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Vendaya Keerai Sadam (Methi Rice)

Vendaya Keerai Sadam (Methi Rice) For a long time I am trying out different recipes using Vendaya keerai.Since it is slightly bitter in taste, I wanted to find out a recipe which will make it tastier and easy to consume in large quantities. Though all of us will be aware of the wonderful medicinal qualities of this wonder leaf and spice, I will share with you some valuable information that I have read about this wonder leaf 'vendaya keerai'and spice 'vendayam'.Vendayam is well known as Methi FENUGREEK (Methi/Vendya keerai) is an excellent leafy vegetable, well known for its medicinal properties. Eating it regularly reduces problems like stomach and digestive disorders, anemia, respiratory infections and diabetes. The caloric count for 100 grams of fenugreek leaves is only 49. Fenugreek leaves are rich in iron, calcium, potassium and Vitamin C. The Vitamin K and iron from fenugreek greens are comparable to spinach Fenugreek seeds are used as a spice and fenugreek leaves are eaten as vegetable Fresh fenugreek leaves are beneficial in the treatment of indigestion, flatulence and a sluggish liver An infusion of the leaves is used as a gargle for recurrent mouth ulcers. A gargle made from the seeds is best for ordinary sore throat. Fenugreek seeds made in gruel, given to nursing mothers increase the flow of milk. According to a research findings of National Institute of Nutrition, Hyderabad, India The effect of taking fenugreek seeds could be quite dramatic, when consumed with 1200-1400 calories diet per day, which is usually recommended for diabetic patients.

It is also known to reduce the levels of total cholesterol and triglycerides in diabetic patients Fenugreek seeds are considered very effective in controlling diabetes and reducing back pain Methi is supposed to be natural cure for arthritis It is an appetizer, relieves constipation, and reduces colic. The fresh juice of Methi leaves prevents hair fall. You can massage it in your hair, particularly the roots, to get rid of dandruff and promote new hair growth. It can also be used in a facepack to reduce wrinkles Fenugreek has excellent medicinal virtues. Its regular use helps the body clean and healthy. The leaves of Fenugreek are aromatic, cooling and mild laxative 1 tbsp ground fenugreek seed taken in the diet daily can reduce cholesterol When you have excess methi, wash and chop the leaves. Place a paper towel on a plate and spread the chopped methi leaves on it and then microwave for 8-9 minutes till they are dry and crisp. You can store these dried leaves in an airtight container. This is called Kasoori Methi which can be added to any dal, vegetable, rice or chapathi flour to boost flavour. In India it is customary to add fenugreek in the diet of a new mother after childbirth as it promotes lactation I have read that pregnant women should not take this in large quantities as this is likely to cause uterine contractions It is also used in dried form (kasoori methi) to flavour chicken and fish So after going through these many benefits of this wonder leaf, I am sure every one will be eager to try out a recipe using it.Methi Rice is an excellent choice as far as I am concerned. This leaf can be added to potato fry and any other dish in small quantities.

Ingredients Methi leaves 1 cup

1 1/2 cup cooked rice tamarind-a small bit(if paste is used 1/2 tea spoon) Coconut cup grated(optional) Onion 1 finely chopped To dry grind coriander seeds-1 teaspoon. Channa dal 1 tsp Red chillies 4 To season Mustard seeds 1 tsp Urad dal 1 tsp Asafoetida a pinch Oil 3 tsp Procedure Roast the items given in Dry grind .Grind it in a mixie. Cook the rice in such a way that they do not stick to each other Keep the kadai in the stove. season with the items given in To season Add the onions and saut nicely. Then add the methi leaves and saut that also till the water disappears. Add little water and cook for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes add little salt and little tamarind dissolved in 2 spoons of water. After the water dries out add the grinded powder and cook for 2 minutes. Transfer the rice to a flat bottom vessel and allow it to cool.Once the rice has cooled down mix the methi masal into the rice. Add grated coconut also if desired.Check for the taste and add the salt required. This rice will taste good with raita or papad. 10 comments Labels: Rice

Saturday, December 29, 2007


Kalkandu Sadam

After a short vacation life is back to the usual chores and let me resume writing with a mouth watering chettinad special sweet Kalkandu sadam.This is common sweet rice served along with lunch during chettinad weddings. A very auspicious prasadam that we can make with ease while doing poojas at home. This can be made either using pressure cooker or in rice cooker. Only thing to be noted is that rice should get cooked nicely.

Ingredients Raw rice-1 cup

Milk-1 cup Kalkandu-1 cup Cardamom-4 Kumkumapoo(saffron)-a pinch Ghee-3 table spoons Cashew nut-10 Dry grapes-little Procedure Cook the rice with 1 cup of milk and 2 cups of water either in cooker or rice cooker such that it can be smashed nicely. When it gets cooked smash the rice with a spoon when the rice is hot itself. Add the powdered kalkandu and cardamom into the rice keeping it in the stove. Kalkandu will make the rice watery. When the rice cools it will become thick. If you feel that it is too watery cook for another 5 minutes. Add the saffron mixed in milk also into the rice. Fry the cashews and grapes in the ghee and mix it with the rice. 3 comments Labels: Rice

Monday, December 10, 2007


Lemon Rice

Another variety Rice item which can be prepared with ease.Lemon which itself acts as a preservative in many food items will preserve this rice also from spoiling for a day or two.It is best suited for packed lunch for small children since it will be easy for them to have by themselves. Ingredients Rice-1 1/2 cups

Lemon-2 To season Mustard seed-1 teaspoon channa dhal-1 table spoon green chillies-5 ginger-finely chopped-1/2 teaspoon Red chillies-2 Asafoteda(hing)-1 teaspoon Cashew nuts or peanuts broken-2 table spoons curry leaf-little Procedure Cook the rice with little less water than usual in such a way that they do not stick to each other Transfer the rice into a flat bottom bowl.Add 1 spoon oil and allow it to cool Take the juice of the lemon in a cup . Remove the seeds.Add a pinch of Turmeric powder and the salt required(1 to 1 1/2 table spoons) and keep aside. Keep the kadai in the stove.pour 2 to 3 table spoons of gingely oil.Season with all the items given in'To season'. When the nuts and dhal are roasted switch off the stove and then add the lemon juice into the kadai. If the juice is added before it will give a bitter taste. Now add this mixture into the bowl of rice slowly checking for the taste in between. This Rice will taste good with just chips or pickle. 2 comments Labels: Rice

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Puliyodarai(Tamarind Rice)

This is a variety rice which will not get spoiled fast and hence best suited for packed food. Though Brahmins are experts in making puliyodarai,the chettiars are not much behind. This Rice can be prepared both by using and not using the mix. Here I have used the mix since I feel the mix gives a good flavor. But if you are short of time then no problem, without the mix also this rice will taste excellent. Ingredients for the mix Coriander seeds-2 table spoons Channa dhal-1 table spoon Fenugreek seeds-1/2 teaspoon Red chillies-8 In a kadai dry roast all the items in low fire for 5 to 6 minutes and grind it in the small jar of the mixie Ingredients for the Rice Raw rice-2 cups Tamarind-size of a small lemon Curry leaf-little Turmeric powder-1 teaspoon Asafoteds-1/2 teaspoon Ground nut-2 tablespoons To season Mustard seeds-1 teaspoon Channa dhal-1 teaspoon Curry leaf-little Red chillies-2(If the mix is not used use 6 more chilies)

Method Keep the kadai in the stove Pour four table spoons of gingili oil Season with items given in To season Add the groundnut also and roast for 2 minutes Dissolve the tamarind in cup of water Add this water into the kadai Add the grinded mix Add little turmeric powder,asafoteda powder and required salt(2 to 3 table spoons, Remember salt is needed for the rice too) Keep the stove in sim and cook till oil separates Now The Puliyodarai mix is ready

Cook the rice with little less water than usual in such a way that they do not stick to each other Transfer the rice into a flat bottom vessel. Add 1 tablespoon oil, mix well and allow it to cool . Once the rice cools ,little by little add the Puliyodarai mix into the rice and mix well. If there is extra mix, it can be stored for future use. It can be even kept outside. It will not get spoiled for 10 days .If refrigerated the mix will stay fresh for a longer time 6 comments Labels: Rice

Monday, November 26, 2007


Sambar Sadam (Bisibelabath)

Tamilnadu is ever known for its delicious sambar and idly. As Tamilians find it hard to survive without sambar, I have even heard people of other states calling tamilians Sambar.So I am pretty sure none of the recipe collections will be complete without a recipe for sambar and especially the sambar rice .This rice for sure will tickle the taste buds of all sambar lovers. This has become a usual menu in all wedding receptions where rice Items are also served along with Tiffin. Ingredients Rice-1 cups Thoor dhal-3/4 cup Tamarind-qty equal to the size of a gooseberry

Vegetables Carrot-1 Drumstick-1 Potato-1

Beans-8 Green Peas or chickpeas-1 handful Small onion -20 to 30 Tomato-1 Curry leaf-little Coriander leaves-little (If one of the vegetable is not there you can substitute with some other one you like.) To season Mustard seeds-1 teaspoon Urudh dhal-1 teaspoon Red chillies-2 Coriander leaves-little Asafetida-a pinch

Masala to grind Red chillies-4 Coriander seeds-3 tablespoons Pepper-1 teaspoon Bengal gram-1 tablespoon Curry leaf-little Cinnamon-2 pieces Clove-2 Fenugreek seeds-1/2 teaspoon Asafetida-a small piece (if powder is used add while seasoning) Dry roast all the items .Add fenugreek at last as it will get roasted fast. Powder the roasted items Procedure This rice can be prepared either in rice cooker or in pressure cooker. I feel it is easy in

Rice cooker. But those who are used to cooking rice in pressure cooker can opt for that Cook rice with little extra water. Cook the thoor dhal in the pressure cooker separately. Season the vegetables in little oil with mustard seeds and cook them nicely in microwave or in the stove. Dissolve the tamarind in one cup of water If you are using rice cooker, when the rice gets cooked add the vegetables, cooked thoor dhal the grinded masala powder and the salt required into the rice cooker and mix well. Add the tamarind water also into the rice cooker. The rice should be little watery. As time goes on it will become thick. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes more. Those who are using pressure cooker can cook rice, vegetables and dhal separately. Then keep a flat bottomed vessel in the stove. Add the rice, dhal, cooked vegetables, grinded masala and the salt needed into it and mix well. Add the tamarind water also into the mix. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes more. Finally season with the items given in To season Some cashews can also be roasted in ghee and added for extra taste. While serving garnish with coriander leaves and little ghee. Serve along with papad 14 comments Labels: Rice

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Thakkali Sadam (Tomato Rice)

Another item using tomato, which one cannot resist trying when tomatoes are cheap in

the market. This rice also I am sure all south Indians would have tasted. There are different ways of preparing this rice. Here I will give the traditional chettinad recipe of preparing tomato rice. This is an easy and quick rice item that I will prepare when I have

to pack lunch in a very short time. Ingredients Rice-1 cup Tomatoes Ripe -4 to 5(medium size) Big onion-1 Green chillies-2 Mint leaves-little Coriander leaves-little Chili powder-1 teaspoon To smash Ginger-a small piece Garlic-3 pods Fennel seeds-1 teaspoon (If you dont have the stone to smash, it can be smashed by putting it in the small mixie and rotating the mixie switch on the reverse once or twice) To season Cinnamon-2 pieces Clove-2 Fennel seeds-1 teaspoon Mint leaves-little Curry leaf-little Rice Cook the rice in such a way that it does not stick together. Use one cup less water while cooking than you usually use. Pour 1 teaspoon oil while cooking the rice. After cooking the rice transfer it into a flat vessel and let it cool for sometime

Procedure Put the kadai in the stove. Pour 2 to 3 table spoons of oil (ghee can also be mixed).Season with the items mentioned in to season. Then add the nicely minced onions, and tomatoes and saut well. Saut the smashed items also. With the help of a spoon smash the tomatoes nicely so that it will get cooked faster. Add little turmeric powder, the chili powder and salt need. You can put little extra salt as salt is required for the quantity of rice used also. Do not pour water. Let the items get cooked in the tomato juice itself. If you feel the tomatoes you are using dont have much juice, add little water. Switch off the stove when you feel the onions are well cooked and there is not much water content in the gravy.

