Sunday, April 17, 2016


I have never tasted Paneer until two years back; for some reasons DH and myself never got an idea to taste it at least once. But Jr. H was very curious to try at home as he has tasted his friend's lunchbox at school and he started nagging me to prepare at home.  We liked it in the first attempt itself because of the taste it imparts in the dish.  Now I can make many variations of paneer dishes and this is one such convenient dish which I prepare at home during my lazy weekend dinner.
Idly/Dosa batter - 2 cups

For Stuffing:
Paneer (Grated) - 1 cup
Capsicum (finely chopped) - 1
Onion (Finely chopped) - 1
Tomato (Finely chopped) - 1
Chilly powder - 1/2 tsp
Jeera - 1 /2 tsp

Preparation for Stuffing:
1. Finely chop the required vegetables (onion, tomato, capsicum) and grate the paneer.

2. In a pan, add little oil and throw in jeera, when it sizzles, add the chopped onion followed by tomato and capsicum later.

3.  Add the required salt and turmeric powder followed by chilly powder.  Add the grated paneer lastly and mix well.

Preparation of Dosa:
1. In the dosa pan, spread the idly batter in a circular manner, add little oil over the edges.
2. Spread the stuffing as required and fold the dosa as desired.

Sunday, April 10, 2016


Ah!! It's very hot here in Chennai, but one thing I like about it is the Mangoes.  Mangoes are available throughout summer.  Be it a tiny baby tender mango which is used to make Maavadu (a kind of pickle without oil), raw mangoes or riped one, my family likes in any form.  This is the starting season here and I started including in all the recipes. 

Moving to this particular recipe, this is a authentic Chettinad region recipe which is very famous there, Vendaikkai Mandi.  Mandi is the washed water taken from rice which adds a special flavor to the recipe.  DH is very fond of this recipe and asks me to prepare this often.  Adding mangoes to the dish adds a unique taste to the dish.  This dish can be mixed and eaten with cooked rice.

Ladies Finger - 1/4 kg
Raw Mango - 1 small cup (cut in cubes)
Onion - 2 (chopped)
Tomato - 1  (chopped)
Garlic pods - 10
Pressure cooked Mochai (Field Beans) - 1 cup
Arisi Mandi (Washed water from rice) - 3 cups
Tamarind  - small gooseberry sized soaked in Mandi water
Chilly powder - 1-2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Salt - To taste
Oil - 2 tsp

To Temper:
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - few
Slit green chillies - 2 

1. Dry roast Mochai for a minute or two in a thick bottomed pan and pressure cook for 6 whistles or until soft along with salt and a  pinch of turmeric powder.  You can also soak overnight and pressure cook for 2 whistles.
2. Wash 1/2 cup of rice in water and then add 3 cups of water and soak for 5 minutes, drain this water and soak the gooseberry sized tamarind in this.  
3. Meanwhile cut the ladies finger in 1", raw mangos in cube size, chop the onions and tomatoes and keep it ready, and peel the outer skin of garlic pods.

4.  In a heavy bottomed kadai, add 2 tsp of oil, when hot throw in mustard seeds, slit green chillies, and few curry leaves.

5. Add the onion and tomatoes, later drop the ladies finger and cut cubed mangoes.  

6. Add salt, chilly powder, coriander powder and saute well.

7.  Add the extracted mandi-tamarind based water to the mixture and let this cook in medium flame.
8.  Once the vegetable has cooked well, add the cooked mochai and let this boil for 5 more minutes. 
 9.  The final outcome will neither be too water nor too thick.            

 10. Serve hot with cooked rice.  We relished with two curries, kovaikkai (Tindora) and pagarkai (Bitter gourd).  It was a full appetizing meal indeed.