2014
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Badam halwa, is a popular dessert in Southern Part of India. We can make halwa with carrot, beetroot, pumpkin and many other ingredients. But Badam Halwa is the superior variety of all halwa dishes. Badam halwa is a delicious desert made with puréed almonds, butter/ ghee (clarified butter) and sugar. Badam Halwa is high in nutrition and gives strength to the body, It is also good for pregnant ladies and newly delivered mom. Almond is one of the healthy nut which is very good for all of us. 

Kalikanji dosa is a famous dish in down south in Tamilnadu. It is a very delicious dosa variety and easy to make. We make kanji out of the rice batter and hence we call it as Kalikanji dosa. Also this dosa is in white color. For appam, we used to make very very thick kanji like a kali format. But for this kalikanj, the kanji should be little thick like a koozh with pouring consistency. This kanji will give a little sourness to the dosa as we are not going to keep the batter for fermentation process. We can't categorize this dosa as instant but this is one of the easiest breakfast dish which we can make quickly.

This is another method of making delicious Pickle using Mahali root. I have already given the nutrition benefit of Mahali root in my other method for which we can refer to Mahali Root curd pickle. This is the sour version of Mahali root where we are going to use lemon juice, lemon bits and green chillies. Lets see how to make this delicious Mahali Root (Sarasaparilla) Sour Pickle (Mahali Kizhangu Pulippu Oorgaai Recipe) now...

I have explained about the nutritional benefits of Saamai (Little Millet) in Little millet Kichadi Recipe. Such a nutritional rich millet should be included frequently in our diet. This time, I have used this Saamai to make a very tasty payasam. This payasam is same as our conventional Paal Payasam (Milk+Rice Kheer), but instead of rice, I have used Saamai. The payasam was exceptionally tasty and healthy too. So try this healthy and tasty Saamai Paal Payasam (Little Millet Kheer) and enjoy with your family!!!

Aloo Peas Masala Curry is a popular chaat dish in any restaurant or office pantries. We can also use this as gravy for any Indian Breads. My daughter's Hindi Tution teacher served this Aloo Peas Masala curry once when I went to her home. It was so delicious and immediately I asked her to share the recipe. I followed her procedure and made this yummy Aloo Peas Masala curry and it turned out awesome. It was so delicious and my family enjoyed this yummy evening chaat. We can also serve this curry with any Indian Breads!!!

We can make many wonderful dishes using healthy Little Millet (Saamai). One such yummy dish is Saamai Kichadi. Saamai can be easily substituted for white rice. In addition to little millet benefits, we are going to make it much more healthier by adding lots of vegetables.I have also added sprouted green gram which adds more nutrition to the dish. We can also add green peas instead of sprouted green gram. Mostly kids doesn't show interest to eat sprouted moong. So I make sure the nutrition in sprouted moong reach the kids by including the sprouted moong in other dishes instead of giving them raw. But this is totally optional. Rawa kichadi is a popular dish in Southern India especially in tamilnadu. Instead of usual rawa kichadi or rice kichadi, we can make this healthy little millet (Saamai) kichadi. Try this healthy and tasty Little Millet Kichadi and share your experience!!!

Mango Ginger (Curcuma amada Roxb.) is a unique spice having resemblance with ginger but imparts a raw mango flavour. The main use of mango ginger is in the manufacture of pickles and culinary preparations. Ayurveda and Unani medicinal systems have given much importance to mango ginger as an appetizer, many other uses to cure itching, skin diseases, bronchitis, asthma, hiccough and inflammation due to injuries. 

Such medicinal benefits mango ginger has. Now its Mango ginger season and hence I love to make mango ginger thokku and my family enjoys this pickle very much. This Mango Ginger Pickle (Maa Inji thokku) is very easy to make and very tasty too. We can eat more quantity of curd rice if served with Maa Inji Thokku. Try this yummy thokku and share your experience!

Yet another yummy Variety rice menu for this week. Very frequently we are doing traditional or conventional sambar or kuzhambu varieties and sometimes we get bored of it. Variety rices relish our tongue whenever we are bored of conventional menu. The first dish that comes to our mind when we think of variety rice is lemon rice or tamarind rice. But instead of conventional rice varieties, Vaangi bath is a wonderful rice variety. The best accompaniment for vaangibath is papad or chips. I have got Onion Vadam (Vengaya Vadagam) from my MIL, It was perfect for vaangibath. Along with vaangi bath, I have made coconut rice with aviyal. This is another combo which is so delicious. Coconut rice would be dry and hence aviyal or other vegetable stew would be a best accompaniment. Finally favourite curd rice with Mor Milagai. Mor Milagai is a wonderful combination for curd rice. This is one of the perfect lunch menu your family would surely love! Try this menu and share your experience!

Kara Chutney, a popular dish in Chettinad cuisine. kara chutney is a great combination for many SouthIndian Breakfast dishes like Idli, Dosa and many more dishes. But it is perfect accompaniment for Kanchipuram Idli. It is generally served like piping hot with Kanchipuram Idli. In Pantry, its being served like piping hot and my husband loves the combination of Kanchipuram Idli and Kara Chutney. Try this combination and you would surely love it!

Yet another variety of Idly but very delicious and easy to prepare. A slight variation from the usual idly. The cumin seeds, Ginger powder and pepper gives a distinct flavour to this idly. Try this out and I hope you will start making this regularly as this will be liked by all the family members. The best accompaniment for Kanchipuram Idli is Kara Chutney. My son love this combination and hence I often do this dish in my kitchen. Try this Kanchipuram Idli and Kara Chutney Combo and share your experience!

This week, another healthy and simple menu. Curry leaves kuzhambu with kambu rasam and snakegourd kootu. This is menu has lots of medicinal benefits along with their wonderful taste. Each dish has its own nutritional benefits. Curry leaves is a very healthy green. We all know it is a great remedy for treating premature hair greyness. Many kids and even the adults have a practice to discard these curry leaves from the dishes. So I would advice you all to make curry leaves kuzhambu atleast once a week, so that we can ensure it is being consumed by our family without being discarded.

