Microwave Cooking Tips | How to cook food using Microwave Oven


Though I never recommend anybody to use microwave oven for cooking, we are supposed to use them occasionally. Particularly when we travel to some other place, it would become tough to find a proper regional food. At that time, we have microwave ovens in most of the hotels. We could use some ready mix powders and prepare food by ourselves. I agree microwave cooking is not that much healthy. But it is OK to use them, occasionally. Instead of ready to eat packages, you can make some simple dishes with the help of this oven. I will list some tips to use microwave oven for cooking Indian food. Before going through it READ MY POST ABOUT THE QUESTIONS ON DISADVANTAGES OF MICROWAVE COOKING


My Microwave Oven

The one we see below is my microwave oven. I use it for reheating food. I also use it for making simple soups. Also for thawing and making quick sweets, I use this microwave oven. It is 1000W Hamilton Beach. It makes things quick. But I don't use it often.



Vessels and Containers

I think that it is better to use ceramic or glass cups or bowls to cook using microwave. They should heavy and hard to break. Using plastic even though they are microwave safe is not that much good. Hence, I use only ceramic and glass bowls.





Cloves

Yes, you must use a cloves to keep yourself safe. It might be from the waves of heat of the vessel.



Time of Cooking
  1. Time of cooking varies based on the type of vessel you use, quantity you cook and the powder of the oven. 
  2. If the quantity is less, lessen the time. 
  3. If the vessel is thick and hard, increase the time of cooking. 
  4. If the vessel is broader, cooking will be easier.
  5. You must take breaks withing cooking and mix the things for avoiding it getting burnt at the center.


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Frequently asked Questions on Disadvantages of Microwave Cooking


Whenever I have used the word "Microwave Oven", many of my friends have asked me about the loss of nutrition. Without even a proper knowledge on how microwave cooking affects nutrition, we stick to the belief. But some us need microwave cooking, while we travel or stay in hotels. If it happens to be a country in which you don't get Indian food easily, you definitely need some help. I myself have faced this type of situation. Learning something about microwave cooking would help us atleast to manage for a few days. I did a small research on this topic and have a few points on the disadvantages of microwave cooking. I hope this would answer the mostly asked questions.

What are the disadvantages of microwave cooking ?
  1. Mostly the cooking will be uneven. Nothing will be cooked uniformly.
  2. Some vegetables get cooked properly and some vegetables doesn't get cooked properly. For example: potatoes, carrot, beans and tomatoes get cooked evenly. 
  3. Some vegetables get dry, while cooking in microwave. For example: onions, cabbage and ladies finger get cooked unevenly and become dry.
  4. We should take at most care to avoid the thing getting burnt.
  5. Using wrong kind of plastic is known to cause cancer, as per some journals. Selecting a correct microwaveable plastic is not happening because of lack of knowledge
  6. Some journals say that there is a loss of nutrition because of microwave cooking,

Does microwave cooking causes nutrition loss ?
  1. Microwaving cooks the food at very high temperatures in a very short amount of time. This results in a nutrient loss for most foods, especially vegetables. 
  2. Some journals state that you could cook with very less water and it might help some extent to retain the nutritions. If and only if you don't have a second option, use microwave cooking. 


Does microwave cooking causes cancer ?
  1. Most of the websites say that microwave cooking causes carcinogens. 
  2. Some journals deny the statement. 
  3. So we don't have a conclusive statement for this question.

What are the precautions we should take while cooking in microwave oven ?
  1. Don't boil babies milk in microwave oven.
  2. Don't use microwave cooking, while you give the food to babies.
  3. Use proper microwaveable plastic to cook using this type of oven. Better use ceramic or glass vessels. 
  4. Don't cook non-veg food using microwave.
  5. Don't use microwave often
  6. Better limit the usage of microwaves to just reheat the food



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Pregnancy Diet Chart for 2nd Trimester | South Indian


I consider pregnancy diet as very important one. It feeds the unborn kid and the bearing mother. So it is very important that every pregnant women should eat properly. They should always have a well balanced diet. The diet differs for the three trimesters. 

14 to 26 weeks are collectively called second trimester. It is the trimester in which  baby needs nutrients for bone and muscular formation. Morning sickness would have been reduced much this time. 

