Friday, April 18, 2008

Eeyam and Velleeyam

I wanted to clarify something. People often think the vessels which are called Eeyam, in which you typically make Rasam contains lead or is lead Actually, the vessels which are called Eeyam are actually Velleeyam which is an alloy of Tin and Aluminum. There is no lead in that, Although Eeyam means lead.
Velleeyam is an alloy made of Tin and Aluminium.

On one of my trips to India, I went shopping for this vessel in Madurai and went directly to the person who makes it (his house). He was the one who gave me this information. So please do not worry about lead poisoning and go ahead and enjoy the Rasam made in this vessel.
I have to tell you this:
Once I had made Rasam in my eeyam vessel for lunch. In the evening we had an unexpected guest. Since my eeyam vessel was too small, I transferred the leftover rasam in to a bigger non-stick pot and made more rasam by "repairing" it.
Our Guest, took one sip of this rasam and asked "Was this Rasam made in a Eeyam Vessel?"!!! :)

I have an assortment of Eeyam vessels now which I guard ever so preciously!!

"Repairing" is the process of adding more water and Rasam Powder and Salt to the leftover rasam to multiply it to serve more people!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

(Winter Melon in yogurt gravy and Lentil Crepes )Poosanikai Pachai Mor Kuzhambu and Power Packed Adai

Power Packed Adai

I have to let you all know, that this was an experiment! But it turned out good!
On Tuesdays, during Tennis season, I have to leave the house by 5pm and can come back only by 7pm. I work from home, so I usually make dinner only at 5pm. So I end up making some Dosa items for dinner since it is quick. Since I just came back, and didnt have any dosa dough at hand, I thought why not Adai , a lentil dosa. I did a little variation
Here is what I did
1 Cup Whole Green Mung
1 Cup Whole Skinned Urad
1 Cup Rice
½ cup Channa Dal
½ Cup Black Eyed Peas
½ cup Horsegram
½ Cup Sabudana
3 Green Chilllies
1 Red Chillies
2 teaspoons Salt
Coconut-one handful cut in tooth shaped pieces
Curry leaves (I still havent bought it! but you can use if you have)
-->I soaked all this before I left, all in one bowl, except the sabudana.
-->I soaked the sabudana seperately.
-->When I came back, I put all this (except the
sabudana )in my food processor and made a batter.
-->To this batter Imixed the sabudana.I made thin lentil crepes out of it.
The kids loved it, I also liked it. Next time, I will soak the green mung way ahead of time, or use regular mung dal. I felt it had to soak a lttle more, but I was the only one who felt that way. My husband also liked it! It is a very filling dinner.
As a side dish to this I Made
Poosanikai Pachai Mor Kuzhambu
Pachai means Green in Tamil , Mor Kuzhambu is gravy made with yogurt base.
Items You Need:
For the Masala Soak for 10 to 15 minutes
1 tsp Jeera (Cumin)
3 tsps Coconut shredded (I used Frozen)
1 tsp Rice
2 Green Chillies
1 handful Fresh Coriander
For the Gravy
Wintermelon - 5 cups (Cut in square shapes)
Salt as needed
Thick Yogurt - 2 cups (blended in to thick buttermilk)
Oil- 1 Tsp
Mustard-¼ tsp
Red Chili -1
-->In a vessel, take the wintermelon, and add
enough water to lightly cover the vegetables
-->Add the salt once it starts boiling
-->Grind the masala and add the mixture to it
and cook for a 5 to 7 minutes in low fire
-->Add the thick buttermilk to it, and cook for
3 minutes in low fire
-->In a small pan, add some oil, add the mustard,
once it sputters add the Red Chili, and pour it over
the gravy. Garnish with coriander leaves, and curry leaves.
Note- You should be careful, not let the buttermilk curdle. It should be thick and creamy!

Kathrikai Podi Curry (Brinjal Curry)

I was in New Jersey the past week visiting my cousins. Had a nice break and now back to blogging :)

There are so many ways to prepare Brinjal, this is one of my favorites (Who am I kidding, I can eat Brinjal any way it is made :)

This curry is generally made with small Indian Brinjals, but you can make them with other kinds, but you have got to cut them in 1 inch and small pieces. But the indian ones don't have any water in them so it will not become soggy, with other kinds, they have so much water content in them, it is hard to make them crispy.

