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Jun 30, 2011

Barley Dosai / Dosa



Barley helps in weight loss but as it generates body heat, it is advisable to have it only twice or thrice a week. My friend gave me the recipe for this Barley Dosai and it came out very well.

Ingredients :

  1. Barley - 2 tea cups
  2. Urad - 1/2 tea cup
  3. Methi seeds - 1 tsp
  4. salt to taste





















Procedure :-

  • Soak Barley, Urad and methi seeds together for 5 to 6 hrs.
  • Grind to nice paste. The batter will only give a coarse texture, but if you touch it, will be smooth & soft.
  • Mix in required salt and let it ferment till it rise.
  • Heat a Dosa Tawa, grease it
  • Pour a laddle of batter and spread it
  • apply few drops of oil on the sides
  • cook it on low flame so that you get a crispy dosa of right colour
  • When one side is done (golden brown), flip it and cook till the other side is also done
  • Serve hot with chutney/sambar

Jun 26, 2011

Chirote

This was a sweet snack recipe which i collected from my friend long ago. She got it from a recipe book. Easy to make. I made some changes to it to give it a good flavour.


Ingredients :-

Maida - 1 tea cup
Salt     - 1 pinch
Sugar - 1 1/2  tbsp
Cardamom - 3 - 4 nos.
Ghee -  1 1/2 tsp
Corn flour - 2 tsp
ghee for frying
Liquid edible Food colours of your choice



Procedure :


  • Mix Maida & salt and sieve. Adding water little by litte, knead the dough
  • Mix ghee & cornflour to a smooth paste. If you feel the ghee is not sufficient add few more drops to get the consistency.
  • Divide the dough into equal portions as per the colours you are going to use. keeping one part plain.


  • Mix each of the liquid  food colour to each part of dough and mix & knead well







  • Flatten each coloured ball & plain one on a dusted board with rolling pin like a chapathi.
  • Applly cornflour paste on the plain one, place a coloured one on top and apply cornflour paste on it. Do like this for all the coloured chapathis.



  • Apply the paste on top chapathi and roll them together into a cylinderical shape.
  • cut 1/2" thick slices, flatten them with rolling pin into thin puris.










  • Heat ghee and fry them in low flame till crispy, turning the sides.
  • Place on an absorbent sheet.
 
  • Powder sugar along with cardamom.
  • In a plate, arrange the colourful chirotes, sprinkle powdered flavoured sugar lavishly & serve.
 


Jun 21, 2011

Adai Dosai

Adai, the lentil dosa is crispy, yummy & healthy one. The rice & lentils along with chilli & pepper is soaked together. A nice flavourful dosa variety. Easy to prepare & delicious to eat.

The texture varies as some grind it to nice paste and some leave it look little coarse. So you can try the one which you taste the best.




  Ingredients :- 

  1. Boiled Rice - 2 tea cups
  2. Tuvar Dhal + Gram Dhal + Urad dhal - 1/2 tea cup (together)
  3. Groundnut - 2 tbsp (optional)
  4. Peppercorn - 1 tsp
  5. Red Chilli - 6 nos. (or as per taste)
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Curry leaves
  8. Hing Powder - 1/4 tsp
  9. Methi seeds - 1 tsp

  • Soak rice, groundnut & dhals together for 2 hrs. 
  • Grind it little coarse along with curry leaves, peppercorn, redchilli, salt and hing powder. Mix well
  • You can ferment the batter for 6 hours & use or just let it stand for 30 min and go ahead preparing the adai dosai.
  • Heat a Tawa, pour a laddle of batter and spread it like dosai. 
  • When one side is done, flip and cook the other side too. 
 
  •  




Accompaniment : Adai tastes best with the traditional Butter & Jaggery. Some makes avial and have adai avial.You can have chutney too as a side dish.


Jun 20, 2011

Bubble - the Ray

A new member to my 'Ami' Family. "Bubble" - the ray. Isn't the ray cute. Its Happily swims & settles in the sea bed.





Jun 15, 2011

Pav Bhaji

Pav Bhaji - a quintessential food of mumbai was invented to feed the mill workers. The food that is easy, affordable  & nutritious too as it has got all vegetables. An excellent dish to satisfy the hunger quickly.

Pav Bhaji

Using beetroot

Its raining here heavily as monsoon has started. Thought of having hot baji and pav. So made it dinner of the day in low calorie version. Here is how i made it.

