Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Garlic- Tomato Rasam

Rasam - means juice. But here it does not mean tomato juice. It is a good appetizer, helps good digestion and always accompanies sambar and Curd in traditional Meals. Mom's Rasam is famous among our relatives in Kerala. It is an anti-flatulent.


Black Pepper: 1 tbsp
Jeera or cumin seeds: 1 tbsp
Cilantro seeds: 1 tbsp
Curry leaves: 2 tbsp
Cilantro leaves: 2 tbsp
Garlic cloves: 3 (medium sized)

To be soaked:
Tamarind: a small marble size
Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
Salt: As needed
Tomato: Medium sized.
Water: 2 cups

For seasoning:
Oil: 2 tbsp
Mustard Seeds: 2 tsp
Green Chilli: 1 (split vertically)
Asofoedita: 2 pinch
Cumin seeds: 1 tsp


Take water in a bowl. The water can be warm water or water taken from cooked thur dal (only water not the dhal). Soak tamarind and tomato in it for 10 mins. Add turmeric powder, and salt. Blend dry the first set of ingredients in a blender. No need to make it a paste. Add this as well to the water. When the water is lukewarm smash with hand the tomato and tamarind which would have become soft by this time so that it gets well mixed with the water and the other ingredients.

Heat oil in a kadai, add mustard seed and allow it to splutter, immediately add asofoedita and cumin seeds then add green chilli (keep away when you put green chilli it may splutter) and when it comes to boil add the rasam to it and allow it to boil for two mins. Once done remove it from the flame and transfer it to a bowl and decorate with some cilantro leaves on it and keep it closed till before serving. The flavor will remain intact.

This rasam can be had with rice or sometimes drunk raw. Drinking raw helps to over come fullness of stomach and enables you to eat stomach full ( :-)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Get To Know -01

Many "taste buddies" wrote to me that they are not familiar with many ingredients that are given here. So I thought I will give either the picture of the ingredient or some information about the ingredient which may be helpful for those who are not familiar with those ingredients. I am not sure about the availability. Probably the pics should help you to find out where it could be found out.

GTK for today:

Drumstick leaves: Botanical Name Moringa Olifera. Ben oil is extracted from the seeds of Drumstick - a vegetable. I learnt that it is also called horse raddish in some places in the West (can somebody confirm this?) . The bark, root, leaves, seeds, sap, seeds, oil and flowers are all used in traditional medicine.

Photos: .ifsp-srilanka.org; stuartxchange.org.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Drumstick Leaves + Pepper # 2

This is another variant. When I was talking to mom about the post she told me that this is the most preferred way of cooking drumstick leaves for pregnant ladies.


Coconut grated: 1 cup
Shallots: 5 to 6 nos (peeled)
Corriandar seeds: 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds: 2 tbsp
Black Pepper: 2 tbsp
Cumin Seeds: 2 tbsp
Garlic cloves: 5 to 6 numbers
Drumstick leaves: 2 cups (remove twigs)
Water: As needed
Salt: As needed


Put all the ingredients except drumstick, water and salt in a blender and make it to a fine paste. Add this to a round-bottomed vessel and add water and salt and allow it to boil well. Let the raw smell of the paste is completely gone. Add drumstick leaves and allow it to boil till the leaves become tender. Remove it from flame.

Your Drumstick Leaves with Pepper is ready. The benefits are as described as in the first method. Even more beneficial.

There is another option of using baby shark instead of Drumstick leaves. Everyother things remain the same.

Baby shark that is dried and preserved with salt only. No other artificial preservatives. Not the fresh one. Make sure to use less salt since the fish is preserved with salt. Sometimes that alone may be sufffice.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Drumstick Leaves + Pepper

This is a healthy side dish. Mom says it is good to have it with rice when somebody has cold. It is also given to pregnant ladies especially during the prenatal, perinatal and postnatal period. It is said that Drumstick leaves' juice has the tendency to increase lactation and also helps in promoting labor pains.

Drumstick Leaves: 2 cups (remove the twigs)
Coconut : 1/2 cup (grated)
Black Pepper: 2 tbsp
Jeera/Cumin seeds: 1 tbsp
Curry Leaves: 2 sprigs (remove the twigs)
Turmeric: 1 tsp.
Garlic: 3- 5 cloves (skin peeled)
Salt: To taste
Water: As needed.
Oil: 2 tbsp

Take coconut, black pepper, cumin seeds, and curry leaves in a blender and do it till it becomes a soft paste.

