Recipes For Ganesh Chaturthi

Coconut Rose Modak/ Coconut Rose Kozhukattai

Parupu Vadai/ Mixed Dal Vada/ No Onion No Garlic Vadai

Sabudana Kheer / Javvarisi Payasam

Popular Rakshabandhan Recipes

Pidi Karunai Kizhangu Masiyal

Beetroot Rice Flour Rotis/Beetroot Flatbread

Vendakai Vatha Kuzhambu/ Tangy Okra Curry

Brahmi Leaves Chutney/ Vallarai Keerai Chutney

Red Chilli Chutney/ Pandu Mirapakaya Roti Pachadi

Gongura Pappu/ Red Sorrel Leaves Dal

Mohan Puri/ Chandrakala

Pineapple Kesari/Pineapple Sheera/Pineapple Pudding

Sooji Halwa/Semolina Pudding/Sheera

Pumpkin Halwa/Kaddu Halwa/ Pumpkin Pudding

Sundal Recipes

Sundal Podi

Aval Sakkarai Pongal/ Poha Sweet Pongal

Ammini Kozhukattai/ Savory Rice Flour Dumplings

Kozhakattai/Modak 2 ways(Coconut Poornam/Stuffing)

Green Tomato Chutney/ Raw Tomato Chutney

Goli Baje/Mysore Bajji

Coconut Barfi/Thengai Burfi (with desiccated coconut)

Red Rice Sweet Poha (with sugar)

Moringa-Dal Shorba (Moringa leaves Soup)

Bisi Bele Bath Masala (Powder)

Bisi Bele Bath/ Bisi Bele Huli Anna

Gluten Free Thaali

Rice Flour Rotis/Chawal Ki Roti

 Roti is a flat bread made with whole wheat flour or refined flour. The dough is unleavened. Rotis form the staple food of most Indians on the northern side. Rotis can be of different kinds like, Chapati, Phulka, Tandoori roti, Roomali roti, Missi roti and more. In all the mentioned varieties differ in either the flour proportions or the method how they are cooked.  

Rice Rotis are the softest and are made with steamed rice flour. Unlike the Akki Roti these rotis do not have chopped onions and other spices added to them. If made correctly, they also fluff up like a phulka. Since they are made with rice flour these Rotis are gluten free and perfect for people with gluten resistance.

As I am on a series creating Thaalis from all around India and also documenting the variations to them based on ingredients used or not used, I cooked this Rotis as part of the Gluten free thaali.

The dough for these Rotis is like the one made for Modak/kozhakattai. Having said this, it is important to make the dough well. I have cooked the Rotis with store bough rice flour, so some cracks towards the edge are seen. A smooth flour will ensure no cracks at all. The flour can also be made by pounding rice to a fine flour at home itself in a mixie.

Follow the directions as mentioned to get the best out of the recipe. While you are here also checkout other Roti/Paratha recipes on the blog like- Missi Roti, Garlic Naan, Sweet potato puran poli, Aloo Methi Paratha, Garlic Lachcha paratha, Beetroot Paratha, Chinese Paratha, and more…

Here is the recipe of Rice Roti or Chawal Ki Roti-

 

PREP TIME: 20 Mins                                      COOK TIME: 20 Mins
TOTAL TIME: 40Mins                                     COURSE:  BREADS
CUISINE:  INDIAN                                         SERVINGS: 4(8 Pcs)
AUTHOR: Rajni Ram

 

     Ingredients:
 
     Rice flour (fine) 2 cups
     Water 2 to 2.5 cups 
     Oil 1 tbsp (sesame or refined)
     Salt 1/2 tsp
 
 
     Directions: Take the rice flour in a heavy bottomed vessel or bowl. Add the salt and mix well with a spatula or using your fingers. Now put about 2 cups water, with the oil to boil. Roll boil the water(that is when the water bubbles are moving from bottom to top), switch of the flame and gradually pour the water into the flour, mixing with a spatula all the time. Stir until the water soaks up all the flour. The mixture may appear a little dry, but don’t worry. Cover the vessel and put it on the flame and cook covered on low flame for 2 minutes. Remove from flame and cool a little. Remember it should not cool down completely. Now while still the dough is a little hot, using your hands start kneading the dough. Keep a bowl of water at regular temperature and keep dipping your hands into it so that you are able to deal with the hot dough. Knead at the temperature your hands are able to take without trouble, If you find the dough a little dry or brittle, don’t hesitate to sprinkle(not pour) some water and knead again. Sprinkle-knead, sprinkle-knead, until you get a dough of smooth texture. Divide the dough into 8 or 10 portions, and ball them up. Dust with a little rice flour and roll them into a medium sized roti. (please refer notes at this point). Heat a Tava/girdle and cook o one side using a little oil, flip and cook the other side. The rotis will remain white, a few brown or black spots may appear when the rotis are done. These rotis can also be cooked as phulka, but I have not done so today. While cooking the Rotis on the Tava, press them well with a spatula, to puff them up. Enjoy the Roti with a curry of your choice.
 
STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:
 
1.  Take the rice flour in a heavy bottomed vessel or bowl. Add the salt and mix well with a spatula or using your fingers. Now put about 2 cups water, with the oil to boil. Roll boil the water(that is when the water bubbles are moving from bottom to top), switch of the flame and gradually pour the water into the flour, mixing with a spatula all the time. Stir until the water soaks up all the flour. The mixture may appear a little dry, but don’t worry. 
 

 

 
2. Cover the vessel and put it on the flame and cook covered on low flame for 2 minutes. Remove from flame and cool a little. Remember it should not cool down completely. Now while still the dough is a little hot, using your hands start kneading the dough. Keep a bowl of water at regular temperature and keep dipping your hands into it so that you are able to deal with the hot dough.
 

 

3. If you find the dough a little dry or brittle, don’t hesitate to sprinkle(not pour) some water and knead again. Sprinkle-knead, sprinkle-knead, until you get a dough of smooth texture. Divide the dough into 8 or 10 portions, and ball them up. Dust with a little rice flour and roll them into a medium sized roti. (please refer notes at this point).
 

 

4. Heat a Tava/girdle and cook o one side using a little oil, flip and cook the other side. The Rotis will remain white, a few brown or black spots may appear when the Rotis are done. These Rotis can also be cooked as Phulka, but I have not done so today. While cooking the Rotis on the Tava, press them well with a spatula, to puff them up. Enjoy the Roti with a curry of your choice.
 

 

NOTES: 
 
1. Roll boil the water means when the water bubbles are moving from bottom to top.
2. If you find the dough a little dry or brittle, don’t hesitate to sprinkle(not pour) some water and knead again. Sprinkle-knead, sprinkle-knead, until you get a dough of smooth texture. 
3. After the rolling the Roti if you are unable to ease it out of the platform, use a rice serving spatula to ease it out without tearing(refer pictures).
4. These rotis have to be rolled gently. 
5. To knead while the dough is still hot, i knead them into small balls first and then combined all of them to make a huge smooth ball.(refer picture in step 2.
6. I did not use any oil to cook the Rotis, but you can definitely use if you prefer.
 
 

 

Beetroot Halwa

 I have a long standing relationship with Beetroot. I have liked it as a child and continue to do so. What I meant by long standing relationship is that, when I was anemic for a certain period, I was advised to eat Beetroot and Pomegranate regularly. And yes Dates too. These three are always part of my diet even now. I cook Beetroot in many forms. Stir fry, Falafel, Paratha, Salad and more. But my most favourite version is of this dessert, Beetroot Halwa. In fact I prefer Beetroot halwa to Carrot Halwa. 

If you have followed my Carrot halwa recipe you will see that I have followed the same method. These root vegetables have an earthy taste and smell. So to make a dessert with them, it is necessary to get rid of the earthy taste. That’s done by boiling them in milk( a good amount of it). This not only removes that raw taste, but add that nice milkiness that we require for a Halwa or any fudge kind of recipe.

If not boiling them in milk, you need something like unsweetened Mava or Khoya, which is dehydrated milk to get rid of the taste. This version I have done in my Gajar Halwa Barfi recipe. It is a very quick version of the Carrot Halwa itself. Finally, this halwa is such a guilt free dish because a lot of sugar is not needed owing to the natural sweetness of the beets, and ghee has been used only for frying the nuts.

Coming to the vegetable itself and why one must include it in their diet is because they are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, some of  which have medicinal properties. Another popular reason is that they have any nutrients, and fewer calories, so it is good for weight watchers. It helps keep blood pressure in check. They also have a decent amount of Fiber, folate and Vitamin C. Isn’t this reason enough for it to be a part of our meal plan?

I am cooking this Halwa on a day I have excess milk, so you will see me using my regular milk vessel, instead of my Kadai or Pan which I usually prefer. This is also Pandemic time, so no house help around. The more vessels I use, the more clean up I end up doing… getting the drift?????

While you are here check out other dessert recipes of mine like- Carrot Kheer, Gajar/Carrot Halwa, Moong Dal Halwa, Dry fruit ladoo, Red Poha Ladoo, Sweet Potato Puranpoli, and more…

Here is the recipe for Beet root Halwa.  

 

     PREP TIME: 10 Mins                                      COOK TIME: 40 Mins
     TOTAL TIME: 50 Mins                                      COURSE:  DESSERT
     CUISINE:  INDIAN                                            SERVINGS: 6
     AUTHOR: Rajni Ram

 

    Ingredients:

    Beetroot 2 medium around 250 gm grated

    Milk 500 ml

    Sugar 3/4 cup

    Cardamom powder 2 pinches

    Cashewnuts few broken to bits

    Pistachio a few (optional)

    Ghee for frying nuts

    Directions: Boil Milk in a Pan/Kadai or heavy bottomed vessel.  Once boiled, add the grated beetroot and cook. Keep stirring continuously, so that the milk doesn’t get burnt. This is an important step. If the milk sticks to the bottom of the vessel and burns, the dessert will not taste good any more. The stirring and cooking process has to continue until the mixture becomes almost dry. This takes about 40 to 45 minutes, if done on medium flame, while stirring constantly. I have indicated the steps of evaporation of milk in the mixture, in my pictures. When the mixture is almost dry, it is time to add the sugar. Keep stirring again. The mixture will liquefy. Not to worry. Keep stirring, and it will start solidifying again. Keep stirring until the mixture no more sticks to the bottom of the pan. This is the right consistency. Switch off the flame and, add cardamom powder. Now in a small tadka Kadai heat some ghee, drop in the broken cashew pieces and fry until golden brown. Pour this over the Halwa and enjoy warm. Garnish with Pistachios if you prefer.

 

STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:

1.  Boil Milk in a Pan/Kadai or heavy bottomed vessel.  Once boiled, add the grated beetroot and cook. Keep stirring continuously, so that the milk doesn’t get burnt. This is an important step. If the milk sticks to the bottom of the vessel and burns, the dessert will not taste good any more.

 



2. The stirring and cooking process has to continue until the mixture becomes almost dry. This takes about 40 to 45 minutes, if done on medium flame, while stirring constantly. I have indicated the steps of evaporation of milk in the mixture, in my pictures.

 



3. When the mixture is almost dry, it is time to add the sugar. Keep stirring again. The mixture will liquefy. Not to worry. Keep stirring, and it will start solidifying again. Keep stirring until the mixture no more sticks to the bottom of the pan. This is the right consistency.

 



4. Switch off the flame and, add cardamom powder. Now in a small tadka Kadai heat some ghee, drop in the broken cashew pieces and fry until golden brown. Pour this over the Halwa and enjoy warm. Garnish with Pistachios if you prefer.



 
 
    NOTES:
 
1. Once can easily double up measures for more quantity.
 
2. If you are a beginner, you may want to know that, as you cook the beets in milk, their colour pales, but once the sugar is added, it becomes all bright again. So you are doing good. Do not worry.
 
3. Sometimes if the beets are too juicy, inspite of trying to dry the mixture, a small amount of moisture remains. If you don’t prefer that, just add 1 tbsp of milk powder and you get the perfect texture.
 
 

If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. I would love to hear from you. If you have a query about the recipe email us and ill respond as soon as I can.

If you would like to receive our recipes on your mail please leave your mail id at the homepage. Every time Rajjo’s Kitchenn has a new post we will mail the recipe to you.
 



 

Moong Dal Halwa

Moong dal Halwa is an Indian dessert made from yellow lentils. It is basically a fudge and is very rich because of the amount ghee/ clarified butter added to it. Though I make many sweet varieties and desserts, I’m not generally the one who will stay until dessert. I’m immensely intuitive while I create sweet dishes, but I don’t crave sweets much. But this halwa is very close to my heart because it probably is the first sweet dish I ever liked. Thanks to our stint in Delhi, I have got to taste the best ones.

Infact, I liked this sweet dish so much that I have attempted to make it in the past, failed miserably and had given up on ever trying it again. But last year during the pandemic lockdown I was craving it badly, and as you know “ when you want something very badly, the universe conspires to make it happen” ????. So I had a viola moment during Diwali,  while I was documenting the sweets and savoury prepared by me, when a simple method to make this halwa struck m

If you have attempted making this halwa any time or have searched the net for the recipe, all of them will tell you it takes 3 to 4 hours to get this sweet dish done. The actual recipe asks to soak and grind the lentils and them cook it in milk/ water and then add the sweetening agent. As I have claimed here on the blog before, I will take a short cut as long as it does not alter the taste, flavour and texture of the dish. And I took a short cut to this recipe and I don’t regret it because the outcome was just like the original. 

If you follow the procedure as given here by me without altering I’m sure it’s a no fail recipe. And why stand by the stove for hours when you can get the same taste and flavour in an hour’s time? Having failed at this recipe many times, and knowing what went wrong each time, this time the recipe was made with so much conviction of technique that it turned out wonderfully. 

While you are here do check out other dessert recipes like Carrot kheer, Strawberry and Lemon loaf, Red Poha Ladoo, Shrikhand, Malpua with Gulab Jamun mix, Akkaravadisal, Sweet Poha, and more…

Here is the recipe of Moong Dal Halwa-

 

      PREP TIME: 10 Mins                                      COOK TIME: 50 Mins
     TOTAL TIME: 60 Mins                                      COURSE:  DESSERT
     CUISINE:  INDIAN                                            SERVINGS: 6
     AUTHOR: Rajni Ram

 

 



    Ingredients:

    Moong dal split ( yellow lentils) 1 cup

    Milk 1 cup

    Water 2 cups

    Sugar 1 cup

    Saffron strands a few (optional)

    Yellow food colour/turmeric powder for colour 2 pinches

    Ghee 100 GM approx

    Cardamom/ Elaichi powder 1/4 tsp

    Almonds and Pistachio chopped a few

 

    Directions:

The foremost and important step is dry roasting the dal to a light brown colour. This has to be done patiently on low heat. On this depends the entire recipe. First put a pan/ kadai on flame and warm it. Now put the dal and start the roasting procedure by stirring constantly. This step can be done ahead. Cool the roasted dal and grind it in a blender. For a smooth texture of halwa grind it finely, for a grainy texture grind it coarse. Whole dal should not be visible. Now put this ground dal powder in a pan, add one cup milk, followed by 2 cups water, and stir to make it lump free. Now put the pan on the flame, add the food colour/turmeric powder, and start cooking the mixture on medium flame. Slowly the mixture will start thickening. If adding saffron strands, add now. Keep stirring gently, scraping the sides of the pan from time to time. Once the mixture thickens, check if there is any rawness in the smell. That is, if the dal smell/ taste is still coming. If yes, add another ladle of milk and continue to stir again. If your mixture has thickened and there is no raw smell or taste, add the sugar gently and start stirring again. As the sugar melts the dal mixture will liquefy. Don’t worry and continue to stir. The mixture will start thickening again. Now is the time to start pouring the ghee. Pour one ladle at a time and stir until the ghee is absorbed. Continue this process until no more ghee gets absorbed, but remains on the halwa. You will also notice that at this stage your mixture/ halwa no longer sticks to the pan/ kadai bottom, but comes out clean while stirring. Another way to tell the Halwa is done, is when you take a little of it in your fingers and try to form a ball, you should be able to do it. Add the cardamom powder and nuts and transfer the halwa to a container.  The delicious Moong dal halwa is ready to relish .

 

    STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:

1. First out a pan/ kadai on flame and warm it. Now put the dal and start the roasting procedure by stirring constantly. This step can be done ahead. Cool the roasted dal and grind it in a blender. For a smooth texture of halwa grind it finely, for a grainy texture grind it coarse. 

 

 

2. Now put this ground dal powder in a pan, add one cup milk, followed by 2 cups water, and stir to make it lump free. Now put the pan on the flame, add the food colour/turmeric powder, and start cooking the mixture on medium flame.

 

 

3. Slowly the mixture will start thickening. Keep stirring gently, scraping the sides of the pan from time to time. If adding saffron strands, add now. Once the mixture thickens, check if there is any rawness in the smell. That is, if the dal smell/ taste is still coming. If yes, add another ladle of milk and continue to stir again. If your mixture has thickened and there is no raw smell or taste, add the sugar gently and start stirring again.

 

4. As the sugar melts the dal mixture will liquefy. Don’t worry and continue to stir. The mixture will start thickening again. Now is the time to start pouring the ghee. Pour one ladle at a time and stir until the ghee is absorbed. Continue this process until no more ghee gets absorbed, but remains on the halwa. 

 

 

 

5. You will also notice that at this stage your mixture/ halwa no longer sticks to the pan/ kadai bottom, but comes out clean while stirring. Another way to tell the Halwa is done, is when you take a little of it in your fingers and try to form a ball, you should be able to do it. Add the cardamom powder and nuts and transfer the halwa to a container. The delicious Moong dal halwa is ready to relish .

 
 

 

 
    NOTES:
 
1. The foremost and important step is dry roasting the dal to a light brown colour. This has to be done patiently on low heat. On this depends the entire recipe.
2. Ensure the Kadai is warm before you put in the dal for roasting. This way the Dal will get roasted evenly and quickly.
3. I like a grainy texture, so while grinding, I stopped just before super fine.
4. Adding more ghee than required will subdue the taste of the dal. When the dal mixture no longer takes in the ghee, as soon as poured and stirred, stop adding any more ghee.
5. I used a non stick pan for making the Halwa and recommend the same for now. I will soon be trying in a regular kadai and shall update the recipe then.
6. I have kept my Halwa colour yellow, by frying it to a light brown and then adding turmeric powder(which is a natural colour). If you prefer a browner version, roast the dal to a deeper brown and proceed with the recipe. 
7. I have used turmeric powder instead of food colour, as it is natural and two pinches of it do not make a difference to the taste of the halwa.
 

If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. I would love to hear from you. If you have a query about the recipe email us and ill respond as soon as I can.

If you would like to receive our recipes on your mail please leave your mail id at the homepage. Every time Rajjo’s Kitchen has a new post we will mail the recipe to you.
 

 

 

Thakkali Aati Kachina Kuzhambu

Thakkali Aati Kachina Kuzhambu is basically a Tomato curry, that goes on the sides with pretty much anything. Idli, Dosa, Parathas and Rice, all taste great with this. This a traditional recipe from the Kongunaad region of Tamil Nadu. I have deviated a little from the original recipe, a few addition/deletion of spices and condiments. The rich taste and flavour of tomatoes and the texture given by coconut, makes this curry a winner.

This curry is different from a chutney or sambar, in its basic ingredients. The consistency may be that of Sambar, but there is no dal used in this curry. Just three ingredients  Shallots(Sambar onions), Tomatoes,Coconut, apart from other spices. Even better is the fact that you can store it in the fridge for a couple of days, and use as required.

If you have been following the blog, then you know by now what a tomato addict I am, and I just can’t cook without them. Anyone on the same page as me? Infact, in my social media handle I have spoken many times about my insecurity of tomatoes getting over. So much that i keep stocking excess of them. And this stocking has become excess during the pandemic lockdown. So every now and then such Tomato gravies and chutney’s are made at my place to keep consuming them????.

While you are here check out other curry recipes on the blog like Chakki Ki Shak, Rasakalan, Miloni Baby Corn and Bell peppers Curry, Menthiya keerai Kootu, Mirch Ka salan, Dum Aloo Ajwaini, and more…

 

Here is the recipe for Thakkali Aati Kachina Kuzhambu-

 

  PREP TIME: 10                                           COOK TIME: 20 MINS
 TOTAL TIME:30Mins                                    COURSE:  MAIN COURSE
 CUISINE: SOUTH INDIAN                           SERVINGS: 6
 AUTHOR: Rajni Ram

 

    Ingredients:

 
    Tomatoes 4 large ones
    Shallots/Sambar onions 20 nos peeled (10 ahead and 10 later)
    Garlic 4 cloves
    Dry red chillies 4 + 1
    Curry leaves a few
    Coconut 2 tablespoons
    Mustard seeds 1 tsp
    Fenugreek seeds 1/2 tsp
    Asafoetida 1/2 tsp
    Salt as required
    Sambar powder 1 tbsp
    Red chilli powder regular 1 tsp
    Kashmiri red chilli powder 1 tsp
    Pepper powder 1 tsp
    Oil for sauteing till oil/coconut oil/refined oil  
 
     Directions:
In a Pan/Kadai heat some oil for sauteing. Gently drop the shallots(half of them), garlic and red chillies and saute. Add curry leaves and continue to saute. When the onions start turning a light brown, add the tomatoes and saute until they turn mushy. Now add the coconut and saute for a minute or two. Put off the flame and cool the mixture. Once cool, grind this mixture to a smooth paste and keep aside. Now to the same kadai, add a little more oil and heat. Add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, dry red chilli and curry leaves. Add some asafoetida. Now add the remaining shallots and saute until light brown. Now add the prepared tomato paste. Also add salt, sambar powder, red chilli powder(regular), kashmiri red chilli powder, and mix well. Now add some pepper powder. Add about 2 cups water and allow the gravy to thicken. The final consistency of the gravy should be like Sambar. Enjoy with Rice, Idli Dosa, Puri or Parathas. Bon appetite.
 

