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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Egg Dosa

Evening times are turning out to be quite trying for me as my toddler is getting increasingly fussy about his afternoon snacks. If it is too light, he gets cranky after 1-2 hours. And he is not too fond of heavy stuff like paratha, halwa or puri either. So, I have to come up new ideas every two days. Hence, I introduced the egg dosa on his menu. I usually roll it up like a chicken roll and add loads of ketchup to it. He liked it very much and keeps asking for it again and again.


Read on for the recipe -

















Preparation Time - 10 mins

Ingredients -


  • 2 cups dosa batter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 medium sized onion (finely chopped)
  • 1-2 green chili ( finely chopped, omit for kids)
  • 1/4 tsp red chili powder/karam (omit for kids)
  • chopped cilantro
  • tomato ketchup 
  • 4 tsp oil
  • salt to taste

Preparation - Break the eggs into a bowl and add 1-2 pinch of salt. Whisk it gently.

Add salt to batter and adjust the consistency if required.

Cooking - Heat a flat tawa or dosa tawa on medium flame. 

Pour 1 cup batter and spread it outwards in a circular motion. After a minute, spread half of the egg all over the dosa. Reduce flame and cook till the egg is almost cooked.

Sprinkle onions, green chilis, red chili powder, cilantro and ketchup over the dosa. 




Fold it or roll it up and remove from the tawa.

Serve hot !!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Masoor Dal ka shorba (Red Lentil Soup)

Lentil soups are much more filling and nutritious (protein rich) as compared to the vegetable variants. Hence, they are indispensable when one is trying to lose weight or maintain proper blood sugar levels as in the case of diabetics. One can use the regular dals like moong dal, toor dal and masoor dal for preparing a wholesome and richly flavored soup.

But Masoor dal ka shorba happens to be the current favorite. Read on for the recipe -


















Preparation Time - 20-25 mins


Ingredients -


  • 4 tbsp Masoor dal (red lentil)
  • 1 medium sized onion
  • 1 large tomato
  • 2 dry red chilis
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 7-8 black pepper
  • 2 tsp oil
  • salt to taste
  • a pinch of turmeric

Preparation - Wash and soak the dal for 2-3 hours.

Chop the onion and tomato into medium sized pieces.

Cooking - Heat the oil in a pressure cooker. Throw in the broken chilis and spices. Fry till fragrant.

Add the onions and tomatoes. Stir fry for 3-4 mins.

Add the dal along with 3 cups water and turmeric . Close lid and cook for 4-5 whistles.

Keep aside till steam escapes. Open the lid and use a hand blender to churn up the contents of the pressure cooker. (Be careful as the hot liquid might spill and burn one's hands)

Strain into a saucepan. Adjust the consistency and add salt. Bring to boil and let it simmer for 2-3 mins.

Pour into soup bowls and serve immediately.




Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Tamatar aur Dhaniya ka Shorba

It is quite chilly these days and I am constantly in search of something warm to sip on. After endless cups of tea, masala chai, green tea and coffee, I realize that I still need something more and in greater quantity. And the first thing that comes to my mind is a humongous bowl of steaming soup. Whether homemade or straight from a packet, I love my soup when I am on a diet or whenever the mercury takes a drop. And that kind of translates into every other day as it is 'de rigueur' given the fashionably thin folks of Bangalore and the balmy weather of this city.

This is my current favorite and I keep making it at home or ordering it at restaurants. As is the custom at my home (however silly it may sound), it must be done to death before I move on to the next 'Big' thing.

Read on for the recipe -

















Preparation Time - 20 mins

Ingredients -


  • 5-6 medium sized tomatoes
  • 4-5 tbsp chopped coriander stems
  • 1/2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1-2 dry red chili
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2-3 cloves
  • 1 inch cinnamon stick
  • 9-10 peppercorns
  • 1 1/2 tsp oil
  • 2 tsp freshly chopped cilantro
  • freshly ground pepper for garnishing
  • 1 tsp sugar (optional)
  • salt to taste


Preparation - Chop the tomatoes into small pieces.

Thoroughly clean the coriander stems to remove any sand or mud .

Cooking - Heat the oil in a pressure cooker. Add the red chili, bay leaf, cloves, peppercorns and cinnamon. Saute for 20 seconds before throwing in the coriander stems. Fry for a minute before adding the tomato pieces.

Add 3-4 cups water and salt to taste. Close lid and cook for 3-4 whistles.

Allow steam to escape before opening the lid. Take a hand blender and puree the tomatoes.

Pass through a strainer.

Transfer to a saucepan and place on the flame. Add the sugar and adjust salt if needed. Bring to a boil.

Pour into bowls and garnish with cilantro and freshly ground pepper .

