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Wednesday, July 19, 2017


Karanji / Gujiya is a traditional sweet made during festivals. Spicy mutter karanji is a crispy and spicy snack stuffed with fresh peas and a variant of the conventional sweet Karanji.

Maida - 1 cup
Semolina - 1 tsp.
Cornflour - 1 tablespoon
Ajwain - 1/2 tsp.
Salt - 1/4 tsp.

Melted warm butter / ghee - 1 tablespoon
Water - approx. 1/3 cup or as required

Fresh shelled green peas - 2 cups
Ginger grated - 1 tsp.
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp.
Coriander powder - 1 tsp.
Chilli powder - 2 tsp.
Garam masala - 1 tsp.
Green chillies - 2
Juice from one key lime
Salt - to taste

Oil - to deep fry


In a wide mixing bowl, add the ingredients for dough except water and ghee. Melt ghee and pour warm ghee in the flour and mix well. It will become like bread crumb texture. Now add water little by little and knead the dough. Dough should be stiff. I used 1/3 cup of water. Once the dough is semi-soft, cover it with a damp muslin cloth and set it aside for at least half an hour.

Meanwhile, cook peas in water alongwith salt. Drain the water completely and mash cooked peas slightly. Add all other ingredients given for filling and mix well. Filling is ready. Keep aside. (If using onions, chopped onions can also be added ).

Now divide the dough into small equal portions and shape into balls. Take a ball, slightly dust with flour and using a rolling pin roll out each ball into a circle, put a small portion of the filling in middle, fold to make a semi circle and press the edges to seal it well. You can also make a thin solution of flour and water and apply it with a finger tip all over the edge to seal it. Cut the edge of Gujiya to give a shape by pressing with a fork or gujiya cutting spoon. I used the spoon to get curved edges. You can also use a somasi / karanji mould.
Heat oil in a kadai, slide the karanjis gently and fry them in batches on medium heat until they are golden brown and crispy.

Drain on a kitchen tissue. Serve hot with green chutney and sweet chutney or ketchup.

NOTE: Cover the dough with a damp muslin cloth to prevent it from drying.
Do not over fill the stuffing.
Seal the karanjis well, else the stuffing will spread in oil and you will end up in a mess.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017


How to make oats adai


Tur dhal, Moong dhal, Gram dhal - 1/4 cup each
Oats - 1/2 cup
Thick poha - 1/2 cup
Green chillies - 2 or 3
Dry red chillies - 2 or 3
Chopped curry leaves - few
Salt - to taste

How to make  oats adai


Dry roast aval & oats until you get an aroma. Coarsely powder  in a mixie. Soak  dhals and chillies for 2 hours. Using very little water, grind dhals to a coarse consistency. Add powdered oats and aval, and grind again to a medium thick batter. Add water if necessary. Add chopped curry leaves and mix it well. 

Heat a tawa, pour a ladle of batter, spread the batter, drizzle oil on sides and cook until both sides are crisp and golden brown. Serve hot with avial, avakkai and dosai milagai podi.

Friday, April 28, 2017


How to make keerai mor kootu, How to make mor kootu

Mor kootu is a healthy, yoghurt based side dish served as an accompaniment in a South Indian thali. 


Sirukeerai (tropical amaranth) - 1 bunch
Thick curd - 1 cup
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp.
Dry red chillies - 2 

Green chilly - 1
Soaked raw rice - 1/4 tsp.
Hing - 1/4 tsp.
Grated coconut - 4 tablespoons
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Sugar - a pinch
Salt - to taste

To temper:
Coconut oil - 1 tsp.
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Curry leaves - a sprig


Whisk thick curd (do not add water), keep aside. Grind red & green chillies, soaked rice, cumin seeds and coconut to a fine paste.

Wash amaranth well, take out the leaves and chop finely. Cook alongwith turmeric, hing, sugar and salt, mash well. Add the ground paste, and allow it to boil until raw smell diffuses. Now add, whisked curd, mix well, cook for half a minute and switch off the stove. Temper with the given ingredients. Flavourful sirukeerai morkoottu is ready. Best with south indian thali. Can also be mixed with rice. Goes well as a side dish for adai, dosai, chappati and poori.

NOTE: Any vegetable, spinach varieties can be substituted for sirukeerai. 

