Traditional Chidambaram : Kathrikai Gothsu

Gothsu is one of the authentic, traditional dishes of Chidambaram which is served in Natarajar temple along with Samba Sadham. This is made by the people in the temple and offered to Lord Nataraj. People who have tasted it say it is very nice. Wish I get a chance soon to taste it. 

Gothsu is a very old recipe, made mostly by Tam Brams. It is a must at some of their weddings. My grandmom used to roast the Brinjal over charcoal fire , remove the skin of Brinjal and then make Gothsu  In this method, there is a wonderful smoky flavor that the brinjal acquires in the process. Paati s Gothsu is always the best. These days we sometimes roast it over gas, but the flavor is not to be felt. 

Gothsu can be made with or without onions, based on your taste and preference. I have always prepared it with onions. And the best combination for Gothsu is Ven Pongal. Its a heavenly combination. But be careful when you have it on a weekday, you are bound to fall asleep. 


1/2 cup of moong dal
2 onions, chopped
2-3 green chillies
1 cup of chopped kathirikai
1 chopped tomato
Coriander leaves for flavor
Salt to taste
Mustard seeds and curry leaves for tempering
Oil as required

For Gothsu powder

1 tbsp - Channa Dal
1 tbsp - coriander seeds
2 tsp - Jeera
4 - red chilies


Boil the Moong Dal and keep it aside
Roast Kathrikai over flame and de skin it 
Mash it well
Cut onions and tomato into small pieces
Blend the ingredients under Gothsu powder and keep separately
In a wide skillet add a little oil 
When the oil is hot add mustard seeds and let it sputter
Add the curry leaves, sliced onions and tomato
Saute for about 2 minutes time
Add the mashed Kathrikai and Moong Dal
Followed by the Gothsu Powder
Adjust salt and add water for consistency
Let the mixture boil well and get into a gravy consistency. 
Serve hot with Ghee Ven Pongal


Traditional Chinese : Veg Fried Rice

Fried rice is made from steamed rice stir-fried in a wok, often with other ingredients, such as eggs, vegetables, and meat. It is sometimes served as the penultimate dish in Chinese banquets (just before dessert). As a home-cooked dish, fried rice typically is made with leftover ingredients from other dishes, leading to countless variations.

The many popular varieties of fried rice have their own specific list of ingredients. In Asia, the more famous varieties include Yangzhou and Fujian fried rice. Elsewhere, most restaurants catering to vegetarian or Moslem clientele have invented their own varieties of fried rice including egg fried rice, Indonesian (spicy) fried rice and the ubiquitous "special fried rice".

Fried rice is a common staple in American Chinese cuisine, especially in the form sold as fast food. The most common form of American Chinese fried rice consists of some mixture of eggs, scallions, and vegetables, with chopped meat added at the customer's discretion, and usually flavored with soy sauce instead of table salt (more typical for Chinese-style fried rice). Fried rice made in American Chinese restaurants can vary in appearance, from a dark brown appearance often seen in East Coast establishments, to a light brown appearance often seen in Midwestern American Chinese restaurants. Fried rice is also seen in other American restaurants, even in cuisines with no native tradition of the dish. The dish is also a staple of Chinese restaurants in the many countries around the world

Fried rice is my mom s favorite dish any time we go to a restaurant. She will always always end up ordering fried rice and gobi manchurian gravy. This recipe is in another way also close to my heart. Radio Mirchi had organised a competiion for Mother s day last year. The question was what will you make to make Mother day Special for your mom. My answer was  " I would make her favorite meal in restaurant style and make her happy " , I won the first prize and RJ from the station visited my house to taste my cooking and give me the gift hanper. 


