Thursday, October 27, 2011


Unniappam or Neyyappam is a famous sweet dish from Kerala. It is similar to Tamilnadu's 'inippu kuzhipaniyaram' with some banana. some months ago I tasted this made by a friend and absolutely loved it. Making perfect shaped paniyaram using my heavy pan is a challenge for me, so I needed a detailed recipe. Then I googled and got this recipe from this video that gave me the spongy unniappam. Try this during a rainy weekend and enjoy!

My puff pancake pan serving as traditional thick bottom appa kal:) Minimum heat is the secret behind paniyaram.
Unniappam after flipping.
Pillow-soft unniappam ready to eat !

Rice flour - 1 cup
maida (AP flour) - 1/2 cup
ravai (Sooji) - 2 tbsp
(sooji makes flipping easy)
jaggery (or) palm jaggery - 200 gm (1 cup)
coconut - 2 tbsp
cardamom - 2
banana - 1 (well ripe)
raisin - 4
baking soda - 1/4 tsp
coconut oil / ghee - 1/4 cup (as per need)

Mix jaggery with 1/2 cup water and bring it to a boil. Switch off, let it dissolve. Filter and remove any impurities. Let it cool.

Grind banana, coconut, raisin,cardamom together to a fine paste.

Mix all the three flours in a mixing bowl. Add the banana paste and jaggery solution, mix well. It should be thick like idly batter. Let it soak for 2 hours.
(We can keep the batter after 2 hours inside fridge and use for a week).

Just before preparing the unniappam, add the baking soda, mix well and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Heat a paniyarakkal (paniyaram pan / puff pancake pan) or appakaral. Add oil/ ghee till 1/2 of the depth of each hole (first time only, then 1 tsp in each hole will do). Let it get hot.

Then pour the uniappam mix in each hole till 3/4.
Reduce heat to the minimum and wait till its cooked on one side.
Then with the help of a wooden skewer (vadai kambi), gently flip the appams.
Let them cook in that side too.

Then take them out and drain the excess oil using a kitchen towel.

Unniappam is ready!

Serving suggestion:
Makes a tea time snack or a  traditional breakfast.
Makes 28 pieces
(7 hole paniyaram pan X 4 times)

Mix oil and butter / ghee to get a more flavored neyappam.
Cook the unnippam covered with a tight lid, if it sticks to pan.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Badam Halwa

Happy Deepavali to all my readers and friends! Hope many are busy preparing Diwali snacks. Here is a recipe from my kitchen for your family.

Badam - Almond ; Halwa - fudge.

Batham halwa is a popular dessert of India. Till our good friend Mr.Kannan and family gave us a box of this Badam halwa, I never knew if it is my hubby's most favorite. Thank you friends! I have always ventured into typical South Indian desserts for festivals, but the way Xav enjoyed this almond halwa, scoop by scoop....made me try immediately:) Basically it is a one line recipe with just soaking, grinding and stirring....but involves some essential tips too. I got the recipe from this website and it was so simple and impeccable. Visit her and you will be definitely tempted by that big tray of Almond halwa. Thank you Chithramma!

Home made Badam halwa.

Almond - 1 cup
milk - 1 cup
ghee - 1 cup
sugar - 1 cup
saffron - few strands
cardamom - 4

Essential Tools:
Thick bottom broad wok
a long handled stirring spatula.
hand gloves - a pair

Soak almond in water overnight and peel them (or) put them in boiling water and keep till its skin wrinkles. Then add cold water and peel them.
Grind the almonds to a paste using milk. It should be coarse like idly batter, so that we get a nice almond texture afterwards.
Put 1/2 cup ghee, ground almond and cook in a wok for few minutes. Then add the remaining ghee and sugar and stir continuously at medium heat.
Now we will see bubbles (approximately after 10 minutes), reduce the flame and stir carefully. Hand gloves is a must to remain safe at this stage.
After 5 minutes the bubbles will subdue and the halwa will start leaving the edges and ghee starts showing up.
Add the cardamom powder and saffron. Mix well.
(Yellow food color 1 drop can be added if we need more color.But that won't be essential).
Switch off and carefully transfer to a ghee coated ornamental vessel.
Total cooking time 20 minutes.

Serving suggestions:
Serve hot as dessert.

Happy Deepavali!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Thengai Podi

Thegai podi - dry coconut chutney powder, kopparai thenga podi, instant coconut rice powder.

