Friday, September 12, 2008

Paruppu Sambhar

This is a very simple sambhar that goes very well with Idli's and Dosai's.

Toor Dal - 1/2 cup
Onion - 1/2 , chopped
Tomato - 1
Oil - 1 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Coriander leaves chopped
Chilli Powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp

Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Urad Dal - 1 tsp
Dried Red chilli - 1 to 2
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Asafoetida - 2 pinches
Curry Leaves - 4 to 5 leaves

Wash the Toor Dal and cook in 1 1/2 cup of water until it can be mashed, this should take about 10 to 15 mins or you could pressure cook it for upto 4 whistles. In the meantime in a saute pan heat oil and add the mustard. Once the mustard splutters add the rest of the tempering ingredients. Now add the chopped onions and tomatoes and cook until the onions are translucent.Add the chilli powder, turmeric powder and after a minute add the Toor Dal and boil for 5 mins. Add salt to taste. Garnish with the chopped coriander leaves.

Monday, June 30, 2008

Mint Cucumber Raita

This is one of the simplest and quickest Raita you can make.


Cool Yogurt - 1 cup
Cucumber - Cubed 1 cup
Mint powder - 1/2 tsp
Water - 1/4 cup
Salt to taste

Remove the seeds from the cucumber before you cube them. To make the mint powder at home dry the mint leaves and powder it coarsely. you can do this ahead of time and use when needed.

In a mixing bowl add cucumber , mint powder. Add the yogurt, salt and a little water and mix well. Add more water if you think the yogurt is still thick.

Raita is ready to be served with hot parathas or biryani.

Monday, March 17, 2008


This is a basic puri recipe.

Wheat Flour - 2 cups
Vegetable oil - 1 Tablespoon
Oil for frying
Salt to taste

In a shallow wide container mix the wheat flour, 1/2 tsp of oil and salt. Slowly add about 3/4 cup water, just enough to form a firm dough, (please note that the puris dough is a bit firmer than that of the chapatti dough, though you can use the same without finding any difference) and knead till smooth. Pour 1/2 tsp of oil over the dough and spread it. Cover, let rest at least 1/2 hour, and knead again briefly for a minute or two.
Divide the dough into ball that are slightly bigger than marbles. Roll them out using a rolling pin into 4" diameter discs. When rolling out the discs don't use flour instead use a drop of oil. This will ensure that that flour doesn't get burnt when put in the oil and spoil/ change the taste of the oil.
Heat the oil for deep frying the puris in a pan with at least 2" of oil. Once the oil is hot (too hot and the puris with darken/ not hot then the puris with become very hard- similar to frying pappadums, you might need to sacrifice one puri to test the heat!-It should bubble from the sides as soon as you put in the puri). Carefully slide one of the discs into the oil from the side, taking care to not touch the oil. Using a slotted spoon/ ladle slightly apply pressure to the middle of the bubbling puris, this would make the puris to rise and puff out. once the underside is golden brown, turn on to the other side. Once this side is also golden, remove from the oil and place on a plate with paper napkins to absorb the excess oil.
You will not find oil inside the puri or sticking to the puri, once you drain while removing from the oil, if the heat is correct.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Quick and Easy Sambhar

Lets just say, I ain’t a whiz in the Kichen!! But this is a state I throughly wish to rectify ….So I thought why not start with one of the first thing that I learnt…. the wholesome Sambhar …

This is a simple sambhar recipe that does’nt need much skill. It is very quick and easy to make. So here it goes.
For 2 people

Ingedients :
Pearl Onions - 5-6 peeled and washed
Tomatoes - 1-2 medium , chopped
Soya beans - 1/2 Cup
Drum Sticks - 5-6 2″ pieces
Tamrind / Puli - lemon sized
Yellow pigeon peas/ Toor Dal - 1/2 Cup

Dry Powders
Chilli Powder - 1 tsp or according to taste
Turmeric Poder - 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 2 tsp
Asafoetida / Hing - A pinch
Jeera Powder - 1/2 tsp
Methi Powder - 1/2 tsp

Mustard Seads - 1/2 tsp
Urad dal/ white lentil (Vigna mungo) - 1/2 tsp
Dry Red Chillies - 2
Fenugreek Seeds / Methi - few
Curry Leaves - 3-4
Cumin Seeds / Jeera - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil 1 tbsp
Coriander Leaves/ Cilantro

