Friday 30 November 2012

Event Announcement - Show Me Your HITS - Festive Food

Happy to Announce an event in my blog. This month I am guest hosting Sangeetha's Show Me Your HITS (Healthy Interesting Tasty FoodS). Do I need to say more?

Going with the festive nature of the month, I chose the theme as Festive Food.

When I think of festive food, the first things that come to mind are the ones that we make for Indian Festivals - all the sweets, kheer/payasam, savouries etc. Then of course all the western ones - Christmas bakes, savoury bakes, and all the dishes, gravies and soup that go for Christmas Lunch (or if you still have any of your Thanks Giving recipes to post). I may even give a shot at making some sweet/savoury for Hanukkah (Jewish Festival of Lights). Oh well, it need not be a festival celebrated this month. The options are many. All you have to do is don your cooking hat, get cooking and clicking and send me the recipes.

1. Cook any Course or Cuisine for the theme Festive Food. Please remember that it has to be a healthy/low calorie dish.

2. Vegetarian dishes only. Eggs can also be included both in baking and as a recipe.

3. Use of logo is appreciated as it helps spread the word.

4. Link to Sangeetha's HITS announcement and this page is mandatory.

5. Only 2 Archived entries are accepted as long as they are linked with both announcements.

6. Multiple New Entries are accepted.

Tuesday 27 November 2012

Roasted Red Pepper Hummus

We @ AGC are cooking Turkish Cuisine this month. I decided to make this simple Hummus for that. I used it as a spread for sandwich.


Cooked Chick peas 1 cup (about 1/2 cup dried)
Red Pepper 1
Chilli Powder 1/2 tsp
Cumin Powder 1/2 tsp
Lemon Juice 1/8 cup
Cilantro/Coriander handful
Garlic 2 pods
Salt to taste
Tahini (Sesame paste) 1/4 cup

Method of Preparation

1. If you are using dried chick peas, soak overnight and pressure cook. Drain and add to the mixie.

2. Add the chilli powder, cumin powder, lime juice, coriander leaves and garlic. Add Tahini as well if using. I did not use it, and it did not change the taste much. Not having Tahini should not prevent you from enjoying this awesome dish.

3. Give the mixie a run till it is all mixed and the chickpeas and garlic are ground.

4. Roast the red pepper on the stove top. Just show it over the flame and keep rotating it till all the sides are blackened

5. Chop the pepper removing the stem and the seeds.

6. Add to the mixie and run again. This time it will be smoother as the red pepper will provide juice to get the mixture going.

7. Refrigerate till you need to serve

Use it as a dip for carrots/celery/chips or as a spread over bread or use in sandwiches.

To make this sandwich, i just cooked some mushrooms in the microwave and the layered it on a bread with a spread of the hummus. Just hummus on the bread also tasted awesome.

Check out the other AGC thoughout this week 
AnushaJayanthiKavithaPriya MRadhikaVeenaPriya S

Monday 26 November 2012

Sambar - Vah re Vah Style

Sambar is a must have in any south indian meal. Every state and to some extent every house has their own variation of Sambar.

Check out other versions of Sambar posted in my blog
  1. Ezhukari/Thaalakam
  2. Sambar for Tiffin
  3. Sambar Version 1
  4. Kerala Style Vegetable Sambar
I found a version of Sambar by Vah Chef Sanjay Thumma. Most of you don't need an introduction to him. He has this super addictive personality and true to his word, Vah re vah is all about inspiring others to cook. Just looking at his show will make you want to run to the kitchen and try it immediately. This Sambar is no exception. It tasted awesome. It is quire similar to the arachu vitta sambar made in our homes. But a couple of things that I found different was the use of garam masala and ginger/garlic. Never heard of anyone using it, we quite liked this.

His sambar was very watery for my taste. So I made it slightly thicker.

At the end of this video, he tells how Sambar and rice taste best when eaten with hand and not with cutlery. So true. Our son now taken a crazy liking to eat his rasam rice with hands. Well what a mess he makes. But we love watching him eat. (He is this guy who needs to wipe his face between every mouthfuls even when he eats with his spoon. So this is saying something)

The spice level in this is slightly higher than my usual ones. Still not too spicy. Just a warning

Ingredients (Makes a big pot. Can easily serve 4-5 adults)

Do not be over whelmed by the number of ingredients. I have tried to group them in sets of how they go into the pot.

