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September 28, 2010

MORKUZHAMBU – MY MOM’S STYLE


Mom's morkuzhambu

I love morkuzhambu. Its the simplest , easiest , hassle free curry that can be prepared in no time. I usually follow my mil’s method.For a change ,i  tried my mom’s method today.My mom never adds turmeric powder but i used here for a nice color  ..My mom always add masal vada in this kuzhambu. That gives an additional flavor and taste. Sometimes she adds ladys finger too. But i dint add anything here Sleepy..I just added shallots  , njoyed with hot rice and carrot-beans poriyal. Slurpppppp…. it was yummmy.Drooling

INGREDIENTS 
For 1 person:
  • Buttermilk – 1/2 cup
  • Gram flour – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp (optional)
  • Salt & water – As needed.
To grind :
  • Coconut –2 tbsp grated
  • Green chilly – 2-3 nos (small)
  • Garlic – 2-3 cloves
  • Ginger – 1 inch piece
  • Shallot / small onion – 2 nos
  • Jeera / cumin seeds – 1/4 tsp
To temper & saute:
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 tsp
  • Red chilly – 1/2 no (pinched into two)
  • Sambar onions/ shallots – 10 nos (finely chopped)
To garnish :
  • Coriander leaves – a few
Method :
  • Grind all the ingredients given under "to grind" to a smooth paste.In a bowl whisk the sour curd and add little water,salt, ground paste ,gram flour and mix well..
  • In a kadai temper the items given above and add it to the buttermilk mixture.
  • Keep the bowl in medium flame and allow the buttermilk to boil & rise.
  • Mix with the ladle and again allow it to boil for few seconds.Never roll boil.Keep the flame medium.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves and Serve hot
Note :
  • Do not allow the buttermilk mixture to roll boil.It should just raise.
  • Roll boiling makes the gravy watery and lose all its taste.Hope u all know this..:)
Mom's morkuzhambu 1


KITCHEN CLINIC 


BUTTERMILK :
Buttermilk is lower in fat than regular milk, because the fat has been removed to make butter. It is also high in potassium, vitamin B12, calcium, and riboflavin as well as a good source of phosphorus.
Those with digestive problems are often advised to drink buttermilk rather than milk, as it is more quickly digested. Buttermilk has more lactic acid than skim milk.
One cup of buttermilk has 99 calories and 2.2 grams of fat, whereas whole milk has 157 calories and 8.9 grams of fat. Do check the labels as some brands of buttermilk are higher in fat than others.
For those watching their caloric and/or fat intake, try putting a couple of tablespoons of buttermilk on your baked potato or in mashed potatoes as a substitution for sour cream or butter. You will get both the buttery flavor and the slight tang of sour cream with a fraction of the calories. You can also make mock sour cream using buttermilk powder.
Earlier, buttermilk was termed to that liquid that was left over after the butter was churned from cream. During this churning of cream, butter was one resulting compound which used to be in a semi-solid form and the other part was a liquid. Now because this liquid was accompanied with butter, it came to be known as buttermilk.
But it is a misconception amongst many people that buttermilk contains a high fat amount. This is totally wrong and untrue. Just because its name has butter does not mean that buttermilk contains fat. In fact, buttermilk contains even lesser amount of fat than the regular milk because all the fat is contained in butter, which is another compound obtained after churning cream.
Buttermilk is highly effective in reducing the amount of heat in our body. Therefore, people consume buttermilk in large quantity during the summer season. Also, people facing problems with digestion are advised to consume buttermilk with a small amount of rock salt as it is easy to digest. It is worth mentioning that buttermilk is rich in potassium, Vitamin B12, phosphorus and calcium. Lactic acid is another vital ingredient of buttermilk, which is produced by lactic acid bacteria and this helps us in keeping our immune system stronger.
Because of all such benefits, many times physicians advise patients to consume buttermilk instead of milk as it contains less fat, calories and skim milk. And the best part is that one can consume buttermilk anytime as a drink, which is refreshing and healthy!
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September 22, 2010

SIMPLE ALOO PEAS KURMA

I wanted to try a simple , mildly spiced kurma  for a long time. So i tried this kurma in my own way.My hubby liked it very much. Also this is less time consuming & no grinding part is needed.Try this and let me know friends ..

