E-mail : chitra.ganapathy@gmail.com

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December 18, 2009

A SHORT BREAK !!

Hello friends ,

I am going to my native place tomorrow for 15 days..Will catch u all in 2010.

Wish u all a very happy & prosperous new year Smile..I’ll surely comment on all ur yummy preparations whenever i get a chance to browse..

Thanku friends , Take care..ByeWave

new-year-3

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December 15, 2009

BITTERGOURD PODI

I always prepare pitlai with bitter gourd.For a change i wanted to try some varieties like  podi ,curry etc. At last I got the recipe for podi from a blog.Sorry friends ,i dont remember the blog name exactly.The dish was named as “Malathi chandur’s kakarakaya podi “..I did some changes according to our taste buds and tried. My hubby who hates BG likes to have this podi with plain rice.It doesn’t taste much bitter .Thanks to Mrs .Malathi chandur, a cookery expert & writer of many telugu novels.

Bitter gourd powder !!

Here comes the recipe :

Ingredients :

  • Bitter gourd – 1 no
  • Tamarind –a gooseberry size
  • Red chilly – 5-7 nos
  • Coriander seeds – 1 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tbsp
  • Channa dal – 1 tbsp
  • Grated Coconut – 1 tsp
  • Small onion – 1 no (finely chopped )
  • Asafetida /Hing – a pinch.
  • Salt – As needed
  • Cooking oil – 2 tbsp

Method :

  • Chop the bitter gourd into small pieces ( chop as small as possible )
  • Add the required salt and mix well.Keep aside  for 30 mins and squeeze the water that comes out from the bitter gourd.(this helps to remove its bitterness.. )For people who like its bitter taste can keep it for just 10 mins and proceed further.
  • Take the tamarind and pinch into very small pieces.In a kadai dry roast the tamarind pieces till it becomes dry .Then grind the tamarind pieces with chopped small onion and grated coconut to a dry coarse powder without adding water. Set aside.
  • In the same kadai dry roast urad dal , channa dal , coriander seeds along with red chillies and hing.Cool and coarse ground it.
  • Add a tbsp of oil in the kadai and saute the finely chopped bitter gourd pieces till it gets cooked .
  • Once its cooked add the coarse ground powder and the coconut mixture to it.Check for salt ..

Yummy podi is ready to be mixed with plain rice topped by sesame oil.

Bittergourd podi

Note :

Here i  have coarse ground everything.If u wish u can grind it to a fine powder ..

KITCHEN CLINIC :

BITTERGOURD :

The bitter melon (also known as bitter gourd) looks like a cucumber but with ugly gourd-like bumps all over it.

As the name implies, this vegetable is a melon that is bitter.  There are two varieties of this vegetable:  One grows to about 20 cm long, is oblong and pale green in color.  The other is the smaller variety, less than 10 cm long, oval and has a darker green color.

Both varieties have seeds that are white when unripe and that turn red when they are ripe.  The vegetable-fruit turn reddish-orange when ripe and becomes even more bitter.

Bitter gourd thrives in hot and humid climates, so are commonly found in Asian countries and South America.

Westerners may not be so used to bitter melons, so may find them more difficult to consume.  But if you can generally take bitter taste, you may be able to take this too.  Try it, at least for all its healthful virtues.

Nutritional Benefits

Bitter gourds are very low in calories but dense with precious nutrients.  It is an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, and B3, C, magnesium, folic acid, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, and has high dietary fiber.  It is rich in iron, contains twice the beta-carotene of broccoli, twice the calcium of spinach, and twice the potassium of a banana.

Bitter melon contains a unique phyto-constituent that has been confirmed to have a hypoglycemic effect called charantin.  There is also another insulin-like compound known as polypeptide P which have been suggested as insulin replacement in some diabetic patients.

Health Benefits

Few other fruits/vegetables offer medicinal properties for these ailments like bitter melon does.

Blood disorders:  Bitter gourd juice is highly beneficial for treating blood disorders like blood boils and itching due to toxemia.  Mix 2 ounces of fresh bitter gourd juice with some lime juice.  Sip it slowly on an empty stomach daily for between four and six months and see improvement in your condition.

Cholera: In early stages of cholera, take two teaspoonfuls juice of bitter gourd leaves, mix with two teaspoonfuls white onion juice and one teaspoonful lime juice.  Sip this concoction daily till you get well.

Diabetes mellitus:  Bitter melon contains a hypoglycemic compound
(a plant insulin) that is highly beneficial in lowering sugar levels in blood and urine.  Bitter melon juice has been shown to significantly improve glucose tolerance without increasing blood insulin levels.

