Archive for Lifestyle

Dusbsmash

We have all tried and tested in front of mirrors or a selfie style phone to imitate our favourite movie star rendered dialogs or sounds. Just imagine that in a video with the original sound dubbed to your acting. Dubsmash is a video messaging application for iOS and Android. Using the application, users can choose an audio recording of a well known quote from a list and record a video of themselves in which they dub the quote.

Dubsmash app officially launched on November 19, 2014. Dubsmash app founders, Jonas Drüppel, Roland Grenke and Daniel Taschik. It has become quite the rage with some of our very own movie stars in the South. Well I am about to try mine!

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Garlic Rasam

Rasam is a must have for all seasons, for cold, sinus, indigestion…a cup of Hot home made rasam..0r pepper water as some call it, exudes the much needed comfort food feeling.

INGREDIENTS:

2 teaspoons vegetable oil

1/4 teaspoon black mustard seed

1/4 tsp cumin seeds

5 fresh curry leaves

1 large ripe to overripe tomato, diced

3 cloves garlic, crushed

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

salt to taste

1 tablespoon chopped fresh Coriander leaves.

To Grind:

1 teaspoon cumin seed, freshly ground

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

4- 5 red dry chills, vary accdg to taste

To Soak: 

Tamarind ball the size of a loonie with 3 cups of water

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Grind the items in the ‘To Grind’ list.
  2. Soak the tamarind ball in 3 cups of warm water for 10mins  and squeeze the juices out.
  3. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  4. Add mustard & Cumin seeds. As they start to sputter, add the curry leaves and tomato.
  5. Stir until tomatoes look almost cooked.
  6. Add salt, the ground powder, turmeric and let cook for a minute.
  7. Add the Tamarind juice, bring it to a boil for around 10mins.
  8. Check to taste, a spoonful of cooled rasam (careful its still hot!!) and adjust tamarind or salt.
  9. Then add crushed garlic and coriander leaves, let boil for 2 more minutes.

 

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Vincy’s Mushroom chilli Masala

Koonu(Mushroom) chilli Masala

Koonu, the Mushrooms, also known as Kaalaan in Tamil. Mushrooms are low in calories, fat-free, cholesterol-free, gluten-free, and very low in sodium, yet they provide important nutrients, including selenium, potassium (8%), vitamin D and more. This ‘Indianised’ recipe is quick, tasty, and ideal as a side dish for any meals.

Serving for 2 to 3

Cooking time: 20 to 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS 200-250 gms button mushrooms
1 large onion or 2 medium sized onions
2-3 green chilies
½ tsp cumin powder
¼ tsp turmeric powder
¼ tsp black pepper powder
¼ tsp red chili powder (optional)
a generous pinch of garam masala powder
1 tbsp oil
1 or 2 tbsp coriander leaves
salt as required

Method

Rinse and chop the mushrooms.
Slice the onions thinly.
Slit the green chilies
Heat oil in a pan or wok.
Add the onions and saute till they begin to get light browned.
The onions should have softness in them. so when you see them beginning to get light browned, proceed to the next step.
so to quicken this process, add a pinch of salt to the onions. this helps the onions to cook faster.
Add the green chilies and saute for half a minute.
Now add the chopped mushroom and stir.
Add all the spice powders including salt.
Saute the mushrooms till they shrink in size and leave water.
continue to cook till all the water has evaporated and you can see oil in the mixture.
Saute till the mushrooms turn a light golden.
Add coriander leaves and cook for a minute.
switch off the fire and serve the Koonu (Mushroom) chilly masala with Pulav, chappathi or Rotti.
Tips

don’t make the onions crisp or browned.
this process of cooking onions take a lot of time.

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Nellikka Chammanthi or Indian Gooseberries Chutney

Nellikka – rich in vitamin-C content- enhances food absorption, balances stomach acid, fortifies the liver, nourishes the brain and mental functioning, supports the heart, strengthens the lungs, regulates elimination of free radicals, enhances fertility, helps the urinary system, increases skin health, promotes healthier hair, acts as a body coolant, flushes out toxins, increases vitality, strengthens eyes, improves muscle tone and, acts as an antioxidant.

