Thursday, December 27, 2007

Corn Curry

Boiled Corn- 400 ml 
Onions- 2- chopped fine 
Coconut milk- from 1/2 coconut or reconstitute from powder 
Oil- 3 tbsp 
Salt to taste 

Grind together: 
Coriander seeds- 1 tsp
Green chillies-5 small 
Cinnamon- 1 inch piece 
Khus Khus- 3 tsps 
Garlic- 6 pods 

Heat oil in a pan, add onions. After some time, add the ground masala paste. Fry on low flame till the raw smell disappears and then add corn and the coconut milk. Add salt and boil for some time. Remove from fire and serve with rotis or parathas.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Onion Chutney

2 large onions- chop into long slices 
4 red chillies (round) 
1 tbsp urad dal 
Tamarind- the size of a small gooseberry 
Jaggery- 1 tsp 
Salt to taste 
Oil for cooking 

Method: Heat 2 tsps of oil in a kadai. Add urad dal and red chillies and fry over medium flame. When the dal turns light brown, add the chopped onion and fry for 2 minutes over medium flame. Remove from fire, cool and grind with tamarind, salt and jaggery. Serve with adai.

Vegetable Adai

Raw rice- 180 ml 
Channa dal- 30 ml 
Urad dal- 30ml 
Toor dal-30 ml 
Onion- 1 large- chopped fine 
Carrot- 1- grated 
Cabbage- chopped fine- 100 ml 
Coriander leaves- chopped fine- 2 tbsp 
Curry leaves- 10- chopped fine 
Grated coconut- 2 tbsp 
Green chillies-3- chopped fine 
Red chillies (round)- 6 (If long chillies are used, adjust number suitably) 
A pinch of hing powder (optional) 
Grated ginger- 2 tsp 
Salt to taste 
Oil for Cooking

Wash rice and dals and soak together with red chillies for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Drain and grind to a coarse batter- not too coarse. Add the rest of the ingredients (except oil) and mix together. Let it stand for 15 minutes. Add a little water if required. Heat a heavy tava. When it is hot, pour half a spoon of oil and spread well. Sprinkle a little water. This helps spread the oil. Pour a ladleful of batter and spread like dosa. Apply a little oil along the periphery of the adai. Make a couple of holes on the surface of the adai with the spoon and apply half a spoon on the adai and holes to improve the cooking. You can optionally cover the adai with a lid for a minute. When the edges turn brown, turn the adai over and cook the other side.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Chop Suey

Noodles- 300 gm 
Onion- 2 medium 
French Beans- 6 
Carrot- one 
Capsicum- 1 small 
Cabbage- chopped- 150 ml 
Spring onion- half a cup 
Baby corn- chopped into juliennes- 1/3 cup 
Corn Flour- 1 tbsp 
Soy sauce- 2 tsp 
Tomato Sauce- 60 ml 
Pepper powder 1/2 tsp 
Salt to taste 
Aji no moto- 1/4 tsp 
Oil- 4 tbsp 

Method: Cook noodles in plenty of boiling water to which salt and a tsp of oil has been added. Do not cook too soft. Drain and wash in cold water to prevent further cooking. Drain. Dry out one third of the noodles on a kitchen towel. Deep fry the dried out noodles till crisp and golden in colour and set aside. Heat a spoon of oil in a pan and fry the rest of the noodles with a dash of salt till they change colour a little. Transfer to a serving plate. Chop all vegetables into juliennes. Heat two tbsp oil in a pan and saute all the vegetables for a few minutes. Add the sauces, salt, pepper, aji no moto and the cornflour mixed in 1.5 cups of water. Simmer till thick and remove from fire. Pour the gravy over the noodles on the serving plate. Top with fried noodles and serve.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Raw Banana Gravy

