Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Pepper!!! Pepper!! Pepper!!

This is my last post of the year. Every year my resolution remained the same since blogging; nothing great but just to write more posts.

I've never been successful due to many reasons; one among them is that I don't try much recipes nowadays as I've switched to more of  uncooked food for my breakfast and dinner. And I don't cook just for the sake of blogging.

This year my resolution is going to be the same; either recipes or health related posts but more. Recent likes in FB has made me excited and would love to see much more likes. :-)

2014 has been a great year for me though with few health problems. I turned to a fitness or health freak; made many changes in my lifestyle and food; started walking more; made new friends; went for two vacation ;-). Thankyou God for giving me such an wonderful year.

Thanks friends for reading about me.
Now about pepper.............

Its a known fact that our south indian diet had more of black pepper and not of chilles in the past. I dont know how we fell for chillies and that too we use more of dried red chillies and red chilly powder nowadays. We limited our use of pepper only to few recipes like Egg omelette, Pepper Chicken, Pepper kuzhambu/curry, Rasam and Salads. But I am sure we are not taking much pepper and definitely not daily.

I do not know the health benefits of chillies; but I do know the health benefits of black pepper. Now how to include more pepper in our South Indian diet, espeically a tamil diet. Freshly ground pepper is better in flavor and taste when compared to store bought pepper powder.

1. Chutneys: 

Coconut Chutney: When I visited one of our friend in kerala last year. she served us chammangi, nothing but coconut chutney. But the ingredients were not red/green chillies as I used to prepare coconut chutney. It was grated coconut, pepper and tamarind. She said sometimes she replaces tamarind with vinegar. I never made coconut chutney like that. Since then I started replacing chillies with pepper.

Tomato Chutney: Here I add 1/2 tsp - 1 tsp of pepper and the taste is hot and amazing ; -)  The same goes with Onion ChutneyGarlic Chutney and Coriander Chutney. There is not much difference in taste and I like it too.. ;-) 

2. Stir Fry:

I replaced chillies with pepper in stir fries like carrot stir fry, cabbage stir fry. Carrot, Cabbage and pepper goes well with each other that too when made as stir fries.. I am yet to try it with potatoes, okra and other vegetables.

3. Gravy for chapatis/ Rotis

Usually I add spice powders in this ratio:
Chilli Powder                   1
Coriander Powder            2
Cumin Powder and         1/4
Pepper Powder                1/2

Guess what!! Now I add in this ratio.

Chilli Powder                   1/2
Coriander Powder            2
Cumin Powder and          1/4
Pepper Powder                1

Simply I've reduced chilli powder and increased pepper powder.

4. Idli Podi: Its only dried red chillies that I add to prepare Idli Podi (a side dish to Idli). Recently I tried with black pepper. It came out good but my little one didn't like it a lot. Hope he will get used to it soon.

I'm yet to try with sambar powder.  I'm not sure I'll be successful I think I'll have to compromise in taste for sure this time.

P.SIf at all, the recipe calls for chillies and pepper cannot be used, it is better to use fresh chillies as fresh is always better to dried chillies.

I'm not an expert. This post is just my experience and I do not claim that chillies are not good for health. I prefer black pepper to chillies because of its health benefits that is taught to every indian at his home. 

In this post, Pepper refers to black pepper corns and chillies refer to red/green indian chili peppers either fresh or dried.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Pori Kadalai (Puffed Rice and Gram)

This is a traditional recipe prepared during navarathri festivals in Tamilnadu. Few weeks back, when I was seriously looking for some easy evening snacks to munch on, this came to my mind. :) It is simple to prepare, just mix everything and its done. It goes well with a cup of tea. If you are interested in providing home made snacks to children, this would be the perfect one to start with. I'm more concerned about the snacks that I give my toddler son and I ensure that my son doesn't eat too much of store bought snacks. This would suit for diabetics too, of course with very less or no jaggery.  


Puffed Rice (Pori) 2 cups
Roasted Channa Dhal /Pottu Kadalai/ Chutney Dhal Handful
Peanuts few
Grated Jaggery few tablespoons (or as needed) or variety of brown sugar


Dry roast all the ingredients separately for few seconds except for jaggery. Add Jaggery and then serve.

Monday, November 10, 2014

How to reduce intake of salt in south Indian diet???

How do you prepare potato stir fry? Boil Potatoes with salt and then add salt again while you do the stir fry? Then this write up is for you.

