October 16, 2017

Paal payasam - Kerala sadhya special

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Very famous by the name AmbalaPuzha Paal Payasam as it is offered to Lord Guruvayurappan as prasadam on a daily basis in Guruvayoor.

Paal Payasam is a must have in any Kerala Sadhya Menu.

Traditionally,this Payasam is made in huge Bronze Vessels / Vengalai Urulis by boiling the milk and with constant stirring for hours together to bring it to the right texture and consistency . The slow cooking is what imparts the best taste to the Payasam . 
There are many recipes,that call for the usage of readymade condensed milk to achieve the color and consistency with minimum effort.
Today's recipe does not use anything else except milk ,sugar and rice ,and yet achieves the perfect color and taste by using the Pressure cooker on slow flame.

Recipe courtesy : Good friends from a Food Group on Social Media (Gayathri Usha  , Lakshmi Vasanth & Anusha Srihari)

Preparation Time : Nil
Cooking Time : 35-40 min
Complexity : Simple

Read the Notes and Tips section without fail to get the perfect payasam

October 13, 2017

Makaai Chiwda | Cornflakes Mixture

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MaKaai Chiwda | Cornflakes mixture is a very famous snack made in most Gujurati and Maharashtrian households . A very crunchy snack made using cornflakes / Makaai Poha as it is called locally.

This cornflakes is different from the cereal / breakfast cornflakes as it is not ready to eat . These are raw ones like the pressed rice / Poha/ Aval we use for making upma .

Cornflakes chiwda is a very crunchy snack made using cornflakes / Makaai Poha as it is called locally. Makai poha , makaai chivda , corn flakes mixture , farsan , diwali farsan , makaai chiwda , makaai chidwa

The makaai poha needs to be fried in oil and drained out when it puffs up beautifully and then the necessary spices and salt are added to make a classic tea time snack .

Preparation Time : Nil
Cooking Time : 20-25 mins
Complexity : Simple

500gms makaai poha / raw cornflakes
2 tsp red chilli powder
100 gms groundnut
50 gms chutney dhall / fried gram dhall / pottukadalai
handful of fresh curry leaves
salt as needed
pinch of asafoetida / hing/perungayam
1 tablespoon powder sugar
Oil to deep fry.


  • Heat the oil in a deep kadai / frying pan.
  • Put in one small piece of cornflakes and see if it sizzles up immediately . If it does,then the oil is heated to correct temperature. if it doesnt sizzle up,wait for a few mins and repeat the test.
  • Fry the makaai /cornflakes in small batches depending on the size of your frying pan .
  • Drain it and put it in a huge vessel .
  • Fry the groundnuts in the same oil until brown and crisp.Drain and put it on top of the fried cornflakes.
  • Fry the fried gram/chutney dhall in the same oil until crisp.Drain and put it on top of the fried cornflakes.
  • Fry the curry leaves very carefully as it will splutter when put in oil,drain and add that also to the cornflakes.
  • Lastly,add the required amount of salt,red chilli powder,turmeric,asafoetida and powdered sugar and thoroughly mix it by shaking the vessel in which you have collected for about 2-3 mins.
  • This step ensures even mixing of the spices with the entire batch of cornflakes,groundnuts & fried gram.
  • Store in an airtight container and enjoy as you please.
Notes :
  • You can add fried cashewnuts , raisins along with the groundnuts.
  • Finely sliced dry coconut /kopra/khobiri can also be fried in ghee and added.
  • Donot use a spoon to mix the ingredients,that will break the freshly fried corn.
  • If you are unable to shake the vessel with hands,transfer the contents to an airtight container,close the lid and shake it vigorousl

Cornflakes chiwda is a very crunchy snack made using cornflakes / Makaai Poha as it is called locally. Makai poha , makaai chivda , corn flakes mixture , farsan , diwali farsan , makaai chiwda , makaai chidwa

October 12, 2017

Coffee Butterscotch Burfi

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My love for coffee just does not seem to end .  The slightly bitter flavor of coffee with the subtle taste of sugar to keep me energised and going through the day.

This is yet another experiment in my kitchen with instant coffee and butterscotch essence.

My other experiments with coffee are :

Coffee flavored Thenga burfi

Coffee Biscuit Pudding

A very simple and delicious melt in mouth maida burfi with the added flavor of coffee and butterscotch makes you feel as if you are taking a bite of world's finest chocolates.

Preparation Time : 5 mins
Cooking Time : 20-25 mins
Complexity : Medium High


 maida / All purpose flour : 1 cup / 100gms
 sugar : 1 or 3/4 cup / 75 -100gms
 ghee : 2 tablespoon
 butterscotch essence : 1 tsp
 instant coffee powder : 3 tsp mixed in warm water

Avarekaalu Akki Roti - karnataka special - Video recipe

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It is Avarekaalu Time in karnataka !! 

Avarekaalu is known as 
Mochhai in Tamil, 
Hyacinth Bean in English ,
Vaal papdi Hindi/Marathi , 
Surti papdi / lilva in gujarati.

The most sought after bean in this season and it makes its way into many many recipes like upma,sambar,rasam,pallya,kootu and the most famous Akki rotti commonly known as Avarekaalu Akki Roti .
I have already posted the recipe for Avarekaal Kootu in the last season . Check the recipe here 
The video illustrates how to make cruncy and tasty avarekaalu rotti at the comfort of your home..

