Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tarte au Chocolat

I like this rich chocolate tart especially its smooth and creamy texture. The chocolate filling has to be produced by a good quality of chocolate in order to get a rich and cremeuse (cremy) texture. I used 85% Lyndt chocolate for the tart and hazelnut paste that I bought from Sainsbury's. Its original recipe is actually arrange some chocolate curls on the tart but I'm quite lazy to do the chocolate curls so I toasted some chopped almond, hazelnut and walnut for the toppings.
Recipe from BBC Olive magazine:
Make 4 x 10" tartlets
For the pastry:
220g plain flour
110g unsalted butter
20g sugar powder
pinch of salt
2 egg yolk + 2 tbsp cold water
For the fillings:
275g hazelnut paste (or Nutella)
125g 70% dark chocolate, plus a block for brushing the pastry
300ml double cream
450ml milk
3 eggs, lightly beaten
some chocolate shavings or toasted nuts for topping
Making the tart case:
  1. Mix the eggs yolks with 2 tbsp cold water stir with a fork until well combine.
  2. Place the flour into the bowl of a food processor, followed by the cold butter and the salt. Turn the processor on and pulse several times until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Add the egg yolk/water mixture and pulse again. Be careful not to overwork the pastry. Stop pulsing when the mixture has the consistency of chunky breadcrumbs.
  4. Turn the pastry out onto a clean, floured work surface and, with floured hands, bring together to make a dough, but don't knead.
  5. Shape into a flattened ball, wrap in cling film and refrigerate for about 30 minutes. You can keep the pastry at this stage for 2-3 days if not using it immediately.
  6. Remove the pastry from the fridge. On a clean, floured work surface, roll it out with a floured rolling pin until it's slightly larger than the flan ring. Using the rolling pin, lift the pastry and lay it over the flan ring.
  7. With your fingers, lightly press the pastry into the sides of the ring. Run a rolling pin over the top of the ring and pull away the excess pastry at the edges. Using your fingers, gently press the pastry up to slightly build up the height of the pastry at the edges. Line the tart with a piece of parchment and chill it for 20 minutes so it doesn't shrink when you cook it.
  8. Heat the oven to 200'C. Add baking beans or rice and bake it for 15 minutes, then lift out the parchment and beans and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the pastry is dry and a good brown colour. You must cook and colour the pastry properly, once the chocolate goes it it won't colour any further. Turn the oven down to 160'C.

Making the filling

  1. Put the hazelnut paste and chocolate in a bowl. Bring the cream and milk to a boil and pour it over., mix everything together with a whisk until you have a smooth liquid.
  2. Whisk in the eggs. At this point you'll find it hard to believe that the filling will set but it will end up with a beautiful creamy texture.

Putting the tart together

  1. Melt a little chocolate and use it to brush the inside of the tart, this will make the pastry leak-proof and stop it from going soggy. The secret to this bit is to brush the tart while it i still warm so the chocolate soaks in and fills any little cracks.
  2. Put the tart back on the oven shelf and pour in the filling right up to the top. Cook for 40 minutes, the tart should still be very wobbly but not liquid. Once its completely cool down, it'll set.
  3. Top with chocolate curls or toasted nuts.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Recipe Index

We haven't updated this index since Jan 2011, but hope to complete that activity soon! Look for our latest recipes from the archives link! Thanks for your patience!

From the Kitchen...

At last, our Recipe Index Page is ready! It feels like we just started the blog some days back, but we seem to have made quite a few posts already. Now you can directly find the recipe you want, instead of searching through the archives. We will keep updating this list along with our posts.
We'll also be improving on our earlier posts, based on some learnings these last few months. We will look forward to your ideas on recipes to be included, and any other suggestions you may have. Thanks to you all.
And Thanks to Yosee for her sweet illustration!

