Monday, December 23, 2013


Pitlai closely resembles sambar but is more nutritious and also thicker in consistency than Sambar. Often this is prepared with bitter gourd and one cannot feel any bitter taste in the pitlai. So this is one of the healthy and tasty ways to include bitter gourd

Pavakkai Pitlai

Monday, October 28, 2013


This is one of the easiest Murukkus to prepare with store bought rice flour.This is one of the melt in the mouth kind of murukku and a great tea time snack.

Butter Murukku

Sunday, October 20, 2013


I thought both Jangiri and Jalebi were same until I tasted hot jalebi's in one of the restaurants in Chennai.Perhaps that was when I took a closer look and Jangiri and realized that the way it is swirled is completely different from Jangiri. Jangiri is swirled with large circles and small circles in the edge of the outer circles and Jalebi is just swirled in concentric circle. Jangiri is made of urad dhal whereas Jalebi is prepared with Maida.Jalebis tastes best when served hot. Ok enough of the differences and coming to the recipe (I learnt this from one of my friends)


Sunday, September 15, 2013


Last week when I saw the Bournvitas on sale at an Indian store, I immediately bought it only to realise later that they are nearing expiry date.Except for my daughter nobody loves chocolate milk and it was nearly impossible for me to finish it off within a week.Suddenly I remembered of the Bournvita cake/Burfi which my MIL used to make whenever she prepares ghee at home.

Bournvita Burfi


Ginger has a very special place in ayurvedic cooking.Ginger aids digestion and also stimulates apetite.I try to include fresh ginger atleast once a week in the form of thuvayal, chutney or pickle. Puli inji is one such instant pickle made with ginger. This is a very popular dish that is prepared during Onam festival. Nevertheless this dish has  a special place in Tamil Nadu too and often part of grand feasts in weddings.This is a perfect condiment for curd rice.

Puli Inji

Wednesday, September 4, 2013


This is the savory version of Kozhukattai made for Vinayaka Chathurthi and Varalakshmi pooja.
Ulundhu Kozhukattai

Monday, August 19, 2013


Magizhampoo thenkuzhal also called as mullu murukku is one of my favourites.This crunchy muruku is often prepared for Krishna Jayanthi and Diwali.As I am not an expert in making suthu muruku I often end up making this.

Magizhampoo Thenkuzhal

Saturday, August 10, 2013


One of the readers had inquired about the pooja procedures when I posted about the home made pooja mandap for varalakshmi vratham last year.I have compiled the procedures as per our family customs. This year Varalakshmi pooja falls on 8 Aug 2014.

Monday, August 5, 2013


Akkara vadisal is an Iyengar speciality dish and is offered as prasadam in most of the Vaishnavite temples.This looks similar to Chakkarai pongal however the quantity of ingredients and method of cooking is totally different. In akkara vadisal, the rice is slowly cooked in large quantities of milk and also it has a semi solid consistency.For sakkari pongal, rice is cooked in water and little or no milk is used.

Every year whenever we visit our family deity at Thiruvannamalai, Srivilliputhur (not to be confused with Thiru Annamalai), we also visit Aandal temple.Kannadi maligai (mirror hall), Palkova and Akkara vadisal  are the main attractions for me in this temple.
There is an interesting story behind why Akkara vadisal is offered on Aadi pooram.

Aandal was born in Aadi pooram who is the author of Thirupavai and Naachiar thirumozhi.She was determined to marry Renganathar at her young age.In Nachiar Thirumozhi there is a mention about akkara vadisal

மாலிருஞ்சோலை நம்பிக்கு நான் நூறு தடா நிறைந்த வெண்ணை வாய் நேர்ந்து பராவி வைத்தேன் நூறு தடா நிறைந்த அக்காரவடிசல் சொன்னேன்.
Maliruncholai nambikku naan noor thada niraintha vennai
vai nerdhu paraavi vaiththen nooru thada niraintha akkaravadisal sonnen

Thursday, August 1, 2013


While the whole month of Tamil month Aadi is considered to be auspicious there are certain days that are more significant.Aadi pathinettam perukku is one such festival that importance of water.It falls on 18th day of Aadi when monsoon is in peak.The word peruku signifies overflow/rising.The rivers & lakes will be overflowed with water during this time.

