Friday, July 31, 2009

Rava Ladoo

Rava laddu / ladoo is a classic Indian sweet prepared during auspicious occasions and festivals.
There are many ways to prepare it. The standard way is to roast and grind the ravai (sooji) and to make balls using hot ghee.
Those ladoos will last long for a month also. I associate the rava ladoo with my chithi (my dad's brother's wife) . It is her habit to prepare snacks at home if she visits some one special.... mostly me:) She makes it in the authentic way using ghee and I will discuss it afterward... may be 'Rava ladoo - part 2'.

But our subconscious mind can never allow us to use such a bulk quantity of ghee, even though the tongue begs for it:) So here is a lesser fat version . Hope you all like it.


Rava / sooji / semolina - 2 cups
Shredded coconut - 1 cup
sugar - 1 1/2 cup
water - 1 cup
cardamom - 5
raisin - 20
Cashew nut - 20
Ghee - 2 tbsp

Method :

1.Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a wok.
Fry the cashews and raisins till the cashews turn golden. Keep aside.

2.In the same wok add the remaining ghee and fry the rava till it becomes loosen and fragrant.
Transfer to a plate and keep aside.

3.Now put the shredded coconut and dry roast it till it starts to get mild golden color. Transfer it to the rava plate.

4. Pour 1 cup water to the wok along with the sugar and heat till it gets one thread consistency. (One thread consistency: If you scoop the syrup and pour back using a spoon, the last drop will drip like a single elongated drop).

5.Immediately add the rava and mix well. Put off flame and let it become a thick dough.

6. Add the powdered cardamom, fried cashew , raisin and mix well. Let it get cool (warm) so that we can touch.
Take a lemon size portion and make balls .

Rava ladoo is ready!

Serving suggestions:

Serve as dessert or snack. Makes 20 ladoos.
Store in airtight container . It will last for 2 days without refrigeration and more than a week if refrigerated.

I am not sure of the longevity of these snacks , as they vanish as soon as I make:)

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mushroom pepper curry - A village treat !

Mushrooms are always associated with rain . If you have lived in a country side , then you will think of  that spread of white mushrooms that bloom after a rain. (keep in mind that only a few mushrooms are edible and it needs some experience to identify them).
Mushrooms are my fantasies since childhood.I have always wondered and asked many people how these tiny soft umbrellas shoot up the next morning after a heavy rain. Our maid Lakshmi told me that the lightning brings the seeds of mushroom to earth (!) or it is the mysterious plant that live for a day indicating some fast life philosophy and a lot of stories....even thrillers too:)
I would get up in the morning after those lightning nights and run to our garden to see if any umbrella has sprung up. On seeing my love for them Lakshmi brought us a lot of mushrooms, which she collected in the woods. Mom, cooked it like a spicy curry as per Lakshmi's idea .Those were like treats to me. Nothing can beat the fragrance of those fresh hand picked mushrooms.
In course of time I learned that these are a kind of fungi that grows if the moisture / humidity reaches a saturation point along with some protein rich environment.Moreover all the mushrooms are not edible. Some are poisonous too.

Ok...Whatever the scientific fact it may be... even now I consider the mushrooms as tiny little gifts from heaven that travels through lightning:) I want it to remain that way only.

Mushroom pepper curry (village style)

Button Mushroom - 20
coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
garlic paste - 1 tsp
tomato - 1
salt - to taste
oil - 1 tbsp
Red Onion - 1/2
fennel seed - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaf - 1 sprig
Green chilly - 2

To grind:
puffed channa dhal - 1 tbsp
Shallot onion - 4
black pepper - 1 tbsp
cumin - 1/2 tsp

Put the mushroom in a wide vessel and wash it in water thrice to remove any impurities.
Drain the water completely. Pat dry it with paper towel.Don't squeeze it.
Chop it in lengthwise and keep aside.
Grind the items given.
Heat oil in a wok.
Add the fennel seeds and let it get red in color.
Then add the chopped onion , curry leaf, green chilly and saute well.
Then add the garlic paste and fry till the raw smell goes.
Now put the finely chopped tomatoes and saute till the oil separates.
Then goes the mushroom along with all the powders , salt and ground mixture.
Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
Mushroom pepper curry is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Serve as side dish with paratha, roti or any bread.
Goes very well with piping hot cooked rice too.


