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Thursday, December 27, 2007

Chicken Tikka


This is one of the dry dishes I learnt first. I always thought cooking chicken was a lot of work, since any non-vegeterian meal at my home would be prepared on a Sunday and I would see my mom toiling in the kitchen for a long time. So my idea of any non-veg dish was first it is elaborate to make, second it was so hard so never try it on weekdays. These two myths were burnt in my brain so hard, that I did not even attempt to cook a non-veg dish after I moved out of home for sometime. But my craving for chicken made me try something and this was a simple recipe I learnt from a book. I made my own very small improvements to the dish and now one of my favorites. It is one of the dishes I always prepare for a party or a get-together, because most of the preparation is done the previous day.





Ingredients


Chicken breasts – 2 lbs

Oil - 2 Tbsp

Curry leaves – 1 sprig(optional)

Sliced onion and coriander leaves – To garnish



For marinade:



Chilli powder – 2 Tbsp(as per taste)

Salt

Garam masala – 1 tsp

Ginger garlic paste – 2 Tbsp

Curd / yogurt – ¼ cup

Lemon juice – 2 Tbsp



1. Cut the chicken breasts into small bite sized pieces and set aside.

2. To prepare the marinade mix all the ingredients listed for marinade in a large bowl.

3. Now add the diced chicken pieces in the bowl and mix it well. Then transfer the chicken pieces to a Ziploc bag or an airtight container and store it in a refrigerator. Allow it to marinate for overnight preferably, if in a hurry 2-4 hours of marinating should also be okay. But longer period of marinating betters the taste of the dish.

4. Now take a heavy wide bottomed vessel and heat 2Tbsp of oil and then add the curry leaves. Add the marinated chicken pieces and cover it with a lid. Allow it to cook on a very low flame for 15- 20mins. The juices from the chicken and the marinade should be enough to cook the chicken.

5. Once the water from the chicken starts to evaporate, stir the chicken every few minutes and cook until each chicken pieces are separate, dry and light brown in color.

6. Garnish the chicken tikka with onion and coriander leaves. Enjoy it as an appetizer or side dish.





Tips for marinating the chicken:

In case of meat/poultry never fork the meat prior to marinating. The holes thus created due to forking allow the marinade juices to flow out of the meat.

Do not prepare or use excessively thick marinades for marination. The thick marinades cannot penetrate very well and thus the final flavors of the main dish get affected.

To marinate inside a Ziploc bag- Place the chicken into the bag and pour in the marinade. Remove as much air as possible from the bag and seal it. Make sure that the chicken is well coated, by massaging the chicken in the stock. Fold the bag in half.

If marinating time is longer than one hour, place the marinating chicken in the refrigerator.

Reduce oil in the marinade for more flavor. The best marinade (unlike the best salad dressing) is about half oil and half acid.

Chicken shouldn't be marinated longer than called for in the recipe. The chicken can become mushy if marinated too long, as the acid breaks down the flesh.

You can marinate an entire chicken or chicken parts. Piercing the chicken with a fork, or cutting it into smaller pieces will help it absorb marinade.
Removing the skin from the chicken will help it absorb marinade

In general, two hours of marinating is long enough for the meat to soak up the flavor, but poultry can marinate for up to two days in the refrigerator, according to the USDA Food Safety and Inspection Service. Very acidic marinades can actually toughen the meat over time, so follow the recipe or package directions.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Arisiyum Parupu Satham





Yet another delicacy from the kongu region and my second entry for JFI - Toor dal. This is a simple, no-nonsense one-pot dish and really easy to make. I make this dish when I need a quick fix for a no-compromise meal and neither in a mood to cook, nor to eat out. This meal has different versions and this is how my grandmother / mother make it at home. I remember the taste of dal and rice with ghee melting inside my mouth. A pretty impressive meal when you are back from school and hungry. I wish someone cooks for me now when I am back from office. My aunt prepares it with moong dal and I will post the recipe sometime later.

The consistency of the completed meal is somewhat mushy and somewhere between bisi bele bath and plain steamed rice. It tastes heavenly when had with ghee or yogurt. You can also have it with kathirikaai kara kuzhambu / brinjal curry.

Ingredients:

Rice – 2 cups
Toor dal – 1 cup
A small sized onion – 1
Tomato – 1
Dry red chillies – 2 or 3 (According to the spice level)
Curry leaves – 1 spring
Turmeric – 1
Sambar powder – 1 tbsp
Garlic – 2 pods
Salt
Oil

Optional ingredients :

Cinnamon – 1” bark
Clove – 2


Click here for the complete recipe

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Paruppu Urundai kuzhambu

Parupu urundai kulambu / kuzhambu or lentil dumplings in tamarind and coconut sauce, is a delicacy of the kongu region or the kongu nadu region. This is a family recipe that was passed from my grandmother to my mother and then to me. I can confidently say that the parupu urundai kulambu made by my grand mother should be the world’s best followed closely by mother’s for the second spot. When we are away from home such recipes is one more reason for us to feel homesick.

Click here for the Parupu Urundai Kuzhambu Recipe

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Vatha Kuzhambu

The last two weeks had been quite busy with official and personal things. Added to this routine, we had guests over on the weekends and hence did a lot of eating out at the restaurants. This Saturday I tried to cook a complete vegetarian meal with menu comprising of tomato dal, vatha kulambu and a potato curry. I strongly believe that any vegetarian thali/ meal is not complete without a vatha kozhambu and sutta appalam.

Vatha kuzhambu is a south Indian dish served mainly with rice and papad. It has a single vegetable/ vathal as a base and is a simmered stew of tamarind with a set of spices. Usually it is prepared with brinjal/eggplant or okra/lady’s finger. Vathals can also be used. I guess vathals are the reasons for the authentic taste. Vathals are dried vegetables and can be bought from any Indian grocery store. Sundakaai vathal, manathakkali vathal or vendakaai vathal are some examples.




To Grind:
Corriander seeds 1 tbsp
Methi seeds – ½ tbsp
Urad dal – 1 tbsp
Channa dal – 1 tbsp
Red chillies – 3/ 4 (depends on the spice level)

Ingredients:
Shallot / Pearl onions – 9 or 10 (You can substitute half of a red onion if shallots are not available.)
Garlic pods – 4 /5 (This is optional)
Tamarind – A small lemon sized ball
Vathal/ Vegetable of your choice(I used sundakaai vathal)
Sambar powder – 1 tbsp
Turmeric
Salt
Oil - 2 tbsp
Pepper - 1 tbsp
Asofetida / Hing – 1 pinch
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Procedure :

1. Soak the tamarind in water and extract the tamarind pulp. To make your work easier you can microwave the soaked tamarind for 30 seconds.
2. Dry roast all the ingredients that has to be ground and make them into a smooth dry powder.
3. In a heavy bottomed pan (traditionally a cast iron kadai is used), heat few spoons of oil. Usually sesame oil or gingely oil is used , but any oil would do good. If you are planning to use vathals instead of vegetables, now is the good time to fry those. Once done take it and leave it aside. You can add it at a later time to the kuzhambu.
4. Add the mustard seeds, curry leaves, asafetida, urad dal and channa dal to the oil.
5. Now add garlic, fry till its raw smell goes off add then add onions, fry till they turn to golden brown color. Add the sambar powder, tumeric , salt and sauté for 2 mnutes.
6. If you are planning to add vegetables add it now and sauté for few more minutes.
7. Now add the tamarind pulp and let it simmer for around 10-15 minutes.
8. Then add the dry ground masala powder, stir well. Add the vathals immediately after the masala powder and allow it to boil for 10 more minutes.
9. If vatha kolambu is too watery add 1 tsp of rice flour and allow it to boil to get the required consistency.
10. Enjoy vatha kuzhambu with hot steamed rice and sutta appalam.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Sri Rayappa's Restaurant, Coimbatore.

