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Poha Vada / Aval Vadai

One of my neighbour, gave me new recipe ideas for the blog and she only suggested this poha vada. These vadas came out real crispy than I expected. A quick and yummy evening snack for the kids :)

1 cup poha(thin/thick)
1/2 cup besan-Chick pea flour
1/4 cup rice flour
1/8 tsp ground garam masala
1/4 tsp cumin seeds
3 to 4 tbsp finely chopped coriander leaves
few curry leaves chopped
1 medium size onion finely chopped
2 to 3 green chillies finely chopped
salt(as per taste)
Oil(for deep frying)

1.Soak poha in water until soft. Drain and add the other ingredients except oil and mix well. No need to add water, the moisture in the onion and the soaked poha is enough to form a vada shape.
2.Make equal sized balls and flatten.
3.Heat a pan with oil and once it is piping hot, drop vadas at low medium flame and fry until golden brown on both sides.Remove and drain in the paper towel to absorb the excess oil.
4.Serve it hot with your favorite dip. I served it with my favorite sriracha hot sauce.

Recipe source : The Hindu and thanks to my friend who asked me to prepare this recipe :)


Read the entire recipe here

Mushroom Biriyani - With No Spices

Mushroom doesnt need not much of other ingredients to add flavor to the dish, in which it is used as the main ingredient. I heard from couple of friends about a recipe in a magazine which does n't involve any masalas. I could n't find the recipe, but I started making this biriyani in my own method and it turns out perfect each and everytime I prepare it.A perfect one pot meal, prepared without much work.

Do not look at the ingredients( as the list has very few) and decide on the taste. It turns out delicious :).

1 1/2 cups White Basmathi rice
8 oz button mushroom cut into thin and small slices
1 big onion finely chopped
1 medium size tomato finely chopped
1 small bunch fo mint leaves chopped
1/4 cup coconut milk(very thin consistency)
2 green chillies slit lengthwise
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 tsp red chilli powder
Salt(as per taste)
3 tbsp oil + 1 tbsp ghee

1.Wash and clean the rice well.Soak the rice in water for 10 minutes. Drain and reserve. In a heavy bottomed pan, add oil and once it is hot, add the onion, chilli and mint. Saute until translucent.
2.Add the tomato and saute until the skin is alone left.
3.Add the chopped mushroom and saute until the moisture comes out. Add 3 cups of water, coconut milk (Dilute it, in case of using coconut cream powder, add just 2 tbsp of coconut cream to 1/4 cup of water) .
4.Add rice, turmeric powder and salt. Stir well. Cook covered on low medium flame until the rice is almost cooked. The last 5 minutes of cooking should be done onlow flame. This will help to remove the excess moisture and help to get the grains separated. Once done, switch off the flame and leave undisturbed for 10 minutes. Then add the ghee and stir.
5.Serve it hot with onion raitha.

The coconut milk should be diluted very well. We need coconut milk just enough to get the flavor. Do not add creamy coconut milk.
Read the entire recipe here

Chocolate Panacotta - Easy Dessert Ideas

Panacotta is an Italian dessert prepared with cream,sugar,milk and gelatin as the key ingredients. The cream in the refrigerator was close to the expiration date, and as my kids like any other kid love anything chocolatey, I prepared this dessert for them.They both loved it.Even my elder one who always eats anything in small portions ;) enjoyed having it. It has intense chocolate taste,absolutely creamy- a definite party pleaser.

If you can forget about the calories and focus only on the taste, go for it. Else, this dessert is not for you ;).

2 cups heavy cream
3/4 + 1/4 cup whole milk
1 tbsp gelatin
12 oz milk chocolate chips
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1/4 cup caster sugar

1.Combine 3/4 th cup milk,cream,sugar,vanilla extract and heat just until the bubbles form on the top.Remove, cover with a lid and keep it aside.
2.Meanwhile, add gelatin to the remaining cold milk in a bowl, allowing it to bloom for about 5 minutes.
3.Again reheat the milk mixture over medium heat.
4.Remove and add the gelatin mixture to the milk and stir well.
5.Now add the chocolate into milk (as the milk is hot,the chocolate will melt easily) and stir well until the chocolate is melted.
6.Strain mixture through a fine mesh into ramekins or bowls.
7.Cover and refrigerate for atleast 6 hours.
8.Garnish with some whipped cream topping(optional). Serve chilled.

