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Happy New Year 2018 everyone, though a week late 🙂

As promised I thought I will make at least one post every month.

So today it is Rasam, one most favorite recipe in Tamil household. Easy to make.



  • Tamarind Juice – 1.5 cups(soak a big lemon size tamarind and get juice)
  • Salt — according to taste.
  • to grind
    • Garlic — 6 to 7 pods
    • Tomato – 1/2 large
    • Corriander seeds — 1 tablespoon
    • Toor daal — 1.5 tablespoon
    • Black Pepper — 1/2 table spoon
    • Cumin Seeds/ Jeera — 1/2 tablespoon
  • to temper — oil – 1 tablespoon
    • Oil — 1 tablespoon
    • Mustard – 1 teaspoon
    • Urad daal – 1 teaspoon
    • Curry Leaves — few
    • Cumin Seeds/Jeera – 1 teaspoon.
    • onion — 1/2(optional)
  • to garnish
    • Cilantro leaves — few


  1. Have tamarind juice ready.
  2. In a pan dry roast toor daal, corriander , black pepper, cumin seeds separately and allow it to cool.
  3. Chop tomato, and garlic. Add the above roasted items aling with this and grind it to smooth paste.
  4. Heat oil in a pan, once hot add items in to temper.
  5. If adding onion saute well, add the ground paste.
  6. mix well and then add tamarind water and salt.
  7. Check if froth starts coming up. If so stop cooking. Add cilantro leaves and garnish. Serve with rice.

Vegetable Biriyani (Instant Pot method)


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Hello everyone,

It has been more than a year that I wrote something in this blog, thought I would post something for 2017. Life has been really busy and have not been able to keep up. A lot of changes have happened over this year. I have moved to instant pot from normal Indian pressure cooker and have been loving it so much that I totally forgot normal pressure cooker and started using only instant pot. My terms of eating healthy have changed too. I learnt that I have been taking more of carbs than protein. Protein is something very important for us. And carbs in moderation is needed to our body. White rice is not completely bad, in case it is paired up with proper protein. Be it white rice or brown rice, the carb level is same, except brown has more fiber, same goes with wheat flour or normal flour. One major reason is this learning I had about food, I am trying to change myself to a proper diet. So this is one post, I am writing here. I may not continue more, if time permits, I promise to do at least one post a month.


Simple biriyani, the recipe goes below.


Rice – 2 cups

Water – 4 cups

Veggies of your choice, I added

  • Carrot -1
  • Potato – medium sized 1
  • Green Beans – 10 to 15
  • Peas – handful
  • Mushroom – 5(button mushrooms)
  • Cauliflower — few florets as needed
  • Edamame – handful
  • Onion — 1 large
  • Tomato – half (Roma or cluster)

Cilantro Leaves — handful

Mint Leaves – handful

Red chili powder — 1 tspn

Corriander powder — 1 tablespoon

Biriyani Masala — 1 tablespoon

To season:

  • Cinnamon Stick — 1 large
  • Bay Leaves — Few
  • Anise Star –1
  • Cardamom — 2 pods
  • Cloves — 3
  • Black Pepper — few
  • Fennel Seeds — few

Ghee – 3 tablespoons ( you can use oil instead)

Ginger Garlic paste – 1 tablespoon

Salt — 4 teaspoons

I have added Tofu finally by sauteing in a bit of oil with little salt. ( You can very much use paneer)


  1. Have instant pot in saute mode, add ghee or oil.
  2. Meanwhile soak rice in water.
  3. Once hot add items in to season.
  4. Next add onions and saute for 2 minutes, add ginger garlic paste.
  5. Next add potato saute for a minute.
  6. Next add carrot and green beans saute for 2 minutes.
  7. Add edamame, peas and saute for another 2 minutes.
  8. Next add cilantro leaves, mint leaves, tomato, give it a good mix.
  9. Add chili powder, corriander powder, biriyani masala nad give a good stir.
  10. Next finally add cauliflower and drained rice. Give a good mix. Stop saute mode in IP.
  11. Add water and salt. Close IP and put it in sealing. You can do rice mode or Manual 5 minutes. Let it NPR in manual mode. With Rice mode I would wait for 5 minutes after it is done and NPR.

