Sunday, February 4, 2018


One of the greens which is used to treat joint pains, constipation, and has many more health benefits.  Usually on weekends, we go to market  and buy vegetables from there and stock in fridge for the upcoming week.  In the market, we get varieties for greens  - Mudakathaan, vallarai, thoodhuvalai.  These greens should not be boiled while cooking as it would lose the medicinal benefits.  So, I ground and add to the regular dosa batter and makes dosa out of it.  Mudakathan leaves are slightly bitter in taste, so to overcome the bitter taste I added small onions.  The sweetness rendered from the small onions defeated the mild bitterness from this medicinal greens.  I also sprayed some idly milagai podi to enhance the taste :-).

Idly/dosa batter - 3 cups
Mudakathaan greens - 1 cup
Small onion (sliced thin) - 1 cup
Idly podi (optional)

1. Remove the leaves from the stem and discard the stems.  Wash the leaves thoroughly in running cold water.  
2.  Remove the excess water by straining and grind it in mixer.  Add it to the dosa batter and mix well.
3.  Heat the dosa pan, add a ladle full of batter and gently spread with the back of the ladle.  Sprinkle the sliced small onions and spray idly milagai podi evenly on top.  Drizzle oil around the sides and top.  When one side is done, flip gently and cook on the other side.  When done, remove it and transfer to a plate. 
4. Serve hot with chutney/sambar.

5. It can also be prepared without onions as a roast like this.

Sunday, January 28, 2018


If you are a lover of spicy food, this is a dish for you, Small Onion Thogaiyal.  Thogaiyal is one of the main item in Tamil Brahmin cuisine which is served with rice for lunch.  We mix this with rice with a tsp of sesame oil and just thinking of that would make my salivary glands work extra.  The accompaniment of this would be any vegetable kootu.  Many of us get confused thogaiyal with chutney.  Thogaiyal is thick and coarse texture in nature and would be spicy; this is usually prepared with fried urad dhal, red chillies, asafoetida and ground with tamarind pulp. 

Small onion thogaiyal is a perfect accompaniment for rice and can be served as a side dish for idly/dosa.  If prepared in right way, this stays good even for a week or two if kept in refrigerator.   

Small Onion - 1 CUP
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Tamarind pulp - one gooseberry sized - soaked in little warm water
Salt - To taste
Oil  - 1 tsp

To Fry:
Urad dhal - 5 tsp
Red chillies - 10
Asafoetida - a small piece

1. Soak gooseberry sized tamarind pulp in little warm water for 10 minutes.
2. Fry the items given in the section "To Fry" with 1/2 tsp of oil and keep aside.
3. In the same kadai, add another half tsp of oil, throw in mustard seeds and when it sizzles, saute small onions until golden brown with little salt.
4. In mixer, grind small onion, red chillies, tamarind pulp first in whipper.  Then add the fried urad dhal to the ground mixture and give a pulse or two.   The texture should be coarse, so keep in mind and go with the whipping mode.  

5. Serve this with hot steamed rice or as a side dish for idly/dosa.  

Saturday, January 20, 2018


My first post in this year..With new hopes, with new challenges, new goals, new dreams, we have started this year.   

Last year was with ups and downs, more of challenging for both me and DH.   One thing we learnt together as a couple goal is to remain calm and pass the storm.   Other than that, I have started to have at least 1 hour physical activity in everyday routine and that has made significant changes in my health/physical fitness.   

Let's see what's in store for the upcoming days...

Nothing much to write for today's post, I thought I could post the pictures that I clicked for the mini uthappams for a morning breakfast some days back.  It was a drizzling Sunday morning and I felt bored early in the morning as everyone in the home were sleeping, so opted to prepare a heavy breakfast to delight family.  I prepared varieties of uthappam; carrot, tomato, mint-coriander leaves, podi, capsicum, peas and onion.  Here's the picture for you.  For the side dish, I prepared Tomato onion chutney, coconut chutney, sambar, poondu kara kuzhambu, and served along with idly podi.  I didn't capture step by step pictures in making as I was in hurry burry to prepare the elaborate breakfast and couldn't stop myself in clicking the final pictures as I felt it drooling. 

Saturday, December 9, 2017


With very few days left to start the New Year, when I recollect, I am not definitely not the same person as I was a year ago.  Experiences have shaped myself as a better person.  I have met my short term goals and working on achieving my long term objective.  Am not sure what's in store for me for future but I hope with the experiences that I have cultivated I would be able to handle obstacles in a better way. 

Moving on to today's dish, Paal Kozhukattai, it is a very popular Chettinad sweet made with rice flour which is cooked in jaggery or sugar added with milk/coconut milk.  I like the one prepared with Jaggery.  There are many variations to this and I was not getting the correct texture of this dish earlier. Whenever I add jaggery to the milk, it would start to curdle.  Later checked with mom and got to know the right procedure of preparing this sweet.  Prepared this many times in the recent times and has come out perfectly.  This is a foolproof recipe and you would end up loving the final texture and taste of the dish.  

