Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Accompaniments - Chutney, Thokku, Thuvayal, Dips, and Pickles

Chutneys are important not only for snacks but they are an integral part of the main course too. Chutney is essentially an Indian condiment. Chutneys are made both from vegetable and fruit. They are generally spicy they can also be made sweet. In their absence an Indian meal remains incomplete.  I give you here, some good, tasty chutney recipes.

Avocado Chutney

Avocado, a tropical fruit, is a complete food with many essential nutrients like proteins, vitamin E, C, B, folic acid, iron, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. It has no cholesterol and is sodium free. Avocado shake with milk and sugar is a famous drink. Being highly nutrient,  it can be used to make salads, shakes, sandwitches etc. Since the fruit has a neutral taste, it easily blends with the things that are added to it. This chutney can be had as a dip for chips or used to make sandwitches.


*1 large avocado, peeled and pitted (or 2 small) Method
*1 small tomato, chopped
*2 tablespoons lemon juice or lime juice
*1/4 cup shredded fresh or desiccated coconut (unsweetened)
*2 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
*2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
*1/2 teaspoon salt
*1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped
*1 serrano pepper or Thai chile, finely chopped or 2 jalapenos, finely chopped
*2 tablespoons shredded or desiccated coconut


1.  Dry roast the 2tbsp of coconut in a dry skillet on medium heat. Stir constantly until uniformly golden brown.

2.  In a bowl, mash avocado. Add 1/4 cup of coconut, tomato and lime juice. Mix well.
3.  In a skillet, dry roast garlic cloves with skin over medium heat until skins start to brown. Remove skin and place in a blender. Add shallots to the blender along with salt and process to a paste.
4.  Add the garlic paste to the avocado mixture. Also, add cilantro and chilies. Stir well to mix. 5.  Garnish with roasted coconut and serve with dosas or puris, Chapatis.

 [Serves: Makes 3 cups-Cups Size:143gms.
    Recipe Type: Veg.
   Calories: 188 ]


Brinjal Kotsu Recipe

Brinjal Kotsu is the best accompaniment for the Ven Pongal recipe.


* 5 Big brinjals
* 8 Green chillies, finely chopped
* 1 Big onion, finely chopped
*1 Sprig curry leaves, chopped
* 1 tbsp Coconut scraping
* Tamarind, gooseberry size
* A pinch of turmeric powder
* A pinch of asafoetida
* 1 tsp Urad dal
* 1 tsp Mustard
* 1 tsp Salt
*1 tbsp Oil

1.   Cut brinjals into big pieces and cook till soft.
2.  Grind together coconut, tamarind and cooked brinjal to form smooth paste.
3.  Heat oil in a kadai and add mustard. 
4.  When it pops up, add asafoetida and urad dal and fry until golden brown.
5.  Add green chillies, curry leaves and onion. Fry it for five minutes.
6.  Now mix the brinjal paste, salt, turmeric powder and little water.
7.  Reduce the heat and keep it on fire for two to three minutes.
8.  Kotsu is ready to serve.

[Serves: 4 to 5  Persons
  Recipe Type: Veg.
  Calorie: Brinjal -100gms = approx.103 ]


Sweet and Sour Chutney[Tamarind Chutney]

This exotic sweet and sour chutney is a delicious condiment. This chutney can be called the ketchup of the east!


*1/2 lb tamarind, seeded

*2 1/2 cups sugar
*2 cups boiling water
*1 1/2 tablespoons roasted ground cumin seeds
*1 tablespoon salt
*1 teaspoon black salt
*1 teaspoon red chili powder
*1 teaspoon ground black pepper
*1/2 teaspoon ginger powder


1.Break the tamarind into small pieces and soak in hot boiling water for one hour.

2.Mash it into a pulp and strain pressing the tamarind into the strainer so that all the pulp comes out.
3.Add sugar to the pulp mix well.
4.Add the remaining ingredients. Mix again well and taste. Add more sugar, salt or pepper as needed.
5.Chutney can be refrigerated for two to three months.

Serving suggestion

1.Tamarind chutney is delicious with samosas, pakoras, drizzled over dahi vadas, bhel poori, or any kind of chat.
2.This is also delicious as a dipping sauce for French fries, as a spread over crackers.


1.To use as a dip, thicker chutney is ideal. To use as a topping, add water to make the chutney thinner.
2.Add water and ice cubes to serve as a cool spicy drink.
3.Add equal parts yogurt and chutney to make a dipping sauce.
4.Try drizzling over rice to add a unique flavor to plain rice.

