Karuvepillai Kuzhambhu/ Curry Leaves gravy(Chettinad style)


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Karuvepillai kuzhambhu is a speciality in chettinad cuisine. Curry leaves are great source of vitamin and mineral. High in iron content. Here in the US just few strands of curry leaves cost a dollar. I just use them for garnish. Recently there was an Indian friends get together. One family have got this tree at their house. They had to chop it off. So they distributed it in the party. I was overwhelmed seeing so much of curry leaves lol. Immediately called grandma to get kuzhambhu recipe. They were simply fresh and had awesome smell. After making this kuzhambhu my house was smelling divine 🙂

Here it is….

Karuveppilai_Kuzhambhu Karuveppilai_Kuzhambhu_1 Karuveppilai_Kuzhambhu_2

To grind
Curry leaves/ Karuvepillai: 1 cup tightly packed
Fennel seeds: 1 teaspoon
Grated coconut: 1 tablespoon

Tamarind juice : 1.5 cups
Sambar powder: 2 tablespoons
Turmeric powder: a generous pinch
Salt : as needed

Oil: 1 tablespoon ( I prefer sesame oil)
Mustard seeds: 1/4 teaspoon
Fennel Seeds :1/4 teaspoon
Urad dal: 1/4 teaspoon
Fenugreek seeds : 1/4 teaspoon


  • Wash curry leaves, add fennel seeds, grated coconut and grind it to a fine paste. Set aside.
  • Add tamarind juice, sambar powder, turmeric powder, salt in a bowl. Now mix the above ground paste.
  • Check if salt and spice is fine, if needed adjust.
  • In a large pan, add oil heat in medium flame.
  • When hot add mustard seeds, fennel seeds, urad dal, fenugreek seeds.
  • When it splutters, add the add mixed items and let it get cooked.
  • It takes around 20 mins. When oil oozes a bit, then it is done.
  • Stop and serve with either rice, idli or dosa.

This can be stored for around a week.

Potato Fry/ Urulai Poriyal


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We all love potatoes, who doesn’t 😛 . This is an universal recipe in many Indian families. Quick and easy to make. It is not there in my blog yet. So I thought why not take some pictures one day when i prepared. So here it is. There is one secret ingredient which brings more taste to this dish. I got to know from my dear friend Vidya @ Traditionally Modern Food. It gives crispy and tasty potato Fry.

Potato_Fry_1 Potato_Fry


Potato: 2 to 3 medium
Oil : as required to fry
Mustard seeds: 1/4 teaspoon
Urad dal: 1/4 teaspoon
Cumin Seeds: 1/4 teaspoon
Curry leaves : few
Rice floor: 1 tablespoon
Salt : as required
Turmeric powder: a generous pinch


  • Slice potatoes to small pieces. Put the sliced pieces in water to avoid getting dark.
  • Heat oil in a pan, when hot add mustard seeds, urad dal, cumin seeds.
  • When they crackle, add curry leaves. Once they splutter add the sliced potatoes by draining the water.
  • Saute for 3 to 4 mins.
  • Next add the rice flour, turmeric powder, salt.
  • Mix well and let it cook. If needed sprinkle water and cook.
  • Once done, stop and serve.

Rice flour gives crispiness and an excellent taste. It can totally be avoided in case you don’t want to use.

Oats Carrot Cake(Eggless)


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It has been very long since I posted. As most of you know, we had our little munchkin born in the month of June. I couldn’t get along with blogging. Being a first time mom , I am still in sleepless mode 🙂 In between my DD turned 4.5 months, phew did I say 4.5 months…YES she is already 4.5 months old. She was a preemie baby born 3 weeks early. She was born even before my mom could reach us. Some things were out of control, she was in NICU for sometime. We managed ourselves. First few days were totally a mess. Thankfully we got better once my mom arrived.

Fellow blogger friends, sorry I couldn’t visit your pages and leave comments. I am still not in full fledged mode to return to blogging but definitely will be coming back 🙂 So we celebrated her 3 months with this Oats carrot cake( I started writing this post when she was just 3 huh now you know!!!)…..As my mom is a complete vegetarian who doesn’t take eggs, I decided to make an eggless cake.

