March 17, 2011

For Japan With Love ~ Bloggers Day of Silence March 18, 2011

Oh Great God, You alone can ease
The pounding of their troubled hearts
Only with You they are at peace
For You make all their fears depart

Comfort them with your blazing love
And pacify the worried souls
Your grace of love from up above
Is healing love that makes them whole

Cast away all their doubts and fears
And lift their downcast spirits Lord
Please let their hearts be brought to cheer
By your comforting love and Word

Their bodies and minds may be frail
But your healing love keeps them strong
Your love will never ever fail
So to them, nothing will go wrong

~ Author Unknown

For Japan With Love

What happened in Japan because of the deadly earthquake and tsunami is heart-wrenching. and now with the threat of a nuclear meltdown, things are getting worse. 

 In response to the ongoing devastation, Utterly Engaged and Ever Ours have teamed up to collect funds for emergency shelter and lifesaving supplies via Shelterbox. They have also initiated a Bloggers Day of Silence for Friday March 18, 2011 to raise awareness and respect for the people of Japan. All my heart goes to Japan and Every little help matters and every dollar counts. Let us all together try to make a difference and help the nation known for beautiful cherry blossoms rebuild itself and get to normalcy again.

More details about how you can donate - Click here and if you are a blogger who wish to participate in this effort to raise awareness about this cause, details are here.

until next time,

March 13, 2011

My Top 5 Reasons to Love Eggs and {Recipe} Spicy Egg Masala

“It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.”

~ C.S. Lewis, British scholar, novelist (1898 - 1963)

The above quote is talking of Life being an egg but this post is all about the *real eggs*. Most of my buddies already know my love for eggs. In fact, they know me so well, every time they make an omelet, they think of me. Ask her, if you think I am exaggerating. :-).

Born in a Brahmin family, eggs were totally forbidden in my household. that was story when I was until 3 or 4 years old. When I was little, once (as my mommy says) I had a very high fever and with a bad immune system, that is when our family doctor recommended eggs to my diet. Since, then I am just hooked.

Below are my top 5 reasons for my never-ending-love towards "EGGS" -

Note: The eggs I use are always organic free-range eggs with no hormones or antibiotics.

Reason No. 1 - Eggs are versatile and quick to cook (read as lazy). - from a simple Denver omelet to Egg puffs to delectable Nargisi Kofte , they are the best. Period.

Reason No. 2 - Eggs are one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring Vitamin D. Yes, that is true and they are a good source of healthy fat. One egg has 13 essential vitamins and minerals in varying amounts and they only have 70 calories.

Reason No. 3 - Busting the popular myth, the Harvard School of Public Health research proves that there is no significant link between eggs and heart disease. Moreover, Robert Nicolosi, Ph.D., one of the study’s authors and director of the Center for Health & Disease Prevention at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell says - "Our data show that eating an egg a day isn’t a factor for raising cholesterol".

Reason No. 4 - Eggs are available all year round and are economical. For almost just 10-15 cents each, they are easy to get from any marketplace.

Reason No. 5 - Everyday breakfast with eggs promotes weight loss and they protect our eyesight (according to 2 new studies published in the Journal of Nutrition) without increasing cholesterol.

Do you need any more reasons for including this extremely nutritious and yummy food in your daily meal plans. Start with today's recipe,  - "Spicy Egg Masala".

Spicy Egg Masala

Remember my TOG formula. The base for this recipe uses that except for garlic, I have used ginger instead and ofcourse with other ingredients like milk, little tamarind etc. This is so versatile & popular in our house that it can be accompanied with almost anything - roti, chapati, plain rice, jeera rice or any biryani.

Source: My Dhaba

Ingredients -

4 boiled eggs, shelled 
1 medium onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
2-3 green chillies, finely chopped
1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger
2 tbsp of gram flour/chickpea flour/besan
1 tsp of ghee + 1 tsp of canola oil
1/2 tsp tamarind pulp
1/2 cup of milk
salt to taste
1 cup warm water
dry spices - 1/4 tsp of turmeric, 1/2 tsp of garam masala and 1 tsp of each: red chilli powder, coriander-cumin powder

Preparation -

1. Blend onion, green chilli,ginger and tamarind with little water into a thick paste.

2. Heat ghee and oil mix in a pan and add the onion paste and saute it till golden brown on medium heat. This will take a little while, around 5-6 mins, so be a little patient. :-)

3. Add the gram flour and saute for a minute. Then add all the dry spices and saute again for another minute. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of water.

4. Add the tomatoes and saute until the oil separates from the tomatoes.

5. Add the milk, 1/2 cup of warm water and cook over low heat for 7-8 minutes or until the sauce reaches the required thick consistency.

Note: Heat 1/4 tsp of oil in a separate pan and drop the boiled eggs for a golden brownish char on them. this is totally optional.

6. Add eggs, cook for 2 more minutes. Serve with any plain rice, biryani or roti.

So, what are your top reasons to love eggs?

On a different note, have you checked out my photo blog yet? It is my humble attempt to capture the year 2011 by posting a-photo-a-day!

Ending the post with an ad for National Egg Coordination Committee (NECC), India

until next time,

March 7, 2011

WWC - Brown Rice for Dinner Roundup

Last month - a challenge was thrown at all of you to cook with brown rice and you all DID IT. :-). Every conceivable dish that is usually done with *white rice* - from our beloved dosas to idlis to adais to pulihoras is a part of this roundup - ofcourse made with brown rice.

A Big Thank You to one & all who participated in this event and to dear Sanjeeta for giving me this opportunity to guest host WWC for the month of February.