[Serves: For 1 Sitting
  Recipe Type: Veg. ]

Channa dal chutney


* Channa dal – ½ cup
* Fresh coconut pieces – ¼ cup
* Green chillies – 3 or to taste
* Ginger – ½ inch
* Salt – to taste
* Oil – 1 tsp

For seasoning:

* Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
* Urad dal – ¼ tsp
* Curry leaves – 4
* Oil – 1 tsp

1.  Take a pan and heat with 1 tsp of oil.
2.  Add the channa dal, green chillies and ginger.
3.  Fry till they turn into golden yellow colour.
4.  Remove from heat.
5.  Allow it to cool.
6.  Add the fried ingredients, coconut pieces and salt in a mixer grinder.
7.  Grind to a fine paste.
8.  Transfer into serving bowl.
9.  In the same pan add 1 tsp of oil and heat.
10.Add mustard seeds and urad dal.
11.When they start to crackle add curry leaves.
12.Add this to the chutney and mix well and adjust salt.
13.Serve with idly, dosa, upma, Ven-Pongal etc.

[ Serves: 4 Persons
   Recipe Type: Veg.
   Preparation Time: 10 min. ]


Coriander chutney Recipe

Coriander chutney is an essential condiment with many of the snacks. 


* 1 bunch of Coriander leaves
* 15 Green chilies
* 1 Tomato
* 1 small piece Tamarind
* 2 tbsp Oil
* Salt
* Seasoning:
* Curry leaves
* 1 tsp of Chana dal
* 1 tsp Urad dal
* 1 tsp Mustard seeds
* 1/2 tsp of Jeera,
* A pinch of Hing
* Red chilly [cut into pieces]

1.   In a pan, heat oil and fry green chilies and take it out.
2.  Add coriander leaves and tomato in the pan and fry until they turn soft.
3.  Now grind coriander leaves and tomato with tamarind and salt.
4.  Heat oil in a pan and fry all the seasoning ingredients.
5.  As the mustard seeds starts to splutter, add this to the grinded coriander.
6.  Coriander chutney is ready.

[ Serves  4 Persons
   Recipe Type: Veg.
   Cooking Time: 10 min.]


Peanut Chutney Recipe


*1 cup roasted and peeled peanuts
*1 small onion sliced
*3 dry red chillis, de-seeded
*small lemon sized tamarind (soaked in warm water for 10 min.
*3 garlic flakes, crushed

*salt to taste
*3/4 cup water
*1 tsp oil

For Seasoning

1/2 mustard seeds

1/2 split black gram dal
8-10 curry leaves
1/2 tsp oil


1  Heat oil in a vessel, add the garlic and dry red chillis and stir fry for a few seconds.
2. Add the sliced onions and saute further for 2-3 mts on medium heat. Turn of heat and cool.

3.  Grind the roasted peanuts, tamarind, sauteed onions and garlic along with salt and half a cup of water.
4.  Heat oil in a pan for seasoning. Once hot, add the mustard seeds and once they splutter, add the split gram dal and let it turn golden brown.
5.  Add the curry leaves and turn off heat.
6.  Pour over chutney and serve with idlis or dosas.

[ Serves:3 to 4 Persons
   Recipe Type: Veg.
   Preparation Time: 15 min. ]


Coconut Chutney Recipe

Coconut Chutney is a breakfast companion in South India, used as an accompaniment to almost all the breakfast items.

Ingredients* 1/2 Coconut

* Lemon sized tamarind
* 10 Red chillies
* Salt to taste
* 1 tsp urad dal
* 1 tsp mustard seeds
* 2 tsp Oil
* 1 tsp Chana Dal
* Few red chilli pieces and curry leaves
* A pinch of hing
* 1/2 tsp Jeera

1.   Shred the coconut into small pieces.

2.   Fry the red chillies in a small pan.
3.   Grind red chillies, coconut, tamarind and salt. Add minimum water.
4.  Heat oil in a small pan. Add urad dal, chenna dal, mustard seeds, jeera, red chillies, hing and curry leaves.
5.  Add the seasoning to the coconut chutney after mustard seeds start spluttering.
6.  Coconut Chutney is ready.

[ Serves:  3 to 4 Persons
  Recipe Tyoe: Veg.
  Cooking Time: 5 to 10 min. 
  Calories: 1 tbsp Cocconut Chuteny = 90 ]


Onion Chutney Recipe

Onion Chutney is a tangy South Indian recipe, very relishing indeed.


* 4 Onions

* 3 tsp Urad dal
* 3 tsp Channa dal
* Dry red pepper
* 2 tsp Tamarind paste
* Oil for frying

1.  Cut the onions
2.  Heat the oil.
3.  Fry dal and red pepper till roasted.
4.  Fry onion pieces till they are wilted.
5.  Grind dal, onions, tamarind paste and salt to make a paste.
6.  Serve it with Roti, Chapati, Upma, Puris etc..

