Tuesday, January 29, 2008

soy samosas......through a journey of transformation!

The painter creates art on his easel with colors , a sculptor breathes life into his carved wonder, a singer experiences bliss at the rendering of melody, a dancer elevates one and all to the horizons of rasa., a writer vents his thoughts through words.......each and everyone gaining happiness from the presence of his own art. But in the case of a passionate cook.... this formula does not work. The one who creates sumptuous dishes would be rather happy with the disappearance of the piece of art...which would credit to the culinary skills of the artiste cook!

I gain the most satisfaction when my experiments in kitchen disappear , when every one happily munches on without complaint , when kids are engrossed in eating , their faces grinning while they eat!
The most challenging hour is the evening , when my kindergartner rushes from school , yelling, "Amma , what is today's special?"
His palate demands variety every evening....(can't complain! Today I realize what my mother might have gone through , trying to satisfy the picky eater in me)

It was almost time for my son to return from school... and I had still not figured out what to make for a snack!
I glanced at the leftovers on the counter and "eureka!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

"This would be the best way to feed him the papaya curry I made for lunch!"
I boiled two potatoes, peeled and smashed them ..added salt . Blended this with the leftover papaya side dish.
now what?.....................opened the counter tops for ideas...there popped out the soy flour which I had bought two days back after reading about the soy event.
soya flour?..............hmmmm.. why not ?
So in went 1/2 cup of soy flour in a mixing bowl. next I added1tbsp of heated butter and made into a dough with enough water and a pinch of salt.I made small balls and rolled it like a poori.

placed the pappaya potato mixture in the middle. close from all the three sides to made a triangle.

deep fry and Papaya soy samosas are ready!!!

Kids are happy.. and I too secretly enjoy the accomplishment of making my kids eat the papaya dish...Q
Even the papaya dish is ready in a jiffy... here you go...peel off the skin from the raw papaya and grate it. Heat a pan, add 1tbspof coconut oil. splutter mustard seeds , cumin seeds curry leaves and 2 split open green chillies. add in the grated papaya.reduce the heat and stir .add asafoetida, once done remove from fire and serve hot!

I submit these soy samosas to the WBB SOY EVENT hosted by rajitha.
Both the soy samosas and papaya dish also goes to AFAM event hosted by nags.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Where the mind is without fear....

WHERE the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

On this occasion of Indian Republic day....when thoughts on freedom and patriotism are in the air .... it is this invocation , that passes my mind....these powerful words written by the Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore. These words of wisdom are beyond time and are relevant today as it was at its birth. It speaks of that heaven of freedom, which each of us can aspire to achieve... freedom from our own fears and low self esteem...

Why not celebrate our republic day with a quick tricolored sandwich.....

What you need:

bread slices 4
grated carrot 1/2 cup
cream cheese spread
boiled potato 1 thinly sliced
coriander leaves a bunch
garlic 2 cloves
baby onions 2-3
green chilly 1-2
grated coconut 2tbsp
ginger shredded 1tsp
pepper 1 pinch
salt to taste
lime juice 1tsp


To make coriander chutney, grind together , coriander leaves, garlic ginger , green chillies , baby onions, grated coconut and enough salt.squeeze in the lime juice.

Discard the brown sides of the bread . spread coriander chutney on one slice. cover with the second slice of bread. On the top of the 2nd slice , spread cream cheese and arrange the sliced potatoes. sprinkle pepper. cover with yet another slice. now spread the grated carrots on the top of the third slice.sprinkle salt n pepper(optional). cover with the final slice and your tricolored sandwich in ready!

I submit this post to theme of the week-orange white green.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

They make my eyes water...onions and bygone days!!!

She is a great story teller, my grand mother. Our summer holidays were filled with fairy tales she weaved for us, grand children. I remember the magic in her voice when she used to transport us into a world of dreams and imagination , our eyes , ears and mouth wide open. Every day of summer holidays was a feast for us. Our favorite dishes spread for each meal , our grand mother was always planning what to cook for the next meal.On days when we were exhausted from stuffing our tiny bellies with the home cooked delicacies and we convinced her to not make dinner , she squatted beside us with her eyes filled with affection holding a large plate heaped with afternoon's left over rice. And we would know what would follow. She always had and still has a way to get things done, with out ever uttering a word. She would chop the baby onions and green chillies and mix it together with salt. Pour spoonfuls of oil ( oil which was used for frying papad) onto the rice and mix in the onions and chillies! The faint aroma would force itself into our nostrils and without any coaxing we six grand children would surround her with open mouths! Our Uncle too would pop in from nowhere , and would get his share. This would be accompanied by some interesting story...and in no time the plate would be clean.

