October 31, 2011

Kuzhi Paniyaram

My first memories of eating Kuzhi Paniyaram dates back about 15 years. Somewhere around the time i had acquired a taste for hot spicy food. Until then, i was a chicken when it came to eating spicy food. Yeah, weird that but true too. Then my palate began wanting more of spice without any prelude. From then on. i have hated eating bland food with a passion. I love my food super spicy and enjoy eating the heat so much that the tears from my eyes dont bother me one bit. But, oh wait! this post is not with an intention to scare you. I ve toned down on the spice front in the past few years and i must say, apart from the occasional craving to eat a plate of chili loaded something, i make sure the heat levels from the chilies in my every day cooking is normal. At least normal for an average spice loving human.

Red Bell Pepper Chutney

I am a veggie lover. And i try and incorporate veggies into my food to the maximum amount possible. And those rich vibrant coloured veggies are always a scorer with me. For their rich antioxidant properties. Not only veggies but also berries. I would probably live on those multicoloured bell peppers or slush pink strawberries or even that deep purple cabbage that we get. Cherry tomatoes and cranberries make me drool when it comes to desserts and salads. Bell peppers make me eat a lot of food. So when i was rummaging in my fridge for something to make chutney with, i stumbled upon these red bell peppers that i had picked up the other day. And i remembered that this chutney was doing a lot of rounds in the blogosphere. I dont know if its the authentic recipe but this is just my own attempt. And it tasted delicious with dosa. So give it a shot.

Prep Time: Under 10 mins
Cook Time: Under 15 mins
Serves 2 to 3

What you need?

Red bell pepper 1 large cubed coarsely
Tomatoes 2 medium chopped coarsely
Garlic cloves 5
Dry red chilies 3 to 4
Tamarind paste 1 1/2 tsp
Salt as needed
Oil 1 tbsp

For tempering:

Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Curry leaves a sprig
Hing a large pinch
Oil 1 tsp

How to make it?

Heat oil in kadai. Add the garlic cloves and saute for a min. Add the tomatoes and saute till they are soft
Now, add the bell peppers and fry them for 3 to 4 mins. It even tastes great of you char them a little in the edges.
Next add the dry red chillies and combine well.
Let it cool.
Add tamarind paste and salt to this and grind in a mixer to a smooth paste
Temper with mustard seeds, curry leaves and hing.
Serve with dosa or idly or even parathas.

October 29, 2011

Baingan Burtha

Brinjals or eggplants. I ve always wondered why they are called eggplants. Apparently, The name of eggplant was given it by Europeans in the middle of the eighteenth century because the variety they knew had fruits that were the shape and size of goose eggs. That variety also had fruits that are a whitish or yellowish colour rather than the wine purple that is more familiar to us nowadays. So the sort they knew really did look as though it had fruits like eggs.( Source: worldwidewords.com) My doubt satisfied. Anything that is made out of an eggplant is yummy. May it be those fat purple or white ones, those tender green ones or those shiny small purple ones. Anything that comes out of an eggplant is lip smacking. Its the big fat brinjal season here. And my inspiration to make baingan burtha.

October 28, 2011


I never could make pooris well. Until a few days ago. Then i think i got the hang of  it. One of my aunts remarked when i told her i cant make poori," You make so many yummy things. So, dont say you cant make poori. Maybe you dont try enough." She was right. Only, i tried too much. I used to roll the dough too thin. That dint help my pooris rise and fluff. Smart thinking huh!! So me thinks, poori making is no big deal and it really is. It s quite easy and anyone can make it.

Mixed Vegetable Kuruma

When i was about 7 or 8 years old, my mom used to make poori and kuruma at home on sundays. It s a tradition carried forward from my grandmom's place. My granny used to religiously make poori and potato masal on sundays for tiffin. My mom used to follow that. Then, i really dont know when the habit broke. I guess it did after we became health freaks. But i used to remember that green yummy kuruma my mom used to make. The aroma that used to waft through the house. The relish of freshly ground ginger, cilantro and garlic. So, when i started cooking, i asked my mom, " Amma, you remember the kuruma that you used to make? For poori?" And she promptly replied to my chagrin," What kuruma, kanna?? " So, i gave up my desire for this kuruma until i came across Mrs. Vedavalli Venkatachary s book How to Cook? Thanks to my FIL. He gifted it to me immediately after marriage when i dint know what was jeera and saunf. And i had this dream recipe in her book.
It tastes divine when you break off a piece of the steaming hot poori and dunk it into this kuruma and put it into your mouth. Hmmm,,,, i m drooling.

Prep Time: Under 15 mins
Cook Time: Under 20 mins
Source: Adapted from Mrs Vedavalli Venkatachalam s book How To Cook?
Serves 2

What you need?

Mixed veggies:
Potato 1 medium chopped into cubes
Carrot 1 big one chopped into cubes,
Beans 10 no.s chopped finely
Cauliflower florets 10 to 12
Peas fresh or frozen 1/4 cup

Onion 1 big chopped finely
Water 1 cup
Cinnamon 1" piece
Cloves 2
Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp
Oil 3 tbsp
Salt as needed
Turmeric powder a small pinch to bring out the beautiful light green texture

For grinding to a paste:

Cilantro a small bunch
Ginger a small bit
Garlic 3 cloves
Poppy seeds 1/2 tsp
Coconut grated 2 tbsp
Green chilies 5
Saunf 1 tsp
Split chickpea (pottu kadalai) 1 tsp

How to make it?

Grind together all the ingredients for grinding in a mixer to a fine paste.
In a kadai, heat oil. Add cumin seeds and wait for it to splutter. Next, add the cinnamon and cloves.
Now, add the onions and saute till pink.
Now, add the veggies one by one . Start with the cauliflowers and end with the peas.
After this, add the ground paste and salt and combine well.
Add water to the mixture, mix well and cook on a medium flame for 7 to 9 mins.
Serve hot with pooris or even rotis. My husband likes it even with rice.