During our recent vacation to India, we got a chance to explore a few restaurants in coimbatore. There are a handful of good resturants in coimbatore. A decent vegetarian food can be had from Sri Annapoorna & Gowrishankar group, Annalakshmi and Aaryas. Non-vegetarian's have a bit lengthier list with popular names like Angannan's, Rayappas, Thalappas and Chicken Sampoorna.

We planned to visit Rayappa's restaurant for a dinner on a pleasant evening. Rayappa's have successfully established a good name for their specialty in traditional chettinad cuisine. Of course, they do provide multi-cuisine but all of their Chinese varieties we tried were pathetic.

Rayappas are located at two places in the city and we visited the one at the cross cut road. It was quite busy with bustling crowd. The seating’s and lightings were Ok and nothing much to complaint.

There were some difficulties in getting the attention of the server. There was little help in from the server in getting to know the restaurant’s specialty dishes. The preparation time didn’t take too long and the food we ordered came within just few minutes of waiting.



The food was up to the mark. The chicken clear soup was a bit too hot but still tasted heavenly to the buds. The starters’ especially chicken tikka, chicken 65 and fish fry were delicious and made the visit worth. Parathas were soft and yummy and kothu paratha was everone's favourite. Biryani was spicy but not flaming hot and had a beautiful aroma in it. One from our group ordered for schezwan fried rice much against the wishes of others. It was horrible. It resembled very close to tomato rice and I cannot believe how they manage to serve this kind of dish everyday. Here is my strong advice. If you ever happen to visit this place, just stick to their traditional Chettinad dishes and don’t experiment anything new or any other cuisine especially Chinese.

Overall it was an enjoyable experience and we came out with filling stomach and smiling faces.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Ten tips to lose weight after pregnancy


1. Walking. Walk preferably early in the morning and if possible one more time in the evening.
2. Eat good balanced meals that include fruits, vegetables, lean meats, fish or poultry, and low-fat or non-fat dairy products.
3. Eat several small meals a day.
4. Be patient. Remember that you didn't gain the weight over night so it is not fair to expect to lose it overnight.
5. Drink lot of water. Water not only help flushes out toxins and keep your body refresh but also helps you control your hunger.
6. Try having little sessions of crunches, pushups or a jog around the block when the baby is sleeping or playing.
7. Eat dinner three hours prior to bedtime.
8. Try your hands on Swimming, Aerobics or Yoga.
9. Breast feeding. Yes, you read it right. Breast feeding does help lose you weight gradually.
10. Last but not the least, you should remember that 'Continuity' is the magic word. Devise a plan for your diet and exercise. Stick to it religiously.

All the Best !!!



Check out these other popular articles in our blog.


Travel tips during pregnancy

Good indian food for Healthy pregnancy

Indian food to help increase milk secretion in nursing mothers

Calorie content of Indian food items

Friday, October 26, 2007

Fast food is Junk food !!!

Here is a video article from ibnlive.com about the ill effects of fast food eating habit which is fast spreading among indians. In particular they talk about the high level of salt contained in these fast food items.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Indian Restaurants in and around Chicago area

India Palace Aurora

256 E Indian Trl Illinois (IL) Phone: (630) 892 0600

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Jewel of India Carbondale

800 East Main Street Illinois (IL) Phone: ???

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Aslam Sweet & Restaurant Chicago

6339 N. Western Ave Illinois (IL) Phone: (847) 967 9142

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Bukhara Restaurant & Bar Chicago

2 E Ontario St Illinois (IL) Phone: (312) 943 0188

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Gandhi Indian Restaurant Inc Chicago

2601 W Devon Avenue Illinois (IL) Phone: (773) 761 8714

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Gaylord India Restaurant

678 N Clark Street Illinois (IL) Phone: (312) 664 1700

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Green Curry House Chicago

2415 N Clark Ave Illinois (IL) Phone: (773) 525 7303 / (773) 525 7912

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Hyderabad House Restaurant Chicago

2500 W Devon Avenue Illinois (IL) Phone: (773) 764 5880

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India Garden Chicago

2548 W Devon Ave Illinois (IL) Phone: (312) 338 2929

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India House Restaurant Chicago

2548 W Devon Avenue Illinois (IL) Phone: (773) 338 2929

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Klay Oven Chicago

414 N Orleans St Illinois (IL) Phone: (312) 527 3999

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Moti Mahal Chicago

2525 W Devon Ave Illinois (IL) Phone: (773) 262 2080

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Moti Mahal Indian Restaurant Chicago

1031 W Belmont Ave Illinois (IL) Phone: (773) 348 4392

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Mysore Woodlands Chicago

2248 Devon Ave Illinois (IL) Phone: (773) 539 4150

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Mysore Woodlands Chicago

2548 W. Devon Illinois (IL) Phone: (773) 338 8160 Fax: (773) 338 8162

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New La Rosh Restaurant Chicago

209 W Lake St Illinois (IL) Phone: (312) 263 9540

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Raj Darbar Indian Restaurant Chicago

2350 N Clark Street Illinois (IL) Phone: (312) 348 1010

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Raj Darbar Indian Restaurant Chicago

2660 N Halstead Street Illinois (IL) Phone: (312) 348 1010

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Rose of India Chicago

2502 W Devon Ave Illinois (IL) Phone: (773) 338 4000

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Sharma Sweet House Chicago

2305 W Devon Avenue Illinois (IL) Phone: (773) 764 1374

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Shree Punjab Indian Restaurant Chicago

2510 W Devon Avenue Illinois (IL) Phone: (773) 973 4000

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Standard Indian Restaurant Chicago

917 W Belmnt Avenue Illinois (IL) Phone: (773) 929 1123

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Star of India Restaurant Inc Chicago

3204 N Shefld Avenue Illinois (IL) Phone: (773) 525 2100

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Sukhadia's Sweets and Snacks Chicago

2559 W. Devon Ave Illinois (IL) Phone: (773) 338 5400

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Tiffin Chicago

2536 W Devon Avenue Illinois (IL) Phone: (773) 338 2143

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Udupi Bhavan Chicago

3357 W Peterson Avenue Illinois (IL) Phone: (773) 539 4150

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Udupi Palace Inc Chicago

2543 West Devon Ave Illinois (IL) Phone: (773) 338 2152

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Vegetarian Gourmet Chicago

3031 W. 111th St. Illinois (IL) Phone: (773) 238 2599 Fax: (773) 238 4866

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Viceory of India Chicago

2518 W Devon Ave Illinois (IL) Phone: (773) 743 4100

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Victory's Banner Chicago

2100 W. Roscoe Illinois (IL) Phone: (773) 665 0227

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Woodland of Madras Chicago

2340 W Devon Avenue Illinois (IL) Phone: (773) 338 8550

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Zaiqa Indian Restaurant Chicago

858 N Orleans St Illinois (IL) Phone: (312) 280 1652

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Shreejis flavors of India Gurnee

5101 Washington St Unit #3 Illinois (IL) Phone: (847) 782 9344 Fax: (847) 782 9345

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North & South Indian Cuisine Hoffman Estates

1061 W. Golf Road Illinois (IL) Phone: (847) 310 5954

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Sri Ganesh Vegetarian Restaurant

837 E. Roosevelt Road Illinois (IL) Phone: (630) 620 9175 Fax: (630) 620 9865

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Viceroy of India Lombard

19W 555 Roosevelt Rd Illinois (IL) Phone: (630) 627 4411

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Cuisine of India Mount Prospect

2348 S Elmhurst Rd Illinois (IL) Phone: (847) 718 1522

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Gateway Of India Naperville

417 E Ogden Ave Illinois (IL) Phone: (630) 717 7600

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Himalayan Restaurant
Four Flaggs Cente Niles

8265 Golf Road Illinois (IL) Phone: (847) 324 4150 Fax: (847) 324 4153

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Maharaja Indian Restaurant Northlake

