Mahanandi

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

Mango Manthram: Food Art Gallery

Kondapalli Bomma Decorated with Mango Motifs ~ Illustration by Indira
Kondapalli Bomma in Mango Motif ~ for Mango Manthram
(Color Pencils on Paper)

For Food Art: Mango Manthram, I chose to illustrate mango through India’s rich textile heritage. Sarees, shawls and spreads adorned with vividly decorated mango motifs are a sight to behold, and they make a treasured collection. I tried to decorate the Andhraite’s ultimate toast to feminine beauty, my childhood favorite figurine “Kondapalli Bomma” in mango motif. I have limited talent in art, so be kind, people!

There are many ways for us to become a link in the chain of memory. Like cookery, art provides a way to explore and continue the traditions. I thank my blogger friends for enthusiastically participating in “Food Art: Mango Manthram” with such great imagination.

Here is mango manthram art collection. Click on the images to read the wonderful stories behind the art.

“Dear Mango, Do you Love me as much as I do thee
Do you look forward to summer, to be in your element or are you just sick and bored with all the hype
And what about all the competition, the Langda, the Himsagar, the Hapoos, running the rat race, do you really want to be there
Do you want to be the chosen one to be sent overseas or you would rather get your guts sucked out by the little boy on the dusty road
Do we even care what you think, no wonder you are sour at times but then your sunny soul takes over and you spread your warm yellow sweetness
But Mango, we really love thee.”

- from Sandeepa of Bong Mom’s Cookbook

ink, oil, pencil and watercolor:

Mango Curlicue by Rajalekshmy Usha Juicy Mangoes: Watercolor by Rajalekshmy Usha

Mango Ganapathi by Anjali Damerla of Supreme SpiceMango Maama from Siri of Siri's CornerMango Ballerina from Siri of Siri's Corner

Chotumotu Mango Bhayya from Siri of Siri's CornerMango Juggler from Siri of Siri's CornerMr. Mango Mermaid from Siri of Siri's Corner

Mango by Srimathi's 4-year old daughter Moodi and Masti ~ The Lovely Mango Couple from Roma of Roma's Space

Mango Delivery Man from Srivalli of Cooking for 4 Seasons Mango Basket in Watercolor by Miel of Food and Watercolor

gardenofhues - watercolor on paper by Sree of Sree's Canvas Mango Motif - Indian Ink on Paper by Sree of Sree's Canvas

henna (mehandi, gorintaaku):

Mango Mehendi from EC of Easy Crafts Mango Mehendi from Pooja of My Creative Ideas Mango Mehendi from Asankhana

Mango Mehendi from Shubha of Chutki Bhar Pyar Mango Mehendi from Shubha of Chutki Bhar Pyar

beads and stitch:

Jewelled Mango Art from Nirmala of Amma's Special Mango Bead Work from Uma of Essence of Andhra

Mango Embroidery from Bonita of Curry Campaign

Mango Kutch Work from Kamala Block Painting on White T Shirt from Asankhana

Mango Embroidery from Rathna of Asvadha

decorations:

Mango Dream from Suman of Heaven's GardenMango Art from Jayashree of Spice and CurryGift Box Decorated with Mango Art from Asankhana

Mango Potholder from Priya of Live to Cook Mango Face from Sandeepa of Bong Mom's Cookbook

Mango Art with Mung Beans from DeebaMango Fruit Basket from Uma

Handmade invitation card from Veda of Kai Kriye Mango Motif on a Paper Plate from Lavi of Homecook's Recipes

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra, Mango, Food Art (Saturday May 31, 2008 at 1:20 am- permalink)
Comments (36)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Flavors I love ~ Peppers with Potatoes

Peppers with Potatoes
Green, Yellow and Red ~ For Jihva Bell Pepper Celebration

This is what I used to prepare and take in a lunch box during my 8 to ? job days. The ingredients are common and the cooking process is basic. But the taste somehow exceeds the expectations. I used to like it a lot and still do, though I rarely prepare this “curry in a hurry” now. See if this is per your taste.

Peppers with Potatoes
(makes 2 to 4 meals for 4 to 2 people)

3 bell peppers (green or any color)
8 small, new crop potatoes or 3 regular sized ones
4 tomatoes
1 onion
1-tablespoon ginger-garlic-cilantro paste
1-tablespoon garam masala powder
1 teaspoon each - chilli powder and salt
½ teaspoon turmeric
oil or ghee to taste and tadka ingredients

Coarsely chop the listed vegetable to chunks. When I say coarsely, I mean really coarse, about one-inch sized pieces. Onions, tomatoes everything. The size matters here in this dish and adds extra special flavor.

