Oct 31, 2013


Haalbai – A delicious sweet from South Canara (Udupi) Cuisine. Recipe  from ‘ 7 wonders in my spice box by Veena Bhat’ !!

Makes -10 – 12 slices


1 cup / 200 ml / 8 oz (Indian standard measuring cup) raw rice (pachari)

1 cup grated coconut

3 teaspoon ghee

1 cup melted and sieved jaggery (or to taste, ¾ to 1 cup)

¼ teaspoon cardamom powder


Grease a steel thali with 1 teaspoon ghee and keep it ready.

Wash and soak raw rice in 2 cups of water  for 2 hours. Drain out water (reserve ¼ cup) and grind to a smooth paste with grated coconut in a mixer. Sprinkle reserved water while making paste. Consistency should be   that of dosa batter.

Heat  pan on a medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon ghee. Add jaggery and   mix well gently. Now transfer rice flour paste  to the pan and stir continuously. Sprinkle very little water. Slowly the flour will thicken and no longer stick  to the utensil. If  touched with wet hand, it shouldn’t stick to the hand. Finally it leaves from the sides of the pan and become a soft ball.

 Transfer the thick paste to a greased plate. Sprinkle a teaspoon ghee. Spread the paste evenly with a flat spatula. Keep aside to cool  for an hour and later cut into desired shape and size. Once it completely attains  room temperature, remove from greased thali / plate / baking dish.

Chocolate Burfi (Recipe from 'The Hindu', Chennai Edition)

Chocolate Burfi – Recipe from ‘ The Hindu’, Chennai edition !!


Milkmaid sweetened Condensed milk: 200 grams (1/2 tin)

Butter: 30 grams

Chocolate, chopped: 30 grams

Cocoa powder: quarter cup

Whole-wheat flour: quarter cup

Lightly roasted nuts: half cup

For greasing: A few drops of ghee


Lightly roast the flour. Remove from the flame when it turns light brown in colour. Melt butter in a heavy-bottomed pan, mix in condensed milk, cocoa powder and roasted flour. Cook for 4-5 minutes on a low flame, stirring continuously to avoid sticking and burning. Mix in chopped chocolate and cook for one minute. Add nuts and spread the mixture in a greased metal tray. Gently flatten with spatula. Cool for an hour. Slice into squares and serve.

Charmure Upkari / Puffed Rice Upkari

Here's the recipe link of Charmure Upkari / Puffed Rice Upkari

Oct 30, 2013

Kara Boondi

Different types of Boondi Jhara

Here's the recipe link of ''Kara Boondi''

Murukku / Butter Murukku / Chakali

Here's the recipe link of   Butter Murukku / Chakali

Here's the recipe  link of Chakali (with cooked urad dal & green gram dal)

Oct 29, 2013

Microwave Palkova

Microwave Palkova / Condensed Milk  Palkova – A delicious sweet in South Indian cuisine, made of milkmaid condensed milk, curd and ghee !!!

Makes: 3/4th cup
Serves: 4

Cooking time: 5 minutes 


200 ml  (1/2 tin) milkmaid condensed milk

1 ½ teaspoon curd / yogurt

1 teaspoon ghee

Microwave safe bowl of 1 ½ litre capacity and  power setting of my microwave oven is 750 W (high power)


In a microwave safe bowl of 1 ½ litre capacity, mix condensed milk, ghee and curd / yogurt with thick ladle and microwave at 750 W (high power) for 2 minutes. Do not change power setting.

Switch off the power and remove from the oven. Stir well and keep it in microwave for 1 minute.

Switch off the power and remove from the oven. Stir well and keep it in microwave for 1 minute.

Switch off the power and remove from the oven. Stir well and keep it  in microwave again for 1 minute. This’s the final step.  Palkova is ready now. Mix well and serve warm or cool in small dessert bowls. This’s a very tasty sweet and it’s very expensive @ sweet shops in Chennai. Must try at home.

Ribbon Pakoda / Ola Pakkavada / Pakkavada

Here's the recipe link of Pakkavada

Here's the recipe link of Ribbon Pakoda

Banana Jamun / Kele Jamun

Kele Jamun / Banana Jamun (paindare pankanthu gallene pikkanne kele thellene)– A delicious dessert. Recipe from '7 wonders in my spice box' by Veena Bhat !!

