Useful Links

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Bitter Gourd Curry / Hagalakai Gojju

Sometimes life tastes more bitterer than the bitter gourd! Dont you agree?? I have a reason to start this post with bitterness and pain in my heart as we lost a dear colleage at the office last week! It was an unexpected and untimely death of a fine human being! Life seems so uncertain, when unexpected things happen in our lives. Though hundreds of people are dying out there, every day due to various reasons, the reality bites in, only when we lose a person close to us and around us. The last time I felt like this was when I lost my own father seven years ago, leaving behind two young daughters and a little boy who didn't even understand what it feels like, after losing a father! Being a first born daughter in the family, I felt like I had a huge responsibility  on my shoulders and I was holding my sister and bro. so tightly thinking of the uncertain days ahead of us!! Hats off to my Mom who was brave and calm even in those uncertain days!! So thankful to God that he comforted us through kind hearted and godly people.

God has been extremely gracious to us and has guided us through out these years! It is very reassuring that once we die we don't have to go through the pain and sorrow that we face on this earth. Its better to be at the feet of God singing Halleluiah in heaven than suffer physical and emotional pain on earth. I am glad my father is at the right place now where there is no pain and suffering! My only regret is that he couldn't see his daughters get married and could not enjoy being with his grand children! Yes, birth and death are two things a person cannot have control on! The rights belong to only one, the Almighty God who is the Alpha and Omegha!

I dedicate this Bitter Gourd curry to the loss of our loved ones, as they leave us with this bitter taste in our hearts!  Just as life throws in moments of joy, pain and sorrow in order to live a complete life, Bitter Gaurd is also very essential in our diet to keep our body in good health !! This is one of my Mom's recipes and hope all of you will like it and make BG a part of your diet :)

  • Tender Bitter Gourds 2-3
  • Onions finely chopped 2 
  • Mustered seeds 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves 10-12
  • Oil 2-3 tbsp
  • Red Chilli powder 2 tsp
  • Jeera powder 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
  • Jaggery - 2 tbsp
  • Tomatoes finely chopped 2
  • Tamarind pulp 2 tbsp

  1. Heat oil in a kadai and add mustered seeds and let it cracle. Add curry leaves and onions and saute until onions turn light brown.
  2. Add cleaned and chopped bitter gourd and turmeric powder and saute for 5 minutes.
  3. Add red chilli powder, jeera powder and mix. Add in tamarind pulp and mix well.
  4. Add finely chopped tomatoes, jaggery and salt to taste.
  5. Cook covered on medium flame for 8-10 minutes. Keep stiring in between and remove from flame once tomatoes become soft and the curry thickens
  6. Serve with chapati or rice and dhal as a side dish.
Note: You can alter the quantity of jaggery to suit your taste. Can also use sugar instead of jaggery! 
Do take good care of your precious families!


Leena JD

Points to Ponder:

"For God so loved the world that He gave his only Son (Jesus Christ), that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life."                                                John 3:16 (NIV Bible)

"Those who walk uprightly enter into peace; they find rest as they lie in death."    
              Isaiah 57:2 (NIV Bible)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Microwave Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

Whenever I go shoping these days I end up looking for things that I can use in baking and also browse for new cutlery to present the food! Few weeks ago I had been to Big Bazaar and found these cute cupcake moulds made out of Sillicon. I quickly put that in the shopping basket as soon as I read that I could use them in microwave as well. I was restless to use them ever since I bought and found this mint chocolate cupcake recipe in one of the recipe books which was compiled by the ladies of Bethel Baptist Church. There are a lot of tried and tested recipes contributed by the ladies who are excellent cooks, loving moms and wives! Will post more recipes as and when I try them out!

The first batch turned out dry and hard becasue I didn't realize that baking takes less time in sillicon molds. So you don't have to bake it for too long when using sillicon molds. Just about 5 minutes and its done!  Here are the cupcakes in red sillicon molds!

