Vegetable Briyani

It was a hot sunny day, but as it was nearing nightfall.. Rain gods blessed Chennai with a heavy shower of rains and I got completely drenched in those blessings. When I reached home, dad wanted to have something hot and spicy that was best suited for the weather. Having attended a Briyani Workshop where I happened to get hands on experience of making Briyani, I ventured into the kitchen to make this lovely tasty Briyani. I was amazed by my confidence and the taste of this dish. Dad loved it to the core.
I made raitha for the side. I have been reading about this Vegetable Briyani in many blogs. The post I read in Veena 's Blog was very impressive, the whole platter that she had made. With raitha, salad and curd rice. I re creating that vegetable Briyani for Day 3 of this blogging marathon session


Basmati rice - 3 cups ( washed and soaked for 15 mins )
Veggies - beans , carrot , green peas , cauliflower - 3 cups
Onion - 2 cups 
Coriander and Mint Leaves - 1 cup
Tomato - 2 cups
Red Chili powder - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste
Ghee - 2 tbsp
Oil - 2 tbsp
Spices - clove, bay leaf, cinnamon, cardamom.


In a presure pan heat some ghee and oil together 
Add the spices and saute for a minute's time
Add the onions and coriander mint leaves. Saute well till a wonderful aroma comes out.
I love this flavor of coriander, mint and onion.
Follow it by the cut veggies and spice powders
Saute for 5 minutes 
Measure 4 1/2 cups of water (Basmati rice 1 cup = 1 1/2 water )
Add water and the soaked basmati rice to the veggie mixture
Adjust salt and pressure cook for two whistles in high and one whistle in low flame
Remove from heat and wait till the pressure releases
Take the vessel from the cooker and fluff the rice up
Serve hot with onion raitha and potato chips or Appalam

Check what my fellow bloggers are cooking for today


Vadai More Kulambu

Day 2 of  Week 4, as mentioned in my post yesterday Ammini Kozhukattai , that I am paired with the ever versatile Veena . Her blog is a wonderful space for reading when you are not in a mood to do anything. Trust me you will get the energy to start cooking or baking. I have bookmarked many of her recipes to make. Today its More Kulambu. I have heard that many people have not tasted this wonderful dish . I love it so much, especially when it is Vadai More Kulambu. 


Masala Vada - 12 
Curd - 2 cups

Coconut - 1/2 cup
Green Chili - 3 
Cumin Seeds - 1 tsp
Ginger - a small piece
Turmeric powder - a pinch
For tempering - mustard seeds, curry leaves
Oil - as required
Salt - as per taste


To make Masala Vadai please use this link
Beat the curd a little and keep it separately
In a blender, make a paste of the coconut, green chilies and cumin seeds
Take a little oil in a deep wok and add mustard seeds when it is hot
Add curry leaves, when the mustard seeds are done.
Add a pinch of Asafoetida and turmeric powder
Followed by the ground paste 
Saute for say 5 minutes before you add the curd to it.
Now adjust salt and add the Masala Vadai to it 
Let the mixture cook for 4 -  5 minutes in very low flame
Care should be taken that the mixture does not over boil.

Serve hot with papad and rice. My all time favorite lunch

Check what my fellow bloggers are cooking for today

A Tribute to Chennai Food Guide

This is a long awaited post on Chennai Food Guide. Its been only one year that I became a part of this wonderful, enterprising group. But seems like I know the group so well. I am able to connect with all the foodies out there.. It is just the love for good food and the attitude to try various cuisines has got this group going. 

CFG group at Aahar , Mylapore

It was December 2011 when I first met Ali, Srihari, Nishanth, Harish , Karthi Ricky at a Microwave cooking class. It was held in Crimson Chakra. There started my love for food at Crimson. The smoked vegetable rice and the elaneer souffle. It was a lovely meeting when I saw the enthusiasm, especially men had with regard to food and cooking. 

From then on there was no looking back, I signed in for my first review which was at Jaavids Kebabs and Kurries. As luck would take me , I was the only Vegetarian there, but thankfully they had vegetarian options.  

Competitors at Donut House

This review has an additional importance, as I had a chance to meet Bhuvanesh the owner of Donut House and during the interaction, I got to know about the make your donut competition that was to be held. It has been a long dream of mine to get into the kitchen of Donut House. I did not wait but grabbed this opporutniy and did work in the Donut house kitchen for the competition. I did not win, but it was a wonderful experience. The best part of the whole competition was that my CFG friends were so much supporting me. 

