Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Irresistible Mango Payasam / Kheer

The english word mango has originated from the tamil word mangai and was imported initially by the europeans and later to america where it was known as mangoes. It holds great in indian religion as lord ganesha holds it in his hand as a symbol of attainment. This easy and delicious payasam with it rich flavor of mango can make any celebration more special and win many hearts. Here is the recipe
  • 4 cups full fat milk
  • 1/3 cup rice
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup mango pulp
  • 1/2 cup chopped mango
  • 3 pods crushed cardamon
  • 8 finely chopped pista
Boil the milk and add the rice and let it cook on low flame till rice softens and milk begins to thick. Add the sugar and crushed cardamon stir and switch off the flame,once it cools add the chopped mango and mango pulp and stir nicely.Garnish with pista and refridgerate, serve chilled.

Note: Used fresh mango puree but if u canned mango puree adjust the sugar accordingly. Dont add mango puree when the payasam is hot else it will curdle.

Submitting this recipe to some wonderful mango events

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Delightful Vermicelli Masala Upma

This is a classic breakfast you can have on any day,very colorful and can be made in a jiffy.A perfect one pot meal when u have unexpected guests.Kids love it too as it resembles noodles and healthier too with the veggies we can add to it. There are two types of vermicelli plain and roasted, the plain version tastes better and we can roast it ourselves. This dish is prepared in every indian home and if you havent you must try it ...

  • 1 cup semiya/vermicelli
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 sliced onion
  • 1 chopped tomato
  • 1 chopped potato
  • 4 sliced green chillies
  • 1/4 cup green peas
  • 1 chopped carrot
  • 1/4 tsp cummin / jeera seeds
  • 1/4 tsp mustard
  • 1/4 tsp urad dal
  • 1 spring curry leaf
  • 1 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • salt to taste
Heat 1/2 tbsp oil in a large pan. Add vermicelli and fry in medium flame till its golden brown.Keep aside.In the same pan heat another 1 tbsp oil and add cummin,mustard,urad dal and fry till mustard splutter.Now add onion,green chilli and curry leaves and fry for a minute.
Next add the veggies except tomato and mix nicely and cover it for it to cook.Once all the veggies are soft add tomato and cilantro and fry for a minute.Add 2 cups water and salt. Once it boils add the vermicelli and mix nicely till all the water is evaporated and vermicelli is cooked. Serve hot with a dash of ghee.

1.Take care not to overcook in excess water else it would become too mushy
2.You can add more veggies like chopped cauliflower, sweet corn, broccoli to make it more tasty and colorful.
3.You can make the same process with rava instead of semiya for masala upma, more water needs to be added though 

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Flavorful Potato Fries

This a simple potato fry with the flavor of garlic and kasuri methi. Kasuri Methi is a great taste enhancer. It adds flavour and texture to any dish and its pleasant odor which makes it so popular.Kasturi Methi is the dried leaves of the fenugreek plant.This simple dish with kasuri methi will amaze your taste buds.So enjoy

  • 2 big size potatos.
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
  • 2 tbsp kasuri methi(dry fenugreek leaves)
  • 3 finely chopped green chillies
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp oil
Peel the potatos ,cut then into 1 inch chunks like french frys In a non stick pan heat oil,add cumin seeds once it starts splutters add potato n garlic,stir nicely and cook it into a medium flame.Once the potato is cooked turn the flame to high to make it crispy. Crumble the kasuri methi in between you palms by rubbing your palms together and then sprinkle over the potato.Fry for a minute, then add green chillies and salt, mixly nice and switch off the flame. Serve hot

Serving Tips
Tip 1. Roll the fries in a paratha with some addition of some sauce and some finely chopped veggies like onion, cabbage, carrot. It will be very filling and trust me your kids would love it.
Tip 2. Serve with rice with a dash of ghee 
Tip 3. Serve it as a evening snack with some sauce and a cup of tea

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Secret Wonders of Rice Bran Oil

I have been using sunflower oil,mustard oil and olive oil for all my cooking but recently I have included rice bran oil too. I found  this oil in the reliance fresh store and did a little bit of research. I am amazed by its nutritional benefits and find it hard to ignore. I wanted to share my research on this oil as I am sure we are all too biased by advertising and need to realize other healthy alternative cooking oils.

Rice bran oil (also known as rice bran extract) is the oil extracted from the germ and inner husk of rice. It is notable for its high smoke point of 213 °C (415 °F) and its mild flavor, making it suitable for high-temperature cooking methods such as stir frying and deep frying.It is popular as a cooking oil in several Asian countries, including Japan and China

Higher Smoking Point, Less Greasy and More Flavor
As rice bran oil has the highest smoke point of any vegetable oil, it is better suited to cooking at high heats and is less likely to bind with foods, making food cooked with rice bran oil less greasy than that cooked with sunflower oil. Due to its rich, nutty taste, rice bran oil may be preferred where additional flavor is desired.
Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article

Vitamin E and Oryzanol
Rice bran oil beats olive oil in its vitamin E power, as it contains both the tocopherol and tocotrienol forms of the vitamin, whereas olive oil contains only the tocopherol form -- and less of that than rice bran oil. Additionally, rice bran oil contains significant amounts of the antioxidant oryzanol, whereas olive oil has none.

