Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ginger & Curry Leaf Rasam(Spiced Soup)



With the temperature dropping down to below freezing and with snow all around, it is very much common to find signs of cold and cough in the house hold. Apart from a healthy diet, exercise and optimum levels of Vitamin D, certain spices like ginger which is a warming herb can help knock out a fever. The warming effects make it a natural decongestant as well as an antihistamine, making it the perfect remedy for colds.


This rasam(a spiced soup) can be had with warm rice or warm quinoa. It not only tastes excellent, stimulating your taste buds but really helps out when you have a cold, fever or any kind of digestive disorder. There is no reason for not trying this easy, healthy and tasty one. Do let me know how you like it.


Preparation Time - 5 Minutes
Cooking Time - 15 Minutes
Serves - 4


Ingredients


Tamarind - 1 small lemon sized ball
Red Chili - 4 or to taste
Black Pepper - 1 Tsp
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Thoor Dal - 1 Tsp
Curry leaves - handful
Salt - 1 1/2 Tsp or to taste
Water - 4 Cups
Rasam Powder - 1/2 Tsp (This is optional and you can add it or skip it, but adding it gives little bit more flavor)








Tempering



Ghee (Clarified Butter) - 1 Tsp

Mustard Seeds - 1/2 Tsp

Cumin Seeds - 1/2 Tsp



Method



1) Soak the tamarind in 1/2 cup of warm water and let this sit down for few minutes. You can even presoak in the night for making an instant rasam in the morning.



2) Heat a pan and dry roast black pepper, red chili, thoor dal till the raw smell is gone and they slightly brown. Switch of the stove and to this add the curry leaves and the peeled chopped ginger piece and set it aside.



3) Squeeze out the pulp from the soaked tamarind, by adding 3 cups of water little by little. Make sure it is thoroughly squeezed and the pulp is all extracted. Boil this tamarind juice by adding salt and rasam powder.



4) Now grind all the roasted ingredients into a fine powder and i use this left out 1/2 cup of water to rinse the blender with any of the powder sticking to it.



5) Once the tamarind juice boils for 10 minutes and the raw tamarind smell is gone, add the ground spices along with the 1/2 cup of water and let this simmer for another 2 minutes and switch off the stove.



6) Now heat a pan and add the ghee, once it is warm add the mustard seeds. After they stop spluttering add the cumin seeds and after they turn golden transfer it to the hot rasam. Serve this with steaming hot brown rice, or quinoa.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sugar free Badam Halwa (Almond Fudge) using Xylitol as a Sugar substitute

Photobucket



Xylitol is a sugar alcohol and can be used a substitute for sugar. It is found naturally in fibers of many fruits and vegetables. For people with diabetes the best form of natural sugar alternate are Xylitol and Stevia. With a low glycemic index, xylitol doesn't have any aftertaste. Xylitol also doesn't cause any cavities like sugar so can be used as a sugar substitute and is safe even for kids. The only side effect of xylitol is consuming large amounts will cause abdominal discomfort. So watch out the quantity you eat. Almonds are high in protein, containing about 12% of our needs. They contain no cholesterol and are rich in vitamin E, magnesium, phosphorus. They also contain potassium, iron, zinc, copper, manganese and trace amounts of B vitamins. Almonds have a higher calcium level than other nuts and are high in fiber, high in fat, but low in unsaturated fat. Most of the fat is monounsaturated and considered quite beneficial.



So with the goodness of Almonds, and a safest natural sugar substitute, this sweet is the best bet for a guilt free and tasty dessert.



Preparation Time - 15 Minutes

Cooking Time - 20 Minutes

Serves - 6



Ingredients



Almonds - 1 Cup

Water or Milk - 1/2 Cup

Ghee (Clarified Butter) - 1/4 Cup + 1 Tbsp

Xylitol - 1/2 Cup

Cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp

Chopped cashews - 1 Tbsp

Saffron few strands



Method



1) In half cup warm milk or warm water soak the saffron threads and let this sit for a while.



2) Boil 2 cups of water and once they come to rolling boil, add the almonds and let this boil for 3-5 minutes and switch off.



3) Rinse the almonds in cold water and once they are cool enough to handle, just press them in between your thumb and index finger and the almonds will pop out of their outer peel. They are very easy to peel this way and do the same with each one of the almond.



4) Now grind the peeled almonds into a fine paste by adding the saffron soaked milk or water into a fine paste.



5) Heat a heavy bottomed pan and add a Table spoon of ghee. Once the ghee melts, becomes warm add the chopped cashew nuts and fry till golden. To this add the cardamom powder saute for a second and transfer the contents to cup and keep this aside.



6)  To the warm pan add  the ground almond paste, xylitol and half of the 1/4 cup of ghee and keep stirring.

The almond mass will start thickening and once it is semi solid keep adding the rest of the ghee slowly.

At one point the almond halwa will start leaving the sides and at this time add the cashews along with the cardamom powder and little bit of ghee and switch off.



7) Serve this halwa warm, they do taste fantastic when served warm.



Note - If making the halwa with sugar, you might have to increase the quantity of the sweetner from 1/2 to 1. Since xylitol has a chilling effect on the tongue, the lesser the quantity of sweet the better it is. You can allow the halwa to cool and cut them into pieces. But they taste better when served warm, so warm the halwa pieces before serving.



Photobucket



Event Participation



1) This warm halwa goes to Veggie Hut's Winter Warmer



2) This goes to Celebrate Sweet - Sugarless event hosted by Sara's Corner.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Blackchickpea Snack (Konda Kadalai Sundal)


Looking for a super healthy snack, low in carbohydrate, high in protein, gluten free, filling, inspite of all these good things still tastes great. Then this one is a must try for you. If you are of a South Indian (South East Asian - South Indian) then this sundal is a no big deal and you would have tasted it so many times. If not do try this out and i am sure you will be glad you did.


You can get this black chick pea, in an Asian Indian store. This is a much more nutritionally superior variety than garbanzo in terms of protein and lower in glycemic index. So if you are a carb watcher either to watch your weight or to watch your sugar level, this one will fit the bill.


Preparation Time - 10 Minutes
Cooking Time - 25 Minutes
Serves - 2


Ingredients


Kala Channa (Blackchick pea) - 1 Cup
Salt - 1/2 Tsp or to taste
Asafoetida - a pinch(avoid this if you are allergic to wheat)
Ginger strips - 1 inch piece (optional)
Water


Tempering


Coconut oil - 2 Tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves -1 Tbsp chopped
Curry powder - 1 Tsp or to taste
Grated coconut - 2 Tbsp
Grated or Chopped raw mango pieces - 2 Tbsp


Method


1) Soak the kala channa over night.


