Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Triangle clay pendant with mirrors

This is a custom piece I made for my friend. She asked me to make something that resemble the piece I had made and gifted my sister. For a change,I curved the edges slightly , added three sheesha or embroidery mirrors and gave some ethnic looking colours with a final dust of bronze. I also made the hook out of thin copper wire and wrapped it in a fan shape.

the necklace was make with blue-green seed beads and mauve and pink colour crystals. 

Winner of the Earring giveaway...

The lucky winner of the earring Giveaway  for SWARDAA, is Shwetha Shenoy. Our daughter picked the winner.

Shwetha has a blog with lots of lovely recipes.. It is called Dashami's collection. I have linked it here.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Handmade pendant and Monalisa beads

This is one of the first pendants I made , as a trial, for my Jewelry collection. This is made from Air-dry clay and hand moulded and coloured.

I first had the beads I intended to make the necklace ready ,and then went on to make the pendant. For a touch of colourm I added the deep-pink flower. The rest of the triangle-shaped pendant complemets the colours of the beads. Shades of green and bronze.

These are the beads ...

And the final set, with the matching earrings, which I gifted to my little sister - Suni..

Friday, September 16, 2011

Introducing ....."SWARDAA", and a Free Giveaway

I have just started a Page on Facebook, called Swardaa... which means 'Gifting Heaven' in Sanskrit. Coincidentally, it also has a similarity to my name, includes my husband's and our daughter's first letters too... So I am totally happy about that choice.

This is a dream come true... and I need all your best wishes to go forward with it...

I have just started with jewelry, and mean to expand into some crafts, collectibles and also art work that I plan to sell. Hopefully I will have an online shop soon..
Right now, I am having a FREE GIVEAWAY on my Facebook page and all of you,who are interested may try your luck. The winner will be declared on 24th September and I will courier the earrings ASAP...!!

This beautiful logo has been designed by my cousin Vimal, and apart from being a great designer, he is a superb photographer as well.. You can have a look at his page HERE...

So a quick peek at the earrings for the giveaway,

There are just three simple rules.. SO please go for it... Good luck ...!!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Mathanga (pumpkin) and Vanpayar (red cow peas) erissery

Our first Onam in our newly renovated home. This is one of the dishes that I had not made before , though it is definitely a part of any Onasadya in our homes in Kerala. I was never a fan of pumpkin until I started cooking myself. 

I am going to put up the easiest version. Exactly as I made the dish. With the help of a pressure cooker. 

Pumpkin - 400 gms (peeled , deseeded and cut into cubes)
Vanpayar (red cow peas) - 1 cup or more 

Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Green chillies - 2 nos
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp 

Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Salt to taste
Curry leaves - 1 stem or more
Coconut oil - 1 tsp 
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
dried red chilly - 2 nos

Soak the peas for 30 minutes and then add about 1 and 1/2 cups water, and pressure cook till three whistles. Once the steam escapes, add the pumpkin cubes, chilli and turmeric powder and cook on a medium flame till the pumpkin turns soft enough to mash. (Leave a few lumps of pumpkin for texture.)
 Do not add any water if possible. Avoid pressure cooking again because the pumkin may be overcooked.

Grind the grated coconut, green chillies and cumin seeds to a fine paste. Add this to the cooker. Once the errisery starts to bubble, turn it off. It should not have too much water or too little. 

In a hot kadai, heat the coconut oil, splutter mustar seeds, curry leaves and the dry red chillies. Add it to the cooker  and stir twice. 

Delicately flavored and great with rice. I think it would make a good curry for chappatis too..

And given below - my husband  and our daughter with our Pookkalam (flower arrangement) -  another tradition of Onam.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Soy bean curry

I love dried pulses and beans.. and even if we prepare the same gravy, each  bean imparts it's own flavour to make the dish unique.

While living in Doha, baked beans in tomato sauce and nearly burnt toast was a favourite breakfast . But in India, this is the first time I came across dried soy beans.. and i decided to try it out.

This is a simple recipe and I am sure every budding cook must have tried this recipe with one ingredient or the other..

Soak 1 cup of Soy beans overnight. Pressure cook for 5 whistles.

Soy beans - 1 cup
Onion - 1 (sliced thin or diced)
Tomato - 1 (sliced or diced)
Ginger garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chilly powder - 1 tsp heaped
Cumin powder - 1 pinch (optional)
Garam masala powder - 1 tsp
Coriander leaves - a bunch - chopped fine
Lemon juice - few drops
Salt to taste
Sugar  a pinch

In a hot wok, add oil, saute the onions, then add the ginger garlic paste.. once the raw smell is gone, add the tomatoes and saute ..cook through till soft.
Add the turmeric, chilli powder and garam masala powder. Add the soy beans with the water they were cooked in.. if it is not enough for a gravy, add more water.. let it come to a boil.
Now add enough salt to taste. Add the lemon juice and the pinch of sugar. Take off heat, add the garnished coriander leaves.

Serve hot with chappatis.