January 2016
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Like Sambar Powder and Rasam Powder, Puli Kuzhambu powder is also another handy ingredient in our kitchen. We can easily make instant kuzhambu using this Puli Kuzhambu (Powder) Podi . Instead of adding coriander powder and red chilli powder for the puli kuzhambu, this Puli kuzhambu podi has a great flavour because of the combination of the given ingredients. We can easily increase the ratio of each ingredient and make large quantity and it has a long shelf life. We can even keep it for 6 months to an year by carefully handling the podi with the use of air-tight container and also using dry spoon. Try this easy and handy Puli Kuzhambu Podi and share your comments & suggestions!

Milagai (Chilli) Bajji is a famous snack in road side shops in chennai. I always love to have milagai bajji when we have rainy weather. We can make bajji with many different vegetables like potato, raw banana and even with carrot. Capsicum is one of my favourite veggie especially in making bajji. Capsicum bajji are so yummy and crispy. The mild spice of the capsicum gives a very good taste to the dish. 

Whenever there is a tomato season when tomatoes are available in abundant and cheap in the market, the first thing which comes to my mind is to make a Tomato Thokku. It is so easy to make and can be used as a spread, as a side dish and as a pickle. I love this with curd rice (moor sadham). It also goes very well with Idly/Dosa as a chutney. If cooked properly then we can use it for atleast 10 days.

Baingan Bharta, a delicious roasted aubergine sabzi cooked in onion tomato gravy with aromatic Indian spices.The smoke of the roasted aubergine gives a nice flavour to the dish. Traditionally, we need to roast the brinjals in open flame. But since, I have electric stove, I roasted them in Oven instead. This is really a scrumptious dish that will stir our taste buds. This Baingan Bharta should be little spicy than our usual gravies because the mushy aubergine will suppress the spice from the underlying oniom-tomato gravy. So try to add more spice to have a nice and delicious Baingan Bartha. Serve with any Indian Flat Bread and ejoy the dish!

Brinji Rice, an aroma rich with healthy veggies. The flavour of bayleaf along with other masala ingredients gives this rice a rich flavour.  A perfect dish for parties. This is one of the common dish in any Marriage Buffets. Generally served with Raitha or Vegetable Kurma. Rice is flavoured with bay leaf, coconut milk and other mild masala ingredients. No hassle in making this simple and delectable dish. Try this Brinji Rice for any Parties at home and delight your guests!

Potato Roast is an all time favourite dish for many of us. Its a  perfect accompaniment for many Indian Main Courses. Baby Potato Masala roast is a very scrumptious dry curry. No other accompaniment will ever beat the taste of these baby potato roast. For any rice varieties and also for any Indian Bread this is the best side dish. We can make a plain roast or we can make using onion, ginger-garlic along with masala. I prefer the second version which is more scrumptious than the plain roast with red chilli powder. Lets get started right away!

Venn Pongal is a traditional SouthIndian breakfast dish. I love to do VenPongal as it is very easy and quick. We should be generous in using ghee for Pongal.  The flavour of ghee with pepper is the unique taste of pongal. It is the traditional neivedhyam in any temple. The shine and smell of ghee in pongal will tempt everyone to have more. Brijal Gotsu is a perfect side dish for the pongal. Please click here for the recipe of Brinjal Gotsu

Gotsu a traditional and delicious side dish for venn pongal. Pongal with gotsu is one of the popular SouthIndian Breakfast. We can make gotsu with mixed vegetables. But Brinjal gotsu (Kathirikkai Gotsu / Venn Pongal Gotsu) is the traditional gotsu variety. This is the recipe which I learnt from my Grandmother. Venn Pongal with Brinjal Gotsu is one of her signature dish. Most of the weekend, especially Sunday, this is my morning breakfast. A perfect accompaniment for Pongal, Idli, dosa and even for upma.

I came across the name of this dish first time when a fan of subbuskitchen requested the recipe of this. I have never tasted this before. Then I found out this is a famous dish in Andhra Cuisine and approached my friend  who is from Hyderabad and she checked with her MIL and shared this recipe with me.  Like Idly Podi, this Nalla Kara Podi can be served with hot steaming rice or we can serve with idlis and dosas. 

Elaneer payasam (Tender Coconut Payasam), a very simple and quick to make kheer variety. a popular dessert in Kerala and many southern place of tamilnadu. A very unique dessert for any parties! The bits of the tender coconut pieces along with the blend of evaporated milk and coconut milk makes this dish really delicious. I heard of this dish but never got a chance to taste. This is my method of making this payasam and it turned out awesome. I shared with my friends and they loved this kheer so much. 

Podi Varieties or ready mixes are always handy, especially when we feel very low or lazy for cooking. Just a spoon of ready mix or podi variety along with hot steaming rice would make our day so easy! Like Paruppu podi, Peanut Garlic Podi is a spicy podi variety with a rich flavour of peanuts and garlic. The coarse texture of the peanuts enhances the overall taste of this dish! We can also serve this peanut garlic podi as an accompaniment for any Indian Breakfast like Idli, dosa.

