Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Chicken Varutha Kari / Fried Chicken Kuzhambu II

I saw this recipe in one of the TV Cookery Shows. Nowadays I enjoy experimenting recipes with Chicken as it gets mixed well with any masala and gives amazing taste each time.

Chicken 400g
Onions (Medium) 2
Tomato (Medium) 3
Finely Chopped Garlic 3tsp
Finely Chopped Ginger 3tsp
Dried Red Chillies 4
Turmeric Powder 2-3 pinch
Pepper Powder ¼ tsp
Chilli Powder 1tsp
Coriander Powder 1 ¼ tsp
Cumin Powder ¼ tsp
Aniseeds Powder ¼ tsp
Grated Coconut 5 tsp
Curry Leaves Few
Coriander Few

For Seasoning:
Aniseeds ½ tsp
Cloves 3
Cardamom a small piece
Bay Leaf 1

Chop Onions into fine pieces. Cut Chicken into medium pieces.
Grind together:  Tomato, Garlic and Ginger
Grate Coconut and blend with little water.

Heat Oil in a Pan. When hot, add Aniseeds, Cloves, Cardamom, Bay Leaf.  When they turn slightly brown, add Curry Leaves, Chillies and few seconds later add finely chopped Onions. Fry till they turn golden brown.
Now add Tomato-Ginger-Garlic paste and Pepper Powder. Fry till its raw smell goes off. Now add all other Powders and Coconut Paste. Fry for 3-5 minutes.
Now add Chicken pieces and fry for few more minutes so that it gets mixed well with Masala. Add Salt and Water. Cook till done. Garnish with Coriander Leaves.
Serves : 2-3
Serve hot with Rice.

Note: If you do not have Aniseeds or Cumin Powder, add few seeds while grinding Tomatoes.

Check out another preparation of Chicken Varutha Kari.

Monday, April 25, 2011

How to make Quick Sambar???

Usually I prepare Sambar and serve only with Rice. But sometimes when I feel like preparing both Chutney and Sambar for Idli or Venn Pongal, I mostly end up making only Chutney and not sambar, as it takes more time.. Atlast, I found this method, a fusion of my Mom's method and mine, really quick and easy.
Vegetables ¾ cup (350ml cup)
Ripe Tomato (Medium) 2
Toor Dhal ¾ cup (200ml cup)
Sambar Powder 2 tbsp or to taste
Turmeric Powder  ¼  tsp
Asafoetida crystal  1 / Asafoetida Powder 2 pinch
Water 4-5 tbsp (for Tamarind Juice)
Tamarind  ‘Gooseberry’ size
Salt 1 ¾ tsp or to taste
Water 2-3 cups(350ml cup) (approx)

For Seasoning:
Mustard Seeds 1 tsp
Split Urad Dhal ½ tsp
Pearl Onions 5
Curry Leaves 4
Coriander Few
Sesame Oil


Cut Vegetables into larger pieces. Need not cut Tomatoes.
Soak Tamarind in 4 tbsp of water only for 2 mins. Extract Juice.
Chop Pearl Onions and Coriander.

In a Pan, add Sambar Powder, Asafoetida Powder and Water. Allow to boil.
Meanwhile, cook Toor Dhal along with Turmeric Powder, Vegetables and Tomato in a Pressure Cooker. When done transfer it to the boiling water with Sambar Powder in the Pan and continue boiling. When it is almost ready, add Tamarind Juice and Simmer for 5 minutes.
Prepare the seasoning and pour it into the sambar when it is ready.
To do Seasoning:
Heat little Oil in a Pan. When hot, add Mustard Seeds. When they completely stop popping up, add Urad Dhal, Curry Leaves and Pearl Onions. Fry till the onions turn translucent. Switch off the flame. Add Coriander Leaves.
Avoid Vegetables like Brinjal, Raw/Unripe Mango, Okra/LadysFinger and Pumpkin in this method as they turn too soft.
Check out usual preparation of Sambar.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easy Potato Fry

Recipes with Potatoes are really plenty in number. Somehow, I am very much comfortable with this recipe and prepare often.