Mix the gravy little by little with the rice and check for the taste. If you feel the entire quantity is needed add it otherwise add the required quantity and refrigerate the remaining gravy which can be used later. 12 comments Labels: Rice

Monday, November 19, 2007


Vegetable Pulav

When I was new to cooking I was not able to make out the difference between pulav and fried rice. In chettinad cusine only pulav is prepared. In those days computers were not popular in India, so clarifying my doubts was not that easy. Later on one of my neighbors (North Indian) was able to help me out. Even today people new to cooking may have this doubt. For the benefit of those I will give the difference of what I have understood, in pulav the vegetables, the masal and what all goes inside the pulav is cooked together and sauces are not used. In Fried Rice, rice and vegetables are cooked separate and finally mixed together along with sauces. Pepper and chili sauce is used to give the hot taste Vegetable pulav is one of my specialty food items. My dad is a big fan of my pulav. From the time I started blogging, my friends wanted me to post this recipe. Now innumerable recipes of a variety of pulavs are available in the net. I have tried many and found some to be very tasty. In my future blogs I will give a note of them. Ingredients

Basmati rice-1 1/2 cups Carrot-1

Cauliflower-a few pieces Beans-8 Peas-a handful Big onion-1 Mint leaves-little Coriander leaves-little To grind

Green chillies-2 Red chillies-3 Fennel seeds-1 teaspoon Cinamon, clove, yelachi-1piece each Ginger-a small piece Garlic-4 or 5 pods To season

Cinamon-2 pieces Clove-2 Elachi-2 Birinji leaf-little Fennel seeds-1 teaspoon Cocunut milk Scrap portion of a coconut and take that milk (Those are using instant coconut milk can take 1cup of it and dilute with 2 cups of water) Procedure Grind the items given in To grind Wash the rice and soak for 5 minutes. Drain the water nicely. Keep the kadai in the stove .Pour 1 spoon ghee or butter and roast the rice till it doesnt stick to the kadai.(for 2 minutes) Now keep the cooker in the stove. Pour 3 to 4 tablespoons of oil (little ghee can also be mixed) Season with the items mentioned in To season. Add the nicely minced onion and the cut vegetables and saut nicely (Too much of vegetables will spoil the taste) Saut the grinded masala also. Then add 3 cups of coconut milk. (1:2 is the ratio of rice to coconut milk) When the milk boils add the rice and required salt and mix everything well Close the cooker and cook for 8 minutes after putting weight in low fire. Switch of the stove and dont open the cooker till the pressure goes. After the pressure goes open the cooker and mix everything nicely Garnish with coriander leaves while serving. 35 comments

Karuppatti Paniyaram and Elai Mavu


Pillayar Nombu is fast approaching and many of my young readers want the recipe for this and Elai mavu. Elai mavu is karuppatti paniyaram mavu without water. As I go to nagarathar sangam, I dont usually make this at home. But for the sake of my readers, I learnt it from my mom this week when I went to chettinad to attend a function. So there are no photos attached. Ingredients Raw rice -2 cups Black jaggerry (powdered)-1 cups (karuppatti) if you dont get karuppatti in you area then try with vellam Procedure Soak the rice for 30 minutes. Drain and dry in a paper for 20 minutes and dry grind it in a mixie.Here in India we sieve the flour in a fine siever half and remaining half in medium siever.If you dont have siever just finely grind and keep. Now powder the karuppatti and add cup water and keep in the kadai. Once the jaggerry gets melted and gets hot switch off. No need of any string consistency. If the pagu start boiling switch off. Wait for 2 minutes and then add the pagu to the flour and mix in the consistency of chappathi mavu. If there is ecess pagu it can be used for thirattu paal.Dont pour all the pagu atonce. slowly add. Sometimes there will be excess. This flour can be made in advance and refrigerated. So make it the day before itself. Karuppatti paniyaram Take the paniyaram mavu in a bowl and mix it in the consistency in between idly and dosai batter. Keep a small flat kadai in the stove and with a proper ladle pour one ladle into the oil when the oil is hot. Allow some seconds to cook then with the ladle slowly pour little oil in the kadai on top of the paniyaram. Now the paniyaram will get nice border. Turn side and cook for a minute and remove from the kadai draining the excess oil from the paniyaram. After taking out wait for a minute and break one paniyaram and see to check wether it is fried well.If not fry little longer. 8 comments Labels: Chettinad special

Friday, December 3, 2010


Kathirikkai Sadam (Brinjal Rice)

There are different ways of doing this item. I too used to do it in a laborious way until I tasted a very tasty and easy recipe in Sathyas house. Sathya my neighbor who may be known to my readers through my blog on sathya auntys rasam is good in cooking and provides me with some interesting recipes. When we are short of much vegetables or time or interest, then this is an excellent choice. The same recipe can be used for capsicum and some other vegetables also. Try out with some more vegetable available in your area. Kopra or dried coconut is best suited for this recipe. Here in India only in Andhra we get this easily. If kopra is not available grated coconut can be used and sauted well.

Ingredients Cooked rice-2 cups (dont over cook .cook like you cook for tamarind or lemon rice) Brinjal -1/4 kg Tomato-1 Onion-1 Curry leaf little

Coriander leaf little Ingredients for the masal powder Red chilies -10 Coconut-2 table spoons or kopra Urudh dhal-2 table spoons Channa dhal ( kadalai paruppu)-2 table spoons Dhania (coriander seeds)-1 teaspoon Cinnamon-a small piece Clove-2 Fenugreek ( vendayam )-1/2 teaspoon Procedure to make the powder In little ghee or oil first roast the chilies and keep apart. Then saut everything adding one by one in the order in which it is given. No need to fry it till red. Switch off when you feel it is roasted. In a mixie powder it and store it. Procedure Keep the kadai in the stove. In a table spoon of oil and ghee mixed, season with a small piece of cinnamon, clove and curry leaf. Add the minced tomato and onion and saut. Add the brinjal pieces too and saut in low fire adding salt and turmeric powder. Make sure that brinjal pieces dont get over cooked. Stay near the stove and saut. If necessary sprinkle some water. If you close the kadai for a minute, it will get cooked fast. Once you feel that the brinjal pieces are cooked, add the masal powder and mix well. Mean time transfer the rice to a flat bowl. Add little ghee or oil and little salt to the rice and allow it to cool. Once you feel the rice is not very hot add the rice into the kadai or the brinjal into the vessel and mix well in such a way that the rice or brinjal pieces do not get smashed. Garnish with coriander leaves. Heat the rice in a microwave or kadai while serving You can prepare this powder in lots during weekends and can store .Then making this rice will only be a few minutes job. + 3 comments Labels: Chettinad special

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Thenkuzhal Mavu Or Murukku Mavu
Deepavali is fast approaching and the thought of what to make at home for deepavali will be running in everybodys mind now. Whatever snack we buy outside cant compromise the home made thenkuzhal or murukku. Chettinad snacks are very famous especially thenkuzhal, Kai murukku, Cheeppu cheedai, Mavurundai, Managolam etc. There is difference between thenkuzhal and Kai murukku and their mavu, but for the readers sake I have mentioned as thenkuzhal or murukku as same since many know thenkuzhal as murukku only. Now days we never make Kai murukku at home and no need to bother about that. The specialty of chettinad thenkuzhal is that it wont turn red but at the same time will be very crispy. Many are doubtful of the exact proportions and I hope the blog will be useful for those who can manage to find a mill to grind the mavu. Ingredients Rice -7 uzhakku or 7 cups Broken urudh dhal -2 cups (whole urudh dhal wont get roasted fast) Procedure Procedure is more important than proportions. No need to wash the rice and dry it under the sun. Take 2 soft towels. I use eerizhai thundu or Co-optex towel. Wet the towel nicely and squeeze out the water. Take handful rice and clean it nicely with the towel and put it in a paper under the fan. Likewise clean the entire rice. Use different parts of the towel for each handful. Allow the rice to dry nicely. It will dry fast as you have not washed the rice. The next important thing is how to roast the urudh dhal Put the frying pan in the stove. Keep the stove in low fire. Add a handful or two of urudh dhal and roast in low fire for 5 minutes. The urudh dhal should be roasted in such a way that it should never get red at the same time be well roasted. Likewise roast the whole urudh dhal. The two cups has to be divided into 5 portions for roasting. Allow the urudh dhal to cool and mix it with the rice and take it to the mill for grinding. While going to the mill take with you 2 cups of rice also. The thenkuzhal mavu in the mill should be grinded only after grinding rice flour or somebody elses murukku mavu. So if you dont see the person in the line not grinding either of these you grind the rice which you have brought. If the Thenkuzhal mavu is grinded after grinding wheat flour or ragi, it will spoil the murukku you are making. Once the mavu is ready, things are simple .Just add enough water and salt and mix the flour. Put it in the kuzhal or press and make murukku. In chettinad we dont add anything else to the mavu. If desired little chili powder can be added for kara murukku. No need omam or jeeragam. Those things will make the murukku burst or crack in the oil and cause danger. Enjoy the crispy murukku with family 4 comments Labels: Chettinad special

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Vazhakkai kola urundai (vegetarian version of kheema balls with plantain)

I am back to my sweet home after a 5 month stay in US. Definitely missing my grandson 24/7. I need 3 or 4 separate blogs to share my experiences abroad.I was really astonished to see the interest of our guys there in cooking. After coming home I attended few weddings and collected some rare recipes from the famous chettinad cooks being engaged for the wedding.I will slowly share them with my readers. The first in the list is the vazhakkai kola urundai,this is a real substitute of the mutton kheema balls for the vegetarians.Those who drool over the kheema balls can have an

alternate vegetarian item. Ingredients Vazhakkai (medium size) -1 small onion-5 garlic-5 kas kas-1 teaspoon fennel seeds-1 teaspoon pottukadalai -3 tablespoons ( should be increased according to the size of the vazhakkai) cashews -8 green chilli-2 red chilli-2 grated cocunut-2 tablespoons ginger1 inch piece clove-2 cinamon-a small piece

Procedure cut the vazhakkai into round pieces as shown and cook well. once it cools remove the skin and smash the pieces nicely using hand. Keep the kadai in the stove. Pour 1 teaspoon oil.Add cinamon and clove first. Then add onion,garlic,chilli,red chilli,ginger and saute. Now add pottukadalai,kas kas and cashews and roast them in low fire. Once pottukadalai and cashews become pink add the grated cocunut and saute till that too become little red.allow everything to cool. Then grind them to a smooth paste in the mixi. Dont add too much water. If by any chance it turns watery add a hand full of pottukadai and grind. Transfer the grinded items into a bowl. Add the smashed vazhakkai and the salt needed and mix well. Check for the taste. If salt or hotness is missing add chilli powder or salt. Now the dough is ready for frying. Keep a small kadai in the stove. Add the oil required for frying. Make the dough into small balls and fry in medium fire till they turn golden brown. Dont touch the balls till they get cooked . once they seem to be cooked you can turn sides else there is a chance of balls getting broken. Your veg version of kheema balls are ready. Serve hot along with tomato sauce and get all the name and fame from your loved ones 16 comments Labels: Chettinad special

