February 29, 2008

Muringa ila Adai (Drumstick Leaves Adai)

In my home, adai is normally prepared for evening tiffin. Since it cannot be munched easily for breakfast, when we will be rushing to catch the bus to school. Amma prepares 3 types of adai - Uzhundumarisi adai (dals ,rice combo), verum arisi adai(involves only rice) and this muringaila adai. The batter for verum arisi and this adai is the same, except for the addition of drumstick leaves. Grated coconut can be added for both the types for additional flavor.
As I mentioned, Rice is the only major ingredient in this recipe.

Parboiled rice/idly rice - 2 cups

Salt as per taste

Grated coconut - 3 tblspn (optional)

Drumstick leaves - 1 cup


Wash and soak the rice for 4 hrs.

Grind coarsely with salt.Add coconut and drumstick leaves. Mix well.

Batter consistency should be thicker than the dosa batter. This doesn't need any fermentation.

Heat a tawa. (Iron tawas are better). Grease the tawa with gingely oil.

Spread a laddle full and spread like dosa with little thickness. Traditionally, the adai is spread on the tawa using hand. The batter will be thick enough to be taken in the hand.

Make a hole in the centre using the spatula.Add oil around and in the hole and cook on medium heat.

Cook both sides till crisp.
Serve with a blob of butter or pickle.

The other side of the adai -

February 27, 2008

Kathrikai Puli

Till my age of 15, I stayed in joint family with grand parents, uncles, aunts and cousins. It was alsways fun playing with occassional fighting. Our home was always open to guests, who must be visiting their ancestral village and has no relatives around. In those days of powerless cooking, when unexpected guests arrive at the time of dinner, those who eat last will be deprived of the kootan( gravy). So my paati(maternal grandma) used to make this quick gravy. This can be prepared in 10 minutes. I loved watching Paati roasting the brinjals over the coal in the traditional choolah. Paati makes using the small violet variety of brinjal.This gravy needs few ingredients.

small violet brinjals - 3 nos
green chilly - 2 nos
tamarind -lemon size

Soak the tamarind in 2 cups of water.
Roast the brinjals over gas burner. Keep turning the brinjal so it doesn't get charred. It will take 3 minutes to raost one.

Cut the roasted ones to check for worms.

Slit the green chillies.

Add the cut brinjals and green chillies to the soaked tamarind water.Add salt.

Mash the brinjal,tamarind, chilly using hand. Thats the traditional way of doing it. Can use a masher instead.

Finally remove the pulp by squeezing with your hand.

Temper with mustard. Gravy is ready.

Serve with rice and papad.I love this simple meal.

This is off to Pooja for her VOW event, where Brinjal is the veggie of the week.


February 23, 2008

Nannari Sarbath

Nannari known as Indian Sarasaparilla, is a wonder herb, with its natural cooling property. It has the medicinal properties to protect one from common summer ailments. Nannari root is used to prepare the concentrate. Shall blog about the syrup preparation later. To know more about nannari sarbath's cooling effects, read The Hindu's metroplus article.

Nannari Sarbath /Sarbath is a very popular summer drink in Kerala and TamilNadu. Here, the word Sarbath is synonymous with Nannari. Many temporary shops selling sarbath come up, under the tree's shade near roads. The existing shops will add a new shelf lined with bottles of home made nannari syrup. I bought one bottle from a nearby shop. All the shops in my place, use home made syrups, with no preservatives added. Here we have started feeling the heat and through out the summer, I never fail to stock my fridge with a bottle of the syrup. Nannari syrup with fresh lime juice and ice soda will be really a treat on a hot summer day. You can use cold water instead of soda. I have a soda maker at home.

Nannari syrup - 3 tbl spn
Juice of a medium sized Lemon
Water/Soda - 1 glass

No need to add any sugar, since the concentrate has adequate sugar in it.
Mix all the three in a bowl with a spoon and serve in a tall glass.

This refreshing summer drink goes to cool Coffee, who is hosting JFI this month, which is the brain child of Indira of Mahanandi.

