Some Indian Food recipes and Kitchen Tips

Tips on Indian Cooking

When I started cooking first I had to learn everything by trial and error. These are some of my recipes for my daughters who are both newly married [:-)] whenever they feel nostalgic for Mom's cooking. Others are also welcome !

Friday, June 18, 2010

Wheat Rawa (Dhalia) Kichadi

Dhalia is the whole-wheat version of sooji or rawa and so, preferable as a healthier choice. This version is easy to make and a meal in itself, ideal for breakfast or light supper.
1 cup Dhalia
100gm French Beans, 1 carrot, 1 potato- all diced into cubes after peeling.
Shelled Green Peas, 1 tbsp
1 inch piece Ginger, grated
2 green chillis, slit
1 pod of garlic, peeled and sliced
a few curry leaves

1 onion, sliced
1/2 tsp turmeric
Salt to taste (about 3/4 tsp)
To season:
1 inch cinnamon, 1 bayleaf, 1 clove and 1 tsp cuminseeds
2 tsp vegetable oil

Heat oil in a pressure pan. Put in all the seasoning ingredients.
When they crackle add the curry leaves, green chillis, ginger and garlic, in that order.
Add the sliced onions. Saute till transparent.
Add the dhalia and cubed vegetables and mix well.
Add two cups of boiling water.
Add the salt and turmeric.
Close the lid and pressure cook for one whistle to speed up process. Or let it cook slowly on low heat for 10 minutes with just the lid on and no pressure.
When it is done, (If pressurecooking, cool for 5 minutes) open the lid.
Add the green peas and close the lid after stirring the kichadi and patting it to be uniformly spread on the pan.
Close the lid and keep on simmer for 5 minutes till the peas are also cooked.

Garnish with fried cashewnuts (optional) and coriander leaves.
Serve hot with onion raitha (curd pachadi).

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Kara Kuzhi Paniyaram

When you are bored of making idlis and dosas make this with the same idli batter:

Kara Kuzhi Paniyaram:

In a pan, heat 2 tsp of oil.
Put in 1 tsp of mustrad and when they splutter add 1 tsp of white urad dal and 1 tbsp of channa dal.
Fry them till golden on low fire for one minute.
Put in a pinch of hing (perungayam), 1 red chilli ,broken into 3 pieces and a few chopped curry leaves.
Add 2 big onion chopped finely and saute till transparent. Take it off the heat.
When it is cooling, grind 1 inch piece of peeled ginger and 1 green chilli coarsely and add it.
Add one tbsp of chopped coriander.
Add all this to 2 cups of the idli batter. Mix well and keep aside for ten minutes.
Use this batter in a kuzhipaniyaram pan and make kara kuzhipaniyaram.
Serve hot with any type of coonut chutney.

Onion oothappam

When you are bored of making idlis and dosas make this with the same idli batter:

Onion Oothappam:
Keep ready finely chopped onion.
On hot flat pan, pour two ladleful batter and describe a thick round dosa.
Sprinkle the onion over the top of the dosa evenly to form a uniform layer.
Pour 1 tsp of oil around the edge.
Cover with a lid and lower heat.
After three minutes, raise the heat and open the lid.
Flip the oothappam over with a longhandled flat spoon (dosai thiruppi) and cook the other side, again lowering the heat after a minute.
As a variation, sprinkle some idli podi over the oothappam, along with the onions, to make podi oothappam.
When done (3 minutes), serve hot with idli sambar and coconut chutney.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Javvarisi vadai

Wash 1/2 cup of Sabudhana (the round variety) and soak in just enough water to cover it.
After 3 hours, drain any excess water.
1 boiled, peeled and mashed potato and 2 tbsp rice flour.
1 tbsp peanuts pounded coarsely.
1 tbsp of coconut, cut into very small pieces.
1 green chilli and 1/4 inch piece of ginger ground to a coarse paste
Salt to taste (1 tsp)

Mix all the ingredients together till it forms a uniform dough.

Heat oil to deepfry the vadas. Cook on medium fire. Follow the same method as for medhu vadai for frying.

Serve hot while it is crisp, with coconut chutney or with tomato sauce.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Vella pidi Kozhukkattai

1 cup idiyappa mavu

1 1/2 cups water

1/2 cup jaggery

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup grated coconut

1/4 tsp cardamom powder


Heat the water in a deep pan and dissolve the jaggery in it. Strain it to remove the dirt from jaggery.
Again bring it to a boil in a deep pan.
Put in the coconut gratings, cardamom powder and salt.
When it starts boiling, add the flour stirring continuously.
When it is cooked and leaves the sides, cool it.
Make pidi kozhukkattai and steam it in an idli maker.
Serve as a healthy snack.

pidi kozhukkattai

1 cup idiyappa mavu

2 cups water

1 tsp salt

To season: 1 tsp oil, 1 tsp mustard, 1 tsp urad dal,  a pinch of heeng (perungayam), 2 red chillis split into 4 pieces and a few curry leaves.


