Friday, January 29, 2010

Mixed Vegetable Kurma


Mixed vegetable kurma2

Consuming lots of vegetables can keep the doctor away for ever*. (*if your husband is not a doctor ;) ) .

Making a very delicious kurma with vegetables can make it all the more interesting and yummy too. :)


Mixed vegetable kurma1


Ingredients:

Mixed diced vegetables(potato, carrot, beans, cauliflower and peas) - 5 cups
Small Onions - 1/2 cup
Garlic - 7 to 8 flakes
Green chillies - 10
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Cashew nuts - 10 to 12
Cardamom - 3
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Salt - for taste
Coconut extract - from 1/2 coconut
Tomato - 5
Big onions - 2
Garlic - 7 flakes
oil - 1 1/2 tblsp

Grind:

Scrapped coconut - 1/2 cup
Poppy seeds - 2 tsp


Method:

Heat little oil in a pan and fry small onions, garlic, cardamom, green chillies and cashewnuts. Grind it with ginger and coriander powder. Take coconut extract from half coconut.

Chop big onions, garlic and tomatoes finely. Heat oil and ghee in a pan and add ground mixture and fry for a minute. Add tomatoes and fry till it becomes soft, then put the mixed diced raw vegetable pieces and fry for few minutes. Pour coconut extract and pressure cook till the vegetables are cooked.

After removing the lid, add fried onion and garlic. Now put the coconut and poppy paste to this. Boil for two minutes and remove from fire.

Mixed vegetable creamy kurma is ready to serve.

Serve with Chapathi, Roti, Naan or even ghee rice. :) Happy making. :)


Mixed vegetable kurma


Written by: Nithya
post your queries to fourthsensesamayal@gmail.com



Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Capsicum/Bell Pepper Sambhar



Capsicum Sambhar2
Decoration: Used small onions, capsicum and coriander stems to arrange the creeper


Capsicum or bell pepper is one of my most favorite vegetable. Adding a little of it to any curry or sambhar would give an alluring aroma that I am crazy of.

So this is one of my personal on top of the list sambhar always. :)



Capsicum Sambhar

Ingredients:

Capsicum/bell pepper - 2 nos
Thoor dhall - 1/4 cup
Small onions - 1/2 cup
Sambhar chilly powder - 1 tblsp
Tamarind paste - 2 tblsp
Jaggery - 1 tsp
Asafoetida - a pinch
Curry leaves
Coriander leaves
Salt - for taste

Method:

Cook dhall in pressure cooker and keep it aside. In a pan take a tsp of oil, crackle mustard seeds and then add the capsicum and small onions and saute for a while. Now add the cooked dhall, tamarind paste, jaggery, sambhar chilly powder, asafoetida, salt, coriander leaves and curry leaves to it. Add little water to it if it is too thick. Let this boil for a while.

Capsicum aromatic sambhar is done. :) Enjoy eating. :)


Capsicum Sambhar1

Written by: Nithya
post your queries to fourthsensesamayal@gmail.com


Monday, January 25, 2010

Republic Day Celebration With Tricolor Idlys :)



Tricolor idly2

India is proud to celebrate its 61st Republic day today. :)

61 years back, this was the day when our Constitution was born and India turned into a republic country. :)

To mark the importance of this occasion, every year a grand parade is held in the capital, New Delhi and its declared as the national holiday.

It is a day that demands celebration at each Indian's home. So here is my celebration. :)


Tricolor idly1

Tricolor Idly

Making tricolor idly was in my list for a long time and thought today was the right day to make it. :)

This dish is an inspiration from Madhuram's eggless cooking and Latha aunty too. :)

Tricolor idly3

Tomato idly(Red Idly)

Ingredients:

Tomato chutney
Idly batter

Method:

Mix the chutney with idly batter and make idlys. :)

Tricolor idly4

Mint Idly(Green idly )

Ingredients:

Mint leaves(pudina) - 1 bunch
Green chilly - 2
Idly batter

Method:

Grind mint leaves and green chilly together by just adding very little water and mix it with idly batter and make idlys. :)


Tricolor idly

Happy Republic Day!!!!


