Kitchen contraptions :)

So excited to have this 😀

Coastal South Indian food makes use of a lot of coconut. My mom sometimes used 2-3 coconuts a week to cook for our family of four. Here in the US I tend to buy frozen grated coconut from the Indian store. The taste of fresh coconut is still somehow a little different. One can buy whole coconuts at the Mexican store in Texas and in the Asian store here in Virginia. I had no way of breaking those coconuts and grating them so it seemed a waste to buy them! In India we use a large iron sickle to break the coconut and a special serrated iron blade to grate it. A few months ago while visiting a beach in Connecticut I got the idea of using a stone to break open a coconut. The only thing left to complete the set was a serrated blade. The ones we find in India are normally blades that are attached to a little stool that you use to sit close to the ground and grate the coconut. I was looking for something that I could affix to my kitchen platform – simply to make life easier 🙂

My aunt had the very thing I needed and graciously gave it to me on my recent visit to India. I can fix it when needed to the kitchen platform with a clamp and get it off when I am done with it! I was brimming with excitement to use it. This past week we had some North Indian friends over for a meal. They are vegetarian so I decided to cook a traditional South Indian vegetarian meal for them. What better time than that to inaugurate the coconut grater???

Here are a few pictures!

Here’s freshly grated coconut!

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Low carb diet!

I know that I have not blogged in a while. Part of that is because I have been travelling. 2 conferences in one month. The experience was new and enriching. Sometimes I think I love my life so much that I will have trouble transitioning to a full time job! However, the life of a grad student is also inundated with stress. I’m at the proposal editing stage right now. To add to that the TX-DC commute is causing much stress in my life. It’s unsettling to be in constant limbo.

On another note, I had my regular check up. I have also been reading a LOT about hypothyroidism and insulin resistance. I am making a little bit of progress but I need to be making much much more. Outwardly, I feel fit and fine, but inwardly my system is a messed up and the only thing to show for that physically is my weight gain 😦 I am determined however to lose this weight. At least now I know why I wasn’t losing as much weight despite exercise! I am going to have to give up a lot of things that I love to eat *very sad*. However, I can still continue eating meat, fish and seafood. I am so so thankful for that. I need to be on a high protein and low carb diet.

Things that I won’t be eating in the near future include rice, flour, bread, potatoes, sugar, white wine and bananas. The only things that make me sad on this list are rice, sugar and potatoes. The rest I don’t care for so much. I think I can live without eating bread. I am hoping that after a few months I can use whole wheat flour to make rotis and have that when I cook an Indian meal. I love desserts so I am going to have to eat a lot of fruit to compensate for that 😦 And rice, that is a staple. There are some things you cannot eat WITHOUT rice *hint-curry*! Sigh. This transition is going to be difficult, but I am willing to stick with it if it means that I will be healthier and take care of the body that God has given me. I am hoping that my blood work will tell a different story after I have stuck to this diet and exercised. More importantly, I am hoping that in the long term I will be able to eat at least a few servings of rice and dessert a week 🙂

Godhi (wheat flour) dosa

My experimentation with low-carb food continues! This week both hubby and I have been plagued by the common cold. It is totally annoying to deal with a stuffed nose and we crave hot food which means that cold cereal is out the window for breakfast. Today I made godhi dosa for breakfast. It’s not your typical dosa, but it’s pretty good for a fast hot breakfast because it does not require fermentation. Three cheers for quick cooking 🙂 I’m just sad that I have no pictures to share 😦 We ate all of them for breakfast!

Ingredients:

1 cup atta (whole wheat flour)

2 cups water

salt, pepper and chilli powder/cayenne pepper – to taste

Method:

Mix flour and water until there are no lumps. The batter should be of pancake batter consistency.

Season the batter with salt, pepper and chilli powder. You can also add some chopped onions (about 1/2 cup to 1 cup flour). I’m not too fond of them, so I left the onions out.

Leave the batter for about 10-15 minutes. Don’t keep it for too long or else the batter gets weird (for lack of a better word) and it’s not possible to spread the batter well.

Heat a nonstick pan on medium heat. Coat it with a little oil and spread the batter on the pan like a pancake.

Flip it after the underside of the dosa is brown and toasted. Take care not to burn it. Brown and cook both sides.

Serve with any kind of chutney.