Sunday, March 11, 2018


The much awaited weekend would end in few hours from now and I need to prepare myself for a busy week ahead.  The weekend went too quick with hell of work at home and preparing for son's annual exams.  I am damn tired to start a week now, both physically and psychologically.  As I had foreseen much before, there were lot of changes on personal and professional front and I push myself very hard to overcome the challenges and obstacles.  I try my level best to be strong and motivated and gear up for the learning ahead.

As I said, with son's exams that piled along with lot of house work, I kept the cooking on easier stuffs over the weekend.  I prepared coriander-mint pulao and served it with roti to showcase it as an elaborate meal :-). 

Basmati rice -2 cups
Mint and cilantro - 1.5 cups packed tight
Onion - 1 (sliced thin)
Potato - 1 (cut as cubes)
Carrot - 1 (I cut as thick slices in jiffy)
Salt - to taste
Ghee – 3 tsp

Cloves – 1-2
Cinnamon – 1
Bay Leaf – 1

Pudina/Mint leaves – 1 small bunch
Garlic flakes – 4
Ginger – 1 small piece
Green chilies – 5

1 Discard the mint leaves from the stem and wash in cool water twice to remove the dirt.
2. Wash coriander leaves in running cold water and finely chop with the stalks. 
3. In a mixer, grind tomato, garlic, green chilly, mint and coriander leaves. 
4. Heat oil in the pressure cooker, add the tempering spices, when it sizzles, add onions. When the onion turns golden brown, add carrot and potato, then add necessary salt and mix well. Now add the ground masala and stir well and later add the rice with double the water (1:2). Mix well. Close the lid and pressure cook for 2 vessels. Add 2-3 tsp of ghee after opening and mix well. Adding ghee at this point will give good flavor and aroma to the pulao. 

Serve with any raita of your choice.  

Sunday, February 25, 2018


Last week while I was going to office, I happened to cross a school bus where the children were all in smiles, singing in chorus, making fun of each other, and bringing out smile in others.  How nice the World would be had we all bring the child in us.  In today's world, people forget to be kind, expressive, forget to give a lending hand when required.  It's very rare to see people being kind to others without any benefits.  So when life throws you bad breaks and curves and takes out motivation factor from you, you have to help yourself.  No one in the current world can give you a heal other than yourself. 

The world is surrounded by  people who creates problems and later acts as a rescuer who solves the problems.  A strong woman understands about these people, acts mature and handles all these silently. 

Without putting my diversifying thoughts flooding my cerebrum into words, I move on to the recipe now.  This is a recipe made with radish.  The rotis are stuffed with cooked grated radish mixed with masala powders.  I was bit hesitant to stuff the roti with radish because of the pungent smell of radish.  The addition of ajwain gave aromatic flavor and defeated the pungent smell of radish.  Everyone at home loved parathas.  I am not an expert in making evenly shaped round parathas and in the learning mode.

Radish (grated) - 2 cups
Green chilly (sliced round thin) - 1
Ajwain - 1/4 tsp
Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Whole wheat flour - 2 cups
Ghee/oil for cooking

1. Grate radish and sprinkle some salt and keep aside.  After 15 minutes, squeeze out the water oozed out from the grated radish.  Use this water to prepare the dough.  Dough should be prepared with whole wheat flour, salt, oozed water from radish, and 2 tsp of oil.
2. In a pan, add oil, add cumin seeds and when it sizzles, add the chopped green chilly, later grated radish.  Sprinkle some salt on it and keep in high flame.  When the water in radish evaporates, add red chilly powder, cumin powder, and sprinkle ajwain seeds at the last.   Switch off the flame and let this mixture cool. 
 3. After the dough had rest for 20 minutes, divide the mixture in equal portions, make smooth balls, flatten them in your palms, dust it in dry flour, make a small roll.  Place a small portion of stuffing in the center, gather the edges, seal it tightly and flatten it by pressing gently.  Dust it in the dry flour as needed to roll easily.  
4. Heat tawa, place the rolled paratha, apply ghee/oil.  After few seconds, there would be few brown spots that starts to appear, by that time flip, apply some oil on the sides, and cook on the other side.  Once cooked on both sides, remove it to a serving plate.
Repeat the same rolling and cooking process for the rest of the dough.  The parathas can be served with plain curd to make it light.  I served with cauliflower subzi, tomato thokku, plain yogurd.   

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.