Add oil to a kadai or wide skillet and heat. Add and toast cumin and mustard seeds. Add onion and sauté them to translucent. Add potatoes and tomatoes. Cover the skillet and cook for about five minutes. Moisture from tomatoes creates steamy environment for potatoes to become tender. When they are halfway done, add the bell peppers. Also the listed seasoning. Mix and cover the skillet with a tight lid. Keep the heat medium and continue cooking for another 15 to 20 minutes. Do not add water. When you lift the lid, what you see is soft vegetables in semi-moist consistency. (nothing should be in puddles of water). At this point you are ready to serve.

Tastes wonderful with warm chapatis or rotis and also with steamed rice.

Matta Rice with Pepper and Potatoes

Peppers and Potatoes with Rosematta Rice ~ Meal Today and for Pooja’s Jihva

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Potato, Bell Pepper, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Peppers, Baby Potatoes, Jihva For Ingredients (Wednesday May 28, 2008 at 5:37 pm- permalink)
Comments (25)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Tuning into Mandoline

My Mandoline
My 8-year old Mandoline

I tune into the radio when I am in the kitchen. The relaxing talk and tunes from radio help to make the routine job of cutting and cleaning go easy.

Just like music, mandoline is a nice thing to have in a kitchen. It makes it a breeze to prepare vegetables for salads, curries and raitas. And also for chips and bajjis. The replaceable inserts that come with mandoline are extremely useful for different styles of fine and uniform chopping. I use mandoline regularly to cut vegetables like carrots, potatoes, karela and cabbage. Also beetroot, cucumber, plantain and radish. Time saved on cabbage cutting alone makes the mandoline a must have in the kitchen, if you ask me.

Cooking can be a satisfying and enjoyable activity when we have right tools and happy vegetables. For me, a sharp mandoline with its quick and clean cutting blades is the right tool that will make chopping vegetables a happy job.

How about you? Are you a fan of Mandoline? Here are some mandoline tunes from Amazon.com (plastic and stainless steel).



Tools and Utensils from My Kitchen:

Grain Mill (Tiragali)
Sumeet Mixer and Grinder
Skillet to Preapre Pancake Puffs and Ponganalu

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Indian Utensils, Mahanandi Selections (Sunday May 25, 2008 at 8:31 pm- permalink)
Comments (19)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Weekend Kittaya


Haven’t you finished your studies yet?~ mumbling Kittaya

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Kittaya (Saturday May 24, 2008 at 8:01 pm- permalink)
Comments (4)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Lassi Lullabies ~ Raspberry Lassi

Raspberry Lassi
Raspberry Lassi and Kaju Laddu ~ for Dee’s Raspberry Event

Lassis are lovable lullabies of my home, India. Raspberry lassi is something fun I came up with raspberries for dear Dee’s event. Half pint fresh raspberries, one full glass homemade yogurt and a tablespoon honey - blended and served. With Kaju laddu on the side, this energetic lassi made one cheerful lullaby on this cloudy evening.

Lassi Lullabies:
Mango Lassi
*********

Have a nice long weekend!

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Berries (Friday May 23, 2008 at 8:06 pm- permalink)
Comments (15)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Fresh Flavors ~ Pudina Pappuchaaru


Pudina, Tomato and Shallots

N Balaji, a reader of Mahanandi, suggested this combination of ingredients when I asked for new mint recipes to try. This is a toor dal based chaaru, and mint adds a distinctive and appealing flavor, which seems to improve as it stands. Good one to have on a rainy day.

Pudina Pappuchaaru
(for two, for two meals)

Toor dal - half cup
Pudina - 5 branches, about hand-length
Shallots - 2
Tomato - 1, ripe one
Tamarind pulp and crushed jaggery - a tablespoon each
Turmeric - ¼ teaspoon
Red chilli powder and salt - ½ teaspoon each, or to taste
Tadka ingredients

Prep work:

Pressure cook toor dal in two cups of water to soft. Mash the dal to smooth. Keep it aside. While dal is cooking, prepare the vegetables. Pinch pudina leaves and tender stems. Finely chop- about half cup. Peel and thinly slice shallots lengthwise- about half cup. Cut tomato to small pieces. Soak tamarind pulp in about quarter cup of water.

Cooking time:

1. Heat a teaspoon of peanut oil in a chaaru paatra (saucepan). Add and toast a sprig of curry leaves, then a pinch each- cumin, mustard seeds and asafetida to fragrance.

