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Friday, January 29, 2010

Ven Pongal and Hotel/ Tiffan Sambar

Rice-1 1/2cups
Moong dal/ Mung bean-1/2cup
Minced Ginger-2tsp
Salt to taste
Golden fried Cashewnuts-20

For tempering
Whole black pepper corns-2tbsp
Jeera/ Cumin seeds-2tbsp
Curry leaves-few
Oil required

Wash and soak both rice and dal for one hour. Pressure cook rice and dal along with minced ginger and required salt, cook until well done. Once the rice is well done mash the rice mixture with a spatula. Heat required oil in a tadka pan and add the tempering ingredients. Once the cumin crackles, add the hot tempering to the cooked rice mixture and stir well. Finally add the ghee and cashewnuts and give a final stir. Serve hot with Tiffan Sambar and Chutney.

Hotel Sambar/ Tiffin Sambar

Hotel style Sambar
This is my favorite sambar for idly, dosa, pongal and even it tastes great with hot pooris. For the people who know about the popular Ratna Cafe's Sambar( triplicane, Chennai), this Tiffan sambar tastes similar to the Ratna cafe's sambar. 

Important points for making this delicious Tiffan Sambar are
Never use tamarind pulp for this sambar
Do not add more vegetables( any 2 variety of vegetable is enough) 
Try to use small onions( shallots)
A tbsp of powdered jaggery is very important ingredient for this recipe.


Toor dal/ Split pigeon peas( cooked and mashed)-1cup
Small onions/ Shallots( peeled)-15 to 20
Tomato medium chopped-1
Drumsticks-1 no
Carrots chopped-1/2cup
Curry leaves-few
Coriander leaves-few
Turmeric powder-1/2tsp
Mustard seeds-1tsp
Jaggery powdered-1tsbp
Salt to taste
Oil required

Sambar powder ingredients
( Dry roast the following ingredients separately and grind to fine paste)
Coriander seeds-3tbsp
Bengal gram/ Split chick peas-2tbsp
Whole dry red chilly-10( +/- depending on taste)
Cumin seeds-1tsp
Fenugreek/ Methi seeds-1/2tsp
Fresh shredded Coconut-1/2cup( don't roast coconut, add this while grinding).

Heat enough oil in a pan, when hot add the mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds crackles add the shallots and curry leaves, fry for few minutes and add the carrots and drumsticks. Now add the tomatoes and cook for few more mins, when the tomatoes are done, add the turmeric powder and ground sambar paste. Fry the ground paste for few seconds and add the cooked toor dal. Season with salt and add enough water( to get required consistency, sambar should not be too thin or too thick). Simmer the sambar for 5 mins. Finally add the powdered jaggery and coriander leaves, give a good stir and remove from heat. Serve hot with Idly, Dosas. Pongal or Poori.

For making Ghee idlys- Prepare mini idlys or normal idlys as usual. In a bowl add the idlys, generous amount of tiffan sambar and 2tsps of ghee. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot.

This recipe updated with new pictures
click here for updated link

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Dum Idli

Idly rice-2cups
Toor dal( split pigeon peas)-1/2cup
Bengal gram dal( split chick peas)-1/2cup
Urad dal( black gram lentils)-2tbsp
Curd/ Yogurt-1/2cup
Green chilly( broken)-3
Ginger minced-1"
Coconut shredded-1/2cup

For tempering
Mustard seeds-1tsp
Asafetida- pinch

Wash and soak the dals and rice together for 2 hours. Grind them into coarse paste. In a large bowl add the curd and 1/2 cup of water and dilute into thin consistency. To the curd mixture add salt, green chilly, coconut and minced ginger. Heat 2tsp of oil in a small tadka pan, add the tempering ingredients. When the mustard crackles, add the hot tempering to the curd mixture. Now mix in the ground dals and rice paste to the curd mixture( the consistency of the dum idly batter should be thicker than the dosa batter). 

There are three ways to cook Dum Idly.

1.My granny's method of preparation is putting Idly batter on dum which is authentic and requires little effort.

All we need is a large aluminium vessel with a flat lid. Next place the aluminium vessel on a burning charcoal. Heat generous oil in the vessel( since the entire batter is poured and cooked in the vessel). When the oil is hot, pour the entire batter into the vessel. Cover tightly with the lid and place some burning charcoal on the top of the lid. In this method the idly batter cooks both from the bottom and top. We need to cook idly for at least 45 mins to an hour. Once the Idly is cooked, make a slice from the Dum idly and serve. The dum idly will be crispy on the top and bottom and soft inside.