[ Serves: 4 Persons
   Recipe Type: Veg.
   Calories:  Raw Onion -100gms = 50 ]


Zucchini Chutney [Seemai Surakai Thuvayal]

This Chutney/Thuvayal is a fine, tasty accompaniment for Idlis, Dosa, Pongal varieties.


*Zucchini - 1 [peeled and cut into small cubes]

*Green Chillies - 3 [chopped]
*Tamarind pulp - 1/2 tsp
*Urad dal - 2 tblsp
*Coconut [grated] - 2 tblsp [optional]
*Garlic - 1 clove
*Asaefoetida - a pinch
*Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
*Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
*Cilantro - handful
*Curry leaves - 4
*Red chilly - 1
*Salt - to taste
*Oil - 2 tblsp


1. Heat little oil in a pan, roast the urad dal and grated coconut till a nice aroma come. Keep it aside.
2. Next add zucchini pieces and green chillies to the same pan and fry till it becomes tender.
3. Add the garlic, tamarind, Asaefoetida, cumin seeds and cilantro and saute for few minutes.
4. Gind all the above ingrediants along with the roasted dal and grated coconut in a blender. Grind it to a fine paste with little water.
5. Heat oil in a pan, splutter the mustard seeds, curry leaves and dry red chilly.
6. Add it to the ground mixture. Serve with plain white rice or idlis.

[ Serves: 3 to4 Persons
  Recipe Type: Veg.]

Tomato Chutney

This chutney is very tasty and it can be served with idli , dosa , vada, chapati and other tiffin varieties.


*Tomatoes - 3 to 4
*Onion - medium size 1
*Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp.
*Green chillies - 1
*Jaggery - amarble size.
*Mustard - 1/4 tsp.
*Blackgram dhal - 1/2 tsp.
*Curry leaves
*Salt - to taste


1.  Grind together tomatoes, onion, green chillies and jaggery to a smooth paste.
2.  Heat a little oil. Fry mustard seeds, curry leaves and blackgram dhal.
3.  Add to it the paste, chilly powder and salt.
4.  Stir and let it simmer well. In a few minutes, the gravy will get thickned and leave the side. 
5.  Tomato chutney is ready to serve.

[ Serves: 4 Persons
  Recipe Type: Veg.
 Calories: Tomato Chutney -1 tblspn = 15 ]


Tomato Chutney - 2


*Tomato - 3

*Onion - 1
*Green chillies - 2
*Sambar powder - 1/2 tsp.
*Black gram dhal - 1/2 tsp.
*Mustard - 1/4 tsp.
*Curry leaves
*Salt - to taste


1.  Chop onion, tomatoes and green chillies.
2.  In a frying pan, fry mustard, blackgram dhal.
3.  Add chopped onion, tomatoes and chillies and stir well.
4.  Add salt, sambar powder [or chilli powder].
5.  Let it simmer for 5-10 minutes until the gravy gets thickened.
6.  Remove from the fire. Garnish with curry and coriander leaves.
7.  Tomato chutney is ready and can be served with Idli, Dosa, Puris, Chapatis etc.

[ Serves: 3 to 4 Persons
  Recipe Type: Veg.
  Calories: 1 tblspn Chutney=15 calories]


Tomato Pickle

My mother is known for her expertise in preparing the best of pickles.  There are two types of tomato pickle my mother usually prepares, based on availability of fresh tomatoes, time and a good amount of sunshine. The sun dried version is labor intensive but totally worth the effort and time. Having said that, the other version she prepares is an instant tomato pickle that tastes equally good. It’s full flavored, well balanced, a little spicy with a superb garlicy tang and not to mention - a beautiful vibrant shade of red. 

This tangy and spicy pickle, so full fo flavour,  works good with idlis, dosas and rice. One can also combine a tablespoon of tomato pickle in a cup of thick yogurt and serve with hot aloo parathas. Remember to use fresh, ripe and firm tomatoes for this pickle.


*1 1/2 kg tomatoes, wash, dry and slice
*large lemon sized tamarind [use if the tomatoes lack tang]
*2 tbsps red chilli pwd [as reqd]

*1 tsp methi pwd
*1 1/2 - 2 tbsps salt [as reqd]
*2-3 tbsps oil

For tempering

1 tsp mustard seeds
pinch of methi seeds
15 fresh curry leaves
3-4 dry red chillis
15 cloves garlic, sllightly crushed.
2 tbsps oil

1 Heat oil in a heavy bottomed vessel, add the sliced tomatoes and cook on high heat for 5 mts. Reduce heat to medium high and continue to cook till the oil separates and the tomatoes turn mushy.