This festival is celebrated in an elaborate manner in the banks of Kaveri particularly in villages.Women wear new clothes. Some even take a dip on the holy rivers.Families join together and have lunch with prepared rice varieties on the banks of river.Sambar, rasam is not prepared during this day. Instead prepared rice varities such as Lemon rice, tamarind rice, curd rice, kalkandu rice/sakkari pongal is made (This is easy for picnicing to the river as well)

Though I did not have much chance to participate in the actual celebration near the rivers , we still prepare the rice varieties at home. This day is also auspicious to buy gold and to sow seeds.

Recipes for aadi peruku

Sunday, July 28, 2013


This is my mom's signature recipe.She prepares this rice whenever we travel in train from Chennai to Madurai. My father perfectly packs this rice in banana leaf and finally wrapped in news paper.Even now whenever we go on road trips, I always make tamarind rice.

Monday, July 22, 2013


Masala dosa is one of the classic South Indian tiffin recipes.The dosa stuffed with mildly spiced potatoes is sure to tickle the taste buds. There are different variations of Masal dosa.This is the basic recipe. The potato filling is very similar to Puri potato masala. However for Puri masala, we add little water and besan to look like a thick gravy.

Masal Dosa

Thursday, July 18, 2013


This is one of my favorite keerai recipes. This is a very simple, mildly spiced and comforting dish that is even ideal for toddlers. Just serve with hot rice and a teaspoon of ghee and it tastes heavenly. My son just loves to have this as a soup.

Paruppu Keerai

Tuesday, July 16, 2013


Thengai Arisi Payasam is usually prepared on first day of Aadi month. Either Jaggery or sugar can be used for this payasam. I like the jaggery version though.This is very easy to prepare and has a unique flavor. Using basmati rice will enhance the flavor.Traditionally raw rice is used.

Rice Coconut Payasam

Wednesday, July 10, 2013


I wanted to try something different and exotic for my husband's birthday this year without any elaborate decorations.When I was doing shopping at the grocery store, a pack of mascoporne cheese caught my attention and then decided to bake a Tiramisu cake.Since I want the cake to look regal, I used eggless vanilla sponge cake instead of lady fingers as base so that I can also decorate it.

Check out the  classic Egg free Tiramisu cake with Lady fingers

Eggless Tiramisu Cak

Sunday, July 7, 2013


Rasavaangi is usually made with brinjals or ashgourd and it closely resembles Arachuvitta sambar. The same spices are used but the measurement and procedure is quite different. Rasavangi is also thicker in consistency than sambar and can also be served as kootu

Kathirikkai Rasavaangi

Monday, July 1, 2013


I was not a great fan of palak paneer before.But I started liking it over the past two years.When I made it first time at home, I did not get the correct consistency and color.I tried it with ground onions and the taste was not so appealing. After that I never attempted to make this at home.Nowadays my daughter loves paneer dishes a lot. After trying Panner butter masala, I tried this recipe from here and this time turned out to be excellent.

Recipe source: vahrehvah

Wednesday, June 26, 2013


For reasons unknown I love doing shopping at Madurai.Every time I used to try to dine at a different restaurant at Madurai. But the item remains the same.. 'Chilli parotta'..Parotta is a famous street food in down south of India.When I came across this recipe here, I immediately tried it. Having tasted chilli parotta at various restaurants at Madurai, I can vouch that this recipe tastes the same.I did not deep fry the parottas though for obvious reasons.

Chilly Parotta

Recipe source: Cookery corner

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


Double ka Meetha is a special dessert from Hyderabad basically of Moghul origin. The bread slices and fried in ghee and then soaked in sugar syrup and milk flavored with cardomom and saffron. The ingredients and preparation closely resemble Shahi Tukra. However Shahi Tukra is a much more richer version and also the shape of the bread slices are retained as such. 


