Friday, February 29, 2008

Muringa ila Adai (Drumstick Leaves Adai)



In my home, adai is normally prepared for evening tiffin. Since it cannot be munched easily for breakfast, when we will be rushing to catch the bus to school. Amma prepares 3 types of adai - Uzhundumarisi adai (dals ,rice combo), verum arisi adai(involves only rice) and this muringaila adai. The batter for verum arisi and this adai is the same, except for the addition of drumstick leaves. Grated coconut can be added for both the types for additional flavor.
As I mentioned, Rice is the only major ingredient in this recipe.


Ingredients
Parboiled rice/idly rice - 2 cups

Salt as per taste

Grated coconut - 3 tblspn (optional)

Drumstick leaves - 1 cup

Method

Wash and soak the rice for 4 hrs.

Grind coarsely with salt.Add coconut and drumstick leaves. Mix well.

Batter consistency should be thicker than the dosa batter. This doesn't need any fermentation.

Heat a tawa. (Iron tawas are better). Grease the tawa with gingely oil.

Spread a laddle full and spread like dosa with little thickness. Traditionally, the adai is spread on the tawa using hand. The batter will be thick enough to be taken in the hand.

Make a hole in the centre using the spatula.Add oil around and in the hole and cook on medium heat.

Cook both sides till crisp.
Serve with a blob of butter or pickle.

The other side of the adai -

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Bread Besan Toast - An alternative to plain bread toast!


This dish can be made in a jiffy.

Ingredients:
Bread - 4(each cut into 2 pieces)

For the batter:
Besan flour - 1/2 cup
Chopped onions - a handful
Chopped tomatoes - 2 tbsp
Chopped coriander leaves - 1 tbsp
Chopped green chillis
Salt
Water

Method:
Mix all ingredients except bread to make a batter(slightly thinner than dosa batter consistency).
Heat the pan. Dip each bread piece in the batter. Toast both sides till golden brown.
Serve with ketchup.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Kathrikai Puli

Till my age of 15, I stayed in joint family with grand parents, uncles, aunts and cousins. It was alsways fun playing with occassional fighting. Our home was always open to guests, who must be visiting their ancestral village and has no relatives around. In those days of powerless cooking, when unexpected guests arrive at the time of dinner, those who eat last will be deprived of the kootan( gravy). So my paati(maternal grandma) used to make this quick gravy. This can be prepared in 10 minutes. I loved watching Paati roasting the brinjals over the coal in the traditional choolah. Paati makes using the small violet variety of brinjal.This gravy needs few ingredients.

Ingredients
small violet brinjals - 3 nos
green chilly - 2 nos
tamarind -lemon size

Method
Soak the tamarind in 2 cups of water.
Roast the brinjals over gas burner. Keep turning the brinjal so it doesn't get charred. It will take 3 minutes to raost one.

Cut the roasted ones to check for worms.

Slit the green chillies.

Add the cut brinjals and green chillies to the soaked tamarind water.Add salt.

Mash the brinjal,tamarind, chilly using hand. Thats the traditional way of doing it. Can use a masher instead.

Finally remove the pulp by squeezing with your hand.

Temper with mustard. Gravy is ready.


Serve with rice and papad.I love this simple meal.


This is off to Pooja for her VOW event, where Brinjal is the veggie of the week.

fy

Monday, February 25, 2008

Rasmalai - Foolproof method

I am yet to try this recipe :) Just wanted to jot it down before i lose it.

Ingredients:
Store bought Rosgolla - 1 tin
Full fat milk - 2 cups
Condensed milk - 1/2 tin
Cardamom - 1/2 tsp
Saffron - few strands
Chopped nuts - for garnishing
Cornflour - 1 tbsp

Method:
Remove rasgollas from sugar syrup and squeeze out excess sugar.
Boil milk. Add cornflour(mixed with water to make a thick paste). Boil till the mixture becomes thick.
Add condensed milk, cardamom and saffron.
Pour this mixture on the rasgollas.
Garnish with chopped almonds and pistachio.
Cool and Refrigerate.

Eurocucina Preview

Every two years the Europeans stage Eurocucina in Milan.











It's like Our KBIS, but bigger, and all about European kitchens!

Tonight I discovered a site where all the vendors who showed at Eurocucina 2006 are listed in a catalogue...And their web site links are listed too!

I entered "Plastic laminate kitchens" in the search box. You can change that if you like.

If you are interested you can easily spend DAYS perusing what the haute couture in European kitchens are up to.

They also have a Pre-Catalogue of 2008 exhibitors.

FUN!

Peggy

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Iyengar Bakery's Bread Sandwich - Reminds me of good old days in Chennai

Ingredients:
Onions - chopped 1 cup
Carrot - 1
Tomato - chopped 1/2 cup
Green chili
Coriander leaves - 1 tbsp
Mint- 1 tbsp
Salt
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Bread slices - as required

Method:
Heat oil in a pan. Add onions. Fry until it is cooked. Add grated carrot and tomato. Add salt, turmeric powder, mint, coriander leaves, green chili and fry for 5 more minutes.
Toast bread with ghee. Stuff with the cooked veges and serve.

Vangi Bath

Grandfather was a gardening freak. He spent most of his time in the garden after retirement. Various types of crotons, roses and hibiscus looked happy and healthy under his care and supervision. He could not stand even one weed or a small tuft of grass on the neatly laid path around the pond, where he liked to walk in the mornings and evenings. A gardener was especially employed to keep the weeds out of sight. He had so much become a part of the garden, that the garden looked virtually incomplete on the days he took off.

Grandfather had a vegetable patch and many fruit trees in our garden. His love for the garden had rubbed off on us too. So we decided to grow our own vegetable garden during our Dasara holidays. Since grand father was too possessive to lend out his gardening tools which he guarded safely in a very huge iron box, my youngest brother successfully pestered father into buying a small gardening set from the Dasara exhibition. We also picked up a few seeds packets from the flower show.

Grandfather graciously lent his gardener for digging and preparing the soil. We were highly excited on the day we sowed the seeds. We took turns to water our vegetable patch, after we returned from school, without even caring to change out of our school uniforms. There was jubilation when the first shoots showed up, and later when the plants had flowered.

We harvested our vegetables on a Sunday morning, and mother promised to cook the same for lunch. Beans, tomatoes, brinjal and spinach were glowing fresh as mother washed them under the tap. It so happened that our old Granduncle landed at our home n the same day. The moment he arrived, he announced a list of food items and vegetables he would not eat, either due to the vows he had made to various deities or due to his personal whims. Mother had prepared a delicious Vangi Bath and she had to skip Granduncle’s leaf while serving, as he would not eat brinjal. All of us enjoyed the garden fresh vegetables and the aromatic Vangi Bath mother had prepared with great expertise. Granduncle saw us smacking our lips, and when Grandfather and father demanded for more helpings, Granduncle could not control his curiosity. Grandfather encouraged him to taste a spoon of the delicacy, he reluctantly allowed mother to server him a ¼ spoon only. Later on he requested a large serving of Vangi Bath and relished it sheepishly, while the four of us hid our grins. Granduncle had to admit, that brinjal was after all not that bad a vegetable, when mother prepared it and he even decided to score off the vegetable from the ‘not-to-make’ list whenever he visited us.