South Indian pregnancy diet is a bit different from others. More importance is given to taste. At the same time, we believe in a diet which is balanced, compensating the nausea and managing problems like constipation, gas trouble or ulcers. 

This chart or diet suggestion was given to me by my doctor, Dr. Krishna from Nagercoil. This chart is provided to give more calcium and vitamin D. The food intake rises from this trimester, as you will have more hunger and cravings. You need to be more careful to avoid gestational diabetes or blood pressure.


Shall we see how the diet chart looks like ? 


SAMPLE DIET CHART FOR SECOND TRIMESTER - SOUTH INDIAN


Morning 6 to 7 am
  1. A glass of whole milk with 1/2 teaspoon sugar and health drinks like sathumaavu
  2. 10 soaked badam
  3. Sunlight, early morning sunlight is needed at this trimester.
Note: It is better to get up early in the morning, brush and have a cup of milk. It is must to drink something early in the morning.


Breakfast 8.30 to 9.30 - Any one breakfast from the list below
  1. a cup of ulundhu kanji, paal kanji or payaru kanji 
  2. a cup of upma
  3. 2 Eggs Omelette
  4. 2 or 3 Idlis or Dosas
  5. Sathu maavu kanji
  6. any millet idiyappam or puttu
Note: You should be more careful about gestational diabetes. So make your breakfast without more rice like carbohydrates. As we need rice for lunch, make this mild alteration in breakfast. it will be really useful.


Mid Morning 10.30 to 11
  1. Tender Coconut OR
  2. Pomogranate Juice OR
  3. a bowl of fruit salad OR
Note: You need to stop citrus fruits after 26 weeks. Try to avoid grapes. It may cause cold in the baby inside. You should also try to reduce the intake of bananas. If you like banana, try naattu vazhappazham or peyan pazham.


Lunch 12.30 to 1.30 - Include one from the list below
  1. a cup of rice with sambar or dhal or puli kuzhambu or rasam, soraikkai or chow chow kootu (it help in managing BP), a cup of keerai or 2 eggs, 1/2 cup curd or 1 cup buttermilk
  2. a cup of rice with fish kuzhambu, grilled fish, rasam and keerai
  3. 2 or 3 chapathis with soraikkai or chow chow kootu, kurma and 1/2 cup curd
  4. rarely Biryani or Chicken, Mutton Kuzhambu
Note: No pickles or fried items. Include mushrooms, if you don't have enough sunlight in your place.


Afternoon Snack 3 to 4 - Include one from the list below
  1. 2 Fiber Biscuits 
  2. half cup of any homemade snacks
  3. one simple kind of sandwich
Note: At this time, the cravings will be more. You will definitely need a crunchy snack. No restrictions. you can have any indian snack. But keep in mind that it should be homemade. Need to be more careful with the oil.


Evening Snacks 5 to 6 - Include one from the list below
  1. a bowl of soup (vegetables, mushroom or  tomato)
  2. simple chaat items 
  3. samba wheat dosa
  4. a cup of milk with health mix and 2 biscuits
Note: If you are working, try to have some healthy option from your office canteen. you could carry soups and heat them to use. If you don't have any other option, please carry some good biscuits and have it along with milk. no coffee or tea please :)


Night 8 to 9 - Include one from the list below
  1. 2 or 3 wheat dosa and a non coconut chutney
  2. 2 chapathis with kurma
  3. a cup of wheat upma
Note: It is not good to have more fruits at night. It is not good to have keerai in night. Keep this in mind.


Late Night - It is completely optional
  1. a cup of milk with health mix OR
  2. a cup of badam milk
Note: Mix water with milk and skim it. Don't use anything low fat. Also add half sugar. 


Include More 
pregnancy diet south indian

CLICK HERE GET IT AS A CHART



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Pathiya Samayal Recipes #9 | Pottukadalai Thogaiyal | Pori Kadalai Thuvayal

pottukadalai thogaiyal

pottukadalai thogaiyal

Whenever we fall it and feel very tired, there are some custom comforting foods. We realy feel like being under mom's cuddle, if we have such foods. I am not feeling well the paste two days and living on rasam rice. I am not healthy enough to make a proper side dish for rasam. If I think of a simple side dish, only pottukadalai thogaiyal or porikadalai thuvayal comes to mind. It is simple and tasty. It really brings back my childhood memoirs. Also post-pregnncy care I received from my mom's home.

