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November 28, 2012


I have already posted a green chutney similar to restaurant style. This is my second version. I usually make this for idli. I use mint leaves or coriander leaves and sometimes with both. It tastes great in all the way..I got this recipe from a restaurant style recipes book..U’ll get a nice green color and i am sure u’ll like this a lot..


  • Grated coconut  - 1/2 cup
  • Green chillies – 3 nos ( add more if u want spicy)
  • Tamarind  - A small piece ( Half seed )
  • Coriander leaves or Mint leaves – 1/2 – 1 cup ( 1 bunch)
  • Turmeric powder – 1/8 tsp
  • Cooking oil – 1.5 tsp
  • Salt & water – as needed

To temper:
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilly – 1  no (optional)


  • Heat oil in a kadai and saute the green chillies  and coriander/ mint leaves. Add turmeric powder , salt , tamarind and saute for a minute.
green chutney 1
  • Finally add the grated coconut, mix well and switch off the flame.Grind to a smooth paste after it cools down..
green chutney 2
  • Temper with the above said ingredients..Serve with hot idli /dosa !!

  • This chutney can be made with mint leaves alone or with the combination of both the leaves in equal ratio..It can be made without seasoning too.
  • Turmeric powder gives the green color..Dont forget to add it..

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November 26, 2012


Pori urundai and appam are prepared for karthigai deepam in every house.I learnt both these recipes from my MIL. In bangalore, we don’t get aval pori or nel pori . So we used to dry roast the thick aval and make pori urundai.This urundai can also be made using the ordinary puffed rice. It tastes great for both.. Recipe & method are almost the same. The ratio of aval pori and jaggery is 8:1.Some people used to add the puffed rice to the jaggery syrup and some do the reverse. My MIL usually adds the jaggery syrup to the roasted poha. Sometimes we keep it as such without making balls ( pori kilari vaipathu).
Sweet appam can be made in many ways.It can be made using rice & coconut OR maida & rava OR wheat flour and rice flour. Here i’ve given using wheat flour and rice flour which makes the job easier and healthy too.Actually appam has to be deep fried but i make in paniyaram pan due to calorie consciousness ;). It stays soft for long time.

Do try these recipe and share ur thoughts. Happy karthigai deepam :) Here is a picture of our last year karthigai deepam :)

Aval pori urundai recipe

Aval pori urundai recipe Pori urundai using aval/poha for karthigai deepam
Cuisine: Indian Category: Sweet Yields: Serves 4
Prep Time: 10 Minutes Cook Time: 10 Minutes Total Time: 20 Minutes

To make syrup
  • Grated jaggery – 2 tbsp ( add 1 more tbsp if u want more sweetness)
  • Water – 2.5 tbsp

  • Thick poha – 1/2 cup
  • Cardamom – 2 seeds ( powdered)
  • Black sesame seeds – 1.5 tsp
  • Fried gram dal – 1.5 tsp
  • Dry Coconut bits – 1 tbsp
  • Dry ginger powder – A pinch ( optional)
  • Rice flour/ghee - for greasing ur hands

  • In a heavy bottomed kadai , dry roast the fried gram dal , sesame seeds .Roast coconut pieces in a tsp of ghee..Then dry roast thick poha in low flame carefully without changing the color.It may take around 10-15 mins. I roasted it in two batches ( 1/4 cup in each batch)..Roasting in batches helps uniform roasting. Aval will puff up and becomes crispy./Remove and keep it in a broad plate. Roast coconut bits in a tsp of ghee and set aside.
pori urundai step by step
  • Now put the grated jaggery & the water in the bowl and after the jaggery is melted , strain it to remove the impurities.. Boil the jaggery syrup till it reaches the soft ball consistency. U should be able to make a soft ball out the syrup..Please be careful and dont miss this consistency.Switch off the flame immediately. Add cardamom powder & dry ginger powder to it.Mix well.
karthigai pori urundai recipe
  • Now in a broad kadai, take the roasted poha, sesame seeds & fried gram dal & coconut bits. Add the syrup to this mixture and mix well. When the mixture is warm, grease ur hands withe ghee or rice flour and make balls roughly. No need to make it perfect round by now.
  • After the ball is cooled down, Roll it tightly to make a perfect round.Give a setting time of 30 minutes.
pori urundai step by step 1
  • Crispy aval pori urundai is ready , Enjoy !!