Aval Pori and Nel Pori are the two traditional neivedhyam dishes prepared on the auspicious occasion of Thirukarthigai/Karthigaideepam. Puffed rice mixed with jaggery syrup along with cardamom and coconut pieces, is a wonderful sweet dish. Apart from Vella seedai, vellai appam, milagu adai, pori urundai is an important neivedhyam for Karthigai Deepam festival.

Maavilakku Mavu (Maa Vilakku Mavu) is an auspicious rice flour lamp made with rice flour and jaggery during Tamil Month Thai, Aadi and also during Karthigai Deepam festival. It is a family custom for many of you to offer Maavilakku during these auspicious occasions. My mother and MIL doesn't have this tradition, but my sister's in-laws has this tradition and she started following. I heard from her that even for Karthigai Deepam, they used to make Maavilakku Mavu deepam along with other diyas. So I learnt from her how to make this auspicious rice flour lamp.
Maavilaku Mavu Recipe | Maa Vilakku Mavu Recipe | Karthigai Deepam Recipes
Maavilaku Mavu Recipe | Maa Vilakku Mavu Recipe | Karthigai Deepam Recipes


Also Many people have a tradition of making Foxtail Millet with honey lamp and offer that to Lord Muruga. You can look here how to make Foxtail millet with honey (I have made balls out of foxtail millet and honey, we can make a big ball and make a dent in the middle and pour ghee and lit the lamp.

Milagai Bajji ( Chilli / Mirchi Bajji) is one of the popular tea time snack in many parts of Southern India especially in Tamilnadu. Most of the office pantries, road side shops, tea stalls, and almost all restaurants serve this crispy and spicy Milagai Bajji. It is a perfect tea time chaat / snack. 

Thirukarthigai/Karthigai Deepam comes on the tamil month Karthigai on Pournami day(Full moon day). Throughout the month lamps are lit in the front of the house in the evening . On the Thirukarthigai/Karthigai Deepam day the whole house is decorated with the oil lamps. Thiruvannamalai is famous for Thirukarthigai/Karthigai Deepam. This year, Thiru Karthigai falls on 12th Dec 2016.

Kambu (Pearl millet) is a great dish for the gluten intolerent people. Apart from offering excellent taste, these millets contain essential mineral and nutrients, which provide the body with a variety of advantages. Consumption of pearl millets helps in minimizing the risk of type 2 diabetes. It is known to have a very high fiber content which makes it healthier. So we should not forget to incorporate the pearl millet in regular diet.

Kambu Koozh Recipe / Pearl Millet Porridge Recipe / Kambang Koozh Recipe
Kambu Koozh Recipe / Pearl Millet Porridge Recipe / Kambang Koozh Recipe

This healthy millet is one of the ancient millet used by our ancestors. Mostly all the farmers' main course food would be pearl millet.In tamil we call it as kambang koozh. Either kambu koozh or kambu soru(sadam) is the main food for them. Kambu koozh is not only healthy, it is rich in starch and fiber and protein content so it gives more energy to our body and lower our appetite. After their hard work in the farms under hot sun, a glass of kambu koozh is a gift for the farmers. Such a healthy and refreshing drink should be surely part of our regular diet. We should make this koozh often and drink for breakfast. A glass of kambu koozh / Pearl Millet Porridge/ Kambang Koozh served with shallots, mor milagai or green chilli is a heavenly dish!
Kambu Koozh Recipe / Pearl Millet Porridge Recipe / Kambang Koozh Recipe
Kambu Koozh Recipe / Pearl Millet Porridge Recipe / Kambang Koozh Recipe

This week, its a special menu. Bonda Morkuzhambu with Ladysfinger along with Drumstick Rasam. Generally it is very easy to make bonda morkuzhambu during festival days as we surely do medhuvadai on special occasions. But we can make it even on normal Sundays. Ladysfinger fry is a perfect accompaniment for morkuzhambu. We can also make Paruppu Usili which is also a best accompaniment but as we are making bonda, we are already adding dal in that so its best to make either ladysfinger fry or other vegetable fry. Any tamarind-tomato based rasam would go nice with this menu. So, I have given here drumstick rasam. 

Drumstick Kuzhambu or Sambar is a conventional SouthIndian dish. Drumstick Soup is also one of the popular dish. But many of you rarely heard about Drumstick Rasam. Drumstick rasam is very tasty and yummy rasam variety with a richness of drumstick in tangy tamarind - tomato  base. I always freshly ground the rasam powder which adds more flavour to the rasam. Try this drumstick rasam and share your comments!

Bonda Morkuzhambu or Morkuzhambu with vada is a wonderful dish which is served with hot steaming rice. The morkuzhambu preparation is the same conventional way. For vada / bonda, we have to follow the same procedure of making medhuvada. The only additional step, is soaking the vada in warm water before immersing in morkuzhambu. I usually prepare this bonda morkuzhambu during festival days as we traditionally do the medhuvadai. So lets see how to make this yummy bonda morkuzhambu now...

Foxtail Millet is another healthy millet variety. Foxtail millet releases glucose steadily without affecting the metabolism of the body. A very healthy millet especially for diabetic patients. We can make variety of dishes using foxtail millet. We should try and use Thinai / Foxtail millet regularly in our kitchen and enjoy its benefits.

Vellai Appam, is one of the important neivedhyam dishes for Thirukarthigai festival. Even it is a traditional for the people of Madurai and other places of TamilNadu to make this Vellai Appam for Diwali Festival. As my mom-in-law is from Tirunelveli, it is a tradition for them to make this Vellai Appam for Tirukarthigai Festival. We can even do this simple and yummy dish as a breakfast or a evening snack. A very simple and easy to make dish. 

Poori with aloo masala is a popular dish all over India even in all the Indian Restaurants in abroad also. We all love to have poori masala. Raagi Poori,  A slight twist to the regular poori. We are going to use raagi flour (Finger Millet) along with wheat flour. Raagi is rich in iron and calcium and is one of the healthy millet. Raagi is very good for all starting from infants to the elder people. Raagi will be the first solid dish we give for the babies. It is easy to digest and has lots of medicinal benefits. So instead of having regular poori, lets all do raagi poori from now...

