Thursday, September 29, 2011

The history of Ice cream . . .

Food historians tell us the history of ice cream begins with ancient flavored ices.
Ice cream  formerly and properly ice-cream, derived from earlier iced cream  is a frozen dessert, usually made from dairy products, 
such as milk and cream, and often combined with fruits or other ingredients and flavors. 
Most varieties contain sugar.
In the making of ice creams artificial flavourings and colourings are used in addition to, or instead of, the natural ingredients.
The meaning of the term "ice cream" varies from one country to another. Terms such as "frozen custard", "frozen yogurt", "sorbet", "gelato" and others are used.
The origins of ice cream can be traced back to at least the 4th century B.C. Early references include the Roman emperor.
Ancient civilizations have served ice for cold foods for thousands of years.
In the Persian Empire, people would pour grape-juice concentrate over snow, in a bowl, and eat this as a treat.
In 400 BC, the Persians went further and invented a special chilled food, made of rose water and vermicelli, which was served to royalty during summers.
The Roman Emperor Nero  had ice brought from the mountains and combined with fruit toppings.
Arabs were perhaps the first to use milk as a major ingredient in the production of ice cream.
They sweetened it with sugar rather than fruit juices.  As early as the 10th century, ice cream was widespread amongst many of the Arab world's major cities, such as Baghdad, Damascus and Cairo.
It was produced from milk or cream, often with some yoghurt, and was flavored with rosewater, dried fruits and nuts.
When Marco Polo visited China and took the technique of making ice cream to Italy.
Did You Know that  when Marco Polo learned of the Chinese method of creating ice and milk mixtures and brought it back to Europe.
The Chinese may be credited with inventing a device to make sorbets and ice cream.
In the sixteenth century, the Mughal emperors used relays of horsemen to bring ice from the Hindu Kush to Delhi, where it was used in fruit sorbets.
There is no historical evidence to support these legends, which first appeared as early as the 19th century. The first recipe in French for flavored ices appears in 1674.
But ' True ice cream '  Ice cream recipes first appear in 18th century England and America.
Ice cream was introduced to the United States by Quaker.
The first ice cream parlor in America opened
in New York City in 1776.
The invention of the ice cream soda gave Americans a new treat, adding to ice cream's popularity. This cold treat was probably invented by Robert Green in 1874.
The ice cream sundae originated in the late
19th century.
Both the ice cream cone and banana split became popular in the early 20th century.
Europeans were eating cones long before 1904.
The history of ice cream in the 20th century is one of great change and increases in availability and popularity. Ice cream is often called "The Great American Dessert".
One important development in the 20th century was the introduction of soft ice cream.
Ice cream was made by hand in a large bowl placed inside a tub filled with ice and salt.
This was called the pot-freezer method.
The hand-cranked churn, which also uses ice and salt for cooling, replaced the pot-freezer method.
Before the development of modern refrigeration, ice cream was a luxury reserved for special occasions.
Years ago people ate ice cream only in the summer. Now it is eaten all the year round.
Ice cream has a way of invoking nostalgia over childhood memories and a general sense of comfort and happiness.
" ALL LOVE ICE  CREAMS "  it's  distinctive different flavors  with the  richness of  milk.
Some fun facts about ice creams
Americans are the ice-cream-eating-est people in the world.
Vanilla is the most popular flavor. One out of 4 ice creams sold is vanilla.
The Roman emperor Nero had ice and snow brought to him from the mountains.
It takes about 50 licks to lick away one scoop of ice cream!
Of all the days of the week, most ice cream is bought on Sunday!
Air is the most important ingredient in ice cream as it is needed to keep the ice cream soft.
On May 18, 2000, Baskin Robbins achieved the Guinness World Record for the "World's Largest Ice Cream Scoop Pyramid" by using 3,100 scoops of ice cream.
The Guinness World Record for the largest cup of ice cream is currently held by Baskin-Robbins. Created on September 13, 2005 in celebration of the company's 60th birthday, the enormous scoop of vanilla ice cream weighed in at 8,865 pounds!


Eating lemons make you live longer.
Broccoli is the food with the best anti cancer properties.
Eating half an orange a day reduces your chances of getting a heart attack by 50%.
Eating one meal of fish a week reduces your chances of getting a heart attack by 50%.

What is ' Dal ' ...

