December 27, 2010


Bisibelabath is basically a sambhar rice, wherein here the rice is cooked with dal all vegetables together. This gives the nice aroma and flavor of the rice. I consider this as a whole meal as it has carbohydrates, proteins and all veggies together with a fantastic taste. This rice has to be served hot with its unbeatable combination - papads (appalams).


Rice - 1.5 cups
Toor dal - 1 cup
Tamarind juice - 1 cup (slightly thinned/watery)
Thinly sliced Onions - 1
Chopped Tomatoes - 1
Green chilly - 2
Mixed Vegetables - 1/2 cup
(Chopped carrots, Beans, Potatoes, Green Peas, Drumsticks)
Coriander leaves
Curry leaves
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Orad dal - 2 tsp
Hing powder - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 2 tbsp

To roast and grind

Red chilly - 3
Coriander seeds - 2 tbsp
Jeera - 1 tsp
Peppercorns - 1 tsp
Chana Dal - 2 tsp
coconut powder - 2 tbsp


Pressure cook the toor dal with 2 cups of water and a pinch of turmeric powder

Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan and add mustard seeds

After it splutters, add orad dal, hing powder, onions, greenchillies and curry leaves one by one

After the onions turns transparent, add the chopped tomatoes and veggies and saute them. Later add the washed rice and saute little further

To this add the tamarind juice, salt and grounded powder. After it starts boiling add the cooked dal and 3 cups of water (we can add more water than the regular 1:2 ratio as this rice tends to thicken because fo the dal)

Transfer this to a pressure cooker and cook well till the rice is done

This rice needs to be mushy and semi-solid consistency and that gives the awesome taste. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve hot

December 25, 2010

Coconut milk rice

As I am in the search of simple rice varieties, I explored this one. Thanks to the readily available coconut milk, this can be prepared in notime with the simple ingredients in ur pantry shelves. This is a mild rice, anything hot goes very well with this. I served it with potato fry.


Basmati rice - 2 cups
Coconut milk - 1 cup
water - 2 1/4 cups
Cinnamon - 1 stick
Cardamom - 1
Cloves - 2
Raisins - 2 tsp
cashews - 10
Ghee - 1 tsp
green chilly - 1


1. Heat ghee in a pan and add the whole spices

2. To this add the raisins, cashews and green chilly

3. once the cashews slighly changes color, add the washed rice and salt and toss the rice with ghee and other ingredients

4. Transfer this to the rice cooker and add coconut milk and water

5. After its done garnish with coriander leaves and its ready to serve

Eggplant kotsu

Wenever we talk of Venpongal, the best accompaniment I could remember is kotsu made of eggplant. This is a little variation from sambhar wherein the former one is thick as compared to the pouring consistency of the later one. Other than Pongal, this goes very well with Idly and dosa also.


Big Eggplant - 1
Onions - 1
yellow moong dal - 2 tbsp
tamarind juice - 2 tbsp
mustard seeds - 1 tsp
curry leaves
coriander leaves
oil - 2 tsp
water - 1/2 cup

To roast and grind
Red chilly - 2
coriander seeds - 3 tsp


Getting prepared:

1. Cut the stem part and cook the egg plant in microwave for 3 + 1 mins on high (adjust more or less according to ur microwave). After it cools down, peel of the skin and mash it with ur hands. This can also be cooked on stovetop by chopping the eggplant into small pieces.

2. Pressure cook the yellow moong dal and mash well

3. Roast and grind the chilly and coriander seeds

Cooking Kotsu:

1. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds to splutter

2. Add the onions and curry leaves and saute till tender

3. Then add the mashed eggplant, salt, ground powder and tamarind extract

4. Add water and let it boil for few minutes

5. To this mix the mashed dal and cook for few more minutes till it thickens

6. Garnish with coriander leaves and serve with Pongal or Idly

This can also be prepared replacing eggplant with tomatoes.
The ground powder of red chilly and coriander seeds comes handy for many dishes even for sambhar. This can be prepared ahead in more quantity and stored in air-tight containers.

December 14, 2010

Bhoondi Laddu

This is one of the most favorite diwali sweet of my husband. He asked me if we can make this year. But I was not sure as I didn't had the laddle for making the boondi. Then I came across a website where it was mentioned that this can be done with the traditional "jalli karandi" (a ladle with holes).

