October 30, 2008

Set Dosa & Parsi Dhansak

Set Dosa

I got the recipe for set dosa from a tele cookery show. At first, the name did not interest me much. But when I saw the soft fluffy dosa, I wanted to give a try. And since then, it has been a regular for breakfast at my table. As always, there must be umpteen number of so-called authentic recipe for set dosa and this is what I have been following for some years now and haven't bothered to look for a better recipe, since this works out perfect for me.

Parboiled rice - 3 cups

Urad dal - 1 cup ( I use de-skinned whole urad)

Aval/poha - 1 cup

Fenugreek/methi seeds - 1 tblspn

I don't measure with the standard cup, since with that measurement we two will have to eat the same breakfast for more than a week. I measure with a small glass which must be less than the standard half cup.

Wash and soak rice and dal together for 6 hrs. Soak methi seeds separately. Wash and soak poha around 15 minutes before you grind. Grind all the ingredients together with salt till smooth. Batter consistency should be like that of idli batter. Ferment overnight.

Heat and grease the griddle (preferably cast-iron) with little oil. Pour a ladle full of the batter. The thickness of the batter should be such as when poured on the heated griddle it should automatically set itself into a fine thick circle. So you need not spread like for usual dosa. It should be thick like uthappam/pancake. Cover and cook for 2 minutes. Flip and again cover to cook the other side. Serve with any chutney or gravy of your choice. I have served with dhansak.

I first read about this dish at Saffron Trail. I followed her recipe to T. We all liked it very much. I make this often as a side to roti/dosas and more often to have with rice. I feel it tastes better with rice.

Tuvar dal,moong dal,masoor dal - 1/3 cup each to make one cup

Cubed pumpkin -1 cup

Onion -2


methi leaves - 1 cup

tamarind extract - 1 tblspn (Optional)



For Masala

Red chilly - 5 nos

cumin seeds - 1 tspn

coriander seeds - 1 tblspn

cinnamon - 1" piece

peppercorn - 4 nos
Ginger - a small wedge

garlic - 3 cloves

Roast the masala ingredients in oil till fragrant leaving out ginger and garlic. Grind together with ginger and garlic. Add water while grinding to get a smooth paste

Pressure cook 3 types of dal along with pumpkin. Make sure pumpkin size is big enough that it doesn't disappear in the dal on pressure cooking.

Take a pan and add oil. Saute onions till brown. Add the ground masala. Cook till oil separates. Add chopped methi and tomatoes. Cook till tomatoes turn mushy. I have used spinach/palak instead of methi this time. You can use dried methi also. Methi gives a nice flavor to the dish. Stir in the cooked dal and pumpkin. Add turmeric and salt. Adjust the consistency by adding water. Bring to a boil. Add the tamarind extract. Simmer for few minutes and remove from fire. Adding tamarind is purely optional. Add if you enjoy the slight tangy flavor. As I said before, Dhansak pairs well with dosa/chapathis/rice. Dhansak makes it to AFAM-Pumpkin hosted by Madhuram.

Set dosa goes to Srivalli's Rice Mela

October 24, 2008

Pazham Pori /Ripe Banana Fritters

Pazham pori/bajji is a vary popular snack of Kerala, especially in railway stations. I think this is one snack which is not confined to any particular region of Kerala. I always look forward to train journey through Kerala, for these Pazham pori's sold in the station. Its very easy to make, provided you have ripe nenthrapazham at hand. The only drawback is, it drinks lot of oil. I prepared using one banana, so that we will not have much to indulge in.

Ripe plantain - 1
Maida - 1/2 cup

Sugar - 1 tbspn

Rice flour - 1 tspn (For crispness)

salt, baking soda, yellow color - a pinch each
Oil for deep frying

Mix maida, sugar, rice flour, salt, baking soda and yellow colour well. Add water to make a thick batter.

Cut the banana into two. Slice them into medium thick slices.

Heat oil in a kadai. When oil is hot, dip the slice in the batter and slide carefully into the oil. Deep fry in medium heat. when the banana slice floats in the oil, slowly flip it using a slotted spoon. Fry till it turns golden brown and drain on absorbent paper. Serve hot with a cup of tea/coffee.

This is my entry to Sunday Snacks- Fry it event, hosted by Hima

October 23, 2008

Thengai Sadam/Coconut Rice

In my childhood days, kalandha sadham/ mixed rice preparations was not very common at home. It made occasional appearance when packing food for travel and invariably for Pathinettamperukku(Aadi-18). We used to look forward to the lemon rice, coconut rice, puliyodarai prepared for the same. That used to be the after-school tiffin for us, with generous helping of karuvadam and rice vadams. Later on,things changed. It was prepared when ever we wanted and we needn't wait for Aadi to arrive. And coconut rice tops my list of favorites. This is how I prepare it. Its ideal for lunch box too.

