Keerai Mor Kootu - Greens in spiced butter milk gravy

Its one of granny's recipe. Very healthy, soothing and comforting. This could be done with any green leafy vegetables. I made it with spinach.

Check out the nutrition benefits for spinach.

Chopped Spinach - 1 cup
Sour Thick buttermilk - 1/2 cup

To grind:-
Red Chilli - 4-5
Cumin - 1 sp
Coconut - 1 Tbsp

To temper:-
Urad Dal - 1 sp

Beat curd to thick buttermilk.
Make paste from grinding Red chillis, cumin and coconut adding little water.
Wash well and chop the spinach. Pressure cook till soft.
Add ground paste to boiled spinach, cook for about 5-8 mins.
Finally add buttermilk,salt. boil for 2 mins (till a boil) not more.
Temper urad dal in very little oil and add.
Serve hot with rice.

**If its not thickened enough, add 1 tbsp of rice flour mixed with cold water and cook for few mins.
** Can add 1 sp of tamarind if butter milk is not sour.

This entry goes to the sweet Sowmya's Cooking-with-greens event :)

Potato Subzi - Simple, Quick and tasty

This is one recipe I usually end up when I want to make a quick side dish for rotis.

Potato - 3
Onion - 1
Tomato - 1
Coriander leaves - few
Red Chilli powder - 1 sp
Sambar powder - 1 sp

To temper:
Mustard - 1 sp
Cumin - 1 sp
Saunf - 1 sp
Curry leaves - few

Wash well, grate the skin, chop the potatoes into cubes.
In a spoon of oil, temper the mentioned ingredients.
Add chopped onions, saute till translucent.
Add chopped tomatoes cook covered till tomatoes are mashed.
Add 2 cups of water, add red chilli powder, sambar powder, mix well.
Add chopped potatoes and cook covered.
Once potatoes are boiled, add salt and mix well and garnish with coriander.
Serve hot with Rotis.

** Adding of potatoes will generally thicken the subzi by itself. If required, add a spoon of rice flour/corn flour/gram flour mixed in cold water to thicken.
** Based on choice this could be made as spicy curry or a mild one.

Vendakkai VathaKuzhambu - Okra/Ladiesfinger in Spicy Tamarind Gravy

Ohhh how much I love this tangy spicy gravy :)

Quite famous in Tamilnadu, originally called 'Vatral' or 'Vathal' kuzhambu which is framed to VathaKuzhambu. This is usually made with Sundakkai vathal (Sundried turkey berry) or manathakali vathal (Sundried Black Nightshade) ..

This is also made with fresh vegetables like Brinjal/Ladies finger/Pumpkin/Sweet potato etc.

This is one food which I finish till last drop of it :) And the juicy spicy ladies finger in this goes well as side dish with curd rice :)

Ingredeints :
Tamarind - Lemon sized
7 - 8 Ladies finger Chopped to 1' pieces
Red chilli powder/sambar powder - 2 sp
Oil - 1 Tbsp

To Temper:-
Mustard - 1 sp
Red Chilli - 2
Hing - 1/2 sp
Methi - 1 sp
Curry Leaves - few

Make thick pulp from tamarind for about 1 cup.
In a tava add a table spoon of oil, temper mustard, red chillis, hing, methi, curry leaves.
Once done, add the sambar powder/red chilli powder to the oil. Saute 2-3 seconds.
(I totally prefer adding sambar powder as it has the extra spices in it)
The powder will get fried in the oil and immediately simmer and add chopped ladies finger. The adding of sambar powder/chilli powder to the oil beforehand will add nice color and taste to the dish.
Saute the ladies finger for couple of minutes.
Add tamarind pulp.
Extract the tamarind again, as much as u can out of it adding water for about 2 cups more and add.
Let it boil. It will boil well enough and will come down to half its original size.
Add salt.
Serve hot with rice, will also go good with curd rice.