Raw Banana Cubed: 1 Cup (250 ml)
Onion Chopped: Half a cup
Tomato Chopped: 2/3 cup
A handful each of Mint and Coriander leaves
2 green chillies
1 inch ginger root
Half tsp each of Chilli powder and Garam masala powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
1/4 tsp mustard
1/4 tsp cummin seed
1/2 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp lime juice
2 tsp Coconut milk powder
Heat some oil and deep fry the banana pieces till slightly brown and set aside. Take some of the same oil and saute tomato, onion, ginger, chillies and the green leaves for a couple minutes and grind into a paste. Heat two tsp of oil, add mustard, jeera and after they crackle, add the ground paste and saute for a few minutes. Then add turmeric powder, chilli powder, garam masala powder, salt and sugar. After a while add the fried pieces. When everything has blended mix the coconut milk. If needed, add a little water to bring it to gravy consistency. Remove from fire and add the lime juice. Mix well and serve with plain rice or any fried rice or jeera rice.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Quick Sambhar

1 Large onion- chopped
2 medium tomatoes- chopped
2 green chillies slit
Half inch of ginger root- chopped
A few curry leaves
Mustard- half tsp
Urad dal- half tsp
channa dal- Half tsp
1 red chilli
A pinch of asafoetida powder
A pinch of turmeric powder
Green gram dal- 60 ml
salt to taste

Heat a tsp of oil in a pressure pan, add mustard, urad dal, channa dal in that order followed by red chilly, green chillies, curry leaves, ginger and onion. Saute for two minutes, add tomato, asafoetida powder, washed dal and turmeric powder. Saute for a minute and then add 300 ml water and salt. Cook with weight for 3 or 4 whistles. After pressure reduces, mash well and adjust salt if needed. This is a lovely filling soup and makes also a good accompaniment for pongal, idli, dosais etc.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Karthigai Pori Urundai

Nel Pori- 2 cups (500 ml)
Fried gram- 2 Tbsps
Roasted Groundnut- 1 Tbsp
Roasted Coconut pieces: 1 Tbsp
Jaggery (powdered)- 125 ml
Cardamom powder- half a tsp
Mix all ingredients except Jaggery and cardamom powder well and keep aside. Add just enough water to cover the jaggery in a thick pan and heat until it froths and forms single string consistency syrup. Add cardamom powder. Mix well and pour into the ingredient mixture. Mix well with a spatula and when a little cool, make balls. If the syrup is too sticky, use a little rice flour to dab on your hands to avoid the stickiness. This is traditionally made with Nel pori and Aval pori for Karthigai.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Bread Pudding (Double Ka Meeta)


1 loaf bread (small)
1 loaf bread (small)
500 gms sugar
250 gms cream
250 gms clarified butter
100 gms chopped and roasted cashew nuts
100 gms almonds (soaked and chopped fine)
10 gm saffron

Cut each bread slice into four pieces. Fry them in clarified butter till golden brown. Make a sugar syrup by adding half a litre of water to the sugar and boil it for 15 minutes. Dissolve saffron in milk and add to the sugar syrup. Boil milk until it is thickened.Arrange the fried bread pieces on a flat tray and sprinkle the chopped nuts on them. Pour the milk, double cream and sugar syrup alternately over the bread pieces while they are still hot.Refrigerate. Cut and serve as dessert. 

Paruppu Urundai Morkozhambu

This is a typical South Indian gravy dish with curd base and steamed lentil balls (Paruppu urundai) and white pumpkin pieces.

Ingredients for the Paruppu Urundai: 
80 ml Toor dal
80 ml Channa dal
4-5 round red chillies (If long chillies, use fewer)
6 or 8 curry leaves

Soak the above in hot water for about 30 minutes and grind coarsely with required salt. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a pan, add the ground mixture and saute till all the water evaporates. Make balls slightly smaller than a lemon and steam them for ten minutes. The steamed balls should be firm to touch. If not properly steamed, the same will disintegrate in the gravy.

