Cheese Tomato Sandwich

Cheese Tomato Sandwich

Thinly slice 2 tomatoes into circles.
Take two slices of bread. Keep a cheese slice on it.
Sprinkle some oregano on it.
Stack the sliced circles of tomatoes on the bread.
Cover it with another cheese slice. Sprinkle oregano again.
Now cover with the other bread slice.

Toast on a buttered pan till golden brown. Delicious breakfast like this with coffee is to die for 🙂

IMG-20150701-WA0000

Karela Fry

This bitter-gourd fry is one hot favorite at home. Especially it goes well with Sambar rice or More kuzhambu rice. And its damn simple to prepare…ok…ok….may be you need a little patience during the frying stage 😛

Ingredients:
2 medium sized Bitter-gourd – Sliced in circles and de-seeded
Besan (Chickpea flour) – 2 tbsp
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Curd – 2 tbsp
Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

Method:
– Mix all the ingredients listed above (except the bitter-gourd) to a fine paste with no lumps.
– Now add the sliced bitter-gourd pieces and mix well.
– Let this rest for about 30 mins.
– The curd and salt mixture will help to reduce the bitterness.
– Take a non-stick pan. Keep it on medium-heat. Spread a tsp of oil on the pan. Fry the bitter-gourd pieces separately as shown in the picture.  It might be a test on patience for you, but seriously the fruits of this venture are damn good.
– Shallow fry both the sides of the bitter-gourd to a golden brown. An occasional near black one might also taste good. Never mind 😀 😛

Karela Fry

Kids Lunch Box Recipes eBook by IndusLadies

The IndusLadies online community have come up with their latest eBook, which is 100 Kids Lunchbox Recipes. This is one valuable collection, contributed by food bloggers from all over the world, giving some amazingly simple yet healthy lunchbox options for our kids.

I feel that it’ll be a boon to those mothers who are constantly trying to evolve themselves in the kitchen and innovate new methods to make children eat those vegetables and fruits.

My recipe for the dish Paneer Burji Rolls has been chosen by IndusLadies and I am damn proud and happy about it.

paneer burji rolls

To download the Recipe book please click on the link given below, where you get those yummy recipes to try out and make your kids lunchbox more interesting and healthy 🙂

IndusLadies Kids Lunch Box Recipe Book Link

So, what are you waiting for ?? Go on…try the recipes from the eBook and see your kids smiling at food 🙂

Vazhai thandu curry

For the non-tamil speakers, it’s the Banana Stem, which we refer to as “Vazhai Thandu”.  And we at home are always taught about the wonderful medicinal properties of this Vazhai thandu and almost once in every week, it’s there on the menu.

Here is a small glimpse of the medicinal properties, which I found at  http://www.medindia.net/patients/lifestyleandwellness/medicinal-properties-of-the-banana-plant.htm

Banana Stem:
When a bunch of bananas is harvested, the stem/tree is cut away. The tender inner stem is used as food and has many medicinal properties as well.

Layers of hard outer stem are peeled away and only the tender inner stem is used. It is very fibrous, so the thread fiber has to be cleaned. The stem is chopped into small bits and soaked in buttermilk or diluted yogurt for half hour. In Southern parts of India, it is cooked as a vegetable and eaten along with rice.

The banana stem has fiber – this is very beneficial for those on a weight-loss program. It is also a rich source of potassium and vitamin B6 which helps in the production of insulin and hemoglobin. Eating banana stem once a week keeps high blood pressure in control. Banana stem also maintains fluid balance within the body. It is adiuretic and helps detoxify the body. The popular belief is that eating banana stem is very good for kidney stones.

Now, to the yummy Vazhai Thandu curry !!!

Vazhai thandu is sold after cutting into foot long stems. Buy one of them to make a curry that’ll serve a family of 4.

Vazhai thandu is very fibrous and so we slice them into small circles, thereby removing the fiber every time we slice. And then cut them into small cubes and soak them in diluted butter milk, so that the white color is retained.  (Refer picture)

Now, soak about a table spoon of Moong dhal in water for 1/2 an hour.

Take a pan, add 1 tsp of oil. When hot, add 1 tsp of mustard seeds, 1/2 tsp of split urid dhal, 2 split red chillies, curry leaves. When everything crackles, add in the soaked moong dhal and mix well.

Now drain the cut Vazhai thandu out of the diluted butter milk and add it to the pan, add salt to taste and mix well.

Vazhai Thandu Curry preparation

Vazhai Thandu Curry preparation

Cover and cook till Vazhai thandu is soft to touch.

Sprinkle grated coconut and turn off heat. Mix well and serve with sambar rice or Vetha kuzhambu rice.

Vazhai Thandu Curry

Vazhai Thandu Curry

Chatpatta Lauki + Aloo Subzi

These are the times when you get all the vegetables throughout the year. There’s no seasonal vegetables anymore…cauliflowers, peas – the winter vegetables, are available even now, in hot summer.

But actually the hot summer is the time for gourds – the ridge, bottle, snake and the water filled pumpkin. These are the coolants which our body needs in this hot summer.

So, here is a chatpatta Bottle gourd and potatao subzi to go with chapatis / rotis.

Bottlegourd – 1 medium size, cubed into 1″ pieces, after peeling
Potato – 1 big, cubed into 1″ pieces, after peeling
Onion – 1 big, chopped finely
Tomato – 2 medium, chopped finely
Garlic – 3 or 4 cloves, chopped finely

Method:

1. Take a heavy bottomed pan, preferably a cooker. Pour in 1 tbsp of oil and heat it. Add 1 tsp mustard seeds and 1 tsp jeera. Let it splutter. Add 1 pinch of Asafoetida and 1/2 tsp turmeric powder.

