Sunday, February 13, 2011

Vazhakkai / Green (Unripe) Banana Puttu

I like Vazhakkai very much. This recipe is very different from the usual preparation. This is an ideal side dish if your Kuzhambu/Curry is hot and spicy.

Green(Unripe) Banana or Raw Plaintain (Large) 3
Dried Red Chillies 3
Kadalai Paruppu / Channa Dhal 2tsp
Pearl Onions  4
Curry Leaves 5
Mustard Seeds  ¾ tsp
Salt ½ tsp or to taste

Chop Pearl Onions.  Cut Red Chillies into halves.
Cook Raw Plaintain along with its skin.  Remove the skin and grate it.

Heat Oil in a pan. When it is hot, add Mustard Seeds. Wait till it completes popping up, reduce flame. Add Curry Leaves, Dried Red Chillies and Pearl Onions. Fry till the Onions turn slightly brown.
Add grated Raw Plaintain and Salt. Mix well. Fry on a medium flame till done. Do not fry for a longer time as it becomes over crispy.

Serves: 3
Serve with Rice and any Kuzhambu.

Notes: Make sure Green Banana is not overcooked.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Baby Food Ideas

When my son was six months old, I started feeding him cerelac. He liked and had all the flavors available, Rice, Wheat, Fruits, Vegetables, Dates and what not!. I had no problem for two months. When he turned eight months old, he refused to eat it. I tried all flavors but none helped me. He saw the bowl of cerelac and made his mouth shut.

I didnt force him more. I gave him only milk, biscuits and Juice for two days.Then I enquired many people around me, searched the internet and found more baby food ideas. I gave canned fruits and vegetables made specially for babies. He liked it very much. As many say they are not very good for babies compared to home made food, I cooked and mashed Apple, added little Salt and served him. He didnt like it much and had only 1-2 spoons. Then I tried the same with Carrots. He didnt eat at all.

I realized that preparing all food separately for babies is not necessary, We can also feed what we prepare at home. Whenever I prepare Moong Dhal Kuzhambu or Channa (Kondai Kadalai) Kuzhambu, I keep aside few cooked dhals aside for my son before making it. It is easy to feed babies what we prepare at home yet, very nutritious.

Here are those Ideas:

Six Months old:

Cerelac or Rice/Wheat Porridge.


Soak Channa overnite.
Cook for more time(more whistles than usual).
Peel the skin and mash with fingers before serving.
This can be given as side dish to the rice/Wheat porrdige or cerelac.


Feed Juice (4-6 tsp) in spoon or in sipper cup and need not dilute.
Avoid feeding juice in Bottle, your child would refuse to drink water.

Seven Months Old:

Idli with little Sambar or Coconut Chutney.
Cooked Potato with little Salt.

Eight Months Old:

Cooked Sweet Potato.
Fully Ripe Banana.

Moong Dhal

Soak Moong Dhal for 1-2 hrs.Cook for more time(more whistles than usual).
Mash it with Potato masher and serve.This is an ideal food that helps to learn
chewing better when child gets the first teeth.

Cooked Nendran Plaintain

Choose Plaintain that is completely ripe, its skin must be fully black. Cook and remove seeds before serving.

Ground Cooked Rice

Cook Rice. Grind/Blend coarsely along with Curd, Rasam or Paruppu/Dhal Curry(with less or no chillies).


Dip Biscuit pieces in formula/milk. Avoid biscuits with nuts.

10 Months Old:

Non-crispy Dosa with little Sambar or Coconut Chutney.


All vegetables that is cooked in Sambar or Sabji or Avial or Curry like Potato, Carrot, Pumpkin, Radish and Drumstick. Avoid vegetables when cooked as sidedish as it would be just cooked and not well cooked.


Dip bread pieces in formula/milk. This can be given as evening snack and also is very helpful while travelling. Remove the outer brownish parts of bread.

Soups -- Make sure they are not very hot.

Drumstick(Murungaikkai Soup) 
One Year Old:

Stop Cooked and Ground Rice. Instead cook rice for more time(more whistles than usual in cooker) and mix with Curd, Rasam, Kadala Paruppu Kootu  or Paruppu/Dhal Curry.
Sathu Maavu Kanji or Nutritious Flour Porridge. It is available readily in the market or you can prepare your own.
Semiya and Kitchadi.
Sakkarai or Sweet Pongal.
Plain cake.
Peeled Oranges.
Thinly sliced and chopped Apple.