Heat a round bottomed vessel with the paste put into it and add a little water to bring it to flow consistency. Allow the mix to boil well. Now add drumstick leaves to it and 2 or 3 cloves of garlic and allow it to boil well. Once the leaves are cooked add needed salt. Green leaves usually need less salt. Now the gravy is ready. It can be consumed as such. But some may prefer to season it.

For seasoning:

Heat oil in a tawa. Add mustard allow it to splutter. Crush the remaining garlic cloves and add it to the oil. Saute it till it becomes golden brown and then add this to the gravy.

This dish is rich in iron, vitamins and calcium.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Finger Millet Pakora

Finger Millet flour: 2 cups
Onion: 1 big sliced vertically
Dry Red Chilli: 4 to 5 broken into small pieces
Salt: To taste
Water: As needed
Curry Leaves: 1 sprig
Drumstick Leaves: 1 cup
Oil: For Deep frying

Add the flour, onion, red chili, salt, curry leaves and drumstick leaves and mix it well. Add salt as well. Mix it thoroughly. Now add water little by little and make it a dough.

Heat oil in a tawa/Kadai/wok. Take a fist full of dough and make small irregular shape pakoras and put it in the oil. You can also squeeze the dough, so that it escapes through the fingers and falls into the oil. (Take extra care while doing this) Fry it till the color changes to dark brown. Remove it on to a tissue to absorb excess oil and then serve hot.

It doesn't need any special accompaniment. But if you need one you can use tomato ketchup. Wonderful snack. It is a healthier dish as well

Thursday, July 5, 2007

Cheesey, Peas, Potato Patties

Ingredients:Peas: 1 cup (boiled)
Potato: 2 average size (boiled)
Cheese: 1/2 cup (grated)
Corn flour: 3 tbsp
Salt: As needed
Chilli: 4 cut into small pieces
Cumin seeds: 1 tbsp
Curry leaves: 2 sprig (optional)
Cilantro: 1/4 cup (optional)
Bread slice: 2 (soak and squeeze off water)

Oil: For Shallow frying (Virgin Olive optional)

Mash peas and potato in a bowl. Add grated cheese, salt and chilli and cumin seeds and mix it well with hand. Then add soaked bread slices and corn flour and then add curry leaves and/or Cilantro and make the whole mix a dough. Take small amout of the mix and make lemon size balls. Then flatten it. You can make different shapes live hearts, elongated, oval shape. Your patties are ready. Keep all aside.

Head oil in a tawa. Place the patties in the tawa and shallow fry it. Fry it till both the sides become golden brown. Cook in medium flame. Cheesey, Peas, potato patties are ready. Tomato ketchup makes a good combination. A very nice snack.

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Pappadom Vathal Kozhambu II

This is how my mom cooks Pappadom Vathal Kozhambu. This gravy is a little thicker than the other one.


For paste
Shallot: 10-12 (peeled)
Fenugreek seeds: 1 tbsp
Curry leaves: 2 springs
Coriander seeds: 1 tbsp
Oil: 1 tbsp
Coconut: 1 cup (grated)

To mix
Chilli powder: 2 tbsp
Coriander powder: 1 tbsp
Turmeric Powder: 1 tsp
Tamarind: 1 small lemon size (soaked in water)
Salt: As needed
Water: As needed

Pappadom: 5 medium size
Oil: For Deep frying Pappadom

For seasoning:

Mustard seeds: 1 tbsp
Coconut oil: 3 tbsp; or Virgin Olive oil
Curry leaves : 1 sprig
Red Chilli: 2


Heat oil in a tawa/wok/kadai and add all the ingredients for paste except coconut. Saute it well till the shallots turn tender. Remove it from flame. Once the ingredients come to the room temperature make it into a paste along with grated coconut. Make it into a nice paste.

Now transfer it into another bowl. Add Chilli powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and salt to the paste and mix it well. Then add tamarind water (squeeze the tamarind well till the pulp is completely extracted. You can add extra water if needed) and mix it well. Keep this on high flame so that it boils well and all the ingredients are cooked well.

In another wok, break/tear the pappadom in to small fragments and deep fry so that it comes out crispy.

Add this crispy pappadom to the boiled mix on the flame. Allow it cook for another 3 minutes. Once gravy has got a good blend, remove it from the flame.

Heat oil in a kadai, and add mustard and allow it to splutter. Add raw chilli cut into small pieces and curry leaves, saute it for less than a minute and add this to the gravy.

Your Pappadam Kozhambu is ready. Goes well with rice, and Roti varieties.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Pappadom + Tamarind Vathal Kozhambu

This one I came across in a local TV when I was surfing. Though not similar to what my mom makes, it sounded interesting. Hopefully tasty as well.


