February 2017
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A small variation in the preparation of a Sambar can make much difference in the taste / flavor. In Manathakalli Vathal Sambar (Fried Sambar) we fry the Sambar powder in the oil first instead of adding the sambar powder in the last as we do in the conventional Sambar. Fried Sambar powder gives a different taste to the Sambar.  I hope you and your family will like this sambar.

Bisibelabath, a very aroma rich and appetizing masala sambar rice. The whole garam masala combined with spices and coconut is the secret of this recipe. Many of us would love to order bisibelabath in restaurants but we can make the yummy dish at home with the same taste. Just wanted a little change in the conventional Bisibelabath, then try this Poha (Aval) Bisibelabath and it does tastes amazing. At times we are bored of rice. Semiya, rava, aval are some alternatives for rice and we can make awesome dishes using these ingredients. So this time its Aval Bisibelabath (Poha Bisibelabath). Try this delicious Aval Bisibelabath and I hope you will also enjoy the variation!

Bored of the conventional Idli / Dosa for breakfast? Wanted to have a different variety? Wanted a healthy breakfast? Raagi Idli (Finger Millet Idli) is a very healthy breakfast and tastes yummy than then conventional idli. I planned to start millet recipes and this is the first step. I have been planning to start millet series for a long time as they are naturally very healthy grains. Millets such as Raagi, Bajra, Jowar etc are more healthier than Oats which is now getting very popular in India. Nutritionally, when ragi is used as a whole grain, it is higher in protein and minerals in comparison to all other cereals and millets. It is a remarkable source of protein, making it perfect for vegetarian diets.

We can make many different dishes using raagi and one such is Raagi Idli. We can make this Raagi Idli in 3 different ways, 
1. Using Raagi as whole grain along with rice and uridal
2. Using Raagi flour along with rice and uridal
3. Using Raagi flour along with rice flour and maida (This is instant)

Out of the above three methods, I prefer the method 1, "whole grain method" as it is very healthy. Lets see how to make healthy and  tasty raagi idli using whole grain Raagi.

Want to try Biriyani with Semiya? We can make Biriyani, pulao and much more yummy dishes with Vermicelli. This is a very yummy and tasty Vermicelli Biriyani with richness of veggies and masala. Sometimes, we are so bored with the usual dishes, vermicelli is an alternative to basmati rice. We can also make vermicelli pulao, Curd Semiya and many more delicious dishes using vermicelli. The procedure for making vermicelli Biriyani is same as the conventional way with a single difference of using semiya in place of basmati rice. Try this vermicelli biriyani (Semiya Biriyani) and share your suggestions.

Ragi Powder is a very healthy millet flour with which we can do many healthy dishes. Especially for babies, this Ragi porridge would be their first semi-solid food when they are 4-5 months old. I started giving a teaspoon or two to my kids when they are 5 months old and slowly increased the quantity when they grow up. All the millets are rich in nutrients and hence takes more time to digest. so its always good to start with little quantities for babies.  Instead of buying store bought Ragi Flour, making sprouted ragi powder at home is so healthy. 

Preparing sprouted ragi powder is a time consuming process but surely not a complex process. Its just for sprouting, we need to give really good time based on the weather. For me, sprouting took nearly 28 hours as it was a so cold weather, but if you have a warm or hot weather, then sprouting happens quickly mostly in 12 hours itself. Once ragi is sprouted, then its only matter of time to make homemade ragi powder. If we have access to rice mill, then our job is even more easier, we can just roast the sprouted ragi till they are hot and then take it to mill to grind it to a smooth powder or if you have a hot weather, then you can spread the sprouted ragi in a towel and keep it a sunny place for 3-4 hours and then grind it to a smooth powder. I don't have access to rice mill, so I used my mixer to make the ragi powder from sprouted ragi. Remember to sieve the ragi powder if you are grinding it in mixer as we need more smooth powder especially for making ragi porridge for babies.  

