Monday, August 13, 2018

Vazhaipazha Dosai - Ripe Banana Pancake

Mukkanigal (Three fruits) in Tamil is one word to refer Mangoes, Jackfruit and Bananas together. Mukkanigal have been specially mentioned in devotional Tamil literature. Ancient records show that lands growing the three fruits were granted by the kings of yore to the magnificent temples built by them, so that Mukkanigal could be offered to the Lord in the daily worship. It is tradition to serve Mukkanigal (the three fruits) with honey in religious feasts. Dishes prepared using Mukkanigal taste as delicious as when they are savoured fresh. Sweet dosas prepared using Mukkanis are nutritious, filling and make excellent breakfast food especially for kids. After today's post about Vazhaipazha Dosai I can sense the pleasant aroma of Mukkani Dosais along with Mambazha Dosai and Palapazha Dosai emanating from Chitra Amma's Kitchen.


Ripe bananas - 3
Wheat flour - 2 cups 
Rice flour - 1/4 cup
Ragi flour - 1/4 cup
Powdered jaggery - 1/4 cup
Salt - 1 pinch
Raisins - 2 tbsps
Cashew nuts - 2 tbsps
Ghee - for cooking
1. Peel the ripe bananas, slice them and mash well.
2. Add all the other ingredients and mix well to form a thick batter.
3. Add little milk or water if the batter becomes too thick.

4. Heat a greased tava and pour a ladle of batter in the center.
5. Lightly spread into a slightly thick palm size dosa using the back of the ladle. 
6. Dribble ghee all around and on the dosa.

7. Cook on medium flame till the bottom is done.

8. Flip and cook for one more minute till both sides are done.

Remove the Vazhaipazha Dosai on to a plate and serve warm with a dollop of butter.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Mavina Hannina Holige/Mambazha Poli - Sweet Mango Flat Bread

Mango season has come and gone. But the taste buds still crave for the sweetness of mangoes and mango recipes. I decided to try out Mavina Hannina Holige when a friend of mine posted the picture of the same in Face book. When I requested her for the recipe she was kind enough to oblige. I slightly tweaked her recipe to my convenience and prepared the Holige/Poli which was utterly enjoyed and appreciated by my family. 

Sweet and ripe mango pulp - 1 cup
Fine Semolina - 1 cup
Powdered jaggery - 1/2 cup
Ghee - 2 tbsps
Powdered cardamom - 1 pinch (Optional)
1. Dry roast semolina till you get a pleasant aroma.
2. Boil 1 1/2 cups of water, add the roasted semolina and cook till it slightly thickens.
3. Stir in the mango pulp and keep cooking.

4. Add powdered jaggery and stir and cook till all the ingredients blend into a smooth mass.

5. Mix in ghee and switch off flame.
Plain flour/ Maida - 1 cup
Salt - 1 pinch
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Sesame oil - 2 to 3 tbsps
1. Mix flour, salt and turmeric powder together.
2. Add water little by little and knead into a soft and elastic dough.
3. Add sesame oil and knead well.
4. Cover and keep it for at least three hours. I had left the dough to soak overnight so that it becomes more pliable and spreadable.
1. Take a ball of dough, flatten it a little and place a ball of the Mavina Hannina Hoorana/ Mambazha Poornam in the center.

2. Pull the edges over the Hoorana / Poornam and seal the stuffing inside.
3. Place the dough with filling on a greased banana leaf or on a piece of aluminium foil and pat it into a thin Holige/Poli.

4. Invert the leaf on a greased and heated tava so that the Holige/Poli sits flat on the tava.

5. Gently remove the leaf/foil and allow the Holige/Poli to cook on low flame.
6. The Holige/Poli will cook in its own oil and no extra dribbling of oil is needed.
7. Flip and cook for two more minutes.

8. Remove from tava when dark brown spots appear on both sides.

Enjoy the flavoursome Mavina Hannina Holige/Mambazha Poli with ghee or hot milk.

Monday, June 25, 2018

Panneer Roja Rasam - Lentil and Rose Clear Soup


My brother and his wife are avid gardeners who practice organic gardening at home. I was mesmerized by the beautiful and extremely fragrant Panneer Roses in their lush green garden. Even after my return to Bangalore the fragrance of the roses lingered in my mind, recalling  memories of the flavoursome Panneer Rasam prepared by Chef Sundararaja Iyer.
Nagainallur Sundararaja Iyer  was a famous Chef in the 1970 s and Panneer Rasam was his signature dish. He with his team had served an exotic feast to the invitees during my sister-in-law's grand wedding. Since the guests were bowled over by the unique fragrance of his rasam, it was once again served separately in individual cups so that they could enjoy it to their heart's content. The secret ingredient which enhanced the fragrance of the special rasam was Panneer which was nothing but Rose Water.
I wonder whether it was telepathy! The very next day my sister-in-law posted the picture of Panneer Roja Rasam in our family WhatsApp group. She had prepared the rasam using the organic, pesticide free, fresh Panneer roses from her garden!
Here is the recipe of Panneer Roja Rasam  the most fragrant of all rasams.
Recipe and the picture are by my sister-in-law  Savithri Sumanth. 


