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Apr 28, 2013

Tulsi Tea (organic india)


Which is the first item that gets into your shopping cart?

Mine usually starts with Oil or Dal. The supermarket I visit starts with cosmetics from the entrace and gradually proceeds with bath requirements, clothes, accessories,..... last comes the oil, dal, veg & bakery sections. So I start from Oil / Dal section and go ahead...... by the time my shopping is over, i will be near billing section.

Orgnaic India's Tulsi tea caught my attention and swooooooooosh!...... it went inside my shopping cart. I prefer tea leaves over tea bags. Tea leaves gives a quality taste compared to tea bags.

The tulsi tea is a combination of Rama Tulsi, Krishna Tulsi and Vana Tulsi. Their other tea leaves viz., jasmine, chamomile, ginger, lemon etc have a mix of these three tulsi leaves in the ingredient list.  I went for this one. I can always squeeze in few drops of lemon or crush a piece of ginger to get the variation in taste & flavour.

The steeping process is same as the ginger honey lemon tea.

I just added few drops of honey as a very light sweetner. What a soothing tea it is!


The mix flavour is taking me... into ..... a blissful state...............................

c u with another cup of freshly brewed health tea!

bye

Apr 26, 2013

Ginger Honey Lemon tea

Natural Tea are rich in anti-oxidant. A cup of tea after a meal aids in digestion, dissolves cholestrol, help in weightloss along with exercise & controlled diet.  
 
Tea when brewed at right temperature, without milk & sugar, infuse good health. They taste best when they are just hot enough to sip unlike the regular milk teas.

Opt for tea leaves instead of tea bags as they make your tea taste best.

These teas help you relax, boost your health.

These tea leaves can be reused twice or thrice though the concentration may become lighter.

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Ginger Honey Lemon Tea (servings : 2 nos)



You will need :-

  1. Ginger - 1" piece
  2. Lemon - half a lemon
  3. Honey - 2 tsp
  4. Water - 2 cups
 Procedure :-

  • wash, peel the ginger.
  • CAUTION :- Ginger should never be used with peel. You have to remove the outerskin as the skin has the property of nullifying all the good qualities of a ginger. For any use, never forget to peel a ginger.
  •  Grate the ginger and put it into a tea pot or a vessel or a thermoflask
  •  Boil 2 cups water. Switch off and leave it for two minutes for the temperature to come down. Pour this water into the pot / vessel / flask and cover it with lid and allow it to steep for 4 minutes.
  • Now in the serving glass squeeze in few drops of lemon juice
  • Add 1tsp honey in each serving glass
  •  Using a sieve filter the steeped tea into the glass. mix well.
  • Enjoy your cup of healthy tea!
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BENEFITS :-

  • This soothing combination aids in weightloss, boost immune system. Best during cold & flu.
  • The antioxidant vitamin C from lemon prevent formation of free radicals. Good to fight cold.
  • Ginger is used in therapies to control nausea, vomitting. It also helps in sweating thus assists detoxification process in the body
  • Honey a natural cough suppressant, boosts immunity and a natural sweetner which makes your tea more interesting.


 


Apr 14, 2013

Sparrows - tiny beings going unnoticed

With the sparrow population decreasing I am happy to see them atleast alive in our place.

There are lot many short trees that are planted on the roadside which house them from dusk to dawn.

During the day, they happily fly, hop, chirp on the terrance, on the window, sitting on the rope kept for drying clothes.....

I have captured photos but never attemtped a video. Finally a regular visitor who got used to my presence & tolerated me was kind enough to pose for a short video......



Bird lovers like me try to feed them grains. But the major share is taken away by the pigeons who are the dadas of this area ha.ha.ha.a.............



Sparrows survive on small thick bushes and short trees. Their homes are destroyed by the fast spreading concrete jungle. There are plant lovers who are kind enough to make landscapes amidst the concrete setups & bring greenery into the environment with lots of bushes, plating trees like how our builder does. 

During an evening walk one can notice the chorus of their chirps and the bunch of leaves moving here & there restlessly till it becomes dark.

The roads are well laid and the short trees are planted near the roads hence we hope this will provide some kind of shelter in encouraging their populatoin.

