Friday, December 31, 2010

Eggless Chocolate wheat cake

I wanted to bake the plum cake and so bought all ingredients but it was my 11 year old ( will be 12 next month) who insisted on baking a chocolate cake and so he baked a delicious birthday cake.

Whole wheat flour ------ 1cup
Amul milk cream/ you can collect at home) ----- 1 cup
powdered sugar -------------- 1 cup
chocolate powder ----------- 1 table spoon
baking powder -------------- 1 tea spoon.


Sieve wheat flour and baking powder.
In a deep dish add cream, chocolate powder and powdered sugar and blend well.
Fold in the sieved wheat flour in the chocolate cream mixture and blend well.

Pour the mixture in a baking tray greased with butter and bake for 15 minutes(varies from oven to oven).

Instead of chocolate powder you can use 2 tablespoons of chocolate sauce.

Friday, December 24, 2010

sankar peda (thukkuda)

Fried spicy snack ideal for tea time/travel.

Wheat flour -------- 2 cups
Dry red chilli powder/ground pepper ----- 2 teaspoons (you can add more if you want it spicier)
Salt----------------- 2 tea spoons
Cooking medium (oil) for frying

Add chilli powder and salt to wheat flour and bind them to a pliable consistency( like chapatti dough).
Take a golf ball sized blob of dough and roll them flatly with a rolling pin like chappati.
Now take a knife or a cutter( specially available in shops) and cut them into square or diamond shapes.
Fry the pieces in pre heated oil till they turn golden brown.

Recipe courtesy and done by my mother-in-law

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Thiruvadhirai kali & ezhu thaan kootu

Kali is a mixture of rice and dal boiled with jaggery.Ezhu thaan kootu is a tangy spicy sauce made with a medley of 7 native indian vegetables. This is a complete whole some meal done as neivedhyam( offering to God) on Arudra Darisanam day/ Thiruvadhirai - a tamil festival dedicated to the dancing god - Nataraja.

Thiruvadirai Kali
Rice ------------ 1 cup
Moong dal ----- ¼ cup
Coconut gratings: 4 tablespoons
Cardomam powder: 1 spoon
Jaggery : 1 ¼ cup

Ghee and cashew nuts for garnishing


Dry roast raw rice in a kadai till it turns light brown. Grind it coarsely like Rava.
Dry roast moong dal till it turns light brown and mix it with rice rava.
Make a jaggery syrup by adding the jaggery to 2 cups of boiling water. As it boils, add cardomam powder, grated coconut and roasted rice and dal. Mix them and pressure cook to 4 whistles.
When done garnish with cashew nuts roasted in ghee.

Ezhu than kootu:

This is made of 7 Vegetables generally native vegetables like yam, colocassia, potato, sweet-potato, raw plaintain, broad beans, garden beans, cluster beans. We can add carrot, French beans, peas ,capsicum and other vegetables of our choice also.

Mixed vegetables cut into 1” strips --- 3 cups
Tamarind --- lemon sized
Boiled and mashed toor dal --- 1 cup
Salt , turmeric and asafoetida for seasoning

Spices to dry roast and grind:
Red chillies --- 6 nos
Channa dal --- 2 spoons
Coriander seeds --- 2 spoons
Cumin ------- ½ spoon
Coconut gratings ---- ¼ cup

Boil the vegetables along with salt and turmeric. To this add the tamarind extract and boil till the raw smell of tamarind fades.

Now add the ground masala and boiled tuvar dal one after another.

When done,sprinkle with asafoetida powder , garnish with spluttered mustard and curry leaf.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Eggless Carrot cake

I found this recipe in the sugar free natura recipe booklet. My 14 year old daughter baked this cake with certain variations and my help.

Carrots grated : 1/2 cup
apples grated : 1/2 cup
orange juice : 1/3 cup (I used tropicana)
sugar free sugar: 1 1/3 cup ( i used natura)
refined flour(maida) :1 1/2 cups
Baking powder : 3/4 teaspoon
Soda Bicarbonate: 3/4 teaspoon
cinnamon powder : 1 teaspoon
oil- 4 tablespoons

Grate apple and carrots in a bowl.
Add orange juice, diet sugar  and mix well.

Sieve refined flour, baking powder, soda bicarbonate together and then add somecinnamon powder. Fold the flour gently with the orange juice mixture. Finally  add oil and mix.

Put the batter into a greased baking dish and bake for twenty- five minutes or till done( It varies from oven to oven).
When cooled, cut into slices and serve.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pidi kozhakkatai

This is a traditional steamed tiffin item made with coarsely ground rice and dal.


Rice ----- 1 cup
Toordal---- 2 table spoons
Red chillies – 5 nos
Coconut gratings----- 3 table spoons
2 cups of water

For seasoning:

Mustard --- 1 teaspoon
Channadal --- 1 tea spoon
Curry leaf – 1 sprig
Oil for seasoning

Method: Grind rice, toor dal and redchillies coarsely (like rava)and keep aside.

Add two table spoons of oil in a preheated wok.

