Showing newest 20 of 23 posts from April 2008. Show older posts
Showing newest 20 of 23 posts from April 2008. Show older posts


Vellore Mutton Biriyani:

Vellore Jodhi Hotel Style Biriyani.

As I told you earlier....tho' the regional speciality Biriyani is booming these days. Few are never forgotten for their taste and uniqueness. Sure there are many places which follow the same thumb rule for years(for centuries actually). Like the one Vellore Jodhi...which is in swing for more than 100 years. These places do not maintain a name board, nor they advertise their hotel. The only publicity comes from word of mouth. Since they were out there for centuries....they maintain it in the same country style....without any modern equipments. The name survives for their trade mark! I had already shared with you 'Arcot Star Biriyani', Vellore Vella Biriyani, 'Amboor Kushka ' Ahmadhiya Biriyani' and even 'Vaniyambai Biriyani'. This goes in the same collection. I am using my speciality 'Seeraga Samba rice' again. Since I don't get any Meat(Goat's Meat)here at Oxford, I did this when I visited my India home. So....go crazy dear you'all!


For Meat Marination:

Goat's Meat (Bone-in, Fat-on) 1/4 kilo
Ginger-garlic paste 1 spoon(freshly prepared)
Green chili 2 minced
Scallion 1 grated
Country Tomato 1 grated
Mint 6-8 leaves bruised
Cilantro leaves bruised few
Lemon 1 fruit freshly squeezed
Rock Salt
Chili Powder 1/4 spoon
Yogurts 1/4 cup.

For Biriyani:

Short Grained Rice 2 cups
Green chilies 6 slitted
Onions 2 sliced
Tomatoes 6 chopped
Chili powder (optional...its not used generally)
Mint 10 leaves
Cilantro few leaves
Ghee 1 cup.


Cloves 3
Cinnamon 2 sticks
Cardamom 6 crushed
Bay leaves 3 crumbled
Star anise 2
Marati Mokku 3
Rose petal few(dried)
Birinji flower 1
Saffron few strands - tapped


In a wide crock pot, heat ghee. Throw in all the spices. Let them crackle up.

Then add chilies, wait till it splutters and turns white.

Followed by onions...fry real good till golden. Maybe add salt o hasten your process.

Now tomatoes....cover and cook. When tomatoes turn pulpy, add chili powder.

Stir-in marinated meat. Cover and cook till meat is tender. It takes really...........long time!

When the meat is tender and oil shows up on top, make sure there is no extra moisture. Then stir-in rice.

Let the rice get well fried for brief period. Then measure your water and add the same.

Cover and cook in a least possible heat. I always slow cook under sim, the no-1 knob here. Again it takes 1- 11/2 on stove top. Well one could set these in oven over 350 degrees for 3 whole hours. Choice is yours!

Enjoy with accompany of Vellore Serva, Spanish Onion raita and Hard boiled egg!

Vellore Kathirikkai Serwa

Vellore Mullu Kathirikkai Serwa:

Vellore Mullu Kathirikai Serwa - a side dish for Biriyani. Mullu Kathirikai Salna - Biriyani Side dish. Arcot Biriyani side dish Kathirikai Sewa. Vellore Mullu Kathirikai. Vellore Jodhi Hotel Style Serwa. Ennai Kathirikai Kara Kuzhambu. Ennai Kathirikai Puli Kuzhambu. Egg-plants Serva. Brinjal Serva. Indian Egg-plants Curry. Baingan ka Salan. Baingan to go with Biriyani. Brinjal to go with Biriyani.

As there are hundreads of variety in Egg-plants today...yet I find it hard to trace my own ethnic, regional variety(species of eggplant, here at U.S)! I think more than the shapes, color, genus, price...the taste and happiness comes from the associated memories. As we grow older, we try to recapture our childhood memories. I long and yearn for my mommy's recipes and granny's recipes so much. The food we tasted first time, with some interesting incidents of the past...leave a deep imprint in our heart, right. One could never give the same taste even if I fix it in zillion different ways with lots of improvisation.

However, I made this dish to go with my Vellore Biriyani. Its again a regional speciality! Yeah, I used particular variety of egg-plants for this dish, today. It comes under the same species 'Solanum melogena' tho'. One need to take a closer look at the eggplants/brinjal here, for a right pick. Yep, these eggplants are thorny on their stalk(peduncle), thats the indication.