Here is mothers recipes for a lip smacking Vangi Bath.


For Vangi Bath Masala
Ingredients
Coriander seeds – 2 tbs
Bengal gram dal – 2 tbs
Black Gram dal – ¼ tsp
Asafetida – a pinch
Cinnamon stick – 1 inch
Cardamom – 1
Cloves – 4
Dry red chillies – 12
Dried coconut gratings – 1 TBs
Method
1. Heat ¼ tsp oil
2. Add asadfoetida
3. Next add cinnamon, cardamom and clove and fry
4. Next add the dals and coriander seeds and roast till golden in colour
5. Add red chillies and roast for few more seconds until chillies are crisp
6. Allow to cool and then dry grind to coarse powder.
7. Add copra and grind for fre more seconds

This powder can be stored in air tight containers and stored for a week to 10 days.
The powder looses aroma on prolonged storage

To prepare Vangi Bath
Ingredients
Rice – 250 gram / 1 cup
Tender green brinjal -= ¼ Kg
Mustards seeds ½ tsp
Curry leaves – a few
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Salt – 11/2 to or to taste
Lime – 1 small
Cooking oil – 3 tbs
Cashew Nuts – 50 grams
Method
1.Cook rice in just enough water. Do not over cook. Cool the rice.
2. Cut brinjal into 1’ strips, and keep immersed in cold water to prevent discoloration
3. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds
4. Drain the brinjal and add to the oil, along with turmeric and salt and store
5. Cover and cook in low fire, stirring occasionally. Brinjals cook very fast, so take care not to overcook, and the pieces retain their shape.
6. Add the prepared masala powder and blend with the vegetable
7. Squeeze in the line juice and remove from heat.
8. Loosen the rice until the grains are separated.
9. Add the rice to the vegetable and mix well, until the spice coats the rice
10. Serve hot, topped with fried cashew nuts.

Raita, curd, avail, papad and chips go well with Vangi Bath. The choice is yours!


Mango Rice




The morning breeze slapped the pleasant fragrance of the mango flowers on my face, as I stood in my balcony on the third floor. I could behold the tree top which was thickly covered with whitish green mango flowers, reminding me of a bride’s veil.
The bees hovering over the flowers, the butterflies fluttering around and the birds which flew in and out of the tree cover, were all celebrating Spring. I could view a koel which landed on a branch, and it started to hum a sweet tune.
The age old story goes that the mute koel finds its voice only after eating the mango flowers. It could have been the imaginative expression of the poets of yore, but it is true that the bird is heard during the mango season.
I remember the time when we had a great time mimicking the stupid koels. The five of us – the four siblings and the koel – would go on and on and on with the kuhooo, kuhooo,kuhooo,until the song reached a high tempo as the decibels increased. We alternated with the koel one by one ,taking turns, for a long time, until finally the pleasing song ended up with the hysteric shrieks of the duped koel..
We were very patient when it came to waiting for the mango flowers to turn into small mangoes. But we were definitely not willing to wait until it reached its full growth. We ganged up under the tree and pelted stones at the baby mangoes which dropped down unable to withstand our attack. While two of us picked up the tiny mangoes, the other two sneaked into the kitchen to fetch chilly powder and salt.
Mother was against us eating raw mangoes since she feared that it would trigger the onset of heat boils in our body. Hence we took refuge under the green canopy of the mango tree on our terrace, where the tree had extended its branches. We savored the bitter sour mangoes with chilly powder and salt, as we laughed about each others distorted facial expressions caused by the unique taste.
There were occasions when we got caught and reprimanded or even beaten up for having broken the glass of a window or the glass dome on the lamp post which stood in the garden in our endeavor to secure the tiny mangoes.
All the houses in our locality had many or at least one mango tree in their respective gardens. It had become a customary friendly gesture to exchange mangoes with pleasantries among the neighbors during the mango season. Thus our house was flooded with all varieties of mangoes, gifted as well as our own,
Mother and grand mother had a hectic time sorting and segregating them for different purposes. Some were packed up in hay and stored away for ripening, some were used in different types of pickles. Some were diced, salted and sun dried for future use. Mother even made jam out of a few, which we enjoyed with our dosas and rotis.
We were never tired of the mango rice which mother prepared every other day until the mango season lasted.
Here is a simple method of preparing a delicious mango rice which I would like to share.
MANGO RICE
Ingredients :
Rice – 250 gms/1 cup
Medium size raw mango – 1
Asafetida - 1 pinch
Red chillies - 6-8
Ground nuts – 50 gms
Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Black gram dal – 1 tsp
Bengal gram dal – 1tsp
Salt - 1 ½ tsp or to taste
Curry leaves – a few
Cooking oil – 2 to 3 tbsps

Method :
1. Cook rice with enough water and cool it.
2. Heat oil in a pan. and add asafetida.
3. Add mustard seeds and let it splutter.
4. Add black gram dal and Bengal gram dal and roast till golden in colour.
5. Add ground nuts and roast until it cracks.
6. Add red chillies and curry leaves and toss for one more minute.
7. Add the grated raw mango followed by turmeric powder and salt.
8. Cook in low fire until the oil separates, remove from flame.
9. Break up the cooked and cooled rice and blend it with the cooked mango.
10. Enjoy the hot mango rice with raita or plain curd ,papad or chips as you wish.

Nannari Sarbath

Nannari known as Indian Sarasaparilla, is a wonder herb, with its natural cooling property. It has the medicinal properties to protect one from common summer ailments. Nannari root is used to prepare the concentrate. Shall blog about the syrup preparation later. To know more about nannari sarbath's cooling effects, read The Hindu's metroplus article.


Nannari Sarbath /Sarbath is a very popular summer drink in Kerala and TamilNadu. Here, the word Sarbath is synonymous with Nannari. Many temporary shops selling sarbath come up, under the tree's shade near roads. The existing shops will add a new shelf lined with bottles of home made nannari syrup. I bought one bottle from a nearby shop. All the shops in my place, use home made syrups, with no preservatives added. Here we have started feeling the heat and through out the summer, I never fail to stock my fridge with a bottle of the syrup. Nannari syrup with fresh lime juice and ice soda will be really a treat on a hot summer day. You can use cold water instead of soda. I have a soda maker at home.