Add mustard. After the splutter, add channa dal. When channa dal turns golden brown, add curry leaf.

Now add 2 cups of water along with salt and a pinch of asafoetida.

When the water starts boiling, add the coarsely ground rava (rice,toordal and red chilli) and coconut gratings. Let it bind like a upma. Let it rest for sometime.

When slightly cool, take a fistful of upma and mould them into oval shaped dumplings with your fists (fists is pidi in tamil and hence the name pidi kozhakattai).

Steam them in a steamer or idli moulds.

Tastes good when served hot with coconut chutney/ it can be eaten plain.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Pori urundai

These are healthy sweet balls made of puffed rice and jaggery. This is specially done on Karthik purnima.

Puffed rice ---- 4 cups
Grated Jaggery --------- 1 cup
Coconut pieces ( cut into small0/ slivers of copra – ¼ cup
Dry ginger powder ------ 1 tea spoon
Cardomam powder ---- 1 teaspoon
Spread the puffed rice on a big plate and sprinkle the powder of ginger and elaichi.

To make jaggery syrup:
Boil the jaggery in a cup of water till you get a rolling consistency. Test the consistency by dropping a spoon of the syrup in water, it should not dissolve but when you remove the jaggerys syrup from water it should roll like a ball. To this syrup, add the coconut pieces.

Now add the syrup over the puffed rice spread on the plate and mix them, When still hot shape them
loosely into round balls. On cooling, the jaggery syrup will bind them together

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thengai poorna kozhakattai

Steamed sweet dumplings made with a filling of coconut and jaggery or Thenga poorna kozhakattai is specially made on ocassions like aadi velli and pillaiyar chaturthi( ganesh chaturthi). One of the most prominent feature of hindu festivals is the neivedyam and so this poorna kozhakattai is one of the neivedyam for Lord Ganesh. That said, each and every ritual has a spiritual significance cleverly hidden and embellished with a mythological story. Some of the sifnificance and reasoning  have diluted as it has travelled from one generation to another.

Now here is an interesting story on why this is offered to Ganesha and the significance behind it which was shared by a story teller.

 There is one story that fleetingly talks about how Anusuya, wife of Sage Atri fed a kozhukattai to Ganesha to appease his hunger since he wouldn’t stop eating, while Shiva, who was patiently waiting to be served, grew hungrier and hungrier watching his son polish off everything. Funnily, as soon as Anusuya fed Ganesha the kozhukattai, both he and Shiva burped 21 times in unison; Shiva suddenly felt full, thus establishing the standard number of kozhukkattais to be offered to Ganesha as 21. While it was an interesting story,
kozhukattai has two parts: the outer layer and the inner stuffing.” “The inner stuffing or poornam is like the Paramatma or God. The outer covering is the Jivatma or the individual. The outer rice flour cover is flavoured with salt – an allusion to our senses. We get distracted by material things because our senses operate all the time and forget about the spirit—the ultimate sweetness— that lies inside. By eating a kozhukattai, we submit to Ganesha that we will consciously move towards realizing the existence of the Paramatma or the poornam. In effect, we are the kozhukattais.”

Does'nt it make more sense to make the kozhakattais now...over to the recipe.

Ingredient ( for filling)

Gratings of one big coconut
Grated jaggery – ¾ cup
Cardomam powder – 1 teaspoon

Heat the above ingredients on a kadai over medium flame till the moisture evaporates and the ingredients bind together.

Ingredients for covering:

Processed rice flour: 1 cup
Water : 1 cup
Salt : 1 teaspoon
Gingelly oil : 1 teaspoon

In a deep vessel boil the water with salt and oil. When the water starts boiling add the rice flour slowly to the boiling water without forming lumps. The dough formed should be pliable.
Cover the vessel with a lid and allow the dough to rest.

After smearing your palms with gingelly oil, take a marble sized dough and mould them into small cups with the help of your fingers.

Fill the cups with the coconut filling and close them at the top by tapering like a cone. Mould the remaining modaks and steam them in an idli plate in cooker for 10 minutes.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Vella puttu

Vella puttu is a sweet delicacy made during ocassions.


1 cup of processed rice flour
(To prepare the processed rice- Wash raw rice and drain the excess water through colander. Dry the rice under shade . Grind the dry rice and roast the rice flour on low flame till it turns pale red)
¾ cup of jaggery.
Pinch of turmeric
Pinch of cardomam powder

To garnish: Roasted cashew nuts and dessicated coconut

To make jaggery syrup:

Boil the jaggery in a cup of water till you get a stringy consistency. When you drop the syrup in water it should not dissolve.


Sprinkle lukewarm water mixed with turmeric on the rice flour and mix well till you get scrambled rice flour( don’t bind the flour). Steam this flour in a cooker.

Allow the steamed flour to cool by laying it on a wide plate.

To the steamed flour, add cardomam powder and jaggery syrup and mix them lightly ( it should remain scrambled and should not be bound by the syrup)

You can now garnish it with roasted cashews and dessicated coconut powder.
The vella puttu is now ready.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Murunga keerai poriccha kootu

This is a thick gravy cooked with dal(lentils) and murunga keerai( drum stick leaves).