 

     STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:

1. In a Pan/Kadai heat some oil for sauteing. Gently drop the shallots(half of them), garlic and red chillies and saute. Add curry leaves and continue to saute. When the onions start turning a light brown, add the tomatoes and saute until they turn mushy. Now add the coconut and saute for a minute or two. Put off the flame and cool the mixture.

 

 

2. Once cool, grind this mixture to a smooth paste and keep aside. Now to the same kadai, add a little more oil and heat. Add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, dry red chilli and curry leaves. Add some asafoetida. Now add the remaining shallots and saute until light brown. 

 

3. Now add the prepared tomato paste. Also add salt, sambar powder, red chilli powder(regular), kashmiri red chilli powder, and mix well. Now add some pepper powder. Add about 2 cups water and allow the gravy to thicken. The final consistency of the gravy should be like Sambar.

 

    NOTES:

1. Country tomatoes are the best variety for this recipe, as they are a little sour.

2. Instead of adding pepper powder later, once can add whole peppercorns while sauteing the onion and tomatoes.

3. This curry can be kept in the refrigerator for 3 days and warmed up as required.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rasakalan

Rasakalan is a traditional mixed vegetable dish from the Palakkad cuisine. The dish is so rustic and delicious and very easy to make. It is great to go with hot rice or can be served on the sides with Dosa or Idli. The vegetables mostly used in this dish are Ash gourd, Sweet potato, pumpkin, that are cooked in a tangy tamarind sauce and then a flavourful coconut masala paste is added. It is the paste that makes all the difference. Finally the seasoning in coconut oil enhances the flavours of the dish and takes it to a different level.

 
In our family my aunt makes this the best, so this recipe has been adapted from  her instructions. This recipe allows you to customize the vegetables as per your liking. I have used a mix of Ash gourd, Capsicum, Carrot, Beans and Potatoes. 
 
While you are here check out my other recipes from the Palakkad cuisine like Unni Appam/Nei appam, Sukhiyan, Avial, Keerai Molagootal with Mathan puli pachadi and more…
 
 
Here is the recipe of Rasakalan for you all-
 
  PREP TIME: 15                                          COOK TIME: 15Mins
 TOTAL TIME:30Mins                                   COURSE:  MAIN
 CUISINE: PALAKKAD                                 SERVINGS: 6
 AUTHOR: Rajni Ram

 

 

    Ingredients:
 
     Ash Gourd 100 gm skin removed and diced
     Potato 1 peeled and diced
     Beans about 5 chopped to 1 inch pieces
     Carrot 1 peeled and diced
     Capsicum 1 chopped to small pieces
   Tamarind paste 1 tbsp or soak gooseberry size tamarind ball and extract pulp appx 1.5 cup
      Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
      Salt as required
      Coconut 2 tbsp
      Green chillies 2
      Dry red chillies 4 (or depending on spice choice)
      Jaggery 1 tsp
      Coconut oil or refined oil 1/2 tbsp
      Mustard seeds 1 tsp
      Chana dal ( gram dal) 1/2 tbsp
      Asafoetida 1/2 tsp
      Dry red chilli broken 1
      Curry leaves a few
 
Directions:
 
In a pan add the tamarind paste plus 2 cups water or tamarind pulp 1.5 cups and switch on the flame. Add turmeric powder and salt followed by chopped vegetables and cook until the vegetables are done. The vegetables should be well cooked but firm. Overcooking may ruin the taste of the dish. When the vegetables are cooked grind the coconut, green chillies, dry red chillies to a smooth paste adding a little water. Pour this paste into the vegetable and tamarind gravy and cook further for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the gravy comes together. Put off the flame. In a tempering Kadai take some coconut oil or any oil of our choice and heat. Add mustard seeds, when they crackle add the gram dal, asafoetida and curry leaves. Add this tempering to the cooked curry. The delicious Rasakalan is ready to serve. Enjoy with hot rice or with Dosa, pongal or upma.
 
STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:
 
1.  In a pan add the tamarind paste plus 2 cups water or tamarind pulp 1.5 cups and switch on the flame. Add turmeric powder and salt followed by chopped vegetables and cook until the vegetables are done.
 

 

 
2.  When the vegetables are cooked grind the coconut, green chillies, dry red chillies to a smooth paste adding a little water.
 

 

  
3. Pour this paste into the vegetable and tamarind gravy and cook further for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the gravy comes together. Add the jaggery and put off the flame.
 

 

 
4. In a tempering Kadai take some coconut oil or any oil of our choice and heat. Add mustard seeds, when they crackle add the gram dal, asafoetida and curry leaves. Add this tempering to the cooked curry. The delicious Rasakalan is ready to serve. Enjoy with hot rice or with Dosa, pongal or upma.
 

 

 

NOTES:
1. As said earlier the vegetables can be customized to ones liking, keeping the vegetables traditional and Indian helps in retaining the traditional taste.
2. Using coconut oil enhances the taste, but any other oil of preference can be used too. Note taste will vary though. 
3. The texture and consistency of this dish should be thicker then Sambar.
 
 
 

If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. I would love to hear from you. If you have a query about the recipe email us and ill respond as soon as I can.

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Menthiya Keerai Kootu/South Indian Methi Dal

Fenugreek or Methi green are my most favorite greens and i wish they were perennial. That said, even though they can be grown at home perennially, its always good to eat seasonal food, to get the maximum benefits out of them. These slightly bitter greens have loads of benefits to offer and one should make the most of it. 

As said earlier I love these greens, so even in my regular North Indian subji’s I use a few sprigs for flavour. On my blog you will find Methi used in different ways like the Aloo Methi Paratha, Methi Wale Baingan and more…
Today I am  posting a simple everyday South Indian recipe which is Menthiya Keerai kootu or Methi dal. This is different from the North Indain version as here ground coconut paste is used for flavouring, which reduces the bitterness of the Methi and ehances its flavour. I prefer using Moongdal for this kootu though Tuvar dal also can be used. Let’s get to the recipe right away.
 
This is a simple recipe that gets done in under 30 minutes. The dal can be pre cooked to make quick dinner after a long day at work. Just this Kootu and some Rice and one is in for a super healthy and satiating meal.
 
Here is the recipe for Menthiya Keerai Kootu  
 
    PREP TIME: 10 MINS                               COOK TIME:15 MINS

 

    TOTAL TIME: 25 MINS                               COURSE: MAIN 

    CUISINE: SOUTH INDIAN                          SERVINGS: 4

    AUTHOR: RAJNI RAM

 

 

 

 
 
 
Ingredients:
Methi green/Fenugreek greens 1 bunch
Moong dal 1/2 cup Roasted to light brown
Tomato 1 finely chopped
Grated Coconut 2 tbsp
Cumin 1 tsp
Turmeric powder 1 tsp
Sambar powder 1 tsp
Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Dry red chillies 2 whole
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Urad dal 2 tsp 
Chana dal 1 tsp
Oil for tempering (I used coconut oil)
 
Directions:
In a Karahi dry roast the Moong Dal to a light brown colour and pressure cook for 4 whistles. In a pan, take the Methi leaves and add 1 cup water followed by turmeric powder and salt and cook. When the leaves are half done add Sambar powder and red chilli powder and continue to cook. Add chopped tomatoes and cook for another minute. Now add the cooked dal and give it a nice mix. Add grated coconut, mix well, cook for 2 minutes and put off the flame. In a small Tadka Kadai take some oil for tempering. When oil is hot add the mustard seeds, followed by Urad dal, Chana dal , broken dry red chilli, and asafoetida. Pour the tempering in to the Methi dal and the delicious and healthy Menthiya Keerai kootu is ready.
 
Serving Suggestions: This Methi dal or Menthiya Keerai kootu goes very well with Vathakuzhambu rice, Rasam rice, Paruppu podi. And me, I love them with Rotis too.  
 
STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:
 
1. In a Karahi dry roast the Moong Dal to a light brown colour and pressure cook for 4 whistles, with a little turmeric powder. In a pan, take the Methi leaves and add 1 cup water followed by turmeric powder and salt and cook.
 

 

 
 
 
2. In a pan, take the Methi leaves and add 1 cup water followed by turmeric powder and salt and cook. When the leaves are half done add Sambar powder and red chilli powder and continue to cook. Add chopped tomatoes and cook for another minute. 
 



 
3. Now add the cooked dal and give it a nice mix. Add grated coconut, mix well, cook for 2 minutes and put off the flame.
 
 



4.  In a small tadka Kadai take some oil for tempering. When oil is hot add the mustard seeds, followed by Urad dal, Chana dal , broken dry red chilli, and asafoetida. Pour the tempering in to the Methi dal and the delicious and healthy Menthiya Keerai kootu is ready.
 
 
 



 
 
NOTES:
1. Dry roasting the Moong dal gives a good flavour, aroma and texture to the Kootu. I always have a roasted batch ready.
2. I have used Coconut oil for enhanced flavour as i used it for all south Indian tempering except Sambar and Rasam. One can use refined oil too.
3. Not over cooking the Methi greens is important, other wise the taste is lost.
 
 
 
If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. I would love to hear from you. If you have a query about the recipe email us and ill respond as soon as I can.
 

South Indian Vegetable Kurma

The South Indian Vegetable Kurma is a very popular dish in most south Indian restaurants. It goes very well with most south Indian dishes like the Sevai aka string hoppers, Parotta, Kothu Parotta( for which it forms part of the kotthu gravy), Poori, Dosa, Kal Dosa Rava Dosa, and more…

Than the ones at a restaurant I like the home version as the masalas can be customized.  I find the restaurant ones very pungent with a strong masala impact which subdues the taste of the vegetables. A good kurma is one where the taste and texture of the vegetables is retained and the mild masalas enhance the taste of the dish.

So here’s my version of the South Indian Vegetable Kurma–

 

 

 

 

PREP TIME: 15 MINS                                 COOK TIME:15 MINS

TOTAL TIME: 30 MINS                                COURSE: MAIN 

CUISINE:INDIAN                                         SERVINGS: 4

 

 

AUTHOR: RAJNI RAM

 

 

    Ingredients:

    Chopped Mix vegetables 200 gm ( carrot, cauliflower, potatoes, beans) etc;

    Green peas 50 gm

    Capsicum 1 chopped 

    Onion 1 medium chopped

    Tomatoes 2 large pureed

    Cashewnuts 10

    Coconut 1 tbsp

    Fennel seeds 1 tsp

Bay leaf/ Tej patha 1 medium

    Cumin seeds 1 tsp

    Green cardamom 2

     Cloves 3 -4

    Ginger garlic paste 1 tsp

    Green chilli 1

     Biryani masala 1 tsp depending on flavour

    Red chilli powder 2 tsp

    Oil for sauteeing 

    Garam masala powder 1/2 tsp optional

 

Directions:

Steam all the mix vegetables  with salt and turmeric powder, except capsicum, onion and tomatoes.  Take care to not turn them mushy. Now in a pan or Kadai pour oil and heat. Put in the Bay leaf, cumin seeds, green cardamom and cloves and fry for 30 seconds. Now add the onions and ginger garlic paste,and saute for 30 seconds. Add the capsicum and continue to saute for another minute. Now add the tomato puree and all other spice powders like red chilli powder, biryani masala and the salt. Cook the gravy until the oil separates. Now add the steamed vegetables, mix well and cook for a minute. Grind the coconut, fennel seed, cashewnuts and green chillies to a smooth paste adding a little water.  Pour this paste into the cooking gravy. Cook for another2 minutes or until the gravy cones together and put of the stove. Garnish with curry leaves add the garam masala powder now if using,  and enjoy with your choice of tiffin.

 

STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:

1. Steam all the mix vegetables with some salt and turmeric powder, except capsicum, onion and tomatoes.  Take care to not turn them mushy.

 

 

 

2. Now in a pan or Kadai pour oil and heat. Put in the Bay leaf, cumin seeds, green cardamom and cloves and fry for 30 seconds. Now add the onions and ginger garlic paste, and saute for 30 seconds. Add the capsicum and continue to saute for another minute

 

 

3. Now add the tomato puree and all other spice powders like red chilli powder, biryani masala and the salt. Cook the gravy until the oil separates.

 

 

4. Now add the steamed vegetables, mix well and cook for a minute. Grind the coconut, fennel seed, cashewnuts and green chillies to a smooth paste adding  a little water. 

 

 

 

5. Pour this paste into the cooking gravy. Cook for another2 minutes or until the gravy cones together and put of the stove. Garnish with curry leaves add the garam masala powder now if using,  and enjoy with your choice of tiffin

 

 

NOTES:

1. The vegetables used can be customized to your liking. That said vegetables with a lit of water content like gourds, brinjal etc are not preferred much.

2. For a thicker gravy add more cashew and coconut. For a thinner one reduce the cashew and coconut or use the quantity given and then thin down with water 

3. I use biryani masala for the kurma as it gives a very nice flavoring to the kurma. One can use garam masala too but the authentic taste does not come in.

4. I use homemade Biryani masala. For recipe of Biryani masala click here. Feel free to use store bought one too.

 

If you tried this recipe and liked it, please let us know in the comment box. I would love to hear from you. If you would like to receive our future posts on your mail, please leave your mail Id so that we can post it to you.

 

Ven Pongal (Moong Dal Kichdi)

This savory Pongal is a popular breakfast item in Sout India. Like the Rasam, the Ven Pongal too is one recipe, whose taste  I find is different from house to house, though the same ingredients are used. The proportion of the rice and dal and the proportions of the pepper and cumin are what make the difference.

This is a simple recipe that can be made as a one-pot recipe or a pot in pot one. I follow both the methods depending on when I am making it. In this recipe, I have followed the pot in pot method.  

I prefer the Pongal to be spicy(not the chilli kinda spicy, but the pepper kind of spicy). The quality of pepper we use always makes a difference to the dish. I source my peppers from Kerala, where they are the freshes and spicy.

Though this dish is made as a breakfast dish, in my home I always prefer it for lunch, as I find it too heavy for breakfast. For breakfast, I make a Millet Pongal which is lighter to have in the morning. Like the Chakkara Pongal, this dish too is loaded with ghee, but I prefer adding my ghee in the end and I don’t use too much. 

I have mentioned in my previous blog posts how and when to add ghee to a dish, such that it is not too much, but is proportional to the dish. I have shared some tips and tricks for adding ghee in the Chakkara Pongal post, do check it out.

While you are here please view my other recipes like Chakkara Pongal, Barnyard Millet(Kudiraivali)Pongal, Rava Dosa, Lemon Rice, and more…

Here is the recipe for Ven Pongal for you-

 PREP TIME: 10 MINS                                     COOK TIME: 25Mins
 TOTAL TIME:35Mins                                        COURSE:  MAIN
 CUISINE:  SOUTH INDIAN                              SERVINGS: 5
 AUTHOR: Rajni Ram

   Ingredients:

   Rice 1 cup washed (regular small-grained rice)

   Moong dal 1/2 cup roasted to a light brown

   Water 4 to 4.5 cups (more to add later)

   Salt as required

   Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp

   Pepper-cumin powder 3 tsp 

   Peppercorns 4-5

   Cumin 1/2 tsp

   Cashewnuts 6 to 8

   Curry leaves a few

   Ginger 1inch piece chopped fine

   Oil for tempering

   Ghee 2 to 3 tbsp for garnish

 Directions:

Take the rice in a vessel that fits into the cooker. Dry roast the moong dal in a Kadai to a light brown colour or until you get a nice aroma. Add the roasted moong dal to the rice and wash them well together. Place the vessel into the cooker and add the required water. Add salt and turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp jeera, and 4 to 5 peppercorns and close the cooker. Cook for 5 to 6 whistles. 

After the pressure from the cooker releases, remove the vessel and mash the rice and dal mixture with the back of a ladle. Keep aside. In a Kadai take some oil and heat. Add the 1 tsp Cumin and drop in the chopped ginger and curry leaves. Fry for 30 seconds and add the Pepper-cumin powder and fry for another 10 seconds. Now add the cooked and, washed rice and dal mixture and mix well. Add some hot water handy to adjust the consistency of Pongal, approximately 1/2 cup to 1 cup. Stir nicely. Adjust salt and spice, add more hot water if the consistency is too solid. The Pongal should be a little gooey, but not runny. Now in another small Kadai take some ghee and heat. Add the cashew nuts and fry until light brown. Pour this into the Pongal mixture. The yummy and spicy Ven Pongal is ready to serve as breakfast or lunch.

 

Serving suggestions: With Sambar, with chutney, with Gotsu or even Moru Kuzhambu(kadi). I like it just as it is and needs no accompaniment.

To make pepper- cumin powder, dry roast pepper, and cumin in the proportion of 3 tsp of pepper and 1 tsp of cumin. Cool and make a coarse powder. I always have this handy as I use it to temper Rasam too.

 

STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:

1. Dry roast the moong dal in a Kadai to a light brown colour or until you get a nice aroma. Add the roasted moong dal to the rice and wash them well together. 

 

2. Place the vessel into the cooker and add the required water. Add salt and turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp jeera, and 4 to 5 peppercorns and close the cooker. Cook for 5 to 6 whistles. 

 

3. After the pressure from the cooker releases, remove the vessel and mash the rice and dal mixture with the back of a ladle. Add around 1 to 1.5 cups of hot water and adjust consistency.

 

4. In a Kadai take some oil and heat. Add 1tsp Cumin and drop in the chopped ginger and curry leaves. Fry for 30 seconds and add the Pepper-cumin powder and fry for another 10 seconds. Add a little more salt, if required. Now add the cooked and, washed rice and dal mixture and mix well. 

 

 

5. Now in another small Kadai take some ghee and heat. Add the cashew nuts and some more curry leaves and fry until light brown. Pour this into the Pongal mixture. The yummy and spicy Ven Pongal is ready to serve 

 

NOTES:

1. The cashewnuts can be fried in ghee before adding the regular tempering too.

2. The softer the rice and dal cook the better will be the texture of the Pongal. 

3. Asafoetida can also be added while tempering. I have not added in this recipe, but it definitely can be done.

 

If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. I would love to hear from you. If you have a query about the recipe email us and ill respond as soon as I can.

If you would like to receive our recipes on your mail please leave your mail id at the homepage. Every time Rajjo’s Kitchen has a new post we will mail the recipe to you.
 

   

Tomato Rice/Tamatar Pulav

Tomato Rice is a very simple recipe and I love making it just for this reason. It is a quick fix in many ways. Whether I have to head out in a hurry or have to fix a lunchbox in a short time, this dish is always my option. This dish also necessarily does not need a side dish to go with it. Any stir fry will do, or just by itself, it is great too. This dish has all the goodness of tomatoes, so it is rich in vitamin C, in lycopene that is good for the skin, a decent amount of fibre.

I keep my tomato rice very simple, subtly flavoured with the minimum of spices. In this dish, I don’t use any pungent spice like cloves, cardamom, cinnamon, or even onion, garlic, or ginger. I just let the Tomatoes do all the talking????and the flavor is always bang on. The most concession I can make is adding fresh green peas to the rice. I don’t puree my tomatoes too, I love to keep it rustic.

While you are here do check out my other rice varieties like Lemon Rice, Coriander rice, Lobia pulav, Masala rice, Flavoured rice, Coconut rice,  and more…

Here is the recipe for Tomato Rice for you–

 PREP TIME: 10 Mins                                COOK TIME: 20Mins
 TOTAL TIME:30Mins                                 COURSE:  MAIN
 CUISINE:  SOUTH INDIAN                       SERVINGS: 5
 AUTHOR: Rajni Ram

 

   Ingredients:

   Tomatoes 4 big chopped fine chopped finely

   Rice 1 cup pre-cooked and cooled

   Cashewnuts a few

   Green chillies 2 slit lengthwise

   Curry leaves a few

   Dry red chillies 2 broken

   Chana dal(yellow gram) 1/2 tbsp

   Urad dal 1/2 tbsp

   Mustard 1 tsp

   Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp

   Salt as required

   Red chilli powder 1 tsp(add more for more spice

   Coriander powder 2 tsp

   Oil for sauteeing

 

Directions:

Cook 1 cup rice, spread it on a plate to cool, and drizzle some oil over it so that the grains do not stick. Now in a Karahi heat oil and add the Cashewnuts to it and fry until light brown. Remove them onto a plate. Now to the same oil add the mustard seeds, Chana dal, urad dal, dry red chillies, and fry until the dals turn light brown. To this add the slit green chillies and curry leaves. Saute for 30 secs. Now add the turmeric powder and chopped tomatoes and saute for a minute. Now add salt, followed by red chilli powder and coriander powder, and cover the Karahi and cook until the tomatoes become mushy and the oil is released. Remove the lid and mash the tomatoes with the back of a ladle, so that it turns saucy. Now add the rice little by little and mix well. The tomato gravy must nicely coat the rice. Check for salt and spice and adjust if required. Put off the flame and add the fried Cashews. The yummy and tangy Tomato rice is ready.