This week, its a medicinal menu. Somedays we feel stomach upset or dull, those days, this menu will be a gift for us to again regain our strength and makes us feel better and bring us on track. Inji kuzhambu helps to recover from indigestion. Poondu rasam will also help in indigestion. Manathakali keerai has lots of medicinal benefits mainly helps to cure mouth-ulcer and stomach upset. But we need to keep in mind that spinach dishes should be consumed only during daytime. It takes a long time to get digested during night time so try taking spinach during night time. 

To make this dish more tastier and healthier, I have included paruppu podi. Paruppu podi with ghee mixed with hot steaming rice is a wonderful delight to the menu. Finally serve this menu with sutta appalam (toasted pappad) and enjoy your lunch!

Onion Pakoda is a very crunchy and spicy snack and its my all time favourite. Most of us love eating pakodas. We can make pakoda using onion, peanuts, cashews and even with mixed vegetables. Besan / Gram flour is the main ingredient of the pakoda. But in this recipe, instead of besan as main ingredient we are going to use kambu flour (Pearl Millet flour) as the main ingredient. We are going to add besan and rice flour in little quantity but kambu  flour is the major proposition. Kambu Onion Pakoda is a very simple but crispy and tasty snack for a wonderful evening. When I did this dish first time, my whole family loved the pakoda and nowadays I am started using kambu flour pakoda instead of the conventional method.

Like Idli another harmless and light dish is Idiyappam. Idiyappam also called as string hoppers is a traditional Tamil, Kerala and Sri Lankan food consisting of rice flour pressed into noodle form and then steamed. It is usually served with idiyappam kurma or coconut milk. Conventional method of making idiyappam is by first preparing the homemade rice flour and then adding boiling water to the flour and squeeze it through the press and mould to get like a noodle and then steam cook it. But now we are getting readymade idiyappam flour which makes our effort less and we can make idiyappam very easily. I have explained here the conventional method of making idiyappam by using homemade rice flour. We can very well follow the method and use the store bought idiyappam flour also.

Finger Millet (Kezhvaragu / Raagi), is one of the highly nutritious millet.  Raagi is rich in fiber which makes us feel stomach full and reduces the appetite. We can make many delicious and healthy dishes with Raagi. One such dish is Raagi (Finger millet / Kezhvaragu) Puttu. Raagi puttu is a healthy recipe as we are steam cooking the raagi along with grated coconut. We are not going to use any oil for cooking. Steam cooked dishes are always healthy. 

Dahi Papdi Chaat, Crisp puries tossed in a blend of sweet and green chutney and topped with potato, sprouts, yogurt and sev. A crispy and yummy chaat for a perfect evening. My all time favourite chaat. From kids to adults everyone love this chaat. Very simple to prepare at home if the papdis are readily available. We can use store bought papdi or we can make papdi at home. I prefer making papdis at home. We can easily make papdis at home and we can make many different variety of chaat dishes. Lets see how to make this yummy snack!

Inji (Ginger) has lots of medicinal benefits. In day to day cooking, we all use ginger in most of our dishes. Inji Kuzhambu is one of the healthy and tasty dish that goes well with hot steaming rice. Whenever I feel indigestion or down with cold or cough, I make this inji kuzhambu and it is really soothing. Serve this yummy kuzhambu with roasted papad or any kootu varieties. 

Beach Sundal and Pori are always special for us. Wonderful breeze of the beach along with some pori or Sundal is a perfect treat for a nice evening. These are very popular street side snacks in Chennai and you can see the small vendors selling them on the small cart in front of the malls, bus stands and beaches. They have the ingredients ready and the hot peanuts and as soon as you order, they prepare your portion quickly by mixing all the ingredients and they give you it in a news paper. All the ingredients used are very healthy, but it may not be hygiene when we get this on the streets.  It is very simple to make Beach Style Pori at home. All we need is some onions, tomatoes, carrot, pori along with raw mango. The mango when added in the pori, gives a wonderful sour taste. We can very much make this often in our home and the kids will love this. You may want to serve this for the evening snack to your children. 

Papdi is  Crisp Savory Crackers used for making Indian Chaats. Chaat dishes are always special in the roadside shops. The taste of the chaat dishes we get in the roadside shops is much more delicious than the restaurants. But nowadays we all are concerned about hygiene in the roadside shops. So some of us are trying hard not to buy from the roadside shops. We can make all different types of chaat dishes in home itself with little effort. We can make Papdi (Papri) in home easily. Once we make papdi, concocting chaat dishes is so simple. Lets see how to make papdi at home.

Another traditional Bengali Sweet is "Sandesh". Sandesh is made with cottage cheese or we call it as "Chhena (Paneer)".  The sandesh is essentially hot, sweetened Chhena which has been shaped into balls. Bengali Sweets are always popular and most of them are made of chhena, This is one of the simplest and quickest sweet dish we can make for any events or festivals. Lets see how to make this yummy dessert now...

Last week, I felt bored of doing the usual Southindian dishes like sambar, aviyal etc. So for a change I made a simple lunch menu and it turned out to be a big hit! Sometimes, the simple menu will be a huge success. Simple Tomato Rice with a raitha, a deep fried veg along with rasam and pappad is the menu I have made for lunch. Instead of plain tomato rice, I made Andhra Tomato Rice with little higher in spicyness along with onion Raitha. For any variety rice, I surely make rasam and this time I made poricha rasam. Any deep fried vegetable would be good option for this combination. So I made Tararoot (Seppankizhangu) Fry. Finally I served with yummy menu with appalam and hot steaming rice. 

Preparing tomato rice is very simple. Tararoot fry takes a bit time to make. Because we need to fry the tararoot in batches. If we add all at the same time, then they will become mushly. So be patience in fry the tararoot in batches. Poricha rasam will also take less time. So overall, we need to spend little effort more for tararoot roast otherwise, this is one of the simplest menu and surely your family would enjoy!!!

