June 2014
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Masala Dosa, is a delicious and appetizing breakfast dish. Its popular across many countries. In fact its in top 50 global dishes list released by CNN couple of years before. All Indian Restaurants surely have this Masala Dosai as one of their special dishes in their menu card. Many of us love to order Masala Dosai whenever we go to restaurants as we always make simple and plain dosa often in our homes. Also Masala dosai are rich in calories so we don't frequently do it. But we can prepare restaurant style Masala Dosai at home easily and quickly. We have to first do the filling. Then using our idli / dosa batter, we need to make thin dosa and keep the filling in the middle and then finally roll it like a cylinder and serve with yummy sambar or chutneys.

Idli and Dosa batter is one of the mandatory item in every South Indian home. Atleast once a week, we all make the batter and make idlis and dosas. Most of us have a schedule of making batter on sunday and use the batter atleast for 2-3 days during the weekdays. Breakfast and dinner goes handy with this batter. Idlis are very good for our health as they are steam cooked and no oil dish. Even for the babies it is always recommended to start their diet with idlis. The only secret for getting softer and malligai poo idli is the proper proportion of rice and dal and the fermentation of the batter. I have given here the proportion of rice to dals which I use always in my home and upon fermentation, I always get softer idlis. I have heard of many people who use cooked rice or poha (puffed rice) along with the rice and dals for soft idlis, but I believe that proper fermentation is the most important aspect of getting soft idlis. Lets see the conventional method of making Idli and dosa batter.

Mohanthal is a traditional and common Gujarati Snack. Traditionally, this yummy sweet is prepared using khoya which is obviously time consuming. I have given here the condensed milk version which is very instant and within minutes, we could have tastier mohanthal ready in our house. If there are unplanned guests, this is one of the instant sweet we could always think of as we would be having all the required ingredients readily available in our homes. 

Mini Meals is a common meal in any restaurants in South India. The traditional mini meals always have a sweet and 2 variety rice, a curd rice and a poriyal or crisps. I always prefer mini meals to full meals as I would not be able to eat all the dishes in the full meals. Mostly men have the capacity to eat full meals but I have seen most of the women prefer mini meals because of the limited quantity and the varieties. This week, in SouthIndian Lunch menu Ideas, I have given this easy and simple mini meals. I really love to have mini meals in home often and though, we are doing different dishes, it is quite simple as we need to do only small quantities of different varieties. Variety rice in the mini meals is our choice. I like lemon rice and coriander leaves rice along with curd rice. Generally mini meals include a sweet which would mostly be kesari, so I have also made kesari to go with this menu. Finally we need a sidedish to have these wonderful menu. Most of the restaurants serve only potato chips / vazhakkai chips or sometimes if the vegetable prices is affordable, then they will serve kadamba curry.

Soup-making is a good way to make most of seasonal vegetables. It is also a great way of making healthy meals from the best selection of vegetables.  I have used Vegetable Stock for making this soup which is one of the key and secret ingredient used in the Restaurants to make vegetable clear soup.  You can pretty much add the vegetable of your choice for this soup. Every drop of this soup is nutritious as we are adding only the vegetables and no oil/butter is being used. 

Vegetable stock is the main ingredient in almost all vegetarian soups. This can also be used for making many of the Chinese recipes. Home made vegetable stock is always better and tastier compared to what we getting as a canned product in the shops. The stock is usually made using all the left over vegetables. You can add almost all the vegetables available in your fridge to make the stock. The key for the vegetable stock is the amount of time that we are cooking the vegetables in the water. We should let atleast 30 minutes for cooking, however chefs recommend for upto 90 minutes of slow cooking for a perfect stock. First time when I tried vegetable soup, it did not taste as good as we have it in restaurants. Then I came to know  that the vegetable stock is the main ingredient in any vegetarian soup especially in clear vegetable soup. Vegetable stock can be easily made and can be stored in refrigerator for upto 2 days.  

Many of us like Adai Aviyal combination or plain Adai with jaggery. I always love to eat adai with jaggery. This week in healthy corner, I thought of making Vegetable Oats Adai. Instead of the traditional rice and dal adai, Oats adai is healthy and yummy. Oats gives a nice flavour and aroma to the adai. I personally liked the combination of Oats Adai with Jaggery because I add lots of vegetables in adai itself making it much more healthier and hence we don't need more vegetable in the form of aviyal also.  Lets see the recipe now...

I came across this wonderful and yummy coconut cubes in one of the TV channel. I saw an egg version of this dish. But I made it eggless and Eggless Cococnut Cubes have come out really spongy and delicious. Just we need to make spongy cake and then top it up with jam and dessicated coconut and the coconut cubes are ready to taste. We can make these delicious cakes for out kids Birthday Party or for any occasions. 

