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Hot Buttered Apple Cider

Hot Buttered Apple Cider

First of all, I owe a big apology to all my blogger friends who cared to leave a comment on my previous posts and my inability to respond to them on time. Though it could have been looked upon as arrogance or ill manners, my friends, it is not so. I had not been feeling well. A cold which turned severe and brought along with it its companions sore throat, cough and fever, has taken possession of my immune system for weeks now. Hence the delay in responding to you all…My apologies again…

During these cold ridden days, a true comfort are drinks which warm the throat and spread their goodness throughout every muscle and vessel. Of these, I prefer warm milk, tea, coffee and anything warm, including warm water. Lately when I was searching for some home remedies, I came across hot buttered apple cider. It is supposed to soothe a sore throat and an irritating cold. Well, why not give it a try? After all, I have tried sticking my head into a pot trying to inhale the Vicks infused steam! That act was nothing short of a circus with my hubby holding my head down, lest I run away in the middle and I emerging a couple of minutes later with a face reddened to beat a vine grown tomato! It did provide enough food for laughter, but didn’t help clearing my cold.

So, coming back to the buttered apple cider, I simmered Apple Juice with a couple of sticks of cinnamon, added a pat of butter and a dash of nutmeg and sat down with a steaming mug to nurse that cold of mine. It worked to some extent, I should say!

Recipe:

Apple Juice or Sweet Apple Cider – 1 cup

Cinnamon sticks – 1 and a half

Brown Sugar – As per taste

Butter – a thin sliver

Nutmeg – 1 pinch

Simmer apple juice with the cinnamon sticks for about 5 minutes. Add brown sugar according to your taste. Pour apple juice in a mug and add the butter. Sprinkle nutmeg and enjoy!
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Mango Peanut Chutney

Mango Peanut Chutney

This time of the year in India, the air is filled with the heady aroma of mangoes..Green ones, ripe ones..Each variety ripening in its own time. While ripe mangoes rule the roost, unripe green mangoes have a magic of their own. A simple favorite snack is to have them sliced thin and seasoned with a dash of salt and chilli powder. My mom uses green mangoes while making Sambar, my aunt makes yummy mango curry, my mom-in-law makes mamidikaya pappu, my dearest ammamma makes mango pickle and I make Mango Peanut Chutney. I must thank my friend Sowju for sharing this recipe. From the time I tasted this addictive combination at her place, I have been hooked and what fascinates me most is the simplicity of the ingredients. Mango and groundnuts blend superbly and create a riot on the palate!

Here it is:

Recipe:

Recipe Source: My Friend Sowju

Ingredients:

Unripe Green Mango – 3/4 of a big one
GroundNuts / Peanuts – Around 3 fistfuls
Dry Red chillies – 2
Salt – As per taste
Finely diced onions – 3 Tbls

Roast peanuts over low heat till they turn light brown. Let them cool. Dice mango into small pieces. Grind peanuts, mango, dry red chillies and salt in a food processor, adding just a sprinkle of water. Mix the diced onions.

Serve with hot rice.

As spring is reminscent of mangoes, I am sending this off to Meeta’s Monthly mingle. I hope she accepts it.
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Spinach Upma

Spinach Upma
Yet another JFI post…and this month JFI joins hands with Nandita’s WBB and is dedicated towards green leafy vegetables. It is hosted by dear Indira of Mahanandi, who is the mastermind behind this wonderful food event.

Green leafy vegetables conjured up umpteen number of recipes, but none of them could be executed on time and I had to settle in for a simpler one. I miss the variety of greens available back home and try to make the most of what we get here…Spinach, Amaranth leaves, Methi to name a few.

As everyone knows, dark green leafy vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals and are a good source of fiber too. Whether they are stir fried, cooked with dal or mashed into rotis, they deliver what they are best at!

Today’s recipe is Spinach Upma. I have given a twist to the usual upma and it doesn’t fail to charm. Hope you find that way too…

Recipe:

Spinach – 3 to 4 big handfuls – Washed and chopped finely
Rawa/ Sooji/ Semolina – 3/4 cup
Water – 2.5 cups
Onion – 1 Small one – Sliced thinly
Green Chillies – 4 medium ones – Cut lengthwise
Grated Ginger – 1/4 Teaspoon

For Seasoning:

Mustard Seeds – 1/4 Teaspoon
Urad Dal – 1 Teaspoon
Channa Dal – 1 Teaspoon
Asofoetida / Inguva/ Perungayam/ Hing – 2 Pinches
Curry Leaves – 4 to 5
Cashewnuts – 1 Tablespoon
Oil – 2 to 3 Teaspoons

Roast Sooji till very light brown and keep aside. Heat oil in a sauce pan and add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add urad dal and channa dal and fry till light brown. Add asofoetida, curry leaves, green chillies and cashewnuts. Fry for a moment and add the sliced onion and a pinch of turmeric. Fry till light brown and add the spinach and the grated ginger. Let it wilt and fry for a couple of minutes. Add water and salt and let it come to a boil. Add sooji when the water is boiling and stir without lumps. Cook till all the water is absorbed and the upma comes together.

Serve with a dot of ghee!