Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Arachivita Rasam

Jan 26th 2010

Rasam is something that never came to me easy. Though I had recipes from my mother and followed it to a T, I like to think, I would end up with rasam that tasted very good (yes, really) but would fail in its consistency. It was kind of like a sambar.

It took some years and some looking over my mother in law's shoulder and most importantly cooking with my sister Anitha to get it right. I can now confidently say that I have got it right, at least for the most part :P

And this particular recipe is for Arachivita Rasam. This is a change from our usual tomato and pepper-jeera rasam. Has a great flavor and is quite easy to make.

  • Tamarind
  • 1 tbsp thoor dhal
  • pepper corn
  • jeera
  • tomatoes
  • cilantro
  • garlic ( 1 pod) if needed
  • curry leaves
  • turmeric, salt
  • ghee
Method de Preparation
  1. Put 1 tbsp thoor dhal and 1 tsp each of pepper corn and jeera in a small cup and soak for about 1 hr in water.
  2. Take a small walnut size tamarind and soak in water (can microwave for 1 min) and keep aside.
  3. Take 2 tomatoes, cut in slightly big pieces, microwave for 2 min and keep aside.
  4. Extract the tamarind juice, and put it to cook on the stove.
  5. Add some salt and turmeric.
  6. When the raw smell goes and the tamarind solution has started to boil, add the tomatoes, and allow to boil.
  7. When the tomatoes have blended some, add the ground paste (step 1) and add required water [about 2 cups for the amount mentioned].
  8. Allow everything to sit on the stove without repeated mixing, and when slightly boils with foaming, turn off gas.
  9. Season with mustard, jeera, red chilly, garlic and curry leaves in a spoon of ghee.
  10. Top off with chopped cilantro.
Source: Amma, Amms and Anitha

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Jan 26th 2010

This is another of those recipes that just takes no effort whatsoever and tastes so rich for what effort one puts in. And this is one recipe that my non-indian friends can recognize all the ingredients in :) One thing to keep in mind however is to use a deep vessel for this in the microwave. Things tend to get hot and boil a bit, so it does rise. If you use a shallow vessel, the dish will spill over and you will be left with a very messy microwave :)


  • Ricotta Cheese (15-16 oz container)
  • sugar (3/4 of the same 16 oz container)
  • nonfat milk powder (3/4 of the same 16 oz container)
  • 1 slab unsalted sweet cream butter ( you get 4 in a box usually)
  • pistachios (to your taste) 2 or more tbsp

Method de Preparation
  1. Put butter, ricotta cheese and sugar in the bowl and microwave for 4 min.
  2. Mix well, and microwave for another 4 min.
  3. Add the milk powder and then microwave for 8 min total, stopping every 2 min to mix.
  4. The kalakand should have browned by now, if not you can keep for a min or more [ as microwave ovens may differ in power]
  5. Grind pistachios in the mixer and add to this after a few mins.
  6. Kalakand is ready to serve and eat in exactly 16 min.
Psst: This tastes very good without the pistachios too, like palgova.

Source: Prema chithi from a friend at Kolu

Coloured Capsicum (Bell Pepper) Sabzi

Jan 26th 2010

This is a recipe to try when the colored bell peppers come on sale or if you have them growing in your backyard in the summer. And before you can ask me, need all the colors, that is what gives it the taste. This goes well with roti or chappati or paratha.


• Bell peppers (red, green, yellow and orange - equal nos)
• tomatoes
• corriander seeds (dhaniya)
• red chillies
• ginger garlic paste
• fenugreek seeds (menthium) - very little
• oil
• salt
• turmeric
• Paneer
• Cilantro

Method de Preparation

1. Dry roast a little bit of menthium (less than 1 tsp), red chillies (3-4) and dhaniya seeds (2 tbsp) in a pan. When slightly browned, take and keep aside.

2. Paneer should be left out of the freezer or defrosted before hand. Cut into small or long cubes as desired. Take a little bit of butter in the same pan, and slightly roast the paneer cubes. Allow to brown slightly. [Alternative is to drop the paneer cubes in boiling water and remove after 5 min, this allows for soft paneer]. Remove and keep aside

3. In the same pan, take some oil. Add the ginger-garlic paste. Saute for a couple of mins.

4. Add the chopped bell peppers and cook. Whether you want to cook them too well or leave them slightly crisp is upto you.

5. Once they are done, add some tomatoes. For 1 bell pepper of each color, you can use maybe 2-3 roma tomatoes. Add some turmeric powder also.

6. Once the tomates are cooked, add the dhaniya+chilies+menthium powder ground in the blender. Add some salt.

7. Towards the end add the paneer.

8. Season with chopped corriander (cilantro).

Cheat a bit: Use dhaniya + chilly powder instead of grinding the powder fresh, but the fresh ground powder does bring out the flavor more.

