Saturday, January 31, 2009

Stringhoppers - Idiappam briyani

String Hoppers - Idi appam



2 cups roasted rice flour (white or red rice flour)
1/2 tsp salt
Boiling water as required


1. Mix flour and salt. Add enough boiling water to form a paste that does not stick when touched.
2. Squeeze the paste through the ural to form string hoppers on to the steaming tray.
3. Steam till the string hoppers are not sticky to the touch.
Suggested accompaniments: Sothi, Coconut Chutney, Chicken or Mutton Curry.
Note: To make string hoppers, an `ural' to form the hoppers is necessary. You will also need a steaming tray and a steamer.

String Hopper 'Biryani' - Idi-appa Biryani


10-15 string hoppers
2 small potatoes, cut into small cubes
1/2 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder 1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp oil
1 large onion, quartered and sliced
3 green chillies, sliced fine
I sprig curry leaves
1 inch piece cinnamon stick
3 cloves
4 or 5 pieces cauliflower, broken into small flowerets
1 carrot, chopped fine
1/2 cup cabbage, chopped fine
1 leek, white part chopped fine
1 tsp finely chopped ginger
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp cumin seeds To be ground together
(or equivalent of powders to be mixed together) 1 tsp black pepper
Optional: 2 eggs, beaten lightly with pepper and salt to taste


1. Rub potato cubes with chilli powder, turmeric and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Set aside for 10-15 minutes.
2. Break up the string hoppers into small pieces.
3. Heat oil in a pan. Fry potato cubes till almost cooked.
4. Add sliced onions. When transparent add green chillies, curry leaves, cinnamon and cloves. Saute till onions turn golden brown.
5. Add cauliflower, carrot, cabbage and leek. Add remaining salt and the chopped ginger. Cook till tender.
6. Add string hoppers. Mix thoroughly
7. If egg is to be added, fry them in another pan.
8. Remove when cooked. Break up fried egg with a spatula. Add to string hoppers. Mix well.
9. Add ground aromatic spices. Mix well and remove from stove.
10. Add more salt if necessary.

Rava Dosa

Rava dosa is a favourite recipe in our house. I make this once every two weeks. There are different versions in the measurements of riceflour, sooji and maida and I have tried many. Somehow I am comfortable with this version as it is quick and easy to make. It tastes delicious with sambar and chutney.This is my entry to Pavani's Weekend Breakfast Blogging Event .


Riceflour-1 cup
Rava or sooji- ½ cup
Maida- ¼ cup
Salt to taste

For seasoning

Mustard seeds- ¼ tsp
Green chillie-1 chopped finely
Pepper- a few
Curry leaves- a few
Ginger- a small piece chopped finely
Coriander leaves- a few chopped finely
Onion- ½ chopped finely
Oil and ghee


Mix the rice flour, maida and rava and add water and salt to it. The batter should be watery and flowing. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan and add mustard seeds, when it splutters add onions and other ingredients .Fry for 2 minutes till the onion turns transparent. Add this to the rava batter.
Heat the tawa (the tawa should be very hot while u are pouring the batter) and take one ladleful of batter and spread on the tawa starting from the sides and finishing off in the middle as rava dosa cannot be spreaded like ordinary dosa. Drizzle ½ tsp of oil and ¼ tsp of ghee on the sides. When it becomes golden brown turn it over.

Serve hot with sambar.


Make sure the batter is very thin(thinner than the dosa batter). If the batter becomes thick after making few dosas add little water to it.

Some people use equal amts of rice flour and sooji too.

Thosai - தோசை


In India, this thin pancake made of rice and black gram flour is referred to as dosa. 'Thosai' is the Jaffna Tamil vernacular for it. It is commonly a breakfast dish but is often eaten as part of an evening meal as well. While gingelly oil is traditionally used to coat the skillet to fry the thosai, ghee is also used, though frowned upon by nutrition-conscious cooks.


1/2 cup parboiled rice (white)
1/2 cup long grain rice
1 cup black gram (urad dal), split and skinned
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
tsp salt


1. Mix the two types of rice together and soak for at least 4 hours.
2. Soak black gram and fenugreek seeds, for at least 4 hours.
3. Grind all together till fine.
4. Allow to ferment overnight (or over a heater in cool temperatures)
5. Add salt. Stir thoroughly. Add water as required to make consistency right for frying on a skillet.
6. Heat a skillet or a non-stick pan. Grease with the gingelly oil or ghee.
7. Use a ladle to pour mixture onto the heated skillet or pan and spread with the ladle to form a circular pancake.
8. When bubbles form, flip it on to the other side to cook the thosai evenly.
9. Remove and serve hot.
10. Grease pan lightly again before making the next thosai.


Ghee Thosai: After the thosai has been spread on the skillet, dribble ghee round the edges and a little all over the thosai, before turning it over. This forms a crisper, richer Ghee Thosai (called a 'Ghee Murugal").

Egg Thosai: An egg can be broken on to the thosai directly. Allow to firm and flip half the thosai on to the other half (omelette style).

Masala Dosa - Masala Thosai


Rice flour dosa mixture (as above)
Spicy dry potato curry:
4 potatoes, boiled, peeled and cubed
1 dessertspoon oil
1/4 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 medium-sized onion, chopped
6-8 curry leaves cut fine I green chilli, chopped
1 dessertspoon curry powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup water
*A combination of chilli powder, coriander powder, cumin seed powder and turmeric. Can be bought in most groceries.