 

Serving Suggestions: With any stir fry vegetable or Potato roast, Sepankazhangu(Colaccasia)roast, or just by itself.

 

STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:

1. Assemble all ingredients. Cook 1 cup rice, spread it on a plate to cool and drizzle some oil over it so that the grains do not stick.

2. Now in a Karahi heat oil and add the Cashewnuts to it and fry until light brown. Remove them onto a plate. Now to the same oil add the mustard seeds, Chana dal, urad dal, dry red chillies, and fry until the dals turn light brown.

 

 

3. Now add the slit green chillies and curry leaves. Saute for 30 secs. Now add the turmeric powder and chopped tomatoes and saute for a minute. 

 

 

4. Now add salt, followed by red chilli powder and coriander powder, and cover the Karahi and cook until the tomatoes become mushy and the oil is released.

 

5. Remove the lid and mash the tomatoes with the back of a ladle, so that it turns saucy. Now add the rice little by little and mix well. The tomato gravy must nicely coat the rice.

 

 

NOTES:

1. One can use Basmathi rice if they prefer. I have used regular raw rice.

2. I have kept the rice simple in flavour, if one wants onion and garlic can be added after adding the green chillies and sauteed well before adding the tomatoes.

3. Along with regular chilli powder, Kashmiri chilli powder can also be used for colour. I have used 1tsp regular red chilli powder and half teaspoon Kashmiri powder.  

 

If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. I would love to hear from you. If you have a query about the recipe email us and ill respond as soon as I can.

If you would like to receive our recipes on your mail please leave your mail id at the homepage. Every time Rajjo’s Kitchen has a new post we will mail the recipe to you.
 

 

 

Pachai Sundakkai Kuzhambu (Chettinad Style)

Sundakkai/ Chundakkai in Tamil or Turkery Berry in English, as it is widely known, is a vegetable used in South Indian cooking to make a Kuzhambu or a  gravy in which these berries are simmered with spices. As tasty as the Kuzhambu tastes, the berries are slightly bitter and have many medicinal benefits. This Vegetable is also known as Kudenekayi in Kannada or Usthikaya in Telugu. In Hindi it is called Bankatiya. I am giving here different names so that if you know this vegetable, one must try out recipes made of it because of its medicinal properties.

In SouthIndia the berries are blanched and then dried in the sun for a few days until it changes colour and is completely dry. The dried berries are then stored in an airtight jar then used to make the Sundakkai Vathakuzhambu. The dried berries are also fried in ghee and make an yummy accompaniment for curd rice. The berries fried in ghee are also mixed with hot rice and eaten as it is believed that it helps in deworming.

Health benefits of Sundakkai/ Turkey Berry-  cures common cold, helps in treating kidney related issues, treats Anaemia, helps in treating cough and asthma, clears mucus, help in controlling diabetes, and they heal gastric ulcers.1Berry myriad benefits. 

In this recipe I am using the fresh Sundakkai and not the dried ones( Vathal).  Here the berries are cooked in tamarind sauce with a spicy, ground masala paste. The fresh berries are little bitter and so have to smashed using a pestle, so that as the Berry gets cooked in the tamarind pulp the bitterness is reduced. I am calling this a Chettinad style Kuzhambu because the masala paste used here is the Chettinad masala paste.

While you are here check out my other recipes like Vathakuzhambu, Rasam, Coriander rice, Karuvepilai Podi and rice, Mor Kuzhambu and more.

 

Here is the recipe of Pachai Sundakkai Kuzhambu for you-

PREP TIME: 15 MINS                                  COOK TIME: 20 Mins
TOTAL TIME: 35 Mins                                  COURSE:  MAIN
CUISINE: SOUTH INDIAN                                         SERVINGS: 5
AUTHOR: Rajni Ram

 

Ingredients:

Sundakkai/ Turkey Berry (fresh) 150 gm

Tamarind paste  1.5 tbsp ( or pulp of lemon sized ball)

Onion 1 (medium) diced

Tomato 1 large chopped roughly

Garlic 10 to 12 cloves

Curry leaves a few leaves

Green chillies 2

Gingelly/Til/Sesame oil 1.5 tbsp

Asafoetida 1/2 tsp

To grind:

Coriander seeds 1 tbsp

Fennel seeds 1.5 tsp

Dry red chilli 2

Kashmiri dry red chilli 1(optional)

Coconut gratings 1.5 tbsp

To temper:

Mustard seeds 1 tsp

Chana dal(gram) 1 tsp

Dry red chilli 1 broken

Methi/ fenugreek seeds 1 pinch

Asafoetida 1/2 tsp

 

Method:

Wash and pat dry the Sundakkai/Turkey berry. Now with a mortar and pestle smash it lightly, such that it splits midway(refer picture). Now in a pan heat oil, add all ingredients under tempering followed by asafoetida and fry for 30 seconds. Now add the lightly crushed Sundakkai to the tempering and fry nicely for a minute.Now add the garlic cloves followed by onion, curry leaves and green chillies and continue to saute for 2 minutes. Now add the tomatoes and saute  until the tomatoes turn tender. Add the tamarind paste followed by 2.5 cups water (or) add the pulp extracted from lemon sized ball of tamarind. Stir nicely and begin boiling. Add turmeric powder and cook until the Sundakkai turns tender. Check for doneness of Sundakkai by crushing one with a spoon/ladle. If it mashes easily the berries are cooked. Now grind all the ingredients under “to grind” to a coarse mixture, then add 1/2 cup water and grind to a smooth paste. Add this paste to the Sundakkai simmering in the Tamarind pulp,stir well and allow to cook. Continue cooking until the gravy thickens and the raw small of the masala is gone. The tasty and healthy Chettinad style Sundakkai Kuzhambu is ready.

SERVING SUGGESTIONS: With hot rice, with Dosa, Idli, pongal,

and Curd rice.

STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:

1. Assemble all ingredients. Wash and pat dry the Sundakkai/Turkey berry. Now with a mortar and pestle smash it lightly, such that it splits midway.

 

2. Now in a pan heat oil, add all ingredients under tempering followed by asafoetida and fry for 30 seconds. Now add the lightly crushed Sundakkai to the tempering and fry nicely for a minute.

 

3. Add the garlic cloves followed by onion, curry leaves and green chillies and continue to saute for 2 minutes. Now add the tomatoes and saute  until the tomatoes turn tender.  

 

4. Add the tamarind paste followed by 2.5 cups water (or) add the pulp extracted from lemon sized ball of tamarind. Stir nicely and begin boiling. Add turmeric powder and cook until the Sundakkai turns tender.

 

5. Now grind all the ingredients under “to grind” to a coarse mixture, then add 1/2 cup water and grind to a smooth paste. Add this paste to the Sundakkai simmering in the Tamarind pulp,stir well and allow to cook. Continue cooking until the gravy thickens and the raw small of the masala is gone. 

 

 

 

NOTES:

1. Follow the precedure given to split open the berry midway. The kuzhambu will taste to bitter if the berries are not split.

2. After the berries cook in the tamarind sauce, check for doneness by pressing them with a ladle or soon. If they crush easily, they are cooked.

3. I have used Gingelly/Til oil as it adds extra flavour to the dish. Unless one is allergic to sesame oil or does not like the taste I recommend using the oil. Alternately refined oil can be used.

    

If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. I would love to hear from you. If you have a query about the recipe email us and ill respond as soon as I can.

If you would like to receive our recipes in your mail please leave your mail id at the homepage. Every time Rajjo’s Kitchen has a new post we will mail the recipe to you.
 

Akkaravadisal One Pot

This is a very traditional South Indian sweet dish. Lord Mahavishnu is offered this sweet as prasad(holy offering). The main ingredients are Rice, moong dal, jaggery, milk, and ghee. The ingredients are similar to the Sweet  Pongal but both taste very different. It tastes heavenly when served a little warm. Without much ado let’s get to the recipe right away.

This recipe already exists on this blog, but I am adding another method to make it, which is the one-pot method. One can choose whichever method they find doable. The results are the same for both, just a few steps vary which I will guide you through here.

While you are here check out my other Indian Sweet recipes like Malpua, Pineapple Rabri, Atte ka Sheera, Chakkarai Pongal, Aval Kesari, Unni appam, Sugiyan, and many more…  

 

Here is the recipe of One -Pot Akkaravadisal for you-

  PREP TIME: 15                                         COOK TIME: 20Mins
 TOTAL TIME:40Mins                                  COURSE:  DESSERT
 CUISINE: SOUTH INDIAN                         SERVINGS: 5
 AUTHOR: Rajni Ram
 
 

 

 

   Ingredients:

   Rice 1 cup
   Moong dal/ green gram 1/4 cup
   Milk  6 cups
   Jaggery 1 cup
   Water 1/4 cup
   Sugar ( optional) 1 tbsp
   Ghee 3/4 cup
   Cardamom/ elaichi powder 1 tsp
   Saffron ( optional) 2 pinches, soaked in warm milk
   Raw camphor( optional) 1 pinch powdered
   Cashewnuts 8 to 10
   Raisins 8 to 10
   DIRECTIONS:
  Dry roast the Moong dal directly in the cooker to a light brown     colour. Stir constantly and take care not to burn the dal. It will give   out a nice aroma. Put the jaggery in a separate vessel, add water, and  bring to a boil. Put off the heat and stir to dissolve the jaggery.   Keep aside. Now to the roasted moong dal in the cooker, add the   washed rice. Pour 2 cups milk and 1 cup water, close the cooker and  cook for 5 to 6 whistles ( flame should be on low throughout,   otherwise there are chances of the milk overflowing through the   sides). Once pressure releases open the cooker and mash the   contents well. Put the cooker on flame again and strain the liquid   jaggery into the cooker directly. Pour another 2 cups milk and stir   nicely. There may be lumps, break them down patiently by stirring.   Like I always say add 2 teaspoons of sugar to any jaggery dish to   enhance the taste of jaggery. Add more milk if the 2 cups of milk get   absorbed. We want a texture that is semi-solid and smooth, not   lumpy. Now add the cardamom powder, raw camphor(optional), and   add in the raisins and nuts fried in ghee. The one-pot   Akkaravadisal is ready to serve. Enjoy BonAppetit. This is a popular Prasad(holy offering) dish that can be offered during Pujas.
 
STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:
1.  Assemble all ingredients.
 
2. Dry roast the Moong dal directly in the cooker to a light brown colour. Stir constantly and take care not to burn the dal. It will give out a nice aroma. Now to the roasted moong dal in the cooker, add the washed rice. Pour 2 cups milk and 1 cup water, close the cooker and cook for 5 to 6 whistles ( flame should be on low throughout, otherwise there are chances of the milk overflowing through the sides).

 

3. Until the pressure releases let’s get the jaggery ready. In a small vessel take the jaggery, add 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil, put out the stove, and stir the jaggery to dissolve it. 
 
4. Once pressure releases open the cooker and mash the contents well. Put the cooker on flame again and strain the liquid jaggery into the cooker directly. Pour another 2 cups milk and stir nicely. There may be lumps, break them down patiently by stirring. Add two spoons sugar.
 

 

 
5. Add milk in which the saffron strands were soaked followed by Cardamom powder, raw camphor(optional). Finally, add the nuts and raisins fried in ghee. 
 

NOTES:

1. The only glitch in this method is the milk overflowing from the cooker or the milk sticking to the bottom of the cooker. To manage this the flame should be on low through out until the whistles are over.
2. We are straining the jaggery to remove impurities in the jaggery. I  recommend not missing this step.
3. To get that smooth texture and consistency add more milk if required. 
 
If you tried this recipe please do comment below, we would love to hear fom you.
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Karuvepilai Podi/Curry Leaves Powder (For Rice)

Karuvepilai or curry leaf plant is an aromatic plant the leaves of which are used in seasoning dishes. Most south Indian dishes have Curry leaves as their common tempering element. Apart from imparting their aroma to a dish they also add a huge amount of flavour. These leaves have many medicinal properties like- high calcium content, rich in Iron, aids in digestion, improves vision, rich in Vitamin A, and many more such benefits. 

In our house, we make this powder with fresh curry leaves and other spices that can be mixed with hot rice and ghee, or it can be added to rice tempered with peanuts and spices and made into Karuvepilai Sadam or Curry leaves rice. 

Karuvepilai powder can be stored in an airtight container for 3 months and more. 

While you are here please check out my other spice powder and sauce recipes like Sambar Powder, Rasam Powder, Sechzwan sauce, Pesto sauce and more…

Here is the recipe of Karuvepilai powder for you-

PREP TIME: 5Mins                        COOK TIME: 15Mins
TOTAL TIME: 20 Mins             COURSE: PODI/SPICE POWDER
CUISINE: SOUTH INDIAN           QUANTITY: 100 GM APPROX
AUTHOR: Rajni Ram

Ingredients:

Curry leaves 2 cups(stalks removed) washed and pat dried

Coriander seeds/Dhania 2 tbsp

Chana dal/ Gram 1 tbsp

Urad dal 1/2 tbsp

Jeera/ Cumin seeds 1 tsp

Dry red chillies 5 big ones

Tamarind lemon sized ball

Salt to taste.

Asafoetida 1 tsp

Oil for frying spices 1 tbsp

 

Directions:

In a Kadai heat the oil and add the chana dal and urad dal and fry until they turn golden brown. Now add the coriander seeds and Cumin and continue to fry. When the coriander turns aromatic add the dry red chillies and continue to fry. Now add the tamarind followed by asafoetida and fry until the tamarind turn a little crisp, about 30 seconds. Finally, add the washed and pat dried curry leaves and saute for about a minute. Switch off the flame and cool all the roasted ingredients. On cooling, transfer them to the dry mixer jar and grind to a fine powder. Add salt and give another spin the mixture. The Karuvepilai powder is ready for storing. Enjoy with hot rice and ghee. One ball of rice with this powder helps maintain iron levels, good for hair growth and has many more benefits.

 

STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:

1. Assemble all ingredients.

 

2. Heat oil in a Kadai and add the urad dal and chana dal and fry until they turn light brown.

 

3. Add the coriander seeds and cumin seeds and continue to fry until the coriander seeds turn aromatic.

 

4. Now add the dry red chillies, tamarind, followed by the asafoetida and continue frying until the tamarind turns a little crisp.

 

5. Now add the washed and dried curry leaves and saute for a few minutes and put off the stove. Cool the roasted ingredients.

 

6. Put all of them in a dry grinder jar and grind to a fine powder. Add salt as required and the Kruvepilai powder is ready to store.

 

 

NOTES:

1. The curry leaves must be separated from the stalks, washed and pat dried.

2. Salt can be added while grinding or after grinding.

3. Store ina dry container.

4. More dry red chillies can be added for more spiciness.

 

Karuvepilai Rice made from the Karuvepilai Podi

 

To make Karuvepilai Rice- In a Kadai heat oil. When hot add peanuts and fry until light brown. Now add mustard seeds 1 tsp, chana dal 1 tsp, Urad dal 1 tsp, followed by broken dry red chillies and aasafoetida.  Fry until the dals turn light brown. Add Cooked rice made from 1 cup rice, followed by 2 to 3 tbsp of Karuvepilai Podi. Check and adjust salt. The yummy and healthy Karuvepilai Rice is ready. Enjoy. Bon Appetit.

 
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Omavalli Rasam/Ajwain Leaves Rasam

Rasam is a popular South Indian dish prepared with tamarind, tomatoes, and Rasam powder. There are many variations of this dish, and each South Indian household has its own recipe for the proportions of the ingredients of the rasam powder. Therefore though Rasam is almost a regular feature in all South Indian households its taste is unique to each. No two Rasam recipes taste the same. Rasam is also a sought after comfort food in South Indian households when one has a Cold(Common Cold) or is a little under the weather because it is made of simple ingredients that are easily digestible and pepper that helps in combating the cold. A good Rasam powder makes for a flavourful Rasam, the recipe for the Rasam Powder has been included here.

 

Earlier the Rasam was an everyday feature in most South Indian households along with Sambar or Vatha Kozhambu or Moru Kozhambu and a part of the Main course. Some households follow it to this day, but as the eating patterns of people has changed and is now more global the humble Rasam has taken a back seat or is made on a festival day where there is a feast(Elai Sapadu) or sometimes is also being served as a soup in elite gatherings.
The Omavalli/Ajwain leaves are medical and are believed to cure a common cold and boost immunity. These leaves are also used in making Pakodas and are really flavourful. Other than Rasam and pakodas the Ajwain leaves are also used to make a raita. This Omavalli rasam can be relished with hot rice and ghee or can just be sipped as a soup.
I have different varieties of Rasam in my repertoire like Pineapple rasam, Vetrilai Rasam/Betel leaves Rasam, Murungakkai/drumstick Rasam. Please check out the recipes of these Rasams while you are here.
Here is the recipe for Omavalli/Ajwain leaves Rasam. I have not given a stepwise picture for this recipe as I have included a video with important steps for guidance.
 PREP TIME: 10 Mins                                         COOK TIME: 20 Mins
TOTAL TIME: 30 Mins                                        COURSE:  MAIN / APPETISER
CUISINE: SOUTH INDIAN                                 SERVINGS: 4
                                                                            AUTHOR: Rajni Ram
 

 

 

 

Ingredients:
Omavalli/Ajwain leaves 5 big ones (2 small ones chopped fine)
Tomatoes 2 large
Green chilli 1
Tuvar dal/ Yellow lentils 1/4 cup cooked in a pressure cooker
Rasam powder 3 tsp
Lemon 1/2
Coriander leaves finely chopped
Asafoetida 1 tsp (split 1/2 while boiling and 1/2 for tempering)
Turmeric powder 1 tsp
Salt as per taste
Mustard seeds 1/2 tsp
Roasted Pepper & Cumin powder 1 tsp( dry roast in the ratio 2:1 and grind coarse)
 
Directions: Grind the Omavalli/Ajwain leaves, tomatoes, and green chilli to a puree. Pour this puree into a 1-liter vessel and add 2 cups water. Put the vessel over the flame and add the Rasam powder, Salt, turmeric powder, and asafoetida and bring it to a boil. Keep boiling until the rawness of the tomatoes and the powders is gone. Now add a few chopped Omavalli leaves and continue to boil for 30 seconds. Add the dal water along with the mashed dal to the boiling puree. Add another 2 cups plain water and continue boiling until the rasam froths up and rises to the brim of the vessel. This should be done on low flame. When the rasam froths and rises, switch off the flame and add the juice of half a lemon. Now in a small tadka Kadai/pan take ghee/oil for tempering and heat. Add mustard seeds, as they crackle, add some Ajwain/Omam seeds, followed by asafoetida, cumin-pepper powder, and a few chopped Omavalli. Fry the tempering for 10 seconds. Put off the flame. Add curry leaves to the tadka/tempering. Now pour this tempering into the rasam, serve hot with rice and ghee or sip as soup.
Directions for making the Omavalli Rasam video here????
 
 

 

 

NOTES:
1. More Omavalli leaves can be used for an intense flavour.
2. I have also used the seeds while tempering, as it gives a nice aroma and flavouring to the dish.
3. I usually don’t use tamarind for variety Rasam recipes like Vetrilai Rasam, Pineapple Rasam, Murungakkai Rasam and Omavalli Rasam, as I feel the acidity of the tamarind will suppress the flavours of these vegetables and herbs. So lime juice is a subtler option for the tanginess. But if one prefers tamarind to lemon, go ahead, but since I have not used tamarind anytime for these recipes, I’m not sure about the taste.

If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. I would love to hear from you. If you have a query about the recipe email us and ill respond as soon as I can.

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Drumstick Rasam/Murungakkai Rasam

Rasam is a popular South Indian dish prepared with tamarind, tomatoes, and Rasam powder. There are many variations of this dish, and each South Indian household has its own recipe for the proportions of the ingredients of the rasam powder. Therefore though Rasam is almost a regular feature in all South Indian households its taste is unique to each. No two Rasam recipes taste the same. Rasam is also a sought after comfort food in South Indian households when one has a Cold(Common Cold) or is a little under the weather because it is made of simple ingredients that are easily digestible and pepper that helps in combating the cold. 

 

Earlier the Rasam was an everyday feature in most South Indian households along with Sambar or Vatha Kozhambu or Moru Kozhambu and a part of the Main course. Some households follow it to this day, but as the eating patterns of people has changed and is now more global the humble Rasam has taken a back seat or is made on a festival day where there is a feast(Elai Sapadu) or sometimes is also being served as a soup in elite gatherings.
Drumstick Rasam is a very flavourful Rasam, as Drumsticks by themselves have a wonderful fragrance and flavour.
Moringa is the latest buzz word everywhere. What with Moringa leaves powder trending the healthy list. Well, the Moringa tree and dishes cooked from its fruit, flowers and leaves have been in India for ages. We have used its fruit, the drumstick in Subjis, Sambar, dal, etc; the leaves too are very aromatic and used as an add-in in Dosas, chilas, and more. The flowers too when added while making ghee, give the ghee a nice flavour and make it aromatic. My grandmother always added a few flowers just before putting off the flame while making ghee and would remove the flowers later, while bottling the ghee. My mother makes a pickle of it too, which is just as wonderful.
There are many different types of Rasam Like the Pepper Rasam, Tomato Rasam, Lemon Rasam, Garlic Rasam, Neem Flower (Vepampoo) Rasam, Drumstick Rasam, Pineapple Rasam and the Vetrilai(Betel leaf) Rasam. I have already posted the recipe of pineapple Rasam and slowly over a period of time plan to cover all the Rasam varieties mentioned here. I have also given the recipe to a perfect Rasam Powder here. It yields an aromatic and flavourful Rasam.
 