2 Towards the end of the cooking process as the oil seperates, reduce heat and keep stirring till the oil separates completely (the tomatoes could take a good 45 mts to an hour to cook). Turn off heat, add the tamarind and place lid. The tamarind will soften with the heat of the cooked tomatoes. Cool completely.
3 Once cool, add salt and grind the cooked tomatoes along with tamarind to a paste. Remove onto a vessel. Add chilli pwd and methi pwd. Combine.
3 In a pan, add 2 tbsps oil, add mustards seeds, methi seeds and fry till the mustard splutters and the methi turns red. Add the dry red chillis, curry leaves and saute for a few seconds and turn off heat. Add the crushed garlic and leave aside the tempering for 4-5 mts.
4 Once cool, add this tempering along with oil to the tomato paste. Combine well. Cool and store in an airtight bottle. Refrigerate.

Use tamarind only if the tomatoes are sweet without any tang. Usually slightly tangy tomatoes work best for this pickle

[ Serves: According to consumption.
  Recipe Type: Veg.
  Calories: 100gms Tomatoes = 20 ]


Green Chilli Pickle

Chili pickle is a great way to spice up your food. Those who prefer mild levels of spicing might find this too hot.


*20 green Serrano chili peppers
*2 tablespoons coriander
*1 tablespoon fennel seeds
*1 teaspoon fenugreek seed
*3 teaspoons salt
*1 teaspoon mango powder
*1/2 teaspoon turmeric
*1 tablespoon vinegar
*2 tablespoons oil, mustard oil preferred


1.Wash and wipe dry the green chilies. Make a vertical slit in the center of each chili.
2.Take coriander, fennel, and fenugreek seeds and grind them coarsely. Heat the oil and mix all the dry ingredients together, add vinegar and mix.
3.Fill the peppers with spice mix. Keep them in a glass jar and keep the jar in the sun for a day.
4.Chili pickle can be refrigerated for about a month.

[ Serves: According to comsumption/shelf life.
  Recipe Type Veg.
  Calories: 1 tblspn Green Chilies=2 ]


Sweet Grated Mango Pickle

Though Avakaa  is the most beloved mango pickle to the people of  Andhra, there is also another variety in mango pickle called the sweet mango pickle. My mother learned this tasty pickle from her neighbour from Andhra.  This pickle involves a lot of labour and time and the finished product is nodoubt delicious for the entire family! 

A sweet mango pickle with grated/sliced mango needs to be refrigerated. Dried mango slices, chilli powder, methi powder and jaggery are the ingredients which go into its making. For this recipe,there no fixed measurement of ingredients. If the mangoes are more sour, we just need to increase use of jaggery and vice versa.  Makes a great accompaniment to curd rice and tiffins like upma. Very tasty to go with Curd Rice!  I really love this recipe of my mothers'!! 

Sun Dried Mango Slices:


*3 raw green mangoes [washed, wiped dry, skinned and sliced]
*1/2 tsp turmeric powder
*2 tbsps red chilli powder
*1 tsp roasted fenugreek seeds powder [methi/menthi podi]
*2 1/2 tbsps salt
*3/4 to 1 cup grated jaggery [melt and strain] or sugar

For Seasoning

*1/4 tsp asafoetida/hing
*1 1/2 tbsp oil


1.  Combine turmeric powder and two tbsps salt with the mango slices, cover with lid and leave overnight.
2.  Next day, strain the water and sun- dry the mango slices for three days.
3.  On the fourth day, prepare the grated pickle.
4.  Boil 2 cups of water and turn off heat. Once the water reaches room temperature, add the dried mango slices and let it soak for an hour or till the pieces soften and water is absorbed. 5.  Meanwhile, boil the strained jaggery for 8-10 mts or till it reaches one string stage [padam].
6.  Keep aside to cool for 7-8 mts. Combine red chilli pwd, methi pwd and salt [as required] to the soaked mango slices and mix well.
7.  Add the jaggery syrup and combine well.
8.  Heat oil in a pan, add asafoetida and fry for a few seconds till the flavor comes out and add to the mango pickle.
9.  Store in an air tight bottle and refrigerate.
10.This pickle can be eaten immediately on preparation.

