Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Ven Pongal

Ven Pongal- Before my marriage, I never thought it will become a mandatory menu at my home. My husband's all time favorite. When my in laws told, "he will not complaint, even if you prepare this all seven days a week" I really did not believe... But now I have to. Ven pongal is a mandatory menu for our Friday dinner. If time permits even vadai will accompany us... Until my marriage i was not a big fan of Ven-pongal, It was just another dish for me. Now being a Pongal lover's wife, had to learn and cook the variations of pongal recipes and slowly I too started loving it.
As This year, his birthday was on Friday,even  Pineapple kesari and Vadai also accompanied us for dinner along with the pongal treat.

There are few more methods to make ven pongal and today i am going to share the one, which is my version. I will later post the other variations too.


Rice and Moong dal: 2:1 ratio (I used 2/3 cups of rice and 1/3 of dal)
Whole pepper - 1 tea spoon
Cumin seeds - 2 tea spoon
ginger - 1 inch piece (finely chopped)
curry leaves- 2 sprigs
Cashews- few
Ghee - 2 tea spoons
Cooking oil - 3 tea spoons (or you can use ghee instead of oil)
Turmeric - a small pinch (optional)
Salt- as per taste
Water- three times the rice and dal quantity.


1. Wash rice and moong dal and keep aside.
2. Heat oil in a pressure cooker,  and add whole pepper, jeera chopped ginger and curry leaves one by one, and saute for a minute.
3. Then Add the washed moong dal .rice,turmeric powder and fry for a minute or two.
4. Add three times of Rice and Dal quantity of cups (I added three cups), and salt as required.
5. cook it for 3-4 whistles.
6.When the pressure leaves, Fry cashews in another pan with 2 tea spoons of ghee and add it to pongal along with ghee.
7. Mix well and serve hot with Sambar, coconut Chutney and Vadai.

1. The measurement of water given in the recipe gives a little dry consistency. As My husband does not like a mashed/watery one, I use this quantity of water. For Mashed consistency, Add 4 times the rice and dal quantity.
2. I prefer less oil and less ghee in my recipes, if you like, add few more tea spoons of ghee or oil.
3.Normally my rice needs 2 times the of water to cook, so for pongal i added 3. You can adjust accordingly.

Linking this recipe to #recipeoftheweek | A Mummy Too

Friday, April 25, 2014

Potato Masala / Poori Masala - without using Gram flour

Can anything else be the best side dish for Poori other than Potato Masala?
Poori Kilangu would be one of the favorite food to order even in the restaurants for breakfast or dinner. As it is an oily food, we dont make it often. But at least monthly once, this yummy poori and potato masala will occupy our plates.
This is an easy and quick side dish. I normally used to boil the potatoes little advanced or along with Rice in afternoon in the same cooker. So it will take just few minutes to prepare this side dish. This is the version which we normally make at our home. I normally do not add gram flour in it. But it can be added to have consistency.


Potatoes - 2-3 large (Boiled and Peeled)
Onion - 1 medium (thinly sliced)
Green chili - 1 or 2 (depends on your spice level increase or decrease)
Ginger - 1/2 inch piece (finely chopped)
Tomato - 2 table spoons (finely chopped) (optional)
Turmeric - a large pinch
Channa dal - 1 table spoon
mustard seeds-1/2 tea spoon
Urad dal - 1/2 tea spoon
Oil - To temper and saute
curry leaves - a few
Coriander leaves - a few

1. In a pan heat oil and add the Channa dal and fry.
2. When they are turning slight brown, add the mustard seeds and urad dal to it and fry until the dal turn a mild brown and fried well.
3.Add chopped ginger and curry leaves and saute well.
4. After a minute, add the cut green chilies and the sliced Onions to it and saute until the onions are transparent.Then add the tomato and saute well
5. Add a cup of water, and a pinch of turmeric, salt to taste to it and let it boil until the onions are cooked soft.
6. Now cut the potatoes and keep ready. Take about half a large potato and mash with hands nicely and make it like a paste.
7. When the raw smell of turmeric leaves, and the onions are soft,  add the cubed potatoes, mashed potatoes to it and mix.
8. let them cook for a while, and make sure it has sufficient water to cook.(If not add some boiling water)
9. Just add some chopped coriander leaves and switch off the flame

