Sunday, November 30, 2008

Recipe Index

We haven't updated this index since Jan 2011, but hope to complete that activity soon! Look for our latest recipes from the archives link! Thanks for your patience!

From the Kitchen...

At last, our Recipe Index Page is ready! It feels like we just started the blog some days back, but we seem to have made quite a few posts already. Now you can directly find the recipe you want, instead of searching through the archives. We will keep updating this list along with our posts.
We'll also be improving on our earlier posts, based on some learnings these last few months. We will look forward to your ideas on recipes to be included, and any other suggestions you may have. Thanks to you all.
And Thanks to Yosee for her sweet illustration!

Palaharam,Breakfast, Tiffin and Snacks
Steamed Dumplings ,Idlis, Kozhukattais , Kali, Koozhu

Upmas, Pongals, Uslis, Sevai

Pancakes, Dosai, Adai, Rotti, Chappati

Fritters, Bajjis, Bondas, Vadais, Cutlet, Munchies

Salads, Sundal, Churmuri, Avalakki

Saadam, Bhaath, Rice & other Cereals and Grains

Kozhambus, Sambhar, Koottus, Gojjus and Gravies

Lentils, Paruppu, Koottu

Gravies with tamarind or curd, Kozhambus , Gojjus

Lentil Gravies, Sambhar

Rasams, Flavoursome Watery Soups

Wet Currys, Kurmas, Saagus, Vegetables

Dry Currys, Poriyals, Podimas, Vegetables

Pickles, Relish

Chutneys, Dips

Podis, Powders

Salads and Pachadis

Sweets and Desserts 

Sweetened Grains



Burfis, Cakes, Urundais

Deep Fried Sweets

Beverages and Drinks

Home Remedies / Medicines

Friday, November 28, 2008

Chow Chow - The two in one magic vegetable

When we went to the vegetable market with father, he would carefully select all the fresh and tender vegetables. However, we made sure that we picked up at least two or three complimentary Chow Chows, which had thick rough thorny skins, to the great astonishment of the green grocer! Back home, my brother dug up holes and planted them in a row near the fence. In no time, tender shoots came up and crept all over the fence with great speed putting to shame even Jack’s Bean Stalk! Our happiness knew no bounds when the creeper was fully decked up with the tender green shiny bulb like Chow Chows. All of us loved this vegetable more because we had grown them all by ourselves. Mother used this vegetable in sambar, mor kuzhambu, koottu, mendhya kozambu or curry. She even sliced them and made hot bajjis for the evening tea. Whatever dish she prepared out of this vegetable, there would be an additional dish which came out of the peel. Thus, we named our favourite vegetable as the ‘Two-in-one Magic Vegetable!

Tender chow chows – 4
Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
Salt – 1 tsp
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Split black gram dal (urad dal) – 1 tsp
Dru red chillies – 2
Curry leaves – a few
Cooking oil – 2 tsp
Grated Coconut – 1 tbsp

1. Wash and scrape the peel off the chow chows, and cut them into cubes. Save the peels, and set aside for use in the secind dish.
2. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
3. When it splutters, add asafoetida and the split black gram dal.
4. When the dal turns golden in colour, add broken red chillies.
5. When the chillies turn crisp, add curry leaves and turmeric powder.
6. Add the cut Chow Chow and salt. Stir well.
7. Cover with a lid and cook in slow flame stirring now and then.
8. Chow Chow cooks in its own water.
9. When it is cooked, remove the lid and increase the heat.
10. Keep stirring till the remaining water (if any) evaporates.
11. When the curry is dry, turn off heat and garnish with fresh coconut gratings.
Chow Chow peels – From the four Chow chows used for the curry
Cooking oil – 2 tsps
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsps
Split black gram dal (urad dal) – 2 tsps
Red chillies – 5
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Tamarind – the size of a small marble
Salt – ½ tsp
Fresh coriander leaves – a handful

1. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
2. When the mustard splutters, add asafoetida and black gram dal.
3. When the dal turns golden in colour, add the red chillies.
4. Now add the chow chow peels and blend well.
5. Cover with a lid, and decrease the fire.
6. Cook until the peels become tender, and then add the tamarind.
7. Switch off flame and let it cool down.
8. When cool, grind the mixture, with salt and fresh coriander leaves, into a smooth chutney.
A tasty curry and a spicy chutney is now ready from the Two-in-one magic vegetable – Chow Chow.
Note: Other names for Chow Chow are Sema Kattrikai (tamil), Bengaluru Badanekai (Kannada), Choko (aussie), Chayote (US, Europe)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Theratti Pal - Milk Sweet

