Saturday, January 30, 2016

Ambalapuzha Paal Payasam

A recipe which I have been relishing over these 14 years, being married to a Mallu at Ambalapuzha authentic recipe of Kerala and this is being offered as Neivedhyam to Lord Sree Krishna of Ambalapuzha temple and given as Prasadham to all the devotees.

The legend behind this prasadham is quite interesting and am happy to share this through this post..

Source : Wikipedia 

God Krishna once appeared in the form of a sage in the court of the king who ruled the region and challenged him for a game of chess (or chaturanga). The king being a chess enthusiast himself gladly accepted the invitation. The prize had to be decided before the game and the king asked the sage to choose his prize in case he won. The sage told the king that he had a very modest claim and being a man of few material needs, all he wished was a few grains of rice. The amount of rice itself shall be determined using the chess-board in the following manner. One grain of rice shall be placed in the first square, two grains in the second square, four in the third square, eight in the fourth square, sixteen in 5th square and so on. Every square will have double of its predecessor.

Upon hearing the demand, the king was unhappy since the sage requested only a few grains of rice instead of other riches from the kingdom which the king would have been happy to donate. He requested the sage to add other items to his prize but the sage declined.

So the game of chess started and needless to say the king lost the game. It was time to pay the sage his agreed-upon prize. As he started adding grains of rice to the chess board, the king soon realised the true nature of the sage's demands. By the 20th square, the number had reached one million grains of rice and by the 40th square, it became one million million. The royal granary soon ran out of grains of rice. The king realised that even if he provides all the rice in his kingdom and his adjacent kingdoms, he will never be able to fulfill the promised reward. The number of grains was increasing as a geometric progression and the total amount of rice required to fill a 64-squared chess board is ((2^64) - 1) which is equal to the number 18,446,744,073,709,551,615 translating to trillions of tons of rice.

Upon seeing the dilemma, the sage appeared to the king in his true-form, that of God Krishna. He told the King that he did not have to pay the debt immediately but could pay him over time. The king would serve paal-payasam (made of rice) in the temple freely to the pilgrims every day until the debt was paid off.

Here goes the simple yet a delicious recipe :) 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Golden Delights - Tapioca Sweet Paniyaram

This is one of our family recipe and every year during ThiruKaarthigai Deepam, my mom used to make this both sweet and savory versions as Neivedhyam. And that happens to be the season of Tapioca too. Mom used to make Adai out of it, wherein I have tried Paniyaram with the batter.

Tapioca is a very good source of dietary fiber and good cholesterol. Its also gluten free and a great storehouse of Iron. Its proven to improve the blood circulation and blood cell counts. Also it aids in healthy weight gain, protect bone mineral density. It is good to have tapioca added to our diet regime and this happens to be a delightful recipe to have.

A must try during Tapioca Season and you will definitely love this delicacy..

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Quinoa Brown Rice Adai

A recipe which was long pending in my wish list..and got some time at last to try it out and it came out so tasty and rich. I have seen many of the Quinoa Adai recipes and I wanted to try by tweaking it by addition of Brown Rice instead normal boiled rice. Also I have adjusted the proportions of Moong dhall to get a softer version.

Quinoa is one of the protein rich grain belonging to the family of Amaranths. It has high amount of Manganese, along with good amounts of Iron and Magnesium. It has Lysine which aids in tissue repair and growth of cells.

Brown Rice is loaded with dietary fibre and it lowers the risk of diabetes. It is rich in Selenium and Manganese. It can lower Cholesterol and prevents weight gain. It is proven to protect human body against Cardiovascular diseases and certain types of cancer. It promotes bone health as well.

The healthy combination of this miraculous Quinoa and Brown Rice along with the goodness of the lentils make this adai a highly nutritious food item. Its flavorful too.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Betel Vine Masala Brown Rice / Vetrilai Sadham

Betel Vine / Betel Leaves / Paan has unmatched medicinal properties and it is used in many ayurvedic preparations. It is proven to have curative and healing properties. It is rich in Vitamin C, Niacin, Thiamine and riboflavin. It is also an excellent source of Calcium. It contains an essential oil which has antiseptic properties.

Betel Leaves are under rated and are not much used in cooking. But including them in our diet will aid us in harnessing the benefits of this flavorful leaf. We can make Rasam,KaraKuzhambu and Desserts too. I tried a variety rice with home grown fresh Betel Leaves along with Brown Rice to enhance the health quotient. Its a very easy and flavorful recipe to try out.