Dal or lentils is the staple food in every Indian home .Dried legumes and their edible seeds, known as pulses, are classified into three groups - lentils, beans and peas. Legumes and Pulses are a natural source of protein, high in fibre and low in fat. What is ' Dal ' ... Is a preparation of pulses (dried lentils, peas or beans) which have been stripped of their outer hulls and split. 
Dal is a ready source of proteins for a balanced diet containing little or no meat. In South India, dal is often used to make the dish called sambar.
In India, split pigeon peas (toor dal) are one of the most popular pulses, being an important source of protein in a mostly vegetarian diet.
Moog dal split, urad dal the much smaller true black lentil, Masoor dal are few split pulses, whole pulses are known as sabut dals and split pulses as dhuli dals. Most dal recipes are quite simple to prepare. The standard preparation of dal begins with boiling dal or a mix of dals in water with some turmeric, salt to taste, and then adding a tadka also known as tarka, chaunk or baghaar at the end of the cooking process. Tadka or tarka various spices or other flavorings fried in a small amount of oil.
Radish is one of the nutritious root vegetable. It has sharp pungent flavor. Radish is a vegetable with thin white skin and white flesh, this vegetable can be eaten raw as a appetizer and in salads or cooked in many dishes.
Health Benefits of Radish : Stimulate appetite, Helps to reduce overweight or obesity and dissolves gall stones. Good for diabetics just like cucumber and bitter gourd. Radishes and radish leaves are an excellent source of vitamin C.
The green leaves of Radish are also edible and nutritious. Radishes are high in potassium which is helpful in regulating blood pressure.
There's 2 kind of radish, one cherry size red radish and the other one long white radish.
INGS: 1 Cup Moong Dal, 1 Cup Raddish,
1\2 Tsp Turmeric pd, Salt, 1Tsp Coriander pd,
1 Tbsp Ghee, 1\2 Tsp Cumin seeds n Red Chilly pd, 1\4 Tsp Hing.[Asafoetida].
METHOD: Soak the moong dal for 1-2 hours.
Cut the raddish along with its leaves, put the dal
and the raddish together to boil. Also some salt and turmeric pd while boiling. When the dal is boiled, it will appear soft, churn and add the coriander pd. Make a tadka: For that put a pan to heat add ghee, the cumin seeds, hing and the red chilly pd. Serve hot.
One viewer comment...
Zilmil Shah says " humm..interesting..!!! i had dal with spinach but, this seems simple, tasty and easy to, will make it for sure..:-) "
Usha's Kitchen says " a must try ,I would suggest..usually dal is tur dal but 4 this its only n only moong dal ..pls try this as it is a typical household dish.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The word Navaratri ....

Bajre ki roti,
aam ka achar,
suraj ki kirne, khushiyo ki bahar,
chanda ki chandni, apano ka pyar,
mubarak ho aapko
‘NAVRATRI’ ka tyohar.
The word Navaratri literally means nine nights in Sanskrit, nava meaning nine and ratri meaning nights. During these nine nights and ten days, nine forms of Shakti/Devi are worshiped.
Navratri begins on Ashwin Shukla of the calendar.
'Navaratri' is the festival of worship of the Goddess Shakti.
The Navaratri festival has been celebrated for thousands of years.
The 10th day is commonly referred to as Vijayadashami or Dussehra.
The beginning of spring and the beginning of autumn are two very important junctions of climatic and solar influence. These two periods are taken as sacred opportunities for the worship of the Divine Mother.
Navaratri represents celebration of Goddess Durga, the manifestation of Deity in form of Shakti [Energy or Power] .
Navaratri is celebrated in different ways throughout India. In North India, all Navratris are celebrated with much fervor.
In Western India, particularly in the state of Gujarat, Navratri is celebrated with the famous Garba and Dandiya-Raas dance.
In Goa, zatra begins during Navratri, entire Antruz (Ponda) is highly ornated.
In the state of West Bengal in East India where they are celebrated as Durga Puja. This is the biggest festival of the year in this state.
The Chaitra Navratri culminates in Ram Navami and the Sharad Navratri culminates
in Durga Puja and Dussehra. The Dussehra 
of Kulu in Himachal Pradesh is particularly famous in the North.
In South India, people set up steps and place idols on them. This is known as golu.
In Kerala, three days: Ashtami, Navami, and Vijaya Dashami of Sharad Navaratri are celebrated as Sarasvati Puja.
In Telangana region of Andhra Pradesh, people celebrate Bathukamma festival over a period of nine days. It is a kind of navratri celebration.
Navratri is celebrated in a large number of Indian communities. The festival is celebrated with true devotion and purity all over the country.
On the eve of  'Navaratri'   let us pray to the Goddess ' to give us strength.
May this Navratri be as bright as ever.
May this Navratri bring joy, health and wealth to you.
May the festival of lights brighten up you and your near and dear ones lives.


A ' Brownie '  is  square or bar of very rich chocolate cake,  small flat sweet cakes.
A chocolate brownie is a flat, baked square or bar introduced in the United States at the end of the nineteenth century and popularized in both the U.S. and Canada during the first half of the twentieth century. The brownie is sliced from a type of dense, rich chocolate cake, which is, in texture, like a cross between a cake and a cookie.  Brownies come in a variety of forms.
It is a cake like and baked in a cake pan, the brownie is classified as a bar cookie rather than a cake. There are thousands of recipes, both “cake” types and “fudge” types.
The brownie got its name from its dark brown color.
Few stories about the origin of Brownie are that  a chef had melted chocolate, which he added to a batch of biscuits and wanted to bake a cake but didn’t have enough flour.
Folklore has its origin coming from a careless cook that forgot to put baking powder in the chocolate cake batter recipe.
The second story goes while making a chocolate cake but forgot to add baking powder. When the cake didn’t rise properly, instead of tossing it out,  cut and served the flat pieces.
The original brownies had no leavening, except for an egg or two, and little flour, but were so rich with butter and melted chocolate that they baked up softer than other cookies.
Early recipes for making Brownie  called for butter, eggs, sugar, flour, melted chocolate, and nuts in varying quantities, which means that making homemade chocolate brownies hasn't changed much in the last hundred years!
Chocolate Brownies are easy  to  make and are a  great snack, casual dessert, or thoughtful gift. They're perfect for parties with Vanilla ice cream and a drizzle of chocolate sauce.
The chocolate brownies are so easy to make and one can be sure it will turn out well.
So all wish to make this recipe of chocolate brownies again and again.
The classic brownie is made from few ingredients like  butter, sugar, chocolate, eggs, and flour.
The Fudgy  Brownie would be made by using a  minimum of flour and no leavening such as baking powder at all. Make a cake type brownie using less butter and more flour than fudgy brownies, a bit of baking powder to make them softer.
Most brownie recipes begin with melting butter and chocolate together.
No wonder Brownies, one of the most loved baked treat.

