Friday, January 26, 2007

Behind the Apron

When I first read about the Behind the Apron event from 28 cooks, my initial reaction was that I would not participate because I liked hiding behind the anonymity that the blogging world provides. I prefer to be cocooned in my private world. Or so I thought. Then I realized that I had, in fact, shared a lot about my life! I'd written about my daughter and my parents and have a few pictures of them on my blog. I'd posted pictures of my cat, Ginger. I had blogged about what my kitchen looked like and yeah, pictures there too. So basically, short of my kula and gothra, I've pretty much told all! Not so private after all!

I have always wished I knew what my blogger friends looked like and I'm sure many of you feel the same too. With a fun event like this one, I figured it was time! Time for my friends to see what I look like and I'm hoping some of them at least, will be influenced by this wonderful event and would participate too!

That's me and Nitin with our favourite (and only!) cat Ginger!

My parents with Little Bo (and bald!) Peep!

This picture I took just now. Little M wondering what I'm upto while I try to hold her and click the picture!

So, that's me and some of my family

This turned out to be so much fun! I hope I get to meet some of you too! Do think about it, guys!

Thank you, 28 Cooks, for hosting this wonderful event. I can't wait for the round-up!

Friday, January 19, 2007

Tinglavare Curry (Navy Beans Curry) and a Meme

Thinglavare (thing-La-vah-ray) is a Konkani curry made with navy beans. Coconut plays a major role in Konkani cooking. This curry had a simple coconut gravy with garlic tadka. I love to have this with rotis or white bread but it is usually had well with white rice.

Navy Beans - 1 cup soaked for 2 hours and cooked
1/2 cup water
Salt to taste

To fry and grind to a paste with a little water:
Coconut shreds/powder - 2 Tbsp
Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Methi seeds - 1/2 tsp
Fried Red Chillies - 5-6
Tamarind concentrate- 1/2 tsp

For tadka
Garlic - 3 pods crushed
Coconut Oil - 1Tbsp

Mix the ground paste, water and navy beans and bring to a boil. Add salt. Heat oil separately. Fry the crushed garlic and add to the boiled curry. That's it!
In the top picture, I've added crushed red chilly flakes for garnish.

I've been tagged by Asha for a meme that was started by sra which was inspired by Jayashree's post about how she gives each blogger friend a face. I hadn't really thought about what my buddies look like. I know some of my friends - Trupti, Asha, Nandita, Scott, Dilipbhai, Paddukoti because they have posted their pictures. I'm hoping that with the event Behind the Apron hosted by 28 Cooks, I get to see some more faces. Maybe I'll even post mine! I've posted pictures of many members of my family but I hesitate to post mine. I am comfortable with the anonymity that the blogging world provides and I'm not in a hurry to change that. Yet. But an event like that might make me change my mind. Hmm.. let's see.

Onto the meme now. Like I said before, I hadn't given much thought to what my blogger buddies look like but when I did think about it, I realized that I do have an image of my blogger friends based on some wonderful people that I know. So, here goes!
My Bengali friends, I think, are very smart and have beautiful, flawless skin! All that fish must help! :)
My Gujarati buddies are hardworking and have loads of energy and can juggle home, work and anything else that comes along with ease, I think!
My Andhra pals are friendly people and very modest. Not for them showing off or one-upping another person.
My Tamilian friends are very proud of their heritage and culture and that is wonderful! (I wish we Kannadigas were a little more inclined that way. Not that we aren't proud of Karnataka but it doesn't show)
My Keralite pals are very friendly and easy going.
My fellow Kannadigas are the laid back, non-interfering sorts.
Maharashtrian friends are strong willed and make loyal friends.
My North Indian buddies are fun-loving and are the life of any party!
My non-Indian friends are articulate and have a great sense of humour.

To conclude, all of you rock! I love visiting all of your blogs and reading about not just food, but bits about yourselves and your lives. Thank you for sharing and for being such a strong, positive force!

I would like to tag Jayashree to see what she thinks her buddies look like. She inspired this meme, after all.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Baby News and Cabbage Pol (Cabbage Dosa)

Little M finally rolled over about 2 weeks ago. She had been trying for so long and then finally succeeded. Since then though, she does not even try to turn to her side, forget rolling over! She probably thinks it's too much effort and does not want to bother herself with trivialities like that! She tries to sit up at every given opportunity though. She needs to be supported, of course.

