Monday, April 30, 2007

Spinach Upma

Spinach Upma
Yet another JFI post...and this month JFI joins hands with Nandita's WBB and is dedicated towards green leafy vegetables. It is hosted by dear Indira of Mahanandi, who is the mastermind behind this wonderful food event.

Green leafy vegetables conjured up umpteen number of recipes, but none of them could be executed on time and I had to settle in for a simpler one. I miss the variety of greens available back home and try to make the most of what we get here...Spinach, Amaranth leaves, Methi to name a few.

As everyone knows, dark green leafy vegetables are packed with vitamins, minerals and are a good source of fiber too. Whether they are stir fried, cooked with dal or mashed into rotis, they deliver what they are best at!

Today's recipe is Spinach Upma. I have given a twist to the usual upma and it doesn't fail to charm. Hope you find that way too...


Spinach - 3 to 4 big handfuls - Washed and chopped finely
Rawa/ Sooji/ Semolina - 3/4 cup
Water - 2.5 cups
Onion - 1 Small one - Sliced thinly
Green Chillies - 4 medium ones - Cut lengthwise
Grated Ginger - 1/4 Teaspoon

For Seasoning:

Mustard Seeds - 1/4 Teaspoon
Urad Dal - 1 Teaspoon
Channa Dal - 1 Teaspoon
Asofoetida / Inguva/ Perungayam/ Hing - 2 Pinches
Curry Leaves - 4 to 5
Cashewnuts - 1 Tablespoon
Oil - 2 to 3 Teaspoons

Roast Sooji till very light brown and keep aside. Heat oil in a sauce pan and add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add urad dal and channa dal and fry till light brown. Add asofoetida, curry leaves, green chillies and cashewnuts. Fry for a moment and add the sliced onion and a pinch of turmeric. Fry till light brown and add the spinach and the grated ginger. Let it wilt and fry for a couple of minutes. Add water and salt and let it come to a boil. Add sooji when the water is boiling and stir without lumps. Cook till all the water is absorbed and the upma comes together.

Serve with a dot of ghee!

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Tomato Pops

Tomato Pop
Tomatoes are botanically fruits and are rich in lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. Lycopene's bioavailability is more in cooked or processed tomato products, with the main factor being heat.

Almost all of our recipes use tomatoes and I wanted to post one which is exclusively dedicated to tomatoes.

Though popsicles are available all over the world in flavors unique to each region and culture, the pops which we find back home are predominantly in mango, orange, grape, pineapple, milk and vermicelli. I remember all my summer holidays spent back in my maternal grandparents house and pops play a vital part during those sweltering heat waves.

I tried the pops available here and my tastebuds did not take to them very kindly! :-) I like tomatoes a lot, so why not make it into a popsicle? After all it is a fruit!

Here's the recipe...I can tell you that you won't be disappointed...And your kids will love them!

Recipe : (Makes 5)

Tomato Paste -1/2 Cup
Lemonade -1 Cup
Zest of 1/2 a lemon
Black Salt or Salt - A pinch
Sugar - 1/2 Cup
Water - 1/2 Cup
Cloves - 2

Add 1/2 cup of water to the tomato paste and whisk it together. Boil sugar, water and cloves together and make a simple sugar syrup.

Please note that by sugar syrup, I don't mean a single thread consistency. The syrup is the stage before that, when the mixture has slightly thickened. After the sugar and water mixture has come to boil, keep boiling for a couple of minutes to reach the syrup stage.

To the tomato mixture, add as much syrup as you want according to the sweetness desired. Add the lemonade next along with lemon zest and black salt. Stir everything together and pour into popsicle molds and freeze for a couple of hours.

Tomato Pops are ready to be taken to the JFI-Tomato party hosted at RP's My Workshop!