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May 30, 2012

நீர் மாங்காய் | RAW MANGO PICKLE

This is the easiest pickle which we can make in no time and enjoy with curd rice. Though it may take 2-3 days time for all the tastes to be incorporated , u can enjoy it instantly too..We can use the same method for making pickles with Vadu maangai ( Baby raw mango) , Nellikai ( gooseberry)  & even strawberries ..Try this , u’ll love its taste..

neer mangai


  1. Raw mango – 1 ( medium sized)
  2. Chilly powder – 1 tbsp or Red chillies (long) – 10 –12 nos ( grind coarse)
  3. Crystal salt – As needed ( table salt is also ok )
  4. Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  5. Hing/ Asafetida – 1/4 tsp
  6. **Roasted fenugreek seeds powder – 1/2 tsp
  7. Water – Just to immerse the mango pieces. ( around 2.5 cups)
To temper
  1. Gingely oil – 1 tbsp
  2. Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  3. Urad dal – 1/2 tsp

  • Cut the raw mango into bite sized pieces.
  • Take an air tight container or bottle in which u r going to store the pickle.
  • Add all the mango pieces into it.Then put the chilly powder/coarsely powdered red chillies, turmeric powder , Roasted fenugreek seeds powder ,Hing ,  required salt & water. As i mentioned the water level should be little above the immersed mango pieces.
  • Finally temper in gingely oil and preserve it ..
After the given soaking time, u’ll get a soft , juicy mango pieces ready to taste with curd rice !!

Tips :It stays good for long period when refrigerated. But please use a clean ladle every time to take the pickle. Also dont forget to stir the pickle everyday for all the powders to get mixed otherwise it will settle down and the taste wont get blended quickly. If u r patient enough, start using the pickle after 2-3 days of preparation. Winking smile.. Hing , roasted fenugreek seeds powder are the star ingredients. Please dont reduce the quantity or avoid it. They r the flavouring agents !!
If u wish to make the same with gooseberries, just saute the gooseberries in little oil before adding. This makes quick absorption of water into gooseberries.We call this as “Neer nellikai” ..

.** for roasted fenugreek seeds powder, dry roast fenugreek seeds in a kadai and powder them nicely.Store it in a box and use it for future. U can use it in idly sambhar , pickles and even for  coffee while making decoction.

I am glad in sending this entry for Serve It -Preserved guest hosted by Krithi @ Krithi's Kitchen

preserved 1

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May 23, 2012


Nowadays i see lots of posts like milkshakes, icecreams ,juices, lassi etc etc as summer specials. So i too tried a milkshake after watching a cookery show.Its a tasty , delicious , rich n healthy milkshake with the combination of fruits & vegetables. This is the first time i tried milkshake and we loved its taste.The next day i tried the same with mango alone for my guests. They too loved it..Do try it. I am sure u’ll like it a lot.
  • Ripe mango – 1 no (medium sized)
  • Carrots – 2 nos (Small)
  • Papaya – 1/4 cup ( I dint use it)
  • Dates – 2 nos
  • Sugar- 3-4 tsp
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Water – 1/2 – 1 cup
  • Condensed milk – 1 tbsp
  • Milk powder – 1 tsp
  • Elachi powder – 1/4 tsp (optional)
  • Crushed ice cubes – few

  • Slice the mangoes and remove the skin. Cut into pieces.
  • Cook the carrots in a pressure cooker for 1 whistle.
  • Cut the papaya into pieces removing the skin..
  • Take the blender and add all the fruits & veg pieces along with dates and grind with little water to make a pulp.
  • Next add the condensed milk, sugar and milk powder.
  • Run it twice. Finally add the milk and blend well.
  • Check for sweetness and add more sugar if necessary.
  • Refrigerate  & Serve it chilled Or u can add some ice cubes and serve immediately..

Health benefits
Mangoes are so delicious and tempt us to eat as much as possible. Mangoes are seasonal fruit and are mainly available during hot summer season. Mango is mostly cultivated in tropical regions. Scientific name of mango is Mangifera indica. There are many cultures around the world that use the fruit and leaves for ritual purposes and decorations.
This tasty fruit has lots of health benefits which many are not aware of..

