Archive for January, 2012

In the days when I started cooking, it was more like experimenting. My grandma eyeballs her ingredients, so is my mom. They are really good at it , though I needed a more reliable cooking steps to begin with. Mallika Badrinath’s cookery show got in my watch list slowly. Her recipes were precise and since then, I learnt the importance of measuring for beginners. Though the individual taste varies, atleast they can guide you in the happy medium, after which you can fine tune the measures.

Even after a decade of cooking , I still preserve the cooking books as precious little companions in my kitchen. Here is the first book my hubby gifted me , with a little poem on the first page. 🙂

செய்திடல் வேண்டும் – நல்ல சமையல் ,
அதில் கொள்ள வேண்டும் நல்ல மையல் ,
நளபாக நல்லாளாய் வாழ்ந்திட வேண்டும் என் தையல் !

So, before I walk through the memory lanes and get lost in the maze, 🙂 , let me share a recipe from her book with few modifications.

Urad dall – 1cup
Toor dall – 1/4 cup
Coconut flakes or chopped coconut- 1 tbsp
Chopped coriander leaves
Grated carrot – 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds – 1 1/2 tsp
Green chillies – 5 numbers
Grated ginger – 1 tsp
Salt – to taste

(Picture courtesy : My Dear Daughter)


Soak the dalls together for 2 hours. Strain the dalls and grind them in wet grinder , sprinkling just enough water to a ‘vadamavu’ consistency- It should be super smooth fluffy but not a runny sort. Add salt, just one minute before you take the dough out. Add the grated ginger, chopped deveined chillies, coriander, coconut flakes, grated carrot and cumin seeds.

Heat oil in a vessel and let the oil be deep enough to deep fry the bondas. The right amount of oil and right temperature is the key to perfect round grease-less bondas. The oil should be hot enough such that , if you drop a small ball of dough in it , it should rise to the top.

Once the oil is hot enough, wet your fingers and scoop the dough , drop to the sides of the vessel. Do not over crowd the batches. Turn the bondas carefully till they are well cooked. Drain the excess oil on a paper towel and serve hot with coconut chutney/ mint chutney/ ketchup .

Have a healthy evening snack !

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Just one more day of vacation …I am ready to pack off my winter break activities and be ready for work. I made a big list of To Do’s and started working toward it only after realizing my break is gonna end. Mostly , they were about refilling the pantry and freezer supplies- Idli podi, home made ghee, home made paneer, home made pancakes, sambhar powder and snacks.

With the new year parties and movies , one can easily slip from the ambitious list of to dos 😉

Well, better late than never, so I decided to give my list a shot and here I am with just two left in my list remaining , which I hope to finish after this post. 🙂

The top of the list was the sambhar powder.

I had enjoyed my mom’s sambhar powder so long and for the first time , I had to use the chili powder from Devon market. I was nervous basically to use it as such and it consumed so much time to assemble the individual ingredients to get the taste of mom’s sambhar. So, I decided to make a sambhar powder, which will be a great companion for cooking and as well save time.

I researched, got opinions and decided to go with the following proportions.

Reshampatti chili powder- 4 cups
Coriander seeds- roasted and ground – 4 cups
Toor dall- 1cup
Gram dall- 1 cup
Fenugreek seeds- 1/3 cup
Mustard seeds – 1/3 cup
Cumin seeds- 1/4 cup
Pepper corns – 1/4 cup
Rice – 1/4 cup
Urad dall – 1/4 cup

The optional ingredients , I left on purpose were curry leaves , turmeric and asfoetida (hing).

Dry roast the coriander seeds, cool, grind them separately and measure out 4 cups . You can add more coriander if you feel your chili is hotter than usual.

Dry roast the ingredients individually and let them cool.

Powder them in a blender, mix all in a big bowl , sieve once and regrind if needed.

You are sure to feel nostalgic about going to the mills back home. Kids are sure to ask ‘What theee smell..’

But, the effort is worthy and will keep you happy for months to come .

Happy new year everyone!

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