Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Celebrating 50 posts with a MEME

When I started this blog,I only had a few snaps of the dishes I cooked.I thought to myself,after posting that-What??What will I cook,how will I take snaps?Will I have enough recipes..??etc etc..I have completed 50 posts and I have touched only the tip of the iceberg,thats all I can say!!All thanks to you guys,because of your immense support and encouragements I have come this far.Thanks to all of you!!!

I have been tagged for the first time by my dear friend -Ranji for a meme.


10,000 B.C

Just finished reading The Second Lady-Irwing Wallace.


GoodHousekeeping,Vanitha,The Week,Reader's Digest.


Smell from my amma's kitchen..
Hugo boss,212 Sexy

Listening to soft instrumentals while its raining heavily outside..with a cup of tea!!


Being alone.


Can I skip jogging today??;-)

Pizza hut,Dominos

Haven't decided yet.

Shop shop shopping...!!!

I don't drive at all.




That would be OUR first car and its a Red Maruti Swift.

Cold coffee,Chocolate milkshake and of course Coffee and Tea.


Finish all the paintings and crafts I bought long time back.





Cricket,all variations of the game.Now IPL.

A great cook and a good friend.

Bedtime monsters???!!!;-)


Neither,I love to sleep.;-)


Over Easy.


I don't like pies,So I'll add my favourite dessert and that would be Chocolate ice-cream.

I just said that above,Chocolate-anyday.

No clue.

For this MEME,I am tagging-

Monday, April 28, 2008

Beetroot Salad

Salads have become an integral part of our meals these days.A cup of salad,a cup of upkari along with the side dish and 4 tbsp of rice,this has been my lunch since Jan08.I was never a vegetable/salad lover.Salad to me was a Cucumber-Onions-Tomato salad which I never liked.I liked raitas though.Cucumber,Tomato,Boondhi,Mixed raita and the rest.When I started having salads,I realized I have to come up with new ones or else dieting will stop mid way.Searched my recipe books,internet and all I could come up with was salads with ingredients which would cost me an arm and a leg.

At my place,in Ernakulam salads make their appearance only when the son-in-law comes.;-)I asked my ma-in-law for help.She said I can try this one if I liked Beetroot.I do not like beetroot nor do I like salads,I asked her for the recipe anyway.This one requires the beetroot to be cooked first and mixing up all the ingredients just before serving and to top it all,it was a cold salad.I decided to try it and was prepared to hate it even before tasting.I have to admit it tasted good.You don't feel like you are having a salad and getting all the benefits of the salad along the way..exactly what I wanted..So here's the recipe,try it out for a different salad..

Beetroot Salad


Beetroot - 1 medium sized
Onion - 1 medium sized,chopped finely
Green chilly - 1 chopped finely
Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp,chopped finely
Salt to taste
Curds - 2-3 tbsp


Cook beetroot in a pressure cooker till done.
Chop thinly into small pieces and keep in the fridge till serving.
Just before serving,mix the onions,chillies,coriander leaves,salt and curds and mix well.
Have with lunch or as a mid time snack.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Kolmbo-Konkani Sambhar

One of the most favorites of mine,Sambhar/Kolmbo is a wholesome curry.Goodness of dal and vegetables in one dish,so very healthy too.I have to admit that I was a zero when it came to cooking sambhar(and many other dishes of course;).I used readymade sambhar powder before and it came nowhere in taste like my amma or ma-in-law makes.Hubby used to twist his nose when I said its sambhar,coz he knew what to expect.;-)My amma uses her own home made sambhar powder or sometimes Eastern sambhar powder.With Eastern,I hit jackpot.It started tasting somewhat like my amma makes.I was happy and content.

But there was one more hurdle for me to cross.My ma-in-law makes a different type of sambhar.When this one started tasting ok,hubby asked me to make his amma's sambhar too!!I asked her for the recipe,wrote down everything and decided to try it next time.This type of sambhar or kolmbo to be precise,requires roasting and grinding the masala fresh,just before making the sambhar.I tried it and voila! came out superb!!It goes well with rice,I like it with Idli/Dosa too.

Kolmbo-Konkani Sambhar


Toor dal - 1 cup
Cut Vegetables - 2 cups(I used Pumpkin,Drumsticks,Carrots,Potatoes and Small onions)
Salt to taste

Masala to roast

Urad dal - 2 tsp
Coriander seeds - 2 tsp
Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Methi seeds - a pinch
Haldi - a pinch
Red chillies - 5 or 6
Hing/asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
Grated coconut - 2 tbsp

Dry roast all the ingredients in a kadai till light brown.Switch off the flame and let it cool.
Grind to a smooth paste adding a small piece of tamarind.

