6 April 2012

Ragi Idli

  • 1 cup ragi
  • 1/4 cup urad dhal
  • Salt to taste
  • Grated vegetables, optional

  1. Soak urad dhal and ragi separately for at least 3 hours.
  2. Blend urad dhal till it becomes fluffy.
  3. Blend ragi separately
  4. Mix both with salt and allow to ferment overnight.
  5. Add vegetables, if desired.
  6. Grease idli plates, pour batter and steam for 15 minutes or until cooked.
  7. Remove and serve hot with tomato chutney or mint chutney.

Rice Flakes Idli (Aval Idli)

  • 1 cup raw rice
  • 1/2 cup rice flakes (aval)
  • 1/2 cup yogurt, sour
  • 5 green chillies
  • 1/2 cup grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp bengal gram dhal
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp whole pepper
  • 1/4" ginger, finely chopped
  • asafoetida, pinch
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • Salt to taste

  • Soak rice for 2 - 3 hours. Soak rice flakes separately in curd for about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Blend them together with grated coconut and chillies coarsely.
  • Add salt and blend again.
  • Add pepper, cumin seeds and bengal gram dhal on top of the batter and allow to ferment overnight.
  • Add ginger, asafoetida and baking soda and mix batter well.
  • Pour into idli plates over cashews, if desired, and steam for 10 minutes or until cooked.
  • Serve hot with any spicy chutney.

Carrot Chutney

  • 3 large carrots, peeled and grated
  • 3 tbsp grated coconut
  • 3 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 4 dry red chillies
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • Oil

  1. Heat oil in a pan, add red chillies and coriander seeds and fry till chillies turn light brown. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Add grated carrot to the same pan and fry till fully cooked.
  3. Blend these in a mixer along with grated coconut and salt to a fine paste. 
  4. Heat oil, splutter mustard seeds, add it to the ground chutney and serve.

28 March 2012

Broken Wheat Idli (Wheat Rava Idli)


  • 1/2 cups broken wheat
  • 1 cup yogurt, preferably sour
  • 1 tbsp grated coconut
  • 1 tbsp grated carrot
  • 4 - 5 stalks coriander leaves, finely chopped 
  • curry leaves
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp urad dhal
  • 1 tsp channa dhal
  • Cashews, optional
  1. Dry roast broken wheat and mix with yogurt.
  2. Heat oil, add seasonings, fry well and add to the mixture.
  3. Add vegetables, coriander and curry leaves. Mix thoroughly.
  4. Pour into greased idli plates over cashews and steam for 10 minutes or until cooked.
  5. Allow to cool and remove.

27 March 2012

Banana Idli


  • 1 cup semolina 
  • 4 ripe bananas
  • 1/4 cup grated coconut (can add more to taste)
  • 1/2 cup jaggery / brown sugar (can add more to taste, I used more than 3/4 cups)
  • Salt, a pinch
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • cashews, optional
  • Dry roast semolina till the favour is given out.
  • Mash bananas and add all the ingredients.
  • Mix well and add some water to bring it to idli batter consistency.
  • Grease idli plates, place cashews in each, pour batter and steam for 10 to 12 minutes or until cooked.
  • Serve hot.
The idlis came out well and I loved them! Try them and leave your comments!

23 March 2012

Chettinad Eral Varuval - Prawn Fry


  • 500g prawn, cleaned and deveined
  • 25 - 30 nos. pearl onions, chopped
  • 15 nos. small pearl onions, whole
  • 3 tomatoes, diced
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 15 small garlic cloves
  • 4 green chillies, slit
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 tsp fennel seeds
  • Curry leaves, handful
  • 5 stalks cilantro, finely chopped 
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • 3 tsp coriander powder
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil (I used olive oil)
  1. Heat oil in a pan, splutter mustard seeds. Add cumin and fennel seeds and half the curry leaves.
  2. Add onion, garlic cloves, ginger - garlic paste and green chillies. Fry till golden brown.
  3. Add tomatoes and all the powders. Add salt, cover and cook till the tomatoes are mushy and the mixture is a thick lump.
  4. Saute another 4 minutes till dry and chunky. Add prawn and cook 2 minutes.
  5. Remove lid and fry for 4 - 5 minutes. Add remaining curry leaves, cilantro and fry till masala turns brown and dry. Switch off and serve.

