June 26, 2008

Ketti Chutney

We make various chutneys with the fruit, coconut yes a fruit and not a nut as correctly said by Suganya. Coconut is also called the King of Palms and this particular fruit and other types of nuts served as the original Fast Food for the early man. Now to this particular recipe, this is unlike the usual coconut chutney that we make. You can see them served in hotels served as a side dish for idlis, vadas and dosas.

My grand mother makes it so well. She grinds this chutney in the traditional way in an Aatukkal (stone grinder) though she has a mixie. She insisted that the chutney tastes better when ground in the Aatukkal than when ground in the mixie. Now that I make the same thing in a mixie I could perfectly understand her reasoning. There is really a tremendous difference. But we have got to do our best with what we have at hand; as time is the essence and we can’t afford to waste it.
Ketti chutney
What u need:

Freshly grated coconut – 1
Green chillies – 2
Fried gram (Pottu kadalai) - 1 handful
Salt – to taste.

What to do:

In a mixie jar put all the ingredients and grind them to a fine smooth paste by adding water little by little. The ground chutney should be thick and not watery like the usual coconut chutney. There is no need to temper this chutney. Serve it with hot idlis, dosas and vadas.

When you place the chutney on the plate it should stay put as shown in the picture and not run around as the usual coconut chutney does. The important thing is that the spiciness of the green chilli should be less in this chutney and the sweetness of the coconut should be more predominant.

Tip: Instead of serving this chutney as a lone side dish, serve another side dish along too like Idli Milagai Podi or Sambar. It will taste even better.

This goes to Suganya’s AFAM: coconut.
Continue Reading... »

June 24, 2008

Rava Upma

This is a breakfast that could be completed in 15 minutes provided you have roasted rava in hand readily. Roasting the rava before storing it in a container is a practice that I got from my mother. She made it a point to roast it as it not only prevented small worms and bugs forming in it while stored because of its raw smell but also saved ample time during morning as she was also working. I too followed it when I started cooking on my own.

Continue Reading... »

June 23, 2008

Idli / Dosa Batter

This is the most quintessential ingredient of almost all South Indian homes. No home's fridge is devoid of this.

You’ll need:

Boiled rice / tiffin rice – 5 cups
Urad dal – 1 cup
Rock Salt – to taste
Water – to grind


The ratio of rice and dal is 5:1. clean and wash rice and dal separately for 2 – 3 times . Soak them in water separately for at least 4 hours.

In a wet grinder or a mixer grind the rice first. Never grind the rice to a smooth paste but the texture should be little grainy as though you are feeling castor sugar. Transfer to a big container.

Grind the urad dal along with the soaked water in the same grinder next. Try and add little water as possible. Grind it to a smooth paste. The consistency is that when you take a spoon full of the dal batter and drop it  in a cup of water the batter should float on top of the water and not sink right in. transfer this also to the ground rice.

Add salt, usually a handful, mix well and let it be on the kitchen counter over night for fermentation.

The next day mix it lightly to let the air out. Refrigerate this batter and use when needed. 
Continue Reading... »

June 18, 2008

Matar Paneer Butter Masala

It seems that my love for paneer would see no bounds. I just love them and love stacking up them in my refrigerator. My first intro to this dish was during my 12th std holidays when me and my dearest friend Mythreyee had gone to meet Priya a senior to us to attend her engagement party. We all had a gala time and the food……. I for one who loves panner so much just could not forget the taste of this dish supplied by the caterers. Ever since then when ever I have a chance to eat out, especially a dhaba, my choice would always be roti and matar panner butter masala to go with it.
After my marriage whenever hubby dear gets to attend an evening meeting with his clients in any restaurant, he without fail would bring me a parcel of this dish on his way home after calling me to make just rotis saying the side dish is one the way. After much trial and error I learned to make this dish in a very easy way in my home itself without missing out the taste of eating out.
Matar Paneer Butter Masala

What u need:
Paneer cubes – 200 gms
Freshly shelled peas, boiled – ¼ cup
Onions, diced – ¼ cup
Green chili, slit length wise - 2
Butter – 2 tbsp
Red Chilli powder – 1 tsp
Fresh tomato puree – 2 cups
Cumin (jeera) powder – 1 tsp
Garam masala powder – ½ tsp
Milk – ½ cup
Cream – ½ cup
Sugar – 1 tsp
Kasuri methi – ½ tsp (optional)
Oil – 1 tbsp
Salt to taste.
To be ground to a fine paste:
Onion – 1 cup
Ginger – 2 inch piece
Garlic pods – 6 to 7
Cashews - 15

What to do:

In a kadai, melt the butter. Add the paneer cubes and shallow fry till they are golden brown. Take the paneer cubes and keep it separately. In the same kadai sauté the cubed onions and the green chilies till the onions turn golden in color. Add the fried paneer cubes that you have kept separate to the sautéed onions and keep the kadai aside.

Take another pan and heat the oil, add the ground masala paste and cook till brown. Now add the chilli powder, tomato puree and cook for a few minutes.
Add the cumin powder, garam masala powder and ½ cup water and cook till the oil separates from the masala.

