Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Pori Kadalai (Puffed Rice and Gram)

This is a traditional recipe prepared during navarathri festivals in Tamilnadu. Few weeks back, when I was seriously looking for some easy evening snacks to munch on, this came to my mind. :) It is simple to prepare, just mix everything and its done. It goes well with a cup of tea. If you are interested in providing home made snacks to children, this would be the perfect one to start with. I'm more concerned about the snacks that I give my toddler son and I ensure that my son doesn't eat too much of store bought snacks. This would suit for diabetics too, of course with very less or no jaggery.  


Puffed Rice (Pori) 2 cups
Roasted Channa Dhal /Pottu Kadalai/ Chutney Dhal Handful
Peanuts few
Grated Jaggery few tablespoons (or as needed) or variety of brown sugar


Dry roast all the ingredients separately for few seconds except for jaggery. Add Jaggery and then serve.

Monday, November 10, 2014

How to reduce intake of salt in south Indian diet???

How do you prepare potato stir fry? Boil Potatoes with salt and then add salt again while you do the stir fry? Then this write up is for you.

A famous old saying in tamil : Uppilla Pandam Kuppaiyile; meaning unsalted food goes to trash. Now what do you say: Miga Uppulla Pandam Kuppaiyile, meaning more salted food need to go to trash. In school days, I would like to start any essay with a famous saying so as to attract the teacher. Now its you.. !!!

One with high blood pressure (or even slightly high blood pressure) is advised to reduce the intake of salt by everyone whom he meets. Here are few tips that would help anybody who wants to reduce their salt intake.

Do not add salt while cooking plain rice: I've come across many (especially a lot of lovely grandmothers of south india) who add salt while cooking rice . Do we eat rice as such? Not at all; We are going to mix it in any curry or sambar for sure, which has enough salt in it. So if at all you are doing this, please stop. 

Do not add salt while kneading dough or chapati: This is something that I've learnt from my neighbor's friend. I've always wondered why didn't I know this before. There was no difference in taste as I feared initially. Anyways,we like to dip it in any curry that has salt in it. I think this would be a new tip to many of you.

Do not add salt while sauteing onions: Everyone who sautes onions are taught to add salt for fast cooking. No No !!! Let it take few more seconds to get done.

Then When to add Salt: Add Salt at the end of any cooking and that would obviously require only less salt. 

If you are preparing stir fries with vegetables or root vegetables, sprinkle salt when it is done before you could add grated coconut. If the recipe does not require grated coconut, then addition of salt would be the final step. The same thing suits for curries and sambar too.

Avoid Pickles: We very well know that pickles require lots and lots of salt to preserve it for a long time. If you are pickle lover and cannot stop pickling ;) with curd rice, go for instant pickles. For ex. Raw Mango pickle.. Cut it into fine pieces. Add salt, chilli powder, and other masala. consume it within 1-2 days.

No Processed Foods: 

Sauces: Just like pickles. all the finger licking sauces have toooo much amount of salt in them. It is better to switch to home made sauces with less salt. If at all you need to try the recipe with ready made sauces, do not add any further salt.

Chips: No supermarket exists without different flavors of potato chips. Irresistible!!! just because of the too much salt content. It is not that easy to prepare thin potato chips at home without a perfect cutter. But it is easy to prepare potato wedges with an oven at home. Or simply switch to raw banana chips that can be easily made at home.

And many more processed foods: Strictly say No.

I am still experimenting how to reduce salt. These are the few steps that I've started following since few months.

What say friends???!!!! Share your tips. I would like to hear and follow.

P.S: I am not an expert. I've shared here few tips that I've followed.

I would have used you at many sentences.  It generally means many of us or few of us.