Simple aloo peas kurma 1

INGREDIENTS :

  • Potato / Aloo – 5 nos ( Peel the skin and chop into small pieces)
  • Peas – 1/2 cup( Soak the peas overnite if its dry )
  • Besan flour – 1 tsp ( Mix with little water to make a paste )
  • Salt & water – As needed.

To saute :

  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Cinnamon – 1 inch
  • Cloves – 2 nos
  • Ginger & garlic – few pieces chopped finely (paste will also do) ( ** Added to avoid gas accumulation ;) )
  • Curry leaves – a few
  • Big onion – 1 no (chopped finely )
  • Green chillies – 2 nos ( slit cut )
  • Tomato – 2 nos (chopped finely)

To garnish :

  • Coriander leaves – Few  ( i dint use )

METHOD :

  • In a cooker base , add oil and saute the items given above in the same order.
  • Add tomato pieces at the end and saute till mushy.
  • Lastly add the potato pieces and soaked peas .
  • Add enough water & salt , cover and pressure cook up to 1 whistle.
  • Remove the lid and add the besan paste.Allow it to thicken and boil for sometime.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves & serve hot with roti.

KITCHEN CLINIC :

PEAS :

Health Benefits

Green peas are bursting with nutrients. They provide good to very good amounts of 8 vitamins, 7 minerals, dietary fiber and protein. Green peas' supercharged nutritional profile can supercharge your health.

Helping You Bone Up

Green peas provide nutrients that are important for maintaining bone health. They are a very good source of vitamin K, some of which our bodies convert into K2, which activates osteocalcin, the major non-collagen protein in bone. Osteocalcin anchors calcium molecules inside of the bone. Therefore, without enough vitamin K2, osteocalcin levels are inadequate and bone mineralization is impaired.

Green peas also serve as a very good source of folic acid and a good source of vitamin B6. These two nutrients help to reduce the buildup of a metabolic byproduct called homocysteine, a dangerous molecule can obstruct collagen cross-linking, resulting in poor bone matrix and osteoporosis. One study showed that postmenopausal women who were not considered deficient in folic acid lowered their homocysteine levels simply by supplementing with folic acid by itself.

Help Your Heart by Passing the Peas, Please

In addition to affecting bone health, homocysteine contributes to atherosclerosis through its ability to damage the blood vessels, keeping them in a constant state of injury. Therefore the folic acid and vitamin B6 in green peas are supportive of cardiovascular health as well. In fact, folic acid is so important for cardiovascular function that a major 1995 study concluded that 400 micrograms per day of folic acid could prevent 28,000 cardiovascular deaths per year in the United States.

The contributions of green peas to heart health do not stop there. The vitamin K featured in green peas is instrumental to the body's healthy blood clotting ability.

Contributions to Energy and Overall Wellness

Green peas are one of the important foods to include in your diet if you oftentimes feel fatigued and sluggish. That is because they provide nutrients that help support the energy-producing cells and systems of the body.

Green peas a very good source of thiamin-vitamin B1 and a good source of vitamin B6, riboflavin-vitamin B2 and niacin-vitamin B3, all of which are nutrients that are necessary for carbohydrate, protein and lipid metabolism. Green peas are also a good source of iron, a mineral necessary for normal blood cell formation and function, whose deficiency results in anemia, fatigue, decreased immune function, and learning problems. In addition, green peas are a very good source of vitamin C, which protects many energy-producing cells and systems in the body from free radical damage. Body tissues with particularly high vitamin C requirements include the adrenal glands, ocular lens, liver, immune system, connective tissues, and fats circulating in the blood.

Peas Promote Optimal Health

Green peas provide nutrients, including vitamin C, which are instrumental in helping to prevent the development of cancer. A high intake of vitamin C has been shown to reduce the risks for virtually all forms of cancer, including leukemia, lymphoma, and lung, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers as well as sex hormone-related cancers like breast, prostate, cervix, and ovarian cancers. Vitamin C is your body's first and most effective line of antioxidant protection. Vitamin C protects cell structures like DNA from damage; it helps the body deal with environmental pollution and toxic chemicals; it enhances immune function, and it inhibits the formation of cancer-causing compounds in the body (such as the nitrosamines, chemicals produced when the body digests processed meats containing nitrates).

POTATO

Health Benefits

Potatoes are a very popular food source. Unfortunately, most people eat potatoes in the form of greasy French fries or potato chips, and even baked potatoes are typically loaded down with fats such as butter, sour cream, melted cheese and bacon bits. Such treatment can make even baked potatoes a potential contributor to a heart attack. But take away the extra fat and deep frying, and a baked potato is an exceptionally healthful low calorie, high fiber food that offers significant protection against cardiovascular disease and cancer.

