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Preview: Kitchen Flavors

Kitchen Flavors



The Aroma of My Kitchen



Updated: 2017-02-06T00:57:32.296-05:00

 



Back in Action With New Look

2010-07-29T21:45:45.227-04:00

Friends,
After a long break, both myself and my blog are back in action with a new look. I have been away for a long time for a good reason. I am blessed with a boy and he is about to turn one. Time flies, unbelievable. Now, I am eager as always to publish new recipes. Thanks for your support, comments and feedback as always.

Cheers,
Praneetha



Peer Blogger Awards

2008-11-16T23:19:14.402-05:00

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Lubna Karim
has passed on the above awards to me in appreciation of the work on my blog. You are more than welcome to pass on the above awards to fellow bloggers in appreciation of their work. Thank you Lubna! I am passing the above awards to my friends on my blog roll for their continued support and encouragement.



Happy Deepavali

2008-10-28T12:56:22.555-04:00

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Pesarattu-Upma

2008-11-16T23:25:52.690-05:00

Pesarattu-Upma is one breakfast item Andhraites boast off. Go to any wedding anywhere in Andhra Pradesh, you will not miss out on this item. Pesarattu-Upma is by default a favourite among the Andhra people. The spicy crispy moong dal dosa stuffed with upma served with coconut chutney and ginger chutney for sure tickles your taste buds.The preparation for this is very simple and friends these moong dal dosa's are healthy too. Unlike other dosa preparations, you need not wait for the batter to ferment. You can have it immediately. A perfect breakfast item on a weekend. For those who never tried or tasted this recipe, I am sure you have missed something really tasty. A must try!!!I am sending this recipe to SWC - Andhra Pradesh event hosted by Indian Hut Ingredients:Moong dal - 1 cupRice - handfulGingerGreen chillies - 4 smallCurry leaves - 3,4SaltMethod:1. Wash and soak the moong dal and rice together overnight.2. In a blender, blend the moong dal and rice in parts to a smooth batter. While blending add ginger,green chillies and curry leaves.3. Once blended, add salt.4. Now, take a flat pan and when its hot pour in small quantity of the batter on the pan and gently spread the batter making rounds with the cup/soup spatula you are using to make a round till the rim of the pan.5. Sprinkle finely chopped onions, cumin seeds and add 1tsp of oil along the edges.6. See to it the bottom of the dosa is not burnt. Keep checking and once it turns golden brown color, turn to the other side. Repeat the same and flip again.7. At this stage, add 2 tbsp of upma in the center of the dosa and gently without breaking the dosa, start folding the two edges to the center.8. Repeat the same for all the dosas.Serve hot with coconut chutney and ginger chutney.[...]



Award Time

2008-10-22T22:22:53.185-04:00

Raaji has passed on this award to me.
The rules of the award are:
1. Put the logo on your blog.
2. Add a link to the person who awarded you.
3. Nominate 10 other blogs.
4.Add links to those blogs on yours, and leave a message for your nominees on their blogs.

I am passing this award to:

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Divya, Lubna, Padma, Supriya, Amulya
, Annarasa
Non-food bloggers : Swathi, Keethi, Deepthi, Chandana



Strawberry-Banana Milkshake

2008-10-19T15:02:04.014-04:00

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It's been months since we moved to Florida and right from day 1, we have been hunting for a good farmer's market nearby. Suddenly, during the weekend on our way to the general shopping, we found this fresh farmer's market right opposite to out apartment community . All these days we were passing by the same road, but never noticed it. There is a nursery in the same market and each time I look at that place, all that strikes me is it's a nursery. But, we were so happy to have discovered this place, picked some fresh vegetables and fruits. We picked banana and strawberry. They were so fresh that I decided to make strawberry and banana milkshake. It came out really well that, I felt we should have bought more Strawberries.

I want to share this easy and quick dessert with you all. This recipe is for 2 people for 1 serving. Here goes the recipe:

Ingredients:
Banana - 1
Strawberries - 1 cup
Whipped cream/ Ice cream - 1 cup
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp
Sugar - 2 spoons
Milk - 2 cups (1%,2%,whole milk, soy milk, fat free, anything that you like)

Method:

1. Wash the strawberries and remove the stem. Cut them into half.
2. Peel the Banana skin and cut it into small cubes.
3. In a blender, take the chopped Strawberry and Banana, add 1 cup milk and blend it for 20-30 secs.
4. Now, add sugar,cream/ice cream, vanilla essence,remaining milk and blend it till it becomes a smooth mixture.
5. Add more sugar to the mix, as needed.
6. Serve it with ice/cream of your choice.


