Friday, December 30, 2011

Christmas fruit cake


1 tin(400g) condensed milk
100g butter
1/2cup(75g) sugar
1/3 cup(50)ml warm water
2 cups(200g) maida
1 tbsp baking powder
1tbsp soda bicarbonate
1/2tbsp cinnamon powder
1/2 tbsp nutmeg powder
1 1/2 cups, chopped(150g) mixed dry fruits( cashew nuts, almonds, walnuts, cherries, orange peel)
150 ml aerated soda

Step1: Preheat oven to 180 deg c, grease and dust with maida an 8" dia round cake tin. Heat sugar in a pan till it melts and becomes brown, add warm water to make caramel syrup and keep aside. Sift together the maida, baking powder, soda bicarbonate, cinnamon and nutmeg, 2-3 times. Mix 1 tbsp maida into the chopped fruit to coat the fruit.
                                                             Dry fruits dusted in maida

                                                                        caramel syrup

STEP2: soften butter in a pan; mix in condensed milk. Fold in the sifted maida with the milkmaid- butter mixture, alternating with aerated soda and caramel syrup till all are used. Add the chopped dry fruits, fold into the mix carefully.

STEP3: Pour the batter into the greased cake tin and bake for an hour at 180 deg c or till the cake is done. Remove from oven, cool for a while. Loosen sides of cake and turnout onto a plate. Cool Slightly before cutting into pieces

REcipe courtesy: Nestle milkmaid.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Green peas Paratha/kachori

A tasty and nutritious paratha for school tiffin box, packed with goodness of peas and multigrain atta. When rolled to small diameter can be fried in oil to make peas kachori for evening tea time.


For outer covering:
Multigrain atta(wheat, jowar, chickpeas and ragi) - 3 cups
salt to taste
Knead them to a pliable dough and allow it to rest for some time(min 1/2 hour)

For filling:
Fresh green peas : 2 cups
garlic - 4 nos
ginger paste/powder - 1/2 teaspoon
dhania powder - 2 teaspoon
redchilli powder -- 11/2 teaspoon or finely cut green chilli
amchur powder( 1 teaspoon) or lime juice - 1 table spoon
butter( for parathas) or oil for frying(kachori)

Method:For filling

Boil green peas with garlic.

Puree them in a blender.

To the peas puree, add all the above spice powders and mix them well. If the puree is watery, thicken the puree by sauteeing in a little oil to make it into a solid lump.

To make parathas:

Roll a golf ball sized dough into a roti of small size. Place an appropriate quantity of filling in the middle. Fold it from all sides and remove the excess dough at the top. Now pat them and roll it into the required diameter and roast them on a tawa till it gets cooked. Brush it up with butter on both sides and it is ready to be packed in the tiffin box.

To make Kachoris: For the kachoris, follow the above method, only instead of rolling it into a bigger dia, make it smaller to 2" dia and fry them in oil.

Tastes good without any accompaniment, if you still want an accompaniment, have it with mint chutney or tomato sauce.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Kothamalli thokku

Kothamalli is coriander and thokku is a saucy pickle. It can be mixed with rice or as an accompaniment to idli, dosa, roti etc. It also can be used as a bread spread.


Kothamalli( coriander) washed under running water,drained and chopped - 3 cups
tamarind juice 2 table spoon or juice of one tangy tomato.
ginger - 1" piece chopped (optional)
red chilli powder - 1 table spoon Or according to the degree of spiciness can be increased or decreased.
asafoetida - 1/2 teaspoon
turmeric powder - 1/2 teaspoon
salt to taste
Gingelly oil -- 3 table spoon

Grind coriander, tamarind and ginger in a mixer.

Heat a kadai and add gingelly oil, when it reaches smoking point,Add the ground mixture and saute for a while in the oil.
Now add turmeric, asafoetida and redchilli powder.
When the sauce bubbles add salt and allow it to boil till the sauce leaves the sides and the oil
floats to the top.

Allow the mixture to cool and transfer it to a clean dry container.

Has a shelf life of more than 3 months when cooked in oil properly and stored in an airtight container.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Pidi karanai masiyal

Pidi karanai is a traditional tuber available only in few places. It belongs to the yam family, just the size of your fists(pidi in tamil) and hence called pidi karanai. It gives a itchy feeling in your throat when not cooked properly, hence very important to remove the itchy property by adding tamarind juice or lemon juice.


Pidikaranai - 10 nos
tamarind pulp - 3 tablespoon
Green chilli - 3 no's chopped
ginger -------- 1" chopped
salt to taste
mustard and urad dal for seasoning.
coconut gratings for garnishing


Boil and peel the pidi karanais. mash them when cool and keep aside.