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


True Achi's Kuzhambu Milagai Thool
I always think that much of the taste of chettinad dishes is mainly due to the all in one kuzhambu milagai thool that is used there.At this point I want to bring to your notice that in chettinad cooking they use just this milagai thool for all dishes even for the non-

veg.But now-a days as a slight modification we have started using coriander powder and chili powder.When I got married my parents were in Kerala and myself in Tamilnadu.Sometimes I used to run out of stock of the all in one kuzhambu milagai thool.at that time I still remember My mom telling me the measurement easily which I still follow.She used to tell me take 2 qty milagai in a container which can hold 4 cups of rice if you don't have a padi .For that add 1 qty Coriander seeds.1/3 qty pepper,cumin,fennel seeds 1 hand full thoor dhal and fenu greek.For the sake of the new ones to the kitchen I clearly give the measurements here Coriander seeds-1 kg (3 padi) Red chillies-1/2 kg(6 padi) Small jeera(cumin seeds)-200gms (1 tumbler) Fennel seeds - 200gms (1 tumbler) Pepper corns(milagu)- 200gms (1 tumbler) Fenugreek seeds-1/4 tumbler(50 gms) Thoor dhal-100 gms(1/2 cup) non-vegetarians can avoid this Usually turmeric powder and raw rice 1/2 cup each is added but I don't use it as I find the powder getting spoiled fast Dry all the items in bright sun for a day or two and get it grounded to a smooth powder from a grinding mill Those who don't have a grinding mill near by can take a very small cup and use the above measurement ratio and try grinding in a mixie.Those who cant dry it in the sun can keep in the microwave for a minute. Many of my readers wanted this recipe since a long time and sorry for the delay 51 comments Labels: Chettinad special, masala powders

Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Saiva Eeral Poriyal (Vegetarian liver fry)

This is yet another recipe found out by the famous chettinad cooks. This curry, I swear will exactly look like the original liver fry. Unlike the vegetarian fish curry, this is not very difficult to prepare also. I am afraid the chettinad cooks are going to file a case against me for bringing their cooking secrets out. However I love to share the little secrets I found out with my readers. The whole green gram dhal is used to make the liver pieces. For big functions the powder is got grinded from the flour mill. But small quantities can be grinded in the mixie at home Green gram (pachai pasi payaru) -1 cup

Ingredients for the masal Onion (small)-20 Tomato-2

Chili powder-2teaspoons Turmeric powder-1/2 teaspoon

Green gram powdered and grinded with a teaspoon of fennel seed and a teaspoon of salt in the consistency of idly batter-1 cup

Coconut paste Coconut-3 table spoons Cashewnut-7 Fennel seeds-1 teaspoon Ginger-1 small piece

Garlic-4 pods Procedure Mince the onion and tomatoes. Grind the coconut paste. Keep the idly pan in the stove and make idlies with the grinded green gram dough. Once the idlies are cold cut them in the shape of small liver pieces using a knife. Keep the kadai in the stove. In two tablespoons of oil season the fry with a small piece of cinnamon, 2 cardamoms and a teaspoon of fennel seed. Add the onion and tomato pieces and saut nicely. Add the coconut paste along with the chili powder and little salt mixed in cup of water. Once the mixture turns little thick add the liver pieces and cook for few minutes and switch off the stove. 33 comments Labels: Chettinad special

Friday, July 11, 2008


Vellai Poondu Oorukai (Garlic Pickle)

The word pickle itself will tickle the taste buds of many. All in our home too are very big fans of pickle especially the garlic pickle. But now days have started totally avoiding it due to health reasons. Today My Chithi has come home and I wanted to make this pickle and write a blog on this since she is very good in preparing pickles . Moreover I have two lemon trees in my garden and have reaped nearly 500 to 600 lemons this season and I am going on making juice and storing it for the whole year. I thought that I will make use some lemons for the pickle too.

Ingredients Garlic-! /2 kg (peeled and cut into two halves lengthwise) Gingili oil-150 ml Lemon juice-1 cups (300 ml) Ingredients for the pickle powder Coriander seeds-50 Gms (1/2 cup) Fenugreek seeds-1 table spoon Chili powder-3 table spoons Jaggery-1 table spoon Procedure Dry roast coriander seeds and fenugreek seeds and grind it to a smooth powder. Put the kadai in the stove. In the oil mentioned season the pickle with 2 teaspoons of mustard seeds. When mustard seed cracks add the cut garlic pieces and saut nicely for 5 to 6 minutes till the garlic gets softened. Now add the lemon juice and allow it to cook in slow fire for 5 minutes. Now add the coriander powder, chilli powder, fenugreek powder and the salt required. Let this powder also get cooked till the oil ooze out (5 minutes).Now add the jaggery and switch off the stove after 2 minutes. Allow it to cool and transfer the contents to a clean bottle. 21 comments Labels: Chettinad special

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Beetroot Vadai

Yet another item famous in chettinad, a sure choice for lunch when kids are at home. This if left over can be given as an evening snack as well. This vadai will go very well with Rasam ,sambar as well as curd rice. Only thing is that you should make sure that you add enough chilies to hide the sweet taste of beetroot. It is not a must that the vadai should be hot while eating. If you want it as a snack then you have to make it crispier and serve hot.

Ingredients Beet root -2 small ones (grated) Channa dhal-1/2 cup Thoor dhal-1/2 cup Fennel seeds-1 teaspoon

Red chillies-5 Turmeric powder-a pinch Asafetida-a pinch Curry leaves, coriander leaves-little Grated coconut-2 tablespoons Chopped onion-1/2 cup Procedure Soak the dhal, chilies and fennel seeds for 10 to 15 minutes. Drain the water. Using the small jar of the mixie grind the dhal in such a way that it is neither too smooth nor too watery. For that dont fill the mixie to the full. It should be only half filled. First grind the chilies nicely then add the dhal. Dont worry if there if one or two dhal are left without grinding. After grinding the entire dhal mix the grated beetroot, onion, coconut, salt needed, turmeric powder, asafetida and curry leaves with that. Keep 4 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and heat nicely. When the oil becomes hot sim the stove, make small vadas out of the mix and put into the oil one by one. After 2 minutes turn the stove to medium flame and go on turning the vadas both sides and cook till there is not much sound in the oil. You should always be careful about the oil heat. If it is too low, the vada will drink oil. If very hot the vada will get burnt and not cooked. So the flame should always be medium. 7 comments Labels: Chettinad special

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Chettinad Vellai paniyaram

No chettinad recipe pages will be complete without a note for its traditional delicacyVellai paniyaram.Even if one doesnt find time to make it themselves, should at least taste it in the traditional chettinad restaurants mushrooming in almost all big cities and towns.Vellai paniyaram will have its place in all the chettiar functions big or small. Though the ingredients will show it very simple, much depends on the way it is prepared. Much care should be taken while preparing. When I was new to the kitchen doing this

was a nightmare for me. Now with experience, I have mastered all the tricks of making a perfect Paniyaram. With the help of modern networking technology, I am happy that I can share the tricks with the newcomers in correcting the small mistakes which will come in the beginning. Care should be taken right from the selection of rice. I remember during weddings, a month before itself the old people at home will be buying small quantity of different rice and checking which rice comes good in making paniyarams .But now we dont find time and energy to do all those things., so I am discovering techniques to correct it even if the rice is not the most appropriate one. In this blog, I will give a note about it. Going through all my stories of the difficulties, dont be afraid of making an attempt , since the taste of the paniyaram is worth all the trouble in the world. Sometimes you may be lucky enough to get it perfect in the first trial itself. Ingredients Raw rice-1 cup (usually small fat rice little cheaper one is good) Urudh dhal -1/4 cup(usually in chettinad we will take rice to the rim level of uzhakku or measuring cup and then fill urudh dhal to the heap level of the uzhakku(.I have found urudh dhal to be little less than cup in that case) Soak both together for 1 hour and grind it to a very smooth paste. Add the required amount of salt while grinding itself. Consistency of the batter can be little more watery than dosa batter. To make it watery use little milk Keep a medium size little bit flat tawa in the stove .Pour 1 cups of oil. Keep the flame in medium. Make sure that at no stage the oil gets overheated. When the oil is hot using a medium sized spoon(little bigger than a table spoon) pour one spoon batter into the oil, the paniyaram will immediately rise now with the help of the laddle used to take the paniyaram out, pour the heated oil in the tawa on the top of the paniyaram.This will help the paniyaram to get a flowery border. Within a minute turn it upside down allow it to cook for 1 more minute and remove it from oil. Allow the paniyaram to cool and now break the paniyaram and see that it is cooked inside also. If not cook the next one little more.But the paniyaram should never be roasted. Sometimes the paniyaram will rise like a ball, and then the problem will be either the oil is too hot or your batter is too thick. If you feel it is too thick pour little milk to make it watery. Sometimes u may feel that the paniyaram drinks oil then the mistake is that u have added too much urudh dhal or your urud dhal is very good in quality. In that case you can add little idly batter, or rice flour. If you still find any difficulty feel free to leave a comment Vellai paniyaram will be very tasty with thakkali thuvayal or milagai chutney. I will come to that section of cookery from my next blog 19 comments Labels: Chettinad special, Snack

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


KANDARAPPAM

This is a traditional Chettinad snack item which will have its place on almost all important festival or pooja days. Being little bit sweet, it will be a real treat for sweet lovers Ingredients Raw rice-1 cup Par boiled rice (idly rice)-1 cup Urudh dhal- 1/4 cup Peeled broken green dhal-1 table spoon Thoor dhal-1 table spoon Bengal gram-1 table spoon Jaggery -1 cup Grated coconut-(1/2 cocunut) Elachi (yelakkai) -6 Procedure Soak the rice and dhal for 1 hour. Put it in the grinder and grind for 10 minutes. Now add the grated coconut and grind to a smooth paste. Finally add the jaggery and the powdered elachi and grind till the jaggery nicely mixes. The batter should be in the consistency of dosa batter. Keep the kadai in the stove .Pour

the required amount of oil. Once the oil gets heated, keep the flame in sim and using a small spatula, slowly pour 1 spatulla of batter into the oil and wait for a second when the appam raises slowly pour the heated oil on top of the appam 2 or 3 times with the help of a spoon. This will enable the appam to be cooked fast and also to get a curled border (we usually call it as karai katturathu in Tamil).Then turn the side, wait for a minute and remove from the kadai.It will not take much time to cook. So dont wait till it turn brown. 12 comments Labels: Chettinad special, Snack

Monday, August 27, 2007


Masalacheeyam

In Chettinad menu, Masalacheeyam will take the place of ulundu vadai in the evening tiffin or dinner.A very tasty and safe item, since it will not cause any problem even if the dough is little loose. In my early cooking days whenever I have to make vadai, I will attempt only this. We can change the dough to the required consistency without doing any damage to the taste. So this will be a blessing in disguise for those who find it difficult to grind the vada dough to the correct consistency or make them in correct shape. Moreover it will neither become very oily nor very tough unless the dough is very watery.

Ingredients Raw rice -1 cup Par boiled rice-1 Table spoon Urudh dhal -1 cup Javvarisi-1 table spoon(pearl sago in English or sabudana in Telugu) Soak all these for 1 hour and grind it to a smooth paste adding water little by little to the dough. The dough should neither be too thick like the vada dough nor become very

watery. The consistency can be somewhat like the urudh batter we make for idly. Add the salt required also while grinding itself Ingredients to be added in the dough

Small onions finely chopped-1/2 cup Green chilies chopped-3 to 4 Grated coconut-2 tablespoons Curry leaf chopped-1 tablespoon Mustard seed-1 teaspoon Urudh dhal-1 teaspoon Keep the kadai in the stove. Pour 1 tablespoon oil. When the oil gets heated, add the mustard seed, urudh dhal and curry leaf. When the mustard cracks add the onion and chillies stir for 2 to 3 minutes, then add the grated coconut stir for 1 more minute. Add the entire thing into the dough and mix well. Now keep the kadai in the stove.Pour the oil required for frying the cheeyams ( 2 cups).when the oil gets heated make the doughs into round balls simply with your hand and fry it. Dont bother about exact round shape.It will become round when it falls into the oil. sometimes it will get a tail like what mine has(see in the snap attached) .Keep the flame in medium. When the cheeyums turn golden brown, transfer the cheeyums into a plate spread with tissue paper. When the oil gets absorbed it is ready to be served. 10 comments Labels: Chettinad special, Snack

Sunday, August 19, 2007


kozhukattai

This is a very easy and tasty evening snack which my mom will prepare in the evenings. Since it is a steamed item, is safe for calorie conscious people and small children. My mom will call this as Atti Kindi Kozhukattai. very Ingredients Par boiled rice (idly rice) - 1 cup Red chillie-6 Curry leaf Urudh dhal-1teaspoon Mustard seed-1 teaspoon Bengal gram-1 teaspoon Oil-2 table spoons Grated coconut-2 tablespoons Procedure Soak the rice for 1 hour. Put it in the mixie with the salt needed and grind for 2 minutes. Add 1 cup of water to the grinded batter. Keep the kadai in the stove. pour the oil ,when it gets heated add the mustard seed and allow it to crack then add the urudh dhal, curry leaf and Bengal gram .When the dhal gets roasted add the grated cocunut stir for a minute, then pour the batter into the kadai and go on stirring. Switch off the stove when it becomes thick to the consistency that you can make balls out of it. Allow the batter to cool for 2 or 3 minutes. Then make kozhukattais of the desired shape .Steam the kozhukattais in the idly pot for 5 minutes. This kozhukattai can be eaten without any side dish. But if you can find time then you can prepare Tomato chutney or coconut chutney. It will taste yummy in that combination. 13 comments Labels: Chettinad special, Snack

Saturday, August 18, 2007


Kuzhi Paniyaram

This is a famous and tasty tiffin item found in chettiar breakfast. This can be made both salty and sweet. Children love the sweet ones. When I write this I remember my childhood days .We used to go to our huge ancestral house in chettinad for our school holidays. All my cousins also will be there for the holidays. We will be altogether 20 to 25 grandchildren. My grandma will plan to make this paniyaram.The servant will be sitting in the verandah of the kitchen and will be going on making this paniyaram. As it will be like an egg we will take 2 or 3 in our hands and will be going on playing in the court yard eating the sweet ones and the salty ones alternately. Nice old memories. Ingredients for grinding Idly rice-1 cup Raw rice-1 cup Urud dhal-1/4 cup Fenugreek seed-1 table spoon Soak all the four together for 2 to 3 hours and grind nicely .Mix it with very little salt and ferment for 8 hours.

