Saturday, October 30, 2010

Vella puttu

Vella puttu is a sweet delicacy made during ocassions.


1 cup of processed rice flour
(To prepare the processed rice- Wash raw rice and drain the excess water through colander. Dry the rice under shade . Grind the dry rice and roast the rice flour on low flame till it turns pale red)
¾ cup of jaggery.
Pinch of turmeric
Pinch of cardomam powder

To garnish: Roasted cashew nuts and dessicated coconut

To make jaggery syrup:

Boil the jaggery in a cup of water till you get a stringy consistency. When you drop the syrup in water it should not dissolve.


Sprinkle lukewarm water mixed with turmeric on the rice flour and mix well till you get scrambled rice flour( don’t bind the flour). Steam this flour in a cooker.

Allow the steamed flour to cool by laying it on a wide plate.

To the steamed flour, add cardomam powder and jaggery syrup and mix them lightly ( it should remain scrambled and should not be bound by the syrup)

You can now garnish it with roasted cashews and dessicated coconut powder.
The vella puttu is now ready.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Murunga keerai poriccha kootu

This is a thick gravy cooked with dal(lentils) and murunga keerai( drum stick leaves).

Murunga keerai ---- 2 bundles/ 4 cups of de stemmed leaves.
moong dal --- ½ cup
1 tea spoon of rice flour to thicken the gravy.

Ingredients to grind

Urad dal --- 2 table spoon
Dry red chilli --- 5 no’s
Cumin seeds ---- 1 tea spoon
Grated coconut ---- ½ cup
Black pepper corns – 1 spoon( if you desire it spicier)

For seasoning:
Mustard – 1 tea spoon
Urad dal – 1 teaspoon
1 sprig of curry leaf.


First destem the murungai leaves( drumstick). This can be easily done if the bundles are tied overnight in a wet cloth. In the morning the leaves are loosened from the main stem. Very importantly clean them well and remove the little twigs that may be present else this may get caught in the throat.

After washing them well, boil them with salt and turmeric. Keep this aside. To this add the boiled moong dal.

Roast urad dal, red chilli cumin seeds and pepper corn in a teaspoon of oil. When cool grind them with coconut and add this to the cooked keerai and boil them.
While the gravy has boiled well, add a spoonful of rice flour mixture to thicken the gravy.Allow it to boil for some more time.

In a small wok, add a teaspoon of oil and splutter mustard, urad dal and curry leaf.
Add this garnishing to the kootu.

We can substitute murunga keerai with vegetables like chow-chow,snake gourd, cucumber, cabbage, cluster beans,garden beans,pumpkin, ridge gourd or any greens( keerai) like ponnanganni keerai etc.,

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


A fried sweet patty made with processed rice flour and jaggery syrup.


Processed rice flour ------- 1 cup (see the procedure to make the processed rice flour at the bottom of this post)
Jaggery --------------------3/4 cup
Elaichi powder a pinch (optional)
quantity of water enough to immerse the jaggery.
cooking medium to fry

Though the ingredients looks simple the process of making rice flour is slightly laborious and the jaggery syrup should be to the right consistency.


First boil jaggery with little water in a thick bottomed pan on a mild flame. When it dissolves, filter the syrup to remove the impurities. Now boil the mixture till you obtain a mild syrupy consistency. To check the consistency, add a pinch of syrup into cold water. When removed from water the syrup should roll like a ball.(the syrup should not dissolve in water)

Now add this jaggery syrup into processed rice flour and mix them to make a dough .

Smear oil on you palm and take a blob of dough and pat into small circles and deep fry them in preheated oil.

Just flip them and remove immediately, if you want it softer and light brown in color.(I like it softer)

To make crisper and brown adhirasam, pat them thinly and deep fry till they turn brown.

Tip: The rice and jaggery dough can be stored outside and can be patted and fried the next day also. This has a shelf life of 10-15 days.(the dough requires no refridgeration)

Method to make processed rice flour:

This is the base flour for making traditional tamil sweet called adhirasam.

Raw rice is washed well and the excess water is drained through a colander. After a resting time of 30 minutes, the wet rice is spread on a clean cloth like dhoti and dried under shade. After an hour when the rice is lightly moist, It is ground finely in a mixer. This slightly moist rice flour is then used according to the required measure.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Ulundu vadai

Ulundu vadai are doughnut shaped fritters made from urad dal. They are also called medu vadai.


1 cup of urad dal
Salt to taste
Optional ingredients:
2/3 green chillies ( suit your taste)
finely cut pieces of Ginger (stem—1/2 inch)
Cabbage(shredded)/finely cut onions
Asafoetida - a pinch
Curry leaf 1 sprig
a teaspoon of pepper powder(if you want it spicier)
Oil for frying.


Soak Urad dal for just 1/2 hour before grinding.

Grind urad dal in a grinder without adding much water( if you must, sprinkle some ice cold water). When it doubles up in quantity and has a fluffier consistency , transfer the contents to a dish. Now, mix the optional ingredients according to your taste.

Heat the required amount of oil in a deep frying pan.

To pat the vadas ( this comes with expertise)
Wet your hands , then take a blob of dough and pat on an oiled plastic cover and mark with a hole in the middle. Remove it from the plastic cover and release it into hot oil. Fry them till they turn golden brown.

Alternatively you can wet your fingers, take a blob and with the help of your thumb finger push the blob over the other fingers and pat them, make a hole and release them into the oil.

Tips for making crispy vadas:

Fry the vadas till they are half done( light golden color).
Remove them from oil.
After frying the successive batches, fry the cooled half done vadas once again till they turn golden brown. This makes the vadas crispy. The secret of crispy vadas also lies in grinding the vada batter. The air trapped in the bubbles of the batter ,while grinding in the grinder lends its crunch. Avoid using mixie for grinding if us want crispy vadas.

You can also add a table spoon of rice flour to the batter if it is watery. This too makes it crispier.