Saturday, November 15, 2008

Thayir Vadai ( Vadai in Curd) / Vadai / Dahi Vada

There is not one person I know, who could resist the taste of these yummy thayir vadai. This is a traditional Indian receipe and is served on most important occasions and festivals. The taste of vadai's soaked in the lightly spiced yogurt is delicious. Here's my receipe :

Ingredients for Vadai

Urad Dal - 2 cups
Green Chillies - 6 to 7
Asfotedia - a pinch
Curry leaves - 1 twig
Salt - to taste

For the Curd(Thayir Part)

Beaten Yogurt - 1 cup
Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Coriander leaves ( optional)


For Vadai:

* Soak the Urad Dal for 1 hour.
* Grind the Dal well for 20 minutes till the dough is smooth. Use very little water.
* Mix in chopped green chillies, curry leaves, asfotedia and salt to the dough.
* Shape into balls with a hole in the center over wax paper or aluminium foil.
* Drop into pre-heated oil.
* Add more vadais and let it fry both sides till golden brown.

If you are just making vadai, the process stops right here. But, a few more steps are

needed to make vadai into 'Thayir vadai'.

* Put the vadais from oil into a cup filled with hot water.
* Let it stay for 5 minutes.
* Turn the vadai gently over so that both sides soak well.
* Now, the vadai's are ready for the curd.

* Transfer the vadai's from hot water to the curd mixture.

Preparing the Curd mixture:

* Splatter mustard seeds, curry leaves and asfotedia in a little oil.
* Add turmeric powder to the oil and pour over beaten yogurt.
* Add salt as needed.
* After adding vadai's, garnish with coriander leaves(optional).

Tuesday, November 11, 2008



Like many unforgettable first's in our lives, no one can forget their first cooking experience in the kitchen. Once, I have proudly proclaimed that I CAN MAKE HOT WATER!!! We get over that stage soon enough and start getting interested in making the special aromas that decorate our kitchens.. Post your first experiences in cooking here... This gives you to look back and laugh about the item which you wanted to make but turned into something new.. Even now, after 7 yrs of cooking, when I sometimes try new receipes, they turn into something totally different.. Then I have the privelege of giving it a name.. Waiting to read your happy/ sad/ funny experiences in kitchen..

Spicy Living

Monday, November 10, 2008

Peas Pulav


Rice - 1 cup
Onion - 1
Tomato - 3
Peas - 1/4 cup
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt - to taste

To grind
Shredded coconut - 1 Tblsp
Ginger - 1 piece
Garlic - 3
Aniseed - 1/2 tsp

Oil - as needed


* Cook rice with salt in a cooker and allow it to cool.
* Fry Onion and curry leaves for a few minutes in oil.
* Add Peas and salt and cook for 5 minutes or so.
* Add Tomatoes, Turmeric Powder and the ground masala paste.
* Fry well till the raw smell goes.
* Now, add the cooled rice and mix well.
* Serve hot.

Aloo Mattar ( Potato - Peas Masala)


Potatoes - 1/2 kg(diced and boiled)
Onions - 2
Tomatoes - 2
Peas - 1/2 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Salt- to taste
Oil, Butter - 1 tsp each

To Fry and Grind

Cinnamon - 1 inch piece
Cloves - 2
Cardamom - 2
Aniseed - 1/2 tsp
Bay leaf - 1
Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Coconut - 3/4 tsp
Ginger - 1 piece
Garlic - 4 cloves


* Melt butter and heat oil in a pan.
* Add onions and fry for 2 minutes.
* Add masala and fry till raw smell goes away.
* Add Tomatoes, Turmeric powder and Chilli powder and fry till tomatoes become mushy.
* Add Potatoes and peas with salt and enough water.
* Let it boil for 5 to 6 minutes.
* Garnish with coriander leaves.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


Yet another Krishna Jayanthi Savoury. Here's the receipe...
The basic dough is some what similar to the Thenkuzhal dough. The one difference is that we add soaked chana dal to the dough.


Chana dal - 1 hand full
Rice flour - 3 cups
Urad flour - 1/2 cup
Pepper powder - 1 tsp
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Asfotedia - little
Butter - 1/2 cube

* Make the dough as per Thenkuzhal dough's instructions.
* Add chana dal to this dough and mix well.
* Make small balls, the size of medium sized lemon.
* Smear oil in a plastic sheet and press the balls into thin circles.
* Fry them in oil till golden brown.
* Tasty Thattai's are ready.
****** It is better to eat it after it is completely cool or the Thattai won't be crispy.


