Read more... - Tips and Lessons Lea...
|| ||Okra (or Bhindi as its called in India) is a very popular vegetable in India. This year decided to grow Okra again because we had a good yield last year. I asked a few friends and they recommended some herbs like basil & mint and also Okra. They said Okra is easy to grow and requires little maintenance overhead. Since we love Okra I decided to give it a shot and for the most part I was successful in growing it and also cooked a couple of dishes but not before we learnt a few lessons which I thought would make for some good reading. |
1. Spacing of the Okra Plants - The instructions said to plant the seeds about 12-24 inches apart (but who reads instructions) and I must have planted them 6-8 inches apart. Not a big deal, or so it looked like for the first few weeks but once they grew big, I realized my mistake. You can see from the pictures the all of plants are bunched close together and its quite messy. Plant your seeds about 18 inches apart or better yet, read the instructions.
2. Harvest / Pick Everyday - After about 7-8 weeks, you will start seeing the first signs of the Okra pods (which was super exciting) but I had no idea when to pick them and so we let them grow and grow (and grow they did). Some got to about 6-7 inches and I decided to read instructions (you are seeing a pattern here) and realized that its probably best to pick them when they are between 2-3 inches long. You will be surprised how fast they grow so you have to look at your plants everyday or 2 days at the very max. I have probably lost half my harvest because I was too late.
You need to go look at your Okra plant everyday.
3. Okra plants are very itchy - I wish this was in the instructions (which I would have read after 2 lessons learnt). Yes, Okra plants are very very itchy. Sometimes just touching one leaf can give you a pretty strong itch. Given how close our plants were, I had to move some leaves and dig in to pick the Okra and I got a strong itch which lasted a few hours (a little Cortizone cream and a wash helped). Given that its summer time, most of us would not wear long sleeves, but please wear long sleeved shirts or gloves and make sure your face does not touch it. This is probably the most important tip. Okra plants are very itchy, so make sure you are well covered.
4. Okra plants are very generous - Once the plants grow and the pods start to form, you will be amazed how much Okra you will get. With about 4 plants, we could harvest enough in a week to make something with it.
Lesser known facts about Okra :
- Gumbo is Swahili for okra.
- It also also called Lady's finger in some countries.
- Okra seeds may be roasted and ground to form a caffeinate-free substitute for coffee.
Overall, its been fun growing Okra this summer. I never had a Green thumb but I certainly do have an itchy thumb now.
Disclaimer : I am not a farmer or claim to be any expert on growing Okra or any other vegetables for that matter.
Earlier this year, we gave away a free car sticker to many of our Facebook/Twitter fans. We are now giving 25 away to our Facebook fans for Liking and Sharing our post. An image of the sticker is shown at the bottom of the article. The sticker is 12 X 3 and sticks on the inside of a car window. The sticker has a black background and golden letters.
In order to win this sticker, you have to do the following
- You must be a Facebook Fan of our website. You can sign up as a fan by visiting the Indian Foods Guide.com Facebook Fan page and joining as a fan.
- Click on the "Like" Button when we post a message about this giveaway. We will post about 1 message a week.
- You will get 1 entry for every time you click Like on our posts.
- We would greatly appreciate it if you would help spread the message (by sharing this link with your friends) and get others to sign up as fans too. We will announce more giveaways, such as cookbooks, dinners etc as we hit new milestones.
Thank you for being a fan and supporting our effort to help build a better site dedicated to Indian food. Please also follow us on Twitter
Rules of the Contest:
1. The contest is open to everyone no matter where you live.
2. The contest will be open till the 15th of September, 2012.
3. We will announce the winners after the 15th of September, 2012. If the winner does not want the prize, we will pick another winner. The winners are responsible for any customs duty applicable in their country. We will send the prize by regular post. Please do not ask us to courier the prizes.
- Abhay Sharma
- Alice Lum
- Amy Ruth Warran
- Colin McFayden
- Genflour Suyom Dator
- Heena Hussain
- Jack Slockbower
- Jennifer Koszewski-Nwaokoro
- Jessica Calo Pugate
- Konathan Liou
- Katelyn T Miller
- Liz Delphais
- Maddie Chera
- Mayank Rathod
- Michael Sanjorge
- Nikhil Porwal
- Nishant Dua
- Pia Kainiapanaiken
- Priyanka Tanwar
- Priyaranjan Nayak
- Rekha Thakoor-Schultz
- Scott Mckinney
- Shalini Mukherjee
- Tammy Moody
- Vishy Kiny
Please send us your mailing address via Facebook message or use the contact us form and mention your Facebook profile name so we can match it.
Earlier this year, we gave away a free car sticker to many of our Facebook fans. We are now giving upto 50 away to our Twitter followers and anyone who follows us. An image of the sticker is shown at the bottom of the article. The sticker is 12 X 3 and sticks on the inside of a car window. The sticker has a black background and golden letters.
In order to get this sticker, you have to do the following
- You need to follow us on Twitter and retweet the message about this giveaway to your followers.
- If you are already an existing follower, retweeting our message to your followers or tweeting a message "#FF @indianfoodguide" will get you an entry.
- We will contact you via Twitter's Direct Message to get your address and the number of stickers you want (not more than 2). We will mail them out shortly.
- Please request the sticker only if you are really going to stick it on you car.