2) In the morning rinse the kala channa thoroughly for few times and just add enough water to cover the surface. Add salt, asafoetida powder and ginger piece(this will help in reducing the gas when added to beans, legumes while cooking) and cook in a pressure cooker for 3 whistles and then switch off.


3) Once the pressure cooker is cooled down, take out the cooked kala channa and drain out the water and take out the ginger piece. You can use this water, ginger etc for soups, rasam etc.


4) Heat a pan, add coconut oil. Once the oil is hot add mustard seeds. After the mustard seeds stop spluttering, add curry leaves, drained kala channa and saute for 3-5 minutes. At this stage check if the salt is up to your taste, if not add little more.


5) Add the curry powder, grated coconut and saute for 2 more minutes and switch off.


6) After the sundal is cooled down little bit, add the chopped or grated mango to and enjoy.


Note - If you don't have raw mango, you can squeeze little bit of lemon juice to give a nice tangy taste.
You can also add chopped onions while sauteeing or add chopped raw onions, cucumber, cilantro lemon juice and little bit of chat masala to give a nice twist to the taste.






Friday, December 10, 2010

Black Eyed Beans Sundal (snack)





Good to KnowBeans supply high quality protein which provides a healthy alternative to meat or other animal protein. Beans also contain protease inhibitors which frustrate the development of cancerous cells.








Ingredients



Black eyed bean - 2 cups (Soaked and Cooked)

Coconut Oil - 1 tsp

Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp

Curry leaves few

Asafoetida powder - 1/4 tsp

Curry powder - 1 tsp

Fresh grated Coconut - 2 table spoons

Salt to taste

Lime juice - 1/4 tsp (optional)



Method



1) Heat oil and add the mustard seeds, once it stops spluttering add the asafetida powder, curry leaves and black eyed bean.

2) Add salt and curry powder and stir and switch off in a minute.

3) Once it slightly cools down add the lemon juice and the freshly grated coconut.

4) Enjoy this protein rich guilt free sundal .
Cooking Time: 20 mins

Preparation Time: 5-10 mins

Serves: 4

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Morkuzhambu (Spicy Yogurt Sauce)



Have you tried Morkuzhambu before, it is a spicy, tangy sauce made with Yogurt and spices and tastes fantastic with cooked Quinoa, rice or flat breads. You can add your choice of vegetables like eggplant, white pumpkin etc. This yogurt sauce is made in different regions of Indian and they are called by different names with different recipes. This is my Mom's recipe and we all love it.


Preparation Time - 15 Minutes
Cooking Time - 10 Minutes
Serves - 4


Ingredients


Thick Sour Yogurt - 1 Cup
Water - 3 Cups
Asafoetida - pinch
White pumpkin pieces - 1 cup cubed
Turmeric powder - 1 Tsp
Salt - 1 Tsp or to taste


For grinding


Grated Coconut - 4 Tbsp
Split Chick Pea - 1/2 Tbsp
Rice - 1/2 Tbsp
Cumin Seeds - 1 Tsp
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Green chili - 2 or to taste
Coriander seeds - 1 Tsp


For tempering


Coconut Oil - 2 Tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 Tsp
Red chili - 2 or taste
Curry leaves - 1 Tbsp
Asafoetida powder - pinch


Method


1) Soak the channa dal, rice, cumin seeds, corainder seeds in 1/4 cup of water.


2) Put the vegetables in a pan and add 1 cup of water or just to cover the top of the vegetables, asafoetida powder, salt and turmeric powder.


Yogurt



3) Grind the soaked masala and rest of the ingredients left out in the For grinding section into a smooth paste adding enough water.


4) Now combine the left out water, ground masala, yogurt and whisk smoothly.


5) Once the vegetables are cooked thoroughly add the yogurt mixture to it and leave it in the stove for 3-5 minutes. Once the whole thing becomes frothy and comes up, switch off the stove. Do not overcook this as the yogurt will curdle.


6) Now heat a pan add oil and then asafoetida, mustard seeds and after the mustard seeds stop spluttering, add red chili and curry leaves. Once the chili becomes slightly brown, switch off and add the tempering to Morkuzhambu.


7) Serve with hot cooked Quinoa and enjoy..


Note - If you are sensitive to gluten, exclude Asafoetida as it contains wheat.














Yogurt on Foodista

Monday, December 6, 2010

Split Chick Pea Savory Pancake (Besan Puda/Pudla)


If you are looking for a protein rich, low carb, gluten free, infact grain free breakfast or lunch option, this spicy pancake would fit perfect for all the above dietary requirements. I make it atleast once a week, and you can add different vegetables like spinach, cabbage to suit your taste buds. Try this and let me know how you liked it.


Preparation Time - 10 Minutes
Cooking Time - 15 Minutes
Makes - 4 Pancakes (This depends on the size and the thickness of the pancake you make)


Ingredients


Besan Flour (Split Chick Pea Flour) -1 Cup
Yogurt - 1/4 Cup
Water - 1/4 Cup
Turmeric powder - 1/2 Tsp
Green Chili - 2 or to taste
Salt - 3/4 th Tsp or to taste
Chopped Cilantro or Spinach - 1/4 Cup
Grated Ginger - 1/2 Tsp
Onion - 1
Garlic - 1 Clove (optional)
Ajwain (Carom seeds) - 1/2 Tsp
Oil - 4 Tsp


Method


1) Combine the besan flour, turmeric powder, salt, chopped spinach or cilantro, grated ginger, garlic, onion and ajwain.


2) To this add the yogurt and water and make a batter.


3) Heat an iron griddle, once it is hot take a ladle of batter and spread into thin circle.


4) Add a tsp of oil around the pancake, once the panckae is cooked on one side and flip and cook the other side.


5) Remove from the griddle and serve hot with Chutney or Pickle of your choice. I served it with mint chutney.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Trail Mix - Easy, Healthy & On the go Snack



What else can be easier to make snack than a trail mix? Healthy, easy and quick to make and on the go snack. Make them at home so that you can mix and match ingredients based on your diet needs and is much easier on your wallet than store bought ones. Takes less than 15 minutes to make and you can make batches to satisfy craving attacks.



I make these on a regular basis, you can make it without adding raisins and cranberries if you are looking for no sugar snacks. For kids you can add some toasted peanuts and dry fruits or choco chips. My little one insisted on adding candy, so i added a few of Sunspire Natural Chocolates  - Sundrop. Lesser evil than the other ones available in the store. For the sake of taking photos, i added few m & m's. Yes they look fantastic, but not so for your health.









