May 7, 2014

Idli Podi

Idli podi other wise called chutney powder is a great combination with steamed idli's. This idli podi is an exotic combination of lentils and spices like urad dal, Bengal gram, pepper,  red chilies, sesame seeds, coriander seeds and curry leaves which are roasted and ground into coarse powder that can last to several months. 

Idli powder is mixed with sesame seed oil or any oil and it is served with idli. Also, you can serve this idli podi with dosa or any south Indian breakfast dishes. This podi has a vibrant color and a great aroma.


1 cup Urad Dal
1 cup Channa Dal
3 tsp Pepper
10 Whole red Chili
2 tsp Sesame Seeds
1 tsp Coriander seeds
A Bunch of Curry Leaves


  • Dry roast all the ingredients seperately. Make slightly coarse powder using a blender
  • Season it with salt
  • Sore in an air tight container up to 4 months

May 6, 2014

Spicy French Toast

Its nothing better than  to have a French toast for breakfast. A very simple and easy breakfast recipe; and off course my favorite breakfast dish.

Best part of this recipe is.. you don't have to be an expert or a chef to make this recipe. 3 basic ingredients from your kitchen pantry- eggs, bread and milk. And how simple is that!! Bring all these 3 ingredients together to make this delicious English breakfast. Well, I added more pepper to give a kick and make it spicy.


4 Slices of Bread (any choice, French bread is more tasty!!!)
2 Eggs
2 Egg whites
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp Salt
2 tsp Milk


  • Whisk together eggs, pepper, salt and milk 
  • Soak a slice of bread in eggs and gently place it on a preheated griddle having butter on it. Add more butter on both the sides if needed to boost flavor
  • Toast on both the sides 
  • Serve hot with some fresh fruit on side

Vazhaipoo Kootu | Plantain Flower Stew

Vazhaipoo Kootu is a traditional tamil recipe  made exclusively from plantain flowers. 
Vazhaipoo is extremely tasty, but cleaning the flower is a laborious process. Specialties of  plantain flowers are vada (deep-fried fritters), kootu (stew), or poriyal (stir fry). 

Whenever I bring this flower, after removing the style I divide it into two portions to make two different recipes.

Vazhaipoo kootu is prepared with bengal gram and plantain flowers which is immensely flavored with garlic. It is served with white rice or chapathi.


1/2 cup Bengal gram
4 cups Plantain flowers, finely chopped
1/2 tsp Chili power
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder

 For seasoning
2 tsp Oil
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1 Whole Red Chili
1 Garlic clove, crushed


  • How to clean plantain flowers-
    • Remove the petal from the flower. You can see a bunch of florets inside. They are very delicate and easily fall off from the flower. 
    • Repeat above step until you reach a stage where the florets are extremely tender. So retain the entire chunk of flower holder both the petals and florets

    • Now take a floret, remove the outer cover until the stalk. Inside the floret you can see the stamen. Remove the entire stamen by pulling it. Repeat this process for remaining florets
    • You can chop the tender florets, without removing the stamen
    • Remember to soak vazhaipoo in water. They discolor immediately

          Making of Kootu-
  • Cook Bengal gram in a pressure cooker upto 3 whistles with  1 1/2 cups of water
  • Add plantain flowers, chili powder and turmeric powder. Pressure cook again for 1 whistle
  • In a pan, heat oil. When it turns smoky, add mustard seeds, red chili and garlic clove. when it starts to sizzle, return the seasoning to the pressure cooker. Season it with salt and simmer for 5 minutes
  • Serve hot with rice or chapathi

Onion Juice

My first experience with Onion juice was weird and unusual because of it strong and pungent smell. We normally use onions in cooking for its taste and flavor. But I never taught of including raw onion juice in my diet. Recently, I was unwell due to cold, chillness and cough. My mother-in-law made a concoction of raw onion juice with honey and gave 50 ml of this juice for 3 days. I felt a lot better without taking any medications.

It not only helps to reduce chillness, cold and cough but after researching it further , I came to know that prevents graying of hair and has anticancer properties.  You can use any variety of onions to make this juice. Red onions and shallots are quiet spicy. If you cannot take the heat, then you can use white or yellow onions.

For adults 50 ml of this juice can be given and for kids upto 5ml can be given per day.


1 Onion (red/yellow/white), cubed
1 tsp Honey
1/2 cup of Water


  • Grind onion into a smooth paste using a blender
  • Add water to it and use a strainer to extract juice
  • Add honey and well.
  • Serve immediately

Note: Do not throw the left over onion after straining. You can use it to make curries or soups

May 2, 2014

Barley & Horsegram Ganji

A phenomenal traditional protein drink to cleanse the digestive track. Roasted barley and horsegram are  powdered which is mixed with water and finely chopped vegetables. All these ingredients are pressure cooked. The end result is just as mellow and smooth. To add a little heat freshly ground pepper powder is added.