Pour this tomato gravy into the kadai that already has paneer cubes. Now add the boiled peas along with milk, cream, sugar and salt and let it come to a boil. Cook for 10 minutes.
You can use butter instead of oil to make the tomato gravy if you don’t mind the calories.

Note: I used 3 big ripe tomatoes to make the puree. Oh and also if you don’t have cream, not to worry replace it with milk instead. Though kasuri methi is optional it really gives the dish a superb flavor. So don’t miss adding it if u have it in your pantry.
Continue Reading... »

June 10, 2008


Events Happening @ Tickling Palates for the month of September

Continue Reading... »

June 9, 2008

Goose Berry Pickle ~ Arai Nellikai Oorugai | Step By Step Recipe

Pickles are an essential part of south Indian food. They could be eaten along with almost anything but most importantly with thaiyir sadham (curd rice). I especially love eating hot thayir sadham with urugai . During my school days when Amma was busy packing lunch for us and she herself getting ready for work I will mix curd with the hot rice that she has spread out on a plate to cool and tuck it in with the urugai, especially nellikai (gooseberry) pickle for breakfast. It used to make my mom mad. She couldn’t understand how anyone could prefer eating thaiyir sadham so hot. My love for that still continues and the person who does the wondering part is my DH.

Though I have made mango, lemon, narthangai and avakkai pickles I never came around to making nellikai pickles as both Amma and I don’t know how to make it. It never occurred to me until the other day I came across several packets of goose berries (Arai Nellikai ) when I was out grocery shopping. So I promptly bought a pack of quarter kg of them and went home without knowing how to do the pickles. After coming home I called up my MIL on how to make the pickle and she gave me the recipe for me. 

She encourages me so much to try out new varieties of food. She has been a huge encouragement and never criticized me when something went wrong by mistake or never said a word if the dish did not taste as good as I had promised it would. She will just put it down to experience. She does very good pickles.

Now to the berries, Goose berries are known as Amla in Hindi, Arai nellikai in Tamil. They are very sour and packed with lots of vitamin C. They promote good hair growth and stops pre mature graying. So try to add them in ur food often in any way possible. 

This post is updated with Step by Step Pictures. Now to the Recipe.

Make incisions along the fine lines that run along the gooseberry with a knife and cut the pieces as shown in the picture.

Heat oil in a kadai to smoking point and add the gooseberry pieces.

Keep sauteeing over medium flame till the edges starts changing color.

Powder the spices in a mixie jar or a food processor.

Wait till the gooseberry turns to this color and shrink in size. You can see that the edges have started to get brown.

Add the ground spice powder and mix well and cook over medium flame. 

The oil that been absorbed will start to leave the sides and this is the time to take off the stove and store properly.

Arai Nellikai Oorugai

What u need:
Goose Berries – ¼ kg
Gingelly Oil – 100 ml
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Red chili powder – 3 tsp
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Fenugreek seeds – ½ tsp
Salt – to taste.

What to do:
Wash the goose berries well and let them dry by spreading them on a dry cloth. There should be no water drops or moisture present. You will see fine wedges going from top to bottom of the berry. Slit them with a knife along the wedges and separate the wedges like shown in the picture. Throw away the seeds.

Dry roast the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds separately in a kadai and powder them together in a mixie jar. Keep it separately.

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed kadai and put the cut goose berry wedges in the oil. Cook in a medium flame till the berries starts shrinking in size and starts changing color. Cook them further by tossing them continuously till they become brown in color. Now add the turmeric, chili powder and the ground mustard, fenugreek powder and salt and cook for another 10 minutes.

Take off the fire and let it cool. Store in a ceramic jar or in a food grade air tight plastic container. You will see that the berries have shrunk in shape and let it soak for 1 or 2 days before using so that it can absorb the oil and chili into it. After 2 o 3 days you can see that they have soaked up to their original shape. 

Serve with Curd Rice. I have used Gingelly oil as it is traditionally used for making pickles. if you are not comfortable with the flavor use any cooking oil.
Continue Reading... »

June 6, 2008

Vegetable Biriyani

Today is the school reopening day for my younger son Arjun and he looked absolutely amazing in his new school uniform and new backpacks and polished shoes. He showed such maturity for a child who is stepping into I std by getting up early n the morning and getting ready all by himself. He was quite enthusiastic to meet his old friends. I really feel sad and guilty that I have not been able to take my kids anywhere during this summer vacation as both myself and my DH were very busy with our work schedules. All the books and notebooks were covered already and I am glad that I did not give in to laziness and leave it till the last time.

So to salve my guilty conscience I asked him what he wanted to take to school for lunch though I know what would be his answer. As expected pat came his reply as vegetable biriyani. He simply loves the one pot meals and especially the veg biriyani. I am really glad that he has asked for it as I have not made it since their vacations started and that means not in two months time. Boy! That was a long gap and I really wanted to please him and feel happy on his first day at school. So this is what I made.

