Saturday, December 20, 2008

Sarkarai Pongal / Sakkarai Pongal / Chakkara Pongal / Jaggery Rice, a sweet dish

  • Take a pressure cooker.
  • Add 2 cups of washed raw rice, ½ cup of slightly roasted split green gram and 4 cups of water.
  • Pressure cook till the contents become soft.
  • Remove the lid.
  • Add ½ cup of ghee, 5 cups of grated jaggery and 100 ml of milk.
  • Stir and cook under low flame so as to get the contents thick.
  • Add a tsp of cardamom powder, 10 each of fried cashew nuts and fried raisins.
  • Mix well and serve hot or cold.

Raw rice – Colam rice / Pacharisi / Kachcha chaval
Split green gram – Pasipparuppu / Moong dal wash
Jaggery – Vellam / Gud
Cardamom – Elakkai / Elaichi
Cashew nut / Mundhiri paruppu / Khaju
Raisin - Kismis / Ular dhrakshai

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Kesari (A type of halwa like dessert: Kulipirai, Sivagangai, Devakottai special)


  • Rava (Sooji) - 1 cup
  • Ghee - 4 tbsp
  • Sugar - 2 cups
  • Saffron or Kesari powder – 1 pinch
  • Cardamom powder - 1 tsp
  • Cashew nuts - 5
  • Raisins (Kismis) - 5
  • Water - 2 cups
Method of preparation:

  • Heat 2 tbsp of ghee in a pan.
  • Fry cashew nuts.
  • Remove the fried cashew nuts and keep separately.
  • Now in the same pan roast rava, till golden brown.
  • Add boiling water.
  • Keep the flame low till the rava is cooked.
  • Add 2 tbsp of ghee, sugar and stir it continuously till it becomes thick.
  • Add saffron or kesari powder, cardamom powder, raisins and fried cashew nuts.
  • Stir a little.
  • Serve hot.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Mutton curry / Attukkari kuzhambu / Attu kulambu (Pudukkottai special)


  • Mutton (small pieces with bone) -500 gm
  • Onion (finely chopped) - 1
  • Tomato (chopped) -1
  • Ginger garlic paste -2 tbsp
  • Cardamom -2
  • Cinnamon- a small piece
  • Cloves -4
  • Bay leaves -2
  • Turmeric powder -1 tsp
  • Coriander powder -2 tbsp
  • Chili powder -1 tbsp
  • Oil for frying
  • Coconut paste - 1 tsp
  • Lemon juice – 2 tsp
  • Coriander leaves for garnishing
  • Salt to taste

Method of preparation:

  • Fry all spices in oil in a pressure cooker.
  • Under low flame, add onion and stir.
  • Add ginger garlic paste and sauté.
  • Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, chili powder and salt.
  • Fry further thoroughly.
  • Add washed mutton pieces and stir.
  • Add tomatoes and sauté for some time.
  • Add coconut paste and pour a cup of water.
  • Pressure cook for about 8 whistles.
  • Add lemon juice and garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Tastes best with biriyani, rice, idli, dosai, paratha, or chapathi.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Chicken Kuzhambu / Chicken curry (Madurai, Trichy and Ponnamaravathi Special)

  • Marinate 500 gm of small pieces of chicken with bone with a little salt, turmeric powder, chili powder, chicken masala and lemon juice.
  • Roast ½ tsp each of poppy seeds (kasa kasa), black pepper, fennel and qty four red chili.
  • Grind to powder in a mixer-grinder.
  • Fry a chopped onion, a chopped tomato, three green chili and four cloves of garlic and a small piece of ginger in a tbsp of oil.
  • Add this with the powder in mixer-grinder and grind well.
  • Add 3 tbsp of grated coconut and grind further.
  • Heat 2 tbsp of oil in a cooker. Add a cinnamon stick and 3 cardamoms for seasoning.
  • Add the grinded mixture and fry for about 5 minutes with occasional stirring.
  • Add the marinated chicken, required salt and stir.
  • Add water as required.
  • Pressure cook for about 4 or 5 whistles.
  • Garnish with coriander leaves.
  • Serve hot with rice, biriyani, idly, dosa or paratha.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Medu Vadai (Ulundha Vadai / Urad dal Vada)

A good appetizer cum soft, healthy, energetic, cheap, easy to prepare and tasty snack.


