I was introduced to the new concept of Pumpkin Idli only after my wedding. My mother-in-law had prepared it early in the morning for breakfast and I had it with some ghee. Suffice to say that the taste was totally out of this world and I became a big fan of it ever since. This is an instant idly/idlies and requires no fermentation or grinding. It has a sweetish taste because of the pumpkin but when combined with salt, coconut and green chillies, the Idli imparts totally unique flavor.
Pumpkin is chock full of goodness. Not only is pumpkin loaded with Vitamin A and antioxidant carotenoids, particularly alpha and beta-carotenes, it’s a good source of Vitamins C, K, and E, and lots of minerals, including magnesium, potassium, and iron.
This along wit some fruits, orange juice/ milk/yogurt can serve as a well balanced breakfast and keep us going through out the day.
The Arusuvai Friendship Chain is all about sending a surprise food ingredient to friends so that they can prepare something tasty with it, share the recipe and pass on the surprise ingredient to other people.
Thanks Seema for thinking about me and sending me this “Surprise Ingredient”. Seema had sent this to me promptly almost a month ago, in fact at the right time to participate in Sunita’s Think Spice… Think Star Anise Event. But I was not able to blog about this as the camera was not at my disposal and I was mainly working off of my draft section (err, that is a valid excuse isn’t it?). Sorry about the delay Seema. But I do have to mention that it was a very special and warm feeling opening the packet and the fine aroma of the surprise ingredient “Star Anise” that filled the room was just heavenly.
I was excited as I have/had never used Start Anise in my cooking before and so I dutifully googled for some recipes over the internet. I was looking for something that was sweet, easy, did not involve baking and had some Indian touch to it. But unfortunately did not find anything appealing and so came up with this idea of making laddos.
Please let me know if anybody is interested and I can send over the ingredient to them.
1 cup shredded coconut (fresh/frozen)
1/4 cup broken wheat
½ cup sweetened condensed milk
½ tsp star anise powder (substitute with cardamom powder if not available)
Soak the broken wheat in enough water for about 1-2 hours.
Drain the water completely and spread it over some paper or cloth so that the remaining water content is gone.
In a heavy bottom pan, on a very low flame first add the coconut and stir until it gets toasted and a wonderful aroma of the coconut fills in.
Be very careful as the coconut gets browned very easily.
Next add the condensed milk and broken wheat and mix well.
Continue to mix for about 10-15 minutes until the mixture almost dries up.
Add the star anise powder and allow to cool. Take a handful of the mixture each time and shape into laddos.
You know Murphy’s Law “Whatever can go wrong will go wrong, and at the worst possible time, in the worst possible way” (Source:Wiki). Now this adage fits the Rush hour mornings and Traffic jams like a glove. It is the same old story of traffic jam, but a new twist is thrown in every morning to keep things from getting dull and boring.
Who says that only PMS and in-laws can set you in a bad mood?
Monday: The coveted weekend is over and you are in a grouchy mood already. It does not help that you have a meeting to attend first thing in the morning. And lo behold you are stuck in a jam because of an accident ahead involving 3 cars. The jam almost 5 mile long is so bad that you are grinding your teeth but still have the nerve to do a Physics calculation and dramatically conclude that you could reach the office faster if you jumped off the car and ran instead of going at 5 miles/hour in the car.
Tuesday: As usual you discover that the traffic is moving at 15 miles/hour. You inch along, and on the way expect to catch a glimpse of the accident that created that huge hold-up. Surprise! 45 minutes and 8 miles later everything is clean as a whistle and there is no trace of accident what so ever. You are boiling with anger but manage to reach office and blurt out your frustration to a colleague who lovingly explains “The major accident was on the west side and not on the east side on which you were travelling. The jam on your side was caused because of the on-looker delay and once you were past that accident site the traffic eased”. Duh! Try explaining that to the scrupulous Boss who is now getting highly suspicious of your professionalism.
Wednesday: You somehow manage to get over the Wednesday Morning Blues and hit the road when you discover that an 18 wheeler has overturned on the free way dumping fuel all along, so the freeway and the ramp leading to it are completely closed. Next thing you know, you are driving on some unknown roads loosing the sense of direction, going around in circles and before you know it you reach work 1:30 hour late.
Thursday: OK, no surprises this morning, before you know it you are stuck in a traffic jam and it’s a Déjà vu all over again. The right lane 3 mile ahead is blocked and has rippled back to another 3 mile causing snarls and frustration amongst commuters. And not it was not an accident thank you it was Road work! Dear Construction Workers, we love and admire the work that you do for us, but ever heard of doing the work at non-peak hours?
Friday: To start off you are cruising along and can hardly believe it. You even pinch yourself just to be sure. Moments later you realize you have jinxed yourself and the inevitable happens. And the reason this time? A stalled car in the middle of nowhere. You want to tear your hair in frustration, but manage to coax yourself into chanting “TGIF…… TGIF …… TGIF”