Preparation Time : 15-20 mins
Cooking Time : 20-30 mins
Complexity : medium high

Idli-Dosa Molagapudi | Chutney Powder - Video recipe

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Chutney powder /chutney podi / idli molagapudi is an integral part of South Indian breakfast served along with idli / dosas . This spice powder is a wonderful blend of dhalls,red chillies ,sesame seeds and salt.
Make this at home and enjoy with fluffy idlis or dosas or can be mixed with hot rice and ghee and eaten with your favorite potato chips.

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 5 mins
Complexity : Simple

Coffee flavored Thenga Burfi | Coconut Burfi - Video recipe

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South Indians and coffee go hand in hand . Our day starts with cuppa filter coffee in one hand and the newspaper in another .

likewise,Coconut Burfi aka Thengai Burfi / Kobri Mittai is also a very famous sweet and a Must Have in most functions/ festivals like Marriages,Diwali,Gokulashtami etc.

Having said that cofffee and coconut burfi are kind of life lines for a south indians,I tried to give a twist to one life line by flavoring it with another life line..yes you got it right !!! 
Adding coffee decoction to the traditional coconut burfi 
Below is the complete video illustration of how to make this yummilicious sweet 

Preparation time : 15-20 mins
Cooking time : 20-25 mins
Complexity  : Medium

October 04, 2017

Cholam Thattai | Jowar Thattai | Sorghum Crispies

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Diwali is just round the corner and we shall soon start preparing yummy snacks for family,friends and relatives .
Thattai is a south indian version of Mattri made using Rice flour and udad dhall flour generally . This is a slightly different and a healthier version using Millet flour.

Try this different and crispy Thattai using Jowar Flour / Cholam Maav and surprise your family :-)

August 22, 2017

Thenkuzhal | Thengozhal | Thengol - Video recipe

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ThenKuzhal literally translates to Honey Pipes ("Then" meaning Honey & "Kuzhal" meaning Pipe) .. though the names sounds like a sweet dish it is actually a Savoury Snack made using rice flour and Udad dhall flour . A very crunchy and melt in mouth snack which is why its called Honey Pipe. you can eat it seamlessly and effortlessly when you take bite.

Mucchore | Manam Kombu | Mullu Murukku - Video Recipe

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Mucchore (Kannada) ,Manam Kombu (Tamil) ,Mullu Murukku (Tamil) are all different names for a deep fried snack made using Moong Dhall flour and Rice flour.
In Kannada ,"Mucchore" means deep fried dough. Since we use butter to knead the dough for crispness,it is also called as "Benne Mucchore" ."Benne" meaning Butter
In Tamil "Mullu" means "Thorn" and Murukku is "Twist / Winding/Entangle" . Since ,we use a star shaped plate to press out this chakli,the shape of the chakli feels a little serrated and the shape is random as we just move the press in random order. Hence called as Mullu Murrukku since it resembles a "Bunch of Entangled Thorns".
"Manam" in Tamil is "Aroma" and "Kombu" is "Small Sticks" . This snack has a very nice aroma due to the moong dhall flour and with every bite we can feel the taste explicitly,hence aptly calle as "Manam Kombu" or " Aromatic Savoury Sticks"

Enjoy the video and make this crispy snack for evening Tea Time

Vaazhai Thandu Mor / Banana Stem Buttermilk

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Vaazhai Thandu in Tamil literally translates to Banana Stem 
("Vaazhai" meaning "Banana" & "Thandu" meaning "Stem")This part of the banana plant has a lot of natural fibre and helps in digestion and flushing out toxins from the body. wide usage of banana stem is to cure kidney stone as a home remedy. It is believed that drinking this juice dissolves the kidney stone and flushes it out. Banana stem can also be used for weight management

August 06, 2017

Avani Avittam / Upakarma

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Avani Avittam /Upakarma is the day when the men of the house change their Poonal/ Sacred thread .

This festival is celebrated on a Full Moon Day / Pournami in the holy month of Shravan by most of the Tamil /Kerala Brahmins who follow the Yajur Veda tradtion. Hence also known as Yajur Upakarma.

Some Brahmins who belong to the Rig Veda / Sama Veda tradition have a different day to perform the Upakarma.

The ladies of the house prepare a grand feast for the family.

The menu in most homes is a typical saatvik south indian lunch where in Onions and Garlic are avoided.
The elaborate lunch menu is mentioned below.

August 03, 2017

Aadi Perukku / Pathinettam perukku / Aadi 18am perukku

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Aadi perukku wishes to one and all.
"Perukku" in Tamil means "Manifold increase".  The rivers are upto the brim and flowing in full swing.

Aadi perukku is a Tamil festival celebrated on the 18th day of Tamil Month Aadi/Aashada. On this day we pay our gratitude and offer prayers to the Rivers whose water level start increasing during the monsoon season. It is believed that the water level starts rising from this month of Aashada with the onset of monsoon. People prepare a lot of variety rice like lemon rice,tamarind rice,coconut rice,sakkarai pongal,kalkandu saadham,curd rice etc. They picnic at the banks of the river with family after offering the prayers and enjoy the lunch with family and friends.