Thenkuzhal is a type of Murukku. It is a traditional Tamilnadu Savoury. Its very easy to make and quite delicious. It uses only a few ingredients.

Rice Flour - 2 cups
Urad Flour - 1/4 cup
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Asfotedia(perungaayam) - little
Butter - 1/2 cube (Butter makes the thenkuzhal nice and crispy)


* Dissolve the salt and asfotedia in 1/2 cup of water.
***** The salt should be dissolved well or the dough will burst in oil.
* Mix the two flours together with melted butter.
* Now add the salted water and make a like a soft chapathi dough.
* Grease the Thenkuzhal/Murukku press with oil and add some dough to it.
* Use it to make Thenkuzhal over hot oil.

* Fry both sides till light golden color.


Appam is a Traditional Tamilnadu food. Usually made for festivals like Krishna Jayanthi, Deepavali and Vrathams. Kids love the light sweetness of these puffy appams.

Maida - 1 cup
Rice flour - 1/4 cup
Jaggery - 1/2 cup
Cardamom powder - 2 pinches


* Dissolve jaggery in little hot water.
* Add Cardamom powder to it.
* Now add the flours little by little and mix it in dosai batter consistency.
* Take small rounded spoonfulls and drop it in hot oil.
* Fry both sides till golden brown.
* Hot appams are ready.

Traditional Moor Kuzhambu

My aunt is a great cook and she shared a number of receipes with me once I started writing receipes in a book. This is one of my favourite receipes from her.
Moor kuzhambu is a must dish in most Brahmin cuisines.


Beaten Curds - 2 cups

Suggested Vegetables(use any one) - Eggplant, Okra, White Pumpkin or any Vatrals like

Sundakkai or Mananthakaali

Tuar Dal - 2 Tblsp
Channa Dal - 2 Tblsp
Coriander Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Methi seeds - 1/4 tsp
Red chillies - 2
Green chillies - 5
Urad Dal - 1/2 tsp
Coconut(shredded) - 2 tsp

Mustard, Cumin - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 twig
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Finely chopped Coriander leaves - little.
Salt- to taste


1. Soak the Tuar and Channa dals in water for 30 minutes.
2. Fry coriander seeds, methi seeds, red chillies and urad dal in little oil.
3. Grind with coconut, soaked dals and green chillies.
4. Add oil to a pan and splutter mustard, cumin and curry leaves.
5. Now add the vegetable/vatral of your choice and fry well. (If using white pumpkin, steam

it with a little turmeric in a Pressure cooker)
6. Add the ground paste, turmeric powder and some water.
7. Let it boil. Keep stirring to prevent the paste from sticking to the pan.
9. Now add the beaten curds and salt.
10. Switch off the stove as it just starts to boil.
11. Change to a serving dish and garnish with coriander leaves.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Milk Vegetable Soup

Making soups is a great way to sneak in those extra veggies into kids diet. I got this receipe from a magazine and it looked so good, I wanted to try it immediately. It came out amazingly well. Here's the receipe...

1/2 cup Cut Veggies(Carrots, beans, peas, corn)
2 cups Milk
4 cloves Garlic
1 Onion
3 tsp Maida
1 Tblsp Butter
To taste Pepper, Salt


* Cut Vegetables and boil them in a cooker.
* Melt butter. Add garlic and fry.
* Add Onion and saute well.
* Now add maida and fry well.
* Then, add milk little by little without forming lumps.
* Add salt and boil for 5 minutes.
* Now add veggies and boil for two more minutes.
* Add pepper to taste and serve hot.

Rava Idli

Once Upon a time, I thought perfect Rava Idli's came only when I used MTR's Rava Idli Mix. But, that was before I discovered this great receipe. It makes good Rava Idli's every time. Unlike most people, I don't use cooking soda to this receipe. It tastes great and is great to have in hand, when you are hungry and don't have much time to cook. Here's how I do it...