In a kadai, add little oil and allow mustard and urad dal to splutter
follow it with sauteing green chilli and ginger.

Now add the tamarind pulp and little water to the kadai and let it simmer till it looses its raw smell.
To this mixture, add the mashed pidi karanai and simmer on for a few seconds till all the ingredients blend together.

Garnish with curryleaf/coriander and grated coconut. Serve with rice as an accompaniment or for chappati. I love having this by itself.

variation: can be alternatively cooked with lemon juice instead of tamarind extract.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Mahali kizhangu

Mahali kizhangu is a rhizome usually available in the market this season. It has medicinal properties and smells good. It is pickled with curd and is a good accompaniment for curdrice, rasam or for sambar rice. The elders in my family pickle this and unfortunately when i ask them for the exact measure of the ingredients, they say 'Ivvaluvu'( approximately) and show their hand measure. This comes by practice and is called 'kai thittam' or 'kan thittam' meaning approx. measure. I am roughly rounding the measure here.

The tubers brought from the market has to be immersed in water overnight. Next day morning, scrap the outer layer and then chop them to pieces. They have a thick stick like vein which should not be included. The cut pieces will oxidise on exposure to air, so advisable to put in water till pickling.


chopped Mahali kizhangu --- 1 cup
salt ------------ 1 1/2 teaspoon
haldi ------------ 1 teaspoon
fresh thick curd ---- enough to coat the cup of mahali kizhangu
green chillies ---- 4-5 nos.


Mix haldi,salt, slit green chillies and fresh thick curd with the mahalikizhangu and allow it to marinate for two days.

After two days, the mixture will release water and the rhizome will soak in the flavours. At this stage,if required, you can add one more cup of curd and toss them well. This is now ready for use.

My mom's variation and speciality:
*you can even add 1 teaspoon of ground mustard to the above mixture.
*you can add chopped lemons, green pepper corns and manga inji(mango ginger)along with mahalikizhangu.

Store it in an air-tight jar.

Enjoy it with curdrice, rasam or sambar rice.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Deepavali marundhu/legiyam

This is a herbal concoction and signature dish specially done during diwali. It aids in digestion and keeps us away from all the tummy troubles that could arise on eating the various sweets and savories during diwali.


Pepper - 2 teaspoon
jeera - 3 tea spoon
ajwain - 3 teas poon
coriander seeds - 1/2 cup
jaggery - 3/4 cup
ginger -100 gms
ghee - 2/3 tablespoon

Dry roast pepper, jeera, ajwain and coriander seeds and grind them together.
clean and grind the ginger to a paste. To this add the above ground pepper.

In a kadai, heat 2-3 table spoons of ghee and to this add the finely ground mixture and grated jaggery.

Keep stirring it till the jaggery dissolves in the mixture and it leaves the sides of the vessel.

When cool, tranfer it into an airtight bottle.

All the ingredients except ginger and jaggery are ground(dry) in a mixie jar

mixed with ginger and jaggery paste and boiled in ghee to thicken, generally made in a vengali uruli( bronze vessel) or kal chatti(stone vessel)

The end product ready to be taken before eating sweets and savories.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Maddur vada

Maddur vada is a deep fried snack very famous in a small town called 'Maddur' near Bangalore. It has a shelflife of anywhere between 5 -6 days and is very filling. Just one big vada fills the stomach.


Rice flour ----- 1 cup
Maida -----------1 cup
upma rava or chiroti rava --- 1/2 cup
chopped onions( 1 no)
curry leaf - 1 sprig
chopped coriander 2 table spoons
salt to taste
Chopped green chillies from 2 numbers
oil for frying


Mix all the above ingredients in a bowl. Pat them flatly with your oiled palms or use a plastic sheet/plaintain leaf to pat them.

Slip them into hot oil for frying. When the sizzle of the oil drowns, remove them from oil.

Generally in Bangalore hotels it is served with chitranna(lemon rice) but one can eat it as an evening snack with coconut chutney or it tastes good even without any accompaniment.