Its truly Lipsmacking :)

The spicy kuzhambu goes best with (any kind of) 'Paruppusili' as side dish. An ideal combo like Onion sambar and potato fry :)

Potato fry - The yummy golden cubes

Is there anyone who doesn't love potato fry? If so, we should check out what's wrong with them..
anyway, I love potato fry. Both the fries, small cubes and the bigger one too :)

Chopped Potatoes - 1 cup
Onion - 1
Red chilli powder - 1 sp
Sambar Powder - 1 sp
To temper:-
Mustard - 1 sp
Cumin - 1 sp
Saunf - 1 sp

Wash well and cut potatoes to tiny cubes.
In 2 spoons of oil, temper mustard,cumin,saunf.
Add chopped onions, saute till pink.
Add potatoes and saute.
Once half boiled, add salt.
Once nicely cooked, add sambar powder/chilli powder, drizzle some oil on top ,saute for about 5 mins. Switch off.

--Little things like, adding saunf in tempering, adding sambar powder will give a great flavour to this dish.

Chappathi Ladoo - The Chappathi's new disguise :)

One day I was sadly starring at my left over chappathis with no mood to eat them, that is when I saw Creative Saga's chappathi laddo :) Oh ! Such a releif..Immediately gave the new form to my left over chappathis...

Chapathi - 5
Jaggery - 1/3 cup
Butter/Ghee - 1 Tbsp
Milk - 1 Tbsp
Chopped nuts

Tear the Chappathis to smaller pieces.
Bake it in 250' for 15 mins or so till the pieces turn slight brown and crisp.
Keep a check else it may burn dark.
Use a blender/mixie, give a run till the pieces are powdered.
Powder the jaggery, mix it with powdered chappathi.
Heat the ghee/butter fry the nuts, and pour it over the powder.
Add milk little by little just enough for them to bind well and make ladoos.
Now enjoy the chappathi in new disguise :)

Pizzaaa - Totally Home made

This pizza is home made, from the scratch. Not with store bought pizza crust or Pizza dough.

All purpose flour - 3 cups (This yielded 2 pizzas of the size given above)
Dry Yeast - 1 sp
Salt - 1 sp
Sugar - 1/2 sp
Oil - Few Tbsp
Pizza sauce - Any Tomato sauce should do.
Grated/ Shredded Mozzarella cheese - 1 cup

For Toppings :
Black Olives

-Take about 3/4 cup of lukewarm water (more or less as required to make dough for 3 cups of flour) and add yeast to it. Yeast dies, if water is hot.
-To this, add salt and sugar. Mix well. Let it settle couple of minutes.
-Now, add 1 cup of all purpose flour to the yeast mixture,Let this set for 15 mins .
-Add the rest of 2 cups flour into and mix well and make a nice soft dough adding 2-3 spoons of olive oil. Close it with muslin cloth let this set for 1 hr or till the dough double its size, in dark place. -Depending on the yeast the time of fermenting differs.
-Once it doubled, knead the dough again, rolling it in and out with hands until it becomes soft. This to remove the aeration that has formed inside.
-Let it set for another 30 minutes.
-Pre heat the oven to 450'F
-Take out the dough after 30 mins, knead it well and spread as a thin layer on a Tava.
-Switch on the heat on low flame and heat for couple of minutes. This is to cook the bottom a little before baking it. Baking may bake the top well and bottom comes uncooked sometimes.
-Once the bottom is slightly cooked on the low flame, transfer it to a well greased baking pan
-Top the dough with pizza sauce (I used Pasta sauce)
-Add the toppings of your choice, spread the shredded mozzarella cheese on top leaving the corners.
-Brush the sides with olive oil and pour few drops on top too, and bake it for 15-20 mins or till you see top getting golden brown.
-Take out the pizza and let it set for 10 mins and then u can cut it to pieces and enjoy.