A famous old saying in tamil : Uppilla Pandam Kuppaiyile; meaning unsalted food goes to trash. Now what do you say: Miga Uppulla Pandam Kuppaiyile, meaning more salted food need to go to trash. In school days, I would like to start any essay with a famous saying so as to attract the teacher. Now its you.. !!!

One with high blood pressure (or even slightly high blood pressure) is advised to reduce the intake of salt by everyone whom he meets. Here are few tips that would help anybody who wants to reduce their salt intake.

Do not add salt while cooking plain rice: I've come across many (especially a lot of lovely grandmothers of south india) who add salt while cooking rice . Do we eat rice as such? Not at all; We are going to mix it in any curry or sambar for sure, which has enough salt in it. So if at all you are doing this, please stop. 

Do not add salt while kneading dough or chapati: This is something that I've learnt from my neighbor's friend. I've always wondered why didn't I know this before. There was no difference in taste as I feared initially. Anyways,we like to dip it in any curry that has salt in it. I think this would be a new tip to many of you.

Do not add salt while sauteing onions: Everyone who sautes onions are taught to add salt for fast cooking. No No !!! Let it take few more seconds to get done.

Then When to add Salt: Add Salt at the end of any cooking and that would obviously require only less salt. 

If you are preparing stir fries with vegetables or root vegetables, sprinkle salt when it is done before you could add grated coconut. If the recipe does not require grated coconut, then addition of salt would be the final step. The same thing suits for curries and sambar too.

Avoid Pickles: We very well know that pickles require lots and lots of salt to preserve it for a long time. If you are pickle lover and cannot stop pickling ;) with curd rice, go for instant pickles. For ex. Raw Mango pickle.. Cut it into fine pieces. Add salt, chilli powder, and other masala. consume it within 1-2 days.

No Processed Foods: 

Sauces: Just like pickles. all the finger licking sauces have toooo much amount of salt in them. It is better to switch to home made sauces with less salt. If at all you need to try the recipe with ready made sauces, do not add any further salt.

Chips: No supermarket exists without different flavors of potato chips. Irresistible!!! just because of the too much salt content. It is not that easy to prepare thin potato chips at home without a perfect cutter. But it is easy to prepare potato wedges with an oven at home. Or simply switch to raw banana chips that can be easily made at home.

And many more processed foods: Strictly say No.

I am still experimenting how to reduce salt. These are the few steps that I've started following since few months.

What say friends???!!!! Share your tips. I would like to hear and follow.

P.S: I am not an expert. I've shared here few tips that I've followed.

I would have used you at many sentences.  It generally means many of us or few of us. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Are we eating healthy?? Are we really healthy??

I don't fall ill that often, now and then I get cold, fever like anyone. But the last six years were very worse. After reading all my medical documents ( I carry a big file), a doctor said every vacation you have a surgery done. I replied.. Doctor; You name it; I have it.., I've everything except for sugar and pressure.

Am I eating healthy?? Am I really healthy?? .. Since then, these two questions are something that I've started asking myself often.  

I used to compare me with my relatives and friends; none has undergone so many surgeries as me that too in late twenties. I started being proud that I'm capable of handling all these problems alone here with a naughty kid along with other household jobs. I've been searching the reasons for all my health problems. Few of the problems in me had no symptoms; few of them the doctor had no reason why I got them and had no clue whether I can get it again or not. 

When I met a lady next door who takes injection every week for some problems in her brain, I got really worried and thought God has given me fewer problems than her. I started feeling less proud about myself. He He He.. But my search towards how to stay healthy continued.

I went to chennai for vacation last June.  When I was just browsing the nearby organic shop, I found a tamil book.." Iyarkai Unavin Adhisayam; Arokiya Vazhvin Rahasiyam" meaning Miracles of Natural Food; Secrets for Healthy Living. You can buy it here.

The author Moo. Aa. Appan says eat uncooked raw vegetables/fruits for the healthy living. He has quoted many instances of those who got rid of their diseases after switching over to uncooked natural food. He gives remedies for each diseases and they are just raw fruits and vegetables. 

I thought let me give a try. My Mom and Hus joined me. Initially it was a bit difficult to change the entire diet. I tried changing my dinner to just vegetables and fruits. Then I slowly introduced the same during breakfast. Now and then I fell for Idli or Dosa. After many weeks, I am now very much successful and I eat cooked food only during lunch. It would be regular rice or little millets with lentils, greens and cooked vegetables. 

