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November 25, 2009


I tried this thogayal from a cookbook. A very tasty thogayal that goes well with plain rice topped with sesame oil.
chow chow thogayal

  • Chayote / Chow chow – 1 no( medium size)
  • Tamarind – Small gooseberry size
  • Red chilly – 3-4 nos
  • Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Channa dal – 1 tsp
  • Hing / Asafetida – 1 pinch.
  • Oil – 1 tbsp
  • Salt & water – As needed.
Method :
  • Heat a kadai with a tbsp of oil and add red chilly, urad , channa dal and hing.
  • Roast till the dals turn golden brown.Set aside.
  • Peel off the skin of chayote and chop finely.Saute and cook till soft.
  • Let it cool down and then grind everything with tamarind ,salt and water.
  • Serve with plain rice & sesame oil..
 chow chow thogayal 1


SAYOTE, CHAYOTE in English or known as Sechium Edule- an edible plant just like melons, cucumbers and squash.
Chayote- pronounced roughly as “chy-O-tay” ..
* Does not need to be peeled
* Can be eaten raw in salad
* It can be boiled
* It can be stuffed
* It can be mashed
* It can be baked
* It can be fried or pickled
* Both the fruit (vegetable) and the seed are rich in amino acids and vitamin C
Uses/ Benefits:
* The leaves and fruit have diuretic, cardiovascular and anti-inflammatory properties.
* Tea made from the leaves has been used in the treatment of arteriosclerosis and hypertension and to dissolve kidney stones.
The chayote (pronounced chy-O-tay) is a member of the gourd family and is a variety of tropical squash. It was originally cultivated as a dietary staple in Central America by the Mayan and Aztec civilizations. Chayote has a mild taste, similar to a cucumber or zucchini. It is often sold in stores under different names including mirliton, vegetable pear, sapote, huisquil, mango squash, pear squash, custard marrow, pipinella, cho cho, xu-xu, fut shau kua, ngow-lai choi, tsai hsio li, hayato uri, and tao tah. Currently, chayote is popularly grown in Costa Rica and Mexico. It is also grown in the United States in California and Florida.
Although chayote can be purchased year round it is most commonly available during the months of September through May. Additionally, it can be found in many ethnic grocery stores such as Latin American, Asian, and Indian. It is also beginning to appear in many well-known supermarkets as consumers become aware of it cooking diversity as well as its health benefits. For example, chayote provides a good source of vitamin C. While the chayote gourd itself is most commonly sold in stores, occasionally the gourd will be sold along with the vines on which it was grown. The tips of these vines can be eaten as well, and are used to make a salad.
You can identify a chayote by its resemblance to a large pear. Additionally, its skin is colored creamy-white or light green. Although it usually has a smooth skin, some chayotes may have prickles on them. Chayotes can weigh anywhere from eight ounces to five pounds. They also range in length from three to eight inches. Typically, the smaller chayotes are what you will find at a market. Besides being high in vitamin C, the chayote is low in calories (50 calories per one medium chayote of approximately 203 grams), low in sodium, contains no cholesterol, and is a good source of fiber. The chayote is also versatile to cook with because it can be eaten raw, used in salads, or it can be fried, baked, broiled, sautéed, steamed, mashed, or microwaved. It can also be used as an ingredient in soups and stews.
When purchasing a chayote, select only those that are firm to the touch and have little or no surface marks on them. After purchasing the chayote, you can store it for up to seven days in your home, before using it, as long as you keep the chayote refrigerated. Note that when using the chayote, the whole chayote is edible, including the skin and soft seed inside. You also do not need to peel the chayote's skin before using it.
Some typical uses for chayote include sautéing small chayote chunks in onions and fresh herbs or in broth and a little oil and serving it as a side dish. You can also stuff the chayote with a mixture of ground meat and bake it in the oven as a main dish. Many people also like to add marinated, cooked chayote to a salad comprised of tomatoes, peppers, and onions. Because chayote has a mild flavor, it can be used in a variety of recipes.
The increase usage of chayote in the United States has proved that this gourd is gaining in cooking popularity. Additionally, the chayote will continue to be a healthy staple to the diet of many international consumers.
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November 20, 2009


I don’t remember the source for this recipe but its really an easy to make,delicious rice variety.I usually prepare this for my husband’s lunch box .Tastes great with simple onion raita..So here we go ,