If you ask me about the taste, I will put this on top of the ladder...on all the egg-plants varieties. The specility is, even after cooking for several minutes...these brinjals wont wilt nor disintegrate. The seeds are minute and so they will never taste bitter. It is widely called as 'Yennai Kathirikkai' among Hindu community...since, this vegetable sucks oil first while cooking and and shows up on top after cooking, making the curry/fry looking absolutely gorgeous. It Worth's a new name tho'...anyways, lets go on with the recipe.


To Grate:

Ginger 1" size
Garlic 2-4 beads
Scallions 2
Country tomatoes 1/2 kilo

To Powder:

Fenugreek Seeds 1 spoon
Cumin Seeds 1 spoon

For Tempering:

Peppercorns 1/4 spoon
Cumin 1/4 spoon
Fenugreek 1/4 spoon
Curry leaves few
Sesame oil

For Serwa:

Indian Eggplants - 1/4 kilo sliced lengthwise along with stalk
Green chilies 3 slitted
Scallion 1 sliced
Turmeric 1/4 spoon
Chili powder 1 spoon
Sesame oil few spoons


In a iron wok, heat up oil. Add tempering spices, followed by chilies and onions. Fry real good till onions turn golden. Add salt to hasten he process.

Now add grated ingredients and fry till raw odour leaves the pan.

Followed by sliced eggplants. Fry till they coat up oil on all the sides.

Toss turmeric and chili powders too. Cover and cook till the veggies is tender and oil shows up on sides.

Then add powdered spices and bring to one boil, remove from heat. Enjoy with Biriyani.

Karumbu Chaaru Pongal:

Kanne Ki Chaawal. Karumbu Saaru Pongal. Sugar Cane Pongal.

This is once again my friend Kranthi's Mother's recipe. She made this on a Pongal(Sankranthi)day. got into my mind, as it tasted much like fresh cane. I liked the idea about fresh cane juice in cooking rather then using crude jaggery or anything. It brings up all the flavour and earthy-ness. Wow....its a harvest festival and let us use all the fresh produce(raw rice, fresh cane.....)what not!


Raw-Half broken rice 1/2 cup
Split moong dal 1/4 cup (pasi paruppu/pesaru pappu)
Sugar Cane juice (freshly squeezed 2 cups)
Cardamon seeds powder 1-2 spoons
Pachai Karpooram/raw camphor 1-2 pinches(optional)
Ghee/clarified butter 1+1 cup
Cashewnuts 1/2 cup (halved)
Dry grapes/raisins/kismiss - 1/2 cup

Wash rice and dal seperately....for several times. Maybe till the water runs clear. Then soak them togather for 20 minutes.

In a pressure cooker, add few spoons of ghee. Add 2 cups of cane sugar juice and bring this to boil.

Now add soaked rice and dal to this boiling cane sugar water.(discard the soaked water) Pressure cook them over medium heat till they are soft or for 3 whistles.

Then using a wooden laddle mix the well-cooked rice and dal.It should come to 'Pongal' consistency. Add raw camphor to this now and remove from stove.

In a seperate pan, heat ghee. Fry halved cashewnuts till they are golden-reddish color. Set them aside.

In the same ghee, fry dry grapes...till they pop and bulge.

To the above pongal...add fried cashewnuts, fried grapes and 1 cup of ghee. Stir them well.

Serve warm as a main-sweet dish or dessert. Or serve chilled as dessert.


This recipe turns up as a fix only when the laadu/laddu preparation is wrecked. need to press this laddu, while it is warm with greesed hands. Where I am not efficient enough. So I just toss this boondi in the jeera! Tho' its a escape recipe, it makes a pretty good one!


Bengal gram flour 2 cups
Baking soda 1/4 spoon
Baking salt 1/4 spoon
Vanaspati/dalda/vegetable oil 1 spoon
Salt 1 pinch
Oil for deep frying
Sugar 2 cups
Saffron few strands
Cadamon powder 1/4 spoon
Cashew nuts to garnish
Slotted Spoon for mking boondi.


In a small bowl, bring baking salt and baking soda. To this add vanaspathi/dalda. Mix them well, until the salts dissolves and comes frothy.

Mix bengal gram to it. Mix them evenly. Then add warm water to it. Make a thin should be really in runny consistency without any lumps.

