Mahanandi

Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Garlic Infused Ghee

Garlic and butter for garlic-ghee

Garlic roasted in ghee was a favorite summer time snack growing up. It was the only way I could eat garlic when I was a child. They are also specifically prepared and fed to new mothers after delivery. Garlic is well known for it’s disease-preventing properties and toasting in ghee makes garlic more palatable. So, it’s no wonder garlic-ghee combination has traditional roots. Also, garlic seems to enjoy ghee’s company. The special affinity between them is evident by the deep blush and the sweetness of garlic when ghee is around. Even the aroma changes to stimulating from another “s” type.:)

The following is a recipe that I have come up with while playing in the kitchen yesterday afternoon. I started out with the idea of preparing garlic-infused ghee, then during the process I realized I could make two types of garlic-ghee. Garlic infused ghee and garlic pureed in ghee. Both of them tasted so good and the aroma was wonderful, they have made the whole process of cooking a great adventure instead of an annoying chore. And with garlic-ghee on hand, I know miracles are possible with many savory entrées.

Recipe:

The following quantity makes about one cup of garlic-infused ghee and quarter cup garlic-ghee puree.

Unsalted butter - 4 OZ (113 grams)
Garlic cloves - 6 to 8, skins peeled
Black peppercorn - 8
Salt - a pinch

Tea or coffee strainer
Small mortar and pestle

For preparation, follow the photo pictorial below:

Garlic and butter for garlic-ghee

1. Finely slice each garlic clove into thin layers. Inside you see white or pale green stem. The pure white ones are preferable for this recipe, and discard the garlic if you see any green growth inside.

2. Place the garlic and butter in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat.

Garlic simmering in ghee
The garlic and ghee will look like this in the beginning.

Garlic simmering in ghee

3. After about 20-30 minutes of slow simmering, the butter changes to crystal-clear, aromatic ghee. Pale reddish-brown sediment forms at the bottom of the pan. The garlic also changes to soft and golden. Turn off the heat now.

Straining out the sediment and garlic from ghee

4. Pour the garlic-ghee through a strainer into a cup. The golden sediment and garlic will get separated from garlic-infused ghee.

Preparing Garlic-ghee Puree

5. Take the contents of strainer in a mortar. Add peppercorn and salt. Gently mash them to coarse paste.

6. Allow the garlic-ghee puree and garlic-infused ghee to cool. Store them in clean jars.

Garlic-Ghee Puree and Garlic-Infused Ghee
Garlic-Ghee Puree and Garlic-Infused Ghee ~ for Mathy’s Garlic Jihva

Greens, vegetables, dals, meat and fish, just a teaspoon would be enough and both, the garlic puree and ghee make wonderful additions to any savory preparation.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Ghee, Jihva For Ingredients, Garlic (Vellulli) (Monday March 31, 2008 at 1:42 pm- permalink)
Comments (42)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Jihva for Garlic

Garlic, Vellulli
Garlic (Vellulli, Lasoon) ~ for Mathy’s Jihva

For me, the taste of garlic changes with the way it is cut. I usually finely chop the garlic to tiny pieces and toast them in oil or ghee, as a part of the popu preparation for dals and curries. My latest thing is slivering. The garlic cloves here are so big that they can be easily sliced into thin layers like decorative almonds. The large size also makes it easy to hold and grate garlic like we do ginger and coconut. Whenever I find teensy-weensy garlic, which is a rare event in this size-obsessed land, then I simply follow my mother’s method and whack it with either the pappu gutti or the pestle. This simultaneously flattens the clove, releases precious juices, and facilitates removal of the skin. It is my preferred method of garlic preparation. To peel large quantities of garlic, following an old-time tip, I simply add the garlic cloves to warm water for about one to two minutes. Skins will then slip off easily.

So, which method you prefer and how do you prepare garlic for cooking?

Chopped Garlic ~ Four Ways
Finely Chopped, Slivered, Grated and Whacked
Garlic Preparation, Four Ways ~ for this Week’s Indian Kitchen

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra, Indian Ingredients, Indian Kitchen, Garlic (Vellulli) (Sunday March 30, 2008 at 9:29 pm- permalink)
Comments (25)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Flavors of Life ~ Grandmas, Dosas and More

Grandmother, Dosas and More ~ Painting by Sree
Grandmothers, Dosas and More ~ for Dosa Mela
Painting by Sree (5″x6″, Graphite Sketch)

