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January 30, 2013


idli rava idli plate 1


I must thank my neighbour for introducing idli rava to me Smile .. I dint know that there is something called idli rava before she told me. She used to tell me to try idli rava once but i was hesitant because idli is our staple food and i dint want to take risk using idli rava.. Then she gave me some to taste and after that i started making it in my kitchen. Now i am very much comfortable with this idli rava idli.We can make crispy dosas too.U could have tasted this type of idlies in restaurants.But in this method, idli wont be crumbly/coarse like in hotels..First thing i liked in this method is very less soaking time , just 45 mins is sufficient..It takes the soaking time of urad dal.Total process (soaking + grinding) takes 1 hour..But it needs minimum 12 - 15 hrs of fermentation time.I grind the batter in the afternoon ( around 2 pm) & make idlies the next day morning (7 am).. The batter will be fermented well.Second good thing is i grind the batter in mixie ( NO grinder cleaning  Smile with tongue out). People usually don’t grind this idli rava and they add it as it is(after soaking) to the ground urad dal batter. I too tried the same way initially but i felt the idli was very crumbly like rava idli and we dint like that taste. I wanted to bring the same taste as of our normal idli.. So i grind the rava along with urad dal batter at the end till it becomes slightly coarse. Even then i felt the idli was slightly sticky while eating.I changed the ratio of dal & idli rava , i soaked it together and grind in mixie adding ice cold water. Now i am getting the best idlies out of it. I am very happy with the result and previously my husband used to scold me when i make idli rava idlies. Nowadays he couldn’t find any difference in the texture and he is eating silently Winking smile...There is no much difference in the cost of idli rava & idly rice.Try this idli for a change and u’ll start making it often like me..Winking smile

idli rava picture
  • Idli rava – 2 cups
  • white round urad dal – 1/2 cup
  • Water – 1-1.25 cups
  • Salt – As needed
  • Wash & soak the idli rava & urad dal together for 45 minutes.. Drain the soaked water completely before grinding.
  • Grind half of its amount in mixie adding 1/2 cup of ice cold water & the required salt for 3-5 minutes.After 2 mins , open the lid ,wipe the sides & grind again.Add little more water if its necessary ..
idli rava idli tile 1
  • Again grind the remaining mixture adding 1/2 cup of water.( Note : Batter will be slightly coarse even if u grind for long time , no need to worry)
  • Mix both the batter using ur hand (Mixing by hand helps for fermentation)..Keep the bowl closed & allow the batter to ferment for 15 hrs minimum.
idli rava idli tile 2
  • The next morning , batter would have raised well . Mix it well before making idlies. Pour the batter in idli plate , steam it for 6-8 mins & enjoy with ur favourite chutney !!
idli rava idli tile 3
idli rava idli closeup
  • The maximum amount of water it consumes while grinding is 1.25 –1.5 cups.. Adjust as per ur mixer.I used ice cold water to avoid the mixer getting heated.Normal cold water can also be used..
  • Fermentation is very important to get soft, non-sticky idlies.
  • People suggest idli rava & dal ratio as 3:1. But 4:1 is enough for soft idlies.
  • If u want , u can add  a tsp of soaked fenugreek seeds too to make it healthy..
  • U can also make crispy dosa using the same batter..
Idli rava dosa plate
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January 28, 2013




Its been a long time i made dosa varieties at home..I tried this recipe after watching a local telugu channel show in you tube..It was a show about a hotel’s dosa mela . I tried this dosa with the recipe roughly told by the chef to the anchor. I have never eaten or seen this dosa variety in any hotel . I found this recipe new & interesting .I love to try sweet corn recipes as it is our family favourite.It was very tasty and we loved it with coconut chutney as side..Do try this , i am sure u’ll find it different & tasty Smile. I’ll post some more dosa varieties soon..

