Friday, January 26, 2007

Til Wadi

Oh well, sankranti is almost over... I know, but it was one thing after the other... and somehow I just could not push myself to finish off this post!
This was the first time I made Til Wadi... all these years my Mother used to make Tilgul ladoos... I helped roll them, but never tried making them.. plus it was complicated, melting the jaggery to a certain point / colour....(or so it seemed to me then!)

Ever eat a Tilgul ladoo which was sticky? Had your jaws stuck together and when you tried to prise them open and talk all you could do was "Abbo -obble.." Well, that happened to me last year when someone had given me a ladoo and when I was champing it the mobile rang ... and then I went "Abbo, obble.."
So last year my Jethani gave me Tilwadi, which was real nice.. I mean , colour wise, taste wise and above all crunchy!, it was natural for me to take down her recipe (she laughed and said "it's too easy for words!") that's just what I want!!!!
Her recipe is :

1 cup Sesame
1 cup sugar
Cardamom powder
Ghee

Lightly roast the sesame. Keep aside.
Grease a steel plate/ thali with ghee in preparation to make the wadis. Keep a spoon, some ghee and a knife handy.
Heat a kadhai/ wok, add the sugar and let it melt completely.
When the sugar has melted completely make sure that the stove/ flame is on low/ sim. The colour of the melted sugar must now look like light honey.
Quickly add the sesame and cardamom powder. Mix thoroughly.
Immediately pour this mixture in the greased plate. Apply some ghee to the back of the spoon and firmly pat the mixture in the shape of the plate.
With the knife make diamond shapes.
Leave it to cool. Later separate the pieces.
Store in an airtight container.

Please note, you have to be quick when adding sesame and then pouring onto a well greased plate, otherwise the mixture will dry up and become hard.
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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

JFI - GINGER .... Ginger Chili Pickle

It's JFI time again and our hostess this time is Rosie and the ingredient she has chosen is...... GINGER.
This root finds it's way into the Indian Kitchen in so many ways! Ginger Tea... what a wonderful and natural way to gently ease a sore throat! To say nothing of the wonderful aroma it infuses in the brew, perfect for a rainy day or a chilly winter evening!
My (late) Great Grandmother used to keep ginger candy, known as 'Aaley Paak' in Marathi, with her at all times, and in the afternoon, we, cousins would gather round and sit by her and listen to her stories (old tales from epics) where the Gods fought fiercely against the demons to protect mankind...and she would from time to time slip us each a bit of the candy! Aah! Those were the days!

This ancient root has for centuries been useful in the kitchens and medicine chests across the world! Commonly used to treat symptoms of indigestion, tastelessness, vomiting, sore throat, flatulence etc. Dried ginger powder can be used externally as well for treating headaches, by mixing a small amount of 'soonth' in warm water and applying to the forehead.

Ginger, according to old ayurvedic texts also has aprodisiacal properties and also proves effective in treating menstural problems.

Taking a U turn to cooking again.... I wondered what to make for JFI this time.. I mean Ginger is used in SO MANY things!! I was thinking of my options when my firend S literally spoonfed me an idea! she had made some pickle a couple of weeks ago, which she told me was ridiculously simple to make and yet not at all deficient in taste..... the wheels were set in motion then... what sealed the idea was the spoonful of green chili pickle she gave me to eat (just looking at the pickle bottle was not an option, when I see pickle, I eat it- mark the words 'eat' not 'taste')

Just as she said, it was simple to make and boy! talk about taste! Makes my mouth water even thinking about it! At that moment I latched her in to help me make a Ginger- chili pickle, afterall it was her recipe , my addition was the inclusion of Ginger!

