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Sunday, November 30, 2014

Dosa|Ragi Idiyappam And More[Breakfast Menu]

      Every body is lazy on a weekend.I usually do simple breakfast for our weekend .This week being a long weekend , i wanted to do something special for my dearies .So got a idea of trying this Breakfast Menu.
     I already posted a special lunch before which is a rice combo,This time its a South Indian breakfast.This breakfast menu has Dosa,Kavuni arisi,ragi Idiyappam and chutney .You can include sambhar in this menu which makes the platter more yummier.

Breakfast Menu

Friday, November 28, 2014

Dal Palak|Keerai Kootu

    This is a south Indian style Dal palak (because i do it ,i say it south Indian).Dal palak is a very mild curry that goes very well with kulambu and sambhar.If added little more spice(chili or sambhar powder) you can have it for roti as well(Indian style flat bread).
     This curry can be made with any greens available,I made it with Spinach the Palak .We south Indians call it as pasalai keerai.This Spinach is mostly available in cities.So people who are trying this curry who don't have spinach/palak available go with other greens like arai keerai,mula keerai,Methi or vendhaya keerai(fenugreek leaves) etc.
     This Keerai masiyal is one of the tastiest mild curries of South.You can add toor dal instead of moong dal and temper the curry with mustard and urad dal after the curry is done.
      I pressure cooked the spinach with moong dal like my mom do,If you don't want the greens to be cooked in pressure cooker.Pressure cook the dal and mash it .Saute spinach and combine both of them together.

Dal Palak

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Sakkarai Pongal|Sweet Pongal

      Sakkarai pongal|sweet pongal is a rice made with jaggery.Its special in south india ,every household has tradition of making sakkarai pongal for special occasions.Specially sakkarai pongal takes the major place in pongal festival(a harvest festival) which occurs in tamil month thai, falls around January15 th every year.
    Brahmins do this sweet pongal with more ghee and milk its called akkara vadisal.I am hardcore fan of it,really makes any one mouth waters.hmmmmm
     Like any other recipe this sakkarai pongal also has many variations.My mom makes this style of pongal ,my mother -in law add some moong dal to the sweet pongal.If you are adding moong dal to the sakkarai pongal it has to pressure cooked along with rice.For 1 cup rice you can add 1/2 cup moong dal.

Variations to the sakkarai pongal:
  1. Add moong dal/pasipayaru to add some protein.
  2. You can add coconut flakes instead of grated coconut .
  3. Increase the jaggery to make sakkarai pongal more sweeter.
  4. Add more ghee and to make it more rich.
  5. Add milk to make it more creamier.
  6. Obviously you can substitute rice with any millets.

Sakkarai pongal

Monday, November 24, 2014

Golden Milk|Turmeric Milk

     Turmeric milk is also called golden milk because of its color.According to me it taste bit similar to masala milk(but very low in calories than that)
     This golden milk i usually do when we have cold or cough.Add little pepper makes it little spicy and good during cold days. Adding of turmeric gives a nice color to the milk,it has more medicinal benefits too(explained at the end of post).When my daughter catches cold i do follow all of the below mentioned points to give a quick relief(It takes at least 2 days).

These are some of the remedy my grand ma and my mom did for us .Now i am doing it for my daughter.
    When she has stuffy nose or when her eyes get wet during cold.I do "othadam" which can be done with kitchen towel wrapped.
  • How to do Othadam:
                Heat a tava ,try to touch the tava with the base of wrapped towel.It should be hot.You can check the temperature when you are doing for kids .then try to put it in forehead ,neck ,below the eyes (can be done whenever it is paining)
  • Try to take more vitamin c.
  • Making a hot shower reduces nasal congestion.
  • People apply some medicinal leaves that take the water out the head(cold air inside head is the cause for head aches)
  • Add more veggies,pepper to your diet.
  • Try to drink more warm water(heat in microwave for 20-30 seconds).
  • Reduce the milk intake(try to dilute the milk and give the kids)
  • Add this golden milk day,night.You can substitute honey with sugar too.(sometimes i do that)