Murunga keerai ---- 2 bundles/ 4 cups of de stemmed leaves.
moong dal --- ½ cup
1 tea spoon of rice flour to thicken the gravy.

Ingredients to grind

Urad dal --- 2 table spoon
Dry red chilli --- 5 no’s
Cumin seeds ---- 1 tea spoon
Grated coconut ---- ½ cup
Black pepper corns – 1 spoon( if you desire it spicier)

For seasoning:
Mustard – 1 tea spoon
Urad dal – 1 teaspoon
1 sprig of curry leaf.


First destem the murungai leaves( drumstick). This can be easily done if the bundles are tied overnight in a wet cloth. In the morning the leaves are loosened from the main stem. Very importantly clean them well and remove the little twigs that may be present else this may get caught in the throat.

After washing them well, boil them with salt and turmeric. Keep this aside. To this add the boiled moong dal.

Roast urad dal, red chilli cumin seeds and pepper corn in a teaspoon of oil. When cool grind them with coconut and add this to the cooked keerai and boil them.
While the gravy has boiled well, add a spoonful of rice flour mixture to thicken the gravy.Allow it to boil for some more time.

In a small wok, add a teaspoon of oil and splutter mustard, urad dal and curry leaf.
Add this garnishing to the kootu.

We can substitute murunga keerai with vegetables like chow-chow,snake gourd, cucumber, cabbage, cluster beans,garden beans,pumpkin, ridge gourd or any greens( keerai) like ponnanganni keerai etc.,

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


A fried sweet patty made with processed rice flour and jaggery syrup.


Processed rice flour ------- 1 cup (see the procedure to make the processed rice flour at the bottom of this post)
Jaggery --------------------3/4 cup
Elaichi powder a pinch (optional)
quantity of water enough to immerse the jaggery.
cooking medium to fry

Though the ingredients looks simple the process of making rice flour is slightly laborious and the jaggery syrup should be to the right consistency.


First boil jaggery with little water in a thick bottomed pan on a mild flame. When it dissolves, filter the syrup to remove the impurities. Now boil the mixture till you obtain a mild syrupy consistency. To check the consistency, add a pinch of syrup into cold water. When removed from water the syrup should roll like a ball.(the syrup should not dissolve in water)

Now add this jaggery syrup into processed rice flour and mix them to make a dough .

Smear oil on you palm and take a blob of dough and pat into small circles and deep fry them in preheated oil.

Just flip them and remove immediately, if you want it softer and light brown in color.(I like it softer)

To make crisper and brown adhirasam, pat them thinly and deep fry till they turn brown.

Tip: The rice and jaggery dough can be stored outside and can be patted and fried the next day also. This has a shelf life of 10-15 days.(the dough requires no refridgeration)

Method to make processed rice flour:

This is the base flour for making traditional tamil sweet called adhirasam.

Raw rice is washed well and the excess water is drained through a colander. After a resting time of 30 minutes, the wet rice is spread on a clean cloth like dhoti and dried under shade. After an hour when the rice is lightly moist, It is ground finely in a mixer. This slightly moist rice flour is then used according to the required measure.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Ulundu vadai

Ulundu vadai are doughnut shaped fritters made from urad dal. They are also called medu vadai.


1 cup of urad dal
Salt to taste
Optional ingredients:
2/3 green chillies ( suit your taste)
finely cut pieces of Ginger (stem—1/2 inch)
Cabbage(shredded)/finely cut onions
Asafoetida - a pinch
Curry leaf 1 sprig
a teaspoon of pepper powder(if you want it spicier)
Oil for frying.


Soak Urad dal for just 1/2 hour before grinding.

Grind urad dal in a grinder without adding much water( if you must, sprinkle some ice cold water). When it doubles up in quantity and has a fluffier consistency , transfer the contents to a dish. Now, mix the optional ingredients according to your taste.

Heat the required amount of oil in a deep frying pan.

To pat the vadas ( this comes with expertise)
Wet your hands , then take a blob of dough and pat on an oiled plastic cover and mark with a hole in the middle. Remove it from the plastic cover and release it into hot oil. Fry them till they turn golden brown.

Alternatively you can wet your fingers, take a blob and with the help of your thumb finger push the blob over the other fingers and pat them, make a hole and release them into the oil.

Tips for making crispy vadas:

Fry the vadas till they are half done( light golden color).
Remove them from oil.
After frying the successive batches, fry the cooled half done vadas once again till they turn golden brown. This makes the vadas crispy. The secret of crispy vadas also lies in grinding the vada batter. The air trapped in the bubbles of the batter ,while grinding in the grinder lends its crunch. Avoid using mixie for grinding if us want crispy vadas.

You can also add a table spoon of rice flour to the batter if it is watery. This too makes it crispier.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


Thattai are flat, disc shaped savoury. These are also called nippat.


