Vegetable Kurma

Day 2 of Blogging Marathon, under Gourmet Gravies, Im posting the versatile Vegetable Korma. This is a very common gravy in our households. We usually make it with some veggies, and coconut gravy. My grand mom used to make it cashew paste and fried cashew nuts. I always remember her and my Athai when I make this, both of them love it. Especially Athai loves it with Dosa. She is in Australia now and I miss her so much.


Mixed veggies - 2 cups 
I used beans, carrot, capsicum and cauliflower
Onion sliced - 1 cup
Tomato - 1 cup
Coconut - 1/2 cup
Cashew nut - 10
Coriander -  a small bunch
Red chili powder - 1 tbsp
Coriander powder - 2 tbsp
Green chili - 3
Salt to taste
Oil as required
Spices - cardamom, clove, bay leaf


Cut the veggies into small pieces and boil them except capsicum
In a heavy bottomed wok , heat a little oil
When the oil is hot add the spices and saute for a minute
Add the sliced onions and cut tomatoes into the oil and saute till they are soft and done
In the mean while, blend coconut, 5 cashew nuts and green chili into a smooth paste with very little water
Now add the capsicum into the sauteed onions and tomato
When the capsicum is somewhat half done, add the boiled veggies
Followed by the coconut, cashew nut paste and the spice powders
Adjust salt and add chopped coriander leaves
Let this boil and come to a gravy consistency
Serve hot with Dosa or chapatti or Idli


Egg in Tamarind Sauce - Muttai Masala

Gourmet Gravies is my theme for third week of Blogging Marathon # 19. The minute I saw the topic, three gravies came into my mind, Paneer Masala, Kaju Masala and Gobi Masala. I wanted to give something different in this category, actually wanted to make it completely South Indian specific under this section. After a brief chat with Valli, I decide to post this Muttai Masala. This is a special of my Muthulakshmi Paati. Its the most yummiest preparation using Egg.. I simply love this. We usually have it with rice and Appalam. This is usually our Sunday special


Egg - 4 
Onions - 1 cup
Tomato - 1/2 cup
Coconut - 1 cup
Tamarind pulp - 1/4 cup
Kuskus seeds -  2 tbsp
Red Chili powder - 3 tbsp
Coriander powder - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Curry leaves - 10 leaves
Tempering - Oil and mustard seeds


In a deep wok heat a little oil and add the mustard seeds.
Cut the onions into thin slices
Add the curry leaves and sliced onions to this 
Saute well for about 2 mins
In the meantime make a paste out of the coconut and kuskus seeds
The paste should be a very smooth one. Use minimal water to make the paste
To this add the tamarind pulp along with the coconut , kuskus mixture
Now add the spice powders along with salt and let it boil well
When the mixture forms a gravy like consistency
Lower the flame, and carefully break the eggs into the gravy
When all the eggs are broken into the gravy, stir carefully without breaking the eggs
Ensure that the eggs are done, before you switch off the flame.


Easy Breezy Sevai

There are days when you run out of ideas to make a south Indian breakfast, which is quick and easy too. Idli is my first option, but again you can t have it for all the seven days. So some other options of mine for a quick fix is Poha, Bread Upma, Semiya Upma or Sevai.

I like Sevai for the fact that , you can make anything with it, be it lemon Sevai to mixed veggie Sevai.. It easy to make and light on the stomach. One more thing about this humble Sevai is that, it will help you make the platter look large with out you doing much work. I make it with Concorde Ready Made Sevai


Rice Sevai - 2 cups ( either ready made or home made)
Coconut scrapings - 1/2 cup
Red Chili - 4 to 5 
Curry leaves - a little
For tempering - Mustard seeds, oil and Bengal gram Dal


Take about 2 cups of Sevai and blanch it in  hot water for about 15 minutes
Drain the water and run the Sevai through cold water
Set aside the cooked Sevai
In a wok heat oil and add the mustard seeds, followed by curry leaves and Bengal Gram Dal
Add the prepared Sevai to this and mix well
Adjust salt
Sprinkle the coconut scrapings and give it a toss
Serve with Coconut chutney or you can have it just like that.
I prefer to have it with sugar


Lime Sevai 
To the tempering add a 2 tbsp of lemon juice and a pinch of turmeric powder
Do not add coconut scrapings

Mixed Veggie Sevai

Boil veggies of your choice
Saute sliced onion along with the tempering
Add the boiled veggies to the tempering along with some slit green chilies


Lunch @ Mathsya T Nagar

Mom had a a very long and busy weekend, and said that she required some retail therapy to relax along with a holiday to the kitchen. This is a very rare request from my mom who always prefers to stay at home during holidays and unwind at her own pace. So dad, mom and me, set on the retail therapy spree  in T Nagar and Pondy Bazaar. Hunger pangs struck at 12 30 pm sharp. Our initial plan was to go home drop all the stuff and then drive out to KNK road. But all the three were tired, we just wanted to eat lunch and head back home and crash. 