When I was young, my mom and athai used to make two common thogaiyals when we went sick. One is siruparuppu thogaiyal. Another one is porikadala thogaiyal. They used ammi to powder and make them. Feeling nostalgic and having a spoon of rasam rice with thogaiyal. What more ?

pottukadalai thogaiyal

Pottukadalai Thogaiyal | Porikadalai Thuvayal

Prep Time :
Cooking Time:
Yield:
1 cup
Serving Size: 1 tablespoon Calories per Serving: 50


Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup of Pottukadalai or Roasted Gram
  • 2 tsp grated coconut
  • 1 small piece of tamarind or puli
  • 3 to 4 red chillies
  • 4 or 5 garlic cloves
  • a handful of curry leaves (optional)
  • rock salt - little

Quick Procedure
  • Take pottu kadalai, coconut, red chillies, garlic and tamarind in a blender
  • Add required salt. Powder it in the mixie.
  • Add water and grind it once again.
  • You will get a thogayal or thuvayal with very nice flavor.

Step-wise Pictures

Take pottu kadalai, coconut, red chillies, garlic and tamarind in a blender
prep

Add required salt.
prep

Powder it in the mixie. Make sure it is powdered well.
prep

Add water and grind it once again.
prep

You will get a thogayal or thuvayal with very nice flavor.
prep



Simple pottukadala thogiyal or porikadalai thuvayal to have with curd rice or rasam rice. Perfect comfort food !!
  pottukadalai thogaiyal
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Pregnancy Diet Chart for 1st Trimester | South Indian


The first 13 weeks are collectively called first trimester. It is an important trimester in which  baby needs nutrients for all the vital organs formation. In spite of morning sickness and nausea, we should take care of the tiny baby's health. 

South Indian pregnancy diet is a bit different from others. More importance is given to taste. At the same time, we believe in a diet which is balanced, compensating the nausea and managing problems like constipation, gas trouble or ulcers. 

This chart or diet suggestion was given to me by my doctor, when I was pregnant with Reshmi. I consulted  Dr. Kalaivani . She suggested the diet and concentrated on vitamins. She advised a normal weight gain.


Shall we see how the diet chart looks like ?  Read this general advice first.


SAMPLE DIET CHART FOR FIRST TRIMESTER - SOUTH INDIAN 


Morning 6 to 7 am
  1. A glass of milk with 1/2 teaspoon of sugar and some health drinks like sathumaavu  OR
  2. Homemade badam drink or 10 soaked almonds
Note: It is better to get up early in the morning, brush and have a cup of milk. If you have a severe morning sickness, you can simply sleep after the morning milk. But it is must to drink something early in the morning.If your nausea is not too much, you can eat 5 to 10 soaked almonds. it is good for health.


Breakfast 8.30 to 9.30 - Include an apple with any one breakfast from the list below
  1. 4 idlis or 3 dosas with chutneys or sambar or non-veg kuruma
  2. any milkshake or juices (to tackle morning sickness)
  3. 1 cup of sathu maavu kanji
There are some occasional dishes.. You should not eat them more. It might result in weight gain, heart burning sensation or vomiting.
  1. one cup of Pongal with sambar, occasionally
  2. 4 pooris with masala, occasionally
  3. Appam with Paya occasionally
Note: Never skip breakfast. it is wrong to skip breakfast. it is a sin, during pregnancy. So please have something for breakfast. It should be light and easily digestible.


Mid Morning 10.30 to 11 - Include one from the list below
  1. Mosambi Juice OR Orange Juice OR
  2. Pomogranate Juice OR a bowl of tangy fruit salad 
  3. Any Vegetable Soup or Mutton Bone Soup
Note: This helps to take care of nausea or giddiness. Also it is possible to take lots of citrus only during this semester. So try to include juices. It is healthy.


Lunch 12.30 to 1.30 - Include one from the list below
  1. VEG MEALS - a cup of rice, a cup of vegetable kootu or poriyal, a cup of sambar or kuzhambu, a small bowl of keerai in alternate days
  2. SIMPLE MEALS - 2 chapathis with a bowl of vegetable curry or non-veg curry (with less oil)
  3. NON-VEG MEALS - a cup of rice with little non-veg side dish, little RASAM for digestion
  4. Variety Rice like Lemon Rice, Puliyogare or Curd Rice with Poriyals
  5. you can have pickles and fried items, occasionally
  6. you can also have one egg per day, if you don't suffer from gas related troubles
Note: Usually people like lemon rice or puliogare. you can have them instead of rice. Always use little toor dhal to get rid of gas trouble. You can use moong dhal in the place. It is better to avoid broiler chicken.


