J for Jafarisi Vathal

Anything related to summer.. brings back memories of my Paati. If anyone has been following my blog, every second post will have the mention of her. My beloved Muthulakshmi paati. Being the daughter of a working mother, my summer holidays are always with paati. Those are the times, when I learnt how to play pallanguzhi ( it is a traditional game of tamil nadu,) which is played in almost all households well before the invent of computer games. I learnt to make various vathal and vadagams . I learnt how to tie flowers and make a garland. I learnt to make Adhirasam. All these things I mention proudly as none of my aunts or my cousins learnt it. Till date not all know everything of what I have mentioned. Im proud of it and would like to carry forward what all I learnt from her to others. 

Every summer I make it a point to make atleast one batch of any vathal or vadagam in her memory. Somehow it gives me a satisfaction. This year I made Vengaya Vadagam and Jafarisi Vathal. Guess I kept the Jafarisi Vathal for this marathon. Without any further ado, on to the recipe.


Rice Flour - 3 cups
Jafarisi ( Sago ) - 2 cups
Water - 4 cups
Green Chilie paste - 1/2 cup
Jeera - 2 tbsp
Salt to taste


Soak Jafarisi for about 1 hour 
In a huge vessel take the water for about half of it
When the water starts to boil well, add the rice flour and keep stirring
When the rice completely blends with water and form a semi solid mixture
Add the green chili paste , soaked Jafarisi and salt to this and mix well
Switch off the fuel and let it rest for sometime. 
In a flat surface, place a plastic sheet and ensure that it does not fly
Place a spoon of this mixture on the sheet, leaving adequate space between each spoon
Let this dry for two days
At the end of it , the vathal would have come off automatically
Store in airtight container and deep fry them as and when required 

Logo courtesy : Preeti


H for Homemade Chocolates

Making chocolates at home is therapeutic, and don't forget some can get very high on chocolates, like what happened to me. I went on a cooking spree for my nieces after inhaling so much chocolate. I learnt the art of making chocolate from my dear friend Vidu. She is such a sweet person who does not mind sharing whatever she knows with others. She is a wonderful Quilling artist, you can view her creations here 

Making chocolate is simple and addictive too. 


Dark Chocolate compound - 1 cup
Milk chocolate compound - 1 cup
Chocolate moulds
Wrapping paper


Break both the Chocolates into small piece and take it in a bowl

Heat the bowl over a double boiler until the chunks melt and form into pourable consistency 

Pour them into the moulds you have
Tap the moulds on the table to remove any air bubbles in the tray
Freeze it for about 5 minutes times
Remove from freezer and tap it again
Your chocolates are ready to be gobbled up. 
I had used the bar chocolate mould and alphabet mould

My nieces gobbled up the alphabets, once they were out of the freezer.
I wrapped the bar ones and saved it for my sister. 
She had it after a weeks time when it reached US and loved it too.

Wrap the chocolates in the wrappers available for this purpose.

Chocolates packed to US

Logo courtesy : Preeti


F for Floating Candles

As a food and craft enthusiast, I have often visited Martha Stewart s website, whenever I feel bored or lazy to do something. I usually browse the crafts section a lot and is much attracted to the table settings section. This one arrangement has always caught my attention. The post is about how you make candles and present it as a lovely center piece or a corner decoration to catch the attention of visitors who come to your house. Being close to Deepavali ( Diwali ) I thought this was a nice way to light up the house. I basically love candles any form and flavor. So here goes the method to make a simple yet very elegant and impressive centerpiece

You will need

A large glass bowl/brass bowl
Some candles
Petals for decoration


Fill the bowl with 3/4 water 
Fix it in the place you want to display the candles
Spread the petals on the water and ensure that there is an even spread of colors
Light the candle and place them on the water
Do not over crowd the bowl with candle, use your judgement to make it look pretty
Add a little more water so that the candles can be seen above the rim of the bowl. 