Energy:  Regular consumption of bitter gourd juice has been proven to improve energy and stamina level.  Even sleeping patterns have been shown to be improved/stabilized.

Eye problems:  The high beta-carotene and other properties in bitter gourd makes it one of the finest vegetable-fruit that help alleviate eye problems and improving eyesight.

Hangover:  Bitter melon juice may be beneficial in the treatment of a hangover for its alcohol intoxication properties.  It also help cleanse and repair and nourish liver problems due to alcohol consumption.

Immune booster:  This bitter juice can also help to build your immune system and increase your body's resistance against infection.

Piles: Mix three teaspoonfuls of juice from bitter melon leaves with a glassful of buttermilk. Take this every morning on empty stomach for about a month and see an improvement to your condition.  To hasten the healing, use the paste of the roots of bitter melon plant and apply over the piles.

Psoriasis:  Regular consumption of this bitter juice has also been known to improve psoriasis condition and other fungal infections like ring-worm and athletes feet.

Respiratory disorders:  Take two ounces of fresh bitter melon juice and mix with a cup of honey diluted in water.  Drink daily to improve asthma, bronchitis and pharyngitis.

Toxemia:  Bitter gourd contains beneficial properties that cleanses the blood from toxins.  Sip two teaspoonfuls of the juice daily to help cleanse the liver.  Also helpful in ridding jaundice for the same reasons.

Consumption Tips

Choose unripe bitter melons that are firm, like how you would a cucumber.  Avoid those that have turned orange or have soft spots.  Ripe bitter melons can be excessively bitter.

Store bitter melons in the vegetable bin in the refrigerator which has the right temperature.  It should keep for three to four days.

Keeping bitter melons at room temperature or with other fruits and vegetables will hasten the melon to ripen and become more bitter, due to the emission of ethylene gas.

Clean your bitter melon under cold running water and brush with a soft vegetable brush.  To prepare, slice the melon length-wise and scoop out the seeds.  To lessen the bitter flavor, soak it in salt water for about half an hour before juicing/cooking.

The smaller variety is more bitter than the bigger one.  To help make bitter gourd juice more palatable, take it with honey, or add carrot or apple juice.  For diabetics, drink the juice with green apple juice.

Caution

Do not consume more than two ounces of bitter melon, or more than two melons a day.  Excessive consumption may cause mild abdominal pain or diarrhea.  Diabetics taking hypoglycemic drugs will need to alter the dosage of their drugs if they consume bitter melon on a regular basis.  Please consult your doctor.

Pregnant women should avoid taking too much bitter gourd or its juice as it may stimulate the uterus that may lead to preterm labor.

TRIED & TASTED :

PACHAI PULI THANNI RASAM FROM VIKI’S KITCHEN :

I tried this simple but pleasant tasting rasam last month..It was very good .Very Easy and involves powerless & effortless cooking ..Thanks a lot Viki ..But sorry dear , i took the picture but deleted by mistake.I’ll surely prepare this yummy rasam again  and will post the picture..SmileAlso i’ve bookmarked ur tirunelveli style Parota salna..Will try that soon and post both the pics..Tongue out

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December 9, 2009

KANCHIPURAM IDLI RECIPE | BREAKFAST RECIPES


kanchi idli copy

I tried this recipe from " The hindu" food safari section. 3 different recipes were given there. Every time i used to follow my cook book recipe which i have mentioned below. This time i tried Varadaraja perumal temple recipe ..It came out really well..We loved its taste..As u all know this idli is steamed in “Mandhaarai leaves” . But i used banana leaves. I steamed the idlis in a big tumbler lined with banana leaf.Normally the cooking time of idli takes 1 hour. But i used pressure cooker , so it took just 15 minutes. Also the consistency of batter should be slightly coarse to get the above texture in the picture. But one thing is u should eat it hot .otherwise it will become slightly hard when warm.If u grind it too smooth, it will resemble our usual idli but it comes out very soft even after it cools down..
This idli tastes the best with coconut chutney..I’ve had this with sambar too.But i feel coconut chutney is the best entremets.My husband loves this idli a lot. With the pleasant aroma of steamed banana leaves , it tastes delicious & very soft ..

kancheepuarm idli copy

INGREDIENTS
  • Raw rice – 2 cups
  • Urad dal – 1 cup
  • Methi seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Ghee – 1/4 cup
  • Cumin seeds – 2 tsp
  • Pepper corns – 1.5 tsp
  • Dry ginger powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves - few
  • Hing – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt & water – As needed