Chinese Vegetable Fried Rice was introduced to me by my sister. There is just slight variation from the plain vegetable fried rice and this yummy fried rice would be a very good dish for any party or special occasion. The best accompaniment for this Chinese Vegetable Fried Rice is Gobi Manchurian or Vegetable Manchurian or any other Manchurian dishes. This fried rice is rich of healthy vegetables with wonderful flavour of soy and chilli sauce. A very mild rice variety to treat our family and friends. Kids would surely love to enjoy this dish with Manchurian.

The main ingredients for this yummy dish are cabbage, capsicum and the sauces. Cabbage and capsicum adds a nice crunchy flavour to the rice along with the soy sauce and chilli sauce. Enjoy the unique taste of this fried rice with Vegetable Manchurian.

Want to grab a quick snack with hot coffee / tea in the evening? Then, this Aval Vadai is one of the crunchy and yummy evening snack! Very easy and hassle free snack to make. The conventional Medhuvadaa or masala vada needs dals to be soaked and then grinding with spices, followed by deep frying. But this is just an instant vada, we could just gather all the required ingredients in 10 minutes and make this yummy snack for a nice evening!

Though we have monthly Shivratri, Maha Shivratri has greater significance. It is celebrated on the 6th night of the dark Phalgun (Feb or March) every year. This year Maha Shivrari falls on 24th Feb 2017. It is believed that for all these year Lord Shiva protect us by sacrificing his sleep and hence to thank the lord, the devotees dedicate this auspicious day to lord Shiva by sacrificing the sleep the whole night and perform poojas for lord Shiva. As per Hindu Mythology a devotee who performs sincere worship of Lord Shiva on the auspicious day of Shivratri is absolved of sins and attains moksha.

A simple to make and mouth-watering Cauliflower Poriyal would be a best accompaniment not only for rice, but also for Roti / Chapati. Sometimes, instead of rich and thick gravies, we need something quick and simple and yet so delicious that would suit both South Indian and NorthIndian cuisines. this Cauliflower Poriyal would be a perfect complement. Even for parties, I bet, this Cauliflower Poriyal (Gobi Masala curry) would be a big hit. Whenever, I try to make cauliflower dishes, especially the parties including foreign nation people, I always get appreciated. Try this yummy Cauliflower Poriyal and share your suggestions.

Molagootal is a very popular and traditional Palakkad dish. Keerai molagootal can be prepared using any of the greens like ara keerai, mola keerai, paruppu keerai, thanda keerai or palak keerai. This keerai molagootal is a slight variation from the keerai kootu as we are using thoor dal instead of moong dal and also for coconut paste, instead of grinding only coconut, red chili and cumin as we normally do, we need to fry urad dal as an additional ingredient which not only adds the flavor but also makes the coconut paste thicker making with Keerai Molagootal thicker in consistency. 

Keerai Molagootal Recipe | Spinach Lentil Curry Recipe
Keerai Molagootal Recipe | Spinach Lentil Curry Recipe

Preparation and Yield:
Preparation time5 mins
Cooking Time20 mins
Recipe CategorySides for SouthIndian Main
Recipe CuisineSouth Indian
Keerai Molagootal Recipe | Spinach Lentil Curry Recipe
Keerai Molagootal Recipe | Spinach Lentil Curry Recipe


Spinach Leaves4 Cups*
Thoor Dal1/2 Cup
Turmeric Powder1/4 Teaspoon
SaltTo taste

* 1 Cup = 250ml
For Grinding:

Oil1 Teaspoon
Urad Dal2 Tablespoon
Red Chilli2
Grated Coconut1/4 Cup
Cumin Seeds1 teaspoon

For Seasoning:
Oil1 Teaspoon
Mustard Seeds 1 Teaspoon
Split Urad Dal2 Teaspoon
Red Chilli1

Keerai Molagootal Recipe | Spinach Lentil Curry Recipe
Keerai Molagootal Recipe | Spinach Lentil Curry Recipe

