January 31, 2017

Coconut Chutney / Thengai Chutney

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This chutney absolutely needs no introduction.A versatile dip to go along with Dosas,idlis,medhu vada,upma,pongal and any south indian tiffin item. This is a must have as an accompaniment for the daily breakfast

There are a lot of variations that can be done to prepare this coconut chutney.Today's recipe is a very quick and simple recipe.

The other recipes of coconut chutney shall be posted soon.

Fun facts 

Sept 2 is celebrated as World Coconut Day 🥥 

Jain Version : Omit the ginger and follow the recipe as is.

Preparation time : 10 mins
Cooking time : Nil
Complexity : simple
Serves : 2-3


to grind
1.5 cup fresh grated coconut at room temperature.
2-3 green chillies
2 tsp chutney dhall / fried gram /pottukadalai
small piece ginger (optional)
salt as per taste

For tempering
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp udad dhall
pinch of hing/asafoetida
1-2 dry red chilly.
Few curry leaves 

image copyright of http://sweetspicytasty.blogspot.in/

  • Take all the ingredients mentioned under "to grind" in a mixie jar.
  • add about half cup of water and grind till you get a semi smooth paste. The chutney has to be a little coarse so that you can feel the texture of the coconut gratings while you savor it.
  • If you like your chutney to be a little runny,adjust the water accordingly.
  • Heat a small pan with little oil and temper with mustard and udad dhall and add it to the ground chutney.

  1. Use only the white gratings of the coconut.  If you use the brown portion , the color of the chutney will appear little brownish .
  2. If you are using coconut bits instead of grated coconut, then using a knife or peeler scrape out the brown part from the base and then use for making chutney.
  3. Incase by mistake you add in the brown portion while making chutney, add a few sprigs of fresh corriander this will give a bright  green color to the chutney and the brown color will be masked.
  4. Thaw the coconut without fail if you are removing from freezer else when you grind it will release the oil and the taste , texture of the chutney will be oily and greasy .

January 30, 2017

Vegetable Rava Upma

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Rava/Sooji Upma is a very filling and delicious breakfast which is staple across India.

There are different varities of upma that we can make but for it to turn out perfect one has to master the art of roasting the rava to perfection and the right measure of water .

The aroma of perfectly roasted rava is really wonderful and will set the taste buds drooling right away.
I prefer to roast the rava just at the time of making the upma rather than using the store bought pre roasted rava.

Since its loaded with vegetables you can have it as is with a cup of thick curd or coconut chutney or tomato chutney if you like a dash of extra spiciness and zing to your food.

soft and binding Upma : 1 measure of rava needs 2.5 measures of water  other wise if you like a
grainy texture Upma  : 1 measure rava is to 2 measures of water.

My family prefers the former i.e. soft and binding texture so I use 2.5 measures of water.

Preparation time : 15 mins
Cooking time : 30 mins
Serves : 2-3
Complexity : Medium High

 Jain version of Rava Upma ,donot add ginger,potato and carrots in the recipe.

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Carrot Kosambri / Carrot Koshimbhir - Vegan Salad

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Kosambri (Kannada) ,Koshimbir(Marathi),Kosumalli (Tamil) is an Indian Salad made out of  fresh carrots or cucumber .Some times a handful of soaked Moong Dhall/ Yellow Lentils is added for extra flavor and taste. 

I generally donot like to add moong dhall to my kosambri . I prefer to taste the carrots and relish the mild dressing of fresh coconut scraping and the seasoning of mustard , lentils and green chillies along with asafoetida .

Its a common practice in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu to have this as a part of menu for special occasions like weddings,festivals,poojas at temples or a special function at home. Ugadi /Gudi Padwa meal is incomplete without a kosambri .

If carrots are not in season then Vellarikaai Kosmalli / Southekaai Kosambri is served.

Carrot Sambol is the Srilankan version of Carrot Kosambri with some mild variation.

Preparation Time : 15 mins
Cooking Time : Nil
Serves : 3-4


250 gms carrot - grated
2 tbsp fresh grated coconut
Kothmir/ Hara Dhaniya /Cilantro / Corriander leaves 
few nos. Curry leaves / kadipatha/karivepilai
pinch of sugar
1 tsp Mustard seeds
1 tsp Udad dhall
1 tsp Channa Dhall
2-3 dry red chillies
pinch of asafoetida


  • Squeeze out the water from the grated carrot and put it in a huge serving bowl.
  • Prepare the seasoning using mustard seeds,udad dhall,chana dhall.Once all of these splutter,add the red chillies ,curry leaves and asafoetida.
  • Pour it on the carrots.
  • Add the grated coconut,salt,sugar and toss well. 
  • Finally garnish with fresh corriander and serve.


  • Salt tends to leave water and make the salad soggy,so add the salt just before serving.
  • If you would like to add moong dhall,soak it for about 15-20 mins in warm water and then add it to the carrots and toss well.
  • For those who love the flavor of lime,you can squeeze about a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice and toss well. Do this just before serving to avoid the salad from turning soggy.
  • Carrot can be substituted with cucumber or you can take half proportion of each i.e carrot and cucumber and make this salad.