Workshops and Demo cooking sessions have become an intergral part of CFG s regular activities. One such  workshop which helped me gain a lot of confidence is the Great Briyani Cookout. Which gave me the push to make Briyani at home and now from a novice I am a expert in preparing Briyani. I have appreciations pouring it for briyani from office colleagues to my dad. Thanks CFG and Chef Rajab for this wonderful opportunity

Participants at Greek Cuisine Workshop

Its been a long journey for Chennai food guide which was started in 2004 in Orkut. It has grown in the terms of number of members, its popularity, the impact it creates, and not to forget the growth in terms of responsibility from resturant owners to deliver quality food and service to its customer

Here is wishing many many more years of Chennai Food Guide. 

Please join us as we celebrate our 8th Anniversary on 29th September 2012, at The Residency Towers. 


Ammini Kozhukattai

This is the last week of Blogging Marathon #20. I am paired with the versatile Veena for this week. She is such a chirpy and enthusiastic person. Not to forget how creative she is. Her blog space has a lot of wonderful recipes. She is an amazing baker.. I love the variety she brings about in her baking. To give an example Whole wheat tomato bread. I was completely stumped by her creativity. 

My post for Day 1 is Ammini Kozhukattai from her blog. I made this on Vinayanagar Chathurthi, it came out very well and I loved it. You can find the recipe for this kozhukattai here

The only change that I made is that mine is not a microwave version. 


Rice Flour - 1 cup
Hot water - as required
Coconut scrapping - 1/2 cup
For Tempering - mustard seeds, red chilies, curry leaves
Oil - as required
Salt - as per taste


Take the rice flour in a wide mouthed bowl
Boil water and add it to the rice flour little by little
Make a dough kind of consistency with the rice flour
Take care not to burn your fingers as the water should be very hot
When the dough is done, make small balls out of it and keep aside
Steam these rice balls in a steamer or Idli vessel
I used the Idli vessel and it was done in 15 minutes time
Remove the cooked Ammini Kozhukattai into a plate
In a shallow pan take a little oil and when its hot add the mustard seeds
When the mustard seeds sputter add the red chilies and the curry leaves
To this add the steamed kozhukattai and give it a stir
Adjust salt and add coconut scrapping to this
Serve hot and enjoy seeing how fast the plate gets empty


Peas Pulav

Kids generally like one pot meals. And mothers like to make them as its easy cooking than making Sambhar, Rasam and rice along with a side dish. I personally feel one pot meals help a lot to conserve time, energy and Gas ( which is in high demand these days ).  Yes, I can see some heads nod. 

So today's recipe is a simple Peas Pulav, without any fancy ingredient or spices. Very simple meal that uses the ingredients available in your pantry and can be made in a jiffy.


Basmati Rice - 1 cup ( soaked for 20 mins in 1.5 cups of water )
Green Peas - 1 cup
Green Chili - 2 slit 
Mint and Coriander leaves - 1/2 cup
Onions - 1/2 cup ( sliced )
Spices - cardamom, clove and saunf
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Oil as required


In a small pressure cooker, add a little oil
When the oil is hot, add the spices along with sliced onions
Add the mint and coriander leaves and saute well
I love the aroma at this stage of cooking
When the onions are done, add the ginger garlic paste and saute again 
Add the slit green chilies and green peas
Saute well and add salt
Now add the basmati rice along with the water in which it has been soaked 
Let the water boil for a minute, before you close it and cook for 2 whistles.
Serve hot with papad and curd or raitha

Two points that needs to be noted 

Water to cook basmati rice is 1: 1.5
From the second whistle the flame should be low to ensure that the rice does not burn at the bottom

This Easy breezy meal, is being served at Blogging Marathon  and at  Kid Delight : Potluck


Happy Birthday Ganesha

Time of the year when we sing Happy Birthday to our dear Ganesh. Ganesh Chathurthi  is the Hindu festival celebrated on the occasion of birthday of Lord Ganesha, the son of Shiva and Parvati, who is believed to bestow his presence on earth for all his devotees in the duration of this festival. It is the day Shiva declared his son Ganesha as superior to all the gods. Ganesha is widely worshiped as the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune and traditionally invoked at the beginning of any new venture or at the start of travel.

Tomorrow marks his birthday for this year. I will be making some new dishes this time as a part of the festival. Trying to make a fusion dish also.

