Showing newest 17 of 22 posts from January 2011. Show older posts
Showing newest 17 of 22 posts from January 2011. Show older posts


Fried Smelt Fish / Crispy Smelt Fish Fry / Kezhanga Meen Varuval / Spicy, Fried Smelt Fish

Kezhanga Meen Varuval:

I don't know whether I did any justice to what I majored in 'Fishery Biology'...but sure' it is very helpful to track down quality procure, careful cooking and delicious food, hehe:):)


Smelt Fish - whole (guts removed, scaled) 10
Turmeric powder 1/2 spoon
Chili powder 1-2 spoons
Rice Flour 2-4 spoons
Tamarind paste 1 spoon
Lemon juice 2 spoons
Oil for pan frying.


Prepare a smooth paste using all the ingredients(except oil and fish).

Now, baste it over the fish. Leave this set-up for 2 hours.

Heat oil in a wok, fry the fish till crisp and reddish brown. Key for crispy fish is...not to flip them often. Leave them over medium heat for prolonged time...then flip over to the other side and wait till its done completely.

Serve to go with your meals, or enjoy as an appetizer...I have no objection.

Kathirikai - Karamani Kara Kuzhambu / Brinjal n Fresh Kidney Beans Pulusu / Egg Plants - Yard Beans in Tamarind Based Curry

Kathirikai-Karamani Puli Kuzhambu:


Brinjal/Eggplants 4-6 sliced
Fresh Yard Beans - Seeds 1 cup
Pearl Onions chopped 1 cup
Garlic 5-7 cloves - crushed
Tomato 1 small - chopped
Chili powder
Jaggery/brown sugar 1 spoon
Sesame oil 1 table spoon
Thalippu vadagam
Mustard seeds 1/4 spoon
Cumin seeds 1/4 spoon
Fenugreek seeds 1 pinch
Asafoetida 1 pinch
Dry chili 1 minced
Curry leaves few.


In a wide iron wok, heat about 1/2 table spoon of oil.

Add the garlic, onions and keep frying. Now add tomatoes, cover and cook briefly.

Now add salt, turmeric, chili and jaggery. Followed by vegetables...stir-fry briefly. Add about a cup of water. Continue cooking over low to medium heat with lid. Once the curry thickens, its done.

In a separate pan, heat oil and add all the tempering spices, wait till they pop and run the same over the curry prepared. Yum, right.

Serve warm with plain steamed rice, yep...enjoy:)


Kancheepuram Dosai/ Hot and Spicy Dosa / Thaallitha Dosai

Kanchipuram Dosai:


Parboiled Rice 1 cup
Raw rice 1 cup
Urad dal 1/2 cup
Fenugreek seeds 1 spoon(optional)
Salt as per taste
Cooking soda less than 1/4 spoon
Sesame oil few spoons(optional)

Batter Preparation:

Soak rice and urad dal in water each separately. Maybe soak fenugreek along with urad dal. Wet grind them each separately to coarse thick batter. Then, mix the batter together, add salt, soda and know, right!...and allow this to ferment.

For Seasoning:

Cashew nuts 10 chopped
Chana dal 1/4 cup
Urad dal 1/4 cup
Asafoetida 1 spoon
Mustard seeds 1/2 spoon
Black pepper 1 spoon
Cumin seeds 1 spoon
Green chilies 6-8 chopped(or dry red chilies if desired)
Coconut finely chopped 1/4 cup
Curry leaves few
Ghee or sesame oil 1/4 cup.


Heat ghee/oil in a wok. Add mustard, pepper, cumin, asafoetida, green/dry red chilies and curry leaves. Let them pop and splutter well.

Now add chana dal, urad dal and cashew nuts to this. Fry till they turn reddish brown.

Run this seasoning over the fermented batter. Mix them thoroughly.

Heat up a griddle and make thin few spoons of ghee or oil, cook both the sides.

Serve warm with coconut and tomato chutney. This dosa tastes good, even without any side dish.