2.My Mom's way of preparing Dum Idly, is in kadai/ pan which is easy and tasty.

Heat about 4tbsp of oil in a medium sized kadai, when hot pour about 4 to 5 ladles of batter into the kadai. Cover the kadai with a lid and cook the idly batter on both sides until golden brown and crisp. Make a slices and serve hot

3.And my way of preparation is baking method which is more healthier.

Pre-heat oven to 400°f. Grease a oven proof pan with required oil, pour in the required idly batter. Place the pan in the oven and bake for about 15 to 20 mins. Depending on the amount of batter poured. When done, make slices and serve hot.

Here i had prepared Dum Idly following my mom's way which is my family's favorite. Serve Dum Idly with Idly chilly powder or chutney of your choice.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Oats Dosa( Oats crepes)

Oats flour-1cup( You can run the rolled oats in mixer until powdered)
Rice flour-1cup
Salt and Water required.

In a large bowl combine both oats flour and rice flour, along with required salt. Add water to the flour and mix until smooth and slightly thin batter is formed. Heat a griddle, add ladle full of batter to the hot griddle and form into thin and even circle. Smear 1tsp of oil around the batter, when one side is done turn on the other side and cook. Transfer the oats dosa to plate and continue with rest of the batter. Serve hot with Onion Chutney or Idly Chutney Powder.

Amma's Onion Chutney

This is my amma's special onion chutney, though it is very simple to prepare it tastes great with hot dosas and idlys.

Onions medium chopped-2
Whole dry red chillies-6
Tamarind paste-1/2tsp
Salt to taste

For tempering
Mustard seeds-1tsp
Urad dal-1tsp
Whole dry red chilly-1
Oil required 

Heat about 1 tsp of oil, add the chopped onions and dry chilles fry until cooked for about 5 mins. Allow to cool and grind them along with tamarind and salt. Heat oil in a tadka pan and add the tempering ingredients. When the mustard crackles add it to the ground chutney and serve with hot Dosa or Idly.

Veggie Mee Hoon

I'm great fan of my dear friend Balakrishnan Saraswathy's noodles recipes. Like her, even i can never get bored of eating noodles. I tried her Veggi Mee Hoon from her Taste of sara's blog and it came out really perfect and too delicious. Will surely try her other noodles recipes soon....

My dear friend Sarah Naveen Passed me this beautiful award, thanks for sharing such lovely award dear.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Meen Kuzhambu/ South Indian Fish Curry

Fish Slices-250gms
Shallots/ Chinna Vengayam( minced)-1cup
Garlic cloves( minced)-2tbsp
Tomato small( crushed)-1
Tamarind paste-1tbsp
Vadagam/ Vadavam( optional)-1tsp
Turmeric powder-1tsp
Salt to taste
Gingelly oil/ Sesame oil-1/4cup
Curry leaves-few

In a medium sized bowl add the kuzhambu thool, turmeric powder, tamarind paste, crushed tomato and required salt. Mix well with fingers and add required water. Dilute the kuzhambu masala to the required consistency. In a deep kadai heat gingelly oil, when hot add the vadagam, minced onion, garlic and curry leaves. Fry for few seconds until aroma rises. Now add the prepared kuzhambu mixture and allow the mixture to boil for 8 to 10 mins until the raw smell of masala leaves. When the kuzhambu starts thickening, finally add the fish slices and cook for 2 mins. Serve hot with steamed rice.

Crispy Ulunthu Vadai/ Urad Dal Vada

Urad dal/ Ulunthu paruppu/ Black gram-1cup
Powdered Rava( cream of wheat)-3 tsp
Crushed black pepper-1 tsp
Green chilly chopped-2 nos
Salt to taste
Cooking soda-few pinch

Soak urad dal for 1 hour and grind it into smooth paste without adding water( if required add about 2 to 3 tsp of water while grinding). The ground urad dal batter should be of butter consistency and should not stick to your wet fingers. Add powdered rava, green chilles, pinch of soda bi carbonate and required salt to the urad dal batter and mix well with fingers. Heat enough oil in a kadai to deep fry the vadas. Take a plastic sheet and oil well the sheet. Take lemon sized batter and shape it into ball. Place the ball in the center of the sheet and slightly flatten with the fingers and make a small hole in the center. Carefully remove the flattened batter from the sheet to your fingers and slide it into the hot oil. Be careful while sliding vadas into the oil. You can add upto 5 vadas depending on the size of kadai. Turn the vadas and cook on both side until golden brown and crisp. Once the vadas are done, drain from the oil and place on the paper towel. Serve hot with Coconut Chutney and Hotel Sambar