Note: The kuruma thickens if refrigerated. So add a little water and bring to a boil before serving if refrigerated.

Mullu Murukku

This is called mullu murukku because of its shape. One more of those lentil based fried snacks that i cant resist.

Prep Time: Under 15 mins
Cook Time: Under 45 mins
Yields 30 to 40 medium size murukkus

What you need?

Rice flour 4 cups
Dalia flour( split roasted chick pea or pottu kadalai flour) 1 cup
Butter 3 tbsp melted ( no, you cant use ghee, only butter)
Sesame seeds white ones 1 tsp
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Hing 3/4 tsp
Salt as needed

Oil for frying

How to make it?

Step 1: Sieve the rice flour first.
Step 2: Sieve the chick pea flour next.
Step 3: In a large mixing bowl, combine the flours and all the other ingredients.
Step 4: Knead into a dough that is soft. The dough should not have any cracks.
Step 5:Insert the mullu murukku mould the one that has one small star in it into the murukku press.
Step 6: Fill the press with dough upto 3/4 th of the press.
Step 7: Draw the murukku on a greased ladle just like you will for  thenkuzhal. Heat oil in a kadai. Drop a lil dough into the oil to see if it s hot enough. If it immediately rises to the top, then its in the right temperature.
Step 8: Drop the thenkuzhals with the help of the ladle into the heated up oil. The oil will bubble up noisily.
Step 9: Fry till the isshh noise subsides on a medium flame. Then turn the murukku and fry till light brown.

Transfer to a colander to drain the oil. Store in an air tight container after it becomes completely cool.
Stays fresh for a week

October 27, 2011

Thenkuzhal Recipe| Diwali Snack Recipes

It s not diwali if there is no murukku at home. Its definitely not diwali when there is no thenkuzhal at home for diwali. A total health freak, i prefer munching on murukkus to chips. Because i feel rice and lentils are any day better than potatoes and bananas. It was the first time my hubby and i celebrated diwali in Baroda. Usually, we go to my mom's or Mil's but this year we thought, lets celebrate at our place. I made a storm of dishes for diwali.
Almost every variety of murukku known to me. I dint want to leave out the familiar feel of diwali back home. I know everyone makes thenkuzhal this way, but i anyway decided to post on it.

October 25, 2011

Rava Ladoo Without Milk The Traditional Way.

I ve seen many recipes for rava ladoo. Those which use coconut and milk. But these dont keep well for a long time. My MIL s version s one without milk and it tastes heavenly. Whats more, it keeps well for 20 days.

Prep Time: Under 15 mins
Cook Time: Under 30 mins
Source: MIL
Makes 30 medium size rava ladoos

What you need?

Semolina or sooji 2 cups
Ghee 3/4 cup melted
Sugar 2 cups powdered ( can be reduced if you want less sweetness)
Cashews 20 broken
Raisins 20
Cardamom powder 1/2 tsp

How to make it?

Dry roast the sooji in a pan until aromatic and light brown. Takes about 5 to 7 mins
Keep aside and let it cool.
In the meanwhile, add 1 tbsp of ghee in a pan and saute the cashews until light brown.
Remove the cashews from the ghee and toss the raisins in and saute till they puff up.
Keep aside both the cashews and raisins.
In a mixer, powder the rava to a not very coarse powder. Do this in 2 batches.
In a large mixing bowl, add the rava, sugar powder, cardamom powder and the melted ghee.
Mix well into a lightly moist mixture. Make small balls while the mixture is warm.
Enjoy the ladoos this diwali. They are such a breeze to make.
This is my entry to Radhika s Diwali special Sweets and Savouries Event at Tickling Palates
Diwali Special

Kadai Paneer with Red Bell Peppers

When i went shopping last week, i could not resist those red bell peppers that were cutely sitting in the fridge at the super market. They were screaming "take me home and cook me up". I couldnt resist and i bought four of those beauties home. I decided to use them in kadai paneer instead of the usual capsicums and the taste was so awesome. Must try totally!!!

Butter Naan

My relationship with this flat bread goes a long way. Lets say more than 10 years. Butter naan and paneer butter masala. Heavenly combination. Oodles of butter smeared on naan and creamy paneer butter masala.. Hmmm.....Yummy!!! For the sake of that life long... ok almost life long relationship, i made naan at home.

Prep Time: 10 mins
Standing Time: 3 hours without yeast 
                       30 mins with yeast
Cook Time: 5 mins 
Yields 5 naans

What you need?

Naan without yeast:

Maida 2 cups
Curd and milk 3/4 cup
Butter 2 tbsp
Baking soda 3/4 tsp
Baking Powder 3/4 tsp
Salt 1 tsp
Sugar 1 tsp

Naan with yeast:

Maida 2 cups
Curd 2 tbsp
Butter or melted ghee 2 tbsp
Yeast 1 and 1/4 tsp
Sugar 1 tsp
Salt 1 tsp

Flour for dusting
Butter for applying on the naan.

How to make it?

Version 1 without yeast:

This is quite simple.
In a large mixing bowl, sift the flour and all dry ingredients and mix well.
Make a well in the middle of the flour mixture and add all the wet ingredients and start kneading the dough by adding water little by little. It needs around 1 and 1/4 cup of water and not more than that.
Knead for 5 mins until you get a smooth pliable dough. Let it rest for 5 mins, then knead again for 3 to 4 mins.
Let it rest under a wet cloth for 3 hours.
Then, knead for a minute and make even sized balls. Now, roll out into cirlces or oblong shapes and cook.

Version 2 with yeast:

Dissolve the yeast in warm water and keep covered for 5 to 7 mins until frothy.
Now, in a large mixing bowl, add all the ingredients and the yeast. Add water gradually to the mixture and start kneading. Knead for 7 to 8 mins until you get a soft dough.
Let it rest under a wet cloth for 30 to 40 mins or in a warm place.
After resting period, knead again for a minute and make even sized balls. Start rolling out into desired shapes.