For seasoning

Oil/ghee - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 1-2 sprigs
Tomatoes - 1 finely chopped
Coriander leaves - 3 tbsp,finely chopped


Cook toor dal in a pressure cooker along with a tsp of haldi and oil till done.
Add the vegetables(I roasted the small onions in a little ghee before adding to the cooker).
Pressure cook till 2 whistles,not more.
In another kadai,prepare the seasoning by adding oil/ghee.
Splutter mustard seeds,add the curry leaves and the tomatoes.
Add the ground sambhar masala and a little water,let it boil.
Simmer till the tomatoes get cooked.
Add the dal-vegetable mix to the kadai.
Add salt to taste and let it boil.
Add the coriander leaves and let it simmer for another 10 minutes.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Pollyan pitto-Dosha podi-Chutney powder ~ Step by Step Recipe

I love having dosas with dosa podi.I prefer dosa podi to chutney or sambhar.Idlis smeared with dosa podi is another favourite of mine.There are so many varieties of dosa podi,you ask 10 people for the recipe and ten of them will give ten different recipes.All equally tasty.I think creativity is the key here.You keep adding your favourite stuff and you come up with a new variety.Mixing of oil/ghee is also different.I,for one love adding coconut oil and nothing else to the podi.Here,in Chennai,people add gingelly oil/ghee to the podi.I have never tried it but I am sure that must be tasty too!!Its all about once tastebuds,right??

Pollyan pitto/Dosha podi/Chutney powder


Urad dal - 2 cups
Red chillies - 10-15(according to your taste)
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Hing/asafoetida - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 tbsp


Take 1 tbsp of oil in a kadai.
Roast urad dal,red chillies and curry leaves till they turn light brown.
Add hing/asafoetida,salt and switch off the flame.
Grind to a slightly coarse powder in a mixie.
Mix oil/ghee and have with idli/dosa!!
Make a podi dosa... Or serve dosa with podi..!!

Thursday, April 24, 2008


I was never a curd lover.I used to have it with some specific curries for that extra flavour,but otherwise i wouldn't mind skipping it.In fact I developed a taste for curd/curd rice only after coming to Chennai.Instead,I loved having sweet lassi or thaak/more.My father-in-law has come up with so many varieties of thaak.He adds soda water,lime juice and what not.I loooove having thaak on a hot summer day.I make it in bulk and keep in bottles inside the fridge,we drink it instead of water and God isn't it yum-yum.My hubby likes plain thaak,no flavours added.I've always wanted to add green chillies and ginger etc to the thaak,but he says make some seperately for him,plain.So I never ventured in that direction.When I saw Mishmash's Sambharam in her Sadya Vaibhavangal,I was tempted to the core.I decided I am gonna try it somehow.I made it as per the recipe and it came out too good.What I did was,made the sambharam as per the instructions and sieved it before serving it to my hubby.So he got the yummy thaak without anything to chew or according to him to spit out.I am going to make this often this summer..are you??



Curd - 1 cup
Water - 2-3 cups
Green chillies - 2-3 slit lengthwise
Ginger - 1 small piece,peeled and sliced
Curry leaves - 6-7
Salt to taste


Crush green chillies and ginger using a mortar and pestle.I added curry leaves too for the last crush.
Blend the curd in a mixie and add water to it.
To this,add the crushed green chillies,ginger and curry leaves.
Add salt to taste and refrigerate for about 15 minutes.
I sieved the sambharam just before serving it.
Yum-yum sambharam is ready...!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

How to make Curd

Whenever I had Nestle or Amul dahi or the curd from hotels I used to wonder how they got the thick texture which I never could recreate at home.I had almost given up on this when I got a watery mess in the name of curd.Buying store bought curd was becoming a daily routine.My friend Deepthi,who's an expert in making thick curd came to help.They have curd everyday as part of their lunch and she said it's an easy-peasy thing to do.Now I can say proudly that I too can make thick and yummy curd at home!!Here's how..

How to make thick curd


Milk - 1/2 litre(I use Aavin blue packet,fat free-You can use full cream milk too)
Curd - 1 tbsp(If you don't have home made curd,you can use Amul/Nestle dahi)


Boil milk without adding water.
Let it cool a bit.
When it is slightly warm,add 1 tbsp curd and mix well.
Close the lid and keep aside for 10-12 hours(preferably overnight).
Use the same pan in which you boiled the milk for setting the curd,this makes the process faster.
Thick and yummy curd is ready!!

Benefits of Curd-Dahi

When milk ferments into curd,40% of the lactose becomes lactic acid,which is easier to digest.Further,100 gms of curd contain 49 gms extra calcium as compared to the same portion of milk.Recent studies also show that Vitamin B complex is an important nutrient for the female reproductive glands and since dahi is rich in these Vitamins-It is highly recommended for women.

Source-GoodHousekeeping magazine

Tuesday, April 22, 2008


I wanted Dalithoy to be my first post when I thought of starting a blog.The reason was-this was the first dish I learnt to make after marriage.My hubby,before our marriage,while staying with his friends used to make this often simply because this was the easy to make and hassle free dish that one could think of.Nothing can go wrong with this,I assure you guys on that.

This one too,is a comfort dish.I always prepare this when we are back from a long journey and there are no veggies in stock.Rice,Dalithoy and Batata(Potato) upkari and you are done.There are so many dalithoy recipes of my fellow bloggers,there's even a blog named after dalithoy!!We are that obsessed with this humble dal.In fact,when I was in college,friends used to tease me when they opened my lunch box saying-what have you bought today..DDT?which was Daat(thick) dalithoy.

It is one of the oft repeated items for lunch.There are many combinations with dalithoy-Batata upkari,Batata song,Surna koot...Today,for lunch I prepared Dalithoy and Surna koot.



