Monday, November 30, 2015

Spicy Roasted Chickpea

   For this November’s Homebaker’s challenge – Diwali bakes. There are many options like nankhati , mathri etc. I choose to bake this spicy chickpeas as we all like spicy crispy snacks.

    Actually , these spicy chickpeas are deep fried in oil . This is a recipe with less oil and is baked.

Requirement :

 Chickpea – 5oo g

Chili powder – 1 – 2 tbs ( depends on spice level )

Vegetable oil – 2 tbs

Salt – 1 tsp

Garlic – 4 cloves

Mixed herbs – ½ tsp


Method :

Soak the chickpea overnight and cook till smooth drain the water  and pat dry with kitchen towel.

Peel the garlic and grate.

Add the chickpea to a large bowl  along with chilli powder , salt , mixed herb , garlic and oil.

Toss well so each chickpea is coated with masala.

Bake at once after marinade. I left it to rest for 2 hour and baked.

Arrange the chickpeas in single layer on a baking tray lined with parchment paper.

Preheat oven to 200*C and bake 15 minutes.

Stir the chickpeas and bake again for 15 minutes.

Turn off the oven and let it cool in the oven.

Then store in airtight containers.

Spicy roasted chickpeas are ready to munch on…..


Notes :

Canned chickpeas can be used – use 2 can for the above measurement.

Garam masala or Mexican seasoning or black pepper or sumac can be used.

Olive oil can be used or any oil of your choice.

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Pamper your Munchkins skin

  Baby’s skin are soft ,  unlike adult skin they are delicate and immature. Utmost care must be given to maintain the baby’s skin as soft as it is.

Don’t wipe baby’s skin very harsh and use soft cotton wipes.

 Those who take care of the baby and other family members must take care before handling the baby , they must wash their hand and rinse with hand sanitizer . If any of the family member is sick or with any skin diseases they must keep away from the baby.

  Avoid keeping hot objects or other chemicals or drugs or insecticides on the reach of the baby.


1.Post Bath Massage :
   Post bath massage is  important to regain the skin’s suppleness as well remove anydeath skins left even after bath.
  This can be done with a baby lotion or non greasy oil like coconut oil. This relaxes the baby after a warm soothing bathe. When we massage the baby will fall asleep most of the time while massaging. Each massage makes the skin soft and smooth by increasing blood circulation.

2. Cloth

 Always wore your baby mild colour cotton cloth. As bright colour absorbs more heat especially Black dress. This leads to rashes and boils due to heat buildup.
  Make sure to use cotton spreads on bed too.
Use mild detergent to wash baby’s used cloths and immerse in the antiseptic after wash and dry in direct sunlight. This prevents germ growth there by rahes or other skin diseases.

3. Sunlight
Sunlight is needed for the skin to produce Vitamin D. There is no other source of this vitamin available , it must be produced on by the skin.

 Early morning sunlight is good for babies . But avoid mid morning and noon sunlights , as they are very hot and more UV rays are emitted.
 If the hot sun can’t be avoided use hat and umbrella . For mild sunburns apply a wet cloth to baby’s skin 10 – 15 minutes 5 times a day.

4. Avoiding diaper Rash

   When there was redness around the area were diaper touches the skin – diaper rash. This occurs due to tight diaper , left the diaper for long which is wet.

  These diaper rashes can be avoided by changing the diaper as soon as it is wet and by keeping the  diaper area open to air as long as or in between changing the diaper. If you found any rash apply the ointment containing Zinc oxide.
5. Care on skin products used

   I prefer to use natural products that too homemade only. If you can’t avoid using products like soap , oil , lotion or sunscreen, take care to choose the products without fragrance ,  dyes , phthalates and parabens as these cause skin irritation.

“Pampers brings you the softest ever Pampers Premium Care Pants. Its cotton-like softness is #SoftestForBabySkin and allows it to breathe, thus keeping baby’s skin soft and healthy, and your baby happy. ”

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Tips To maintain your baby’s skin soft

     Babies are the greatest boon from god. Baby’s cute smiles , small yawns and their language (we won’t understand may be their mom understands  and feeds ) are the loveable things , we can watch over for long without counting on the duration spend.

    Babies are the cutest in their every action . My niece Akshara ( Anu’s Daughter ) was the cute little angel in our home. We love to play with her . she smiles  with her baby teeth showing , so cute.