Processed rice flour ---- 1 cup( see below how to make processed rice flour)
Roasted urad dal flour--- 1 spoon
Jeera ----- 2-3 teaspoon
Butter ---- 50 gms
soaked channa dal----- 1 spoon
white til(sesame seeds)--- 1 spoon (optional)
crushed roasted peanuts(optional) - 1tablespoon
Salt and asafoetida to taste

(if you want it spicier you can add 1 tea spoon of chilli powder/black pepper powder)


Mix all the above ingredients with butter and enough water to make a tight dough.
Take a big marble sized dough and pat them into circles (dia of 2inch).
Transfer them on to a paper/white cloth to absorb excess moisture.

Fry the circular patterns and flip them both sides in cooking medium. Remove from the oil when the hissing sound drowns. When cool, store them in air tight containers.

Processed rice flour:
This is the base flour for making traditional tamil savories like thattai, kai suttu murukku, cheedai and a sweet called adhirasam.
Raw rice is washed well and the excess water is drained through a colander. After a resting time of 30 minutes, the wet rice is spread on a clean cloth like dhoti and dried under shade. After an hour when the rice is still wet, It is ground finely in a mixer. This wet rice flour is then roasted lightly on an wok. It can be stored in air tight containers when dry and can be used as and when required.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Vella cheedai

Vella cheedai is the sweeter version of cheedai . Vellam in tamil is jaggery.

Processed rice flour ----1/2kg( see below how to make processed rice flour)
Jaggery water ----- 375 gms of jaggery dissolved in 1 cup of water
Roasted urad dal flour--- 2 table spoon
Small pieces of coconut ---- 1 ladle (optional)
Butter ---- lemon size
Cardamom powder for flavour

Mix all the above ingredients with butter and jaggery water to make a dry scrambled dough. Make marble sized balls of even size and fry them in cooking medium. Remove from the oil when it turns slightly brown. When cooled, the cheedai’s are crispy.

Processed rice flour:
This is the base flour for making traditional tamil savories like thattai, kai suttu murukku, cheedai and a sweet called adhirasam.
Raw rice is washed well and the excess water is drained through a colander. After a resting time of 30 minutes, the wet rice is spread on a clean cloth like dhoti and dried under shade. After an hour when the rice is still wet, It is ground finely in a mixer. This wet rice flour is then roasted lightly on an wok. It can be stored in air tight containers when dry and can be used as and when required.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Uppu Cheedai

Uppu Cheedai is a marble sized fried savoury especially made on Krishna Jayanthi. Vella cheedai is the sweeter version made with jaggery.

Processed rice flour ----1/2kg( see below how to make processed rice flour)
Roasted urad dal flour--- 1 ladle
Gratings of coconut ---- 1 ladle (optional)
Soaked channa dal ---- 1 table spoon
Jeera ----- 2-3 teaspoon
Butter ---- lemon size(50 gms)
Salt and asafoetida to taste

Mix all the above ingredients with butter and sprinking of water to make a scrambled dough. Make small marble sized balls of even size and fry them in cooking medium.

Note: If the dough is watery , the cheedais are likely to burst while frying, also while making the balls ensure all are of the same size.

Processed rice flour:
This is the base flour for making traditional tamil savories like thattai, kai suttu murukku, cheedai and a sweet called adhirasam.
Raw rice is washed well and the excess water is drained through a colander. After a resting time of 30 minutes, the wet rice is spread on a clean cloth like dhoti and dried under shade. After an hour when the rice is still wet, It is ground finely in a mixer. This wet rice flour is then roasted lightly on an wok. It can be stored in air tight containers when dry and can be used as and when required.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

kai suttu murukku

Kai suttu murukku – These savoury patterns are made with hand and not in an extruder, hence the name kai suttu murukku which means "hand twisted murukku".

Kai suttu murukku reminds me of summer vacation at my grandparents home in Chennai. All of us cousins from various parts of India would descend for vacations to my grandparents home at Mylapore in chennai. To keep the brood of 10 growing kids was a huge task for our patti. She would make tins and tins of snacks and sweets in the wooden almirah which had a net door. When we wanted to snack in between our games while playing in the terrace( mottai maadi) , we  would rush down  the stairs and stand panting  in front of the netted door and one of our elders would reach out to the tin kept above to dole out sweets like adirasam, scoops of  jackfruit halwa and savories. One of the savory was kai suttu murukku. Patti would make the rice flour from scratch by soaking in water for a while, drying it on a veshti (dhoti) in the shade, pounding it and then roasting the flour lightly, the process was laborius and she did it so diligently, it was more like worship. Extruding this murukku is another art which comes only with practice.

Processed rice flour ----1/2kg( see below how to make processed rice flour)
Roasted urad dal flour--- 4 spoons
Jeera ----- 2-3 teaspoon
Butter ---- 50 gms
Salt and asafoetida to taste

Mix all the above ingredients with butter and enough water to make a pliable dough.
On a non-sticky surface like plastic paper/cloth make small twisted patterns in a circle with the help of your thumb and fore finger. ( This is an art and comes only with practice). The cloth/newspaper helps absorb the excess water.


