Thursday, December 10, 2015

Lunch for the little one...

Been a while since I posted something on this site, lets just say life has kept me busy. Its a good thing :). In this new phase of my life, my greatest challenge is preparing lunch for my toddler, something healthy, nutritious and something that he will eat.

ps: If people thought passing out of school, landing a job and earning money was the hard part of life, wait till you get to this stage.

So in my quest for unearthing nutritional recipes that would captivate the attention of a toddler, I have stumbled upon many a good finds. One such recipe is my steamed blueberry oats appams, prepared hoping he would gobble down those much needed power packed carbs/proteins/vitamins/minerals, in my absence at daycare.

Blueberry Oats Appams:

1 cup urad dal
1/4 cup green gram
1/4 cup tuvar dal
1 cup rice
1 table spoon methi seeds
2 cups oats
1 cup coconut
2 table spoons cumin seeds
Salt to taste
Sugar to taste (feel free to substitute with maple syrup, agave syrup or pani)
1 cup blueberry
1/4 cup Ragi floor

Step 1: Soak the following for 8 hrs
1 cup urad dal
1/4 cup green gram
1/4 cup tuvar dal
1 cup rice
1 table spoon methi seeds

Step 2: Grind the soaked ingredients with the following into an idli batter consistency,

2 cups oats
Salt to taste
1 cup coconut
2 table spoons cumin seeds
Sugar to taste
1 cup blueberry
1/4 cup Ragi floor

Step 3: Allow the batter to sit over night

Step 4: Pour the batter into idli or ramekin cups and steam

Here is a picture of the same recipe with banana instead of blueberries,

They turned out to be super delicious and since blueberry is his favorite berry, I'm hoping it would be a hit in the toddlers mind too. A big thanks to my friend Prinkl for the oats dosa recipe. If it wasn't for that I'd still be sticking to oats porridge. Lastly a big thanks to my husband for his banana idea that worked great on a toddler. 

Vacation Bible School

Every year they call me to accompany the kids at Vacation Bible School and teach them and I have always been pre-occupied. This year for a change I decided to make myself free and a good decision it was.

As kids we were sent to our native village for Vacation Bible School (VBS). It was supposed to be a fun time learning the virtues of a good life through the parables from the Bible and loads of fun activities. There are a few things about VBS though that come to my mind, like hot karingali water. Kottayam has a very tropical climate and during the summer temepratures would soar really high, imagine being served hot water to quench your thirst.

We were practically thinking of living in the Meenachil river and people were serving hot water here. There were loads of other fun things to remember but let me concentrate on my tryst with destiny as the VBS teacher my first time ever :), needless to say I was super excited about it.

So here is the deal you need to teach 6 year olds concepts such as Gratitude, Compassion, Forgiveness, Grace and Faithfulness. Basically walk them through parables in the Bible that emphasis on the importance of each of these characteristics and get them to talk about their real-life experiences where they have displayed these characteristics and I'm thinking, more than children its the elders who need this training class from a humanitarian aspect.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Fish curry from God's own country.

So the usual Sunday came by and I stepped into church. The service was on and Uncle came hurriedly to me, as though waiting for me to break the news. "Mr. X passed away", he said, "The whole state is mourning.." and I was like, "who is Mr. X?", of-course in my mind.

I tried feigning sympathy, but in the back of my mind things were like, "Do I know him?".. I racked through my entire brain and concluded "No!" So much for nativity, it seems like the only trace of nativity I share is with food (I know, shame on me! But if its of any assuage, I did go home and throughly read about Mr. X. I didn't know him when he was alive, at least I know of him after he passed away. May his soul rest in peace. Amen!)

Talking of food and nativity here is a dish my grandma taught me. Fish curry, yes the very same red fish curry. The first step is to clean the fish and cut it into small pieces. Then wash the fish with rock salt and water. Marinate it with a pinch of turmeric powder, chilli powder and coriander powder( Ration of 2:1). Add chopped garlic, ginger and curry leaves and enough water to cover the fish.

Meanwhile soak some tamarind in water, the one you get in Kerala, that looks like khokum. Fish tastes best when cooked in an earthen vessel and with coconut oil. Cook the fish in its marinade until it boils on a low flame. Then add the soaked tamarind(khokum) and let it cook for a few minutes.

In another khadai, pour some coconut oil and add fenugreek seeds, mustard seeds and jeera when the oil becomes hot. Once the mustard seeds start splattering add finely chopped onions, ginger and garlic and sauté until golden. Then add a few curry leaves and let them cook. Pour this seasoning into the fish once the fish is cooked. Let the fish cook for a few minutes with the seasoning, add salt as required and turn off the stove.