Toor dal - 1 cup
Red chilly,Green chilly - 1 each
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Oil/Ghee(Or both mixed) - 1 tbsp
Hing/Asafoetida - 1 tsp
Salt to taste


Pressure cook toor dal with 1 tsp of oil and 1/2 tsp haldi till done.
It should be cooked well,almost mushy.
Mash it well with the back of a spoon.
Add the green chilly and salt to taste and let it boil.
Prepare seasoning in a frying pan with oil/ghee or both.
Add mustard seeds,when they splutter add the red chilly and curry leaves.
Add hing and switch off the flame.
Add the seasoning to the dal,let it boil.
Serve hot with rice.
Surna Koot


Surnu/Yam - 1/2 of 1 small yam(about 150 gms),chopped finely
Grated coconut - 2 tbsp
Coriander - 2 tbsp
Methi seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Tamarind - 1 small(chana size)
Roasted red chillies - 5-6
Hing/asafoetida - 1 tsp
Oil for frying and seasoning
Salt to taste


Cut surnu/yam into small pieces.
Apply salt and keep aside for 15 minutes.
Squeeze and deep fry in oil till brown.
In another pan,dry roast- coconut,coriander,methi,curry leaves,tamarind,red chillies and hing till brown.
Grind into a smooth paste and keep aside.
Prepare seasoning in a frying pan with oil.
Splutter mustard seeds and add curry leaves.
Add the ground masala and enough water(about 1 cup)
Add the surnu/yam bits and mix well.
Let it boil.
This curry becomes thick as you keep,so add enough water.
It should not be too watery too as it is served as a side dish.
Serve with dalithoy and rice.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Curd Rice

Curd rice/Mosaranna/Thayir sadam/Dahya sheeth-so many names..but just one definition-comfort food.I am sure curd rice is liked by all because of its simplicity.Its so tasty despite being so simple.I am not much of a mixed rice lover,but curd rice is something which I don't mind having.For lunch boxes,for picnic trips,for long travels-curd rice is THE best thing to carry.I think its more popular and liked in Tamilanadu than in any other states.I feel thayir sadam is to a Tamilian what kanji is to a Malayali.Something which boils down to one thing-simplicity.Whenever we feel that we have over eaten somewhere,we have curd rice-which makes us feel light and content.Let me tell you-it is THE best thing to have in Chennai summers.So without further ado let's prepare this comfort food..

Curd rice


Raw rice - 1 cup
Curds - 1 cup(or as required)
Salt to taste
For seasoning-
Oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds,Jeera - 1 tsp each
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Red chilly,Green chilly - 1 each cut into two
Groundnuts - 2 tbsp


Cook rice in about five cups of water.
When it is cooked well switch the gas to high and let the water evaporate.
Close the lid and keep aside for a while.
When it cools down a little,mash it well with a spoon.
Add salt and curds and mix well,use a masher if necessary.
Prepare seasoning in a frying pan with oil,splutter mustard seeds,jeera.
Add the chillies,curry leaves and the groundnut.
Fry for a while till the groundnut browns and cooks well.
Add the seasoning to the curd rice.
Serve with thayir mulaga(Chilly kondattam) and pickle.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Puttu Kadala


Puttu is Kerala's own breakfast.No I don't think they have copyrighted it,but still..;-)Puttu is an alltime favourite for me and hubby.Sunday mornings are puttu mornings for us.Puttu kadala always reminds me of a dear friend V.He is my hubby's best friend and when I came to Chennai after marriage,he was one of the persons whom I felt most comfortable with...He became my best friend too!!!

I was a novice when it came to cooking then(sometimes even now) and puttu was the first thing I made for breakfast on a Sunday when V was also there.Needless to say,my first attempt at puttu making was a flop;-)The puttu was a powdery mess and was crumbled..I still remember a song which V sang that day-'panamullavan puttu thinnum,panamillathavan podi vaari thinnum'-which literally means,rich people eat puttu and poor people eat the powder.I don't think the translated form will produce as much laughter as the original malayalam song did-non-malayalis,please pardon me.The biggest compliment I received for puttu was also from V.Last time when he came(he is in US now) he said I have come a looooong way from 'podi vaari thinnum' days!!Thank you V.We miss you!!


Puttu podi/powder or roasted rice flour - 1 cup
Grated coconut(preferably fresh)-1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Warm Water - as required


Take a big pan and add the puttu powder.
Add salt to taste and mix well.
Add 1 tbsp warm water at a time and mix well.
Do not add water at once,add little by little till the flour becomes moist.
Keep aside for 10 minutes.
Layer the puttu mould with coconut first and then add the puttu mixture.
Add some more coconut and close the lid.
Steam it by keeping the puttu maker on a pressure cooker or a regular puttu making vessel for 5-7 minutes.
Remove from mould carefully and serve hot!!

Kadala curry


Black Channa/Bengal gram/Chickpeas-100 gms(soaked overnight)
Soi bhajil masol - 3-4 tbsp OR
Roast 5 tbsp of coconut,3 red chillies,1 tbsp coriander,1 tsp cumin till brown and make a smooth paste adding enough water.You can also add 2 cloves and 1" piece cinnamon.
Onions - 2,finely chopped
Tomato - 1,finely chopped
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Mustard seeds - 1tsp
Coconut oil - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste


Pressure cook channa till done.
Take a kadai and add coconut oil,splutter mustard seeds.
Add finely chopped onions and saute till they turn light brown.
Add curry leaves and tomato and saute again for about 2 minutes.
If you are using soi bhajil masol-add the water in which channa was cooked to the masol to make a smooth paste-do not add too much,just as required.
Add the masol at this stage.
If you are using freshly made masala,add it at this stage and mix well.
Add salt to taste and add the cooked channa-mix well.
Let it boil and then simmer it for about 10 minutes.
Kadala curry should be a little watery than the normal curries,so add water accordingly.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

`Eggless Chocolate Cake`

Thank you all for your lovely wishes.