How to cook the naan?

It can be cooked in 2 ways.

Method 1:
Cook on a tawa by applying water on one side of the naan till brown spots appear on the surface.
Then, turn the tawa upside down and cook on direct flame for a minute or 2.
Take off from heat, apply butter generously and serve hot.

Method 2:

Grease a pressure cooker lightly.
Stick the naan to the inside of the pressure cooker.
Invert the naan side of the pressure cooker to direct flame and cook until brown spots appear.
Take off from heat and apply butter and serve hot.

Serve with any curry of your choice. I served it with kadai paneer.


The taste difference is phenomenal. The one without yeast tastes just like those you get in the restaurants. But if you need the bread quick, then use yeast.
The pressure cooker method needs a lot of patience and practice. So the tawa method works best for beginners.
If the dough is a little sticky while rolling out, use flour for dusting.

October 24, 2011

A 2yrs of Knowing Each Other Lunch and Mushroom Biriyani

Well, Oct 21st was the day my husband and i had finished 2 years knowing each other formally. The day is close to my heart. Like every typical arranged marriage, we both met at my home, my parents talked and we married. But we ve managed to write quite a love story after that. And i just cant not commemorate the day with a good lunch. I wanted to do something different yet delicious and for the main course. So i chose mushroom biriyani. Mushrooms. A few of my roomies back in hostel used to decsribe non vegetarian delicacies in terms of mushroom. But i just cant forget a recent comparison of lobsters and mushrooms. That was a friend of the hubby. Analogies apart, if you are a mushroom lover, this one is a must for you. If you dont love them, you will after you eat this. Either way, its a win win situation. So just grab a packet of those cute button mushrooms and start cooking sometime soon.

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Serves 2

What you need?

Basmati rice 1 and 1/2 cups soaked in 3 and 1/4 cups water for 30 mins
Onion  2 medium one half sliced finely
Tomato 1 large one finely chopped
Mushrooms 1 cup chopped
Bay leaf 1
Cloves 2
Cinnamon 1" piece
Oil and ghee 1 and 1/2 tbsp

To be ground into a paste

Pudina 1/2 cup if using fresh 1/4 cup if using dried ones
Coriander leaves chopped finely 1/2 cup
Green chillies 4
Garlic 4 cloves
Ginger 1'' bit
Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp

How to make it?

First grind all the ingredients that are to be ground into a fine paste and keep aside. Avoid adding too much water. You should stop with less than 2 tbsp of water.
Next, heat oil ghee mix in a kadai. Add bay leaf, cinnamon and cloves. Saute for a minute. Now, add the onions and saute till pink and transparent.
Next, toss in the tomatoes and saute till oil separates from the mixture.
Now, add in the mushrooms and saute for 2 to 3 mins. They cook fast because they are tender.
Now, add the ground paste and saute for a minute. Not more than that cos you ll lose the flavours.
Now, add the soaked rice along with the water and salt and mix well.
Transfer to a rice cooker and cook.
Tastes yummy with simple onion raitha.
I served it for lunch with butter naan and kadai paneer.
My lunch spread for Oct 21 

October 20, 2011

Stuffed Okhra- baked

Who doesnt like lady s fingers? What a nice name for the vegetable!! I mean, they are truly like our fingers, delicate looking, long. Only they dont need manicures. I dont know a single kid who doesnt like lady s finger.
Its a personal favourite. When i made this at home, it vanished from the bowl in no less than 20 mins.

Prep Time: Under 20 min
Cook Time: 30 to 40 mins
Serves 2

What you need?

Lady s finger fresh ones 30 numbers
Oil 2 tbsp

For the stuffing:

Grated coconut 1 cup
Peanuts 1/2 cup
Onion 1 large chopped finely
Chilli powder 1 tsp
Cumin seeds powder 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder a large pinch
Coriander powder 1 tsp
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Ginger garlic paste 1 tsp
Salt 1 and 1/4 tsp
Oil 1 and 1/2 tbsp

How to make the stuffing?

First, dry roast the peanuts in a dry kadai without any oil until crisp. Takes about 7 mins. Keep aside.
Heat oil in the same kadai. Add the jeera and saute for 30 secs. Add the turmeric powder.
Add the onions next and saute till light brown. Next add the ginger garlic paste.
Now add the coconut and saute for a minute.
Add all  the spice powders, combine and keep aside.
Remove the peel from the peanuts and powder them in a mixer to a coarse powder.
Add the peanut powder and salt to the onion mixture and combine well.

How to stuff the Okhra?

First clean and wash the lady s fingers.
Next dry them on a kitchen towel.
Remove the stalk and make a slit vertically in the okhras.
Now, stuff the okhras with a little of the stuffing,
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Rub oil on the okhras.
Grease a baking tray and place the okhras.
Bake for 30 mins to 40 mins.
Serve with rice or phulkas.

Vegetable Upma Recipe| Breakfast Recipes

There was a time i used to loathe Upma. Now upma lovers, please dont be daggers with me. I just couldnt tolerate it at those times. But it was something that i ate while i grew up. After i got married, i silently vowed to myself that i ll make anything but upma. And true to my word, i dint make it for a year and a half. Then, there was a time when i started missing UPMA. I asked myself, How can you of all people miss it?? But yes, i started missing it and so i made it. The first time was a disaster.I dint want to make it anytime after that. After all, me thinks, whats the big deal?? Its only upma!!. My husband is also an ally in the war against upma but i was still missing upma. I had to make it sometime. I mean i had seen this on so many blogs and i am blog hopping into Chaitanya s blog this week and i saw upma there too. Chaitanya s blog is all about chutneys, pickles and sweets. I simply loved the spread and am so glad to blog hop her space. And thanks to her for inspiring me to make upma. And when i made upma, i found that my husband s changed too. He too relished it when i made it for dinner.

