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April 17, 2014

Chettinad Vara Milagai Thuvayal(Red Chilli Chutney Recipe)- Chutney For Paniyaram

Vara milagai chutney is a popular side dish for idli,dosa and paniyaram in Karaikudi-Chettinad region.This is one of the easiest chutney recipes & ideal for travel as it is without coconut.I think chettinad kara chutney and vara milagai thuvayal are the same because both have the same ingredients.Friends from Chettinad, please tell me if there is any difference.I would love to try that too.Sendhil doesn’t like spicy side dishes.So i was waiting for a good chance to try this chutney.Yesterday my parents were in my house.As my dad is fond of kara chutney,i tried this spicy red chilli chutney for him.He loved it a lot and told me to pack this chutney with idli for his travel to Hyderabad .Whenever we go to hotels,myself and my dad ask for more servings of kaara chutney than coconut chutney & sambar.We are a big big fan of thisHot smile.People looking for spicy side dishes must try this chutney.I am sure u will have at least 2 idlies more than your regular intakeWinking smile.

Kara chutney recipe

Kara chutney recipe Kara chutney recipe - Chettinad style - Tastes great with idli,dosa & paniyaram
Cuisine: Indian
Category: sidedishes
Serves: Serves 3
Prep time: 10 Minutes
Cook time: 10 Minutes
Total time: 20 Minutes


  • Tomato - 1 no
  • Small onions - 20 nos or big onion - 2 no
  • Red chillies – 5 nos
  • Tamarind - a small piece(a big pinch)
  • Garlic cloves - 3 nos
  • Salt & water - as needed
To temper
  • Gingely oil - 3 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal - 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves - few

  • Grind tomato,red chillies,small onions,garlic cloves,tamarind with salt & water to a slightly coarse paste. (Tips Tips: Always pinch the tamarind into small pieces and use for grinding.It helps to grind smoothly)
Vara milagai chutney step1
  • Heat gingely oil in a pan and temper with mustard seeds,urad dal & curry leaves.Pour this chutney in hot oil and allow it to boil till raw smell emanates completely.Chutney thickens as well.
Vara milagai chutney step2
  • Remove & serve with idli,dosa or paniyaram.


  • Do not reduce the oil quantity for tempering as it helps to suppress the body heat developed by red chillies.It is good for your tummies too.
  • Use one big onion if u don’t have small onions in hand,
  • If u like the raw smell of onions & want more spicy,just temper & pour it on the chutney.No need to boil the chutney.
 Malligai poo idli with spicy hot vara milagai chutney for breakfast is a total bliss,Right?? Smile with tongue out 
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April 15, 2014

Potato Chips Recipe - How To Make Potato Chips At Home (Indian Style )

potato chips recipe

In this post, I have shared how to make crispy, white colored potato chips at home easily. As you all know, crispy potato chips is loved by all irrespective of ages. Its our family favourite too. My Mil is an expert in making potato chips. She makes super crispy & white colored chips like in shops. By watching her, I have tried many times in my kitchen. It comes out crispy but turns reddish brown every time Initially I was thinking it was due to over heated oil. But then I found, the secret of making white colored chips lies in the variety of potato we use. Generally, there are two varieties of potato available in the Indian market. One is the normal cream colored potatoes we use for potato curry and the other one is red colored covered with mud. The second variety is mostly used for making chips. It is called as “chips potato”. I have shared the picture of  both the potatoes to differentiate them. When you use this chips potato, your chips won’t turn brown even if you deep fry for long time. So Friends, if you plan to make potato chips at home, first ask for chips potato. Vendors would know better. Also, do follow the technique I have given below. U’ll get it perfect ! I will try to share a detailed video for the same. Hope it will be useful for beginners like me. U can make this easy, Indian style crispy potato chips for parties in advance & store them in a box. Refer "Notes" section for tips.

If you are looking for baked or microwave potato chips recipe, do visit this link.