Reposting and sending this cheesey cheesey recipe as my entry to Poornima's My Favourite thing:Cheese event started by Bindya

This entry also goes to

BreadBakingDay #21 - Pizza Party and giveaways for 2 years anniversary - last day of sumbission July 1st

Boiled Peanuts

However simple it is, I love this a lot. The slight coating of oil with a mild hotness and salty taste. Yummy Yum...
I can take it as a snack and when no side dish is available this goes as one. This is so irresistible for me at times this becomes my whole meal followed by amma's scoldings ;)

Peanuts - 1 cup
Red Chilli - 2
Oil - 1 sp
Mustard - 1sp

Pressure cook the peanuts for 20-25 mins/ till cooked.
In a tava, add 1 sp of oil, temper mustard and red chilli.
Add boiled peanuts and saute for a minute.
Switch off.
Serve hot.

Tindora / Kovakkai Fry

Kovakkai / Tindora has become one of the rare delicacy after coming to US.
Though it take quite an effort of cutting thin slices , the final product is well worth it :)

Sliced Tindora - 2 cup
Chilli Powder - 1 sp
Sambar Powder - 1 sp
Oil - To shallow fry

In a wide pan, pour 2 spoons of oil, once hot, add the tindora.
Saute them couple of times to coat them evenly with oil.
Leave undisturbed and cook on medium-high. Keep a check else it may stick to bottom.
Every five minutes saute them slightly so that they fry evenly.
Once half done, add salt.
Finally add chilli powder + sambar powder , add 2 spoons of oil, saute for 5 mins.
Switch off.
Serve hot wiht rice / Roti.

Per choice, onions can be added. This goes well with Roti too.

You might also check out Few Tips for getting perfect fries

Mysore Bajji

Soft and Fluffy bajji's..

All purpose Flour - 1 cup
Rice Flour (Opt) - 1 Tbsp
Sour Curd - 1 cup
Salt - to taste
Eno Fruit Salt / Cooking Soda - 1 sp
Cumin - 1 sp
Chopped Green Chillis - 1sp
Chopped Onion - 1 tbsp
Pepper (Opt) - 1 sp
Oil - To deep fry

Sieve all purpose flour and sour curd without any lumps.
Set it aside for 6-8 hrs.
Add and mix well the rest of the ingredients to make the batter.
When oil is medium hot, drop in small balls of batter using big spoon.
Deep fry till golden brown.
Serve hot with chutneys.

You may check out Few useful Tips for Deep-Frying

Beetroot halwa - The quick dessert

I love this for the color...the taste..the simplicity and I love this more than carrot halwa..
A very quick dessert item..


Grated Beets - 2 cups
Whole Milk - 1 cup (Can be more per taste)
Sugar - 1 cup
Chopped Cashew/Almonds
Ghee - 2 - 3 sp

Fry chopped nuts in 1 spoon of ghee and set aside.
Add 2 spoons of ghee to the tava, when hot add grated beets and fry for a minute.
Pour the milk and cook in sim mode
Half way thru add sugar,mix well and cook till milk is absorbed and beet is cooked well.
Cook till the mixture solidifes and come out from the sides and sets to a nice halwa texture.
Switch off, Garnish with fried nuts.
Serve hot.

-- If beet is very old, boiling takes longer time. This case, try to steam the beets for few minutes till they are half cooked and then proceed as above.
--Instead of milk, one can add condensed milk / khoya. Or partly whole milk and partly khoya.

Poha Upma

A simple quick and healthy upma.

Thick Poha - 2 cups
Water - 2 cups
Tamarind paste - 1 sp

To Temper:-
Red chilli - 3
Urad dal - 1 sp
Channa dal - 1/2 sp
Mustard - 1 sp
Hing - A Pinch
Turmeric - a pinch

In little oil temper urad dal, channa dal. Once they are slightly brown add mustard, once they splutter, add red chilli, hing and turmeric. Saute for couple of seconds and add water.
Add tamarind paste to the water. Add salt.
Once it comes to a good boil, add the poha (if its not clean, can wash and immediately add).
Cook closed in Low-Simmer mode for 5-7 mins or till done.
Serve with chutney

Banana Walnut Cake

I simply love this cake than all the others I have ever tried. I love the banana flavour and this cake comes out little moist and its very very delicious.