Nannari syrup - 3 tbl spn
Juice of a medium sized Lemon
Water/Soda - 1 glass

No need to add any sugar, since the concentrate has adequate sugar in it.
Mix all the three in a bowl with a spoon and serve in a tall glass.





This refreshing summer drink goes to cool Coffee, who is hosting JFI this month, which is the brain child of Indira of Mahanandi.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Kovil Puliyodharai


Mrs Chithvish's recipe:

http://www.indusladies.com/forums/5406-post40.html

Akki Roti - My favorite Karnataka Dish!



I am sending this recipe to Meeta's "Monthly Mingle - One dish Dinner" March 2008 event

Ingredients:
Rice flour - 2 cups (eyeballed measurement)
Onions - chopped 1 cup
Carrot - 1 grated
Ginger - chopped 1 tbsp
Coconut - 1/2 cup shredded
Curry leaves
Hing - a pinch
Salt
Green chillis
Jeera - 1 tsp
Coriander leaves - chopped - a handful

Method:
Mix all the above ingredients and make a soft dough with water. Mix a tbsp of oil at the end and divide into big balls.(see the 1st picture).
Heat a small pan(which is curved). Make sure the pan is not very hot. Take a big ball size dough and place it in the tawa. Spread some oil on your hand and pat the dough(press all the sides to spread evenly). See picture below.

Pour oil on the edges and close the pan with a lid. Simmer. Cook on both sides until golden brown. (It takes about 8-10 minutes on one side and 2-3 minutes on the other side). Tastes great even without any side dish. Can be served with coconut chutney.

Serves: 2
Recipe Source: My Amma

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Milk Chocolate

When I was going through my MIL's recipe collection during the search for jujups, I came across few interesting recipes. This is one among them. Few ingredients and minimal time caught my attention. Decided to try it. MIL said ,since she has not tried it, can't guarantee if it is foolproof. I thought, anything with cocoa and sugar must be edible, irrespective of the end product texture
The recipe called for milk powder. That is something which doesn't find place in my grocery list. I haven't felt the need to use milk powder before. Later I found some recipes in blogosphere, which makes use of this. From now on, I think it is going to be a must buy in the shopping list.

With the following measurement, It takes only 10 minutes of cooking time. And you get absolutely yummy milk chocolate. Kids will be asking for more. Its almost an instant chocolate. Its worth trying. Let me go to the recipe

Milk Powder - 1 cup
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Coco Powder - 3 tblspn
Butter - 1 tblspn
Water - 1/2 cup
Roasted cashew - 3 tblspn
( this is my addition)

Mix milk powder and coco powder well.
Take a kadai. Add sugar and water and make syrup of 1 string consistency.
Add butter.
When butter melts completely, add cashew and milk, coco powder mixture. Mix well.
Keep stirring for a minute or two.
Transfer to a greased plate. Since it doesn't set immediately, like other sweets, you need not be in a hurry to spread and make it even.
Allow it to set. After 5 minutes, you can mark them in desired shape.
If you have chocolate moulds, you can as well scoop into them. No refrigeration required.

When I tried first, I had reduced the amount of cocoa and didnot add any cashew. It still tasted good. This is the result of first trial.

Microwave Paneer butter masala in 15 minutes


I tried this gravy for the first time in microwave. It came out decent(beyond my expectation). I like the stove top method though. It is tastier than microwave method. Here is the recipe. I did not add butter in this recipe. If you want, you may add.

Ingredients:
1. Chilli powder
2. Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
3. Garama masala powder - 1/4 tsp
4. Kitchen king masala -1 tsp
5. Coriander powder - 1 tsp
6. Curd - 1 tbsp
7. Paneer chopped
8. Coriander leaves - to garnish
9. Kasuri methi(optional) - a few sprigs
10. Salt

To grind to a paste:
Tomatoes - 2
Onions - 1/2
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Cinnamon - 1 inch stick
Cashews - 10 to 15

Method:
In a microwavable container(preferably glass), add 1 tbsp oil, ground paste, salt, ingredients 1 through 5 and microwave for 12 to 14 minutes(take the gravy out every 3 minutes, stir well and microwave).
Add chopped paneer, curd and microwave for 1 minute. Garnish with coriander leaves and kasuri methi.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A Trip to Majjie's Blog

I took a little trip across "The Pond" tonight to see how Majjie is doing over in the UK.

Majjie is a great blogger and kitchen designer. I like to check up on her every once in a while to see what she's up to design-wise.

She took me touring
Mirari Kitchens' sleek and shiny offerings in apple greens and reds. And their glossy glass backsplashes...Interesting.

















Then to Majjie's discussion
"Free" Kitchen Designs - Are They Becoming a Thing of the Past?...Looks like the Brits are wising up about You get what you pay for too.

Then to
What Do You Want From Your Kitchen Designer?

Now THERE is some food for thought!

Majjie discusses whether her clients prefer to design their own kitchens and have her implement their ideas, or whether she should impose her expertise on their kitchens because she "knows better" and they really don't.

"What I don't want to happen is for any of my clients to be disappointed with the finished result. I'd feel really bad if one of them said to me ... 'you knew this wouldn't really work didn't you? And yet you let me go ahead with it'"

Occasionally, in 25 years of designing kitchens, baths, and other rooms, I have run across a client who really DID design their own kitchen and use me to help them implement their vision.

Much, much, more often it is a collaboration: with me listening to the client's wishes, wants and clues, and then creating a vision for them that is far more than they ever could have imagined on their own.

Then I need to communicate my vision back to the client so that he or she can understand it.

The fact is, if I were turned loose with a client's budget and free rein to spend it any way I wished, then I would be designing a kitchen for myself...not for my client.

It is the give and take and interaction with the client and their space that gets the creative juices flowing. And, when a client throws up roadblocks and hauls me up short to meet what may seem like unreasonable demands; that is what inspires some of the very best solutions to seemingly unsolvable problems.

I LOVE what I do.
It's always different and exciting, never boring or mundane.

Thanks Majjie!

Peggy

Simple Paneer Kurma

Ingredients:

1. Onions - 1 or 2 (your choice)
2. Potatoes - 2 small
3. Capsicum - 1
4. Carrot - 1
5. Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
6. Salt
7. Paneer pieces - 1 cup
8. Coriander leaves
9. Lemon(optional)

To grind to a paste:

Cashews - about 20
Sombu - 1 tsp
Coconut - 3/4 cup
Cloves - 6
Cinnamon
Elaichi - 4
Green chillis - 1 or 2

Method:

1. Heat oil in a pan. Fry veges 1 through 4 for 10 minutes.
2. Grind the above ingredients to a thick paste. Add the paste to the veges.
3. Add enough water to get a gravy consistency.
4. Close the lid and let it cook till the veges are fully cooked and oil starts to float on top(takes approximately 30 minutes).
5. Fry paneer pieces with little oil separately and add it to the gravy.
6. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with a wedge of lime.
7. Serve with rotis or parathas.

