Vegetable Kurma

I have been receiving complimentary reviews from unexpected people who are away from homeland for their studies or jobs preparing their meal themselves by looking at videos or by reading recipes and I thank all those unknown for their support & feedback. Now I am posting a multi-purpose one-pot recipe ideally suitable for such busy…

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Drumstick pods soup

Nowadays drumstick pods (murungakkai) are grown abundantly in my mother’s garden, and she used to keep sending me a batch of these pods every now & then. But it has been boring to see these drumsticks in our sambar, kuzhambu, kootu & poriyal on our plates every day.  Nevertheless I do not have the heart to…

Karadaiyan Nombu Adai

Turmeric rhizomes are inextricably intertwined with our culture & traditions, all our religious rituals are performed only in the presence of turmeric powder. Even the family ties are religiously acknowledged by tying a turmeric smeared thread around the wrist or neck (for women) before the deities, priests & other elders. Women used to observe fasting…

Stuffed Capsicum in Gravy

Stuffed bell peppers laid into spicy creamy sauce is bound to be a crowd-pleaser at the family gatherings or children’s birthday parties. So we can impress our guests by serving delicious curry with colorful stuffed capsicum garnished with grated cottage cheese along with rice/ pulao, and any Indian bread like roti, naan, etc. Now I…

Ashoka Halwa

Ashoka halwa is a protein-rich sweetmeat that is usually prepared during festivals or special occasions. Ashoka halwa is offered to deities as neivedyam and served as prasadam particularly for Navarathri. It is one of my favorite sweet dishes for the lovely silky texture and the sweet aroma. I like to serve Ashoka Halwa with breakfast…

Vada Pav

Vada pav, a popular street food in Mumbai, is much similar to American burger in which a spicy potato dumpling is kept inside the pav bread. Anyone traveling to Mumbai does not return home before relishing the delicious street foods like vada pav, pav bhaji, etc. It is so fascinating to find people from every…

Pav Bhaji

One of the most indelible joyful moments of any mother would be seeing her children relish the healthy food prepared by her. Serving home-made whole wheat pav bread with mixed vegetables curry (bhaji) to my family is one such moment that I wish to cherish forever. If we serve oven-fresh flavorful pav breads with delectable bhaji to…

Whole Wheat Pav Bread

Baking bread at home is not as exhausting as making roti/ chapathi, it is actually a time consuming preparation and hence it just requires a planning well ahead of our meal. It is truly a rewarding experience to bake bread at home with various flours and spices of our choice and also to serve oven-fresh…

Fig & Ginger Truffles

Truffles are delicious yet nutritious treats that can be ideally prepared to gift your loved ones on any special occasion. These truffles are made of nuts, dry fruits and dark chocolate that are rich sources of vitamins, minerals & anti-oxidants; dark chocolate is good for healthy heart & brain. I have prepared truffles using powdered…

Appala Kootu

Appalam making is a leading cottage industry prevalent in my maternal grandfather’s village. As a kid I was completely awestruck watching women & girls in our neighbourhood kneading mountainous dough, rolling appalam at lightning speed, and stacking dried appalam like a tower.  Whenever I was upset with my cousins or siblings I used to run…

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.

Idli-dosa batter

At the mere sight of a canister filled with idli-dosa batter inside my refrigerator I feel totally relaxed as it helps my meal planning easier. With this multi-purpose batter I can make simple podi-dosa when I feel lazy, or treat ourselves with a sumptuous feast, or give a traditional twist to overcome our meal monotony!…

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 assorted (kadambam) vegetables & tubers. Kadamba sambar is popularly known as idi sambar (meaning pounded sambar) in Tirunelveli & Kanyakumari regions, as the spice powder was earlier prepared by pounding in a large stone mortar (ural) using a 3-feet long metal-tipped wooden pestle (ulakkai).

Tapioca Pearls Payasam

Indians usually celebrate every new beginning by distributing sweet boondi laddu, but we follow a tradition of serving sweet boondi to celebrate a new beginning in our family 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.

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…

Ketti Chutney

Idli with ketti chutney is a popular street food among bachelors who miss home-cooked food for their breakfast. Both my grandmothers prepared ketti chutney (meaning thick chutney) everyday but later we all switched to a quick watery chutney that does not require any tempering.