The prasadam generally is offered in odd number of preparation where in a sweet and curd rice is mandatory i.e items prepared are 3,5 ,7 or 9 in number
E.g. 1 sweet , 3 other variety rice (lemon rice , coconut rice , puliyogre) and curd rice
Or 1 sweet (kalkandu saadham/ sakkara Pongal / akkaravadisal) , 1 Savory mixed rice and the curd rice .

Recipe collection :
Click each link below for the detailed recipe.

July 27, 2017

Thiru Aadi Pooram / Aadi Pooram

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THIRU AADI POORAM / AADI POORAM (this year 26 july 2017) is celebrated to mark the birth of Sri Andal .
The Pooram star in the Tamil month of Aadi /Aashada is called Aadi Pooram.
Andal is one of the 12 Azhwars and has composed the Thiruppavai and Nachiayar Thirumozhi which is a part of 4000 divyaprabandham. Srivlliputhur ,Srirangam and all Vaishnava temples celebrate this Aadi Pooram festival for 10 days and the final day of Aadi Pooram they conduct a grand Aandal Kalyanam.
Akkara Vadisal is made as  neivediyam to the Sri Aandal.

©Sweet Spicy Tasty©
Sri Aandal

June 08, 2017

Mix veg Kurma - No Onion No Garlic - Video Recipe

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Many of the households donot make use of onion and garlic on regular days and some on special occassions like Amavasai,Festive days,Pooja days etc etc.
The general feel is making gravies without onion and garlic will not be tasty and hence many of them donot attempt making gravies at all. 
Donot worry,try this gravy and you will really love to eat No Onion No Garlic recipes .

Preparation Time : 15-20 mins
Cooking Time : 10 mins
Serves : 3-4
Complexity : Medium

Traditional Bisi Bele Baath - No Onion No Garlic - Video recipe

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Presenting the famous Karnataka special Bisi Bele Baath / Bisi Bele Huli Anna.
Bisi means Hot 
Bele means dhall/paruppu/lentil
Huli means Sambar/ Sour taste from tamarind
Baath/#anna means Rice
Literally it means Hot Lentil Rice /hot dhall rice
Mostly this recipe is liked by one and all due to the mixture of flavors that burst into your mouth when you take a spoonful. Enjoy this speciality with a small twist. Today's preparation is without use of Onion & garlic.

Green gram Gravy | Hara Moong Sabji - Zero Oil - Easy cooker method

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This time its totally an OIL FREE preparation..yes you read it right..NO OIL at all .

A quick preparation using the pressure cooker.

Ideal for all the health and calorie conscious foodies. 
This gravy is a No Onion No garlic version using the very healthy lentil - Green Gram / Hara Moong / Paccha Payar .

Skip the potatoes in the recipe and it can become Diabetic Friendly as well as Jain Friendly.

May 08, 2017

Restaurant Style Crispy Rava Dosa - Video recipe

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Does anyone really need an introduction to Rava Dosa? The name itself makes us imagine of a crispy ,lacy and big sized golden brown color dosa / crepe loaded with jeera,pepper corns,finely chopped green chillies ,curry leaves,corriander leaves and some bits of finely sliced coconuts or cashewnuts..
This itself must have set you all drooling....am I right?
So now for all of us Rava Dosas are synonymous to restaurant order as we  take a back stand to make it at home . henceforth,with this recipe you can always make crispy restaurant style rava dosas at the comfort of your home and dunk them in your favorite chutney and sambar and relish it.
This is an absolutely instant dosa that requires no special ingredients and can be whipped in actually less than 20 min.
Coconut chutney ,Tomato chutney are the best side dish for rava dosa.

Please read the tips and follow the video to get the perfect crispy Rava Dosa.

Jain Version : Skip the onion and follow the recipe as is

Preparation Time : 10  mins
Cooking Time : approx 2 mins per dosa
Makes : 9 dosas
Complexity : medium

April 21, 2017

Arisi Upma | Broken rice upma | Akkithari Uppit - Video Recipe

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Arisi upma or Broken rice upma is a very staple breakfast item in most tamil homes. If you have rice rava handy then its a breeze to make this upma as it gets done in less than 15-20 mins.
I keep rice rava handy and this upma comes to my rescue even as a dinner option when I am pressed for time or run out of options. Serve this upma with coconut chutney,tomato gothsu/ tomato gojju or as is with just a cup of plain curds it tastes heavenly.

I am including the method of making rice rava at home which I normally follow. There are various other process of making rice rava,like soaking the rice,drying it and then pulsing. I use the quick method when I am in a hurry and there is no compromise on taste.

Jain version : Skip the ginger and follow the recipe as is

  Quick Making of Rice Rava at home

Pulse the required quantity of   raw rice /par boiled rice in a mixer grinder . The texture should be slightly coarse and granular as compared to the regular upma rava .

April 18, 2017

Jain Chole | Jain Channa Masala - (No Onion No Garlic)

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Chole a.k.a chickpeas are a hot favorite among Indians and are used in various recipes in a number of ways all over India . Chole Puri , Chole Bhature Chole Chawal are eternal combinations and there will seldom be anyone who doesn't like to enjoy these delicacies .

Jain Chole is a spicy North Indian chickpeas gravy made without the use of onions,garlic and ginger specially customised for my Jain friends and all those who like to have Saatvik food sans onion and garlic.