That is not my grandmother. It is just a sketch I made while getting bored on the train, on my journey home from Bangalore. I miss so many things post-marriage. One of them is my grandmother and the old kitchen at my mom’s place where I spent most of my childhood. It looked exactly like this and my grandma would sit exactly like this cooking at her small stove making hot dosas and chapatis and more. She would always mix food in the most delectable combination with chutneys, pickles…. yum! I think those tasted better than anything available in any restaurant. She is now bedridden and can hardly walk and the kitchen is now converted into a modern one. I think if I build my own house, I would want an old- fashioned kitchen just like my grandmother’s.:)

~ Sree

Flavors of Life: Introduction
Flavors of Life, Previously:

Banana Vendor by Sree Pumpkin Blossom by Sree Cotton Candy Painting by Sree Infinitea by Sree
Tirupathi Laddus by Sree

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Indian Kitchen, Traditions, Sree (Saturday March 29, 2008 at 1:00 am- permalink)
Comments (20)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Meal Today

Snow Showers, Photo taken from my Patio Tofu Chole with Roti and Fruit Kosambari
Coping Seattle Spring Snow Showers with
Tofu Chole, Roti and Cucumber-Orange Kosambari

What’s your meal today?

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Zen (Personal) (Friday March 28, 2008 at 3:33 pm- permalink)
Comments (13)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Mint Coconut Chutney

The fragrance of fresh mint and the sweetness of fresh coconut come together in this traditional chutney. The recipe is from my friend Janani Srinivasan. When asked to share, Janani wrote “there are two schools of philosophy on the mint-coconut chutney at our home. I prefer to grind mint leaves raw with rest of standard chutney ingredients. But my mom finds it too minty. So she sautés them in oil first and if that is the case, I like to add some garlic too and then grind with the rest of standard issue raw coconut chutney ingredients.”

I’ve been trying out various raw foods in recent weeks, so I picked up dear Janani’s mint chutney-philosophy number one for our meal today. Intense and remarkably good as raw food goes, mintaholics won’t be disappointed with this one.

Mint Chutney Ingredients Mint Chutney
Mint Chutney Ingredients …………………….. Mint Chutney in Sumeet Jar

Recipe:

1-cup mint leaves, tightly packed (spearmint)
½ cup fresh coconut pieces
¼ cup dalia (bhuna chana or pappulu)
4 Indian or Thai variety, small green chillies
1 small Asian shallot - peel and slice to chunks
1 tablespoon tamarind pulp
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste

Take them all in a mixer or mortar. Add about one to two cups of water. Blend to smooth consistency. Remove to a vessel. Do the tadka if you prefer, and serve with breakfast items, rice or roti. Best eaten the day it is made and not suitable to refrigeration.

(Add only shallot (erra gadda) and if shallot is not available, then red onion. Regular white and yellow onions won’t be that good raw in this recipe.)

Mint-Coconut Chutney with Vegetable Upma
Mint Coconut Chutney with Vegetable Upma ~ Meal Today

Health Labels:
Traditional India-Vegan, Raw Food
Mint, varieties and benefits - A Good Read
Amazing healing properties of Coconut

********

Previously with Mint (Pudina):
Pudina Chai with Gunpowder Tea
Pudina Pachadi with Peanuts
Pudina Paneer for Picnic
Pudina Pulao ~ Andhra Style
Pudina Pilaf with Fresh Tuvar (Kandulu)
Healing Herbal Rice with Brown Basmati

Mint is three bunches for a dollar here, now. I like mint and I would love to try new recipes. Any other good, family recipes with mint? Do share. Thanks.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Mint, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Coconut (Fresh) (Thursday March 27, 2008 at 2:59 pm- permalink)
Comments (22)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Three Years

From crazy infatuation to committed relationship, it’s been three years since Mahanandi started! Thank you for being a part of it.

Happy Anniversary to Mahanandi.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Zen (Personal) (Wednesday March 26, 2008 at 9:47 am- permalink)
Comments (125)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Yogi Diet ~ Chestnut Kosambari

Chestnut Kosambari

During the years we lived here I ate many salads but none was better than the ones prepared at home with fresh ingredients. The homemade have crisp texture and full flavor, thanks to the no wait between kitchen and dining table.

The following is a new one I have prepared for our meal today. Roasted chestnuts, watermelon, lettuce and yogurt -pepper dressing. The taste was so special and it has made me think about a suitable title. As far as I know, Andhra meal doesn’t have a salad component. But Karnataka and Maharashtra meals have. Kosambari or Koshimbir, they call them. Usually eaten as a light snack or as a part of full course meal, Kosambari is prepared with fresh vegetables, lentils, legumes or nuts with coconut, lemon or yogurt dressing. My meal fits the profile. Why title salad for everything, when we have such beautiful sounding name “Kosambari”? My yogi diet with fresh ingredients will be Kosambari from now on.

