Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Vegetable kurma


Green peas- 1/2 cup
Beans-100 gms
Onion -1
Tomato-2 small
Green chillies -2 finely chopped
Ginger-1 inch finely chopped
Garlic cloves-6 ( finely chop 4 cloves)
Salt for taste
Oil - 2 tbsp
Thick curd - 1 tbsp
FInely chopped coriander leaves
Cumin powder-1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder-1/2tsp
Garam masala powder -1/2 tsp
Dry roast and grind to paste:
Cinnamon,bay leaves,cloves,cardamom

Shredded Coconut- 1 tbsp

1.Dry roast all the said ingredients and grind along with 2 garlic cloves,ginger,1 tomato and coconut.
2.Cook all the vegetables in water. Once they are cooked, add the ground paste, all masalas ,salt.
3.Finally add curd and leave it in stove for a min. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Idli Upma

A dish made out of left over idlis.

Mash all the left over idlis,. Temper mustard, urad dal,channa dal, curry leaves, red chillies,asafoetida in a teaspoon of oil and add the crushed idlis. Mix well and serve hot. Sprinkle chopped coriander on top.

Vegetable idli

Another dish which might turn out as kids favorite.

Mixed veggies- carrot,peas,beans,corn kernels, onion
Chopped green chillies,ginger,coriander leaves

Mix all the veggies in idli batter and make soft idlis.Temper mustard,curry leaves,urad dal, asafoetida and red chillies if required.Always serve hot with chutney/sambar/milagaipodi/chutney powder.

Soft idli

Idlis are not so boring as many people consider. If made in the right form with a proper side dish, no more funny faces or frowns on dining table!


Idli rice - 4 cups
Urad dal - 1 cup
Fenugreek - 1 tsp
Salt for taste


Soak all the ingredients separately. Ground together. Add adequate salt (1 tsp here) and mix well only with hand. Allow it to prove/ferment overnight. Add 1/2 tsp oil in idli plates and pour the batter. Steam for 5 mins,take the idli cooker off the stove, give a standing time of 3 mins before opening.Now using a spoon scoop out all idlis.

Kanchipuram Idli

1.Make idli batter as mentioned in the 'soft idli' post.
2.Temper a fistful of urad dal, a teaspoon of mustard, a sprig of curry leaves, 5 chillies split into 20 pieces.
3.Add this to idli batter and mix well.
4.In idli mould keep a cashew, pour the batter on it and sprinkle somefinely chopped coriander leaves on top.
5.Steam the idlis for 5 mins, give a standing time of 3 mins and take out. When you turn the idli upside down, top portion will have a cashew and bottom will have coriander. Yummy kids favourite idle is ready. Serve hot with chutney/sambar.


A favourite tea time snack of South India. Can have any vegetable as stuffing. The most popular stuffings are - Onion, Plantain, Green chilli (Bajji milagai), Brinjal, Potato.

Besan flour - 1 cup
Rice flour -a fistful
Baking soda- a pinch
Red chilli powder -1 tbsp
Salt,asafoetida for taste
Any of the above vegetables cut in round shape excep plantain which can be rectangular
Oil for deep frying


1.Mix all the ingredients except vegetable and oil. Add sufficient water to make a loose dough mix. Must be looser than dosa dough consistency so as to dip the vegetables.
2.Coat each piece of vegetable with the bajji mix and deep fry in oil.
3.Serve hot with sauce/chutney.

Kara Kozhukattai-Urad dal stuffing/Ulundhu pooranam


Rice flour -1/2 kg or raw rice 1/2 kg
Urad dal -1/4 kg
Asafoetida,Salt for taste
Red chillies -10

For tempering:
Mustard,curry leaves and red chillies

1. Make rice flour mould as mentioned for sweet kozhukattai
2.Soak urad dal overnight and grind it along with asafoetida,salt and chillies.
3.Temper mustard, curry leaves, chillies in a teaspoon of oil and add the ground dough. Sttir it for 5 mins. Ensure it does not get burnt.When the dough starts thickening, switch off stove. Allow the mix to cool down and make small balls (pooranam/stuffing).
4.Make rice flour maouls, stuff it with pooranam and steam it in idli plates for 5 mins.

Sweet Kozhukattai-Coconut stuffing/Thengai pooranam

An interesting yet time consuming sweet dish especially prepared for Lord Ganesh. Also known as kadubu/mothagam.