METHOD
  • Soak rice , dal and methi seeds together for 4-5 hours.Grind them to a slightly coarse paste adding salt & required water.The batter should be thick.
  • Allow it to ferment for 12 hrs or overnight.The next day morning add jeera ,pepper corns , ghee , hing & curry leaves.Mix well.
kanchi idli tile1
  • Grease a tumbler with oil and line it with banana leaf .Pour the batter ,fill it . Add water till half of the pressure cooker base and keep the tumbler inside it.Close it with a lid.
Kanchi idli tile2

  • Steam it for 15 minutes. check it with the back of a spoon. If it comes out clean,idli is done..
kanchi idli tile3

Serve hot with coconut chutney !
RECIPE – 2
Ingredients
  • Par Boiled rice / idly rice – 1/2 cup
  • Raw rice – 1/2 cup
  • Urad dal – 1/2 cup
  • Pepper corns – 1/2 tsp
  • Jeera – 1/2 tsp
  • Sour curd – one ladle ( 1/4 CUP)
  • Ghee – 2 tbsp
  • Sesame / Gingely oil – 2 tbsp
  • Hing / Asafetida – 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves – a few
  • Dry ginger / Sukku  – 1/2 inch piece (crushed) (optional ) (u can use powder too)
  • Salt – as required.
METHOD
  • Soak the dal and rice together for 2-3 hours .. Wash , drain the water and grind ....
  • Please don't add more water to grind.The batter should be thick and little coarse.
  • After grinding the batter add salt , hing and mix well. Allow the batter to ferment overnight.. The next day morning add a ladleful of sour curd , crushed pepper , jeera , dry ginger powder , curry leaves , Ghee and sesame oil to the batter and mix well.
  • If u feel the batter is too thick, add a ladleful of water to it. Do not  disturb the batter for 30 mins- 1 hour. After 1 hour , place the banana leaf on the idly plate and pour the batter.
             BEFORE STEAMING
  • Steam it for 15 mins.Once its done ,prick the idly with the backside of spoon and see whether the idly is non sticky . At this stage the idli is cooked well.
             AFTER STEAMING
  • Remove and serve hot with coconut chutney !

Note
  • As per the original recipe, the batter should be ground till coarse.(rava consistency) .But i usually grind till smooth. U 'll get a really soft idli !! 
kancheepuram idly 1
KITCHEN CLINIC
BLACK PEPPER
Black pepper has more healthy properties than most people know about.  Black pepper isn't like salt that can make food less healthy if too much is added. Black pepper is a spice that has the potential to make food more beneficial when used in various recipes and as a table spice.
            The medicinal benefits of black pepper reach beyond its taste and flavoring of your foods.  Research studies have shown that black pepper actually has healthful properties.  Of all of the benefits of this spice, it is its ability to enhance the function of the digestive tract that makes it a good reason to put it in the dishes you cook.
Another benefit of black pepper is its ability to diminish the amount of gas in the intestinal tract.  This leads to less flatulence and bloating and is believed to be another benefit of increasing hydrochloric acid in the stomach.
For those who understand the benefits of antioxidants, you'll be glad to learn that black pepper is known to have a great amount of antioxidant properties.  It also has benefits against bacterial growth, particularly in the intestinal tract.  The good news is that all you need to do is put a little bit in your food every day.
Black Pepper in Cooking
How do you like your pepper? If you're a professional cook or just someone who likes the best in cuisine, you probably grind your peppercorns in a peppercorn mill.  You can get fresh peppercorns at the grocery store, on the internet and at organic food stores.  When you grind your own pepper, you enhance the freshness of the pepper and probably get a better health benefit from it.  In addition, the outer skin of the peppercorn most likely enhances metabolism, leading to a higher probability of weight loss.
If you're the type of person who just wants to shake their pepper on, do yourself a favor and purchase the best brand of pepper you can buy.  The supermarket shelves are full of ground pepper and going with the cheapest brand probably won't give you a quality product.  You don't need to buy gourmet pepper but buying a brand name will go a long way toward giving you a quality product.

How black pepper helps digestion

In today's complex society, there are many more digestive problems than there used to be.Black pepper is a great way to combat this. More than just a spice, it has been shown to improve digestion and stimulate the secretion from the taste buds. This taste bud stimulation is a type of feedback loop. It tells the stomach that it's supposed to increase its own digestive juices, namely hydrochloric acid. This, in turn breaks down protein in the stomach, improving its ability to be further digested in the duodenum. If we don't make enough hydrochloric acid, we develop conditions like poor digestion, heartburn (GERD), or symptoms of indigestion.Black pepper can do a great deal to help maximize the function of the digestive system.


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