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.