Now enjoy with the puffy poories.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Mini Pizza

Here it is Spring Break for Kids and Moms became busy with their Kids play dates and other schedules. So I am also not exceptional and doing the same thing. Busy roaming with my daughter and having a wonderful time. So could not find time to post this recipe.. :)))
Last weekend special at our home was, "Home made Mini Pizza". I was thinking to make pizza at home for a long time, and did not find time for it. Saturday, when I was thinking what to prepare for dinner (I really wanted to make something with less vessels usage), I got the idea of making a surprise dinner for my family. My hubby and daughter both love pizza (my daughter consoles herself saying, "pizza is junk food., but it is OK to eat occasionally:)))" ). She helped me doing the topping as she has experience(!) in it. sometimes back she attended a program where making the pizza was an activity, that helped us making a home made pizza :)))

Saturday I made the pizza with only capsicums and olives. The toppings are always our own choices only. You can pick your choice of veggies or meat to make a delicious pizza.


To make pizza bread:

All purpose flour - 2 cups
instant dry yeast - 2 tea spoon
salt - 1 tea spoon
sugar - 1 tea spoon
warm water - 1 cup
Oil- 1or 2 tea spoons
For topping: (I used)

pizza sauce / tomato sauce - 2-3 table spoon
Cheese - 1/2 cup - 3/4 cup or as required  (I used shredded cheese )
thinly sliced capsicums - 3/4 cup or as required
Olives - as required(I used the whole 8oz can)
Jalapeno - 6 slices (optional)


1. In a bowl, take instant dry yeast, salt and sugar and dissolve them in a cup of warm water.
2.In a large bowl, take 2 cups of all purpose flour, and slowly add the warm water mix and make it like a chapati dough.

3. Add a tea spoon of oil and make it like a ball and cover the bowl with a plastic cover or a wet towel.

4.Leave it for atleat 2 hours. (I left it for almost 3 hours)
5.Now the size of the dough would become double.
6. To make mini pizza, take a small portion of dough and spread it in hand with whatever shape you like, and arrange them on a parchment sheet, or greased and floured cookie sheets or pizza/baking pans

7. Apply one or two tea spoons of tomato / pizza sauce and spread.
8. Sprinkle some cheese on it,
9.then Add the veggies of your choice
10. then again sprinkle some cheese on top of it.

11. In the mean time while arranging the topping, Pre-heat oven to 390F for 15 minutes
12. Bake it for 18-23 minutes or until the edges are crispy. (time varies for each oven..I did for 23 minutes)
13. Serve hot with Ketch up or sauce.

1. I have made 6 mini pizza and a medium pizza out of this dough.
2. Jalapenos would be very hot, I dont prefer for kids, I added those only for my hubby, as he prefers some hot and spicy.

sending this recipe to Rafee's baking fest event  Bake fest May 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Carrot Egg Stir

Carrot Egg Stir was one of my favorite after school snack. Initially my mom used to prepare this with the afternoon's leftover carrot stir, As the family liked it much, she started making it from scratch as evening snack. As it has, carrots and eggs, definitely a healthy one for growing kids.

Carrot -1 cup (grated)
Green chili -1
Eggs -2
Mustard seds - 1/2 tea spoon
Urad dal -1/2 tea spoon
Oil -1 tea spoon
pepper powder -1/4 tea spoon

1. In a pan, heat oil and add mustard sees, urad dal, curry leaves, and green
chili and saute for a while
2. Then add the grated carrot and salt and saute until the raw smell leaves
3. Break and add the eggs , pepper powder and stir until the eggs and carrot
cooked well.