I need to make something clear about vegetables here. I eat raw carrots, cucumber, ridge gourd (peerkangai), gooseberries, banana stem (vazhaithandu), tomato, onions and whatever I can. I cook the other vegetables that cannot be eaten raw; cauliflower, drumstick, brinjal etc.. Somewhere I read cooked tomatoes are healthier than raw tomatoes. I cook tomatoes for sambar or any other curry during my lunch and so i feel thats ok. 

Simply speaking my dinner and breakfast includes either 80% of fruits & 20% of raw vegetables OR 80% fruits & sprouted greens OR just fruits alone.

The benefits:

I feel brisk and healthy. 
I can walk for an hour. I don't feel tired.. 
My periods has become normal.
Indigestion is very rare. 
The most important benefit is my weight reduced from 79kg to 71 kg in just 3-4 months with not much struggle but with an hour walk and little exercise now and then.

I love cooking and try to impress guests and those at home with a platter for every meal. Soups, Desserts, Chutneys, Idli, Dosa and what not. That made me to start blogging about food.. But if that cannot control my weight and make me energetic, it is better to get rid of it. But switching over completely to uncooked raw food is not possible as we are very much used to it. The regular periods is a positive sign of my health getting back to normal. It would take few more months for me to make sure whether my health problems have reduced. Hope I don't get any other new problems.

What say friends?? 

Stay tuned for easy uncooked recipes. 

P.S: I am not an expert. The above article is just my experience. I am sharing this so that others can benefit. I do not suggest this diet to children, pregnant ladies, lactating mothers or those who are seriously ill or who have just underwent surgeries. Please consult your doctor. 

I strongly recommend this article to be read by everyone who wants to reduce their body weight.

Here are some tamil videos of the author..

Monday, June 23, 2014

Lebanese Crunchy Sesame Cookies

Another entry to this month Home Bakers Challenge. Rafeeda of The Big Sweet Tooth has given us some wonderful suggestions from Arabic cuisine. It has been a long time since I baked cookies. Though sweet is not welcomed much here, I make it once in a while; I munch on a few and give the rest to friends and neighbors here. I find this quite healthy with the addition of sesame. Like these crunchy sesame cookies.

Yields: 24 cookies


All Purpose Flour 2 1/4 cups
Baking Powder 1 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda 1 tsp
Vanilla Powder 1 tsp
Salt 1/4 tsp
Unsalted butter 100g
Powdered Sugar 2/3 cup
Egg 1
Toasted Sesame Seeds 2 cups
Milk 2-3 tblsp or as required


In a large bowl, combine the flour, Baking Powder and Soda, Vanilla Powder and Salt. Whisk until well combined and keep it aside.

In a stand mixer or a hand beater, beat softened butter until creamy and done. Add Sugar and beat until well combined. Now add egg and continue beating until it gets combined and done.

Now add the flour mixture little by little and beat on a medium speed. The mixture would be very dry. So add milk so as to form a smooth dough. 

Preheat the oven at 180 deg C for 10 minutes. Now scoop a tbsp of mixture, gently flatten and roll over toasted sesame seeds. Place it on the lined cookie sheet. Repeat the same for the entire dough. 

Bake at 180 deg C for 12-14 minutes until slightly brown along its sides. Cool it completely on a wire rack before serving or storing in an air tight container.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Savory Semolina Cake

I am paired with Nayana Pikle for Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge. She has suggested two ingredients; Semolina and Coriander. I made this flavorful and spicy savory semolina cake which has become a hit here. I didn't expect it to be so tasty. It is definitely worth a try again. 

Adapted from here and here.


Semolina 1 cup
Red Chilli Powder 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder 1/4 tsp
Turmeric Powder a generous pinch
Baking Powder 1/2 tsp
Baking Powder 1/2 tsp
Peas 1/4 cup
Chopped Beans 1/4 cup
Carrot 3 grated - medium
Onion chopped - 1/2 - medium
Finely chopped Ginger 1 tblsp
Yoghurt 1 cup
Water 1/2 cup
Sesame seeds for topping

To temper:

Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds 1/4 tsp
Finely chopped Curry Leaves 1 tbsp
Finely chopped Coriander Leaves 3 tbsp


Preheat the oven at 175 deg C. Grease and line a loaf pan with baking paper.

Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl until well combined. 

Add oil in a pan. When hot, add mustard seeds. When it starts popping up, add cumin seeds, chopped coriander and curry leaves. Pour this tempering into the mixture and mix until well combined.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan. Bake at 175 deg C for 35-40 minutes until done or a tooth prick inserted comes out clean.

Serve hot with green chutneys and ketchup.

Notes:  I used yellow semolina. If using regular sooji, pulse it in a mixer for a few seconds before adding. I think beans can be avoided as it was quite difficult for me to cut thinner slices. 

