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Monday, April 30, 2012




Curry leaves - 4 cups tightly packed
Tamarind - a lemon sized ball
Dry red chillies - 4
Pepper - 1/4 tsp.
Dried sundakkai (Turkey berry) - 10
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Salt - as per taste
Ghee - 1 tsp.
Gingelly oil - 1 ladle
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp.
Hing - a pinch


Soak tamarind in a ladle of water.

In a heavy-bottomed pan, heat a spoon of ghee and saute the sundakkai till black, but should not be burnt. Transfer to a vessel. Keep aside. In the same pan, heat a spoon of oil and fry the pepper and chillies. Keep aside.

Take out the curry leaves from the stem. Wash well. Heat a pan and saute the leaves without moisture. Keep aside.to cool. When cool, grind alongwith tamarind, pepper and chillies to a smooth paste.

In the same pan, heat gingelly oil, add mustard seeds and hing. When mustard seeds splutter, add cumin seeds. When they sizzle , add the ground paste and fried sundakkais. Add salt as per your tastebuds and stir it often so that it doesn't stick to the pan. When oil leaves the sides and the paste is thick, transfer it to a bowl.

Store in a sterile bottle.

This can be used as a side dish for idli, dosa,  adai and curd rice. But it will be best when mixed with hot cooked rice with a little gingelly oil and ghee added to it.

Goes well with roasted appalam or papad.

Friday, April 27, 2012


First of all, a big thanks to the readers, friends and visitors for your continuous support. My blog has crossed 7 lakh hits. Most of the recipes are traditional, and here comes an authentic recipe from my mom and grandma. Thanks amma and paatti.

I can remember our childhood days, when we assist the elders in spreading the vadaam on the terrace, driving away the crows and simultaneously eating the half dried vadaams which we call as "araikachal vadaam". The araikachal vadaam has a unique taste and most of the vadaam goes into our stomach half dried defeating the purpose of getting stored in the pantry for a year.

Many readers has been asking me to post koozh vadaam. Eventhough I have learnt to make koozh vadaam from my mom, she takes pain and makes for all of us for the whole year and packs it for us. She does it with great interest and says the pain is worth the gain. Coimbatoreans start making vadaam and vathals on the month of February as summer starts on February and wind start on March. As usual, this time also my mom has packed and gave me a full set of vadaams : Two types of koozh vathal, ela vadaam and kozhambu vadaam. I wanted to post the recipe with stepwise pictures. It is because of this reason, I am unable to post stepwise. All I did is to arrange them and take a snap of it.

However, the recipe is an authentic one from my mom and grandmother. I have typed as narrated by her.

Recipe courtesy: My amma.

You can try a lesser quantity with the corresponding proportions.



Rice flour - 1kg.
Javvarisi (sago) - 200 gms. (Ask for flour variety. DO NOT use nylon javvarisi.)
Hing - 1 tsp.(level spoon)
Green chillies - 100 gm.
Crystal salt - a fistful
Lemon - 6 or 7 Big (approx. 3/4 cup juice)
Water - quantity is mentioned in the recipe.

10 Ltr. Pressure cooker
Big lengthy ladle
A strainer
Murukku press with different type of holes.
A big, clean plastic sheet
A vessel of water (to wet your hands while pressing)


Grind green chillies, salt and hing to a fine paste with a cup of water. Strain and keep the juice ready.

Wash javvarisi and soak in water for 2 hrs. After 2 hrs. Crush the javvarisi with your hands.

Take water in the pressure cooker. NOTE: Water should be a little less than 3/4th of the cooker. When adding javvarisi alongwith soaked water and chilly, salt juice, the water level should be 3/4 th of the cooker.

Bring it to a boil. Now add the crushed javvarisi alongwith the soaked water to it and allow it to cook till transparent. Now add the green chilli, salt juice. When it starts boiling simmer the stove and add the rice flour little by little, preferably a cup at a time and stir continuosly without any lumps till it forms a sticky dough.

Keep this dough covered with the lid and when cool, add the lemon juice and mix well. This is the koozh maavu(sticky dough).

Transfer to a wide stainless steel vessel. (NOTE:This is important to avoid chemical changes), cover and leave it to cool overnight.

The next day, early in the morning, spread the plastic sheet on the terrace, keep weight on all sides, to prevent the sheet flying in the air.

Wet your hands, fill the mould (achu of your choice) with the koozh and press evenly on the plastic sheet.

Dry it in hot sun for 3 days, store in airtight containers. Vadaam is ready to be stored for a year. Deep fry in oil as and when required.

Raw rice - 1kg.
Javvarisi (sago) - 200 gms. (Ask for flour variety. DO NOT use nylon javvarisi.)
Hing - 1 tsp.(level spoon)
Green chillies - 100 gm.
Crystal salt - a fistful
Water - quantity is mentioned in the recipe.