  • Fresh boiled sweet corn kennels – 1 cup
  • Big onion – 2 nos (medium sized)
  • Tomato – 2 nos
  • Ginger garlic paste – 1/2 tsp (optional)
  • Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
  • Dhania powder – 3/4 tsp
  • Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves- few
  • Fennel seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Jeera/cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Cooking oil – 2 tbsp
  • Salt & water – as needed
  • Coriander leaves – to garnish
Idli/Dosa batter – 3 cups (to make dosas)
  • Boil the sweet corn adding required salt & water. Remove the corn kennels and set aside.(please refer this post for easy removal of corn kennels)
  • In a kadai , heat oil and temper the cumin & fennel seeds. Add g&g paste if necessary.Saute till the raw smell emanates.Then add the finely chopped onions , saute till it turns transparent.Now add the tomato pieces & saute till its mushy. Now add the turmeric powder , red chilli powder , dhania powder & garam masala powder , salt & mix well, cook for sometime.Make sure it doesn’t get burnt..
corn masala dosa tile 1
  • Finally add the corn kennels with little water and mix well and cook for sometime to get all the masala infuse into it & the mixture becomes dry.Switch off the stove & garnish with coriander leaves..
corn masala dosa tile 2
  • Now heat a  dosa tawa, pour a ladle full of batter & spread it nicely.Drizzle oil ,Cover & cook it for sometime in medium flame till u get a nice color. Then keep the masala in the center of the dosa , close it & serve hot with any chutney !!
corn masala dosa tile 3

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January 25, 2013


dahi vada new

I wanted to try dahi vada/dahi bhalla , a famous north indian street food for long time. I love thayir vada. I thought both are same but then i came to know dahi vada is similar to curd vada and in addition they add chaat chutneys & also the shape will be round like bonda.I got this recipe from a chaat book and i tried in a weekend. We all loved it.I made a batch in vada shape for my hubby and the remaining in round shape.So i’ve mentioned both in step by step pictures. Do try any based on ur liking. It tastes great Smile

dahi vada plate
  • White round urad dal – 1 cup
  • Green chillies – 2 nos
  • Ginger – 1 inch piece
  • Fresh Curd – 2 - 3 cups ( mild sourness is OK)
  • Chaat chutneys( Green & sweet chutney) – 1/2 cup each (must be in tomato sauce consistency , add water accordingly)
  • Ginger pieces – 1 tbsp ( finely chopped)
  • Red chilli powder – 1 tsp ( to sprinkle)
  • Dry Roasted Cumin powder – 1 tsp (to sprinkle)
  • Chaat masala powder – 1 tsp (to sprinkle- optional)
  • Warm water – 1 bowl (to dip the vadas)
  • Coriander leaves – To garnish
  • Wash and soak the urad dal for 30 mins.Drain all the water and grind it to a smooth paste adding chillies , ginger , salt &1/4 cup of water. If necessary add 1-2 tbsp of water to make it very smooth.
  • Keep the warm water ready in a bowl.Heat oil in a kadai and take a tbsp of batter and drop in the oil. OR u can take a small ball shaped batter and drop in the oil.U can make it in vada shape too. Deep fry in both sides till golden brown. Remove and add it immediately to the warm water bowl.
dahi vada tile 1
  • Let it soak for 5-10 minutes.Meanwhile beat the curd adding salt & very less water if the curd is too thick.Please do not add water if it is already slightly watery. Take the vada in ur palm & squeeze the water without changing its shape and add it to the curd. Let it soak in the curd for 10 minutes.By this time , finish the remaining batches of vada & follow the same procedure.
dahi vada tile 2
  • In a serving plate , arrange 4-5 balls and pour the curd over them.Now put 1/2 tsp of  green chutney & 1 tsp of sweet chutney over each ball. Sprinkle the red chiili powder , cumin powder and finally sprinkle the ginger bits,coriander leaves & if desired oma podi..
  • Serve & mix & eat immediately !!
dahi vada tile 3