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Manakish Zaatar

Manakish Zaatar, a lebanese flat bread is frequently had for breakfast here in middle east countries. Zaatar is a combination of dried herbs. Zaatar stuffed croissants are very common here. This Manakish Zaatar is had along with olives, cucumber and cheese. But we are not very fond of cheese and thus we have with regular yoghurt. 

When Rafeeda of The Big Sweet Tooth has suggested the recipes for this month, I was overwhelmed with joy as most of them are in my to do list and there are non sweet bakes too. Sweets are something that I make it very rare here. Zaatar was something that I wanted to try since long. And here it is.. 

Recipe Source: The Kitchn


Lukewarm water 1/2 cup
Sugar 1/4 tsp
Active dry yeast 1 1/8 tsp
All Purpose Flour 1 1/2 cups
Salt 1/2 tsp
Olive Oil 1 tbsp

Zaatar topping:

Ground Sumac 1/8 cup
Dried Oregano 1 tbsp
Dried Thyme 1 tbsp
Roasted Sesame seeds 1 tbsp
Olive oil 1/4 cup


Take 2 tbsp of water (from the 1/2 cup) in a bowl, add sugar and yeast. Mix well and keep it aside until it becomes frothy and increase in size. This would take 5-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, add salt and olive oil to the flour and keep it aside. When the yeast mixture is ready, add it along with the remaining water little by little to the flour to form a smooth dough.

Put the dough in a greased bowl and cover it with a damp cloth until it gets doubled. This would take an hour.

Remove the dough. Divide it into 2-3 equal parts. Put them back in the same greased bowl with the covered damp cloth for another 15 minutes.

Preheat the oven at 205 deg C for 10 minutes. 

Mix the ingredients for the zaatar topping. Take the dough ball. Spread it evenly to 7-8 inch diameter. Make indentations from the center so as to add the zaatar topping leaving an 1-2 inch around. 

Take a heaped tbsp of the zaatar topping and spread it around. 

Grease a 8 inch round cake pan. Add the prepared zaatar. Bake for 12 minutes until crisp and gets slightly brown along the sides. (The original recipe called for only 8 minutes. But it varies depending upon the size of the oven and stone used.) 


I halved the original recipe. But when I made 4 equal balls out of the dough, it turned out to be too much crisp and very flat. So 2-3 equal balls out of the dough (if prepared with the measurements above) would be much better.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Aval Urundai / Aval Laddoo

Shama Nagarajan of Easy 2 cook recipes has suggested Aval and Jaggery for this month Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge. Here in this challenge, every month paired bloggers share the ingredients secretly that is revealed the next month along with the recipes made out of it.Though I am quite late this month, didn't want to lose the fun. Here is the yummy recipe.. 

Yields: 6 small laddoos


Aval / White Rice Flakes 1 1/2 cups
Grated Jaggery 1/2 cup
Ghee 4 tsp
Cardamom Powder a pinch
Chopped Cashews 1 tbsp
Water 1/4 cup


Dry roast the Aval for few seconds until it changes its color slightly. Once cooled, grind it to a fine powder in a mixer and then sieve. Add cardamom powder and keep it aside. 

In a pan, melt ghee and add cashews. Fry for few seconds until it changes slightly brown. Keep it aside.

In an other pan, add water and grated jaggery. Mix until the jaggery dissolves and transforms to a slightly thicker syrup and then filter it.

Now add the powdered aval and jaggery syrup into the pan with melted ghee and cashews. Pinch a ball size of the mixture and roll into laddoos.. Repeat the same for the rest of the mixture.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Egg Omelette

There are few very simple recipes that we prepare often; but do not get time to click. This is one such simple recipe that comes to rescue if I'm lazy to prepare side dish or just as a snack for my son after coming from school. I think the one and only essential thing to prepare egg omelette is to have a good nonstick pan or one would end up with more oily omelette. 

My 4 yr old son used to watch me cooking if he is bored of cartoon. Few days back, when I took egg from fridge, he snatched it from me and cracked it with a spoon nearby within few seconds. But thank god, he poured in a bowl and didn't spill over. From that day he is doing it with fun and I am watching him with my heart beating faster. :) 


Egg 1
Finely chopped coriander leaves 1 tbsp
Finely chopped chillies 1/2 tsp
Pepper Powder a pinch


In a bowl, crack the egg. Add other ingredients. Whisk till smooth and well combined.

Heat little oil in a pan. Add the beaten egg. Gently swirl the pan so that it forms a circle shape. Allow cooking on a low flame. 

