Saturday, May 30, 2009

Vasantha Neer

Way back in 1989, our cousin took some of my cousins, sister for dinner at a very famous 5 Star place in Chennai. As most of them were newly married, he wanted to throw them a party. So a whole lot of youngsters were having a good time. I was pregnant with my daughter then and at home in Namakkal. I had various updates about this rendez-vous. The most significant memory was, of course, their welcome drink which helped me coin the title. I have used the basic ingredient in that drink which is the tender coconut water and have justified the name :)

Here in Ghana mangoes are invitingly hanging out of all the trees, Srivalli has hosted the Mango Mela, all these factors got me putting up this post.

Tender coconut -2 numbers
Mango -1 very ripe, pulpy, sweet variety
Sugar -3 tablespoons
Lemon juice -few drops

Skin the mangoes and with a fruit baller,take out balls of the pulp.Make a very thick syrup of the sugar. Drop mango balls just long enough to coat them with the sugar. Open the tender coconut and drain the water in a glass. drop the mango crystals into it. Float a few pieces of coconut in the juice. Add the drops of lemon and serve.

I'm sending this recipe as my entry to Srivalli's event. Mango Mela.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Poori Laadu

My mother makes sweets that we often don't get in the sweet shops. She does not mind the workload just to indulge us. Poori laadu is one such recipe. I would like to share this with all of you. I hope all of you will not mind a li'l indulgence once in a while.

Semolina -1 cup (Super fine quality/ Chiroti rawa)
Sugar - 1 1/4 cups ( powdered )
Nutmeg powder -3 teaspoons
Cashews -2 tablespoons (Broken and roasted in ghee)
Ghee for frying - 3/4ths of a cup

Mix the rawa with water to make a stiff dough. Let it stand for 1/2 an hour. Using a hand mixer beat this dough thoroughly to make it very pliable. Make tiny marble sized balls and roll to puris. deep fry these pooris in hot ghee until very crisp. Having fried all of them make a coarse powder of the puris. Mix with the nutmeg powder, cashews and sugar. Mix well and shape the laddus.


Mandarin peel thogaiyal

Orange peel thogaiyal and venthya kozhambu are my periamma's specialities. My daughter and myself are quite fond of the tangy tasting kozhambu. I don't save the peel so much to make thogaiyal often. But sometimes I try to use up all of the peel.


  • Mandarin orange peel - of one orange (shredded 1/4 cup)
  • Tamarind - size of a small marble
  • Dry red chillies - 6 long pieces
  • Urid dhal - 3 tablespoons
  • Channa dhal - 1 tablespoon
  • Asafoetida powder - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Salt - to taste
  • Oil - 3 teaspoons
Heat oil in a pan. Toss the orange rind in the oil until the shreds are soft. Keep aside. In the same pan roast the dhals, salt, tamarind and red chillies until the chillies are crisp and dhals are golden brown.
In the mixie first pound the above mixture coarsely and then add the cooked orange rind. Run for a few more minutes until all of them blend well almost powdered.
The thogaiyal can be had with rice like any other podi or thogaiyal with a little ghee or gingley oil.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Aapam with Kurma

Aapam is an instant hit in our family.I have been using this recipe for over 12 years, ever since I read it in Aval Vikatan. This recipe was given by the chief cook of the Chettinad palace. It is simple and turns out superbly well. The aapam pan I use is made of Hindalium and is perfect. I have not tried the nonstick pan yet. But I'm sure it should turn out equally well with those too.
The following recipe makes about 12 aapams.

Raw rice - 1 & 1/2 cups
Idli rice - 1 cup
Urid dhal - 4 tbsps
Fenugreek seeds - 2 teaspoons
Coconut water taken fron two coconuts (alternatively, you can use 1/4 cup of thin coconut milk)Salt to taste

Wash and soak together for about 6 hours, both the rices, dhal and fenugreek in the coconut water and more water as required.
Grind in a grinder or mixie to a fine batter. Let it ferment overnight or even longer.
Put the pan on stove. When the pan is hot enough, put a tsp oil in the pan and spread it to coat the sides well. Pour in one big ladle of batter in the pan and holding the sides of the pan, quickly twirl the pan and put back on the stove. Cover with the lid. Cook until ready for about two minutes. Lift off the pan slowly. The aapams will be thin on the edges and fluffy and porous in the middle.
Serve hot with kurma, thengai paal or stew.

Mixed vegetables 2 cups
Grind to a fine paste the following:
3 tbsp coconut
1" piece ginger
10 to 12 shallots
3 pieces garlic
5 cardamons
5 cloves
2 small pieces cinnamon
4 teaspoons khus khus

Microwave vegetables until cooked.
Put the pan on low fire, heat 1 tbsp ghee and add the ground spices.
Keeping the fire low, cook the spices well until the ghee separates.
Add cooked vegetables and water. Bring to a boil. Simmer for 10 minutes until kurma thickens.
Serve hot with aapams.