Samba Rawa Idly / Godhumai Ravai Idly / Cracked Wheat Idly

Godhumai Rawai Idly:


For The Batter:

Urad dhall 1/2 cup
Fenugreek seeds 1 spoon
Cracked Wheat 1 cup
Baking soda 1/2 spoon

For Tempering:

Green chilies 3 chopped
Ginger 2" Chopped
Chana + Urad dahll 2-4 spoons
Cumin seeds 1 spoon
Mustard seeds 1/2 spoon
Asafoetida 1 pinch
Curry leaves few
Oil few spoons
Cilantro leaves few.


Soak the lentils and fenugreek seeds for 7-9 hours, and wet-grind the same. Now, mix the cracked wheat to it, add salt, baking soda and allow this batter to ferment. Maybe overnight will do.

Temper the spices and mix the seasoning to the batter.

Smear oil on the idly ladles and fill them up with batter. Well, steam cook for 12-14 minutes.

Whew' its done, serve steaming hot along with sambhar and chutney...enjoy:)

Pudina Paratha / Mint Based Whole Wheat Flat Bread / Pudhina Chappathi

Pudina Chappathi:

Well, you know...I was traveling, traveling and traveling, the whole last year, seen much of North America in this 8 months!! Oh boy, its not a fun trip, where you can sit back and relax or take up a jolly stroll! Anyhow...finally landed back to Oxford this month (Home Sweet Home). This shuttling and packing episode was bit hectic. Even though they all call it 'Home away Home'...people tuck your bed, take care of your laundry...put some fresh mint. But, deep inside...I was kind of disoriented!!! Its so miserable to miss your own couch, mattress, untamed lawn, not to mention that 'Prolonged Restaurant Food - really sucks'. Now, I my Dad used to travel so much and come home for that basic 'Rasam Rice'. So, at one point 'I cooked enough parathas' and packed it with me...its like piece of home, I valued it so much during my travel. Now, minty flat bread' became a metaphor for any long-drive!!


Whole wheat flour 1 cup
Warm water 3/4 cup
Fresh mint leaves chopped 1 bunch
Cumin seeds 1 spoon
Chili powder 1 spoon
Oil few spoons.


Bring all the above mentioned ingredients together, knead them into smooth dough.

Divide them into equal parts. Roll them into think flat breads.

Toast them on both the sides, run few spoons of oil. Well, key for better chappathi is...toss them to both side, quite often(I mean unlike dosa), it will leave you with soft chappathis:)

I prefer this during my travel, you can actually fix this for breakfast, lunch or dinner:)


Hotel Style Tiffin Sambhar

Hotel Tiffin Sambhar:

Tiffin Sambhar, Thanni Sambhar.


Eggplants or Pumpkin or Drumsticks - finely chopped
Thai Chili / Indian Green chilies 3 sliced
Pearl onions/ Spanish red onions sliced thinly
Country tomatoes 2 crushed
Thuvar dhall 1 cup
Turmeric 1/4 spoon
Chili powder 1 spoon
Tamarind paste 1/2 spoon
Oil few spoons.

To Be Toasted and Powdered:

Fenugreek seeds 2 spoons
Coriander seeds 2 spoons

To Temper:

Oil few spoons
Mustard seeds 1/4 spoon
Cumin seeds 1 pinch
Asafoetida 1/4 spoon
Curry leaves few.

To Garnish:

Cilantro leaves few
Grated coconut 1 spoon - optional.


Cook thuvar dhall on stove top, without using any lid over low-medium heat...until tender. Do not use pressure cooker. Its gonna be slow-cooking...sure this method imparts considerable flavor.

In a wide vessel, heat oil. Add chilies, onions and tomatoes...fry real good. Once the onions are brown and tomatoes wilt...add salt, turmeric and chili powders.

Further add the vegetables plus 1 cup of water. Cover and cook.

Add cooked dhall, tamarind paste and powdered spices. Once the vegetable is done till tender...remove from heat and top them with tempered spices. Garnish them as you please.

Serve to go with your idlies or dosas.


Vazhaipoo Kola Urundai / Plantain Flower Kebabs

Vazhaipoo Kola Urundai:


Plantain Flower 1 small
Toasted Chana dhall 1/2 cup - powdered
Ginger 3" size peeled and grated
Garlic 6 cloves peeled and grated
Dry red chilies 10 - ground
Onion 1 large finely chopped
Fennel seeds 1-2 spoons toasted
Curry leaves few
Oil for frying.

