March 31, 2017

Kalkandu Saadham (Ksheerannam) | 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) . 

Kalkandu Baath, is a very popular prasad served in many South Indian temples especially Vaishnava (Vishnu).temples. It is also referred to  as KsheerAnnam wherein Ksheera in Sanskrit means Milk and Annam meaning Rice.

We 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 and makes it a perfect option for large get togethers or pot luck parties .
Kalkandu Baath is a close cousin of the rice kheer but for the consistency.  Kalkandu saadham is thick and creamy while kheer is liquid . 

Ksheerannam, sheerannam , ksheeraannam ,kalkandu baath , kalkandu saadham

The rice is entirely cooked in milk along with saffron till the rice is well cooked and mushy . To this cooked rice, we add the rock candy sugar or diamond sugar and cook for a few more mins till the sugar candy melts and adds taste to the kalkandu saadham . Lastly nuts fried in ghee are added and the delicious and creamy kalkandu rice is ready.  The subtle yellow color comes from the saffron which gives a very good taste and flavor , but you can skip using the saffron if you don't like the taste or flavor. 

Watch this detailed video from my channel for a step by step recipe .Do subscribe to my channel without fail. 

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.

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Giving a face-lift (30/10/22) to this recipe originally published in 2017 by adding new pictures,  editing the write up as part of our foodies redoing old post activity actively managed by Renu .

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 | Chakkarai 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.

Sakkarai Pongal is also made as an offering during Navaratri , Aadi Velli,  Aadi Sevvai  (Aashada Friday and Tuesday) and most importantly during Purataasi Month (corresponds to Gregorian Months of September- October ) on Saturdays as an offering to Lord Balaji along with Ellu Saadham (Sesame Rice) or Puliyogare  (Tamarind Rice)

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

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 in 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.

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. Mashing is the key step to get a very nice gooey texture like the ones we get in temples.
  • Add the powdered jaggery to this mashed rice and mix it well until most of the jaggery melts and mixes well with the rice.  Alternatively you can also melt the jaggery in 1/4 cup water and then mix the mashed rice with it .
    • 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.  Check out the detailed video below with all tips and tricks to get the perfect sakkarai Pongal .
  • Add the roasted cashews and raisins,mix well and serve .
Subscribe to my YouTube Channel and donot forget to share it with your friends and family !! 

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Updated this post with latest photos,write up and my  yotube video link as part of Redoing Old posts activity of our Facebook group . 

First published in March 2017 and updated today on 18 sept 2022.

Karamani / Lobia Sundal | Black eyed beans Stir fry - Vegan recipe

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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. 

Karamani sundal , lobia sundal , Lobia curry,  karamani curry , karamani chundal , navaratri sundal ,lobia , black eyed bean,  cow pea stir fry

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 . 

Karamani sundal , lobia sundal , Lobia curry,  karamani curry , karamani chundal , navaratri sundal ,lobia , black eyed bean,  cow pea stir fry

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 22 April 2023 as a part of our Foodies_Redoingoldposts group activity.  A very nice initiative by our coblogger Renu which allows us to rework on our old posts . This is the 99th week and we are super excited to reach the milestone 100th week next fortnight.

Donot forget to pin me !!! 

Karamani sundal , lobia sundal , Lobia curry,  karamani curry , karamani chundal , navaratri sundal ,lobia , black eyed bean,  cow pea stir fry

Karamani sundal , lobia sundal , Lobia curry,  karamani curry , karamani chundal , navaratri sundal ,lobia , black eyed bean,  cow pea stir fry

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.

Carrot payasam,is 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 gajar kheer 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

You can either use the orange ooty carrots or the Delhi Laal Gajar for making this payasam . Just before you cook the  carrots ensure that the carrots are washed well and peeled thoroughly. 

Classic Recipes using Carrot on my blog 

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

3-4 medium sized carrots - peeled and cut into halves
4-5 cashews/kaju/mindhiri paruppu (optional)
2 cups of milk ( 350-400 ml approx)
2-3 tablespoon sugar (adjust depending upon sweetness of carrot)
pistachios finely chopped
1 tsp elaichi powder
2-3 tsp fresh grated coconut.
1 tsp ghee


  • Pressure cook the carrots and cashews in 1/2 cup milk  and cool for a while.
  • In a blender ,add the cooked carrots with milk,sugar,grated coconut and blend finely until its smooth and creamy.
  • You may add a little milk incase you find it difficult to blend.
  • Transfer the carrot mixture into a big vessel,add the remaining milk and mix well and simmer it on low flame until the mild raw flavor of the carrots are lost totally and you get a nice aroma.
  • Add the cardamom powder at this stage ,mix well and turn off.
  • Roast the pistachios in ghee and add it to  the payasam. 
  • You may serve this warm or chilled. I personally like it chilled as its very flavourful.
    • Note : You may substitute jaggery for sugar . Adjust the quantity of jaggery depending on  jaggery 's sweetness. 