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January 23, 2013


chaat chutneys


I am a big fan of chaat items .I can live with it.Recently i tried dahi vada( will post next).I made these chaat chutneys & the urad dal batter in large quantities, refrigerated it and prepared it for my daughter as evening snack for 3-4 days Winking smile..She loved it a lot.Making varieties of chaat is very easy.If we have these chutneys, oma podi & onions at home , we can make chaat recipes instantly. I used to make a single sweet n sour chutney for chaat which u can find here. But after going through some books and websites , i found there are different varieties of chutneys. So this time i tried all these chutneys.I made them thick & i diluted it while use..I quickly browsed some recipes and i finally settled down with recipes of Few minute wonders..I made some slight changes in the ingredients and the procedure for my comfort Smile..Do try these chutneys , u’ll love it..

  • Coriander leaves – 1 cup
  • Mint leaves – 1/3 cup
  • Green chillies – 3-4 nos
  • Lime juice – 1 tbsp
  • Jeera / cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – A pinch
  • Garlic – 2 pods
  • Ginger – 1 inch
  • Small onion – 2 nos (optional)
  • Salt & water – As needed
  • Take all the ingredients in the mixer & grind all the ingredients to a smooth paste adding salt & water.
  • Store in an air-tight box, refrigerate it. Dilute the chutney when use.
  • Garlic cloves – 7 cloves
  • Red chillies – 4- 5 nos
  • Salt & water – As needed
  • Tamarind – Small piece (optional)
  • Grind all the ingredients to a smooth , thick paste.Store, refrigerate n use!.This chutney can be used as a dip for momos and it can be applied in masala dosa !
  • Dates – 6-8 nos
  • Grated Jaggery – 1/4 cup
  • Tamarind – Big gooseberry size
  • Water – As needed ( 1/2 cup)
  • Salt – a pinch
  • Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Chaat masala powder – 1/2 tsp
  • In a pan , add water , dates , jaggery , tamarind & allow it to boil.
  • Close it with lid and allow the dates to cook & jaggery to melt completely. By the time the dates get cooked , the water will be reduced to half..Switch off the flame .Drain the excess water & allow the mixture to cool down.
  • Grind it to a smooth paste.Again boil the paste adding the drained water. Add the red chilli powder , cumin powder & chaat masala powder. Boil for sometime till the mixture thickens.
  • Store in an-air tight box , refrigerate and dilute it while use !
chaat chutney tile 2

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January 22, 2013


Rava upma

Rava upma is one of the easiest & simple breakfast/dinner recipes which can be made in minutes. I am not a big fan of rava recipes but my hubby loves anything with rava/semolina...Before marriage,my mom makes rava upma in weekends..My dad & sis enjoy it adding grated coconut. I hate that comboNyah-Nyah. So my mom makes dosa specially for me by reserving some batter. Now i crave for my mom’s rava upma and coconut combo.After marriage, tables turned and i am making this rava upma at least once in a week for my husband. My MIL makes it very tasty by adding coconut oil. I struggled a lot to get soft & flavourful upma. Usually i don’t roast rava properly and the end result would be a sticky, hard upma Sad smile. I have even tried with store bought roasted rava.But it was also a super flop..Then my hubby taught me how to roast rava properly. I corrected my mistakes & got it right Smile..And now after many successful attempts, i thought of posting the recipe here. Of course making rava upma is not a big deal for most of u .But for beginners, its always a night mare and most of the time it will be with lumps..This post is purely for beginners and bachelors Smile.We love to have rava upma with sugar , so i don’t make chutney , sambar.It makes my job very simple..This upma stays soft even after some hours. So i pack it for my hubby’s breakfast when he leaves to office early from home..But it tastes the bestest when served hot Smile. U can make rava upma in microwave too.

