Monthly Archives: January 2012

Oats and Wheat Idli (Steamed Savory Cake)

Idli is a staple breakfast in South India. For some reason, PR hates regular idlis. Hence, I had to come up with a different version of idli that is added to our menu. Oats and wheat seemed as a healthy substitute to rice and lentil. Plus there is no planning ahead and fermenting the batter in this recipe. This tasted very much like rava idlis. I used carrots, but any shredded vegetables can be added to the batter. Continue reading

Christmas 2011 and Delectable Fruitcake

Our 6ft Christmas tree decorated by us :)

It’s late to write about Christmas…..but I wanted to complete what I started. The past decade I always worked on Christmas day or just spent the day by myself. A price paid for being away from family and friends. Last year, PR and I were with my family and had a great time with our relatives. This year was special because we were on our own as a couple. Practicing customs helps us follow traditions. We put up the christmas tree on the second week of December, decorated with candy canes, santa, snowman, nut crackers, glitter balls and bows. Along with putting up the tree, buying a poinsettia plant, sending greeting cards to family and friends, making orange pomaders and filling the flowervase with my favorite tulips for a festive holiday display came the week long baking and cooking. Continue reading

Kadai Bhindi/ Okra in gravy

Yet another simple dish with a simple vegetable. Okra/ Lady’s Finger/ Gumbo is either liked or hated. People who dislike Okra cite it’s sliminess. Kadai Bhindi is one recipe which reduces the sliminess by shallow frying the pods. If prepared correctly with patience, this vegetable gives a delightful taste.

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Phool Gobi Subzi/ Cauliflower Curry (Dry)

Cauliflower is one vegetable used in my cooking on a regular basis. It is a delicacy and a simple saute’ with a pinch of spices can bring out it’s pleasing flavor.

This recipe is simple and can be prepared in less than 20 minutes. It tastes best with Phulkas or Chapathis.

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Blueberry Preserve

Blueberries….mmmm. Among all berries,with it’s lively purple hue this is the best berry.

These tasty morsels contain high antioxidants and low calories. I buy blueberries when on sale or in season, because they can be pretty pricey. When in Dublin, a handful or more blueberries costed €4 from Superquinn. I got greedy when I saw 3lbs for less than $ 10 in Costco. This summer I bought tonnes and loaded a few freezer food bags full of berries for later use. It freezes well without destroying it’s flavonoid content.

I haven’t seen fresh blueberries in India. It is sold as jellies, jams or flavored squash. The frozen berries came in handy when I wanted to take something homemade from here to India. So I made bottles of blueberry preserve for my  family – one for my mom and another one for my mom-in-law.

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Brown Rice Spaghetti with Roasted Red Pepper Pesto (Gluten free)

Who doesn’t love pasta? I love pasta for it’s shape – tubular, spirals, angel hair, ridged, ruffled, grooved, twisted, stuffed, twirled, curled, elbow shaped, little spindles, diagonally cut, bronze cut, bow-ties, corkscrews, wagonwheels, dumpling like, pea pod shaped, conch shells, stamped coins, cock’s comb shaped, flat sheets, basket shaped, half moon shaped, star shaped, purse shaped and lots more.

Specialty pastas have added ingredients, such as vegetable colors and flavors, herbs and other seasonings. Spinach – green color, Carrots – orange color, beets or tomatoes – red color, black beans – brown color and squid ink – black color. Herbs and seasonings include basil, rosemary, black pepper, garlic, lemon peel and chilli..

It’s interesting to know that a Pugliese blend pasta named ORECCHIETTE MARITATE  literally means ‘married’ (the round orecchiette and the long casarecci consummate their ‘marriage’ when cooked together)

My knowledge about Pasta was limited to cray fish pasta cooked in tomato sauce in Swensen’s, Singapore. Until, I saw the display of different types of pasta in a food shop in Ascona, Lugano. I stood enthralled by the available variety of Italian staple. Since then, Pasta is one of the regulars in my list.

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