them dry. Remove the stalks. Keeping the base intact, cut twice vertically as shown in the picture. Fill them with pappula podi / daliya powder as shown. You can fill as much as the eggplants can hold without spilling.
At this point, if you wish, you can spray the eggplants with oil.
Heat a deep pan and add oil. Drop the eggplants carefully. If you have not sprayed oil, just tilt them in the pan so that they are coated with oil.
Lower the flame and let it fry till all the eggplants are tender to touch. Keep stirring in between for uniform cooking.
When they are done, sprinkle some more daliya powder on it and fry for few seconds. Remove and serve with rice and ghee.

Usually I don't add salt and chillie powder. I just sprinkle some salt while eating, if needed.

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Pappula Podi ~ Dalia Powder

If suddenly somebody asks me what do I do with Pappulu (dalia, Bhuna chana, roasted chickpeas), I would say chutney (to go with breakfast dishes) even without thinking. The other things start pouring in after giving a thought. If you ask my kids, they will say, pop some in your mouth. If you ask my husband, he would say pappula podi - spicy powder prepared with it.
This roasted chickpeas / dalia powder is called pappula podi in Telugu. It has a funny name in our family, the gun powder (how ridiculous it may seem). This is one powder which my mom not prepares but a staple powder in my husband's family. This is very simple to prepare among all the spicy powders. Just pop the ingredients into the mixer / blender and grind. No frying involved. I know now how versatile this powder can be and here are some examples of it's multi tasking ability. 1. You can eat it with rice and ghee. When eating rice with pickles like avakaya, gongura etc just mix a tsp of powder into it. 2. Eat it with upma, the thing I learnt from my husband. 3. Use in making curries like capsicum , eggplants etc 4. Turn this into chutney instantly, just by adding water. This tip was from my SIL, who does it to serve with dosas / idlis when there are those power failures in India. 5. To make masala dosa / erra karam (spicy, chillie paste smeared) dosa.
6. To thicken gojjus. The recipe is my MIL's. For my coconut allergic husband, she omits the coconut part and adds garlic. You can add garlic for this recipe too. Ingredients: Roasted chickpeas / Pappulu - 1 cup Dry coconut grated - 1/4 cup Red chillies - 6-8 Salt - Accordingly Grind all the ingredients into a fine powder and store it in a dry bottle.

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Monday, February 19, 2007

Pear Muffins

Out of necessity, I prepared pear muffins for the first time today. What was the necessity? I had to finish the pears, which I bought a couple of weeks ago. I had bought a dozen and they had ripen at the same time. Sitting in the refrigerator, they were over ripen and my refrigerator was smelling all pear...y. I decided to do something with them instead of eating them plain. I finally concocted my own recipe for muffins after going through several recipes and here is the result. It is quite simple to make and turned out delicious.They were perfect for me as I prefer a crusty top.

All purpose flour / Maida – 1 cup
Wheat flour – 3/4 cup
Brown sugar - 3/4 cup
Baking powder - 2 tsp
Pears peeled, finely chopped - 2 cups
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Ground nutmeg - 1/4 tsp
Ground ginger - 1/2 tsp
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
Melted butter - 2 tbsp
Milk - 1/4 cup
Yogurt - 1/4 cup
I substituted 1/4 cup wheat flour + 1 tsp oil + 4 tbsp milk + 1 tsp baking powder for 2 eggs. (Or 2 bananas can be substituted for 2 eggs)

Preheat the oven at 375°F.
Grease a 12 cup muffin pan or line with paper muffin cups.
Combine all the dry items. Since I was not using any eggs, I added milk, yogurt, butter and pear into the dry ingredients and just stirred the mixture to form a moist lump.
Fill the muffin cups evenly and bake them till they turn golden brown or a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.
Remove and serve.

I was using wheat flour and the substitution for eggs (with the above ingredients mentioned) for the first time while making muffins. I got this substitution from a cookbook on muffins. By mistake, I added 1 & 1/2 cup of chopped pear pieces instead of 2 cups. Muffins were a very tiny bit dry. I could not guess whether it resulted because of the substitution or the missing pears or the wheat flour. If it was because of the substitution , I would go back to my old substitution, bananas.

