Saturday, April 25, 2020

Roasted potato with veggies

Roasted potato is my all time favorite.
Here is my usual potato roast along with soy chunks and cauliflower. My hubby always loves this dish very much along with chapati or rice + sambar / paruppu kulambu.
The key to this recipe is the thick iron wok I am using and the peanut oil along with hot chili powder.
Do try this yummy roast and let me know how you liked it !

From this post onwards, I have asked my hubby to give some food donation for every blog post I write , along with regular donations. May it be a small pack of instant noodles or some kid's favorite food (ready to cook mac n cheese or some grocery like canned food or flour).....I will try my best, I will buy somethings extra. I will keep a bag in my pantry and put those items inside it and will be taking it to our parish's food drive or to anyone who needs. I know many of you are doing more than I can imagine to help others nowadays.  Still here is my request,
If you are a fan of cooking or my reader or a foodie,  please remember to help those in need around you. That's all I ask of all I know. Let's make it a point that everyone we know gets enough food and basic necessities. God's love works through humans by our kindness, empathy and charity. Thanks !
May God bless us all and make this whole world happy , healthy, wealthy and prosperous always!
Roasted potato

Potato roast with paruppu kulambu

Chapati and roasted potatoes, Yummm....

Potato - 2 (big)
Cauliflower - 2 cups (chopped)
Soy chunks - handful
Peanut oil - 3 or 4 tbsp
ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
turmeric - 1/4 tsp
red chili powder - 1 tsp (as per taste)
coriander powder - 2 tsp
curry masala powder - 1 tsp (optional)
fennel seed - 1 tsp
curry leaf - few
salt - to taste (1 tsp).

Pressure cook the potato (wait for 1 whistle, keep it in low flame and cook for 5 min) / (or cook in stove top) . I cook it in instant pot at high pressure for  5 minutes and release pressure naturally.
Peel and cut into big cubes (1.5 inch approx).
Chop the cauliflower into big florets.
Boil the soy chunks (5 min) , till it gets soft. Drain water and squeeze excess water from it.
Keep these things aside.
Heat cooking oil in a wok.
Add fennel and as soon as it gets mild red add curry leaf.
Then add the Cauliflower and sauté it till it gets semi cooked. Then add the potato and soya chunks, ginger garlic paste. (If needed add one more tsp of oil and don't let the curry stick to the wok, keep on stirring).  Cover and cook it in low flame. As soon as the potato starts getting reddish (after 10 minutes), add salt, chili powder, turmeric, coriander powder, curry masala powder. Again cook it covered. Then take off the lid and keep stirring till the potato and all items seems reddish and roasted.
Garnish with cilantro if needed.
Roasted potato is ready !

Serving suggestion:
Serve along with sambar rice or mor kulambu or curd rice or roti / chapati.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

The new routine !!!

Since March 1, 2020, it's been like buying everything in bulk for all of us (hope you all know the reason). Preserving the vegetables and spices became the new routine for many.  Getting a slot for an online delivery seems like a humongous victory:) I always love my shopping trips. I have never loathed my grocery runs. A small-talk  with a cashier or someone who asks about an item while shopping always makes my day more cheerful, so I definitely wish everything to get normal very soon. Prayers and well wishes for the whole world ! May God bless and protect us all !

Here I am sharing some methods I imply in our everyday life, to make it easier. Hope many of you love this, just like my previous posts.