Tuesday, April 25, 2017


How to make fresh turmeric pickle, How to make fresh turmeric ginger pickle

Raw turmeric is known for its anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant benefits. It is beneficial in preventing cancer.


Chopped fresh, raw turmeric - 1/2 cup
Chopped ginger - 1/2 cup
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp.
Salt - to taste
Gingelly oil - 1/4 cup
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Hing - 1/4 tsp
Lemon Juice - 4 tablespoons 

How to make fresh turmeric pickle, How to make fresh turmeric ginger pickle


Wash turmeric and ginger well, pat it dry. Peel the skin and chop finely. Transfer it to a bowl, add salt, chilli powder and mix well. Marinate for half an hour. Heat oil, add mustard seeds and when it splutters, add hing and turmeric ginger mixture. Saute for a minute. When warm add lemon juice, mix well.  Store in a sterile jar.

Thursday, April 20, 2017


Mixed vegetable kadai curry, How to make kadai vegetable without onion and garlic,

Kadai Vegetable is a combination mixed vegetables cooked with freshly ground spices which gives a nice aroma to the recipe. This is a perfect side dish for roti, naan and pulao. 

Recently, my sister made this 👆👆(Pic courtesy : My sister) and got appreciations from the family. As I do not eat onions, I just clicked the picture. 

My version of 'Kadai vegetable' 👇👇. Here's the recipe of 'Veg Kadai' sans onion and garlic. No onion no garlic? 😮 So what? Do try it 😊


Cubed mixed vegetables - 2 cups
(Cauliflower, french beans, carrot, capsicum, fresh green peas)
Paneer (cubed) - 1/2 cup
Tomatoes  - 2
Green chilli - 2 
Ginger - 1" piece
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp.
Coriander powder - 1 tablespoon
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp.
Cumin powder - 1/4 tsp.
Punjabi garam masala - 1 tsp.
Crushed kasuri methi - 1/2 tsp.
Salt - to taste
Oil - 3 tablespoons
Butter - 1 tablespoon
Finely chopped coriander leaves - 2 tablespoons

Kadai masala:
Coriander seeds - 1 tablespoon
Dried red chillies - 2
Cloves - 2
Cardamom - 1


Cut capsicum and tomato into cubes, separate cauliflower into florets, cut beans and carrrot to finger long pieces. Cube paneer and immerse in hot water until use.

Dry roast and coarsely powder the items given in 'Kadai masala'. Grind ginger and green chillies coarsely without adding water. 

Heat  a teaspoon of oil in a kadai, sauté capsicum with a pinch of salt in high flame for 2 minutes, remove from pan and keep aside. (If you use onions, you can add 1 sliced onion alongwith capsicum).

Heat butter and oil in the same kadai, and add ginger-green chilli paste, and sauté until raw smell diffuses, add veggies and saute in medium heat. Add salt, turmeric, coriander, cumin and red chilli powder. Cook covered until half done. Sprinkle little water if necessary. Add cubed tomatoes and 'kadai masala', mix well and cook covered until done. Now add already sauteed capsicum, cubed paneer, punjabi garam masala, mix well. Cover the pan and cook for 2 more minutes. Add kasuri methi, chopped coriander leaves, mix and serve hot with any Indian flat bread or pulao. 

NOTE: You can add more of any spices to suit your tastebuds.  

Wednesday, April 12, 2017


Vishu sadya or Onam sadya in Kerala, is incomplete without pradhaman and payasam. This classic pazham pradhaman / kheer is made with ripe bananas,coconut milk and jaggery.

Do read the Konnapoo (which blossoms during Vishu) story here from my devotional blog

Other Kerala special payasams:
Parippu Pradhaman 
Palada pradhaman 
Chakka pradhaman 
Nei payasam
Semiya paal payasam 
Chadachadayam /Sadasadayam
Pal payasam


Good, ripe nendrampazham (Ethappazham) - 2
Crushed jaggery - 3/4 to 1 cup
Coconut milk thick 1st extract - 1 cup
Coconut milk 2nd extract - 1 and 1/2 cups
Ghee - 4 tablespoons
Cardamom powder - 1/2 teaspoon
Dry ginger powder - 1/2 teaspoon (optional)
Ghee fried coconut bits - 3 tablespoons
Ghee fried cashewnuts - 10


Cut nendrampazham into finger long pieces and steam cook until mushy. When cool, peel the skin, remove the seeds and small veins, and grind in a mixie to a smooth pulp. Do not add water.  