Golden milk

Friday, November 21, 2014

Appam Recipe|Appam

   Appam a south Indian style pancakes or dosa made with fermented rice and urad dal mixture .Usually served with coconut milk or stew or kuruma.
   Appam is very famous breakfast item in kerela and chettinad.There are many variations of appam recipe like adding baking soda, eno or add sago pearls/Sabudana (later one i recommend you can do it ).But my mom never add anything to the appam batter ,but still the appam taste so good and be spongy.In case if you are trying to add sago/sabudana/javarisi to appam batter soak it with other ingredients and grind it or soak is and add it after its fermented.
     Best time to prepare appam is ,on a weekend .Why i say is, after having this delicious appam you don't really feel like having lunch and you feel drowsy better have it as a brunch and go for light meal in the evening .
    Ladies first few appam will give a little tough time.You can use the coconut flakes(after taking the milk out) tied in a cotton cloth to wipe the bottom of the pan to give an extra oil layer .Its better to apply more oil for first few if you are not using non-stick pan like me .
    I have done a video on how to make appam in regular pan .Hope you guys will like it.In case of any doubts just comment or email me .

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Baingan Bharta Recipe|Step By Step Pics

     Baingan bharta is a easy Indian style curry made with Aubergine the large eggplant.Eggplant is called by different names like brinjal,baingan,aubergine,Kathirikai(in tamil).
     Baingan bharta is done by roasting aubergine in gas and then smoke it.I instead roasted in oven (broiled in oven).Its was smokey,tangy,spicy ..and its a best dip i can say.If you want to roast in direct gas then refer dassana post ,she explained dhungar method(infusing the coal flavor to baingan).I got the idea of oven roasting from Sony who is a blogger friend of mine.
    Usually people in India have baingan bharta for roti an Indian flat bread.we  had it with bread and it was quite amazing..
    This recipe i did it for shhh.... cooking secret challenge hosted by priya suresh sis .This month my partner is priya sis .She gave me onion and aubergine as the secret ingredient .I normally do kosumalli with small brinjals apart from that i can think about baingan bharta ,my fav.
    I have given step by step pics as well for amateurs.I used 1/2 tsp chili powder as we are spice lovers.If you guys don't want much spice reduce the chili powder to 1/4 tsp .You can also include 1 green chili with 1/4 tsp chili powder.
Baingan bharta

Baingan Bharta/Aubergine Curry

BAINGAN BHARTA     Oven broiled baingan bharta(aubergine curry) for roti ,dosa,bread.

Cuisine: Indian Category: Side Dish Yields: 2 cups Prep time: 30-40 Minutes Cook time: 10 minutes Total time: 40 Minutes.

  • 1/2 pound aubergine/eggplant/kathirikai(around 450 grams)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 small country tomato
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • pinch of turmeric
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • Few coriander leaves for garnishing
To temper:
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp jeera/cumin
Whole egg plant
  • Oven roast the baingan .Broil the eggplant for 30 -40 min until it breaks or until skin soften.
Broil it for 30-40 min
  • Remove the peel and mash it very well.
Remove the peel and mash it well
  • Chop the onions and tomatoes .
  • Heat a tava with 1 tbsp oil.
  • Add jeera.Let the jeera gets the aroma.
Temper it with jeera
  • Add ginger garlic paste and saute it for 2 seconds.
Add ginger garlic paste
  • Add onions and saute it ,until  translucent(takes around 2-3 minutes on a hot tava).
Saute onions
  • Add tomatoes and cook it thorough.
Saute tomatoes
  • Add turmeric and chili powder and saute it for a minute without burning it.
Add masalas
  • Add the mashed eggplant/ baingan/aubergine to the tava.Add required salt as well.
Add eggplant
  • Let it sit in tava for 2 minutes in low flame.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot with roti/dosa.
  • Actually we had it with bread, it was so awesome.
Baingan bharta ready

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Tuesday, November 18, 2014

How To Make Coconut Milk

    This post is about how to make coconut milk a basic recipe.Though many people know how to make coconut milk ,there are people who don't know much about it.
    I never made coconut milk after coming here to US.Not  because of it is a difficult thing to do ,it is rare to get fresh,good,old coconut.First of all many people don't buy the whole coconut here.So its rare to see the whole one.It is available only in Indian store or in my nearby Mexican shop.Even though it is available ,it is rare to get a good one .Most of the coconut are very old and will be rotten .The ones that we get in Indian store is costly and too young.Those coconut will not be sweet or we don't get good amount of milk from it.After sometime now i am able to pick a good one.I grate it and store some in refrigerator and remaining in freezer.If its difficult to get coconut ,then how will i be making milk with it ?
      This time i was lazy to get coconut and break it and grate it .This process takes sometime to do .I am in no mood to do that.So i got frozen coconut.I want to make Aapam(dosa) and coconut milk that day.So kept the frozen coconut in refrigerator the day before and kept it outside 1 hour before i started taking the milk out.used warm water to get milk .To get best results grind the coconut along with warm water and extract the coconut milk .
      If you are using the coconut milk immediately then fine, otherwise store the milk in refrigerator or freezer until use(Guess this has shorter shelf life). 

