2015
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Vadakari (Vada Curry) is one of the popular side dish in Tamilnadu. Vadikari is the best combination for Idly, dosa, Kal dosa and even for Pongal. In some specific district of TamilNadu, we can find Pongal with Vadakari as one of the breakfast menu in hotels. The aroma of masala with crispness of vada makes this dish extraordinarily tasty. I usually like Idli with Vadakari combination. This goes well even with Chapati. So why not prepare this all-rounder side dish today itself !

Vellai Poosanikaai kotu (Ash gourd stew) is a typical South Indian recipe. Ash gourd is an excellent source of vitamin B1, vitamin B3, vitamin C. This a good vegetable for maintaining a healthy blood pressure. We can make 3 varieties of stew with ash gourd. Tamarind based stew is called Rasavangi, We can also make this stew  with or without stew. This white pumpkin stew goes well as a side dish with rice and chapati. White pumpkin kootu is a kootu variety which I make quite often in my kitchen. Its a very tasty kootu and can be cooked quickly and easily.

Spring rolls are a large variety of filled, rolled appetizer. These refreshing rolls make perfect finger food for a get-together. This is a popular Chinese snack. The outer cover is made with maida (all purpose flour) and the filling is combination of veggies. We can get pastry sheets or spring roll sheets in shops usually in freezer section. We can buy those sheets and just prepare the filling and then stuff the pastry sheets with the filling and deep fry the rolls. That is one instant version. We can also preprare the dough in home and prepare the rolls. In this recipe, I have made the rolls by making the outer cover using maida instead of using store bought wraps. Filling for this roll is simple. We can use veggies like cabbage, carrot, capsicum, onion and then stir fry the veggies with pepper and salt and finally add soy sauce to have a tinge of Chinese flavour. Vegetable Spring Roll simple to make snack and a perfect appetizer or snack for any parties.

Thiruvathirai Kali is prepared on the auspicious occasion of Thiruvathirai. Cendanar of Naukoor, a disciple of Paddinattu Adigal, used to eat only after feeding some Saiva devotees. Due to a constant bad weather he could not get together all the essentials for a proper meal. He had no option but to mix water with flour and prepare a mashed paste. Lord Siva understood his predicament. He wanted the people to know how sincere his devotee was to him. Therefore he disguised himself as a Siva devotee and visited Cendanar’s hut and enjoyed what was given to him as food. The temple attendants saw the premises scattered with the mashed paste the following morning. Inquiries led to an understanding of Cendanar’s piety and he was thereafter bestowed with all due respect. This incident took place in a Markali Thiruvathirai. This is why Thiruvathirai Kali forms an important prasad on this holy day.

Dhokla is a popular Gujarati dish which can be served for breakfast or as a snack. The conventional dhokla is made out of besan. You can check out  the recipe of conventional Dhokla here. In this recipe, instead of using besan as main ingredient, we are going to use Semolina. Semolina based dhoklas are instant considered to conventional. But I prefer soaking semolina in curd overnight which gives more flavor and also softness to these dhoklas instead of instant batter. Steam cooked semolina cakes are healthier and perfect dish for breakfast.&nbsp Try this Rava Dhokla and share your experience!;

Christmas Holidays started! My daughter wants to bake a cake. This time, her choice is 2 layered Carrot cake with cream cheese frosting. This sounds bit higher in calories, but for kids, especially during holidays, baking and decorating the cakes are fun. This whole week, I have planned for many baking dishes like cookies, homemade chocolates etc. Carrot cake are always so yummy with a rich flavour of cinnamon and nuts. This Eggless Carrot Cake is very simple to make at home. All we need is fresh red carrots that actually adds a nice appealing color and also enrich the flavour. Freshly grated carrots added to cake batter along with cinnamon and nuts is all time favourite for many of us. We can also make plain carrot cake without frosting and that will also be very much tastier. Lets see how to make this Eggless Carrot Cake with Cheese Cream Frosting Recipe.

Chocolate Cake are always Special. Especially kids love the chocolate flavour in most of their dishes. Eggless Chocolate cake are easy and simple to make at home. Even if we don't have Conventional Oven also we can make the cake using our normal pressure cooker. I have already published another version of eggless chocolate cake which is made with yogurt and this version is conventional using milk.

I had few ivygourds left after I make a delicious stir-fry this Monday. I actually planned to make kovakkai thogayal. But then changed my mind to experiment the left over ivygourd to make a gravy so that I can serve with rotis. This Kovakkai masala is a very delicious and easy to make gravy with onion and tomato as base gravy.  Try this delicious Ivygroud Masala (Kovakkai Masala) and relish with any Indian Bread!

Mysore Masala Dosa is a very popular dish in Karnataka. Almost all restaurants in Karnataka serve this delicious dish. Masala dosa is a very delicious dosa variety which is popular in Tamilnadu. the difference between masala dosa and mysore masala dosa is the spicy chutney we apply on the dosa. The spicy chutney adds a lot of flavour to the dosa. This crispy dosa along with the spicy chutney and potato filling is a perfect treat on a perfect morning. Relish this delicious Mysore Masala Dosa  with coconut chutney or idli milagai podi or sambar and enjoy this dish!

Bittergourd Stir Fry Recipe | Pakarkaai Poriyal(Bittergourd Poriyal)
Not many people like Bitter gourd (Pakarkaaai) due to its bitterness. But if it is cooked properly then people love to eat bitter gourd. Bitter gourd has lot of medicinal properties and it is very good for health. It is essential that you consume bitter gourd atleast twice a month. Bitter gourd contains vitamin A, B1, B2, and C. It also contains minerals like calcium, phosphorous, iron, copper and potassium. From the ayurvedic perspective, bitter gourd is excellent for balancing Kapha. It helps purify blood tissue, enhances digestion, and stimulates the liver. Try this Bittergourd Stir Fry recipe and your family will like it.

