Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Methi Pachadi (Fenugreek Chutney)

These days I hardly find time to draft and blog. I have learnt lot many new and interesting recipes but have no time to sit and compose. Here is a short and spicy recipe from authentic Andhra -Menthi aaku Pachadi. These days my kitchen experiments are to try out new pachadis. The same procedure is used for making Palak (spinach) pachadi, Pudina (mint) Pachadi and kothmira (Coriander) pachadi.





Ingredients

Methi leaves -1 bunch
3 tbsp urad dal (husked)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
a pinch of Asafoetida
4- dry red chillies
2 tbsp Tamarind pulp
salt to taste
1 tbsp oil

For tempering
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp urad dal
1 tbsp oil
a pinch of asafoetida




Preparation

Remove the methi leaves from the stem, wash well, drain and keep aside. To a pan add oil, on medium heat add urad dal and cumin seeds, toast until golden. Add dried red chillies and asafoetida, saute for 2-3 seconds and remove from heat.
Transfer these ingredients to a plate. To the same pan add methi leaves and cook for 5 minutes till the leaves turn soft.
Transfer all the ingredients to the mixer/blender after they cool, add tamarind pulp and salt. Blend together into chutney.
Temper with the given ingredients and serve with warm rice or rotis.

This goes to Cooking For Kids- Leafy Greens Hosted by Pavani of Cooks's Hideout.

Monday, May 25, 2009

100th Post...... :) Boondi Laddu



I always thought making boondi laddu was like moving a mountain but one of my relative made it sound so very easy. She said, it would take just 2 cups of besan, sugar and water each!! It sounded very easy, so we gave it a try!!

Ingredients

2 cups Besan (Gram flour)
2 cups sugar
4 cups water
1 tbsp cardamom
2 tbsp cashew nuts
2 tbsp raisins
a pinch of cooking camphor
2 tbsp Ghee (clarified butter)
oil for deep frying



Preparation

Sift the flour and add 2 cups of water to it. The batter should be of dosa batter consistency (not too watery).

Simultaneously, prepare the sugar syrup by adding 2 cups of water to 2 cups of sugar. On medium heat prepare sugar syrup. The consistency of syrup when done should be of honey like thickness (Single string consistency).
In a pan heat ghee and fry the cashew nuts and raisins till golden brown. To this add crushed cardamom powder and cooking camphor (mesmerizing aroma spreads all over your house). Cover the syrup with a lid so that the it does not crystallize.

In a deep bottomed pan heat oil. The oil should be hot enough. When you drop a small drop of batter in the oil, it should immediately bubble up. The oil temperature is the most important aspect to make perfect boondis. If the temperature of the oil reduces the boondis will stick together. The boondis should cook and come up separately.


Hold the steel skimming ladle like the one shown below above the hot oil and pour a small amount of batter to it. Drops of batter fall into the oil and bubble up. Remove the boondis after 5-10 seconds and place them on a paper towel. To see if the boondis are perfectly cooked for laddus, press one in between your finger. It should get squeezed in, instead of cracking and breaking into pieces. Transfer the boondis to the syrup while you are preparing the other lot of boondis. Yes, You need some helping hands!!



The Boondis should completely take up the syrup. This is when you can start preparing laddus. Hold some boondis tightly in your hands and make real tight fist so that the boondis can hold together. It surely needs practice :)



I truly enjoyed the whole episode and the best part was tasting your own home made laddus!!


Monday, May 11, 2009

Dondakaya Ulli Karam ( Spicy Tindora Fry)





These days I am learning a lot of nice and new recipes here in Michigan. This is a very easy recipe which I learnt from my friend.

Ingredients

1 lb Tindora (Ivy Gourd)
1 big red onion
4-5 dry red chillies(you can add or reduce accordingly)
2tsp cumin seeds
2-3 tbsp oil
salt to taste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp besan (gram flour)

Procedure

Wash tindora well, pat dry and trim the ends. Vertically slit the tindora from one side to three fourth of its size. Make sure the other end is intact.
Pressure cook tindora for just 3 whistles. Do not add water to the the pot of tindora. Add water only to the pressure cooker.
Meanwhile add onion,cummin and dry red chillies to the food processor and Pulse it.
Remember not to make a paste out of the onions. The ingredients should just blend.
In a pan add oil and saute the tindora till slightly golden and crisp. To this add the onion-red chilli blend, turmeric and salt. Let it cook on medium low heat for about 10-15 minutes till the raw onion smell disappears. Sprinkle gram flour, toss and leave for 5 more minutes. Serve with rice or rotis.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Akshaya Tritiya with Aval Payasam