(This measurement fetched me two cakes of the size shown above)

1 3/4 cup Ripe Banana Puree (Approximately 3 long ripe bananas)
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
3 eggs

Dry Ingredients:
1/2 sp cinnamon
3/4 sp baking powder
3/4 sp eno fruit salt (As an alternative for baking soda)
A pinch of salt
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour

1/2 cup Sprite /Coke
1 sp vanilla extract
1/2 cup chopped nuts (Pecans/Walnuts/Cashews)

Pre heat oven to 325'
Purée the bananas in food processor, set aside
Blend together sugar,oil, eggs. Just one or two blends on low speed till they mix well. Set aside
** If adding brown sugar, the quantity can be increased by 1/4 to 1/2 cup more.
Sieve all dry ingredients (except the nuts)
To the above dry mixture, add sprite, vanilla extract, pureed banana, sugar-oil-egg mix and beat well till they are uniformly mixed.
**(Can use hand mixer/electric mixer. If using food processor, just give couple of blends on low speed till they uniformly blend, Not more.)
Finally add nuts and give a nice mix using hands.
The batter will not be very thick, it will be little thin, which is fine.
Spray the cake pans with oil.
Pour the cake batter only till 1/4th or little above 1/4th of the pan.
**(This is because on baking they puff up well. If filled more than half of the pan, chances are high that they spill out. )
Bake for about 50 mins to 1 hour or till top comes out thick brown. Insert a toothpick and test if it comes out clean.
Take it out and let it cool down for 15 mins.
Cut and serve hot.
Can be refrigerated.
**(This cake came out with enough sweetness,not too high and not too low. So for a sweet-lover, it can take in 1/4th cup of an extra sugar. )

Recipe source: - I referred recipezaar but the above recipe varies in some of the measurements/ingredients.

Aloo Paratha / Indian Bread


For Paratha
Wheat Flour - 2 cups
Salt - A pinch
Oil - 2 sp
Curd - 1 Tbsp
Warm water

Mix salt and flour. Sieve well. Add a table spoon of curd (opt)
Add warm water very little by little, not at one stretch, and knead well.
Tip for getting a soft paratha/roti is in how good we knead the dough.
If food processor is available, use it for making the dough. Rotis come very soft in this way. Else knead the dough atleast for 10 minutes.
Use a little oil while kneading, if it sticks to hand.
Close it with wet napkin and leave it for minimum 30 mins.

For Stuffing:

Medium sized potatoes - 6
Big onions - 2
Green chilli - 3
Cumin - 1 sp
Coriander powder - 1 Tbsp
Red chilli powder - 1 sp
Garam Masala powder - 1 sp

In a pressure pan or normal pan, Boil the potatoes in enough water adding a pinch of salt.
Once done, mash it well. (its easy to do it while its hot)
In a tava, add little oil, Saute the onions well. Add green chillis and the spice powders and saute for a minute or two and add it to the mashed potato.
To this mixture, add the cumin,spice powders,chilli powder,cut green chillis,salt (Per choice, these can be added raw or fried) to the mashed potato and mix well.
Taste it and add spices as required.
Divide them into equal sized balls. Set aside.

Divide the dough prepared for paratha, into equal sized balls.
Using a rolling pin, roll the paratha to a small circle about 2 to 3 '. Drizzle little butter/oil and place the potato stuffing and cover it from all sides.
Flatten it and roll it into thin circle, as much as possible.
Cook the parathas both sides till done in hot tava till brown spots appear.
Serve hot with Bhoondhi Raitha
Do not keep the potatoes for long in the water as it absorbs moisture and it will be difficult while rolling the Parathas.

