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VARALAKSHMI VRATAM

Varalakshimi vratam is an important pooja performed by many womans in the states of Karnataka, AndhraNadu. It is celebrated on the last friday of the bright fortnight known as sukhla paksha preceding the full moon day in the month of Ashada also called " Adi " which falls on the month of July- August. and Tamil





As the Legend goes this is the pooja that was pronounced by Lord shiva(parameswara) to be performed by his consort to seek prosperity, happiness for the family. So was emulated by the married woman who wish boons (Varam) for the health, wealth and knowledge for the entire family.





So on this day they do different types of sweets, vada , puliyogare depends on their traditions they follow and offer to Lakshmi devi as prasadam. This is one of the prasad we do on that day... Moong Dhal Paravannampayasam). Recipe goes here... (









Ingredients :


Moong dhal - 1 cup
Jaggery - 1 cup (melted by adding water and strained to avoid mud)
Cashews broken - 10
Coconut - 1 tbsp
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Cardamom - 1 pod powdered
Milk - 1/2 cup





Method :


1. Cook moong dhal in the pressure cooker. Then add the melted jaggery to it .
2. Dilute with little water and milk if it is so thick.
3. Add the cardamom powder.
4. Heat ghee in the pan add the cashew and coconut fry till golden brown.
5. Add this to the moong dhal mixture. Serve hot. Even cold is fine.


Note :


Adjust the sweet according to your taste.

You can also decorate like this

This is actually I did for Garuda Panchami 














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EVENT DAY

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TOOR DHAL IDLI, DOSA AND UPMA



You can do 3 dishes with one batter. This saves you time and for 3 days you need not get confused with what to do for dinner in your busy schedule. This tastes absolutely great with spicy chutney, coconut chutney and  even sambar too. A Variation from normal idli but with lots of protein. Here are those 3 dishes you can make with single batter. 


TOOR DHAL

Ingredients :

Idli rice - 3 cups
Toor dhal - 1 1/2 cups
Urad dhal -  1 cup 




Method :

1. Soak the urad dhal separately and rice,toor dhal together for 3 hrs at least.
2. Grind the urad dhal separately to fine batter.
3. Then grind the rice and dhal not too fine slightly coarse. Mix urad dhal with this mixture add salt and mix well.
4. Ferment this overnight.
5. You can make idlis with this by pouring in the idli moulds and steam for 10 to 12 minutes. 
6. Serve with hot garlic chutney, sambar or tomato chutney.
7. For dosas you can use the same batter and pour ladle full over the hot iron skillet like normal dosas. Add tsp of oil and flip towards other side. Roast until crisp. Add tsp of ghee at the end if you are not bothering about diet. Serve with chutney. 



Note :


1. If you think the Urad dhal is not fresh or foamy while grinding.  Add 1/4 tsp of baking soda to the batter before keeping idli.




For Making Upma

Ingredients :

Batter - 2 cups
Red chillies - 4
Cummin seeds - 2 tsp
Asafoetida - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - few
Red chillies - 2 (for seasoning)
Onion - 1 chopped fine
Mustard, urad dhal - 1 tsp for seasoning Salt oil as required


Method :

1. Powder the red chillies,cumin and asafoetida very fine add to the batter let it rest for 1/2 hr.
2. Make idlies out of this batter and cool it.
3. Once cooled crumble it using your hand.
4. Now heat oil in the frying pan add the mustard, urad dhal, red chillies and curry leaves one by one.
5. Saute onion till light brown. 5. Add the crumbled idli podi add to this and slight roast it for few seconds.
6. Serve hot with raw onions.



Note :

1. Idli batter has to be fermented will to get soft idlies.
2. Depends on the quality of urad dhal you can get the fluffy idlies otherwise add pinch of soda while making idlies..myself I will not use it.
3. For dosas and upma need not add soda.
4. while making upma you can add any greens of your choice like amaranth, spring onion(green part),drumstick leaves. I have added spring onion.
5. Add the greens in the batter itself and make idlies.