Palaharam,Breakfast, Tiffin and Snacks
Steamed Dumplings ,Idlis, Kozhukattais , Kali, Koozhu

Upmas, Pongals, Uslis, Sevai

Pancakes, Dosai, Adai, Rotti, Chappati

Fritters, Bajjis, Bondas, Vadais, Cutlet, Munchies

Salads, Sundal, Churmuri, Avalakki

Saadam, Bhaath, Rice & other Cereals and Grains

Kozhambus, Sambhar, Koottus, Gojjus and Gravies

Lentils, Paruppu, Koottu

Gravies with tamarind or curd, Kozhambus , Gojjus

Lentil Gravies, Sambhar

Rasams, Flavoursome Watery Soups

Wet Currys, Kurmas, Saagus, Vegetables

Dry Currys, Poriyals, Podimas, Vegetables

Pickles, Relish

Chutneys, Dips

Podis, Powders

Salads and Pachadis

Sweets and Desserts 

Sweetened Grains



Burfis, Cakes, Urundais

Deep Fried Sweets

Beverages and Drinks

Home Remedies / Medicines

Friday, November 28, 2008

Pomegranate And Vegetable Rice Pilaf for POM wonderful contest!

Pomegranates are in season and I thought I would make Pomegranate and Vegetable rice Pilaf today. It was way too delicious! It is a perfect comfort food during winter and makes a wonderful one pot meal!
I am sending this recipe to POM Wonderful Contest for a chance to win 5000$ and Foodieblogroll Contest which is giving away cases of pomegranate products to the participants. If you didn't know about these contests, hurry up! View the above links for more details!

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 3 to 4

Cumin seeds-1 tsp
Cinnamon-1 inch stick
Thinly sliced garlic-1 pod
Thinly sliced ginger-1/2 tsp
Slit green chilli-1
Star Anise(optional)-1
Pomegranate arils from 1 POM wonderful fresh fruit-1 cup
Thinly sliced Onion-1 cup
Frozen Corn-1/4 cup
Frozen peas-1/4 cup
White Basmathi rice(available in any grocery store)-1 cup uncooked
Salt-to taste
Oil-3 tbsp
Pepper powder-1/4 tsp
Finely chopped cilantro-1 tsp


Rinse the rice with water 1 or 2 times and soak in 2 cups of water for 15 minutes and cook it in the rice cooker and set aside once it is done.

Heat oil in a wide pan. Add cumin seeds. When they crackle, add cloves, cinnamon, ginger, garlic, star anise, green chilli, cashew and fry for 15 seconds. The spices will start to release their aroma.

Now add onions, some salt and fry till they turn golden brown. Add pomegranate arils, thawed corn and peas. Stir for a couple of minutes.

Add warm cooked rice, salt and pepper to the veggies and mix everything well. Turn off the heat.

Garnish with fresh cilantro.

Serve hot with plain yogurt or your favorite potato chips.

Healthy pomegranate and vegetable rice pilaf is ready!

Pomegranates are rich in Vitamin C and Vitamin B5. Consuming pomegranate juice reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke. It is also associated with lowering of blood pressure.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Chow Chow - The two in one magic vegetable


When we went to the vegetable market with father, he would carefully select all the fresh and tender vegetables. However, we made sure that we picked up at least two or three complimentary Chow Chows, which had thick rough thorny skins, to the great astonishment of the green grocer! Back home, my brother dug up holes and planted them in a row near the fence. In no time, tender shoots came up and crept all over the fence with great speed putting to shame even Jack’s Bean Stalk! Our happiness knew no bounds when the creeper was fully decked up with the tender green shiny bulb like Chow Chows. All of us loved this vegetable more because we had grown them all by ourselves. Mother used this vegetable in sambar, mor kuzhambu, koottu, mendhya kozambu or curry. She even sliced them and made hot bajjis for the evening tea. Whatever dish she prepared out of this vegetable, there would be an additional dish which came out of the peel. Thus, we named our favourite vegetable as the ‘Two-in-one Magic Vegetable!

