Friday, February 28, 2014

S.B.S.Tomato Rasam

This  ' Saute, Blend, Simmer ' Tomato Rasam is my family's favourite, and preparing it is like child's play .  The taste and flavour are no less than that of other  Rasams  cooked with much elaboration.

Red, ripe and juicy tomatoes ( cut into quarters ) - 4
Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
Split black gram dal - 1 tsp
Pepper - 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1 pinch
Red chillies - 2
Garlic - 4 cloves
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Ghee - 1/2 tsp
Freshly grated coconut - 1 tbsp
Salt - 1 1/2 tsps



 Heat ghee and add all the ingredients except the grated coconut, asafoetida, salt and tomatoes. Roast on low flame till the spices emanate a very pleasant aroma and then add asafoetida followed by tomatoes.Cover and cook on low flame till the tomatoes become slightly soft.


 Allow to cool and then blend the sauteed ingredients with coconut gratings  into a smooth paste. Add salt . Pour one liter of water to the tomato paste in a slow and steady stream.


 Cook on low flame till the Rasam becomes foamy and switch off flame when it is about to boil over.

 Enjoy the flavoursome Tomato Rasam as it is or with steaming hot rice.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Instant Puli Aval Mix - Instant Mix For Tamarind Flavoured Beaten Rice

Puli Aval is the customary food offering prepared for the Lord during  Mahashivaratri.  This simple and easy to prepare dish is made even more easy with the  Instant mix. This is my sister-in-law's recipe. It comes in handy as a quick, healthy, filling and very tasty meal for my nephew who is a student in a far off country away from sweet home. 

Beaten rice / Aval ( Hard ) - 4 cups
Tamarind - 1 plum size ball
Salt - 1 1/2 tsps
Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
Red chillies - 2
Bengal gram dal - 1 tbsp
Split black gram dal - 1 tsp
Pepper - 1/4 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1 pinch
Asafoetida - 1 pinch 
Curry leaves - a few
Sesame oil - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Split black gram dal - 1/2 tsp
Bengal gram dal - 1/2 tsp
Peanuts - 2 tbsps
1. Dry roast coriander seeds, Bengal gram dal, black gram dal, pepper, cumin seeds, red chillies and fenugreek seeds till you get a pleasant aroma. 
2. Add asafoetida and curry leaves and roast till dry.
3. Remove fiber from the tamarind, shred it to small bits and dry roast it separately  till it becomes almost dry. It will turn very dry and crisp on cooling.
4. When all the ingredients are cooled grind them together into a fine powder.
1. Dry roast the hard beaten rice till it starts popping. Use low flame so that it does not get burnt.
2. Cool the roasted beaten rice well and then give it only one swish in the mixer. The beaten rice when broken should resemble semolina grains. 

3. Remove from the mixer and mix the spice powder and salt into the broken beaten rice using a spatula.

1. Spread out the spiced up broken beaten rice on a plate and add the turmeric powder on top.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
3. When it splutters add the Bengal gram dal and black gram dal.
4. When the dals start turning to a golden colour add the peanuts and roast till they crack.
5. Pour the seasoning over the turmeric powder.

6. Mix all the ingredients together.

7. Store in an air tight jar for future use.

Add one volume of boiling water to one volume of Instant Puli Aval Mix , cover with a lid and allow it to stand for 15 minutes. 

Fluff up the deliciously fragrant  Puli Aval using a fork and enjoy with a cup of cool yogurt. 

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Andhra Special Pesrattu - Green Gram Crepe Stuffed With Semolina

I loved to cook  traditional dinners  for my son and daughter-in-law during my stay with them. It was heartening to watch them relish their dinner at leisure after a long days work. On one occasion  when I prepared Kharabath , I happened to stumble over some left over Pesrattu batter stored in the refrigerator. 
 " What an idea Sirji !" The popular tagline popped up in my mind and the outcome was this Andhra Special  Pesrattu  for dinner.

