Archive for May, 2007

As long as you have something you never realize the value of it. Once it is no more , you want it more and more. You heart yearns for it, starves for it …This is true not only for the worldly possesions, but also for silliest things like the pickle your mom made for you. Yes, my mom’s pickle which I brought from India got over. Don’t ask me how. Though I had the recipe scribbled in some notebook, I never thought of it so long. Now, once the pickle jar is empty, I searched for the book all over the house atleast to blog the recipe and refer back in leisure to make some by myself. What a selfish motive for blogging?Thats ok. I know the recipe I gonna blog here is worth  sharing with my friends though it is on selfish motive. Here is  my treasured recipe. …          


Tomato pickle

 Rice mixed with tomato pickle.


Tomato- 1 kilogram

Tamarind- 50 gram

Dry red chilli- 50 gram

Salt- 2 tsp

For tempering

Oil- 100 grams

Garlic- 100 gram

Mustard seeds- 1/2 tbsp 

For grinding

Mustard seeds, cumin seeds,fenugreek seeds -each  1 tsp



Chop the tomato into big cubes.

Add salt, tamarind, dry chilli and let it stand in the bowl for 1 day (in shade).

Day 2-3 

Spoon out the tomatoes alone in a wide plate and dry them in sun  for 2 days. Let the other  ingredients be in the bowl.

Day 4

Grind the tomatoes and the rest of the mixed ingredients (salt ,tamarind, chilli) in a blender or grinder. My mom used a grinder.

Heat the oil in skillet and  temper mustard seeds in it.

Add garlic and saute well.

Add the ground tomato mix and  turn off the heat.

Dry roast mustard seeds, cumin seeds and fenugreek seeds and  powder them separately.

Add this to the pickle when it is completely cool.


Preserve the pickle in a dry bottle and place it in a cool dry place.  Serve with idly, rice, dosa or simply eat in a spoon whenever  you feel like. Now you know the reason why the pickle got over so soon…!

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Chow chow poriyal/ Spicy chayote curry

Our town lies in the border of Tamilnadu and Andhra pradesh. Just like our people speak both languages, they also practice both cuisines in their day  to day life. It is hard, atleast for me, to define which dish belongs to which state.

The other day, when my husband bought Chayote, I thought of making an authentic andhra dish out of it, just for RCI event hosted by Latha of Masala magic.  As  I am not very comfortable  in defining the cuisines, I called my favourite Mallika’s cookbook for help. Anybody who would have watched Jaya TV will know about this  celebrity -Mrs Mallika Badrinath.  Mrs. Mallika Badrinath is always been an inspiration for me. Her measurements and methods never fail and her books are known for the details, which equals that you get from your mom and grandma. I own most of  her cookbook collections. This  dish is from the book “200 classic lunch recipes”, a book about south Indian traditional recipes. I have tried to translate and present as she has done in her book.I always  adore the way she presents her recipe- ‘right ingredients at the right stage’.  


200 classic lunch recipes



Chow chow- 2 number

Garlic- 10 pods (I used 5 large pods)

Onion-1 number

Roasted and ground fennel seeds- 1/4 tsp

Turmeric powder- 1/4 tsp

Salt- to taste

Red chilli powder- 1/2 tsp

Gram dall- 1 table spoon

Oil as needed

For tempering

Mustard seeds-1/4 tsp 

Gram dall – 1 tsp

Red chilli- 1 number

Curry leaves

Chow chow poriyal

 Spicy cayote curry with  curd rice and tomato pickle- exclusively made for RCI -Andhra


Roast the gram dall till golden color and grind it .

Chop onion and garlic very finely.

Peel and seed  the chow chow and  cut into medium sized cubes.

Heat oil in a skillet , temper the mustard seeds, gram dall, chilli and curry leaves.

Add onion and saute for 2 minutes.

Add chow chow cubes  and fry for another minute.

Add adequate water, turmeric powder, fennel seed powder, salt, chilli powder and garlic to the skillet.

When the veggie is 3/4 done,  add gram dall powder and cover the vessel.

If needed add some more water .

When all the water is well absorbed, turn off heat and serve.


You can use snake gourd instead of chow chow and prepare the curry in the same method.   

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A simple curry  for a normal day meals. This is totally satisfying when done in the right way. If it is slightly undercooked or when not seasoned with adequate oil, will leave you disappointed.  This is the way my grandma cooks this veggie, and it has never let me down. 

Avarakai poriyal


Frozen surti papdi – 20 oz packet 

Medium onion- 1 number

Garlic – 2 pods

Dry red chilli- 3 no

Roasted and crushed  peanuts- 1 1/2 tbsp

Scraped coconut – 1 1/2 tbsp

For seasoning

Oil – 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds, urad dall, gram dall, curry leaves

Finely chop the onion.Thaw the papdi completely and devein  if neccesary. Cook the papdi well  with adequate amount of water and salt .  In a skillet, heat oil, sputter the seasonings one by one in the order listed. Add chillies  followed by onion , garlic and saute well. Add the vegetable and stir slightly till all water content has reduced. Atlast , add crushed peanut and coconut and turn the heat off. 

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Hey, stop that, your boy is sleeping.

Crunch.. crunch

Hear  the crunch again, ya, it is me, uncontrollable  in eating the thattai ,that my mom made for me, along with my lunch. ( Sssssh.. I always  have my lunch with a crisp side dish.)

Let us come to the point. We know thattai  is made in many different ways. You might have read  my way of making thattai. Yet, this is always the way my mom makes it and as far as  I remember, even the store brought  ones  never equals this taste. She is patient and I am not , I accept. So, I present here how she did it for me when I was in India for the vacation.  It had been a month now, yet they stay so good & fresh.

Thattai- good old version


Idly rice- 1 kg

Fried gram – 1/4 kg

Garlic- 1 number

Soaked chana dal- 1 cup  or more as you like.

Dried red chilli- 10 numbers

Salt as needed

Oil to deep fry

Wash and soak the idly rice for 3 hours or more.  Grind them in a wet grinder with minimal amount of water. Add chilli, peeled garlic pods and salt while grinding. After grinding finely, take it out, add the fried gram dall powder and the soaked chana dal. If this is as tight as chappathi dough, continue to the next step. If it is a little runny,  put it on a thick cotton towel and wrap it for an hour to absorb the excess moisture. 

thattai-pressing method I

Spread a dry  cotton dhoti (Long live my daddy!) on the floor and make small uniform balls of the dough and press them with your fingers to make little discs. The excess moisture is totally absorbed by now, and when you lift the discs with a flat spatula , it comes out  with so much ease. Else if you have a poori press , line both the surface with a plastic sheet, oil the surfaces and press it to a uniform thickness. This method is faster and easier but, by this way, it consumes more oil as the moisture is not totally taken  out.

Poori press     press method II        Fry in batches             

Either way you press them, deep fry them in groundnut oil  in batches  and store in an air tight container. As this has no peanuts or sesame seeds, it will sure stay good longer.  Enjoy the crispy snack.

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Weekend reading!

As my toddler conquers the keyboard and the mouse nowadays, it is totally impossible to write anything ,  atleast I could read a little :->

Benefits of mixed fruit juices- take  a look!

Vettiver – a natural coolant for the summer !

Leek stuffed kulcha

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Smiles of spring!

Having the weather in 80s in Chicago, you not only feel like jogging around, but also to  click away the smiles of the spring season!










சின்னச்சின்னதாய் சிரிக்கின்றாய்
சிரிக்கும் போதெல்லாம் பூக்கின்றாய்
பூக்களை வைத்திருக்கிறேன் உன் நினைவாக!

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