In a pressure cooker add washed toor dal, 2 drops of oil, Asafoetida and water enough to cover the dal. Cook on medium heat until 4 whistles. If you dont have a cooker you can boil it in a pan until the dal is soft and can be mashed by a spoon. In the meantime to 1 cup of luke warm water add the Tamarind ball and some salt and let it dissolve.
Heat oil in wok/ kadai/ deep pan, once the oil and a couple of mustard seeds - if it splutters immediately - it is hot! add the mustard seeds (Mustard seeds should splutter or they leave a bitter taste in the mouth) , methi seeds, urad dal, red chilli, curry leaves and jeera. (keep all ready and at hand - chances of charred seeds are very high at this point.
Add the Onions, cook until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes then add the soya seeds and drumsticks and cook until the raw taste from the drum stick is gone (you can also add the drum sticks to the dal to cook / or I sometimes microwave the drumsticks for 5 minutes in a bowl of water - either of the method is faster). You will notice the soya beans are also nice and tender. Add the chilli powder, turmeric powder and the coriander powder. Coat the vegetables and stir for a minute or two until the raw taste of the powders are gone.Then Add the chopped tomatoes and let it cook too until they are soft. Add 1/2 cup of water to the pan and let it cook further for 5 minutes. Add the Tamarind water and let it boil. Then add the cooked Toor dal and garnish with chopped cilantro.
Sprinkle the Jeera Powder and methi powder.

Serve hot with rice, Dosas or idlis

You can also Subsititute with soya beans Okra, Potatoes, beans, avarakkai (broad beans) etc.

You can also add a little ghee (Clarified Butter) for taste along with the oil.

Friday, February 08, 2008

kovakkai Poriyal / Mezhukperutti

kovakkai or Ivy gourd is member of the Cucurbitaceae family .It has medicinal values in traditional ayurvedic medicine. It is considered to be good source of protein and fiber. When I was young I did'nt like many veggies, and tried to avoid them at every oppurtunity. But now with growing years my tastebuds have changed too, I now think how could I have missed all those chances of eating those tasty dishes just because I did'nt like the color!!

Kovakkai/Tindura/ Ivy gourd - 3 cups washed well and sliced.
Chili Powder - 3/4 tsp
Turmeric powder - A pinch
Oil - 1 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 6 to 7
Dried Red Chilli - 1 to 2

In a saute pan heat the oil and add the mustard seeds. Once they start spluttering add the urad dal, red chilli and curry leaves. Add the sliced kovakkai, makinbg sure that they are nicely coated with the oil. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Add the Chilli powder, tumeric powder, stir for a 1-2 minutes until the raw taste of the powders are gone. Cover and let it cook on simmer for 5 -6 more minutes, you don't need to water, add salt. You can also cook without covering, by adding some more oil and basically allowing it to go crisp. Uncover and then stirfry on medium - high for 5 minutes. You will see it turning crisp. Remove and serve hot with rice and and cool curds. Dont wait too long after it is cooked to serve, as they will lose their crispiness.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008


Even after careful calculations there is always some extra batter left once the idli and dosa phases are over. There are many delicious ways this leftover batter can be made. One among my favorites is the uthappam.


Sour leftover Dosa batter - 2 Cups
Onion - 1 Finely chopped
Tomato - 1 finely chopped
Coriander Leave - a small bunch finely chopped
Green Chilli - 2-3 finely chopped.
Oil - 2 tbsp

Mix all the ingredients except the batter. Heat a non stick shallow pan or cast iron skillet. Once it is hot(put heat on medium - sprinkle water if the water sizzles then it is ready), use a brush to lightly brush with oil (if cast iron). Pour a big ladle of the batter onto the skillet and spread a Little to make a thick pancake. Then sprinkle some of the mixture. Pour 1 tsp of the oil alongside the edge of the uthappam and a drop of oil on the top. Cook until the bottom is golden brown, carefully turn it mixure side down. cook for another 3 -4 minutes, until the batter is cooked and you get a nice golden brown on top on the mixture. Remove from heat and serve with chutney or dosa podi.

You can also sprinkle the dosa podi after you add the mixture to the uttappam, This would make it spicy and can be eaten on its own. You can also as a variation mix the batter and the chopped ingredients and make simple dosa out of it too.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Colors Of Taste: Powders Calendar

For the Year 2009


JanuaryPodi's for Rasams and Sambhar
FebruaryPodi As An Accompaniment
MarchFlavored Rice: Indian
AprilFlavored Rice: International
MayRice Flour
JuneTo Be Announced
JulyTo Be Announced
AugustTo Be Announced
SeptemberTo Be Announced
OctoberTo Be Announced
NovemberTo Be Announced
DecemberTo Be Announced