Here is the recipe for  Andhra Special Pesrattu from scratch.

Green gram dal - 2 cups
Green chilly - 1
Fresh ginger - 1'' piece
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
1. Soak green gram dal for at least half an hour.
2. Grind the soaked dal with green chilly, ginger and salt into a smooth and fluffy batter adding water. The consistency of the batter should be slightly thinner than that of  Dosa batter. 
3. Add pepper and cumin seeds and grind for one more minute, allowing them to remain slightly coarse.
 Semolina (medium) - 1 cup
 Salt - 1/2 tsp
 Sambar powder - 1/2 tsp
 Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
 Cooking oil - 2 tbsps
 Mustard seeds - 1 pinch
 Split black gram dal - 1 tsp
 Cashew nuts or peanuts- a few
  Asafoetida - 1 pinch
  Curry leaves - a few
  Green chillies chopped - 1/2 tsp
  Fresh ginger chopped - 1/2 tsp
  Onion  ( Finely chopped ) - 1/4 cup
  Tomatoes ( finely chopped )- 1/4 cup
   Fresh ghee - 2 tbsps
  Juice of 1 lime.
 Chopped coriander leaves for garnishing
 To start with add  the chopped tomatoes, salt and sambar powder to three cups of water and set it on a burner for boiling.
1. Heat oil in a kadai and add the mustard seeds using the second burner of your stove.
2. When the seeds splutter add the black gram dal and roast till it turns golden in colour.
3. Add cashew nuts/ peanuts and roast till golden in colour.
4. Add asafoetida and throw in the green chillies, ginger and curry leaves followed by chopped onion.
5. Saute till the onion turns pink in colour and then add turmeric powder. 
6. Add the semolina and fry till it emanates a very pleasant aroma and decrease flame.
7. Switch off the first burner and gently pour the boiling tomato and spice water into the kadai.
8. Keep stirring the semolina so that it does not form lumps.
9. Cook on low flame till the semolina thickens and is thoroughly cooked.
10. Add ghee and stir well .You can see the Khara bath leaving the sides of the kadai. 
11. Squeeze in the juice of lime and blend well. 

Switch off flame, garnish with coriander leaves and cover with a lid.

1. Heat a greased tava and pour a ladle of the prepared batter in the center.
2. Spread the batter  into a Pesrattu  using the back of the ladle.
3. Dribble little oil or ghee around the Pesrattu and roast till it is done. The edges will come up easily and you can see the golden colour of the roast underneath.

4. Place a scoop of Khara bath on one side of the Pesrattu and fold the other half over the stuffing.

5. Top it with a dollop of butter to make it double special and remove it on to a plate.

Enjoy the hot Andhra Special Pesrattu with eggplant gojju and chutney.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Lactation Cookies - Nutritious Cookies For One And All !


My daughter-in-law is proficient in baking. We have enjoyed her cakes, muffins, scones and cookies with tea after our long walks in the cold winter afternoons. She obtained the recipe of  this healthy and nutritious cookie from one of the new moms she met at the New Moms Group meeting. I learnt that brewer's yeast, oats and flax seeds are lactogenic ingredients and that they help considerably in  increasing  the breast milk. Hence they are also known as Lactation Cookies. I stood watching while she prepared the yummy cookies and scribbled down the procedure, while the rest of the family helped in clicking the pictures. 