Monday, February 18, 2008

The Error of My Ways

Today I received a notice about a comment on one of my blog posts about HomeAnnex, an enticing web site with lots of plumbing fixtures and other great items.

Here is the comment:


whgeiger has left a new comment on your post "Home Annex - A GREAT Resource":

You should check the BBB before you make such recommendations. My experience with this firm is contrary to yours. To confirm this, here is what the NY chapter has to say:

"On May 22, 2007, this company's membership in the BBB was revoked by the BBB's Board of Directors due to failure to cooperate with the BBB on advertising matters, unresolved complaints, and the company's failure to eliminate the underlying causes of complaints on file with the BBB concerning: non-delivery of merchandise, failure to respond to customer issues and complaints, failure to adhere to its posted policies, and misrepresentation of product availability."

The URL follows so you may verify these facts for yourself.

http://search.newyork.bbb.org/reports.aspx?id=79745&pid=44&page=0&FindStr=homeannex.com&SearchBy=url&Address=&City=&Phone1=&Phone2=&Phone3=&MembersOnly=False


I must admit I was taken in by a well-constructed web site and recommended an apparently spurious and unethical business to my readers.

Mea Culpa please.

I hope no readers have been harmed by my lack of due diligence.

I will be more careful in the future to only recommend sites about which I have personal knowledge or a good recommendation. This is the way I run my business, so there is no reason to think I have to do things differently here.

I DO like to preview or comment upon new products here and on my other blogs. Obviously I can not be accountable for products that do not perform as advertised.
As always, buyer beware.

My deepest thanks to whgeiger.
I have removed the original, laudatory, post.

Peggy

Green Apple Thokku

Green apples are sour in taste. So mangoes can be replaced with apples(do not use red apple).

Ingredients:
Green apples - 2
Carrot - 1
Salt
Chilli powder
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Hing - 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Sesame Oil(Nallennai) - 5-6 tbsp(or more)

Method:
Peel the skin of apples and carrot. Grate and set aside. Heat oil in a pan. Tamper mustard seeds and hing.
Add grated apples and carrot, salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder. When the mixture turns soft and starts to leave the sides of the pan, remove from flame. Cool and refrigerate. Goes well with curd rice.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Boondi Raita - Traditional North Indian Raita

It is easy to prepare this raita if you have readymade boondis in hand.

Ingredients:
  1. Red chilli powder - a pinch
  2. Cumin Powder - a pinch
  3. Salt
  4. Pepper powder - a pinch
  5. Sugar (optional) - a pinch
  6. Finely chopped coriander leaves - 1 tsp
  7. Yogurt - 1 cup
  8. Ready made boondi

Method:

Mix ingredients 1 through 6 with yogurt.
Add boondi to yogurt just before serving.

Keerai Chundal

Keerai (Amaranth leaves) is available in numerous varities. As a child, I knew about Arakeerai and thandukeerai. These two varieties were sown and nurtured meticulously in my house. The thandukeerai doesn't require much attention. But the arakeerai needs care like a baby. The preparation of the bed before the seeds are sown itself calls for many details. These keerai has to be watered atleast 4 times through out the day at specific intervals. These days hardly anyone takes interest to prepare such beds and grow the greens in their house, since it is easily available in the market. But it just cannot match the home grown variety. I am trying last few years to get the seed for arkeerai, but in vain. What the market sells as arakeerai seeds will trun out to be some other variety when they grow. My attempts to grow the authentic arakeerai has failed every time. In my house, thandu keerai variety grows on its own out of the seeds fallen during the last season. One stroll around my garden, I can get around 2 bunches of the green. When Srivalli, announced the theme as Green for MEC, I had many options to think of. I was waiting for the leaves to grow. Today finally I managed to prepare keerai chundal in the MW. This is palakkad iyer speciality.
Red variety or thandu keerai or arakeerai will be suitable for this. Even drumstick leaves can be used to prepare the dish

Keerai - 2 bunch
Grated coconut - 2 tblspn
Turmeric - a pinch
salt as required

For powder
Raw Rice - 2 tbl spn
Red chilly - 1
Seasoning
Oil - 1 tblspn
Mustard- 1/2 tspn
Urad dal -1 tspn
Procedure
Wash the keerai in 3 changings of water. Finely chop them. Tender stems can also be included.
Take a MW safe bowl. Do the seasoning. If your not combfortable with seasoning in MW, do it on stovetop and proceed.
Add the chopped green, turmeric and salt. Sprinkle handful water. MW high for 6 minutes. The timings may vary depending on the quantity and type of keerai used.
Wash and dry the rice. In another MW bowl, add the rice and MW for 3 minutes. The rice should turn light brownAdd the red chilly and MW for 30 seconds. When cool, powder them in the mixer not too fine.
Add the powder to the cooked keerai and mw for a minute.Remove and garnish with fresh grated coconut.

Serve with hot rice and sambhar/rasam
This is off to Srivalli for her MEC-Greens theme.

Bombay Bread Sandwich



Ingredients:
White Bread

For filling:
1. Boiled and smashed potatoes + salt + pepper + a pinch of garam masala powder
2. Green Chutney - Grind a handful of coriander leaves with equal amount of mint leaves with salt, 1 clove of garlic, 1/2 tsp lemon juice, green chilli. (Instead of adding water while grinding, I add a table spoon of olive oil)
3. Sliced veges like cucumber, onion, tomatoes.

Method:
Apply green chutney on one bread. On the other bread, layer mashed potatoes-garam masala mixture and raw veges.
Place one bread(with green chutney) on top of the other bread(with potatoes and veges).
Cut into two and serve. It is optional to toast the bread lightly.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Tangy Mango Rice - Simple yet fulfilling!

This is a dish from Karnataka for mango lovers. I learned this recipe from my friend.

Ingredients:

Raw unripe mango - 1
Rice - 1 cup uncooked
Salt

To tamper:
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Urud dhal - 1 tsp
Hing - a pinch
Curry leaves - a few
Green chillies - 1
Red chilis - 1 or 2
Peanuts - 2 tsp

Method:

Peel the skin of mango and grate it.
Cook rice. Cool.
Heat oil in a pan, temper the above mentioned ingredients.
Add grated mango. Fry the mixture for a minute or two.
Add salt and mango mixture to rice. Stir well and serve with pappad.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Another New Auto-Drawer System

Not to be outdone by Blum, Grass too has a new drawer slide system that automatically opens and closes with a nudge.