February 21, 2008

Milk Chocolate

When I was going through my MIL's recipe collection during the search for jujups, I came across few interesting recipes. This is one among them. Few ingredients and minimal time caught my attention. Decided to try it. MIL said ,since she has not tried it, can't guarantee if it is foolproof. I thought, anything with cocoa and sugar must be edible, irrespective of the end product texture
The recipe called for milk powder. That is something which doesn't find place in my grocery list. I haven't felt the need to use milk powder before. Later I found some recipes in blogosphere, which makes use of this. From now on, I think it is going to be a must buy in the shopping list.

With the following measurement, It takes only 10 minutes of cooking time. And you get absolutely yummy milk chocolate. Kids will be asking for more. Its almost an instant chocolate. Its worth trying. Let me go to the recipe

Milk Powder - 1 cup
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Coco Powder - 3 tblspn
Butter - 1 tblspn
Water - 1/2 cup
Roasted cashew - 3 tblspn
( this is my addition)

Mix milk powder and coco powder well.
Take a kadai. Add sugar and water and make syrup of 1 string consistency.
Add butter.
When butter melts completely, add cashew and milk, coco powder mixture. Mix well.
Keep stirring for a minute or two.
Transfer to a greased plate. Since it doesn't set immediately, like other sweets, you need not be in a hurry to spread and make it even.
Allow it to set. After 5 minutes, you can mark them in desired shape.
If you have chocolate moulds, you can as well scoop into them. No refrigeration required.

When I tried first, I had reduced the amount of cocoa and didnot add any cashew. It still tasted good. This is the result of first trial.

February 18, 2008

Keerai Chundal

Keerai (Amaranth leaves) is available in numerous varities. As a child, I knew about Arakeerai and thandukeerai. These two varieties were sown and nurtured meticulously in my house. The thandukeerai doesn't require much attention. But the arakeerai needs care like a baby. The preparation of the bed before the seeds are sown itself calls for many details. These keerai has to be watered atleast 4 times through out the day at specific intervals. These days hardly anyone takes interest to prepare such beds and grow the greens in their house, since it is easily available in the market. But it just cannot match the home grown variety. I am trying last few years to get the seed for arkeerai, but in vain. What the market sells as arakeerai seeds will trun out to be some other variety when they grow. My attempts to grow the authentic arakeerai has failed every time. In my house, thandu keerai variety grows on its own out of the seeds fallen during the last season. One stroll around my garden, I can get around 2 bunches of the green. When Srivalli, announced the theme as Green for MEC, I had many options to think of. I was waiting for the leaves to grow. Today finally I managed to prepare keerai chundal in the MW. This is palakkad iyer speciality.
Red variety or thandu keerai or arakeerai will be suitable for this. Even drumstick leaves can be used to prepare the dish

Keerai - 2 bunch
Grated coconut - 2 tblspn
Turmeric - a pinch
salt as required

For powder
Raw Rice - 2 tbl spn
Red chilly - 1
Oil - 1 tblspn
Mustard- 1/2 tspn
Urad dal -1 tspn
Wash the keerai in 3 changings of water. Finely chop them. Tender stems can also be included.
Take a MW safe bowl. Do the seasoning. If your not combfortable with seasoning in MW, do it on stovetop and proceed.
Add the chopped green, turmeric and salt. Sprinkle handful water. MW high for 6 minutes. The timings may vary depending on the quantity and type of keerai used.
Wash and dry the rice. In another MW bowl, add the rice and MW for 3 minutes. The rice should turn light brownAdd the red chilly and MW for 30 seconds. When cool, powder them in the mixer not too fine.
Add the powder to the cooked keerai and mw for a minute.Remove and garnish with fresh grated coconut.

Serve with hot rice and sambhar/rasam
This is off to Srivalli for her MEC-Greens theme.

February 11, 2008

Menthiya Dosai

Menthiya Dosai / Methi seeds dosa

There are umpteen varieties of dosas. Add or remove an ingredient, you get a new type of dosa. Always wondered, how new variants are created. Its true, necessity is the mother of invention. May be in the past, when urad dal was scarce or was not affordable to common man, this dosa must have got birth out of a creative mind. This is a quickie but not the instant kind. The dosa takes only raw rice and methi seeds as ingredient. So you can prepare the batter in a mixer too. That is you can do with out a wet grinder.


