Monday, October 16, 2017

Thengai Paal Murukku/Coconut Milk Murukku - Easy Diwali Recipes

Every Diwali we end up making Ribbon Pokkodam, thenkuzhal and mixture. This time I wanted to try something a little different. Every time we buy murukku from shops, I buy a packet of Thengai Paal murukku. I just love the mild flavour of coconut milk. While talking to one of my aunts who is an expert in making snacks, I got the recipe for this murukku. It comes out well each and every time and is big hit with my kids as it is mild and not spicy yet very flavorful. So if you are looking for a simple snack, then do give this a try.

What you’ll need
  1. Rice flour – 1 cup
  2. Urad Dal Flour – 1/8 cup
  3. Cumin Seeds/Jeera – 1 tsp
  4. Thick Coconut Milk – ¼ to ½ cup
  5. Butter – 1 tbsp
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Oil to deep fry

  1. In a wide bowl, take the rice flour, urad dal flour, cumin seeds, salt and mix well.
  2. Next add the butter and mix it well.
  3. Add the coconut milk little at a time and mix well to make a soft and smooth dough, not too lose and not too tight.
  4. Heat oil for deep frying, take a big orange sized ball of the dough and put it in the murukku press.
  5. Once the oil is hot, Squeeze into small or big murukku, directly in the oil. Take care while squeezing.
  6. Fry until on medium heat until all the bubbles stop.
  7. Drain on to a tissue paper.
  8. Tasty and flavorful thengai paal murukku is ready.

I used up only about ¼ cup of coconut milk, as my rice flour was freshly made at home and it was kind of wet (eera podi), if you are using store bought flour you may have to use up the ½ cup fully.

Sunday, October 15, 2017


My blog has been lying dormant for quite sometime. Diwali, the festival of lights is knocking at our doors. Now, Diwali calls for a couple of posts. So I finally, started my Diwali preparations today. I started out by making this delicious sweet – Badusha. These are small doughnut shaped sweets, crisp and coated with sugar on the outside and juicy on the inside.
I have grown up seeing my grandfather, religiously prepare these, for almost every Diwali. He was an expert in making these. My grandmother and mother were his so-called assistants. He would do the major work of kneading the dough and take help from them to shape the badushas. I still remember him frying the badushas in large steel “thalam”/ “thambalam” so that all badushas got the same amount of heat and fried well. He used Vanaspati/dalda to prepare them. With changing times my mother has slightly altered the recipe and uses ghee instead.
Let us move on the recipe

Makes – 30 medium sized badushas
What you’ll need
  1. All Purpose Flour/Maida – 4 cup
  2. Ghee – ¾ cup
  3. Curd – 8 tbsp
  4. Salt – a pinch
  5. Cooking Soda – 1 tsp
  6. Oil for deep frying

For the sugar syrup
  1. Sugar – 2 cup
  2. Rose Essence – few drops or Powdered Cardamom – 1 tsp

  1. In a wide vessel, add ghee and cooking soda and rub it very well with your finger so as to mix the soda well with the ghee.
  2. To this add the curd and mix well.
  3. Now sprinkle the maida little at time and bring it together into a dough.
  4. Add a little water and make into a smooth dough. Do not apply too much pressure while kneading.
  5. Cover and rest it for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Now, pinch out small lemon sized balls, roll into smooth ball, flatten slightly with your palm and make an indent with your thumb in the centre.
  7. Repeat this with the rest of the dough
  8. In the meanwhile, heat oil for deep frying in a kadai. Once the oil has heated up, (test by adding a tiny piece of dough, it should come up immediately), turn off the heat.
  9. Slide in 3 to 4 pieces of the shaped dough into the oil and let it cook in the pre-heated oil for a while.
  10. Now, turn the stove on, and cook on low heat, by flipping and turning the badhushas, until they have turned a nice golden brown, or until the sound stops.
  11. Drain into a tissue paper.
  12. Simultaneously prepare the sugar syrup, heat another kadai, add the sugar and water enough to submerge the sugar. Heat it until one string consistency and remove from heat.
  13. Add the rose essence or cardamom powder mix well.
  14. Soak the first batch of badhushas in the syrup until the next batch is ready.
  15. Remove the first batch from the syrup and line them up in a wide plate.
  16. Repeat the above until all the badushas are fried and dipped in sugar syrup.
  17. Now, keep the remaining sugar syrup on heat again and keep stirring, till it turns into a white saucy liquid.
  18. Remove from heat, and dip all the badushas in this white crystal sugar, place them on a wide plate and let them cool for at least a couple of hours.