The above maddur vada(clicked by me) was made at Tiffany's Maddur. I made them at home. will upload those pics shortly

Tip: when you use upma rava, the white rava appears prominently on the vada, else there is not much difference to taste between chiroti rava and upma rava.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Vadu manga

These are tender mangoes brined and spiced. A traditional accompaniment to curd rice especially common in most Tam-Brahm homes. It goes well with rasam rice also.

tiny tender mangoes(Max of 1" in size or smaller) --- 1 measure/cup ( called ser in tamil)
Powdered crystal salt ------ 1 tablespoon
chilli powder --------------- 1 tablespoon
Gingelly oil/ castor oil ----- 1 tablespoon

Wash the mangoes and dry them on a cloth.
Coat the mangoes with oil.
Add salt and chilli powder over the mangoes and allow them to rest for 3 days with just a toss over every morning.
On the 3rd day the salt and mangoes will release water and the mangoes will be soaking in the spicy solution.
The more it soaks the more the mangoes will absorb the spices. Tastes yummy with curd rice.
The above preparation was made in Lalgudi with homegrown mangoes.

Tip: Powdered mustard can also be added. Gives a lovely aroma.

Friday, June 10, 2011

payattham paruppu payasam

Moong dal porridge(payasam). This is a traditional payasam made for all auspicious ocassions. It is also good for mouth ulcers.


moong dal : - 1/2 cup
channa dal - 2 table spoon
jaggery ----- 3/4 cup
cardomam -- 2 nos
cashew nuts - 10 nos
small slivers of coconut or gratings
Milk - 1 cup


Pressure cook moongdal and channa dal in 1 1/2 cups of water.
Mash them well and boil them in a dish.
Add jaggery and slivers of coconut or gratings and boil them till the jaggery dissolves
Add milk when the mixture bubbles and switch off.
Garnish with fried cashews and cardomam

Thursday, April 28, 2011

vepampoo rasam

Vepampoo rasam(Neem flowers rasam) is a simple rasam made with the flowers of neem. This can also be classified as medicinal food as vepampoo has medicinal properties.

tamarind - marble sized
jaggery - marble size
turmeric - 1/2 teaspoon
asafoetida - a small pinch
salt to taste
a sprig of curry leaf

To season:
ghee --- 1 table spoon
dried vepampoo -- 1 table spoon
dry red chillies -- 2 no's
jeera --- 1/2 teasspoon


Boil tamarind, jaggery, turmeric, asafoetida in 2 cups of water.
when boiled the tamarind becomes tender simmer it on stove.

In another kadai, heat ghee and roast the vepampoo. remove the vepampoo and keep aside. In the same kadai with the remaining ghee roast jeera,dry red chillies and curry leaf.

Add the roasted jeera, dry red chillies and curry leaf to the simmering tamarind mixture. switch off the stove and add the roasted vepampoo to the rasam in the end and close with a lid. The vepampoo will infuse its flavour and goodness into the rasam.

Vepampoo rice
Alternatively the roasted vepampoo can also be mixed with plain rice and ghee.This is called vepampoo saadam( neem flower rice). Even today my family elders make this a practice of eating this rice once in a week. It de-worms and flushes out the toxins.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Eggless Black Forest cake

This cake was baked by my daughter and son to keep themselves occupied during their 15 day school break and I helped them. Recipe courtesy Milkmaid booklet.

milkmaid tin ---- 1
refined flour ---- 13/4 cup
butter ---------- 100 gms
soda water ------ 1 1/4 cup
sodium bicarbonate--- 1 teaspoon
cocoa powder ----- 2 to 3 spoons
baking soda -------- 1 teaspoon
cream ------- 200 gms
powdered sugar ----- 2table spoons
tinned cherries ----- 20-30 numbers
vanilla essence ---- 1 teaspoon
nestle chocolate bars ---- 2


Sieve flour,cocoa,soda,sodium-bicarb.
In a bowl mix milkmaid,vanilla essence and butter till they blend well. Slowly blend in the maida mixture and soda water alternatively till all the flour and soda are used.
Now pour the mixture into a greased dish and bake for 15 minutes( my oven bajaj make)
or according to your oven settings

remove the baked cake and when cooled slice them horizontally to make two equal halves with the help of a twine thread or knife.

Soak the halves in sugar syrup present in the tinned cherries.

Parallely blend in the castor sugar and cream and layer the halves with the cream. Spread the cherries on the lower half and cover with the other half.

Now dress the top half also with the cream, grated chocolate and place few cherries and cool them in the fridge for half an hour.

Tips: Instead of tinned cherries, you can buy preserved cherries and soak them in hot sugar syrup and can use the syrup.