As I said,yesterday was our wedding anniversary and this is the first time I surprised my hubby with a homemade cake.Since it was a
special day,I wanted to make it more special,so I made a chocolate cake and surprised my hubby.Been thinking since a long time what to prepare.Payasam was out of question since we had more than our share during Ugadi and Vishu.Next option was cake.If I asked my hubby what to prepare he would have said nothing since both of us are off sweets now.So I decided I'll make this cake and just for a day we'll forget about the diet.He was pleasantly surprised and he loved the cake..Though I was not quite happy with the results-the cake kind of crumbled while I was trying to put the icing,so looks wise it was lacking its overall beauty.But anyway,its my first attempt and its the thought that matters,right??He was happy,so me too happy!!

I followed Shilpa's Moist chocolate cake recipe and the icing recipe from Annita.It tasted too good,I must add.It was fluffy,moist and chocolatey.And to top it all,eggless too.So whom are you gonna surprise..??

Eggless Chocolate Cake


Maida - 1 1/2 cups
Cocoa Powder - 3 tbsps
Baking soda - 1 tsp
Salt - a pinch
Water - 1 cup(I substituted this with a cup of coke)
Sugar - 1 cup
Vanilla essence - 1/2 tsp
Vinegar - 1 tsp
Oil - 1/4 cup(I used Sunflower refined oil)


Mix water or coke,sugar,oil,vanilla essence,vinegar till the sugar completely dissolves.
Sift together maida,cocoa powder,salt and baking soda.
Add the maida mix to the liquid mix 1 tbsp at a time.
Mix well to avoid forming lumps.
The batter was a little thick,so I added about 1/4 cup coke more.
Take a greased MW proof dish and pour the batter into it.
MW for 7-8 minutes on 80% power.Let it stand for another 10 minutes.
Invert into a plate and let it cool.

For the icing

Softened unsalted butter - 1/2 cup
Icing sugar - 2 cups
Cocoa powder - 1 tbsp(mixed with a tbsp of boiling water)

Beat butter until light and fluffy.Mix in the other ingredients and beat until soft.
Apply icing over the cake with a spatula.
Serve cold.
I am sending this anniversary cake to Srivalli's MEC-Cakes.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Harshaale-Musk melon cooler!!

Chennai summer has started and how!! I really can't even begin to describe how hot it is here..and its just the beginning..oh what a scary thought!!! What do we do if the sun decides to keep roasting us like this till the end of June..??Try and think of something which will keep us cool..no I am not talking about AC's and air coolers.I am referring to coolers as in Watermelons,Tender coconuts,Musk melons etc etc.Tender coconut vendors have become so pricey that they do not have time for people who bargain(like yours truly),they have a take it or leave it attitude..which I will have to grin and bear:-(.What to do what to do???

Musk melons came to rescue us...I wonder why majority of our friends do not like this yummy fruit,maybe because of its looks.I mean,who can guess that inside its hard exterior lies a sweet and pulpy fruit.Eat it just as it is,sprinkled with sugar or make a rasayan/cooler out of it.I made the latter and it was finished the moment I finished taking the snaps..yeah literally.Try this and you'll know what I am talking about.

Harshaale-Musk melon cooler


Musk melon,ripe - cut into small cubes
Cold milk - 2 cups
Sugar - 3-4 tbsp
Cardamom powder - 1 tsp


Mix sugar and cardamom powder to the cold milk.
Add musk melon pieces.
Mix well and keep it in the freezer for 2-3 minutes.
Serve ice-cold.

I am sending this to Fun'n'Sun event.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Vishu Sadya

Vishu reminds me of old times..We never used to celebrate Vishu at home.Amma used to make payasam,thats all.Even Onam was not celebrated in its pomp and glory.Its funny actually,staying in Kerala we had to face an array of questions."Why don't you celebrate Vishu/Onam?"Our reply would be-"We don't have Vishu/Onam,we celebrate Ugadi,Diwali,Duseehra etc".But you are in Kerala and you ought to celebrate these festivals,no matter where you are from.Amma felt that it was easier to celebrate it rather than answering the 'shootouts';-).So Onam was Pookkalam and Sadya,Vishu was VishuKainneettam and Sadya.Here,in Chennai its the same.Our best friends Satheesh,Deepthi&their kiddo Vikram are mallu's and we celebrate all the respective festivals together.So last week they celebrated Ugadi with us and yesterday we celebrated Vishu with them.Since it was a weekday,we had the sadya for dinner.I couldn't take snaps yesterday as I was really busy putting everything together.We had two more friends coming over and the food was cooked accordingly,a little more perhaps.I had the same spread for today's lunch and have taken snaps of "leftover sadya";-)Hope you guys don't mind!!So here's the Sadya...