Finally mix the sauteed Tofu or Paneer which gives more protein.

Enjoy biriyani with raita.

Vazhaipoo thugayal/Banana Flower petal chutney


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Hello friends,

Been really long, absolutely no time to check my blog. Have been thinking of posting, ain’t got time to write down a post. Have some pictures taken and been there in the memory card. Little one is growing fast and I am going around her where ever she crawls. This gets the mommy tired 🙂 Anyways lets get to this recipe. This is a recipe from my dear friend PM’s mom. When she told me that is she going to make this thugayal, I got fascinated and loved the recipe. I wanted to try immediately and absolutely loved the taste. This recipe is one of the treasured recipes from her mom.

PM this is dedicated to your mom 🙂

Vazhaipoo_thugayal Vazhaipoo_thugayal_1 Vazhaipoo_thugayal_ing Vazhaipoo_thugayal_ing_1

Here it goes, remove the banana flowers and when you get to the stage you can remove anymore, just cut it in half. Use the petals which are soft. Discard those which has more fiber and can’t cut.


Banana Flower and petals of medium size

Tamarind : a small piece

Salt : 1/4 teaspoon

Oil : 3 to 4 table spoons

Red Chili : 2 to 3

Asafoetida/Hing: 1/8 teaspoon

Urad dal :1/4 teaspoon

Garlic : 20 pods

Mustard seeds : 1/4 teaspoon

Water : as needed

Curry Leaves: Few


  • Throw the banana flower and the petals in a pressure cooker, add salt, tamarind and some water and cook for 3 whistles.
  • In a small pan, heat some oil, add urad dal, red chili, hing. Once it cracks, let it cool.
  • Take out the pressure cooked flower, petals, add the above and grind it to a fine paste.
  • Next heat the remaining oil, add mustard seeds and curry leaves.
  • Add garlic once they start to brown, add the paste and mix well.
  • Cook in low flame until it thickens.

Serve with idli/dosa.

My friend told me that , they prepare it for ladies who delivered babies. This helps cure the internal injury in new moms. As you know Banana flower is full of iron content. Though it is a little long process, it is absolutely worth it. This tastes so good. Do give it a try. You can store it for a week as we have loads of oil. Use it as thokku.

2015 in review

Though I was not so very active most of the time in 2015, stats look definitely good. Thanks everyone. Wish you all a very happy and a prosperous New Year 2016!!

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 79,000 times in 2015. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 3 days for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Paal Payasam/Kheer


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I have been MIA for quiet sometime again. December is going to be a very tight scheduled month. Having a baby has changed everything possible. My DD has turned 6 months old today. Just a few days back we started giving her some solids. As of now she likes avocado.

I was thinking of making a cake. But my hubby said, why don’t you make some payasam, so that she can also have a bit of it. So yes cake plan got cancelled and here is the simple paal payasam/kheer. Did she like it, to my surprise nope, she didn’t 🙂



Milk : 1 litre/4 cups (full cream)

Basmathi Rice : 2 tables spoons

Ghee : 2 table spoons

Saffron strands : Few

Sugar : 1/4 cup (adjust according to your taste)


  • In a small pan, take a teaspoon of ghee and roast it for a minute.
  • Once cool, just give it a pulse in mixie for the rice to break into half.
  • In a pressure cooker, grease with ghee.
  • Add milk, broken basmathi rice. You can crush the saffron strands and add along.
  • Cook it for a whistle. Stop and let it cool.
  • Once the pressure is relieved, open and cook in low flame.
  • Once the rice gets cooked, add sugar.
  • Cook in low flame for around 30 to 40 mins.
  • Milk gets thicker. Once it comes to thick consistency,stop and serve.

You can always use jaggery instead of sugar.

Full cream milk gives the best taste.

You can use heavy bottomed pan instead of pressure cooker.

Add some cardamom powder to enrich taste, I didn’t want to make it strong as I am giving my LO.

Add a pinch of salt to enrich taste.