Here is the recipe of Drumstick/Murungakkai Rasam for you-
 
PREP TIME: 10 Mins                                         COOK TIME: 20 Mins
TOTAL TIME: 30 Mins                                        COURSE:  MAIN / APPETISER
CUISINE: SOUTH INDIAN                                 SERVINGS: 4
                                                                            AUTHOR: Rajni Ram
 

 

 

Ingredients:
Drumsticks 3 big fleshy ones chopped to 3-inch pieces (refer note 1)
Tomatoes 2  large (note 3)
Tuvar dal/ Yellow lentils 1/4 cup cooked in a pressure cooker
Rasam powder 3 tsp
Lemon 1
Coriander leaves finely chopped
Asafoetida 1 tsp (split 1/2 while boiling and 1/2 for tempering)
Turmeric powder 1 tsp
Salt as per taste
Roasted Pepper & Cumin powder 1 tsp( dry roast in the ratio 2:1 and grind coarse)
 
Directions:
Put the dal in a vessel and cook it in the pressure cooker. I used pot in pot method, you can use whichever is convenient. The dal should have cooked well. Now cut the Drumsticks, put them in a vessel and boil. Cook until the flesh inside turns tender(approx 10 minutes). Reserve the water in which the drumsticks cooked. Cool the cooked drumsticks and scrape out the fleshy part with a spoon(refer picture). Don’t discard the seeds unless they are very hard. Keep aside. Now grind 2 tomatoes to a puree and pour it in a 1-litre vessel. Add 2 cups water, followed by 3 tsp Rasam Powder, adequate salt, turmeric powder and asafoetida and bring to a boil. Continue to boil until the rawness of the powders is gone. Now mash the cooked dal nicely and pour it into the boiling mixture along with any water the dal may have retained. Cook for two minutes and now its time to add the water reserved after cooking the drumsticks. After pouring the drumstick broth if you find the Rasam(soupy), dilute by adding 1 to 1.5 cups of hot water and continue to boil the Rasam for another 2 minutes, now add the drumstick scrappings(seeds and all) and continue to boil until the Rasam froths up and rises in the vessel and comes to the brim. Switch off the flame and squeeze a lemon into it. Now take 2 tsp ghee in a small tempering Kadai and heat. Add mustard seeds, as they crackle add the Asafoetida powder, roasted pepper-cumin powder and put off the stove. Now add the curry leaves to the ghee, and pour the tempering into the Rasam. Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves. The healthy, flavourful and fragrant Drumstick rasam is ready. Enjoy and Bon Appetit.
 
Serving suggestions: Just as a soup, with hot rice and ghee, with Oats porridge(try this it tastes yummy). 
Sometimes I also pour it on my chapatis while hot.????
STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:
1. Assemble all ingredients. Cook the dal and keep ready. Cut the Drumsticks into 3-inch pieces and cook them in water with a little salt. Cool them scrape out the flesh with a spoon and reserve the water in which they cooked.
2. Pour the puree of 2 tomatoes into a 1-litre vessel and add 2 cups water, followed by 3 tsp Rasam powder, adequate salt, turmeric powder, asafoetida and bring to a boil.
3. Now add the cooked and mashed dal along with the water to the boiling mixture and continue to cook until the rawness of the powders is gone(approx. 5minutes).
4. Now add the Drumstick broth(water in which the drumsticks cooked) to the mixture and if the consistency is too dense add 1 to 1.5 cups of hot water and bring to a boil.
5. Now add the drumstick scrapings to the boiling rasam and continue to boil until the rasam froths up and rises to the brim. Put off the flame and squeeze a lemon into it, or add 3 tsp lemon juice to it.
6. In a tempering Kadai heat 2 tsp of ghee. when it heats up, put the mustard seeds into it, as they crackle add the asafoetida and the roasted cumin-pepper powder. Put off the flame and then add the curry leaves. Drop this tempering into the Rasam and serve hot with hot rice and ghee or follow any of the serving suggestions given above.
 

 

NOTES:
1. Picking the Drumsticks well is critical, pick thick but tender ones. After cooking the seeds also can be used, don’t discard them as they have the most flavour.
2. I have used the Country variety of tomatoes(Naatu Thakkali) instead of the Hybrid ones as they give the rasam some tang when not using tamarind.
3. If you serve Rasam with something unusual do let us, know..we love learning and trying new combinations.

If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. I would love to hear from you. If you have a query about the recipe email us and ill respond as soon as I can.

If you would like to receive our recipes on your mail please leave your mail id at the homepage. Every time Rajjo’s Kitchen has a new post we will mail the recipe to you.
 

Unni Appam/Nei Appam/Sweet Appam

This Appam recipe is the Kerala style Appam, made with soaked raw Rice, Jaggery, Banana and Cardamom. It is one of the most simple recipes and is also one of the main offerings in festivals like Janmashtami, and Ganesh Chaturthi. In our house, it is also an instant snack that my mother would make in a jiffy apart from the soak time. Usually, an Appam mould/ Appa karai is required for this, but some also make it by directly pouring a ladle of batter into the oil and deep-frying. If fried without a mould the shape is flat like that of a Pancake, whereas the one made in a mould is round. It is best made with ghee, though oil too can be substituted for ghee.

Grinding the batter to the right consistency is a critical step, as too dilute a batter will affect the moulding of the appam and the batter may just scatter away in the oil. Therefore I have mentioned the right way to grind the batter in the recipe. Once the batter is ground we are just five minutes away from yummy tasting Nei Appams.

While you are here look at my other Sweet dish recipes like Sugiyan, Vella Aval, Akkaravadisal, Chakkara Pongal, Maa Ladoo, Carrot Kheer, Pineapple Rabri and more.

Here is the recipe of Sweet Appam/ Unni Appam for you– 

PREP TIME: 10Mins+ 1 hr(soak)                        COOK TIME: 30Mins
TOTAL TIME: 40Mins                                          COURSE: DESSERT/SWEET
CUISINE: SOUTH  INDIAN                                 SERVINGS:15 pcs
AUTHOR: Rajni Ram

 

Ingredients:

Raw Rice 1 cup  soaked for 1-hour minimum ( 1 cup equals 200 gm) ( refer note1)

Jaggery 1 cup powdered/shredded

Banana 1/2 to 3/4 th of 1 large 

Cardamom powder 1/2 tsp

Coconut grated or cut to small pieces 2 Tbsp

Directions:

Soak the Rice for a minimum of 1 hour and up to a maximum of 1.5 hours. After soaking, drain all water and out the rice into a blender. Grind it first to a Rava/Sooji like texture without adding water, now add little water and grind to a smooth paste. Take care not to add too much water, as adding jaggery will liquify it further. So try to use only 1/4 cup water to get a smooth texture. Now add the Jaggery and grind again. Add coconut grating and blitz. Mash the bananas with your fingers and add them to the batter and bring again to a smooth batter. Transfer to a vessel and add the cardamom powder. The Appam batter is now ready.

Now put the Appam mould/Appam Chetty or Appa Karal on flame and heat it well.  Spoon in the ghee into the moulds liberally. Let the ghee heat up, now spoon the batter into the moulds and fry on one side until golden brown, using a kambi/skewer or a fork, to loosen the edges of the Appam and flip it to the other side and fry until golden brown. To check for doneness, pierce the appam with the skewer/toothpick or fork in the center, if it comes out clean, remove appams from the mould. The delicious Unni appam/ Sweet Paniyarams/ Nei Appams are ready. Enjoy. Bon Appetit.

STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:

1. Soak rice for 1 hour. It can be soaked up to a maximum of 1.5 hours.

 

2. After an hour drain all the water and put the rice ina blender and grind it without any water at first to a Rava/Sooji like texture.

 

3. Now add water little by little and grind it to a smooth paste. Water should be used minimally. I used around 1/4 cup water to grind. Check cup measurement given above.

 

4. Now add the jaggery again and grind to a smooth paste, add the coconut gratings and blitz again.

 

5. Now mash 3/4 of a Banana with your fingers and add it to the paste, grind once again to a smooth batter. The consistency should be that of dosa batter. Transfer it to a vessel and add the cardamom powder. The appam batter is ready. Have added a mini video to show the consistency of the batter.

 

6. Put an Appam Chetty on the flame. Spoon in the ghee and heat it. Now spoon in the batter into the moulds and fry on now side until a golden brown. Using a skewer or fork loosen the edges of the appam and gently flip it to the other side and fry again to a golden colour. Repeat for all batter. The Sweet Appams are now ready. 

 

NOTES:

1. Any raw rice variety can be used other than Basmathi as the Basmathi rice does not have a lot of starch content that is required for binding. The appams turn out rubbery with it.

2. While grinding if you end up with a runny batter accidentally, then add rice flour a tablespoon at a time until you achieve the right consistency.

3. If the batter splits or breaks apart in the ghee either your batter is runny or too much jaggery has been added. So modify accordingly and fry.

4. It is ideal to fry these appams in ghee/clarified butter as it tastes best. But oil also can be used.

5. Banana varieties that are sweet can be used. Avoid the slight sour ones like Poovan. 

6. Always start with frying a single Appam first so that if something needs to be adjusted it can be done and then the rest can be fried.

If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. I would love to hear from you. If you have a query about the recipe email us and ill respond as soon as I can.

If you would like to receive our recipes on your mail please leave your mail id at the homepage. Every time Rajjo’s Kitchen has a new post we will mail the recipe to you.

 

 

 

Thengai Therattipal/ Palkova (Coconut Infused)

Therattipal or Palkova is a dehydrated milk sweet, made with only two ingredients-Milk and Sugar. Therattipal is a traditional recipe made for festivals like Janmashtami and Deepawali. In our house, Therattipal is the main offering to Krishna apart from Sweet Appam and for Deepawali too we start the festival with a spoon of the Therattipal immediately after Ganga Snanam.

This time I have given a twist to the Therattipal and added roasted coconut gratings to it, which enhances the taste of this sweet dish. Anyway until we add the coconut the method of the recipe is the same. Usually, no cardamom powder is added to this sweet as the milk taste is what should pervade, but if one does prefer, it can always be added.

The coconut flavour is mild and not very intense. The milk and the coconut combine really well to give a different taste which is a welcome change from the regular Therattipal.  

This recipe if made with pure organic cows milk tastes divine, as while the milk reduces you can see the natural fat bubbling out. And it tastes as though ghee has been added to it. These days since we all use milk packets or tetra pack cartons of milk we don’t see this process happening naturally and so we add a teaspoon of ghee at the end. its an optional step and the sweet will still taste the same, if not added.

While you are here please check out my other Sweet dish recipes like –

 Atte ka Sheera, Sugiyan, Carrot Kheer, Vella Aval, Maa Ladoo, Pineapple Rabri, Chakkara Pongal and many more…

The same recipe can be followed for regular Therattipal/Palkova too. Only the coconut doesn’t have to be added.

Here is the recipe for Thengai Therattipal/Palkova(coconut-infused)-

PREP TIME: 5Mins                                      COOK TIME: 1 hr
TOTAL TIME: 1 hr 05Mins                            COURSE: DESSERT
CUISINE: SOUTH  INDIAN                          SERVINGS: 4

 

AUTHOR: Rajni Ram

 

Ingredients:

Milk (toned milk) 1.5 litres (refer to note1)                                                                Sugar 140 gm approx (reduce if you prefer less)                                                        Coconut (grated) 1 cup

Directions:

Pour the milk into a heavy-bottomed vessel or Kadai and begin to boil. It has to be reduced by almost 3/4 of the quantity by stirring constantly. For the first 10-15 minutes, constant stirring is required, thereafter keep flame on medium heat and keep stirring from time to time. As the moisture from the milk evaporates the consistency of the milk becomes denser and the texture also starts becoming granular/thready. Keep stirring until the milk has lost almost all moisture(check picture for reference) and now add in the sugar and start stirring again. Once the sugar is added the reduced milk mixture liquifies a little, it is normal and nothing to worry about. Continue stirring until the mixture loses all the moisture al does not stick to the bottom of the pan anymore. Another way to check is to put a little   Palkova in a plate, just wet your hands with water, and try to take a small bit of the Palkova and shape it to a mini ball. If the ball forms, you can turn off the flame. Now in In another Kadai, put 1/2 tsp ghee and drop in the coconut gratings and start roasting it until it becomes dry and it is a nice brown in colour. Transfer it to a plate and cool it. Once cooled, add to the Palakova/Therattipal, switch on the flame and mix nicely until the coconut and the Therattipal are well integrated and switch off the flame. After adding the coconut the mixture turns a little drier. It is natural so nothing to worry. Offer it to Krishna or just have it as dessert. Enjoy. Bon Appetit.                                                                                                                If you want just regular Therattipal stop the procedure after adding sugar and reducing it again. Add a teaspoon of ghee for a nice sheen.   

 

STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:

1. Start by boiling the milk in a heavy-bottomed vessel or Kadai.

 

2. Keep stirring constantly for the first 10 to 15 minutes and keep scraping the sides of the vessel as the milk solids keep depositing there.

 

3. Now on medium heat and stirring every once in awhile reduce the milk until almost all moisture gets evaporated.

 

4. Now add in the sugar and start stirring again. The mixture liquified a little again but it is natural and again will solidify.

 

5. Keep stirring until the mixture does not stick to the bottom of the vessel any more. Another method to check for doneness is to take a little amount of the Therattipal and put it on a plate. Wet your fingers and take a small quantity and try to form a ball. If you are able to form a ball, that is the right consistency. Put off the flame.

 

6. In a small Kadai take little ghee and add a cup of grated coconut and start roasting until it becomes dry and turns a nice brown in colour. When the coconut is dry, it will not stick to the Kadai anymore. Transfer it to a plate and cool.

 

7. After it cools completely add it to the Therattipal, switch on the flame and stir nicely until the coconut is well integrated with the Therattipal. Once the coconut is absorbed, the mixture will become drier, this is natural and there is no need to worry. Add a teaspoon of ghee finally, just for some sheen. The Thengai Therattipal is now ready.

 

 

 

QUICK VIDEO OF METHOD HERE:

 

NOTES:

1. I have used Tetrapack toned milk. The more fat content in the milk the lesser the evaporation time. You can use full cream milk too.

2. It took around 1 hour to reduce 1.5 litres of milk. 

3. If you don’t wish to add the coconut, the process can be stopped after adding sugar, reducing further and performing the test to see if a ball is formed.

4. If one prefers less sugar, it can be reduced a little.

5. There are many short cut methods to evaporate milk by adding milk powder etc; I use this method for making small amounts of Rabri for jalebis and other such dishes, but I don’t recommend the shortcut method for Therattipal, as this whole sweet dish is about the texture and taste. 

6. Cheese too is used for quick evaporation, but again it changes the taste and texture.

    

  

   

 

 

Thattai/Nippatu

This savory recipe is a popular South Indian snack and is made during festivals like Janmashtami and Deepawali. In South India festivals are incomplete without making rice-flour based snacks and homemade sweets. 

Usually, the rice is soaked, the water drained, dried on a cloth, and then ground to a flour. Nowadays since most of us are busy both at home and work, I have used store-bought rice flour for this recipe, as it saves time. The most important step in this recipe is the proportion of rice flour and Urad dal flour, which I  have shared below in the recipe. Regarding the use of Butter and its substitutes please refer to the notes.

 

In this recipe, Rice flour, Urad dal flour, butter, and spices are combined to form a dough, which is flattened and deep-fried in oil.

To give this recipe my twist I have added another ingredient- a little Pottukadalai/Chutney chana(fried gram)flour. This makes the Thattai crunchy. Grated or sliced coconut can be added, but in this recipe, I have not used them. 
 
While you are here please have a look at my other recipes like 
Vella Aval/Sweet Poha, Atte ka sheera, Sugiyan, Chakkara Pongal, Carrot Kheer,
Akkaravadisal and more…
 
Here is the recipe of Thattai/Nippatu for you–
 
PREP TIME: 15Mins                                       COOK TIME: 45 Mins

TOTAL TIME: 60Mins                                     COURSE: SNACK

CUISINE: SOUTH  INDIAN                            SERVINGS: 20 pcs

AUTHOR: Rajni Ram

 

 
 
 
Ingredients
 
Rice flour 1 cup (1 cup=200 gm)                  
Urad dal flour 1 tbsp 
Fried gram flour(Porikadalai/Pottukadalai/chutney chana) 1 tbsp
Butter 1 tbsp 0r 10 gm
Salt as per taste
Red chilli powder 1 tsp( add more for more spice)
Coarsely broken peanuts 1 tbsp
fried gram dal(Pottukadalai) 1 tbsp
Curry leaves around 10 finely chopped
Asafoetida 1/2 tsp
White sesame 1 tsp  
Water as required  
Oil for frying
 
Directions:
For Urad dal flour–Take a handful of urad dal and dry roast them in a Kadai until light brown and you get a nice aroma. Cool them and grind them to a fine powder and also pass it through a sieve, discard the residue.
 
For fried Gram flour/Pottukadalai flour- Put a handful in a blender and grind them to a fine powder. Pass it through a sieve and discard residue if any.
 
 Now in a dish take the rice flour and add the urad dal flour and fried gram flour. Add the butter, salt, chilli powder, asafoetida, coarsely broken peanuts, fried gram, curry leaves, white Sesame, and mix nicely. The flours, spice powders, and butter should combine well. Now add water little by little to make a stiff dough. 
Now in a Karahi take oil for deep frying and heat. While the oil heats up start shaping the Thattai. Take a plastic sheet or Aluminium foil and grease it with oil well. Grease your palms also with oil. Now pinch a small amount of dough(little bigger than lemon) and place it on the plastic/aluminum sheet and using your fingers flatten the ball to a thin circle. Take a fork or toothpick and prick holes all over the dough. Check if the oil is hot enough. To test take a small piece of dough and put it in the oil. If it sizzles and rises immediately then the oil is ready for frying. Now gently lift the foil in your left hand and ease the flattened dough into your right hand by reversing the foil and gently peeling it away. Now gently drop the flattened dough into the oil and fry flipping both sides. Keep flipping and frying until all bubbles in the oil subside and the Thattai is golden in colour. The Spicy and crunchy Thattai is ready to munch as it is or serve as a tea time snack or to offer guests during festivals. Enjoy. Bon Appetit.
 
STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:
 
1. Assemble all ingredients. Follow the method given above for Urad dal flour and fried gram/Porikadalai flour. Coarsely pulse the peanuts too.

2. In a dish take the rice flour, Urad dal flour, fried gram flour, butter, and all other ingredients excluding water and combine nicely.

 

3. Now add water little by little and form a stiff dough. Take oil ina Karahi to deep fry and heat. heat should be medium-high. 

 

4. To form the Thattai, take a plastic sheet or aluminium foil and grease it with oil. Grease your palms also with oil. Pinch a small portion of dough, form a ball, and place it on the sheet. Flatten it with your fingers to form a thin circle. Take a fork and prick all over the Thattai.

 

 
5. To check if the oil is hot enough drop a small bit of dough in the oil if it rises immediately then the oil is ready for frying. Using your left hand lift the foil and reverse it on your right palm and gently peel away the foil in a backward motion.
Now gently release the flattened dough into the oil and fry flipping both sides, until all the bubbles in the oil subside and the Thattai is a golden colour. Repeat this process for all the dough and store the Thattai/ Nippatu/Chekkalu in an airtight container. 
    

 

 

 
NOTES:
1. Butter is one ingredient that gives the Thattai its crunch and also it’s colour. So do not exclude it.  Some recipes suggest using Ghee or hot oil in the dough. I recommend sticking to butter as ghee and hot oil turn the Thattai hard and also the colour turns too brown.
2. Any butter unsalted or salted is fine.
3. Using Pottukadalai/ fried gram powder gives a nice taste and crunch. If you don’t have it handy, carryon with other ingredients. The Thattai will still turn out fine.
4. Using white sesame also gives a nice taste to the recipe. If you have it handy add some for sure 
5. Coconut gratings or small bits of coconut are also added, but this time I have not added them. 
 
 
If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. I would love to hear from you.
 
If you want the recipes emailed to you leave your id in the homepage near the????
icon. Whenever we have a new post the recipe will be mailed to you. Thank you for showing interest in Rajjo’s Kitchen.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Sweet Poha/Vella Aval

This recipe of the humble Poha(beaten rice flakes)/Aval cooked  in Jaggery syrup is one of my favourites.  I make it whenever I have a sweet craving or as an offering(Prasad) for Pujas at home. Healthy and filling at the same time. It makes for a good mid-evening snack(Tiffin) option. Sometimes I make with a combination of other Pohe recipes, to serve during Navarathri when guests visit home.

 Poha is also one of the main offerings during Janmashtami and Ganesh Chaturthi. Lord Krishna is known to have loved them and Pohe is what his friend Sudama got him as a gift.
Usually, during these two festivals, people just offer the Pohe and jaggery with coconut scraping as a dry mixture for Prasad. I have observed that though there are few who like it this way, many don’t enjoy it dry. So what I prefer doing is putting it in a jaggery syrup and stirring it dry, with a dash of ghee, cardamom powder and coconut scrapings it tastes just like Sweet Pongal, but it is dry in texture.