Now, everybody knows the nutritional benefits of Nellikka / Indian Gooseberries.

Today my wife is sick (cold & fever); so I decided to stay home and make Nellikka Chammanthi and hot Kanji for her. She loved it and had a big bowl of Kanji. So I wish to share that recipe of “Nellikka Chammanthi “with you too.

If you haven’t tried Nellikka as Chutney please try this tongue tickling Chammanthi and serve to your loved ones.
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Nelllikka Chammanthi / Indian Gooseberry Chutney
Ingredients:
Grated Coconut -1 cup (½ Coconut)
Nellikka / Indian Gooseberries –6, deseeded and chopped
Green chillies / Kanthari mulaku – 4 – 5
Chumannulli / Shallots – 4
Ginger – ½ inch small piece
Curry leaves – 3
Salt to taste
Method: (Very Simple)
Just coarsely grind together all the above ingredients in the small jar of the Grinder /Mixie without adding water (so that u can make a ball with it) till all the ingredients are mixed together.
Shape it into a ball and serve with Rice or Kanji .

Enjoy!

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Vincy Lazar’s Delicious Crispy Kovaykka (Ivy gourd) Fry 

Kovaykka in Malayalam or Kovaikkai in Tamil is a popular vegetable in some of our homes. Also knows as the ivy gourd, baby watermelon, little gourd, gentleman’s toes in english, tindora in Hindi, tondli in Marathi, dondekayi in Kannada and dondakaya in Telugu. Kovaykka is  highly nutritious, it contains vitamin C and recommended for elevated sugar levels. Some of our ethnic stores sell it fresh or frozen.  It is also used in sambar, in aviyal or stir fried.  This ‘Indianised’ recipe is quick, tasty, and ideal as a side dish for any meals.

Serving for 4

Cooking time: 15 to 25 minutes

Ingredients

1/2 pound fresh Ivy gourd chop lengthwise

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 teaspoon Red chilli powder

For seasoning

Mustard – ½ tea spoon

Urad dal – ½ tea spoon

Asafetida – pinch

Curry leaves – few

Oil – 3 tea spoon

Method

Add 3 teaspoon of oil in a pan. Once oil is hot add Mustard seeds, after  it splutters, add urud dal, Asafoetida (Hing) and curry leaves. Add chopped Kovaykka; sprinkle some water (and no water if using frozen), cover with a lid and fry for 10 minutes in low flame; stir in between;

Kovaykka when fresh does take some time to cook. When it is half cooked add salt, turmeric, red chilli powder and mix well; and cook till kovakkai is fried and crispy.

Serve with rice or chappati.

Tips

Tender Kovakkai tastes better and don’t cover the pan after adding masala otherwise dish will not be crispy.

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Jackfruit

A bumpy, bulky fruit on the outside and a bright yellowish, gooey, sweet, fibre rich, yet somewhat crunchy on the inside.In the recent years it has often been touted as the poor man’s food. Taking a chunk of the delicious jackfruit to a host is considered unglamorous in some of our Indian cities. Let alone the canned varieties in the western world. (In some parts of Kerala that I have frequented, it is disheartening to see these nutritious and monstrous fruits intentionally unharvested and plopping  to waste to the ground)

With a global push to increase food production, Jackfruit might soon become a substitute for crops that are facing the hardships of extreme weather conditions. The edible bulbs or fleshy portions are Rich in vitamin C, Potassium, Calcium and Iron, while the seeds are rich in protein. Unripe jackfruits are cooked into a curry or stir fried. The ripe ones are cooked with lip smacking jaggery and clarified butter, and is used as a base for many an indian dishes, especially in Kerala.

Go ahead send us your family’s favorite jackfruit recipes and we will have it published.

(Picture courtesy: Wikipedia)

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Spring Cleaning

March, March, March…yes it is the Month of March! The month in which we usher in the warmth of the sun to melt away the snow, the chirping of birds with our morning coffee, lesser layers on our shivering torsos, and with it brings in the urge to clean, to spring into cleaning or what some of us call Spring Cleaning.

