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Friday, December 15, 2017


Madhangalil naan margazhi!! 
'mAsAnAm mArgasheershoham' - Lord Krishna.  

Lord Krishna says that HE is the month of Margazhi among the 12 months, from which one can imagine the sanctity of this month.

Perumal and Shiva temples celebrate all the 30 days of the Tamil month Margazhi with many rituals and food offerings. Godha/Sri Andal observed 'Paavai Nonbu', sang 30 paasurams named 'Thiruppavai' during these 30 days and finally merged with Sri Ranganatha (Sriman Narayana) Himself. It is said that Gopikas observed 'Paavai Nombu' to get Lord Krishna as their husband. In Tamil Nadu, men will go for 'Unjavrithi'. They go for 'nagara sankeertan' in which they sing praises of the Lord and practice devotion. Women draw big kolams in front of their homes. Margazhi Utsavam is celebrated in a grand manner in Srirangam, Tiruvallikeni, Kanchi and in all Divyadesams and Perumal temples. A twenty days festival called 'Pagal Pathu' (day time festival) and 'Ra Pathu'(night time festival) is celebrated in all Perumal temples during the month of Margazhi(December–January). The first day of Ra pathu is 'Vaikunta Ekadashi'. The ‘Paramapadha Vaasal’(the gate to the heaven) is opened on this day.  Lakhs and lakhs of devotees queue up to pass through this gate. 'Vratam' is observed on this day.

Lord Shiva worship on Tamil month Margazhi:
Thiruvathirai is the star of Lord Shiva and HE is worshipped in the full moon day of Margazhi month. Abhishekams and special poojas are performed in all Shiva Temples. Thiruvempavai which was sung by  Manickavasagar is recited in all Shiva temples.

In this Margazhi month unmarried girls sing/recite 'Thiruppavai' and 'Thiruvempavai'  daily and pray to get good husband for them. 

Let us pray and worship God in this auspicious month and get blessings from HIM. 
Happy Margazhi!!

I present here, a collection of 30 prasadam/offerings made during margazhi month.
Tirukoshtiyurtirumalaichamba AkkaravadisalKalkandubhath  Kadambasadham  Vadai
Dadhiyonnam Vennpongal Iyengarpuliyodharai pulikachal  Kadambam(Iyengar special) 
Payasam Sundal Ellorai Kuthiravalipanankalkandubhath Lentilskhichri Milagorai Melkotepuliyogare gojju Aama vadai Sakkarai pongal Mixed fruit panchamirtham Ulundhorai Bandi Tiruppullanipaalpayasam Coconutrice Lemonrice Kovilpuliyodharai Kesari Tiruvadhiraikali ezhukarikoottuthalagam


How-to-make-lemon-peel-thokku, Lemon-skin-thokku-recipe

I had lot of lemon peels left, after making green peppercorn pickle. Instead of wasting the lemon peels, I thought of making this thokku. This tasted great when mixed with hot steamed rice and ghee.

During my childhood days, while cleaning the avakkai or lime pickle jaadi (jar), my grandma used to put some cooked rice into the jar, mix well, put it in a vessel, and she used to serve on our hands with true love and affection. Who would not love this? Made me and my husband remember our childhood days.

Video on how to make lemon peel thokku


Key lime peels - from 12 Indian lemons
Tamarind- key lime size
Chopped ginger - 1/8 cup
Chilli powder - 4 tsp.
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp.
Roasted fenugreek powder - 1/2 tsp.
Jaggery - 1/8 cup
Mustard seeds - 3/4 tsp.
Sea salt - 3 level tablespoons
Hing - turkey berry size

Juice of 3 key lime
Oil - 1/2 cup


Remove the seeds from the peels.  

How-to-make-lemon-peel-thokku, Lemon-skin-thokku-recipe
Roughly chop the peels. Add water to immerse the peels. Add ginger, hing, tamarind, a teaspoon of salt and turmeric powder to it. Pressure cook for 1 whistle. Once the pressure is down, take out, strain the water in a colander and allow it to cool a bit. Now, coarse grind this in a mixie alongwith remaining salt. 
How-to-make-lemon-peel-thokku, Lemon-skin-thokku-recipe
Heat oil in a heavy bottomed kadai, add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add the coarsely ground mixture. Add chilli powder, jaggery. Mix well. Cook covered stirring in between. Cook in low flame until the mixture thickens and oil leaves from the sides. Add fenugreek powder and give a quick mix. Switch off the stove, add lemon juice and mix well. This thokku will be ready by the next day. When cool, store in an airtight container. Tastes great when mixed with hot rice or can be used as an accompaniment for curd rice.