You can make it with multi colored flowers or only with roses too

Your pretty and elegant floating candle centerpiece is ready

Logo courtesy : Preeti


E for Eruserry

Its time for E in the alphabet series and its a dish all the way from Kerala, Eruserry. This is a traditional dish of Kerala which definitely finds its place in the Onam Sadhya. I usually had a thought that it was a very complicated dish, but it is a very easy dish to make and is packed with protein too. I learnt this dish during my recent trip to Kerala. Chef Suman of The Park Kumarakom, taught me this dish. 


Yellow pumpkin - 1 cup ( cut into small pieces )
Black eyes peas - 1 cup
Red chilies - 3 nos
Coconut scrapings - 1 cup
Coconut Milk - 2 cups
Mustard - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 2 strands
Salt to taste
Coconut Oil as required


Boil the black eyes peas and pumpkin together until soft and mushy

Dry roast the coconut scrapings with coconut oil and keep aside

In a large wok heat coconut oil
When the oil is hot, add mustard seeds and red chilies
Followed by curry leaves
To this add the steamed black eyed peas and pumpkin mixture 
To this add some dry roasted coconut scrapings and coconut milk
Lower the flame and keep stirring
The coconut milk, dry roasted coconut and the pumpkin mixture will blend together
Adjust salt and serve hot with rice.

Logo courtesy : Preeti


D for Dished out with Love

It was that time of my career, when I had to decide upon my next step. And yes, I did have to start afresh in a new team. It has been a custom that when anyone leaves the company or goes to another team, we give them a farewell lunch. This lunch will always be a Potluck, where in every team member will cook a dish which the person likes the most and gets it to office. I have organised close to 7 or 8 potlucks for my fellow colleagues, some leaving the organization, some leaving the team. This time I was at the receiving end

When I was in school, during moral science class, I was taught this

"Do unto others, as you want others to do unto you "

This is what exactly happened to me, I was completely overwhelmed with the potluck lunch my team gave me. It had all my favorite dishes, noodles, potato curry, Vegetable briyani, Bisibela Bath kesari, Rasam, Chapathi, Paneer butter masala, chips and curd rice with vatha kulambu. 

The table set with all the delicious food for lunch

My plate loaded with my love from my team

They obviously know that I love to cook, and so the gift was a sandwich toaster. I am yet to make some yummy sandwiches in it and take it for them

The best surprise of the day, was the cake that they had ordered. It was again my favorite Black Forest, with the wordings "All the Best Kamalika". It was the perfect end to the perfect day. 

I was happy to get a lot of surprises, which I am not used to usually. It has always been me who give surprises. And I was sad to leave this wonderful team.. Life has to embrace the changes and find our path. 

A Huge Heartfelt Thanks to my Team for giving me such a wonderful potluck treat


C for Curry Leaves Thogaiyal

Its like getting back to kindergarten learning, A for Apple, B for Bat and so on. But we are doing it in cooking, A for Apple Jam , B for Bread Bajji today its C for Curry Leaves Thogaiyal. We often make this at home, as a side for curd rice. It is a very flavorful Thogaiyal, which can go well with Kanji also. Mom at times makes it along with Paal Kanji. My grand mom, got me into liking this thogaiyal, by saying that ,my hair will grow long and be black if I eat curry leaves. Guess she was right. 

Some people who are reading this may have a doubt on what is the difference between thogaiyal and chutney. Well, for Thogaiyal, all the ingredients or some ingredients are dry roasted before blending and very very less water is used while blending it. In case of chutney, the ingredients are often put in raw and it can be watery also.This is the basic difference.

Now on to the recipe


Curry Leaves - 1 cup 
Red chilies - 5
Urad dal - 1 tbsp
Tamarind - 1 teeny bit
Salt - to taste


Dry roast the urad dal and red chili in a pan and keep aside
Take all the ingredients in a blender
Blend using very little water and adjust salt

Serve with curd rice or anytime of kanji. 