Thoothukudi Kozhi Chukka Varuval (Tuticorin Chicken Dry Roast)

This is an authentic dish from Thoothukudi, the land of V O Chidambaram Pillai (கப்பலோட்டிய தமிழன்)! This recipe is from Aha Enna Rusi on Sun TV.

Serves 4

  • 1/2 kg boneless chicken
  • 2 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 tsp chilli powder or as required
  • 1 tsp garam masala powder
  • 1/2 tsp clove powder
  • 1 tbsp ginger - garlic paste
  • Curry leaves, handful (Optional)
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil (I used olive oil)
  1. Heat oil in a pan, add onions and saute till golden brown.
  2. Add chicken and saute till cooked. Add oil as required.
  3. Add all the powders and then ginger garlic paste. Blend well and simmer for 10 minutes. 
  4. Add curry leaves and continue to fry till dry and roasted well.
  5. Switch off and serve with rice and sambar or kaarakuzhambu.
The curry leaves are my addition. They have added a lot of flavour to the dish. I had it with coconut rice. A perfect combination I should say!

21 March 2012

Vermicelli Idli

  • 2 cups vermicelli (semiya) 
  • 1 cup semolina (rava)
  • 2 cups yogurt
  • Baking soda, a pinch
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp split Bengal gram 
  • 1 tsp black gram
  • 10 - 12 curry leaves, chopped
  • Asafoetida, a pinch
  • Cashews
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 1/2" ginger, grated
  • 2 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 5 - 6 stalks coriander, finely chopped

  1. Mix together vemicelli, semolina, salt and baking powder.
  2. Add yogurt to form a thick batter. (Batter should be thicker than idli batter). Add 1 to 2 tsps of water.
  3. Heat oil and season with mustard, split Bengal gram and black gram. Fry till golden brown. Add curry leaves and asafoetida.
  4. Add this to the batter and mix well. Add all the vegetables.
  5. Let it stand for 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. Grease idli plates, place cashews in each, pour in batter and steam for 12 minutes or until cooked. Let cool for 5 minutes and serve with coconut or tomato chutney.
The idlis came out pretty well. My lunch tomorrow!

18 March 2012

Beef Mince and Potato Bake

From http://www.menupages.ie/Recipes/easy_food_cookbook/RecipeDetail.aspx?recipeId=547

  • 250g beef mince
  • 3 large potatoes, peeled
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp tomato puree
  • 3 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 60 ml beef stock
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese
  • 1/2 tbsp oil
  1. Boil potatoes with salt until tender. Drain and cool. 
  2. Preheat oven at 180 degrees C.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and fry onion until soft. Add mince and fry until browned. Add puree, chopped tomatoes and beef stock and bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 - 15 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cut the potatoes into thin slices. Spoon a layer of mince into an ovenproof dish. Arrange a layer of potatoes on top and cover with a layer of mince. Repeat and end with a layer of potato.
  5. Sprinkle grated cheese on top and bake for 30 minutes until golden brown.

17 March 2012

Kaadai Varuval - Quail Fry


  • 2 quails
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp pepper powder
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tsp ginger - garlic paste
  • Curry leaves, a handful
  • Oil for shallow frying
  • Salt to taste
  1. Clean quail and make incisions with fork.
  2. Make a paste with ginger - garlic paste and all the powders, adding a little water.
  3. Marinate quail with the ground paste and set aside for 2 - 3 hours.
  4. Heat oil, add curry leaves and shallow fry quail till browned on all sides.
  5. Remove excess oil in a paper towel and serve.

Channa Idli

Recipe from Aval Vikadan

  • 2 cups brown chickpea
  • 1 tsp fenugreek
  • 2 tbsp urad dal
  • 1 tsp whole pepper
  • 1 tsp whole cumin
  • 2 tbsp chopped cabbage
  • 2 tbsp peas
  • 2 tbsp beans
  • 2 tbsp diced onions
  1. Soak chickpea, fenugreek, urad dal for 4 hours.
  2. Grind with pepper, cumin and salt. Let stand for 2 hours.
  3. Add all the vegetables, pour into idli moulds and steam for about 12 to 15 minutes, cool and then serve with spicy chutney

Rava Idli

  • 2 cups semolina 
  • 2 cups yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cups grated carrot
  • 1 tsp ginger, grated and crushed
  • 3-4 green chillies, finely chopped
  • 4-5 stalks of coriander, finely chopped
  • 4 tbsp grated coconut
  • 2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tsp channa dal (split chickpea)
  • baking soda, a pinch
  • cashews
  • Salt to taste