October 19, 2011

Gol Gappe PANI PURI :)

Everyone loves chaat. Especially kids. And college goers. Its like they can go on and on eating chaat. And gol gappe is probably the winner of all chaats. Mumbai s Juhu beach chaat, Chaat street at bangalore, Gullus at bangalore are some places that are well remembered for chaat. I have eaten in all these places at Bangalore a million times and all for decent prices. But my favourite has always been Hot Chips at Jaya Nagar where we used to devour so much for a meagre sum of 100 rupees. I prefer eating pani puri at home though. And because i have a bunch of kids who i teach in the evening, who also happen to be my greatest fans did really well in their exams, i wanted to give them a treat of pani puri.

Prep Time: Under 10 mins
Cook Time: Nil
Makes about 50 pani puris

What you need?

Pooris 50 

For the Filling:

Potatoes 3 large boiled
Chick peas soaked overnight and boiled 1/2 cup
Cilantro chopped finely 3 tbsp
Chaat powder 2 tsp
Salt as per taste
Chilli powder 1 tsp
Black salt 1 and 1/2 tsp
Jeera powder 1 tsp

For The Pani:

Cold water 3/4 liter
Dry mango powder 1 tsp
Pani poori masala 1 and 1/2 tbsp

To be ground into a fine paste:

Pudina or mint leaves 1 cup
Ginger a small bit 
Juice of a lemon
Green Chillies 4 
Salt as per taste

How to make the pani:

Grind all the ingredients for grinding to a smooth paste.
Add this to the water.
Now add pani puri masala, dry mango powder and salt to the water and mix well.

For the sweet chutney:

Tamarind the size of a small lemon
Deseeded dates 1/3 cup
Jaggery powdered 1/4 cup
Cumin seed powder 1/3 tsp
Chilli powder 1/2 tsp

How to make the sweet chutney?

Clean the dates and the tamarind. 
Pressure cook the dates and the tamarind with jaggery adding 1 cup of water and pressure cook for 2 whistles.
Once done, let it cool and blend in a mixer to a fine paste.
Strain the mixture with a sieve.
Add 1 cup of water, cumin seed powder and chilli powder and mix with the date tamarind paste.
Transfer to a dry container and store in the fridge.

For the assembly of the pooris:

First crack small holes in the pooris on the top. 
Keep aside.
Mash the potatoes and chick peas along with the spice powders, salt and cilantro.
Stuff a little of the potatoes in the pooris.
Serve with the pani and the sweet chutney in a bowl separately.
You can even add boondi to the pani and serve. 

Tomato Raitha An Accompaniment for Bisi Bele Bath

This is something that i always make when i make bisibele bath. I somehow do not like the normal tomato raitha in which tomatoes are chopped and dunked in curd with onions. That only goes well with parathas in my opinion. If i want a raitha for any south indian style rice recipes, then i ll go for this one.

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 5 mins

What you need?

Tomatoes 2 chopped into cubes
Coconut grated and fresh 3 tbsps
Fresh Curd 1 and 1/4 cups
Oil 1 tsp
Green Chillies 2 to 3

For tempering:

Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Curry leaves a few
Oil 1 tsp
Hing a small pinch

How to make it?

Whisk the curd well.Keep aside.
Saute the tomatoes with a little oil in a kadai until the raw smell goes.
Let it cool.
Now, grind the tomatoes, chillies and the coconut in a mixer to a fine paste.
Add the paste and salt to the curd and mix well.
Temper with mustard seeds, curry leaves and hing.
Serve with tomato rice, mushroom biriyani, vegetable biriyani or bisibele bath.

Bisi Bele Bath Recipe| Rice Recipes

Sambhar makes a regular appearance in all south indian homes. Almost a staple food which has so many versions. But sambhar sadham and bisi bele bath are a lil different. Bisi Bele Bath literally in kannada means hot dhal and rice. It s a popular dish in Karnataka especially Bangalore. I am a kannada brahmin but my version s a lil different. Lets just say it s a Tamil Nadu based Madhwa style recipe. I really have no idea which version is authentic. But after various permutations and combinations, i have found out one version which a lot of people seem to love. And so i am posting that version.

Recipe For Bisi Bele Bath
( Learn how to make Bisi Bele Bath, a spiced rice and lentil kedgeree from Karnataka, South India)

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 1 hour
Serves 2 to 4 
Allergy Info: Vegan, Gluten free, Soy free
Course: Main
Cuisine: South Indian, Karnataka


For the  Spice Powder:

Coriander seeds 1 cup
Channa Dal 2 tbsp
Dry chillies round variety 3/4 cup
Dry coconut (kopparai) 3/4 cup
Marathi Mokku (caperberry/caper) 2
Cloves 3 (optional)
Cinnamon 1" piece(optional)
Sesame oil 3/4 tsp

For the rice:

Rice Ponni variety 1 cup
Toor dal 1/2 cup
Tamarind extract from a lemon size tamarind ball
Shallots 10 peeled (optional)
Sesame Oil 4 tbsp

For Garnish:

Cashews broken 3 tbsp
Peanuts fried in a little oil 2 tbsp

1. I strongly recommend using sesame oil for this recipe even though some people use ghee.
2. Cashews and peanuts are completely optional.
3. Adjust spice level according to your palate.
4. Post updated with new pics on 5th october, 2014.
5. The spice powder recipe mentioned earlier had cloves and cinammon in it but after a little experimentation, i found that the recipe is much better with just  the marati mokku.
6. Dont use fresh coconut for this recipe.

How to make it?

The Spice Powder:

First heat a kadai. Add the oil.
Add the channa dal, dhania and chillies and saute till aromatic or till the dhal turns a light brown. Takes about 5 to 7 mins.
Remove from the kadai and let it cool. Meanwhile in the same kadai, add the dry coconut and saute for 30 secs. Let it cool.
In a mixer, add the channa dal, dhania, channa dal, dry coconut, marathi mokku, cloves and cinnamon and grind to a powder the consistency of rasam powder.
Keep aside.

