Archive for category My Hobbies

Brushing/Combing hairs in evening

My mom always scolds me whenever I comb my hairs after sunset. The reason that she would say is “Lakshmi (God) will not come home if you comb after sunset”. Traditionally, we lit the lamp in pooja room and keep the main door open so that Lakshmi (God) would come to our home and bless with health & wealth.

But today, nobody would keep the doors open in evening. It’s not becoz they don’t want Lakshmi to come home.. but becoz of the mosquitoes. We shut all windows and doors once sun sets.

Ok. now what could be the technical reason behind my mom’s scoldings. My theory is below

In olden days, we did not have electricity. The oil lamps could not make the entire home bright. We couldn’t use many oil lamps too. There would be max 1 per room or 1 per house used (depending upon their economic situation). Therefore, if you would comb your hairs in evening, you cannot collect all the fallen hairs from ground and they can fly and also get into the food we eat (Remember we sit & eat on the floor those days and not in dining table).

I also say my theory to my mom whenever she scolds me. But she would just say that I am talking like my dad.

Why should women wear kolusu (anklets)?

What do you think?

I don’t know where & how this tradition started. Googling says it was very popular in Egypt and of course India. I read in some articles that in olden days, Indian men also used to wear anklets but without any sound. This was a sign that they are married. But some sites say that it is also a sign for married women. But many photos and movies portraying olden days show that women wear anklets almost from their birth. This is an ornament for the bottom of your body. Significantly, women wear a ring in their toes after marriage. This is a symbol that they are married.

When I was a child, somebody told me a different story why women wear anklets that makes noise. Women are well-known to spread rumors. They cannot keep a secret. Therefore, men would use it as a signal to know if a women is walking nearby and they would stop discussing any secrets. Well.. that sounds really acceptable for me.

Whatever be the reason, I like wearing it. My daughter also wears it since birth. She has already started liking it very much. Everybody who see her with anklets say that it looks very nice and she is very proud of it. 🙂

 

Why should you know about Indian Traditional Food and Practices?

Since my childhood, I have seen my mom, grand moms doing home remedies for common problems such as fever, cough, cold, stomach pain, head pain etc. My mom also insisted on following some traditional practices.

Nowadays I don’t do it. But I still keep thinking about this. Why should we do it? Could there be a scientific reason behind it? My dad does not believe in God. But he tells me that what we see in temple is a stone and not god. This is of course true. But the questions is why do we have so many huge temples all over the state then? Could there be any other reason why our Raja’s and Maharaja’s built these?

This category is to discuss all these. I would like to post my thoughts, views, assumptions about our practices. I was inspired by “7am arivu” and the recent “kalakalapu @ Masala Cafe” to start this category. I will first post all that I know and then will collect info from elderly people and post it here.

This is for everyone to know and to benefit (or may also follow some) from our traditional methods.

How to activate child lock in Ford Fiesta?

Yesterday, when I was driving to swimming class with my daughter, she suddenly opened the back door (She was sitting behind in her kindersitz). Actually, I forgot to tell her what she is not allowed to touch. As she is very playful and curious about anything new she sees.. she opened the door. Luckily, she couldn’t open it wide and I was searching for a parking place at that time.. so my speed was <10 km/h. But I was at shock when I heard the beeping sound informing me that back door is open.

After dropping her at swimming class, I started researching how to activate child lock. After looking at few yahoo answers, I went to my car & did it finally. I did not find any picture in internet for help. So I am posting my image here.. Here is how it goes.

Ford Fiesta Child Lock

Ford Fiesta Child Lock

Child locking facility is available only in back doors. Look at the above image. This is the right-side back door. Just turn the white color knob using your car key in the direction specified in child lock picture. That’s it. Now child lock is activated in back door. This door can only be opened from outside and not from inside.

Tags: ,

Gemeinsam Frühstuck (Common Breakfast Together) at Kita

Now that she is in bigger group (since April 2011), the common breakfast method on Thursdays has changed. In the bigger group (Bärengruppe – Bear Group), 1 parent will bring the complete breakfast items for all children. There are 18 children in the group. So approx, our turn will come every 18 weeks. Though it is not mandatory that the parents do it, it gives lot of fun & happiness to prepare food for small little children :). And yes, today is our turn to do it & it’s the first time we are doing it in bear group.