Tender chow chows – 4
Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
Salt – 1 tsp
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Split black gram dal (urad dal) – 1 tsp
Dru red chillies – 2
Curry leaves – a few
Cooking oil – 2 tsp
Grated Coconut – 1 tbsp

1. Wash and scrape the peel off the chow chows, and cut them into cubes. Save the peels, and set aside for use in the secind dish.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
3. When it splutters, add asafoetida and the split black gram dal.
4. When the dal turns golden in colour, add broken red chillies.
5. When the chillies turn crisp, add curry leaves and turmeric powder.
6. Add the cut Chow Chow and salt. Stir well.
7. Cover with a lid and cook in slow flame stirring now and then.
8. Chow Chow cooks in its own water.
9. When it is cooked, remove the lid and increase the heat.
10. Keep stirring till the remaining water (if any) evaporates.
11. When the curry is dry, turn off heat and garnish with fresh coconut gratings.

Chow Chow peels – From the four Chow chows used for the curry
Cooking oil – 2 tsps
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsps
Split black gram dal (urad dal) – 2 tsps
Red chillies – 5
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Tamarind – the size of a small marble
Salt – ½ tsp
Fresh coriander leaves – a handful
1. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
2. When the mustard splutters, add asafoetida and black gram dal.
3. When the dal turns golden in colour, add the red chillies.
4. Now add the chow chow peels and blend well.
5. Cover with a lid, and decrease the fire.
6. Cook until the peels become tender, and then add the tamarind.
7. Switch off flame and let it cool down.
8. When cool, grind the mixture, with salt and fresh coriander leaves, into a smooth chutney.
A tasty curry and a spicy chutney is now ready from the Two-in-one magic vegetable – Chow Chow.

Note: Other names for Chow Chow are Sema Kattrikai (tamil), Bengaluru Badanekai (Kannada), Choko (aussie), Chayote (US, Europe)

Pumpkin Cheese Buns

It's always the busiest time for me at this time of year. Dinner, birthday party, holiday and X'mas really filled up my entire day. Somehow, I always enjoy the last two months in a year. This pumpkin cheese buns was made in the last 2 weeks but I didn't manage to post it.
The recipe extracted from 孟老师的100道面包. The bread was super soft and I guess that pumpkins puree helps to produce the extra soft texture.
(A) 200g bread flour
60g plain flour
35g caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp yeast
35g whole egg
35g fresh milk
35g water
(B) 65g pumpkin puree
20g unsalted butter
(C) 90g cheddar cheese
50g mozzarella cheese for toppings
How I made it:
  1. For the pumpkin puree, peeled and cored the pumpkin then cut into small cubes. Steam until just soft. Puree the pumpkin with a folk then set aside.
  2. Mix ingredients (A) at low speed using a dough hook mixer follow by the pumpkin puree. Turn to medium speed continue kneading until it become a smooth dough.
  3. Add in the unsalted butter and knead with low speed until the butter combine with the dough. Turn to medium speed continue the kneading process until it become a smooth and elastic dough.
  4. Place the dough into a lightly grease bowl and cover with cling wrap to proof for 80 minutes.
  5. Divide the dough into 6 portions and round them into small balls. Then fill the doughs with cheddar cheese and shape it into a smooth balls. Let the dough proof for 30 minutes.
  6. Egg wash the doughs and cut a cross at the top of each doughs then top with mozzarella cheese. Continue for another 10 minutes proofing.
  7. Bake at 180'C preheated oven for 20 minutes until golden brown.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Raagi Morkali

I got the idea of making raagi morkali when I saw the recipe in a magazine. I didn't remember the recipe. But I tried making it the same way as I make using rice. I have replaced rice with raagi. Rest of the recipe is same. Refer Rice Morkali for the recipe. This I made on stove top. It is ideal when you want to have a quick,filling and healthy snack to go along with tea. This too can be sliced. I was very hungry that I could not wait to spread and slice. I have started making raagi morkali more often than the rice version. When you make it for kids, you can add some grated carrots or corn to make it more nutritious.