Dissolve jaggery in water, strain for impurities and keep ready.

Heat a spoon of ghee in a uruli or thick bottomed kadai, fry coconut pieces until brown, and cashews until golden brown, drain and keep aside. In the same uruli, melt remaining ghee and add the banana pulp and stir continuously (stir continuously as the bananas will stick to the bottom) for about 3 minutes in medium heat. Now add jaggery syrup little by little, simultaneously stirring well without any lumps. Add dry ginger powder and cook in medium heat until the mixture thickens like a mass.

Now add the 2nd extract coconut milk and cook on medium flame for 8 to 10 minutes. Stir occasionally. Switch off the flame and add thick 1st extract coconut milk. Mix well. Add cardamom powder, ghee fried coconut bits and cashewnuts and mix well.

Pazham pradhaman / Nendrapazham Pradhaman is ready to be served. 

NOTE: Coconut milk extracts can be used more or less to get the desired consistency.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017


How to make Tirumaal vadai, How to make Tirupathi vadai, Home made tirupathi vadai recipe

Tirupathi vada and Laddu are world famous and distintly unique in taste. It is called as "Tirumaal Vadai" which is huge in size and distributed as prasadam for "Kalyanotsavam" in Tirumala. 'Tirumaal Vadai' will be flat and little hard, and usually given as prasadam for utsavams only. I have not come across the vadais on the prasadam counters, but have heard that only limited number of vadais are for sale and its difficult to get it. If some friends/relatives do 'Kalyana Utasavam' they give a piece. Though the vadais are hard to bite, one would be tempted to have more bites. That temptation made me to try this 'prasadam' at home. Here is how I made the 'Home-made Tirupathi vadai'.


Whole black gram  / Whole urad dal with skin - 2 cups

Raw rice - fistful
Chopped ginger - 1 tablespoon
Black pepper - 1 1/2 tablespoons
Cumin seeds - 2 teaspoon
Salt - to taste
Ghee / Oil - to deep fry


Wash and soak urad dal and rice in water for 1 hour. 

Chop ginger. Pound pepper jeera using a mortar and pestle to a medium coarse powder. 

Drain water completely from the soaked dal and grind it alongwith ginger to a medium coarse paste without adding water. The batter should be thick.  Add pepper jeera powder, salt and mix well. 

Heat required ghee/oil . (In Tirumala / Srirangam temples only ghee is used for deep frying). 
Wet your palms with water, take out a big ball from the batter and flatten it using your hand in a banana leaf or clean moist cloth to slightly thick, palm sized disk. As the size is bigger than the normal vadas, deep fry one at a time. 

Carefully drop it into the oil, 
cook on medium heat and turn it on both sides until golden brown and crisp. TIRUMAAL VADAI is ready.
How to make Tirumaal vadai, How to make Tirupathi vadai, Home made tirupathi vadai recipe
As the vadas are thick, it will take a long time to become crisp. You can make thinner vadas also.
Wet your hands and banana leaf for each vadai so that the vadai doesn't stick to your hands.

Monday, April 10, 2017


How to make corn on cob?

How to make corn on cob?

‘Corn on the cob’ is a healthy evening snack and best snack during summer picnics. Easiest way is to boil the corn, while some people might grill or roast it. I prefer the boiling way, but I have mentioned the grill, roast and microwave methods too. 


Fresh corn - 2 or 3 ears
Unsalted butter- 2 tablespoons
Salt - to taste
Lemon juice - 1 tablespoon
Chilli flakes - 1 tablespoon
Black pepper powder - to taste
Dried / fresh herbs - to taste
Finely chopped cilantro – 2 tablespoons
Water - as required
A large pot

How to make corn on cob?


Select fresh corn with bright green husks. The kernels should be tight. Frozen corn can also be used.

NOTE: Boil corns when it is fresh. Keep the corn with its husk until you boil. Husk the corns just before you boil. For best results, cook corn in a large pot of boiling water until it is tender but not mushy. You can also cut the corn and boil. Frozen corn can also be used.