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NOTE : If you don't have whipping cream, you can use ice cream for the blend. Vanilla or Strawberry flavor ice cream goes well. If you use vanilla ice cream, then no need to use the Vanilla essence. Otherwise, you need to add 1 spoon of essence.




"MEME" and Spicy Spinach Paratha

2008-10-06T09:04:24.858-04:00

Hi All,Raaji has tagged me with a MEME. Hope you will enjoy knowing me here :Here are the rules: (a) List these rules on your blog. (b) Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog. (c) Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs.1. First thing you feel when you see ME, you want to make friends with me. At least this is what most of my friends and others told me. Very friendly, jovial, fun loving at the same time very serious when it comes to important issues.2. My Family is my first priority. Rest all comes next.3. I simply love cooking. Cooking is something I never get bored or tired of. It's my passion. I remember watching all the cookery shows on TV , language no barrier. My love and passion for cooking started when I was 15yrs old. Thanks to my mom, for being my inspiration.4. Quite orthodox. Traditional at heart,modern and practical in thoughts. Love to do all pooja's, festivals no matter where I am! I like to keep the tradition and custom alive in however smallest way possible.5. Being a computer student (done my masters in computers), love to spend time with my laptop. Just cannot do without this.6. Crazy about shopping. This is one more thing I never get bored. Poor husband. Can't help it. I have this madness about matching esp my ear rings, handbags and sandals. I have huge collection of ear rings of almost every color. Very particular about my dresses. Hmm, I can go on and on about this topic. But, want to refrain myself here.7. A movie buff. I love movies with good sense, subject. Other than that, I always had a special interest on the technical aspect of a film. I always wanted to be a movie maker (earlier not anymore). My husband says my analysis about any movie is good. So, better luck next time.Girls, hope you enjoyed reading about ME. I know there's nothing so gr8 or interesting to know and also I admit it's quite boring. OK. Let me spice up your taste buds. Spicy with the Spinach Parathas.The other day I was craving for something spicy and I thought will make spinach parathas not the usual way, but more spicy and tasty. I was looking for the same in Internet and found a recipe in Manjula's Kitchen. I varied the procedure according to my own taste and spice levels..Ingredients :Wheat flour - 2 cupsSoy flour - 1 cupSpinach - 1 cupCoriander powder - 1 tspChilli powder - 1/2 tspJeera powder - 1tspCrushed pepper - 1tsp ( or more if u want more spicy)SaltOilLukewarm water - 1-2 cupsMethod:1. Take the wheat flour, soy flour in a bowl, add pinch of salt and slowly add the lukewarm water and make a smooth dough with hand. Knead well and add 2-3 drops of oil and then again knead well with your fist. Just coat with oil (very little), cover it with a lid or a damp cloth or paper towel. Keep it aside and allow it to rest for 10-15mins.2. Now, in a pan add very little oil and when its hot, add ginger garlic paste, coriander powder, cumin powder, chilli powder, crushed pepper , saute for 2mins and add the washed and cut spinach. Add pinch of salt. Cook it uncovered for sometime until the entire mixture becomes dry (there should be no moisture left). Keep it aside.3. When the mixture is done, keep it aside.4. Now take the dough and make lemon size balls. Make small balls of the spinach filling as well.5. Now, take each ball and with your fingers make a hollow in the center, place the filling and close all the edges to a center (or) roll the dough to 1''/2'' , place the filling inside and close by folding all the edges to the center.6. Roll these stuffed balls to desired shape ( round, triangle) parathas.7. In a skillet, when the skillet is hot enough, put the paratha, add some ghee/oil and fry on both sides by pressing with a cloth, spatula or wooden roti presser.8. Repeat the same for all the parathas.9. Serve hot with raita, pickle or any subji of your choice.Spinach Parathas served with Bhindi masala and rait[...]



