Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Yennai kathrikkai ( stuffed brinjals)

Yennai kathrikkai literally means oiled brinjals. Tender round brinjals (purple variety) small in size are partially slit (one slit from top and another from bottom perpendicular to the top slit). This way it will have 4 slits in all and still be held together as a whole. These are filled with a special spice made exclusively for this and then cooked in oil in an iron Kadai. Now to the recipe...


Tender brinjals( small and round) --1/2 Kg
3 table spoons gingelly oil (for roasting)

For the filling( spices to be ground)
Channa dal ---2 tea spoon
Coriander seeds --- 2 tea spoon
Dry red chilli ----5 nos(if you want it spicier increase the quantity)


Roast the filling ingredients in one teaspoon oil.

When cool, grind the above ingredients with turmeric powder and crystal salt( acc to your taste)

Fill the above powder in the slits of the brinjal on either side.

Now add 2 table spoons of oil in an Iron Kadhai.
When the oil reaches smoking point, add the filled brinjals and roast them up till done.

Alternatively you can arrange the filled brinjals in a microwave dish and micro it on combination of grill and cook for 10 minutes ( this requires no oil)

Cooking tips: When done in an Iron kadhai it gives a grilled effect( you can use non-stick kadhai also)

Don't toss them up often when it is getting cooked, The brinjals being tender are likely to break.

neivedhyam to Lord Rama

It is the beginning of summer and according to the tamil calender, the month of panguni and today is punarpusam star, navami thithi (9th day) - Indians celebrate this day as a festival to mark the birth of maryada purshottam - Lord Rama. The food offered to the lord after pooja is called neivedhyam. The Neivedhyam offered is panagam(sweet juice) and neer more( diluted butter milk)


Jaggery (Powdered) - 1 Cup.
Water - 3 Cups
lemon juice of 1 lemon
Dried ginger (Powdered) - 1 ½ Tsp.
Cardamom (Crushed) - 2 Nos.
a pinch of edible camphor (optional)


Mix the jaggery in water and dissolve it well. Filter the jaggery water to remove the impurities present in jaggery. Add lemon juice, dried ginger powder, Cardamom and edible camphor. Mix this well. Serve chilled.

This can be served as a welcome drink to quench the thirst and cool the system in the hot summer months.

NEER MORE ( diluted butter milk)


1 Cup thick butter milk
3 cups water
dry ginger powder - 1 tea spoon
asafoetida ( according to taste)
salt ( according to taste)

for seasoning
2 tea spoon - cooking oil
1 tea spoon - mustard
a sprig of curry leaf.

In a deep pan, churn the butter milk with the help of a wooden churner/hand blender. Keep adding the water and turn the churner on till it dilutes and mixes well. Now add ginger powder, salt and asafoetida and churn again till all mix well.

In a small wok, add some oil, when it heats up - add mustard seeds. After it splutters add the mustard seeds to the butter milk. Top it with crushed curry leaves.

Chill it and serve.

Drink lots of panagam and neer more and beat the heat.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Home made pizza

Today shreya and sharun baked an excellent pizza . They tried to make the pizza base themselves, of course with my help. Sharun found the recipe of the pizza base from NICK jr. site. We customized the recipe by adding our own variations and measure.

Ingredients(for base)
1. 1 cup maida
2. 1/4 tsp. salt
3. 1/4 cup warm water
4. 1/4 tbsp. sugar
5. 1/4 packet active dry yeast
6. 2 tbsp olive oil

To make home made pizza base:

STEP 1: Combine the flour and the salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Combine the warm water and sugar in a liquid measuring cup. Sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Pour the water and oil into the food processor and process until the mixture becomes a ball.
STEP 2: Remove the dough from the food processor and place on lightly floured work surface. Knead slightly until smooth. Place in an oiled bowl and let rise in a warm place for about 45 minutes.
STEP 3: Punch down the dough and let rise for another 45 minutes
STEP 4: Roll the base, mark it with fork and micro on combi 2 for 2 minutes(high)

For toppings:

1 cup each of cubed tomato, yellow, red and green bell pepper, shredded onions.

2 cups of mozzarella cheese gratings, pizza sauce and seasonings in accordance with personal taste.

When you're ready to add toppings, smear pizza sauce on the baked pizza base.
Sprinkle cheese and arrange vegetables as per your choice and sprinkle again with cheese.
Transfer the base to the grill rack and grill for 2 minutes / till the cheese melts.
Take out the pizza and season it with chilli flake/oregano according to your taste.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

kar adai

Today is karadaiyan nonbu.So today's festival recipe is adai. It has two variations, sweet and salt.

Vella adai(sweet)

Proceessed rice flour -- 4 cups
karamani(lentil beans)(Lobia in hindi) ---1/2 - 3/4 cups
1/2 cup of coconut pieces(cut into small pieces)
jaggery - 4cups
cardomam---10- 12

To process the rice:
First rinse the rice well and after draining the water, dry it on a cloth in the shade for 2 hours. Let there be some moisture. Grind it finely now in a mixie and sieve well.Lightly fry the sieved flour on a thick bottomed pan sauteing constantly till the dampness goes. The lightly fried flour is the processed rice flour

1. Pressure cook the lentil beans.
2. Add 2 cups of water to the jaggery and heat it on gas. When it melts, filter the syrup.
3. Now take the syrup and heat it and add coconut pieces, karamani, cardamom and slowly add the processed rice flour and keep stirring till it thickens like chapati dough.
4. When it cools, pat them like small adai's and steam them.

For Karaadai or uppu adai( salted and spiced)

processed rice flour-- 1 cup
mustard: 1 teaspoon
urad dal: 2 teaspoon
finely chopped coconut pieces 2 table spoon
ginger - 1 inch piece
paste of green chilli - 2 teaspoon
asafoetida -- 1/2 teaspoon
a hand ful of karamani
salt to taste
oil -- 1 tablespoon

take oil in a kadai, when it is heated.

Add mustard after it splutters, add urad dal, when it browns add green chilli paste, grated ginger . now add 2 cups of water. To this, add coconut pieces, boiled karamani, asafoetida, salt and curry leaf. When the water is boiling, add the processed rice flour till it becomes like chapati dough.When it cools, pat them like adai's and steam them.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

rasam powder


Dry red chillies -- 100gms
coriander seeds(dhania)---50 gms
black pepper------50 gms
cumin seeds ------50 gms
toovar dal ----25 gms
turmeric powder ---50gms

Grind all the above ingredients coarsely(without roasting).The coarsely ground powder should be stored in an airtight container for use. It has a shelf life of two months.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Traditional tamil iyer sambar powder

Traditional sambar powder used in Tamil iyer cooking.


Dry red chilllies ¼ kg
coriander seeds 100gm
channa dal 50 gms
toovar dal 50gms
urad dal- 50gms
pepper 50 gms
fenugreek seeds 25 gms
sticks of turmeric (or) turmeric powder 50gms


Except red chillies, dry roast all the above ingredients separately till it turns light brown in a kadai (without oil).

Roast red chillies in a kadai separately along with 2 spoons of til oil (gingelly)
Allow them to cool and then grind it in a flour mill near your home. It can also be ground in a mixie but in that case it is advisable to use only turmeric powder and not turmeric sticks.

recipe courtesy: Parvatham patti

My grandfather who was an engineer by profession was also a great cook. He also used to make a tasty sambar powder. The only variation he used to the above was he used to dry roast mustard and curry leaves and add it to the above ingredients.

When stored in airtight containers it has a shelf life of one year, but we make it every fortnight at home since it will be fresh and the aroma is not lost.