Now heat up the oil. Maybe in medium to high heat.

Take a slotted spoon.(a slotted wooden/steal spoon) each pore in the spoon should be with 'wheat size' pore. (if you run the batter over should produce 'small rain drop size Boondhis')

Now holding the slotted spoon, right above the oil. Slowly, in a small table spoon, take your batter and run over the slotted spoon. And slightly shake the slotted spoon.....while you are running the batter! So that the batter will be drizzled in oil as rain drops. At the same time, do not load the oil. Fry little boondhis at a time.

Reserve each batch in kitchen tissues.

In a separate vessel, heat sugar with limited water. Add saffron and cardamom. Make a strong syrup.

Now toss the above made boondhis in the syrup. Let them sit for a brief perid sucking all the moisture up.

Garnish with cashewnuts.


Tandoor Roti:

When we were in Vellore, during school and early college days....Pari (my brother )used to report all about the restaurant specialities! So slowly we adapted the culture of eating out. Generally Daddy takes us out on Saturday night. Before he plans for that....the whole weak, myself and my mom ask Pari to buy us outside food. Like he gets me Biriyani from Jothi, Rotis from Punjabi Dhaba and Sweets from Calcutta Corner.

We liked this roti from the Punjabi Place at CMC highroad, it was run by my school mates Father. Tho' there were so many punjabi dhaba everywhere....we liked it better there, as we knew they started with small dhaba and raised to 3 star level Restaurant. Its not only because of their location, their unique restaurant secret recipe for Panir Curry, Veg Kheema Curry....! I will share with you much like their curry dish, in future.


All purpose flour 1 cup
Yeast 1 spoon
Luke warm water
Ghee few spoons
Tandoor Oven(charcoal based)
Ghee for smearing over the roti.


In a wide bowl, bring luke warm water, salt, sugar and yeast. Leave it for 10-20 minutes. Let them come to frothy condition.

Now stir-in flour and slowly start kneading. After making dough...cover the vessel with damn cloth. Let this sit for really long time(7 hours) Make sure you leave enough room in the you know they raise to 3 folds.

Now bring this raising dough and make equal parts out of it. Do not press after this. Take a ping pong ball size dough and pat them to disc shape. Do not press very hard. Let the knead still thick. This will make good roti.

Repeat the same for the remaining dough too.

Pre-heat the oven already...when its is red hot. Throw in these roti...maybe thread to a skewer or something.

Let it come to nice burnt flavour...remove from heat. Smear ghee over it. Fold and place in a hot box. Better use a cloth to wrap these rotis until serving. Folding the rotis and wrapping them in cloth...makes the roti stay soft and tender for hours.

Serve with Paneer Gravy or Veg Koftha Curry. Enjoy with the accompany of raw onions, chilies and lemon wedge.

Sundaikkai Sambar:

Sundakkai is called 'Turkey Berry' in English and its Botanical Name is 'Solanum torvam'. The cooked berry is used as a Vermifuge. The seeds and its skin acts as a roughage to stomach.

Turkey berry is an erect spiny shrub that is also known by prickley solanum, shoo-shoo bush, devil’s fig, wild egg plant, susumba, boo, terongan, tekokak, berenjena cimarrona, berenjena de gallina, berenjena silvestre, tabacón, pendejera, tomatillo, bâtard balengène, zamorette, friega-platos, pea eggplant, makhua phuang....(Source - Wikipedia)

This is my Mommy's recipe. She really makes this in a unique way....we could neither call this sambar/kuzhambu. Kind of in between these two! She says....if you do this like any other regular sambar...the veggie will be really bitter. Maybe she is right! And Mommy also uses mann-chatti(earthern pot to grind)these beriies. Maybe it also contributes in some way to that unique taste.

My brother loves this recipe! When myself and my brother met at India....nearly after 2 and half years. I prepared this dish for him. Mommy was come I figured the method and ingredients....without asking her at any point. I consider myself thats a great compliment!


Turkey berries few bunch
Green chilies 6 finely chopped
Garlic 2 whole heads peeled & semi crushed
Onions 2 finely chopped
Tomatoes 2 chopped
Thoor dal 2 fistful
Tamarind paste 1/2 spoon
Turmeric powder 1/4 spoon
Chili powder 1 spoon
Asafoetida 1/4 spoon
Mustard seeds 1/2 spoon
Cumin seeds 1/2 spoon
Curry leaves few spoons
Oil few spoons.