[ Serves: Accordingly to consumption/shelf life
  Recipe Type: Veg.
  Calories: 100gms Mango=74 
  Preparation Time: 1 hr ]


Ridgegourd Chutney[Peerkangai Chutney]


*Ridgeguard -   2 cups of ridgegourd peeled]
*Dry red Chilly - 4
*Tamarind - blueberry size
*Garlic - 2 cloves [optional]
*Urad dal [Black garm] - 1 tblsp
*Sesame seeds - 1 tblsp
*Grated Coconut - 1 tblsp [optional]
*Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
*Asaefoetida - a pinch
*Salt - to taste
*Oil - 1 tblsp


1.  Wash the ridge gourd peel the outer skin. [You can use the skin alone for the chutney or use the entire ridgegourd or without the skin too.]
[ Serves: 8 Persons
  Recipe Type: Veg
 Calories per serving: approx.26 ]

2.  Cut the ridgegourd skin [and/or flesh if using] into small pieces and keep it aside.
3.  Heat oil in a pan, fry the urad dal till it turns golden brown.
4.  Add the sesame seeds, grated coconut [optional] and dry red chillies and fry for a minute.
5.  Add the ridgegourd pieces, garlic cloves and tamarind and fry till it is cooked and becomes tender. Switch off the flame.
6.  After this cools enough to handle, blend everything together with required salt, asaefoetida and very little water.
7.  Ridgegourd chutney is ready.  Serve this chutney with rice, idli and dosai.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Breakfast Recipes - Upma Recipe/Pongal Recipes/Vadai Recipes

Rava Upma Recipe

Rava Upma
*2 cup Rava / Sooji [Semolina] 
*4 1/2 cups  Water
*25 gms fried Cashew Nuts [optional]
*1 inch Ginger chopped
*1 chopped Onion
*3 Green Chillies slit sideways
*1 Potato chopped
*1 Capsicum chopped
*1 Carrot chopped
*1/4 cup Green Peas frozen or fresh
*1 tsp Mustard Seeds
*1 tsp Urad Daal
*1 tsp Channa Daal
*Salt to taste
*1/2 tsp Turmeric Powder
*Chili powder to taste [optional]
*2 tblsp Oil
*Few curry leaves
*Finely chopped corianderleaves
*1 tblsp Ghee
*Lemon juice to taste

1.  Sift rava through a muslin / cheese cloth or very fine sieve.

2.  Heat 1tbsp. pure ghee / unsalted butter and fry rava ,on a moderate heat, stiring constantly to light brown color and set aside.
3.  Now heat 2 tbsp oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and allow them to splatter.
4.  Add the daals : channa & urad & curry leaves to it and fry till they turn red.
5.  Add onion, ginger and green chilies. Sauté for 2-3 minutes.
6.  Add all the vegetables, turmeric & chili powder, and salt to taste.
7.  Now add 4 1/2 cups of water and cover the pan and allow it simmer on low heat until the vegetables are done.
8.  Add the fried rava to it stirring constantly till it becomes little thick.
9.  Take off from the heat and lemon juice if desired.
10.Serve hot garnished with cashews and coriander.

[Serves: For 4 to 5 Persons
 Recipe Type: Veg.
 Calories on the whole-
 [including Oil] : approx. 1758 ]


Vermicelli Upma Recipe


*2 cups Vermicelli

*1 tsp Chana dal
*1 tsp Urad dal
*1/4 tsp Mustard seeds
*2 tsp Cashewnuts
*2 tsp Peanuts
*1 Onions
*2 Green chillies
*1/2 inch Ginger
*1 Potatoes
*1/4 cup Peas
*1 Carrots
*1 Tomatoes
*4 1/2 cups Water
*3 tblsp Oil
*2 tblsp Ghee
*3 sprig Curry Leaves
*Salt to taste


1.  Chop onions, chillies, ginger, tomatoes , potatoes, carrots into small pieces and keep aside.
2.  Heat oil and add chana dal, urad dal, mustard seeds and curry leaves. When they start to crackle , add peanuts and cashewnuts. Fry till they turn golden brown.
3.  Add potatoes, carrots and fry for 4-5 minutes.
4.  Then add chillies, ginger , onions, peas and tomatoes.
5.  Cook until they are done.
6.  After that add salt and 8cups of water, cover with a lid and let it boil .
7.  When the water comes to boil add vermecelli and simultaneously stir ( so that no lumps will be formed).
8.  Cover the upma with a lid for 5-6 minutes and then add 2tbsp of ghee and stir well.
9.  Serve hot with coconut chutney.

