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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Lemon Shavige Bhath / Uppittu

Shavige Uppittu is one of my favourite items for breakfast! It is a very popular dish in Bangalore and many parts of Karnataka.  It is prepared with freshly made rice noodles but it is a long process and requires a lot of time and preparation. I have used the readymade rice noodles available locally. The last time I had used MTR but I wanted something more lighter this time.  This can be prepared in a variety of ways and I have tried the Tomato based shavige bath before. (For recipe click here)  I tried making the lemon flavoured Shavige this time and it has become a family favourite. You will find us gorging on this delicate dish mostly over the weekends. J 

I have been trying out my hands at photography and love the close up shots of the food. But still I struggle with lighting and shadow adjustments.  Whatever I have been taking is all on easy mode and should work on using the manual mode soon. The pictures came out well this time and this dish looks so good in them! Don’t you think so?  J (excuse me for beating my own drum :P)

·        Rice noodles/Shavige 500 grams
·        Lemon/Lime Juice from two whole limes
·        Onions finely chopped – 2
·        Green chillies – finely chopped or slit 5-6 (depending on your requirement)
·        Mustard seeds 1 tsp
·        Curry leaves – 10-20
·        Channa Dhal /split black chickpea– 2 tbsp
·        Urad dhal / split black gram - 1 tbsp
·        Peanuts – a handful
·        Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
·        Oil – 2 tbsp
·        Fresh Cilantro/ Coriander – a hand full
·        Grated coconut – about ½ cup

How to prepare:
1.      Boil Rice noodles in water (double the measure of rice noodles) for 5-8 minutes by adding a ½ tsp of salt.  Once cooked drain and rinse in cold water for couple of times by adding 1 tsp oil in cold water to avoid stickiness. OR You can follow the instructions on the package. Just make sure you don’t over cook it otherwise it becomes mushy.
2.      Heat oil in a large Kadai. Add mustard seeds and let it crackle.
3.      Add curry leaves, urad dhal and channa dhal, green chillies and chopped onions one after another leaving a gap of 20-30 seconds.  Sauté till onions become transparent.
4.      Add turmeric powder, salt and lemon juice. Stir well and simmer the flame.
5.      Finally add chopped Cilantro, grated coconut and drained rice noodles and gently mix it together.
6.      Serve hot with Coconut Chutney.

Points to Ponder:
Speaking of food looking good, aren’t we women obsessed with that craving too??  After giving birth to my son, I have put on a lot of weight and am constantly trying to lose weight (but in vain)! All of a sudden I am obsessed about looking good, which I never bothered about in my teens and early twenties. I am not saying we shouldn’t take out time for ourselves but should we be so obsessed about it that it affects are relationships, time and money?  As a woman grows older the obsession gets stronger I must say! But it’s in our hands not to let that desire become an obsession! This scripture portion below reminds us to know where to find such beauty!!

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes.  Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of gentle and quite spirit which is of great worth in God’s sight.”                  
                                                                                                                                                                 1 Peter 3:3-4

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Palak Chicken / Chicken cooked with Spinach

Hello Dear Foodies,

I don’t know what’s wrong with me….as much as I try to keep my baby blog updated, I keep postponing it or get really busy or lazy some days. But I must confess blogging sure gives me a ME time and really stimulates  my mind.  Whether it’s the photography part or the writing part both are equally stimulating and really helps me to discover new things every time I make an attempt. So, lets get on with today’s episode ooops, recipe J  (impact of too much of TV serials I guess :P)

I had tried preparing Palak Paneer for the first time before trying this healthy chicken curry.  I love palak paneer and whenever I try to prepare it at home, my husband cribs about it saying, why do you make us eat that spoilt milk.  Yes, that’s what he calls paneer!!  And he goes on to explain how they do it commercially and fool people etc.,If you ever get to listen to him, you will never ever touch the paneer available in stores again.  But I still love that spongy and juicy thing and should try to make it at home and post the recipe soon!  So, on one such day when I was tempted to make Palak Paneer I decided to add chicken instead of Panneer!  It was a total hit and everyone loved it.  It tastes so good with some hot rice and roti ……you must try it. J


Chicken – 500 ½ kg
Onions 2 finely chopped
Ginger/Garlic paste 2 tbsp
Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Turmeric powder ½ tsp
Oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Yogurt ½ cup or Fresh cream 2 tbsp.

