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March 31, 2010

Sigappu Mulai Keerai Masiyal

When Athamma visited me she had brought along with her a clay pot specially designed for making masiyal as the one that I already had broke during shifting of our home. She had bought it in town's Sandhai whih is quite famous. I had been to that place twice and found it a treasure house. This is the first dish that I am making in that pot. So here is the recipe...


You'll Need:
Sigappu mulai Keerai / Red Amaranthus – 1 bunch
Yellow moong dal – 1 cup
Sambar onions / shallots – 10 nos
Tomato – 1, medium
Green chilli – 1
Tamarind – a goose berry size
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Garlic – 4 pods
Salt – to taste
Oil – 2 tsp

For seasoning:
Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp (optional)
Whole dry red chillies – 2
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Asafetida – 2 pinch


Clean and wash the greens. Wash the dal, drain and keep aside. Chop the onions and tomatoes roughly. Slit the green chilli.

In a pressure pan combine greens, yellow moong dal, onions, green chilli, tomatoes, garlic pods, tamarind, turmeric powder and salt. Add 1 cup water and pressure cook for 2 whistles. Cool and transfer the contents to the clay pot.

In a kadai heat the oil. Add cumin seeds, whole red chillies, coriander seeds and asafetida and transfer them to the cooked greens. Mash well with a pappu guthi or a masher till it resembles a pulp. Check salt and transfer them to a serving dish. Serve along with hot rice with ghee.

This Masiyal is off to Divya Vikram who is hosting Healing foods : Spinach event.

March 23, 2010

Dal Makhani ~ Restaurant Style

We as a rule at home very rarely eat out, owing to health related issues of Arjun. So I try and make recipes that are served in restaurants at home so that the kids can get to know the flavors and appreciate all types of cuisines. Here is one such recipe tried out Dhaba style at home. If you want to get the authentic taste of the recipe forget about the calories and indulge.


You’ll need:
Black whole urad dal – 1 cup
Onion – 2
Tomatoes – 4
Ginger garlic paste – 2 tbsp
Milk – 1 to 1 ½ cups
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Turmeric powder – ½ tsp (you can also use orange food color)
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
Ghee – 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds – ½ tsp
Kasuri methi – ¼ tsp
Butter – ¼ cup
Salt – to taste


Soak the urad dal over night. Pressure cook with 3 cups water and 2 pinch salt for 3 whistles and simmer the stove for 15 minutes. Drain and keep aside. Grind the onions to a paste and keep aside. Puree the tomatoes.

In a kadai heat the butter. Add onion paste and cook for 1 minute till it changes color slightly. Now add the ginger garlic paste and cook till the raw smell disappears. Add the tomato puree and mix well. Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and cook till the butter starts leaving sides. Now add the cooked urad dal and milk slowly from the sides. Add Salt and cook till all the flavors merge together over slow flame.

In another kadai heat the ghee. Add cumin seeds, when they crackle add the kasuri methi and take off the stove. Cook the leaves in the heat and add this seasoning to the dal mixture. Sprinkle garam masala powder on top and serve hot along with phulkas or naans.

March 19, 2010

Eggless Chocolate Sponge Cake

This year for my better half's birthday I wanted to bake a cake as this would be the first time I will be doing that for his birthday. Even though I was successful with my earlier venture at baking Orange malai Cake I still did not feel confident enough so I tried out one of Tarla Darlal's tried out recipes which I adapted to my requirements. Though I was able to bake this only after 2 days of his birthday as I was not doing well everybody enjoyed it very much.

You’ll need:
Condensed milk - 1/2 can / 200 gms
All purpose flour - 1 cup / 125 grams
Cocoa powder – 2 tbsp
Cooking soda – ½ tsp
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Melted butter - 60 ml
Vanilla essence – 1 tsp
Water – 75 ml
Powdered sugar – 3 to 4 tbsp

Preheat the oven @ 200◦ C.

Sieve the dry ingredients i.e.) flour, cocoa, baking powder and cooking soda together. Mix the condensed milk, flour mixture, water, vanilla essence and melted butter and whisk thoroughly.

Pour the cake mixture into a greased and dusted baking tray. Bake in a hot oven at 200◦ C (400 degree F) for 20 minutes.