Theratti Pal - Milk Sweet
The first sweet which comes to mind before starting any happy occasion is Theratti Pal. Be it an engagement or a wedding, a baby shower or the first birth day of a baby, or an upanayanam (thread ceremony), Theratti Pal is the first sweet to be prepared amidst great merriment. When the groom’s party arrives for the wedding, the bride’s mother welcomes them by handing over Theratti Pal to the groom’s mother. This is an age old custom. Theratti Pal plays an integral part in weaving and bonding relationships old and new. This sweet is prepared only with whole milk and sugar. Here is Theratti Pal for a happy bonding. This is sent with best wishes and many happy returns for Aparna's blog birthday. Sweet Celebrations are on at My Diverse Kitchen!

Whole full cream milk – 4 cups (1 litre)
Sugar – 1 cup (250 gms)

1. Choose a large wide mouthed thick bottomed wide vessel, as it should sustain boiling milk, without overflowing.
2. Bring milk to a boil.
3.Once it starts boiling, reduce heat to prevent overflow, stirr and continue boiling.
4. Keep stirring frequently to prevent burning.
5. The milk will reduce considerably, and after about 30 minutes, it will become thick and slushy. 
6. At this point add the sugar and continue to cook and stir. In another 15 minutes or so the the Theratti Pal leaves the sides of the vessel and come together with a coarse consistency.
The sweet gets its reddish colour due to evaporation of the milk, and slight caramelising of the sugar. The whole area gets filled with aroma when stirring this sweet. The lovely flavour of full cream milk, is in itself very pleasant. Hence, the addition of saffron strands or cardamom powder is only optional.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Bugs Bunny's Favourites

I am reposting these two orange coloured delights for
Follow the links for the recipes...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ragi (Finger Millet) Pizza aka Rotti!

Ragi (Finger Millet) Pizza aka Ragi Rotti!

Black is beautiful! Ragi dishes are always on the top of my menu list, given their nutritive qualities. Besides being a very rich source of calcium, ragi is one of the few sources of methionine for a vegetarian, especially vegan diet. Ragi known as Finger Millet or African Millet is mostly grown in arid areas in Africa and Asia, and is common in South India.
Ragi Pizza is the name I use to 'sell' Ragi Rottis to my grand children, who are unbelievably ravenous when it comes to “devouring” pizzas! Just adding a few vegetables makes the rotti attractive and more nutritious, and a wholesome food. A ragi pizza breakfast keeps my husband going till he comes back late in the evening after finishing his 18 holes of golf.
Ragi flour – 3 cups
Salt – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Onion – 1
Carrot – 1
Capsicum -1
Cabbage – to make ½ a cup when shredding
Green chillies – 2
Fresh ginger – 1’’ piece
Chopped coriander leaves – 1 tbs
Oil – for drizzling around the roti
1. Chop onions into very thin slivers.
2. Chop the cabbage similarly.
3. Mince capsicum into very thin slices.
4. Peel and grate carrot.
5. Chop green chillies, ginger and coriander leaves.
6. Mix all the cut ingredients with salt and cumin seeds.
7. Now add the ragi flour and mix again evenly.
8. Add water and make a loose dough, so that it can be easily patted on to the tava or pan.
9. Grease the tava with a spec of oil.
10. Place a ladleful of the dough on the tava.
11. Wet your fingers in cold water and then pat the dough as thin as possible into a round pizza.

12. Now turn on the flame.
13. Dribble oil around the rotti and cover with a lid.
14. Cook for 2 minutes and remove lid.
15.The ragi when cooked, will turn into a dark shade, and the vegetables will shimmer revealing their colours on top of the cooked rotti.
16. Leave the rotti on the hot tava for another minute, turn it to the other side, if you want to toast the other side as well, and then remove from flame.

Hot nutritious Ragi Pizza is now ready to be served. Children will enjoy it with tomato sauce. Any pickle or chutney will also be a good accompaniment. As with most dishes, its taken to a new level if topped with a blob of fresh and soft home made butter!

This dish, (minus the butter topping!) goes to the Challenge at Veda's blog - Iyengar's Kitchen!

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Kitchen Treasure Hunt - Guess What?

Guess What?

We have begun receiving posts for The Kitchen Treasure Hunt event, and from the looks of it we will be seeing some very interesting posts!
Guess What?
Here is what we have received from a participant. Can you guess what it is and where it is from? I am not saying who sent it, as that could give away the answer! Post your guesses in the comments section below! We will reveal the answer during the round up!


Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Its raining Awards and MeMes and Whatnot!

Dear fellow bloggers have passed on some awards, and a meme too. I've been lazy in posting and passing it on. I had just started drafting this post, and WHOOOM Lakshmi has rained a whole lot more awards!

Well let me begin with a MeMe from Anudivya which goes like this ...
The rules of the MeMe are:* Pick up the nearest book* Open to page 123* Find the 5th sentence* Post the next three sentences* Tag 5 people and acknowledge the person who tagged you.

The nearest book turned out to be 'First Things Fast, A Handbook of Performance Analysis' by Allison Rosset. The 3 sentences on Page 123 starting from line 5, turned out be a set of profound questions that concern the Training Industry "What can be done to turn experiences with customers, clients, products and the literature into archives of lessons for their associates from other disciplines? What role can human resource leaders play in knowledge management? What Technology in the hands of human resources and training professionals has much to offer here?"....

Hee Hee ...sorry it was not more generic! I tried to cheat and found two more books, but with similar and more nerdy results, so I stuck with the first book!

Now for the awards.... Thanks Malar for sending us the Hardworking Food Blogger. I love your Tamil Haiku, but hated the massacared rabbit!!!

And then thanks Lakshmi for sending alllllllllllllllllllllllllll of these!!
I am following her example by passing all of these awards and the MeMe to:
Yosee - Jalan Jalan
Roshni - Not a Science Geek
Malar - Kitchen Tantra
Shreya - Indian Khana
PearlsofEast - Anyone can Cook
Rashmi - Delhi Belle
Purnima - Fantasy Cooking
Rajeshwari - Rak's Kitchen
Purva - Purva's Daawat
Cham - Spice Club
Anjali - Annaparabrahma
Sangeeth - Art of Indian Cooking
Suganya - Tasty Palates
Sukanya - ...and a little bit more...
Simran - Bombay Foodie
Pallavi - All Thingz Yummy
Nazarina - Giddy Gastronome
Sunshinemom - Tongue Ticklers

Bee - Forgive me my Nonsense
Karuna - Foodie by Nature

Teresa - Mexican American Border Cooking
Vibaas - Delectable Vegetarian Recipes
Jayashree - My experiments with Food
Uma - Essence of Andhra
Jayasree - Experiements in Kailas Kitchen
Sra - When my Soup Came Alive
Mandira - Ahar, pleasure & sustenance
Happy Cook - My Kitchen Treasures
Lubna - Kitchen Flavours
Srivalli - Cooking 4 All Seasons
Alka - Sindhi Rasoi
Deesha - Vegetable Platter
Robert Gilles - Shizouka Gourmet
DK - DK's Culinary Bazaar
Sagari - Indian Cooking
Aparna - My Diverse Kitchen
Divya - Dil Se
Ramya - Mane Adige
Andhra Flavours - For Spicy Lovers
Usha - Veg Inspirations
Priya - Priya's easy n tasty recipes
Mansi - Cool Ideas and Gadgets

I have many more to add to this list! Will save that for the next tag!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mor Koozhu (porridge) and Fun with 'ZH’

This is yet another dish which has to be spelt with a 'ZH' syllable. Many words of Tamizh (Tamil), when written in English are forced to use the syllable 'ZH', for want of a closer match to the pronunciation. Kozhambu, Kozhal Puttu, Vazhapazham… the list goes on. My fourteen year old grandson has a flair for languages. He wondered how readers could correctly pronounce the names of the dishes which had a 'ZH' in the spelling. He has made the notes given below for convenience and correct pronunciation!
The 'Z' or 'ZH' in the word is called as a PALATAL AND RETROFLEX consonant. To pronounce 'ZH' , the sound 'AA' is made after rolling the tongue backward (retroflex) and by pushing the tongue against the upper palate (palatal).
We had great fun when we tried to say ‘ZHwithout rolling the tongue backwards which resulted in just an ‘AA’ sound, rather than ‘ZH’! I am happy to write this note as it has been ‘tested and tried’ by us to everybody’s amusement and intrigue at home!
Now coming to MOR KOOZHU (say 'u' using a palatal retroflex!!), it is one of the very easy and quick recipes using rice flour as the main ingredient. My great grandmother who lived up to her 96th year enjoyed the dish, and it was often for tiffin at home. The gingili (sesame) oil used in the recipe is non-carcinogenic. It has a very good nutritional value, enhances HDL (good cholesterol) as well as has the property of reducing the LDL (bad cholesterol).
Gingili oil has a very important place in AYURVEDA (the Indian medical science). Gingili seeds and the oil extracted from it have been in use since 2000 years. Fresh gingili oil has the colour of honey and has a very pleasant aroma. The name ‘NALLA ENNAI’ in Tamil means ‘Good Oil’. Hence gingili oil can be used without any hesitation or reservation.
'MOR MILAGAI' used in the recipe are readily available green chillies, that are soaked in spiced curd, and then sun dried. These sun dried chillies are usually fried until crisp and used as a side dish. Indian Stores should stock this.