The nutrient content is very high for all the edible mushrooms and they are considered as one of the natural medicines for cancer and heart disease.
Mushrooms helps in reducing our cholesterol level and boosts the immune system.
A Serving in alternate days will definitely help us keep a good health.
Cook the mushrooms as early as you buy bring them home. It will start to rot in one day after coming home.
There are some poisonous varieties also. So have a thorough knowledge before going for a mushroom pick-up.

An award:
Yesterday I received a cute award from Ramya of Simple vegetarian Recipes. I am speechless. Thanks Ramya ! Your award inspires me to do more.

The rules for this award are :
1. You must mention the person who has given you the award.

2. Copy the logo and place it on your blog.

3. Link to the person who has nominated you for the award.

4. Name 7 things about yourself that people might find interesting.

5. Nominate 7 other Kreativ Bloggers.

6. Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.

7. Leave a comment on which of the blogs to let them know they have been nominated.

Well .. I don't know , if it will be interesting. Here are some facts about me.

1)We are living in USA and my mother tongue is Tamil. I love English movies, especially the documentary, cartoons and non-violent movies :)

2)Passionate to visit Churches . I am eager to know about all other religions too.

3)I love to learn different cultures and cuisines. Gardening and watching flowers , birds etc are my leisure time activities.

4)I like various hair cuts , exercise and keep myself updated.

5)My drawback is my fully developed taste buds that crave for all those fried items I see:)

6)I love blogging and the entire blogging community keeps me lively.

7)More concerned about ecology, environment , pollution, protecting fauna and flora of our Earth.

I want to pass this award to all, but as per the rules I have to select just 7 people....So passing these to the following friends .

1)Sashi of Sashi's Tasty bites.

2)SriLakshmi of AnnaPurna.

3)Ganga of My favorite foods.

4)Rebecca of Chow and chatter.

5)Suparna of Food Fascination.

6)Aysha of Life Today.

7) Kalyani of kalyani's kitchen.

Congrats Friends!

Monday, July 27, 2009

A simple dinner !

With the arrival of the summer we can see the markets flooding with all the nature's best produce and colorful vegetables. Some weeks before we found a semi home made pizza with zero trans fat and lesser fat-cheese in the frozen food section. From then on, it became our routine to make a colorful dinner on weekends with that store bought frozen pizza topped with our homely choices along with the natural sides and fresh fruits as desserts.

After my last post on dinner etiquette , my eagerness to find the various modes to eat certain food has gone wild . So wanted to share about the facts on food that has to be eaten with fingers:)

What is a finger food?
Finger food is food eaten with the hands without using any knife, fork, chopsticks, or other utensils.
In some cultures, food is almost always eaten with the hands.
Exampe: 1.Ethiopian cuisine, food is eaten by rolling various dishes by Injera bread.
2. Indian food (roti, rice, dosa) is mostly eaten with hands .(we can use a fork if rice is served with meat and veggies . Use a spoon if served like soup consistency ).

Examples of generally accepted finger food: (courtesy - wikipedia)
Miniature beef pies, sausage rolls, sausages on sticks, cheese and olives on sticks, chicken drumsticks or wings, spring rolls, miniature quiches, samosas, onion bhajis, potato wedges, vol au vents, risotto balls, pizza, cookies, crackers, hot dogs, fruit and bread.

So our pizza is definitely a finger food and we can have it comfortably with all that sides and drinks. Enjoy the platter with your hands:)

Fresh broccoli - 1/2 head.
Trim and wash the broccoli florets.
Pat dry with a kitchen towel.
Arrange on baking tray along with pizza and bake for 10 minutes.
Sprinkle lemon juice and salt.
Serve as starter.

Main course:
Healthy slice of pizza without trans fat topped with low fat cheese.
Top with Red, green and yellow bell pepper along with onion , mushroom , olives etc.
Grease a baking sheet with olive oil and bake according to directions.
I used a brand called 'Ellios' from Shop rite.

Sweet corn broiled over direct fire , seasoned with lemon and salt.

I could not focus more on nutrients here.
The irresistible choice for us is a caffine free zero calorie coke.
We can have a natural choice like lemonade also.


Served a banana , few cherries and a peach as dessert for every one.