Potato (Medium) 3
Sambar Powder 1 tbsp (leveled)
Cumin ¼ tsp


Cook Potatoes. Peel the skin and cut into small cubes.


Heat Oil in a Pan. When hot, add Cumin. When they crackle, add chopped Potatoes. Add Sambar Powder and Salt. Fry on a low to medium flame till the Potatoes gets a well roasted coating with Sambar Powder.

Serves: 2
Serve with Rice and Sambar or any non-spicy Kuzhambu.


Blended/Ground Coriander, Ginger and Garlic can also be added while frying Potatoes to make it more hot. Follow the method of Cauliflower Fry.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Idli and Fried Coconut Chutney

Usually, I buy Pottu Kadalai (Roasted Channa Dhal) in the nearby shops. But sadly, I am not finding it in any shop, near and far, for the past two weeks. Gone are all those days of eating fresh Coconut Chutney. Coconuts were lying in the refrigerator for days together. They didn’t get spoiled but lost its moisture and thus taste. I didn’t know what to do with them.

After deep thinking, I remembered my mom's another preparation of Coconut Chutney.  It didn’t strike me soon as she had done this very rare.. She used to say chutneys fried and prepared stay for a long time than others. Though this chutney takes little more time to prepare, it tastes very good.
My sincere advise to those who stay out of India is learn basic cooking so that you can manage with the available ingredients.

I am sending this to Srivalli's Breakfast Mela. This is my second entry. 
Idli and Fried Coconut Chutney
3/4th of Half Coconut
Channa Dhal 2tsp + Urad Dhal 1tsp
OR Channa Dhal 3tsp
Dried Red Chillies 4
Curry Leaves 4

Mustard Seeds ½ tsp
Urad Dhal ¼ tsp

Grate Coconut. Cut Chillies into halves.
Fry Coconut for 3-5 minutes on a low flame without Oil. Keep it aside to cool.
Heat little Oil in a Pan. When hot add, Channa Dhal and reduce flame. Few Seconds later, add 1tsp Urad Dhal and Chillies. Fry till they turn slightly brown. When cooled, grind together with fried Coconut.
Heat little Oil in the same Pan. When hot, add Mustard seeds. When they complete popping up, add ¼ tsp urad Dhal and Curry Leaves. Fry till they turn slightly brown. Add this seasoning to the ground chutney.
Serves: 3
Serve with Idli or Dosa. 

How to make Idli??
Add enough water inside the Idli Cooker. Grease the deep portions of the Idli plates with little Oil. Add enough Idli Batter. Steam for 10-15 minutes. Do not disturb for 5-10 minutes. Remove Idlis from the plates and serve.

Also See how to make Idli and Dosa Batter.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Easy Tomato Thokku / Pachadi

If I ask you to prepare one recipe that goes well with everything -- Idli, Dosa, Chapati, and Poori, I am sure the first recipe in your list would be this Tomato Pachadi. This is mostly referred to as Bachelors' Recipe (perfectly referred, am I right??) as this is easy and takes very less time to prepare, yet delicious.

Cumin ¼ tsp
Onions(Medium) 2
Large Ripe Tomatoes 3
Sambar Powder 1 tbsp (leveled) or to taste
Salt ½ tsp or to taste


Chop Onions lengthwise. Cut Tomatoes into pieces.

Heat Oil in a Pan. Add Cumin. Let them crackle and add Onions. Fry till Onions turn translucent. Add Chopped Tomatoes and Salt. Fry on a medium flame till the oil separates and the raw smell goes off. (approx 10-15 mins)

Serves: 3
Serve hot with Idli or Dosa or Chapati or Poori. This can also be served with Rice.

Note: 4-5 Green Chillies can also be used instead of Sambar Powder. Curry Leaves can also be added as seasoning. I haven't added as I get it rare.

Sunday, April 17, 2011


Rasam is mostly referred to South Indian Soup by Non-South Indians and Foreigners. But it is rare to see a South Indian having Rasam as Soup. It is watery like a Soup but mostly served with Rice. Rasam is prepared more during Rainy Season as it is believed to help not getting affected from Colds. It is served the last normally and during any feast (Virundhu) as it helps in digestion because of the Cumin and Garlic used. It also helps to get relief from Cough and Colds because of the Pepper used.