Preparation Time - 15 Minutes

Cooking Time - 0





Ingredients



Roasted & Salted Organic Sunflower seeds - 1 1/2 Cups

Roasted Organic Pumpking Seeds - 1 1/2 Cups

Roasted Chopped Almonds - 1 Cup

Roasted Chopped Cashews -1 Cup

Roasted Chopped Macadamia nuts - 1 Cup

Roasted Chopped Walnuts - 1/2 Cup

Roasted Salted Pistachio    - 1/2 Cup



Dried Cranberries (optional) - 1/2 Cup (Avoid these two if you on a no sugar diet)

Dried raisins (optional)        - 1/2 Cup



Method



1) I use a normal toaster oven and toast each one of the ingredient in a medium heat which will take 2-3 minutes or you can buy roasted sunflower and pumpkin seeds, raw chopped macadamia nuts and chop the rest of the ingredients Almonds, Cashews, walnuts etc.



2) Combine all the above ingredients, store in a airtight jar. This trail mix is good for atleast a week to 10 days in normal room temperature, or if you are going to keep it longer refrigerate.







Trail Mix 2



Ingredients

Roasted Chopped Almonds - 1 Cup

Roasted Chopped Cashews - 1 Cup

Roasted Peeled Peanuts - 1 Cup

Sunspire Sundrops - 1 small pack

Raisins - 1/2 Cup

Salt - 1/2 tsp (optional)



Method



Combine all of the ingredients listed above and enjoy.



Event Participation



1) This goes straight to Champa's - Kid's Delight Restaurant recreation an event started by Srivalli.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Lemon Rice (Brown)





Know what you Eat -A platter consisting of Lemon Brown Rice, Pumpkin in Coconut Milk, Ginger Rasam(Spiced Soup), a cup of yogurt or butter milk(is not included in the click) and some dried fruits & nuts for dessert not only fills you up. It is a deliciious whole some meal with all the essential nutrients from all the food groups.



Brown rice contains four times the fiber of white rice and powerful quantities of vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, folic acid, potassium, magnesium, iron and over dozen other nutrients. A 12-year Harvard Medical School study found 49 percent less weight gain among women who regularly eat brown rice and other whole foods compared with those who eat more processed grains. Ginger has been found to be helpful in blocking the harmful effects of prostaglandin, a substance that can lead to inflammation of the blood vessels in the brain and even cause migraines.



All these dishes are very popular South Indian dish and i substituted white rice with brown rice to make it even more healthier.



For the Olan Recipe check out here.

For the Ginger Rasam recipe check out here.

 Ingredients



Cooked Brown Rice - 2 Cups

Lemon Juice - (Juice of 1 lemon taste and increase it to two based on the sourness of the lemon and to your taste)

Salt - 1 tsp or to taste



 For tempering



Oil - 1 Tbsp (Increase this if you want the rice to be greasy)

Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp

Channa Dal(Split Black Chick Pea) - 2 tsp

Curry leaves - handful

 Green or Dry red Chili chopped - 2 (or increase it if you want more spicy)

Asafoetida powder - 1/8 tsp

Turmeric powder - 1 tsp

Grated ginger - 1/4 tsp

Roasted Peanuts - 1/4 cup



Method



1) Soak the channa dal in water for half and hour and drain the water completely and set it aside.



2) Soak brown rice in water for a minimum of 30 minutes.



3) Drain the water from the rice and measure 1 3/4th cup of water and add it to the rice and cook in a pressure cooker or in a pan till the rice is completely cooked.



4) Once the rice is cooked set it aside to cool completely.



5) Heat oil add the mustard seeds and once it stops spluttering add the asafoetida powder, channa dal, chilli, curry leaves, grated ginger and turmeric powder and saute for a minute till the chilli, curry leaves etc change the color slightly and switch off the stove.



6) Now add the salt, lemon juice to the tempering and add the cooked and cooled rice and mix till all the lemon juice and salt is evenly mixed.



7) Add the roasted peanuts to the rice and serve.





 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Cucumber Carrot Pomegranate Salad





 I try to include atleast one salad in our everyday meal. I try to be as much innovative as possible, first thing not to get bored eating the same salad again and again and also different fruit and vegetable has different nutrients. So to get different nutrients, one has to try different fruits, veggies and legumes.

This is one such easy salad, but yet tasty and nutritious. However, if you are looking for low carb vegetables, please skip the carrot. Also I have used Nusalt instead of regular salt, which is high in potassium and low in sodium. Normally the taste of this salt is very distinct and one can easily find out the difference, but the addition of carrot and pomegranate adds a mild sweetness and kinds of suppresses the taste. If you are on a low-sodium diet, try substituting this salt instead of regular salt.


Preparation Time - 10 Minutes
Cooking Time - 2 Minutes
Serves - 2


Ingredients


Pomegranate seeds - 1/2 cup
Carrot - 1
Cucumber - 1
Black Pepper powder - 1/2 tsp or to taste
Lemon juice - 1 tsp or to taste
Nusalt - 1/3 tsp or to taste

Chat Masala - 1/4 tsp



Method



1) Grate the carrots, chop the cucumber into small pieces.

2) Add the pomegranate seeds, nusalt, lemon juice, black pepper powder, chat masala to the

carrots & cucumber mixture.

3) Combine thoroughly and serve.





Events


This directly goes to the Innovative Salad Event-Cucumber.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bell Pepper Curry

Looking for quick, easy, delicious and healthy curry recipe. Then this recipe is for you. Bell peppers are an excellent source of vitamins like A, C, B6 and K. Easy to cook, cut and with a yummy taste, this is a must try recipe. Try this one out and let me know how you like it.


Preparation Time - 5 to 10 Minutes
Cooking Time - 10 to 15 Minutes
Serves - 4


Ingredients


Green Bell Pepper - 3 big( Washed and chopped into pieces an inch long)
Onion - 1 big
Salt - 1 Tsp or to taste
Red Chili powder - 1 Tsp or to taste
Coriander Powder - 1/2 Tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1 Tsp
Coconut Oil -1 Tbsp
Garam Masala - 1/2 Tsp
Curry Powder - 1 Tsp
Besan - 1 Tbsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 Tsp


Method


1) Heat a pan, add oil, once it is hot add the mustard seeds.


2) After the mustard seeds stop spluttering add the turmeric powder, coriander powder and red chili powder and slightly brown them.


3) Now add the chopped onions a pinch of salt and saute till they become transparent.


4) Now add the chopped bell pepper, add salt, garam masala and saute on a medium to high heat . ( The bell pepper should cook but should not become watery, you can watch them changing color and shrinking in size as soon as you throw them in the pan)


5) Mix the curry powder and besan add to the cooked bell pepper and saute for aminute and switch off.