Rice flour – 2 cups
Sour curds – 1 1/2 cups
Salt – 1 ½ tsp
Gingili oil – ¼ cup.Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Black gram dal – 1 tsp
Bengal gram dal – 1 tsp
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Curry leaves -10
Red chillies – 4
Mor Milagai - 2
Freshly grated coconut – ½ tea cup
1. Mix salt, curd and rice flour, adding water to make a batter which is little more watery than the normal dosa batter consistency.
2. Heat oil in a kadai and add mustard seeds and asafoetida.
3. When the mustard splutters add the dals and roast till golden in colour.
4. Break and add the red chillies and the mor milagai.
5. When the chillies become crisp add the curry leaves.
6. Now add the curd and rice flour batter and keep stirring.
7. Continue stirring to avoid lumps till it becomes a thick ball and leaves the sides of the kadai.
8. Spread the Mor Koozhu on a deep plate, and sprinkle the freshly grated coconut on it.
9. Cut into Cubes or any other desired shape and savour with fried mor milagais.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Madulam Pachai Payaru Sundal or Pomegranate Green Gram Salad

This post goes to the POM Wonderful Content hosted by Jenn of the The Foodie Blogroll (weekly give away) and POM Wonderful ($5000).

Here is a simple recipe that contains two very delightful ingredients. Combining freshly sprouted green gram, and the ruby red pomegranate, make this dish not only a powerhouse of nutritional benefits, but also entices with visual appeal, and a lovely taste.
Whole green gram or payaru is used in the preparation of Sundal for various occasions. Sundal can be called a cooked salad, mainly prepared out of soaked or sprouted whole lentils. South Indian Meals prepared during weddings and other festivals always include two varieties of Sundals or Kosumaris. Kosumaris are similarly made of soaked lentils, but are not usually cooked.
Many caterers are innovative and they introduce variations in the traditional dishes which are appreciated by the connoisseurs. One such innovative dish that I tasted at a thread ceremony is Madulam (Pomegranate) Pachai Payaru (green gram) Sundal. It was a real treat to the eyes and palate.

Sprouted Green Gram Dal (whole mung beans) – 1 cup
Pomegranate peeled with membranes removed (aril) – 1 cup
Green chillies – 2
Curry leaves – a few
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Asafoetida – 1 pinch
Salt – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1 pinch
Lime juice – 1 tbsp
Vegetable Oil – 2 tsps
Fresh coconut slivers – 2 tbsps
Water for cooking - 2 cups
1. Prepare by soaking the whole green gram over night, or for 12- 14 hours.
2. Wash and drain the green gram, and cook it in 2 cups of water to make it soft. Don’t overcook it, as it spoils the texture and taste, and also destroys the nutrients! If you use more water its okay. However, I avoid it, as I don't like to drain the grains and throw away all the nutrients along with excess water!
3. Heat oil in a pan. Add asafoetida and mustard seeds.
4. When the mustard splutters, add chopped green chillies, curry leaves and turmeric powder.
5. Next add the cooked green gram and salt and sauté for a minute.
6. Add lime juice and the coconut slivers and blend.
7. Turn off heat.
8. When the Sundal becomes cool mix in the red pomegranate seeds.
This delicious and colorful sundal can be relished as a side dish , or as snack by itself.

This yummy vegan sundal also goes to Vegan Ventures, Round 2, at Suganya's Tasty Palettes blog.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Tondekai Curry - Ivy Gourd Curry

Numerous Tondekai (Ivy Gourd) creepers swayed in the gentle breeze from a fence which separated a narrow path which ran along our compound wall and the mango trees at the bottom of our garden. The abundant fruits which they produced were left to the birds which flocked our garden, and to us, their only competitors. We munched away the small watery vegetables as we played hide and seek or marakoti in the garden. The ones which escaped our attention, ripened into blood red coloured fruits, full of juice.
Tamil poets down the centuries, up to the modern ones have used this fruit – the kovai pazam – as a simile to describe the full red lips of the Nayakis or the heroines.
In those days, as a new bride, I was surprised to see my mother- in - law buy this vegetable along with the other vegetables in the market. I was even more surprised when I tasted them in our usual sambar and curry. After all it was delicious.
Recently I happened to read in the newspaper about the role played by this vegetable in controlling the blood sugar level in diabetics. The very next day the price of this vegetable soared up to new heights!!

