Monday, October 27, 2014

Social Buzz

Hi Friends,

My article(recipe:Badam Katli ) got published in the newspaper"The Hindu" Metroplus supplement under the good food section on 24-10-2014(Chennai and Coimbatore editions).

Beans Paruppu Usili

The most authentic tambrahm food will be the paruppu usili.There could be no marriage or any function without a paruppu usili.It is basically a combination of toor dal and gram dal cooked and crumbled over the vegetables.The most common one is beans paruppu usili.You can also make paruppu usili with kothavarangai (cluster beans),avaraikai(Lima beans),cabbage,small onions and vazhapoo.
There are two ways of cooking this paruppu usili.Either you can steam the coarsely ground dal mixture and crumble it over the cooked vegetables or you can add the ground mixture to the vegetable and sauté it with oil on low flame by stirring at intervals to ensure it is cooked evenly and you get a crumble texture.I used the second method in this post although both methods yield a good result.But when you steam the dal using the first method then make sure you crumble it properly before adding it to the vegetables,otherwise it won't give a nice finely crumbled texture and might yield big chunks of dal here and there.Beans paruppu usili tastes great with mor kuzhambhu,rasam or vathakhuzhambu .Without much explanation further lets get to the recipe.

Preparation time:30 mins


Finely chopped beans-250 gms
Toor dal-5 tbsp
Gram dal-3 tbsp
Red chillies-3( might increase or decrease according to your taste)
Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
Salt-to taste
Hing-1 tsp
Oil-3 tbsp

To temper:
Mustard -1 tsp
Jeera-1/2 tsp
Curry leaves-few
Red chillies-1 


1.Soak Toor dal and gram dal along with red chillies for a minimum of 30 minutes.Then grind it to a coarse paste after draining all the soaked water.This step is very important if you add water or grind it very finely you won't get the beans paruppu usili correctly.Add salt(only for dal mixture),hing and turmeric powder to this ground mixture.

2.In a non-stick wok ,add a tbsp of oil and add the tempering ingredients.after the mustard seeds splutter add the beans,hing and salt(only for beans).

3.Add required water for the beans to get cooked and close the pan with lid.Once all the water is absorbed and the beans are cooked add the ground dal mixture and mix well.
4.Keep the flame low and add the remaining 2 tbsp of oil and keep stirring at intervals so that the dal gets cooked evenly.With the help of the ladle you can crumble the dal mixture evenly across the beans as well.

5.After about 8-10 minutes ,the dal gets cooked as it will change its color and will form a crumbled texture which is the right time to switch off the flame.Transfer to a bowl and serve hot with rasam or morkuzhambhu or vathakhuzhambu and rice.

* If you wish to go by first method then after grinding the dal,steam it in an idly cooker and once it's warm crumble it using hand and mix it with the cooked beans.
* There is no need to sauté if you steam the dal as it gets cooked while steaming.
* If you follow the second method like how I did, then you can add few more spoons of oil for best results if you are not calorie conscious.

I value your comments,if you like this recipe feel free to drop a comment in the comment box below.Your comments motivate me to do more.Thanks for your support!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Beetroot Dal(Beetroot Kootu)

Beetroot Dal(Beetroot Kootu)
 I was not too familiar with Beetroot dal or Beetroot kootu until I got married and was served Beetroot Kootu for lunch with my new family after marriage.I always like to have beetroot as a stir-fry along with rasam or sambhar and not as a dal.I was hesitant at first but it didn't taste quite bad as how I thought and it was tasting really nice.My husband likes this beetroot dal a lot and I was forced to cook it quite often at my house.So this frequent dish made me to tailor the recipe a bit to suit my tastebuds as well. And after slight changes,voila ! beetroot dal became my favourite too.I tried to balance the sweetness of beetroot with some heat from the green chillies(the original version didn't have any and was more on a sweeter side) .The preparation is very simple and the outcome is too delicious to believe that with such simple ingredients one could get such an outcome.It tastes great with chappathi or roti and goes well even with rice and rasam/thogaiyal(chutney).