Vegetable Biriyani
What u need:
Rice (Seeraga Samba) – 1 ½ cups
Mixed vegetables – 1 cup (I took carrots, French beans, potatoes & peas)
Onion, big - 2
Tomatoes, big – 1
Green chilli, slit - 2
Ginger garlic paste – 1 tsp
Mint leaves – 1 handful
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp
Coriander powder – 2 tsp
Red chili powder – 1 tsp
Garam masala powder – ½ tsp
Lemon juice of ½ a lemon
Water – 3 cups
Salt to taste
Oil – 1 tbsp
Ghee – 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves – for garnish
Whole Spices
Cardamom – 2
Cinnamon – 2 inch
Cloves – 3
Marati moggu – 2
Star anise – 1
Bay leaf - 1
What to do:


I normally don’t like using basmati rice for making biriyanis. So I use seeraga samba for mixed rices as they don’t become soggy even if use excess water by mistake. So wash the rice well and soak them in water. Cut the vegetables to finger length pieces. Cut the onions into juliennes. Chop the tomatoes. Wash the mint and coriander leaves and chop them.

In a pressure cooker heat the oil and ghee, add all the whole spices and sauté them till they turn a light brown and u smell the nice flavors of them. Add the onions and sauté till they turn slightly brown. Now add the ginger garlic paste, green chilli and the tomatoes and sauté till the tomatoes goes mushy. Now add the turmeric, coriander and chilli powder and fry till the raw smell disappears. 

Now add the cut vegetables, mint leaves and sauté them for 5 minutes till the masalas coat them well. Remove any excess water from the rice and add the rice to the vegetable mixture and mix well. Pour 3 cups water and add the garam masala powder and salt. Close the lid and cokk for 2 whistles. 

Remove pressure immediately and squeeze in the lemon juice and mix lightly without breaking the rice. Garnish with coriander leaves before serving. Veg briyani is ready.

Nothing goes well with this biriyani as thaiyir pachadi. Thaiyir as u know means curd or yoghurt and dahi in hindi. Pachadi means salad or raitha.

What u need:
Cucumber – 2
Onion, big – 1
Tomatoes – 1
Fresh thick curd – 1 cup
Salt - to taste
Chat masala powder – ½ tsp (optional)
Coriander leaves, chopped – 1 handful

What to do:
Cut the cucumber into small pieces. Cut the onions into juliennes. Chop the tomatoes. In a mixing bowl pour the curd and lightly beat it. To this add the cut cucumbers, onions, tomatoes, coriander leaves, salt and mix well. 

Refrigerate till u serve and before serving sprinkle the chat masala over the salad. Cool thaiyir pachadi is ready to serve.

This also goes as my entry to siri’s frozen yoghurt event which I think is a cool idea to beat the heat.
Continue Reading... »

June 4, 2008

Blog Hoppers

This venture is an attempt to broaden our culinary skills, get to know each other and try out new recipes and at the same time be connected with other bloggers meanwhile making ourselves into becoming the best cook. Throw in some interaction, suggestion, ideas with a new blogger it will be added fun giving us all a chance to visit others space and going through it fully. 
Version 2.0 kick starts on 11 January, 2012. The Blog Hoppers are:

Partners for June 13, 2012 Blog Hop are:

Sangeetha JagruthiDhanecha
Archana Jayanthi
Charul Ajmera Jayasri
Deeksha Kaveri
Divya Prakash Mireille
Faiza Ali Nagashree
Farah Nayna
Follow Foodie Nirmala
Gayathri  Nisha
Harini Suchi
Hema Pallavi Puri
Priya Sreeram Smitha
Priya Srinivasan Shree Rao
Priya Suresh Santosh Bangar
Radhika Vaishali Sabnani
Rajani Nupur
Rasya Srinath Sweatha J
Renuka  Swetha
Roshan Sona
Roshni Chandrasekar Veena Krishnakumar
Ruchira Hoon Vidhya Jayadeep

Partners for the May 9,2012 Blog Hop
Anamika Prabha
Anusha Praveen Pradnya
Archana Priya Srinivasan
Charul Ajmera Priya Suresh
Deeksha Rajani
Divya Prakash Radhika
Farah Rasya Srinath
Follow Foodie Renuka 
Gayathri  Roshan
Harini Roshni Chandrasekar
Hema Sangeetha
Jagruthi Dhanecha Santosh Bangar
Jayanthi Shree Rao
Jayasri Simran Kamath
Kalyani Sona
Kamalika Krishmy Suchi
Kaveri Sumedha
Mireille Surabhi Nayak
Nagashree Sweatha J
Nayna Swetha
Nirmala Vaishali Sabnani
Nisha Vardhini Koushik
Nupur Veena Krishnakumar
Pari Vasisht  Vidhya Jayadeep
Pinky Vidya

Pairs for March 14 Blog Hop Wednesdays
Priya suresh
Priya Mahadevan
Priya Srinivasan
Shree Rao
Priya Mitharwal
Vidhya Jayadeep
Priya Sreeram
Sch Words
Sweatha J

Continue Reading... »
Pin It button on image hover