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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

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