Mahanandi

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

Seattle Eateries ~ Michou


Michou, Seattle

Michou is a nice place to get some fresh, inexpensive and quality food at Pike Place Market in Seattle. This is a small eatery between Le Panier and Piroshky Piroshky.

We stumbled upon Michou last summer in one of our Pike Place food quests. It has become a regular lunch stop on the weekends since then. This is a barebone kind of eatery - food display counter, prep area, and three seats in the back. That’s it. But the food is really great and prices are budget friendly. We usually get our meal to-go and walk to the nearby park overlooking Elliott Bay. We pick a park bench, enjoy our food with view.

Go the market on the weekend around ten, do veggie shopping and walk back home after a lunch at Michou - This has been our routine last summer, and hoping to have the same this summer also.


Asian and Italian inspired deli food ranging from pakora, panini, pasta, pizza to potato-baked. Plus nice variety of sandwiches, soups and salads. Half a sandwich and a salad, it’s about $5.75.



Friendly face behind the counter.


Salad, Broccoli-Bell Pepper Pizza and Baklava ~
Picnic at Pike Place. Bonus, Elliott Bay View


Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Zen (Personal) (Saturday June 21, 2008 at 7:45 pm- permalink)
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Server Upgrade

We have moved “Mahanandi” web contents on to a new server today. Lately, we were experiencing problems with the previous server due to increased traffic and spam attacks, and that was creating problems on the server and causing it to shutdown frequently. I am hoping that the new server environment can sustain the problems and will keep running all the time.

In this migration process, some of the recent comments that were posted in the past three days got erased. I tried to restore most from Google Cache. I apologize, if any of your comments got deleted. I am also sorry for the down time and hoping that the new server will keep the website running continuously! Thank you.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Zen (Personal) (Friday June 20, 2008 at 8:25 pm- permalink)
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Party Snacks ~ Masala Peanuts

Masala Peanuts ( Stealing is not nice. Please do not use any images or content from this site without my permission. Thanks.)
వేయించిన మసాలా వేరుశనగపప్పు(Masala Peanuts, Sing Bhujia)

Party food should be fun and something special. Masala peanuts fit the profile. This is a retro recipe resuscitated to celebrate a special occasion. Roasted peanuts are dipped in besan-masala batter and deep-fried. 15 minutes in front of the stove or a trip to favorite Indian snack shop, whatever method one prefers, the unique spice and sour glazed peanuts are worth the effort.

Masala Peanuts:

Roast: Heat a cast-iron skillet. Add shelled peanuts. On medium heat, roast the nuts until lightly colored with a distinct aroma. Remove immediately, and take them in a wide plate. Wait until they are cool. Rub and remove the skins.

Batter: In a bowl, take gram flour and rice flour in 4:1 quantity. Add amchur, cumin powder, red chilli powder and salt to taste. Also a pinch of baking soda. Whisk and prepare batter in medium thick consistency by adding water as necessary to the flour such that the batter puts a coat on peanuts that is not too thin it drips or too thick like facemask. Add the peanuts to the batter.

Prepare: Heat oil in a heavy pan for deep-frying. When oil starts smoking, lower the heat. Wait for few seconds and then drop the batter-coated peanuts. Fry until golden, drain and place them on a paper-covered plate. Once they are cool, store them in a clean container. Stays fresh for two weeks to a month.

Note:
Amchur is optional. Adds a nice tangy touch.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Peanuts, Amma & Authentic Andhra (Monday June 16, 2008 at 9:51 pm- permalink)
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The Graduate Kittaya

Kittaya- Illustration Attempt by Indira

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Zen (Personal), Kittaya (Sunday June 15, 2008 at 12:05 am- permalink)
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Supporting Inji Pennu

For taking action to stop plagiarism, fellow food blogger Inji Pennu of Ginger and Mango was threatened bodily harm. A fake website was also created on her name by people who run kerals.com website, to abuse and harass her. Inji Pennu has reported to FBI Internet Crime cell, and also in the process of filing a complaint with local police.

It is shocking to find such threatening attacks against bloggers who did nothing but plead ‘Stop Stealing My Material’. Like one commenter noted, the whole incident, to me serves as a rude awakening to the realization that how easily our primary rights and protection can be violated by those who do not have any respect for others’ rights. This is a fundamental issue of the bloggers not only of those who are now affected, but also of everybody. In that sense, this is an issue that should receive our collective attention. For that reason, I am joining the protest against cyber bullying by websites and magazines that plagiarize and attack. And, I give my full support to Inji Pennu.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Zen (Personal) (Monday June 9, 2008 at 11:25 am- permalink)
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Flavors of Life ~ Coconut Saplings

Coconut Saplings by Sree
Coconut Saplings ~ Sketch by Sree
(Colored pencils on paper 6″x9″)

My dad is an avid gardener. If he had not been an engineer, I am sure he would have been a farmer. Ironically, the soil at our place is not fertile enough for his efforts to bear fruit. But he never gives up. These are ‘extra’ coconut saplings lying in my backyard. Now a convenient “hide n seek” play area for the kittens. :)

~ by Sree

About ‘Flavors of Life’ ~ Click here

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Coconut (Fresh), Sree (Saturday June 7, 2008 at 10:53 am- permalink)
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Cookery, Indic (4) ~ by Veena Parrikar


Usha’s Pickle Digest
by Usha Prabakaran

Usha's Pickle Digest
Published in 1998 by the author’s own Pebble Green Publications in Chennai, India.