Here is the easy recipe:


Ripe Tomato (Medium) 1
Pepper Corns 1 ½  tsp
Jeeragam / Cumin 1 tsp
Curry Leaves 12
Coriander handful    
Garlic 1-2
Asafoetida Powder ¼ tsp
Turmeric Powder a pinch
Mustard Seeds 1 tsp


Peel off Garlic. Cut Tomato into two halves.
Soak Tamarind for 5 mins in water. Extract its Juice.
Grind Together coarsely: Pepper Corns, Cumin, Garlic, Curry Leaves (6) and few coriander.
Chop the remaining Coriander.

In a Vessel (or Serving bowl), add extracted Tamarind Juice along with its skin. Squeeze Juice from Tomato and add this too along with its skin. Add the ground Powder, Asafoetida & Turmeric Powder, Curry Leaves and Chopped Coriander. Add enough Water, Salt and stir well.

Heat Oil in a pan. Add Mustard Seeds. Wait till it stops popping up, pour the unboiled Rasam prepared in the bowl into the pan carefully.

Bring it to a boil which would take 5 mins or less. Rasam need not be boiled for a long time.

Serves: 3
Serve with Rice and/or Dhal Curry along with any Spicy Dry Curry/ Egg Fry.

Cooked Toor Dhal can also be added before boiling Rasam. I prepare Dhal Curry along with Rasam as both can be mixed together while serving or can be had separately.
If Rasam is served for babies, add 1 tsp Pepper and ¾ tsp Cumin.
Rasam stays fresh for more than one day without refrigerating. But if Toor Dhal is added while cooking, it is a must to refrigerate.

Friday, April 15, 2011


Every Morning, when I am busy in Kitchen, my husband would come and ask me what am I preparing. He indirectly makes sure that I am not preparing Upma. When I say Upma, he would ask me sadly do I not have Idli or Dosa Batter. Or he would ask me what about eating Puttu or Idiyappam. Upma is devil to him; it is Angel to my son. He never says No to Upma. I am not a fast cook to prepare 2-3 recipes during busy Morning. I suddenly remembered this Kitchadi my Mom used to prepare as a special breakfast. I served him today. He is little bit satisfied that he is not eating just Upma but a spicy one..
Srivalli has organised Breakfast Mela.I am sending this recipe for the Mela.

Here is the recipe..
Rava 1 cup (200ml cup)
Tomato (Small) 1
Carrot  ½
Beans 4
Peas 10-12
Green Chillies 1-2
Garlic 1
Finely Chopped Ginger ½ tsp
Turmeric powder a pinch
Curry Leaves 4
Pearl Onions 4
Channa Dhal 1 ½ tsp
Mustard Seeds ¾ tsp
Water 2 ¼ cups (200ml cup)
Cut the Vegetables, Ginger, Garlic and Onions into fine pieces. Cut Tomato into four pieces.
Grind Together: Tomato, Ginger, Chillies and Garlic.
Dry roast Rava until it releases nice aroma. Keep it aside in a Plate.
Heat Oil in a Pan. When hot, add Mustard Seeds. When Popped, reduce flame and add Channa Dhal, Curry Leaves and Onions. Fry till Onions turn translucent.
Now add ground Tomato-Ginger-Garlic-Chillies paste and Turmeric Powder. Fry till the raw smell goes off.  Now add the chopped Vegetables. Fry till they turn soft.
Now add Water and Salt. Allow boiling on a medium to high flame. When it boils well, pour Roasted Rava. As you pour, stir it simultaneously and quickly so that no lumps is formed. Stir until all water is absorbed by Rava. Kitchadi is now ready to be served.
Serves: 2
Serve with Coconut Chutney or Mint Chutney or Tomato Sauce.

Note: If Roasted Rava available in Markets is used, it is not required to roast again. You can
add ¼ tsp Chilli Powder to make it more hot.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Venn (White) / Milagu (Pepper) Pongal

Pongal and Sambar

Venn Pongal is prepared along with Charkkarai / Sweet Pongal during Pongal festival. But this is also a special breakfast in every Tamil Home. This is a perfect recipe if you get more guests at home as this can be prepared faster.