Items You Need
Brinjals small -- 15 (approximate)
(cut in 4)
Oil -- 4 to 5 tsps
Mustard Seeds -½ Tsp
Salt as needed
For the Powder
¼ Cup Channa Dal
½ Cup Coriander Seeds
Red Chillies-2
Green Chili-1
Salt as needed
-->In a tawa, add ½tsp oil, and add the channa dal and Coriander Seeds and the chillies and fry till the channa dal is golden brown and the coriander seeds starts getting light brown. (You should be able to smell the coriander, and at the same time you should not burn it!)
Carefully put this in your mixture, add some salt to this and make a powder.
-->In, the same Tawa, add the rest of the oil, and add mustard seeds.
--> Once they sputter, add the cut brinjals, and salt, and then fry for about 5 minutes in low fire
--> now add the powder to this and mix well and cover and cook in low fire for 15 to 20 minutes

You may garnish with Curry leaves and coriander, but, I just came back from my trip, so didn't have any, but this tasted delicious!!!!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Fenugreek Sprouts and Moong (Mung) Bean Sprouts

I love Sprouts and try to sprout any lentil I can get my hands on!

You really don't need any contraptions for making these, but I have a sprout maker, and I feel the sprouts are bigger if I make in them.
I got it from Tupperware in India. My aunt's friend sells them. It is a dark blue container, with a basket with holes which fits in the box and a cover. There is a Picture here.

Fenugreek Sprouts

Since I use fenugreek spouts in everything i make, I usually soak about a cup of fenugreek on Sunday nights. I drain the water (and drink, rather gulp it down --OPTIONAL) and cover them in a soft cotton cloth and place them in the basket. Fill the box with 3 tablespoons of water and cover it.

By Tuesday morning, they are are all sprouted. I transfer the sprouts to a dry container and store them in the fridge. As long as you keep it dry, it lasts for a week to 2 weeks.

p.s. The water in which the fenugreek has soaked will be extremely bitter, but is supposed to be very good for health.

Moong (Mung)Bean Sprouts

The same process, except you throw away the

water in which you soaked the Beans overnight

Tip: When you soak any lentil or seeds over night, wash it first, and fill the container with water. Water should stand over it (lentils) atleast 1/4th of an inch.

My Sprout Maker

This is my sproutmaker.

I got this from Tupperware India. My Aunt's Friend sells these. I don't remember how much I paid, but this is a very useful thing.

It also doubles as a microwave rice cooker, but I have never used it for that.

It has three parts

The cover (blue)

The basket which fits inside the container (green)

The Container (blue)

If you have a colander and a vessel in which the colander can fit, you can use that instead and voer it with a cutting board.

Taro Root Roast (Seppa Kizhangu Roast)

Tip: If you pressure cook the taro root and let it cool
(drain the water and do not wash) and then prepare the Roast, It will not get mushy!

You need
10 to 12 Taro roots
5 tsps oil (Come on , it is a roast, Eat now and Work out later!!)
Salt As needed
1 ½ tsp red chili powder
2 Green Chillies slit
1 Red Chilli
¼ tsp mustard
2 dashes of hing

Prep Work
Wash the vegetable and pressure cook it and let it cool at least an hour before you start peeling.
After you peel it cut in desired shapes and mix half the oil and red chili powder and salt and let it sit for half an hour.
In a Kadai, add the rest of the oil and the mustard, once it sputters add the chillies and hing and then the mixture you have prepared and roast till desired or hungry!

Options: Replace the Taro Root with Potato and it will be Potato Roast!

Simple Moong Dal, BeetRoot Curry, Rice in 25 minutes! For a family of 4

This is a Simple Dinner you can cook in about 25 minutes, but needs some pre planning!
It starts with soaking Moong Dal 8 (if not 8, atleast 4 hours before!
Items You need
For the Beet Root Curry (Do this First)
7 Small Beetroots
2 Carrots
1 Tsp oil
1 Red Chili
¼ tsp mustard
Dash of hing
Salt as needed
For the Simple Moong Dal
1 ½ Cup Moong Dal
1 Full Garlic (Chopped)
¼ Inch Ginger (Chopped)
1 Full Tomato (Chopped)
1 Full Onion (Chopped)
1 Full Green Chili (Slit)
1 Handful of Moong Dal Sprouts, Fenugreek Sprouts ( I add this everywhere! OPTIONAL)
1 Tsp Oil
1 Tsp Kitchen King Masala
1 Tsp Chili Powder
Salt as needed
(If you have a food Processor or a mini Prep, Chop the onions/Garlic/Ginger in that. It saves a lot of time.
For The Rice
Of Course Rice 1 ½ cups (according to your needs (Brown or White)

