Kummiyanam

Kummiyanam is a nutritious dessert made of rice, assorted legumes & palm jaggery prepared by the people in Tirunelveli, Nagerkoil, or Kanyakumari. It is offered to the lamented souls while remembering them in Aadi month (a Tamil calendar month usually falls between 15th of July & 15th of August). Likewise, I heard Japanese visiting cemeteries during…

Aadi Perukku

Aadi Perukku is a festival of fertility that is being celebrated by women in south India for more than 500 years. It was mentioned in Sangam Tamil literature, Paripadal, written in the 14th century. I like to quote them here: “Women getting ready to bathe in the river urging their men to dress in festive…

Tamarind Rice

Puliyodarai, a traditional rice dish, stays good & tastes divine even if it is kept without being refrigerated for 3 or 4 days.  I heard that my grand mother along with her younger children used to travel in a cart to a nearby town for their Diwali shopping; she preferred to carry tamarind rice &…

Sweet Pongal

Preparing Sweet Pongal used to be a difficult task for me when I started cooking, it took really a long time to meet my expectation (similar to the one that served in temples!). So here is my recipe that I learnt after several futile attempts; please note that the important steps that help perfecting it…

Chitrannam

Chitrannam is a platter of different rice varieties prepared on an auspicious Aadiperukku day, a day that brings in prosperity. It is believed that whatever we do on that day would grow manifold, so farmers used to sow their seeds and others would like to venture into new business on this day. I prefer to…

Sacred Fruit Salad

Panchamirtham is a sacred fruit salad that we offer to God and is also used for abishegam (bathing deities) in temples. The famous Palani panchamirtham made using bananas that are exclusively grown near Palani hills is offered to Lord Muruga in Palani temple. You can check this video to see how panchamirtham abishegam is performed…

Jackfruit Panna Cotta

Jackfruit Panna Cotta is a chilled creamy dessert. It is so captivating to see snowy panna cotta dotted with vanilla bean wobbling on a plate fringed by delectable golden jackfruit coulis. I have made Panna Cotta, an Italian dessert, layered with locally grown fresh seasonal fruit. Since I do not like to use egg nor…

Eggless Mango Cake

As fruit bearing season of mango is nearing an end my mother sent me a last bunch of organic mangoes that were plucked from the trees in her backyard. After devouring sweet mangoes to our hearts’ content, I decided to bake a cake with remaining mangoes. I have also baked a batch of cupcakes for…

Idli Podi

Idli milagai podi is an indispensable condiment in every south Indian’s pantry.  I do not like to use store-bought idli podi as it is nicely powdered; I find idli podi satisfying only when I feel the coarse grits on my tongue. We use roasted rice for its sandy texture; roasted asafoetida & raw garlic for…

Cabbage Poriyal

Since bland white cabbage is my family’s bête noire, I find vibrant purple cabbage the best alternate. To my astonishment I came to know that it has more health benefits than white/ green cabbage; purple cabbage has a nutrient anthocyanin, an antioxidant that is responsible for its purple color, has anti-cancerous properties; also purple cabbage has…

Ayurvedic Lemonade

Panakam is a traditional lemonade that we offer to God. Generally we end our fasting by drinking panakam as it helps to purify, energise & hydrate our body.          My grand father’s sister, a hardcore devotee of Lord Muruga, never missed to observe fasting on all Sashti days (once in every fortnight)…

Ice Apple Pudding

Nungu payasam is a creamy dreamy delightful dessert served in wedding feasts and in star hotel restaurants. It is a perfect finish to a meal for its impeccable taste and enticing flavors of nungu (palm fruit or ice apple), saffron & cardamom. Nungu is a jelly like sweet fruit covered with astringent white skin and…

Versatile Blogger Award

I thank Sheema for nominating me for Versatile Blogger Award and Avid Observer for One Lovely Blog Award. Please visit Avid Observer’s blog for her fantastic motivational posts and Sheema’s blog for fabulous DIYs, delicious recipes, beauty products’ & accessories’ reviews. Rules for both the awards: Each nominee must thank the person who nominated them…

Eggless Walnut Bundt Cake

Eggless walnut banana cake is my family’s favorite for its appealing flavor, texture & taste. Mashed bananas & toasted walnuts compliment each other, sweet bananas suppress the bitterness of walnuts, and provide wonderful flavor & texture.Being a vegetarian I like to use walnuts as much as possible as these are few of the plant based…