 

 There are many variations of the Pohe like Kanda Poha(onion Poha), Masala Poha(tomatoes and onions), Lemon Poha, Puli Aval(tamarind Poha), Vella Aval(Sweet Poha) and  Dahi Pohe/Moru Aval. The Poha can be either thick or thin. For this recipe, I have used the thin one, but the same can be done with the thick one too, just that the soak time will vary. Thick Poha is used for recipes where the Poha is going to cook in a sauce so that it doesn’t become soggy. The Sweet Pohe makes for a good and healthy recipe for kids too.
While you are here please visit my other Indian sweet recipes such as 
Atte ka Sheera, Sugiyan, Carrot Kheer, and Pineapple Rabri and more…
 
 
This Janmashtami or Ganesh Chaturthi try out this recipe of Sweet Poha or Vella Aval.
 
PREP TIME: 10Mins                                      COOK TIME: 15 Mins
TOTAL TIME: 25Mins                                    COURSE: DESSERT/SWEET
CUISINE: SOUTH  INDIAN                           SERVINGS: 4
AUTHOR: Rajni Ram
 
 
 

 

 
Ingredients:
Poha/Aval( Thin ) 1 cup
Jaggery 1 cup
Coconut gratings 1 tbsp
Ghee 1tbsp
Cardamom powder 1/2 tsp
Cashewnuts around 5 broken to bits
Raisins around 8
 
 
Directions:
Pass the Poha through a sieve that has medium-sized perforations, such that the Poha remains in the sieve and the dust and small flakes fall away. Now wash the Poha just once(may become soggy if done more than once)and drain all the water. Let the Poha rest for 10 minutes.
In a thick bottomed vessel put in the jaggery and 1/4 cup water and place it on the flame. Stirring continuously dissolve the jaggery. The syrup should boil for about 2 minutes. Now strain this syrup into a Kadai or thick bottomed pan and add a teaspoon of sugar and add the washed Poha. Turn on the flame and mix the jaggery and Poha well, such that the jaggery syrup has evenly coated the poha. Cook on low flame until all the moisture is absorbed. Now add the cardamom powder and put off the flame. In a small tadka, Kadai heat the ghee and fry the nuts and raisins and drop them into the Sweet Poha and give it a stir. The Sweet Poha/Vella Aval is ready to offer as Prasad or to your guests. This can be made ahead and warmed just before you serve. Enjoy.
 
 
STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:
1. Assemble all ingredients. Powder the jaggery and cardamom and keep ready. Break the Cashewnuts to bits.
2. Sieve, wash the Poha twice drain the water and let it rest for 10 minutes.

 

3. Now in a thick bottomed vessel put in the jaggery, add 1/4 cup water and switch on the flame. Stirring continuously dissolve the jaggery. The syrup should cook for 2 minutes on low flame. 

 

4. Now strain this syrup into the Kadai or pan in which you are going to make the Poha. Add a teaspoon of sugar. Add the washed and soaked Poha to the syrup in the Kadai, and switch on the flame. Start stirring and cooking this mixture until the jaggery syrup coats the poha well. Continue to stir until the moisture dries up and the Poha is almost dry. Add the cardamom powder and switch off the flame.

 

5. In a small tadka, Kadai dry roast the grated coconut gratings until light brown. One has to stir continuously as the coconut will burn if left unattended. Add the roasted coconut to the Sweet Poha and mix well.

 

6. Now in the same Kadai, the coconut was roasted, add the ghee and fry the nuts and raisins. Put this into the Sweet Poha. The dish is now ready to offer for Puja or to serve guests.
 

 

 
NOTES:
 
1. If using thick Poha there is no need to sieve the Poha, just wash it around 3 times and then rest it for 10 minutes.
2. Sometimes this recipe I also made by soaking the poha in jaggery water, but I personally do not recommend this as the dish does not last long. The jaggery water is not cooked like unlike the recipe above, so the chances are the Poha will give out a fermented smell in a short time.
3. Since in this recipe, I have boiled the jaggery and made a syrup the Poha can be made ahead, if you have made extra, it can be put in the refrigerator and warmed up the next day. So this method stays good longer.
4. Adding a teaspoon or two of sugar accentuates the taste of jaggery. I always follow this in my jaggery based recipes.
5. More grated coconut can be added if you like the flavour.
 
 
If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. I would love to hear from you.
 
If you want the recipes emailed to you leave your id in the homepage near the????
icon. Whenever we have a new post the recipe will be mailed to you. Thank you for showing interest in Rajjo’s Kitchen.
 
 

Sugiyan

Sugiyan or Sukhiyan as it is called is a traditional snack in Kerala and Tamilnadu. It is also made in Andhra Pradesh and is called Boorelu. This snack is like a sweet version of the Aloo Bonda where the Aloo is replaced with a sweet Chana dal or Moong dal and Jaggery filling and instead of Besan Urad dal and rice flour are used as a batter to cover the filling(Poornam). Coconut is also added to the filling that enhances the taste. This is also a snack that people make for festivals. As the festival time is nearing blogging this recipe may be helpful. I usually make it around Navarathri and Diwali to serve it to guests who visit home.

As I  had mentioned that the poornam (filling) is made with Moong dal too, but I personally feel the chana dal filling is tastier. Some also use whole moong(payaru) to make the filling.
 I use this filling of Sugiyan to make Puran Poli(Boli/Bobbatlu/Hoolige) also. So what I usually do is make them both simultaneously. I use wheat flour majorly with a hint of maida to make Puran Poli, the Sugiyan is had the same day as it doesn’t taste fresh or hold good the next day, it is like an instant snack, whereas Puran Poli can be consumed with 2-3 days if stored properly.
One needs to grind the batter carefully and the rest of the recipe is quite easy. In this recipe, I will also show you an easy way to make the filling.
While you are here check out my other dessert recipes like Pineapple Rabdi,
 Carrot Kheer, Chakkara Pongal, Atte Ka Sheera, Akkara vadisal, and more.
 
Here is the recipe of Sugiyan for you–
 PREP TIME: 20 Mins(1 hr soak)                         COOK TIME: 40 Mins
TOTAL TIME: 60 Mins                                          COURSE:  SNACK
CUISINE: SOUTH INDIAN                                   SERVINGS: 6
                                                                              AUTHOR: Rajni Ram

 

Ingredients:
Urad dal 1 cup soaked for 1-hour 
Chana dal 1 cup roasted to light brown
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Rice flour 2 tbsp
Jaggery 1 cup powdered
Coconut grated 1/2 cup
Cardamom powder 1 tsp
Oil for frying
Directions: for the filling:
 Dry roast the Chana dal to a light brown, you will get a nice aroma of the dal. Switch off the flame, remove and cook in a pressure cooker with 1/2 tsp turmeric powder and adequate water for 2-3 whistles(not more), as we want the dal to be rightly cooked, not mushy. Once the dal is cooked and the pressure in the cooker has subsided, remove the dal and put it in a strainer for all the water to drain off for about 5 minutes. Now put the dal into the dry grinding unit of the processor and blitz. Open stir the contents well and blitz again to a fine powder. After grinding it will resemble wet sand. Now in a Karahi put in the jaggery and the ground dal, followed by grated coconut( add no water) and keep stirring, in low flame. The jaggery will start melting and within 5 minutes of stirring the filling will become well combined. Even if it seems a little dry, don’t be tempted to add water. The jaggery will be enough to bind it. Add the Cardamom powder and keep stirring and when it forms a lump, put off the flame and let it cool. Once the filling has cooled, make small balls of them and keep aside.   
 
Directions for the outer crust:
 
Soak the Urad dal for 1 hour and grind. Don’t allow it to soak for a long time, as then it soaks up a lot of oil while frying. The dal has to be ground to a smooth and thick batter, with water as required. The batter should stick to the filling and not roll off it, that should be the consistency. A runny or flowy batter will not stick to the filling. After grinding transfer to a dish, add 2 tablespoons of rice flour and 1/2 tsp salt. Now add little water if required as the rice flour would have absorbed all moisture from the urad dal paste. 
 
Directions to make Sugiyan:
Heat oil for frying to medium-high. Now take one ball at a time, roll it in the batter, or smear the batter all over the filling, it should be a thick coating or it will split in the oil and, drop them gently into the oil. Fry 4-5 of them at a time. Remove when golden brown in colour. Drain them on an absorbent paper. Repeat for the entire lot of filling. The delicious Sugiyan is ready. Serve with tea or make it as Prasad(offering) for Puja and enjoy it. Bon Appetit.
STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:
1. Assemble all ingredients. Soak the dal for an hour. Dry roast the Chana dal and pressure cook for 2 -3 whistles and no more.

 

2. For the Outer crust(cover)- Grind the soaked Urad dal by adding little water to a smooth but thick paste(idli batter consistency or a little thicker also is fine). Stir in 1.5 to 2 tablespoons of rice flour. If the batter gets too thick, add a little amount of water to get it back to the right consistency, given above. ( I forgot to take a picture of adding Rice flour, so please keep in mind and ad it).

 

3. For filling- Dry roast the Chana dal until light brown in colour, you will get a nice sweet aroma when you are getting to that stage. Pour required water and add turmeric powder and pressure cook it for 2-3 whistles, and not more. Once the pressure reduces, take the dal and drain it completely of all the water and allow it to cool for 5 minutes.

 

4. Now put the warm Dal into the dry grinding jar and blend to a powdery texture, without any water. Give it a mix and spin again, the mixture should be fine and should resemble wet sand.

 

5. Put this ground Dal mixture in a Kadai and add the jaggery and grated coconut to it. Switch on the flame on low and start stirring this mixture. Do not add any water, the jaggery will start melting in the heat and help in combining. Add the cardamom and keep stirring until the mixture comes together and forms a lump. Put off the flame and cool the mixture.

 

6. To make the Sugiyan-  Heat oil in a karahi for frying. Heat should be medium-high. Now make lemon sized(or a little bigger too is ok) balls of the filling and keep it aside. Check if the oil is hot by dropping little of the batter into it. If it sizzles and rises immediately, it is ready for frying.

 

7. Now take the Urad dal – Rice flour batter and dunk each ball into it gently, use your hands to smear the batter on the filling if required ad cover the ball. Gently drop it into the oil and fry to a golden brown colour. 4-5 Sugiyans can be fried at a time. Drain them on absorbent paper. Repeat for the entire filling and enjoy them hot.

 

NOTE:
1. I recommend not soaking the Urad dal for more than an hour as it soaks in lot of oil while frying.
2. The jaggery can be reduced to 3/4 cup depending on how sweet it is.
3. I forgot to take a picture of adding the rice flour, so don’t forget to add it if following only the pictures.
If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment/ tag Rajjo’s kitchen on Facebook and Instagram and please follow us on my blog https://rajnirams.blogspot.com/
If you wish to receive the recipes as an email please leave your id on the homepage near the mail icon. Whenever Rajjo’s Kitchen has a new post it will be mailed to you.

Stuffed Kuzhi Paniyaram (Savory)

Kuzhi Paniyarams are basically Lentil and rice batter dumplings. The batter is fermented and then poured into a Paniyaram pan which gives them the shape. Most often in South Indian homes the Kuzhi Paniyaram or Kuzhi appam as we call it is made from the Idli batter itself. When the batter becomes a little sour it is made into Paniyaram. That is because the Idli/Dosa batter is made for a whole week as a quick breakfast or dinner option. So day 1 is Idli, day 2 Dosa and day 3 onwards its Paniyaram and dosa with the batter, as sour Idlis are not that great to taste. However, when I have guests over I prefer making the batter especially for this as it makes the crust crisp and enhances the taste of the Paniyaram to a different level and the texture on the inside of the Paniyaram is lovely.

There are many variations of the Paniyaram batter. It is usually made with Urad dal and rice, Raagi(Finger millet)flour, Jowar(Sorghum) flour, Bajra(Pearl millet) flour, etc can also be used in the batter. The proportions of the Dal and rice also vary from home to home. The Paniyaram batter is used as it is or sometimes, finely chopped Onion, grated Carrots, and other vegetables can also be added.
I have stuffed the Paniyaram with a mashed potato spicy stuffing which tastes wonderful, I have also added finely chopped onions, green chillies, ginger and curry leaves to the batter. This combination of onion in the batter and the Potato stuffing within is a perfect one.
I personally don’t like using the non-stick Paniyaram pan for this dish, as the traditional brass or iron ones give the Paniyaram its crispy exterior. If you have only the non-stick one with you, that’s fine too.
Kuzhi Paniyarams can be served as Breakfast, starters or even for dinner with any chutney.
While you are here please check out other recipes of mine like  Dahi Pohe, Adai,
Kuthiraivali Pongal, Veg Kothu Parotta, Rava Dosa and many more.
PREP TIME: 20 Mins(+4 hrs soak)                    COOK TIME: 40 Mins
TOTAL TIME: 60 Mins                                      COURSE:  SNACK/TIFFIN
CUISINE: SOUTH INDIAN                               SERVINGS: 4
                                                                              AUTHOR: Rajni Ram

 

Here is the recipe of Stuffed Kuzhi Paniyaram–
Ingredients for batter:
Urad dal/black gram(whole without skin) 1 cup
Idli Rice/Boiled rice 1.5 cup
Raw rice(any variety except Basmathi) 1.5 cup
Methi seeds/fenugreek seeds 1 tsp
Ingredients for stuffing:
Potatoes 4 medium(boiled)
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Mustard seeds/Rai 1 tsp
Cumin seeds/jeera 1 tsp
Asafoetida 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves a few (finely chopped)
Salt as per taste
oil for tempering and for greasing the Paniyaram pan.
Directions for Batter:
Soak the dal and both rice varieties along with a teaspoon of methi seeds in a huge vessel for 3-4 hours and grind to a smooth paste to a batter of medium consistency(should resemble Idli batter). Add salt, and leave to ferment for 6-8 hours for a perfect texture of the Paniyaram. While grinding add little water at a time, the batter should be a smooth one, but not runny.
Directions for Stuffing:
Boil the potatoes, peel the skin and mash them well. Now in a pan pour some oil and heat. Add the mustard seeds, as they crackle, add the Cumin followed by turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt, asafoetida and curry leaves. Nicely fry the masala in the oil for 30 seconds and drop the mashed potato into the tempering and mix nicely, so that the tempering is evenly distributed. Cool the mixture.
After it ferments temper the batter with mustard seeds and asafoetida.
Directions for Paniyaram:
Chop Onions, green chillies, ginger and curry leaves finely and add them to the fermented batter and stir well.
Put the Paniyaram pan on the flame and let it heat up. Pour oil into the moulds(if using a traditional metal pan, only the first round will need 1 tsp oil per mould, rest of the batches will need only a few drops). Wait for 1/2 a minute, let the oil heat up, now reduce the flame and with a small round ladle pour 1 scoop of batter into each mould, now take the stuffing little at a time with a spoon and drop it in the centre of the batter. Now cover up the stuffing with  1/2 scoop of batter and increase heat. Drizzle little oil around the corners of each mould, reduce the flame and slowly loosen them from the sides. Now flip each Paniyaram and cook the other side. When done loosen it from the mould and remove it. The crispy and tasty Kuzhi Paniyarams are ready..serve them with Tomato Coconut chutney or Tomato onion chutney. Enjoy. Bon Appetit.
STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:
1. Soak the dal and rice along with 1 tsp methi seeds for 3 hours minimum and grind to a smooth paste of medium consistency(Idli batter consistency). Add the salt, mix and allow to ferment for 6 to 8 hours.
2. Preparation of stuffing–Boil Potatoes, peel and mash them. In a pan take 1 tbsp oil and heat. Now add the mustard, followed by cumin, turmeric powder, salt, red chilli powder, asafoetida and curry leaves. Fry the masala for 30 seconds and add the mashed potato to the tempering and mix well. The tempering should have coated the potatoes well. Check for salt and spice. The stuffing should be a little spicy.
3. To the fermented batter add finely chopped onions, ginger, green chillies and curry leaves and stir nicely. Temper the batter with mustard seeds, cumin seeds and asafoetida.
4. Now put the Paniyaram pan on the flame and heat. Pour 1 tsp oil in each mould. Once the oil is heated, using a small round ladle, pour 1 scoop of batter into each mould. Now with a spoon drop little of the stuffing in the centre of the batter, now pour more batter to cover the stuffing. Drizzle some oil in the corners and cook for 1/2 a minute. Now loosen the edges of the paniyaram using a fork/ spoon or thin metal wire to flip them around, cook them and remove them from the pan when done. For doneness when you stick the metal wire or toothpick in the centre of the paniyaram, it should come out clean.
(I have included a short video so that you understand the process of cooking the Paniyaram in the pan.)
5. Repeat this process for the entire batter or how many ever you wish to serve, the remaining batter can be stored in the fridge and used to make uthappam.
The Paniyaram is ready to serve. It goes well with all chutneys or just by itself as it has a stuffing. It can be served with Sambar too.
How do make this recipe without a Paniyaram pan?
well, make a thicker batter, and also make small balls of the stuffing. Now take the stuffing and drop it in the batter, use your hands to coat the stuffing with batter and deep fry them in a Kadai of oil.
NOTES:
1. As the recipe involves soaking and fermentation, plan your time. In winters give more time for fermentation.
2. The onion, green chillies, ginger and curry leaves can also be sauteed in oil and added to the batter.
3. If using a nonstick paniyaram pan, I recommend drizzling it with some oil for a crunchy exterior.
4. Only small amounts of the stuffing as to put in the center of the batter, not too much of it.
If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. I would love to hear from you.

Vetrilai Rasam/Betle Leaf Rasam

Rasam is a popular South Indian dish prepared with tamarind, tomatoes, and Rasam powder. There are many variations of this dish, and each South Indian household has its own recipe for the proportions of the ingredients of the rasam powder. Therefore though Rasam is almost a regular feature in all South Indian households its taste is unique to each. No two Rasam recipes taste the same. Rasam is also a sought after comfort food in South Indian households when one has a Cold(Common Cold) or is a little under the weather because it is made of simple ingredients that are easily digestible and pepper that helps in combating the cold.

 

Earlier the Rasam was an everyday feature in most South Indian households along with Sambar or Vatha Kozhambu or Moru Kozhambu and a part of the Main course. Some households follow it to this day, but as the eating patterns of people has changed and is now more global the humble Rasam has taken a back seat or is made on a festival day where there is a feast(Elai Sapadu) or sometimes is also being served as a soup in elite gatherings.
There are different types of Rasam Like the Pepper Rasam, Tomato Rasam, Lemon Rasam, Garlic Rasam, Neem Flower (Vepampoo) Rasam, Drumstick Rasam, Pineapple Rasam and the Vetrilai(Betel leaf) Rasam. I have already posted the recipe of pineapple Rasam and slowly over a period of time plan to cover all the Rasam varieties mentioned here.
The Vetrilai also called Vethalai Rasam is has Betel leaves, Tomatoes, and the Rasam Powder as the main ingredients. This Rasam is a very mildly flavoured rasam. For more intense flavour add more Betel leaves. I am posting the recipe of the Rasam powder as the powder used makes a great impact on the flavour of the Rasam. This is also the reason why I said that the Rasam of no two households tastes the same as each has its own proportion. That said Rasam in any form is Comfort food????.
 
While you are here please check out the recipe of Pineapple Rasam.
Here is the recipe of Vetrilai Rasam for you–

 

 

PREP TIME: 10 Mins                                          COOK TIME: 20 Mins
TOTAL TIME: 30 Mins                                      COURSE:  MAIN / APPETISER
CUISINE: SOUTH INDIAN                               SERVINGS: 4
                                                                              AUTHOR: Rajni Ram
Ingredients:
Betel leaves/Vetrilai 10-12 leaves(refer note 1)
Tomatoes 5 (note 3)
Tuvar dal/ Yellow lentils 1/4 cup cooked in a pressure cooker
Rasam powder 3 tsp
Green chilli 1
Lemon 1
Coriander leaves finely chopped
Garlic(optional) (refer note 2)
Asafoetida 1 tsp (split 1/2 while boiling and 1/2 for tempering)
Turmeric powder 1 tsp
Salt as per taste
Roasted Pepper & Cumin powder 1 tsp( dry roast in the ratio 2:1 and grind coarse)
 
Directions:
Put the dal in a vessel and cook it in the pressure cooker. I used pot in pot method, you can use whichever is convenient. The dal should have cooked well. Remove the stalks from Betel leaves, reserve one leaf for garnish and put the remaining in a blender, put 2 chopped tomatoes and the green chilli into the blender too, and grind them to a smooth puree. Chop the remaining 3 tomatoes into big cubes and put them in a 1-litre vessel. Add the Betel leaf-tomato puree also to this vessel and pour 3 cups water(1 cup =150 ml). Put the vessel on a medium flame and add the Rasam Powder, followed by turmeric powder, asafoetida and salt. Boil the mixture until the raw smell of the Betel leaves and tomatoes is gone(around 7 minutes from boiling on medium flame). Now separate the water from the cooked dal and reserve. Mash the dal nicely with the back of a ladle. Pour the dal into the boiling mixture followed by the reserved water and add 2 to 3 cups of more plain water. Now continue to boil the mixture on a low flame until the Rasam froths up and boils and starts rising in the vessel( around 10 minutes on low flame). Don’t let it to overflow. When it rises up squeeze the juice of 1 lemon and put off the flame immediately. Now take 2 tsp ghee in a small tempering Kadai and heat. Add mustard seeds, as they crackle add the Asafoetida powder, roasted pepper-cumin powder and put off the stove. Now add the curry leaves to the ghee, and pour the tempering into the Rasam. Garnish with finely cut Betel leaves(only 1 leaf will do) and coriander leaves. The yummy Vetrilai Rasam is ready to slurp. Enjoy and Bon Appetit.
Serving suggestions: Just as a soup, with hot rice and ghee, with Oats porridge(try this it tastes yummy).
Sometimes I also pour it on my chapatis while hot.????
STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:
1. Assemble all ingredients. Cook the dal and keep ready. Remove the stalks from the Betel leaves, cut them to big bits, chop the tomatoes and keep aside.