For Sambar Masala 

Set 1
Coriander Seeds 2 tbsp
Cumin 1 tbsp
Red Chilli 4
Pepper 1 tsp
Rice 1 tbsp
Channa Dal 2 tbsp
Fenugreek Seeds (Mendayam) 1/2 tsp
Clove 2
Cinnamon 1 inch piece
Star Anise 1
Fennel Seeds 1 tsp

Set 2
Mustard 1 tsp
Ginger 1 inch piece
Garlic 5 pods
Coconut 1 cup
Curry leaves few
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Hing a little
Tomato 1

Other Ingredients
Onions 2
Potato 1
Carrots 2
Okra/Vendakka 4
Beans 3-4
Peas 1/2 cup
Tomato 3

Puli 1 tsp
Toor Dal 1/2 cup
Mustard 1 tsp
Cumin 1/2 tsp
Green Chilli 2
Curry leaves few

Coriander leaves a handful

Oil and salt to taste

Method of Preparation

1. Pressure cook the dal with enough water till it is well mushed. Keep ready.

2. The next step is to prepare sambar masala. We are not using ready made sambar powder at all. In a pot, dry roast the following ingredients together till they are slightly browned. Coriander Seeds, Cumin, Red Chilli, Pepper, Rice, Channa Dal, Fenugreek Seeds (Mendayam), Clove, Cinnamon, Star Anise, Fennel Seeds. Transfer to a mixie

3. In the same pot, add a little oil. Add mustard. When it sputters, add the Ginger and Garlic. Saute for a minute. Add the Coconut, Curry leaves, Turmeric, Hing and Tomato. Stir for a minute or 2 and then transfer to the mixie.

4. Grind to a smooth paste by adding a little water. Keep aside.

5. In the same pot, add some more oil. Add the Mustard. When it sputters, add the Cumin, Green Chilli and Curry leaves.

6. When it sizzles, add onions (chopped into 1 cm squares), cubed potato, cut carrots, sliced beans and peas along with some salt. Stir well and let it cook for a couple of minutes. Add tomatoes and saute for another minute

7. Add tamarind paste and a cup of water (or tamarind water). Simmer for a little bit till the vegetables start to cook.

8. Add the sambar masala and mix well. Add more water as required (3 cups or so). Do not make it too watery. Keep it thick. I felt that the Vah chef made it a bit too watery.

9. Simmer for a little while till everything comes together.

10. Add the mashed dal and cook for a few more minutes. You can adjust water again. 

11. Switch off and garnish with some coriander leaves.

Serve with rice and some papads or some dry side dish.

Sunday 25 November 2012

Chana Jaisalmer Ke

Kala Channa features regularly in our house. I make it especially as a side for Puttu. And ofcourse perfect side for Rotis. Did I tell you it is my favourite sundal as well.

This time I wanted to try something different and that search ended when I saw a recipe by Sanjeev Kapoor. We loved this recipe. The only disappointment I had was that similarity of this with Kadhi. So instead of the fancy name, I could have named it Kala Channa Kadhi. But it had to have this fancy name to justify its origins. It is a dish from Jaisalmer in Rajastan.


Kala Channa (dry) 1 cup
Yogurt 2 cups
Besan 4 tsp

Coriander powder 2 tsp
Cumin powder 1 tsp
Garam Masala 2 tsp
Turmeric 1/2 tsp

Green Chilli 1
Curry leaves few
Cumin 1 tsp

Oil and salt to taste

Method of Preparation

1. Soak Kala Channa overnight and pressure cook with enough water till it is well cooked. Drain and save the cooking water.

2. In a bowl, mix yogurt with besan, coriander powder, cumin powder, garam masala, turmeric and salt.

3. Heat oil in a pan. Add the jeera, green chilli and curry leaves.

4. When it sizzles, lower the flame and add the yogurt mix and stir.

5. Add the cooked channa and the water it cooked in as needed.

6. Simmer till the raw smell of besan is gone (5-10 minutes).

Serve with hot rice.

Wednesday 21 November 2012

Aloo Palak

My husband when he was a bachelor used to cook his food regularly. As he lived on his own, every night he would come and cook his curry (do read his description of how curries are all the same in this link). He will eat it with store bought tortilla (instead of roti) and mix the left over with some rice (oh just enough cooked in a pan, apparently he did not believe in using pressure cooker. don't ask me why). On days he was late from work, there is always Cafe Angelino where he would take out Eggplant Sub.

