June 2015
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This week, its healthy lunch menu. Spinach Kuzhambu with Carrot Poriyal, Garlic Rasam, Curd, pickle and rice. We all know all of these are healthy in their own way. Spinach is a very nutritional rich green that is fiber rich and we should cook spinach atleast once a week. Spinach kuzhambu is one of the tastiest kuzhambu variety. I want to have a healthy accompaniment for spinach kuzhambu, so, I selected Carrot Poriyal. This is one of the easiest poriyal variety which you can do it in no time. Then, instead of normal tomato dal rasam, I opted for garlic rasam. So over all my menu becomes nutrition rich and my family enjoyed it. 

Here, in this menu, spinach kuzhambu and garlic rasam needs grinding. So we need to fry the grinding ingredients and grind them and keep them aside that will ease the process. We need to spend little more time with Spinach in the initial plucking, cleaning and then it will take no time in cooking and the whole process would be done provided we cook the dal and ready with grinding ingredients. This is one of the quickest and yummy Lunch Menu your family would love to have!!! Have a great weekend!!! 

Sturdy, abundant and inexpensive, cabbage is a longstanding dietary staple throughout the world and is so widely cultivated and stores so well that it is available throughout the year. In southindia cabbage is cooked in many different ways and one such common recipe - Cabbage Poriyal (muttaikose poriyal) is given below. We can make plain poriyal using cabbage but, adding peas enhances the taste. Peas and cabbage goes very well. so, I always prefer to add peas in cabbage poriyal. I know, this is a very simple poriyal, but it might be of good help to the beginners.

Lemon Pickle is my all time favourite pickle. Got fresh limes from Indian store last night. Half of the limes, I made Sour Lime pickle and spicy lime pickle. We could also use lemon for this recipe. Its very simple to make and I always add only use less oil than the store bought lemon pickle still with proper refrigeration, the shelf life is very good. My kids love this spicy lemon pickle and they would love to eat more curd rice only because of this pickle :-). Lets see how to make this spicy Lemon Pickle..

In our childhood, we all would have tasted this yummy and tasty kulfi, may be we might have tasted semiya ice (Semiya Kuchi Ice :-)). I loved it and I used to eat it during school holidays. This is the first time, I am making it in home and believe me, my kids loved it so much. It so simple to make at home. Simple, way is to make Semiya Payasam and we can pour in popsicles mould and we can freeze it. I have used the similar method that we would prepare semiya payasam. But, a small inclusion of custard powder, made the payasam thick and and it gives a nice texture to the whole dish. It hardly takes time to make this kulfi, the setting time takes  4-5 hours, and finally you would love it. Lets see how to make this yummy and chill Semiya Kulfi...

Carrot poriyal, a healthy poriyal for any rice varieties. This recipe is slightly different from the traditional way of doing poriyal. Generally we cook the vegetable and then do the seasoning. I tasted this wonderful taste of carrot poriyal in one of my Telugu friends home and the variation made the dish an extraordinary taste. Especially many kids doesn't like to eat carrot poriyal but with this recipe having a variation from the traditional way would be liked by all. Lets get into the way to prepare this dish.

Basil, a very flavourful and aroma rich herb. Basil is most known for its culinary uses. Besides, culinary use, it has lots of medicinal benefits too. In most of the Italian cuisine dishes, Basil will be an important ingredient. I have already shared the recipe of Basil Thogayal. 

This week, my friend, went to India for a vacation and she gave her basil pot to me to water it. Also she told me to use the basil leaves as she will back after couple of months only. So, I have used the freshly home grown basil leaves and prepared the chutney. I should call this as organic basil chutney as the basil leaves are fresh from my garden :-) (though I my friend has given it to me :-)). This is one of the simple chutney and it goes well with Idli / Dosa / Uthappam. This recipe is also shared by my friend who gave the basil leaves. She is a great cook. I love her innovations. I dedicate this recipe to her :-)

This is yet another poriyal made using Kovakkai. My last post on the poriyal varieties was Koviakkai Fry, which consume more oil for cooking as kovaikkai needs to be fried which is not very good for health. If you like kovaikkai and want to avoid oil while cooking, then you can try Kovakkai Thuvaran. I would prefer Kovaikkai thuvaran as it is good for health compared to Kovaikkai Fry though it is even tastier. Serve this Kovakkai thuvaran with any Kuzhambu Varieties and enjoy your meal!!!

Kothimbir Vadi is a one of the popular Maharashtrian Starter Snack. It is a crispy snack made from coriander leaves and besan (Gram flour). A very appetizing and party snack! Besan flour along with onion, coriander leaves and spices are cooked and then deep fried in oil to crunchy, munchy fritters. Conventional Kothimbir Vadi is made only of coriander leaves, but, I have added peas, carrots to make it much tastier and richer. Instead of deep frying, we can also add oil to the cooked besan-coriander mix and bake it in oven. Here, I have used the conventional way of cooking. I will post the baking method soon. Lets see how to make this traditional Maharashtrian Kothimbir Vadi...

Aval Karuvadam (Flattened Rice Fryums), a very crispy and spicy fryums and it is a very perfect accompaniment for any variety rice. Even with a simple rasam, this karuvadam is a great treat for us. A very simple fryum you could make with less effort in spring season. For Koozh vadam, Ommapodi vadam, a little expertise is needed. But for this, aval karuvadam, its simple and straight forward. We just need to plan to make fryums on a nice sunny day. Last week, it was fully sunny here and I made different fryums and I am happy to share this recipe with you today. I fried these Aval Karuvadam today and it was so crispy and yummy and I couldn't resist myself to post this today and share with you all. Try this yummy and munchy fryums and share your comments!!!