Snaps of Sadya in parts-
Koottu-kari,Avial.Chakka Pradhaman,Paalada,Banana. Avial,Cabbage thoran,Pappadam. Rice,Pazham pulisherry,Curds,Sambhar. Sharkkara varatty,Puleenji,Mangakkari,Chips. Enjoy and have a great Sadya!!!
Click here for an authentic and traditional Kerala Sadya with the recipes.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Valval-Ash gourd,pumpkin curry

One of the common items in any traditional Konkani meal,Valval is a very tasty dish that is made with ash gourd,pumkin and potatoes in a coconut based gravy.It is very similar in taste to Olan and Stew,I guess that is because of the amount of coconut milk used.In Ernakulam,during the temple festival,Valval is a main item.I always wonder how they manage to make this in such huge quantities.And the taste is heavenly..Whenever we made it at home,it always lacked that special taste.My amma was very curious to know what was the special ingredient which goes into it which makes it so yummy.After some research,she has devised a recipe which is almost 99% close to what they serve at temples.I too follow the same method here,so..



Ash gourd - 200 gms,cut into thin slices
Pumpkin - 200 gms,cut into thin slices
Potato - 1 big,cut into thin slices
Green chilly - 2,slit lengthwise
Coconut milk - thick and thin extracts,1 cup each.I used 2 maggi coconut milk powder 25gms packet.
Cashewnuts(optional)- 4-5,halved
Salt to taste
Hing/asafoetida - 1tsp
Coconut oil - 1 tbsp


Take a thick bottomed pan and layer the vegetables in it so that the one which takes the least time is kept topmost.
Potato goes in first,then pumpkin and then ash gourd.
Add green chillies and cashewnuts.
Add 1 cup water to maggi coconut milk powder and add it to the vegetables.(or add the thin coconut milk extract).
Let it cook on low heat,do not stir-just swirl the pan.
Check the vegetables after 10 minutes and add salt.
Stir a little.If it is stirred continuously,pumpkin pieces will break and the curry will have a yellowish colour which we don't want.
When the vegetables are well cooked,add the thick coconut milk-1 packet of coconut milk powder+3/4 cup water.Let it boil.
Add hing and coconut oil on top and close the lid immediately.(this is to arrest the flavours inside the curry)
Open the lid and mix a little just before serving.
Tasty Valval is ready to serve.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Karathe phodi-Bittergourd fries

I have been thinking hard what to prepare for VoW-Bittergourd event.All my blogger friends have posted such yummy recipes that I am lost as to what to make myself.I wanted to make bittergourd kondattams but I was running out of time.I was casually talking about this to my hubby and suddenly got the idea of making it for VoW.It is one of the items on menu for Ugadi,so two birds and a stone;-)This is the only way I like bittergourd.Hubby loves this and asks me to make it every now and then.But since its a deep fried item,it finds a way into the plate only once in a while..Like this time..

Karathe phodi/Bittergourd fries


Bittergourd - 1 big,cut in thin round slices-discard hard seeds,if any.
Chilly powder - 2 tbsp
Hing/asafoetida - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Rice flour-as required
Oil for frying


Wash bitter gourd slices well.
Make a paste of chilly powder,hing and salt.
Apply this to the bitter gourd slices and keep aside for 15 minutes.
Roll the slices in rice flour and deep fry in oil.
Fry till both sides are well browned and cooked.
Serve with rice or just as a snack..!!

Check out VoW Bittergourd round up here.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Cabbage ambado/vada and a dosa!!

One thing I always ask my hubby after preparing something is -"how's it..??"He'll say,"yeah its ok/good/nice" depending on his mood.Next question-"Does it taste like your mom's food??"Pat comes the answer-"No..something's missing,but its nice anyway..!!"Then I will get upset and say,"yeah obviously-I made it,so how will it taste like your mom's?"Him-"Then why do you ask"-blah blah blah..do I need to say anything else on this..??;-) No offense meant to my ma-in-law or my hubby,but that's just the way it is.I keep telling him that I hope when I have kids they too say that thier mom's food is the best..ah bliss!!

Cabbage ambado is my hubby's favourite.I have to agree that my ma-in-law makes the best ambado's in the world..!!Can't find fault when hubby says something's missing!!I have accepted that fact and have tried to make this recipe just like she makes-step by step.He had a smile on his face this Ugadi,when I made this for lunch.I did not ask him how it tasted..he ate it without saying anything..with a grin.So I think I am ..getting there..!!Or so it seems!!

Cabbage ambado/vada/pakoda


Cabbage - 1/2 of one cabbage-finely chopped
Onions - 2 medium-finely chopped
Raw rice - 3/4 cup
Toor dal - 1/4 cup
Grated coconut - 2 tbsp
Roasted red chillies - 6-8
Tamarind- small channa size
Hing/asafoetida - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Oil for frying


Soak raw rice and toor dal together for about 2-3 hours.
Grind red chillies,coconut,tamarind and salt to a fine paste.
Add rice-dal mix and grind again.
It should be ground coarsely.
Remove from mixie/grinder to a big pan.
Add hing and chopped cabbage and onions.
Mix well with hand for about 2 minutes till cabbage-onions absorb the masala well.
Keep aside for 15 minutes.
In a kadai,pour oil and let it heat well.
Make small balls of cabbage-onion-masala and flatten a little.
Pour into oil one by one and fry on both sides till done.
Keep on medium flame so that the insides get well cooked too.
Relish with rice and dali thoi or just as a snack!!