Raw rice - 2 cups

Boiled rice - 2 tblspoon ( Optional -this gives softness to the dosa)

Methi seeds - 2 tspn

Wash and soak all the ingredients together for 4 hours. Grind to a fine batter. Ferment it overnight.

Take a laddle full and spread to make dosa. This will not be paper thin.

Cook both sides.

I love menthiya dosa with ulli-mulaku chutney. That combo is just out of the world. This time I served with coconut chutney.

For Coconut Chutney
grated coconut - 1/2 cup
pottukadalai/chutney dal - 2 tblspn
green chilly - 3 nos (adjust to your taste)

Grind all the ingredients together adding little water. Adjust the consistency by adding water after grinding. Season with mustard, hing and curry leaves.

February 8, 2008


Uppadam is an easy to make kootan/kozhambu , which will not take more than 10 minutes. This a very traditional recipe and and it is almost forgotten now. My amma used to prepare this. So I have acquired a taste for this. Any stir fried vegetable will go well with uppadam. Its almost an instant dish provided you have the basic curry powder in hand. This curry powder is the main ingredient for pulikuthi upperi (A kerala iyer speciality). In most homes, this powder is always kept handy. This curry powder takes only 3 ingredients

Curry powder

Raw rice - 1/2 cup
Red chilly - 2 Nos
Methi seeds - 1/4 tspn

Wash and dry the rice. Dry roast the rice and chilly. When the rice starts turning little borwn, add methi seeds. Methi gets burnt easily. So add it at the last stage. When cool, powder it in a mixer. It need not be too fine. This is an all purpose curry powder. You can add this for any vegetable stir fry/kootu. This acts as a thickening agent too becoz of the rice in it.

Coming to the main recipe, you need

Tamarind - small lemon size
bhindi - 5 Nos
Salt to taste
Turmeric - a pinch
Green chilly - 3 nos

Cut the bhindi of 1/2inch size.
Soak the tamrind in warm water and extract the juice. Add 1/2 cup water to it. Take a vessel. Add the tamarind extract, turmeric and salt.

When it starts to boil, add the chopped bhindis to it. Slit the green chillies and add. Cover and cook.

When the bhindis are cooked, take 3 tblspoon of curry powder and mix in water without forming lumps. Stir into the tamrind gravy. Add more water if required. The gravy consistency should be something in between rasam and sambhar. Bring to boil.

Season with mustard and curry leaves.

Enjoy a simple meal with hot rice and any vegetable prepared as thoran.

Thai Velli Kolam#4

Last in the series of kolam for the month of Thai. By next friday, 'Maasi' (Kumbham) will start. On the occassions of festivals, I do draw kolams. But the number of kolams will be the minimum(1 or 2). During Thai masam, we see to that the whole front yard is filled with kolams, big or small.

February 6, 2008

Uppma Kozhakkattai

Steamed rice balls
As a child, I never liked this tiffin. My sister also is not much of a fan of this kozhukattai. So amma almost never prepared this when we were at home. After marriage, I found my MIL makes this often for breakfast.At home it was strict No for this tiffin. But, with MIL, I can't say so. (That too with the newly wed status!!!). Being a new entry to their house, I didnot want to make her feel that I am fussy with food. Having stayed 3 years at hostel, I had learnt to eat things which I would like to avoid, given a chance. Also I am not that fussy kind, who just can't stand seeing a food altogether. I eat what is given. But if I like, I relish it and other wise it is like 'eat to live' attitude.

Somehow after marriage, I acquired a taste to this. When I run out of batter for breakfast, this started finding place regularly in my menu. So now I make this often. Since it is steam cooked, its healthy too.

First you have to prepare the rice rava. I have seen my co-sister preparing this using the store bought rice rava which is used to make idlies. It comes out absolutely fine using the store bought one. I don't get to buy that in my place.