Sensotronic is being introduced at KBIS (the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show) in April of 2008.

Peggy












Sensotronic
Grass presents the amazing drawer system, Sensotronic. It opens & closes automatically and eliminates the need for handles on the drawer fronts. The Sensotronic moves by means of electro/mechanical, full-extension cabinet members that mount underneath a Nova Pro drawer. When closed, using light pressure will open the drawer fully or stop it at any position with a light tap. To reverse the action, use light pressure again & the drawer will close automatically and reset to the parked position.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Mixed Vegetable Parota(kothu Parota) - Saravana Bavan Special!

I never thought mixed veg parota could be so easy to make. Mixed veg parota is my all time favorite in saravana bavan . It is simply delicious. In US we get frozen parotas in Indian stores. That makes my life much more easier.

Ingredients:
Frozen Parathas(plain flavor) - 4
Vegetables(Onion, cabbage, capsicum, carrot)
Ginger(chopped) -1/2 tsp
Garlic(chopped) - 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Dhaniya powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves - for garnishing

Method:
1. Heat oil in a pan. Fry ginger garlic and onions. Fry cabbage, grated carrots and capsicum(do not over cook capsicum).
2. Add salt, chilli powder, dhaniya powder, turmeric powder. Fry for a few more minutes.
3. Pan fry the parathas and cut into pieces.
4. Mix the parathas with veges.
5. Garnish with coriander leaves. Serve with raitha.

Shrikhand(Creamy flavoured yogurt)


This is one of the main desserts in Gujarati cuisine. It is served as a side for rotis/puris in Maharashtra. It is made of thick curd. But I am giving a foolproof method which is equally good as the original recipe.

Ingredients:
1. Kefir cheese(available in middle eastern stores)
2. Sugar - according to your taste(typically equal quantities of kefir cheese and sugar)
3. Saffron - a few strands
4. Elaichi powder - 1/2 tsp
5. Chopped pineapple(optional) or mango puree

Method:
Mix all the above ingredients from 1 to 4. Add pineapple pieces/mango puree if you like and refrigerate. Serve it chilled as a dessert or with puris.

Coconut Delight

It was heart rending to watch the great old Cannon Ball tree lying on the ground like a gentle giant.

The home of a variety of birds, the trapeze enjoyed by the occasional visiting monkeys, the play ground where the chipmunks played 'catch me if you can', the sunshade which filtered the harsh sunlight and sent in a green glow into my drawing room - all was gone with a single stroke of the woodcutters axe. I felt heavy at heart as though I had lost a near and dear one in my family

A shiver ran down my spine when I realized that the second in line to fall prey to the axe was the tall coconut tree which stood in the adjoining site.

The Indian tradition reveres the coconut tree because it is 'Kalpa Vriksha' - the all giving tree. Coconut plays a prominent role in all festivities and rituals. No prayer or worship is complete without offering one or many coconuts to the deity invoked. People who built new houses incorporated the coconut trees in the building site - if there were any - in their building plans, so that they could retain them and nurture them.


Other than quenching thirst and nourishing the body with its fruit and sweet water, every other part of the tree is useful in the manufacture of various essential articles.

Whenever a coconut sapling was planted in our garden, mother fed the laborers and gave away gifts to ­them as a gesture of reverence and gratitude for having brought good luck to the house.

Plucking the full-grown coconuts from the tall tree tops is a special fete carried out by skilled labourers.Father hired them when our trees were overburdened with the yield. We children were asked to stay away inside the house, till all the coconuts were 'dropped' down, lest we got bombarded by the coconut shower.

The professional coconut tree climbers lassoed their feet with the two ends of a short rope. Hugging the tree with their hands and feet, they made an upward thrust to go up the tree, and in no time they scaled to the top.

We stored all the coconuts in a large room in our backyard. The ripe ones were shorn out of the outer tough skin and the fibers, and the edible portion was left to dry. We stored a few for our cooking, and the major portion was sent to the oil mill.

Home made coconut oil was used for massaging new borns.Grand mother extracted the milk from fresh coconut gratings. Then she boiled it in a huge pot until the oil separated from the scum. She filtered the pure oil in a clean muslin cloth and stored it in numerous bottles. She was very happy to give them away to families with new arrivals.

Grand mother prepared mouth watering coconut burfies -candy made out of fresh coconut gratings and sugar in large quantities and stored them in air tight jars. It came in handy to entertain the children who accompanied our visitors. But with us around, the burfies would not even last for a day or two.

Chutney powders, coconut chutneys, various other sweets and porridges made out of coconut , and spicy gravies were all part of our daily menu.

One of the favorite dishes which mother contrived at the sight of an unexpected guest was coconut rice. Cooking rice in coconut milk and then seasoning it is a laborious task. But here is a very simple and easy method to turn out a tasty coconut delight.


Coconut rice

Ingredients:
Rice – 1 cup
Fresh coconut gratings – 1 cup
Cooking oil - 2 Tbsps
Ghee - ½ Tsp
Salt – 1 Tsp or to taste
For seasoning :
Asafetida powder - 1 pinch
Mustard seeds -1 Tsp
Split black gram dal - 2 Tsps
Bengal gram dal - 2 Tsps
Ground nuts - 4 Tbsps
Red chillies - 4 to 6
Curry leaves – A few
Papad ( optional) – 1
Sugar - 1 pinch
Method:
Step -1 : Wash and cook rice with just enough water so that it does not become mushy. Allow it to cool.
Step -2: Break red chillies into small pieces. Crush papads into small bits.
Step – 3: Heat cooking oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and allow it to splutter.
Step – 4: Add black gram dal and Bengalgram dal . Roast until it turns golden in colour. Add ground nuts and let it crack.
Step – 5 : Add the crushed papads and fry.
Step – 6 :Add in the red chillies and asafetida powder and fry for one more minute.
Step – 7: Add the curry leaves
Step – 8: Add the fresh coconut gratings to the above seasoning and roast it in low fire until it turns into a golden colour and lets out a pleasant aroma.
Step 9 : Add salt and sugar and toss for one more minute and turn off the flame.
Step – 10 : Dot the cooked rice with a little ghee and break it until it separates. Then add it to the seasoning and blend well.
Serve hot . It tastes good even without a side dish.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Great Post on Cork Flooring

Over on HGTVpro.com; Andrew and Stacy, The Green Team, write about cork flooring pros and cons:

Popping the cork - getting to know cork flooring

I think cork is an ideal product for kitchens and other rooms where you want a smooth, cleanable floor but hardwood won't work because of noise transmission.

Cork has better sound dampening characteristics than any other hard surface flooring.

Easy on the feet, legs, and back too!

Peggy

Monday, February 11, 2008

LED Recessed Lights are Here - REALLY HERE!!!