Remove the stalk from the berries and wash them. Set aside.

In a wide vessel, boil 2 cups of water. Add salt and pinch of turemric to it. Now add berries, cover and cook for about 7-10 minutes. Or until the berries are tender.

Now remove them from heat and coarsely grind them in earthern pot(if you have one)or use wooden masher....and mash them gently. So that the berries release their fine seeds. Set aside.

Pressure cook thoor dal till tender.

Now heat a skillet. Add few spoons of oil. Start adding chilies, garlic, onions and tomatoes. Fry real good...until fragrant.

Add salt, turmeric, chili powders to it. Followed by ground berry and thoor dal.

Bring this to boil and finaly add tamarind and continue cooking over medium heat for few more minutes.

In a seperate pan, heat oil. Crackle up the seasonning spices and run this over the sambar made.

Spanish Onion Chutney:


Purple Onions 4 small chopped roughly
Garlic 2-4 beads
Dry red chilies 4
Tamarind paste 1/4 spoon
Oil few spoons.

For Tempering:

Mustard seeds 1/4 spoon
Cumin seeds 1/4 spoon
Chana dal 1/4 spoon
Urad dal 1/4 spoon
Aafoetida 1/4 spoon
Curry leaves few
Oil few spoons.


Heat oil, in a pan, toss all the ingredients together and fry for a brief period. Then wet-grind them to chutney.

In a seperate pan, heat up oil. Cracle up tempering items and run them over the chutney prepared. Enjoy with Dosa or Idly.

Amaranth Greens Lentils Soup

Siru Keerai - Siru Paruppu Soup:

Greens and Lentils Soup. Siru Keerai is called Chota Saag in Hindi and Thota Koora in Telugu.The Botanical name of this greens is 'Amaranthus polygonoides.

This greens have the property of an effective antidote against drug poison. It also improves ones complexion. As usual like any other greens improves eye sight.

I prepared this soup in Muslim Style...using Mutton Broth, One could skip this part and use plain water!


Greens (leaves and fine stem chopped)1 bowl full
Green chilies 3 finely chopped
Onion finely chopped
Ginger-garlic paste 1 spoon
Tomatoes 2 chopped
Split Moong dal(siru paruppu)1cup
Mutton broth/plain water 2 cups
Oil few spoons
Cumin seeds 1/4 spoon.


Soak Moong dal for 20-30 minutes in water and pressure cook them till tender. Set aside.

In a wide vessel, heat oil. Crackle cumin seeds. Followed by chilies, onions, ginger-garlic and toamtoes....fry real good, till fragrant.

Now stir-in greens, cooked toor dal and mutton broth. Continue cooking over medium heat, till the greens wilt.

Serve warm as a soup or to go with your plain steamed rice.


Mutton & Fenugreek Greens

Mutton Methi Thokku:

Goat's Meat with Fenugreek Greens Masal. Mutton Vendhiya Keerai Masal. Mutton-Menthilu Koora.

I liked the way of using greens in meat. So it balances the whole thing, meat gives protein and fat, greens serves as fibre....obviously we take any meat with one or other carbohydrate(rice or chappathi). All settled in one dish. If its a boring day or solo cooking....better pick something wise like this, than going on junk food!


Goats Meat 1/4 kilo(bone-in chunks)
Green chilies 2 finely chopped
Onion 1 large fienly chopped
Ginger-garlic paste 2 spoons(freshly prepared)
Tomatoes 2 chopped
Turmeric powder 1/4 spoon
Chili powder 1 spoon
Pepper powder 1 spoon
Fenugreek greens (chopped) 1 cup
Curry leaves few
Oil few spoons.

This Whole Spices are only optional(I didnt use any)

Cloves 3
Cinnamon sticks 2
Bay leaves 2
Cardamom pods 3 crushed.


In a pressure cooker, cook meat with just enough water. Maybe add salt and turmeric to it. When they are doen till tender, set aside with its water.

Now heat up a heavy bottomed skillet. Add whole spices if you want. Then followed by curry laves, chilies and onions. Fry real good.

When onion turns golden color, add ginger-garlic paste to it. Fry real good. Till raw smell leaves the pan.