These fluffy aapams are to feature in Padma's Dosa Corner Event.

Jeeraga rasam

This is yet another simple rasam. I relish rasam. So I use as many rasam recipes to try out.

  • Marble size ball of tamarind.
  • 1 tablespoons of Thuvar dhal
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons Jeera
  • 4 medium spiced dry red chillies
  • Salt to taste
  • Ghee for tempering
  • Mustard seeds, curry leaves, coriander leaves for garnish

Soak tamarind in warm water and extract pulp. Add some more water to the pulp, add required salt and boil in microwave medium high for 7 minutes.

Add little water to the dhal, jeera and red chillies. Let them soak for few minutes. Blend them in a mixer to a paste. Wash mixer jar and add the water extract to the above.

Mix the boiled tamarind and the ground spice. Microwave on high for three minutes.

Garnish with tempered mustard seeds in ghee and the fresh curry and coriander leaves.

Serve with rice. It tastes good even if you want to drink as a soup.

Ridgegourd curry

Ever since Niki and her three friends decided to take on campus living without the meal options, they want to learn easy recipes. Less cooking time and least usage of utensils are their conditions to follow my posts!!!! So, there will be some short recipes dedicated to the four young girls who are looking forward to e-tutoring on cooking.
Peerkankai is one of my favourite veggies and Niki's too. We cook masiyals, porichcha kootu and even stirfry with this. If tender, I save the peel to make thogaiyal and thayir pachchidis.
The recipe I'm posting today is the simplest and will cook easily in a very short time.


Peerkankai - 4 numbers...approx. 300 grams

Tomatoes - 2 medium

Green chillies - 2 medium

Mustard seeds - 1 tsp

Curry leaves - few

Coriander leaves - few

Salt - to taste

Oil - 2 tsp

Peel and cut ridge gourd into tiny pieces. Microwave on high for 6 minutes.
Slice onion finely. Chop tomatoes and slit green chillies into two length wise.
Place pan on stove, add the oil and when hot, put in the mustard seeds.
When the mustard seeds crackle, add the chillies and onion and saute for few minutes.Then add tomatoes and two tablespoonsful of water and cover the pan. Cook until tomatoes are pulped.
Add the ridge gourd and cook until all the vegetables blend. garnish with curry leaves and coriander leaves. This curry goes well with steamed rice, chappattis, rotis and even bread.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Godhumai Rawa Adai

I have been making rawa adai with semolina for long. Recently while moving out of Bahrain to Ghana, I stocked up my groceries to pack into the container. I did not find the usual samba rawa. So, I compromised on whatever samba I found on the supermarket shelf. The packet contained uneven grains and was not suitable for upmas. I decided to use in the adais.I just ran them a few minutes in the mixie and used it. However, I have nice samba rawa in the super market here in Ghana.

The following recipe makes 12 adais. I served with onion chutney and coconut chutney.

Samba godhumai rawa - 2cups
Thuvar dhal - 1/2 cup
Red chillies - 7 to 8 pieces
Green chillies - 2 long pieces
Ginger - 2" piece
Curry leaves - 2 tbsp
Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Buttermilk - 1/2 cup

Soak thur dhal in water for about an hour. Mix the rawa and buttermilk and let it stand for some time. Grind the thur dhal, chillies and ginger together coarsely.
Mix the rawa and ground batter and salt. Let it stand for about two hours.

Make adais on hot tawas. Serve hot with any chutney.

I'm reposting this in order to send to Padma's Dosa Corner Event.

Pulikaichchal (Tamarind Ready Mix)

With my parents and daughter visiting us, we are all set to explore a bit of Ghana. The weekend follows a public holiday on Monday. So, we have planned two one-day trips. That gave me reason to make pulikaichchal ahead to mix with rice. There is always Vadaams and Appalams to go with it, but today I served it with some potato crisps.

The recipe makes about 200ml of the mix and will keep well for 10 days.

Tamarind - Tennis ball size
  • Red Chillies - 9 pieces of small size, medium spice variety
  • Corriander seeds - 2tbsp
  • Sesame seeds - 2tbsp
  • Curry leaves - for garnish
  • Channa dhal - 2tbsp
  • Roasted peanuts - 5tbsp
  • Asafoetida powder - 1tsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Gingley oil - 100ml
  • Mustard - 2tsp
  • Turmeric powder - 1tsp
Soak tamarind in warm water for some time and extract pulp thoroughly. Add 1/2 cup more of water to the pulp.
Roast coriander seeds, sesame seeds and 6 of the red chillies and powder these together.
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan and put in the mustard seeds. When they crack, add the channa dhal, roasted peanuts, asafoetida powder, turmeric powder, red chillies and curry leaves. Add the tamarind pulp and salt. Keeping the fire low let the tamarind pulp cook until thick for about 30 minutes. When thick add the powdered spices and let simmer another ten minutes.