I suggested Mathsya on Thanikachalam Road. I was rather little hesitant, as this place is known to be full especially on Sundays. We reached around 1 pm and found a table just perfect for us. 

On the outset, I wanted to try their Lunch Buffet but felt very lazy to go and pick up food every now and then. We settled for Veg Meals - South Indian Thali which is priced at Rs. 125/-. The menu offered Special South Indian Thali priced at Rs 145/-. The difference between the two is a soup and an ice cream. 

The South Indian Thali was tasty and just about enough for anyone with a good appetite or hunger. The Thali had the following items 

Kara Kuzhambu
Masala Rice
Greens Poriyal
Cabbage Poriyal
Chow Chow Kootu

All these items were unlimited and rice was served hot on the plate.

The taste of all the items was very homely, with no additional or extra spices or flavor. It was just rightly made. The food did not make us feel full but was just right. Most important rice was cooked to the correct consistency and did not have the soda that is usually used in other hotels.

It was a very good experience of dining in Mathsya T Nagar, would definitely go back

Mathsya is located in two locations

T Nagar

#29/13, Arcot Street, Off Thanikachalam Road
T Nagar
Near Electricity Board Pondy Bazaar
044 - 42127007 , 42127557


1, Halls Road, Egmore  

044 2819 1900


Food, Fun, and Friends..

Before I even start this post, let me thank Jayanthi for motivating us to meet for lunch. Every action of us needs a push in some form or the other. We decided to meet at CitiCenter for Lunch. Six of us and no prizes for guessing who was the last to walk in.. yes yes.. it was me. And and .. the moment I stepped into the food court, I could easily identify the table where the other ladies were sitting, just by the look of it. Do not ask me how.. it just happened.. 

Here is all what we ate amongst our chatter, giggles, laughters, hiccups, etc, etc.. what fun we had. 

Paneer Tikka

Gobi 65

Veg Pizza combo  


Cheese Garlic Bread

Our table flooded with food and we loved munching them as we spoke , spoke and spoke

Mango ice cream with colorful sprinkles

Chocolate Ice cream with Choco chips and cashew

Vanilla ice cream with Choco chips

 It was a wonderful meeting, the main topic that we discussed was about Blogging Marathon and how we manage it,food props, photography, etc, etc, Never thought that we could talk so long about food and food alone. I love the idea of meeting for the 25th Edition of Blogging Marathon. Let us all make it happen and have fun. Looking forward for more meetings like this

Soups and Salad - a healthy eat out

Something that me and my friend are fond off is shopping for clothes and food. So there was this sale in CP Art Center, where we headed one Saturday morning for shopping, As our shopping bags got filled , our tummies started shouting out for food. One look at our watches, we sighed as it was only 11 20 am. Being kind of a in between time, we decided to head to Soups and Salads on TTK Road and check their newly Rice and Shine combo offer. Both being vegetarians, we could only try a few options.

A few lines of Rice and Shine Offer. It is a offer that is priced at Rs.199/- for Vegetarian and Rs. 299/- for Non Vegetarians. You get to choose a soup and a salad from the menu. Rice portion is common for all the combos. 

While you wait for your order for being served, the place mat gives you a lot of information. It is a good time pass to read it and get to know certain details that you would have not known otherwise. 
We opted for Minestrone soup as both of us a ardent lovers of the Italian Cuisine. The taste of the soup was very average as the main ingredient bell peppers were missing in the soup. It lacked the flavor of Italian spices and cheese too. It was very much like Tomato Soup with some pasta and green peas in it. 

One of the Salads we chose was the Garden Fresh Vinaigrette salad. It was very refreshing, the flavors just correct. The veggies in the salad were, bell peppers red , yellow and green, purple cabbage, carrot. The veggies were tossed in a mixture of Vinegar, Olive oil ,salt and pepper.

The other salad was Greek Potato Salad. It had potato cubes, capsicum, cherry tomatoes and lettuce cubes.
The salad was cold and this again had the right dressing and tasted very nice and crunchy.

Both the Salads were served with a serving of Basil Rice. The Rice served with the salads vary on a daily basis. So we had Basil Rice, It was a flavorful rice and I loved it. Though the portion looks small, it will be just enough to fill your tummies.

It was a value for money offer and both of us enjoyed our meal with loads of talks, giggles and gossips to add flavor to it. 