Tondekai (Ivy Gourd) – 500 gms.
Cooking oil – 2 tbsps
Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
Sambar powder – 1 ½ tsp (Refer to podis)
Salt – 11/2 tsp
Curry leaves - a few

1. Wash and cut the tondekai lengthwise into thin slivers, or slice them into roundels.
2. Heat oil in a pan, and add the mustard seeds.
3. When the seeds splutter, add curry leaves and the tondekai.
4. Add sambar powder and salt and blend well.
5. Cover with a lid and cook over low flame, the vegetables releases enough water to cook it its own steam.
6. Keep opening the lid now and then to turn over the vegetable with a spatula.
7. When it is completely cooked, remove the lid and sauté for some more time till it gets roasted to an almost crisp texture.

Enjoy the crunchy crispy and spicy tondekai curry with rice or rotis.
For those who are diabetic, or simply health conscious, here is a method that’s uses just ½ tsp of oil! The ingredients are the same, except that amount of oil used is negligible!


1. Cook the tondekai in a pressure cooker. The water in the bottom of the pressure cooker is enough, and just a sprinkle in the vessel containing the tondaikai will do. Do not add more water, as you want the tondekai as dry a possible.
2.Next take ½ tsp oil and fry mustard seeds and curry leaves. Watch out, as it burns very quickly!
3. When the seasoning sputters, add the cooked tondekai, sambar powder and salt, and saute for few minutes, till the raw flavours of sambar powder disappear. Its now ready to serve!

By using a pressure cooker, besides preserving nutrients, you will also save a lot of time in cooking the tondekai.

This post goes to Sangeeth’s Eat Healthy Fight Diabetes event. You can read more details on how tondekai helps in controlling diabetes here.

Funny :-) I was googling away for the English name for Tondekai, when I discovered that Australia considers this a weed, and has even issued alerts! The main reason is that this grows abundantly, smothering other vegetation!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Announcing the 'Kitchen Treasure Hunt' Event!

This event is now closed. The round-up has been posted in two parts.
Part 1 - entries from non-bloggers.
Part 2 - entries from bloggers.


We invite you to participate in the Kitchen Treasure Hunt!

Isn't it but natural that all of us, who love cooking, also have an interest in cookware, kitchen accessories and gadgets? While shopping, we can't resist browsing the kitchen appliances section, or taking a quick look the crockery & cutlery shops. At fairs, and local farmer markets, crowds quickly gather around cooking gadget stalls to see how quickly onions, carrots and other vegetables get sliced, chopped, diced, and shred in a jiffy! At museums we seem drawn to the ancient urns, nut crackers and other early kitchen implements!

Today there are no limits to the evolution of kitchen gadgets and aids, from electric cookers, non-stick pans and even 'Ragi Mudde making’ machines'!!

While these innovations are exciting, it is always really interesting to look at some traditional cookware as well. If you've been reading our blog, many posts show some of the traditional vessels and equipment that were (and are) being used.

Recently we came across some very unusual uses of equipment as well. Did you know that your dishwasher can be used to cook?!!!! Take a look at this!!

Chitra Amma and I were chatting, and our curiosity and interest in looking at old and new cookware, and other kitchen treasures around the world led us to announce this KITCHEN TREASURE HUNT event!

What can be submitted?
We invite you to send us entries on any cooking / dining/ food storage utensils, kitchen implements, gadgets, and so on. They can be items you possess, or maybe you’ve seen it at your grandmother’s place, or perhaps during any of your travels. It can be from ANY COUNTRY OF ORIGIN.

- They can be traditional, or ethnic vessels.

- They can be new, but perhaps some uncommon innovations. What is common in one part of the globe, is not common another।- so feel free to send in your posts anyway! For example a lotta and dabara is so common in South India for drinking coffee & tea, its not so anywhere else! We did a browse for Japanese teacups, to cite as an example here, and were overwhelmed to find more varieties than we could imagine !!!

- They can be unusual use of equipment in cooking, like the diswasher salmon example above!