Rice - 1 cup
Grated coconut - 1 cup
Coconut oil- 4 tblspn
Mustard seeds -1 tspn
Urad dal - 1 tspn
Red chilly- 2nos
Hing - a pinch
Curry leaves - few
Pressure cook rice and spread on a plate to cool. Rice should not cook mushy. It should be cooked but the cooked rice grains should be separate.
Heat a tablespoon of coconut oil. Add mustard seeds. When it splutters, add urad dal, chillies broken into two,hing and curry leaves. Roast till dal turns light brown. Pour the seasoning over the rice. In the same pan, heat 3 tblspn of coconut oil and add the grated coconut. Roast the coconut till light brown. Add the roasted coconut along with salt to the rice. Mix gently. Serve with applams or any other deep fried fritters. For a change, I have served with an easy potato curry.
Pressure cook cubed potatoes, chopped onions, green chilly and ginger with salt and turmeric. Mash lightly with a ladle. Season with mustard and cumin. A tasty side dish is ready.

This is my entry to Rice Mela hosted by Srivalli

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October 20, 2008

Pazha Pradhaman.

A payasam/kheer is referred as Pradhaman when the main ingredients are jaggery and coconut milk. The basic recipe for any pradhaman except Palad is the same. The key ingredient like pazham/chakka/chana dal/moong dal is cooked in jaggery and coconut milk. Pazha pradhaman is a Kerala speciality where ripe Nenthrapazham is used. Make sure the bananas are very ripe, else you taste the raw flavor in the pradhaman.

Take two very ripe bananas and steam cook till soft. Remove the skin and slit the banana vertically. Remove the inner black portion. Mash the banana to pulp. You can pulse for few seconds in the mixie or use a hand blender.

banana puree - 1 cup
jaggery powdered - 1 1/2 cup
coconut milk extracted from one big coconut
chopped coconut pieces - 2 tblspn
ghee - 2 tablespoon

Extracting coconut milk
Grate the coconuts. Add one cup of water and grind in the mixie. Extract the thick milk using a cheese cloth. Add another 1 1/2 cups of water and repeat the step of grinding and extracting. You get a thinner extract of coconut milk. Once again add 1 1/2 cups of water and extract the last set of very thin milk. I don't use the store bought coconut milk. Its always fresh milk extracted. So if you are using store bought, adjust the consistency of the milk, accordingly.

Heat a tablespoon of ghee in a pan. Add the mashed banana and saute for few minutes.Melt jaggery with 1/2 cup of water. Strain to remove any impurities. Mix in the mashed banana puree to the jaggery syrup and the third coconut milk. Bring to a boil and let it simmer. When it starts to thicken, Stir in the second milk and bring it to boil. Finally add the first thick milk and remove from fire. Stir well to mix the thick milk added. After adding the thick milk, it should not be heated to avoid curdling.
In a pan, roast the coconut pieces in ghee till brown and garnish the pradhaman with the roasted coconut pieces. Usually cardamom is not added, but if you wish, you can add some cardamom powder too.

This goes to Sunshinemom's FIC-Brown.
If ghee replaced with some vegan butter, its a vegan sweet. And it joins the cleberation at Vaishali's vegan kitchen.

Malar and Sowmya has passed on the Butterfly award for the coolest blog. Thanks Malar and Sowmya for thinking of my blog.

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October 17, 2008

Molagootal & Vazhathandu Pachadi ~ Lunch Series#2

The next in my lunch series is again Molagootal. But this one is different from the Keerai molagootal blogged earlier. When it is said only molagootal, then it refers to the one which I am posting here. If any greens take the place of veggies, then it is specifically referred as keerai molagootal. The basic method is same for both. Veggies/leaf cooked in dal,coconut gravy. The common veggies used are ash gourd(elavan/puzhinikkai),vellarikkai, raw banana, yam, snake gourd,koorka and the like. Ash gourd is a must. Rest of the veggies are just add-ons to increase the taste. Most of the times its elavan/ash gourd only molagootal. Sometimes, depending on the veggies availability and time, I add few pieces of those.

