Pasta with Herbs and Veggies a treat for kids ~ Guest post from the Mallu Girl!

>>  Thursday, June 25, 2009

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In my pursuit to find food that would be a perfect fit for kids, here comes a wonderful dish from Shaheen, the Mallu Girl!. She has blogged some detectable biryanis and some yummy gajjar halwas. But when I got to speaking to her, I came to know that she too faces the challenge of getting her kid eat without fussing! One thing led to another, and I ended up inviting her to share her experience and recipes that get eaten without much fuss. I am so glad that she accepted to do a guest post on her kid's favorite food. The picture looks so yum and I can't wait to try this for my kids. This is first of the many such great ideas, so keep watching this space.

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Getting food on the table is easy but getting the kids to eat the food on the table is not so easy. They are fickle in their taste or fixed in their tastes, depending on the nature of kids. And I find it a real challenge to write about their food and their likes and dislikes as it is a different story in each house.

Mostly, the dinners are the same for everyone in the house and I just have to make it less spicy to make it easy on the little tummies. Sometimes, it's a makeover or a kiddie version of what we are eating and sometimes it's just rice and the curry is diluted with yogurt. Sometimes, they eat something from my friend's house, but when I offer it at home, it is rejected. My friend and I compare notes on our kids eating habits every week and nick name their current favorites as "flavor of the week", which may get voted out next week!

There is something appealing about noodles and pasta in a little kid's imagination. I grew up with very traditional food but still was so attracted to noodles and macaroni that Maggi caught onto my palate very early on! Now when my kids demand that, I feel guilty that they are not eating Indian food conveniently forgetting how I used to love that stuff.

Well, here is one of the kid's favorites in my house when the rest of us are eating something like kappa and meen (tapioca/yuca with fish curry) which is declined on sight...buttery pasta.

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Never fails and I can even get in some broccoli or peas or carrots in with the pasta. Use whole wheat or regular pasta. For this recipe, use a mix of butter and olive oil or just butter. For herbs, use any...cilantro, parsley, thyme, oregano...

It's really not much of a recipe.. just cook some pasta in a pot or better still, I pressure cook it for one whistle to soften it for the kids. Add long cooking veggies such as carrots, beans, peas with the pasta. Cook the soft veggies such as broccoli separately till slightly cooked and keep aside. Drain the pasta but do not rinse. Melt 1 tbsp butter and throw in half teaspoon of chopped fresh or dried herbs, half a clove of garlic and red pepper flakes(optional) and let it sauté on low heat for a minute. Add salt, pepper, toss the pasta and the veggies with this sauce. Adjust taste accordingly.

Credits @ Mallugirl

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If you have ideas for kids food, please share them here or if you are interested to do a post, drop me a mail @ spicingyourlife@gmail.com.

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A Blog for Indian Cooking Challenge

>>  Tuesday, June 23, 2009

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I have just created a private blog to record the activities done for Indian Cooking Challenge. I will be posting the recipe chosen for the month in the blog, members are encouraged to leave questions or suggestion in that blog. I have already sent out the invite to the members who have already confirmed. If I have missed sending out the invite, please leave your email id in this post.
Will be mailing the Rava Laddoo that is chosen as the trail recipe for the Month of June.
And sorry to say my search for the perfect logo is still on. Will hopefully have it ready before we post the Rava Laddoo.
Last date for posting Rava Laddoo is 30th June.
Participating members will have to mail me the following details
The blog post
Member name
Picture of the dish
Note: The rule that a member cannot miss more than two months applies from July.

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Indian Cooking Challenge Polling starts!

>>  Thursday, June 18, 2009

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The list has finally reached 100. I didn't have time to check if we are referring to the same dish in different language, couple of them were there and I have removed. So kindly excuse my lack of time right now.

The polling list is displayed on the right side, please choose your dish. The one that gets the maximum votes will be taken for the first month.