When it is done, remove from the pan. If found sticky, add little more oil around the omelette and then try removing.. 

Notes: You can also add a tbsp of milk while beating egg. If serving for toddlers, avoid chopped chillies. 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Oreo Stuffed Red Velvet Crinkles

Shazzy karim of He chops; She cooks has suggested Red Velvet theme for this month HBC Challenge. I'd love to try the Red Velvet Cake but none like sweets here. I am seriously looking for someone near by, so that I can bake and give them. My pantry may go without potatoes but not without Oreos. My son likes it a lot but doesn't like cookies much. Well; I made these crinkles in small quantities and I really liked stuffing , baking and eating the crinkles. 

Yields: 5-6 large cookies


Butter 1/4 cup about 50g
Powdered Sugar 1/2 cup                            
Egg 1
Buttermilk 1 tbsp

Vanilla Powder 1/2 tsp
Red food color 1/2 tbsp
Cocoa Powder 2 3/4 tbsp
All Purpose Flour 1 cup - 1 tbsp
Baking Powder 1/2 tsp
Baking Soda a pinch
Salt 1/4 tsp
Powdered Sugar for dusting


In a bowl, whisk all the dry ingredients and keep it aside.

Cream Butter and Sugar until well combined. In a stand mixer or electric mixer, add egg until well beaten and combined. Add butter milk and beat for few more seconds.

Now add in the dry ingredients little by little until it is well combined. If the dough is more sticky, add little more flour and again give it a mix.

Grease your hands well with butter.  Pinch a round tablespoon of dough. Gently flatten and place one oreo upon it. Pinch 1tbsp+1tsp of the dough and place it on the oreo. Take it together and roll it in between your palms like a ball. Now gently flatten it and cover the oreo well together for the holes, if any, with the dough.

Coat it well with the powdered sugar and place it in arranged cookie sheet. Follow the same with the remaining batter.

Preheat the oven at 190 deg C for 10 minutes. Place the sprinkles with enough space in between; these are quite large. Bake for 12-14 minutes or until done.

Sunday, May 4, 2014

Baked Chicken Drumsticks ~ Indian Style

Baking Chicken has always remained quite easy for me as I can simultaneously cook other dishes in gas. This recipe is something that I prepare often and my son who is not very fond of chicken eats little of it; so I'm very glad as a mother. 


Chicken legs / Chicken Drumsticks 6 ~ 450g
Yoghurt 5 tbsp
Kashmiri Chilli Powder 2.5 tbsp
Coriander Powder 2 tbsp
Pepper Powder 1 tsp
Cumin Powder 1 tsp
Garam Masala 1 tsp
Finely chopped Garlic and Ginger 1 1/2 tbsp each
Olive Oil or any Oil 3-4 tbsp

For garnishing:

Lemon slices
Onion rings
Chopped Coriander leaves


Add finely chopped ginger and garlic to the other spice powders and yogurt in a mixer. Grind to a paste. Transfer to a bowl. (If using ginger-garlic paste, add all the other ingredients and ginger garlic paste in a bowl. Mix well. )

Make a small slit in each legs. Apply this paste all over the chicken legs and allow to marinate over night or atleast 5-6 hrs in refrigerator. 

Preheat the oven at 200 deg c for 10 mins.

Remove the marinated chicken pieces. Add oil and give it a gentle mix.

Arrange the pieces in a cookie sheet and place it in the middle rack of the oven.

Bake at 200 deg c for 20-25 mins. Now turn the other side and allow baking for another 20-25 minutes. Mine got done at 25 minutes each side.

Notes:  I use an electric oven. Each oven varies and cooking time differs; so adjust time accordingly. This is medium hot; increase or decrease spice powders according to your taste preference.

There may be excess of marination; say 1-2 tsp; I just leave it. Need not push all marination in; just a generous coating is enough. 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Vadai thatti potta Mor Kuzhambu / Vada in South Indian Kadhi / Channa Dhal fritters in Buttermilk curry

South Vs North Challenge or simply called as SNC, brainchild of Divya Pramil of You too can cook, is an event and challenge where we fellow bloggers participate and learn regional recipes all over India. 

I am the host for this month and I suggest this recipe to the north indian members. The same way, Prachi Agarwal (Prachi's Veg Kitchen) of northern team is the host for this month and has suggested Pani Puri recipe to the south indian members. To know more about SNC or to join, click here

Vadai / Vada is a kind of Indian Fritters. Mor Kuzhambu refers to spiced Buttermilk Curry. Thatti potta just refers to the making of vadais and its addition in the curry.