Cleaning Plantain Flower:

Grease your palms and hands with oil or its better to use clinical gloves. As this flower will imparts dark stain for at least 3-4 days.

Now slowly remove all the thick leathery bracts and discard them.

Separate the fine finger like half white-yellow florets inside.

Holding in one hand, rub the floret's end on your other palm. This makes the florets to open up a little

Now remove the male stamen and translucent pith(male stamen is longest stamen with bulb like end) Discard them.

Store the cleaned florets in water to avoid discoloration. Its better to add turmeric, salt and lemon juice to this water. One can leave them in butter milk too, to increase the flavor.

Once done with cleaning. Chop them finely and once again leave them water, until cooking.


Chop the plantain flowers/I mean florets. And mix the same with all the above mentioned ingredients, except oil. Bring them to thick dough consistency.

Divide into equal parts, and deep fry the same.

There you go...its done. Just cleaning consumes all your it would be better to plan ahead. Enjoy with snack with warm tea or serve to go with your meals:)


Vendaikai Thokku / Okra Chutney / Bhidi Bhajji / Bendakaya Kura

Vendaikai Thokku:


Okra/Lady's finger 1/2 kilo
Brown Sugar /Jaggery 2 spoons
Tamarind paste 1/2 spoon
Turmeric 1 pinch
Chili powder 1 spoon
Garam masala 1 pinch
Mustard seeds 1/4 spoon
Cumin seeds 1/2 spoon
Sesame oil few spoons
Curry leaves few.


In a wide wok, heat oil. Add the spices and wait till they sizzle a little.
Followed by sliced/finely chopped okras. Stir-fry briefly and add all the other ingredients. Cover and cook till tender.

Serve to go with rotis or pulkahs.


Red Rice - Almonds Porridge / Sivappu Arisi - Badham Kanji

Badhaam Kanji:

When my Dad visited here, he had a different outlook at American way of life' especially, how we act towards food! Well, Mississippi has highest rate of obesity, he was going on like this...Oh boy, the people who are considered over weight and fat in India will be very fit and normal here:( 'Eating' is the only entertainment people have here! When many people shrink their social interaction and sit in the couch with lot of free time, they eat! And moreover all the advertisements are all highlighted with 'how one can save so much time, using this n that product'. Just a simple question, what you want to do with all that free time? Play solitaire in computer or watch a terrible movie, surf aimlessly, scroll the clickers and not to mention - snack again! Oxford is a small town, once in a blue moon...we can catch up on Southern Music, plan trekking / cycling or go to a Cinema theatre...otherwise its always restricted with 'Eating Entertainment'...exploring new restaurants and various cuisines:) So, going out is synonymous with food, here:) He genuinely asked me' who the hell needs vending machines in the rest room!!! I felt like as if I was reading Michael Pollan's 'Omnivore dilemma' book, once again! Come on one could be that happy with your style of 'simple food'. My Pappa is very content with so little food! He can go hungry for days, without the same time, he is also very active, dynamic, energetic, hard working (both physical and mental)'...quite charismatic too:) So, how could he be active without concentrating on his diet, he calls that stamina and will power! Which I completely lack:( Anyhow, I simply pull his leg saying 'he is solar powered' and that is how his friends tease him, as well. So for today's story, this is my Dad's recipe. He fixes this porridge quite often and both my Mom and Dad love it:)


Broken Red rice 1 cup
Water 5-7 cups
Almonds - exactly 2, and definitely not more than that!
Ginger 1" grated
Mint leaves 4 - chopped
Cumin seeds 1/4 spoon


Soak the almonds in warm water and wet-grind the same. Set aside.

In a wide vessel, boil water. Add all the ingredients to it...continue boiling, till its done to the consistency of a porridge.

Serve warm. Enjoy, I mean try to enjoy:)


Cluster Beans Stir-fry/ Kothavarankai Poriyal / Kothavarangai Thoran / Gorichikudukaya Kura

Cluster-Beans Stir Fry:

This winter is extremely cold here, in looks like as if its never gonna end! My local friends said 'we are in the history' the weather condition here has changed after 85 years...its snowing terribly in the south!!! And as the day light is so short...I often seek for that comforting cup of coffee...craving for hot snacks. But this New Year resolution(as usual) is to cut down that extra calories in the, no more fried, pastries for me:( Anyway...I am also putting lot of effort to cook more vegetables! Hope, I would stay on track.

