Tuesday, December 30, 2008
Sunday, December 21, 2008
Once an unexpected guest landed at home after a three hour journey, and was in a huge hurry to attend a meeting. It was an odd hour, and there wasn't any meal as such readily available. Since there was no time to soak or knead or cook or steam, I opted to prepare this pesarattu with some green gram sprouts I had in the fridge. I first greased the tava and put it on slow fire. By the time I ground the sprouts with spice and salt, the tava was hot enough to spread the batter. The hot and crisp pesarattu was served on the table by the time the athithi freshened up and got ready to go.
INGREDIENTS:Sprouted green gram dal – 2 cups
Green chillies – 2
Fresh ginger – 1’’ piece
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Finely chopped onion – 1
Finely chopped fresh coriander- 2 tbsps
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Cooking oil – 2 tbsps
1. Grind the sprouts with green chillies, ginger and salt into a batter. It need not be too smooth, and a slight coarse texture adds to the taste.
2. Mix in the asafoetida powder, chopped onion and coriander, and cumin seeds.
3. Grease the tava (pan) and heat it.
4. Pour one ladleful of the batter and spread it into a fairly thick circle.
5. Dribble oil all round and cook in moderate heat until crisp.
6. When it is cooked turn it on to the other side and cook for one more minute.
Serve this with pickle, chutney, sambar, curd or even tomato sauce!
Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Kitchen Treasure Hunt - Event Round Up Part 2
The day doesn’t begin without a shot of caffeine! Let’s look at what gadgets some of our bloggers use for their beverages. Anu Venkat and VnV share how to make the perfect filter coffee! Jayasree, Cham and Priya Suresh treasure their filters too. Uma uses an Italian Coffee Maker for her cuppa. Ivy shares her Briki used to make Greek Coffee. Purnima uses a nifty battery operated blender to whisk up delicious hot and cold beverages. Happy Cook opened up her very unusual coffee filter for this event. She was thinking about throwing away this treasure! We hope all of us convinced her otherwise!
Jai and Bee share their beautiful collection of coffee pots and creamers. Tetsubin tea pots from Japan, sake cups, a unique teapot made by their friend at a pottery class, and many more. Divya. M displays her very colourful set of designer teacups. You can find Shama shares tea cups, juice cups and soup bowls here.
Aparna shares several of her traditional treasures, all well preserved such as the brass dough press, urali ,kal chatti and mathu! Check out her appakaaral, where you can still see her grandfather’s initials inscribed! PJ has a lovely post and brings her kuzhi paniyaram pan made of soap stone, kal chetti, eeya chombu, mathu, and the traditional old brown and white porcelain pickle jars. She also shows us how to use a Kumutti or traditional stove. Thanks to her father for clicking all these treasures for the Hunt! You can see another Kumutti here, and porcelain pickle jars here. Jayasree shares her idiappam press, iyya chombu and uruli as well. Shama shares her Paniyaram pan and a variety of other gadgets at her blog. Read Chitra Amma’s explanation on eeya chombus here!
Who says only appams and paniyarams can be made in appakaarals? Take a look at Mamatha’s Japanese Takoyaki Nabe, which are actually used for … I know this is a veggy site …octopus dumplings! Happy Cook on the other hand cooks snails in garlic butter in this French Escargot!
Now for moulds, presses and squeezies of all kinds. Pallavi brings treasures from Telangana. Gavala Peeta and Kariyali Peeta help provide designs of sweets and savories. She also shares her Boondhi Jalli Ganta and Murukku Press. Priya Suresh also shares her grandmother’s idiappam press. Chitra Amma has a different kind of idiappam press. Divya M shares her muruuku press. Happy Cook brings for us a traditional Kerala Achappam or Rose Cookie Mould! Cham shares two types of murukku press – both old and new, a boondi tray, and idli trays of different dimensions!
Lakshmi grumbles about the thickness of her cast iron rotti pan! Check the thickness here! She still manages to turn out a mind boggling array of rottis if you’ve been following her blog! You can see few more cast iron rotti pans from Srirangam here.
Don’t we all have our favourite spices. How wonderful to have all of them in one large box, with tiny spoons as well! Check out Rajeswari's Aindu Arai Peti. Shama has a set too.
Here is a menacing looking koduval! One powerful blow is enough to crack a coconut! Jayasree also shares her chirava to scrape coconut. Here is Uma’s favourite mandolin and Cham’s coconut scrappers. Shama shows us this very different type of coconut knife. Her Aruvamanai looks very comfortable too, with a small built in bowl to hold cut veggys or coconut.
Our favourite Steamers have got to be the Cooker. Sangeeth shares her electric, as well as pressure cookers . ‘Ibu’ or ‘mother’ is the way Indonesian House Keepers are addressed, and Yosee says her Ibu would not manage without a this Dandang,! While many of us use the pressure cooker for rice idlis and rice. Divya M brings a steamer especially made for idlis, and a vessel she uses for boiling and draining rice - Vadicha Saadam Paanai. Here is Rajeswari's idli steamer. Navita shares a Dimsum Steamer plate she bought at Hong Kong.