Makes: 20 slices

Serves: 4 – 5 slices in each dessert bowl


For the sugar syrup:

1/2  cup / 100 ml / 4 oz (Indian standard measuring cup) sugar

1/2 cup / 100 ml / 4 oz  water


In a wide bowl, boil sugar and water for 12 minutes (until sugar completely melts and slightly thickens) on a medium heat. Switch off the heat.

For the banana:

2 bananas (Kerala ripe plantain / ethapazham / nethrampazham), please do not use overripe bananas, cut into 1 ½ cm thin slices (10 – 12 slices from each banana)

100 ml oil or ghee


Heat oil / ghee in a frying on medium heat. Reduce the heat between medium to low and deep fry banana slices until golden brown on both the sides in 2 batches. Drain out from oil or ghee and place it on kitchen towel / paper towel to absorb extra oil. Please use 2 – 3 paper towels to absorb oil.

Soak fried banana slices in sugar syrup for 2 hours. Then it will absorb all the flavours.

Final presentation:

In a serving bowl, pour sufficient sugar syrup (or 2 tablespoon) and 4 fried banana slices. Serve warm.

Sandwich Dhokla

Sandwich Dhokla - A delicious Gujarati snack!!

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 15 - 20 minutes


Please use same measuring cup to measure gram flour and water.

1 cup ( 200 ml / 8 oz - Indian standard measuring cu) gram flour / besan

1 cup sour ( 200 ml ) curd

1 teaspoon Eno fruit salt (available @ medical stores and supermarkets. It's an antacid and good for digestion)

1/4 teaspoon salt ( or salt to taste )

1/4 cup water for mixing

1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder

½ teaspoon ginger paste

1 1/2 teaspoon extra oil to grease 3 steel thalis


In a bowl, mix gram flour, curd, Eno fruit salt, salt (normal salt), ginger paste and turmeric powder.

Add 1/4 cup water to make the batter to pouring consistency,

Immediately pour the mixture in  3 greased  steel thalis / plates (This type of dhokla steamer is available in Chennai @ Santhosh Super Stores, Anna Nagar and other steel utensil stores). Pour a glass of water in the pressure cooker. Keep the dhokla thalis in the pressure cooker on a stand. Close the lid but do not put cooker-weight. Steam for 15 - 20 minutes or till done ( once the cooker starts steaming, reduce the steam to low and continue steaming for 15 minutes ). Or steam cook in National rice cooker / idli steamer.

Keep aside for cool for 20 minutes.

Chutney for Dhokla (any chutney of your choice, like green chutney / tomato chutney / dates chutney ...)

Makes: 1 cup


1 cup / 200 ml / 8 oz grated coconut, loosely packed in cup

4 tablespoon chopped coriander leaves (or a mix of mint and coriander)

½ - inch piece ginger, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 green chilli, chopped

2 shallots (chuvannulli / small onion), chopped or 1 tablespoon onion

1 tablespoon split roasted gram dal (pottukadalai) – adding pottukadai will make the chutney thick in consistency

½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)

3 tablespoon water

1 teaspoon lime juice (optional)


In a small mixer bowl, transfer all the ingredients (except lime juice) and make a smooth paste. Finally add lime juice and mix well. Chutney should be thick in consistency.

Final preparation:

Gently remove dhoklas from the steel thali. Trim the edges and cut into exact square shapes. Thickly / evenly  Spread chutney to the bottom part of dhoklas  and make sandwich. Cut into desired  size and shape (normally 4 sandwich from 2 dhoklas). (Alternately, if it is not possible to steam thin dhoklas, make thick dhoklas, horizontally cut the dholkas into two, apply thick layer of chutney to both the splits, attach them back and cut into desired shapes).

For the  seasoning :

2 teaspoon cooking oil

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds ( jeera )

2 green chillies , slit lengthwise

1 spring curry leaves

3 teaspoon lemon juice

1/4 teaspoon hing ( asafoetida )

2 teaspoon coriander leaves, chopped

1 tablespoon desiccated coconut ( optional )


Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. When they start sputter add jeera, curry leaves, green chillies, lemon juice and hing. Stir, keep on low heat till fragrant. Pour this seasoning over dhokla.