  • For making pori urundai with puffed rice , follow the same procedure. If ur puffed rice is soggy , Heat a kadai and then put the soggy puffed rice , mix well and switch off the flame. Allow the puffed rice to remain in the kadai and mix it in regular intervals. Puffed rice will become crispy..
  • Jaggery syrup consistency is very important here. Soft ball should be made out of jaggery..syrup will be frothy & thick to look.
  • Adjust the amount of jaggery as per the sweetness u require..The color of the pori urundai depends on the color of jaggery and the amount of jaggery u use.

Appam recipe

Appam recipe Appam using wheat flour and jaggery for karthigai deepam
Cuisine: Indian Category: Sweet Yields: Serves 4
Prep Time: 10 Minutes Cook Time: 20 Minutes Total Time: 30 Minutes


  • Wheat flour – 1/2 cup
  • Rice flour – 1 tbsp
  • Powdered jaggery – 1/4 cup + 1/8 cup ( the ratio of wheat flour & jaggery should be 1:3/4)
  • Banana – 1 no ( small)
  • Cardamom powder – 2 pinches
  • Cooking soda – 1 big pinch
  • Water – 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp

  • Grind the banana to a smooth paste adding little water in a mixie.
  • In a bowl take the flour , powdered jaggery , cardamom powder , ground banana and mix well. Add water to make a smooth batter. Finally before making the appam add the cooking soda , mix well.
karthigai appam recipe
  • Place the paniyaram pan  , add little oil/ghee and pour the batter. Cover & cook for sometime. flip it and again cook for sometime.I wanted mine to be brown in color and i kept in high flame for few seconds before removing it..
    appam step by step
  • Remove and serve.. Hot n soft appam is ready!!

  1. Adding mashed banana gives the softness to the appam
  2. If desired coconut gratings can also be added.
  3. Ghee  can used to make this appam to make it more rich n flavourful.
  4. U can also deep fry this appam instead of making in paniyaram pan ..
  5. For getting nice round shape, use less oil while u deep fry and make it one by one…


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November 21, 2012


Health mix powder may not be new to u. Everybody will have their own recipe with the combo of grains and nuts. I  make it very simple with just 5 ingredients. I got this recipe from my friend swarna. I make porridge using this powder with salt & curd for my daughter. She loves this a lot.Even I too have this porridge at the time of fasting. My daughter was very lean and she was getting infected by cold and cough very often. My friend suggested me to give this porridge to gain weight & immunity.Now my daughter is feeling better and she has gained weight considerably.I started giving this porridge to her at the age of 2. My friend told this can be given for 10 months baby too but in small amount. I use 2 tbsp of this powder to make porridge for my daughter’s breakfast which is very filling for her..If u r planning to make for infants/ kids , do try with small amount say 1 tsp , make it watery first , then slowly increase the quantity and thickness.In the initial stages, i used to add more dal and rice compared to other ingredients. Nowadays i am using this proportion to make the powder in large quantity and store in an air tight box for 3 months.Click here for my version of sathu maavu dosa for adults if u r interested..



  • Dry roast all the ingredients in a kadai one by one in medium flame till nice aroma arises..
  • No need to roast the fried gram dal, just add it to the other hot , roasted ingredients , mix well and allow it to cool..
  • Allow it to cool and grind in mill. After the powder cools down , store it in an air tight box.
  • Transfer the required amount of powder in a small box for daily use .Handle with a clean spoon..It stays good for months.

sathu maavu NEW1


  • For infants , dry roast rice and dal alone in 2:1 ratio , powder it in small quantity and make porridge using 1 tsp of this powder with salt or sugar by adding lots of water or milk.. When it suits ur kid , start to increase the amount gradually..
  • Slowly introduce ragi & wheat to the powder and practice them..
  • At the age of 2 u can follow the above said measurements…