Oats_Carrot_Cake Oats_Carrot_Cake_1 Oats_Carrot_Cake_2


Oats : 2.5 cups ( finely ground)

Baking Powder : 1 teaspoon

Salt : 1/4 teaspoon

Cinnamon : 1/4 teaspoon

Nutmeg : 1/4 teaspoon

Walnuts : 1/4 cup

Sugar : 1/2 cup (I used coconut palm sugar)

Carrot : 1 cup grated(finely packed)

Milk : 1 cup

Vanilla essence : 1 teaspoon

Butter : 1/4 cup


  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Combine ground oats, sugar, nutmeg powder, cinnamon powder, walnuts and give a nice aeration.
  • Combine Carrot, milk, vanilla essence, butter.
  • Now combine wet and dry ingredients together.
  • Grease a baking tray with butter, pour the batter.
  • Bake for 30 mins, until a tooth pick comes out clean.

For the glazing I didn’t get it perfect, just added butter, sugar and some orange zest. Sorry for the poor pictures, as we were in a hurry.

Jowar Dosa — A Guest post for Aruna @ Aaharam


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Aruna and her space Aaharam needs no introduction, she is one such amazing blogger who inspires me with so many variety of food. I love her dedication and efforts of blogging. I specially love her traditional recipes. When Aruna asked for a guest post, I was so excited and here it is 🙂

If you are new to her space, do check her recipes, I am sure you will drool 🙂

Blog : https://aahaaram.wordpress.com

Facebook Page : https://www.facebook.com/Aahaaram

Do visit her space to get details on the Jowar Dosa recipe @ https://aahaaram.wordpress.com/2015/05/12/jowar-dosa-or-sorghum-pancakes-guest-post-by-malar-of-malars-kitchen

Jowar_Dosa Jowar_Dosa_1 Jowar_Dosa_2


  1. Jowar Flour : 1 ½ cup
  2. Moong dal : 1 ½ cup
  3. Water : as needed to grind batter
  4. Salt : as needed
  5. Black pepper : ½ teaspoon ( can replace with green chili)
  6. Red Chili : 1
  7. Garlic : 2 pods
  8. Ginger : 1 inch piece
  9. Grated coconut : 2 tablespoons
  10. Cilantro/Coriander Leaves : Handful finely chopped
  11. Oil : to drizzle over dosa


  1. Soak moong dal in water for a minimum of 3 hours to overnight.
  2. Drain water and grind it to a fine paste with black pepper, garlic, ginger, red chili with minimum water.
  3. Now mix the jowar flour with this paste along with salt, grated coconut, cilantro leaves.
  4. Bring it to a bit thicker dosa batter consistency.
  5. Heat a dosa tawa , drizzle one teaspoon oil over the tawa.
  6. Using a ladle pour batter in the center of the tawa and spread it.
  7. Drizzle oil over the dosa.
  8. These dosa’s will be thick.
  9. After the first side gets cooked for 2 mins, flip sides and cook for another 2 to 3 mins.
  10. Serve with any spicy chutney.


  • This batter is a little thicker than normal dosa batter and thinner than idli batter.
  • You can add any veggies like carrot, cabbage of your choice and mix with batter.
  • Jowar tends to break the dosa texture, so make sure it is cooked well the first side only then flip to the other side.

Peas Pulao


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Peas Pulao is another easy lunchbox menu. Quick to make and tastes great. Mint leaves is the secret ingredient in this pulao, it gives a great flavor.

To check on other rice varieties click here

Peas_pulao Peas_pulao_1


Basmathi Rice : 1 cup

Water : 2 cups

Peas : 1/2 cup

Mint Leaves : 15

Salt : to taste

Green Chili : 2 to 3

Onion : 1/4 of a large

Cumin Seeds/Jeera : 1/4 teaspoon

Ginger garlic Paste : 1 tablespoon

Oil : 1 tablespoon


  • Wash basmathi rice and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan, when hot add cumin seeds. Let it crackle.
  • Add onions saute for 2 mins. Now add ginger garlic paste. Make sure to saute well.
  • When onion turns translucent, add mint leaves and saute for 2 mins.
  • Add peas and saute for 2 mins.
  • Now add the washed and drained rice. Saute for 2 mins.
  • Now transfer it to a electric cooker and add water, salt and cook till done.
  • In case of pressure cooker, cook for 3 whistles. Or cook in a pan as well till fluffy.

Easy pessy peas pulao/pilaf is done 🙂 Serve with dal tadka or any raita.

Milagu Kuzhambhu/Black Pepper gravy


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This is one of the spicy kuzhambhu from south. This gravy can be had when you have sore throat, cold. It helps reducing the throat infection. Also this is one best food for nursing mothers. It helps increasing the breast milk. I made this for the Tamil New year as we need to make one spicy food on that day.