Rava upma recipe

  • Semolina / Rava – 1 cup
  • Water – 2.5 cups ( Add 2.25 cups for fluffy upma)
  • Salt – As needed
To temper & saute
  • Cooking oil – 1.5 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Urad dal – 2 tsp
  • Channa dal – 1.5 tbsp
  • Big onion – 1 no ( slice cut)  OR Small onions – 1/2 cup ( chopped roughly)
  • Green chillies – 3 nos ( for less spice , add 2 nos)
  • Curry leaves – few
  • Ginger – 1 inch piece
Coconut oil – 1/2 - 1 tbsp
  • Dry roast the rava in a kadai in very low flame for 5-7 minutes without changing the colour. Keep on mixing well to avoid discoloration in certain areas..Remove & keep it in a plate.
rava upma tile
  • In the same kadai ,heat oil , splutter mustard seeds , urad & channa dal . After the dals turn golden brown , add the sliced onions ,green chillies, curry leaves & ginger bits. Saute well till onion turns transparent .Finally add the required water , salt. Cover it and allow it to roll boil for 5 mins.
  • Now simmer the flame completely and add the rava in one hand and mix well with a ladle using other hand ( Use a whisk to mix if u have). This step is very important to avoid lumps.
rava upma tile 2
  • Stir till the mixture becomes thick and all the water is absorbed by the rava. Close the kadai with a lid for 5 minutes. Open the lid and mix well and again close it for 2 minutes.
  • Rava will be well cooked , switch off the flame & add the coconut oil.. Mix well and serve hot  immediatley!!

  • Adding small onions instead of big onions gives a nice flavour & taste.
  • The amount of oil mentioned here should be added to get the softness & flavour.
  • Roasting rava without changing color is very important to get a white colored upma. Otherwise it will be slightly yellow.
  • Please add more water if u want the upma mushy.
  • If u r afraid of getting lumps , this step can be followed. ie , switch off the flame after the water starts to roll boil. Remove the kadai  , add the rava little by little by stirring in one hand slowly . Mix well and make sure there are no lumps. Then again keep it on the stove and mix well till all the water is absorbed. This method can be followed for making sweet kesari too. 
  • Sometimes I add tomato pieces along with onion to get a tangy taste.
  • My FIL likes to have this upma adding little lemon juice.It also tastes great..U can also add lots of grated coconut before eating to make it more rich & tasty. My sister loves this combo a lot .. Smile

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January 18, 2013



I love idli podi a lot and that too with sesame seeds. But my husband & my daughter likes idli podi with garlic.I learnt this recipe from my mom.When i was in school and college, i used to carry mostly idlies or dosas with this podi for lunch . I love to eat this more than rice varieties. My doter is also the same like me Winking smile. I’ll soon post my favourite sesame seeds/ Ellu version with dal Smile. Please refer notes section for variations..
  • White round urad dal – 1/2 cup
  • Chana dal – 1/4 cup
  • Red chillies – 15-20 nos
  • Hing/Asafetida – 1/4 tsp
  • Garlic cloves – 12 nos (Peel the skin & chop into small pieces)
  • Salt – As needed
  • Cooking oil – 2 tsp

  • Heat a kadai with 2 tsp of oil and roast the dals adding hing till u get a nice color & aroma..Remove the dals and in the same kadai , roast the red chillies. Keep on roasting the dals & chillies in medium flame to get it done correctly..Make sure u don’t burn them.
  • Once everything cools down , grind it to a coarse powder running twice. Then add the salt & peeled ,chopped garlic pieces.Grind it again to make a slightly coarse powder. ( please do not grind it nicely. U should get some urad dal pieces while eating Smile)..
  • Store in an air-tight box and enjoy with idli/dosa !

Garlic flavoured idli podi is ready !! Add sesame oil while serving.

  • Adjust the amount of red chillies based on ur taste.
  • Garlic pieces will be ground well even when u add at the end. If u want u can add it along with dals & red chillies.
  • My mil makes the same podi adding hing alone. It also tastes good. Try for variation.Add more hing when u try this version.
  • Sometimes i add few curry leaves while frying the dals which gives a nice flavour.