6) Serve hot with flat bread, rice or cooked quinoa and enjoy!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Cabbage Curry

Do you know Cabbage is an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamin A (which comes from its concentration of carotenoids such as beta-carotene). Polyphenols one of the component of cabbage gives cabbage its rich antioxidant property. So next time instead of grabbing a bottle of antioxidant supplement, grab a cabbage to supplement you.



Preparation Time - 10 Minutes

Cooking Time - 15 Minutes

Serves - 4





Ingredients



Shredded or finely chopped cabbage - 8 cups

Dry Red Chili - 2 or more to taste

Grated Coconut - 1/2 cup

Salt - 1 Tsp or to taste

Coconut Oil - 1 Tbsp

Mustard seeds - 1/2 Tsp

Asafoetida powder - 1/4 Tsp

Split Urad Dal - 1/2 Tsp

Curry leaves - 5 to 6 leaves



Method



1) Heat a pan, add a tsp of oil and once the oil is warm add the asafoetida powder and mustard seeds.



2) After the mustard seeds stop spluttering add the urad dal, after it slightly browns, add the split red chilies and curry leaves and saute for a minute.



3) Now add the shredded cabbage and the salt and cover and cook for 10 to 15 minutes in medium heat till they become tender. There is no need to add water, as the cabbage with added salt will leave out water when cooking.



4) Once it is tender, there will be little bit left over water at the bottom of the pan. Increase the heat and cook on high for a few minutes till the water evaporates. Now add the grated coconut and saute for a second and switch off and serve.





Note - You can also add turmeric powder when cooking. If you are gluten free avoid asafoetida as it contains wheat.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Beet Root Kheer(Payasam)



Beets the sweet root vegetables are fun to cook with. It is so versatile you can make curries, salads, add them to cakes and kheers too. These colorful root vegetables contain powerful nutrient compounds that help protect against heart disease, birth defects and certain cancers, especially colon cancer. But if you are on a low glycemic diet and are avoiding all kinds of sugar including dry fruits, then this recipe is not for you. Now getting on the recipe, with very few ingredients the kheer tastes awesome and kids will love its color.



Preparation Time - Nil

Cooking Time - 45 Minutes

Serves - 4



Ingredients



Beets - 2 (Medium sized)

Milk - 2 Cups(Boiled and cooled)

Water - 1/2 Cup

Grated Jaggery(Panela) - 1/2 Cup or increase it more or you can use raw sugar too

Ghee(Clarified Butter) - 2 Tbsp

Chopped Nuts - 1 Tbsp

Cardamom powder - 1 Tsp



Method



1) Wash and cook the whole beets in a pressure cooker for three whistles and switch off.

2) After you open the cooker, rinse the beets in cold water and peel them.

3) Grate one of the beets and keep it aside, puree the other beets with 1/2 cup of water and keep it aside.

4) Heat a pan and add a tsp of ghee and fry the nuts till golden and keep them aside.

5) Add the rest of the ghee and once it is hot add the grated beets and pureed beets and saute till they are cooked and you get a nice aroma.

6) At this point add the powdered jaggery and saute till jaggery melts.

7) Now add the milk and cardamom powder and simmer for 5 minutes and switch off.

8) Chill, garnish with roasted nuts and server.



Note



Pureed beets give a thick and creamy kheer and the grated beets a nice texture instead of a soup like consitency. So i pureed one of the beet and grated the other beet.







Friday, October 29, 2010

Tomato Rasam (Spiced Indian Tomato Soup)

Rasam is one of the best comfort foods, spicy, tangy, flavorful and goes perfect with cooked Quinoa or Rice and can be made in a jiffy. There are so many different kinds of rasam and this is one of the simplest and easiest one. With bare minimum ingredients and very quick to make, this will be very handy if you are rushing against time and are still aiming for home cooked healthy meals.



Cooking Time: 10 to 15 mins



Preparation Time: 5 mins

Serves : 2 to 3



Ingredients



Small sized tomato chopped into pieces - 1

Green chilly - 1 (if you want really spicy increase it)

Chopped Cilantro - 2 table spoons

Asafoetida - 1 small piece or 1/2 tsp

Water - 3 cups

Cooked thoor dhal along with turmeric powder - 1/2 cup

Rasam powder - 1 tsp

Tamarind - small lemon sized ball soaked in 1/4 cup of water

Salt - 1 Tsp or to taste



Tempering



Oil - 1/2 tsp

Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp



Garnishing



Chopped Cilantro - 1 tsp



Method



1) Soak the tamarind in 1/4 cup of warm water and let this sit for few minutes till the tamarind softens.



2) In a pan combine half of the water, tomato pieces, green chilli, asafoetida, rasam powder, cilantro, ,salt and boil for about 5 minutes till the tomato pieces are little softened.



3) Now squeeze out the soaked tamarind using the remaining 1 1/2 cups of water and add it to the tomato mixture and boil for 10 more minutes or till the tomato pieces are well cooked.



4) Now add the cooked toor dhal and let this boil for 2 minutes till the dhal is well combined. Switch off.



5) Heat the oil and add the mustard seeds, once they stop spluttering transfer it to the cooked tomato dhal mixture.



6) Let this cool for few minutes then garnishwith cilantro and server with cooked plain quinoa or rice with a spoon of ghee(clarified butter) and sauteed vegetables.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Eggless Whole Grain Oat & Wheat Carrot & Walnut Cake

Cakes synonym of carb and sugar. I wouldn't say this cake is  guilt free nor I am promoting this as a health food, however i used whole grain, raw sugar, carrots and walnuts. This is a much better choice than sugary processed store bought cakes. Also used Xylitol for icing instead of icing sugar. I made this cake almost a year back, now i am more into baking with Almond Flour instead of grain flour will post them soon but I still have couple of Cakes and Cookies made using Grain. So after finishing the back log of recipes using whole grains will post the Almond Flour recipes.



Preparation Time - 5-10 mins

Cooking Time - 15-20 mins

Serves - Around 12 cakes





Ingredients



Oat Flour - 1 Cup

Whole wheat flour - 1 cup

Raw sugar - 1/2 cup (Increase this if you want a sweeter version)

Baking powder - 2 teaspoons

Baking Soda - 1/2 teaspoon

Ener-G Egg Replacer - 1 1/2 teaspoons

Salt - 1/4 teaspoon

Cinnamon powder - 1/2 teaspoon

Warm water - 3/4 Cup

Oil or Clarified Butter(Ghee) - 1/4 Cup

Apple cider vinegar - 1 tablespoon

Grated Carrot - 3/4 cup

Chopped Walnuts - 1/2 cup

Pureed Banana - 1/2 cup



Icing



100% Unsweetened Chocolate -  Around 6 pieces

Xylitol - 2 Tbsp or more if need a sweeter taste

Cream - 4 Tbsp

Butter - 1 Tsp

Vanilla extract - 1/2 Tsp



Method



1) Combine the Ener-G Egg Replacer with warm water and beat till fluffy,  now add the sugar, banana puree and oil and keep it aside.