What are Makhana . . . .

What are Makhana . . . .
Gorgon nut or Fox nut, an aquatic crop, commonly known as Makhana or Gorgon Nut, is an highly nutritious, fully organic non cereal food.
which is extensively grown in the stagnant water of wetlands, tanks, ponds lakes and ditches. Euryale ferox also known as fox nut, foxnut, makhana or gorgon plant is the only species in the genus Euryale.
It is a flowering plant classified in the water lily family. The plant produces starchy white seeds, and the seeds are edible.
In India, particularly in the northern Punjab and western parts of the country.
Euryale feroxseeds are often roasted or fried, which causes them to pop like popcorn. These are then eaten, often with a sprinkling of oil and spices.
Makhana is an auspicious ingredient in offerings to the Lord during festivals and is used in cooking, specially to make a Porridge/pudding called kheer of makhana.
It is popularly known as "Makhana" in India.
It grows in water and is found in India, Korea, Japan and Russia.
Fox nut plant does not have stem. It has large round leaves and produces bright purple flowers. The whole plant is covered with small thorns. The leaves of fox nut plant have green upper surface and purple shaded lower surface. This plant produces fruits which are about the size of a small orange. Each fruit contains 8-10 seeds which are of pea size.
According to texts of Ayurveda, foxnut or makhana tastes sweet and is heavy to digest.
It strengthens the heart and is very useful in anemia. Makhanna increases stickiness of secretions by increasing moisture level in body.
1. Makhana helps in Cardiac Protection.
2. It helps in building action in dysentery,
frequent rination.
3. Makhana is anti oxident.
4. It is digestive for all age groups.
5. 25 gram makhana a day means a healthy food/diet for the whole family.
6. Loose makhana contains mycotoxin that is harmful to health.
7. Makhana regulates blood pressure, relieves numbness and aching near waist and knees.
8. It is suitable for arthritis, impotence and permature aging and recomanded for the women during pregnancy and post natal weaknesses.
Makhana (Euryale ferox) , a dry fruit, famed for its easy digestibility, high nutritional contents and wide use in religious fasting by people all over India. Makhana are very effective for heart nourishment and prevent insomnia.
Puffed lotus seeds, also called Makhana, are used for cooking in the Northern and Western parts of India.
The typical lotus seed is small, round and off-white in colour. It can be consumed raw or cooked. These seeds are a good source of protein, besides starch, fibre, fat, and traces of calcium, magnesium, zinc and iron. Lotus seed has astringent properties, and benefits the spleen and heart. It is said to nourish the blood and also improve appetite…


Potassium is needed in  your diet because it's a component for balancing the pH of your body and for keeping fluids in balance.
Potassium is a very important mineral to the human body. It has various roles in metabolism and body functions.
Eating foods high in potassium will change your physical and mental energy in just hours. Potassium is easily found in all plant foods.
Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits. Especially potassium rich foods are orange, watermelon, banana, plantains, apricots, dates, figs, raisins, tomatoes, nuts, milk, whole grains, potato, green leafy vegetables. Potassium is one of the most important elements in our diets. 
It is important for normal blood pressure regulation. Potassium is also needed for muscle growth, and for normal nervous system and brain function.
Foods With Large Amounts of Potassium: are raisins,prunes, apricots, dates, strawberries, bananas, watermelon, cantaloupe, citrus fruits, beets, greens spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, soy products, peas, beans, turkey, fish, beef, salmon and cod.
A deficiency in potassium causes fatigue, irritability, and hypertension.
List of fruits high in potassium. Are : Dried Apricots, Prunes (Dried Plums), Dried  Currants and Raisins, Dates, Dried Figs, Dried Coconut, Avocados, Bananas, Nectarines and Peaches and Oranges.
List of vegetables high in potassium Are : Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Spinach (Raw), Mushrooms, Sweet Potato (With Skin), Brussels Sprouts, Zucchini With Skin, Green (Snap) Beans and Asparagus.
Potassium is important to your health because
it keeps fluids and minerals balanced in your body. Potassium may also help lower blood pressure and decrease your risk of having a stroke. 
Without enough potassium in your body, you may feel weak and your bowels may stop working. Your heart may beat very fast, or the beat may not be regular.
Potassium is involved in the storage of carbohydrates for use by muscles as fuel.
Excellent sources of potassium include chard,  mushrooms, and spinach.
Very good sources of potassium include fennel, kale, mustard greens, Brussel sprouts, broccoli, winter squash, blackstrap molasses, eggplant, cantaloupe, and tomatoes.
Good sources of potassium include parsley, cucumber, bell pepper, turmeric, apricots, ginger root, strawberries, avocado, banana, tuna, halibut, cauliflower and cabbage.
Eating foods high in potassium will change your physical and mental energy in just hours. Potassium is easily found in all plant foods.
Eat plenty of vegetables and fruits. Especially potassium rich foods are orange, watermelon, banana, plantains, apricots, dates, figs, raisins, tomatoes, nuts, milk, whole grains, potato, green leafy vegetables. Potassium is one of the most important elements in our diets.
It is important for normal blood pressure regulation. Potassium is also needed for muscle growth, and for normal nervous system and brain function.