Cooking Oil: 3 tbsps
Mustard: 1 tbsp
Fenugreek seed: 1 tbsp
Pappadom: 3 (Round one broken/torn into small pieces)
Tamarind: 1 lemon size (Soaked in water)
Chilli powder: 2 tbsp
Coriander powder: 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder: 1 tsp
Salt: As needed
Water: As needed
Curry leaves: 2 - 3 sprigs


Heat oil in a wok/Kadai/tawa. Add mustard seed and allow to splutter and then add fenugreek seeds and saute it till it becomes brown. Add the Pappadom pieces and fry it till it becomes crisp. Squeeze the tamarind and extract pulp. Add this pulp to the tawa. Allow it to boil for 2 mins. Then add Chilli, coriander, and turmeric powders and salt. Mix it well and add curry leaves. Mix it well again and allow it to boil for 5-7 mins. Before removing from flame add a teaspoon of oil and remove.

(If you prefer it to be little diluted add extra water when you extract pulp).

This goes well with Rice and Rotis

Monday, June 25, 2007

Horsegram and Coconut Chutney

Horsegram had never been in my favorite list at all till I tasted this chutney. I like many of these chutneys to have it sandwiched in bread.

You may want to try it ..


Horsegram: 1 cup Coconut: 1/2 cup grated
Dry chillies: 3 -4
Tamarind: 1 small marble size
Salt: To taste
Water: As needed.
Coconut oil - 2 tbsps (or virgin olive oil)
Coconut Oil - 1 tbsp (or virgin olive oil)
Mustard seed


Heat a kadai/tawa/wok dry on a stove. Once it is hot, add oil and then the horsegram and roast it till the raw smell goes off completely. Keep it aside add dry chilli and tamarind and roast it for 2-3 mins. Remove it.

Grind horsegram coarsely along with salt, tamarind, and dry chillies then add grated coconut and mix it well. To help grind it smoothly add a little water as needed. Don't dilute it. Once done to fine paste, keep it aside.

Heat a kadai with oil, allow mustard to splutter. Add this mix to the paste and blend it once again for less than a minute.

Horsegram chutney is ready.

This goes well with rice as well. You can mix this with cooked rice when it is hot. Boy!.. you've to taste it....

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Maize (Corn) with Cashew - Vada

Something new to try out!


Corn Kernals: 2 cup (fresh & ground coarsely)
Cashewnuts:1 cup (roasted and ground coarsely)
Onion: 1 (cut into tiny pieces)
Sago: 1/2 cup (ground coarsely)
Turmeric: 1 tsp
Chilli powder: 2 tbsp
Cumin powder: 1 tbsp (roasted and ground)
Cilantro: 3 to 4 sprigs (stems separated)
Salt: As needed
Bason: 1 cup
Oil: For deep frying


Let the corn kernals be fresh and moist. Grind in coarsely in a blender. Add cashewnuts roasted and grounded couarsely. Add Sago as well and mix it well. Don't smash it. Just mix it. Then add turmeric powder, chilli powder, cumin powder, Salt and mix it well. Then add onion and cilantro mix well again. Don't add water. Finally add Bason and mix it well. So that it binds the entire mixture. Once all the ingredients are mixed well. Make it balls of a polo-ball size or a little smaller than that.

Heat oil in a tawa, once the oil is ready for deep frying, flatten the balls by pressing it on your palms. Slowly, let it into the oil. (Pls don't throw, oil may spill on your hands or on you). You can apply little oil on your hands if the mixture is sticky. Fry it till it become golden brown. Remove it to the tissue paper. Serve it hot with spicy Chutney or tomato Ketchup/sauce.

Mmmmm, Yummy!!!

Monday, June 18, 2007

Masala Samosa

Generally, here in the peninsular India, deep fried items always have a big fan club. Anybody who is not diet conscious, or who can restrict themselves from over-eating can try this.


For Dough:
Maida: 2 cups
Corn flour: 3 tbsps
Salt: As needed
Water: As needed

For StuffingOnion: 1 (Cut into slices)
Beans/carrot: 1/2 cup chopped into tiny cubes
Saunf: 1 tsp (optional)
Cinnamon: 1/2 inch size
Coconut: 3 tbsp (grated)
Green Chilli: 2 (Cut into small pieces)
Salt: As needed
Cooking oil: 2 tbsp
Oil for deep frying


Making the dough:
Add the Maida, corn flour, salt in a bowl. Add water little by little and kneed it to a dough. Leave it aside for an hour to soften. After an hour, knead it well once again and make it into small goose berry size balls. Keep it on Chapathi roller and make it into small round chapaties with 2 to 3 inch diameter. Let it be not too thin to hold the stuff.