I am re posting the Raagi idiyappam

Both the raagi dishes are my entry to Sangeeth's Eat Healthy-Fight Diabetics Event

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Spinach Oats Dosa

I have been seeing oats dosa recipe in so many blogs for quite some time. I tried this recipe from Simple Indian Food blog. It came out so soft and spongy. I modified the recipe by adding some spinach to the batter.

Instant cooking Oats(powdered)-1 cup
Rice flour-1/4 cup
Rava(Sooji)-1/4 cup
Yogurt-1/2 cup
hing-a pinch
Jeera-1 tsp
Chopped green chillis
Finely chopped spinach-1/2 cup
Water as needed(approx 1 cup)

Mix all the above ingredients to make a dosa batter like consistency.
Let it rest for 15 minutes.
Make dosas(don't make it very thin) the usual way.

Bread Puttu

I love puttu. But I don't have a puttu maker :( I came across this instant puttu recipe from Priya's blog. It takes less than 5 minutes to prepare. This is how I made it...

Bread slices(I used whole wheat)-3
Sugar-according to taste
Cardamom-1/4 tsp
Coconut grated-2 tbsp
Ghee-1 tsp
Chopped almonds-4

Heat ghee in a pan. Fry almonds for a few seconds. Add coarsely ground bread pieces and fry for a minute.
Add coconut, cardamom and sugar to the pan and fry for a minute.
Voila! It's done. Yummy low fat snack is ready.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Theratti Pal - Milk Sweet

Theratti Pal - Milk Sweet

The first sweet which comes to mind before starting any happy occasion is Theratti Pal. Be it an engagement or a wedding, a baby shower or the first birth day of a baby, or an upanayanam (thread ceremony), Theratti Pal is the first sweet to be prepared amidst great merriment. When the groom’s party arrives for the wedding, the bride’s mother welcomes them by handing over Theratti Pal to the groom’s mother. This is an age old custom. Theratti Pal plays an integral part in weaving and bonding relationships old and new. This sweet is prepared only with whole milk and sugar. Here is Theratti Pal for a happy bonding. This is sent with best wishes and many happy returns for Aparna's blog birthday. Sweet Celebrations are on at My Diverse Kitchen!

Whole full cream milk – 4 cups (1 litre)
Sugar – 1 cup (250 gms)
1. Choose a large wide mouthed thick bottomed wide vessel, as it should sustain boiling milk, without overflowing.
2. Bring milk to a boil.
3.Once it starts boiling, reduce heat to prevent overflow, stirr and continue boiling.
4. Keep stirring frequently to prevent burning.
5. The milk will reduce considerably, and after about 30 minutes, it will become thick and slushy. 6. At this point add the sugar and continue to cook and stir. In another 15 minutes or so the the Theratti Pal leaves the sides of the vessel and come together with a coarse consistency.

The sweet gets its reddish colour due to evaporation of the milk, and slight caramelising of the sugar. The whole area gets filled with aroma when stirring this sweet. The lovely flavour of full cream milk, is in itself very pleasant. Hence, the addition of saffron strands or cardamom powder is only optional.

Bisi Bele Bath

Sagari's Bisi bele bath pictures were so tempting that I made this dish today. I quickly glanced at the ingredients she had used and prepared it in a different way.

1. To pressure cook:
Rice-1/2 cup
Thur dhal-1/4 cup
Water-2.5 cups(or adjust according to how mushy you want the rice to get)

2. To roast in a drop of oil and grind(roast everything except coconut till golden brown and finally add coconut and fry for another minute):
Coriander seeds-1 tbsp
Channa dal-1 tbsp
Red chillis-4
Cinnamon-1 inch stick
Coconut grated-2 tbsp

3. Seasonings:
Mustard seeds-1 tsp
Jeera-1 tsp
Hing-a pinch
Curry leaves-a few
Raisins-1 tsp(optional)

4. Other ingredients:
2 cups of Veggies(like onions, potatoes, carrots, peas, corn)
Garlic finely chopped-2 pods
Turmeric powder-a pinch
Oil-1 tbsp
Ghee-2 tbsp
Tamarind-small lime size
Coriander leaves- to garnish

