Thursday, January 30, 2014

Ulundhu Vadai/Medhu Vadai

No festival time in TamilNadu is complete without this Vada. My mom and sis also used to make this for any occasion. The only job that I do is to assist my sis by frying them in the oil. I am too bad at shaping those vada's. I am still a learner of that part. At times, my vadas will turn out to bondas bcos of my batter consistency :P Now that Prajju has started liking medhu vada's I am sincerely putting my efforts and my vada's are turning out kind'a OK :-) So sharing with you the tips and techniques I have learnt so far..


Whole urad dal - 1 cup
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Whole black pepper - 1 tsp
Shallots - 5 or 6, chopped finely
Curry leaves - few, chopped finely
Green chilli - 2 or 3 (adjust as per taste), chopped into thin rounds
Salt and asafoetida as per taste
Water - 1/4 cup approximately
Oil for deep frying

How to make ulundhu vadai?
  1. Soak the urad dal atleast for an hour. But do not soak for more than 2 hours, or else the vadai's will drink too much of oil.
  2. Drain the water completely and grind the urad dal WITHOUT adding salt in a grinder or in a mixer. Just sprinkle water as and when needed. Do not add too much of water. Scrape the sides of the mixer jar/grinder now and then to avoid sticking to the sides. Grind till the batter looks fluffy. This might take 10-12 minutes approximately. 
  3. Transfer the batter to a bowl and add salt, asafoetida, cumin seeds, black pepper and chopped onions, curry leaves and green chillies. Mix well.
  4. Have a wide bowl filled with water while making the vadas. Wet your hands in the water every time you take the batter and drop them in the oil.
  5. Heat oil in a pan. Once the oil is hot enough, wet your hands and take a medium sized ball of batter, gently make a hole in the center using your thumb, drop it in the oil carefully i.e invert the vadai over the oil and shake your finger so that the batter falls into the oil. Fry till golden brown on both sides in medium flame. Drain it in a kitchen towel/paper. 
  6. Repeat the same process for all the vadais. Do not forget to wet your hands before each vada. Enjoy hot and crispy vadas with Sambar and Chutney!
  • If grinding using a mixer, the batter may not be soft and fluffy at times. In that case, use your hand or spatula and beat the batter well enough, atleast for 5 mins. This is very important, because if the batter is not fluffy the vadai's will turn out to be hard and rubbery.
  • If the batter is too watery, then the vadai will absorb lot of oil. Add just a tbsp of rice flour in that case to make the batter thick. Do not add too much of rice flour also.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Ottu Pakoda/Diamond Pakoda/Aaram Number

Ottu Pakoda or Diamond cuts is a frequent snack in my mom's place. My sister used to make this whenever we go to my brother's place for any occasion. I have seen her making, but haven't tried myself. This time when we had plans for visiting VJ's sister during the weekend I wanted to give this a try and the outcome was too good. I got the recipe from my sister, but after that while googling for more information I came to know that this is one of the famous kerala snacks popularly known as Aaram Number. The actual recipe uses Maida as the main ingredient, since my lil one loves fried snacks I wanted to reduce the amount of maida in it. So I combined maida and whole wheat flour in the ratio 2:1, still the crispies tasted yumm.. Now to the recipe..


Maida - 1 cup
Whole wheat flour - 1/2 cup
Refined oil - 1 tbsp (to add to the flour)
Small onions - 6 to 8, very finely chopped
Green chilli - 2 or 3, very finely chopped
Curry leaves - one strand, very finely chopped
Salt and hing as per taste
Water for making dough  (less than 1/2 cup is what I used)
Oil for deep frying


Chop the onions, green chillies and curry leaves to very fine pieces. Else it will be hard while rolling the dough. Take a mixing bowl, add the maida and whole wheat flour
 Heat 1 tbsp of oil until smoky and add it to the flour mixture. Use a spoon to mix it well. Add the chopped onion, g.chilli, curry leaves, salt and hing. Mix them well.

Add water little by little and make a smooth dough as we make for chapathi's. The dough should not be too loose or too tight. Do not allow the dough to sit too long as the onions will start making the dough still watery.

Make medium sized balls, take a ball and roll into thin circles like chapathi. Using a knife draw firm lines horizontally and then vertically so that they form diamond shapes. Run the knife under the diamonds just like lifting them upwards and remove them to a separate plate. Do not worry if they tend to stick together. They will return back to their shapes while frying. Roll and cut the other balls in the same manner and transfer to the plate.

Heat the oil for frying, test if it is really hot by dropping a tiny piece of dough. If it immediately sizzles and comes up that's the correct temperature. Drop a handful of diamond cuts in the oil very carefully (adjust the quantity as per the amount of oil in your wok).