Now add toamtoes and fry good, maybe till it turns pulpy and glossy.

Now toss meat with its water. Cook over high heat, until all the moisture is gone.

Now add chili and pepper powder to it. Fry for fw minutes.

Add fenugreek greens and fry over high heat for anohter 2 minutes.

Its ready....serve along wtih chappathis/ rotis. Enjoy!

Sankara Meen Varuval:

Red Snapper Fry. Fried Red Snapper.

When I did my Masters in Aqua Culture....I had an wonderful experience with this 'Red Snapper'. For a brief period I practically hated this fish! know,I had a very strict prof' for Fishery Biology. In 5 days a weak....we will be having 2 practicals for Fisheries Biology alone....and other 2 days will be occupied with other practicals(biochemistry...genetics, biotech....what not) The seriousness about these practicals runs for about 3-6 hours a day. One is supposed to Identify the fish, do other specimen research(like food analysis, nervous system....gill system....etc). To tell you simply 'Identifying Fish itself will consume lot of time....there are 25000 fish in the world. And one could not practically say which species it belong to, by mere looking at it! The worst part is....she was so damn strict...that we have to finish even the record all within the same practical period. Of course she is correct...practicals is what we observe that day and record it right. She made it clear...that we need to record very same day.

So for final exam practicals....I got this 'Red Snapper'. The question was 'Food Analysis'. I dint know whether my fish was in starvation or what, its stomach was damn empty. I got really scared for a i am going to do this without anything to analyse. Later I thought...let me write what ever I observe,that is practicals. I wrote like this ' the fish has protrusible mouth, so it could be a a predator type...grasping it food, its gills had denticles and it would have had hard rackers helped crushing it could be surface a feeder and so on, all without analysing food...but examining its others morphic features. So I was so tensed until the result my surprise someone really had appreciated my inference, as it was honest, I got 78/80.(as you know 20 marks goes to records)


Red Snappers 4-6
Chili powder
Tamarind paste 1/2 spoon
Coriander seeds powder 1/2 spoon
Cumin seeds powder 1/2 spoon
Cinnamon powder 1 pinch
Turmeric pwoder 1/4 spoons
Fennel seeds powder 1/4 spoon
Corn meal/bread crumbs few spoons.


Mix all the above said ingredients together(except oil, fish and corn meal).

Now bast this paste over cleaned fish. Let this sit for a while.

Heat up a skillet, add oil and bring this to smoky hot.

Now roll the fish in corn meal/bread crumbs. And braise them in hot oil

Serve warm to go with your South Indian Meals.
Oil for braising.

Neer Kozhi Milagu Perattal:

Quail Pepper Fry. Quail Pepper Roast. Water Fowl Pepper Fry. Neer Kozhi - Water Hen/fowl.

Its a variety of hen, a water fowl actually. I am not sure about its Zoological name. Its a game bird, very small....and has very slender legs. Much like miniature Kokku(crane). Its hunted for its meat. The meat is very gamier in taste! Well.....its not found all the time in the regular market. One need to go to speciality fowl market. If you found one....try this recipe! Since all the game birds/peasant fowls and mid sized birds are categorised under Quails here. I list the same...preapre quails in the similar fashion! Digg in!


Game Fowls 2-4
Sesame oil - 1 cup
Garlic 1 whole head - peeled & semi crushed
Mustard seeds 1/2 spoon
Cumin seeds 1/2 spoon
Turmeric powder 1/2 spoon
Chili powder 2 spoons
Peppercorns 2-4 spoons(powder them without toasting it previously)
Curry leaves 1 cup
Mint to garnish.


In a heavy bottomed skillet, heat 2 spoons of sesame oil.

Add Mustard and cumin seeds. Let this crackle up. Add curry leaves too.

Then followed by Garlic...fry till fragrant.

Now stir-in meat. Saute for few minutes. Maybe until it turns opaque(protein denatures) Now add in little salt and turmeric powder(1/4 spoon). Saute for few more minutes. Add 1 cup of water, cover and cook over medium heat.

When the meat is alomost doen, add chili and pepepr powder...fry over high heat.

Serve warm to go with your steamed rice.

Nalli Elumbu Paruppu Soup:

This is once again Shahidha aunty's recipe. She preapares mutton almost everyday. She never buys more than 1/4 kilo each day. But she includes little bit of meat in even veggies recipe. This is her speciality soup recipe. She preapared this mutton-bones soup using thoor dal. I was wondering how its going to turn up. It did well. So I remembered this recipe....when someone asked me for Bones recipes. you go!


