Archive for the ‘Awards’ Category

Dus Ka Dum or roasted taro root?

Saturday, January 23rd, 2010

Every time I cook seppen-kizhangu(taro-root), I think of my 3 year old nephew A. He loves this taro root curry and his eyes will be as big as saucers and he’ll say “Seppi Kari”. And I am sure he got that seppi gene from all of us in our family. Sis, BIL,me, N, amma we all like roasted taro root kari. When I was visiting Sis last year, I took charge of kitchen for a few days as both Sis and BIL work and I was baby sitting A as well. I had a lovely, memorable time together with him and I wish I could run along and play with him now. He’d be throwing his toys from the balcony and I’ll be running behind him to collect them, he will be giving me his explanations of how things work around us at home and most of all he’ll lead the way setting good example for this chitti.

One day as I was in the kitchen and he was moving between kitchen and the living room watching his rhymes DVD. I’ll remember that day forever, I am sure about that. He casually came into the kitchen and told me ” Chitti, it is day time, light is unnecessary”. I was shocked and speechless for a minute. There he was, a 3 year old cutie pie telling me how to be energy efficient. He indicated me to lift him, which I always love to do and he happily switched off the lights and went back to his humpty dumpty like nothing happened!!

Dear Sis, let me take this opportunity to openly tell you, please don’t set high standards for mine to keep up 😀

And every time I make this taro root kari, I think of him and I have to tell this “light bulb” story to anybody and everybody around me(including you, you and you).

Usually taro root kari is made with red chili powder and coriander seed powder, but I made it with achar masala for a spicy side dish.

Ingredients (Serves-2)

Taro root- 14-16 numbers
Salt to taste
Achar Masala(Pickle spice powder)- 1 tsp
Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida- 1 pinch
Oil- 2 tsp (olive oil or sesame oil)
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves- few
Cilantro- few leaves


Pressure cook the taro root for 12 minutes(2 whistles). Cool and remove the outer skin. Chop them into cubes.

Heat oil in a kadai and add mustard seeds, asafoetida , curry leaves and cumin seeds. When they splutter,add the chopped taro root, achar masala, salt and turmeric powder. Keep the flame to a medium-low and stir fry for 4-5 minutes. Cover and let it cook for another 5 minutes. Remove the cover again and stir fry the kari till it is crispy.
Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with rice.

Updates: Couple of friends asked me a photo of taro root, or colocasia. Here is an article with photo of the plant.

This seppen-kizhangu roast is my entry for Arundhuti’s Served with love event. We cook for the people we love the most and wherever we go, when we taste some particular dish, it brings back memories of a relative or a friend. Does it not?

Sumi shared the kreative blogger award with me today. Thanks for sharing it with me Sumi, it means a lot to me. I have already shared 7 things about me and I guess you’d be OK with me sticking to them for now.

I thought I had shared enough when I wrote about 7 secret things, but Rachana shared this Sweet Friends award with me and she wants me to write 10 more..Yaar, kopdi mere empty ho jayege soch soch ke 😀 ..I’ll do 5, hope you’ll accept it, dus ka dum nahi hai mere paas..

I am gonna keep it short this time..

1) Sleeping as soon as I hit the sack is one of the things I can do without any mistakes :) May be I am a sleepoholic.

2) When Sis and I were kids, during summer we would make vadams(sago poppadams) and we’d be asked to guard it..Half the time, we would eat the half baked vadams instead of guarding it..But the vadams taste yum when it is sunbathing, I tell you.

3)Lady luck and me never get along very well. Murphy’s laws seems like they were written for me. I’d be standing in a queue for four hours and when my turn comes up, the printer or computer would give up..Need more proof?

4) During my first days as a student in Europe, I went to a desi shop to get some Toor dal to make sambar. There was this line of dals standing like royal guards waiting for the queen and I was so confused seeing so many different names and colors. I gathered courage and asked the sales guy, ” Sambar is made with toor dal, where is it?” ( I know, I am a disgrace to my entire sambar loving community but what to do, I needed it asap and no one knew who I was :) )

5) With number 5, I guess I am digging my own path downwards . Usually, when N is on a tour, I get a load of books from the library, that way I can read without getting disturbed. Sometimes I wish N would be near me because as soon as I finish the book I want to discuss it with him. Sometimes if I read a book like Da Vinci Code, I dig for the base of the book like the Holy grail just to get additional knowledge 😉

Once, when N was on tour and me being too bored and lazy to do anything and having seen so much written about it……logged on to youtube…To see what hilarious jokes I can make about about Raki Ka Swayamwar. Big mistake of my life, could not even stand 10 minutes of watching it and all I could ask was, how on earth in a country of nearly a Billion people (and counting), there is such a tamasha? Were all of the viewers sitting ducks? It was way beyond words..

Because of that secret activity, I am afraid to log into youtube again. As soon as it recognizes me, it automatically gives me options like pati-patni aur woh, Perfect Bride (Are you kidding me, so I was not a perfect Indian bride?),Splitsvilla (where love is supposed to be war), Sach Ka Samna and so on and so forth.Whew!!

Every blog is unique in its own way. So, readers, blogging buddies, please feel free to accept the award from here. Selecting just 10 people won’t do justice 😀

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An Award and 7 things random

Saturday, January 16th, 2010

Surprise! I opened my inbox to find that Simply Sensational Food has given me the Kreativ Blogger Award. I am happy to receive it, Thanks Simply Sensational Food.

But wait, the award comes with another surprise. I have to share seven things about myself..Hmmm, I can talk like anything(I am sure you would have noticed that) so here goes. It is mostly personal and sentimental and emotional so be prepared and read on..