Fried Chickpeas

Nei kadalai is my favorite snack from my childhood and it brings me back fond memories associated with this wonderful savory. Our family get-together were incomplete without nei kadalai and wheat halwa. I still cherish those happy moments with my father who used to bring nei kadalai and Tirunelveli halwa while visiting me. These goodies are…

Fresh Fruit Salad

Whenever I don’t feel like cooking I make this simple fruit salad and have it for my lunch. The star ingredients here are mint leaves & chaat masala without which I would definitely feel like missing a meal; so anyone who wants to reduce the in-take of carbs can try this salad as it satiates one’s…

Buttermilk & Lassi

Spicy buttermilk is a traditional south Indian drink usually served after taking heavy meal to improve the digestion. Buttermilk with jeera powder or chaat masala is popular in other parts of India. Lassi is a sweetened flavored creamier buttermilk served chilled as dessert in India. Generally buttermilk is kept in earthenware (mud pots) few hours…

Indian Popsicles

I remember my childhood days indulging in ice pops (Popsicle) every summer vacation. Nowadays those ice pops are replaced by ice cream and we all really miss them so much. So here are the recipes for those forgotten ice pops that are truly Indian! I have prepared my favorite kulfi ice, thenga (coconut) ice, semiya…

Blackgram Rice with Sesame Chutney

Ulundham Paruppu Sadham (Black gram Rice) is a very unique rice prepared in almost every household in Tirunelveli, a southern town of Tamilnadu. Sesame chutney is similar to Mediterranean Tahini sauce and is an essential side served with black gram rice. We usually serve this nutritious meal to young girls during their cycle every month. Although we prepare…

Pounded Palmyra Sprout

Idicha panang kizhangu (pounded Palmyra sprout) is a traditional gluten-free fiber-rich snack that we relished during our childhood days. I still remember those sprouts pounded by my paternal grand mother; she used to pound them with great finesse that each & every bits were of same size! In those days our house was filled with…

The Awesome Blogger Award

Hi! I am extremely happy that I have been nominated for the Awesome Blogger Award by an energetic enthusiastic blogger Lindsay and thank her for honoring me with such a nice gesture. You can check her amazing lifestyle blog with beauty tips & easy peasy recipes: https://lindsayrose2.wordpress.com/

Seeraga Samba Biryani with Brinjal Thokku

Indian Biryani & Italian Risotto share some similarities: Seeraga samba rice & arborio rice have been cooked al dente in both recipes and have the same consistency. Seeraga samba rice is a quintessential ingredient of biryani in south India as it has a wonderful flavor, it does not gather into thick lumps and most importantly it…

Amla Pickle

Indian Gooseberries (amla) are considered to have anti-aging properties and it was mentioned in Sangam Tamil literature 2000 years ago : King Adhiyamaan gifted a rare fruit, nellikani (amla), to an old poetess Avvaiyar as he believed that she deserved to live longer than a mighty king himself. If you are interested to read her…

Sweet Poha

Aval puttu (sweet poha) is a traditional sweet usually prepared on Tamil New Year day. It tastes scrumptious when sprinkled over a scoop of vanilla ice cream. Beaten rice is an easily digestible form of rice with less gluten. Please check the recipe for aval puttu as below: Time Taken: 30 min Serves : 3 Ingredients: Thick…

Savory Doughnuts

Ulundha vadai aka medhu vadai is a gluten-free South Indian savoury donut prepared using black lentils dough. Any feast or festival in South India is incomplete without making ulundha vadai; this traditional vadai is prepared for all special occasions or even on a normal day as an evening snack. Ulundha vadai can be served as…

Spicy Vegetable Gravy

Spicy Vegetable Gravy is a chettinad style Masala Kootu prepared with snake gourd. Snake gourds have cooling effects on our body and it helps producing body fluid. So it is much required specially for people living in India where they have long summer. Pudalangai masala kootu is my favorite dish for being so tasty &…

Pigeon Peas and Rice

Thuvaram paruppu sadham (rice with split pigeon peas) is a traditional one-pot meal popular in Tirunelveli. This flavorful rice is an easy-to-prepare meal itself and hence can be packed for children’s lunch box. This is one of our favorite lunch meals on a lazy weekend. It is so delightful when we pour coconut oil lavishly…