There are some cats which are on prowl and it will not be difficult for them to climb those short trees. Now i can fully understand why they chirp so happily on seeing the slightest tinge of twilight touching the skyline every dawn which shows how relieved for having passed the night successfully & survived to see another day!!

Apr 9, 2013

mango Mango Mangoes........

Mango mango mangoes....mad I go behind mangoes!

Mango is not only the king of fruits but also the National Fruit of our country. It's an oldest fruit which has its place in hindu mythological story about Lord ganesha and Lord karthik (murugan) contesting with each other for winning the fruit and fixed a race to go around the world. It stands first among the trio (mukkani in Tamil) viz. Mango, Jack fruit and Banana.
  
Everyone eagerly awaits for the Mango season to arrive. Whatever be the variety of mango you get in your region, mango has a special place in people's heart.

Start of the season brings in the tender mango which is used in pickles. Nothing is comparable to its taste. It has a special aroma and the crunchy texture makes it even more interesting. I love my simple meal of Curd rice and Tender Mango Pickle.


Then arrives the fully grown raw mango. They can be pickled as well as eaten raw or mixed in chats and salads, we make a curry using a combo of mango + cucumber (manga kootan) and mango pachadi (a sweet accompaniment).


Many love to eat raw mango with little salt and chilli powder. mouthwatering isn't it? ;-)


Various types of pickles can be prepared and accordingly the shape changes.

  • Normal pickle - with just salt & red chilli powder
  • Instant pickle - we also call it manga curry served in feasts.
  • Pickled in salt - which can also be used to make raita (arachakalaki)
  • Avakkai - the famous pickle from Andhra Pradesh
  • Thokku - the mango pieces looks mushy 
  • Chunda pickle - sweet version from Gujarat
  • Sweet & spicy Pickle - pickles using salt, red chilli powder and jaggery
  • Tender Mango Pickle - plain salt as well as spicy version
  • Lot more to go in this list as per the region and tradition.............
We can prepare "Raw Mango Rice" - a variety rice using the less sour variety known as 'thothapuri' which is little elongated with a curve at one end.



Then comes the season of ripen mangoes.....




wow! what a variety of them available in our country!! Let me try to list atleast those what I know (good memory game!) ......

  1. Alphonso (ratnagiri / devgad etc)
  2. Badami / Banganapalli
  3. Thothapuri / kili mooku
  4. Neelam
  5. Chakkarakutti (TN special) - sweetest of all!
  6. Salem Malgoa
  7. Kesar




Mampazha pulissery (curry / khadi) using ripened mangoes never miss my menu during the season.


In Gujarat & Maharashtra you get the famous "aamras" during the season. Aamras and puri is a very good combination that goes in every gujarathi house during the season. The pulp of the sweet ripened mango is extracted and preserved to be used for this purpose. Hotels too serve aamras during the mango season as a sweet accompaniment to a thali.


I recently had tepla with aamras. wow! what a combo it was!!!!


waiting to taste this season's alphonso.................

wish you all a happy time munching into sweet mangoes.

Apr 8, 2013

Idli Upma

Nothing goes waste if used wisely. Those days there were no refrigerators available, hence our ancestors devised a new dish out of remaining food. The outcome is morkootan / morkozhambu, kaalan, Idli upma, Erichakari, sayalmani in kokum (left over chapathi in a gravy), etc.....

Made some idlies couple yesterday. I purposely made some extra idlies as we all love idli upma. Stored the extra ones in the refrigerator.

Humble idli takes its new form................yes, idli upma using leftover idlies.



Idlies kept in a fridge is perfect for crumbling to make idli upma to give the dish the right texture.


Ingredients :-




  1. Idlies - 7 nos. (crumbled)
  2. Mustard - 1 tsp
  3. Black gram - 1 tsp
  4. Sundried pickled chillies (mor milagai) - 6 nos.
  5. Curry leaves - 1 sprig
  6. Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
  7. Salt to taste
  8. water - 1tbsp  
  9. Oil - 2 tbsp 
The chilli is not the usual dry red chilli. these chillies are special green chillies that are soaked in sour curd, then sun dried. This chilli can be eaten as it is tasty and has unique flavour.

