Friday, July 29, 2011

Cooker Sambar Saadam - A Spicy Vegetable And Lentil Rice


No elaborate preparations. No mess in the kitchen. No piled up vessels to be washed. This tasty cooker sambar saadam comes in handy when you have no time for elaborate cooking .
Set the cooker on the stove. Get ready for an evening show. Just remember to switch off the stove before you leave, of course after three whistles! A warm and flavoursome home made dinner awaits you on your return !


Rice - 1 cup
Tur dal - 1 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Sambar / spice powder - 3 tsps
Salt - 1 1/2 tsps
Tamarind - 1small marble size shreded into tiny bits
OR Tamarind paste - 1/2 tsp
Chopped vegetables - 2 cups
Chopped tomatoes - 1 cup
Sliced onion - 1 cup


Ghee - 2  tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1 pinch
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Broken red chillies - 4
Curry leaves - a few


1. Wash rice and dal together and dump them into a big vessel which would fit into your pressure cooker.


2. Add the chopped vegetables ( chop them slightly bigger so that they do not melt away in the cooker), chopped tomatoes,  sliced onion, tamarind, sambar powder, turmeric powder and salt. 


3. Heat ghee in a seasoning ladle  and add mustard seeds .
4. When the mustard splutters add fenugreek seeds, asafoetida, broken red chillies and curry leaves and fry till the seasoning gives out a pleasant aroma.
5. Pour the seasoning into the vessel containing all the ingredients.
6. Add 6 cups of water, stir, and pressure cook until three whistles.
7. Switch off flame and wait till the pressure subsides.
8. Stir the sambar saadam before serving.


Drizzle a teaspoon of warm ghee over every portion served. Enjoy the tasty flavoursome cooker sambar saadam topped with chips or salted cashew nuts, or cucumber rings and roasted papad.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Aappam - Rice And Coconut Pancakes



The combination of ingredients for preparing delicious aappams are various. Starting from toddy to yeast to cooked rice, the agents used for fermenting the batter are also  numerous. Aappams prepared by following the recipe given below turned out quite well.


Rice - 4 cups
Fresh coconut gratings - 4 tbsps
Beaten rice - 1 tbsp
Sour curds - 1cup
Salt - 1 tsp
Sugar - 1 tsp


1. Wash and soak rice and beaten rice for two hours using just enough water to cover the grains.
2. Grind the soaked rice and beaten rice with fresh coconut gratings into a smooth batter. Add  more water if necessary, remembering that sour curds is also going to be added later on.The consistancy of the final batter should be slightly  thinner than that of the  usual dosa batter.
3. Add sour curds, salt and sugar and run the mixer for a couple of minutes more .
4. Cover and leave the batter in a warm place overnight for fermenting.


1. Grease the aappa chatti ( Aappam pan) and heat it .
2. Stir the batter well and pour a table spoon on to the pan, dribble little oil and cook the first aappam to test the appropriate temperature.Remove when done.
3. Pour a ladle full of batter into the aappam pan and lower the flame.
4. Hold the handles on either sides of the pan , lift it up from the flame and swirl the pan, so that the batter evenly coats the insides of the pan.
5. Place the pan back on the flame, dribble oil all around the aappam and cover with the lid.
6. Cook the aappam on low flame for two or three minutes checking in between by lifting up the lid.
7. When the aappam is done remove  it by  using a spatula.
The cooked aapam, light and white as a full moon has a soft spongy centre  and thin and crisp outer edges.



If a golden coloured aappam is prefered leave it in the pan for a little longer.


Enjoy the hot and fresh delicious aappams with the traditional vegetable stew.
It tastes good with coconut chutney and sambar as well. Aappams taste delicious with tengai paal ( coconut milk ) sweetened with jaggery. Children love their aappams with a mixture of fresh grated coconut and sugar.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Alasande Kayee Palya - Long Beans Dry Curry

Alasande kayee/ long beans / karamani is a much favoured vegetable which appears in one form or another in a thaali meal / full plate meal served by almost all the restaurants in Karnataka. The tender long beans are used in cooking curries, sambar and  masala gravies.

