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Friday, December 30, 2016

Ripe chilli and raw tamarind pickle/ Pandumirchi chintakaya pachadi

Another pickle of the season. We get ripe chillies in December along with raw tamarind in the market. Yummy combo of the two that tickles the pallet, can be stored  a year long.
The basic paste is preserved and can be used as when required by giving fresh seasoning in hot oil. Goes very well as a side dish for idli, dosa, and of course with hot rice. I used this paste while making Chinese noodles too. Adding coarsely ground onion with this will make a yummy chutney.


Ripe chilli
500 gms
Raw tamarind
50 gms
70 gms
Methi seeds powder
2 tblsp


3 tblsp
Methi seeds
½ tsp
½ tsp
Mustard seeds
1 tsp

Wash red (ripe) chillies, pat dry them and spread on a kitchen towel to dry well.
Remove stem and cut into small pieces and coarsely grind in a mixie using whipper mode.
Wash raw tamarind and remove string from sides and coarsely crush  them with the help of mortar and pestle.
Take both crushed tamarind and chillies in a bowl and add salt.
Let this rest for three days.
On the third day dry roast methi seeds and powder and keep.
Grind the tamarind chilli in a mixer grinder in batches to a smooth paste.
Add methi powder mix well and set aside.
This can be preserved in an airtight bottle container.
When required take the required quantity and do  tadka in hot oil adding mustard, methi seeds, asafoetida and pour on  the paste and mix.
Crushed garlic pods ( as required) can also be added in hot tadka.
To make easy onion chutney I use one big onion and grind to coarse paste, then add the required chilli tamarind paste to it and do tadka in hot oil to this.
NOTE: Adjust salt as per the heat of the chillies. Use less salt and if required can add more.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Amla/Gooseberry/Nellikai Pickle/Orugai

November is the season for Indian Gooseberry/Amla, a humble fruit known to be a rich source of Vitamin C, and which can definitely keep a number of diseases at bay. Pitted berries can be stored by crushing coarsely adding salt and turmeric powder. There are many ways of preparing pickle with these , and some of them can be preserved for a year long too. We get tiny gooseberries/star gooseberry. Today I made ready -to- eat easy Amla pickle with the big size Gooseberry. They have 6 vertical grooves on them.
This pickle can be stored for a week in the refrigerator and can be made in small batches. I used 250 grams of berries which were around 12 in number. It was also easy to deseed since the number was less.
I removed the seeds by making '+' slit on both the sides of the fruit. Then placed in the microwave on high power for one minute and one more minute after turning the side. This will almost cook the berries. Once the seeds are removed it is easy to assemble the freshly made spice , salt etc with hot mustard oil. This goes well with curd rice and as  accompaniment with any rice.


250 grms
Methi seeds/Fenugreek
½ tsp
Coriander seeds/Dania
1 tsp
Mustard seeds/Rai
1 tsp
2 tsp
Cumin seeds/Jeera
1 tsp
Mustard oil
8 tblsp
Haldi/turmeric powder
½ tsp
½ tsp
Green chillies
To taste

Microwave on high, the gooseberries and remove the seed.
Alternatively they can be pressure cooked for one whistle in a cooker and deseeded.
Cut the Amla into four parts and keep.
Dry poast all the masala/spice items, cool and make powder.
Slit green chillies and cut them .
Heat the mustard oil until it smokes and switch off flame.
Add asafoetida/heeng and haldi/turmeric powder.
When it is still hot, add masala powder made, along with salt and green chilli.
Add Amla pieces and mix.
This can stay for a week when refregerated.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Navadaniya Adai/mixed pulses crepes

Here is a vegetarian  protein powerhouse to your meals. This dish has eight types of pulses combined with cereal to form a balanced diet, especially for vegetarians. I viewed this in a Tamil TV channel, and was tempted to try it as I had most of the pulses mentioned. Thanks to Navrathri which made me buy pulses for Navagraha neivedhyam. The recipe requires assembling of all ingredients the list of which is quite long. But once the batter is ready it can be stored in refrigerator for long.
Since we are combining many pulses and rice the quantity of batter we get is more. Hence we can try variations while preparing the Adai, using vegetables by using a portion of the batter. This will definitely be a boon to mothers in feeding their children with a healthy diet. Can be packed for lunch or given as snack when they return from school.
This requires soaking of pulses and rice separately  overnight or minimum eight hours.
Here is the recipe with equal proportion of protein and carbohydrate with colourful vegetables to add vitamins and minerals.