Mint flavoured dishes are always mouth-watering and yummy. We generally use mint leaves even when we prepare yummy juices because of its wonderful flavour. Mint flavoured Pulao are instant and simple to make. In my childhood days, my mom used to make simple mint rice without masala and pack my lunch but mint pulao is much more tastier than the plain mint rice. Mint (Pudina) Pulao served with any raitha would make the meal richer. 

This week in Lunch menu Ideas, I thought of doing an out of the box menu which is not traditional and unique. So I have selected this yummy menu with Spring Onion Sambar, Capsicum Kootu, Raw Banana Fry and Poricha rasam. 

As I have already mentioned in my Spring Onion Sambar recipe, this is very unique and tasty sambar with a nice flavour of spring onions and spring onion leaves. Green Capsicum is another healthy and yummy fruit. Capsicum dishes are too delicious especially capsicum stew which goes well with any sambar rice. Any stir-fry vegetable would always suit sambar and rasam. This week I have used raw banana. We can also use potato, ladysfinger, kovakkai etc. Finally I decided to make poricha rasam. We always tend to do traditional tomato/dal rasam and so I decided to do poricha rasam. Finally serve this yummy menu with hot steaming rice and papad and enjoy your wonderful menu.

Sambar, kootu needs dal and hence we need to pressure cook the dal. Spring onions, capsicum and raw banana gets cooked very quickly so preparing this menu needs only less time compared to other lunch menus. Enjoy this simple and tasty lunch menu and share your thoughts!

I used to add multiple vegetables in sambar to get a nice flavour and also to make it healthier. Recently, my best fried Dr.Aparna tried making sambar using spring onions and she shared this wonderful recipe with me. Like baby onion Sambar, Spring Onion sambar is too delicious. The spring onions add a very nice flavour to the sambar especially garnishing this yummy sambar with spring onion leaves makes this whole dish scrumptious. Mix this yummy Spring onion Sambar with hot steaming rice along with a spoon of ghee and enjoy your meal. Any stir-fried vegetables goes well with this yummy sambar. I dedicate this wonderful post to my friend Dr.Aparna. 

Spring Onion Sambar Recipe
Spring Onion Sambar 

Preparation and Yield:
Preparation time10 mins
Cooking Time30 mins

Spring Onion Sambar Recipe
Spring Onion Sambar 

Spring Onion Bunch2
Tamarind1 lemon size
Thur Dal1/2 Cup*
Sambar Powder1 tablespoon
Turmeric powder1/2 teaspoon
SaltTo Taste
Chopped Spring Onion Leaves1 tablespoon

*1 Cup = 250ml

For Seasoning:
Oil2 teaspoon
Mustard Seeds1 teaspoon
Curry Leavesfew
Hing1/4 teaspoon

  1. Soak the tamarind in water and extract  the juice

  2. Wash the spring onions roots to remove any sand particles. Remove the spring onion bulbs and keep it aside.  Chop the stem about one inch length.  

  3. Finely chop the spring onion leaves and keep it aside as we are going to use them for garnishing. Now we have onion bulbs with little stems which we are going to add it to the sambar

  4. Pressure cook the thurdal and mash it and keep it aside

  5. Heat a pan and add oil. When the oil is hot add mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds starts to sputter, add hing and curry leaves and saute them for a minute. Now add the chopped spring onion bulbs along with their stem and fry them for a minute. 

  6. Add water to soak the onions along with turmeric powder and cook the onions and the stem. Usually it get cooked within 5 minutes.  When the onions are half-cooked, add tamarind extract and boil for 5 minutes. Then add sambar powder and salt and keep in medium flame and boil the sambar to get rid of the raw smell of tamarind and sambar powder. 

  7. Then add mashed dal to the sambar and stir well. Adjust the water level to get sambar consistency and finally garnish with spring onion leaves and remove from flame

  8. The delicious Spring Onion Sambar is now ready to serve!
  9. Spring Onion Sambar Recipe
    Spring Onion Sambar 

Like Potato, Raw banana is another yummy vegetable which tastes divine if we stir-fry them. It is one of the traditional poriyal or curry variety in most of the South Indian kitchen. Raw banana cooks very fast and for stir-fry we don't need to use much oil if we use non-stick pan. A hassle free and quick Vazhakkai stir-fry and would be a nice side dish for most of the of the rice varieties and even with all traditional kuzhambu varieties. 

My close friend is a paratha expert. I have learnt to do many different parathas from her only. Especially this soya paratha, she came down to my home and taught me to do this. This dedicate this post to my beloved friend. 