Akshaya Tritiya, falls on the third day of the bright half of the lunar month of Vaisakha of the traditional Hindu calendar.
It is one of the four most auspicious days of the year for Hindus.
The word "Akshaya", a Sanskrit word, literally means one that never diminishes, and the day is believed to bring good luck and success. It is widely celebrated in all parts of India by different sections of the society irrespective of their religious faith and social grouping. The day is particularly considered auspicious for buying long term assets like gold and silver, including ornaments made of the same; diamond and other precious stones; and the real estate. The legend states that any venture initiated on the auspicious day of Akshaya Tritiya shall continue to grow and bring prosperity.
(Source :Wiki)

Ingredients

1/2 cup beaten rice (Poha)
2 cups Whole milk
1 cup sugar (can use less if adding condensed milk)
1/2 cup Condensed milk (optional)
1 tsp crushed cardamom
1 tbsp cashewnuts
1 tbsp raisins
2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
Saffron strands to garnish



Preparation

Wash beaten rice, drain well and set aside. Heat the milk on medium and while it is warm enough, add the beaten rice and crushed cardamom. Let it cook for 10 -15 minutes.
At this stage condensed milk can be added to give some richness. It is purely optional.
In a pan fry cashewnuts and raisins to golden brown with ghee and let it cool.
Remove the payasam (kheer) from heat and add fried nuts and raisins. Garnish with saffron strands and serve warm.
This Payasam can be kept as Neivedyam to God on Akshaya Tritiya day.
I am sending this to Cooking for kids- Rice Hosted by Trupti's Food Corner

If you are wondering why I am not blogging regularly, the below picture is one of the reason.


Yes, This necklace is handmade by me for little Diya. This is my first attempt in Jewellery making. It is made of pearls and ruby.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Raw banana (plantain) subzi




After disappering for a while, I am back with a nice recipe. These days I am cooking from this lovely book "Cooking at home with Pedatha". Pedatha has very simple and authentic recipes from Andhra.
This recipe is called Mustard flavoured vegetable (ava pettina koora (Telugu)).

Ingredients

2-Raw Bananas (diced medium)
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp oil
salt to taste

The Paste

1 1/2 tsps mustard seeds
1 tbsp raw rice
1 inch piece ginger
1/4 cup coconut (grated)
1/4 cup coriander leaves

The Tempering

1/2 tsp split black gram (husked) (urad dal)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2-4 green chillies slit
curry leaves a few
asafoetida powder a pinch

Preparation

Boil the diced bananas in water along with turmeric powder till tender. Strain and set aside.
For the paste, Soak the mustard and rice in a little water. Grind into a fine paste and set aside.

In a wok, heat the oil for tempering. Add the gram; as it turns golden, add the mustard. Lower the flame and add the green chillies, curry leaves and asafoetida.
Add the boiled banana, paste and salt. Mix welland continueto cook for 3-4 minutes. Switch off the flame.

Serve with rice of rotis.


This picture is from the Pedatha book.



Pedatha says raw banana can be substituted with cabbage or sweet pumpkin.

We celebrated Jai's 5th birthday on 21st march with this lovely Madagascar theme cake!




I have always had great passion for Traditional Indian cookware like Copperware, brassware, soapstone pots and earthenwares.


Picture courtesy:copper-accessories.com


Here is an article written for Neivedyam by cookware.com on Indian cookware.

From Tandoor to Tabletop: Traditional Indian Cookware for a Healthy Lifestyle

The usage of traditional cookware materials has been integral in the centuries-long development in Indian and South Asian cuisine. In particular, cookware sets made of earthenware and brass have shown to be just as important as the ingredients themselves in many dishes because the materials enhance the complex flavors of the dishes being cooked. This is why traditional cooking still remains a part of life all over India, from the tandoor ovens of Punjab to the terra cotta pots in Manipur and Nagaland. But in addition to providing flavor these materials can also benefit your health as well. In this article, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of cookware today that is made of traditional materials.

Earthenware and Ceramics

Ceramics have been used for cooking in India for over five thousand years, and the materials can vary a lot from region to region depending on the availability of materials. As mentioned above, one of the best things about ceramic and terra cotta cookware is that it brings out the flavor in many dishes, especially stews and other dishes that are simmered. Any type of earthenware is ideal for low-temperature cooking. And since the materials are not reactive, you don’t have to worry about toxins leaching their way into your food, making for dishes that are better tasting and healthier.

Ceramic and clay dishes are also easy to clean and are relatively inexpensive. However, they can be easy to break or chip and overall are not as durable as other types of cookware.

Copper and Brassware

Copper and brass has often been featured among the cookware and utensils of the wealthier households, particularly in Tamil Nadu. The reason why is simple, although these are some of the most expensive cooking materials, they are also the best. Copper and brass are nontoxic, conduct heat very well, and are stylish looking, making them very popular among professional chefs.

