Tuesday, March 26, 2024

Chow chow Paruppu koottu and peel thogayal

Chow chow / Bangalore Kathirikai / Chayote 
A dal curry paruppu koottu with chow chow and a spicy chutney using it's peel (chow chow thol thogayal). 
Today we are going to using the whole humble chow chow (except the seed).
This is an excellent yummy dal based curry I prepare often using the chayote that is available all around the year in USA at the same price always. We just love this simple dal along with the peel chutney with piping hot rice. This is my very own recipe. Hope you all love this combo.

Ingredients: For Paruppu koottu:
Chow chow - 2
oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard - 1  tsp
Channa dal - 1 tbsp
Dry red chili - 2
Curry leaf - 1 sprig
Onion (chopped) - 1
Tomato - 2
Tuvaram paruppu (Toor dal) - 1/4 cup
turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
hing - 1/8 tsp
salt - to taste
To grind:
Coconut - 3 tbsp
cumin - 1 tsp
green chilly - 3

Rinse the dal. 
Pressure cook it with turmeric 1/2 tsp and hing a pinch.
(After 1 whistle reduce heat and cook for 10 mins or in electric cooker Instant pot, set pressure cook time to 10 mins and it will be cooked soft).
keep aside.

While cooking dal,
Peel the chow chow and reserve the peels for making chutney (recipe below).
Discard the seed in the center.
Cube the chow chow.

 In a wok heat 2 tbsp oil, add mustard seeds, channa dal and let the mustard crack. Then add chopped onion, curry leaves, chopped dry red chili. Saute till onion turns soft. 
Add the chopped tomato and cook till soft.
Add 1 tsp salt.

Now add the chopped chow chow and the sauted onion mixture to the cooked dal in pressure cooker.

Grind coconut, green chilly, cumin to a coarse paste. 

Add this mixture also to the chow chow.
Mix well.
Pressure cook again. After getting 1 whistle reduce heat and cook for 5 mins and switch off.In Instantpot, set pressure cook to 5 mins.

Once pressure is reduced, open , mix well. Check and add more salt if needed.
Garnish with chopped cilantro.

Chow chow paruppu koottu is ready !

Serving suggestion:
Serve as curry over rice or as side dish with chapti or any rice.

Chow Chow Thol Thogayal

Ingredients. For chow chow thol thogayal:
Peels from  2 chow chow
Sesame oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard - 1  tsp
urid dal / channa dal - 1 tbsp
Curry leaf - 1 sprig
Dry red chili - 2
Tamarind - 2 inch size
Garlic - 1 clove
Cumin - 1/2 tsp
hing - a pinch
salt - 1/2  tsp

Rinse the chow chow and peel the skin.
Use the chow chow for making a curry.
Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard, as it starts crackle, add urid dal.
Then add the dry red chili and other items.
Fry few seconds. Once red chili gets crispy , take it out. Let other things stay in the pan.
(this helps in lesser spicy fumes, If you can tolerate spicy smell, then no need to take out the chilies).
Add the peel of chow chow.
Saute and cook covered for 5 mins in low heat.
Let cool.
Grind to a thick chutney without adding water (few drops is ok).
Chow chow thol chutney is ready.
If needed garnish with fried mustard seasoning (I save some seasoning while doing for paruppu koottu and add to chutney).

Serving suggestion:
Serve as side dish with rice, curd rice or idli dosai.

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Oats cookies with raisin and more !

Having some cookie dough or cookie at hand is a great blessing for a quick breakfast or snack. Here is one of my favorite cookie recipes. I love adding some chocolate chips for myself, while it's a raisin oats cookie for my hubby. 

This Oats cookies loaded with walnut and raisin or chocolate chip is a yummy cookie I baked recently and often. Kindly try this recipe and let me know how much happiness this simple recipe creates,

Happy Easter !

Oats Walnut Raisin cookies (40 cookies)
Dry Ingredients

All-purpose flour - 2 cups

Cinnamon powder - 1.5 tsp

Baking soda - 1 tsp

Salt - 1 tsp
Wet ingredients:

Unsalted butter, softened - 1 cup (2 stick)

White sugar - 1 cup

Brown sugar  packed - 1 cup

Eggs - 2

Vanilla extract - 1 tsp


Oats - 3 cups (old fashion or quick)

Raisin - 3/4 cup

Chopped walnuts - 1/2 cup

(Chocolate chips - 1/2 cup)


Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt together in a  bowl.