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November 18, 2012


Brown rice idli

We all know the amazing health benefits of brown rice but we don’t use it in our regular cooking. I wanted to start with idli. There is no much difference between this idli and our usual white rice idli. Colour of this idly will be slightly yellow..Do try this recipe , u’ll love for its softness..I also make dosa the next day which tastes good. The only thing which i feel bad is that the batter becomes sour very soon even refrigerated. So we have to make in lesser quantities & keep it for one day. Try the quantity i mentioned here. This will be enough for three people . U can make idli for breakfast & dinner the same day and dosa the next morning.I used poha to reduce the quantity of urad dal..U can make this idly more healthy by adding 1/4 cup of oats along with the other ingredients...Please go thro the health benefits section too..If u r interested, have a look at this oats barely idly recipe..

Brown rice idli recipe

Brown rice idli recipe Brown rice idli - Healthy breakfast recipe to kick start ur day :)
Cuisine: Indian
Category: Breakfast
Serves: Serves 4
Prep time: 4 hours
Cook time: 20 Minutes
Total time: 4h20m


  • Brown rice - 3 cups
  • Urad dal - 1/2 cup
  • Aval/poha-1/4 cup
  • Methi seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Oats-2 tbsp(optional)
  • Salt & water - as needed



    • Wash the brown rice 2-3 times to remove the debris.Soak rice, urad dal,methi seeds,poha  and oats together for 4 hours .
    • Now drain the water and grind them in the grinder adding salt & water. Add water in regular intervals. This takes nearly 20-25 minutes for grinding. It too 2.5 – 3 cups of water ..Remove the batter and allow it to ferment for 8 hours or overnight.

    brown rice idli tile1

    • The next day  the batter would have raised well.Mix the batter and make idlis..It takes around 15-18 mins to cook. Check with the spoon or wet ur finger and make a hole in the center of the idli , if ur finger comes out clean , it means idli is cooked..Serve hot with chutney or sambar !!

    brown rice idli tile2


    • Please wash the rice 2-3 times. Otherwise the color of idlis will be brown ..
    • If u r planning to use mixie to grind the batter , use ice cold water. But the idli softness may be less..
    • Do not make the batter too thick or too thin. The consistency should be like our usual idli batter..
    • For making dosas, add little water ,  dilute the batter to get crispy dosas.

brown rice idli recipe

A picture of dosa i made with this batter



Whole grains are important part of any diet and have often been labeled the healthiest grains that anybody can eat. One of those whole grains is brown rice, which is rice that is natural and unrefined. Many people choose to eat brown rice instead of white rice because of its health benefits. But what makes it so healthy? Read on to find out.

1. It Lowers The Risk Of Developing Diabetes

Harvard researchers have discovered that eating at least two servings of brown rice per week can lower the risk of developing diabetes. They found that by eating just 50 grams of brown rice a day, the risk of type 2 diabetes can be lowered by 16 percent, while other whole grains, such as barley and whole wheat, can lower the risk by 36 percent.

2. It’s High In Fiber

Brown rice supplies 14 percent of the recommended daily value for fiber, an important nutrient that protects against colon cancer and breast cancer. Fiber tends to latch onto the chemicals that cause cancer and steer them away from the cells in the colon and breasts, preventing cancer from developing in those areas. Fiber also has many other health benefits including promoting cardiovascular health.

3. It’s A Good Source Of Manganese And Selenium

One cup of brown rice contains 88 percent of the recommended daily value of manganese, a nutrient that plays an important part in fighting free radicals. Manganese is part of a compound known as superoxide dismutase, an antioxidant that prevents damage from free radicals created during the energy production process. Manganese is also important for deriving energy from protein and carbohydrates and plays a key role in the synthesis of fatty acids.
Selenium also plays a role in the antioxidant process and can destroy cancer cells and even repair DNA. Selenium is important for regulating the thyroid hormone metabolism and immune system function. Most people don’t take in the proper amount of selenium of which brown rice is a good source – it provides more than 27 percent of the daily recommended value.

4. It Can Prevent Weight Gain

A study conducted by Harvard researchers shows that women who incorporate whole grains, such as brown rice, into their diet were more likely to maintain a healthy body weight. They were also almost 50 percent more likely to not gain weight by eating a diet rich in whole grains.