Boiling method:

Fill a wide, large vessel with water. The vessel should be big enough to hold the corn. Cover the vessel and bring the water to a boil. Drop the corns gently in boiling water and cook it covered until the water comes to a rolling boil again. The corns would have turned bright yellow by now. Remove the corns with tongs. Do not let the corn sit in the boiling water for long, as it will be overcooked. Corn on cob is usually tender and crunchy. If you prefer softer kernels and easy to chew corn, cook until soft.

Rub corn with lime and melted butter, sprinkle salt, black pepper powder, chilli flakes and finely chopped cilantro. (You can use any of your favorite spice mixtures , fresh herbs for toppings). Transfer to a serving platter, top with a small cube of butter and serve hot.

Microwave method:

Microwave high with husk for 3 to 4 minutes . Remove the husk and sprinkle with salt and spice mixtures.


Roast over a medium-hot grill, turn with a tong on all sides until the outer husks are charred. When cool enough to handle, remove the husk and sprinkle with salt and spice mixtures.

Alternatively, keep the husks intact with the stems. peel the husks backwards, rub oil preferably olive oil, cover back the husks with a string or wrap with an aluminium foil and roast on a grill. When cool enough to handle, remove the husk and sprinkle with salt and spice mixtures.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


How to make panakam, How to make neer mor, How to make kosumari, Sri Rama Navami recipes

Sri Rama Navami is a festival/pandigai celebrating the birth of Lord Rama .

Offerings for Sri Rama Navami is the simplest of all the festivals. They are Panakam, Neer Mor and kosumari.

Rama fulfilled all his duties towards his subjects in Ramarajyam. Even a poor man
will have buttermilk and jaggery in his house and can celebrate Rama Navami. That is the karunyam of Sri Rama. 

In addition to neer mor, panakam, kosumari you can also make Tiruppullani paal payasam which is a special on this day. All these recipes are summer coolers.

Pandigai thaligai :
Sadham(rice)Nei(ghee), paruppu, mor kozhambu or Sambharparuppu usilikari amudhu(poriyal)kootuthayirpachadikosambarivadaam or appalamvadai or thayir vadai, sathamudhu(Rasam)Tirukannan amudhu(payasam), thayir (curd),oorugaai(pickle).

How to make panakam, How to make neer mor, How to make kosumari, Sri Rama Navami recipes



Coriander leaves
Curry leaves
Hing powder


Whisk thick  curd and dilute it with water. Add salt, curryleaves, coriander leaves and hing to buttermilk. Mix well and offer it to Lord.



Dried ginger powder
Cardamom powder 


Powder the jaggery. Dissolve it in water. Strain it to remove impurities. Add the given powders, stir well and offer to Lord. 


How to make panakam, How to make neer mor, How to make kosumari, Sri Rama Navami recipes


Moong dal - 1/4 cup
Grated/finely chopped raw mango - 1/2 cup
Salt  as required
Coriander leaves - 2 tsp.
Lime juice - 1/2 tsp.(optional)

To temper(optional):
Mustard seeds
Curry leaves - 4 or 5


Soak dal for 1 an hour. Drain the water. Add grated/finely chopped mango, salt and lime juice, mix well. Temper with the given ingredients, add finely chopped coriander leaves. Mix well and offer it to Lord.

Updated 👇
Tiruppullani paal payasam
How to make panakam, How to make neer mor, How to make kosumari, Sri Rama Navami recipes

How to make panakam, How to make neer mor, How to make kosumari, Sri Rama Navami recipes
Neer mor
How to make panakam, How to make neer mor, How to make kosumari, Sri Rama Navami recipes

Saturday, April 1, 2017


How to make paruppu thengai, How to make paruppu thengai at home
How to make paruppu thengai, How to make paruppu thengai at home