Mangoes Health Benefits

Improves Digestion

Mangoes are very much beneficial for people suffering from acidity and its enzymes helps to relieve indigestion problems. The Bio-active elements such as Esters, Terpenes and Aldehydes present in mango aids to easy digestion.

Lowers Cholesterol

High level of soluble dietary fiber, Pectin and Vitamin C present in mangoes helps to lower serum cholesterol levels specifically Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) Cholesterol.

Improves Concentration and Memory Power

Mangoes are useful to children who lack concentration in studies as it contains Glutamine acid which is good to boost memory and keep cells active.

For Treating Acne

Mango helps in clearing clogged pores that causes acne. Just slice the mango into very thin pieces and keep it on your face for 10 to 15 min and then take bath or wash your face. Use warm water for washing your face.

High Iron for Women

It’s a known fact that Mango is rich in Iron. People who suffer from anemia can regularly take mango along with their dinner. Generally women after menopause become weak and they should take mangoes and other fruits rich in iron. Pregnant ladies can also take mangoes occasionally as their body needs iron and calcium during that time. Too much consumption of mangoes should be avoided during pregnancy. If you have generally taken lots of mangoes right from your childhood then you can consume mangoes when you are pregnant as it wont affect your body.

For Diabetes

Mango is slowly gaining new acclaim as diabetes fighter. Earlier there was a myth that people with diabetes should not eat mangoes but that’s not true. Not only the fruit the leaves also fight against diabetes. Before going to bed put some 10 or 15 mango leaves in warm water and close it with lid. Next day morning filter the water and drink it in empty stomach. Do this regularly.

Prevents Cancer and Heart diseases

High amount of antioxidants are present in mangoes. So mango when consumed regularly fights against cancer and other heart diseases. As mentioned earlier it also lowers cholesterol.
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May 14, 2012



This is my first post on baking recipes.Thanks a ton to my neighbour for teaching me this wonderful biscuit. I had tried this so many times. It never flopped.. Its a keeper. Usually nankhatai is made with maida & vanaspathi.First time i too tried only with maida & vanaspathi/ ghee. It tasted gr8 , jus melted in my mouth. But as we all know maida , vanaspathi  are not advisable to eat , i thought of using a combination of wheat , ragi flour , powdered oats and i replaced vanaspathi with cooking oil . It was excellent. I couldnt find any difference in the taste & texture. Do try this multigrain nankhatai , i am sure u’ll love this. Its a fool proof recipe. I’ve tried to give the exact measurements. Please adjust the amount of oil if necessary..Also u can c the picture of the biscuit i made with wheat flour and little maida.Try whichever u like. Smile

wheat flour nankhatai

Yields 20- 25 biscuits
  • Ragi flour – 1/2 cup
  • Wheat flour – 1/2 cup
  • Oats – 1/4 cup
  • Maida – 1/8 cup (just for binding) (half of 1/4 cup)
  • Plain Corn fakes – fistful (crush it and add ) (optional)
  • Sugar – 1/2 cup +  2 - 3 tbsp ( usually flour & sugar ratio is 2:1)
  • Elachi seeds – 2 nos
  • Cloves – 3 nos
  • Cooking oil – 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup
  • Baking powder – 1/2 tsp

  1. Powder the sugar in the mixer along with elachi seeds & cloves. Sieve and  set aside.biscuit step 1
  2. Powder the oats and mix all the flours together. Heat it in the oven for 1-2 mins.This is the most imp step . If u forget to roast the flours , u get a raw smell in the biscuit.
  3.     step2step4
  4. Now take the cooking oil in a wide bowl and add the baking powder.Whisk well with ur hands for 10 mins . step3
  5. Then add the sugar mixture and flour.Crush the cornflakes with ur hands into small pieces and add it to the flours before kneading.( This gives a crunchy taste here and there while eating. But this is optional.).. Mix it well and knead a soft , pliable, dough like chapathi dough. Dough should not be hard. It may crumble a little but no problem but if u knead well, it will be soft & it’ll be tight.step6
  6. Now take little dough and make small , flat balls out of it. If u have cookie cutters,shape it as u desire.step7step8
  7. Preheat the oven for 180c.Arrange all the nankhatai in the baking tray and bake it for 20-25 mins in 180c convection mode.
  8. The biscuits will raise slightly and the color turns ..
  9. Give a standing time of 10 mins inside the oven and take the biscuits out. Allow it to cool completely. Store in an air-tight box.
  10. .step9
          Delicious, mouth watering , flavourful biscuits are ready to serve with coffee/tea.It just melts in ur mouth.. !!

