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Idli and Tomato chutney-Way to get softest idli is here!

I have tried almost all the ways to get soft idlies.And according me,this is the best method to get softest idlies.This is my MIL's trick to add sabudhana in idlies.Last week,prepared these idlies for breakfast,and here is the hurry burry click, as I had send my kiddo to school and also the camera battery was down :(.Excuse me for the pictures,will change sometime soon.

This is the updated picture-didnt want to delete the older picture ;)My never fail recipe...Spongy Idlies :)

4 cups Idli rice
1 cup Urad dhal
1/4 cup Sabudhana(javarisi)
1 tbsp Methi seeds.

1.Soak the ingredients separately for 5 hours.
2.Grind it into a fine batter with enough water needed.Be careful while adding the water.Thin consitency batter cannot turn into good idlies :).Add enough salt needed.(I have seen people adding salt,once the batter gets fermented,but I always do just before fermenting).Also I don't add water after fermenting,I do it before hand(just for the idlies).Try,for the difference :)
3.Transfer the batter into a closed vessel and allow it to ferment overnight or for 8 hours.
4.Just before pouring the batter in idli moulds,grease all the moulds with oil or spray.
5.Mix the batter very well with the round headed spatula and add it to the moulds.
6.Heat water(below the idli stand level) in the idli vesseland once it is hot,place the idli stand and close it with lid.It take 10 to 15 minutes to get cooked.
7.Now insert a fork/wooden toothpick in one of the idlies(I hate the finger impression in idlies) and if it comes out clean,idli is ready to serve :).
8.Enjoy with Sambhar,chutney or any of your favorite curries.

Tomato Chutney
A simple and quick tomato chutney.

1 small sized onion roughly chopped
1 medium sized tomato finely chopped.
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp jeera
1/2 tsp kadalai paruppu
2 dry red chillies
6 to 7 curry leaves
2 tbsp shredded coconut

1.Heat a pan and add oil.Oce its hot,add the jeera and red chillies.Once the it truens slight brown,add the channa dhal,curry leaves and saute until the channa dhal turns golden brown.
2.Now add the onions and saute until it turns translucent.
3.Now add the tomatoes and saute until it turns mushy.
4.Finally just before turning off the heat,add the shredded coconut.
5.Allow the mixture to get cooled and grind it along with enough salt.
6.Finally you can make some tadka(heat oil,add mustard,curry leaves and red chilli) and pour over the chutney.I omitted here.
Read the entire recipe here

Meen Kulambu(Fish in Tamarind Sauce)

This is a very typical Tamilnadu way of fish curry.A day old fish curry with hot rice..mmm...Yummy!I prefer to go with king fish,but the ones available here doesn't taste like the one available in India...
1/2 lb fish(any variety)
10 shallots chopped
1 medium sized tomato fienly chopped.(shoud be fleshy)
3 to 4 garlic chopped.
few curry leaves.
thick extract from a lemon sized tamarind.
1 tsp ground black pepper.
2 dry red chillies.
sambhar powder(as per taste)
1 tsp coriander powder.
1/4 tsp turmeric powder.
4 tbsp finely ground coconut paste
1 tsp mustard seeds.
1/8 tsp roasted methi seed powdered
Salt(as per taste)
6 to 7 tbsp gingelly oil +3 tbsp gingelly oil(nallenai).

1.Clean and marinate the fish pieces for half an hour with ground pepper, some sambhar powder,turmeric powder,salt and 1/4 the quantity of tamarind extract.
2.Heat a pan with oil and add the dry red chillies and mustard seeds,once the mustard starts spluttering,add the shallots,garlic,curry leaves and saute until it becomes translucent.
3.Now,add the tomato and saute continuously until it becomes mushy.
4.Add the tamarind extract,1 to 1 1/4 cup water,sambhar powder,coriander powder,some salt and coconut paste.
5.Close the lid and allow it to boil on low flame.Initially, the curry will be watery and at one point it will become thicker.This is the right consistency to add the marinated fish.Add the fish and close the lid and let it get cooked until the fish gets cooked.
6.Once cooked, add methi seed powder and gently stir.Finally add the gingelly oil. Garnish with coriander leaves.Serve it with hot rice.I usually prepare the before day and serve it on the next day.The taste gets enhanced on the second day.

1.For best fish curry,u should not compromise with the amount of oil :).It needs more oil than other curries.
2.And it consumes time,the more and more it is kept in the flame to make it thick,the more it tastes.
3.I never use to add tamarind extract while marinating the fish until I saw a cookery show.It really adds additional flavor to the fish :).