1. Heat oil in a pan. Add fenugreek seeds.
2. As soon as they turn golden add the chopped onion, curry leaves and green chilli. Cook till soft.
3. Add cubed potatoes, curry powder and salt.
4. Add water and mix thoroughly. Cook for about two minutes, turning constantly to prevent burning.
5. Remove and allow to cool a little.
6. Heat a skillet and make a thosai. When one side is cooked, place 2 dessertspoons of potato curry across the centre of the thosai. Fold the two sides of the thosai over the curry along the center.
7. Dish on to a plate and serve hot.

Semolina Dosa - Ravai Thosai


1 cup long grain rice, soaked and ground fine
1 cup plain flour (wheat)
1 cup semolina
2 cups buttermilk or
2 cups thin coconut milk (I cup water mixed with 1 cup thick coconut milk)
I tsp salt
2 tsp oil
1/2 tsp mustard seeds 1/2 tsp chopped ginger
6-8 curry leaves, chopped fine
5 green chillies, sliced fine
1 onion, chopped


1. Mix ground rice, plain flour and semolina.
2. Add buttermilk (or coconut milk) and salt.
3. Leave to ferment for about an hour.
4. Heat oil and temper mustard seeds, ginger and curry leaves.
5. Add to the batter.
6. Add chopped green chillies and onion and water if necessary. The mixture should be thin enough to form a light pancake.
7. Heat a skillet. Stir the batter and make the thosai on the heated skillet.
8. When cooked fold in two and remove from skillet.

Wholemeal Flour Dosa - Aatamaa Thosai

2 cups wholemeal flour (aata/wheat flour) or 2 cups plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
21/4 cups water


1. Mix all ingredients together. Leave to ferment for about half an hour.
2. Make the thosai on a greased, heated griddle. Perforate lightly with the edge of the spoon.
3. Dribble a little ghee on the thosai. Flip over to cook on the other side.
4. Remove when well cooked.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Recommended Indian cookbook? - Home Cooking - Chowhound

Recommended Indian cookbook? - Home Cooking - Chowhound
Ive enjoyed really enjoying Chandra Padmanabhan's South Indian books - using Dakshin, which mostly covers the tamil vegetarian cuisine, Ive produced some really delicious dishes

SOUTHERN INDIA - A Cultural Kaleidoscope
Tamil vegetarian cuisine includes a choice of rice preparations seasoned with curry leaves and chilies. Vegetables, either steamed or stir-fried, curries such as sambhar (made with

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Kothavaranga - potato poriyal


Kothavaranga (gawar) (chopped) – 1 cup
Potato (chopped) – 1 cup
Onions (chopped) – 1
Tomato (chopped) – 1
Ginger-garlic (finely chopped) – 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Jeera – 1 tsp
Split urad dal – 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds (methi seeds) – ½ tsp
Chilli powder – 1 tbsp
Turmeric – a pinch
Salt – as needed
Oil – 2 tbsp


Heat oil in a pressure pan and add mustard seeds, split urad dal, jeera and fenugreek seeds. Once the mustard starts to splutter add onions and fry till they turn golden brown. Add the tomatoes and chopped ginger-garlic. After the tomatoes turn soft add chilli powder, turmeric and salt. Finally add the chopped vegetabes (potato and kothavaranga) and 1 cup of water and pressure cook for 2 whistles. Remove from heat, wait till the pressure subsides and check if all the water has evaporated. If not heat for a few minutes till all the water evaporates. This dish goes well with chapathi or rice.


We were out for a small vacation to Niagara and Lake George. Just came back and realisied that i havent blogged for qutie sometime. I wanted to blog this sambar before i had gone for this vaccation. But some how couldnt do it. That's why im doing it now.. This Sambar we used to like a lot. And we used to address this as hotel sambar and would always demand mom to make this..This is how she used to make it.


TurDhal - 1 1/2 cup
Vegetables - Potatoe and Drumsticks(one can use the veges of their choice)
Pearl Onion - 7-8
Tamarind- a Small lemon size(soaked and water removed)
Hing - a pinch
Salt to Taste

For Frying and grinding:-
Oil - 2 Tsp
Kashmiri Dry Chillies - 10 (A/c to one's taste)
Coriander Seeds - 2 Tbsp
Channa dhal(kadala parupu) - 1 Tbsp
Jeera -1/2 tsp
Khus-Khus(Poppy seeds)- 1/4 tsp
Methi Seeds - 1/4 tsp
Coconut Shredded - 4Tbsp
Curry leaves- a few

For Seasoning:
Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1 Tbsp


1) Heat oil in a kadai and fry the following in the order as methi first then Jeera, channa dal, dhania, red chillies,Poppy Seed and Curry leaves. Fry these ingrediants till they turn golden brown.Allow this mixture to cool and grind it to a smooth paste along with the coconut.

2) Boil the vegetables and keep it aside.

3) Heat oil in a kadai. Add the mustard seeds and allow it to splutter.

4) Add the Onion and fry well .

5) Add the mashed dal along with little water, boiled vegetables and mix well.

6) Now add the ground paste, turmeric, salt, hing and tamarind water and allow it to cook.