This is my 25th Post. I am happy that it happened to be my Favorite Pongal. This is my son's favorite too.

Whenever I prepare this, he becomes restless. He doesn't like to wait until it cools. I make him touch Pongal and realise that it is hot. Only then he understands and waits to eat. I like to serve him this as he eagerly opens his mouth for every spoon of Pongal. There is nothing special for a Mother other than seeing her child eating well.

Here is the Recipe.


Raw Rice 1 cup (200ml cup)
Pasiparuppu /  Split (Yellow) Moong Dhal ½ cup (200 ml cup)
Pepper Corns  1 ¼ tsp
Cumin / Jheeragam  ¾ tsp
Finely cut Ginger 1 tsp
Curry Leaves 6-8
Cashew nuts (Optional) Few
Vanaspati/Dalda  3 tsp
Oil  2-3 tsp
Water 3.5 cups

Cut Ginger into fine pieces. Cut Cashew nuts into two.
Heat Dalda and Oil. When hot, add Ginger and Curry Leaves. Few seconds later, add Pepper Corns, Cumin and Cashew nuts. Fry on a low flame till they turn slightly brown and Ginger turns soft.

Add Raw Rice and Dhal. Fry for 2-3 minutes. Now add water and Salt. Stir well. Cook for 3-4 whistles.

Serves: 2
Serve with Coconut Chutney and/or Sambar.

Do not over fry the spices. Add cashew nuts, the last while frying. You can also use Ghee instead of Dalda.
Use 1 cup more water than you use usually to cook rice. Allow one more whistle than usual. For example, I use 2.5 cups of water and 3 whistles for cooking normal white rice of 1.5 cups. So for Pongal, I use 3.5 cups of water and 4 whistles for 1.5 cups (Rice + Dhal).
If hard water is used for cooking, like me, soak Dhal for one hour and Rice for half an hour. Traditionally, Raw Rice is used to prepare this Pongal as it can be cooked mushy or too soft.
I used less Cumin as I am feeding my toddler son. You can include upto 1½ tsp according to your taste.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Vazhakkai / Green (Unripe) Banana Fry

Both the Ripe and Unripe Banana are good sources of Vitamins and Minerals. Unripe Banana has a good starch content and takes more time to digest. Also, it is served to those who suffer from Diarrhea. For more unknown facts check out here. There are many methods to prepare Vazhakkai fry. This is one of them.


Unripe Banana(small) 4
Curry Leaves 5
Grated Coconut 4tsp
Dried Red Chillies 1-2
Cumin ¾ tsp
Turmeric Powder ¼ tsp
Mustard Seeds ¾ tsp


Peel the outer skin of Vazhakkai and cut into thin circular pieces.
Grind Together: Coconut, Cumin and Chillies.


Heat required Water in a Pan. Add chopped Vazhakkai. Boil till it becomes soft and half cooked. Drain water and keep it aside.

Heat Oil in a Pan. When hot, add Mustard Seeds. When popped, reduce flame and add Curry Leaves. Add Vazhakkai,Turmeric Powder and Salt. Mix well. Fry till almost done on a medium flame.

Now add ground Coconut-Cumin-Chillies mixture. Fry for 2-3 minutes more till done.

Serves: 2-3
Serve hot with Rice and any Kuzambhu or Sambar.

Updated on Apr 23, 2011:

Green Banana can also be chopped into small cubes and prepared in the above described method. Cutting this way helps cooking faster.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

How to Prepare Idli and Dosa Batter ???

Idli and Dosa are a Common Breakfast or Dinner in any South Indian Home. Making Idli Batter in India is not at all a problem, it is a very easy task.. But when I came here to Jeddah after Marriage, I struggled a lot to get perfect fluffy Idlis and Crispy Dosa.

The first problem was I didnt have a Grinder and came to know that no Grinder is sold here. The next problem, I didnt get Whole Urad Dhal here in the local Markets. I got both Black and White(Skinned) varieties but they were only Split/Broken Dhal. The next one, I didnt get Idli Rice. I was highly frustrated.