Prep work (10 mins)
Chop the Tops and Bottoms of the Beetroot and Peel Them.
Put them in a steamer. (Put 1 and 1/2 Cup of Water in the Bottom)
Put the Dal + Sprouts and the Rice in the pressure Cooker.
-->While the Cooker and steamer are on, Chop all Veggies for Dal
--> On a medium high flame Put the oil in Kadai, add the onions, garlic, tomatoes, Chili and saute them for a bit, add the chili powder and reduce the flame to a medium low
--> When The Beetroots are half steamed, take them out. Save the water from the bottom and add them to the dal kadai (Yes, Dal Kadai, So what if the Dal is slightly red in color?? :)
-->Let the Kadai Simmer, and while you wait for the cooker’s pressure to go down, start chopping the beetroots to desired lengths.
--> In another vessel add the oil and mustard and once that sputtes, red chili and hing and then the chopped beetroot. Saute that for about 5 minutes while you are getting bored!
--> By Now the Cooker should be ready to open, Take the Dal oput carefully and pour it in your Kadai and Add some Water if you feel it’s too Thick, Let it come to a boil.
--> Serve Hot!
Disclaimer: The time it takes to cook this simple meal varies according to each person's speed, attention etc!

If you would like to eat this with Rotis, you have to plan to make them ahead of time.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Card Tricks by Varun

Card Tricks performed by my son Varun. He posted these on YouTube.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Leftover Bread------> Bread Upma!

I make bread at home, two small loaves a week. So invariably I have 3 or 4 slices leftover every week.
I use them to make delicious Bread Upma
You will need
3 or 4 slices of bread (my slices are small, if you use store bought bread, then 2 or 3 will do)
2 Green Chillies -chopped (You can make it one or none, depending on your spice level)
1 Red Chillies (broken)
1/4 tsp of mustard
1/2 a small onion chopped
1 tsp of oil
--->Crush the stale bread in a food processor or by hand.
--->Add the oil in a kadai and add mustard seeds, and the chillies.
--->Once the mustard seeds start sputtering, add the onions and saute them,
--->Add the bread once the onions start browning
--->Add salt and mix well
--->Serve hot!
This is the standard breakfast at our house on weekends.

Another Lazy Kootu

This recipe was contributed by my cousin sis Aparna.
Generally for any kootu the proportion of the vegetables to dal should be 3:1 or 4:1.
If the vegetables are lesser than that, then it will taste like baby food!
For this Kootu
You will need
1 bunch Yu Choy
1 Bunch Red Leaf Spinach
(I added a handful of sprouted fenugreek and moong dal to this too)
1/2 cup Moong Dal
One Handful of Toor Dal
a Dash of hing
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp of Turmeric powder
1 tsp oil
2 Tsp Jeera
1 tsp Crushed Red Pepper (If you dont have this, then just grind 3 red chillies (raw) in your mixer
1/2 tsp Mustard
Curry leaves and Coriander Leaves to garnish
Coconut is optional
------>Put the dals directly in the vessel you are going to cook the kootu in.
------>Wash the Dals and add water to cover the dals
------> Add salt, hing, and turmeric powder
------>Let it come to a boil, you can put a ladle in the pot, so it will not boil over
------->Once the dals are half cooked, add the chopped spinach Add water to this. The dals and spinach should soak comfortably! in the water. Let it all in medium flame.
------>Once the Dals are completely cooked, take another vessel and for garnishing, add some oil, mustard, jeera, crushed red pepper. Once it all sputters, add it to your spinach Dal mixture, while still sizzling and add curry leaves and coriander leaves and coconut if you desire it.
Aparna usually makes this Lazy Kootu with Chayote (chow chow or Bangalore Kathrikai) or Squash. I used the spinach since I wanted to finish it. I saved the thick stems of the yu choy and red leaf spinach. You can use it make kootu again or add in your sambhar!