Tilgul is a colourful sesame candy coated with sesame seeds; in Maharashtra people exchange tilgul on Sankranti, a Hindu festival celebrated on 14 January. The sweet is a mixture of seasame seed and jaggery and hence the name. Tilgul Poli is a sweet roti made with sesameseeds and jaggery filling and wheat flour outercover. One of my friend is a Beautician and also she is a Maharashtrian. When I met her couple of days back, I was discussing with her regarding Sanakaranti and the tradition followed in Maharashtra. In the middle of the discussion, she explained to me about this delectable sweet dish Tilgul Poli which is a sweet roti made of wheat flour, jaggery, peanuts, besan and sesameseeds. It sounds similar to our traditional Puran Poli made of channa dal. I eagerly learnt the procedure from her and made this delicious dish today. It turned out awesome. My kids loved the taste of this poli. Out sweet tooth will tell the delight of biting this crispy and warm Tilgul Poli!

MedhuVadai ( Ulundhu vadai) is a great and tasty appetaizer. Also, we make this vadai for most of the festivals for neyvedhyam. Medhuvadai with idli, pongal, sambar & Chutney is a famous breakfast combo in Southern Part of India. Almost all restaurants serve this vada for breakfast and also during evening snacks time. Making a perfect batter is the secret of this recipe. The batter should be thick and also fluffy then only the vadas will be crispier outside and soft inside. For normal snacks, we can also add chopped onions that will enhance the taste. But for Neivedhyam we dont add onions.

Brinjal Podi curry (Kathirikkai Podi Pota Curry) is one of my all time favourite poriyal variety. The curry powder which we prepare for Sundal is actually very good for many poriyal varieties. The curry powder is very handy and it enriches the taste of the poriyal. Many of us have the habit of making this curry powder in large quantities and use it for many different poriyal varieties. Brinjal poriyal, instead of adding usual red chilli powder or sambar powder, if you add the curry powder this poriyal will taste very very good. We can serve this podi pota brinjal curry with any SouthIndian Main Course or we can also mix that curry with rice along with a spoon of ghee and enjoy the taste!

The vadai that we get in Anjeneyar temple as prasadham has an unique taste. The blend of crispness and the spice from pepper are devine. Many times I thought of preparing milagu vadai but today is the day when I finally achieved it. I made milagu vadai as an offering to Lord Anjeneya on this auspicious month of Margazhi. I nearly got the same taste and crisp of milagu vadai as given in the temple but still it would say that vadai prepared for neivedhyam are more tastier as we are offering to Lord and he is blessing us :-). So, why not prepare our own milagu vadai (Pepper Vada) and offer the God rather than just paying some amount to buy readymade vadas? OK, lets go to our preparation.

Hanumath Jayanthi is a sacred occasion to celebrate Hanuman’s Birth day and get his blessings. Hanuman (Aanjeneyar) is worshiped by all Hindus in India who worship Lord Rama and Lord Sita. In every Rama temple, Hanuman statue is another significant and Hanuman will face right opposite to Rama statue with his palms folded and head bowed showing respect to Lord Rama. We call Hanuman by different names as Aanjeneyar, Maruthi, Pavanasuta, bajrangbali. Hanuman is son of God Vayu and Anjana.

Samosa is a popular Indian appetizer or snack usually served with tea / coffee for any parties. It is a deep fried or baked pastry with a savory filling, such as spiced potatoes or onion. They are really crunchy and the filling makes us really tempting to have more samosas. Though potato based filling is more common type of samosa, still in southern side onion based filling in samosa is very popular. usually the outer cover is made of maida but I have used equal measures of maida and wheat flour to make it little healthier. Maida based samosas are really crunchy but more maida is not good for health so I have used wheat flour also. In TamilNadu, these Onion Samosa are so popular in all theatres. Theatre samosa are mini samoas with onion filling. I will post the theatre samosa separately. Now lets get started!

Horse gram or Kulthi is a widely pulse consumed in South India. These beans are rich in nutrients. We can make kollu soup or rasam for weight loss. My MIL makes paruppu podi with kollu as main ingredient. For paruppu podi, we use variety of dals. But this kollu podi is simple. Kollu with pepper and cumin aids in weight loss as it is less in carbohydrates and more in protein which helps us to feel stuffy and reduces the carving for junk food. The health benefits and medicinal purpose of horse gram have been recognized by Indian Ayurvedic Medicine and Siddha medicine. We can mix this Kollu podi (Horsegram Spice Powder) with rice along with a teaspoon of gingelly oil or ghee and enjoy the dish!

Chayote Squash or in tamil we call it as Chow Chow is a very healthy veggie. It is one veggie less in calories and also rich in vitamin. Chow Chow Stir-fry is a very tasty poriyal variety. I have enriched the poriyal by adding onions and capsicum and also dry grinding raosted gram dal along with coconut. We can make plain stir-fry also, but the onions and capsicum adds a nice flavour to the dish. This Chow Chow Poriyal ( Chayote Squash Stir-Fry) goes well with any SouthIndian main courses.

Karamani kuzhambu is one of the traditional kuzhambu variety many of us do often in our kitchen. A blend of cowpeas, brinjal and drumstick in a tangy gravy of tamarind along with spices, makes this unique and tasty. A simple and tasty kuzhambu to be served with hot steaming rice. Mix a ladle of kuzhambu with hot steaming rice along with a teaspoon of gingelly oil and enjoy this delicious dish!

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