Paruppu thengai is a tambrahm traditional conical pair of sweet, made during all auspicious occasions. When done at home, it is made on auspicious days and kept in Perumal sannidhi before taking it to the function. Paruppu thengai symbolizes the mountain of sweetness. The pairs symbolise a male and a female. So they are MADE ONLY IN PAIRS alongwith small chikki balls which symbolizes children. It is mandatory to make these paruppu thengais for almost all functions like, marriages, upanayanam, gruhapravesham, valaikappu, seemantham, ayush homam(1st birthday), sashtiabdhapoorthi(60th birthday), sadhabishekam(80th birthday) etc. Traditional sweets like peanuts, pottukadalai, manoharam, boondhi ladoo are made with jaggery, and filled in a pair of metal cone moulds to get the cone shape. I do not know why the sweet is named 'paruppu thengai'. Do share if you know.The metal cones are called ‘Paruppu thengai koombu’ or ‘Paruppu thengai koodu’ or ‘Seer koodu’. The koodus will be available in stainless steel marts and metal marts. The chikki like sweets are unmoulded from the cones without breaking the shape, and wrapped with decorative gold papers or gift wrappers and flowers on the top. They are placed on the function stage, near the homam, alongwith other ‘seer’ (gift) items. Customarily, this is made by the girl’s family and given as a seer/gift. Some people keep 5 different varieties of paruppu thengais. After the function is over OR on an auspicious day, these are broken and distributed among relatives and friends.  During thirukarthigai festival, small handmade paruppu thengaais are made at home with aval pori, nel pori etc.

Nowadays paruppu thengais are beautifully decorated according to one’s creativity, with mirror work etc. Also, they are filled with varieties of sweets like chocolate burfi, cashews, mysore pak.  

Making is not tedious, all you need is little patience and metal cones. 

My sister makes perfect and excellent paruppu thengais. Recently, she made this for a function at our home and she sent me the pictures. Thanks for sharing the pictures Radha 😄


Crushed Jaggery 
Cardamom powder 
Ghee - to grease the mould
Paruppu thengai koodu (metal cones)


Making paruppu thengai is like the usual way of making kadalai urundaipottukadalai urundai or manoharam. The mixture is filled inside the metal cone instead of shaping into balls. The quantity of peanuts vary according to the size of the cones. The paruppu thengais in picture is made with a 9" height cone.

NOTE: Make two batches. First fill one mould and repeat the procedure for the other mould. 

Grease the inside of paruppu thengai koodu with ghee and keep ready.

Roast peanuts and remove the skin. Alternatively you can also buy skinless roasted peanuts and dry roast again it until hot. Take a wide plate and put the roasted peanuts in it.

How to make paruppu thengai, How to make paruppu thengai at home

Crush jaggery and dissolve in water, strain and make a soft ball consistency syrup. Remove quickly and add it to the peanuts. (Tip: Instead of adding the peanuts to the syrup, my grandma and mom always adds syrup over the peanuts and say the jaggery will spread well all over the nuts if doing like this). Mix well until the syrup is coated evenly.

Fill the cones with this mixture little by little simultaneously pressing it firmly with a 'keerai mathu' (wooden masher). After filling, dust your hand with little rice flour and press the bottom firmly and evenly with your hand.

While the mixture is still warm, grease your hand with ghee and shape some urundais (balls) also.

When cool, tap the koodu very gently on all sides and unmould paruppu thengai from the cones without breaking the shape, and wrap with decorative gold papers or gift wrappers with flowers on the top.

Home made paruppu thengai is ready.

Thursday, March 30, 2017


How to make Mor sathamudhu, How to make Mor rasam, How to make Majjige saaru , How to make Buttermilk rasam

'Sathamudhu' is the “Iyengar Lingo or paribhashai” for rasam.  This is a simple to make, unique, tasty and light on stomach 'sathamudhu' made with buttermilk and freshly ground spices. This can be mixed with rice or can be consumed as it is like a soup.  


Curd - 1 cup
Turmeric powder - a generous pinch
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp.
Salt - to taste

To dry roast and powder:
Toor dhal - 1 tablespoon
Black pepper - 1/2 tsp.
Dry red chillies - 1
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Methi seeds - a generous pinch

To temper:
Ghee - 1 tsp.
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Curry leaves - few
Dry red chillies - 1 or 2


Whisk curd alongwith turmeric powder, asafoetida and salt until smooth. Dilute with 2 or 3 cups of water, to get a rasam like consistency, beat well, keep aside.

Dry roast the given items until golden brown and powder in a mixie. Add this powder to the buttermilk and mix well. Keep this mixture in low flame until the rasam starts to froth. Stir in between. Temper the given ingredients and pour over the rasam.
Do not allow the rasam to boil, switch off the stove when it is frothy, else rasam
will curdle.