Traditional nei appam we make for festivals like krishna jayanthi, karthigai deepam, are made with rice. But we can also make delicious appam using semolina. This semolina based appam is crispy outside and soft and fluffy inside. This is also one of the neivedhyam dish many people make for festivals. This semolina appam( Rava Appam) is simpler and easy to make. Kids especially love this yummy sweet. I should have published this recipe well before, during Krishna Jayanthi or Thirukarthigai festivals. But somehow, I missed it. As Margazhi month is approaching, I made this video today. As there are lots of auspicious days in this auspicious month Margazhi, this is one of the neivedhyam dish we can make. 

 Aloo bread pakora, bread stuffed with spicy potatoes, coated with gram flour and deep fry.  This is one of the favorite and special street food in Delhi. A perfect tea time snack. We can make break pakoras plain also without filling. Aloo bread pakora is crunchy outside, spicy and soft inside. generally served as an appetizer for parties. The spice potato filling along with crunchy bread outercover makes this snack a very perfect evening time snack with hot tea / coffee

Mixed vegetable saagu is  one of the popular accompaniment for Set dosa, poori and many more dishes. Saagu is rich creamy gravy with a wonderful blend of spices. A healthy and delicious accompaniment for a wonderful morning. Set dosa with Saagu is a popular breakfast combo in almost all restaurants in Karnataka. A rich and healthy side dish for a morning breakfast. I love relishing this yummy Saagu with roti and also with set dosa. Try this simple but healthy mixed vegetable saagu and share your comments!

Set Dosa, a popular breakfast served in most fast food or tiffin centers in Southern India. A set of soft and thick spongy dosas are served together with coconut chutney and sagu. In Tamilnadu ,generally set dosas are served with vadacurry or getti chutney. This combo is so popular and an integral dish in many restaurants. set dosa is very simple to make at home. The bater needs fermentation as the dosas will be very soft and spongy. 

Want an easy and delicious tea time snack for a nice evening? How about trying Pori upma? Its really very easy and quick to make and yet very yummy and healthy. Most of us have puffed rice all time in our home as it is very easy to make bhel puri or just give the plain pori for kids as a snack. Using the same puffed rice, adding few more veggies and make it a little healthier and also tasty. Try this Pori Upma and share your comments!

Potato Stew is a very easy and simple dish of Kerala that goes well with Appam, Poori, Chapathi, Puttu, Idiyappam, or even with plain bread. Recently, I tasted this in my friend's house. She served this yummy potato stew with brown rice Idiyappam and it tasted divine.  My MIL used to grind the coconut and add the coconut paste to this stew, but my friend told that its conventional to use the coconut milk instead of grinding and adding the coconut paste. So, this time, I tried adding coconut milk and it turned out so yummy. Also, instead of adding only potato, I enriched with peas, carrot and beans to make it much healthier. 

Please click here for the other version of the Potato stew recipe

Fresh and aroma rich mint leaves are very healthy. Adding the fresh mint leaves to rasam enhances the flavour and also would be a variation from the usual tomato rasam. Many of us love to have rasam as a soup. We can either mix the rasam with rice or drink the rasam after a heavy meals. This mint rasam would be very nutritious and good for our stomach and helps in digestion. We can either saute the mint leaves along with the seasoning or we can grind it. If we grind the mint leaves, the rasam will rich aroma which some of us might not like. So we can saute it and make the rasam little mild. Try this version of the mint rasam and share your experience!

Thanksgiving is almost here, Cranberry season started.  Fresh cranberries are always tempting me. I love making cranberry chutney and cranberry thokku. Thokku is a spicy and tangy thick gravy made out of cranberries. A very simple and easy to make, yet delicious thokku. We can mix the thokku with rice or best served with curd rice. 

Ven Pongal is one of the easy, delicious and popular SouthIndian Breakfast dish. A very delectable dish made with rice, moong dal, ghee and mild spices. A very quick breakfast to make. No expertise needed. Ven Pongal is usually served with gotsu, sambar or chutney. Usually few dishes are very popular in marriages. We always wonder the taste of few dishes in marriage catering. Pongal is one such dish. For marriages, the caterers need to make pongal in very larger quantity. So their preparations are usually very simple and straight forward. In this pongal recipe also, you can find how easily they concoct this dish. Lets get started!

Kothamalli thogayal, is a very easy aromatic and yummy thogayal variety. Coriander leaves are very healthy greens. Most of us use coriander leaves for garnishing. Sometimes our kids doesn't like to see chopped coriander leaves added in rasam, sambar or other gravies. Thogayal is one easy dish to make them eat this healthy greens. This thogayal is a great kids lunch box dish too. We just need to dry grind the thogayal and then add the seasoning and mix with cooked fluffy rice and there you go! You will have a nice aromatic and tasty kothamalli thogayal rice ready to for packed lunch! I have published another version of this kothamalli thogayal which is a spicier version and mostly used as pickle. This is a mild version for kids!

Paratha, Indian flat bread are so delicious and healthy. We can make Parathas with many different veggies and greens and make it healthier. I personally like spinach paratha because its one way to make my kids eat spinach without much trouble. This time, I wanted to make Basil Paratha. Freshly grown basil in my garden always tempts me to make some basil recipes. So, instead of regular spinach paratha, I used fresh basil leaves. Wow! they are awesome. The basil leaves gives a lovely aroma and flavour to the whole dish. We can serve these basil paratha with dal/ gravy or ant raitha of your choice and enjoy the dish!