Alasande kayee / Long beans - 1/2 kg
Tur dal - 1/4 cup
Turmeric powder - 2 pinches
Cooking oil - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Black gram dal - 1/2 tsp
Bengal gram dal - 1/2 tsp
Red chilies - 2
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Curry leaves - a few
Tamarind - one small marble size
Powdered jaggery - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Fresh grated coconut - 4 tbsps

1. Pressure cook tur dal with a pinch of turmeric powder and allow it to cool.
2. Wash and string only the tender long beans and cut them into one inch pieces.
3. If you come across ripe beans separate them from the pods.
4. Cover the chopped vegetables and the ripe beans with just enough water and cook till tender adding a pinch of salt. This will retain the fresh green colour of the vegetable.
5. Soak tamarind in little warm water and extract a thick juice and keep aside.
6. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
7. When the mustard seeds splutter add black gram dal and bengal gram dal and fry till golden in colour.
8. Decrease flame and add turmeric powder and asafoetida followed by broken red chillies.
9. Add curry leaves and then the cooked beans.
10.Stir well and add cooked tur dal, tamarind extract, jaggery powder and the remaining salt.
11. Blend well and cook till dry on low flame stirring frequently.
12. Switch off flame and mix in the fresh grated coconut.

Enjoy the hot tender and juicy alasande kayee palya with your favourite meal.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Shukku Vellam - Dry Ginger And Jaggery Mix

Dry ginger is known as shukku in Tamil. It lends spice and flavour to various dishes and drinks and it is a boon in the kitchen for its medicinal value.
Shukku vellam prepared with dry ginger powder and jaggery acts as an appetizer when consumed half an hour before meal. It assures good digestion and serves as a mouth freshener after a heavy meal.
Shukku vellam alleviates nausea and relieves flatulence. It helps in keeping the digestive system clean.
Crush the dry ginger first with a pestle and then grind it in a mixer to get a smooth powder. Sieve the ground ginger to remove the fiber. Store the fine dry ginger powder / shukku podi in a clean airtight jar and use it when needed.


Dry ginger powder - 2 tbsps
Powdered jaggery - 2 tbsps
Ghee - 1 tsp
1. Blend ginger powder and jaggery powder together in a mixer.


2. Add ghee to the blend and knead using a clean dry hand to make a smooth dough.


3. Pinch little at a time and make small marble size balls out of the dough.


4. Store in a clean dry bottle.
Enjoy the hot and sweet shukku vellam after a hearty meal.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Pala Kottai Olan - Jack Fruit Seeds And Pumpkin In Coconut milk

My family relishes Pala Kottai / jack fruit seeds cooked in koottu, sambar and puli kuzhambu.
Olan is prepared using pumpkin and karamani. For a change I prepared pala kottai olan using jack fruit seeds instead of karamani ( black eyed beans ) which is  used in the preparation of traditional olan.

Peeled and cubed pumpkin - 2 cups
Jack fruit seeds - 10
Thick coconut milk - 1 cup
Thin coconut milk - 2 to 3 cups
Slit green chilly - 1
Crushed black peppar - 1/4 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Coconut oil - 1 tbsp
Curry leaves - a few
1. Grind 2 cups of fresh coconut gratings into a very smooth paste adding 1 cup of water.
2. Pass the paste through a thin cloth or a fine wire mesh sieve and extract the first thick milk. Keep this first milk aside.
3. Grind the same coconut gratings once again adding 2 1/2 cups of water and extract the second thin milk.

1. Sun dry the seeds and peel the shells and separate the seeds.
Microwave the seeds for fifteen seconds or until you hear the first popping sound, cool and peel the cracked shells  to separate the seeds.
2. Pressure cook the peeled seeds without adding water.
Boil the seeds with enough water in a thick bottomed vessel  until the seeds are well cooked.
1. Cook together the peeled and cubed pumpkin, slit green chilly and crushed pepper using the thin coconut milk.
2. Cover and cook on  low flame till the vegetable is nearly done.


3. Add the cooked jack fruit seeds and salt and cook till the liquid reduces to a considerable quantity.The pumpkin should become soft but not mushy.
4. Add coconut oil and curry leaves and cook for two more minutes.
5. Blend in the thick coconut milk and immediately switch off flame.


To thicken a runny olan, take out a table spoon of the cooked pumpkin pieces  and mash  using the back of a spoon and add  the pulp back  to the simmering dish, before adding the thick coconut milk.

The flavour of the coconut milk, the mild sweetness of the pumpkin and the soft jack fruit seeds will make any one crave for more and more pala kottai olan.