His pantry used to be so minimal. I still cannot believe the house I walked into. He still makes fun of me saying you really do not need all these ingredients to make dishes. I keep warning him that I will start cooking his style :-)

Anyways, this is one of the important dishes a bachelor can make. But to be honest, it is not the basic version. I have used masalas and stuff. I just don't know to make a dish with just chilli powder and salt :-)


Palak/Spinach 500gm bag
Potato 3 big
Onions 2
Tomato 3
Garam Masala 1 tsp
Cumin Powder 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder 1 tsp
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Chilli Powder 1 tsp (i skipped it and made a mild one and my son was sooo happy. it tasted great without the added spice)
Cumin 1 tsp
Saunf 1 tsp
Bay leaf 2
Clove 3
Cinnamon 1 inch piece
(ginger and garlic paste can also be used. i skipped that as well as i did not have at home)

Oil and Salt to taste

Method of Preparation

1. Heat a little water in a pot. Add the spinach and wilt it. Do not be taken aback by the quantity of spinach. Once it wilts down, there will be hardly any. Once done, drain the spinach and add to a mixie. Once cooled, grind into a smooth paste. Keep the spinach cooked water.

2. Boil the potatoes. You can do it pressure cooker or shortcut in microwave as I do. Peal, roughly chop and keep ready.

3. Heat oil in a pan. Add Cumin, Saunf, Bay leaf, Clove, Cinnamon and let it sizzle.

4. Add chopped onions and saute till it is nice and brown.

5. Add tomatoes (finely chopped) and cook till it is well done. Add a few tbsp of water if needed to prevent from sticking.

6. Add Garam Masala, Cumin Powder, Coriander Powder, Turmeric and Chilli Powder. Mix well and cook for a few more minutes.

7. Add the cooked potatoes and salt. Mix well.

8. Add the spinach puree and a little water to adjust the thickess. You can also add some cream or milk to it if you want.

9. Simmer for  a few minutes.

Serve with some warm rotis.

Tuesday 20 November 2012

Curd Rice - Yogurt Rice - Thayir Sadam

Curd rice or thayir sadam has to be the favourite dish of a Tamil Brahmin. No meal is complete without this. It is called bagala bath as well (its kannada name, not to be confused with bisi bela bath which is like sambar rice)

It is best when accompanied by pickle or mor molaga (which is chillies dipped in yogurt, dried and then fried).

Other variations are to add grated carrots, cucumbers, coriander leaves. Some also add fruits like grapes, pomegranate etc. You can ofcourse make super simple curd rice by just mixing rice and curd.

You must have read my post of Lemon Rice a few days ago and how my husband was pulling my leg... This one I am posting cause a friend did mail me and ask me how I made my curd rice. Those who are reading this - please please post your simplest recipes as well. If I am not from your region in India, it is likely that I will not know that recipe and would like to see it in your blog and then try it.


Rice 1 cup
Mustard 1/2 tsp
Channa Dal 1 tsp
Curry leaves 2 sprigs
Green Chilli 2
Ginger a small piece
Hing 1/8 tsp
Yogurt/Curd 3/4 cup (1 cup if eating later)
Milk 3/4 cup (1 cup if eating later)
Gingelly oil/Sesame Oil (or any oil) 2 tbsp

Method of Preparation

1. Cook rice first. Though you can cook normal method, you might find that it tastes better if you have cooked it to a little mushy consistency. I usually cook rice with 1:2 water. So for curd rice I use 1:3 ratio.

2. Mash it a little while it is still hot. Let it cool a little.

3. Add curd/yogurt and milk. Mix well. The amount of milk and yogurt you add depends on some factors. If you are eating immediately, you will find that about 3/4 cup will make a loose rice. But if you are going to eat later, I would recommend a cup or even a little more. Also, if your curd is sour, you can add more milk and a little less curd. When packing for train journeys, my mom used to add just a little (1/2 cup or less) of curd and the rest milk. As we will be eating only next day, the rice will be correct taste. Otherwise you will end up with sour rice. But ofcourse that is assuming Indian hot weather. :-)

4. Now comes the tempering. Heat gingelly oil in a small pan. Any oil will work, but gingelly tastes better.

5. Add mustard. When it sputters, add channa dal. It is not a standard ingredient. But I find it tasty.

6. When it starts to brown, add chopped green chillies, ginger and curry leaves along with some hing (kayam).

7. When it sizzles, transfer to the rice. Add some salt as well. Mix everything together and serve with some pickles. As there are chillies and stuff going in the rice, you can eat it just like that as well.