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      This post was originally published in March 2017 with some really amateur clicks when I did not know much about food styling and photography.  Today (1/10/2022) as part of the Foodies_Redoingoldposts  group activity, I got the opportunity to click some decent photos of the recipe and also update the write up . Hope you all enjoy reading and viewing the modified content. 


      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 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.

       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.

      Other flavors of Sheera on my blog 

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

      1/2 cup rava
      1 cup milk
      1/2 - 3/4 cup sugar
      2-3 elaichis powdered
      10-15 cashewnuts chopped
      2-3 tablespoon ghee
      few strands of kesar/saffron/kumkuma poo

      • Keep the milk in a sauce pan with the saffron strands for boiling.
      • Simultaneously , heat a tablespoon of ghee in a kadai/pan,and roast the rawa nicely until you get a nice aroma of roasted rava and the rava begins to feel light on roasting.
      • As the rava is roasted,the milk also begins to boil,slowly pour the milk onto the roasted rava and stir simultaneously to avoid formation of lumps.
      • Slowly all the milk gets absorbed into the rava and it feels like a huge mass.
      • Now add the sugar and mix well,the mass gets liquified again.Donot worry,it will thicken up as the sugar gets absorbed.
      • Keep stirring occasionally and when you see all the sugar is melted and mixed well,add the cardamom powder and a tablespoon of ghee and mix well.
      • Slowly the sheera gets done and you can see it leaving the sides of the pan easily and the ghee starts oozing out from the sides. The entire mixture looks glossy and shiny.Turn off the stove at this stage.
      • Roast the cashews in ghee and add it to the sheera and mix well.
      • Transfer into a dry container and serve it warm.
      • You can warm the sheera in the microwave before serving .The sheera stays good for 3-4 days in fridge if kept away from moisture and wet spoon.
      • Ratio of Rava to Milk is 1: 2 i.e. for 1 measure of rava you will need 2 measures of milk.
      • Ratio of Rava to Sugar is 1:1 or if you like a little more sweet you can use 1 measure rava to 1.25 measures sugar.
      • Roast the rava very patiently in medium flame taking care not to burn the rava. Do this step very carefully and utmost attention.

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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

      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.

      The authentic recipe doesn't use idli rice/parboiled rice as it is an offering/prasad ,but when making at home we can make use of idli rice.  Any  prasad /offering generally doesn't make use of idli rice or parboiled rice as per customs.

      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 mandhara elai Dhonnais (eco friendly cups made out of dried leaves) .
      The other name for Kancheepuram Idli is Kudalai Idli as it is steamed in the Dhonnai.

      Where can you find the Dhonnais / eco friendly leaf cups ?

      Go to a store where they sell items related to Pooja like mud diyas, cotton wicks , photo frames of God and Goddesses . These stores usually sell these dhonnais and also leaf plates which is used to serve prasad during any festive occasion in temples as well as homes . Ask for leaf cups and they will show you various sizes,pick the size you like . Wash it well before you steam the idlis.

      Kancheepuram idlis can be served with Coconut chutney and Sambar .Many people like the combination of Tomato Khara Chutney with these idlis.We at home like to have it with Idli Molagapudi and sesame oil along with the other accompaniments  .

      I am thankful to Mayuri ji for introducing me to the food group on Facebook started by Renu which focuses on redoing our old posts.  As bloggers when we began we would have clicked photos or posted about the recipe in a simple manner,but with time we would love to update either the write up or the photos of the recipe which will be more appealing for our readers.  This group Foodies_Redoingoldposts on Facebook gives us a good momentum and push to look up our old posts and update them . So inspired by this group's activity I have updated this post on Kanjivaram Idlis with new photos and write up on August 7 - 2022

      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


      1 cup udad dhall
      1 cup idli rice
      1 cup regular raw rice ( I used Sona Masuri.,donot use basmati )

      **you can also use 2 cups raw rice and skip idli rice if making for prasad /neivedhiyam

      To Temper
      2 tsp jeera/cumin
      2 tsp ginger powder/ chukku/shunt
      2 tsp pepper powder
      pinch of asafoetida
      finely chopped curry leaves
      2 tsp gingelly oil/sessame oil/til oil


      Grinding the batter

      Wash the rice and dhall separately until the water turns clear. Soak them separately for atleast 4 hrs. 

      It is best to use wet grinder to grind the batter . Incase of using a mixie/blender ,make sure to use cold water while grinding the udad dhall. 

      Grind the udad dhall first using very little water until it feels fluffy and almost doubles in volume.
      Drop a small blob of the batter in a cup full of water ,the blob of batter must float and not sink.  This is the desired consistency of udad dhall batter for soft and fluffy idlis .

      Take it out in a separate vessel that is wide enough. Next add the rice to the grinder and grind it well but not very smooth.let it be a little coarse. Add this to the udad dhall batter and mix it well using your hands.

      Please Note,using hands to mix the batter helps in fermentation process as our body heat is transferred in the process of mixing. Leave it aside for fermentation . It will take 6-10 hrs depending on the outside temperature and season.

      ©Sweet Spicy Tasty©
      Freshly ground batter

      ©Sweet Spicy Tasty©
      Well fermeneted batter.