Whole oats - 1 3/4 cups
Whole wheat flour - 1 3/4 cups
Brewer's yeast - 3 tbsp
Flax seeds - 1 cup ( powdered )
Baking soda - 1 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Peanut butter - 3/4 cup
Butter - 1/2 cup
Cinnamon powder - 1 tsp
Sugar - 1/2 cup 
Agave syrup - 1/2 cup 
Vanilla essence - 2 tsps
Chocolate chips - 2 cups
Nuts and raisins - 2 cups

1. Dry roast Oats on low flame till it emanates a pleasant flavour and allow it to cool. 
2. Add 2 tbsps of water to 2 tbs of flax powder to make a smooth paste and keep it aside. ( This paste was used instead of egg. )  
2. Mix wheat flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon powder together and keep aside.
3. In another bowl blend butter, sugar, agave syrup, vanilla essence, brewer's yeast and flax powder adding little water or milk until it turns creamy. ( As my daughter-in-law did not want to use too much of sugar she used half sugar and half agave syrup. )
4. Mix in the flax paste.
5. Add the wheat flour mixture to the above and blend well.
6.  Mix in the chocolate chips /  nuts and raisins.  
7. Finally add oats and mix well.
8. Pinch out lemon size balls from the dough and slightly flatten them into cookies.
9. Place the cookies on a greased baking sheet and bake for 12 minutes in a preheated ( 350 Degrees F) oven . Cool the cookies and store in a clean airtight jar. 

Lactating or not , this is a delicious 'must savour ' cookie  to be enjoyed by one and all . We did !

Monday, February 10, 2014

Sakkat Sippe Chutney - Orange Peel Chutney


After relishing dozens and dozens of Kamala oranges  till the very end of  the season , we have already started yearning for the next season to begin ! First and foremost the juicy fruits ( also known as Loose Jackets and Mandarin Oranges ) taste nectarine and are very addictive. Secondly the loose peels taste heavenly when used in the preparation of a spicy gojju or chutney. Hence the name 'Double Delight'! When D2 tasted the Orange peel chutney she animatedly exclaimed  "Sakkat Sippe Chutney!" 

Orange Peels chopped - 2 cups
Red chillies - 2
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Powdered jaggery - 1/4 tsp
Tamarind - 1 small marble size ball
Oil - 2 tbsps
Mustard seeds - 1 pinch
( Please do not use asafoetida by force of habit ! This will subdue the intrinsic flavour of the Orange peel. The peel  by itself enhances good digestion. By the way you can also use the dried and powdered Orange peel in your face mask. Triple delight indeed! )
1. Peel and relish the Kamala first.
2. Collect the fresh peels, wash thoroughly and chop them into small pieces.
3. Heat 1 tsp of oil and add the red chillies.
4. When the chillies turn crisp add the chopped orange peels and saute till they are lightly cooked.

5. Grind the sauteed peels with salt,  tamarind and jaggery into a slightly coarse paste.
6. Heat the remaining oil and add the mustard seeds.
7. When the mustard seeds crackle add the ground chutney and stir well.
8. Cook on low flame till oil separates.

Enjoy the 'orangy', 'tangy',  Sakkat ( Super ) Sippe ( Peel ) Chutney  with dosas , chapaties or with steaming hot rice, of course topped with fresh ghee ! You can also use it as a bread spread.

Thursday, February 6, 2014




We have Ragi Idlies for breakfast very often . But I have not posted the recipe of this simple but  power packed dish till now. Here is how I prepared it for today's breakfast. 

Ragi flour or Ragi Puttu flour- 3 Cups
Black gram dal - 1 Cup
Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
Beaten rice - 1 tbsp
Salt  - 1 1/2 tsps
Sugar - 1pinch

1. Soak the black gram dal for an hour with fenugreek seeds and beaten rice.
2. Grind the soaked ingredients into a smooth and fluffy batter.
3. Add salt and sugar and blend it for another one minute. 
4. Remove the batter into a deep vessel.
5. Add the Ragi flour to the batter  and mix thoroughly using your hand. Add more water if required to get the idly batter consistency. 
6. Cover  with a lid and leave it overnight in a warm place. Use the fermented  batter to make soft and fluffy Ragi Idlies.
7. Pour the batter into the greased Idly  moulds and steam for 15 minutes.

Enjoy them while they are still warm with a liberal quantity of onion and tomato Sambar, chutney and idly Molaga podi. Do not forget to top the idlies  with fresh ghee.