Pressure cook rice and dhal together with water till they turn soft and mushy.
Roast the ingredients listed in 2 and grind it to a fine powder.
Soak tamarind in warm water and extract 2 cups of tamarind water and set aside. Heat oil in a pan, fry chopped veggies and garlic for 5 minutes. Add salt, turmeric powder and tamarind extract. Let the mixture boil for 10 minutes till the veggies are cooked and raw smell of tamarind goes off. Add the ground masala powder, cooked rice and dhal, salt if necessary. Mix well and turn off the heat. Do the seasoning with ghee and pour on top of the mixture. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Some of you know that I won the diet food event hosted by Divya. I thank her for sending me a sweet gift card! It was so nice to receive it!! My special thanks to all those who voted for me :)

I managed to prepare Bisi bele bath without a drop of ghee :-) I used only oil in this recipe. Of course, it will taste best with ghee.

Sevai- A South Indian Delicacy

Sevai is a healthy dish made from rice. It is distinctly different from idiyappam/noolputtu. Both sevai and idiyappam fits into the description of rice noodles. And the similarity ends there. As kids we were happy to learn if sevai is made for evening tiffin. Probably the ladies who has to make may not have enjoyed much. The tedious work involved can easily put off the idea of making sevai. In most of the houses, the help from male members is warranted while pressing the steamed dumplings. In olden days it was the wooden/brass type. It calls for great strength to press them. Imagine the work involved when it has to be made for a family of 10 (I had stayed in a joint family then).

Parboiled rice (Puzhingalarissi) - 3 cups

Gingely oil - 3 tblspn
mustard seeds - 1 tspn
chana dal - 1 tblspn
red chilly - 1
green chilly - 5 nos
curry leaves

Grated coconut - 1 cup (optional). In my home, it is a must.

Wash and soak the rice in water for 4 hours. Grind the soaked rice with salt to a fine paste. The batter consistency should be thicker than idli batter.

I am giving three ways to prepare the steamed dumplings. Every house has their own way of making it

1)Sauteing the rice batter into dough and make dumplings and cook the dumplings in boiled water (My amma follows this method).

2) Sauteing the rice batter into dough and make dumplings and steam cook the dumplings in an idly steamer

3) Spoon the batter into oiled idly moulds and steam cook for 10 minutes ( I follow this which I learnt from my MIL) . This is the easiest of the three,according to me.
Press the dumplings into sevai using a sevai press. As soon as it is pressed, sevai is left to cool on a plate. While it is warm, gently separate them.

Heat oil, Season with mustard. When mustard seeds crackle, add chana dal. When dal turns light brown, add red chilly broken into two, chopped green chillies and curry leaves. Add to the pressed sevai. Garnish with coconut. Serve with any chuntey of your choice.

The base sevai can made into Lemon/Coconut/Tamarind sevai. You can convert the base sevai into any exotic dish as you would do with rice. Its all up to your imagination.

Click here to see the Automatic Sevai Cooker.

I am sending this to Srivalli's Rice mela

Bugs Bunny's Favourites

I am reposting these two orange coloured delights for
Follow the links for the recipes...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Ragi (Finger Millet) Pizza aka Rotti!

Ragi (Finger Millet) Pizza aka Ragi Rotti!

Black is beuatiful! Ragi dishes are always on the top of my menu list, given their nutritive qualities. Besides being a very rich source of calcium, ragi is one of the few sources of methionine for a vegetarian, especially vegan diet. Ragi known as Finger Millet or African Millet is mostly grown in arid areas in Africa and Asia, and is common in South India.

Ragi Pizza is the name I use to sell Ragi Rottis to my grand children, who are unbelievably ravenous when it comes to “devouring” pizzas! Just adding a few vegetables makes the rotti attractive and more nutritious, and a wholesome food. A ragi pizza breakfast keeps my husband going till he comes back late in the evening after finishing his 18 holes of golf.

