I am sure I am the only host who has taken so long to post a roundup and I am terribly sorry for it. I wish to thank each one of you who had spared some thought,time and effort to participate in this event and I extend my sincere apologies for delaying the roundup and for being unresponsive. Over the past weeks, I met with some unexpected circumstances and could not meet any of my commitments on time.
Again, thank you so much. I am overwhelmed by these 47 lovely entries. They mean a lot to a first time event hostess. I am sure you would enjoy the diverse recipes as much as I did.
I have categorized the recipes into Baked Goodies, Savory Treats, Desserts and Breakfast and Snack Choices and Beverages. Kindly let me know if I have misplaced any entry or if you do not find it in the roundup.
AFAM – DATES ROUNDUP
I guess I am the only host who is so late for her own event. A very hectic work schedule left me with zero time for any other activity. I don’t have enough words to express my apologies. Thank you for bearing with me.
My heart sank when Linda said no more entries after Dec 7th midnight, but the next line in her post provided a breath of air saying that it was better to be late than never..Thank you Linda..Hope you will accept my very late entry and am so sorry for pushing it on you at the last moment…
To my family, Toor Dal is as essential as rice. Be it pappu pulusu, pappu chaaru, paruppu rasam, tomato dal, mango dal..The list is endless.. So, for JFI, I wanted to try out something different. And it is as follows:
Adapted from Mallika Bhadrinath’s Tiffin recipes:
Toor Dal – 1/3 Cup
Raw Rice – 1/2 Cup
Green Chillies – 5
Grated Coconut (Fresh or Dry) – 1 Tbsp
Turmeric – A pinch
Asofoetida /Hing – A pinch
Water – 2.5 cups
Chopped Coriander – 4 Tbsps
Mustard Seeds- 1/4 Tsp
Urad Dal – 1/2 Tsp
Channa Dal – 1 Tsp
Curry Leaves – 6 to 7
Dry Red Chillies – 2 – Broken
Roast the dal and rice seperately till the dal is very light brown and the rice becomes opaque without turning brown.
Grind together the rice and the dal using a spice grinder/coffee grinder or a blender to a fine rawa consistency.
Using a pressure pan/cooker to make the upma is a fast way. But you can use a normal saucepan too.
Heat oil in a saucepan/ pressure cooker and when it is hot, add the items listed under seasoning. Next add the green chillies and hing and fry for a couple of secs. Next add water, coconut, turmeric and salt. When the water comes to a boil, reduce heat and stir in the rice and dal rawa. Keep stirring to avoid lumps. If using a pressure cooker, cover and let it cook for 2 whistles. If using a saucepan, cover and cook on a low flame till the water is absorbed and the dal is cooked through.
Stir in chopped coriander and remove from heat.
Serve hot with peanut or coconut chutney.
Thank you all very much for your entries to AFAM-Dates. I will be posting the roundup around Dec 10th. Till then, do keep sending in your entries.
I owe you all an apology. Due to a very hectic work schedule, I have not been able to reply to any of your mails or visit any of your blogs. I have got all of your emails and I really appreciate it.
I will get back to all of you in a couple of days.
Looks like I am going to be late for my own event, as usual! 🙂
Please keep sending in your entries and help make this event a success! 🙂
I am not a fan of Diwali, thanks to the fire crackers. To be honest, I don’t remember enjoying fire crackers even as a kid. My mom, dad and sister fall into the same category too. Before you think we are some sort of outcasts in the world of festivals, let me clarify that we love the spirit of Diwali and celebrate it with light, like all others. Except that we light lamps, rather than the noisy and dangerous fire crackers.
As a kid, walking down the streets of Vellore to my school a couple of furlongs away, was a nightmare during Diwali. Kids and grownups alike start bursting crackers in the narrow streets thronging with people, blissfully aware and conscious of the dangers the passerbys face. This menace starts a week before Diwali and continues for a week after and has been the same for the past 20 years. One of my school friends got hurt by a ‘Lakshmi bomb’ during one of those walks. Even now, I pray for my mom and dad’s safety during the Diwali season even though travelling in a four wheeler provides shelter to some extent.
I know you might think that I am being paranoid, but imagine the consequences when these potent bombs are placed in the hands of innocent kids, who are not supervised by elders. Even the colorful rockets and the seemingly harmless sparklers are deadly. We have heard enough horror stories of burns and blisters and in some cases even worse.