Coconut milk

Friday, November 14, 2014

Rajma Dry Curry|How to make Rajma Curry recipe

    Kidney bean/Rajma dry curry -is a easy North Indian style curry  made with rajma,bell pepper,ginger,garlic and some masalas .Even though i make rajma gravy,chana gravy , mushroom gravy for poori ,roti.I made this dry curry very first time thought it would sound bit different than regulars.
    In this rajma curry i used pureed fresh tomatoes.No double sauted masala's,So it takes times for the raw smell of masalas dissipates and also the curry becomes dry.
      Using of kasuri methi is completely optional for this curry .But i prefer you use some for enhanced flavor.To make the curry yummier rajma has to be cooked very well(soft) so it should be soaked for at least 8 hours.Tomato puree and bell pepper makes the curry slightly sweet, If you don't like pureed tomato in the rajma curry use chopped tomato instead.If you prefer the masala to be spicy in case of using pureed tomatoes add 1/4 more chili powder .

Rajma dry curry

Preparation time:6-8 hours (soaking)+20 min (pressure cooking)
Cooking time:20 min

  • 1 cup rajma (soaked for at least 8 hours)
  • 1/2 bell pepper.
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tomato (pureed)
  • 1 tsp ginger garlic paste
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/4 tsp garam masala
  • pinch of turmeric
  • few dried methi leaves/kasuri methi.
To temper:
  • 1 tsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp jeera/Cumin

Rajma curry


  • Soak Rajma for 8 hours or overnight.
Soaked rajma

  • Pressure cook it for 4-5 whistles or until its soft.
  • Chop onion very fine.
  • Puree the tomato .
  • Make ginger garlic paste .
  • Chop bell pepper as well


  • Heat  tava and add oil to it .
  • Add jeera .Let the jeera change colour.
Tempering jeera

  • Add chopped onions and saute it for sometime .
Saute onion

  • Add ginger garlic paste and cook them through.
Saute ginger garlic paste

  • Add pureed tomato .Let the juices get evaporated .
  • Add bell pepper and saute it for a minute.
Saute bell pepper

  • Add masalas chili powder,coriander powder ,turmeric and mix it well,
Add masalas except garam masala

  • Add water rajma is cooked and add required salt (make sure not to add too much of salt because ts going to be dry not gravy)
Add water and boil it for a minute

  • Add garam masala and kasuri methi and boil it until it thickens.
  • Add pressure cooked rajma .Let it get thick and coat with masalas.
Add cooked rajma

  • Rajma curry is ready .Serve it with chapathi ,roti ,etc

Rajma masala

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Wednesday, November 12, 2014

200th post-Kavuni Arisi/BlackRice Pudding

        This is my 200th post .I want to share a dessert which is close to my heart.This kavuni arisi (pudding) ranks first among my favourites.I make payasam with kavuni arisi, then i make this pudding.This Black Rice Pudding is really easy to make if you plan ahead.Rice has to be soaked for at least 12 hours to get Best pudding.
        Kavuni arisi is costly compared to other rice varieties and has more iron and fibre(because  its unmilled and has husk in tact).kavuni arisi rice when cooked turns purplish.In china people make cake,porridge,bread with it.
     This black rice pudding is served during breakfast in chettinad marriages and in festivals and is considered really special.

kavuni arisi

Soaking time:12 hrs
Cooking time:20 min

Monday, November 10, 2014

Palakai Kootu Curry-Chettinad Style(Step By Step Pics)

        Palakai kootu curry is yet another chettinad speciality.Me and my husband are very fond of this type of curry (Our grandma's make this curry yummier ).Here in US its very rare to get raw/tender jack fruit .I saw some in Indian store ,without any second thought i got raw jackfruit.
       When i asked my mom about it .She told there are varieties of raw jack fruit like fruity(which has more seeds) and raw one which don't have many seeds.I really was upset because i already got one which has more seeds.Its really hard to clean the seeds out ,But after i make this kootu we really enjoyed it a lot with Tomato rasam.
     This Jackfruit Recipe is mild and goes very well with rice.

