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Sunday, June 30, 2013


     This is also one of the meal I cooked when I was in Chennai. So please excuse the Picture and presentation quality :) We were just planning for a south Indian meal, while some guests came, so we added on a fried rice. Just 3 days before the wedding, so we wanted to empty the fridge ;)  I was supposed to post it yesterday, but posting it late today, sorry bout that!


         That day, we had the following for lunch :

  1. Vellarikkai Thayir Pachadi
  2. Mango sweet pachadi
  3. Vazhai thandu poriyal
  4. Keerai kootu
  5. Avarakkai Sambar
  6. Rasam
  7. Fried rice
  8. Plain Rice

And some potato chips, appalam and cut ripe mangoes as sides too. Most of the day's lunch will be having mango pachadi in the menu because its a family favorite there :) I was not a big fan, but now a days slowly developing taste for it!

Soon will come up with exciting lunch ideas, stay tuned.


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Friday, June 28, 2013

Mom's Sambar powder
               This is a long time pending post. I have got many requests to post sambar powder recipe that I use in most of my cooking. Have ignored those, but its high time I share this as a post. This is very very useful and handy for the preparation of everyday sambar, we use it for making kootu, poriyal, sometimes for specific rasams too, what not? On our daily basis in our day to day life, we call it as milagai thool (molava thool in slang language), we call the pure chilli powder as vara milagai thool.I would say our sambar powder is universal curry powder. I use it (very very little) for an extra punch in my Biryani and Paneer butter masala too. Some may find it weird, but it lends a great flavour to these. After all this is nothing but mainly dhaniya (coriander seeds) and red chillies, which we use separately in other recipes, so I replace those with sambar powder. Many of us don’t know the multi purpose use of it, but I find it very very very useful to me. And always treasure this when MIL and mom gives it when ever I visit them.
MIL's Sambar powder
             And not to mention about the bucks we save by grinding this bulk and use. When we buy store bought sambar powder, its expensive if we compare to this method. My mom and MIL both have their own recipe for sambar powder. Both are excellent on its own way, I will never say this is better than that. And obviously, both of them follow different method to make sambar, not big difference, only the process is a little bit different. I will make both versions thought the year changing once a monthBlushing. Few of my relatives and friends have asked for the recipe of this sambar powder, so here is the most treasurable sambar powder recipe. Both Mom’s version and MIL’s Version.

Sambar powder recipe (MIL’s Version)

Indian Lunch
Prep Time: 30 mins    |  Processing time: 15 mins    Can be used for: 6 months


Red chillies (long red variety) 1/4 kg
Coriander seeds (Dhaniya) 1/2 kg
Turmeric (long variety, we call it as virali manjal) You can use powder too. 50 gm
Channa dal 50 gm
Toor dal 100 gm
Pepper (black,whole) 50 gm
Jeera 25 gm
Fenugreek seeds (vendhayam) 50 gm
Mustard (roasted) Optional 1 tblsp
Rice (raw rice) Optional 1 tbslp

     All these ingredients are sundried, chilli separately and all other ingredients separately and my MIL carries it in a big container to the mill and grinds it to a fine powder.  After coming back, she spreads in news papers to cool down and stores in airtight containers. One big and one small in which she transfers weekly for everyday use. By that way, even if we touch it with wet hands, it will get over soon and the big container sambar powder is saved. This can be used upto 5 months, depending upon how much we use. For kootu and poriyals for serving 4, she adds 1 tsp heaped while cooking the vegetables. For sambar serving 5-6, she adds 2 & 1/2 to 3 tsp of heaped sambar powder. 