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Sunday, February 18, 2007

Spinach - Carrot Pakodas

Spinach Carrot Pakodas are my entry to Coffee's ' Monthly Blog Patrolling '. This recipe is an adapted version of Asha's Spinach Pakodas. I have been postponing making these pakodas from a long time. I thought coffee'e event is a right occassion to try them and we had these yummy pakodas yesterday. Thank you Asha for the recipe and thank you Coffee for a wonderful concept.

Gram flour / Besan - 1 cup
Rice flour - 1 tbsp
Chopped fresh spinach - 1 cup
One big carrot grated
One big onion thinly sliced
Few sprigs of finely chopped cilantro
Few curry leaves finely chopped
One inch ginger finely grated
Chillie powder - 1 tsp
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Oil - to deep fry pakodas

If using frozen spinach, thaw it and use.
Mix all the ingredients without adding water into a thick batter.
Heat enough oil in a wok. To know if the oil is ready, just drop a little ball of batter into the oil. If the oil is hot enough, the ball will come sizzling to the surface of the oil. Drop small rounds of batter into the oil. (Don't try to shape it into a perfect circle since pakodas are irregular in shape. Today, I followed Asha's method and dropped the batter using a fork. That was so convenient. Thanks Asha for the tip). Fry them to golden brown on low - medium heat. Remove them and drain on paper towels.
Serve crunchy spinach carrot pakodas hot.

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Saturday, February 17, 2007

Garlic Bread With An Indian Twist

The recipe is here.

Southekayi (Cucumber) Rotti

This recipe comes from my SIL, Pushpa who lives in Bangalore. I guess this is a recipe from her mother's family. Last time when I visited India, she told me about this recipe. I knew about akki rotti / biyyapu rotte but this one was a completely new one to me. I really never tried it until last weekend. It remained in my memory though. As she said, the rottis were delicious.
I used the green, cylindrical cucumbers for this rottis. They impart their subtle sweetness to the rottis. I don't think the round, yellow Indian cucumbers would be suitable for this dish. I was not sure whether the onions and cucumbers would gel well particularly in this rottis. So, I skipped onions. They were really good even without onions.

Cucumbers - 2
Rice flour - 2 cups
Fresh/Frozen coconut grated - 1 cup
Salt - 1 tsp
Green chillies (small sized) - 4
Chopped cilantro - 2 tbsp
Oil - To make rottis

Peel and grate the cucumbers. If the cucumbers are not tender, cut the peeled cucumbers vertically into 4 slices, remove the seeds and then grate.
Chop the green chillies into very fine pieces. If you don't want to bite on green chillies, blend the chillies and coconut in a mixer into a fine powder without adding water.
Now mix all the ingredients and form a dough. Don't add any water. The moisture from the cucumber will be enough to form the dough.
Divide the dough into equal portions. Make a round shaped ball with each portion. The ball should have a size of a big orange.
Take griddle and pour a tsp of oil in the centre. Now place a dough ball on the centre of the griddle and pat with your fingers till you form a thin, flat circle. Pour a tsp oil around the edges of the circle formed. Cover with a lid. Now turn on the stove. Let it cook on a low - medium flame.When it turns light brown on the bottom side, flip it, pour a tsp of oil around the edges if needed. Cover it again and cook till the other side turns light brown too. Be sure to turn off the stove and let cool the griddle a little bit so that it is safe to pat the next dough ball on it. Or alternatively use 2 griddles. Repeat the process with the remaining dough balls.
Remove and serve hot with
chutney powder / pickle.

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Friday, February 16, 2007

Mahasivaratri F(e)asting

I have never seen people wishing 'Happy Mahasivaratri'. So, I am not going to do that. But, I wish that The Lord bless all of you and your families.
People who like to know more about Mahasivaratri, check
here and here.
Leaving the religious part apart, the things which are related to shivaratri (for me) are f(e)asting and the jagarane / jagaram part (staying awake all night).

