March 2014
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It's a Mango season and its a god's gift for a summer. Mango Lassi is a soothing cool drink for a hot summer. It is gaining popularity world wide.  It is smooth, creamy and taste absolutely heavenly.  It is made using mango pulp, yogurt and sugar. You can add few mint leaves as an optional.

Lemonade, a most delicious and soothing beverage to beat the heat of summer. Lemonade, tender coconut water, buttermilk are some of the frequently sought fluids during peak summer. After having a tiring day, a cup of lemonade served with ice cubes truly refreshes us. Preparing homemade lemonade is very simple and we can prepare in larger quantities and store it in refrigerator for a couple of days. 

This week I have come up with traditional and scrumptious lunch menu. This includes Vathakuzambu, araitha rasam, paruppu thugayal, ladysfinger stir-fry, keerai kootu and curd rice. Any stir-fry vegetable goes well with vathakuzhambu. I personally perfer ladysfinger but you can also try potato fry, tara root fry also. Paruppu thugayal goes well with jeera rasam or araitha rasam. This time I have taken araitha rasam to accompany paruppu thugayal. For every lunch menu, i prefer to include a spinach dish which would make it more healthy. This time I have concocted keerai kootu which goes well with both vathakuzhambu as well as araitha rasam. Sutta appalam is a best companion to the the Vathakuzhambu.  Instead of plain curd, I have done the seasoning for curd rice and mixed the curd rice as ready to eat. Curd rice with vathakuzhambu is yet another fantastic combo. 

South Indian Lunch Menu 4
South Indian Lunch Menu 4
All of these dishes require grinding and so proper planning of frying the grinding ingredients and grinding them all prior to cooking will help us finish the cooking at the earliest. Serve with Sutta Appalam. Refer the following links for individual recipes. Enjoy the traditional lunch recipe and share your comments!

VathakuzhambuAraitha RasamLadysfinger Stir-Fry
Paruppu ThugayalKeerai Dal MasiyalCurd Rice

South Indian Lunch Menu 4
South Indian Lunch Menu 4

Kasi halwa(Pumpkin Halwa), a famous and traditional dessert served in marriages and also during Diwali and other auspicious occasions. Not sure why they call this as Kasi Halwa. This scrumptious dessert is made using white pumpkin. I have tasted these halwa in some engagement functions. Great dessert to treat the our family and guests. There are two version to prepare this wonderful and yummy halwa either using milk or without milk. This version is without milk version.

Salna is the sidedish commonly served for Parota or Kothu Parota. Salna is basically a non-vegetarian dish. But we can very well make a Veg Salna as the underlying masala remains the same for both non-veg and veg. Today I have shown here the step by step preparation of Parota Veg Salna.

Buttermilk, a yummy and healthy beverage to beat the summer heat. In olden days, in every house, women used to keep the buttermilk ready and they will treat their guests first with buttermilk and then only with other foods. Especially during peak summer, after working for long hours in heat, drinking butter milk is a great relief for us. Preparation of butter milk only takes less than 10 minutes and it is so good for health too as we are going to add ginger, hing and cumin powder.

ABC Juice also called as Apple, Beetroot & Carrot Juice! In addition we are adding Ginger too.This pretty and pink coloured juice has many health benefits. Not only that, it tastes fabulous too.. We can either process this juice using a juicer or a blender. Both are different ways of making juice. Juicer takes out all the fiber and gives  nice and smooth juice while blender gives us fiber juice. Blending gives us more thicker juice and it will make us feel heavy and it is nutrition rich.  So the choice is ours only. I have used a blender to make the juice and i didn't strain the juice as i preferred the fibrous juice.

Apple, Beetroot, Carrot Juice
Apple, Beetroot, Carrot Juice

Preparation Time5 mins
Cooking Time 10 mins
Servings2
Yield2 Large Cups 

Apple, Beetroot, Carrot Juice
Apple, Beetroot, Carrot Juice

Ingredients:
Beetroot1
Carrot2
Apples2
Ginger1 Inch piece
Lemon Juice1 tablespoon
Honey2 teaspoon

Method:
  1. Wash and peel the beetroot, carrots and ginger. Wash the apples. Chop all of them into medium sized cubes. Take all of these to the blender / Juicer and blend them together to make juice. If required, add little amount of water. Finally add lemon juice and honey and mix well. 