Sambar powder recipe (Mom’s version)

Red chillies (long red variety) 1/4 kg
Coriander seeds (Dhaniya) 1/4 kg
Turmeric (long variety, we call it as virali manjal) You can use powder too. 50 gm
Channa dal 50 gm
Toor dal 50 gm
Pepper (black,whole) 50 gm
Jeera 20 gm
Fenugreek seeds (vendhayam) 50 gm
       Same like MIL, my mom also sun dries these ingredients and grinds in the mill and stores in bulk. Only few changes in my  mom and MIL’s version, mainly the coriander seeds ratio, my mom uses chilli and coriander seeds both in equal ratio and skips mustard and rice. Those are my MIL’s touch to her sambar powder. My mom’s sambar powder is needed less as chilli ratio is more in this, so only 1 & 1/2 tsp of sambar powder for serving 5 person, she uses 4-5 green chillies for sambar while frying onions.. For poriyals and kootu, she adds only 3/4th spoon of sambar powder.
   The moment when they bring the sambar powder ground in the mill freshly and spreads for cooling, the whole house smells great! Which talks about the quality of the sambar powder Happy. I will soon post both the method how my MIL and mom makes sambar using the respective sambar powders. Hang on there!


    • Do not use wet hands while handling the sambar powder, always use clean spoons.
    • Adding channa dal more in the above recipe will make the sambar overflow while boiling.




Monday, June 24, 2013

easy-pepper-kuzhambu-recipe      I am back from Chennai after a busy busy wedding week. Though I had two posts ready with me, I didn't bothered about my blog and was not stone hearted to sit and spend time in my blog while the whole house was filled with guests. It was fun and I enjoyed that life too. Lots of cooking, lots of serving than cooking Tongue. No time to sit, no place to sleep, still enjoyed the time.How? It gave me time to sit in mottamadi, watch the trains passing by, including the new double decker express to Bangalore. Though I wanted to travel to Bangalore in that train to my brother’s house, it dint happened due to lack of time, at least I was lucky enough to watch it many times (from our house window, I can see the trains passing by coz, the track is just opposite to our house Batting Eyelashes).  I could do only half the things as I planned to do in Chennai, missed few thingsWorried, still its fine, where everything gonna go?
      As usual, when I kept shopping and mom, MIL gathered things for me to carry, packing things become very difficult and left lot of things behind. Consoled MIL to bring those things when she visit here later. Yes, now that I visited Chennai, now I am eager for them to come here to SGBlushing . Still, feeling bad for few things which I wanted to do, but could not – click the passing by trains, karumbu juice kadai near by , explore the streets of Anna nagar, though I watched the shops from the car few times going here and there. Missed buying top ramen noodles, 5-star, coffee bite which I cant get hereStriaght Face. Also I wanted to go to the beaches in the evening, but could go only after it went dark! This happens every time, every single time!! Ok fine! Lets me see the brighter sideCool. I will do everything next time. Its mainly because of the travel I dint had time to do many things. Pune trip was really good, Pune climate was just like B’lore climate, pure bliss! Now its time to sit and edit all the pictures! Big Grin 
   And I am really sorry for those un answered mails, comments, queries…I know I dint respond to many of you. Will try my best to reply those soon. Thank you for you understanding and supportin my absence Big Hug. This pepper kuzhambu recipe/ milagu kuzhambu recipe is similar to my brinjal pepper kuzhambu. No onion no garlic version. Eat it with hot rice and ghee, its great! Simple recipe to try.

Easy pepper kuzhambu recipe

Indian Main course
Prep Time: 5 mins    |  Cook time: 15 mins    Serves: 2


Tamarind Small gooseberry sized
Water and salt As needed

To Roast & powder

Pepper 1 & 1/2 tsp
Coriander seeds 1 & 1/2 tsp
Channa dal/ kadala paruppu 1 tblsp
Dry red chillies 4
Urad dal/ ulutham paruppu 1 tsp
Asafoetida 1/8 tsp

To temper

Oil 3 tblsp
Mustard 1 tsp
Curry leaves 1 sprig
  1. Roast golden and grind the items given under ‘To grind and powder’ table. (add asafoetida powder at the end)1-milagu-kuzhambu
  2. Grind to a fine powder. Heat a kadai and temper with mustard and curry leaves.2-milagu-kuzhambu
  3. Extract tamarind juice and add water to make it 2 & 1/2 cups. Bring to boil. Add powdered pepper mix and stir well to avoid lumps.3-milagu-kuzhambu
  4. Boil until you get a thick gravy and oil floats on top.4-milagu-kuzhambu


    • You can add a sprig of curry leaves while roasting pepper and grind along for an extra flavour touch!
    • In all ways pepper is good for health and so as this kuzhambu!