Soya is also an excellent source of protein and many essential vitamins and minerals. As long as you eat soya as part of a balanced diet there is no risk. Soya mince needs to be flavoured with seasoning and the other ingredients in the dish. By itself, the product has very little flavour, which is one reason that it is such an adaptable food. A cook making soya mince out of dried textured vegetable protein adds flavouring to the soy before using it in a dish.

We can get Soya in chunks, nuggets and mince. For Paratha, we have to use soya mince or granules as they are very small in size and we can make a good filling with them. We can use soya nuggets in pulao and other fried rice and biriyani. We can use soya mince or nuggets with other vegetables and make noodles or sphagetti much richer and healthy. Paratha usually fills our stomach and especially soya which is rich in protein makes us feel full. All the protein rich dishes gets more time to get digested so make sure that you have these wonderful and protein rich soya paratha in day time rather than for dinner. Serve this yummy Soya Mince paratha with onion or cucumber raitha and enjoy your dish.

First time I tasted this soup in Karaikudi Chettinad Restaurant. I went with my friends and when we see this drumstick soup in menu card, we were tempted to order this. But in Karaikudi restaurant most of the dishes are so spice and especially drumstick soup is so hot and spice that we couldn't able to enjoy the taste of the soup. After that experience I stayed away from drumstick soup. Yesterday, I tried the drumstick soup in home and I added only considerable spice and hence the soup was so delicious. 
There are many variations to this soup. I have used little lentils along with drumstick. But we can do clear and then drumstick soup or we can also add cream / milk to make the soup thick and we can exclude lentils. One of my friend adds thick coconut milk to the drumstick soup without lentils and the flavour was very nice. But I have included lentils which gives the drumstick soup very nice flavour and thickness so that we can exclude cream/milk/cornflour. 

CupCakes are kids favourite dish. Even we grown-ups also like to munch spongy and yummy cupcake. Lemon flavoured cupcakes are my all time favourite. Concocting this yummy Eggless Lemon Pistachio CupCakes at home is very simple and we get the same spongy texture and taste like we get from shops even without eggs. 
Eggless Lemon Pistachio Cup Cake Recipe
Eggless Lemon Pistachio CupCake 

Lemon zest adds a nice flavour to the cake. We can alternate lemon zest with orange zest also. But lemon cakes or cupcakes are so delicious and yummy. Pistachios on top of the lemon cakes add a very good crunchy taste to the cupcakes. 

This weeks menu, I planned to keep it simple yet tasty. We all love Bisibelabath, a rich and tasty Karnataka Sambar rice which would be best served with onion raitha or simple potato chips in most of the restaurants. There is a slight variation from our tamilnadu sambar and bisibelabath. We add masala ingredients to the sambar and we also cook dal and rice together so that we could mix the masala sambar to the cooked rice and dal and mix well and bisibelabath is ready to serve. We are adding lots of vegetables in bisibelabath and hence we actually don't need any curries as sidedish but potato fry would be a best accompaniment for bisibelabath and also for rasam. This menu takes a little more time than normal sambar menu as we need to mix  the rice and sambar just before serving to retain the flavour and texture of the bisibelabath. 

We can plan any variety of rasam. I actually love to have kalyana rasam as it would make this whole menu much more richer. Simple and plain onion raitha would be a best accompaniment for bisibelabath. We can also make tomato raitha or cucumber raitha to alternate with onion raitha. Last but not the least curd rice would be a perfect end of meal dish.Curd rice with pickle would make us enjoy the meal. 

Bored of the traditional Dosa? Want to have a tangy twist to the normal dosa? Then why not try this tangy and yummy Tomato Dosa (Thakkali Dosai)? It is so scrumptious that you could start preferring this than the normal dosa. Tomato Dosa is healthy as it has less calories than the normal dosa and more over as we are using non-stick tawa nowadays we don't need to add much oil to cook the dosa. The texture and flavour increases our appetite and make us to long for more dosas. I have given the recipe for this dosa using raw rice. But we can also use store bought rice flavour which makes this very instant. 

Rice Flour is one of the key ingredient in most of the Indian homes. Especially whenever we have festivals, we used to prepare homemade rice flour to make many varieties of sweets and snacks. Store bought rice flour is not a good option for many snacks. Home made rice flour always gives a good texture and flavour to the snacks. We all have experienced in some ways of using store bought rice flour especially when we prepare kozhukattai or seedai or any snacks for that matter, store bought rice flour most the times make the snack very hard compared to home made rice flour. But I know many of us stay away from India and doesn't have access to rice mills or doesn't have time to make home made rice flour. But I always advice to go for home made rice flour especially for preparing snacks and sweets for festivals. 