Karivepaku Podi ( Curry Leaf Powder)

2008-10-10T10:59:49.086-04:00

Curry Leaf (Karivepaku/Kariveppilai) is the most commonly used herb used as seasoning in almost all the dishes especially in South India. I simply love the aroma that comes from this herb and also the taste. I know some people simply take the herb out and don't eat it. For such of those people, curry leaf is rich in its medicinal value. They help in better digestion. It also promotes better hair growth. My mother used to make sure we eat atleast 2 spoons of this powder mixed with rice and ghee.Ingredients:Curry leaves - 3 cupsCoriander seeds - 11/2 cupCumin seeds - 2 spoonsDry red chilli - handful ( or more if you want it spicy)Urad dal - 1 cupChana dal - 1/2Tamarind - lemon size ballsaltOil - 1/2 tspMethod:1. Pick the leaves from the stem, wash and dry them on a fine cloth. The leaves should be completely dry.2. In a pan, fry the above spices individually (except curry leaves, red chilli and tamarind) until golden brown ( you can fry all of them together, but individually is preferred) .3. After that, in the same pan, take 2 drops of oil and fry the red chilli's, after that, add 1 more drop of oil and fry the tamarind. In the same add few more drops of oil and fry the dried curry leaves.4. In a blender, blend the spices first with some salt to a course powder. Then add the curry leaves and again blend to a fine powder. Adjust salt if required. Serve this with hot rice and ghee.[...]



Vegetable Manchurian

2008-10-10T10:57:15.568-04:00

Vegetable Manchurian is a Indo-Chinese variety served as an appetizer. There are 2 methods for this preparation : (1) Dry version which can be served as an appetizer (2) Gravy version which can be served with fried rice as a side dish.I am posting here the dry version.Ingredients:Potato - 1Carrot -1Cabbage - 1/2 cupCapsicum - 1/2 pieceCauliflower - 1/2Onion - 1 Green chillies - 3/4Spring OnionsGinger Garlic Paste - 1tsp Cooked rice - 1 bowl ( should be cold) Olive OilSoy sauce - 2/3 tspsChilli sauce - 3/4 tspsCorn flourSaltPepper powderAjinamoto - pinchMethod :1. Grate Potato,carrot,cabbage and finely slice capsicum. ( I didn't have normal carrots, so I used the frozen carrot peas).2. In a wide pan, take some water and bring it to a boil. Once the water starts bubbling, add all the vegetables to the water and steam cook them for 10-15mins in a medium flame.3. Meanwhile finely chop the onions, green chillies and spring onions.4. Once the vegetables are done, take them to a vessel and add salt. Leave it for 5-10mins until it cools down.5. Meanwhile in a deep frying pan, add oil upto 1 inch and start heating.6. Now, squeeze the water from the vegetable mixture by crushing with both hands tightly. Keep the liquid aside so that you can use it during the preparation. Make sure the vegetable mixture is totally dry. It should not be moist at all, otherwise you will not be able to make the balls. NOTE : If the mixture is still moist, add to the muxture a bowl of cooked rice. This will help you make the balls without breaking.7. Once the oil is hot (make sure it is not too hot), drop the balls one by one slowly and make sure they don't touch each other. Fry the balls until they are equally brown on all sides. Take them aside and place them on a paper towel so that it takes out excess oil.8. In a saute pan, add 2 tbsps olive oil, add chopped onions, green chillies, ginger garlic paste and saute for few mins until the raw smell of the ginger garlic disappears. Add pinch of turmeic.9. Add the soy sauce, chilli sauce and ajinamoto and stir for 2mins until the raw smell goes off.10. Now add the dumplings to the sauce mixture, stir slowly for 1-2mins and turn off the gas. Now sprinkle chopped spring onions when it's still hot.Few Tips:1. The above is the dry version. And if anyone wants the gravy version of it, all you have to do is few more additional steps after step 10. Keep the sauce mixture in simmer in low-medium flame. Take a spoonful of cornflour, add water and make a thin paste/liquid mixture. See to it no lumps are formed. Add to the mixture chilli sauce, pepper powder, grated ginger and add this to the simmering sauce and keep stirring it until it becomes thick. Make sure that the flame/heat is low to avoid lumps of the corn flour mixture. Add water if needed and finally add the dumplings.2. If the mixture is still moist even after mixing it with rice, just dab the balls in bread crumbs before frying. The dumplings will not break by doing so.[ Bread Crumbs are available in any grocery store. Otherwise, you can toast the bread and crush it with your hand][...]