101 N Wolf Rd Illinois (IL) Phone: (708) 531 0481

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Khyber Pass Oak Park

1031 Lake St Illinois (IL) Phone: (708) 445 9032

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Taj Mahal Indian Restaurant

14812 S. La Grange Rd Illinois (IL) Phone: (708) 460 5800

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Cool Mirchi


814 E Nerge Road Illinois (IL) Phone: (630) 529 0999

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Krishna Pani Puri


994 W.Lake St Illinois (IL) Phone: (630) 671 1010 / (630) 677 4585

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Dakshin Indian Cuisine (Vegetarian) Schaumburg

1135 N. Salem Dr Illinois (IL) Phone: (847) 882 9533 Fax: (847) 882 9530

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Gaylord India Restaurant Schaumburg

555 Mall Dr Illinois (IL) Phone: (847) 619 3300

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India Garden Schaumburg

855 E Schaumburg Rd Illinois (IL) Phone: (847) 524 3007

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India House Restaurant Schaumburg

1521 W Schaumburg Rd Illinois (IL) Phone: (847) 895 5501

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New Delhi Restaurant Schaumburg

30 S Meacham Road Illinois (IL) Phone: (847) 895 6900

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Peacock India Restaurant Vernon Hills

701 Milwaukee Avenue Illinois (IL) Phone: (847)816 3100

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Khushboo Cuisine of India Westmont

6551 S Cass Ave Illinois (IL) Phone: (630) 963 5464

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Mirch Masala Inc Westmont

677 N Cass Ave Illinois (IL) Phone: (630) 325 7545

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Shree Indian Vegetarian Restaurant Westmont

655 N Cass Avenue Illinois (IL) Phone: (630) 655 1021

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The Indian Garden Restaurant

6020 S Cass Ave Illinois (IL) Phone: (630) 769 9662 Fax: (630) 769 9665

Thursday, October 04, 2007

High Cholestrol, Low Cholestrol , Good & Bad Cholestrol and other facts

What is Cholestrol?

Cholestrol is a normal part of your blood and cells. You gete cholestrol in two ways. You body make some of it, and the rest comes from the foods that you eat. Cholestrol is an important part of a healthy body. When cholestrol levels get too high it is a major risk for heart disease and stroke.


If one goes for a cholestrol screening, the report will be talking about some of these terms ...

LOW-DENSITY LIPOPROTIEN (LDL)
LDL is also known as the "bad" cholestrol. Too much LDL cholestrol can clog your arteries and increase your risk of heart attack and stroke.

HIGH-DENSITY LIPOPROTIEN (HDL)

HDL is known as the "good" cholestrol. You body makes HDL cholestrol for your protection and it helps to carry choestrol away from your arteries.

TRIGLYCERIDES (TG)

TF is a form of fat. People with diabetes, heart disease, or who are overweight often have high triglycerides.


What are the Healthy Levels of Cholestrol?


Total Cholestrol Less than 200mg/dl

LDL Less than 100mg/dl is best
You LDL goal may depend on other medical conditions you may have. Your LDL level affects your risk for heart disease
and stroke. The lower your LDL cholestrol, the lower your rsik. Your doctor or pharmacist can help you know your personal risk factors and goal LDL.

HDL Greater than 40 mg/dl
This goal may be higher if you are female or if you have other medical conditions. In general a higher HDL is better.

TRIGLYCERIDES Less than 150 mg/dl

Thursday, September 27, 2007

624 varieties of dosas !!!

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Outdoor Adventures on a Grill

This is a guest post by Mansi Desai of Fun and Food.



The BBQ season is still on, and while most people own a grill and use it somewhat regularly, not everyone is a born chef, and grilling is particularly not everyone's forte. Perhaps you have seen some common mistakes--veggies, fish or meat that sticks to the grill, is overly charred, or perhaps shows no char marks at all-- looking almost steamed. As with other cooking methods, grilling is both an art and a skill which is only mastered by practice and by following some basic pointers. While I love grilling and outdoor barbecues, I am limited to grilling only veggies. But the techniques remain the same, whatever you choose to cook. To read about the history of barbecues and how they are tied to July 4th, read The History Behind the American Barbecues .

Below you'll find some useful tips to impress your guests at the next barbecue event!


BEST GRILLS: Though charcoal grills are still most widely used, I'd recommend Gas or an Electric Grill (especially for first-timers) as they are the easiest to use and produce nice results. They burn hot enough to make distinct "char" marks and add the smokey flavor to your food. If you have to use charcoal, for picnics or camping, try to avoid the self-igniting briquettes. Though easy to burn, they can give the food a petroleum flavor.

BASIC TECHNIQUES: Grilling is a lot of fun, but not everyone can manage a great job the first time. Here are some ghe general techniques to help you in your outdoor grilling venture.


First make sure that the grill is very hot. If the grill is not very hot, it will be difficult to develop the caramelized smoky flavors and you'll be coping with food sticking to the grill.


The next step is to clean the grill with a wire brush, and remove any previous residue food bits from the grill.


Now place the food item to be grilled on the clean grill. Be sure to put the presentation side down first on the grill in order to utilize the intense initial heat which guarentees the beautiful grill "marks" on the side that is visible on serving.

As the item cooks, move it around slowly so that it does not burn, and turn it over when it is cooked half way. This is where the art of grilling comes in. The goal to perfect grilling is to give the item delicious dark brown (not black) grill marks on both sides and remove it from the heat without overcooking it.


Try to space food so that it does not stick to each other and also shift items from the center of the hot grill over to the sides as you keep placing new food in the center. Closing the lid speeds up the cooking time and increases the smoky flavor, but also increases the likelihood of a small fire, so be careful. And remember to open the small air vent on the top of the grill if you decide to close the lid.


Use a pair of gloves and tongs to remove hot food from the grill to prevent yourself and your guests from getting burnt.

Position your grill according to the direction of the wind so that coal burns quickly and at the same time, your guests don't have to put up with the heat!


I hope this article can help some amateurs to host a thrilling bbq event, or at least enjoy the experience of grilling. Me and my husband love it. It's wonderful and addictive, and if you are a vegetarian, try this Veg barbecued Paneer recipe for your next outdoor adventure!!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Hilarious post about World Food Festival

Here is hilarious post from a blogger who visited the World Food Festival hosted by Pizza Hut. It was huge disappointment says Krish Ashok. He was in for a disaster, as the World Food Festival turned out to be nothing more than a joke.

Here is Krish’s narration about the menu card from the festival.

World Food Festival Menu

Veggie Exotica from Mexico (Why? The cunning use of Jalapenos provides a Mexican passport, visa and citizenship to this pizza. The rest of the ingredients - the same. You know what’s interesting? The original Exotica had jalapenos in the first place. The world food festival version simply decided to use that as an excuse to call it Mexican.)

Lebanese Chicken Pizza (The chicken in the original pizza has been conferred the honorary title of “Lebanese” through the intelligent use of Garam Masala. None of the other ingredients have changed)

Pepperoni Pizza from USA (He he. Pizza hut already had an American dish on their menu. They didn’t have to do anything new. They just put the “USA” stamp next to it)
Pasta Stroganoff (How does one make a quintessentially Italian dish Russian? By sending it to the Gulag?No. By Putin in to it, a glass of vodka?No. By the subtle addition of a sauce named after a Russian nobleman? Yes)

Friday, August 17, 2007

Best way to peel a potato !!!

Potatoes can be easily termed as one of the widely consumed food item across the World. It will be extremely difficult to pass two or three days at a stretch without eating potato in one form or the other.

Do you find it difficult to peel a potato either raw or boiled? Here are the right techniques to be followed to peel raw or boiled potatoes.


VideoJug: How To Peel A Potato

Thursday, August 16, 2007

We are back !!!

How is everyone doing? We are back after our much awaited vacation to India. Overall it was an excellent trip and we had lot of fun time.