B for Bread Bajji

For Today it is Bread Bajji under the Street Food category. How it is Street Food ? so here goes the explanation. Tea kadai and bajji stalls are famous in Tamil Nadu. With the soaring prices of vegetables, bread is an easy option to make bajji for the vendors. Any tea stall or Bajji shop on the beach, you go.. there is always an option of bread bajji. It would be soaked in oil, that is a seperate issue on its own. But the combination of bread and besan gives an a very nice taste. I personally love to eat bread bajji. 

The version I am going to explain today, is slightly different. This is something that I had learnt from my Periamma. She makes it in the tawa with very less oil which in turn makes the bajji a healthy one. We had made this during my visit for my nieces. 


Bread - 10 pieces cut diagonally
Besan - 1 cup
Omam - 1 tsp
Jeera - 1 tsp
salt - to taste
Red Chili powder - 1 tsp
Oil - a little


In a bowl add besan powder, omam, jeera, salt, red chili powder 
Mix well so as there is no lumps formed
Add very little water and make it a paste
Heat the tawa and add 1 tsp oil
Dip the diagonally cut bread into the besan paste and place it on the tawa
Ensure that it cooks well on both the sides and flip frequently.
Once done serve hot with tomato ketchup or pudhina chutney
This can be given as a breakfast or an evening snack


A for Apple Jam

Its the time of the year, when blogger friends of mine decided to run another month of marathon posts, in alphabetical order A-Z under four categories. Here I am with the first day's post under the category Condiments. Apple Jam


Apple - 2 deskinned and cut into small cubes
Sugar - 1 cup 
Cinnomon powder - 1 tsp


Blend the apple pieces in the blender till you get a smooth paste
In a wok add the sugar and wait till it melts
Now add the apple pulp and mix well
Keep stirring and add the cinnomon powder
Wait till it reaches the jam consistency and remove from fire
After it has cooled down, store in clean and dry canisters
This jam can be stored upto a weeks time
Ensure that you use a dry spoon every time you take the jam


Taj Club House KEFI :A CFG Show case

A serene place in the heart of  Chennai 's chaos and confusion: pollution and traffic. It is where you can unwind after a tiring day at work and enjoy a relaxed atmosphere which will rekindle the romantic person in you. Yes I am talking about Kefi Restaurant in Taj Club house. Located on Mount Road near the Spencer signal which has the maximum traffic any day. 

Kefi , is a rooftop Mediterranean restaurant serving cuisine from Greece, Turkey, Spain, Morocco 
and Lebanon.

It is a perfect spot for a romantic dinner with your wife or more perfect if you are going to propose to your girl friend. 

The dinner started off, with Musk Melon and Parsley with chocolate balsamic vinegar dressing. We were given to understand that the dish is called Amuse Bouche and is usually given to buy time for the kitchen to make the orders. It was a different blend of flavors, mildly sweet from musk melon, parsley, sweet & sour taste of chocolate balsamic vinegar. The presentation was picture perfect. 

Amuse Bouche
Cassis Reduced Melon with mint tabouleh

Two types of bread were served along with pickled olives. Breads were soft, but the dips were dominated by garlic flavor. 

Mezze Sampler

Meze or mezze /ˈmɛzeɪ/ is a selection of small dishes served in the Middle East and the Balkans as breakfast, lunch or even dinner, with or without drinks. In Levantine cuisines, in the Caucasus region, and in parts of Balkans, meze is served at the beginning of all large-scale meal

Hummus beiruti
Hummus topped with onions, tomato and parsley

Char Grilled Aubergine with tahina sauce

Baked pastry triangles filled with spinach, feta, and pine nut

Deep Fried Chick pea

Of the four my favorite was Spanakopita, the blend of Spinach 
with cheese was just perfect. The pastry on top was neither too 
crispy nor too soft. Falafel was again a hit, crispy on the outside           and soft on the inside

Orange Sorbet, I was pretty much impressed with the way it was presented. 
Tasted good too ;-) 

Homemade leek ravioli sautéed mushroom and fennel

Ravioli, which is completely made in house.Stuffed with leek it tasted differently delectable. The Ravioli was served on a bed of mushroom and beetroot sauce and topped with asparagus.