Chestnuts, Lettuce, Yogurt and Watermelon

Chestnut Kosambari ~ Recipe
Roasted chestnuts (Snack section, Chinese grocery)
Lettuce
Watermelon
Homemade yogurt
Black pepper and salt to taste
Roughly chop chestnuts, lettuce and watermelon to bite-sized pieces.
Take them in a bowl and combine.
Whisk yogurt with pepper and salt. Pour over the chopped ingredients.
Toss and serve immediately.
Enjoy the chestnut kosambari as a light mid-day meal.

************

Previously on Yogi Diet:
Yogi diet with Alasandalu
Salad Synergy for Spring with Boiled Peanuts

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Yogurt, Chestnuts (Marrons), Lettuce greens (Tuesday March 25, 2008 at 3:37 pm- permalink)
Comments (3)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Coconut Water ~ Watermelon Juice

Coconut Water-Water Melon Juice
Coconut Water -Watermelon Juice

I brought home a juicy watermelon and a watery coconut yesterday. Usually I hesitate to buy coconuts here because three out of four are spoiled. But this one was not only huge in size but also had sweet water inside. I wondered how it would taste if I mixed watermelon juice and coconut water, and I tried it. As I expected, it was wonderful. Watermelon and coconut complemented each other resulting in a refreshing delight. Drinking the drink was like feeling a cool breeze on a hot summer day. Probably I should apply a patent on this.:)

Recipe:

Break a coconut with a hammer. Catch the water in a big pitcher.
Cut watermelon into small cubes.
Take watermelon in a blender. Add coconut water. Mix until smooth.
Pour into a glass or earthenware pitcher. Refrigerate or place in a cool place for about half an hour.
Enjoy this natural, sweet juice with your meal.


Fresh Coconut Water (Kobbari Neeru, Tenkaya Neellu)


Juicy Watermelon and Sweet Coconut Water

Coconut-Watermelon Juice Health Labels:
Vegan, Raw and Wholesome Food
Coconut water: Cooling, Cleansing, Cures Pitta and Vata Dosha
Watermelon juice: Excellent source of Vitamin C

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra, Watermelon, Coconut (Fresh) (Monday March 24, 2008 at 8:34 am- permalink)
Comments (5)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Splash of Colors on Holi Weekend

Spring Flowers to Celebrate Holi Festival ~ Photo by Singari Vijay
Holi Ki Shubhkamnaye!
(Photo by Singari Vijay)

Good Reads and Finds:

The Call of the Kitchen ~ Khabar from Mandira of Ahaar
Palak Tofu and Phulkas : Indo-Japanese Culinary Exchange
Simple Pleasures ~ Homemade Butter
Living in Junk Food Country

Eggless Cooking for Eggless Baking
Rainbow ~ A Mixbag Blog of Amchigele, Living in Tokyo

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Zen (Personal) (Saturday March 22, 2008 at 10:59 am- permalink)
Comments

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Plum Fruit Chaat

Assortment of Stone Fruits
Assortment of Fruits ~ Plums, Apple and Ruby Orange

We, my walking partner and I, march through Pike Place to return home. We have noticed that everyday between 2 and 4 in the afternoon, bags of produce would be available at some stalls in one dollar bins. Each bag contains an assortment of fruits, vegetables or greens. The produce is usually a day or two old, most of it looks good and edible. The assorted fruits photographed above are from yesterday’s catch. I bought them for one dollar and my walking buddy purchased a bag of spring salad mix. She prepared turkey wrap with salad for supper and me a fruit chaat for dessert. I found the plums ripe and juicy. Royal Gala apple firm and sweet. Ruby orange juice tartly-sweet. I added little bit chaat masala to the cut fruits and tossed them together. Fruit chaats are always popular and this juicy, sweet version is no exception. Colorful and satisfying, this delightful treat turned out to be the highlight of our meal experience.

Recipe:
(Use your favorite fruits in this recipe, if you prefer.)

5 plums - peel the skin. Halve. Remove the seed. Slice to small
1 apple - peel, core and slice to bite-sized pieces.
Ruby orange - cut and squeeze the juice
¼ teaspoon each - salt, black pepper and amchur powder

Take salt, black pepper and amchur in a mortar. With a pestle gently mix them together. This is chaat masala, my version. You could also add cumin to the mix.