Thanks to all of you, who have been visiting this blog over the last few weeks, though we didn't have any new posts. We will resume the postings quickly and thanks again for visiting us.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Idiappam / Sandhakai / Nool Puttu

As I had mentioned earlier, we are still finding hard to allot time for blogging. To make matters even worse is our forthcoming trip to India. Yes, we have planned a vacation to India in July. Though it is saddening that we have to wait for a few more weeks to post more frequently, we are excited about the vacation and have a busy shopping scheduled.

Meanwhile here is one ready made food recipe which we tried last week.

Idiyappam/Sandhakai/Noolputtu - rice noodles from south india.



The instructions were very simple and straight forward.

Boil water in a vessel. The amount of water should be just enough to immerse the entire packet content in it.

Switch off the stove. Unpack the idiappam packet and pour the contents into the water and make sure it is fully immersed.

Wait for 1 full minute and then drain the water.







Idiappam is ready. You can have it with coconut chutney or any other side dish of your choice.

I was not sure how it would turn out until we tried. It came out pretty good. I was really surprised to see that the taste was just close to the way idiyappam prepared in the traditional way.


Friday, June 08, 2007

Idli powder or Idly podi

It has been quite few weeks that we have posted more frequently in this blog. Infrequent posts are not good for a blog's health. While we have to wait for a few more days, to make more posts and that too on a constant rate, we dont want the readers to disappointed. Here is a video demonstrating to make idli powder.

South Indian house holds will defintely have this idli powder in their racks as it is the default substitute for chutney's while having dosa or idli.

Though the presentation is made in a mix of tamil and english, it should be easily understandable for anyone fond of cooking.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Potato Capsicum Curry / Kurma / Korma

Potato Capsicum Curry

I made potato capsicum kurma / curry to go along with the jeera rice on Saturday. My friend like it so much she had packed enough for the next day.

It really went well with jeera rice and chappathi’s made that day. I did not add any chilli powder, so I did not get the bright red color that I usually get for most of my recipes.

Vegetables:
Capsicum – 2
Medium sized Potato – 3
Onion – 1
Tomato’s – 2
Any other vegetables of your choice can also be added.

Spices:
Cloves –
Cinnamon – 2
Cardamom or elaichi – 2
Chilli powder
Salt
Corriander Powder
Turmeric
Garam masala ( optional)
Ginger Garlic paste



To Grind :

Grated coconut – 2 or 3 tbsp
Cashews – any amount of your choice(I added a fist full of them since I wanted the curry not to be spicy).

1. In a wide bottomed pan drizzle it with oil for the tadka and add cloves, cinnamon and elaichi.
2. Then add the diced onions and fry till it is transculent. After that add the ginger garlic paste and tomatoes. Saute it till the oil separates from the onion tomato mixture.
3. Now add the coriander powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder, garam masala and salt.
4. Add the diced potatoes and cook till it is half done.
5. After the potatoes are almost done, add the capsicums. Stir it well and immediately add the coconut, cashews ground paste.
6. Bring the gravy to boil, once the raw smell of coconut is gone and vegetables are cooked garnish the curry with coriander leaves.
Jeera rice with curry



Serve potato capsicum curry with roti, pulao or jeera rice.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Get started for a Healthy Life !!!



Everyone wants to lead a healthy life. There cannot be any disagreement that healthy life can be achieved by a well planned diet and regular exercise. Many of us fail in both the departments while some succeed fairly in one but not in the other. If you had observed carefully, you would have found out by now that one main reason for not following a proper diet or exercise boils down to improper planning.

Here is a tool which helps you in solving the above said problems. www.myfitnesspal.com is a free diet and fitness website that helps you to plan your every day life by giving you a calorie counter for most food items. You just need to input your every day food habit and the system will start logging the details. After a few days, you will start getting customized diet recommendations from the system automatically as it remembers your past intakes and also about your body in general. Of course everything is free. Myfitnesspal.com also has an extensive exercise database along with the free calorie counter which tells how much calories you spent on a particular exercise. Just like the food intakes, these excerise details too get stored in your profile. No more manual calorie counting.


What are you waiting for? Try this fitness pal today!!! Have a bright healthy future!!!


Disclaimer : Please note that this is a paid post for myfitnesspal.com via sponsoredreviews.com

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Jeera Rice / Cumin Rice




Last Saturday I had some guests over to my place for dinner. Was really excited since I love cooking for people, especially for those who love food. But this time I had a special constraint and one of my friends cannot handle any spicy stuff. By not handling any spicy stuff I mean no chilli powder, no chillies in any of the dishes. For a hard core south Indian it is something very tough to do in my kitchen. I always wonder how she survived in India with this spice level and since she is very shy about her food habits I decided to treat her with a variety of dishes with no spicy stuff (It is very rare she gets a chance to taste and enjoy everything in any dinner). Anyhow she did enjoy the dinner and I was happy she did.

For the rice variety I decided on jeera rice since that is something everyone can enjoy and not at all spicy. I followed shaheen’s recipe but added diced onions also along with the other ingredients used. As soon as the cumin seeds sizzle, add the onions and fry till they are transculent and follow the rest of the procedure. You can also toss in some cashews when jeera is added and that tastes wonderful after the rice is cooked.

Enjoy jeera rice with any curry or gravy of your choice.



Click here for Jeera Rice/ Cumin Rice recipe

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Cabbage Curry with peas

Cabbage is not a favorite for many and that is because it is not cooked the right way. The way it is cooked and the vegetables added along with it make a huge difference of what cabbage tastes like. I started liking cabbage after I started enjoying cooking and experimenting with food. This is a curry I tried in one of the restaurants and I liked it. So tried out in my kitchen and it was really good.
I followed sudha’s recipe, the only additional ingredient I used to the one mentioned in the list is shredded coconut. I cooked the cabbage in a microwave for a while to make it soft, so that the cooking time is reduced. Follow the same procedure do the tadka, cook the cabbage (the more it is crispier, better the taste), and add the peas. Finally before 5 minutes add the shredded coconut and sauté it for a while.

Enjoy the curry with roti or rice.


Click here for Cabbage Curry with Peas recipe

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Difference between Obesity and Over weight

Many people tend to think that overweight and obesity are one and the same. They are wrong. While Overweight refers to excess body weight arising from muscle, bone, fat and water, obesity refers to an excess of body fat.Here is an example to clarify this further. An athelete may be looking heavy built and most likely overweight and this is from excess muscle development, and not necessarily be obese.

obesity

Obesity used to be a common problem in all developed countries and rarly seen in developing countries. It was the story of the past. An alarming number of people from developing countries have been identified as obese. As a matter of fact, obesity is widely observed across across all races, ages and genders. Adding fule to the fire is the news that, in many developed countries, childhood obesity is a not an uncommon phenomenon anymore.

Several factors that can lead to obesity are genetic, metabolic, behavioural, cultural and socio economic influences. In simpler words, obesity is an imbalance between excessive calorie intake and deficient calorie expenditure. Occasionally, diseases and drugs (contraceptive pill and other steroids) can also lead to weight gain.

Recording one's weight measures excess body fat is a common myth. Body Weight does not reflect body fat. Measurement of body mass index (BMI) by special tables has become the most popular method of assessing obesity. It is also important to note the distribution of fat in the body differs bewtween men and women. While men tend to accumulate fat around the waist, women tend to accumulate fat around the hips. In general, an expanding waistline certainly increases health risks in both men and women.

The following problems have some form of direct or indirect relation to obesity : Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, certain cancers (E.G. colon, prostate, gall bladder, uterus), liver and gall bladder disease, joint problems, respiratory illnesses and reproductive problems. Therefore obesity is a high risk sickness and linked with death in the adult. In addition, there may be cosmetic, psychological and social problems. The economic consequences of obesity are significant to say the least both to the individual and to society at large.

Owing to the health hazards associated with obesity, weight loss is a must. The formula for successful weight loss in the majority of individuals is to eat and exercise in a healthy fashion. Unplanned and desperate dieting, just for the sake to lose weight within a few days can lead to irreparable consequences. On the positive side, it must be appreciated that losing even a few kg / pounds can have a good impact on one's health profile.