Dal Tadka

Dal Tadka is a hearty lentil curry flavored with fried cumin seeds & red chillies. Without tadka (tempering) this dal can be devoured as a hot lentil soup on a cold winter night. Dal tadka goes well with jeera rice (or any pulao) and Indian bread. I like to serve a mildly spiced dal tadka and…

Masal Vadai

It is a bizarre phenomenon that some of the vegetarians here, particularly elders, do not like the strong flavor of fennel seeds and they avoid food spiced with fennel seeds even in restaurants. But I like its sweet flavor and use sparingly in vegetable kurma & masal vadai. Typically masal vadai or aama vadai is prepared…

Ridge Gourd Kootu

Since ridge gourd (Luffa acutangula) is my husband’s favorite vegetable, I cook these gourds as frequent as possible. I usually make ridge gourd gothsu as a side for idli & dosa and kootu for rice as shown below. Ayurvedic properties of ridge gourd: There are 2 varieties of ridge gourd: sweet variety used for culinary purpose…

Yellow Curry

When we dined at a restaurant in Chiang Mai, Thailand few years ago it was quite captivating to see an array of flavorful creamy curries in green, red, orange & yellow colors. Being a vegetarian I could taste only few of those curries, and hence I brought those Thai herbs & spices back home and…

Classic Elixir

Chukku-malli kaapi is a traditional South Indian digestive elixir prepared using dried ginger & other spices, herbs and palm sugar. Since Indian medicine systems like Siddha or Ayurveda recommends to take fresh ginger in an empty stomach in the morning & dried ginger later in the day, we usually take fresh ginger juice or ginger…

Cassava root Poriyal

Cassava (yucca/ manioc) plants are widely grown in India as their roots are used for culinary purposes & leaves for their medicinal properties. These gluten-free tubers are called as maravalli kizhangu in northern districts of Tamilnadu & yezhilai kizhangu (meaning seven leaves) in southern districts. Since they are available in plenty during Nov-Dec, I have…

Thoothuvalai chutney

Thoothuvalai (Solanum trilobatum) is a quickly spreading herb usually props up in our surroundings after a good spell of rain. It is a medicinal plant used in Indian medicines Ayurveda & Siddha to treat respiratory problems like asthma, cough, cold & flu.

The Sunshine Blogger Award

Hi! I have been nominated for The Sunshine Blogger Award by my blogger friend Savvy Raj whose works I love & admire and I want to say thank you to her. You can visit her blog that spreads positivity through her poems and showcases her beautiful artworks. My answers to her questions: What is your take on equality…

Eggless Nutella Cake

When I noticed the container of left-over Nutella kept unused for few weeks, I badly wanted to use it up in one shot and hence I decided to bake a chocolate cake using Nutella. Being a vegetarian I prefer to use bananas as the substitute for eggs, and I baked a chocolate cake using Nutella…

Sodhi with Inji Pachadi

Sodhi is an exotic Sri Lankan curry prepared with lentils and vegetables stewed in coconut milk. Although sodhi is not a spicy curry, it has grown popular among the people living in & around Tirunelveli who usually enjoy spicy curries. Meals with sodhi served at the wedding feasts in our family is a lavish spread of creamy…

Paneer Dum Biryani

Biryani is a medley of rice, vegetables (or meat) & spices and it is a popular rice dish in India, Srilanka, Pakistan, Afghanistan, and other countries in south Asia & central Asia. Traditionally biryani is cooked over hot coal in a sealed cooking pot allowing the aroma of spices permeated into the vegetables & rice…

Kofta Curry

Kofta is a soft potato dumpling soaked in delectable curry greatly enjoyed by children. Kofta curry is also relished by people who have not accustomed to the heat of red chilli. In this recipe ginger is used to make the gravy spicy and red chilli powder is added mainly for flavor. You may adjust ginger…

Pineapple Rasam

Hot, sweet & sour pineapple rasam can be reveled as a comforting soup on a rainy day. Usually south Indian rasam is prepared with tomato or lemon but pineapple works wonders with rasam as it elevates the flavor of rasam to a whole new level. You may refer my recipes for lemon rasam & also…

Vegetable Fritters

Bajji are delicious south Indian vegetable fritters prepared by deep frying vegetable slices after coating them in chickpea (Bengal gram) flour batter. People with sensitive stomach used to avoid taking these fritters as gram flour causes flatulence & indigestion. So here is the recipe to make easily digestible gut-friendly bajji. I have added powdered ajwain or omam…

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 flour or wheat flour, whereas south Indians use green gram flour or black gram flour for making delicious laddu.

Thattai

Thattai (meaning flat disc) are inexorably delicious crackers prepared in our family for Deepavali. It is so astonishing to find 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…

Radish Sambar

Radish (mullangi) sambar tastes as delicious as shallot (chinna vengayam) sambar as they both absorb the flavors of all the spices used in sambar. Hence I like to savour mullangi sambar not only with hot steaming rice but also with idli or dosa.