Ingredients for Cupcake:
  • 2 cups all purpose flour/Maida
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup unsweetned cocoa powder
  • 3/4 cup butter/oil
  • 1 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 tsp peppermint extract
Ingredients for Frosting:
  • 100 grams Sweet/semi-sweet chocolate
  • 4 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon peppermint extract
  1. Sift flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa and set aside
  2. Cream butter and sugar until light, for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, beat well after each addition.
  4. Beat in peppermint extract
  5. Slowly blend in flour mixture alternating with milk until blended
  6. Spoon batter into greased Sillicon molds or paper liners upto 3/4 full
  7. Microwave under 60% or 460W power for 5-6 minutes or bake in preheated oven to 350 degress for 12-15 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean. Do not over bake or it will turn out dry and hard.
  8. Cool on wire rack. If you are using sillicon molds let it cool in it becasue it continues to bake even after removing from oven
For Frosting:
Melt chocolate and butter in a medium saucepan over low heat and stir until smooth. Remove saucepan from heat and stir in peppermint extract. Cool until spreadable. 

Since I didn't have chocolate in stock, quickly made a thick chocolate sauce using cocoa powder, butter, sugar and milk for the topping without following any  measurements before cupcakes would vanish without posing for pictures :)

Points to Ponder:

The wise woman builds her home, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.                                                                                                            
                                                                                      Proverbs 14:1  (NIV Bible)

Monday, March 12, 2012

Grapes Chutney / Drakshi Gojju

I had never thought of the idea of cooking fruits with Indian spices, until I came across this dish which was made out of Green Grapes.  I had tasted this Grapes Chutney when we went to visit hubby’s grandma in Gadag a small town in North Karnataka when we were newly married!  To be frank, till last month I didn’t even bother to remember what we were served there, though we were treated with very tasty and authentic North Karnataka food!  But since starting this blog, I have been trying to recollect all that I have ever eaten and truly impressed me!  As I was doing so, I remembered this dish which I had tasted for the first time and really liked it! 
As soon as I noticed the arrival of grapes this season, I bought some seedless grapes on the weekend to try out this dish!  But, the big question was how I was going to prepare this without any recipe. So, I started preparing this dish blindly without a recipe to follow and was delighted to find the simple yet delicious flavours that our Indian spices can give even when you add them to the fruits!  Here goes my experimental recipe which turned out lip smacking J
Grapes Chutney / Drakshi Gojju
Preperation/Cooking time : 15-20 minutes
Servers 3-4

Seedless Green Grapes 500 grams
Green Chilies 3-4 slit into two
Onions 1 small
Ginger/Garlic paste 1 tsp
Jeera / Cumin powder – 1 tsp
Pepper powder – ½ tsp
Jaggery – 1 tbsp
Mustered – 1 tsp
Oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste

1.      Wash and chop the grapes into halves, or smaller if the grapes are big in size. If you can find some sour grapes, its better.
2.      In a kadai/pan heat oil, add mustered and let it crackle. Add chopped onions and green chilies and sauté till onions turn transparent.  Add Ginger/garlic paste and sauté. Add chopped grapes and sauté for 1 minute.
3.      Add jeera powder, pepper powder, salt and pounded jaggery and mix well. Cook covered in low flame for 10 minutes or until the grapes become soft. Keep stirring in between to avoid burning the bottom.
4.      Check seasoning and serve with hot rice/ chapatti / rotis.

Note:  You may wish to add very little (1 tsp) jaggary if the grapes are sweet or 1 tbsp  jaggary if the grapes are sour, to keep a balance from keep the dish turning out too sweet! You can replace green chillies with red chilli powder for different variation!
Enjoy Maadi ;)
Leena JD

Points to Ponder:
When you harvest the grapes in your vineyard, do not go over the vines again. Leave what remains for the foreigner (poor), the fatherless and the widow.
                                                                                         Deuteronomy 24:20-24 (NIV Bible)
I am so delighted to know that the Bible enlightens us about almost all subjects if I am not wrong! For example it talks about even the grapes and vineyards.J Moral in this simple verse doesn’t apply only for sharing grapes but everything that we have! J