Ragi flour – 3 cups
Salt – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Onion – 1
Carrot – 1
Capsicum -1
Cabbage – to make ½ a cup when shredding
Green chillies – 2
Fresh ginger – 1’’ piece
Chopped coriander leaves – 1 tbs
Oil – for drizzling around the roti
1. Chop onions into very thin slivers.
2. Chop the cabbage similarly.
3. Mince capsicum into very thin slices.
4. Peel and grate carrot.
5. Chop green chillies, ginger and coriander leaves.
6. Mix all the cut ingredients with salt and cumin seeds.
7. Now add the ragi flour and mix again evenly.
8. Add water and make loose dough, so that it can be easily patted on to the tava or pan.
9. Grease the tava with a spec of oil.
10. Place a ladleful of the dough on the tava.
11. Wet your fingers in cold water and then pat the dough as thin as possible into a round pizza.
12. Now turn on the flame.
13. Dribble oil around the rotti and cover with a lid.
14. Cook for 2 minutes and remove lid.
15. The ragi when cooked, will turn into a dark shade, and the vegetables will shimmer revealing their colours, on top of the cooked rotti.
16. Leave the rotti on the hot tava for another minute, turn it to the other side, if you want to toast the other side as well, and then remove from flame.
Hot nutritious Ragi Pizza is now ready to be served. Children will enjoy it with tomato sauce. Any pickle or chutney will also be a good accompaniment. As with most dishes, its taken to a new level if topped with a blob of fresh and soft home made butter!

This dish, (minus the butter topping!) goes to the Challenge at Veda's blog - Iyengar's Kitchen !

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The Kitchen Treasure Hunt - Guess What?

Guess What?

We have begun receiving posts for The Kitchen Treasure Hunt event, and from the looks of it we will be seeing some very interesting posts!
Guess What?
Here is what we have received from a participant. Can you guess what it is and where it is from? I am not saying who sent it, as that could give away the answer! Post your guesses in the comments section below! We will reveal the answer during the round up!


drywall continued

I can't believe Craig still acts surprised and says things like "I dusted the TV yesterday - Look at this now!  Dust is for the birds!"  

Inspections have been passed and the walls are just about covered.  Next, we'll be in the mudding phase, but here's the current:

We're hoping to start on the cabinets in the next week!  

Baghara Baingan

Baghara baingan is a popular dish from Hyderabad. It is a rich gravy of coconut, peanuts and spices cooked along with eggplants.

Eggplants-1/4 kg(about 7 if you are using baby eggplants. I used 2 Italian eggplants)
Onions chopped-1.5 cups
Tomato-1 medium size(2 if small)
Jeera-1 tsp
Oil-3 tbsp
Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
Chilli powder-1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves-to garnish

To grind together:
Roasted Peanuts-1/4 cup
Garlic cloves-2
Dry Roasted sesame-1 tbsp
Dry Roasted coriander seeds-1 tbsp
Coconut-1/4 cup

Grind the above ingredients with water to a fine paste and set aside.
Chop eggplants into thin long pieces.
Heat oil in a pan. Add jeera, when it crackles, add onions. Fry till it turns golden brown.
Add eggplants and fry for 5 minutes. Add chopped tomato, salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder and fry for another 5 minutes. Now add the ground paste, little water and bring it to a gravy like consistency and simmer for 10-15 minutes.
Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rice or rotis.

Avoid the Nightmare Remodel

Kathy's Remodeling Blog (formerly the LA Times' Pardon Our Dust) has an article on The Nightmare Remodel: How it goes wrong and how to make it go right that every homeowner who is contemplating a remodel should read.

Comments by readers there (including me) are also insightful.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Pineapple Rasam

Being a pineapple lover, I wonder how I missed making this rasam all these days. I took the recipe from Chithra Viswanathan's page. It was very delicious. Here is the recipe..