And,here is the picture of the marble cake which I baked for my son last week,not going to post the recipe though ;)
Read the entire recipe here

Pepper Okra Fry

A simple side dish.Prepared it for today's lunch,and Wow..this is my first quickest post :)

Lets read about Okra here

2 Cups Okra(Vendai/ladies Finger) -thin round sliced
1 medium sized Onion(Yellow/Red)finely chopped
Ground black pepper(as per taste)
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Split Urad dhal/Channa dhal(optional)
Few curry leaves
1/4 tsp turmeric powder.
2 tsp +2 tsp Oil
Salt(as per taste)


1.Wash the okra and using a napkin,drain the outside moisture using a napkin or with a clean cloth.
2.Slice the okra and spread them over a napkin or over a dry cloth for 1 hour.(This will mostly remove the skicky nature in Okra)
3.Heat a wide and shallow frying pan.Add 2 tsp oil and once its hot add the okra pieces and saute continuously on medium fire.Once the okra is 1/2 cooked,add the turmeric powder,salt(a pinch less than needed on a whole) and ground pepper(just a little less than needed for the whole procedure) and saute continuously until the okra pieces appears to shrink in size.
4.Remove the okra now.In the same pan,add 2 tsp oil and once its hot add the mustard seeds.Once it starts spluttering,add the urad dhal or channa dhal and once it becomes golden brown,add the onion,curry leaves,salt( the rest needed) and turmeric.Saute until the onion becomes translucent.Add the ground pepper a pinch and stir well.
Now add the cooked okra and fry for just a minute.
5.Remove and serve it as a side with any Rice and any curry,rasam,or Yogurt.
Read the entire recipe here

Tamarind Rice(Puliyanchaadam)-Left over Magic

Whenever rice is leftover,this is one delicious dish you can prepare :).Its normally called Puliyanchaadam and not Pulisaadam.....dunno y they gave this name ;) may be because, its prepared from leftover rice ;)
2 1/2 cups left over cooked rice(Sona masoori,raw rice,boiled rice)
10 to 12 chopped pearl onions(shallots,small onions)
Thick extract from 1 big marble sized tamarind.
2 Dry Red chillies
1 green chilli(slit lengthwise)
redchilli powder/Sambhar powder(optional)
1/2 tsp mustard seed.
1/4 tsp turmeric powder.
1 tsp channa dhal(kadalai paruppu)
few curry leaves
finely chopped coriander leaves(to garnish)

1.Add tamarind extract to the rice and leave it  overnight or for 8 hours.
2.The next day,heat a pan,add oil and once its hot,add the redchillies and mustard seeds.Once it starts spluttering,add the channa dhal and leave until its becomes golden brown.Now add the shallots,green chilli,curry leaves,turmeric powder and saute until the shallots becomes translucent.
3.Now,add the rice and enough salt and saute on low flame until the rice gets well mixed with the other ingredients.Add red chilli powder or sambhar if needed(Normally, the chillies would do)This may take 2 to 3 minutes.
4.Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
5.Serve it wth coconut chutney or sambhar.Really awesome combination!.
Read the entire recipe here

Drumstick(Murungaikkai) Masala


This is mom's speciality.She uses the very same ingredients, which she normally adds in chicken gravy,but the way she cooks is entirely different,may be that gives a unique taste to this gravy.
Whenever we go to temple during weekends,we buy all the vegetables there in the temple :).Yes,an Indian farmer comes every week from Florida and sells fresh vegetables.So,when I saw the fresh drumsticks,I grabbed some 10 of them :).I just love the drumsticks and miss the fresh ones here.The first dish I prepared was this gravy,which I love to have even everyday.


2 Drumsticks(cut into 3 inch pieces)
1 medium sized red onion (cut into medium sized pieces)
3 medium size green chillies (cut length wise)
1/4 cup coriander leaves(roughly chopped)
a fistful of curry leaves.
Salt (as per taste)
To Grind
3 tbsp onion chopped.
1 1/4 medium sized tomato finely chopped
3 garlic cloves peeled
1 inch ginger
1 inch cinnamon (Pattai)
2 cloves (Krambu)
1 1/4 tbsp fennel seeds (sombu, saunf)
3 tsp Sambhar powder/ Kuzhambu Milagai Thool
1 1/2 tsp. coriander powder
2 green chillies.
a pinch of turmeric powder
4 tbsp shredded coconut

1.Grind all the ingredients asked to grind except the coconut into fine paste with less water.Finally,add the coconut pieces and grind.Remember,they should not be finely grinded.Just a churn of one or two.
2.Heat a pan and add oil.And once its hot,add the onion,coriander leaves,curry leaves,green chillies and saute until the onion turns translucent,Don't allow it to turn brown.
3.Now add the drumstick pieces,turmeric and half of the salt needed and and close the lid.Let it cook until the drumstick is 3/4th cooked.Sprinkle water and saute once in a while.
4.Once the drumstick is cooked,add the ground paste and remaining salt needed and a small amount of water(as this is a thick curry) and cook until done.
5.Garnish with coriander leaves.Serve it hot with plain rice,rasam or curd rice.YUMMY!
Read the entire recipe here

Masala Egg Fry

These eggs I prepare on those lazy days,where I use to serve them along with simple dhal and rasam for the lunch.