This saatvik, vegan chole can be made on the occasion of any pooja or divine ritual like Navratri , Pitrupaksh Amavasya , Shraadh etc  wherein most North Indians avoid the use of onions and garlic. 

The non Jain,regular version of chole masala is already featured on this blog - Punjabi Chole
You may also want to try a very different and delicious chole variation called as the Chataka Chole which as the name suggests is really very tongue tickling and tasty.

 Jain Chole , Puri and Badam Elaichi Shrikand will be a fantastic menu to prepare and serve for Gudi Padwa or Ugadi which falls on 2nd April 2022 this year . Gudi Padwa /Ugadi is the New year celebrated by the people of Maharashtra, Andhra, Telangana and Karnataka 

Soaking Time : 6-8 hrs
Preparation Time : 5-10 mins
Cooking Time : 20 mins
Serves: 2-3
Complexity - Medium


200 gms chick peas/kabuli channa/kondakadalai
2-3 tomatoes medium sized - finely chopped
1-2 green chillies slit
1 tsp jeera
1 tsp red chilli powder
1/2 tsp haldi powder
2 tsp dhaniya powder
3 tsp chole masala (home made or any brand - Everest,MDH,Catch etc)
salt as per taste.
1 tsp lemon juice - optional
fresh corriander for garnish
2-3 tbsp oil

  • Wash and soak the chole overnight for about 6-8 hrs.
  • Pressure cook the chole with salt on medium flame for 3-4 whistles or until soft.Incase you feel the chole is not cooked soft,you can adjust the water level and pressure cook it for another 2 or 3 whistles.
  • In a kadai,heat some oil ,splutter the jeera and saute the green chillies.
  • Add in the chopped tomatoes,haldi,red chilli powder,dhaniya powder,chole masala,salt and mix well and cook until the tomatoes become mushy. You can sprinkle little water if you feel the masala is too dry. If the tomatoes are little hard and semi ripe you can even puree them in the blender and use. 
  • Cook until its all mushy and the oil starts oozing.Add the cooked chole ,mix well and pour about half cup water .Adjust salt and spice level if you wish at this stage. Using a masher or back of a ladle slightly mash the chickpeas here and there. This helps in giving a nice texture to the gravy.
  • Cook covered for about 5 mins.
  • Add in the lemon juice and garnish with corriander leaves and serve hot.

Pin it for later 

April 03, 2017

Kaalan | Kalan - Kerala Sadhya Menu

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Another very interesting recipe from Kerala made out of slightly sour yogurt ,coconut,green chillies,pepper  a tuber like yam or raw banana . Its slightly sour as compared to avial and also slightly thick compared to Pulissery or Mor Kootan. One of the many dishes served as a part of the Sadhya during Onam,Vishu or any special occassion.
In my recipe,I have made Kaalan using only Raw Banana ,while you can make it with a combination of yam and raw banana as well.

Other Sadhya menu items listed on my blog

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 20 mins
Serves : 2-3
Complexity : Simple

©Sweet Spicy Tasty©

March 31, 2017

Kalkandu Saadham | Sugar Candy Rice Pudding - Video Post

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Kalkandu Saadham / Kalkandu baath is a very creamy,rich and a delicious pudding made using rice,milk,saffrom and rock sugar candy /kalkandu (tamil) / kal sakkre (kannada) / kadi saakar (marathi) . You can also use diamond sugar in place of rock sugar. This recipe uses diamond sugar as I had run out of rock candy sugar.
If you want to make a yummy and a quick dessert ,this is your best pick. Gets done very easily without any mess or strain .
This is also a very popular prasad served in many South Indian temples especially Vaishnava temples Some people also refer to this as KsheerAnnam wherein Ksheera in Sanskrit means Milk and Annam meaning Rice .
This is a video post with all the detailing of the recipe step by step.

Preparation Time : 5-10 mins
Cooking time : 30 mins approx (inclusive of Pressure cooking time : 15 mins)
Serves : 3-4
Complexity : Simple

1/2 cup rice (approx 100-120 gms)
1 cup milk
1 cup diamond sugar
few saffron strands
2-3 cardamoms powdered
pinch of edible camphor
handful of assorted raisins & cashews
2 tablespoon ghee.

March 30, 2017

Karnataka Style Veg Palav - Video Post

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This paticular variation of Pulao is very popular in the state of Karnataka and is called as PALAAV.
Karnataka being in the coastal belt uses a lot of coconut in the cooking ,so does this Palav. A flavorful masala is ground using fresh coconut,mint leaves,corriander and whole spices like jeera,cloves,cinnamon etc.
 A one pot wholesome meal that can be done in less than 30 mins and most importantly has an array of flavors and tastes that will pep up your tastebuds wanting you to have some more.

Preparation Time : 15-20 mins
Cooking Time : 25-30 mins
Complexity : medium
Serves : 3-4 people generously

March 28, 2017

Sakkarai Pongal | Jaggery Rice Pudding

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Sakkarai Pongal is a very common neivedhiyam offered to the lord and served as Prasad to the devotees. This Sakkarai Pongal is slightly different from the Pongal we make during Makara Sankranthi / Pongal Pandigai .

Sakkarai in Tamil means Sugar but contradictory to the name ,the recipe doesn't use sugar at all . The Pongal is made using jaggery .

