Thursday, March 29, 2012

Best uses of the Melon seeds . . A powerhouse of various nutrients..

Best uses of the Melon seeds . . 
A powerhouse of various nutrients..
Man has known of the existence and uses of melons since

the past 4000 years and today, a wide variety of melons are known to exist around the world.
The melon is a member of the Cucurbitaceae family with its characteristic fleshy fruits. The word "melon" can refer to either the plant or specifically to the fruit.
Many different cultivars have been produced, particularly of muskmelons.
Although the melon is a botanical fruit, some varieties may be considered culinary vegetables rather than fruits. 

Melons originated in Africa and southwest Asia.
The melon seed is, generally, a grayish white hard shell with a white inner kernel, which is soft and oval in shape. The seeds of the melon are rich in protein, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins, fats and other nutrients like rich in Potassium, Magnesium, Iron and Calcium. Melon seeds may help High cholesterol, melon seed acts as an average antioxidant.
Melon seeds are are used in baking, dressing of bread cake, confectionery, supari, sweets, refreshing drinks and snack foods. They can also be directly consumed after roasting.
*Being lower in calories and having high water content, the melon is a refreshing and healthy food.*
The white melon seeds which are used in Indian cooking and not the water melon seeds.
Best uses of the Melon seeds . . .
The melon seeds can also be used as mouth fresheners.
The seeds are used for preparing delicious sweets and snacks.
A paste of melon seeds are added to spicy meat dishes or to vegetarian gravies to thicken its consistency and also give richness to the dish.
White melon seeds are fried and then used in making various types of cakes.
Another innovative usage for melon seeds is in cereals and fruit puddings.
Melon seeds are lightly dry-roasted and eaten as a salted snack.
Also used in savory bakes and vegetarian recipes, and sprinkled onto bread loaves.
The seeds are crushed and used to thicken stews and curries, or added to sweets, buns, flat breads and drinks.
The dried melon seeds are available in the stores and also available in the supermarkets. The seeds are sold in the shell or peeled for later usage.
Store melon seeds in an airtight container in a dry and dark place.

In English as "Tamarind"

The tamarind tree produces edible, pod-like fruit which are extensively used in various cuisines around the world.
Leaves are evergreen, bright green in color, elliptical ovular, arrangement is alternate.
The fruit is also called a pod, it is mature when the flesh is brown or reddish-brown colored.
The tamarind is best described as sweet and sour in taste, 
and is high in acid.
When British sailors first visited the coasts of Oman to India, they inquired of the fruit n were told by the locals there that it was thamer hind; literally meaning "dates from India". 
This was recorded by the English as "tamarind".
The young tender tamarind leaves have a tart flavor without being too bitter or sour. Also called Chiguru.
The fruit pulp is edible. The hard green pulp of a young fruit is considered by many to be too sour and acidic, but is often used as a component of savory dishes and the ripened fruit is considered the more palatable, as it becomes sweeter and less sour (acidic) as it matures.
It is used in desserts as a jam, blended into juices or sweetened drinks, sorbets, ice creams and all manner of snacks.
In regional cuisines of Rajasthan, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu (where it is called "Puli") and Andhra Pradesh, it is  used to make rasam, sambhar, vatha kuzhambu, and puliyogare. Along the coastal belt, it is added to fish curry masalas, with ground coconut for flavoring.
The food uses of the tamarind are many. Cooked as seasoning with rice, fish and meats in India.
Along with tamarind, sugar and spices are added to get chutneys  that is used as a condiment for many snacks n savories.
Tamarind is used as in Indian Ayurvedic medicine for gastric and/or digestion problems, and in cardioprotective activity.

Ayurveda the science of life

Ayurveda the science of life
Life is a combination of the body, senses, the mind 

and the atma (soul). They cannot be separated from 
each other and none can be neglected. 
From this combination ensues 'Ayur'- the span of life. 
Ayurveda the science of life is the knowledge of this 
association and of how to maintain it as long as possible.
Ayus- means life which is a proper combination of body,

mind, sense organs and the soul. Veda- means knowledge.
This system of medicine evolved around 600 BC in India. Ayurveda is known to promote positive health, natural
beauty and long life.
Ayurveda believes that human beings and nature should 
be in perfect harmony and that disease occurs when the equilibrium between these two is disrupted.
Ayurvedic treatments are person specific rather than

disorder specific.

What is a Kofta?

What is a Kofta?
Koftas are dumplings famous in India. A variety of koftas 

can be made with different ingredients.
There are bottle gourd koftas (Lauki Kofta) and creamy koftas (Malai Kofta). Kofta is a Middle Eastern and South Asian meatball or meatloaf. In the simplest form, koftas consist of balls of minced or ground meat. Which is usually beef or lamb that are mixed with spices and/or onions. The vegetarian varieties, like lauki kofta and shahi aloo kofta, are popular in India. In other words ' Kofta ' is a Middle Eastern and Southeast Asian dish made by grinding meat, mixing it with spices, and forming it into balls or cylinders for cooking.
Kofta is known by a variety of other names including kefta, kufta, and qofte.
The meat is often mixed with other ingredients such
as rice, bulgur, vegetables, or eggs to form a smooth paste. Koftas are sometimes made with fish or vegetables rather than red meat, especially in India. They can be grilled, fried, steamed, poached, baked or marinated, and may be served with a rich spicy sauce.
In countries with a large vegetarian population, like India, it is possible to find vegetable koftas made with an assortment of vegetables like cauliflower, corn, peas, potatoes, carrots, cabbage, green beans, squash, onions, beetroot, and ginger.
Vegetable kofta are often served with a thick, flavorful gravy in India and Southeast Asia.
Small, drier koftas make great appetizers.