Panneer rose - 1
Split pigeon pea/ Tur dal - 1/4 cup
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Tamarind - a plum size ball
Salt - 1 tsp
Rasam powder - 1 tsp
(Asafoetida, curry leaves and coriander leaves are best avoided so that the glorious fragrance of the Panneer Rose remains unmasked.)
1. Wash the Panneer Rose and keep it steeped in 2 glasses of water over night so that the water absorbs the strong scent of the rose.
2. Pressure cook dal with turmeric powder and 1 cup of water. 
3. Soak tamarind in warm water and extract the juice.
4. Add salt and Rasam powder to the extracted tamarind juice and boil till the raw smell disappears.
5. Mash the cooked dal and add it to the boiling rasam and cook for two minutes.
6. Remove the rose and pour the rose scented water in a slow stream into the boiling rasam.
7. Top the rasam with a few rose petals and cover with a lid.
8. Cook on low flame till the rasam is covered with foam and switch off  when the rasam is about to boil.
9. Splutter mustard seeds in one teaspoon of ghee and add the seasoning to the rasam.

Relax and enjoy cups and cups of the Fresh Panneer Roja Rasam while still warm.

Monday, June 18, 2018

Mavina Hannina Dosae / Mambazha Dosai - Ripe Mango Pancakes

The moment I think of ripe mango recipes various lovely pictures of desserts come to the fore in my mind. This mango season I yearn to do something different using the sweet luscious golden mangoes. A dish that is more filling and substantial! A dish that could be a meal or a snack in itself! A dish that would please one and all especially the kids! Finally I decide on a fruity desserty pancake that would fulfill all the above stated requirements. And here comes the recipe of Mavina Hannina Dosae / Mambazha Dosai! 

Sweet and ripe mango pulp - 1 cup
Rice - 1 cup
Beaten rice - 1 tbsp
Powdered jaggery - 3 tbsps
Cardamom powder - 1 pinch
Salt - 1/2 a pinch
Chopped cashew nuts and raisins - 1 tbsp
Ghee for roasting
1. Wash and soak rice and beaten rice together for two hours.

2. Grind the soaked ingredients into a thick batter.
3. Add the mango pulp, salt, jaggery and cardamom powder to the batter and grind them together to a dosa batter consistency.

4. Heat a greased tava, pour a ladle of batter on it and spread it into a slightly thick dosae.
5. Sprinkle chopped nuts and raisins on top and cover it with a lid.

6. Cook till the top is done on medium flame.
7. Flip the dosae when it is golden brown underneath.

8. Cook for a few seconds and remove from the tava.
9. Top it with ripe mango pieces.

Enjoy with the delicious mango dip - Mavina Hannina Rasayana.

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Mavinakayi Gojju/ Menaskai - A Sweet, Tangy and Spicy Raw Mango Relish

Gojju or Menaskai is a sweet, tangy and spicy relish which originated in the traditional kitchens of Udupi. The widely acclaimed relish is included in all festive lunches through out Karnataka. The unique combination of spices used in its preparation makes the simple dish into an exotic finger licking relish. Pineapple Gojju and Mango Menskai  are highly relished and most popular. Here is a recipe for a delicious Mavinakayi Gojju/Menskai in keeping with the season.

Raw mangoes - 2
Jaggery - 1/4 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/8 tsp
Salt - 2 tsps
Sesame oil - 1/4 tsp
Black gram dal - 2 tsps
Bengal gram dal - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/8 tsp
Red chillies - 2 or 3 ( Preferably Byadagi chillies for its rich color)
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Sesame seeds - 2 tbsps
Copra / Dried coconut ( grated) - 2 tbsps
Sesame oil or Coconut oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - a few.
1. Wash and cut mangoes into cubes. Retain a layer of flesh on the seeds since they will also be going into the cooking pot.