Beat butter,  white sugar, and brown sugar in a large bowl using an electric mixer until creamy ( 2 to 3 minutes).

Add  eggs, vanilla. Mix well.

Add the dry ingredients and mix well.

Add oats , raisin, walnut. If desired add some chocolate chips too.

Mix  thoroughly. 

If the dough is unrollable, then Cover the bowl and chill dough in the refrigerator for nearly 1 hour.

But I start baking immediately (in small batches for the week).

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). 

Coat two baking trays with little oil or butter.

Roll the cookie dough into small lime size balls, and place 2 inches apart on the prepared cookie sheets. 

This cookie spreads a lot and gets bigger while baking. So remember to give enough space between while baking.

Using a spatula or our hands flatten each cookie (slightly to 2 inch dia).

Bake in the preheated oven until light golden brown around the edges and centers are nearly set, 8 to 10 minutes.

If we want it to be harder , then bake for 11 mins.

Allow cookies to cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store in air tight containers.

How to store:

Keep the excess batter in fridge for 1 week and use as per need. Or this stays safe in freezer longer (3 months - I haven't tested this ). I keep it in fridge and bake everything within 10 days.  

These cookies makes a great healthy gift.

Makes 40 large size cookies approximately.

Approximate Calorie per cookie = 148 Cal 

Avocado Toast

 Basic Avocado toast has only 3 ingredients. Few slices of bread , Pink salt (any salt) and an avocado.

Avocado is one of the healthiest fruits in the world. In my experience, this miraculous fruit helps in improving vision, this fruit when eaten regularly for 3 months (half fruit , 3-4 days per week), will give us a beautiful radiant skin, reduces tanning (black spot on skin will disappear), gives us more strength after workout, reduces interest in snacking, and hence helps in low calorie diet.

If mixed with 3-4 days / week of 30 mins or more walking (aerobics) , this fruit reduces bad cholesterol and has helped me to reduce weight and get in shape.
This fruit elevates our happy hormones. Make us feel happy. 

This is a wonderful fruit and I am glad that I started including this in my diet. 
If you are reading this, kindly spend money on this fruit and this is truly a healthy food.

Also I am more interested in finding and journaling healthy foods in my youtube channel. If you find my videos helpful, kindly give it a 'Like' and 'Subscribe' to my channel. This will encourage me to work more on this topic. Thanks !
 Here is my video on how to make avocado toast and how to serve it as a platter for lunch or breakfast.

Tuesday, March 12, 2024

Ulunthu kazhi

Ulunthu Kali is a highly energetic food, rich in protein and vitamins. This kaLi is given to girls who have reached puberty for nearly 16 days. Also this is prepared every month to strengthen the reproductive system of females and bones and muscles of everyone in the family. Urid dal helps in strengthening the bones too. So this has been in the diet of Tamil people since many generations.
This is recommended to prepare as breakfast. I love this kali very much. My mom used to prepare this for me and I remember how much efforts she would put in this preparation. When a girl attains maturity physically, it is a custom in my hometown to celebrate it like a festival of 16 days. All relatives would prepare some good foods for the family and would bring gifts. This is called seer (gifts). The girls understand the love poured by her relatives at that time. From that day, she would be treated like a woman and grown ups would teach her how to dress, how to act with some maturity, how to mingle with men and how to live safe.
Ulunthu kali and uncooked eggs , sesame oil are the staple for the young women at that stage. This is not just a food for young women, it is consumed by the whole family once or twice as breakfast every month as it is totally yummy and healthy. 
People used to dry roast and grind whole black urid dal into powder and store it in big eversilver containers. I have shown in this recipe how to make it without powdering. In fact, my version is much healthier as it involves soaking the urid.  It is a tradition to make this kali using palm jaggery, but I have used jaggery today.

