Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Badam Halwa and Arisi Vadai - My 100th post!

I have been contemplating whether this is indeed a milestone post or not. The numbers mean as many recipes??? Well, nearly. I pat myself, aha! I can cook this many, great. But what these few months of blogging has given me is much, much more. It has been lovely and lively interacting with loads of blogger friends, some with a little more attachment and so on. It is worth celebrating then, don't you think?
To post a recipe to mark this was a task. There are a few posts to see the light of blog sphere, most of them are in pictures, write-up pending. So I took the suggestion of the two people who have been eating these most part of their husband and daughter. They came up with the idea of putting up something I cook and collectively we relish, which in itself is a difficult task. My husband used to be a pick and choose eater until recently. So it could have been a potato dish if he had his way. Niki is fine with most veggies and such. They came up with the two dishes for this post and here I am posting it for them.
Badam Halwa:

At home, when we were young, our grandmother and mother would indulge the three of us with different sweets prepared for different festivals. They used to make our choicest of the lot.
It used to be wheat halwa for Bhoghi, obbattu for Ugadi ans so on. Somehow, they never made badam halwa.
There was one Arya Bhavan near the Rajaganapathy temple in Salem. Appa used to buy this from there, just like bakes from Henry and Woolsey the famous bakers of Salem. The halwa used to come in tiny packets, wrapped in butter-paper, sweet and in a nice yellow colour. We love them.
Later I learnt from few cookbooks to make badam halwa.
Now this recipe works well for me and hope you will enjoy this too.
1 cup almonds
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk (toned for low fat version)
Few strands of pure saffron
1/4 cup ghee
Soak almonds in hot water for about 20 minutes. Blanche them and using the milk grind to a fine paste.
Dissolve sugar in some water and boil until you achieve a thick syrup.
Mix the strands of saffron in some milk and dissolve them.
When the syrup consistency has been achieved, add the almond paste to it and stirring continuously allow it to blend well. Add the dissolved saffron too.
Cook the mix well adding the ghee in small portions until they come well together and start leaving the sides. Switch the fire off immediately. The halwa will still be semi solid but will thicken as it cools. Let the halwa reast in the same utensil for some minutes.
Transfer to a different container to store.
Garnish with roasted cashew nuts. You may also add cardamom powder for flavour but not necessarily.
Use of milk for grinding is optional, though that helps reducing quantity of ghee. Also as almonds have some fat content, ghee can be adjusted accordingly.
I usually serve this hot by heating small portions in the microwave.That makes it very indulgent, finger-licking good :)

Arisi Vadai:

This is the one vadai most of my mom's family memebers (my maternal grandma's daughters and daughters-in-law) make for Saraswathy pooja without exception.This is yet another very indulging dish from my grandmother's kitchen.
This year one of my cousin's wife, Priya manni sent this dish to Radio mirchi and won the first prize!!!
My mother makes them coin size and we just grab in fistfulls no end! We had our friend over for dinner the night of this year's Saraswathy pooja and he tried to take these with rice instead of vegetables:) I guess that I have piqued your interest enough that I should get to the recipe now.
2 cups rice flour ( prepared by soaking rice and pounding it; you may use store bought flour too)
2 level cups water
2 tablespoons thuvar dhal
1/4 cup yoghurt
3 tablespoons fresh coconut, scrapped finely
6 green chillis
1 tablespoon channa dhal
2 teaspoons mustard seeds
few fresh curry leaves
2 teaspoons oil for tempering
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying
Soak thuvar dhal for an hour, drain and grind coarsely along with coconut and chillis.
Soak channa dhal in some water for some time. Drain and keep aside.
Heat the oil for tempering in a heavy bottomed kadai, temper with mustard seeds and curry leaves. Add the channa dhal and toss for two minutes before adding the water.
Add the yoghurt, salt and the thuvar dhal paste, stirring well.
When this starts boiling, reduce heat to lowest and add the rice flour. Blend them well to form a lump that a small portion of it rolls between your fingers.
Take off the fire. Cool and knead well to obtain a lump-free, smooth dough. Make small balls and flatten them like discs. Small and medium thin discs that do not crack at edges should be the correct texture. You might sprinkle some warm water if necessary, but exercise caution, more water results in oily vadais.
Heat oil in a kadai and deep fry the prepared discs over medium heat, turning them around. Remove with a slotted ladle once the vadais are crisp and golden brown.
These vadais will stay crisp for few hours turning soft and chewy later. But both ways they taste just as good.


  1. Congrats Lata!!!! Do keep the posts coming. It has indeed been a pleasure to know you and share recipes and thoughts with you. Please let your daughter and husband know that they picked two excellent dishes for your special post :-).