Yummy carrot egg stir is ready to enjoy. :)

Linking this recipe to #recipeoftheweek | A Mummy Too
Linking to Dish it Out hosted by Full Scoops and organized by Vardhini of Cooks Joy

Suraikkai payasam (Bottle gourd payasam)

Suraikkai / Bottle Gourd is one of the healthiest veggie.. We used to make kootu or curry some times make suraikkai adai also. I learned this recipe during my initial days of cooking after marriage. In recent days, I have made some changes than the original recipe, and liked my own way of preparation, and stuck to this method. I made this delicious payasam on Tamil new year. And it was a grand success this time too.

I am giving the measurements based on which I have made this time.
The general ratio is, 1:1:1/3
1(cup of finely chopped bottle gourd) : 1(1 cup milk):1/3 (1/3 cup of sugar)


Finely chopped bottle gourd- 1 and 1/2 cup
Milk - 1 and 1/2 cup
sugar - 1/2 cup
Ghee - 2 tea spoon
coconut- few small pieces (say 2 table spoons coconut pieces)
cashews - 10 + 8
elachi powder - a pinch


1. Boil milk and keep aside.
2. In a sauce pan, heat 2 tea spoons of ghee and fry the cashews, and keep aside.
3. in the same pan, saute the chopped bottle gourd until its raw smell leaves.
4. then add about 3 cups of water (2 times your quantity of veggie) and let it cook in low flame.
(If you need a mashed consistency of bottle gourd in payasam add an extra cup of water. I liked to have the bites of bottle gourd pieces, so just cooked until soft)
5. Let it cook well until they turn soft, and let all the water evaporated.

6. In the mean time, in a blender, add 8 cashews,coconut and a table spoon of boiled milk (use from 1 and 1/2 cup mentioned above) or the required amount of milk, and grind it to a fine paste, and keep aside.
7. now add the remaining milk to the cooked veggie and let it cook for few minutes,
8.Once they are blended add sugar and give a stir.
9.then add the ground paste, and elachi powder, let the mix cook for a minute and switch off the flame.
10. add/Garnish with the fried cashews, serve warm or chilled.

1. you may even pressure cook the veggie, if you want to make it quickly.
2. If you Pressure cook, adjust the water level accordingly.
3.All the water should be evaporated, before adding milk.
4. if you want to mash the bottle gourd completely, you can either pressure cook or give a quick pulse in blender once it is cooked softly.

This month, I have got the veggie to cook in SYS-W series is bottle gourd. Hence linking this recipe to Viji's SYS-W event

Sending this recipe to fruit and Veggie based sweet treats hosted by Chef Mireille and organized by Swati

Monday, April 14, 2014

Avial - Our home style

அனைவருக்கும் இனிய தமிழ் புத்தாண்டு நல்வாழ்த்துகள்!..
Wish you all a very happy Tamil New year friends!...

Tamil new year is one of the most awaiting festival for me in school days. Just a day before Tamil new year, the exams used to get over and immediately the festival mood starts :))
In my native, we used to have a festival called, chithirai theerththam which falls on first day of Tamil month Chithirai(சித்திரை தீர்த்தத் திருவிழா) and a day before that we have another important event in temple called car festival (தேரோட்டம்).  Our summer Holiday's starts with these wonderful festivals every year. And another interesting thing is, we used to have new cloths to wear and yummy dishes to enjoy. Unforgettable days those are...It is another Deepavali for us in childhood :))

My mom used to prepare yummy vegetarian dishes on this special day. And my most favorite vegetarian dish is aviyal. Though the origin of the recipe is Kerala, you cannot find a single function or auspicious day's menu without Aviyal in southindia. (Especially in our home).

