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Potato podimas is usually prepared on festival days. It can be prepared quickly with just a teaspoon of oil.

Ingredients

  • Potatoes – 1/2 kg
  • Oil – 1 tsp
  • Coconut – 2 tbs grated
  • Curry leaves – 1 twig
  • Coriander leaves – 1 tbs chopped
  • Green chili – 1no
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Cashew – 4 to 5 chopped ( Optional)
  • Lemon juice – 1 tbs ( optional)
  • Salt – to taste

 

Method

  1. Wash and pressure cook the potatoes. Peel the cooked potatoes and mash well.
  2. Heat oil in a kadai, add mustard seeds. When it crackles add urad dal and cashew.
  3. Saute till golden. Add chopped curry leaves and green chili.
  4. Saute for a minute and add the mashed potatoes. Mix well.
  5. Add salt and coconut and mix well.Take off the heat.
  6. Add lemon juice and mix well.( Optional)
  7. Decorate with chopped coriander leaves.

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Amma used to prepare pachadi almost everyday. All raitas or pachadis are very simple and can be prepared quickly.  Kothamalli pachadi is simple as well.

Ingredients

  • Kothamalli(Coriander leaves) – 6 twigs
  • Coconut grated – 2 tbs
  • Thick curd – 1 cup
  • Green chili – 1 no
  • Salt – to taste

For the seasoning

  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Oil – 1 tsp

 

Method

  1. Wash the coriander leaves and drain.
  2. Grind coconut, coriander,green chili and salt to a fine paste.
  3. Beat the curd well. Mix curd and ground paste well.Transfer to a serving bowl.
  4. Heat oil in a kadai add mustard seeds. When it crackles add urad dal and fry till golden.
  5. Add to the coriander pachadi.
  6. Serve as a side dish.

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Harvesting tomatoes that were never sown!

Around five years back, I suddenly planned a  face lift for our small garden area. After cleaning up the garden I bought a nice pot to be used as compost pit. We collected the vegetable and fruit waste in this pot and used it as manure. I used to throw the rotten tomatoes as well.

In our new duplex home we made planters on the compound wall and the parapet wall. My hubby mixed soil with the compost we had collected over the years  and planted some rose cuttings. After around two weeks the planters were filled with tomato plants. We re potted them and have harvested over 100 tomatoes till now. Another hundred can be plucked in a week:).

Thakkali Koottu (Tomato koottu )

Cooking with home grown vegetables is very satisfying and you know there are no artificial fertilizers or pesticides. The aroma of freshly plucked vegetables is heavenly.

Ingredients

  • Raw tomatoes – 6 to 8
  • Moong dal – 1/4 cup
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – to taste

For the paste

  • Grated coconut – 1 tbs
  • Coriander seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Channa dal – 1 tsp
  • Hing – a small piece
  • Red-chili –  1 no
  • Oil – 1 tsp

For  the seasoning

  • Ghee – 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 5 nos
  • Red chilli – 1 no

Method

  1. Slice the tomatoes into long pieces.Place in a MW safe bowl and mix with 1/4 tsp turmeric powder. MW high for 5 minutes
  2. Pressure cook the moong dal with 1/4 tsp turmeric powder.
  3. Roast the ingredients for the paste except coconut in 1 tsp oil, add coconut and grind to a smooth paste.
  4. Add cooked moong dal, ground paste and salt to the tomatoes and mix well.Add a little water to get Koottu consistency.
  5. Mw high for 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl.
  6. Cut the red chili into small pieces.
  7. Heat 1 tsp ghee and add the mustard seeds and red chili; when the mustard crackles add the curry leaves. Add  the seasoning to the koottu.

Serve as a side dish for rotis,phulkas or rice.

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After the article in The Hindu hits for the blog has increased considerably :). The sad part is that my pictures and recipes are shamelessly copied and used by other websites. Follow this link http://www.chennai.com/more_kuzambu.html I know  many other bloggers are upset just like me. But now I will write something that no one can copy, about the homes I have lived till date!

We moved into our new duplex house in February 2012. This is my 25th home.

I was born at no:3  1st street kallukuzhi Trichy. I was born at home before my mother could be hospitalized. Being a girl after three boys, the whole family was elated. I was affectionately called Ponnu (girl).A funny incident happened about which no one was aware for long. At home I was named Latha. My uncle registered my  name as Rukmani (my granny’s name). This confusion was solved by naming me as latha rukmani at school! A few months later we left for Calcutta, but we came back to the same house after 4 years.