So I just gave a try and it was not a bad work for the first timers. But the real tough part in making laddus is the making of final balls which is very time consuming. Thanks to my husband who helped in pressing the bhoondis in the sugar syrup.

This recipe makes around 10 medium sized laddus.


Besan flour - 1 cup
Sugar - 1 cup
Raisins - 1 tbsp
Cloves - 3
Cardamom - 1 crushed
broken cashews - 1 tbsp
water - 1/2 cup


Sugar Syrup:

1. Add the water and sugar in a pan and bring to a boil on medium-high heat.
2. When the syrup comes to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and stir to dissolve the sugar. Then let it simmer until the syrup is about half thread consistency.
3. Fry the cloves, raisins and cashews in oil/ghee. Add them to the syrup.


1. Mix the besan flour with water to make a smooth batter without any lumps. The batter consistency should be slightly thicker than dosa batter.
2. Heat the oil in a frying pan on medium heat.
3. Hold the ladle just 1 to 1 1/2 inches above the oil in one hand and with the other hand pour some of the batter onto the ladle such that the batter covers all of the holes.
4. The batter will start dropping through the holes into the oil. Drop enough boondi into the oil so that they just cover the surface of the oil in a single layer
5. Fry them until the sizzling sound stops and the boondis are slightly gold in colour but not crispy. (When you try to break a boondi between your fingers, it should not crack; it should just squeeze in and comeout) Pick up the boondis with another slotted spoon and put them directly in the warm sugar syrup.
6. Repeat the process of making boondi and adding to the syrup with rest of the batter. Make sure you wipe clean the ladle/grater after pouring 1 bath of batter. Let the boondis soak in the sugar syrup for few minutes.

Making of Laddu:

1. Boondis soak most of the sugar syrup. Drain off the excess syrup (not much will be there)
2. Take a flat laddle and keep pressing the bhoondis in the syrup. Make sure you not to break the bhoondis but to press well gently. This helps the boondis to absorb the sugar syrup well and also the helps in making the laddu balls.
3. Once they are warm enough to handle (Remember not to let them cool off completely as the sugar will crystallize) grease your hands and take some part of the mixture into your palm. Gently squeeze it with your palms and make a round ball.
4. If the bhoondis tend to be sticking to ur hands(maybe after 2-3 laddus), wash your hands, dry them, grease again and try to make the laddus.
5. As the laddus cool to room temperature they will become firm.

1. While frying the bhoondis, if they seems to absorb more oil(the bhoondis will be little porous), it means the batter has becomes watery and you have to add little more besan
2. If the shape of the bhoondis are little elongated and not circle, it means you need little more water to the batter
3. While making laddus, if the sugar syrup has crystallized and the bhoondis are no more sticky (like sugared bhoondis), then heat the sugared bhoondis by adding 1 tbsp of hot water. This will help to melt the sugar and you'll be able to hold them tougether and make laddus.

December 2, 2010

Milagu Vadai

I got reminded of this traditional dish from a recent cookery show. This is a light variation of medhu vadai, crisp in nature made of urad dal and black pepper. This has good shelf life for a week or so and can be handy on outings. This goes good with curd rice and can serves as a snack too.


urad dal - 1 cup
black pepper - 1 tsp
cumin seeds - 2 tsp
rice flour - 2 tsp
Butter - 1 tsp
Oil - for frying


For the batter:
1. Soak the urad dal for 1 hour
2. Drain them well in a strainer and grind it coarsely. Do not add water while grinding.
3. Crush the pepper and cumin seeds or grind it very coarsely (just 1 sec will do on a mixer)
4. Add the crushed mix, melted butter, rice flour and salt to the grinded batter. Mix well

For the vadai:
1. Take a small piece of the batter and shape it into a small ball. Place it on a greased plastic sheet
2. Grease your fingers to prevent the batter from sticking to your hand. Pat it gently to flat it into a thin disc. You can make a small hole in the middle with your finger. Use a fork and pork randomnly on the flattened disc
3. Heat oil in a pan for deep frying. Gently remove the flattened disc and drop in the hot oil.
4. Fry on medium flame and cook till light reddish on both sides.
5. Store in air-tight containers.
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