Masala paniyaram
Ingredients Small onions finely chopped-1/2 cup Green chilies finely chopped- 3 Curry leaves chopped -1 table spoon Grated coconut- 2 table spoons Mustard seed-1/2 teaspoon Urudh dhal-1/2 teaspoon Procedure Keep the kadai in the stove. Pour 1 table spoon oil add the mustard seed and curry leaf. Wait till the mustard seed crack. Now add the chopped onions fry for a minute .Then add the green chilies and the grated coconut. Fry for another two minutes. Finally add the fried items and little more salt into the batter and mix well. If you are not using a non stick kuzhi paniyaram vessel take the vessel and apply some oil in all the holes and keep for half an hour. After that keep the kadai in the stove in low heat pour teaspoon oil in all the holes. When the oil gets heated pour the batter to the 3/4th level .After 2 minutes close the kadai for a minute. Dont keep the stove in high flame. Pour few drops of oil on top. When you feel it is cooked underneath turn it upside down with a long needle like thing or with the stick provided. Allow the other side also to cook well. This kuzhi paniyaram tastes excellent with Thakkali thuvayal which I will come to later.

Sweet paniyaram
Ingredients

Jaggery or palm sugar (karupatti) - 1 cup Cardamom-1 teaspoon powdered Keep the powdered jaggery along with a cup of water in the stove. Add the cardamom powder also. Allow it to boil for 5 minutes. The jaggery should melt and boil for 2 to 3 minutes. Add this to the batter and make paniyarams in the same way as masala paniyaram. Those who cant find time to grind the batter separately for this, can try out the masala paniyaram using idly batter. It will also be excellent. 9 comments Labels: Chettinad special, Snack

Friday, August 3, 2007


Chettinad Food

Chettinad is famous for its rich cultural heritage,art and architecture,huge mansions etc etc.But more recently it is becoming well known world over for its mouth watering culinary delicacies.Chettinad restaurants are being opened in almost all big cities and towns world over Chettinad food is famous for its spicy aroma.Most of the food items are easily digestible,less in caloric value compared to other south indian food items since items like cheese butter and cashews rarely find its way in chettinad recipe.Cocunut which is feared by all for its high cholesterol content is also used in very small quantities.

My favourite hobby is to browse the net for good new recipes.I am a fan of many food bloggers like Aayi's recipes,ruchi,mysamayalulagam and it goes on and on.Myself a chettiar lady known to be a good cook among the people who have tasted my food was always having an idea of sharing my recipe with others.The need for writing down recipes was more felt immediately after my daughter got married and left to US.She was totally new to kitchen,rarely had a glimpse of kitchen as she was always in the hostel busy with her studies and projects.I had to help her out with the recipe of each and everything she cooks.After six months my recipes has made her a good cook.This sowed the seed of the idea of blogging in my mind. So came solaiachis kitchen.Why cant my recipes help many more young girls and boys who have to cook their own food and are away from their homes for so many reasons.I will begin with simple ones like idly and the side dishes for it

Meal Maker Kuzhambu (Meal Maker Gravy)

Meal Maker is made out of Soya beans which is a source of high protein and fibrous food. Meal maker can very well substitute chicken or mutton during the months in which Hindus refrain from taking non-veg .It is used for preparing delicious foods resembling Non vegetarian diets. Soya bean has 50% vegetable protein and is a good fiber food enabling easy digestion and bowl movement. It is a soft fibrous vegetable matter resembling soft meat in texture. When soaked and boiled for a couple of minutes it assumes a good volume. In chettinad, meal maker kuzhambu is made out of the traditional chettinad masala and will taste like chicken

kuzhambu. Ingredients Meal maker-100gms Small onion-20 Garlic-15

Tomato-1 Ginger-small piece (crushed) Coriander powder-1.5 table spoon Chili powder-1 table spoon Turmeric powder-1/2 teaspoon Lime juice-2 teaspoons For seasoning Cardomom-2 Cinnamon-2 small pieces Clove-2 Birinji leaf-small piece Star anise-a small piece Curry leaf- little

Fennel seed-1 teaspoon To grind Coconut grated-3 to 4 table spoons Fennel seeds-1 teaspoon Small jeera-1 teaspoon Cashews-10 ( or pottukadalai 1 table spoon) Method Boil 4 cups of water and soak the meal maker balls in hot water for 10 minutes. Drain the water. Wash in cold water. Squeeze out the extra water and cut to 4 pieces. I always like to pressure cook the pieces as it will cook soft. If you also like it keep the small cooker or pressure pan in the stove. In one table spoon of oil season the gravy with the items given in to season. Saut the chopped onion, garlic and tomato pieces for 3 minutes. In low fire add the coriander, chili and turmeric powder also and saut for a minute. If the fire is high these powders will get burnt. So be careful. Add the meal maker pieces also and mix well .Add 3 cups of water and the salt required. Close the cooker and cook for 6 to 7 minutes in medium fire. Meantime grind the items given in' to grind' to a smooth paste.

Open the cooker, after the pressure goes and add the grinded masala. The gravy will turn thick once the curry boils. If you find it too thick add a cup of water. Check for the salt and hotness. Usually it will be short of salt as the meal maker balls would have taken most of the salt. If anything is missing it can be corrected now. If it is too watery even after boiling for 7 minutes, add a teaspoon of coriander powder. Switch off the stove when you get the desired consistency and add the lemon juice

11 comments Labels: Chettinad special(gravy)

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Rasam (Sathya Aunty's Special Rasam)

This rasam recipe is the favorite of my younger daughter .This is not a chettinad recipe. We call this sathya auntys Rasam. One of my neighbors a kannada Brahmin called Sathya makes this mouth watering rasam and my daughter has grown with this rasam of hers. In her younger days sathya will feed her with this rice every afternoon which she loves .I take this oppurtunity to thank her for giving me this wonderful recipe which I love to share with my readers.I am used to making this rasam powder of hers and follow the recipe given by her which is little bit different from the rasam we make. But I bet that you dont need sambar or any other gravy when you have this rasam. Once you get this rasam powder ready then it is an easy job. The biggest advantage of this rasam is that there will not be a bit of residue left in the rasam in the end. If you are cooking dhal for

sambar or any other curry, you can use little bit of dhal for this rasam. It is not a must item

Ingredients Tomatoes-2 Tamarind paste-1 teaspoon Rasam powder-1 table spoon (As per the recipe I have given if possible or any other standard one) Dhal water-1 cup (not a must) Jaggery-1 teaspoon Turmeric powder-1/2 teaspoon Method Put the tomatoes in boiling water and switch off the stove. Close the vessel. Open it after 5 to 10 minutes. Peel off the skin. Smash the tomatoes in a 1 1/2 cups of water. Add the tamarind paste and the salt needed and the rasam powder to this water. Keep the kadai in the stove. Add this mixture and let it boil for 5 minutes. Now add the dhal water if you have or else 2 cups of plain water and let the rasam boil for 5 minutes till the entire house is filled with the rasam smell. Add the jaggerry and switch of the stove in another 2 minutes. Finally season the rasam with a teaspoon of mustard,small jeera and curry leaf Fresh coriander leaves will change the taste of the rasam.So if desired try without adding coriander one day and otherwise another day. 11 comments Labels: Chettinad special(gravy)

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Thatta Payaru Mavathal Kuzhambu (Cow peas mango gravy)

Sun dried veg and non veg are sure find items in a chettinad store room. The chettinad ladies stock these items when they are cheap in the market.Kathiri vathal,mavathal,Kothavarai vathal are some vegetables sun dried. They have by experience found out the best combination of these vathals with some pulses. Now days many are away from the chettinad homes and due to the scarcity of time and space these items have become a rare find in many chettiar homes. Half ripe mookku mangai will be a best choice for making vathal.In my garden I have only a small mango variety and I stock little of that mango vathal during season. The mangai vathal along with thatta payar will make an all purpose gravy when we are short of time or interest to cook. Fresh mangoes also will be good along with this payar.The gravy can be had with rice.Some papad will be a best side dish.For the curd rice the peas will be good.So if you make one gravy,then a good meal is on the cards

Ingredients Thatta payar-1 cup

Mangai vathal-6 to 7 (soaked for 20 minutes in hot water) or fresh mango pieces-6 Small onion-10 or big onion chopped-1 Tomato-1 Sambar powder-2 teaspoon Garlic smashed-6 Tamarind-1very little(1/4 teaspoon) (depend on the sourness of the mango used)

For seasoning Mustard-1 teaspoon Fennel seeds-1 teaspoon Procedure In a kadai dry roast the the thatta payar in slow fire for 3 minutes .Pour 3 cups of water and pressure cook for 5 minutes or cook in the kadai itself till the peas get cooked well. Once the peas get cooked add the mango pieces, onion, tomatoes and sambar powder. Cook for 5 more minutes. Now add the tamarind extract and the salt needed and cook for further 5 minutes. Make sure that the curry is little watery. The curry should be a little bit extra salty and hot, then only it will be good with rice and the peas will be tasty. When everything is cooked add the smashed garlic pieces before switching off the stove. Season the gravy with the items given in to season in a separate kadai and pour into the gravy. 15 comments Labels: Chettinad special(gravy)

Monday, September 29, 2008


Pakkoda Kuzhambu Or Pakkoda Kuruma

Since long time this recipe is due from me as some of my readers insisted me to post this chettinad special curry. I took such a long time because I couldnt find out the exact chettinad recipe and also after finding out, it took three or four times trial for me to make it perfect. Each time I made one one small mistake and finally has come out with the proper one.