TIP: As and when you get lemon peels, instead of throwing away, you can cut them, add little salt and store them in a glass/ceramic jar in the fridge. Once the jar is filled with lemon peels and layers of salt, you can prepare this thokku. If using like this, the lemon peels will be soft and you can skip the step of boiling the peels in water.

NOTE: Jaggery can be added depending on the bitterness of the peel.  

Thursday, November 30, 2017


Ragi biscuits are very easy to make. These home-made ragi cookies/biscuits is a perfect and healthy snack for kids. Making ragi biscuits with Philips airfryer was so easy. Click here for  Kurkure bhindi in Philips Airfryer.  


All purpose flour / maida - 75 gms.
Ragi flour - 75 gms. 

Butter - 100 gms. 
Icing sugar 50 gms. 
Vennila essence - 1 tsp 
Milk - to sprinkle (Optional)


Bring butter to room temperature. Sieve the flour.

In a mixing bowl, add in the butter and cream well using a wooden ladle. Add icing sugar, cream together until soft and fluffy. Add vennila essence and mix well. Now add maida and ragi flour. Mix well to make crumble dough. Scrape the sides with a spatula and mix. Do not knead too much. Its is enough if the ingredients gets mixed. If necessary, sprinkle a spoon of milk. 
Dust the surface / board with flour and roll the dough evenly with the help of rolling pin. Simultaneously, keep shaping the edges with your hands. Cut into desired shapes with cookie cutter or any lid. 
Preheat Philips Airfryer at 180°C for 5 minutes. Arrange the cookies in the basket and air fry at 180°C for 10 minutes. Keep an eye in between. Mine got done in 8 minutes. Remove from the basket and allow it to cool. Store in an airtight container.
NOTE: It is not necessary to get browned. The cookies/biscuits will turn crisp when cool. 

Monday, November 13, 2017


How to make Mor kali, How to make Moar koozh,How to make Mor koozh
How to make Mor kali, How to make Moar koozh,How to make Mor koozh
Mor kali / Mor koozh is a traditional recipe of Tamil Nadu. It is often made in Tamil Brahmin families. It is made with rice flour and buttermilk. This recipe can be made in a jiffy, easily digestible and can be made for breakfast, evening tiffin or dinner.


Rice flour OR Processed rice flour OR Store bought rice flour - 1 cup
Whisked sour curd - 3/4 cup
Salt - to taste (approx. 1 tsp. or as needed)
Water - 1 or 2 cups

To temper:
Gingelly oil - 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp.
Urad dhal - 1 tsp. (optional)
Green chilli (chopped) -1 OR Dry red chilli- 1 (cut )
Hing - 1/4 tsp.
Mor milagai (curd chillies) - 4 (slightly crushed)

Curry leaves - 2 sprigs (finely chopped)
How to make Mor kali, How to make Moar koozh,How to make Mor koozh

Whisk curd until smooth. In a mixing bowl, add rice flour, whisked curd, salt and water. Mix without any lumps. Mix to a little thinner than dosa batter consistency. Heat oil in a kadai. Temper with given ingredients. When mor milagai turns black, simmer the stove and add the rice flour mixture. Stir continuously until it thickens. 
(Alternatively you can add the temperings to the rice flour mixture, mix well and stir in a kadai). The consistency of the mixture should be like halwa and glossy.  Add a spoon of gingelly oil, mix well. 

Transfer it to a plate and even the surface with the backside of a greased cup. When slightly cool, cut into desired shape. You can also have it like koozh.
How to make Mor kali, How to make Moar koozh,How to make Mor koozh
How to make Mor kali, How to make Moar koozh,How to make Mor koozh
Note: Coconut oil can also be used.