Finelly garnish it with coriander leaves and serve hot with Rice or Idli


The recipe for limabeans gravy, i learnt from my friend's mom,when i was in Bangalore. My friend was from the udipi side of karnataka, and we use to love the food made at her place..This is one of them which used to be very common during summer..I remembered this recipe only When vinodh asked me for mochai paruppu gravy.The recipe for this is as follows


Tuvar Dal - 1/2 cup
Lima Beans(Mochai Paruppu) - 1 1/2 cups
Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Grated coconut-1/4 cup(I have used frozen one)
Red chillies(Badige[I Hope i have spelled it right]) - 5 [these red chillies are very mild and gives a dark red colour to the dish]
Cinnamon - 1/2 " piece
Bengal Gram - 1/4 tsp
Tamarind paste - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Jaggery - 1 tsp (Optional)
Salt - To Taste

For seasoning
Oil - 1Tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 2-3 springs
Hing - a pinch


1) Dry Roast Coriander seeds,Bengal Gram,jeera,cinnamon till it releases good aroma and keep it aside.In the same pan dry fry red chillies and then dry fry coconut.Allow all the ingrediants to cool and make a paste with a little water.

2) Pressure Cook toor dal and lima beans along with turmeric for about 3 whistles.

3) After releasing the pressure,add the grinded paste along with the jaggery,salt and tamarind past to the cooked tuvar dal, lima beans and allow it to come to boil.Take it of the gastop.

4) Now season the gravy with mustard seeds,curry leaves and hing in a Tablespoon of oil.

This gravy goes very well with rice.



Raw Mango - 1
Kashmiri chilli powder - 1 tsp
Hing - 1/4 tsp
Salt - To taste

For Seasoning:-
Oil- 1 Tbsp
Mustard - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - 2 -3


1) Slice the mango's to small pieces

2) Mix salt,hing and red chilli powder to the mango's and keep it aside.

3) Heat oil add the mustard seeds and curry leaves allow it to crackle.

4) Add this mixture to the mangos and mix well.

This pickle stays good for 3-4 days,if we dont use the wet spoons..

Milagu kolambu(Pepper Gravy) and Parupu usli

The pepper gravy and the usli is a great combo..when ever i ask V what do i make as an gravy as im making usli, today the first choic would be for this gravy.This gravy has a little bitter taste.This is how i make them.


Peppercorns - 1 1/2 tbsp
Bengal gram dal - 1 1/2 tbsp
Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
Red chillies - 4
Tamarind pulp - 2 1/2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Salt - To taste
A few Curry leaves


1) Dry roast the peppercorns, bengal gram dal, coriander seeds, red chillies and grind them to a smooth paste along with asafoetida and little water.

2)Heat oil in a kadai and add the mustard seeds and allow it to splutter.

3)Add the tamarind paste and salt. Cover, simmer and cook till the raw smell of tamarind disappears.

4)Then add the ground paste and a cup water and allow it to boil.

5)Simmer it for 3-4 minutes and finally add 2 tbsp of oil and chopped curry leaves.

This gravy has a little bitter taste.

Paruppu Usli


Tuvar dal-2 cup
Channa dal-1/2 cup
Red chillies-5
Turmeric powder-1 1/2 tsp
Mustard-1 1/2tsp
Curry leaves few
Oil-1 1/2Tbsp
Salt- To taste


1) Wash and soak the dals for about 2 hours and grind them with turmeric powder, salt and red chillies to a smooth paste.

2) Steam these paste in idli pan for about 15 mts and allow it to cool and scramble them and keep it aside.

3) In the mean time, boil the beans and keep it aside.

4) Heat oil in a kadai, add mustard seeds and allow it to splutter. Then add the hing to the oil ,followed by the scrambled dal mixture. Fry till the dal mixture becomes soft.

5) Add the boiled beans and fry for a few minutes.

6) Finally garnish them with the curry leaves.



Mixed Boiled Vegetables (cubed) - 2 cups(Green Beans, Carrot, Peas, potato, Cut Corns)
Fried Paneer - 10 pieces
Cashewnuts - 2 Tbsp
Raisins - 2 Tbsp
Tomatoes - 3
Onions -2
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Kashmiri chilli powder- 1 1/2 tsp
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Milk - 1 cup
Fresh cream - 3 Tbsp
Ghee/Oil - 3 Tbsp
Salt - To taste

To Roast and Powder:

Cumin seeds - 1 tsp.
Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Saunf (fennel seeds) - 1 tsp
Peppercorns - 1 tsp
Cinnamon - 1
Cardamom - 2

To make a smooth paste:

Green chilies - 5
Ginger -1"
Garlic Pods- 7


1. Grate the onions and keep it aside.

2. Blanch the tomatoes in hot water for about 20 mts. Peel the skin and finely chop them and keep it asided.

3. Cut the Fried paneer into small pieces and Soak them in warm water till you add them to the curry.

4. Heat Ghee/Oil in a kadai and fry the grated onions for a few minutes.

5. Add the Greenchillie, ginger and garlic paste and fry for sometime.

6. Then add the grounded powder and fry again for few minutes

7. Add the chopped tomatoes, turmeric powder, chilli powder, garam masala and salt. Fry for another 5 mts.

8. Now add the boiled vegetables, milk, fresh cream, little water and fried paneer pieces.

9. Cook till the gravy becomes thick.

Garnish it with finely chopped Coriander leaves and Serve hot with Chappathi, Rice or Naan.