A healthy note

A healthy thought ....
A handful of lifestyle changes like exercise and a healthy diet are key to beating heart disease, experts have said.
Taking more exercise, eating more fruit and vegetables, reducing alcohol intake and slashing the amount of saturated fat in our diet could drastically reduce the rate of deaths caused by the disease.
Benefits of oil massages are that it rejuvenates your mind and body.  The smooth gliding motions that a massage oil helps to have nourished skin. It dissolves accumulated toxins and stress, which promotes general good health.
Tones the muscles along with the whole physiology, helps to keep the joints flexible, relieves fatigue, aches and pain in the body n calms the nerves.
A healthy tip ...
Include mint in your cooking in the form of chutney or add to your salads.
Mint is a herbal remedy to treat stomach cramps, menstrual cramps, flatulence, upset stomach, nausea, vomiting and colic in children.
Brussels Sprouts (Brassica oleracea) are oval shaped vegetables composed of layers of leaves around a small stem. Brussels sprouts are typically green, but red varieties can also be found.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Fusion Pav Bhaji Spaghetti

Fusion Pav Bhaji Spaghetti
A fusion Indian touch, easy to make.
2 cups Boiled Spaghetti,
1 Tomato cut,
1 Onion cut,
1 Tbsp Ginger| Garlic paste,
2 Tbsp Tomato sauce,
3\4 Tsp Pav bhaji masala,
1 Tsp sugar,
1 tbsp Oil,
Salt to taste.
Boil spaghetti in lots of water to which some
salt has been added. Cut the onion n tomato.
Put a pan to heat, add oil also add ginger garlic
paste. Now add the cut onion n tomato.

Stir for few minutes. Also add the boiled spaghetti, pav bhaji masala, sugar and salt to taste. Check the taste n seasoning.
Serve with bread slices with butter, grilled on

a non stick tava and also add roasted papad.

Tomato Puree, Paste & Sauce Defined .....

The Tomato is actually a fruit, but most
people think of it as a vegetable.
Tomatoes are actually a fruit rather than 
a vegetable and they are native to America.
The Cherry Tomatoes are small round tomatoes about the size of a cherry.
Tomato paste, or tomato concentrate means tomatoes that have been cooked for several hours, then strained and reduced to a thick,
rich concentrate. It is generally fairly sweet.
Tomato puree consists of tomatoes that have been cooked and strained, resulting in a thick liquid.
Tomato sauce is a somewhat thinner tomato puree, and may include seasonings and other flavorings so that it is ready to be used in other dishes or as a base for other sauces.
A tomato sauce is any of a very large number
of sauces made primarily from tomatoes, usually to be served as part of a dish o as a condiment.
The simplest tomato sauces is  just of chopped tomatoes cooked in a little olive oil and simmered and seasoned with salt, herbs and small amounts of spices.
While Tomato puree is a processed food product, usually consisting of only tomatoes.
Tomato puree is  ripe tomatoes that are washed and chopped.
Tomato puree can be used in soups, stews, sauces, or any other dish where the tomato flavor is desired.

Tomato paste, Tomato puree n Tomato sauce defined...
Tomato paste is made from tomatoes that have been cooked for a few hours, strained and reduced into a rich, sweet paste. Tomato paste
is most commonly used in pizza sauce.
Tomato paste is a thick paste made from ripened tomatoes with skin and seeds removed.

Tomato puree consists of tomatoes that have been cooked briefly and strained to produce a thick, tangy liquid. Tomato puree is used in soups, stews and sauces to add the tomato flavor.

Tomato sauce means  any sauce made out of tomatoes. Like the  Italian tomato sauce  as
well as Indian and Thai curries that have a tomato base. Tomato sauce can be canned 
or fresh.

Tomatoes canned means fresh tomatoes are washed then packed into cans along with juice or puree then cooked. Canned tomatoes are frequently more flavorful than fresh "green picked" tomatoes.
Stewed tomatoes have been cooked with seasonings. They can be heated and used as
a side dish or added to sauces, soups or stews.
One of the many varieties of canned tomatoes are the  diced tomatoes. Which are great for making a quick tomato sauce or used for any soup, stew, sauce or casserole requiring chopped tomatoes.

1 Substitute for tomato paste ...
For 1 tablespoon tomato paste you can cook 2-3 tablespoons of tomato puree or tomato sauce
and reduce it until it is thick.

2 Substitute for tomato puree ...
For 1 cup of puree take  1/3 cup tomato pasted with 2/3 cup water OR
use 1 cup tomato sauce.

3 Substitute for tomato sauce ....
For 1 cup sauce substitute 1/2 cup tomato paste mixed with 1/2 cup water or 1 cup tomato puree, OR use 1 cup tomato puree,
OR 1 cup canned, cooked tomatoes blended
to a smooth consistency.

Baking tips...