GREEN CHILLI CHUTNEY

 
Ingredients :

Green chillies - 10
Garlic pods - 10 normal size
Tamarind extract - 2 tbsp
Salt as needed
Curry leaves
Mustard - 2 tsp
Sesame oil (Nallennai) - 4 tbsp


Method :

1. Grind green chillies. Add garlic , tamarind and salt grind to fine paste.
2. Check for sourness and add little more if u need it.
3. Season it with mustard and curry leaves with more oil.


Another perfect match for this idli is garlic chutney which I have posted earlier. This is great combo with this idli compared to green chilli chutney. Green chilli chutney suits for out normal dosa and idli. Clicl here to view the Garlic chutney.

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Kreative blogger Award :)


Parita of Parita's kitchen have nominated me for "Kreativ Blogger Award". Thank you so much and I am really happy to receive this. I love to read your blog and I am glad you like mine too :)


The Kreativ Blogger award comes with some rules:-
1. You must thank the person who has given you the award.
2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3. Link to the person who has nominated you for the award.
4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.
5. Nominate 7 other Kreativ Bloggers.
6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7. Leave a comment on which of the blogs to let them know they have been nominated

So onto the seven things you may (or may not) find interesting about me:-

1. I should really say my passion towards cooking is through my mom and dad. My mom whatever she makes even if it is simple rasam(charu) she makes perfectly. And my dad is real food lover he loves to tastes variety of things and same quality has been incorporated in me seeing him from the childhood. So these things made me to try different things.

2. I love to serve food with little art. I feel that makes the people atleast to taste even though they don’t like that stuff. My dishes always has minimum decor of coriander atleast.

3.I love doing art and craft works the same thing reflects in food too. I always love to learn new craft works.

4. I like to hear songs while cooking so that it does not makes us lonely and also it makes us feel happy. The thoughts in us while cooking will surely reflect in taste too.

5.Actually I am kind of shy and reserved person. But if you see now nobody will accept this. It’s because of my husband and my sweet little son who changed this nature in me.

6. My wish for now is to expertise in anything that is related to food.

7. I love to roam around the supermarket and food market whenever I find time.

These are few things about me so coming to the nomination part

I really wish to share this award to all my blogger friends but as per rules I am nomiting to following friends:

1. Prathiba of The chef and her kitchen.
2.Padma of Padmasrecipe .
3. Aruna of The Temptation.
4.Vrinda of Sankeerthanam.
5.Varsha vipins of Will o the Wisp.
6.Lata raja of Flavours and Tastes.
7.Nags of Edible Garden.

Kindly accept this award and please pass it to your friends too.

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BELL PEPPER CORN BREAD AND SUMMER VEGETABLE SOUP



I usually do corn bread by adding just corn kernels, onion, coriander and olives. But I tasted it with bell peppers when I went to my relatives place for vacation. It tasted great !! so tried adding bell peppers and it was awesome. Its here for your glance. And if you have more veggies in your fridge this is right soup you can try too. Soup, some accompaniment served with some salad is wonderful healthy dinner. We enjoyed it yesterday its here for you too.....


CORN BREAD :

Yellow corn meal - 1 cup
All purpose flour - 1 cup
Baking powder - 2 tsp
Soda bi carbonate - 1/2 tsp
Milk - 1/3 cup
Butter - 1 tbsp melted
Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Yoghurt - 1 cup
Sugar - 1/4 tbsp
Salt - 1/2 tbsp
White onion - 1/2 chopped finely
Corn kernels - 1/4 cup
olives - 4 chopped finely
Bell peppers (yellow,red,orange) - chopped finely 1/4 cup
Coriander - less then 1/4 bunch chopped finely


Method :

1. Whisk egg and add the corn meal, flour with the baking powder and soda.
2. Mix well with all other ingredients one by one.
3. Add the veggies and mix well.
4. Pour the batter in the rectangular dish dusted with butter and flour.
5. Bake it in preheated 400 f temperature oven for at least 40 to 45 minutes or until it is baked. check with a knife or tooth pick inserted in the middle. If clean bread is perfect.
6. Cool in the wired rack and cut into cubes or desired shape you need.
7. Serve with hot soup.