The way I cooked this stir-fry today, is adopted from my Mom's style of cooking. She pairs semi-cooked mung dhall with include plant protein in the diet...and unlike me, she sparingly uses oil and coconut...which is also very good for health.


Cluster beans 1/2 kilo
Split mung dhall/lentils 1 cup
Grated coconut 2-4 spoons
Green chili 3 chopped
Cumin seeds 1 spoon
Mustard seeds 1/4 spoon
Curry leaves few
Coconut oil 1 spoon.


Cook cluster beans with enough salt in boiling water. When it is tender, pour away the water, retain the beans

Semi-cook the lentils till done...but not mushy.

In a wide wok, heat oil. Add the spices and curry leaves. Wait till it sizzles.

Add the vegetables, lentils and coconut to it...stir-fry over high heat.

Serve to go with your meals.


Ande Dhania ki Salan / Muttai Malli Kuzhambu / Eggs in Coriander Based Curry

Muttai Dhaniya Curry:

This recipe is shared by my good old friend Shabana...she picked up cooking as early as while she was in 8th grade, and was like a guru to me. I use to just admire at her way of dedication...whether it is her cooking or art work.


Eggs - boiled and peeled
Green chili 1 chopped
Onion 1 grated
Ginger-garlic paste 1/2 spoon
Tomato 1 crushed
Turmeric 1/4 spoon
Chili powder 1/2 spoon
Fresh coriander powder 2 spoons
Oil few spoons
Curry leaves few.


Heat oil in a wok, add chilies and curry leaves.

Followed by onion and ginger-garlic. Fry real good, once the raw odor leaves the pan, add tomatoes too.

Further add all the spice powders. Cover and cook briefly.

Add 2-4 cups of water and eggs...continue boiling over medium heat for few minutes and remove from the stove.

Serve warm to go with your pulka rotis or chappathis.


Madurai Special Muttai Ven-karu Dosai / Egg Whites Dosa / Mutta Dosai

Egg Dosa:


Dosa batter 1 bowl
Egg whites from 2 eggs(for each dosa)
Ghee/oil for smearing.


You know...heat a griddle, make a thin crepe of dosa batter, followed by egg whites. Add oil on the sides. Turn over and remove from heat.


Pottukadalai Chutney / Bhuni Chana Chutney / Toasted Lentils Chutney

Odaicha Kadalai Chutney:

While growing up, I hated this chutney so much...this is the only chutney they kept serving for years in my hostel. Oh man, I just cringe going back to those horrid days. I used to long for Mommy's Thengai Chutney. Now things have changed differently...its not always about 'pleasure of eating'...guilt for good food', thinking too much about on going problems like cholesterol and diabetes! That's how I planned to fix this pottukadalai chutney for a change, and looks like I never made them before' so lets it be in my blog too:) You know what, my version is so much better, well-improvised (unlike hostel one') me, I loved it:)


Toasted chickpeas 1 cup
Coconut 2-4 pieces - chopped
Dry red chilies 5
Curry leaves 3 springs
Garlic 4 cloves
Ginger 2" grated
Oil few spoons.

For Tempering:

Mustard seeds 1/2 spoon
Cumin seeds 1/2 spoon
Asafoetida 1/4 spoon
Chana-Urid dal 2 spoons
Red chili 1 crushed
Curry leaves few
Sesame oil few spoons.


In a wok, heat oil. Add all the ingredients and fry them till fragrant.

Now wet-grind the same, do not add too much of water.

Temper the spices in hot oil and run the same over the chutney made. There you go..its done.

Serve to go with idlis and dosas.


Macaroni Kheer / Macaroni Pudding / Macaroni Payasam

Macaroni Kheer:

You know, whenever I come up with this kind of weird recipe...'I am off the hook, dude'. So, it was a crazy noon, I had nothing to play with...and I discovered this abandoned box of macaroni shells lying in the pantry. Beyond those internationally acclaimed recipes...I had countless ideas of whipping them out!! Wish I had the same knowledge while writing an exam:( such idea was dutifully implemented here:) Not that I am angry with my blog or friends or anything...just going crazy, hehe:) But I can assure you all one thing, that' my friends enjoyed it tremendously:):)


Macaroni shells 1 cup
Farm fresh milk 1 liter
Cardamom 2 crushed
Saffron few strands
Sugar syrup to taste
Almonds sliced
Ghee 1/2 spoon.