2) Now add the grated carrots and chopped walnuts to the above mixture.



3) Combine Oats Flour, whole wheat flour, salt, cinnamon powder, baking powder, baking soda, sugar.



3) Add the flour mixture to the carrot mixture and stir thoroughly. Add Vinegar and combine it evenly.



5) Line a muffin mould with pape cups and fill till 3/4 .



6) Bake in a preheated oven set to 350 F for 15-20 mins until a knife inserted comes out clean.



7) Once baked, let it cool for couple of minutes.



8) Now brake the chocolate into few pieces add cream, butter and Xylitol to the mixture and heat till the chocolate melts, once the chocolate is in spreadable consistency using a spoon spread it on top of the baked and cooled cakes.



9) Sprinkle with powdered almonds and let the chocolate Gnache cool before you serve.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Pineapple Salsa/Salad



Pineapple is such a perfect juicy fruit with its a vibrant tropical flavor that balances the tastes of sweet and tart. Pineapple is available year around at a very nominal price. I  made this salad with the leftover pineapple and few of the veggies in hand and it tastes delicious. Try out this flavorful salsa and you are sure to love it.



Know what you Eat - Pineapple is an excellent source of vitamin C and manganese. Vitamin C is the body's primary water-soluble antioxidant, defending all aqueous areas of the body against free radicals that attack and damage normal cells. It is also a good source of vitamin B1, vitamin B6, copper and dietary fiber.



Cooking Time – None

Preparation Time – 10 – 15 Mins

Serves - 2






Ingredients



Fresh Pineapple - 1 1/2 cups (Chopped)

Red Onion - 1/4 cup (Chopped finely)

Green & Red Bell Pepper – 1/2 Cup(Chopped Finely)

Fresh Lemon Juice – 1 tsp

Finely Chopped Jalapeno Pepper - 1/2-1 tsp. (or to taste, if serving for kids replace this with powdered black pepper) 

Finely Minced fresh ginger – 1/2 tsp

Salt -  1/2 tsp(or to taste)

Finely Chopped Cilantro - 2 Tbsp



Method



1) Combine pineapple, red onion, green & red bell pepper, ginger and chopped  cilantro.                    

2) Add Jalapeno or Black pepper, Salt and Lemon Juice.

3) Chill 2-3 hours to marinate flavors and then enjoy.

4) Enjoy with some baked corn tortilla chips as a guilt free snack.



Adai - Protein Dosa



Nutritional Info - Legumes are an excellent source of easily digestible protein, fiber, iron, folic acid, and other B vitamins. Legumes are rich in soluble fiber, which has been shown to help improve insulin resistance. Legumes contain low levels of sodium and high levels of potassium, calcium and magnesium - a combination that is associated with a reduced risk of heart disease. Folate, a mineral also found in abundance in legumes, is thought to reduce blood levels of homocysteine, a compound that can boost heart disease risk.



Adai is an authentic South Indian main dish made with a combination of rice and lentils. It can be had for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Cooking Time : 20 min

Preparation Time : 10-20 min

Serves 4 to 6.







Ingredients




Thoor Dhal - 1/2 cup

Channa Dhal - 1/2 cup

Whole green moong - 1 cup

Brown Rice - 1 cup

Split Urad Dhal - handful

Green or Red chilly - 1 or to taste

Salt to taste

Ginger - 1 inch piece.

Curry leaves - handful

Asafoetida - 1 small piece.

Onion - 1 finely chopped.

Oil

Water






Method to make Adai




1) Rinse and soak the rice and dhal together for 2-3 hours.

2) Drain the water from the rice/dhal and add the ginger, curry leaves, green or red chilly, asafoetida and salt.

3) Use a blender and grind the above to little coarse mixture.

4) Add the chopped onions or you can use your own variation of grated cabbage, carrot, scallion etc to the batter.

5) Heat the iron griddle and pour a ladle full of the batter and make a round dosa, put a small hole(circle shape) in the center of the batter,

as it will evenly and quickly cook.

6) Pour a tsp of oil and once it is cooked on one side , turn and place the other side of the adai and remove it once cooked.


7) Serve it with avial, sambhar, chutney, milagai/Chutney powder.



Monday, October 25, 2010

Coconut Quinoa







Know what you Eat - A recently rediscovered ancient "grain" native to South America, quinoa is high in protein, the protein it supplies is complete protein, meaning that it includes all nine essential amino acids. Quinoa's amino acid profile is well balanced, making it a good choice for vegans concerned about adequate protein intake, also quinoa is especially well-endowed with the amino acid lysine, which is essential for tissue growth and repair. In addition to protein, quinoa features a host of other health-building nutrients. Coconut is a tropical fruit that is rich in protein. Coconut boosts energy and endurance, enhancing physical and athletic performance. It quickly creates a nutritional boost of energy that lasts. Coconut prevents weight and obesity problems by speeding up the metabolism.



I love coconut rice and wanted to try it with quinoa. Quinoa has a very slight bitter taste, which was totally unnoticeable in this dish. The sweetness and flavor of coconut, gave quinoa a total new makeover. This dish is guilt free with less carbs and power packed with protein.



Cooking Time - 10 minutes

Preparation Time - 10 minutes

Serves - 3 to 4



Ingredients



Cooked Quinoa - 2 cups

Unsweetened Grated Coconut (fresh if possible) - 1 cup

Red or Green Chillies - 4 (more if you want it spicy)

Roasted Peanuts - 1/4 cup

Coconut Oil - 2 tbsp

Broken Urad Dal - 4 tsp

Chopped curry leaves - 4 tsp

Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp

Asafoetida powder - 1/4 tsp

Salt - 1 tsp or to taste



Garnishing



Roasted Cashews - 4 tsp

Chopped cilantro - 4 tsp



Method



1) Soak Quinoa in water for atleast half an hour, rinse and drain. Add 2 measures of water to 1 measure of Quinoa and salt to taste and cook till it fluffs up.

2) Remove quinoa and let it cool completely.

3) Heat oil, add mustard seeds and once it stops spluttering add asafoetida powder, broken urad dal, chillies, curry leaves. Saute for a minute till the urad dal slightly browns.