Monday 19 November 2012

Barley Pradaman

When I told my husband I am making Barley Pradaman, his first remark was - ungal imaginationukku ellaye illaya? (meaning is there no limit to your imagination). I am glad I am like that. As I told you before, pradaman is basically payasam (kheer) made with jaggery and coconut milk. It is made with a variety of ingredients and I really loved this version with barley.

AGC Week 2 this month is Sweets. This is my entry to the event.


Pearl Barley 1/2 cup
Jaggery 1 cup
Coconut milk 2 cups
Cardamom 1/4 tsp

Method of Preparation

1. Soak barley overnight. Pressure cook with 1.5 cups of water for 3 whistles.

2. In a pan add the jaggery along with 1/4 cup water (i just added the water from the cooked barley). Let it melt.

3. Add the barley and simmer for a few minutes.

4. Add coconut milk and cardamom. Mix well and cook in low flame for 5 minutes.

You can serve this immediately warm. I liked it best the next day after I kept it in the fridge. It had an awesome creamy texture and the barley had absorbed some of the sweetness as well.

This is off to my event Cooking with Seeds - Barley, event by Priya

Check out the other AGC thoughout this week 
AnushaJayanthiKavithaPriya MRadhikaVeenaPriya S

Sunday 18 November 2012

Lemon Rice

Kalantha sadam or Variety rice is a staple in most tamil homes. It is quite easy to put together. Usually it is prepared for picnics or train journeys. These days kids lunch boxes are being filled with these variety rice. The primary ones are lemon rice, coconut rice, puli sadam (made with puliyodarai) and curd rice. There are a lot of variations and varieties as well.

When I was posting this rice, my husband was laughing at me saying 'who posts such simple stuff in the blog'. The comment was mainly for curd rice. But he extended it to this as well. So I just went online and showed him that there are posts for this.

I took up the challenge that I will make it a point to click good photos for this so that it is a food photography exercise for me. I am really happy with the clicks that I got for it. Hope you enjoy the rice that I prepared.


Rice 2 cups
Gingelly oil 3 tbsp
Mustard 1/2 tsp
Channa Dal 1 tbsp
Peanut 1/2 cup
Curry leaves 2-3 sprigs
Red Chilli 1
Green Chilli 1 (more for spicier version)
Ginger a small bit
Turmeric 1.5 tsp
Hing 1/4 tsp
Lemon Juice few tbsp (as per your taste)
Salt to taste

Method of Preparation

1. Pressure cook the rice with 4 cups of water. (use your standard quantity). The trick to get good separate grains of rice is to use a little salt along with the water. Another thing that I do is to transfer into a wide bowl and let it cool a little before you go in with a spatula.

2. In a small pan heat some gingelly oil. Any oil works. But gingelly oil adds an awesome taste for this rice.

3. Add some mustard. When it sputters, add channa dal and peanuts.

4. When it starts to brown, add finely chopped green chilli, ginger and curry leaves. Also add the red chilli, turmeric and hing.

5. When it sizzles, switch off and add this to the rice bowl.

6. Add some more salt as required. Add the lemon juice. Mix everything gently.

Serve with a potato saute or with some appalams or vadams.

Saturday 17 November 2012

Pepper and Corn Pulao

Have you ever started cooking and then decided what you are making as you cooked along. It happens to me many times. This is one of the times I really loved myself for this.

I started with some peppers and had rice in the cooker. I had a few different other veggies out and some powders and sauces out. Finally it hit me like a brain wave and I discarded all that just added some corn and pav bhaji masala. It was soooooooo good.... we just could not stop eating this. I highly recommend trying out this super simple, flavourful and healthy rice.


Basmati Rice 2 cups
Green pepper 1
Yellow pepper 1
Corn 1.5 cups
Pav Bhaji Masala 2 tsp
Onions 2
Peanuts 1/4 cup

Oil and salt to taste

Method of Preparation

1. Pressure cook the rice with enough water and keep ready.

2. Heat oil in a pan. Add peanuts and fry till it starts to brown.

3. Add sliced onions and saute till it starts to change colour.

4. Add sliced peppers and saute. You can choose any colour pepper. Having a yellow or red pepper adds a different taste to the rice.