Makes 20-25 medium sized kozhukattais

Raw rice - 1/2 kg
Salt- a pinch
Coconut-1 fully grated
Jaggery-1/4 grams
Cardamom powder- 1 tsp
Oil- 2 tbsp

1. Soak rice in water for 2 hrs and drain all the water. Dry it and powder it. You can use readymade rice flour available in stores which may not be as good as homemade one.
2.Boil water and add jaggery.When the whole jaggery dissolves, sieve and take out all sediments. Boil again jaggery syrup until it reaches one-string consistency i.e. if u take a pinch of jaggery syrup with 2 fingers, it should form a thread or string between your 2 fingers.Now add the grated coconut,cardamom powder mix well.Allow it to cool down for 15 mins; start making small balls out of the mix. Dip your hand in a bowl of water after making every ball so that the next ball wont stick between fingers. Ensure that the water does not collapse the balls or make the jaggery mix watery.Keep it aside until the whole jaggery mix gets over.Now 'pooranam'(stuffing) is ready.
3.Sieve the flour and take out all the coarse particles.
3.Boil 1/2 litre of water in a pan, add a pinch of salt and start adding rice flour little by little in the boiling water . Do not allow any lumps.Mix well and make it into chpathi dough consistency. Add more water if required. The dough should be soft.
4. Pour a spoon of oil on your palms and rub both palms together. Take a small lemon size of rice flour dough and start pressing it in one palm with other hand's fingers.Make a small cup out of it.Insert the pooranam and close the rice flour cup. Make more kozhukattais and bake it in steam using idli plates.

*Rice flour dough should be soft and moulable without any lumps. If required add spoons of water and oil.

Vatha Kuzhambu


Dry roast and powder:
Red chillies -10
Coriander - 1 tsp
Channa dla- 1 tbsp
Pepper-1/2 tsp
Fenugreek-1/2 tsp

Asafoetida- 1/2 tsp
Salt for taste
Jaggery - small piece
Turmeric powder- 1/2 tsp
Rice flour- 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder- 1 tsp

For tempering:
Asafoetida -1/2 tsp
Curry vadam/sundakkai vathal/manathakkali vathal-one fistful
Channa dal-1 tbsp
Fenugreek-1/2 tsp
Urad dal-1 tsp
Mustard - 1 tsp

1.Soak tamarind in lukewarm water for 30 mins; put it in a blender and extract the pulp.
2.Dry roast and powder red chillies, coriander, channa dal,pepper and fenugreek.
3.Temper all the said ingredients except vadam/vathal. Add tamaraind pulp,turmeric powder, asafoetida,jaggery and red chilli powder. Mix rice flour in water and add it to the boiling mix.Leave it for 5 mins.
4.Now add the ground powder and allow it to boil well.
5.Now add salt and keep boiling. Temper the vadam/vathal in a teaspoon of oil and pour it in the mix. Yummy tasty vatha kuzhambu ready.

*Use gingelly/sesame oil preferably for all tempering. Adding curry leaves while tempering will add a good flavour.
*Dry roasted papad, rice with a tespoon of gingelly oil will be the best combination with vatha kuzhambu!

Chow Chow kootu


Chow chow -1
Channa dal- one handful
Carrot -1
Salt, asafotida, turmeric for taste

Grind into paste:
Shredded coconut - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds-1 tsp
Green chillies-2
Red cillies -4

For tempering:
Oil - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - one sprig
Mustard - 1 tsp
Red chillies -2
Urad dal - 1 tsp

Tamarind - 1 small lemon size

1. Soak tamarind in lukewarm water and extract juice.
2. Cut all veggies as big as 1/2 inch and boil in water.Add turmeric powder.
3.Pressure cook channa dal till 2 whistles.
4. Grind all the said ingredients into coarse paste.
5. When the vegetables are cooked, add tamarind water, asafoetida, ground paste,salt and allow to boil.
6.Temper all the said ingredients and put it on top of kootu.

Ennai kathirikai

Serves -4


Grind into thick paste:
(Clockwise from left top)
Urad dal - 1 tbsp
Channa dal - 1.5 tbsp
Cumin - 1 tsp
Coriander -1 tsp
Grated coconut - 2 tbsp
Red chillies- 8 nos
Oil - 1 tbsp

Dry roast and powder:
Sesame - 1 tsp
Peanuts/groundnuts-1 tbsp

Tamarind - 1 small lemon size

Oil for deep frying brinjal
Sal, turmeric powder & asafoetida for taste


1. Heat saute pan and pour a tbsp of oil. Roast all the ingredients one by one mentioned above under the head 'grind to paste'. Roast them until they turn light brown. Also dry roast sesame and groundnut. Allow them to cool down.
2.Soak tamarind in lukewarm water.
2.Grind all the roasted ingredients into a fine paste. Add adequate water while grinding.
3. Put the soaked tamarind along with water in blender and extract juice. This will give thick extract with very little waste. Take out the sediments.
4.Take off the stem of brinjal.Slit each brinjal into 4 without cutting the lower part. Now insert the ground paste into the slit brinjal and deep fry in oil. Leave the rest of paste for making gravy.
5.Heat oil in a pan, splutter mustard seeds and add tamarind extract. Add turmeric powder and asafoetida. When it starts boiling add rest of the paste and allow it to cook. After 5 mins add salt and the fried brinjal. Add water if necessary and allow it to boil.