Sakkarai pongal,step by step details how to make sakkarai pongal,chakkarai pongal easy method,prasadam for navratri-sakkara pongal,ramanavami prasadam,bhog for

Here ,in this recipe , the main ingredients are rice and jaggery while the Pongal that is prepared on the eve of Sankranti is made using Rice,Moong Dhall,milk and jaggery where in the rice and dhall are cooked in milk until they are soft and mushy. Compared to the long drawn process ,this is very quick and easy to make.

Chaitra Navratri,Ugadi,RamNavami,Tamil New Year ,Vishu - with all these festivals lined up in the next 10 -15 days prepare this delicious mouth watering Sakkarai Pongal and treat yourself as well as your family.

The color of the sakkarai Pongal will depend on the kind of jaggery that is being used.  I normally use organic jaggery ,hence the color is deep brown . If you use the normal jaggery which is golden on color,the Sakkara Pongal would also have a golden color. 
Use of edible camphor /pacchhai karpooram is optional ,but I highly recommend using it as it gives a very nice taste and also a refreshing after taste lingering in your taste buds.

Sakkarai pongal,step by step details how to make sakkarai pongal,chakkarai pongal easy method,prasadam for navratri-sakkara pongal,ramanavami prasadam,bhog for

Preparation Time : 15- 20 mins
Cooking Time : 10 mins
Serves : 2-3
Complexity : medium

1/2 cup rice  ( approx 100 gms)
1/2 - 3/4 cup powdered jaggery .
2-3 cardamoms powdered
pinch of edible camphor / pachhai karpooram
2 tablespoon mix of cashews and raisins
2 tablespoon ghee

  • Pressure cook the rice with water in the ratio of 1 rice : 3.5 water. 
  • Mash the rice well with the back of a spoon until its all mushy . You can add about 1-2 teaspoons of ghee while mashing . It gives a distinct aroma to the rice.
  • Add the powdered jaggery to this mashed rice and mix it well until most of the jaggery melts and mixes well with the rice. 
    • Note : Incase you feel the jaggery is having some impurities,melt in hot water ,strain it and then add it to the rice and mix it well.
  • In a kadai,heat about a tablespoon of ghee,roast the cashews and raisins and keep it aside.
  • In the same kadai add this cooked rice and cook on medium flame.
  • Incase there were some jaggery lumps ,they will start melting now.Need not worry.
  • Add the elaichi powder,camphor and mix well.
  • After about 2-3 minutes,you can see that the mixture starts oozing ghee from the sides and looks very glossy and attractive.
  • At this stage add one more tablespoon of ghee and mix well till you get a good aroma.
  • Stick a ladle in the middle of the rice and it should stand without falling,this is the right time to take it off the flame. 
  • Add the roasted cashews and raisins,mix well and serve .

Karamani / Lobia Sundal | Black eyed beans Stir fry

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Karamani / Lobia sundal is very simple to prepare like any other sundal . Compared to other beans cowpeas or lobia requires less soaking time and not 8 to 10 hrs like kabuli chana or dried yellow peas .
If you have soaked karamani ready on hand then all it takes it 15 mins to put this sundal together. 

Normally, any sundal has very simple seasoning of either sundal/curry podi and coconut gratings. Today's sundal  is my mom's recipe and the seasoning used is rasam powder + fresh coconut gratings . Do try this sundal during this navaratri and offer it all those who come home .

During Sharda Navratri a different variety of sundal is made on all the 9 days as an offering and then shared with all the ladies who come home for thamboolam . 

Preparation Time : 5-6 hrs
Cooking Time : 25-30mins
Complexity : Simple
Serves : 3-4 


150 gms karamani/lobia/black eyed beans
1/4 cup fresh grated coconut
2-3 green chillies slit
few curry leaves
1/2 tsp rasam powder
pinch of asafoetida
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
2 tsp cooking oil.
salt to taste.

  • Wash and soak the lobia for about 4-5 hrs and pressure cook in 2 cups of water  with salt for 1-2 whistles on medium flame.
  • Let the pressure release naturally.Drain the water and keep the lobia aside.
  • In a kadai,temper the mustard seeds,green chillies,curry leaves,asafoetida and add the boiled karamani/lobia/beans and saute well.
  • Spread the rasam powder on the beans and toss it well.Adjust salt if needed.
  • Keep it closed for about 2-3 mins for the flavours of tempering to get infused.
  • Add the grated coconut ,mix well and garnish with chopped corriander.

*** write up and pics updated on 12/10/21

Donot forget to pin me !!! 

March 27, 2017

Verkadalai Sundal | Peanut Stir Fry

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Sundal is a south indian stir fry made out of various lentils like Channa Dhall,Kabuli Channa,Peanut,Lobia/Karamani etc. A protein packed recipe sufficing for the day's protein intake.

Most of the kids love it as it is mildly spiced and tempered with fresh grated coconut. This can be given as evening snack also to children after they come from school.

Sundal and Navratri are synonymous for the reason being during the Navratri festival ,on all the 9 days Sundal made out of these lentils are offered as Prasad/Neivediyam for the Goddess Durga, Laxmi and Saraswathi who symbolise the  NARI SHAKTI (WOMEN POWER) .

Even otherwise Sundal can be offered as prasad for any Satsangs ,Pooja at home since its purely Satvik (No onion No Garlic) .

