Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Chettinad Karupatti Paniyaram

This year has been so blessed like every past year. So much to be thankful for. Hope new year brings in more happiness, joy and more to be thankful for. Wishing you all a extremely happy, healthy and successful new year!!

I have posted the recipe for the paniyaram before in my blog. That was easily 5 years back. So here is the revamped version and more in detail.

Number of paniyaram - 20 -25
Raw rice (or sona masoori) - 2 cups
Jaggery - 1 cup

  • Soak the raw rice for two hours
  • Drain the water and spread the rice in a towel for say about an hour or two
  • The rice should not feel wet (it will be cold)
  • Blend the rice in the blender to a fine powder 
  • Sieve the powder and run the blender again for the coarse powder collected in the sieve (try to minimize the wastage of coarse powder)
  • Take a pan and heat the jaggery with just enough water to immerse it.
  • Once the jaggery dissolves, strain it into a container
  • Now in a bowl add the blended powder (I would recommend to save some dry powder, just in case the consistency becomes a bit loose you can use it)
  • Add the jaggery and mix the dough (it would be thick, we use this dough for elai during pillayar nonbu)
  • Now take the dough and sprinkle in water and mix to a thick liquid batter consistency (again, save some dough just in case the batter is liquidy)
  • Ladle out paniyarams in piping hot oil by taking the batter in the ladle and pouring it directly onto a flat bottomed kadai . Once the paniyaram floats up, flip it and remove in a few seconds. always check the first paniyaram by opening it to make sure it is not battery inside and cooked well. if it is battery, cook it a bit longer or try adding more thick dough that we saved tot he liquid batter and try again.
  • Perfect paniyarams would have flowery edges 

Friday, November 20, 2015

Cabbage Kurma

Straight to the recipe ->

Number of Serving – 2 to 3
Shredded cabbage – 2 cups
Onion – 1
Tomato – 1

To Grind:
Coconut – 2 to 3 spoons
Cumin – 1 spoon
Fennel Seeds – 1 spoon
Almonds – 4 or 5
Poppy seeds – 1 tsp
Red Chilli – 2

To Temper:
Mustard seeds
Urad dal

  1. ·        Make a paste of the ingredients to grind and keep aside
  2. ·        In a wok heat oil and temper the items to temper. Add the onions and saute well
  3. ·        Add the cabbage and saute until its lightly cooked
  4. ·        Add the tomatoes and saute until the tomatoes are tender and raw small parts
  5. ·        Add the ground paste and let it simmer for a few minutes

The cabbage kurma goes well with chapathis, dosai, rice (if made thick) and a lot more. I make this recipe as a variation to the monotonous cabbage masala. I do have it shred on Sundays to use it up during week days… so I need some varieties in cabbage J Learnt this recipe from my mil.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Healthy Breakfast Ideas - quick to office

Here are some healthy breakfast ideas quick to office, school, anywhere. 

A good breakfast will keep you full and you won't be reaching for a munchie snack during the day.. 

This list has all kinds of sundal with various beans. Sabudana kheer with ever so light sugar and lots of nuts. Veggie rolls. Sweetened red flat rice with sunflower and pumpkin seeds. 

PS: for me cereal is a evening snack with lots of nuts and dried cranberries...

Friday, November 6, 2015

Vegetable Mandi - Chettinad Special (Vegetable Stew in Spicy, TangyTamarind Base)

It has been a very long time since I wrote something in the blog. Life sometimes gets in the way. But never the less, my blog has always been there for me to get back to. Going forward, I'm going to try to post recipes that might help you if you are on a healthy diet, conscious of your portion size or wonder what Indian food could be a healthier choice.

Diet doesn't have to be hard. If it is going to be a lifestyle change, then why not start by making small changes to the already consumed food??

About today's recipe, learnt it from my expert MIL. It is a Chettinad Special Dish called Mandi (mixed vegetable stew in a spicy, tangy tamarind base). I guarantee you will enjoy the flavors!

Number of serving – 4

Mixed Vegetables – I used (Carrots, Bell Pepper, Beans, Drumstick)
Optionally you could use – (cluster beans, egg plant, raw plaintain, Jack fruit seed)
Onion – 1 big
Tomato – 1 big
Green Chilli – 4
Mango (small) – ½ cubed (if you have dried mango, then you could cut down on the mango)
Dried Mango (optional) – few pieces 
Dried red beans – soaked and pressure cooked (hand full)
Tamarind – lemon size
Sambar Powder – 1 tsp
Rice Flour –  2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp
Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
Gingely oil – 2 spoons

To Temper:
Mustard seeds
Red chilli

  • ·         Boil the drumstick and beans together in a pot. Add the fenugreek seeds and cumin seeds to the pot and close and cook
  • ·         After about 10 mintues, add rest of the vegetables, chilli and gingely oil and close the pot and boil. Add little water as needed
  • ·         After about 15 mintues add the boiled dried beans
  • ·         Add the salt, tamarind, and sambar powder and let it boil for few minutes until everything gets along together and a bit thicker
  • ·         In a separate bowl, mix the rice flour with a little water to make paste (not too thin) and add it to the boiling pot
  • ·         Allow it to boil for a few minutes until it thickens
  • ·         Temper the items to temper and add it to the pot.