Bhoondhi Raitha

I generally make Bhoondhi's at home as I do not get it in stores. Goes very handy for raitha when side dish is not available. I do not have bhoondhi laddle with me, I use my pressure cooker steamer plate (that has small holes) to make bhoondis. :)


For Bhoondhi:
Gram Flour - 1 cup
Rice Flour - 2 Tbsp (This is optional, to give a crispness. Can add more or less per taste)
Oil to deep fry

For Raitha:
Curd - 1 cup
Red chilli powder
Curry leaves/coriander

Sieve together Gram Flour, Rice flour and salt.
Add water and make a thin batter.(Can add a spoon of hot oil for kneading)
Heat oil in a pan.
Keep the Bhoondhi laddle above the oil, carefully add the batter to the laddle, such that the bhoondhis fell into the oil.
Fry till its golden yellow.
Transfer it to kitchen napkins.
***Rice flour if added very much, can give crispness but alters the taste.
***Round Bhoondis are got when there is enough oil for the Bhoondis to immerse. I am quite stingy to do that :) and hence my bhoondhis are never in good shape.

Check out Few Useful Tips for Deep-Frying

Beat the curd to thick buttermilk stage. Add the bhoondis and salt.
Add red chilli powder coriander/curry leaves (Opt)
This needs about 20 mins minimum for the Bhoondis to get soaked in curd.
***As an alternative, soak the bhoondis in warm water for 5 mins and then add it to curd for quick soaking. this way some excess oil also is taken out from bhoondis.

Eggplant / Brinjal masala curry


Onion -1
Red chilli powder - 1/2 sp
Curry powder - 1 tbsp

In a nonstick tava, add 1 sp oil and fry the onions till pink.
Add brinjals and saute.
When they are half cooked, add salt and saute for few more minutes.
Add red chilli powder and curry powder, fry.
Serve hot with rice.

Peas Masala

Shelled Peas - 1 cup
Onion - 1 big
Tomato - 1 big

Chopped Ginger - 1 sp
Garlic - 3 pods
Cloves - 4
Cinnamon stick - 1 med
Cardamom - 3
Cumin - 1 sp
Saunf - 1 sp
Poppy seeds - 1 sp (Opt)
Pepper powder - 1/2 sp (Opt)
Red Chilli powder - 1/2 sp
Coriander powder - 2 sp
Garam masala - 1 sp (Opt)
Coriander leaves - few

Boil the peas with pinch of salt and just enough water until it is cooked.Keep it aside.

In little oil, fry ginger and garlic. Add chopped onions to it and fry till pink.Add chopped tomatoes.Let it cool for sometime. Once cooled, grind this to fine paste using mixie/blender.

In little oil/butter, saute cumin,saunf.Add cloves,cinnamon, cardamom,poppy seeds and fry for few seconds.
Add the ground mixture and bring it to boil.
As onions/tomatoes were already cook, it is enough to boil a couple of minutes until they heat up.
Add red chilli powder, coriander powder, garam masala pepper powder,salt. Mix well.
Add shelled peas. Boil till the peas set well in the gravy.
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves.
Serve hot with Roti/naan

Dosa Tips

Few tips for Dosa..

- Add 1/2 to 1 spoon of sugar (depending on the batter amount) to get a nice colored crispy dosa. You can feel an immediate change in color and crispness if you add sugar.

- While making dosa batter, add 2 spoons of Tur dal/Channa dal,soak with rice, this gives a nice color to dosa.

- Add 1 sp of methi and soak along with rice, Not only methi is very good for health, it also adds a great flavour to the taste.

-Adding poha while making dosa batter gives softness to the dosa.

- Add 1 sp of eno fruit salt to the batter (just before making dosas) , dosas will come very porous and good..

Kothamalli Mor Kuzhambu / Coriander-Curd Gravy

Here comes the next ..Most simple dish and ready in a jiff, yet a very very comforting dish.
There are two ways of preparing Mor kuzhambu. One, where we boil the whole mixture a bit, the other, where no stove-top operation is required. This recipe belongs to the latter category.