Coming to jagarane part, I don't know whether this custom is celebrated through out India. It is celebrated in Andhra & Karnataka. When we were kids, I always wanted to stay awake at least till morning. The funny part is that I used to feel sleepy earlier than usual on that particular day. Only one time, I could stay awake till 4.30 in the morning and fell asleep in the living room. When my sister was in 7th grade, she invited a bunch of her friends for a "Jagarane Night" at our place. Even though, I was five years older to them, I was welcome in their party. I guess, they primarily invited me to be their watch dog. My mom gave some snacks for us and went to sleep. They ate the snack, played some games and watched a religious movie on TV. Soon everybody were falling asleep. By 1 a.m , every body were knocked out except me. It seems very funny now. I am damn sure this story repeats every year at some one's house in India. Though not for religious purposes or attaining good karma, kids do attempt to stay awake on this night. It's adventurous and challenging to them. They want to show their friends that they can do this. I am just curious to know how many of us have not tried to stay awake at least once on a shivarathri night.
Now fasting / feasting part. My mom is very religious and so does a strict fasting on this day. Whereas my in laws follow another method of fasting which I always joke about. (Hope no one from our family is reading this). They restrain from eating rice this day and eat all delicious breakfast dishes like idli etc and call this fasting. I did not want to fall behind in following family traditions. I am a part of Gandlur family now. Instead of fasting part, I did the feasting part. Today, we had
idlis, cornmeal dosas and cornmeal halwa which have been posted here earlier.

Cornmeal HalwaCornmeal - Veggie DosaIdlis and Tricolor Idlis
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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Daikon - Coconut Chutney / Mullangi - Kobbari Pachchadi

When Nupur invited us, the fellow bloggers to participate in the alphabetical journey of Indian (vegetables) cooking, I began to wonder which vegetable began with the letter 'D'. I searched my refrigerator and found only one vegetable which started with the letter 'D'. So, I tried to remember the other names for the vegetabes I had. Then I realised the poor Daikon did not even figure out in my list. I use that name only when I see it in grocery shop. I grew up learning the vegetable's name as radish and still it remains the same even after living for 9 years in USA. I think, my people back home would not even remotely link that word to a vegetable, if I mention it. I hope Nupur would accept this entry as daikon is available in India , even though not under the same name (as far as I know).
Now let me come to the recipe. I have been preparing Daikon / Mullangi chutney from a long time, for which I got the recipe from a popular Kannada website. This time, I thought of giving an Andhra twist and prepared it in an entirely different way. I followed the method my mom employs when preparing chutneys using vegetables. You can also prepare this using those red colored, round shaped radish.

Ingredients required for the chutney:
Peeled and sliced Daikon - 1 cup
Grated fresh coconut - 1/4 cup
Tamarind extract - 1 tsp
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Oil - 1 Tbsp
Red chillies - 6 - 8 (8 worked for me. If you prefer it to be less spicy, go with 6 chillies)
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Urad dal - 2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds (Methi Seeds) - A few (Half of 1/4 tsp)
Asafoetida (Hing) - A few pinches (Half of 1/4 tsp)

Soak tamarind in water to get the extract.
Heat oil in a pan. Add urad dal and mustard seeds. When urad dal start to turn slightly brown, add methi seeds, hing and red chillies. When the mustard seeds and methi seeds turn reddish brown in color, add the sliced daikon. (Methi seeds fry fast. So, don't add at the begining and also use only a small quantitiy as mentioned. Otherwise, it turns chutney bitter).
Stir once, close the pan with a lid and lower the heat. Let it cook till the daikon slices turn tender. Stir once or twice in between. Remove the pan and let the daikon mixture cool down.
Grind this mixture with the coconut, tamarind and salt in a mixer / blender till smooth. I had to add about a tbsp of water to grind it.
Remove and collect the chutney in a bowl.
Serve with rice, rotis or any breakfast dishes.

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Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Peanut Powder

I am posting the recipe for one more staple powder from my kitchen which can be eaten with rice and ghee or with any breakfast dishes. One more excuse to eat peanuts, I think.

