Thursday, 31 August 2017

Trip to Hogenakkal Falls

Hogenakkal is a famous waterfall in Southern part of India. It is located on Kaveri river in the Dharmapuri district of Tamilnadu.  The distance of Hogenakkal Falls from Bangalore is approximately 180 kms. Whenever we get long holidays or weekends, we prefer to explore new places and spend time in the lap of nature. Everyday we struggle with our city life so we need some break and go for relaxation! In the month of July we planned to visit Hogenakkal.


Though we are staying in Bangalore for few years now however we never visited the place.We decided to start our journey early in the morning so that we can reach our destination on time. But we could not start before 8 o'clock in the morning. After taking the Hosur road we stopped for our breakfast in a drive in cafe & eateries. It took almost 3 to 3.5 hours to reach Hogenakkal Falls. It was peak season and we had go front and back for 20 minutes to park our car. We took minimum luggage with us (drinking water, energy bars and few dry clothes).



After getting down from the car we had walk half mile to reach to the ticket counter and book a coracle ride. Coracles are nothing but small round shaped boat. They resemble like vegetable basket.This was something new to me. Coracles are made of bamboo and the back side was coated with tar. I was wondering how that coracle is going to help us floating in this deep river. There are specific individuals who have the license of driving coracles.

A man with his Coracle
You have to purchase ticket and stand in a long queue to collect the safety jackets. I would suggest one person can stand in  ticket counter and other can stand in life jacket queue so you can save your time. They promise to take a complete round of almost one hour. If you want to take bath, they will take you to the bathing point and wait there (they charge extra bucks for that). I was excited as well as scared to sit in coracle. Somehow I managed my scared heart and started our journey in coracle. It took us to the nearby distance and dropped us because now we have to get down using steep staircase.

Sailing Shop
Our drivers took those heavy coracles on the head and started walking along with us. After getting down quite a number of stairs now again we got into our coracle and now the real fun-ride started. Now we were amazed to see the beauty of nature and my worries were vanished. We were spellbound with nature's beauty and was thinking why did not we visit Hogenakkal till now. Our driver took us just beneath the fall and we were all wet completely.


Then he took us around the places and we could see how river has made curves on the rocks (looks like sculptures). He took us to a far island we clicked some pictures and came back to the starting point through the same route. Thus our one hour thrilled coracle ride came to an end. We did not take bath as we already got wet under the falls. There are no proper restaurants so we had some local food in small eateries. If you are picky and particular about foods, you should carry some foods along with you. We had a nice trip to Hogenakkal Falls and returned to Bangalore on the same day evening.



When to visit: It is better to visit during rainy season so that you can see the real beauty of the falls. However, if it is raining too much coracle ride is not allowed as told by our coracle driver. We visited in the month of July.

Do not forget to watch this live video of Hogenakkal Falls...

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Aloo Gobi Matar / Aloo Gobi Matar Sukhi Sabji / Alu Gobi Matar Dry Sabji

Today I will share the recipe of aloo gobi matar. I am sharing the dry version or sukhi sabji of alu gobi matar. I have prepared it quite some time back. This was prepared for a potluck which was arranged at our yoga class to celebrate Women's Day. Now you can understand that how long this recipe  is sitting inside my folder. This was my first potluck. There were 10 to 12 people and each one brought different item. Veg and non veg both delicacies were there.  The fun part was non-vegetarian people were tasting both veg as we as non-veg dishes. I was really glad that my aloo matar gobi was hit.


Coming to the recipe, it is a bit lengthy process of cooking but not at all difficult. I always blanch cauliflower before cooking. I hope you all do the same too. I have used mustard oil which gives a distinct taste to the sabji and no one could make out (many complaints mustard oil is pungent :). If you do not want to use mustard oil, you can use refined oil. But I would suggest once you try with mustard oil and then you can make out the taste difference. It is important to heat the mustard oil properly before you add vegetables into it. Here is the recipe of aloo gobi matar for all of you....