Sarkkarai Pongal( Sweet Lentils Rice)

Raw rice-1 1/2cup
Moong dal-1/2cup
Cashew nuts-25gms
Green Cardamom-4
Nutmeg/ Jathikkai powder-pinch
Ghee/Clarified butter-100gms

Pressure cook both lentils and rice together. Dilute the jaggery in 1/2cup water and bring to boil, allow the jaggery to boil on high heat for 5 mins. Cool and strain the jaggery water and set aside. Mash well the pressure cooked rice and lentils, add the jaggery water to the mashed rice and mix well. In a small tadka pan heat ghee, now add the nutmeg powder, cardamom and cashewnuts. When the cashewnuts turn golden brown add the cashewnuts to the prepared rice along with the ghee. Once again mix well and serve hot.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Couscous Biryani/ Couscous Pulao

Couscous Biryani/ Pulao
Onion big( sliced)-1
Garlic cloves( sliced)-6
Green chilly( broken)-2 to 3
Broccoli( tiny florets)-1/2cup
Fresh/Frozen peas-1/2cup
Carrots( finely chopped)-1/2cup
Red chilly powder-2tsp
Turmeric powder-1/2tsp
Garam masala/ Curry powder-1tsp
Mint leaves-few( optional)
Coriander leaves-few( optional)
Salt to taste
Roasted peanuts-1/2cup
Cinnamon stick-1"
Green Cardamom-2

Heat oil in a pan, when hot add the cinnamon stick, cardamom and cloves. When the aroma rises add the onions, green chilly and garlic, 
saute for few mins until onion turns pink. Add the vegetables and saute until the vegetables are half done. Now add the red chilly powder, turmeric powder, garam masala powder, mint leaves, coriander leaves and salt. Add about 4 cups of water and bring the mixture to boil. Add the couscous when the mixture is boiling, stir and cover the pan with lid. Simmer the heat and cook the couscous for about 8 mins. When the couscous is done finally add the roasted peanuts and serve hot with Mixed Raita.

Mixed Raita
Onion small( chopped)-1
Green chilly( minced)-1
Carrot( minced)-2tbsp
Cucumber( minced)-2tbsp
Salt to taste

In a small bowl add the above said raita ingredients and mix well. Serve with any kind of Pulao or Biryani. 

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Chettinad Kozhi Kuzhambu( Chettinad Chicken Gravy)

Chicken( chopped into pieces)-250gms
Onion big( sliced)-1
Tomato medium( chopped)-1
Kuzhambu powder-6tbsp
Turmeric powder-1tsp
Salt to taste
Cinnamon stick-1/2"
Green Cardamom-1
Coriander leaves-few

Chettinad Masala Paste ingredients-
(Grind the following ingredients to smooth paste)
Ginger-1 1/2"
Garlic-6 cloves
Coconut( shredded)-1/4cup

Heat enough oil in a pan, when hot add the cinnamon sticks, cardamom and cloves. Fry for few mins until the aroma rises, now add the sliced onions and fry for few more mins, till the onions turns pink. Add the chicken pieces and stir fry for 5 mins. Now add the chopped tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes are mashed. Add the kuzhambu powder, turmeric powder, required salt and water. Stir well the mixture, simmer heat and cover the pan with a lid. Allow the chicken to cook for 10 mins. When the chicken is 3/4th done, add the ground masala paste, if needed add water to get required consistency of the gravy. Bring the mixture to boil and check the seasoning. When the gravy slightly thickness, remove pan from the heat and garnish with coriander leaves. Serve hot with steamed rice or chapti.

[Also this recipe can be made with lamb(mutton) and prawns(shrimp)]

Maggi Noodles with Vegetables and Egg.