Rawa (Sooji) Kesari is one of the traditional sweet variety in every Indian Kitchen. It is one of the simplest sweet dish to learn and do easily even for teens. Rava kesari is the first sweet recipe I learnt from my mom during my collage days. Very quick and instant sweet dish to treat our family and guests. We all prepare this Rava kesari for many occasions including festivals, events or simple parties. 

Okkarai is a famous traditional South Indian sweet dish that is made on the auspicious day of Diwali. I still remember my older days where in my mom prepares only Okkarai and Vadai for Diwali. Probably we weren't afford to make other sweets and snacks during those days. Still in now a days in many brahmin families Okkarai is one of the mandatory sweet which is prepared on the auspicious day of diwali. This simple dish Okkarai needs only less expensive ingredients and readily available materials in any house. Lets see how to prepare this yummy sweet dish now...

Seven Cups Cake is a delicious sweet and an easy sweet!. As the name indicates we are going to take 7 equal quantities of the below ingredients and we are going to make a tasty Seven Cups Cake. Very easy to make in less time and a very good dish for Diwali and other festivals.

Motichoor Ladoos are one of the most popular Sweet sold in most of the mithai shop in India. Till last year, I was looking for the boondhi ladle that has tiny holes. But many shops told that specific tiny holed boondhi ladle is available only in North India. Then when I had a casual talk with one of my friend who is a Maharashtrian, she advised me to use the usual perforated ladle and then grind the ladoo mixture to a coarse paste. Though the ladoo doesn't look like the motichoor ladoo we get it in shops, still the coarse and nutty texture has the same flavour and taste and my family enjoyed this ladoo very much. The orange color of this ladoo make the ladoos look more appealing and appetizing.For most of the festivals, we would love to share the sweets we made with our family, friends and relatives. This is one such best sweet that can be given as a gift to all our friends and relatives.

Mullu Thenguzhal (Mullu Muruku) or Magizhambpoo Murukku is one of the crispy, easy to make recipe. We can do this quickly with store bough rice flour. But I have given here the  conventional method of doing this magizhampoo murukku. This traditional murukku is prepared for manuy auspicious occasions and festivals. For marriages, seemandham, and many other events, this magizhampoo murukku is kept as seer dish. For Diwali festival, it is a tradition in my family to make magizhampoo murukku along with ribbon pakoda (nada). 

My sambandhi make this recipe very well. This is also one of the spicy, crispy, easy to make recipe. Ribbon Pakoda/Nada is a very simple, easy to do snacks on any occasion. This is given as seer bakshnam for many auspicious occasions like marriages, seemandham etc. Homemade rice flour is best for this ribbon pakoda as it will give a nice texture and crispy taste. But we can very well use store bought rice flour too. Here, I have given recipe with homemade rice flour.

Badhusha (Badusha / Balushahi) is an easy to do sweet and it will be very delicious. We can make this with easily available ingredients. Even if people don't like sweets, can try this as it is a very mild sweet. Maida based doughnuts are deep fried and then soaked in sugar syrup to coat it well. A very simple to make sweet yet so delicious. Many of us have a tradition to make this delectable sweet for Diwali and many other occasions. Try this version of soft and yummy Badhusha and share your experience!

Badam burfi is an easy and delectable burfi like coconut burfi. Traditionally many of us make coconut burfi for diwali and many occasions. Almond is a healthy nut. Almonds are soaked, skinned and grind to paste and cooked with sugar syrup to get this delicious burfi. Most of us make almond burfi only with almonds. But my friend adds equal quantity of almonds and cashews to make this burfi. So, this time, I made this burfi with almonds and cashews and it turned our very yummy. A perfect dessert or sweet for Diwali and other occasions. For any festivals, we love to make sweets and share with friends and relatives. This is one such sweet which can be made quick and also very delicious and easy to share with our friends and family. 

Most of the Women nowadays are professionals working for long hours. Making home made sweets and snacks for Diwali is challenge for them. Because most of the dishes especially sweets need more time for preparation and also great expertise.  Most of us have a perception that sweets need more expertise. Yes, it is true for some dishes but there are few sweet dishes that may not go wrong even for the beginners and also those dishes take only less time to concoct. So, I have planned to give here some of the easy and yummy sweets that can be done within 20 minutes.

Sweets are one of the most important aspect for Diwali Festival. Preparing Sweets need not be always cumbersome and difficult.  Many of them are not aware that how easy it is to make Diwali sweet at home. I have seen many of my friends who plan to get badhusha, jangri, mysorepak from shops when they can easily make these in home itself. Kaju Katli is the most expensive sweet in any sweet shop. Kaju Katli is one of the easy recipe which we can make at home within 20 minutes. Why to go to sweet shops if we can do most of these easily and instantly at home?

Diwali, a very important festival for all of us. When we think of Diwali, the first thing comes to our mind is New dress, crackers and most important is the Sweets and Snacks. We start our planning well before, may be a atleast a week before to decide what sweets and snacks we are going to prepare for this Diwali. But nowadays I am seeing many of us are busy in our work and not finding enough time to make homemade sweets and snacks and just buying the store bought sweets and snacks. I have come up this article to motivate all women to make home made sweets and snacks which are much healthier and affordable. 

Like Sweets, Snacks are the integral part of Diwali. There are many different varieties of snacks we can make, but some are time consuming and some needs more expertise. Many of you will be searching the web for some easy snacks which will never go wrong and also the snacks which need less time and effort. Here are few recipes which doesn't need much of your time or effort but very traditional and crunchy snacks. Try these easy snacks for this Diwali and relish with your family.