Goat's Bones few
Thoor dal 1 cup
Turmeric 1/4 spoon
Onion 1 chopped
Onion 1 grated
Geen chilies 3 chopped
Green chilies 2 grated
Tomato 1 large chopped
Tomato 1 pureed
Ginger-garlic paste 1 spoon
Lemon juice from 1 fruit
Curry leaves
Cilantro leaves few
Mint leaves few
Bay leaves 2
Cloves 2
Cinnamon 1 stick
Oil few spoons.

In a pressure cooker cook bones with enough water. Add salt and turmeric too. Cook really tender. Set aside.

Pressure cook thoor dal with enough water and salt too. Set aside.

In a crock pot, heat oil. Add whole spices and curry leaves. Wait till they crackle up.

Now add chilies, ginger-garlic, onions and toamtoes(both grated and chopped) Fry real good. Until raw odour leaves he pan.

Now add cooked bones along with its water, add thoor dal too. Now add lemon juice, cilantro and mint as well. Bring this to soup consistency and serve warm.

This could be considered as meal sometimes. Pretty heavy soup afterall.

Pulkah Roti

Pulkah Roti:

My Dad likes this roti so much and so do I. As I don't have Gas Burner Stove here....I could never make this. So when I visited India. I prepared this roti to myself and Dad. He sure enjoyed it.

So on the other day, one of my local friend asked 'whats the difference between Pulkah Roti and Tandoor Roti and why can't one prepare Pulkahs over grill / oven? Hmmmm....Pulka Roti should be made direct over the flame and Tandoori Roti should be made indirect/direct over the charcoal oven/grill.

The specialty of Pulkah roti can't smear ghee while preparing,(as its being done over direct flame). So smear ghee later and immediately fold them and set inside a box. a cloth in the hot box. This really helps to maintain having softness, I guess. I actually forgot to take pictures after preparing..oops:( Well...anyway help yourself with the recipe:)


Fine wheat flour/Fortified Atta of any brand 1 cup
Luke warm water 1 cup
Ghee as per taste.


In a wide bowl, bring all the ingredients together and knead for minimum 20-30 minutes. Mommy says...she kneads for 40 minutes. The more you give pressure...the more the puffiness. So consider this.

Make equal parts out of it and knead each roundels to poori size.

Well...heat up a skillet, at one burner and let the flame be on in another.

Now place one side of roti on the skillet...when it gives small rise...remove carefully using tongs(chimta) and place the same side over the flame.

It will rise like a poori. Then turn to the other side.

Repeat the same to all the remaining dough.

Store like I said and serve along with spicy curry.

Purple Onion-Mint Raita:

Spanish Onion Pachadi.

I am really crazy about 'purple onions' coz I miss those here. I could rarely spot that in Wall mart or Farmer's market. So when I visited my place...I made this raita for myself. Though it makes us to cry there si lot of goodness in it. 'Annilase' enzyme...that makes us cry when we chop them. But this enzyme is responsible for the release of Annilin in Onions. Its good for ones immune system! So dig in when ever you get to eat raw onions/ like this uncooked recipes.


Purple onions as much as you want
Yogurts as much as your onions
Salt to taste
Mint leaves 1 whole cup.


Chop them finely (onions and mint) and toss everything together.

Enjoy with Biriyani/pulav.

Raagi Kanjji:

Finger Millet Flour Soup Recipe. Kezhvaragu Kanjji.

Its a simple dish prepared by our Maid cum Cook(Usha), back home. She said she made this for my mother....when she was sick. So I asked her the recipe and prepared on my own. I never know that one could make such nice recipe with finger millet flour. Thanks to Usha.

Usha also introduced me to so many native veggies and country style cooking. Which I will share with you'all eventually.


Raagi flour 1 cup
Ginger 2" finely grated
Cumin seeds 2 spoons
Mint 1 fistful finely chopped.


In a crock pot, heat 2-4 cups of water. Add salt to it.

When it comes to boiling point, slowly add the flour without forming any lumps.

Add ginger and cumin too. Let this get cooked over medium heat...until raagi gets cooked and ginger-cumin flavour steeps into the soup.