A slow and steady weight loss programme, approved by one's family doctor is the only sensible and sustainable way of shedding weight. Rarely, one's health care provider may advocate more drastic methods such as surgery. Rapid commercial weight loss programmes, fashionable fad diets and the use of "miracle" drugs, herbal or non-herbal, must all be viewed with caution.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Mango rice / Mango pulihora

My craving for raw mango will never end, taking into account it is the best season for mangoes in India it is ok to crave, since I can spot mangoes in any Asian grocery store. Any dish with bit sour and spicy taste, I would definitely give it a try. I cannot think of a reason why my mother did not make an attempt to make mango rice though we had a large mango tree in our backyard. I tried mango rice in a friend’s place, when she hosted a special ugadi dinner. This is supposed to be a special dish made during any festival and definitely on ugadi.

I followed supriya’s recipe for the mango rice and the main reason I tried her recipe at first was her photos. Wow!!!… Every time I take a look at the photo I feel like having mango rice again. I usually add cashews and peanuts while doing the tadka that gives a nice crunch when had with the raita. If there is no mint then I substitute 2 or 3 tbsp of grated coconut and follow the exact same procedure. Supriya has mentioned that she uses have ripe mango, but I use a raw mango. One small tip is not sauté the mango for a long time, since it loses it taste when sauted for long, hence the grated mango is usually added the end.

Mango Rice is a definite delight for pregnant women.

Enjoy the mango rice with raita and papad.


Click here for Mango Rice recipe

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Paruppu Podi

Paruppu Podi is a traditional as well one of the most common item found in many of the house holds in south india. It also finds a place in a lot of indian restaurants in USA. You can prepare a quick tasty dish with paruppu podi and rice in minutes. My mom never forgets to pack enough of paruppu podi to survive my short business trips. Infact I have survived on paruppu podi, curd rice and pickles for months on my initial trips.

Vineela has given an elaborate description of how to prepare paruppu podi using the combination of the three dals namely toor dal, urad dal and chana dal. She has also added a good piece of information about the health benefits. As she rightly says, the podi has lot of vitamins and minerals but the dish gets the real taste only when had with enormous amount of ghee. Not so good news for Health freaks... Right?

I really liked her idea of rice sushi, a very innovative meal.

Usually parupu podi is prepared only with toor dal, but this one was different I liked the recipe. The only alteration was that I also dry roasted a fistful of dalia and added to the other ingredients. I do not know why I added it, but I have seen my mom adding dhalia when she grinds the mixture, but the final product was good. I even add these podi when I make a few curries like brijal podi curry, plantain curry or potato fry.

Click here to learn making Paruppu from Vineela

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Indian artist strikes rich out of old indian utensils

Here is the story of a man who has made waves, for his creativeness in making artistic displays out of used indian utensils.



Source : ibnlive.com

Thursday, April 26, 2007

List of Indian Food Blogs

As you know we at Indian Food Facts, keep searching for a variety of recipes, in this ever growing world of food blogs and publish the reviews of those special ones, which impress us the most. We also publish the review of the ones we think might be of great interest for our readers.

Here is the entire list of Indian Food Blogs from where we have reviewed one or more recipes. We strongly recommend our readers to visit these blogs as there may be many more interesting recipes for you to try and enjoy.

If you own a food blog and would like to have your link added to this list, please leave a comment in the below format. You can also email us at oosiakapinATgmail.com


Blog Name :

Blog URL :

Specialties : Something like North Indian Recipes /South Indian Recipes/ Tamil Recipes / Kannada Recipes etc.

A Cook @ Heart
Ahaar pleasure & sustenance
Akshayapaatram
A Whirl of Aromas
Beyond The Usual
Cave for me
Cooking Made Easy
Cooking Pleasures
Culinary Chemistry
Daavat
Daily Musings
En Ulagam - My Culinary World
Flavors of Indian Rasoi
foodie
Fun and Food
Healthy N Spicy…
Hooked on Heat
Joseph's Kitchen
Kajal
Kitchen Mate
Kitchen Wonders
LETZ COOK
My Dhaba
My Treasure…My Pleasure
One Hot Stove
Radhi's Kitchen
Recipe Junction
Saffron Trail
Sailus Food
South Indian Recipe
South Indian Recipes
Spice Corner
The Clothed Cook
Trial And Error
Vineela's Cuisine

Click here to bookmark this page and keep visiting often, as this is a constantly updated list.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Spinach / Keerai Masiyal

Spinach Gravy Keerai Masiyal
Spinach can easily be termed as the best known of all green leafy vegetables. Some historic facts point to India as the origin for this healthy vegetable. Spinach can be had just as simple as a salad or with any other vegetables to form a vegetarian curry or gravy. Spinach is a good source for lot many nutrients like vitamins A and C, minerals, fiber and Iron. Though spinach has iron content, it is a myth that it has an extraordinary amount of iron content.


In USA, you can get spinach in any super market in any of these forms : Freshly packed, Canned or Frozen. You can also find the ready-to-eat ones which have pre-washed spinach packed in bag.

If you are buying the freshly packed ones, be sure to look for green and crips ones and avoid those that are damaged or spotted.

Here is my recipe for Keerai Masiyal. It makes an excellent combination with white rice.

Spinach -1 bunch
Green chillies – 2
Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp
Pearl onions – 7 (Can be replaced by a small red onion)
Salt – as required
Garlic – 2 cloves
Asafetida or Hing - pinch

1. Wash the spinach and place it in a non stick pan. Cover and cook it till soft, take care to make sure it is not burnt.
2. Finely chop the onion, green chillies and garlic.
3. Then add 1 tsp of oil and add coriander seeds, cumin seeds, garlic and finally the onions. Saute all these for a while.
4. Mash the spinach into a smooth paste and add along with the mixture. Alternatively you can skip the onions , add spinach and finally mash it into a smooth paste(I grind it in a mixer). The final texture depends on my mood and how I plan to have the Keerai masiyal with. I usually go with the onions and not grinding the mixture, but very rarely like today I grind it when I want it smooth.
5. Your masiyal is ready and enjoy it with steamed white rice or roti.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Welcome visitor No. 25,000 !!!

Sitemeter Statistics Indian Recipes
Today Indian Food Facts blog, received its 25,000 th visitor. We also surpassed the 50,000th milestone in terms of page views a couple of days back. We would like to thank all of you, who have been visiting this blog for the past few months. It gives us a lot of encouragement and confidence to continue what we are doing currently. Thanks again and keep visiting.

Monday, April 23, 2007

How to slice a mango perfectly?




Here is a nice instructional video to slice a mango perfectly.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Paniyaram / Paniaram

Paniyaram in a plate
Paniyaram (Ponganaala Pennam in Telugu) - Ask any tamilian to list out his or her's top 3 favourite tiffin items and you would defintely find 'Paniyaram' in most of the lists. It is not a surprise as these small pieces of rice cakes made out of dough are my favourites too. Paniayaram resemble closely to mini idli's in terms of the dimensions but taste like dosas.

Though many in our family loved to have this as their tiffin, somehow it cant be seen that often in the kitchen. Whenever the dosa batter gets sour over the days, we all eagerly wait to the see the birth of paniyaram.

Being in United States it always was either a special day when we chose to make paniyram or should I rephrase and say whenever we made paniayram the day became special?

Paniyaram in the make

Life has become much more easier once we got the non stick 'paniayara kal', rather than the old heavy weight iron pans my grandother or mother would use. Though the paniyarams made out of the iron skillet taste good, ones made in non-stick pan definitely need very less of oil.

Try substituing oil with ghee to get mouth watering paniyarams.

Between Sweet and Kuhzi Paniyaram, I love to have Kuzhi Paniyarams on any day and especially with coconut chutney or tomato chutney it tastes heavenly.

You can learn how to make Paniyaram by visiting Manpasand.