Our food ranking system qualified potatoes as a very good source of vitamin C, a good source of vitamin B6, copper, potassium, manganese, and dietary fiber.

Potatoes also contain a variety of phytonutrients that have antioxidant activity. Among these important health-promoting compounds are carotenoids, flavonoids, and caffeic acid, as well as unique tuber storage proteins, such as patatin, which exhibit activity against free radicals.

Potatoes' Phytochemicals Rival Those in Broccoli

Potatoes' reputation as a high-carb, white starch has removed them from the meals of many a weight-conscious eater, but this stereotype is due for a significant overhaul. A new analytical method developed by Agricultural Research Service plant geneticist Roy Navarre has identified 60 different kinds of phytochemicals and vitamins in the skins and flesh of 100 wild and commercially grown potatoes. Analysis of Red and Norkotah potatoes revealed that these spuds' phenolic content rivals that of broccoli, spinach and Brussels sprouts, and includes flavonoids with protective activity against cardiovascular disease, respiratory problems and certain cancers. Navarre's team also identified potatoes with high levels of vitamin C, folic acid, quercetin and kukoamines. These last compounds, which have blood pressure lowering potential, have only been found in one other plant, Lycium chinense (a.k.a., wolfberry/gogi berry). How much kukoamine is needed for a blood pressure lowering effect in humans must be assessed before it can be determined whether an average portion of potatoes delivers enough to impact cardiovascular health. Still, potatoes' phytochemical profiles show it's time to shed their starch-only image; spuds-baked, steamed or healthy sautéed but not fried-deserve a place in your healthy way of eating."Phytochemical Profilers Investigate Potato Benefits,"Agricultural Research, September 2007

Blood-Pressure Lowering Potential

UK scientists at the Institute for Food Research have identified blood pressure-lowering compounds called kukoamines in potatoes. Previously only found in Lycium chinense, an exotic herbal plant whose bark is used to make an infusion in Chinese herbal medicine, kukoamines were found in potatoes using a new type of research called metabolomics.

Until now, when analyzing a plant's composition, scientists had to know what they were seeking and could typically look for 30 or so known compounds. Now, metabolomic techniques enable researchers to find the unexpected by analyzing the 100s or even 1000s of small molecules produced by an organism.

"Potatoes have been cultivated for thousands of years, and we thought traditional crops were pretty well understood," said IFR food scientist Dr Fred Mellon, "but this surprise finding shows that even the most familiar of foods might conceal a hoard of health-promoting chemicals." Another good reason to center your diet around the World's Healthiest Foods!

In addition to potatoes, researchers looked at tomatoes since they belong to the same plant family-Solanaceae-as Lycium chinense. Metabolomic assays also detected kukoamine compounds in tomatoes.

The IFR scientists found higher levels of kukoamines and related compounds than some of the other compounds in potatoes that have a long history of scientific investigation. However, because they were previously only noted in Lycium chinense, kukoamines have been little studied. Researchers are now determining their stability during cooking and dose response (how much of these compounds are needed to impact health).

Vitamin B6-Building Your Cells

If only for its high concentration of vitamin B6-a cup of baked potato contains 21.0% of the daily value for this important nutrient-the potato earns high marks as a health-promoting food.

Vitamin B6 is involved in more than 100 enzymatic reactions. Enzymes are proteins that help chemical reactions take place, so vitamin B6 is active virtually everywhere in the body. Many of the building blocks of protein, amino acids, require B6 for their synthesis, as do the nucleic acids used in the creation of our DNA. Because amino and nucleic acids are such critical parts of new cell formation, vitamin B6 is essential for the formation of virtually all new cells in the body. Heme (the protein center of our red blood cells) and phospholipids (cell membrane components that enable messaging between cells) also depend on vitamin B6 for their creation.

Vitamin B6-Brain Cell and Nervous System Activity

Vitamin B6 plays numerous roles in our nervous system, many of which involve neurological (brain cell) activity. B6 is necessary for the creation of amines, a type of messaging molecule or neurotransmitter that the nervous system relies on to transmit messages from one nerve to the next. Some of the amine-derived neurotransmitters that require vitamin B6 for their production are serotonin, a lack of which is linked to depression;melatonin, the hormone needed for a good night's sleep;epinephrine and norepinephrine, hormones that help us respond to stress; and GABA, which is needed for normal brain function.

