Friday, January 17, 2014

Green - The most refreshing colour

The new year saw me going out to Russel Market to buy different seeds - spinach, carrot, onions, peas so on. I also had seeds of double beans and green chilli that I had saved at home. I was very skeptical yet excited about the whole thing. With complete gusto, mom and I prepared the soil by mixing red sand and vermi-compost that I had procured from a local nursery. We set up different pots and sowed the seeds.

I remember thinking that this was going to fail very badly. And I couldn't help looking into the pot every few hours!! Then, I shook myself up mentally and told myself that if none of the seeds had sprouted in two weeks, I would consider myself unlucky!! Today, I feel lucky to know that I am indeed blessed with green fingers. 

All the seeds, with the exception of brinjal have sprouted. What makes me most happy is the fact that the chilli seeds I saved at home have sprouted as well. 
I watched a video about growing mint from market-bought mint sprigs. I placed one sprig of mint in a glass jar containing water. I changed the water every two days for a week and then I completely forgot about it. When I looked at the jar the day before yesterday, I noticed that sprig had developed numerous roots. I have now transplanted it into a pot. 

From this experience, I can vouch that no colour can be more refreshing than the delicate green colour of new shoots emerging against a brown background!!!

Picture taken on 2nd Jan, 2014

Picture taken on 17th Jan, 2014

Friday, January 3, 2014

Vegetable Upma

"Amma, the upma is very yummy...I'm wondering who made it"...This is the statement that Surya made while eating upma last evening. What better praise than the one received from my little boy!!

As a south Indian, I've detested rava upma for as long as I remember. Well, there are exceptions to everything in this world. Vegetable rava upma is one of those exceptions. Hot and spicy, served with coconut chutney, it is a dish that I have seen being served as a breakfast or snack option during weddings and other functions. Yet, extremely easy and quick to make - no wonder it is a staple dish cooked by most south Indians!!

Finely chopped veggies of your choice - 1 cup
Finely slit onions - 3 tbsp
Chopped tomatoes - 3 tbsp
Rava roasted in a teaspoon of ghee - 2 cups
Water for boiling - 2 to 3 cups

For seasoning:
Urad dal, mustard seeds, channa dal - A tsp each
Oil as required

To grind without water:
One tomato
Green chillies as per taste
Ginger - a generous piece
Coriander leaves
Curry leaves

  • Heat oil in a kadai and temper the ingredients listed under 'Seasoning'
  • Add the onions and saute until it becomes translucent
  • Add the chopped tomato and ground paste and fry for a few minutes
  • Toss in the veggies and keep it covered for a few minutes
  • Then add salt and turmeric powder
  • Add water. (Adjust amount of water as per consistency of upma required)
  • Allow the water to boil.
  • Then add the roasted rava while continuously stirring the water. Else lumps will be formed.
  • Keep the vessel covered with a plate. 
  • Finally, add a tbsp of ghee and mix well. Serve with coconut chutney.