5) Now add the grated coconut and keep stirring continously for few minutes till the coconut slightly browns evenly.

6) Switch off add roasted peanuts, salt and cooked Quinoa and mix thoroughly.

7) Garnish with cashews and cilantro and serve.

8) If you are planning to cook and store this dish, saute the coconut for few more extra minutes.

Brown Rice Pongal

Good to Know -



Brown rice contains complex carbohydrate that provides 15 essential nutrients, including B-vitamins, niacin and potassium. Brown rice is a very good source of selenium, which is essential for thyroid hormone metabolism and immune function. Selenium is an antioxidant that helps in DNA repair. Lab tests have shown that selenium can inhibit proliferation of cancer cells by inducing them to undergo apoptosis, or programmed cell death.



Cooking Time: 30 min

Preparation Time: 5-10 min

Serves – 2




 Ingredients

 Brown basmati Rice - 1 cup

Moong Daal - 3/4 cup

Ginger grated – 1/2 tsp

Green Chilly – 1 to 2 (optional)



Tempering



Black Pepper - 1/2 tsp

Cumin- 1/2 tsp

Curry Leaves - few

Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp

Oil - 1 tablespoon

Ghee - 1 tablespoon

Grated ginger – ½ tsp

Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp

Salt to taste



Method of Preparation

 1) Soak brown rice overnight or atleast a minimum of 1hour, it is not mandatory to soak but soaking brown rice adds one more amino acid and makes it easily digestible.

2) Add moong daal and rinse and add water (for 1 cup rice i use 2 1/2 water and 1 cup daal - 1 cup of water).

3) Add green chilly, half of grated ginger, half of asafoetida and salt and pressure cook the dhal and rice.

4) Remove the cooked daal and rice and mash it using a potato masher.

5) Heat oil and add mustard seeds, once they stop spluttering add black pepper, cumin, asafoetida, and ginger and curry leaves.

6) Add this to rice and dhal and add ghee and pongal is ready to serve.



Note - If you want to thicken it further put the mashed pongal on a stove top on a low heat and simmer till it thickens to your consistency, if you want it little thinner add more water and salt and simmer for 2-3 to three minutes. Once the pongal starts cooling down, it will thicken automatically.



Pongal is a South Indian main dish prepared with rice and lentil, instead of using white rice i substituted it with brown rice for a healthier version.







Sunday, October 24, 2010

Home Made Healthy Multigrain Graham Crackers



Know what you Eat – Graham Crackers comes under the list of healthy snacks but if

you read the ingredients most of them are made with partially hydrogenated oils and

very few are made with whole grains. Typically to make graham crackers one has to use

graham flour which is made by grinding finely the endosperm of winter wheat. The bran

and germ layers are returned and mixed in, resulting in a coarse, brown flour with a

nutty and slightly sweet flavor. Today, some commercial granaries remove much of the

wheat germ to prolong the shelf life of the flour. So most of the brands available in the

store all you get is stripped out and processed graham cracker.



Graham cracker was in my must bake list for a long time and instead of just going for

whole wheat flour, i used whole wheat, brown rice, oats, sorghum and coconut flour.

Yeah my pantry has you name it will have it kind of different flours stocked, so went for

this multigrain and was planning to bake a vegan version but the coconut flour absorbed

all the moisture, so had to add some milk to roll the dough and cut out the crackers.

Yes it did taste good.







Ingredients

Whole Wheat Flour – 1 1/2 cups

Oats Flour – 1/2 Cup

Brown Rice flour – 1/4 cup

Coconut flour – 1/4 cup

Barley flour – 1/4 cup

Sorghum flour – 1/4 cup

Baking powder – 1/2 tsp

Canola or Sunflower oil – 1/2 cup

Maple syrup – 1/2 cup(Make it 3/4th cup if you want it sweeter)

Salt – 1/4 tsp

Ener-g Egg replacer – 1 1/2 tsp

Warm Water – 1 Tbsp

Milk – 1/4 cup

Cinnamon powder – 1 tsp



Method



1) Mix all the dry ingredients – Whole wheat flour, oats flour, brown rice flour, coconut flour

sorghum flour, barley flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon powder.

2) Add water to the egg replacer and beat till fluffy.

3) Now add the oil, maple syrup to the ener-g mixture and combine thoroughly,

now add all the flours to this mixture and combine to get a well moistened dough.

4) Preheat baking oven to 350 Degrees fahrenheit.

5) Because you are using coconut flour it will start absorbing the moisture, so keep 1/4th of cup

of milk handy. Take half the dough and add little bit of milk and roll out into a  1/8” thick

on a greased and floured baking sheet. Cut into desired shapes with a knife or a cookie

cutter. I just used knife and cut out square and rectangles.

6) Bake in a cookie tray lined with parchment paper for 8-10 minutes till they are golden.

7) Now flip them back and bake for another 3-4 minutes to make it really crisp.

8) Once completely cooled, store in a air tight container

9) I had these crackers for 4 days in room temperature and  made a no bake chocolate cake

with the remaining graham crackers, so not able to tell you the shelf life of these crackers.

10) Do the same to the remaining dough, because of the coconut flour you had to keep

adding little milk as when rolling out the dough. Repeat procedure from 5-7.



Notes – I came across this recipe from a magazine in the local library,which had used 3 cups of

Whole wheat graham flour, because i had so much of all these other flours i combined all of them. This

is the first time i am making crackers with coconut flour, when using coconut flour

it just absorbs all the moisture and make it dry so i had to keep on adding milk to

roll out cut into desired shapes. Next time when i am making i am planning to add

finely ground almond meal. The original recipe uses honey, whereas i substituted it

with maple syrup.







Event Participation –

This goes to Whole Grain Baking – Brown Rice an event hosted by Madhuram

of Eggless Cooking.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Avial(Vegetables in Coconut & Yogurt Sauce)





Know What you Eat : Coconut oil is very useful in reducing weight. It contains short and medium-chain fatty acids that help in taking off excessive weight. It is also easy to digest and it helps in healthy functioning of the thyroid and enzymes systems. Further, it increases the body metabolism by removing stress on pancreases, thereby burning out more energy and helping obese and overweight people reduce their weight. Hence, people living in tropical coastal areas, who eat coconut oil daily as their primary cooking oil, are normally not fat, obese or overweight.



Avial is an authentic South Indian side dish cooked with vegetables, grind coconut, green chili and yogurt.









Cooking Time: 20 mins

Preparation Time: 15 mins

Serves : 4 to 6



Ingredients





Cooking banana - 1

Carrot - 1

Small Egg plant - 3

Beans - 1 handful

Bell pepper - 1/2

White pumpkin - 1 Big sized piece.

