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November 28, 2011



I make this payasam every friday for pooja. This is the simplest & delicious payasam that can be made in 10-15 minutes.


  • Thick rice flakes / poha/ Aval - 1/4 cup
  • Powdered jaggery - 1/4 cup ( + 2 tbsp - optional)
  • Milk/coconut milk - 1/4 cup
  • Cardamom seeds - 2 nos (powdered)
  • Ghee - 1 tsp
  • Water - As  reqd (around 2.5 cups)
  • Roasted Cashews - a few
For additional flavour roast in a tsp of ghee & add the following
  • Cloves /Krambu- 2 nos
  • Roasted Nutmeg powder/ Jathikkai - A pinch
  • Edible camphor / Pachai karpooram - a pinch


  • Heat a kadai with a tbsp of ghee and roast the cashews.Set aside..
  • In the same kadai, roast the aval and cardamom together for 3-4 mins. Aval becomes crispy and turns little brown.Allow it to cool. Powder it nicely..
  • Now take the water in a bowl and add the powdered aval.Mix welll , there should be no lumps.Cover and cook for 5 mins. Stir in between and check the water level.Add more water if needed.It thickens after few minutes.
  • Now add the powdered jaggery and mix well.Allow it to boil for 5-10 mins.  Finally add the roasted cashews. Add the items given under "flavour" if necessary. Switch off the flame and add 1/4 cup of boiled  milk or coconut milk..Serve hot or cold !!

    1. U can add coconut milk for richness. But it should be added at the end before switching off the flame.
    2. If u feel sweetness is more, add little boiled milk.
    3. When u add milk along with jaggery , payasam gives a curdled look.To avoid this, add milk only at the end.
    4. If u want, u can replace jaggery with sugar.
    5. Here i've powdered the aval. If u wish, u can roast the aval and cook as it is. It will take little more time to cook.

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November 22, 2011


I made this upma for dinner yesterday. Its a simple one pot meal. It tastes best with sambhar.I add equal amount of rice and green gram dal in this upma. So its very filling and rich in protein. We wanted little mushy . So i added more water.But if u add the quantity of water given below , u'll get the rice grains separate and fluffy..Please use the water according to ur choice.
green gram upma

  • Steamed rice or Raw rice - 1/2 cup
  • Green gram / Pacha payaru - 1/2 cup
  • Water - 1 - 1.25 cups
  • Salt - As needed
To temper
  • Cooking oil - 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal - 1/2 tsp
  • Channa dal - 1/2tsp
  • Green chilly - 2 no (slit into two)
  • Curry leaves - A few
  • Ginger- 1 inch (cut into pieces)
  • Hing / Asafetida - 3-4 generous pinches

  • Heat a kadai and dry roast the rice till it slightly puffs up.
  • In the same kadai add a tsp of oil and roast the green gram until nice aroma arises.It may take 5-8 mins.
  • Now heat 1 tbsp of oil and temper the items given above in the same order.
  • Then add the roasted rice and dal. Add the required water and salt .Transfer everything into a pressure cooker.
  • Add a drop of oil and a pinch of hing .Pressure cook for one whistle.
Delicious upma is ready to serve. I served with AAB sambhar.

The green gram is one of the most wholesome among pulses in India. It is free from the heaviness and tendency to flatulence, which is associated with other pulses.

The green gram forms a very nutritious article of diet. It is consumed in the form of whole dried seeds and in the form of dal prepared by splitting the seeds in a mill. The sprouted mung beans are a highly nutritious food. The beans are soaked overnight, drained and placed in containers in a dark room. They are sprinkled with water every few hours and the sprouts are ready in about three days. One pound of dry beans gives six to eight pounds of sprouts. There is an amazing increase in nutrients in sprouted beans when compared to their dried embryo.

Natural Benefits and Curative Properties of Green Gram.

