August 2015
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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.

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