It is okay to send in posts on electrical appliances; however the idea is not to just land up with a collection of the latest toasters, refrigerators and ovens! If you think it is interesting for the world to know about, then do send it in!

At minimum your posts should include details about:
- Name of utensil/ appliance / gadget
- Country / Place of origin or where you got from!
- Photo/s or illustration.
- A Description of what it is used for.
Of course, you can make the post verrrrrrrrrry interesting by showing photos or even video of the gadgets in action if possible. Include any information you want to share about it – what is it made of? Any special maintenance required? How useful is it? What’s good? What’s not? What make it unusual? Any associated anecdotes, memories or incidents that you want to share are most welcome.

What do you need to do?
- Make a fresh and independent post on your blog. Please link back to this event in Chitra Amma's Kitchen. We’d happy if you used the logo, but its optional! We’ve provided three different colour schemes for you to choose from.

- Ensure that your entries and photographs are original, and do not violate any copyrights.

- Drop us a mail with a link to your post at or chitra(dot)ammas(dot)kitchen(dot)com, with the following details.
Your Name:
Name of your post:
URL / Link:
You need not send any details or photos, as we will directly pick it up from your post.

- You may send as many entries as you wish.
- In case you do not have a blog, you are still welcome to participate. You can simply send your entries to our e-mail address at or chitra(dash)ammas(dash)kitchen(dot)com.

- This event is open till 7th December '08, midnight, Sydney, Australia Time (so those in West actually get almost a day in addition). We will post a round up of all the entries within a few days after 7th December
- Feel free to contact us via mail or in the comments section with your questions if any.

So get started on the treasure hunt and take a fresh look at your favourite pots and pans, tongs, grinders, slicers, pasta makers, spoons, and chopsticks, coffee filters, bakeware! We are excited and eagerly look forward to your posts!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thair Vadai - Savoury Doughnuts in Curd

THAIR VADAI - Savoury doughnuts in curd

Those were the days when I never managed to get a hole in my vadai!! Since my family loved Thair Vadais, I prepared them quite often, but with the distinctive holes missing! However, it was compensated by the coarse chilly, coconut and ginger paste, green coriander dressing, and the spicy seasoning in a thick curd base.
As my babies grew up and were ready to taste Thair Vadais, I started making them with minimum spice and a smooth curd base. This became a hit with the rest of the family members as well, since then my thair vadais on popular demand remain the same - without holes, and without the heavy masala paste. These blobs in smooth curd, can easily be mistaken for some nice desert or sweet! I still remember the surprised look on the face of my daughters’ music teacher when he had the first bite of my Thair Vadai, expecting it be a sweet. But he did enjoy it after all and even requested for a second piece.

Black gram dal – 1 cup
Fresh ginger – 1” piece
Salt - 1tsp
Thick curd – 3 cups
Chilly powder – 1 pinch
Cumin powder – 1 pinch
Coriander seed powder – 1 pinch
Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp
Cumin seeds – ¼ tsp
Carrot - 1 (grated)
Sugar – ¼ tsp
Fresh coriander – a few
Oil - for frying
1. Soak the dal for half an hour.
2. Grind into a smooth batter adding little water at a time, along with ginger and 1/2tsp of salt, and leave it aside. The batter can be of idli batter consistency (this is more thin than what is traditionally made for vadais, but gives spongy vadais).
3. Add 1/2 tsp of salt and sugar to the thick curd and beat well to a smooth paste, without any lumps.
4. Take 2 tbsps of this curd and dilute it with 2 glasses of water, and keep the rest aside.
5. Heat oil and drop one spoon of batter into it and fry into a golden brown vadai.
Six to eight vadais can be fried at a time.
6. Drain the first batch of vadais, and immediately immerse them in the watery curd, prepared in step 4.
7. Now start frying the next batch.
8. Remove the first batch of vadais, which have now bloated, by absorbing the diluted curd, and arrange them in a shallow dish. This creates space for immersing the second batch of vadais.
9. Arrange all the fried and soaked vadais in the shallow dish.
10. Mix in the carrot gratings and chopped coriander into the thick curd that was set aside.
11. Sprinkle the chilly powder, cumin powder and coriander powder on top of the curd. Don't mix yet.
12. Heat 2 tsps of oil and add mustard seeds and cumin seeds.
13. When the seasoning splutters, pour it all over the spice powders on the curd cooking them. You can now mix well.
14. Now pour the seasoned curd mixture covering all over the vadais.
Enjoy these spongy luscious Thair Vadais with loved ones.