September 26, 2010

Green Tea

I was reading the newspaper over a cuppa Chai this morning, & I gathered that today the 26th Sept. is World Heart Day.  And, I was shocked to read that every 12 seconds, 1 person in across the globe experiences a heart attack .. Scary Isn't it??

While, I am not overly obsessed with eating healthy stuff all the time, A good trait I picked up over the years is drinking Green Tea.

Consumption of Green Tea is  known to lower blood cholestrol concentration & blood pressure, thereby giving protection against cardiovascular diseases. Green Tea also contains significant amonuts of Folic Acid which reduces the risk of heart diseases & cancer.

Green Tea

I was talking to a lady at the gym the other day & I learnt that not many people know how to brew a perfect cup of Green Tea. Its not rocket science but a slight mistake can make the tea bitter.

Here's how to brew your perfect Green Tea:

You Will Need;


  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp Green Tea leaves or 1 Green Tea Bag
  • 1/2 tsp sugar or 1 tsp Honey (optional)

How To:

  • In a tea pot, heat water. Just before it comes to a rolling boil, turn off the flame.
  • Add Tea leaves or Tea Bag. Let it soak for 2 mins & NOT more than that
  • Strain & Pour into a mug
  • Add Sugar or Honey & give it a stir .. Enjoi !!!

You will not fall in love with Green Tea at the very first try, Its an accquired taste.  I drink atleast 2 cups of Green Tea everyday. One, right after I get back from the gym & another cup on the evening. They have plenty of flavours to choose from. Chamomile, Jasmine, Mint, Lemon & loads of others. I have about 3 flavours stored in my pantry right now ..

If it can do a bit for your Heart then why not ??? Make it a habit to include Green Tea in your diet & do remember to exercise .. Protect your Heart !!!

September 24, 2010

South Indies: Eggplant Curry/Badanekayi Palya

Of the many ways of enjoying Eggplants, this is my favorite & the easiest. Once the chopping is done, this can be put together in 10 mins flat.

This curry gets its distinct taste from Rasam Powder, a staple at most South Indian homes. That's it.. Just Rasam Powder & it tastes so darn good

Eggplant Curry

You Will Need:

  • 2 cups Asian Eggplants - Diced & immersed in cold water
  • 1 tsp Rasam Powder
  • 1/2  tsp Red Chilli Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp Chana dal
  • 1 tsp Urad dal
  • 1 tbsp Tamarind extract
  • 1 tbsp fresh Grated Coconut
  • Salt as per taste
  • Cooking Oil
Method:
  • Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan,splutter mustard seeds. Add Urad & Chana Dal & allow it to slightly change color.
  • Add Eggplants, Rasam Powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder & mix well.
  • Add Tamarind extract & Salt. Close the lid & cook over medium flame. Saute at regular intervals to avoid the bottom from getting burnt.
  • Don't let the eggplants get mushy, They should be cooked & firm. Check for salt & Garnish with grated coconut. Transfer to a serving dish.
Serve HOT with steamed rice & Rasam or even Phulkas. Enjoi !!!!

I made this for lunch today & served it with Rice & Rasam ..  & we all Loved it :)


September 12, 2010

Modak

Hope you guys had a great Ganesh Chaturthi. We had a fun festival with family, food, worshipping & some banter.

Like everyone does, we too made Modaks for Ganesha. We made Chaklis & other goodies too, Those recipes are for another day,


Modak


For the Outer Layer:
  • 1 cup fine semolina
  • 2 tsp ghee
  • A pinch of salt
  • A pinch of turmeric powder
For the Filling:
  • 1/2 cup dry cococnut
  • 1/2 cup sugar - powdered
  • 1 tsp cardamon powder

To Make the Filling:
  • Mix dry coconut, powdered sugar & cardamom powder together & set aside.

How To:

  • In a large bowl, add all the ingredients mentioned for the outer layer. Add water little at a time & mix well to form a dough. The consistency should be like a chapati dough.  Cover & set aside for about 3 hours.
  • Later, knead well so that the dough becomes soft.
  • Divide the dough into 12 equal sized balls
  • Take one ball at a time & roll into a thin puri. Hold the puri in your palm, pinch the edges at regular intervals, uniformly. Place a 2 tsp of filling in the centre & close the modak on top by pulling the edges. Make the other modaks in the same way,
  • Cover with a damp cloth so that the modaks do not get dry.
  • Heat oil in a deep Kadhai & deep fry the modaks on meduim heat until it turns golden brown.
  • Cool them & store them in air tight containers.

Offer them to Lord Ganesha & enjoi as many as you want ...

September 1, 2010

South Indies: Gojjavalakki

Today is Krishna Janmashtami & you can have a look at my Krishna here. All the worshipping was done by my family & the eating was done by me :)

Krishna

I made Gojjavalakki for Janmashtami today .. Its mandatory that you make a dish out of Poha today as Lord Krishna loves Poha. And, did you know, out of superstition, most people never say No, when you offer them poha as, it may displease Lord Krishna :)

Gojjavalakki/Huli Avalakki is crushed poha spiced with Rasam powder & tempered with groundnuts & red chillies. This is very easy to put together. You just have to wait for the poha to soak up the spiced water. I usually soak the poha in the spiced water at night & set aside. The next morning, all I have to do is some tempering. That way, it just takes abut 5 mins.

Though Gojjavalakki is prepared during festivals, it makes a great breakfast dish.

Gojjavalakki

You Will Need:
  • 1 Cup Poha - Thick or Medium variety
  • 2 tsp Rasam powder - Home made or any other brand. MTR works great
  • A small piece of jaggery
  • Tamarind extract from a lemon sized tamarind ball
  • 1 tbsp seasme seeds - roasted & powdered
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 4-5 red chillies - broken
  • A sprig of curry leaves
  • 1 tsp chana dal
  • 1 tsp urad dal
  • A handful of groundnuts
  • 2 tbsp fresh grated coconut
  • Salt as per taste
  • Cooking oil
How to:
  • In a pan, dry roast poha until slightly warm. Transfer to a mixer & pulse the poha for a couple of times so that it is crushed coarsely. Do not make it into a fine powder.
  • In a vessel, take a little more than 3/4th cup of water, Add Rasam powder, tamarind extract & jaggery. Mix well & allow the jaggery to dissolve completely.
  • Add this water to the poha mixture, little at a time. Mix well such that no lumps are formed. Set aside for about 15-20 mins. The poha would have soaked up all the water & should be crumbly. If there are any lumps, separate them with your fingers. It should look like Rava.
  • Heat oil in a kadhai, splutter mustard seeds. Add groundnuts, red chillies, curry leaves. urad & chana dal & allo them to slightly change colour. Add poha, sesame seeds powder, Salt & a tbsp of oil & mix well.
  • Keep mixing over low heat for about 3 mins.
Transfer to a bowl & serve with yogurt. Enjoi !!!

NOTE:
  • I used thin variety poha today. If you are using the thick variety, you made need a little more water. But I really does not make any difference in the taste
  • Grated dry coconut can be added instead of fresh coconut. But I personally prefer using fresh coconut
  • A tsp of roasted cumin & pepper powder can be added towards the end. I usually do not add this.
  • Gojjavalakki is a dry dish so, it pairs well with yogurt.