  • Black gram (Uluttham paruppu / Urad dal) - 2 cups
  • Onion - 1
  • Green chilies - 3 or 4
  • Black pepper - 1 tsp
  • Cumin seed - 1 tsp
  • Curry leaves – a few
  • Coriander leaves – a few
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for frying
Method of preparation:

  • Wash and soak Black gram for about 1 hour.
  • Finely chop the onion and green chilies.
  • Grind all smooth without adding water.
  • Roughly chop the curry leaves and coriander leaves and mix with the batter.
  • Add broken black pepper, Cumin seed and salt and mix thoroughly.
  • Heat oil in a deep pan.
  • Make your hands wet.
  • Take a lemon size of batter.
  • Flatten with your palms and make a hole in the middle.
  • Deep fry at a time about six, until golden brown color, uniformly both the sides.
  • Drain excess oil and serve hot with coconut chutney and sambar.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Athirasam / adhirasam: a sweet dish as a dessert or snack

A suitable sweet to enjoy eating especially during festivals like Deepavali.


  • Raw Rice (colam rice) - ½ kg
  • Jaggery - 1/4 kg
  • Edible oil for deep frying – As required
  • Cardamom powder – 1 tsp
  • Dry ginger powder – 1 tsp

Method of preparation

  • Soak rice in water for about 3 hours.
  • Decant the water and partially dry the rice.
  • Grind into powder using mixer-grinder, sieve and get fine powder.
  • Prepare syrup (pagu) by boiling jaggery with required water.
  • Filter the syrup and continue boiling and stirring to wire like consistency (kambi padham).
  • Mix cardamom powder and dry ginger powder with the jaggery syrup.
  • Let it cool very well and thoroughly mix it with the powdered rice so as to make dough. The dough will become thicker on further cooling preferably over night.
  • Pat the dough into discs and deep fry in oil till brown.
  • Serve hot or cold.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Kara chevu (Kara sev, a diwali / deepavali snack)

  • Bengal gram flour (Kadalai maavu, Channa dal flour) - 2 cups
  • Rice flour - 2tbsp
  • Red chili powder – 1 tsp
  • Garlic - 2 cloves
  • Black pepper - 1tbsp
  • Cumin seed (Jeera- Jeeragam) – 1 tsp
  • Ajowan (Carom, Bishop’s Weed, Ajwan, Omam) – 1 tsp
  • Asafetida (Perungayam, Hing) - as required
  • Edible oil for deep frying - as required
  • Salt- as required

Method of preparation
  • Grind garlic, black pepper, cumin seed, ajowan and asafetida into a coarse paste.
  • Mix Bengal gram flour, rice flour, red chili powder, salt and the ground paste.
  • Make a thick dough using water.
  • Heat oil in a pan for deep frying.
  • Fill the dough in a murukku press.
  • Press to slide the dough into the hot oil.
  • Take out when become golden brown and drain the oil.
  • Break into pieces of desired length.

A tasty, crispy, special snack especially prepared home during festivals like Deepavali.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Lemon rice (Elumichai sadam / Elumicham saadam)

  • Cook1 cup of raw rice (colam rice), spread evenly and sprinkle ½ tsp of turmeric powder.
  • Fry the seasonings consist of ½ tsp of mustard seeds, 1 tsp of black gram, 1 tsp of Bengal gram, 2 tsp of ground nut (peanut), Qty 2 red chilies (broken into pieces), one by one.
  • Add with rice.
  • Add required salt, lemon juice squeezed from 2 lemons, 1 tsp finely chopped ginger and 1 tsp asafetida and mix well.
  • Garnish with curry leaves.
  • Serve cold.
  • Suitable to carry packed and have it while traveling, packed lunch, etc.