Phool Makhana Curry(Lotus Seeds Masala Curry) is new to me! I tasted this yummy dish in one of my friend's house. She is a North Indian and she made this on a fasting day without onions and garlic. Lotus Seeds (Phool Makhana) is nutrition rich. It is rich in calcium and protein. She used to make roasted lotus seeds just for snacks time. She even makes Phool Makhana kheer. I liked the taste so much and made this gravy over the weekend. I have used onion and garlic, but if you plan to do this during fasting days, just avoid them. Still you will get a thick and tasty curry that would goes well with any Indian Breads!

Saraswathi pooja is considered to be a very auspicious day which is celebrated on the 9th day of the Navrathri. On this auspicious day, students keep their books in the Pooja and Pray to the Goddess Saraswati who is known to bestow knowledge and wisdom to all of her worshippers. Not only do the students offer their books at the deity's feet but they also neatly cover them and make them look as good as new.On each book, we keep Sandhanam and kumkum and keep under Goddess's feet to get her blessings. Since we are keeping the books in pooja in this auspicious occasion, we have a belief that we should not read anything; the next day which is Vijaya Dashami is when we should do pooja and take the books and read thereby getting the blessings of the Goddess of learning.

Navratri also called as Dasara, meaning ‘ten days’, becomes dasara in popular parlance. The Navaratri festival or ‘nine day festival’ becomes ‘ten day festival’ with the addition of the last day, Vijayadashami which is its culmination. On all these ten days, the various forms of Mother Mahisasura-mardini (Durga) are worshipped with fervour and devotion

Sabudana Thalipeeth is one of the popular vrat / fasting dish made especially during Navratri / Dusshera festival. Sabudana is the ingredient we use especially on vrat / fasting days like Ekadasi. North Indians especially Maharashtrians make many dishes using sabudana (Sago / Jevvarasi). This is one of the delicious dish and it is also quite filling as we are adding potatoes and crushed peanuts along with sago. The dough preparation is same as Sabudana Vada. Its more healthy than sabudana vada as we are going to cook these thalipeeth on tawa and shallow fry them. Serve this Sabudana Thalipeeth with plain or sweetened yogurt or raita or chutney of your choice. 

Wheat Halwa is a wonderful sweet and it is famous in southern region of Tamilnadu. Authentic and traditional Tirunelveli Halwa is very popular in Tamilnadu. Traditionally they use palm jaggery and sugar. If you use the Palm jaggery you will get dark brown color. Some of use also use food color. My friend is an expert in making this halwa. This is her signature dish. Instead of learning this dish from her, this time I decided to go to her home and shoot it. She made this melting halwa for my blog while I shot this video. I would like to dedicate this recipe for her. My hearty Thanks to her for spending her time to make this halwa and share the recipe for my blog. Its little complex and time consuming, but worth making. I tasted a teaspoon of halwa amd it melts in my mouth.  Try this version of Wheat halwa and let me know your comments!

Pottukadalai(Roasted Gram) urundai is a quick and easy sweet snack especially for the kids. We need to spend only 20 to 30 mins to do this yummy dish. My mom used to make this during Navratri and we used to share with our neighbours who come and visit our Golu. Those days are wonderful, my mom used to dress up the kids and take them along with her to see our neighbour's Golu. They in-turn visit our house and we distribute the neivedhyam.  Among the sundal varieties, Pottukadalai urundai is different and much delighted to eat this. My all time favourite.

Sambar Vadai, a scrumptious snack, its extremely appetizing, tastes so good... we cannot stop with taking one. Sambar Vadai is not so difficult recipe to make, but there are small tips and tricks that i am going to explain here will make your Sambar vadai very special. 

The Sambar is a key part of this recipe and I have given here a perfect recipe for the Sambar which I believe being followed in the Chennai hotels.

Sabudana (Sago / Jevvarsi) vada is a famous Vrat Dish in Maharashtra and other Northern parts of India especially for Durga Pooja (Navratri). My grandmother used to make sabudana vadai using uriddal and the process is very similar to how we do Medhuvadai. That we can call as SouthIndian Style Sabudana Vada. But Maharashtrian style vada is a famous vrat dish for the Navratri festival. For the Navratri vrat, mostly sago based dishes like vada, Sabudana Kichadi, Sabudana Ladoo and also dishes with Singhara flour are very common. As Navratri is approaching, I have given the Maharashtrian style of Sabudana Vada here. A very simple to make vada with sago, mashed potatoes and crushed peanuts. Lets see how to make this simple and tasty dish.

Ghee is also known as clarified butter and is an integral part of cooking and a must have in most Indian kitchen. It is better than ordinary butter as it does not burn easily and will retain the freshness of food for longer. It also adds great aroma, flavor and taste to the food. We use ghee for multiple purposes. For babies and toddlers, we mix ghee with rice and feed them. Indian desserts are famous for its rich ghee texture and aroma. Also for Rotis and Parathas, we add ghee. Even for lighting lamp in temples and home poojas, it is very auspicious to use ghee instead of oil. 

Having bored of concocting usual tomato rasam with tamarind??? Lets make this simple and delicious rasam without tamarind only with rich flavor of tomatoes and rasam powder. After a great feast for any festivals or house events we make lots of grand dishes and the next day we feel to take rest. Those days,I always prefer to do this Poricha Rasam and serve with sutta appalam. Lets see how to concoct this yummy rasam. 