Ingredients for the pakkoda Channa dhal (kadalai paruppu) -1/4 cup or 5 to 6 table spoons (Only small amount of pakkoda can be used for the gravy) Red chilli-3 Fennel seed-1 teaspoon Salt-very little Soak the above items for 20 minutes and coarsely grind it in the mixie with little water. Items to grind

Cocunut-2 table spoons Kas kas-1 teaspoon Cashews-5 Pottukadalai-1 table spoon In the snap I have not shown coconut but coconut is needed to make the gravy thick and so I corrected in the next attempt

Ingredients for the gravy Big onion (chopped)-1 Tomato (nicely chopped)-1 Garlic-5 pods Coriander powder-1 table spoon Sambar powder-1 table spoon To season Cinamon-3 pieces Clove-2 Cardamom-2 Fennel seeds-1 teaspoon Curry leaf-little Procedure Keep the grinded pakkoda mix ready. Keep little oil in the kadai for frying the pakkoda. Once the oil is moderately hot just drop the mix shapeless into the oil and fry. No need to make round ones. We call (ennayil uthuthu vidanum in Tamil).Fry all the mix and set

aside. Now we have to make the gravy to add the pakkoda. This gravy will always be spicy .So spices should be added while seasoning Keep the kadai in the stove. In one table spoon of oil season the gravy with the items in to season. Saut the onion, tomato and garlic pieces. Add the sambar powder and coriander powder. Saut this too nicely. Now add 4 to 5 cups of water. Add little turmeric powder and the salt needed. Close the kadai and cook for 5 minutes. Now add the grinded coconut mix into the gravy and cook for 5 more minutes. Remember that the gravy should be watery while adding the pakkoda. Pakkodas will drink the gravy as times goes by and no gravy will be left at the end. So be sure the gravy is enough watery. Add the pakkodas in such a way that all the pieces are inside the gravy. Do not stir the gravy with a spoon after adding the pakkodas till they get soaked. After adding all the pakkodas allow the gravy to boil once and switch off the stove. Garnish with coriander leaves while serving 19 comments Labels: Chettinad special(gravy)

Friday, August 29, 2008


Saiva Meen Kuzhambu (Vegetarian Fish Curry)

For a long time I was trying to find out this recipe and personally see somebody cooking this chettinad special delicacy. Last week I was in chettinad and the lady cook( Akka) in our home was quite free to cook and show me this wonderful gravy. After cooking I served this vegetarian fish in my daughters plate and she could'nt find out till she swallowed one piece that it was not real fish. First she had the rice with the gravy and at that time she never found out. They steam the masala with which they make the fish in a leaf called lejjai ketta keerai (shameless leaf).It is a crotons type plant which is found in chettinad and I guess almost in all places in tamilnadu. They keep a small stick like pattai from plantain plant in the centre to get the centre hole in the fish. The veins in the leaf give the look of the thorns in the fish. I have clearly shown everything in the snap. They make the masal, steam it in the idly pot, cut into pieces, fry it, make the gravy exactly like

fish curry and add the fried pieces. Ingredients to make the masala for making fish

Thatta payar (cow peas)-1 cup Chili powder-1 teaspoon Garlic-5 pods Fennel seeds-1 teaspoon salt-1 teaspoon Rotate the payaru one time in the mixie to break it and soak it for 1 hour. Coarsely grind the soaked peas along with the other ingredients. As we cannot get this leaf everywhere we have to find out some other means to steam it in the shape of the fish. I guess we can use plantain leaf and a small stick in the centre. Spread the mixture on to the leaf. Keep the stick in the centre and fold it. Carefully steam it. Once it is cold, remove the leaf, carefully pull out the stick and cut into pieces like fish. Fry the pieces in the oil and keep aside. Now we have to make the gravy exactly like karakuzhambu or fish curry

Ingredients for the gravy Garlic-20 to 30 pods Pearl onion (small onion)-20 Tomato-1 Curry leaves-little Green chilli-3 Coriander powder-2 teaspoon Sambar powder (kuzhambu milagai thool)-2 teaspoon Turmeric powder-1/2 teaspoon Tamarind-gooseberry size Gingelly oil-1 table spoon For seasoning Mustard seed-1 teaspoon Fennel seed-1 teaspoon Fenugreek seed-1/2 teaspoon Curry leaf-little

Procedure Soak the tamarind with the salt needed in three cups of water. Add the coriander powder,sambar powder and turmeric powder to this water itself. Cut the onions and garlic into length wise pieces. If the garlic is not very big, no need to cut it. Cut the tomatoes also into small pieces. Keep the kadai in the stove. Season the gravy with the items given in to season in one to 1 table spoon of gingerly oil or cooking oil. Add the onions, garlic and tomatoes and saut nicely. Now add the tamarind dissolved water .Wait for the gravy to boil nicely for 3 minutes. Now reduce the flame to minimum and allow the gravy to cook till it becomes thick. 5 minutes before switching off add the fried vegetarian fish and bring to a boil without stirring. 25 comments Labels: Chettinad special(gravy)

Thursday, June 12, 2008


Murungaikkai Thanneer Kuzhambu (Drum stick watery sambar)

As the name indicates this kuzhambu will be watery but with the full taste of a good sambar. In consistency it will be in the midst of sambar and rasam.This kuzhambu is very famous in chettinad. I used to wonder why it is so. In olden days chettiar men used to be overseas in pursuit of wealth. Only the ladies used to be at home and they used to spend the money given to them strictly in such a way that it lasts till the chettiar comes home the next time. This made them conscious of money matters.Because of this the chettiar ladies even if not educated became very good at accounts. They gave money for interest to the less privileged people in that village. They were able to calculate the interest exactly and were very just in everything. These things made them very calculative also. I know what is running in everybodys mind now. Why is achi telling all these now? I also from my childhood used to think why the achis are very stringent while the chettiars are lavish and was trying to find out the reason. The reason was the ladies wanted to spend only a less portion of the money they had and save more for the number of children they had those days(especially for the girls,getting the girls married is a big affair in chettinad from those days). Coming back to the thanni kuzhambu, this became famous because only half the amount of Thoor dhal used for sambar is used for this kuzhambu and the achis specialized in bringing the exact taste with less dhal. So when the chettiar is away sambar will rarely find its way in the menu however rich the family may be. Moreover it will be very mild for the stomach. After a non veg day, this will be good for health. All chettiar people are addicted to this taste that even now in chettinad during all functions thanni kuzhambu will be served before sambar. Beans is the most commonly used vegetable for this kuzhambu. Now those days has gone and many dont know the difference between a thanni kuzhambu and sambar.I also belong to this category. Once after tasting this kuzhambu wanted to find out the difference and tried. The main difference that I noted is 1. Less usage of thoor dhal. 2. Very little oil used 3. Seasoning first itself 4. Sauting the kuzhambu milagai thool and turmeric powder in the oil after seasoning

Ingredients Thoordhal-a handful (100 Gms) Beans-10 to 15 or 2 Drum sticks Small onion-10 Garlic-6 pods Coriander leaves-little Curry leaves-little Kuzhambu milagai thool-2 teaspoons Tomato-1 Tamarind paste-1 teaspoons (qty used for sambar) For seasoning Mustard seed-1 teaspoon Fennel seed-1/2 teaspoon Fenugreek seed-1/2 teaspoon Small jeera- 1 teaspoon Procedure Cook the dhal with extra water nicely in the cooker and keep aside. Keep the kadai in the stove. In 1 teaspoon oil season the kuzhambu with the items given in to season. Once the mustard seed cracks add the onion, garlic and tomato pieces nicely. Smash the tomatoes nicely with the ladle in such a way that there is little water content in the mixture. Now add the kuzhambu milagai thool and turmeric powder and saute nicely. If there is no water content before adding the powder it will get burnt. So be careful. Now add the vegetable used and saut that also nicely. Add the water that is there on top of the cooked dhal and keep the stove to medium. Soak the tamarind and the salt needed also. When the vegetable is almost cooked add the tamarind water and the dhal mixed in a cup of water also. Make sure that the salt and hot taste is perfect. Let the kuzhambu boil for 5 to 7 minutes. Before switching off the stove add the chopped coriander also. Even for a 10 month baby this can be given mixed with rice or idly.

I rarely make this because I think that the only way I can give more protiens to my daughter is through the hot sambar rice with sambar made with a good quantity of dhal, I send to school through the carrier lady.But today immediately after entering the house from school she told me'Amma the sambar rice you sent today was awesome'. 10 comments Labels: Chettinad special(gravy)

Sunday, June 8, 2008


Poondu Vengaya kuzhambu Or Karakuzhambu Or Vathal Kuzhambu(Onion Garlic Gravy)

I know when we hear the name karakuzhambu itself it will be very tempting for many. All at my home are also no exception. In chettinad it is called as Vellaipoondu Vengaya kuzhambu. This for sure will be made at least once in 10 days in all homes. I for sure will make this once a week. It will go excellent with idly also. For packed lunch also it will be lovely. Though the recipe seems to be simple the taste of the gravy depends on the patience with which you cook. But by experience one will learn to make a good

kuzhambu. Ingredients Garlic-20 to 30 pods Pearl onion (small onion)-20 Tomato-1 Curry leaves-little Coriander powder-2 teaspoon Sambar powder (kuzhambu milagai thool)-2 teaspoon Turmeric powder-1/2 teaspoon Tamarind-gooseberry size Gingelly oil-1 table spoon For seasoning Mustard seed-1 teaspoon Fennel seed-1 teaspoon Fenugreek seed-1/2 teaspoon Curry leaf-little Procedure Soak the tamarind with the salt needed in three cups of water. Add the coriander powder,sambar powder and turmeric powder to this water itself. Cut the onions and garlic into length wise pieces. If the garlic is not very big, no need to cut it. Cut the tomatoes also into small pieces. Many dont use tomatoes for this kuzhambu. To reduce the use of tamarind, I use tomatoes. Keep the kadai in the stove. Season the gravy with the items given in to season in one to 1 table spoon of gingerly oil or cooking oil. Add the onions, garlic and tomatoes and saut nicely. Now add the tamarind dissolved water .Wait for the gravy to boil nicely for 3 minutes. Now reduce the flame to minimum and allow the gravy to cook till it becomes thick. I usually wait till the oil separates. For the new ones they can switch off the stove when it becomes 1/3 rd in quantity. In between you can check for the taste and add chili powder or salt if needed. (While sauting if you add some vathal like sundakkai or manathakkali this kuzhambu can be called vathal kuzhambu)

22 comments Labels: Chettinad special(gravy)

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


Tomato Rasam (The simplest Recipe)

I know this is the most common item for lunch in almost all south Indian homes and even a new one to the kitchen would have tried it. Whatever menu I would have cooked and however tasty it will be, they will take only a second position in the favorite food list in our home. The most preferred by all always will be Rasam and potato fry. So I boldly try out different recipes of Rasam. But first I will give the simplest version of rasam which will take just 5 minutes to prepare but at the same time satisfy everybody at home right from the small kid to the most elderly person at home.(The experienced people in the kitchen please bear with me for posting this simplest recipe. I am posting this recipe

because many who are new to cooking are confused about the quantities to be used)

Ingredients Tomatoes-2 medium sized Tamarind paste-1 teaspoon Red chillies-2 Curry leaf-little Coriander leaf-little Water -4 to 5 cups

To crush in mixie Pepper corns-1 teaspoon Garlic-4 to 5 pods(without peeling the skin) Small jeera-1 teaspoon Procedure If your tomato is hard, it will be difficult to crush. In that case cut the tomatoes into pieces. Crush the tomatoes in 4 to 5 cups of water along with tamarind and salt required. Many use stored pepper jeera powder for rasam.But I feel if you can crush them fresh

every time it will do much good to the flavor. Remember that you have to just crush them all together and not powder them. As you are adding garlic along with pepper and jeera it will not get powdered also. Keep the kadai in the stove. In one teaspoon of oil season the rasam with a teaspoon of mustard seed,2 red chilies broken, a teaspoon of small jeera and little curry leaf. Once the mustard seed splitters, pour the dissolved rasam into the kadai. When the rasam is about to boil add the crushed mix into the rasam and bring it to a boil. For this kind of rasam too much boiling is not needed. After switching off the stove add some chopped coriander leaves. Transfer the rasam to a serving bowl immediately and close it. If you keep the rasam in the kadai open for a long time without closing the rasam will loose the flavor. This rasam will be excellent with potato fry 12 comments Labels: Chettinad special(gravy)

Saturday, April 26, 2008


Milagu Kuzhambu (Pepper Corn gravy or Black pepper curry)