  2. Serve the yummy fresh Apple, Beetroot and Carrot juice immediately or serve chilled
    Apple, Beetroot, Carrot Juice
    Apple, Beetroot, Carrot Juice


Laydsfinger Stir-Fry | Vendakaai Poriyal, is one of the traditionl poriyal variety we used to do often. Ladysfinger is one of the highly nutritious vegetables. They are rich sources of dietary fiber, minerals, and vitamins; often recommended by nutritionists in cholesterol controlling and weight reduction programs. I have seen many kids and elders hate to eat ladysfinger because of its sticky nature. But when cooked properly, we can get rid off the sticky nature and we would get really fluffy and non-sticky Laydsfinger Stir-Fry | Vendakaai Poriyal and the kids would love to devour them! 

Laydsfinger Poriyal would be a great sidedish for many main courses. We can serve them with any variety rices or with our traditional kuzhambu or sambar varieties. Even for toddlers, we can mix this poriyal with paruppu sadam with ghee. 

Broken wheat contains virtually no fat, and is free of saturated fats and trans fats. Broken wheat is rich in iron and fiber. It is a source of carbohydrates, and is rich in sodium.

Broken Wheat Upma Kozhukattai | Samba Godhumai Rava Upma Kozhukattai
Broken Wheat Upma Kozhukattai | Samba Godhumai Rava Upma Kozhukattai

Traditional upma kozhukattai is made using raw rice. The same recipe we can do with daliya (broken wheat). Broken Wheat Upma Kozhukattai | Samba Godhumai Rava Upma Kozhukattai, a very scrumptious breakfast dish which is healthy too. Nutritionists and dietitians recommend broken wheat as a substitute for rice. Most of the dishes we do with rice or the normal semolina, we can try the same dishes with samba godhumai and it would also be delicious as the traditional.

Ellu Sadam | Til Rice | Sesame Rice is a neivedhyam dish we usually prepare in home especially for Lord Vishnu. In tamil calander month Puratasi, Saturday's are considered auspicious and Ellu sadam is offered to Lord Vishnu to get his blessings. Sesame seeds are in black and white colour. We can use any of these varieties for preparing this rice. But generally for neivedhyam, we use white til. Seasoning is also not mandatory for ellu rice. But I have seen many people who do the seasoning. So I have given the seasoning version here, but without seasoning, we can store the ellu powder in a airtight container and we can mix with rice.

Mor kuzhambu with Paruppu Usuli is traditional and famous combo.  I have added the Kalyana Rasam to add the richness to this menu. Keerai masiyal comes as a  perfect compliment to this combo.  I have used Kothavarangai (Clustered Beans) for the Paruppu Usuli. But you can choose any other suitable vegetable like Beans, Broccoli, Banana Flower for making Paruppu Usuili. Serve this menu with Chutta Appalam.

Morkuzhambu, a very simple and yummy and traditional kuzhambu variety made using yoghurt. Morkuzhambu is one of the instant kuzhambu variety that doesn't need more effort and preparation. Ladysfinger is one of the vegetable, which we usually stir-fry add in morkuzhambu. During festivals, morkuzhambu is one of the important dish we follow in our home. We can also add medhuvadai in morkuzhambu. Generally cluster beans paruppu usili is a wonderful accompaniment for morkuzhambu. We can also do stir-fried vegetables. Keerai Masiyal is also one of the best accompaniment for morkuzhambu.

Oats Pakoda, a simple, crispy and yummy snack. We all love pakoda varieties especially during evening hours and also during rainy days. I was so desperate to have some kind of crispy and spicy snack with my tea today so ended up doing this mouth-watering oats pakoda which is so delicious and crunchy. 

Paneer Mutter Kurma, Paneer and peas cooked in delicious yellow gravy a wonderful combination for roti / Butter Naan/ chapati. The nuts and khuskhus is the main ingredient which is going to make this dish really dainty. Paneer are always a favourite ingredient for my daughter, whatever dishes I make with Paneer, she would like to devour especially this Paneer Mutter kurma is her all time favourite. 

My first attempt of Butter Naan! Naan are always my favourite whenever I go to restaurants. Naan with Paneer Mutter Kurma is always a special combination. Today I have tried both the dishes and they turned out ultimately delicious. This version of Naan which I have given is without Yeast and I have used our normal tawa to cook the Naan and I bet, it tastes the same as the restaurants used to do naan with tandoori or oven and also it so soft and fluffy. 