It was late April and I was browsing the cookery shelves of a bookstore in Mumbai. Like all avid collectors of one thing or the other, I have learnt to quickly pick grain from chaff. My expertise is, of course, aided by the fact that the food-and-drink sections of all mainstream bookstores in India look alike: piles of publications from serial cookbook writers and compilers, a few guides to eating in city XYZ, coffee-table tomes from foreign publishers, and “chef’s series” pocket books. I rapidly scan the spines of these books, eyes peeled for the unusual or the local. That day, however, I flipped through “Cooking in Six Minutes” by one of the aforementioned copious authors. A few books down the shelf, I came across “Cooking in Three Minutes” by the same author. I wondered how far this series would go, and sure enough, out tumbled “Cooking in 60 Seconds”. Just like all problems of this world can be solved if you smile and think positively, so will you be relieved of your kitchen burdens if you think of cooking as the time that a pot spends in contact with the stove. Maybe it was the blistering summer heat or maybe I had looked at one cookbook too many, but I suddenly felt weary of the pervasive silliness of the food publishing world. For an antidote, I turned to two things: slow, sun-cooked pickles that would take days or weeks before they were ready, and a cookbook narrow in its focus, yet unmatched in range and depth.

Usha’s Pickle Digest is the definitive book for Indian pickles; the first and probably the last word on vegetarian pickles, unless the author publishes a second volume. There is not much I can say about the Digest or about Usha that has not already been said elsewhere. One vaguely knew that India has a vast repertoire of traditional pickles, but one did not know that a thousand pickles across 131 ingredients are within the realm of possibility. One had heard of mango pickles, lemon pickles, chilli pickles, tomato pickles, even okra pickles; but pickles made out of coconut, kokum, hibiscus flowers, artichokes, sugarcane, pomegranate, or spinach were beyond our imagination. All the recipes rely only on natural preservatives such as salt, oil, vinegar, and spices. The life of each pickle is indicated at the end of the recipe. There is also something very satisfying about the meticulousness with which the recipes have been titled and indexed for easy access. Even if pickles do not tickle your culinary fancies, the book offers plenty - an extensive glossary of ingredients in ten languages along with botanical names, methods to detect adulteration, buying and storage guides, and several other practical kitchen tips.

The best part of this book for me personally, however, is the profound sincerity of purpose underlying this work. The Digest was published neither for fame nor money. Usha’s patent enthusiasm and desire to share the results of her pickling research is the driving force of this book. We tend to romanticize secrecy in the culinary arts. Prized recipes and techniques are either kept shrouded in mystique or published omitting an ingredient here or instruction there. Clearly, the recipes and kitchen wisdom in this book have been developed through years of diligent and sustained effort. That she went the several extra miles to present her knowledge in a clear and forthcoming manner indeed commands our respect. It is also why we keep rummaging tons of chaff in search of a few precious grains.

Recipe: Sambaara Mango

Adapted from Usha Prabakaran’s Usha’s Pickle Digest

Ingredients:
500 grams cut raw mango, small pieces
75 grams salt (use kosher or crystal salt)
35 grams chilli powder
10 grams fenugreek seeds
10 grams cumin seeds
5 grams asafoetida
200 ml sesame oil
5 grams mustard seeds
A few sprigs curry leaves

Method:
Sprinkle salt on the mango pieces and marinate for a day. Next day, remove the mango pieces from the resulting juices (“salt water”). Reserve these juices in a refrigerator.


Place the mango pieces on a steel tray or thali and sun-dry for four days (till the mango pieces are three-fourths dry).


At the end of the fourth day, roast in a little oil the fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, and asafoetida and grind to a powder. Combine with the chilli powder and add this spice-blend to the dried mango pieces.

Heat the sesame oil, add the mustard seeds and curry leaves, and allow to crackle. Pour in the salt water and an equal volume of plain water. When the mixture begins to boil, stir in the mango mixture. Let it come to a boil again, and then remove from heat.


The pickle is ready to use after five days. It lasts for six months.

Notes:
I have presented the ingredients as originally provided in the book. When I prepared this pickle, however, I had neither measuring cups/spoons nor a weighing scale handy. I kept tasting throughout the process. You can adjust the spices according to your taste and the tartness of the mangoes, but please do so in a way that maintains the balance of flavours. The primary tastes in this pickle should be sour, chilli-hot, and salty.

Sambaara Mango (Sundried Mango Pickle)

Text and Photographs: Veena Parrikar

Previously in the Cookery, Indic Series:

Introduction
Salads for All Occasions - Vijaya Hiremath
Cooking with Green Leafy Vegetables - Shyamala Kallianpur
Regional Rustic Recipes by Manipal Mahila Samaj

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Mamidikaya (Green Mango), Reviews: Cookbooks, Veena Parrikar (Monday June 2, 2008 at 12:05 am- permalink)
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Website Issues

My website is going through hosting service problems. Also some malicious code seems to target Mahanandi and disrupt the comments function. We are trying to find out what and where the problem is and fix.

Sorry for all the inconvenience.

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Zen (Personal) (Monday June 2, 2008 at 12:02 am- permalink)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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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)
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