Mor Kuzhambu is one of the authentic curry recipes of Tamilnadu. Though there are slight variations in the ingredients from one region to another, the main ingredients are mostly the same, simple and can be prepared faster.

Mor kuzhambu with vegetables is made very rare at home as we like it mostly with vadais. I think it is a trick made by our great great grandmas to include vadais in the curry so that none will say no to the curry. ;-) 

Ingredients for Mor Kuzhambu:

Sour yogurt or curd 1 cup + Water 1/2 cup 
Turmeric Powder 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida  a generous pinch

To grind:

Coconut 1/4 cup 
Green chillies 2
Cumin seeds 1/2 tsp

To grind:

Toor Dhal 1 tsp 
Raw Rice 1 tsp 

To temper:

Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves few
Finely chopped Ginger 1 tsp
Red Chillies 1-2
Coconut oil/ or any oil

For Vadais:

Channa Dhal / Kadalai Paruppu 3/4 cup
Finely chopped Garlic 1 tsp
Dried Red Chillies 3-4
Finely chopped Curry Leaves 2 tbsp
Finely chopped Pearl Onions 2 tbsp

Method for Vadais: (For 6-7 medium vadais)

Soak Channa Dhal for 2 hrs and then strain. Chop Garlic, Onions and Curry Leaves.

In a mixer, grind Channa Dhal and Dried Red Chillies to a coarse paste. Make sure dhal is not completely ground; let few dhals remain whole without ground. 

Now add chopped Garlic, Onions, Curry Leaves and Salt to the mixture.  Pinch a small ball size and press it to form vadais. 

Heat Oil in a Pan. When hot, add the vadais. Fry till brown and done. Transfer to a paper towel.

Method for Mor Kuzhambu: 

Soak Toor Dhal and Raw Rice for one hour and strain. Chop Ginger and grate coconut. Grind Toor Dhal and Raw Rice to a coarse powder.

Grind grated coconut, cumin seeds and green chillies to a coarse powder. Keep it aside. 

Whip/Beat curd along with 1/2 cup of water atleast for few minutes until smooth. You can use a mixer or a hand blender. 

Heat a Pan. When hot add the Toor Dhal+Raw Rice ground mixture. Fry for a few seconds. Now add the coconut ground mixture along with turmeric powder and Asafoetida. Fry for few more seconds. Add little water and allow boiling until its raw smell goes off..

Now add the whipped curd and salt. Give it a mix. Decrease the flame to low and allow cooking until it starts to leave out bubbles on its edges. Stop the flame when it is about to boil and raise.

In a pan, add oil, when hot, add mustard seeds. When it starts popping up, add curry leaves, dried red chillies and chopped ginger. Pour this seasoning into the curry.

Add the vadais just before serving. Serve with any hot and spicy stir fry. I served with Potato Fry. 

Serves: 2


I used low fat plain yogurt. To make it sour, just keep the curd/yogurt out without refrigerating for few hours. In winter, it may take few more hours. (This is for beginners!!! )

Do not boil the curry for a long time which would result in curdling.

Linking this also to South Indian Cooking at The Big Sweet Tooth.

Feel free to clarify your doubts. 

Link your valuable entries below. As all of you are going to prepare the same recipe, just leave in your blog name instead of the recipe's name. 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Easy Chicken Curry ~ Amma's Recipe ~ Guest post for The Big SweetTooth

I really like the concept of guest posts that is happening in blogosphere. Particularly I don't fail to read the guest post series happening at Rafeeda's place. Hope all blogger friends would know her. I like her inspirational quotes that she shares both in FB and in her posts. I really admire her; she is a working mom with two cute and lovely kids. Inspite of her busy life, she manages the blog too.. She has loads of chicken recipes; I've bookmarked a few; but yet to try.

My Mom is a non vegetarian. But since we didn't show much interests in non veg food since child hood, she stopped cooking it except when guests arrive. She needs to prepare a platter of non veg and veg items with sambar, avial and other stuff  so as to satisfy both the guests and us. So she make this curry simple yet tasty and makes the side dish hot and spicy. Side dish would be mostly hot chicken fry or boiled egg fry. She uses only pearl onions and less of garam masala but heard guests say it is the tastiest curry that they have ever had and vanishes soon during lunch itself. 

When Rafeeda invited me to write a guest post, I accepted immediately. When I was thinking what to prepare, I thought of this amma's simple chicken curry recipe. Hope you like this Rafeeda. 