Points to be noted:
  • Roast the flours together in oven for 1- 2 mins in microwave mode. U’ll get a nice aroma. Mix well , break lumps if any and then add it to sugar.
  • Adjust the baking time as per ur oven. Mine took exactly 25 mins. Keep an eye after 15 mins of baking. Over baking may lead to hard , burnt biscuits. Also under baking  gives a raw , uncooked smell.It wont come out of the tray easily.It will break.In this condition , keep it for 5-10 more minutes. U’ll get it right.Little cracks may come , no probs..
  • If u want to add ghee or vanasapathi , just replace the cooking oil with it. The  quantity would be the same ( may be little less)
  • Usually in bakeries, they add vanaspathi/ Dalda.
  • While kneading the dough , it shouldn’t be too crumble in nature.Add more oil if necessary. U should be able to make the flat balls without cracks.Roll it tight and make balls.(The procedure is same as we make for gulab jamuns )
  • Don’t forget to add cloves.This gives the bakery flavour.
  • Adding cornflakes is purely optional .
  • I have added oats .So u may feel the biscuits are too soft. If u want , skip the oats and use wheat & ragi flour with little maida.
  • Store the biscuit in an air tight container.Its shelf life is 15 days..
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May 8, 2012


Southindian filter coffee

My mom used to make instant coffee with Bru. Its my favorite.I love it from my childhood days.I had a thought only Brahmins make filter coffee.So i used to call filter coffee as “ Brahmin’s coffee” / “Iyer coffee”..But i changed my thoughts after marriage when I tasted superb filter coffee from my MIL’s hands.She use Coffee day,Indus Coffee powder & sometimes Cothas too.Everything tastes good.I should say i am addicted to the taste & smell of it Winking smile.Sometimes i feel giddy after having a coffee.So my husband tells me to avoid coffee/tea.He scolds me whenever he sees a cup of coffee in my hand.Though i try to refrain from drinking coffee,i cannot do it.I drink minimum of one cup per day.I know most of u love coffee like me  Smile Do try this recipe with some tips i’ve given below. I am sure it helps .I have given “ How to make Bru instant coffee for beginners” from my mom. Please have a look at the end ..Also don't forget to read the tips section. I’ve given the explanation for “Degree coffee “ which i got from wikipedia. Its interesting Smile

filter coffee

Filter coffee

Filter coffee How to make south Indian filter coffee
Cuisine: Indian Category: Beverages Yields: Serves 1-2
Prep Time: 10 Minutes Cook Time: 5 Minutes Total Time: 15 Minutes

For decoction
  • Coffee powder – 3 tbsp
  • Roasted methi seeds powder – A big pinch (optional)
  • Sugar – 1/4 tsp
  • Water – As needed
To make coffee
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Sugar – 1.5 – 2 tsp
  • **Coffee filter picture is given at the end of this post**

  • Take the coffee filter's percolator ( ie. the part with perforations/holes)sprinkle little sugar at the beginning before adding coffee powder.This helps for faster filtration of decoction.Add the coffee powder & roasted methi powder.
coffee step by step picture
  • Press it gently with ur fingers and then place the strainer.Add hot water till half of the filter.Tap it with the lid and close it immediately Wait for 10-30 mins for the first thick decoction.Reserve the first decoction in a tumbler.U can make coffee with the first thick decoction if u want strong coffee ( this is called first degree coffee,kumbakonam degree coffee). If u wanna light or medium strong coffee,then add little more water to the filter and wait for some more time to get the second thin decoction.Mix the first & second decoctions and add as per ur taste. My MIL says this method gives the best tasting coffee ..
coffee step by step picture
  • To make coffee for one person, boil the milk and add 1.5 – 2tsp of sugar to one cup of milk.Then add the decoction as per ur taste and swish it OR add sugar and decoction in the bottom of tumbler and add milk.It will come up with a nice color. Serve it frothy !!
  • Piping hot frothy filter coffee is ready to enjoy with ur favorite snacks !! We usually serve in traditional “Davarah- tumbler” which u can c in the picture ..
coffee step by step picture
Enjoy !