Peas Pulao

Peas pulao is a delicious and aromatic rice dish and can be prepared in a jiffy. Peas pulao can be served with any spicy vegetable gravy or dal and also be packed for children’s lunch. Time taken : 15 min Serves : 2 Ingredients: Basmati rice – ½ cup Water – 1 cup Fresh peas – ¼…

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 /…

Aloo Paratha with garlic-tomato dip

Aloo paratha, an Indian bread stuffed with spicy potato, is a hearty meal that can be packed for children’s lunch box. Besides we can serve hot aloo paratha for breakfast or dinner along with pungent garlic-tomato dip (instead of pickle) & refreshing onion raita. The recipes for both aloo paratha & garlic-tomato dip is as…

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. I also 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 & prosperity celebrated in south India for over 500 years. It was mentioned in Sangam Tamil literature, Paripadal, written in the 14th century about the celebration of this festival. I like to quote a few lines from Paripadal so that we could comprehend how aadiperukku was celebrated in…

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 grandfather always preferred to carry puliyodharai while traveling in bullock cart for all their family trips. Puliyodharai served to devotees in temples is one of…

Sweet Pongal

Preparing Sweet Pongal used to be a difficult task for me when I started cooking, it took really a long time for me to meet my expectation of making sakkarai pongal similar to the one served in temples. So here is my recipe that I learnt after several futile attempts: Time Taken: 40 min Serves:…

Chitrannam

Chitrannam is a platter of different rice varieties usually prepared on the Aadiperukku day, ie. the 18th day of Aadi month in the Tamil calendar. It is believed that whatever we do on that day would grow manifold, so farmers used to sow their seeds expecting a good yield. It is also believed to be…

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…

Jackfruit Panna Cotta

Panna Cotta is a creamy Italian dessert similar to custard prepared by cooking sweetened flavored cream, set with gelatin, and served with fruit coulis, caramel sauce, or chocolate sauce. Now I have prepared a vegan panna cotta by replacing cream with coconut milk, gelatin with agar agar, and prepared the fruit coulis using locally grown jackfruit…

Eggless Mango Cake

As fruit bearing season of mango is nearing an end my mother sent me a last batch of organic mangoes that were plucked from the trees grown 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…

Idli Podi

Idli milagai podi is an indispensable condiment in every south Indian’s pantry.  I find idli podi satisfying only when I could feel the coarse grits inside my mouth, and hence I do not like to use the finely powdered store-bought idli podi. We use roasted rice for its sandy texture, roasted asafoetida & raw garlic…

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. Health Benefits : Purple cabbage has a nutrient anthocyanin, an antioxidant responsible for its purple color, has anti-cancerous properties; also purple…

Ayurvedic Lemonade

Panakam is a traditional ayurvedic lemonade offered to deities at home on the day of Sashti observed by Saivites and also on the day of Rama Navami celebrated by Vaishnavites. Rama navami is celebrated on the birthday of Lord Rama and Kandha Sashti Viratham is observed for 7 days after Deepavali, apart from the regular…

Ice Apple Pudding

Nungu payasam (ice apple pudding) is a delightful dessert served in wedding feasts and also in star hotel restaurants for the people with impeccable taste. Ice apple pudding is a creamy dreamy dessert with enticing flavors of saffron, cardamom and palm fruits (nungu or ice apple) considered as a perfect finish to a sumptuous feast….

Mushroom Masala

Mushroom masala is a healthy hearty dish with a wonderful flavor. It can be served to people who can not bear the heat of chilli as it is spiced up with pepper & ginger rather than chillies. It can be sandwiched between toasted bread slices or served as a side for rice & roti. Mushroom…

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 one of my favorite snacks popular in Tirunelveli, Madurai and other surrounding places. It brings me back fond memories associated with this delicious savory during my childhood days. I still cherish those happy days with my father who used to bring nei kadalai and Tirunelveli halwa whenever he visited me as our…

Fresh Fruit Salad

Whenever I don’t feel like cooking my meal, I would like to make this simple fruit salad for my lunch. I also don’t feel like missing my meal because of mint leaves & chaat masala, the star ingredients used in here. So anyone who wants to reduce the in-take of carbs can try this salad…

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 steam the palmyra sprouts, pound them when dried, and relish the pounded palmyra sprout as a savory snack. Sri Lankans boil these sprouts, dry them, make into a flour and use the flour to make sweet puttu, koozh or add into…

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

Interestingly Indian Biryani & Italian Risotto share some similarities: Seeraga samba rice & arborio rice are of same texture and they are cooked al dente in both the recipes. Seeraga samba rice is a quintessential ingredient of biryani in south India for its wonderful flavor, it also absorbs the flavors of all the spices used…

Amla Pickle

Indian gooseberries (amla) were mentioned in Sangam Tamil literature 2000 years ago for their anti-aging properties. The king Adhiyamaan of Chera dynasty was famous for his munificence and he was regarded as one of the kadaiyezhu vallal (meaning last seven patrons) in the history of Tamil monarchy. In those days amla was a scarcely available…