5. It Can Lower Cholesterol

The oil in brown rice has been shown to lower levels of LDL cholesterol, also known as the bad cholesterol, by up to seven percent. At the same time, a diet high in whole grains can increase the level of HDL cholesterol, or the good cholesterol.

6. It Offers Many Cardiovascular Benefits

Studies have shown that brown rice can have many cardiovascular benefits for postmenopausal women, including slowing the progression of atherosclerosis, which is the build-up of plaque in the arteries, as well as slowing the progression of the narrowing of the arteries. But postmenopausal women aren’t the only ones who can benefit from the heart-healthy compounds in this whole grain. Brown rice also contains plant lignans, which can protect against heart disease and certain types of cancer.

7. It’s A Good Source Of Phytonutrients

Phytonutrients are compounds naturally found in plants that have anti-inflammatory properties and tend to act as an antioxidant. Brown rice is a great source of these plant compounds, especially phenolics. In fact, research has shown that brown rice contains almost as much phenolics as fruits and vegetables.

8. It Reduces The Risk Of Developing Metabolic Syndrome

Metabolic syndrome is a combination of factors that increases the risk for developing type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke. This condition is characterized by excess fat in the abdominal area and insulin resistance. Eating whole grains on a regular basis can reduce the risk of weight gain and insulin resistance by up to 38 percent.

9. It Reduces The Risk Of Childhood Asthma

Asthma is a very common condition among children and causes many children to miss numerous days of school. But children who eat plenty of whole grains along with fish can lower their risk of developing asthma by 50 percent. Studies show that fruits, vegetables and even dairy don’t have much of an effect in reducing asthma, but whole grains and fish do.

10. It Promotes Bone Health

Brown rice is a good source of magnesium, a mineral that is essential to bone health. Just one cup of brown rice contains 21 percent of the recommended daily value of magnesium. Most of the magnesium in the body is stored on or in the bones, so to keep a high level of magnesium in your bones, and to reap the other health benefits, eat plenty of brown rice each week.
Rice is a popular menu option in cultures all over the world. It goes well with seafood, chicken, beef and almost any vegetable. It is extremely popular due to its versatility and culinary simplicity. Unfortunately, most people do not stop to find out about the nutritional value of rice. When choosing the type of rice to serve with your meals, opt for the healthy whole grain - brown rice..
SOURCE: http://www.symptomfind.com/nutrition-supplements/brown-rice-health-benefits/

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November 16, 2012


I learnt both the recipes from my MIL. Its a nice combination. I usually make this sambar once in a week. We love this. My MIL says , keerai sambar needs less tamarind and more dal. This sambar should be little bit thicker than our usual sambar. I used Arai keerai ( Amaranthus) here.U can try Mulai keerai & siru keerai , karisilankanni keerai too..If u r using siru keerai or karisilankanni keerai  add little more tamarind as those leaves tastes slighlty bitter..
  • Arai keerai ( amaranthus) – 1 cup
  • Tamarind – Big gooseberry size
  • Toor dal – 1/2 cup
  • Green chillies – 3 nos
  • Sambar powder – 2 tsp
  • Sambar onions – 12 nos ( use whole onions, no need to chop)
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Hing – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt & water – As needed
To temper:
  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Methi seeds –3/4 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilli – 1 no ( pinch & add) ( i dint use here)
  • Wash & chop the keerai ( use the stem too ) roughly ..Pressure cook toor dal along with greens , 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder & a drop of oil till the dal is nicely mashed and set aside.
  • Extract the juice from the tamarind and set aside.
  • Now in a kadai ,heat oil and all the tempering items one by one  in the same order. Add the sambar onions & green chillies and saute till it turns transparent.
  • Now add the tamarind extract , 1/4 tsp of turmeric powder ,sambar powder , salt & hing. Let it boil well for few minutes with a nice aroma. Then add the mashed dal & greens mixture.Add little water if the sambar is too thick. Boil for 3 –4 minutes and serve hot.
NOTE: Greens can be cooked in the tamarind extract instead of adding with dal. But i follow this  method to reduce the cooking time.
Sometimes my MIL adds only red chillies ..
Adding sambar onions is a must for this sambar. This gives a great smell & taste. If u dont have sambar onions in hand, u can use roughly chopped big onions too..