In addition their cost, both of these materials and copper in particular, are prone to scratching and may need to be polished often in order to maintain its appearance. But overall, copper and bronze provide best superior heat conductibility while remaining free of harmful toxins.

Aluminum and stainless steel have become popular in contemporary Indian cooking, as they are both affordable and durable. But sometimes it’s worth going to the basics. Aluminum unfortunately has the tendency to discolor and leach into food, as does nearly all types of nonstick materials. This is both bad for the flavor of the food and bad for your health. But if you stick to what worked best for centuries of Indian cooks, you’ll find yourself eating healthier and better tasting food at the same time.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Celebrations!! Got my own Domain!!

Yes!! With the help of Dear Sandeepa from Bong Mom's cookbook, I have my own domain http://www.neivedyam.com/

The new address should work for everyone after at most 3 days. At that time blogger will redirect the readers from old address to the new one.
I am happy to announce my own New Home "Neivedyam" :)!!
I will be back soon with some delicious recipes for Ugadi.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Celebrating Neivedyam's 2nd Birthday with Andhra Avakaya

It's been 2 lovely years of blogging. It's a wonderful journey into the world of cooking with co-blogger and friends. It has been an amazing experience to Cook and share, which always gives immense joy and pleasure. The happiest part is when people email me saying, they tried the recipes and liked it. I have made some great friends who are very close to heart through blogging. This year I have also started an event "Cooking for Kids" which is going on well with all your support.
I thank all the visitors for appreciating and supporting Neivedyam with their valuable comments. I hope to share more and more recipes with you in the coming years.


Here is a very Authentic and Traditional recipe from Andhra which my Mother-in-law passed it to me as a treasure. It's Andhra Avakaya (Mango Pickle). Avakaya is the oldest and traditional pickle made in Andhra. In Andhra, during summer mangoes are bought, cleaned and cut to pieces, processed and made to pickles with spices originated in Andhra itself. The Chilli and Turmeric which are cultivated in Andhra are used for making this Avakaya.

I was not aware that avakaya was so easy to make at home until one day my mother-in-law made them in 15 minutes. Now I never buy pickles from store and the avakaya pickle I make is a real hit in my house:) I too can make them in minutes(proud).

Ingredients

3 medium sized raw mangoes (makes 3 cups diced mangoes)
1/2 cup chili powder
1/2 cup Mustard seeds
1/2 cup salt
1/2 cup oil (I used vegetable oil)
1 tsp Fenugreek seeds
1 tbsp Turmeric

Procedure

The most important thing to remember for making avakaya is buying mangoes. They should be very hard when touched and should be of medium size.
Wash the mangoes and wipe off the water with a clean cloth or paper towel. Cut the mangoes in to pieces as shown.
Spread the mango pieces on a clean and dry paper towel. Pat dry and remove the excess moisture on the pieces. Leave it aside.

Grind Mustard seeds along with salt, chilli powder and fenugreek seeds. Some people use fenugreek seeds as it is without grinding but I prefer to powder it.

The chilli powder I use is from Andhra. This chilli powder is specifically used for making pickles which is called as "Three mango mirch powder" (made of warangal mirchi). It is pure and brings out good color to the pickle. Kashmiri chili powder can be used instead.

The ground spice mix comes to about 2 cups approximately which is called ava pindi (mustard powder)
Blend in the prepared spice powder with the mango pieces, oil and turmeric in a wide bowl. Mix well until all the mango pieces are coated with spices. Transfer the prepared pickle into a clean and dry air tight jar. Next morning the oil and juice comes out of the mango pieces.

If you taste the avakaya immediately after preparing, it will taste salty. Do not think you have added more salt or chilli powder. It take 3-4 days for the avakaya to get to its original taste.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Sunnundalu (Urad Dal Laddu)


Sunnundalu is a very traditional sweet of Andhra. It is prepared during baby showers as it has lot of health benefits during pregnancy. My Mother-in-law made this delicacy for me on my baby shower. She is a wonderful cook and has introduced me to the authentic Andhra cuisine. I also learnt how to make the famous Andhra Avakaya (Mango pickle) from her.

This is my contribution to Cooking for kids with love hosted by the very talented Pratibha & Jigyasa. Though we are still waiting for the movers to get our stuff and not yet completely settled down here in Michigan, I thought of making something from my mother-in-law's kitchen with the available ingredients in my kitchen for this event.




