Search This Blog

Tuesday, September 24, 2013



Navarathiri is here again this year, starting on 5th October through 13th October followed by Vijayadasami on 14th October. We can celebrate by offering prayers on all nine days this year, making prasadams each day as per Day, Thithi, and Star without any overlapping of either star or thithi.
The day one  (5th Oct) is  prathamai , ( from 6.49AM IST) Saturday,and hastham star rules till the evening on that day. Accordingly  puja, on the following 8 days can be performed.
The Mahalaya Amavasya is on 4th October from 7.11 AM (IST). Arranging Dolls (Golu)  and Kalasa stapanam can be done on Friday,4th october as it is considered auspicious day.
The nine days celebration is all about worshiping Tridevi in nine different ways. I am posting the chart in the below link,  which is different from that of last year. The details of the Kolam and recipes for Kizhamai (day) prasadams are posted in my 2011September post in this blog.

Apart from this, it is believed and emphasis is given in offering  the prayer to Goddess Durga on first three days as Devi/Annai takes the form of Durgai with a purpose to kill Madhukaidabar and Mahisasuran. Accordingly second three days prayers are for Devi who takes form of Goddess  Laxmi and accepts Devar thuthi , hears Asura's messenger Sukreeva's message and kills Thumralochana. Finally the third three days Devi prayers are offered to Goddess Saraswathi who takes this form with a purpose to kill Sandamunda, Rakthapejan and Sumbha Nisumbha.
 For those who are not able to perform elaborately following the chart ,I am posting the prasadam (kalanda saadam/mixed rice) to be offered each day so that nine varieties of rice prasadams can be offered during navrathiri.  Also gave the links for the recipes which are useful, for those making for first time. I thank Mrs. Shanthi Krishnakumar for her authentic easy method and for the rare recipes like kalkandu rice and ellu rice prasadams. These can be made in addition to the ones mentioned in chart. 






Let us pray Goddess Durga, Laxmi and Saraswathi on all the nine days and seek the blessings. Chant Durga Ashtotharam  and Laxmi Ashtotharam on all the days, and Saraswathi Ashtotharam and slokas from Sapthami to Navami. Also chant or listen to Lalitha Sahasranamam daily. Offer panakam daily. Inviting guests for thambolam is a practice and we should also visit friends to take thambolam. Kanyas are treated as Devi and offered gifts and eatables. All the nine days will have a festive feel with divine activities everywhere. I wish all a very happy Navrathiri and trust that the information collected and shared by me will be helpful.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Vengaya vadam/Onion fryums

This Rice flour and onion vatral is easy to make and tastes good. Can be used as snack as it  tastes like onion pakoda. My mother used to make "sadam vatral" with left over rice. She used to leave the cooked rice adding water overnight. Next morning after draining the water the rice will be ground adding chilli powder, salt, sesame seeds and chopped onion and dried in sun by making small balls. Grated Dosakaya/ melon cucumber can  also be added and made like flat vadam. Some people use the Aval/flat rice and do this.
We call it  "urundai vatral" because they are shaped round with fingers.
I took this recipe from my sister-in law.I am posting this vatral recipe after trying the same twice this season.
Once I tried using red chilli powder and next used green chilli paste. This simple quick vatral needs no preparation. One can make with store bought rice flour quickly.


Rice flour
1/2 kg
3 big size
Red chilli powder
2 tsp
to taste


Finely chop onion and keep.
Take rice flour in a bowl. ( 1/2 kg flour measured 3 glassful)
Add salt and red chilli powder.
Add water and dilute the flour to pouring consistency like that of dosa batter.
Measure water which was  used to dilute. ( I used 4 glassful of water)
In a big vessel or pressure coker outer heat  4 glassful water( the same measure used to dilute flour)
Bring to boil. 
Add the batter and keep stiring till it thickens like Kuzhu.
Put off flame and remove.
Now add chopped onion and mix well.
Allow to cool.
Take  a small quantity of the prepared mix in hand  at a time, and place a small lime size quantity on the sheet  using the tip of your fingers.
Repeat this till the rice mix is finished.
After it gets dried the whole day, turn and keep under sun for one more day for the other side of vatral to dry.
Deep fry in hot oil for crispy fryums.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Javvarisi vadam/sago/sabudaana/tapioca fryums

Vatral/vadam is a summer preparation and is stored for the whole year. Since  these are available in stores along with papad we don't venture at home. This year I tried this at home after a gap of 3 years. My mother used to prepare varieties of vatral and as school going children  during our final exams we used to enjoy Kuzhu prepared for kuzhuvatral or rice vatral.  Any type of vatral when fried  will serve the purpose of side dish for many rice items. Sago vatral is easy to make as it needs no particular "padam" or texture. And pouring it on sheet with karandi/spoon is easier than handling the press called Naazhi. All these sun dried preparations are worth the effort taken. It takes 2 days for the final product to be stored in shelf. Here is the recipe I followed for Sago vatral.