Since it is my favorite dish, my mom never waits for a function or a festival to prepare. Weekly once she used to prepare for sure. it is never boring dish for me. Aviyal goes well with sambar, rasam or even curd rice well.(for aviyal lovers like me,  rice is not required, we can eat it as it is:)))) As it has more vegetables, it is a healthy food for sure.

Aviyal is nothing but the combination of vegetables steamed / boiled along with spices and coconut. There are several methods of making. And I am comfortable with the way of making as well as taste which my mom fed me from childhood :) Today i am sharing my mom's recipe, and it is quiet famous in our relative circle too. They all love it.

The choices of veggies are purely our convenient only. Still I am dividing them into two parts, mandatory and optional.



Egg plant / Brinjal - 2 to 3
plantain/ vazhaikai - 1 big
Potato - 1 large
Raw Mango - 1/2 a small mango
drumstick - 4 to 5 pieces
Carrot - 1/2 small carrot
Beans - 3 to 4 beans
coconut - 1/4 cup grated or 1/3 cup cut in to pieces
Jeera - 1/2 table spoon
Greenchili - 1 medium
Curd - 1/4 cup
salt- to taste

Senai kilangu / yum - 4-5 small pieces
snake gourd - 2-3 table spoons, (sliced)
butter beans / soya beans  - few (fresh ones)
avaraikkai / broad beans - 4-5 chopped

To temper:
Cooking oil / coconut oil - 1/2 table spoon
mustard seed - 1/2 tea spoon
Urad dal - 1/2 tea spoon
curry leaves - a few

1. Peel off the skin for plantain, potato and cut the veggies into 2 inches long.
2. In a wide pan,Place potato, plantain cubes in the bottom and on top of it, add carrot, beans, raw mango,egg plant, drumstick, and add a cup of water. (Add only till half of the veggies are immersed, say little lower level than potato, plantain layer in vessel).
3. Add salt when veggies are half cooked. Do not stir more,
4. Cook until the veggies are cooked,  the water would not be completely evaporated at this stage.(do not over cook). Dont worry if little water is left. Keep the flame in simmer.
5. In the meantime, in a blender grind, coconut, Green chilies, Jeera) and make it to a thick paste.
6.When all the vegies are cooked, add the beaten curd to it and mix well.
7. Let it cook for a minute or two, then add the ground coconut paste.
8.Just cook for a while to remove the raw smell of green chili and jeera.
9. Temper with the items listed and add it to the Aviyal.

Serve with Steamed rice and sambar. or your choice of curry.

1.I personally do not prefer adding snake gourd, as it leaves water and makes the aviyal more watery. If you add snack gourd, add a little amount and adjust the water level accordingly.
2. do not add more carrots, as it will make the curry sweetened. My mom doesn't add carrots at all, But I add them a little.
3. do not add more coconut paste than required, Just use a desired quantity.
4. Increase or decrease no of green chilies, as per your taste.
5. Adding curd is not mandatory, but gives better taste if added.
6. The lists mandatory / Optional are based on my preference only

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Pineapple Kesari

Kesari would be everyone's all time favorite. I have seen many people preparing this delicious sweet for almost all the occasions, like birthdays, wedding days and parties, and for guests.I too made this last week during my hubby's birthday. Just by adding a scoop of kesari to your breakfast or dinner plate that becomes special for sure...

My mom used to make kesari so good. You can't stop it with one bowl and definitely will ask for more. Wherever I eat kesari, I never got satisfied with it's taste or texture, and always used to ask my mom to make for me. But I never tried to make kesari by my own until last year. initially I used to call her every time I make kesari for the measurements. Now got used to it.