Whole Black gram - 1 cup
Methi - 1 tsp
Rice - 1/4 cup
Jaggery - 1 cup
Garlic - 1
Sesame oil  - 2 tbsp 
Sesame oil - 1 tsp per serving
Wash and soak black gram and Methi seeds together in water overnight (10 hours).
In the morning add 1/4 cup rice (any uncooked rice) to the urid dal and soak for 30 mins or more.
Grind the soaked black gram with methi seeds to a fine paste.
Heat 2 cups of water .
Add chopped garlic and let it cook for 5 mins.
Add jaggery and let it dissolve.
The add the urid dal paste, mix well.
After the black gram gets cooked , the raw smell will disappear it will start leaving the vessel like haalwa.
Then add 2 tbsp sesame oil and mix well.
Ulunthangali is ready.

Serving suggestions:

Garnish each serving with a tsp of Sesame  oil and Serve hot as breakfast.

கருப்பு முழு உளுந்து  - 1 கப் 
வெந்தயம்  - 1 டீஸ்பூன் 
அரிசி  - 1/4 கப் 
வெல்லம் (துருவியது) - 1 கப் 
பூண்டு - 1
நல்லெண்ணெய்   - 2 டேபிள் ஸ்பூன் 

Saturday, March 9, 2024

Beans Paruppu poriyal

Beans Paruppu poriyal
Click to see the video of this recipe in our youtube channel 

Flat or French beans - 1/2 lb (250 gm)
Moong dal - 1/4 cup
Red onion - 1
Green chili - 2
shredded coconut - 2 tbsp
Mustard - 1 tsp
Urid dhal - 1 /2 tsp
Sesame or coconut oil - 1 tbsp
Curry leaf - 1 sprig
Cumin - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Hing - a pinch
Salt - 1 tsp (to taste)

Rinse dal and soak in 1 cup water.
Wash and clean the beans in large amounts of water multiple times to remove all the dirt / sand. Drain water and chop it finely.
Chop onion, chili.
Heat oil in a wok. Add the mustard seeds, urid dhal and let mustard splutter.
Finely chop the onion, chillies, curry leaf (optional) and add to the wok.
Stir till onion turns soft. (30 secs).

Add the finely chopped beans and stir fry for 2 minutes. 
Add the soaked dal, turmeric powder, hing, salt.
Stir well.
Cook covered for 5 - 10 minutes in low heat.
(Ooty beans / French green beans takes lesser time to get cooked. Indian beans takes more time and water to cook). Open the lid. Let all the moisture dries up. Check if the beans is cooked but firm.

Add cumin and shredded coconut , and fry a bit. Switch off.

Beans Paruppu poriyal is ready!

Serving suggestions:
Beans paruppu poriyal can be served as side dish with sambar rice , curd rice or rasam rice, chapati.

பீன்ஸ் பருப்பு பொரியல் 
பீன்ஸ்  - 1/2 lb (250 gm)
பாசி பருப்பு - 1/4 கப் 
பெரிய வெங்காயம்  - 1
பச்சை மிளகாய் - 2
துருவிய தேங்காய்  - 2 tbsp
கடுகு - 1 tsp
உளுந்து  - 1 /2 tsp
நல்லெண்ணெய் / தேங்காய் எண்ணெய் - 1 tbsp 
கறிவேப்பிலை  - 1 கொத்து 
சீரகம்  - 1/2 tsp
மஞ்சள்  - 1/4 tsp
பெருங்காயத்தூள்  - a pinch
தூள் உப்பு  - 1 tsp (to taste)

Wednesday, March 6, 2024

Asian Stir fry

This is a very good vegan cum healthy stir fry. I am not sure of the origin of this healthy dish. But we can easily get this Asian stir fry in many Thai restaurants and in malls.
I love this dish very much.
I am sure this is gonna be a big successful video / recipe by all your support.

Extra firm Tofu - 1/2 of a block
Broccoli 1 bunch / 200 gm / 1/2 Lb
Capsicum - 1 
Garlic - 2 cloves
Olive / Sesame oil - 1 tbsp
Lemon - 1/2
Red chili flakes - 1/4 tsp (as per taste)
Brown sugar - 1 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp

Start 1 hour before serving.
Take the tofu out of the liquid filled pouch.
Halve the cube.
Cut the tofu into 1 inch size cubes.
Spread 2 or 3 kitchen paper towels (like a thick layer).
Arrange the tofu cubes and leave it for an hour.
This helps in draining most of the water from tofu, and this process will make the shallow frying easier.
We can skip this process too. But the tofu has a tendency to stick to the pan. The more the watery , the more the sticky. So drying over paper towels is a good idea. (I do without drying too , if I need something quick).