Cooked dal of green gram is a very digestive food for invalid and sick persons. Its regular use during childhood, pregnancy and lactation helps one to get the required nutrition and promote health. It is an aperient i.e. a laxative. when given in large quantities. The soup made from it is the best article of diet after recovery from acute illness.
Applied in the form of powder. it is said to be useful in relieving the heat or burning of the eyes. A poultice of this powder is useful for checking secretion of milk and reducing distention of the mammary glands
  • Fevers :- Water in which green grams arc soaked is an excellent medicine during cholera, measles, chicken-pox, small-pox, typhoid and all types of fevers. It can be given in a small quantity even during acute phase of appendicitis.
  • Beauty-Aid :- Flour of the green gram is an excellent detergent and can be used as a substitute for soap. It removes the dirt and does not cause any skin irritation. Its application over the face bleaches the color and gives good complexion. Black gram flour is also used for washing the hair with green gram paste to lengthen hair and prevent dandruff.

Uses of Green Gram

The dried beans are boiled and are eaten whole or after splitting into dhal. They are parched and ground into flour after removal of the seed-coat. This flour is used in various Indian and Chinese dishes. The green pods are eaten as a vegetable. In China and the United States it is used for bean sprouts.

Green Gram (Whole dried Seeds)*

Food Value
Minerals and Vitamins
Moisture - 10.4% Calcium - 124 mg
Protein - 24.0% Phosphorus - 326 mg
Fat - 1.3% Iron - 7.3mg
Fibre - 4.1% Small amount of Vitamin B Complex
Minerals - 3.5% Carbohydrates - 56.7% Calorific Value - 334
*Values per 100 gm's edible portion
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November 15, 2011


I love chops made with vazhakkai and senaikizhangu ( Elephant yam ).Recently I bought small sized black colored pidi karunai kizhangu from my native.I heard its a good remedy for piles. We usually make vatral kulambu by adding this kizhangu. This time i tried chops by searching the recipe.I got from a discussion forum hub. It was very nice and aromatic with the perfect blend of spices. The original recipe was named as "Karunai kizhangu kola " and it was told to deep fry. But i followed the same recipe and made in dosa tawa instead of deep frying. I would say this recipe is apt for making with elephant yam and raw banana. My doter loved it very much.We enjoyed with sambhar  and curd rice !!
                                                              yam fry
  • Pidi karunai - 4 nos
  • Pottukadalai/ Fried gram dal/ Dalia - 3 tbsp
  • Tamarind paste - 1/2 tbsp
  • Turmeric powder - A pinch
  • Cloves - 2 nos
  • Cinnamon - 1 inch piece
  • Fennel seeds/ Soambu - 1 tsp
  • Garlic cloves - 4 nos
  • Red chillies - 5 - 7 nos
  • Shredded coconut - 1 tbsp
  • Ginger - 1 small piece
  • Salt & water - As needed.
  • Lime juice - Optional
  • Coriander leaves - To  garnish.

  1. Wash & soak the kizhangu in abundant water for sometime to remove all the mud.
  2. Pressure cook in high flame for 1 whistle.It should be half done.(Skin should be hard to touch)
  3. Now grind all the items given above adding required salt & water to make a smooth paste.
  4. Remove the skin of the kizhangu and chop it round.
  5. Now mix the paste ans marinate for sometime. The  kizhangu should be fully coated with the paste.
  6. Now heat the dosa tawa and sprinkle some oil. Cover Cook the marinated pieces for sometime.Keep the flame low for even cooking. flip the pieces to cook the other side and do the same.
  7. I Wanted a brown layer to be formed so i kept for a longer time.
  8. Finally garnish with coriander leaves and add lime juice if necessary.
  9. Karunai kizhangu Chops is ready !!

  • If u want to try kolas , just cook the kizhangu well till it mashes.Mash it with ur hands and add the paste.Mix well. Add finely chopped onions and coriander leaves . Make small balls and deep fry them in batches.
  • If u wish to try the same with senai / elephant yam , add little more tamarind paste by avoid the irritation in tongue.Add less tamarind paste to make the same with raw banana.
 I am glad in sending this recipe to priya's event..