Tomato Bath


Basmati Rice - 2 cup ( wash and keep aside)
Onions - 2 (medium sized sliced thinly)
GingerGarlic paste - 1 1/2 tsp
Tomatoes (medium size ) - 3 (Finely chopped)
Cashews - 15 (Optional)
Cinnamon - 1 inch stick
Cloves - 3
Saunf- 1/2tsp
Bay leaf - 2 /3
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Redchilli Powder - 2 tsp( KashmiriChilli Powder)
Oil - 3 Tbsp
Salt - To Taste
Water - 3 3/4 cup
Lemon Juice - 1 Tbsp


1) In a cooker heat oil and add the saunf, cinnamon, clove, bay leaf, cashews , ginger garlic paste and saute well for few minutes.

2) Then add the Onions and fry well till it turns color and then add the finely chopped tomatoes and saute for few minutes

3) Then add the chilli powder, turmeric powder and fry till the oil leaves side.

4) Now add the rice and fry for a 2 minutes.

5) Add water, salt and pressure cook the rice for 3 whistles.

6) Mix the lemon juice before serving

7) Serve hot with Raita.

For Raita:-

Onions -1 (finely chopped)
Green Chillies - 1 (finely chopped)
Curd - 4 Tbsp
Salt - To Taste
Oil - 1 Tbsp


1) Heat oil in a kadai and fry the onions and chillies till the onion turns color.
2) Mix this mixture with the curd and salt and serve it with the Rice.

Vegetable Puff

I got the inspiration of making puff after i read Archana's Spicy Meat Puff. I had a doubt as to where we would get the pastry sheets, and again it was cleared by Vineela and LG, thanks vineela and thanks LG. I found them and decided i will treat my little one and vinodh with this..I remember how much vinodh used to like them when we were in india. Every time the weather used to be gloomy he use to ask me if we could have a veg puff and a cup of hot coffee..What a treat isin't? But after coming out of india, never got the same taste that we used to eat.. This is how i made it..


Puff Pastry Sheet:- 1Pk( It has 2 sheets)
Onion - 1 medium sized(cut length wise)
French Beans- 100gms
Peas - 1/4cup(boiled)
Carrot - 1 (grated)
Beetroot- 1 (grated)
Ginger - 1/2 tsp(grated)
GreenChillies - 3(finely chopped)
Paneer- 10-15 cubes
Redchilli Powder - 1 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1/2 tsp
Garammasla Powder - 1/4 tsp
Cumin Powder- 1 tsp
Jeera - 1 tsp
Ajinomotto- 1/4 tsp
Olive Oil - 2 Tbsp


1) Heat oil in a kadai and add cumin seeds and allow it to splutter.

2) Add grated ginger, finely chopped green chillies, turmeric and onion Cut length and fry till the onions turn golden brown.

3) Soak the fried paneer in hot water for about 1/2hr and scrumble and keep it aside

4) Add the vegetables in the following order beans, peas, carrot and beetroot and saute for sometime.

5) Add coriander powder, garam masala, red chilli powders,Ajinomoto and salt. Then add the scrambled paneer and saute for 3 minuts

5) Cover and reduce the heat and allow it to cook.

6) Thaw the pastry sheets and unfold . If necessary roll pin over the pastry sheets to make them even.

7) Cut the pastry sheets into square pieces and place the filling in the middle and cover the end with the other end . Press the ends tightly in order to seal them. You can use water to seal .

8) Preheat the oven at 350°F and place the puffs in baking tray and bake them for about 30 minutes or till the crust turns golden brown in color. Serve hot.

Melaga Bajji

Friday was a rainy day.Mr.V came home and asked for something hot and spicy. He was in a rainy mood :-). Decided that nothing can equal to melaga baji for its spiciness. Made baji's and a cup of steaming coffee. Was a nice treat for the rainy evening.


Green chillies - 15-20 pieces whole

For the batter

Besan flour -1 cup
Rice flour- 1/2 cup
Chilli powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Hing - a pinch
Salt to taste

Oil- For frying


1) Slit the greenchillies in the middle and remove the seeds.
2) Make a semi-solid batter by adding sufficient water to the ingrediants of the batter.
3) Dip the chillies in the batter and deep fry in oil.
4) Serve hot with Green chutney.

Aloo Palak

During one of our visit to a resturant we got to taste the aloo palak.My little one loved it..I was happy to learn that she likes palak. I had a bunch of palak in fridge, and decided will make aloo palak for her. She liked it a lot..This is how i made them


Fresh spinach - 1 bunch

Finally chopped Onion - 2 (medium sized)

Potatoes - 2 (medium sized, boiled and peeled)

Finally chopped Tomato - 1

Green chillies - 2

Ginger - a small piece

Red chilli powder - 1 tsp(I have used kashmiri chilli powder)

Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp

Cumin Powder - 1/4 tsp

Garam masala - 1/4 tsp

Cumin seeds - 1 tsp

Oil - 2 Tbsp

Salt - To taste


1) Wash the cut spinach and place them in a pan along with a pinch of salt and with very little water and allow it cook.

2) When the spinach is cooked, drain the water, allow the spinach to cool and make a coarse puree of them along with greenchillies and keep it aside.

3) Cook, peal and cube the potatoes and keep it aside.

4) Heat oil in a kadai, add the cumin seeds and allow it splutter.

5) Add finelly chopped onions and saute till the onions turn pink.Then add the finelly chopped tomatoes, ginger and saute for sometime

6) Add turmeric powder, chilli powder, cumin powder and saute till the gravy leaves oil.

7) Add the cubed potatoes and fry for 2 minutes and then add the coarse paste of spinach and salt and allow it to become semi soild.

Serve hot with Rice, Naan or Chappathi.