Delicious badushas are ready.

  1. The last step of dipping the badhushas again in the crystal sugar, is optional, if you like your badhuha like the store bought ones, stop at step 15. But my grandfather used to proceed and make this way and we like it this way.
  2. Take care not to add too much water while kneading, use as little as possible. Also, do not knead like chappati dough giving a lot of pressure.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Tomato Thokku/Thakkali Thokku

I am a big fan of thokku varieties. I have a bottle of thokku in my refrigerator at all times. Be it tomato, coriander or pudina. They are so versatile and are always a life saviour. They are a perfect accompaniment to idly/dosa/adai and chapathi. They are perfect as a spread on the bread. Just mix a little thokku to a portion of hot rice and have it with some papad or chips and there you have a quick lunch ready in a jiffy for that really busy day. 

Among the various varieties of thokku, if I had to choose one, I would definitely pick tomato. It is by far, my most favorite. There are a number of ways to make this. Here is my way. It tastes really delicious and is our family favorite. 

I have used Bangalore Tomatoes, feel free to use country tomatoes, but reduce or totally omit the tamarind as they are more tart. Also adjust the seasoning accordingly. Also please adjust the quantity of salt and chilly powder according to your preference. I have provided the measure I have used, but it may vary depending on the brand you use. 

What you'll need

  1. Tomato – 1 Kg (about 12 to 13 Medium sized)
  2. Tamarind – a small gooseberry sized ball
  3. Chilly Powder – 2 tbsp
  4. Powdered Jaggery – 2 tbsp
  5. Asafoetida Powder – ½ tsp
  6. Salt – approx  2 tbsp (adjust according to taste)
  7. Gingely Oil – ¼ cup
For Tempering
  1. Mustard Seeds – 2 tsp
  2. Curry Leaves – few sprigs
To dry roast and grind
  1. Fenugreek seeds/Vendayam - 2 tsp


  1. Wash and pat dry the tomatoes. Chop into quarters.
  2. Heat a heavy bottomed kadai, add the chopped tomatoes, tamarind and let them cook in their own juices. Keep the heat on medium and stir once in a while to avoid burning. The tomatoes should be cooked till mushy.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  4. Once cooled, transfer to a mixie jar and grind it. You may keep it slightly coarse.
  5. Heat a heavy bottomed kadai with the oil.
  6. Temper with mustard seeds, curry leaves.
  7. Add the ground tomato, asafoetida, mix well. Cover with a lid and let it cook on medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes or till the mixture has reduced well. Keep stirring once in a while to avoid burning.
  8. Now add the chilly powder, jaggery and salt mix well. Keep stirring till you start seeing oil on the sides of the kadai. Remove from heat.
  9. Dry Roast the fenugreek seeds until dark brown and powder it using a mortar and pestle. Add this to the thokku and mix well.
 Cool completely and transfer to a clean container. Tomato thokku is ready.


  1. I used Bangalore tomatoes which are not very sour, if using nattu thakkali then reduce the amount of tamarind. You may do without it too.
  2. After add the chilly powder, salt and jaggery, keep stirring constantly.
  3. This thokku remains fresh for a couple of days at room temperature and upto a month when refrigerated.
  4. Use a clean dry spoon.