Temple prasadam always have a unique taste and flavour than the dishes we make at home. Koil Pongal, Koil Puliyodarai, Ellu Sadam, Thayir Sadam(Curd Rice) have a special taste when served as prasadam at temple. There are little tricks or secrets which we need to know to make the same tasty dishes at home too :-). The normal Venn pongal we do at home and the koil pongal has only slight variations. Generally in temple, they prepare large quantities of pongal, so they will cook the rice and dal directly in a big broad pan. Directly cooking rice and dal in a pan instead of cooker makes a huge difference to the flavour and taste to the pongal. But because of fuel consumption, nowadays we cook the rice in pressure cooker. No one has a patience or time to cook the rice and dal in a open pan. So I have given here the pressure cooker method.

Bread Upma, a yummy evening snack for all of us especially for kids. There are many different ways to try out this recipe. I have made it simple. My daughters love to have this yummy bread upma, mainly because of the reason that i will serve this with ketchup :-)). A best after school snack for the children. Even It is a perfect dish for lunch box too! Try this recipe and let me know your comments!

Corn Flour Halwa, mostly referred to as Bombay Karachi Halwa, is a popular Indian Dessert. Generally most of the halwa varieties are complex and consumes more time and effort. But Karachi Halwa is one of the easiest and quickest halwa and it tastes so heavenly. All the Indian Sweet stalls sell this yummy sweet dish. Corn Flour Halwa (Karachi Halwa), a nutty halwa with transparent texture! Experience nuts in each bite of this halwa! An Instant sweet dish to surprise our family and friends. This halwa is a good option for Diwali too :-) This is one of the sweets that can be done within 15 minutes. So all get ready to try this easy and yummy sweet today itself!

Manathakkali Keerai which is called as Black Night Shade in english is a very healthy greens. We generally prepare thanni saru which is very healthy and it is a very good home remedy for mouth ulcer. We need to use the leaves as the its stem is bitter and we need to discard. Using this healthy keerai, we make the thanni saru and kootu. Manathakkali Keerai Kootu, a very delicious kootu which goes well with all types of kuzhambu and rasam. One of the important point which we need to keep in mind about any greens is that, it takes a little longer time to digest this keerai and hence it is advisable to consume this during morning hours. We need to avoid eating in the night. Also during rainy season avoid cooking any greens.  Enjoy this delicious kootu!

Pongal is one of the popular breakfast dish in TamilNadu. The conventional method of making pongal is with rice and moongdal. I have given here a slight variation from the conventional method and this thuvaram paruppu (Thurdal) Pongal has an extraordinary flavour of dal and rice along with peanuts. In the conventional ponga, we add cashews whereas here we are going to add crushed peanuts. Peanuts gives a nice crunchy taste and the overall pongal is so scrumptious. 

After a long break, I have again resumed with the series of SouthIndian Lunch Menu. It been a long time so I have started with simple South Indian Lunch Menu. Parangikaai Puli Kuzhambu is one of the easiest and yummy kuzhambu. I love making this kuzhambu often as it so mouth-watering. Mixing Parangikaai kuzhambu with a spoon of gingelly oil or ghee gives a wonderful flavor and taste. A best combo for this yummy pulikuzhambu is Vendaya Keerai Thuvaran and any veg stew goes well with this. I have selected Pirkangaai Kootu. Also to make this lunch menu slightly richer, I have included Aviyal Kuzhambu too. Not but not the least, onion rasam adds additional richness and taste to this menu. You can also substitute with normal tomato rasam also. Since I made this on Sunday, I wanted to make it rich and hence I have opted for shallots rasam as my whole family is a great fan of shallots. So this lunch menu is rich in vegetables and forms a very healthy lunch menu. Serve this yummy lunch with pappad and appalam and enjoy the delicious menu!

Many fans and friends have asked me to post the pressure cooker method of baking the cake. So I decided to bake a pumpkin cake today as it is a Halloween tomorrow. But my luck is bad, I did not get canned pumpkin or fresh good quality pumpkin in the market today. So I changed my mind to bake a Eggless Pistachio cardamom Cake. A very simple and yummy cake, easy to bake. I personally love the texture of the pressure cooker cake than the oven cake. The cake has come out superb soft and spongy and it tastes dainty. Now lets see the procedure to bake this cake in pressure cooker.

Ragi as a whole grain is higher in protein and minerals than all the cereals and millets. Raagi helps in reducing weight, increase the bone strength, controls diabetics, reduces cholesterol and many many more health benefits. We should try to use raagi more often to lead a healthy life. We can make many yummy dishes with whole raagi grain or with store bought raagi flour. Using Raagi flour, we can make yummy Paniyaram both sweet and spice version. I have given here Instant Raagi Flour Sweet Paniyaram. This yummy paniyaram tastes delicious and because of raagi even the diabetic people can take these tasty paniyarams. 

Kuzhal puttu is a traditional Kerala breakfast dish. Like idly, this also cooked in steam and hence very good for health, as we are not adding any oil for cooking. This dish is cylinderical in shape and made using Puttu maker. Puttu maker is nothing but a steamer which is cylinderical in shape and hence you are getting the puttu also in cylinderical shape. If you dont have the puttu maker, then you can also make this using the idly plate. The main ingrediant for making puttu is the rice flour. Now a days instant puttu mix is available in the market. For those who are living abroad can check this in the indian shops.

During Travel, many of us feel home sick mainly due to the outside food. When we are travelling or going for a vacation the first thing that comes to our mind is food. Especially, with little children travelling with us, we will be more cautious. Because of the Home food, Nowadays, many of us prefer to stay in self-catering cottages and try to carry all homemade mix like Paruppu Podi, Pulikachal mix etc. So homemade thokku will be very helpful for us and we can easily make white rice and mix with this thokku and eat happily. Bitter gourd thokku is one such travel friendly recipe. It has a shelf life of 1 week to 10 days if preserved properly. Lets see how to make this yummy thokku.

