livinginbengaluru

For all those who love food and travel..

Pumpkin Erissery is a traditional Kerala recipe made specially during the "Onam" festival. Recipes  of Erissery differ in ingredients. Every household has its own version of Pumpkin Erissery.

I wasn't even aware of this recipe, until I got married and my mom in law cooked it at home. Though I am not a great fan of pumpkin, I loved this dish instantly. This recipe is my mom in law's version and I cook it frequently at home.

Pumpkin is cooked in coconut milk due to which this dish has a lightly sweetish taste. Pumpkin Erissery goes well with rice, dosa or roti's.

Preparation Time : 20 mins
Cooking time : 40 mins

Ingredients

Pumpkin(Peeled, De-seeded and chopped) - 1 cup
Cow-pea / Van Payar - 1 cup
Coconut - 1 1/2 cup
Jeera / Cumin seeds - 1 tbsp
Green Chili - 3-4 nos.(Adjust according to your taste)
Garlic - 4-5 cloves
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 2 sticks
Salt to taste

Method
  1. Soak cow-pea's for 3-4 hrs.
  2. Cook cow-pea's with salt.
  3. Grind 1 cup coconut, cumin seeds, green chilies, garlic with a little water to a coarse paste and extract the milk using a strainer.
  4. Keep the 1st milk extraction  aside.
  5. Add another cup of water to the ground paste and extract 2nd milk.
  6. Cook pumpkin with 2nd milk extraction and add turmeric powder..
  7. Once pumpkin is cooked, smash it lightly with a ladle.
  8. Now add cow-pea and 1st milk extraction, mix well and let it boil.
  9. Take a small wok and add oil.
  10. Once oil is heated, add mustard seeds and let it splutter.
  11. Now add curry leaves and remaining coconut.
  12. Fry it well till coconut changes its color to light brown.
  13. Add it to the pumpkin and mix well.
  14. Serve it hot with rice or roti's.

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When I was a kid, I always had white bread made of Maida(All purpose flour). Back those days, healthy eating wasn't on the menu. In southern India, rice is our staple food and bread was a Sunday breakfast.
As I grew up, unhealthy/ processed and packaged food around us had such an impact on our health, that everyone wanted to have more healthier food. That is when, the whole wheat bread, multigrain bread and many more came into market.
I always wanted to try making bread at home, but never took it as a challenge to make it. Recently, my husband wanted to try it by himself and it came out well. So we tried another time to get it perfect.
I have used whole wheat flour, dry yeast and milk. A simple recipe but a delicious one.

Preparation time: 1hr 30 mins
Cooking time : 30 mins
 
Ingredients

Wheat flour - 2 cups
Maida(All purpose flour) - 1 cup
Sugar - 2 tbsp
Active dry yeast - 2 tsp
Hot Milk - 1 cup
Salt to taste

Method
  1. Take a mixing bowl and add wheat flour, all purpose flour and salt and mix well.
  2. In another small bowl, take a cup of warm water, add sugar, yeast and mix well and let it rest.
  3. After around 5-10 mins, add yeast mixture to the bowl with flour and mix well.
  4. Now add milk and knead the dough till smooth and soft.
  5. You can add flour little by little and keep kneading, till it is not sticky.
  6. Cover the bowl with a cloth and let it rest for around 10-15 mins.
  7. Now knead the dough again so that there aren't any air pockets inside.
  8. Fold it towards the bottom and place it in a baking tin/ loaf pan.
  9. Cover the tin with cloth and let it rest for an hour.
  10. Preheat the oven at 200 C. 
  11. Apply Olive oil on top of the bread and place the bread tin in oven and let it bake for 30 minutes.
  12. If bread turns out brown before 20 minutes, place a aluminium foil on top of the bread.
  13. Remove bread from oven and let it cool.
  14. Delicious bread is ready to be served.

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Setting up your home from scratch is a big task and if you are a beginner it just makes it more difficult to shop on what you need. I was a beginner in setting up my first home in Bengaluru, India. I have setup my home twice from scratch, once a studio apartment while I was working full time and the second time was after marriage.

To start with, my focus was always on the basic necessities for a home like water, sleep and food. Shopping is something that I liked always. Setting up my home was a good reason to do what I liked. Starting with basic necessities, I set up my home incrementally.

 I did most of my shopping from a nearby supermarket when I was in the studio apartment, since I wasn’t aware of local market. The second time it was usually my husband who did all the shopping from the local shops since he knew the place very well.

Listed below are the important things you may require to set up your home for a single person or a couple.

Step 1: Drinking and cooking Water

What can be more important than drinking water? It is said that a minimum intake of 8 glasses of water is important to keep us healthy. Present lifestyle and our work keeps us so occupied that we always think about drinking water (and satisfied with the thought!!) but we skip it due to frequent visits to the washroom.