Monday, January 18, 2016

Manithakkali Keerai /Black Night Shade Tomato Kootu

Manithakkali Keerai which is called Black Night Shade is a miraculous green with in numerous health and medicinal benefits. It has anti inflammatory properties and are a rich store of antioxidants. It is found to have a great use in curing mouth ulcers. It is a store house of Vitamin C and it also has lot of minerals. Due to their huge medicinal qualities they occupy an important place in Indian Medicine. It revitalizes the body and give energy to our system to work tireless all through the day. It also serve as an excellent appetizer.

We have this grown in our Kitchen Garden at my native and the organically grown healthy greens are delicious when made into Sambar or Kootu. Here's one simple recipe of kootu which combines the Moong Dhall and the Manithakkali greens which is very good for ulcer patients and people who are recovering from long term illness.

Green Peppercorn Spring Onion Kuzhambu

Green Peppercorns are the unripe berries of the tropical vine Pepper (Black Pepper which is the processed form of ripe berries). Green Pepper has an exotic pungent taste and flavor, besides which it offers a lot of health benefits. They aid in better digestion by increasing the level of HCL in our stomach. They help to destroy the bacterial growth in the intestinal tract. Also they have abundance of Iron, Vitamin K and above all it is a rich source of antioxidants. It also has active components that will burn out fat cells and thus aids in weight loss. It shows anti cancerous properties too.

We have the lushy Pepper Vines in our garden at my native and we get Pepper for the entire year from the four to five vines that we have. Got a chance to get some fresh green pepper corns when I visited my place two days back for Pongal Celebrations. Thought of trying this Kuzhambu which was long pending in my list. I made a twist by adding Spring Onions which really enhanced the taste and flavor. A must try recipe I would say. :)

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Kendhata / Pongal Kuzhambu - Tanjore/Mayavaram Style - Pongal Special Recipes

Pongal is the traditional South Indian Harvest festival equivalent to Thanksgiving in Western Countries and it is celebrated elaborate and in a grand manner, for four days all over South India. It is celebrated on the First Day of the Tamil Month Thai (10th Month in Tamil Calendar). First day is celebrated as Bhogi where we dispose old worn out house hold materials and buy new ones. Second Day is the Perum Pongal or Soorya Pongal, during which people make Sweet Pongal and White Plain Pongal before Sun in new pots and offer it to Sun God as Sun being the major source of light for crop cultivation. We offer Sugarcane, Pongal and Banana on this day . Third Day is Celebrated as Maatu Pongal which is more for the Cattles and it is celebrated grand in village sides, even though people living in cities miss the chance of seeing such grand celebrations. Fouth Day is end of the Pongal Festival which is called Kaanum Pongal (Kaanum means Reunion), on which day people go and visit relatives houses and have some sort of get togerher in public places like Beach, Park etc.,
Pongal recipes include Sarkarai Pongal made out of New Rice with Milk, Jaggery and White Plain Pongal. Also we make Pongal Kuzhambu with all the veggies that are available during the season as a mark of offering the produce to the Sun God.

Here am sharing one authentic Pongal Kuzhambu Recipe which is a traditional recipe of Thanjavur/ Mayavaram, called as Kendhata. My Mom who hailed from Mayavaram is an expert in making this recipe and this is one recipe which I have always cherished as a child. It has the goodness and flavour of all country vegetables, lentils, tubers,..even they add Amla and Sugarcane Pieces. On Pongal Day night, they used to add water to the White Pongal and keep. The next day morning, they add in lot of fresh curds, chopped shallots and green chillies with salt as needed and prepare creamy curd rice. This Kuzhambu is reheated and made thick (we call it SundaKuzhambu) and served with the cold curd rice. Its heavenly to have this combo. Happy to share this traditional recipe for this Pongal. Thanks to mom for sharing me the recipe.