My water routine:
Nowadays people have started using the tap water in my neighborhood, as it is not easy to get bottled water. Even before 2020, I always use tap water for cooking and all consumption. So it is not new to me. I have two water filters (Brita brand) and two stock pots (huge stainless steel cookware) at home. So every day, I filter and collect the water in one stockpot, and in the evening I boil that till the water is in rolling boil for 5 minutes. It will take almost 40 minutes everyday. I let it cool and we use it the next day. Since I have two pots, I do it almost everyday or on alternate days as per our consumption.
So I suggest that, if your tap water is drinkable (potable), then feel free to buy some water filter system and boil and use it instead of bottled water. By this way, we are contributing to the environment by cutting down the plastic and carbon foot prints (transportation).
I would recommend this old fashioned water routine, for those who can get good quality drinkable water only. Otherwise, follow the norms in your region.
My stockpots for water.
Milk idea:
Unlike India, here in USA 'milk-man' is not a common scenario for all. We all usually buy gallons and gallons and gallons and gallons........of milk every week.Kids drink organic only while some folks love whole milk or plant based milk etc. Our grocery lists begins with a milk and then goes everything. So milk is a priority for most households.
So if you are planning to reduce the number of grocery runs, then the main question that comes to mind is how to get 'MILK' ?. Last month when I was wondering how to solve this , my hubby suggested me to use milk powder instead of fresh milk. He told me that , his mom used to do this long back. We bought a pack of dry milk powder from Walmart and stop and shop. Both resulted in very good milk. I really really love this idea very much.
I could even make Indian style yogurt out of this milk powder. We drink filter coffee and this milk is very good for coffee too. It tastes amazing with cereal as well as a cup of milk just like fresh milk.
This is not a cheaper alternative (1 gallon costs as much as the fresh milk), but this will come handy to reduce the grocery trips and also to avoid lifting those heavy gallons of milk every week.

The next thing we changed is our coffee / tea recipe. Before this we used to drink tea made with milk or instant coffee like Bru or Nescafe in milk. But in order to reduce the milk consumption (to reduce grocery trips), we bought a coffee maker and started drinking a filter coffee style coffee. Sometimes I prepare a Sukku malli coffee too using this coffee maker (put together coffee powder + dry ginger powder + coriander powder inside the filter). Also we replaced the idea of buying paper coffee filters, we invested in a golden filter from amazon. This saves the effort of buying coffee filter paper again and again. We are using brown sugar which we bought in bulk with a few tbsp of milk and the coffee tastes more better and yummier than our previous versions.
Sukku malli coffee (ginger coriander coffee).

Grow your own spices:
I have some herbs like curry leaf, cilantro (just started growing), mint, Omavalli (Cuban oregano), Tulsi (Holy basil), Basil (pasta / pizza sauce basil) and a flowering plant (a Chrysanthemum) inside , in our window. I am growing this almost every year inside our house as the weather is cold on most days.
We are much thankful to my hubby's friend Mr.Raghu for this curry leaf plant. He gifted us this plant and this has grown much bigger and with many saplings around. I never pick the leaf from this plant usually, as I was saving it for another day always :) So I used to buy curry leaf, but nowadays I get an endless supply of curry leaf from this fragrant plant.
Curry leaf plant

Basil and Cuban Oregano


Onion, mint, cilantro.

Homemade face mask:
Just for fun (and use too), I made some face masks using a thick fabric I bought for some other project. I am yet to get the filter inserts from amazon and still this mask is worthy even without it.
I followed the hobby lobby's video and it is much helpful. This has a provision to insert the filter too. So I love this tutorial better.
Fabric needed - 15 x 8 inch size thick cloth and some elastics or cords.
I used the elastics I saved from an old bed skirt.  You can use any rope or shoe lace too (for tying at back).

My next post will be about my vegetable preservation and new cooking routine !

 Stay safe !

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Happy Easter

Happy Easter to all ! Wishing all a happy, healthy, wealthy and a prosperous year ahead ! May the world gets normal and cheerful again just like before.

Happy Easter - Pervatech BV

Palm Sunday : Instead of Palm leaf, we used our indoor plant's leaf.

Palm Sunday mass at our house

We put on a lighted cross on the window to bring up the Easter cheer.

On Saturday before Easter Vigil mass, I prepared a lemon cake and mango custard. Then we watched mass celebrated in our parish church, via television, put some light decors in our house. After mass, as usual we cut the cake and enjoyed it with mango custard.  
On Easter morning, I made Rava kesari and Idli for breakfast. Then made a yummy chicken briyani for lunch. 
Here is a visual treat !
Lemon cake and mango custard

Idli with sambar and kesari

Chicken briyani and raitha

Perfect Traditional Adai Dosai

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