Lemon Rice (South Indian Style)

Lemon Rice (South Indian Style)


Lemon rice is a popular dish in South Indian households. A lunchbox favourite, It is my go-to-recipe whenever I am in a hurry and want to fix a quick meal. It’s tasty and can be put together in a jiffy. It’s a big hit in my household with kids and adults both relishing the flavourful dish with papadams and fryums. 

Lots of variations could be made with this recipe by adding different kinds of spices but I like the tangy and spicy authentic South Indian version the most. 

So let’s get started with this easy recipe : 

Ingredients

2-3 cups boiled rice. 

1 & 1/2 tbsp lemon juice

1/4th tsp turmeric powder

1 tbsp grated ginger

1 tsp mustard seeds 

1 tsp Chana dal (split Bengal gram)

2-3 green chillies roughly chopped

6-7 curry leaves 

2 tbsp oil (for tempering)

Salt to taste

A pinch of Asafoetida (optional)

2 tbsp Roasted peanuts/cashew nuts (optional) 

Method :

Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. After it splutters and crackles, add chana dal, green chillies and curry leaves. Sautè them for a minute. Add turmeric powder and asafoetida and switch off the stove.

After the mixture cools down slightly, add lemon juice and salt to it and mix well. Now add the boiled rice and mix thoroughly. 

Your lemon rice is ready to be served. 

Have it with papadams and savour this flavourful delicacy for lunch. ūüôā 

(Note : I haven’t added roasted cashews or peanuts as most of my family members aren’t a fan of them. You can add either of them with chana dal and fry them. ) 

(This blogpost is a part of monthly link up party Our Growing Edge. This event endeavours to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things. This month is hosted by Cheryl at Business Chic )

Of Healthy Homes and Happy Monsoons 

Of Healthy Homes and Happy Monsoons 

Homes are our abode, our safe haven. They are a stretch of who we are.  

Like us, Our Homes too require specific care every season with monsoons being the most demanding. 

Monsoons are beautiful but it also brings with it an array of vectors, viruses and bacterium. 

As the germs grow more on damp and wet areas, Waterproofing your house before the onset of monsoons is one solid way to ensure you enjoy the beauty of the season to the maximum. Fix the leaks and cracks, the faults in the faucets and be delighted with scenic beauty of the rains. 

Monsoons also brings in different kinds of vectors. The most annoying of all being the Flies. You just cannot escape them. We can cook and keep the food covered, but the unwelcome pest will somehow find a way inside. Use of insect repellents is one way to chase them off. Putting on the Mosquito Net over the windows also helps. Cleaning the floors with salt water twice or thrice daily is an effective home remedy against Insects. Also, Indoor plants are better left outside in this season for it attracts vectors more. 

Our homes are only as healthy as we are. We step into puddles and go through potholes to reach our homes during monsoons. Though we wash our hands and feet thoroughly, the muddy chappals/shoes stay neglected in a corner. This is how some germs (read diseases)enter our houses. We bring it ourselves and let them breed. Keep yourself and your home hygienic by washing your footwear in antiseptic liquid, daily. 

Monsoons though a lovely season, the perennial dark clouds may sometimes make you miss the bright sunshine. Though we don’t have the power to change seasons, we can make our homes look less gloomy. Decorate your beds and cushions in bright warm colours (red,yellow and orange) and give your home a happy feel. Planting some bright flowering shrubs will not only make the garden look beautiful, it will also give out positive vibes to our homes and make the overall ambience Cheerful. Planting Tulsi also helps in keeping insects at bay. 

Keep homes clutterfree. Keep it neat and tidy. Often, after the hard day’s work and the rough and tough travel, all we wanna do is have some piping hot food and sleep. The mess in kitchen, things all strewn across the sofa, the dirty laundry resting in the machine lay completely procrastinated for the next day. Alas! Next day happens to be the same story. Coming home to chaos & mess affects our moods on a daily basis. Keeping your homes clean as a routine makes one happy & relaxed in the long run. 

The beauty of monsoons will be enjoyed more by taken proper precautions & giving tender, love and care to ourselves & our homes.

How we keep our homes reflects our personality and influences our outlook on life. Make sure our homes always stay Happy and Healthy

Have a beautiful and safe Monsoon. ūüôā 

(Pic credit – Google) 

(Disclaimer- This post is written for ‘Happy Homes Blogging Contest‘ in association with Dr. Fixit and Roff India )

Quinoa Vegetable Biryani 

Quinoa Vegetable Biryani 

Quinoa. High on protein, fibre,minerals and vitamins, It’s a super nutritional food packed with lots of good health. Quinoa is an wholesome meal that can be had for lunch, dinner or brunch.

