Monday, March 2, 2015


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Little grains / millets are now available easily in almost all markets.. Innovative cooking is what these grains need. Have tried making jowar rotis with jowar flour many at times and they turned out juss okkkk.. But decided to land up with usual dosa / adai with this grain but then went ahead and made them into idlies.. They turned out soft and filling.. Chennai markets has widened itself in stocking organic millets / grains / cereals.. The awareness towards LOW GI foods have increased.. My love towards trying out different variation and combinations using millets are welcomed by SH. He prefers healthy eats especially for his breakfasts..  

Jowar is diabetic friendly grain coz of its high dietary fibre content and its a filling grain.. You just cant eat more than 3 idlies (tats wat s te limit naa)

What you need:
For the batter:
Jowar grains - 2 cups
Brown / parboiled rice - 1 cup
Urad dhal - 1/2 cup
Methi seeds - 1/2 tsp

For the tadka:
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Channa dhal - 1 tsp
Urad dhal - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Black pepper - 1/2 tsp, coarsely crushed
Carrot - 2 nos, grated
Green chilli - 1 no and Ginger - 1 tsp, finely grated
Curry leaves - 1 sprig 
Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp
Hing as reqd
Oil - 1 tbsp

Heat oil in pan crack mustard, add hing, curry leaves saute well and then add dhals, cumin, pepper, green chillies ginger, carrots saute for a min and add to the batter.

How to make:
Wash and soak jowar, rice and urad dhal separately for 4 hours.

Grind dhal until fluffy, grind jowar, rice and methi seperately. Mix all the 3 batters add salt and leave for 2 - 3 hrs.

Add the tadka to the batter mix well and pour into idli plates and stem cook for 10 - 12 mins.

Serve hot with chutney, podi and filter coffeeee!!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015


SH loves pickled onions and cucumbers. These are very easy to make and budget friendly. They taste exactly like the store bought ones. I'd love to add these to sandwiches, burgers, wraps, focacia, pizzas, salads and wat not..

This brine can be used to make any pickled vegetables of our choice. These last for couple of weeks when refrigerated. M very fond of Ravinder's Kitchen show on TLC a Indo American she cooks brilliantly and most of her recipes are jus too damn easy to make. This recipe is from her show..
 What you need:
1 no - Onion, thinly sliced
Half of Cucumber, thinly sliced
2 nos - Bay leaves
1 tsp - Black pepper corns
1/2" - Cinnamon
150 ml - Vinegar
100 ml - Water
1 tbsp - Sugar
1 tsp - Salt

How to make: 
In a tea pot combine all of the above give a nice mix and bring them to boil once it starts boiling switch off the heat. Remove Bay leaf and cinnamon stick.

Place onions, cucumbers in thr respective jars pour over the vinegar mixture an allow to cool.

Close the lid and refrigerator for 24 hrs before you start using them.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

SUN - DRIED TOMATOES - Summer Series 1

Juicyy tomatoes are in season and more importantly at a slashed price tis definitely calls for some pickling.. Nope, i ended up with a bottle of sun dried tomatoes filled with olive oil.. I felt that homemade is better on seeing the costs of 200 gms bottle sold in hyper markets.. For tat cost i cld easily make 4 bottles of some homemade goodness. 

These can be blended with mayonnaise for a quick spread, added in sandwiches / subs / burgers, used while making pizza / foccacia, pastas, salads and the list is endless.. This is such a sooper quick recipe (if there is lots of sun)  very minimal ingredients is all needed..

If there is no ample sun oven method can be adopted but my house was well lit with scorching sun and so i choose the traditional method.

It can stay well for approx 3 months i guess.. This is my first attempt so am yet to nail on its shelf life.

What you need:
Half Kg - Tomatoes, washed and dried using a cloth and then sliced / quartered
1/2 tsp - Sea Salt preferably
1/2 tsp - Black pepper
1/2 tsp - Red chilli flakes
1 tsp - Garlic powder
1/2 tsp - Italian seasoning
1/4 to 1/2 cup - Olive oil for preserving

How to make:
Mix all of the above dry spices and sprinkle generously on the arranged tomatoes on a plate / plastic sheet.

Dry them for 3 days or until the skin of the tomatoes shd be completely dried. 

Cover and dry them to avoid dusts..

This is end of day 1 picture. 
 End of Day 2 picture.

Mine took only 2 and half days coz the heat on the terrace was well sufficient..

Once they are completely dried transfer to a sterilized bottle / container pour the olive oil and store them. 


Orange juice enables the antioxidants filled green tea to an higher level. Even lemons do tat work but the flavors of oranges are always yummierr..

