“The virtues of donations are great, because it helps the needy and at the same time it gives an opportunity to the donor to give the surplus to the people in need ” - Sama Veda

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Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Cast Iron Cooking – Care and Cooking Tips

Cast iron cookware is a healthier alternative to non-stick cookware. Seasoned iron and cast iron cookware are a must to have in any kitchen. Cast iron, more than just cookware are considered family heirlooms. They can be used on the stove, in the oven or on the grill. Properly seasoned cast iron is easy to clean and becomes non-stick.

Iron deficiency has become common nowadays. The easiest option to prevent it in a natural way is to cook with cast iron cookware. Cooking in an iron utensil, adds significant amount of iron to your food and into your body. If you are looking to increase your dietary iron, cook in iron/cast-iron.

Recently, I got a cast iron kadai and dosa tawa from dosakal.com for product review. The products were pre-seasoned and there was no need to do any seasoning or scrubbing. Just wash it once before use. How easy is that!

I experimented the pre-seasoned kadai with a snakegourd fry and tawa with dosa. ‘Snakegourdfry’ aka ‘pudanlangai vadhakkal’ turned out to be crunchy and crispy with less oil than usual. No sticking to the bottom. Click here for snakegourd fry recipe. In dosa pan, I put a few drops of oil on the pan and then used a kitchen tissue to smear it. Made four to five thick dosas and then I was able to make thin dosas too. The fry and dosas did not turn black and there was no iron smell even while making for the first time.  I felt the handle of tawa/dosakal a little uncomfortable while running the spatula.

Podis, fries, deep-frying etc. can be made in these kadais. As for vegetarian recipes, start with pan roasted vegetables. Aappam, dosa, adai, cutlets, tikkis can be made in the dosakal/tawa. Regular use and properly seasoned cast iron cookware makes it non-stick.

Wash with a mild dishwash liquid and sponge, wipe it dry. I put it on the stove for a minute to dry it and then applied a thin layer of cooking/vegetable oil with a kitchen tissue. This might seem complicated, but it is actually very easy.

The company claims that the dosa tawa even when dropped on floor doesn’t break. The products are pre-seasoned and little heavy. Check out dosakal.com’s cast iron cookware and transform your kitchen today.

Some common queries about cast-iron, benefits, care and cooking tips:

Why is the cookware black?
The black coating is called 'seasoning'. Nothing harmful.

Some benefits of switching to cast iron:
  • Boosts iron intake as it is known to leach small amount of dietary iron into food, which is especially helpful for those who are anemic.
  • Free of harmful chemicals and no toxic fumes while cooking.
  • Better heat distribution and holds heat for a long time.
  • Long-lasting.
Some Do’s and Don’ts for using and storing cast-iron:

  • Cook in low heat.
  • Give a good wash with soapy water and sponge and start making whatever you want. 
  • Wash with a mild dishwash liquid and sponge, wipe it dry. 
  • Put it on the stove for a minute to dry it and then apply a thin layer of cooking/vegetable oil with a kitchen tissue. 
  • Just make sure you clean it thoroughly and dry after every use and dab a little oil before storing. 
  • Store in a dry place. 
  • Re-season after every use.
This method of seasoning is to just prevent rusting and will also help prevent food from sticking to the kadai/tawa when you use it the next time.

  • Do not use harsh abrasive cleaning methods. Wipe out excess food and oil with a paper towel and wash with dishwash liquid with warm water.
  • Iron reacts with moisture and rust is formed. Water and other fluids should not be stored in iron vessels.
  • Food cooked in iron vessels should immediately be transferred to another vessel after cooking.
  • Sour/acidic food may react with iron.
  • Never place a hot cast iron utensil in cold water because this causes cracking of cast iron. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

'Shanthisthaligai' blog anniversary

I launched this blog eleven years ago. Yes, my blog stepped into the 12th year on Feb 9th. Never in my dreams, I thought I would start blogging but it happened! 11 years of blogging  !! Indeed a memorable milestone!! It is all about hard work, love and determination 💕😍. Over this period of blogging, my blog has 46,07,000 Lifetime Pageviews/readers/visitors. With every blog post, I engaged myself and learned and the learning continues. Special thanks to everyone from the bottom of my heart, for your continuous support and taking time to show your love by visiting my blog, reading, trying out recipes, mailing me and leaving comments. Love you all! 💕💕.  Over these years, I have built up a very good circle of friends from all over the world. I am elated and grateful to God for these 11 years of growth, influence and impact and am happy that I started this journey. I owe every bit of success of my blog to all the readers of my blog. Its 'you' who have made a normal home maker into a food blogger. I will continue to share my kitchen journey through 'Shanthisthaligai'. I've received so much of love and appreciation from all of you. Thanking you all once again for motivating me. 

Saturday, January 12, 2019

My ebook - "Pongal, Bhogi, Kanu - A complete festival cooking guide."

It is my pleasure and pride to announce the publication of my first e-Book - "Pongal, Bhogi, Kanu - A complete festival cooking guide." 

Born into a family steeped in tradition and culture, I began cooking at a fairly young age. I am particularly passionate about food that celebrates the spirit of a festival. A few years ago, my son suggested I do something more with my love for cooking. At his insistence, I started a blog and, over time, I began to write about the connection between traditional dishes and festivals. As my readers increased, I realised there were many out there who were interested in adopting these dishes, especially those who had become disconnected from their culture. This book is dedicated to them, and future generations who would want to stay in touch with their roots and culture, and understand the stories behind why these dishes exist. Here, I have focussed on the series of harvest festival of Pongal, including the significance of each ofBhogi, Pongal and Kanu, how these festivals are to be celebrated, menu for each of these festivals, and recipes associated with it. 
Download links :

Happy reading, and cooking!
Happy Bhogi, Pongal and Kanu!
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