Finely chopped pineapple-1/2 cup
Green chilli-1
Cooked thur dal-2 tbsp
Rasam powder-1.5-2 tsp(depending on how spicy your powder is)
Hing-a pinch
Curry leaves-a few
Coriander leaves-for garnishing
Lime juice- from 1 or 2 limes(depending on sourness)
To tamper:
Ghee-1 tsp
Mustard seeds-1/2 tsp
Jeera-1/2 tsp

To decorate-extra pineapple pieces

Cook together tomatoes, pineapple pieces, a few coriander leaves, curry leaves with 1/2 cup water till they turn soft(6-7 min) and blend the mixture using a hand blender to a smooth paste.
To this add green chilli, rasam powder, salt, hing and cooked dal mixed with 3 cups of water.
Boil the mixture on medium heat till the raw smell of rasam powder goes off(15 min).
Switch off the gas, tamper and add lime juice.
Top with finely chopped coriander leaves & pineapple pieces.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

NPR's Susan Stamberg Hosts The Kitchen Sisters in Washington, D.C.

NPR's Susan Stamberg will be interviewing The Kitchen Sisters on stage tonight at the Historical Society of Washington, D.C. for a night of radio, readings, and Hidden Kitchen conversation.

Backflow Devices

A backflow device prevents water from flowing backwards into the potable water system. Many residential and commercial building have one or more of these on lines that go to irrigation, fire sprinklers, down to a dock and other places.

The Orange County Health Department requires all backflow devices in Orange County, CA to be tested once a year by a certified tester. These testers attend a state-regulated course to learn the proper method for testing and repairing these devices. Testers have to be re-certified every two years.

At AB&R, we have 3 employees who are certified by the county to test backflow devices in Orange County. We also use a subcontractor to test devices outside of Orange County (we are in the process of getting certified in both LA and Riverside counties).

If you have a backflow device at your home or business, you should receive a notice from your local water district, every year about the same time, telling you your device is due for testing. If you are not receiving this notice, please, call your local water district and ask them why. Yes, it will cost you money, but it isn't very much, and here is why it is a good idea to have your backflow device tested.

Lets say (for example) you have a backflow device at your home that is on the line that provides water to your irrigation sprinklers. Let's further say that it has not been tested in more than a year, and there is something wrong with it. If a low pressure condition occurs in the city water supply - and this happens a lot more often than you know - water that is sitting on your lawn could be sucked back into the city water supply. This water might have debris, bugs, pesticides, fertilizer, animal waste and more in it.

Do you really want to drink this water?

It only costs $49.00 per device to have your backflow device tested, and you only have to do it once a year! That's less than $1.00 a week! If you contact AB&R Plumbing, we can schedule your test. We fill out all the paperwork, send it to the water district, the OC Health Department, you get a copy and we keep a copy. Next year, when it is coming due again, we will contact you and let you know.

Less than $50.00 a year to keep animal waste and chemicals out of our drinking water... Sounds like a good idea to me!

TO change the subject...

I am sure there are tons of people out there who have comments about the election. If you want to say anything here, please remember the following rules:

1) No profanity. If you use it, I will simply delete your comments. They will never make it to anyone!
2) Be polite. You wouldn't want someone being rude or calling you names if they happen to disagree with you, so don't do it here, please.
3) Be respectful of other people's opinions. I am sure that my opinions are not shared by everyone else. And yet, I am asking people to voice their opinions. Show everyone else the same respect.

That;s it! Not too bad! Let me get it started...

President-elect Barak Obama! I never thought I would live long enough for this country to get past something as unimportant as skin color. Will he do a good job, do you think? He has said he will bring the troops home from both Afghanistan and Iraq, do you think this is a good idea?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Beetroot Halwa

My husband's ammamma (Maternal grandma) cooks very interesting recipes. Some of them are real quickies. She had a stock of shortcut recipes of the otherwise time consuming ones. When ever her grand children ask for sweets, she makes sweets in a jiffy. This beetroot
halwa is one among them.

