Crispy Masala Dosa

Dosa is a south Indian crepe relished by people of all ages. Typically dosa is prepared for breakfast or dinner and served as crispy dosa or spongy dosa. Crispy dosa is a thin paper-like crepe enjoyed by kids and spongy dosa is somewhat similar to a pancake. Although there are numerous varieties of dosa prepared…

Idli

About 1000 years old south Indian delicacy, idli, is now gaining popularity all over the world as a healthy breakfast. Various studies conducted by renowned institutions around the globe state in unison that idli is one of the best breakfasts as naturally fermented rice & lentil batter is used in its preparation. So let us…

Pongal in pot

Pongal is a harvest festival celebrated by worshiping Sun & earth to show our gratitude for the entire year’s harvests. On this day we all follow the traditional method of cooking rice in pot(s) decorated with ginger sprouts or turmeric sprouts rather than cooking in modern electric cooker or pressure cooker. It is considered auspicious…

Kadamba Sambar

Kadamba sambar is a traditional flavorful curry prepared with locally grown assorted vegetables & tubers. We prepare this delectable sambar on the day of Pongal, a harvest festival being celebrated in Tamilnadu in the mid January. On the day after Pongal left-over kadamba sambar used to be served as even more delicious pazhang-curry or sunda…

Tapioca Pearls Payasam

Indians usually celebrate a new beginning by distributing sweet boondi laddu, but in our family we celebrate by serving sweet boondi particularly when a new-born arrives home. Today I follow the same tradition and serve tapioca pearls payasam garnished with sweet boondhi (chickpea flour pearls) on this New Year! Health benefits of cooked tapioca pearls:   Tapioca…

Ketti Chutney

Idli with ketti chutney is a popular street food among bachelors who miss home-cooked food for their breakfast. Both my grand mothers prepared ketti chutney everyday but later we all switched to a quick chutney that does not require any tempering. It is so heavenly to take spongy idli or dosa served with spicy coconut…

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…

Sodhi with Inji Pachadi

Sodhi is an exotic Sri Lankan stew prepared with lentils and vegetables cooked in coconut milk. Although sodhi is not a spicy curry it has grown popular among people living in & around Tirunelveli. Meals with sodhi is a lavish spread in our wedding feasts comprising creamy sodhi, pungent ginger chutney, spicy potato fries, crunchy appalam, scrumptious…

Neivilangai

Neivilangai has always been featured in our family’s Deepavali menu every year. These melt-in-mouth lentil flour laddu are popular among Indians & Sri Lankans. North Indians use Bengal gram (Besan) flour & south Indians use green gram flour to make delicious laddu. Neivilangai prepared by our grandmothers were extremely delicious and aromatic as they used…

Thattai

Thattai (meaning flat disc) are inexorably delicious crackers prepared in our family for Deepavali. It is so astonishing to see numerous varieties of thattai made all over India using various spices, lentils & grains. Thattai found in every state, every district and even every family has its own distinct taste, flavour, texture or colour.  Also…

Porivilangai

Porivilangai is a traditional sweet made of pan-roasted rice & palm jaggery. Our grandmother usually prepared these laddus for Deepavali and my aunts used to keep them for us till our visit during summer. In those days these flavorful porivilangai were made into hard-to-bite orange sized balls but now I have made them into small…

Adai Pradhaman

Although Navrathri in south India is synonymous with savoury sundal, traditionally sweet payasam is also offered for neivedhyam during Navarathri. I prepared adai pradhaman, a creamy delicious dessert popular in Kerala & southern Tamilnadu. In Kerala onam sadhya menu is incomplete without adai pradhaman. I still remember the delicious adai pradhaman prepared by my aunt…

Modhagam

This is my first post in the second year of blogging! On this first anniversary I thank WordPress team for their fantastic support, readers & fellow bloggers for their amazing encouragement and my family, relatives & friends for their kind cooperation, invaluable assistance & honest reviews. Today I thank Lord Ganesh by posting the most…

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). In this month we remember departed men…

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.  My mother used to say that her grand father always preferred to carry puliyodharai rice while traveling in bullock cart for all their family trips.  Here is my simplified recipe for puliyodharai…

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 renowned 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…

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 finely 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…

Ayurvedic Lemonade

Panakam is a traditional lemonade that we offer to God. It tastes so divine and is taken during Kandha Sashti Viratham observed for 7 days after Deepavali. We used to drink panakam on all these days as it helps to purify, energize & hydrate our body. My grand father’s sister, a hardcore devotee of Lord…

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 our childhood favorite ice popsicles namely kulfi ice,…

Blackgram Rice with Sesame Chutney

Ulundham Paruppu Sadham (Black gram Rice) is a unique rice prepared by people 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 this meal specially…

Pounded Palmyra Sprout

Panang kizhangu (Palmyra sprout) is popular among south Indians & Sri Lankans. We usually make steamed & pounded palmyra sprout and relish as a savory dish. Sri Lankans boil these sprouts, dry them, make into a flour and use the flour to make sweet puttu, koozh or add into some non-veg recipes. Traditionally palmyra sprouts…