To grind:
Spinach/Palak 1 big bunch blanched
Green chillies 2-3
Cinnamon sticks 2
Cloves 4-5
Coriander/Cilantro a handful

1.      Heat oil in a cooker ,  add onions and sauté till soft.  Add ginger garlic paste and sauté again. Add turmeric and chilli powder and give a stir. Then add the washed chicken pieces and a little salt and cook it for 2-3 whistles.
2.      In the meantime clean and wash Palak/spinach and blanch it in boiling water for 5 minutes.  Cool and grind it with other ingredients into a fine paste.
3.      Once the steam is out of the cooker, open the lid and add spinach puree and bring it to a boil.
4.      Check salt and finally add beaten yogurt or fresh cream.
5.      Serve hot with hot Rice or Roti.

Points to ponder:

Sometimes I wonder where we are heading to in this world.  Rich people get richer by the day and poor people are getting poorer.  Everyone wants to make money whether by hook or crook without bothering about the people and environment around them.  Just to make a few extra bucks, people are adapting unethical business practices without any moral obligation to anyone.  It is sad to see that they fail to understand, it’s hurting their own families indirectly and some even directly.  Some evil minds are even selling contaminated sump/tap water as pure drinking water!!!  All of this just to make a few bucks without even realizing how badly its hurting innocent people!! I wonder when there is going to be an end to all of this!!

“Whoever walks in integrity walks securely; but whoever takes crooked paths will be found out.”       Proverbs 10:9  (NIV)

Yes, every evil man/woman will be exposed as this proverb says!! We can see so many of them being exposed every day for their evil deeds. 

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Rose Apple Salad / Panneer Palam Salad

Happy Onam to all my Mallu friends! I truly adore them for their sweet nature and their Go Getter attitude! I have been asked numerous times by strangers whether I was a Mallu...haha! Today's post is by no means  an Onam recipe since I didn't have much time to plan ahead. So will settle for an easy and spicy fruit salad :D

Rose Apple is popularly called Panneer Palam in Tamil.  It is widely used in India to prepare a tonic to improve the health of Brain and Liver. Hmm., that’s an amazing fact about this simple looking fruit!!  Couple of months ago, as I was returning from work, I spotted these white Rose Apples and remembered eating them as a child.  I bought some since I had my food blog going, it gave me another reason to try it again. (YES, the picture is more than two months Old :P ) Once I took it home, I did not want the fruits to sit pretty on the dining table for days because that’s what happens usually. Unless I take the initiative to clean, cut and serve, it remains there!!!  So I immediately got into action and washed the fruits and tasted one! It tasted bland but very crunchy and juicy with a distinct fragrance of rose water.  After that the first thing that came to my mind was to prepare a spicy salad since it was neither sweet nor sour.

I must admit that I was not a fussy eater or I don’t remember being fussy with food.  Whatever was put in my plate it would go straight into my mouth and I don’t remember making a conscious effort to know how it tasted until this blog thingy happened. Since starting this blog my taste buds have come alive and I am able to distinguish and recognise many flavours. And without any doubt that has made me a fussy eater now…..unless the food tastes good it does not go down well that easily :P
So came up with this simple Rose Apple Salad Recipe with a spicy twist.

Rose Apples / Panneer Fruits 250 gms
Red Chilli flakes / powder ½ -1 tsp (according to your tolerance)
Coriander/Cilantro finely chopped a handful
Lime Juice 1 tsp.
Salt to taste

1.      Wash the fruits and slice them according to the size you like.
2.      Sprinkle chili flakes/powder
3.      Add chopped cilantro
4.      Squeeze in the lime juice and season it with salt
5.      Give it a good mix and serve chilled or as it is.