Bhindi Masala

2008-10-10T11:00:49.593-04:00

Okra is my most favorite vegetable. I still remember as a child, my mother used to tell us that if you eat this vegetable, you will be good at mathematics. I don't know how far it is true, but I simply fell in love with this vegetable also know as " Lady fingers ". My mother used to make sure she cooks this vegetable once in a week and even I got used to the same.Bhindi masala is one dish that goes extremely well with roti,phulka,naan,parathas for that matter any Indian bread variety.Ingredients :Okra - 1 pound, finely choppedOnion - 1, finely choppedTomato - 1big or 2 small, finely choppedGreen/Red chillies - 3,4 (small), finely choppedOil - 1tbspMustard Seeds - 1/2tsp Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tspTurmeric - pinch Chilli Powder - 1tspAmchur Powder - 1tspCoriander Powder - 1tspCumin Powder - 1tspSaltFresh corianderLemon Juice - 2,3tspMethod: 1. In a pan take oil and once it's hot, add the cumin and mustard seeds. Once they start to splutter, add the chopped onions and chillies, add turmeric.2. Once the onions are sauteed, add the tomatoes and the bhindi. At this point, you can add tomatoes and bhindi at the same time as bhindi takes very less time to cook. Adding together also avoids bhindi to be sticky.3. Add salt, and cook it half covered for sometime. Keep checking now and then, and stir when needed. Do not give too much of stirring as we don't want bhindi to stick to each other.4. Finally when bhindi is done ( pork with spatula), add the remaining spices ( chilli powder, cumin powder, amchur powder, coriander powder), and give a quick stir.5. Finally, turn off the heat and sprinkle lemon juice, stir it once and garnish with fresh coriander.NOTE : As a alternative, you can also deep fry the okra and then add to the cooked onion and tomato mixture. I like to follow this procedure as we end up using less oil.[...]



Saagu

2008-10-10T11:01:26.573-04:00

This is one of my favorite curries that my mother prepares. My mother got this recipe from her friend. This is a very simple dish which takes less than 20mins in preparation. Not too many spices yet very tasty.Ingredients:Potatoes - 1 big or 2 smallCarrots - 1big or 2 smallChow Chow - 1Beans - 1 cupGreen Peas - 1/2 cupMasala :Fresh coconut - 1 small cupDalia (Putnala Pappu) - 1 handfulGreen Chilli - 3,4 (small) Gasagasalu (Poppy seeds) - 2 spoonsCoriander Leaves - 1 cupPaste: Grind the above ingredients into a smooth paste adding very little water.Method:1. Peel the skin and cut potatoes, carrots and chow chow into medium size cubes. Also cut the beans.2. In a pressure cooker, add the vegetables and 1 cup water, pinch of turmeric and pressure cook them for 2 whistles.3. In a pan, add 1tbsp oil, add mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves and dry red chillies and hing, once they start to splutter, add the boiled vegetables along with the water. Cook it uncovered in more than medium flame.4. After the water evaporates, add salt and the masala paste.5. Cook on a medium flame for 5-7mins until the mixture thickens.6. Turn off and serve hot with phulka.[...]



Thali Special 3

2008-10-10T11:01:58.575-04:00

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Items on the leaf (from top left) : Undrallu, Kudumulu, Cabbage carrot peas koora, Tomato pappu, Avakai, Daddojanam , (right bottom) : Potato upma koora, Pulihora (tamarind rice), white rice, bendakai pulusu, semya payasam, beerakai pachadi



Vinayaka Chavithi

2008-10-10T11:02:17.454-04:00

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Belated Vinayaka Chavithi wishes to all of you.

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"Vakratunda mahakaya surya koti samaprabha. Nirvignam kurumedeva sarvakaryeshu Sarvada"



Thali Special

2008-10-10T11:03:08.805-04:00

Dear friends,I would like to introduce in my blog the "Thali Special". With the festive season year long, there will be so many preparations almost every now and then and other than those days, I might not get a chance to prepare those special dishes on regular days. So, with this entry, I would like to share my thali on those special days. Items in the thali are (from top left) : Garelu, Allam Pachadi, Nimmakai Pulihora(lemon rice), Beetroot Koora, Kanda Bachali Koora, Mudda Pappu, Avakai , Rice , (outside the place from top) : Ghee, Nimmakai Charu (lemon rasam), Totakoora Pulusu, Curd.I would also like to take this opportunity to ask you dear friends to share your thali(s) also (if you are interested). With this we will get to know the different festive recipes that we prepare in each of our houses and thus knowing different customs and traditions involved. Hope you will like it.I will give the detailed explanation of each recipe in my future posts. Keep visiting.Friendship Nothing can come between the friendship of best friends. They laugh in each other's happiness, cry when one is hurt, offer help without thinking twice and thank God that they found each other.Lubna has tagged me to write a beautiful poem on friendsip. I am not that great in writing/expressing in a poetic way. So, have searched for some beautiful quotes in the internet and am posting one that i liked amongst a few. This is a good start for me to write about friendship as I complete 3years of my stay in the US.You can read about it hereHere it goes :When I cry, you are there to help me out When I am happy, you are there to hear me shout When I grin you know that I am really mad You can always tell when I am sad You are the best friend I have ever had! You are there with me through thick and thin You offer a helping hand when I am dim You patiently listen when I want to talk You tell me I am good even when I have been bad You are the best friend I have ever had! So hear me out when I say You are the light in my day You are the moon in my night That made my life so bright With you I am always glad You are the best friend I have ever had!I would like to dedicate this friendship note to my 3 best friends Saritha,Sunitha and Parvathi whom I met in 3 different stages of my life and have been with me almost during all my hard times physically, mentally and emotionally. Thank you all 3 of you, for being on my side, for trusting me in all means and for accepting me the way I am. Thank you so much.Also, I specially thank Lubna, for tagging me about a beautiful relationship.Thanks to all my dear blogger friends who constantly drop in to my budding blog and encourage me with your wonderful comments and suggestions.[...]