TIP ... TIP ...
Make soft and fluffy Pancakes by adding bottle soda to make it's batter.
A baking tip ....
If making a chocolate cake then grease and sprinkle cocoa powder... instead of flour.
When baking, follow the rule to mix all wet ingredients first. Then add all dry ingredients, when mixing a cake batter.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

What are the modes of cooking ... Steaming n Boiling. ..

Steaming is a method of cooking using steam. Steaming is considered a healthy cooking technique and capable of cooking almost all kinds of food. Steaming means boiling water continuously, causing it to vaporize into steam; the steam then carries heat to the nearby food, thus cooking the food. The food is kept separate from the boiling water but has direct contact with the steam, resulting in a moist texture to the food. Overcooking or burning food is easily avoided when steaming it. Health conscious individuals may prefer steaming to other methods.
While Boiling occurs when a liquid is heated
to its boiling point. Boiling  is the method of cooking food in boiling water, or any  liquid base such as stock or milk.
Simmering is gentle boiling, while in poaching the cooking liquid moves but scarcely bubbles.
If a comparison between steaming and boiling vegetables is done then the most affected nutrients are Folic acid and Vitamin C. 
When compared to raw consumption, steaming reduces Folic acid by 15%, and boiling reduces it by 35%. Steaming reduces Vitamin C by 15%, and boiling reduces it by 25%.
In Western cooking, steaming is most often
used to cook vegetables,  it is rarely used to 
cook meats.
In Chinese cuisine, vegetables are mostly 
stir fried or blanched and seldom steamed.
Seafood and meat dishes are steamed.
Boiling is a very harsh technique of cooking. Delicate foods such as fish cannot be cooked
by this method.  The boiling point of water is typically considered to be 100 °C.
Foods suitable for boiling include vegetables, starchy foods such as rice, noodles and potatoes, eggs, meats, sauces, stocks and soups.
Boiling water and allowing it to cool before drinking it is practiced as a valuable health measure.
Boiling is the most certain way of killing all microorganisms, bacteria and any germs.
Boiling has several advantages. It is safe and simple, and it is appropriate for large-scale cookery.
Oriental cooking has always made great use 
of steaming as a main cooking method.
Many foods are steamed, rather than baked. Steaming has great advantages over other cooking methods.
The healthy way of steaming allows one  to preserve the vegetables  nutrients, bring out their color and enhance their flavor.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

What is Spaghetti ....

Spaghetti is a long, thin, cylindrical pasta of Italian origin. Spaghetti is made of semolina or flour and water. Italian dried spaghetti is made from durum wheat semolina, but outside of Italy it may be made with other kinds of flour.
It is a  variety| type  of pasta.
Spaghetti is a long, thin, cylindrical pasta of Italian origin. In other words long, thin strands of dried or fresh pasta that is the most popular form of pasta in Italy.
Spaghetti is cooked in a large pot of salted, boiling water,  which is brought to boiling.
Then  salt is  added and after a minute or so
the pasta is added. After 10 to 15 minutes
(the timing is most often written on the packet as per the brand and thicknesses) the spaghetti is drained of water with a colander. Spaghetti  takes more time to cook depending on it's thickness.
"Al dente"  means  vegetables are cooked to the "tender crisp" phase, still offering resistance to the bite, but cooked through. Keeping the pasta firm  for further  baking also called  "al forno" pasta dishes, which will be baked.
The term "al dente" comes from Italian and means "to the tooth" or "to the bite", referring to the need to chew the pasta due to its  firmness.
Like its cousin "macaroni," spaghetti is made from semolina and water. Sometimes eggs are added. The name comes from the Italian word for "strings." Everybody’s favorite, Spaghetti pairs well with just about any kind of sauce. 
Try spaghetti with a simple tomato sauce, with or without meat or vegetables.
Arrabbiata sauce is made of  fresh tomatoes, garlic, and parsley with a tantalizing touch of crushed green chili peppers. Another sauce that will blend well with spaghetti is the
Marinara sauce is made from  fresh tomatoes, onions, and a unique combination of spices like the  basil, oregano and garlic.
The Tomato & Basil  Sauce has the fresh flavor of sweet basil and cooked along with chunks of  tomatoes, olive oil, carrots and onions with a  combination of  delicate herbs.
The Napoletana is a robust sauce, roasted garlic, sweet onions, tomatoes, olive oil, and a mix  of oregano, parsley, and black pepper to get a tasty  sauce.

A Discussion question put up .... 2 start with ' stir fry ' ..

Stir fry is an older cooking technique, most often seen in Asian cooking.
Stir-frying is an Asian technique for cooking meat and vegetables quickly, so that they retain
texture and flavor. Stir-frying typically involves a quick saute over high heat.
Stir-frying involves frying food quickly over very high heat in an oiled pan.
While stir frying generally stir continually.
For a stir fry keep all ingredients ready before you begin to stir-fry.
Meats and vegetables should be cut into small pieces for a ' stir fry '.
Try to cut vegetables n meat to the same size.
Be aware of the cooking time of each. Use a good non stick wok or pan.
Most vegetables will cook in about five to seven minutes,so can pour in the stir fry sauce.
Its advantages are that it is a  fast and  healthy cooking method .
Stir fry is also an easy technique for the beginning cook.
Tofu stir fry is a dish made of tofu and various vegetables added to a pan and quickly sauteed in oil. The oil used for tofu stir fry is usually sesame oil. The vegetables that go well with tofu in a stir fry will vary from dish to dish.
Few vegetables listed that blend well with tofu, like the snow peas, string beans, carrots, bamboo shoots, water chestnuts, broccoli, mushrooms, peppers, onions, bean sprouts, and baby corn. For the  tofu stir fry, many cooks prefer to add soy sauce to give the dish a flavor.
The tofu stir fry is often served over rice or over the noodles.
Stir-fries are quick, easy and fairly healthy, making them so  popular.

