Saturday, May 21, 2011

Cool Summer salad

Colour colour what colour do you choose ?
Hmmm, Can I go for the golden yellow in Mango or the mild green in mung sprout or the dashing red of the tomatoes 8-}

Colours of mother nature always unique and very hard to replicate. (Even when it comes for artificial colouring. I experienced this when I worked in the fabric dyeing unit for couple of years. Though we use the same machine, same measurement of dyes and chemicals no two batch will have the same colour.  There will be atleast 1-5 % variation in the colour).

No more talk about the colour technology. Come, lets have a a nice colourful cool salad.

Ingredients :

1 no -- Ripe mango
2 nos -- Carrot
1 Cup -- Sprouted Mung dal
4 nos -- Okra
1 no --  Tomato
1 no -- Onion
1 no -- Cucumber
Salt to taste
Pepper -- Optional

Method :
-- As you all know, there is no much big step for any salad.
-- Thinly slice all the vegetables and mix well.

Health benefits of some ingredient:

Okra -- A powerhouse of valuable nutrients, nearly half of which is soluble fiber in the form of gums and pectins . Soluble fiber helps to lower serum cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease. The other half is insoluble fiber which helps to keep the intestinal tract healthy, decreasing the risk of some forms of cancer, especially colo-rectal cancer (Source -- by Prema Raja,

Mung Dal -- Ratna Rajaiah, calls the Mung dal as 'The Queen of Hearts' in her book, How the Banana Goes to Heaven.
Dietary fibre, contains high source of Vitamin B. Like Okra, this also plays major role in reducing the risk of heart disease. Controls blood sugar.
Especially for ladies, the vitamin B2 in mung dal plays vital role for healthy eyes and clean shinny skin.
Cucumber -- Contains Vitamin C and minerals like silica, potassium and magnesium, which is mainly helpful for good skin complexion and also for all skin related problems. Cucumber is a high source of dietary fibre, maintains blood pressure level and more. (Source -- WHFoods)
Mango -- Mangoes are an excellent source of carotenes, vitamin C, vitamin B, vitamin E, copper, potassium, and magnesium. Recent studies proved that mango can be used to cure cancer, reducing risk of kidney stones and many more.  Digestive enzymes in mangoes will help to break down proteins and aid digestion. Mangoes are used as medicines in Ayurveda and Unani. (Source -- Elements4health)

You can enjoy this cool salad as such or try like me. I enjoyed this with crunchy tangy javvarasi vadam like this.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Summer Special 1 - Tangy Javvarsi Vadaam

Javvarsi vadam, the best side dish for the all the rice.

Vadam laid out to dry in my terrace. I am happy to be a part of this big vadam project. Last month, I went to my hometown and spent some days with my parents. My sister and my brother also joined me. It was a family reunion after 2 years with lots of fun with some sad moments.

As I said in my earlier post Maavadu, my mom work like a factory and makes pickles, vadams. As the summer season comes, she makes yummy homemade vadams and distributes to all. Oh yes, she sent some to Chicago too.

Since we all were there, my mom did little extra this time. While myself, mom and my sister-in-law were working on the vadam, my sister took care of the two vaalu kids.

Ingredients :

1/2 kg -- Javvarsi / sago
100 gm -- Green chillies
2 nos -- juice from Lemon
Salt as per taste
** Since this is my mom's recipe, all the measurements are in weight.

Method :
--- Soak the javarsi over night. Let the volume of the water be double the volume of javvarsi.
--- Next day morning, wash the green chillies and grind them to a fine paste . As you all know the measure of chilly depends on one's taste. So adjust accordingly.
--- Take a big thick bottom vessel with 2 litre of water and bring it to boil.
--- Once it starts boiling, add the javvarsi,  chilly paste and cook. You can very much control the chilly now also.
--- Accordingly add salt to the mixture and cook until javvarsi is cooked fully and becomes transparent pearls.
--- The whole mixture becomes little thick, like kanji consistency.
--- Turn thr heat off and let it cool for few minutes.
--- Pour the lemon juice to the mixture and mix well.
--- Vadam kuzhu (liquid mixture) is ready.

--- Now comes the big part. Take some big plastic sheets and wash them thoroughly and drip out the water completely. You can also use white cloth for laying the vadams. But we prefer the sheet because, its easy to peel the vadam.
--- Lay the plastic sheet in the open terrace or where you can get proper sunlight and secure all the corners.
--- Now take the liquid mixture in a small spoon and place it over the plastic sheet.
--- The size of the vadam is up to your imagination. Place the vadam mixture in a row with some space between two, because when it spreads it will not touch the next in the row.
--- After a day if it comes peel the vadam from the sheet and dry it for 4-5 days until whole water is absorbed.
--- Then store it in a airtight box.

Always try to keep this vadam project in the early mornings before the sun. Fry the vadam in the oil or cook it in the microwave oven and enjoy when ever you want a crunch.

We enjoyed this tangy vadam along with a summer cool salad. Will post the salad recipe shortly :))