November 2017
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Thirukarthigai/Karthigai Deepam comes on the tamil month Karthigai on Pournami day(Full moon day). Throughout the month lamps are lit in the front of the house in the evening . On the Thirukarthigai/Karthigai Deepam day the whole house is decorated with the oil lamps. Thiruvannamalai is famous for Thirukarthigai/Karthigai Deepam. This year, Thiru Karthigai falls on 2nd Dec 2017.

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.

Oats Idli an instant, yummy and healthy breakfast dish for all age groups. Sometimes I forget to soak the rice and dal in water to prepare our traditional idli batter and I get annoyed with myself as I will be finding difficult to plan for next day breakfast. After I started making Instant Oats Idli, nowadays I don't even mind if I forget to prepare the traditional batter as Oats Idli is very instant and at the same time it is very healthy compared to our conventional Idli. Oats Idli are great even for kids lunch box.

Paneer Pulao, an absolute delight for all the paneer and rice lovers. Aroma rich basmati rice is cooked with fried Paneer and stir-fried veggies along with whole garam masala and Indian Spices. This is a quick and easy to make Pulao variety and rich in taste. This is a No Onion No Garlic Paneer Pulao. Serve this yummy dish with your favorite raita and enjoy the dish!

Makai Jajaria, a popular halwa or we can say a Pudding dessert in the regions of Udaipur, Rajastan. A very quick and easy to make dessert using Sweet corn. We can make this awesome dish in microwave or pressure cooker too. I have done in the conventional way. The apartment I live has a diversity of Indians and one of the family is a marwari from rajasthan. They invited me for their little daughter's birthday and after a wonderful dinner, they served a delightful dessert that was a real treat for our taste buds. When I asked her, she told the dessert is called " Makai Jajaria " in their home town and is made with yellow or white corn which grows abundant in that region. She explained me the procedure to do this awesome dish and I tried it and it turned so good. My family and friends enjoyed this yummy sweet. Try this yummy Makai Jajaria (Sweet Corn Pudding / Sweet Corn Halwa) and share your comments!

Pirandai is a creeper that has wonderful medicinal uses and health benefits. It is called "Adamant Creeper | Devil's Back Bone | Veldt Grape" in English and it's botanical name is Cissus quadrangularris and it is called Hadjot in Hindi. Pirandi has multiple health benefits: It treats indigestion, fractures and sprains, is a best worming medicine, treats piles, menstrual problems and is also the best home remedy for ear pain. Many hesitate to use pirandai because of it's itchy nature, but if we properly handle pirandai, we can prevent itchiness in our hands. First always try to pick tender pirandai, young pirandai can be easily broken with hands and as the pirandai ages it thickens. To prevent itching in the hands, smear your hands with a bit of sesame oil before handling pirandai. After collecting pirandai, wash it well and break it at the nodes and remove the nodes too. If the pirandai is tender, you can break it with hands easily into two and pull the fibers apart, like we do for peeling drumsticks.Pirandai thogayal treats all digestion related problems like gastritis, indigestion and lack of appetite. Pirandai thogayal can be made in matter of minutes and tastes really good.

Sukku Milagu Thipili kuzhambu is a medicinal and healthy kuzhambu variety. Dry ginger is a very healthy ingredient. For stomach upset or even for acidic issues, dry ginger is the best home remedy.  It is used to treat cold, cough, headaches, fever and very good for digestion. Along with Dry ginger, Pepper and long pepper adds even more nutritional value to this kuzhambu. Mix this healthy, tasty and spicy kuzhambu with hot steaming rice.

Angaya Podi Recipe is loaded with health benefits. This is one such healthy recipe that is so important  among one of the postpartum foods that was regularly served after baby's delivery.  Dry turkey berry helps in reducing gastritis, Manathakkali vathal also called Dry Black Night Shade helps as a coolant and is used in treating mouth ulcers and gastritis. Dry neem flowers helps expelling worms in digestive system and is good for skin.Along with that coriander seeds,  cumin seeds, dry ginger, peppercorns, carom seeds everything is so nutritious and healthy. This is a simple home remedy for any kind of stomach ailments too.

Kizhangu Pottalam (Spicy Potato Masala Parcel is a very popular dish in Madurai Nei Mittai kadai (a very small shop near Madurai Busstop). Its a spicy Potato masala packaged inside a lotus leaf (Thamari Ilai). Its so famous among the local Madurai people. People usually bring lunch from home and get this Potato parcel from this famous Nei Mittai Shop and guess what, actually we tend to eat more and more with this small Potato Parcel. This spicy Potato Masal is so tempting and especially with curd rice we  would love it so so much. Most of us have the practice of adding besan only for stir-fry potatoes, but here in this masala, the potatoes and mashed up nicely and then mixed with other spices along with besan. This enhances the flavor of the masala. This spicy Potato Masala is a perfect side dish for any variety rices like tomato rice, lemon rice etc...

Puli (Tamarind) Sevai is served as an evening tiffin in Tamilnadu. In marriages, for evening snack, Lemon Sevai, Tamarind sevai are commonly served. For Sevai, we traditionally use Sevai Nazhi. But nowadays its complex to use that and hence I have simplified the dish using Ommapodi press and mould. This is much simpler version of making sevai.

The traditional method of using Sevai nazhi is time consuming and complex. Most of us stop making sevai because of its complexity. So this is a quicker and easier version. This tamarind (Puli) sevai is a 2 step process. First we need to make plain Sevai. Then we need to concoct tamarind mixture and mix them both.

Paneer Tikka Dosa,  a popular Mumbai Street Food. The tangy & spiciness went so well with the dosa.A perfect example of eating a South Indian preparation with north Indian flavors. I tasted this yummy and tasty Paneer Tikka dosa once in Mumbai when I visited my sister. Street Side vendors make this so casually, seeing them we feel how easy it is but after 3-4 failures, I was able to make the perfect Paneer Tikka Dosa same as the one I tasted! The main secret is the dosa should not be spread so thin, then when we try to mix the paneer with the masala, the dosa will tear apart. Also slow clicking makes the masala to cook as well as retain the dosa in light brown color. After tasting this yummy dosa, I feel like this paneer masala tastes much yummy than the usual Paneer masala we make for side dish for Roti. My daughters love this mouth-watering Paneer Tikka Dosa and they love to munch more and more!


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