When babies turn 1.5 years old, you can serve Chapati, Milagu(Pepper) Pongal with no Pepper and all others you prepare.
For more Baby Food Ideas, check out here and Shilpa’s Ideas.

When your baby eats complete food, Is there anything to worry?!!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu / Channa Dhal Balls in Tamarind Gravy

During weekends, whenever I want to do something else other than Biryani or Pulao, this Kuzhambu comes to my mind. This Kuzhambu does not need any side dish as it has balls with itself that acts as side dish, ofcourse giving me less work..

Here goes the recipe:
Channa Dhal (KadalaiParuppu) ¾ cup (150ml cup)
Toor Dhal 1-2 tsp
Tamarind (Lemon Size)
Sambar Powder 2 tbsp
Garlic 7
Chopped Ginger 1½ tsp
Pearl Onions 10
Curry Leaves 10
Mustard Seeds 1 tsp
Fenugreek Seeds ½ tsp
Water 5 cups (350ml cup)
Salt 2 tsp to taste


Peel off Garlic. Peel and Chop Pearl Onions.
Soak Tamarind in one cup of water for 15-20 mins. Extract Tamarind Juice using
4 more cups of water and strain.
Chop Pearl Onions(5), Curry Leaves(5),Garlic (3) and Ginger finely.
Soak Channa Dhal and Toor Dhal for 1-2 hrs. Drain water thoroughly.
Grind together coarsely: Channa Dhal, Toor Dhal, Pearl Onions, Curry Leaves,
Garlic, and Ginger. Add ½ tsp Salt and mix well. Make balls and keep aside.


Heat Oil in a kadai. When it is hot, add Mustard Seeds.
Wait till it pops up, reduce flame.
Add Fenugreek Seeds. Allow it to crackle.
Add remaining Curry Leaves, Garlic and Pearl Onions. Fry till it turns slightly brown.
Now add strained Tamarind Juice.
Add Sambar Powder, Asafoetida and Salt (1 ½ tsp). Do not add water.
Increase the flame. When it starts boiling, add the balls one by one.
Turn the balls for every 5-10 mins.
Make sure you do not break the balls. Turn the balls only for 2-3 times.
Allow to boil till it reduces.
Remove from flame when the balls turn soft and cooked well.

Serve along with Rice.
Serves: 3
Toor Dhal is added so as to make the balls soft.
The balls may break if it contains water.
So make sure
·         water used for soaking dhal is completely drained.
·         Mixer / Blender are dry.
·         your hands are dry before making balls.



Kuzhambu is boiling. Time to add balls:


Coconut Chutney

I could not even imagine a morning without Coconut Chutney. It is the fastest chutney I can ever make. It goes well with anything for breakfast, say it, Idli or Dosa or Upma or Kitchadi or Adai..

Grated Half coconut
Pottu Kadalai (Roasted Channa Dhal) 4 tsp
Chopped Green Chillies 2-3
Garlic Pod 1
Ginger (optional)  a small piece
Salt ½ tsp or to taste

For Seasoning:
Mustard Seeds ½  tsp
Split Urad dhal ¼  tsp
Curry leaves  5
Chopped Pearl onions (lengthwise)  3


Grind Coconut, Roasted Channa dhal, Chillies, Garlic, Ginger with salt and water.
Heat oil in a pan. When it is hot add mustard seeds.
Wait till they stop popping up, reduce flame. Add Urad dhal, Pearl Onions and Curry leaves.
Fry till they turn slightly brown.
Add the seasoning to the ground paste and add enough water.

Serve with Idli or Dosa
Serves: 3-4

Egg Fry with Sambar Powder

My mom usually prepares this Egg Fry along with Biryani. But I am very much fond of this recipe, that I prepare often and serve with any rice. Egg and Onions fried in Sambar Powder gives a very special taste that makes anyone eat little more rice than usual.

Boiled Eggs 3
Onions (medium) 3
Sambar Powder 1 tbsp (leveled)
Salt 0.5 tsp or to taste
Boil Eggs. Put slits on eggs.
Heat Oil. Add Onions. Fry until they become slightly translucent. Need not fry for more time. It is going to be fried again with Eggs.
Add eggs. Sprinkle Sambar Powder and Salt over the Onions and the Eggs. Turn the eggs and mix. Make sure not to break the eggs. Fry till the Eggs get a roasted coating of Sambar Powder(see below pic).
Serve hot.
This goes well with any rice.
Serves: 2