Almost 8 hours was spent in kitchen today! So, today’s post has to be about food. Agree?
Started off with making of pumpkin sambar and arbi fry to Ammavasaya offering to in-laws. Then, made Onion uthappam, Cauliflower peas kurma and Veg clear soup to share with neighbors as its their anniversary today. Took a small break to sip some coffee and then started with prep work for Almond cake. The entire clan helped with cake making and we made 3 batches to share with neighbors.
The best part of today was the chit chat we had while doing the marathon cooking. Adi and M cracked some really good jokes (of course I was the target) that cracked me up and I was laughing hard for a long time like a lunatic!
LHB and I spent some time in exercise room later in the evening. That’s when we heard school is closed tomorrow and its going to be remote for rest of this week! More fun times I guess *rolls eyes*
So there is officially one more day of winter holidays before we get back to grind and the best part of I don’t have to cook tomorrow! yayyyy!
Almond cake is a simple 4 ingredient guilt free cake, I will be happy to share the recipe!
Adi made this for last night dinner. All I did was slice the chicken breast and she took over all other work including washing half of the dishes used and presented it well too.
It tasted much better than what you get in restaurant and she is super proud about how it turned out. It was her very own recipe. She made two batches as the first batch was over before we could blink our eyes. Best part is how all 4 of us dug into that one plate and polished it off in seconds 🙂
We had friends to stay over on Sunday and as it is the new normal, I marinaded chicken, veggies and M grilled them for dinner.
M started grilling and items were disappearing in lightning speed as everyone was hungry and hot fresh grilled food always tastes better. I was busy in the kitchen preparing tomato thokku for the one day trip planned for next day.
Adi observed the whole scene for a while, then came near me and whispered that I should take a break and have some food as I will not get any if I wait till the last. I nodded my head but continued with kitchen work. Few minutes later, she handed over this plate to me and asked to save for myself to eat later.
That divine feeling of someone caring for you and thinking about you took over me instantly and I wanted to just preserve that plate of food for eternity.
I grew an inch taller that day because of abundant happiness. This is my the favorite phrase from a tamil song.
Quarantine time has brought us closer than before and I count my blessings.
Better late than never. I wanted to capture about pillayar chathurthi in this space for posterity.
This year chathurthi was awesome as
I made the world’s most softest kozhukattai and M praised the sesame seeds filling kozhukattai so much that Adi noticed it and said she has never seen him praising my food so much!!
I made 3 versions – sweet sesame seeds/jaggery filling, sweet channa dal/jaggery filling and savory version.
The best part is I made everything from scratch like soaking rice and grinding it to make outer layer. It just took about 7 hours to wrap it up end to end as I made it with 4 cups of rice. Shared it with neighbors and friend’s family. Totally worth the effort.
Visited friend’s home for Ganesh Visarjan. They did it in big scale with their entire dining room decorated. We sang bhajans and had good food.
Neighbor kids, Adi and LHB made their own Ganesha’s so I had 4 Ganesha idols decorating my pooja space thiis year.
We dissolved our eco Ganesh today (Day 7) in the sink. I don’t know if there is a better way to do it. We usually dissolve it in sink as they are made of salt dough (wheat flour+salt).
Ladies finger fry rolled in roti and clementines. I am happy to have started packing lunch for LHB too from this school year. This journey started in 2010 when Adi started her kindergarten and continuing for a decade now, it will continue for another decade till LHB graduates school. Nothing can make me more happier than seeing an empty lunch box. It is an everyday discussion during bedtime about the lunch option for next day and I make up my mind about what to cook the next day morning. Somedays, I also do some prep work in the night like cutting veggies or soaking pulses.
And I suddenly got this urge today to make my all time favorite puli kuzhambu with drumstick, potatoes and mochai (lilva beans). This is one of Adi’s favorite too and somehow it has been ages I made it. So, made it today and Adi was super excited to see the kuzhambu and fryums on the table when she got back from school. She kept repeating “Today is her best day”.
She kept visiting the table all evening to scoop the kuzhambu with fryums and pop it in. We went down my memory lane about how I did the same at my grandma’s home where I spent all my summer. I would make frequent visits to my grandma’s kitchen to steal the potatoes from kuzhambu and come lunch time my cousins would hardly get any potatoes 😀 😀 I can see myself in Adi today with this action.
Food can make everyone happy and I am so glad to have established this connection with kids.
Just for laugh: LHB’s tidbit: Akka, stop complaining! You will be done with school in 2 years!!! Do you know how many more years school do I have? We calculated and its 11 more years *Adi and I bursted out laughing* and both of us said in unison that we would give anything to go back to elementary school. Actually, Adi said elementary school and I said any school or even college is fine with me.
A easy fix salad filled with protein and nutrients that has become a recent favorite at our household.
I ate it at a friend’s home and instantly liked it.
Moong dal – 1 cup (Soak it for 2 to 3 hours)
Onion – 1
Tomato – 1 (optional)
Cucumbers – 1 big or 4 cute cucumbers
Carrot – 1 (grated)
Lime juice – to taste
Salt – to taste
Pomegranate – 1/2 cup (optional – to garnish)
Coriander leaves – to garnish
Curry leaves (Optional)
Mix all of them, do the tadka with items given under Tadka section, add it to the salad and healthy wholesome meal is ready!
I avoid tomatoes and you can go creative with the vegetables to add based on the taste of your family.
I cook bitter gourd for M but have never tasted it in my whole life. I am very serious about this. I had a big aversion for bitter gourd but this recipe changed it all so much that I licked it from the bowl and couldn’t wait to make it next time. Even kids ate it.
We couldn’t taste the bitterness at all and it was super yummy.
Try this recipe and finger licking is guaranteed.
Bitter gourd – 3 or 4
Tamarind – lemon size (soak in warm water)
Channa dal – 3/4 cup
Onion – 2
Tomato – 2
Chilli powder – 1 spoon
Coriander powder – 1 spoon
Turmeric powder – 1/2 spoon
Salt – to taste
Sugar – 1 or 2 spoon – to taste
Toor dal – 2 spoons
Peppercorns – 1/2 spoon
Jeera – 1/2 spoon
Channa dal – 1/2 spoon
Dry red chillies – to taste
Grated coconut – 2 spoons
Split urad dal
1. Cut bitter gourd into small pieces, remove seeds and shallow fry in oil till they turn slightly brown and keep aside
2. Pressure cook channa dal and keep aside
3. Dry roast and grind the items given under “To grind” section into a paste and keep aside
4. In a pan, saute items given under “Tadka” section in same order and keep cooking
5. Add garlic, onion, tomato in same order and continue to cook till they are well cooked and blended
6. Add chilli powder, coriander power, turmeric power, salt and cook well until the raw smell of all powders are gone.
7. Add tamarind water and bring it to boil
8. Add shallow fried bitter gourd, ground paste, cooked chana dal and continue to cook till they all blend together.
9. Finally, add some kind of sugar (cane sugar/jaggery/white sugar) and turn off the stove.
Serve it with rice/roti
Audio version that I shared with some of my friends (whatever good we know, we have to share it no?)
I apologize ahead to all non-tamil readers as the audio is in Tamil