Make Three different Koftas

Make Three different Koftas
1\4 cup Bengal gram flour, 1\4 Tsp Ajwain,
1 Tbsp Oil, 1\4 cup Wheat flour,
2 Pinch Sesame seeds, Salt, Little Red Chilly powder,
5-6 Tbsp Fenugreek leaves | Methi leaves,
Little Turmeric powder, A pinch Asafoetida,
Little Sugar.
METHOD : Mix all well, make a dough, using a little curd.
Make small roll shape and fry in hot oil until golden brown. Keep aside.
Lauki Koftas.. RECIPE TWO
Make koftas..
1 Cup Bottle gourd ( lauki ), 1 Small size Onion cut,
A pinch Soda- bi- carb, 1\2 Cup Bengal gram flour,
1\8 Tsp Turmeric powder, 1\2 Tsp Red chilly powder,
Salt to taste, Oil to fry.
Make lauki koftas by ( bottle gourd ) grating and then
all water is squeezed out, add all of the other ingredients.

Make pakoras, the koftas, fry in hot oil.
Fry until golden brown.
INGS: 3-4 Tbsp Onion, 1Tbsp Cottage Cheese,
3-4 Tbsp Spinach (cut finely ), 1Tbsp Cheese( grated) ,
8-10 Tbsp Bread Crumbs,one Potato boiled and mashed,
Salt and pepper pd to taste, 1\2 Tsp Oil,
METHOD: Put a pan to heat add oil, onion, stir for few

seconds then add the cut spinach and salt , pepper pd to taste.
Mash the boiled potato add salt, half the bread crumbs and the spinach. Mix well, make 4 balls out of this.
Now take the grated cottage cheese and the cheese , add little pepper pd and make small 4 balls out of this .
Place the small cheese balls inside the bigger potato balls, roll well and coat with the bread crumbs, fry in hot oil.



Make a paste 4 the gravy . . .
2-3 Large Tomatoes (blanched), 1 Cut Onion , 2 Tbsp Curd
2 -3 Cashew nuts and Almonds, 1-2 Green Chilly,
A piece of Ginger, 1 Tsp Garlic paste, Red Chilly pd and Coriander pd, each, 1\2 Tsp Turmeric pd
Little Sugar, 1\2 Tsp Garam masala n 2 Tbsp Cream.
METHOD: Fry the koftas keep aside.
Blanch the tomatoes and in a mixer jar put the cut onion, curd, tomatoes, garlic, green chilly, ginger, almonds and the cashews. Also add red chilly pd, turmeric pd and coriander pd.
Grind to a fine paste.
Put a pan to heat add the oil and add the paste, stir until leaves the sides of the pan. Now add garam masala salt, sugar. .
Cover and cook for few minutes. Add the cream and arrange the koftas and pour the gravy around them. Garnish with coriander leaves.


3 Cups Boiled n Cooked Rice,
2-3 Tbsp Oil,
2 Tbsp Urad dal,
3-4 Tbsp Lemon juice,
1\8 Tsp Turmeric powder,
2 Tbsp Cashew nuts, fried,
Few pinches of Mustard seeds,
2-3 Curry leaves,
Salt to taste,
Coriander leaves n Few pieces of
cashew nuts for garnish.
Boil the rice and allow to cool.
Put a pan to heat add the mustard seeds,
curry leaves, cashew nuts and urad dal,
stir for few seconds.
In a bowl take the lemon juice, turmeric
pd n salt, mix well.
Now add this to the above tempering,
also add the cooked rice, mix lightly.
Serve with a garnish of coriander leaves
and few fried cashew nut pieces.
This rice is enjoyed with sambar or rasam,

along with appalam.

Identifying whole-grain products?

Identifying whole-grain products?
Whole-grain products can be identified by the ingredients list. Typically, if the ingredient lists "whole wheat," "whole meal,"
or "whole corn" as the first ingredient, the product is a whole-grain food item. The word "whole" refers to the fact that
all of the grain, the bran, germ, and endosperm is used and nothing is lost in the process of making the flour.
This is in contrast to white, refined flours, which contain only the endosperm.
Whole grains are cereal grains that contain cereal germ, endosperm, and bran, in contrast to refined grains, which retain only the endosperm. Common whole grains include: Wheat,
Oat, Barley - Hulled and Dehulled (not Pearl), Maize, Brown rice, Farro, Spelt, Emmer, Einkorn, Kamut, Rye, Millet, Quinoa, Amaranth, Triticale, Teff, Sprouted Grains, Buckwheat.
Farro is a food product consisting of the grains of certain wheat species in whole form.
Spelt (Triticum spelta) is a hexaploid species of wheat.
Emmer wheat (Triticum dicoccum), also known as farro especially in Italy, is a type of awned wheat.
Einkorn wheat (from German Einkorn, literally "single grain") can refer either to the wild species of wheat.
Khorasan wheat is an ancient grain type.
Rye (Secale cereale) is a grass grown extensively as a grain and as a forage crop. It is a member of the wheat tribe (Triticeae) and is closely related to barley (Hordeum) and wheat.
The millets are a group of small-seeded species of cereal crops
or grains.
Quinoa is a grain-like crop grown primarily for its edible seeds.
Triticale is a hybrid of wheat.
Sprouting is the practice of germinating seeds to be eaten either raw or cooked.
Buckwheat is related to sorrels, knotweeds, and rhubarb.
Common whole grain products include: Whole wheat flour, Whole wheat Bread, Whole wheat Pasta, Rolled oats or oat groats, Triticale flour, Popcorn, Teff flour.
Common refined non-whole grain products include: White rice,
White flour, White bread, Hominy N Pasta (non-whole wheat varieties).
Whole-wheat bread is a type of bread made using flour that is partly or entirely made from whole or almost-whole wheat grains.
Whole-wheat flour is a powdery substance derived by grinding or mashing the wheat's whole grain.


 Richa Agarwal wants 2 know if vanilla sauce could be made without using eggs.
Richa Agrawal " wow... never knew we cld even make this at home... super lyk"
 Richa Agrawal, " can we use milkmaid instead of eggs???"
 Richa Agrawal can we use milkmaid instead of eggs???
Vanilla Sauce Recipes without the use of eggs

Require 1\2 cup sugar, 1 tablespoon cornstarch, 1 cup boiling water, 1 slice of lemon, 2 tablespoons butter, 1 teaspoon vanilla flavor n a sprinkle of salt.
Method: Mix the sugar and the starch thoroughly. Now add a little of the hot water, and stir smooth. Also add the rest of the water, and the lemon, and let boil for 5 minutes. Remove from the fire, add the butter, salt and flavor. Mix well and serve. 