I am no Martha Stewart when it comes to Spring Cleaning or organizing my cupboards or closets or even my handbag. As I stand staring at the winter clothes I might have to pack away for the next winter (is it too soon?) or the boots I want to clean and hide, I make a checklist that will make my spring cleaning pleasant or say even a breeze.

  1. Prep it up: Gather all the tools you will need to clean, a spray bottle, your favourite cleaning liquid, sponges, gloves, garbage bags, recycle bags, spare bins, working vacuum, steam cleaners to name a few
  2. Plan up: Make a mental picture of your home, start from the least frequented place, for some its the bedroom, some basement storage. Make a checklist of what needs to be done in each room and in what order. If you are going to get super busy start when kids and sometimes hubby or siblings are away. Order a pizza or make dinner out of frozen food.
  3. Organize: I often look at my closet and think if I want all that I have. Sometimes, “yeah I will keep that, just in case!” and other times, “I look not too good in it so..hmm..” I rummage through clothes and donate them. I look at magazines, papers and shred or recycle them. Use extra bins if I have to re-categorize them.
  4. Get help: Cleaning involves family too, assign tasks and rewards on completion. Reward your kids with their favourite ice cream or extra TV time.
  5. Start & stop: We could get carried away cleaning. I often use a timer and get stuff done as fast and effective as I can.
  6. Have fun: Cleaning and fun, come on! Play your favourite music or your radio show. I often stream an old show that I have not watched in a while on youtube, feels like I belong to a conversation while I am cleaning. I play pretend!

On a lighter note, my bestie says, “A checklist, sure, and its called the cleaning service!”

 

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Aval Payasam (Rice Flakes /Poha Payasam)

January 31:  Today is my wife’s Birthday; so I decided to prepare a “Payasam” that is something different and at the same time easy to prepare.

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Ingredients:

Aval / poha / rice flakes – 1/2 cup (I used white rice flakes)
Milk – 2 cups
White Sugar – 3 tbsp
Cashews – 10
Raisins – As required
Cardamom powder – 6 Nos to make 1 pinch powder)
Ghee – 1 tbsp
Poppy seeds (optional)

Preparation:
1. Boil milk in a non-stick vessel. Simmer for 8 minutes.
2. Meanwhile heat 1 tbsp ghee in a pan at medium heat. Fry cashews and raisins. To the remaining ghee, fry the aval/poha. (Some people don’t fry as it is gonna be cooked in the Milk). Switch off and set aside.
3.Add Poha/Aval into the milk and cook for about 5 minutes until Aval is done and Payasam is thick. Add sugar, fried cashews, raisins and cardamom powder. Mix well and switch off. You can serve warm or cold. Its  very simple and easy to prepare. Enjoy! (Don’t tell my wife that it was this simple :D)

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Green Mango Chutney (Pacha Manga Chammanthi)

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Ingredients:

Raw Mango: 1

Coconut: ½ cup

Green chilly: 2 or 3

Salt: As required

Curry leaves: 1 stem (Optional)

Ginger: 1 small piece

Preparation:

Cut mango into small pieces. Grind coconut, green chilly, ginger, curry leaves, salt and mango pieces together to a fine paste. To get thick paste, don’t add water.

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Egg Omelet – Kerala Style

Egg Omelet 

Ingredients:

Egg – 3

Onion – 1

Green Chilly – 4

Ginger – a small piece

Curry leaves – 1 stem

Coconut grated – ¼ cup (Optional)

Tomato (Chopped) -1 (Optional)

Salt -as required

Coconut Oil – as required

Procedure:

a. Beat the Eggs severely.

b. Mix Chopped Onion, Ginger, rounded Green chilly, Curry leaves, salt and grated Coconuts with eggs.

c. Heat oil on a medium-low heat, in a pan.

d. Pour the mixture in the form of Dosa and cook it on the both sides. Serve hot.

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