 

2. In a blender put in the cut Betel leaves(reserve 1 for garnish), 2 chopped tomatoes, and green chilli and puree them smooth.

 

3. In a 1 litre vessel put the remaining 3 chopped tomatoes and the Betel-tomato puree and pour 3 cups of water. Put the vessel on the flame. Now add Rasam powder, Salt, turmeric powder, asafoetida and bring to a boil on medium flame. Keep boiling until the raw smell of the rasam powder and the Betel leaves goes away. This takes approximately 7 minutes on medium flame.

 

4. Now mash the dal nicely, if the dal has retained water, reserve it. Pour the dal into the boiling Rasam mixture, follow it up with the reserved dal water and add 2-3 more cups of plain water, and start boiling again on low flame.

 

5. Around about 10 minutes of boiling on a low flame the Rasam should start frothing up and rising in the vessel. When it starts coming towards the brim, add lemon juice and put off the stove immediately.

 

6. In a tempering Kadai heat 2 tsp of ghee. when it heats up put the mustard seeds into it, as they crackle add the asafoetida and the roasted cumin-pepper powder. Put off the flame and then add the curry leaves. Drop this tempering into the Rasam and serve hot with hot rice and ghee or follow any of the serving suggestions given above.
NOTES:
1. Betel leaves come in many varieties, but 2 of them are popular and in common use. One is light green and thin(the one I have used and you see in my pictures) another is a little deeper shade of green and the leaves are thick. So if using the light green ones use 10 to 12 leaves. If using the darker ones then reduce the quantity by half, use about 6-8 leaves as their flavour is more intense.
2. If using garlic grind it along with the Betel tomato puree. Around 2 pods should be enough or it will overpower the Betel taste.
3. I have used the sweeter hybrid variety of tomatoes(Bangalore ones) which I usually don’t, hence I used 5 of them. If using the country variety(Naatu thakkali) then 3 should be enough. Two to grind and two to put chopped.
4. If you serve Rasam with something unusual do let us, know..we love learning and trying new combinations.
If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. I would love to hear from you.

Carrot Kheer/Payasam

Kheer/Payasam is a popular part of Indian cuisine as a sweet dish. It is sometimes served at the beginning of a meal or as a finish off to the meal. Whenever there are festivities there is always kheer. There are many variations to the payasam, the popular ones being Rice Kheer, Semiya Payasam, Chana dal payasam, and many more.

Carrot Kheer is a dessert I have made time and again for friends and family on popular demand. I will also let you into my little secret that turns this recipe a stunner.

 

A simple dessert that tastes good both chilled and warm. This is a great recipe to make all the fussy about carrots and milk kids to get to eat both, as it a delicious way to have them. Any variety of carrot can be used for this kheer either Delhi Carrots or the English Carrots.
This kheer or payasam is not a very popular one as generally carrots are not on the favourite list of many, but that’s exactly why it should be popularised. Only when you have this kheer you will understand what I mean. It has a beautiful texture, can be had chilled right out of a glass-like juice or can be had warm on those cosy winter nights. It is also a great after school healthy drink. I can keep singing more praises of its goodness and delicious, but then one has to drink this kheer to experience it.
While you are here check out my other dessert recipes like Pineapple tart, Atte ka Sheera, Apple Crumble, Pineapple Rabri, Berry Smoothie Ice cream, and Akkaravadisal.
Here goes the recipe of Carrot Kheer for you.
PREP TIME: 10 MINS            COOK TIME:30 MINS
TOTAL TIME: 60 Mins              COURSE:  DESSERT
CUISINE: SOUTH INDIAN      SERVINGS: 5
AUTHOR: Rajni Ram

 

Ingredients:
Carrot  2 cups chopped to small cubes
Milk 5 cups
Sugar 1/2 cup
Cardamom 4 pods powdered
Cashewnuts around 7 broken to bits
Directions:
Chop the carrots to small cubes and put them in a heavy-bottomed vessel. Pour 1.5 cups of milk and cook. This should be done in a low to medium flame and the carrots should cook in the milk until the milk is almost evaporated and the milk sticks to the carrot pieces. Put off the flame and cool completely. Now put them in a blender and grind to a smooth paste. Add around 1/2 cup milk if required while grinding. Now pour the pureed Carrot into the same heavy bottomed vessel and switch on the flame. Dilute the puree with 1 cup milk and start boiling again. As it froths up and starts rising in the vessel add the sugar and reduce the flame. Continue to cook for 2 minutes. Now add another cup of milk and continue to boil on a low flame. Now when the mixture starts rising in the vessel switch off the flame and add the cardamom powder. Take a small tempering Kadai and add 2 teaspoons of ghee to it. when the ghee is warm add the broken Cashewnuts and fry to a light brown colour. The delicious Carrot Kheer is ready to serve. Enjoy the healthy goodness. Bon Appetit.
STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:
1. Assemble all ingredients. Chop Carrots, cut the Cashewnuts to pieces, make a powder of the Cardamom pods.

 

2. Put the chopped carrots in a thick bottomed vessel, pour 11/2 cups milk and cook.

 

3. The milk should evaporate completely while cooking the carrots and should stick to the carrots. The mixture should resemble like Rabdi sticking to carrots. Put off the flame at this stage and cool the mixture.

 

4. Now put the mixture in a blender and grind it to a smooth puree, add 1/2 cup milk if required while pureeing.

 

5. Pour the puree into the same heavy bottomed vessel and switch on the flame. Add 1 cup of milk and bring to a boil on a low flame. Ad the puree froths and rises up in the vessel put in the sugar and stir nicely to dissolve.

 

6. Cook for 2 minutes and pour another cup of milk and continue to cook over a low flame for another 5 minutes. When the mixture starts rising again in the vessel, put off the flame and sprinkle the Cardamom powder over the kheer and mix gently.

 

7. Fry the Cashewnuts to a golden colour and add them to the kheer. The delicious Carrot Kheer/payasam is ready.

 

NOTES:
1. Cooking the carrots in the milk until the milk is fully evaporated is critical to recreating this taste( that’s the secret). I find cooking carrots in milk only until the carrots are tender and then putting them in the blender as most recipes recommend, to leave a raw taste of the carrot in the dish. Which finally mars the flavour of the dish.
2. The milk and carrot have to cook over a low to medium flame. Don’t be tempted to raise the flame as the milk can get burnt and leave an after taste.
3. The beauty of this dish is that it needs no artificial colouring as its natural colour is bt itself very inviting.
4. Not much sugar is required for this recipe as carrots are naturally sweet.
5. Condensed milk can also be added instead of sugar, but in a lesser quantity, maybe 1/4 cup first and more if required. I have not tested this method of using condensed milk.
If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. I would love to hear from you.

Coriander Rice/Chutney Rice

My love for this herb is perennial. I love adding it to Subjis not just as a garnish but a few springs just as one of the ingredients. There are many condiments made of this humble herb like Chutneys, Dips, Raitas, Pickle, etc; Coriander rice is a simple and healthy rice variety and a great lunch box option for kids. It is healthy too as Coriander is rich in fiber and essential nutrients. It aids in digestion too. So why leave out such a beneficial herb from main course cooking and limit it to just being a condiment. Therefore I thought of adding this Coriander rice recipe to my blog post.

Try adding a few sprigs of it to any subji, not in the end but while cooking and see how the dish gets elevated in taste and flavour.
The colour, flavour, and aroma of this rice are just so refreshing. While you are here check out my other rice varieties like Coconut Rice, Masala Rice, Falvoured rice and, Lemon Rice.
I’m calling this chutney rice as these are almost the same ingredients we use for green chutney, barring the chutney Chana. Well, tamarind/raw mango is added in green chutney though, I will try that version shortly and post. Here is the recipe for Coriander Rice…
PREP TIME: 10Mins                                     COOK TIME: 30 Mins
TOTAL TIME: 40 Mins                                  COURSE:  MAIN
CUISINE: SOUTH INDIAN                           SERVINGS: 4
AUTHOR: Rajni Ram

 

Ingredients:
Coriander leaves 1 bunch finely chopped
Rice(regular) 1 cup precooked
Peanuts 1 tbsp
Cashewnuts a few
Green chillies 2
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Fried gram dal(chutney chana)/Pottukadalai 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder 1 tsp
Mustard  seeds1 tsp
Chana Dal(Bengal gram) 1 tsp
Urad dal(black gram) 1 tsp
Dry red chillies 1-2 broken
Oil for tempering 1 tbsp
Directions:
Cook 1 cup rice in a pressure cooker( I used pot in pot method, you can cook directly too) adding 3 cups water for 3-4 whistles. Once pressure releases spread out the rice on a plate to cool and also drizzle 2 tsp oil over the rice so that the grains do not stick together. Put the chopped coriander, cumin seeds, green chillies and the fried chana/ Pottukadalai and grind at first without water, then after a spin or two add little water and grind to a smooth paste. In a karahi or pan pour some oil and heat. Add the mustard seeds, chana dal, urad dal, dry red chilli and fry until golden brown. Now add the turmeric powder, followed by the ground Coriander puree and nicely fry the paste in oil on low heat. The paste will get a little dense. Add salt and fry for another 2 minutes. Now start mixing in the cooled rice little by little into the cooked paste, and mix nicely so that the rice is nicely coated with the paste. Put off flame and garnish with peanuts and cashewnuts. The flavourful Coriander Rice is ready to serve. Enjoy the lovely green of the rice. Bon Appetit.
Serving suggestions: Raita, Potato fry, or Cauliflower roast or Colaccasia(Arbi/Sepankezhangu) roast and papad.
STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:
1. Assemble all ingredients. Chop coriander leaves finely, Cook the rice for 3 to 4 whistles, cool on a plate and set aside.

 

2. Put the chopped coriander into the blender along with the green chillies, cumin seeds and fried chana/pottukadalai. Without adding water pulse them once or twice. Now add some water and grind to a smooth paste. Set aside.

 

3. In a karahi or pan pour some oil for tempering. Fry the peanuts to a golden colour and the cashew too and keep aside. In the same oil put in the mustard seeds. Let them crackle then add Chana dal, urad dal followed by dry red chillies. Fry until golden brown and add the turmeric powder.

 

4. Now pour the coriander paste into the oil and fry the paste nicely for 2 minutes. Add salt and continue to fry for another 2 minutes. The moisture should evaporate and the paste should become a little dense.

 

5. Add the cooked and cooled rice little by little to the paste. Mix well and switch off the flame. The flavourful Coriander rice is ready to serve.

 

 

NOTES:
1. While frying the paste in oil be careful not to evaporate it completely. The consistency should resemble sauce consistency.
2. Spread out the rice on a plate and drizzle oil or the rice will turn soft and lumpy once added to the paste.
If you tried this recipe and liked it then please comment below. I would love to hear from you.

Brinjal Pepper Masala (No Onion-No Garlic Recipe)

An everyday subji made from Brinjals and very simple gravy. Brinjals combined in a tomato and coconut gravy with some black peppers for spice. A very mildly flavoured dish, it has some Cashewnuts and Raisins too which enhance its taste. As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts Brinjals are very versatile vegetables and a large variety of recipes can be made with them from different cuisines. There are many types of Brinjal too and some recipes are specific to the Brinjal.

In this recipe, you can use any variety except the Bhara Baigan( the large fleshy one), as we want the Brinjal pieces to be firm and not mushy.
I learnt this subji from one of the guest house cooks where we stayed during our transfers from city to city. The gravy is of the South Indian style but believe me, it goes perfectly well with any of the rice varieties like Pulav or vegetable rice or even plain rice. It can also be served with Rotis. The Cashews and especially the raisins are like surprise packages in this dish which keep popping every 1 or 2 scoops. If you don’t like nuts or Raisins in your subjis(like I did until I tasted this) then you can always omit their use.
While you are here take a look at Gutti Vankaya Kura, which is also a Brinjal dish with Andhra flavours. Also check out, Methi Wale Baingan,  Please look up other subjis too under the label Subjis while you are here.
PREP TIME: 20 Mins                                    COOK TIME: 20 Mins
TOTAL TIME: 40 Mins                                   COURSE:  MAIN
CUISINE: SOUTH INDIAN                            SERVINGS: 4
AUTHOR: Rajni Ram

 

Here is the recipe of Brinjal Pepper Masala-
Ingredients:
Brinjal (any variety except Bharta Baigan) 250 gm diced medium
Tomatoes 3 large finely chopped
Curry leaves a few
Oil for sauteeing
Turmeric powder
Red chilli powder
Ingredients for paste:
Pepper 1 tsp(add more for more spice)
Cumin 1 tsp
Dry red chillies 3
Grated coconut 2-3 tbsp
Directions for making paste:
Heat a karahi with 1 tsp oil and put in all ingredients mentioned under paste, in the same order and roast them until light brown. Cool it and grind it in a blender to a smooth paste.
 
Directions:
Dice the brinjals to medium size and put them in some water. Chop tomatoes very fine and set aside. In a Karahi pour some oil-around a tablespoon, let it heat up and put in the Cashewnuts, fry them until they are golden brown, remove them and put in the Raisins. Fry them too until they puff up and remove from oil. Now add the diced Brinjals to the same karahi and add 1/2 tsp turmeric powder, 1/2 tsp salt, stir well and cover it and cook for 3 minutes. Stir again and cover for another 2 minutes. The brinjal should have turned a little tender but still retain shape. Transfer the brinjals to another vessel and set aside. Now in the same karahi take 2 tsp oil and heat. Add the mustard seeds, let them crackle. Add the cumin seeds followed by turmeric powder and curry leaves. Give it a stir and add the chopped tomatoes. Now add some salt followed by red chilli powder and fry nicely in the oil. Let the tomatoes break, keep mashing them with the back of the spatula. When it turns pulpy, add the ground paste, sauteed Brinjals followed by 1 cup of water, cover and cook for 7 minutes. When you open the lid, the brinjals should have cooked fully, but retain shape and the curry should have come together. Now switch off the flame and add in the fried nuts and Raisins. Brinjal Pepper masala is ready to serve. I served it with some Pulav, any rice or Indian bread varieties will go well with it. Enjoy. Bon Appetit.
STEPWISE  RECIPE FOLLOWS:
1. Assemble all ingredients. Dice the Brinjals, chop the tomatoes, grate the coconut and keep ready.
 

 

2. In a karahi take around 1 tbsp oil, add the nuts and the raisins one after the other and fry. The cashew nuts should turn golden brown and the raisins should fluff up. Remove them into a separate plate.

 

3. Now to the same karahi add the diced Brinjals followed by salt 1/2 tsp and turmeric powder 1/2 tsp. Stir them and cover the karahi for 3 minutes. Open the lid, stir again and cover and cook for 2 minutes. Open and check the brinjals, they should have turned a little tender but should have retained the shape. Remove them to another vessel. If still undone, then cover and cook for another 2 minutes.

 

4. Now pour a little oil into the karahi, about 1 tsp and heat. Roast all the masalas , mentioned under paste in the same order. Pepper being first, followed by cumin seeds, dry red chillies and finally add the coconut and fry until they get a nice brown colour. Cool, transfer to a blender and grind to a fine paste.
 

 

5. In the same karahi pour 2 tsp oil and heat. Add the mustard seeds followed by cumin seeds, turmeric powder and curry leaves. Fry and put in the tomatoes followed by salt and red chilli powder. Stir and cook the tomatoes. Keep mashing them with the back of the spatula so that they turn mushy. 
 

 

6. Now add the ground paste, followed by 1 cup water and put in the sauteed brinjals and cover the karahi and cook the brinjals in the paste for 7 minutes approximately, stirring once in between. 
 

 

7. The Brinjals should be completely cooked by now, but not limp. the gravy too should have come together and should not be runny. Switch off the flame and drop in the fried nuts and raisins. Brinjal pepper masala is now ready. Serve hot with plain rice, Pulavs or with hot Chapatis.
 
 

 

NOTES:
1. Any variety of brinjal can be used except for the big fleshy one(Bharta Baingan).
2. Coriander seeds have been excluded from the paste, to get the same taste as mentioned in the recipe do not add them as they change the flavour of the dish completely. 
3. More pepper can be added depending upon your spice levels. Be sure to reduce the red chillies or red chilli powder if increasing the pepper quantity.
4. The Cashewnuts and enhance the taste of the dish but if you don’t like the nuts coming in the way, they can be excluded altogether.
5. Kashmiri red chilli powder can be used instead of the regular one for colour.
If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. I would love to hear from you.

Pruppu Urundai Kozhambu (Dal Dumplings In Tamarind Sauce)

I love cooking this dish though it involves some amount of preparation and detail. Paruppu Urundai Kozhambu is a delicious traditional South Indian recipe. I learnt this from my mother in law and she was an expert at it. In this preparation, dumplings of Dal/ lentils are cooked in a tangy tamarind sauce. This dish is served with rice but goes well as a side dish for Dosas, Idli, Pongal etc. As in all recipes, there are different methods of making the dumplings. Some steam the dumplings before adding it to the sauce, while some cook it directly in the tamarind sauce. I prefer and follow the second method. The dumplings are able to absorb the flavours this way. I also love using fresh coriander in the dumplings as it realove cooking this dish though it involves some amount of preparation and detail. Paruppu Urundai Kozhambu is a delicious traditionaand add them to the sauce, whereas other recipes suggest cooking it lly elevates the dish to a different level. So when there are no coriander leaves at home I don’t make the dish. Whether coriander is added or not, this dish is just amazingly tasty. So don’t wait for the coriander, just cook on. While you are here check out the recipe of Vatha Kozhambu   A similar recipe with Shallots cooked in a tangy tamarind sauce.

Here is the recipe of Paruppu Urundai Kozhambu.
PREP TIME: 20 Mins+ soak time                  COOK TIME: 30 Mins
TOTAL TIME: 60 Mins                                  COURSE:  MAIN
CUISINE: SOUTH INDIAN                           SERVINGS: 5
AUTHOR: Rajni Ram

 

Ingredients:
Tuvar dal/ Pigeon peas 2 cups soaked for 1 hour
Tamarind 2 lemon sized balls( pulp extracted)
Grated Coconut  3 tbsp
Sambar powder 2 tbsp
Dry red chillies 5
Mustard seeds 2 tsp
Asafoetida 2 tsp
Methi seeds/ fenugreek seeds
Curry leaves few
Coriander leaves(optional)
Salt as required
Directions to make Urundai( dumplings)
Drain out the water from the soaked dal and put it in the blender. Add 1 tsp asafoetida, dry red chillies 3, salt ( as per preference) and grind to a coarse mixture. Now in a karahi or pan add 1 tbsp oil to temper and sauté the mixture. As the oil heats up add 1 tsp mustard seeds, as they crackle add a few Methi seeds, broken dry red chillies, asafoetida1 tsp, curry leaves and fry them. Once they are golden brown add the coarsely ground dal mixture and salt and sauté nicely over a medium flame for 5 minutes. Add the grated coconut and keep stirring constantly as the mixture may stick to the pan/karahi bottom. This step is just to take away the moisture, the dal need not be crumbled, just stirred. After sautéing transfer the sautéed dal to another vessel and cool. Once cooled shape them into dumplings. I could make around 13 dumplings from this mixture. The dumplings should be a little bigger than a Lemon. Set the dumplings aside.
Directions for the Kozhambu( gravy/ sauce)
Extract the pulp from the tamarind and dilute it. You should have about 700 ml of tamarind juice if it’s too sour dilute with another 100 ml. Pour this diluted extract into a deep thick bottomed dish and switch on the flame. Add salt, turmeric powder, Sambar powder, asafoetida and boil. As it starts boiling and the raw smell of the masalas is gone( around 7 minutes into the process on medium flame), add one Urundai( dumpling) and test. If it doesn’t break while cooking on medium heat in the next 1 minutes, reserve 1 dumpling and all the other dumplings can be put into the tamarind water one by one after reducing the heat to low. If the first Urundai disintegrates in the water, put off the flame, undo all the dumplings and add 1 tablespoon rice flour and shape them to dumplings again and continue the process mentioned above. Cook the Urundais(dumplings) in low to medium flame while stirring gently every now and then until they start rising to the top. Once cooked the dumplings will float above. Now add about 1 cup water to the reserved dumpling and break it up. Pour this paste into the kozhambu( gravy) after the dumplings have risen and cook for 2 minutes or until the gravy has thickened to a Sambar like consistency. Switch off the flame and temper the Kozhambu with a little oil in a Kadai and put mustard seeds, followed by Asafoetida and curry leaves. The delicious Paruppu Urundai Kozhambu is ready.
Serving Suggestions: with hot rice and ghee, Dosas, Idlis, Ven Pongal, Kuthiravali Pongal( millet Pongal) etc.
STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:
1. Assemble all ingredients. Soak the Tuvar dal for 1 hour, soak the tamarind in warm water and extract the pulp, dilute pulp, grate the coconut, and keep ready.