Chettinad cuisine is incomplete without black pepper. In olden days food was medicine and medicine was food. Those days people knew remedy for the different ailments from the items in the kitchen itself. Medicine was not much developed and the number of diseases compared to today was also less as the ill effects of pollution, pesticides and chemicals were not there. It is said that pepper was like a doctor in many homes. It is called as the king of spices or Gem of spices. There is a saying that If you have 10 peppers you can have food even in your enemys house. It implies that this spice act against food poisoning. The medicinal properties of black pepper are immense. The kashayam made out of pepper is very good for Respiratory tract infections, ordinary cold and cough. A pinch of nicely ground pepper along with honey is very good for cold. When somebody at home is suffering from cold the main menu for lunch will be pepper rasam only in all south Indian homes. It improves appetite by helping in digestion. It produces an increased flow of saliva and gastric juices. This is very good for intestinal disorders. In Ayurvedic medicine it is said to improve the quality of semen in men. I can understand what is going on in everybodys mind now as how to take this spice in little large quantity as it will be very hot and spicy. In Chettinad cuisine there is wonderful gravy out of pepper corns called Milagu kuzhambu.I wanted to make this curry in the perfect chettinad style and was waiting for the holidays during which I visit chettinad to

try this with the help of my mom. Last week fully I was there to attend some marriages. I attended a grand chettiar marriage and to my surprise the first dish served there was milagu kuzhambu.It was very unusual as they serve only paruppu and ghee first. But it was a good idea.The kuzhambu acted as an appetizer.I couldnt take proper snaps as I didnt take my camera.Somehow I managed to take some though not very clear Ingredients Small onion-30 Garlic-20 pods Tamarind-small piece

To roast and grind Black pepper-1 table spoon Coriander seeds-2 table spoons Grated coconut-3 table spoons Fennel seeds-1 teaspoon Small jeera-1 teaspoon Garlic-5 pods Green chillies-2 Red chillies-3 Small onion-5 Cashewnut-2 Cinnamon-1 small piece In a kadai with 1 teaspoon coconut oil dry roast all the above items and grind to a smooth paste Cut 20 small onions and 10 garlic pods into small pieces. Keep the kadai in the stove. In two tablespoons of gingili oil season the gravy with little small jeera, curry leaves and fennel seeds. Saut the onion and garlic pieces. In two cups of water dissolve a small piece of tamarind, and the salt required and add to the onion garlic pieces and allow the mixture to boil for 5 minutes. Mix the grinded mixture in cup of water and pour into the kadai. Keep the stove in medium flame and allow the mixture to boil till it becomes semi solid. This gravy will taste excellent with idly. If the gravy is found too hot it can be given to small children with plenty of gingili oil or little ghee. 16 comments Labels: Chettinad special(gravy)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Mandi (Vendakkai Mochai Mandi)

This is a Chettinad special curry or side dish (as it can be used as both) which for sure will find its place in all special lunch served in chettinad. As it wont get spoiled fast it is taken as side dish for picnics. My brother is a big fan of this curry but I have not bothered even to taste that till I myself prepared it. As ladies finger and potato will be seen as pieces along with long green chilies without any color to the gravy, I thought the taste also will also not be great. For a long time this recipe is due from my side as some of my readers are eager to know about this dish, and I was little hesitant to write about this as I have never prepared this. For my readers sake I got the recipe from my mother and thought I will try 2 or 3 times and when it comes good I will blog the recipe. To my surprise it was awesome in my first trial itself. As I didnt take the snaps first time, I had to make it again to write about it. This time also I made it very good. My daughter just loved it and started asking me why I never prepared this. Thanks to my readers as I found out another dish which my child loves. Each vegetable in the mandi got all the 3 tastes (salt, sour, hot) and tasted excellent with curd rice and the little gravy in the dish was also excellent. The main difference in this curry to the other curries we make is that, we use green chilies instead of chili powder for the hot taste. Instead of water we use Arisi Mandi( the water we get while washing rice) for making the gravy. I guess it is this water which gives so much taste to the gravy. If we prepare this dish on days in which we soak rice for idly we can get thick mandi. (I used just the water taken from 1 cups of rice). For taking the water, just wash rice once, pour of the water and soak the rice in two cups of water for 5 minutes then drain the water and keep aside. Mandi it is said can be made using all vegetables but I guess this combination will be the best since I have seen only these vegetables usually .If mochai is not there also no problem.I didnt soak the mochai the previous day,so made the curry without that.There was not much difference in taste

Ingredients Ladies finger-6 Small onion-20 Garlic-15 pods Tomato-1 Green chillies-4 to 5 Potato-1 Arisi Mandi-2 cups Mochai(white one)-a hand full(It should be soaked overnight) Tamarind-a small piece (as shown in the snap) If you have Manga vathal soak 5 vathals in hot water and add while adding mochai to the curry. In that case reduce the amount of tamarind used. Method Pressure cook mochai for 1 whistle and keep aside. Keep the kadai in the stove. In 2 teaspoon oil season with little mustard, curry leaf and fennel seeds. Add the chilies, chopped onion and garlic pieces and saut for 2 minutes. Now add the ladies finger and saut nicely for another 3 minutes. After this add the tomato, mochai and potato pieces, put little turmeric powder and pour 1 cups of Arisi mandi and cook in medium flame. When the potato pieces are cooked add the salt and tamarind soaked in cup of Arisi mandi. Let the mixture boil for 3 minutes after tamarind is added. The curry should be semi solid (neither too watery nor too thick).If you are going to keep it for a day without refrigeration then dont use tomatoes

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Friday, October 29, 2010


Poondu Thuvaiyal or Chutney (Side dish with garlic)

In many parts of Tamilnadu this side dish is very popular and which is not so in chettinad.My neighbors used to tell that they have to make few idlys more if they have poondu chutney. I always had a feel that the chutney will have excess garlic flavor which will make us embarrassing while we go out due to its odd smell. So I never bothered to try it. But one of my neighbors insisted me to try this at least once. She is very dedicated in cooking that she hand grinds it each time. I told her that I cant do so. She asked me to grind it at least in the mixi and taste. My next doubt was how much garlic I can peel to have a good amount of chutney. Garlic costs Rs 250 a kg now. Though that is not a matter to be bothered for we people, we always use less of a thing when it is off season. I should really agree that it was delicious and mouth watering . My younger one loved it and asked me why I never used to do that chutney. I told this recipe to my elder daughter in US and she too loved it. She gets peeled big garlic there and finds it very easy to do this chutney when in a hurry. Bachelors there can buy and store the peeled garlic in the fridge and can use the chutney as a side dish for frozen chapatti as well. Little chutney will be enough for 3 or 4 idlys. The qty of chutney will be less as the ingredients are

less. Ingredients Whole garlic -2 or 3 Tomato -2 (medium size) Red chili -3 or 4 (according to taste) For seasoning Oil (gingerly if available) 1 table spoon Mustard -1 teaspoon Broken urudh dhal -1 teaspoon Curry leaf little Procedure The procedure is very simple. Note that no onions are used. Cut the tomatoes into small pieces. Keep the kadai in the stove. In little oil saut the chilies first and remove it from the oil. Then saut the garlic and tomatoes nicely till the garlic gets almost cooked. Finally add the salt needed and allow the mix to cool. Once it cools grind it nicely in the small jar. Even after grinding if there are small pieces of garlic inside dont bother. It will be tasty as a whole. After removing it from the mixi season the chutney and pour it on top of the chutny and mix well till the oil gets mixed nicely into the whole chutney. 7 comments Labels: side dish

Wednesday, April 30, 2008


Vallarai keerai Thuvayal or chutney ( Bacopa or Brahmi Chutney)

Today in the market I got fresh Vallarai keerai, a wonder leaf well known as Bacopa in English, Brahmi in hindi and Mandukabrahami in telugu .In my last blog , I was mentioning about food as medicine. In that list this green has an important place. It has the potential to enhance intellect by enhancing memory development, learning and concentration. Kashayam made out of it is called brain tonic in Ayurvedic medicine. I have heard people telling that the vallarai leaves are excellent for nerves. Usually in our street during exam days the ladies selling greens will bring lot of this keerai and will canvas to buy this telling during exam time remembering capacity will increase.Today while I was making this thuvayal,my maid told that she will prepare this frequently to give it to her son who used to get fits often.so I guess this will be good for that also. In chettinad they make a nice thuvayal or chutney out of vallarai keerai which tastes yummy both with rice and Tiffin.To make people identify the keerai,I have placed a clear snap of

the green alone Ingredients Vallarai keerai-2 cups(leaves alone) Small onion-20

Red chillies-3 or 4 Grated coconut-3 table spoons Tamarind-little Jaggery-a pinch(optional)

Method Keep the kadai in the stove .In one table spoon oil add 1 teaspoon urudh dhal. When they turn golden brown add the chilies, onion, grated coconut and the green and saut nicely till the green looses the green smell. Switch off the stove .Add the salt needed and the tamarind. After the mixture cools down grind it to a smooth paste using a mixie. In the end add the jaggery if desired and grind one round more.It will remove the little bitter taste of the green.If desired the thuvayal can be seasoned with teaspoon mustard seeds and 1 teaspoon urudh dhal 15 comments Labels: side dish

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Chettinad Special Side Dish Dangar( special side dish for vellai paniyaram)

All the people who have had breakfast in a chettiar marriage would have tasted this special side dish served along with vellai paniyaram.Mostly ladies will be able to make out what it is and almost how it is cooked. But this dish has always remained suspense. Many of my readers have been asking for this recipe and I was asking many about this and got different versions. Now I have managed to find out the original recipe (I believe so) tried it and blogging it for my readers. It is said to last long even without refrigeration. It goes well with dosai and idly too. As I was not sure whether the dish will turn good, I didnt take the snap of the ingredients. It tasted fine in my first trial itself. I will insert that snap of the quantities used when I do it next time Ingredients Small onion-2 cups or big onion-4 Tomato-4(medium sized) Garlic-10 pods Red chillies-12 Tamarind-little ( 1 teaspoon tamarind extract) Jaggery-1 table spoon (Jaggery is not there in the original recipe but I find this increasing the taste of the dish enormously) For seasoning Mustard seeds-1 teaspoon Urudh dhal-1 teaspoon Curry leaf-little Oil-2 table spoons Procedure Chop the onions and garlic in a chopper or mince it nicely. Mince tomatoes also Dry roast the chilies and remove the seeds Rotate the chilies once in a mixie(The cooks just crush it using hands) Soak the tamarind in little water and take the juice. Keep the kadai in the stove Season with the items given in To season

Put the Crushed red chilies into the oil Add the onion and garlic chopped along with a pinch of salt and saut till the onions turn transparent. Now add the Tomatoes minced and cook for 5 minutes Add the tamarind juice and required salt and cook in low fire till the whole thing turns thick. If you like the sweet taste add the jaggery. If you cook till the oil separates it will not get spoiled fast 15 comments Labels: side dish

Friday, November 16, 2007


Kothamalli Thokku(Coriander Thokku)

Very simple and tasty side dish made with coriander when we have it in large quantity. In olden days when many didnt have refrigerator in their house these thokku items were very popular. As coconut, tomato and onion are not used this will not get spoiled fast.

Ingredients Coriander leaves-As much you can spare Chillies-5(for the quantity of coriander I have taken) Tamarind little Urudh dhal-1 table spoon Method Wash the coriander. Cut into small pieces. Drain the water completely. Keep the kadai in the stove and pour 1 teaspoon oil. Fry the chilies and urudh dhal till the dhal turns golden in color .Now add the coriander and saut till you feel there is not much water in the coriander. Add the tamarind and salt when it is in the stove itself. Allow the mixture to cool and grind it in the small jar without adding water. If used for tiffen, while eating you can mix little water for the quantity going to be used as the thokku will be too thick in consistency 6 comments Labels: side dish

Thursday, November 15, 2007


Vara Milagai Thuvayal (Red chutney)

This is a common side dish among all south Indians, though they may call it by different names. A treat for people who want something hot with Idly or Dosa. Though it will look similar to Thakkali thuvayal,there is much difference in taste .Some are crazy of the hot and sour taste of this thuvayal. For picnics, this is a good choice as it will stay fresh even

if not refrigerated for 2 or 3 days. Ingredients (to grind) Small onion-30 Red chillies-5 Tomato-1 Garlic-3 to 4 pods(optional) Tamarind-little To season

Gingelly oil-2 to 3 spoons Mustard seed-1 teaspoon Urudh dhal-1 teaspoon Coriander leaves-little Procedure Grind all the items included in to grind. Dont grind it to a very smooth paste. Transfer the contents to a bowl. While transferring if the chutney is very irritant to the eye then it can be understood that the onions you are using is very much raw(it will be too raw immediately after harvest)If it is like that you have to cook it in the oil in which you season the chutney till the oil separates from the chutney. The regular method is just to season with the items in To season and pour it on the top of the chutney transferred into the bowl and mix well.3 table spoons of oil is to save our stomach from the harm of the raw chilies used. Excess oil as I have said earlier will also help to preserve the chutney for a longer period. 10 comments Labels: side dish

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


Kalla Veettu Aviyal

This is another common side dish prepared for chettiar breakfast. As the name indicates chettiars would have copied the preparation of this gravy from some other community. I remember my Great grandma instructing the cook at home to make this gravy for breakfast. So I believe this Aviyal have remained the favorite of chettiars since a long time.