Check out the recipe in her space here.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Quick Pasta

Pasta is something that I prepare for breakfast. I've never been able to shoot it until today. This is easy to prepare and I would suggest adding more chopped coriander leaves/parsley; the more the tastier. It add lovely flavor and taste to the recipe. 


Pasta 1 cup (I used 100% Durum wheat)
Bell Peppers 4 tbsp (all 3 colors mixed)
Finely chopped Vegetables 3 tbsp (Carrot and Beans)
Finely chopped Garlic 1 tbsp
Finely chopped coriander leaves 3 tbsp
Tomato Ketchup 4 tbsp
Chilli Sauce 1 tbsp
Olive Oil 2 tbsp


Chop Garlic, Bell Peppers, Vegetables and Coriander Leaves into very fine pieces. Steam or cook the chopped vegetables.


Boil water in a pan with salt and 2-3 drops of olive oil. Add Pasta and cook till done. Go by the instructions of the pack. 

When it is boiling, heat oil in a pan. Add chopped Garlic and chopped Bell Peppers. Fry for a minute and then add the cooked Vegetables and Coriander Leaves. Add a pinch of Salt, Ketchup, Chilli sauce and give it a mix. Switch off the flame.

When pasta is done, strain and reserve 2-3 tbsp of that water.

Now add strained pasta to the pan. Add the reserved water and fry for few more minutes until done.

Serve hot.

Serves: 1


Increase other ingredients more if need to serve for more. Increase chilli sauce according to your taste and preference. 

Monday, April 21, 2014

Pavakkai Pitlai / Bitter Gourd Pitlai / Bitter Melon Pitlai with Sambar Powder

Pavakkai Pitlai is a spicy Indian curry with little variations from regular sambar. This Pitlai is not something common in every household. I heard about this recipe through some of my friends and ofcourse through blogosphere. 

I've made what all I can do to reduce the bitterness of the bittergourd. And finally, when I was eating it, I was very happy as its bitterness is almost gone. Now I can proudly say I can handle this vegetable well and good. Having made this for few times recently, thought why not have I tried this earlier. 

Those who are following my posts, (of course, I post very few ) would know that I cook bitter gourd at least once a week. And this recipe is going to be in my weekly plan at least for few months to come. 

Something that I really like about this recipe is there is no tomato added. I somehow, have the feeling nowadays why are we using tomatoes in almost all recipes. When I don't include tomatoes in a recipe (like Puli kuzhambu), it gives me a traditional feeling as tamilians (not sure about all other states) cooked curries only with tamarind and not with tomatoes; they got themselves included in our diet since just few decades.

Source: Vahchef


Bittergourd (Long) 1
Toor Dhal (Thuvaram paruppu) 1/2 cup
Channa (Kondai Kadalai) 1/4 cup
Sambar Powder 2 1/2 tbsp
Grated Coconut 1-2 tbsp
Grated Jaggery 1-2 tsp
Lemon sized tamarind - two (one for soaking; one for cooking)

To temper:

Mustard Seeds 1/2 tsp
Urad Dhal 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek Seeds 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves few
Chopped Pearl Onions 1/2 cup
Asafoetida a generous pinch
Turmeric Powder 1/4 tsp
Dried Red Chillies 2


Soak channa in water over night. Soak Toor Dhal in water for atleast half an hour. (Not necessary, if your toor dhal cooks faster.)

Cut bitter gourd into small pieces. Soak in tamarind water for atleast one hour.  

Meanwhile cook channa for 3-4 whistles in pressure cooker and keep it aside. Cook Toor Dhal for 2-3 whistles in pressure cooker and keep it aside. 

Chop onions. Grate Coconut and Jaggery. Grind grated coconut with little water to form a paste. Keep it aside.

Rinse the chopped bitter gourd with the water extracted from the same tamarind 2-3 times well.


Soak another lemon sized tamarind in water for at least 15 minutes. Extract the pulp using two cups of water.

Heat oil in a pan. When hot, add Mustard seeds. When they complete popping up, add Urad Dhal, Asafoetida, Turmeric Powder, chopped onions, slit dried red chillies and curry leaves. Fry till the onions turn translucent.

Now add the chopped and rinsed bitter gourd slices. Add little salt and fry for atleast 5 minutes. (This helps to remove bitterness). Add the tamarind pulp extracted using two cups of water. Allow boiling until it is cooked.

Now add the cooked toor dhal, channa, sambar powder, grated jaggery, salt and water. Mix well and when it is almost done, add the coconut paste and allow boiling until everything combines well to reach the desired consistency.