Ingredients:

2 cups Urad dal (Roasted into golden red color)
1 cup Sugar
1/2 cup Melted ghee(clarified Butter)

Preparation

In a heavy bottomed pan roast the urad dal on medium low heat by stirring continuously. The dal should slowly turn to red color. Remove it from heat and let it cool for a while, grind the roasted urad dal along with sugar into a coarse powder.
The powder should have a sand like texture.
Transfer the mixture into a pan and add melted ghee. On low heat blend ghee and urad dal mixture well. Remove from heat and make small laddus. It is a healthy laddu and "is good for backbone during pregnancy" says my mother-in-law!!




Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Book Giveaways-Cooking for Kids-February

I am very delighted to announce that Jigyasa & Pratibha of the lovely blog Pedatha's whose food we eat... are hosting February's Cooking for Kids event. The Beautiful ingredient is "Love".

This event is hosted in lovely memory of Pedatha who passed away on Feb 20th last year. The detail of this event is here.

THE THREE BEST ENTRIES WILL WIN A PRIZE EACH…AND THE PRIZE IS - a choice between Jigyasa & Pratibha's first cookbook “Cooking at home with Pedatha” or their second cookbook “Sukham Ayu: Cooking at Home with Ayurvedic Insights”, which is being launched on Feb 11th.

So get cooking something with lots and lots of "love" and post it in your blog on the month of Feb.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Cooking for Kids- Future Hosts

Here are the details of Hosts - Cooking for Kids Event.

Jan 5th to Feb 5th- Preety's Kitchen- Milk and Milk Products.

Feb 1st to Feb15th- Pedatha's whose food we eat... - cooking for kids with LOVE

Mar 1st to Apr 1st- Simple Home Cooking

Apr 1st to May 1st- Trupti's Food Corner

May 1st to June 1st- Cooking in Westchester

June 1st to July 1st- Cook's Hideout

July 1st to August 1st - easyntastyrecipes

August 1st to sep 1st- Dil Se

September 1st to October 1st - Salt to Taste

October 1st to November 1st - Kidz Delight

November 1st to December 1st - Kitchen Chronicles

January 1st to February 1st - Sara's Corner

March 1st to April 1st - Taste Buds

May 1st to June 1st- Mharo Rajasthan's Recipes
*************My best wishes to all the hosts.*************

Friday, January 16, 2009

Moving Again!!! Need a break....

I am moving to Michigan by the end of this month. I know what you all are thinking..:) Disappearing for a year, I thought I could blog again for a while but again on a move. I feel so helpless, that too with my 6 month old little Diya.

I need help here. I want someone to host my Cooking for Kids Event for the next few months. Who ever is interested, please email me with the month in which you would like to host to cookingforkidsevent@gmail.com. I also want someone to take over January's Cooking for kids event-Milk and Milk products which ends on Feb-5th. Thanks in advance.

Hope to be back soon this time. Bye!!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Cooking for Kids - Corn Roundup!

Here are some delicious Corn recipes! This roundup took me lot of time because we all were under the weather. It made my little ones cranky. These days my drafting are done between diaper changes, cooking, cleaning, laundry, shuttling between the 2 little ones, answering my 4 year old's never ending questions, pickups/drops from/to school. Besides all this, cook, capture, draft, events, visit other blogs...Whew!! Pretty hectic.

Thankyou so much for all your lovely contributions!
This months's Cooking For Kids Ingredient is Milk. You can use paneer(Indian cheese), any other cheese, yogurt and cream too. Please find the details of this event on the side bar.

Veg-Corn Soup from Appetizing recipes


Simple Breakfast from Easy 2 Cook Recipes

Semiya Corn Upma from Easy 2 Cook Recipes

Pasta and Corn in White Sauce from Appetizing recipes

Corn and Pasta in Tomato Sauce from Appetizing recipes

Sabudhana Corn pulao from Adlak's Kitchen


Poha snack from For spicy lovers

Moong Dal with Corn and Spinach from Cooking in westchester

Corn kurma from Easy 2 Cook Recipes


Toasted Corn from Veggie Platter

Makai Handvo( Vegetable Handvo) from Chai's Corner

Makyachi Usal from Enjoy Indian Food

Corn Toast from Adlak's Kitchen

Microwave chocolate halwa from Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes


Christmas Tree Popcorn Clusters from Culinary Bazaar

Corn Vada from Food Lovers

Mushroom Babycorn Soup from Priya's Easy N Tasty Recipes

Corn and Sprouts Salad from Poonam's kitchen

Veg Kurma in Corn Gravy from Krishnaarpanam

Corn Croquettes from Sinful Indulgence

Corn Bread from Plantain Leaf

Corn Sundal from Simple Indian Food

Corn Seekh kebab from Spice Club

Corn Kebab from Simple Indian Food

One page cookbook from One page Cookbooks

Chilaquiles from Chai's Corner

Corn Fritters from Neivedyam

Corn Puttu and Kadala Curry from Neivedyam