Vitamin B6-Cardiovascular Protection

Vitamin B6 plays another critically important role in methylation, a chemical process in which methyl groups are transferred from one molecule to another. Many essential chemical events in the body are made possible by methylation, for example, genes can be switched on and turned off in this way. This is particularly important in cancer prevention since one of the genes that can be switched on and off is the tumor suppressor gene, p53. Another way that methylation helps prevent cancer is by attaching methyl groups to toxic substances to make them less toxic and encourage their elimination from the body.

Methylation is also important to cardiovascular health. Methylation changes a potentially dangerous molecule calledhomocysteine into other, benign substances. Since homocysteine can directly damage blood vessel walls greatly increasing the progression of atherosclerosis, high homocysteine levels are associated with a significantly increased risk for heart attack and stroke. Eating foods rich in vitamin B6 can help keep homocysteine levels low. In addition, diets high in vitamin B6-rich foods are associated with overall lower rates of heart disease, even when homocysteine levels are normal, most likely because of all the other beneficial activities of this energetic B vitamin.

A single baked potato will also provide you with 11.7% of the daily value for fiber, but remember the fiber in potatoes is mostly in their skin. If you want the cholesterol-lowering, colon cancer preventing, and bowel supportive effects of fiber, be sure to eat the potato's flavorful skin as well as its creamy center.

Vitamin B6-Athletic Performance

Vitamin B6 is also necessary for the breakdown of glycogen, the form in which sugar is stored in our muscle cells and liver, so this vitamin is a key player in athletic performance and endurance.

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September 17, 2010

MILAGU JEERAGA ADAI

Milagu jeeraga adai

INGREDIENTS :

  • Steamed rice / Puzhungal arisi / Saapaattu arisi – 2 cups
  • Pepper corns – 1.5 –2 tsp
  • Jeera / cumin seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Salt & water – as needed.

METHOD :

  • Soak the rice for 2 hrs and grind it coarse like rawa / semolina by adding salt & required water. ( i prepared the batter 5 hrs before .. But u can grind the rice and make it instantly.. )
  • Powder the pepper & jeera and add it to the batter.
  • Add little water when the batter is thick.
  • Heat the dosa pan and pour a ladleful of batter.Do not spread the batter.
  • Drizzle oil around the adai and allow it to cook for few seconds
  • Flip & cook for few more seconds.

Enjoy eating hot !!

Note : This adai can be served without any accompaniment..

 KITCHEN CLINIC :

PEPPER CORNS :

A pinch of black pepper is added to almost every type of recipe imaginable. Once used as currency and presented to the gods as a sacred offering, it is fortunate that this most popular of spices is available throughout the year.

Black pepper comes from the pepper plant, a smooth woody vine that can grow up to 33 feet in hot and humid tropical climates. They begin to bear small white clustered flowers after 3 to 4 years and develop into berries known as peppercorns. Ground peppercorns produce the spice we call pepper.

Improve Digestion and Promote Intestinal Health

Black pepper (Piper nigrum)stimulates the taste buds in such a way that an alert is sent to to the stomach to increase hydrochloric acid secretion, thereby improving digestion. Hydrochloric acid is necessary for the digestion of proteins and other food components in the stomach. When the body's production of hydrochloric acid is insufficient, food may sit in the stomach for an extended period of time, leading to heartburn or indigestion, or it may pass into the intestines, where it can be used as a food source for unfriendly gut bacteria, whose activities produce gas, irritation, and/or diarrhea or constipation.

Black pepper has long been recognized as a carminitive, (a substance that helps prevent the formation of intestinal gas), a property likely due to its beneficial effect of stimulating hydrochloric acid production. In addition, black pepper has diaphoretic (promotes sweating), and diuretic (promotes urination) properties.

Black pepper has demonstrated impressive antioxidant and antibacterial effects--yet another way in which this wonderful seasoning promotes the health of the digestive tract. And not only does black pepper help you derive the most benefit from your food, the outer layer of the peppercorn stimulates the breakdown of fat cells, keeping you slim while giving you energy to burn.

The good news is that all you need to do is put a little bit in your food every day.