Mystery Blogger Award

Hi! I am so excited that I have been nominated again for yet another award, Mystery Blogger Award.  My heartfelt thanks to amazingly talented Abha for nominating me; you can check her blog for an awesome collection of authentic recipes at https://abhajhablog.wordpress.com/ What is Mystery Blogger Award? “Mystery Blogger Award” is an award for amazing bloggers…

Green Chutney

Restaurant style Green Chutney can be prepared easily at home with mint leaves or coriander leaves. Pleasant green chutney with burst of flavors will surely make anyone salivate. This chutney is a great appetizer and hence useful for kids or sick people who refuse to take food. It will be heavenly if you serve this…

The Leibster Award

Hi ! I am honored that I have been nominated for the Leibster Award by a fellow blogger Ruta and I thank her for such a nice gesture. You can check her wonderful recipes at https://estoniancuisine.com/; Estonian cuisine will surely help you grow taller & smarter! What is the Liebster Award? The Liebster Award 2017 is an…

Yogurt Curry

Yogurt Curry is a delicious traditional South Indian curry liked by everyone young or old. Morkuzhambu is usually prepared with single vegetable like ash gourd (vellai poosani), drumsticks, ladies finger or colacasia (cheppang kizhangu). Any paruppu vadai (deep fried lentil patties) like vazhaipoo vadai, aama vadai or keerai vadai may be immersed into this curry…

Shallot Chutney

Chinna vengaya chutney is a spicy tasty healthy traditional chutney mainly prepared for young girls & pregnant women. Health Benefits: Shallots contain flavonoids that have powerful antioxidant properties; shallots also useful for improving emotional health & heart health. Other ingredients in this chutney are curry leaves & black grams; curry leaves are rich sources of…

Bread Pizza

Bread Pizza is a simple healthy delicious pizza that can be made easily at home. You can surprise your children when they return home by serving flavorful warm Bread Pizzas topped with crunchy veggies & stringy cheese.  It helps to relieve their stress and motivates them to do their after-school work happily. Try & see…

Happy Women’s Day

On this International Women’s Day I wish every woman health & happiness! I have compiled a list of nutritious recipes that meet the dietary requirements of women of all ages; you can click on these images below for their recipes. For Young Girls: Ebony Sweetmeat is made of black grams that are rich in protein, iron,…

Weekend Lunch

This is the meal I prepare for lunch usually on Saturdays. It can be prepared easily within an hour, if you plan in advance and make all ingredients available. Everybody including kids will surely relish this delicious lunch meal. I find tiffin sambar a great accompaniment for citrus rice; Citrus rice & curd rice taste…

Mango Jam

Mango jam or maangai pachadi is a sweet sour & spicy jam prepared with semi-ripe mangoes. It tastes heavenly when a scoop of vanilla ice cream is glazed with this scrumptious mango jam. Mangoes contain dietary fiber, vitamin A & vitamin C; they also contain antioxidants that fight against free radicals. Please check this slideshow to…

Banana Flower Patties

Vazhaipoo Vadai or banana flower patties are gluten-free snacks prepared with yellow peas and banana flowers. These irresistible patties have crispy skin mainly because of yellow peas. Health benefits of banana flower: Banana flowers have flavor similar to that of artichokes. Banana flowers can be included in our diet as banana flower stir-fry (poriyal), coconut…

Tamarind Curry

Puli Kuzhambu or Tamarind Curry is a spicy tangy traditional curry prepared with garlic & shallots. Garlic & shallots are considered to be very good for heart health as they reduce hypertension and control cholesterol. Also they help in removing toxins from our system. Besides garlic has antibacterial, antiviral & antifungal properties too. You can…

Millet Noodles

Ragi idiyappam is a healthy tasty gluten-free breakfast that can be prepared in a jiffy using instant finger millet noodles. It is an ideal breakfast for weight watchers as it aids in weight loss too. Finger millets can be included in children, women & old people’s diet as they are rich in calcium and iron….