1) I am a Gemini (Yeah, very useful information). I guess that reflects on my food as well. In a given week, I don’t stick to cooking the same thing and one day it is something very traditional and the next day it is something totally opposite and experimental.

2) My cooking inspiration is my elder sister. All I did when I was growing up was to stuff myself with the goodies she used to make. Being the youngest in the family, I only helped out in cutting veggies and watching the pots. I got the chance to be in the kitchen and make a dish only on special occasions or if Mom or Sis was not at home. But when I started University and had to live on my own, I got a chance to cook different cuisines and started enjoying it. Now my sis is a regular reader of this blog and she asks me “Is this my little Sister” 😀

3) I make a grocery list every week before I go shopping and I stick to it adamantly. That helps me to use different vegetables on a rotational basis. What you see on this blog is what I cook for the both of us, and so it has to be healthy yet inviting and exciting. I don’t want to spend $300 a week to buy exotic ingredients or rarely used ingredients to make one recipe. At the same time, I cannot cook for $3 a week. I have to make sure that we eat healthy at home, but not missing any of the restaurant style meals. All the recipes I have posted here, can be made with simple ingredients available at home and that is still my policy. Don’t over complicate and don’t waste.

4) I have a secret friend in my kitchen. My stove top! Once amma told me to take good care of the stove top and atleast do a pooja for it for one major festival when I have my own home. I thought it is some ritual but now I realize that it means a lot. Most of the time, say 3-4 hours a day, I have to spend in the kitchen. As I chop veggies, cook, stir, wash the dishes and wait near the stove, I cannot control my mind and I start thinking about a lot of things like recession, our health, our future, some mistakes, replaying some words spoken to me by some people, wishing I had a good answer at some occasions and so on and so forth. Some times these emotions are also transfered to the food we make, either happy or angry.

No one can hear me, but still when I enter the kitchen, I feel like it is my Kingdom and the stovetop my Saheli. Somehow I feel she knows more about the real me. And once I got that feeling, I couldn’t bear my kitchen counter being messy or stove top showing off all spills. I take good care of her and she, as always is my silent listener.

5) I cannot start my mornings without a cup of coffee. After so many advice sessions from Sis, I gave up my morning coffee for some days, then I started again. And I felt guilty and gave up again..And felt I needed a boost and started again..I am still playing that cat and mouse game…

6) I believe that food can be medicine. Before taking western medicines, I somehow feel that I can control it by eating special food or powders or kashayams (herbal syrups) or herbal oil. And it works for me at some occasions, so I try it first before worrying about side effects of medicines.

7) Though I pull N’s leg a lot, one thing I must admit is that he cooks really well. When he cooks, my favorites are: Bise bela bath (authentic Karnataka style), Palak Paneer, Aloo Palak and Garlic rasam. Most important thing to admit, when he makes parathas, they turn out perfectly round in shape, compared to my paratha maps of various countries :(

The award story doesn’t end here. I have to pass it on to seven people. I have made so many blogging buddies in the past few months and admired the creativity of so many people, that it is hard to choose only seven. Here are my choices:

Cham of Spice Club
Asha of Foodies Hope
Nupur of One Hot Stove
Sheela of Delectable Victuals
Pavithra of Dishes from my kitchen
Priya of priya’s easy and tasty recipes
Notyet100 of Asan Khana

Have a good weekend y’all.

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Mango Pickle and an Award

Monday, December 21st, 2009


I love pickles and my favorite combination is yogurt rice or dal rice with pickles. Mom makes these amazing vadu mango(baby mango), avakkai, more milagai (chili), poondu(garlic), Mahali pickles during summer. Even now, whenever some relative travels this side, she sends boxes of sambar powder and dry pickles like mahali. I mean it, I cherish these stuff more than a real gift. Nothing could give relief like seeing this home made sambar powder by amma. N can smell stuff like a mile away and he’d be the first one to figure out the difference and crinkle his nose disapproving the taste and aroma and will proceed to give me a lecture on making authentic sambars.

To cut a long story short, N picked up some mangoes from the desi shop this weekend- Some young, green,firm mangoes and we unanimously decided(phew!!) on making Kara Manga- That is Mangai kari in kerala- Instant mango pickle.
This is how it goes:

Firm, green mangoes- 2

For tempering:
Salt- 1 tsp
Red Chili Powder- 1 tsp
Asafoetda- 1/4 tsp
Sesame oil- 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1 tsp


Wash the mangoes well and scrub away any dirt. I peel the mangoes slightly but you can use it with the skin also. Chop them roughly first and remove the seeds. Then,finely chop the mangoes. Transfer them to a ceramic/glass bowl. Sprinkle salt and chili powder on top (but do not mix them) and keep aside.


Heat sesame oil in a pan and add asafoetida and mustard seeds. When the seeds splutter, pour this sizzling hot oil on top of the cut mango-salt-chili powder. Mix well. There is no need to stir fry this as the hot oil will cook the mango and make it juicy along with the chili powder and salt. You can let is sit at room temperature for a couple of hours for the mango to release the juice or store it.


Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. This pickle can last for 2-3 weeks. Use a dry spoon every time and make sure that you mix well before serving. This mouth watering pickle never lasts more than 3 days in our house. We finish it by using it for everything from pongal to khichdi to rice dishes.

Malar of Kitchentantra shared this cheerleading blog award with me. This is my first award and I am so happy to receive it, been grinning ear to ear since I saw it. Thanks Malar!


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