Listing here the various dishes available in my blog for this festival.

Will be posting the new dishes that I make in the next couple of days.

Happy Ganesh Chathurthi and have a wonderful time with your family.

Chappathi Noodles

Noodles, as the definition goes are he noodle is a type of staple food made from some type of unleavened dough which is rolled flat and cut into one of a variety of shapes. While long thin strips may be the most common, many varieties of noodles are cut into waves, helices, tubes, strings, shells, folded over, or cut into other shapes. 

As a kid I loved Maggi Noodles a lot. I am sure everybody would have had the same experience. But off late after the news about wax in Maggi Noodles, I some how is a little skeptical to eat them. Its not good for kids either. A healthier option is make noodles with some thing else. And there is some one who is the inspiration behind this dish . Its my good friend's MIL. A special mention about her is a must. She is a very talented woman who can cook about anything, a creative person who can never stay idle for a minute. She excels in cooking, painting, art and craft. and of course in taking care of her dear daughter in law. You are an inspiration to me Aunty. 

Coming to the day's recipe. Its chapatti noodles, inspired from dear Aunty


Chapatti - 3 nos
Capsicum - 1 cup
Onions - 1/2 cup
Tomato - 1/2 cup
Red Chili powder - 1 tbsp
Coriander Powder - 1/2 tbsp
Tomato sauce - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Oil as required


Prepare chapattis and shred them into thin strips

In a wok, add a little oil
Following it add the thin strips of Capsicum, Onion and Tomato
Saute well
Add the dry powders, Red chili, Coriander powder and salt
Saute well and add the tomato sauce.
Mix well , so that the spices and sauces incorporate well

Add the chapatti strips and mix well.
Adjust salt and serve hot

Kids will love it , I loved it too. 

This special post is dedicated to Aunty who is my inspiration to do more

This amazing sweet that I love a lot, is being served at Blogging Marathon  and at  Kid Delight : Potluck


Home Made Idli Batter

This post is of immense importance to me, for the very first time I got a query from a reader asking me to post on how to make a good Idli batter, that will yield her soft idlis. This was one of the queries raised and discussed at length , when I met the Bakers for a lunch in Crimson Chakra. So here I am with the post that will help you all yield soft idlis.

I would like to warn you ahead, as this is gonna be a long post. Read it at your leisure and do let me know of the result that you got. 

Ingredients :

Urad Dal - 1 cup
Idli rice - 4 cups
Salt - To Taste


Measure out Urad Dal and Idli Rice in different Vessels
Wash them well in water for about three times
The more you wash it and remove the tiny dirt particles in Rice and Urad Dal, your Idli will be more white and fluffy
Soak the Urad Dal and Rice in clean drinking water for about 2 to 3 hours
After about 2 hours, both the rice and Dal would have soaked well
Clean and wash the grinder before you use it
Grind the soaked Urad Dal first
Ensure that there is just enough water to enable the Dal to grind well
You should get a smooth paste of Urad Dal with increased volume of the batter
Remove it to a clean vessel
Now add the soaked rice and grind it well to make a smooth paste
When the rice batter is done, add the salt to the mixture along with the Urad Dal batter
Let the two batters mix well and blend to form the same consistency
Remove the batter into clean vessels and place a lid
Leave it on the kitchen cabinet for about 5 to 6 hours
After about 6 hours, the batter would have risen up due to fermentation
Use this batter without mixing to make Idlis
They will be soft and fluffy
You can store this batter  for about three days
On day 1 and Day 2 of the batter you can make Idlis
Day 3: Crispy Dosa can be made 
Day 4: You can make onion oothappam or kuli paniyaram

Some important notes

You can add Fenugreek seeds to make Idlis more soft
Cleaning of the grinder is very important as it should have the taste of the previous batch of batter that was made
When you set the batter aside for fermenting, please place the vessel inside a plate
This is to ensure that even if the batter over spills it does not spoil you counter top

Pictures for your reference

Washed and Soaked Urad Dal

Batter being made in the grinder. I have a table top grinder

Batter taken in a vessel

Can you see how it has risen due. This is the way the batter has to look after about 6 - 7 hours of grinding and storage

The more is rises, the more soft your Idli will be. The thicker the batter, the crispier your dosa

Idli batter poured into the Idli Making vessel

Soft Idlis ready to be gobbled down

This picture was taken in my backyard garden.
Enjoy your breakfast with Idli , Chutney and Sambhar