Some interesting information and my notes

  • For methi powder : In a kadai,dry roast a fistful of fenugreek seeds and powder it in mixie.Add this powder to the coffee powder while making decoction.This gives additional bitterness & flavor.Its healthy too. Diabetes patients can give this a try. But its completely optional for others...
  • I have used “Coffee day coffee powder “ with chicory.If u use INDUS or COTHAS or COFFEE DAY coffee powder without chicory add 2 tbsp instead of 1 tbsp..U can make 3 cups of coffee with the coffee powder quantity i’ve mentioned.
  • I have used small size filter. If u use bigger ones,increase the quantity of coffee powder twice or thrice. Please don’t use the same quantity for big filters. f u have left over decoction u can keep it in refrigerator and use it the next day.But Please avoid keeping decoction for 3-4 days.It may become a poison.
  • If u feel the decoction is brewed very slowly,tap it once on the umbrella like strainer or show the filter over the flame for few secs before adding coffee powder.I’ve mentioned to add sugar before adding coffee powder This is also for quicker brewing..
  • A term often heard for high-quality coffee is degree coffee. Milk certified as pure with a lactometer was called degree milk owing to a mistaken association with the thermometer. Coffee prepared with degree milk became known as degree coffee..
  • Another explanation for degree coffee is that chicory beans were used to make the coffee. The South Indian pronunciation of chickory became chigory then digory and finally degree. :)
  • Yet another explanation is that, when coffee is decocted for the first time, it is called as the first degree or simply as the "Degree Coffee". This has the strongest flavour and the necessary strength to mix with milk without watering down the taste. In less affluent households, in earlier days, coffee was decocted for a second or third time from the same initial load; this became the second degree coffee and naturally, is not as strong. Affluent households drank first degree or the famous "Degree Coffee" only.
  • Interestingly, there is a Kannada name for coffee "Boondh Bisneeru". "Bisneeru" sounds a great deal like "bisi neeru," or "hot water," thus leading to speculation that the terms are connected. Although not used currently, this was used by ladies two generations ago. The Srilankan Tamil name for coffee is "Kottai Vadineer".
  • For cleaning the filter , drop the bottom part in hot water for few mins. Also pierce the holes with a needle to clean it.
  • In Hotels , they used to add hot water till half of the filter and after it drips down,they again add hot water for half filter.This way helps to extract the full essence of coffee powder and also the coffee tastes gr8. Also they keep heating the milk using double boiling technique with which milk is heated without burnt smell.This also matters for a good coffee :)

  • Here is the picture of coffee filter with its parts

    Coffee filter and its parts

    You'll need a traditional FILTER which is made of 4 parts.
    1. The lid that comes on top of the percolator.
    2. The percolator, you can also see the base is punched with holes
    3. Strainer, this looks like an umbrella .
    4. Collector, The fourth part forms the base which collects the strained decoction.


    My MIL says making instant coffee is also an art. She says , the sugar should be just rite. Sometimes it may become too bitter or too sweet to taste.She also says my mom makes good instant coffee. So i got this ratio of sugar & coffee powder from my mom , tried it and posted for beginners.. Experts , please excuse me Winking smile
    • Boiled milk – 1 cup ( 200 ml )
    • Bru instant  powder– 1/2 tsp ( Add 1/4 tsp + 1/8 tsp , that would be enough . if u want strong coffee , add 1/4tsp more.)
    • Sugar – 1-1.5 tsp
    • Water – Add very little( say some 1/8 cup) ( If milk is too thick. My mom said milk shouldn’t be too thick for good coffee..)
    • Boil the milk  adding water and take one cup of it. Add sugar,coffee powder and froth it.Check for taste and add more coffee powder for strength and color if necessary.I love coffee to be mild,so i add very less coffee powder. Please adjust as per ur taste.Frothy , hot instant bru coffee is ready to enjoy !!

    ** Please don’t add more sugar for the mentioned amount of Bru because u wont get the bitter taste and sweetness would be more.For 3 people , u can add 1 tsp of coffee powder.
                               bru  coffee_thumb[3]
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