You can find cake decoration equipments (and cakes!) as well as a doughnut maker, at Ramya's blog. Uma loves her steel, and her collection has traveled with her across three countries. Shama shares her collection of steel pots as well. Priya Suresh shares her husbands favourite beer mug, and a welcoming French Soupiere. She also shares a 'common-but-not-so-common-nowdays’ 3 rung steel Tiffin Carrier! Ivy shares a Tsestos from Cyprus, a colorful shallow cane basket to keep bread. Navita was in a dilemma on what to take and not, when she traveled to Hong Kong. She ensured she carried a Kolkata Sadsi, Chimti, Belan, Dal Ghotni , a Pressure Cooker, and not to forget her Chalni! She uses her Chalni for purposes other than sieving and you can read her post for details! A chalni is called a saladai in tamil. Take a look at Shama's saladai. Ramya has a whole lot of kitchen gadgets that her kitchen came equipped with, and we don’t know the uses for many! She had made a slide show of all of them. Drop by her blog, and let her if you know what is for what!
This brings us to an end of the round up, and many hours of interesting blog hopping! This event served another purpose for us as well! It opened our eyes to the world hunger problem. Ivy and two others bloggers have begun an online community of Food Bloggers, to spread awareness about hunger and make a difference by some positive action. When you visit her post for Treasure Hunt, you will find the community. While we have participated in school fund raisers and so at some point in time, it was for the first time that we actually did some reading up of facts on world hunger. We felt really bad that India contributes to 50 % of the problem! Well, irrespective statistics, hunger and starvation at any place is appalling. Do join the BloggerAid community and participate. Play the 'Free Rice' game (see left had column of this blog) as often as possible. Contribute food when scouts and guides come to your place for the cause. Next time you celebrate at home, just make some more food and take them to the needy in your neighbourhood. We Foodies love our food. We can appreciate what it is to be deprived of even one meal. We can collectively make a difference!
Thursday, December 11, 2008
It has been an amazing time reading all the posts, and we did indeed discover so many treasures, not only from India, but also Indonesia, Japan, France, Cyprus, China. We have few antiques, traditional utensils, unusual one of pieces, as well as a few modern gadgets as well.
This is also the first time we can fully appreciate the efforts by fellow bloggers, who host events and do lovely round ups! We had a number of photos from the non-bloggers, and didn't want to leave out any. We found that doing one mega round up with with the capabilities of Blogger daunting. We therefore, decided to do two posts. This round up consists of entries from Non Bloggers. Part 2, will have the entries from bloggers.
Let us first take a look at entries from Shivashankari and Guhan. This young Bangalore based IT couple, do a lot of globe trotting, with gigantic cameras and photography gear slung around their necks! You can see some of their marvelous photos of a recent trip to Cambodia at my links. The treasures below including the ‘Guess What?’ were sent in from Shankari’s parents home in Chennai.
This is a quaint looking ‘aruvamane’ or vegetable cutter. It is held steady, by placing a knee on the wooden board. Vegetables are then held with both hands, and slit against the sharp vertical edge. The serrated tip is used to grate coconut. This arvamane has decorative etching at the base.
Tenkuzhal is dough that is squeezed into ribbons and deep fried to make a crunchy savoury snack. This one a is 'tenkuzhal nazhi'.
This on the other hand is a 'sevai nazhi' or a 'string hopper press'. Its a difficult task pressing strings through these perforations! You can see another type here.
The second non-blogger entry is from Malini and Savithri. They are from a joint family in Mysore, have a sprawling garden, and usually grow their own vegetables and fruits. They still use many of the traditional equipment in their daily lives. Those which are no longer used, have been creatively utilized in landscaping and interior design as you can see below!
Tool to remove the husk from the Coconut
Removing the husk from a coconut is not an easy task as can be seen here. Savithri’s husband is an engineer who designs and fabricates innovative machines and tools. He has fashioned this tool so that the coconuts from the garden can be dehusked easily by anybody. The coconut is impaled on the tip and held firm, while the lever is turned to separate the thick fibre. It is one of a kind, and that's why it does not have a name! Doesn't the first photo look like a robot straight out of Star Wars ?
This is a very old traditional coffee bean grinder. It needs to be clamped to a surface and then used. Roasted coffee beans are freshly ground, after which the powered is used to make filter coffee decoction. More on coffee filters in part 2.
This simple equipment is a called an 'aduppu' or 'choolha', and can be used to light a fire for cooking.
'Ammi kal' and kuzhavi, 'beesora kallu' and are used for grinding, powdering and so on, and are now used so innovatively to adorn their garden! Take a look at the pictures of the ones that are still in use at these links.
Ammi Kal and Kuzhavi – used for grinding chutneys
Water Trough, and an Iron Bandli
In the days, when water was drawn manually from the well, this large trough was used to store water to wash vessels. This has now become a safe sanctuary for seedlings, before they are big enough to be transferred to the ground or to pots.
The largest vessel is called 'Gangalam', again used for large scale cooking. The one inside is a 'Kodam' used to store water, the one behind the Buddha an old 'Ola Koodai' or a straw basket.
Aluminum Water Jug
This old Aluminum water jug, has been painted over and converted into a nice pot holder. Yelli Koondu
This is definitely not a cooking gadget, but a real friend in ancient kitchens, and hence it is in here! As many of you know, this is a old rat trap. This one is closed, but rest assured no rat inside! A 'Yelli Koondu' was a must in the 'ugrana ul' or storage room, where sacks of rice, lentils and all provisions were stored, and an easy target for mice and rats!
That's all for Kitchen Treasure Hunt - Part 1 folks! Hope you have enjoyed browsing this post, as much as we enjoyed posting it! Look out for Kitchen Treasure Hunt Round Up – Part 2 for all the treasures from bloggers!