5. Add the corn. I used frozen corn. I did not thaw it. Just added as is. Mix well.

6. Add salt and pav bhaji masala. You can add any masala here like aachi biriyani masala or kitchen king or even garam masala.

7. Once all the veggies are cooked to your taste, switch off and mix the rice.

Enjoy! be warned, this is super addictive. Though it sounds simple, you will not be able to stop eating it.

Thursday 15 November 2012

Saiva Meen Kozhambu (Vegetarian Fish Gravy)

This is a typical chettinad dish and found it in an authentic site. There are some changes I made to it as I could not get the leaf that she used (nor any banana leaf). Otherwise I have tried to make it as she did. Do refer to her site for the original recipe.

I think all of us in the family (including our son) agree this is one of the best dishes we have eaten.

Ingredients for Veggie fish

Cow Peas 1 cup
Chilli Powder 1 tsp
Garlic 5 pods
Fennel seeds 1 tsp
Salt 1 tsp

Method of Preparation

1. Soak the cow peas (i did overnight). Drain the water.

2. Pulse the garlic, chilli powder, fennel seeds and salt in a mixie. Add the cow peas as well and pulse. Make a paste.

3. At this stage you are supposed to use the leaf. Changed to suit my situation. I made rectangular patties and steamed in idli plates for about 10-12 minutes.

Ingredients for making gravy

Garlic 20 pods
Small Onions 20
Tomato 1
Curry leaves few
Green Chilli 3
Coriander powder 2 tsp
Sambar powder 2 tsp
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Tamarind paste 1 tsp
Gingilly oil 1 tbsp

Salt to taste

For seasoning

Mustard 1 tsp
Fennel seeds 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves few

Method of Preparation

1. Heat oil in a pan. Add the mustard. When it sputters, add the fennel seeds, fenugreek seeds and curry leaves.

2. When it sizzles, add the sliced onions, garlic and green chillies. Saute till it starts to brown.

3. Add the chopped tomato and saute till it all comes together.

4. In a vessel, add tamarind paste and 3 cups of water. Add coriander powder, sambar poweder and turmeric to this. Mix well.

5. Add this mix to the onion mix. Bring to a boil. Simmer till it thickens. I added a little rice flour at this stage to thicken it.

6. Just before it is ready, add the veggie fish. Simmer for a few more minutes and switch off.

Serve it with some rice.

Tuesday 13 November 2012

Sweet Aval - Vella Aval

Sweet Aval or Vella (jaggery) Aval is quite famous in Tamil Nadu. This is made especially during Krishna Jayanthi. Considered Krishna's favourite.

My dad and I are crazy fans of anything with Jaggery. This one is an family favourite and easy one to make. Newest fan of this is my little one.


Aval/Poha 1 cup
Jaggery 1/2 cup and a little more :-)
Coconut 1/4 cup
Cardamom 1/4 tsp

Method of Preparation

1. Take Poha in a sieve and run it under the tap for a minute or two. Let it sit and drain.

2. Powder the jaggery and add to the poha.

3. Add the coconut and cardamom and mix well.

It is ready to serve. If you let it sit for 10 minutes, it tastes even better.

Monday 12 November 2012

Vengaya Rasam - Onion Rasam

When I first saw the recipe for Onion Rasam here, I knew I had to try it. Am gald I did. Did not make many changes from the original recipe.

While making the rasam an interesting thought crossed my mind. What technically differentiates a rasam and a sambar? Many times ppl just use sambar powder for rasam as well and yet it tastes like rasam, so it is not the powder. Then the veggies - but lately I have seen ppl make rasam with a lot of veggies as well. The dal - rasam uses dal water and sambar a lot of dal. Onions - well this rasam has onions. But still none of these seem to satisfy me. It just amazes me that a rasam and sambar though quite similar in origins, taste so unique.


Small Onions 15-20
Coriander leaves a little
Curry Leaves few
Garlic 3
Cumin/Jeera 1 tsp

Mustard 1/2 tsp
Rasam Powder 2 tsp
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Tomato 1

Tamarind paste 1 tsp
Water 3 cups

Gingelliy Oil and salt to taste

Method of Preparation

1. Make a coarse paste of small onions, coriander leaves, curry leavs, garlic and jeera.

2. Heat oil in a pot and add mustard seeds.

3. When it sputters, add the paste and saute for  5-10 minutes till the onions are cooked and the raw smell is gone.

4. Add tomato (finely chopped) and rasam powder, turmeric and cook for a few more minutes.

5. Add  tamarind paste and 3 cups of water. Also add the salt.

6. Bring it to a boil and switch off when it starts to foam.

Serve with rice.