RawJackfruit curry

Cleaning Time:15 min(if there is more seeds)
Preparation time:10 min
Cooking time:10 min

Saturday, November 8, 2014

How To Make Yogurt

How to make yogurt ?
       Most of you would have thought ,No big deal right? The reality is its not easy to make yogurt  in cold countries or in cold weather naturally.
If you ask me, So you never bought yogurt outside? Sometimes I do, But only when the weather was too cold for fermentation. To me store bought yogurt lacks in freshness and most importantly taste.
   This post will teach you a technique or two and a few tips on how to make yogurt at home even in cold weather and or cold countries.

So what it yogurt ?
    It is a product of bacterial fermentation of milk. Bacteria which makes yogurt is called "yogurt cultures".

So I made yogurt, now what do I do with it ?

Dishes using yogurt
  • Prepare Gravies like yogurt gravy.
  • Use it in chats like dahi vada,dahi poori.
  • Use it in raita.
  • Use it for preparing buttermilk 
  • Prepare  lassi with it .
  • Make Yogurt rice .
  • Mix it with fruits and make Flavored yogurt.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Guest Post /Arbi Fry Recipe(Step By Step Pics)

Well Dear Readers .

      This is my 6 th Guest Post(other guest post in order they appear Kosumalli,Vaalaipoo Vada,Paal kolukattai,kandarappam,Vengayam Thakkali Thokkuto my friend and well wisher of photography Shewta of Merry Tummy .She is one of the inspirations for my pictures (guess i am taking good pictures now a days).
Well, some of my post have link to the end,have you noted it ? I felt really proud and happy after i joined Saturday snapshots Event .This event is hosted by shweta and sireesha - Best Picture is the motto of our group ..This is the story how i come to know shweta very well.

A little more about shewta and her blog:

      She is gorgeous looking and bubbly person .She talks her mind . I admire her pictures a lot ,started liking her detailed chats in the recipe, detailed tips she gives on Tuesday's .She has some fantastic marwadi recipes ( I wanted to try all of them ,but still time is there na ,I can try it out ).
        This is my simple guest post South India Style Arbi Fry for her blog.

 Arbi Fry:

    Sepankilangu varuval

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Pizza Sauce Tomato Pasta(Step By Step Pics)

       Pizza sauce Tomato pasta hmm.. you might have guessed it, Its a Tomato pasta made out of leftover pizza sauce. I made pizza sauce at home from fresh tomatoes for a wholewheat pizza. As usual I had leftover  Pizza Sauce. Usually I  wait till I make Pizza again, to use left over sauce.

      Till now I have made Pasta with white sauce. To try something different , I thought of using the left over pizza sauce with pasta. (My daughter loves pasta).

      It turned out so delicious . Its very simple , play with sauce and cheese. I have mentioned the amounts that I used.

Pizza sauce pasta

Cooking time:15 min
Yields:3 cup pasta

Monday, November 3, 2014

Tamarind Rice(Step By Step Pics)

       Tamarind Rice/Puliyotharai/Puli Sadam is an easy variety rice dish made with tamarind pulp or tamarind paste. My mom uses tamarind paste. The aroma of the dish is fresh and good if the paste is made fresh.
       Tamarind rice is very famous in South India especially in vaishnava temples where it is a standard prasad offered to god.
      In India its common to prepare this puliyotharai mix and store it in the refrigerator .When in need, cook some rice and mix with puliyotharai paste. The puliyodharai paste keeps well so you will see a lot of students bringing this from their homes.
      I added black tamarind (tamarind turns black when it ages) that's why tamarind rice is black even though i added enough turmeric.When you add lighter colour tamarind (which is not so black) tamarind rice will be yellow in colour.
Papads or simple potato curry is good for this Puliyotharai rice.
Some other easy rice varieties

  1. Mushroom fried rice
  2. Peas pulao/rice(no coconut)
  3. Lime rice
  4. Coconut rice 


Cooking Time:20 min

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