These tender and tropical perennials grow up to a height of 12-18inches (around 30-45cm) in a spacing of 24-36inches (around 60-90cm). The leaves are around 50 cm in length and consist of many oval leaflets. These plants bloom around spring producing mauve or magenta colored flowers with fragrance. 3-4 years are generally required for the corms to be harvested. These evergreen plants can be grown in container as well if the soil is acidic. Elephant yam is an edible tuber. It is one of the oldest plants known to provide food. It is so called because of its huge size and resemblance with the elephant foot. It is widely consumed as a food crop, usually boiled or baked.
Buying tips
It is preferred to buy elephant yam from the markets where it is available is a fresh condition. It is preferable to wear gloves while handling the elephant yam as the sap of these plants causes skin irritation.
Elephant Foot Yam 300x200 Know about Karunai Kilangu (Elephant Foot Yam)
Culinary usage
Karunai Kilangu (elephant foot yam) can be consumed in many ways safely only after removal of its toxic materials. In scarcity of different staple foods, yam is used. So it is also sometimes referred to as a ‘famine food’.  Before cooking, the wild forms must be soaked in water and boiled for a long time to remove bitterness. The outer brown skin of Karunai is thoroughly washed and removed. Then they are generally cut into small cubes. It can be boiled in clean water as well as with a pinch of turmeric in water. Delicious recipes are available for cooking elephant yam.
  1. Elephant yam can be cooked in tangy sauce.
  2. Using minimal oil and by shallow frying yam kabab can be made.
  3. Deep frying half boiled Karunai in red chilli and turmeric powder can make a nice side dish.
  4. Adding paste made of coconut, snuf and jeera to the deep fried Karunai, it can be roasted and served as a delicious dish.
  5. Boiled Karunai can be also consumed by mixing it with lemon-juice, mustard paste and salt. Green chillies can also be added to the preparation for enhancing its taste.
  6. Yum pulusu ia a dish made of elephant yam. It is made by cooking it in nice tangy and spicy tamarind sauce.
  7. Yam can also be eaten as a supplement of cereals.
Storage For planting purposes only the fully matured, cured and graded tubers are used for storage. Cool and well ventilated places are used for storing. Generally the tubers are stored in single layer. If there is insufficiency is storage space, then the tubers can be stored in two layers as well. But storing the tubers in a heap should be avoided.
In seed bank vaults, the dried and packed seeds are stored at a sub zero temperature. The seeds resemble a flat lens. The light brown, apical seeds of diameter 5mm have membranous wings which are usually 10mm long and about 7mm wide.
Medicinal values It has been proved that Karunai Kilangu (elephant foot yam) has many medical benefits as its root is highly stomachic, restorative, carminative and tonic.
  1. The cooling effect of Karunai Kilangu can be a cure for Hypertension.
  2. It is often use as a treatment for piles.
  3. Yam helps to reduce cholesterol levels in blood.
  4. It can even act as an anticoagulant.
  5. Elephant yam can be safely consumed by diabetic people.
  6. Karunai Kilangu helps to maintain the hormonal balance by increasing the estrogen level in women. It can relieve the women from pre-menstrual syndrome as well.
  7. Hemorrhoids patients are also prescribed to have elephant yam.
  8. Powerful antioxidant Vitamin C is present which delays aging.
  9. It is also provided as a medicine for treatment to patients suffering from acute rheumatism.
  10. Irregular bowel movements and constipation can also be cured with its intake.
  11. However, it should be borne in mind that elephant yam is a cooling food. Hence patients suffering from cold, sinus infection or asthma should avoid its intake.
Where to buy the vegetable in US This plant is grown mostly in tropical regions like Florida. Altamonte Springs, Brooksville, Cape Coral, Fernandina Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Gainesville, Lakeland, North Fort Myers, St. Augustine, Tampa, Winter Haven are the places in Florida where the plant grows. Clayton and Sacramento in California, Kenner in Louisiana, Portland in Oregon, Reynoldsville in Pennsylvania, Puyallup in Washington and Cabin Creek in West Virginia are also known for growing this plant.
Nutritional and dietary information Karunai Kilangu (elephant foot yam) has a rich nutritional profile.
It provides energy about 330KJ/100g (approximately).
Potassium, Phosphorous and Magnesium are the key minerals found in elephant yam. It also contains trace minerals like zinc, copper and selenium.
  1. It also contains Calcium. 50-56mg/100g of its contents is Calcium.
  2. Its 18-24% is carbohydrate content.
  3. About 0.8% is fibre.
  4. Its water content is about 72-79%
  5. 1.7-5.0% of its content is protein.
  6. It has omega-3 fatty acids.
Diosgenin, a molecular hormone which has potential anticancer effects, is found in yam.
  1. Elephant foot yam is high on vitamin B6 content.
  2. It also contains Vitamin C and Vitamin A.
From its wide medicinal benefits and nutritional profile we can hereby conclude that elephant yam is very potent source of nutrition. So its consumption will prove beneficial to health. It can also be consumed by people looking for weight reduction as it is low on fat content (0.2-0.4%).