No introduction is required for Poori masala. It is one of the favourite dish for most of us. Its my granddaughter's favourite breakfast. A very popular breakfast dish in most of the restaurants in India. This is having much less calories compared to the breakfast prepared with raw rice since it is made with atta. Deep frying the pooris are little unhealthy for us, but if we have it once a while then it should not be a problem. Poori Masala is a very perfect combination though we can have other side dishes too for Poori.

Tomato Capsicum Rice is a popular dish in many parts of AndhraPradesh. As we all aware, Andhra cuisine are popular for its spiciness.  If we are spice lovers, then we will surely enjoy this dish. But adding more spice is optional. We can add mild spice and enjoy this dish. Instead of doing plain tomato rice, this would be a different variety and surely a big treat for us. Try this yummy Andhra Tomato Capsicum rice and share your comments and suggestions.

Yellu(Sesame Seeds) kuzhambu is one of my favourite kuzhambu. The conventional method of making ellu kuzhambu is little different from other kuzhambu varieties. My mom used to make this kuzhambu by frying the coconut directly in the fire instead of pan. The direct frying of coconut in fire without adding any oil gives a nice flavour to the kuzhambu along with the nice aroma of sesame seeds. I have given here the conventional method, but we can also do this quickly by frying the grated coconut in the pan and then grinding it with other spices. Many of us are now using induction based hob, especially, people staying abroad, they can fry the grated coconut in the pan itself. But if we have conventional gas stove, then we can surely try this traditional method of making this yummy Sesame Seeds (Ellu) kuzhambu

Deepavali Marundu,is an important dish for Diwali. For Diwali, we would have made many sweets and snacks. All sweets and snacks  tempt us to have more. Having more sweets and snacks upset our stomach causing indigestion. To overcome this difficulty, our elders have formed a custom of making a healthy legiyum, (we call it as 'Deepavali Marundu') which is prepared using different roots like Sitharathai, Adimadhuram, Thipili, Parangi pattai, pepper, cumin seeds, sukku and panavellam. These ingredients are readily available in all Nattu Marundu Kadai in TamilNadu. If you are staying abroad, you can prepare the legiyum using this method. The procedure given below is the conventional method of making Legiyum. This is the legiyum which is prepared for the newly Delivered Mom. So learning how to make this legiyum is very good for every women.

Click the link below for the simple version of the Diwali Marundhu

This is another crunchy murukku made with moongdal flour and rice flour. This is also one of the quickest crunchy murukku which is quite simple and easy to make. All we need to rice flour which can be either homemade or store bought and moong dal. Both the major ingredients are easily available in every kitchen and we don't need any special ingredients. A delicious snack for any festival or event or even for simple evening snack.  Try this crunchy Moongdal Murukku

Coconut milk murukku, a slight variation from other varieties. The wonderful flavour of the murukku together with rice, gives a nice blend to the batter and the taste of the murukku is extraordinary. This is one of the conventional method of preparing coconut milk murukku. Very simple procedure and you may never go wrong in making these scrumptious murukku. Try this new variety of murukku for this Diwali!

Laddu (Boondi Ladoo) is my favourite sweet. Very common sweet in any South Indian home. It is one of the important sweet dish for Diwali festival and other auspicious occasions like marriages.  It is very simple to make and very delicious. It is a very popular dish among kids too because of Chota Bheem :-) My twin daughters were very happy when I made this at home, they started telling Chota Bheem Ladoo! We can very quickly make this recipe with simple ingredients that is always available at any kitchen. For marriages or other auspicious events Ladoo is the main Seer Bakshanam. Lets see how to make this yummy Ladoos :-)

The literal translation of Thenkuzhal into english is "Tubes of Honey". I dont know to be honest why the name Thenkuzhal for this recipe because it is not a sweet recipe. Neverthless, it is a very good crispy evening snacks and in our home we make this for many festivals. As you know during festival days, we used to share the snacks and sweets to the friends and relatives and we can not afford buying them from the shops. So usually we make them in our home and thenkuzhal is one of the common recipe.

Nippatalu or Andhra Thattai is a popular Indian snack especially in Southern Part of India. It is a very crunchy and tasty snack. There are many variations to this recipe, and this is one method of doing Nippatulu It is made of rice flour along gram flour and maida along with peanuts and roasted gram dal. Very simple savoury to make for any occasions or simply during evening hours. There is no hassle of using any press and mould. In tamilnadu, we make thattai using rice flour and urid dal flour. We also make tattai using parboiled rice and roasted gram dal. Nippatalu is more or less same as our thattai but only slight variations. We can easily make this crispy and crunchy snack for  this Diwali and enjoy the taste!

Jalebi is a very traditional and popular sweet dish in Northern Parts of India. Always there is a little confusion about Jalebi and Jangri. Jalebi is made out of Maida (All Purpose flour) batter and Jangri is made out of urdal batter. Its much simple compared to jangri as it doesn't requires any soaking of dals and grinding the same. The conventional method of making Jalebi is to prepare the maida batter with curd and keep it overnight for the batter to ferment. Then over the period of time, people start using yeast to make the batter ferment instantly. But now with Eno Fruit Salt, we can avoid fermentation process overnight and also the yeast. Just adding eno salt makes the jalebi puff up nicely in the oil. Try this Instant Jalebi method for this Diwali and treat your family and friends with traditional and popular sweet! Lets see how to make Instant Jalebi now...

Kara Kara, Muru Muru Buttons, a crispy snack which is so simple to make with all available ingredients at home. A very easy and quick to make dish. No hassle with press and mould. Crispy buttons are made with rice flour and dals. Using homemade rice flour gives a nice texture to the dish, but we can very well use store bought rice flour. Store bought rice flour gives a little more reddish color to the dish. We even do this dish as an evening snack and enjoy with tea / Coffee. Try this simple dish for this Diwali and enjoy the snack!