Sunday, June 16, 2013


I was searching for a microwave version of Paneer butter masala and came across this recipe with no onions.Initially I was very skeptical in trying out this recipe without onions.In my opinion paneer side dishes will not taste good without onion.However this recipes proved my myth to be wrong.It was equally as delicious as the Restaurant Style Paneer butter masala posted previously

Microwave Paneer Butter Masala

Recipe source: Edible Garden

Sunday, June 2, 2013


Kuzhipaniyaram is basically of Chettinad origin often served as breakfast. My aunt learnt this from one her friends and she is an expert in making sweet and savory paniyarams.
This version of recipe is using the left over idli batter and is called in Tamil as 'Pulicgamacu Panirayam'. I make this often as an evening snack for week end to finish off the leftover idli batter
Kuzhi paniyaram

Wednesday, May 22, 2013


Tiramisu is a layered Italian dessert and literally means 'pick me up'.This is a combination of crispy Savioardi (Lady fingers) soaked in espresso coffee and layered with rich and creamy mascoporne cheese ,egg whites and marsala wine.Instead of eggs I used whipped cream.Though this dessert looks intimidating, it is actually very easy to prepare.

Monday, May 13, 2013


Savoiardi/Lady fingers/Sponge fingers is an Italian cookie that is shaped like a big fat finger. This is the main ingredient in many Italian desserts like Tiramisu, Charlottes etc. I wanted to make a Tiramisu cake and ended up making eggless Lady fingers.I adapted the basic procedure from joy of baking and combined the recipe for short bread and lady fingers and ended up with these cookies.Since I have never tasted the real lady fingers I cannot comment if these tasted more or less similar to the original. But all I could say is the taste and flavor was really good and it soaked the coffee well in Tiramisu which served the purpose.And above all my daughter just loves these sponge fingers more than the regular cookies.

Lady Fingers

Thursday, May 9, 2013


Last time I bought a huge papaya from the market so that I can make fruit salad for the kids.As usual after having a couple of pieces they refused to eat.I had no idea how to finish off that huge papaya and finally made halwa with it.Both my kids (including me too) have a very sweet tooth and finished off the halwa. The halwa had a beautiful color all naturally and also tasted great. I followed the same recipe for Kasi halwa

Papaya Halwa

Sunday, May 5, 2013


Mango Pachadi

Mango pachadi is typically prepared during Tamil new year festival in Tamil Nadu. This can be prepared with or without addition of fresh neem flower.When prepared with neem flower,it symbolizes all 6 tastes (Arusuvai)
Inipu/Sweetness from jaggery
Pulipu/Sourness from mangoes
Uvarpu/Salty from salt
Karpu/hot from chillies
Thuvarpu/Saline from mangoes
Kasapu/Bitterness from neem flower

Sunday, April 28, 2013


Mango Kulfi

Kulfi is a popular indian ice cream sold in the streets by Kulfiwalas.Kulfi is basically a frozen dessert rather than calling it icecream. Typically icecream has a creamy texture and soft whereas kulfi is little dense.Kulfi takes long time to melt as well

Kulfi is a very versatile dessert. Think of anything and the flavor can be easily incorporated in Kulfi. The traditional flavors are Badam(Almonds), Pista (Pistachios), Kesar(Saffron), Elaichi (Cardamom), Mango and Rose.

Traditionally Kulfi is prepared by boiling whole milk and simmering until it reduces to half.Nut and flavors are then added and frozen in earthern pots (called matkas).The kulfis are not churned like ice cream. 

This recipe is not a traditional one. It is a short cut method of making the same delicious kulfi without much effort.No boiling is required. Just mix all the below ingredients. Blend well and freeze and voila the kulfi is ready to serve

Mango Kulfi

Monday, April 22, 2013


I had tasted paneer butter masala only in restaurants.My daughter loves paneer and I have started learning side dishes with paneer from friends and other blogs.I have already posted a recipe for paneer butter masala which I make atleast once in a month. For a variation I thought of trying with green peas and paneer and came out excellent

Mutter paneer

Recipe Source: Vahchef

Friday, April 19, 2013


Sundara Kandam

Sri Rama Navami is celebrated on the birthday of Lord Rama. (Sri Rama was born in Navami thithi).