Recipe 2
Vanilla Sauce, for this will need: 2 teaspoons butter substitute, 1½ tablespoons flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar, ¾ cup water, ¾ cup milk, ½ teaspoon vanilla and few pinch of salt.
Method: Heat the water and the milk. Mix the butter, flour, and sugar. Stir the hot liquid into this mixture, and stir till it boils.
Boil two minutes. Add the vanilla and salt.

Vanilla Sauce

Vanilla Sauce
At times, it seems like everything in Germany is covered in Vanilla Sauce; strudel, dumplings, cake and ice cream. It’s a thin egg custard, and very good if you make it with real vanilla and eggs.
What all ingredients will be needed are 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten, 1/4 cup sugar, 1 cups milk n 1\2 tsp vanilla extract.
Beat the egg yolks and sugar together until the yolks are thick.
Put the milk to a boil in a a thick bottom pan, then pour the egg yolks in a thin stream, using a whisk or electric mixer to stir constantly. Pour back into pan and heat without boiling until it coats the back of a spoon.
Take the pan off the heat and stir in vanilla extract.
Serve warm or cold.
The sauce can be prepared a day ahead, cooled, covered, and refrigerated.

Kurkure Bhindi

Kurkure Bhindi
2 cups Lady fingers, cut in thin long pieces,
Few spoons Bengal gram flour| Besan,
Salt, Red chilly pd, Chaat masala, Turmeric pd,
Lime juice.
Oil to fry.
Wash n wipe all the lady fingers.
Cut into long n thin pieces.
Sprinkle salt, turmeric powder, red chilly pd
and lime juice.
Put oil to heat, now sprinkle bengal gram flour
just before frying.
Fry until crisp. Sprinkle chaat masala pd and serve with a lime wedge.

Lady's fingers are also called Okra . . .

Lady's fingers are also called Okra . . .
Okra known in many English-speaking countries as lady's fingers or gumbo is a flowering plant in the mallow family.

It is valued for its edible green seed pods.
Is ladyfinger a fruit or vegetable and why?
Ladyfinger aka Okra is a fibrous fruit that is used as a vegetable. The reason it is considered a fruit is because it contains seeds, and grows on a bush.
(Nutritionist) of University of Illinois, Okra has several benefits:
The superior fiber found in Okra helps to stabilize blood sugar by curbing the rate at which sugar is absorbed.
Okra's mucilage binds cholesterol n also filters the toxins going to the liver.
Okra helps lubricate the large intestines due to its bulk laxative qualities.
Okra fiber contributes to the health of the intestinal tract.
Okra is good for summer heat treatment. Okra is a supreme vegetable for those feeling weak, exhausted, and suffering from depression.
Okra is used for healing ulcers and to keep joints limber.
Okra treats lung inflammation, sore throat, and irritable bowel.
Protein and oil is contained in the seeds of Okra.
Okra has Vitamin C as a powerful antioxidant and anti inflammatory.
Okra is an ideal vegetable for weight loss and is storehouse of health benefits.
Bring the bounce to your hair, boil sliced Okra till the brew become slimy. Cool it and add a few droops of lemon and use this as the last rinse and see your hair spring back to youthfulness and jump.

An egg white is . . .

An egg white is the white is the part of the egg that surrounds the yolk. It only turns white when cooked because of a chemical change. While the yolk is the primary source of nutrition in an egg, there is some nutrient content to the egg white. The technical name
for the egg white is the albumen.
Egg whites are the healthy part of the egg to eat. The yolk is where most of the cholesterol lies.
One egg contains about one tablespoon of egg yolk and two tablespoons of egg white.

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) and its role in our body . . .

Vitamin B12 (cobalamin) and its role in our body . . .
Vitamin B12, vitamin B12 or vitamin B-12, also called cobalamin, is a water-soluble vitamin with a key role in

the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system,
and for the formation of blood.
It is one of the eight B vitamins.
Vitamin B12 was discovered from its relationship to the 

disease pernicious anemia.
Pernicious anemia (also known as Biermer's anemia,

Addison's anemia, or Addison–Biermer anemia) is one 
of many types of the larger family of megaloblastic anemias.
Vitamin B12 is a water soluble vitamin which is very important in maintaining a healthy brain and nervous system. 

Vitamin B12 also helps with the body in the formation
of blood which is also recommended in the treatment of
anemia. The loss of ability to absorb vitamin B12 is the
 most common cause of adult vitamin B12 deficiency.
Vitamin B12 deficiency or Hypocobalaminemia is a low blood level of vitamin B12. Deficiency is most significantly linked to improper absorption rather than low consumption.
Many people are encouraged to ingest B12 supplements, including those who eat omnivorous, vegetarian, or vegan diets.
Omnivores are species that eat both plants and animal material as their primary food source.
Vegetarianism encompasses the practice of following plant-based diets (fruits, vegetables, etc.), with or without the inclusion of dairy products or eggs, and with the exclusion of meat (red meat, poultry, and seafood).
A vegan diet excludes all animal products, including eggs, 

dairy, and honey.
Vitamin B12 can be found in Fish, Red Meat, Poultry, Milk, Cheese and Eggs. Vitamin B12 is found in all foods of animal origin, including dairy, eggs, meat, poultry, and fish.
A vitamin B12 test measures the amount of vitamin B12 in the blood.
What Does Vitamin B12 Do in Your Body?
Helps to form myelin, which is a fatty cover that insulates your nerves. Helps to produce energy from metabolism of fat and protein. Helps to produce hemoglobin, which is the component
of your red blood cells that carrys oxygen to your cells.
This is why a vitamin B12 deficiency can cause fatigue. Reduces your homocysteine level, which lowers your risk of stroke, heart disease, cancer, Parkinson's, Alzheimer's disease, and many degenerative diseases. Regulates growth, maintenance, and reproduction of all of your cells.
Vitamin B-12 gives you: Increased energy, Restored mental clarity, and help with memory loss, Reduced daily stress and irritability.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