Adapted from Gracessweetlife
Read the entire recipe here

Coconut Burfi / Thenga Burfi Recipe

The weather has started to change and feel like early winter this year. Behind our house its dark woods, so nowadays it is always dark and gloomy even if the blinds are opened. Therefore, I am getting out of interest from clicking the pictures even though I cook. .As usual, there are tons of excuses for ignoring the blog ;). My DH loves coconut burfi (The traditional South Indian burfi), and I also noticed that I have not posted the recipe earlier.So, I prepared it last week

Thenga Burfi / Coconut Burfi
Yields 20 large bars
4 cups shredded coconut
2 1/2 cup sugar
2 cups of water
3/4 tsp powdered cardamom
1 tbsp + 1 tsp Ghee

1.Shred the coconut using the grater.Try to avoid the brown skin.(If you notice few in these pictures, please ignore ;) )
2.In a heavy bottomed pan, add water and sugar and bring to a 2 thread consistency.This can be checked by touching the sugar syrup in between the thumb and the index finger. While doing so, if the syrup forms two lines,That is what is two string consistency.The syrup will be thick.
3.Reduce the flame to low, add the shredded coconut and stir continuously until amost all the moisture is gone and the coconut mixture starts moving to the center(but still some moisture is left), add 1 tablespoon ghee(gives a good flavor to the burfi) and stir until all the moisture is gone and the mixture forms a lump in the center.
4.Transfer the mixture to the greased plate and evenly spread the mixture.With the back of of  spoon, press the mixture to the plate.
5.The fudge hardens quickly, so cut into desired shapes and once its completely cool remove from the tray, moving the side bars first.
Read the entire recipe here

Chettinad Milagai Chutney- Side dish for Idli / Dosa

 I had no idea about this recipe until today morning. As usual, it was a phone conversation(gossiping ;) ) with my friend Shalu, when she asked me to try this recipe. She is from Chettinad and I use to bug her or ask her to bug her mom ;) for authentic chettinad recipes. As I was noting down the recipe, I wondered how this chutney is called Milagai chutney, as it includes potato and lot other ingredients which I haven't seen in one of the milgai chutneys that my Amachi (granny) use to make. But, she calls it as milagai chutney and I do not want to change the name and giving the same title here ;). Though the title and ingredients doesn't match, this is a lipsmacking chutney. Me and especially  my kids thoroughly enjoyed it along with the idlies.

Chettinad Milagai Chutney
Serves 3 to 4
3 to 4 pearl onions(roughly chopped)
1/2 tomato chopped
1 very small size potato-cooked and mashed
1/4 tsp black mustard
1/2 tsp urad dhal
few curry leaves
3 tbsp oil
salt (as per taste)
To grind into a fine paste
15 to 17 pearl onions(peeled)
1 1/2 medium size tomato
To grind into a coarse paste
1 tsp saunf
1 tsp jeera
2 to 4 dried red chillies
1 1/2 to 2 tbsp shredded coconut
2 tbsp roasted gram dhal (pottukadalai)
1.In a pressure pan/ cooker, add oil and once it is hot, add the black mustard,curry leaves and urad dhal, when the mustard starts spluttering and the urad dhal turns golden brown, add the pearl onion, saute until soft, followed by the tomato, while it is getting cooked add the finely ground paste and saute at low flame for 2 minutes. Now add the coarse ground paste and saute for few seconds, add 1/4 cup of water and enough salt needed and close the lid. Pressure cook for 1 to 2 sounds.
2.Once the pressure is completely released, add the mashed potato and stir well.
3.Serve it with hot idlies and dosas.


  • This chutney should not be very thick or very thin. Add water accordingly.
  • The chutney turns best with sour tasting tomatoes something similar to country tomatoes.
  • Add a very small size potato, else the taste of the dish is definitely going to ruin.
  • The chutney should be slighly spicy. Add chillies accordingly.

Read the entire recipe here

Chettinad Chicken / Chicken Chettinad

The search for the aunthentic Chettinad Chicken came to an end, when I found this recipe. My DH and kids like a semi gravy chicken dish for rasam and rice like this recipe, that I posted earlier.I have tried this chicken chettinad recipe thrice and always it has come out well.