Fry the circular patterns and flip them both sides in cooking medium. Remove from the oil when the hissing sound drowns. When cool, store them in air tight containers.

Processed rice flour:

This is the base flour for making traditional tamil savories like thattai, kai suttu murukku, cheedai and a sweet called adhirasam.
Raw rice is washed well and the excess water is drained through a colander. After a resting time of 30 minutes, the wet rice is spread on a clean cloth like dhoti and dried under shade. After an hour when the rice is still wet, It is ground finely in a mixer. This wet rice flour is then roasted lightly on an wok. It can be stored in air tight containers when dry and can be used as and when required.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Neivedhyam to Sri Krishna

The below items are neivedhyam offered to Lord krishna yesterday on Krishna Jayanthi. Kai suttu murukku, thattai, cheedai,vella cheedai, vella avul,vella appam, payasam, vennai, thayir, pal and assorted fruits. All favorites of Lord Krishna. Done with lot of care and devotion(prepared after having bath and fasting by reciting prayers while preparation) by mother in law and ably assisted by shreya and sharun.

The coming blogs will feature the preparation of the above items. the base flour is processed rice flour.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Vatthal kuzhambu

Vathal kuzhambu is a spicy and tangy thick sauce which tastes good when mixed with plain rice. Vathals are sun dried vegetables usually made with sundakkai, manathakkali, brinjal, lady’s finger, cluster beans etc. Generally vathal kuzhambu tastes better when done in kal chatti(stone vessel)

(Vatthal kuzhambu in kal chatti along with fried sundakkai)

Tamarind pulp extracted from 1 golf ball sized tamarind.
Sambar powder ---------- 2 table spoon
Salt to taste
Marble sized Jaggery (optional)
Mustard ----- 1 tea spoon
Fenugreek seeds --- 1 teaspoon
Curry leaf --- 1 sprig
A piece of asafetida/powder
Vathal of sundakkai/manathakkali
Gingelly oil--- 2 table spoons

First fry the vathals in a Kadai and remove them from the oil. Keep the fried vathals aside.

In the same oil splutter mustard seeds, then add fenugreek seeds and curry leaves.
To this add sambar powder, immediately pour the tamarind juice and allow it to boil.Season it with salt.

The consistency of the dish should not be too watery/ thick. If it is thick add water and boil. If it is thin, then thicken it with 1 spoon of rice flour paste.

We can substitute vathals with chopped onions or fresh vegetables like drumstick,pumpkin,brinjal.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Urulai roast (my appa's recipe)

Urulaikizhangu is potato in tamil.

Urulaikizhangu roast in an Iron wok


Potatoes ------1/2 Kg
Curd ----1/4cup
Chilli powder ---2 tea spoon/according to your taste
Turmeric powder ------ 1/2 tea spoon
Salt ---- to taste
Powdered asafoetida----- a pinch
Sugar ----- 1 teaspoon
Cooking medium --- 2 table spoon


First boil the potatoes,chop them and keep aside.

Mix chilli powder,turmeric,asafoetida,salt and sugar in curd and blend them well.

Marinate the chopped potatoes in the blended mix for ½ hour.

Heat the wok with two table spoon of cooking medium.

Drop the marinated potatoes in the heated wok and fry them till it turns brown.

Tastes good when done in an Iron wok.

Variation: Instead of dicing the potatoes, you can try it with mashed potatoes. This is a recipe customized by my dad who loves cooking. My son has voted this as the ‘ World’s best potato curry’ and he says it tastes good only when his thatha (grand pa) makes this.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Mani Gulab salad & Mango (leaves) tea

Here are two recipes which I have noted from "Theneer neram'- a cookery show which i saw on Podhigai(tamil) channel. These recipes were demonstrated by S.R. Kishore kumar.

Mani Gulab Salad (immunizes you from cold and cough)


Petals of paneer rose ( not the regular rose) ------1/2 cup(good for internal organs(heart,lungs,kidney) keeps the skin radiant and is a good toner.

Ripe manathakkali ------ 15-20 fruits (cures mouth ulcer,good digestive aid)For more info on Manathakkali see here

Yogurt ------------ 1 cup( thick curd to be filtered in a muslin cloth and the residue is to be used)

Honey /Jaggery syrup

Paneer rose petals to be mixed with yogurt and blended well. To this add the honey syrup and sprinkle with ripe manathakkali.

(Note well: Don't use the regular rose petals, it might be coated with pesticides. Wash the petals thoroughly)

The above salad immunizes you against cold and coughs.

The second recipe is a hot concoction of mango leaves,tulsi and green tea which is rich in anti-oxidants.

Mango Green tea

Tender mango leaves ------- 1 tea spoon(kills bacteria, helps to regain stamina post fever)

Tulsi leaves ------------------ 5-6 leaves

Green tea --------------------- ½ teaspoon

Panam karkand/palm sugar( catch its properties here)

Boil 1 cup of water, to this add the mango leaves and allow it to boil for 5 minutes and switch off the stove.
Now add tulsi leaves & green tea. Cover it with a lid for 2 minutes.