  Skin being the largest organ in our body. Skin’s softness and suppleness is due to the water content in our body and the secretion of the natural oil .Everyone must have felt the softness of the baby’s skin.

   As baby’s skin are the  softest , we must try to avoid any chemicals . we use natural things for her till now. My mom and Anu were very concern to use only natural and home made ingredients for Akshara’s  skin and hair.

 We must take care of the following :

1.     Use  soft cotton cloths as baby  wear and on bed. We usually fold a large cotton cloth and place it on the bed and make akshara to lie on it.
2.     We use cotton cloth to wipe her dry after bath and after nature’s call wash and pat dry with soft cotton cloth.
3.     We use luke warm water to bath her and clean her after toileting activities.
4.     We always make her sleep under mosquito net to avoid mosquito bites.
5.     We always clean and wipe dry before changing diaper , this prevents any breaking of skin and  rashes.
6.     If the baby is on mother’s milk , there will be enough water content. If the baby is on weaning , take care to feed water in between to avoid dehydration as well as drying of skin.

What we do to keep her skin soft and supple?

We bathe her twice daily with luke warm water.

1.   Oil Massage
We use slightly warmed sesame oil for massaging. Massage the whole body for 10 minutes and keep her on early morning sun as this is good foe baby’s skin and won’t harm. We do this twice a week.
2.   Green gram flour
We use homemade green gram flour to bath her. We use this both for her hair and skin. This helps to maintain the natural moisture in the skin .

3.   Milk cream ( Malai )
Milk cream is a natural moisturizer to skin. We apply this to her once in a week on her body and face and massage for 10 minutes. Bath her in lukewarm water with green gram flour.
4.   Ghee ( Clarified butter )
Ghee is good for the skin.  When  massaged on the it gives a softness and shine to skin. We use homemade ghee for her.

5.   Coconut milk / oil
Coconut oil is a good for skin’s nutrition and softness. Just take few drops of coconut oil in a hand and add few drops of warm water and rub between your palms , then apply on the baby’s skin. This is an excellent natural moisturizer, this can be applied after bath. As the skin absorbs  and we use few drops oil , there won’t be stickiness on skin.
  There was a custom in kerala is to boil the cotton milk and take the oil oozing on top . This oil is used for baby's hair and skin.
 Coconut oil acts as a natural moisture and gives shiny skin.

     Those who taking care of baby and lifting the baby must clean their hands with mild sanitiser before holding the baby.

 We have been using pampers for her from  birth till now.

     Pampers brings you the softest ever pampers premium care pants. Its cotton like softness is #SoftestForBabySkin and allows it to breathe , thus keeping baby's skin soft and healthy , and your baby happy .

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Café spice Cookbook - Cookbook Review - South Indian Cabbage Slaw

This book consists of 84 quick and easy Indian recipes for everyday meals.I received this book from Tuttle publication for review.

The author of the book was Hari Nayak- Indian educated and working in USA. He is on a mission to spread the enjoyment of Indian cuisine to everyone he meets.

About the author :

Hari Nayak  is a graduate of the culinary institute of America. He was the culinary director for the Café Spice brand and also runs his own restaurant consultancy firm, Gourmet Gurus.

His inspiration towards cooking started  in his young age by seeing the cooking of his grandmother. She grinds all her masalas freshly.

The author also has influence from other cultures and cuisine, which he experienced while travelling the globe.

About the book :

This book consists of  Hari’s all-natural and incredibly tasty indian dishes. The picture of bengal fish curry on the front page was fantastic with brilliant styling.

In the first few pages , the author talks about the café spice story.

The next few pages for simple techniques in indian cooking like deep frying , roasting , steaming etc.

Next the author introduces indian ingredients commonly used and their importance.

The dishes where categorized under nine chapters.

Basics – masala

Chutneys and Accompainments

Starters and salads

Soups and Dals

Vegetables and Cheese

Fish and Seafoods

Poultry and Meat

Breads , Rice And Grains

Desserts and Drinks

Each recipes were well explained  with a eye catching pictures. I want to make all the recipes from the book. The author also included shopping guide at the end of the book  for those living in the America , where they can get Indian ingredients.

Recipe I made from book :

South Indian Cabbage  Slaw ( Kosu Pachadi )

This was a simple indian coleslaw recipe with the easily available ingredients with the fresh flavor from the tempering and the creaminess from the yogurt , sweetness from the freshly grated coconut.