  • Raw banana – 1 no ( big)  OR 2 nos ( if very small)
  • Sambar powder – 1.5 – 2  tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
  • Tamarind – Berry sized ( less than small gooseberry size)
  • Salt – as needed
To grind
  • Grated coconut – 2 tbsp
  • Big onion – 1 no
  • Jeera – 1 tsp
To temper
  • Oil – 2 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves – few
  • Wash , peel the skin and chop the raw banana in circles and soak in water. ( to avoid color change)
  • In a vessel, cover cook the raw banana along with salt , a piece of tamarind, sambar powder , turmeric powder , salt with required water.Cook for 5 mins & check the banana is done.Do not over cook them..
  • Now drain the excess water & set aside.Grind the coconut in a mixie, then add the big onion & jeera and run the mixie once or twice to crush the onions.( Onion pieces will be visible)
  • In a kadai , temper all the items given above and add the cooked raw banana pieces & the coarsely ground coconut- onion mixture..Saute in a low flame till u get nice aroma and the golden brown layer forms at the bottom.Add oil if needed..
  • While sauting make sure u don’t break the banana pieces and becomes mushy.
  • Serve with sambar rice !

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November 9, 2012


Whenever i go to restaurants, i have a look at the sweets section without fail.Some sweets would be really eye-catchy.One such sweet which caught my attention is kaju lotus.I wanted to try this for long time but i dint have any clue about it. Last year, during diwali we bought aval vikatan magazine and i got Menu rani chellam’s diwali sweet recipes as supplementary..She had given the recipes of most popular sweets which had the recipe of kaju lotus too.If u make kaju katli , u can easily try this sweet. Its the same procedure with slight variations in the end.Do watch my video (A small attempt Smile) for making this shape .U can try making kaju mango,kaju apple , kaju strawberry like in sweet stalls using the same dough.Hope mine looks like kaju lotus.Try to make 6 petals as given in the original recipe. I had cut around 8...I guess I’ll get the perfect shape in future.I am happy with the result for second attempt. I’ve given the tips to overcome the problems u get while making this sweet. Hope this post would be useful.. Do try and let me know friends..Surprise ur family with this sweet for diwali Smile



  • Cashew nuts – 1/2 cup
  • Food color – Red & green
  • Ghee – a tsp ( to grease the plate)
  • Milk – 1 tsp ( optional)
For syrup
  • Sugar – 1/4 cup
  • Water – 2.5 tbsp


  • Powder the cashews at room temperature by stopping the mixie at regular intervals.Use pulse option if needed. ( I felt this as easy. One more way is , run the mixie continuously till u get a fine powder)
  • Keep the food color and the ghee greased plate ready. ( I dint have liquid food color , so i added a pinch of food color in 1/2 tsp water  and used a few drops)

  • Now add the cashew powder immediately and stir continuously till it leaves the sides and becomes a thick , non-sticky dough..After adding the powder , it takes just 3-4 mins in low flame to reach this stage.Be alert.( This is the procedure for kaju katli. U can knead the dough, roll it to make shape )Stop here if u r making kaju katli ..Proceed for kaju lotus..

  • Now put the cashew dough in the greased plate and divide the dough into two parts using a spoon. Add few drops of red & green food color in each dough , mix it with spoon for uniform distribution.No problem even if it dint mix properly.We are going to knead it .. Leave it for 5 mins. Let it become warm.If u remove the mixture( a few secs before) when it is like slightly sticky chapathi dough, u dont have to add milk. The dough will harden in few mins.If u miss this stage , no worries. If u feel the mixture is dry & crumbly , add 1/2 tsp milk in each half of the dough along with food color(I added 1/2 tsp milk in each dough before kneading.)
  • After it is warm , apply ghee in ur hands & start kneading the dough to make it soft & non-sticky.Do the same for the other dough and start making the shape. Cover the dough while u make the shape to avoid drying.