Using a slotted ladle gently mix the diamond cuts so that they evenly gets browned on all sides. Make sure the heat is in medium flame at all times. Remove when they turn golden brown, drain and transfer to any container. Repeat the process for all the diamond cuts. Crispy and crunchy ottu pakodas are ready to be munched on. Allow to cool and store in an air tight container.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Channa Masala (Without Coconut) - How to prepare Channa Masala

Channa masala is one among the classic vegetarian side dishes, that tastes great with any kind of rotis or mild pulav's. It doesn't require much of the spices except for those regular garam's and easy to make too. And now to the recipe.


White channa - 1 cup
Paneer cubes - 10 to 12 (optional)
Onion - 1, roughly chopped
Tomatoes - 2, roughly chopped
Ginger-Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1&1/2tsp
Garam masala or Channa masala - 1 tsp
Lemon juice - 2 tsp or juice from half a lemon
Salt as per taste

For the seasoning

Oil - 1 tbsp apprx, adjust as per taste
Bay leaf - 1
Cloves - 2
Cinnamon stick - 1

  1. Soak channa overnight or atleast for 6-8 hours and pressure cook until soft. For beginners, it may be approximately 2-3 whistles in high flame and 8-10 minutes in simmer depending upon your pressure cooker and the quality of channa.
  2. Cube the paneer. Usually, in restaurants they will shallow fry the paneer until they turn slightly brown. Instead of that I used to soak the paneer in hot water for 10-15 mins. Both ways, the paneer retains its texture and softness. Remove from hot water or oil and set aside.
  3. In a pan, heat a tsp of oil, add onions, ginger-garlic paste and tomatoes and saute till the raw smell goes off and the tomatoes turn mushy. Allow to cool and grind to a fine paste.
  4. Heat oil in a pan, do the seasoning with the ingredients mentioned. Then add the ground onion-tomato paste and the spice powder. Mix well and cook for few minutes (5-10 mins). 
  5. Add the cooked channa and paneer and allow to boil until all the flavors blend together. If the gravy is too thick add some water to get the desired consistency. Garnish with coriander leaves,lemon juice and switch off. Serve hot with any kind of rotis!!

Kaara Pori/Masala Pori/Spicy Puffed Rice

Masala pori is an easy and quick snack. When you don't have anything to munch on, you can make this snack in minutes and enjoy it along with your tea/coffee. Even kids will love this for its flavor, taste and cripiness. Now, here is the recipe for the quilt-free low calorie snack!!


Puffed rice - 2 cups
Fried gram/Pottu kadalai - 1 tbsp
Cashews -5 or 6, broken into small pieces
Ghee - 1 or 2 tsp
Garlic - 4 or 5, small ones
Curry leaves - few
Salt, chilli powder and turmeric powder as per taste


Crush the garlic well without peeling off its skin. Keep all the ingredients nearby and ready to use.

Heat ghee in a pan, add garlic and saute for few seconds. Then add the fried gram and cashews together and fry them until they turn golden brown. Then add the curry leaves, turmeric powder and chilli powder, pori/puffed rice and salt. Fry till the pori becomes crisp. If your pori by itself is crispy, you may not have to fry for a long time. You can give a nice stir until everything mixes well and can turn off the stove.

Allow to cool down completely and store in an airtight container. Instead of cashews you can also add a handful of peanuts. In that case, you may have to fry them separately first and add to the pori finally.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Poondu kuzhambu - Vengaya kuzhambu - Onion Garlic kuzhambu

I love the flavor of garlic in my dishes and so this kuzhambu is my all time favorite. This is very much similar to vathakuzhambu, the major difference being shallots and garlic are the main ingredients of this kuzhambu. Perfectly pairs with steamed rice, idly or dosa. This stays fresh even for 2-3 days in room temperature. Please check below for the recipe!


Shallots/Small onion - 10 to 12 nos. approximately (you can also use big onion, but shallots gives you the exact taste)
Garlic - 12 to 15 cloves
Tamarind - lemon sized, soaked and extracted
Sambar powder - 1&1/2 to 2 tbsp, adjust as per taste
Jaggery - 1 tsp
Salt and turmeric powder

For seasoning

Sesame oil - 1 tbsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - one strand
Hing - 1/4 tsp


Peel the onions and garlic and cut into halves. You can also chop them to smaller pieces.

Heat the oil in a pan and do the seasoning, then add the garlic and onions and saute well for few mnutes. Saute until they are lightly browned.