Preparing the stuffing:

Heat a tawa, add saunf and cinnamon and saute it well, add onion and saute it till it turns pink. Add chillies and saute it for a min and then add beans and carrot and saute it till it becomes tender. Sprinkle a fist full of water and add salt. Keep it in simmer. Let the carrot and beans get cooked. Once the water content is completely absorbed add the grated coconut and mix it well. You can add white pepper a teaspoonful if needed

Preparing Samosa

Take the small chappatis and role it like you do for a cone. Keep the bottom side open. Take a spoon full of stuffing or as is needed and close the bottom side by pressing it. Press it well so that, the stuffing will not escape the cone while frying. Role the rest of the chappatis like cone and finish with the stuffing.

Deep frying:
Heat oil in a tawa, slowly put one samosa and fry it till it turns golden brown. Drain it to a kitchen tissue to absorb excess oil if any. There your samosa is ready.

Tomato sauce/ketchup is a good combination for this samosa

Friday, June 15, 2007

Carrot - Cabbage - Chillies

Cabbage is an easily available veggie and one of the wealthiest veggies. I know many love to eat it raw or as in salads in western countries, it is good when boiled. It has an aroma when it gets boiled which many may notlike. Try this way you may not get much aroma when you boil.


Cabbage: 1 cup (Julienned) 
Carrot: 1 cup (Julienned)
Green chillies: 4 or 5 split vertically (may add or reduce as needed)Shallots: 5 (Chopped into tiny pieces) 
Cooking oil: 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds: 1 tsp
Urad dal: 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder: 1/2 tsp
Grated coconut: 1/2 cup

Water: As needed.
Salt: As needed.

Soak the julienned cabbage in hot water. Add a little salt and turmeric powder to it. Don't cover the container. Leave it undisturbed for 10 mins. Drain water after 10 mins.

Heat oil in a tawa/wok/kadai, add mustard seeds and allow it to splutter (let not over fry the seeds). Add shallots and green chillies and fry it well. Add julienned carrot to that and saute it for a min. Sprinkle a fistful of water and allow the water and the carrot to boil for 3 mins. Add a little salt. When the carrot is half cooked add the drained cabbage and saute it well. Sprinkle a fistful of water and allow it to cook till the water drains. Make sure not to over cook. Let it be crunchy. You can reduce water quantity. Once the water is completely drained add the grated coconut and saute it well. Remove it after it got blended well.

There it is ready!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Green Gram & Elephant Ear Curry

Green gram: 2 cups
Elephant Ear: 2 cups cut into dices (very small proportionate to green gram)
Turmeric: 1 tsp
Chilli powder: 1 tbsp
Corriandar powder: 2 tbsp
Salt - as needed.
Water: 4 cups

Coconut: 1/2 cup Grated
Jeera/cumin seeds: 2 tsps

Mustard: 1 tbsp
Coconut oil: 2 tbsp
Curry leaves: 2 sprigs
Shallots: 5 (cut into small pieces)


Pressure cook green gram and elephant ear (yam, alocasia) in 4 cups of water. Green gram can be soaked previous night for additional taste. Allow the steam for 4 times if soaked or 6 times if not soaked when cooked in pressure cooker. Once done add turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder and salt and allow it mix well with the curry.

Blend coconut and cumin seeds in a blender. Add this to the curry when the mix has got blended well. Allow the mix once again to boil well. Let the curry gets mixed well and when you get the aroma of the cumin remove the curry from flame.

Heat oil in a tawa, add mustard and allow it to splutter. Add shallots and curry leaves saute it well and then add it to the curry.

A good combination for rice and Roti varieties.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Ridged Gourd - Chutney


Tender ridged gourd: 2 cups (Peeled and cut into small cubes)
Bengal gram : 1/2 cup (or chana dal)
Black Urad dal: 1/2 cup
Red chilli: 4 nos
Tamarind: Small marble size
Salt: As needed
Curry leaves: 2 sprigs
Coconut oil: 4 tbsps
Mustard: 1 tbsp


Heat 2 tbsps of coconut oil in a tawa. Add cut pieces of ridged gourd and saute it till it becomes very tender and the water content is completely dried. Remove it from the tawa and keep it aside. Add bengal gram, black urad dal, red chilli, tamarind, and curry leaves in the tawa and add 1 tbsp of oil and saute it well till dals become brown. Remove the dals from the tawa and keep it aside. Now add remaining coconut oil and add mustard and allow it to splutter and keep it aside.