This is how you do it:

1 cup of chopped green chili (spicier the better!)
1/2 cup of ginger pieces
3 tbsp. of Ground mustard (rai) seeds (rough grind)
1 tbsp Asafetida
Salt
1/4 spn. fennel (saunf) seeds
Juice on 1 lemon
2 tbsp oil
A squeaky clean and DRY bottle to store the pickle


Make sure there is no water or dampness in the mixing bowl.
Wash, dry and chop the green chilies
Peel the ginger and cut into bite size bits.
Grind the mustard seeds in the mixie
In the mixing bowl, add the ginger and chilies.
Add the mustard seed powder and the fennel seeds.
Add salt and asafetida.
Mix thoroughly.
Now transfer this mixture to the bottle, pour lemon juice in it, close the lid, shake it well.
Open, add the oil. Close the bottle tight. That's it!
Keep this in the hot sun for 3 days.... and then enjoy with ur meal.
This pickle goes well with rice khichdi and kadhi, also with yogurt rice.
Thank you Rosie for hosting this month's JFI !! Pin It

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

MBP @ Coffee's !


Rooma here's my entry for the MBP... sorry I am a bit late... I had made this dish when I first saw the event on your blog.... but I guess that's just me.... I make dishes, click snaps... then make drafts with the snaps and .... then.... well, they stay that way.......
So any way..... I checked out a few blogs, bookmarked a lot of recipes but finally settled on Pasta, and the recipe was from Priya
The only addition I made was adding onion to the dish (but in a small quantity)
So without further ado, here is my contribution :

  • Penne Pasta - 1/2 pound
  • Ripe Roma Tomatoes - 1 cup, finely chopped ( Or 10 oz crushed tomatoes - canned )
  • Tomato paste - 1 tbsp
  • Garlic - 2 cloves, medium size, finely chopped
  • Red chili flakes - 1/2 to 1 tsp
  • Dried Oregano - 1/2 tsp
  • Fresh Parsley - 1 tbsp, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion (finely chopped)
  • Olive Oil - 2 tbsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese

Method

In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook pasta al dente according to package instructions.
Meanwhile, heat oil in a deep skillet or pot. Add chopped garlic and saute` until fragrant.
Next add red chili flakes, dried oregano and chili flakes, saute` for 5 to 10 seconds and then add onion, crushed/chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, salt to taste and mix well.
Simmer over low-medium heat for about 5 to 8 minutes or until the tomato sauce has reduced a little bit.
Add cooked pasta, chopped parsley and toss until mixed well.
Serve hot with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Lesson Learnt : I did not have Roma Tomatoes, so I substituted with the normal onesand therefore used less than the prescribed amount .... Will use more tomatoes next time..... and get Roma ones.

VERDICT: This pasta tastes wonderful! The chili flakes give it a zing and Indians who like pasta (with a 'bit' of extra spice) will love it! A wonderful one dish meal... and you may be sure that this will make it's appearance frequently at the dinner table!!!!
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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Life is rum, that way......

No, this post has nothing remotely close to Rum in it... sorry about that! I was merely referring to the expression one uses.... Life is rum.... you know the kind of expression Bertie Wooster uses when he is puzzled about certain circumstances.... he plunks a few bars on his piano and says, to Jeeves, " you know Jeeves, Life is rum.." to which the inimitable Jeeves only says, "Indeed Sir"
Now what has all this to do with the post, you say? Well, that's just what I found myself saying this afternoon... of course, there was no Jeeves, just M and I, whiling away our time...
So after the usual 'tucking in the corners', 'setting things straight', I pottered into the kitchen, much like Lord Emsworth (Of Blandings Castle) absentmindedly pottered around his home...
with nothing much on my mind. After a peaceful moment (I knew it was too good to last!) I (fretfully) mentioned to M - that I was COMPLETELY out of stock in the kitchen.
M, slowly, raised his eyebrows ( I should have sensed it then.... ) and said(not asked) "Nothing?!" "NO" I said.. someone once told me I had a stupid habit of putting both my feet in my mouth on occasions .... this is was one of those moments... So M got up and strode in to the kitchen, unlike my pottering in .. and started poking around and soon had things removed from all drawers by the bushel...... leaving me, well, digging my toes in the carpet and looking sheepish....
I had no idea, I had ALL those things in ALL those corners!! And in Ziploc bags! Well, well... what can I say? Genius is sometimes absent-minded!! Oh, I could see M's lips curl up, but he said not a word, just stuck up those lists on the fridge where I can see them all the time! (The yellow post-it is for items to be consumed on priority, and till such time, not a peep into any grocery store....) As for me ... I went on to making do with the ziploc bag and it's contents... instead of going off and buying all colourful vegetables... fruit.... some other grocery stuff... oh well, as I said earlier, Life is rum!
Now, this is a slightly coarser variety of farina I have used. The colour is a warm nutty brown and lends a nice flavour to the upma. Of course, I needed a little more water than the usual to cook this.....