Sending this spread to Yasmeen's Well balanced 3 course meal event. Hope it suits the theme.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Vaazhai poo vadai .

Mostly I love to write about my mom, food and culture as the anecdote for every post. But for a change I am eager to occasionally include a few thoughts on dinning , hosting and food related thoughts.
OK... I know many are thinking...What is the relationship between a plantain flower vadai and dining etiquette? Nothing , but it can be served as good starter dish in a dinner. That's it :)

Some basic definitions:

Formal dining : A properly planned dinner arranged in a theme , hosted by someone. Food cooked and served by trained professionals. Guests attend it with proper invitation and suggestions (adults only / kids only / dress code etc.,).
Informal dining (Any culture):A dinner hosted for family and friends. The hostess prepares and serves food with a little voluntary help from guests. The host can ask for specific food allergies while inviting the guest.

Table etiquette (Formal and Informal dining):

First lets see the well known basic Do 's' and Don't 's'.

1.Do stay in your seat till the dinner is over. Use the restroom before sitting down.
Sit according to the waiter's directions (if any).

2.Sit straight on the chair , with both feet on the floor. Don't clutch your legs around the table leg or stretch your legs wide. Keep arms on lap while waiting.

3.Don't lean backwards by tilting and playing with the chair. Don't play with spoon or vessels.

4.Wait for the food to be served.

5.Try a little bit of everything on your plate unless you have a severe allergy. You can avoid a serving by a 'No , thanks' and not a long story on why you hate it. You can choose and have the food in a buffet. But don't discuss your aversion on a served dish. This will definitely hurt the hostess if she has prepared it.

6.Take small but required portion at a time . Don't over crowd your plate.

7.Talk with people on either side of you. Don't shout across the table.

8. Do not eat too fast or too slow while everyone is waiting to get up.

9.Ask for things to be passed with a please, thanks etc. Meanwhile do not reach in front of someone.

10.Do not pick up the dropped silverware, food or napkins.
(to be contd....)

Look forward for more tips in the upcoming posts.
Hope you all like it.

Vaazhai poo vadai / plantain flower vadai :
Recipe source: My Gandhi chithi , she did this for us and taught my mom this recipe, when she visited us.
Vaazhai poo vadai is one of the most favorite tea time snack for many of us. It has a pleasant earthy flavor induced by the plantain flower . The toughest part is to clean the flowers before using. You can click here to see how to clean the banana flowers .

Channa dhal /kadalai paruppu /Bengal gram - 1 cup
Chopped banana flower - 2 cups
salt - to taste
ginger - 1 inch
onion (chopped) - 1/2 cup
curry leaves- 1 sprig
fennel seed - 1/2 tsp
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
cooking oil-250 ml. (for deep frying)

Clean the banana flower and chop it coarsely.
Soak the dhal for 1 hour in water.
Take out a handful of soaked dhal and keep aside.(This gives a wonderful crispy texture to the vadai.)
Grind the dhal with salt , ginger and fennel seed without water.
Add the left over dhal,coarse dhal mixture,chopped onions,chopped banana flower and curry leaves and mix well .
Heat oil in a deep frying pan.
Take a small ball of the mixture (in the size of a lemon), slightly flatten in the palm of your hand then place in the hot oil .
Deep fry on both sides to a golden brown color to mild red color.
Remove the vadai , drain oil by placing over a tissue paper.

Serving suggestions:

Makes 15 big size 'vaalai poo' vadai.
Serve hot with Coconut chutney or Tomato ketchup.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Pineapple Rasam

There is a popular belief that , 'We can check any person's cooking skill with the taste of the rasam they make'. Because even though the rasam may seem a very easy item to make, it needs a lot of care and patience.
One can master the art of preparing an authentic rasam by keeping the following in mind.
1. Don't boil the rasam after adding salt. Put off flame on seeing the bubbles / froth.
2. Don't use black or old tamarind.
3. Use freshly ground rasam powder and fresh ingredients to get a more healthy rasam.

A rasam made with pineapple will definitely sound classic to any Rasam fan.
Like all the rasams , pineapple rasam also helps in digestion. Some nutrients present in the pineapple is believed to reduce the body fat to some extent.
So here is a super healthy rasam made with all the freshness of pineapple.

