Hasi Saaru/ No Cook Rasam

Perhaps, this rasam was (is?) a poor man's delight. I was told by my dad, about the humble begining of my great grandfather and my grandfather. Whenever he remembered those good old days, he never forgets Pachi Charu/Hasi Saru which used to be their favorite. Bele/Dhal was considard feast and was cooked only few times a year. His eyes turn moist when he remembers those days but he says: "those difficult times strengthened the bonding between us brothers and sisters"
I had totally forgotten this rasam untill my lovely sis reminded me of it. Recipe was shared and I made it also. Before posting, I even got a comment from one of the reader, requesting this recipe or did I understand it incorrectly? god knows....! All though, it is simple to make, you need some skill to balance the flavors of sour-sweet-salt.

Hasi Saru/Pachi Charu

Tamarind Paste : 2 tbsp
Jaggery : As required to balance the taste
Salt : As Required to balance the taste
Water : To make sufficient qty rasam
Green Chillies: 2 (chopped into big pieces)
Garlic: 1 clove (chopped into fine pieces)
Onion: 1tbsp (chopped into fine pieces)
Oggarane : little
Grated fresh coconut: 1tsp (you can omit this, if u don't want to add)
Coriander Leaves : 1tsp (finely chopped)

1.In a thick bottomed pan, take Green Chillies, garlic and onion with little salt and crush them together with your hands. You can throw away chilli skin if u do not want them to float in rasam.
Caution: Wash your hands well, after crushing chillies
2. Add 2 tbsp of tamarind juice, jaggery and salt. Add powdered jaggery to save yourself from crushing jaggery in tamarind juice. Mix well.
3. Add required amount of water and mix well. Taste little and adjust the flavors if needed.
4. Add chopped coriander and grated coconut, mix and set it aside for 1hr or 2.
5. IMPORTANT : This rasam tastes better only if you set it aside for an hour or two. Flavors settle well and tastes better with time. If it is summer time, you can refrigerate it to have a cooler rasam.
6. TIP: You can drink it as a soup and slurrrp! it tastes ...

Taste it to believe it :D

Sihi Kumbalakayi Akki Rotti

I am a great fan of akki rotti and I love all it's variations. I recieved an email from Savita Keshav, who had given me a new variety of akki rotti. She was kind enough to get me photographs too.. Here is Savita Keshav's delicious and finger licking  sihi kumbalakayi akki rotti :

"Sihi kumbalakai akki rotti (Makes 12 small sized akki rotti)

1. Rice flour 6 cups
2. Grated sweet pumpkin 2 cups
3. Finely chopped green chillies 6 - 8
4. Cumin seeds 1 - 2 teaspoon
5. Finely chopped coriander leaves 1 tablespoon
6. Salt to taste
7. Hing (aesofotida) 1/2 teaspoon

1. Mix all the above ingredients together with water to make dough of toothpaste consistency.
2. Take a lemon ball size of dove and spread it on a non stick pan with your hand so that the thickness is even.
3. Cook the rotti until light brown. Pour 1 teasoon of oil around the rotti.
4. Serve hot with a dollop of butter and tomato chutney."

Antinaunde Pudi/ Gum arabic with dry fruits powder, Postpartum food n care

A post written  on 17 Feb 2010, went on shelf without getting published! The reason: No picture :D Finally, I decided to publish without a picture. Many thanks to friends who had written to me with loads of advises without which this post would have been incomplete.

Disclaimer: All the advises claimed here are from my experiance, family or friends advises. Follow them using your best judgement.
I am counting down my days to deliver my second baby. I still have to sail through 90 days!!! My dear sister sent me this powder recently for my post natal care. It is usually given during early mornings along with a tall glass of milk. Here you go with the recipe for Antinunde Pudi..

Ingredients :
Antu/Edible Gum/Gum Arabic : 50g
Dry Dates : 1/4 kg (deseeded)
Almonds: 100g
Raisins: 100g
Cashewnut: one handful
Baje (not sure what it is called in other languages!): 1~2 teaspoon
Dry grated coconut: 200g (grated and weighed)
Jaggery/Palm Sugar: to sweeten up, use as required
Ghee: for frying

Optional Ingredients :
Cinnamon, Fennel seeds, Nutmeg, Cardamom(All ingredients to be toasted/dry roasted before they are deep fried)

1. Breakdown big pieces of gum acacia into small pieces.
2. Deseed Dry dates and cut them into small strips
3. Clean raisins
4. Roast almonds and casewnut till they are crisp. Let them cool down.
5. Heat ghee on medium flame in a thick bottomed pan. Fry all the above ingredients from Gum Arabica to Baje. Let them cool down.
6. Breakdown palm sugar into small pieces.
7. Powder the fried ingredients in a blender and keep it aside. Take little at a time to grind and do not overload grinder/blender/Food processer.
8. Powder jaggery and mix fried powder and jaggery. Take them in the blender again and pulse them to mix thoroughly.
9. Store in a air tight container.

