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.