Baby food: Ragi/Millet

Standard

Ragi

These are soaked in water, drained and ready to be powdered.

It is recommended as a great food for infants. It is supposed high in calcium for the growing bones.

Little feet

We brought back lots of ragi flour from India which finds its way into baby food and also puttu (like this). I know there are other ways to use this flour, but haven’t ventured to try any.

To make porridge for the baby, just mix the flour with water till runny. Cook over medium heat till it is cooked and thick. We don’t add any sugar. I save extras in single serve containers in the refrigerator.

ragi

Grow Your Own- Green Zebra

Standard

This year I was decided on planting some heirloom tomatoes. We planted Brandywine and Cherokee tomato. Along with these we also planted Green Zebra, a roma tomato and a grape tomato plant. The only plant that bore fruit so far is the Green Zebra.

Green Zebra is a tomato cultivar with characteristic dark green and yellow stripes, although there are newer variations that blush a reddish color instead of yellow when ripe. It is slightly more tart than regular tomatoes, and it is an unusually early breed.

Green Zebra was bred by Tom Wagner of Everett, Washington, and first introduced in his Tater-Mater Seed Catalog in 1983. Given its recent origins, it is not an heirloom tomato, despite often being mistakenly designated as one.  ( Link )

For lunch we made sandwiches inspired by this recipe. We used green tomatoes, basil and chives from our garden.

They were easy to make and so yummy. Since the Green Zebras were still not ripe, I did a quick saute in olive oil with salt and pepper before they went into the sandwich.

The ricotta spread was also a breeze to make. We had an assembly station and  from there the sandwiches went onto a skillet and I used a cast iron lid to flatten the sandwiches. We had fun making these!!

This goes to Jugalbandi who is hosting Grow Your Own event. Grow Your Own is a twice-a-month blogging event that celebrates the foods we grow or raise ourselves and the dishes we make using our homegrown products and is a brainchild of Andrea.

Related: Fried Green Tomatoes.

Click – Yellow for Bri

Standard

The click theme for this month is yellow. Yellow to highlight the fight against cancer. There is a fundraising over at Jugalbadi for Bri who is fighting breast cancer. More about it here.

This is a cabbage thoran made almost 2 years ago. It is a favorite of mine and is my entry.

Sending along with the dish are some flowers from our garden for Bri. Hope you feel better, Bri.

Click-Au Naturel: Lettuce

Standard

Weather is perfect outside and the time is right for gardening. We haven’t done much this year as far as gardening goes. We did get a patch ready and dropped in some salad green and radish seeds. Few days later we saw our neighborhood squirrels digging deep into our veggie patch. There were big holes in the carefully prepared soil bed. Despite all that some seedlings are popping up. Let’s see what happens.

These are lettuce from last year. Just dropped the seeds into some organic soil and we started harvesting them as soon as they were ready with few leaves. We transplanted a few into the patch and they grew to a decent size. Nothing like eating greens from your own garden.

The theme for click this month is Au Naturel. And this is my entry.

Sprouting Lettuce – Entry for Click

Fluffy Uppumavu (Upma)

Standard

upma.jpg

I have always known upma to be a little fluffy. When I started my hostel life, the upma served at the canteen didn’t look anything like the upma I grew up with. It was cooked into one big mass and you could took a scoop of upma rather than a spoonful of upma. I blamed the cook for not knowing how to cook but little did I know this is how upma is supposed to be for many others.

Even after 4 years of eating canteen upma, I couldn’t get used to it. I love my fluffy upma with a sprinkle of sugar and a banana.

How to make fluffy upma?

Oil/ghee- 1 tablespoon

Rava/sooji/semolina- 1 cup

Minced shallots/onions- 2 tablespoon, Ginger minced- 1 tsp, Chilies- 2 chopped, curry leaves- 1/2 sprig.

Water- 1.5 cups (approx)

Salt- to taste

Coconut shredded- a handful, Ghee- 1/4 tsp (optional)

Heat oil in a pan. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. When they start to pop, add the onions/shallots, ginger, chillies and curry leaves. When the onions start to turn brown, add the rava to the pan. Keep stirring till the rava is slightly roasted.

upma-prep.jpg

Then comes the fluffing part. Sprinkle a handful of water into the rava and keep stirring. Break up big lumps. For one cup rava, you might need about 1.5 cups of water. The important tip is to add water in handfuls and to keep stirring. Towards the end, you can just close it with a lid for a few minutes to cook it through. Stir in shredded coconut and ghee. Serve warm.

uppumavu.jpg

This upma goes to RCI-Kerala being hosted by Jyothsna at Currybazaar.

kerala-vacation.jpg

Chembu (Colocasia, Taro) curry

Standard

 chembu.jpg

Chembu is used widely in Kerala in a wide variety of recipes.This is a starchy vegetable and is quite delicious steamed, fried or smothered with seasonings. This is found growing in most homes in Kerala and thrive without any attention.

This is a simple recipe that goes well with rice.

Recipe:

Chembu – 1 cup ( Remove the skin and cut into small pieces)chembu-diced.jpg

Turmeric powder- 1/3 tsp

Salt- to taste

Coconut grated- 1/2 cup

Green chilies- 4 (Add more if you like it with more heat)

Cumin – 1/3 tsp.

Tamarind- one tablespoon. Mix well with some water to obtain tamarind extract. Discard the seeds.

Method:

Cook the diced chembu with the turmeric powder and salt with about 1 cup water, over medium flame.

While the chembu is cooking, grind the coconut, chilies and cumin to a smooth paste.

Once the chembu is cooked, add the coconut mixture to it and cook on low heat.

When the chembu curry starts to boil, add the tamarind extract and mix well. Turn off and keep covered for a few minutes.

In a seperate small pan, add oil. When the oil is hot, add mustard seeds.

As mustard seeds start to pop, add the shallots and curry leaves and fry till they turn brown.

Pour this over the curry. Mix well. Adjust salt.

chembu-curry.jpg

Serve warm with rice.

chembu-curry-with-rice.jpg

Note:  Chembu  can get mushy if overcooked.