Garnish with mint is my idea. It really turned out pretty good! So enjoy this when you fell tired/ muscle wreck. It promotes muscle power.

Raddish Kootu:

White Radish Kootu. Mullangi Kootu.

When I visited mommy had severe tooth pain and she had extracted one. So I fixed this Kootu for her. As it was finely grated, she found it very thoughtful thing of me to do! Well...we all liked this recipe later.


White Radish 2-3 grated
Moong 1/4 cup
Green chilies 3 finely chopped
Onion 1 finely chopped
Ginger-Garlic paste 1 spoon
Tomatoes 1-2 finely chopped
Turmeric powder 1/4 spoon
Mustard seeds 1/4 spoon
Cumin seeds 1/2 spoon
Asafoetida 1/4 spoon
Curry leaves few
Oil few spoons
Cilantro leaves few to garnish.


Cook the dal in a pressure cooker.

Trim the ends of radish and finely grate them.

In a large wok/handi, heat oil. Add chilies, let it crackle well.

Then add ginger-garlic paste, fry real good...till its raw odour leaves.

Add onions and salt. Fry till onions turn to golden color.

Now add tomatoes, cover and cook. Once tomatoes wilt, stir-in finely grated veggie.

Fry for few minutes, maybe till the veggies coats oil. Add cooked dal(lentils).

Add salt and turmeric too.

When the vegetable is done soft and much of the moisture is absorbed, remove from heat.

Heat oil, in a seperate pan...add mustards, cumin, asafoetida and curry leaves to it.

Allow it to crackle well. Now run this seasoning over the 'kootu' prepared above.

Garnish with finely chopped cilantro leaves.

Serve warm as a side dish for South Indian Meals or as a subzi for chappathi/roti.

Podalangkai Kola Urundai:

Snake Gourd/ Ash Gourd Kola Urundai. Potlakkai Kola Urundai/Vadai. Padavalangai Kola Urundai/ Vade.

Actually One uses Minced Meat for Kola Urundai, so for Veggie lover's I finely chopped snake gourd to prepare this. Instead of frying I steam cooked for my mommy alone. She truely appreaciated my job!


Ash Gourd 1 small - finely chopped
Toasted Chana dal(pottu kadalai/udaitha kadalai) 1 cup
Green chilies 3
Scalion 1 small bulb
Cilantro leaves few
Fennel seeds 1 spoons
Oil for deep frying.


Powder the toasted chana dal! set aside.

Wet grind chilies, onion, cilantro and fennel seeds togather.

Now combine, fienly chopped veggies, salt, wet-ground paste and powdered chana dal!

Maybe if youre not sure enough(the firm ness of batter)sprinkle few spoons fo rice flour too. It gives crispy outer layer!

Frying:Heat oil in a deep frying pan, make round balls out the above batter. Fry till reddish brown and crsip! Fry few at a time. Repeat the same for each batch. Leave themover kitchen tissues for a while.

Steaming:Make equal parts out of it, and steam cook for 10 minutes. Go nuts, its afterall healthy!

Joyweed Greens Fry

Ponnanganni Keerai Poriyal:

Keerai Poondu Poriyal. Keerai Kadalai Paruppu Poriyal.

The Botanical name of this greens is 'Alternanthera sessilis'. Sanskrit name is Matsyakshi. The common English name is Dwarf copperleaf/ Joyweed/ Sessile joyweed. Well...we call that "Ponanganni keerai" in Tamil.

I googled some of its medicinal Value:

It is body coolant. It gradually induces a change, and restores healthy functions. Specifically recommended in the case of - Fever, Eye ailments and Asthma

To my knowledge it improves eye sight! As the name implies it improves one's complexion! People say its good for Piles complaint and reduces flabbiness.

Well there are again 2 varieties 'Semai Ponnanganni' & 'Naatu Ponnanganni'. Yeah nothing but Foreign species and Native species! What ever the variety you've got...this recipe suits it and its good for health!


Ponnanganni(greens leaves alone) 1 large bowl full - chopped
Chana dal 1-2 fistful (soaked in water for 20 minutes)
Garlic 10-15 cloves
Green chilies/Dry red chilies- 3 chopped
Turmeric pinch
Pepper powder 1 spoon
Coconut grated 2 spoons(optional)
Mustard seeds 1/4 spoon
Oil few spoons.