Generally, we make poricha kootu, i.e stew made without tamarind. But, this time, I made this tamarind based stew and it turned out very yummy. A nice dish to mix with rice. Sometimes, making the kids to eat veggies is a big task. I always prefer to make stew so that we can mix the stew with rice and feed them. Poricha kootu is a good accompaniment for any kuzhambu / sambar varieties, but for mixing with rice, puli kootu would be more perfect. Adding masoor dal with nutrition rich carrot and beans along with tamarind juice is a perfect stew. Try this Carrot Beans Puli Kootu and share your experience

You can find Idli milaga podi (Chutney powder) in almost every house in Tamil Nadu as its a traditional and best dish for Idly/Dosa. There are many variations in Idly Mulaga podi and one of the commonly used method is given below. It is handy to have homemade idli podi in home. Most of the time, especially on the weekdays, we would be busy to make chutney or sambar for idli, this Idli Powder is so easy for us to serve with idli. Idli podi mixed with gingelly oil and coated on both the sides of the idli, is a perfect travel friendly dish and also a lunch box dish. I usually add less spice as I keep this for my kids lunch box. So, if you are spice lover, you can increase the spice. Try this version of Idli Milagai Podi and share your experience!

Sesame seeds poorana kozhukattai(Yellu poorana kozhukattai) is a delicious recipe and specially made on the auspicious day of Vinayaka Chaturti(Ganesh Chaturti). This is another traditional dish we do for neivedhyam for Lord Ganesha along with Thengai Purna kozhukattai and Ulundhu kozhukattai. This is so simple to make and tastes yummy. Especially black Sesame Seedsare particularly rich in iron, so they’re highly recommended for those with anemia and weakness. So even if you are not doing this dish for neivedhyam, we can make this filling alone and have it if we have anemia or weakness. Black sesame seeds combined with jaggery is a tasty and iron rich filling.Lets see how to make kozhukattai with this healthy filling.

Pachai Payiru kozhukattai (Green Moongdal Kozhukattai) is a mouth-watering recipe and specially made on the auspicious day of Vinayaka Chaturti(Ganesh Chaturti). In my hometown, this is one of the main neivedhyam in most of the temples. After pooja, I always visit to the nearest Krishna temple and Suchindram Anchaneyar temple on vinayaka chaturti day and always I got this greengram purna kozhukattai as neivedhyam. The kozhukattai which they give in temple as prasadam is usually very big than we do in our homes. Those are good memories from Nagercoil. Here in chennai, Thengai purana kozhukattai is the special and most important neivedhyam. But surely I do this every chaturti as a practice. Lets see how to make this yummy kozhukattai for Lord Ganesha.

We can make many different varieties of delicious Kozhukattai and offer as neivedhyam to Lord Ganesh on the auspicious occasion of Ganesha Chaturti (Vinayaka Chaturti). For any variety of kozhukattai / modak, the outercover preparation is same and making a perfect dough out of rice flour is the main aspect to get softer kozhukattai. Only if the outer cover is soft, we would be able to enjoy the taste the filling. This the traditional and conventional preparation of kozhukattai mavu (kozhukattai outercover). I have been making this for many years and the outercover would be perfectly soft using this method. Please refer this to prepare any kind of kozhukattai.

Sweet Somas/ Karchikai/ Kajjikayalu/ Karanji is a scrumptious and famous sweet in Maharashtra. In TamilNadu we call this as Somas/Somasi. In Andra it is Kajjikayalu and in Karnataka it is Karchikai. In Maharashtra Somas is made as neivedhyam for Vinayaka Chaturti Festival. I make this often as it is very simple and a crispy sweet.

Vegetable Subji is a perfect healthy accompaniment for any Indian bread. Asparagus is a nutritional rich veggie and it is rich in fiber and vitamins. Most of the recipes we concoct with beans, we can make them with Asparagus too. I have already published the recipe of Asparagus Paruppu Usili. This Asparagus Subzi is also a simple and yummy sidedish that is mild in masala and would be perfect for any Indian breads or even for Pulao or Fried Rice. Try this healthy accompaniment and share your experience!

Thattai is a authentic and traditional SouthIndian crispy snack. We make thattai for many festivals like Krishna Jayanthi or even for a regular evening snack. A simple to make snack with rice flour. We can use the same dough we make for Salt Seedai and instead of making small seedai, we can make thattai out of that dough. The only change is adding of spice like pepper powder or red chilli powder to the thattai which is not added to salt seedai. Try this crispy and crunchy thattai and share your comments!

I can't think of any other kuzhambu other than Milagu kuzhmbu during the raining day!. Its a spicy-tangy one. White rice with a tea spoon of ghee / Gingelly oil, Paruppu thugayal, jeera rasam and a fried appalam is a perfect meal on the winter days. I usually make it in thick consistency, so that i can store it in fridge and use upto 2 weeks. Its a perfect dish for the travel too.

Ada Pradaman is a Traditional dessert made specially during Kerala festivals of Onam & Vishu. onam celebration feels oncomplete without ada pradaman. This delicious pradaman is made from rice, jaggery and coconut milk.  I have usd the store bought rice ada for quick preparation, however yoi can use homemade fresh ada to make it even more delicious. I got this rice ada from Nilgiris shop in chennai. Try this creamy pudding for this onam.

Coconut Poli (Thengai Poli) is a delicious Indian recipe served as a Dessert. Thengaai poli is another delicious variety of poli. Most of us make dal poli for Aavani avittam or bhogi pandigai. This coconut poli is a one of the main sweet available for sale in many Boli stalls and sweet shops in south india. Most of us like the pooranam we pepare for modak. we are going to make the same filling and stuff it inside the maida dough and make these delicious polis. Conventioally all variety of polis are made using all purpose flour. But now most of us are calorie specific and so, u can use half measure of maida and half measure of wheat flour also. I have  explained here the conventional way of making using maida.

I have been receiving lot of questions and comments based on my post on Varalakshmi Viratham Pooja. I tried to collate all the questions and provided the responses here. These are based on my best knowledge and the tradition that has been followed in our family. The tradition may vary across the families and I strongly recommend you to follow the traditions which are being followed in your family. The responses here are just for guidance only. 