  2. Congratulations Latha.... Excellent 100th post...
    Badam Halwa is worth the milestone post!!!

  3. Congratulations dear for achieving a milestone.
    Halwa looks very yummy!!

  4. Congrats Akka.. Its indeed a milestone in the few months of your blogging.

    Perfect choice of dishes for the celebration.

    Halwa looks very tempting and Arisi vadai is new to me. Bookmarked.

  5. Congrats Lata.....Nice recipes for celebration.

  6. Very crispy and nice click. Konjam parcel panni anuppunga

  7. Oh u were in salem ,.tats my mom's place :) Iam very happy..I go there atleast two months once..Good to read abt henrywoolsey bakery & rajaganapathy temple .. Badam halwa looks too good & arisi vadai is new to me..will try both :)
    Congrats on ur century :)

  8. Congrats and wishing you more like this.

  9. Congraz lata...perfect dishes for the occasion..keep it going

  10. Congrats on the century!! A great way to celebrate the occasion with that yummy halwa and vadas!!

  11. Congrats on the milestone, Lata!(I know you are much elder to me. But still, addressing this way in blogger, makes us feel close)
    You have a great blog and I come hopping here, every time I see an update , hoping to see a yummy recipe with an interesting story. Never once have you disappointed me.
    Yummy dishes, as usual & good choice of recipes for the milestone.
    Waiting to see more!

  12. this vadai is new to me but worth the try.

  13. Both the dishes look awesome, congrats on your 100th post. Best wishes for many more to come.

  14. Way to go Lata...Badam halwa and arusi vadai looks delicious, wat a prefect way to celebrate ur 100th post..keep rocking..

  15. Congrats on your 100th post !! This is a nice change from the usual dal vadas. Great recipe :-)

  16. Congrats on your 100th post Lata... badam halwa and arisi vadai looks very tempting and nice way to celebrate with these lovely dishes... wishes to reach many more milestone :)

  17. Congratzzzz ma!!! :) nice going!

  18. Congrats on your big milestone - definitely reason to celebrate - what better than vada and halwa.

    And I so hear you on the Henry and Woolson bakery in Salem! Wow - its been years since I even heard that name and that butter paper had butter literally dripping from the edges - as if they had picked a piece of paper from a box of butter!

    very intersting vada - will try soon.

  19. congrats on your milestone. both look yummy. arisi vadai is new to me..a must try though :)

  20. Congrats! Looking forward for more from here :)

  21. Congrats on ur milestone! So u re from Salem, I remember my chittappa bringing a cake (plain) but like pound cake ... Oh the taste is still tickling... I don't know which bakery, but the place have changed a lot now!
    That is great way to celebrate with halwa!

  22. A BIG Thank you to all of you, without this shower of friendship I wouldn't have come this far too.

  23. Wow looks soooooooooooooooooooooooooo yummm.. the badam halwa and the vada is real treat for our eyes. and many congrats for ur milestone. Wish you will reach many more milestones like this. I am really drooling here.. Badam halwa omg its my fav one.

  24. Wow.. Perfect recipes to celebrate!! My hearty congrats on ur milestone..!! May you have many more such milestones soon!
    And btw, my native is Salem too!! Can't forget the Rajaganapathy, Kottai Maari Amman and Arya Bhavan (in that order!!)
    Thanks for sharing it! :)

  25. Congrats on your 100th post! Watching for more and more great dishes from you!

  26. I know I'm late in wishing you but Congratulations... 100 posts already? That's cool. I came by to see your mysore pak recipe.. have been contemplating it for a while to make for this Diwali but haven't been able to find an uninterrupted chunk of time to give it a try. will let you know when I try akka.

    The badam halwa and vadai look ravishing.

  27. A N Sapthagireesan (Giri)- As a SALEM-ite of 1938-62, and resident of Mettu Agraharam street, in my younger days, My father used to send me to Henry & Wolsey Biscuits shop in The SALEM BANK Building (now Razed down). The location of the shop was ideal- right below the Tower Clock of the bank- A variety of biscuits was available from Gem Biscuits to Shrewsbury Butter Biscuits, Cream biscuits and also Omam, Jeera biscuits and what not. Also Wheat and White & Brown Double and Single breads. On the row opposite to the bank in First agraharam, a number of Rotti Gidangus were there, where Fresh Hot Bread straight from the ovens were always available. Biscuits were sold in Pounds by weight and a double Bread cost was 2 annas (12 pies+13 Naye Paise) !! Regards from


Welcome and thank you for taking time to drop by.
I appreciate your valuable comments and tips.
I sincerely hope to improve with them.
Hope we shall interact often.
Thanks once again,
Lata Raja.