This morning I finally got a look at the new LR6 6" LED can light module from LED Lighting Fixtures, Inc. (LLF).

After many disappointments in my search for an LED fixture that provides a comparable amount of light to a 65 watt incandescent flood light, the LR6 fills the bill and then some!















The LR6 actually provides more footcandles of light on the work surface than a 65-watt flood. Mounted side by side, the LR6 was clearly brighter.

An LR6 installed pulls just 12 watts of electricity. WOW!!!

Better yet (Well, that was pretty good but THIS gets a designer's attention), the LR6 has a Color Rendering Index (CRI) of 92. That means a tomato will look like a tomato; nice rich red...not purple, not brown. Very few light sources have CRIs over 90. That is considered the gold standard.

You may never change another light bulb, or even forget how! The LR6 lasts more than 20 years (50,000 hours) under normal use.

It comes in 2700 Kelvin (incandescent range) or 5300 Kelvin (sunlight range) temperatures.

The LR6 is dimmable, though Lutron is working on a better dimming system than what is available now (which I am told is a bit choppy in its dimming).

A lens that is quite unique covers the LEDs, so you don't see a light bulb at all. The lens refracts the colors of red and green LEDs in the fixture to make white light! Who'da thought?

It retrofits (screws into the existing light bulb socket) easily in most 6" recessed IC or non-IC fixtures. So if you already have can lights in your ceiling, chances are you can swap them out very easily yourselves.



























If you are doing a remodel or new construction they have a hard-wired setup that conforms to California's Title 24 requirements (YEAY!) with a GU-24 base instead of the screw-in base. (Here in California we have had homeowners and contractors who install fluorescent fixtures and then swap them out for incandescent after the final inspection. Therefore the State requires bi-pin fluorescents and fixtures that are much harder to swap.)

They run cool. So no running up the air conditioning bill or burn spots on the tops of bald heads from hot halogens.

I've been saying they're not quite there yet for two years now. THE WAIT IS OVER. They are here.

I know, the next question is: How much?

They are pricey at about $130.00 each. They WILL pay for themselves pretty quickly in energy savings compared to incandescent. Comparing to fluorescent, the premium is a little harder to justify unless you are one who wants that perfect color rendering characteristic of a 92 CRI fixture.


LLF technology uses only 12 watts of power. That's 85% less energy spent per incandescent light, and 50% less than a CFL.

Save Money
How can one light save hundreds of dollars? On average in the United States, running a 65-watt light for 50,000 hours would cost $325 in electricity alone. Because the LR6 uses only 12 watts, running the light for 50,000 hours will cost only $60 under the same scenario. In addition, you will no longer spend time or money replacing lights. Over the lifetime of one LR6, you will save $265 dollars or more on your electric bill alone. Imagine the savings if every light in your home was an LR6!


They're GREEN too! No mercury or other earth or people-poisoning substances.

I think most of my clients will want it enough to pay the premium once they see one on display. I'm putting one (2700 Kelvin) in my own kitchen to see how I like it...I have a feeling I'm gonna be buying four more for the other cans I have in there.

Before I post this, I think I'll invest in the company. I'm sold! ;-D


Peggy



02/25/08
An addendum to this post is that LLF has just been acquired by Cree, Inc. After the acquisition is complete, in March 2008, LLF will be known as Cree LED Lighting Solutions. Cree will be keeping the LLF people on board.

7/29/08
A further addendum:
I have finally gotten around to installing an LR6 in my own kitchen (replacing the center surface-mount fluorescent). It is incredibly BRIGHT and there's a wonderful color to the light.

I STRONGLY recommend these fixtures, and using wider spacing than past practice. I'd say 4' on center would provide plenty of ambient light for a room. I will be interested to try the new LR4 in kitchens too, as that will be fewer lumens and likely closer to what we are accustomed to with 8' ceilings.

Peggy

Karamani Kaara Kozhambu (Chettinad style)


This is Mrs. Mano's recipe. I tried it today and came out pretty good. We had it with rice and papad.

Ingredients:
Karamani(black eye peas) - 3/4 cup
Tamarind - small lime sized
Oil - 3 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - a few sprigs
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
Garlic flakes - 4
Small onions - 6
Tomatoes - 3/4 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder - according to your taste
salt
coriander powder - 2 tsp
Coconut - 1/2 cup

Method:
Soak Karamani for 4 hours and pressure cook it till soft.
Extract juice from tamarind.
Heat oil in a pan. Add mustards seeds, cumin, fenugreek seeds and garlic flakes.
Add onions and fry well. Add tomatoes and cook till it gets mashed.
Pour the tamarind extract, add turmeric powder, chilli powder and coriander powder. Let the kuzhambu simmer for 15 minutes.
Grind coconut to a fine paste with water and add this to the kuzhambu. Add cooked karamani. Let it simmer for some more minutes.

Menthiya Dosai

Menthiya Dosai / Methi seeds dosa



There are umpteen varieties of dosas. Add or remove an ingredient, you get a new type of dosa. Always wondered, how new variants are created. Its true, necessity is the mother of invention. May be in the past, when urad dal was scarce or was not affordable to common man, this dosa must have got birth out of a creative mind. This is a quickie but not the instant kind. The dosa takes only raw rice and methi seeds as ingredient. So you can prepare the batter in a mixer too. That is you can do with out a wet grinder.


Ingredients


Raw rice - 2 cups

Boiled rice - 2 tblspoon ( Optional -this gives softness to the dosa)

Methi seeds - 2 tspn


Wash and soak all the ingredients together for 4 hours. Grind to a fine batter. Ferment it overnight.

Take a laddle full and spread to make dosa. This will not be paper thin.

Cook both sides.



I love menthiya dosa with ulli-mulaku chutney. That combo is just out of the world. This time I served with coconut chutney.

For Coconut Chutney
grated coconut - 1/2 cup
pottukadalai/chutney dal - 2 tblspn
green chilly - 3 nos (adjust to your taste)
salt

Grind all the ingredients together adding little water. Adjust the consistency by adding water after grinding. Season with mustard, hing and curry leaves.




Friday, February 08, 2008

Carrot-almond Payasam

This rich, smooth and nutty payasam is sure to satisfy your taste buds. This is my own recipe.
Measurements are eyeballed and approximate.

Ingredients:
Carrots - about 4-5
Nuts - almonds(about 15), cashew(about 15), pista(optional)
Dates(optional) - 5-6
Elaichi - 1/2 tsp
Saffron - 1/4 tsp
Condensed milk - 1/2 tin(depends on how sweet you want the kheer to be)
Evaporated milk(optional) - 1/2 tin
Regular 2% milk - 4 glasses

Method:
Pressure cook carrots.
Soak almonds and cashews in hot water. When cool, remove the skin of almonds.
Grind carrots, cashews, almonds, pista, dates, saffron with very little milk(2 tablespoons) to a smooth paste.
Boil milk and set aside.
Add the ground paste to milk.
Add condensed milk and evaporated milk.
Add elaichi.
Have it hot or chilled.