Direction to Eat : Take 1-2 tablespoonful of this powder followed by a tall glass of milk for breakfast.

Post Partum Diet
Probably every mother ponders over this topic and perhaps the most discussed  topic in our women forums. Every household has traditional approach for the care given to a  mother. Many years before, when I delivered my boy, I had a misconception that all these traditions were outdated and never believed what they said!! Probably over the years I have reasoned all those advises and tried to find that there is a definite reason for each advise given. I thought of sharing some of these traditional customs with some sensible reasons attached to it. All these are my personal views and reasons have been widely searched over the internet so users are advised to take them only if they feel it is suitable to them.

Minimum postpartum care that is advised at home is for 45days. What do they ask you to do? These are my reasons to them.........

1. Take good rest or sleep well
Reasons: a. Your spine had taken that extra weight supporting your foetus during your pregnancy for 40 weeks or more and it needs to be rested well. Look at it as a long term investment to mother's health.
b. Sleeping well makes you stress free. A well rested mother can nurse well and produces more milk. A sleepless mother is likely to go into depression. You can google to find numerous articles to support this.
2. Drink Milk/Warm Liquids
Reasons: a.Fluids are most important for a nursing mother. Milk is a good source of calcium and protein which is why it is given more importance especially in vegetarian families.
b.Warm liquids also helps to keep away from constipation and infections.
c. Esp for Places like India- Drinking normal water may end up with diarrhea and both mother and baby
have to suffer.. Drink warm water.
3.Drink Soups, Eat Semi solid food for first 2 weeks of delivery
Reasons: a. Delivery must have made your body systems go weak. Your digestive system is very weak. Sqatting is another painful thing and sticking to such diet makes your life easier.
4. Moongdal is preferred dal for first two weeks
Reasons: Moongdal is light on stomach and it is digested quickly compared to toordal/pigeon peas
5. Yogurt and Tomatoes are not given for some reasons.
6. Ghee is recommended!!!Yes it is. But remember Calories Smalories :) Use it in small quantities. Stay away from eating large unrealistic quantities which only adds weight to your system.
7. Garlic is reccomended:
Reasons: a. Garlic is believed to have healing qualities. It helps to heal up those wounds inside and outside the body. You can google to read numerous health benefits of garlic.
8. Leafy green vegetables are reccommended.
Reasons : a. Leafy green vegetables are good source of folic acid. b. Certain leafy veggies like Dill leaves, Fenugreek leaves and spinach are believed to enhance milk production. 
9. No Snacking!! 
All women wanna get back to their pre-pregnancy shape. What can be the best way ;) Do not snack and eat 1 big meal (afternoon between 11 and 1PM when your digestive power is at it's max) and a lighter meal at night.
10. Start Exercising or walking after 45 days. Walking is considered as a light aerobic exercise which can be started after 45 days of delivery. However consult your doctor before you start doing it. Note that a diet is incomplete without exercise to loose that extra weight you have gained during pregnancy.
11 Wear corset/belt around your waist. This not only helps to get back the lost shape but also helps uterus to contract back to it's normal position. It is believed that by doing this uterine health is promoted and menopause will be delayed. Just do it for having back healthy uterus.
12 Some homes in India has practices of warming up the body (after bath) by sitting in front of charcoal stove. It is believed that warmer body burns fat much faster and also helps you to sweat away that extra calories..
13. Applying turmeric paste to your skin helps to reduce stretch marks and also reduces skin darkening which was caused due to excessive female harmone levels during pregnancy. Many females have pigmentation problems during pregnancy and all these can be taken care by applying turmeric.
14 Oil massage and hot water bath for mother and baby are reccomended every day. Massage helps to relax those straneous muscles during child birth. For a baby who had been accomodating itself in the small space of your uterus definitely needs a good massage to relax!!! :D
15 Exercise! Consult your gynecologist how soon you can start exercising after delivery. Start with a light walk around your block or house and slowly increase by doing some stretching exercise and brisk walking.

Recommended Spices : Ajwain/Omam, Cumin/Jeerige/Jeera, Fenugreek/Menthe/Methi, Turmeric/Harishina/Haldi, Fennel/Sompu, Garlic/Bellulli

Recommended Vegetables: Green Leafy Vegetables, Bitter vegetables like bittergourd, heralekayi(Rough Lemon)

Stay away from eating green chillies as they may irritate your stomach. Eat bland food or less spicy food.

Apart from these advises it would be good to keep TV viewing at minimal, have a good Ayurvedic massage, stay away from dusty environment, have less visitors at home, eat EFA rich foods like flax seeds and almonds, eat slowly and chew well before you swallow. Take good care of yourself and stay away from house work if possible.

Few Recipe Links @ TasteofMysore:
Bittergourd Powder
Rave Ganji/Semolina Congee
Ukkarisida Akki Rotti
Garlic Rice
Menasina Saaru
Garlic Rasam Powder
Nimbe Saaru (avoid using lemon juice..take it plain)

Note to Blogger s : Please include your recipe links which suit this topic 'postpartum diet' in the comment section. Thanks.