Written by: Nithya
post your queries to fourthsensesamayal@gmail.com

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Scrumptious Spot 1# La Boulangerie



Being a perfect foodie, I love to hop around restaurants and eat outs. I thoroughly enjoy trying out new varieties of food and different cuisines. So here comes my new section where I would pen down my experiences, views and lot more about the truly "Scrumptious spots" that I visit. :) Hope it would be a good food guide to people in Chennai :)


Scrumptions Spot 1# - LA BOLANGERIE


La Boulangerie

La Boulangerie is a french bakery as it says and it keeps up the promise too. ;)

I hopped into the Kotturpuram branch when I was having a jolly good ride last weekend. I was more than happy that I did. It was an absolute pleasure to the tongue. :)

Warning: Pile up your calorie conscience right in front of the door and enter just to please your tongue. :)


The menu was pretty impressive and hard to decide over what to choose. They offer a wide variety of viennoiseries like raisin roll, pepito, almond puff, almond chocolate roll, croissants, chocolate roll etc. and cuisines like sausage roll, quiches, olive bouchee, finger food, vol au vent and cheese croissants.


Since I was new to french delicasies, I had no choice than to play inky pinky ponky and choose one. ;)
I choose cheese croissants and now I am a big time fan of croissants. They were so fluffy and yummm. :)


La Boulangerie5


Coming to the most drool worthy portion of the menu.. THE PASTRY :) There were again a long list of yummmmmmmmy pastries which included Chocolate Entremet, Ceyrac tea, Cashwtin, Lemon tart, Eclairs, Chocolate Mousse, Opera, Fruit tart, Marble cake, Nougat, Muffins, Coffee eclair, Chocolate tarts and more. :)

I relished a Chocolate entremet and I melted along with it.. mmmm :)


La Boulangerie3


They also have take aways like Bagel bread, Country bread, Cereal bread, Sliced bread, Madeleine cookies, Financier, Chocolate chip and assorted cookies too.


La Boulangerie4


The price is pretty reasonable for the quality that they deliver. But if you were just looking for an Iyengar bakery, then its not the place for you. :)

When I was about to leave, the staff asked me if I need some pack away. I simply smiled and said "could you pack the chef with me???" ;)



La Boulangerie1

LA BOULANGERIE is part of R.R.Hospitality and has outlets in lot of place at Chennai.

So if you drive through Anna Nagar, Ampa skymal, Besant Nagar, Kotturpuram, Mylapore, Nungambakkam or Mahindracity, dont miss to halt at this eatout. :)

Find more information as well as the locations of the outlets at: http://laboulangerie.in/









Verdict: LA BOULANGERIE is one of the best outlets where I have tasted authentic pastries and breads and is a must try eatout now at Chennai.


Written by:
Nithya
post your queries to fourthsensesamayal@gmail.com

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Kerala Special - Aviyal (mixed vitamin sambhar) ;)



Aviyal2

Aviyal is one of the best recipes from Kelara. It tastes awesome and is absolutely a healthy mixture of vegetables in a nice coconut and curd gravy.

Wikipedia says it was Bhima(one of the Pandava brothers) who invented this dish. ;)

Whatever be the mythology, according to me, mom invented everything. ha ha ha. She made it and I enjoyed. Now its my turn to try out this delicacy. :) and here you go....


Aviyal4


Type 1:

Ingredients:

Pumpkin White - 2 cups diced
Potatoes - 3
Green Beans - few
Carrots - 2 
Drumstick - 1
Colocasia(seppankilangu) - 1/2 cup diced
Plaintain Bananna - 1
Egg plant - 2
Curry leaves - few
Salt - for taste
Fresh Curds - 3 Cups
Coconut Oil - 2 tbl sp 
Rice flour - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - a pinch

(Add vegetables of your choice)
 
For Grinding :
 
Fresh Coconut - 1 1/2 Cup
Green Chilies - 7 Nos
Poppy seeds - 1 tbl sp

Method:

Dice all the vegetables into 2 inch pieces and cook them and keep it aside. Grind coconut, green chillies and poppy seeds into a smooth paste.

Now in a large vessel put in the cooked vegetables, ground paste and curd. Add salt, coconut oil and curry leaves, turmeric powder and rice flour to it and mix well. You can add little water to it, if it is too thick.Let this cook in low flame for 10 mins.

