Saturday, June 27, 2009

Butterscotch Blondies~The 100th Post!..

A Monday morning, some two years back, I was chatting with my sister, a googler.. a blogger..

Quite impressed by her cute space (she was not a food blogger then) I was all in(silly)doubts and(stupid)queries..

Me: Can anyone like me, 'blog'?..

Her: Why not??!, as long as you can write something interesting and can hold your 'readers'…

Me: Hmmff… I don’t think I can write a thing and expect someone to read my journal perpetually..I fear I'd run out of ‘interesting’ topics very soon to ‘hold’ anyone..bah..!

Her: I am confident that you never would run out of 'recipes!'..

Me: @#$#@%

Her: Click a decent picture(??!!)of what you cook and type in …the world is always in need of good food recipes..

Me: Aah!![Now sitting erect..head held a li’l high…cough web cam..bleh!]
“Holding a site requires lots of basic knowledge and I am a total zero in there…”

Her: Din’t I tell you that blogger is user-friendly, the more you invest time in there, the more you learn…and no more questions YOU CAN do it, START.. right away!!…

I created a crude one, sent her the link in another couple of hours..

"Good start up..but very disorganised..guess you’ve to work a lot in it with the header, title, side bars,and….. well check out this link..and see how tis done.."

From this lovely place and the smart blog roll, I found myself virtually flying in the wonderful sky of food blogging...bloggers hailing from different countries with varied creative!.. food photographs, recipes, write ups,…. totally fascinating me!..

....Thus began my journey with the “crude disorganised space” as a food blogger enriching little by little with recipes, pictures, write ups……

....and I believe I’ve come a long long way!!….

Now, I feel proud and happy to have come up with the 100th post, a bench mark that deserves a simple celebration.. :)

Butterscotch Blondies from my sister's place was something I’d wanted to try for quite a long time and was postponing just because I failed to get the Butterscotch chips here.
Down came a cute bottle from her when we spent our lovely days in our home town, two months back, and here I am with the final product…

Her recipe reproduced

Get ready with: (yielded 16 squares)

1/2 cup butter (melted)
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup butterscotch chips
1 pinch salt

How to make:

1. Cream the melted butter and sugar until well blended.
2. Add the egg and mix well. Then add the vanilla extract.
3. Dunk the flour and salt in. Mix well until combined, with no lumps.
4. Add the chips and mix gently.
5. Transfer to a greased cake tray to a pre-heated oven at 350 F/174 C and bake for about 30 mins or until a toothpick/skewer comes out clean.
6. Cool, cut into squares and enjoy!

Find the step by step procedures and the “Yada Yada” here… ;)

I am extremely grateful to my readers and my blogger pals...

Bloggers pals are many to name :)!!.

My sincere and heartfelt thanks to all of you who had supported with undying enthusiasm thoroughout my journey…

Tight hugs to Swapna, my class mate, who always gave a tender “kick” when ever I hibernated.. :)..without her pushes(many a times, too hard ;)) I would’ve definitely taken yet another year at least to reach this milestone.. ;)

Thank you so much everyone for following along...
You guys are the very reason why I'm still blogging today!
Hope it continues for ever…

Bharathy :)
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Monday, June 22, 2009

Poondu Kuzhambu / Veluthulli Theiyal

Garlic Cloves cooked soft in tangy and spicy sauce, that would be the easy and the apt description of the curry!..:)

Poondu Kara-kuzhambu is said to be South Indian in Origin, a famous dish in Karaikudi, a village that belongs to the Chettinad region in Tamil Nadu. I’ve seen the kuzhambu being served when one recovers from fever or as a supplementary diet for lactating mothers. The garlic, fenugreek, dhania, pepper and curry leaves, rich in medicinal values facilitate easy digestion and lactation.

The dish is popularly known as Veluthulli Theiyal in God’s own country.

My Amma’s version of the is somewhere between Kerala and Tamil in Cuisine.(my MIL prepares the Tamil way with added channa and urad dal while roasting, which I’ll post later.These are avoided in my mom’s recipe, that follows).

We used Otrai poondu, (Single clove or Pearl garlic) from the farms of Kumbhum, Tamil Nadu which gave the best results.You can substitute with large variety cloves of Garlic.