Cooked Rice - 2 cups
Veggies - 2 cups ( carrot and beans )
Spring Onions - 1 cup
Garlic - 1 tbsp ( minced finely )
White pepper powder - 2tssp
Salt to taste
Oil as required


For fried rice, if you use left over rice, nothing like that.
Chop the spring onions and keep the bulb and stalk separately
Finely chop carrot and beans
In a wide skillet , add a little oil and add the minced garlic
Add the chopped Onion bulbs to the garlic
Add the finely chopped carrot and beans to the sauteed onion garlic 
Cook for about a minute 
Add white pepper powder and adjust salt 
Switch of the flame and add rice to the veggies
Mix well so that the flavors incorporate well
Finally add the spring onion stalks and serve with Gobi Manchurian


Traditional Italian : Veg Pasta

Pasta is a type of noodle and is a staple food of traditional Italian cuisine, with the first reference dating to 1154 in Sicily. It is also commonly used to refer to the variety of pasta dishes. Typically pasta is made from an unleavened dough of a durum wheat flour mixed with water and formed into sheets or various shapes, then cooked and served in any number of dishes. It can be made with flour from other cereals or grains, and eggs may be used instead of water. Pastas may be divided into two broad categories, dried (pasta secca) and fresh (pasta fresca). Chicken eggs frequently dominate as the source of the liquid component in fresh pasta.Most dried pasta is commercially produced via an extrusion process. Fresh pasta was traditionally produced by hand, sometimes with the aid of simple machines, but today many varieties of fresh pasta are also commercially produced by large scale machines, and the products are broadly available in supermarkets.
Both dried and fresh pasta come in a number of shapes and varieties, with 310 specific forms known variably by over 1300 names having been recently documented. In Italy the names of specific pasta shapes or types often vary with locale. For example the form cavatelli is known by 28 different names depending on region and town. Common forms of pasta include long shapes, short shapes, tubes, flat shapes and sheets, miniature soup shapes, filled or stuffed, and specialty or decorative shapes.
As a category in Italian cuisine, both dried and fresh pastas are classically used in one of three kinds of prepared dishes. As pasta asciutta (or pastasciutta) cooked pasta is plated and served with a complementary sauce or condiment. A second classification of pasta dishes is pasta in brodo in which the pasta is part of a soup-type dish. A third category is pasta al forno in which the pasta incorporated into a dish that is subsequently baked.
Pasta is generally a simple dish, but comes in large varieties because it is a versatile food item. Some pasta dishes are served as a first course in Italy because the portion sizes are small and simple. The servings are usually accompanied by a side of meat. Pasta is also prepared in light lunches, such as salads or large portion sizes for dinner. It can be prepared by hand or food processor and served hot or cold. Pasta sauces vary in taste, color and texture. When choosing which type of pasta and sauce to serve together, there is a general rule that must be observed. Simple sauces like pesto are ideal for long and thin strands of pasta while tomato sauce combines well with thicker pastas. Thicker and chunkier sauces have the better ability to cling onto the holes and cuts of short, tubular, twisted pastas. Sauce should be served equally with its pasta. It is important that the sauce does not overflow the pasta. The extra sauce is left on the plate after all of the pasta is eaten.

I often make pasta for my niece and nephews. They always say.. it tastes very nice. These kids make my day when they clean off the plate. Especially my nieces who come from US. Love the way they say YUMMY after taking the first bite of the food I make for them. 


Pasta - 2 cups cooked al'dente 
Veggies - 1.5 cups ( i used color capsicums and beans )
Pasta sauce - 3 tbsp
Oregano - 2tsp
White pepper powder - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Olive oil as required
Basil as required


Cut the veggies into thin strips
Boil the pasta al dente and set aside
Boil the beans and set it aside
In a wide wok , add a little olive oil and saute the sliced capsicum
After a minute, add the Pasta sauce to it and mix well
Season it with Oregano, white pepper and salt
Ensure that the sauce mixes well with the veggies
Add the boiled pasta and mix well
Adjust salt and serve hot
You can sprinkle cheese scrapping before you serve to add a lovely flavor


Traditional Tirunelveli : Muttai Kulambu (Egg in Tangy Tamarind sauce)

This is one dish that has come down via generations in my family, my grand mom used to make it. Mom learned it from her and now I can also make it. There is no written recipe for this dish, it is just by seeing how it is made that mom learnt and that is how I learned it to . It is my favorite dish and makes meal on it own. I love having this on a Sunday afternoon with papad and then dozing off to that heavenly nap. 