Friday, October 13, 2017


How-to-make-porous-mysore-pak, How-to-make-crunchy-mysore-pak
The traditional porous mysore pak is a melt-in-mouth sweet made during festivals, functions and marriages. When I was young, elders at home made these type of mysore pak only. Being in Coimbatore, I can still remember the days when Krishna sweets soft mysorepa (I mention it as mysorepa and not mysorepak) was introduced. Elders would say, "Mysorepagunna kara karannu vaaila potta karaiya vendamo? Ennamo po" i.e., Mysorepak is meant to be crunchy and melt in mouth instead of being soft. Krishna sweets mysorepa is known for its taste and easy making though. 

Traditional mysorepak is a challenge to make. It requires continuous attention. I generally post stepwise pictures only for most needed recipes, because I don't have any assistance and some recipes need timely click. This is one such recipe.  Unfortunately, there was no power and the weather was also very gloomy. I had to be really fast and I couldn't click the final busy seconds, as I was concentrating on the right texture. Still, I have clicked with available light and to my might for easy understanding. As I felt it would be helpful/useful to all if I wrote the minute details and tips, it really took long time to write this post than making mysore pak.😃

How-to-make-porous-mysore-pak, How-to-make-crunchy-mysore-pak
Gram flour / Besan  - 1 cup
Ghee - 1 1/2 cups OR 
A mixture of Ghee - 1 cup  and oil -1/2 cup 
Sugar - 2 1/2 cups
Water - see method


Grease a tray with ghee and keep ready.

Sieve besan and keep it ready near the stove. (Some people dry roast besan). 

How-to-make-porous-mysore-pak, How-to-make-crunchy-mysore-pak
Take sugar in a thick bottomed kadai, add water, just to immerse the sugar and make sugar syrup for soft ball consistency. If you add a drop of syrup in a small plate of water, you should be able to roll it to a ball, without dissolving in the water or you can check the syrup with your index finger and thumb to get a thick, long one string consistency.  Meanwhile, melt ghee+oil mixture in another stove, in medium flame and keep it ready too. When you get the sugar syrup consistency, put the flour little by little in it, simultaneously add a ladle of hot melted ghee also and stir it non-stop without any lumps. 

NOTE: THE GHEE SHOULD BE REALLY HOT. Keep an eye so that it doesn't get burnt. A mixture of oil and ghee as mentioned in the ingredients, is safe and best to use as it prevents quick burning. It was really like multitasking. 😍

Each time when you pour the hot ghee mixture, the mixture hisses and frothes and you can see air bubbles. Pour the ladle of ghee in such a way that it spreads all over the mixture.These bubbles finally turn into beautiful pores and makes the mysore pak porous. This is the secret of porous mysorepak. 
How-to-make-porous-mysore-pak, How-to-make-crunchy-mysore-pak
Stir continuously in medium flame. Repeat the process until besan and ghee is finished. When the whole mixture becomes frothy, leaving the sides of the kadai (need not become a mass) switch off the flame and quickly transfer the mixture to a greased tray. Just tap the tray to get a uniform surface. (Do not press with a spatula to even the surface).  Wait just for a couple of minutes. When it is still hot, run a greased knife to get the desired shape. Allow it to cool and then take out the pieces.

Traditional, porous, crunchy mysore pak is ready. 😅😋

You can see the air bubbles in this picture.👇👇
How-to-make-porous-mysore-pak, How-to-make-crunchy-mysore-pak


how-to-make-manoharam-with-oosi-thenkuzhal, how-to-make-manoharam
Manoharam is a South Indian sweet made during festivals and functions. Manoharam in Tamil means beautiful. There is a practice of giving manoharam paruppu thengai (cones) as seer during brahmin marriages and family functions. Usually it is done with thenkuzhal. My mom and grandma makes this with oosi thenkuzhal. I have posted oosi thenkuzhal recipe earlier. For a change I also made it with oosi thenkuzhal and the sweet will be an easy bite even for elders.


Oosi thenkuzhal crushed -  5 cups
Crushed jaggery - 1 cup

Ghee - to grease hand
Cardamom powder - 1 tsp.

NOTE: There is no hard and fast measurement for jaggery syrup. Just add syrup to bind the thenkuzhals. Adding more will make this manoharam soggy because oosi thenkuzhal is very thin.


Crush oosi thenkuzhal into small pieces in a bowl and transfer to a wide plate. 

Crush and powder  jaggery. Dissolve in half a cup of water, strain without any dirt or mud.

