Monday, March 22, 2010

Guest Post - 3 : Today's Guest - Kiranmai

Today, we have our guest Kiranmai. She holds a Masters Degree in Computer Applications. She is such a creative minded person who is interested in gardening, singing and writing apart from her love for cooking. Now, let us hear what she says.

Nithu's Kitchen: Tell us about you Kiranmai.
Kiranmai: I was born into a vegetarian telugu family.My father was an Engineer and my mother was a Teacher. My younger brother is pursuing Doctorate in Glaciology. I have done MCA from Andhra University. Mine is an arranged marriage and I'm a home-maker living in USA with my caring husband and two lovely little kids(a boy-6yrs and a girl 3yrs).

Nithu's Kitchen: Good to know about you. As a mom to two lovely kids, what make you proud about them?
Kiranmai: I learn a lot from kids everyday seeing them grow. I used to read to my son since he was a 3 month old and I am proud to say that he is a first grader and reads chapter books like a 5th grader. I am proud to say that my kids are not only good in speaking English but are very good at speaking Telugu. Not only that my son writes and reads telugu very well. My daughter has just started learning to write.

Nithu's Kitchen: Great! Our wishes to your lovely and brilliant kids. Apart from cooking, what are your other interests?
Kiranmai: I love growing plants and greenery and taking care of my little patio garden in summers. I should say I am creative and I like creativity. I am good with words. I love to write. Singing is my another favorite hobby. Writing poetry when I am down, glass-painting, playing word games, puzzles, reading comics, taking beautiful pictures of nature...these are a few of my interests. Finally I should say that "I am a Jack of all and Master of none". I love to keep things clean and organised. Anything I do I try to do it with maximum perfection. After moving to USA my hobbies kind of went aside except cooking and taking care of my family has become my priority. I did not get a chance or time to pursue my interests. Now slowly I am trying to get time for myself and hence started the Blog SUMDADHURA.

Nithu's Kitchen: Wow! you seem to be very creative. Can you share us a poem? Also, tell us about the poem that you liked most.
Kiranmai: A small snippet of my thoughts and feelings..
" A touch of gloom swirls into our lives with the dark winter nights
Air of spring brings hope to the lives
Summer sun brightens up the smiles
The fall of leaves reminds us of the autumn breeze
It's a hint for us to get ready for freeze
What are the ways of nature and what are the ways of life
Oh it's just a wake-up call to remind us all
That nothing in life is forever...
Seasons come and go & so does happiness and sadness in life
This is the divine-nature's delight,we are just members of the passing flight in this circle of life."

The poem which I like most is "Home They Brought her Warrior dead" by Alfred LordTennyson. I learnt this in my 7th grade.

Nithu's Kitchen: Thank you so much Kiranmai. Tell us about an unforgettable incident happened in your life?
Kiranmai: I am always amazed by the ways of nature. Sometimes even now I do not understand how I should have reacted to my situation! Should I be happy(for having a beautiful healthy baby) or should I be sad(for not seeing my dad for the last and not being with my mom when she needed me)? My daughter was born in Sep 2006 and a few days after that my father passed away. My parents were in India and I was here in USA. I did not know how to react. I had to act happy! I couldn't cry in front of my 3year old son and I also have a little baby. I had to pretend that everything was okay. I had to be strong for my mother because I could talk to her and console her only through the phone. My brother was with her but still I couldn't be there for her. I did not get to see my father for the last time.

Nithu's Kitchen: We really feel sorry for the situation you faced. Whom you consider as your role model for cooking? When did you start to cook?
Kiranmai: My mother is a great inspiration for my cooking. When I was a little kid she always encouraged us to eat all kinds of vegetables and fruits. I am very thankful to her for good eating habits she has instilled in us. Me and my brother have the advantage of enjoying all the various vegetarian cuisines as we are never picky in trying. I love to cook since I was a little girl, I always used to watch my mom cooking and experiment it when she was out of town.I love to try different vegetarian recipes from various cuisines and personalise them to the tastes of my family. My speciality is, I never use measurements in my regular everyday cooking. That's how I cook, got that habit from my mother and my grandmother. Just calculate in the mind or eyeball them like Rachel Ray:-) After I started the blog I am learning to use the measuring utensils.