  • Make a big gooseberry sized ball with green dough and make it flat by pressing with ur palm.Take a ball of red dough and keep it in the center of green dough. Bring all the corners together and close it to make a ball.( Use the procedure of stuffing kozhukattai & paratha) ( while doing this u may get cracks,  dont panic. If u roll tightly , it will become smooth OR Add little more milk and knead the dough. But 1/2 tsp would be enough ) 

  • Make all the balls , cover it and give a setting time of 30 minutes.Now,Using a sharp Knife cut the ball to make a flower shape. While u make the shape , the mixture may leave oil. No problem ( hope this video helps for better understanding) I have given two videos .. Use whichever is convenient.. Adjust the number of petals as u like..As per the original book, the number of petals is 6. I made 7- 8.Use silver warq while rolling the balls if necessary..


 Try this sweet and make this diwali a colorful one :)

kaju lotus piece

  • The consistency of sugar syrup is very important here. One string should be compulsory.
  • After adding cashew powder , keep on stirring till the cashew gets cooked and makes a dough .. To know the correct consistency , u can check by making a small ball which will be non-sticky.Dough will slide from the pan without sticking..
  • Try to knead the dough when it is warm.  If u feel the dough is dry and crumbly , add little milk.
  • If the dough is correct , u may not need milk. U can directly start kneading and rolling..Adding milk may reduce the shelf life of the sweet, flatten the balls &u may not get the exact shape too..
  • Setting time of 30 mins is necessary for the balls. If u have added more milk to knead the dough , the milk will settle in the bottom of the ball after the setting time. No problem , just wipe it with a tissue and start cutting the shape.
  • This sweet will come out well for sure if u have practice in making kaju katli. Beginners can also dare to give a try because if i make it,anyone can Winking smile
  • Try making the balls slighlty oval in shape to get the exact shape of kaju lotus as in sweet stalls..

Iam happy in sending this post to MJ Delight's event


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November 5, 2012


This is the only sweet my aachi (grandma) & mom makes for every diwali..This is one of the easiest & healthy sweets..We call this as “Neivilangaai “ . People from tirunelveli may know this name..But the common name is Payatha maavu urundai.. Maa ladu is also similar to this.Fried gram dal(pottukadalai) is used in maaladu whereas moong dal is used here. Else the same.It can be made in ten minutes.. Include this healthy laddu in ur diwali menu . Try n let me know how it turned out.I have given the recipe of Maa ladu in the "Notes" section...

Yields 10 medium sized laddu..
  • Yellow Moong dal / Paasi paruppu – 1/2 cup
  • Sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Ghee – 1/4 cup 
  • Fried cashew nuts – few

  • Dry roast moong dal in low flame till u get a nice smell. Powder it nicely. Sieve the flour.U’ll get 1/2 cup + 1 tbsp powder.Fry cashews in little ghee ( say a tsp ) and set aside.
  • Now powder the sugar. u’ll get around 3/4 cup ..The ratio of powdered moong & sugar should be 1:1.5. If u like mild sweetness , u can add 1:1 too..
  • Mix  & add the fried cashews.Melt 1/4 cup of ghee and add to the mixture.Make balls tightly when it is warm.. Enjoy!!
  • Store in a box and u can have it for 10 days.
  • U can adjust the sugar quantity as per ur taste buds.But 1:1.5 would be enough..If u like very mild sweet , 1:1 will be enough.
  • Always add melted hot/ warm ghee..Initially mix with a ladle and when it is warm use ur hands to mix well..
  • Add the mentioned quantity of ghee. If u want to increase u can add 1- 2 tbsp more. Adding more ghee reduces the sweetness..Add ghee little by little until u r able to make the ball..If the mixture is too dry , u cant shape the balls.U'll get cracks too. In that case , add little more hot ghee and proceed..
  • Do not use cardamom powder.
  • After adding ghee , the color of laddu will be changed.This shows the correct form.
For Maa ladu : 

Powdered Roasted gram dal / pottu kadalai - 1 cup
Powdered sugar - 1/2 - 3/4 cup
Ghee - 1/3 cup ( takes less than this quantity)
Cardamom seeds - 3 nos ( powdered)
Fried cashews - few

Dry roasting the dal is optional. I don't roast it. Powder the dal first and then sugar.. Mix them well. Add hot melted ghee little by little .Spare some ghee. Once warm , mix with ur hands and make balls. If u r not able to shape it or if u get cracks , add little more ghee..