 

2. Drain water from the soaked dal and put it into the blender, followed by red chillies, turmeric powder,  salt and asafoetida. Grind them to a coarse paste, without adding water.

 

3. Now in a karahi pour oil for tempering and heat. Put in mustard seeds. As they crackle add the methi seeds, turmeric powder, broken dry red chillies, asafoetida 1 tsp and curry leaves and fry. Now add in the dal mixture to this and start sauteeing, so that the moisture from the dal gets evaporated. Add the grated coconut, saute for another minute and switch off the flame. Finally, add some finely chopped coriander to the dal mixture.  Leave the mixture to cool.

 

4. In a deep vessel, preferably flat one pour the tamarind extract. It should be a dilute extract of 700 ml. Add turmeric powder 1tsp, asafoetida 1 tsp, Sambar powder 3 tbsp, salt and boil the extract on medium flame.

5. After the extract is put to boil, shape the dumplings of the Dal mixture and keep aside.

 

6.  When the mixture bubbles up and froths( about 5 mins from boiling) and all the raw smell of the powders is gone drop one dumpling gently into the boiling mixture. Flame on medium, wait for 2 minutes. If the dumpling does not disintegrate in this time, retain 1 dumpling and put in all the other dumplings one by one. Reduce flame to low and continue to boil.

 

7. As the dumplings cook in the tamarind extract they will slowly start rising to the top(I have added a short video). When all have risen, break the single reserved dumpling and add 1 cup water to it. Give it a stir so that it becomes a paste. Add this paste into the boiling tamarind gravy to thicken the gravy. Cook for 2 minutes and switch off the flame.

 

 

8. Take a small tempering Kadai and add little oil. heat and add mustard seeds, asafoetida 1/2 tsp and curry leaves. Pour the tempering into the Kozhambu.
The tasty Paruppu Urundai Kozhambu is ready to serve.

 

NOTES:
1. Definitely soak the dal, helps in binding.
2. Sometimes depending on the dal quality the dumplings can break/disintegrate in the extract while boiling. That is why I have recommended putting only a single one to test.
3. If the tester dumpling disintegrates, break up all the other dumplings and add 1 tbsp rice flour to it. Mix well and shape into dumplings again. Before you do this do not forget to switch off the flame in which the extract is cooking as we dont want it to evaporate now.
4. Some recipes recommend adding rice flour to the dal mixture while shaping them itself. I prefer not doing this as it makes the dumplings tougher or hard. So I prefer adding rice flour only if required.
If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. I would love to hear from you.

Kuthiraivali (Barnyard Millet) Pongal

Pongal is a savory dish of rice and lentils in South India similar to the Khichdi in the North. I have supplemented the rice with Barnyard Millet, called Kuthiraivali in Tamilnadu. These millets are high in fibre and are gluten-free. So for all the health freaks,  here’s the recipe for you. This is a simple one-pot recipe. It makes a great breakfast option as compared to the rice Pongal, as it is lighter.

 

PREP TIME: 20 Mins                                           COOK TIME: 15 Mins
TOTAL TIME: 35 Mins                                        COURSE:  MAIN
CUISINE: NORTH INDIAN                                 SERVINGS: 4
                                                                               AUTHOR: Rajni Ram

 

Ingredients:
Kuthiraivali(Barnyard Millet) 1.5 cups
Moong dal/ split green gram 1/2 cup lightly roasted
Pepper-Cumin powder 2 tsp (dry roast in the ratio 2:1 cool and grind coarse)
Salt as per taste
Cashewnuts 6-7
Ghee 1 tbsp
Curry leaves a few
Ginger 1 tsp finely chopped
Asafoetida 1 tsp
Turmeric powder
Directions :
Roast the moong dal to a light brown. Put the Millet in a vessel add the roasted dal to it and wash them nicely. Now put them into a pressure cooker and add 4 cups water, the salt, and turmeric powder and cook for 5 whistles. Let the pressure release. Now open the lid and give a light mash to the millet- dal mixture. It would have absorbed all the water while cooking, so pour another 1 to 1.5 cups of water and stir nicely. Now in a small tadka kadai put in 1 tbsp of Ghee and heat. Put the Cashewnuts in and fry them to a light brown. Remove them from the ghee and set aside. Now to the same ghee add Cumin seeds, let them splutter add-in the ginger, pepper- cumin powder, asafoetida, and curry leaves and fry them well in the ghee. Transfer this into the cooker. The Kuthiraivali Pongal is ready. Serve with some coconut-coriander chutney.
STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:
1. Assemble all ingredients. Roast the moong dal and keep it ready.

 

2. Wash the Kuthiraivali/Barnyard millet and moong dal and transfer them to a small pressure cooker. If using big cooker follow pot in pot method( that is putting the contents into a vessel and putting that vessel into the cooker). Pour 4 cups water and pressure for 5 whistles. Once the pressure releases check if the mixture is well cooked. They should be quiet soft, If not put back in the cooker for another 2 whistles.

 

3. The mixture will be a little solid, add around 1 to  1.5 cups of water, and loosen up the mixture.

 

4. In a tadka, Kadai, or small tempering pan add the ghee and let it heat. Add the cashews and fry to a light brown. Remove from ghee. To the same ghee add the cumin. Once they splutter add in the ginger, pepper-cumin powder, curry leaves, and asafoetida. fry nicely for a minute and pour it into the dal-millet mixture. The Kuthiraivali Pongal is ready  

 

Notes:
1. If using pot in pot method then after pressure cooking, you can make the tempering in a bigger pan and add the rice dal mixture to the pan.
2. While adding water to the Pongal after pressure cooking to loosen it, you can add hot water instead of room temperature one.
3.Pepper -cumin powder  direction pictures below–
 

 

 If you tried this recipe and liked it please do comment below. I would love to hear from you.

Vatha Kozhambu (Shallots In A Spicy Tamarind Gravy)

This is a traditional South Indian recipe. There are many variations to this recipe and a large variety of vegetables or dehydrated berries(Turkey berry, cluster beans, etc;) are simmered in a spicy tamarind sauce. Usually served with hot rice and ghee, but goes well with Dosas and Idlis too. I have used Sambar powder here, though Vatha Kozhambu powder is also used, there is not much difference in the taste and Sambar powder works well. For the recipe of Sambar Powder click here. Let’s get to the recipe without much ado.

 

PREP TIME: 20 Mins                                           COOK TIME: 15 Mins
 TOTAL TIME: 35 Mins                                       COURSE:  MAIN
 CUISINE: SOUTH INDIAN                               SERVINGS: 4
                                                                               AUTHOR: Rajni Ram

 

Ingredients:
Shallots 200 gm skinned
Tomato 1 large
Tamarind lemon sized ball( soaked in water and pulped)
Salt as per taste
Sambar powder 1 tbsp
Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Turmeric powder 1 tsp
Asafoetida 1 tsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds 1/2 tsp
Dry red chillies 2 broken
Curry leaves a few
Sesame oil/ Til oil 1 tbsp( can use more if you prefer)
Directions:
Peel the skin off the Shallots and keep ready. Chop the tomatoes. Soak a lemon sized ball of tamarind in a little warm water, let it cool and extract the pulp. Now in a pan or karahi take a tablespoon of Sesame/Til oil and heat. Add the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, asafoetida, dry red chillies, and curry leaves and saute for a minute. Add the Shallots and saute until they start turning translucent. Now add the tomatoes and continue to saute for a minute. Add the dry spices- Sambar powder, turmeric powder, and red chilli powder and continue to stir fry. If the mixture is too dry add another 2 teaspoons of oil, otherwise the masala may burn. Saute for another minute and pour the tamarind pulp and add the salt. Stir well and allow it to simmer on low flame until it thickens and reduces a bit. The oil will form a layer on top and the mixture will reduce, at this stage put off the stove. The Shallot Vatha Kozhambu is ready to serve with hot rice, Dosas, Idlis etc.
Direction to make Sambar powder is given under the label powders.
STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:
1. Assemble all ingredients. Shallots skinned and tomatoes chopped. Soak tamarind(lemon sized ball) and get the pulp.

 

2. In a pan/karahi heat some Til oil(preferable, if not continue with refined oil). Add mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, dry red chillies, asafoetida, curry leaves, and fry.

 

3. Add the shallots and stir well so that the oil coats all the shallots. Fry until they turn translucent. Add the tomatoes and continue to stir fry for another minute.

 

4. Now add in all the dry spices- Sambar powder, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, and continue to fry. If the mixture is too dry after adding the powders, then add 2 tsp of oil and fry, until the raw taste of the masalas is gone.

 

5. Pour the tamarind pulp and in the salt and stir well and allow the mixture to boil. Let it simmer until the mixture thickens and reduces in quantity. The oil will form a layer on top. At this stage put off the stove. The Shallot Vatha Kozhambu is ready to serve with hot rice and ghee.

 

NOTES:
1. I have used Shallots here, other vegetables that can be used are Drumsticks, Ladies finger, Onions, dehydrated berries like Turkey berry(Sundakai), and even dehydrated vegetables like Cluster beans, Bitter gourd, etc.
2. Sesame oil enhances the flavour of the dish, so I highly recommend it.
3. Frying the dry masalas in the oil well(step4), gives the dish the perfect flavour.
4. The fenugreek seeds also impart the aroma a lovely flavour to this dish, but they should be used in the quantity mentioned and not more, as they can turn the dish bitter. 
 
If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. I would love to hear from you.
 
 

Veg Kothu Parotta

This is a south Indian street food recipe, made form Parathas(called Parotta in the South) and sauteed vegetables in a spicy tomato base. The Parottas are shredded(minced)and added to the gravy and further stir-fried to a crispy flaky dish. There are many variations to this dish, but I am keeping it simple. This dish can be served with sauce or raita. Usually,  leftover parathas or chapatis can be used for making this dish. Store-bought Parathas can be used too. Let’s get to the recipe.

PREP TIME: 20 Mins                                       COOK TIME: 25Mins
TOTAL TIME: 45 Mins                                    COURSE:  MAIN
CUISINE: SOUTH INDIAN                             SERVINGS: 4
                                                                            AUTHOR: Rajni Ram

 

Ingredients:
Parathas 5
Onion 2 medium diced and petals separated
Carrot 1 grated coarse
Capsicum 1 diced to cubes
Tomato 1 diced
Tomato puree 1 cup
Cashewnuts 10
Cloves 4
Cinnamon 1 small stick
Green chillies 3 split lengthwise
ginger-garlic paste 1 tsp
Cumin seeds 1 tsp
Curry leaves few
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Coriander powder 1 tsp
Biriyani masala(powder) 1.5 tsp
Garam masala 1/2 tsp
Salt as per taste
Oil for stir fry
Directions:
If the Parathas are store-bought, heat them on the tava/girdle with a little oil, cooking both sides. Cool them and using kitchen scissors tear them to pieces or use your fingers to tear them into 1 inch long pieces. keep this aside. In a pan/ Karahi take 4 tsp oil, heat and add the cumin seeds. Put in the turmeric powder and drop the green chillies and curry leaves into the oil, followed by the onions and fry at high heat for 1 minute. Now add the capsicum and continue to fry on high heat. Add the carrot, reduce heat and fry for 30 seconds. Now add the tomatoes, fry for another 30 seconds and pour the tomato puree and give a good stir. Now add the masalas- coriander powder, red chilli powder, Biriyani masala and salt. Stir well and cook for a few minutes, grind the cashew nuts to a loose paste and add it to the gravy. Continue to cook until the gravy thickens and starts getting dry, add the garam masala powder and put off the heat and let the mixture cool a bit. After 5 minutes add in the minced paratha pieces, switch on the stove and mix the parathas well with the gravy. The gravy should coat all the pieces and not turn them soggy. While mixing keep mashing the paratha will a flat spatula so that the parathas can further get minced. Stop once you have a dry mixture. The Kothu Parotta is ready to serve. Tastes best when served immediately. Any variety of Raita is a good accompaniment for this. Enjoy. Bon Appetit.
STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:
1. Assemble all ingredients and cook the parathas ahead if store bough, as they have to cool.

 

2. Tear the parathas into 1-inch pieces.

 

3. In a pan/karahi take 4 tsp oil and heat. Put in the cumin seeds and allow to splutter. Add in the green chillies and curry leaves. Also add 3 Cloves and 1 small stick Cinnamon.

 

4. Add in the onions and saute at high heat. Add the ginger-garlic paste, put in the capsicum and continue to stir fry, follow up with carrots. Reduce heat.

 

5. Add the chopped tomatoes, fry for 30 seconds and the tomato puree. Stir and cook for a few minutes.

 

6. Add all the masalas(dry spice powders), add 2 tbsp water and continue to cook.

 

7. Powder the cashew nuts then add 2 tbsp water and grind them to a loose paste. Add this to the tomato gravy. Cook until the mixture thickens. the consistency should be like tomato sauce. Put off at this stage. Add chopped coriander and garam masala powder.

 

8. Let this cool for 5 minutes. Now add the paratha pieces and switch on the stove and mix the contents well. while mixing keep mashing the parathas with a flipper, so that they get minced further. When the paratha resembles a mince and the mixture is dry, put off the stove. the Kothu Paratha is now ready to serve.

 

NOTES:
1. The consistency of the gravy should neither be too thick nor too thin. It should resemble tomato sauce in consistency.
2. ou can other vegetables too if you like.
3. If you have ready-made biriyani mix paste you can use that too, but add a lesser quantity.
4. This recipe should be served immediately or else the paratha will turn chewy.
5. If you want to make it ahead, you can make the gravy ahead and add the paratha pieces just before you serve.
If you tried this recipe and liked it please do comment below. I would love to hear from you.

Pineapple Rasam

Rasam is a popular South Indian dish prepared with tamarind, tomatoes, and Rasam powder. There are many variations of this dish, and each South Indian household has its own recipe for the proportions of the ingredients of the rasam powder. Therefore though Rasam is almost a regular feature in all South Indian households its taste is unique to each. No two Rasam recipes taste the same.

The following recipe has Pineapples along with tomatoes and is very flavourful. It makes for a good soup/ appetizer, for wintertime get-togethers. As you make the Pineapple Rasam the aroma of the pineapple fills the house and you’ll have people at home making trips to the kitchen. The secret of a good Pineapple rasam rests in the extraction of the juice in 3 stages. Follow the recipe closely for instruction on juicing the Pineapples. Let’s get to the recipe right away
PREP TIME: 20 Mins                                          COOK TIME: 20 Mins
TOTAL TIME: 35 Mins                                      COURSE:  MAIN / APPETISER
CUISINE: SOUTH INDIAN                               SERVINGS: 4
                                                                              AUTHOR: Rajni Ram
Ingredients:
Pineapple   3/4 of a medium-sized one
Tomatoes 2 medium chopped
Tuvar dal 1/2 cup( 1 cup= 150 gm)
Fresh coriander sprigs few
Green chilies 2
Ginger 1 inch piece
Fennel seeds 1 tsp
Turmeric powder 1/2 tsp
Rasam powder 3 tsp
Salt as per taste
Asafoetida 1 tsp
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Roasted Pepper & Cumin powder 1 tsp( dry roast in the ratio 2:1 and grind coarse)
Curry leaves few
Ghee/ clarified butter for tempering
Sugar 2 tsp(optional)
Directions for Pineapple Juice:
Stage 1: chop the pineapples and put them in a liquidizer/juicer and extract juice. It should be a concentrate. Add no water at all at this stage. This is extract 1.
Stage 2: Add 1 to 1.5 cups of water and juice again to get the second extract.
Stage 3: Add 2 cups of water and juice again to get the 3rd extract. Strain the pulp at this stage into the 3rd extract and discard the fiber.
Directions for Pineapple Rasam:
 
Wash the Tuvar dal and pressure cook for 5 whistles, set aside. Now put the chopped tomatoes, coriander leaves, green chillies and ginger in a blender and puree them. Take a 1.5-litre vessel and pour this tomato coriander puree into it. Now add the 3rd extract juice to the above puree. Also add in the salt, Rasam powder, 1/2 tsp asafoetida, turmeric powder, and boil this mixture. Allow it to boil for some time until it reduces to 1/2( Please note that 3rd extract had 2 cups water so that plus the tomato puree, has to boil and reduce to half). At this stage add the cooked dal ( mash lightly) along with the water. If there is no water remaining in the dal add up to a cup to the dal, mix nicely and add to the reduced extract. Now add the 2nd extract juice and continue to boil. Boil until the rasam starts frothing in the vessel and starts brimming up. Keep stirring in between. Now add another 1.5 cups of plain water and continue to boil for another 2 minutes. Finally, add the 1st extract juice, 2 tsp sugar( optional), and put off the stove immediately. The rasam should not be allowed to boil after adding the first extract, as it will lose all flavour. Now temper the Rasam in ghee. Take 2 tsp ghee in a small tadka kadai and heat it. Add mustard seeds and as they crackle add the cumin-pepper powder, 1/2 tsp asafoetida, switch off the stove, and drop in the curry leaves. Pour the tempering into the rasam. Garnish with finely chopped fresh coriander leaves. The flavourful Pineapple Rasam is ready to serve. Serve it as an appetizer/soup or with rice for some yummy comfort food.
STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:
1. Extract the Pineapple juice following the method mentioned above and keep ready.

 

2. Gather all other ingredients and keep ready.

 

3. In a blender put in the tomatoes, coriander leaves, green chilies, ginger, and fennel seeds and blend to a smooth puree.

 

4. Take a big vessel that can fit around 1.5 litres of liquid. Put the 3rd extract of juice into the vessel and add in the tomato puree. Switch on the stove.

 

5. Add the salt, turmeric powder, asafoetida, Rasam powder, and boil. Continue to boil until it reduces to 1/2 the quantity.

 

6. Now add the cooked dal along with the water into the boiling soup and also add the 2nd extract juice now. Continue to boil until it froths and begins rising. Keep heat at medium throughout.

 

7. Now add another 1.5 cups of plain water and continue to boil. When it brims up, add the 1st extract juice, add sugar(optional) and put off the stove immediately. Avoid boiling the Rasam once you add the 1st extract as flavour will be lost.

 

8. Now in a small tempering pan/tadka kadai,  add 2 tsp ghee and heat. Add the mustard seeds, when they crackle, add the roasted pepper-cumin powder, asafoetida, and put off the stove. Finally, add the curry leaves to the tempering and pour the tempering into the Pineapple Rasam. Serve hot as a soup or along with hot rice and a dollop of ghee.

 

NOTES:
1. Follow instructions for Pineapple juice carefully as it affects the flavour of the Rasam.
2. You can increase or decrease the Rasam powder as per your spice preference. But don’t go below 2 tsp for 1.5 litres of Rasam.
3. Sugar is optional, add only if the pineapples are not sweet enough.
4. The roasted cumin -pepper powder is common to all Rasam varieties. You can store this powder in an airtight jar to add to Rasam, Pongal, etc;

Akkaravadisal

This is a very traditional South Indian sweet dish. Lord Mahavishnu is offered this sweet as prasad(holy offering). The main ingredients are Rice, moong dal, jaggery, milk and ghee. The ingredients are similar to the Sweet  Pongal but both taste very different. It tastes heavenly when served a little warm. Without much ado let’s get to the recipe right away.

 

PREP TIME: 10Mins                                    COOK TIME:30Mins
TOTAL TIME: 40 Mins                                COURSE:  MAIN
CUISINE: SOUTH INDIAN                         SERVINGS: 4
                                                                   AUTHOR: Rajni Ram

 

Ingredients:
Rice 1 cup
Moong dal/ green gram 1/4 cup
Milk  6 cups
Jaggery 1 cup
Water 1/4 cup
Sugar ( optional) 1 tbsp
Ghee 3/4 cup
Cardamom/ elaichi powder 1 tsp
Saffron ( optional) 2 pinches, soaked in warm milk
Raw camphor( optional) 1 pinch powdered
Cashewnuts 8 to 10
Raisins 8 to 10
Directions:
  Dry roast the Moong dal to a light brown colour. Stir constantly and take care not to burn the dal. It will give out a nice aroma. Put the jaggery in a separate vessel, add water and bring to a boil. Put off the heat and stir to dissolve the jaggery. Keep aside. Take a vessel that fits inside your pressure cooker and transfer the rice into it. Add in the roasted Moong dal and wash both the rice and dal together. Pour 4 cups milk and arrange the vessel in the cooker.  Close lid and cook for around 5 to 6 whistles. After pressure releases open lid, the rice should be well cooked and not grainy. Mash the cooked rice and dal while it’s hot, keep aside. In a pan or Urli( heavy-bottomed brass vessel ) pour 1 tbsp ghee and heat. Fry the cashew nuts and raisins in the ghee to a nice golden colour and keep them aside. To the same pan add the cooked rice and dal. Strain the liquid jaggery into the rice directly and the sugar and the remaining milk( 2cups, to which saffron was added). Stir nicely. Add the cardamom powder and raw camphor powder and stir. Put off the stove and add the ghee finally. The divine tasting Akkaravadisal is ready. Tastes best when hot/ warm. Enjoy. Bone Appetite.
STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:
1. Assemble all ingredients.