Tip 2: cut the cake with a thread to get two equal halves

Monday, March 28, 2011

Angaya podi

This is one of the ancient tamil recipe. This has all herbal ingredients and is classified under 'pathiya samaiyal'(diet food).This is best eaten with hot rice and ghee to the accompaniment of pacchidi(raitha) or appalam (papad)

Dhaniya ----1/2 cup
Jeera--- 3 teaspoon
Pepper --- 2 teaspoon
Dry neem flowers--- ¼ cup
Dry ginger – 1 piece(I inch)
Sun dried Sundakkai – 30 numbers
Asafoetida ---- small piece ( the size of sundakkai)
Curryleaf ----- ½ cup
Salt to taste
Dry red chilli ---4 number

Dry roast neem flowers, sundakkai and curry leaf separately.
Dry roast salt,asafoetida and all other ingredients one by one.
When cool grind them all together.

‘Angaya podi’ is recommended during post natal period to new mom’s as diet food. This helps in reducing the fat piled during the postnatal period.It also helps in knocking off dirt (kasadu in tamil) from the stomach and refreshes your body.

(will upload photo shortly)

Saturday, March 26, 2011

parangikai pal kootu

This is a sweet gravy made with pumpkin and milk. Best accompaniment for spicy sambar rice/vathal kuzhambu. I simply love this traditional dish. Recently when, I made this my fussy children loved it too. This was taught to me by my paternal grandfather Mahadeva Iyer who was an engineer and a sought after traction battery expert during his times,Cooking was a hobby for him.

tender sweet pumpkin ----- 2 cups(cut into small pieces)
milk of coconut ----1/2cup
jaggery ---------- 1 table spoon or equivalent
green chilli/red chilli ------2 nos
Mustard ---------- 1 teaspoon
oil for seasoning
boiled and cooled milk --- 1/2 cup
rice flour ----- 1 teaspoon ( optional) to thicken the gravy
salt to taste

Boil the sweet pumpkin till tender with little water.
add the coconut milk and jaggery till it blends well.
In a wok, season with mustard and green chilli/redchilli
add it to the gravy and season with salt
When the gravy is warm, add chilled milk to the gravy.
after the above procedure, if the gravy is dilute. make a paste of rice flour and two tablespoons of warm milk add the mixture to the gravy and heat a while till the
gravy thickens.

(below pic after addition of cold milk)

Alternate method:
1) you can make the gravy with coconut gratings and green chilli and add it instead of redchili and coconut milk.
2)vegetables like snake gourd can be used
3) jaggery can be susbstituted with equal measure of sugar.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Javvarisi vadam

These are sundried crisps made of sabudana(sago). They have to be fried in oil for consumption.

sago ------ 200 gms
green chilli paste ground from 7-8 numbers
juice of 1 lemon
salt to taste


Pressure cook sago in l litre of water to three whistles.
When done, add salt and green chilli paste to the boiled mixture and stir well.
When the mixture cools add lemon juice. The mixture should not be watery and should have a porridge consistency.

To sun dry:
Spoon them on a clean cloth or clean plastic sheet to the size of medal at equal intervals.

when dried, remove them and flip them to dry on the other side on second day. When completely dry after 2-3days, store them in air tight containers. This has a shelf life of one year.

variations can also be made to this vadam by adding tomato paste to get red vadams.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

corn vada

I was making corn vadas when the dough turned very watery. To thicken the dough, I added corn meal. This idea stemmed when I saw Chennai sangamam's Unavu thiruvizha telecast on makkal TV. They made thinai mavu pakodas, instead I used makka chola mavu.

Shelled corn ----- 2 cups
Green chilli ------ 2 nos ( add 1 more if you want it spicier)
Curry leaf ------- 1 sprig
Ginger ------ 1 cm piece
Chopped Coriander ------- 1 table spoon
Chopped mint leaves ------ 1 table spoon
Makai ka atta ( corn meal) ---- 1 table spoon
Chopped onions ---------- 1 table spoon
Cooking oil for frying.

Grind the corn coarsely along with green chilli, ginger and curry leaf.
Mix in chopped coriander, mint ,onions and salt.
To bind the dough add in the makai ka atta( not corn flour but corn meal)
Take a golf ball sized dough , pat them and release into the heated cooking oil on a wok.
Flip them in the oil till done and serve with sauce/chutney.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Kuzhambu vadam

Summer times are very hot and ideal for making vadams. These vadams are sun-dried crisps which can be stored in air tight containers. When stored in ideal conditions it has shelf life of more than a year.

Kuzhambu vadams/ ulundu vadams are add-ons used for kootu and kuzhambu when you are short of vegetables . They are to be fried in oil and added in the end to the dish.


Soaked urad dal : 1 cup
Salt to taste
Dry red chilli ---- 6 nos
A pinch of asafoetida.