* Onion, tomato, garam masala powder and whole spices like cinnamon,cloves,cardamom, bay leaves can be added before tamarind extract if required.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mango pickle

Mouthwatering mangai oorukai/aam achar requires:
Raw mango -1
Mustard - 1 tbsp
Feugreek -1/2 tbsp
Oil (preferably gingelly oil)- 4 tbsp
Chilli powder 1 tbsp
Salt-1/2 tbsp
1.Cut mango into small piees.
2.Heat oil in a pan, temper mustard. Once it finishes popping,add fenugreek.
3.Add chilli powder to the oil.
4. In a bowl (preferably ceramic), put the cut mango and add salt. Now pout the oil mix and stir well. Leave it for 2 days. Do not refrigerate.Once or twice a day mix the pickle with a spoon. After 2 days transfer it to a container and preserve it in refrigerator and no more requires stirring.

Besan Ladoo


This recipe makes 20 medium sized yummy ladoos.
Besan flour - 2 cups
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Cashews& raisins - 1/4 cup
Finely powdered sugar - 2 cups
1. Dry roast besan flour in a saute pan until you get a nice roasted aroma of the flour. Keep on stirring or else the flour will get burnt. This is will take approximately 7 mins.
2. Heat ghee separately and add cashews. When cashews start getting a pink shade add the raisins. Raisins will start fluffing up and cashews would have turned golden by now.
3.Pour this ghee mixture in besan flour and add the powdered sugar. Switch off the stove and immediately take the mixture off the stove. Mix it well. Allow itto cool down for 5 mins and start making small balls.
*Start making balls when the mixture is luke warm. Or else you wont be able to make the balls. If you find it difficult to make balls, heat a tbsp of ghee, add it to the mix an immediately start making balls. It is only the heat that holds the flour tight.


Makes 4 big naans.

Maida/All purpose flour - 2 cups
Yeast - 1/2 tsp
Coriander leaves- very finely chopped
Thick curd - 2 tbsp
Milk - 1/4cup
Oil - 1 tbsp
Butter- 1tbsp


1. In a bowl add maida, curd and milk. In 1/4 cup of luke warm water add yeast, salt and sugar and mix well with a spoon. Wait for 5 mins so that the yeast gets activated. Now pour it on the flour and mixt well to make dough. Add a teaspoon of oil on the flour so that it will not be sticky.
2.Allow the dough to get fermented by yeast which will take 4-5 hrs.
3. The dough will get fluffy and doubles in quantity which is a sign that it is ready.
4.Now make triangle shaped naans and toast it in a tawa. Coat the naan with butter while toasting and sprinkle coriander leaves on top.

Aloo Gobi Masala

(Top right picture; clockwise from left)
Garam masala - 1tsp
Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
Salt for tast
Amchur powder- 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Red cilli powder - 1 tsp
Cumin powder- 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida -1/4 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Other ingredients:
(Bottom picture; clockwise from left)
Small cauliflower (cut and cleaned) -1
Potato - 1 big or 2 small
Green peas- 1/2 cup
Chopped Tomato-1/2cup
Finely chopped onion - 1
Finely chopped - ginger (1/2 "), garlic(5 cloves), green chillies(5), coriander leaves
1. Heat oil in a saute pan, fry cumin seeds and add onions until the raw smell goes off. Add garlic and ginger and fry well. Then add green chillies.
4.Add turmeric powder, red chilli powder,amchur powder, garam masala, asafoetida and tomatoes. Fry for 5 minutes so that all the powders get mexed well.
5. Now add gobi and then potatoes and peas. Add little water and close the pan with lid. Allow the veggies to cook for about 10 mins. Open up and cook again for 5 mins. Add coriander leaves adn switch off the stoce.
*If you microwave potatoes for 5 mins and cauliflower for 10 mins before adding them to the masala, cooking time is saved.


The most favoured sweet of Kerala which is served alost in all temples.This is a simple yummy recipe.