Chef's Recipe for Tomato Soup

I got this recipe from a website. A chef had posted this recipe. I have made it several times and has always been a hit.

Ingredients:

Ripe tomatoes - 8
Carrot - 1
Garlic - 4-5 cloves
Salt - to taste
Sugar - 1 tsp
Fresh Cilantro leaves - for garnishing
Rasam powder - 1/5 teaspoon.
Water

Method:

1. Pressure cook tomatoes, carrots and garlic with 2 cups of water.

2. When done allow to cool. Peel the tomatoes. (Do not throw away the water in which tomatoes/carrot/garlic were cooked). Remember to remove all the skin from the tomatoes.

3. Blend the tomatoes, cooked carrots and garlic in a mixie. Add about 1 and a 1/2 cups of water that was saved from the pressure cooked tomatoes and grind. When done, pour the blanched liquid mixture through a sieve, into a vessel.

4. Bring this liquid to boil in medium flame. Add 1 tsp sugar, salt, rasam powder and finely chopped cilantro leaves when the mixture begins to boil. Stir it a couple of times. May need to add 1/2 cup or more water depending on the consistency you want.

5. Allow to boil. (Do not over boil as it will spoil the taste and flavour). Boil for about 30 seconds. Remove from fire. Garnish with fried bread pieces just before serving(and/or one small butter cube). Sprinkle salt/pepper if you want.

No need to add corn flour.

The above quantity will serve 5.

Tip On Making Payasam/Kheer


Adding evaporated milk to payasams makes it very tasty and rich. Evaporated milk does not have sugar unlike condensed milk which is loaded with sugar. Make payasam the usual way. Add evaporated milk in the end. Evaporated milk is not thick. So adding it to payasam may make it watery. So reduce the milk quantity while preparing payasam.

Uppadam



Uppadam is an easy to make kootan/kozhambu , which will not take more than 10 minutes. This a very traditional recipe and and it is almost forgotten now. My amma used to prepare this. So I have acquired a taste for this. Any stir fried vegetable will go well with uppadam. Its almost an instant dish provided you have the basic curry powder in hand. This curry powder is the main ingredient for pulikuthi upperi (A kerala iyer speciality). In most homes, this powder is always kept handy. This curry powder takes only 3 ingredients

Curry powder

Raw rice - 1/2 cup
Red chilly - 2 Nos
Methi seeds - 1/4 tspn

Wash and dry the rice. Dry roast the rice and chilly. When the rice starts turning little borwn, add methi seeds. Methi gets burnt easily. So add it at the last stage. When cool, powder it in a mixer. It need not be too fine. This is an all purpose curry powder. You can add this for any vegetable stir fry/kootu. This acts as a thickening agent too becoz of the rice in it.


Coming to the main recipe, you need


Tamarind - small lemon size
bhindi - 5 Nos
Salt to taste
Turmeric - a pinch
Green chilly - 3 nos

Cut the bhindi of 1/2inch size.
Soak the tamrind in warm water and extract the juice. Add 1/2 cup water to it. Take a vessel. Add the tamarind extract, turmeric and salt.

When it starts to boil, add the chopped bhindis to it. Slit the green chillies and add. Cover and cook.

When the bhindis are cooked, take 3 tblspoon of curry powder and mix in water without forming lumps. Stir into the tamrind gravy. Add more water if required. The gravy consistency should be something in between rasam and sambhar. Bring to boil.

Season with mustard and curry leaves.


Enjoy a simple meal with hot rice and any vegetable prepared as thoran.

Thai Velli Kolam#4

Last in the series of kolam for the month of Thai. By next friday, 'Maasi' (Kumbham) will start. On the occassions of festivals, I do draw kolams. But the number of kolams will be the minimum(1 or 2). During Thai masam, we see to that the whole front yard is filled with kolams, big or small.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Pista Badam Health Drink

This drink is very nutritious.

Ingredients:
Pista - 1/2 cup
Badam - 1/2 cup
Cashews - 1/4 cup
Cardamom - 10 pods
Saffron - 1/4 tsp

Method:
Dry grind all the above ingredients.
Mix a tablespoon of this powder with a cup of milk and microwave it for one and a half minutes.
Add sugar according to your taste.

Palakura Pappu(Spinach Dhal)

This is an Andhra Dish. I learnt it from a friend of mine. Ever since I learnt this recipe, I have been making it quite often. It's very easy to prepare. This dish is served with rice(and a tsp of ghee :-))

Ingredients:

Clean cut spinach - 1 bunch
chopped tomatoes - 1 cup
Thor dhal - 3/4 cup
Chopped onions(optional)- 1/2 cup
Hing
Tamarind - an inch size
Green chillies - 1

Pressure cook all these ingredients together. Add salt and mix well.

To tamper:

Heat oil. Add mustard seeds, curry leaves, Red chillis, jeera, 3 cloves of garlic and add it to the dhal spinach mixture.



Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Rava Dosa


Finally I learnt how to make a nice and crispy rava dosa. You need a lot of patience to make it. I usually do multi-tasking(like cutting veges or loading the dishes :)) when I prepare rava dosa for dinner.
Ingredients:
Rava - 1 cup
Rice flour - 1 cup
Water - 2.5 cups
Curry leaves - few sprigs
Coriander leaves
Salt
Whole black pepper - 1 tsp
Jeera - 1 tsp
Ginger - chopped 1 tsp
Green chillis - chopped as per your taste
Hing - just a hint
Chopped onions(optional)- 1/2 cup

Method:

1.Mix all the above ingredients in water and let it soak for 1 hr.
2. Heat a pan. When the pan is hot, pour the batter from top using a cup right in the middle of the pan. Since the batter is thin, it will spread by itself. Do not use laddle.
3. Drizzle oil on the corners.
4. Let it cook for approximately 3-4 minutes. Turn it and let it cook on the other side for a minute or two.
It is well worth the wait! Who doesn't like Rava Dosa?

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Uppma Kozhakkattai







Steamed rice balls
As a child, I never liked this tiffin. My sister also is not much of a fan of this kozhukattai. So amma almost never prepared this when we were at home. After marriage, I found my MIL makes this often for breakfast.At home it was strict No for this tiffin. But, with MIL, I can't say so. (That too with the newly wed status!!!). Being a new entry to their house, I didnot want to make her feel that I am fussy with food. Having stayed 3 years at hostel, I had learnt to eat things which I would like to avoid, given a chance. Also I am not that fussy kind, who just can't stand seeing a food altogether. I eat what is given. But if I like, I relish it and other wise it is like 'eat to live' attitude.