Thiratu Paal : A Traditional Sweet

Time flies, I say.. We are in the Third Week of Blogging Marathon 20. This week my theme is Kid Delight : Potluck . One this occasion I have to mention about the wonderful lady Srivalli, who is also a good friend of mine. I admired her for the amount of energy she has to maintain, three blogs, a  full time job , cooks a variety of dishes and runs various events in her blog. She is famous for the various Melas that she hosts. To mention a  few, Dosa Mela Indian Thali MelaKababs Mela . I draw my inspiration from her. One of her events is Kids Delight Event. Its been Four Years since this lovely event was started. To celebrate it , Srivalli is hosting a Potluck Party at her blog. Do check and join in for the party. Kudos to you Valli. May you have many more anniversaries to celebrate.

My post for the day is the ever versatile and traditional Thiratu Paal. This is not only for Kids, but also for grown up kids at home, who cannot stop with one spoon of this. Simple to make, but you need a little patience to get this amazing sweet.


Milk - 2 litres
Sugar - 3 cups


Take the milk in a heavy bottomed wok
Keep continuously stirring to avoid the milk from boiling over
When the milk has reduced to about 1/3 of the quantity
(This will take about an hours time)
Add the sugar to the milk and keep stirring 
After you have added sugar, ensure that the Thiratu Paal is mixed well to avoid burning at the bottom
When the milk changes color and becomes a semi solid consistency, remove from fire and store it in a separate box

This amazing sweet that I love a lot, is being served at Blogging Marathon  and at  Kid Delight : Potluck 


Yummy Onion Chutney

Week 2 of Blogging Marathon. My theme is cooking with onions as a main ingredient. The very first dish that came to my mind was Onion Chutney. This is a sooper dooper hit at home. My Athai makes very very crisp dosas along with this chutney and god knows how many I would have gobbled down. 

Im not sure if it is only me, you can actually feel the love and affection of a person when they serve food for you. I always feel it when Janaki Paati makes Idiyappam specially for me when I visit her, in the curd rice and sauteed onion chili mix that Muthulakshmi Paati keeps ready when I come back from school , when Athai makes me the crispy dosas or makes me eat an extra Idli, when my chithi makes it a point to include Beans curry in the menu when I eat knowing that I love the veggie so much.  This is all apart from my mother who knows what I like to eat and when I like to eat it also. I feel so blessed to be a part of this wonderful family. 
Okay now to today s recipe.Its my all time favorite Onion Chutney. 


Onions - 3 - 4 cut into small pieces
Red Chili - 15
Tamarind - 5 gm
Salt - to taste
Oil - as required
Mustard seeds and Urad Dal - for tempering


Here is a step by step making of the chutney

Peel Onions and cut them into small pieces

Saute the onions on a shallow pan or you can microwave it for about 5 mins with a little oil

In a shallow pan add a little oil and saute the red chili. Take care of the heat, else it will burn the red chilies and the burnt smell will ruin the taste and the color of chutney

Put the sauteed red chili along with salt and tamarind in a blender and make it into a coarse powder

Add the sauteed onion to this coarse powder and blend again

You will get a smooth paste like this. Do not add water while blending the mixture

Now , heat some oil in a pan and add the tempering agents. When they are done, add the chutney and saute well till you get the aroma of onion chutney.

Serve with crispy Dosa or hot Idli. This chutney goes well with curd rice and chapati too


Drumstick Dal

Day 2 of Delicious Dals, I am going to serve you Drumstick Dal. As a kid , I hated this Dal whenever mom used to make it. But now I kind of developed the taste for this yummy Dal. the best combination is with Poondu Vatha kulambu. Slurp. Had it a couple of days ago, but the taste is still lingering in my mind.


Drumstick - 2 cut into 1 inch pieces
Toor Dal - 1 cup
Red chili powder - 2 tbsp
Onion - 1/2 cup thin slices
Oil - as required
Salt - as required
Mustard seeds and curry leaves for tempering 


Boil the drumstick in water till it is done
Pressure cook the Toor Dal and keep it separately
In a wok, heat oil and when it is hot, add the mustard seeds
After they sputters, add the sliced onions and curry leaves
Saute it for a minute and then add red chili powder and salt
Add the boiled drumstick with the water in which it was boiled
Followed by cooked Toor Dal.
Let it boil well and reduce to form a semi solid consistency
Serve with Vatha kulambu or it can be had just like that itself with rice


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