Serve immediately.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Product Review : Saby' Barbee Benefit Chai Masala


















The monsoons are bearing down on us and I am forced to spend most of my time indoors. The absence of sunlight and the dampness that accompanies the rain also brings on a host of seasonal complaints like cold, cough and indigestion. Hence the desire to curl up with a good book and a cuppa of steaming hot chai. Mind it, I am not talking about the very austere English tea in bone china cups but the very aromatic brew steeped in Indian spices and served in those earthen kulhads.

And since I am very particular about my 'chai', I always end up making my own spice mix. Hence, when I received the samples of Saby's Barbee Benefit Chai masala, I was a bit skeptical about it. And it remained unopened on my kitchen shelf for a week. But one day I was down with a sore throat and feeling too ill to brew my own concoction. I picked up one of the samples and read the instructions. It seemed simple and I gave it a try. And loved it.

Ingredients -


  • mint
  • black pepper
  • cinnamon
  • ginger
  • nutmeg
  • mixed herbs


The brand claims the following benefits -


  • Weight loss
  • Relief from joint pains
  • Fortified with Calcium and Iron
  • Relief from cold and cough
  • Stress relief
  • Digestion

My opinion - It provides relief in case of cough, cold, stress related headache and aids digestion. I did not experience the weight loss benefits as I tried it for 2 weeks only.  However, the spices used have certified weight loss properties so I am sure that it would aid weight loss in the long run.

Instructions for use - In your tea, with or without milk . Or even with plain hot water.


How I like to have it ? I add 1/2 tsp to my regular tea ( skim milk and no sugar ) towards the end.  Let it boil for a minute before decanting. Stir in 1/2 tsp of honey. Sip with pleasure.


















Disclaimer - Samples provided by Saby's Barbee Mania and Food Bloggers Association Bangalore. However the opinions are the author's own.

You can buy it on Paytm .

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Discover Create and Shop with Limeroad !!

Grrrr !!! I hate the Sale season. Don't get me wrong but I just can't stand the offline types any longer . Queuing up to find a parking spot, then rummaging though loads of stuff to find something of one's own size and finally queuing up for a trial room, I managed to spend 4 hours and ended up picking up just two kurtis. And in the process I had to skip the Sunday brunch with my pals.

So, when Limeroad announced a Buy 1 Get 1, I had to give it a try. And ended up buying some fabulous stuff from the comfort of my recliner within an hour of the commencement of the sale. Even when I was confused about the size ( sometime despite the help provided by the size chart one is undecided whether to pick a particular size or the preceding/succeeding one ), I was not too worried as they have an easy return policy which I had availed on an earlier occasion. Everything was delivered within the next 10 days and I loved each one of it.


















But that is not all. Love their website which allows one to put together various looks or scrapbooks as they prefer to call it. And you earn points every time you create one. One can also explore and buy from various scrapbooks created by others. And if someone likes your scrapbook and makes a purchase, you get additional points. Now that sounds too good to be true. But it is.

This is one of my scrapbooks which earned me additional points -



These are some personal favorites -

Buy here

buy here




Buy here
Buy here





And I love all the scraps that I created with the evergreen saree. I am planning to pick one of this for the upcoming Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations ( picked up ones in white and yellow as these are considered auspicious )  -

Buy here
 

Buy here
Buy Here


Summing it up, here are the High's and Low's of shopping with Limeroad -

High's -


  • Great collection including stuff that you won't find on other websites.
  • All possible payment modes available
  • Easy return policy
  • Shop for an entire look instead of buying just one product
  • Earn even as you create and shop
  • Great bargains during the Buy 1 Get 1 sale ( every 2-3 months )


Low's -


  • The delivery times is usually 7-10 days which I feel is a bit on the higher side
  • COD attracts an extra charge of Rs 79 which is quite steep



Whatever be the occasion, you are sure to find something at Limeroad. So, get on-board and join in the fun !!


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The 15 Minute Meal Series - Post 3

Continuing the 15 Minute Meal series that enables you to enjoy fresh home cooked food, I have put together another really easy to prepare meal consisting of flavoured rice (using brown rice), soya and kala channa subzi, karela ka bharta and a papad chura/salad .



































How to do this in 15 mins -

1. Overnight preparation -  Soak the kala channa for 8 hours minimum. Wash and cook with salt, turmeric and just enough water for 3-4 whistles.

Open the cooker once steam escapes. Transfer into a food grade plastic container and refrigerate overnight.

Take one bitter gourd and 2 medium sized potatoes. Wash and cook together in a pressure cooker with just enough water for 3 whistles.

Open the cooker once steam escapes. Transfer into a food grade plastic container and refrigerate overnight.

Additionally, one can also peel the garlic and chop the onions, cilantro and green chilis.

Soak the brown rice overnight.