I never kept a count on glasses but I still wanted water once I reached back home from office. I had bought a 25ltr purified water can from a nearby stores and I used the same water for cooking as well. It’s easier in the beginning if you are alone, but you have to upgrade to a purifier if you are with your family.

Step 2 : Sleeping basics

I had a cotton mattress, a quilt/blanket (can get colder during winter), 2 bed sheets(one for covering the mattress and other to cover you) , 2 pillows. I preferred to put the mattress on the floor and sleep rather than getting a cot. You can buy a spring mattress, pillow, blanket and bed sheets from a single shop.

Step 3: How I set up my kitchen?

Click here to know how I set up my kitchen


Step 4 : Appliances

Setting up a new home takes a toll on you in the beginning. To know what to buy and what is required is difficult to decide.

I had bought a 90lt refrigerator and a mixer grinder in my studio apartment. That was fine when I was alone. I would wash my clothes every day, so never thought of buying a washing machine.
After marriage, me and my husband bought a 190lt refrigerator in the beginning, which I upgraded later when I felt the need for a bigger one. I bought an induction stove for heating and cooking. You can always set a timer and not worry about switching it off.  I also got a television, washing machine, water purifier, otg.. I kept buying appliances whenever I felt it was needed the most.

Step 5: What do I need to clean my house?

Cleaning is an important household activity without which health is at stake. I am a cleanliness freak, which is why this section is an important part for me.

Checklist below gives a list of important cleaning items for a home
  • Broom
  • Mop
  • Floor cleaning liquid
  • Kitchen cloth
  • Stove cleaning brush
  • Vessel cleaning liquid/soap
  • Scrubber to clean vessels
  • Steel scrubber to clean harsh stain in vessels
  • Brush to clean sink
  • Bathroom floor/tile cleaner
  • Brush/ broom to clean bathroom
  • Toilet cleaner
  • Brush for cleaning toilet

The title says 5 steps, but I have included another bonus step, for those who like to make their home beautiful.
Step 6: Other items
  • Door mats
  • Curtains
  • Any electric items( lights, fans, boosters..)
  • Organizers for bedroom or bathroom
  • Decorative items for your house

I have listed down most of the things required in a house for setting it up.

I would love to get in more ideas from you and I'll keep updating when I think of more things.

Do share it if you like it. :)



Chana Dal Vada is a very popular Indian snack usually accompanied with tea. Some eat it with any of their favorite Chutney's and others prefer having it plainly with tea probably because of its crunchy texture.

Chana Dal Vada is made by grinding split chickpeas into a coarse paste, enhancing its taste by mixing a few ingredients and deep frying it in oil.

In Udupi, Chana Dal Vada is popularly known as "Chatambade". Bifurcating this word gives you "chatte" meaning flat and "ambade" meaning fritters (Hog plums are also called Ambade in Udupi which are mainly used in curries and pickles). Probably, the word "Chattambade" came from the flat shape of the fritters.

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins

Ingredients

Chana Dal - 1 cup
Onion (finely chopped) - 1 medium
Green Chili (finely chopped) - 2 nos.
Ginger (finely chopped) - 1" piece
Chili Powder (optional) - 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves (finely chopped) - 1/2 cup
Curry leaves (finely chopped) - 2 sticks
Salt to taste

Method
  1. Wash and soak Chana Dal for about 2 hours.
  2. Strain the water completely.
  3. Keep 1/4th of soaked chana dal aside.
  4. Grind the remaining 3/4th of soaked chana dal into a coarse paste. You can add 1-2 tbsp of water while grinding.
  5. In a mixing bowl, add all chana dal, ground and whole.
  6. Add chopped onion, green chili, ginger, coriander leaves, curry leaves and salt and mix well.
  7. Heat oil in a wok , and make small balls of the mixture and flatten them. Flatter the better, to get a crunchy taste.
  8. Once the oil is hot, drop the flattened mixture in the oil.
  9. Flip the vada's and fry till golden brown on both sides. Fry them in batches of 3-4 Vada's at a time.
  10. Place them on a paper towel to absorb any oil present.
  11. Serve them hot with any of your favorite Chutney's.

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Comment below if you have tried this.
When I was a kid, I had noodles only at restaurants. I never thought I would cook noodles by myself ever. My mom always cooked authentic Manglorean dishes and those were the dishes I was well versed with. 
As the saying goes "Necessity is the mother of invention", in my case it wasn't invention but it was trying to cook something that I didn't know. Necessity was to eat noodles which cannot be ordered from restaurants every time, since homemade food is always the best.
My passion for trying Chinese cuisine was when I was in High School. Those days internet was never heard of, to get recipes and recipes were always tried from books. I don't remember the book I referred the first time, but I tried Veg Hakka noodles and it was tasting good. Since then I have changed, tried and tested my recipes with lots and and lots of errors. Here is a quick and simple recipe which I make of my kids.