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November 9, 2011


I really got bored of making thogayal, pachadi and poriyal with vazhaithandu.My husband hates to eat vazhaithandu just becoz it takes so much time to chew n eat ;). I heard drinking vazhaithandu juice in empty stomach is one of the healthiest way to include in our diet. Its a hassle free job too.Last month when i went to my native ,we tasted this juice in a famous restaurant. We loved it.It was mild in sweet and served chilled.We couldn't find out its the juice of vazhaithandu .I wanted to try the same at home.I tried sweet and salt versions. Both were excellent. I dint serve it cold , i made at room temperature.So its ur choice  !!



  • Plantain stem /Vazhaithandu - 1 /2 no (medium size)
  • Boiled Milk - 1/2 cup (adjust)
  • Sugar - 2 tbsp
  • Water- If necessary


vazhaithandu juice sweet


  • Remove the outer layer of vazhaithandu till core ( At this point u dont have layers to remove).
  • Cut into rings while removing the fibre simultaneously that comes between the rings .
  • Chop into small pieces .Grind with sugar and milk.Add more milk & sugar if necessary.
  • Strain in a double cloth filter.Pour in a serving glass.
  • Serve it chilled or at room temperature !!




  • Vazhaithandu - 1/2 no (medium size)
  • Sour curd - 2tbsp
  • Salt & water - As needed
  • Pepper powder - 2 pinches (optional)

Coriander leaves - To garnish


  • Repeat steps 1 and 2 given in the above version and cut the stem into pieces and immerse in buttermilk to avoid color change.
  • Grind the pieces along with curd and salt.
  • Add more water , whisk and strain in a double cloth filter.
  • Pour in a serving glass and  garnish with little coriander leaves
  • serve chill!!



Vazhaithandu juice salt


  1. Drinking vazhathandu juice alone doesnot help u to shed ur weight. U have to carry on the other things like diet .excercise etc.
  2. U can prepare the juice in another way .
  • Grind the Banana stem with salt , pepper powder and lime juice. Filter and enjoy !! Hope this method sounds easier.



A potassium rich food with high fiber content and it has many other amazing health benefits.

      Most people include banana in their daily diet, but very few have ever thought of including banana stem. The banana stem has many nutritive and health benefits. The stem is usually thrown away once the fruit is cut from the plant. So next time if you happen to find one, think of including it in your menu. Here are some good health reasons why banana stem must be part and parcel of your diet at least on occasions.

Banana stem is rich in fiber and helps weight loss.  Due to rich content, it helps body to feel full faster.  The intake of food gets reduced by including banana stem to diet.  It can be taken in the form of juice, but eating it as a whole provides more benefits. Including it once or twice a week can help people looking for ways to cut down extra pounds.

Like banana, banana stem is also rich in potassium and vitamin B6.  Vitamin B6 helps production of chemicals such as hemoglobin and insulin. Again, it improves the ability of body to fight against infection. Potassium helps effective functioning of muscles including cardiac muscles, prevents high blood pressure, helps nerve impulses and maintains fluid balance within the body.