Veg pulao 1

Ingredients :
  • Basmati rice – 1/2 cup
  • Water –  1 cup (Little less than 1 cup for fluffy rice)
  • Carrot , beans , peas and potato – 1 cup (chopped )
  • Green chilly - 2 nos (slit cut )
  • Ginger – 1 inch size (Chopped finely )
  • Garlic – 5 flakes( –do-) OR use ginger. garlic paste - 1 tsp
  • Big onion –1 no (-do-)
  • Cinnamon – a small stick
  • Cloves – 2 nos
  • Cardamom – 1 no
  • Bay leaf – A small leaf
  • Jeera – 1/4 tsp (optional)
  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Ghee – 2 tsp 
  • Roasted cashew – to garnish
Method :
  • Wash and chop all the veggies and set aside.
  • Wash and soak the rice in required water.(i soaked for 30 mins)Do not drain the water.
  • In a broad kadai , add oil , jeera and the spices in the same order.
  • Add the ginger , garlic pieces ..saute well and then add the finely chopped onions.Saute till it becomes transparent.
  • Finally add the chopped vegetables and the required salt.
  • Mix well and add the rice with soaked water.(the water should be 1 cup )
  • Transfer everything into a cooker and add 2 tsp of ghee to it.
  • Cover and Cook for 1 whistle.
Serve hot with raita !!

  • Beans are low in fat and offer an excellent source of protein, fiber, and complex carbohydrates.
  • They are also a very good source of folic acid and
  • They provide significant amounts of iron, phosphorus, magnesium, manganese, and potassium.
  • The major health benefit of common beans is their ability to lower cholesterol due to their rich source of fiber. 
  • Studies have shown that the high fiber contained in beans
    prevents blood sugar levels form rising too rapidly after a meal.  This makes beans an especially good choice for individuals with diabetes, insulin resistance, or hypoglycemia. 
  • Common beans promote heart health due to their fiber, antioxidants, folic acid, vitamin B6 and magnesium.
  • Research has indicated that beans are also protective against cancer.
  1. Of all the commonly consumed vegetables, carrots provide the highest amount of provitamin A carotenes. 
  2. Carrots also offer an excellent source of fiber, vitamin K, and biotin. 
  3. They are a good source of vitamins B6 and C, potassium, and thiamine. 
  4. Carrots contain a large amount of antioxidant compounds which help to protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer.
  5. The high intake of carotene has been linked with a 
    20 percent decrease in postmenopausal breast cancer and up to a 50 percent decrease in the cancers of the cervix, bladder, colon, prostate, larynx, and esophagus.
  6. Extensive studies have shown that a diet that includes at least one carrot per day could cut the rate
    of lung cancer in half. 
  7. Carrots are also effective in promoting good vision, especially night vision. 
  8. Beta-carotene provides protection against macular degeneration and the development of senile cataracts - which is the leading cause of blindness in the elderly .
  • When your mom told you to eat your peas, she knew what she was talking about. Peas flaunt twice the protein of most vegetables, so they're the ideal substitute for fattier protein fare, providing an excellent strategy for controlling your fat intake.
  • Green peas, like dried peas, are legumes, except they're eaten before they mature. As with all legumes, they're chock-full of nutrients and low in calories.
  • Their fiber, mostly insoluble, aids intestinal motility and may help lower cholesterol. Of the myriad nutrients peas provide, iron is particularly important since it's hard to find non-animal foods with much of this blood-building nutrient.
  • Snow peas and other edible-podded peas don't contain the same amount of protein or nutrients green peas do. But they are rich in iron and vitamin C, which help maintain your immune system. Peas have lutein, the carotenoid with a proven record of helping to reduce the risk of age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.
Basically , all fruits and vegetables offer outstanding health benefits.  Nutritional research shows that each one contains its own set of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other
important nutrients.  To get the maximum health benefits, experts recommend eating a variety of fruits and vegetables along with other natural foods.



kadai bhendi
Thank u so much srikar for this yummy , delicious kadai okra ..I had with plain rice and it was very nice .Smile
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November 13, 2009


I learnt this from my MIL..She makes the best thogayals and podis . We have this podi with idli/ dosa and  plain rice topped with sesame oil..