Cook dal in 1 cup of water. Wait till its kind of semi-done! Set aside.

In a wok, heat oil. Add mustard and wait till it pops. Add garlic and chilies too.

Further add coarsely chopped greens and cooked dal. Cook over medium heat.

When it is done, add pepper, coconut and remove from heat.

Serve to go with plain steamed rice! Its bet way! The other regular know....goes as side dish!

Paneer 65:

Deep Fried Indian Cheese. Panir 65. Paneer Porichadhu.

When I was in Delhi, I shared my room with Poorani! The girl was(yeah was)strict vegetarian back then. When ever we went out for Dinner, she'll always order paneer 65as her appetizers. She said its vegetarian's Chicken 65'. Although...I could'nt agree with her term, I could be never compared to chicken! Later she started trying my chicken recipes....she said its like Paneer and I could eat it all the time! Ha ha ha.

Later when I moved to Hyderabad...she came down to visit me. Before did she come I researched most of the restaurants in the city.(I tried Minerva, Seafood Place, Biriyani house, on) To my knowledge...'Paradise Inn' had the best 'Paneer 65'! I tried my level best to give an exact restaurant style Paneer 65, except that I didnt use any food color and used only pinch of MSG. To create exact restaurant go by my ingredients and recipe below! But hope you guys are aware of health hazard using artifcial colors and MSG!


Indian Cottage Cheese(Paneer)
Ginger 2" minced
Garlic 3 cloves minced
MSG 1/4 Spoon
Soy sauce few spoons
Lemon juice few spoons
Corn flour few spoons
Red food color(organic would be fine)
Chili powder 2 spoons
White pepper 1 spoon
Black pepper 1/2 + 1/2 spoon
Cloves 3 - powderd
Curry leaves 1 bowl
Oil for deep frying.


Combine all the ingredients together(except oil, paneer and 1/2 spoon of pepper).

Now add paneer to it and mix well. Let this sit in fridge for real good hours(4 hours)

Heat oil in a deep frying pan. When it comes to smoky hot, fry few paneer pieces at a time. Leave them over kitchen tissues for a while. Repeat the same for each batch.

Crisply fry curry leaves and use them as garnish.

Then sprinkle pepper on top...while they are still warm.

Serve warm as a snack/appetizers/ side dish.

Nethili Meen Inji Kuzhambu:

Fresh Anchovies Curry. Nethili in Tamil. Kozhuva in Malayalam. Anchovy/Sardines in English.


Anchovies 1/2 kilo
Scallion 2 chopped
Garlic 1 whole peeled and crushed
Ginger 2-4" peeled and grated
Country Tomatoes large - 2 (made into puree/juice)
Tamarind paste 2 spoons
Dry Red Chilies 10-15 (Roasted and Powdered)
Mustard seeds 1 spoon
Cumin seeds 1/2 spoon
Fenugreek seeds 1/4 spoon
Asafoetida 1/2 spoon
Thalippu Vadagam 2 spoons
Dry red chilies 3 - crisply fried for decoration
Curry leaves crisply fried for decoration
Sesame oil 1-2 cups.


Wash and clean the fish. Scrape away its scales. Cut its dorsal, tail and other fins. Remove gut and wash thoroughly. Discard its head too.

In a large non-stick wok, heat oil. Add mustard, cumin, fenugreek seeds, asafoetida and thalippu vadagam. Let them pop and splutter well. Set aside to garnish on the gravy.

In a wide wok, add oil....add Crushed garlic and fry them till fragrant. Then followed by ginger and onions...fry till golden color.

Now add tomato puree to it. Further add, salt + turmeric powder + freshly powdered chili.

Cover and cook over medium heat. This gravy will splatter around your stove top. So keep it covered.

Once gravy consistency is achieved and oil shows up on top.....add 1 cup of tamarind milk. Bring this to boil and then add the fish.

Do not cover with lid after adding fish. Maintain the stove over medium heat. Let the fish be well covered with thick gravy. Allow this to cook, just for 2 minutes. Turn your stove off.

Remove from heat and allow it to stand on counter-top. Do not cover with lid.

Serve after 2-3 hours. Let the gravy get well seeped into the fish.

Garnish with crisply fried curry leaves, red chilies and step-2 seasoning.

Its good to have with plain steam cooked rice/ idly or dosa.