As I said in my sanna polo post,the same masala can be made for making dosas too.Dilute the mix a little by adding water and make it to dosa consistency.Make dosas and cabbage-onion dosas are ready too!!
One more dosa to Srivalli's Dosa mela!!

Check out the much awaited Dosa mela round up here-Part 1,Part 2,Part 3.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Idli with coconut chutney#2

As I said in my earlier Idli post,I follow two different methods for idli batter,one is my amma's method and another is my ma-in-laws'.On Ugadi day I made idli with chutney and I followed ma-in-laws method this time.There's no major difference as such.The idlies turned out to be soft and fluffy,but they were granule idlies(as my hubby says).The idli batter is to be ground to a coarse paste,till you get a sooji/rava consistency.

Chennai summer has begun and its so bad that you keep wondering why you are in Chennai and not in some cool place.The only silver lining is that the idli batter ferments so well,curds set so fast and you can make lovely odi/wadi,kondattam and summer preserves.I am going to start making all those summer goodies soon..!!But for now,the idli...



Idli rice - 2 cups
Urad dal - 1 cup
Methi seeds - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Jeera - 1 tsp


Soak idli rice and urad dal seperately for about 3-4 hours.
Soak methi seeds along with urad dal.
Wash the urad dal well and grind to a smooth paste.
Wash the rice as well and grind to a coarse paste till you get a sooji/rava consistency.Do not add much water while grinding.
Mix both the batters,add salt to taste.
Sprinkle some jeera on top and let it ferment well overnight(about 8-10 hours).

Next day,prepare idlies.
Serve with coconut chutney..!!

Coconut chutney


Grated coconut - 1/2 of one coconut
Green chillies - 2
Ginger - a small piece
Tamarind - a small piece(about the size of a channa)
Salt to taste
Coconut oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds- 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig


Grind together coconut,green chillies,ginger,tamarind and salt to a smooth paste adding required water.Do not add too much water.
Transfer to a serving bowl.
Prepare seasoning in a frying pan with oil,mustard seeds and curry leaves.
Pour it into the chutney and serve.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Channe Ghashi with Soi bhajil masol

One of the common items in all Konkani homes for Ugadi or any other festival would be channe ghashi.As I posted in my last entry,there are various curries which can be prepared with one masol ie soi bhajil masol.This ghashi is one of them.In fact,many households in Kerala prepare this masol just before Ugadi and use it until the next one.I too have prepared masol just before Ugadi,but of course in smaller quantities.

At home,this was a regular ghashi.All of us like it so much that amma never used to wait for festivals to make this ghashi.When I ventured to make it first,I was nervous to say the least.My hubby is not used to this masol and I was not sure whether he would like it or not.But thank God,he loved it.In fact,at home we eat it with anything-polo/dosa,idli/khotto,rice etc etc.Try it once and I am sure you will ask for more.Lets make channe ghashi now..

Channe ghashi with soi bhajil masol


Brown channa/chickpeas - 150 gms
Surnu/Yam - a small piece(about 50 gms)
Drumstick - 2-3
Cashewnuts - 1 tbsp(optional)
Darmbhe sol/Kudampuli OR tamarind - 1 big channa size
Soi bhajil masol - 3-4 tbsp mixed with a little water to make a paste
Coconut oil - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste


Soak the channa overnight and pressure cook till done.
Add surnu/yam,drumsticks,cashewnuts,darmbhe sol/tamarind,salt and keep on flame again till 2-3 whistles.
Add the soi bhajil masol to the cooked channa-vegetables.
Let it boil,keep on low heat for about 5 minutes.
Drizzle coconut oil on top and close the lid.
Mix well just before serving.
Enjoy with idli,rice or just like that!!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Soi bhajil masol /Roasted coconut masala ~ Step by Step Recipe

No Konkani kitchen(In Kerala) is complete without having soi bhajil masol tucked away in one of the kitchen corners.In fact majority of Konkani curries are prepared using this masol,which can be prepared and kept for years.Utmost care has to be taken while preparing this masol-Use of dry kadai,spoon and even mixie which has to be kept under sun for a while to make sure its moisture-free.My amma uses a big Uruli to make this and she makes masol using 5-7 narlu/coconut.

Soi bhajil masol is literally roasted coconut masala(thenga varutharacha masala-in Malayalam).This masol is used for various curries like-channe ghashi(bengal gram/chickpeas curry),kukka ghashi(potato curry),dal and vegetable ghashi(any vegetable can be added to the dal),theeyal-prepared with shallots/bitter gourd,kadala curry for puttu etc.

When I got married this was one of the first items which amma packed for me.In fact for a long time,I used to carry this to Chennai whenever I went home.I felt that I should start making it myself rather than trouble amma.But I could not think of frying a big quantity of grated coconut(who will grate the coconut?) and keep an eye on it,(it takes an hour or more to get prepared,on low heat).I started thinking of alternatives.Packs of dessicated coconuts came in handy.While the copra/dry coconut takes a long time to get roasted(even though it does not require your constant attention,you just have to stir it once in while),the dessicated coconut gets roasted pretty fast,the masol would be ready in 10 minutes!!When amma was here we decided to try it.We used the same quantity of other ingredients as we would for 1 coconut for 1 packet-200 gms of dessicated coconut.It was a grand success.Easier method and pretty fast too.But what could be more easier than that,making it in the microwave!! Yes,I made it in the MW and it got ready in flat 5 minutes(excluding the time taken to grind it in the mixie).So get ready for the Konkani masol..!!