(Serves 3 to 4 people)

Ingredients :


  1. Pav bread - 10 to 12  pieces
  2. Onion - 3 nos. (1 to be chopped & kept for garnishing)
  3. Potato - 4 (medium)
  4. Tomato - 2 (medium)
  5. Carrot - 1 small (optional)
  6. Green Chillies - 3 nos.
  7. Coriander Leaves - chopped 1 tbsp
  8. Ginger - 1" piece
  9. Garlic - 8 cloves
  10. Lemon wedges - of 1 lemon
  11. salt to taste
  12. Pav baji masala - 1 tsp (or as required as per flavour preference)
  13. Red Chilli Powder as per taste (use Deggi mirch powder for rich color)
  14. Oil - 1 tbsp
  15. butter - 5 tsp 


 Procedure :- 
  • Boil, Peel & mash Potatoes. you can boil carrots also together.
  •  Chop onions finely. Keep one chopped onion for garnishing
  • Grate tomatoes (this helps tomato blend with the gravy well thus enhancing its color, flavour and taste)
  •  Finely chop green chillies and coriander leaves
  •  Grate ginger and garlic (or you can even grind to paste) or crush nicely with a pestle (i do it sometimes)
  •  Heat oil in a pan. Add chopped onions and saute till golden brown
  • Add green chillies, ginger garlic and stir fry for 30 seconds. 
  • Add grated tomato and cook till oil separates 
  • Add boiled & mashed carrots and potatoes
  • Add pav baji masala, red chilli powder (kashmiri chilli powder / Deggi mirch powder will give you colour too or use everest tika lal) and mix well
  •  add 1 and 1/2 cup water and bring to boil
  • Cook for 15 minutes in low flame or till the mixture becomes semi solid.
  • Remove from flame, add a tsp of butter and mix well
  • Heat a tawa, apply some butter and place the pav bread on it. You can have soft as well as crispy pavs. For soft pavs, just place both sides on the greased tawa only for a minute. For crispy pavs, just reduce the flame and cook both sides for a little long time, till it turns kadak (crisp).
Serving Suggestion

Place the hot pavs in a plate. Pour baji on the side. sprinkle chopped coriander leaves and finely chopped raw onions over it. Place a lemon wedge on the side which can be squeezed over the baji while eating as per the taste preference. 

Variation : Can add finely chopped, boiled and mashed Capsicum, Beet rootIf you add beetroot, it will get a rich pinkish red color as seen in the photo below

Jun 14, 2011

Pouch for Camera

I was not having a pouch for camera. The difficulty i realised when i went out to take the beautiful shots for the rains. Why not crochet one?! Here it is.




Jun 13, 2011

To prevent apple from changing colour

When apple is cut, within few minutes it changes colour turning dark. Its because of the contact with air and the subsequent chemical reaction. To prevent that, just add few drops of lemon juice and toss it well. This will help the apple retain its colour.

Jun 11, 2011

A Lone Village Temple Before & during Monsoon


This is a lonely village temple seen in a vast open land near the hills. I have taken the picture of it before the arrival of monsoon as well as during the monsoon showers. Liked the beauty of sky providing a different ambience to it.


Before rains
During Rains

Jun 10, 2011

Rava Dosai / dosa


An easy to make dosa recipe which needs no fermentation. Just 10 minutes standing time for the rava to get soft. This type of dosai turns out so crisp & paper thin.

Rava Dosai
Ingredients :-
  1. Rava (Semolina)    - 1 tea cup
  2. Rice Flour             -  1 tea cup
  3. Maida                   - 1/2 tbsp
    Gram flour (besan)- 1/2 tsbp
  4. Green Chilli chopped - 1 tsp
  5. Coarsely ground pepper - 1 tsp
  6. finely chopped curry leaves - 1 tsp
  7. finely chopped ginger - 1 tsp
  8. Hing - less than 1/4 tsp
  9. water to make batter
  10. Oil as required
  11. Salt to taste
Procedure :-

  • In a vessel mix all the above ingredients and prepare a watery batter of pouring consistency. Let it stand for 10 minutes or more.
  • Heat the tawa (dosai kal), apply oil on surface. 
  • Pour the batter around towards the edge which will flow towards centre. 
  • pour 1/2 tsp oil around. 
  • when one side is done, flip and cook the other side too till they turn gold & crisp.