Aviyal is done :)

Aviyal

Type 2:

Ingredients:


Pumpkin White - 1 cups diced
Potatoes - 1
Green Beans - few
Carrots - 2 
Drumstick - 1
Colocasia(seppankilangu) - 1/4 cup diced
Plaintain Bananna - 1/2
Egg plant - 2
Yellow pumpkin - 1 cup diced
Yam - 1/4 cup diced
Snake guard - 1/4 cup diced
Cucumber - 1/2 cup diced
Curry leaves - few
Salt - for taste
Fresh Curds - 3 Cups
Coconut Oil - 2 tbl sp 
Rice flour - 1 tsp

(Add vegetables of your choice)
 
For Grinding :
 
Fresh Coconut - 1 1/2 Cup
Green Chilies - 7 Nos
Large onions - 4
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Curry leaves - few strands

Method:

Dice all the vegetables into 2 inch pieces and cook them and keep it aside. Grind coconut, green chillies, turmeric powder, onions, cumin and curry leaves into a smooth paste.

Now in a large vessel put in the cooked vegetables, ground paste and curd. Add salt, coconut oil and rice flour to it and mix well. You can add little water to it, if it is too thick. Let this cook in low flame for 10 mins.

Avial is ready to eat. Serve it with adai or rice. :)

Find Adai recipe here.

Tip: When the aviyal is boiling, place a washed plantain leaf on top. Remove it before serving. This will give it a very interesting and ethnic aroma for the aviyal. Add all the vegetables that you like. Make it as interesting as possible, its all your choice :)

Aviyal3

Written by: Nithya
post your queries to fourthsensesamayal@gmail.com

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Jack and the bean snack ;)



Field beans snack3

Once upon a time, when I was a in kinder garden mom used to narrate me the story of Jack and the beanstalk. The story fascinated me so much. Every time they purchased some bean at home, I used to ask her if it was the magical bean. :) and she used to say 'yes' and also tell me that if I eat them I would become wise, energetic, heroic and what not. :)

Whatever be the story, I just love to munch them even now. They are crunchy and tasty. :)

So here goes the interesting field beans snack that I told you earlier. :)


Field beans snack1

Ingredients:

Fresh field bean seeds(Mochai) - 1 cup
Ghee - 1 tsp
Oil - for frying
Salt - for taste
Chilly powder - for taste
Asafoetida - a pinch


Field beans snack2

Method:

Soak Field beans(Mochai/Anumulu) in luke warm water for 2 hours. Then de husk the outer skin and dry it on a clean cloth for a while in shade.

Deep fry the dried field beans until the bubbling subsides(till it gets crispy).

Now take a spoon of ghee in a pan and add chilly powder, salt and asafoetida to it. Immediately drop in the fried field beans and saute for few mins in very low flame till the spics spread evenly. Transfer to an air tight container and enjoy it for a week. :)

Note:

You can also add crushed garlic to the ghee and then add the chilly powder etc. This will give you an extra flavor to it.

If you have time and patience, pick the green colored ones alone and use them for this snack. They are tender so they become really crisp when roasted and would be really good.

Happy munching. :)


Field beans snack

Look for field beans sambhar/side dish here.

Written by: Nithya
post your queries to fourthsensesamayal@gmail.com

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Pongalo Pongal - A Thai Thirunal Celebration!



Pongal7
Decoration: Used miniature pots designed by me to represent traditional Pongal festival


Thai Pongal is one of the most popular harvest festival of South India, mainly Tamil Nadu. Pongal falls in the mid-January every year. Pongal festival lasts for four days. Celebrations include drawing of Kolam, Cleaning and painting the house, cooking of delicious Pongal and so on.

The first day is celebrated as 'Bhogi pongal'. On Bhogi all people clean out their homes from top to bottom, and collect all unwanted goods and burn them. Kids dance around the bonfire.

The second day of Pongal is known as 'Surya Pongal' and is dedicated to the Sun God. It is the day on which the celebration actually begins and is also the first day of the Tamil month Thai. On this day the new rice is collected and cooked in mud pots until they over flow. It is this overflowing which means Pongal. This overflowing of rice is a joyous occasion, and the children and adults as well will shout out 'Pongal-o-Pongal!'.

The third day of Pongal is dedicated to cattle and is called Mattu Pongal. People offer prayers to the bulls, cows and other farm animals.

The fourth day of the three-day Pongal celebrations is called Kaanum Pongal. In few places this day is also known as Karinaal or Thiruvalluvar Day. On this day, people travel to see other family members and the younger members of the family pay homage to the elders, and the elders thank them by giving token money. Another thing many do is leave food out on banana leaves for birds to take.

Find more info abt pongal here.

I just clicked few pics to show the ethnicity in the city ;)

Pongal9
Earthen pots, colored pots and fresh turmeric decorate the market :)


Pongal5
Sugarcanes are also consumed on the day of pongal. They are the excitement factor for kids :)


At home mom, dad and myself made two varieties of Pongal. :) Paal pongal and Chakkara Pongal.