Eggs - 3 large
Red Chili powder - 3 tbsp
Coriander Powder - 2 tbsp
Tamarind pulp - 2 tbsp
Coconut - 1/2 cup
Cumin seeds - 1tsp
Onions - sliced 1/2 cup
Mustard and Fenugreek seeds to temper
Curry leaves for flavoring
Salt to taste
Oil as required


In a deep pan, heat a little oil and add the mustard , Fenugreek seeds
After they sputter add the sliced onions and saute for about a minute time
Add the Masala powders followed by tamarind pulp
Add a little water , adjust salt and let it boil for about 5 minutes
In the meanwhile, make a smooth paste of coconut and cumin seeds in a blender
Add this mixture to the boiling gravy
Adjust salt and let this boil for about 15 mins.
The raw Masala smell should be eliminated by the end of 12 minutes or so
Keep your flame very low and add the eggs one by one
Break the eggs into the gravy and mix very gently.
Make sure that the egg is cooked well at the same time it should not crumble down into small pieces
Serve this hot with rice and papad
No side dish required as egg will serve the purpose


Traditional Maharastrian Puran Poli

Puran Poli is a Maharashtrian dish. The Poli is in itself a delicious sweetmeat and is often eaten as such. It may be served with a spoonful of ghee. Poli is often served with milk, which may be sweetened or flavored with almonds and pistachio. In certain areas, polis a tangy, tamarind-based sauce (similar to the base of pulihora) is served with the Poli  to enhance the experience by combining very disparate flavors  In Maharashtra, the tangy sauce is called katachi amti.

In Goan cuisine and the cuisine of the Konkani diaspora in Karnataka and Kerala, punn-poli or Holgi, is generally served with coconut milk flavored with nutmeg and sweetened with jaggery.
In other parts of Karnataka, holige or bele obbattu is served with ghee and hot milk. A variant of the bele obbattu is the crunchy kai obbattu that is prepared with jaggery and coconut. This is usually eaten dry with ghee.

In the Vidarbha region of eastern Maharashtra, the puran polis are soft, since the stuffing is made with jaggery. In western Maharashtra, the powdered white-sugar version is preferred, resulting in a crunchy puran pol . It is a dessert served during auspicious occasions and during important festivals such as Holi, Padwa in Maharashtra. Although it resembles like a roti, a poli is actually very different. It is made mostly during holi when the bonfire is lit.
The method of preparation varies from place to place. Sometimes grated coconut is added in Konkan. Coconut palm jaggery may sometimes be used. Similarly a mix or sugar and jaggery both can be used as a sweetening agent. Normally nutmeg is used as a flavoring agent along the coast which is replaced by cardamom or sometimes both elsewhere.
Methods of rolling the stuffed dough may differ too. Normally, it can be rolled using rice flour which makes the rolling very convenient. On the other hand, in some recipes flour is not used at all, oil or ghee is used to roll it into a flatbread instead. The rolled bread can be roasted with our without any ghee or oil, which sometimes is smeared after its completely cooked


Split Bengal gram 1 1/4 cups
Jaggery grated 1 1/2 cups
Saffron (kesar) a pinch
Green cardamom powder 1/4 teaspoon

Refined flour (maida) 1 1/2 cups
Salt a pinch
Pure ghee 1/2 cup



Wash and boil chana dal. 
Drain and coarsely grind it. 
Prepare Jaggery Syrup, using water and Jaggery
In a pan add the dal, jaggery Syrup, saffron, cardamom powder and mix well. 
Cook, stirring all the time till dry. 
It should resemble a soft ball.
Remove and cool. 
Divide the stuffing into sixteen to twenty equal portions and roll into balls. 


Mix maida and salt along with a pinch of Turmeric powder
Add sufficient water to make a soft dough. 
Cover with a damp cloth and keep aside for one hour. 
Divide dough into sixteen to twenty equal portions and roll into balls. 
Flatten each ball in your palm, stuff with one portion of puran (stuffing), cover and seal the edges. 
Dust it with flour and roll out into four to five inches diameter disk of medium thickness.
 Heat a tawa and cook puran poli until done on both sides. 
Remove. Serve hot with generous helping of pure ghee on it.


Badam Kheer

Last day of First Week marathon. It is a dessert for my Party Menu. 

A simple dish that can be made ahead and served in a big bowl or in individual portions.

