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Monday, October 31, 2011


Pirandai / Perandai in Tamil, with ribbed veins, is a medicinal plant grown in kitchen garden. A small piece of stem planted in a pot grows abundantly, and it does magic in one's health. It is also known as bonevine, adamant creeper, and veldt grape.

Pirandai made in the form of thogayal or thuvaiyal can be had atleast once a week as it has many health benefits.


Pirandai has enormous medicinal benefits. It is useful in curing digestive problems , breathing problems, cough, piles, nausea, flatulence (vaayu or gas in digestive track, stomach and bowels). It acts as an appetiser.


1. Pirandai makes the hand a little itchy. So, do not use your hand while washing the stem. Run under tap water.
2. Apply little gingelly oil to hand before cleaning and chopping. After chopping or cleaning again apply gingelly oil, rub a little salt over your hands and rinse your hand OR use a glove.
3. Adding tamarind to pirandai dishes is a must as it neutralises the itching tendency of this stem.


Pirandai - 1/4 cup (chopped)
Tamarind - half the lemon size
Scraped coconut - 1/2 cup
Curry leaves - a fistful
Jaggery - a turkey berry(sundakkai) size (optional...I didn't use)
Dry red chillies - 2
Pepper - 1/2 tsp.
Urad dhal - 1 tablespoon
Salt - as per taste
Oil - 1 tablespoon


Pluck or select tender stems of pirandai. Wash well. Peel off the ribbed, hard veins. Chop into small pieces.

1. Heat a kadai, add a tsp. of oil and fry the red chillies, pepper and urad dhal to golden brown. Keep aside.

2. In the same kadai, saute the curry leaves without moisture. Keep aside.

3. Again in the same kadai, heat the remaining oil and add the chopped pirandai, simmer the stove and saute well for 5 minutes.

Grind 1,2 and 3 alongwith scraped coconut, tamarind and salt to a coarse paste.

Pirandai thogayal is ready to be mixed with hot cooked rice and ghee.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Rabdi is a rich and creamy dessert made by thickening milk. It can be served hot or cold and served alongwith gulab jamuns and bombay jalebis.


Milk (full cream) - 3 litres
Sugar - 1 1/2 cup
Saffron - a generous pinch
Almonds - 5
Pistachios - 10
Cardamom - 4


Bring milk to a boil. Reduce flame and allow it to boil till it reduces to quarter. Stir in between to avoid burning. Add sugar and stir till it dissolves. Add the saffron, cardamom powder and mix well. Reserve few strands of saffron for garnishing. Garnish with grated almonds, pistachios and saffron. Serve hot or cold.
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