Accompaniment : Onion Chutney / Sambar

Variation : for Onion Rava Dosai, just add chopped onion along with above ingridients.


Jun 9, 2011

Jun 7, 2011

Mira's Talent Gallery: Welcome Celestial Carnival

Mira's Talent Gallery: Welcome Celestial Carnival: "Three days back, heard some rumbling sounds. They sounded familiar but amidst my work I didn’t venture to look out for the cau..."

Welcome Celestial Carnival


Three days back, heard some rumbling sounds. They sounded familiar but amidst my work I didn’t venture to look out for the cause. I calmed the curious cat inside me. I kept it for some other time and carried on   lightning



By evening, saw some good light effects coming as if from a discothe. I understood that celebration going on to welcome a special person in the region. Soon cool breeze started blowing, then it became windy . Yes!! The long awaited VIP has finally arrived. All those sounds and lighting were made for announcing the visit of this someone special. Yes, it the “Monsoon” that every soul here waited for. Soon the rumbling sound was taken over by the loud drumming of the rains with occasional loud thunders .

I went to close the windows as the wind brought the dust too making the back of my feet black. The wind passed through the little space between the closed glass doors making a gushing noice and making ours a haunted house with its sound effects for 30 minutes.

Our meterological department predicted the visit on 15th of June however this special thing has once again proved that it is” special” by making an early visit on 5th of June. The hills, insects, birds, animals, humans all waited for this carnival and now its celebration time!smileyhttp://bestanimations.com/Nature/Storms/Storm-10-june.gif

The thunders and lightening gave a wonderful sound & light effect to the carnival. The frogs near the pond happily danced  hawk to the tunes & smiley croaking loudly with joy. Soon an orchestra started with the cranes joining in. The crow cawing every now & then. The magpie robbin blowing its sweet notes through out the day. Sparrwos  blue bird
chirping happily. Mynahs making a hopping as if they are dancing to welcome the rains with their varied notes. Many new notes of the unknown birds joining them. The noisy pegions have for a change kept quiet, sitting cosily in all available spaces taking shelter from rains. If there had been any peacocks, they would have also gracefully took part in the celebration peacockthen that would have become a wonderful feast for eyes with the black clouds on the back ground. Soon it started raining

Children and adults came out of their house to get themselves wet by the celestial showers, shouting with joy and dancing. It’s a different sight altogether. A great stress buster for many. The trees & plants looked fresh as the showers washed away the dust.

Normally before every monsoon, the local authorities take some clean up work but this time it didn’t happen. Will they ever learn not to postpone today’s work? With the early onset of monsoon, some roads were flooded with the blocked drains. For our negligence I cannot cribb & curse the rains . So started enjoying it as its better than no water days due to water shortage.

Yesterday evening, I thought of having a quick glimpse of the rains and was surprised to find our castle built among the clouds. It was very foggy. Soon it cleared a little and I went for my evening walk. Drizzling started. I could not see the hill top from the road as it was covered with mist. Enjoyed my cool walk on the dirty road as the beauty of monsoon has taken over me than the dirty roads. Whatever it is, the plants, treets, insects, animals, birds and humans all are set to enjoy the two months of the celestial carnival which happens here only once in a year. It’s the time for celebration!

Jun 6, 2011

First Monsoon Showers

The first monsoon showers happily drummed and i tried to capture a glimpse of it without getting my camera wet. The leaves looks fresh as the dust was washed away. They happily danced to the tunes of the rain.


Jun 5, 2011

Sun peeping through the clouds

Today morning it was very cloudy (monsoon clouds) and suddenly saw the sun peeping through the clouds. It was a wonderful sight seeing the sun playing hide & seek. Thought of sharing it with you here. Sun spreading a golden hue on the sky!









Jun 4, 2011

Mira's Talent Gallery: Filter Coffee

Mira's Talent Gallery: Filter Coffee: "Coffee is an addictive aromatic drink the smell & taste of which is very hard to control your temptation. Its a known beverage throughout th..."

Filter Coffee

Coffee is an addictive aromatic drink the smell & taste of which makes it very hard to control the temptation. Its a known beverage throughout the world which is had with or without adding milk.  Filter Coffee is a very common hot beverage in Southern India mainly in the State of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, Though coffee plants are grown in kerala too, tea dominates kerala. South Indian Coffee is filtered coffee prepared using milk.






