Hello lovely people,
How are you all? How is the weekend coming along? There was a little technical issues with wordpress at my end hence there was a delay in writing this post. Also, I was at Ikea shopping furniture for my kid’s room. We replaced the queen bed with bunk bed. That gave us more space to play around and arrange book shelves, wardrobe and toy shelves. We are so excited to see it come together and I will definitely be sharing the pictures of how it will look after all our hard work.
Before I even start about how I planned our menu for this week, I want to share a very exciting news from my end. Spices and Aroma has collaborated with Feastly to host its first public meal at San Francisco on 17-Jan-2014. I will be cooking a 9-COURSE SOUTH INDIAN MEAL. It’s GLUTEN FREE and VEGETARIAN. You can read more about the menu, venue details and how to reserve your spot here. I would really love to meet you all so if you are in SF/ Bay Area, please come and join me to enjoy my grandmother’s signature Southern Indian flavors created through my hands. The following weekend is going to busy as I have this meal to cook on Saturday and office Holiday Party on Sunday morning and a birthday party to attend in the evening.
Coming to our menu chart for the week, I received emails asking me how I manage work and kids and whether I can suggest some easy breezy breakfast idea. For the first part of the question, my answers is that my day starts around 5.00 AM and I leave to work at 8.00 AM. That gives me almost three hours in the morning to prep, cook and pack the meals for the day and I also write my blogpost in the morning. I have to give certain days in a month where I wouldn’t feel like waking up early or kids are sick and cranky, so everyday I wake up thinking what kind of day it will be. This menu chart can be used for ideas as some days we might eat outside or choose simple toast or cereal for even dinner. For the second part of the question, I have included oats for three days in this week and threw some sandwich ideas here and there in the menu chart. Cooking oats is super quick as the old fashioned oats takes 10-15 minutes to make which we can cook while packing lunch or brewing chai. I serve oats as food art (cats, crab and lion) and most kids will love it and finish it within 15-20 minutes. Doesn’t that save our morning busy time?
I am so happy that my post on 1 Avocado = 2 Dishes and 1 Jar of Pasta Sauce = 4 Dishes was loved by so many of you. It is amazing and rewarding to know that the time I spent on writing these posts makes your life easy and stress-free. Your emails, comments and facebook messages makes my day so wonderful so keep it coming. I will definitely come up with ideas like that where we make use of the produce in the week and there is less wastage. I am also working on post with celery as it is one of the tricky ingredient to work with. I will share more recipes on it in the coming weeks.
Please grab the following menu plans from here:
Recipe links to the menu listed in the menu chart is below. Click on the dish and it will take to the recipe post:
- Bread Pizza with Italian Tomato Sauce and Veggies
- Savory Oats with Soy Milk and Salt; For kids: Serve with a fruit and raisins. Shaped like Lion
- Spinach Pesto-Mushroom Sandwich; Replace Mushroom with Shredded boiled chicken
- Savory Oats with Soy Milk and Salt; For kids: Serve with a fruit and raisins. Shaped like Crab
- Israeli Eggs: Shakshouka with toast
- Savory Oats with Soy Milk and Salt; For kids: Serve with a fruit and raisins. Shaped like Cat
- Bread , Egg omelette and carrot milkshake
- White Rice with Courtrallem Style Pepper Chicken and Rasam
- Peppercorn Rice with Crispy Potato Fry and Baked or Fried Chips
- Whole wheat pasta with veggies ad tomato sauce; For no-carb version use zucchini noodles
- Cold Quinoa Salad
- Thogayal Sadam with Okra Curry and Buttermilk
- Keerai Kootu Rice and Yam Fry
- Fish Curry with Rice; Vegetarians: Paneer Burji, Jeera Rice and Warm Lentil Stew (Dahl)
- Cooking Mexican: Corn Tortilla Bites with Guacamole and Orange Punch
- Soft Roti wit Peas-Soy Masala
- Cooking Mexican: Baked Sweet Potato
- Flat Beans Shrimp Masala with rice and yogurt; Vegetarians: Replace Shrimp with soy chunks
- Vegetable-Paneer Khati Roll
- Beets Poriyal, Moong Dahl Sambhar and Rice
- Pav Bhaji
As always I have to share a new recipe for the day and it is going to the most popular dish from Tamil Nadu. Thayir Vadas are made with white lentils (ulundu or urad dahl) and deep fried. I am making this for my Feastly Dinner coming Saturday. It is one of the first course dish I am serving. You can also make them in an appam pan to avoid all the deep frying. You can see how appam pan looks like from my post on Banana Appam. Here is the amazon link for the same. Click on the image below to buy it. TABAKH AppamPatra Paniyaram Non Stick Pan with Lid
Pongal is on 14Jan2015 and we are fews days away to celebrate. We make vadai and sakara pongal for sure. If you are planning to make an eloborate Thai Thirunal Meal, do check the 10 Course Vegetarian Meal I cooked for a Foodbuzz party.
Source: My Mom
- 1 cup White Lentils/ Ulundu / Urad dahl
- 2 Green Chillies
- 1 Inch Ginger, Minced
- 1 Small Red Onions, chopped
- Cilantro, couple of tablespoon
- 10-12 Curry Leaves, Chopped
- 1 teaspoon Asafoetida
- 2 teaspoon Salt
- Water as needed, use minimum
- Oil to fry
For the yogurt base
- 2 cups thick Greek Yogurt
- 1 cup Milk
- 1 cup Water
- 1 teaspoon Chili Powder plus more for garnish
- 2 teaspoon Cumin Powder plus more for garnish
- 1 teaspoon Garam Masala plus more for garnish
- Salt to taste
- Cilantro to garnish
- Soak the lentil in water for 4 hours. Remove all the water and add to a grinder or mixie (make sure that you add only 2 tablespoon water only). Throw in green chillies and ginger. Grind to a smooth batter. Please make sure you sprinkle water to get the grinder from not getting stuck and keep the process going. I will also open the lid and move the batter to the center of the blade to enhance better grinding. You need a fluffy glob of batter. It will take 15-20 minutes to incorporate the air and fluffiness to the paste.
- Remove to a clean bowl. With your hand, whisk the batter in circular motion in single direction. This will incorporate more air to the paste. Leave it in the fridge for 1 hours. You need a cold paste.
- Prepare the yogurt base. Whisk yogurt, milk and water along with the spices to a smooth batter. Add more yogurt or milk depending on how thick or watery you would like the base. Let it chill in the fridge.
- Add onions, curry leaves and cilantro to the batter and mix to combine. Right before you cook, add salt as you don’t want the salt to leave any moisture to the paste.
Deep Frying Method:
- Heat oil to 375F. Using hand, remove little of the paste and place it on the left palm. Shape into a donut and gently remove with your other hand and deep dry in super hot oil. Let it brown. It takes less than 5 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl wrapped with kitchen tissue.
- Immerse the vadas in warm water for a minute or so. Squeeze out the excess water by gently pressing them between your palm. Gently layer them in a baking tray and pour the yogurt base on top. Sprinkle the spices and cilantro and let it chill until ready to serve.
Less Oil / Appa Pan Method:
- Heat the appam pan and smear little oil in the holes. Spoon the paste and let it cook. Set aside. Immerse the vadas in warm water for a minute or so. Squeeze out the excess water by gently pressing them between your palm. Gently layer them in a baking tray and pour the yogurt base on top. Sprinkle the spices and cilantro and let it chill until ready to serve.