Potato varieties in India

As Sendhil is fond of pepper flavoured chips, my MIL always add coarsely ground pepper powder for her son. But I love the one with chilli powder like we get in shops. So she reserves last 2 batches for me for adding red chilli powder, how sweet !

Homemade Potato chips

Homemade Potato chips How to make crispy and white potato chips at home.
Cuisine: Indian
Category: Snacks
Serves: 50nos
Prep time: 10 Minutes
Cook time: 10 Minutes
Total time: 20 Minutes


  • Potato - 3 nos
  • Salt - as needed
  • Water - to wash and soak
  • Oil - to deep fry
  • Pepper powder or chilli powder – as needed to sprinkle ( 1 tsp)

  • Wash and peel the potatoes. Take water in a wide bowl and slice the potatoes directly in the water. Keep the slices immersed in water to avoid discoloration. Rinse it well till the color of water changes to white.(You should remove the starch in potatoes).i.e Discard the water and again wash the potato slices. Repeat this for 2-3 times.
Potato chips recipe
Potato chips recipe
  • Spread the slices in a paper or cotton towel for 5-10 minutes. Pat it dry by covering with another paper or towel. Make sure there is no moisture in the slices.
Potato chips recipe
  • In a bowl, take the salt. Dissolve it by adding little water. Set aside.
  • In a kadai, heat the oil required for deep frying. Check the temperature by dropping a piece of potato slice. If it raises to top immediately, oil is just right.
Potato chips recipe
  • Keep the flame medium & drop the potato slices in batches. Keep tossing & pressing with a ladle till bubbles cease. Once the bubbles reduce & potato slices turns crispy, reduce the flame completely & carefully sprinkle the salt water standing a feet away.( If you are scared to do this step, skip it and sprinkle salt at the end after removing the chips from oil)
Potato chips recipe
  • As soon as you sprinkle the salt water, oil bubbles with crackling sound. Keep tossing the chips for salt water to get coated evenly. The noise is completely suppressed after a minute. Bubbles will cease completely. Flip the chips. Remove in a tissue paper.
Potato chips recipe
  • Sprinkle pepper powder or red chilli powder, mix well and enjoy with variety rice. Store in an air tight box when it is cooled down.
Potato chips recipe

  • U can make this chips in advanced for birthday parties. Make the chips the previous day. After it cools down completely, keep it in a zip lock bag or polythene cover and store in a box. It stays crispy.
  • If you don’t want to sprinkle water directly on fire, deep fry the chips till crispy. Remove in a bowl. Mix salt with pepper powder or chilli powder. Sprinkle when the chips is hot. Toss well and serve !
  • Always deep fry the chips in correct flame.If u drop a pinch of potato,it should rise immediately.Reduce the flame to medium & then deep fry.Adjust the flame whenever necessary.Do not let the oil fume or smoke at any point.Then ur chips will become dark brown even if u use chips potato.
  • If u feel,the oil is overheated,switch off the stove for sometime and let the oil cool down a bit.Then proceed again.By doing this way,u will get all the chips in uniform color.

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April 13, 2014


This is my mom in law’s basic sambar recipe for rice in which we use lady’s finger @ okra.Last week a reader mailed me to blog basic sambar & vathakuzhambu recipes.So i thought of sharing this recipe which might be useful for Tamil new year lunch menu too.I usually make vendakkai sambar & avarakkai sambar for no moon day and for festivals where we don’t use onions because this sambar tastes good even without onions.My mom also makes vendakka sambar but the procedure is completely different.Do click here to know my mom’s Nellai sambar recipe.This sambar is very easy to make and flavourful too.There is no grinding part.Hence bachelor’s also can give a try.We usually eat sambar sadam adding a few drops of ghee.It enhances the flavour of sambar and even kids would love to have it.For this sambar,u can replace lady’s finger with brinjal,Raw mango,drumstick or even Keerai thandu.But the quantity of tamarind varies for each veggie.In this post,lets see how to prepare Tamil nadu style basic sambar recipe with Lady’s finger.