A regular intake of this porridge helps to reduce blood sugar and cholesterol. The horsegram also helps to remove kidney stones and lowers high blood pressure.


For ganji powder-
1 cup Barley
1 cup Horse gram 

For ganji-
2 cups of any kind of vegetables (carrots, onions, tomato, cucumber, radish...)
2 tsp Ganji Powder
4 cups of water
Handful of cilantro, finely chopped


  • For ganji powder-
    • Roast barley and horse gram separately. After it cools, make a smooth powder
    • You can store this powder upto 6 months in an airtight container
  • Preparing ganji-
    •  Mix all ingredients listed under ganji.  Adjust salt and pepper as per taste
    • Pressure cook upto 3 whistles
    • Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately

Kathirikai Podimas

An incredible sauteed brinjal recipe made with freshly ground spices. The podi (means "powder") is made from roasted bengal gram, pepper, cumin seeds and red chili. 
This is a slow roasted and time consuming recipe. But its worth  all the time spent on this recipe. The best combo are  when served with curd rice, chapathi and as a side dish with sambar rice. 


1 kg Purple brinjals, diced
1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 cup Oil

For podi - 
2 tsp Bengal gram
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds
1/4 tsp Pepper corns
5-8 Byadgi red chilies


  • Roast all the ingredients listed under podi together in a pan. Let it cool
  • Grind it into a smooth powder
  • On a preheated pan, add oil. When it turns smoky, add brinjal and turmeric powder. Saute on medium heat for 20 minutes until it is completely cooked and water is completely evaporates
  • Add the freshly prepared podi powder and season it with salt. Mix well and saute on low heat for 5 minutes
  • Serve with curd rice, chapathi or sambar rice

Apr 30, 2014

Ragi Ganji | Finger Millet Porridge

Ragi Ganji is the most healthiest drink of all due to its immense health benefits. This drink can be given to all age groups. Ragi is a good source of calcium and that's why it is given to toddlers to strengthen bones. 

Ragi ganji is usually served for breakfast. Ragi contains an amino acid called tryptophan, it reduces appetite which is good for weight loss. Ragi is low in glycemic response, which good for diabetic patients.

For me, this is a re-energizing drink after morning workout. Initially, I was skeptical of having this drink, but after my mother-in-law showed me how to prepare this rejuvenating drink; it tasted simply great!!


1 cup Ragi Flour
1/2 cup Milk
1 tsp Sugar
Pinch of Salt
3-4 cups of water


  • Mix ragi flour and water in a pot and bring it boil while stirring frequently. As it starts to thicken, add sugar, salt and water to adjust the level of thickness. About 10 minutes on medium heat
  • The ragi flour color starts to deepen while it cooks. Add milk and stir well. Boil for another 2-3 minutes
  • Serve hot with chopped nuts on top

Apr 23, 2014

Oats Ganji |Oats Porridge

Start your day with Oats porridge. Enjoy this hearty low calorie breakfast which helps to reduce blood sugar level, reduces risk of diabetes, removes bad cholesterol; and protects against heart disease and cancer.


1 Cup Oats
500 ml Water
1/2 tsp Salt


  • Mix together water and oats. Bring it to boil while stirring occasionally. Adjust  the thickness by adding water
  • Season it with salt
  • Serve hot

Apr 22, 2014

Vankaya Pulusu | Tangy Brinjal Curry

Vankaya Pulusu -  truly and Andhra delight !! 
Spicy and tangy brinjal curry is infused with bold flavors of pepper, tamarind pulp, onions and garlic  which is cooked with brinjals and tomatoes.  This is a good home cooking recipe made in just 35 minutes

I really enjoyed this tasty dish. My in-laws are in town for a vacation and everyday my mother-in-law is teaching me a new recipe. I adore my in-law' s cooking techniques and usage of spices which are freshly prepared. Vankaya pulusu is new to me, I just relished its magnificent flavors of both spicy and tangy.  