Nithu's Kitchen: What is your kids favourite food?
Kiranmai: My little ones enjoy every dish I cook. They are my first critics. Whatever I cook, I try to make it healthier. My kids eat every vegetable that I cook including bittergourd. I take great care in my cooking as one of my kids is allergic to many foods.

Nithu's Kitchen: What inspired you to start a blog? Why you chose the name "Sumadhura" for your blog.
Kiranmai: I believe that good food is always a great way to communicate. As a result of this, I started this blog SUMADHURA---A Delicious Journey-----.I also felt that it would be a great way to share some of the healthy recipes that I make to friends, family and also to people who are intersted in trying them. I like to be innovative in my cooking. I sometimes get bored if I cook the same foods, so I start looking for much healthier foods and / or improvise my dishes and keep experimenting. The blog has given me a new enthusiasm and encouragement. The thought of sharing something nice and healthy to people around me gives me more happiness. I am very happy and thankful to all the fellow bloggers who have visited my blog and encouraged me with their lovely comments.
I named this blog SUMADHURA because "Su" means good and "Madhura/Madhuram" means delicious, wonderful, delightful, great, happy, relaxing, pleasant.

Nithu's Kitchen: What do you have today to share with us?
Kiranmai: Quinoa-Dates Porridge/Pudding/Kheer.

Nithu's Kitchen: Why did you select this pudding?
Kiranmani: This is a very healthy recipe.We all know that Quinoa is getting great attention because of it's high protein and allergen free characteristics.I like this grain very much as being a vegetarian it is hard to get enough protein from one dish.This is one more recipe that I came up with. I would say that the dish I am presenting can be eaten for breakfast as a porridge or can be served as a dessert or can be eaten for a quick and healthy dinner.

Ingredients Required:

1. Quinoa - 1 Cup
2. Water - 2 Cups
3. Whole Grain Milk - 3 Cups (Organic Unsweetened)
4. Dates - 20
5. Cashew - 2 tbsp

For Garnishing you will need,

1. Cardamom.....................5(powdered)
2. Pistachios...............1tbsp
3. Golden Raisins........2tsp
4. Cashews................1tsp
5. Ghee......................1tsp

Preparation :

1. First rinse the quinoa 5 to 6 times nicely in water and drain so that the bitterness of the grains is gone.

2. Soak the dates and cashews in warm water in separate bowls.

3. Now pressure cook the quinoa in a pressure pan directly with 2cups of water for 2 whistles.

4. While the pressure is cooling down grind the dates into paste. Also grind the cashews into paste.

5. Once the pressure is gone remove the lid of the pressure pan.You will notice that the quinoa is nicely cooked.

6. Now switch on the stove medium heat and add 3cups of organic whole grain milk to the pan of quinoa and stir well.

7. Let the milk and quinoa start to bubble.Now add the dates paste and stir well,later add the cashew paste,cardamom powder and stir well and let cook for 5 more minutes on low heat so that the dates and cashew flavor blend in well.

8. Meanwhile in a pan add 1tsp of ghee and toast the raisins and all the nuts of your choice and keep them aside.

9. After 5minutes add the nuts to the quinoa-dates porridge/pudding/kheer and tranfer it to a serving bowl.

10. Yummy and healthy Quinoa Porridge/Pudding/Kheer is ready to be served.

Note :

1. I did not use any other sweeteners except dates. If you like it sweeter you can add sugar/jaggery/honey/agave nectar.
2. You can use regular milk instead of whole grain milk. This organic unsweetened whole grain milk is made from organic brown rice, amaranth, millet and quinoa.
3.You can use almonds instead of cashews.

Nithu's Kitchen: Thank you so much Kiranmai. We enjoyed talking to you.