In some temples the preceeding 9 days are celebrated with Sundara Kanda parayanam starting from new moon day with final chapter on Pattabishekam recited on the day of Rama Navami.

As Sri Rama led a very simple life the neivedhya recipes are very simple too and apt for the summer

Recipes for Rama Navami

1) Paanakam

2) Vada Paruppu

3) Neer mor

For Sundara Kanda Parayanam
Boiled milk with kalkandu (sugar candy) and raisins will do for the first 8 days of Parayanam
For the 9th day when Pattabisheka sargam is recited, Payasam is prepared.

Moong dhal Payasam
Semiya Payasam
Paal Paysam
Aval Payasam

Wednesday, April 17, 2013


Panakam is usually prepared on the day of Rama Navami along with Vada Paruppu. It is a cooler and a perfect drink for summer.It can be easily prepared with the available ingredients and has lot of health benefits.


Saturday, April 13, 2013


அனைவருக்கும் இனிய தமிழ் புத்தாண்டு வாழ்த்துக்கள் !

Tamil New Year Puthandu

Tamil new year is celebrated on the beginning of the month Chithirai. At South India Tamil year is celebrated elaborately at most temples.Chithirai Thiruvizha is very famous in Madurai Meenakshi Temple. The same is celebrated as Vishu in Kerala.

On the day the house is cleaned and decorated with Kolams(rangoli).

Recipes for Tamil new year
2) Mango pachadi/Veppamboo pachadi

Tuesday, April 9, 2013


A healthy chutney with a subtle sweet taste. I made this chutney similar to Carrot thuvayal with the addition of onions.Goes well with idli and dosa

Carrot Chutney

Thursday, April 4, 2013


I learnt this recipe from my MIL who is an expert in cooking different varieties of rasams.This is a nice variation to the usual dhal rasam.The addition of green chilli adds a unique flavor.My MIL usually prepares this using moong dhall instead of toor dhal

Lemon rasam

Sunday, March 31, 2013


This is one of the easiest kesari that can be made within no time. Generally speaking any kesari is easy to make but Rava Kesari needs little attention and experience to get the right texture without any lumps.However for Aval/Poha kesari there is no need to worry about lumps or texture.Even any beginner cook will be able to get it right. My mom often makes this as a quick dessert for me.

Aval Kesari

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


This is a thuvayal made with Smoked eggplants.The brinjal is roasted in direct flame and then ground to make thuvayal. This has a wonderful smoky flavor and can also be had as a side dish for idli/dosa
Sutta kathirikai Thuvayal

Monday, March 11, 2013


This is yet another variety of a traditional dish made using smoked vegetables.I learnt this recipe from my mother in law.I have already posted a recipe for Vazhakkai Podimas but this recipe falls under podi varieties that can be served with oil/ghee This smoked vazhakkai podi is at its best when served with hot rice and ghee accompanied by pachadi. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013


Ven Pongal and Gothsu are made for each other as Idli is to sambar. Whenever I make pongal I usually make coconut chutney or Brinjal Puli gothsu. This is a different variety of gothsu that uses smoked brinjal along with toor dhal.This is a famous dish from Chidambaram and there are several versions of the recipe.I followed the recipe from one of the old cook books that I had(Cook and see).

Chidambaram Kathirikai Gothsu

Tuesday, March 5, 2013


This is not the recipe for vada as the name suggests.This is actually a salad using raw moong dhal that is prepared on Rama Navami along with Panakam. This is a very cooling salad and often served chilled. The salad uses the vegetables that are available in the summer season (viz cucumber, raw mango etc).It is also called as Kosambari.
Vada Paruppu

Monday, March 4, 2013


In Tamil Nadu, salads are known as Kosumalli. There are different varieties of Kosumalli using raw vegetables with carrot kosumalli being the common one.It is served in South Indian weddings and on special occasions.
Carrot Kosumalli