Prep Time- 10 minutes
Cooking time - 30 minutes


1/2 kg Purple Brinjals, cubed
1 Tomato, finely chopped
1 tsp Chili-Coriander powder
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1/2 cup of Tamarind extract

For Spice powder
2 tsp Bengal gram
1/2 tsp Pepper

For Masala
1 Onion, cubed
4 Garlic cloves

For seasoning
4 tsp Oil
1/2 tsp Mustard seeds
1/4 tsp Fenugreek seeds
1/2 tsp Cumin seeds


  • Roast bengal gram and pepper. After it cools, make a smooth powder (Spice powder)
  • Make a coarse paste of onion and garlic
  • Heat oil in a pan, add all the ingredients listed under seasoning
  • When oil starts to sizzle, add brinjal and onion-garlic paste. Saute for 5-10 minutes 
  • Add tamarind pulp, tomato, chili-coriander powder and turmeric powder. Add water to adjust thickness. Simmer for 5-10 minutes
  • Add the freshly prepared spice powder and cook for another 5 minutes
  • Serve hot with steamed rice

Mushroom Thokku

Thokku is a  typical South Indian semi gravy recipe which involves slow cooking of vegetables until they are completely cooked and oil separates out from rest of the ingredients. 
Mushroom thokku is a delicious and a wonderful combination of mushrooms and tomatoes cooked with fennel, chili powder and garlic. This delicacy served with hot rice or chapathi. 

Cooking+ Preptime : 30 min


250 gms Mushrooms, cubed
1 Onion, finely chopped
1 Tomato, finely chopped
1 tsp Ginger-garlic paste
4 tsp Oil
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
1/4 tsp Turmeric powder
1 tsp Chili powder 
1/4 tsp Coriander powder 
Handful of cilantro


  • Heat oil in a pan until smoky. Add mustard seeds and fennel seeds. When it starts to crackle, add onions until it turns transparent

  • Then add mushrooms and mix well. Cook for 5 min
  • Next add tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes
  • Next, add ginger-garlic paste, turmeric powder, coriander powder, chili powder. Stir for few seconds 
  • Season it with salt , cook until thokku thickens and oil separates out from rest of the ingredients in about 5 minutes. Top it with cilantro and serve hot

Apr 11, 2014

Thayir Semiya

Thayir Semiya recipe is very close to my heart. Thayir Sadham otherwise called curd rice is a typical South Indian recipe which has so many dimensions and variations. Well, Thayir semiya is one of them. 

I always plan the menu ahead of time. But, there are certain days  I want to be away from kitchen or even those days where I haven't planned the menu. Thayir Sadham comes in handy!! Both me and PG enjoy this delicious food. And its a great recipe for a lunch box menu.

The recipe itself is very simple, composed of cooked roasted semiya which is seasoned with mustard seeds, bengal gram, curry leaves, lots of fresh ginger, green chilies and yogurt.

Cooking time: 20min | Serves: 3


2 cups Semiya (vermicelli)
3 Cups of water
1 tsp Grated Ginger
2 Green Chilies, finely chopped
Few sprigs of Cilantro, finely chopped

For Seasoning:
2 tsp Oil
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Bengal gram
Few springs of Curry leaves
2 Red Chilies (optional)


  • On a preheated sauce pan, roast semiya until it turns light brown. Set aside

  • In the same pan, boil water and season it with salt
  • Add semiya and stir well. Cover the dish. Cook for 8-10 min until semiya is cooked and water is completely absorbed. Let is cool

  • Heat oil in a pan. When it turn smoky add mustard seeds, bengal gram, curry leaves and red chilies. Pour the seasoning on top of semiya

  • Add yogurt, ginger, cilantro and chilies. Mix well
  • Chill or serve as needed

Use a fork to separate semiya. When the semiya is warm, they easily seperate

You may also like :
Thayir Sadham
Thayir Oats

Apr 10, 2014

Egg Drop Soup

Egg drop soup is my Asian favorite soup. I order this soup all the time when I visit a Chinese restaurant. When  I wanted to make this recipe at home, I was surprised to find what the base ingredients were; to make this delicious soup.

3 main ingredients to make this soup are chicken stock, eggs and soy sauce. Additionally ginger/garlic,  spring onions and corn starch can be added. It takes only 15 min to make this soup.


4 cups of Chicken stock
2 Eggs
1 tsp Sesame seed oil
1 clove of Garlic, minced
1/2 tsp Soy sauce
1 tsp Corn Starch
Few sprigs of Green onions/cilantro


  • On a preheated large pot, heat oil. When it turns smoky, add garlic. Then add chicken stock and bring it boil

  • In the meantime, mix corn starch and soy sauce in water without forming lumps. Add this mixture to the boiling chicken stock

  • beat egg in a bowl and set aside

  • Now reduce the heat and stir the soup using a ladle to form whirlpool. Slowly pour the eggs to create egg ribbons. Cook for 1 minute

  • Turn off the heat. Season with salt and pepper. Garnish with spring onions/cilantro
  • Serve immediately