So for those who have tp prepare the rice rava, here is how to proceed

Raw rice - 2 cups
Tuvar dal - 3 tblspn

Wash and soak rice and tuvar dal in water for 30 minutes. The rice should not go very soft on soaking. Depending on the variety of the rice, the soaking time can be adjusted.

Drain the water, leave the rice dal combo on a colander for sometime so that any water left will be completely drained.

Spread on a dry kitchen towel. This will take some 15 mts. Don't dry under sun.

Make a coarse powder in a mixer grinder. The texture of the flour should be like rava (sooji).

Prepration of the upma for the kozhukkattai.

Water - 2 cups for every cup of the flour
Grated coconut -1/2 cup (increase the qty if you wish)


Oil - 2 tblspn
mustard - 1/2 tspn
chanadal- 1/2 tspn
urad dal - 1/2 tspn
chopped green chilly - 4 nos
broken red chilly - 2 nos
curry leaves - few

Take a kadai. Do the seasoning as given.
Add water and salt. Wait till the water starts boiling.

When water starts boiling, slowly add the rice flour with out forming lumps. Let it cook. When the water is completely absorbed, add grated coconut. cook for 2 minutes.

Now upma consistency will be reached.
Transfer to a plate. Let it cool.

When it is warm enough to be held in hand, take the cooked dough and make balls to the size of tennis balls. Usuall the shape is not perfect rounds but more like the shape of an egg.It is always rolled with one hand.

Place the balls on a idly steamer and steam cook for 10 minutes. Kozhukkatais will have a glossy appearance once it is cooked.

Serve with coconut chutney or sambhar.

As I mentioned healthy in the beginning, this is off to Suganya for Healthy Eats of WBB

February 1, 2008

Thai Velli Kolam#3 (1 Feb)

Third series of kolam drawn for thai velli.(1 feb)

Wheat rava idly from Vcuisine

I was familiar with rava idly but not out of wheat rava. When I saw Viji akka's post on Wheat rava idly, I decided the menu for Sunday breakfast. Usually, Sunday breakfast is puttu/kadala. If for some reasons, I am not making it, then the other option is gothumba rava upuma. So, the same ingredients ( i also add veggies to the upma ), but cooked differently. The addition of crushed pepper corns gives a nice flavor to the idlis. Needless to say, all liked this idli version. I followed Viji akka's recipe to the T except one substituion.I am giving the recipe for the benefit of non-readers of Vcuisine (since it is private) and also for my future referance.

For the batter

Slightly roasted wheat rava (Godumbai Rava) - 2 cups
Urad dal powder - 2 tblspn
Water - 1 1/2 cups
Baking soda - 1/2 tspn

If you don't have urad dal powder handy, soak 2 tblspn of dal for 30 minutes or so and grind to a smooth paste. Mix urad dal powder in 1/2 cup water without forming any lumps. Add the remaining water and stir in the wheat rava and salt. Mix well and ferment it for 6 hrs or leave it overnight.


oil+ghee - 2 tbspn

grated ginger - 1 tspn

hing powder - 1/2 tspn

coarsely crusheed pepper corns and jeera - 1 tspn

curry leaves

Veggies that can be used - Peas (fresh ones tastes good), diced carrot, capsicum, fresh maize. I used only fresh peas and carrot.

Before preparing the idlis, do the seasoning.

Take a skillet and add oil+ghee. Add the seasoning as given. Finally add the chopped veggies and cook for a minute.

Stir the seasoned veggies to the idli batter. Add 1/2 tspn of baking soda to the batter. (The original recipe says Eno fruit salt)

Spoon the batter into greased idli moulds. Steam cook for 10-15 mts. Serve with any chutney of your choice.

Tomato Ginger Thokku

I adapted tomato ginger thokku also from Viji akka's recipe. Since I was lazy to extract the juice from ginger, I grinded blanched tomatoes along with chopped ginger and proceeded with her recipe

Take a skillet and do the seasoning. Add sesame oil. Add mustard , curry leaves, hing powder. Add the tomato-ginger puree and cook for 3 minutes. Then add the spices - 1/2 tspn of red chilly powder, fenugreek and mustard powder each. Continue cooking till oil starts floating. Yes its really an easy spicy thokku.