Donate for a Heart Campaign..

2008-10-10T11:03:35.374-04:00

A Dear Friend, Srivalli of Cooking 4 all seasons is organizing a fund raiser to help Lakshmi, who is suffering from Coronary Heart Disease. It is sad to know about Lakshmi who is 28 years old, mother of two, fighting for life. If we can help even in a small way, it may save a life and along with it, life of those two small kids.

So please please do whatever you can for this humble cause. Please head to Srivalli’s blog and check out the details.

The fundraiser will be on till September 15, 2008. You spread the word to other blogs by adding on the Chipin Meter thats on the right of my Blog to your respective blogs by just pressing the "Copy" button in the Chipin Meter itself....

Please...Please take up on this cause and do as much as you can....It will be of Great Help....
Thanks...Praneetha




My 1st AWARD .......

2008-10-10T11:03:52.656-04:00

Lubna Karim has passed on this 'Wylde Woman Award' to me. The rules of this award are:1.You can give it to one or one hundred or any number in between - it's up to you. Make sure you link to their site in your post2. Link back to this blog site http://tammyvitale.typepad.com/ Tammy can go visit all these wonderful men and women and remember the Purpose of the Award: To send love and acknowledgment to men and women, who brighten your day, teach you new things and live their lives fully with generosity and joy. It's been a blessing and an inspiration to meet all of you through your wonderful blogs.Thank you Lubna so much for this award. It's been wonderful meeting you in the blogger's world. This award means so much to me as it gives me more confidence,inspiration and encouragement to put in more good work. As a part of the award's rule I would like to pass on the award to my blogger friends who have encouraged me every time by commenting/suggesting on my new posts. Thank you all of you. And, I am passing this award to :Amu of http://amusworld.blogspot.com/Chaitali of http://chaitali.net/blogDeepthi of http://deepthichitrapu.blogspot.comKeerthi of http://www.cuminhut.blogspot.com/ (very first person to comment on my blog)Padma of http://padmaskitchen.blogspot.com/Rama devi of http://beadmylife.blogspot.com/Swathi of http://passionsofswathi.blogspot.com/Swetha of http://swethsy.blogspot.com/thank you friends.[...]



Ponganalu

2008-10-14T11:04:09.583-04:00

Ponganalu is a snack item prepared in the south esp in Andhra Pradesh. This snack can be prepared with left over idli batter. All you need is the stand to prepare this one. The stand comes with a wooden or a metal spatula for easu turning of the ponganalu. You can buy the stand in any Indian stores. The one I have, I brought it from India during my last visit. This is the picture of the stand.Ingredients:Left over idli batter - 1,2 cupsOnion - 1 finely choppedGreen chillies - 2-3 finely choppedCurry leaves - 2,3 choppedOilMethod:1.In a mixing bowl, take all the above ingredients(except oil) and mix them so that there are no lumps.Don't add water as the batter has to be thick. No need to add salt also as the idli batter has salt in it.2. Now, put the stand on the hot and keep it in med heat. Add few drops or oil in each section of the stand, and slowly with a spoon pour the batter into the sections one by one. See to it, that the batter doesn't come out of the rim of each section, or else if will be difficult for you while turning them. Coat with very few drops of oil on the top of each dumpling.3. Wait for few min's, and with the spatula, turn them around and wait for few more min's.4. Remove them using the spatula and serve them hot with chutney of your choice.Ponganalu with tomato-coriander chutney.[...]