Today's sundal is my personal favorite as I love peanuts in any form and I try to include it in my daily cooking as well.

Preparation Time : 2 hrs
Cooking Time : 20 mins
Complexity : Simple
Serves : 3-4

March 26, 2017

Gajar Kheer | Carrot Payasam | Carrot Pudding

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Kheer / Payasam needs no special introduction .Almost every Indian meal, be it South Indian or North Indian has a kheer or payasam in the menu . The list is endless when we consider the varities of Kheer or Payasams that are dished out in our country . We are experts in making kheer/pudding with all possible ingredients that blend with regular milk or coconut milk and sugar or jaggery.
When choosing the ingredient for the payasam/kheer we just have to ensure that it does not have an overpowering taste of its own which will kill the sweetness from sugar or jaggery.

Recently in a wedding reception buffet I happened to come across Macaroni Pudding made using Elbow Pasta ,out of curiosity when I tasted it I found it to be bursting with flavors of almonds,cashwes and cardamom powder and ghee ..and that is when I figured out it was nothing but our humble payasam where in pasta was used in place of Vermicelli/Semia .
That's how innovative we Indians are when it comes to bringing about fusion in our cooking . I am yet to try that though.

Anyway,I think I diverted a little from the actual topic.Coming to today's recipe,its a very healthy variant of payasam/kheer/pudding made using fresh carrots. This payasam uses very little sugar as the carrots are naturally sweet and just a teaspoon of ghee for garnish which is also optional .
I generally make this Payasam when the spread is very heavy and this balances the dessert segment without much added sweetener or ghee.
This paysam can be made for any get togethers,,festivals or even as Prasad during Navratri,Gokulashtami etc

Preparation Time : 5-10 mins
Cooking Time : 20-25 mins
Serves : 3-4
Complexity : Simple

March 25, 2017

Healthy Methi Dal - One shot cooker recipe - No Onion No garlic

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A very simple but healthy dal made using fresh methi leaves and moong dhall. You just have to put all the ingredients in the pressure cooker with enough water and pressure cook for 3-4 whistles and you are done with a flavourful healthy dal. This is perfect for those days when we are not in the mood for an elaborate cooking and just want to wind up for the day.
Serve this dal with rotis or plain steamed rice with some roasted papads ,achaar and curd .
You may also like to try other dal/sambar variants like

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 15-20 mins
Serves : 2-3
Complexity : simple

Sooji Halwa | Prasad ka Sheera | Sajjige | Semolina Pudding - Video Post

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Sooji Halwa / Sajjige / Sheera is the most  important Prasad for SathyaNarayan Pooja,Kanya Pooja during Navratri also known as Kanjak pooja . 

In North India Halwa Poori and Channa are offered as Bhog to Devi Maa on Durgashtami .Little girls who haven't attained puberty are invited and offered this Prasad .These little girls are called Kanjaks or Kanya and are seen as Devi roopam.(form of Devi).

(Redoing my old posts - 20/10/2020) 

Sooji Halwa / Sajjige / Sheera is the most  important Prasad for SathyaNarayan Pooja,Kanya Pooja during Navratri also known as Kanjak pooja . Halwa puri ,sajjige , sooji ka halwa ,suji halwa , milk kesari , milk kesri ,sheera

This time for Blogging Marathon we are exploring "Puddings"  and this is my humble attempt to promote the famous  Indian dessert which falls under the Pudding category..read below to know  more about Puddings 

When we hear the name pudding,the first thing that strikes us is some complex International cuisine..doesn't it? and immediately we take a back stand thinking about the unknown ingredients that we will need to use,some new cooking techniques etc etc.

Donot worry my friends,initially when I started cooking ,I also was under the same impression about puddings ,but as I started reading cookbooks,googling for new recipes and surfing the internet to understand the various cooking terms and actual meanings, I realised we Indians have so many mithais that qualify under the pudding category which we call by different names. To name a few the various Payasams/Kheer ,Rabri,Firni,Sheera ,Sheer Korma etc.
You can look up wiki for an exhaustive list that will break your myths about Puddings .

Now coming to our recipe , often Sajjige and Kesari are confused to be the same dish with different names,but there definately is a difference in both even if the main ingredient Rava/Semolina is the same. 

Differences in Sheera/Sooji Halwa and Kesari 

  • Kesari is made only with Rava,sugar and water as main ingredients . 
  • Sheera/Sajjige is made using Rava,sugar and Milk.
  • For Kesari a wee bit of food color is used like orange or yellow.
  • Sooji ka halwa gets its light cream color from saffron strands.  Adding saffron is purelyyour choice.
  • Kesari is very popular in South India and is a special delicacy liked by one and all . 
  • Kesari Bhaat is very popular breakfast item in Karnataka and is a part of the popular breakfast combo Chow Chow Bhaath.
Other flavors of Sheera on my blog 

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Sooji Halwa / Sajjige / Sheera is the most  important Prasad for SathyaNarayan Pooja,Kanya Pooja during Navratri also known as Kanjak pooja . Halwa puri ,sajjige , sooji ka halwa ,suji halwa , milk kesari , milk kesri ,sheera

 This is a video post ,that has all the detailing about how to roast the rava perfectly and the consistency,amount of ghee to be added etc etc.