Friday, March 24, 2017


How to make Nartha ilai podi, How to make veppilai katti, How to make citron leaves pickle, How to make citron leaves powder

Citron leaves are known for its medicinal values and  effective for treating nausea, vomiting, and heartburns. Veppilai katti is a traditional tambrahm pickle. This is a powder based pickle, yes, you read it right, pickle in powder form, made by pounding the tangy flavoured citron leaves and some spices. Actually this has NO NEEM LEAVES, but is named so.This pickle will be in powder form and can be shaped to small balls as well. Both Narthai ilai podi and veppilaikatti are same. If in powdered form we say it as Narthai elai podi and if shaped to balls we say it as veppilai katti. It has a longer shelf life.

Some stores also sell veppilaikatti, but they add tamarind and more chillies giving it a brownish red colour.  Personally, I dislike the tamarind taste in this pickle. So, I make this at home as I prefer the aroma of the leaves to dominate and the greenish colour. Nartha ilai podi / Veppilaikatti is tangy flavoured, spicy pickle and makes an excellent accompaniment to curd rice.


Tender narthai leaves (Citron leaves) and lemon leaves - 1 1/2 cups (tightly packed)
Dry Red Chillies - 6 
Omam(Ajwain) - 1 tsp.(heaped)
Crystal salt - to taste 
Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp.
Lemon juice from one key lime or as needed

How to do Nartha ilai podi, How to do veppilai katti

How to do Nartha ilai podi, How to do veppilai katti


Pluck tender citron leaves and lemon leaves, wash well, pat it dry, remove the veins as shown in picture. Keep ready.

Heat a kadai and dry roast chillies for a minute. Dry grind hing, chillies and ajwain to a coarse powder in a mixie. Keep aside. Pulse the leaves, alongwith required salt coarsely. Combine all ingredients and pulse it to a coarse powder until everything is mixed well. Transfer to a bowl, add lime juice and make small balls. 
After drying, the colour changes, don't worry it is edible. Narthai ilai podi / Veppilaikatti is ready. 

Lemon leaves can be substituted for  citron leaves.
Adjust chillies and lime juice to suit your tastebuds.

Done only with narthai leaves.
Curry leaves can be added.
Tamarind and more chillies are added which gives a brownish red colour to the balls.
Some add green chillies. Some add pepper and cumin.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017


How to make tri colour bell pepper chutney, How to make spicy tri colour bell pepper chutney

This is a flavourful and easiest chutney with tri colour bell peppers. Goes well as a side dish for all south indian breakfast. 


Tri-colour bell peppers (green,red and yellow) - 3 cups
Tamarind - half the key lime size
Urad dhal - 1 tablespoon
Toor dhal - 1 tablespoon
Dry red chillies - 4
Hing - a generous pinch
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp.

Curry leaves - few (optional)
Salt - to taste
How to make tri colour bell pepper chutney, How to make spicy tri colour bell pepper chutney,

Heat a tablespoon of oil, add urad dal, toor dhal, hing and dry red chillies and fry until the dhals turn golden brown. Add chopped tri-colour bell peppers, tamarind and saute for a while until you see white spots on the bell peppers. When cool, add salt and grind in a mixie to a thick paste. Temper with mustard seeds and curry leaves.

Serve with idli, dosa, rava dosa, Uthappam or arisi upma.

NOTE : Capsicum can be substituted for tri color peppers.

Sunday, March 5, 2017


How to make bittergourd thokku, How to make pavakkai thokku

Bittergourd, known for its bitter taste is beneficial for health in many ways. I am not a great fan of bittergourd. But, some time back, I had surplus bittergourds and tried making this thokku / pickle. Usually bittergourd pieces are sauteed or cooked covered while making thokku. I tried in a different way of deep frying it. To be honest, after making and tasting this thokku, I really became a fan of this, as it did not taste bitter at all. Now, I buy bittergourds during seasons and make this thokku in bulk and store it for few months. Coming to the recipe, 


Bittergourd - 4 cups(chopped)
Tamarind - Key lime sized ball

Dry roasted fenugreek seeds powder - 1/4 tsp.
Crushed jaggery - 1 tablespoon
Turmeric powder - 1/4 + 1/4 tsp.
Chilli powder - 1 tsp.
Sambar powder - 1 tsp.
Salt - to taste
Oil - 1 ladle
Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp.
Curry leaves - few
Asafoetida- 1/2 tsp.