an efficient kitchen

an efficient kitchen
A kitchen is considered as the heart of a home. This is the place where  the lady of a house spends most of her time doing chores.
A room or area where food is prepared and cooked.
What is the meaning of a ' kitchen '.
A kitchen is a room or part of a room used for cooking and food preparation.
Until the 18th century, food was cooked over an open fire.
The houses in Ancient Greece were commonly of the atrium-type,  a covered but otherwise open patio served as the kitchen.
In the Roman Empire, common folk in cities often had no kitchen of their own;  they did their cooking in large public kitchens.
Early medieval European longhouses had an open fire under the highest point of the building. The "kitchen area" was between the entrance and the fireplace.
The first known stoves in Japan date from about the same time.
The earliest findings are from the Kofun period (3rd to 6th century).
These stoves, called kamado, were typically made of clay and mortar; they  were fired with wood or charcoal.
This type of stove remained in use for centuries to come.
In Japanese homes, the kitchen started to become a separate room within the main building .
A kind of open fire pit fired with charcoal, called Irori, remained in use as the secondary stove in most homes until the Edo period (17th to 19th century).
The evolution of the kitchen is linked to the invention of the cooking range or stove.
Today we talk about an efficient kitchen?
A ' good kitchen work triangle ' are to place the three most common work sites the most efficient distance apart and to minimize traffic through the work zone.
Refrigerator - the cold storage work site
Sink - the cleaning/preparation work site
Stove - the cooking work site .
These represent the three points of the kitchen work triangle.
TIP: Remember, If you place these too far away from each other you waste a lot of steps while preparing a meal.
If they are too close to each other you have a cramped kitchen with out any place to work. Each leg of the triangle should be between 4 and 9 feet. The total of all three legs should be between 12 and 26 feet.
The kitchen is, after all, the heart and hearth of many modern households.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Why a cucumber is bitter?

what causes bitter cucumber can help to prevent
having bitter cucumbers.
Why a cucumber is bitter?
Cucumbers are part of the Cucurbit family, along with squash
and melons. These plants naturally produce chemicals called cucurbitacins, which is very bitter and, in large quantities, can make a person ill. Most of the time, these chemicals are confined to the leaves and stem of the plant, but can work their way into the fruit of the plant in certain conditions causing bitter cucumbers.
One of the most common reasons why a cucumber is bitter is due to heat stress. If a plant is stressed due to heat, it may start producing bitter cucumbers.
Another possibility for what causes bitter cucumber is if a cucumber goes through alternating periods of drought and 

over watering. Temperature fluctuations then plant may start producing bitter cucumbers. Perhaps the most frustrating reason why a cucumber is bitter is simple genetics. There is a recessive trait that can cause a plant to produce bitter fruit
from the start.
 Shainaaz Punjani V. Informative.
Can this Bitterness b removed ? By Rubbing Salt at the Ends

so that the bitter sap can b squeezed out ?
 Usha's Kitchen Thank u, Shainaaz Punjani for a good feedback and yes generally the ends| top portion are cut, these are rubbed 2 remove the bitterness from the cucumber.

The Leek, Amaranth, Kumquats

The Leek, is a vegetable which belongs, along with the onion
and garlic, to family Amaryllidaceae.  Amaryllidaceae are a family of herbaceous, perennial and bulbous flowering plants.
The family takes its name from the genus Amaryllis, hence the common name of the Amaryllis family.
Leeks, like garlic and onions, belong to a vegetable family called the Allium vegetables. Rather than forming a tight bulb like the onion, the leek produces a long cylinder of bundled leaf sheaths. Leeks are root vegetables that look quite similar to onions, to which they are related. Their flavor is onion-like but much milder. Leek has a mild onion-like taste. In its raw state, the vegetable is crunchy and firm. One of the most popular uses is for adding flavor to stock. Leeks are most commonly used in soup.
Leeks are a great source of fiber in your diet, and may actually help lower cholesterol. They're also packed with important vitamins and minerals, including potassium. While buying the leek, it should be fresh, vibrant and healthy with dark green leaves on top and a bright white bulb and base.
Cut off green tops of leeks and remove outer tough leaves. Cut off root and cut leeks in half lengthwise.
WHFoods Recommendations:
There's research evidence for including at least one serving of an Allium vegetable in your meal plan every day. If you're choosing leeks, make your individual portion 1/2 cup or greater.

Amaranth also known as Chinese spinach or callaloo in Caribbean cooking.  Amaranth is a tall plant with broad leaves that produces thousands of tiny seeds; both leaves and seeds are edible. The green leaves are sturdy and have a good, slightly sweet flavor. They can be cooked or eaten raw in salads.
The Amaranth leaves, only need brief cooking.
The seeds, which are rich in protein and calcium with
a mild peppery flavor, are used as a cereal or can be ground

into flour.

Kumquats are sometimes called Chinese oranges.
They are the smallest and weirdest of the common citrus fruit.
Wash kumquats and eat them whole, poach them in sugar syrup and serve them with ice cream, or use
them in a fruit salad.


DID U KNOW . . .
Fresh yeast is a living micro-organism that starts to ferment when flour or sugar are added to it.
This releases carbon dioxide, which makes bread rise. 

Adding sugar to fresh yeast makes it easier to mix into the 
water and encourages it to ferment.
The word "yeast" comes to us from Old English meaning boil, foam, or bubble.
People have used yeast for fermentation and baking throughout history. Yeast, most commonly is used in baking as a leavening agent. This causes the dough to expand or rise as gas forms pockets or bubbles. When the dough is baked, the yeast dies and the air pockets "set", giving  the baked product a soft and spongy texture.
'A leavening agent'  is the  number of substances used in doughs  and batters that cause a foaming action which lightens and softens the  finished product.  The leavening agent starts the  gas bubbles into the dough.  Chemical leavening agents include: like the baking powder and the baking soda. Baking powder is a dry chemical raising agent used to increase the volume and lighten. the texture of baked goods such as muffins, cakes, scones and biscuits. Sodium bicarbonate or sodium hydrogen carbonate is the chemical compound.  appears as a fine powder. It has  many related names such as baking soda,  bread soda, cooking soda, bicarbonate of soda.
Yeast is  tiny, living cells. Active dry yeast and fresh yeast are two types of yeast. Fresh Yeast is the most available form of yeast .  While fresh yeast works very well, it has a short shelf life. Active dry yeast is usually packaged in small individual packages. Too much yeast can cause bread to have a sour flavor. You can buy active dry yeast in bulk, which may keep if it is in an airtight container.
How to Activate Dry Yeast, the water has to be warm. Then add a pinch of granulated sugar and stir with a spoon, mix dry yeast powder also.