If you know tamil, here is an excellent video demonstration.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Vomiting: Causes, Symptoms and Cure

Sick Child
Vomiting is usually a beneficial process to help protect a person from injury or even death. The body reacts quickly and violently to rid the stomach of any harmful material. In children vomiting is most often due to an abdominal infection but in adults the reasons may vary from a simple stomach upset to a 'morning sickness' in pregnant women. Good news is that in most cases, the treatment can be done with the help of some simple home remedies.

Here are some tips to help contain vomiting in children.

First and foremost, avoid solid food.

You can take liquids but in small, frequent amounts. Allow enough time intervals between one intake and the other. Don't get too excited or tempted to give more quantity.

Begin by offering a small amount of liquids: only half an ounce every 15 minutes. If your child can keep down half an ounce two or three times, offer an ounce every 15 minutes. After a few one-ounce servings have been kept down, go to two ounces every half hour. Gradually increase the servings as they are tolerated.

If the child also has associated diarrhoea which is often the case in tropical countries, use of Oral Rehydration Salt is highly recommended. These are especially made formulations which replace the electrolytes lost by the body during vomiting
and diarrhea.

If sips of water are not tolerated then it is advised to consult your doctor.

Coconut water, sweetened lime juice in water with ice (shikanji) can be given. Avoid using milk, milk products and carbonated drinks.

Start giving foods gradually. Wait for the child to ask for food and you can give the child lentil gruel and plain rice with curd. Avoid spicy foods.

When to call a doctor?

Child With Doctor

The greatest risk of vomiting due to gastroenteritis is dehydration. Young children as compared to adults have little capacity to bear the loss of water and lectrolytes from the body. Call your doctor if your child shows following signs of dehydration.

The child has diarrhea and refuses fluids.

The child is not urinating.

He cries without tears.

He has a dry mouth or seems confused.

You should also call the doctor if vomiting persists for more than two days, which increases the risk of dehydration.

The following symptoms may indicate a condition more serious than gastroenteritis and requires immediate medical attention.

Projectile vomiting in an infant- forceful vomiting. In this the vomit is thrown at a distance.

Vomiting accompanied by fever.

Repeated vomiting of green or yellow bile.

Vomit resembles coffee grounds.

Vomiting blood.

Vomiting following head injury.

Specially in tropical countries dehydration can come very quickly and also the amount of fluid.

More tips for containing Vomiting in Adults

Lime Juice

Lime juice is an effective remedy for vomiting. Take a glass of chilled limejuice and sip slowly.

Drinking Ginger tea helps a bit in stopping vomiting.

In 1 glass water, add some honey and drink sip by sip.


Prevention and general remedies:-

— Wash your hands, cutting boards and outer tops frequently. After handling raw meat, wash your hands and utensils before preparing other foods. Do not eat meat, dressing salads or other foods that have been kept for more than two hours between
34 degree Centigrade and 40 degree Centigrade.

— Keep party foods on ice. Do not eat raw eggs or sauces made with raw eggs.

— Discard any cans or jars with bulging lids or leaks.

— When you eat out, avoid rare and uncooked meat. Eat salad bar and deli items before they get warm.

— The most important thing to remember in treating food poisoning is that an inflamed stomach tends to go into spasm when stretched, resulting in vomiting. Consequently, if you are vomiting and take anything by mouth, it should be in very small quantities at frequent intervals.

— Do not consume any milk or dairy products during and for at least 72 hours after an episode of food poisoning. Take frequent small sips of barley or rice water, salted lime juice. Once you feel ready to eat, start slowly with easily digested
foods such as mashed bananas, bread toast and diluted juices.

— Take ginger tea thrice daily. It helps to stop nausea and cleanse the digestive tract as well as providing fluids.

— When reheating soups, sauces and gravies, bring them to a rapid boil, if possible, cook for at least four minutes.

— Take Lavanbhaskar powder 1 tablespoon, twice daily with lime water.


Hope all or at least some of the above tips, helps you in the hour of need. Please feel free to leave any tips, if you know of,that we have might have missed to mention it here.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Mango Onion Relish

I love mangoes and I think it is a perfect time to post mango recipes, since it is summer in India and also the best season for mangoes. This dish brings me sweet memories of my days in bangalore where most of my Sunday evenings would be spent by chatting with my roommates and this would be our snack. We would make two versions of this dish one as mentioned by Bubbalili but without jaggery and the other version is to add poha or puffed rice to the mango and onion mixture. Few of my friends like it with puffed rice and it is a common sight in bangalore where you can buy a big cone of this puffed rice for 2 bucks I guess.

This mango onion relish is one of my favorites and yet a very simple one to prepare, so when not in a mood to do intensive cooking for a sidedish I settle with this. It is an excellent combination for lemon rice or coconut rice. I use coconut oil for making this spicy mouth watering salad and have never used jaggery until today. But the sweet and sour taste, tasted better than the one without jaggery.

This is a must try dish and enjoy it as a snack.


Mango Onion Relish Recipe

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Are you a friend of Water?




Water - One of the five important elements found in this earth and available in abdundance for mankind. Unfortunately humans never realised the sheer necessity of water and thus slowly and steadily, this important gift called water got polluted and now it has reached a stage where it needs an immediate attention.


Luckily there are a few good souls who have taken quite a few good initatives in saving this world. Let me introduce you to http://www.friendsofwater.com/.Here is what they say about themselves, "Friends of Water provides inspiration, information and products to celebrate, clean and save water in our environment, health, recreation and gardening."


Friends of Water store

You can learn a lot of information related to water and its facts from their website. There is a full fledged shop, where you can purchase products to clean and save water.


One will be shocked to see the various health hazards related to fluoride risks and how we continue to use them knowingly or unknowingly in our day to day life. In case you get interested and would love to get regular updates about their projects, you can subscribe to their ezine. The ezine delivers fun and serious stories about water, current news, health tips - and special discounts to readers on an ever-growing list of products including water filters, shower and bath filters, foot spas, garden sprinklers and hose timers.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Peas Pulao

Peas Pulao and Spicy Potato Curry

What is your usual dish when there is someone unexpected for dinner or lunch? I usually end up making peas pulao and a potato fry (which is an excellent combination) with raita and some store bought parathas. Gives the feel you have cooked a complete meal, but you actually can pull all this together in half an hour.
Yesterday I had a friend who dropped me over at home after office and I asked her to stay over for dinner. Both of us love potato, so I decided on the usual potato fry and decided to make peas pulao to go with it.

There is no hard and fast rule for making peas pulao. I believe everyone has their own customized version of making this simple, yet delicious dish. “VeggieCuisine” provides a detailed description of the most common or rather the standard way of making this dish. I follow the exact recipe of lakshmi for the recipe, but depending on the ingredients present I add some mint leaves and/or coconut milk.

But next time I make peas pulao I have decided to try supriyakrishna’s recipe, where she adds pulao masala. I am really anxious to try this, because I use pulao masala with vegetable briyani at times and the flavor fills my kitchen. Her photos are also tempting enough to make me want try it in my kitchen.

Click here Simple Peas Pulao Recipe

One more Peas Pulao Recipe

Enjoy your customized peas pulao with raita.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Mushroom Briyani / Mushroom Biryani

Mushroom Briyani

Are you slightly bored of eating chicken dishes? Are you looking for making some other spicy mouth watering dish but still want to be within the limits of something closer to a chicken dish? Here is it. Mushroom Briyani.

Mushroom is a vitamin rich and high protein food and thus an important dietary supplement and healthy food. Though there are wide varieties of mushroom available, the most common found in the US Grocery market is the white button mushroom. Here are some tips for storing mushroom in the refrigerator (thanks: Hormel)

if storing in the refrigerator, do not clean them before storing. Store uncleaned mushrooms in a paper bag or their original container. Do not store in plastic or airtight plastic containers, which causes them to retain moisture and decay faster. Keep them in the refrigerator for 3 or 4 days. It is best to eat them as soon as possible. Dried mushrooms may be stored indefinitely. To preserve mushrooms for an extended period of time, use other methods such as freezing, drying, salting, canning or pickling.