SUMMER VEGETABLE SOUP


Ingredients : All these vegetables mixed - 2 cups
Carrot
Beans Zucchini Peas Cauliflower Red bell pepper Onion
Tomato paste - 3 tbsp

Garlic - 1 pod
Italian dried herbs - few Coriander few for garnishing
Rosemary fresh - a small sprig (optional)
Salt
Pepper for taste
Olive oil



Method :



1. All vegetables should be chopped into cubes. Have 2 cups of mixed veggies.

2. Heat oil in frying pan , add the grated garlic.

3. Add the veggies in this order one by one carrot, beans, onion.

4. Add the zucchini and cauliflower. Pour 2 cups water and cook until veggies are done.( Do not overcook)
5. Add the tomato paste and red bell pepper. Let it cook for some time now add salt, pepper and dried herbs.

6. Garnish with coriander and rosemary. Discard the rosemary while serving.

Note :


1. This is thin clear soup which is healthy with more vegetables.

2. If you need thick soup you can add cornstarch to this too.

3. You can use MW to cook the veggies too. Do not overcook the veggies it spoils the taste of the soup. It should be crunchy.

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ULLI VANKAYA PULUSU (Ennai kathirikkai kuzhambu, Eggplant in tamarind sauce)



Mmmmmmmm this is really yumm to your taste buds... Do you think why ? yah because it is spicy, sour, sweet and also salt what else we need in a dish. This is one of the South Indian gravy( kuzhambu or pulusu) in which cute little small eggplants are added to the tamarind with combination of freshly ground spice masala. It goes very well with rice served with pappad, vadagams. Perfect for a lunch menu and also goes very well with idli, dosas and aapam too. Try it out to tickle your tongue....


Ingredients :

Small eggplants(Brinjal) - 10
Shallots or Big onion - 15 shallots or 2 onions cubed
Tamarind - 1 lemon sized (pulped)
Channa dhal - 1 tbsp
Urad dhal - 1 tbsp
Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
Pepper corns - 1/2 tsp
Jeera - 1 tsp
Fenu greek - 1 tsp
Red chillies - 6 or according to ur spicelevel
coconut grated - 1 tbsp
Asafoetida - 1 tsp
Jaggery - 1 tsp
Tumeric - 1 tsp
Salt and Sesame oil(Gingelly oil)
Mustard , curry leaves for seasoning
Coriander for garnishing


Method :

1. Slit the brinjal and put in the water diluted with 1 tbsp milk so that it will turn color. They should be slitted to 4 or 6 leavening the top portion uncut. So that they remains the whole shape with the slits.
2. Take a teaspoon of oil in the frying pan and fry the dhals, coriander seeds , jeera, fenugreek, chillies everything one by one till roasted golden brown and make a powder out of it by adding the coconut too. Keep it aside.
3. In a wide frying pan add some oil saute the onions and vegetable.
4. Fry until they are slightly brown and add the tamarind extract.
5. Once they get cooked add the ground powder, tumeric, salt , jaggery and enough water.
6. Cook for sometime. Once they are slightly thickened. Season with 4 tbsp oil and mustard , curry leaves.
7. Garnish with coriander leaves.


Note :

1. This tastes so so good next day too. All the flavors gets incorporated into the brinjal and taste awesome.
2. To reduce the cooking time you can add the veggies, onion saute in the pressure pan add all other ingredients with 4 tbsp of oil pressure cook for 1 whistle keeping in high flame then season with mustard and curry leaves. This procedure saves time too.



















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BANANA BREAD


I know many of us used to do banana walnut bread if banana is so ripen and its almost everyone favorite menu. It can be had for breakfast or served as a dessert with ice cream too. Some time I used to toast and top with drizzle of honey. Taste so yummy and this is one of my version of banana bread. For your glance............


Ingredients :

Banana - 2 cups ripen ( 2 bananas approximately)
All purpose flour - 1 3/4 cups
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Butter - 1/2 cup
Baking soda - 1 tsp
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Eggs - 2
pinch of salt
Yogurt - 1/2 cup
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Walnuts - 1 cup

Method:

1. Mix the dry ingredients flour,baking powder and baking soda and keep it aside.
2.Whisk the butter and sugar together then add the egg beat well.
3. Add the yogurt ,vanilla essence and banana.
4. To this add the flour whisk well without lumps.
5. Add the chopped walnuts and bake in greased loaf pan in preheated 350 f oven for about 6o minutes. Check with knife or tooth pick inserted in the middle. If comes out clean its perfect.
6. Cool and slice it for serving.