If you are any bit scared of the above image, well, I am posting the normal version too :P

Thick curd - 1 cup
Chopped Coriander/Cilantro - 1/2 cup
Grated Coconut - 1/4 cup
Green chilli - 2
To Temper:
Mustard - 1sp
Urad dal - 1 sp
Red Chilli - 1 (Opt)

Grind to paste corriander,cocunut,green chilli with little salt.
Beat the curds, add the ground mixture.
Temper with Mustard, Urad dal and Red chilli.

This entry goes to Cilantro’s Cilantro Jihva Event.

This entry also goes to Sowmya's Cooking-with-greens event

Coriander Pulao

Coriander - Who doesn't love the aroma of it, Not to miss out its beautiful green color. Makes the dish colorful and flavourful. Few health benefits of cilantro are Protects against salmonella bacteria, Aids in digestion and helps settle the stomach and prevent flatulence, Protects against urinary tract infections,Lowers blood sugar,Lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) and raises good cholesterol (HDL), A good source of dietary fiber, A good source of iron, A good source of magnesium,Rich in phytonutrients and flavonoids, Relieves intestinal gas.

This pulao is pretty simple. Goes well with any Raitha as a sidedish.

Ingredients :
Basmati rice - 1 cup
Water - 1.5 cup (varies with rice quality)
Chopped Coriander / Cilantro - 1 Cup
Grated cocunut - 1/4 cup
Green Peas - 1/2 cup
Green chilli - 3 ( Can be more or less per taste)
Cumin - 1 sp
Cashews (Opt) - 5 to to 6
Pepper - 1/2 sp
Ghee - 2 sp

Grind to paste, all the C's :) Coriander,Chilli,Cashew,Coconut with salt.
(Cumin can be added directly to the rice or ground to paste.)
Add cumin, peas, the ground mixture and little bit of ghee to the basmati rice. Mix well and cook till grainy.
Once cooked, bit of pepper powder on top. This is optional.

This entry goes to the food blogger Cilantro’s Cilantro Jihva Event.

This entry also goes to Sowmya's Cooking-with-greens event

Apple-Carrot Smoothie

Apples - 4
Carrot - 1
Milk - 2 cup

Freeze the milk for couple of hours.
Use this to make the smoothie, it comes nice frothy and foamy. If this is not preferred, one can use normal milk.
Cut apples and carrots, grind along with milk (or milk + water). Add sugar/honey.
Serve chilled.

-I got this frozen milk tip from Chithra Mam (

Baked Gobi - Manchurian

I still had some left over cauliflower after making Gobi Manchurians. So I tried baking the Cauliflower rather than deep frying it again. I cannot say it was as tasty as the Gobi Manchurian original version, but very much tasting good and above all the satisfaction of 'avoiding the deep fry' part is great :P

Rather than deep frying the florets, spread the florets in a baking pan, drizzle some oil, red chilli/pepper and salt. Pre heat and bake it at 400' for 30 - 40 mins or till slightly brown.

One can even coat it with Allpurposeflour/Corn Flour/Chilli Powder/Salt mix made with very little water to bind, before baking..

Make the sauce as given in Gobi Manchurian and add the baked florets to the sauce. Follow same process.

Spinach Dal

Spinach - a small bunch
Tur dal - 2 heaped Tbsp
Tamarind Extract - 1 tbsp
Turmeric - A pinch
Onions/Fried Onions - 1 tbsp
Oil - To temper/ fry onions

To Temper:
Red Chilli - 3
Hing - 1/2 sp
Mustard - 1 sp
Urad Dal - 1 sp
Channa Dal - 1 sp
Cumin - 1 sp
Curry Leaves

Wash well and chop spinach.
Pressure cook Tur dal with spinach, adding pinch of turmeric.
In little oil fry the onions till brown, add cooked dal, tamarind pulp and boil for few mins till it blends well.
Temper with the tempering ingredients.

If using fried onions, it could be added at the end. This goes well with Rice /Rotis.