    English ----- Tamil --------- Hindi

    Raw rice -----Pacharisi -------------Kachcha chawal
    Turmeric ---- Manjal ------------------- Haldi
    Mustard ----- kadugu -------------------- Rai / Sarson
    Black gram -- Uluttham paruppu -------Urad dal
    Bengal gram -- Kadalai paruppu ---------- Channa dal
    Ground nut -- Nilakkadalai / Ver kadalai -- Moong phali
    Red chili -- Vara milakai / milakai vatral ---- Lal mirchi
    Lemon / Lime-- elumicham pazham --- Nimbu
    Ginger ------- Inji / Injiver -------------- Adharak
    Asafetida / -- Perungayam ----- Hing
    Curry leaves - Kary veppilai --------- Kary patha

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Simple Pepper Rasam with pleasant aroma

  • Take 3 cups of tamarind extract (prepared out of a lemon sized ball of tamarind and water) in a vessel.
  • Add 2 tsp of pepper powder, 2 tsp of cumin seed powder, 1 tsp turmeric powder, 4 cloves of smashed garlic and salt to it.
  • Squeeze a tomato and mix with the liquid.
  • Add a cup chopped coriander/cilantro leaves and keep aside.
  • Keep a sauce pot on the stove and add 2 tsp of oil.
  • Heat it under medium flame.
  • Add 1 tsp of mustard, 1 tsp of cumin seeds, 1 red chilly, a pinch of asafetida, and a few curry leaves one by one.
  • When the mustard starts popping, add the tamarind extract mixture.
  • Reduce the flame to low.
  • At the initial stage of boiling, and appearance of foam, switch off the stove and cover the sause pot using a lid.
  • Serve hot this tasty rasam having great aroma with cooked rice.

    Tamarind - Imli / Imly / Puli
    Pepper – Kali mirch / Milagu
    Cumin seed - Jeera / Jeeragam
    Turmeric – Haldi / Manjal
    Garlic – Lasoon / Poondu
    Coriander leaves – Dhania pattha / Kotthu malli thazhai
    Mustard – Rai / Kadugu
    Asafetida – hing / PerungayamCurry leaves – Kary patha / Kariveppilai
    Sauce pot - kadhai / Iruppuchchatti

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Sambar powder / Sambhar podi / Kuzhambu (Kulambu) thool

Roast the following separately and evenly under low flame.
  • Red chili / Red chilli (Vara milakai / Lal mirchi)-250 gm
  • Coriander seeds (Malli / Dhania)-250 gm
  • Split gram (Tuvaram paruppu / Toor dal / Arhar dal)-100gm
  • Bengal gram (Kadalai paruppu / Channa dal)-100gm
  • Husked black gram (Ulundham paruppu / Urad dal)-25gm
  • Cumin Seeds (jeeragam / Jeera)-75gm
  • Black Pepper (Milagu / Kali Mirch)-50gm
  • Mustard (Kadugu / Rai / Sarson)-25gm
  • Rice- 50 gm
  • Turmeric (Manjal / Haldi)-40 gm
  • Fenugreek (Vendhayam / Methi)-40gm
  • Asafoetida / Asafetida (Perungayam / Hing) - 2 tsp
Mix, spread and allow them to cool.

Grind to powder, allow it to cool and store airtight.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Vathakkulambu / Vattha kuzhambu / Vatral kuzhamboo ; a vegetarian gravy for rice, (Vatha kulambu or vatthal kolambu)

  • Prepare about 2 cups of tamarind extract from a lemon sized ball of tamarind.
  • Roast 1 tsp each of coriander seeds, Bengal gram, Split gram, and fenugreek seeds until golden color and grind fine to powder (masala).
  • Prepare rice milk by mixing 1 tbsp of rice flour and a little water.
  • Cut 2 eggplants (brinjal) and fry soft in oil.
  • Fry 1 tsp each of mustard seed and Split Black gram in oil until brown. Add a few curry leaves, followed by a red chili, about 5 cloves of garlic, and a chopped onion. Continue frying until the garlic becomes soft. Add 1 tbsp of chili powder and fry.
  • Add the tamarind extract and fried eggplant and boil.
  • Add powdered masala and salt to taste.
  • Add rice milk and ½ to 1 cup of water.
  • Continue boiling under low flame for about 15 minutes.
  • Serve hot with rice, papad (appalam), and mango pickle.