Delicious red fish curry is ready to be savored. After a few hours you can removed the tamarind(khokum) so as to retain the right proportion of its taste. Fish curry back home is had with cooked tappioca or with rice. The spicier the fish the richer the taste, of-course there is threshold to the amount of spice I can have though! In any case here is to the fish curry that is so unique in taste.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

As the debate rolls....

So the big debate during this economic crisis is about whom to sack and whom not, whom to protect and whom not ? A year or two ago, everyone seemed to be very proud of the fact that the world was becoming a smaller place and there seemed to be loads of scope for outsourcing and hiring cheap labor and hence devoting more funds into research and development and maybe big fat paychecks for people higher above.

Today things seem to be rather different, its the debate of whether a Native is losing his job to the Foreigner ? So while the big shots fight it out on how to please the native workers and save on money with cheap yet efficient and skilled labor in this hour of economic crisis, there seem to be quite a few like me, wondering where things are heading ?

Nevertheless I am enjoying the political debate about the iron curtain due to a protectionist attitude and wondering maybe the middle east seems a good place, Iran just went one step ahead in the Space race with its latest homegrown satellite launch, atleast someone has reason to rejoice.

Well maybe I should just confine myself to local chakli fights and devouring Indian sweets or maybe I should just analyze the economic crisis in detail, would make a good phd topic I think...sigh!!! Our local FC ENTS team has a game today and my support and solidarity is with the team... Go FCENTS can beat them....

Monday, February 2, 2009

Snowfall and the recession...

So Londons hit by the worst snowfall in 18 years and the timing couldn't have been more perfect. With recession looming around, London doesn't have the money/equipment to take care of this sudden downpour of snow and the welcome snow for the kid down-the-block has caused a huge economic loss for London, with flights being canceled at Heathrow one of the busiest airports in the world and work being affected.

So who is to blame? Is it Lady lucks fault or is it the Mayors fault ? The Mayor had a valid point, for a place like London where snowfall is very rare it doesn't seem viable to invest on equipment to tackle the snow and as a result the whole public transportation has come to a grinding halt...hmmm interesting...a holiday just when you needed it...or one just when u didn't need it ??

As for still deciding...who's fault lady luck or mine ?? Well there are loads of Indian goodies that came my way and instead of relishing it am back to my fruit diet. But you got to do, what you have to do, when you need to...(shrugging shoulders).... :).

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Paneer Butter Masala

Indian food or any food for that matter is quite emotionally comforting is what I have discovered. Especially in the current environment, when bankruptcy looms about you, when recession seems to be the buzz word and when your jobs hanging precariously on a few strands, there nothing like a good home made meal to lift your spirits.

So here is how I cooked up a comfort meal for my friends at Natgeo.

Ingredients –

Paneer (Cottage cheese) - 1 Slab
Onions - 4
Tomato puree – ½ a can
Cashew nut paste – 2 tablespoons
Coriander powder – 2 tablespoons
Red chilli powder – 1 tablespoon
Turmeric power – ¼ tablespoon
Cumin powder – ¼ tablespoon
Salt to taste
Ginger garlic paste – 2 table spoons
Garam Masala – 1 tablespoon
Butter – 2 tablespoons
Oil as per required
Cream – ¼ cup

Dice the paneer into small cubes and fry them in oil until they are golden brown. Keep the fried paneer aside. Now blend the onions into a fine paste and keep this ready.

In a frying pan add the butter and oil as per required. Once the butter has melted add the onion paste and the ginger garlic paste, sauté this mixture until it turns light brown. Make a paste with all the powders and add this paste to the sautéed onion mixture, let this fry for about two minutes until the masala is cooked. Now add the tomato puree and the cashew nut paste and slightly toss it, add water as required so as to form a smooth sauce. Now add salt to taste and let this sauce boil. Once it starts boiling add the fried paneer to it and let it simmer on a low flame for a few minutes.

I made a variation of this by adding pre boiled potatoes and peas along with the paneer.

Add cream to this and stir gently. Delicious paneer butter masala is now ready.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Maryland Madness..

Maryland is one of the schools you got to experience at least for the sporting activities. Tonight was Maryland Madness, the day they introduce the Mens basket ball team and the Womens basket ball team for the year.

A day when the gymkhana troupe, the competition cheer group and the spirit group perform and what performances, mind blowing something I am so happy I got to experience.

They have some stupendous performances, great displays of flexible bodies being tossed in the air, with absolute synchronization and co-ordination that is truly worth a standing ovation.

A grand entry of the respective teams and their coaches. It spreads an aura of pride and sense of respect and a feeling of admiration for such a great school and such a great sports facility.

So for all of you considering a school, I would definitely vote for Maryland, we Terps rock anyday!

Letz go Maryland! Letz go.... letz go...

The gymkhana teams performance -

Part 2

Competitive Cheer Team

Spirit Squad

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