1 cup Farina (rava/ sooji.. in this case, coarse cracked wheat farina)
1 med. size onion
2 green chilies chopped
1/2 tsp. each Urad daal & Chana daal
1/4 spn. Cumin seeds
A few curry leaves
~2 spn.oil
2 1/4 cup water (1/4 cup more, if u like your upma a bit moist)
Salt to taste
1 1/2 spn sugar
Juice of 2 lemons *(small size)
1/2 spn. ghee (optional)
Cilantro to garnish

Heat 1 spn. oil in a kadhai, add the farina to it and roast it for a while till it changes colour (be careful now, the colour of this type of farina is already brown, so don't go ahead and make it dark!).
Remove when done and set aside.
In the same kadhai, heat 1 spn. oil, add the urad and chana daal, when it turns a nice golden brown, add the cumin seeds, chopped chilies, curry leaves and onion.
Cook till the onion is tender.
Add the water, lemon juice, salt and sugarand bring to a boil.
Add the roasted farina.
Cover and cook till the water is absorbed and the farina is cooked and soft.
Add a dab of ghee, mix and simmer and cook another 2-3 mins.
Garnish with cilantro and serve hot.

* You can substitute buttermilk for the lemon juice, whisk half a cup of plain yogurt (slightly sour) with water.




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Saturday, January 06, 2007

WBB #8

Pancakes......

As tradition would go, I make something totally Indian for breakfast... oh yes, the usual, poha... upma.... dosa... well, you know how it is! These are items I have had since my childhood (as much as many of you) infact I was, to tell you the truth, rather ignorant about anything else till the time I got hooked to Enid Blyton's books... all those Famous Five, Five Find-outers and Dog.... food (mainly picnic food, however) was mentioned at regular intervals... and I oftened wondered what this ham and eggs or bacon and tomatoes was all about... until my Father enlightened me, after that I stopped wondering and just read (being the vegetarian that I am)...

Anyway... the story now moves on to pancakes.... saw those being flipped smartly by 'VICI' a small girl, well, absolutely life-like robot in a TV serial 'Small Wonder' and again wondered what this is (definitely vegetarian... this time).. and of course liked the way her father and brother rubbed their hands in anticipation of those golden brown pancakes (until Viki, neatly flipped a few on her Father's head) !
My first bite of these, however was far less TV serial like atmosphere! M and I had gone out one morning (early) to hand in some application ... it was early in the A.M , I still recollect that day... we had not purchased our car then and had to depend on the public transport... I was groggily stumbling towards the bus stop looking longingly at the seat.... willing myself to say awake till I could flop down and zzzzzzz...... oh well.... that is what will happen when one watches 2 movies (back to back) the previous night!! There I go, rambling again... now what was I saying?... aaah.. pancakes, how they fit into the picture..... oh yes... M took me to iHop on that sleepy morning for breakfast after finishing my work!
The inviting plate of pancakes drove away my sleep... ooohhh... these look good! different types of syrup.....So without further ado we both tucked in heartily! slurp!
That was my first timer at an American / Western breakfast, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. So when Nandita announced WBB #8, I thought of this.... with only one twist.... I did not make the pancakes from scratch, I got Aunt Jemima to help me.. oh I do hope Nandita will accept my entry!

This is real easy guys! All u need to do is get a packet of Pancake mix (I had the buttermilk Pancake mix) and a bottle of syrup from your nearby store.
To make around 5 pancakes (saucer size)
Mix 1 cup of Pancake mix with 3/4 cup of water.
Mix well, making sure there are no lumps. Be careful not to beat too much, makes the pancakes tough...
Heat a skillet (the instructions are, shake a few drops of water on skillet, they should sizzle and disappear).
Drop a ladle of batter on the skillet and shape, keep it fluffy though.
Bubbles appear on the top, flip, cook on the other side.
Serve hot with syrup....
(Got this info from the Internet (recipeland.com) : Top pancakes with toasted pecan halves, sliced bananas or berries, a cup of whipped cream flavored with 1 tbsp of maple syrup, or 1/2 cup of sour cream with 1 tbsp of jam or preserve)

I could not get the syrup to fall as it did in the picture on the carton :( but the colour of the pancakes is the same!!! :D

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Tuesday, January 02, 2007

The 3 things..............