Every fitness enthusiast recommends it as a substitute to rice these days. I had a bowl of leftover rice which I used in the biryani. You can make this recipe sans rice too. 

So Let’s get started : 

Ingredients :

1 cup Quinoa soaked in water for an hour

1 cup boiled rice. (I used regular rice, basmati rice can also be used)

1 cup chopped vegetables of your choice (I used carrots, French beans, peas and potatoes)

5-6 small cubes of paneer (cottage cheese)

1 medium sized onion finely chopped

1 medium sized tomato finely chopped

1 tbsp Ginger garlic paste 

1 tsp turmeric powder

1 & 1/2 tsp red chilli powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1 tsp jeera powder (cumin)

1/2 tsp cinnamon powder

2 tbsp yogurt 

1 & 1/2 tbsp oil or ghee (clarified butter) 

1 bay leaf

1-2 cloves 

2 green chillies roughly chopped

1-2 green cardamom

Salt to taste.

Preparation : 

Heat oil in a pan and add bay leaf, cloves, cardomom and green chillies. When the chillies are fried, add chopped onions and saut√© till it becomes translucent. 

Add ginger garlic paste, jeera powder, chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric powder & cinnamon powder and saut√© for a minute. 

Add chopped tomatoes and 2 tbsp of water and cook till the tomatoes becomes soft. 

Now add the soaked quinoa,chopped vegetables, paneer, salt and yogurt and cook on a medium flame till the vegetables are tender and soft. (Make sure you drain the quinoa of excess water before adding it.)

Add the boiled rice to it and mix it well. 

Your quinoa biryani is read to be relished. Serve it hot with Raita or Papad. 

 

What makes a book successful?

What makes a book successful?

Being someone who reads books as a passion, I have always wondered what makes a particular book successful? How does one determine whether the book/series is a hit or a flop?

 Is it based on the number of copies it sold or number of people who loved? 

How many times has it happened that you pick a supposed ‘bestseller’ and after finishing it you feel ‘Meh! So much hype over this’. And how many times have we picked or being gifted some unheard book  from an unknown author and  found it engaging & entertaining? Yes. Too many times to count.  

Sometimes a bestseller is nothing but fantastic marketing strategy. Some great books go unnoticed because it hadn’t been promoted well. Of course, some books have it all. Great plot, intriguing characters written in griping language and obviously it goes on to become a critically acclaimed bestseller. But such books are far and few these days. 

A good book isn’t proportional to the number of copies it sells. Often I have seen people have this misconception that if the author isn’t well known, the book must be mediocre. Or if it’s a famed author then the book surely is a bestseller. They forget that even celebrated authors were newbies once. The name of the author isn’t enough to make someone love a book.  

So what exactly makes someone go crazy over a book!? What prompts people to recommend it to others? 

According to me, a successful  book is the one that stays with you long after you have finished reading it. A book is a success if it compels you to think and muse about its characters even after the story has reached its conclusion. A successful book grips you with its plot, makes you feel with its characters. An author has written a bestseller if he/she makes the reader anticipate the next book in the series. 

So, the point of this post is, Never judge a book by its cover or the name & fame of the author or the number of copies it has sold. If the summary holds your attention, then grab it. Who knows, you might be in for a ride! 

(Pic credit- Google)

Oreo Ice Cream

Oreo Ice Cream

Ice creams. The one food which brings out the kid in us. The one food which tempts children and adults alike. Be it any season, no one can actually resist ice cream. Right?

On the occasion of Ice cream day, I usually indulge the kids I tutor with store bought ice creams. This year I wanted to treat them with home made ones. The Oreo ice cream I made were a huge hit with the bachcha party. ūüėÄ 

Let’s get started on the easy and simple recipe. 

Ingredients:

10-12 Oreo biscuits

200 grams condensed milk (milkmaid) 

2-2 1/2 cups whipped cream  

Method: 

Separate the Oreo crusts and cream like shown in the picture. Now powder the crusts using a mixer blender.  Or just put it in zip lock bag and crush it with a Belan. (I used mixer for its easier)

Mix milkmaid to the powdered Oreos and keep it aside. 

Add whipped cream to the milkmaid Oreo mixture and mix it well. Pour it in a bowl, and put the creamy part of the Oreo biscuits on the top and refrigerate it for 5-6 hours. 

When the ice cream is nicely set, roughly powder the Oreos and sprinkle it on top. Your Oreo Ice cream is ready to be served. ūüôā 

Red velvet cupcakes

Red velvet cupcakes

Sigh! It feels awfully lonely here..

Yeah, I know I just went missing after that one post. ūüôĄ

First things first, sorry for the lack of activity here. Well, when real life demands all your attention 24 hours seems less.