I am not against fire crackers, but I believe that their use must be regulated. Fire crackers are beautiful, amusing inventions when they are set off in an open space, away from public harm.
Ok, let me stop my sermon. No one can deny that Diwali is fun. Our day starts early with a hot oil bath using shikakai, followed by crisp new clothes. Next comes the pooja session and the scrumptious food. The evening sees the flickers of small clay lamps, dancing to the light breeze. Ah, how so peaceful… That is if we stuff our ears with cotton. 🙂
To my DH, Diwali means ‘ Godhuma Halwa’ made by his grandma. I never got the recipe from her, but I made it my way and it turned out exactly the way she makes it. That was my DH’s verdict, though. 🙂
Wheat halwa is traditionally made by soaking wheat grains for 24 hours and grinding them to extract the wheat milk. The reason behind it is to use only the starch and not the gluten.
I found a shortcut using wheat flour instead of the whole grains. Read on to find out….
Wheat Flour / Atta / Godhumai Maavu – 1 Cup
Sugar (Domino Brand) – 3/4 Cup + 1 Tbsp
Ghee – 16 Tbsps
Water – 1/4 Cup
Lemon Juice – 2 Tbsps
Cardamom Seeds from 4 pods – Finely ground
A fistful of broken cashewnuts or pistachios
Using a little water, make a firm dough with the wheat flour. Place the dough in a deep vessel and add water so that the dough is just immersed. Keep it aside for 30 mins.
After 30 mins, start kneading the dough, taking care to keep it immersed in water. White, milky, starchy extract will start to ooze out from the dough and the insoluble gluten can be felt as thin strands. Discard the gluten. Knead the dough till all the gluten has been removed and filter the milky extract. Any left out gluten will settle in the filter.
To the milky extract, add about 1.5 cups of water and keep aside for 20 mins. Next, discard the top most 1/2 cup of the clear liquid, without disturbing the settled milk.
Take a thick bottomed sauce pan and add the sugar. To it, add 1/4 cup of the remaining clear liquid and heat on a low flame till a one string consistency syrup is formed. Switch off the heat at this point for a couple of minutes and slowly pour the milky extract into the syrup along with the lemon juice, stirring all the while.
Switch on the heat again on a mid flame and keep stirring till the mixture thickens. Start adding the ghee two tablespoons at a time, whenever the mixture sticks to the pan. Halwa is done when the ghee seperates out and the mixture comes together as a semi solid mass. Add the cardamom powder and the broken cashewnuts to the halwa and stir till well blended.
Serve as such or mold to the desired shape.
When using sugar, check the sweetness. I have found that different brands of sugar have different sweetness levels. Holly brand of sugar found in Costco is sweeter than the Domino brand.
This yummy halwa goes to JFI – Jihva Special Editon : The Festive Series hosted by gracious Vee of Past, Present and Me. and to Monthly Mingle – Traditional Feasts hosted by lovely Meeta of What’s For Lunch Honey?.
Thank you for accepting my late entry, Vee.
WISH YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES A VERY HAPPY DIWALI! Hope you have a wonderful, fun filled time!
AFAM (A Fruit A Month) is a wonderful event started by Maheswari of Beyond the Usual, to highlight fruits. Till now, AFAM has seen Banana, Orange, Pineapple, Apple, Watermelon, Peach, Lychee, Grapes and Strawberry. Needless to say, our wonderful blogger friends have brought out the best in all of them.
This month, I have chosen DATES! Back home in India, Dates are very common. But if you are wondering where to find it here, look no further than the dry fruit sections in your grocery stores. Popular brands like Dole and Sun Maid offer both pitted and chopped dates.
Though fresh date fruits are available in the markets seasonally, the dried version is more common. Fresh dates ferment very quickly, while dried dates have a longer shelf life.
So, roll up your sleeves and create wonders with dates!
The rules and guidelines are as follows:
1. Prepare a dish using fresh or dried Dates in any form.
2. Post the recipe in your blog from now till December 1st, 2007 and provide a link to this post. Non-bloggers can directly send me an email with the recipe and picture.
3. Send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your blog name, blog link, perma link of your post and the picture of the recipe. Please use ‘AFAM-Dates’ as the subject in your email.
Do not bother about resizing your pictures. Send them to me as is.