The cake is ready when it leaves the sides of the tin and is springy to touch. Cool over a wire rack. Before serving sieve powdered sugar all over the surface of the cake.

This is off to Divya Kudua The Best Chocolate Cake Event.

March 17, 2010

Paneer Makhanwala

What is it about a cottage cheese that makes all go Mmmmm........ Whenever my In-laws visit us I make paneer dishes often as they love it very much. They don't get paneer in their place and love trying it out in my place especially cooked by me. Arun and FIL are wonderful critics of my cooking. I love making new dishes specially for them. This is one such repeated requests by both of them.

Paneer Makhanwala

You’ll need:
Paneer /cottage cheese – 200 gms (cubed)
Onion – 2
Tomatoes – 4
Green chilli – 1
Ginger – 1 inch piece
Garlic – 5 pods
Cinnamon – 1 inch stick
Cardamom – 2
Cloves – 2
Black pepper corns – 4 to 5
Cashew nuts (broken) – 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder – 1 ½ tsp
Coriander powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Garam masala powder – 1 tsp
Kasuri methi – 1 tsp
Milk – 1 cup
Sugar – 2 pinch
Salt – to taste
Cream – 2 tbsp (optional)
Oil – 2 tsp
Butter – 1 tbsp

Cube the paneer and sauté in a tsp of butter for a minute and keep aside. Cube the onions and tomatoes. Slit the green chilli.

Heat oil in a pan, add the cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and black pepper corns. Cook for a minute. Add the garlic, ginger and green chilli. Cook for a minute. Add the onion and cook till the onions turn a slight brown. Now add the tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes turn mushy. Add the cashew nuts, mix well and keep aside to cool. Grind this mixture to a smooth paste using as little water as possible.

Heat butter in the same pan. Switch of the stove and add coriander powder, red chilli powder and turmeric powder and mix well. This is to prevent the powders from darkening and over cooked. Add the ground mixture, mix well and close with a lid and cook till the oil separates. 

Reduce the flame and slowly add the milk, salt, paneer cubes, kasuri methi and sugar. Let it come to a boil. Add the cream just before serving, allow to boil on low and serve.

March 15, 2010

Aval Payasam

Aval Payasam was this Friday's prasadham. I was planning to make Akkara vadisil but as usual as I was running out of time I had to opt for this. But Hoping to make it on Ugadi.

You’ll need:
Aval/ Beaten Rice / Rice flakes – 1 cup
Milk – 2 cups
Condensed milk – ¼ cup
Sugar – 1 ½ cup
Cardamom – 1
Cashew nuts (broken) – 1 tbsp
Ghee – 1 tbsp

Roast the cashew nuts in 1 tsp of ghee in a kadai. Keep it aside. In the remaining roast the aval over medium flame till it changes to light brown. Cool and keep 2 tbsp aside. Powder the remaining aval coarsely in a mixer.

In a vessel heat 1 cup of milk and bring it to a boil. Add the powdered aval and roasted whole aval that you have kept aside and cook for 2 minutes. You can see that the aval has absorbed most of the milk. Now add the sugar, remaining milk, condensed milk, cardamom, roasted cashew and bring to a boil. Kheer is ready.

As Aval is a very thirsty fellow it absorbs all the liquid when kept for longer time. So serve it hot and immediately.

March 12, 2010

Curd Rice ~ Thayir Sadam

The past few days I was feeling so down and sick that I didn’t bother to spend more time in the kitchen. But life goes and lunches had to be packed for the kids so what else but the good old thayir sadam. It always bring fond memories about the summer season for me. Quick to make and easy to pack while traveling, light on the stomach. It is an old friend of all the south Indian families.

March 8, 2010

Mom's Sweet Muffins

I'am quite sure all the mother across the world always woryy about packing both snacks and lunch for their kids not only to be tasty but also quite nutricious. this is one such muffins that I baked over the week end which is not only easy to make and quite quick to pack for kids break time too.

Arjun had one in the morning with a glass of Complan and took three to had during the break time at school. This freezes well too and can be stored when made in bulk. Hope your kids enjoy them too...

You’ll need:
Dry Ingredients:
All purpose flour – 1 ½ cup
Sugar – ½ cup
Baking powder – 1 ½ tsp
Cooking soda – ½ tsp
Salt – ½ tsp
Wet Ingredients:
Butter milk – ½ cup
Eggs – 1
Vegetable oil – ¼ cup

Pre heat the oven @ 200 C degrees.