Heat jaggery and make soft ball syrup out of the jaggery. Drop a little of jaggery syrup in a cup of water, and using your hand try making a soft ball. This is the perfect consistency for the jaggery syrup. Add cardamom powder. Mix well.

how-to-make-manoharam-with-oosi-thenkuzhal, how-to-make-manoharam
Add jaggery syrup to the crushed thenkuzhals. Mix well with a spatula. Grease your hands with ghee and make rough balls out of it.  When still warm and tighten and shape to even sized balls. 

Delicious Oosi thenkuzhal manoharam is ready.

Thursday, October 12, 2017


Kurkuri bhindi is a perfect tea-time snack which is made with ladysfinger/okra. 'Kurkuri' is 'crisp' in Hindi. 

Recently I received a request to review Philips Air fryer. I accepted the opportunity as I can try out recipes with new products and give my honest opinion about the performance of the product.  

Philips has introduced their Viva Collection Air fryers. The product which I received was Turbostar which cooks with rapid air technology. Philips claims tasty frying with 80% less oil. The product comes with a basket with an easy click handle, metal mesh and a recipe book.  Some accessories like grill pan, rack and baking pan can be purchased from their store.

I personally feel that Airfryer is a good option for low fat cooking and can be a healthy start. Cooking in Airfryer is an alternative to deep frying as we can use little or no oil. Health conscious people can prefer air-frying instead of deep frying.

Whenever I buy a new gadget/appliance, I think twice and ask myself, whether it is worth to get it? As regards Air fryer, I always had the doubt if it actually fries in air? Now, having used it, I can say it is nothing but a small oven. Unlike the convection oven, we can make only small quantities. You can fry, bake, grill and roast in Philips Air fryer. Philips Air fryer is small but heavy. So, keeping it on counter-top would be safe.  Easy to clean. As I cook only vegetarian, there is no unpleasant odour while cooking.

Disclaimer:  This review is done on request from Philips. The opinions are based on my personal experiences. Use your own discretion before buying the product.

What all can be made?

I have been using this for sometime now and tried some recipes. Masal/paruppu vadai, Kaarakari, chips, roasts, cutlets, baked samosas, biscuits/cookies, muffins, buns, bread etc. can be made. However, when I asked the demo person, about making poori and  poricha appalam, he said poricha appalam can't be made as sit is very light and will be blown away by air. So, I did not take the risk of trying it. We can't make poori also. DO NOT TRY appalam or pappadam by brushing oil, as it is very light and will get blown away by the air. Click here for Ragi biscuits/Ragi cookies in Philips Airfryer.

Now I am sharing an easy to make Air-fried Kurkuri Bhindi.

Kurkuri bhindi is a perfect tea-time snack which is made with ladysfinger/okra. 'Kurkuri' is 'crisp' in Hindi. Usually, this is deep fried. As a healthier option, I made the bhindis in Philips Airfryer. I was able to break the bhindis and felt the crunchiness while eating. The pictures are pretty much self-explanatory. Anyway, the recipe also follows is how I made it in an Airfryer. 


Okra / Ladysfinger - 1/4 kg.
Besan/gramflour - 2 tablespoons
Rice flour - 2 tablespoons
Turmeric powder - 1/8 tsp.
Red chilli powder + Sambar powder - 1/2 tsp. + 1/2 tsp.
Black pepper powder - 1/4 tsp.
Cumin powder - 1/4 tsp.
Coriander powder - 2 tsp.
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp. 
Amchur - 1 tsp.
Oil - 2 tablespoons

Chat masala - to sprinkle
A dash of lemon juice


Wash and pat dry okra. Remove both the ends and slit vertically to four pieces. Mix all dry ingredients well. Sprinkle this over the slit bhindis so that it is fully coated and well blended. Add oil and mix again with your hand.
Preheat air fryer at 180°C for 5 minutes. Transfer the coated bhindis to the mesh and air fry for 15 minutes at 180°C. Take out the basket and toss in between. If necessary air fry / bake for a couple of minutes more until crispy. 
Yummy Kurkuri Bhindi / Airfried Kurkuri Bhindi is ready. Serve hot by sprinkling chat masala on top with a dash of lemon juice. Goes well with Rice and dal. A perfect snack with tea/coffee.

Be careful and keep an eye after 12 minutes.
Any masala powders can be added/substituted according to your tastebuds. 
Kurkuri bhindi can also be deep fried in oil. It can also be shallow fried.

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