Also I was thinking since we are still in the 18th of June, we may be able to do a test run of this event with a simpler dish. The dish that gets voted will of course be made for July. But if you guys are interested in doing a test run, we can run it within 2 weeks time.

If you guys are game, then Rava Laddoo will set well for a 2 week challenge! So please don't' choose that or Suji Laddoo in the list!..Never realized both are one and the same, until my dear friend Dhivi pointed out!

Meanwhile this polling will end by 21 st early morning IST

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Indian Cooking Challenge Rules and List to Choose

>>  Monday, June 15, 2009

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I am really overwhelmed with the response to the Indian Cooking Challenge event. To make it even more exciting and interesting, I have come with some rules. I hope these rules will help make it more interesting and something of a challenge to look forward. Suggestions and thoughts are most welcome!

The concept of Indian Cooking Challenge will work out like this.

Select a dish either sweet or savory.
Get a tried and tested recipe
Share it with members
Everybody cooks the dish and posts on their blog by the deadline.


Before getting on with the rules, lets talk about the list. For now I have about 35 different sweets and savories suggested by bloggers. Others are welcome to list out their choice too. Will be putting up a poll soon with the finalized list.


The Project Plan for Indian Cooking Challenge is as follows

Get the finalized list of items - Last Date is 17th June PST (EOD)
Polling on the choice of the month - Will end by 20th June PST
Announce the Choice of the dish - 22nd June
Get a foolproof recipe for the chosen dish - 24 - 25 June
Mail all the members the recipe - at the earliest by 27th or 28th.
First challenge will be for the month of July, which should be posted on the blogs by 28 - 29 July.

Other details:

Special cooking gadgets will be suggested along with the recipe.
Alternative ingredients will be suggested
We should be able to come up with an alternative for Vegan specific requirements. If its not possible, the member can be excused.
The recipe should mostly be given for 4 people or small servings.
Other references will be cited.


Indian Cooking Challenge Rules:
  • Bloggers if they want to join this event, should have at least 30 posts and have been active for the last 3 months.
  •  Members cannot miss this event more than 2 times in a row.
  • If somebody is not able to take part, it should be informed in prior.
  • In their blog post, should explain in detail their experience while cooking the dish along with the verdict.
  • Elaborate pictures if accompanying are most welcome.
  • Should display the logo of Indian Cooking Challenge in their blog, along with a link back to the event announcement.
  • Should leave the details in the ICC Blog under each challenge, that way members can visit the other member's blogs.
  • The recipe details will be sent out to all members, and should be followed as per the details given, unless and until they cannot use or consume any of the ingredients listed.
  • Like if the member is Vegan, they can substitute the ingredients needed for the recipe with a Vegan choice.
  • Vegans do not eat -
    1. dairy (milk, paneer, ghee, butter, yogurt, cheese)
    2. Honey
    3. Eggs
    4. Of course any kind of meat
    5. Paneer water/whey
  • Other items used for baking or related items can also be replaced with something different if need be.

I think that's about it, but will update once I get more. The logo is still not ready, will have it before we start.

Ok, the list for now

Update: wow its now 90 in total!!