1 kg
Green chilli
100 gms
to taste
5 times the measure of sago

The dried vatral on the first day evening
Next day when the vatral is peeled and turned the otherside
Keep the sheet ready to sun dry the vatral.
Buy sago which is used for vatral.
Measure the sago before soaking. (1kg will be 5 cups)
Cut green chilli and grind to smooth paste adding salt.
Use water, dilute and strain the chilli paste and keep.
Wash sago and drain the water and leave for one hour before cooking.
Take a big vessel or cooker outer and measure  water 5 times the sago (when dry) and bring to boil
Add the green chili water to soaked sago and mix.(If you are using a glassful water, reduce the same measure of  water in cooker)
Add the soaked sago slowly into the boiling water and keep stiring continuously.
When done the sago will look transparent and pearls will increase in size.
Put off flame when the consistency is still liquid as it becomes thick when cool.
This can be prepared in the night and can be put for sun drying in the early morning.
Add lime juice and mix well before spreading in the sheet.
Use big spoon/karandi and pour on the sheet to the required size.
The dried vatral can be peeled in the evening and turned to the other side.
Sun dry the peeled vatral next day till it is dry.
The quantity of green chilli can be adjusted as per taste.
Salt should be less than the green chilli heat.
Try using less measure of sago when doing first time.
Dried vatral

Fried vatral

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Manathakkal keerai poriyal/ Curry with leaves of black nightshade

This is a curry recipe, which is a part of everyday meal. I used Manathakkali keerai (leaves of black nightshade) combining moong dal and made dry curry instead of kootu. Some greens like ponnaganni, murungai keerai, agathi keerai and manathakkali keerai cannot be mashed after cooking in water. These can be cut and cooked along with moong dal and made as curry with simple tadka. They taste good and can be used as a side dish. Agathi keerai is normally made using tuwar dal. Moong dal when cooked direct till it is 3/4 done and combined with any green will taste good and give the curry consistency. We rarely get manathakali keerai here. I thought of following my mom's recipe and made this curry.


Manathakkali keerai
2 bunches
Moong dal
3/4 cup
Mustard seeds
1 tsp
Urad dal
1 tsp
Dry red chilli and green chilli
2 each
1/2 tsp
Grated coconut
4 tblsp
1/2 tsp
to taste
1/4 tsp
2 tsp

Take only the leaves from the manathakkali bunch.
Rinse and cut the leaves.
Wash moong dal and soak using  a glass of water for 1/2 hour.
In a vessel take  moong dal along with water and add cut greens and cook till dal is 3/4 done.
If necessary the extra water can be strained after dal and greens are cooked.
Heat oil in a kadai/pan, add mustard seeds, urad dal,  red and cut green chilli, and asafoetida and fry.
Add dal and greens and saute.
Add haldi and salt and mix.
Finally add grated coconut stir well and add sugar (optional) and remove.
The bitter taste of manathakkali keerai will be reduced by adding coconut and sugar.  

Thursday, March 28, 2013

spiced buttermilk/chaas/majiga

Summer is here. Thought of posting this simple thirst quencher and effective drink " spiced buttermilk". Making buttermilk on daily basis by just churning the curd/yoghurt and adding salt needs no explanation. But it is a big task to prepare it slightly tangy and flavourful drink, when you become exhausted after making a full course meal. I thought of preparing the spices alone in a liquid form and store it in fridge and use it as flavoring agent in enhancing the taste of the buttermilk in an easy way. I can say this is a recipe for masala/green liquid  for Neer Mor/buttermilk. It is a blend of two recipes ,one is the use of normal ingredients like green chili, ginger, coriander leaves which is visible in the packeted buttermilk drink. The other one is the use of small onions/shallots, which I saw in the tamil  magazine "Mangayar Malar" some years back. The idea of making it as a liquid came to me when each time I had to grind to paste all the ingredients and dilute it and strain. So I used more quantity of each of the ingredients and preserved it in a glass jar/bottle after diluting and straining. This came  handy for several days while making the spicy buttermilk. It was welcomed on daily basis later and it was easy to make children have buttermilk.

