January 2017
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We usually prepare pongal with rice.For a difference you can try making a pongal with Rawa. Rava pongal(Sooji Pongal) is a delicious and easy to do recipe and you would love to do this frequently as it is quick to prepare. SouthIndians use rice as the main ingredient in many dishes. So sometimes we feel bored to use rice. For Conventional pongal, we use rice. So this Sooji Pongal is an alternative to rice. The method of making sooji pongal is little different to conventional Ven Pongal. First we need to cook the dal and then cook the rava with cooked dal. Finally garnish with Pepper-cumin-cashews along with generous amount of ghee!

Chukku Kapi / Sukku Malli Coffee is one of the medicinal coffee which helps to cure Cold and Flu. In my younger days, my mom used to prepare and store this sukku malli powder and weekly once she prepares the coffee and give to us. If we are down with cold / flu, this sukku coffee helps in reducing the severity of cold as it has dry ginger, pepper which are all good for health. I always take a cup of sukku coffe when i am down with headache / cold. My mom used to add black basil leaves (Karum thulasi) while preparing coffee. Also we don't add milk generally. But if you want you can also add little milk. Lets see how we need to prepare this healthy coffee!

Curry leaves is medicinal in nature. Curry leaves make the eyes cool and reduce the heat in the body. It is good for hair and it prevents greying of hair. It also helps to control gastric content in our body. Curry leaves powder is a very delicious recipe and since we are preparing it as a powder it will be good and we can keep it for many months. We can mix Kariveppilai Podi (Curryleaves Powder) with rice along with ghee or gingelly oil for yummy taste.

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 we can also make delicious Pitlai using Brinjal. Brinjal Pitlai (Kathirikkai Pitlai) is also one of the traditional kuzhambu variety. A very tasty kuzhambu with rich flavour of roasted coconut with dal and spices. Mix this delicious Kathirikkai Pitlai (Brinjal Pitlai) with hot steaming rice along with stir-fry veggie and enjoy the dish!

Bajji is an easy Indian evening snack. Most of us just take a potato or raw banana or onion and make bajji out of it. With many veggies, we can try making bajji. My MIL used to make Brinjal Bajji. I happen to taste Zucchini (சீமை சுரைக்காய்) bajji in my neighbor's home. It was so tasty, so next day,  I tried Zucchini bajji in my kitchen and it turned out awesome. Try this delicious Zucchini Bajji (Zucchini Fritters) for an evening snack and I bet you will also love it.

Want to make the usual Dosa healthier? Try this Palak Dosa (Spinach Dosa) and its a way to make the little ones eat healthy greens too. Very simple to make evening tiffin or even for breakfast. If we have dosa batter at home, this this dish will take no time to make. Its just the washing of spinach takes more time than making. Making sure to wash the palak leaves thoroughly. Cooking spinach is only couple of minutes and then making a puree and adding it to dosa batter. Thats it :-) Spinach Dosa Batter ready! Then its usual dosa making process. Also try to spread the batter to a thin dosa, so that the dosa becomes nice and crispy. The ghee is additional ingredient which aids in making crispy dosa in low flame. Try this Spinach Dosa and even your kids would love it!

Chammanthi podi is one of the popular Kerala dish, also called as Idli Chammanthi Podi. This is a chutney powder made with roasted coconut along with indian spices. A best complement for South Indian Idli/Dosa varieties. This is a simpler version of Chammanthi Podi. There is another variation called "Nadan Chammanthi" where onions and garlic are also added to enhance this podi. Very quick and easy to make chutney powder with strong flavor of coconut. The roasting of coconut not only makes it rich in taste but also helps in more shelf-life. Try this Chammanthi Podi for Idli / Dosa and you will surely fall in love with this yummy dish!

Carrot Kosumalli, is a popular salad variety made of grated carrot, soaked moong dal and seasoned with greenchilli, mustard and hing. Simple to make salad and it is protein rich and also nutritionally rich because of carrots and cucumbers. No Cook easy and healthy too. Best for kids snack or even as an accompaniment for any heavy lunch. Even for people who want to diet, this would be a perfect dish rich in proteins and vitamins and it would keep your tummy full. 

Pongal festival is a harvest festival celebrated by the people of TamilNadu at the end of harvest season. It coincides with the festival Makara Sankranthi celebrated throughout India as the winter harvest. The word pongal itself refers to the "boiling over" of milk and rice during the month of Thai. Farmers work for the whole year harvesting the paddy crops and using the freshly produced rice, farmers will prepare pongal on this auspicious day and show their gratitude to Lord Surya. On this festival day, the sun god(Suriyan) will turn from southern direction to northern direction. It is a tradition for tamilians to decorate their homes with banana and mango leaves and embellish the floor with decorative patterns drawn using rice flour.

Peanut salad is concocted with Cooked Raw peanuts, served with freshly chopped onions, tomatoes, grated carrot, mango, cucumber along with spices. A quick and tummy filling healthy snack. Perfect for after-school snack or even for school snack. Kids leave school early and hence morning snack is very important for them. This kind of Salad will be a good filling. Also salad will increase our protein intake and helps to stay fit. Try this easy to make less cooking Peanut Salad!

I always wonder the delicious taste of Puliyodharai given as prasadham especially in Perumal Kovil and Anjeneyar kovil. If we go to Nanganallur Anjeneyar temple on saturdays, we would get Puliyodharai as Prasadam which is very unique in taste. Our traditional Iyer puliyodharai does not match with this taste. I did many experiments and my family finally gave this below recipe as "Go Ahead" for Koil Puliyodharai. Try this Koil Puliyodarai | Temple Style Puliyodarai Rice | Tamarind Rice recipe and let me know if you are also satisfied :-) 

There are many other variations in making the Pulikachal / Puliyodharai Rice. Some of the popular puliyodharai/pulihora rice recipes are given in the link below.

Tomato chutney is yet another chutney variety for Idly/Dosa. Unlike other chutneys, the tomato chutney is prepared little spicy and hot. I always prefer to make  tomato chutney than other varieties as this combination is classic. Also this is no onion no garlic recipe. So perfect dish to make on Vrat (Fasting) days. Most of us use onion along with tomato to make a chutney, but here in this dish, its only tomato and to make it little tangy and yummy, we are going to boil the tomato paste with tamarind water and finally adding a tinge of fenugreek powder to enhance the flavor. Try this version of No Onion No Garlic Tomato Chutney and serve with hot Idli / Dosa!

Want to make a delicious sandwich for lunch box or for a weekend  breakfast? Try this simple and tasty Hung Curd Veggie sandwich. A very simple and easy to make breakfast. Even for after-school snack or for kids lunch box, this would be a perfect dish. The spread we make for this sandwich is healthy as it contains a mix of dairy and veggies. Try this easy Hung Curd Veg Sandwich and I'm sure you will enjoy!


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