Sunday 11 November 2012

Vegan Chocolate Banana Oatshake

Breaky Shaky is theme for this weeks AGC. We decided to pick this just because we all fell in love with the name Priya suggested :-)

Though I enjoy milk shakes and yogurt based shakes, I rarely make it for breakfast. I feel it will not fill me up as a bowl of oats or a bowl of cereal will.

Made this Vegan Breakfast shake and we all enjoyed an indulgent breakfast. To be honest neither my husband nor I are still sure if we can swap this for our regular breakfast :-)

Ingredients (makes 2 cups)

Oats 1 cup
Soy Milk (or regular milk) 2 cups
Boost (or cocoa powder) 2 tbsp
Cardamom 1/4 tsp
Banana 1 big

Method of Preparation

1. Mix oats, soy milk, boost and cardamom powder and keep in fridge overnight.

2. Add banana pieces to a mixie and pulse to make paste.

3. Add the oats mix and pulse again.

Enjoy a healthy breaky shaky!!

Check out the other AGC thoughout this week 
AnushaJayanthiKavithaPriya MRadhikaVeenaPriya S

Saturday 10 November 2012

Inji Lehiyam - Diwali Lehiyam - Diwali Legiyam

Diwali is a time when we eat too many sweets and savouries. Our elders were pretty smart in taking care of the side effects. Every house has their way of making this Lehiyam (Legiyam). But the net result is the same. No stomach complaints.

Don't be deterred by the name lehiyam. It is not a bitter medicine. It used to be one of my favourites as a child.

Some recipes use a lot of ingredients. These days I was told you even get a powder of the spice mix to make the lehiyam. This one is a super simple version that my mom used to make. You cannot go wrong with this and it takes just 15 minutes to make.


Ginger/Inchi/Inji 1 cup
Jaggery 1 cup
Cardamom 1/4 tsp
Coriander seeds 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds 1 tbsp

Method of Preparation

1. Dry roast the coriander and cumin seeds till they crackle. Powder them.

2. Peal and chop ginger into small pieces. Add to the mixie along with the cumin-coriander mix. Grate into a smooth paste. Do not add water.

3. In a pan, add powdered jaggery and very little water and melt the jaggery. You can add a little more jaggery if you like it sweeter. This was the correct ratio for me.

4. Add the ginger paste and cardamom. Mix well.

5. Keep stirring till the raw smell of ginger is gone and all water is evaporated (about 8-10 minutes)

Enjoy your sweets and savouries.. But don't forget this yummy lehiyam.

Linking this to Lets Cook - Potluck - Event by Radhika

Linking this to South Indian Cooking - Event by Anu, Hosted by Sangee

Friday 9 November 2012

Okkarai - Diwali Sweet

Okkarai is a sweet that my mom used to make for Diwali. Was asking my MIL if she makes it. She was saying how it used to be made before and now it does not figure in her list. Well, one can't complain. She already has 6-7 items in the list which includes mixture and an awesome ladooo..

Anyways, when I was telling my husband that I feel like making Okkarai this year, he asked me what it is. Now it was easy for me to describe. I told him it is channa dal sweet puttu. Correct?? Anyways after he looked at it, he does remember what it is.

I used the recipe from this site. Do refer for some authentic tamil dishes.


Channa Dal 1 cup
Jaggery 1 cup
Cardamom 1/4 tsp
Cashews few
Ghee 2-3 tbsp

Method of Preparation

1. Dry Roast channa dal till it starts to brown a little.

2. Transfer to a vessel and add boiling water to it. Make sure that the vessel is deep. As soon as I added the water, it frothed up.

3. Leave it for 3 hours.

4. Drain the dal. Add the dal and jaggery to a mixie and grind into a smooth paste. I did it in 2 batches.

5. In a pan add a little ghee. Add broken cashews and roast.

6. Add the cashews to the channa jaggery paste. Mix well.

7. Add the rest of the ghee as well to the pan. Add the channa mix. Stir.

8. Keep stirring in a low flame till it starts to break into a wet powdery consistency.

Linking this to Lets Cook - Potluck - Event by Radhika

Linking this to South Indian Cooking - Event by Anu, Hosted by Sangee

Thursday 8 November 2012

7 cup cake - Diwali Special - Happy 1st Birthday to the blog - 300th post

This sweet marks a few different occasions. Happy 1st Birthday to my little blog!!! And my 300th post... Plus of course wishing all of you a very happy Diwali!