Wheat flour/atta - 2 cups
ripe banana- 1 big or 2 small ones
Jaggery - 1 cup
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Sugar crystals-2 tsp
Water as required
Oil for frying


1.In a pan add jaggery and pour water to the level jaggery sinks. Heat the stove and aloow the jaggery to dissolve completely. Switch off the stove and allow the mixture to cool .Sieve the jaggery water andtake out all the sediments if any.
2.Now add wheat flour and banana to jagger water and mash well with hands or you can put it in blender. The dough should have the consistency of vada dough.
3. Make balls like bonda and deep fry in oil. If you are using appam mould, the can be a little watery like dosa batter.Fry till brown (not golden brown;requires deep frying)
4.Once all appams are fried, transfer it to a serving bowl. Pour the ghee on top along with the sugar crystals. Now the appams are coated with ghee and sugar crystals which will make them yummy!

*Some people add a handful of rice flour to the batter. But I have avoided because (a) it will make the appams hard (b) the sweet will have crispy edges whereas authentic appams are totally soft

Coconut Cheedai

A favorite snack of Tamilnadu made during Krishna Jeyanthi! One of the riskiest and complicated snack which is worth taking pains.

(From top left to bottom right in picture 1)

Urad dal powder-1/2 cup
Shredded coconut-3/4 cup
Rice flour-2 cups
Oil-1/2 litre
Butter-1 tbsp
Salt- 2tsp
Cumin seeds- 1 tsp
Asafoetida-1/2 tsp
Water as required


1. Soak 1/2 kg of raw rice in water; drain out all the water, dry and powder it. Or you can use ready made rice flour.
2. Roast a cup of urad dal and make fine powder out of it.
3. Sieve rice flour and dal powder and extract the fine flour. Do not allow any piece ofdal or rice or any coarse particle in the flour. Else, cheedai will burst while frying.
3.Mix the flour well along with butter, salt,asafoetida,cumin and enough water to get the consistency of chapathi dough.However do not make it very soft like chapathi dough.
4.Make small lemon sized balls from dough and deep fry until they turn golden brown.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Sakkara Pongal


Jaggery-1.5 cup
Rice-1 cup
Elaichi/Cardamom powder-1/4 tsp

Fry :
Ghee- 1 tbsp
1/2" Sliced coconut pieces

Cooking procedure:
1.Pressure cook rice in 2.5 cups of water until 2 whistles.
2.Soak jaggery in boiling water. Leave until all the jaggery dissolves well and starts to boil.
3.Now add the rice,cardamom powder and mix well.
4.Fry coconut,cashews and raisins until golden brown and add to the rice.
5.Leave the rice until all the water evaporates.

Lemon Rice

Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
Finely Chopped cilantro/coriander leaves
For tempering:
Urad dal
Curry leaves
Green chillies

To Fry:

Cooking procedure:
1. Pressure cook rice in 2 cups of water.
2.Squeeze lemon and add turmeric powder,salt to the cooked rice.
3.Temper and fry all the said ingredients and add to the rice.
4.Mix it well with the rice and garnish with finely chopped cilantro.

Yum Yum Curd Rice


Rice- 1 cup
Curd- 2 cups
Salt for taste
Coriander leaves/Cilantro for garnishing

For tempering:
Curry leaves
Chopped green chillies

To Fry:
Cashews & Raisins

Cooking procedure:
1.Pressure cook rice in 3 cups of water until 3 whistles.Give enough standing time .Rice should get mashed.
2.When rice cools down, add curd and salt.
3.Temper and fry all the said ingredients. Mix it with the cooked rice. Garnish with finely chopped cilantro.

*Ensure not to add much salt and the curd should not be sour.Sweet curd enhances the taste. Add curd only before serving or else the rice gets too dry.

Coconut Rice

Cooking time-20 mins


Rice-1 cup
Salt for taste
Hing for taste

For tempering:
Oil-1 tsp
Red Chillies-5
Curryleaves-1 spric
Urad dal-1 tsp
Mustard-1 tsp

For frying:
Grated coconut-2 tbsp
Oil- 2 tsp

Cooking procedure:
1. Cook rice in 2 cups of water until 2 whistles.
2.Temper all the said ingredients. Fry coconut in oil until it turns light brown and crispy. Fry cashews and raisins in oil too.Add this to cooked rice.
3.Splutter all the ingredients said for tempering. Add this to the rice.
4.Now add salt and hing and mix well. Do not stir much as it the rice will get broken and shapeless.

Pal Payasam/Rice kheer

Makes 4 cups
Cooking time -40 mins

Rice- 1/2 cup
Milk-5 cups
Sugar-3/4 cup
Cardamom /elaichi powder-1/2 tsp
Ghee, cashews and raisins-to garnish

Cooking procedure:

Pal payasam is a yummy dish which requires lot of attention to be cooked perfect. The perfect stage is where the payasam turns pinkish. This is my mother's recipe who is an adept cook.So how to get that pink color?