Here, I have given the traditional and easy way to prepare Homemade Rice Flour. You can prepare more quantities and grind it in a rice mill or if you don't have access to rice mills, we can very well prepare with the help of our home mixers. Lets see how to make Home Made Rice Flour.

Generally we do lots of gravies as an accompaniment for chapati / roti. But dry curries would also be very tasty for chapati. There are lots of dry curries we can do like aloo methi, aloo patha gobi , aloo gobi curry etc. Cabbage Channa dry curry | Chole Patta Gobhi is a very tasty dry curry variety and goes very well not only with Indian breads and also with plain steamed rice. 

Kirni Pazham (Musk melon) is one of the most scrumptious fruit like water melon and it really refreshes our body in this hot summer. We can find Musk melon and water melon in plenty in summer season. Musk melon is low in calories, low in saturated fat and low in cholesterol and hence it is very healthy. I remember my childhood days, when my aunt cuts the musk melon and dip it in sugar and will give it to all of our cousins. The taste of the musk melon is so mouth-watering. Musk melon juice | Kirni Pazham Juice is so tasty and refreshing. I generally don't add sugar as the fruit itself is so tasty. But if you want more taste you could add sugar. Lets see the recipe now...

Chaat dishes are always mouth-watering. When I was working with IT company, during evening tea time, we would go as a group to the chaat shops and always like to have pani puri, channa chat, dhahi puri or other chaat dishes. They are not only tasty but at the same time stomach filling too. I have seen most of the office goers tend to crowd near these chaat shops. For most of the chaat dishes we require green chutney and sweet chutney. Try to make larger quantities and refrigerate it so that you can prepare the chaat dishes instantly without any hazzle. Bread Channa chaat is a easy and simple chaat dish that is also healthy for our kids. It is also a wonderful party starter. 

Parangikai Puli Kuzhambu with Aviyal, Kottu Rasam and Keerai Thuvaran is yet another traditional lunch menu. One of the subbuskitchen fan has suggested this combo and it turned out very well and grand. Parangikai when added in kuzhambu gives a very good flavour to the kuzhambu and also it is very simple to make as it doesn't require dal or grinding ingredients. Aviyal would be a best combination for this kuzhambu. Also as spinach is very healthy and has to be taken with every meal, spinach thuvaran would be a good accompaniment for this kuzhambu. Kottu rasam is also simple and helps us to digest the intake of our food.

Keerai (Spinach) is one of the healithest food which is available in abudent in the cheaper price. Spinach is an excellent source of vitamins C and A, and iron, and contains about 40 percent potassium. It leaves an alkaline ash in the body. Spinach is good for the lymphatic, urinary, and digestive systems.Spinach has a laxative effect and is wonderful in weight-loss diets. It has a high calcium content, but also contains oxalic acid. This acid combines with calcium to form a compound that the body cannot absorb. For this reason, the calcium in spinach is considered unavailable as a nutrient.

Bhelpuri is a famous road side snack in Mumbai. Nowadays its very famous across all the Indian cities. Bhelpuri is low-fat, nutritious and delicious. It's a stomach filling evening crunchy snack which has the wonderful combination ingredients. There are many variation of Bhelpuri depending on the ingredients we add, but the puffed rice, sevs and chutneys are three key ingredients of this Bhelpuri. 

As we all know, the first dish of a meal is the most important one. nobody doubts the good effects of soups in our organisms. Hot soup in particular has numerous health benefits.soups in general are good because they help restore the necessary water balance, which in turn helps keep our blood pressure (and salt content) under control.Adding a quick bowl of soup to your meals during the cold season can help you warm up, protect your organism and avoid unnecessary calories.

Red Lentils with Coconut Milk Soup Recipe | Masoor Dal with Coconut Milk Soup Recipe
Red Lentils with Coconut Milk Soup Recipe | Masoor Dal with Coconut Milk Soup Recipe
Lentils are a great source of protein, fiber, B vitamins, iron and zinc.  Lentils do not require soaking and are quick and easy to prepare. Bowl of protein-rich red lentil soup is a great start for any meal. Red Lentils with Coconut Milk Soup is rich and creamy soup and a great appetizer for any rich meal. Hot, spicy and richly flavoured, Red lentils with coconut milk soup is almost a meal in itself. If you are really hungry, serve with chunks of warmed naan bread or thick slices of toast. 

Mango all time favourite fruit for many of us. We can do many different dishes using sweet and ripe mangoes. How about eggless Mango Cake?? This time I tried to make this diary free as I have received requests from few people asking for diary free cake. This is a diary free eggless mango cake, but it is so spongy that you can't believe unless we explicitly say that it is eggless. Try this simple, yummy and spongy Eggless Mango Cake and share your experience. 


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