To Grind:
1 tablespoon channa dal
1 teaspoon jeera
1 teaspoon coriander seeds

Soak the above in hot water for about 30 minutes Grind the same with:-
1" ginger
3-4 green chillies
2 tablespoon grated coconut
1 teaspoon raw rice grains

Keep aside.

For the Gravy:
500 ml curd (I prefer non-sour curd)
1 cup cubed white pumpkin pieces

For Seasoning: oil, mustard, curry leaves

Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan, add half tsp. mustard seeds and 10 curry leaves. After the mustard seeds crackle, add the pumpkin pieces, a pinch of turmeric powder. Saute for a minute and add 2 cups of water and salt for the vegetable alone and cover and cook till vegetable is done. Beat the curd and mix the ground masala in it and add it to the vegetable with enough salt. Stir well and heat on low fire. When the gravy heats up and starts to froth, add the lentil balls. Mix well and remove from fire in a couple of minutes. The gravy should NOT boil. Serve with rice and fried appalam/ pappadam.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Vegetable Noodles

Plain Wheat noodles
200 gm:
2 medium Onions
2 medium capsicums
2 medium carrots
200 ml Shredded cabbage
30 ml oil
1 teaspoon pepper powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon soya sauce
1 teaspoon green chilli sauce
2 tablespoon tomato sauce
Salt to taste

Prepare the noodles as per packet instruction with salt. Should however not be too soft. Cut the onion and vegetables into thin strips. Heat oil in a pan and add the onions, carrots, capsicum and cabbage in that order. Saute for 2 minutes and then add pepper powder, sugar and the sauces as well as the salt required for the vegetables. Add the cooked noodles and gently mix. Since the sauces contain salt, take care while adding salt. Serve them alone or with salads- cucumber, tomato and onion rings.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Shambu Natanam

To see this post correctly you need to have a UTF devanagri font installed (eg. Sanskrit 2003). See how to do this here.

There is a very interesting story told by Sri Mahaperiyaval, His Holiness Sri Chandrasekharendra Saraswathi Swamigal of Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam about this slokam which is briefly given here:

At Sandhya kalam (Pradosha kalam) Shiva dances at all places not only at Chidambaram. Wherever he dances, Pathanjali muni, Vyagrapada muni, Nandhi and Bhringi will be with him. While Bhringi and Nandhi stay with Shiva always, Pathanjali and Vyagrapadar are there whenever and wherever he dances.

Pathanjali is stated to be the Avatar of Adisesha and is depicted with a human face and the body of a snake. Vyagrapadar has also a human face and his legs are like that of a tiger with long nails. Nandhi, the divine vahana has two horns (Kombu, in Tamil) and four feet (Kaal in Tamil). Bhringi has three legs. Pathanjali was teased by the other three saying that he has neither Horn (Kombu) nor Kaal (legs). Pathanjali gave a rejoinder stating that the other three have separate eyes and ears which was a disadvantage. If they concentrate on Ishwara’s dance form by seeing, they will miss the laya or thala and if they concentrate on the laya and listen, they will miss out on the visual treat. However, Pathanjali, in his serpent form, had a common organ for perceiving sound and sight (it was commonly believed that snakes make use of the same organs for hearing and seeing) and therefore could concentrate on both the form and laya simultaneously.

Pathanjali also stated that inspite of his not having Kombu and Kaal, he can appreciate the cosmic dance of Shiva better and will sing His praises. The trio of Nandi, Bhringi and Vyagrapadar teased Pathanjali further saying that he had no Kombu and Kaal and how will he sing Shiva’s praise without Kombu and Kaal. Pathanjali said that since he himself had no Kombu and Kaal, he will sing Shiva's praise also with a sloka in which the letters had no Kombu or Kaal (eEa etc.). The Shambu natana sthothram has no words with Kombu or Kaal. This was sung according to the laya/thala of Shiva's cosmic dance.