1.Cook rice in 2 cups of milk in a pressure cooker until 1 whistle. Keep the fire very low.
2.Open the cooker, add the rest of the milk,cardamom powder and stir well.Always cook in low flame.
3.Stir now and then for about 15 mins; the payasam slowly starts turning pink. Now add the sugar and cook for another 5-10 mins. Keep stirring in between. Roast cashews and raisins in ghee and garnish the payasam.

Dos & Donts:
1.Do not try to add water.
2. Always keep a minimum of 1:5 ratio for rice and milk.
3.Always cook in the lowest flame; else,the whole flavor will be lost and the payasam will get burnt.
4.Always have your attention on the kheer while cooking to avoid burning.
5.Do not add too much elaichi powder. It will spoil the taste if added more than adequate.
6.A pinch of saffron can be boiled in milk and can be added along with the second dose of milk.This will be an added flavor and color to the dish.

Bisibelabath/Sambar rice



Rice- 1 cup
Toor dal/Lentils- 3/4 cup
Small (pearl) onions -10
Tamarind- 1 small lemon size
Salt for taste
Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
Coriander leaves to garnish

To dry roast and powder:
Channa dal- 1 tbsp
Urad dal-3/4 tbsp
Coriander seeds-1 tsp
Fenugreek-1/2 tsp
Red chillies-10

For tempering:
Oil-1 tsp
Mustard- 1 tsp
Fenugreek-1/2 tsp
Red chillies-4
Curry leaves-1 sprig

Cooking procedure:
1. Cook rice and dal in 4 cups of water in a pressure cooker until it whistles twice
2.Dry roast and powder the said ingredients.Soak tamarind in water and extract the juice.
3.In a pan, temper the said ingredients,turmeric powder and fry the onions. Then add all the other vegetables, tamarind extract. Close the lid and allow the veggies to cook well.
4.Now add the ground powder adequate water and cook until it starts boiling. Take out a couple of scoops of this sambar and set aside.
5.Add the cooked rice and dal and mix well.Garnish with cilantro.
Bisibelebath will get dry and hard soon. Therfore before serving, pour the scoops of sambar set aside.

Guacamole dip


Onion-1/4 finely chopped
Cilantro/Coriander leaves for taste
Green chillies/Jalapeno peppers -1
Salt & pepper for taste

Cooking procedure:
1.Finely chop onion,cilantro and tomato.
2.Cut the avocado into half and take the seed out. Scoop the flesh of avocado using a spoon; leave the green skin.
3.Take a mixing bowl and mash the avocado flesh. Squeeze in the lemon juice, chopped onions,cilantro and chilly.Mix an mash well. If it is not mashing, use the blender.Add the reqwuired salt and pepper.
4.Refrigirate atleast for a couple of hours and garnish with the chopped tomatoes while serving.
Best when had with Tortilla(corn chips).

* Do not throw away the avocado seed. Immerse it in the mix while refrigirating. It is believed to preserve the dish from getting dark.



Plantain(Raw Banana) -1
Small Cucumber-1
Cluster Beans (Kothavarangai)-5 nos
Small Snake gourd-1/2
Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
Tamarind-very small lemon size
Salt for taste
Coconut oil-2 tbsp
Curry leaves

To grind:

Cummin seeds- 1/2 tsp
Green chillies -3
Grated Coconut -4 tbsp

Cooking Procedure:

Kerala avial:

1.Cut all the vegetables lengthwise like you cut for finger chips, say 3" long.
2. Cook all the vegetables in tamarind water for 10 mins.Add turmeric powder. Be sure to add very little tamarind water as the dish will get too watery. The main reason being the mix of all watery vegetables viz. cucumber,snake gourd,etc.
3.Grind the said ingredients with very little water.
4.Once the vegetables are cooked, add the ground paste, salt and mix well.
5.Temper curry leaves in coconut oil and pour on the dish, mix well.

The consistency should be thick and little dry if you want the avial to be very authentic.Ensure not to overcook veggies.The smell of coconut oil must be the highlight. Can use raw mango to the veg mix but avoid tamarind in that case.

Madras avial:

A slight variation in the mix of vegetables and ingredients. Ash gourd as a replacement to cucumber; yam will be an addition to the veg mix. Avoid turmeric and add a small cup of slightly sour thick curd in the end. Reduce the amount of coconut oil.

The consistency should always be thick in both the cases.