Dear Friends, Hope you all love our guest's wonderful recipe. Please take a look at her bog. She has lot of healthy collection of vegetarian dishes. I'm happy that, I could get her introduced to many of you through this post. If you are interested to be featured as our guest, please do mail to Click here and here to read Guest Post -1 & 2.


SathyaSridhar said...

Nithu,,you are rocking and doing wondeful stuffs by introducing fellow bloggers... Nice to know about my new blogger friend Kiranmani,,, wooow,,,quinoa porridge is the healthy option for bfast.Thanks for sharing dear,,,take care n keep smiling,,

BeenaShylesh said...

nice to know about kiranmai...

Hayley said...

Hey Kiran and Nithu
thanks for this lovely post..enjoyed reading it..Kiran,really sorry for you that you that you couln't see your father's face last time..same happend to me I couldn't see my mum either..took me five days to go to India..always regrating...and same time my daughter passed her exams with A*...thant's life for you..

Kuch pakar khona hai, Kuch khokar pana hai..jeevan ka matlab to anna aur janna hai...


Kiran said...

Dear Nithu,Thank you very much for giving me an opportunity to be a guest on your blog.You really made me feel special.It's nice to talk to someone I do not know personally but still their caring words mean a lot and can give us a lot of happiness.I am very happy that I started this blog SUMADHURA and am very happy to get to know all my wonderful,caring fellow bloggers throught their cooking and writings.Each and everyone of you is special and your cooking and nice words are a great inspiration to me.
Have a wonderful time.
Wish you all Happy Cooking and Healthy Living.
Thank you to all blog-pals.

Bharathi said...

Its nice knowing Kiran.

Thanks Kiran for the delicious recipe.

Menaga Sathia said...

இன்னும் உங்களைப் பற்றி அறிந்ததில் மகிழ்ச்சி நிது.

கீர் ரொம்ப வித்தியாசமாகவும்,புதுசாவும் அருமையாகவும் இருக்கு.

Suji said...

Lovely post....We recently learned about Quinoa and tried at home too..It is an exellent replacement for rice...great friends...

Kairali sisters

Panchpakwan said...

Hi Nitu,

You are doing a gr8t job by introducing new blogger...
Kiran's recipe looks delicious...

Sarah Naveen said...

Nithu you are doing a fantastic job....
And Kiran was nice knowing more abt you..Pudding looks awesome..

Sandhya Hariharan said...

Lovely Nithu... we are getting to know more fellow bloggers thro urs.. Keep up the spirit and good work!

Priya Suresh said...

Thats a healthy and fantastic porridge Kiran...glad to know more about u..

Anu said...

You are doing a great job dear.. Pudding looks delicious and healthy.

Krishnaveni said...

Kheer looks delicious and tempting me to taste. Great recipe.

Cool Lassi(e) said...

The pudding looks divine dear. Nice knowing about Kiranmai. I feel saddened by the fact that she lost her dad just after having a baby! What a bitter and sweet roller coaster rice she must have been in. I admire her guts and love her pudding recipe.

Rachana said...

Nice knowing about Kiranmai. I feel really sad for her that she lost her dad. The thought of losing parents is so scary... Experiencing 2 extreme emotions at a time is really hard and requires a lot of courage...

Gita Jaishankar said...

Great job was nice knowing about your friend and her interesting recipe. I am really saddened of the loss of her dad and the circumstances.

PriyaRaj said...

Nice healthy BF dear ...Glad to know more about u & ur friend..

Unknown said...

Nice knowing Kiranmai through your blog..You are doing a wonderful job! and thanks kiran for your delicious, healthy recipe!!

We would like to pass on the Sunshine award to you Nithu :) Please stop by our space to accept it.

Tina said...

Looks yummy...

Kalai said...

Good guest blogger Nithu, I liked her ideas and inspirations. The poem she wrote was simple and yet reminds us of our not-stable life.

And a healthy recipe from her. Wonderful.