Monday, October 26, 2009

Kids say the darndest things...

       In one of my philosophical moods, yesterday I asked my two sons, "When I become old and wrinkled, will you guys take care of me?". I don't know what I expected them to say. My 9 year old answered, "Sure I will help you". I looked over at him and asked, "How will you help me?".Before he could answer, my 6 year old piped,  "I will iron your wrinkles for you". I could not stop laughing.That definitely lifted my mood.
          I am off to throw out my age defying cream.Yep, I am sure I'll be taken care of in my old age.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Parangikai thogayal - Halloween special

        I missed the boat posting for Diwali. Atleast to celebrate halloween with my kids, here is a dish from their desi mom- Parangikai thogayal (red pumpkin chutney). I had this menu idea after attending a pumpkin picking event at my son's school. I thought of this dish to go with the theme of the month.
      I have to thank my dear friend Priya for this recipe. She is a lover of spicy food and can make even a sweet tasting vegetable into a fire breathing dragon. She says, "make this and your family will salute you after eating this(salaam pottu sapaduva)". I had already picked my pumpkin from the grocery store, which are in season and in abundance.
       Indian red pumpkin is a little different in appearance and taste than the american variety, but they are from the same family. This recipe uses Indian red pumpkin(nutrional value).

Parangikai thogayal
Parangikai (rind removed and cut like french fries) 3 cups
1 tsp chana dal/kadala paruppu
3 tsp urad dal/ulutham paruppu
6-7 red chillies
fresh coconut flakes 3 tbsp(optional)
1 tsp mustard seeds/kadugu
tamarind a small piece
asafoetida a pinch
salt to taste

oil just enough to fry


1.With a little oil roast the dals, red chilli, tamarind with asafoetida till the dals are roasted an even red. Keep aside to cool.In the same pan add the coconut and slightly stir fry them until light pink in color. Keep aside.


2. Roast the cut pumpkin in the pan with a little oil till they are done. Add a little salt while roasting. Let it cool.
       3. Grind the dals first to rough texture then, add the rest of the ingredients when cool and grind to a grainy texture. Do not add water as the pumpkin has a lot of water content. Add salt as needed.

Enjoy the thogayal with rice,chapati or as a sandwich spread.Susvaad!                                

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Bangalore Kathrikkai Poriyal

I love this shade of green. I don't need an excuse to make banglore kathrikkai alias chow chow. It is a very good source of dietary fiber,Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Potassium, Copper and Manganese[source].

Bangalore Kathrikkai poriyal goes very well with Vathral kuzhambu. As as child, I remember having paruppu sadam(dal rice) with nei(clarified butter), which had a small well in the middle to house spicy vathral kuzhambu and poriyal to go with it.There are several combinations of comfort food to be had, this meal would be top of my list. I will give the recipe of the kuzhambu in a later post.

Bangalore Kathrikkai Poriyal:
Bangalore Kathrikkai  3 nos
mustard seeds  1tsp
urad dal  1 tsp
round red chillies 3 whole
asafoetida a pinch
oil 2 tsp
grated coconut 1 or 2 tsp
salt to taste

1. Peel and cut the vegetable into small even sized cubes.
2. In a wide bottom fry pan, heat the oil. Add mustard seeds, after it starts popping add urad dal, red chillies (take the stalk off)and asafoetida. Let the urad dal fry till reddish pink in color.
3. Add the cut vegetable pieces and 1/2tsp salt. Add 2 tbsp water and stir. Cover partially with lid (with a ladle or spoon keeping the lid open  a little to let some steam out). Let it cook until the BK's are transluscent stirring occasionally, add a little more salt when the BK's are almost done. There shouldn't be any water left in the pan.
4. Add the grated coconut and stir fry for less than a minute. Switch off heat.

Serve with steaming hot rice,paruppu, nei and vathral kuzhambu. It goes well though not equally with rasam too. Susvaad.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

My entry for JFI:Rajma

I would like to send my Rajma with basmati rice to JFI:Rajma  hosted by Divya of Dil Se.
JFI is the brain child of Indira of Mahanandi.

I hope it is alright that this dish goes to two events. Kid's delight at Spice your life hosted by Srivalli.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tarla dalal contest winner

   I am thrilled to be the winner of "Paratha Power" contest at Tarla dalal dot com.
They have posted my recipe on their website.
I wrote my recipe for 'Alsi Paratha' using Flaxseed.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Rajma with basmati rice

 My kids really love rajma with basmati rice. My son used to call it rajjamma. 
Cooking rajma my way takes only a few minutes. I make this dish when I want the prep time to be minimum.
I use canned rajma and canned diced tomato and also I do not use elaborate masalas for this dish.


2 cans red kidney beans or one large can
1 can diced tomato
1 medium onion
2 sticks cinnamon
1 tsp jeera
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1 tbsp olive oil
coriander leaves few
Salt 1 tsp or to taste

1.Heat the oil  in a pan and warm cinnamon and jeera.finely dice onion and saute till translucent.
2.Pour the diced tomato into the pan. Let the tomato cook and lose its raw flavor.
3.Add the masala and chilli powder and salt. Pour the rajma into this mixture and bring to boil .With the back of your ladle or stirrer crush some of the beans. Let this cook on low heat for about 5 minutes.Add coriander leaves and serve over hot cooked basmati rice.

This recipe is not only simple, tastes delicious and more importantly kids love it.
I would like to send this to Kid's delight event by Srivalli at Spice your life.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Surprise Party

     My son's birthday was last week.We both had agreed that there would be no party this year, just a great gift from us. Dear Son is sweet and agrees reluctantly to our deal. What happens next is due to a weak
    Birthday dawns, we wish him, hug him, kiss him, give him a lovely card from all of us and send him off to school with cupcakes with a promise of a great gift in the evening. Mom is dissatisfied with squeal  and joy factor in son. There begins chaos.She begins calling his friends mom's arranging for a surprise party after school. Thankfully everyone invited would come. Mom hurriedly prepares for homemade pizzas, but had to buy a store bought cake (awesome) and arrange for other snacks.

     The grand finale...dear son is so pleasantly surprised and enjoys every minute of the party.
Best of all, at the end of the evening  he gives me a huge hug with  tears (happy) in his eyes and says "Thanks mom".