It tasted so crunchy and juicy with a touch of spice and tanginess. It was simple yet refreshing. Whenever you come across this fruit, do try this simple recipe.  I am sure you will like it J

Points to Ponder:

Many times we are under the impression that our God knows what we need and he will supply accordingly. I don’t know about others but I was thinking along those lines until I realized that’s not enough. The scripture clearly says we need to fervently and specifically ask, seek and knock to receive what we need. Just as we give the best things for our children, when they ask us, our father in heaven gives us much more, when we ask him!!  The scripture verse below from Gospel of Mathews explains that so beautifully………..

“ Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!  So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the law and the prophets.”

                                                                                                            Mathew 7:7-12 (NIV)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Pumpkin Stir Fry / Kumbalakai Palya

Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater
Had a wife and he couldn’t keep her!
He put her in a pumpkin shell,
There he kept her very well!

While teaching this rhyme to my little one I did not realize the value of Pumpkin until I ran out of ideas as to what to feed him as usual!!  He is a very picky eater and likes to eat anything sweet!   One of those days, I tried making pumpkin stir fry just to test him if he likes it and I was relieved that I found one more veggie to add into the list of meals he likes. Just mash it with rice and his supper is ready J  He likes to eat it plain without the rice usually. Prior to this experiment, I never cared much to even look at pumpkin for some strange reason that I don’t even know. (In my subconscious mind, maybe I thought eating pumpkin would make me like one….LOL)  I was wondering why I had not tried cooking the vegetable earlier!! After doing some research about its nutritional value, I was quite amazed to know that this common veggie is loaded with nutrition!!  Since, then it has become a part of our menu and I want to experiment a lot of dishes with it.  I have been thinking of trying Pumpkin Pie for many days and I must get to it sometime soon.  A BIG kiss to my bunny who made me realise the importance of it in our daily diet!!

Here goes the Pumpkin stir fry recipe which is prepared in Karnataka Style.  I had to add grated coconut to it.  Since hubby doesn’t like coconut much, I skipped adding it.

2 cups cubed pumpkin – deseeded and washed (don't throw away those seeds..use them coz it is also loaded with valuable nutrition)
2 Onions chopped finely
3-4 green chilies slit into two
One whole garlic pod – peeled and crushed
1 tsp mustard seeds
1-2 tbsp oil
Handful of curry leaves and Cilantro for garnish

How to prepare:
1.      Heat oil in a wok and add mustard seeds. Once it splutters add curry leaves, crushed garlic and sauté till garlic turns into light brown.
2.      Add onions and green chilis and sauté for a minute.
3.      Add chopped pumpkin cubes and salt to taste.  Give it a good mix and cook covered till soft and done. 
4.      Garnish with grated coconut and chopped cilantro and serve.

You may add a spoon of sugar or jiggery if you like it to be sweeter. It goes well with Chapattis or Rotis.

As the world celebrated Friendship day this past week, I remembered all my friends, though I didn’t get to wish anyone!  I haven’t had many friends in my childhood, since I was very reserved or may be shy in nature!  Just 2-3 of us and even in high school and college just stuck with 3-4 of them. But after I encountered Jesus in my life, I have found a faithful friend in him and made many more Godly friends who have made such huge influence on my life!!   I truly cherish each one of them!

I also cherish the new friendships this blog has brought me …though we don’t know each other in person, but bond well with each other on this essential topic called FOOD!!

Wishing all my buddies a Very Happy Friendship day!!

Points to Ponder:

Faithful friends are very rare to find….shouldn’t we be glad to find such a friend in Jesus himself!

Jesus says, “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends. You are my friends, if you do whatever I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for a servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all things that I learned from my Father, I have made known to you.” 
                                                                                                                         John 15:13-15 (NKJV)

I just love to sing out this Hymn again and again which calms my heart………….