Made a tangy orange green iced tea to sooth my self from the scorching sun!! Used 1 sachet of Lemon n Honey green tea and 1 sachet of Tulsi green tea.. 
What you need: 
Green tea bags - 2 nos
Orange Juice - 1 cup
Honey - 2 tbsp
Water - 1 cup
Orange wedges
Mint leaves

How to make:
Prepare green tea as per instructions and cool it. Mix orange juice, honey, green tea stir well add the wedges, crushed mint leaves, ice cubes and enjoy!!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015


My paati (grandmom) used to make this spicy curry with potato and raw banana. I vaguely remember em.. Recently when she had called me we had a long discussion about food tat she prepares then i asked her about this one and she did share with me this simple curry powder recipe. This curry powder definitely lifts the flavor of the curry. 

She also said that she makes them with brinjal but i never eat them so she separately makes with potato for me. But she sd it tastes great with brinjal. Then i chose to make with potato n brinjal (m not a fan) but i wanted to try if her words are true.. Yaa it tasted great more than potatoes brinjals were yummy!!

What you need:
For the curry powder:
2 tbsp - Channa dal
1 tbsp - Urad al
10 nos - Dry Red chilli
1 tbsp - Raw rice
3 sprig - Curry leaves
 Heat a pan dry roast all of the above until rice turns crispy, cool and grind into a fine powder.

For the veggies:
3 nos - Purple Brinjal, thinly sliced
1 no - Potato, thinly sliced
1 no - Onion, chopped
1 sprig - Curry leaves
3 tbsp - Curry powder
1/4 tsp - Turmeric powder
1 tbsp - Olive oil / Vegetable oil
1/4 tsp - Mustard seeds
Salt as reqd
Asafoetida / hing - gen pinch

How to make:
Heat oil in pan add mustard once it splutters, add curry leaves, onion and saute well.

Add potato, turmeric powder and cook in medium heat until potatoes are half done.

Now add brinjal, salt cover and cook in medium heat. Let it cook for about 5 mins or until the veggies are nicely roasted.

Add curry powder coat well and switch offf the heat. Makes a perfect side dish for sambar / rasam rice!

Monday, February 16, 2015


Made a vegetarian version of Dalcha with all the leftover veggies from the refrigerator. I prefer one shot pressure cooker recipes it's a sooper easy and convenient method.

This is a flavorful, spicy dish which goes well with rice/ roti/ parathas. A perfect side dish with lots of love!! 

What you need for the veggies: Recipe inspd from HealthfoodDesivideshi.
Double beans - 1 cup
Small brinjals - 2 nos, chopped
Potato - 1 no, cubed
Raw Banana - half, chopped
Carrot - 1 no, chopped
Onion - 1 no, chopped
Tomatoes - 1 no, chopped
Green chilli - 1no, slit open

For the masala paste:
Star anise - 1 no
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Black peppercorns - 1 tsp
Red chillies - 4 nos
Garlic - 3 pods
Ginger - Big piece

Make a coarse paste of the above ingredients with little bit of water.

For the daal:
Moong daal - 1/4 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida powder a pinch
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Pepper powder - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Salt as reqd
Oil - 2 tbsp

How to make:
Heat oil in a pressure pan add onion, curry leaves saute well add veggies, spice paste, dry spices, salt, hing and toss well.

Add chopped tomatoes, daal, 2 cups water and cook for 3 hisses and switch off the heat.

Once it cools open the cooker mash the vegetables a bit and serve hot! 

Thursday, February 12, 2015


Valentine's day around so decided to post one quick recipe for the last rush and for not so dessert lovers but still who don't mind enjoying some.. A sooper quick microwave red velvet mug cake with a hint of cocoa and topped with butter cream icing (cream cheese frosting works better) makes a perfect surprise for the spouse (or whom so ever fits that place) 

Icing is not a must just a gen sprinkle of icing sugar will do or even chocolate sauce works well..

Preparation time:1 min 
Cooking time: 2 mins 

What you need: Inspd frm Kribie Cravings
All Purpose Flour - 4 tbsp
Granulated Sugar - 2 tbsp
Cocoa Powder - 1/2 tbsp
Baking soda - 1/8 tsp
Milk - 2 tbsp
Vegetable oil - 2tbsp
Red food color - 1/4 tsp

How to make:
Combine all the ingredients in a bowl mix well and transfer to an bigger sized microwave safe bowl / mug.

 Microwave for 2 mins (or lesser depends on your oven) cool it and serve with toppings as you wish or a simple vanilla ice cream will also do the trick!!

I cldn't wait till the cake cooled down completely jus frosted and so the icing of course started to melt but see who cares they tasted good..

Wednesday, February 11, 2015


Long long ago the only side dish i knew to make for phulkas was dhal and onion tomato gravy (chennai style) All the inventions began only after quitting my job. I dont even remember what all dishes i have tried but the tester at home SH he remembers all my attempts and flops too (very fewww i shd say).. Most of the nights dinner is phulkas with some side dish and we are not tired of it. 