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Lemon Rice | Ellumchapazha Saadham | Nimbehannu Chitranna - How to make lemon rice at home (Vegan / GF)

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Lemon Rice is a very flavorful and refreshing flavored rice also called as chitrannam in Tamil and Kannada . Works best on days when we want to make a quick lunch at home or even for office and school lunch box option as well .Makes it perfect for potluck or picnic hampers too .

The juice from fresh lime gives a refreshing and a tangy flavor to the rice making it absolutely appetizing for the taste buds making it apt during the convalescence period after a brief illness of flu or viral fever.  

Lemon Rice is also offered as prasad during Navaratri and also an essential preparation during Aadi Perukku and Kannu Pongal - the 2 most important festivals of Tamil Nadu. 

Lemon Rice/Lemon saadham / Ellumcha pazha saadham pairs well with thick Avial or Morkootu and some fried papads  . When packing it for picnic or lunch box pair it with some pickle or chips . 
Hubby loves lemon rice with paruppu vadai and coconut chutney, this is a popular combo at the street side food carts in Tamil Nadu .

You may also like to try a variant of Lemon Rice with Capsicum which is equally delicious and tasty .

Preparation Time : 10-15 mins
Cooking Time : 10 mins
Serves : 2-3


1 cup rice
1 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp channa dal / bengal gram dhal
1 tsp udad dal
handful of peanuts or cashews 
few no curry leaves
3-4 green chillies
1-2 dry red chillies
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
corriander leaves chopped
pinch of asafoetida  (skip for GF) 
pinch of turmeric
oil for tempering


  • Wash the rice properly and pressure cook with 1.5 cups of water and a few drops of oil.
  • Wait until the pressure is released and fluff the rice using a fork.Do it gently to avoid breaking of the rice grains. Spread this rice on a wide plate or tray for cooling . This step ensures the rice doesn't get mushy and stick to one another in the heat.
  • In a kadai,heat about 2 tbsp oil and fry the peanuts over medium flame until they turn crisp.Keep aside.
  • In the same oil,splutter the mustard seeds,after crackling,add the udad dal,channa dal and fry until golden brown.
  • Next ,add the green chillies,curry leaves,red chillies,asafoetida,lightly fry and turn off the stove.
  • Lastly,add in the turmeric powder and required amount of salt. This is done at the end to prevent the turmeric powder from burning.
  • Spread this tempering,fried peanuts and lime juice over the fluffed rice and mix gently.
  • Adjust salt and lime juice as per your taste.
  • Sprinkle corriander over the rice and serve hot with curd,pickle and appalam/papad.

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Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu / Lentil Dumplings in spicy tamarind gravy

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Paruppu Urundai means Lentil balls.Paruppu Urundai Kuzhumbu simply translates to Lentil Balls in Tamarind Gravy. A typical signature dish of South India. Every household has its own recipe of making this.This recipe what I write below is inherited from my mom.

These balls /urundai are prepared by grinding the soaked dhall/lentils and later steaming them. This steamed balls are slowly dropped into the tamarind gravy prepared using various spices and tamarind extract.

When running short of vegetables to be used in sambar/kuzhambu ,this definitely comes to our rescue.

Preparation Time : 45 mins to 1 hr
Cooking  Time : 45 mins
Serves : 2-3

Jain version : Skip the ginger and follow the recipe as it is
Images updated on 23 June 2019

Keerai Sambar / Greens Sambar

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Keerai / Greens are very rich in nutrients and a very good source of iron and potassium.Inclusion in daily diet is recommended.
Care must be taken to wash and clean the greens very well. Make sure you wash and drain the greens before you cut them. Run them under running water and wash well until the leaves look clean and green.
In case you are buying  greens in packet ,ensure you use it before the expiration date.

Preparation Time : 20 mins
Cooking Time : 30 mins
Serves : 2-3

Keerai Sambar / Greens Sambar

Masala Vada / Dal Vada/ Fried Lentil Balls

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Yet again another signature dish of  South India.
A delicious vada or fritters made using a combination of dhalls /lentils flavored with authentic spices and herbs .
Known by various names Masal Vadai , Masal Vade , Dal vada this is a perfect tea time snack for entertaining guests or for potlucks and parties. 

The amazing flavor of mint,onions and chillies mixed in the vada batter impart a delicious taste to these vada when deep fried which makes them so tempting and addictive that one just cannot resist the temptation. 

Serve it with some creamy coconut chutney or binge eating as is it tastes delicious either ways.

Preparation Time : 2 hrs
Cooking Time : 30 mins
Serves : 4-5

Masala vada/Dal Vada/Paruppu Vadai/Aam Vadai

Sweet Corn Peas Pulao

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It was one of those days when my fridge ran out of vegetables and all that I had was frozen peas,sweet corn and a few basic things. With these bare minimum ingrediens all I could think of was  a quick pulao and  onion raita for lunch. The best part of preparing a north indian item,is it gets done quickly and with bare minimum stuff which are always with us in the pantry.

