Thursday, July 02, 2009

Casting Home Renovation Show

I ran across this notice on another forum and thought it might be of interest to some poor Do-It-Your-Selfer out there.



The production company that brought you Wife Swap is currently casting unique families with plenty of personality to take part in a new show. We are looking for families who are in a Do-It Yourself Home Nightmare! Did your husband or wife start a Do-It-Yourself project on your home and now it’s impossible to live in? We are looking for families in the California area who are in need of professional help. The worse, the better…pipes leaking, walls exposed, ceiling crumbling, only living out of half of your house, etc, etc.
If you are a family with at least one child over the age of 5 living at home and you are in a Do-It-Yourself Home Nightmare, contact us to be a part of this groundbreaking show!

To apply or get information about the show
Please contact:
Sunny Foscue (Casting Producer)
Call: 310-309-3945
Email: AND

Tomato Tokku - Tomato relish or pickle


A dark night, poor lighting, potholes, a false step, all got her leg in a cast! Chitra Amma was away from the kitchen for few weeks. She’s back in action now and it’s certainly good to get back to blogging – so here is her next recipe! ~ Dibs

My friend’s daughter had a craving for Tomato Tokku. She remembered the tokku which she had tasted long back at her guardian’s place when she was working away from her home. It is a custom to fulfill all the cravings of an expectant mother so that she delivers a healthy happy baby. Tomato tokku is new to me, but any way I decided to give it a try. My friend’s daughter relished the tokku very much and here I am happy to share my recipe with all of you.

Finely chopped tomatoes - 6 (In case you are particular, you can immerse the tomatoes, boiling hot water for few minutes and remove the skin, before chopping them)

Til Oil (Indian Sesame Oil) – 1 ladle (about 6 -8 tablespoons)
Asafoetida – ¼ tsp
Mustard Seeds – ¼ tsp
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Salt – 1½ tsp
Sugar or jaggery - ½ tsp
Red chilly powder - 2 tsp (this gives a nice hot tokku. You can reduce the amount if you want it milder)
Dry roasted and powdered Fenugreek (Methi) seeds - 1tsp

1. Heat til oil and add the asafoetida and mustard seeds.
2. When the seeds splutter, add tomato pieces, turmeric powder, salt and sugar.
3. Stir well and cook covered in low flame.
4. When the tomato becomes a pulp, add chilly powder, and cook without the lid.
5. Keep stirring now and then. Cook until the oil separates out from the pulp. This takes about 25 - 30 minutes.
6. Now, dry roast fenugreek seeds on a tava, and grind or pound into a fine powder.
7. Mix the fenugreek powder into the tokku. This step fills the kitchen with a lovely aroma!
8. Tokku is now ready. Store in a clean dry glass bottle.

Properly cooked tokku will stay for many days at room temperature – just like any other Indian pickle. If the oil is insufficient, or any moisture remains, the tokku will get spoiled. If you are unsure about your tokku, you can safely store it in the refrigerator, and use within a week.

This simple and zingy tokku livens up any meal. You can take it with rice and ghee, or along with chapattis, dosai, idli, or along with curd rice.

Omapodi ~ Crunchy Savory

Who doesn't like the crunchy, melt-in-the-mouth Omapodi. With just two main ingredients and a spice, you can't imagine how tasty this can turn out to be. Once you taste it, you can't stop munching them until you finish it off. During Diwali, this used to be one of the savories apart from the all-time favorite Pakoda. And invariably, its Omapodi dabba which gets emptied first. Its very easy to make. If you attempt to make in small measures, be warned that it will disappear before you finish making the last batch. I made with 2 cups of rice flour and must have got around 15 nos and believe me it was finished in a day. Two of our friends also helped us to some extent in that regard. Now to the recipe.

You will need

Rice flour - 1 cup (Fresh/Store bought)
Besan/Kadalamavu - 1 cup
Ajwain/Omam - 1 tblspn
Butter - 2 tblspn
Salt to taste
Water to make the dough
Oil to deep fry

If you are using store bought rice flour, you can increase the besan by 1/4 cup to get soft omapodis.
Soak ajwain in warm water for half an hour. Grind it into a paste. Add little water and strain the paste to discard the tiny ajwain. Keep the strained water aside. Measure rice flour and besan into a bowl. Add salt, butter and the omam water. Mix well. Add more water to make a soft,tight dough.

Heat oil in a kadai. When it is hot, with a murukku press and use the omapodi Achu ( one with small holes that is used to make Idiyappam too), press the dough into the oil. Start from the outer portion of the circle and move to the centre, while pressing the dough. Since it is thin, it gets fried faster. Turn them after half a minute. When the sizzling of oil around the omapodi is less, remove with a slotted spoon and drain on an absorbent paper. Cool and store in airtight container. It will stay crisp for weeks together, if at all it lasts that long.

The plate of crunchy Omapodis is on it way to EC's WYF:Fried Snacks event.