It helps to lower LDL or bad cholesterol and does not lower the good cholesterol as sunflower oils do and is known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
Source: http://nutrihealth.in/food/health-benefits-of-rice-bran-oil/

The rice bran oil component γ-oryzanol was shown in Japan to be effective in relieving hot flashes and other symptoms of female menopause. Researchers found that 90% of the women found some form of relief from hot flashes after taking a rice bran oil supplement for 4–6 weeks. 
Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rice_bran_oil

Lowers Cholesterol
Rice bran oil contains gamma oryzanol, a group of ferulate esters of triterpene alcohols and phytosterols that have been linked to many health benefits. Gamma oryzanol is effective in reducing plasma cholesterol and reducing cholesterol absorption, decreasing early atherosclerosis. In addition, gamma oryzanol inhibits platelet aggregation that could lead to blood clots. Rice bran oil contains tocotrienol (a form of Vitamin E) which has been found to inhibit the activity of HMG-CoA reductase, an enzyme that synthesizes cholesterol, a major factor in heart disease. In a study conducted at the University of Rochester, Mohammad Minhajuddin, Ph.D., and researchers determined that the tocotrienol in rice bran oil reduced cholesterol in rats up to 42 percent while lowering LDL cholesterol up to 62 percent.

Anti-Cancer Effects
Rice bran oil contains significant levels of both gamma and delta tocotrienols (approximately 500 ppm), forms of Vitamin E, that have been found to be able to accumulate in cancer cells and kill the tumors. In a study conducted at Kyushu University in Japan, researchers looked at the effects of tocotrienols on mouse cancer cells. There was a significant delay in growth in the cancer cells. "Our results suggested that accumulation is critical for the anti-tumor activity of tocotrienols," said Japanese lead researcher, Yuhei Hiura, reporting in "The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry."

Skin Protector
Originating in the Japanese culture, skin care with rice bran oil is becoming more popular. To this day, one of the highest compliments a Japanese woman can receive is to be called a "nuka bijin" which means "a rice bran beauty." Having smooth healthy skin is due to the oryzanol in the rice bran oil that whitens the skin slightly. As the skin is exposed to sunlight, the rice bran oil reacts as a sunscreen protecting the skin from harmful ultraviolet rays. The oryzanol impedes melanin pigmentation by restraining the erythema activity of tyrosinase as it stops the ultraviolet rays' transmission at the skin's surface. The use of rice bran oil in sunscreen products and hair conditioners is on the increase in the United States.

Antioxidant Packed
Rice bran oil contains three healthy antioxidants useful in protecting the body's cells against the effects of free radicals--tocopherol, tocotrienol and oryzanol. In addition, rice bran oil does not require hydrogenation for stability and has a high percentage of fatty acids (oleic, 46 percent; linoleic, 36 percent; and linolenic, 1 percent). Antioxidant companies have switched their basic oil to rice bran oil. This movement is an indication that industry leaders recognize rice bran oil's lipid oxidative stability. Lipid oxidative stability is important in the prevention of pathologic processes such as cardiovascular diseases, arthritis and inflammatory processes.
Read more: http://www.livestrong.com/article/25408-health-benefits-rice-bran-oil/#ixzz1u4lCnqkZ

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Tasty Paneer Paratha with Zesty Hari Chutney

Stuffed Parathas can made in many different variations . They are very healthy and loved by children and can be had for breakfast and dinner. This version with paneer has a unique softness that can simply make you enjoy every bite.

Hari chutney is the perfect accompaniment for these paneer parathas which have a mild flavor. Coriander is blended with some unique aromatic spices that make it more zesty. 

Preparation Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 30 min
Serves: 6 parathas

  • 2 cups atta
  • 1/4 tsp ajwain
  • 1/2 tsp oil
  • pinch of salt
For stuffing
  • 1 cup grated paneer/cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup fine chopped onions
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped cilantro/coriander
  • 4 finely chopped green chillies
  • 1/2 inch grated ginger
  • 1/2 tsp amchur powder
  • salt to taste


Making Dough for paratha

Take flour,mix salt and ajwain to it then add three-fourth cup of warm water gradually, knead to make a smooth dough. And keep aside for 15 min.

To make filling
Mix all the above ingredients of filling nicely and keep aside

Making the paratha

Break the dough in 6 equal portions,roll each portion in a ball and flatten it by pressing.

Place 1 1/2 table spoon of stuffing on it and enclose it.Seal the edges completely so that stuffing does not come out.

Flatten again, sprinkle a little flour and roll them with a rolling pin to approximately six-inch diameter.

Heat a frying pan(tawa), place paratha on it and cook on moderate heat for three minutes.

Turn it and pour half a tablespoon of oil, spread it on paratha and shallow fry over low heat.

Turn it and again pour half a tablespoon of oil on other side, cook on low heat till golden brown

Serve hot with fresh coriander chutney

Hari Chutney

  • 1 big bunch corainder leaves
  • 1 small chopped tomato
  • 4-5 garlic pods
  • 1/2 inch ginger
  • 1/2 tsp cummin/jeera seeds
  • 1/4 tsp black salt
  • 1/4 tsp amchur powder
  • 2 green chillies
  • pinch of asafoetida/hing
  • salt to taste

Blend all the above ingredients into a fine paste and serve with any stuffed paratha


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