The specialty here is that the parent will prepare & bring the traditional breakfast of their home country. So, I prepared the traditional Indian break fast – “Dosa with coconut chutneys” & additionally egg omelette & German breakfast items. I am sure, my daughter will teach all the children how to eat dosa with chutney & she likes dosa very much too.

Dosa is full of carbohydrates & no fat. This might be the heavy breakfast they would have ever had in the kita 🙂

Here is today’s gemeinsam frühstuck menu.
Indian Items
1. Plain Dosa – 19 nos.
2. White – Coconut chutney – I added just 1 chilli
3. Green – Coconut-Coriander chutney – 1 chilli again
4. Egg Omelette – 18 nos.

Kita Indian Breakfast Items

Kita Indian Breakfast Items

German Items
5. Jam (Hazelnut spread) – This is an alternative to chutney if the kids don’t like it.
6. Nutella (Hazelnut spread) – This is an alternative to chutney if the kids don’t like it.
7. 15 Brötchen
8. 6 Croissants
9. 2 Kuchen
10. Sandwich Käse – 3 packs (about 30 slices)
11. Bärchenwurst – 2 packs
12. Salami – 2 packs
13. Wurst (sausages) – 2 packs
14. Paprika – red, green, yellow – 1 each
15. Cucumber – 1
16. Frischkäse – 2 packs
17. Butter
Snacks for evening
18. Apples – 6
19. Banana – 6
20. Grapes – 500 gms
21. Strawberries – 500 gms
22. Liebniz kekse – normal one (without chocolate) – Kita always prefers biscuits without creme or chocolate)
23. Salzstangen – 2 packs
24. Sesamestangen – 1 pack
25. Pretzel – 1 pack

 

Response from Teachers: The children liked egg omellete & chutneys very much. They ate 10 dosa’s (out of 18) & all omelletes. They had eaten chutney with omellete. Only my daughter took chutney with just dosa. All german food items were over too. 🙂

Coriander-Mint Chutney

Mint lives gives a lot of good benefits to our body. Tender mint leaves can be eaten raw too. Mint water (mint leaves soaked in drinking water) is given in south indian temples & is also used at home. In olden south indian homes, you can find a small mint plant behind the house. Ladies worship this mint plant also like god. You come around the mint plant every day in the morning as part of prayer to god. Coming around the plant makes you to breath these mint smell.. and thus it freshnes the body. Though it is a custom that people follow, they have some health meaning behind.

Now that we have changed to apartments and modern living, the health benefits received by following customs as defined by our ancestors is almost lost. Alternatively, we can cook such good ingredients at home & eat it atleast once in a week to keep our body naturally healthy.

My mom cooks this coriander-mint chutney & mint chutney(separtely sometimes) at home. Only-mint chutney though healthier, is not very tasty. But with coriander the taste is completely different & even kids would like it. I love both of these chutneys from my mom. We take it with dosa, idli or even rice sometimes. I prepare coriander-mint chutney atleast once in a month. My husband & chellama like this coriander-mint chutney very much. Here is the recipe for everyone to enjoy.

Ingredients:

1. Coriander Leaves Fresh – wash it & cut it a little.

2. Mint Leaves Fresh – wash it & take only the leaves & cut it

3. Red Chillies / Green Chillies – quantity as per the spicyness required

4. Tamarind – a little.

5. Curry Leaves – a little or more. This also has health benefits.

6. Mustard Seeds

7. A Tablespoon of oil to fry

Mint leaves

Mint leaves

Coriander Leaves

Coriander Leaves

Cooking Procedure:

1. Heat the pan in medium heat. Add a tablespoon of oil. Once the oil is heated, add mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add curry leaves & red chillies.

Coriander-Mint Chutney Step 1

Step1

2. Add tamarind – a small pinch. I use tamarind paste 1/2 spoon or less.

Coriander-Mint Chutney Step 2

Step2

3. Add coriander leaves & mint leaves and mix it well in mixture.

Coriander-Mint Chutney State1

Curry leaves & chillies are fried well

Coriander-Mint Chutney Step 3

Add cut coriander leaves and fry it

Coriander leaves are mixed well

Coriander leaves have mixed well

4. Once the mixture smoothens, remove from heat & allow it to cool.

Coriander-Mint Chutney Step 4

Add mint leaves and mix it well.

5. Before you grind it in mixie, add required amount of salt & little bit of water. Add water as you grind based on the thickness you require.