[ Serves: 5 Persons.
  Recipe Type: Veg.
  Calories on the whole : approx. 1465 ]

Aval Upma [ Rice Flakes Upma]

*Rice flakes – 2cups

*Onion - 1 sliced
* Green chillies – 2
* Red chilli – 1
* Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
* Mustard seeds - ½ tsp
* Urad dal - ½ tsp
* Channa dal - ½ tsp
* Coriander leaves – few
* Oil – 1 tsp
* Salt – to taste
* Coconut – ¼ cup (grated)
* Curry leaves – few
*Lemon - 1


1.  Clean and wash the rice flakes. Completely drain the water and keep aside.

2.  Take a kadai and heat with 1 tsp of oil. Then add mustard seeds, urad dal, channa dal and curry leaves.
3.  Fry till it turns golden brown colour.
4.  Then add sliced onion and slitted green chillies. Fry till it turns into golden brown colour.
5.  Now add the aval, turmeric powder and salt. Sprinkle with little amount of water.
6.  Finally add coriander leaves and remove from the stove.
7.  Add the lemon juice and coconut gratings on the finished Upma so as to decorate it.
8.  Serve hot with coconut Chuney or pickle.

[ Serves 5 Persons
  Recipe Type: Veg.
  Preparation Time: 10 mins.
  Calories on the whole:  approx.2049 ]



This is a  breakfast dish from the Land of Coconut Trees, famous in all the southern states too, which features the same rice flour and coconut.  The soft and thin Idiyappams, in its pure white colour, when garnished with fresh grated coconut, is a real beauty to taste. Idiyappam is said to be the best, when served with sweet coconut milk. Other people may prefer to relish this dish with some spicy curries too. You could also have it with a tasty Potato Stew or vegetable Korma.  It will taste yummmmy!


Fine Rice Flour – 3 cups

[Use a good  brand, or if you can get Idiyappam podi that’ll be the best.  You can also prepare the rice flour at home.Wash and soak raw rice for few hours. Drain well and allow it to dry completely. Grind it to a fine powder and dry roast it. This is ofcourse the best way to make it]

*Water – approx 3 cups
*Salt – as needed
*Grated Coconut – 1/2 cup
*Thick Coconut milk – 1 tsp [Optional]
*Oil – as needed

Accessories Needed

Idiyappam Press
Idli Mould


1.  Boil water in a pan,adding required amount of salt into it.
2.  Pour the boiled water little by little to the rice flour, stirring in between, until it is ready to make into a smooth dough.
3.  Allow it to cool for a while.When it is half cooled, knead it with your hand into a smooth dough, adding coconut milk also if your wish to use it.

4.  Lightly grease the idiyappam press and the idli mould to prevent sticking.
5.  Add 1/2 a spoon of grated coconut into each idli plate.
6.  Spoon some dough into the idiyappam press,close the lid and squeeze the dough onto the idli plates in a circular motion.
7.  Garnish each idiyappam with a little more grated coconut. You can mix little sugar with the coconut[if you like it to be sweet],again that’s also optional.
8.  Now place the idli plates in a steamer and steam it until done.
9.  Allow it to cool for a while and carefully remove the idiyappams to a serving bowl.

[ Serves:  6 Persons
   Recipe Type: Veg.
   Calories on the whole: approx. 2457 ]


Kuzhi Paniyaram

Kuzhi means hole in tamil. As we are pouring the batter in a hole, it is called as kuzhi paniyaram. It can be made either as sweet or savory. This paniyaram is from the left over idly batter. It tastes like the medu [Ulunthu] vada. Easy to prepare and tasty to eat. Loved by the entire family, especially children.


*2 Cups Idli Rice

*1/2 Cup Urad Dhal
*1/2 Onion chopped
*2-3 Green Chillies chopped


*1/4 Tsp Mustard seeds
*1/2 Tsp Urad Dhal
*1 Tsp Channa Dhal
*Few Curry Leaves


1.  Soak rice and dhal separately for 5 hours.

2.  Grind them separately.
3.  Mix them together and add salt.
4.  Leave it overnight to ferment.
5.  Heat 2 tsp oil, add the seasonings.
6.  Once mustard crackle, add chopped onion, little salt and green chillies.
7.  Fry till onions are transparent.
8.  Add this to the batter & mix.
9.  Heat kuzhipaniyaram vessel.
10.Fill the well with 1/2 tsp oil each.
11.Pour the batter in each well till 3/4th filled.
12.Cook it on both sides in medium flame till golden brown.
13.Serve hot with coconut chutney.

Batter should not be watery.

[ Serves: 8 to 10 Persons
  Recipe Type: Veg.]