Add tamarind water, salt, turmeric powder and sambar powder and bring it to a boil. Add jaggery and cook in medium flame until oil oozes out of the kuzhambu and it thickens. Switch off and serve with steamed rice, papad and thengai(coconut) thuvayal . The best ever combination I have tasted :-)

  • Use sesame oil as it enhances the taste and flavor.
  • You can also use big onions instead of shallots, but shallots gives you the exact and nice taste. 
  • Adding jaggery gives you a nice tangy and sweet taste, you can skip this ingredient and still your kuzhambu will taste great

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Paneer Bhurji

These days my lil one is getting interested in tasting variety of foods. So, I have to be very conscious in giving him nutritious, yet delicious food. When I had to make him an evening snack and as it was only onion, tomatoes, carrots and paneer were the ones on hand, this was the only choice for me. And yeah, he loved it. I remember watching this in a cookery show. This can be prepared in minutes and can be had stuffed with any kind of breads and will definitely taste good. So, lets start with the protein rich dish!


Paneer - 50 gms
Onion - 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Tomato - 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Vegetables of your choice (capsicum, carrots, cooked peas/corn) - 2 tbsp apprx, chopped finely
Turmeric powder, chilli powder and garam masala - a pinch (adjust as per taste)
Salt as per taste
Corriander leaves for garnish

To temper

Oil - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp


Crumble the paneer. Do the seasoning, add the onions and saute until transparent. Then add the tomatoes and saute for a minute.

Now add all the vegetables, salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder and garam masala and cook until the vegetables are half cooked. The bhurji will taste good if the vegetables retain their crisp.

Now add the paneer and give a nice stir, so that all the ingredients blend well together. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Serve as a snack with tomato ketchup or stuff in between bread/chapati's. And whoever tastes it will definitely love it.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Kaara Chutney (Spicy Onion-Tomato Chutney)

This is an authentic Chettinad style Kaara chutney which goes very well with Idly, Dosa or Wheat Dosa. If hot and spicy chutney's are your favorite, then this is the one to go to. If you wish to reduce the spiciness, just soak the red chillies in water for 10-15 minutes, squeeze and use it along with the other ingredients. This is such a simple and easy to make recipe. Now, off to the recipe!


Small Onions - 10-15 numbers
Tomato - 1, ripe and medium in size
Garlic - 2 cloves
Red Chillies - 2 or 3 (try using byadagi chillies, they give a nice color to the dish)
Salt as required

For Seasoning

Oil, mustard seeds, urad dal and curry leaves as per taste


Grind together the onions, tomato, garlic, red chillies and salt to a smooth paste. You can also add a small piece of tamarind if you want the chutney to be tangy and spicy. Do not add any water to this mixture.

Heat oil in a pan, do the tempering and add the ground mixture. Cook on medium flame until the mixture oozes out oil. Spciy kaara chutney is ready to be enjoyed with any kind of idly or dosa!!

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Corn Potato Sabzi with Kasuri Methi leaves

This is a delicious sabzi made with potatoes, corn and kasuri methi leaves (dried methi leaves) cooked with some spices. These kasuri methi leaves have their own unique taste which enhances the flavor of the dish. Potatoes, corn and kasuri methi make a great combination together. This is one of those quick dishes that is just easy for anyone to cook & get this done in no time. Nice curry for a change. And here is the simple and easy recipe!


Potatoes - 3, medium sized
Corn - 1/2 cup
Kasuri methi leaves - 2 tbsp
Onion - 1, chopped
Tomato - 1, chopped
Green chilli - 1, slit lengthwise
Garlic - 2 cloves, minced finely
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Coriander powder - 1&1/2 tsp
Salt and asafoetida as per taste

To Temper

Oil, mustard seeds and curry leaves as per taste

  1. Wash and pressure cook the potatoes. Peel the skin and cut them into cubes.
  2. Pressure cook the corn and set aside.
  3. Heat oil in a pan, do the seasoning. Add the green chilli and minced garlic and saute for a minute. Then add the chopped onions and saute until they turn transparent. Now add the tomatoes and the spice powders and cook until the tomatoes become mushy.
  4. Now add the cooked potatoes, corn and salt. Add little bit of water and cook covered for 5-10 minutes until all the flavors blend together. Now crush the dried methi leaves inbetween your palms and sprinkle all over the sabzi. Give a quick stir and keep covered for 2-5 minutes and then turn off the flame. Make sure the dish doesn't stick to the pan at any point of the time. Corn Potato sabzi is ready to be served.
Note: You can replace kasuri methi leaves with fresh methi leaves. But the flavor will be slightly different. I personally love the flavor of kasuri methi rather than the fresh leaves. Do not add too much of kasuri methi as it will give a bitter taste to the curry.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Rava Dosai

Rava dosai is a very tasty and crispy dosai that can be prepared instantly. It is very easy to prepare. This tastes good when taken hot.