This is a sweeter version of thukkada (Spicy Diamond Cuts) and this is for the sweet lovers. This Sweet Diamond Cuts or Diamond Biscuits is a very simple to do dish and it doesn't require any expertise level to prepare. Any new beginners can also try this simple dish and it may never go wrong. This is also one of the traditional and famous sweet dish especially for Diwali. It is a tradition for us to make sweets and snacks for Diwali not only for our family, but we also love to share with our friends and relatives. Some of the sweet dishes like seven cup cakes, coconut burfi, Instant Doodh beda etc are easy to make with less effort and also we would get more quantities to distribute. Sweet Thukada (Sweet Diamond Cuts or Diamond Biscuits) is one such dish which is simple to make, yummy and also we would get more quantity for distribution.

This easy dish is made with maida, sugar and ghee which are readily available in all our homes and the preparation time is much less too. Try this simple Diamond biscuits for this diwali and share with your friends and relatives.

Diwali is always special for most of us and every Diwai most of us plan to make some new dishes which can surprise our family and friends. One such recipe is Suryakala, Chandrakala and Lavanga Lathika. This is a 3 in 1 Sweet dish where the outercover and also the filling the remains the same. The shape of the sweet differentiates from one another. As the name suggests, Suryakala is in circular shape like 'Sun', Chandrakala in the shape of a Crescent moon and Lavanga lathika is in rectangular shape with clove on the top. 

So making the filling and outercover once and do 3 types of sweet dishes would surely make our effort easy and also we can surprise our family. Lets see how to make this simple dish...

Deepavali is not only lights and crackers but also eating!. We eat so much of snacks, sweets, junk foods during diwali. When we visit some one on diwali, then its quite obvious that you will be back with stomach full of snacks and sweets offered by them. Also, in our home, the breakfast, lunch and dinner are grant and we end up eating a lot. This may create digestion problem. Our ancient already found a Legium to take care of this. In our home a table spoon of this Legium is given to all the family members immediately after the ritual oil bath on the diwali day. Then the sweets and other snacks are offered to start of the celebrations. This legium is also called as 'Marundhu' which is prepared from Ginger which will take care of the the digestion problem. To your surprise its a yummy as we add Jaggery and Ghee also. So, start your diwali with deepavali legium (Diwali Legiyum / Diwali Marundu) :-)

Click the link below for the Traditional method to prepare the Deepavali Legium
Traditional Method to prepare Deepavali Legium / Marundhu 

First time when heard this recipe from my MIL, I was amazed and immediately got up and tried this dish in my kitchen. It turned out a big hit in my home. The flavour of baby onions with rasam spice powder gives a yummy taste to the dish. Mix this yummy Vengaya Rasam (Baby Onion rasam) rice with hot boiled rice and with a teaspoon of ghee makes us have more and more!

Like snakegourd, we can make wonderful stew using ridgegourd too. Ridge gourd is extremely rich in dietary fiber and enriched with all the vital elements. It is low in saturated fat, cholesterol and calories that aids in weight loss. So we need to try and use this healthy vegetable more in our kitchen. Lets see the simple Ridge Gourd Stew (Peerkangai Kootu) recipe now...

I have been thinking of publishing this Suyyam recipe for a long time and this time I decided to do it now as we have Vinayakar Chaturti coming and this would be useful to many of us. This is one of the sweet dish one can never go wrong and easy to make especially for Neivedhyam. The filling which we use is just the same as we do for Paruppu Poorana Poli where we use bengal gram dal with jaggery. We can concoct this wonderful Suyyam even for other festivals like Saraswathi Pooja,  Diwali, Varalakshmi Vratham etc. 

Modhagam / Fried Modak is a yummy snack and also widely used dish for neivedhyam for vinayakar chaturti or other festivals. Also whenever we do other varieties of kozhukattai and if we have left over pooranam, then we can use that pooranam to prepare modhagam and this way we do not need to throw away the left over. Any kind of pooranam can be used to prepare modhagam. Here i have shown thengai poorana modhagam recipe. Try this yummy dish and let me know your feedback!!!

Rasmalai, another popular Bengali Dessert like Rasgulla. RasMalai is a delicious dessert where homemade soft and spongy cottage cheese patties immersed in Chilled Creamy Milk. The first part of preparing malai(Soft cottage cheese patties) is same as we prepare cheese balls for rasgulla. The shape of the cheese differs. For rasgulla, we make balls out of the homemade cottage cheese, but for Rasmalai, we make patties. Also Rasgullas are immersed in sugar syrup whereas the Rasmalai are immersed in yummy evaporated milk. It seems to be a complicated process but very simple to make at home. Get ready to make this delicious Rasmalai for this Diwali!

Rasgulla, a popular Bengali Sweet. Homemade Soft, Spongy balls of cottage cheese soaked in sugar syrup. The sponge cheese melts in your mouth making us to have more and more! Getting soft and sponge rasgulla is the challenge in this dish. The main trick to get nice and spongy rasgulla is kneading of the cottage cheese we prepared using full fat milk. Follow this recipe to get nice and spongy rasgulla at home! Ye Dil Mange More :-)

Chickoo fresh juice and milk shakes are very common in restaurants and juice shops. Chickoo is a very delicious fruit and Its calorie-rich soft, easily digestible pulp composes of simple sugars like fructose and sucrose that when eaten replenishes energy and revitalizes the body instantly. Indeed, it is a vital source of vitamins, minerals. We can make many dishes with this delicious fruit and one among them is Halwa. Chickoo cooked with milk, sugar and ghee gives a wonderful flavour to the halwa. When I first made this at home, everyone loved it and whenever I get good quality chockoo, I made it a practice now to make this halwa at home. Lets see how to make this scrumptious Chickoo (Cheekoo / Supporta) halwa.

Semiya Payasam is one of the oldest and traditional recipe. I read in one of the website that Semiya payasam has more than 500+ years of history and they quoted that Purandaradasa has mentioned Semiya Payasam in one of his spiritual keerthana "Rama Nama Payasakke". Whatever it is, believe me, its one of the simplest and tastier payasam which can be cooked quickly. For most the festivals and auspicious occasions we prefer jaggery based payasam. But for parties, birthday or other good occasions I prefer to make semiya payasam. My Granddaughter love Semiya Payasam and call that as "Noodles Payasam". She often request me to make this simple and delicious Semiya Payasam.