Vegetable Biriyani

This recipe i learnt from my MotherInLaw. Anything she makes has a lovely taste . This is how she makes it..


Basmathi Rice- 1 1/2 cup
FrenchBeans - 1/2 cup(cut length wise)
Carrot - 2 medium sized(cut length wise)
Potato - 1 (cut length wise)
Green Peas - 1/4 cup
Onion - 2 medium sized(cut length wise)
Curd - 1 Tbsp
Redchillipowder - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2tsp
Saunf- 1/4tsp
Black Cardamom - 2
Bay leaf -2
Lemon Juice - 1 1/2 tsp
Oil- 3Tbsp
Ghee - 1 tsp

For Grinding:-

Coconut -2 Tbsp
Green chillies - 8-10
Saunf- 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon -1"
GreenElachi - 1
Ginger -
Garlic - 15 pods


1) Wash and soak the Basmati Rice for 15mts.Then fry the rice with little ghee and keep it aside.

2) Grind to a smooth paste of all the ingrediants for grinding.

3) Heat Oil and Ghee in a pressure cooker, add the saunf, black elachi, bay leaf, clove and allow it to crakcle

4) Then add the onions and fry till the they turn pink.Then add the cut and washed vegetables and saute for 2 minutes

5) Add the Grinded masala and fry till the raw smell goes.

6) Then add the curd along with Redchilliepowder,turmeric powder and salt and saute for sometime.

7) Add the rice and mix well. Then add 2 3/4 cup of water, lemon juice and pressure cook the biriyani for 2 whistles(dont keep it for more than 2 whistles as the rice will become mushy)

Serve hot with Onion Raita

Kuli Paniyaram with FriedGram Chutney

This is a typical chetinadu dish that mom used to make for breakfast.This is one of my favourite breakfast, and we like to have this with the FriedGram chutney.This is made from the Idli batter and use a special vessel for it called as Paniyaram chati. You can get it here .

For Kuli Paniyaram:-


Finelly chopped Onion -1 medium onion
Finelly chopped Green Chillies - 4
Finelly chopped Curry and Corinder Leaves - 1 1/2tbsp
Mustard seeds - 3/4tsp
Urad dal - 1tsp


1) Heat oil in a kadai, add mustard seeds and curry leaves and allow it to crackel

2) Then add the chillies and onions and sauté for a few minutes.

3) Add this sautéed mixture to the idli batter and mix well.

4) Heat the Kuli Paniyaram Chatti and add little oil in each hole and pour 1 spoon
of batter in each hole.

5) Cook them on both the sides.

FriedGram Chutney:-

For Chutney:-

FriedGram - 1 cup
Greenchillies - 4-5
Garlic - 3-4 pods
Tamarind - a small grape sized
Salt - To taste

For Tadaka:-

Oil- 1tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4tsp
Curry leaves - 5-6leaves
Urad dal - 1/4tsp
Hing - a pinch


1) Grind togther all the ingrediants for the chutney to a smooth paste along with the salt.
2) Do the tadaka and add it to the chutney.


This is one of the typical tamil recipe that one will not miss in any occasion where they have Raw Plantain as an ingrediant.


Plantain/Raw Banana - 2
Onion - 1 (Big Finely chopped)
Green chillies - 3(Finely chopped)
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Green Curry Leaves - 10 leaves
Urad Dhal - 1/2 tsp
Shredded coconut - 1 Tbsp
Salt - To Taste
Oil - 3 Tsp


1) Scrape the outer skin of the Plantain and Cut them into small rectangular shape pieces and keep the pieces in water so that they dont turn black.

2) Boil the cut pieces in a pan with salt till soft and strain the water and keep it aside.

3) Heat the oil in a kadai and add the mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves and saute for a while.

4) Now add the finely chopped Onion, Chillies and fry well for sometime

5) Add the cooked plantain pieces and salt if required and mix gently.

6) Finally add the shredded coconut and serve hot with Rice.


It was V's BirthDay . He wanted something really different vada..I couldnt think of anything different from this one..As this fritters are very rarer in South Indian home..Here is how i made them..I have one more post coming up soon which is V's favourite.


Sabudana (SAGO) - 1 cup
Peanuts -1/2 cup (Roasted and crushed coarsely)
Potato -1 (Big) (boiled, peeled and mashed)
KashmiriChilli Powder - 1 tsp(Mild chilli Powder)
Green chillies - 8 (Finely cut)
Salt- To Taste
Oil- For deep fry.


1) Wash sago well and soak it for 1 hour.

2) Drain the water and keep it aside for 2hrs.

3) Mix the mashed potato and all the other ingredients to the sago and mix well into a paste sprinkle water if necessary.

4) Heat Oil in a kadai and deep fry the mix till light brown in color.

5) Serve Hot as this fritters would be crisp only when hot and becomes really soft once it becomes cold.

You can serve this vada's with Coconut chutney.

Cholay Batura

V wanted to have the chola puri that we used to get in chennai, but i didn't have the stock of Kabul channa, then decided to substitute them with kala channa. Though the taste was good. They taste better with Kabul channa.Here is how i made them.