Chettinad Chicken / Chicken Chettinad
Recipe Source : Chef Damodharan
Serves 3 to 4
1 lb bone in chicken(skinless)
1 big onion chopped
1 medium size tomato chopped
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1 piece Black stone flower (kalpasi)
1 tbsp plain yogurt(optional)
1 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/4 cup chopped coriander leaves
few curry leaves
4 tbsp Oil
To dry roast into a fine powder
10- 15 Dried Red Chillies
1 big bark cinammon
5 cloves
5 Cardamom
2 to 3 star anise
1/4 cup dry coconut
1 tsp jeera
1 1/2 tbsp saunf
1 tbsp whole black pepper
5 to 7 tbsp whole coriander
1 to 2 blades of mace

1. Dry roast the ingredients into a fine powder.Marinate the chicken with some salt ginger garlic paste and turmeric powder.
2. In a kadai, heat oil and once it is hot, add black stone flower, onion followed by tomato and curry leaves, once it is half cooked add the chicken and saute continuously until it oozes out  the moisture in it and almost cooked.

3. Now, add 2 tbsp(or as needed) of the ground spice mix and stir very well. If using the yogurt  add it and saute until the mixture forms a semi gravy consistency. Add the coriander leaves and stir just before a minute of switching off the stove. If needed drizzle water, as and when needed to cook the chicken.
4. Serve it hot.

  • I have tried this recipe with/ without using yogurt.Both ways it tastes good.
  • I tried the powder in a curry based chicken, but was not satisfactory.It is good for this given recipe.
  • Do not add more than a piece of black stone flower.

Read the entire recipe here

7 Cup Sweet / 7 Cup Burfi / 7 cup Cake - Indian Sweet recipe

This is a very easy to make Indian Fudge, when compared to other Indian sweets. The 7 cup sweet comes from the total number of cups of ingredients used in the recipe.

Before preparing any sweet or savory, I promise myself that I am not going to have even a bite ;) but I would be the one who finishes off everything within the next day, leaving nothing for the others ;) as of today I have swallowed 4 big pieces of this burfi (which is a great achievement as I made these burfis two days ago,and yeahhhh they survived for 2 days in the pantry ;) ).This is a melt in mouth fudge that everyone would love :)Give it a try :)

7 cup Sweet / 7 cup Burfi / 7 Cup Cake

Makes 20 big size pieces
1 Cup Chickpea Flour/ Besan/ Kadalai Maavu
1 Cup Milk (skimmed/whole fat)
3 cups Granulated Sugar
1 cup Ghee( melted completely)
1 cup Shredded coconut(fresh/frozen)

1.Stir all the ingredients together and add to a heavy bottomed wide nonstick pan.
2.Stir continuously at low medium flame until the mixture becomes thick and leaves the sides.
3.As you stir you could see the bubbles forming on the top at one point of time.Reduce to low flame. Take a small amount of mixture and make a ball.The mixture should retain the shape- It means the burfi is ready to be transferred from the pan, else continue stirring, but don't allow it burn.Keep on checking ;) from the point the bubbles are shown (What's wrong?, all you need is a perfect and not burnt burfi ;) ). Grease a plate with 1 tsp ghee and pour the mixture into the plate.
4.Allow the mixture to cool. And when is almost cool,but not hard, cut into desired shapes with a knife.
5.Once it is fully cooled down, remove the side pieces first, leaving room for the other pieces to come easily. Store it in the airtight container. The bottom side looks shiny ;) and that is what you see in the picture.


  • The secret for the smooth texture is from the heat that is maintained in the stove and also the vessel we use. So make sure it is a nonstick heavy bottomed vessel and flame is maintained at low-medium heat. For recipes like this, I always prefer the smallest burner in the stove where the heat emitted will be low, when compared to the wider burners. And, in the small burner I maintain at low- medium heat and at the finishing stages, I reduce it to low.

 If you have any doubts in the recipe, please contact me via email or post a comment here :)
Read the entire recipe here

Cardamom Cookies ( Eggless)

I was taking a break from the oven and the butter ;) to save some energy n dollars :) , that is why not much of cookies in the blog recently. I once again brought cookbooks from the library and  its been three weeks now. Everyday, I use to flip the pages in one of those books alone and was keen in making two recipes listed in the book.I had no ground almonds left, that I made it earlier, so laziness popped in and it took weeks to finally prepare these cookies.

