Neem flower rasam

As a child I hated few things imposed by my grand parents during our visit every summer. It was disgusting to find all our clothes reeked of bitter neem oil as they were washed using neem detergents. We also disliked to gobble up extremely bitter balls made of neem leaves paste forcibly given by our…

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Banana Blossom Usili

Indian medicine system recommends anything that tastes astringent such as banana flowers, pomegranate, red gram (toor dal),  Indian blackberry (black plum), etc. for women’s health as they keep uterus healthy. Consuming cooked banana flower with curd or yoghurt is believed to be one of the most efficient ways of treating excessive bleeding during menstruation as…

Moringa Flower Poriyal

Since moringa trees are primarily grown for their seed pods (drumsticks), moringa flowers are hardly available in the market. So we prepare poriyal in small quantity exclusively for a lactating mother in our family. It is preferred to cook buds & young white blossoms gently and use them in salad, soup, or curry. Please note that…

Classic Elixir

Chukku-malli kaapi is a traditional South Indian digestive elixir prepared using dried ginger & other spices, herbs and palm sugar. As Indian medicine recommends to take fresh ginger in an empty stomach in the morning & dried ginger before sleep, we take fresh ginger juice or ginger jam (lehium) before breakfast & dried ginger elixir…

Thoothuvalai chutney

Thoothuvalai (Solanum trilobatum) is a herb that usually props up in our surroundings after a good spell of rain. It is a quickly spreading medicinal plant used in Indian medicines viz. Ayurveda & Siddha to treat respiratory problems like asthma, cough, cold & flu. Children & old people usually fall sick during monsoon & winter….

Omam Kuzhambu

Generally I prepare omam kuzhambu when we return home from a vacation, or after attending a wedding ceremony for few days. I make omam kuzhambu and serve with hot steaming rice & roasted papad (sutta appalam), when we crave for a home-cooked food that soothes our stomach. Health Benefits: Omam (ajwain / carom seeds /…

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 was worthier enough to live longer and act as a peace maker than a mighty king…

Fig Juice

Fig juice is the best way to include nutrients rich figs in our diet. Fig juice can be served to people of all ages. Health Benefits: As figs contain more calcium than any other fruit, they are good for our teeth & bone health which is particularly needed for women and old people’s health. Figs…

Coriander Seeds Chutney

I like to use pan-roasted coriander seeds for its amazing flavour to prepare flavorful sambar, chutney, or curry. Coriander seeds chutney can be served as a dip for chips, papads or crackers, or as a spread for sandwich or as a side for idli, dosa, any rice varieties & millet porridge (kanji or koozh). We can…

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…

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…

Turmeric Banana Stirfry

Fresh turmeric roots (pachai manjal kizhangu) are plentifully available here in the market during Pongal, a harvest festival of Tamilnadu, in the month of January. In this season I like to replace turmeric powder with fresh turmeric in recipes such as ven pongal, any stir-fried vegetables, curries, etc. I find them tasting slightly peppery & bitter…