॥ श्रीपतञ्जलिकृत शम्भुनटनम्॥
सदञ्चितं उदञ्चित निकुञ्चितपदं झलझलञ्चलित मञ्जुकटकं
पतञ्जलि दृगञ्जनं अनञ्जनं अचञ्चलपदं जनन भञ्जनकरम्।
कदम्बरुचिं अम्बरवसं परमं अम्बुद कदम्बक विडम्बक गलं
चिदम्बुदमणिं बुध हृदम्बुज रविं पर चिदम्बर नटं हृदि भज॥१॥
हरं त्रिपुर भञ्जनं अनन्त कृतकङ्कणं अखण्डदयं अन्त रहितं
विरिञ्चि सुरसम्हति पुरन्दर विचिन्तित पदं तरुण चन्द्र मकुटम्।
परं पद विखण्डित यमं भसित मण्डिततनुं मदन वञ्चन परं
चिरन्तनं अमुं प्रणत सञ्चित निधिं परचिदम्बर नटं हृदि भज॥२॥
अवन्तं अखिलं जगत् अभङ्गगुणतुङ्गं अमतं धृत विधुं सुरसरि-
त्तरङ्ग निकुरुम्ब धृति लम्पट जटं शमन डम्बर हरं भव हरम्।
शिवम् दश दिगन्तर विजृम्भित करं कर लसन् मृगशिशुं पशुपतिं
हरं शशि धनञ्जय पतङ्ग नयनं पर चिदम्बर नटं हृदि भज॥३॥
अनन्त नवरत्न विलसत्कटक किङ्किणि झलंझल झलञ्झलरवं
मुकुन्द विधि हस्तगत मद्दल लय ध्वनि धिमिद्धिमित नर्तन पदम्।
शकुन्तरथ बर्हिरथ नन्दिमुख दन्तिमुख भृङ्गि रिटि सङ्घ निकटं
सनन्द सनक प्रमुख वन्दित पदं परचिदम्बरनटं हृदि भज॥४॥
अनन्त महिमं त्रिदश वन्द्य चरणं मुनि हृदन्तर वसन्तं अमलं
कबन्ध वियदिन्द्ववनि गन्धवह वह्नि मखबन्धु रवि मञ्जु वपुषम्।
अनन्त विभवं त्रिजगदन्तरमणिं त्रिणयनं त्रिपुर खण्डन परं
सनन्द मुनि वन्दित पदं सकरुणं पर चिदम्बर नटं हृदि भज॥५॥
अचिन्त्यं अलिबृन्द रुचिबन्धुर गल स्फुरित कुन्द निकुरुम्ब धवलं
मुकुन्द सुरबृन्द बलहन्तृ कृतवन्दन लसन्तं अहिकुण्डल धरम्।
अकम्पं अनुकम्पित रतिं सुजन मङ्गल निधिं गजहरं पशुपतिं
धनञ्जय नुतं प्रणत रञ्जन परं परचिदम्बर नतं हृदि भज॥६॥
परं सुरवरं पुरहरं पशुपतिं जनित दन्तिमुख षण्मुखं अमुं
मृडं कनक पिङ्गल जटं सनक पङ्कज रविं सुमनसं हिम रुचिम्।
असङ्ग मनसं जलधि जन्म गरलं कबलयन्तं अतुलं गुणनिधिं
सनन्दवरदं शमितं इन्दुवदनं पर चिदम्बर नटं हृदि भज॥७॥
अजं क्षितिरथं भुजगपुङ्गव गुणं कनक शृङ्गि धनुषं करलसत्
कुरङ्क पृथु टङ्क परशुं रुचिर कुङ्कुम रुचिं डमरुकं च दधतम्।
मुकुन्द विशिखं नमदवन्ध्य फलदं निगम बृन्द तुरगं निरुपमं
स चण्डिकं अमुं झटिति संहृत पुरं पर चिदम्बर नटं हृदि भज॥८॥
अनङ्ग परिपन्थिनं अजं क्षिति धुरंधरं अमलं करुणयन्तं अखिलं
ज्वलन्तं अनलं दधतं अन्तकरिपुं सततं इन्द्रसुर वन्दित पदम्।
उदञ्चत् अरविन्द कुल बन्धु शतबिम्ब रुचि संहति सुगन्धि वपुषं
पतञ्जलि नुतं प्रणव पञ्जर शुकं पर चिदम्बर नटं हॄदि भज॥९॥
इति स्तवं अमुं भुजग पुङ्गव कृतं प्रतिदिनं पठति यः कृतमुखः
सदः प्रभु पदद्वितय दर्शनपदं सुललितं चरण शृङ्ग रहितम्।
स्मरः प्रभव संभव हरित्पति हरि प्रमुख दिव्य नुत शङ्करपदं
स गच्छति परं न तु जनु र्जलधिं परम दुःख जनकं दुरितदम्॥१०॥