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Spicy Sweet Corn Salad

Sweet Corn is very rich in vitamin B1, vitamin B5, vitamin C, phosphorus, manganese, folate and dierary fiber.  Researches show that it is also good for cardiovascular health, helps in cancer prevention, protection of vision and it is also useful in enhancement of memory.  You can find a detailed article about it on which describes all the benefits of using sweet corn in our diet.
As I said, I make it a point to cook all kinds of veggies and grains to keep a balanced diet!  So, while shopping I had noticed some fresh sweet corn kernel and bought some without too much thinking.  As usual, I forgot about it for a couple of days after putting it in the refrigerator!  On a weekend my sister had come visiting us and I suddenly remembered that during her last visit, she had prepared sweet corn salad which tasted really good.  So I quickly asked her to prepare this salad, since the corn was lying in the refrigerator for a couple of days already!  She did prepare it with a different twist this time which tasted good as well.  It will make a filling salad for dinner or you can snack on them in the evenings. I love the crunchy and buttery taste in it and its bright colour! J

Preparation Time: 5-8 minutes
Serves: 4 persons

Sweet corn – 2 cups/ 500 grams
Onions – 2 medium sized
Cilantro/Coriander leaves – few springs
Green chilies – 2-3 or Red chili powder – 1 tsp if you want to replace green chilies
Pepper powder – ½ tsp
Chat Masala – ½  tsp
Lemon Juice – 1 tsp
Butter/salad oil/Olive oil – 1 tbsp

1.      Wash and steam sweet corn with butter in a microwave for 4-5 minutes.
2.      Chop onions, green chilies, Cilantro finely and add it to the steamed sweet corn.
3.      Add pepper powder, Chat masala, salt to taste and lemon juice and mix them together.
4.      Serve hot with Tea/Coffee in the evening or with dinner.

You can replace green chills with red chili powder and add a pinch of garam masala for different variation which my sister prepared during her last visit.  This tastes more chatpata!

Keep Smiling J.
Leena JD

Points to Ponder:

Be sure you know the condition of your flocks, give careful attention to your herds; for riches do not endure forever, and a crown is not secure for all generations.
Proverbs 27:23-24

Friday, March 2, 2012

Beetroot Raita

Beetroot is a very good source of antioxidants and nutrients which includes magnesium, sodium, potassium and vitamin C. It is also considered as good for  cardiovascular health.  I get fascinated by its vibrant colour, that leaves on my hands while chopping them.  Most often I imagine of dying my hair or clothes with its colour. J  Weird I must say!!

This is one veggie most of my family members hate especially my hubby for its sweetish flavour and strong colour!  But I try to keep a balance by adding all kinds of veggies into my family’s diet!  So, I had to come up with a dish using beetroot that my family eats without fussing about it!  As I was browsing through my recipe books from Chef Sanjeev Kapoor’s collection, I came across this simple recipe and tried it one day!  From then onwards it has become a regular dish on the dining table! Finally, I am glad that my family is able to eat this nutritious veggie, (apart from my dear hubby! he still doesn’t like it L ). He has also branded me vegetarian because I eat all my veggies without any fuss!  I thank my mom’s gene for that because I am just like her! Never say no to anything edible!! J

Beetroot Raita
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Serves 3-4 people


Beetroot 2 – peeled and grated
Mustered seeds – 1 tsp
Green/Red chilies – 2-3
Urad dal – 1 tsp
Curry leaves – I string
Oil – 1 tbsp
Yogurt/Curd 2 cup/ 250 ml
Salt to taste

1.      Peel and wash beetroots and grate them.
2.      In a pan/kadai, heat oil and add mustard seeds. Once it crackles add curry leaves chilies and urad dal. Saute till urad dal turns to golden brown.
3.      Add the grated beetroot and salt; stir fry till the raw smell goes away. If you don’t like it raw cook it till done.
4.      Cool and add beaten yogurt.
5.      Serve with Rice, Pulao or Chapati/Roti.

I usually don’t overcook any veggies to keep nutrition level intact. Recently when I prepared this, there was some left over which I didn’t want to throw away and stored it the refrigerator.  Used it the next day by reheating it in microwave and added a little fresh yogurt and chopped onions!  It tasted better than the previous day according to my brother who is a picky/poor eater in his teens!!


Leena JD

Points to Ponder:

Then God said, "I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.  
Genesis 1:29 ( NIV Bible)

See Whats Cooking!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...