Now, add the sauteed ridged gourd and dals, curry leaves, tamarind and red chilli into a blender. Add a little salt as needed and blend it till it become a fine paste. Before removing it from the blender add the oil with mustard into the paste and run the blender for the sake of it.

Now, your Ridged gourd chutney is ready. Good for sandwich, Rotis, Idlies, Dosas, Bajjis. Sometime with potato crunchies as well.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Cabbage Vadai

Vadai(s) are one of the favorite snack items in the South India. Vadai with Payasam (sweet pudding), vadai with tea or coffee, vadai with Coconut chutney and sambar and various other combinations are available in the market.


For Batter:
White Urad dal: 2 cups (soak it and grind it adding very less water at intervals. It should be a thick paste)
Onion: 1 (sliced very thin)
Chilli: 4 (Cut into small pieces)
Ginger: 1 inch (chopped finely)
Cabbage: 1 cup (finely chopped)
Salt: 1 tbsp

For frying:
Cooking Oil: 2 cups


Soak urad dal for 2 hours and then wash it well. Grind it to fine paste adding very little water at constant intervals. The batter should be of thick consistency. Blend onion, chili, ginger and salt with the batter. Remove it to a container. Add Cabbage and mix it well. Once the batter is ready, make it into a small balls of a bigger gooseberry size.

Heat oil in a tawa and fatten these balls on a greased plastic sheat. Add one after the other into the oil for deep frying. Fry it till the balls become brown. The vadais would have got cooked by this time. Remove it to kitchen tissue and allow it to absorb extra oil. Now the Vadai is ready.

You can have it raw without any accompaniments. You can have it with coconut chutney. You can have it with Sambar.

Try it and write it to me!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Mango Pickle

We lived in a different place when I was young. We had a big garden there with 4 mango trees, 2 guava trees, 3 drumstick trees, 5 papaya trees, Rose and other flower bearing shrubs, and kitchen garden. We had planted egg plant or brinjal, lady's finger, Yellow corn, Chilli, tomato, bitter gourd, bottle gourd, ribbed gourd, Yam, and plantain trees around 10 to 15. So it will be fun round the season; you will get something from the garden.

Summer had always been wonderful with mangoes. During one season, all of a sudden all the four mango trees started bearing fruits. It was too much for a family of six. We never believed in selling it to the neighbors. So we shared the vegetables we get from our garden and the mangoes, in one season we had more than 500 fruits which distributed to the township we were living in and people were fond of the fruits since all the four mango varieties were different. We shared only three of them. One particular tree bore Malcova and less in number and that tasted great.

So that's the time when mom put varieties of pickles and store it. It can be stored for a year or so. But mom prepared so that we can keep it for six months. This is one of the varieties. The specialty about her pickle is that she will NOT use vinegar.


Mango: 1 kg (sour - grated)
Fenugreek seeds fried dry and powdered:3 tbsp
Gingely oil: 1 cup
Asofoedita: 2 tbsp
Red Chili powder: 3 tbsp (Not Kashmiri chilli)
Mustard: 1 tbsp
Turmeric: 1 tbsp
Salt: 3 tbsps (You can add more if needed)
Lemon juice: 1/2 fruit (squeezed)
Curry leaves: 3 sprigs


Buy matured mangoes that are meant for pickle. Those will be usually round in shape and very much sour in taste. Don't use any mangoes if the color is changed even to the slightest. Wash it clean and peel off the skin. Then grate it. Do not remove the juice. Add Chilli powder, turmeric, salt to the grated mango. Mix it well and allow it season for around 7 to 8 hours.

Heat oil in a tawa/wok/kadai. Add mustard and allow it splutter, then add curry leaves and asofoedita. Once the raw smell is gone add the grated mango mix and stir well. Keep the stove in simmer. Then add the fenugreek powder and stir well. The mangoes should be cooked well and the oil should come separetely. Keep closed and stirr it every 5 to 10 mins. Add lemon at this point if you want. It takes at least 45 mins to get fully done. You'll get a wonderful smell that will make you literally drool. You can remove from flame and preserve it in air tight jar. This will go well with rice. People who are inclined to sour taste can have this sandwiched in bread. The oil gets settled in the container.

So those who are diet conscious can take from the container without stirring; who aren't can stirr well before use. Don't keep any metal spoon inside the container. It is better you remove the spoon after using it.