For Cholay:

Kabul chana - 1 Cup( I have substituted kala channa for Kabul channa, as i didn't have the stock of Kabul channa)
Garam masala - 1 tsp
Onion - 1 medium sized
Garlic -7 pods
Ginger - 1"
Tomato - 1 medium sized(finely chopped
Green chillies - 5(finely chopped)
Kashmiri chili powder- 2 tsp
Turmeric powder -3/4tsp
Aam chur powder - 1tsp
Oil -3 Tbsp
Salt to taste

For Bhatura:

All-purpose flour(Maida) - 2 cups
yogurt - 1/2 cup
Milk- 1 cup
baking powder - 1/4tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp

Oil for frying


For Cholay:-

1) Soak the chana overnight and Pressure cook for about 5 whistles along with salt and a tea bag till tender.(If using kala channa, then just pressure cook them along with salt till tender.)

2)Make a paste of onion, ginger and garlic and keep it aside.

3)Heat 3 tbsp of oil in a kadai and fry the paste till the raw smell goes and oil starts leaving side

4)Add Finley chopped tomato and green chillies and fry for sometime.

5)Then add the chilli powder, turmeric powder and fry for sometime.

6)Then add the cooked channa and allow it to cook. Finely add the aam chur powder and serve it with cholay.

For Batura:-

1) Make a soft dough of maida flour, yogurt, milk, baking powder and oil.

2) Cover with a muslin cloth and keep it aside for 8 hrs *.

3) Make small balls of the dough, roll them into thick puris.

4) Deep fry in hot oil until the bhaturas puff up and both sides are golden brown.

Serve hot with the cholay, sliced onion and lemon wedges.

* You can also keep the dough aside for 2 hrs and prepare the baturas, but they will not raise as much as they do when kept aside for 8 hours.


This dish is our favourite..besides paneer butter masala, we like this dish a lot..we like this for its spiciness.Those who dont like spicy food i may say u shouldnt try this as this is going to bring tears due to its spiciness.Here is how i make them.


Paneer(cubed) - 1 Pkt( Fried)
Curd - 5 Tbsps
Onion - 1 big(Finelly chopped
Garlic - 1 Tbsp(Finelly chopped)
Ginger - 1 Tbsp(Finelly Chopped)
Green chillies - 2 (Chopped vertically)
Kashmiri Red chilli Powder - 2 Tbsp
Red Chilli Sauce - 2 Tbsp( I used the Ching's Product)
Ajinomato - 3/4 Tsp
CornFlour- 1 Tbsp mixed with little water.
corriander -1 Tbsp(Finelly Chopped).
Salt to taste
Oil - 2Tbsp
Butter - 1 Tbsp


1) If using fresh paneer cut them into cubes and fry them till golden brown and soak them in luke warm water for about 30mts.

2) Heat Oil & Butter in a kadai.Fry the onions till it turns pink.

3) Then add the finelly chopped garlic and ginger and fry for 2 minutes.

4) Then add the chopped green chillies and fry well till a nice aroma comes out.

5) Now add the Kashmiri chilli Powder and fry for a minute.

6) Now add the beaten curd to this and mix well.

7) Add the paneer pieces,followed by the ajinomoto, Red chilli sauce and salt.

8) Add the Corn flour mixed with water and allow it to thicken slightly.

9) Mix well , Garnish with Coriander leaves and serve hot with Chappathi, Roti or Naan.

Jeera Fried Rice

Basmathi Rice-2cups
Oinon -- 1 medium sized
Cumin Seeds – 1tsp
Cumin powder – 1tsp
Green chillies - 2 or 3
Oil -1Tbsp
Salt –a/c taste


1) Wash basmathi rice and keep it aside for 10mts.
2) Make a paste of Green chillies by adding water
3) Heat oil and ghee in a pressure cooker
4) To this add jeera and allow it to crackle..
5) Then add the onions and sauté till onions turn pink..
6) Then add the cumin powder followed by the green paste.and sauté for a while till the raw smell of the green chillies goes
7) Then add the rice with 3 ½ cup of water and salt and mix well and pressure
cook for 2 whistles..(remember if u pressure cook it for more than 2 whistles
then the rice will become mashy.)

Spicy Kala Channa

Kala channa – 1cup
Oinons - 2 medium sized
Tomato - 1
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Kashmiri chillipowder – 1tsp( this chilli powder is usually very mild and gives color to the dish)
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Oil – 1Tbsp
Salt – a/c taste

To make a Paste
Ginger – 1” long
Garlic - 6 pods
Green chillies – 2 nos
Coriander leaves – a small bunch

To make a powder
Coriander seeds – 1tsp
Cumin seeds -1/2tsp
Cinnamon -1
Saunf - ½ tsp


1) Soak the kala channa over night and pressure cook with little water for about 5 whistles with salt.
2) Heat Oil in a kadai. To this add mustard seeds and allow it to crackle..
3) Add finely chopped onions, tomato and sauté for sometime
4) To this add the Powdered masala and then add the green paste and sauté again.
5) Then add the cooked channa( remember to mash a little of the channa in order to get the gravy thickened)
6) Add Kashmiri chillie powder, Turmeric powder and mix well.
7) Allow the gravy to cook till it becomes thick
8) Garnish it with coriander leaves and cashewnut

Note:- There is no necessity for adding salt as u will be using the cooked channa along with the water that has salt in it..

Brinjal-Podi Curry

brinjal podi curry

Brinjal-Podi Curry

Brinjal, eggplant, aubergine-so many names for that commonplace vegetable.

One thing I've noticed about people's taste for this vegetable is that they either love it or they hate it! I'm not much of a brinjal lover myself- except for the roasted one which kills the itchiness. This is a version of something called Brinjal dry curry with podi (roasted and powdered lentils and spices ). I first had this a few years ago at a relative's house and it was one of the few times that the brinjal seeds didn't send my throat into a furious itch.