Bilberries N Juniper berries

Bilberries, also known as blaeberry, whortleberry or winberry,
is the fruit of a small shrub that grows wild on open acidic land across the British Isles.

Bilberries turn blue with a bloom once  ripe and taste like intensely flavored blueberries.
Juniper berries are spicy, aromatic, dark berries of the juniper tree can be used fresh or dried, crushed or whole.

a tasty fruit raita recipe on request . . .

Usha ji can u help me with the recipe of fruit raita plzzzz
Usha's Kitchen:  Dear Nilisha, make a fruit raita by beating curd smooth. Then add cut pieces of fruits like strawberries, apple [ pieces are cut very small ]. Also can add grape, pomegranate, mix into the smooth curd.
[ grapes pieces n small cut pieces of cucumber 
is good combination].
The masala could be very mild like salt, pepper pd, herbs [ mixed], pieces of tulsi or the regular masala like salt, cumin pd, pepper pd n sugar.
Nilisha Agarwal thnku so very much ushaji 
Is it hung curd.. ? ?
Usha's Kitchen One could quickly strain it through a muslin cloth or a strainer. But i personally feel hung curd will be a little sour depending on the time it is hung.
tip add 1-2 tbsp fresh cream to make it creamy, smooth n rich.

Raita a side dish in Indian cuisine . . .

Raita a side dish in Indian cuisine . . .
Raita (Hindi: रायता) is an Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi condiment made with yogurt (dahi) and used as a sauce or dip. The yogurt may be seasoned with coriander (cilantro), cumin, mint, cayenne pepper, and other herbs and spices.
A simple meaning of Raita is that it is a side dish in Indian cuisine which is made by blending thick yogurt with various fruits, vegetables, and spices.
The origin of the word Raita is dated around 19th century and it comes from Hindi language. The word Raita in Hindi and Urdu is a derivative of the Sanskrit word Rajika meaning black mustard and tiktaka meaning sharp or pungent.
Cumin and black mustard are fried. These are then mixed with minced, raw vegetables or fruits (such as cucumber, onion, or carrot, pineapple, or papaya) and the yogurt.
Raw ginger and garlic paste, green chili paste, and sometimes mustard paste, are used to enrich flavor.
A variety of raitas of India are boondi raita, Tomato Onion Raita, Cucumber Raita, Mint Raita to name a few.
Raitas can be prepared with mainly three base ingredients: vegetables, Pulses and fruits. These are mixed with yogurt and flavored with a variety of Seasoning to make different types of Raita.
Most Indian families enjoy curds either plain or in the form of delicious raitas as an accompaniment with lunch or dinner.
A Raitas makes a great kebab dip also.
Raita is a cool, salty yogurt dip used as a condiment to temper the heat in spicy Indian dishes.
What is ' Hung Curd ' ?
Hung curd is also known as Chakka, which can be easily made at home. When you tie the dahi| curd in a muslin cloth tightly and it is hung, until all the water drains out completely.
It is used to make a sweet dish called "Shrikhand".
Hung curd can be used to make tasty cheese dips.

( Top left is cucumber, top right is mint raita,
centre left is onion, centre right is boondi raita
and bottom one is palak raita).
Methods for making all Raitas.
Cucumber Raita is: 1 grated cucumber n Need 1 cup thick beaten curd,  in that add (all juice squeezed out). Also add little sugar(1tsp), pepper pd, salt,  cumin pd (1\2tsp). Mix well, add a little tadka of oil, mustard seeds and curry leaves.).
Mint | pudina raita Need 1 cup thick beaten curd, mint chutney, that is mint leaves paste, 7-8 tbsp. Mix well, add salt, pepper pd, Cumin pd and sugar to taste.
Onion Achari raita, also take 1 cup thick beaten curd and a sliced onion.  Mix both and add 1\4 tsp red chilly pd, cumin pd, salt to taste.  But the most important is mango pickle’s masala and some oil. One teaspoon of each.
Boondi raita : Need 1 cup thick beaten curd add 1\4 cup boondi to it.  Also add 1\4 tsp red chilly pd, cumin pd and sugar, salt to taste.
Palak raita : 1 cup thick & beaten curd. Wash & cut palak leaves finely, spread on  a kitchen cloth. Sprinkle some corn flour on the cut palak leaves.  Put oil to heat and fry the palak leaves then spread on a paper napkin.  Mix curd , palak leaves , pepper pd , sugar & salt.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


2 healthy tips
Smoothie is the best way of drinking your veggies n fruits.
Brown Rice have higher levels of B vitamins, manganese,

iron and dietary fiber than white rice, brown rice is a 
healthy and versatile stable.

It is believed that yoghurt originated in Mesopotamia thousands of years ago. Evidence has shown that these people had domesticated goats and sheep around 5000 B.C. The milk from these animals was stored in gourds, and in the warm climate it naturally formed a curd. This curd was an early form of yoghurt.
Yoghurt or known as curd is nothing but fermented milk. It contains live bacteria mainly lactobacillus and streptococcus. These bacteria convert the lactose in the milk into lactic acid. That is why, yoghurt has a thick pudding like appearance.
Eventually, a process for purposely producing yoghurt was developed. Making yogurt at home is also very easy. In fact in many Indian households, Yogurt is set at home and consumed daily. First, bring the milk to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer it for few minutes till a layer of cream forms on top of the milk. Turn off the heat and let the milk cool down to lukewarm level.
Now add one tablespoon of live active culture of yoghurt to this milk. Stir it once and cover the vessel with a lid. Keep the container in a warm place to set.
Yogurt is nutritionally rich in protein, calcium, riboflavin, vitamin B6 and vitamin B12.
Cream may be added to provide a smoother texture.
Heating the milk-medium to almost boiling, but steaming

and then cooling it accomplishes the destruction of competing bacteria. It is called "scalding the milk".
In the scalding process, the milk/cream *must* be brought above 140°F.
You must be careful, however, *not* to let the milk boil; getting the milk/cream to about 170°-180°F is good. Boiling will cause some of the milk proteins to break down in such a way as to cause the resulting yoghurt to loose its smoothness.
Heating the milk to 180 is essential for good, firm, yogurt.

