Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Ponnanganni keerai poriyal (few spinach varieties of Tamilnadu)

Keerai poriyal (spinach stir fry) is a common side-dish prepared in Indian families. Mostly Indians try to include one greens (spinach) in their lunch.

Ponnanganni (dwarf copper leaf) is a very unique and rare spinach of India. It has a lot of benefits. Click to read more about this yummy keerai.

Any keerai (spinach) can be prepared using this recipe. I prepared many keerai recipes during last year vacation in my mother inlaw's house. Here are some pictures of other keerais and the street vendor's keerai basket :)

Ponnankanni keerai in a bag

Keerai koodai (spinach basket) , which the street vendors carry.

A very nice seller (paatti) who brings keerai to my MIL's  house regularly.

I used to give a handful of keerai to the lovebirds in my inlaw's house , immediately after buying a bunch of keerai. Birds love this :)

Estate keerai (Bangalore Keerai) grown in inlaw's house.

While cleaning the keerai....

Ponnanganni keerai and arai keerai.

Keerai poriyal

Estate keerai poriyal
Any keerai (spinach) - a bunch
red onion / shallot (chopped) - 1 cup
green chilly - 2
oil - 1 tbsp
mustard - 1 tsp
urid dal - 1 tsp
cumin - 1 tsp
shredded coconut - 2 tbsp
salt - very little (as per taste).

Rinse the spinach in water thrice or till the water runs clear. Chop finely. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a wok. Add mustard and urid dal.  Let the mustard splutter. Then add finely chopped onion, green chillies. Saute till it wilts. Then add the finely chopped spinach.
Saute with a handful of water. Don't cover the vessel while cooking the spinach (I don't know the reason behind this, but people in my town cook most of the spinach except drumstick leaf, like this).
As soon as the spinach gets cooked and all the water is evaporated, add required salt and mix well. Then add the shredded coconut, cumin and switch off.

Serving suggestion:
Serve as side dish along with sambar or any curry and rice during lunch.

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Apple juice

I am sure this is a very easy recipe. But any juice involves some love and care. So I am sharing my views on juicing :)

My passion for making some yummy juices originated from my friend Paaru, almost 6 months back. After tasting the strawberry milkshake made by her on a cool Christmas time, I really wanted to try different juices. Then her cantaloupe juice is my another favorite. I know my hubby dear loves juices, so I wished to show him my new found recipes. Before that I had always felt it like more work to put the fruits in a mixie and filter and then clean the dishes again :)  But if you set your mind to enjoy a fresh homemade juice then you will get the energy to do all these ...ha ha.  My juicing experience got better after bringing my Preethi juicer from India, as there is no need to filter separately.
I am sure, all of my beautiful readers will enjoy my juice recipes too.

1 big red delicious apple
sugar - 4 tsp
water - 1 cup

Parts of an apple fruit (food for thought) :
Image courtesy : apple
Cut the apple into four. Remove the seeds and core (pips - seed, endocarp - core).
Chop the apple into small cubes.
Put them into your mixie or juicer.
Grind with sugar and 1/2 cup water.
If using mixie, then filter the juice using 1/4 cup water each time, till we extract all the juices.
If using a juicer (with filter attachment). Then add 1/2 cup water each time and extract juice.
Pour in small juice glasses and enjoy!

Serving suggestions:
Makes 2 cups of fresh apple juice.
Serves 2 people.
Sometimes I won't add any sugar to the juice, but it will be nice to add some sugar for making a delicious one.

Ok, what shall we do with the fibers that are left over after extracting the apple juice ?
It can be used in baking to get a moist cake.
Also this residue can be used in gardening as organic fertilizer (just like any other kitchen scrap).

Oats millets porridge

Here is one more easy breakfast from my kitchen.
Oats millet porridge (with brown sugar)

Ingredients: oats, barley, Ragi flour, kambu flour.
Ingredients: (for 2 people)
Steel cut oats - 1/4 cup
barley - 2 tbsp
Ragi (finger millet) flour - 2 tbsp
Kambu (bajira / pearl millet) flour - 1 tbsp

*In your free time dry roast the millet flours separately. Let them cool and store in separate containers at room temperature.
This roasting process gives our flours (which we buy in bulk),longevity and flavor.
*Rinse the barley in water. Soak the barley and steel cut oats in hot water for 10 minutes. This makes the cooking process easier. But we can do it without soaking also.
// I do this while making the morning tea and will start cooking them after having the tea :)  //

Add 3 cups of water in a vessel.  Bring it to boil and soak the rinsed barley and oats for 10 minutes.
Cook in stove top (for 20 minutes) or in pressure cooker for 2 whistles.
Cook till the oats and barley gets cooked to an edible soft stage.
In a separate bowl , pour 1/2 cup cold milk and add the millet flours and mix well using a spoon.
Pour this to the boiling cooked oats.
Stir continuously for 30 seconds (till the porridge becomes thicker).
If needed add some more water or milk.

Now the oats porridge is ready!

1. We can add required amount of brown sugar and cardamom powder to have as a sweet porridge.
2. If not, we can let the porridge get cool a little and add some Indian yogurt (curd), minced onion, salt, cumin and have like cool curd rice.

Serving suggestion:
We can make this porridge in  a large quantity for at least 5 days and keep in fridge.
Then we can take the required quantity out of the fridge, bring to a boil and add sweetness or sour curd according to taste, just before serving.
Serve as breakfast.

Vazhaikkai Poriyal (Plantain stir fry)

This vazhaikai poriyal was a staple in our house as we had some (lot) of banana trees in our backyard. I have seen amma running there to pic...