Take all the dry ingredients in a bowl and mix them with a fork to aerate them properly. Now add all the wet ingredients to it and mix well. The mixture might appear a bit lumpy. Spoon the batter in muffin cups upto 2/3 full and bake @ 200 C degrees for 15-20 minutes. You can make 12 muffins out of this batter. This can be baked as a cake too.

This is off to Valli's Kid's delight ~ Wholesome Snacks. and also to Suma's Jihva themed Breakfasts a brain child of Indira.

March 6, 2010

Mochai Puli Kulambu

I have always known mochai by just the name ie., I never attempted to learn its English name until Arun asked for it when I was removing them from their pods. We both set out to rectify the problem immediately and came to learn that it is called as Hyacinth beans. He felt ecstatic as he bumped into it first.

March 5, 2010

Peas Masala ~ Restaurant Style

As we all in the family share a mutual love for fresh green peas I try to prepare as many recipes as I can with fresh peas during the season. This is one such masala side dish that goes well with rotis and pulaos which tastes just like restaurant but made in home.

Peas Masala

You’ll need:

Fresh green peas – 1 ½ cup
Onion – 2

Tomatoes – 2

Garlic, ginger and green chilli paste – 2 tbsp

Grated coconut – 2 tbsp

Poppy seeds – 2 tsp

Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp

Red chilli powder – 2 tsp

Coriander power – 1 tsp

Bay leaf – 2

Cloves – 2

Cardamom – 2

Star anise – 1

Cinnamon - ½ inch size

Coriander leaves – 2 tbsp

Salt – to taste

Oil – ¼ cup

Butter – 2 tbsp (optional)


Cook the peas with a pinch of salt in 2 cups of water. Chop the onions. Blanch the tomatoes and grate them.

In a mixer grind together onion, coconut and poppy seeds to a smooth paste. Heat around 2 tbsp oil in a kadai and add bay leaf, cloves, cinnamon, cardamom, star anise and sauté till the aroma arises.

Add the ground onion paste and sauté till the onion changes to a light brown shade. You have to be patient while doing this as it has to be done over a low flame. Add more oil as and when the onions absorbs the oil. Add butter for a smooth consistency and enhanced taste of the restaurant.

Now add the garlic, ginger and green chilli paste and mix well for 2 more minutes. Add the grated tomatoes, tumeric powder, red chilli powder, coriander powder and salt. Cook till the oil starts to leave the sides. Add the green peas and the cooked water as per the consistency you prefer. Let it come to a boil. Add the chopped coriander leaves and serve hot

March 2, 2010


The very word transports me back to my school holidays spent in my grandma’s place. Every Sunday morning breakfast used to be fluffy Aappams served with with fragrant coconut milk. She used to grind the batter only in the grinding stone (Aatu kal) stating that it’s what makes her Aappams so soft. She used to grind the coconuts too in the same way extracting its milk. When the coconuts are ground in the grinding stone you will be able to extract more milk than when ground in the mixer. Here is the recipe of the tasty Aapams which was our sunday's breakfast.


You’ll need:
Raw rice – 1 cup
Boiled rice or idli rice – 1 cup
Grated coconut – ¾ cup -1 cup
Fenugreek seeds – ¼ tsp
Urad dal – ½ tsp

Salt – little

Sugar – 4 tsp (optional)


Soak both the rice, fenugreek, urad dal together for 4 to 5 hrs. While grating the coconut take care that you grate only the white portion and not the brown outer layer.

In a mixer grind the soaked rice mixture coarsely adding required water. Then add the grated coconut to it and grind it again to a smooth batter. The batter should be in the consistency of the dosa batter. Add salt and leave to it to ferment over night.

The next day add the sugar to the batter and mix well. Wait for some for the sugar to dissolve. Pour a ladle of the batter in an Aappa Chatti or a deep kadai and swirl the vessel around for the batter to spread evenly. Do not spread it using a ladle. Drizzle some oil around it and close it with a lid. Wait for a minute and remove it from the vessel. Proceed with the remaining batter.

You will find the edges crisp and the centre soft and spongy. You can serve with sweetened coconut milk or cocnut chutney or vegetable stew.
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