November 2014
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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. 


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