Ingredients Brinjal-2 to 3 Potato-1 Tomato-1 Onion-1 To grind masala Coconut-4 table spoons Fennel seeds-1 teaspoon Cashewnut-5 or pottukadalai-1 table spoon Red chillies-5 To season cinamon-a small piece Clove-2 Fenel seeds-1 teaspoon Curry leaf-little Procedure Grind the items mentioned in to grind to a smooth paste. Cut the brinjal and potato into small pieces (Always put the brinjal and potato in water after cutting. This will prevent them from changing color) Cut the onions and tomato also into small pieces. Keep the kadai in the stove. Pour 2 table spoons oil Season with the items mentioned in to season Put the onions and tomatoes first and saut for 2 minutes Then add the brinjal and potato pieces saut for a minute Add 2 to 3 cups of water and little turmeric powder Half close the kadai with a lid.

Keep the flame in medium Cook till the potatoes are well cooked Once the potato pieces gets cooked add the grinded masala along with the water needed ( Quantity of water depends on the consistency in which you want the gravy) Allow the curry to boil for 5 minutes in medium flame after adding the masala. When it boils the gravy will get thicker in consistency because of the cashews (or pottukadalai) in the grinded paste. Switch off the stove and garnish with coriander leaves . 7 comments Labels: side dish

Sunday, November 11, 2007


Chettinattu Chumma Kuzhambu

If one gets a chance to taste this curry, it will prove how Chettiar ladies are good at making nice gravy literally out of nothing and that too in no time. 'chumma' in tamil means simply nothing. When we are short of vegetables or time to cook then this kuzhambu will be very handy. My younger daughter loves this since she need not do much filtration. She will always tell me Amma make that 5 minutes kolumbu. Children always want just the gravy. For them this will be a blessing in disguise. This gravy can be used both for tiffin and rice

Ingredients Small onions-20 or big onion one(nicely minced) Tomato-1 Tamarind-a small piece (if the gravy is for tiffin use very little tamarind) Curry leaves-little Turmeric powder-1/2 teaspoon Kuzhambu milagai thool-1 table spoon (Those who dont have this thool can use coriander powder-1 table spoon and Chili powder-1/2 table spoon) Procedure Take 3 to 4 cups of water mix the salt and tamarind nicely in that water. Smash the nicely minced onion and the tomatoes little with your hand and add them into the water.(dont smash them to a paste)Add the milagai thool and turmeric powder. Keep them in a vessel in the stove and allow the kuzhambu to boil nicely for 5 to 6 minutes. Switch off the stove. Season it with mustard seed urudh dhal, curry leaf and small jeera .Small jeera will give this kuzhambu a nice taste. 10 comments Labels: side dish

Friday, November 9, 2007


Vengaya Kosu

A very spicy side dish,true to the spirit of chettinad culinary delicacies. When we are monotonous of the safe and casual side dish that we prepare, one can go for this.Very tasty with dosa,idly and chappathi. As the young ones attempting these recipes are often doubtful of the measures, I am attaching the snaps of the ingredients also now. Experienced people will some times feel boring at the small small details that I mention. It is meant mainly for the newcomers to the kitchen Ingredients Big onion-4 Potato-1 Tomato-1 Red chillies-6 Coconut grated-4 table spoons Cashew nut-6 or pottukadalai-2 table spoons Pattai-2 bits Kirambu-2 Fennel seeds (perungeerakam)-1 teaspoon

Method First grind the coconut, fennel seeds, and red chilies to a fine paste. Cut the onions, potato and tomato into small pieces. Keep the small cooker or the kadai in the stove. Pour 2 table spoon oil. Season with pattai kirambu, fennel seeds and curry leaf . Add the onions first, stir for some time and then the potatoes and finally the tomatoes. Allow them all to cook in the oil itself for 2 or 3 minutes. Now add the grinded coconut also and mix well(If you are cooking in the kadai, dont add the coconut first. Let the potatoes in the gravy cook) Add 3 to 4 cups water and the salt required. If you are cooking in the cooker cook for 5 minutes after the first whistle. Those cooking in the kadai add the grinded coconut after all the items in the gravy is finely cooked and cook for another 5 minutes( while cooking in kadai if you add coconut in the beginning in any dish, the vegetables will not get cooked easily). Finally garnish with coriander leaves and curry leaves 11 comments Labels: side dish

Tuesday, November 6, 2007


Paruppu Thuvayal

This is meant mainly for rice. All in south India will be familiar with this thuvayal. The Dhal used differs from state to state. In Chettinad this thuvayal is made out of Moong dhal. As I have mentioned in my previous blogs, moong dhal is easily digestible. So usually in our home when somebody is having fever or recovering from illness, I will serve this thuvayal along with Kanji. This will taste good with Rasam Sadam also. Dont be scared, it does not mean that one has to get sick to taste this. When it is raining or whenever we are not in a position to go out to get vegetables, this thuvayal will be very handy. Like Brinjal thuvayal this thuvayal also can be mixed with rice along with little ghee. Small children will love that taste.

Ingredients Moong dhal -1/2 cup

Grated coconut- 3 table spoons Red chillies-2 or 3Garlic-3 pearls Procedure Put the kadai in the stove. Pour teaspoon oil. First put the chilies and then the moong dhal into the kadai and roast it in low fire till the dhal turns golden in colour. High fire will burn the dhal. No need to cook the coconut. After the mixture cools first grind the dhal and chilies dry in the small jar and once it gets powdered add the coconut and salt and grind it adding little water .Finally add the garlic and grind once just to smash the garlic into small pieces. No need to season the thuvayal. 7 comments Labels: side dish

Brinjal chutney

Kathirikkai Thuvayal (Brinjal chutney)or peerkkangai thuvayal(Ridge gourd chutney) This chutney also is a common side dish in chettinad breakfast. In olden days, when people used to cook in fire using logs of wood or charcoal, they will cook the brinjals directly in the fire(chuduvathu).Nowadays in our gas stove or electric stove this is difficult or rather impossible. Though the taste will vary a little bit, the usual practice now is to cook it for some time in the kadai. The main advantage of making this thuvayal as far as I am concerned is that, it can be used both with rice and tiffen. Whenever I feel it is difficult to cook for the afternoon, I will go for this thuvayal. For lunch the thuvayal can be mixed with rice and will taste excellent with chips or vathal. For the curd rice also it will taste good. This is a 3 in one thuvayal.

Ingredients Brinjal-2(medium sized) or Peerkkangai-1 Small onion-20(big-1) Grated coconut (3 table spoons) Tomato-1 Tamarind-a small piece Red chillies-4 Procedure Keep the kadai in the stove. Pour 1 spoon oil. First add the chilies then the onions and tomatoes wait for a minute. Now add the brinjal cut into small pieces. Stir nicely and allow the brinjal to cook for 3 minutes. Finally add the grated coconut and let it also cook for a minute. Switch off the stove and after the mixture cools add the tamarind and salt and grind it in the big jar of the mixie. There is no need to season the thuvayal. Peerkkangai Thuvayal will be excellent with rice 13 comments Labels: side dish

Monday, October 29, 2007


Tomato chutney(Thakkali thuvayal)

All south Indians will be familiar of this chutney.I am sure all Tamilians would have tasted it,as it is mostly served in hotels along with Idly or Dosa.When tomatoes are cheap in the market,one can't resist trying this recipe.It tastes good with chappathi also.

Ingredients Tomatoes-4 (medium sized) Big onion-2(medium sized) Red chillies-5 Curry leaves-a hand full

Procedure Cut the onions and tomatoes into small pieces.Keep the kadai in the stove.Pour one spoon oil.First put little curry leaf and chillies, then the onion and finally the tomatoes. Saute it till the tomatoes are half cooked.Allow the mixture to cool.Then grind it in the big jar of the mixie adding the required salt.If you are having doubt about chillies,keep away 1 or 2 roasted chillies.After grinding check for the taste and add the chillies if needed. After grinding keep the kadai in the stove .Season the chutney with mustard seeds,urudh dhal and curry leaves in 2 or 3 spoons of oil.Excess oil will help the chutney to stay fresh for a longer period.Pour the chutney into the kadai after seasoning. When the oil separates from the chutney switch off the stove(hardly it will take 2 or 3 minutes). 8 comments Labels: side dish

Pachadi

I am sure that Pachadi will find a place in the Chettiar breakfast as side dish at least once a week. Very similar in taste to sambar, but this is simpler and easier to make. Since it is made out of moong dhal,it is very easy to digest. Like Kosamalli this is also safe for young kids. Excellent side dish for Idly,Dosa and Idyappam.Even the beginners in cooking can try this as it rarely turns horrible. This should be neither too watery nor too thick. The consistency should be little more watery than hotel sambar. Ingredients Moong dhal-1 cup(2 handfulls) Brinjal-3 to 4 Potato-1

Carrot-1(optional) Big onion-1 Tomato-1 Green chillies-6 Coriander-2 or 3 bunches Tamarind-a very small piece Red chillie-1or2 Procedure If you are having a very small cooker or a medium size one Pachadi can be made directly in that. While cooking directly in the cooker always remember to keep the stove in sim after the first whistle. If you are using a big cooker then keep the contents inside a vessel in the cooker. Cut brinjal, potato and carrot into very small pieces. Cut the onion and tomato also into small pieces .Peel the chilies length wise. Put everything inside the cooker along with moong dhal .Add four cups of water, turmeric powder and salt .stir everything nicely. Close the cooker keep it in the stove. After the first whistle comes, keep the stove in sim, If it is placed directly in the cooker let it cook for 8 more minutes. If it is kept inside a vessel in the cooker cook for additional 5 minutes. Wait for the pressure in the cooker to go. Dissolve the tamarind in a small quantity of water and add to the Pachadi in the cooker. Check for the consistency of the Pachadi after adding tamarind; if you find it thicker add 1 or 2 cups of water. Season the Pachadi with little mustard seed 2 red chilies,a pinch of asafoteda and curry leaf . Allow the Pachadi to boil for 3 or 4 minutes after seasoning. Finally garnish it with coriander leaves. 0 comments Labels: side dish

Thursday, October 25, 2007


Malli thuvayal (Coriander chutney)

Coriander chutney( malli thuvayal) Mint chutney(pudina thuvayal) Curry leaf chutney(karuveppilai thhuvayal)
Malli chutney even though it is not a specialist Chettinad recipe, this recipe is blogged early because it is a very tasty, healthy and most important very easy one to prepare. These thuvayals will be an excellent spread for bread and other items which need a spread. It will taste excellent with dosa and idly too. The procedure for mint, coriander and curry leaf chutney is almost the same.