Sunday, May 28, 2017

Mixed Vegetable Kootu

A post after a long time!! No excuses this time. It was pure laziness on my side. So finally, I managed to come out of hibernation.
While browsing the recipe index on my blog, the other day, I noticed that I haven’t posted some very basic recipes like this kootu, and a few others. So, thought of sharing this simple recipe today. This is an everyday kootu, unlike the kootu curry that is served during sadhyas. But I like this, for its simplicity. Few basic ingredients create magic. I would say it is a very close cousin of the molagootal. The Molagootal is more like a kuzhambu as in runnier, while the kootu is a side dish usually paired with mor kootam/ rasam or vatha kuzhambu. Now, off to the recipe.

Serves 4
What you'll need
  1. Mixed Vegetables – 3 cup (I used Malabar Vellarikai, Carrot, and Potato)
  2. Channa Dal – ½ cup
  3. Scraped Fresh Coconut – ½ cup
  4. Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  5. Green Chilly – 1
  6. Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Jaggery – 1 tsp (optional)
For Tempering
  1. Coconut Oil – 2 tsp
  2. Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  3. Broken Urad Dal – 1 tsp
  4. Curry Leaves – few

  1. Soak the channa dal for 20 minutes. Then pressure cook it with until soft.
  2. Wash, peel and chop the vegetables into small cubes. I used 1 cup each of Malabar vellarikai, carrots and potatoes.
  3. In a bowl, add the chopped vegetables, add just enough water, turmeric powder and salt to taste.
  4. Allow this is boil, cook partially covered until the vegetables are cooked.
  5. Add jaggery if using and boil for another couple of minutes.
  6. In the meanwhile, grind the coconut, green chillies and cumin into a fine paste with very little water. Add water just enough to grind – a couple of spoons.
  7. Next add in the cooked dal, mix carefully without mashing the vegetables. Let this simmer for couple of minutes.
  8. Finally, add the ground coconut paste, mix well and simmer for another 3 to 4 minutes.
  9. Adjust seasoning. Remove from heat.
  10. Heat a small frying pan with coconut oil. Temper with mustard seeds and urad dal. Pour this tempering over the kootu. Garnish with curry leaves.

Kootu is ready. Serve as an accompaniment with Vathakuzhambu/Mor Kuzhambu/Rasam.

  1. You may add green peas and French beans as well.
  2. Make sure to add any one water vegetable like ash gourd or chow chow, or Malabar vellarikai.
  3. Addition of jaggery is optional, but we like our kootu slightly sweet and so I add a little bit.
  4. Use coconut oil for good flavour.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Koozh Dosai

Koozh dosai is a very old and traditional recipe, which I feel is slowly fading away from most households, including mine. Whenever it comes to grinding batter, I end up grinding for the regular idly and dosa batter and so all the other varieties always takes a back seat. The Koozh dosai would be a welcome change if you are bored of your regular idly dosas.

This dosa does not have any urad dal. It is made only of raw rice. The most important thing to note in this recipe is that the batter should be well fermented and enough quantity of Koozh should be added to get soft dosas.

What you’ll need
  1. Raw Rice – 2 Cup
  2. Salt to taste
  3. Oil – as needed to make dosas

  1. Wash and soak the rice for 3 to 4 hours.
  2. Now grind the rice into a smooth batter adding water as and when required.
  3. Add salt mix well and let this batter ferment for 8 to 10 hours.
  4. Take a big ladle full of this batter and mix it with 2 cups water. Mix it well without any lumps.
  5. Place this on heat and keep stirring on medium flame, until it starts thickening and becomes translucent. This is called Koozh.
  6. Let this cool well.
  7. Before making the dosas, add this cooled Koozh to the batter and mix well. Add about 2 cups of water and make the batter very thin, like rava dosa batter.
  8. Place an iron pan on heat, drizzle a little oil, mix the batter well and pour a ladle full of batter, start from the outer edges and then move in.
  9. Drizzle oil on the edges. And cook on medium flame flip over and drizzle a tsp of oil and cook until the dosas are done. Repeat with remaining batter.
  10. Serve these delicious dosas with chutney/sambar or molagapodi.

The batter should be well fermented.