I‘ve found friend, Oh such a friend
He bled; He died to save me;
And not alone the gift of life,
But His own self, He gave me.
Naught that I have my own I call,
I hold it for the giver;
My heart, my strength, my life, my all
Are His and His forever.

Written by  James Grindlay Small

Friday, July 27, 2012

Palak Rice / Spinach Flavoured Rice – Is A Must Lunch Box Idea

Working Moms sure do have a lot to worry about when it comes to cooking a healthy meal for every member of the family! From fixing breakfast for their hubby, picky eating kids, dieting In-laws and fixing her own lunch box to work…..Ufffff the list goes on! And to keep up with all these demands in the morning rush hours must be really giving her a headache! At least it gives me a head ache for sure!!!

To beat all the stress, I have discovered some worthy recipes to please these taste buds and in a healthy way too.  Palak Flavoured Rice is one of them and I am glad it saves me from the morning headaches!  Palak Rice is a very healthy and simple rice dish to prepare any time of the day!  I usually prepare this to pack our lunch boxes.  To top it all, I save some Palak / Spinach for the Raitha to go with it.  They go well together and gives us some needed nutrition.  Thank God my little fella likes these flavoured rice dishes as long as it smells like Biryani J

Here goes the pictures and simple recipe ……..

Ingredients required for Palak Rice:

Rice 3 cups/ 500 grams approximately
Water 6 cups / double the amount of rice
Palak / spinach – a large bunch
Onions chopped  2
Green chillies 3-4 ( increase if you like more spicy)
Cloves 4-5
Cinnamon sticks – 2
Bay leaf – 2
Ginger/garlic paste 2 tbsp
Oil 3 tbsp
Juice of one lime
Cilantro/Coriander leaves a handful
Turmeric powder – a pinch ( I omit this usually to get a natural green colour)
Salt to taste

How to prepare Palak / Spinach Rice:

1.      Wash rice and soak it in water.  In the mean time clean and wash spinach leaves 
         and  chop, spinach, onions, and slit green chilies into two.
2.      Heat a cooker and add oil.  Add cloves, cinnamon sticks, and bay leaf one by one.
3.      Add chopped onions and green chilies, sauté till onion browns a bit and ginger- garlic
         paste and give stir.
4.      Add chopped spinach and sauté till the raw smell goes away (remember to save ¼ of
         it for Raita)
5.      Add the soaked rice, salt to taste and chopped cilantro, mix it well.
6.      Now add water and squeeze in lime juice. Taste and add little more salt if needed.
7.      Pressure cook it for one whistle or cook in an open pot till rice gets done.
8.      Serve with Spinach Raita (any Raita) or pack it for your lunch box

J …Simple isn’t it? Now off we go to Palak Raita…………

Ingredients required for Palak Raita:

Palak / Spinach ¼ bunch cleaned and chopped
Onions finely chopped 1
Green Chillies 2
Yogurt 1 cup / 250 ml.
Salt to taste

How to prepare Palak Raita:

1.      Sauté the palak in a spoon of oil ( I like to use it raw to retain the cruch)
2.      Beat yogurt / curd and combine chopped onion, green chilies and salt together.
3.      Serve with any rice dish to make it more healthier J

Kindly bear with me because I have received one more award to flaunt on my blog :D  Dear Preeti from Indian Kitchen has once again showered me with this favulous blog ribbon.  I am truly delighted to have this award.  Thanks much make me happy everytime you pass an award to me.


Points to Ponder:

The scripture verse below speaks of A Wife Of Noble Character.  You must read it fully to understand how beautifully it describes the woman of good character.  I have quoted a very small portion of it here!