When i was looking at the refrigerator the poor baby corns which i picked up last week was so eagerly looking at me. Fine, i picked em and boiled it so wat m i gonna do with this.. If i make a curry with baby corn swear i will be chucked out of the home.. coz SH hates em and he has warned me not to pick them. Finally, the cord struck and there came in idea of making baby corn koftes with oats in a simple onion, tomato gravy to go with phulkas for dinner. Thank god koftas had no clues of baby corn in it.. it was all mashed and pan fried.. n my other cheating day went well!!

Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins
Serves: 3 

What you need for Koftas:
1 cup - Baby corn, chopped
1 no - Potato
1 cup - Powdered Oats
1 no - Carrot, grated
¼ tsp each - Red chilli powder, garam masala, coriander powder, mango powder, cumin seeds
1 no - Green chilli
1 tsp - Ginger
Salt as reqd
1 tbsp - Oil

How to make Koftas:
Pressure cook baby corn and potatoes for 4 hisses, cool them and mash well.

Make a paste of green chilli and ginger and mix all the ingredients together except oil and make into smooth dough and divide into equal portions.

Grease the appam pan place the koftas, cook on one side flip it and cook until they turn lite golden brown and keep them aside.

What you need for gravy: *Gravy recipe inspired from Veg recipes ofIndia
2 nos - Tomatoes
1 no small - Onion
1 no - Green chilli
1 tsp - Ginger
3 pods - Garlic
5 nos - Cashew 
2 tsp - Pumpkin seeds

Make a smooth paste of all the above ingredients. 

1/2 tsp - Red chilli powder
1 tsp - Coriander powder
1/4 tsp - Turmeric powder
1/4 tsp - Garam masala
1 tbsp - Oil
Salt as reqd

Heat oil in a pan add cumin seeds saute and add the paste, half cup water, spice powders, salt and cook in medium heat until the oil leaves the sides approx 10 mins. 

Add the koftas, cook for a min, switch off the heat and serve hot!!

Monday, February 9, 2015


It surprises me that parents spend huge sum of their hard earned money on these daily Breakfast Cereals.. Is tat the recent fashion to dig in bowl of cereals for Breakfast.. I don't mind rarely but not daily.. Parents happily and proudly say that my kids dont eat idli / dosa / upma???!!#!##  Wat's wrong with these parents why do they end up spending so much which is not worth..

Our country has the best and and the cheapest healthy, nutrient packed, low GI wonder millet RAGI.. It has great flavors and its available so easily and choices of breakfast preperation is ample.. Ragi idli, dosa, sprouted ragi idli / dosa, Sprouted adai with lentils, Ragi Bread, Ragi Sevai, Ragi puttu and the list is endless..  

The one tedious part is the method of cooking few additions to ragi can be made to make it easy to cook. Ragi fills tummy so portion control works perfect.

Thalipeeth is a savoury pancake or flat bread and it is a specialty of Maharashtra, made using roasted mixed grains and lentils flour. Made ragi and Kodo millet Thalipeeth for dinner a too quick to make and yummy dinner was ready in mins.

I hugely admire Sangeeta Kannas Healthfood Desivideshi blog  most of the infos shared here and recipes are inspired from her blog. My love towards alternative flours began coz of her!! 
Preperation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins
Serves: 4 

What you need:
Ragi flour - 1 cup
Kodo Millet Flour (Varagu) - 1/2 cup
Onion - 1/2 cup, finely chopped
Green chilli n ginger - 2 tsp, crushed
Coriander n Mint leaves - 2 tbsp, chopped
Seeds - 1 tbsp each(sun flowers, flax and pumpkin)
Salt as reqd
Oil for cooking thalipeeth

How to make:
Mix all the above ingredients until smooth dough except oil and divide into equal portions. 

Heat the pan, flatten the dough on a greased plastic cover / leaf, transfer to the tawa drizzle ghee/ oil and cook on both sides until they turn crispier. 

Serve hot with any vegetable gravy / raitha!!

Friday, February 6, 2015

DIETER's WHITE PASTA SAUCE (no flour / no cheese)

All these cooking, trials and errors began after that so called "Marriage" happened in my life!

With a picture perfect husband life is too cool!! How cool is it??? until i keep my husband cool!! yaa!!

Lately my husband has been complaining that i hv turned rude nowadays in sense he meant that i behave like a nutritionist in M.V.Diabetes Hospital.. (people who have been thr cld relate to it) 

Am not making his fav root veggies for curries, no pastas, no cheese and the list continued.. So well i have started to look out for cheaters version to his fav foods. Topped the list was his fav creamyy cheesy penne pasta with loads of veggies.. 

