Welcome aboard!

Indian cuisine is a riot of colours, flavours, and spices. Every state has its own unique culture- ingrained taste bud. And, to many of us staying within familiar tastes is a sacrosanct act. Of course an occasional trip to a speciality restaurant that serves another fare is ok. But, as a matter of routine ...at home...NO!

One of the benefits of being born to parents who dared an interstate marriage (am talking about India of the 70's) was being able to widen a regional taste bud to accept, experiment and, relish eclectic cuisines :-)

I love food! Be it traditional or fusion, cooking is all about turning out fare that is tasty and healthy.I welcome all lovers of good food to come on aboard and share your kitchen adventures.

If you like what you see, do leave a comment. If you don't, please leave a suggestion to help me make this better.

You can also request for any recipe you want. Just leave a note in a comment box.

Happy cooking!


Sunday, November 22, 2009

Ragi kool (finger millet porridge)

You see that big brown, crispy dosa (crepe) that forms the background to my blog's title? It's made of ragi (finger millet/nachani/kelvaragu/panjapullu). Apart from dosas, ragi makes wonderful adai, puttu, sevai,idli,and 'kool'(porridge).

In rural Tamil Nadu (in South India) ragi is most commonly used to make 'kool' a porridge kinda dish. When summer rages at its worst then ragi kool with buttermilk and a dash of salt is liberally consumed by villagers involved in hard, physical labour. This is said to neutralise the energy draining effects of the sun and the hard work at hand.

The sweet version of this 'kool' uses jaggery (indian unrefined sugar) and milk. Jaggery adds in essential iron to this fortifying, comfort food. When had slightly warm, this tastes like manna and used to be my instant whip up option when I was pregnant and midnight hunger pangs struck!

Ragi , a nutritional treasure trove is a great source of the essential amino acid, methionine. Methionine is essential for vitality. Ragi, especially if sprouted, goes a long way in supplementing the nutritional deficiencies caused by a diet of highly refined cereals like white rice.

Today, we had to take Abhi for inoculation early in the morning.A nice, warm bowl of ragi porridge with a few cubes of sliced pappaya made for a wonderfully nourshing, easy breezy breakfast.

For 1 serving

Ragi flour (you can buy it ready made, look for sprouted and ground varieties) - 20 gms (4 heaped teaspoonful)

Water - 2 cups

Jaggery syrup - 2 teaspoons

Milk - 1/4 cup

Mix in the ragi flour into luke warm water and set on stove top at medium heat. Keep stirring till the mixture thickens and gets a glazy appearance (about 5 minutes). Add the jaggery and milk, and stir for a couple more minutes. Take off flame and enjoy while warm.

To make Jaggery syrup

Jaggery is usually available as lumps, either golden brown or dark brown.The dark brown version is denser in minerals but the golden brown version is cleaner.Since jaggery is unrefined it can contain sediments. Boil about 250 ml water for 100 gms of jaggery. Place the lumps in and simmer to dissolve jaggery. Simmer on for an extra few minutes to allow the syrup to thicken. Filter to remove scum. Once cool, transfer into airtight containers, and refridgerate. Stays good for a month or more.

Ragi kool is off to the JFI - Ragi event on at Madhuram's Eggless cooking

Thursday, November 12, 2009

A relook at Falafel and Hummus

My favourite aunt emailed me yesterday. She wanted to know all that I remembered about Lebanon - the people, places, food et al because the new novel she was about to teach at school is set in Lebanon (she is a French teacher in a Canadian high school).Our stay at Beirut, Lebanon dates back to 2005. That's where my software hubby was catapulted to, just after our betrothal, by his parent company to work on a Middle East Airlines project. And after marriage, that's where my role of the 'trailing spouse' began

I loved the beautiful terrain. We lived in a serviced apartment a short walk from the corniche and the picturesque pigeon rocks.

Could go on about the place! But food is what matters out here
I'd earlier posted two famous Lebanese recipes along with the story behind my learning them, and I repost them now to make it easier for my athai to look up.

Falafel with Garlic labenah dip


Hummus (chickpea dip with sesame paste)


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