I am eagerly looking forward to all of your wonderful entries to make my first blog event a success!
About the fruit Peach, there is only one word which comes to my mind – luscious! Until now, I have not tried anything with peaches. From the farmer market’s, they go straight to our stomachs, after a quick wash. But for Mansi’s AFAM-Peach, I decided to make a tart. I found a very simple recipe in Food Network in Sandra Lee’s Semi Homemade Cooking section and I adapted it.
Here it is:
Recipe Source: FoodNetwork
Puff Pastry Sheet – 1
Canned Peach halves – 1 can
Sugar – 1 Tbsp
Butter – 2 Tbsps
Milk – A couple of drops
Apricot or Peach Jam – 2 Tbsps
Thaw the puff pastry sheet as per the directions given on the Puff Pastry package. For Pepperidge Farms brand, the pastry sheet has to be thawed for 40 minutes.
While the pastry sheet is thawing, drain the liquid off the canned peaches and thin slicely lengthwise. Keep aside.
After thawing the sheet, unfold and place it on an ungreased baking sheet. Fold the edges on all four sides for a rim. Prick holes inside the rim to prevent the puff pastry from puffing up. We want the rim to puff up and form a border.
Next, arrange the peach slices on the pastry sheet in a single layer. Sprinkle sugar all over the fruit and dot with butter. Brush the rim with a couple of drops of milk. Now the tart needs to be baked.
Preheat the oven to 400 degree Fahrenheit and bake for about 15 to 20 mins or until golden brown.
While the tart is baking, microwave 2 tbsps of apricot or peach jam for about 30 seconds and keep aside. After the tart is baked, remove from oven and while it is still hot, brush the melted jam all over the tart.
Let it cool and enjoy! 🙂 The tart is very light and airy and would go well with a hot cup of tea.
It has been quite a long time since I posted something new. It had been a very busy month, dotted with bouts of sickness. The cold weather which is slowly sneeking into this part of the world along with the flu virus, did give me quite a number of headaches. So, my expriments in the kitchen swayed from wild and wacky to bland and pure, in accordance to what my tastebuds craved. Wow, what a month it was! I feasted on plain steamed Basmati rice with steamed vegetables and loved the taste of it. The same could be said of pureed rice with buttermilk, and rice rawa porridge. Certainly bouts of sickness make me appreciate the taste and texture of food better.
Last week, on our grocery shopping I was shocked at the increase in rice prices. The rice variety in question being Sona Masoori. A little search threw me the news of ban on non-basmati rice varieties and also the news of the partial lift of the ban. News here: http://www.business-standard.com/common/storypage_c_online.php?leftnm=11&bKeyFlag=IN&autono=29218 Back to long grained rice in a short while, should I say?
On a sunny note, I found a particular brand of yogurt which gave me good homemade yogurt. I found Horizons Organic yogurt in Wegmans and I loved the texture and flavor of the yogurt I was able to make using it. Try it..You are sure to like it! 🙂
On a side note, Padma of Padma’s Kitchen sent me the Amish Friendship bread starter and I made a batch of bread. It turned out delicious. However I could not send the starter packages on time and hence have started the second batch. I will post on the Amish bread pretty soon.
Ok..enough of notes.. 🙂 Last week, for the first time, I made Aatukkal paaya which roughly translates to ‘Goat Leg Soup’. Back home, my dad gets smoked goat legs from our local ‘Baai’ and mom pressure cooks them in water laced with turmeric and salt and keeps them in the fridge overnight. Here, I made the Paaya the same day.
Onto the recipe now:
Aatu Kaal Soup – Paaya:
Plantains/ Aratikaya/ Vaazhaikai- 4
Urad Dal -1/2 Cup
Jeera – 1/8 Cup
Dry Red Chillies – 5
Garlic – 10 Flakes
Curry Leaves – About 10 big ones
Coriander – 1 bunch
Oil – 4 Tblsps
Next, roast channa dal, urad dal and jeera, one after the other, till light brown. Fry dry red chillies and garlic in a little oil. Grind all of of it together.
Heat oil in a pan and add curry leaves and coriander. Fry till they wilt. Add the ground powder and fry. But do not let it brown. Add the plantain rounds, reduce heat and stir gently to mix with the rest of the ingredients for about 5 mins. Remove from heat.
Serve with hot rice with drop of ghee or as a side dish.
Check out information about bananas here.