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November 4, 2012


one string consistency
I wanted to post this for long time.. But i dint have the confidence to do it. Making sweets is always a night mare to me. Before my marriage ,i have seen my mom making Nei urundai , thenkuzhal  & thukkada for every diwali.My dad used to buy all the popular sweets from famous stalls and we enjoy eating varieties of sweets & savouries. After marriage , the story is just the reverse. My in-laws & my hubby never buy sweets from stalls for diwali because my MIL is a pro in making sweets. She can easily make badushah , adhirasam ,burfis, halwa etc and they taste out-of-the world.. It took almost 5 yrs for me to try sweets on my own.I started making some easy sweets like rava ladoo for last year diwali..
          We all know most of our Indian sweets are based on sugar & jaggery.The success of the sweet mainly depends on the consistency of syrup.So i would like to share the different stages of sugar & jaggery syrup and some tips to identify the right consistency which i learnt with the help of tips given by experts like Mrs. Mallika badrinath, Menu rani chellam . . I have tried my best to make u understand the various stages with step by step pics.. This post is purely for beginners like me & for my own reference.. Experts , please excuse & do share ur tips for better understanding. Smile
I used 1/2 cup ( 100 gms) of sugar & 1/4 cup of water .
  • Take a proper vessel of suitable size. Please do not use copper – bottom kadai or iron kadai because these vessels retain heat for long time and may change the consistency of the syrup even after taking out from the fire.Also iron kadai changes the color of the end product.If u r planning to use these vessels , its better to transfer the syrup to another vessel after the desired consistency is reached.
  • For lesser quantity of syrup  , use small or medium sized vessel.Now take the sugar in the bowl or kadai and add water just to cover it. Here i used 1/2 cup sugar & 1/4 cup water.The more water u add , more time is taken to reach the consistency.
Sugar scum tile1
  • Keep the fire in low ( Sim) and allow the sugar to dissolve completely by stirring well. Make sure there are no sugar crystals at the sides of the pan.Wipe them and add to the syrup.
  • Once the sugar is dissolved completely & started boiling add 2 tbsp of milk to remove the scum.Always keep the flame low.After few seconds , the scum floats on top. Remove using a perforated ladle. Finally strain the syrup using a strainer and discard the scum/ dirt.Now ur syrup looks clean..
sugar scum tile2
sugar scum tile3
  • Again keep in low fire and start to boil for various consistencies. After it started to boil , please do not stir or disturb. Over stirring will affect the correct consistency.

    I have given the definition of each stage & the sweets which are made in that consistency.I have covered the most important stages with pictures. I am not able to check 3 string consistency as i cant bear the heat..My fingers started burning. So i poured the syrup in a small plate and proceeded further. I switched off the flame in each stage to take pictures .If u have any doubts in the pictures or steps , please comment it. I’ll try to clear them..
    Please keep in mind the time taken for the syrup to reach consistencies varies based on the vessel we use , flame and the amount of water we add to sugar..

    Take the required amount of sugar in a bowl/kadai and add water to cover the sugar. Here i used 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water . I added more water to make the syrup reach the consistencies very slowly.
    sugar syrup tile1
    THIN SYRUP :This is the first stage . The sugar dissolves completely , clears & it gets a shine. After removing the scum , the syrup boils and gets a shine.In this stage the syrup wont be sticky just shiny .This stage is not required for any sweets.So it is not much important. For beginners ,keep the flame low always
    STICKY SYRUP : This is the second stage.Here the sugar syrup becomes little thick.Take little syrup in a ladle and touch it with ur  fore finger.When u slide the thumb over fore finger , it feels sticky. This is used for Gulab jamun.
    HALF – STRING CONSISTENCYIn this stage , when u test between ur thumb and fore finger , it strings & cuts off immediately.This syrup is used for jangiri , jilebi , Kajas,gulgul .Some people say sticky & half string consistencies are similar.So both can be used to make gulab jamun.In the below picture , hope u can see the string is cutting..