But you can use normal green chilli or dried red chilli too instead of this. 

Procedure :-

  • Heat oil in a wok. Add mustard seeds, Bengal gram. The mustard seeds will splutter and when the bengal gram turns golden brown, add asafoetida powder, curry leaves and then the chillies
  • After the chillies are fried well, add the crumbled idlies, salt and sprinkle water, mix well.

  • [I used dried pickled chilli which in tamizh is called thayir molagai or mor milagai because it enhance the taste and flavour of the upma.
  • As the batter has salt and the chillies are already pickled in salt & curd and then sun dried, add salt accordingly.]

  • Keep it covered, switch off the flame and leave it for 3 minutes
  • Yummy & simple idli upma is ready!

 









Apr 5, 2013

Satin Ribbon Garland

Inspired by the works of Blogpal Sudha Kailas I wanted to do satin ribbon garlands. First time the outcome was not good. I put that aside for 3 years. Finally 7 months back I again tried to do it and it came out well.



This is the youtube video which helped me to understand the satin ribbon garland making. Hope it is useful to you too.












Apr 3, 2013

Parakeet - another winged visitor


Parrots visit our area everyday. During the dusk and the dawn they fill our place with their variety of tones... squeak, screech..... etc

I was trying to capture them in my camera for two years and finally succeeded taking a shot last week.

They normally sit on top of the trees or on cables running between tall towers. But this time a couple visited the cable hanging near our building finally I succeeded! ...... hurray!! here it is for your views






Lovely wild parrots isn't it?

Here is a video shot. Hear them squeaking happily :-).......

 

Similarly there is a song bird which is extremely shy to human presence. I can only hear them every morning and in the evening and sometimes during the afternoon if the climate is pleasant. Till now not succeeded to click a photo . Wish me goodluck pals :-)

Apr 2, 2013

Koorkankizhangu mezhukku piratti

Koorkai / koorkankizhangu mezhukkupiratti :-


Koorkai / Koorkankizhangu / Siru Kizhangu / Chinese potato / country potato :- is a very tasty seasonal root vegetable which is rich in calcium, iron and other essential vitamins. Palakkad district (kerala) is famous for cultivating this vegetable.

If you have a kerala / Tamil store in your area, you can look for it during inter season i.e. between December and March.



The peeled one will look like this :-


This is used in traditional kootu preparation and in dry dish preparation called mezhukkupiratti / mezhukuvarati / mezhukku puratti (this requires little more oil)

Cleaning this vegetable is a little messy procedure as you have to get your hands dirty. Traditionally at our house it is washed and then rubbed on a rough stone or floor to peel the skin. At home you can also use a peeler. "The amount of labour put in adds to the taste of the dish" is a saying but you need not trouble yourself anymore in cleaing it. Here is an easy tip to peeal this vegeable quickly
Let us get on to the mezhukkupiratti preparation :-

Ingredients :

  1. Koorkai Kizhangu - 250 gm
  2. Coconut oil - 3 tbsp
  3. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  4. Turmeric powder  - 1/4 tsp
  5. Red chilli powder - 1/4 tsp
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Curry leaves - 1 sprig

Procedure :-

  • Wash it thoroughly to get rid of the mud and then rub it on a rough surface or peel using a peeler. Drop them in water after peeling otherwise it may turn dark.
  • Dice them into small pieces and immerse in water
  • Your hands may get stained like how it leaves a dark patch in your palm but apply oil and rub little salt to get rid of that stain.
  • Heat a wok, add oil (traditional dish use coconut oil. You can use olive / sunflower oil too)
  • Add mustard seeds. When they splutter add curry leaves. Then add the chopped koorkais
  • Add Turmeric powder, red chilli powder and salt to taste
  • mix well
  • Cover and cook while stirring in between till they turn tender and gets roasted nicely.
(I used less oil hence i didn't roast them but just cooked them till tender.)

  • Delicious and aromatic koorkai mezhukkupiratti is ready to go with rice dishes. It tastes best with morkootan / morkozhambu and curd rice.


Padi kolam - 12 / naalu moolai kolam


Traditional padi kolam design no.12

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