Preetha : I am the youngest of 3 siblings, and had all the pampering and the privileges that come with it. I earned a degree in Textile Technology and worked in the apparel export industry for seven years, mostly in Chennai. After my marriage I moved to US, enjoying the life to the fullest with my husband.
Our family is associated with the Shivanjali Trust, and are devotees of its founder Swami Shanthanand Saraswathi.One of the things that I love is the frequent food melas that we conduct at our house to raise funds for the free hospital run by the trust.
Nithu's Kitchen : What are your interests.
Preetha : When working I did not have anytime to think of anything other than my job. Oh yes, I am little workaholic, constantly running behind the export samples from one end of the city to another. Now that I have plenty of time, I started doing simple craft work mainly to keep my little home pretty and to keep myself busy.I am writing all my funny experience and the things I am enjoying here in my other blog, http://funanddreams.blogspot.com
Nithus's Kitchen : How your love for cooking started.
Preetha : I love cooking. In fact, I wanted to join Catering course after school, but ended up doing Engineering course.
When I was in India, although I never cooked a full course meal, me and my sister always help my mom in the kitchen. And My mom never missed an opportunity to cook a feast!
In India, of course we have enough religious occasion at regular intervals, each of which had its own special menu. Whatever cooking I learnt, I learnt by being a sous chef to my mom and aunty when they cook for these occassions.
Thank God, whatever I learnt helped me a lot when I moved to a new world, in-law's house.That's the first time I cooked a full meal,got a good appreciation.
Oct 2009, was the first time, I started to know more about the food blogs. That time I never imagined that I would have my own space. After 6 months of a hotel living, when we moved to an apartment, I was thrilled to have a full size kitchen. Love towards cooking increased a lot. I started exploring the web a lot and tried many new recipes. I then realized that I need to keep a log of the recipes that I was trying out and my experiences with them. That's how Preethibhojan was born.
Nithu's Kitchen : What dish do you have today to share. Why did you select this dish today.
Preetha : I would like share a recipe, which I learnt from my Mom, easy Tomato Sambar. This is one of her special dish, whenever I cook this, always feel that I am missing her. It is the best side dish for Idli and Dosai.This is very easy and quick and does not need any cooked dal.
Tomato Medium size -- 3 nos
Chilli powder -- as per taste
Salt -- as per taste
coconut (fresh or dried) -- 6-7 tbs
To fry :
Chana Dal -- 2 tbs
Urad Dal -- 2 tbs
Dry corriander seeds -- 2 tsp
Dry chilli -- 4-5 nos *
Oil - 1 tsp
For seasoning :
Mustard seed -- 1tsp
asafoetida - 1tsp
Oil -- 3-4 tsp
Fresh curry leaves and Cilantro -- few
Dry chilli - 2 nos
1. In a pan add a tsp oil and fry all the 4 ingredients, till the both the chana dal and urud dal turns to golden color.
2. Transfer them to another container and let it cool.
3. In the same pan, add a tsp of oil again and saute the tomatoes for 3 - 4 minutes untill the the tomatoes are tender.
4. Grind the sauted tomatoes in the mixer.
5. Transfer the mixture into a sauce pan and turn the heat to medium. Add a cup of water, chilli powder and salt to taste and bring it to boil.
6. Meanwhile grind the fried mixture, coconut and some water and make a paste.
7. Add this coconut paste mixture to the tomato, and boil it for few minutes.
8. Thats it Yummy Sambar is ready.
9. To add more flavor season the sambar. In a pan, heat the oil add the mustard seeds, once it starts to cracle add the 2 dry chilli, and the asafoetida.
10. Add this mixture to the sambar and garnish with curry leaves and cilantro.