Sunday, May 16, 2010

Oatmeal Cookie

I switched to Oatmeal breakfast sometime back. When you have a metabolism that is not so kind on your weight when you satisfy your tongue on Cakes, muffins, bread-butter.....what option do you have!!!

I get a Quaker Oats assorted instant Oats box. Which comes with pockets of instant oats of different flavors. It also has 6 pockets of original Oats, that is without any added flavors. How much ever I push myself to eat Oats, I just can't take the original one.

So, those pockets kept piling up. I searched on some cookie recipes & found this Vegan one.

However I changed it to a complete non Vegan & made slight modifications. It was a great success, my hubby & my in-laws enjoyed it very much.

Quaker Instant Oats Original - 3 pockets (3 cups oridinary oats can also be used),
All purpose flour - 1 cup
Baking powder - 1/2 tspoon (original recipe calls for baking soda, as I did not have I used this)
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Brown Sugar - 3/4 cup
Milk - 1 cup
Butter - 200 grams (I melted in Microwave for 30 seconds)
Salt - 1/2 tspoon
Spice Powder - 1/2 tspoon (I dry roasted Cinnamon 1 stick, Nutmeg - 1/2, Cloves - 2, Cardamom -1. Powdered them)
Raisin - 3 spoons (optional)
Chopped Walnut - 2 spoons (optional)

Preheat oven with 375 degrees.
Mix sugar, brown sugar, butter & milk. Add flour, spices, salt, baking powder and mix them, dissolving any lumps. Finally add Oats, raisin & walnuts.
Take a spoonful & place them in the cookie sheet with adequate space.
Bake them for 15 minutes. Take them out, let it cool for 15 minutes & enjoy them.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Paruppu Usili - Dhal Crumble

Parrupu Usili (Dhal Crumble) has always been one of our favorite dishes. So far I was using only Toor Dhal to make it, recently my MIL has got a tip from one of her friends & asked me to use Chenna Dhal too. It came out very tasty & extra crunchy because of the Chenna Dhal.


Toor Dhal (Lentil) - 1 cup
Chenna Dhal - 2 cups
Dried Red Chilli - 3-4 numbers
Beans or Indian Beans (Avarekai) - 3 cups (washed & cut)
Oil - 5 spoons

For Garnishing:
Urud Dhal - 1 spoon
Mustard Seeds
Curry Leaves
Asafoetida - a pinch

Soak Toor, Chenna Dhal & Red Chillies in water at least for half an hour. Grind them coarsely.
Stream in the cooker with adequate salt.
In parallel, boil the beans/Indian beans with sufficient salt for the beans. Drain the excess water(You can collect the water to make soup) & keep it aside.
Once the cooked Dhal mixture is cooled, crumble them using a fork or spoon.
In a pan put oil, mustard seeds, urud dhal, curry leaves. Add Asafoetida. Put the Dhal crumble & fry them until it is slightly roasted.
Now add the drained beans & cook it for 5 more minutes.
Delicious Paruppu Usili is ready to be tasted with Rice, Rasam / Moor Kulambu.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Vazhakaai Thuruvina Curry - Plantain Curry

This is a favorite curry in my husband's family.
My mother-in-law makes it quite nicer.
She used to remember that whenever she takes this dish to work, her
colleagues used to assume it was coconut rice.
If you have the right Plantain, that's how the curry looks.

Plantain - Medium size 2
Coconut shreds or powder - For garnishing
Green Chili, Urud Dhal, Chenna Dhal, Mustard Seeds, curry leaves - For garnishing
Oil - 1 or 2 spoons

Cut the extra stem in Plantain, do not peel the skin. In a deep container, fill water put the Plantains; they should completely
immerse in the water. Bring to boil. Once the skin facing down in the container turns dark, turn Plantains to the other
side, switch off once the other side also turns dark.
Take out & let them cool.
Cut green chilies in to desired size, have the ingredients for garnishing ready.
Once Plantains are cooled, you can take off the skins easily like in Banana. Shred them using a shredder.
Once you shred them you need to immediately start the cooking part. If you keep them for long, they tend to become
darker & the tastes too get spoiled.
Heat oil in a pan, put mustard seeds, Urud dhal, Chenna dhal, chilis & curry leaves. Once the dhals
turn to golden color, put the shredded Plantain.
Fry for 2-3 minutes, add coconut shreds & salt according to your taste.
Fry for couple of more minutes & turn off. Serve it with Hot Rasam/Sambar and Rice.
My Mother-in-law does not fry the Plantain shreds, once the seasoning is done, she switches off & puts the
Plantain Shreds. However, that will be nice only with farm fresh Plantain, available in Tamil Nadu.