Yummy spicy, tangy mandi is ready to serve. It goes well with almost all the dishes. Even a simple yoghurt rice tastes excellent with this.

Friday, March 20, 2015

DIY Flower Decor

I will let the picture speak for itself :) got the white bucket from dollar tree and flowers from joann. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Cleaning Tip

Learnt this trick from a friend and have been using it ever since. Use a spatula to clean up food from blenders, transferring foods from containers, etc. it cleans up very neatly without using hands in food. It cleans up even more cleanly than we do it with hands.. And super easy too!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Simple Cauliflower Stir Fry

I got this idea of cooking cauliflower sans onion or tomato from a friend. This is such a simple, quick fix recipe!

Cauliflower - 2 cups (cut into florets and washed)
Sambar powder - 1/2 tbsp (adjust to taste)
Garlic - minced 3 pods

To Temper:
Mustard seeds
Urad dal
Freshly ground cumin, fennel seeds and pepper


  • Heat oil in a pan and splutter items to temper
  • Add the garlic and saute
  • Add the cauliflower florets and saute
  •  Add salt and sambar powder and saute well
  1.  I did not boil or microwave the cauliflower
  2. You can use red chilli powder instead of sambar powder

Monday, February 16, 2015

Edamame Masala

This is my first time cooking edamame. Just got curious when I saw it and wanted to give it a try. Truly, I don't think it had any particular taste to like or dislike. So, yeah we can cook it.

Edamame - 1 cup (I used frozen)
Onion - 1
Tomato - 1
Garlic - 3 pods
Red chilli powder - 1 tbsp
Coriander powder -  2 tbsp

To temper:
Mustard seeds
Urad dal
Freshly ground cumin and fennel seeds


  • Heal oil in a wok and splutter the items to temper
  • Add chopped onions and shredded garlic and saute well
  • Add tomatoes and cook well
  • Add all the powders and saute to create a nice base
  • Add the edamame and cook well until everything blend well

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Achari Channa Pulao

I've already posted this before sans recipe. Just thought of saving the recipe in my blog rather than searching it online every time. The recipe is adapted from Vah Re Vah to the ingredients I had at the moment.

Number of servings - 2 to 3
Basmati Rice (soaked) - 1 cup
Water to cook rice - 2 cups
Channa - 1 cup (soaked over night and boiled)

Onions - 1
Green chilli - 2
Ginger garlic paste
Yoghurt - 3 to 4 tbsp
Red chilli powder - 1 spoon
Coriander powder - 2 spoon
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Garam masala powder - a pinch
Mango pickle - 1 tsp

To temper:
Mustard seeds
Fennel seeds
Cumin seeds
Fenugreek seeds
Bay leaf


  • Soak the basmati rice for 1 hour
  • In a pan heat oil and add the items to temper
  • Add onions, green chilli, ginger garlic paste and saute well
  • Add turmeric powder and garam masala powder and saute
  • Add the boiled channa, salt and cook
  • Separately, in a bowl mix in the yoghurt, chilli powder, coriander powder, salt, and most important ingredient - mango pickle 
  • Add the mixture to the channa and cook well
  • Now drain and add the soaked rice just on top of the cooking channa and do not mix
  • Add the water to cook, salt and cilantro (do not mix) and cover and let the rice cook
  • Once the rice is cooked, give a light mix
The recipe goes well with raita.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Beading - with hands

During my vacation, I learnt this beading from my grandma. I saw her works and asked her to teach me. I was amazed by her sharpness in teaching at this age.. this is done by hands with the nylon thread and beads. These beads were the leftover ones from the time my mom and grandmom hand made things and are easily more than 25 years old!

Here are the series of pics from the starting to the finished one...

This is a doily I crocheted 4 years back , learnt it from youtube... a great resource!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Yoghurt Quinoa - like yoghurt rice

This is one of my attempts in incorporating quinoa into our menu. I've tried a few recipes and usually I end up not liking them that much. I heard this from a friend and tried the very basic variety - yoghurt rice / quinoa. Actually, this is my favorite so far. I just added a tadka touch to the recipe.

Organic Quinoa - 1 cup
Water to cook - 2 cups

Mustard seeds
Urad dal
Green chilli
Red chilli

  • Wash the quinoa well for 5 - 6 times. Pressure cook the quinoa with water as you would with normal rice
  • Add yoghurt and salt to the rice and mix well
  • Heat oil in a pan and splutter all items in tadka section and add it to the quinoa
Goes well with any spicy side dish.

Thursday, January 15, 2015