2. Add shallots and sauté to pale red. Add tomatoes and mint leaves. Sauté for couple of minutes. Add the tamarind juice, jaggery, turmeric, chilli and salt. Also the cooked and mashed toor dal. Add about one to one and half cups of water. Mix, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer the chaaru, partially covering the pot, for about 20 minutes.

Serve warm. Good as it is and excellent when eaten with rice. To serve, place a spoonful of steamed rice in a bowl. Pour four to five ladlefuls of chaaru. Mix with a spoon or your right hand. Enjoy.

Pudina pappuchaaru
Pudina Pappuchaaru with Chitrannam ~ Meal Today

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Toor Dal, Mint (Thursday May 22, 2008 at 5:25 pm- permalink)
Comments (12)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Mango Mung Kosambari


Sprouted Mung Beans and Romaine Lettuce

Kosambari with mung bean sprouts and ripe mango. All I can say is “Yum”! I love mung bean sprouts and I love mangoes. And when I can get both fresh, this is the kosambari to prepare. With a cup of rasam or sambhar on the side, this makes an excellent hot weather meal.

Mung bean sprouts: you can easily sprout your own. Just soak the mung beans overnight. Next morning, line a colander with muslin cloth. Drain the water and cover the beans with the cloth loosely. Keep the cloth moist, and within a day or two, you see the growth. Rinse and add the sprouted beans to recipes.

Mango Mung Kosambari
(for two, for one meal)

1 ripe mango - peel, cut to bite sized cubes, about a cup
Mung Sprouts - one cup, (raw is good. if you prefer, lightly sauté)
1 hand length cucumber - peel and cut to bite sized cubes, about a cup
6 fresh romaine lettuce leaves - wash, and tear or cut to small pieces

Take them all in a big bowl. Add about half cup of homemade yogurt. Also pinch of salt and black pepper. Combine gently. Serve.


Mango Mung Kosambari ~ for Morning Meal Today

Recipe source: My creation

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Moong Dal (whole), Mango, Cucumbers, Sprouts (Molakalu), Lettuce greens (Wednesday May 21, 2008 at 11:10 am- permalink)
Comments (18)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Modern Indian Cooking~ Cookbook Review and Recipe

Modern Indian Cooking

You know how it is with some cookbooks. You hold it in your hands, browse through a page or two and immediately know that you are going to enjoy preparing from it. I felt that way with “Modern Indian Cooking“, written by talented chefs Hari Nayak and Vikas Khanna.

The difference between my cooking methods and my mother and grandmother generation lies in the globalization of taste. Traditional roots, but always on the lookout for some adventure that’s appropriate to the evolving palate. Chef Hari Nayak speaks such language in Modern Indian Cooking. He uses ingredients you might not normally see together, and they work. Wonton Chat, Paneer Picatta, Grilled Chicken with Kokum Compote, Konkan Chilli Prawns, Mint Puris, Semolina Crepes, Cardamom Brownies, Pink Peppercorn Chocolate Truffles - the book is filled with clean and contemporary combinations that are grounded in commonsense.

Being into the food photography and neat designs, I want to add some comments about the quality of the book. The design and layout are pleasing to the eye. Beautiful images of classic looking food against chic background fit with the theme that these are modern versions of classics. Some of the recipes have a series of small photographs that show the ingredients and the process of cooking the food. The recipe instructions are also laid out in a clear and concise manner without overcrowding the page. All and all, Modern Indian Cooking is a pleasant cookbook to have in the kitchen, and this is the first Hari Nayak’s cookbook I have added to my collection, but it won’t be the last.


The following is a recipe from Modern Indian Cooking. Baked samosas with spinach and mung bean using phyllo pastry sheets. I’ve prepared them with sprouted mung beans for a friends get-together last weekend and they were very well received.

Samosa with Spinach and Sprouted Mung Beans
(from MIC, page 25. Makes 2-dozen samosas)

1 cup, sprouted mung beans
4 cups, finely chopped fresh spinach
½ cup, finely chopped onion
1 tablespoon cumin-red chilli powder
½ teaspoon salt or to taste
¼ teaspoon turmeric
1-teaspoon oil or ghee

Puff or Phyllo pastry sheets
(mine was from Trader Joe’s-artisan brand.)

Filling: Heat oil in a wide skillet. Add onion and sauté to pale red. Add sprouted mung beans and spinach. Cover the skillet and steam-cook. Spinach supplies moisture, and it would take about 10-15 minutes for the sprouted mung bean to become tender-soft. At this stage, sprinkle turmeric, salt and masala powder. Mix and continue cooking for another five minutes or so. Turn off the heat, and wait for the curry to reach room temperature (cool).