Anyways, here I am, all hale and hearty. Howdy y’all?

We all are united by our love for food. I recently discovered I didn’t just loved eating food but enjoyed cooking it too. It relieved my stress and just made me plain happy.

So here I am with my very first recipe, hoping you all will give the necessary ingredients to make this endeavour a success.

Let’s get started. Red velvet cupcakes (who doesn’t love cupcakes?). Easy to bake and divine to taste.

Ingredients: 

For the Batter-

cup All purpose flour (maida)

2 tbsp corn flour

3/4th cup buttermilk

1 cup caster sugar

1 tbsp cocoa powder

2 tbsp red food coloring (I used raspberry red)

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp softened unsalted butter.

1 tsp vanilla essence.

A pinch of salt. (Optional)

For the frosting- 

1/4th cup unsalted Butter

200 grams of cream cheese

1 cups icing sugar

1 tbsp vanilla essence.

Preparation:

Cupcakes

Preheat the oven at 180 degrees.
Mix & sieve the all purpose flour, corn flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt and keep it aside.
Take another bowl. Add butter & caster sugar and whisk it well. Add vanilla extract and red food colouring. Whisk it again. Add butter milk and whisk thoroughly. Now, slowly add the  flour mixture into this buttermilk mixture and whisk till everything is incorporated nicely.
Now add a spoonful of batter in the muffin moulds . Make sure you fill it halfway only.


Bake into a preheated oven for 15 min or till the skewer comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool down completely.


Frosting

Take butter & cream cheese and whisk. Both cheese and butter should be softened at room temperature. Add icing sugar simultaneously while whisking. Add vanilla extract and whisk it once again.

#Tip
Always use an electric beater for preparing the frosting if you don’t want swollen arms. Trust me on this. ūüėõ

Icing-

In a piping bag, put a nozzle of your choice and decorate the cupcakes with this creamy cheesy goodness. Add some colourful sprinkles and your red velvet cupcakes are ready to tantalize your taste buds.

The turning point

The turning point

I tried not to be jealous. I tried feeling happy for them. I tried not to cry. I failed spectacularly. Watching my sister and my friends competing & enjoying themselves on the school playground was hard on the 9 year old me. I blinked back tears. Di was always so supportive. I should be feel happy¬†for her. She will win, like she always does. I just wanted to enjoy too. It looked like fun. Or maybe I just wanted to belong. I couldn’t decide.

“Priya”! Someone shook me. I looked up to see the concerned face of my¬†class-teacher.

“Are you alright?” she¬†enquired.
“Yes ma’am, I am fine”. I muttered feebly.

“You come, sit with me in the staff room, I will let your sister know” she ordered politely.

I wanted to protest but decided it was for the best.

I limped back behind her, despondently.

After asking me to do my homework , she got busy with some papers.

It was eerily silent here. The whole school was busy conducting the annual sports event. Something I cant remember being a part of.

“I took part in there when I was really small, I couldn’t remember though. I¬†didn’t¬†win. I never win.” I¬†blurted out, shattering the silence. ¬†

She looked up sharply and I regretted my words. She will tell my parents now. This day was getting worse.
“Do you know why I teach English and Mrs. Hegde teaches maths? Because she is best at that and I ¬†excel only in¬†English. You cant play basketball like your sister but neither can she write essays and poems¬†like you do. We cant be best at everything. We can only try..¬† ”¬†
She took a deep breath and continued . “You will take part, priya. Maybe next year. After you get better” she encouraged. “But for now, you should ¬†do as your parents and teachers say.” she¬†finished with a finality.¬†

While I was contemplating her previous words of wisdom, she stood up and started rummaging some shelves.

“Priya, do you read story books?” She asked.
“Yes ma’am I read tinkle.” I replied with a small smile.

She laughed and nodded.

“You take this and return it back in two weeks after Christmas holidays, okay?” She said, handing me an old book.

I took it hesitantly. It¬†didn’t¬†look colourful.

“Little women by Louisa may Alcott” I read out aloud.

“Yes, you read it and tell this story to your sister and your friends. I think only you will able to do it. ” she winked.

I smiled and soon followed her to the playground, my mind slightly confused and heart somewhat lighter.

That day changed my life. Little did I know My teacher’s words of wisdom will be what that will anchor me while I waged wars with my own health. A war I almost lost but eventually won.

That and my love for books.
Books. I live them. I breath them. They saved me. From my own demons. My love for books is popular both online and offline. Often I get asked about the first (proper) book I had ever read. And I tell them about the battered old copy of “Little Women” that opened gates of imagination for me.

We all have such turning points in our lives. A curve that changed the way we thought, lived or loved. This was one of mine. What is yours?