Coriander-Mint Chutney Step 5

Allow the fried mixture to cool and then grind it into a smooth paste

Coriander-Mint Chutney Ready

Coriander-Mint Chutney Ready to serve

6. The grinded mixture can be refrigerated and used for upto 5 days.

Note: If you don’t wish the freshness to be lost, then don’t fry it long. Just until it smoothens. (a few minutes)

 

Vegetable Samosa

Samosa is the most common south indian snack. Almost available in every snack corner, it can fill up the stomach much faster than anything else. In India, when I return from office to home, I always buy a few samosa’s made fresh everyday afternoon in a snack corner close to my home. Even now, whenever I visit India, I make sure I taste samosa’s before I return back to Germany. Eating nice tasty food is also a reason for me to visit India 🙂

Now let me tell you how to make samosa.

Ingredients

For Pastry

All purpose flour – 1 cup

Salt to taste

1 tablespoon of oil

1 tablespoon of semolina (to give a crispy taste)

For Samosa Filling

Filling can be done in any way with any ingredient. The spices should be used as mentioned here to give authentic samosa taste & smell

1.Boiled Potatoes – this is the main ingredient.

Boiled Potatos

Boiled Potatos

Cut Boiled Potatos

Cut Boiled Potatos

2. Carrots, Beans, Peas – any or all. I have used carrots & peas

Cut Fresh Carrots

Cut Fresh Carrots

3. Onions – optional. I have used it though.

Vegetable Samosa - Onion, Chillies & curry leaves

Vegetable Samosa - Onion, Chillies & curry leaves

4. Green chillies – according to spicyness. Remember, we will also use red-chilli powder. So decide upon your need. Also, cut it into very tiny pieces, so that the eater will not feel the chilli.

5. Curry leaves – cut into pieces

6. Coriander leaves – for garnishing

7. Red-chilli powder – 1 spoon, Coriander powder – 2 spoons

8. Garam masala powder

9. Amchur powder – optional

10. Mustard Seeds, Oil to fry, Turmeric powder – a pinch

Cooking Procedure

For Samosa Cone

Mix all-purpose flour, salt, oil, semoline well & make a soft dough out of it. Keep it aside for a few mins before starting to make the cone.

Cone can be made in several ways. It can folded like a triange or multi-folded like zig-zag. I use the easy way. You can refer to http://www.indiacurry.com/appetizers/a004samofilling.htm for some method explanation.

I roll the dough in a round form. Cut it into 2 pieces. Turn a piece into a triangle. Stick the sides using water & fill it & close the top with water again.

Samosa Pastry - Step 1

Samosa Pastry - Step 1

Samosa Pastry - Step 2

Samosa Pastry - Step 2

Samosa Cone

Samosa Cone

For Samosa Filling

1. Heat oil in a pan. Decide the pan size based on your ingredients. Once the pan is heated, add oil & let mustard seeds splutter

2. Now add onions, green chillies & cut curry leaves. Keep stirring the onion and allow it to smoothen a bit.

3. Add fresh finely cut carrots. My carrots are fresh. so it would take longer time to cook. That’s why I added this first.

Vegetable Samosa Carrots frying

Vegetable Samosa Carrots frying

4. After the carrot smoothens, add peas. I used frozen peas. It does not require long cooking time.

Vegetable Samosa Peas & Carrots fried

Vegetable Samosa Peas & Carrots fried

5. After 2-3 minutes, add cut boiled potatos.

Vegetable Samosa filling is ready

Vegetable Samosa filling is ready

6. Add little water now & then so that the mixture is not burned. And keep the heat in medium

7. After mixing all the vegetables, add the spices now. First add turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and amchur powder.

8. Add salt to taste

9. After the raw smell from chilli powder & coriander powder is gone, you can do the final steps.

10. Add garam masala powder & mix it in the mixture well. Then garnish it with coriander leaves. Remove it from heat.

Vegetable Samosa - Final garnishing with coriander

Vegetable Samosa - Final garnishing with coriander

Making Samosa

Heat oil to fry in a large pan in medium heat. Once the oil is heated, fry the samosa’s. Serve it hot with chutney or ketchup.