Serves: 3
Serve with any stir fry.


Do not cook bitter gourd along with other dhals. Cook it separately or as mentioned above.

Once cooked, add all the other dhals. Rinsing the bitter gourd with tamarind water 2-3 times and cooking with the tamarind pulp extracted helps to remove the bitterness.

This is off to South Indian cooking event at The Big Sweet Tooth.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Sweet Potato Cutlet

I am proud to be a part of Shhh Cooking Secretly Challenge where we share recipes prepared with secret ingredients suggested by paired bloggers. Its really fun and interesting. My pair for this month is Nupur from 
Uk Rasoi. She has suggested two ingredients; Sweet Potato and Spring Onions. I've been craving to taste a cutlet since few days; so made cutlet out of Sweet Potato and other veggies. It turned out awesome.


Sweet potato 2 long
Beans 5
Carrot half
Chilli Powder 1 1/2 tsp
Coriander 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder 1/2 tsp
Aamchoor powder a pinch
Chopped Coriander leaves
oil for deep fry
Bread Crumbs
3-4 tblsp All Purpose Flour / Maida


Pressure cook Sweet Potatoes. Peel the skin and mash it.

Chop carrot and beans into a very fine pieces. Cook the vegetables in a steamer or Idli cooker. Make sure there is no moisture in the vegetables. If yes, squeeze it using a kitchen towel. Avoid cooking the vegetables along with water directly in a pressure cooking or a pan.

Add little water to Maida and mix to form a smooth paste. Make sure there is no lumps. 

In a large bowl, add the mashed sweet potatoes, cooked veggies, all the powders and salt. Pinch a ball size from the mixture. Gently flatten, dip it in the Maida-Mix and roll over the bread crumbs. Transfer it to a paper towel. Follow the same for the rest of the mixture. 

Serve with chutney or tomato ketchup. 


You can use Peas and cashews. If using potatoes, decrease the chilli powder according to your taste.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Mawa Gujiya

For this month SNC, Santosh Bangar of Santosh's Kitchen has challenged us with this yummy sweet Mawa Gujiyas. This Mawa Gujiya is prepared during Holi festival in north India especially in the state of Uttar Pradesh. 


For Gujiyas:

All Purpose Flour / Maida 2 cups
Salt 1/4 tsp
Hot oil 1 tbsp
Water for kneading

For Filling:

Mawa 1/2 cup
Grated coconut 1/4 cup
Powdered Sugar 1/2 cup
Almond Flakes 1 tblsp
Raisins 1 tblsp
Cardamom powder 1/4 tsp

For sealing (sealant) :

All purpose flour 1 tblsp
Water 1 tblsp or as needed


Combine All purpose flour and salt in a bowl. Add hot oil to the flour mixture. Knead with water to form a soft dough. Keep it aside for half an hour.

Fry the mawa in a pan until brown, add other ingredients and give it a mix. Keep it aside.

Mix All purpose flour with water which is used to seal the gujiyas later.

Roll the dough into small poori. Keep the filling inside. Seal the edges with the sealant and a fork. Repeat the same with the rest of the dough and cover it with wet kitchen towel. 

Now heat oil to deep fry the gujiyas. Fry till light brown. Remove the excess oil with paper towel and then serve. 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Dates and Nuts Laddoo

As we get different varieties and good quality dates here , we buy it often and also take it to our home during every vacation without fail. But I had rarely made any desserts out of them. If nuts and dates are served to me, I would love to finish off the nuts first. Nuts is something that I love to have anytime. I thought of preparing dates and nuts halwa, I ended up making something easy; dates and nuts laddoo. ;-) This doesn't take much time and very simple. The aroma of ghee along with the coconut and nutty flavor was extremely good. And do I need to mention that it was absolutely delicious ?!!


Dates - chopped -1 1/2 cup
Mixed Nuts - chopped - 1/3 cup
Ghee 1 tbsp
Desiccated coconut / coconut powder 2 tsp


Chop dates and nuts.

Heat ghee in a pan on a low flame. Add chopped nuts. Fry for a few seconds until a nutty aroma arises.

Now add chopped dates. Mix well. Sprinkle desiccated coconut. Give it a mix.

Make small balls or laddoos when it is bearable hot and then serve.

Makes 12-13 medium sized balls.

Notes: I used walnuts, pistachios and almonds. You can add any other nuts of your choice. I didn't add sugar as there is enough sweetness in the dates. 

You can also chop dates and nuts using blender, but make sure it doesn't ground much like a paste. You can avoid coconut powder if you do not want it.