Monthly Archives: April 2010

Spinach & Arugula Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 cup baby arugula
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup walnuts chopped and toasted
  • 2 teaspoons raisins
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 avocado
  • 1 teaspoon feta cheese

Method

  • Wash spinach and arugula and drain well
  • Mix leaves and cherry tomatoes together (if the cherry tomatoes are large, it can be split into halves)
  • For salad dressing, in a separate bowl mix olive oil, honey and lemon juice well
  • Add dressing to the spinach mix and add salt and pepper
  • Sprinkle with feta cheese, raisins and walnuts
  • Cut avocado and remove the seed.  Slice them lengthwise into thin slices
  • Decorate the salad with avocado slices

Yields: 2 servings

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Dhalia (Pottu Kadalai) Laddu

Ingredients

  • ½ cup pottu kadalai (dahlia)
  • ½ cup white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • ¼ cup broken cashew nuts + raisins
  • 1  tablespoon + ½ teaspoon ghee (clarified butter)
  • 1 tablespoon boiling water

Method

  • Dry roast dahlia for a minute or so
  • Grind dahlia and sugar into a coarse powder
  • In a skillet add ½ teaspoon ghee and fry cashew nuts and raisins for a minute or two
  • Mix cardamom powder, fried nuts and raisins with ground dahlia
  • Melt 1 tablespoon ghee and add to the dahlia mixture and mix well
  • Add 1 tablespoon hot water to the above mixture and mix well
  • Slightly cool a bit and make them into balls – laddu
  • Do not leave too long before making the laddu, since the mixture will become dry and won’t be able to make into balls

Tofu in Yogurt Sauce/Gravy

Ingredients

  • 8 oz extra firm tofu
  • Oil spray
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seed powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • ¼ teaspoon mustard seed
  • ¼ cup red onion sliced
  • 1 strand curry leaves
  • 2 – 3 dried red chilies broken into 2 – 3 pieces
  • Salt

Method

  • Put yogurt in a dish and add chili powder, cumin powder, coriander powder, fennel powder, turmeric powder and salt. Mix well and set aside
  • Drain tofu and cut them into cubes
  • In a baking tray add the cut tofu and spray cooking oil
  • Set the oven to broil (400 F) and broil the tofu for about 15 minutes
  • Add the broiled tofu to the yogurt mixture and mix well (careful, do not mix too much since tofu might break)
  • Set aside and marinade for about 30 minutes
  • In a covered saucepan add oil and add mustard seed
  • When the mustard seed start splattering add onion and fry for about 10 minutes or until golden brown
  • Add broken dried red chilies and curry leaves and fry for another one or two minutes
  • Add tofu yogurt mixture to the saucepan and cover and cook for about 5 minutes in a medium-low flame.  Stir a couple of times gently while cooking to avoid yogurt curdling
  • Serve with rice or chapattis

Yields: 2 side dishes

Whole Wheat Flax Seed Muffins

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 1 tablespoon flax seed
  • ¼  cup raisins
  • ¼ cup chopped walnuts

Method

  • Preheat oven to 375° F
  • Grease 8 muffin cups
  • In a mixing bowl beat egg and sugar with electric mixer
  • Add sugar and beat.  Add milk, oil and vanilla essence and beat well
  • Add flax seed and mix
  • Sift together flours, baking powder and salt
  • Add the flour mixture to the egg mixture slowly and mix well
  • Add raisins and walnuts and mix
  • Spoon the mixture into muffin cups and bake for about 25 – 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the muffin comes out clean
  • Cool on wire rack

Yields 8 muffins

Red Quinoa Salad

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup red quinoa
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 cups baby arugula
  • 4 tablespoons dried cranberries
  • 3 – 4 tablespoons toasted slivered almonds
  • 2 teaspoons crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method

  • Rinse quinoa thoroughly and drain
  • Add 1/3 cup of quinoa to 2/3 cup of water in a covered saucepan
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer until all the water is evaporated – about 15 minutes
  • Let cool the cooked quinoa
  • In a salad bowl mix cooked quinoa, arugula, salt and pepper
  • Add olive oil and mix well
  • Sprinkle with cranberries, toasted almonds and feta cheese

Yields: 2 servings

Coconut & Almond Crusted French Toast

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons 1% milk
  • 3 – 4 drops of almond essence
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 4 slices whole wheat bread
  • Little bit of butter
  • 2 teaspoons sweetened coconut flakes
  • 4 teaspoons slivered almonds

Method:

  • combine milk, eggs, almond essence, and sugar in a flat dish until they are incorporated
  • soak the bread slices for about 1 minute in the egg mixture on each side
  • mix slivered almonds and coconut flakes and divide them into 4 portions
  • Press ¼ of the almond coconut mixture on one side of bread.  Repeat on the other side of bread
  • add a little butter to skillet and fry the soaked bread slices on each side until they are nice and brown

Yields: 2 servings

இனிய தமிழ் புத்தாண்டு நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள்

 

Happy New Year 

இனிய தமிழ் புத்தாண்டு நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள்

In Sri Lanka New Year is celebrated on April 14th (This varies from year to year according to the Hindu and Buddhist calendar).  In Tamil it’s called “Puthandu” (புத்தாண்டு) and in Sinhala it’s called “Avurudu”. The exact time New Year born (auspicious time) is given by the astrologers.  So the New Year is a very complex tradition based on the astrological, Hindu and Buddhist traditions. This New Year is also celebrated in parts of India.  On this day every body says “Puthandu valthukkal” to each other which means Happy New Year.

In Sri Lanka, Hindus follow some rituals for good luck and for the well being in the coming New Year.  Hindus go to temples prior to the auspicious time (Punya kalam) and get “maruthu neer” from priests.  They take bath with this “maruthu neer” by placing some water on the head.  Traditionally some plant leaves also used while doing this ritual.  “Kontral” leaf is placed on the head and “Vilvam” leaf is placed on the foot while taking this bath.  After this new clothes are worn and once the New Year is born families assemble for prayer at their home.  The prayer begins with lighting the traditional lamp (Kuthu Vilakku).  Then the whole family heads to the temple for puja and prayers. 

The first financial transaction is known as “Kai vishesham” where elders give money to young people as a good luck and blessing.  Sweet milk rice is cooked and other sweets are also made and the whole family sits and enjoys the meal.  People also visit their relatives and friends and take sweets when visiting. 

A game called “por-thenkai” (coconut throwing between groups) is played by young boys/youth in villages especially in the northern part of Sri Lanka.  Bullock Cart races (“maattu vandi chavari”) also held in villages on the New Years day.  Folk dances like “Kolattam”, “Kummi” also takes place in villages.