Preparation Time : 5 mins
Cooking Time : 20-25 mins
Serves : 3-4

March 24, 2017

Coffee flavored Biscuit Pudding - No Baking No Cooking | Video Post

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This name itself excites me for many reasons: Most importantly-its my mom's signature recipe.
As a child I have never liked any other form of sweet apart from ice creams and chocolates ,so Amma would make this pretty much frequently for me so that I stay away from the most addictive chocolates and ice creams.
The moment Valli told me that Only Pudding theme was available for the last week of BM#74 I was left wondering what to present as there is not much inclination to consuming sweets at home.,
 I thank Valli to have given me the oppurtunity to revive my child hood sweet treat and this was also an oppurtunity to let my hubby finally taste this Yummy Creamy Pudding...
There are various versions of this same type of pudding ,but this particular recipe is what I have tasted and enjoyed all through. An absolute recreation of my mom's recipe.
This post is a tribute to my mom for the ever so many times she has whipped this up for me as a surprise for having scored good grades or any sort of accomplishment that I achieved in my school /college.

The other two posts in the coming days are also going to be my childhood favorite sweets but ,Indianised pudding versions. Hope you all enjoy it !!

Preparation Time : 20 mins
Freezing Time : 4-6 hours
Serves : 2-3 people

March 22, 2017

Thikha Gaatiya | Khara Sev | Spicy Fried Noodle Strands - Video Recipe

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Thikha Ghatiya is a traditional Gujurati deep fried snack made out of gram flour. Gathiya is used as one of the main ingredients in various types of mixtures,farsans,chewdas or even enjoyed as is with a cup of hot tea.
You can make this quick snack for even festivals like Diwali,Gokulashtami and Holi where in we make lots of snacks and sweets for distribution among friends and relatives.
To make this Gaatiya you need the Sev Press / Saancha /Acchu with the medium sized 3 holed plate for getting the noodle strands.
Make this for kids in summer holidays to munch on for their sudden hunger pangs and junk food cravings :-)

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Frying Time : 20-30 mins
Makes about 200 gms of gaatiya.
Complexity : High

©Sweet Spicy Tasty©

How to make the best phulka rotis - Video Post

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I already have a post on Phulka Rotis with detailed pictorial representation on making Fulkas.
The post has details on kneading the dough ,the resting time and other minute details. Please go through that post here for all those minute details. Recipe here

In this video recipe, I am just demonstrating on how to get the Puffiness in the rotis while making Fulkas.

©Sweet Spicy Tasty©

March 21, 2017

Raw Banana Chips | Vazhakkai Varuval

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Summer holidays are almost going to begin in a few weeks time and the kids will be home having fun playing around with friends. This is that time of the year when parents look for various ideas to cater to children's sudden hunger pangs. Not always can we run to the kitchen to whip up snacks for kids . Its best to have some dried snacks handy to attend to their uncalled for munching time. I will try to present some home made snacks in the coming days. Even if the snacks are deep fried,its always best to make it at home because we will use the best of ingredients and most important part will be the quality of oil which we always worry about when buying snacks from outside,

Chips in any form are children's favorite..why alone children? Even we adults get addicted to potato chips and banana chips very easily. This Banana chips is very close to my heart as I have grown up seeing my grandma and mom make these in big dabbas for all of us to munch on.  Grandpa would help grandma in slicing the bananas thinly and spread it on a huge white towel while grandma would fry it patiently as I would await to get my share from her. On the other hand,mom would slice the bananas directly over the oil with absolute precision ..I am scared to do that so I followed by grandmom's old way of slicing - spreading - frying . Slightly lengthy,but safe as we donot have to bother about balancing the slicer on the hot oil...

Preparation Time : 15 mins
Frying Time : 30-40 mins
Makes  - 200-250 gms (approx)
Complexity : Medium High

©Sweet Spicy Tasty©

March 17, 2017

Perfectly puffed up Puris? - Video Post

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I had posted the recipe of Methi Puris a few days ago with tips that will help you make the best Puffed up puris. Though many of us love to eat puris,the very thought of not able to get the correct puffiness in the Puris makes one not to make at home.
The points I am mentioning below are a NO FAIL method to get the best puffed puris. If you follow the steps correctly making Puris at home is a breeze.

I had a lot of offline requests asking me to post a video of making puris for better understanding.
I  have tried to do some justice in shooting the video while frying puris at home.Hope it helps all of you Poori Lovers :-) . Do give me a feedback on how did the puris turn out for you all.
This video if for plain puri but the tips hold good for any flavored puris as well.

Important Tips :
  1. Never use dusting flour while rolling out puris.This will prevent the puris from fluffing well and also will make the oil smoke a lot turning it black due to the residual flour getting sedimented/settled at the base. 
  2. Fill only 1/3rd  of the kadai with oil .Donot fill more oil since the chance of oil spilling is more  while frying which is dangerous.
  3. Oil has to be really very hot for the puris to puff up well. Maintain the same temperature throughout.
  4. Incase,you feel the temperature of the oil has gone down,increase the flame and wait until it becomes hot .Only then slip in the puri.Else you will end up with flat pooris.
  5. Fry only one puri at a time,this gives enough space for the puri to puff up in the kadai.
  6. Last but not the least,patience and multiple trials is the way to success. Don't lose heart if you dont get it right the first time.
  • Knead a soft and pliable dough using whole wheat flour and water. Knead it well,apply some oil on the dough and keep it covered for about 10 mins.
  • Pinch out small balls from the dough.
  • Apply some oil in your palms and make even shaped balls and make sure the oil coats the balls.
  • Apply some oil on the rolling pin as well. NO DUSTING FLOUR AT ALL.
  • Heat the oil in a kadai while you are rolling out the balls so that the oil reaches the heating point.
  • Maintain this heat through out the process of frying puris.
  • Roll out about 6-7 puris in a batch and keep it ready .
  • As the oil reaches the heating point,put in one rolled out puri and slowly press the center of the puri in the oil which will enable it to puff up well.
  • after about 30 seconds flip it over carefully and let the other side also turn golden brown.