It is a diuretic and helps detoxify the body. Some believe that banana stem can prevent and treat kidney stones. This is fact under study and the effectiveness has not been proven by the western world.

It can be taken as a laxative for constipation. Again, the rich fiber content prevents constipation. It cools the body. So overall, banana stem does wonders to our body.

How to include them in diet? Very tender ones can be used in salads and not so tender ones can be added to soups or as a steamed vegetable.

  Slicing banana stem for dishes might be hard work, but it provides unmatchable health benefits.Its a cooling agent to our body , so use it weekly twice is recommended.


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November 1, 2011


Nowadays i am using karisilankanni keerai in my cooking twice a week for health reasons. I make kootu and this chapathi.But i would say,we love this chapathi more than kootu ;) It is very easy to prepare.I make this for my hubby's lunch box. It stays soft and onion raita is the best accompaniment. I use the same method to prepare palak and other keerai chapathis.

                                                             keerai chapath



  • Karisalankanni leaves- 1 bunch
  • Wheat flour - 1 cup
  • Besan flour  - 1 tbsp
  • Sambhar powder - 1 tsp
  • Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
  • Curd - 1/5 cup ( adjust)
  • Olive oil - 1 tsp
  • Salt -as needed
  • water - As needed


  • Wash the leaves .Heat the kadai with a tsp of oil  and saute the leaves till it reduces to half in quantity.
  • Grind to make a smooth paste by adding little curd . Now in a bowl , take the wheat flour,besan flour , sambhar & garam masala powder,salt and water.Knead well to make a soft , pliable dough.
  • Roll to make thin chapathi and toast on a dosa tawa.
  • Serve hot with onion raita and pickle.

keerai chapath 1      


Karisalankanni (Eclipta prostrata) is the herb of choice in treating liver diseases. This herb grows in marshy areas throughout the year. It grows abundantly during the rainy season. There are two varieties of karisilankanni, one has yellow flowers and the other white. The yellow one is more potent.

Karisalankanni is most effective when eaten raw. It can also be dried in shade and powdered.

Medicinal properties

karisalankanni is also a specific remedy for jaundice. It has a great medicinal value in the treatment of hair. Karisalankanni is said to protect against night blindness and other eye diseases probably because of its high carotene content.

1. It is good for teeth, skin and hair.
2. It induces appetite.
3. It aids digestion and helps expel fecal matter from the large intestines.
4. It heals ulcers.
5. It cleans the liver and encourages secretion of bile.
6. It cures inflamed liver also called fatty liver.
7. It expels intestinal worms, cures coughs and asthma, and tones the body.
8. The yellow variety is said to be particularly good for the skin and eyes.

When ground to a paste and cooked as in karislankanni kootu, it is good for teeth, skin and hair. It induces appetite. It aids digestion and helps expel fecal matter from the large intestines. It heals ulcers. It cleans the liver and encourages secretion of bile. It cures inflamed liver also called fatty liver.
Adulterated food can jeopardise the liver. Also foods contaminated with chemicals can play havoc. All these on entering human body should to be expelled and the liver is strained beyond its limit. This results in sluggish liver, stomach upset and gastroenteritis. Even though we consume nutritive foods in plenty than the previous generations it doesn’t seem to strengthen our immune system. This is because of the loss of coordination between the liver, intestines and stomach. Adulterated food, contaminated water and polluted environment are the factors that are to be blamed for this state of affairs. There is a high risk of hypercholesterolemia, high blood pressure, cirrhosis, atherosclerosis and coronary thrombosis.

Karisalankanni comes to rescue in such cases. One ounce of karisalankanni juice (15 ml) and cow’s milk 20 ml (boiled and then brought down to the room temperature) are mixed and should be taken first thing in the morning. This regulates the blood pressure as well.

As karisalankanni starts working in the system, it sets right the liver and cures jaundice, fatty liver, splenomegaly, hemorrhoids, indigestion etc. Regular intake strengthens the inner organs.

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