I followed Sapna’s recipe from ‘spicyfeast’ without much alterations. Since I did not have saffron handy I did skip the part in which saffron was added and my color did not exactly match as the photo posted in ‘spicyfeast’. The usual procedure is to cook the mushrooms curry and rice separately, then finally add alternate layers of rice and mushrooms curry. Instead if I am in a lazy want to make a quick meal I make the mushrrom curry, add adequate water and bring it to boil. Add the basmati rice to the boiling water and dum the mixture. Even that tastes good, since the rice is cooked in mushroom curry from the beginning on a slow flame.

Enjoy mushroom briyani/biryani with raita.

Click here Mushroom Biryani Recipe

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Bitter Gourd Curry / Pavakkai / Pavakka Kuzhambu / Kakarakaya Pulusu

Bitter Gourd Curry
Bitter Gourd is one vegetable which is not popular among the masses mainly because of its bitter taste. Occasionally I have seen a few people like me, who have acquired a taste for this veggie. Several years ago, bitter gourd was part of my lunch not by choice but only when my mother insisted.

Bitter gourd is better known for its medicinal properties, especially in containing Diabetes and several other blood disorders. It is widely believed that it has most properties equivalent to that of insulin.

The bitterness in this vegetable can be reduced to a considerable level by smearing salt and turmeric powder to the sliced pieces for 15 minutes and then washing it thoroughly in water. I exactly followed the VKN’s recipe from ‘MyDhaba’. I remember my mom cooking this pulusu/ kuzhambu without coconut and the amount can be adjusted as required. The taste is much better if the onion paste is made from pearl onions or small onions are used, instead of the big onions.




Click here Bitter Gourd Curry Recipe

Monday, April 02, 2007

Baingan Ka Bartha / Baked Eggplant with Peas

Baingan Ka Bartha /Baked Eggplant with Peas
It has been a long time I updated my blog. Amidst a tight schedule at office and heavy traffic driving me crazy it is easy to get lost in the routine. But cooking is my passion, infact I cook a full fledged meal when I feel low and want to divert my mind in something else. By doing that I feel better, since I love cooking and at the end I can pamper myself with a good meal.

There was a brinjal and some peas leftover in the refrigerator, decided on making baingan ka bartha for dinner and have it with some store bought chappathi. Baingan ka bartha is a very simple dish and can be made easily for the amazing taste. Before baking the eggplant brush it with oil and then place it in the oven for 30 minutes or till the brinjal is soft. I personally feel the tomatoes give a wonderful taste to the dish and I do not skimp on the amount of tomatoes. At times I have seen people even add potatoes along with the brinjal and peas. I followed my recipe from deepa’s blog and it turned out well. I really wish, I also had those soft chappathi’s which deepa has served along with the bartha.

Enjoy baingan ka bartha with roti/chappathi.


Click here Baingan Ka Bartha / Baked Eggplant with Peas Recipe

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Mysurpa / Mysore Pak


How many of you have seen folks from Coimbatore talking in awe about the famous MysorePak from the great Sri Krishna sweets, Coimbatore? If I remember my childhood correctly, the traditional Mysore Pak made in South Indian marriages used to be slightly hard. Sri Krishna sweets came out with a totally soft, delicious mouth watering version, which changed my illusion of this sweet. Unlike others they claimed their product has been ‘made only with pure ghee’. Mysurpa became one of my favourite sweets only after tasting this Sri Krishna Sweets product which easily melts as soon you put it in your mouth.

Mysurpa or Mysore Pak

I followed the recipe from Mahanandi. I learnt from a few other places that we can add milk too as one of the ingredients. I personally don’t prefer to add milk as I wanted to refrigerate and preserve the sweet for a longer period. As said in the recipe, you need to make sure that you use the freshest ingredients possible. Also be sure to wait until you see the pores coming up before you switch off the stove and take away the vessel else you may end up with a dish which gives the raw smell of the flour.


Click here Mysurpa/Mysore Pak Recipe

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Coconut Rice / Thengai Saatham

Having been brought up near the Kerala and Tamil Nadu border, it is no surprise that we used to add coconut virtually in every dish possible. The simplest and most obvious of them is the Coconut rice. During my school days, my mom used to prepare the coconut rice early in the morning and pack it along with some pickles as my lunch box. It was yummy and filling. You can add cashews and channa dal by slightly roasting it to add a rich taste to the final product.

Revathi’s recipe is the most common one and definitely a must make one. You can also try a slightly different version by adding elaichi, cardamom and cinnamon mixture with grated coconut, cumin seeds and cashews.

People living outside India may find it difficult to get fresh coconut and may be used to frozen grated coconut. I make it a point to make use of fresh coconut whenever available and use the frozen version in less important dishes.

I would like to add a line of warning here for weight watchers. Coconut contains high saturated fat and you may have to restrict yourselves from having coconut dish often.


Click here Coconut Rice / Thengai Saatham Recipe

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Vegetable Jaipuri / Mixed Vegetable Curry / Mixed vegetable Kurma

This is a recipe I tried and loved a lot, now I make the masala powder in excess and store it in an airtight container, for it comes handy when I want to try the dish again. I am from the southern part of India and we do not use much of tomatoes in the gravy, but we have a more of tamarind and coconut base. So any dish with a dash of coconut and has a tomato base I am for it, since I find it as a blend of north Indian and south Indian gravy.

Different combination of vegetables can be used and I have tried it with carrot potatoes and peas as mentioned or also with beetroots and beans. I do not pressure cook the vegetables because I hate to loose all the boiled water which is rich in nutrients, instead I cook it in a separate wide bottomed vessel with very less of water. Finally when the vegetables have to be added to masala mix, add the vegetables along with the water left. (Usually it will be very less)
I have to mention few words about kajal’s blog, pictures speak more than words in her blog. She has patience to photograph each and every step of the recipe. This helps an amateur cook like me a lot.

Enjoy vegetable jaipuri with roti.

Click here Vegetable Jaipuri / Mixed Vegetable Curry / Mixed vegetable Kurma Recipe

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Idli Upma

Idli upma is a delicacy made from leftovers and is a very common breakfast or tiffin in Southern India. In South India idli is a staple breakfast and my mother would make idli upma in the evenings atleast twice a week with the leftover idlis. It would taste heavenly especially when you are tired and hungry back from school. My breakfast for today is idli upma with the leftovers from yesterdays idli. I do not make idli as often as in India, but when made usually there are no leftovers. Since I love this idli upma a lot, I make few idlis extra and save it for this purpose.

I followed the same procedure as of anupama but with my mothers touch. I used some chopped pearl onions along with the other ingredients that were fried. The fried idlis along with onions would be an excellent combo. Do not use fresh idlis to make this upma, since you cannot get the exact texture, if needed u can refrigerate the fresh idli for two hours and then use it make this dish.

Enjoy idli upma with sambar , chutney or curd.


Click here for Idli Upma Recipe

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Bell Pepper Sambar / Capsicum Sambar

I wanted to try capsicum sambar for a long time and was not very successful in finding a good recipe for capsicum sambar. With the very less of Indian vegetable options in US, I always look out for a way where I can blend the Indian way of cooking to these vegetables. For instance capsicum is usually used in North Indian dishes and is not a common vegetable used regularly for authentic cooking atleast from where I come from. But I like capsicum a lot I add it in salads, kurma, fried rice and any stir fry if possible.

This capsicum sambar turned out very tasty and next time I am planning to try it with masoor dal or moonga dal, first time did not want to take any risks. A bit unusual to make a sambar without any tomatoes and onions, but I believe people who have cooked, photographed and took the strain to blog about the recipe. So played along and followed the recipe, with a very minor alteration (there it is!!!) I added the grind spice mix and allowed it to boil for a while. But I guess it is not necessary, since none of the spices gives a very raw smell, provided it is properly roasted before grinding.
Enjoy the capsicum sambar with rice or dosa.