Milagu_Kuzhambhu Milagu_Kuzhambhu_1 Milagu_Kuzhambhu_2


Black Pepper/ Milagu : 2 teaspoons

Coriander Seeds : 3 teaspoons

Urad dal : 1 teaspoon

Cumin Seeds : 1 teaspoons

Channa Dal : 1 teaspoon

Red Chili : 2

Tamarind : 1 lemon size

Mustard Seeds : 1/4 teaspoon

Curry Leaves : Few

Salt : to taste

Asafoetida : generous pinch

Sesame oil/Gingelly oil : 3 tablespoons

Water : as needed


  • Soak tamarind in little water. After 5 mins, put it in a microwave container and heat it for 30 sec. Remove and keep it aside.
  • Heat a teaspoon of oil in a pan, add milagu, coriander seeds, urad dal, channa dal, cumin seeds, red chili.
  • Let it crackle and turn golden brown.
  • Let it cool , once cooled down add salt and grind it to a fine paste with required water.
  • Now heat remaining oil in a bigger pan, when hot add mustard seeds, asafoetida. When it crackles add curry leaves.
  • Now add the ground mix and mix well.
  • After 5 mins, add the tamarind paste and mix.
  • Heat it for 15 to 20 mins, close it with lid so it doesn’t splutter.

Serve with hot rice/idli/dosa

If you feel it is too hot/spicy, then you can add some coconut around 2 to 3 tablespoons to the items while frying at the end and grind it along. Adding some more gingelly oil as well helps reducing the hotness.

Milagai Chutney/Red Chili Chutney


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As I mentioned earlier in Vellai Paniyaram post, they are always accompanied with red chili chutney. As paniyaram is just made with rice and a bit of urad dal , it is quite bland and requires something spicy to be accompanied 🙂



Small Onion/Red Pearl onions : 20 to 25 (You can use shallots or red onions as well)

Tomato : 1/2 of a large

Garlic : 2 pods

Red Chili : 3 ( normally we add around 6, you can reduce it to 2 as well)

Oil : 1 tablespoon (normally we add more than 2 tablespoons, I have reduced it)

Mustard seeds : 1/4 teaspoon

Urad dal : 1/4 teaspoon

Curry Leaves : Few

Salt : as needed

Water : as needed


  • Chop red pearl onions, tomato, garlic. Add red chili with these. Grind it to a fine or coarse paste with required water.
  • Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds and urad dal when hot.
  • When it crackles, add curry leaves.
  • Now pour the ground paste.
  • Add salt to it and let it get cooked.
  • It might splutter, so cover it with lid.
  • Cook till all the water content gets dehydrated. It takes around 30 mins to dehydrate.

Serve with paniayaram , idli or dosa.

Vellai Paniyaram — Chettinad Special (200th Post)


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Here comes my 200th post, with the chettinad special dish vellai paniyaram. In any chettinad house this dish is inevitable. This is served in all of the chettinad functions. You will find this as one of the breakfast items in marriages.

It is a very simple recipe, but needs some practice. I have tried it a few times and never got it right. Finally I could nail it 🙂 It is always accompanied with the spicy millagai chutney (Red Chili Chutney) , recipe in the next post.

Vellai_Paniyaram Vellai_Paniyaram_1 Vellai_Paniyaram_2 Vellai_Paniyaram_4



Raw Rice/Pachai arisi : 1 cup ( measure exactly up to rim)

Urad Dal/Ulunthu : 1 1/2 tablespoon/make a gopuram over rice ( urad dal, we get in US is poor in quality, so I use 1/4 cup which gives better result)

Water : as needed to grind

Salt : as needed

Milk : 1 tablespoon( optional)

Oil : to deep fry


  • Soak rice and urad dal in water for 2 hours.
  • Grind it to a smooth batter with salt, just like dosa batter.
  • This batter needs to be a little extra watery than dosa batter. So you can add extra milk and bring it to that consistency.
  • Heat oil in a pan for deep frying.
  • Take a ladle which is not at all deep.( In Tamil we say kuli illatha karandi)
  • When the oil is hot enough, in the ladle take the batter and make sure the bottom of the ladle doe not have any batter. And pour it in one place.
  • With another ladle, pour oil on the top of the paniyaram.
  • Let it get cooked for a minute. Now turn the sides and cook around 30 sec.
  • Drain oil and place it in a paper towel to drain extra oil.