Afternoon Snack 3 to 4 - Include one from the list below
  1. 2 Fiber Biscuits with milk (no coffee no tea)
  2. one fruit or little berries or fruit salad
Note: At this time, the cravings will be more. You will not get satisfied with anything. It may drag you to an unhealthy choice of eating. So try the snacks from the list to be healthy. If you are not actually interested in having this afternoon snack, try to have evening snack.


Evening Snacks 5 to 6 - Include one from the list below
  1. a bowl of soup (mutton, chicken, vegetables, tomato or keerai)
  2. one sambar vada (urid dhal vada)
  3. one curd vada (urid dhal vada)
  4. juices
  5. simple chaat items 
  6. a cup of milk with health mix and 2 biscuits
  7. pakoras occasionally
Note: If you are working, try to have some healthy option from your office canteen. you could carry soups and heat them to use. If you don;t have any other option, please carry some good biscuits and have it along with milk. no coffee or tea please :)


Night 8 to 9 - Include one from the list below
  1. 3 idlis or 2 dosas variety of chutneys or sambar (any 2 days in a week, you can have millets)
  2. 2 chapathis with vegetable kurma or egg kurma
  3. a cup of wheat upma with a banana
  4. curd rice with thogaiyal or vathal kuzhambu, occasionally
Note: It is not good to have more fruits at night. It is not good to have keerai in night. Keep this in mind. If possible please avoid non-veg food items in night time.


Late Night - It is completely optional
  1. a cup of milk with health mix OR
  2. a cup of badam milk
Note: Mix water with milk and skim it. Don't use anything low fat. Also add half sugar. 


Include More
pregnancy diet south indian

CLICK HERE GET IT AS A CHART


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Nellai Uluntham Kali | Ulunthu Kali | Traditional Recipe

Uluntham Kali

Tirunelveli Uluntham Kali

This kali recipe is famous and a commonly made recipe in Tirunelveli. This is my athai's recipe. She makes it in correct consistency with no lumps. It is really tasty. Made with karuppatti or palm jaggery. Usually, my athai makes it as breakfast. She will ask me not to drink mroe water after having it. Also she will put a 4 hours break after having this uluntham kali. After 4 hours only we will have the lunch. Main reason is that it takes more time to digest. Ulundhu is good for strength of back bones and spinal cord. Karuppati is also rich in calcium and it enhamces iron in blood. Their combination in uluntham kali makes it the healthier recipe.

We usually make it once in a month. Especially during periods. My mom has given me right form the childhood. Till now she gives me this. Initially I was not fond of this dish. Later, it became a routine and I started liking it more. Try this uluntham kali at your home. If you have girl children, practise this dish right from childhood. It will be useful to them in future. You can also take this dish sa a post pregnancy dish. It relieves back pain.

Nellai Uluntham Kali | Ulunthu Kali | Urid Dhal Kali

Prep Time :
Cooking Time:
Yield:
1 and half cup
Serving Size: 1 large ball Calories per Serving: 200


Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup of Black Urid Dhal
  • 2 teaspoons of raw rice
  • 3/4 of powdered jaggery
  • 1/4 inch of dry ginger
  • 2 teaspoons of grated coconut
  • 2 teaspoons of gingelly oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ghee

Quick Procedure
  • Remove stones from black urid dhal. Dry roast urid dhal and rice. Roast till you get a nice aroma.
  • Take the roasted gram and rice in a blender. Add 1/4 inch sukku or dry ginger.
  • Grind it to a nice powder. You can also store this powder and use later. It comes up to a shelf life of 3 to 5 months.
  • Heat one cup of water. Add powdered karupatti. Palm jaggery will melt down.
  • Strain and remove impurities from the extract. Palm jaggery has more impurities. So straining is much needed.
  • Boil this extract in a vessel. For one cup of kali maavu, you will need 1.5 cups of extract. Let it boil and bubble up.
  • Add kali maavu little by little. Start mixing. otherwise, there will be formation of lumps or katti
  • Mix it well. It should not get burnt at the bottom. So take care.
  • It will release bubbles and get cooked in very few minutes. Now add 2 teaspoons of gingelly oil.
  • Again mix well. It will come to the consistency of halwa.
  • Add grated coconut. This step is completely optional. Mix well
  • Add little ghee. It will add more taste.
  • Apply oil in your palms and start making large balls from the kali. It will prevent from the drying process.
  • I made 3 large balls. You can now serve it. It stays fresh for 8 hours.