Aloo Gobi Matar / Aloo Gobi Matar Sukhi Sabji / Alu Gobi Matar Dry Sabji

Ingredients

Cauliflower - 1 big, cut into small florets
Potato - 2 medium, peeled and cut into cubes
Green Peas/Matar - 1/2 cup
Onion - 2 medium, chopped
Ginger Paste - 2 teaspoon
Tomato - 1 medium, chopped
Garlic Paste - 1/2 teaspoon
Green Chilli - 3 to 4, sliced
Red Chilli Powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric Powder - 11/2 teaspoon
Cumin Powder - 11/2 teaspoon
Coriander Powder - 2 teaspoon
Coriander Leaves - chopped, handful
Asafoetida - a pinch
Salt to taste
Sugar - 1/2 teaspoon
Mustard Oil -  5 to 6 tablespoon
Cumin Seeds - 1 teaspoon
Garam Masala Powder - 1/2 teaspoon

Procedure

1. Blanch the cauliflower for 2 to 3 minutes and drain the water.
2. Heat oil (2 to 3 tablespoon) in a pan and add cauliflower florets along with little turmeric powder and salt. Keep on stirring under medium to high flame.
3. Once the cauliflower florets turn slightly golden, take them out and keep aside.
4. Add one tablespoon of oil and fry the potato cubes along with little turmeric powder and salt until golden and take them out and keep aside.
5. Finally heat the remaining oil in pan and add asafoetida and cumin seeds.
6. Once they start crackling add chopped onion, green peas and fry till onions are translucent.
7. Next add ginger and garlic paste and keep on stirring.
8. After that add dry spices including turmeric powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and red chilli powder. Mix them well.
9. Now add chopped tomatoes and cook until they are mashed. If require add little water.
10. Finally add fried cauliflower florets and potato cubes. Mix them well with all the spices and add sugar and salt as per the taste.
11. Next add sliced green chilli, chopped coriander leaves and garam masala powder. Mix them and switch off the gas and serve with rice or roti or paratha.


Friday, 25 August 2017

Mixed Veg Paratha / Mixed Vegetable Paratha

We prefer the option 'Mixed Vegetable' on the menu card. Isn't it true? So after mixed veg gravy, mixed veg fried rice, mixed veg pizza, mixed veg pakora, here comes mixed veg paratha. Unlike the other mixed veg options, this mixed veg paratha is not very common. At least I have hardly seen it in any menu card. Have you seen it? If yes, then where and how? I will tell how I have seen it.


On one fine weekend we went out for shopping and we were late so thought we will have our dinner outside and go home. We had Dominos coupon and went to the dominos shop in the mall. We found it to be too crowded and we have to wait for our turn. We came out and decided to have at any restaurant on the way to our home. While coming back to our home, we saw a small eatery which was named as 'Northern Delicacies'. It was newly opened in our area and we decided to have our dinner there. When I was checking the menu card my eyes were stuck at mixed veg paratha and we ordered it along with other items. Believe me, that mixed veg paratha was the best selection among the other menus. We happily finished our dinner and decided to come back in that eatery once again. After coming home I safely kept the dominos coupon to use it later.

Later I decided to try mixed veg paratha at home and it was hit too and here I am sharing the recipe with you all. It's not that we get innovative and tasty food only at big restaurants and food giants, even small eateries are some times really good (Obviously they should maintain cleanliness and good hygiene).

Mixed Veg Paratha / Mixed Vegetable Paratha

Ingredients

Whole Wheat Flour / Atta - 2 cups
Cauliflower - 6 to 8, medium size florets
Carrot - 1 medium, grated
Beans - 7 to 8, finely chopped
Onion - 1 medium, chopped (optional)
Green Chilli -1, finely chopped (optional)
Turmeric Powder - 1 teaspoon
Salt to taste
Cumin Powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Carom Seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Chaat Masala - 1/2 teaspoon
Red Chilli Powder - 1 teaspoon
Pickle - 1/2 teaspoon (I have used Mango Pickle)
Refined Oil as required


Procedure

1. Knead the dough using whole wheat flour, salt and 2 tablespoon of refined oil and allow to rest it for half an hour.
2. Blanch the cauliflower florets and grate them.
3. Heat 2 tablespoon refined oil in a pan.
4. Add carom seeds in the oil and after that add chopped onion, grated carrot, chopped beans and grated cauliflower into it.
5. Keep on stirring the mixture for few minutes (5 to 7 minutes) on medium to high flame.
6. Now reduce the flame and add salt, turmeric powder, chopped green chilli, red chilli powder, chaat masala, cumin powder and mix them well.
7. Once the vegetables are well cooked add pickle along with little pickle oil and mix well.
8. Switch off the gas immediately and allow  to cool the stuffing.
9. Now divide the dough into big size balls and stuff each ball with the mixed veg stuffing.
10. Seal the balls well and roll them into big circles.
11. Heat a skillet and fry the parathas and serve with pickle of your choice.