Chakka Pradaman is a traditional payasam of Kerala. It is a mouth-watering dessert that makes the taste buds tingling. Usually this is prepared for Onam Sadhaya. The main ingredients of chakka prathaman are chakka varattiyathu and jaggery.Chakka varattiyathu is made by cooking finely chopped pieces of Chakka Chula (the edible yellow part of jackfruit) with ghee and jaggery (or sugar) at a high temperature until it becomes thick like halwa. Once this paste is ready, it can be kept for a long time without losing its taste. To make the prathaman, the 'chakka varattiyathu' is cooked with Cooconut milk and additional jaggery.The dish is usually served hot. It is made more often in Kerala than in other south Indian states. For chakka varatti recipe, you can click on the link given here

Onam Sadya, is the grand feast prepared on the auspicious occasion of Onam Festival. Sadya is a variety of vegetarian dishes traditionally served in Banana Leaf in Kerala. A normal Sadya can have about 24-28 dishes served as a single course. The main dish is the plain Boiled Rice which is served with Sambar, Rasam, Puliseri along with Eriseri, Olan, Kalan, Aviyal, Thoran, Pachadi, Puliinji and 3-4 different varieties of Payasam / Pradaman.The most common ingredients in all the dishes are rice, coconut and coconut oil as they are abundant in Kerala. Coconut milk is used in some dishes and coconut oil is used for frying and also as an ingredient in others.  Conventionally, the meal may be followed by vettila murukkan, chewing of betel leaf with lime and arecanut. This helps digestion of the meal and also cleanses the palate.

Kalyana Rasam has a wonderful taste and flavor. I always wonder the speciality of rasam being served in Marriages. It has a unique taste with tangy and spice well balanced. The flavour of pepper makes this a big hit. Normally when we do tomato dal rasam, we put the rasam powder and make the tamarind juice boil well to get rid off the raw smell of rasam powder. Here in kalyana rasam, we add the spice powder only at the end which makes it very tasty. Lets see the recipe now.

In our families Milagu Adai also one of the neyvedhyam for Thirukarthigai. As per the mythological story a princes has to leave an elephant which she considered as her brother when she gets married and move to her husbands place. So for every Thirukarthigai/Karthigai deepam occasion, elephant lamp(Gajalakshmi vilaku) and she will prepare tender coconut, elephant leg size milagu Adai, and few more dishes and keep them as neivedhyam for this festival.

Paruppu Purana Poli is a traditional sweet dish prepared during festivals like Bogi and Avani Avittam. Apart from festivals, I used to make this yummy sweet dish often because my first Grand daughter likes it so much. It is always a pleasure to make for our kids especially when they like it so much. Many of us think doing Poli is a very tough task, but believe me if we enjoy and do it, then I bet, it is very simple and very scrumptious too. A very soft and delicious sweet dish. In my mom-in-law's native, for events like marriages tey serve the purana poli and add generous amount of ghee as topping and also serve payasam on top of it.

Puli inji is my all time favourite. Its main ingrediants are Ginger, Green Chilli, Tamarind and Jaggery. Puli Inji can be enjoyed every day, as a tangy accompaniment to a simple meals. It takes very little cooking time and can be prepared very easy. This dish is specifically for spice lovers. We can just mix puli inji with plain rice and a spoon of gingelly oil or we can also have this as a pickle. This is also one of the travel companion dish.

Bisibelabath is one of my favourite rice variety. Bisibela bath is originally a karnataka recipe and the tamil version of bisibela bath is more of a customized version of the original one and often referred as sambar rice. My mom cooks bisibela bath very well and the same recipe is given below. Try it out and let me know.

Pakarkaai Pitlai (Bitter gourd Pitlai) is a famous kuzhambu in Kerala and some parts of Kanyakumari district. Many of us hate to eat Bitter gourd because of the obvious reason of its bitter taste. But Bitter gourd is a healthy vegetable. It is good for stomach. It has the ability to lower the blood glucose in diabetics. So It is better to take bitter gourd at regular intervals. Instead of deep fry, we can shallow fry the bitter gourd and use it in Pitlai.

A unique variety of tangy Rasam. Rich in flavour and has lots of medicinal benefits. Garlic rasam is good for digestion and also a good remedy to cure cold. Atleast once a month, we should try and do this. We can serve Garlic rasam (Poondu Rasam) with hot rice and ghee or we can also serve this as as appetizer like a soup.
Garlic rasam is a combination of garlic, pepper and dried roots like Thipilli and hence it has many medicinal benefits. Thipilli is also called long pepper. The root of this plant is kandanthippili and dried fruit is arisi thipilli. Thippili is known to aid in digestion, stomach-ache, and in generating overall well-being. When we are feeling under the weather, or when a lot of unhealthy food has been consumed, or just to boost the nutrition of the meals, this rasam would be a best medicinal soup. We can get the thipilli easily in ayurvedic shops (Nattu marundhu kadai) in Southern India. If you are living abroad, you can plan to get these medicinal stuff from India. Even without these also we can make plain garlic rasam. But the thipillis add more medicinal value to the dish. Lets see how to make this yummy dish.

Aval Kesari (Poha / Flattned Rice Kesari), is another variety of Kesari which is so mouth-watering. Conventionally, we make kesari using Semolina. But we can make kesari with Aval, Semiya, Samba Wheat and other millets. Even Pineapple kesari is so yummy and tasty. All variety of kesari are so simple to make and they are so delicious.