      How to prepare Idlis ?

      Prepare the tempering using jeera and asafoetida.Add the tempering along with the finely chopped curry leaves,dry ginger powder ,pepper powder and salt.Mix well 

      ©Sweet Spicy Tasty©

      Grease the idli plates with a little oil and prepare the steamer/ pressure cooker by then with sufficient water. Pour the batter into the greased idli moulds and steam for 16-18 minutes or use the tooth pick test to check if the idlis are done .

      If you want to steam them in the eco-friendly leaf cups (donnais) then pour the batter into those cups and place them in the steamer and steam it as always .

      ©Sweet Spicy Tasty©

      ©Sweet Spicy Tasty©
      Steamed Idlis

      Soft and fluffy idlis are ready to be served.

      Alternatively,you can also grease a round mould and steam the batter in it and cut in desired shapes .Just like how you would do for a cake or dhoklas.

      ©Sweet Spicy Tasty©

      Incase, you feel the batter is not risen well, you can add some eno fruit salt before steaming. Take care to add eno only to the quantity of batter to be steamed and not to the entire batch of batter.

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      March 14, 2017

      Paanakam| Paanagam - Traditional Indian Cooler (Ramanavami & Narsimha Jayanti special)

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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.

      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 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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      March 12, 2017

      Maangai Thokku | Raw Mango Preserve

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      Raw mangoes are used in various forms like pickles,Aam Panna,chundha(sweet and spicy pickle),thokku which can be preserved for a long time and used all round the year.
      Ladies of the house pick the choicest of the raw mangoes and start with the pickling process very meticulously and take utmost care to get the best output.
      This thokku can be easily made very easily and with very few ingredients and does not involve very elaborate process like making pickles. The total time to prepare this thokku takes about 45 min for the quantity I am mentioning below. The recipe can be doubled easily if you are making it in bulk.
      With the thokku being handy we can make yummy Maangai Saadham / Mango Rice at any time of the year when we crave for mangoes.I shall post the recipe for Maangai Saadham soon in the blog.

      Linking this to Blogging Marathon BM#74 under the Theme : Sauces & Preserve

      Preparation Time : 5mins
      Cooking Time : 20-25 mins
      Yield : Roughly about 100gms / 1 big cup
      Complexity : Medium High

      ©Sweet Spicy Tasty©

      March 11, 2017

      Aam Panna Concentrate | Green Mango Concentrate | आम पन्ना शर्बत

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      Aam Panna is an Indian summer drink made out of raw mangoes. We can prepare the concentrate and preserve it for a long time and use it as and when we feel like having Aam Panna.
      Not only is this very refreshing,its also a very good source of hydration during the scorching summer heat. I have also read that it helps prevent heat strokes and energises the body and maintains the body temperature.

      **photos and writeup updated on 21/4/22

      There are no external preservatives  or food colors involved in the making of the concentrate hence making it a very safe option for children as well. Sugar acts as a natural preservative.

      Turn them into Popsicles using the popsicle maker and kids would love to lick and enjoy after their playtime during the afternoon hours and elders can enjoy it as a drink with some ice cubes.

      This post details the step by step method to make the concentrate and also the preparation of Aam Panna from the concentrate.

      Make sure to store the CONCENTRATE in a dry and clean glass or food grade plastic bottle and keep it under refrigeration away from external moisture.

      Preparation Time : 5 mins
      Cooking Time : 30-40 mins
      Makes : 750 ml concentrate
      Complexity : Medium

      1 large raw mango
      2 cups sugar / 200 gms approx
      1 tablespoon roasted jeera powder
      1/2 tablespoon roasted pepper powder
      1 tsp rock salt / normal salt
      1/2 tsp kaala namak (optional)
      2 cups water / 400 ml water

      Peel the skin of the mango and grate it finely using the grater or roughly chop the mango and pressure cook it for 1 whistle with 1/4 cup water . Cool it down and then blend into a fine puree.

      ©Sweet Spicy Tasty©

      In a vessel add this grated mango and a cup of water and nicely cook it until the mangoes are nicely cooked.

      ©Sweet Spicy Tasty©

      Now add the sugar and mix it well and cook it for about 5-10 minutes or until it starts frothing and begins to boil.Keep stirring at intervals.

      ©Sweet Spicy Tasty© 
      ©Sweet Spicy Tasty©

      Next add the rock salt,pepper powder,jeera powder and mix it well and cook for another 3-4 minutes on simmer. I had dried pudina/mint leaves which I added by crushing it with my hands. It gave an extra punch and minty flavor to the concentrate.

      ©Sweet Spicy Tasty©
      ©Sweet Spicy Tasty©

      Take it off the flame and cool it well before bottling the concentrate. Make sure the bottle is dry and clean before bottling it.

      ©Sweet Spicy Tasty©

      How to  Make the Aam Panna Drink?

      • Take about 2-3 tablespoons of the concentrate in a glass and add chilled water to it.
      • Add some ice cubes if you like and serve chilled.
      • You may add some fresh mint leaves for the extra zing .

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