  1. Roast semolina until the aroma comes out.
  2. Heat oil and splutter mustard seeds, add ginger, green chillies and channa dal and fry for some time. 
  3. Switch off, add semolina and mix well. Add all the other ingredients except cashews and mix well. Let it stand for 30 minutes.
  4. Grease an idli stand and place some cashews in each mould. Then pour the mixture and steam for 12 to 15 minutes.
  5. Serve hot with mint and coriander chutney.
Note: Makes about 24 idlis

Kushboo Idli


  • 2 cups idli rice ( kaar arisi)
  • 1/2 cup sago 
  • 1/2 tsp urad dal
  • 1/2 tsp fenugreek
  • baking soda, a pinch
  • Salt to taste
  1. Clean and soak rice, urad dal and fenugreek together and sago separately for 4 hours.
  2. Grind the soaked ingredients together, add salt and allow to ferment for 12 hours or overnight.
  3. Add baking soda, mix well, pour into idli moulds and steam for 8 - 10 minutes.
  4. Serve hot with tomato chutney. 

I was looking out for vegetarian tiffin recipes as I'm now in a Jain school. It was then that I came across varieties of idlis and this was one such recipe. I don't know the reason behind the name, but the idlis did come out fluffy because of the sago.

Beef, Mushroom and Corn Lasagne

  • 250g beef mince
  • 20g butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1 cup milk
  • Olive oil
  • 1 leek, sliced thinly
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 100g button mushroom
  • lasagne sheets as required
  • 1/4 cup grated block cheese 
  • 1 cup grated mozzerella cheese
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • salt and pepper to season

  1. Melt butter in a pan. Add 2/3 of the flour. Cook until bubbling. Add milk slowly, stirring until smooth. Allow to boil and cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 180 degree C. Grease a tray.
  3. Heat oil in saucepan, add leaks and cook until tender. Add remaining flour and cook for 1 minute. Add mince and cook until browned. Add mushroom, corn and cream. Bring to boil. Reduce heat and cook for 3  minutes or until thickened. Season with salt and pepper. Cool.
  4. Spoon a little chicken mixture into tray. Top with lasagne. Spread chicken mixture over top. Sprinkle with some mozzarella cheese and then some block cheese. Repeat layers finishing with lasagne. Spoon over white sauce. Top with the remaining mozzarella and the block cheese.
  5. Bake uncovered for 30 - 35 minutes or until lasagne is tender and the top is golden.
You can substitute beef mince with chicken mince and call it Chicken, Mushroom and Corn Lasagne.

Madurai Muniyandi Vilas Style Nattu Kozhi Kuzhambu

Ingredients 1 - for dry grinding:
  • 6 dry red chillies
  • 2 tbsp coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp raw rice
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds 
  • 1 tsp poppy seeds
  • 1 tsp fried grams
  • 1/2" cinnamon stick
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 cardamom
  • 1 tsp dry coconut flakes
Ingredients 2:
  • 1 lb naatu kozhi / country fowl 
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1 green chilli, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1" ginger, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut paste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 dry red chillis (for tempering)
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 10 curry leaves
  • salt to taste
  • 2 stalks coriander leaves, chopped, for garnishing
  1. Dry roast all ingredients in table 1 until slightly brown. switch off, cool and grind to a fine powder.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, toast bay leaf and curry leaves and splutter mustard seeds. 
  3. Add chopped onions, green chillies, crushed ginger and garlic. Fry till slightly browned. Add tomatoes and cook for a minute. 
  4. Add the cut chicken pieces, cover and cook 3 minutes. When meat turns white, add turmeric and ground powder. Fry till masala browns well, add salt and continue to stir.Add one cup water and pressure cook it.
  5. After pressure is released, add coconut paste. Allow to boil. Garnish with coriander and switch off.
The meat of country fowl is usually tougher than that of broiler chicken. But a small 1 1/2 lb naatu kozhi (before it starts laying eggs) is usually tender. So it is important not to overcook the meat.

Kaadai Roast

Recipe is my own experiment - came out quite well!


  • 4 nos. quail
  • 1/2 coconut
  • 10 driy red chillies
  • 1 tsp whole pepper
  • 1 tsp whole cumin
  • salt to taste
  • Curry leaves, one handful
  • 3 tbsp oil, for shallow frying (I use olive oil and it tastes very good)
  1. Clean quail, smear with turmeric and rinse it. Make incisions with fork.
  2. Make a paste with coconut, dry chillis, whole pepper and whole cumin.
  3. Marinate quail with paste and salt and set aside for 2 - 3 hours.
  4. Heat oil in a pan, add curry leaves and shallow fry till browned on all sides. 