Thayir(Curd/Yoghurt) semiya is a wonderful dish for Breakfast / Lunch as a substitute of curd rice. The tempered masalas with the flavour of coriander leaves gives rich taste to this dish. It's recommended to serve chilled, but some people like it hot. Many kids of the present generation doesn't like curd rice. But if we prepare this, but they will certainly love this. 

We always maintain a minimum stock of paruppu podi as it is very much useful to me when i feel lazy to cook or we would like to eat something very simple. Paruppu podi can be mixed to the white rice with ghee/oil and can go well with applam (chutta applam/fried applam). As its name suggest it is made of dhalls and is good for health too. You can adjust the spice requirement by adding less/more red chillis. There are many variations available for this recipe and the one which I follow is given below.

I' m a big fan of Brinjal and tried to do lots of different dishes using Brinjal. Some people dont like brinjal, but I bet they will start liking brinjal when they try this Vaangi Bath recipe. Vangi Bath or Brinjal Rice is very popular dish in Karnataka. A delectably yummy dish made with brinjal and a special spice powder. This vangi bath powder is the magic behind this yummy dish. This is a perfect dish for potluck or party dish.  Quick, simple, yet very delicious rice variety.

Coriander leaves are very good for health. These are stimulant and tonic. They strengthen the stomach and promote its action, relieve flatulence, increase secreation and discharge of urine and reduce fever. Most of us use these coriander leaves for garnishing many dishes. This kothamalli thogayal (Coriander leaves thogayal) is one of the spicy and delicious dish. We are going to make this thogayal dry so that it can have a longer shelf life. This is a very excellent accompaniment for Curd rice and also can be mixed with rice We can also mix it with curd and use it as a raitha as well. Try making this dish and you will surely love it. 

Akkaravadisal (Akkara Adisil) is an Authentic Iyengar recipe. Akkara Adisil is usually prepared on the "Koodaravalli day" which comes on 27th day of the Margazhi month and offered to the Lord Vishnu. Also, for Panguni Uthram, this is a main Prasadam in Srirangam Temple. Akkara Adisil usually offered as a prasadham in the temples which has an unique taste. We make sakarai pongal for many festivals. The procedure is much similar to sakarai pongal, but the main variation is the richness with milk and ghee.  We cook the rice and dal in the milk and cook them again with jaggery and sugar. Finally enrich the dish with ghee and you will have all the rich and cream Akkaravadisal ready for neivedhyam or serving.


Traditional and authentic  Pulikachal mix / puliyodarai is a thick paste made of tamarind, dal and other spices. This is one of the popular ready mix in SouthIndia. We generally mix pulikachal with rice and we can also use it as a pickle. Tamarind rice with papad / fryums is a best lunch combo. This mix is a travel friendly dish. We can store this mix in a air-tight container and use it for 3-4 days. For festivals like Aadi perukku, Kanu pandigai, this tamarind rice is one of the main dish.

Many variations can be made in this dish. We also know Iyengar Puliyodarai is very popular and they add sesame seeds and have a different flavor. Puliyodarai served in temple has a rich flavour of pepper. In temples, for prasadam, they have to make huge quantities of puliyodarai and so they cook in a big pan on the stove top with fire-woods which give a smoky touch to the dish. Andhra puliyodarai is also famous for its spiciness. They make a paste of sesame seeds, peanuts and mustard seeds and they add green chillies also. Their version of puliyodarai is also very yummy. I am going to explain the way we traditionally make at my home. Try this version and I am sure you wil love it.

Weekends are special as we are spending more time with family. We always want to cook something special, especially for evening snack. Mysore Bonda (Maida Bonda) is a very traditional and delicious evening snack from Mysore Cuisine. Fried dumplingsmade with maida and riceflour, curd and spices. They are crispy outside and fluffy inside. A very easy to make and it is crispy and tasty snack. This tasty bonda can be served alone with Coffee or we can also serve with Idly/dosa etc.

Palak Paneer, Soft paneer or Indian cottage cheese are cooked in spinach and spice gravy and garnished with rich cream, a best combination for Roti/Chapati and even for pulao.  It is one of the most popular Paneer variety along with Paneer Butter Masala and Kadai Paneer. Most of us love paneer, especially kids. Paneer dishes are always rich and so yummy and a perfect accompaniment for any Indian Breads. This Palak Paneer is also a popular Paneer dish served in many restaurants. Try this version of Palak paneer and I m sure you are going to love it.

Most of us conventionally make Sambar and chutney varieties for idli / dosa. Kadappa is a special stew made with moong dal, potatoes and whole spices. Kadappa otherwise called as Kumbakonam Kadappa is a very scrumptious side dish for Idli or Dosa. This is one of the popular dishes in Tanjore district. Every restaurant in kumbakonam and other areas of Tanjore district serves this yummy dish for the breakfast. Very simple to make and a best combination for Idli and Dosa.

Mint leaves (Pudhina) are very good for stomach ache and it cure the chest pains. It cures the stomach ailments including indigestion. It has many medical properties.Taking mint juice at night before going to bed induces restful sleep. Taking mint tea half an hour before meals stimulates appetite. Infusion made with mint leaves is useful for cold, flu, hiccups and flatulence. Here is the recipe made of Mint leaves. Keep your breath fresh by chewing some mint leaves. Such a medicinal leaves should be included often in our diet. Try this simple Mint rice (Pudhina Rice) and I am sure you will surely enjoy this dish.

Sometimes we would be bored of making conventional chutneys. Red capsicum chutney is a unique and tasty chutney You would surely love it. This chutney is very rich and dominant in the flavour of roasted capsicum. Red capsicum are a great source of vitamin A & C It is a very nutrition rich vegetable. This would a perfect sidedish for bread, paratha, idli, dosa etc. 