- We would greatly appreciate it if you would help spread the message (by sharing this link with your friends) and get others to follow us too. We will announce more giveaways, such as cookbooks, dinners etc as we hit new milestones so help us get to those milestones.
Thank you for being a fan and supporting our effort to help build a better site dedicated to Indian food.
Read more... - An alternate approac...
|When you think of Indian food, the first thing that comes to most people's mind is the buffet. People love the Indian buffet because they get to eat till to their heart's content. As a diabetic, buffets are something I try and avoid but its often hard to avoid them, because your friends and family members like to enjoy a good buffet. Also, many restaurants sometimes do not offer you food from their regular menu when they serve buffets. Its a dilemma that I often face. In general, buffets are a problem for the following situations and reasons|
- Diabetics - If you are a diabetic like me, or have family members who have diabetes, you know that diabetics have to control their portions. The buffet is not the right place for that. Its like taking an recovering alcoholic to a pub for a celebration. Most buffets are priced with the expectations that their patrons will probably eat at least 2-3 rounds. If you are a disciplined diabetic, you will probably eat much less than what you paid for.
- Individuals on a diet - While you may not be diabetic, you may be pre-diabetic or on a weight loss program and again buffets are not the place to be.
- Wastage of Food - Buffets encourage people to waste food. If you don't like it, ditch it (for fans of the movie Jaane Bhi Do Yaaron - "Thoda Khao, Thoda Phenko"). I have seen many plates go to the trash can with the food having been barely eaten. For a country with a high poverty level, its a criminal waste to throw away such food.
Can something be done to perhaps change the way the buffet system works in India? Perhaps...This is a thought from how food is served in my office cafeteria. A lot of the food such as salads and pastas are served by weight. You pick what you want on your plate, they weigh it and you pay by the ounce. The maximum price you pay per plate is capped, so if you take more, you don't have to pay extra for it. It works great for someone like me as I need to control my portions. Perhaps with a little help from technology, we could be take this concept to the buffets. Patrons will be provided bar codes when we opt for the buffet. Every time they go for a helping, their plates are weighed and go against the bar code. The patron know where they stand every time they refill. The restaurant can keep a couple of pricing options at 60%, 75% and 100% of the buffet value so people can decide what band they want to eat at. For those who want to go flat out, they can and for those who want to be more careful also have an option.
It may sound crazy and we wanted to see what our readers think of this. Thoughts welcome. Please leave your comments below.
Read more... - Mate - Infusion Tea ...
Mate (pronounced Maa-tey) is a traditional South American infused drink that is very popular in Uruguay and neighboring countries, particularly in Argentina, Paraguay, southern states of Brazil, south of Chile and the Bolivian Chaco. During my stay in Uruguay, I have seen everyone drinking Mate. People have it at their homes, at the office and even walking around the city.
It is prepared from steeping dried leaves of yerba (pronounced sherba) mate in hot water. As with other brewed herbs, yerba mate leaves are dried, chopped, and ground into a powdery mixture called yerba.Mate is served in a shared hollow calabash gourd and is served with a metal straw. The dried calabash gourd is dried to make it hard and then the outside is wrapped with a leather shell. The straw is called a bombilla in some Latin American countries.
The straw is traditionally made of silver. Modern, commercially available straws are typically made of nickel silver, called Alpaca; stainless steel, or hollow-stemmed cane. The bombilla acts as both a straw and a sieve. The submerged end is flared, with small holes or slots that allow the brewed liquid in, but block the chunky matter that makes up much of the mixture.
To make the mate, the calabash gourd is filled with the dried leaves of the yerba and then filled with hot water from a thermos. In the workplace, a thermos or kettle is shared among the employees. Using the bombilla straw, mate is slowly sipped and enjoyed. You can see how it looks in the pictures below. I will buy a Mate set this weekend and taste it next week.
Read more... - Chivito - Sandwich S...
We are currently visiting Uruguay and will be sharing some of the popular recipes and dishes from this country. Uruguayan cuisine is traditionally based on its European roots, in particular, Mediterranean food from Italy, Spain, Portugal and France, but also from countries such as Germany and Britain, along with African and indigenous mixtures. The first dish we are featuring is a local sandwich-like dish called the Chivito.
As you can see in the picture, the Chivito consists primarily of a thin slice of filet mignon (churrasco beef), with mayonnaise, black or green olives, mozzarella, tomatoes and commonly also bacon, fried or hardboiled eggs and ham. It is served in a bun, often with a side of French fries. Other ingredients might be added into the sandwich such as red beets, peas, grilled or pan-fried red peppers and slices of cucumber.
The Chivito I had was made of chicken and had lettuce and peppers as well. The chicken and bacon seemed to be grilled with the egg making the flavors quite interesting.
The word Chivito literally means "little goat" or "baby goat". It is claimed the name arose at a restaurant in Uruguay, when a patron who was from the northern part of Argentina (Cordoba) ordered baby goat meat ("chivito") like one that she had ordered in Argentina. She was looking for a special taste, something similar to what she had experienced in her region. But since the restaurant owner Mr. Cabrera did not have this specialty, he served his toasted bread with ham, sliced filet mignon and seasoned it with different ingredients.
If you are like me from India, then you may fine the Chivito just about OK as its not very spicy or contain any spices. I personally do not like the taste of olives so probably the next time, I will try it without the olives and with beef. If you do end up visiting Uruguay, don't miss this national treat. Stay tuned for some more dishes from Uruguay.
Source : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chivito_(sandwich)