Heat  the oil in a deep pan. Put in the seasoning ingredients, with mustard first, follwed by the others in the order specified above.
Pour in the water and salt.
When it boils add the flour little by little, stirring the contents continuously.
When it is cooked and the doulgh leaves the sides of the pan, take it off heat.
Cool it and take a lemon sized ball of the dough in a wet hand and press it to make a 'pidi kozhukkattai'. Put it in a idli maker.
Finish all the dough likewise and steam it in the idli cooker for ten minutes.
Take it off the heat and serve with coocnut chutney.

How to prepare Idiyappa Mavu

How to prepare Idiyappa mavu:

Clean and wash 1 kg of raw rice. Drain it.
Dry it on a towel on the counter indoors till water is evaporated.
Give it for grinding in a flour mill.
Cool it on a paper, spreading it flat.
Pour it into a tall cooker vessel.
Put it in a pressure cooker and cover it.
Pressure cook for 20 minutes.
Take it out and cool it on a paper using a fork to spread the hot flour.
Sieve it through a fine sieve and dry it indoors till it is completely dry.
Store it in an airtight container in the fridge for future use.

Some people dry roast the ground rice flour little by little but this pressurecooking method is easier by comparison with the same result.

If you find this process too cumbersome just use the readymade raw rice flour available in the market instead of washing and grinding raw rice.

If even this step is too much, just use the readymade idiyappam flour for recipes calling for idiyappa mavu.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Mor Kuzhambu

1 cup of slightly sour curds, beaten smoothly

Grind to a paste:
1/4 cup of grated coconut
1 clove of garlic peeled
1/4 inch of ginger, peeled
1 green chilli
1tsp of cumin seeds

Add the paste to the beaten curd along with 1 tsp of turmeric and 2 tsp of salt. Keep aside.

Cook a few pieces of vegetables in water, adding a pinch of turmeric and 1/2 tsp of salt, if you want to add them to the morkuzhambu. Keep aside.

1.Heat 1 tsp of oil in a kadai.

2. Add 1/2 tsp of mustard. When they pop, add a red chilli broken in half and a few curry leaves, along with a pinch of heeng (perungayam). Add cooked vegetables like poosanikai or ladies' finger at this stage, if you have prepared it by cooking in turmeric and salt mixed water.

3. Lower the heat and add the curd mixture. Let it come to near boiling point with the kuzhambu foaming at the sides. Don't let it boil but take it off the heat before it does. (If it boils curd breaks into water and particles, instead of being a smooth sauce.)

4. You can add masal vadai at this stage instead of vegetables.

5. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with rice.

Prawns Masala

1/4 kg prawns, shelled and deveined

2 onions, chopped fine

10 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped(about 1/2 pod)

1/2 inch piece ginger, finely chopped

1 big tomato, finely chopped

1/4 cup coconut, ground to a fine paste with 1 tsp of saunf (aniseeds)

1/4 cup tamarind juice, made from marble sized ball of tamarind

1. Wash the prawns well three times in running water. Add 1/4 tsp turmeric and 1 tsp butter milk in 2 cups of water and let the prawns soak in it for a few minutes. Drain. (This step helps get rid of the unwanted smell from the prawns.) Add 2 tsp of chilli powder, 2 tsp of coriander powder, 1 tsp of turmeric powder and 1 tsp of salt and mix well. Keep aside.

2. Heat 2 tsp of sesame oil (or any other veg oil) in a thick-bottomed pan. Add 1tsp of mustard and 1/2 tsp of fenugreek seeds. When they pop, add a few curry leaves. Add the chopped garlic, ginger and onion. Saute till golden on a low flame.

3.Add the chopped tomato and saute further adding a tsp of salt and sprinkling a little water to help mash it o low heat. Add the washed prawns and stir well. Cover it and let it cook on medium heat. Stir every few minutes and check if it sticks to the pan. Prawns get cooked very quickly. Check for soft-cooked prawns. Add 1/4 cup of tamarind water after a few (made from marble sized ball of tamarind-more if you like a tangier taste).

4. When it comes to boil add the ground coconut paste and stir well. Add the water used to wash the mixer clean, to bring the gravy to a thick sauce-like consistency. Simmer for a few minutes and take it off the heat.