Vendakkai sambar recipe/Okra sambar recipe

Vendakkai sambar recipe/Okra sambar recipe Lady's finger/Okra/Vendakkai sambar recipe - Basic south indian style sambar for rice !
Cuisine: Indian
Category: Lunch
Serves: Serves 3
Prep time: 20 Minutes
Cook time: 10 Minutes
Total time: 30 Minutes

To pressure cook
  • Toor dal - 1/3 cup
  • Turmeric powder - 1/8 tsp
  • Water -as needed
  • Red chilli - 1 no
  • Curry leaves - few (pinched)
To temper & saute
  • Ghee + oil - 1 tbsp
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Methi seeds - 1/2 tsp
  • Red chilli - 1no (pinch into two)
  • Curry leaves - few
  • Small onions - 12 nos
  • Green chillies -2- 3 nos
  • Lady's finger/Okra - 12 nos
  • Tomato – 1 no ( small)
  • Asafetida/Hing- 2-3 generous pinches
For gravy
  • Tamarind - Medium gooseberry size
  • Sambar powder- 1.5 tsp
  • Water - 2 cups
  • Turmeric powder - 1/8 tsp
  • Salt - as needed
Coriander leaves – handful ( chopped,for garnishing)


  • In a pressure cooker,take the toor dal,turmeric,red chilli,curry leaves with required water.Cook till dal turns mushy.
  • In the mean time,wash and pat dry the okra in a towel and cut into small pieces of 3-4.Peel onions,cut chillies and set aside.
vendakkai sambar recipe step1
  • Soak tamarind in enough water and take the extract using 2 cups of water.Add sambar powder,turmeric powder,salt,hing and curry leaves.Set aside .
  • In a kadai,heat ghee + oil and temper mustard,methi seeds,red chilli & curry leaves.Add the chopped lady’s finger pieces.Saute for a minute and then add onions and green chillies.Saute till onions turn transparent & lady’s finger shrink and skin turns slightly brown here and there.Then saute tomato pieces till mushy.Add 1 cup of water and allow the lady’s finger to cook well.When it is 3/4 th cooked,add the tamarind extract mixture.
vendakkai sambar recipe step2
  • Add some hing and pinched raw curry leaves (please note we are adding hing & curry leaves two times).Allow the sambar to boil well for 5-10 minutes till raw smell emanates.
  • Now add the mushy cooked dal and boil for 2-3 minutes.Lastly before switching off the flame.
vendakkai sambar recipe step3
  • Add chopped coriander leaves,boil for few seconds and switch off !
  • Cover the sambar with a lid and serve after 30 minutes to 1 hour for all the taste to blend well.
vendakkai sambar recipe step4


  • Please reduce the amount of green chillies based on its size & spiciness.Use minimum 2.
  • Sauting okra is very important else it will become slimy while cooking.
  • Please add less tamarind as vendakkkai has the tendency to absorb all the tanginess.
  • Adding coriander leaves for garnishing gives  a nice flavor.
  • Use ghee for tempering as it gives a nice aroma.

Enjoy this sambar with plain rice adding few drops of ghee with papad & poriyal as side dish.Tastes great !

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April 12, 2014


Tamil new year recipes
Tamil Varusha pirappu/Tamil puthandu / Varuda pirappu is celebrated on the first day of Tamil month chithirai. Every year it falls on April 14th. Its a most important festival for Tamil people. We make a simple yet inviting lunch menu with sambar, poriyal or kootu, 2 pachadi varieties,vada, payasam and curd. Neer mor and Panakam should be prepared only when we keep panchangam in neivedyam otherwise it is not necessary. Among these recipes, Mango pacahdi, Payasam and Vada are mandatory.We don’t keep appalam as it is not homemade. But Mor milagai I have kept is homemade. I have shared that recipe in a separate post.
.Actually I planned to post this lunch menu during last tamil new year but couldn’t, as I was in Salem.Yesterday I asked my MIL and prepared this menu with the vegetables I had in hand. Sendhil loved the entire platter & especially he gave credits for Vendakkai sambar. He had the same for dinner too.I have posted sambar recipe separately as I want to have it as a dedicated post in my food book. Please check the link for sambar recipe below. Here, I have shared raw banana curry and carrot raita recipe. I have also shared other options for making this lunch menu. Do visit the links for other recipes.Try this No onion No Garlic lunch menu for Tamil New year. Let this year be filled with happiness & fortune!!

