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Aavakaya

Aavakaya

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Aavakaya is also called avakai or aavasogi.

Ingredients:
Raw Mango Pieces – 1 kg
Red Chili Powder – 100 gm
Salt – 200 gm
Mustard Seed Powder – 100 gm
Cumin & Fenugreek Seed Powder – 1 tsp
Oil – 250 gm
Turmeric – ¼ tsp
Chickpeas (Kabuli Chana) – 50 gm
Garlic cloves – 50 gm
Dry coconut (Optional) – 1 no
Cumin Seeds – 1 tbsp
Mustard Seeds – 1 tbsp
Fenugreek Seeds – ½ tbsp
Chili seeds – 1 tbsp
Aavakaya Ingredients
Preparation:
To make tadka, heat oil in a pan and add chili seeds, cumin seeds, mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds in that order and sauté until done.  Let it cool down.
Take a large bowl and mix well all the ingredients along with tadka.
Now add mango pieces and mix well.  Take it into a glass or ceramic jar and store it for two days.
On the third day, mix it well again and start eating with hot rice & ghee!!
Aavakaya

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Rava Idli

Rava Idli

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Rating: 4.7/5 (3 votes cast)

Ingredients:
Rava Idli IngredieentsSuji Rava – 3 cups
Curd (Soar is better) – 5 cups
Cashew – ¼ cup
Bengal Gram – 1 ½ tbsp
Black Gram – 1 tbsp
Green Chilies – 5
Curry Leaves – ¼ cup
Carrot – 1 small
Coriander leaves – ¼ cup
Salt – to taste
Baking Soda (Sodium bicarbonate) – 1 ½ tsp
Mustard – 1 tsp
Oil – 4 tbsp

Preparation:
Pan fry Rava till it slightly starts to change color or a nice aroma emits and keep it aside.
Heat another pan & prepare tadka using Oil, mustard, Bengal gram, Black gram, Cashew, chopped green chilies & Curry leaves.
Add salt, baking soda & tadka to fried rava.  Mix them well.
Finely chop coriander, churn curd & grate carrot.
Add the above to the rava mixture & mix well.  If needed, add some water.  The consistency should be like an Idli batter.
Rava Idli Making
Now make Idlies as you normally would do.  In the Idly plates, pour a little less batter than the normal as this will puff up more.
Serve it hot with Kobbari (Coconut) Chutney and you will be longing for more!!

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Cauliflower Curry

Cauliflower & Tomato Curry

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Rating: 4.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Ingredients:
Intredients Cauliflower CurryCauliflower – 1 medium sized
Tomatoes – 3
Dry coconut – 1 small
Green chilies – 10
Curry leaves – 5 sprigs
Coriander leaves – ½ bunch
Salt – to taste
Turmeric – ¼ tsp
Cumin & mustard seeds – ½ tsp each
Oil – 1 ½ tbsp
Coriander Powder – ½ tsp
Cauliflower Making
Preparation:
Chop tomatoes, green chilies & coriander.  Sort and separate the cauliflower into medium sized flower buds.  Do not make buds too small as they get even smaller when cooked.  Take a pan and heat oil.  Add cumin, mustard, curry leaves & chopped chilies one after the other.  Now add the cauliflower buds & mix it.  Allow it to cook for two minutes.  Add chopped tomatoes and close the lid & allow it to cook for a minute or two.  Now add salt, turmeric & mix well… let it cook with a closed lid and keep mixing it intermittently.  Meanwhile grate/grind the coconut and when the cauliflower is almost done, add the coriander powder & grated coconut and mix it well.  Let it cook for a minute & turn the heat off.  Garnish it will coriander & server with chapatis or rice.

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Tomato Chutney

Sesame and Tomato Chutney

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Rating: 4.3/5 (6 votes cast)

Ingredients:
Tomato – ½ Kg
Green Chilies – 10
Sesame Seeds – ¾ cup
Dry Coconut – 1 small
Mint Leaves (Optional) – 3 bunches
Curry Leaves – ½ bunches
Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tsp
Turmeric – ¼ tsp
Jeera & Mustard – ½ tsp each
Oil – 1 ½ tbsp
Salt – to taste

Tomato Chutney Ingredients

Preparation:
Pan-fry sesame seeds without using oil and take it aside.  Pan-fry green chilies & mint leaves (optional) using a tsp of oil and put it aside.  Now Chop the tomatoes and cook them in a closed pan without using water.  There will be enough water in tomatoes.  While the cooked tomatoes cool down, grind sesame and coconut to a fine powder.  Add green chilies, ginger-garlic paste, salt & turmeric and grind them into a paste using water oozed from the cooked tomatoes and take it aside.  Now coarsely grind the tomatoes.  Make sure it does not turn into a fine paste as sauce.  If you have time & strength, use a stone mortar & pestle to grind them.  That actually works better for this recipe.  Mix both the sesame & tomato paste.  Prepare tadka using jeera, mustard, curry leaves and oil.  Add it to the chutney and serve it with wheat flour chapatis or idlies or upma or rice!!

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Rashtrapati Nilayam

A visit to Rashtrapati Nilayam

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President of India has two retreat locations in India, Rashtrapati Nilayam in Hyderabad (Southern India) & The Retreat Building in Shimla (Northern India).  The President stays at these two locations least once a year and can conduct official business.  Rashtrapati Nilayam is constructed in 1860 by Nizam Nazir-ud-Dowla which is panned across 90 acres of land and was taken over after the Independence of India.  It is usually an entry restricted area and is under military control.  Recently, The President of India, Shri. Pranab Mukherjee has stayed here and left.  It is seldom open for general public’s visit and I am lucky that I got a chance to visit it.

The entry was from Gate# 2 & and the exit from Gate# 1.  First thing that I liked is, there was no entry fee and cameras & mobile phones were allowed.  After a walk of almost a kilometer we get to see a white one storied building consisting of around 11 rooms.  Right in front of the building there is a beautiful landscaping and then at a certain distance there is a fountain.  Behind the building, there is a wash area and a place to dry clothes.  At a certain distance from the building, there is a Temple with a well in the front.  Also there are plantations of Custard Apple, Sapota etc.  It also has a Herbal Garden in 1.5 acre of land comprising of around 116 species which was inaugurated by The Former President of India, Smt. Pratibha Devisingh Patil.  It was a memorable visit as we usually don’t get access to see such elite places too often.

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