Lentil Crumble

Paruppu usili (lentil crumble with veggies) is one of the most popular south Indian sides served with rice. For people on weight-loss diet a bowl of usili can be taken as a mid-morning meal; it makes them feel full and it contains protein, fiber, vitamins & minerals. Also it can be packed as a healthy…

Ebony Sweetmeat

Ulundhangkali is a soft silky delicious ebony sweet; it is a traditional south Indian sweetmeat prepared mainly for teenage girls & pregnant women. Ulundhu kali is believed to strengthen uterus & bones and it is our customary to serve this kali to a girl when she attains her puberty. Traditional Breakfast with Kali This is…

Chayote Delight

Chow-chow kootu is a South Indian curry prepared with lentils & coconut masala. It is recommended for women to include chayote in their diet before and during pregnancy as it prevents neural defects in newborns. Chayote is also a rich source of dietary fiber & contains no saturated fat; so it is good for reducing cholesterol…

Tomato Chutney

Tomato Chutney is a delicious chutney and is so refreshing when a piece of ginger is added. Tomatoes contain antioxidants that fight against the formation of cancer causing free radicals. Tomatoes protect eyes from age related eye diseases. They are good for heart health and stomach health also. If we are taking tomato based food…

Citrus Rice

Citrus boosts immunity, energy & mood and aids in detoxification & digestion. This was one of the reasons that lemon rice was traditionally prepared & packed for short travels. Citrus Rice is a healthy non-sticky easy-to-prepare rice dish and hence can be used for packing children’s lunch box also. Recently I bought unripe citrons (naarthai)…

Creamy Peas Masala

Creamy green peas masala is a rich flavorful Indian curry surely liked by kids. This delicious masala is very good for growing children;  protein from peas helps in growth, shallots give immunity & iron-rich coriander leaves prevent anemia. Creamy green peas masala can be served as a side for roti, puri, aapam, idiappam, idli or…

Fig Juice

Figs are rich in dietary fiber and help in lowering blood sugar & cholesterol. Figs contain more calcium than any other fruit, so they are good for bone health also. Usually fig juice is taken to improve bowel function and to prevent constipation. Serve this refreshing juice to kids and adults. Time Taken: 10 min Serves…

Coriander Seeds Chutney

I love to use coriander seeds roasted as it is so aromatic that it elevates flavor of any dish. As per Ayurveda, an ancient Indian system of medicine, this spice has many healing powers; particularly it aids in digestion, stimulates appetite, prevents food poisoning and lowers blood sugar. Coriander seeds chutney is very effective in…

Soy Biryani

Soy biryani is a delicious protein-rich vegetable biryani. Soy is very good for women over 40 as it contains a substance similar to estrogen (female hormone). Soy, a protein-rich bean, is also good for growing children. I prefer simple home-made vegetable biryani; usually vegetable biryani served in restaurants (renowned for biryani) are greasy, overly spiced,…

Simple Curd Rice

Curd rice is a simple traditional probiotic meal. I make sure to serve curd rice to my family specially when someone taking a course of antibiotics; when antibiotics kill both good & bad bacteria, probiotics help to replace good bacteria. Serving Curd Rice: Curd rice tastes best with udaitha kadalai thuvaiyal. It also goes well with…

Roasted Chickpeas Chutney

Udaitha kadalai or pottu kadali thuvaiyal is a tasty healthy chutney. Roasted chickpeas (Bengal grams) are rich in protein and has low glycemic index; you can just take plain roasted bengal grams (1/4 cup) directly as mid-morning or evening snack, it makes you feel full for longer and hence helps in weight management also. Preparation…

Cucumber Salad with Yogurt

Cucumber raitha or vellarikai thayir pachadi is the best way to include cucumber in our diet. It keeps our body cool & hydrated and is very useful when taken during summer. Health benefits of taking cucumbers are: it reduces risk of certain cancers, helps lower blood pressure, protects brain from neurological disorders and controls bad…

Simply Delicious Meal

Paruppu sadham with karunai kizhangu masiyal & elumichai rasam is a simply delicious meal that can be prepared easily even when you feel lazy. Surprisingly your family will simply enjoy this meal and also they will ask you to repeat the same some time soon. Please click on the images below for their recipes.  …

Spicy Mashed Yam

Karunai Kizhangu Masiyal (spicy mashed yam) is a tangy tasty accompaniment for rice or roti. It can also be used as a spread for sandwiches. Yam is an excellent & commonly used remedy for hemorrhoids (piles). We have to be little cautious that yam causes tongue prickling; it can be avoided by keeping them unused…