Soak rice in water for 4 hrs, and grind to a smooth paste. Add salt and allow it to ferment for 2 days. (LEMON IS NOT USED IN THIS TYPE AS WE ALLOW THE  BATTER TO FERMENT TILL SOUR)

On the third day,  add some water to it and make  a batter as of dosa batter.
Other procedures are same as Type 1 and here we are pouring the batter instead of  rice flour.

This TYPE 2 vadaam will not be as white as TYPE 1 vadaam.  It will be slightly red in colour when deep fried in oil.


The maavu will take longer time to cool. So, prepare it the previous day night.

If you press and spread when the  maavu is hot, the vadaam will become red while frying. So make sure the maavu is cool.

Start pressing the vadaams early in the morning avoiding hot sun. Hot sun is harmful for us and causes dehydration, tiredness and sunstroke. Hot sun is very good for the vadaam though.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


Pitlai is a great recipe from South India with freshly ground spices, and the consistency will be slightly thicker than sambhar / kozhambhu and slightly thinner than kootu. It has a little more vegetable than in sambhar.This is mixed with hot rice and ghee in a South Indian thali. Often this is done with pavakkai (bittergourd).


Pavakkai (Bittergourd) - 100 gm (1 big)
Tamarind - half the size of a lemon
Toor dhal - 1/4 cup
Gram dhal (kadalai paruppu) - 1 tablespoon
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp.
Salt - as per taste

To fry in oil and grind to a paste:
Oil - 1 teaspoon
Coriander seeds - 1 tablespoon
Gram dhal - 1 teaspoon
Dry red chillies - 2 or 3
Coconut scraped - 2 tablespoons
Hing - a pinch

To temper :
Oil - 1 tsp.
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp.
Dry red chilly - 1
Curry leaves - a sprig


Chop bittergourd. Boil in water alongwith salt and turmeric powder. When cooked, drain the water completely and keep aside.

Pressure cook toor dhal and gram dhal separately alongwith turmeric powder.

Soak tamarind in water and extract juice from it. Keep aside.

Fry the items(except coconut) given in "To fry in oil and grind to a paste". Grind alongwith scraped coconut to a paste.

Heat a kadai, pour in the tamarind extract and allow it to boil for a while. Now add in the cooked bittergourd, ground paste and pressure cooked dhal. Allow it to boil till thick. Temper with the given ingredients.

Pavakkai pitlai is ready to be served with hot rice and ghee.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


This is a simple and healthy dhal with the aroma of methi leaves and good for diabetes, and controls blood sugar.


Masoor dhal OR Toor dhal - 1/2 cup

Methi leaves - 1 bunch
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp.
Dry red chilly - 1
Green chillies -1

Tomato - 1
Grated ginger - 1/2 tsp.

Fresh peas  - 2 tablespoons (optional)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp.
Jeera powder - 1/4 tsp.
Chilli powder - 1/4 tsp.
Garam Masala - 1/2 tsp. (optional)
Hing - a pinch
Butter / Oil - 2 tablespoons
Salt - as per taste


Pressure cook dhal with turmeric powder. Mash well. Keep aside.

Chop tomatoes into small pieces. Chop methi leaves roughly. Chop green chillies. Grate ginger.

In a pan, melt butter. When hot, add cumin seeds. When it sizzles, add the red chillies, and hing. Add in the chopped green chillies, ginger and tomatoes. Saute for 2 minutes. Now add the chopped methi leaves and peas alongwith salt. When the leaves wilt, add all the powders. Saute for 1 minute and add the pressure cooked dhal. Pour in 1/2 cup of water and allow it to boil till the masala flavours are infused in the dhal. Mix well and serve hot with rotis or parathas.

It can also be mixed with hot cooked rice and ghee.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012



This is a popular crispy, savoury cracker, served with pickle and tea in North India.


All purpose flour / maida - 2 cups
Ajwain - 1/2 tsp.
Black pepper - coarsely crushed - 1/4 tsp.
Salt - to taste
Sooji / rawa - 1 tablespoon
Melted ghee- 3 tablespoon
Oil - for frying



Combine maida, rawa, salt, and ghee in a wide bowl. Mix well with your hands to get a crumble mixture. Add in the pepper and ajwain. Now add water little by little and knead to a stiff dough. Cover with a clean wet cloth and keep aside for atleast half an hour.

Divide the dough into small balls and roll with a rolling pin to slightly thick ( 1/2 an inch) circles. You can also use a bottle cover to get even sized mathris. Prick with a fork on both sides to avoid fluffing while frying in oil.

Deep fry in oil. When cool, store in an airtight container.

Crispy mathris are ready to be served with tea.

NOTE: Ensure medium heat of oil.
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