Ash gourd/elavan chopped into small cubes - 2 cups

moong dal - less than 1/2 cup


turmeric - 1/4 tspn

For grinding

grated coconut - 1/2 cup

red chilly - 1 no

cumin seeds/jeera - 1 tspn


Pressure cook chopped veggies, dal and turmeric with enough water. Grind coconut, red chilly and jeera to a smooth paste by adding required water. Take the cooked dal veggie combo . Mix salt and stir in the ground paste. Adjust the thickness of the gravy by adding water. Bring to a boil and simmer for few minutes. Season with mustard seeds and garnish with curry leaves. This is a bland dish. But it makes a wholesome nutritious soup if u make the consistency thinner. While serving molagootal with rice, add a teaspoon of ghee to the hot rice. Its really yummy.

Usually the side preferred to molagootal is spicy/tangy one. Here it is Vazhathandu/banana stem pachadi. It is very fibrous and is known to remove kidney stones. Drinking vazhathandu juice is highly recommended for kidney stone problem. The outer layer of the stem is removed and then chopped into round pieces. While chopping each pieces, remove the fibre by rolling the finger around the thandu. Put the pieces in water mixed with some buttermilk, to retain the color. Take 3/4 round pieces and chop them into tiny cubes and put them back in water. Use a skewer and rotate it in the bowl of chopped banana stem along with water to remove any left out fibre. Cleaning and chopping the stem is time consuming, but its qualities makes the effort worth.

Chopped banana stem - 2 cups

tamarind - gooseberry sized


For grinding
grated coconut - 1/2 cup

green chilly - 2

red chilly - 1

mustard seeds - 1/4 tspn

Soak tamarind in a cup of warm water for 10 minutes. Extract juice and add turmeric and salt to it. Bring the tamarind water to boil. Add the chopped banana stem and let it cook till soft. Grind the coconut,green chilly,red chilly and mustard seeds to a smooth paste. Add to the cooked tamarind mixture. Adjust the consistency by adding water to get a medium thick gravy. Bring to a boil and garnish with curry leaves. Season with tablespoon of oil and mustard seeds.

Usually rasam is also prepared whenever molagootal is made. If it is only for two of us, then I omit rasam, since my husband is not very keen on having rasam.

October 11, 2008

Dates Cookies and a Cake (Eggless)

Dates is a regular in my pantry. Though, I just like to eat it as it is, I sometimes chop them and add to my cup of cornflakes or salads. It also is made into milkshakes. Ever since I saw Shilpa's Eggless Dates Cake, I have baked it more than once. It is not only the most popular post in her blog, I think its one of the most tried out recipe in the blogosphere too. There isn't nothing much to go wrong in this cake. Even a beginner can make an attempt without any worries.
Dates - 100 gms /18 nos
Milk - 3/4 cup
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Maida - 1 cup
Oil - 1/2 cup
Baking soda - 1 tspn
Chopped cashew - 1 tblspn (optional)
De seed the dates. Soak the dates in warm milk for an hour. This will make the dates soft and easier to grind. Depending on the type of dates you use, the soaking time can vary. Add sugar to the soaked dates mix and grind them to a fine paste. Add oil to the ground mixture and keep it aside.
Sift maida and baking soda. Slowly stir in the flour to liquid mixture. Add nuts and mix. Transfer to a greased tin and bake in a preheated oven at 190 C for 40 minutes or till a skewer inserted comes out clean.

My next recipe is a dates cookie tried from DK's blog. It was an instant hit. Do visit her blog for the step-by-step pics.

Maida/All purpose flour - 2 cups
Baking powder - 1 1/2 tspn
Butter -4 tblspn
Sugar - 1/4 cup
Chopped dates - 1/3 cup
Milk- 1/3 cup
Melted butter for glaze.

Sift flour, salt and baking powder. Rub in butter to the flour mixture to resemble bread crumbs.
Mix in sugar and chopped dates. Make a well in the centre add milk. Knead to a soft dough. Adjust the quantity of milk since you may not need the full amount of milk. Knead the dough on a floured surface for few seconds. Roll into 1/2 inch thickness. Cut into circles or any desired shape. Brush with butter for glaze. (I forgot this part). Bake in a preheated oven at 220 C for 20 minutes or till it rises well and turns golden brown. It was very crisp with a soft inside.

These dates goodies are making to Sunshinemom's FIC-Brown

October 7, 2008

Soya Chunks in Moong Gravy

I include lot of whole moong in my cooking compared to other beans because of the nutritional benefits. Most of the times I don't stick to any particular recipe while cooking the moong beans gravy. I had some soya chunks which need to be used up, else it will find its way to the bin, very soon. So decided to add those soya chunks to the moong bean gravy, I was to make as a side for roti. This is a simple recipe yet very flavorful with the ingredients in the ground paste. And easy to prepare.