Samosa Wrap: Meanwhile takeout the puff pastry sheet from the freezer. Wait until they reach from stiff, cardboard like to firm but pliable condition. Place the sheet on a lightly floured work surface and evenly roll out to thin. With a sharp knife, cut the sheet to equal looking 2 x 2 inch squares. Place a teaspoon of spinach curry in each square. Quickly fold the right corner over the filling to the left side and press the edges to make a triangle. Repeat until all are done.

Bake: Place the samosas on the baking sheet. Bake at 350 F. After about 10 minutes of baking time, turn to opposite side. Bake for another 5-10 minutes, until crisp and golden. Serve warm with tamarind-date chutney or ketchup.

Baked Samosas
Baked Samosas with Spinach and Sprouted Mung Beans

Notes:
Available for purchase at Amazon, Powell’s
Book Cover is taken from Harinayak.com for review purpose.
Recommend this book to your local library.

~ Indira

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Moong Dal (whole), All-Purpose Flour(Maida), Spinach, Reviews: Cookbooks, Sprouts (Molakalu) (Monday May 19, 2008 at 1:34 pm- permalink)
Comments (23)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Home Grown

Pudina (Mint)
Apartment Therapy with Homegrown Pudina (mint)

Our apartment has tiny balcony, just enough space for container gardening. I have planted mint, dill and basil for herbs, and also cherry tomato, chilli pepper and small variety brinjal plants. That’s my garden log for summer 08. How about you? What are you planning to plant this season? Any new/exotic plants? Share your garden tips and tools.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Zen (Personal) (Sunday May 18, 2008 at 9:49 am- permalink)
Comments (28)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Flavors of Life ~ Cakes n Bakes


‘Cakes n Bakes’ ~ Illustration by Sree
Graphite on paper, 8″x12″

I bake quite a bit and I like the home baked cakes more than the fancy, ornately iced ones from the store. My cakes almost always come out well except for the usual ‘old baking’ powder/ ‘old flour’ disasters. For ages I have followed this recipe given by my mother’s oldest friend, simply whisked all the ingredients (very important that they are all fresh and at room temperature) together for a while and baked it till the delicious aroma of a golden brown cake wafted through the entire house.:) My mom always adds a pinch of salt and a tablespoon of honey as well, she says it makes the cake moist and tastier.

~ by Sree

More from Sree ~ Click here

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Sree (Saturday May 17, 2008 at 10:20 am- permalink)
Comments (12)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Fresh Peas of Spring ~ Peas Pulao


I walked to Pike Place Market this morning and came home with two pounds of fresh peas. I sat for some time thinking about what to prepare and the following recipe is what I came up with for our meal today.

Added basmati rice and salt to water. Steam-cooked the rice to tender.

While rice was cooking, I shelled the peas from the pods. I separated about a cup of plump peas for this recipe. Heated a skillet. Added a teaspoon of peanut oil. When the oil was hot enough, added a teaspoon of Mandira’s panch phoran mix. Toasted the spices for couple of seconds. Then added the fresh peas, quarter cup of finely chopped mint leaves for fragrance and a pinch of black pepper for some heat. Slow simmered the whole thing in quarter cup of very diluted homemade coconut milk for about five minutes.

By then the rice was ready. Added the Pea-panch phoran mix from the skillet to the rice. Mixed and served it with cucumber raita.

Thanks to the Basmati, panch phoran and mint presence, the fresh peas of spring season radiated comfortable glow of self-appreciation. I loved my meal today.


Peas Pulao with Fresh Peas and Panch Phoran
(for two persons, for two meals)

1½ cups basmati rice + 3 cups water + quarter teaspoon salt
Skillet
1 teaspoon - peanut oil
1 teaspoon- panch phoran mix
1 cup - freshly shelled, plump peas
¼ cup - finely chopped mint leaves
¼ teaspoon - crushed black pepper
¼ cup - coconut milk (homemade or store-bought)

(Panch Phoran is a Bengali/Oriya spice mix made of Cumin, Fennel, Fenugreek, Mustard and Nigella seeds. Take the seeds in almost equal quantity. Mix and store in a spice box. That’s panch phoran.)

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Basmati Rice, Peas (Bataani) (Friday May 16, 2008 at 5:12 pm- permalink)
Comments (16)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Kovakkai Crisps (Tindora Fries)

Kovakkai (Dondakaya, Tindora)
Thinly Sliced Kovakkai (Dondakaya, Tindora, Ivy Gourd)

This dish suggested by my sister, tastes as elegant as it looks, yet very simple to prepare. It goes well with rice and dal or chapati and dal, but I would like it anyway, even as one of the filling in a sandwich.