Sprinkle with desiccated coconut (optional) and chopped coriander leaves. Serve hot / cool.

Oct 28, 2013

Milk Chocolate

Milk Chocolates -  A jiffy sweet for all occasions.  This can be done in microwave or on stove top. Recipe from Chithra Ma’am (Chithra Viswanathan – A popular culinary expert  from  Chennai) !!

Keep ready all ingredients assembled including a greased plate / baking tray / dish. Use standard measuring cup.

Makes: 12 – 16 slices


Milk powder - 1 heaped cup

Cocoa powder - 1 tablespoon

Sugar - 1 level cup

Water - 1/3 cup

Unsalted white butter - 50 gm (1/4 cup) (@ normal temperature)


Mix milk powder and cocoa. Sieve twice.

In a bowl / saucepan mix water and sugar, stirring well and  heat in a  on medium flame while stirring it occasionally.

To test the right consistency of sugar syrup, take a tea spoon of syrup  and drop in cold water - it should roll into a soft ball. That’s the correct stage. If it’s not forming to a soft ball, continue to boil  for 2 – 3 minutes until it reaches soft ball consistency.

Microwave method – In a microwave safe bowl of 1 litre capacity, mix sugar and water together and Microwave on high power (Power setting of my microwave oven is 750 W - high power) for 3 minutes. Switch off microwave and remove. Stir well and microwave again for 2 minutes. Test by dropping a drop of sugar solution in cold water – it should roll into a soft ball. That’s the right consistency.

To this  (thick sugar syrup) first add butter and mix well until it form a  smooth paste and without  lumps.

Add dry ingredients (sieved milk powder – cocoa powder) mix well with a hand beater or spatula or steel ladle until smooth and creamy.

Transfer to a greased plate. Spread the paste evenly with a flat spatula. Keep aside for 5 minutes and immediately thereafter cut into pieces of desired size and shape. Once it completely cools to room temperature, remove from greased thali / plate / baking dish. 

One may add chopped dry fruits like cashew, almonds, raisins etc. Add this during the final stages of paste; before spreading. 

These home made chocolates are a welcome change from the ones from shop. One can be assured of the taste and quality; at the same time much cost effective. The preparation will also give an amount of satisfaction. This can also be a  gift for your loved ones - in which case, cut into desired size and shapes, wrap in butter paper. Also, this is can be a perfect snack box item for the kids. 

Thick Masala Omelette

Thick Masala Omelette -  Thick omelette, made with eggs, cheese and mixed vegetables !!

Serves :  2.- 3


3 eggs , beaten

2 tablespoon onion, chopped

1 cheese cube,  grated

2 teaspoon milk

2 tablespoon chopped coriander or mint leaves (or a mix of mint and coriander)

2 tablespoon grated carrot or thinly shredded cabbage (or a mix of carrot and cabbage)

2 tablespoon chopped tomato

Salt and pepper to taste (or ¼ teaspoon each)

2 teaspoon Butter / oil

To serve : with bread / fruit juice or milk


In a bowl, mix beaten egg, onion, tomato, coriander – mint leaves, grated cheese, milk, grated carrot (or cabbage) and salt and pepper. Mix all until  all the ingredients until well combined.

Heat omelette pan on medium heat.  Grease with 2 teaspoon oil or butter.

Pour omelette mixture gently and shake the omelette pan to spread it evenly and cook on a medium heat. Cover with a lid and cook on a medium to low heat for 6 - 8 minutes (until top portion cooked well).

The underside should be light golden in color.

Remove the omelette from the pan carefully.

Flip over omelette and cook the other side. Once it turn light golden color (underside) remove carefully with a flat spatula. Serve with whole wheat bread  / fruit juice / milk or serve as a snack . Cut it into desired shape and size. Consume immediately.