Lemon Rasam

Lemon Rasam is a soup prepared in almost every South Indian household. It is so appetizing when served with hot rice and tastes wonderful. Cooking Time : 15 min Serves : 4 Ingredients: For Rasam Powder: Cumin seeds (jeeragam) – 1 tsp Pepper (milagu) – 1 tsp Coriander seeds (malli vidhai) – 1 tbsp Red…

Deep Fried Lentil Patties

Deep fried lentil patties (Aama vadai) are very popular South Indian evening snacks that can be taken along with a cup of hot coffee or tea. It is so delicious as it is crispy outside & soft inside. Traditionally patties are prepared without adding spices like fennel, cumin, garlic, etc. It tastes best when served…

Chinese Potato Fry

Chinese Potato (siru kizhangu or koorka) fry is a tasty accompaniment for curd rice, sambar rice or any other rice varieties. It can also be taken with rotis or Indian breads. This is a good alternate for regular potato as it has medicinal properties as well. Cooking Time: 20 min Serves: 4 Ingredients: Chinese Potato…

Grandma’s One-pot Meal

Kootanchoru is a traditional one-pot meal served for lunch by my maternal grand mother whenever we gathered during vacation. This meal used to be prepared by her with locally grown vegetables like drumsticks, raw mango, jack fruit seeds, etc. and served with home-made fried appalams & vadagams. I, my siblings & my cousins used to…

Turmeric Banana Stirfry

Fresh turmeric tuber (pachai manjal kizhangu) is a wonder herb with medicinal properties of anti-cancerous, anti-arthritic, anti-inflammatory &  anti-microbial. It also prevents or delays the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. Although turmeric has been widely used as dry powder in Indian culinary, traditionally fresh roots were included in our food for medicinal purposes. Turmeric roots are being…

Ginger Drink

We used to take ginger drink in an empty stomach especially on the day when we return to work after a long travel; it keeps us fresh & active throughout the day. It also helps in ease of digestion. First we have to extract ginger juice before preparing Ginger Drink as below: Ingredients :  Ginger…

Greens ‘n’ Lentils

Greens that I have used here is Solanum Nigrum or black nightshade or manathakali keerai. It treats mouth ulcers and protects liver, this herb is being used to cure Hepatitis in rural Tamilnadu. Greens ‘n’ Lentils (keerai kootu) is a healthy accompaniment for rice; it goes well with any sambar, rasam or kuzhambu, except morkuzhambu. Ingredients:…

Eggless Spongy Chocolate cake

This chocolate cake is my son’s favorite cake for being dark, chocolaty and spongy. We all like this cake as it is healthy, light (without frosting) & soft; I used whole wheat flour instead of plain flour (maida) & light vegetable oil instead of eggs & butter. It is very easy to prepare and the…

Horsegram Idli Powder

Horse gram or kollu is a wonder bean with lots of health benefits: aids in weight loss, controls cholesterol and treats peptic ulcer, jaundice, menstrual problems, etc. keeps us warm during winter. Best way to include horse gram in our diet is by adding a teaspoon of horsegram idli powder into a cup of buttermilk. It…

Classic South Indian Meals

This delicious meal seems to be a very satisfying healthy complete meal that we all love to relish on a Sunday. First we pour sambar generously over rice and have them with aviyal & poriyal; next we drink payasam and finally we take curd rice along with vegetables in sambar. For children we also serve sambar…

Red Lentils Sambar

This is our usual drumstick sambar only but it is made of red lentils or masoor dal. Traditionally sambar (for rice) is prepared by using split pigeon peas or red grams or thuvaram paruppu, but I used red lentil here because it is a rich source of protein and it contains an important amino acid….