Beetroot Dal
 Preparation time-20 mins


Finely chopped beetroot-250 gms
Moon Dal/Pasiparuppu-8 tbsp
Sambhar powder-1 heaped spoon
Turmeric powder-1 tsp
Hing-1 tsp
salt-to taste
Grated Coconut(Ground to a fine paste)-4 tbsp
Oil-1 tbsp
Fresh Coriander leaves-to garnich

To temper:
Mustard Seeds-1/2 tsp
Jeera-1/2 tsp
Urad dal-1/2 tsp
Slit green chillies-1 or 2 (according to your choice)
Curry leaves-few


1.Pressure cook the chopped beetroot and moong dal with turmeric powder,hing and sambhar powder for 4 whistles or till the beetroot and dal are cooked.

2.Once they are cooked,add salt and coconut paste to it .Add water to it if the mixture is too thick and heat it on a low flame for 5 minutes and temper it with the ingredients given for tempering.Garnish with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with chapathi,rice or roti.


*You can add chopped onions and tomatoes ,by sauteing them one after the other during tempering the ingredients.
*Do not omit coconut paste and sambhar powder as they both are the star ingredients for a superb taste.

Beetroot Dal(Beetroot Kootu)

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Citrus Burfi/Sweet Lime Burfi

What citrus burfi?Are you kidding?These were the questions I asked to Mrs.Dhanalakshmi Nagarajan a friend of fine and a follower of my blog ,when she told me about the citrus burfi.I feel happy talking to her as she follows my blog regularly and gives her genuine comments and appreciation after trying out few of my recipes.On one such conversation she asked me to try this Citrus burfi and gave me her recipe.She said her sons like these burfis a lot and she has been preparing these burfis successfully for quite a few years.When I took down the recipe it had sweet lime juice as well as milk as part of its ingredients.My immediate question was wont the citrus fruit juice curdle the milk ?Also we will be heating both the ingredients  together in the burfi making process.She said it doesn't and I was still not convinced.But I wanted to try this recipe as it sounded new and with this blog on the go,new ideas are always worth to be tried.So yesterday I started preparing for it and before I switched on the flame I prayed to Lord Ganesh for his blessings on my first attempt(still I was scared about the fact "citrus and milk?").
The recipe has quite a lot of ingredients but most of the things are common and were easily available at home.The only stuff I got for this recipe specially was the orange essence as the recipe mentioned it.It took me quite some time and patience to get these burfis. But all the hard work was worth when you finally get to taste something wonderful and sweet at the end.Yes,first of all the milk never curdled and also the burfis came out perfect.So what  are you waiting for?Try these citrus burfis today itself for this diwali.With the following measurements I got nearly 52 small squares of burfi and weighed nearly a kg.So it is perfect for sharing too.I called Mrs.Dhanalakshmi to thank her for the delicious recipe and told her the burfis came out perfectly.It tastes great at room temperature and stores well up to 3-4 days. 

Citrus Burfi

Makes:52 small burfis
Preparation time:1 hour

Sweet lime juice-1 cup
Milk-1 cup + Little for soaking cashews
Cashews-1 cup
Maida/All purpose flour-1/2 cup
Besan/Gram flour-1/2 cup
Sugar-3 cups
Butter-1 cup
Ghee-2 to 3 tbsp(optional)
Orange essence-1 tsp


1.Soak cashews in hot milk(just enough milk to soak the cashews) for 20 minutes and then grind it to a fine paste.

2.Extract a cup of sweet lime juice from the fruit.(approximately you will requite 4 sweet limes).

3.Roast Maida and Gram flour till nice aroma arises.Make sure the flours don't change their colors.