How to prepare Soi bhajil masol

The traditional way-For 1 copra/dry coconut you need 7 red chillies,2 tbsp coriander,2 tbsp urad dal,1/2 tsp methi seeds and 1/2 tsp haldi.

Dry roast all the ingredients(except haldi) in a thick bottomed kadai or uruli.Keep roasting till the coconut gets browned evenly and a nice aroma comes out.Add haldi.
Be very careful and use ONLY dry spoon and moisture free mixie.
Grind the masol in the mixie while its still hot.DO NOT ADD WATER.
Keep grinding till oil comes out of the masol.Grind only small portions at a time.
Transfer to a dry container with a tight lid.
After some time a layer of oil will form above the masol,do not throw it off.Use it along with the masol to get added flavour.
Use the masol as and when needed with a dry spoon.

Easier way-Same quantity as above.

Use 1 packet of dessicated coconut(200 gms) in place of one coconut.Rest everything same.
Dry roast all the ingredients in a kadai,keep stirring as it will get roasted very fast.
Grind and store.

Even more easier way-Same quantity and ingredients as above.

Keep everything in a MW safe bowl or plate.

Keep on MW high-100% for 3 minutes.
The masol would be fairly brown by this time.
Stir well and keep it again on MW medium-80% for 2 minutes,you need to stir after a minute and keep it again.
Masol is ready for grinding. Transfer to a dry container.

Shall post recipes with soi bhajil masol soon!!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Moong dal Payasam for Ugadi/Samsar padavo

Wishing you all a very happy Ugadi and Samsar padavo.(Read more about Ugadi-Samsar padavo here).

Moong dal payasam/Madgane/Parippu pradhaman is the main sweet prepared during Ugadi.All Konkani households have a fixed menu for every festival and Ugadi is no different.I cook additional dishes for every festival..wonder why?Coz me and my hubby are from different regions(me from Kerala and he from Mangalore)and both our families have a slightly different menu.No complications,I choose our favourite among the two and prepare my own menu;-) But Moong dal payasam is there come what may!!

I am a little immodest when it comes to this payasam..hehe..shall tell you why.We live in a colony where we have our yearly competitions and celebrations.During one such cooking competition,I got the second prize for making this payasam.What made me more happy was that I was the only youngster among the winners;-) To this date whenever someone talks about this payasam I never fail to mention about my prize.Wokay,I think I have gone too far in self-praising.

Moong dal payasam-Madgane-Parippu pradhaman


Moong dal - 1 cup (Slightly roast the moong dal in a kadai,wash well and pressure cook till well cooked,mash it well)
Coconut milk - 1 cup thin coconut milk(moonnam paal),3/4 cup semi thick coconut milk(randaam paal),1/2 cup thick coconut milk(onnaam paal)
Jaggery - 1 big ball of jaggery-melt the jaggery in a little water and filter it(no need to make paani/syrup but it should be of semi-thick consistency)
Cashewnuts,kishmish and thin coconut slices - for garnishing
Cardamom/Elaichi powder - 1 tbsp
Ghee - 2 tbsp


Take a thick bottomed kadai and put mashed moong dal and melted jaggery together.Keep on stirring till you get a brownish colour and semi thick consistency.(Keep on stirring to avoid the mix sticking to the bottom)
Add a tablespoon of ghee and mix well.
Add the thin coconut milk and stir well.
When the mix becomes a little thick,add the semi thick coconut milk,stir well.Let it cook on low heat-till it becomes a bit more thicker.
Add the thick coconut milk at this stage,mix well.
Add cardamom powder and switch off the flame.
Prepare garnishing in another pan by frying cashewnuts,kishmish and thin coconut slices in ghee.Add it to the payasam along with the ghee.

Few things to note -
1.Use of coconut milk - You can use freshly squeezed coconut milk as well as canned coconut milk for this recipe.I have used both and both taste equally good.If you are using freshly squeezed milk,milk of one big coconut will be enough.If using canned ones( I used dabur homemade tetra pack),use 2 packs by keeping one intact and by diluting the other.
2.Use brown/black jaggery to get a dark brown colour for the payasam.
3.Adjust the heat of the gas accordingly,preferably keep on medium heat and keep stirring to avoid the payasam from sticking to the bottom.Better still,use a non-stick kadai.
4.Moong dal payasam gets thicker as it cools down,so don't panic if its still watery after you add the thick coconut milk.Also,switch off the gas immediately after you add the thick coconut milk to avoid curdling.

Once again Wishing all of you a very happy and prosperous Ugadi/Samsar padavo.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Sheera-Celebrating 25 posts with a sweet!!

Ok,technically this is my 26th post,the slide show came in unintentionally.I wanted my 25th post to be a sweet so continuing with this anyway.I am feeling very happy that my blog has 1200+ hits so far and I have completed 25 posts.It gives me a great sense of happiness and satisfaction.At this point I want to thank all of you who have given me immense support and encouragement without which I don't think I would have come this far.Thank you all!!