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January 16, 2013


Sarkarai pongal

Hope u all had a great pongal celebration. I too had a good time in my in-laws house and we celebrated very well Smile.. I wanted to post sakkarai pongal recipe for a long time. I think this is the right time to post this recipe along with some pictures of pongal celebration in my house.This time pongal turned out very tasty , flavourful and soft..It tasted great even the next day after reheating.I’ve given the step by step pictures for making pongal in aluminium vessel. U can do the same in pressure cooker. The quantity of ingredients i’ve given is the same for both except water quantity. The amount of water may vary for cooking in aluminium vessel and the cooking time also differs.In pressure cooker, u can make it fast..In tamil nadu , we get pongal arisi and paagu vellam and we used to buy that for making pongal. In bangalore , i buy good quality sona masuri raw rice and i make sure to buy dark colored jaggery to get a nice color of pongal. So the color of pongal may vary depending the color of jaggery u use. The water quantity may also vary depending on the quality of rice. I’ve tried to approximate the water quantity as per the rice varieties i used.

  • Raw rice/ Sona masoori – 1 cup
  • Yellow Moong dal – 3 tbsp
  • Raw Milk – 1/2 cup ( Unboiled , fresh milk)
  • Water – 4-5 cups
  • Salt – A pinch
  • Jaggery – 1-1.25 cups (based on the sweetness)
  • Ghee – 4 tbsp
  • Cashews – few nos
  • Elachi/ cardamom seeds– 3-4 nos
  • Cloves – 3 nos
  • Edible camphor – A pinch
  • Jaathikai -  A pinch ( take a small piece , roast in ghee and crush it before adding)

  • In a kadai , dry roast moong dal for few minutes till u get a nice aroma and golden brown in color.Mix the rice and roasted dal. Wash , drain the water.
  • Add milk and water to the aluminium or brass vessel.When it starts boiling and after it raises to the rim of the pot,add the washed rice,dal mixture & a pinch of salt.Remove the excess water and keep it in a bowl.Add this water whenever needed.Cover the vessel with a lid and cook the rice in medium flame OR If using Pressure cooker,cook for 4-5 whistles till it rice is cooked well.
Sweet pongal tile
  • In the mean time , grate the jaggery and keep it ready. After rice is cooked well, open the cooker/vessel ,mash it well & add the jaggery and mix well till the jaggery melts and allow it to boil in low flame..Add a tbsp of ghee to avoid the pongal sticking to the bottom ..Make sure it doesn’t get burnt..Give a nice boil.Keep mixing
  • After the raw smell of jaggery emanates,switch off the flame. Please make sure the pongal has slight moisture content when u switch off. ( ie it should be slightly watery n mushy. Don’t make it very thick .) This is very important ..
  • Once it cools down , the consistency will be correct else it will  become very hard....If u feel , all the water is absorbed and if it looks dry , add little boiled milk or coconut milk , Mix well and switch off the flame.
pongal tile 2
  • In a frying pan , add a drop of ghee and roast the cloves & cardamom seeds, jaathikai.Crush it & add to pongal.Mix well.Again heat 3 tbsp of ghee in the pan and roast the cashews till golden brown. Add it to the pongal with ghee.Add a pinch of edible camphor powder.
pongal tile 3
  • Mix well before serving.Yummy , flavourful pongal is ready !!

  • Adding milk is optional. U can make only adding water. If u want Milk version, add only milk instead of water.
  • Make sure the rice and dal is cooked perfectly( should be mushy) before adding jaggery else rice will be visible and separate.
  • Adding more ghee makes it more rich n tasty.
  • Adding nutmeg & edible camphor is purely optional. But adding them enhances the flavour for sure.
Last but not the least , here are some pictures of pongal celebration in our house Smile.

Pongal celebration

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