  1. Wash the spinach leaves thoroughly. Chop the leaves and keep it aside
  2. Pressure cook dal and mash it nicely and set it aside
  3. In a pan, add oil. Add urad dal, red chili and fry till the dal turns golden brown
  4. Take these fried ingredients in a mixer jar along with grated coconut and cumin seeds and grind it to a paste
  5. In a sauce pan, take the chopped spinach. Add turmeric powder and 1/2 cup water and cook the spinach till soft
  6. Once cooked, mash the spinach with back of ladle or potato masher. Add salt and stir well
  7. Add mashed dal along with ground coconut-spice paste and stir well. Allow it to boil for a minute and switch off the flame
  8. In another pan, add oil. Add mustard seeds and allow it to sputter. Then, add split urad dal and red chili and saute till the dal turns golden brown color. Switch off the flame and add the seasoning to the Keerai Molagootal
  9. The yummy Keerai Molagootal is now ready to serve!
  10. Keerai Molagootal Recipe | Spinach Lentil Curry Recipe
    Keerai Molagootal Recipe | Spinach Lentil Curry Recipe

Khatta Dhokla is fermented and steam savory cake made from rice, urad dal along with yogurt. This is an Instant method of using our fermented Idli batter. This would be an easy method, as most of us have Idli batter on hand. Unlike the main ingredient, rest of the other ingredients and procedure are quite similar to Khaman Dhokla. Try this Instant version of Khatta Dhokla. Serve with Green Chutney and enjoy this delicious dish. We can serve this wonderful dish for breakfast or as an evening snack. Even for Kids lunch box, this would be a perfect dish!

Namak Paare or the diamond cuts is one of the popular Indian snack and much easier to make. One of the snack most of us make especially during Diwali Festival. To the traditional Namak Paare, we can add crushed dry fenugreek leaves (Kasoori Methi) and make this delicious Methi Namak Paare (Methi Diamond cuts). Dry methi leaves add a nice aroma and flavor to the dish. So why not try this variation instead of plain Namak Paare!

Paneer Tikka is a very popular Indian starter. Most of the restaurants specify the Paneer Tikka in their Starter Menu. Also even in many parties or poluck, Paneer Tikka would be a great starter. We can make many variations in making the marination mixture for Paneer Tikka. Here I have given the Hara Bhara (mint-Coriander) Marination and also Malai (Fresh Cream) Marination that would give a good flavour to the paneer. Most of the kids love to devour paneer. This would be the best dish for them!

Sometimes even simple dry curries are a perfect accompaniment for Indian breads like Roti / Naan etc. Especially, for kids lunchbox, a dry curry would be so good. We can even stuff the dry curry inside chapati and roll it and keep it in lunch box. Aloo (Potato) masala is one such dry curry which we can just spread it in chapati and roll it. In the same way, we can make cabbage-Potato Stir-Fry and serve with roti or stuff inside roti and roll it. Very simple to make Dry curry. Try this Aloo Patta Gobi Subzi (Cabbage Potato Stir-Fry) and I'm sure you will love it!

Pasta is a favorite recipe for many of us, especially kids. Most of the kids love to have pasta in their lunch boxes. Instead of store bought pasta, we can make our own pasta sauce and prepare the pasta for our loved ones. Basil is a very integral ingredient of any Italian dish. In this pasta recipe, we are making basil pesto using basil, garlic, pine nuts and other ingredients and add that pesto to a creamy base and toss it with cooked pasta. A very enticing and appetizing dish! Most of the restaurants make basil pesto with parmesan  cheese, but parmesan cheese is a not a vegetarian option. Some of the brands sell veggie version of Parmesan, but sometimes its hard to get it. So I skipped the cheese part of the pesto and made this yummy Creamy Basil Pesto Pasta

Jeera Rice, an awesome rice variety just with rice and cumin seeds. I am usually comfortable with my traditional Southindian dishes as i have more experience in that, but this generation likes more of North Indian dishes than traditional especially during any parties. My daughter-in-laws prefer to prepare North indian dishes during my grandaughter's birthday parties as we have different guests and North India  dishes are always liked by the youngsters. So i started doing NorthIndian dishes. 


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