I came across this recipe in one of the TV shows and found very interesting and thought of doing this today. Sweets are always my favourite and this Bread Sweet Kachori tastes wonderful. The filling is coconut and sugar. We can also substitute with jaggery also in that case it is our usual pooranam we prepare for kozhukattai. I have here used sugar and coconut. Generally for the outercover of kachori, we use maida flour. In this recipe, our base is bread and a very little amount maida and another difference from the traditional kachori is that we are going to do a shallow frying of kachoris and not deep frying. So oil consumption is also less. Lets see the preparation now...

This is my favourite Sunday menu. The kitchen will be filled with the good aroma of the shallots onion(small onion) cooked with freshly ground sambar masala. I preferred to have the potato curry as a side dish for the vengaya(onion) sambar. Mixing little ghee with hot steaming rice along with vengaya sambar is delicious. Indeed the Tomato Rasam is a perfect accomplishment to this menu and increase the richness. When our platter is ready, we can fry some papad or appalam and serve them! 

Brinjal Stir Fry | Kathirikaai Kara Curry, a very easy to do poriyal variety. Most of us show less interest to brinjal but this kara curry is so yummy and also healthy as we are not going to add more oil and going to cook it nicely with water only. We can serve this as a sidedish for rice or we can also mix this with rice along with little gingelly oil or ghee and consume it.

Milagushyam | Molagushyam, a healthy vegetable and lentil curry that is usually served with hot steaming rice in many parts of kerala. We can make this dish with spinach, cabbage or mixed vegetables. I always prefer mixed vegetable to make this yummy dish more healthy. Generally, I see many people using coconut also, just to make it more healthy, I have skipped the coconut and added only a teaspoon of coconut oil for seasoning so that we would have the same flavour. Lets see the recipe now...

Koftas are always special and delicious. Most of us are fond of Malai Kofta served in restaurants. Palak Paneer yet another delicious gravy we all are fond off. Fusion of Kofta and Palak Paneer is Palak Paneer Kofta Curry. Paneer stuffed in spinach koftas and served hot with spicy and creamy tomato sauce, a yummy and delicious gravy which goes well with roti / Chapati or Naan.

Palak Paneer Kofta Curry
Palak Paneer Kofta Curry

Preparing Kofta curry always take a little longer time than the other gravies, yet it is so scrumptious. The crispy koftas should be added to the gravy just before serving so that the crispness would be maintained. 

Khaman Dhokla, was in my To-Do list for quite a while and finally i made it!. Khaman Dhokla is a famous traditional Gujarati savoury dish made using gram flour or channa dal. Its very soft like sponge and fluffy in texture. You can also serve as a starter and it makes a great appetizer. Now a days most people prefer to make the Dhokla using the 'instant' version which is made using the ready made Gram Flour. I am yet to try this version, but I heard from my friends that the instant version won't be very soft as we get from the conventional method which I have given below. It turned out very good and very soft like spongy and fluffy in the very first attempt! In the conventional method, instead of using the ready made gram flour, we need to soak the gram dal (Bengal gram dal) overnight and make the dough which further needs to be kept aside for about 6-8 hours for fermentation. Though this method requires little bit of planning and long procedure, but the outcome will be very good and you will never go wrong !. 

Khaman Dhokla
Khaman Dhokla

We need to add ENO which will act as a raising agent of the flour. If ENO is not available handy I have been told by my friends that we can substitute with equal measurement of baking soda(Sodium BiCarbonate) and citric acid. ButIi haven't tried and tested it yet. 

Khaman Dhokla
Khaman Dhokla

You can serve Dhokla with fried chillies, green chutney or with finely chopped onions. Let's see how to make fluffy, spongy  Khaman Dhokla. Follow the simple instructions and step by step pictures for you to follow and you will never go wrong

Avarakkai (Broadbeans) Kuzhambu , is a yummy kuzhambu variety and I learnt this recipe from my mom and she used to call this kuzhambu as kootan and she serves this yummy kuzhambu with appalam. This kuzhambu can also be prepared with cabbage.  Both the vegetables gives a nice flavour to the kuzhambu. Especially for bigger families or if we have guests, this type of kuzhambu would be very nice as it is rich in vegetable and also we would be able to get more quantity.

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