Rava/Sooji - 1/2 cup
Maida/All purpose flour - 1/2 cup or a little less than 1/2 cup
Water - 2 cups approximately
Cilantro/Coriander leaves - 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Salt as per taste

For the seasoning

Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Whole black pepper - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - one strand 
Dry red chillies - 2 (adjust as per taste)
Green chillies - 1, finely chopped (adjust as per taste)
Ginger - 1 inch piece, finely chopped
Cashews - 6-10, broken into small pieces
Oil - 2 tsp
Asafoetida as per taste

  1. Combine rava and maida together. Add 1 cup of water and mix well without forming lumps. Allow to sit for 30 mins.
  2. Add the remaining water and salt. Mix well. The batter should be very thin like buttermilk. Only then the dosa's will turn crispy.
  3. Now heat 2 tsp of oil in a small pan and do the seasoning with all the ingredients mentioned. Add this to the rava dosa batter.
  4. Heat a dosa pan. Once the tawa is hot enough, take a laddle full of batter and start pouring it in a circular motion starting with the outer corners towards the center. Keep pouring until it fills the whole skillet. 
  5. Drizzle a tsp of oil all around the dosa. Rava dosa usually takes a longer time to get cooked. So wait until it turns all golden brown and the corners start lifting up slightly.
  6. Flip over to the other side, drizzle few more drops of oil and allow to cook. Hot and crisp rava dosa is ready to be enjoyed with coconut chutney/tomato chutney and sambar.
  7. Remember to mix the batter well everytime you prepare a dosa. Or the rava will settle down at the bottom. The batter will turn thick after preparing 2 or 3 dosas. Add little water again and mix well and then prepare dosas.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Badusha - How to make Badusha - Diwali Sweets

I love Badusha for its soft texture and mild sweetness. But I have never dreamt that I would be making badusha's at home :-) I read enormous number of recipes from my fellow bloggers before making the first attempt. With all the tips and tricks I got it right with the very first attempt, but then I could not click any pictures. So I planned to make this sweet again for this New Year and it turned out well this time too. Last time when I tried to make the swirls I did not get them perfect. This time it did not disappoint me. And this is my first recipe with stepwise pictures. It was bit tough clicking and preparing altogether, but managed somehow. Here is the recipe for the deliciously, flaky and layered Indian sweet Badusha... Enjoy!!!


Maida - 1 & 1/2 cups
Butter - 1/4 cup
Oil - 2 tbsp or 1/8 cup
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Curd - 1 & 1/2 tsp
Cooking soda - 1/2 tsp
Water - 1/4 cup approximately
Oil for deep frying

Sugar Syrup

Sugar - 1/2 cup
Water - just to immerse the sugar
Saffron - 2 strands (optional)
Lemon juice - 1 tsp

  1. Melt butter in a bowl and add oil, sugar, curd and cooking soda to it. Mix well using a whisk until frothy. 
  2. Add the flour and make it crumbly with your hands. Add the water little by little and make it to a smooth dough. But be cautious in the amount of water. Less than 1/4 cup was sufficient for me. Knead well for 8-10 mins. The dough should be very smooth. Divide into equal sized balls and allow to sit for 10 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile we can prepare the sugar syrup. Add sugar and water in a pan. Stir only until the sugar dissolves. After that just allow to boil until it reaches single thread consistency. Stirring continuously will crystallize the sugar syrup. Add saffron and lemon juice. You can also add a pinch of elaichi powder if you like the flavor. I have not added it as I don't like the flavor of elaichi.
  4. Start shaping the badushas while the sugar syrup is getting ready. You can make decorative ends as swirls or leave them as simple doughnuts. I learnt making the swirls from here
  5. Heat oil in a pan, check by adding a small pinch. If it rises immediately that is the right stage. Add few badushas, turn off the stove  and allow to get cooked in the pre-heated oil. This may take upto 5 minutes. At one of time the sshh sound will go off and bubbles will disappear. Now turn on the stove and keep it in medium low flame. Flip the badushas to the other side and cook until golden brown on both sides.
  6. Drain it in a tissue and immerse in the sugar syrup immediately. Dip well on both sides, let it be in the sugar syrup for 2 mins and then transfer to a greased tray. You can store them in a container after the sugar syrup turns non-sticky. Do not refrigerate. Consume within a weeks time :-) 


  • If your badushas dissolve in oil as you are frying then any one of these is excess : butter or oil or cooking soda or water. So add more flour to the dough and knead again to troubleshoot the problem. It might also crack/break if there isn't enough kneading. Knead atleast for 10 mins
  • If you are frying them in batches and if you get one or few batches right but the other batches gets dissolved or breaks up in the oil, the reason might be the temperature of the oil. Oil temperature should be just right. If over heated you will end up with undercooked badushas. If less heat, the dough will break inside the oil. Also there should be enough oil for the Badushas to float. Else they will dissolve too.
  • If you reduce the quantity of butter or oil,then there will be drastic change in the texture of the badushas too,it will turn hard or crispy. You wont get the layers inside too.
  • Do not rush during the frying process. Patience level is very much important. If you rush, the texture will disappoint you