Tamarind - a strawberry size
pineapple - 1 cup (chopped)
cooked toor dhal - 3 tbsp
water - 3 cups
turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
fenugreek seed - 1/4 tsp
Dry red chilly - 2 (torn into pieces)
curry leaves - 1 sprig
cilantro - 1 tbsp (chopped)
salt - to taste
oil /ghee - 1 tsp
garlic - 4 pearls

To roast and grind:

Coriander seed - 1 tbsp
Cumin seed - 1/2 tsp
Black peppercorn - 1 tsp
Dry red chilly - 1

Step 1.
Grind the tomato with 3/4 cup of pineapple coarsely.
Soak tamarind in hot water , filter and extract juice using 2 cups of water.
Take a vessel and add the tamarind extract,Turmeric powder, mashed dhal, mashed tomato + pineapple in it.
Start heating the vessel.
Roast the items given and grind along with fresh garlic pods.
Add this rasam powder also to the above vessel and bring it to a boil.
Switch off flame once it comes to a boil.
Now add salt to taste.
Step 2:
Heat oil / ghee in a pan.
Add mustard seeds , fenugreek seeds and allow them to splutter .
Add some asafoetida (hing), cilantro, red chillies and curry leaves.
Run the seasoning over the hot rasam.
Step 3:
Finely chop the rest of the pineapple and sprinkle over the rasam.
Close the vessel tightly to retain the flavor.

Pineapple rasam is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Serve hot with plain steamed rice or simply in cups to drink.
Having a cup of rasam after lunch or dinner is highly recommended for good health.

Friday, July 17, 2009


'Puli saatham' , the name itself has the power to make any one drool. There are so many variations in making a puli saatham.
In Tirunelveli (TamilNad, India) ,we call it as Puliyotharai. The main variation is the addition of garlic and its roasted ingredients .Moreover we have the habit of using pure chekku Nallennai otherwise called Virgin Sesame oil for the pulihora and dosai.
After tasting the dosas and Puliyotharai made with that virgin sesame (gingelly) oil we cannot satisfy our taste buds with the branded gingelly oil.
Still I remember the vacations amma and chithi making Puliyotharai for our temple visits. The post brings me the memories of our vacations in Tiruchendur resorts (a beach side village famous for its Lord Murugan Temple) and the long train journeys to Madras:) Mom used to pack the puliyotharai in broiled banana leaves.(Placing the banana leaf over the fire for a few seconds make it flexible to pack food). I have always wondered if the aroma of the puliyotharai comes from the banana leaf or by the gingelly oil:) But now I am sure it is by the love of the person who prepares it:)
Anyways here goes the recipe for Puliyotharai.

Other names: Puliyodharai / Tamarind rice / Puli saatham / Pulihora.

Raw ponni rice (Pacharisi) / Basmati rice - 1.5 cup (300 gm)
Salt - 1 tsp (to taste)
Tamarind - a lemon size ball
Gingelly oil - 4 tbsp (2 tbsp per cup of rice)
Garlic - 10 pearls (must)
Channa dhal - 1 tbsp
mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Unroasted Ground nut - a handful
Cashew nut - 15
Dry red chilly - 4
Curry leaf - a sprig.
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida (perungayam)- a pinch

To roast and powder afresh:
fenugreek seed (venthayam) - 1/2 tsp
mustard seed - 1 tsp
oil - 1 tsp

Cooking the rice:
Cook the rice with 1/2 tsp salt and ample water .
Drain the excess water. Spread the cooked rice in a wide plate (thambalam) and let it cool completely.

Puliyotharai powder:
Heat 1 tsp oil in a wok and fry the fenugreek seed and mustard till we get nice aroma.
Cool and powder it in a hand mortar / blender.

Puli kaachal (Tamarind masala):
Heat 1 tbsp gingelly oil in a wok. Fry the ground nut, cashew nut separately and keep aside.
Again heat the remaining oil in the same wok.
Add mustard, Channa dhal, red chillies (torn into bits),curry leaf , asafoetida and fry well till mustard pops.
Then add the peeled garlic and stir till the garlic starts turning golden.
Extract juice from tamarind using 1 cup of water and pour the juice into the wok.
Now put the Turmeric powder , salt and boil till the oil starts showing.
Then add the freshly grind powder. Turn off heat.
Puli kaachal is ready. We can store it in refrigerator for further use also.