The paste mix is ready to serve. While mixing with rice, cook the rice just right to separate the grains. Add a little oil or ghee and spread on a large plate to let it cool. Then add the mix to the rice and mix well. Serve with crisps, appalams or fried vadaams.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Tanjore brinjal gothsu

This is yet another recipe I found in my mother's note book. Accra's saturday Indian market sells fresh Indian vegetables like snake gourd, brinjals, bindi etc. and some greens. The market was one of the first places in Accra my driver took me to and we loved it. Infact, the vendors comfortably use the Indian names to identify the veggies.

Having fresh veggies in the fridge calls for new recipes and my daughter who is home on holiday was ready to help with the recipe. It turned out very nicely and went well with Phulkas.

Brinjals - 250grams
Onions - 100grams
Tomatoes - 100grams
Green chillies - 4 medium sized pieces
Ginger - 2"piece
Tamarind - a small lime size ball
Salt - to taste
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Red chilly powder - 1 teaspoon
Curry Leaves - for garnish
Cilantro - for garnish
Oil - 2 tbsp

- Cut the brinjals to tiny pieces.
- Slice onions and tomatoes.
- Soak tamarind and extract the pulp.
- Slit the green chillies and cut ginger to thin strips.
- Put the pan on fire and temper the mustard seeds in oil.

- Add green chillies, ginger and onions, and saute until they are translucent.
- Add tomatoes and cook till they are pulped.
- Put in the brinjals and saute for a few minutes.
- Add little water and cover and cook until soft.
- Add the tamarind and red chilly powder and leave to simmer for a few minutes.
- Take it off fire and garnish with curry leaves and cilantro.
- Serve hot with phulkas or chappattis.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


Poruvilangai is a sweet that my paatti used to make. The texture is terribly hard but once you bite into it, the aroma of roasted gram and the dry ginger (sukku podi) is simply great. I have been looking for the recipe for a long time and in one of my mother's tattered note book pages I found it written in pencil!!!!! The paper was so brown and brittle that I'm thankful atleast the recipe was in its fullest. She didn't write down the exact quantity of jaggery,but I managed to calculate and make the sweet. Surprisingly,my husband who is wary of my new or my very own recipes, did like this one very much. That fact encourged me to post it for the rest of you too.


- Moong Dhal -1 & 1/2 cups
- Channa Dhal -1 cup
- Whole Wheat -1/4 cup
- Coconut - 2tbsp (chopped thin strips)
- Dry ginger (sukku) -2 tbsp (powdered)
- Jaggery (powdered)-2 & 1/4 cups

Dry roast separately the dhaals and the wheat. Pound them just about finer than semolina.

Mix all of them with the coconut pieces and dry ginger powder.

Make a syrup with the jaggery, to the consistency that, a few drops dropped into water feels soft to the fingers but can still be rolled.

Spread the flour in a big plate and add the syrup to it.While still warm, shape them into balls (kuzhakattai shape). No ghee is added. You may grease your palms just a bit in order to withstand the hot blend.

Pori upma

Just like aval upma, pori upma is quick to make, filling enough and is delectable too. My mother used to make this after navrathri celebrations, as, after the Aayudha pooja day we would have lots of pori (puffed rice) left over. I just made it more colourful and with more veggies added to it.

I use as many vegetables as I can, that add flavour to all my upmas. So whenever I cook this, I try to empty all my left over vegetables that can't add up to one full fledged poriyal or kootu.

This recipe can serve four.


- Pori (puffed rice) - 150 grams
- 2 onions - medium sized (chopped)
- green chillies -4
- ginger - 1" piece (chopped)
- frozen green peas - 2 tbsp
- frozen corn - 2 tbsp
- 3 medium sized tomatoes (chopped)
- raw mangoes/mango ginger (if available)
- mustard seeds, cumin seeds, curry leaves and corriander leaves for garnish.
- salt to taste
- oil for tempering

Put the pori in a colander and wash under running water for a few seconds. The pori should get soft but not soggy.

Put the pan on medium fire and add the oil. When hot, add the mustard seeds, cumin and leave to crackle. Then add the onions and the ginger. Saute for about three minutes, then add the tomatoes and the frozen vegetables. Cook till tender.

If you are using potatoes, beans and cabbages, you may cook longer until the veggies are soft. Add the puffed rice and saute for few more minutes until the pori and vegetables mix well.

Serve garnished with tempered curry leaves and fresh chopped cilantro.

This recipe is for the 15 minute cooking event hosted by Indian Vegetarian Kitchen