Cranberry thokku


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I wanted to make this thokku last year itself but missed it. Cranberries are easily found during Thanksgiving season. When I went to Walmart before Thanksgiving this year, I got a pack of cranberries for $1.68. Last year this time I was pregnant and had urinary infection, which is very common during pregnancy. Cranberry helps a lot in reducing UTI. I used to make juice with apple. But it was too bitter and I gave up fresh cranberries lol. So I used to make dry fruits bar/energy bar with dried cranberries. This year again I got so tempted by seeing the price. Finally made this thokku. It is way better than juice, so you can try it ☺

This is not my own recipe, adapted from here. I have never found these beauties in India.

Cranberry_Thokku Cranberry_Thokku_1 Cranberry_Thokku_2


Cranberries: 2 cups
Turmeric powder: 1/4 teaspoon
Red chili powder: 2 teaspoon (adjust according to your taste)
Salt : 1 teaspoon
Oil: 2 tablespoons
Tamarind juice: 2 tablespoons


  • Wash cranberries and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a large pan. When hot add the cranberries. It would start popping, just be careful.
  • When they bubble up and get cooked. Add turmeric powder, red chili powder, salt and give it a nice mix.
  • After 2 to 3 mins, add tamarind juice and mix well.
  • Let it cook and oil gets separated on the edges of the pan.
  • Now stop and cool. Store in a mason jar in refrigerator for 2 weeks.

It goes well with idli, dosa, chappathi and with rice.

Optionally you can make tadka with little oil, mustard seeds, urad dal, asafoetida, curry leaves. I didn’t want to add more oil, so didn’t do this step.

Vegetable Fried Rice (Indian Style, without soy sauce)


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When I get loads of veggies, on Sunday I opt for vegetable fried rice. My hubby would not want to use soy sauce. So here is a very interesting version with the usage of vinegar. It tastes awesome. My hubby gave me this recipe. We both love it. Hope you will also enjoy this.

Veg_Fried_Rice Veg_Fried_Rice_1


Rice : 2 cups

Onion : 1/2 of a large finely chopped (yellow onions will go great)

Carrot : 2 small

Beans : 10 numbers

Green Bell Pepper/Capsicum : 1/2

Cauliflower : 4 to 5 florets

Peas: 2 to 3 tablespoons (I use frozen)

Spring Onion : 1 strand

Apple Cider Vinegar : 6 tablespoons (Normal vinegar would also work)

Salt : as required

Black Pepper Powder : 1 tablespoon

Oil : 2.5 tablespoons

Cinnamon Stick : 1 small

Bay Leaf :2

Cloves :2

Cumin Seeds : 1/2 teaspoon


  • Chop all the vegetables to small pieces.
  • Cook rice and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a large pan. When hot add cinnamon sticks, bay leaf, cloves, cumin seeds.
  • When they crackle, add onion, saute for 2 mins.
  • Next add carrot, beans and saute for 2 to 3 mins.
  • Add bell pepper now, saute for another 2 mins.
  • Finally add cauliflower, frozen peas saute it. Mix black pepper powder, salt.
  • Now add vinegar and mix. Let all the veggies cook. Finally add the spring onions cook for 2 mins.
  • Once all the veggies are cooked. Reduce the heat to low.
  • Mix the cooked rice.
  • Once all the veggies and rice gets mixed, check for salt. If needed add more and mix.

Serve hot 🙂 I like it simple raita, you can also make gobi manchurian.

For all other rice varieties, please click here

Sweet Diamond Cuts/Shakkarpaara


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Hope you all had a wonderful Diwali. I just made some millet poha ladoo , murukku, gulab jamun. On Diwali day, managed to make some Masala Cheeyam as well.

For gulab jamun I used the instant pack. I had some sugar syrup left out . Its was flavorsome as I had added some saffron, cardamom, vanilla extract. Usually everyone adds rose essence, I didn’t have it, so I used vanilla extract. I somehow didn’t want to throw that syrup. Decided to make sweet diamond cuts with it. It came out awesome. A great tea time snack. I have made it with whole wheat flour. Again traditionally it is made with all purpose flour/maida and semolina/sooji.

I have not given any measurement as I didn’t use any. You can play around with the sweetness and the amount of flour. Also I have not used oil while making dough, as the gulab jamun would leave out oil in the syrup.