She is like the merchant ships, bringing her food from afar.
She gets up while it is still night; she provides food for her family.
And portions for her female servants
Proverbs 31: 14-15

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Microwave Banana Bread / Muffins

I had been baking a lot of chocolate cakes since my family loves chocolate in any form,   but was longing to try something different. Finally settled for Banana Bread/Cake since had some ripe Bananas at home, but sadly did not have a recipe! The closest I could find was Banana and coconut Cake which is actually my cousin’s recipe that I have adapted to bake this bread.  The recipe called for Coconut and bread crumbs but I omitted them and just used Bananas and added cinnamon powder since I remembered the distinct taste of cinnamon in Banana Bread that I had tasted long time ago.

Lo behold, the Bread turned out so soft and moist…the house was filled with the sweet aroma of Cinnamon, Banana and Baked Bread!! Someone has rightly said …..baking really has a soothing effect on our minds!! My Mum in law declared, that was the best bread she had ever eaten J  The bonus point was, I let my little boy taste it for the first time and I felt, it was all worth the try, when I saw his little dance after taking his first bite J.  Ever since it has become a frequent tea time snack at home and breakfast menu for my little bunny! 

Moreover it’s a healthy recipe with the goodness of Bananas, eggs, and a dash of spice which really calmed my senses!! I have replace the bread crumbs with wheat flour and butter with cooking oil J.  So here goes my first attempt in baking my first Banana Bread / Muffins J

Ingredients required:

1 ¼ cup sugar
½   cup butter or oil
3 eggs
1-2 cups mashed bananas ( I used 2 cups)
1 tsp vanilla essence
¾ cup soul milk (yogurt)
1 tsp cooking soda
1 cup Maida/All purpose flour
1 cup Wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ cup cashews / walnuts finely chopped
1 ½ tsp Cinnamon powder


1.      Pre-heat oven at 350 F or 180 C. Beat eggs and add sugar and oil and cream together.
2.      Mix in mashed banana, Vanilla essence.
3.      Combine sour milk with soda, once it rises in volume, add it and mix well.
4.      Sift together all purpose flour, wheat flour, baking powder and Cinnamon.  Add this to the creamed mixture and blend it well.
5.      Stir in the chopped walnuts/cashes and pour into a greased and floured cake/loaf pan.
6.      Bake for 40-45 minutes in moderate oven or until the bread is done.

How to bake in Microwave: If you are using a microwave, set the micro power to 480 Watt (which is a moderate power setting to bake in my Microwave model) and bake it in greased and floured borosil dish for 20 minutes on the rotating tray.  Once done, insert the round steel stand used for grilling and place the cake dish on top of it. Bake for 3-5 more minutes under Combi Grill mode in the medium setting to brown the top. Please do go through user manual of your microwave if you are not too sure about the power settings. It differs in each Microwave model. The objective is to keep the temperature setting in moderate power.…not too low or too high to get best results.

If you are using small cupcake molds made of silicon, it will be done in 8-10 minutes under 480 watts. I did not use silicon cupcake molds in the combi- grill mode, since I was not sure if they would be safe under excess heat!  Use your best judgment and bake in short durations in order to avoid any kind of burning! That’s what I do J

Will come up with more updates about the microwave baking as and when I discover the secrets! Till then take care and bake some healthy banana bread/muffins and enjoy!!

Points to Ponder:

You must be aware of verities of bread that can be prepared in your kitchen. But you would be delighted to know few more verities which you may have never heard before!! Read on to know more………….

Genesis 3:19 – Bread of sweat (hard work)
Proverbs 31:27 –Bread of Idleness
Proverbs 4:17 –Bread of wickedness
Psalms 127:2 –Bread of Sorrows,
Psalms 80:5 –Bread of Tears
Isaiah 30:20 – Bread of Adversity

The Bible references mentioned above talks about people who eat bread according to their deeds. But the best of all is Bread of Life who is Jesus himself. As eating bread is so essential for us to sustain physically, Jesus the Bread of life is also very essential to sustain us spiritually, emotionally and eternally!!!

John 6:35 – Jesus says, “I am the Bread of Life, Whoever comes to me will never go hungry and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”

See Whats Cooking!!


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