Maggi Noodles/ Instant Ramen Noodles-2pack
Scrambled Eggs-3
Onion small( sliced)-1
Mixed Vegetables-1cup( Carrot, Cabbage, Bell pepper, French beans etc)
Red chilly powder-1tsp
Soy sauce-1/2tsp

Heat 1tsp of oil in a pan, add the onions and mixed vegetables. Saute for 5 mins, when the veggies are 3/4th cooked, season them with red chilly powder, curry powder, soy sauce and noodles taste makers. Add 2cups of water to the veggies and bring to boil, break noodles into four pieces and add it to the boiling vegetable mixture. Cook for 2 mins until noodles are well cooked and dry. Finally add the scrambled eggs and toss the noodles well. Serve hot.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Muffin Idly

I'm a great fan for my sister's( Pradeepa) preparations. She is very innovative in her cooking. Though she is elder to me i was the first to pick up cooking from my mom. Me and my sister never liked the routine menu like rice, sambar, poriyal or fry. I always prepared Chinese and she always prepared North Indian recipes even three times a day( my mom is poor one, she likes only south Indian foods).  I love my sister's Aloo paratha and a side dish made with peas, paneer and bell peppers. After I came to US and as she went to UK, I miss her and her delicious recipes. One of her latest innovative dish is this Muffin Idly, its so simple and quick to prepare. I love the crunchy crust on the top and soft idly inside. It does not need any side dish but if you prefer, you can have it with coconut chutney or sambar.

Idly batter-5 to 6 cups
Coconut( chopped into small pieces)
Turmeric powder-1/4tsp
Hing/ Asafetida-pinch
Salt to taste

For tempering
Dried red chillies( broken)-6
Whole black pepper corns-2tsp
Jeera/Cumin seeds-1tsp
Mustard seeds-1tsp
Urad dal-1 1/2tsp
Channa dal-1 1/2tsp
Curry leaves-few

To the idly batter add the coconut, turmeric, asafetida and little salt. Heat oil in a tadka pan, when hot add the tempering ingredients and fry for few seconds. Remove from heat and add to the idly batter. Mix well and set aside. Next grease muffin pan with generous oil, pour the prepared idly batter in each muffin cups. Pre-heat oven to 300°f, place the muffin tray on the center rack of the oven and bake for at least 15-20 mins. Slide a knife inside the idly to check whether it is fully done( if the tip of the knife is sticky, it means the idly is not done and requires few more mins to cook, if the tip of the knife comes out clean then the idly is fully cooked).
Once the idlys are cooked remove the muffin tray from the oven and allow to cool for 2 mins. Transfer the Muffin Idlys to the plate and serve hot.

Spicy Chicken Fry

I made this recipe from Sangi's recipe blog. She is an outstanding cook, a sweet person and i love her preparations, especially the spicy dishes( as i love to eat spicy foods). This recipe was simple, easy to make and delicious in taste.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Beans Paruppu Usili.

Beans (finely chopped)-250gms
Onion small( sliced)-1
Red chilly powder/Paprika powder-1tsp
Turmeric powder-1/4tsp
Salt to taste
Mustard seeds-1tsp
Chana dal/Split Chick peas-handful
Toor dal/ Split Pigeon peas-handful
Dried red chilly-4
Garlic cloves-2

Wash and soak the chana dal and toor dal. Grind both dals in mixer to a coarse paste along with dried red chilly and garlic cloves. To the coarsely ground dals add 1tbsp oil and required salt( since salt is also added to the beans, i prefer adding less salt to the dals). Add the ground dal paste to a steam pan and steam for at least 10 mins. Once the dal is cooked allow to cool and crumble it with fingers. Next heat oil in a pan, when hot add the mustard seeds. When mustard seeds crackles add the chopped onion and saute until onion turns pink. Now add the chopped beans and stir fry for few mins. Season the beans with red chilly powder, turmeric powder, asafetida and salt. Sprinkle little water on the beans, cover and cook until 3/4th done. Now remove the lid and add the crumbled dals. Stir fry the bean and dal mixture until dry. Serve hot with steamed Rice or Roti.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Prawn Biryani/ Era Biryani

Ingredients for Rice
Basmati Rice-500gms
Onion Big( sliced)-3
Tomatoes Big( chopped)-2
Ginger( peeled and chopped)-2"
Garlic cloves-6 to 7
Green chillys-5( +/- depending on the hot and spiciness of biryani)
Turmeric powder-1/2tsp
Salt to taste
Mint leaves( chopped)-1bunch
Coriander leaves( chopped)-1bunch
Green Cardamom-2
Star anise-1
Mace/Javitri-Very few
Oil or Ghee required

Ingredients for Prawn marination
Ginger and Garlic paste-1tbsp
Chilly powder-2tsp
Thick Curd/Yogurt-1/2cup
Turmeric powder-1/2tsp
Salt-1 1/2tsp