     Serve hot with rice and ghee, with any kootu as accompaniment. I served with mixed vegetable kootu.



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Friday, June 14, 2013

Eggless Custard Powder Ice cream
     After a fun trip to Pune, I am back again in Chennai and enjoying the busy life meeting friends(Vj's friends), shopping(not for me, for the wedding ;) hahaha) and looking forward for this week with house fully packed with guests for the wedding. Yesterday I was supposed to post this, but somehow could not post. When I was short of posts, Jeyashri came up with this guest post idea, I was really happy and relieved :) Ofcourse I need not cook, click, edit, type and make a post but I can just copy paste and publish the post ;) Thank you so much Jeyashri for the timely help, you always help me a lot :) And regarding this recipe, I have never tried making icecream at home and never thought also. I dont have a label Ice cream in my blog. Now, I am creating one :) and hope I could try some in the future. I have tasted mango Ice cream at her home, she promised me to make this one as well when ever I visit her! Lucky me :P  So here's Jeyashri's Custard powder Ice cream recipe:

    Ice cream is always special to me and this post is even more special to me, as this Vanilla custard powder ice cream i am posting as a Guest Post for Rak's Kitchen.  Though i got introduced to her through blogs, now a days our weekly chat sessions will rarely involve in matters relating to our blogs. This Vanilla custard powder ice cream i wanted to make for a very long time ,but many times the Indian store here, doesn’t have Vanilla flavoured Custard powder. Recently i saw in a shop and bought it immediately. The ice cream came out super softy and creamy, but only sad part is i wanted to share the ice cream with Raji, but when i visited her home the other day, i totally forgot to take it with me.
Custard powder Ice cream


  • Boil the milk in a saucepan, reserving 3 tblsps of milk aside.
  • Mix the custard powder in the 3 tblsp of milk into a smooth paste without any lumps.
  • Add this custard mixture to the boiled milk and keep the flame low. Stir it continuously for 2 minutes. The mixture will give a thick custard. Let it be like a dosa batter consistency.
custard powder custard powder
  • Add sugar to it and put off the flame.
  • Allow this custard to cool down completely.
  • When done, add cream to this ( i used the Nestle cream) and whip in the mixer for a minute.
custard cream
  • Pour this mixture in a freezer safe box and freeze it for an hour.
  • After that take out and whip it again for a minute. Repeat this step 2 times . this is to avoid the formation of Ice and to get a creamy texture.
Vanilla ice cream Ice cream
  • After doing the whipping process for 3 times, freeze the ice cream mixture for 5-6 hours.
  • Your vanilla custard powder ice cream is done.
Ice cream whipped Ice cream
  • Serve with fruits if you want.
  Custard powder Ice cream

  1. You can use any flavour of custard powder.
  2. To the custard powder mixture, instead of sugar you can add condensed milk to get a rich taste.
  3. You can add nuts to this after you finish off the whipping process. You will get the nutty bits while having ice cream.
  4. Do not add custard powder more than the quantity mentioned.


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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I wanted to post vazhaithandu more kootu / banana stem mor kootu for long time, when ever I buy banana stem, I rather make poriyal than this kootu. But love this mor kootu a lot because it tastes like aviyal a little bit :) And the procedure is also somewhat similar with similar ingredients. I found this cool way of removing the excess fiber in the cookbook I have, so tried it for the first time and surprised with the results. Its really cool and easy, so do try this way as I have mentioned in the post.
      I am in Pune right now enjoying the break stay here and busy roaming around for shopping. Another two days here and then again back to busy marriage week at Chennai. Hoping to keep the blog alive with posts :)

Vazhaithandu more kootu recipe

Recipe Cuisine: Indian  |  Recipe Category: Lunch side
Prep Time:  20 mins    |  Cook time: 20 mins    Serves: 4