Grated beetroot - 1 cup
Powdered jaggery - 1/2 cup. (You can increase if u like it more sweet)

Chopped nuts for garnish (optional)


MW grated beets with a teaspoon of water for 4 minutes or till soft. Heat a kadai. Add the powdered jaggery. Jaggery will start melting. Stir in the cooked beets. Keep stirring, till the jaggery melts fully. Cook on low flame, till it comes together as a whole mass. Don't cook till the moisture fully dries up, since it will harden on cooling. Garnish with roasted, slivered nuts.

A healthy sweet is ready in 10 minutes. A fat free dessert. You can also serve it with a scoop of ice cream. You can use it as a bread spread for kids' sandwiches too.

This is my entry to the following events :

1) The Challenge hosted by Veda Murthy (No garnish halwa fits the challenge)

2) Suganya's Vegan Ventures Round 2

3) Sweet Series-Halwa, Kathli, Burfi, Peda by Mythrayee

Its raining Awards and MeMes and Whatnot!

Dear fellow bloggers have passed on some awards, and a meme too. I've been lazy in posting and passing it on. I had just started drafting this post, and WHOOOM Lakshmi has rained a whole lot more awards!

Well let me begin with a MeMe from Anudivya which goes like this ...
The rules of the MeMe are:* Pick up the nearest book* Open to page 123* Find the 5th sentence* Post the next three sentences* Tag 5 people and acknowledge the person who tagged you.

The nearest book turned out to be 'First Things Fast, A Handbook of Performance Analysis' by Allison Rosset. The 3 sentences on Page 123 starting from line 5, turned out be a set of profound questions that concern the Training Industry "What can be done to turn experiences with customers, clients, products and the literature into archives of lessons for their associates from other disciplines? What role can human resource leaders play in knowledge management? What Technology in the hands of human resources and training professionals has much to offer here?"....

Hee Hee ...sorry it was not more generic! I tried to cheat and found two more books, but with similar and more nerdy results, so I stuck with the first book!

Now for the awards.... Thanks Malar for sending us the Hardworking Food Blogger. I love your Tamil Haiku, but hated the massacared rabbit!!!

And then thanks Lakshmi for sending alllllllllllllllllllllllllll of these!!
I am following her example by passing all of these awards and the MeMe to:
Yosee - Jalan Jalan
Roshni - Not a Science Geek
Malar - Kitchen Tantra
Shreya - Indian Khana
PearlsofEast - Anyone can Cook
Rashmi - Delhi Belle
Purnima - Fantasy Cooking
Rajeshwari - Rak's Kitchen
Purva - Purva's Daawat
Cham - Spice Club
Anjali - Annaparabrahma
Sangeeth - Art of Indian Cooking
Suganya - Tasty Palates
Sukanya - ...and a little bit more...
Simran - Bombay Foodie
Pallavi - All Thingz Yummy
Nazarina - Giddy Gastronome
Sunshinemom - Tongue Ticklers

Bee - Forgive me my Nonsense
Karuna - Foodie by Nature

Teresa - Mexican American Border Cooking
Vibaas - Delectable Vegetarian Recipes
Jayashree - My experiments with Food
Uma - Essence of Andhra
Jayasree - Experiements in Kailas Kitchen
Sra - When my Soup Came Alive
Mandira - Ahar, pleasure & sustenance
Happy Cook - My Kitchen Treasures
Lubna - Kitchen Flavours
Srivalli - Cooking 4 All Seasons
Alka - Sindhi Rasoi
Deesha - Vegetable Platter
Robert Gilles - Shizouka Gourmet
DK - DK's Culinary Bazaar
Sagari - Indian Cooking
Aparna - My Diverse Kitchen
Divya - Dil Se
Ramya - Mane Adige
Andhra Flavours - For Spicy Lovers
Usha - Veg Inspirations
Priya - Priya's easy n tasty recipes
Mansi - Cool Ideas and Gadgets

I have many more to add to this list! Will save that for the next tag!!!