Monday, December 04, 2006

Gorintaku (Andhra style mehendi)

This is not the instant mehendi made with henna powder. This is the real deal bayybeee! It's made from the freshly plucked leaves of henna shrub. These leaves travelled all the way from a freiend's backyard in Guntur(AP) to my home in Bangalore to paint my hands red :) yay! I just love the color that it imparts, it's quite different from the one you get with the henna powder. Anything fresh is always different and pleasant isn't it?

The design is a traditional one, just a big dot in the center of the palm and finger caps. I added a few more dots on the back...just for kicks :). Guess who helped me apply on the right hand? Hubby!!! he he. It was fun and romantic in a way.

I was googling to see if there is any proven therapeutic effects of henna, but couldn't find any :(. Let me know if you know of something.

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Monday, November 27, 2006

Sunday Fruit Breakfast

Banana Milkshake and Papaya

I read somewhere that to reap the real benifits of fruit, it should be eaten first thing in the morning, on an empty stomach. Since anyways I wouldn't be following that religiously, I just tried that once on sunday. It was fun :)

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Thursday, November 23, 2006

Pink Parathas

Ha ha, creeped you out there didn't I ? Ok, they are just our good old Mooli Parathas, but made with these lovely winter red globe radishes. Gyan on radishes.

Grate the radish, squeeze out extra liquid and keep aside. Look at the lovely color :).
Grate one onion, a small piece of ginger, and some garlic. I have used garlic powder here.

Prepare the stuffing by cooking the radish like any curry. Take a teaspoon of oil in a kadai, when it heats up add some jeera and mustard seeds. Then add the grated ginger, onion and garlic. Stir till you get a nice aroma from the onions. Then add the grated radish, salt, amchur powder and a little red chilli powder. Cook till the raw smell of radish is gone. Take off heat and let it cool.
Make the dough like you would make for rotis. Use a little less water. Use a big ball of dough and make a small thick roti. Then put the curry in it and seal it like shown below:

Roll them out like parathas. Be patient, use flour to avoid sticking and dont apply more pressure while rolling the pin.
Put them on a hot pan and let the paratha cook. Press with a flat spatula now and then. I did not use any oil, but you may use some if you wish.
Serve hot with a bowl of curds. I like it with sugar mixed curd :)

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Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Whole Wheat Pasta with Pesto

There are so many varieties and so many shapes of pasta and again their permutations and combinations.
What I have here is a Whole Wheat variety in Rigatoni shape. Not just that it comes with a 'good for health' tag, but I do like the flavour of whole wheat pasta than the regular one. The texture is also different and nice.

Whenever I need to make a quick yet special/exotic dish, I run to my fridge and grab the Basil Pesto jar that I got from SF. It adds so much flavour to the dish minus the effort. Not that making pesto is a tedious job. Only thing is fresh basil should be available somewhere around the place. In Bangalore, we can get fresh basil in Namdhari, but not all the time. Anyways...since I have the readmade pesto, I might as well use it.

Boil the pasta in good amount of water with salt. Meanwhile chop the onions and saute them in a teaspoon of olive oil (i use the oil that floats on the pesto in the jar). Add 1/2 a cup of sweet corn and saute. You may add sundried tomatoes or olives too. Then add the cooked pasta, stir for 2 minutes and add a tablespoon of the pesto and mix well. Take it off the heat after a minute.
Serve with grated cheese sprinkled on top.

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Monday, November 20, 2006

Sitaphal (Custard Apple)

This is one of my favourite fruits. Other than eating it, I don't know much about the fruit. So here's a link to some GK on Sitaphal:

And the above pics are to show how to eat it. Ha ha

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

Tofu Pulusu (Tofu in spicy tamarind sauce)

This one is my own invention :). Inspired by my mom's Vankaya Pulusu and Bhindi Pulusu, I just replaced the veggies with tofu for this dish. The spicy, salty, sour taste makes tofu more interesting.

Cut the tofu into cubes. Sprinkle some salt on them, mix well and keep aside for sometime. The add a teaspoon of oil on a wide nonstick pan, spread the oil around and place the tofu in the pan in one layer. Leave for 2-3 minutes. Then try to flip the pieces so that the other side also gets browned. Once both sides are browned, take them off the heat and keep aside.

In a nonstick kadai, pour a teaspoon of oil. When the oil gets hot, add some mustard seeds and jeera. Once they start popping, add curry leaves, peeled whole garlic cloves, sliced ginger, sliced green chilli and sliced onion. Saute till the onions turn translucent.

Now add the tofu into the kadai, add salt, 1/2 tsp dhania powder, 1/2 tsp jeera powder and 1/2 tsp red chilli powder. Mix and stir for 2 minutes. Then add tamarind paste mixed in water or tamarind juice extracted from the pulp. Adjust salt according to the sourness of the tamarind. Bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat, cover the kadai and let the tofu cook in the liquid.

Check after 3-4 minutes. You will see the tofu bulged, cause it would have soaked some liquid and all the flavours. Now remove from heat, sprinkle chopped dhaniya and serve hot with rice.

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Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Stuffed Baby-Brinjal

In my opinion, there are as many versions to this dish as there are cooks. My mom makes 2-3 different ways, I have seen Indira making in 3 different ways, and there might be so many more.
Here's my version.
Slice onions, ginger, garlic and fry them in a teaspoon of oil till the onions get brown in color. Then add some garam masala, salt, chilli powder and poppy seeds and fry for a bit more. Cool the stuff. Then put in a blender and make a paste. Add a tablespoon of butter to the paste.

Cut the brinjal like a plus shape while retaining the stem to hold it to together with the stuffing. Rub some salt in the insides of the brijals and then carefully pack the previously preapared masala paste into them. Try to leave some masala aside for gravy (optional)

Chop/mince one onion and one chilli, fry them in a teaspoon of oil. Then place the stuffed brijals in the pan. Place the rest of the masala paste in the center. Sprinkle 3-4 tablespoons of water on top and cover the pan with a tight lid. The brinjals will cook in the steam while getting the flavours from the masala. Every 5 minutes, turn the brinjals so as to cook all the sides. Once done, remove the lid and let them cook for few more minutes.
Sprinkle chopped dhaniya all over and serve. This makes an excellent dry side dish.

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