The quantity of koozh would be just right, sometimes, the dosa may tear, it might be because the koozh is more in quantiy. So don’t add the whole koozh at a time. Add ¾ th of the koozh make a dosa a check, if the dosas come without any white patches then the koozh is enough. If you see white patches on the cooked dosa, then add more koozh. 

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Lemon Oorugai | Lemon Pickle without Oil

Pickles are an integral part of Indian households and so it is at our home. A proper South Indian meal is incomplete without the customary Thayir Sadam (curd rice) and oorugai. My MIL is an expert when it comes to pickling. Not only our family, but anyone who visits our home and tastes her pickles doesn’t go without asking her for its recipe. Among all the pickles she makes, my favorite is Avakkai and Vadu Mangai. I hope to post these recipes this summer.

Now, is the season for lemons. I am not a huge fan of lemon pickle. But the one I am sharing today is an exception. I learnt this from my grandmother. The USP of this pickle is that it does not use oil. The salt and sugar act as preservatives. Please don't panic! It is not a sweet pickle. The sugar just balances the sourness of the lemon. It tastes really good and is perfect with a bowl of curd rice.

What you'll need
  1. Indian Lemon – 15 medium sized
  2. Red Chilly Powder – 1/3 + 1/8 cup
  3. Salt – 1/3 + 1/8 cup
  4. Sugar 1/3 + 1/8 cup
  5. Fenugreek – 1 tbsp
  6. Asafoetida – ½ tsp

  1. Wash and wipe the lemon well. Let it dry well.
  2. Cut 12 of the lemons into quarters or cut each into 8 pieces. I had approximate 2.5 cup of cut lemon pieces.
  3. Squeeze and extract the juice from the remaining 3 lemons.
  4. Transfer the lemon pieces into a wide glass bowl, add the measured quantities of red chilly powder, salt and sugar. Also add the lemon juice. Mix well.
  5. Scrape the sides of the bowl.
  6. Now, heat a small frying pan, dry roast the fenugreek seeds until they start to pop. Transfer to a plate. To the hot pan add the asafoetida powder fry for few seconds.
  7. Grind the roasted fenugreek seeds with the help of a mortar and pestle.
  8. Add the fenugreek powder and asafoetida to the pickle mixture. Stir well.
  9. Cover with a lid and keep aside.
  10. Keep stirring once everyday. Transfer to a clean and sterilized bottle after about 10 days.
  11. Let it sit at least for a month before consuming by when lemon would have become soft and would have absorbed all the spices well.

  1. Select firm yellow, thin skinned lemon. Make sure there are no black spots or soft spots on the lemon.
  2. Always use a clean and dry spoon.
  3. Keep stirring it once everyday, with a clean dry spoon for at least 10 days.
  4. Store in clean sterilized glass bottle. I recommend, washing the bottle with soap water and then rinsing it with hot water. And dry in sunlight before storing the pickle. 

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Vendhaya Keerai Paruppu Usili

Here I am, with the next recipe in the New Year.  I love paruppu usili period. I have already posted 2-3 usili recipes using different vegetables like Kothavarangai, Cabbage and Vazhapoo. Among these my favourite was Cabbage. But now I have 2 favorites. Cabbage and this Vendhaya Keerai Usili. 

In our house, I had never seen my mother or MIL prepare usili using keerai. A couple of days back, I tasted this usili, prepared by my friend. It was new to me. And I just loved it. I also came to know that usili using murungai keerai is also quite popular. Last week I tried this and it was a big hit at home. My kids also loved it. The flavour of vendhaya keerai with the spiced steamed lentils is just too good. It tastes best as an accompaniment with Vatha Kuzhambu or with Mor Kuzhambu. If you have not tried this before, then do give it a try. I am sure you will love it.