Finally I tried with the available Broken Dhal and Raw Rice in a Mixer. The next day, when I opened the container, I was very much shocked as it was not fermented and was in its own size. I never knew that Batter may not ferment. What to do with this batter?? I made Idlis (with lots of courage). It was like a flat stone. :-( I tried Dosa, with even more courage. It came out ok but no one can eat one whole Dosa. Through surfing, I also came to know that batter does not ferment well at higher altitudes too.

I tried many methods and adding less rice in a Mixer gave me quite positive results. I added few cooked Rice while grinding and baking Powder while mixing. This made Idlis look like Idlis but not good in taste. Few weeks later, to our surprise we found Idli Rice in one of the shops far away. This time Idlis were little fluffier and tasted good but not as stone ground Idlis.

I brought Stone Grinder and many packets of Whole Urad Dhal the next time I visited India. Now I make the batter, just like that, so easy, like a lean Tamil Hero handling Gundas.

Ok.. Coming to the batter, I have drafted ideas and methods/ways to make the perfect batter so that the beginners can understand and need not suffer like me.

Whole Urad Dhal 1.5 cup (200ml cup)
Idli Rice 6 cups                         
Fenugreek Seeds 1 ½ tsp
Baking Powder (Optional) ½ tsp
Salt  5 tsp or to taste

Soak Idli Rice for 6-8 hrs. Soak Urad Dhal along with Fenugreek Seeds for 2-3 hrs. Soak Urad Dhal with twice its quantity of water as it expands when soaked.
Grind Urad Dhal and Fenugreek Seeds till smooth using a Stone Grinder with enough water. Keep it aside.
Grind Idli Rice with enough water.
Add the ground Rice batter to the ground Urad Dhal batter. Add Salt and baking Powder. Mix well with hand. Make sure the salt does not accumulate at one place. This batter should neither be watery nor be thick.
Keep it in a large container overnight for fermentation.
The next day morning, tiny bubbles can be seen at the top of the batter and the batter would have raised double the quantity or more. Do not stir. Idli can be made with this batter or can be refrigerated for future use. If the batter is thick and you feel water can be added, take the required amount of batter in a separate container and add little water and prepare Idlis.
Idli can be made with this batter for the first 2-3 days or till the sponginess exist at the top of the batter. Dosa can be prepared with the remaining batter for the next two days. Stir and add water when using the batter for Dosa.
If  you still have the batter after 4-5 days, it would become more sour. So add Rava and make Rava Dosa OR add Onions, Chillies, Curry Leaves and make Onion Oothappam.
Serves two members for 4 days.
Serve Idli and Dosa with Chutney and/or Sambar.

How to Grind Urad Dhal and Idli Rice in a Grinder:
First add half cup of water for Dhal and one cup of water for Rice (150ml cup) in the Grinder. Then add handful of dhal / Rice twice and start grinding.
As it grinds, add little water and Dhal/Rice alternatively till you complete adding it.If the stone moves slow or gets struck, it denotes less water has been added, so add water.
Few Dhal/Rice usually lies on the sides and corners of the Grinder. In this case, stop it for few seconds, wipe them to the center and continue grinding.
Grind till it becomes soft adding water if necessary.
Grinding this way ensures we have added not more but enough water and the Grinder works well for more years.
Idli Rice takes more time to grind than Urad Dhal. Idli Rice cannot be ground to smooth like Dhal. But how much better it is ground, the better is the batter.
Ratio of Whole Urad Dhal : Idli Rice is 1:4. If Idli Rice is not of the best quality, reduce the quantity of Rice, say 1:3.
Soak Idli Rice and Urad Dhal separately. Soak for more hours if the water used is very hard.
Avoid Split or Broken Dhal as it does not help much in raising the batter. If broken Dhal is used, use 1:3 ratio.
For best results, use Stone Grinder for grinding.
Grind Urad Dhal and Idli Rice separately.
Use Aluminium or Plastic Containers for refrigerating the batter.