Green Peas - 1/2 cup

Drumstick - 1

Coconut oil - 2 table spoon

Curry leaves - few

Coconut - 1/2 fresh coconut.

Sour Yogurt - 1/2 cup

Green chilly - 3-4 or to taste

Rice flour - 1 tsp

Turmeric Powder - pinch

Salt





Coconut Oil - 4 tsps

Curry Leaves - 3 or 4 stalks



Method



1) Cut cooking banana, Carrot, Egg plant, green beans, bell pepper, drumstick pieces and white pumpkin into length wise pieces. Add peas and little bit of water, cook covered with salt and pinch of turmeric.



2) Keep stirring and add water little by little. Make sure not to add lot of water to the vegetables, as the covered vegetables with salt will become watery and the consistency will not come out good.



3) Once the vegetables are well cooked grind the fresh coconut along with the green chili and rice flour and add it to the cooked vegetables.



4) Add the coconut oil and curry leaves and simmer for few minutes to enhance the flavor.



5) Switch off the stove and once it is little cooled add the sour yogurt and mix it thoroughly.

Raw Mango Pickle



Know what you Eat

Mangoes are  high in prebiotic dietary fiber, vitamin C, polyphenols and provitamin A carotenoids. Mango peel also contain other phytonutrients, such as the pigment antioxidants – carotenoids and polyphenols.If you want more vitamin C, try eating a raw mango rather than a ripe one.  The fiber content in mangoes is also higher than other fruits.





Ingredients



Raw mango – 1 (Chopped into small pieces)

Salt – 2 tsp or to taste

Red Chili powder – 2 tsp or to taste

Turmeric powder – 1 tsp

Methi/Fenugreek/Vendhayam seeds – 1 tsp

Asafoetida powder – 1/2 tsp

Sesame oil – 3 Tbsp

Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp



Method



1) Dry roast fenugreek seeds till you get a slight aroma and changes dark brown in color(do not allow it to become black) and keep it aside.

2) Once the fenugreek seeds are cooled, powder them in your food processor to a coarse powder.

3) Add fenugreek powder, salt, red chili powder, turmeric powder, asafoetida powder to the raw mango and close the container and shake so that all the mango pieces are evenly well coated with the added spices.

4) Heat oil in a small pan and once it is hot add the mustard seeds, once they stop spluttering transfer the contents to the cut mango container. Mix well and leave it for 4 to 5 hours so that all the flavors marinate well.

Note – This pickle will be good for 4-5 days, but can’t be kept for a longer time.





Event Participation 


1) This goes straight to Pickle Mela hosted by Snack o Rama.

Chinese Vegetable Brown Rice







Know What you Eat - Green Onions, Scallions are actually baby onions picked before a large bulb has formed. Don't confuse them with spring onions, which have larger bulbs.


Cooking Time - 15-20 min
Preparation Time - 15 min
Serves - 4 to 6


Ingredients


Brown rice - 2 cups
Broccolli florets - 1 cup
Bell pepper(Red & Green) - half each
Carrots(big) - 2
Scallion - 1 bunch

Onion - 1
Water
Salt to taste
Soy sauce - 1 1/2 table spoon
Vinegar - 1 table spoon
Red chilly sauce - 1 table spoon (or to desired spiciness)
Oil - 2 table spoon + 1 tsp


Method


1) Soak rice in water for 30 mins.
2) Boil water in a pan(for each cup of rice I used 1 3/4 cups of water) add rice, 1 tsp oil, 1 tsp of salt and wait for few minutes for it to cook.
3) Watch carefully and once the rice is cooked, remove from stove and pour cold water and put in a colander for it to drain completely .
4) Make sure the rice is not overcooked and each grain is separate, if it is overcooked this dish will not come out properly.
5) Heat a pan add 2 table spoons of oil and stir fry on high Onion first for 2 mins, Carrot and Broccolli for 3 mins and Bell pepper for 1 minute.
6) Now add the chopped scallion soy sauce, vinegar and red chilly sauce and add the rice.
7) Combine gently so that the rice is coated with all the spices and switch off the stove.
8) Now taste the rice and if desired you can add some more salt and oil if you need more greasy rice.






Friday, October 22, 2010

Homogenized Milk not good for Heart

The gallons of milk carton we bring from the store thinking that is good for health goes through the process of Homogenization and pasteurization. This unbeatable health food, causes more bad than good because of all the processing it goes through. In many of the states in United States selling raw milk is not legal. However you can find them in your local co-operative and visit this site www.realmilk.com to find a local coop near you.



When milk is homogenized, it passes through a fine filter at pressures equal to 4,000 pounds per square inch, and in so doing, the fat globules (liposomes) are made smaller (micronized) by a factor of ten times or more. These fat molecules become evenly dispersed within the liquid milk.



Milk is a hormonal delivery system. With homogenization, milk becomes a very powerful and efficient way of bypassing normal digestive processes and delivering steroid and protein hormones to the human body (both the cow's natural hormones and the ones they were injected with to produce more milk).



Through homogenization, fat molecules in milk become smaller and become "capsules" for substances that bypass digestion. Proteins that would normally be digested in the stomach or gut are not broken down, and are absorbed into the bloodstream.



The homogenization process breaks up an enzyme in milk (xanthine oxidase), which in its altered (smaller) state can enter the bloodstream and react against arterial walls causing the body to protect the area with a layer of cholesterol. If this happened only occasionally, it wouldn't be a big deal, but if it happens on an ongoing basis... well, need I say any more.



In theory, proteins are easily broken down by digestive processes. In reality, homogenization insures their survival so that they enter the bloodstream and deliver their messages. Often, the body reacts to foreign proteins by producing histamines, then mucus. And since cow's milk proteins can resemble a human protein, they can become triggers for autoimmune diseases. Diabetes and multiple sclerosis are two such examples. The rarest of nature's quirks results after humans consume homogenized cow's milk. Nature has the best sense of humor, and always finds a way to add exclamation marks to man's best-punctuated sentences. One milk hormone, the most powerful growth factor in a cow's body, is identical to the most powerful growth factor in the human body. Hormones make cells grow, and don't differentiate between normal cells and cancerous cells. (It is well known that the earlier onset of menstration is linked to a higher risk of breast cancer and other cancers, but it's said "we don't know why". Well, it is known why; it's the overdosing of hormones by consuming them via an animal-based diet - especially dairy products. We're not designed to intake hormones; we make all the ones we need.)



There is also a problem with a protein enzyme called xanthine oxidase which is in cow's milk. Normally, proteins are broken down once you digest them.