Aapam is very delicious dish made frequently in southern part of Tamilnadu and also in Kerala. This is a very healthy recipe as it does not involves usage of any oil. Aapam is steam cooked dish and hence good for the children too. Appam is generally served with Kadala Curry(Recipe to be published soon) and Coconut Milk in Kerala. In most of the restaurants in TamilNadu, Appam is served with Kurma or Kadala Curry or Coconut milk. Kadala Curry and Coconut milk are perfect accompaniment for this Appam. I personally like Appam with Coconut milk. The sweetness of coconutmilk gives a dainty flavour to the dish. I have seen many people who prefer kadala curry or other spicy accompaniment. Appam with Kadala curry and coconut milk, perfect and rich breakfast dish. 

Plantain Stem (Vazhathandu) is one of the vegetable with rich nutritional benefits. Adequate amount of dietary-fiber in the food helps normal bowel movements, thereby reducing constipation problems. Plantains are also rich in Vitamin A. A very healthy vegetable we should try and use it atleast once a week. I have seen many kids staying away from this healthy veg. So I thought of sharing Vazhathandu bajji recipe which I had seen in one of the TV shows couple of weeks before. Though making bajjis very frequently are not healthy, atleast once we should try and give this Plantain Bajji (Vazhathandu Bajji) and impress the kids and then we could try other dishes using Plantain like Vazhathandu Poricha Kuzhambu or Vazhathandu Curry. 

We can make bajji using many vegetables. Conventionally we use Raw banana, Chilli or potato. But we should try Plantain bajji, carrot bajji, capsicum bajji which gives a unique taste. Lets see how to make this yummy dish.

Bread Potato Rolls are a very delicious evening snack. They are crispier outside but softer inside. A perfect snack to be served with tea / coffee. Very simple and easy recipe even for the beginners. Try this easy and tasty Bread Potato Rolls and share your comments! Serve this yummy dish with ketchup or green chutney and enjoy your evening.



Onam is the Hindu festival celebrated by the people of Kerala in India. It is the state festival of Kerala. It is considered as the harvest festival too.Onam is celebrated in honour of King MahaBali. Onam falls in the month of Chingam, which is the first month according to the Malayalam Calendar.The ten days of Onam are celebrated with great fanfare, by Malayalees. Of all these days, most important ones are the first day, Atham, and the tenth and final day, Thiru-Onam (Thiruvonam). The rich cultural heritage of Kerala comes out in its best form and spirit during the festival. This year 2014, Onam festival is celebrated on 7th September.

Pookalam is the main part of Onam. The floral carpet, known as ‘Onapookkalam’,[3][8] is made out of the gathered blossoms with several varieties of flowers of differing tints pinched up into little pieces to serve the decorator's purpose. 


The Onam sadya (feast) is another very indispensable part of Thiruvonam,[8] and almost every Keralite attempts to either make or attend one. The feast is served on plantain leaves and have more than 13 to 15 curries, along with traditional pickles, papadam and a dessert called 'payasam' (a sweet dish made of milk, sugar, jaggery and other traditional Indian savories). In hotels and temples, the number of curries and dishes may go up to 30.

Image courtesy : Google
The tradition of buying and wearing new clothes for the occasion of Onam is called the Onakkodi.
During the Onam, Keralite Hindus install an image of Thrikkakara Appan or Onatthappan (Vishnu in the form of Vamana) in their home[3] just as Hindus install images or murtis of Lord Ganesh on the Ganesh Chaturthi festival.

Traditional dance forms including Thiruvathira, Kummattikali, Pulikali, Thumbi Thullal etc. are performed as part of celebrations all over Kerala at this time. Thiruvathirakali is a women's dance performed in a circle around a lamp.Kathakali dance is also commonly performed during this time, with dancers enacting famous mythological legends.The swing is another integral part of Onam, especially in the rural areas. Young men and women, decked in their best, sing Onappaatt, or Onam songs.

Image courtesy : Google


Some Special Recipes for Onam:



Milk Halwa (Paal Halwa), is one of the famous sweet in Srivilliputhur, Tamilnadu. Palkhova and pal halwa are the 2 famous sweet there. My MIL's younger sister's native place and whenever she came to visit us she would come up with pal halwa and palkova. I personally like the taste the pal halwa more than palkova. Whenever there is excess milk at home, I make pal halwa or palkova. Pal halwa shelf life is less compared to palkova but very delicious dessert. Lets see how to make this yummy Milk Halwa.

Pal therattipal(Palkova) is a delicious dessert made in southern part of India. It is famous in srivelliputhur in tamilnadu. A decade before, people used to prepare this dish in home itself. But nowadays we are buying it from sweet stalls. If we do it in our home it will be surely delicious and we can reduce the quantity of sugar if necessary also. It will take at least 45Min's to prepare Pal therattipal(Palgova)and one more advantage is that we do not need to stir the milk continuously. We have stir it at the time when milk initially boils and later for 5 Min's after we add sugar. So lets see how to make homemade palkova .

Paniyaram are always a wonderful dish and they are always unique and tasty compared to the conventional breakfast dishes. We can make paniyaram using simple idli-dosa batter and with simple variations we can have many different varieties. Here I have given here how to make Instant Paniyaram using Oats and semolina. If we have sudden visitors or guests in our home, this would be a perfect dish to treat them. This dish is instant and simple yet very delicious. Serve this Instant Oats Paniyaram with coconut / Onion chutney and enjoy the taste!

Kadalai Paruppu Purana kozhukattai is another mouth-watering recipe and specially made on the auspicious day of Vinayaka Chaturti(Ganesh Chaturti). This is also a simple and tasty neivedhyam dish for Lord Ganesh. One we prepare the kozhukattai mavu outer cover, we can just make different varieties of puranam and then easily make scrumptious varieties of kozhukattai. Try this variety and share your comments!