curry leaves podi

Ingredients :
  • Curry leaves – 1 bunch (1 cup)
  • Red chilly – 2-3 nos
  • Pepper – 1 tsp
  • Urad dal (round) – 2 tbsp ( or u can add 1 tbsp of urad and  1 tbsp of channa dal )
  • Hing / Asafetida – 2 pinches
  • Salt – to taste
Method :
  • Heat a kadai with a tbsp of oil and add the red chilly, urad dal, pepper corns and hing.
  • Roast till the dal changes to golden brown color.
  • Transfer the roasted ingredients to a plate.switch off the flame.
  • In the same hot kadai , add the curry leaves and toss it well.(fire off!!)
  • Leave it for sometime.. the curry leaves become crispy.
  • Finally grind everything to a fine /a bit coarse powder by adding the required salt. ( i always grind a bit coarse)
Serve with idly / dosa or mix with plain rice by adding sesame oil..


Curry leaves are extremely popular in various culinary recipes in the Indian subcontinent at acts flavor and aroma to vegetables and curries.
Crash curry leaves are shiny and dark green in color and have a distinctive aroma and taste to it. Curry leaves recipe involved the use of fresh curry is as well as powdered curry leaves to enhance the flavor of salads, chutneys and spices. The health benefits of curry leaves include improved functioning of the small intestine and stomach, improved quality of digestive juices during digestion, and increased salivary secretion.

Most Indian dishes are devoid without the addition of curry leaves and hence any form of curry substitute in its place does not match to the real thing. Indians usually require fresh curry leaves in their diet.
Curry leaves health benefits also include relief from kidney pain, arresting the premature graying of hair, treatment of minor superficial skin injuries, and managing diabetes.
The bark and root of the curry leaves plant is believed to hold medicinal properties as some herbalists claim that the powdered form of the bark and root can be used for a variety of disorders including treating diabetes; however further research is needed to verify these claims and hence diabetes patients must not rely solely on curry leaves as a form of treatment. A liberal consumption of curry leaves is believed to be beneficial in nourishing the roots of the hair thus preventing further hair loss. Some communities in the Indian subcontinent steep fresh curry leaves in hot coconut oil and use it as a medium for nourishing the hair roots. It is believed that by doing so, premature graying of hair can be stopped.
The herb also possesses the qualities of the herbal tonic and can be consumed along with honey of buttermilk in strengthening the functions of the digestive system. As a treatment for diarrhea and dysentery, tender green curry leaves to work effectively when with honey. The root and the bark of the curry leaves tree is also used by some herbalists in treating bilious vomiting. As an external application curry leaves can be used as a poultice to treat skin eruptions and minor skin infections.

The fresh juice of curry leaves are also used as an eye treatment for certain eye disorders, especially in arresting the development of cataract.
Traditional practitioners suffuse the fresh extract of curry leaves in the eyes of patients who suffer from bad eyesight thus helping them to prevent early development of eye disorders.  The fruit of the curry leaves tree are believed to be edible and also possess medicinal properties when used as an external application for insect bites and stings of poisonous creatures. The juice of the fruits is blended with an equal quantity of lemon juice and is used to apply on the bites for instant and immediate relief.

tomato peas gravy from valar
I prepared this gravy for chapatti .It was very tasty and easy to prepare too..I am sure it’ll taste great with idly / dosa too..So planning to prepare the same for idli / dosa..Thanks a lot valar..
I should have posted these lovable awards in my previous post itself .But I was in a hurry to post the recipe..So i couldn’t do it.These awards were given to me by our dear blogger ASHKUKU..Thanks a ton dearie.I really felt elated and excited  .I am  honored and touched by ur awards..
AsraAward award2 I_love_reading_your_blog HugMugAward
InspirationAward kreativblogger
lovely_blog_award11 yumpp
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November 9, 2009


I learnt this from my neighbor.Yesterday when i was chatting with her , she told me about this rice . I tried on the same day .It was very tasty .I made it with left over rice i made for lunch.Its not necessary tat the rice should be separate or grainy..Simple ingredients and can be made in jiffy.