    Bengal gram is Kadalai paruppu in Tamil and Channa dal in Hindi.
    Split gram or Pigeon peas is Tuvaram paruppu in Tamil and Tuwar dal or Arhar dal in Hindi.
    Split Black gram is Uluttham paruppu in Tamil and Urad dal in Hindi.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Cooking tips

  • Arrange all the items used for cooking, so as to be easily accessible.
  • Label the containers for quick reference.
  • Wash vegetables before cutting to avoid loss of soluble vitamins and minerals.
  • Peel vegetables as thinly as possible to preserve the minerals and vitamins.
    Do not throw the water used to boil vegetables.
  • Soak onion in water before peeling it.
  • Soak rice for a while before cooking.
  • The order of preference of food should be steamed, boiled followed by fried.
  • To obtain maximum juice from lemon, soak it in luke warm water for a while before cutting.
  • To reduce fat in the chicken, remove the skin before marinating it.
  • The thicker the fish, the longer is the duration of cooking it.
  • Don’t overcook fish if you don’t want to lose its flavor and texture.
  • During non-season of tomatoes, tomato puree, ketchup or sauce can be used in gravies.
  • Use thick bottom vessels to avoid burning.
  • Before boiling milk, pour a little water in the empty vessel. This prevents sticking.
  • Add a pinch of salt on oil while deep frying to have less oil consumption.
  • To remove stains from cooking utensils, rub with a little salt while washing.
  • To prepare crisp, golden dosai (Dosa), add a teaspoonful of fenugreek while grinding for it.
  • To prepare soft dosai, add some old cooked rice while grinding for it.
  • Add a few drops of lemon juice and a tsp of oil while boiling rice to separate one another.
  • To remove the shell easy from boiled eggs, keep them in cold water for about 5 minutes.
  • Don’t keep stainless steel spoons permanently with pickles.
  • To Peel garlic easy, heat them for a while.
  • To store green chilies longer, remove stems from them before storing them.
  • To remove excessive salt in the dish being prepared, add a few pieces of potato.
  • To retain the green color of spinach while cooking, add a pinch of sugar.
  • To separate noodles immediately after boiling, put them in cold water.
  • To prevent foaming and spilling over of oil while deep frying, add a small piece of tamarind to the oil.
  • Keep your kitchen clean. It is essential to keep food safe. Otherwise bacteria can grow and spread.
  • Always wash worktops before you start preparing food.
  • Wash and dry kitchen cloths and sponges regularly and keep different cloths for different jobs.
  • Wash knives, spoons, tongs, etc. thoroughly after using them with raw meat.
    Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water before starting to prepare food.
  • While boiling egg, add a little salt to prevent egg shells from cracking.
  • Rubbing a slice of raw potato will take food stains off your hands.
  • Carrots with green tops may be avoided as they are bitter to taste.
  • Add fresh or leftover cauliflower to soups or stews.
  • If soup is more salty, add small pieces of potato.
  • For long time preservation of pickle, Use dry container and dry spoon only.
  • To avoid wasting left over idlies and to have them later, cut them into pieces, fry in oil (Idly fry).
  • Slice watermelon thin to separate seeds easily.
  • To test whether honey is adulterated, take a glass of water, and add a few drops of honey. If the honey dissolves quickly, it is impure. Pure honey settles on the base of the glass.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Mango Rice (Mangai Sadam)

  • Cook 1 cup of Rice.
  • Cut a small piece of ginger and 2 green chilies (chillies) into very small pieces.
  • Peel and grate a raw mango.
  • Fry 1/4 Cup of Peanuts(ground nuts) for about one minute, by using 2 tsp Oil,1 tsp Mustard seeds and fresh Curry leaves.
  • Add ginger, green chilies and grated mangoes.
  • Stir, till the mango gets cooked.
  • Remove from flame.
  • Mix with rice and Salt to taste.
  • Serve hot or cold.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