The Rice:

First, wash the rice and dal well and pressure cook them together for 8 whistles. For 1 and 1/2 cup of rice and dhal together, i added 3 and 3/4 cups of water.If its new rice, then add less water.
While, the rice cooks, prepare the masala for the rice.
If you are using shallots for this recipe, heat a kadai with 4 tbsp oil and fry the shallots till golden.
Then follow steps that are mentioned. Otherwise start from the below step.
In a kadai, add the tamarind extract and boil well until raw smell goes. Takes about 7 to 8 mins. Next add the powder that you prepared and mix well. Simmer for 5 mins. Add sesame oil in the end.
Once the rice is done, transfer to a large mixing bowl. To the rice, add the tamarind powder mixture and combine well.
Add the sesame oil and this stage and pressure cook again without the pressure valve for 5 mins.
Remove from fire.
Saute the cashews in ghee till light brown and garnish.
Serve with appalam or vadagam or raitha. I served it with onion tomato raita and potato chips.

This is my entry to Cooking Without Onion and Garlic event hosted by Sreevalli

Curd Semiya

Curd. I cannot imagine a life without it. Curd rice and spicy pickle. The very thought makes me drool. When i was young, my dad used to take me to the famous Annapoorna restaurant at Coimbatore on sundays at around 11 in the morning to have brunch. And my standard order would be curd semiya or curd vada. Creamy and tangy curds with vermicelli topped with cashews and raisins accompanied with pickles. And i would wash it down with rose milk. Yummy. What delectable memories!!
Curd Semiya

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Serves 2

What you need?

Vermicelli 1 cup
Milk 1/2 cup
Curd 3/4 cup
Butter unsalted 2 tbsp
Salt to taste

For garnish:

Cilantro chopped finely 2 tbsp
Cashews broken 1 tbsp
Raisins 1tbsp
Ghee 1 tbsp

For tempering:

Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Green chillies 3 chopped finely
Ginger 1/2" chopped finely
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Hing a small pinch
Oil 2 tsp

How to make it?

Boil water in a pan and cook the vermicelli until soft. Take off the heat before it starts sticking to the pan.
Now, mix the butter with the vermicelli.
Whisk the curd well and mix with the milk and add to the vermicelli and combine well.
Add salt and mix well.
Heat oil in a kadai. Add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and wait for them to splutter.
Now, add the green chillies, hing and ginger,
Saute for a minute and add to the vermicelli.
Mix well.
Roast the cashews and raisins in ghee.
Garnish the vermicelli with chopped coriander, cashews and raisins.
Tastes best when served chill.

October 18, 2011

Banana Milk Shake with Figs And Dates

Banana my favourite food in the whole planet. When i was a kid, i used to have a whole banana split for dinner. No starters, no main course. Just dessert and banana split for dessert. This trend continues till today. I am a complete banana freak and i love it in just bout any form. So you can imagine how many kilos of bananas i would have consumed. We used to get so many varieties of bananas in Coimbatore and my favourite was the variety from the hills. I remember my dad exclaiming the next day after i had consumed the whole bunch that he had bought the previous night. "It dint even last a night this time?" and i used to grin sheepishly. Banana love :) The quickest and the healthiest milkshake one can make.

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: Nil
Serves : 2 in my case only one

What you need?

Banana 1 large ripe
Vanilla Ice Cream 1/2 cup
Chilled Milk low fat or whatever fat 1 and 1/2 cups
Dates 6 to 8
Figs 6 to 8

How to make it?

In a blender, blend the dates and figs with a little of the milk well.
Next, add the banana, milk and the ice cream to the date fig mixture and blend well.
Enjoy with your breakfast or just have this alone for breakfast.
This is my entry to Abc series : Banana Event by Ramya

October 15, 2011

Pasi Paruppu Payasam Recipe| Easy South Indian Dessert Recipes

My amma makes many types of payasam. She makes some in a jiffy. Some she takes a while. Some she saves for those special days. And this she makes for those days when i fast the whole day or when i have a mouth ulcer. Moong dal is believed to have healing powers that will ease mouth ulcers and alos reduce the effect of acid formation that occurs in the stomach after a day without food or water. Quick and easy to prepare. This however is not made on auspicious days.

Recipe For Pasiparuppu Payasam 
( Learn to make an easy pudding with mung lentils and jaggery)

Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook time: Under 30 mins
Source: Amma
Serves: 2 to 3
Cuisine: South Indian
Course: Dessert


Moong dal 1/4 cup and 1 tbsp
Milk 1 cup
Jaggery 1/2 cup powdered

For Garnish

Ghee 3 tbsp
Cashews broken 2 tbsp
Raisins 1 tbsp
Cardamom powdered 1/4 tsp


Saute the moong dal in ghee until aromatic. It burns quickly so be careful and do it on low flame. Takes about 5 mins.
Pressure cook the moong dal with 1 cup of water for 5 to 6 whistles.
Once done, mash the dal well and add the jaggery while it is hot. You can adjust the sweetness by adding less or more jaggery.
Mix the jaggery and the dal well. Add the milk to the mixture and combine well. Add the cardamom powder.
Simmer on a medium flame by stirring at frequent intervals for about 5 mins.
Saute the cashews in ghee first until they become light brown. Remove the cashews from the ghee and add the raisins to the ghee.
Saute the raisins in ghee until they puff up. Dont add them both together because raisins burn fast and dont taste well when over sauteed.
Add cashews and raisins with the ghee to the kheer and mix well.
Serve hot.

You can even garnish with tiny bits of coconut. I dont like it that way and so i did not opt that.