Take the fruits in a bowl. Pour over the ruby orange juice. Sprinkle the chaat masala. Add honey or sugar if you like. Toss. Spoon the chaat into cups. Enjoy. Makes two to four servings.

Fruit Chaat
India Inspired Fruit Chaat with Plums ~ Welcoming Seattle Spring

Fruit Chaat - Health Labels:
Traditional India-Vegan, Raw and Wholesome Food
Plums, what are they good for?: Health Benefits

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Fruits, Citrus Family (Thursday March 20, 2008 at 12:32 pm- permalink)
Comments (1)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Pudina Pachadi with Peanuts

Pudina Pachadi with Rava-Dill Idles
Pudina Pachadi with Dill-Rava Idlies ~ Brunch Today

This is the recipe that made a Pudina convert of me. My ammamma (grandmother) served it one fine morning many moons ago with moonlight like idlies and that was it. The same exact recipe has been followed by my mother and now by me. Combine our ages, the recipe must be at least hundred years old. Only thing that has changed is the method of grinding, from mortar and pestle to Sumeet mixer.

Recipe:

1 bunch fresh pudina (spearmint)
1 onion and 4 green chillies
Marble-sized tamarind pulp
1 tablespoon peanut oil
¼ teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
½ cup roasted, unsalted peanuts

Soak tamarind in quarter cup of warm water for about ten minutes to soften, so that it can blend well. Meanwhile wash and pluck the pudina leaves and also tender stems. (Two cups tightly packed.) Peel and slice onion to big chunks. Cut chillies to two pieces.

Heat oil in a cast-iron skillet to a smoking point. Add and toast cumin for few seconds. Add the onion and chillies. Saute to pale brown. Remove to a plate. Then in the same skillet, add the pudina and saute until leaves collapse. Remove to a plate. Wait for the contents to reach room temperature.

Take peanuts in a Sumeet style mixer or blender. Pulse for few minutes. Then add the roasted onion, chilli, cumin and mint leaves. Also salt and the tamarind along with the water it soaked in. Puree to smooth paste. Add water if necessary, about another half cup for easy blending.

Pudina pachadi is best eaten the day it is made. It is good with a variety of savory recipes. Adds a refreshing minty sparkle when eaten with breakfast items like idly, dosa, upma and pongal, and also when applied on chapati, roti or when mixed with rice and dal.

Roasted Pudina Chutney Contents in a Cast-iron Skillet Pudina Pachadi with Rava-Dill Idles
Roasted Peanuts, Mint, Onion and Chillies in a Cast-iron Skillet…
Pudina Pacchadi with Dill-Rava Idlies

Health Labels:
Traditional India-Vegan, Amma
Mint: Rich source of Iron, Vitamins. More here.
Peanuts: Good source of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and Vit E
Cumin and Chillies: Aid digestion and well-being

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Peanuts, Mint, Amma & Authentic Andhra (Wednesday March 19, 2008 at 11:40 am- permalink)
Comments (1)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Artisan Food ~ Healing Herbal Rice

Brown Basmati and Fresh Methi
Brown Basmati and Fresh Methi

Nutritional supplements and natural herbal remedies don’t have to be in capsule form. Example is this healing herbal rice I have prepared for our meal yesterday.

Three types of fresh herbs with potent medicinal properties and brown basmati, a nutritionally supreme rice are cooked together. The result -

a tasty and tantalizing herbal basmati.

Possessing great inner strength and capable of exerting strong nutritional benefits, this herbal rice with healing fire in its heart is the kind of meal that would provide a nourishing surround to a flourishing imagination.

Healing Herbal Rice with Brown Basmati
Healing Herbal Rice with Potato Kurma ~ Celebrating St. Patty’s Day

Recipe Details:

Artisan Food: Healing Herbal Rice
Ingredients: Brown Basmati, Methi, Mint and Dill
Skill level: Easy. From Novice to Expert
Labels: Vegan, Wholesome, Herbal and Iron rich Food
Price: $2.00
Format: PDF

Healing Herbal Rice PDF


Buy Now

How it Works: After payment via Paypal, PDF file will be emailed to you to download the recipe. For any questions about the recipe or the download process, please email me at mailmahanandi@gmail.com .

****************

Artisan Food Aim and Purpose:

“Artisan Food ~ Revenue through Recipes” program aims to raise money, however small the amount, to support the children at Swami School at Nandyala. This will also lend a sense of purpose to my food blogging, and help me feel like I am accomplishing something through my activity in this Web world.

