Showing posts with label Steamed. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Steamed. Show all posts

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Clicking for BloggerAid!

We celebrated Kaaradiya Nombu with great aplomb. Suganya's spoken about the festival here beautifully. This was a very important festival for my mom and she did keep a 'vrath' and all that for my dad. Very obviously, I did not do all that, and made sure A helped me with this. I also tied the sacred strand/thread. See? I like the pic, so putting it up ;)

I was waiting for this festival to eat the Nombu Adais slathered with butter and, A and I were waiting for the festival to use our new bamboo steamer. Ya, this time around (our first, actually) we used bamboo steamers to steam our Nombu Adais. Traditionally, an Idli cooker/utensil is used. However, with great forethought (the Idli gadget is way too much stuff to clean up :D) ,we decided to use our newly acquired bamboo steamer.

We are not posting the recipe right now since we are sending this to BloggerAid for the BloggerAid cookbook aimed at creating great school meals as part of the World Food Program, a UN agency. This event requires us to send in our recipe through email to them, while not posting it on the blog. We hope that we've done our small bit towards alleviating hunger in the world.

Since this is a bamboo steamer and its wood and all that, this pic also goes to Jugalbandi's CLICK- Wood event! Yay! :D

Like it?

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

South of the border...

N and I love to try out different cuisines when we hit the road. When we were returning from a trip to Anna Ruby Falls, we went to this place called Uncle Julio's Casa Grande. The thing about Mexican restaurants is that the food tastes great (I am absolutely nuts about guacamole and salsa!) but unfortunately, there isnt much variety for vegetarians. Some of the restaurants just offer beans, rice, lettuce and tons of cheese....stuffed within bread in different shapes and sizes (Tacos, Chalupas, Burritos, Quesedillas). But when I ordered one of their platters, this exotic looking thing wrapped in corn leaves came along, and I was certainly intrigued by its appearance. As I unfolded the leaves, I was pleasantly surprised to see something totally different! It had no rice, no beans and no cheese! I immediately enquired the waitress about the preparation. She told me that they were called Tamales. They looked and tasted like upma, a common South Indian preparation, except the base was corn instead of rava. It tasted fantastic and was a pleasant deviation from the usual Mexican dishes. I learnt more about it by reading online and wanted to make it on my own, of course ;)

Tamales need Masa Harina or a form of corn-flour which is prepared in a very special way. This is used to make the Masa dough which forms the base for Tamales. But thanks to my tongue that likes to experiment, I found a quick-fire way to make Tamales. They came out a bit harder, but they tasted pretty well....mucho delicioso ;) Check 'em out....

Ingredients (10-12 Tamales)

Cobs from 1 1/2 corn kernels (make sure to save the leaves)
1.5 cup cornmeal
1 tbsp cornstarch ( the more you put, the harder it gets. So, be careful!)
1/2 cup finely chopped onions
1/2 cup finely chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup finely chopped green bell pepper
1 tsp red chilli powder
2 tsp oil
Salt to taste

Vamos a empezar! (Lets begin!)

1. Blend the corn cob, cornmeal, salt and the cornstarch until a coarse paste is formed. Set aside. This is our quick Masa dough. The corn starch will help the dough harden as it is steamed.

2. In a pan, add the oil and saute the onions followed by the vegetables. Add salt and chilli powder to taste. I also added some cumin powder and some Taco seasoning to give it a spicy kick :) The spice and the veggie bit is totally optional, and depends on your choice/palate.

3. Take a corn leaf and divide it into several long strings.

4. Take 2 corn leaves and make a "+" sign out of them. Apply some dough in the middle and put some of the sauteed veggies on top. Close the leaves and then tie them with the strings. When all the Tamales are done, steam them for 15 mins or until they are hardened enough to look like upma.

5. Untie, open the leaves and enjoy the steaming hot Tamales with sour cream or guacamole or any dip.

Terminar (finished) :)

I personally loved the taste of steamed corn. Tasted rich and yet there was very little oil so they were pretty healthy.

Err...I have a confession. I have to have something sweet after every meal :D The origin of this idiosyncracy is unknown, but I must have something sweet after lunch and dinner. So while a tired N decided to take a siesta after the Tamale-lunch, I was itching to tingle my sweet buds. And I decided to surprise N by making a quick sponge cake. I guess quick is the common theme between the Tamales and the cake ;) Sponge cake recipes can be found all over the internet. I adapted one such recipe.

It came out moist, fluffy and tasted pretty good. I also gave it a citrusy touch by adding lime zest, some orange juice and some lemon extract. N loves citrus ;)

All in all, we had a day filled with adventure, fun and food and we capped it off with a sweet touch ;)

Mucho Gracias!