March 16, 2017

Kanjivaram Idli | Kancheepuram Idli | Kudalai Idli

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The name Kancheepuram/ Kanjivaram is synonymous to Pattu Saree popularly known as Kanjivaram Pattu. The handloom industry with skilled workers make the best of  Silk Sarees that are woven with beautiful and intricate designs ,styles and motifs.

Next to Sarees,the city is known for the very many temples and most importantly the famous Varadaraja Perumal Temple where this idli is offered as Prasadam to the Lord.

These idlis are slightly different as compared to the regular idlis as the batter is ground slightly coarse in texture and tempered with some spices like pepper,ginger and curry leaves.Also,traditionally these idlis are steamed in Dhonnais (cups made out of dried leaves) .
The other name for Kancheepuram Idli is Kudalai Idli as it is steamed in the Dhonnai.

Knacheepuram idlis can be served with Coconut chutney and Sambar .Many people like the combination of Tomato Khara Chutney with these idlis.

Preparation Time : 10-12 hrs ( Soaking Time : 3-4 hrs | Fermentation Time : 8-10 hrs)
Cooking Time : 20 mins
Serves : Makes about 16-20 idlis
Complexity : medium high

©Sweet Spicy Tasty©

March 14, 2017

Paanakam| Paanagam - Traditional Indian Cooler (Ramanavami Recipes)

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Paanakam /Panagam is a traditional South Indian summer cooler made using jaggery,ginger powder ,lemon and cardamom powder. Its a power packed energy and health drink to keep the body well hydrated and maintain the body temperature during the severe summer days .
The jaggery version of Paanakam is popular in Tamil Nadu while the lemon based Paanaka is popular in Karnataka . 

(Photos and write up updated on 20th March 2022)

Jaggery is a very good source of iron and potassium while lemon and ginger have antioxidants and good digestive properties. Since summer is the time when the heat wave causes excess dehydration and also leads to increase in body heat, a glass of chilled Panakam on a daily basis will help fight all the dehydration, tiredness and exhaustion .

In  Tamil Nadu,we can find huge stalls along the road side where free Panakam is served to the wiery pedestrians . Even temples have huge pandals or shamianas where panakam and neer mor (spiced Buttermilk) is served to the devotees as prasadam after the Pooja rituals.

Ramanavmi and Narsimha Jayanthy are the two main summer festivals where in Paanakam is a main offering .

Prasadam for both the festivals is incomplete without the Paanakam along with 

Ramanavami 2022 - April 10th

Ramanavmi is celebrated to rejoice the birth of Lord Rama ,the 7th avatar/incarnation of Lord Vishnu . The festival normally falls in the Gregorian Month of March or April every year . As per Indian Calender it is celebrated on the 9th Day of the Chaitra Shukla Paksha (9th day after Amavasya).
Devotees chant verses from Ramayana or sing hymns/bhajans in praise of the Lord and offer prasad and Arati towards the end of the Pooja Rituals.
This year Ramanavmi falls on April 5th 2017

Narsimha Jayanty is celebrated to rejoice the 4th Incarnation of Lord Vishnu on the 14th day of Vaisakha Shukla Month (14th day after Amavasya); Generally it is in the Gregorian Month of May.
Lord Narasimha incarnated as Half Man and Half Lion to save Prahlada- an ardent devotee of the Lord Vishnu from his Demonic Father Hrinyakashyapu.It is believed that the lord incarnated at the time when the Sun was about to set and the Moon was to rise called as Andhi Sandhi Time .Hence the festival is also celebrated at that time of the day .Devotees observe fast the whole day and immerse in the activities like singing bhajans,doing some kind of charity work and finally break their fast after offering Pooja,Prasad and Arati to the Lord.
This year Narsimha Jayanthy falls on 9th May 2017

This post includes step by step video to make Paanagam / Paanaka

Preparation Time : 5mins
Cooking Time : Nil
Serves  : 2-3 glasses ( 300 ml approx)
Complexity : Simple


1 cup powdered jaggery (160-180 gms)
1.5 cups water (1 cup is 200 ml approx)
1 teaspoon dry ginger powder/chukku podi/shunt powder
2-3 cardamoms/elaichi/elakka powdered
pinch of edible camphor/pacchai karpooram
2-3 teaspoons lime juice
few strands of saffron/kesar/kungumapoo

  • Soak the jaggery in 1.5 cups of water and let the jaggery melt .
  • Stir it well and filter it to remove any form of impurities.
  • Now add the ginger powder,cardamom powder,edible camphor,saffron strands and stir well.
  • Lastly add the lemon juice mix well and serve it chilled or as is.

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