Below are all the entries I received listed in no particular order. I have tried my best to include them all but if in any case I missed an entry, please leave a comment, I will add it right away. :-)

1. For me, Adais are great as they are an instant version of our regular dosa and doesn't require any fermentation. Priya of "Priya's Eash N Tasty Recipes" sent us a yummy Tomato,Wheat Rava & Brown Rice Adai.  (Follow her blog on FB here)

2. Next up is Mythreyi of "Yum! Yum! Yum!" and her Black Bean Brown Rice patties. All I need is - two burger buns, some lettuce and mayo for a perfect burger made :-) (Follow her on FB here)

3. I think there is nothing to beat a bowl of warm oven-roasted veggies with Indian flavored rice. Isn't it? Viji of "A Foodie N Her Cooking Hat" has exactly the same planned for us. (Follow her blog here)

4. Idli is one another South Indian quintessential breakfast and here Priya of "Priya's Eash N Tasty Recipes" made it with brown rice. :-) (Follow her blog on FB here)

5. Stuff the dosa with a potato masala and there you have a delicious Masala Dosa. Priya of "Priya's Eash N Tasty Recipes" sent us the recipe for that.  (Follow her blog on FB here)

6. Paella is one other very famous Spanish dish made usually with rice and vegetables and/or meat. Here Sanjeeta of "Lite Bite" re-created the delicious dish with Brown rice that too baked. (Like her FB page here)

7. Thanks to her new pantry cleanup project, my best blogging pal DK of Chef In You, finally took out the  bag of brown rice lurking around the corner of her kitchen cabinet and look what she has made for all of us. - Indian Brown Rice Pudding. Yummilicious. (Like her blog on FB here)

8. Pooris equals to sheer indulgence. Don't you all agree? How about making it a healthy indulgence by making Sanjeeta's Spicy Brown Rice Pooris. Yeh! [Like her FB page here]

9. Yogurt rice made with Brown rice sent by Richa of "Ambrosia".

10. Just looking at Pratibha's (of The Chef and Her Kitchen) crispy dosas makes me drool and when served with the colorful tomato chutney - it becomes a perfect breakfast that can be served on any day of the week. (Follow her blog on FB here)

11. Brown Rice and WaterMelon rind Dosa - yes, you read it right. Nivi of "Nivedita's Kitchen" gave a nice twist of water melon rind to the brown rice dosa. yum! (Follow her blog on FB here)

12. Brown Rice Paddu (Gundpanglu) - is Nivi's second entry. Like she says - these are called Unniyappam in Malayalam, Paniyaram in Tamil, Ponganalu in Telugu. (Follow her blog here)

13. I will be forever indebted to Alton Brown, for his fool proof recipe of - "Perfectly Baked Brown Rice". Until then, I will be honest, I didn't know how to *properly* cook a cup of brown rice. This recipe works like a cham for any wholegrain. I have followed the same instructions for barley, wild rice or a combination of all. A big thank you to Alton Brown. :-)  (Like me on FB here)

14. Who doesn't like a piping hot bowl of bisibelebath served with papads or pickle. Here I made our age-old-favorite using brown rice and believe me, it tastes almost the same and delicious too.   (Like me on FB here)

15. It takes only  4 simple steps to make this Brown rice and 16 bean adai and there you have an incredibly delicious and nutritious breakfast for you & your family. Yes, Yes, now you can thank me for solving your "What to eat for breakfast?" *wink*. (Like me on FB here)

16. If we are talking about dishes made with *rice*, then we have to talk about a flavorful fried-rice with lots of veggies and spices and ofcourse brown rice sent by Meena of "Chettinad Fiesta".

17. Next entry is from Veena of "Tastefully Veggie" - adding the goodness of vegetables into a brown rice dosa :-)

18. Usha of "My Spicy Kitchen" expresses her affinity towards her new found love in vangibath powder and she used the same to make this decadent "Flavored Brown Rice".

19. Every south indian would make a dosa almost every week. Our grandmoms and moms have made this for ages with the same urad dal and white rice ratio. Now, Vidya of "Vegetarian Recipes from India and Around the World" gave it a healthy twist using brown rice here.

20. In India it is a tradition that we celebrate any cheerful occasion with a bowl of kheer. Here Smitha of "Smitha's Spicy Flavors" tried to re-create the dish (which is usually made with white rice) with brown rice. I am sure the next time you want to make some kheer, you would give this a try.  (Follow her blog here

21. A second delicious entry from Smitha of "Smitha's Spicy Flavors". - a khichdi with brown rice. Wanna grab the bowl and eat all by myself - by just looking at the picture with that pickle on the top. :-)

22. Denny of "Oh Taste N See" (how aptly named) takes this brown rice challenge a step further and makes this Multigrain Oothappam with brown rice, quinoa and bulgur wheat. (Follow her on FB here)

23. Denny's second entry is - crispy, crunchy, perfectly browned brown rice dosas. (Follow her on FB here)

24. Giving our usual khichdi a nice twist with greens like Palak along with the brown rice. What else can you ask for. It in itself is a filling one-pot meal sent by Richa of "Ambrosia".

25. I am sure there is somebody out there who still dislikes brown rice (even after going through 24 delicious entries above). For such ones, Satya of "My Innovative Kitchen" has an idea. Check out her post on Brown Rice Rava Pulihora to know what I am talking about.

26. As we started our roundup with an adai, lets end with one. Shall we.. this time it is from Divya of "Dil Se" and her delicious Brown Rice Adai.  (Like her blog on FB here)

Some of the other roundups previously posted here on my blog -

My Legume Love Affair - Part 1 and Part 2
One stop shop for all Srilankan Recipes
RFRU: Dinner
Herb Mania: Coriander/Cilantro

For the complete list - please click here.

until next time,
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