Friday, May 15, 2009

Payasam and Nupur's Indian Vegetarian 100

Couple of weeks ago I celebrated my son's 11th. month birthday and as is oft repeated, time sure flies! From a soft and 'pliable' helpless new born, he is now an active toddler, walking everywhere in a typical baby gait, flinging food everywhere, pointing to things and making demands, sometimes showering me with sloppy-sloppy kisses! What more can I ask for!!!!
And so to celebrate my little man I made Payasam. He had just a tiny spoonful of it ( we are going VERY slow on introducing sugar and salt in his diet) he enjoyed it and kept pointing and asking for more.
Payasam needs no introduction, it is a sweet preparation that comes together without too much effort and everyone (my guess) makes it! In my home, 'shevaya chi kheer' was made more often and payasam to me was strictly 'madrasi' (No, back then, I did not know how Tamil cuisine was different from that of Andhra Pradesh or Kerala) and I would gladly accept an invitation to a 'madrasi' wedding knowing that the yummy food would surely have payasam on the menu.

This is a simple and easy to make dessert , can be made ahead of time and served chilled or warm.

You need:
Source : Dakshin by Chandra Padmanabhan

12 cups Milk
1/4 cup Rice ( long grained, I used Basmati)
1/2 cup sugar
6-8 Cardamoms, crushed
1 tsp Saffron
1/2 cup milk (extra)

Wash rice thoroughly. Place the milk and rice in a heavy saucepan and bring to the boil, stirring continuously.
Keep stirring and simmer until the milk reduces to half its original quantity.
Add sugar and crushed cardamoms
Dissolve the saffron in 1/2 cup warm milk and add it to the payasam.
Sir thoroughly.
Serve warm or chilled.



Your challenge, should you take up this meme is to:
  • Copy the entire list, along with these instructions, into your blog post
  • Bold the foods that you have tried
  • Strike out the foods you would never try
  • Tell us your score in the comments :)
  • If you wish to, make your own list or add to this one
Nupur's Indian Vegetarian 100

1. Ripe mangoes
2.
Curd rice
3.
Chaat
4.
Phulka
5.
Puran poli
6.
Boiled peanuts
7.
Samosa
8. Stuffed baby eggplants The masala/ stuffing I will eat, NOT the eggplant
9. Aviyal
10.
Stuffed paratha
11.
Masala chai
12. Tirphal
13. Murukku
14.
Curry leaves
15.
Banana chips fried in coconut oil
16.
Jaggery
17.
Vada pav
18.
Tender coconut water
19.
Paneer
20.
Madras filter coffee
21.
Boondi laddoo
22. Boondi raita
23.
Navratan korma
24.
Kokum
25.
Masala peanuts
26.
A home-cooked Indian vegetarian meal
27.
Sugarcane juice
28.
Sabudana/sago in any form
29.
Horsegram
30.
Maggi noodles
31.
Podi with rice and ghee
32. Roomali roti
33.
Bitter gourd
34.
Nylon sev
35.
Vegetable biryani
36.
Thali at a restaurant
37.
Plantain flower
38.
Undhiyu
39. Nimbu pani
40.
Papad
41. Kotthu parotta (minus egg, I will try!)
42. Panch phoran
43.
Drumsticks
44. Indian "French toast"
45. Sarson ka saag
46.
Bhakri
47.
Pav bhaji
48.
Sitaphal
49.
Glucose biscuits
50.
Sprouts
51.
Chole-bhature
52.
Amla
53. Tomato "omelet"
54.
A wedding feast
55.
Grilled corn on the cob with lemon juice, salt and chilli powder
56.
Cadbury's fruit and nut chocolate
57. Sai bhaji
58. Solkadi
59.
Indian-Chinese meal
60.
Jalebi
61.
Black forest cake
62.
Bharwa bhindi
63.
Kashmiri saffron
64.
Misal
65.
Ripe jackfruit
66.
Idli-chutney
67.
'Tadgola'
68. Bhut jolokia
69. Baby mango pickle
70.
Meal off a banana leaf
71.
Falooda
72.
Moong khichdi
73. Bebinca
74. Daal baati
75.
Methi greens
76.
Basundi
77.
Gunpowder
78.
Appam-stew
79.
Sweet lemon pickle
80.
Ridge gourd
81.
Bisi bele bhath
82.
Coconut burfi
83.
Caramel custard
84.
Thecha
85.
Rasam
86.
Baingan bharta
87.
Mysore pak
88.
Punjabi wadi
89.
Chhunda
90.
Dal makhani
91.
Paper dosa
92.
Gongura
93.
Hand-churned butter
94.
Pakoda
95.
Curd chillies
96.
Mustard oil
9
7. Fresh cashews
98.
Tomato pickle
99.
Rajma-chawal
100.
Chaas


My Score 91%

I am not sure about Triphal ( there is something similar in Ayurveda and I may be confusing it with the one mentioned above) and I am pretty sure I have tasted Sai Bhaji, but as of today do not recollect the taste and so I shall leave it for a 'must try'.

So what is your score?
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Monday, May 04, 2009

Weekend fun with a QUICK Jam (?)

The temperatures here are high,2 weeks ago, we hit 93 F and left me drained out and listless, but this week we are back in the low 60's.. hows that for unpredictable behaviour!! 
In between these varying temperatures we decided to make  a small one day picnic to Carlsbad Flower Fields. 
It was a much needed break and to our joy, little S LOVED the flowers!! And what's more he
LOOOOVED the strawberry shortcake  (takes after his Mommy, he does, Bless him!) we had outside the fields and M and I must have set a new record at eating swallowing our shortcake!!
 Thus satiated, we made our next stop, at the adjoining Strawberry fields! 
This was my very first time picking strawberries and needless to say, I enjoyed it!         

At home sorting thru the bounty, we found some soft ones, no doubt due to travel. Now my MIL is handy with small tips and suggested we use the soft ones to make 'jam'. For a moment I was thrilled, but then, I realised and told her, I had no pectin, no know-how.  She merely smiled and said "pectin-shectin... we never knew these in our time, let's take what you, young people , would call a shortcut, and  there aren't THAT many soft strawberries."  True! lets get started then! 

We used 

1 Cup chopped / crushed Strawberries ( wash thoroughly, hull and chop)
1 Cup Sugar
1/2 tsp Lemon juice ( we skipped this)

Wash and sterilise a jar that you plan on storing the jam in. Dry thoroughly and keep aside.
In a non-reactive pan/ kadhai combine the crushed/chopped strawberries, sugar and lemon juice (if using) and cook over med-high heat until soft and the mixture comes together, stirring often and skimming off the froth on top. This requires a lot of patience, it takes a long..long time for  the whole thing to come together. I did not time it, I left the jam simmering on the stove top and in the mean time fed the baby, cleaned up etc. etc.
Store in the sterilised jar and refrigerate. Use a clean, dry spoon every time.

We made a second batch of jam and this time round I used my 'puran yantra' to mush the strawberries. I found an image thru Google search (and saved myself the effort of clicking that additional picture) 
Puran Yantra
The other proportions remaining the same adding just a few drops of lemon juice, which I felt was unnecessary.
The only difference in the batches were, the jam was 'smooth' as compared to the first version after getting pureed in the 'puran-yantra' but all hopes of it being seedless were dashed. The seeds remained intact.

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