May 27, 2009

Puliyodarai/Tamarind Rice

Puliyodarai is fondly associated with travel. Lemon rice also shares the travel food tag. When packed and taken for a train journey, it stays good for a day. Also it is a common prasadam in many of the temples. Once the puliyodarai paste is made, preparing the tamarind rice is a breeze. It makes a good lunch box food too. The tamarind paste stays good for a week on refrigeration and for a month on freezing. The preserved pulyodaria paste and some cooked rice will come handy, if you have to prepare a quick lunch. There are umpteen ways to prepare the paste. This is my MIL's recipe and its a favorite with our family. Once you taste ice with the fresh, home made paste, you will never go for the instant puliyodarai powders available in the market.


To dry roast and powder
Red chilli - 3 nos
Chana dal/Kadala paruppu - 1 tspn
Urad dal/Uzhunnu paruppu - 1 tspn
Sesame seeds/Ellu - 1/2 tspn
Methi seeds/vendhayam/Uluva - 1/2 tspn

For the paste
Tamarind - lemon sized
Turmeric - 1/4 tspn


Gingely oil/Nalennai - 4 tblspn
Mustard seeds - 1 tspn
Chana dal - 1 tspn
Roasted peanuts - 2 tblspn
Curry leaves

3 cups of cooked rice.
Soak the tamarind in a cup of warm water. Extract the thick pulp and keep it aside.

Dry roast all the ingredients till the dals turn golden. Cool and powder it fine.

Heat a kadai with gingely oil. Add the mustard seeds. When it splutters, add chana dal, peanuts and curry leaves. Let the dal turn golden brown. Stir in the thick tamarind extract and add turmeric. Let it simmer till it thickens. Add salt and the ground powder. Simmer till it blends well.

Spread the cooked rice on a plate to cool. Drizzle some gingely oil so that the rice doesn't stick together. Add the paste to the cooked rice and mix gently. Serve with fried applams and enjoy your meal. I served with home made tapioca vadam and salad.

Thanks to Nags for hosting MM# Ravishing Rice, an event started by Meeta, since the recipe in my drafts, finally made it to the blog. This post is also for my blog reader A, who wanted the recipe. And thanks to my friend R, who introduced A to my blog.

May 22, 2009

Mango Thokku

Come Summer, every household will be busy making pickles and variety of sun dried goodies to last the rest of the year. Raw mangoes are pickled in various ways. This is an instant pickle which can be consumed immediately and do not require any standing time before consuming.


Raw mangoes, chopped - 2 cups

Gingely oil - 4 tblpsn

Chilli powder - 3 tspn

Salt - 2 tspn

Roasted and powdered methi/fenugreek seeds - 1 tspn

Mustard powder - 1 tspn

The mangoes should be raw and sour. Wash and wipe the mangoes dry. Chop the mangoes into pieces with skin. If the skin is very thick, you can scrap and chop. The pieces are not chopped uniformly.

Take a MW safe bowl. Add 2 tablespoon of gingely oil and the chopped mangoes pieces. MW high for 3 minutes. This is to make the mango soft. If you want it mushy, keep for another 2 minutes. Add chilli powder, salt, methi powder, mustard powder and the remaining 2 tblspn of oil. Mix well, so that the spices coat the pieces well. MW for 3 minutes. Cool and store in dry, airtight bottles. It will stay good for a week outside and 2 weeks on refrigeration. The chilli powder i used is very hot which is specifically for pickles. You can adjust the amount of chilli according to your taste.
Usually, these kind of pickles are made not to last too long.

This is my entry to MEC:Extras, hosted by Rachel, an event originated at Srivalli's

May 19, 2009

Dates Kheer

A healthy and delicious kheer with dates. To make a sugar free dessert, you can actually do with out adding sugar too, not to forget the natural sugar in the dates. I have added sugar since I made it when I had guests at home. This is a very easy recipe. Its almost like a dates milkshake transformed into a kheer. And it sure makes a rich dessert. No soaking required if using soft dates.

Dates deseeded - 100 gms/20 nos
Milk - 1 litre
Sugar - 1/2 cup
Cardamom powder -1 tspn
Ghee 1 tblspn
few cashew nuts to garnish

Soak the dates in a cup of hot milk (from the 1 lite) for an hour. Grind to fine paste. If you would like to bite into tiny pieces of dates, you can make a coarse paste. Boil the remaining milk. When it comes to boil, simmer for few minutes in low flame. Stir in the ground dates and simmer till it
blends well. Add sugar and continue cooking till the sugar is well dissolved and kheer thickens. Add cardamom powder and remove from fire. Roast the cashew nuts in ghee and sprinkle on the kheer. You can also roast some finely chopped dates in ghee and add as garnish in addition to nuts. Serve warm or chilled.