In the meantime, prepare the sauce.
In a bowl mix the lemon juice, sugar, salt, chili flakes.

Now cube the capsicum into bite size 1 or 2 inch size pieces.
Chop the broccoli into 2 inch size big pieces. 

Finely chop the garlic.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil or sesame oil in a frying pan.
Add the chopped veggies and toss for 2 - 3 mins (no need to cook too much).
Just cook it tender crispy.
Take out and keep aside.

Wipe the pan using a paper towel. 
In the same pan add 1 tbsp oil.
Add the tofu , arrange it in a single layer. Cook at low heat. Cook 2 mins each side.
Add finely chopped garlic. Toss well (without breaking the tofu).
Add the prepared vegetables along with the prepared sauce.
Mix gently.

Asian stir fry salad is ready !

Serving size :
Makes 1 bowl of salad for 1 person. Serves as lunch or breakfast or dinner.
Or can be divided into 2 for 2 persons and can be served with some more foods.
I made this along with 2 chapatis and a cup of channa masala , which I make in batches and keep these curries frozen.

Monday, March 4, 2024

Double Chocolate chip M&M Cookies

 Double Chocolate chip M&M Cookies:

My all time favorite recipe.

Ingredients For 36 Cookies

Butter – 1 cup (2 stick)

White Sugar – ¾ cup

Brown Sugar – ¾ cup

Large Eggs – 2

Vanilla Extract – 2 Tsp

AP Flour (Maida) – 2 cups

Cocoa Powder – 2/3 cup

Baking Soda – ¾ tsp

Salt – ¼ tsp

Chocolate chips - 1 cup

M&M – 1 cup



Dry Ingredients:

Sift together All-purpose flour, Cocoa powder, salt, baking Soda.

Mix Butter and Sugars together.

Wet Ingredients:

In a mixing bowl add eggs, vanilla extract. 

Mix well.

Add the dry ingredients.

Mix together.

Add chocolate chips, M&M and mix well or top on cookies before baking.

Preheat oven for 10 minutes at 350 F.

Bake for 8 minutes. (or upto 10 minutes).

Take out.

Let cool for 10 minutes in the tray.

Then keep it in a wire rack and cool completely.

Store in an airtight container or enjoy immediately.

Makes 36 yummy cookies.


1 stick butter = 8 tbsp or 1/2 cup 


டபுள் சாக்லேட் சிப் குக்கீஸ் 

வெண்ணெய் – 1 கப் (8 tbsp / 2 sticks)

சாதாரண வெள்ளை சீனி  – ¾ cup

பிரவுன் சுகர் – ¾ cup

முட்டை – 2

வெனிலா extract – 2 Tsp

(or வெனிலா எசென்ஸ் - 2 துளி)

மைதா – 2 cups

கோக்கோ பவுடர்  – 2/3 cup

பேக்கிங் சோடா – ¾ tsp

உப்பு – ¼ tsp

சாக்லேட் சிப்ஸ் - 1 கப் 

M & M மிட்டாய்கள் – 1 கப் 

Saturday, March 2, 2024

Winter melon Mor Kuzhambu வெண்பூசணி / தடியங்காய் மோர் குழம்பு

In India vegetarian foods are less expensive and more common. Also the hot weather of India requires people to consume more vegetables. And hence there are a lot of curries in India.
Hubby and myself hail from the non vegetarian family groups, but our stomach loves vegetarian foods often. So does many people from there, wherever we live.
 One yummy curry among them is the more kulambu (buttermilk or yogurt based curd curry). It is a great alternative for the regular dal based sambars and tamarind based curries. 
In most houses we prepare only one curry each day, a vegetable or two along with rice and curd would be omnipresent.  But in economically forward families, it is a practice to prepare a variety of curries like sambar, dal, tamarind based vatral kulambu, more kulambu, curd, along with some vegetables, fries and of course rice too. This vast spread has to be prepared almost everyday for every lunch by the Indian women.  This practice is prevalent even now. Those curries should be prepared in smaller quantities , so that the family could finish it up within a day. Keeping leftovers in fridge is not well received in many Indian houses until today. (But I believe in meal preps, cooking some curries extra for next day lunch etc. But that's me. LOL ). Most hours of an Indian woman would be spent inside the kitchen, even if she is a working woman. That is the hardest part of the Indian culture in my view. But that is kind of changing nowadays, thanks to the education, refrigerator, microwave and empathy towards women.