Golden Milk with Pepper

I remember drinking Golden Milk for the first time when I was about 5 years old. I was woken up from sleep by mother, she held a glass of golden milk near my mouth and made me to empty the glass. Although I was so drowsy, I still remember sweet ‘n’ spicy warm milk soothing…

Cottage Cheese-Peas Masala

Cottage cheese (paneer) peas masala is a tantalizingly delicious Indian curry and it is my son’s favorite gravy as a side for rotis. Any dish with cottage cheese surely be liked by people of all ages. So try this colorful flavorsome gravy. Cooking Time: 20 min Serves : 4 Ingredients: Cottage Cheese (paneer)- 100 g…

Breakfast with Eggplant Gothsu

Eggplant (brinjal) gothsu is one of our favorite accompaniments for idli & dosa and I usually prepare this for breakfast on Sundays. It is a very unique gothsu prepared by people living in Tirunelveli and it is called as kathrikkai kichadi by them. It is heavenly when you pour this gothsu liberally over idli/ dosa followed…

Greengram Sundal

Greengram (Paasi payaru) sundal is a healthy snack that can be packed for your kids. This can also be served to people of all ages for the following reasons: Easily digestible compared to other legumes. Good source of protein & fibre. Low glycemic index and hence one may not feel hungry for quite longer. Cooking…

Carrot Chutney

Carrot chutney is a colorful healthy tasty chutney. As our daily screen time is getting increased nowadays, it is better to take carrots at least one serving per day for good vision.  It is a good alternate to our regular coconut chutney or onion chutney and it goes very well with spongy or crispy dosa. This…

Ginger Jam

Ginger jam is an easy to prepare digestive jam. A teaspoon of ginger jam  taken in the morning in an empty stomach helps improve digestion. It is mainly beneficial for children to increase their appetite. Coriander seeds, ginger & raisins all have medicinal benefits of balancing body temperature. Please check below my grandmother’s recipe for…

Poori

Poori is the most favorite food for all Indians young or old. For children it can be packed for lunch or served when they return home after school. Here you can check the recipes for regular poori, cheese poori & palak poori. Potato masala is the most common accompaniment for poori; other side dishes that…

Adai Avial (Mixed Lentils Dosa with Mixed Veg Curry)

Adai (Mixed lentils dosa) is prepared by mixing small amounts of various lentils. Paruppu adai is a protein rich dosa as the mixture of lentils provides a complete source of amino acids similar to animal sources of proteins. Kara adai tastes best with aviyal (mixed vegetables in coconut gravy) and also turns out to be a complete meal….

When cyclone hits Chennai…

Severe cyclonic storm Vardah hit Chennai at an unprecedented speed of over 125 kmph for more than an hour on December 12, 2016 Monday afternoon. It made our life miserable as the entire city suffered with power failure for 3 days, mobile network failure for a week and internet services not yet restored fully until…

Potato Masala

Potato masala is a simple dish prepared in almost every household in India. It can be stuffed between breads to make a sandwich, or stuffed into South Indian dosa or North Indian paratha, or used as an accompaniment for roti,  poori & rice varieties like curd rice, tomato rice, etc. by incorporating small variations. Since…

Mixed Vegetables in Coconut Gravy

Avial (Mixed Vegetables in Coconut Gravy) is one of the most popular curries in South India. It is my favourite curry and our family likes my avial the most. It goes well with any sambar or rasam or any kuzhambu except morkuzhambu and is also the best accompaniment for Adai (Mixed Lentils Dosa). Many recipes…

Meals with No-tamarind Curry

Meals with no-tamarind curry is one of our traditional gluten-free meal that brings me back nostalgic memories of relishing food as a child. This delicious flavorful meal used to be prepared by my mother with home grown vegetables. I still remember the mixed flavors of coconut oil, fresh vegetables & spices that filled our entire…

Drumstick Leaves Sambar

Any sambar or kuzhambu in South India is usually prepared with tamarind, but drumstick leaves sambar or murungai keerai sambar or puli illa curry is prepared without tamarind. It is a special curry cooked at every household in Tirunelveli. It is a flavorful nutritious curry prepared with drumstick leaves. Drumstick leaves are rich in iron and…

Chickpeas Gravy

Since pressure cooked chickpeas are easily digestible, chana masala (chickpeas gravy) can be served to people of all ages. This version of gravy is healthier as less oil is used & also it is easy to prepare. Whenever I plan a meal for dinner, I make sure to cook with less oil as it helps…

Millet Payasam

Millet payasam is a dessert that you can take with no guilt as it is gluten free; I have used coconut paste instead of coconut milk so that it contains less fat. Everybody will surely love this crunchy yummy flavorful payasam. The millet I used here is foxtail millet very much suitable for making desserts….