How to make bittergourd thokku, How to make pavakkai thokku

Wash and chop bittergourd into thin 1" lengthy pieces. Discard the seeds. Add salt and 1/4 tsp. turmeric powder, mix well and marinate for half an hour. Squeeze well and discard the squeezed water. Doing like this prevents thokku becoming bitter.

Soak tamarind in warm water and extract juice. 

Heat oil in a kadai and deep fry squeezed bittergourd in batches until they become golden brown. Keep aside.

Heat oil in heavy bottomed kadai, add mustard seeds, asafoetida, turmeric powder and curry leaves. Add the deep fried bittergourds, chilli powder, sambar powder, little salt and tamarind extract. (Be careful in adding salt as the bittergourds are already marinated with salt). Cook on medium flame until it is thick, Now add jaggery powder, mix well and cook for a while. When it becomes saucy, and oil leaves the sides, add roasted fenugreek seeds powder, mix well and immediately switch off the stove. When cool, store in an airtight bottle. This goes well with curd rice  and even with chappathis and pooris. It can also be mixed with cooked rice. This stays fresh for more than 2 to 3 months.

Monday, February 27, 2017


How to make erichcha kuzhambu, How to make yericha kuzhambu

Ericha kozhambu is a left-over special kuzhambu. This is made with leftovers after any functions, shraddham, festivals or any special occasions. My grandma makes this in a kalchatti.  She says, if generous oil is used and properly heated, it can be preserved for a couple of days (in those days there was no fridge at home). As everything is re-heated, it gets the name 'erichcha' kuzhambu. The leftovers transform to a kuzhambu with unique taste thus preventing wastage. As the shraaddha leftovers are not given to anyone, this procedure is followed.

Generally, in any household, nothing is checked for the taste before offering to GOD. In Iyengar household, offering to bhagavan is said as 'kandarulap pannudhal'(கண்டருளப் பண்ணுதல்), which means everything cooked for the day is presented before bhagavan, so that he can mercifully glance them with his divine vision to purify the same. So, nothing is tasted while cooking.

But as the ingredients in this kuzhambu are already offered and tasted, you are at liberty to check for the taste and add salt, chilli powder or sambar powder if needed.

This kuzhambu has a unique taste. It can be mixed with hot cooked rice and ghee and goes well with adai, dosai, idlies too. Tastes excellent with curd rice. It is almost a forgotten grandma's recipe.

Some people say ezhu kari koottu/ thalagam which is made on Tiruvadhirai as erichcha kuzhambu. But this is different from that, with very little ingredients, heated and heated in oil until it becomes thick . Click here for ezhu kari koottu.


* DO NOT ADD* leftover raitha/thayir pachadi, sweet pachadi, payasam, pradhaman or anything which has jaggery or sugar, milk, buttermilk or curd in it.


Leftover kariamudhu(roast,curry/poriyal), kootu, sambar/kuzhambu, thogayal and rasam
Oil - one /two ladles or more depending on the leftovers

How to make erichcha kuzhambu, How to make yericha kuzhambu

Heat a generous quantity of oil in a kadai, add all the items mentioned in the ingredients, mix everything and allow it to boil in medium flame until thick.


Friday, February 24, 2017


How to make omavalli leaves bajji, How to make ajwain leaves fritters

Ajwain leaves are known as Karpooravalli ilai. Also called as omavalli ilai in Tamil and doddapatre (sambar balli) in Kannada. The leaves are used as home remedy for cough, nasal congestion,cold and indigestion problems. And now to the aromatic, simple and tasty recipe. 


Omavalli ilai / Karpooravalli ilai (Ajwain leaves) - 10
Besan flour - 1/2 cup
Corn flour - 2 tsp.
Rice flour - 2 tsp.
Chilli powder - 1/4 tsp.
Hing - a pinch
Salt - to taste
Ghee - 1 tsp.
Oil - to deep fry


Pluck leaves with stems intact, wash well, pat it dry and keep ready.

Mix all ingredients well (except the leaves). Add water little by little to form a medium thick batter.

Heat oil in a kadai , dip the leaf one by one in the batter and gently drop in the oil. Fry in medium flame until golden brown. Serve hot with any chutney of your choice.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017


How to make rava roast, How to make rava dosai, How to make crispy rava dosa at home

Rava roast / Rava dosa is a popular South Indian breakfast. It is an easy to make instant dosa using sooji and needs no fermentation.