Grind to paste

Green chilli
2” piece
Small  onion
6  pearls
few twigs
Curry leaves
few twigs
1 tsp

Lime juice from 1/2 lime
Buttermilk 2 cups
Asafoetida  2 pinch

Clean the ginger and peel the skin.
Peel small onions.
Grind to smooth paste all the ingredients given under "to grind".
Dilute with a glassful of water and strain.
The pulp can once again be ground using little water and the strained liquid can be added to the already
prepared liquid.
Add the lime juice and store the liquid in fridge.
Prepare buttermilk , strain and keep aside.
To make 2 cups of spiced buttermilk add 2-3 tblsp of the green liquid and add asafoetida and more salt if required.
Adjust the spice as per your taste.
To make the butter milk more spicy a pinch of black salt powder, roasted and powdered cumin powder can be added. If dry mint powder is available few pinches can be added.
Buttermilk should be cold  or the prepared buttermilk should be served chilled.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Stuffed Bitter gourd/Barwan karela/kakarkaya stuff

Bitter gourd may appear to be an ingredient of lesser use due to its bitter flavor, at the same time various bitter gourd curry recipes are quite popular for their health benefits. Bitter gourd is a significant ingredient in Japanese Okinawa cuisine and its increasing use is considered as the cause of higher life expectancies in the region. The taste enhancers that are usually added to bitter gourd recipes are onion, tomato, fenugreek seeds, coriander powder and mango powder.
Bitter gourd dishes are widely prepared in almost every household in South India in Andhra  region. Stir fry and stuffed bitter gourd dishes are popular. I already posted a recipe in this blog which is from Andhra cuisine. I thought of sharing this north Indian type too, which I viewed in Urdu channel and the ingredients used for stuffing were little different from that of Andhra cuisine. The oblong shape and hollow interior makes bitter gourd an excellent vegetable for stuffing purposes. Though the preparation time is longer as in any stuffed curry preparation, the dish looks and tastes good and it is worth the effort put, to prepare the same.
I am sure all of you will agree if I say "Variety is the spice of life". Trying a new dish has kept be active all these 32 years of cooking and keeps me busy after I started sharing it with my blogger friends.
I used some ten tiny bittergourd, but the ingredients used for stuffing will be enough for the big sized bittergourd. Here is the recipe.


Bittergourd peel
2  tblsp
Saunf/fennel seeds
2 tsp
Coriander seeds/dania
2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds/methi seeds
1 tsp
Cumin seeds/jeera
1/2 tsp
Dry mango powder/aamchor
1/2 tsp
Chili powder
¼ tsp
Green chili
Gram flour/besan
3 tsp
3 tsp
2 tblsp  +  2 tsp
to taste
Chat masala
¼ tsp
Coriander  leaves

Scrape the  whole karela and apply salt and keep..
Apply salt for scraped peel  and leave for half an hour.
Squeeze the peel and  reserve 2 tablespoon for stuffing.
Slit the karela in the centre and remove the seeds and pulp.
Tender seeds can be left .
Rinse in a bowl of water and squeeze.
Finely chop the onions and keep.
Take saunf/fennel seeds,coriander seeds, methi/fenugreek seeds, salt,red chili powder,
aamchor powder, cumin seeds, chopped green chili and add few drops of water and crush
in a pestle and keep.

Heat 2 teaspoon of oil in a pan and add finely chopped onion and fry till light brown.
Add 2 tablespoon of the peel of karela and fry.
Add the crushed masala and mix.
Add 2 tablespoon of water.
Put off flame and remove.
Stuff the prepared masala in bitter gourd/karela and keep sealed with tooth pick(make 2 pieces of each tooth pick and use) and arrange them in a plate. (since I used tiny ones I did not use tooth pick)
In a bowl take besan/chickpea flour and add salt and mix with curd.
Apply this paste rubbing on the stuffed bitter gourd.
Heat 2 tablespoon of oil in a non-stick pan  and spread allover  by rotating the pan.
Place the bitter gourd in the pan. Keep slightly turning and cook.
Then cover with a lid and cook on low fire for 15 minutes.
Check in between to see if the gourd is not burnt.
When brown and cooked remove.
Remove the toothpicks, garnish with coriander leaves.
Sprinkle aamchor or chat masala and serve.
Tasty stuffed bitter gourd can be had with roti or rice.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Mangalorean idli/Kodalai/kedige/Kadubu

My recent trip to Mangalore made me prepare this idli recipe. Being a South Indian, Idli is popular in our homes. We make soft idlis regularly for breakfast, and occasionally prepare Kajeevaram idli. Kanjeevaram idli is normally used during travel as it can be consumed  upto to two days from the time it is made. This can be had as a  whole meal for dinner too. These are prepared in moulds. It is  also called as Kodalai idli which is prepared in plantain leaf mould in Dhonnai form. Presently it is difficult to get the leafy mould, so it is made in cups or as a one piece in a flat  greased vessel.
I came to know about the leafy moulds through my mangalorean friend. I was surprised to see the moulds being sold  by the roadside vegetable vendor near the temple in Udipi when I visited the temple last week. When I asked the vendor  about its use, I was told it is kadubu (idli). I bought the moulds and took it all the way to Secunderabad and tried the idli. I prepared the batter similar to that of kanjeevaram idli and steam cooked it.
The idli mould is made with thick leaf called Kedige in Kannada. The tamil name is Thazambu leaf and it is called  Screw Pine in English. There were moulds made of Jackfruit leaf too called as Kottige in Kannada.
The mould made of Kedige ele or Thazambu elai looks like this.