அனைவருக்கும் எனது இனிய தமிழ் புத்தாண்டு நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள் !!

Tamil new year lunch menu recipes

Tamil New year lunch menu recipes

Tamil New year lunch menu recipes Tamil New year lunch menu recipes - Paruppu,Vendakkai sambar,Raw banana curry,Carrot pachadi,Raw mango pachadi,Rice payasam,Pepper vada,Instant Mango pickle
Cuisine: Indian
Category: Lunch menu
Serves: Serves 2
Prep time: 30 Minutes
Cook time: 60 Minutes
Total time: 90 Minutes


Check out THIS POST for Tamil new year celebration procedure


Prep time-5 min | Cook time-10min | Total time-15mins
  • Raw banana -  1 no
  • Sambar powder – 1 tsp
  • Salt & water – as needed
  • Moong dal – 1 tbsp
  • Grated coconut – 3 tbsp
  • Tamarind –  A very small piece(optional)
  • Asafetida/hing – 2 pinches
To temper
  • Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1/2 tsp
  • Finely chopped ginger – 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves – few
  • Coconut oil – 1 tbsp
  • Wash and peel the skin of raw banana.Remove and cut the raw banana into slices.Keep immersed in water till use to avoid discoloration.
  • In a cooking bowl,take the moong dal,raw banana,sambar powder,salt and a small piece of tamarind with required water and salt.
  • Cook until raw banana becomes tender.Make sure it is not over cooked.It should stay firm in shape.If u prick the cooked raw banana with a fork,it will go easily at the same time it will not break.
  • Remove and drain all the excess water..
  • In a kadai,temper all the ingredients given above and add the cooked raw banana,moong dal mixture.Saute well in low flame for 5 minutes.Make sure u don’t break the veggie.Do it gently.Lastly add grated coconut,mix well and saute for 2 minutes.Switch off the stove.
Serve with sambar sadam !
  • Adding tamarind is optional but it helps to reduce the slight bitterness from raw banana.Add very little tamarind otherwise poriyal will become too tangy.
  • Adjust sambar powder as per ur need.Sometimes i add red chilli powder + sambar powder half n half.


Prep time – 5 mins | Cook time-2 mins | Total time – 7 mins
  • Carrot – 1 no
  • Curd – 1/2 cup
  • Salt – as required
  • Green chillies – 1 no (finely chopped)
  • To temper
  • Cooking oil – 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves – few
  • Wash and grate carrot.Take in a bowl with finely chopped green chillies ,required salt.
  • Just before serving,mix the curd and temper the above said ingredients.
Serve with dal rice/paruppu sadam!

Make this yummy platter on Tamil New year day,Offer to God,Get his blessings and enjoy !

Tamil new year recipes

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April 11, 2014


To start with mango recipes, i chose this simple and easiest North indian dessert recipe,Aamras.Aam – Mango,Ras – juice/Pulp.As its name indicates,its just the pulp of ripe mangoes sweetened with sugar or jaggery flavoured with cardamom or saffron/Kesar or dry ginger powder.After i went through some websites,i came to know that this recipe is very popular in Gujarat,Maharashtra and Rajasthan & made during festivals.Each recipe has its own mild variations.But in general,i read they all have this aamras with poori/puri.First i felt it to be an unusual combo but after i tried, i realised its taste and loved it.It was tasting like jam with poori or roti.Kids would love this combo.Basically i love the combination of sweet & spice.So i had poori with aamras & pickle Nyah-Nyah.I just dipped a piece of poori in aamras and mango thokku and enjoyed it.The combination of sweet and spicy taste made me eat 3-4 poorisWinking smile.Do try this way.U may love it like me Smile.Over to the recipe..