JEERA /CUMIN SEEDS :

Cumin is a seed that has been used since antiquity. It’s health benefits and medicinal uses were well known even then. Today, this seed of a small flowering herb of the parsley family might not be used quite as much in food preparation as it was 5000 years ago, but it’s healing properties are still valued and used in natural and Ayurvedic healing.

This traditional herbal remedy has many uses. I is a stimulant as well as a great herb for digestive disorders and even as a antiseptic of sorts. The seeds themselves are rich in iron and are thought to help stimulate the secretion of enzymes from the pancreas which can help absorb nutrients into the system. It has also been shown to boost the power of the liver's ability to detoxify the human body.

Recent studies have revealed that cumin seeds might also have anti-carcinogenic properties1. In laboratory tests, this powerful little seed was shown to reduce the risk of stomach and liver tumors in animals.

The health benefits of cumin for digestive disorders has been well known throughout history. It can help with flatulence, indigestion, diarrhea, nausea, morning sickness, and atonic dyspepsia. In this case, the seeds are boiled in water to make a tea of sorts - 1 teaspoon seeds to 1 glass water. Mix with salt and a teaspoon of coriander leaf juice.

Cumin is also said to help relieve symptoms of the common cold due to it’s antiseptic properties. Again, you’ll want to boil the seeds in a tea and then drink a couple of times a day. If you also have a sore throat then try adding some dry ginger to help soothe it.

Cumin can also be applied topically and is said to be a good salve for boils. Make a black cumin paste by grinding seeds with water and apply to the affected area.

Cumin makes a great tonic for the body even if you don’t have a specific ailment to cure. It is said to increase the heat in the body thus making metabolism more efficient. It is also thought to be a powerful kidney and liver herb and can help boost your immune system. Though the appropriate studies have yet to be conducted, some believe black cumin seeds may even be able to help treat asthma and arthritis.

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September 11, 2010

SUKKU- MALLI THANNI / DRY GINGER- CORIANDER SEEDS TEA

I learnt this from my MIL . I make this at least once in a week, specially in weekends.We have this in evening . If u prefer to have this in the morning use ginger instead of dry ginger/sukku.It increases the appetite , improves digestion and equilizes the bile salts in our body.

Sukku malli thanni

INGREDIENTS:

  • Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Dry ginger – 1 inch piece
  • Karuppatti / Palm jaggery / Jaggery – 1 tbsp (adjust )
  • Lemon juice – Few drops
  • Honey – 1 tsp (optional)

Method :

  • Take the coriander seeds & dry ginger in a mixer and grind it coarse..
  • Add 2 cups of water to the ground mixture.Now add the powdered  karuppati /palm sugar and boil it till the water gets reduced to half in quantity.
  • Strain it and add the lime juice.(check for sweetness and add honey if necessary)

Enjoy drinking hot !!

KITCHEN CLINIC :

GINGER :

Ginger has been used for its health benefits for over 5000 years and is a favorite medicinal as well as culinary herb. Unlike most spices, the part that has the most medicinal value grows under ground. Often mistakenly called “ginger root” this is actually the rhizome of the plant which is more of a subterranean stem than a root.

Although you can use dried ginger and powdered ginger for health benefits, fresh ginger is preferred. It is readily available in most supermarkets. Pieces of the rhyzome can be sliced off for use and the remainder stored in the refrigerator where it should keep for about 3 weeks as long as it is not fully peeled.

One of ginger's most touted health benefits is its ameliorating effects on digestive ailments. It can help digest fatty foods and break down proteins. It is excellent for reducing gas. Many people report that it will also relieve nausea, and can be effective in treating morning sickness as well as motion sickness.

Ginger can also help reduce inflammation. So it can be used to treat any disease that is caused by inflammations such as arthritis or ulcerative colitis. Some studies show that it can even help inhibit the replication of the herpes simplex virus.

Being a warming herb, ginger can help knock out a fever. This property also makes it effective in stimulating circulation of the blood. It can also help relax muscles around the blood vessels and is said to help prevent blood clots from forming. The warming effects make it a natural decongestant as well as an antihistamine, making it the perfect remedy for colds.

Recent studies show that ginger might also have a role in lowering LDL cholesterol because the spice can help reduce the amount of cholesterol that is absorbed. It has also been shown in animal trials to help slow or even prevent cancerous tumor growth.

Gingers healing properties come from it’s volatile oils, gingerols and shogaols, which are also responsible for it’s pungent taste. The oils cause more digestive enzymes to be produced which helps with the whole digestion process and neutralizes the acids that can cause nausea, cramps and even diarrhea.