Prawns should not be cooked for a long time as they turn hard and rubbery if overcooked. So, be on your toes and cook this gravy at one go, keeping all the ingredients ready by your side!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Moong dal Sprouts Masala

To make greengram sprouts:

Wash and soak 1 cup of whole greengram early in the morning (7 am). After 12 hours or so,(7pm) drain and place it in a wet cloth. Fold it loosely and put it in a casserole hotpack dish (which we use to keep dishes hot). Cover it with the heatproof lid. Let it stand overnight. It would have sprouted in the morning in the damp container. (You could use the commercial sprouter dish if you have one but this method uses what is available already in your home.)

You can use the sprouted greengram in salads. Or you can make a curry for rotis or dosa.

Sprouts masala:

Wash the sprouts and cover it enough water to immerse it in a deep pan. Boil the sprouted greengram with a pinch of turmeric and 1 tsp of salt till soft, (around 10 minutes on high heat, no need to pressurecook). Keep aside.

Grind 1/2 cup coconut, 1 tbsp fried gram, 1/2 cup coriander leaves, 1 green chilli, 1 clove of garlic and a small piece of ginger using as little water as possible. Keep aside. (In place of coconut you could use dessicated coconut too.)

In a deep thick pan, heat 2 tsp of oil. Put in a 1"piece of cinnamon and 2 cloves. When they splutter, add a few curry leaves. Add 1 big onion (chopped finely). Saute the onion till transparent. Add the ground masala paste and stir well till it gets cooked lightly and the colour changes. Add 1 tsp of garam masala and 2 tsp of coriander powder. Saute lightly for one minute.

Add the cooked sprouts along with the water, stirring continuously so as no lumps are formed. Add one finely chopped tomato. Bring to boil and simmer for 5 minutes.

Take it off the stove and serve hot with rotis and green salad. Goes well with dosas too.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sweet Pongal

Raw rice 1 cup

Channa dal 1/4 cup

Wash both together, add 4 cups of water and pressure cook for 10 minutes.

Heat 1/2 cup of water and dissolve 1 cup of jaggery in it. Strain and heat again.

Mash the cooked rice in a deep non-stick pan with a ladle and add the heated jaggery liquid. Stir well and heat on the stove on low heat, stirring all the time.

Powder 3 cardamoms with 2 tsp of sugar in the mixie, after removing the peel. Keep aside.

Heat 1 tbsp of ghee on low heat. Fry 8-10 cashewnuts and 1/2 tbsp of raisins. Pour it over the pongal and add the powdered cardamoms. Mix well and serve hot or warm.

Venn Pongal

1 cup raw rice, washed

1/2 cup split moong dal, washed and lightly fried in 2 tsp of ghee.

Put both together and add 4 cups of water and a tsp of salt.

Pressurecook for 10 minutes till it is very welldone.

Mash the rice mix with a long spoon and temper it with the following:

In a small kadai, heat (Low heat) 3 tsp of ghee (or more), for a minute. Fry 4-5 cashew nuts till golden, on very low heat. Keep aside.

Bring the ghee to higher heat (medium) now. Put in 1 tsp of coarsely ground pepper, 1 tsp jeera, 1 tsp grated ginger and 1 tbsp of grated coconut (optional) and a few curry leaves. Stir for a 30 seconds and when they splutter, pour it on to the pongal rice and mix well.

Garnish with the cashew nuts fried in ghee.

Serve hot with medhu vadai, coconut chutney and idli sambar.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Easy Idli Sambar

Wash 1/2 cup of moong dal twice in water. Add 3 cups of water, 1 tsp of turmeric powder and 1/2 tsp of til or any veg oil (to prevent the moong Dal from boiling over from the pot while cooking.)


Whole sambar onions, 1/2 cup peeled
1 Potato and 1 carrot, peeled and cubed into medium-sized pieces
Any other vegtable (like brinjal or chow chow) available, cubed

Cook in a pan or pressure cooker (5 minutes pressure time) till soft.

Heat 2 tsp oil in a pan. Add 1/2 tsp mustard and a small pinch of hing. When it starts spluttering add 1/2 tsp urad dal and 2 dry red chillis. Keep stirring and add a few curry leaves and 1green chilli split lengthwise. Stir and lower heat. Add 1/2 tsp of chilli powder and 3 tsp of dhania powder. Saute quickly and add the boiled dal-vegetable mixture with salt to taste (about 2 tsp). Add 1 cup hot water if it is too thick. Bring it to boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes stirring now and then.

Garnish with chopped coriander leaves (cilantro).