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. Any feast or festival in South India is incomplete without making ulundha vadai. This traditional vadai is prepared for all special occasions or can even be prepared as a snack any day. Ulundha vadai can be served as rasa…

Pigeon Peas and Rice

Thuvaram paruppu sadham (rice with split pigeon peas) is a traditional flavorful one-pot meal popular in Tirunelveli. I prepare our favorite thuvaram paruppu sadam for lunch on a lazy weekend. It is so delightful when we pour coconut oil lavishly over the rice and relish with crunchy appalam or papadam (sun-dried lentil discs) & vengaya vadagam…

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…

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 delectable patties with crispy skin and soft flesh. Banana flowers can be included in our diet as patties (vadai), stir-fry (poriyal), coconut curry (kootu), lentil crumble (paruppu usili), soup & salad. Banana flower patties are gluten-free snacks prepared using banana flowers & yellow peas. Health benefits of banana flower: Banana…

Tamarind Curry

Puli Kuzhambu or Tamarind Curry is a traditional south Indian curry prepared using garlic & shallots. We can enjoy its taste to the fullest only when the flavors of all the spices are completely infused into the curry. It can be used for 2 or 3 days without being refrigerated or for 15 days if…

Ebony Sweetmeat

Ulundhangkali is a soft silky delicious ebony sweet; it is a traditional south Indian sweetmeat prepared when a girl attains puberty. As ulundhu kali  helps to strengthen uterus & hip bones, it is mainly served to girls during their cycles especially in their first cycle and also to pregnant women. It is our customary to serve the…

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…

Simple Curd Rice

Curd rice is a simple traditional probiotic meal. I make sure to serve curd rice to my family particularly when someone takes a course of antibiotics. Antibiotics kills both good & bad bacteria and probiotics helps to replace good bacteria. So taking curd or curd rice during a course of antibiotics will help to keep…

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.  …

Grandma’s One-pot Meal

Kootanchoru is a traditional one-pot meal prepared for lunch by our maternal grand mother when we all gathered during summer vacation. She used to prepare this delicious one-pot meal with locally grown vegetables like drumsticks, drumstick leaves, raw banana, raw mango, jack fruit seeds, etc. and serve with home-made appalam & vadagam. We still remember those…

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…

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 feeling drowsy, I still remember sweet ‘n’ spicy warm milk soothing…

Breakfast with Eggplant Gothsu

Eggplant (brinjal) gothsu is one of our favourite accompaniments for idli & dosa and I usually prepare this for breakfasts on Sundays. It is a very unique gothsu prepared by people living in Tirunelveli and is called as kathirikai kichadi. We also make gothsu using yellow pumpkin (poosani) and ridge gourd (peerkangai), you may find the…

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 have medicinal properties of balancing body temperature. You can find my grandmother’s recipe for a…

Adai Avial (Mixed Lentils Dosa with Mixed Veg Curry)

Adai (Mixed lentils crepe) is a traditional protein rich dosa prepared using assorted lentils and rice. We can make crispy adai for children & soft adai for elders. Adai tastes best with aviyal and is a complete meal as aviyal is prepared with medley of vegetables. Adai aviyal can be taken frequently as it helps to meet our daily…

Mixed Vegetables in Coconut Gravy

Any lunch meal in South India is incomplete without aviyal (Mixed Vegetables in Coconut Gravy). Most of the traditional Indian recipes use assorted grains, pulses, vegetables, or fruits. Nowadays nutritionists recommend to include variety of  vegetables/ pulses/ grains/ fruits in our diet as it prevents vitamin & mineral deficiency; hence it is a good practice to…

Meals with No-tamarind Curry

Meals with no-tamarind curry is one of the traditional meals that we all relished as children. My mother used to prepare healthy yet delicious meal with home-grown vegetables. I still remember our house filled with mixed flavors of coconut oil, fresh vegetables & spices while preparing this flavorful meal.  In those days we never said…

Drumstick Leaves Sambar

Drumstick leaves (murungai keerai) sambar is a flavorful nutritious curry prepared without tamarind and hence it is popularly known as puli illa curry (no-tamarind curry) in Tirunelveli. It is usually served with rice, any poriyal or aviyal & roasted appalam. Health Benefits: Drumstick leaves are rich sources of iron. If this curry is taken frequently by…

Coconut Chutney

Coconut chutney is a commonly prepared condiment in every South Indian household. It is a perfect side for south Indian idli, dosa, uthappam, pongal, kichadi, vadai or bajji. Here is the restaurant style coconut chutney recipe : Time Taken : 3 min Ingredients: Coconut pieces – 9 Nos. (each 1 inch) Green chillies – 2 Nos. Roasted…

Millet Porridge

Millet porridge is one of the best breakfasts that can be taken on a scorching sunny day. It keeps us cool,  fresh & energetic all through the day. It is so filling that you don’t require anything till lunch. The millet I used here is pearl millet or kambu. Pearl millet is a flavorful protein-rich…