My mom was a champ in making Mysore Pak. I still remember her making it even in the morning just before going to work to take to her colleagues or my dad's colleagues. It will still be warm when they dig in. It used to take her 15 min to make and may be 10 minutes to cut and pack.. I always grew up thinking it is the easiest thing to make.

I made it for the first time when I was in Chennai. I had her on the phone. It came out pretty good for a first timer who did not know even the basics of cooking :-)

Then my mom learned 7 cup cake from my chitti. It gets its name from the number of cups of all the ingredients together. It is quite easy to make as you do not have to worry about the 1 string consistency :-) My MIL and SIL make this often and make it pretty good. And so we are addicted to it. Though this always figures in MIL's diwali list, her important items are Mixture and Boondi Laddoo..

I am yet to post my Mysore Pak. Will do it soon. And have to try making Laddoo some day...

Ingredients (Makes around 30 pieces)

Besan/Kadala Maavu 1 cup
Coconut 1 cup
Milk 1 cup
Ghee 1 cup
Sugar 3 cups

Method of Preparation

1. Grease a plate with ghee and keep ready.

2. Sieve besan into a pan. You can just add it. I sieve it cause it removes all lumps and makes mixing easy.

3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan. Mix well.

4. Place it over heat. You can initially keep it in high till it starts to boil. After that switch to medium heat and towards to final stages keep in low heat.

5. Keep stirring continuously. You will notice that it will start thickening. I have tried to add a picture to show the different stages, Hope that helps. You basically keep stirring till the sweet leaves the sides of the pan. If you stop early, you will end up with a halwa like consistency. If you stir longer than required, it will be hard sweet. The right time to stop will come with practice. You will get an idea after your first time or if you are really good (or lucky), it will be perfect the first time :-)

6. Pour into the greased plate. At this stage it will still be a little watery. Don't worry. It will set in some time as it cools.

7. After 10-15 minutes draw small lines to cut into squares (or diamonds). Don't cut thru at this stage. Wait for it to cool some more.

8. Cut into pieces and store in an airtight box.

Linking this to Lets Cook - Potluck - Event by Radhika

Linking this to South Indian Cooking - Event by Anu, Hosted by Sangee

Kala Channa Sundal

Presenting to you my favourite sundal! I love enjoying it as an evening snack. Serve this to kids and they will finish in no time... And you can be proud of serving a super healthy snack.. Made during Navarathri. Missed posting this one.


Kala Channa Cooked 1.5 cups (about 3/4cup dry)
Coconut 1/2 cup
Red Chilli 1
Curry Leaf 2 springs
Mustard 1/2 tsp
Jeera/Cumin 1 tsp
Turmeric 1/2 tsp

Oil and Salt to taste

Method of Preparation

1. Soak and pressure cook the kala channa. I had some already cooked. So I used it.

2. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard. When it sputters, add jeera, red chilli, turmeric and curry leaves.

3. When it sizzles, add the kala channa. Mix well.

4. Add some salt and coconut.

5. Saute for a few more minutes and switch off.

Wednesday 7 November 2012

Muringayila thoran - Drumstick leaf stir fry

Muringa ila (drumstick leaf) is one of my childhood favourites. We had a tree in the house and this would make its way to the table atleast once a month.

Why not more frequently? Good question. It is the effort required to pluck the leaves from the stem. There are short cuts like putting them in a bag and letting it sit overnight. The leaves kind of fall off. But it still needs effort to weed off small sticks that make their way to the pile.

I always kept thinking that it was something I can eat only in India. Recently I got into this discussion in a FB page and a friend of mine told me about how she gets it in UK. I was like where, i have never seen it? She said in Hounslow, Best foods. I could not believe it. That is where I buy my Indian Grocery and in the last 2+ years it never occoured to me to ask. This time when I went, I got myself a bunch.

The only sad part is a bunch does not make much curry. Just a cup full.. But we all enjoyed it. Even my little one.

Mind you for those who have never eaten it - it has a slight bitter taste. Not the bitter guard kind of bitter. But a sweetish kind. Do try it if you are new to it. And those who have eaten it know what it is when I say - it is the best green in the world.