garlic rice 1

Ingredients :
  • Rice – 1/2 cup
  • Garlic  bulbs -  2 nos (Peel the skin and crush the whole ones just with a ladle)
  • Small Onions – 10 nos (finely chopped ) ( replace with 1 big onion, finely chopped)
  • Green chilly – 2 nos (slit cut)
  • Salt – as needed.
  • Coconut oil or ghee - 1 tbsp
To temper:
  • Cooking oil – 2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Red chilly – 1 no (pinched into two)
  • Curry leaves – a few.
Method :
  • Pressure cook the rice and set aside.
  • In a kadai , add 2 tbsp of oil and temper with mustard , urad dal and red chilly and curry leaves.
  • Then add the crushed garlic , small onions, green chillies and saute till garlic turne golden brown.
  • Finally add everything to the cooked rice and mix well by adding salt.
  • Add a tbsp of coconut oil / ghee and serve hot !!
No side dish is required.If desired ,have with pickle..

garlic rice 2


Garlic has long been considered a herbal "wonder drug", with a reputation in folklore for preventing everything from the common cold and flu to the Plague! It has been used extensively in herbal medicine (phytotherapy, sometimes spelt phitotherapy). Raw garlic is used by some to treat the symptoms of acne and there is some evidence that it can assist in managing high cholesterol levels. It can even be effective as a natural mosquito repellent.
In general, a stronger tasting clove of garlic has more sulphur content and hence more medicinal value it's likely to have. Some people have suggested that organically grown garlic tends towards a higher sulphur level and hence greater benefit to health. In my experience it certainly tastes better so I buy organic whenever possible whether or not it's best for my health.
Some people prefer to take garlic supplements. These pills and capsules have the advantage of avoiding garlic breath.
Modern science has shown that garlic is a powerful natural antibiotic, albeit broad-spectrum rather than targeted. The body does not appear to build up resistance to the garlic, so its positive health benefits continue over time.
Healthy Antioxidant
Studies (2) have shown that garlic - especially aged garlic - can have a powerful antioxidant effect. Antioxidants can help to protect the body against damaging "free radicals".
Raw garlic is very strong, so eating too much could produce problems, for example irritation of or even damage to the digestive tract.
There are a few people who are allergic to garlic. Symptoms of garlic allergy include skin rash, temperature and headaches. Also, garlic could potentially disrupt anti-coagulants, so it's best avoided before surgery. As with any medicine, always check with your doctor first and tell your doctor if you are using it.


Mor  kuzhambu & Raw banana kootu from jeyshri’s kitchen:

Simple to prepare and delicious dishes from jeyshri’s kitchen.Thanks dear , it was a nice combo.We relished it..
mor kulambu & raw banana kootu from Jayshree
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November 2, 2009

Sponge Dosa Recipe - Fermentation Method

I learnt this from my neighbor.Whenever i run short of idli rice / Puzhungal arisi , I make this dosa.The ingredients and the method are a bit different from the usual poha dosa. Usually its batter is made using buttermilk and no fermentation is needed or may use cooked rice and prepare.But i ferment the batter at least for 8 hours.So u can prepare this dosa only by the next day.
Try this , i am sure u will like this.

sponge dosa
Ingredients :
  • Raw rice – 1 cup
  • Poha / Aval – 1/2 cup(heaped)
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1.5 tsp
  • Salt & water – As needed.
Method :
  • Wash and soak the rice , poha and methi seeds together for 2 hrs.
  • Grind it to make a smooth batter by adding salt & water.
  • U can grind it using mixie too.Use ice cold water if using mixie
  • Keep the batter for 8 – 10 hrs to ferment.
  • The next day , mix the batter well and make dosas.
  • U all know , this dosa is small in size .So do not spread the batter on the tawa.Make it a small circle.
  • Apply oil around the dosa if desired.
  • Then cover cook and don’t flip the dosa.
Serve hot with Coconut or Tomato chutney !!
I served with tomato–mint chutney ..

poha dosa 2


Aval (also called poha, chivda or pohe)is a popular Indian breakfast dish made with rice flakes. It is also served as evening snacks.
Aval, also called beaten rice is a convenience food . It is made from rice which is beaten or pressed / flattened. It cooks very fast. It can also be eaten as it is by mixing with milk and sugar(like cornflakes) or with curd(plain yogurt)and salt or sugar , as  u prefer.
Poha is rich in iron .
Tried & Tasted :
Dal spinach from Ashkuku’s blog :
dal spinach
A  very healthy , simple to cook and tasty gravy . We just loved it. I was searching some gravies with palak which i dont use in my regular cooking.I came across this recipe in her blog and i immediately bookmarked it.I  packed this for my hubby’s lunch and he called from office particularly to praise me.All the credits comes to u  AshSmile

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