Maida: 400 ml

Ghee: a little less than 100 ml

Baking powder: 1/4 tsp

Cooking soda: 1/2 tsp

Sugar: 250 ml

Curd: 2 teaspoons

Cooking oil: About 400 ml or less

Mix the maida, baking powder and cooking soda and sieve twice. Take this mixture in a big plate, add ghee and knead well. Add the curd and knead again. Add some water and knead the dough to a smooth consistency like for chapathi. Place the dough in a dish greased with ghee and cover with a wet cloth.

After 2 hours, make about 20 balls with the dough. Gently flatten the balls and make a depression in the centre with your thumb.

Heat the oil in a pan. When the oil is a little hot, place about 6-7 badushas in it and cook on a low flame. When one side is cooked gently turn over one by one and scratch with a knife in 2 or 3 places. Turn them over and scratch the other side also. This will allow the badushas to get cooked evenly inside and later to absorb the sugar syrup. When the badushas are golden brown, remove from pan and place in a plate. Cook the remaining badushas in the same way.

In a pan take 200 ml of water, add sugar and boil. When it boils, dirt will begin to float on top. Remove this and continue boiling the syrup until one string consistency is reached. Switch off the stove.

Place the prepared badushas in the sugar syrup in batches. Bathe the top of the badushas with sugar syrup using a spoon. Turn them over and repeat. Remove from syrup and let dry on a plate. When dry store in a dry container.

Rava Laddu

Bombay Rava: one cup

Sugar: one cup

Cardamom: 10 pods

Broken cashew: 1 tbsp

Raisins: 1 tbsp

Ghee: about half a cup

Dry roast the rava in a tawa until hot. Cool and powder fine in mixer. Also powder sugar along with the cardamom pods very fine. In a little ghee, roast the broken cashew pieces and raisins. Mix all the above well in a big plate or basin. Heat the ghee. Add some of the ghee to the powder and mix well. Make into firm balls. If you cannot make balls, you may need to add some more ghee. Add ghee to the powder as and when needed. The laddus will be fragile. Store in a dry container.

Coconut Burfi

Grated coconut: one cup
Sugar: 1.5 cups
Ghee: a little


Grate one coconut. Take care to shred only the white portion. Measure the grated coconut. Take sugar of 1.5 times the coconut. Dry roast the coconut in a kadai very lightly and keep separate. This is just to remove the excess moisture to reduce the cooking time. Put the sugar in a kadai and add water just enough to cover it. Heat and stir so that all the sugar dissolves. Then add a few spoons of milk. This will bring up the impurities if any. Remove that and heat till syrup of one string consistency is formed. Add the coconut and keep stirring on medium to high heat. When the mixture froths up and leaves the sides it is close to done. You can optionally add a spoon of ghee. Stir from the bottom and you should be able to see the bottom of the kadai. Remove from fire and pour into a previously greased plate. Allow to cool. When heat is reduced to bearable level, cut; but do not remove. Wait for it to cool completely and then remove pieces and store in a dry container.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Stuffed Okra