The yoghurt will be grainy not what you wanted.
The homemade yogurt will keep in the refrigerator
for about one week.

The Fudge N Ganache

The Fudge N Ganache
The Fudge making began on American women's college campuses during the 1890s. This Vassar fudge recipe became quite popular at the school for years to come.
Some believe that it began from a batch of botched caramel, hence its nickname "grained caramel".
There are many opinions as to how the name "fudge" originated.
Fudge is a type of Western confectionery which is usually

very sweet, and extremely rich. It is made by mixing sugar, butter, and milk and heating it to the soft-ball stage at 240 °F (116 °C), and then beating
the mixture while it cools so that it acquires a smooth, creamy consistency. One of the most important attributes of fudge is

its texture. Many variations with other flavorings added are possible.
Fudge is a delicious combination of sugar, butter, milk and flavorings such as chocolate, maple, peanut butter, white chocolate, butterscotch, walnut, or even pumpkin.
Melt chocolate chips n condensed milk in a double boiler.
Stir until smooth. Take it off the heat and add the nuts, 

coarsely ground and also add small cut pieces of orange peel.
Pour this chocolate mixture into a greased tin.
Put in the fridge section to set for 1 - 2 hours, or until set and

 cut into squares pieces. Store in the refrigerator.
Ganache is a glaze, icing, sauce, or filling for pastries made

from chocolate and cream.
Ganache is normally made by heating cream, then pouring

it over chopped dark semi-sweet chocolate.
The mixture is stirred or blended until smooth, with liqueurs

or extracts added if desired.
Depending on the kind of chocolate used, for what purpose the ganache is? The ratio of chocolate to cream will vary to obtain the desired consistency. Generally two parts chocolate to one part cream are used for filling cakes or truffle base.
Chocolate Ganache is a versatile sauce which can be used for coating or filling cakes and also for making chocolate truffle centres. Chocolate ganache is the perfect topping to moist sponge cakes and delicate cupcakes. Icing a chocolate cake

using Chocolate Ganache.
Heat the chocolate and cream in a saucepan over a low heat until the chocolate melts. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk the mixture until smooth, glossy and thickened. Set aside to cool for 1-2 hours, or until thick enough to spread over the cake.
Spread this chocolate icing over the top of the chocolate cake.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Two Recipes, Using Stale| old Bread

Instant n Quick Bread Vadas
2 Bread slices, sides cut,
2 Tbsp Onion, cut finely,
Few pieces of cut Green chilly,
2 tbsp Roasted, coarsely ground Peanuts,
A small piece ginger grated,
2 Tbsp Rice flour,
1 Tsp Cut Coriander,
2 - 3 Tbsp Curd,
Few drops of lime juice, opt
Salt n Red chilly pd to taste.
Take the bread slices [ sides cut] , in a bowl, add curd
to moist the bread. Now add rest of the ingredients.
Put oil to heat to fry the vadas. Mix well.
Give shape of Medu vadas with a hole in the center.
Put in oil, when heated, fry until golden brown.
Serve with coconut chutney.
5-6 Slice of Bread ( cut the sides ),
5-6 tbsp Curd,
4 long pieces of Paneer( 1 inch by 1 inch),
Red Chilly pd and Salt to sprinkle on Paneer pieces,
Cut Green Chilly, Coriander leaves,
5-6 tbsp Corn flour to coat,
Salt and Red Chilly pd to taste.
Cut the sides of bread, mix the curd to make it soft.
Mix together the bread, green chilly, coriander leaves,
red chilly pd and salt to taste.
Take a ball size n put one paneer piece on which salt and
some red chilly pd is sprinkled.
Take one piece of paneer and some bread mixture to wrap around a paneer piece to give “roll shape”.
Roll these in corn flour, Put oil to heat.
Fry in hot oil and serve hot with chutney and Tomato sauce.

What 2 do with days old bread?

What 2 do with days old bread?
First lets understand what ' Breadcrumbs' are?
Bread crumbs are small particles of dry bread, which are used
for breading or crumbing foods, topping casseroles, stuffing poultry, thickening stews, and adding inexpensive bulk to meatloaves and similar foods. The crumb of bread is also a term that refers to the texture of the inner soft part of a loaf of bread, as distinguished from the crust, or "skin".
A good use would be to make dry, seasoned bread crumbs.
Use the bread crumbs to bread vegetables, poultry, fish and seafood.
Dry breadcrumbs are made from very dry bread which has been baked or toasted to remove most the moisture.
Bread crumbs are most easily produced from slices of bread in a food processor.
The homemade bread crumbs improve the taste of the dish n being fresh the crumbs are so easy to make.
The bread to make make breadcrumbs could be white, wheat
or multigrain.
Before any foods are deep-fried or pan-fried if smothered in a dry or wet coating. Dry coatings are often called as “breadings”.
Many recipes call for soft or fresh bread crumbs, which are so easy to make in a food processor.
There are dry and fresh (or soft) bread crumbs, the fresh crumbs are made by placing bread slices (trimmed of crusts or not) in a food processor n the dry crumbs are made by baking at 300°F  the bread slices, until completely dry and lightly browned. Then the slices are cooled before putting in a blender or food processor.
Just tear a few slices of bread n put into the food processor. Grind until the bread turns to crumbs. Making bread crumbs at home is not only inexpensive but also easy to use.


