Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu!

Loka Samastha Sukhino Bhavanthu!


warm WELCOME to my Hobby Lounge.
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November 20, 2012

Aloo Matar / Potato Peas curry

Aloo matar - a yummy & simple dish that can be prepared in gravy form or as a dry dish and goes well with white rice, rotis and as a dry side dis.

I have given a mild masala flavour to the dish. So if you want to make it strong just increase the quantity of masala powders and ginger garlic as per your preference.

I normally first add a pinch of sugar to the oil for certain gravy dishes to get the nice caramalized flavour and a tinge of sweetness to the dish. It is optional.

Let us get into making of this yummy recipe.

Serves : 2

Ingredients :-

  1. Potato (medium) - 2 nos
  2. Green Peas -  2 tbsp
  3. Tomato (small) - 1 No.
  4. Onion (small) - 1 No. (not shallots but the normal onion smaller in size)
  5. Garlic pods - 2 Nos.
  6. Ginger - 1" piece
  7. Ghee - 3 tbsp
  8. Bay leaf - 1 No.   
  9. Cumin seeds - a pinch
  10. Turmeric powder - 2 Pinches
  11. Red chilli powder - 1/4 tsp
  12. Green chilli - 1 no.
  13. Coriander powder - 1/4 tsp (lightly roasted and powdered)
  14. Cumin powder (roasted) - less than 1/4 tsp (half the qty of coriander powder)
  15. Salt to taste
  16. Coriander leaves - finely chopped 3 tbsp (reserve 1 tbsp for garnishing)
  17. Water - 3 to 4 cups

Procedure :-

  • Grind onion, ginger, garlic coarsely using whipper mode (without adding water)
  • Grate the tomato, chop the coriander leaves finely.
  • If you use frozen peas, immerse them in water @ room temperature to make it tender.
  • Dice the potato into cubes

  • Heat a wok and oil / ghee, a pinch of sugar (optional) & let it stay till it caramalise (turns golden in colour) then add the bay leaf, cumin seeds.

  • After the cumin seeds crackle, add the coarsely ground onion ginger garlic mixture, keep the flame in medium, fry till the mixture turns light golden in colour. 
  • Add the grated tomato and fry till the raw smell goes.
  • Lower the flame, add the masala powders viz., turmeric, red chilli, coriander, cumin powders, 2tbsp chopped coriander leaves and fry for a minute.
  • Add required water, salt, potato cubes. Mix well. Cover and cook till the potoatoes are done 3/4th. Remove the lid, drain water from green peas, add it to the boiling gravy.  After adding green peas don't cover. Let it cook. Once the potatoes and green peas turn tender, turn off the flame.
  • if you use oil, then for flavouring, add a tbsp of ghee at this stage.
  • Finally sprinkle the reserved 1tbsp coriander leaves to garnish and serve it hot with soft chapathis / rotis / white rice.

  • Sit, relax and enjoy! Happy eating!

November 19, 2012

Kitchen decoration

After my first trial attempts of aquatic life here I am seriously into decorating my kitchen ...... decorating the otherwise boring plain walls keeps me busy and gives a different touch the kitchen. This is the place where I spend more time so this small makeover means a lot......

Things you need :-

  1. Black Chart -1 No
  2. Pencil
  3. Scale
  4. Glue stick
  5. White acrylic paint
  6. Paint brush "zero"
  7. White A4 sheet or a rough paper
  8. Scissor

  • Draw the design you want to make in a white paper
  • Spread the black chart and rightly draw the design you have decided
  • using a sharp small scissor (it is easy to cut accurate shapes), cut the required shapes.
  • To some shapes where you cannot cut the middle portion e.g. letters etc, you can use the white acrylic paint and zero brush and draw the designs or do a patch work to add beauty to the cut shapes.
  • Apply glue to the wrong side and paste it on the wall and the door
The kitchen door

Kitchen wall :-

Winking smiley guy Winkingsmlieyguy.gif photo silent smile_44.gif photo sh!..............missayurasem chef-anim-chef-cook-food-smiley-emo.gif photoCHEF @ work! 

November 16, 2012

Murungai ilai dosai / Drumstick tree leaves dosa

My Hobby Lounge's 4th century! ... to make it special made it a nutritious one.

I very much missed the green leafy veggies which I used to savour everyday at mayeka. Yesterday my visit to the Friday Market brought me so much happiness when I found the horseradish leaves (drumstick tree leaves) which is not so easily available here. Bought a nutritious bunch for Rs.5/- On my way back, was planning to do few dishes and here is today's Breakfast recipe ... A dosa (dosai) using the leaves........