Okra- 300 gms
Oil- 3 tbsp
Asafoetida powder- half tsp
For Stuffing:
Coconut grated- 4 tbsp
Chopped coriander leaves- 4 tbsp
Green chilli- 2
Ginger- half inch
Turmeric powder- 1 tsp
Coriander powder- 1 tsp
Cummin powder- 1 tsp
Garam masala- 1 tsp
Sesame seeds- 1 tbsp
Lemon juice- 1 tsp (optional)
Oil- 2 tbsp
Sugar- 2 tsp
Salt to taste

Pound the green chilli and ginger root together to make a coarse paste. Mix all the ingredients for the stuffing.

Wash and dry the okra. Remove heads and ends. Cut into 5 cm pieces and slit them lengthwise taking care not to fully slice the okra. Fill the slit okra pieces with the filling mixture. In a kadai, heat the oil, and add the asafoetida powder. Add the stuffed okra pieces, cover and cook on low heat till done. Check and stir occasionally. Serve with Rotis or steamed rice.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Vegetable Noodles

Plain Wheat noodles 200 gm:
2 medium Onions
2 medium capsicums
2 medium carrots
200 ml Shredded cabbage
30 ml oil
1 teaspoon pepper powder
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon soya sauce
1 teaspoon green chilli sauce
2 tablespoon tomato sauce
Salt to taste

Prepare the noodles as per packet instruction with salt. Should however not be too soft. Cut the onion and vegetables into thin strips. Heat oil in a pan and add the onions, carrots, capsicum and cabbage in that order. Saute for 2 minutes and then add pepper powder, sugar and the sauces as well as the salt required for the vegetables. Add the cooked noodles and gently mix. Since the sauces contain salt, take care while adding salt. Serve them alone or with salads- cucumber, tomato and onion rings.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Rajasthani Khadi

180 ml Bengal gram flour
1 tbsp curd
2 tbsp oil
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp saunf seeds
¼ tsp ajwain seeds
Salt to taste

Mix all the ingredients and knead into a firm dough using very little water. Divide the mixture into 6 equal portions and roll with hand into a long cylindrical roll. Boil these rolls in plenty of boiling water for about 10 minutes. Drain and cool. Cut each of the roll into 8 pieces such that each small piece is the size of a big marble. Keep aside.


500 ml Beaten curd
1 tbsp Bengal gram flour
10 curry leaves
½ cup of water
Combine all the above and mix so that no lumps remain.

a. 1 tsp jeera
b. ½ tsp mustard seeds
c. ½ tsp saunf seeds
d. ¼ tsp asafoetida powder
e. 1 each of bay leaf, clove, cardamom and cinnamon stick
f. ¼ tsp turmeric powder
g. 2 tsp chilli powder
h. 2 tsp coriander powder
i. 2 tbsp oil
Salt to taste
2 tbsp chopped coriander leaves

Heat the oil in a pan and add the ingredients from a to e. After the seeds crackle, add ingredients from f to h and sauté for a few seconds. Add the curd mixture, a cup of water and salt and bring to boil. Take care to stir continuously so that the curd does not split. Add the dumplings and bring to boil. Garnish with chopped coriander.

Works with Rice, Parathas, or Adai

Carrot Halwa

Delhi Carrot: 800 gms
Milk: 500 ml
Sugar: 200 gms (approximate- adjust sweetness to taste.)
Ghee: 2 tbsp
Cashews, almonds, raisins- 10 each
Cardamom powder- ½ tsp.

Grate Carrots. Boil milk in a thick pan- preferably pressure pan. Add grated carrot and continue to boil until all liquid evaporates. Add sugar and continue to cook on reduced heat until all the sugar is dissolved and the mixture starts drying up. Add the ghee and continue to cook until a near dry texture is obtained. Garnish with chopped, roasted nuts, raisins and cardamom. Serve hot or cold as per taste.