1 measure
Green peas
1 measure
Chicpea/Garbanza bean
1 measure
Mung bean/Whole moong
1 measure
Kidney bean/Rajma
1 measure
Ground nuts/peanuts
1 measure
Double bean
1 measure
Soya bean
1 tblsp
Boiled rice
7 measure


Dry red chilli
Green chilli
2” piece
To taste


Grated coconut
1 measure
Grated carrot
1 measure
Shredded cabbage or Spring onion
1 measure
Greens preferably Amaranth /drumstick leaves
1 measure
Coriander leaves/cilantro
1 measure
Mint/pudina leaves
1 measure
  1 tsp

Decide the measure of pulses and rice to be soaked. ( I used 1/4 cup measure each for pulses and
1 1/2 cups of boiled rice).
I had only 6 varieties of pulses,  So not added cowpea/blackeyed bean. I used Mochai(lima beans) instead of soya beans.
The above measure will yield 15 adai/crepes. One adai per person will be enough when served as a breakfast or lunch.
Rinse and soak pulses together and rice separately. Grind after 8 hours or in the morning if soaked before night.
Grind rice after draining the water, adding red chilli, green chilli, ginger and salt  coarsely.
Grind the pulses too, coarsely duly draining the water.
Combine both the batter. Now the adai can be made immediately  after adding the vegetables.
Keep the vegetables, coriander leaves, pudina and coconut ready ready.
Take the required quantity of  batter and store the balance batter in refrigerator.
Add grated coconut, coriander leaves and mint/pudina.
Adding the vegetables is your choice. The combination of  any two will be fine.
Each day a different vegetable can be used while using the stored batter.
While using spring onion cabbage can be omitted.
Only greens can be used one day.
I used carrot and spring onion today.
The batter when mixed with vegetables, cilantro, pudina and coconut should not be very thick. So adjust consistency so that the batter drops from laddle and spreadable consistency.
Heat a tavva preferably tradition cast iron type,
Pour two laddleful batter and slightly spread.
Make a hole in the centre and spread oil around the adai and keep the flame on medium low.
Turn side when it is golden and crispy on sides. Spread oil around and press evenly.
It takes five minutes for each adai/crepe to be ready.
Serve with Tomato or Mint chutney


Thursday, September 22, 2016

Peerkangai/Ridgegourd/Beerakaya/Turai curry

I am reposting this recipe after seven years. I started my blogspot in 2009, when I knew very little about the technology. I used to post all the favourite recipes of my family. Each dish had some sweet memories to be shared. It was nice to recall the school/college days and the food we used to share among friends. I try to learn from them and prepare at home to impress my co-borns.One such dish is this. A simple and very easy to make curry, but has yummy taste. It was shared by my telugu speaking friend. An Andhra special dish. I prepared this today and clicked some pictures. There was no photo uploaded in my previous post as I did not learn how to do. Earlier I shared this in my blogspot , as we siblings were in different places and it was nice recollecting the childhood memories. Today I shared the picture with my friend who ate this at our place 40 years back.


Ridge gourd/peerkangai
500 gms
Cumin / jeera powder
2 tsp
Red chili powder
2 tsp
To taste

 Peel and cut the ridge gourd into cubes. Do not use if it is bitter after tasting a piece. Make powder of jeera and red chilli after slightly dry roasting them to get a smooth powder. Add salt to this and keep.Heat oil in a pan and add the ridgegourd pieces. Cook covered till done. Add the cumin,chili and
alt powder made, to the pan and mix well. Cook on low flame till the moisture is absorbed. Tastes very good with hot rice and even as side dish for roti.
 Note: Tender ridgegourd is preferred. The quantity when cooked reduces, as the vegetable tends to shrink. Since the gourd has a mild sweetness it is better to use less chili powder.

Monday, September 12, 2016


It feels good to look forward for the tamil month Purattaasi each year, for the nine day celebrations NAVRATHIRI, the most significant of all festivals which is performed to receive spiritual cleansing and protection from GODDESS DURGA. This year Navrathiri pujai/Golu starts from 1st October (saturday). 30th September is Mahalaya Amavasya. Kalasa sthapana or arranging golu can be done kion this day, during auspicious time (by avoiding Rahu kalam 10.30 to 12.00 and Yema gandam 3.00 to 4.30pm). The Navrathiri pujai begins on 1/10/16, being Prathami thithi. This year we have an extra day to celebrate as Chaturthi thithi is for two days (4th and 5th October) hence Maha Navami is on 10th day (10/10/16). Vijaya Dasami is on 11/10/16.