Whenever we go out, everybody thinks she is a little boy! I don't blame them coz she does look like a boy! She has very little hair and was almost bald until about a month ago. I try to dress her up in pink and/or floral clothes when we go out! :)

I will start working full time from Jan 22. Not at all looking forward to that! I know I'll feel bad when I miss her many firsts but still, I think I'm lucky to have had this much time with her.

Onto some food now. Here's my first Konkani recipe from my mother-in-law. I love the tangy, spicy and slightly sweet taste of this dosa. The flavours blend so well! This is eaten as a side with rice and dalithoy, as shown in the picture below. Dalithoy is the Konkani version of tadka dal and is a staple in most Konkan homes. I prefer to have this like a dosa though, with chutney on the side.

Cabbage Dosa

2 cups Cabbage (chopped fine)
1 large Onion (chopped fine)

To Soak:
1 cup Rice
1/2 cup Toor Dal

To Roast:
2 Tbsp Urad Dal
5-6 Red Chillies
1 Tbsp Dhania
1 tsp Methi seeds
2 Tbsp Coconut powder

1 tsp Tamarind paste
2 Tbsp Jaggery
Salt to taste
Oil for cooking

Soak the rice and toor dal together for at least 4 hours. Grind the fried ingredients first along with tamarind and jaggery. Then then add the soaked rice/dal. Grind coarsely with very little water. To the ground mixture, add the chopped cabbage and onion and salt to taste. Batter is ready. This batter will be pretty thick.

Heat a tawa. Pat a small portion of the batter on the tawa, in the shape of a circle. Pour about 1 tsp of oil around the perimeter of the dosa. The dosa will be rather thick. Cover and cook until browned at the bottom. Then flip the dosa and brown the other side.

This is a meal-in-one! It has rice, dal and vegetables and is very filling. It takes quite a bit of time to cook, unlike the regular dosas but is so worth the wait!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Cabbage Sukke

Cabbage - 1 cups chopped
Potato - 1/2 cup chopped
Water- 1/2 cup
Jaggery - 1 Tbsp
Salt to taste

Mustard Seeds- 1 tsp
Turmeric-1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves-1 sprig
Hing - a pinch
Coconut Oil -2 Tbsp

To fry with a little oil:
Coriander seeds - 2 tsp
Methi seeds- 1/2 tsp
red chilly-4-5
Urad dal- 2 tsp

Grind together:
Coconut - 1/2 cup
Tamarind paste -1 tsp
Plus fried ingredients above.

Heat oil in a kadai. Do the tadka. Add the chopped vegetables, salt and water. Cover and cook on low heat until soft. Grind the fried ingredients, coconut and tamarind together and add to the cooked vegetables. Mix well and cook for a few more minutes.

Monday, January 08, 2007

What's my kitchen like?

We lived in a townhouse before and the kitchen there had no window. It was flanked by the garage on one side and an open dining room on the other. Though the dining room had a huge window and the light filtered through to the kitchen, the kitchen always felt a little dark and I had to have the light on even during the day. When we were house hunting, one of my requirements was for a kitchen with lots of light and boy, did we find one! I LOVE this kitchen because it has a HUGE window, which covers almost the entire wall on one side and another small window above the sink. I'm not too crazy about the counter top and wish there was a small island in the middle. But over all, I love my new kitchen!

Ilva Beretta inspired this post with her my kitchen post. Here's a peek into my kitchen!

Friday, January 05, 2007

Meme of 3 Things

I have been tagged by the very creative Trupti, the adventurous cook Seema and Mythreyee, a very talented painter and cook, for this meme. Here goes!

Three things that scare me:
1. Bugs
2. Death
3. Darkness

Three people who make me laugh:
1. My 5 month old!
2. Laurel & Hardy
3. Mehmood

Three things I love:
1. My Family
2. Food!
3. Life!

