Sunday, September 14, 2014

Weekend Gupshup

I'm feeling chatty today, so be warned! :)

I have managed to gain 4.5 lbs in the past one month! A combination of stress-eating and lack of any exercise regimen are the reasons. I don’t mind the weight as much as the flab. It would have been nice had it all distributed evenly but of course, life doesn't work way! It seems like all of the 4.5 lbs headed straight to my mid-region. Now I have my nephew’s wedding coming up in late October and I really, truly need to flatten the abs by then. After all, I have those saris to wear and a long evening dress that needs to sit right. Zumba has been great for me in the past to tone the core. So zumba twice a week and circuit training once is what I managed last week. I'll be happy if I can sustain this for the coming week. Food-wise too, I'm trying to keep my immense love for breads and rice at bay. Below is typical of my weekdays the past week - heavier breakfast (this was egg whites with veggies and cheese), salad for lunch with a wheat roll and some pita-hummus for snacking.


Of course, I can't sustain this the whole week - well, not without getting cranky anyway. So to stay sane and keep others sane (see, I think of others too!) , some days looked like this! From an Indian restaurant in my small town that serves lunch thali - good stuff!



One of the stress causers is also the fact that I’ll be travelling alone to India for a week, leaving my two babies behind with their Dad. Right now, they’re all confident and planning on all the fun they can have. No Mom going “ don’t do this”, “don’t do that”, “drink your milk”, “bedtime -now!”, you see. Miss M also reassures me that she will help with taking care of her younger brother. The little fellow just wants some chocolate from India in return. The Dad is all chilled too, right now. My BIL once took care of three kids under 4 by himself, for over 3 weeks. This should be more easily manageable.

Fingers crossed for all being well and going well. Have a great week ahead, folks. And thank you for listening.

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Aloo Sabzi with Rasam Powder - Diced Potatoes in South Indian Spice Powder


Can you believe it's September already?! Time is just rolling by so fast. Currently I feel like my life is on fast forward, with each day flitting by on super-speed and not much to show for it. Work has been busy, with extra hours most days and even working some Saturdays. To manage that, my kids' activities have been put on hold and blogging has taken a back seat. So I've missed quite a few tags and memes, which I hope to get to soon. My sweet friend Sunila Vig, a poet, writer, yoga teacher, a foodie and who has been my sounding board for years, passed me the Sunshine Award. Thank you, Suni! Do visit her blog here and be sure to check her inspiring A-Z series.


My cooking, when it does happen, has been restricted to simple stuff like this aloo sabzi, with just a few ingredients (for Indian cooking, that is). Anything potatoes works with the kids and this one, with rasam powder, kept the grown-up palates satisfied too.



Ingredients:

2 large potatoes, diced
1 small onion, choppe
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1.5 tsp saaru pudi/rasam powder (or more, depending on the heat you want)
1 tbsp lime juice
chopped cilantro for garnish

For the tadka:
2 tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Method:

Heat oil in a pan and add the jeera/cumin. Allow it to sizzle and then add turmeric powder and let sit for a couple seconds.
Toss in the chopped onion the g-g paste and fry until onions lightly golden.
Add the diced potatoes and fry for 5 mins.
Add the rasam powder, salt and cook for another 5 minutes, until the potatoes are cooked completely.
Finish with lime juice and chopped cilantro.
Serve as a side with rice and rasam or with soft tawa rotis.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Spicy Capsicum Curry, 8 years of Blogging and a Quick Re-cap


Been MIA for a long time. I missed the blog's anniversary, which turned 8 last month. And apparently it's had 1.1 million hits, since I started using a tracker some 6 years back. So yay for both! Thank you all, who stop by at Mysoorean. Really glad that you do :) Scroll down to see some posts during this time over the past 8 years!

Here's a spicy curry that I made recently. Adjust the cream to balance to the spice level you want. The saunf in the masala gives a lovely pungence to the curry.



Ingredients:

3 medium capsicum/bell peppers, cubed
2-3 tbsp cream
3 tbsp oil
salt to taste

To grind to a paste:
1 medium onion
1 small tomato
3-4 dried red chilies (the hot variety)
4 Kashmiri red chilies
1 tsp ginger-garlic paste
1/2 tsp fennel/saunf
2 cardamom
2 cloves
small stick of cinnamon

Method:

Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and fry the ground paste until the raw smell in gone and the oil starts to leave the sides of the pan.
Separately, saute the capsicum in a tbsp of oil, until lightly cooked.
Add to the ground paste and let cook for 10 minutes on low.
Mix in the cream and salt. Cook for another 5 mins, until the peppers are well cooked.
Serve with rotis.

Here's a quick dekko at some July/Augusts of the past!




Aug 2013 - Soy Nuts "Raja" Masala  










Aug 2012 - Batate Saung











 Aug 2011 - Beetroot Palya












July 2010 - Chayote, beans and dill Bhaji









Aug 2009 - Nasi Goreng and Sambal Telur








July 2008 -Carrot and Alfalfa Sprouts Kosambari









Aug 2007- Spinach Bhath









  July 2006 - Akki Rotti, my very first post! 

Monday, July 07, 2014

Keerai Sambar - Spinach Sambar


One of good things we had going during our short stay in Madras, was the proximity to good restaurants. It was also the first time I had paneer butter masala and chhole with kadi patta in them but let's not go there! :) (Though not autehntic, I didn't mind it btw) One of the restaurants, called Grand Foods, also sold fresh masala powders. Their sambar, kolambu and rasam powders were the authentic Tamil version. (They also made the yummiest paddus (guntpungulu) loaded with ghee - so, so good!!). Here I have the Aachi sambar powder for when I want a Tamil sambar. Our Huli is similar to sambar but there are differences in the ingredients in the powder (here is the huli pudi) as well as the fact that we use jaggery and coconut in ours and is thicker.