Badam/Cashew Halwa

Cashew burfi was one of first sweets my amma prepared. My granny used to travel a lot to assist her long list of relatives for one occasion or the other. My amma and aunt would carry on with their experimental cooking, with expert advice from my grandpa :). Once as per his recipe they fried cashew in ghee and dropped them into hot, thick  sugar syrup! The cashews turned black and could not be separated from the syrup. Only thing they could do was to clean up the kitchen before my granny returned! This was one of first experiments of two great cooks :)!

Traditionally  badam is skinned for halwa. I have retained the skin as per dietitians’ advice.

Ingredients

  • Badam(almonds) /Cashew – 1 cup
  • Sugar – 1 cup
  • Cardamom – 4 nos
  • Nutmeg – a small piece
  • Saffron leaves – a few
  • Ghee – 2 tbs

Almond halwa will be cream in colour. Mine is wheatish as I have retained the skin.

Method

  1. Soak the almonds in hot water for one hour.* Peel the skin if you wish.
  2. Grind the almonds with cardamom and nutmeg to a smooth paste, adding a little water.
  3. In a heavy bottomed pan mix the ground paste, sugar and ghee. Cook on a low to medium flame, stirring continuously.
  4. Cook till the halwa leaves the sides and forms into a ball when stirred.
  5. Transfer the halwa to a serving dish and decorate with saffron leaves.

Note:* The skin can be peeled easily after soaking for around 5 minutes.

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balakrishna.gif

Tanjore Painting of Lord Bala Krishna made by Latha Narasimhan (me!!) Update: Thanks SeeC, for suggesting that I put a web optimized image with a copyright.

This year (update: refers to year 2007) Srijayanthi also known as Gokulashtami/Janmashtami/Krishnashtami falls on 4th September.As always I am posting the details and important recipes (prasaadams or offerings) of Krishna jayathi or Janmashtami or Gokulashtami, a few days ahead of the festival. This is for people who come here looking for these recipes.

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The following recipes have been posted on The Yum Blog, click through for the recipes.

  1. Navaneetham
  2. Sukkuvellam
  3. Thattai
  4. Seedai
  5. Vellaseedai
  6. Kodubale
  7. Paal cake

Lord Krishna’s Birthday is celebrated by Hindus all over the world! In the North this is celebrated as Janmashtami. In the South, the Iyers call this festival Janmashtami or Gokulashtami and the Iyengars celebrate as Srijayanthi or Krisnajayanthi.

In Karnataka, Iyengars place the idol of Lord Krishna in a mandapam and decorate him with the Bhakshanam (Snacks and Sweets in Tamil) they prepare for the festival. Garlands and thoranams are made out of Murrukus and Kodubales!

Kodubale

A few decades earlier back the children in the household used to decorate a chaparam(mandapam that can be carried on your shoulders), place the image of Lord Krishna in it and carry it around the streets. As a child I remember we too built these chaparams for the lord. My father as usual performed a Aaradanai (a poojai performed for Saligramam which is a divine stone considered to be a manifestation of Lord Vishnu) and a variety of Bhakshanams(sweets and snacks) were offered as prasaadam. These days children do a lot of craft work for their school project, but there is no inclination to build a chaparam for the lord.

Paal Cake

For children Srijayanthi definitely means a lot of snacking and jolly time for the sweet tooth. Snacks prepared usually have rice flour as main ingredient. Minimum five varieties of fresh fruits are offered. Naval pazham (Syzygium cumini , Skeels, Myrtaceae) the lords favourite fruit is definitely included. To know the medicinal properties of this fruit please visit this link.

Navaneetham

Sukku Vellam
Navaneetham and Sukkuvellam are two items that are prepared only for this festival.

The pooja is performed in the late evening as Krishna was born at midnight. Generally most of the sweets and savouries are prepared on that day only. The front yard is decorated by drawing a kolam (rice flour drawings on ground), called ezhakoolam. This is done using soaked rice ground to a fine paste and mixed with lot of water. A white cloth is used to soak the paste and make the drawing. Krishna’s feet is drawn from the front yard to the pooja room, indicating that the lord is entering our home. In my home my son has been performing the pooja for the last 5 years. We do the Srikrishna Ashtothra Naamavali (chanting of 108 names of Lord Krishna) for the Pooja.

We are hosting a virtual food event for the festival, and I am sure all my blogger friends will send their entries in great numbers. So while I prepare a huge array of sweets and snacks, I will post only a few in the coming days. My blogger friends will bring out the best of their culinary skills and post other great recipes which are prepared for this festival. :). Click here for details of the event.

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