Kerala Meat Masla Powder

Kerala Meat Masala Powder – This meat masala powder is very useful for the preparation of meat / mushroom / egg / cutlet … Make in smaller quantity - ie for use for a few times. The fragrance / freshness may be lost if one makes in large quantity and store for longer duration. Recipe from ‘ Kuttanadan Ruchikal’ by Ashok & Meril !!

Makes: 45 g


3 tablespoon fennel seeds (perumjeerakam)

2 teaspoon cardamom (elakka) seeds from 18 cardamom, do not use skin

2 teaspoon cloves (grambu)

2 teaspoon or 4 small size star anise (thakkolam)

2 cinnamon sticks (karuvappata)

2 teaspoon khus khus (poppy seeds)


Please select good quality spices. Gently wipe cinnamon sticks with a soft dry towel.

Heat iron  karahi / pan on a medium heat. Reduce  the heat to low and gently dry  roast above spices until light fragrant (approximate time 8 - 10 minutes on a medium to low heat). Keep aside to cool for half an hour.

Transfer dry roasted ingredients into  a small mixer bowl and make a fine powder and then sieve it through a fine sieve (now the net weight is 45 g). Store it in an airtight container (or in Tupperware dry storage box). ½ teaspoon meat masala powder required for egg curry  and mushroom (2 servings, 2 boiled eggs or 200 g mushroom) and 1 teaspoon meat masala powder required for 500 g  chicken  / mutton preparation (for curry and biryani).

Oct 27, 2013

Boondi Ladoo

Here's the recipe link of Boondi Ladoo /  Laddu (made of dry roasted gram flour / besan)

Here's the recipe link of Boondi Ladoo /  Laddu (made of normal gram flour / besan)

Oct 26, 2013

Kumbalanga Pulissery

Kumbalanga  Pulissery - A delicious main curry in Kerala  cuisine, goes well with rice. Basic recipe from  ‘The Essential Kerala Cookbook by Vijayan Kannampilly”. Cookery book available at various online stores and other leading bookshops !!

Serves: 3 – 4


For moru (butter milk):

100 ml medium thick curd

100 ml water

½ teaspoon salt

Beat curd, water and salt till smooth with the help of a blender or Tupperware quick shaker. Make curd mixture into a smooth consistency (without any lumps). Cover and keep aside.

For  the coconut paste:


5  tablespoons grated coconut

1 tablespoon raw  rice (pachari / soorai orovu), wash and soak it in water for 1 hour (this step is very important)

1 green chilli, chopped (1 big size or 2 small size)

½ teaspoon jeera (cumin seeds)

2 tablespoon water


Make a smooth paste of above ingredients with 2 tablespoon water. Paste should be thick in consistency.

For  the Kumbalanga / ash gourd:

200 g kumbalanga / ash gourd, peel off the skin and cut into cubes

1 cup (175 - 200 ml) water

½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)

½ teaspoon turmeric powder

1 small size green chilli, slit lengthwise


In a bowl, mix all the ingredients together (water level should be up to level of kumbalanga). Cover with a lid and boil on a medium to low heat for 10 – 12 minutes until done and water almost dries up / kumbalanga  pieces well cooked.

At this stage, add coconut paste. Mix well. Cover with a lid and cook again on a low heat for another 5 minutes. No need to boil more time. Switch off the heat. Finally add butter milk and mix well. Please do not heat it again.

For the  seasoning:

2 teaspoon oil

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

¼ teaspoon methi seeds (uluva / fenugreek seeds)

4 curry leaves


Heat oil in a small pan. Add mustard seeds. When they crackle, add methi and curry leaves. Saute for 1 -2 minutes until fragrant and crisp. Pour this seasoning over pulissery. Serve with rice and other accompaniments (like potato fry, pickle, cabbage thoran, fish fry …) ...

Mysore Pak (Recipe from Dakshin Bharath Dishes by Jaya V Shenoy)

Mysore Pak (Recipe from Dakshin Bharath Dishes by Jaya v Shenoy) - Mysore Pak is a very popular sweet in India, made of gram flour (besan), ghee and sugar syrup. Recipe from Dakshin Bharath Dishes by Jaya V Shenoy (Jaya maayi). Color of the Mysore Pak may varies from yellow, light yellow, light brown, brown ... depending upon the color of the ghee / pure ghee / desi ghee / oil / sugar / raw besan / dry roasted besan ..