Aamras recipe

Aamras recipe Aamras recipe with poori - Yummy,easy north indian dessert recipe
Cuisine: Indian
Category: Sweet
Serves: Serves 2
Prep time: 5 Minutes
Cook time: 3 Minutes
Total time: 8 Minutes


  • Ripe mangoes - 2 nos ( use alphonso mango for best taste)
  • Sugar or jaggery - as needed ( i used 2.5 tbsp of sugar)
  • Cardamom - 2 nos OR Dry ginger powder - 2 pinches OR Saffron - few threads
  • Water or milk – little (to grind)

  • Wash and peel the mangoes,Cut into pieces.Take them in a mixie jar.Add sugar or jaggery based on the sweetness of mango. Add cardamom powder or dry ginger powder or saffron threads while grinding.( Cardamom is used in Maharashtra,Saffron threads are used in Rajasthan and  dry ginger powder in Gujarat – thanks for these info Spice up the curry) .
  • Add  little milk or water while grinding. I used 3-4 tbsp of milk.
aamras recipe
  • While adding milk,take care u add less because aamras should be thick in consistency.Also adding more milk makes it a milk shake.
  • Add sugar or jaggery based on the sweetness of mangoes.Sometimes sugar may not be necessary too.
  • Add  any one of the flavouring agent based on ur liking.But do not add everything.It will change the taste.

                  After having a spoon,tempted and taking another spoon;)

Enjoy aamras eating as it is or dipping in poori. Yumm !!

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April 9, 2014


Rose milk is the easiest summer drink recipe which can be made in few minutes if u have cold milk in hand.When i was a kid, i loved rose milk kuchi ice(popsicle) more than this drink.I used to buy in Tirunelveli whenever i go for summer vacation.Soon i’ll post that version here.U can find Rose Milk in almost all the juice shops in Tamil nadu.Last week i went to Nellai and i happened to see rose milk served in a road side juice shop in a plastic cup.Immediately,i was tempted to try at home beacuse this is my family favourite.My MIL loves it a lot.She usually have this drink during summer in the evening instead of coffee/tea.Nowadays i make this for all my guests too.Sendhil usually says Rose milk tastes great only when sugar is on higher side.So i add little more.When served chilled,it tastes great.I wanted to make home made rose syrup but i din’t have proper ingredients in hand.So i went with bakers rose milk mix.Recently my friend Shalini shared rose milk shake recipe with rooh afza.I’ll try & share here soon.

Rose milk recipe

Rose milk recipe Rose milk recipe for summer – Easiest drink with a great flavour of rose! 
Cuisine: Indian
Category: Drinks
Serves: Serves 4
Prep time: 180 Minutes
Cook time: 10 Minutes
Total time: 190 Minutes


  • Milk – 2.5 cups
  • Rose milk essence - few drops
  • Sugar – 4-6 tsp  ( add 4 tsp for mild sweet)
  • Ice cubes - optional

  • Boil milk,add sugar ,mix well and set aside to cool.Refrigerate or freeze it for an hour for quicker cooling.
rose milk recipe
  • After it comes to room temperature,add few drops of rose essence mix as per the flavour & color u require.Mix well.
  • Filter it to remove the skin of the milk (paal aadai) and refrigerate again for 1- 2 hours to serve chilled or add ice cubes and serve immediately.
rose milk recipe


  • Adjust the quantity of rose essence & sugar as per ur taste.I usually add more sugar & more essence as i love dark color.
  • Tastes best only when serve chilled.
  • Always filter the rose milk otherwise u may get paalaadai  while drinking which many people won’t likeNyah-Nyah..
Serve chilled with or without ice cubes as u wish ! Enjoy !
rose milk recipe for summer

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