Preparation time : 10 mins
Cooking time :15 mins
Serves 2

Ingredients

Plain Noodles - 100 gms
Onion - 1/2 cup
Cabbage shredded - 1 cup
Carrot grated - 1/2 cup
Beans sliced - 1/2 cup
Soya sauce  - 1 tbsp
Tomato ketchup - 1 tbsp
Spring onions - 1/2 cup

Method
  1. Boil noodles with water, oil and salt. Strain noodles after it is cooked, and cool it down
  2. Heat a wok and add oil.
  3. Now add cabbage and saute it for 2 mins.
  4. Add carrot and saute it for a minute.
  5. Now add beans and saute it for another 2 mins.
  6. Add soya sauce and tomato ketchup and mix well.
  7. Add 1/2 cup of water and let the vegetables cook.
  8. Once water evaporates, add cooked noodles and mix well.
  9. Garnish with spring onions.
  10. Serve hot.


Note:
Restaurants do not add water since they cook vegetables on high flame. But, I prefer vegetables to be cooked well while giving it to kids.
You can add pepper while cooking vegetables, if you want the noodles to be spicy.

Share and comment if you like it.


French Fries! Yum! This is a reaction given by many of us when we eat those delicious french fries. Young or old most of us love french fries. But yeah, some avoid eating it due to the fact that they are deep fried in oil. A better option than avoiding french fries is using an air fryer (Click here) which consumes less oil.

I have made french fries more often at home since my kids love eating it and me too. I do not prefer buying it from a restaurant and giving it to my kids who are 4 yr n 2 yr old. Rather than deep frying, I half boil the potatoes and shallow fry them, with very little oil.  Half boiled potatoes, gives you the softness and frying them gives the crispiness on the outside.

I have read many recipes earlier, many of them have different methods of cooking french fries. Some boil potatoes before frying and some directly fry it in oil without boiling, some also fry it twice for that extra crispiness.

Preparation time : 15 mins
Cooking time : 10 mins

Ingredients

Potatoes - 4 medium
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

Method
  1. Peel and wash the potatoes.
  2. Chop the potatoes horizontally and vertically to get finger size sticks.
  3. Take water in Wok and let it boil.
  4. Add salt and chopped potatoes.
  5. Once they get half cooked, strain the water and use a paper towel to dry them off.
  6. Cover and refrigerate for 2-3 hrs.
  7. Remove french fries from the refrigerator and keep it aside.
  8. Heat oil in a wok for deep frying.
  9. Drop in a few potato sticks in oil . Do not overcrowd the wok.
  10. Fry on medium heat till the potato sticks change color.
  11. Remove oil and drain the oil using an absorbent paper.
  12. Serve hot french fries with tomato ketchup.


Note:
If you like your french fries more crispier, then  after you fry them once, cool them down and fry it again.

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Comment below if you love french fries and have tried it.


Goli Baje is a popular snack in Mangalore and Udupi region. Goli Baje is also called Mangalore Bajji in Bengaluru and other cities. It is very soft, tastes delicious and goes well with tea for a evening snack. Every time I visit my native place in Udupi, I have Goli Baje from Hotel Kushi at Santhekatte. Just tastes awesome!

Goli Baje is easy to make with all purpose flour and curd/ yogurt as main ingredients. All other ingredients are optional to enhance its taste and make it spicy. This is an authentic traditional recipe. I bet once you try this and eat it, you'll make it regularly at home.

Preparation time : 10 mins
Cooking time : 15 mins
Fermentation time : 15 mins- 3 hrs

Ingredients

All Purpose Flour / Maida - 1 cups
Yogurt/ Curd - 1 cup
Green chilies, chopped finely - 2 medium(adjust according to your taste)
Ginger, chopped finely - 2 tsp
Curry leaves, chopped finely  - 2 sticks
Coconut, grated/ small pieces - 2 tbsp
Salt to taste

Method
  1. Mix all purpose flour, green chillies, Ginger, curry leaves, coconut and salt in a bowl.
  2. Add yogurt/curd and mix well so that there aren't any lumps of flour.
  3. Let it rest for an hour or two. This makes sure you get fluffy and soft Goli Baje.
  4. Heat a Wok / Kadai and add oil for deep fry.
  5. Let oil heat up before you start making Baje's. 
  6. Take lemon sized dough and drop it in oil.
  7. Flip it to fry on both sides till golden brown.
  8. Remove from oil and place it on paper towel to get rid of excess oil.
  9. Serve it hot with any of your favorite Chutney's.


Note:
My kids love this if I don't add green chilies.
You could add a little baking powder, if you want to fry Goli Baje's within an hour after dough is made.


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