Puliyotharai preparation:

Sprinkle the roasted nuts over the cooked rice.
Add the puli kaachal to the cooked rice little by little and mix well till it tastes good (not too sour).
Puliyotharai is ready!
Keep the remaining gravy refrigerated for further use.

Serving suggestions:
Serve as main course lunch / dinner / breakfast.
Serves 2 adults.
The best side dishes can be the crispy masal vadai and thengai thovaiyal (thick coconut chutney) or simply with potato chips.
It goes well with hard boiled eggs too.

Tamarind rice cooked in this manner can stay fresh for nearly 3 days without refrigerator. So it can be packed as a best packed food for a long journey, if we prefer home made food.
If packed for a long journey , make separate parcels for every time use. Do not mix the touched food along with fresh one. Do not keep coconut chutney for the journey as it will get spoiled soon. Care should be taken not to touch the food with hand / wet spoon while cooking , if we need a long shelf life.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tomato sweet

After posting the 'Tamil Muslim's wedding Biryani' , I wanted to explain about the side dishes. (Yes, the biryani preparation varies from state to state and there can be a lot of variations).
Tomato sweet explained here is authentically known as Thakkali thithippu in Tamil. Thakkali means Tomato and Thithippu means sweet . It is an unique side dish served with Biryani in Tamil-Muslim festivals. Many a time I had the opportunity to taste this sweet brought by my mother's friend. The aunt tells us that the Tomato sweet can pacify the heat of biryani and will help in digestion. Mom got many recipes from that aunt and thereafter my mom too started making her yummy dishes in our house:) One among those is the drool worthy sweet, the Thakkali thithippu


Ripe Vine Tomato (nattu thakkali)- 5 (1/2 kg)
Sugar - 1/4 kg
cardamom - 5
cashew nut - 10
Kismis / Raisin - 10
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Rose essence - 2 drops (must)


Put all the whole tomatoes in a wide vessel.
Pour water to immerse the tomatoes.
Cover and cook till the tomato starts cracking.
Put off fire and let the fruits get cool.
Then peel off the skin and discard.
Grind the pulp into a fine puree.
Now heat a wide vessel with 1 tbsp ghee.
Fry the cashews , raisins and keep aside.
In the same vessel pour the puree and sugar .
Let them boil to get a thick consistency.
Now add the fried cashew, raisins and powdered cardamom.
Turn off heat.
Add 2 drops of rose essence and mix well.
(I have seen a lot of rose petals strewn over the sweet in the marriage feasts).
Tomato sweet is ready !

Serving suggestions:
Serve as side dish with Biryani or simply like a jam with bread.

I have given the original measurements for sugar , just like I make. But you can vary that with Zero calorie sugars. But I am not sure of the results.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Some reposts

Sending the following for Sanghi's FIL - Brinjal event.

1. Ennai Kathirikai kulambu

2.Mochai kulambu

3. Pongal Aviyal

4. Vangi Badth

The following posts are for Padma's Dosa corner event.

1. Soft dosai

2. Azhagar Kovil dosai

3. Green gram dosai

4. Nava Dhanya Adai

Expecting numerous dosa varieties from Padma and mouthwatering brinjal dishes from Sanghi.
Happy hosting friends!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Lasagna (Vegetarian)

Many of us love the comic character Garfield , the cute cat. He is known to be born in an Italian Restaurant . It would be portrayed that he is a cat of great affinity for Lasagna. From the minute of knowing it I got addicted to Lasagna. Yeah , I am a proud fan of Garfield and I love whatever he eats:) That cartoon inspired me a lot to grow with cats as my pet till my marriage.

Lasagna / Lasagne is a kind of pasta made like sheets with rippled adges. It is made into a recipe called 'lasagne al forno' (means 'oven-baked lasagne") . It is made with alternate layers of pasta, cheese, and often rag├╣ (a meat sauce) or tomato sauce. Americans commonly use the singular term 'lasagna' while others use the Italian plural 'lasagne'.

I have made my version of vegetarian Lasagna without any Ragu sauce. Just like many other Italian dishes the preparation of Lasagna is also a very easy one.

To cook Lasagna:
whole wheat lasagna - 10 strips
Water - 1/2 of the vessel.