Heat ghee, toast the nuts and set aside. Now also toast the macaroni briefly.

Boil milk and reduce it to half of its original volume. Add the shells, continue cooking over low-medium heat.

Add cardamon pods, nuts, sugar syrup and saffron. Once the shells are done to tender, its ready to remove from heat.

Serve chilled as a dessert. I have no objection if you prefer it warm:)


Pohe Dahi Bath / Aval Thayir Saadham / Avalakki Dahi Bath

Aval Thayir Saadham:


Rice Flakes 1 cup
Fresh curd 1 cup
Green chilies 3 chopped
Ginger 1 inch grated
Curry leaves few
Mustard seeds 1/4 spoon
Cumin seeds 1/4
Peppercorn 1/4 spoon
Chana-Urid dal 2 spoons
Asafoetida 1/4 spoon
Oil few spoons.


In a wide wok, heat oil. Add the spices one by one and wait till they sizzle.

Wash the rice flakes...then mix them up with curds. Add salt too. Now run the tempered spices on the top, mix well.

Serve as a light tiffin or as lunch.


Sabudana Kitchedi / Sabudana Upma / Lemony Sago / Jowarisi Upma

Sabudana Upma:

I have this love and hate kind of relationship with upma! While growing up, my mother never made any sort of upma for us (lucky me)! As far as I remember, even my grandma never made them either. And I am fine about it:)

So, I encountered upma for the first time' in the hostel! Which completely gave a bad impression. You know, nothing usual hostel food sucks...particularly the pongal, upma are highly disgusting over there! I wonder how all the cooks, in most(at least in many) hostels...correctly target some particular recipe and ruin it globally!!! That's exactly the reason, why I felt all the upmas are man-made threat to palate!! Moreover, whenever I visit relatives place, people overwhelmingly prepare this item (totally ignoring the fact that how much you hate the dish)and make you eat more!! Finally now am gifted with my own kitchen and good enough to create my own food!

When AK said that, he loved this particular dish 'Sabudana Kitchedi'...I thought it was some kind of sick joke!!! Anyway, he offered to cook,(I dunno why' when guys offer to cook' they cook for themselves). I have to change my verdict...Oh boy, this looks darn good and delicious to be a upma. Now the hatefulness has come down a bit' I started appreciating the color' appearance, presentation, esp' this dish looks like mini pearls! Maybe by mistake I tasted it a bit too:)


Sago 1 cup
Buttermilk 1 cup
Lemon juice 1/4 cup
Green chilies 3-6 sliced
Curry leaves few
Mustard seeds 1/4 spoon
Chana-Urid dal 2 spoons
Asafoetida 1/4 spoon
Oil few spoons.


Soak the sago pearls over night in buttermilk. Next day, drain and wash them.

Heat a wok, add oil to it. Add the spices and wait till it sizzles.

Now add the sago, salt and turmeric to it. Cook briefly.

Remove from heat and add lemon juice to it.

That's it, you are done:)


Oats Dosa / Oats Dosai / Oats Adai - Put On Your Health Caps:)

Oats Dosa:

I always wanted to get rid of that damn box(oats)from my pantry! Whenever the mood for strict Die-t' comes and surfaces in my mind' I go wild...just buy all these sort of unknown products...and never-ever touch them in life time:(

Nothing surprising here today, never been fan a of oats! I agree, we need to take care of our health, esp' the blood cholesterol now and then or else, its sky rocketing with today's temptations!!!

Anyhow, I even tricked my breakfast oats with fruits, nuts, honey, you name it...nothing worked:( Coming to know that people actually include it in their favorite food'(come on how could you) more final try...whoops, the recipe turned out wickedly good:) I can't call this diet dosa' and make that puppy face anymore! Darn delicious to be a die-t one:)


I just mixed 1 cup of oats with that of regular dosa batter and carried on making dosa' the usual way:):)