Variety of Coffee Beans
1. Arabica - tastes very good
2. Robusta
3. Plantation A
4. Plantation B
5. Peaberry

Commonly used coffee has some small porportion of Chicory (from chicory plant) mixed to it to make the decoction thicker.

In every southindian home its custom to offer coffee to their guests in the traditional brass tumbler kept over a brass cup called 'Davarah' as shown in the picture above. Now brass is replaced with steel. Its a common sight in such homes to see the men reading their morning paper sipping hot cup of coffee and sometimes, they end up gulping cup after cup of coffee.  Coffee tastes best when made using freshly brewed decoction and freshly boiled milk. Its taste & aroma is very addictive. The aroma that floats in the air will tempt you & invite you to have a cup of hot coffee .


Mostly a traditonal breakfast ritual is not complete without gulping a good hot filter coffee



How to brew Coffee Decoction :-

  • A vessel called 'Filter' is used to brew coffee. It contains two cylinderical compartments one at the bottom and other one with small holes in its base is kept at the top, having a lid and a presser. The required quantity of Coffee Powder is put on the top compartment and pressed lightly with the presser. Boiled hot water is poured over it to the brim.Then it is covered. It take some time for the water to get through the powder and the decoction to fall into the bottom vessel.
  • The Filter should be dry before you put in the powder.
  • If its freshly cleaned then wipe the inner part of the upper compartment with a dry cloth and show the base (with holes) over the flame. This is done for two purpose, one to get the wholes completely dry and to prevent the powder blocking the holes. If any block is there, that will also be cleared.

How to prepare a coffee:-
  1. For Milk + coffee :- Boil milk. In a vessel, put the required sugar (normally coffee tastes better with little sugar. but some prefers it sweet. so you can add sugar as per your taste). Pour the required decoction (some prefers light and some dark, hence accordingly it has to be used). Add milk to it. Then it has to be mixed well till froth forms on top using two tumblers by pouring them into one another. Your aromatic filter coffee is ready to serve.
  2. The normal sugar quantity is 1 tsp for one standard tea cup of coffee.
  3. For black Coffee :- Just add sugar to the decoction and pour in hot water. Mix & serve.
  4. Still there are households who practice ancient method of  adding jaggery io make black coffee and it will taste good.
  5. If you don't have filter then it can be prepared using traditional method. Take a vessel, put the powder and pour in the required hot water over it. Leave it for sometime till the powder settles at the bottom and decoction floats on top. Slowly transfer the decoction to another lidded container to use.

Tips to make a good coffee :
  1. If you had to use already boiled milk instead of freshly boiled one, then Do Not Boil or reheat milk for the second time, as it will give bad taste to coffee. In such cases, use double boiling method to reheat the milk. Place a bigger vessel containing water. Pour the required boiled milk in a smaller vessel which will fit into the bigger one. Place it inside the bigger vessel. Keep it covered. A milk reheated this way will help maintaining the taste of coffee.
  2. Similarly Never reheat coffee directly. Use only double boiling method to retain the taste.
  3. Never pour boiled water immediately as it will be so hot. To retain taste, water should be poured when it is about to boil.
  4. The first decoction and the second one can be mixed together and used. Normally the good aroma goes to the first decoction and the thickness goes to the second one. Hence i always mix and use them.
Storage of Coffee Powder and Coffee Decoction :-

  • Coffee Powder should be stored in an air tight container to retain its aroma and kept in a cool place safe from moisture and heat. While in use, never leave the lid open for a long time.
  •  To store the decoction different methods are used in different households. When members are more, it can be stored in a thermos. otherwise, you can transfer it to an air tight container and store it in refrigerator otherwise fermentation will take place and spoil the taste of coffee. 
Properties of Coffee

  1. It has caffine hence will boost your mind when tired or depressed
  2. Some gulp coffee after coffeeAnything in excess is not good. Hence coffee should be used in minimal quantity.
  3. If you have bad cold, sore throat or fever, crush some pepper and dry ginger. Boil water, add the crushed items to it along with some jaggery. let it boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Filter it to a tumbler. Add a tbsp of coffee decoction and drink this to get good relief.
Its raining here as the monsoon has already started. I am enjoying my cup of coffee this wonderful morning, the aroma & taste of which has made me to write this with my hot cup of steaming freshly brewed coffee on my side. I am  a coffee Lover! do you? Wish you all a very happy Coffee Morning! 



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