Pooja Vidhanam

2008-10-10T11:04:23.622-04:00

Sorry friends,late again.. its been almost a week that the pooja is done and I am posting it now. Please excuse me for this. Everytime I decide to sit and blog down, something or the other comes up and I get distracted towards something else. Hmm...And now, without any delay here goes the pooja vishanam (pooja procedure):This vratam is performed by sumangali's (married woman) for the well being and long-life of their husbands. This vratam is particular followed in southern India mainly in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. This festival is performed in the month of Sravanam/Sravana Masam (aug-sep) on the day of Sravana Sukla Sukravaram which is on a friday that comes after the full moon day.On the previous day of this pooja, in the evening, we take bath,clean our houses and the pooja mandiram and by evening/night, we arrange and decorate the pooja place and the kalasam/kalash to which we offer prayers the next day. Next day, that is on the pooja day, we get early in the morning, take head bath and start preparing the naivedyam (food items) for the goddess.Actual pooja procedure:For this Vratam, Kalash (sacred pot) is the main important thing. Kalash can be made of anything (gold,silver,brass) according to their will and wish. As said before, I arranged the kalash the previous day itself. The goddess is to placed in the Eesanyam(East). I have arranged everything on a table.Cleaned it, put rangoli with rice flour, in the center have put pasupu, kumkuma (turmeric and sindhoor powder) and akshithalu (uncooked rice mixed with turmeric), on that I placed the kalash, poured some water, put 1 roopu(coin), 1 red flower and put 5 beatal leaves/mango leaves(stem of the leaves should be facing inside the kalash) on the kalsh kept the coconut ( washed and after that applied turmeric) and placed a red blouse piece on the coconut( the coconut stem should be facing up to which you place the blouse piece in a cone shape). This is the one, that is worshiped on this day.My mother used to put a Silver Varalakshmi face (the one shown in the picture below) to the coconut, but putting the face is not observed in all families depending on their traditions and customs.After I got married, as per the tradition at my in-laws place, only mother-in-law is supposed to keep the face and so I followed my co-sistes who make goddess face with turmeric. So, again following the same path, I made the goddess with turmeric and flour.We begin our pooja with the Vigneswara pooja (Ganesh pooja-any hindu festival is observed by starting with ganesh pooja. Lord Ganesh is called Vighnadhi Pathi which means Vighna-obstacle, Adhipathi -master). We make small triangle like pieces with turmeric mixed with water one for lakshmi and one for lord ganesha (as shown in the pic). After the vinayaka pooja, follows the actual lakshmi pooja. After that pooja follows the story as to when and how this pooja started and by whom and also why this pooja is to be performed? After that, we offer all the food items prepared to the goddess lakshmi and offer our prayers. As a part of the custom after the pooja, we bend on our husband's feet and seek blessings from them.In the evening, we invite sumangali's to our home, treat them as Varalakshmi, offer them Tamboolam ( betal leaves (2), blouse piece or any dress/saree, pasupu, kumkuma, vakkalu, flowers, fruits).[...]



Varalakshmi Vratam

2008-08-20T00:16:43.731-04:00

(image) Hello All,
Hope you all had a great pooja on friday. Well, my pooja was great. Right from the Goddess to the food items everything turned out to be pretty well. Again this time, I didn't make that many food items as I was not keeping that well whole of last week and I was just recovering by this time. But for the pooja, it went of pretty good.
I love the beginning of Sravanamasam( season) as from the start of this season, we are flooded with whole lot of festivals till the year end. Every year, I try my level best to improvise on the way the festival is done, try to make different varieties each time and this is what keeps me excited most of the time. I feel very nostalgic at times, remembering the good (G)olden days I spent back home celebrating all these festivals with my family. I miss all the fun. But then, I try to carry those customs and traditions with me wherever I go. With the kind of travelling we do, thanks to God, (touch wood) there was never a year I missed doing these festivals. That is one thing, I am very happy about.
On this note, I will take a break for today and I will post my pooja pics and procedure very soon. Till then, njoy reading this post. Take care buddies.



Happy Independence Day

2008-10-10T11:04:43.306-04:00



Wish you a very
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Baingan Bartha