Previously in Artisan Food:

Artisan Photo Gallery

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Biyyamu (Rice), Mint, Basmati Rice, Suwa (Dill), Brown Basmati, Methi, Kasuri Methi, Artisan Food (Monday March 17, 2008 at 5:46 pm- permalink)
Comments (3)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Flavors of Life: Infini-tea


Flavors of Life: Infini-tea
Painting by Sree (Colored Pencils on Paper)

I actually have ALL these flavors of tea in my pantry! The lemon/mandarin flavors are quite refreshing. The berries are better drunk with ice and the choco-vanilla ones with milk. I haven’t figured out how the tropical ones go. Its ‘pretea’ complicated you know. Some (green tea) are to be ‘infused’ and mixed, others plain boiled… The other day I served hot peppermint tea to my old uncle, a connoisseur of beverages and he said “we can do without that one.” Wasn’t Tea supposed to be a refreshing beverage? Like Lipton Taaza… But I even have a ‘SLEEPYTIME’ tea! I am certain it won’t be long before we have coffee flavored tea. :)
By the way there is a tea parlor by the name Infinitea in Bangalore.

~ Sree

Flavors of Life: Introduction
Flavors of Life, Previously:

Banana Vendor by Sree Pumpkin Blossom by Sree Cotton Candy Painting by Sree Tirupathi Laddus by Sree

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Tea, Sree (Saturday March 15, 2008 at 12:51 am- permalink)
Comments (1)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Pudina Chai with Gunpowder Tea

Mint Leaves with Gunpowder Tea
Fresh Pudina (Mint) Leaves and Gunpowder Tea

In the midst of pressure-packed day, there is nothing like taking a breather with a warm cup of chai.

I wanted something new that would relax and refresh. Pudina chai sounded soothing.

A glass of water, a teaspoon of gunpowder tea, six freshly plucked pudina leaves and few drops of milk. Ten minutes of gentle simmering on stove-top and then straining out the seeped pudina-tea mixture. There it is, pudina chai sweetened with honey. My for today.

Pudina Tea
A Cup of Pudina Chai to Refresh the Senses

Tea Finds:
Daily Ritual ~ A Cup of Chai
North African Mint Tea (Without Milk)
Green Tea (Gunpowder or Pearl tea) Health Benefits

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Mint, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Tea (Friday March 14, 2008 at 6:10 pm- permalink)
Comments (1)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

In Season ~ Broccoli Rabe

Broccoli Rabe
Broccoli Rabe (Rapini) ~ from Pike Place Market

The most confusing area of western vegetable market is the endless array of similar looking greens. A lot of them look same except for few. There are pea shoots, which are seasonal, easy to identify and usually appear in spring for few weeks. Then there is broccoli rabe. If you think broccoli is intimidating, look at broccoli rabe. Spiked, strong curly leaves and small broccoli like blooming buds with yellow flowers - it’s one unique green.

This is my first time with broccoli rabe and I found the leaves little bit bitter with strong leafy taste. To mellow out the bitterness, to the plain saute, I have added the friendly peas and potatoes to the greens. Red chilli flakes, shallots and coconut addition brought a nice accent. Broccoli rabe saute with Sona Masuri rice and tomato dal - it was a hearty meal. But I still think it takes a certain kind of bravado to pluck the broccoli rabe from ground and offer them in market place.

Broccoli Rabe
Broccoli Rabe with Rice, Tomato Dal and A Mug of Buttermilk ~ Meal Today

Recipe:
Broccoli rabe - 1 bunch
Potato - 2 small ones
Peas - half cup
Shallots - 3
Red chilli flakes, coconut gratings, turmeric and salt - to taste
One teaspoon oil and a pinch each- cumin and mustard seeds

Cut broccoli rabe into large chunks. Discard stout stems, and rinse the leaves with water. Peel potatoes and cut to small cubes. Finely chop shallots lengthwise.

In a large skillet, heat oil. Add and toast cumin and mustard seeds. When seeds start to pop, add the shallots, potatoes and peas. Saute them to tender. Sprinkle the chilli flakes, coconut, and turmeric. Then add the broccoli rabe. Cook until the leaves collapse. Sprinkle salt and mix. Serve over rice or chapati. A side dish like dal or sambar always helps to fill the protein void.

For Label Conscious:
Vegan, Anemic-friendly
Broccoli Rabe – Iron and Vitamins
Potato and Peas - Carbohydrates
Spices - Aids digestion and well-being

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Broccoli (rabe etc) (Wednesday March 12, 2008 at 10:25 pm- permalink)
Comments

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Previous Page »