Somehow after marriage, I acquired a taste to this. When I run out of batter for breakfast, this started finding place regularly in my menu. So now I make this often. Since it is steam cooked, its healthy too.

First you have to prepare the rice rava. I have seen my co-sister preparing this using the store bought rice rava which is used to make idlies. It comes out absolutely fine using the store bought one. I don't get to buy that in my place.

So for those who have tp prepare the rice rava, here is how to proceed

Raw rice - 2 cups
Tuvar dal - 3 tblspn

Wash and soak rice and tuvar dal in water for 30 minutes. The rice should not go very soft on soaking. Depending on the variety of the rice, the soaking time can be adjusted.

Drain the water, leave the rice dal combo on a colander for sometime so that any water left will be completely drained.

Spread on a dry kitchen towel. This will take some 15 mts. Don't dry under sun.

Make a coarse powder in a mixer grinder. The texture of the flour should be like rava (sooji).



Prepration of the upma for the kozhukkattai.


Water - 2 cups for every cup of the flour
Salt
Grated coconut -1/2 cup (increase the qty if you wish)

Seasoning

Oil - 2 tblspn
mustard - 1/2 tspn
chanadal- 1/2 tspn
urad dal - 1/2 tspn
chopped green chilly - 4 nos
broken red chilly - 2 nos
curry leaves - few


Take a kadai. Do the seasoning as given.
Add water and salt. Wait till the water starts boiling.


When water starts boiling, slowly add the rice flour with out forming lumps. Let it cook. When the water is completely absorbed, add grated coconut. cook for 2 minutes.

Now upma consistency will be reached.
Transfer to a plate. Let it cool.


When it is warm enough to be held in hand, take the cooked dough and make balls to the size of tennis balls. Usuall the shape is not perfect rounds but more like the shape of an egg.It is always rolled with one hand.


Place the balls on a idly steamer and steam cook for 10 minutes. Kozhukkatais will have a glossy appearance once it is cooked.


Serve with coconut chutney or sambhar.


As I mentioned healthy in the beginning, this is off to Suganya for Healthy Eats of WBB

Eluma Illuminated Backsplash

Here is a new product that I will HAVE to try:

Eluma Illuminated Backsplash




















Element Designs' Eluma Illuminated Backsplash epitomizes functional design. The revolutionary new product features concealed LEDs encased in an aluminum framed glass or acrylic backsplash. It brings the element of innovation to kitchen design while eliminating the need for undercabinet lighting. Made with high quality LEDs powered by Tresco International, Eluma Illuminated Backsplash is an energy efficient and environmentally friendly interior lighting option.


If the light output is comparable to your typical fluorescent undercabinet fixture then these should be a hot new look, especially for the Euro kitchen.

The Eluma backsplash will be on display at KBIS (the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show) in April. You can find them on the Web at Element Designs

Peggy


7/6/2008

Dear Peggy,
I appreciated your website and blogs and was impressed with the Eluma
Illuminated Backsplash you mentioned.
We are well along in the process of remodeling our kitchen but wanted
some better ideas for a behind-the-stove backsplash, and this looks
great. However, we're having trouble locating a source for it. Can you
point us in the right direction, please?
Thank you.

Jack and Jean
Ontario, California


Jul 7, 2008

Their web site is http://www.element-designs.com/eluma.html

I haven't had an opportunity to specify them yet.
Please let me know how it goes.

Peggy


Thank you, Peggy, for responding to my request.
I immediately went to Element Designs' website and sent an email by their "contact us" selection, but have not had any reply from them yet.
I have contacted their distributors in our general area (listed on the website), but they are uncertain about the backsplash uses. Apparently these units are normally used for shelves. Even so, they said they would have to special order any of these products from Element Designs and have them shipped across country to us.
I had hoped to get a 24" x 48" unit, but they only come in 18" widths at any length. The quoted price for 18" x 48" was $514.41. We'll have to think a little more about it, but we love the concept.

Thanks again for your kind response.

Best wishes,
Jack

Hottest News in Kitchen Cabinets

The latest innovation in kitchen cabinets is not sleek European styling or green cabinetry or hot colors.

Instead it's a new drawer slide from Blum:


SERVO-DRIVE

SERVO-DRIVE, the new opening feature, and BLUMOTION combine to give us the highest quality of motion for drawers using TANDEM or TANDEMBOX.




















Drawers open automatically with just a touch on the drawer front or with a light pull of the handle. This amazing feature is based on an electrical drive that, once triggered, opens the drawer for you. The drawer is not connected to the drive unit, enabling it to stop in any position. Another innovative solution from Blum, the company that is perfecting motion in the kitchen.

Imagine being able to OPEN your drawers with a nudge from your knee or hip with your hands full! Such coolness!

Peggy

Monday, February 04, 2008

Chutney podi

I like chutney podi better than milagai podi for idlis or dosas because chutney podi has dry coconut and garlic in it.

Ingredients:

Channa dhal - 1 cup
Urud dhal - 1 cup
Curry leaves - a few sprigs
Garlic cloves - 3 or 4
Red chillis - about 10(Varies according to your taste)
dry coconut(copra) - 1 cup
Sesame seeds - 2 tbsp
Salt
Hing - 1 tsp
Grated Jaggery - 2 tbsp(optional)

Method:

Dry fry channa dhal and urud dhal separately till golden brown. Dry fry rest of the ingredients together. Cool. Grind everything together.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Aloo Chole

Ingredients:

1. Uncooked channa - 1 cup
2. Potatoes - 1 medium size
3. Oil - 3 tbsp
4. Onions - chopped 2 cups
5. Tomatoes - 3 medium size
6. Ginger
7. Garlic - 3 cloves
8. Cashews - 1 tbsp
9. Coriander powder - 1 tsp
10.Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
11. Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
12. Channa masala - 1 and a half tsp
13. Kitchen king masala - 1 tsp
14. Salt
15. Chopped coriander leaves
16. Lime - 1

Method:
1. Soak channa for 5-6 hours and pressure cook till done.
2. boil potatoes and mash it.
3. Heat oil in a pan, fry onions until golden brown.
4. Grind tomatoes, garlic, ginger, cashews.
5. Add the ground puree to the onions.
6. Add coriander powder, turmeric powder, salt, chilli powder, kitchen king masala, channa masala.
7. Let the mixture boil on low flame until oil floats on top. (approximately takes half an hour to 45 minutes)
8. Add mashed potatoes and cooked channa.
9. Boil for 5 more minutes.
10. Garnish with coriander leaves and raw onions.
11. Squeeze lime if needed.

You can serve aloo chole with nans, roti or even toasted burger buns or bread.