Recipe Credits: Uma Aunty thro. Prema Chithi

Chow - Chow Poduthuval ( Chayote Squash)

Jan 26th 2010

This recipe falls right it in the "It does not get easier than this category". It is just that simple to make and it is a good south indian side-dish. Goes especially well with Kara Kozhambu or Vetha Kozhambu.

  • Chayote Squash (cut in one inch long thin pieces)
  • Oil
  • Mustard
  • Urad Dhal
  • Green chillies and grated coconut
  • turmeric powder
  • salt
  • hing (asafoetida)
Method de Preparation
  1. Cut the squash evenly in the shape desired.
  2. Take oil in a pan, add some mustard. Allow it to splutter.
  3. Add some hing and then urad dhal.
  4. When slightly browning, add the squash.
  5. Saute now and then and allow to cook.
  6. Add some turmeric and salt when cooked some.
  7. Towards the end add the coconut +green chilly mixture ground in the blender.
  8. Can add curry leaves if desired (optional). 
Recipe Credits: Amms

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Roll it :)

Jan 17th 2010
I came across this as I was browsing and immediately wanted to try it out, because I love both kawan parathas and egg and the simplicity of this idea, yet the taste potential had me bowled over. As luck would have it, no kawan at home, so I used Costco's Tortilla land flour tortillas and they worked out well.

Original source: 


  • Egg
  • Chapathi or Kawan Paratha
  • Onions, Tomatoes, green chilles and cilantro
  • Oil
  • Maggi hot and sweet chilly sauce
  • salt 
Method de Preparation
  1. Slight heat tava, and then start with cooking chapathi or Paratha on the same. When both sides are about half done, pour a beaten egg (salt added) on one side.
  2. Add some oil on top (1/2 tbsp). When half cooked, flip and allow egg to be in contact with tava and cook.
  3. When done, flip over, add onions, tomatoes, green chilles and cilantro. Pour a thin stream of the sauce all along.
  4. Roll into a burrito like shape and dig in!
* Will taste good with shredded cheese also thrown in I think.

Bisibele Bath and Potato Fry

Jan 17th 2010

This is not just comfort food, this is bliss. This brings to you Amma's warmth, endless Sunday afternoons watching TV and a kind of innate contentment that only comes from this kind of a food overload :) Straight from amma to me and hopefully will make its way to your kitchen and to your hearts!

Be forewarned, this is a little bit time consuming but so totally worth it. Some of the powders can be made in excess to be used again.

Ingredients (Bisibele bath)
  • Onions (small and big)
  • peas, carrots, brinjal all chopped
  • garlic,cinnamon, cloves, pepper corn
  • tamarind
  • red chillies, coriander seeds (dhaniya), bengal gram (chana dhal)
  • asafoetida
  • copra or rice coconut (can use scraped coconut too)
  • thoor dhal
  • Rice
  • oil, ghee
Method de Preparation
  1.  Cook 1 cup rice : 1/2 cup thoor dhal with salt, turmeric, chopped vegetables (except brinjal) and 1 tbsp ghee in the pressure cooker adding 1:3 water. Cook well and allow 4-5 whistles.
  2. Dry roast bengal gram (less), dhaniya (lots) and red chillies. Add curry leaves in the end. Keep aside and powder when cooled.
  3. Take a little bit of oil and add some pepper corn, cinnamon sticks, cloves. Allow to splutter and then add the coconut. Roast till golden brown. Keep aside and powder when cooled.
  4. Soak tamarind and extract juice. 
  5. Take 2-3 pods of garlic + 1 big onion. Grind into a single mixture and keep aside.
  6. Take sufficient amount of oil, add mustard and allow to splutter. Then add the ground onion+garlic mixture. When the raw smell goes add the small onions and fry till golden brown. Add brinjal at this stage and fry.
  7. When all are well cooked and slightly roasted, add the tamarind extracted juice and allow to boil well and condense.
  8. Add the cooked rice and vegetable mix at this stage.
  9. Add the first powder mix (step 2) and then the one in step 3. Mix well, allow everything to cook together.
  10. Remove and serve immediately. Garnish with some ghee to enhance flavor and taste.
Ingredients (Potato Fry)
  • Potatoes
  • oil
  • mustard, urad and chana dhal
  • salt, turmeric, sambar and curry powder
  • curry leaves
Method de Preparaiton
  1. Lightly cook potatoes in pressure cooker. Peel and keep aside.
  2. Take oil in a pan, add mustard and when splutters and urad and chana dhal. When they brown add the peeled potatoes cut in big sizes.
  3. Add salt and turmeric and roast on low flame.
  4. When done halfway add the other powders and some more oil and then roast well.
  5. Turn off gas when you see the potatoes roated golden brown.
  6. Garnish with curry leaves and serve immediately.

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