Yes it is the heavenly sinful Badam Kheer. This has always been my favorite when I visit Shree Mithai. This dish in particular is very close to my heart. A small story on why it is close to my heart. When I made this dish and took it to office, a colleague of mine could not resist when she saw the Kheer and had about 7 spoons of the Kheer. Now you may wonder what is so special about her having so much Kheer. The point is that, she was on a strict diet and never budges for any delicacy that might ruin her diet. She made my day, I did not have the heart to stop her. She made my day by her act. 


Badam - 2 cups soaked in milk
Milk - 1.5 litres
Sugar - as per taste
Badam and Saffron strands for garnish 


Soak the Badam in warm milk for about an hour s time
In the mean time boil and milk and keep it aside
Blend the soaked Badam into a smooth paste.
Add the blended paste and sugar to the boiled milk 
Keep stirring in low flame till the whole mixture thickens
Dissolve saffron strands in a little milk and add to the Kheer
Saffron adds color and flavor to the Kheer


Chicken Curry

For the very first time in the history of my blog, it is a non vegetarian dish. Yes, my very first attempt to make Chicken curry. And by god s grace, it turned out to be awesome. People who tasted it was surprised that I made this dish, without tasting it. ( you guys must know by now , that I am a vegetarian )

I owe the success of this dish, to a friend/colleague of mine, who motivated me to prepare this. It has actually given me the confidence that I can cook non veg dishes without tasting them. 


Boneless Chicken - 1/2 kg
Onions - 1 cup sliced
Tomato - 1/2 cup sliced
Red Chili powder - 2 tbsp
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Oil for cooking
Mint and Coriander for garnish
Coconut - 1 cup
Cashew nuts - 4 or 5
Spices - clove, cinnamon, cardamom, bay leaf, saunf


Clean the chicken and cut them into small pieces
In a pressure pan, add a little oil 
When the oil is hot add the spices, followed by the sliced onions and saute well
Add a bunch of Coriander and Mint leaves to this and saute for about a minute
In the mean while, blend the coconut and cashew into a smooth paste and keep aside
Add the tomatoes when the onions are translucent followed by ginger garlic paste
Add the cleaned and cut chicken pieces
Season it with red chili powder, coriander powder and turmeric powder
Mix well so that the spices and Masala powders cover the chicken pieces
Add the coconut paste and adjust salt at this stage.
When the mixture comes to a boil, close the pressure pan and cook for three whistles
After the pressure gets released , open the lid
Garnish with Coriander and Mint leaves
Serve hot with Jeera rice or roti


Idiyappam with Channa Masala

Whenever I go to a party, the dishes are mostly heavy or rich in taste and flavor. Like Paneer Butter Masala  or aloo Gobi Masala  stuffed Paratha or Bisi Bela bath. I always feel we should give some room for light food for elderly people and children. Some food that is light on the stomach and will not affect anybody's health. That is how this dish comes into this list. 

Idiyappam with a light spiced Channa Curry



Rice flour - 2 cups
Hot Water - 1 cup
Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt - to taste

Channa Masala

Channa - 1 cup  ( Soaked overnight and boiled )
Onion - 1 cup sliced
Tomato - 1 cup sliced
Red Chili Powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Coriander Powder - 1 tsp
Salt  - to taste
Spices - clove, cinnamon and cardamom
Coriander leaves - to garnish



Take the rice flour in a large wide bowl
Boil water with the oil in it
Add the hot water to the flour and mix well
Blend the flour to bring it to chapatti dough consistency
Set this aside for about 10 minutes
Heat the Idli cooker with water for 5 mins
 Fill the Idiyappam Maker with the prepared rice dough and press it to make the Idiyappam
Steam it for about 10 - 15 mins. 
Lovely string hoppers or Idiyappam will be ready 

Channa Masala

In a heavy bottom wok, add a little oil
When the oil is hot , add the spices followed by sliced onions
Saute the onions and then add the sliced tomato
Add a little water at this stage along with red chili and coriander powders
When it comes to a boil add the boiled Channa and adjust salt
Add coriander leaves for flavoring 

Serve this combo as a part of your party menu, you are sure to get many compliments

Check what my fellow bloggers are cooking for Day 1 Week 1 


Chole Briyani / Channa Briyani

We are on the fourth day of Party food and today its gonna be a main course dish. I have had this dish way back in 2008 I am not sure. Srivalli had got it for the first ever food bloggers meet. It was a wonderful wonderful meet I should say when I got to meet few fellow bloggers and got to know the faces behind the blogs. That was the start , from then on my friends on the blogging side has always been growing and I simply love it. 