Ven Pongal / Venn Pongal [Rice Pongal]


* Rice 1 Cup
* Moong Dal 1/4 Cup
* Black Pepper Powder to taste
* Zera Powder 1 Tbsp
* Ginger Paste 1 Tsp
* Dry Dinger (Sukku) 1 Tbsp
* Heeng 1 Tsp
* Cashew for garnishing
* Margaring/Ghee 2 Tbsp
* Water 6 Cups
* Salt to taste


1. Wash rice and dal together and drain nicely.
2. In the Rice cooker heat 1 tbsp ghee.
3. Add rice and dal. Fry till the ghee coats the mixture.
4. Add the rest of the ingredients, except Cashews.
5. Add water. Cover and cook.
6. Keep testing the water level and stir frequently as it has a tendency to stick to the bottom.
7. When rice gets fully mashed garnish with cashews.

[ Serves: 4 Persons
  Recipe Type: Veg.]
  Calories: 1 Plate Pongal = 243 ]


Rava Pongal


* Rava 1 cup
* Moong Dal 1/2 cup
* Cashew Nuts 10 no
* Ghee 4 tbs
* Curry Leaves
* Chopped Ginger 1 tsp
* Blackpeppercorn 1 tsp
* Cumin Seeds 1 tsp
* Salt to taste


1. Fry the rava without any oil till it is really hot to touch.
2. Fry the black pepper and cumin seeds in a teaspoon of ghee and make a coarse powder of them.
3. Fry the cashewnuts, curryleaves, chopped ginger and keep aside.
4. Pressure cook the moong dal with 1 cup of water.
5. After the pressure subsides transfer the cooked dal to a heavy bottomed pan and add a cup of water.
6. Add the required salt.
7. Allow this to boil well.
8. Add the fried rava to the above boiling (cooked) moong dhal in small measures and stir continuously till the rava is cooked completely.
9. While the rava is being cooked add the ghee little by little.
10. Finally, add the coarsely powdered pepper and jeera and the fried cashewnuts, curry leaves and chopped ginger.
11. If you want a spicy rava pongal you can also use a teaspoon of chopped green chilly.
12. This goes well with coconut chutney.

[ Serves: For 4 Persons
   Recipe Type: Veg.
   Calories: 1 Plate Rava Pongal = approx.243 ] 


Sakkarai Pongal

Sakkarai Pongal is a very popular/tasty recipe.  


* 2 litres Milk
* 1 1/2 cups Newly harvested Rice
* 1/4 cup Moong Dal
* 15 no. Cashewnuts
* 10 no. Almonds
* 30 no. Kishmis
* 1/4 level teaspoon Nutrieg Powder
* 1 1/2 cup Jaggery (grated)
* 1/4 teaspoon Saffron (crushed)
* 1 teaspoon Cardamom powder
* 2 tablespoons ghee


1. Chop almonds and cashewnuts.
2. Clean kishmis.
3. Pour milk in the earthen pot called 'Pongapani' and place it on fire.
4. When the milk starts boiling add rice and dal, after washing. As soon as the rice and dal are cooked to softness, add jaggery and ghee.
5. Let cook on medium fire for some time and then put in almond and cashewnut bits, saffron, nutrieg and cardamom powders.
6. Now, add the kismis.
7. Bring to one or two good boils.

[ Serves: 4 to 5 Persons
  Recipe Type: Veg.]
Medu Vadai Recipe

Medu Vada , is a household dish in South India. Any function is not complete without this Vada. It forms an integral part of the menu, be it a wedding or any other function.  This along with pongal. coconut chutney and sambhar is a perfect combination for breakfast. It will make you so full you will not feel hungry till your dinner time......very sumptuous...!!!


*Urad Dal - 2 cups
*Green Chillies -2 nos
*Onion - cut into small pieces
*Curry leaves - a small bunch cut into small pieces
*Oil for deep fry
*Salt to taste


1.  Soak the Urad Dal for about 2 hours.
2.  Drain the water and blend it in a mixer along with the green chillies and a piece of ginger till you get a smooth paste.
3.  Make sure you do not add water , since the finely chopped onions will add to the water content.
4.  Add the onions along with salt to the Urad Dal paste .
5.  Mix well and keep aside for 5 mins.
6.  Heat oil in a heavy bottomed kadai and when the Oil is hot.
7.  Take portions of the mixture make flat rounds and fry them in the oil.
8.  Make sure that you drop the vada very slowly and carefully so that the hot oil dont spat outside the kadai. Some may add rice flour to this mixture so that the Vadai is crispy.  This will only make the vadai absorb more oil.
9.  Hot vadas can be had with Coconut Chutney or sambhar.
10.This vadai is also used to make Sambhar Vada or Thayir/Dahi Vada. Both of them are very famous dishes in South Indian restaurants.