7 cup sweet
Ada Pradhaman(Jaggery/Milk)
Adhirsam
Aethekka Appam (Banana Fritters)
Ari/Godhambu Halwa(Rice/Wheat Halwa)...Cereal
Ariselu / Athirasa,
Aval Vilayichathu
Aval(Red Rice Flakes)Nanchathu
Badhusha
Basundi
Besan Ladoo
Boondi Laddu
Boorelu.
Chakka Pradhaman
Chakka/Ethappazha Halwa(Jack Fruit/Banana Halwa)...Fruit
Cham Cham
Chandrakala
Chiroti
Choorma Ladoo
Coconut Ladoo
Dharwar Peda
Diamond Cuts
Ethakka(Raw Plaintain)Sarkarapuratti
Ethapazha(Banana) Pradhaman
Fried Ice-cream
Golden Jubilee
Gulab Jamun
Ilayappam
Jangiri
Jilebi
Kai Muruku
Kajjikaayalu
Kaju Katli
Kakinada Kaja.
Kala Jamun
Kalakand
Kalkandu Pongal
Kamarkat
Karappusa / Omapodi
Karha Parshad
Kasi Halwa
Kaza
Kesari Bath (with rice)
Kozhukattai
Lavang Latika
Malai Sandwich
Malpua
Manoharam
Milk Peda
Mishti Roi ( Sweet Yougurt )
Mohanthal
Murukku/ Chakralu
Mysore Pak
Narial Barfi
Nethram Appam
Neyyappam
Paal Peni
Palakayalu
Palakova
Parotta
Pathi Peni
Patishapta
Payesh - Kheer - Rice Pudding
Poornalu
Pootarekulu
Pori Urundai
Pudings
Pulli pitha/Dudh Puli (tiny coconut dumplings in sweetened milk)
Puran Poli
Rasagulla
Rasmalai
Rava Ladoo
Ribbon Pakoda
Rumaali Roti
Sandesh
Sohan Papdi
Soiyam
Suji Ladoo
Sunnundalu
Sweet Boli
Sweet seedai
Thenkuzhal
Thirattu Pal
Tirunelveli Halwa
Tokkudu Laddu
Unniyappam

Please update the comments section with your names that are missed in this post that you might want to try.

Looking forward to a great list in place that we all can enjoy!

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Announcing Indian Cooking Challenge!

>>  Thursday, June 11, 2009

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Growing up I always remember looking forward to all our traditional festivals and more so to the delicious dishes that are made for the occasion. Each festival has specific sweets and savories. And Amma goes all the nine yards to get them done. I have enjoyed so much being a part of the helping hand for her. Of course, I was the sole person enjoying all those treats before anybody gets to taste. Even now thinking of the fun, makes me get so nostalgic.

Over the years, this tradition was seen giving way to new ones. We then saw home cooks learning all the traditional dishes, who would come home and make for us. Those typical Kai Muruku, Badursha etc. Then came a period, when even getting a home cook making these seem a waste of energy. But the cycle repeats right. Amma now makes whatever she can at home, rest when I remember that I got to learn, I ask her to teach me. Like the Kaja, we all love that so much. We just stopped making them, as its so time consuming. But I loved the experience of making it all myself and finally recording it too.

I have had many readers ask for authentic recipes. I have sent Amma's recipes to them, saying though I haven't personally tried them, I have tasted the results and every time it turned out awesome. When I realized this, I was feeling funny that I had never taken up the challenge to make them myself.

I am sure many of you feel the same as I have felt. Many of you would love to learn the authentic dishes that our elders made. Would want our children enjoy these treats the same way as we did as kids. While I was asking Amma to teach me those treasured recipes, it struck me that I really don't know many of the traditional festival food. I would love to learn them, especially in my current hectic schedule, I may not be inspired enough to take up the task. But throw a challenge, then I all for it.

Naturally I thought so would many of you. You all must be having your family treasured recipes that you have not made yourself yet. I know making those authentic forgotten dishes, learning them would surely spice our life enough! Don't you agree?

Come join us if you are game for it!

This event is going to be called Indian Cooking Challenge! and below is the logo


Indian Cooking Challenge Rules:
  • Bloggers if they want to join this event, should have at least 30 posts and have been active for the last 3 months.
  • Members cannot miss this event more than 2 times in a row.
  • If somebody is not able to take part, it should be informed in prior.
  • In their blog post, should explain in detail their experience while cooking the dish along with the verdict.
  • Elaborate pictures if accompanying are most welcome.
  • Should display the logo of Indian Cooking Challenge in their blog, along with a link back to the event announcement.
  • Should leave the details in the ICC Blog under each challenge, that way members can visit the other member's blogs.
  • The recipe details will be sent out to all members, and should be followed as per the details given, unless and until they cannot use or consume any of the ingredients listed.
  • Like if the member is Vegan, they can substitute the ingredients needed for the recipe with a Vegan choice.
  • Vegans do not eat -
    1. dairy (milk, paneer, ghee, butter, yogurt, cheese)
    2. Honey
    3. Eggs
    4. Of course any kind of meat
    5. Paneer water/whey
  • Other items used for baking or related items can also be replaced with something different if need be.
The posting date is 15th of every month!
Other details:

  • Special cooking gadgets will be suggested along with the recipe.
  • Alternative ingredients will be suggested
  • We should be able to come up with an alternative for Vegan specific requirements. If its not possible, the member can be excused.
  • The recipe should mostly be given for 4 people or small servings.
  • Other references will be cited.

The members will be choosing an authentic recipe to work out for the month. A Tried and tested recipe will be given to the members and they will have to try it out and post it end of the month.

Yeah yeah, you can say I got inspired by the Daring Bakers group! But I wanted it to be based on an Indian theme, hence trying out our Indian authentic dishes!

Please confirm in the comment section your interest to be part of this event. I am still working on the list of recipes and once I have the members, hopefully I should be able to get a comprehensive one which will be challenging. Your ideas are most welcome, so please share them.

Those interested to contribute to the list of dishes that are complex in your cuisine, kindly list them out in the comment section. I will take a complete list and put it for polling!

Expecting your enthusiast participation!
Update: Those interested to join this group, please read through the rules and leave your email id for me to contact you. Without email ids, its very difficult for me to communicate!

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Appey or Paniyaram with Jowar Flour ~ a quick and simple breakfast for Diabetics!

>>  Tuesday, June 2, 2009

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Its really amazing how you can stretch your mind to think of interesting, yet healthy dishes for all your meals. When I decided to take up the challenge of cooking up dishes for Diabetics, I knew one has to be very resourceful and imaginative. Afterall you can't use most ingredients that you normally take for granted. I am still in discussion with Dad on the next article on diabetes. Though I have the notes ready, I wanted to discuss it with him again before publishing it. The next article was more on managing diabetes and dietary aspects of the condition.

Coming to the dish, appeys or Kuli Panniyams are most done with Rice batter. Mostly its done with the left over batter, but I have known my Amma making it always with a fresh one. The seasoning adds all the essential kicks you might want for a breakfast. Dipping it in a coconut chutney or groundnut chutney is enough to take you to heights! You can check out my Guntha Ponganalu if you want to know the regular way.

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But having decided Athamma doesn't want a breakfast with rice, Jower flour seem the next best option. And yes making them as either Rotis or Dosas are so routine too. The appey pan was calling us and we couldn't ignore it right!

Since coconut chutney or groundnut chutney was no no for a Diabetic, I made these quick fatafat Tomato Chutney and Mango Relish. Athamma was crowing ahha hhah..after even the first bite!

Makes : 16 appeys.
Ingredients Needed:

Jower flour - 1 cup
Salt to taste
Onions - 1 medium
Green chilies - 1 long
Bengal gram - 1 tsp
Curry leaves few
Oil - 2 tsp

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Method to prepare:

Heat a pan with little oil, gently sauté the chopped onions, including all the other ingredients expect the jower flour.

Take the flour in a bowl, mix salt and slowly add water and mix well to get a dropping consistency. Add the other ingredients that are sautéed. Mix well. Allow it to rest for 10 -15 minutes. This way it becomes little more soft when its getting cooked.

Heat the appey pan and put it medium flame. Take a spoonful of the batter and drop into each hole, sprinkle little oil over the top. Cover with lid and cook for 2 -3 mints.

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Once its done, turn it to the other side and cook till its done. It takes about 5 - 6 minutes for the entire batch to be done.

Serve this with your choice of relish, I did with Tomato Chutney, a quick one at that. Will be posting it shortly!

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