To discover the health benefits of ginger for yourself, simply make a tea by steeping about 5 slices of ginger in hot water. If you prefer it in your food, ginger is excellent in many dishes and is perfect when combined with garlic.


CORIANDER SEEDS :

Health Benefits

Coriander seeds have a health-supporting reputation that is high on the list of the healing spices. In parts of Europe, coriander has traditionally been referred to as an "anti-diabetic" plant. In parts of India, it has traditionally been used for its anti-inflammatory properties. In the United States, coriander has recently been studied for its cholesterol-lowering effects.

Control of Blood Sugar, Cholesterol and Free Radical Production

Recent research studies (though still on animals) have confirmed all three of these healing effects. When coriander was added to the diet of diabetic mice, it helped stimulate their secretion of insulin and lowered their blood sugar. When given to rats, coriander reduced the amount of damaged fats (lipid peroxides) in their cell membranes. And when given to rats fed a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet, coriander lowered levels of total and LDL (the "bad" cholesterol), while actually increasing levels of HDL (the "good" cholesterol). Research also suggests that the volatile oils found in the leaves of the coriander plant, commonly known as cilantro, may have antimicrobial properties.

A Phytonutrient-Dense Herb

Many of the above healing properties of coriander can be attributed to its exceptional phytonutrient content. Coriander's volatile oil is rich in beneficial phytonutrients, including carvone,geraniol, limonene, borneol, camphor, elemol, and linalool. Coriander's flavonoids include quercitin, kaempferol, rhamnetin, and epigenin. Plus, coridander contains active phenolic acid compounds, including caffeic and chlorogenic acid.

Nutrient As Well As Phytonutrient-Dense

Not only is coriander replete with a variety of phytonutrients, this exceptional herb emerged from our food ranking system as an important source of many traditional nutrients. Based on our nutrient density ranking process, coriander qualified as a very good source of dietary fiber and a good source of iron,magnesium and manganese.

Spice Up Your Life and Subdue the Salmonella

Coriander (also called cilantro) contains an antibacterial compound that may prove to be a safe, natural means of fighting Salmonella, a frequent and sometimes deadly cause of foodborne illness, suggests a study published in the June 2004 issue of the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.

Description

Coriander is considered both an herb and a spice since both its leaves and its seeds are used as a seasoning condiment. Fresh coriander leaves are more commonly known as cilantro and bear a strong resemblance to Italian flat leaf parsley. This is not surprising owing to the fact that they belong to the same plant family (Umbelliferae).

The fruit of the coriander plant contains two seeds which, when dried, are the parts that are used as the dried spice. When ripe, the seeds are yellowish-brown in color with longitudinal ridges. They have a fragrant flavor that is reminiscent of both citrus peel and sage. Coriander seeds are available in whole or ground powder form.

The name coriander is derived from the Greek word koris, which means bug. It may have earned this name because of the "buggy" offensive smell that it has when unripe. The Latin name for coriander is Coriandrum sativum.

How to Select and Store

Fresh coriander (or cilantro) leaves should look vibrantly fresh and be deep green in color. They should be firm, crisp and free from yellow or brown spots.

Whenever possible, buy whole coriander seeds instead of coriander powder since the latter loses its flavor more quickly, and coriander seeds can be easily ground with a mortar and pestle.

Even through dried herbs and spices are widely available in supermarkets, explore the local spice stores or ethnic markets in your area. Oftentimes, these stores feature an expansive selection of dried herbs and spices that are of superior quality and freshness compared to those offered in regular markets. Just like with other dried spices, try to select organically grown dried coriander since this will give you more assurance that it has not been irradiated.

Coriander seeds and coriander powder should be kept in an opaque, tightly sealed glass container in a cool, dark and dry place. Ground coriander will keep for about four to six months, while the whole seeds will stay fresh for about one year.

Since it is highly perishable, fresh coriander should always be stored in the refrigerator. If possible, it should stored with its roots still attached by placing the roots in a glass of water and covering the leaves with a loosely fitting plastic bag. If the roots have been removed, wrap the coriander leaves in a damp cloth or paper towel and place them in a plastic bag. Whole coriander will last up to one week, while coriander leaves will last about three days.

Cilantro may also be frozen, either whole or chopped, in airtight containers, yet should not be thawed before use since it will lose much of its crisp texture. Alternatively, you can place it in ice cube trays covered with either water or stock that can be added when preparing soups or stews.