In India , in most houses the men won't enter the kitchen. If lucky the woman would get help from a maid or some family ladies. Otherwise it is a one woman show and Indian women excel in this. I often tell my sister in law to have meal at her office canteen along with my brother, as I think she is working too much every day. 

Here is a more kulambu recipe I learned from my amma. This is a very easy curry which can be prepared effortlessly. I do this more kulambu more often:)  as my hubby always loves this more :) The traditional vegetable to go inside this curry is white pumpkin. I remember telling my mom , wow what a glossy mirror looking vegetable inside more kulambu ! Amma would say ' it is kannadi kaai ' ' the thadiyangai or the ven pooshani'

Mor or more in Tamil is buttermilk.  Kuzhambu / Kulambu - is generally a curry poured over rice or a sidedish for idli dosa.

Here is my youtube video on 'how to do more kulambu'? If you enjoy watching the the video kindly give it a thumbs-up and that will definitely make me feel happy. Also remember to click the subscribe button and all notification button. Thanks a million in advance !

Thick curd (Desi Yogurt) - 1 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
white pumpkin / winter melon - 200 gms
Ginger - 2 inch
green chilli - 2
Bengal gram / channa dhal - 1 tbsp
rice - 1 tbsp
salt - to taste
oil - 2 tsp
mustard - 1  tsp
Urid dal - 1 tsp
Dry red chilli - 2
curry leaves - 1 sprig
Start with Soaking dal and rice.
Soak channa dhal and rice for 30 minutes.

Remove skin off white pumpkin. Cut it into big chunks of 2 inch cubes.
Heat 2 cups of water in a cooking pan and add the white pumpkin pieces .Add turmeric and salt to it.
Close the lid and cook at medium heat for 10 mins.  Cook until it is transparent looking but stays in shape.

While the vegetable is cooking,
Grind ginger , green chillies , rice and channa dhal to a fine paste and keep aside.

 Add the masala paste to the cooked winter-melon and stir continuously at low heat for 5 mins or till the raw smell disappears. SWITCH OFF THE STOVE.

Beat the curd and add it to the cooked curry.
Add 2 cups of water (the curry should not be thick as curd. It is a buttermilk curry).

Heat oil in a pan.
Crackle some mustard seeds , add urid dal. As urid turns red , add chopped dry red chillies with curry leaves.  Add this tempering to the above.Garnish with chopped cilantro. 
Yummy Buttermilk curry is ready.

Serving Suggestions:

Serves 4 people. Serve over steamed rice.
Potato fry is a good side dish for More Kulambu. Senaikilangu or seppan kilangu  fries are also very good combo.
More Kulambu with potato varuval

In the grinding masala, adding coconut is a tradition in Tirunelveli and South of that area (definitely Kerala). 
If we have left over coconut chutney (1 cup),  we can easily prepare this curry without grinding the masala.

தயிர்  - 1 கப் 
மஞ்சள் தூள்  - 1/2 தேக்கரண்டி 
வெண்பூசணி / தடியங்காய்  - 200 gms
இஞ்சி - 2  இன்ச் 
பச்சை மிளகாய்  - 2
கடலைப்பருப்பு - 1 மேஜைக்கரண்டி 
அரிசி - 1 மேஜைக்கரண்டி 
உப்பு  - to taste
எண்ணெய்  - 2 தேக்கரண்டி 
கடுகு - 1 தேக்கரண்டி 
உளுந்து - 1 தேக்கரண்டி 
காய்ந்த மிளகாய்  - 2
கறிவேப்பிலை - 1 கொத்து 
தண்ணீர்  - 2 கப் 

Vazhaikkai Poriyal (Plantain stir fry)

This vazhaikai poriyal was a staple in our house as we had some (lot) of banana trees in our backyard. I have seen amma running there to pic...