Appa's Herbal Rasam

Appa's Mooligai (For Herbal in Tamil) Rasam - My father's famous recipe. My father's encounter in the kitchen was limited to the rare occasions when no ladies available to prepare the food. He used to make Okra (Ladies finger) curry & this Herbal Rasam. Once I was big enough to have encounters with kitchen...there were countless experiments I made on my father & brother. Whatever crap I made they both used to say it was lovely, I would anyway come to know the truth, when I start eating (note the point, I'm never the one to eat first).

Coming back to Rasam, both my brother & I liked it very much, we would demand him to make it once in a while. My hubby also joined the club after tasting this Rasam.

My father kept this recipe a great secret, until I came to US. He gave me this recipe only after using the Magic words that his dear son-in-law is asking for it. Now that I have got it, I want to let the entire world know about his "Secret Recipe". Actually, I have got his permission (don't want to get into copyright issues later :-))
Here is the most simple & yummy recipe.

Tomato - one small size or half of medium size
Asafoetida - a pinch
Green Chili - 1, cut into half lengthwise
Curry leaves
Coriander leaves
Garlic - 4 to 5 pods, crushed
Salt - per taste
Cumin & pepper powder - 1.5 tea spoons (dry roast cumin & pepper equal amount & powder)
Ghee - 1/2 spoon
Mustard seed
Bring 4 cups water to boil. Put all the ingredients except for ghee, mustard seeds & coriander leaves in to it.
Switch off once tomato & garlic are completely cooked and the raw smell is gone. Put the coriander leaves, close
with a lid. Heat up ghee in a pan, put mustard seeds, once it starts to sprout pour it in the rasam
keep the lid closed until it's time to serve.
Mix it with rice or just drink like soup as I do.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

This, that & what

When I started this blog, I had huge plans. I wanted to post all the experiments I would do as a Homemaker.
Though I did few experiments, most of my time was spent on reading few good & lot of junk books.
Now when I'm inspired to blog more, alas have lost the title of Homemaker. So the blog title Vardhini The Homemaker is no longer valid.
I gave some thoughts on what should be the new title, thought about the things I want to blog about.
They don't fit under any category, recipes, art work, jewelry making, scrap booking....
What could be more suitable than This & That :-)

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Scrap booking - A wonderful way to capture the sweet memories

In this Digital Camera Era, I always felt we are loosing the pleasure of leisurely glancing through the photos (hard copies) in the album & relishing the memories. As we no longer print the photos as we used to, while taking photos with conventional cameras.

That was one of the reasons why Scrap booking attracted me so much. It is not an album, it is a snap shot of your memory about that event or trip or just that moment.

You can add the story or journal, you can attach a thing related to the photo. Like I have tickets pasted in the page. I even got a maple leaf from Niagara - Canada, attached to the page :-)

I was told, people who maintain Scrap books of their babies have strands of baby hair, nails attached in the pages. Imagine, how happy the little child would be once grown up to see all of these. The child will for sure know how much his/her parents loved him/her to have treasured these.

There are lot of sites to help you get started on Scrap booking. You need to invest on album & background papers. But then you can make use of your creativity & bring the nice look to your scrap book pages with out spending much.

Given few of the photos of my scrapbook pages.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Glass Paintings

I have been thinking of posting my little experiments with art work in this blog for quite sometime. I got the push or rather inspiration from my Cousin Sister's blog Priya's Vegetarian Recipes.
Browsing through the other links in her blog made me realize that there are so many people like me, doing their own experiments & wanting to share the results with the world.
The outcome may not be perfect, but lets have fun & be happy. I felt this was the message I got from those enthusiastic bloggers.
So, even after loosing the title of Homemaker to become an IT Professional again, here I really GO :-)
These paintings are my experiments sometime during 2004 (my definition of quite sometime may vary from yours :-))
I had some stencils & traced one of them on the glass & gave a try with Fevicryl's glass paints.

This was my first project. Came out good, though only basic colors were used.

I saw absolutely perfect glass paintings of Egyptian Women & Men in one of the shops in Forum, Bangalore. Having my second project finished decently, I gathered up some courage and went in search of Ancient Egyptian Paintings.

After some research, settled down for Paintings of Goddess Issis & Queen Nefertari. Those were really challenging & made me wipe off the outline many times with nail-polish remover. But the outcome was decent & made me feel good.