Vazhaithandu  1
Curd 1/2 cup
Green chilli 5
curry leaves 1 sprig
Salt As needed

To temper

Oil/ coconut oil 1 tsp
Mustard 1/2 tsp
Urad dal 1 tsp
Curry leaves 1 sprig

To Grind

Coconut 1/2 cup
Jeera 3/4 tsp
Green chilli 4
Rice flour 1tsp


  1. Remove the skin of the banana stem,which will look like a separate ring as shown in the pic.1-vazhaithandu
  2. Then cut into thin circles as shown in the picture. If you want you can remove the fiber part as you cut. Otherwise, you can also follow the next step. Chop finely as shown in the picture. Keep immersed in lemon squeezed water in a bowl until use.2-vazhaithandu
  3. Use a clean and lengthy toothpick, insert it into the chopped banana stem and run the toothpick in between your palm to and fro as we beat for making buttermilk from curd (using mathu). This way the excess fiber part can be removed and discarded.3-vazhaithandu
  4. Grind coconut, green chilli, jeera and rice flour with little water to a smooth paste.4-vazhaithandu
  5. Boil water and cook the banana stem with salt. Once done, add the ground coconut paste and mix well. Bring to boil and switch off the flame.
  6. 6-vazhaithandu
  7. Mix well and add the curd (beat well). mix well and temper over the kootu with the items given under to temper table.5-vazhaithandu


  • Soaking the chopped banana stem in sour butter milk or lemon with water will help preventing discoloration.
  • After adding curd, do not let the kootu boil.

Serve as accompaniment for rice, tastes best with tangy vathal kuzhambus mainly.



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Saturday, June 8, 2013

south indian meal idea
     I am really sorry first of all for not posting last saturday :( I was travelling and dint schedule the post thinking I  can post something from Chennai. But I was in Salem and dint find time to post ;) So now I am back, though busy with things happening around, some how managed to click this meal I made the other day. 
    Chennai is not hot as I thought, after all the showers :) And Aj enjoying a lot his stay than anybody else :) Yet to explore the new shopping malls, hopefully I should be able to see those and shop too mainly :D 
    I had tough time making this post without my laptop, editing tools and all. Will try to update a better picture later. 
South Indian meal idea

    This meal had the following :

  1. Drumstick sambar
  2. Kathrikkai kari
  3. Vendakkai varuval
  4. Manga Pachadi
  5. Nellikkai thayir pachadi
Hover over the list and click to see the recipes! And I will try my best to post next week too.

Have a great weekend with homey food :)


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Thursday, June 6, 2013

manga-thogaiyal-recipe    This is also a recipe my MIL recommended me to try after she had tried it, watching a cookery show. She has adapted the recipe to suit her taste and it came out excellent and then she shared the recipe. When I heard this one, it was more like a kerala recipe, with slight differences. And I tried this the immediate next day after she told. And we both liked this. I had it with idlies and lvoe it a lot. The mango flavour was really good in this thogayal. Since now its mango season, you all can try this for a change at your home. The recipe used garlic, but my MIL tried it with ginger and found it good. I tried with garlic and it was a winning combination too. manga-thogaiyal-recipe1

Mango thogayal recipe

Recipe Cuisine: Indian    |  Side dish
Prep Time: 5 mins    |  Cook time: 5 mins    Serves: 4


Grated coconut 1/2 cup
Chopped mango( kili  mooku/ ottu manga) 1/4 cup
Green chilli 5
Garlic, small variety 3
Coriander leaves 1/2 cup
Asafoetida 2 pinches
Salt As needed

To temper

Oil 1 tsp
Mustard 1/2 tsp
Red chilli 1
Curry leaves 1 sprig


  1. Divide the mango into two and take out the seed and hard part. wash well and chop into small cubes roughly. Grind with all the other ingredients in the first table with very little water.1-manga-thogaiyal
  2. The ground mixture should be little coarse in texture and not smooth. Transfer to serving bowl and temper with the items given under ‘To temper’ table.2-manga-thogaiyal
     Serve as accompaniment for rice or even you can mix with rice and eat. You can also eat this with idli, plain dosa and kal dosa. Taste excellent!



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