Serves 3 to 4
What you’ll need
  1. Methi Leaves/Vendhaya Keerai – 1 Big Bunch
  2. Tuar Dal – 1/3 Cup
  3. Kadala Paruppu – 1/3 cup
  4. Dry Red Chilly – 2 or 3
  5. Asafoetida – a generous pinch
  6. Salt to taste
  7. To temper
  8. Coconut Oil – 2 tbsp
  9. Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  10. Urad Dal – 1 tsp
  11. Red Chilly – 1

  1. Wash and soak the dals for atleast 30 mins along with the dried red chillies.
  2. After 30 mins, drain the water completely, and grind into a coarse paste with red chillies, salt, few curry leaves and asafoetida. Do not add water.
  3. Grease an idly plate with few drops of oil, take a lemon sized ball of the ground dal paste and pat it on the idly moulds. Repeat this until all the dal paste is used up.
  4. Steam this in a cooker/steamer for 5 to 8 minutes or until the dal is cooked. To check, insert a knife through the dal discs, the knife should come out clean.
  5. Let this cool very well. Pulse it again in the mixie, the dal should crumble and resemble a coarse powder.
  6. Meanwhile, clean and wash the methi leaves/vendhaya keerai, I used only the leaves and very tender stock. I had about 2 heaped and tightly packed cup of leaves. Chop them roughly.
  7. Heat a Kadai with oil, temper with mustard seeds, once it splutters, add the urad dal and fry till the dal turns golden, add the red chilly and fry till it turns crisp.
  8. Now add the chopped leaves and saute till the leaves get wilted. Add a little salt.
  9. Next add the ground dal and mix everything very well. Keep sautéing for 5 to 6 minutes or until everything mixes well and resembles a crumble.
Delicious Usili ready. 

  1. Drain water completely from the dals before grinding.
  2. Also grind the dals coarsely without adding any water.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Kadala Paruppu Pradhaman

Wishing all readers a very Happy New Year!!
It has been a really long time since I last posted a recipe on the blog. Life has become very busy and blog just took a back seat without me even realizing it. But I hope to be more regular this year. So here is to sweet beginnings. 
A delicious pradhaman - Kadala Paruppu Pradhaman. Jaggery and coconut milk like I always say are a match made it heaven, that with the bite of kadala paruppu/channa dal is just amazing. I took out the camera after a really long time and I have not done any justice to the pradhaman. You'll have to just take my word for it and try it out. And I am sure you will not regret it. Now off to the recipe.

Serves 3 to 4
What you’ll need
  1. Kadala Paruppu/Channa Dal – 1/3rd cup
  2. Javvarisi/ Sago – 1/8th cup
  3. Powdered Jaggery – ¾ cup
  4. Thin Coconut Milk – 1 cup
  5. Thick Coconut Milk – ½ cup
  6. Dry Ginger Powder – ¼ tsp
  7. Cardamom Powder – ½ tsp
  8. Ghee – 1 tbsp
  9. Cashew nuts – few

  1. Dry roast the sago and channa dal till the raw smell disappears.
  2. Soak these in water for 10 minutes.
  3. Pressure cook the channa dal and sago with just enough water for 3 to 4 whistles. Let the water level be just above the dal.
  4. Once, the pressure is released, open the cooker and mash the dal lightly.
  5. Heat a heavy bottomed vessel, add the powdered jaggery, with ¼ cup of water. Once the jaggery dissolves, strain for impurities and pour it back in the vessel.
  6. Add the mashed dal and sago to this jaggery syrup. Let it boil for a couple of minutes. Then add the thin coconut milk and boil for 5 to 6 minutes. Keep stirring once in a while.
  7. Once the payasam thicken slightly, remove from heat.
  8. Now add the thick coconut milk and mix well.
  9. Heat a small frying pan with ghee, add the cashewnuts and fry until golden. Add this to the pradhman.
  10. Also add the ginger powder and cardamom powder. Mix well.

Serve warm.

  1. Channa dal should be cooked till soft, the dal should easily crumble when pressed between fingers, but not mushy.
  2. The pradhaman will thicken once it cools.
  3. You can add boiled and cooled regular milk if the pradhaman is very thick.
  4. Do not add more than the mentioned quantity of sago, it will thicken the pradhaman very much.
  5. Traditionally, roasted coconut slivers are added to the pradhman, since I did not have coconut handy, I used cashewnuts.

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