2008-10-10T11:05:03.810-04:00

Today I will be discussing about my fav vegetable "Eggplant". Not just me, any Andhra born and brought up will have special liking for this vegetable, reason being the number of varieties that can made using this vegetable like: dal, curry, chutney, perugu pachadi(yoghurt chutney) and if I start writing the list will go on and on. These eggplants come in various shapes, sizes and colors as well and I remember my mother using almost all the kinds of eggplants in cooking available in the market. Though my fav always will be the very famous "Gutti Vankaya Koora" (stuffed baby eggplant), today I chose to give you all a North Indian version "Baingan Bartha".Baingan Bartha is a North Indian preparation which is made by cooking the eggplant on the stove directly on flame. Well, again going to South Indian version of this type of cooking, my mom used to make a chutney by cooking this directly on flame. I will discuss that very soon but for now let me stick to the North Indian version.Ingredients:Baingan(Eggplant) - 1Onion(Big) - 1 choppedTomato - 2 choppedGreen Chillies - 3/4 choppedGreen Peas - 1 cup (frozen or cooked)Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tspTurmeric - 1/4 tspChilli Powder - 1/2 tspCorainder Powder - 1/2 tspCumin Powder - 1/2 tspCoriander Leaves - chopped for garnishingCumin Seeds - 1/2 tspMustard Seeds - 1/2tspSaltOilMethod:1.Take the eggplant, wash it and wipe it completely dry. Now apply oil to the eggplant. See to it the oil sticks to all sides of the eggplant.2. Now,keep the eggplant in a baking tray and bake the eggplant for 20-30min for 500degree F. 3. After 20mins, switch off the oven, take the eggplant out and pork with a fork or knife to check if the eggplant is cooked or not. If the flesh of the eggplant feels soft, then the eggplant is cooked. Otherwise, keep in the oven for some more time.4. If the eggplant is cooked, peel of skin using a knife or with your hand. Peel the skin completely and now chop if into big/medium chunks with a knife.5. Now, in a pan, add oil and when it is hot, add the cumin and mustard seeds. Once they start to splutter, add the ginger garlic paste and turmeric. Fry until the raw smell goes off and then add the chopped onions. Saute for few mins adding very little salt.6. Once the onions are sauted(they need not be completely brown), add the green peas and chopped tomatoes. Saute and cover it wid a lid.7. Keep checking and once the tomatoes are done, add the coriander powder, chilli powder and cumin powder. You can also add the baingan bartha masala powder that is available in stores if you have it. Otherwise, just the masalas mentioned are enough.8.Add the chunked eggplant pieces and mash them with a masher. Add very little water if needed and add salt. 9. Cook covered for few min's and then sprinkle 2tsp of lemon juice if you want. I like to add lemon in my dishes because lemon helps in digestion.10. Finally, garnish it with chopped coriander leaves and serve with hot phulka.[...]



Carrot Rice

2008-10-10T11:05:22.002-04:00

It has been a very tiring day for me today with loads of laundry, cleaning and etc and by the lunch time I wanted to make something that's very easy, time consuming and tasty. I was wondering WHAT and then found that I have lots of fresh carrots at home. So, I decided to make this wonderful tasty recipe Carrot Rice.First of all for those people who hate carrots, I think you people you people should give this a try. Very tasty and very quick.Ingredients:Basmati Rice - 2 cupsCarrots - 4 gratedGreen Chillies - 4 slight length wiseOnion - 1 cut length wiseBay Leaf - 2,3Cinnamon Stick - 1/2 inchStar Anise - 2,3Fried Onions - 1/4 cupGinger Garlic Paste - 1/2 tspOil - 1 tbspGhee - 1 tbspLemon Juice - 2tspsTurmeric - 1/2 tspChilli Powder - 1/2 tspCoriander Powder - 1/2 tspGaram Masala - 1/2 tspSugar - 1/4 tspCarrot Rice Masala - 2 tspSaltFor Seasoning:Urad Dal - 1 tspCumin Seeds - 1tspMustard Seeds - 1tspHingCarrot Rice Masala :Coriander Seeds - 1 tspUrad Dal - 2tspCumin Seeds - 1tspMustard Seeds - 1tspDry Red Chilli - 3,4 Dry Roast all the above ingredients and make a course powder.Actual Method :1. Wash the basmati rice and soak for 20mins. After 20mins, cook it in a rice cooker with 1:1.5 ratio.2. Wash the carrots, peel and grate the carrots. Keep them aside.3. Now in a wide skillet, take oil and do the seasoning once the oil is hot.4. When the seasoning starts to splutter, add the cut onions, green chillies and fry them until onions turn golden brown.5. Now, add the ginger garlic paste, turmeric and fry for few mins until the raw smell goes off.6. Once done, add the finely grated carrot and add salt as required for the carrots. Mix and cook it in medium flame. Cover it with a lid. You don't have to add water as carrot cooks in its own moisture. Keep checking, if required add some water and cook it covered until the carrots are cooked ( the carrot becomes half the quantity of what it is once it is done. This is an indication, that it is cooked enough).7. Once the carrot is done, add the chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala and sugar. Mix well and finally add lemon juice. At this point, you can turn off the stove. Keep it aside.8. When the rice is cooked, in a big mixing bowl, take the hot rice, add ghee/oil, pinch of turmeric and the carrot rice masala and mix well.9. Finally, mix rice and the carrot mix.10. Garninsh it with chopped coriander, roasted cashews and fried onions. Serve hot with raita.[...]



