Monthly Archives: May 2012

Toddler Food : Khichadi

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As soon as I saw and event on toddler food, I knew I had to participate.In fact, I knew the exact names and number of posts I was going to send. Since more than two years now, I have either been cooking toddler food and consuming it myself happily accepting it as adult food, or raking my brains to convert adult food to a form acceptable to my toddler.
When I step into the kitchen early morning, the first priority I have in my mind is to cook baby A’s three meals – which get packed and sent with her to her daycare. Next comes my breakfast and lunch. If I am running late, breakfast for me is a bowl of oatmeal and lunch is anything that the office cafeteria got to offer – but there is no getting out of the kitchen unless the baby’s meals are all set in her pyrex containers.
The staple diet for my toddler is khichadi – it is a must have lunch for her. Though very simple, I always try to vary it by changing the daals that go with rice. It is also my hiding place for veggies – it almost always got grated in carrots, tomatoes and spinach. I would like to confess here that I always make it extra, as I am very tempted to have some myself. Subtle in flavors and rich in nutrients, it is a perfect comfort food.

Khichadi : comfort food for all ages

Ingredients –
Rice – Half Cup
Toor/ Arhar Daal – One-fourth Cup
Yellow / Dhuli Moong Daal – One-fourth Cup
Tomatoes – 1 small or Half big
Carrots – 1 small or half big
Spinach leaves – handful
Salt – half tsp
Turmeric powder / Haldi – a pinch
Heeng / Asfotedia – a pinch
Ghee – 2 tsp

Method –
1. Take a clean cooker and put the rice and daals in it. Wash them multiple times with water, till the water is clear.
2. Add water, nearly thrice the quantity of rice and daals. I add 2.5 cups. This would make the khichadi pretty watery. Reduce it based on how the baby likes it.
3. Grate in the tomato and peeled carrot.
4. Wash and chop the spinach small. Add to the cooker.
5. Add in the salt, haldi and heeng.
6. Close the cooker and let the khichadi cook till 3-4 whistles.
7. Open the cooker when the steam goes off, mix in a spoonful of ghee.
8. Serve warm or cool and pack.

Sending this as my entry to the event ‘Healthy Food for Healthy Kids – Toddler Healthy Lunch’ happening at Priya’s blog ‘Enveetu Kitchen’

Also linking it to Nithu’s event announcement page at blog ‘Nithu’s kithcen’.

Tomato Chutney :Sweet, Sour, Spicy!

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Like any other town in India, having a lady come at our place was a norm in houses occupied by a bunch of youngsters working in the IT industry in Bangalore. However, because it was Bangalore, it was a luxury to have a cook who could dole out chapattis and parathas. We (me and my set of dear roomies) were so happy to have her and we would not spare any opportunity to demand whatever we liked – and the sweet lady would never refuse – even if the recipe demanded a lot of effort and time. One such thing that was both my and dear friend N’s favorite was methi ka paratha. Now, as the lady would cook the requisite number of parathas and stack them in a casserole, the normal protocol was to go home from work, eat them with curd, pickle and of course – indori senv. However, friend N would take these humble parathas to the next level – by cooking a quick tomato chutney to go with. This was something that I was tasting for the first time – and once I tasted it, there was no stopping me from preparing this sweet-sour-spicy tomato chutney, not just with methi parathas – but with any parathas for that matter. This weekend, it was for aaloo parathas.

I can never ever thank friend N enough for teaching me this simple recipe (it’s not that I have already thanked her for everything else I owe to her !).

Now, two things I should mention here are –
1. I made this for my dad by substituting sugar with a sweetener (Equal/ Sugar Free). He loved it as he can’t eat regular tomato ketchup due to its high sugar and sodium content.
2. Since hubby N likes his food spicy rather than on the sweeter side, I reduced the sugar and added chili flakes to bring on the zing.

tomato chutney : makes aaloo parathas tastier

Ingredients –
Tomatoes – 4 to 5 (ripe and juicy)
Oil – 2 tsp
Rai / Mustard Seeds – Half tsp
Jeera / Cumin Seeds – One-fourth tsp
Heeng / Asafoetida – One-fourth tsp
Haldi / Turmeric Powder – One-fourth tsp
Sugar – 2 tsp (alter based on your taste)
Salt – 1 tsp (alter based on your taste)
Red chili powder / Chili flakes – Half tsp

Method –
1. Wash the tomatoes and either cut them into small chunks or run it through a food processor. I do the latter.
2. Heat oil in a wok/ kadhai.
3. Once hot, add in the rai and jeera and let it pop for a few seconds.
4. Add in the heeng and haldi.
5. Put in the tomatoes and give it a good stir.
6. Now, let the tomatoes cook in open. Keep stirring in between to check the consistency. After 10-15 minutes, it will start to thicken and the raw smell of the tomatoes will be gone.
7. At this stage, add the salt, sugar, red chili flakes. Taste and adjust the seasoning.
8. Serve as a side with any parathas, store the rest in the refrigerator in a glass/steel container.
9. I am not sure of the shelf life of this, but I have never used it for more than two days.

Since this recipe reminds me of my dear friend N and all the good days we spent together in college and later in Bangalore, I am sending this to ‘walk thru the memory lane’ event hosted by Jayanthi.

Linking this to Gayathri’s page too.