2. Cover the cut mango cubes and the seeds with water.
3. Add turmeric powder and jaggery and cook till soft.

4. Dry roast sesame seeds and keep aside.
5. Heat 1/4 spoon of sesame oil and roast together Black gram dal, Bengal gram dal, fenugreek seeds, red chillies, cumin seeds and asafoetida till the dals turn golden in colour.
6. Cool the roasted ingredients and grind them together with roasted sesame seeds and copra into a fine powder.
7. Add little water and once again grind it to get a thick paste.
8. Add the ground spice paste and salt to the cooked mangoes and stir well.

9. Cook the Mavinakayi Gojju/Menaskai till it thickens emanating a very pleasant aroma. If it gets too thick add some more water and cook for another two minutes.

10. Heat oil and splutter mustard seeds and curry leaves, and pour the seasoning over the gojju.

Mavinakayi Gojju/Menskai goes very well with rice, dosas and rotis. But it can also be relished as it is, literally to a finger licking finish. The mango seeds are a bonus for connoisseurs who like to slurp and relish the sweet, tangy and spicy pulp still sticking on to them!
Mavinakayi Gojju / Menaskai is best eaten with your hands - Indian style - for highest satisfaction!
Here are two steps to eat Mavinakaui Gojju/Menaskai with your hand - Indian Style!
1. Use your forefinger and middle finger together to swipe up little bit of the relish from the plate and lick it off your fingers.

2. Hold the seed in your hand and suck the seed dry finishing off the sweet, tangy and spicy flesh still sticking all around the seed!
And that is what we call pure bliss!

Friday, May 11, 2018

Pachai Sundaikkai Porial - Fresh Turkey Berry Dry Curry

Turkey Berry
Botanical Name: Solanum Torvum 
Health Benefits:
Good for digestion.
Eliminates worms from the system.
Alleviates colds and chest infections.
Purifies blood, is diabetes friendly, et cetera, et cetera!
We are overwhelmed by the flood of information provided by the internet regarding the health benefits of the bitter berry called Sundaikkai. My grandmother packed the 'information deluge' in one simple sentence when she uttered, 'Sundaikkai is good for health'! That was that! No questions were asked when the berry was cooked and served as kozhambus or porials! We dutifully gobbled up the 'health food' with slight reluctance though! Grandmother used certain tricks to tone down the bitterness of the berries while cooking, which gave no chance for any complaints from any quarter! You will have to just cultivate the taste and savour it with all the health benefits in mind.Then you are sure to enjoy it.
Here is a simple recipe to prepare Pachai Sundaikkai Porial. I am also sharing the trick taught by grandmother to make the Porial delicious and less bitter.


Fresh Sunndaikkai / Turkey Berry - 2 cups
Tamarind - 1 marble size ball 
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Powdered jaggery - 2 tbsps 
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Salt - 1 tsp
Sesame oil - 2 tsps
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Split black gram dal/ Urad dal - 1 tsp
Red chillies (broken) - 2
Curry leaves - a few
Split pigeon peas/Tur dal - 4 tbsp
Pepper corns - 6
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Red chilly - 1
Salt - 1 pinch
1. Remove the fresh pea size Sundaikkais from stalk and wash them thoroughly.

2. Cover the Sundaikkais with water.
3. Add turmeric powder, asafoetida and tamarind which will disintegrate while cooking. 

4. Cook till the Sundaikkais are almost done.
5. Add salt and cook till the water evaporates.
6. Drain if there is excess water.
7. Heat oil in a kadai and splutter the mustard seeds.
8. Add the Blackgram dal and roast till it becomes golden in colour.
9. Add broken red chillies and roast till they become crisp.
10. Saute the curry leaves with the seasoning and add the cooked Sundaikkais.

10. Stir in the roasted and powdered ingredients and blend well.(Instead you may use two tablespoons of Paruppu Podi or Chutney Podi). 

11. Switch off flame when the Sundaikkai Porial emanates a pleasant aroma.

Enjoy the Pachai Sundaikkai Porial mixed with steaming hot rice topped with a spoon of ghee. You may also relish it as a side dish with your meal. 
NOTE Grandmother's trick: 
Cooking Sundaikkais with tamarind juice and jaggery tones down its bitterness considerably.The addition of the spicy Paruppu podi used to camouflage the left over bitterness also enhances the aroma and taste of the Porial. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Sutta Vazhaikkai Podi - Grilled Raw Banana Spicy Crumble

Whenever my Mami and I get together our conversation veers in all directions and finally culminates in our one and only indulgence : cooking! Vazhaikkai Podi is a spicy curry which has to be crumbly as the name itself suggests. I usually cut the Raw Banana/ Vazhaikkai along with the peel and then boil it till done. Then I cool it, peel it, crumble it and then mix it with the spice powder to make this delicious dish. If the vegetable is slightly overcooked the Vazhaikkai Podi (Raw Banana Crumble) is sure to turn into Vazhaikkai Masial (Raw Banana Mash)! Mami taught me a traditional method to cook Raw  Banana/Vazhaikkai wherein it would remain dry and crumbly even after cooking. Here is the traditional method to make a delicious and crumbly Vazhaikkai Podi.

