Finally! My Hamilton Beach Sandwich Grill !

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My Electric Grill being delivered just in time for tea!

 

I love taking part in contests and if it is food related all the better to eat dear! So I signed up for the #CreateFearlessly contest sponsored by #HamiltonBeach in conjunction with #Blogadda and wondered what they’d send me – a sandwich grill or a coffee machine?

I waited a fair bit, even received a call and an email from Blogadda asking whether I’d got the gadget and was frankly getting quite worried:

  • Did it come while I was away ( very rare for me these days)
  • Was it filched along the way ( A possibility indeed)
  • Or did Blogadda change its mind ( NO not possible my mind screamed)

So I sent them an email saying that I didn’t receive the parcel and no sooner did I press  SEND than the doorbell rang and two scruffy looking men bearing this huge big parcel with a sandwich grill stood before me. Strangely they asked me to stamp my office stamp (really I don’t have an office), failing which I was to show them proof of identities like a PAN card or Driver’s Licence. This was the first time ever I was asked such a question by a courier company and not wishing to share my personal information with them, handed over my visiting card which announced my name and title as BLOGGER.

They looked suitably aghast as they muttered ” Yeh kya hai?” but I already had some guests at home and quickly shut the door.

Getting down to #CreateFearlessly

Ever since I’d seen this dumb movie called CHEF, I wanted to make a grilled ham and cheese sandwich so the moment I could manage it I asked Bayda to help me unpack the gadget.

 

Then with everything ready, I set down to making my first #CreateFearlessly Panini.

Verdict

The instructions to start the grill were clear enough but Bayda did spend a few moments trying to figure how to open it. On closer inspection I found the catch on the side and released it to allow both the covers to come apart.

The grill heats up fast and the sandwich did slip out only because it was too thick but within minutes I had the yummiest grilled sandwich – crunchy crusty warm and toasty.

 

A Healthy Child Makes a Happy Home

This post is part of the Indiblogger Happy Hour campaign and is my entry

English: Healthy Child Healthy World Logo
English: Healthy Child Healthy World Logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

for Dabur India’s Chyawanprash which increases a child’s immunity threefold.

 

Children today face a lot of germs in crowded school buses, playgrounds and class rooms. While it is impossible to keep a child away from germs, it is possible to give the child enough immunity to not succumb to every germ it comes into contact with. A sick child is miserable not only because he is kept at home, but also because he physically suffers the disease that is ravaging him. And we all know how a sick child can throw your entire routine out of gear. It makes you sad, miserable and tetchy to deal with a child who is feeling out of sorts.

So the next best thing to do would be to ensure that your child remains healthy with good nutrition, proper rest and of course healthy happy genes. While the last is not in your hands, the first two definitely are and it won’t hurt if you take some help from supplementary foods that go by the fancy name of nutraceuticals. In fact, long before this trend became fashionable, Dabur’s has been keeping Indian homes happy and healthy with their wide range of healthcare products particularly Dabur’s Chyawanprash which is made up of natural herbs.

Traditional Indian medicine has long used herbal remedies to deal with day to day hiccups in one’s health. Dahi bhaat or curd rice is a standard remedy for an upset tummy especially when the rice is overcooked to mush, the dahi added is sweet and the dish mixed with love and care. When you feel the appetite returning, you can add some popped mustard seed seasoning or even a bit of chopped onion and coriander to see that smile come back to your child’s face.

Similarly, a standard recipe for convalescents is the mildly spiced khichadi or moong daal and rice mix that is also overcooked and flavoured with home made fresh ghee. A crisp fried papad is all that is left to make even the most reluctant sick child  want to eat it.

What is more important than treating a sick child is keeping a child healthy and happy.

One of the first things we are taught is to eat right – giving importance to quality and quantity of the food that we consume. Our grannies tell us that we should have only five almonds soaked overnight and eaten first thing in the morning to ensure strong memories and good marks in exams! Similarly, we are encouraged to eat pure ghee made from cow’s milk to ensure that our supply of good fats is built up early in our lives.

We are encouraged to eat spinach  and leafy greens to get our daily requirement of iron and other trace elements. Citrus fruit contribute our requirement of Vit C and sprouted beans folic acid. Each and every ingredient in our humble kitchens are rich mines of good health. But won’t it be better to have them all in one simple teaspoonful? Especially when fruits and vegetables are seasonal?

So our Ayurvedic system developed recipes to keep goodness all year round. Every winter my mother-in-law brings home heaps of big Indian gooseberries (amla) and cooks them for hours on end in a sugar syrup till they become one big, black goopy mess of morawala or gooseberry jam which she claims has the largest concentration of Vit C. One winter she collected all the rose petals from her garden and made some home made Rose Petal Jam or Gulkand which she claimed was good for one’s general well being.

 

But when one considers the convenience of pre- made goodness packed in a jar like Dabur’s Chyawanprash, why toil over a kitchen stove?

Healthy children are happy children and happy children make happy homes so make your child healthy today.

When good and wholesome is absolutely yum

Unfortunately more often than not good and wholesome is also sorely lacking in taste. For the past two months we’ve been following a diet that has been good and wholesome – fatless, sugarless, saltless and unfortunately often tasteless. Of course this has led to a cumulative weight loss of at least 15 kilos ( for the entire family) but has also led to severe cravings to eat something good and wholesome and simultaneously YUM.

Fada and whipped yogurt

Returning home  from a day out on our “farm” I had this absolute urge to eat something different, something wholesome, something specially meant for a chilly February evening. So I thought of rustling up some “Fada nu Khichada” or a vegetarian wheat based khichadi, my all time favourite  at the iconic eatery SWATI in downtown Mumbai famous for its “snakes” . Khichada is a mix of rice and lentil and was normally served in my home while growing up, on wet rainy days or when the tummy sorely needed some special care.

So I took 2/3  cup  broken wheat, 1/3 cup  moong dal and washed them together and let them soak for around 5 minutes. While they were soaking, I peeled a potato and cut half of it into tiny wedges, chopped half a tomato into small wedges, and cut up two florets of cauliflower into tiny pieces and cut four French beans into tiny pieces.

I added 1 tablespoon of ghee in a pressure pan and let it heat up on high heat taking care not to burn it. When it was hot, I added 1 green cardamom, 1/2 ” piece of cinnamon, 4 cloves and 4 pepper corns. To this I added a pinch of asafetida  1/4 tspn  each of turmeric and red chilli powder. Then I drained off the water and added the broken wheat and dal  to the spice mix sizzling in the pan. I sauted it for a bit and then added the vegetables and continued sauteing for another minute or so taking care not to scald it. To this I added 1/2 a cup of  whipped curd, 1/2 tspn salt and 1 1/2  cups of water to cook the khichada. Khichada is gooey and well cooked so it needs more water than normal i.e. the total quantity of liquid should be twice that of the dry ingredients. I added some salt, put on the lid and the pressure and allowed it to cook for 4 whistles.

I am now going to eat it with whipped curd over which I poured some red chilli powder in hot ghee and perhaps a deep  fried udid dal papad to provide the crunch…………..

If this is not wholesome and yum, I wonder what is!

If you allow the wheat and dal to soak for longer, you will have to cook it for less whistles ( 3) and you can reduce the quantity of water as well. Khichada starts drying up as it cools down so you may have to add some more water  just before serving ( and of course heat it up!) to make it gooey

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