29 January 2012

Red Rice Payasam

This recipe is from Ahaa! Enna Rusi on Sun TV

  • 1/2 cup red sticky rice, powdered coarsely
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 tbsp ghee
  • 2 tbsp sugar 
  • Cardamom powder, a pinch
  • Cashews and raisins

  1. Heat ghee in a pan and fry the cashews and raisins. Remove the fried cashews and raisins and keep aside.
  2. Fry the powdered rice till the flavour comes out.
  3. Pressure cook with milk and switch off. (Alternatively, you can microwave it)
  4. Then add milk as required, sugar, fried cashews and cardamom powder.
  1. I try to use sugar free drops instead of sugar wherever possible. It had the same taste in this preparation.

28 January 2012

Kongunadu Kozhi Rasam

Recipe from Chef Jacob on Ahaa! Enna Rusi
  • 250g Chicken with bones
  •  15 pearl onions, minced
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp whole cumin
  • curry leaves
  • 2 sprigs coriander, chopped
To grind:

  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp fennel
  • 1 tsp coriander powder
  • 2 red chillis
  • 4 pearl onions
  • 5 garlic cloves

  1. Pressure cook chicken with minced onion, tomatoes, turmeric, chilli powder and little salt with 5 cups water. Discard bones.
  2. Prepare rasam paste by dry grinding pepper, cumin, fennel and red chillis. Once powdered add coriander powder. Then add garlic and onions and grind to a smooth paste.
  3. Heat oil in a pan, season with cumin and curry leaves. Once cumin splutters, pour in the pressure cooked chicken stock and add the ground paste. Allow to boil and switch off. Garnish with chopped coriander.

26 January 2012

Hot and Sour Chicken Soup

From LG Microwave Cook Book
  • 250g chicken 
  • Vegetables of choice, sliced, cubed or quartered (I used baby corn, mushroom and cabbage)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp garlic paste (For 1tsp garlic paste, mix 1/2 tsp chilli powder, 1 tsp vinegar, 1/4 tsp sugar, 1/8 tsp salt)
  • 1/4 tsp pepper 
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp soya sauce
  • 2 tbsp tomato ketchup
  • 2 tbsp vinegar
  • 4 tbsp corn starch, dissolved in 1/4 cup water

  1. Pressure cook chicken, shred the pieces and take stock.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, add crushed garlic and chilli paste.
  3. Add vegetables and stir fry about 3 minutes.
  4. Add chicken stock and all other ingredients except corn starch. Check for taste and add more to requirement. 
  5. Add dissolved corn starch and stir till soup thickens. 
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Chicken Clear Soup with Mushrooms


  • 250g chicken with bones
  • 50g mushroom sliced or quartered
  • Pinch of ajinomoto
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 cups water
  • Chopped cilantro (coriander) for garnish

  1. Pressure cook chicken with salt and keep the chicken pieces aside.
  2. Boil the stock with mushrooms.
  3. Add salt and pepper and ajinomoto.
  4. Discard the bones from the chicken and shred the pieces.
  5. Add it to the stock and simmer 5 minutes.
  6. Add cilantro leaves for garnishing and serve.

Penne Casserole with Ground Beef and Mushroom

My variation of Ziti Casserole with Ground Beef and Mushrooms from:


  1. Cook pasta according to package directions to al dente consistency.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and brown the ground beef about 5 minute.
  3. Add onion, green bell pepper and mushrooms and continue cooking, stirring, until beef is no longer pink and vegetables are tender.
  4. Stir in spaghetti sauce, cream of mushroom soup and diced tomatoes.
  5. Allow to boil and simmer 5 minutes, add salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Grease a baking dish with butter. Spread half of the pasta, spoon half of the sauce over the pasta, then top with half of cheese. Repeat layers with the remaining pasta, sauce and cheese.
  7. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 175 deg F, until hot and bubbly.

Cream of Mushroom Soup

  • 100g thinly sliced mushrooms
  • 1 cups chicken broth
  • 1tbsp, finely chopped onion
  • 1/8 cup butter
  • 1 1/2 tbsp flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • Salt and pepper to taste

  1. In a saucepan, combine mushrooms, broth, onion and bring to a boil and simmer for 10 minutes. 
  2. In another pan, make white sauce. Melt butter, add flour to it and then add milk to it gradually and stirring constantly so no lumps are formed. 
  3. Add the mushroom to the white sauce and season with salt and pepper.