Karuvepillai Poondu Kuzhambu ( Curry leaves Garlic Kuzhambu)

When i heard of the herbs and spices event, i couldnt wait to make something. It was my favourite herb Curry Leaves. I love the flavour it imparts to any dish with it is tempered. In my opinion, curry leaves and hing are the most romantic couple when it comes to the world of south indian cuisine. They give out such a wonderful aroma that you start drooling the moment you see the dish. Sometimes i feel jealous about my mom. She has a whole cluster of curry leaves trees in the house. When she needs some, she will go out and pluck one sprig or two with a satisfactory smirk across her face in my presence. She knows i cannot get curry leaves in the way that she does. My hunt for them is always a combination of visiting several sabji shops and asking "Bhaiya, kadi patha che??? " And i ll only be rewarded with a grunt of a "nathi che." Thats in gujarathi and finding curry leaves, good fresh ones in baroda is like manna from heaven in Baroda. But one day, i got lucky and i found so many of them at a store nearby. And it so happened to be  the day i read about the event. I decided immediately i ll make Poondu Karuvepillai kuzhambu. There are many versions for this, with tomatoes, with shallots etc but for me this works best. I love this with plain rice, paruppu saadham, dosa, idly or even as a side dish for curd rice. I make it and store it in the fridge. It lasts me for 3 days. The nutrient value is high and the taste is delicious. The garlic fights cholestrol and curry leaves are rich in iron. They make your hair grow stronger and prevent premature greying of hair.Curry leaves also help in fighting diabetes caused due to obesity and helps in weight reduction when eaten raw in the early morning for 3 months continuously The sesame oil that is used in making this cools down your stomach and the pepper helps digestion. . So we eat this whenever i find curry leaves and we all love it. So make some and relish it.

October 13, 2011

Rawa Idly Spongy Spongy

I love MTR s Rava Idly. Breakfast in a jiffy is what i would call the dish. Wholesome breakfast material that does anything than filling the tummy. But this post is not about MTR s rava idly mix. They have enough brand value and brand name. So why advertise on my blog. This post is about making the rava idly from scratch. You may ask, why bother when you can pick up a ready made one from a supermarket. But there s some joy i tell you , in making things from scratch. There s some kind of kick that you get when people ask you " Is this readymix?" and you look at them in that "are you sure you know who you are talking to?" and say " No, i made it from scratch." So for that kick, lets make rava idly from scratch ( i m evilly laughing now lol :) )

Prep Time: Under 20 mins
Cook Time: Under 15 mins
Makes about 10 to 12 idlis
Source: Vedavalli Venkatacharry's How to Cook?

What you need?

Sooji or semolina the white variety 1 cup
Curd 2 and 1/2 cups whisked and slightly sour
Ghee 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Channa Dal or split chick pea 1 tbsp
Hing a large pinch
Eno fruit salt 1 tsp
Cashews broken 2 tbsp
Coriander leaves finely chopped 3 tbsp
Salt as per taste

How to make it?

In a wide bottomed skillet or a pan, heat the ghee. Add the mustard seeds. After they splutter, add the hing, channa dal and saute for a minute. Now add the cashews and saute till light brown.
Next add the sooji and saute it till an aroma comes. The sooji would have turned a very light brown at this stage. Do this entirely on a low flame. Takes time and patience. About 7 mins i can say.
Now, take it off the heat and let it cool down completely.
Next, add half of the curd to the rawa and mix well. Let it sit for 15 mins.
After 15 mins, add the remaining curd and eno and add combine well. Add the cilantro and salt and mix well.
Now, grease an idli mould and ladle the batter into it.
Steam in an idli maker for 10 mins or in a pressure cooker without the pressure valve for 10 to 12 mins.
Take them out and let them cool down a bit. Spoon them out from the mould and serve hot with coconut chutney or coriander chutney.

And then bite into the spongy lil beauties.

Note: You can also add tiny bits of coconut and finely chopped ginger.

Bread Koftas In Red Pumpkin Curry

Halloween Time!! We dont trick or treat in India but we sure do cook and celebrate halloween. When Vardhini announced her halloween event, i donned my thinking cap. I think i m way early but this is just one of my recipes for the event. I am planning to make some more. Not many are fond of red pumpkins. I can see my cousin Priyanka fishing it from the sambhar and pushing to a corner of her plate. For people like her and for folks like me, Vardhini s event is an inspiration and a trend setter with the theme as pumpkin. This is my first entry to the Halloween Fiesta Event. Adapted from Tarla Dalal s book Healthy Subzis.

Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: Under 30 mins
Serves: 3

What you need?

For the koftas:

Brown bread 3 slices
Curd  tbsp
Coriander leaves chopped fine 1 tbsp
Green chillies chopped fine 2

For the curry:

Onion 1 big grated
Tomato 1 large pureed
Pumpkin 150 g chopped into cubes or 1 cup
Turmeric powder a large pinch
Garam Masala 1 tsp
Dhania powder 1 and 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder 1 and 1/2 tsp
Jeera Powder 1 and 1/2 tsp
Curd 1/4 cup whisked well
Oil 2 tbsp
Boiled peas 1/4 cup

How to make it?

I suggest that the curry be made first. For this, the pumpkin has to be pureed. Pressure cook the pumpkin for 1 whistle. Drain and let it cool. In a mixer, blend the pumpkin without water to a fine paste and keep aside.
In a kadai, heat oil. Add the onions and saute them till light brown. Now, add all the spice powders along with the turmeric powder and combine well.
Saute for a minute or 2. Add the pureed tomato and mix well. Saute till oil separates.
Next, add the pumpkin puree and the curds. Mix well and simmer on low for 2 to 3 mins.
Now, add the boiled peas and simmer again for 3 to 4 mins.
Set aside.

Now the koftas.
Remove the crust from the bread and soak it in the curd for 20 mins.
After it is soaked completely, add the chillies, cilantro and the salt and mix well. Make marble size balls of it and steam in a steamer for 10 mins or microwave for 30 secs.