Chaaru/Rasam

2008-10-10T11:05:49.634-04:00

Rasam is a simple preparation that I love to make anytime. Easy, quick, tasty and light to the stomach. Almost every household's meal is incomplete without Rasam in southern part of India.Ingredients:Dal Water or cooked dal - 1 cup Tamarind Pulp - 1/2 cup Tomatoes - 2 Salt - 1/2 tspBlack Pepper - 1/2 tsp Turmeric - pinchRasam Powder - 2 tspWater - 1 cupSeasoning:Cumin Seeds - 1/4 tspMustard Seeds - 1/4 tspHing - pinchDry Red Chillies - 2Curry LeavesMethi Seeds-4Method:1. In a deep cooking bowl, add water and chopped tomatoes and cook in medium heat.2. Once the water starts boiling and tomatoes start oozing out the juice, add the Dal water/cooked Dal, tamarind juice and add salt.3. Once the mixture comes to a boil, add Turmeric and Rasam powder and boil for few mins.4. Add chopped coriander leaves and turn off the stove.5. Finally do the seasoning and add to Rasam. Seasoning:In a Tadka pan, add oil, jeera and mustard seeds. Once they start to crackle, add the hing, red chillies and curry leaves and turn off the stove. Add the above Tadka to Rasam.[...]



Bachali Koora Pappu

2008-10-10T11:06:08.300-04:00

Bachali Koora is another kind of spinach. Also called as "Malabar Spinach", "Mong Toi"in Chinese, "Poi" in Hindi, "Pasalai Keerai" in Tamil. Check for the above names in any grocery store if you want to find one. Unlike spinach, these leaves are broad and the stem is thick.Basically, I love to add more green vegetables to my cooking like my mother, as it's a must for us at home to have one green vegetable daily.You can prepare so many varieties with this vegetable like dal, soup(pulusu,kozhambu) and curry. Who can ever forget the famous and yummy "Kanda Bachali". Kanda Bachali is one of my fav's and i am sure for almost all the Andhra people. Will post that recipe soon but before that goes my dal vareity of this vegetable.Ingredients : Toor Dal - 1 cupBachali Koora leaves - 1/2 bunch (big)Tomato - 1Green/Red Chillies - 3 Taramind - 1 lemon sizeTurmeric - pinchChilli Powder - 1 tspSaltSeasoning:Chana Dal - 1/2 tspUrad Dal - 1/2 tspJeera(Cumin Seeds) - 1/2 tspMustard Seeds - 1/2 tspMethi Seeds - 2Dry Red ChilliesCurry LeavesHing - pinchMethod:1. In a pressure cooker, wash and pressure cook the toor dal to 3 whistles.2. Wash the leaves, cut them and keep aside.3. In a pan, heat oil, do the seasoning and once the seeds start to splutter, add the cut leaves and tomato. Saute for few mins.4. Meanwhile, soak the tamarind in lukewarm water ( or microwave the tamarind in water for 30sec) for more pulp. Extract the pulp.5. Add the tamarind pulp to the pan, stir it and cover it with a lid.6. Once the tomatoes and the leaves are completely cooked, add the turmeric and mix it well.7. Add the cooked dal , salt and chilli powder.8. Cook the dal covered for 5mins.9. Once it starts to bubble, turn off the stove.Serve with hot rice and ghee.[...]



Ugadi Pachadi

2008-10-10T11:06:25.370-04:00

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Ugadi Pachadi is a mixture with all six tastes called as
"Shadruchulu" , which is a mixture of Sweet,Sour,Bitter,Tangy,Spice and Salt. Ugadi Pachadi symbolizes the fact that life is a mixture of different experiences and feelings like happiness, sadness, anger, disgust, surprises and fear, which should be accepted equally.

Ingredients:

Tamarind Juice (for Sourness) - 1 cup
Raw Mango (for Tang) - skin peeled and finely cut into small pieces
Neem flowers ( for Bitterness)
Chilli Powder ( for Spice) - 1/4 spoon
Jaggery ( for Sweet) - 1 cup
Salt ( for saltiness) - 1/4 spoon

Method:
In a bowl, mix all the above ingredients.


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Here's wishing you all A Very Happy Ugadi.

NOTE :
In case you don't get Neem Flowers, you can substitute with Bitter Gourd.