  • This paniayaram should be thin and not thick, you can see the last picture on how it looks when cooked. Once the first is cooked , tear it and see if the center is cooked well, if not then cook for some more time.
  • This paniyaram has to be cooked one at a time and not more than one.
  • Do not over cook once the side is turned. They must look white and not brown, hence the name vellai paniyaram.
  • This batter can be prepared and stored for later in fridge. Make sure to have a little watery consistency than dosa batter.
  • In case urad dal is very good quality, these paniyaram might come out very thick and like a ball.
  • In this case adding little milk or water helps(I have tried this option). You can also add rice flour and adjust( I haven’t tried this)
  • In case Urad dal is too less, then paniyaram becomes very thin and rubbery. In this case you can add some urad dal flour and adjust.
  • The sides of this paniayaram will form a flower shape which is the exact shape of this paniyaram.
  • Final tip my grandma gives me is, when you don’t get it right make uthappam with this batter 🙂

Ragi Malt


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Ragi malt is something quite heavy for breakfast and an apt one 🙂 It is so filling with just one cup. It doesn’t take more than 10 mins to prepare this recipe, so you can make it quick and easy. For a fast paced morning, this is a perfect recipe!!

Few more of my ragi recipes, check the below link

Ragi Dosa

Ragi Murukku/Chakkli

Ragi Puttu(Savory)

Ragi Puttu(Sweet Version)

Ragi Roti

Ragi Kaara Biscuits

Ragi_Malt Ragi_Malt_1 Ragi_Malt_2

Ingredients:(serves 2)

Ragi Flour : 4 tablespoons

Milk : 2 cups (can include 1 cup milk and 1 cup almond milk)

Water : 3/4 cup

Jaggery : 1 tablespoon( alternatively use sugar)

Cardamom Powder : a pinch


  • Dry roast ragi flour for 3 to 4 mins. Make sure it is not burnt.
  • Now mix ragi flour with water and make a paste without lumps.
  • Now add milk(also almond milk in case using this), cardamom powder, jaggery. Mix well. It should be little watery.
  • Heat it in low medium flame. Keep stirring, otherwise lumps will form.
  • It would become thick. It takes around 5 mins.
  • Stop and serve warm.

Perfect for breakfast 🙂

Almond milk gives an excellent taste, So I would totally prefer to add it.

Paruppu Payasam/Moong Dal Kheer — Happy Tamil New Year and Vishu


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I am a little late in wishing everyone a very Happy Tamil New Year and Vishu. Anyways never late, here is an authentic payasam recipe for the celebration 🙂 As a tradition we make arusuvai unnavu on this special day, which mean all the six taste is incorporated in food specially. I made few and adjusted a few 🙂 here is what I made on this special day.

Inipu/Sweet — Paruppu Payasam(dal kheer)

Pulippu/Sour — Maa vathal khuzhambhu(Mango preserve kuzhambhu)

Kasappu/Bitter — Vendhaya Dosai (methi dosa)

Thuvarpu/Astringent — Madulai / Served some pomegranate

Kaarpu/Spicy — Milagu Kuzhambhu(Pepper corn gravy)

Oovarpu/Salty– Any uppu poriyal will do, so I made prangikkai uppu poriyal(yellow pumpkin stir fry)

Recipe for Maa vathal Kuzhambhu, Vendhaya dosai, milagu kuzhambhu is coming soon….

Here is a sneak peak of my platter, excluding vendhaya dosai 🙂


I made a vegan version of this recipe for the first time and turned out well.

Paruppu_Payasam Paruppu_Payasam_1 Paruppu_Payasam_2


Pasi Paruppu/Moong Dal : 1/2 cup

Water : 1 1/2 cup

Turmeric Powder : a generous pinch

Coconut Milk : 1 1/2 cup to 2 cups(replace by milk if not vegan)

Jaggery : 1/2 cup (adjust according to your taste buds)

Coconut Oil : 1 tablespoon (replace by ghee, if not vegan)

Cashews : Few

Raisins : Few


  • Pressure cook pasi paruppu/moong dal with water and turmeric powder for 3 to 4 whistles.
  • Let it cool. When pressure subsides open the cooker and make sure dal is cooked well.
  • Now add coconut milk and let it come to boiling stage.
  • Heat jaggery with 1 to 2 tablespoons of water. When it starts melting and heating, pour the mix through a filter over the cooking dal and coconut milk.
  • Let it heat for another 3 to 4 mins.
  • In a small pan heat coconut oil, when hot add cashews.
  • When they turn slight golden brown, add raisins let them pop.
  • Once popped add it to the payasam.
  • Stop and serve either hot or cold.