Breadcrumbs, the simplest and best use for old bread . . .
Stale bread is a there in most households n to throw away food
like the drying loaf of white bread and no idea, what to do.? ? ?
We always thought that if you want to keep food fresher longer, you put it in the fridge but did u notice that bread goes stale about six times faster in the refrigerator then when kept at room temperature.
Bread is special. The thing is that when bread goes stale, it doesn't so much go stale, because of chemical reactions as many foods do, but rather something physical that happens to starch.
Starch tends to crystallize at cool temperatures, and this process, sometimes called "retrogradation," happens about six times faster at refrigerator temperatures than at room temperature.
So start keeping the bread at room temperature.
Try using the stale bread to make croutons for soups and salads.
Make garlic toast by sprinkling, the slices with olive oil, garlic, onion powder| cut pieces of onion, also sprinkle some chilly flakes and oregano and bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, serve as garlic bread with pastas. Stale bread make good toast to serve at breakfast.
Did u ever try Bread Pudding? Everyone uses bread to make sweet bread puddings. Many bread pudding recipes call for stale bread, or ask you to leave your bread on the counter to dry.
Try making the classic British sauce, basically a white sauce thickened with stale bread with its sides cut and flavored with onion, cloves and mace.
Use stale bread to make stuffing. Substitute your stale bread in your favorite stuffing recipe and no one will know that difference after adding few seasonings and top it with gravy.

Medu Vada, any idea how 2 make instant n quick

Medu Vada is a traditional South Indian dish. It is usually prepared at home and served as breakfast or a snack item.
Medu vada is a delicious South Indian tiffin item.
Medu Vada is a traditional South Indian dish. It is usually prepared at home and served as breakfast or a snack item.

Filled Center Molded Chocolate

Filled Center Molded Chocolate
There are different kinds of Centered filled chocolates, like the bon bon, the cream and the chocolate. Each of the three kinds are made differently, but the filling can be of any flavor made from different ingredients.
Molds must be to make chocolates, so that chocolate will come out off the mold easily.
For making these center filled chocolates, one has to melt chocolate according to directions, now fill each mold opening till the chocolate is level with the top of each mold. Fill each mold
to coat n drain the rest of the chocolate to get chocolate shells.
The coated chocolate molds go in the fridge for 8 - 10 minutes.
Take them out, these are called “chocolate shells” , which are ready to be filled. The “chocolate shells” are filled 1/8” from the top of the mold. These molds once put in the fridge for 5 minutes, take them out and fill the chocolate to the top of the mold.
Any excess chocolate from the mold has to removed before
putting it back into the fridge for 8 - 10 minutes.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Rice paratha with Mutter Paneer

Rice paratha with Mutter Paneer
Ings for the Mutter Paneer..
2 Tomatoes, blanched,
1 Onion cut,
2 Green chilly,
A piece of Ginger,
2 -3 tbsp Curd,
5 Almonds, blanched,
5 Cashew nuts, blanched,
2 cloves Garlic cut,
1 tsp Red Chilly powder,
1 tsp Coriander powder,
1\2 tsp Turmeric powder,
1\2 tsp Garam masala,
1\2 cup Paneer, cut into pieces,
1\2 cup Green Peas boiled,
1 tsp sugar,
2 tbsp Oil,
2 tbsp Cream,
1tsp Shahi Biryani masala,
Salt to taste.
Boil the tomatoes, until it's skin tears. Put almonds n
cashew to blanch. Also boil the green peas until soft.
Also cut onion, green chilly, and ginger.
In a mixer jar put the tomatoes, onion, almonds,
cashews, green chilly, garlic, ginger, curd, also add
all the masalas while grinding.
Put a pan to heat, add oil then add the paste.
Stir until leaves the sides of the pan.
Now add the cut pieces of paneer, sugar, peas
and salt. Also add the cream, serve hot .
For the Rice Paratha..
The Rice paratha is made from cooked, leftover rice.
Add salt n red chilly powder to the rice, also mash them,
so it will be easy to use as stuffing in the parathas.
For the parartha, will need wheat flour dough, which is
little soft. Put the rice stuffing, roll and do the paratha
on a tava, using ghee or oil until crisp n golden brown.


Anuradha Mandapaka says...

" I mix salt, chillies cut small, add some coriander leaves, mash the rice smooth and dry in the sun like vadams. They can be fried as a side dish with dal or eat just fried as snacks too.
They r calorific though!, so see that no left overs are there..:)

 Rice paratha| For the Rice Paratha..
The Rice paratha is made from cooked, leftover rice.
Add salt n red chilly powder to the rice, also mash them,
so it will be easy to use as stuffing in the parathas.
For the parartha, will need wheat flour dough, which is
little soft. Put the rice stuffing, roll and do the paratha
on a tava, using ghee or oil until crisp n golden brown.

seven days, seven tips... enjoy

1 Use a non stick tava, which is non greasy n so easy 2 make the best phulkas, rotis and chappatis.. do try.
2  Rub olive oil on fingers before peeling the garlic, if do not want the smell 2 linger..
3 Apply some lime juice before peeling garlic and wish 2 avoid the smell..

4 Rub your hands with vinegar before you start to cut the onions, if you wish to avoid the smell...
5 Eat something every four hours and never let yourself  "starve" from one meal to the next...

 Quote 4 the day..
When baking, follow directions.

When cooking,  go by your own taste.

 ~Laiko Bahrs

use the lemon peel or skin 2 . . .

Mina A Joshi says: Then pop it in the dishwasher in the cutley tray and it give the dishes and the dishwasher a sparkle. Or leave it overnight in the kettle and it will help 2 get rid of the calcium build up.
Mina A Joshi says: Yes, I often include it in the pressure cooker when steaming stuff like potatoes. Lemon cleans up any aluminium pots.
Anuradha Mandapaka says : drop the lemon skin| peel in the pressure cooker while cooking something to take out deposits.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Taka Tak

Taka Tak
Taka Tak which is originally called ‘Tawa Gurda Kapoora’ is another favorite of Lahorites.  Taka Tak is prepared by a very expert chef who possesses a special skill to cook Taka Tak.
Taka Tak means the special sound that comes from the pan in which the food is fried and when it is hit in a special rhythm and pattern by the chef. You can hear the echo of this Taka Tak in every food street of Lahore.
Great Lahori food ' Taka Tak ' which can be traced back to the kings of Indian sub continent who loved Taka Tak for their hunted food like deer, goats, pheasants, pigeons etc. For cooking this big iron types of square cleavers were used to chop, blend and prepare these sensational dishes. Delicious dishes were stir fried, the brain, kidney, heart, lamb chop traditionally cooked in special herbs & spices.
Tawa Taka Tak is when a large tawa, which is large, flat, dish shaped skillet on which cooking is done. The dish could be made with any vegetables, meat, or fish.
Taka-Tak is since the times our Grandmother was tossing and turning everything she cooked n extracting the juices and flavor
in a very different way of cooking.
This way of cooking enables to blend herbs and spices marinated into the cooking.
One of the most famous dishes for vegetarians in Indian subcontinents is known as paneer bhurji, which can be made
taka tak style. This paneer bhurji is actually scrambled cottage cheese, cooked with cumin [ jeera], finely chopped onion, chopped green chilies, cooking oil, some salt and coriander leaves.