4 hard boiled eggs(halved)
1 tsp or more red chilli powder.
1 tsp garam masala.
1 tsp ginger garlic paste.
1 tbsp plain yogurt(curd) + 1 tsp water.
salt(as per taste).
1 1/4 tsp Oil(or as per requirement).

1.Mix all the ingredients together.Marniate the egg for 15 minutes or more.
2.In a heavy bottomed pan,add oil and once its hot add the eggs in it.The marinade will have some liquid, because of adding yogurt,doesn't mind...Add even the liquid along with the eggs,it will be absorbed by the eggs,while cooking.Close the lid and cook until one side turns brown. Flip to the other side and cook until done.
3.Serve it hot with Rasam,Dhal or with your favorite curry along with Rice.
Read the entire recipe here

Fish Fingers- Deep Fried version

This is one of those rare dishes which my kid enjoys and eats without forcing him.He doesnt like to share even one with me or with his dad :).How nice it would be, if he enjoys all the food, I make :(..hehheee...

1/2 lb fish fillets(always prefer tilapia for this) .
Red chilli powder(as per taste).
1/2 tsp Garam masala.
1/4 tsp soy sauce.
1 tsp Ginger garlic paste .
1/2 tsp White vinegar.
few drops of Orange/red food color.
1 small egg(beaten).
Bread crumbs(enough to coat the fish).
Salt(as per taste).
Oil for deep frying.

1.Clean the fish and cut them into 3 inch pieces.
2.Marinate them with red chilli powder,garam masala,soysauce,ginger garlic paste,vinegar,salt,food color and beaten egg.The egg should be mixed at last to the marination.Let it marinate for atleast 1 hour.
3.Heat a kadai with oil,enough for deep frying the fish.
4.Once the oil is real hot,dip the fish fingers in bread crumbs and deep fry them until done.Once done,remove and place it in a napkin to absorb the excess oil.It consumes very less time,may be less than a minute for each fish finger to get cooked.
5.Serve it hot with tomato ketchup.

The recipe can go with boneless skinless fish only.
Read the entire recipe here

Green Gram Dhal and Rasam

This is another typical kongunadu recipe from my kitchen.The recipe is more or less similar to horsegram dhal and rasam recipe,but the taste is totally different.

Green Gram Dhal

1 cup green gram(Pachai payir)
1/2 cup Big onion finely chopped.
1 medium sized tomato finely chopped.
3 garlic cloves(peeled)
1 tsp jeera
1 tsp coriander seeds.
3 to 4 green chillies.
few curry leaves.
few coriander leaves.

1.Wash the dhal.Cook it with plenty of water in pressure cooker for 3 whistles.
2.Drain and save both the water and the dhal,but seperately.
3.In a kadai,heat the oil and once its hot add the jeera,coriander seeds and fry for few secondss.
4.Now, add the onion,garlic,curry leaves,coriander leaves,green chillies with turmeric powder and fry until the onions turn translucent.
5.Now, add the tomato and fry until they turn mushy.Now add the dhal and salt.Mix well.
6.Switch off the flame.Wat until it cools.
7.using MATHU(means a masher, in tamil) or any masher, mash it into coarsely.
8.Serve this dhal with hot rice,a dollop of ghee on top.

Green gram Rasam

3 cups Green gram extracted broth/water.
2 to 3 tbsp of cooked greengram(My secret).
5 to 6 pearl onions thin sliced.
1 medium sized tomato finely chopped.
sambhar powder/red chilli powder.
1 tsp mustard seed.
few curry leaves.
2 dry red chillies.
ground pepper(Add as much as u want).
4 to 5 garlic cloves(peeled).
Ground jeera.
coriander leaves to garnish.

1.In a deep and heavy bottomed vessel,heat little oil and mustard seeds and red chillies.Once it starts spluttering,add the onions with turmeric powder and saute continuously until it turns translucent.
2.Here,you have two options : a)Either boil the tomato,removethe skin.mash it and add it to the onion or b)add the chopped tomato and saute very well until it turns mushy. b )is my way,u can find better taste.
3.Add the reserved green gram water,salt,sambhar powder,pepper,cooked green gram and allow it to boil on low flame for ten minutes.
4.Crush the garlic and curry leaves together.Add it to the rasam.Let it stand in the flame for few secs.Garnish with coriander leaves.
5.Serve it with hot rice.

I normally serve the dhal and rasam, along with Potato-brinjal fry(Recipe here) and Appalam.To my knowledge,this side dish is served nomally with many Kongunadu recipes,and I cannot imagine any other side dish for these,as we are used to this combo,right from the childhood.Egg Omellete also pairs very well with this dhal and rasam.
Read the entire recipe here
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