Grinding with a Mixer:

Use 1:3 ratio. Use 1:2.5 if broken Dhal is used.
Add Cooked Rice while grinding.
Baking Powder is a must.
Use cold water as Mixer becomes hot very soon.
Grind in batches giving some breaks in between.
For more tips, check out Shilpa's and the Yum Blog's Ideas.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011


Avial is a healthy food as it is a mixture of 4-5 vegetables and is a great combination to Sambar. My Mom makes this Avial whenever we are all at home together or during festival days. I learnt from wiki that Bhima invented Aviyal. Very Surprising,, Isnt It??

Here goes the recipe:
Chopped Vegetables for Avial
Drumstick 2
Brinjal (small) 2
Green(Unripe) Banana / Vazhakkai (small) 2
Cluster Beans 5
Carrot 1
Cumin / Jeeragam ¾ tsp
Green Chillies 3-4
Curd/Yoghurt  5-6 tsp
Grated Cocount 5tsp

For Seasoning:
Mustard Seeds 1 tsp
Curry Leaves 5
Pearl Onions 3
Coconut Oil

Chop Vegetables lengthwise. Chop Pearl Onions.
Cut Brinjal into four pieces. Grate Coconut.
Grind together: Coconut, Chillies and Cumin.


Heat Pan. Add chopped Vegetables. Add water well enough to cover the vegetables. Cook on a medium flame till done.
Add Coconut Paste and Salt. Fry for five more minutes.  
Heat Oil in a Pan. When hot, add Mustard Seeds. When Popped, reduce flame and add Curry Leaves, Pearl Onions. Fry till the Onions become translucent. Pour this seasoning into the Avial.
Mix Curd / Yoghurt with the Avial just before Serving.
Serves: 4
Serve with Rice and Sambar.

Note: Prepare Sambar which does not include those vegetables in Avial like Pumpkin Sambar, Hyacinth/Indian Beans (Avaraikkai) Sambar, Ivy Gourd (Kovakkai) Sambar. 

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Vegetable Kurma

Everyone is fond of their Mom's recipes like me. There are some recipes, how much ever tried cannot beat Mom's taste.

This is one such recipe. My husband says it is good and the Kurma vansihes soon when served. But I feel still something is missing to reach Mom's Kurma.

Here goes the Recipe..
Drumstick and Peas Kurma
Large Ripe Tomatoes 2
Garlic Cloves 2
Finely Chopped Ginger 1 tsp
Sambar Powder 2 ¼  tbsp
Grated Coconut 4 tsp
Pearl Onions 5
Tamarind (small gooseberry size)
Mustard Seeds 1 tsp
Urad Dhal 1/2 tsp
Curry Leaves 5
Sesame Oil
Water 4 cups

Cut Vegetables into pieces. Peel and chop Pearl Onions.
Peel Garlic. Chop Ginger. Cut Tomatoes into four pieces.

Heat little Oil in a Pan. Add Chopped Ginger and Garlic. When they change their colour, add Chopped Tomatoes. Fry on a low flame till the raw smell off and the skin of the Tomatoes slightly separates. Grind it to a smooth Paste once cooled.

Heat enough Oil in the same Pan. Add Mustard seeds, when they start popping up, add Urad Dhal. Few seconds later add Curry Leaves and Onions. Fry till Onions become translucent. Add the Tomato-Garlic-Ginger paste. Fry on a medium flame till the oil separates.

Add Vegetables and Sambar Powder. Fry for 2-3 minutes so that the Sambar Powder gets mixed well with the vegetables. Add Salt and enough water. Boil on a medium to high flame. When the Kurma starts thickening, add grated coconut. Boil for 5-10 minutes till done. Now add tamarind paste and boil for few more minutes.

Serves: 2-3
Serve with Rice with any Non-Spicy Poriyal/DryCurry like Carrot-Cabbage Poriyal. This can be served with Chapati and Poori too ..

Combinations of Vegetables used:

  • Drumstick and Potato 

  • Drumstick and Peas
  • Peas, Beans and Carrot
  • Peas, Beans, Carrot and Cauliflower (Cauliflower can be soaked in hot water for some time and then added)
  • Peas and Cauliflower

This Kurma tastes better only if Tomatoes are fried for a long time (before grinding) and more Sesame Oil is used.