Grind all the ingredients into a fine mixture.

Moisten a clean broad plastic sheet . Take a small blob of the above mixture and lay it on the plastic sheet at frequent intervals.

Allow it to dry in sunlight for 2-3 days. When completely dried store them in airtight containers.

Hare bhare kebab

A patty made with greens like spinach, coriander leaf,fenugreek leaves and green peas. A healthy food which can be grilled, shallow fried or deep fried. Tastes good when served with mint-yogurt chutney.


For the kebabs
Chopped spinach---- 1 cup
Chopped coriander leaves --- 1 cup
Methi leaves chopped ---- ¼ cup
Shelled peas ----1/2 cup
Chopped onions --- ½ cup
Bread slices dipped in water and sqeezed well --- 4 nos
Green chillies – 3 nos
Ginger piece – 1”
Maida - 2-3 tbsp
Halved cashew nuts - 2 tbsp
Garam masala powder – ½ tsp
Amchoor powder --- ½ tsp
Red chilli powder --- ¼ tsp
Oil fro frying

For the chutney
Thick curd --- ½ cup
Coriander leaves ---- ½ cup
Mint leaves --- ½ cup
Green chillies --- 2
Salt to taste
Lemon juice --- 2 tsp

To serve
1 onion cut into rings
juice of half a lemon
A few mint leaves, chopped finely

Grind spinach, coriander, methi,peas,chillies and ginger into a fine paste.
Add crumbled bread, chopped onions,salt and other spices. Mix well.
Make small balls of this mixtureand pat them into flat, circular shapes about half inch thick. Gently press a piece of cashewnut in the centre of each kebab.
Roll in maida and shallow fry till golden brown.

For chutney:
Grind all ingredients except the curd to a fine paste. Add the curd, mix well and chill.

To serve:
Place hot kebabs on a bed of onion rings sprinkled with lemon juice and chopped mint leaves together with chilled mint chutney.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

pani puri

Pani puri aka golgappa aka Puchka aka water balls.

A street food which you find around the corner of most streets in India.If the puris are brought from shop, this can be easily made without spending lot of kitchen time during summers and what's more it can be made by the kids themselves. Can be fortified and made nutritious with sprouts as fillers and by adding dates syrup in sweet water.


For the spicy mint water: (to make 2 litres)
De-stemmed pudina leaves - 2 cups
de-stemmed coriander leaves -- 2 cups
green chilly ------------- 1 (optional)
pani puri masala powder ---- 1 table spoon
juice of 1/2 lemon

For sweet sauce

Tamarind ---- 1 lemon size
jaggery ------- 1/4 cup
ajwain ------- a tea spoon
dates syrup ---- 1 table spoon (optional)

for the filling :

1 cup of boiled sprouts of green gram/ kabuli channa/ alu
salt ---- 1 teaspoon


For filling:

Pressure cook channa/alu/sprouts.Season it with salt and keep aside.

For the masala pani:

Grind the washed pudina, coriander and chilli in a grinder.
Add the ground mixture to a litre of water along with a table spoon of pani puri masala.

For the sweet/meeta pani.

Mix the extract of tamarind and jaggery and filter to remove the fibre or dust if any.
boil the mixture till the raw smell of tamarind disappears.
sprinkle with ajwain seeds and add a spoon of dates syrup.

For garnishing:
finely chopped onions.


Punch the top of the puri, fill in with the sprouts and onion, dip it in the green mint water and pop it into the mouth. If you want it slightly tangier and sweeter, add a spoon of sweet tamarind water.

P.S: with a little help from elders like in soaking and boiling the children can make this food themselves.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Aloo tikki burger

An easy food which can be assembled by children themselves.


Buns---- 1 no
sliced cucumber -- 4 pieces
sliced onions ----- 4 pieces
sliced tomatoes----- 4 pieces
cheese slice ------ 1 no
washed and cleaned cabbage/lettuce leaf ---- 1 no
tomato sauce ---- 1 tbspoon
mayonaisse ------- 1 table spoon
sweet onion sauce ---- 1 table spoon

for the patties
Boiled and mashed potato -- 1 cup
a slice of bread
chilli paste --- 1 spoon
salt to taste:

Mix the patty ingredients and bind them well. pat them into patties and grill.

To assemble the burger

cut the bun horizontally.
arrange the following over the base bun in the following order
lettuce/cabbage leaf
cucumber slices
tomato slices
cheese slice
alu patty
onion slices

drizzle the choice of your sauce between the layer
cover the top cut bun
Pin a toothpick from the top most bun to the bottom most through the center.