Add the filling to samosa cone

Add the filling to samosa cone

Add the filling to samosa cone

Add the filling to samosa cone

Filled Samosa Cone

Filled Samosa Cone

Samosa is ready to be fried in oil

Samosa is ready to be fried in oil

Ilango Birthday Party snacks

Ilango Birthday Party snacks

Vegetable Kurma (South-indian style)

Now I am ready for the 2nd recipe. It’s Vegetable Kurma. This is done in traditional south-indian style. You will see that coconut is being used here. Coconut is used mainly in kerala dishes. They use lot of coconut. Other south-indians also use coconut but not very much. Coconut can reduce spiciness in your dish and can also make the gravy thick. Coconut oil is also used in specific south-indian recipes & it gives a very special taste.

Let’s go to the recipe now. Here are the ingredients.

To make ground paste:

1. Fennel Seeds, Cumin seeds – 2 spoons each

2. Poppy Seeds – 2 spoons

3. Cloves, Cinnamon sticks – few

4. Turmeric powder – little

5. Chillies – few

6. Coriander – 2 times chillis

7. Whole Black Pepper – few (this will make your dish spicy. Know the no. of chillies you will add before you decide for pepper quantity)

8. Grated coconut – 1 small cup

9. 1 Big Onion – cut into small pieces

Ingredients for making kurma

1. 1 small onion – cut into thin straight pieces

2. vegetables of your choice – cut into small equal sized pieces (I used potatos, carrots, peas & beans. You can also add cauliflower pieces)

3. Chilli powder, Coriander powder – coriander powder is always two times of chilli powder

4. Garam Masala Powder

5. 2 Big tomatos – cut into small pieces

6. Ginger-Garlic paste – 1 tablespoon

7. Fennel seeds, cumin seeds to use at start (very little)

8. Coconut milk – 1 1/2 cups

Procedure for ground paste

1. Heat little oil in pan.

2. When ready, add cloves, cinnamon sticks.

3. Then add poppy seeds, fennel seeds, cumin seeds, pepper seeds, turmeric powder & stir it once.

4. Now add chillies, coriander & stir it for 1 minute

5. Finally add grated coconut, stir it once & remove it from heat.

All the mixture to cool & finally grind it into a smooth paste.

Kurma Procedure

1. Heat oil in pan & when oil is heated, add little fennel seeds & cumin seeds.

2. Now add onions & stir it once. Then add tomatoes & allow it to get cooked & become smooth.

3. Add ginger-garlic paste & then add all vegetables. Mix the vegetables well in this mixture. Add required salt to it.

4. Now add 1 small cup of water & allow vegetables to cook for few mins (may be 5 mins)

5. Now you can add the ground paste. Allow it to cook for another five minutes. Make sure that the gravy is not very thick. You can add little bit water if required.

6. Add chilli powder & coriander powder. Pls remember that we have already added chillies & coriander in ground paste. If you don’t want it to be spicy, then you don’t have to add chilli powder & coriander powder.

7. Add Coconut milk finally & allow it to cook well. After every 5-10 mins, check if the vegetables have been cooked. Normally beans & peas cook very fast. Potatos & Carrots take little longer time. So if your carrot & potatos are cooked, then you are ready to do finally step.

8. Final step is to remove it from fire & garnish it with coriander leaves. Now it is ready to serve.

Pictures

grated coconut

grated coconut

ginger-garlic paste

Ingredients for kurma ground paste

Ingredients for kurma ground paste

Grated Coconut and Poppy Seeds

Grated Coconut and Poppy Seeds

garnished Vegetable Kurma

garnished Vegetable Kurma

You can eat kurma with naan, chappati or plain rice. It suits with any main dish.

Guten Appetit.

Chicken Biriyani

Biriyani is the most popular indian recipe that you can find in any indian restaurant all over the world. My husband celebrates his birthday today & I made a few indian varieties for all his colleagues at office. Chicken Biriyani is one of them. I know two different methods of making biriyani. I learned them from my mom & my mother-in-law. My mother-in-law learned it from a Muslim family & so her method is the perfect & default style for this recipe. If you use it with the right portion & follow the right procedure, you will end up with a yummy & very attractive biriyani. My mom does it with south-indian style (using thick coconut milk). This will not be spicy & this is not like restaurant biriyani.