Note :

1. I some time add 2 tbsp of cocoa powder or choc chips for variation.
2. You can add fresh or dried blueberries too.
3. Add raisins with some other nuts.


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FARFALLINE WITH WHITE AND RED SAUCE



If you are pasta lover with both white and red sauce try both together in same dish. It tastes so yummy and mushroom, carrots and tomato gives good flavor to the sauce. This is one of our favorite pasta.. so I am sharing with all of you.


Ingredients :
Pasta of your choice - 2 cups
White sauce - 1/2 cup
Red sauce - 1/2 cup
Parsley for garnishing
Parmesan cheese grated - 1/4 cup
Red chilli flakes

White sauce :

Butter - 1 tbsp or Olive oil - 1 tbsp (If calorie conscious)
All purpose flour - 2 tbsp
Milk - 1/2 cup
Salt Pepper Dried Italian herbs - 1 tsp


Method :


1. First to make white sauce heat butter or olive oil in frying pan.
2. Add the flour and saute till it is roasted or changes to very very mild brown color.
3. Add milk and whisk constantly so that lumps should not be formed.
4. When it starts thickening add the salt, pepper and dried herbs.
5. Keep it aside in low flame.




Red sauce :

Mushroom - 1 cup chopped fine
Tomato crushed - 1 small tin (or 2 blanched, deseeded and pureed)
carrots - 1/4 grated
Pepper , chili powder - 1 tsp
Basil few
Garlic - 1 pod grated
Onions - 1/2 cup
Tomato paste - 1 tbsp (I add store bought one or if you don't have leave it)
Celery - 1/4 cup
Mixed dried Italian herbs - 1 tsp
Olive oil
salt


Method :

1. Heat oil in the frying pan add mushroom saute till golden brown.
2. Add the onion, grated garlic, carrots, celery one by one. saute till they all are golden brown.
3. Add the herbs and spice powders.
4. Add the tomato paste and crushed tomato add water and let it simmer to the desired consistency.
5. Now add the chopped basil. Keep it aside while we cook pasta.





Cooking Pasta :

1. Boil water in the big vessel add some salt. Add the pasta and cook until it is done.
2. Now add this pasta to the white sauce and toss well.

Serving :

1. Spread the pasta tossed in white sauce.
2. In the top add red sauce how much your require.
3. Top with the grated Parmesan cheese.
4. Garnish with parsley.
5. Serve hot to enjoy the full flavor.

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PESTO SANDWICH



I usually pack sandwiches as breakfast for my husband and even for my kid to school. So making it a bit healthier is a must !!! this is one of the sandwich variety which I usually send them.   Alfalfa sprouts, lettuce cucumber are main stuffing's that I use for this sandwich along with pesto.

Some health benefits of alfalfa sprouts :

Alfalfa is really a member of the pea family.
It has good amount of nutrients such as calcium, folic, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, silicon, sodium, zinc.
This is the only plant which supplies whole range of vitamins.
Top source of anti - oxidant.
Helps to lower blood pressure.
Greatly helps in boosting your immune function.

Lot more... so I use it regularly for making sandwiches and salads...


For Assembling the Sandwich :

Hot dog Bread (I use whole grain whole wheat bread)
Pesto - 1 tbsp
Alfalfa sprouts few
Cucumber slices few
Lettuce of any kind
Olives few slices

Optional :

Tomato few slices (I omit this while packing since it makes soggy)
Onions white
Capsicum - few


For making pesto :

Basil - 1 cup (wash and drain)
Pine nuts or walnuts roasted - 1/4 cup
Pepper powder few
Lemon juice according to ur taste - 1/4 tbsp
Olive oil - 2 tbsp
Salt
Green chili - 1
Garlic - 1 pod

Grind everything to coarse paste and store in the refrigerator. For me it comes to one week.


Arranging the sandwich :

1. Slice the bread in the middle or if it is sliced bread apply the pesto in the inner portion of the slices.
2. Keep the cucumber slices, lettuce, alfalfa sprouts, olives.
3. Wrap it with foil or cling wrap it.





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