2. Making the kala channa and soya subzi - Put the soya chunks into boiling water for 5 mins.

Heat 1-2 tsp oil in a wok. Add jeera and green chili tempering. Add chopped onions followed by GG paste. Fry for 2 mins.

Drain the soya chunks and wash 2-3 times with fresh water. Squeeze out water before adding to the wok. Fry for 2 mins

Add chopped tomato, red chili powder, garam masala and cook for another 2-3 mins. Add the boiled channa along with the boiled potato (peeled and cubed). Cook for 2 mins.

Transfer to a pressure cooker along with 1 1/2 cups hot water. Adjust salt. Close lid and cook for 2 whistles on high.

3. Cooking rice - Heat a oil in a cooker. Add 1-2 green chilis, 1/2 tsp mustard seeds, 1/4 tsp cumin seeds and 2 garlic cloves. After 30 secs, add about 2-3 tbsp chopped coriander stems and saute for a min or two. Add the washed brown rice and water. Sprinkle some grated mango ginger on top. Close lid and cook for 2 whistles.

4. Kareley ka Bharta - Take the bitter gourd, remove the seeds and mash it. Add the boiled potato to it, add chopped green chili, salt, a bit of mustard oil and cilantro. Mash together.

Heat 1/2 tsp oil in a tadka pan. Add some pancha phutana (panch phoran) and 1 broken red chili. Once it gets spluttering, add some chopped onion and crushed garlic. Fry for 1 minute before pouring it over the mashed bittergourd and potato. Mix together.

5. Papad ka chura - Roast a papad on flame. Crumble and add some amchur, red chili powder, chopped onion and cilantro. Toss together. If you like, add some thinly sliced cucumber and tomato to it.


Chef's Tip - Start with the rice and the kala channa and soya subzi. Once the rice cooking is underway and the tomatoes are still being cooked, utilize this time to prepare the bharta. By the time the subzi goes into the cooker, the rice will be done and you can prepare the tempering for the bharta. Roast the papad just before serving the meal.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Food Review : Tandurust ( Delivering Healthy Food in Bangalore)


















When I first moved to Bangalore, the thing that stuck me was the levels of health consciousness among the folks of this IT hub. Every other person was running a marathon, riding a cycle to office, playing tennis, swimming and trekking over the weekends, stuff that would have been unthinkable in Hyderabad. And the differences between the two cities turn even more stark when one looks at the food. It is not uncommon to find folks who carry health food in their lunch box. A brown rice pulao paired with raita, a wholesome sprouts salad with one or two slices of brown bread, quinoa upma, oats upma, and sometimes even plain oats steeped in boiling water. Stuff that made me feel positively uncomfortable about the post pregnancy weight I carried.

But cooking and carrying healthy food from home may not be an option for bachelors, families where both spouses are working and  in quite a few cases where the awareness about healthy eating is low. This is where Tandurust steps in. It strives to provide 3 meals (breakfast, lunch, dinner) to working/housebound individuals in the vicinity of Bellandur, Marathahalli, Sarjapura,Mahadevpura, electronic city, ITPL and Koramangla in Bangalore.

According to their website and the discussions that I have had with Sudhanshu Sharma, who is the brains behind this concept, they use a combination of good quality ingredients coupled with the right cooking methods. This is what the website claims -

"We use healthy and nutritious ingredients like whole grains, legumes & pulses, green vegetables and flax seeds among others to prepare our food. We practice healthy cooking in order to retain nutrients. Our three meals plan (breakfast-lunch-snacks) meets 50-80% of the daily nutrition requirement of a person. Our food is packed with essential macro and micro nutrients like complex carbs, protein, omega 3 fatty acids and other PUFAs & MUFAs, high dietary fiber content and micro-nutrients (vitamins and minerals)."

Please visit their website HERE  for more information and subscribing to their plans. 


Coming to one of the meals I have tried, it came neatly packaged in a plastic tray with a spoon and an extra sachet of salt. It included 3 multi grain rotis, a serving of brown rice, palak tofu, whole masoor dal, raita fortified with flax seeds, and salad. Wholesome, filling and with the right mix of carbs and proteins.



















Pluses - 


  • Hygienic packaging
  • fresh and good quality ingredients
  • low of fat and high on fiber
  • Suitable for everyone including diabetics and women trying to lose weight post pregnancy 


Minus -



  • Taste is a little on the bland side which might be a concern for those with South Indian taste buds.
  • Personally I felt that price is also on the higher side. But for folks who depend on meal substitutes, this might work out to be a reasonable option.
  • Limited area of delivery

Overall, it is a good option for lunch/dinner for folks who are inclined to eat and live healthy. They are constantly experimenting and improving their fare and one can expect a better menu in the coming months.


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