Vathakuzhambu is a traditional kuzhambu variety. It is delicious and spicy. fresh Peppercorns brings out a nice flavour to the kuzhambu. This is one of the main dish served in many tamil marriage occasions. we use to add fried manathakali vathal which is called as Black night shade in english. but you can also add sundakkai instead. Vathakuzhambu with sutta appalam and any fried poriyal with curd rice is a perfect combo for a lunch.

Beetroot Kurma, nutritionally rich beetroot are cooked in coconut based masala gravy. This is a simply delicious gravy and is a perfect accompaniment for chapati, poori or any Indian bread varieties. Rich color of beetroot makes this dish completely appetizing and appealing. When we need to make roti and side dish for a group of guests, then, this would be a perfect dish. Its totally rich in quantity and the taste is delectable. Usually, many of us make vegetable kurma or Paneer Kurma, but try this beetroot kurma and you would surely enjoy it!

We all know, Black pepper is one of the healthy spice. It has a powerful healing property and is used in curing of stomach and throat ailments. One of the best home remedy for cold and flu is mixing a teaspoon of honey with freshly ground peppercorns. We tend to use store bought pepper powder nowadays, But for this recipe,I strongly recommend you all to use only fresh pepepr corns. which brings out a nice aroma and flavour to the whole dish.

When I was in UK, one of my close friend is from Andhra and she used to take Hindi class for my daughter. After Hindi class, sometimes, my daughter used to have food at her home and my daughter loved her cooking, especially Pepper rice. After coming home, she used to talk about how aromatic, tasty the pepper rice was. Then she started bugging me to make the pepper rice often, particularly after school or for the packed lunch.  Lets see how simple is to make this Pepper Rice.

Rava dosa is a popular South Indian Dosa variety made with semolina. Almost all restaurants in SouthIndia have this recipe on their menu.  This is a delectabaly crispy dosa that can be prepared instantly without the usual fermentation process. There are many variations in Rawa Dosa with respect to the ingredients and measurements used and I am giving here the one that I normally use. Serve the crispy and tasty Rava dosa with your favourite dippings. I personally prefer serving with Idli Podi. We can also serve with Idli sambar or any of your favourite chutneys.

Maddur vada is a popular dish from the town of Maddur in Karnataka. We can make this vada instantly and it is a perfect evening time snack. If you are health conscious, then you can alternate maida with wheat flour. I am going to show how to make Maddur vada using 2 different methods. First I, will show how to make this dish using conventional method of Deep frying then I will show how to bake these vadas on Oven. I prefer baking though it is time consuming. But it is a healthy option compared to deep frying as the baking method consumes less oil. The video shown below will explain both the methods. You could also see the instructions given below in text to understand the recipe. 

Puzhukku is a popular recipe from Kerala Cuisine. It is a traditional Kerala dish with root vegetables.  Especially, on Thiruvadhirai, they used to make puzhukku with multiple root veggies. I always like with taro root. Most of the time, we always do stir-fry with Tara root, but this puzhukku is a unique variation with taro root. Seppangkizhangu Puzhukku is a good side dish for any kuzhambu varieties. 

Idli Upma / Masala Idli is one of the simplest and conventional breakfast dish. I generally use the leftover idlis from the breakfast and make Masala Upma out of it and have it for evening snack. After tasting this yummy dish, my granddaughter  prefer to have this for her lunch box instead of the regular idli as this is more delicious than our regular idlis. So for her nowadays I am making this masala idli regularly with fresh idli without waiting for leftover!!!

Kothavarangai Thuvaran is one of the common poriyal in my kitchen every week. I love doing Kothavarangai Usili, but this thuvaran is the favourite dish for all. So, I prefer to do thuvaran instead of usili. This is a simple poriyal which you could do it quicker. Some bigger Cluster beans takes more time to cook, so I would prefer to cook the cluster beans in pressure cooker. Its a simple and tasty poriyal and would be a great accompaniment for any rice varieties.

Kummayam is one of the neivedhyam dishes for Aadi Friday or Aadi Tuesday. Most of us generally make payasam as a neivedhyam for Aadi Friday / Tuesday. It is a very tasty dish prepared with green mong dal, urid dal, rice and jaggery.  This dish is very simple and very scrumptious to make. Lets plan to make this yummy Kummayam as a neivedhyam for this Aadi Friday / Tuesday for Goddess Parvati and get her blessings.

Cauliflower dishes are always so scrumptious. We can make many variety of dry curry and gravies that would be perfect for any Indian Breads / Pulao etc. This Cauliflower Peas Dry curry is also a very tasty accompaniment for any Indian Breads / Pulao varieties. This is a simple and quick curry we can make with cauliflower. You will surely enjoy the taste of this dry curry.

Cauliflowers like other leafy vegetables, have a great chance of having lots of worms. So, we need to put the florets in hot boiling water to get rid of the worms. That is the only concern with cauliflower, other wise the taste would be awesome. Cauliflower dry curries and gravies would be a great treat for both veg and non-vegetarians. 

Methi Sambar is one of the frequently made dish in my home. My kids show aversion to normal spinach, but when I make dishes using Methi leaves, they love it. The tender & greenish Methi always attract me and I frequently make Vendaya Keerai Thuvaran or this Methi Sambar or Methi dal.  Fenugreek leaves are very healthy greens to be included in our routine diet. Its very simple to even grow these leaves in our Patio or garden. We just need a deep tray with good composite. Wet the composite and sprinkle the fenugreek seeds. Add a cup of water daily and keep the tray in the place where you get good sun light. Slowly you can see small green leaves coming out of the sand and within 2 weeks, you would have fresh methi leaves. Try this Organic Methi Sambar and share your comments!