Botanical Name : Moringa Oleifera

Horseradish tree (english) / Murungai (Tamizh) / Muranka (hindi) / Muranka (or) munga saudha (Hindi) / Moringi (Kannada) / Shevga (Marathi)

It is a very delicate tree. The leaves is tender hence gets cooked quickly. The leaves, the flower, the fruit are used for cooking. Bark has medicinal purpose. It helps releive the body pain. The bark is used to cure swelling etc.

It is a source of iron, Vitamin A, B, C, Magnesium, Beta carotene, high in calcium. It is very safe to give to children and nursing mothers. If included regularly, helps fight malnutrition.

There are many yummy recipes that can be prepared using the leaves, flower and the fruit (it resembles a drum stick hence the name drumstick) viz., kootu, proiyal, dosai, sambar, etc

Here is a easy dosa recipe using the leaves :-

Drumstick / Horseraddish / murungai Leaves

Ingredients :-

  1. Rice - 1 cup
  2. Sabudana -  tbsp (javvarisi / tapioca grain)
  3. Methi seeds - 1/2 tsp
  4. whole urad - 2 tbsp
  5. Salt to taste
  6. Drumstick leaves - 1 cup
Procedure :-
  • Soak all the above together for 2 hours. 
  • Grind to nice paste.
  •  Batter is ready. Let it ferment for 6 hours or overnight.
  • Clean the leaves (discard stem), wash and drain (the leaf will float in water and will stick to fingers so do it patiently)
  •  To the fermented batter, add the clean drumstick leaves, mix well. 
  • Add water and keep the batter in pouring consistency 

  • Heat a tava, grease it with oil, pour it around from outer edges to the centre
  •  apply few drops of oil around
  •  keep it covered with a lid

  •  when the bottom side turns golden in colour, flip and cook the other side keeping it covered. 
  • When the other side is also done, take it from the tava.
  •  Yummy nutritious drumstick leaves dosa is ready 
  • Just relax and relish it with sambar / chutney / gunpowder (idli milagai podi)

November 15, 2012

Chenai Masiyal / Suran Chutney / Elephant Yam chutney

Elephant Yam / Suran / Chenai is a root vegetable which is even given to new mothers who have given delivery because it is such a safe vegetable and easy to cook and is very tender.

Various dishes can be prepared using it. I am now sharing a traditional mouth watering recipe with you. As I said traditional recipe it means we use coconut oil for it. But you can use the oil of your choice. If you like the flavour of coconut oil, you will find it even more delicious.

Chenai Masiyal 

Ingredients :-

  1. Elephant Yam - 1/4 kg
  2. Lemon - 1/2 
  3. Curry leaves - 2 sprigs (reserve one for tempering)
  4. Red chilli -  2 Nos
  5. Green Chilli - 1 no.
  6. Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  7. Urad whole - 1 tsp
  8. Hing - 1 pinch
  9. Turmeric powder - 2 pinches
  10. Grated coconut - 4 tbsp
  11. Ginger - 1" piece
  12. salt to taste
  13. Coconut oil - 3 tbsp (reserve 1 tbsp for garnishing)
Procedure :-

  • Peel, wash thoroughly and dice them
  • Boil water, add salt and turmeric powder, put the diced yam and bring to boil, lower the flame and let it cook till it becomes tender.
  • Drain (you can use the water for other cooking purposes or dilute and drink like soup and let it cool
  • In a mixer grind the grated coconut, curry leaves, ginger, greenchilli coarsely (without water).\
  • When the yam cubes cools down, mash them or just put in a mixe and whip it.
  • Heat oil in a wok, add mustard seeds, urad, red chilli and hing powder. 
  • When the mustard splutter, urad turns nice red in colour, add curry leaves and then add the mashed yam and grated coconut masala.\
  • Mix well for 2 minutes
  •  remove from fire 
  • when it cools down a bit, squeeze in juice of half a lemon, the remaining 1tbsp of coconut oil and adjust salt if required. Mix well.
  • Mouthwatering and flavourful masiyal / chutney is ready!

It goes well with plain hot white rice (as a main dish), and as side dish with chapathis and other rices varieties. A very good accompaniment for curd rice.