A healthy living . . . Methods of cooking ... Tips ....

For a healthier lifestyle it is important, what you cook and how you cook. It depends on the method you choose and the nutrients one retains from the food.
Sanhita Kargupta We should have a discussion on the modes of cooking & the appliances used thereof. Say the advantages of micro wave, steaming ,boiling, frying etc. & how it effects the nutrients of the food we eat.
What are the modes of cooking & the appliances used in a kitchen? Also state few advantages of micro wave, steaming, boiling, frying| deep frying| stir fry, saute.....Would all get involved n put in their views...
tips .... tips ....
1 TIP 4 THE DAY . . . .

2 Steaming and stir-frying are better choices of cooking methods
because they allow the natural nutrition to remain in your food.

If one wishes to add salt to vegetables, when put into the pan, then sodium will draw out moisture. This will give help to steam, not brown the vegetables. But if desire a flavorful caramel type look then add salt at the end.The seasonings that one adds to the foods while cooking is very important.

4 A healthy tip...
Avoid the high fat mayonnaise, instead try to puree cottage cheese or the soft tofu, with a mix of water, mustard, little vinegar and pepper.

5 TIP ... TIP ...
Try to store the Lettuce fresh in the fridge by putting in a paper
towel | paper napkin. This will keep it fresh.

6 TIP ... TIP ...
Try to store mushrooms in paper bags rather than plastic bags,
they will last longer.
What is a ' recipe ' ...... 
The earliest known recipes dates back to approximately 1600 BC.  While ' Culinary art ' is the art of preparing and cooking foods. A recipe is a set of instructions that describe how to prepare or make something, especially a culinary dish.
In other words a ' recipe ' is a set of instructions for preparing a particular dish, including a list of the ingredients required.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A awesome tip .....

TIP 4 THE DAY : The best Broccoli will have dark green tops with lighter green stems. The buds will be tightly closed, with no spots or signs of yellowing. The stalks should feel firm and crisp.

Comments 4 the French fries ....

Garima Aggarwal Usha this is really good one.. please share some more.. healthy recipes.... like this one..
Vivek Soni  I love French of my favorite. I am even fond of cooking too.........Thanx for a wonderful and useful tip........

What are the tasty ' French Fries '....

What are the tasty ' French Fries '....
Are French fries really French ?
French fries or chips, fries, or French fried potatoes are thin strips of deep-fried potato.
Some say it's because of the "French" cut of  the potatoes; others say maybe the "French-fried" cooking method; or that the name caught on.
French fries are known as Frites, Patates Frites or Pommes Frites in French, a name which is also used in many non French speaking areas, and have names that mean "fried potatoes" or "French potatoes". This is a Belgian culinary specialty. Fries are very popular in Belgium and the Netherlands. In Spain, fried potatoes are called "Patatas Fritas".. Curly fries are spring like shape. They are generally made from whole potatoes that are cut using a specialized spiral slicer. Fries can be served with a variety of accompaniments like a sprinkle of salt and pepper, vinegar (malt, balsamic or white), grated cheese, mushy-peas, heated curry sauce, curry ketchup (mildly spiced mix of the former), hot or chili sauce, mustard, mayonnaise, tartar sauce, feta cheese, garlic sauce, fry sauce, ranch dressing, barbecue sauce, gravy, brown sauce, tomato ketchup, lemon-juice, pickled cucumber, pickled gherkins, pickled onions or pickled eggs. French fries can contain a large amount of fat from frying. French fries are the world’s most sought after snack. French Fries may be tasty but not healthy. They contain sodium and saturated fats. French fries are a very forgiving food. You can use them as finger foods. They are eaten with Mayonnaise or Ketchup as a snack.
For best fried french fries results read the tip.
They are deep fried twice; once for cooking the thick cut potatoes and then to give them a crispy, golden crunch..
So a healthy tip 4 all french fries lovers....
Easiest way of making fries is by baking them in an oven at 450°F for 30 minutes.
An easy n quick oven made French fried recipe.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
Cut potatoes in French fries shape.
The potatoes are peeled and cut into 1cmx1cm sticks. Sprinkle olive oil, salt, pepper powder, garlic powder, Add herbs of your choice. Put on a greased tray in the oven. Once flip the side, do until golden brown.
We all do get tempted by foods deep fried like the potato chips, fried chicken and the French fries?
So why not opt for a ’ healthy ‘ oven fried ‘ method. The Oven 'fried' type of crispiness will involve dipping in egg white or a mixture of egg white and water, sometimes or buttermilk. Oven frying method may use a dip in buttermilk before adding bread crumbs.
Using one’s culinary skills to finding a 'better' way of cooking is innovative. Like the ‘ Oven-frying ‘ is a great way to reduce calories.