Raw Banana/Vazhaikkai - 1 
Sesame oil - 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 pinch
Black gram dal/Urad dal - 1 tbsp
Bengal gram dal/Chana dal - 1 tbsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Broken red chillies - 3
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Tamarind - 1 small marble size ball
1. Wash and wipe the Raw Banana/Vazhaikkai and place it on live flame.

2. Hold the stalk and turn it now and then so that it is uniformly grilled.

3. Allow the skin to char on all sides.
4. The sharp edge of a knife can be easily inserted into the Banana/Vazhaikkai when it is done.

5. Allow the grilled Raw Banana/Vazhaikkai to cool down completely.
6. Scrape off the charred peel using a knife.

7. Heat the oil in a pan and fry the tamarind till crisp and keep aside.
8. Add the dals, red chillies and mustard seeds into the same oil and roast till the dals turn golden in coliour.
9. Add asfoetida and switch off fame.
10. Cool the roasted ingredients and grind them coarsely adding the fried tamarind and salt.

11. Cut the grilled and peeled Raw Banana/Vazhaikkai into four pieces and add to the mixer.
12. Just give it one swish so that it crumbles and blends with the spice. 
One extra swish will make the Podi mushy. Safest method is to crumble the grilled Raw banana/ sutta Vazhaikkai using your hand.

 The powdered spice can be gently worked into the crumbled vegetable.

Enjoy the Sutta Vazhaikkai Podi mixed with plain rice or relish it as a side dish with your meal.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Tondekai Bath - Spicy Ivy Gourd Rice

Cooked rice is usually referred to as Bath. A particular 'Variety Rice', Kalanda Sadam or Chitraanna gets its name depending on the ingredients cooked along with rice. When rice is cooked with bele/dal and spice it is called Bisibelebath. Cooked with Eggplant/Brinjals and spice it becomes Vangi Bath. Plain rice turns into Tomato Bath when cooked with tomatoes and spice.The spice powder used  makes a huge difference when it comes to the taste and flavour of different varieties of Baths. Here Tondekai/Ivy gourd is combined with rice and spice to make a delicious and flavoursome Tondekai Bath.

Rice - 2 cups 
Ivy Gourd/Tondekai - 500 gms
Sesame oil - 2 tbsps
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Curry leaves - a few
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Salt - 1 1/2 tsps
Lime - 1 small
Coriander leaves
Cashew nuts - 10 (Roasted)
Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
Bengal gram dal/Chana dal - 1/2 tbsp
Black gram dal/Urad dal - 1/2 tbsp
Red chillies - 8 to 10 
Cinnamon - 1'' stick
Cardamom - 1
Cloves - 4
Dry coconut gratings (Copra) - 1 tbsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
Sesame oil - 1/4 tsp

1. Heat oil and add cinnamon, cardamom and cloves.
2. When the cloves and cardamom bloat up add the coriander seeds, dals, fenugreek seeds and red chillies and roast till they emanate a pleasant aroma.
3. Add asafoetida, fry for a second and switch off flame.
4. When the roasted spice are completely cooled blend them into a smooth powder using a mixer.
5. Add the copra gratings and blend once again.
1. Cook rice with four cups of water and spread it out on a plate to cool.
2. Cut Ivy Gourd/ Tondekai into lengthwise strips.

3. Heat oil in a kadai and splutter mustard seeds.
4. Add asafoetida, curry leaves and turmeric powder followed by chopped Tondekai/Ivy Gourd.
5. Stir in the salt and cover and cook till the vegetable is al dente.
6. Add the spice powder and stir well.
7. Switch off flame, squeeze in the lime juice and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Tondekai Curry is ready to be mixed with rice. This Curry can also be relished with rotis or chapatis.
8. Break the lumps and fluff up the rice so that each grain stands separate.
9. Add the Tondekai Curry to the rice and mix gently till each grain is evenly coated with spice. Add little more oil or a spoon of ghee if you feel that the Curry is too dry to be mixed.

 Add the Curry little by little as much as required and adjust the taste of the Bath to your liking.
10. Finally mix in the roasted cashew nuts.

Relish the delicious and flavoursome Tondekai Bath/ Ivy Gourd Rice with a bowl of cool mixed vegetable Raita and a crunchy Papad.