Here's how it goes-

7-8 small brinjals (deep purple ones)- removed and sliced lengthwise into quarters

For podi:
3 T chana dal (split bengal gram)
4-5 red chillies
1 tsp coriander seeds
1 T sesame seeds
2 T grated fresh coconut

1 small lemon sized ball tamarind
1 tsp curry powder
Pinch turmeric powder
Salt to taste
1/2 tsp mustard seeds, few curry leaves
Finely chopped coriander for garnish

Take all the ingredients for the podi in a pan. Dry roast them, until the dal turns golden brown and the ingredients give off a nice aroma. Rough grind it to maintain the texture of the podi. Remove from mixer and keep aside.

Keep a cup of water to boil in a pan. Add a pinch of turmeric powder and the tamarind extract to this. Once the water starts boiling- add the quartered brinjal pieces and keep the flame on SIM. Let the brinjal cook for 5-7 minutes in the tamarind water.
Once they turn a little tender-drain and remove from pan.

In a dry non-stick pan, take 2 tsp of oil. Splutter some mustard seeds and curry leaves. Add the podi, fry it in the oil for 5 minutes or so and then add the brinjal. Season with curry powder / sambhar powder and salt. Saute for some more time until the brinjal is completely coated with the podi and the podi looks well fried /golden brown.

Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves and serve hot with chapatis or sambhar-rice.

I'm sure this one appeals even to those who aren't very fond of the vegetable. The podi imparts a nice crispy texture as well as a nutty taste to the brinjal.

You could add a Tbsp of grated jaggery to the podi to add a nice sweet tinge to the existing spicy, sour and salty flavour.

You can use this podi for giving a whole new twist to the good old potato-curry too.

Vazhlapoo Vada(Banana Flower Fritters)

One of the variation that one can make out of the banana flower is this vada.This is again a dish from chettinadu.Here is how we make them.


Banana Flower - 1 Whole Stalk
Channa dal(Kadala paruppu) - 1&1/2 cup
Onions - 2 medium sized (finely chopped)
Red chillies - 5
Green Chillies - 4 ( roundly cut)
Jeera (Cumin)- 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - 7-8 leaves(finely cut)
Salt- To taste
Oil - For frying


1) Soak the channa dal in water for about 2 hrs and grind it to a coarse paste along with red chillies and keep it aside.

2) Peel the outer skin from the banana flower. Remove the small white flowers inside and also remove the long stem inside each flower along with the outer feather. Cut them into small pieces and immediatly place them in the turmeric water.

3) Boil the cut florets for about 15 mts and drain the water and keep it aside to cool.

4) Mix the cooked floret,onions,green chillies, jeera,curry leaves and salt to the channa dal mixture.

5) Make tiny balls of the mixture and flatten them with hand to the shape of vada.

6) Deep fry them in oil till golden brown and serve hot.

Vazhapoo Poriyal (Banana blosom curry)

Vazhapoo is banana blosom and is said to be very good for the stomach. Typically there is only one blosom/flower per plantain tree. After there is a blosom it is let to mature and eventually the tree bears plantains/bananas. Once the fruits are ripe, the whole tree is cut off because it does not yield anymore fruit or flower and by this time there would be a small plantain sapling just beneath the mama tree. So also to let the sapling grow the mama is felled indicating the emerge of a new generation.

Incidentally thats why we adorn both sides of marriage halls to indicate that the couple should flourish like the plantain tree and raise young ones for generations to come.

We had lots of Plantain trees back home. Whenever the tree is cut up, all parts of the tree is used up. The tender stem of the tree, called vazhathandu, the remaining of the blosom are used for cooking while the leaves are used to serve food.
Here in Bay area its rare that we see banana blosom and I have never seen the stems ( vazha thandu ). Found a blosom and here is the curry. The tricky part is removing the stamen. Yes its very time consuming to remove the stamen and the nimble outer sheath of every floret.

Floret with and without the stamen
and sheath
- One banana blosom cleaned as above and finely chopped
- one onion roughly chopped
- For seasoning - one teaspoon each of mustard, cumin, curry leaves
- Two red chillies ( increase if you like it hot )
- one tablespoon shredded coconut
1. Heat oil in a pan and season. Add chillies and onion
2. When the onion is translucent add the chopped blosom florets and saute for a few minutes.
3. Add salt and very little water and close with a lid. Allow it to cook for 15 to 20 mins
4. when all the water is drained up add the shredded coconut and enjoy over rice.
This curry will be slightly bitter - more the bitterness the better for health is what my mom used to tell to make me eat this :)


Tomato Rasam


No.... it's not what you think. The words "Melting Pot" do evoke notions of spices mingling, flavors blending and tastes mixing, but in this post, it literally means "the melting pot" as in a pot...melting...slowly...on the fire.

Picture this - shy, blushing, newly-married bride arrives at the in-laws home. After a couple of days of getting to know everyone, MIL kindly suggests that the bride makes "rasam" as her son has raved about the rasam-making prowess of his bride. Bride meekly nods head thinking "ok, rasam...not a big deal...I can do this"

MIL points to all the ingredients in the pantry and takes out a shiny pot. Unbeknownst to the bride, this no ordinary pot. It is called "Eeya Chombu" and is an amalgam of various metals that when ingested in the recommended quantities are supposed to provide health benefits to the body. Bride dutifully puts the vessel on the flame and starts sauteing the tomatoes. It is a new trick she has devised you see - to saute the tomatoes in 1/2 tsp of ghee to coax out extra flavor from them.