Soups and Salads are located at two locations


30, Kasthurbha Nagar, 1st Cross Street, Adyar, 

Phone :044 4211 4504


   New No. 49, Old No. 26, TTK Road, Alwarpet, 
Phone :044 42114504


Corn Salad for a Rainy Day

Who would not love to have steaming corn with some Masala and butter in it, when it is pouring outside.. I would love to have it with a favorite book of  mine with Illayaraja's songs playing in the background. Bliss isn't it. OK I hear it .. For kids this is an opportunity to feed them with good and healthy stuff when they are really really hungry and would not mind munching down snacks when they are watching the rain.

Here is a simple corn salad for Day 3 of the second week in Blogging Marathon #19. 


Sweet Corn - 2 cups
Onion - 1/2 cup
Tomato - 1/2 cup
Chat Masala - 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Butter - 1/2 tsp


Boil the sweet corn till it is done
Chop the onion and tomato into fine pieces
In a bowl take the corn and add the cut onion and tomatoes in it
Top it with some butter and mix well
Sprinkle some chat Masala before you serve
Check for salt and adjust to taste

You can add shredded carrot or capsicum for a variation. 

Yummy Corn Salad is being served at The Pumpkin Farm of Pradnya who is hosting this month s Kid Delight event . The theme is Warm foods to beat the Rain and at Blogging Marathon #19


Sambhar Idli - Desi Delight

Day 2 of Week 2, and I serve you a wonderful Desi Delight. Sambhar Idli. Idli is good for people from any age, being a steamed dish, it is safe to be given to kids as well as old aged people. Now this recipe calls for two recipes , preparation of Sambhar and the Idli batter. I will post the Sambhar preparation today, assuming that our fridges have the Idli batter in it. On the other hand, I have planned a separate post for Idli batter, as it is one of the most important Kitchen Basics. You can check my version of Sambhar Podi here


Idli Batter - 4 cups ( makes 12 Idlis)
Sambhar Podi - 3 tbsp
Onion - 1 big ( Sliced into thin slices )
Tamarind pulp - 1/2 cup
Coriander - 1/2 cup
Toor Dal - 1 cup ( Boiled and Mashed )
Mustard seeds and oil for tempering
Salt to taste


Make the Idlis before hand and let them cool a bit
In a wok add a little oil 
When the oil is hot add the mustard seeds and let them sputter
Add the chopped onions and curry leaves and saute for 2 mins
To this add the tamarind pulp and let it boil for some time
Follow it with the boiled and mashed Toor Dal.
Adding coriander leaves while steaming the Toor Dal enhances the flavor of the final dish
Add the chopped coriander to this mixture and it should boil really well
The raw smell and taste of tamarind should be gone
Towards the end add the Sambhar Podi 
Remove the Sambhar from fire two minutes after adding the Podi, else the flavor will just vanish
I make this sambhar Podi only when required and in very less quantity
Freshly made Podi always tastes heavenly

Now the Sambhar Idli part of it.

Place 2 Idlis in a deep bowl
Pour the sambhar over the Idli
Garnish with fresh coriander leaves 
Serve with a spoon and watch the bowl being polished off the sambhar and idlis

Sambhar idli is being served at The Pumpkin Farm of Pradnya who is hosting this month s Kid Delight event . The theme is Warm foods to beat the Rain and at Blogging Marathon #19


Hot and Sour Soup

Week 2 of Blogging Marathon, my theme for this week is Warm Foods for Kids during Rain. The dishes that I will be cooking will be also served at The Pumpkin Farm of Pradnya who is hosting this month s Kid Delight event . The theme is Warm foods to beat the Rain.

For Day 1, Im serving Hot and Sour Vegetable Soup. Nothing is more comforting than having a bowl of hot soup and enjoying the rain. Soup is also one of the ways in which you can steal in vegetables for kids who are fuzzy about eating them. 


Soy Sauce - 1tbsp
Chili Sauce - 3/4 tsp
Black Pepper powder - 1 tsp
Vinegar - 1 tbsp
Sugar - 1/2 tsp
Corn Flour - 1/2 tbsp
Vegetables - 2 cups ( I used chopped beans, carrot, cauliflower and corn)
Salt to taste


Take 3 cups of water in a wok.
Add soy sauce, chili sauce, vinegar, sugar, pepper powder and salt
Bring this mixture to a boil
Add the chopped veggies into it and let them become tender crisp
Add a little water to the corn flour and make a smooth paste
Add this to the boiling soup and stir continuously
Serve hot


Gluten Free Pizza and Pasta @ Tuscanas

People behind the scenes of Tuscana and Kryptos continue to awe us with their innovative techniques to serve the public be it their idea of introducing the Bilingual Menu ( English and Tamil ) at Kryptos or coming up with Gluten Free Pizza and Pasta. Yes Yes, Chennai city now has a place that serves Gluten Free Pizza and Pasta. I hear a huge sigh from mother of children affected by Celiac disease. A gluten free diet is the one medically accepted treatment for this disease

What is gluten? The simple answer is that it is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley.