 

2. Dry roast the Moong dal to a light brown colour. Take rice in a vessel that fits inside the cooker and add the roasted dal to it. Wash them a few times, add 4 cups milk and place the vessel inside the cooker with sufficient water at the bottom. Cook until  5 to 6 whistles. To the remaining 2 cups of milk add saffron and let soak.

 

3. Until the pressure releases let’s get the jaggery ready. In a small vessel take the jaggery, add 1/4 cup water and bring to a boil, put out the stove and stir the jaggery to dissolve it.

 

4. Once you open the cooker mash the contents while they are hot as it’s easier to do it then. Set aside.
In a pan/ Urli take a tablespoon of ghee and heat,  fry the nuts and raisins in it and keep aside.

 

5. In the same pan/ Urli transfer the cooked rice and dal and strain the liquid jaggery on it directly. Pour the saffron added milk to the mixture and stir. Add in the cardamom and raw camphor and turn off the stove. Lastly, add the ghee, garnish with the fried nuts and raisins and the Akkaravadisal is ready.

 

NOTES:
1. We strained the jaggery to remove the impurities from it.
2. Do not cook rice directly in the cooker as we are coking with milk, the milk may stick to the bottom and the dish will give a burnt taste and odour. That’s why we are cooking with a vessel inside the cooker.( to make directly checkout One pot Akkaravadisal recipe)
3. Saffron and raw camphor are optional, they give added flavour.
4. Be liberal with ghee. Cook the rice soft. If grainy add more milk and pressure cook again.
5. I have used normal rice( Sona Masoori/ Ponni). If using Basmathi avoid the raw camphor as both aroma and flavouring of both may clash.

 

If you made this recipe and liked it, please comment below. I would love to hear from you.

Bhindi Raita

Raita is a yoghurt-based condiment. It usually contains cooked or raw vegetables/fruits/pulses, mixed with the Yogurt/Dahi and tempered with Mustard and Jeera. The Raita is usually served with Biriyani, Pulav, Parathas, Naans or can be served as a dip for Kebabs too.

Today I chose to make Bhindi(Lady’s Finger) Raita as an accompaniment for Masala Rice( recipe given in Rice section), as the crisply cooked Bhindi combines beautifully with the spiced curd and imparts a lovely texture and flavour to the Yoghurt. This Raita goes well with both North Indian and South Indian dishes.
Let’s get to the recipe right away.
PREP TIME: 5 Mins                COOK TIME: 15 Mins
TOTAL TIME: 20                            COURSE:ACCOMPANIMET    CUISINE: NORTH /                                                          SOUTH INDIAN                                                                                               AUTHOR: RAJNI RAM 
Ingredients:
Curd /Yogurt 400 gm(fresh not sour)
Bhindi /Okra/Lady’s Finger 6 to 8 big ones
Jeera /Cumin powder 1.5 tsp
Red chilli powder 1/2 tsp, for more spice, add 1 tsp
Salt as per taste( some will be added while cooking Bhindi too)
Mustard 1 tsp
Jeera / Cumin whole  1 tsp
Urad dal split 1 tsp
Dry red chilli 1 big broken to bits
Curry leaves few
Asafoetida powder/ Hing 1/2 tsp
Oil 2 tbsp
Directions:
Take 400 gm curd, smoothen it with a ladle, do not whip or churn it. Add the spice powders- red chilli powder, Jeera powder and salt to the curd. Mix gently and keep in the refrigerator to chill. Next, take 2 Tbsp oil in a Karahi/ Pan and heat. Add the tempering of Mustard, Jeera, Urad dal, dry Red chilli, Curry leaves and Hing ( asafoetida), fry to a golden colour and add in the Bhindi. On high flame saute by stirring continuously for 2 mins, add salt and continue to saute. Keep stirring from time to time until the Bhindi is cooked and turns crisp. Put off the stove and cool it. Once cooled it can now be added to the chilled spiced curd. Yummy Bhindi Raita is ready to serve.
STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:
1. Assemble all ingredients.

 

 2. Take 400 gm Curd and smoothen it out with a ladle, don’t beat or whip it vigorously. To this add the spice mix of cumin powder, red chilli powder and add salt. Stir nicely and put it in the refrigerator to chill
3.In a Karahi/ Pan heat 2 Tbsp oil and add in the tempering of mustard, jeera, hing, urad dal, dry red chilli and fry until golden in colour. Add in the Bhindi.

4. Fry the Bhindi on high flame for 2 mins, add salt and continue to saute. Keep at it until the Bhindi turns crisp(will shrink in size). Put off the stove and cool the Bhindi. Once cool the bhindi can be added to the chilled spiced curd.

 

 

5. Bhindi Raita is ready to serve. Serve it will Parathas, Biriyanis, Pulav’s or serve with Masala Rice( recipe in Rice section). Enjoy!

 

Notes:
1. Ensure you cool the fried Bhindi before you add it to the spiced curd mixture. If it is hot the curd will thin down.
2. Always fry Bhindi on high heat and constant stirring or else it can turn slimy.
3. If in case the Bhindi does turn slimy, then add either Idli Podi( gunpowder that’s used as an accompaniment for Idlis, Check recipes under Masala Powders) or Dal powder(check recipe under powders).
another tip is to cut Bhindi few hours prior and put it in the refrigerator for an hour or two. Remove it from the refrigerator and don’t thaw, put it in the Karahi directly.
3. why am I giving so many instructions on cooking the Bhindi?, because a crunchy Bhindi makes a good Raita.
If you tried this recipe and liked it, comment below. Would love to hear from you.

Lemon Rice

Lemon Rice is one such recipe which is easy to make with minimum ingredients. It doesn’t need any specific accompaniment. It can be had just like that or with Papad. It’s the perfect lunchbox item. The zing and freshness of lemon is enough to bring everyone to your table for their share.

My Grandmom was an expert at making it( not that its rocket science), but her lemon rice always had that freshness of the lemon intact. So over the years I have tried and perfected it, her way and by hit and trial have found her secret of that fresh lemon flavour. I’m stressing on the flavour here because I have seen many a time the lemon flavour fails to standout the sourness is there, but the flavour is missing. This is because of cooking the lemon juice with the tempering. As the recipe proceeds, you’ll understand what I mean.
I usually don’t write so much of an introduction, but this recipe is just so close to my heart that I had to.
Let’s get to the recipe right away.
PREP TIME: 10Mins                                COOK TIME: 40Mins
TOTAL TIME: 50 Mins                               COURSE:  MAIN
CUISINE: SOUTH INDIAN                       SERVINGS: 4
Ingredients:
Rice 1 cup ( regular rice not Basmati)
Lemon 2 medium size
Green chillies 2
Red chillies 2
Ginger 1 inch piece
Curry leaves a few
Turmeric powder 1 tsp
Asafoetida powder 1/2 tsp
Salt as per taste
Urad dal 1 tsp
Chana dal soaked in water( for 1/2 an hour) 1 Tbsp.
Mustard 1 tsp
Peanuts 1 Tbsp
Oil 3 Tbsp( refined or sesame)  for tempering and 3 tsp for drizzling on cooked rice.
Directions:
Cook the rice in a pressure cooker. You can use 2.5 to 3 cups water for 1 cup of rice.  As soon as pressure releases transfer the rice to a large plate/ tray and spread it. Drizzle little refined oil or sesame oil on it, so that the rice doesn’t stick together. Allow it to cool.
In the meanwhile take 3 Tbsp oil in a Karahi/ pan and heat it. Drop the peanuts gently into the oil and fry until you see a nice golden colour. Add the mustard, as it crackles add the green and red chillies, ginger, asafoetida, urad dal, soaked chana Dal after straining the water, curry leaves and fry them till the dals are a nice golden colour. Add the turmeric powder and salt and put off the stove.  Now add the juice of 1 lemon to it and mix well. Now add the rice little by little to this tempering. Mix well so that the tempering is evenly distributed. Now squeeze the juice of another lemon on the rice and mix gently( my secret to the freshness). There the yellow beauty is ready to serve…Bon Appetit.
STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:
1. Assemble all ingredients.
2. Cook the rice in a pressure cooker. After pressure settles, transfer the rice to a large plate and spread it. Drizzle some oil on it. Allow it to cool.

 

 

3. In a Karahi take oil for tempering and heat it. Put in the peanuts and fry until golden brown.
Add all tempering ingredients- mustard, soaked chana dal( water strained), urad dal, green chillies, red chillies, ginger, Asafoetida,  curry leaves. Fry until they get a nice brown.
4. Add the turmeric powder and salt and put off the stove. Squeeze juice of one lemon. Mix well.
5. Mix the cooked rice little by little to the tempering. Finally, squeeze the juice of another lemon on the rice and mix gently but thoroughly. Lemon rice is ready. Enjoy with some Papads.
NOTES:1. Usually, Lemon rice recipes state adding the lemon juice to the tempering, which gives the taste but not the flavour. some other recipes recommend squeezing the lemon directly over the rice. This ensures the flavour, but not the taste as the juice will not get evenly mixed.
2. In this recipe I have divided the juice into 2 halves and added one half to tempering and another half to the rice, this gave me the perfect balance of flavour and taste.
3. Potato fry(south Indian style) goes very well with the lemon rice too, just in case you aren’t the papad person.
4. You could serve the Rice with Raita too.
If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. Would love to hear from you.

Rava Dosa

Dosas come in many varieties and these Rava Dosas are full of flavour and are crisp too. This is a foolproof recipe. In my family, we have made it this way for years and what’s more, just add any healthy millet flour to this and it will still come out well. In restaurants, this Dosa is made with Maida instead of the wheat flour. You can do that too. I’m partial to what flour so have replaced Maida/ refined flour with it.

Let’s get to the recipe right away.
PREP TIME: 10Mins                                           COOK TIME: 40Mins
TOTAL TIME: 50 Mins                                       COURSE:  MAIN
CUISINE: SOUTH INDIAN                                SERVINGS: 4
                                                                              AUTHOR: Rajni Ram

 

Ingredients:
Rava/ Sooji 1 cup( roasting Rava is optional, but I would  recommend it)                Rice flour 1 cup
Wheat flour 1 cup
Curd 1 cup
Water -around 1 litre or a little more
Roasted cumin and pepper powder
Green chillies 2
Ginger 1 inch piece
Curry leaves- few leaves cut fine
Coriander leaves finely chopped.
Salt  as per taste( I used 1.5 tsp)
Directions:
Take a 1-litre vessel. Put in all the three flours.
Add the curd to it. Add in the salt and the roasted cumin pepper powder. Add a little of the water from 1 litre and mix well forming a paste without lumps. Once that’s done mix in the remaining water little by little and stirring every now and then so lumps don’t form. Don’t pour all the water at a time. Depending on the quality of the Sooji, you might use, less too. The batter should neither be too thick nor too watery. It should be a little loose than the normal Dosa batter. Take 3 tsp oil in a small tadka karahi and heat.  Add the mustard and Cumin and once they crackle put in the finely cut green chillies, ginger and curry leaves. Also, add 1/2 tsp of Hing/ Asafoetida and turn off the stove. Add this tempering to the batter. Let the batter stand for 10 mins and you are ready to pour the Dosa on the girdle. There your crispy Rava Dosa is ready. Enjoy. Bon Appetit!
STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:
1. Assemble all ingredients.
2. Take a 1-litre vessel and add in Rava/ Sooji, wheat flour and Rice flour. Add in the curd.
3. Add the salt and the roasted cumin- pepper powder( to make powder take 2 tsp Jeera and 1 tsp pepper and roast on low fire to get the aroma of the spices. Cool and grind coarse).
4. Add water( up to 1 litre) little at a time and stirring constantly so that no lumps are formed. Pour the remaining water until you achieve the consistency shown in the picture( a little thinner than the regular Dosa).

5. Take oil in a small tadka karahi. Add the mustard and cumin seeds. When they crackle add the cut green chillies, ginger and curry leaves. Add Asafoetida too and crush a little. Pour this tempering into the batter. Add the chopped coriander and let the batter stand for 10 mins atleast. There your batter is ready.

6. To make crispy Dosas, put a girdle on the Tava( I used a non-stick one). The girdle has to be really hot or else your dosa will be lumpy.
7. Now pour the batter on the girdle forming a circle. You cannot spread the batter like the regular dosa, you’ll have to pour it as shown in the picture. Drizzle oil over the Dosa and cook.
8. Cook until it becomes crisp and is a golden brown, then flip over and cook again. If you want it crisper be generous with the oil.
Your crisp Rava Dosa is ready. Enjoy with chutney( check out the recipe in chutney section)  and idli podi ( check out the recipe in powders section).

 

NOTES:
1. As said earlier it’s a  foolproof batter and won’t let you down. Just stick to the measurements.
2. Rava Dosa is usually made with Maida in restaurants as it gives that extra crispy edge, feel free to use that too. Since I am partial to wheat flour have replaced Maida with it.
3. Instead of wheat flour or Maida, you can use Ragi flour, Jowar flour or any other millet flour and the Dosa will still come out well.
4. If you are sceptical of replacing the wheat flour with any millet flour, just add a cup of millet flour along with the other flours. That works too.
5. Be generous with the oil for crisp Dosas and be patient. Unlike the regular Dosas, they take a little longer to cook and get crisp, and the patience will be worth it.
6. It’s important to get the girdle quite hot. Do the little test of sprinkling water on your girdle when it’s hot. If the water evaporates very quickly, that’s the right heat. You can start pouring the batter on the girdle.
If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. Would love to hear from you.

Coconut Tomato Chutney

This chutney is very easy to make. I have added Tomato for the freshness and tang and so you don’t have to add either tamarind or lemon as in the regular coconut chutney. Goes really well with Idli, Dosa, Pongal, Paniyaram etc.

Let’s get to the recipe right away.
PREP TIME: 10 Mins                             COOK TIME: 5 Mins
TOTAL TIME: 15 Mins                            COURSE:  MAIN
CUISINE: SOUTH INDIAN                     SERVINGS: 4
Ingredients:
Coconut 1 cup
Fried chana dal/ chutney chana/Pottu kadalai 1 tbsp
Green chillie 2
Red chilli 2
Tomato 1 large
Oil for tempering
Mustard sees 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves a few
Asafoetida 1/4 tsp
Directions:
In a blender put in the fresh coconut, fried chana dal, green chillies and dry grind to a coarse paste. Add some salt as per taste and add in the chopped tomatoes and now grind to a fine paste. Add in some water to adjust consistency and give it a nice spin in the blender. The Coconut tomato chutney is ready to be served with Idli, Dosas, Pongal, etc. Enjoy. Bon Appetit.
STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:
1. Assemble all ingredients.

 

2. In a blender put in the coconut and grind coarse. Add the fried chana, green chillies and red chillies and grind without water.

 

3. Add the chopped tomato and salt and to grind smooth. Add little water to adjust consistency, add salt and give a single spin in the blender.

 

4. Take 2 tsp oil in small tempering Kadai and add in the mustard seeds, after they splutter add the asafoetida, and curry leaves. Pour the tempering into the chutney.

 

 

NOTES:
1. Since we have added tomato there is no need to add any other form of sour ingredients like tamarind or lemon.
2. First, dry grind all ingredients and then only add in the chopped tomato, otherwise, they won’t get ground evenly.
We would love to hear what you think of this recipe. Let us know in the comments.

Arbi Masala (Spicy Colacassia)

A simple everyday subji.  I make the Arbi/Arvi as a roast, sometimes a simple fry and it can also be added while making Sambhar or Kadi. This tuber is a little slimy, but that can be managed by dusting the Arbi with a little Besan/ Gram flour or rice flour. In this recipe, I have pre-cooked the Arbi in a pressure cooker and then baked it for the extra crispiness. You can also deep fry it. I do that quite often too. Let’s get to the recipe right away.

PREP TIME: 10Mins                                COOK TIME: 40Mins
TOTAL TIME: 50 Mins                               COURSE:  MAIN
 CUISINE: SOUTH INDIAN                       SERVINGS: 4
                                                                  AUTHOR: RAJNI RAM

 

Ingredients:
Arbi/Colaccasia 250 gm( boiled and skin peeled)
Onions 2 roughly chopped
Tomatoes 2 large finely chopped
Green chilli 2 chopped
Fresh coriander 1 tbsp finely chopped
Salt to taste
Red chilli powder 1 tsp
Coriander powder 1.5 tsp
Fennel powder(optional) 1 tsp
Garam masala powder 1/2 tsp
oil for frying and making the masala.
Cumin 1 tsp
Curry leaves a few
Directions:
Boil the Arbi in a pressure cooker, with a little salt for 2 whistles. Stick to 2 whistles or it will turn soggy and lose the crispness in the subji. Cool it, Peel the skin cut it into medium size pieces( if very small, use as it is), and set aside. To deep-fry, take oil in a Karahi and heat it. drop the cut Arbi gently into the oil and fry until they are a nice brown and crisp.
If baking, then place them on a greased tray, drizzle a little oil over them, or you could use a brush to apply the oil and bake at 180 degrees for half an hour, turning over the Arbi midway, say around 15 mins. Bake until brown and crisp. Set aside.
Now in a pan or Karahi heat 1 tbsp oil. Add the cumin and turmeric and add the green chilli and chopped onion to this and saute well. Fry them well, but don’t get them brown. Now add in the tomatoes, salt, and all the dry spices. cook until the tomatoes break and release water and the mixture looks like a thick paste. Add the garam masala and fresh coriander and mix. Finally, add in the fried/baked Arbi and mix nicely, so that the masala paste coats it evenly. Serve hot with Parathas, Roti, or Dal Chawal.
STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS
1. Assemble all ingredients. Cook Arbi in a pressure cooker for 2 whistles. cool. Peel skin, cut into cubes, and set aside.

 

2. Fry the cooked and cut Arbi in oil or bake in the oven at 180 degrees for 1/2 an hour. They should be nicely browned and crisp.

 

3. In a pan or karahi heat oil. Add the cumin and turmeric powder. Add in the green chillies and onion and fry well.

 

4. Add the tomatoes, salt, and all dry spices mentioned under ingredients. Saute the mixture well. The tomatoes should become soft and the mixture should resemble a semi-dry paste.

 

5. Add in the garam masala and chopped coriander and finally add the fried/baked Arbi and give a good stir. The masala paste should coat all the Arbi’s well. Sprinkle some more chopped coriander and we are ready to serve.

 

6. Serve with Rotis, Parathas, or just Dal Chawal. Enjoy. Bon Appetit.

 

Notes: 1. Amchur/ dry mango powder can be used along with other dry masalas if you prefer a little more tanginess. I have not added as I almost always use the country tomatoes/desi tomatoes/Naatu thakkali. They are naturally sour than the hybrid tomatoes or the Bangalore ones.
2. A little gram flour can be mixed with the dry spices and sprinkled over the Arbi before frying them. I have added besan as the Arbi is going to be mixed into  the paste, and so will not taste bland.
If you tried this recipe and liked it please comment below. I would love to hear from you.

Mint/Pudina Raita

Mint by itself is such a flavourful herb, it heightens the taste of everything else. Since it has a strong flavour it should be used in moderation. Here I have made a Raita(curd sauce) with Mint, which goes well with Parathas, Naans, Kebabs and with any mixed rice variety. The lovely green colour and the minty freshness gets the salivary buds in action. This is a simple recipe and takes under 7 minutes to make if you have all ingredients ready.

Well, one may think why am I blogging something so simple, something that anyone can make. Well, its just to establish the fact that something as simple as a well made Raita can lift the effect of a recipe gone wrong. People trying their hand at cooking for the first time will be encouraged by its simplicity to try cooking more often.

Let’s get to the recipe right away.
PREP TIME: 10 Mins                             COOK TIME: 5 Mins
TOTAL TIME: 15Mins                            COURSE:  MAIN
CUISINE: SOUTH INDIAN/                    SERVINGS: 4
                 NORTH INDIAN
 Ingredients:                                                   Author: Rajni Ram
Mint leaves 1/2 a bunch
Green chilli 1(if not hot enough can add one more)
Curd 400 gms
Roasted Jeera powder 1/2 tsp
Salt as per taste.
Directions:
Wash the Mint leaves well and let the water drain. Smoothen the curd( do not beat or whip). Put the Mint leaves, Green chillies, roasted Jeera powder and salt in a blender and give it a good spin. Add about a cup of curd from the 400 gms to the blender and grind to a smooth paste. Now add this paste to the remaining curd and mix well. Put it in the refrigerator until ready to serve. Enjoy the Mint Raita with your meal. Bon Appetit.
STEPWISE RECIPE FOLLOWS:
1. Assemble all ingredients. Wash Mint leaves and drain the water.

 

2. Put the mint leaves(you can put the tender stems too), green chillies, roasted Jeera powder and salt in a blender and blend.

 

3. Now add a cup of curd to the ground mix and give it a good spin. It should become a fine paste.

 

4. Add this paste to the remaining curd and mix well. The Mint Raita is ready. Put it in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

 

 

Notes:
1. You can temper the raita with mustard and jeera if you wish. I haven’t done it, as I think the Mint by itself is enough.
2. You can add grated Cucumbers, Carrot or finely chopped onion or Boondi to this raita.
3. This Raita can also be used to soak Dahi Vadas.
 If you tried this recipe and liked it, comment below. Would love to hear from you.