Meal time brings the family together for bonding and nourishment...

Meal time brings the family together for bonding and nourishment...
Family mealtimes are an important part of building family ties.
Recent surveys show that 80% of families value mealtime together, but 33% actually achieve it. Family mealtime is important. There are too many positive health benefits attached with it. Studies show kids who eat with their families perform better in school and family meals offer an opportunity for conversations resulting in better communications.
Family mealtime makes adult-child communication skills improve n offers a time for togetherness. The talking is as important as the food itself.
Studies show that enjoying more meals as a family, offer numerous benefits.
Eating a meal at home with the family is the quality time one can spend with their family and eat a meal at the same time. Mealtime is a good time to check in with each other. Eating meals together goes beyond the opportunity for bonding and relaxing.
EATING TOGETHER is one important way to build a sense

of family unity.
WHAT YOU PUT ON THE TABLE is also important. It just takes a little thought and extra effort. Kids Eat Better n so do Parents Eat Better.

The hydrating fruits

Healthy thoughts
Fruits and Vegetables are composed of 90 percent water, so all fruits and vegetables are hydrating.

The Watermelon is a great source of hydration.
This red-fleshed fruit is composed of about 92 percent water, and also contains the nutrients beta carotene, lycopene and vitamin C. Cucumbers are also a source of hydration, also has vitamin C and the skin-soothing caffeic acid.
Peaches and Strawberries also contain lots of water and potassium. Apple is another hydrating fruit.

All about ' Peanut butter '

All about ' Peanut butter '
Peanuts were known as early as 950 B.C. and originated in South America. George Washington Carver discovered three hundred uses for peanuts and hundreds more uses for soybeans, pecans and sweet potatoes. It was Carver who made peanuts a significant crop in the American South in the early 1900's. 

After all peanut butter is just roasted peanuts crushed into a paste. One-half of all edible peanuts produced in the United States are used to make peanut butter and peanut spreads. Dr. Carver is considered "The Father of the Peanut Industry".

Peanut butter is a food paste made primarily from ground dry roasted peanuts, popular in North America, Netherlands, United Kingdom, and parts of Asia, particularly the Philippines and Indonesia. It is mainly used as a sandwich spread.
Peanut butter has been used in other food products for many years. There has been large development into peanut butter's use in other foodstuffs, some of which include cake, jam, jelly, confectionery, ice cream, brownies, pretzels, peanut brittle, cookies, porridge, and sandwiches.
Did u know that a ' Almond butter ' also existed?
It is a food paste made from almonds. Almond butter may be crunchy or smooth, and is generally "stir" (susceptible to oil separation) or "no-stir" (emulsified). Almond butter may be either raw or roasted.
Almond butter is an alternative for those with peanut allergies.
Make a homemade peanut from unsalted roasted peanuts n peanut oil, both are made into a very smooth in a mixer grinder.
Store the peanut butter in a sealed container in the fridge. It will be good for 2 weeks.
It takes about 540 peanuts to make a 12-ounce jar
of peanut butter.
Americans were first introduced to the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup in 1928.
The oldest operating manufacturer and seller of peanut butter has been selling peanut butter since 1908.
The world's largest peanut butter factory churns out 250,000 jars of the tasty treat every day.
The peanut is not a nut, but a legume related to beans and lentils.
Peanuts have more protein, niacin, folate and phytosterols than any nut.

A viewer share question

Even on the busiest mornings, there's no excuse not to have breakfast, so put breakfast back on the table. What do u have 2 say?
 Mealtime is all about making memories. What’s your favorite memory?
 Any ideas on how to make mealtimes better? Pls share your views.


tip 1
1 tablespoon fresh Strawberry juice, add honey n Condensed Milk. Combine all ingredients and mix well until blended. This is a delicious topping or a dessert all in itself!
tip 2
Spread the above on vanilla sponge cake pieces add serve with some ice cream.
tip 3
Mix the above in Vanilla Ice cream with cut pieces of strawberries, put in the freezer section of the fridge a tasty vanilla - strawberry ice cream will be ready.

The crunch of the crispy puris in Churmur chaat

The crunch of the crispy puris in Churmur chaat
The favorite Calcutta street food is the Churmur chaat, the Jhaal Muri and the Phuchka / Pani puri / Golgappa.
Churmur Chaat the word “churmur” literally means a crunchy sound in the mouth.
The Churmur Chaat as the name suggest is a mixture of chaat of sweet and spicy, potato, green chutney n the crushed pani puris on top.
Make a tasty Churmur chaat following few steps...
Make a thick batter of Beasan| Bengal gram flour to make pakodas.
Soak the pakodas in water in which salt n red chilly powder has been added.
Boil potatoes n cut into small pieces. Also will need cut onions, green chillies and coriander leaves.
Pressure cook overnight soaked red gram chana also.
Also need the green sprouted moong, boiled.
Mix of lemon juice n tamarind pulp for tangy taste.
Mix together masalas to get a masala mix by combining dry roasted cumin powder,coriander seeds which have been coarsely crushed, black salt, salt, red chilly powder, and Chaat masala.
Make a quick chutney of lime juice, tamarind pulp and the masala mix as per one's taste.
Mix this chutney with boiled red gram chana, boiled sprouts, onions, coriander leaves, check the taste.
When one wants to serve this chaat, crush pani puris in your hand, top this with potato mix and squeezed pakodas, also sprinkle the masala mix if needed.
This chaat is topped with crushed pani puris for the crunchy sound..