Filter the tea and sweeten it with cane sugar

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Kothamalli rasam

Kothamalli is coriander in Tamizh and rasam is soup


A bunch of coriander with stem (chop the roots and clean the coriander under running water)
Garlic (optional) ---3 pods
Ginger ------------- ½ inch
Tomatoes --------- 1 big (add more if you want it tangier)
Juice extracted from marble sized tamarind
Pepper powder ---- 1 Table spoon (can add more if you want it spicier)
Roasted Cumin Powder ---- 1tea spoon

For seasoning

Ghee ----1 spoon
Cumin seeds ---1 teaspoon
Salt to taste

Grind fresh coriander, garlic,ginger and tomatoes together into a fine paste.

Transfer the paste along with tamarind water into a dish. Heat them till the raw smell of the ingredients fade.

Now add 2-3 cups of water to the rasam and bring them to boil till it froths up.

Add the pepper, cumin powder , Salt and asafoetida (hing) and boil them for just a minute or two.

Close the dish with a lid so that the vapours are not let out. The pepper and Cumin will infuse their flavor into the rasam

Season the rasam with jeera spluttered in ghee.

This is a healthy easy to make rasam for the rainy season, especially builds immunity for children and keeps away colds and coughs.

Tastes good with rice and ghee or it can be served like a soup.

You can variate by replacing tamarind with lemon. But in this case the lemon juice should be added in the end along with pepper and cumin powder, If you boil lemon juice it will leave behind its bitterness.

N.B: Photo shows kothamalli rasam in Iya chombu(an alloy of lead and silver). Traditionally tamizh households prepare rasam in an iya chombu since the vessel imparts traces of the metal silver.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pal poli

Pal poli is puri dipped in sweetened milk (pal)

The procedure for making puris is just like jeera poli.(previous post)

To make thickened milk

Milk ---1/2 litre
Sugar ---200 gms

Boil milk ,add sugar and cardamom . Boil the mixture till the sugar dissolves and the milk thickens to 1/2 the quantity. Dip the puri into the the sweetened milk. Lay them on a plate.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Jeera poli

Jeera poli are puris dipped in sugar syrup(jeera).

Ingredients: (for puri)
Rava --- 1 cup
Maida( refined flour)---- 1 ladle
A pinch of salt
oil for frying

Mix all the ingredients with water and bind them to the chappati dough consistency.
After a resting period o f ½ hour, Roll them into small puris and fry them in cooking medium.

Ingredients (for sugar syrup)

Sugar --- 3 cups
Water ---1 cup

Add 3 cups of sugar to 1 cup of water , boil them to make sugar syrup. Flavour the syrup with cardamom powder/ any food essence (like rose)of your choice.

Now dip the fried puri into the sugar syrup till it coats both the sides of the puri.

Lay out the dipped puris on a plate. Store them in containers once it is cooled.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Thengai poli

Poli is a tamil sweet made like paratha and filled with coconut and jaggery.This is specially made on Tamil new year day. The fillings can vary according to one's choice.

Following is the recipe of Thengai poli


Gratings of 1 coconut(called thengai in tamil)
Fried grams ----200 gms
Jaggery --------200gms

First grind the coconut gratings in a mixer finely.Now add the powdered jaggery into the mixer and blend them well.
Now in a big wok, Add the ground jaggery and coconut mixture. To this add the finely ground fried grams. Blend them on a very low heat for 5 minutes. For flavor, add some cardamom powder and mix them well.

For making poli

Maida ---- ¼ kg
Pinch of turmeric and salt.
Mix them with water and bind them to chappati dough consistency. Rest the dough for ½ hour.

Now take a plaintain leaf( clean plastic paper). Grease the leaf, take the dough ( amla size) and pat them flat, now add the required filling according to the patted size, fold the filling and shape like a ball. Now grease the fingers and pat the filled ball to the required size.

Now transfer the patted poli on to a heated tava and roast them till both sides are done.

Top them with ghee and serve hot.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Manga - vepampoo pacchidi (Tamil new year special)

This is a special pacchidi prepared specially on Tamil new year day. This recipe is supposed to contain all the 6 tastes - sweet( jaggery),sour(mango), bitter(neem-flower),salt, pungent(mustard) and astringent( asafoetida/hing).

Partaking this pacchidi on new year symbolises that our life is also filled with all these tastes.


fresh vepampoo( neem flowers) --- 1 teaspoon
Raw(sweet-sour) mango ------------------------ 1/2 slice
jaggery --------------------------- size of a lemon
mustard ---------1/2 teaspoon
dry red chilli ----- 2 nos
pinch of asafoetida


Boil the jaggery in 1 cup of water till it dissolves. Filter the water. To this add the chopped raw mango pieces, salt and boil till the mango gets softer.