Three things I hate:
1. Lies & deceit
2. Interfering busybodies
3. Rudeness

Three things I don’t understand:
1. War
2. Unnecessary nastiness
3. Why they churn those never ending melodramas on Zee/Sony TV. Very unrealistic storylines and the garish makeup on the womenfolk in these serials is enough to paint the rest of the female population on earth a few times over!

Three things on my desk:
1. Phone
2. Camera
3. Right now, my cat, Ginger

Three things I’m doing right now:
1. Typing this
2. Cooking Sheela Pulao
3. Hoping M sleeps for a while longer, while I finish typing this!

Three things I want to do before I die:
1. Travel the world! At least where there's no civil unrest/war. That probably brings down drastically the number of places I can visit!
2. Learn another language. I started learning German when I was about 12, along with my cousin Vikranth. It was so much fun! But of course, being young and having the attention span of a gnat, our interest dwindled in no time and we stopped. Maybe I should try German again. Hmmm..
3. Write and publish a book

Three things I can do:
1. Cat whistle!
2. Play the veena (I haven't done that in years now but I hope to change that soon)
3. Eat shrimp and crabmeat! (New for me coz I always disliked seafood because of the smell. But 2 days ago, we went to Bone Fish Grill and had something called Bang Bang shrimp that tasted so good! Got adventurous and tried crab cake too! And actually liked it this time! I'd tried it once before and I got that dreaded smell then. But not this time. It was so good!)

Three things you should listen to:
1. Good music
2. Positive talk
3. Your heart

Three things you should never listen to:
1. Bad advice
2. Politicians during their election campaigns
3. Negative/unconstructive criticism

Three things I’d like to learn:
1. To swim (I have such a fear of drowning that I cannot go into water higher than my knee! Forget dunking my head under water! I think learning swimming would help but honestly, I don't think I'll last longer than a day in swimming classes!)
2. To be as calm and unruffled as my nephew, PK
3. More about Hinduism. Not in the religious sense but more about Hindu philosophy.

Three favourite foods:
1. Pad Thai
2. Onion & Potato Huli
3. Akki Rotti

Three beverages I drink regularly:
1. Coffee
2. Tea
3. Water, of course!

Three TV shows/Books I watched/read as a kid:
1. Enid Blyton's books, of course! Especially loved her school series.
2. Grimm's Fairy Tales
3. Target, a children's magazine

Three people I would like to tag...
1. Johanna of Tropical Vegetarian Family
2. Nee of Nee's Nook
3. Nandita of Saffron Trail
(Ladies, take up this tag only if you want to and whenever you can.)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Kootu with Dill

Happy 2007! Wishing all of you an absolutely fantabulicent New Year!

We got adventurous this time over and drove 8.5 hours to my sister-in-law's place in Ohio with a 5 month old on board! Little M was so good throughout the journey! She slept for more than half the way and played a little bit when she was awake. She did cry a few times but nothing that we couldn't handle. But once there, her food intake reduced pretty drastically. I guess even though they are little, they do realize that it's a new place and are not very comfortable. She started back on her routine on Monday but it was time to head back anyway. She met her 2.5 year old cousin, Sonali for the first time. Sonali is a sweet kid. Well behaved and loves her Nitin Maama. She wouldn't leave him alone for a moment. Of course, Nitin was equally enamoured! Her way of playing I Spy went something like this "Nitin Maama, count to 5. I'll hide under the bed!"  :) And we had a good time there and ushered in the New Year with lots of eating, dancing and singing!

Here is an easy recipe for kootu with dill leaves. I was saving this recipe for the jihva event but I waited too long. The due date was yesterday! Oh well. I'll do better next time. I hope!

Dill - 2 bunches, chopped 
Toor Dal- 1 cup
Water - 1 cup
Salt to taste

Fry and Grind Together:
1/2 cup Coconut Powder
1 Tbsp Cumin Seeds
1 Tbsp Coriander Seeds
1/2 tsp Black Pepper
4-5 Dry Red Chillies
1 tsp Urad Dal
1 tsp Chana Dal
1/2 tsp Hing

1 tsp Mustard Seeds
1 Tbsp Oil
1/2 tsp Turmeric

Boil dill and toor dal together in a pressure pan with enough water. Add the ground masala, water and salt to taste and bring to a boil. Finish with tadka. That's it!