We may need a large vessel to accommodate the Lasagna as they always come as long strips. Smooth breaking is impossible before cooking:)
First bring the water to boil and add the full strips of Lasagna and cook as per directions. (Cook them 75 % and not completely)
Drain water and run it under cold water.
Then cut every strip into two equal parts.
Now we get 2o strips. We will be arranging them into 4 stacks of Lasagna

Preparing the vegetables:

olive oil - 2 tbsp
Kale leaf - 2 cups (chopped)
Spinach - 3 cups (chopped)
Black olive fruits - 10 (cut in circles)
yellow bell pepper - 1/2 cup (chopped)
Green bell pepper - 1/2 cup
Carrot - 1
Tomato - 1 cup(chopped)
Onion - 1/2 cup (chopped)
Red pepper flakes - 1 tbsp
Garlic - 2 cloves
Tomato sauce - 2 tbsp

Heat oil in a wok. Add the crushed garlic followed by the onion.
Then add the kale leaf with spinach and saute well. Keep aside.
Saute the vegetables and mix the tomato sauce , keep aside.

Pasta sauce :
Grated Parmesan cheese - 1/2 cup
low-fat cottage cheese - 1 cup
Dried mixed Italian herbs - 1 tbsp
Milk - 1/2 cup
Sour cream (I used plain yogurt)- 1/2 cup
All purpose flour - 1 tsp (for thickening)

Mix the flour with milk. Then add everything above and mix well.
Pasta sauce is ready.
We can use ready made sauce also.
Divide it into 3.Mix one portion with the cooked vegetables another portion with the cooked greens and keep the remaining aside.

Arranging the layers:

Grease a baking sheet with cooking spray / oil.
First place a sheet of cooked Lasagna on the sheet.
Spread the Kale + spinach filling over the Lasagna.
Place the second layer of lasagna sheet over it.
Arrange the cooked vegetables on it.
Place the third sheet over it.
Again spread some more Kale + spinach filling.
Place the fourth Lasagna sheet again.
Spread the vegetables again.
Now place the fifth sheet over the vegetables.
The stacking should look like the playing cards:)
Now pour the prepared pasta sauce over the stacked lasagna.

Just like this make as many stacking as you want side by side.

Baking the Lasagna:

Shredded mozzarella cheese - 1/2 cup (1 cup if u want)
Italian seasoning - 1 tbsp

Sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese , Italian seasoning powder over the arranged layers.
Preheat the oven to 325 deg F.Cover baking dish with aluminum foil.
The foil should not touch the top of Lasagna.
Bake for 45 minutes in oven. (Till the cheese in the top starts bubbling)
Then remove foil and bake for another 10 minutes ,so that the top is slightly brown.

Serving suggestions:

Serve as main course lunch or dinner along with any sides like garlic bread , french fries or any fried chicken along with a drink of your choice.
We had it with baked Texas toast and coke:)

Enjoy your weekend!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Tuti fruity and an award

Hope many of you are familiar with those Christmas cakes studded with the tiny bits of fruit like sweet. They are globally called as Tuti fruity / Tooti frooti .Actually these tiny pieces of heaven are not real fruits. They are made from the raw papaya colored and soaked in sugar.
We can buy them easily in any grocery shop. But the fact is if we are doing it at home, we can be sure of using some natural / organic colors and sugar-free stuff. Isn't it:)
The entire process will not take more than 30 minutes and we will be all set for a baking spree:)

In the mean time, I am so much thrilled when my friend passed me this cute award. Thank you so much dear. I feel honored.
I am passing on this cute award to any one who leave a comment here:)

Tooti fruity:

Step 1:
Raw papaya - 1 (chopped 3 cups)
Water - 2 cup

Peel and wash the raw papaya.
Chop it into small pieces.
Bring 2 cups of water to boil and add the papaya pieces.
Cover and cook till the papaya gets 80 percent cooked.
(Don't cook it completely).
Drain excess water and keep the pieces aside.

Step 2:
Bring 1/2 cup of fresh water to boil.
Add 1 cup of sugar along with some sugar free sugar according to taste.
(We can add original sugar completely also.)
Add 5 drops of any organic food color .
Put the cooked papaya pieces and cook till the sugar starts crystallizing.

Tooti frooti is ready !