Sunday, March 3, 2013


I never used to have any kind of soups when we go to restaurants.If at all I am forced to have soup , sweet corn soup would be my choice. But after having the soup my tummy gets full and never proceed with the main course.For this reason no body forces me to have soup. That said, I never prepared soup at home till date! When Srivalli announced the themes for Blogging Marathon, I immediately picked the theme 'Soups and Salads'.I adapted the basic recipe from Sailu's kitchen and it was a super hit. My husband and son loved it a lot but my daughter refused to give a try.May be she is like me :-)

Sweet Corn Soup Indian Style

Sunday, February 24, 2013


This is a very simple and yet flavorful and aromatic rice.My sister gave me the recipe for mint rice almost a year back. Since we do not get fresh mint leaves here, I almost forgot about the recipe.Recently I saw a similar recipe here. Fortunately I was able to get mint leaves during my last visit to vegetable market and I immediately made this rice with some slight modifications. It was very very simple to prepare this rice.Tastes great with just onion raita and ideal for lunch box too.
Mint Peas Pulav

Thursday, February 21, 2013


This recipe has an interesting background.Those were the days when I was a college pass out and joined Cognizant as Entry Level Trainee.There were not much responsibilities and I had lot of free time in my hand. I used to read several magazines and note down the recipes in a diary.This is one such recipe.My mom was out of town and my uncle paid sudden visit to our house. My mom had already prepared idli batter. So I made this sambar before they arrived and served with dosa for breakfast.After that I left for office and my uncle had his lunch in a nearby hotel (Our house was at walkable distance from a famous hotel at Adyar).He had come to a conclusion that I had bought the sambar from this hotel.Though I was upset to know that he could not believe that I can cook, in a way I was happy that my sambar was close to the sambar of a popular hotel. After all it is the recipe for Hotel Sambar! 

Hotel Sambar

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


I was searching for some bittergourd recipes and came across this TV show.This is different from the other thokku varieties we make. It also has the subtle bitterness along with being sweet, sour and hot. I felt that the thokku tastes even more better when consumed the second day.We loved it with curd rice.It is a healthier alternative to pickles

Pavakkai Thokku

Sunday, February 17, 2013


Two years back I knew nothing about neither baking nor cake decorations.It all started on  my daughter's second birthday when I baked my first cake ever (Princess cake).It is hard to get egg less cakes here with so many design specifications. One of my college friends suggested me to bake a cake on my own and also gave me a basic recipe. She encouraged me to decorate as I used to do lot of paintings during my college days.After that there was no looking back. For every occasion I take orders(??) from my kids with exact specifications. Usually we celebrate our kid's birthday only with family and close friends and have never thrown a party.So I normally tend to pay attention to their cake and food menu needs. For this year my daughter's specifications were
1) Dora cake but no boots or swiper along with her.
2) Dora should wear her red or purple fiesta dress
3) No fondant. Only lots of butter cream icing
4) Chocolate flavor

The idea of using icing for Dora dreaded me. Though I can do some decent pencil sketches, I could not think of it with icing.Luckily I came across this wonderful tutorial for icing the cake when I was searching for Dora cakes over the net.I gained some confidence and I started to do the Dora icing on her birthday (As a plan B I had a small Dora figurine to fix on the cake!).I followed the instructions as per the tutorial except that I did not use a glass as mentioned in the post.I just stapled a print out of Dora with wax paper and I was able to manage When I peeled the wax paper, the beautiful Dora amazed us.Yes it really worked. Now on to the tutorial
Dora Birthday Cake

Tuesday, February 12, 2013


I simply love burfis of any kind. When I saw my cousin posted her picture of Badam Burfi in FB I immediately asked her for the recipe. She promptly replied back with detailed steps.When I made this burfi last week the entire batch was finished the same day. I warn these burfis are highly addictive.It almosts melts in the mouth.The recipe is ridiculously simple and I have written in her own words.
Badam Cake

Friday, February 8, 2013


I used to make the breakfast recipes really simple for the week days.Mostly it used to be  sandwiches,pancakes or just cereal.Out of all these my daughter loves only pancakes.I have tried lots of variation of eggless pancake recipes and finally settled for this one.I use only whole wheat pastry flour and each time the pancakes turns out to be soft and fluffy.
Eggless pancakes

Recipe adapted from here