Muringa Ila 1 bunch (about 3-4 cups)
Mustard 1/2 tsp
Urad dal 1 tsp
Jeera 1 tsp
Coconut 1/2 cup
Green Chilli 1
Curry Leaf few

Oil and salt to taste

Method of Preparation

1. Separate the leaves from the stem and wash, drain and keep the leaves ready.

2. In a pan, add some oil. Add mustard.

3. When it sputters, add the urad dal.

4. When it browns, add the leaves. Toss it and cook in low flame for a few minutes.

5. In the meanwhile, pulse coconut, green chilli, curry leaf and cumin seeds.

6. Add to the leaves along with some salt. Mix well.

7. Cook for a few more minutes till it is all done. Check if it is cooked. It takes less than 10 minutes to cook.

Serve as a side for sambar or rasam rice. I made a simple dal and enjoyed this as a side for that along with some yummy pickles. Perfect dinner!

Tuesday 6 November 2012

Potato and Channa Podimas

Podimas is yet another Tamil favourite. Usually it is made with either potato or with vazhakka (raw banana). I have the recipe of Potato Podimas in my blog. Yet to blog the Vazhakka one. Though the taste is similar, there is a difference in the way the veggies are 'prep'ed.

After enjoying 10 days of sundal during Navarathri, we were all hooked to it. My little one asked me to make Channa Sundal and I tried making this. It was awesome and tasted really good with Rasam and Rice.


Potato 3 big (or 4 medium)
Chick peas (dry) 1 cup
Mustard 1 tsp
Channa Dal 1 tsp
Jeera 1.5 tsp
Green Chilli 1 chopped
Curry leaves 2 sprigs
Ginger 1 inch piece finely chopped
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Lemon/Lime Juice 2 tbsp
Coconut 1/2 cup

Oil and salt to taste

Method of Preparation

1. Boil Potatoes. Peal and roughly chop into cubes.

2. Soak Chickpeas overnight and then pressure cook till it is cooked but has its shape. Drain and keep aside.

3. Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard. When it sputters, add the channa dal. When the dal starts to brown, add jeera, ginger, curry leaf and green chilli.

4. When it sizzles, add the drained channa, cubed potatoes and coconut along with some salt. Mix well.

5. Switch off after a couple of minutes. Add the lime juice and mix well.

Magic Mingle this month is Potatoes and Jeera, hosted by Pradnya. They make such a beautiful pair. This recipe is off to the event.

Monday 5 November 2012

Curried Sweet Potato, Lentil and Barley Stew

I am hosting a barley event this month and made a yummy stew with some sweet potatoes and masoor dal. This is the first time I am trying anything with sweet potato. I was surprised that it was not too sweet. It tasted awesome. Served with some garlic bread. You can eat it as a complete meal as well, as the barley and sweet potatoes make it quite filling

The photo was taken immediately after making it. It thickened up after an hour or so...


Sweet Potato 3
Onions 2
Cherry Tomato 20
Barley 1/3 cup
Whole Masoor Dal 1/2 cup
Garam Masala 1 tsp
Coriander Powder 1 tsp
Garlic Powder 1/2 tsp
Turmeric 1/2 tsp
Bay Leaf 1

Method of Preparation

1. Soak the barley overnight and pressure cook for 3 whistles with 1 cup of water.

2. Pressure cook the masoor dal with 1 cup of water.

3. Heat oil in a pan. Add bay leaf and chopped onions. Saute till the onions start to brown.

4. Add cubed sweet potato. Mix and saute.

5. After a few minutes, add the cherry tomato and saute for 2-3 min.

6. Add 2 cups of water and bring to boil. Simmer till the sweet potato is partly cooked.

7. Add the cooked barley and dal.

8. Add turmeric, garam masala, coriander powder, garlic powder and salt. Mix well and simmer for 10 minutes.

Linking to my event - Cooking with Seeds Barley, event by Priya

Sunday 4 November 2012

Diwali Recipes

Diwali is the festival of lights. In South India, we celebrate with crackers, sweets, savouries, new clothes, visiting friends and family. Interestingly not many lamps are lit in Tamil Nadu for Diwali. We reserve that honour to a festival Karthikai that usually falls in Nov-Dec month.

This year (2014) diwali falls on Oct 22.

Diwali Recipes

Check out the diwali recipes posted so far in my blog.

1. Diamond Chips (Thukkuda)