Peanuts - 1 cup
Red chillies - 6 -8 or as needed
Salt - As needed

Dry roast the peanuts till they turn brown on low - medium flame.
Remove and cool them and remove the skins of the peanuts. (You can do this by rubbing them between your palms).
Just warm the red chillies to facilitate easy grinding.
Grind the peanuts, redchillies and salt into a fine powder.
Remove and store in a dry bottle.

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Sunday, February 11, 2007

Cracked wheat bisibele huli

When it comes to rice dishes, bisibele bhath tops my favorite list. I think who ever came up with this recipe is a genius. It is such a clever idea to incorporate the carbohydrate, protein, vitamins and minerals (needed) in a one pot meal when there was no concept of a food pyramid. Recently, I started to prepare a more healthier version of it by replacing the rice with cracked wheat. The cracked wheat version tastes as good as the original rice - dal one.

I see two varieties of cracked wheat being sold at Indian grocery shops here. One is coarser (left one in the picture) and other is a little finer version (right one in the picture). I prefer coarser version to prepare dishes when I am using it to replace rice as in this bisibele bhath or godhuma annam. I use the finer version to prepare upma. I have prepared bisibele huli using the finer version and the texture was not one of a desirable kind.

Cracked wheat - 1/2 cup
Toor dal - 1/2 cup
Chopped vegetables - 2 cups
Water - 3 cups
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Bisibelebhath powder - 2 Tbsp
Salt - 1 & 1/2 - 2 tsp
Grated dry coconut - 1/4 cup (optional)
Ghee - 1 Tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Cashews - 1 Tbsp
Curry leaves - A few

For the vegetables, I used carrots, potatoes, green peas, french beans and chayote. I used a little more quantity than I mentioned here. I also used a big sized tomato to replace the tamarind in the traditional dish. Wash all the vegetables. Peel carrots, potatoes and chayote. Chop all the vegetables.
Cook the cracked wheat, dal, vegetables along with turmeric powder and water in a pressure cooker until you hear 2 -3 whistles. If you don't own a pressure cooker, cook seperately in a big, sturdy, thick bottomed pan and you may have to add more water if you follow this method.
When all the valve pressure is gone, remove the lid. (Add more water if it is too thick. My measurements were perfect for my desired consistency). Add salt, bisibelebhath powder (adjust the quantities as needed) and dry coconut and let it simmer on low flame for 5- 10 minutes. Keep stirring in between. Turn off the stove.
Heat ghee in a small pan. Add mustard seeds, cashews and curry leaves. When the mustard seeds start to splutter and cashews turn golden brown, remove the pan. Add the ghee mixture to the cooked wheat - dal mixture and stir well.
Serve hot.
Note: This is healthier for diabetics.
Our meal today - Cracked wheat bisi bele huli, Rava payasam & Sabudaana papad

Friday, February 9, 2007

Capsicum - Peas Rice & A Me-Me

I wanted to participate in Pooja's VOTW . I prepared a dish, took pictures and could not draft the recipe for green peas week because of the time constraints. Last week, we celebrated our eleventh wedding anniversary and also did lot of shopping - packing sort of things for my husband's visit to India. Now I have plenty of time, though it is difficult to sit alone at home feeling vacant. I had many food pictures on my computer which needed drafting. So, I thought this is the right time to do it.

I am posting a recipe for Capsicum rice today. One of my classmates, during my college days used to bring some rice dishes which were prepared using vangi bhath powder. Capsicum rice used to be one of them. Her mom used to fry capsicum, potatoes and green peas together and add vangi bhath powder and rice to it. I omitted potatoes in the dish. This is a very simple preparation and less time consuming.