Coming to the sweet now,Sheera is an all time favourite in our family.Primarily because its so easy to make and if you have all the ingredients ready you can make it in a jiffy.Rava and sugar which constitute as the main ingredients are always there in the kitchen invariably.When I asked my hubby what I should post as my 25th post the first thing he said was Moong dal payasam(which is his favourite sweet).But tomorrow is Ugadi-Samsar padavo and the main sweet to be prepared is this payasam.On second thoughts he said sheera.We had some guests coming over and this was the best choice.So here it is,Sheera to all my dear readers!!Love you all!!



Rava - 1 cup
Sugar - 1cup
Water - 2 1/2 cups
Ghee - 3-4 tbsp
Cardamom powder- 1 tsp
Cashewnuts and Kishmish - for garnishing


In a kadai,pour 1 tbsp ghee and fry cashewnuts and kishmish.Keep aside.
In the same pan,pour another tbsp of ghee and fry the rava in it till a nice aroma comes.
Boil 2 1/2 cups water in a vessel.
Add water to the rava in the kadai and mix well.
Cook till the water absorbs completely and the rava becomes soft.
Add sugar and keep mixing.
Pour rest of the ghee and keep mixing till the sheera starts leaving the sides of the kadai.
Add Cardamom/Elachi powder.
Pour into a greased pan and cut into desired shapes or serve it in small bowls.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Pan Polo-Neer dosa

I got introduced to lots of recipes and dishes after my marriage and pan polo is one such dish.It is also called neer dosa.It is a leafy thin dosa made with raw rice and coconut.It does not require fermenting and can be made fresh out of the mixie.It does require soaking though.It can be served with a variety of chutneys,jaggery syrup,honey+ghee or non-veg gravies.It tastes great with sugar too..;-)

Pan Polo - Neer Dosa


Raw rice - 1 cup
Grated coconut - 1/2 cup
Salt to taste
Oil - as required to grease


Soak raw rice overnight or for at least 4 hours.
Grind well with coconut to get a smooth paste.
Add water as required,the batter should be slightly more thinner than the regular dosa batter. Place a greased dosa pan on flame.
Pour the batter on the tawa with a circular movement.Spread it well.
Cook it on one side only.
Serve hot.

One more entry to Srivalli's Dosa mela.

Check out the much awaited Dosa mela round up here-Part 1,Part 2,Part 3.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Rajma bendhi- Rajma Curry

Pulses remind me of Navrathri/Dussehra.At my place pulses were cooked mainly during Navrathri.Of course black and white channa did appear in the menu once in a while but otherwise no one in the family much preferred having pulses with lunch.When I got married,I got introduced to SaarUpkari which is a very healthy way to eat pulses during lunch.My ma-in-law makes SaarUpkari of almost all pulses,even sambhar from white beans and channa.Rajma was a favourite of mine as a North Indian preparation.This curry was new to me but was a hit nevertheless.Bendhi is rajma curry with garlic seasoning.Goes well with rice,especially Matta ari/rice.

Rajma Bendhi


Rajma - 250 gms(soaked overnight and pressure cooked till done)
Grated coconut - 1/2 of a small coconut
Roasted red chillies - 6(mix of 3 byadgi and 3 normal chillies)
Tamarind - 1 small piece(channa size)
Garlic - 10
Salt to taste
Oil - 1 tbsp


Pressure cook rajma till done.
Grind to a paste grated coconut,red chillies and tamarind.
Mix with the cooked rajma,add salt and let it boil.
Prepare seasoning in a pan with oil.
Crush the garlic a little(do not peel)
Add it to the pan and fry till brown and well cooked.
Add it to the curry,serve.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Bread Usli - Bread stir fry

A : What are you serving with tea today?
D : What else,tea and marie vita!!
A : I feel like eating something else..
D : What do you want?I'll make it now..
A : Make bread usli..
D : But you just bought the bread yesterday..
A : Never mind..!!

No prizes for guessing A is my hubby and D is me.This is a normal routine in our house.When I ask him over the phone what he wants along with tea,he always says..I don't want anything heavy,just a few marie biscuits will do.When he comes home he says he feels like eating something and the story follows..Now have I said before that Bread is a boon for all those snack cravings..??Bread usli is the result of such a craving.Usli is stir-fry,literally.
Ready in a jiffy and satisfies your hunger pangs as well as snack cravings.It is normally prepared with slightly stale bread..but only if the cravings do not pop up before that.

Bread Usli


Bread - 10 slices
Sugar - 2 tbsp
Green chilly - 1 slit lengthwise
Red chilly - 1 broken into pieces
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Mustard seeds - 1tsp
Jeera - 1 tsp
Grated coconut - 1 tbsp
Oil - 1tbsp
Salt to taste


Chop the bread pieces into small bite sized pieces in a wide pan.
Add sugar and salt,mix well.
Take a kadai and prepare seasoning with oil,mustard seeds and jeera.
When they start spluttering add the chillies and curry leaves.
Add grated coconut and fry well(no need to brown it).
Add the bread pieces and mix well.
When the bread pieces start getting brown and a little caramelised,switch off the pan and serve.
Enjoy with a cup of tea;-)
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