Baby onions were always my favorite. It always enhanced the taste of any dish! though my favorite still is my grandmother's balls of rice enriched with the flavors of baby onions and green chillies...

An onion dish which is a family favorite is "ulli theeyal" It is a dish of god's own country , Kerala. Kerala is home to me ! though I am not a Malayalee. Malayalam , is a language close to my heart though its not my mother tongue! Born and brought up in Kerala, we imbibed kerala culture and language and of course food . so here goes my favorite "ulli theeyal" .ulli meaning baby onions or shallots... and theeyal meaning a burnt dish.

What you need

baby onions 250 gms
tamarind lemon size
grated coconut 1 cup
red chillies 5( according to your spice level)
coriander seeds 5 tbsps
fenugreek seeds 1tsp
cumin seeds 1tsp
urud dal 1tsp
oil for seasoning
mustard seeds 1tsp
curry leaves a few sprigs
salt to taste


Heat a pan and add fenugreek seeds, urad dal , cumin seeds, grated coconut , coriander seeds , red chillies 3-4 onions 1 sprig curry leaves. keep on mild heat and keep stirring until the while coconut turns brown and the aroma fills the whole kitchen.Allow this to cool and grind to a smooth paste. Mean while soak the tamarind in warm water to take the extract. Heat oil in a pan , splutter mustard seeds and add in curry leaves and diced baby onions. stir in till translucent . Add the tamarind extract and let it boil. Mix in the ground paste , add salt . let it cook for one minute and your ulli theeyal is ready to eat!

I submit this to RCI kerala cuisine hosted by curry bazar. and JFI Onions hosted by radhi's kitchen.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Spice up this winter!

" Aangikam Bhuvanam Yasya,
Vachikam Sarva vangmayam ,
Aaharyam Chandra taradi,

( The whole Universe is HIS body,
All the sounds embody His speech,
The moon and stars are his ornaments ,

With this invocation let me welcome you to this blog!.. "Satvika"

Have you ever thought that what we eat influences our thoughts? and what we think makes us who we are? According to Ayurveda which advocates a healthy way of life there are three categories of food with individual characteristics which in turn reflects on an indivivual's personality. They are the satva , rajas and tamas. In the satva category we can find fresh fruits , vegetables , legumes , milk and nuts which instill satvik qualities ,... in the rajas we can find spicy and hot food , red meat, sour and pungent food which makes one impulsive and succumb to too much anger and vigour, and the tamas consists of onions , garlic etc which gives rise to inertia. There should be a proper balance between these three......70% of satva, 20% of rajas and 10% of tamas to lead a healthy life! This is what inspired me to name my blog satvika!

Winter is gaining momentum and who doesn't yearn for something hot and spicy:)
Last week PP who can hardly resist fruits brought home 2 big water melons ! WATER MELONS and winter might start with the same alphabet.... but how can they ever go together. This is the last thing I wanted!I always associated water melons with peak summer in Chennai, where vendors piled up their truck loads of water melons on the streets and and waited for the customers under the scorching sun.
But here, when outside temperature has dropped to -20 degrees who will ever imagine to eat water melons!
Water melons waited on my counter for a week, receiving my pathetic glances.... and one fine day I decided to experiment with it! why not a spicy watermelon curry! flash backs of cut watermelon sprinkled with salt and chilly powder on our hike to Tirupati temple struck me... and that is how this recipe was born!

What you need:

diced water melon 3 cups
garlic cloves 6
shredded ginger 2 table spoons
coriander seeds 4 tbsps
turmeric powder 1 tsp
chilly powder 1 tsp
cumin seeds 1 tsp
lemon juice 1tbsp
coriander leaves for garnish
oil for seasoning
salt to taste

coarsely grind together garlic, ginger, coriander seeds, turmeric powder and chilly powder and 1 cup water melon. heat oil in a pan and add cumin seeds. Then add in the coarsely ground mixture and allow to boil. Add in the remaining water melon cubes . Add salt and cover and cook for 5 minutes. before removing from heat , sprinkle lemon juice and garnish with coriander leaves before serving!Have it hot with rice or any bread !