Whole Wheat Flour/Aata

Sugar Syrup

Oil : to deep fry

Salt : a pinch

Water : in case needed to make dough


  • Combine flour, sugar syrup, salt and mix well.
  • Form a dough if needed add some water and make a firm dough.
  • It should not be loose and should be a thick one.
  • Set aside for half an hour.
  • Roll out with rolling pin and cut in to small diamond shaped pieces.
  • While rolling out as we are deep frying, make it medium sized not too thick nor thin.
  • Heat oil for deep frying.
  • When hot, slowly drop pieces in and let it fry. Have the heat in low medium.
  • Once done, remove and drain excess oil in a paper towel.
  • Enjoy with a hot cup of chai or coffee.

For baked and savory version, here is the link Baked Wheat Crackers.

Samai, aval laddo/Little Millet, Poha Laddo


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Happy Diwali everyone 🙂  This year being the first year for my daughter, it is quiet special. But these days I am rarely getting time. Preparing day to day food with her is getting challenging.Even if I prepare something taking picture is time consuming 🙂 So I made this quick laddo. I try to include millet in my diet as they are rich in iron. This is a basic poha laddo, with the addition of millet.

Samai_Aval_laddo Samai_Aval_laddo_1 Samai_Aval_laddo_2


Little Millet/Samai : 1 cup

Poha/aval/Beaten Rice : 1/2 cup ( I have used red poha here)

Dalia/Pottukadalai : 1/2 cup

Sugar/Jaggery : according to your taste ( I used jaggery)

Ghee : 1/4 cup

Cashews : 10 to 15 numbers

Milk : 2 to 3 tablespoons


  • Dry roast little millet/samo, poha, dalia and grind it to a fine powder.
  • If you are using sugar grind it to a fine powder as well. I used jaggery, so I made a syrup and heated it.
  • Heat ghee in another pan, roast cashews.
  • Add ghee, jaggery syrup to the powder and mix.
  • Heat milk and mix with the above.
  • Form round balls when hot. If needed add more ghee.

As we are adding milk, this needs to be refrigerated. Stays good for a week.

Do check out some more Diwali recipes, Rice Kodubale, Sweet Somas/Gujia.

For Vada recipes to be prepared on Diwali, check here Uzundhu Vadai/Medu Vadai, Masala Vada/Paruppu Vadai

Once again Happy Diwali 🙂

Samai Upma/Little Millet Upma – Guest post to Maha’s lovely home


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This is a very long pending post from me. I have given this guest post to Usha of Maha’s Lovely Home” long back. When I was planning to post it in my blog, I had to go to labor. After that I couldn’t get time to post. So here it is. When Usha asked me to send some recipes, I planned to give her millet recipe.

Do visit her page to find lovely recipes. A very dedicated and talented blogger for a long time now. You can check my recipe in her page too.

Millets have a lot of health benefits and they can be prepared similar to Rava. They are gluten free as well.
Samai_Upma Samai_Upma_1 Samai_Upma_2

Ingredients: (Serves 2)

Little Millet/Samai : 1 ½ cup

Onion : ¼ of a large

Green Chili : 2 (adjust according to your taste buds)

Ginger : ½ inch piece grated

Mixed Veggies : ½ cup ( I have used frozen, you can use fresh veggies)

Salt : as needed

Water : 4 1/2 cups ( 1 cup samai requires 3 cups water)

Oil : 1 ½ teaspoon

Mustard Seeds : ¼ teaspoon

Urad Dal : ¼ teaspoon

Channa Dal : 1.4 teaspoon

Curry Leaves: Few

Cilantro : to garnish


  • Soak Samai/Little Millet in water for half an hour. Drain and set aside.
  • Chop onions, green chilies.Heat oil in a pan, when hot add mustard seeds, urad dal, channa dal.

    When they turn golden brown, add curry leaves.

  • Next add onion, green chili and saute till translucent.
  • Now add the frozen veggies, saute till half done. Frozen cooks faster than fresh.

    Next add water and let it boil. Add salt to it.When it hot enough, add the drained samai and mix well.

  • Cover with a lid and cook till soft and water gets dehydrated.
  • Garnish with chopped cilantro leaves.
  • Serve with any chutney.

To check out some chutney recipes, see below

Peanuts Chutney

Celery Chutney

Onion Chutney/Vengaya Chutney

Ginger Chutney/Allam Pachadi

Coconut Chutney

Peerkangai Thol Thugayal/Ridge Gourd Skin Peel Chutney