I have tried to recreate Valli s Channa Pulao at home several times, but hers is always the best. This is my version of the dish. I loved the dish, so did my family and colleagues


Chole - 2 cups soaked overnight 
Basmati rice - 3 cups
Red chili powder - 2 tbsp
Coriander Powder - 1 tbsp
Fresh Coriander Leaves - 1 cup
Mint Leaves - 1 cup
Sliced Onion - 1 1 /2 cup
Sliced Tomato - 1 cup
Spices - cloves, bay leaf, cardamom and cinnamon
Ginger Garlic Paste 1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Butter - as required



Soak the Channa overnight 
Rinse it well and set aside
Clean and soak basmati rice in 4.5 cups of water
In a pressure pan / cooker, heat a little butter
Add the spices to it and saute for 15 secs
To this add the sliced onions followed by Coriander and Mint leaves.
Saute this well.
(I love the aroma at this stage, its heavenly)
Add tomato, ginger garlic paste, red chili powder, coriander powder and salt at this stage
Saute for 2 minutes
Add the soaked Channa and Basmati rice along with the water in which it was soaked
Adjust salt and close the pressure pan / cooker
Cook for two whistles in high flame and then one whistle in low flame
Steaming Channa Briyani is ready for you

Hungry ? Come over and grab a plate.


Pomegranate Litchi Mocktail

Mock tails are very famous in parties, you just make your imagination run wild and vola you will get the best combinations . Summer means more of heat, sweat, dehydration, ice creams, juices, smoothies, milkshakes and of course lot and lot of play for kids. How do we keep them away from dehydration and heat, simple fruit juices. You can find the benefits of Litchi here . It is an exotic fruit that is low on calories and cholesterol but high in fiber content. This along with Pomegranate makes a wonderful combination. I made this by chance at home and it tasted so well, that I make it whenever Litchi is available. 


Juice of Litchi - 1 cup
Juice of Pomegranate - 1 cup
Sugar - add as per taste


Clean litchi and make juice out of it in a blender 
Clean Pomegranate pearls and make a juice of it in a blender
In a jar, mix both the juices and chill in refrigerator 
Serve in a tall glass, with one or two pulp of Litchi


Pineapple Cherry Cheese Sticks

Very very simple and neat party food or rather it can be called as a finger food. If you are throwing a cocktail party this is one starter which you should not miss. Especially if you are serving wine. Cheese and Wine are the best combination. Again even in that pairing, you can have a variety of cheese that can be paired with wine.

My recipe for today is a very simple one. Pineapple Cherry Cheese Sticks. This is an easy dish that can prepared by kids too. It is a no cook dish. 


Pineapple - 2 cups cut into small squares
Cheese Cubes - 2 cups
Cherry - 2 cups
Tooth picks - as per requirement


Take a tooth pick, and arrange pineapple piece followed by cheese and cherry
Do the same for all the tooth picks
Arrange them in a round plate and serve on the table 
It is a very attractive dish for your party


Minestrone soup

I am a huge fan of soups. When I say huge, really huge. I can just love of various soups for all the three times of the day and feel very happy about it . Every time I visit an Italian resto, I so look forward to have Minestrone Soup. I  feel its is a meal on its own. It is packed with proteins and nutrients. And has a lot of Veggies in it. Without any further wait. Here is my version of the soup which I made for dinner and served it with some Garlic Roll, baked by my friend 


2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, diced

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 large carrot, diced

1 1/2 cups green beans

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

1 cup diced tomatoes

6 cups Vegetable Stock

1 cup kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup pasta

1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese


Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high 

 heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 

4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add 

the celery and carrot and cook until they begin to 

soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in the green beans, dried 

oregano and basil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper to 

taste; cook 3 more minutes.

Add the diced and crushed tomatoes and the 

vegetable stock to the pot and bring to a boil. Reduce 

the heat to medium low and simmer 10 minutes. Stir 

in the kidney beans and pasta and cook until the pasta 

and vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Season 

with salt. Ladle into bowls and top with the Parmesan 

and chopped basil.

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