Jambalaya, many people tend to wonder "what is jambalaya? "

Jambalaya is a Louisiana Creole dish of Spanish and French influence.
The word jambalaya is thought to be derived from jambon, the French word for ham.
Louisiana Creole cuisine is a style of cooking originating in Louisiana which blends French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Greek, Asian Indian, Native American and African influences, as well as general Southern cuisine.
Jambalaya is traditionally made in three parts, with meats and vegetables, and is completed by adding stock and rice. It happens to be a one pot dish that's  made with rice, stock, tomatoes, onions, celery, green peppers and various meats, poultry and shellfish.
There are two primary methods of making jambalaya.
The first and most common is Creole jambalaya also called "red jambalaya".
The second style, more characteristic style  of southwestern and south central Louisiana, is Cajun jambalaya.
A third method is less common. Where the  meat and vegetables are cooked separately from the rice.
The word 'Jambalaia', meaning a mish mash,
or mix up, or also meaning a pilau  of rice.
Jambalaya the  rice dish,  where the rice is cooked with a meat or seafood and vegetable mixture.
Jambalaya is prepared with just about any meat, including chicken, sausage, pork, giblets,  beef, or seafood.  There are a wide variety of ways to make jambalaya, with chicken and sausage, or shrimp, or ham,  or even duck.
The spices however, usually don't change much as that would compromise the entire dish.
One can expect to taste spices like thyme, sage, garlic, cayenne pepper, chili powder and oregano.
The  spices will vary from dish to dish but the general, familiar taste is always there.
 A tip 4 making a great jambalaya is to use the right pot. It’s easy to cook and it tastes fantastic.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Few additional cookery terms

À la Carte signifies a menu item that is priced individually, rather than as part of a meal.
Allumette  is a  basic knife cut measuring ¼ inch × ¼ inch × 2½ inches. Also known as a ' Matchstick cut ' .
Batonnet is a  basic knife cut measuring ½ inch × ½ inch × 2½-3 inches.

Braise means  a  method of cooking that involves browning meat or vegetables in oil or butter first,
then slowly cooking the food in
a small amount of liquid.
Broil is a  method of cooking 
where the food is placed directly underneath or above the source 
of heat.
Brine is a method when water 
and salt solution used for pickling
or preserving.
Casserole is a baked dish, which 
is  in various size  deep dishes.
For it  all the ingredients are mixed together or layered before cooking and topped with cheese.
Flambé  is cooking in which foods are splashed with liquor and ignited.
Julienne means to cut food into thin strips.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

WHAT IS A ' SAMOSA ' . . .

 A samosa is a stuffed pastry and a popular snack in South Asia, Southeast Asia, Central Asia, the Arabian Peninsula, the Mediterranean, Southwest Asia, the Horn of Africa, North Africa and South Africa.
It generally is a fried or baked triangular  pastry shell with a savory filling, which may include spiced potatoes, onions, peas, coriander, and lentils, or ground beef or chicken.
The size and shape of a samosa can vary. It is
a triangular savory pastry fried in ghee or oil, containing spiced vegetables or meat. Samosas are often served with chutney  generally as an appetizer.
Samosa in Hindi are  समोसा . The samosa has been a popular snack in South Asia for centuries.
Samosa was brought to India, where it is so famous, by Muslim traders and soldiers. Small, crisp mince filled samosas were easy to make around campfires during night halts, which were then packed into saddle bags as snacks for the next day’s journey.
Samosa originated in Persia, and was introduced to India during Mogul empire in the royal kitchen of Akbar. 
The Samosa was called ' Qutab ' . The Samosa filled with spiced potatoes and green peas, which became a regular  part of Mughal Cuisine.
If you too are a Samosa lover then will know it 
is difficult to resist them. In Maharashtra, you can get Samosa Paav, also Samosa is served with Chhola. Samosas are often served in chaat, along with the traditional accompaniments of yogurt, chutney, chopped onions and coriander, and chaat masala.
Now a days  there are so many calories and health conscious ones, so what do they do ?
One simple tip  for  some people who do not want to deep fry the samosas and rather want to use the oven, so here is a trick for oven-baked samosas. Samosas can be baked in oven too. Just flatten the stuffed samosa and  brush with oil and bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes both sides until brown and done. Samosa is often served with ketchup or tomato sauce.
It's also very tasty to dip it in chutney, whether sweet Tamarind  or the  spicy Coriander chutney.

Tasty n homemade Samosas . . .