Pollo al chilindrón 
Corn fed chicken with sweet paprika, red pepper, tomato

A visual treat, to me. Plating was done with yellow zucchini and       drumstick. The Chicken was stuffed with corn and color capsicum

Dessert Sampler

Almond Cake
Oreo Chocolate Pie
Figs and Fruits

I loved every-bit of the dessert sampler. Each piece had a distinct and unique flavor. Figs with a fruit cocktail on it, baklava, flaky and not too sweet, something for the chocolate tooth in me. Mildly flavored Almond cake. The tastes seems to have a balance amongst them.

Drinks to Quench your thirst

Virgin Lime Mojito
Carrot Basil Vodka
Cucumber Mint Vodka

The in between drinks that we had, was vegetable cocktails and mocktail  I loved the blend of virgin lime mojito. It was very much the way I like it, that I ordered a second glass of the same.

The ambiance of the place, is extra ordinary, and the service is very courteous. The various lamps that they have used to decorate the place is unique and attractive too. 

Will I go back ? Definitely YES. 

Kefi is located at 

Taj Club House
No. 2,Club House Road
Chennai - 600002
Tamil Nadu
Tel: (91-44) 66313131


Charminar : The Briyani HotSpot

Charminar and Briyani are synonyms for Briyani lovers. I have heard a lot about this place from fellow CFGians. Was wanting to check the place out for a very long time, but had my own doubts as it being a predominantly non vegetarian place. When the call for review came my way, I actually double checked if vegetarians would have any options. Surprisingly, Charminar offers a wide variety of vegetarian food. On the whole the experience was good, with a little glitches that usually happens in any restaurants. 

We started off the dinner with soups and starters. Again a lot being said of their Manchow Soup, I opted for it. It was spicy and had crunchy noodles on. This would be my personal preference when I visit them the next time. You do get a non vegetarian version of this soup, which is Chicken Manchow soup. It has shredded chicken along with vegetables.

Veg  Manchow Soup and Sweet Corn Soup

We had close to 4 starters. Each one with a varied taste and flavor. 

Paneer Tikka & Achari Aloo Tikka

Both appear similar but tastes differently. I have not seen Aloo being presented like paneer before. Paneer tikka was soft and succulent with the flavors infused very well. Aloo Tikka was sour and had just the right amount of spices. The onion salad along with the tikka was very tasty.

Majestic Baby Corn

This dish was way to sour for my tongue. Some how it did not suit my palettes  I had a piece and then passed on to the next dish. But this was a hit dish, in the recent Star Vijay Awards function as told by Charminar s PR Vidya. They had made a slight variation of using Prawns to Baby Corn 

Veg Shangrila 

Vegetarian Shangrila is the meatless version of sheek kebab  Its mashed vegetables made on tandoor using skewers. Tasted like cutlets in a different form and had a predominant flavor of cinnamon. It tasted good with the mint chutney.

Lacha Paratha , Charminar Veg Subzi and Yellow Dal

When you visit Charminar, do not ever forget to order the Yellow Dal. It was just superb. Perfect for Lacha paratha and to eat it just like that. The texture, color and taste were all just perfect. 

One of their signature dishes, Charminar Vegetable Subzi was again a standout dish in the showcase. It was spicy and had a lot of veggies (psst: I always like a lot of veggies in my food)

Vegetable Briyani and Paneer Briyani

Showstopper for the whole dinner, Briyani : Spicy, flavorful and cooked to the perfect consistency. I love their Briyani, be it vegetable or paneer.

Double Kaa Meeta 

Dessert was Double Kaa Meeta, bread cooked with Khoya , loaded with cashews, raisins and cherries and drizzled with generous portions of ghee. Perfect dessert to end with. 

My ratings
Service: 8/10
Rates: 8/10
Taste: 8/10
Ambience: 6/10

Will I go back? Definitely yes. Not all restaurants that concentrate on Non vegetarian food gives so many options for Vegetarians. This is the USP of Charminar. 

Charminar is located at 

Lloyds Rd, Padupet, 

Chennai, TN 600086

Phone:044 2811 1007

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