November 10, 2012

Deepavali lehyam / legiyam

With deepavali / diwali festival fast approaching, many of you will be busy planning for the festivals, making sweets, shopping etc.
  • Staying healthy before, during and after festival is very important to let the bliss continue for few more days following it. 
  • Eating without any restriction and falling sick will kill all the fun that the festival had brought in.
  • Eating moderately, slowly, enjoying what we eat, is more important.
  • I prefer to include herbs from my kitchen into the daily menu. So among the goodies there will be some dish which is not only tasty but also aids in digestion. 
  • Deepavali lehyam is one such dish which helps in digestion and calm down your stomach. You can google for the pictures if to know how the herb will look like so that you can procure them from the store selling the herb (naatu marundu kadai / jadi booti dhukan).  Let  us go to the recipe

Ingredients :-
  • 1 tbsp - Kandan Thippili / dried long pepper
  • 1 tbsp - Airisi thippili / pippali (small and looks like grains)
  • 1 tbsp - Chukku / Dry ginger / Sunth
  • 1 tbsp - milagu / Black peppercorns / kalai miri
  • 1 tbsp - Jeeragam / Cumin seeds / Jeera
  • 1 tbsp - Omam / ajwain / caraway or carom seeds
  • 1 tbsp - pattai / Cinnamon / dalchini
  • 1 tbsp - chitharathai / Thai ginger / alpinia galangal
  • 7 Nos. - elakkai / cardamom / ilaichi
  • 1 cup - Jaggery
  • 2 tbsp - Ghee / nei / clarified butter
Procedure :-
  1. Dry roast each ingredient separately except jaggery and ghee.
  2. Powder them separately.
  3. Dissolve jaggery in water and filter
  4. Heat the jaggery water, when it comes to boil, add a tablespoon of each of the dry roasted & powdered items and keep stirring in a low flame
  5. when it thickens, add 1 tbsp ghee / nei and keep stirring
  6. when it becomes thick like a paste, remove from fire
  7. Add the remaining 1 tbsp ghee and mix till ghee mix well
  8. cool and store in a clean bottle.

You can add some sugar candys (kalkandu), if you want, to the above Lehyam.

The above lehyam aids digestion, fights food poisoning, cures gas trouble and lot more health benefits.

But eat moderately so that you can enjoy the festival and take precautions to prevent yourself from falling sick because of over eating (which kills all the happiness & fun you had during the celebration)

Wish you all a happy & safe deepavali.

November 7, 2012

Palak Soup / Spinach Soup

Invite you to have a cup of hot & healthy Palak Soup / Spinach Soup.

Spinach / Palak has more nutritional value. Rich in antioxidants which destroys the free radicals and help in cell rejuvenation, Iron, Calcium.

While picking spinach select the one which is fresh, crisp as well as tender. Store them in a vegetable bag in the fridge.

Thoroughly wash it well before you use it for cooking. Cooking time for spinach is less, so you just need to blanch it for 5 to 10 minutes in hot water to retain its nutritional value.

There are variety of dishes prepared using spinach (dry as well as gravies). So here is a healthy reciipe for making soup using spinach.

Ingredients :-
 (serves :2)
  1. Palak leaves - 25-30 nos
  2. Garlic pods - 2 nos.
  3. Onion - 1 no. (small)
  4. Ginger - 1" piece
  5. roasted Cumin powder - 1 pinch sprinkled for 1 serving
  6. lemon juice - 1 tbsp (optonal)
  7. Green chilli -1 no. (spicy variety)
  8. Cinnamon - 1/2"
  9. Cloves - 2 nos.
  10. Olive Oil - 1 tbsp
  11. salt to taste
  12. Vegetable stock / water - 2 cups
Procedure :-

  • Wash & chop the spinach leaves. Boil 2 cups of water / vegetable stock. switch off the stove and put the spinach leaves, keep it covered for 10 min (this is called blanching).
  • Peel Onion, wash and chop finely
  • Chop ginger and garlic pods
  • Drain the spinach and save the stock. Let the leaves cool down.
  • Heat oil, add cinnamon & cloves. when it is fried, add onion and saute till it becomes translucent. Add some stock and let it boil for 3 minutes. Remove from fire and let it cool. Drain and remove the cinnamon & cloves and reserve the stock.
  • Puree the spinach and onion
  • Add the reserved stock, salt and mix well. Heat it and adjust water level as per your preferred consistency.
  • Before serving, add few drops of lemon juice (optional) and sprinkle a pinch of jeera powder / cumin powder.
  • Healthy cup of yummy spinach/palak soup is ready!

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