Happy and Prosperous Pongal to all :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Kudiraivaali Akkaravadisal / Barnyard Millet Sweet Pongal - Koodaravalli

Koodaravalli is an auspicious day observed during the 27th day of the divine month of Margazhi...which represents the end or completion of Paavai Nonbu...
Sri Andal in her 27th Verse of Thirupaavai explains the reward of Paavai nonbu...Sri Andal and other Gopikas dress up themselves with nice clotes and adorn Jewels, flowers and share sweet with Lord Krishna to mark the end of Paavai Nonbu...
Here is the snippet of the twenty seventh pasuram.."Koodarai Vellum Seer Govinda" and its explanation..
கூடாரை வெல்லும்சீர் கோவிந்தா உந்தன்னைப்
பாடிப் பறைகொண்டு யாம்பெறும் சம்மானம்
நாடு புகழும் பரிசினால் நன்றாகச்
சூடகமே தோள்வளையே தோடே செவிப்பூவே
பாடகமே என்றனைய பலகலனும் யாம்அணிவோம்
ஆடை உடுப்போம் அதன்பின்னே பாற்சோறு
மூடநெய் பெய்து முழங்கை வழிவாரக்
கூடி இருந்து குளிர்ந்தேலோர் எம்பாவாய்.

koodaarai vellum seer gOvindhaa undhannai
paadi paRai kondu yaam peRum sammaanam
naadu pugazhum parisinaal nanRaaga
choodagamE thOL vaLaiyE thOdE sevip poovE
paadagamE enRanaiya palagalanum yaam aNivOm
aadai uduppOm adhan pinnE paaR chORu
mooda ney peydhu muzhangai vazhi vaara
koodi irundhu kuLirndhElOr embaavaay
Sree Andal and her other Gopika friends are elated as they have achieved their goal..Lord Sri Krishna. They request him to drown them in the ocean of compassion. They have been observing the Paavai Nonbu for 26 days in order to attain him ,and to mark the end of the nonbu, they dress themselves with beautiful clothes,scented flowers and glittering jewels, will have celebrations. After offering rice cooked in wholesome milk, sweetened and dripping in ghee (when a morsel would be eaten ghee would drip down the elbows) to Lord Krishna, each and everyone present would partake of the divine neivedhyam and experience the supreme Bliss.
Image Courtesy: Google - gayasrikrishna.blogspot 

Am presenting here the recipe of Akkaravadisal with a twist wherein I have replaced Rice with Barnyard Millet or Kudiraivaali. The same recipe can be used to make with Saamai/Little Millet or Thinai/FoxTail Millet. 

Happy Koodaravalli....:) 

This Year Koodaravalli is today 12 Jan 2016, Tuesday. 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Thinai Koozh / FoxTail Millet Porridge

Thinai or Fox Tail Millet are the best choice if you are looking for a millet which is gluten free, rich in protein and good amounts of Iron and Calcium. It is also rich in dietary fiber and hence serves as a boon for diabetic patients. It releases glucose steadily without affecting the metabolism of the body.

Having Thinai in your diet will definitely paves way to a healthy life and its proven that the incidence of diabetes is rare among the population which consumes foxtail millet diet.

Koozh or Porridge with Millets are our authentic food and it has its own health benefits. 

Here's an easy and delicious way of including Fox Tail Millet as breakfast..Truly filling and healthy start of a day :)

Wonder Wraps - Peas Olive Wrap

In my Wonder Wrap Series, its an interesting combo of Garden Fresh Peas and Luscious Olives. A best way to include fresh peas during the season..and with the Olives and Cheese, it becomes a wholesome and tasty wrap for kids.

Peas are very low in Saturated Fat, Cholesterol and Sodium.They are very good source of Protein, Vitamin A, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Phosphorus and Copper, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Thiamin and Manganese.

My son just loved this combo...

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Horse Gram / Kollu Rasam

The Miracle Pulse they say..Yes its none other than the Horse Gram...Have you ever wondered why this name to this Pulse...It is fed to Race Horses to have a control on weight and to give more stamina and hence the name.

The health benefits of this Pulse is in numerous...It is proven to have anti bacterial, anti fungal, anti oxidant properties.It is rich in protein, iron and calcium. It aids in Weight Loss and a great cure for cough and cold. It has less Lipid and Sodium content which is ideal for Obesity and Diabetic patients. By including this in our diet we can keep us Young and Vibrant (Isha Sadhguru says it)

Here's an interesting recipe which can be consumed as soup or taken with hot rice as Rasam and it is one healthy and tasty soup, good for sore throat.

It tastes really good as Soup especially when you have Cold and Fever.. :)