Preparation Time : 10 mins
Cooking Time : 30 mins
Serves : 2

Jain Version : Skip the ginger garlic from the recipe and follow the rest as is.
No Onion No Garlic  : Use grated ginger / ginger paste and skip the garlic paste.
Sweet Corn Peas Pulao

Milagu Kuzhambu / Pepper Kuzhambu - Vegan Recipe

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Pepper Kuzhambu / Milagu Kuzhambu is an authentic South Indian recipe that is very popular  in Tamil Brahmin households.

Milagu Kuzhambu is a very comforting food for winter and monsoon days to pep our moods due to the nip in temperature and we begin to feel under the weather. Pepper helps cure cold,cough and throat irritation . 

Paired with hot steamed rice with a slight drizzle of ghee and some poriyal /kariamudhu ( coconut based vegetable stir fry )  is the classic way to enjoy milagu kozhambu.

Today's recipe is dedicated to my Mom. I have very very vivid memories of seeing her prepare this kuzhambu but never had any authentic recipe. The best part of falling sick in childhood especially the seasonal flu would be ,I used to get to enjoy this yummy milagu Kuzhambu and milagu jeera Rasam which amma would feed me with her own hands . Indeed a luxury those days.

With those vivid memories in my mind I started the preparation this morning and Viola !! it was just the same taste and texture that was lingering on my taste buds for which I was craving...

The recipe as such is vegan since we use gingelly oil/Sesame oil to prepare the Kuzhambu.  Alternatively we can also use any non flavored cooking oil if you don't like the taste of sesame oil. Can be gluten free if you skip the use of asafoetida. 

Milagu Kuzhambu also works best when you want to have some light yet tasty meal after heavy binge eating at functions or vacations .

This recipe was initially published in 2017 and today (26th March 2023) I have updated the post with better pictures which has been a long over due . Republishing the post as part of our Redo activity week 97.

Preparation Time : 10 min
Cooking Time : 45 min
Cooking level : medium
Serves : 3-4


1 tsp pepper corns / milagu/ kalimirch
1 tsp dhaniya / corriander seeds
3-4 dry red chilly
1/2 tsp thoor dhall /thuvaram paruppu
1/2 tsp Channa dhall/kadalai paruppu
10 - 12 curry leaves/karvepillai/kadipatha
2 tsp grated coconut (optional)
pinch of asafoetida/hing/perungayam
2-3 tsp gingelly oil/til oil/ nallennai
Tamarind - a small ball
1 tsp mustard seeds
1/2 tsp jaggery


(c) sweetspicytasty(c)
  • Soak the tamarind in hot water and let it rest until you roast and grind the ingredients.
  • In a kadai heat about 1 tsp oil and add the channa dhall and thoor dhall along with the pepper corns and saute until you feel the aroma of roasted dhalls and pepper.
  • Add in the dhaniya,red chillies,curry leaves and saute till the curry leaves becomes crisp.
  • Finally add the coconut and asafoetida,saute well and turn off the stove.
  • Let it cool and then grind all the ingredients with a little water to a fine paste.
  • By now,the tamarind would have soaked well,squeeze a thick paste of tamarind juice from the soaked tamarind and nicely filter it. Add about 1 cup water to this thick paste of tamarind juice.
copyright of sweetspicytasty
  • Heat a kadai and add one teaspoon of gingelly oil and temper mustard seeds and curry leaves.
  • Add the tamarind juice,haldi,salt and jaggery and bring to a nice rolling boil till the raw smell of tamarind is lost.
  • Add the ground paste and quickly mix it to avoid formation of lumps due to presence of dhall.
  • Now adjust the salt and boil it until you see the oil oozing out from the center.
  • Turn off the stove at this point and transfer into a bowl and serve with steamed rice and roasted papads
  1. Those who like garlic ,can also add one or two pods of garlic while roasting other ingredients.
  2. Not much oil will ooze out in this recipe as I have used very little oil.
  3. The jaggery part is optional,but it will enhance the flavor of tamarind and give a very good taste.

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January 27, 2017

Doodhi ka halwa / lauki halwa

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 The best way to celebrate the come back of my blog is to share a sweet recipe with all of you.
With the mild chillnes still lingering in the atmosphere,fresh winter vegetables are a feast to the eyes in the market and make me want to cook something interesting  .
I picked up the bottle gourds which were very inviting and prepared this Halwa instantly.

Preparation time : 20 mins
Cooking time : 45 mins
Cooking level : Medium
Serves : 2-3 people

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Hello !!!

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Sorry for staying away from the blog for a very very long time.Too much involvement with lot of activities at the personal front that kept me away from posting.
Now at last,I have decided to come back with a lot of new posts.Looking forward to all your support and encouragement as always.
Stay tuned my friends...see you soon !