How to serve?

Drop the koftas in the curry and mix gently taking care not to break them.
Now, bring to a boil.
Garnish with chopped cilantro and serve hot with phulkas or rotis or plain parathas.

My apologies for not taking pics of the platter. It couldnt be resisted until photographed.:) Any pumpkin hater will love this. Guaranteed

And this s my entry to  Halloween Fiesta Event hosted by Vardhini

Aviyal Recipe| Sambar, Kuzhambu And Kootu Recipes

When someone says avial, i m reminded of a childhood neighbour. I used to call her maami. And she was a Palakkad brahmin. I can say she was a godmother sort of person to me and she was the one who introduced me to this dish. And this is my husband s favourite dish. He happens to like the coconut flavour in the dish and i love it because it s loaded with veggies of all kinds.I generally serve it with adai or rice. Adai Aviyal combo is quite popular in Tamil Nadu especially Coimbatore cos we are close to Kerala. Whenever i eat the dish, fond memories of me ambling at maami s house come back to me. And that s why this is so close to my heart. For Maami and my husband, from my kitchen, a bowl full of that creamy flavourful avial. Maybe i ll meet her this time when i go home. And i ll tell her that i made avial. I can imagine the flow of conversation.... :)

October 11, 2011

Arisi Noi Upma Recipe| Easy Breakfast Recipes

When i first got married, my mom in law introduced me to various new recipes of breakfast. I wouldnt say its totally new to me. I can say that she reminded me of ones that were not my favourite but she made it in such a way that even i liked them and one of those recipes was arisi upma or in kannada akki nuchinna uppittu. Well, i m the kind of person who will VANISH if someone says UPMA in any form. That s why it was not one of my favourites before but after she made it, I said "vow" and ate some and some more and some more. You can make this for breakfast or even evening snack.

Poha MP Style

There s this friend of mine. Anjali Kumar. Hails from central India, is a wonderful cook and she taught me how to make poha. Well i am partly from Karnataka and partly from Tamil Nadu. My idea of making poha is to make avlakki or gojju avlakki. I ll post those recipes too soon. But when Anjali made poha, i loved it. I love the flavours that she adds. Like saunf and dhania. I dont when i make authentic avlakki. And the further twist was adding fresh onions and sev as a topping along with a lil cilantro. This is a 10 min affair. And i love the quickness and the simplicity of the dish. I make it for breakfast when i wake up late.So the next time you wake up late, you know what to make.

Serves: 2
Source:Mrs. Anjali Kumar
Preparation Time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins

What you need?

Flattened rice 3 cups the thin variety
Groundnuts or peanuts 3 tbsp
Green chillies 4 to 5 chopped finely
Onion 1 large and 1 small chopped finely
Curry leaves a sprig
Oil 2 and half tbsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Saunf or fennel seeds 1 tsp
Dhania or coriander seeds 1 tsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Hing a large pinch

Salt to taste
Sugar 1/2 tsp

For Garnish:

A little of the chopped onion
Sev (nylon sev)
Lemon wedge

How to make it?

First, place the flattened rice in a colander and rinse with cold water. Let the water drain completely. Retain the flattened rice in the colander. Keep aside
Heat oil in a kadai. Add the mustard seeds and wait for them to splutter. Now add the turmeric. Next add the fennel seeds and dhania seeds.
Now, add the peanuts and fry them till they are brown. But dont burn them.
Add the chillies and saute for a minute and then add the onions to the oil next and fry them till transparent or pink.
Now add the flattened rice, salt and sugar and combine well.
Garnish with chopped onions, cilantro and sev. Serve with a lemon wedge.
Makes a filling and delicious breakfast and can be made in a jiffy.

October 10, 2011

Thalicha Sadam For Those "Dinner for 1" Nights

What is comfort food? Rasam when you have a cold. Dal and rice when you have a fever or Thalicha Sadam when you are alone home on a sunday night for dinner. The hubby has obviously vanished to some party. You know! the guy thing. Maybe we gals should do more of gal things. Wonder what they will do? That s the feminist in me talking. :) Now, when my husband did leave me alone for dinner on sunday, i was bored. What can you cook for one person? There was leftover rice and i had a brainwave. When i was young, my mom used to make this ogaranai anna ( kannada). She borrowed the recipe from her grandmom. Ok! now dont be daggers at me cos i know its not a recipe actually. But then, it used to taste so nice and comforting. That sunday, I decided. I had to eat it.

Source: My mom's grandmom fondly called kannadi avva in Kannada by all of us
Serves: 1
Preparation time: 5 mins
Cooking Time: 5 mins

What you need?

Leftover Rice 1 cup
Onion medium size chopped finely
Oil 1 tbsp
Mustard seed 1tsp
Split Urad dal 1 tsp
Channa dal 1 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Hing a large pinch
Dry chillies 2
Curry leaves a sprig

How to make it?

In a kadai, heat the oil. Add the mustard. Wait for it to splutter.
Next, add the urad dal, channa dal, dry chillies and wait for the dals to become a light brown.
Next add the curry leaves and the onion. Saute till golden brown.
Add the rice to this mixture with salt. Combine well.
Serve hot with appalam or fryums.

Rasam Powder

If you are a South Indian, especially one that hails from Tamil Nadu, the chances of your survival without rasam can border to zero. Atleast in my opinion. Rasam is everything all at once- comforting, tangy and healthy. Can we get a better bet? Now, rasam powder is something that cant be done without in a Tamilian s kitchen. I follow amma s style of making rasam powder. Here s the recipe.

Rasam Powder

Source: Of course Amma Who else?
Serves: Usually lasts for 1 month, the rasam being made for 2 to 3 people.

What you need?

Dhania- 250g
Dry round red chilli- 250g
Pepper Corns- 50g
Cumin seeds - 50g
Toor Dal- 2 tbsp

How to make the powder?