What I am going to give you now is my mother-in-law style. Below are it’s ingredients:

Chicken – 1 Kg – cut into pieces
Onions – 2 (sliced straight & very thin)
Ginger-Garlic paste – few pieces (the paste should be about 2 tablespoons)
Pudina(Mint) leaves – cut into small pieces
Tomatoes – 4 big – cut into small pieces
Green chillies – 4 cut into straight pieces
Cloves, Bay Leaves, Cinnamon sticks – a few
Chilli Powder – 1or2 tablespoons (according to your taste)
Turmeric powder – little
Coriander Powder – 2 times of chilli powder
Oil – few tablespoons (I use olive oil)
Ghee – 2 tablespoons
Lemon Juice – 1 teaspoon
Coriander Leaves – for garnishing
Salt to taste

Procedure:
1. Take a big pan & heat it
2. Add oil & ghee to it.
3. When oil is medium hot, add cloves, bay leaves & cinnamon sticks
4. After that add onions. Make sure that onion don’t stick with each other.
5. Keep stirring it for a minute. When onions turn light golden brown color (not too much), add diced pudina leaves.
6. Now add your chicken pieces & stir it once. Add turmeric powder & salt to it. Stir it again.
7. After few seconds, add ginger-garlic paste & stir it well. Make sure that the paste has reached all chicken pieces
8. Allow it to boil for 2-3 minutes. Normally water need not be added as chicken will emit lot of water & later tomato will also be added. But if it is too thick and you think that bottom will get burnt, you can add very little water (2-3 table spoons max)
9. Now add chilli powder & coriander powder & stir it again well. Allow it to cook for 2-3 minutes
10. Finally add diced tomatos and stir it well. Close the lid and allow it to cook for 15 mins.
11. You will have to stir it once every 3-5 mins to make sure that bottom is not burnt.
12. After 15 mins, you can see that it is looking like a gravy. If not allow it to cook for few more minutes. Please remember that chicken will cook fast & therefore do not cook it for more than 30 mins.
13. At the end, switch off the stove & remove it from heat.
14. Now add lemon juice, stir it once & finally garnish with coriander leaves.

Pictures

diced Onions into thin straight pieces

diced Onions into thin straight pieces

Chicken cut into pieces

Chicken cut into pieces

ginger & garlic cut into small pieces

ginger & garlic cut into small pieces

ginger-garlic paste

diced tomatos

diced tomatos

Chicken Biriyani - 1st look

Chicken Biriyani - 1st look

Just added chilli powder & coriander powder to biriyani

Just added chilli powder & coriander powder to biriyani

All except tomatos has been added & mixed well

All except tomatos has been added & mixed well

Final garnished Chicken Biriyani

Final garnished Chicken Biriyani

Chicken Biriyani served with Joghurt

This is about making chicken biriyani gravy. You should have prepared your biriyani rice already. Mix biriyani rice with the required amount of gravy (you can also add orange color powder to make it like in restaurant) & heat it for 20 mins in oven.

Now it’s ready to serve. Enjoy the food.

Fish Cutlet

This is a very tasty snack I found in one of my recipe books from 70s. It is easy to cook too. My family likes this snack very much especially my husband. For children who eat fatty snacks, this is a very good alternative. Here is the recipe.

Ingredients
Fish – 500 gms. Use fish with very less bones. I use Salmon.
Boiled Potato – 200 gms (1/3 of Fish)
Onion – 1 finely chopped
Pepper Powder – 1tbsp
Turmeric Powder – 1/2 tbsp
Ginger  – 2cms – finely chopped
Chillies – 2 or 3 – depending upon your taste. finely chopped.
Curry leaves – few – finely chopped
Salt – according to taste
Egg – only white.
Bread Crums
Oil to fry

Cooking Procedure:

  • Boil fish in water until cooked. Take it out from hot-water & remove the skin. Now smash it in a bowl like the image below. Make sure that all bones are removed.

    Salmon Fish Boiled

    Boiled Fish

  • Peel skin from boiled potatos and add it to fish like below.
  • Now add chopped onions, chopped ginger, pepper powder, turmeric powder & salt. This will look like the image below.
  • Now mix it well & make them into cutlet form. I made round balls. You can make it into flat round size or any other shape you like.
  • Beat egg white well. It should look like this.
  • Take bread crumbs in a plate.
  • Now you are ready for frying. Heat oil.
  • When oil is heated well, dip fish ball in egg first & then in bread crums & put it in oil.
  • Fry it for 1-2 mins until it turns golden brown. Note that fish & potatos are already cooked. So don’t keep it for long time in oil.
  • Keep this on kitchen paper so that any excess oil in cutlet is sucked immediately.
  • Now you are ready to server it with or without ketchup or chutney.

    Fish Cutlet

    Enjoy this tasty evening snack.

Tags: , ,