Ingredients needed:
Rice - 1 cup
Chopped capsicum - 1 cup
Green peas (fresh or frozen) - 1/2 cup
Vangibhath powder - 2 Tbsp
Salt - As needed
Oil - 2 Tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - A few
Cashews - 1 tbsp (optional)

Cook the rice.
Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, cashews and curry leaves. When mustard seeds start to splutter, add capsicum and green peas. Stir it, cover with a lid and lower the heat. Keep stirring in between till the capsicum pieces become tender.
Then add the vangibhath powder, salt and fry it for a couple of minutes on low flame. Add the rice and mix well till all the rice is well coated with the cooked masala. Adjust the salt and powder if needed. Turn off the stove and let it sit for 10 minutes.
Serve hot.

If using frozen peas, add them almost at the end.
Any one colored peppers can be used. I used all colored peppers just to give color to the dish.
Store bought MTR vangibhath powder also works fine. You can reduce / increase the quantity of vangibhath powder used according to your taste preferences.

Pooja also tagged me for '5 things you don't know about me'.
Thank you Pooja for tagging me. This is the first time a fellow blogger tagged me for this kind of thing. Since, it is a food blog, I am going to talk more about food.
1. I never dreamt that I would own a food blog. My mom have no idea about my blog yet. She would be shocked to see this. Why? I never prepared a complete meal (or for that matter a decent meal.) until I landed in USA. By that time, I was 25, I was married a little over three years and my son was an infant. Before leaving India, My mom and I jokingly even predicted my son would be the only kid on the face of the earth who will never know what good food is. I hurriedly filled a book with my mom's recipes. I had no idea what quantities of ingredients went in what recipes. My mom who never used measurements in her cooking had hard time explaining me. But once I landed here and started cooking, I enjoyed it. I even started cooking from the recipes that were on websites which caught my attention. I went on experimenting and learnt through my mistakes. Now, I love to cook especially for people like my husband, who enjoy it and unfazed by my constant experimentation (& the final product which lands up as food on his plate).
2. I enjoy teaching. I worked and volunteered as a teacher in the same schools in which I studied. It was fun working with some of the people who used to be my teachers. I taught high school kids. Now, when my daughter starts going to school full time, I want to work again with little kids who are developmentally delayed.
3. I enjoy reading anything that I can lay my hands upon. I am least bothered about the subject of the book as long as it sustains my interest. Books have been my greatest friends all through my life. When we were in India, I would not spare even the old newspapers used to pack groceries. Now, I take a trip to library atleast a couple of times in a month.
4. I was a picky eater till my kids were born. You would not have wanted me on your guest list, if you have known me a decade ago. I used to eat only a few selected veggies even though my mom cooked deliciously using all varieties of vegetables. Now to be a good role model to my kids, I started eating all most all vegetables. (Note that I said all most. I have still some reservations and am skeptical when it comes to new foods.) My MIL even to this day believes that I don't eat anything.
5. I hate to even smell garlic. But I love coconut in anything and everything. God has enjoyed playing a big practical joke on me. I wound up with a man who loves to eat garlic and loves to hate coconut. I cook garlic dishes exclusively for him.
After I started writing this, I realised that I can go on and on. It was only 5 things. So, I think I need to stop here.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Rava - Kobbari Laddu / Semolina - Coconut Laddu

I have seen so many recipes for rava laddu on the web and in cookbooks, over the years. Most of them use either sugar syrup or ghee to make laddus. My mother has another recipe for it. She uses the fresh, grated coconut to make rava laddus. The coconut helps to shape the laddus with it's moisture content and of course they taste great. They do stay fresh for more than a couple of days even though not refrigerated and are one of the most easiest Indian desserts to prepare. But I prefer to store them in a refrigerator.
I have finished eating all ladoos and now my mouth is watering just by looking at the picture. I have to make a fresh batch.

Rava / Semolina - 1 Cup
Sugar - 1 Cup

Coconut- 1
Raisins & Cashews - 1/4 Cup
Ghee - 1 Tbsp
Powdered cardamom seeds - 1/4 tsp

Making laddus:
Fry the rava on a low flame till it starts to give a stong aroma and turns light brown. Let it cool.
Grate the fresh coconut.
Heat ghee in a small pan. Toast both raisins and cashews in the ghee till cashews turn golden brown and raisins turn plump.
Now mix all ingredients and make medium sized balls /laddus out of it .

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