Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Jeera Rasam

It has been really cold the past week here. What better way to enjoy the chilly days with a comfort food of rasam, rice and pappadam. Rasam is an all time favourite at our home. My younger one likes to drink it as such. This Jeera rasam is one of her favourites.

This is a very simple rasam with no addition of even dal. Just a few regular ingredients and you have a hearty rasam ready in minutes. This rasam is great on the days when you are down with fever, cold or cough. The black pepper and cumin have a soothing effect.

What you’ll need
  1. Tamarind – gooseberry sized ball
  2. Pepper Powder – ½ - 1 tsp
  3. Jeera Powder – 1.5 tsp
  4. Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
  5. Salt to taste
  6. Curry Leaves – few springs

For tempering
  1. Ghee – 1 tsp
  2. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  3. Jeera – ½ tsp

  1. Soak the tamarind in 1 cup of hot water for 10 to 15 minutes
  2. Squeeze and take out the extract. Add about 2 cups of water to this and transfer it to a vessel.
  3. Now add the turmeric powder, pepper powder, and salt to taste. Also tear a few curry leaves and add it.
  4. Now bring this to a boil. Let it boil for 6 to 8 minutes now add the jeera powder and around a cup more of water.
  5. Simmer until the rasam starts frothing.
  6. Remove from heat.
  7. Heat a small frying pan with ghee, add the mustard seeds and cumin seeds. Pour the tempering over the rasam. Cover and rest it for few minutes before serving. The resting time is for the flavours to mingle well.

Serve hot with rice and vazhakkai Chenai mezhukkuperatti or drink it as it is.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Vazhakkai Thoran

Thoran is a dry vegetable dish prepared with a variety of vegetables like beans, carrot, cabbage, beetroot etc. Whenever I get vazhakkai I prefer to make the mezhukkupuratti along with chenai. After a long time I prepared this thoran and we all loved it. It pairs well with Sambar, Rasam and Moru Kootan. I personally love it with Rasam.

What you'll need
  1. Vazhakkai/Plantain/Raw Banana – 4 small
  2. Turmeric Powder – ¼ tsp
  3. Salt to taste
  4. Coconut oil – 2 tbsp
  5. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  6. White Urad dal/Ulutham Paruppu – 1 tsp
  7. Curry Leaves – few

Coarse Grind
  1. Green Chillies – 1 or 2
  2. Fresh Scraped Coconut – ½ cup

  1. Peel the skin of the raw banana and chop them into small cubes. Keep the pieces immersed in a bowl with water and few spoons of buttermilk until use.
  2. Heat a Kadai with oil. Add mustard seeds, once they splutter add the urad dal and fry till the dal turns golden, now add the curry leaves and the drained raw banana pieces.
  3. Add turmeric powder and salt to taste. Add about ½ cup of water, cover with lid and cook on medium flame.
  4. Keep stirring once in a while to avoid burning.
  5. In the meanwhile, coarsely grind the coconut and green chillies. Do not add water.
  6. Once the vegetables are done, remove lid and roast on medium flame for another 3 to 4 minutes.
  7. Now add the crushed coconut and green chilly mix and mix well. Fry for a couple of minutes. 
  8. Remove from heat and serve hot with sambar/rasam or moru kootan.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Beetroot Thogayal

Beetroot is a very versatile vegetable and can be used to prepare anything from appetizers to desserts. They are one of the vegetables which liked by all at home. So I am always on the lookout for recipes that using this veggie. The Beetroot Khichadi and Beetroot rice is one of the favorites in our home.

Coming to this thogyal, it is a delicious blend of the hot, sweet and sour. Make sure to use enough red chillies or you may end with a very sweet thogayal. This thogayal, pairs well with rice and rotis. They make a great sandwich spread too. Do try it and and let me know how you enjoyed it.

What you'll need
  1. Beetroot – 2 cups, grated
  2. White Whole Urad Dal – 2 tbsp
  3. Dried Red Chillies – 3 to 4
  4. Tamarind – 1 inch piece
  5. Oil – 3 to 4 tsp
  6. Salt to taste

  1. Heat a Kadai with a tsp of oil, fry the urad dal on medium flame, until is starts changing color. Now add the red chillies and tamarind piece and fry until the dal turn golden brown.
  2. Transfer into a plate.
  3. Add the remaining oil in the kadai,  add the grated beetroot and sauté for 5 to 6 minutes. Allow to cool.
  4. Transfer the dal, tamarind and red chillies to a mixie jar and blend to a coarse powder.
  5. Now add the sautéed beetroot and grind. Add one or 2 spoons of water if required.
  6. Add salt to taste and give another pulse.
  7. Transfer to a bowl. Yummy beetroot thogayal is ready.