Whole moong dal- 1 cup
Soya chunks - 10 nos
Sambhar powder - 2 tspn (optional)
Turmeric - 1/2 tspn

For ground paste

Grated coconut - 2 tbpsn
Chopped coriander - 4 tbspn
Chopped mint/pudina - 2 tbpsn
Green chilly - 3 nos
Pearl onion - 5 nos
Garlic - 2 pods

Grind all the ingredients to a fine paste

Oil - 1 tblspn
Mustard seeds - 1 tspn
Jeera - 1/2 tspn

Pressure cook whole moong. Moong beans doesn't require pre-soaking. I cook the bean with out soaking. It turns mushy on pressure cooking. If you have the habit of soaking them, do soak and proceed with cooking. Soak the soya chunks in hot water for 10 minutes. It must have puffed up well by then. Squeeze and drain the water. Wash the chunks in cold water with two changing of water. Chop the chunks into 2/3 pieces.

Heat kadai with a tablespoon of oil. Add the seasoning ingredients - mustard and jeera. Add cooked moong beans, soya chunks, salt and turmeric. Bring to a boil. Add ground paste and let it simmer for 5 minutes till flavors sink into the gravy.

Enjoy with hot rice/ chapathi

October 4, 2008


Athirasam was not a very common sweet in my home and as a place where I was bought up too. Neiappam took the place of athirasam in all our functions. But Athirasam is a very much common in all functions of Tamil Iyers. We get to taste this sweet occasionally for marriages where the girl is from a Tamil Iyer family. I was introduced to this sweet when I was a kid aged 6 or 7. My neighbor's daughter was married to a Tamil Iyer family and they had insisted on Athirasam as part of Cheeru. Those were days, when the whole village took part in the preprations of marriage. Murukku and athirasam was prepared at my home. I had watched my neighbor hood aunties making these discs. Amma was also part of the team. But the sweet was not prepared at home.

For long I was thinking of trying it at home. I have heard its not easy to get it right at the first attempt. I rang up my Amma to ask about the measurements. She told me for one glass of rice, one glass of jaggery and explained the steps. I took mental note of all that she said and proceeded. Amma specifically asked me to leave the dough for few hours. I get impatient soon. After 5 hrs. started making it. When I started making I felt the dough has turned stiff. Added few drops of milk and kneaded it. Made a disc and slowly slided into oil. I could see some formations coming out of the disc. Slowly each layer was coming starting off from the outer end. In seconds the whole thing disintegrated and the result was some fried crumbs. I felt jaggery is too much and thought may be Amma has got the measurement wrong (!!!) since she doesn't make this at home. I added some rice flour and tried again. I was confronted with the same result. I felt its better to stop it there. The fried crumbs was very tasty and it got over in no time. I updated Amma of the outcome. She was very much perplexed about the result. Next day, early morning I got a call from Amma. She has found out where I had gone wrong. She said I have misunderstood the measurement. Amma had told 1 glass rice and I took it as 1 glass flour. Then I adjusted dough accordingly and this is the result you see. Started with a disaster and ended with a not so perfect looking but soft athirasams.


2 cups rice flour
1 cup jaggery powdered
1/4 cup water
1 tspn cardamon powder
Oil for deep frying

Soak 1 cup rice in water for 45 minutes. Drain and spread on a kitchen towel. When it is still moist and not dried fully, powder it in a mixer grinder and sieve to get fine flour. I get them powdered in a near by flour mill.

For one cup rice you will get 2 cups of flour. I am not sure about the results with store bought flour. You will have to try at your risk.

Prepare jaggery syrup by heating jaggery and water to single thread consistency. If you drop a teaspoon of syrup in a cup water, you should be able to roll into a soft ball. Remove the syrup from fire. Add a teaspoon of powdered cardamom to the syrup. Slowly stir in the rice flour to the syrup. Mix and knead to form a dough similar to that of chapati. Leave the dough overnight or at least 5 hrs to get soft athirasams.

Take lemon sized ball off the dough. Press into discs of the size of pooris on your palm. Slide into the hot oil. Deep fry. After you slide them into the oil, wait for it to rise to top. Gently flip and then fry of few seconds. You get 15 nos with this measurement.

Update: If the flattened discs fall apart on deep frying, add some more of rice flour to the dough and try again. This may be due to more amount of jaggery.

This deep fried goody is off to Mythrayee for her Deep fried/Steam Cooked sweets event

This also makes to Sunshinemom's FIC-Brown

And to Vasihali's Vegan Sweets