Ingredients:

1 big bunch spinach (or amaranth greens), chopped
1/2 cup toor dal
1 medium tomato, quartered
1 tbsp homemade sambar powder (or Aachi brand)
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp tamarind concentrate/paste
Salt to taste

For the tadka:
1 tbsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
A few pinches of asafoetida
1 green chili, split
a few curry leaves

Method:

Pressure cook toor dal in 3 cups of water, along with chopped spinach, tomato and turmeric powder. Whisk a little to blend the dal and the tomato.
In a pot, heat oil. Add mustard seeds and allow to pop. Add the remaining tadka ingredients and saute for 10 seconds.
Add the cooked dal, sambar powder, tamarind paste and salt and bring to a boil.
Serve hot with rice, topped with ghee.

A quick look at some of the lunches from last week. The amazing corn-black bean salad and the Karnataka style vegetable pulav. Plus a black bean burger with cheese (and mayo!) but hey, I skipped fries and I had roasted brussel sprouts on the side!





Monday, June 30, 2014

"Eating Better" Updates


Since last week, when I started watching my food intake, things have been going pretty well. All lunches have been healthy and vegetable heavy - no fried stuff at all. Had friends over for dinner one night - managed to not overeat. Had a birthday party last evening - ended up having two slices of cake though (I'm like the general dumpyard for the food that my kids don't eat - "Love ya, Mom. Here, some more cake for you!" and I don't even like sweets that much!)

Did I mention my office cafeteria generally rocks? Here is my lunch from today. Spinach and Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken with roasted potatoes and broccoli on the side. Yummilicious! (The Indian in me would have sneaked in some red pepper flakes in it though!)




And here are some more pics from last week. Chicken Salad on Wheat and Bhindi Bhaji and Stuffed Eggplant curry with rotis on the one off day when I was home for lunch. For those, like me, who thought pickle had zero nutrition, check this - let's not talk sodium though :)





Have a great week ahead!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Eating Better Challenge 2


I’ve been MIA for a while now. I’ve fallen off the tracks in many ways – including food and exercising. I had been doing great on both counts but once I had the excuse of family visiting, I have not seen the face of my gym since (almost 2 months now!). Another excuse for not exercising regularly – I signed up for a group dance for the Indian Independence day celebrations here. It involves practice sessions 4 times a week – perfect reason, right? I do burn some calories during practice – so there! I may have to do some exaggerated moves though, just to break into a sweat and really get some good going! I love to dance but this is the first time I’m participating in something like this – a group, on stage etc. The group dynamics is mighty interesting. I’ll be wearing a lehnga choli after 15 years – God help the folks who have to see me in one!

Now I have to fix my food choices and stress eating habit. I once did a Eating Better Challenge on myself when I was in a similar situation and that got me back on track. So for the next few days (hopefully, weeks), expect to see pictures of food, mainly lunch pics. I may make them wordless posts too – better chances of me posting regularly then.

So to kick start “Eating Better Challenge 2”, here’s my lunch from yesterday – mesclun greens, spinach, beets, peppers, carrots, dried cranberries with pasta salad and black beans, dressed with raspberry vinaigrette. (Our cafeteria had a great salad bar!) I will have to work on skipping shredded cheese and croutons…but gosh, do I love them!


PS: Wanna join in?

Monday, May 05, 2014

Breakfast Quesadilla


Had this in my drafts – perfect post for Cinco de Mayo. I must have mentioned this umpteen times but will do so again. I love breakfast stuff for dinner! I do, I do! It makes perfect sense too. Most weekdays, there’s hardly any time to even think of breakfast that requires preparing. It helps greatly that kids like cereal too. In fact, given a choice between cereal and dosas, Miss M chooses cereal! It’s a different story with the fellow, of course! He will happily consume idlis and dosas and akki rottis everyday! He does like cereals too though, thankfully.

So anyway, this breakfast quesadilla was another of my weeknight dinners. It can easily turn to a breakfast burrito too, with even less effort. The kids love sausage and I’ve included here but it’s easily skippable or can be substituted with bacon. I make it more gooey with cheese for the kids.




Ingredients:

4 8” flour/corn tortillas
6 eggs, scrambled
3 turkey sausage patties, fully cooked and diced (optional)
1 cup shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese
1 small red onion, chopped
1 small green pepper, chopped
1 small bunch spinach, chopped (optional)
Taco sauce
Salsa for dipping or filling (optional)
Oil for spraying
A dab of butter for scrambling eggs
Salt for seasoning


Method:


Heat a small skillet and fry the onions, peppers and spinach for a couple minutes. Keep aside.
In the same skillet, scramble eggs with a little bit of butter, season with salt and keep aside.
Heat a griddle or a skillet over medium heat. Spray with non stick spray. Place a tortilla over the skillet and sprinkle one half of the tortilla with cheese. Then top with scrambled eggs, onion, peppers, spinach and drizzle with taco sauce. Cover with the remaining half and press down.
Let the bottom side of the tortilla cook for about 2 minutes on medium heat, until crispy. Spray on the top and flip to cook the other side. Cook until crispy brown.
Transfer to a cutting board to cool, then slice and serve with salsa (or guacamole and sour cream) on the side.