Serve as accompaniment with rice and Molagootal or just mix up with rice and enjoy.

  1. Adjust the amount of red chillies according to your taste. But this tastes better if slightly on the spicier side as the beets are sweet.
  2. In the mango season, you can substitute the tamarind with few pieces of raw mango.
  3. This thogyal can be had as an accompaniment with rotis and also a sandwich spread.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Karthigai Pori/Nel Pori Urundai

This year Karthigai falls on 5th of December. Karthigai is celebrated by sisters for the welfare of their brothers. Nei Appam, Nel Pori, Aval Pori and Adai are usually prepared and offered as neivedhyam in the evening during Sandhya time. Deepam/Vilakku/Diya are lit and placed all around and inside the house. 

In our house we usually don't make urundais/balls of the pori, the pori is just added to the jaggery syrup and mixed well. But I made them into balls so that it is easy to handle for my kids and is less messier. Try to use Paagu vellam or dark colored vellam. I could'nt find it here and so had to make do with the white jaggery that is available. 

What you’ll need
  1. Nel Pori – 4 heaped cups
  2. Powdered Jaggery – ¾ cup
  3. Water – ¼ cup
  4. Coconut – ¼ cup, cut into small pieces
  5. Cardamom Powder – ¼ tsp
  6. Dry ginger powder/Chukku Podi – ¼ tsp
  7. Ghee – to grease hand

  1. Place the jaggery in a heavy bottomed kadai. Add ¼ cup of water and heat the jaggery on medium flame until the jaggery is dissolved completely.
  2. Strain the jaggery syrup for impurities.
  3. Wash the kadai and put it back on heat. Pour the jaggery syrup back into the kadai and heat it on medium flame.
  4. When the syrup starts boiling and frothing, add the coconut pieces and keep stirring.
  5. Keep a small bowl with water, once the syrup starts becoming thick, pour 2 to 3 drops of syrup in the water, you should be able to form a ball and when you put that ball on a plate, it should give a sound. This is “kal pagam”.
  6. Once the syrup reaches the kal pagam, turn off the flame and add the cardamom powder and ginger powder and then add pori to it and mix well.
  7. Transfer to a plate, grease hands with ghee and take a handful of the pori and press tightly in between the two hands and form a ball. Repeat with remaining pori, while the pori is still warm.


  1. The sweetness is just right, you can increase the jaggery to upto 1 cup if you like.
  2. Make sure the syrup reaches the kal pagam, else the pori will settle at the bottom and become soggy.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Vazhaithandu Thayir Pachadi

My kids love anything with yogurt. They prefer yogurt to milk any day. No doubt they like raithas and thayir pachadis. And I find it easier to feed them veggies in this form as they eat it without a fuss. So here is a simple yet delicious and wholesome recipe and a great way to sneak in some vazhathandu. We usually prepare Molagootal to go with thayir pachadi, but you can have it with rice and sambar too.

What you’ll need
  1. Vazhaithandu – 1 cup, finely chopped
  2. Fresh Thick Curd/Yougurt – 1.5 cup
  3. Salt to taste

To grind
  1. Fresh Scraped Coconut – ¼ cup
  2. Green Chillies – 1 or 2
  3. Mustard Seeds – 1/8th tsp

For tempering
  1. Oil – 1 tsp
  2. Mustard Seeds – ½ tsp
  3. Curry Leaves – few

  1. Finely chop the vazhathandu and put in a bowl of water with a spoon of buttermilk/curd until use.
  2. Drain the vazhathandu pieces from the buttermilk water, squeeze and place in a small vessel. Add salt and toss well. No need to add water.
  3. Pressure cook it for 3 whistles. I placed it in a small vessel along with the dal and rice. Else you can add little water and cook it on stove top too.
  4. Grind the coconut, green chillies and mustard seeds. You can add a little of the curds while grinding. Don’t add water.
  5. Beat the curds well add the ground mixture, cooked vazhathandu and mix well. Check for salt and add accordingly.
  6. Heat a small frying pan with oil, temper with mustard seeds and curry leaves.
  7. Pour over the pachadi.

Vazhathandu pachadi is ready. Serve as an accompaniment with steamed rice and Molagootal.
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