First, Heat a kadai and add a few drops of ghee and  saute the dhania until aromatic. Let it cool. 
Next, in the same kadai, add a few more drops of ghee and saute the pepper corns and the jeera until they pop like mustard seeds.Transfer to a plate and let it cool. 
Then in the same kadai, saute the dry chillies without adding ghee for like 7 mins or until slightly aromatic. Never touch your face after this. I speak from experience. 
 In the same kadai, saute the cumin seeds for a minute or two. Dont over saute them because they dont taste well. Let the chillies cool.
In a dry mixer, first grind the jeera and the peppercorns to a powder the consistency of rava. Then transfer to a plate. Now, grind the dhania in 2 batches. Do the first batch along with the toor dal. Transfer both the batches to a plate. Let it cool. 
Now, grind the chillies finely. And allow to cool. Spread a newspaper and place all the powders on it. Gently combine. Now make 2 batches of the powder and grind in mixer once more. Just to make sure that it is evenly mixed.

You can store it in an airtight container. And use it whenever making rasam.

October 8, 2011

Chapathi Masala Noodles Leftover cooking

I had a stand in cook for a few days. I can see many a raised eyebrow but yes! i did and i am not very proud of it. I hate it when my kitchen is invaded by a soul who does not know that cooking is the only science which always makes you happy. No matter how many times i tell her that she had to make 12 rotis, she had to ask this question religiously everyday. The irony is she never made that many. She always made more. And that day, she had stretched the limit and made 20. 20 for 2 people is too too many. I mean, do i look like the kind who eats 10? Please say no, atleast think no. Otherwise i ll be heartbroken. So what does one do with leftover chapathis? Search the web for leftover recipes and make Chapathi Masala Noodles. So down to business.

Preparation Time: 10 mins
Cooking Time: 10 mins
Source:  www.tarladalal.com
Serves: 2

What you need?

6 to 8 leftover chapathis cut into thin long strips
1 big onion cut into half slices
2 medium size tomatoes chopped finely
1 medium size carrot cut into thin long strips
1 small capsicum cut into thin strips
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp pav bhaji masala
1/2 tsp black salt
1/2 tsp chilli powder
Salt to taste
Oil or butter 2 tbsp

For garnish:

Cilantro chopped fine 2 tbsp
Lemon wedges for serving

How to make it?

Heat the oil or butter in a pan. Saute the onion till pink. Next, toss in the ginger garlic paste. Now, add the tomatoes. Saute for another 5 mins or until oil separates. Add all the spice powders along with the black salt and salt and mix well.
Now,add in the carrots and capsicum. Mix well. Saute for another 3 mins. 
Add the chapathi strips and combine well. 
Garnish with cilantro and serve hot with lemon wedges or plain raitha.

Makes a nice evening snack or even breakfast. 

Note: The original recipe does not call for adding carrots but i did because i wanted more veggies. Even, peas and beans can be added. Ginger garlic paste is also not in the original recipe but i liked it this way. You may substitute it with 2 cloves of garlic instead.

October 1, 2011

Basic Rasam Recipe| Rasam Recipes

You can call it south indian soup. Its an integral part of a meal that s served after the first course is served, the first course usually being sambhar or kootu or kuzhambu. For me, rasam and rice is something that is close to heart. My grandpa loved rasam and he simply insisted that i eat rasam and without eating rasam and rice i was never let off. Its considered to be rich in spices that act as a digestive. My mom says rasam powder when done fresh for the day lends extra flavour to it. Yes! I make rasam everyday. That s how much we love it!! Some people , that is folks like me get rasam powder prepared by moms and get it couriered to us. But sometimes when i m in a real nice mood for doing a little extra work i mean all those frying and sauteing i make the powder afresh for the day. This post will be about making the simplest form of rasam and rasam powder. I will post other versions in a while. So if i want to make the powder, the first thing i do is call mom!  So lets go about it

Rasam Powder

Source: Of course Amma Who else?
Serves: Usually lasts for 1 month, the rasam being made for 2 to 3 people.

What you need?

Dhania- 250g
Dry round red chilli- 250g
Pepper Corns- 50g
Cumin seeds - 50g

How to make the powder:

First, Heat a kadai and add a few drops of ghee and  saute the dhania until aromatic. Let it cool.
Next, in the same kadai, add a few more drops of ghee and saute the pepper corns until they pop like mustard seeds.
Then in the same kadai, saute the dry chillies without adding ghee for like 7 mins or until slightly aromatic.
 In the same kadai, saute the cumin seeds for a minute or two. Dont over saute them because they become bitter if you do. Let everything cool.
Grind to a powder in a mixer finely.
You can store it in an airtight container. And use it whenever making rasam.

Recipe For Basic Rasam
( Learn to make rasam, a basic no fuss recipe)

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 10 mins
Serves 2
Allergy Info: Nut and Soy Free
Course: Accompaniment
Cuisine: South Indian


Toor dal- boiled 1/4 cup
Tamarind extract from a marble size ball of tamarind
Tomato - 1 large ripe one
Cilantro - few sprigs
Curry leaves- 2 sprigs
Rasam Powder - 1 tbsp
Sugar - a pinch
Salt to taste

For Seasoning:

Cumin seeds - few
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Hing- a large pinch
Ghee- 1 tsp
Garlic cloves crushed -3

How do you make it?

In a pan, add the tamarind extract, mash the tomatoes along with the tamarind extract and add the rasam powder, salt, cilantro and curry leaves.
Heat this mixture until the raw smell of tamarind goes away. It takes about 5 mins. Next add some water or if you have the water in which the dal is boiled, add that water and boil for another 2 mins.
Now add the dal and give it a nice mix. Then heat it up to the extent that the mixture is frothy at the top but it shouldnt boil over.
At this moment, take it off from the heat and season with mustard, hing and cumin seeds.
Serve hot with rice and appalams.Another lovely combination is beetroot curry with rasam and rice.