Rava/Sooji - 1 cup
Rice flour - 1 cup
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Black pepper - 1/4 tsp. 
Ginger - 1" piece 
Green chilli - 1
Hing - a generous pinch
Curry leaves - few 
Coriander leaves - few 
Cashews - 4  
Salt - to taste 
Oil - 2 to 3 tablespoons
Ghee - 1 tsp.
Buttermilk slightly sour - 1 ladle (optional)


Mix oil and ghee. Keep aside.  Finely chop ginger, green chillies, curry leaves and coriander leaves. Crush black pepper slightly. Break cashews into small pieces.

Mix all ingredients in a ladle buttermilk(optional) and water without any lumps to a thin, watery batter. Set aside for 30 minutes. Add little more water if necessary.

How to make rava roast, How to make rava dosai, How to make crispy rava dosa at home

Heat a dosa pan and pour the batter with a ladle from the sides. You can also sprinkle the batter with your hands.

Drizzle ghee and oil mixture through the sides. Cook on medium flame and when it is golden brown in the bottom part, flip it to the other side and cook until crisp. Mix the batter well before making each dosa. 

Crispy rava roast is ready. Serve hot with sambar, milagaipodi or any chutney of your choice.

How to make rava roast, How to make rava dosai, How to make crispy rava dosa at home

Buttermilk is optional. Water alone can be used.
The batter should be thin and watery. Thin and watery batter gives lacy dosas.
Mix the batter well before making each dosa. 
DO NOT cook in high flame. 
DO NOT spread the batter with ladle. 
Pouring the batter on the pan from 1 or 2 inches height gives lacy rava dosas.


1/4 cup maida can be added to the above ingredients.

Onion rava dosa: If using onions, sprinkle finely chopped onions all over the tawa and pour the batter, alternatively onions can be sprinkled quickly after pouring the batter too. Finely chopped onions can be added to the batter as well.   

Monday, February 20, 2017


How to do Karunai kizhangu masiyal, How to make Pidi karanai masiyal

Masiyal in Tamil means mashed. Pidi karunai masiyal is a traditional tamil brahmin recipe. This masiyal is made from a variety of yam which is fist shaped. The regular elephant foot yam is senai kizhangu (In chennai, people call senai kizhangu as karunai kizhangu). So check for the fist shaped karunai kizhangu, we call it as 'pidi karunai / pidi karanai' as it is fist sized. I do not know the english name for this.This cures piles and good for constipation problems. This is mixed with hot rice and ghee and a great side dish for dosa, idli, poori and chappathi.

Also, use this yam after atleast 10 days of buying it, to ensure the kizhangu is well dried.


Karunai kizhangu / Pidi karanai - 4 (fist sized)
Tamarind - amla sized ball
Toor dal - 3 tablespoons
Sambar powder - 1 tsp.
Oil - 4 tsp.(preferably gingelly oil)
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
Bengal gram - 1/2 tsp.
Turmeric powder -1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - a generous pinch
Red chillies - 2
Green chillies - 2
Ginger - 1" piece
Curry leaves - few
Salt - to taste


Wash yam well. Soak tamarind in water and extract juice. Discard the pulp. Finely chop green chillies and grate ginger.

Take yam and toor dhal in separate containers. Add turmeric powder to toor dhal alongwith required water. Pressure cook for 3 or 4 whistles or until soft.

When pressure subsides, remove the skin of yam, mash well and keep it aside. Alternatively, you can peel the skin, cut into chunks and pressure cook until soft. Mash toor dhal well and keep aside.

Heat oil in a kadai, add mustard seeds, urad dhal, bengal gram, red chillies, asafoetida, green chillies, ginger and curry leaves. Saute a while. Add tamarind extract, little turmeric powder, sambar powder and allow it to boil until the raw smell diffuses. Now add mashed yam and dhal, required salt and mix well. Add water if necessary. Allow it to boil for few more minutes and when thick, switch off the flame. Serve with hot rice and a dollop of ghee.

Ensure the kizhangu is well dried for atleast 10 days before using it.
Cook karunaikizhangu well, else it will be itchy.
Lemon juice can be substituted for tamarind.