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. It is highly beneficial in deficienceis of vitamin A,B1,B2,C and iron. Here is the recipe made of kothamalli leaves kuzhambu (coriander leaves kuzhambu). This is very good for health and can stay for two, three days.

Kovakkai vathal (Ivy Gourd Fryums) is a very new variety of vathal (Fryums) for me. I have never tasted before. My MIL has tasted this yummy & crunchy vathal in one of the marriages in Kerala. She liked it so much and she instructed me to do this vathal. As this is a good summer season here in US, I planned to make variety of vathal. I was checking with her for other vathal like ladysfinger, bittergourd and she gave the recipe along with this kovakkai vathal. Even, she has not tried it yet. But believe me, I followed here instructions and it turned out so tasty and crispy. My kids love it so much than the conventional ladysfinger and bittergourd vathal. I would strongly recommend all to try this to enjoy this wonderful vathal. The procedure is very straight forward and simple. 

This is one of the poriyal variety my FIL would always love to have. He loves the combination of beans and carrot. Its really a very yummy and healthy poriyal variety. Many kids doesn't like beans or carrot poriyal. This is one of the way to get them eat both of the healthy vegetables and I am sure they would surely love it. We can also add finely chopped cabbages or potatoes which would add more taste to the dish. This Carrot Beans Poriyal is a very simple and healthy accompaniment for any rice varieties, especially with all kuzhambu / rasam varieties.

Jackfruit is one of the yummy fruit many of us like to slurp! Got fresh jackruits from market yesterday. After eating the yummy fruit, I saved the seeds. My mom used to make use of these jackfruit seeds and use it in sambar / kootu. I planned to make jackfruit seeds kuzhambu. A normal vathakuzhambu / pulikuzhambu would be much more tastier if you add jackfruit seeds. Initially the jackfruit seeds would be little wet. Just dry them up in sun or we can even dry roast them little to remove the skin off. Then we would be cooking the seeds and using them in kuzhambu. Lets see step by step how to make this wonderful yummy Palakottai Kuzhambu (Jackfruit Seeds Kuzhambu).

Kuzhambu vadam is a traditional papad variety which is used as an ingredient in kuzhambu. Sometimes, we would be short of veggies to be added in the the kuzhambu. At that times, we would add manathakalikai vathal, sundakkai vathal or kuzhambu vadam. Nowadays many of us are buying these kuzhambu vadam from shops and just using it. But we can make these kuzhambu vadam at home itself. Generally we make papad/appalam in Tamil month Masi (February) as it is just the beginning of summer. We tend to make lots of papads at that time and we use it for the next 1 year. The same way, we can make these kuzhambu vadam in lots and store it in air-tight container and fry them and use it whenever we need. These kuzhambu vadam tastes yummy when added to kuzhambu. Now, lets see how to make this kuzhambu vadam...

Kalakand is a popular Indian dessert using condensed milk and cottage cheese (Paneer). There is one another way to make kalakand using store bought Ricotta Cheese. This method is quite simple and quicker version compared to conventional method. I have used microwave oven to make this dish.  This is one of the easiest and tasty dessert. A great party dessert too. We can also follow the conventional method of using milk and paneer. That would take more time and little complex also. This method of doing Kalakand is quite straight forward. 

Beans is rich in Protein. Non-Vegeterians have lot of options to consume protein rich food. But Vegeterians have very limited variety and beans is one among them. This is one of the conventional method of making beans poriyal. We can also make Beans Thuvaran, Beans Paruupu Usili, Beans Poricha kootu. A simple beans poriyal is a very good accompaniment for any SouthIndian Kuzhambu varieties.

This is one of my favourite Lunch Menu! Mor Kuzhambu with Paruppu Usili and jeera rasam along with curd, papad and rice. In summer season, we get yummy rice mangoes. So instead of plain mor kuzhambu, I made Mambazha Mor Kuzhambu. Always Paruppu Usili and ladysfinger fry is a perfect accompaniment for Mor kuzhambu. I got Banana Flower from market and decided to make Vazhaipoo Usili which would be a perfect accompaniment for Mango Mor Kuzhambu. 

Next comes the Rasam. Instead of plain tomato rasam, to make the menu perfect and richer, I made Jeera Rasam. Believe me, it adds more taste to the menu. Mor kuzhambu is little less in spice which will be compensated in Paruppu Usili and Jeera rasam. Finally comes curd and plain hot rice. This would be a perfect meal for a weekend. We can always make plain mor kuzhambu or we can also make bonda Morkuzhambu. Also, we can substitute vazhaipoo paruppu usili with beans or cluster beans.  Try this menu this weekend and share your experience.

Basil herb is the king of herbs. This is one of the ancient and popular herbal plants.Basil leaves has disease preventing and health promoting properties.Basil leaves are known to have anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties too.  Basil is a highly fragrant plant whose leaves are used as a seasoning herb for many different types of foods like pasta, salad. My close friend, made basil chutney and she told that basil chutney is too delicious and she shared the recipe with me. I got fresh basil leaves from market and was about to make the chutney, but my husband asked me to make Basil Thogayal like we make thogayal with mint or coriander leaves. So I combined my friends recipe and conventional thogayal and come up with this recipe. I am dedicating this recipe to my friend!!! We can mix the basil thogayal with rice and enjoy the food. I have a tablespoon of basil thogayal left and I added it to pasta in the evening and it tasted divine. Try this Basil Thogayal and share your comments and suggestions.


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