Now take an iron wok, add 2 teaspoon of oil, when it heats up, add mustard, once the mustard crackles, add dry red chilli pieces

Add the tempering to the mango -jaggery mixture, and sprinkle with hing powder.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Inji sorasam ( Ginger -lime herbal drink)


Ginger(inji)--- 2” piece
Coriander seeds---1 teaspoon
Cumin seeds --- 1 teaspoon
juice of a halved lemon
honey ---- 1 table spoon or according to taste

Peel ginger and chop finely. Put all the ingredients in a mixer and grind them .
Now add 2 glasses of water to the ground paste and boil them nicely.
When warm, filter the boiled juice, add juice of ½ lemon and 1 tablespoon honey to the mixture.

This is the kitchen medicine my MIL treats my children with. It cleanses the system and acts as an appetizer for kids who are fussy eaters.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Multi-purpose batter

My north Indian friends are used to making idlis with Idli rava and dosa’s with the ready made batter. I shared the recipe of idli and dosa, made by my mother-in-law with them. Now they rave about the fluffier idli’s and moist dosa’s they make.

Here is the recipe, the way my mother-in-law makes.

Ingredients: (serves 4)

Parboiled rice/ Idli rice – 4 cups
whole de-skinned urad dal ----3/4 cup
1 table spoon methi seeds (optional)
Salt to taste

Soak the above ingredients separately (except salt) for atleast 6 hours.
Grind the methi seeds first in a grinder.
Then add urad dal into the grinder and grind till it doubles in quantity. The grinding of the urad dal determines the softness of the idlis, so the urad dal should be ground in the grinder till it gets foamier.
After this , remove the batter from the grinder. Now add the soaked rice into the grinder and grind it finely .
Put all the batter together ,add crystal salt/table salt and mix the batter well .
Allow it to ferment overnight in a tall container, other wise due to fermentation, there is a chance of spill over of the batter.
Next morning, the batter ferments and raises to the top of the vessel.
On the first day, ladle out the fermented batter into the idli moulds to get softer idlis.
Crisp dosa’s can be made on the second day, though this is not advisable for tiffin box, since they get dried because of crispness. It is best savoured from the griddle to the plate. So slightly thicker version can be made for tiffin box.
On the third day, thick dosa’s called uttappam’s can be made. We can make variations of uttapams by changing the toppings like onion uttappam, tomato uttapam, vegetable uttapam etc.,
On the fourth day, you may be left with some batter. To this batter, add chopped onions, grated carrots(optional), chopped coriander, chillies and curry leaf. Add 1 teaspoon of channa dal(optional).
Mix well. Spoon the batter / pour into appam moulds to make kuzhi paniyaram.
With one batter, we can enjoy many tiffins through the week.

The above food items are any time meal. It can be eaten for breakfast/lunch or dinner.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Yennai kathrikkai ( stuffed brinjals)

Yennai kathrikkai literally means oiled brinjals. Tender round brinjals (purple variety) small in size are partially slit (one slit from top and another from bottom perpendicular to the top slit). This way it will have 4 slits in all and still be held together as a whole. These are filled with a special spice made exclusively for this and then cooked in oil in an iron Kadai. Now to the recipe...


Tender brinjals( small and round) --1/2 Kg
3 table spoons gingelly oil (for roasting)

For the filling( spices to be ground)
Channa dal ---2 tea spoon
Coriander seeds --- 2 tea spoon
Dry red chilli ----5 nos(if you want it spicier increase the quantity)


Roast the filling ingredients in one teaspoon oil.

When cool, grind the above ingredients with turmeric powder and crystal salt( acc to your taste)

Fill the above powder in the slits of the brinjal on either side.

Now add 2 table spoons of oil in an Iron Kadhai.
When the oil reaches smoking point, add the filled brinjals and roast them up till done.

Alternatively you can arrange the filled brinjals in a microwave dish and micro it on combination of grill and cook for 10 minutes ( this requires no oil)

Cooking tips: When done in an Iron kadhai it gives a grilled effect( you can use non-stick kadhai also)

Don't toss them up often when it is getting cooked, The brinjals being tender are likely to break.

neivedhyam to Lord Rama

It is the beginning of summer and according to the tamil calender, the month of panguni and today is punarpusam star, navami thithi (9th day) - Indians celebrate this day as a festival to mark the birth of maryada purshottam - Lord Rama. The food offered to the lord after pooja is called neivedhyam. The Neivedhyam offered is panagam(sweet juice) and neer more( diluted butter milk)


Jaggery (Powdered) - 1 Cup.
Water - 3 Cups
lemon juice of 1 lemon
Dried ginger (Powdered) - 1 ½ Tsp.
Cardamom (Crushed) - 2 Nos.
a pinch of edible camphor (optional)


Mix the jaggery in water and dissolve it well. Filter the jaggery water to remove the impurities present in jaggery. Add lemon juice, dried ginger powder, Cardamom and edible camphor. Mix this well. Serve chilled.

This can be served as a welcome drink to quench the thirst and cool the system in the hot summer months.

NEER MORE ( diluted butter milk)


1 Cup thick butter milk
3 cups water
dry ginger powder - 1 tea spoon
asafoetida ( according to taste)
salt ( according to taste)

for seasoning
2 tea spoon - cooking oil
1 tea spoon - mustard
a sprig of curry leaf.