Cardamom Cookies
Makes 30 to 35 medium size cookies
3/4 cup unsalted sweet butter
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 1/4 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup white rice flour
1/4 cup ground almonds(Recipe here)
seeds from 4 green cardamom


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degree farenheit
  2. In the bowl, cream the butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir the flours, almonds, cardamom, and add to the creamed butter. Mix just until the dough starts to clump together.
  3. Using your hands, form the dough into a small ball. Pinch off a tablespoon sized portion of the dough and roll in your palms to form a perfect round ball. Flatten it slightly and place on an ungreased cookie sheet 2 inches apart.
  4. Bake in the middle of the oven until the edges of the cookies turn very pale brown, 15 to 18 minutes.Even if it is soft inside, do not worry, it hardens as it cools. Taste after couple of hours after baking. 
  5. Cool on a wire rack and store in an airtight container.
Adapted from 5 spices,50 dishes

Read the entire recipe here

Peerkangai Ketti Paruppu-(Thick Ridgegourd Dhal) and Keerai Poriyal

This is again a Kongunadu recipe. Mostly prepared in the rural areas  and a comforting curry for my DH and myself. Though  DH also hails from Coimbatore, it was new for him when I prepared it after our marriage. From then on,whenever he goes alone  to the desi grocers , he 'll return back with a ridgegourd in the shopping bag :).
The everyday lunch in those regions normally includes a dhal based curry and on Sundays it is religiously ;), a Non-Vegetarian lunch. Every recipe with the dhal from kongunadu would sound similar when we read, but with minor changes made in the way of cooking and adding different vegetables to the dhal give a unique taste to each and every curry. I 'll post them as and when I make them :) .
       In the picture :  Peerkangai Ketti paruppu, Pasalai Keerai Kadainthathu (Click for the recipe), Okra Raitha and Vathal 
1 medium size onion finely chopped
1  medium size tomato finely chopped
6 to 7 garlic pods peeled and chopped lengthwise
1 1/4 cup chopped ridgegourd (peerkangai)
1 3/4 to 2 cups of cooked toordhal and moong dhal (4:1 ratio)
2 to 4 Dry Red Chillies
few curry leaves
2 to 3 tbsp shredded coconut(fresh/frozen)-Fresh the best
1 tsp black mustard
1 to 2 green chillies cut lengthwise(optional)
1/8 tsp turmeric powder
3 tbsp oil
1.Cook the dhal with enough water.Reserve the stock too.
2.In a pan, add oil. Once it is hot, add the mustard and red chillies. Once it starts spluttering add the onion,curry leaves,green chillies and garlic. Saute  until the onion turns translucent. Add the tomato and saute until it turns mushy(Do not allow the tomato to dry).Half the way while the tomatoes are getting cooked, add the ridgegourd and saute both the tomato and ridgegourd.
3. Once the ridgegourd is cooked, add the reserved dhal and half a cup of water or less.(The consistency we need is a thick sambhar consistency, but not too thick - Hope you get it right ;) )
4.Cook covered until the dhal comes to a boil. Now, add the shredded coconut and stir.Garnish with freshly chopped coriander leaves.
5.Serve it hot with rice.


  • The authentic curry is made with toor dhal alone, but I add moong dhal is small proportion.
  • Do not use sambhar powder or tamarind to this curry.

Keerai Poriyal / Spinach Poriyal

DH brought a big size ridgegourd and I made the curry twice. First time I made it, I did not capture the picture properly. On that day, I served it with keerai poriyal and the next time I made it, I decided to do Kadaindha Keerai(Mashed Spinach).

3 cups chopped spinach
1 small onion finely chopped
3 garlic cloves chopped
2 dry red chillies broken
2 tsp shredded coconut(optional)
1/2 tsp urad dhal
1/2 tsp channa dhal
3 tsp Oil
Salt(as per taste)

1.Clean and wash the spinach in water.Chop the spinach finely.
2.Add oil in a pan, once it is hot add the dry red chillies, urad dhal and mustard. When it starts spluttering, add the onion,garlic cloves,turmeric powder and saute until the onion turns translucent.
3.Now,  add the spinach and saute once and cook covered just until the spinach turns tender. As it gets cooked unattended, it will start leaving all the moisture which is what we do not want.
4.When it turns tender, add shredded coconut and stir.
5.Serve it hot.

For any leafy vegetable poriyal ,the above recipe can be followed.
Shallots substituted with onion give a very good taste, but I have got used with the big onion :)

Read the entire recipe here
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