Step-wise Pictures

prep
Remove stones from black urid dhal. Dry roast urid dhal and rice. Roast till you get a nice aroma.

prep
Take the roasted gram and rice in a blender. Add 1/4 inch sukku or dry ginger.

prep
Grind it to a nice powder. You can also store this powder and use later. It comes up to a shelf life of 3 to 5 months.

prep
Heat one cup of water. Add powdered karupatti. Palm jaggery will melt down.

prep
Strain and remove impurities from the extract. Palm jaggery has more impurities. So straining is much needed.

prep
Boil this extract in a vessel. For one cup of kali maavu, you will need 1.5 cups of extract. Let it boil and bubble up.

prep
Add kali maavu little by little. Start mixing. otherwise, there will be formation of lumps or katti

prep
Mix it well. It should not get burnt at the bottom. So take care.

prep
It will release bubbles and get cooked in very few minutes. Now add 2 teaspoons of gingelly oil.

prep
Again mix well. It will come to the consistency of halwa.

prep
Add grated coconut. This step is completely optional. Mix well

prep
Add little ghee. It will add more taste.

prep
Apply oil in your palms and start making large balls from the kali. It will prevent from the drying process.

prep
I made 3 large balls. You can now serve it. It stays fresh for 8 hours.



Healthy Urid Dhal Kali is ready for healthy bone and healthy spine
Urid Dhal Kali
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7 Healthy or Low Calorie Indian Snacks for this Diwali - from my Favorite Blogs


Are you still on your weight loss mode and critically trying to avoid more sweets and snacks ? Never worry. you could still manage this Diwali and come out without a gain in weight.

I still remember the days, when I was really worried about going to home for Diwali. Because, I thought I would turn plump. I would be on a strict diet till I reach my home. Once I step into my home, it will be like an opposite version of me. I would have everything my mom gives me double the time. Also I would pull inside all the regional and bakery stuffs in tons. After marriage, Diwalis are different. I don;t worry about more weight gain. I am cooking myself and I never eat the sweets or snacks I make other than simply tasting them.

Still I try to manage my weight with a lot of techniques. I never want to regain the old weight, It's like a nightmare for me. The fight I have with PCOD gives me lot of challenges in managing my weight, But I am successful in managing it. Especially during festivals, I follow one special diet regimen and it helps me a lot. Read my Tips to MANAGE WEIGHT for this Diwali.

In my previous post, we saw the low calorie and healthy sweets from my favorite blogs. Read my POST on 10 Healthy or Low Calorie Sweets . In this post, we are going to some snacks. These snacks will be healthy or less in oil. At the same time, I don't compromise in taste. You could definitely try these to manage you weight loss diet. You could also encourage your family member, without discouraging them with your using rich caloric desserts and snacks. C'mon let us see those 10 snacks from my favorite blogs. Click on the titles or images to reach the original recipe sites.

Masala Khakhra from Evergreen Recipes

  • It is LOW in CALORIES
  • It is made with very LESS OIL
  • It is CRISPY and TASTY
  • It is easy to make



Ulundha Vadai or Medhu Vada from Rak's Kitchen

  • It is rich in PROTEIN
  • Though I has oil, it is completely HEALTHY



Low Calorie Aval Chivda from Tarla Dalal

  • It is made with LESS OIL
  • It can be made healthy by adding MORE NUTS



Keerai Vada or Spinach Vada from Subbus Kitchen

  • It is very very crispy, tasty and healthy
  • It does not have any unhealthy things



Ragi Thattai or Thattu Vadai from Spicy Treats

  • It is very very tasty and HEALTHY
  • It is one of the snacks with reasonable calories



Baked Moong Dhal from My Spicy Kitchen

  • It is made with LESS OIL
  • It is crunchy and healthy



Masala Pori or Kara Pori from Tasty Appetite

  • It is made with very very LESS OIL
  • It is of LOW CALORIES


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