Another popular paratha variety is Mooli Paratha (Radish Paratha). Mooli paratha is served as a breakfast dish in many parts of Northern India especially in Punjabi Restaurants. Healthy radish with mild spices stuffed in Indian bread served with plain curd or dal is a dainty dish. Most of us hate radish because of its smell. The moment we grate the radish, the whole home has the smell of the radish which many of us doesn't like it. But with added spice and awesome aroma of the coriander leaves, the filling would be more aromatic and it makes the dish overall tasty. Lets see how to make this simple and yummy Mooli paratha!

I have first tasted this soup in one of friend's Birthday Party. I was so surprised to taste this delicious soup. All the time I have tasted only tomato and veg soup and this is a different variety and it was so appetizing and yummy. Pumpkin Soup, a special thanksgiving dish in US and many other countries. Pumpkin soup is made from the puree of pumpkin along with vegetable stock and mild spices. I have added frozen sweet corn which adds an additional flavour to the soup. A simple, yet unique variety of soup to treat our family, friends and guests!

Adiperukku is a unique South Indian and specially a Tamil state festival celebrated on the 18th day of the Tamil month of Aadi.. To show our gratitude to the nature and to Thank Mother Cauvery river, we celebrate Aadiperukku. People celebrate this auspicious day by making many different variety rices along with a sweet and vadai and offer all of them to Goddess nature and then enjoy with their family. Aadi Perukku Lunch menu is very special and yummy. We can make sarkarai pongal (Sweet pongal) or payasam along with medhuvadai , coconut rice, puliyodarai, lemon rice and curd rice. We can have aviyal and papad as accompaniment for this wonderful lunch menu. People who live in villages, would make this variety rices and take it near the banks of the river and would enjoy sitting in the banks and have the food. 

Aadi Perukku Lunch Menu
Aadi Perukku Lunch Menu

Very simple lunch menu. We just need seasoning for coconut and lemon rice. A very simple effort needed for puliyodarai. We need considerable effort for vadai as it requires frying in oil and also with respect to aviyal, cutting vegetables take more effort than cooking. We can finish off this menu within 90 minutes.

Aadi Perukku Lunch Menu
Aadi Perukku Lunch Menu

We can also make this menu occasionally in normal days too. I always love variety rices and some of my close friends actually request me to prepare this menu when they plan to visit me. I have given below all the individual recipes which would be helpful for you to prepare great menu for Aadi Perukku.

This is again a combination of onion and tomato, but there is a slight variation. In this, we are going to use all the ingredients as raw and not going to saute them. This spice-sour raw chutney is a wonderful combination for parathas. We generally serve parathas with plain curd or raitha. But this Paratha Chutney is a perfect accompaniment for all types of parathas. Try this chutney and serve with paratha and enjoy the taste!

Sweet Aval or Aval jaggery or Sweet Poha is one of the simplest sweet dish and it is very instant too. Aval Jaggery is one of the most important neivedhyam dish for Krishna Jeyanthi / Gokulashtami. As per our tradition, Little Krishna always love to have this yummy dish and hence we offer this for Lord Krishna on this birthday. This dish is also healthy as aval and also jaggery is good for health.In my childhood, my mom used to make this as an evening snack when we return back from school. Lets see the simple steps to make this tasty dish! 

Carrot Beetroot poriyal is one of the healthiest and yummy side dish for any rice dishes. I have seen may kids hate beetroot because of its color, but my daughter simply love beetroot than any other veggie. So I often do beetroot poriyal. She loves to mix the poriyal with the rice and ghee. I often combine carrot and beetroot to make the poriyal more healthier.

I prefer to add a teaspoon of grated coconut which enhances the flavor and taste of the poriyal. But you can very much skip the addition of the coconut if you prefer to have more 'health friendly' recipe. 

This week, I have given here one of the rich NorthIndian Lunch Menu. Chapati with Dal Makhani, Paneer Butter Masala, cluster beans curry and vegetable pulao. I like this wonderful dishes. This is one of the richest lunch menu and I always love to prepare this yummy dish when there are guests in my home. 

North Indian Lunch Menu 2 - Chapati, Dal Makhani, Paneer Butter Masala, Cluster Beans Curry, Vegetable Pulao, Curd and Salad
North Indian Lunch Menu 2 - Chapati, Dal Makhani, Paneer Butter Masala, Cluster Beans Curry, Vegetable Pulao, Curd and Salad 

We all know Dal Makhani is one of the richest dal variety usually called as "Maa ki dal". The richness of butter cooked together with lentils gives a wonderful flavour. This flavour and texture rich dal goes well with vegetable pulao and chapati. This is a very special Punjabi dish.

Next, Paneer Butter Masala, we all love paneer and again richness of butter with paneer and gravy makes it so delicious. This is again another famous punjabi dish. Paneer Butter Masala is a wonderful accompaniment for chapati. As the the dal and paneer gravy are rich with butter, I thought of making a simple vegetable curry as a dry accompaniment for the roti.  

Next, we need a rice to go with this menu. I want the rice to be richer with vegetables so I have opted for vegetable Pulao. Dal Makhani goes well with the vegetable pulao. Finally make some chapatis to enjoy the delicious dal, paneer butter masala and clusterbeans curry. We can plan to have tomato puree that makes our work easier and also we would get richer texture. Also don't forgot to soak the dals overnight. Clusterbeans takes only less time and also the vegetable pulao also would take only half an hour. So we could finish off this yummy menu with simple planning in 1.5 hours. Please refer to the individual recipes given below.

North Indian Lunch Menu 2 - Chapati, Dal Makhani, Paneer Butter Masala, Cluster Beans Curry, Vegetable Pulao, Curd and Salad
North Indian Lunch Menu 2 - Chapati, Dal Makhani, Paneer Butter Masala, Cluster Beans Curry, Vegetable Pulao, Curd and Salad 


Recipes :
Dal MakhaniPaneer Butter Masala

Cluster Beans SubjiVegetable Pulao

North Indian Lunch Menu 2 - Chapati, Dal Makhani, Paneer Butter Masala, Cluster Beans Curry, Vegetable Pulao, Curd and Salad
North Indian Lunch Menu 2 - Chapati, Dal Makhani, Paneer Butter Masala, Cluster Beans Curry, Vegetable Pulao, Curd and Salad