Marinade the prawns in the above said marination ingredients for at least 2hours( if possible marinade the prawns overnight in the refrigerator for more taste). Soak the basmati rice in water for 1/2 an hour. Take a handful of sliced onions and set aside for garnishing the biryani. In a mixer, grind the ginger-2", garlic-6 and green chilly-5 into a smooth and fine paste. Next heat enough oil or ghee in a pressure cooker, add cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, star anise and javitri. Fry until the aroma rises and add the rest of sliced onions. Saute till the onions turns pink, now add the ground ginger, garlic and green chilly paste and fry until the raw smell leaves. Add the tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes are mashed. Now add the marinaded prawns along with the marination. Add turmeric powder and season with salt, next add the mint and coriander leaves. Cover the cooker with lid and allow the prawns and gravy to cook for 3mins. Now measure the required water for basmati rice and add it to the gravy. Check the seasoning, bring the gravy to boil and add the soaked basmati rice. Mix well and again cover the cooker with lid and cook until the rice is done. Garnish with onions and mint leaves. Serve hot with any curry or raita of your choice.

Muttai Karam( Simple Egg Roast) and Qubooli

I had tried this simple and quick Qubooli( biryani) recipe from Lubna Karims blog, it turned out really perfect and delicious in taste. 

I made my all time favorite Muttai Karam as side for qubooli and the recipe for Muttai Karam goes here....

Boiled eggs-5(de-shelled)
Red chilly powder-2 tsp
Turmeric powder-1/2tsp
Coriander powder-2 tbsp
Salt to taste

In a small cup add red chilly powder, coriander powder, turmeric, salt and oil. Add water and dilute the mixture. Heat this chilly mixture in a pan, simmer for 2 mins allowing the powders to cook well. Halve the eggs and add to the cooking sauce. Cook for 2 more mins and serve hot with any Mixed Rice or Curd Rice.

P.S- you can use 4 tbsp kuzhambu thool instead of chilly powder and coriander powder.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Masala Roti/ Masala Chapati

Wheat flour-2 cups
All purpose flour( Maida flour)-1 cup
Onion big sliced-1
Turmeric powder-1/2tsp
Red chilly powder-2-tsp
Garam masala-2tsp
Salt to taste
Oil as required
Mustard seeds-1tsp
Cumin seeds-1tsp

Heat 2tsp of oil in a pan add mustard seeds and cumin seeds. When crackles add the onions and sauté well. Add turmeric, red chilly powder, garam masala and salt. Fry for few mins, remove from flame and allow to cool. In deep bowl add both the flours and onion masala. Mix well into smooth dough by adding water. Divide the dough into lemon sized balls. Roll each dough into thin disc( chapati). Heat griddle, when hot lay one chapati on griddle. Cook for a minute and trun on other side, smear 1tsp of ghee or oil around the chapati. Do this for rest of the chapati dough. Serve hot with Raita.

Poori/Puri( Puffy Deep Fried Indian Bread)

All purpose flour/ Maida flour-3cups( You can also use whole wheat flour)
Baking soda- pinch
Salt to taste
Water required

In a large vessel add flour, baking soda, salt, 2tbsp oil and required water. Mix well and make smooth and soft dough( dough should not be sticky or dry). Cover and set aside the dough for 2 hours. After 2 hours divide the dough into small and equal balls. Flatten the small doughs into slightly thick discs with rolling pin. Heat oil in a kadai for deep frying, when hot slide one disc at a time. When the poori dough cooks, it will start puffing, turn on the other side and drain from the oil. Place pooris on paper towel. Do the same for rest of the poori doughs. Serve hot puffy pooris with Potato masala, Chana masala or with any gravy of your choice.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year 2010 and New Year Lunch Menu.......

Wishing all my visitors and friends a very happy, healthy and prosperous New Year 2010.

New Year lunch menu with Vegetarian and Non-vegetarian dishes
Vegetarian specials-
Left middle- Kathrikai Puli Kuzhambu( Eggplant Tamarind Curry)
Bottom left corner- Urulaikizhangu Roast( Roasted Potato)

Non-Vegetarian specials-
On the top right corner- Chicken Roast
Bottom right corner-Chilly and Garlic Fish Fry.

P.S- following days i will post the above recipes.

Proudly sending these entries to Shama's Christmas Party '09 event