Tasty n homemade Samosas
For the Dough
1 cup All Purpose Flour (Maida),
Water to Knead dough,
1 Tbsp oil,
Salt to taste.
For the Stuffing
2-3 Boiled Potatoes,
1 Green Chilly cut,
1 Tsp Ginger grated,
2-3 Tbsp boiled Peas,
3\4 Tsp Red Chilly powder,
1 Tsp Coriander powder,
Few pinch Sugar, optional,
3\4 Tsp Pav Bhaji masala,
1\4 Tsp Dry Mango powder or
Few drops Lime juice.
Salt to taste,
1Tbsp Oil.
METHOD For Stuffing
Cut the boiled potatoes into small pieces to this add the boiled peas and all the above dry masalas, sugar and lime juice. Mix well. 
Put a pan to heat add the oil, cut green chilly and the ginger, now add the potato mixture.
Stir for few minutes, sprinkle coriander leaves.
Allow to cool before filling it.
METHOD For Dough
First prepare a flexible dough: Mix flour and salt, rub in the oil, add water slowly to make the dough. Allow to rest. Take a ball size of the dough and roll it out with some flour. Cut into half to get a semi circle piece.
[Cut it into two parts like semi-circle]. Now take one semi circle and fold it like a cone. Use water while doing so. Place a spoon of filling in the cone and seal the third side using a drop of water. Heat oil in a pan and deep fry till golden brown on a medium flame.
Make sure the oil is hot enough before you begin to fry the samosas. Put them on kitchen paper to drain off the excess oil. Serve samosas hot with green chutney and tamarind chutney.
A tip on filling the samosa properly.
Close one side of the semi circle by applying water on the outer edge of the circle. Fold in such a way to get a small cones in which the filling is put. Seal well. 
Just pinch the edges, seal well by ' pressing ' .

Friday, September 16, 2011


A  ' TANDOOR ' ....

A ' Tandoor ' is a cylindrical clay oven used
in cooking and baking.
The heart of Indian barbecue is the tandoor,
a barrel shaped oven made from clay.
The heat in  a tandoor was traditionally generated by a charcoal or wood fire, burning within the tandoor itself. So  exposing the food to live-fire, radiant heat cooking, and hot-air, convection cooking, and smoking by the fat and food juices that drip on to the charcoal. Temperatures in a tandoor can reach 480°C (900°F), and it is common for tandoor ovens
to remain lit for longer  periods.
A charcoal or wood fire is lit in the bottom, and food is placed through the neck on long skewers to be cooked at high temperatures.
The tandoor is used for cooking certain types 
of Iranian, Afghan, Pakistani and Indian foods such as tandoori chicken, chicken tikka and bread varieties like tandoori roti and naan.
The word ' Tandoori '  is the adjective meaning "pertaining to the tandoor" and is used to describe a dish cooked in a tandoor.
In Sanskrit, the tandoor was referred to as kandu.
The oldest examples of a tandoor were found 
in the settlements of the ancient Indus Valley Civilization, though earlier tandoor-type ovens have been recovered in early-Harappan contexts also.
Tandoor is a method of cooking food in a clay oven at a high temperature of 400c. The meat
is marinaded for a long, before put on skewers and then placed vertically in the clay pot where there is  intense heat. Tandoor cooked food has unique flavor, which comes because of the  marinade, clay also  imparts an earthy flavour and the use of charcoal.
The   "Indian Tandoori Chicken" is bound to bring water to everyone's  mouth.
Tandoori chicken is one of the most popular delicacies and all non vegetarians relish it.
In many Indian restaurants, red tandoori chicken is served with sliced onions and wedges of fresh lemon. Even Paneer Tikka and Chicken tikka are very popular dishes made in a tandoor.

Some more tips . . .

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Shradh, What is the significance of Shradhs ? ? ?

From Purnima to mid of Amavasya, that is for 16 days, Shradh is is performed to provide peace to the soul of our ancestors. In respect to the ancestors, it is very important to follow Pitra Paksha and perform their Shradh work. As per the Hindu scriptures and calendar.
Pitra Pakasha, that is, the Shradh Paksha, starts from Bhadrapad Shukla Purnima to Ashwin Krishna Amavasya. According to this, every year 16 days are mainly dedicated to ancestors.
Shradh is a Sanskrit word, which literally means "anything done with sincerity and faith." "Shradh" also means “Shraddha" which means unconditional reverence and
is to remember the ancestors with gratitude. Shradh is performed every year on the death anniversary of the deceased relative as per the Panchang (The Hindu calendar) or during the period of dark fortnight called Pitra Paksha.
Hindu Puranas are full of details about Shradh. It is Yama, the god of death in Hindu mythology, who explained the importance of Shradh performed on Pitru Paksha.
In the Pitra Paksha Shradha, Brahmins are offered food. After the meal, they are given donation and alms as per an individuals capacity. This helps in the maintenance of good health, peace, happiness and enrichment. The religious works done during Shradh Paksha Bhadrapad Shukla Purnima to Ashwini Krishna Amavasya, gives salvation to the ancestors. It is also believed that the food reaches to our forefathers through Brahmans and birds.
Brahmins are fed and given Daan-Dakshina, 
for it is believed that whatever is given to the Brahmins also reach the departed souls.
Shradh is performed so that the ancestors may be satiated with our offerings.
Shradh, promotes righteousness and inspires us to think of the other world, and also enhances our devotion towards God. Pleasing of ancestors before God is more beneficial.
Pitra Karya is more significant than Dev Karya.  Vayu Purana, Matsya Purana, Guru Purana, Vishnu Purana and other scriptures like Manu Smriti etc. contains the description of Shradh.
Shradh  is performed with the objective that a Jeeva may attain a better life in its next birth.

Friday, September 9, 2011


TIP . . Tried to cut Green Chillies using a pair of scissors. Avoid any burning sensation.
TIP . . . Avoid bad odor from tiffin boxes by rubbing leftover lime| lemon peels.
TIP 4 the day ...
Always store the Onions and Potatoes together, they will not spoil.

4 all my viewers

"Cooking is like writing poetry,
be careful in the choice of your
ingredients and  how
they work together. That’s true of
all the efforts in life."