I am sending the bowl of kheer to Srivalli's Mithai Mela.

May 11, 2009

Vella Payar ~ Cowpeas cooked with jaggery

Vella payar brings back nostalgic memories. The first thing that comes to my mind is Navarathri days. This will be invariably prepared as prasadom on one of the nine days. On other festive occasions too, Amma used to prepare this. One day while I was reliving those memories with my husband, I could not resist the temptation to make it immediately. These cow peas are the kind which does not need much of pre-soaking. I soaked them for half an hour in hot water for easier cooking. There are two varieties of black eyed peas - white and brown. Usually brown variety is used for this. I too have used the same.


Black eyed peas/cowpeas/vellapayar/karamani - 1 1/2 Cup cooked

Jaggery - 1/2 cup

Water - 3 Tblspn (just enough to melt the jaggery)

Grated coconut - 3 tblspn

Ghee - 1 tspn (optional)

I pressure cooked the cow peas. Cow peas can be well cooked. Even if turns mushy, its alright. Since on adding to jaggery, they tend to turn hard. Heat a pan. Add jaggery and water. When jaggery is fully melted, switch off the stove. Strain the syrup to remove any impurities. Heat the strained syrup to soft ball consistency. Stir in cooked cow peas. Keep stirring till there is no moisture . Amma says you can find a coat of grey to the cooked mix and that's the indication to stop. Garnish with grated coconut and teaspoon of ghee. Ghee surely adds a flavor to it. And for neivadyams, it is customary to add a drop of ghee to the dish.

With small quantity, it doesn't take more than 10-15 minutes to get cooked in jaggery. But when making in large quantities, it surely is a test to your muscle strength since it needs a longer period of stirring, to avoid getting burnt at the bottom.

I am sending this bowl of sweet to Srivalli's Mithai Mela.

May 7, 2009

Maladoo made healthy with jaggery

Kesari and maladoo were regulars in my kitchen. In my attempt to cut down on the calories, I have shifted to making sweets which uses jaggery for sweetener instead of white sugar. Jaggery based sweets will need very little or no ghee. And you get a healthy and tasty sweet. I chanced upon Anisheetu's recipe similar to maladoo and jaggery in the ingredient list caught my attention. I made a mental note of the ingredients and the method. Here is the recipe which I followed.

Pottukadali/pori kadala/roasted gram dal - 1 cup
Grated jaggery - 3/4 cup
Grated coconut - 2 tblsn
Ghee - 2 tblspn
Powdered cardamom - 1/2 tspn
Cashew/Raisins - few (optional)

Lightly roast the pottukadalai. Powder it finely. Roast coconut till light brown. Alternatively you can MW the grated coconut for 1 minute or so.

Heat ghee in a pan, Roast cashews and raisins. Add powdered jaggery and melt it. No need to add water. Since the jaggery is grated, it melts easily in the ghee. When it starts bubbling, stir in powdered gram dal, roasted coconut and cardamom powder. Remove from fire. Mix well and make balls when warm. It tasted good and fits the bill for a low calorie, tasty sweet.

Time taken - 15 minutes
Yields - 14 medium sized ladoos.

I am sending this to Srivalli's Mithai Mela and Mahima's Under 15 minutes Cooking

May 5, 2009

Papaya Marmalade

Home-made jams give a nice flavor and is free of preservatives and artificial colors and sweeteners. Home made jams have the intense flavor of the fruit used. Making jams is not that difficult. Now a days I have almost stopped buying jams. Pectin is the one which imparts the glossy look and texture to jam. Take care to add a fruit juice which has high pectin content along with the main fruit. Once you get the hang of it, you will never go for the shop bought ones.

You need

Papaya pulp - 3/4 cup

Sugar - 1 cup

Juice of 1 orange

Orange zest - 1 tspn

Crushed cloves - 3 nos (optional)

Wash and peel the papaya. Chop into cubes and give a run in the mixer till it is pulpy. You can add sugar also along with the cubes.

Mix all the ingredients in a MW safe bowl. MW for 25 minutes. Keep stirring at every 5 minutes. Mine took 28 minutes. Since Ii have added some orange zest, its called marmalade. Glossy,yummy, papaya marmalade is ready. I refrigerate since no preservative is used. It stays good for three weeks. It has not lasted longer than that at my home.