Bang on cauliflower the wonder veggie helped me to cheat on him ( i meant the food ?#$@#@) 

Needless to say, ended up making this and it was truly appreciated.. 

Pasta sauces are made with APF / Maida with loads of cheese and milk which gives the perfect creamy texture. This cheaters version has no flour/ cheese nothing.. but still it did turn creamyy n yummm!!

What you need:
2 cups - Cauliflower florets
1 cup - Milk
10 nos - Cashews, powdered
2 pods - Garlic 
1/2 tsp - Salt
Generous pinch of red chilli flakes / cayenne pepper, italian seasoning, black pepper and fresh herbs

How to make:
Cook cauliflower in salted water until tender and cool it down.

In a processor add cauliflower florets, cashew powder, milk, garlic and blend until smooth. Transfer to a container add chilli flakes, salt, pepper, fresh and dried herbs and give a nice mix and its ready to go with pasta.

*Instead of fresh garlic / garlic powder can be used which makes the strong flavor of garlic bit lighter.

* Salt can be increased or decreased.

*Milk depends upon the consistency we need. It's better to keep it not so runny.

*Sauce can be cooked in simmer and be stored in air tight container for ready to use too.

Friday, January 30, 2015

Pirandai Oorugai / பிரண்டை ஊறுகாய்

Recently during my visit to SIL's home, i happened to see the terrace garden. She had all basic veggies required for home.. and the only thing caught my eye was this adamant creeper (pirandai).. i was looking for it for such a long time..grabbed few for experimentation purpose!!

SH's maami makes wonderful kothamalli thokku she will grind it coarsely in ammikaallu, she makes it bit spicier for me and sends it across to me all the way from Pudukottai. missing her so badly.. 

Usually thogayal is made with this pirandai but i wanted to try something like what maami makes.. so tried my hands first time on Idicha Pirandai Oorugai n yaa i did succeed pretty well... This makes a delicious accompaniment for curd rice... 

How to clean Pirandai:
Select tender pirandais, remove the leaves attached to it and rinse them well.

Peel the sides of the pirandai you can see the fibres (naar) and remove them using a small knife. Chop them into small pieces and they are ready to use.

What you need:
Pirandai - 1 cup (cleaned)
Red chillies - 10 nos or lesser
Tamarind - Large gooseberry sized
Sesame oil - 4 tbsp
Mustard - 1 tsp
Fenugreek - 1 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
Salt as reqd

How to make:
Heat half tsp oil in a pan add pirandai, red chillies, tamarind saute well and set aside to cool.

Dry roast fenugreek and mustard seeds cool them and crush them coarsely using a mortar pestel.

Grind pirandai, red chillies, tamarind {if using tamarind paste add at this stage} to very coarse paste or if you have ammikallu / a bigger mortal pestel you can crush them to coarse paste.

Heat oil in a kadai add the paste, asafoetida, salt mix well and in low heat saute well approx 8 mins. Add fenugreek and mustard powder to it give a nice mix.

Cook in low heat for another 4 mins remove it, cool and store in air tight container.

*Stores well for 20 days when refreigerated

*This may cause itching while cleaning.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015


Lauki nu Muthia is a Gujarati Breakfast. Guilt free steamed snack perfect for tea time too. The much ignored doodhi / bottlegourd is made into a yummylicious savory dish. Can be served with some spicy mint / coriander chutney.

Prepared this dish for a Tamil channel "Pudhuyugam" for a cookery show "Konjam Soru Konjam Varalaaru" . It was great experience to face the camera and too cook.. bit of tedious job..  all neatly dressed and to cook with high led lights hitting you, with recording.. woww.. grt experience to cherish..finally my dish turned good!!

Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 40 mins.
Serves: 3 people

What you need for Muthia:
Lauki / Bottlegourd - 1 cup, grated
Wheat flour - 1 cup
Rava / Sooji - 1/2 cup
Gram flour - 1/2 cup
Green chilli and Ginger paste - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Sugar - 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp, finely chopped

What you need for tempering:
Oil - 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
White Sesame seeds - 1 tbsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Hing - gen pinch.
Salt as reqd
Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp and coconut - 1 tbsp, grated

How to make:
In a bowl add all ingredients requires for the muthia into smooth paste by adding little bit of water.

Apply oil on the palms pinch small dough and roll them to be steamed. Grease a plate place the muthias and steam for 10 - 15 mins. 

Insert a tooth pick if it comes clean the muthias ar cooked. Cool them and cut into round discs.

Heat oil in a pan add mustard, cumin, hing and saute until it crackles, add salt, sesame, curry leaves toss well. 

Add muthias saute until they turn golden brown. Switch off the heat, drizzle lemon juice, fresh coriander and serve hot with green chutney.
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