In a deep pan, churn the butter milk with the help of a wooden churner/hand blender. Keep adding the water and turn the churner on till it dilutes and mixes well. Now add ginger powder, salt and asafoetida and churn again till all mix well.

In a small wok, add some oil, when it heats up - add mustard seeds. After it splutters add the mustard seeds to the butter milk. Top it with crushed curry leaves.

Chill it and serve.

Drink lots of panagam and neer more and beat the heat.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Home made pizza

Today shreya and sharun baked an excellent pizza . They tried to make the pizza base themselves, of course with my help. Sharun found the recipe of the pizza base from NICK jr. site. We customized the recipe by adding our own variations and measure.

Ingredients(for base)
1. 1 cup maida
2. 1/4 tsp. salt
3. 1/4 cup warm water
4. 1/4 tbsp. sugar
5. 1/4 packet active dry yeast
6. 2 tbsp olive oil

To make home made pizza base:

STEP 1: Combine the flour and the salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Combine the warm water and sugar in a liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Pour the water and oil into the food processor and process until the mixture becomes a ball.
STEP 2: Remove the dough from the food processor and place on lightly floured work surface. Knead slightly until smooth. Place in an oiled bowl and let rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes.
STEP 3: Punch down the dough and let rise for another 45 minutes
STEP 4: Roll the base, mark it with fork and micro on combi 2 for 2 minutes(high)

For toppings:

1 cup each of cubed tomato, yellow, red and green bell pepper, shredded onions.

2 cups of mozzarella cheese gratings, pizza sauce and seasonings in accordance with personal taste.

When you're ready to add toppings, smear pizza sauce on the baked pizza base.
Sprinkle cheese and arrange vegetables as per your choice and sprinkle again with cheese.
Transfer the base to the grill rack and grill for 2 minutes / till the cheese melts.
Take out the pizza and season it with chilli flake/oregano according to your taste.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

kar adai

Today is karadaiyan nonbu.So today's festival recipe is adai. It has two variations, sweet and salt.

Vella adai(sweet)

Proceessed rice flour -- 4 cups
karamani(lentil beans)(Lobia in hindi) ---1/2 - 3/4 cups
1/2 cup of coconut pieces(cut into small pieces)
jaggery - 4cups
cardomam---10- 12

To process the rice:
First rinse the rice well and after draining the water, dry it on a cloth in the shade for 2 hours. Let there be some moisture. Grind it finely now in a mixie and sieve well.Lightly fry the sieved flour on a thick bottomed pan sauteing constantly till the dampness goes. The lightly fried flour is the processed rice flour

1. Pressure cook the lentil beans.
2. Add 2 cups of water to the jaggery and heat it on gas. When it melts, filter the syrup.
3. Now take the syrup and heat it and add coconut pieces, karamani, cardamom and slowly add the processed rice flour and keep stirring till it thickens like chapati dough.
4. When it cools, pat them like small adai's and steam them.

For Karaadai or uppu adai( salted and spiced)

processed rice flour-- 1 cup
mustard: 1 teaspoon
urad dal: 2 teaspoon
finely chopped coconut pieces 2 table spoon
ginger - 1 inch piece
paste of green chilli - 2 teaspoon
asafoetida -- 1/2 teaspoon
a hand ful of karamani
salt to taste
oil -- 1 tablespoon

take oil in a kadai, when it is heated.

Add mustard after it splutters, add urad dal, when it browns add green chilli paste, grated ginger . now add 2 cups of water. To this, add coconut pieces, boiled karamani, asafoetida, salt and curry leaf. When the water is boiling, add the processed rice flour till it becomes like chapati dough.When it cools, pat them like adai's and steam them.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

rasam powder


Dry red chillies -- 100gms
coriander seeds(dhania)---50 gms
black pepper------50 gms
cumin seeds ------50 gms
toovar dal ----25 gms
turmeric powder ---50gms

Grind all the above ingredients coarsely(without roasting).The coarsely ground powder should be stored in an airtight container for use. It has a shelf life of two months.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Traditional tamil iyer sambar powder

Traditional sambar powder used in Tamil iyer cooking.


Dry red chilllies ¼ kg
coriander seeds 100gm
channa dal 50 gms
toovar dal 50gms
urad dal- 50gms
pepper 50 gms
fenugreek seeds 25 gms
sticks of turmeric (or) turmeric powder 50gms


Except red chillies, dry roast all the above ingredients separately till it turns light brown in a kadai (without oil).

Roast red chillies in a kadai separately along with 2 spoons of til oil (gingelly)
Allow them to cool and then grind it in a flour mill near your home. It can also be ground in a mixie but in that case it is advisable to use only turmeric powder and not turmeric sticks.

recipe courtesy: Parvatham patti

My grandfather who was an engineer by profession was also a great cook. He also used to make a tasty sambar powder. The only variation he used to the above was he used to dry roast mustard and curry leaves and add it to the above ingredients.

When stored in airtight containers it has a shelf life of one year, but we make it every fortnight at home since it will be fresh and the aroma is not lost.