Vegetarian Concoctions

January 12, 2007

My Booty!

Filed under: Appliances, Cookbooks, General — Hema @ 1:48 pm

Anyone who goes back to India for a vacation, shops like he/she has never shopped before. Yes, when I say he/she, I do mean he too. My ‘he’ has a policy though. If you buy something you throw something out of the house. And I? I happen to be an antique collector:)) This time, I had promised him I would buy just what I needed and nothing more and I quite kept my promise. After all, the airlines decided to reduce the baggage weight allowance and I didnt want to leave anything that I bought. Also, he happens to be the packer (I suck at it), so nothing can be sneaked in without his notice.

I told him, we need a mixie – a good one that can grind well with less water. My chutneys, thugayals and vadais dont look the way they are supposed to. They just turn out watery and shapeless due to the extra water that goes into the grinding process.

Yes, lets buy one. I hope it is not too huge.

Well, the one I have in mind has 3 jars and a juicer.

Wow, that might just take up one whole luggage. Why do you need a juicer? Even if you do,we get good ones there.

(Pop came the answer…I had rehersed this before!). We need to start introducing healthy juices to our daughter. Besides, this whole thing comes for the cost of one juicer you would get back there.

That did it and I am now a proud owner of this Preeti mixie. Love it!


My second precious booty…a brand new eeya chombu! I have never possessed one of my own. Amma got it for me and boy! is it heavy. Now, the rasams are just top-class. What a difference the new metal has made!


We went to landmark at Chennai, a brilliant book and music store. Bought a bunch of books for my kitchen reading as well.


(Notice the healthy juices by Tarla Dalal)


October 3, 2006

Mysore Sambhar

Filed under: Cookbooks, Indian, Karnataka, Main meals, Mixed Veggies, South Indian — Hema @ 1:21 pm

One of my favourite cookbooks DAKSHIN, by Chandra Padmanabhan had been lying on the counter- top without being used for a long time. I got this as a gift from my MIL 2 years back and have tried various recipes from this book with wonderful results each time.  This recipe for Mysore sambhar always caught my attention, since this was a new recipe to me. The only reason I had not tested this was because there was no tamarind in the list of ingredients and sambhar sans tamarind……hmmm? Yesterday, however I decided to go for it. I couldn’t help but add a little bit of tamarind never-the-less. I was quite impressed with the outcome. Though, the tamarind did add that little bit of taste that I like, I am pretty sure the recipe would have been as good if not better even without it.

Tur Dal  – 3/4 cup uncooked

Water – 3 cups

Beans – 1 2/3 cups

Potato – 1 medium

Green peas – 1 tbsp

Tamarind – 1/2 lime sized ball

Turmeric – 1/2 tsp

Salt to taste

For the paste:

Dhania  – 1 tbsp

Grated coconut  – 6 tbsp

Hing –  1/2 tsp

Methi (fenugreek) seeds – 1 tsp

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Raw rice (soaked) – 1 tbsp

Red chillies – 6 nos

For tempering:

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

Cumin – 1 tsp

Red chilli – 1

Curry leaves – 5-6 nos.

Cook the dal and soak the rice in water for about 15 minutes. Cut vegetables to about 1 inch size and boil in water. Add the tamarind and salt when the vegetables are half cooked and let it boil up together till the vegetables are fully cooked. Make a fine paste of all the ingredients listed with minimum water. The original recipe did not have methi (fenugreek) seeds, but I decided to add some for the flavour. Add turmeric and the paste to the veggies and let it simmer up for about 5 minutes on medium flame. Next add the dal and cook the sambhar for another 3-4 minutes. Temper with Mustard, cumin, red chilli and curry leaves and serve hot with rice.


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