Archive for December, 2006

What if there is a unexpected visitor? What if you went for shopping and came late to home? What if it is raining out and you yearn for something hot and spicy? What if you are lazy and donot want to do the usual sambhars? Then, it is time to tell you about this quick and easy, kudamilagai kara kuzhambhu. I like this for the dominant smell of cumin seeds and the tasty blend of green peppers with tamarind.

Ingredients for spicy green pepper stew


Green pepper- 1

Medium sized onion- 1

Small tomato- 1

Garlic – 4/5 cloves

Tamaring extract- 1 tbsp

Red chilli powder- 1 tbsp

Coriander powder – 2 tsp

Turmeric powder- 1 pinch

Cumin seeds- 1 and 1/2 tsp

Coconut – as needed

For tempering:

Oil- 1 tbsp

Vadagam – 1/2 ball

Curry leaves


Chop onion and tomato. Peel the garlic. Chop them if they are big cloves. Core and chop the green pepper into 1/2 ” squares. Dry roast the cumin seeds. Grind cumin and coconut into a fine paste. Extract tamarind juice.

In a skillet, heat oil, sputter vadagam  and  add curry leaves. Now add the onion  and garlic. Fry till they turn transparent and add tomato and green peppers. Add salt to wilt the tomato quickly. When all are sauted well, add turmeric powder, chilli powder, coriander powder. Cook for some time. When the peppers become soft, throw in the tamarind extract. Bring it to a boil and finely add the ground  paste (and water if  needed), according to the spice level and  thickness required.

For the strangers to vadagam:  Follow Indira’s method of doing the tempering.

This could be an entry for ‘Warm me up baby’ event  hosted by Rosie.

Lunch- Rice , capsicum kuzhambhu and potato curry.


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Weekend reading!

Go vote for Nidhi’s Bell pepper rings!  Nidhi of Cooking made easy is at the II position in ‘Chefs.com: Treasured Recipes contest!  Your vote can make her win. You can vote for 5 times a day!

TV famous Mallika Badrinath is writing a series in Kumudam. Check out for dosa recipes this week (written in Tamizh).

‘Wake up ‘  BPO Employees! Article in Chennaiist.

Help Shilpa in finding these recipes!

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Spicy red potato stew

A simple dish but with a lot of flavors. It tastes so good for appam, dosa, chapathi or anything you would imagine. I learnt this from my beloved friend and everytime I make it, I thank her in my heart for  giving this great recipe.                                                                             

Spicy potato stew


Red potatoes- 6 no

Onion  -1

Green chillies – 4 no

Coconut milk- as needed

Garam masala powder- 1 tsp

Turmeric powder- 1 pinch

Coriander powder- 1 tbsp

Salt- to taste

Cilantro for garnishing

For seasoning:

Oil – 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds- 1 tsp

Urad dall – 1 tsp

Curry leaves – 8-10

Wash the potatoes and brush clean their skin. Dice them into large cubes. Chop the onion and green chillies into tiny pieces. Add salt, turmeric powder,onion and chillies to potatoes and cook them with adequate water  . Cook them on low heat for  a long time in an open vessel. When they are well cooked the water would have thickened,  gathering all the starch from the potatoes.

In another pan, heat oil, sputter mustard seeds, urad dall,  curry leaves in order said. Add  coriander powder, garam masala powder  and the stew. Add coconut milk  and adjust the  spice level  and thickness according to your need. When  the stew comes to a boil, switch off the heat. Garnish with cilantro.

This is my entry to Super Souper Challenge hosted by Tami of  Running with tweezers.

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Kasuti embroidery

There are many talents Indian women possess which least  exposed to the world. Kasuti embroidery is one such craft, prevalent in  Karnataka  and Maharastra, in which the women show their spontaneity and imagination. It is very similar to rangoli and requires much concentration. The speciality is that the design appear similar on the reverse side too. Read about the origin and types  of kasuti embroidery here.

    Kasuti embroidery 

This is my humble attempt to use the age old kasuti embroidery to give my plain T shirt a rich look.

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Have a Break! Have a Salad!

Healthy salad

After all trials from the roundups, (WBB and festive food fair), I feel I need a break from the high calorie, but delicious, feasts. If you feel the same way, this is for you. And whenever I am late to get up  in the mornings, and when my stove top is so engaged, I call salads for rescue. I learnt a bunch of salad recipes from Isha Yoga classes and they are my  treasured recipes as they are so healthy and  more palatable than the salads I eat here in US. Now to the versatile salad..

Carrots-1 or 2 numbers. Skin and dice them into small cubes.

Iceberg Lettuce- 1/2 . Chop into fine strips.

Dry roasted peanuts- 1/2 cup

Cucumber- 1 number- skinned , cored and diced into cubes.

Tomato- 1/2 . Cored and diced into cubes.

Lime juice- 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad dall, dry chillies and curry leaves – for seasoning/thallipu/thallidam

Mix all the vegetables and peanuts in a bowl with adequate salt. Leave them for 15 minutes. The salt would have done its mischeif, all water content from the vegetables would have separated. Strain the vegetables  but don’t throw away the juice, it is great for a cocktail.  Now add lime juice and mix again.

In a pan, heat oil, sputter mustard seeds, cumin seeds, urad dall, dry chillies and curry leaves in the order said. Remove from heat and add to the salad mix. Serve with cilantro garnishing. The chewy carrots, juicy tomato and cucumber, crunchy lettuce and the roasted nuts will entertain your  taste buds , and you  will  say good bye to your stove top.

Added on Dec 8th 2006 :

Thank you friends for the appreciation,
Try the salad and let me know. I learnt the carving from here and here. I hope you will it find as a wonderful site for Thai carving.

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Bhagawan sri ramana maharishi

 Bhagawan Sri Ramana Maharishi

தென்னாட்டுடைய சிவனே போற்றி!
ந்நாட்டவருக்கும் இறைவா போற்றி!

Wish you all a happy karthikai deepa thirunaal. Visit here to know about the grand annual worship of the divine light in Tiruvannamalai.                            

Badam halva

Thanks to my friend Saffron hut for rendering the recipe of this lovely sweet Badam Halva

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