Otrai poondu or large cloves of garlic- One cup, heaped
Tamarind-a lime sized ball
Salt-to taste

To roast and grind to a very smooth paste
Gingelly seed oil-a tsp
Coriander seeds /Kothamalli/Malli/Dhania- or powder4 tbsps (heap the spoon if you use seeds)
Fenugreek seeds/uluva-1/4 tsp
Red Chillies-8-10
Black Pepper corns-a heaped tsp
Cumin seeds-1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
Shallots-1/2 cup
Garlic cloves-2,3
Curry leaves-a sprig

To SeasonGingelly seed oil-1/4 cup
Mustard seeds-1/4 tsp
Asafoetida-less than 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves-a sprig

Method:1. Soak tamarind in warm water.Extract pulp.
2. Heat a tsp of oil as mentioned in the “roast and grind” list in a heavy bottomed kadai. Roast the fenugreek and next the coriander seeds, followed by the red chillies in medium flame stirring all the time till the colour changes and the aroma spreads out. (Usage of coriander powder is the easiest way and if you use this make sure not to burn it, and roast along with the chillies stirring all the time until the colour of the powder turns deeper and the aroma spreads out).
3. Turn off the flame.
4. Throw in rest of the ingredients ; the pepper corn, cumin seeds, turmeric powder,
shallots, garlic and curry leaves in order, stirring the mixture heating them all up.The heat of the kadai is enough for this step.
5. Cool and grind to the smoothest paste with just enough water.(Coriander powder grinds well rather than the seeds and hence suggested).
6. In a thick bottomed vessel, we used the traditional Kalchatti, combine the above paste with the tamarind extract.Add salt. Let the curry be watery at this stage.  In the meanwhile, season the simmering kuzhambu by heating the ¼ cup of gingelly oil in the earlier kadai, used for roasting, splutter the mustard seeds, add asafoetida and sauté the garlic cloves till golden brown, throw in the curry leaves and add to the curry.
7. Boil and simmer the kuzhambu well, closed with a lid. Make sure that the garlic pods are cooked until 75% while sautéing/seasoning. The remaining will be cooked in the simmering curry. Also bear in bind that the garlic pods cooks well only in a watery curry in the first stage and will remain uncooked in a thicker tamarind based curry while simmering.
8.Simmer until you get the real flavour of the Poondu Kuzhambu spreading all around the kitchen and the oil separates and attains a smooth and a creamy consistency which coats the back of a spoon.
9. Serves best with boiled rice and pappad.(I love idly or dosa bits dunked in this yummy curry :)).

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Monday, June 15, 2009

Aval Nanachathu- Sweetened Rice flakes

I was in Chennai past week; plus V and minus Kids, that proved to be a lovely n relaxing weekend..;)
..and this Saturday night around 10pm, I happened to be in a restaurant fully packed, waiting, hoping to get one of the tables cleared.
A girl popped up from behind,"are you Bharathy?.. of Spicy Chilly?”..
She looked beautiful, 'slim n smart' and my “grey matter” was working with its fullest effort, trying to scan the cute face…

Yes I am……??..hmmm..!!..??*&*#

Nanditha”.., she yelled sweetly.. !!..
.. next moment we found ourselves hugging tight, each other.. :)

Nanditha looked naturally pretty with no make up except for Kajal,…bubbly and young in a simple pink chicken-work cotton top n black pants that suited her very well which again complimented the colour theme of the restaurant(this part was ultimately detected by her warm and cheerful husband).. ;)
We ranted for quite sometime; about kids, family, her dance classes, her own academy that got inaugurated in a grand manner the very previous day ….and when I asked her to sit for a while(possibly to relax)..the next question was shot,"well, do you really mind me talking to you ?”

“Ha ha.. not at all”… (scratch scratch ..;) she would’ve read my mind struggling to keep a pace with her constant lovely n lively conversation ;))
Her cute little boys were playing in the kids area when I approached to say a 'hi' ...little more rants and finally it was time to say a bye..

Another warm bear hug…:D!!

It was the first time I’d bumped on a blogger pal.. and just can’t put in words how sweet n memorable those moments are.. !!..

…and now for the recipe, promised to rush to my sister who hosts Monthly Mingle-‘Ravishing Rice’, an event started by Meeta.

You need (to serve two)

Aval/Beaten or flattened rice- I used Double Horse brand thin red rice flakes-2 large cups

Fresh grated coconut- ½ cup(more or less)

Cold milk- ½ cup(a little more or less)

Jaggery-grated fine- 1/2 - 3/4 cup(or to taste-I like it sweeter)

Powdered cardamom- A fat pinch(optional)

Mix together aval and jaggery until it has blended well. Now mix in the coconut and the cardamom powder. Add the milk a few spoonfuls at a time and mix well. Using your fingers, preferably.. :)

You are done!... dig in a spoon and enjoy the world's easiest snack..:)


Feel flexible with the ingredients making them more or less than suggested according to your likes.:)
If you like it a bit soggy and soft, use warm milk and leave aside for 10-15 mins before serving. This is an easily digestible, healthy snack and can be made in no time.

If you're new to 'flattened rice'..

Flattened rice is a dehusked rice which is flattened into flat light dry flakes. These flakes of rice swell when it absorbs water,milk or any other liquids whether hot or cold. The thicknesses of these flakes vary between almost translucently thin to nearly four times thicker than a normal rice grain -

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