  • Boil 500 ml of water.
  • Add some slices of fresh ginger root.
  • Reduce flame.
  • Cook for 10 minutes and strain.
  • Add honey and/or lemon juice of your choice.
  • Drink hot.
  • (Good remedy for sore throat, cold, etc.)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Carrot Halwa

Carrot Halwa is a dessert, also called Gajjar Halwa, Gajar Halva or Gajar ka Halwa.
Carrot is a versatile root vegetable. We can eat carrot raw as well as cooked. Carrot contains ‘Carotene’, an yellow pigment, which converts itself into Vitamin A. Vitamin A is very effective in correcting night blindness. Consuming carrots give good color to our skin. Carrot also contains phosphorous, folic acid, sodium, potassium, vitamin C, etc. Carrots are also useful to get rid off anaemia / anemia and acidosis. It is a blood purifier.
Method of preparation:
  • Boil 500 gm of grated carrots in 750 ml of milk.
  • Stir intermittently at the beginning and continuously when it starts thickening.
  • Reduce flame; add 200gm of sugar, a tsp of ghee and a pinch of cardamom powder.
  • Stir until the ghee comes out.
  • Serve hot with decoration of your choice.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Sambar vadai

  • Soak 1 cup of urad dal (husked black gram, ulundham paruppu) for ½ an hour.
  • Grind to a smooth paste and mix well with a tbsp of rice flour (arisi mavu) , 1/2 chopped onion, 1 chopped green chilli, 2 coarsely broken blackpepper, a handful of mixture of chopped coriander leaves and curry leaves and salt to taste.
  • Shape into vadais of preferable size and deep fry.
  • Put them in hot sambar.
  • They float,absorb sambar, and become smooth and tasty Sambar vadais.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


  • Take 1 litre of milk, ½ Kg of sugar & a handful of washed rice of your preference in a pressure cooker.
  • Cook for one whistle and then for about 5 minutes.
  • Add a pinch of cardamom powder and stir.
  • Serve for 4.

Thursday, March 13, 2008


  • Slice potatoes thin and round.
  • Add some salt in a bowl of water, soak the slices for 5 minutes and dry.
  • Deep fry them in oil.
  • Mix with red chilli (chili) powder.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


  • Roast 1 cup of rava slowly until it gives an aroma.
  • Allow it to cool.
  • Grind it soft.
  • Grind 1 cup of sugar into powder.
  • Mix them with ½ tsp of cardamom powder.
  • Fry qty 6 cashew nuts and qty 10 raisins (kismis) in ¼ cup of ghee and mix well with the powdered mixture of rava, sugar and cardamom.
  • Make laddus (round balls).
  • Add hot ghee if required to make laddus conveniently.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


  • Cut required quantity of fruits like grapes, banana, papaya, orange, apple, pineapple, and dates.
  • Boil some jaggery in a little milk and filter.
  • Mix every thing slowly with preboiled cold milk and keep in refrigerator.
  • Serve cold.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


  • Roast and grind 100 gm each of Black gram (ulundam paruppu,urad dal), Bengal gram (kadalai paruppu,channa dal), 50 gm each of red chilli, white sesame and a few curry leaves, separately.
  • Mix all with a little asafoetida (perungayam,hing) and required amount of salt.
  • Store in air tight container.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


  • Take 100 gms of nellikkai. (Also called peru nelli).
  • Remove seeds.
  • Grind with a green chilli, a little ginger (inji), garlic (poondu), salt and jaggery (vellam)(optional).
  • Season with mustard seed (kaduku), jeeragam (jeera or cumin seed) and oil.


  • Boil 100 gms of broken wheat with 100 ml of milk, a tablespoonful of coconut turnings (Tenkai thuruval) and a little water, till the broken wheat becomes soft.
  • Add 50 gms of jaggery (vellam) and a pinch of cardamom powder.
  • Boil further for 5 minutes.
  • Serve for 5.


  • Food is the basic need of life. Good health and fitness mainly depends on nutrition. We need enough nourishment to grow and to maintain our good health. The intake of food largely determines the health. I had a few chances to cook during my childhood, several chances when I was away from my family members. My wife prepares hygienically, tasty and nutritive food. I would like to highlight the recipes of my home.