Ingredients

Coriander or mint or curry leaves-1 cup ( 1 kattu) Raw chillies-6 (if big use less) Small onion -20(if not available big onion-1 or 2) Grated coconut 4 table spoons Tamarind-a very small piece Salt to taste Procedure Keep the kadai in the stove. Pour 1 spoon oil. When the oil gets heated first add the onions and chilies .Let it cook for a minute. Then add the grated coconut allow this also to cook for a minute. Finally add the coriander. Mix everything well twice or thrice with the spatula. Switch off the stove. Coriander need not get cooked much. If you are using mint or curry leaf instead of coriander allow those also to cook for 2 minutes. Coriander tastes good without much cooking. After the mixture gets cooled add the salt and tamarind and grind it in the mixie. It is not a must that you should season it after grinding, as everything is put in the stove before grinding. But if you are having guests then seasoning will make it more attractive and tasty. Season it with spoon mustard and urudh dhal. 10 comments Labels: side dish

Kosamalli

This a special Chettinad side dish or gravy best suited for Thalicha Idyappam.This is always served with Idyappam in functions. This also goes well with Dosa and idly as it is neither too hot nor too blunt. More important is that the old people in our home usually suggest this as the side dish when somebody at home is recovering after illness.They will tell that it will be good for the non tasty tongue(Nakkukku nalla irukkum) after illness This is very safe for young kids. Those who have started giving solids for their children can use this along with idly. Children will love the little salt and sour taste. As this dish is little watery idly can be smashed in this curry and the children can be fed with a spoon. As the quantity of tamarind, chillies all play an important role in the final outcome of the gravy; I have included the snaps at various stages of cooking.

Ingredients Brinjal-4 Potato-1 Small onions nicely chopped-20(if not available big onion -1) Tomato-1 (big) Green chillies-6

Red chilies-(2) Tamarind - a very small piece (half the quantity that we use for sambar) Coriander leaves-2 table spoon Procedure Cut the brinjal and potato into 4 pieces each and pressure cook for 8 minutes. After the pressure goes open the cooker and peel the skin of both brinjal and potato. smash them.

Take 4 cups of water. Dissolve 2 teaspoons salt and the tamarind. Quantity of tamarind is very important. Too much of it will spoil the dish. Then add the smashed portion into the water. Remember that this is a little watery dish .Now keep the kadai in the stove. Add 2 teaspoon cooking oil .Put 1 spoon mustard seed and curry leaf when it cracks, add the green chilies and the red chillie. Dont worry that it will be too hot. This dish seldom turns hot, however much chilies we add. Then add the onions and finally the tomato pieces. The tomatoes and onions need not get cooked much. Pour the brinjal potato smash mixed water into the kadai. Whe the mixture starts boiling switch off the stove. It need not boil too much. Before serving add the coriander leaves. For children no need to add coriander leaves.

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Showing newest posts with label Breakfast. Show older posts Showing newest posts with label Breakfast. Show older posts

Sunday, June 27, 2010


Godumbai Rava Uppuma (Wheat Rava Uppuma )

I am back to blogging after the short break as we are somewhat to a schedule.Still grinding idly batter on a regular basis is difficult. As I regularly have idly batter,I never make any uppuma. But now a days atleast twice in a week we have to make this. I never make bombay rava (white) uppuma (kitchadi) though I love to have it as it is difficult to digest. So the only option was wheat rava and to my surprise,I found that everybody loved it.My daughter wanted me to blog the recipe so that she can make it after I leave. This recipe will be very useful for the bachelors who cannot have idly batter all the time. Those who want to avoid rice and want to have wheat can also go for this. This is an excellent food for diabetic patients.

Ingredients Broken wheat rava (nicely broken) 2 cups onion minced - 1 cup green chillies-6 Frozen vegetables or fresh carrot,beans and peas - 1/2 cup (optional) grated cocunut-1 table spoon (optional) For seasoning Mustard seeds-1 teaspoon channa dhal-1 table spoon curry leaf-little

Procedure keep the pressure cooker in the stove.In two table spoons of oil season the uppuma with the items given in 'to season'.Saute the onions and green chillies for 2 minutes.Now add the rava also and saute for a minute in medium fire.Add 4 cups of water.1:2 is the ratio of water to rava.Immediately add the salt needed. Remember that after cooking it will be like 2 cups of rice cooked.So add the salt necessary for that quantity. Close the cooker.make sure that the stove is in low fire. Switch off the stove after 10 minutes.Wait for the pressure to be released.if you are sure that the bottom is not burnt ,add the frozen vegetable (cooked for 3 minutes in water) or the fresh vegetables cooked well now. Mix everything nicely. If you feel that the bottom is burnt mix in such a way that you don't reach the burnt part. Add the grated coconut also along with the vegetables.If the fire is low the bottom will never get burnt.Vegetables and coconut is optional.The uppuma will be very tasty without these also. I Used this brand of Wheat Rava.I think that all other brands will be equally good.

12 comments Labels: Breakfast

Saturday, August 25, 2007


Idiyappam

Next to idly, Idiyappam finds an important place in Chettinad breakfast. As it is a steamed item, very safe for sick as well as old people. This can be given to very young children also i.e, from 8 months itself. Though the main base idiyappam is the same like any south Indian recipes, the chettinad specialty is the Thalicha Idiyappam with the same base. The toughest part in making Idiyappam is getting the flour ready. There are many ways in which we can make the flour. Here I will tell somewhat an easy way of making the flour at home with our mixie. I am lucky to get the flour traditionally made in chettinad from my mom even today. But who are away from the country has no other go than to make it themselves Making the flour Soak 2 cups of raw rice for 4 hours .Drain the water. Spread it on a paper and let it dry for half an hour. Then put it in the mixie and grind it to a smooth powder. If you have siever ,it can be sieved. keep the kadai in the stove .In low flame roast the flour till it becomes sandy in texture. The roasted flour can be stored in fridge even for months. Boil water with little salt and pour it into the flour slowly little by little and mix well to the consistency that you can make balls out of the dough. Now put the dough into the Idiyappam press.Make idiyappams in the Idly pot. When it is steamed collect it in a plate and keep aside to cool. Collect all the steamed idiyappams. The base is ready now.

Thalicha Idiyappam Mix 2 tablespoons of buttermilk or curd along with salt in 2 to 3 cups of water. Put all the steamed idiyappams in this water and immediately take it out squeezing all the water out. This is to add salt and sour taste to the idiyappam. Ingredients Oil-2 tablespoons Small or big onion finely chopped -1 cup Curry leaf -1 table spoon Green chillies-2 Red chillies-2 Mustard seed-1 teaspoon Urudh dhal 1 teaspoon Keep the kadai in the stove. Pour the oil when it gets heated add the mustard seed, urudh dhal and curry leafs. When the mustard seed cracks add the onion and stir well add a pinch of salt. When the onion gets roasted add the Idiyappam into the kadai little by little and mix well .Dont stir the Idiyappam too much. Otherwise it will break into very small pieces. Kosamalli is the side dish that we usually make for Idiyappam which I will come to later. But this will go very well with vegetable kuruma or mutton or chicken curry. 10 comments Labels: Breakfast

Adai

This is a very easy tiffin item which will find its way into my kitchen whenever I am short of idly batter. It can be prepared if we plan just one hour in advance. Very handy for bachelors. Ingredients Bengal gram (kadalai paruppu)-3/4 cup Red gram (thuvaram paruppu)-3/4 cup Peeled broken green gram (pasi paruppu)-1/4 cup Urudh dhal-1/4 cup Par boiled rice-3/4 cup Raw rice-3/4 cup Red chillies-6 Ani seed-1/2 teaspoon Soak all the above said items for 45 minutes(including chillies and ani seeds) Put it in the mixie and grind it. The batter should not become very smooth .Adai can be prepared just by adding salt ,turmeric powder and asafoteda alone, if you dont find time to cut onions or scrape coconut. If you have enough time and want a very tasty adai then continue reading Ingredients to be mixed in the batter Small or big onions nicely minced-1 cup Curry leaf nicely chopped-1 table spoon Coriander leaf nicely chopped-2 table spoons Grated coconut-3 tablespoons Mix the above said items in the batter As adai should be little bit thick, the batter should also be of thicker consistency. Usually no side dish is needed for adai. It will go very well with little jaggery (vellum) 15 comments Labels: Breakfast

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Appam

This is one among the special items served during chettiar marriage feasts. This is usually served along with coconut milk. But it tastes yummy with stew, chicken curry, mutton curry etc. Ingredients Raw rice-2 cups Boiled rice -3/4 cup Grated coconut-3/4 cup Procedure for grinding Soak both the rice for 2 hours. After soaking grind it in the mixie or grinder. Do not add too much water while grinding. If you are using fresh coconut then that coconuts water can be used for grinding. Add the grated coconut after 5 minutes of grinding. This itself will make the dough little loose. Grind it to a fine paste. After taking out the dough from the grinder or mixie wash it with 1 cup of good water and keep aside. Procedure for making Kanji Take 3 spoons of grinded dough and mix it in the water kept aside. Add 2 more cups of water into it. Now keep this mixture in the stove and go on stirring it. It will start to become thick. When it becomes little thicker (consistency of corn flour added soups) remove it from stove. Allow the Kanji to cool. Add little salt and the kanji to the dough and mix well. Make it to the consistency of idly batter. Allow the batter to ferment for 6 hours. After fermenting, if little thick, coconut milk can be added or water can also be added to bring it to the correct consistency. It should be in the consistency of dosa batter.

In medium fire make appams.It can be made with ease in non stick appa tawa.If it is going to be served along with coconut milk soak them in the coconut milk a few minutes before serving. 8 comments Labels: Breakfast

Sunday, August 5, 2007


Spongy Idlies (South Indian Idli)

There can never be a chettinad breakfast being served without idly .It always forms the main course in the breakfast. Chettiar ladies are always good at making soft idlies.Though simple many things has to be taken care of right from the selection of rice, soaking the ingredients, grinding ,mixing and storing the grinded batter for a few days etc etc. Ingredients Boiled rice-4 cups Urad dhal(black gram) -1 cup Fenugreek seed-1 teaspoon full Selection of rice and urudh dhal Boiled rice which are little fat and small in length compared to other rice will be good for idlies.In different areas they call it by different names.(Kattai vellai,Ponmani and so on).while going for urudh dhal always try to get whole white dhal which will give more dough than the broken ones. People who live abroad have no other go than to get the idly rice from the Indian stores. Remember the brand name of the rice that give good idlies and go for it the next time you buy rice for idly. Soaking

Rice should be washed nicely and soaked at least for 2 hours. No harm will be done if rice is soaked long Trick of making soft idlies depend much on urudh dhal soaking too. Dhal should be soaked only for 45 minutes. Over soaking will reduce the quantity of batter Wash the dhal nicely and pour 3 cups of water and soak. Add the fenugreek seed to the dhal Use the water in the soaked dhal for grinding. If you are not able to grind after soaking keep it in the refrigerator and take out 15 minutes before grinding. Grinding Grinding the dough in the grinder will always be the best. But the bachelors who wont have grinders have to depend on the mixies.Sumeet mixie is my choice for grinding. While grinding in the mixie urudh dhal should be grinded carefully. Never allow the jar to be heated. Ice water can be used for grinding which will help the batter to be cold. Add water 2 to 3 times and grind the dhal to a fine paste.Dont pour all the water in the beginning itself. I always find it better if the rice is also grinded to a smooth paste. But I have read in many places that rice should not become a smooth paste. Many have doubt in the order of grinding. Mostly people grind urudh dhal first since cleaning the grinder after grinding rice will be easy. I dont think the order of grinding does any difference to the quality of idly. Mixing the batter Add the salt needed for the batter (for 4 cups of rice 3 table spoons of salt) in little water pour it into the batter and mix it well upside down for 5 minutes. Much depend on mixing also. Keep the batter in a big container and mix. Storing After mixing the batter transfer it into 2 to 3 containers .See to it that the containers are filled only three fourth the capacity. Allow space for fermenting. Ferment it by keeping outside for 6 to 8 hours according to season in tropical countries. In western countries it can be fermented in their own ways. After fermenting refrigerate it. I always find Tupperware boxes best suited for storing since it retains the consistency till the last day of use. If the quality of urudh dhal you use is excellent then idlies will become flat. In that case reduce the amount of urudh dhal next time. If the dhal is very bad in quality or the batter is mixed to a thicker consistency idlies will become hard. In that case next time use a little more dhal .Make sure the consistency of the batter is neither too watery nor too thick. 50 comments Labels: Breakfast Newer Posts Older Posts Home Subscribe to: Posts (Atom)

About Me

Solai Chidambaram Enthusiastic learner. Learning never ends. Learning continues the whole life time. Please leave your valuable comments on the recipes