Milk - 1 cup
Rice flour/Idiyappam flour - 1 cup
Thick coconut milk - 1 cup
Thin coconut milk - 1.5 cup
Cardamom  powder - 1 tsp
Oil - 1 tsp
Grated Jaggery - 1 cup 
Salt - a pinch
Water - approximately 3/4 cup (for dough preparation) + 1 cup (added to thin coconut milk)
Grated coconut  - 2 tsp

1.  Boil milk and keep aside.  Let it cool completely.
2. Grate the coconut and extract the first thick milk and second thin milk separately.  
3.  In a vessel, boil water, add a pinch of salt and oil to it.   Take rice flour in a bowl, pour the boiled water, and mix well with a ladle.  When it is warm, mix the dough well and make it smooth.
4.  Take small portions from it and make tiny little balls of equal size as shown in picture.
5. Grate jaggery and keep it aside.   
6.  Now heat the thin coconut milk adding 1 cup of water to it.  Once it starts boiling, gently drop the rice flour balls.  Do not turn it with ladle immediately.  After 2 minutes, turn it gently and drop the next kozhukkattai batch.  Likewise, add all the kozhukkatai and let it boil in small to medium flame.  After sometime, you would start seeing the rice flour balls floating at the top with mild change in color.  If you see the picture, you could make out that the rice ball is cooked.  Let it cook for 5 more minutes.  

7.  Add the grated jaggery slowly to the milk-rice ball mixture and stir well.  In between, add a small tsp of rice flour and mix with water without any lumps.  Add this to kozhukkattais and mix well.  This is to done to bring the dish in thicker texture.  Let it boil for 3 more minutes.  Keep stirring in between.
8.  Add the cooled milk slowly and stir well.  The milk should be completely cold when you add to the hot kozhukktattis.  Otherwise, it would start to curdle.  
9.  Add 2 tsp of grated coconut and elachi powder to the kozhukattais.  After 3 minutes, switch off the flame and add thick coconut milk.  Do not boil after adding the thick coconut milk.  
Now yummy Paal kozhukkattais are ready to be served.

Saturday, November 11, 2017


The weather is chill, windy and pleasant.  As I sit on the couch, watching my favorite illayaraja songs with laptop in hand, I  couldn't stop myself pouring my random thoughts.  It's been a while I posted something on my page but that doesn't mean I had completely stopped the background work.  I still work on taking step by step pictures when preparing some dishes, gaze over the main pictures that I had taken, and learn the nuances of photography on my own by reading something related to that.

Every time I thought to write something, it would be something or other that would pop up and hinder my thoughts.   Both DH and MDS (My Dear Son) are out of home, went for cricket coaching, I had no one to interrupt my work.  Of late, we are seeing that MDS interests are more towards cricket and based on his plea we joined him in a coaching center.  The coaching center has a big garden inside where they yield many types of greens and vegetables.  DH would love to buy freshly plucked varieties of greens/veggies and ask me to prepare something out of it.  One time, he got freshly plucked Turkey Berries and I made sambar with it.  

Turkey Berry has lot of medicinal benefits; it increases red blood cells thus help in treating anemia, indigestion, menstruation, etc.  

Turkey Berry - 1 cup
Tomato - 1
Onion - 1
Sambar Powder - 2 tsp
Cooked Thoor Dhal - 1 cup
Salt - to taste
Oil - 2 tsp
Tamarind Water - 2 cups (Extracted from tamarind pulp)
Green chilly -2
Curry leaves - few
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Asafoetida powder - a pinch

1. Soak tamarind pulp in warm water for 10 minutes and extract the tamarind water.

2. Pressure cook thoor dhal with enough water and keep it side.
3. Wash and slit the turkey berry in the middle as shown in the picture.
4. In a kadai/pan, add oil and throw in the tempering items; first mustard seeds and when it sizzles, add curry leaves and green chilly followed by a pinch of asafoetida powder.

Add sliced onions and when it browned, add the tomatoes and turkey berry   Add salt and sambar powder and mix well.  Add extracted tamarind water and let it boil for 15 minutes until the raw smell of tamarind goes off and turkey berries have booked soft.  Add the cooked mashed thoor dhal and mix well.   Let it boil some more time, say for 2-3 minutes.  The consistency should neither be too thick nor too watery, so adjust the thickness accordingly.  Switch off the flame and add coriander leaves for garnishing (Optional). 

5. Serve this sambar with hot cooked rice with a tsp of ghee and I bet you would intake few spoons extra unavoidably .  

Saturday, October 7, 2017


Back home 2 weeks back after a short stay away from home, am completely relaxed now.  With back to back trips at short intervals, I was feeling homesick and my mind was wavering with restless thoughts.  Home is not just a place and it is a feeling which couldn't be described in words.  On the day of my return, mom prepared her specialty dish Kunukku for me.  It's a deep friend snack made with ground rice and lentil mixture along with redchillies and salt.  The preparation is same as that of Adai but the batter has to be ground in thicker texture.  You can vary the recipe by adding finely chopped mixed vegetables such as carrot/ cabbage or just add onions which enhances the flavor and taste.  I forgot to take  step by step picture as I was busy chit chatting with family. 
Idly rice - 1 cup
Toor dhal - 4 tsp
Bengal gram - 4 tsp
Urad dhal - 2 tsp
Asafoetida powder - a pinch
Red chillies - 6
Salt - to taste
Onions - finely chipped (Optional)
Curry/coriander  leaves - finely chopped
Oil for deep frying

1. Soak rice and dhal separately for 3 hours and  grind to a slightly coarse paste adding salt, red chillies, and asafoetida powder.
2. Add finely chopped onions if needed, in a kadai, heat oil, drop in small spoons of batter and deep fry until golden brown. 

Tasty snack is ready to be served.  There is no side dish required for this dish and can be taken as a starter/appetizer.