But now I became fan of another person's Kesari recipe recently. Yes it is my friend's recipe, and I am going to share her recipe today. Once when we visited her, she just prepared it in minutes and treated us, and sent with us a box of kesari to home. I really enjoyed every bite of it. I just noticed the way she prepared and tried at home. Though it is little different than the one which mom taught me, it was easy to follow and it was a great success all the times I made so far:)


Rava (Coarse): 1 cup
sugar - 1 and 1/2 cups
Boiling water - 2 cups
Pineapple - 1/2 cup (chopped)
Ghee- 2 table spoons
elachi powder - a pinch 9optional)
Yellow food color - a pinch
Cashews and dry grapes - a few


1. In a Pan heat a table spoon of ghee, and fry the cashews and dry grapes
2. Then add the chopped pineapples and saute until they are fried and tender.
3. Add Rava and roast until it roasts well in low flame. (say about 8-10 minutes)

4. In the mean time bring water to boil.
5. Just before adding water to rava, add a pinch of food color in water and mix well.
6. Then Add boiling water to rava and mix well without lumps.

7. It will get cooked and  become thick in minutes.
8.Then add sugar and mix well. At this stage, again the kesari becomes watery/ semi fluid.
9. Keep stir until you reach the required consistency.
10.Add the remaining a table spoon of ghee, elachi powder, mix and switch off the flame.

I served with Pongal, coconut chutney, Sambar and urad dal vadai
Just a small scoop of this kesari made the diiner special.

1. if yo want crispy cashews to bite,  you can even keep aside the fried cashews and dry grapes and add them in the final stage.
2. normally 1 and 1/2 cup of water would be sufficient, if you need the kesari consistency not to be dry  and blended nicely add 2 cups.
3.adding elachi powder is optional... I didn't add.

Sending this recipe to fruit and Veggie based sweet treats hosted by Chef Mireille and organized by Swati

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Soya Chunks Biryani

Anything else can make Lunch special than Biryani? Either it could be veg or non-veg, the word biryani always plays a magical role of making the meal a special one. I love biryani, and I like to follow the simple methods of making. I always prefer using the fresh ground ingredients and the whole garam masala for my biryanis. My daughter always likes  soya chunks recipes, and this is one of her favorite... As soya chunks are rich in protein, I include these chunks in our diet, weekly once at least.


Basmati rice -1 cup (wash and soak for 30 minutes)
Soya chunks - 1-1/4 cups
Onion -1 medium size
tomatoes -2 medium sized.
green chili - 2
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tea spoon
thick curd - 1/4 cup(optional)
Pudina/mint leaves - a few
coriander leaves - a few to garnish
Oil-1 table spoon

Dry garam masala:
Fennel seeds - 1 tea spoon
cinnamon stick - 1 inch
bay leaf - 1 or 2
anistar- 1
cloves - 2
elachi -1-2

to marinate the chunks
chili powder - 1 tea spoon
garam masala - 1/2 tea spoon
ginger garlic paste - 1 tea spoon
thick curd - 1 table spoon (optional)
salt - a pinch
oil- 1/2 tea spoon

To shallow fry:
Oil -1/2 cup to 3/4 cup


To marinate and fry the soya chunks

1. Boil enough water in a wide pan and soak the soya chunks for 15-20 minutes or until they are soaked well (depends on the size of the chunks the soaking time differs a little.)
2. Then wash it with cold water so the dirt will be removed if any.
3.Squeeze it well so it will not have any water in the chunks and will become dry.
4. Leave them in the paper towel or kitchen towel for five minutes, so the moist will be absorbed.
5. now in a bowl, add the chunks, and the items listed in the marinate list and mix well. adjust the spice level according to your taste.
6.Keep aside the mix for at least 30 minutes. If you have planned it well before leave it for 3-4 hours

7. heat 1/2 cup of oil in a pan and shallow fry the soya chunks in batches. add more oil if required.
8.if the chunks were completely dry before you marinate, it will not absorb more oil.

For Biryani:

1. Chop the onions, green chili and tomatoes lengthwise.
2. In a Pressure cooker, heat a table spoon of oil and add the dry garam masala items listed, saute for a minute.
3. Add onions and green chilies and saute until the onions are transparent.
4. Then add ginger garlic paste and saute until the raw smell leaves.
5. Add the sliced tomatoes and saute until they are soft and blend together.