1 cup Rava(sooji)
1 cup Curd
2 tsp Grated coconut

1 Tblsp chopped coriander leaves

salt, to taste

Fry :
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp Pepper and Cumin seeds(broken roughly)
1 tsp Urad Dal and Chana Dal
4 Green chillies(chopped)
1 inch Ginger(chopped)
1 tsp Curry leaves
1 tsp Cashewnut(chopped)


Grease a plate with little ghee and fry the sooji in a microwave for 3 minutes.
In a pan, add oil and fry the ingredients listed for frying and add it to a bowl with the fried sooji.
Add required amount of salt and curds.
Stir in grated coconut and coriander leaves and mix to a idli-batter consistency.
Pour batter into greased idli plates and cook for 15 minutes or till a tooth pick comes out clean.
Tasty rava idli is ready.
Serve hot with chutney and sambhar.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Chakkarai Pongal

Chakkarai Pongal is a famous South Indian Receipe. Its basically a sweetened rice. We make it on lots of occasions like Pongal, Margazhi - 'koodarai valli', Thiruvaadi pooram. Any festival is not complete without a sweet dish and Chakarai Pongal is a favourite for many. This monday, August 4, 2008 was Thiruvaadi Pooram .. which is the birth day of Andaal. Making chakarai ponal and reciting her famous, "koodarai vellum seer' is a tradition. Following that, we made chakkarai pongal and presented it to the Goddess. In the song, she says, "Mooda nei peithu muzhangai vazhi vaara' -which means 'if we take the pongal in our hands- the ghee shd run out of it' - hence a lot of ghee is used in the receipe. Not for cholestrol reducing, fat-free diet people. Here's the receipe.

1 cup Raw Rice

2 cups Jaggery

1 1/2 cups Ghee

2 tsp Cashewnuts(broken into small pieces and fried in ghee)

2 tsp raisins( fried in ghee)

a pinch of Elachi, Saffron, Nutmeg powder, each.

Method :

* Cook rice with 1 cup of milk and 2 cups of water in a pressure cooker till well done.

* Mix the saffron in a little warm milk and add it to the rice.

* Mash it nicely with a laddle.

* In a pan, add the mashed rice and jaggery.

* Cook stirring continuously till the jaggery mixes well with the rice.

* Start adding ghee little by little stirring continuously.

* Cook till the rice mixture starts leaving the sides and ghee comes out.

* Add elachi, nutmeg powder to the rice and mix well.

* Now add the fried cashews and raisins to the pongal and serve.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Veggie Pizza

My first receipe on the blog is Pizza. I am sure most of you would have had lots of varieties of pizza. I learned to make pizza at home around 2 yrs back. The first time, like with most receipes.. the pizza didnt turn out perfectly. It was edible but something was lacking. I have tried time and again to perfect the pizza and now it comes out very well. I love not only the output but each and every step towards making the yummy pizza. So, here's my receipe..

Ingredients :

1 1/2 cups Whole wheat Flour

1 cup All-purpose Flour

1 tbsp dry yeast

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

3/4 cup Warm Water

1 cup Assorted Veggies( I use tomatoes, Onions, Capsicum - all cut length-wise)

Olives, Pineapple ... anything else you can think of.

Method :

* In a small bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water and set it aside for 5 minutes.

* In a large bowl, combine flour, salt and add the yeast mixture. Mix it well to blend.

* Knead for 10 minutes until flour is well blended.

* Cover and let it rise in a warm place for 1 hour.

* Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

* Divide the dough into two balls equally.

* Roll it out gently using flour for dusting into a thick circle.

* Prick on top with fork in many places.(This helps the dough not to puff up while baking)

* Arrange the pizza crust on a greased pan and bake for 12 minutes.

* Let it cool for 5 minutes.

* Spread pizza sauce on top of the crust - arrange the toppings and sprinkle cheese generously on top.

* Return to the oven for 12 to 15 mins or until chees bubbles and the edges of the crust are brown.

* Cut the pizza into wedges and serve hot.

Making Pizza Sauce:

I make my own pizza sauce, as I prefer a spicy one. This is how I make it:

1 tsp aniseed
1 cup onion, finely chopped
2 cups tomatoes, crushed or diced finely.
6 cloves garlic
1 tsp chilli powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/2 tsp garam masala powder
salt to taste

* Pour a little oil in a pan and fry the aniseeds. Add onions,garlic and fry till it turns color. Add the tomatoes and all the powders. Cook till its well blended and the mixture becomes thick like a sauce. Sprinkle salt and mix well.


My kids prefer a Extra cheese pizza with only tomatoes.. Here are some of the pictures of their own Small Pizza.