MAHADEVYAICHA VIDMAHE SARVASAKTHYAICHA THEEMAHI THANNO DEVI PRACHODAYATH Please click the below link to open and view the 10 day chart in a spread sheet. It gives in a tabular form the nine different ways to adore THE MOTHER in nine forms of SHAKTHI.

Worship in a simple way by offering a rice type prasadam each day,if one is not able to follow chart and perform elaborately (please refer my post of Sept'2013 giving details of rice items to be prepared on each day). I wish all my friends and relatives a Happy Navrathiri. May MAA DURGA illuminate your life with happiness and Fortune.

Durga Ashtami Kanya Pujai (9-10-2016)

Maha Navami- Saraswathi Pujai (10-10-2016)
Dasami-Mahalaxmi Pujai (11-10-2016)

Thursday, August 4, 2016

Pirandai/hadjot/nalleda Thogayal

How many of us are familiar with a creeper that has wonderful medicinal uses and health benefits, and known to our indigenous medicinal systems for centuries? Known by its botanical name Cissus quadranularris, is simply known as Adamant Creeper, or Devil's Back Bone, or Pirandai in Tamil , Hadjot in Hindi and Nalleda in telugu.
Being a tamil brahmin, I have come across this plant in my childhood. My Grandmother used to make papad-the popular side dish in vegetarian meals by mixing the pirandai juice with the urad dal paste. And we used to eat this as thogayal/chutney/pachadi during annual death ceremony of the departed elders in the family. Recently I viewed in TV programme when they showed making of fryums/vadam during summer- a vathal made with idli rava and juice of this perandai. It not gives taste but also puffs up well when dried and fried in oil. I made and it was true. even the fryums were white. Knowing about its medicinal and health benefits I decided to have it in my house. This creeper grows everywhere and can be grown in pots at home.
I made thogayal couple of times with this using grated coconut as a combination.
To my surprise I read an article about this in a magazine two days back by Dr. Chandra Venkatasubramanian. I am happy to share the information given by her here. This made me to make the thogayal again today and I take pleasure in sharing with you all.
Here is the recipe as given by  her. I normally  use two tablespoon of grated coconut 1/4 teaspoon methi seeds and 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds along with other  ingredients.
The pirandai/hadjot is not regularly used because of its itchy nature. But if handles properly, the itchiness can be avoided. Always pick tender pirandai, and rub a little gingelly oil on hands to avoid any form of itchiness.
I am giving all the details about this single ingredient "pirandai/hadjot/nalleda" for a simple recipe which when consumed has many health benefits.
Here is the recipe.


Urad dal
3 tsp
Red chili
1 piece
Tamarind paste
1 tsp
1 12” piece/1/2 cup when cut
Curry leaves
2 sprigs
Sesame oil
3 tablespoon
To taste
Small piece

Wash the pirandai plant, break at the nodes and remove the nodes, too.
If the pirandai is tender, you can break it with hands easily.
Pull the fibres apart, as you do while peeling drumsticks.
If the plant is a bit aged and thick, cut it into pieces.
Soak gooseberry size tamarind in water to extract pulp.
(can use one teaspoon tamarind paste)

Heat oil in a kadai and add urad dal, red chili, hing and fry till dal turns golden.
Remove the fried spices in a plate and in the same oil fry cut pirandai/hadjot till it turns light brown.
Add curry leaves to it.
When the fried items are cool, grind the  spices in a blender into a coarse powder and then add fried pirandai,salt, soaked tamarind pulp or paste, little jagree and grind into a thick coarse paste with very little water.
This paste/thogayal tastes wonderful when mixed with hot rice and a little ghee.
This chutney can be consumed weekly twice to get relief from indigestion and gastritis.
As a variation mint leaves and coriander leaves can be added while grinding.

Medicinal uses and health benefits of Pirandai/hadjot:
It is a good home remedy for piles when consumed as chutney.
This plant is widely used for regeneration of connective tissues in the bone healing process since ages.
Traditional healers have used the plant to treat bone fractures, as well as stomach ailments, digestive problems and eye diseases.
It is good de-worming medicine; it also treats piles and menstrual problems and is the best home remedy for ear pain.
It is good for treating sprains and swollen joints when made as a poultice.

Other preparations with this pirandai:
This can be ground and added to dosa batter to make pirandai dosas.
This can be dried in the form of flakes (vathal) and fried in oil like vadams till they are crisp.

Courtesy: Dr.Chandra Venkatasubramanian.