[ Serves: 15 to 20 Vadais
  Recipe Type: Veg.
  Calories: 1 Vadai = approx.130 Calories ]


Lentil and Spinach Vadai / Keera Vadai Recipe


*2 cups channa dal / kadala paruppu

*1 bunch spinach leaves, tough stalks removed
*1 onion, finely chopped
*2 green chillies, finely chopped
*1" piece of ginger, grated or finely chopped
*10-12 curry leaves, finely chopped
*Salt to taste
*Oil for deep frying


1. Clean and soak the chana dal in water for an hour. Meanwhile, wash spinach and place in a pan over lot heat until the leaves wilt. Then, chop finely.

2. Once soaked, drain completely and pulse the dal in a mixer or food processor into a coarse paste. To give the vadai some texture, I keep about 1 tbsp dal aside and add it after pulsing the rest.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
4. Shape into lime-sized balls and flatten slightly. Deep fry in oil until golden brown. Drain and serve hot with chutney.

[Serves: 18 to 20 Vadais
Recipe Type: Veg.
Calorie: 1 Vadai = approx.130 Calories]


Vazhaipoo Vadai [Banana Flower Vadai]

This Vadai is a special item of my grandmother and my mother used to say that she learnt to master this since it was much  relished by all of us in our family and it became a special dish, very tasty indeed. It is generally said that Vazhaippoo/Vazhaithandu etc varieties are very good for health.   You may add onions if you prefer [my mother never touches onions for sure] I must tell you.... without onions, this vadai is yummmy.......Here is my mother's recipe.....


*Vazhaipoo [Banana Flower] - 1
*Channa dal - 1 cup
*Tuvar dal - 3/4 cup
*Whole Pepper - 1tsp
*Red Chillies - 3
*Jeera - 1 tbsp
*Buttermilk - 2tblespn
*Fennel seeds - 1 tbsp
*Salt to taste
*Oil for Deep frying
*Curry leaves

To grind:Method:

*Channa dhal- 1/2 cup
*Toor dhal- 3/4 cup
*Red chilies-3
*Whole pepper-1 tsp
*Jeera- 1 tbsp
*Fennel seeds-1 tbsp

1. Dilute the buttermilk in a bowl and keep it aside.Make them into small flat vadais , while the oil is getting heated in a thick bottomed vessel/frying pan.

2. Peel the cover of the flower and pull out the flower bunches of each layer.
3. Next, remove the stamens of each flower and chop them into fine pieces. Make sure to remove a long stem inside each floret, as this is not good for health and does not digest easily, if taken. 

4. Put the chopped flowers in buttermilk water along with pinch of turmeric .
5. Soak all the above said ingredients for about an hour and grind it coarsely so as to form a thick paste.  
6. Drain the excess water from the chopped flowers and add it to the mixture, along with curry leaves.

5.  Drop the flat-made vadais one by one and deep fry them till golden brown.  Wait for the oil to strain off the vadais, in a strainer. 
6.  Serve hot with chutney. 
[Serves:  20 to 25 Vadais
Recipe Type: Veg.]


South Indian Thayir Vadai [ Curd/Dahi Vadai ]

This spicy Indian dish, make a great appetizer or snack/tiffin item. They are served with spiced yogurt. A very special treat for the whole family!


*1/2 cup Split Black Lentils - Uraad dal

*1/2 cup Green Lentils - Moong Dal
*1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
*1/2 teaspoon Cumin - toasted & ground
*1 medium green chile - finely diced
*1 cup Oil - for frying
*1/4 cup Milk
*1/4 teaspoon Black pepper - to taste
*1 cup Yogurt - plain
*6 small Curry leaves - finely chopped
*1 teaspoon ginger root - crushed


1.  Clean dal, wash and soak in water for 4 hours.
2.  Blend in blender at medium speed using minimum water to keep paste moving freely.
3.  Add salt, cumin, and chilies.

4.  Then start heating the oil, it needs to be quite hot. Drop large spoonfuls of batter into your hand. Form in traditional "donut" shape. Fry till golden brown.
5.  Drop fried Vadas in water. Let it soak 3-4 minutes or until ready to serve.
6.  Beat yogurt with milk.
7.  Add pepper, curry leaves, and ginger according to taste. Some people add mint or mango chutney to this as well. If you prefer it sweeter add a bit of Splenda.
8.  Squeeze out water from the vada and pour spiced yogurt over the top.
9.  Garnish with cilantro (coriander) leaves and some shredded carrot.
10.Makes about 12 dumplings and about 1 - 1/2 cups if sauce.

[Serves: 12 Vadais
 Recipe Type: Veg.
 Calories: approx.215 ]
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