    sugar syrup tile2

    This is the most important stage . Here a thin long string is formed up to 1- 2 inches when tested in between thumb and fore finger.One more way to check the syrup is : pour the syrup in a small plate with water. It wont dissolve immediately and when u try to gather the syrup , it will be dissolved.Kaju katli, badam burfi , Thosha , badushah, mysore pak are made in this syrup.Refer the cover picture too..

    sugar syrup tile3

    TWO STRING CONSISTENCY Two strings are formed when tested between fingers. Generally this syrup crystallizes very soon . So sweets which require a sugar coated look need this consistency.cashew burfi ,boondi ladoo, mohanthal  is made in this consistency..

    sugar syrup tile8

    Here string becomes thicker and when tested , string is formed in 2 , 3 places..Dhal burfi requires this syrup..Sugar crystallizes very soon in this stage.

    Pour little syrup in water , it can be gathered using ur fingers but u cant make a ball ..It is required for some burfis and boondi ladoo can also be made in this consistency ..
    sugar syrup tile4

    Pour a small amount of syrup in a plate of water. If rolled with fingers , syrup should form a small ball in the water itself..U cant take the ball in ur finger.This is used for adhirasam & pori urundai.

    sugar syrup tile7

    When u pour syrup into the water & roll it , u should be able to make a ball and if u drop the ball u’ll get a “tung” sound.The color of the ball is changed. This is used to make “peanut chikkis/ kadalai mittai “. I tested the sound by dropping it in the plate Winking smile

    sugar syrup tile6

    The remaining stages are soft crack , hard crack & golden brown caramel( last stage) . As we don’t need them for making sweets , i have not discussed here..They are used for making toffees..

    Jaggery syrup is almost the same as sugar syrup. The widely used consistency is soft ball & hard ball stage which is used for making adhirasam,pori urundai & peanut chikki . So i have given the pictures for those stages alone. For making syrup, add very little water just to cover the jaggery.This helps in reaching the consistency faster..
    jaggery syrup tile1
    • After the jaggery is melted completely , strain it to remove impurities and again allow it to boil.It becomes frothy.At one stage , it becomes thick like honey and when u pour it , the last few drops drop very slowly forming a string.
    jaggery syrup tile2
    • Now pour this syrup in a plate with little water.U’ll be able to gather and make a small ball.This ball has no proper shape.This is the right stage for making adhirasam. Add this syrup to the rice flour , make dough and proceed.
    jaggery syrup tile3
    • For hard ball stage, allow the jaggery to boil for few more seconds. It will thicken. When u pour few drops on a plate with water and gather , it will roll and u can make a hard ball.If u drop the ball , u’ll get a “tung” sound..

    jaggery syrup tile4

    • Once the sugar is dissolved completely , do not keep stirring. Over stirring will affect the right consistency.Keep the flame low and stir if needed.
    • After the sticky stage (pisukku padam) is reached , the half string consistency is reached within a minute Stay alert.
    • Similarly one string is also reached within few seconds. The consistency should be checked when the syrup is hot . when the syrup becomes warm , it will reach the next stage and may cheat u. So i checked by pouring over the stove plate and dipped with my wet finger. Also ur finger should not be too watery.For safer side, check by pouring the syrup in little water and see if it forms a thread.
    • The  time taken to reach the consecutive stages is very less. The total process gets over by 15 mins in low flame.
    • When u feel u have missed the correct stage , just switch off the flame  , add little water , mix well and proceed again to get the perfect stage.
    • For dry jamun, badusha, jangiri .. by the time u dip them the sugar may crystallize. To avoid this add few drops of lime juice . OR add little water , boil it and again make the syrup.

        I’ve tried my best to explain the stages according to my understanding.Take this as reference and try.I'll try to upload an video.. U can surely get them by practice because if i can make, anyone can make it easily Winking smile

        Here is the link for the video for different stages of sugar and jaggery syrup.

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