Dilipbhai... Thank U!!! I was thrilled to get tagged for this Meme! 3 things.... to give you a peek into my little world. I really had fun doing this... thinking about what scares me, makes me laugh, makes me go ~grrrrrrrr~..... yes all in all great fun!


3 Things that scare me
Bat Ghost stories/ movies Ghost
BatCreepy Roachcrawley Wormthings (eeewwww too!Lizard) Ladybug 3
BatInjections Screamer Fainting

3 people who make me laugh

Lol My Father- he has this uncanny knack to tell the funniest anecdotes! ROTFL
Lol Old photographs, with me and my cousins with smug smiles, plastered hair, frilly dresses chosen by parents(the 'in' thing then!!!)(I know this is not 'people' people..... but those pics are the BEST)
LolP.G.Wodehouse Reading 2


3 Things I love
Blow Kiss M (pampering me) Big Hug Raining Hearts

Blow KissSpending time with my Dad Daughter & Father

Blow KissGrandma's wrinkled hand holding mine Grandma


3 Things I hate

Baring Teeth Cheating No No No

Baring TeethOld people struggling and living on their own Granny

Baring TeethDestruction (War, Riots, Fights) Automatic Weapon Dove Hippie 2Recoil


3 Things I don't understand

Perplexed Math ( 1 +1 = errr.... 11?) 24 Hours A Day, 7 Days A Week Your (or My) Two Cents Worth Insane

PerplexedLove Circle Of Hearts

Perplexed ESP Yoga

3 Things on my desk:

ClockMy laptop Techy

ClockCamera Camera 3

ClockA novel I am reading Reading

3 Things I am doing right now

DumbLooking longingly at a box of Candies M got me Chocolate Valentine

DumbSniffing (have a bit of a cold)Sneezy

DumbLooking around the apartment and thinking... Perturbed gosh, how does it get SO messed up?

(and obviously typing this meme!) Computer

3 Things I want to do before I die

Bow Down Shed a good amount of weight Sit Up Jumping Rope

Bow DownHave kids Mommy & Baby

Bow DownMake my family proud of me Clapping Hands

Bow DownA world tripWeight Of The World Airplane

( I have 4 things on this list, the first thing is Fairy ... well, if wishes were horses.....)

3 Things I can do

Thumbs Up Find time to dream... day dream.. A-ha!

Thumbs UpCook Chef 2

Thumbs UpNever give up Torch


3 Things one should listen to

Secret A Prayer, chanting early in the morning

Secret A baby going 'goo-googaaaa , abbbaaa kaa, phrrrrrr' Baby Smiley

Secret Your heart (Helen Keller was right, The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt within the heart) Rotating Heart


3 Things I would never want to listen to

Thumbs Down A child in pain Cry Baby (which does not mean I will shut my ears to it)

Thumbs DownGhost stories (brrrrrrr....) Skull

Thumbs DownAdvice on how to lose weight (it doesn't work with me... God, you listening ? just work a miracle for me!! ) Magic Wand

3 Favourite foods

Chocolate Street Food (chat, wada pav, frankie, dabeli, pizza..... ooohhh.......) Eating Pizza

ChocolateIndian cuisine India

Chocolate SWEETS Chompy

3 beverages I drink regularly

MartiniWater Drink Drink Drink Drink Drink Drink Drink

MartiniTeaSipping Tea

MartiniTea, tea, tea, tea!!!!

3 TV shows/books I watched/read as a kid

Books All Enid Blyton books (Still LOVE them)

BooksRamayan & Mahabharat (Book as well as the TV Serial)

BooksGiant Robot

3 Blogger Friends I want to Tag:

Roopa
Nupur
Shilpa Pin It
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