25 January 2012

Cazuela Gaucho (Argentine Chicken Stew)

With slight variations from:

  • 1/2 chicken cut up
  • Flour, for dredging
  • 1 carrot, cut into chunks
  • 1 med. potato, cut into chunks
  • 100g pumpkin, cut into chunks
  • 1/2 turnip, cut into chunks
  • 1 med. onion sliced
  • 1 med. garlic clove, minced
  • 1/4 bay leaf
  • 1/4 tsp paprika (chilli powder)
  • 1/8 cup white wine ( I substitute with chicken stock)
  • Chicken stock as required
  • 1/8 cup barley
  • Corn, sliced 1 1/2" long ( I use baby corn)
  • 50g  peas
  • 50g beans, cut
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Olive oil for sauteing
  • 1/4 egg, beaten
  1. Dredge chicken in flour, saute in olive oil till golden brown. Remove and set aside.
  2. Saute carrots, turnip, pumpkin and potato till golden brown. Remove and set aside.
  3. Saute onions until limp and translucent, add garlic and paprika near the end of cooking onions and stir 2 to 3 minutes.
  4. Return chicken and vegetables to pan.
  5. Add bay leaf, white wine (substitute chicken stock), salt and pepper, chicken stock to barely cover stew. Bring to a boil, cover, simmer and cook about 5 minutes. 
  6. Add barley and corn (Note: Pressure cook barley in chicken stock before adding to pan). Allow to boil, add peas and beans and cook till beans is tender.
  7. Beat egg with a little hot liquid from the pan, add to the stew and stir.
  8. Cook 5 minutes, taste for seasoning and correct if necessary. 
  9. Serve in soup plates or deep dinner plates with rim.

24 January 2012

Cottage Pie

With slight variations from:
  • 250g beef mince
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, chopped
  • 1 celery stick, chopped 
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 250ml beef stock (OR)
  • 1/2 beef stock cube, dissolved in 250ml boiling water
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tbsp flour or cornstarch
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup grated cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
For the Mash:
  • 500g potatoes, boiled 
  • Milk to requirement
  • 2 oz butter (56g)
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  1. Add mince, carrots, onion and celery with enough beef stock to cover. Allow to boil.
  2. Add garlic, flour and tomato puree. Cook until soft, about 20 minutes.
  3. Add sauce, salt and pepper and cook till all liquid is absorbed.
  4. Mash potatoes with butter and required milk. The paste must be firm and consistent.
  5. Place meat in a casserole and add the potato mash on the top, making basket- like weaving pattern with a fork.
  6. Top with cheese and bake in oven at 200 deg C/ 400 deg F for 30 to 35 minutes or until topping is golden brown.
  7. Serve and enjoy!

23 January 2012

Arusuvai Thokku

(From Ahaa! enna rusi on Sun TV)
  • 1 cup guava (cut)
  • 1 cup apple  (cut)
  • 1 cup pineapple (cut)
  • 1 cup seedless grapes (green)
  • 1 tsp cumin                  
  • 1 tsp garam masala  
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric              
  • 2 cloves                 
  • 1 bay leaf      
  • 1 cup fruit paste (all fruits pureed)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice 
  • Coriander chopped 
  • Oil
  • Heat oil in a pan, add cumin, bay leaf and cloves.
  • After cumin splutters, add cut guava, apple and pineapple. Stir fry for a few minutes.
  • Add whole grapes and fry for a few more minutes. 
  • Add garam masala, turmeric, stir fry and then add the fruit paste. Mix well and fry till fruits are cooked.
  • Add lemon juice, stir well.
  • Add chopped coriander and serve.

Banana Halwa

(From AvaL Vikadan)
  • 1/2 cup semolina         
  • 1 ripe banana (Morris variety)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (adjust to taste)
  • 1/4 cup ghee (can add less as required)
  • 1/2 cup water             
  • Cashews, fried in ghee/oil

  • Fry semolina in ghee till brown. 
  • Pour boiling water into the browned semolina and stir till thickened. 
  • Mash banana to a smooth paste and add it with sugar to the pan. 
  • Keep stirring it till it forms a non-sticky lump.
  • Add the fried cashews and serve