I prepare this kind of ready to eat podi during festival times, as I will be much occupied with snack making and won't have much time to concentrate on regular cooking. Paruppu podi and thengai podi can make that hot rice heavenly with just a drop of ghee and appalam. Before marriage I packed this podi for hubby dear as a gift(along with paruppu podi and a sweet)and from then on it became his favorite. He saved those 'plastic sunrise coffee bottles' which I used to pack and showed me after marriage and keeps them as a treasure till now:) It may be a small gift from my side, but the way he remembers it makes me enjoy cooking:)

Thengai podi in container.
Ingredients:Shredded coconut - 1 1/2 cup (or) dried coconut / kopparai thengai - 1 (small)
(I used dry unsweetened coconut)
dry red chillies - 10
tamarind - 2 inch
bengal gram (kadalai paruppu / channa dhal) - 2 tbsp
black gram (urad dhal) - 2 tbsp
cumin - 1 tbsp
curry leaf - 2 sprig
salt to taste (1 tbsp)

Heat a tbsp oil  and fry the dhals, cumin, tamarind, curry leaf separately and keep aside.
With 1 drop of oil fry the red chilles to get a nice red flavor (not black).
In the same pan add  the coconut pieces / shredded coconut and fry to get a mild red color and nice flavor (do it in low heat). If needed add a few drops of oil.
Let them all cool. Then dry grind them to a fine powder.
It can be kept safely for a month without refrigeration.

Serving suggestion:
It can be served over hot rice with little ghee or mixed and served as quick coconut rice.
Its a good side dish for curd rice also.

*Coconut chutney podi / thengai podi holds good as a travel food during vacations. Sometimes people require home made foods during long journey or pilgrimage. In that case a rice cooker along with this thengai podi will do the job:)
*This podi can be used as replacement for coconut paste in any dishes.
*Adding little water with a handful of this podi will become a chutney for idly/ dosa / tamarind rice.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Carrot orange juice

Breakfasts are a must for a healthy start. Juices coupled with a protein rich breakfast is a must for athletes or body builders and also for everyone :)  Homemade juices are not only healthy but also they can be altered according to our need. Here is a juice, rich in vitamins and minerals.

carrot orange juice.

Carrot - 1
orange - 2
ginger - 2 inch
brown sugar - 4 tsp (optional)
cold water - 2 cup

Peel the carrot and grind it to a paste along with ginger.
Extract the juice using a filter and some water.
Squeeze the juice from orange. Don't filter to remove the fiber, as it is highly beneficial.
Mix the orange juice with the extracted carrot juice and add enough sugar.
Carrot orange juice is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Serve as a healthy drink along with breakfast.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Wheat oats Ladoo

Happy Dussera to my readers and friends!

Here is a semi-healthy snack to munch on:)

Whole wheat flour - 1 cup
oats - 1 cup
puffed channa dhal (pori kadalai) - 1/2 cup
brown sugar / white sugar - 1 1/2 cup
cardamom powder - 1 tsp
ghee - 1 tbsp + 1 tbsp
cashew , raisin - 1 for 1 ladoo
milk - 1/2 cup
dry ginger powder (sukku) - 1 tbsp

Heat a wide frying pan with 1 tbsp ghee.
Fry the cashews , raisins in the ghee.

In the same wok fry the oats till it turns crispy and mild pinkish.
Once it gets cool, grind it to a fine powder. Keep aside.

Now add the remaining ghee and start roasting the wheat flour.
After some time, the flour will turn very loose and flavorful.
Roast it in medium flame till it starts turning mild pink.
Take it off the wok and let cool.

Grind the puffed channa dhal to a fine powder along with cardamom.

Powder the brown sugar / white sugar in a blender.

Mix the 3 flours, sugar, nuts, ginger powder and sprinkle some milk to moisten it.
Let it be just enough to make balls and not sticky as we are not going to knead it as a dough:)

Make lemon size balls. (It should be soft and powdery, but holding the shape).

Wheat oats laddu is ready!

Serving suggestion:
Serve as snack.
If made with 1/2 cup ghee instead of milk, it stays longer.
If made with milk it can be refrigerated for a week.

Perfect Traditional Adai Dosai

Perfect traditional Adai dosai. To grind: Idly rice / any rice - 1cup Raw rice (Basmati) - 1 cup Thoor dhal - 1/4 cup Channa dhal - 1/2 cup ...