Click here for Bell Pepper Sambar / Capsicum Sambar Recipe

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Chicken Kofta / Chicken Masala Balls

Chicken Masala  Balls
I had recovered from my cold and today we had a break from the cold weather too. I wanted to enjoy my evening in the patio with spiced buttermilk and a crunchy appetizer. It has been a while I had made non-veg dishes so had brought some boneless chicken last weekend. So browsed for recipe as usual to find a recipe online, what fun is it to cook a recipe you already know.
Many of the bloggers had linked this recipe and when I had a look at the photo I had an idea why. A mouth watering photo when I am hungry is good enough for me to try this recipe. Grind the spice mixture separately into a coarse paste before the chicken and onions are added to grind. Otherwise the spices would not not be properly grind. Sailaja had mentioned that the chicken balls can be grilled to get a healthier version, but I tried it with just four balls. The taste of the baked version was not bad; but definitely not a match to the crispy fried ones. While baking mix some oil along with the chicken mixture and brush the balls with ghee(Is it supposed to be a fat free version?) or oil. I tried it as a combination with the chutneys used for chaats.

This is a brilliant must try recipe or chicken lovers. Thanks to sailu and chandralekha aunty who taught her.

Enjoy the recipe with tomato sauce or green chutney.




Click here for Chicken Kofta / Chicken Masala Balls Recipe

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Baby Potatoes Fry


With the change in climate and temperature fluctuations I had sinus for the past two days and could not update the blog properly. Today I wanted to have something spicy and yet not a lot of hassle to prepare. If you have to meet this condition baby potatoes fry is a good choice, so I settled rasam and the potato fry. Regular potatoes can be used if you do not have baby potatoes, but baby potatoes some how is good, maybe because of the texture.

I followed the exact recipe as from “Vcuisine” with only one alteration, that too since I was lazy. I added the sesame seeds along with the grind mixture so that the work is easily done. Prick the potatoes with a toothpick, so the masala gets in. A fork can also be used but still a toothpick will be better.

Enjoy the baby potatoes fry with rice or roti.



Click here for Baby Potatoes Fry Recipe

Simple measures for your Child's Safety

Let me share some useful pointers which I got through a forwarded email. Please leave a comment if you have any more tips like this.

Here is a list of commonly to prevent many commonly occuring accidents.

Electrical

Electricity is dangerous. Children love to stick objects into exposed electrical outlets. Use dummy plugs to cover unused outlets — if these are not readily available, simply buy a new plug and insert into the outlet.

Avoid leaving long lengths of power cords exposed — the child can pull these and cause an appliance to fall. Also make sure that all the power cords are in good condition, without being frayed. Avoid using too many extensions since these can overheat and cause a short circuit or a fire.

If you are having a new home or flat built, ask the electrical contractors to install an Earth Linked Circuit Breaker (ELCB). This is a device that will instantly shut off the supply to the home if it detects an earth leak, such as when someone accidentally gets an electric shock. You can also request that all the outlets and switches be installed at a height above the reach of the average toddler.

The kitchen

Many household accidents happen here.

Children love to play with fire — do not leave matches around where a child can get hold of them. Teach children about fire safety from an early age. Also, do not leave pots and pans on the gas or range unsupervised. Ensure that the handles of saucepans or other vessels are turned away — this will make it harder for a toddler to reach up and tip the contents over himself.

Keep all knives, forks and other sharp objects out of reach. This includes items like mixer blades.

Keep all kitchen and other household cleaners out of the reach of children, preferably under lock and key. This also applies to kerosene, if you use it.

The bathroom

Keep all cleaning agents, such as acids and detergents in a locked cabinet. Many of these compounds are highly corrosive and can do serious damage if ingested.

Adjust the temperature control on your geyser so that it is not too hot — you should be able to hold your hand without discomfort in the hot water stream.

Food safety

Many foods can be dangerous for small children since they can aspirate the items, which will result in blockage of the breathing passages. The air passages of a child are relatively small and are easily blocked. In addition, children often talk or laugh with food in their mouth. It is difficult to enforce the following safety tips but medical professionals see many disasters that could have easily been avoided.

Children under five years should not eat hard items like murukku, seedai and hard candy. Nuts are especially dangerous. Popcorn (which is light) can easily be aspirated into the lungs.

Teach children not to put too much food into their mouths and also not to talk with food in the mouth.

Toys

Many toys can be dangerous. There are no enforceable guidelines in India about toy design and safety issues. You can take the following steps to ensure that toys do not hurt your child.

Make sure that the toy is age appropriate — what is suitable for an older child may be unsafe for a younger child.

Watch out for toys with sharp edges and small parts — children below three years can aspirate small parts and choke.

Avoid toys that have paint that peels off. The paint can be ingested when a child puts it into his mouth.

If a toy uses button cells, be very careful since toddlers can swallow them.

Baby walkers

Baby walkers can be extremely dangerous and are totally unnecessary. Babies who use walkers do not start walking any faster than others. However, babies do not have the ability to control the extra mobility provided by a walker and can run into furniture or other objects, or fall down stairs and get hurt.

General

Go around the house regularly and ensure that there are no sharp edges exposed that can hurt a child.

Keep all medicines out of the reach of children. Many tablets look like candy and toddlers love to eat them. Even medicines like iron tablets and vitamins are dangerous.

Do not give leftover medicines prescribed on a previous occasion or for others to a child — it may be both inappropriate and dangerous.

Do not allow children to play unsupervised on balconies.

Do not allow children to play on the rooftop, even if supervised. Most parapet walls are not high enough to prevent a child from falling over.

Be extremely careful around stairs — infants and toddlers can easily fall down and injure themselves. If you have open stairs in a house, consider having a carpenter make a temporary safety gate until the child is old enough to use the stairs without assistance.

Do not place chains or other closed loop like objects around a child's neck. These can get caught on objects and strangulate the child.

Keep agarbati and other burning objects well away from children — children sometimes try to look at the glowing tip and get burns on the face.

Do not allow children to play with or handle plastic bags — these can suffocate a child if placed over the head.

Water safety

Children have no innate fear of water and must be carefully supervised. Even a bucket with only a few inches of water at the bottom can be a death trap for a toddler who could fall into it head first.

Be extremely wary when small children are in or near swimming pools or other water bodies. Most incidents of drowning happen in the presence of the parents or other adults. It is impossible for one person to effectively supervise a group of children and one child can easily be missed in a large group.

Travel safety

Two wheelers: No one should ride a scooter or motorcycle without wearing a helmet. Since paediatric helmets are not available, ideally no child should ride on a two-wheeler. Children are much more prone to head injuries than adults because the size of the head is larger relative to the body and therefore children fall headfirst. Even a very low speed accident can cause serious or fatal injury.

More than two people should never ride a two-wheeler. Unfortunately, it is all too common to see entire families on the same vehicle.

Car Travel: Ideally, all occupants in a car should wear seat belts — even low speed accidents can cause serious injury to passengers not wearing seat belts.

In addition, children should travel only in a properly designed child safety seat. Unfortunately, these are generally not available in India. In the absence of car seats, the following safety measures may be of some help.

Do not allow children to travel in the front — if the car stops suddenly, the child will be thrown forward and can sustain serious head injuries by hitting the windshield or dashboard.

Do not allow children to sit in an adult's lap. In the event of an accident, both will be thrown forward and the adult's weight will crush the child.

Wear seat belts, even if you mainly drive within the city — children emulate adults and they too will learn to use seat belts if you set an example. However, do not fit an adult seat belt onto a child until he is old enough, otherwise serious damage can happen in the event of an accident. In general, a child can wear an adult seat belt when he is about 4.9 feet (145 cm) tall, or weighs more than 36 kg.

Do not allow children to play with items like pencils, sticks, etc. since these can injure the child or another occupant in the event of the vehicle coming to a sudden stop.

Similarly, do not keep large, unrestrained objects in the passenger compartment — these can be thrown out and injure occupants during a sudden stop.