When milk is homogenized, small fat globules surround the xanthine oxidase and it is absorbed intact into your blood stream. There is some very compelling research demonstrating clear associations with this absorbed enzyme and increased risks of heart disease.



Ear specialists frequently insert tubes into the ear drums of infants to treat recurrent ear infections. It has replaced the previously popular tonsillectomy to become the number one surgery in the country.



Unfortunately, most of these specialists don't realize that over 50% of these children will improve and have no further ear infections if they just stop drinking their milk.



In my personal experience this became true with my elder one, who was recommended with ear tubes because of frequent cough and cold and ear fluid accumulation. In a few months after stopping dairy, he became all well and there was no need for any surgery.



Source www.health101.org

All about Artificial Sweetners

If you are trying to control your Sugar intake and take artificial sweetner, please read this article before taking another spoonful of this harmful chemical.



Aspartame is the technical name for the brand names NutraSweet, Equal, Spoonful, and Equal-Measure



Aspartame can be found in thousands of products such as:



•instant breakfasts

•breath mints

•cereals

•sugar-free chewing gum

•cocoa mixes

•coffee beverages

•frozen desserts

•gelatin desserts

•juice beverages

•laxatives

•multivitamins

•milk drinks

•pharmaceuticals and supplements, including over-the-counter medicines

•shake mixes

•soft drinks

•tabletop sweeteners

•tea beverages

•instant teas and coffees

•topping mixes

•wine coolers

•yogurt





Aspartame is made up of three chemicals: aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and methanol.



Aspartic acid is an amino acid. Taken in its free form (unbound to proteins) it significantly raises the blood plasma level of aspartate and glutamate. The excess aspartate and glutamate in the blood plasma shortly after ingesting aspartame or products with free glutamic acid (glutamate precursor) leads to a high level of those neurotransmitters in certain areas of the brain.



The blood brain barrier (BBB), which normally protects the brain from excess glutamate and aspartate as well as toxins, 1) is not fully developed during childhood, 2) does not fully protect all areas of the brain, 3) is damaged by numerous chronic and acute conditions, and 4) allows seepage of excess glutamate and aspartate into the brain even when intact.



The excess glutamate and aspartate slowly begin to destroy neurons. The large majority (75 percent or more) of neural cells in a particular area of the brain are killed before any clinical symptoms of a chronic illness are noticed. A few of the many chronic illnesses that have been shown to be contributed to by long-term exposure to excitatory amino acid damage include:



•Multiple sclerosis (MS)

•ALS

•Memory loss

•Hormonal problems

•Hearing loss

•Epilepsy

•Alzheimer's disease

•Parkinson's disease

•Hypoglycemia

•AIDS

•Dementia

•Brain lesions

•Neuroendocrine disorders



Source - mercola.com

Almond Cashew Brittle(Vegan)



Know what you Eat – Deepavali the festival of light is synonymous to sweets and celebration. But not all sweets are sinful this brittle made with toasted Almonds and cashews and made with Jaggery(Panela) not only tastes great, easy to make and very easy on your waist line.

Almonds which is high in monounsaturated fats, that is good for the body and is associated with reduced risk of heart disease. In addition to healthy fats and vitamin E, Magnesium and Potassium. Not only do cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts, approximately 75% of their fat is unsaturated fatty acids, plus about 75% of this unsaturated fatty acid content is oleic acid, the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil.  This nut is also rich in magnesium. Magnesium plays a very important role in controlling blood pressure and heart health. Jaggery (Panela) is a "natural" sweetener made by the concentration of sugarcane juice WITHOUT the use of any chemicals / synthetic additives or preservatives. It contains an enormous wealth of minerals / protein / vitamins and iron.



Ingredients



Almonds – 2 cups

Cashew – 1 cup

Jaggery(Panela) – 1 1/2 cup

Cardamom powder – pinch

Ghee or Coconut oil for greasing the tray

Water just enough to cover the surface of the jaggery



Method



1) In a toaster oven toast the almonds for 5-8 minutes stirring in between till they are crisp. Pay attention or they will brown or black quickly.

2) Toast the Cashews for 3-5 minutes stirring in between.

3) Once the Almond is cool enough to handle, chop them into small pieces and mix them with the cashew and keep it aside.

4) Now heat a pan add the jaggery and just enough water to cover it. Once the jaggery is completely dissolved, start stirring and heat it till the jaggery becomes thick and if you pour the dissolved jaggery with your spoon you will see threads coming out of it.

4) At this point switch of the stove and add the cardamom powder, the mixed nuts and  stir fast so that the nuts are evenly coated with the jaggery.

5) Immediately transfer the contents to a big greased tray and using a spatula even the surface out. Keep it aside for 5 minutes, once it is slightly cool, cut them into pieces and enjoy. Enjoy these guilt free snacks.



Almond Cashew Brittle2



Event Participation:





Diwali Dhamaka 09 going on in Purva's Daawat

Sweet- Series in Mom's recipes hosted by Sireesha



Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Lemon Rasam(Soup)



Rasam is a spicy, tangy South Indian soup prepared with tamarind juice or lemon along with pepper and other spices.
Know what you Eat - A half-cup of juice meets 100% of the RDA for vitamin C.
Cooking Time: 10 to 15 mins
Preparation Time: 5 mins
Serves : 2 to 3
Ingredients
1 Small sized tomato chopped into pieces
Green chilly - 1 (if you want really spicy increase it)
Chopped Ginger - 1 tsp
Chopped Cilantro - 2 table spoons
Asafoetida - 1 small piece or 1/2 tsp
Water - 3 cups
Cooked thoor dhal along with turmeric powder - 1/2 cup
Rasam powder - 1 tsp
Lemon - Juice of half lemon (Increase this if you want to taste it more tangy)
Tempering
Oil - 1/2 tsp
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Garnishing
Chopped Cilantro - 1 tsp
1) In a pan combine water, tomato pieces, green chilli, asafoetida, rasam powder, cilantro, ginger,salt and boil for about 10 minutes.
2) Once the tomato pieces are well cooked, add the cooked toor dhal and let this boil for 2 minutes till the dhal is well combined. Switch off.
3) Heat the oil and add the mustard seeds, once they stop spluttering transfer it to the cooked tomato dhal mixture.
4) Let this cool for few minutes then add the lemon juice and garnish with cilantro.
5) When the rasam is boiling hot, do not add the lemon juice as it will become bittter.
6) Cilantro is normally used only for garnishing at the end, but when boiled along with all the spices the aroma will be awesome.




This dish is our contribution to RCI-Pondicherry Cuisine, hosted by Lavi as an entry from Tamil Nadu. RCI was originally started by Lakshmi.

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