"A gluten-free diet is a diet that excludes foods containing gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat (including kamut and spelt), barley, rye, malts and triticale. It is used as a food additive in the form of a flavoring, stabilizing or thickening agent, often as "dextrin". A gluten-free diet is the only medically accepted treatment for celiac disease, the related condition dermatitis herpetiformis , and wheat allergy"

The next question is why do people eat a gluten-free diet. There are actually a variety of reasons for eating gluten free 1. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that is triggered by gluten. When a person with celiac disease eats gluten, their body attacks the linking of the small intestine which leads to malabsorption and a variety of symptoms.A gluten-free diet is the only way to treat celiac disease. It is important that people with the disease strictly follow the diet. Even small amounts of gluten from cross contamination of processed foods can cause an autoimmune reaction.That is part of the reason the gluten-free diet is becoming more popular. 2. There is a growing number of people who have gluten sensitivity. In many ways they react to gluten with the same symptoms as people with celiac disease, but they test negative for the disease. 3. Many parents are finding that children with autism spectrum disorders improve dramatically on a gluten and casein (milk protein) free diet. 4. With all the publicity about gluten free, some people think its a weight loss diet. In fact, gluten-free substitutes usually contain more calories. However, some people do find that they have a gluten addiction and cutting it out can help them to lose weight. Quoting Mr. Vipin Sachdev ( Owner of Tuscana and Kryptos ) Tuscana launches Gluten Free Pizzas & Pastas as a healthy ; delicious option for individuals intolerant to gluten (Celiac disease), a digestive disorder due to severe gluten sensitivity. However those suffering with joint pain, brain fog, loss of balance or other neurologic and auto-immune disorders may also benefit from a similar diet as some studies have linked these and other illnesses to gluten consumption. Gluten free Pizzas & Pastas are also dairy and egg free & Pastas are also made exclusively with organically grown rice and corn from Northern Italy. Gluten Free Fusilli Corn base & Gluten Free Spaghetti Corn base - This pasta is made out of organic corn flour. There are myriad health benefits of eating corn. It contains high amount of insoluble fiber and has a Low Glycemic Index (33), - a diet based on a low glycemic index will help diabetics to better control their blood glucose levels and subsequently manage their diabetes better. Corn is high in fiber which can help to lower cholesterol level and also reduces risk of colon cancer. Corn is rich in folate that helps in generation of new cells, especially important before and during pregnancy.
Gluten Free Penne Rice base & Gluten Free Spaghetti rice base - This pasta is made out of organic rice flour. Rice pasta makes a good base for a low-calorie meal because they are relatively low in calories and fat. Gluten free homemade pizza dough is made out of millet flour, potato starch and tapioca. It can be served with various selections of vegetables and meats. There is a choice of three varieties of sauces, which are tomato base, pesto base and marinara base. Since it is made out of millet, it is rich in proteins and amino acids, makes it perfect for vegetarian diets. Intake of millet regularly has been shown to reduce the occurrence of wheezing. 





Some of the starters that were doing rounds during the launch

The base of Pizza is made of Tapioca Starch , Jowar Flour, Bajra Flour and Potato Starch in various proportions. The Penne Pasta, Spaghetti is all made from rice base. The base of Gluten free pizza is not as flexible and soft like the ones made with Maida. But apart from that, the taste is all the same. Its yummy and light on the stomach. We have heard that the original Italian Pizza has been Indianized, but wait till you taste the Gluten Free ones from Tuscana. Pizza has become truly Desi with the flours from the Indian Pantry being used to made the base of the Pizza

Gluten Free Pizza

Dough used to make the Pizza

Another variety of the Vegetarian Pizza

 The pasta that is available under the Gluten Free category is made from Rice. These pasta are not shiny and smooth like the ones we normally use, but are a little more soft. Chef Willi explained that, where pasta needs to be cooked for 11 minutes, rice pasta needs to be blanched in hot water for 9 minutes.
This pasta does not only help you in your diet and health it is easy to cook too

Rice Penne tossed with Tomato and Olives

A Closer view

Variety of Pasta available : Rice Penne,Rice Spaghetti,the dough for Pizza Base

Gluten Free Cake made from Almond Meal

Vanilla Panacotta with Blueberry

This innovative idea is a very good one and highly recommended.The results could be vividly seen in the faces that lit up after having the first bite of the Pizza, which includes mine as well.. Here is wishing the Tuscana team all the very best for the new initiative and many more to come.

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