Please use same measuring cup to measure besan, sugar, ghee and water.


Please keep all the ingredients and gadgets (iron sieve, steel bowl, thali …) ready near kitchen platform.

1/2 cup good quality besan (gram flour / kadala maav / chone pitti) (Here I’ve used Indian standard measuring cup of ½ cup / 100 ml / 4 oz capacity).

1 cups sugar

1/2 cup water

2 cups melted ghee or 1 ½ cup melted ghee  (or ¾ cup (3/4th level of measuring cup) melted ghee and ¾ cup sunflower oil. Please do not use coconut oil).  Keep it ready melted ghee and hot oil near kitchen platform with a steel ladle.

Extra 1 tablespoon  ghee (to  roast gram flour)

Other gadgets:

1 fine sieve (to sieve gram flour)

1 kadai or non stick pan (to dry roast gram flour)

1 steel bowl (to make sugar syrup)

1 steel ladle (to pour ghee)

1 strong iron sieve (to strain sugar solution)

1 wide non stick pan

1 thick wooden spatula

1 steel thali or a baking dish (square or rectangular)


For the  gram flour:

Sieve gram flour. Heat 1 tablespoon ghee in a non stick pan / kadai on a medium heat. Add sieved gram flour and dry roast on a medium to low heat for 5 minutes until lightly fragrant. Do not dry roast on high heat. It’ll turn into brown color immediately.

For  the sugar syrup:

In a wide bowl, boil sugar and water on a medium heat. Sugar will dilute in water and become a smooth solution, solution will boil well and lots of bubbles appear on the top of the sugar solution (it may take 5 - 7 minutes). Do not make it half thread to 1 thread consistency. Switch off the heat. At this stage, strain the hot sugar solution through a fine iron sieve. Now it is a clear sugar solution without any dirt and impurities.

2nd stage:

Heat a non stick pan / or any other pan on a medium heat. Pour hot sugar solution into it and boil for another 5 – 7 minutes (sticky syrup  - Sugar solution slightly thickens / like the texture of the honey and a string appear between thumb and forefinger when testing (approximate time for all these process is 7 minutes on a medium heat). I'm not sure about other temperature settings (like candy thermometer).

3rd stage:

At this stage, pour roasted gram flour evenly with one hand and simultaneously stir with a spatula with the other hand (like Upma / Uppumaav preparation) . Mixing of gram flour in sugar syrup is very important when making Mysore Pak. It should be mixed evenly - else it may form lumps. Stir well until well combined with sugar syrup and it will become creamy in texture.

Please keep hot ghee (ghee - oil) near your kitchen stove with a steel ladle.

4th stage:

Now add melted and hot ghee (or ghee – hot oil) and mix well. Ghee will float on the surface. 2 ladle ful at a time (please add slowly and keep a safe distance from the stove) and stir continuously.

 Now one can see lots of pours on the top the gram flour and also featherlight in structure when stirring. Gram flour mixture moves very easily when stirring because of hot ghee (ghee – oil). It won’t stick into the pan. 

Pour ghee / ghee – oil in 2 – 3 batches and stir continuously. Do not stop stirring in between. Stir continuously for 2 - 3 minutes. When the mixture is ready, the gram flour mixture turns light golden with ghee float on the sides of the pan (boil vigorously too) and becomes porous and spongy (like a bread slice). 

All these changes will happen within 3 - 4 minutes after adding ghee (or ghee – oil). Do not cook until ghee gets dries up / mixture leaves form sides of the pan. Then it won’t form Mysore pak. It will become a brown color dry chutney powder (thamble puddi).

5th stage:

At this stage, switch off the gas flame and transfer this hot ghee mixture into a thali or baking dish (including ghee). Shake the plate / thali / baking dish in  such a way that the mixture flattens and spreads by itself (or gently spread with a thick spatula). Gently pour off excess ghee from one corner of the thali / baking dish.

Keep aside for 2 minutes and cut into desired shape and size. It can remove very easily from the steel plate / baking dish.

Here's the recipe link of Microwave Mysore Pak (Easy recipe)