Pongal8
Mom and dad making Pongal.


Chakkara Pongal

Pongal3

Ingredients:

New rice - 1 cup
Jaggery - 1 1/2 cup
Milk - 7 cups
Cardamom - 2
Cashews - few
Raisins - few
Ghee - 3 tblsp

Pongal1

Method:

Wash and soak rice in water for ten min.

Take milk in a heavy bottomed vessel and let it boil. When it raises shout "Pongalo Pongal" ;) and add the rice to it stirring continuously.

Keep stirring continuously till it thickens and the rice gets cooked. Now add the jaggery and mix well till it dissolves. Finally add ghee, cardamom powder, fried cashew and raisins.

Richy rich Chakkara pongal is ready to eat. :)


Paal pongal

Pongal2

Ingredients:

New rice - 1 cup
Milk - 7 cups
Salt - for taste

Method:

Wash and soak rice in water for ten min.

Take milk in a heavy bottomed vessel and let it boil. When it raises shout "Pongalo Pongal" ;) and add the rice to it stirring continuously.

Keep stirring continuously till it thickens and the rice gets cooked. Now add salt and mix well.

Paal pongal is ready.

Serve this with mixed vegetable sambhar also know as pongal kolambu. Will post the recipe soon. :)

You can add curd and seasoning to it and make yummy Bahalabath too :)


Pongal4
My pongal kolam. This my first try with colors. :)


Wish you all a very Happy Pongal :)

Written by: Nithya
post your queries to fourthsensesamayal@gmail.com

Monday, January 11, 2010

Fresh Field Bean Sambhar/Side dish



Field beans kolambu1

Field beans sambar commonly know as Pithigi pappu pulusu is a special dish which originated in the state of Karnataka(India). Its really an authentic recipe that tastes heavenly and is healthy too. :)

Though its time consuming to de husk the beans, I would say its absolutely worth it to try. Its yummm and goes great with rice chapathi.


Field beans1


Ingredients:

Fresh field bean seeds(Mochai) - 1 cup
Small onions peeled - 1/2 cup
Tamarind - medium lemon sized(Soaked and squeezed)
Salt - for taste
Jaggery - little
Curry leaves - few
Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 4 tbl sp

Grind to fine paste - 1:

Grated fresh coconut - 1/4 cup
Poppy seeds - 2 tsp
Saunf(Soambu) - 2 tsp

Paste - 2:

(Fry in a tsp.of oil and then grind)

Coriander seeds - 2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 3/4 tsp
Black pepper - 1/4 tsp
Red chillies - 7 or 8
Grated fresh coconut - 1/4 cup
Onion - 1(roasted over flame)


Field beans2
Field beans/ Anumulu/ Mochai before de husking


Field beans
Field beans/ Anumulu/ Mochai after de husking


Method:

Soak Field beans(Mochai/Anumulu) in luke warm water for 2 hours. Then de husk the outer skin and keep it aside.

Roast one big onion with skin by keeping on direct flame. Turn carefully using thongs till outer skin becomes dark brown in color. Now remove the skin and grind with other fried ingredients as mentioned under paste 2.

Heat oil in a pressure pan, add mustard, urad dhal, small onions and then dehusked beans. Fry for few minutes, add paste no.2 and keep stirring till good smell comes. Add just enough water and pressure cook for 10 minutes.

Allow it to cool, remove lid and add ground paste1, tamarind extract, salt , jaggery and boil for few minutes.

Serve hot either with rice or rice chapathi, poori, chapathi, curd rice etc.

Goes best with rice chapathi. :)


Field beans kolambu

I am sending this to MLLA event conducted by EC this time. This was an event started by Susan in her lovely blog.

Coming up next is a simple and intersting snack made with the same bean. Keep watching!!!! :)


Written by: Nithya
post your queries to fourthsensesamayal@gmail.com


Friday, January 8, 2010

My Interview on webneetech.com :)


All smiles again!!!!

Little happenings add loads of josh to our life, that too I get all the more excited when it is on a weekend eve :) :) :)

I have been featured on webneetech.com.

One fine day, got a mail from the technical department of the site saying that they were really impressed with my blogs and they wanted to feature me in their site. I was of course very much excited about it. This interview was on a lighter side and I enjoyed answering their questions.

Take a peep into it :)

http://webneetech.com/2010/01/08/a-foodie-and-an-artist-blogger-nithya/



Wish you all a happy and leisure weekend :)


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