As she is doing this, she notices a few drops on the stove. Not wanting to dirty the shiny surface of the stove, she wipes off the drops with a wet rag. A few minutes later, she notices a few more drops. Again, the wet rag comes out...dab..dab. A few more minutes and there is now a steady trickle on the stove. Bride is confused and is staring at this with mouth agape thinking "What is going on? Where are all these drops coming from"?

MIL walks in at this moment to check on the progress. She notices the drops and says "Oh, oh...the pot it melting. You always have to add water to this pot before you put in on a naked flame". She quickly grabs the hot, melting pot and drops it in the sink. The cold water sizzles on the hot pot and halts any further melting.

Bride is by now mortified by her first attempt to cook and impress the inlaws. Forget about the intended aroma and the heavenly taste of the rasam, she has effectively destroyed a valuable family heirloom.

Fortunately, MIL is very understanding and laughs the whole thing off. FIL comes in and is very amused. He says that MIL, in her days has "melted" quite a few pots like this. Perhaps it is true, perhaps they are in their nice way, just trying to make the new bride feel better.

Out comes another pot, more tomatoes and the rasam is bubbling and boiling its way to deliciousness. Lunch is served shortly after and everyone nods approvingly over the rasam.

Bride resolves to never use the "saute" method for rasam again just in case the pot is guessed it..."A Melting Pot".

Flash forward a few years - Bride is a proud owner of her own "Eeya Chombu" and has used it for a few years with no major mishaps. A few dents and nicks but it is still in one piece. She still pulls it out regularly to make an aromatic pot of rasam.

You may have guessed by now that the bride is none other than yours truly! Fortunately I haven't had any major mishaps with the Eeya chombu after that incident. I still use it regularly and love the charateristic flavor it imparts to the rasam.

There is some misunderstanding with the name "Eeya" with regards to this vessel. Eeyam means lead, but there is no lead involved in the making of this vessel. It is primarily an alloy of tin and other metals. And of course, rasam can be made in other vessels also, if you don't have a Eeeya chombu or are not comfortable using one.

Southindians will attest there are hundreds of varieties of rasam - tomato rasam, ginger-garlic rasam, pineapple rasam, curry leaves rasam etc. I've even heard about an apple rasam!! The most popular one still remains tomato rasam.

This particular recipe is a sort of instant rasam. There is no dal in the rasam so it can be made in a jiffy. The recipe is from a good friend of mine, S.

So, here it is - a bowl of amber goodness- Tomato Rasam.


For Rasam powder:

1 measure jeera seeds
1/2 - 3/4 measure black peppercorns
1 measure tur dal
1 measure udal dal

[Note: measure can be a 1 cup measure or any other measure that you choose. Just stick to the proportions and make as much powder as you wish. I usually use 1 cup measure and get about 3 cups of the powder. It keeps very well in an airtight container]

For Rasam:
2 ripe tomatoes or 1/2 can of tomato sauce (Hunts)
2 tsp rasam powder (see recipe)
1 tsp ghee
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp jeera seeds
1/2 tsp asafoetida powder
4-5 curry leaves
1 dried red chilli
1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 small piece of jaggery to taste
salt to taste
cilantro leaves for garnish

Method for Rasam Powder:
  1. Dry roast all the ingredients and powder to a fine powder in a coffee grinder
  2. Sieve to remove all the coarse grains
  3. Store the finely ground powder in an airtight container
Method for Rasam:

  1. Boil the tomatoes and tamarind if using and squeeze to extract all the juice. This step can be done in the microwave. I often omit the tamarind and just use tomatoes.
  2. You can also use 1/2 a can of tomato sauce (Hunts works very well)
  3. Add salt and jaggery to taste.
  4. Boil the tomato mixture till it is hot and bubbly and smells good.
  5. Dissolve the rasam powder in a little bit of water. This is to avoid it forming lumps when dropped in the hot liquid.
  6. Stir the rasam powder in the tomato mixture and let boil for 3-4 minutes. It does not need much cooking or boiling after this.
  7. Heat the ghee in a small saucepan.
  8. Add mustard seeds, jeera seeds and asafoetida.
  9. When the seeds splutter, add the red chilli, crushed garlic and curry leaves.
  10. Pour the seasoning over the rasam.
  11. Sprinkle with chopped corriander leaves and serve.

Beetroot Chutney - A Kids' Favorite

Growing up I like this chutney because of its vibrant color. When you mix it with white rice the color is a treat for the eyes. It is also a good way to trick the kids who don’t like to eat vegetables.


Beetroot medium size-1 grated
Garlic- 6 cloves chopped
Onion small size-1 chopped
Red chillies- 5 or according to your taste
Tamarind – cherry size if you are using tamarind paste-1/2 teaspoon
Channa dal – 1 tablespoon
Urid dal– 1 tablespoon
Asafoetida/hing/perungayam – a pinch
Coconut- 3 tablespoon
Cumin seed- 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves- few
Oil for frying


  1. Fry garlic, onion, and grated beetroot with a small amount of oil till it is fully cooked.
  2. Fry dal, red chillies, cumin, and curry leaves separately with little oil.
  3. Mix everything and add tamarind, coconut, and salt. Cool the mixture and grind to a fine paste. Voila, Chutney is ready.

Note: Because beetroot has natural sweetness in it, make this chutney a little spicier.