Tips for Preparing Coriander:

Fresh coriander (cilantro) should be washed right before using since it is highly fragile. The best way to clean coriander is just like you would spinach by placing it in a bowl of cold water and swishing it around with your hands. This will allow any sand or dirt to dislodge. Remove the leaves from the water, empty the bowl, refill it with clean water, and repeat this process until there is no dirt remaining in the water.

Coriander seeds can be easily ground with a mortar and pestle. You may wish to first soak them in cold water for ten minutes and then drain them, as this process will revive their fragrant aroma.

A Few Quick Serving Ideas:

In a saucepan over low heat, combine vanilla soymilk, honey, coriander and cinnamon for a delicious beverage.

Healthy sauté spinach, fresh garlic and coriander seeds, mix in garbanzo beans, and season with ginger and cumin.

Add coriander seeds to soups and broths.

Use coriander seeds in the poaching liquid when preparing fish.

Adding ground coriander to pancake and waffle mixes will give them a Middle Eastern flavor.

Put coriander seeds in a pepper mill and keep on the dinner table so that you and your family can use them at any time.

Individual Concerns

Coriander seeds are not a commonly allergenic food and are not known to contain measurable amounts of oxalates or purines.



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September 3, 2010

NAAN WITHOUT YEAST AND SIMPLE ALOO/TAPIOCA KURMA

I learnt this Naan from my MIL.she got the recipe from a TV show.I tried it yesterday and it was super soft & tasty.We prepared naan & chapathi.So i wanted to make a simple korma that taste good for both.This korma i tried from here.It was very tasty and served as a nice accompaniment for both Naan & chapathi.Thanks to Varunavi .I got a simple & delicious korma recipe which i can prepare in no time.I used boiled tapioca along with potato.We dint find any difference in taste & flavor.So try the same & let me know friends ..

Let me start with a picture ,  

Naan with aloo kurma 1

Ingredients :

  • Maida / All purpose flour – 2 cups
  • Curd – 1/2 cup
  • Ghee / Gingely oil / Butter – 2 tbsp
  • Cooking soda – 2 pinches
  • Salt & water – As needed.

Method :

  • Take the flour in a wide mouthed bowl and make a dent in the center.
  • Now put the other ingredients and mix well to make a soft , smooth dough..
  • Keep the dough closed by a wet cloth and leave it for 2 hrs.( its not necessary tat the dough should be doubled in size. )
  • Make sure the dough is non sticky after two hours. Even if its a bit sticky apply oil to ur hands and knead gently.
  • Make even sized balls and roll it like chapathi by dusting in maida.
  • Heat the dosa tawa and make naans by applying little oil around it.Cut it into two halves ..

Enjoy with this korma / gravy :)

Naan with aloo kurma 2

KITCHEN CLINIC :

TAPIOCA :

Tapioca is a root vegetable like potato. In some developing countries such as Brazil, tapioca is provided as a nutritional supplement. It is also considered as an indispensable part of their daily diet. No doubt, tapioca is a brilliant source of starch and thereby supplies energy. But, health experts often prefer potato to tapioca as apart from starch, potato provides the body with certain other nutrients such as Vitamin C, Vitamin B6,dietary fiber etc. Unlike tapioca, it also supplies minerals such as iron, potassium,manganese and copper. But, the contribution of calorie is lower in case of tapioca.

Tapioca is low in saturated fat. Harmful presence of sodium is also low. Tapioca is also health-friendly in the sense it does not add bad cholesterol level in the body.People who are keen to increase their body weight are often advised by health experts to include tapioca in their diet.It is estimated that every hundred grams of this root vegetable provides three hundred and sixty calories of energy. Tapioca is found to be low in nutritional value as the presence of essential vitamins and minerals are minimal. But, tapioca is a stomach-friendly victual as it is easily digestible. Since, tapioca is mainly starch, it is
often used to thicken liquids just like authentic arrowroot. It is also found to be great for sauces due to its thickening nature.
Tapioca is also employed extensively for washing and other cloth processing works. The starch content present in tapioca makes it ideal for stiffening the cloth materials. It is often made available in the form of uneven hard white grains that are partially water-soluble. The rhizome from which it comes contains a very dangerous juice.The poisonous content is generally eliminated through natural methods during the washing and drying process. It is then sold in the form of small, medium and large grains.

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