6. In the mean time, start shallow frying the soya chunks and add the batches to this mix. and keep sauteing, so it will not burn in the bottom
7. Add chili powder, garam masala, coirander powder and mix well.
8. When they all blend together, add the curd and mix, saute until the traces of curd leaves and blend together.
9. Now add the soaked and drained basmati rice and 1 and 3/4 cups of water.

10. Add mint leaves and close the lid, pressure cook for 1-2 whistles.
11. when the pressure leaves, open the lid and mix with fork or the handle of spoon.
12. garnish with coriander leaves and serve with your favorite curry or raitha.

This suits for lunch box, pot lucks, weekend lunches or even parties.


1. Adjust the spice level accordingly, mine was medium spice.
2.Adding curd is optional, but I prefer adding for biryanis normally.
3. Some of my friends used to complain that adding curd makes the dish sticky.. It is because they add the curd and immediately add the water and rice, and dont give time for curd to blend with the masala mix.
4. always saute well and give some time after adding curd, which will ensure non-sticky and flavorful biryani.
5. adding mint leaves in biryani will give some extra flavor.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Gobi Salan

I love to make gobi / cauliflower dishes, as they make the meal rich.
And I love this Veg because it is easy to cut and clean for me than other veg. and cooking time also very much less, so I dont need to stand at kitchen for a long time. :)

This recipe is admired from Vah Chef. All of us would have visited  his recipes at least once in our life time. I love his way of explaining the recipe and at last he used to taste it and definitely it will make us mouthwatering :)

Couple of months ago i was checking for a simple side dish for chapathi. And this gobi salan attracted me much and tried immediately... it was a great side for flat breads. i have not tried with rice so no comments on it. I have made slight modifications for my convenience.


Cauliflower - 1/2 a big flower or 7-8 big  florets.
Onion - 1 medium
green chili - 1
ginger garlic paste - 1 tea spoon
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tea spoon
chili powder - 1/4 tea spoon
Coriander powder - 1/4 tea spoon
mustard seeds - 1/2 tea spoon
jeera - 1/2 tea spoon
venthayam - 1/8 tea spoon
salt - to taste
Oil -  4-6 tea spoon
red chili- 2
Mint leaves - 1 handful (finely chopped)
coriander leaves - 1 handful (finely chopped)
Beated curd -2 table spoon

to roast and grind
Peanuts- 1 table spoon
sesame - 1 table spoon
grated coconut/ coconut powder - 1/4 cup
cashews - 7-10 nos (i used cashews for this curry)

1. In a pan, dry roast, peanuts,sesame and coconut/ cashews by adding one by one and let it cool.

2. In a vessel, boil water and add the cut and cleaned gobi, and a pinch of turmeric and salt. Let it cook for 5 minutes and switch off the flame.
3. In a pan or Kadai, heat 2 tea spoons of oil, Once oil is heated, add the mustard seeds, venthayam, jeera, red chilies and saute well for a min.
4. Add the  chopped onions and green chili then saute until the onions turn transparent.
5. Then add the ginger garlic paste and saute until the raw smell leaves.
6. Grind the peanut, sesame and coconut / cashew into a fine paste and add to the pan.
7. Add a pinch of turmeric powder, salt, and chili power, coriander powder.
8. Add half a cup to one cup of water and Let the mix boil for 20 to 30 minutes
9. Add the beaten curd and mix well

10. Add boiled cauliflower florets, mint and coriander leaves to the mix.

11. Cook for another 5 to 10 minutes with low flame, then switch off the flame.


1. Coconut can be replaced with 7-10 numbers of cashews. I did so.
2. Jeera powder was included in the original recipe, I dint add powder, instead I added whole jeera only. If you like to add jeera powder and dont have it handy, would suggest you to add a tea spoon of jeera while roasting peanut and sesame and grind it along with that.