Let them cool and store in zip lock covers in refrigerator.

The general colors are yellow , red and green.
Tooti fruity are used in making cakes , breads and ice creams.
We can make individual colors in separate vessels also.
Beet root juice , carrot juice can make natural colors.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Onion samosa / Cinema theater Samsa

Samosa is an Indian deep fried spicy snack usually served with tea .
In India we can see numerous varieties of samosas. The famous ones are made by the Gujarathis. Those samosa are normally stuffed with potato , onion, vegetables and chaat masala.

But the Samosa I explain below is a different one. It has a simple onion masala as stuffing with a more crispier outer layer. May be this one can be called a typical South Indian Samosa. We pronounce it as Samsa:)
Onion samosa can be a very usual snack in the cinema theaters of my native place.
Ranganathan street in T.Nagar of Chennai is famous for its mini onion samosas.
Because of my love for the street foods of my native place, I prepared this onion samosa and it came out pretty good. Hope you all enjoy them.

Stuffing :


Red onion - 2 (100 gms)
salt - 1/4 tsp or to taste
Red chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Curry masala powder - 1/2 tsp
curry leaf - 1 brig
green chilly - 2
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Fennel seed (sombu) - 1/2 tsp
oil - 1 tbsp

Chop the onion finely in lengthwise.
Heat oil in a wok.
Add the fennel seed and let it get red.
Then add the onion and saute mildly till it becomes almost tender.
(Don't cook the onion completely).
Then add all the items given and mix well.
Samosa masala is ready. Keep it aside.

Samosa preparation:

Maida / All purpose flour - 1 1/2 cup
Rice flour (fine) - 1 tbsp
salt - 1/8 tsp
baking soda - 1/8 tsp
Oil - to deep fry (250 ml)
cumin seed - 1/2 tsp

Mix all the items given above except the oil. Remove any lumps.
Add water little by little and knead it into a chapathi dough like one.
Divide it into lemon size balls.

Take one ball. Spread it into a circle by applying some oil.
Put a tbsp of onion masala in the center.
Fold it in to a triangle.

Heat oil in a wok.
Deep fry the samosas one by one .

Drain oil in a paper towel.
If prepared in a correct way ( i.e., immediately after kneading the dough), the samosa will not absorb oil.

Onion samosa is ready!

Serving suggestion:

Serve with Tomato ketchup as tea time snack.
Makes 6 - 8 samosas .

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

White kuruma (vegetarian)

White kuruma is a different variety of kuruma cherished by coconut lovers.
Even though the cooking process won't allow a perfect white color to the kuruma , we call it by the name. My kuruma got a yellow tint from the carrots:) So we can avoid using carrots here to get a more white color.
The coconut and green chillies along with the poppy seeds gives a gorgeous creamy touch to the normal vegetable kuruma. This can be a perfect treat for any person who loves a lesser spicy side dish.

Vellai Kuruma / vegetarian white kuruma:


Cauliflower - 100 gms (1/4 flower)
Beans - 50 gms (10 number)
carrot - 1
potato - 2 (medium size)
Red onion - 2 (medium size)
coriander leaves - a handful.
mint leaves - few
curry leaves - few
curd - 1/2 cup
bay leaf - 1
salt - to taste
olive oil - 1 tbsp
Fennel seeds - 1 tsp

paste 1:
ginger - 1 inch
garlic - 4 pods

paste 2:
shredded coconut - 1/4 cup
green chillies - 6
cashew nut - 5
poppy seed - 1 tbsp
cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
cardamom - 3
cloves - 5
Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
cinnamon - 1 inch

Grind ginger and garlic together.

Dry roast the poppy seeds till they make a popping sound.
Grind everything given under paste 2 and keep aside.

Wash peel and cut the vegetables into small pieces.
Heat oil in a pan. fry some fennel seeds and bay leaf.
Add the chopped onion, curry leaves, cilantro and mint leaves. After the onion turns golden brown , add ginger garlic paste and saute well.
Now add all the vegetables and mix well.
Add 2 cups of water, salt and cook covered till the vegetables become soft.

Then add the paste 2 , curd and mix well.Boil it for one minute and Switch off immediately.
Vellai kuruma is ready!

Serving suggestions:

serve hot with parathas / roti / naan / rice/ pulav .