2. Add the chopped garlic and onions and fry till translucent. Add in the chopped tomatoes and fry well for 2 to 3 mins. Now, add 1 tsp red chilli powder, 1 tsp coriander powder, 1/2 tsp garam masala and mix well.

3. Now add in the cubed bottle gourd and potato pieces. Add in salt accordingly and mix well.

4. There’s no need to add water. Just cover the cooker and cook for 2 whistles.

5. Amazingly simple, yet yummy subzi is ready to be served.

DSC09674

Kathrikkai podi adaicha curry – Stuffed brinjal fry

Kathrikkai podi adaicha curry

There can be no better way to eat aubergines (brinjals) other than the recipe listed below, is my honest foodie opinion. And I am sure that you’ll also come to that conclusion, once you try this recipe and relish it.

This dish is meticulously planned at my home. Once mom decides to do this dish, we will be sent to the market to buy those purple brinjals which are ideal for this recipe. And strict instructions are given to choose only those which are so tiny in size and tender to touch. The big sized ones are avoided as they take too much time to cook, compared to the tiny sized ones. And if they are hard to touch, then probably it’s full of seeds and hence tastes slightly bitter.

Just imagine the amount of patience that goes in selecting the brinjals for this dish. Each one is hand picked and bought with tender loving care. And for all that hard work, mom just glances at the brinjals bought, does a quick QC and gives a smile of approval. Then, we know that a great dish is ready to come out of the kitchen.

While the preparation takes time, the cooking time is quite less. Keeping in mind the deliciousness of the dish, some amount of patience needs to be cultivated.

Masala Powder

Red chillies – 10
Chana Dal – 2 tbsp
Dhania (Coriander seeds) – 4 tbsp
Cinnamon – 1/2 inch piece
White til – 1 tsp
Fried grams – 2 tbsp

–        Dry fry the above said ingredients and grind them to make a powder – the powder should neither be too fine nor too coarse.

DSC02532

–        Add the salt required for the aubergines to this powder and 1 tsp of turmeric and mix well.

–        Wash well ½ kg of baby brinjals, pat dry them with a kitchen towel. Remove the top green stem. Slit the brinjal into 4; check if it’s clean of worms. Stuff the prepared masala powder inside the brinjal and press gently so that the powder holds together inside the brinjal. Keep the brinjal aside in a plate.

DSC02534

DSC02536

–        Prepare all the brinjals in the same way described above.

–        Take a thick bottomed deep pan. Pour about 5 to 6 tbsp of gingelly oil. Add mustard seeds and allow it to splutter.

–        Gently slide in the stuffed brinjals into the pan, making sure that the stuffing is intact.

–        Sprinkle the leftover powder over the brinjals, mix well.

–        Cover and cook on medium heat till the brinjals are soft inside and crisp outside.

DSC02538

Its amazing taste will capture your taste buds forever.

Bisibelabath

Sambar bath or Bisibelabath or simply Sambar sadham is the yummiest dish for lunch, anytime. It’s a delicacy reserved for special occasions, but I try to make this to make any ordinary Sunday, special.

It absolutely rules the dining table, as a One-pot dish.  I love it, with fried Vadams / Pappads and a fantastic Onion Raita / Aviyal.

The amount of vegetables, lentils that goes into it makes it so healthy and tasty.

Vegetables that can be used:

Shallots (Sambar onions), Potato, Pumpkin, White Pumpkin, Sweet Potato, Cluster beans, French beans, Carrot, Peas, Brinjal, Capsicum, Broad beans, Chow Chow (chayote), Drumsticks – Cut these vegetables into big cubes of 1” side.

For the Masala

Red chillies – 8
Dhania (Coriander seeds) – 3 tbsp
Chana dal – 1 tsp
Methi seeds (Fenugreek) – 2 tsp
Asafoetida – 1 tbsp (Hard Asafoetida can also be used)
Cinnamon – 1” piece
Copra or dried coconut grated – 3 tbsp

Fry the above said ingredients in 1 tsp of gingelly oil and allow them to cool. If dried coconut is not available, use regular coconut. But make sure it is not fried too dry. Then, grind them into a fine powder.

Ingredients

Raw rice – 1 cup
Toor dal – ½ cup
Tamarind – the size of a big lime
Green chilly – 1
Curry leaves

–        Soak the dal for 20-30 min.

–        Soak the tamarind in hot water for ½ hour and prepare thick tamarind extract to the measure of 2 cups.

–        Cook the rice and dal separately in a pressure cooker.

–        Use a smaller size cooker or a pressure pan to do Bisibelabath.

–        Place a Pressure pan on heat and add about 4 tbsp of gingelly oil. Add mustard seeds and let it splutter.

–        Now add one split green chilly and the Sambar onions. The regular onions cut into big pieces can be used alternatively.

–        Put in the curry leaves and all the other vegetables and stir them well.

Add vegetables and the tamarind water

Add vegetables and the tamarind water

–        Now pour in the tamarind extract, the masala powder and half of the required salt. Cover and cook for 1 whistle.

Add in the masala and mix well

Add in the masala and mix well

–        Open the cooker after the pressure settles. Add in the cooked rice and dal and the second half of the salt and mix well.

–        Let it simmer for 7-8 min, till everything blends well. Add in a tsp of jaggery for that twist in taste.

–        Serve with hot ghee on top.

Bisibelabath - ready to be eaten :)

Bisibelabath – ready to be eaten 🙂

Please do try this delicious Bisibelabath at home and let me know how you liked it !!!