Kovakkai Crisps

Wash kovakkai in plenty of water. Take them in a kitchen towel and pat them dry. For each one, with a sharp knife, cut and remove the ends. Slice lengthwise into two and then cut each half to two or three thin pieces. Prepare them all in this way.

Take the Kovakkai pieces in a bowl. Sprinkle salt and olive or peanut oil to taste. Toss to coat. Spread the pieces on a baking tray.

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Once the oven is ready, place the baking tray and bake the kovakkai for about 15 minutes. Then change the oven setting from bake to ‘broil’ and continue cooking for another ten minutes, until the kovakkai turns to crisp. Keep an eye during broil setting to prevent charring/overcooking.

Remove the baking tray. Sprinkle few tablespoons of pappula podi on the hot and crispy kovakkai. Mix. Serve immediately.

Oven-cooking draws out the sharp sour flavor of kovakkai and the crispiness adds delightful crunch. Kovakkai crisps taste quite good as a side dish to rice and dal/sambar combination, or as a filling in chapati or bread sandwich.

Kovakkai Crisps
Kovakkai Crisps Spiced with Pappula Podi ~ for Meal Today

Kay’s Kovakkai Crisps with Frozen and Cut Kovakkai

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Dondakaya(Tindora) (Wednesday May 14, 2008 at 1:53 pm- permalink)
Comments (23)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Lassi Lullabies ~ Mango Lassi

Mango Lassi
Sweet Mango and a Glass of Mango Lassi ~ for WBB Mango Event

Lassies are soothing lullabies of my home, India. Mango lassi is a manthram like magic melody and I love it.

Mango Lassi Lullaby
(to fill two small glasses)

Mango, ripe - one
Yogurt, homemade - half cup
Sugar - 1 tablespoon (I added maple syrup)
Cardamom powder - a pinch
Blender

Peel and cut mango to small pieces. Take them in a blender. Add maple syrup and cardamom. Puree to smooth. Add yogurt and about half glass of water. Blend until well mixed. Refrigerate for about 15 minutes. Pour into two glasses. Enjoy the soothing mango lassi lullaby.

More with Mango from Mahanandi:
Burger and Fries with Sweet Mango
Mango Fruit Tart
Mango Halwa (Mango Ravakesari)
Mango Jam
Mango Jihva
Mango Salsa
Mango Shirkhand (Aamrakhand)
Mango Strawberry Scones
Mango Strawberry Popsicles
Pancake Ponganalu with Mango Sauce
Yogurt Rice with Sweet Mango

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Amma & Authentic Andhra, Mango, Yogurt (Tuesday May 13, 2008 at 8:12 pm- permalink)
Comments (19)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Artisan Food with Daikon Radish


Daikon and Chana Dal (Mullangi mariyu Sanaga pappu)

A tablespoon of grated radish eaten daily for several weeks has long been recommended by traditional healers in the East as treatment for Kidney and bladder stones, and for sinusitis. Low in calories and an all around detoxifier, radishes are excellent for us health wise.

The following is my mother’s recipe in which the white radish also known as Daikon, Mooli or Mullangi, is cooked with chana dal and potatoes, and seasoned with dahi mirchi tadka. The recipe is easy to prepare and incredibly tasty. Great when eaten with rice, roti, pasta or with millet.


White Radish Subzi with Pita Bread and Aachar Avocado ~ Brunch Today

Recipe Details:

Artisan Food: Daikon Subzi (Mullangi Kura)
Ingredients: Daikon, Potato, Chana Dal and Tadka Ingredients
Skill level: Easy. From Novice to Expert
Labels: Traditional-India, Vegan, And Wholesome Food
Price: $2.00
Format: PDF

Artisan Food with Daikon Radish Recipe PDF


Buy Now

How it Works: After payment via Paypal, PDF 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 Radish, Chana Dal, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Artisan Food (Monday May 12, 2008 at 12:01 pm- permalink)
Comments (3)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Photo by Vijay Singari
To Mothers and Daughters Who Spend Time at Mahanandi and To My Dear Sisters ~
Happy Mother’s Day!

Flowers and Plants for Senses and for Spirit
Beautiful Roses
Berry Merry Flowers
Baby Amaranth

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Zen (Personal) (Sunday May 11, 2008 at 12:06 pm- permalink)
Comments (6)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

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