Here is the recipe for Kanjeevaram idli in Mangalorean mould. It tasted good with Molagai podi (Gun powder).


Idli rice1 ½ cup
Raw rice1 cup
Whole urad dal1 cup
Methi seeds/fenugreek1 tsp
Crushed pepper1 tsp
crushed cumin1 tsp
Fried cashew nuts2 tsp
Asafoetida¼ tsp
Green chilli3
Grated ginger2 tsp
Curry leavesfew
saltto taste
Dry ginger powder½ tsp
Sesame oil¼ cup
Melted ghee¼ cup
Curd½ cup

Soak idli rice and raw rice together for 3 hours.
Soak urad dal with methi seeds for 3 hours.
Grind urad dal to smooth batter.
Grind rice coarsely and mix urad dal batter with required salt.
Allow to ferment over night or 8 hours.
Add crushed pepper and cumin.
Add grated ginger, chopped green chilli, curry leaves, asafoetida powder,
fried cashew nuts and mix well.
Add melted ghee, sesame oil and curd and mix well.
Let the batter be kept for half an hour before steaming in the moulds.
Just before pouring the batter into the moulds add dry ginger powder and stir.
Grease the moulds and pour the batter till the 3/4 of the mould is filled.
Steam cook in idli maker or pressure cooker (without the weight) for 10 to 15 minutes.
When done remove from moulds and serve with idli molagai powder.
The leafy moulds I used gave a distinct flavor and the texture of the idli came out
without any moisture in it and at the same time soft.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Bisibela oats/Hot lentil oats

The three day celebrations of pongal with lots of callorie intake comes to an end. Hope everyone enjoyed the delicious sweet "Sakkarai Pongal". It is time to once again switch back to our regular diet. So why not try this oats recipe. I posted the traditional Karnataka dish using brown rice earlier in this space.  The daily task of making breakfast became easy with the use of Oats.I tried instant oats idli, oats oothappam, oats upma and  oats dosa. Oats help in keeping hunger pangs at bay by lowering "bad" LDL cholestrol levels and providing much needed fiber and protein content. With the growing awareness among young and old for healthy eating recipes with oats, adding lentils and vegetables will make this Bisibela oats a-one- meal dish.
I tried this sambar oats dish for breakfast. I made sambar and pressure cooked oats. Then mixed cooked oats and sambar which tasted like bisibelabhath. The texture of oats gave a slightly-runny-kichidi-like consistency and looked like bisibelabhath.  I wish every healthy eating enthusiast must experiment with oats for this nutritiousand tasty oats recipe.
I prepared sambar as usual but added more varieties of vegetables. I used more tuwar dal and less of tamarind extract. And the flavour of Aashirvaad sambar powder made the dish very unique. I used 1 1/2 times water for 1 measure of oats and pressure cooked for10 minutes.
I would like to suggest a few things while making this dish. Do not over cook the vegetables. If you like to use drumstick boil them separately for a while and add.The  vegetables like capsicum, carot can be had if they are crunchy. Do not allow the sambar to boil for long. Make sambar fresh and mix with cooked oats immediately. A cup of oats when cooked easily serves two persons. Take a portion of the cooked oats and mix with sambar in a bowl. The quantity of sambar should be liberally used while mixing with cooked oats. Mix separately the remaining cooked oats and serve hot with a dollop of ghee. Here is the recipe.


Thuwar dal/pigeon peas1 cup
Small onion/shallots10to15
Capsicum/bell pepper1 (medium size)
Carrot1 no
Tamarind or
tamarind paste
½ lime size or
½ tsp
Saltto taste
Haldi½ tsp
Sambar powder 2 tblsp


Oil2 tsp
Mustard seeds1 tsp
Methi seeds/fenugreek½ tsp
Red chilli2 no
Asafoetida¼ tsp
Curry leavesfew
Coriander leaves for garnish

Oats1 cup


Pressure cook thuwar dal and keep.

Pressure cook oats and keep.
Cut vegetables and soak tamarind in 1/2 cup water.
Heat oil and add mustard seeds, methi seeds, red chilli,curry leaves and asafoetida.
Add vegetables and saute.
Add haldi, little salt and sambar powder. Mix well and add 1/2 cup water.
Add cooked dal and bring to boil. Add tamarind extract and add little more salt.
Garnish with coriander leaves and remove.
In a bowl take required portion of the cooked oats and mix with a cup of  hot sambar.
Enjoy hot bisibela oats.