4.With the roasted flours,mix all the above mentioned ingredients(cashew paste,milk,butter,sweet lime juice,orange essence,ghee,sugar) and stir well so that no lumps are formed.Make sure the butter is at the room temperature.Even if  mall lumps are there try to break it with the help of the ladle and mix well.

5.In a low flame,keep stirring till the mixture thickens and starts to leave the sides of the pan without sticking to it.This part requires a lot of patience if you are going prepare with the same quantity as me.It takes nearly 40 minutes to get the right texture.Time may reduce if you reduce the quantities of the ingredients proportionally.

6.When it starts to thicken and starts to leave ,switch off the flame and pour the mixture on to a greased plate.Even it out using the ladle and cut in to slices.

7.Once it cools down,separate the pieces and store them in an air tight container for 3-4 days(shelf life).

Citrus Burfi


*Ghee is optional.I only used butter and didn't add ghee.
*Make sure the milk is at room temperature before adding it to the flours.
*If you are not able to cut pieces then you have taken the mixture before the correct burfi consistency.Then don't panic,take a small amount and cool it by blowing air if it doesn't set properly bin your hand,then pour back the mixture in to the wok and again mix it well in low flame till it starts to leave the sided of the pan and again pour it on to the greased plate and cut it into pieces.

Citrus Burfi

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mysore Pak


Making mysore pak was a really a big experience for me.It was in 2012 for diwali I decided to make mysore pak which came as halwa and again I tried for new year 2013 when I got a too firm and hard burfi like mysore pak. I was like Mohammed Gazhini(not giving up so easily) and browsed a hell lot of blogs and books for mysore pak and came across a microwave version mysore pak and wanted to try it ,hoping this method will yield at least a decent mysore pak and decided to try it for diwali 2103 and two of my enthusiastic neighbors too joined me to see how to make mysore pak(that too in microwave) and what I got was a puttu (powder form)made of besan and was feeling really bad as I failed this time also that too in front of my neighbors.Finally I ended up making 7 cup burfi that diwali.This time I asked my mom in law to help me with the proportion and correct consistency as she had already made mysore paks before.Eureka!! Finally I was able to make mysore pak,not the Krishna sweets type but the traditional textured melt-in mouth mysore pak .I made a small batch for trial and as the taste was awesome it got over in 2 days and so this diwali is going to be celebrated with delicious homemade mysore pak , of course a bigger batch.

I was stirring in one hand and taking pictures in the other and as I was very cautious to get a good mysore pak I missed out pictures on few stages as well as the quality of step by step pictures are not satisfactory yet all this makes it up for the most delicious melt in mysore pak at the end and so I wanted to post this recipe now. When I make a bigger batch I will surely upload a much better step by step pictures.the proportion to be remembered is gram flour: ghee : sugar= 1:2:3 .I prepared a small batch with 1/4 th of a cup of gram flour and I got nearly 12 pieces of mysore pak.You can scale it up easily with the above proportion.The time increases with the increase in quantity of ingredients.

Preparation time :15-20mins
Makes 12 pieces


Besan/gram flour-1/4 cup
Ghee-1/2 cup
Sugar-3/4 cup
Water-just enough to immerse the sugar and not more than that


1.Roast gram flour till nice aroma arises but it should not change color.Remove it from the flame and keep it aside.

2.Heat the ghee in a low flame on another wok.

3.Heat sugar and water in a wok and boil the sugar till the sugar syrup reaches one string consistency.That is,if you take a small amount syrup between your thumb and index finger and stretch it should form a single this stage add gram flour little by little and stir continuously so that no lumps are formed .

4.Keep stirring and at regular intervals add the hot ghee little by little to this mixture.At one point the mixture would leave the sides of the pan and will look frothy as below and by this time you should have added all the mentioned quantity of ghee to this mixture.Transfer the contents to a greased tray or plate.This stage is important if you miss it then you will not get a melt in mysore pak but it will harden and crumble as well.

5.After 5 mins cut them into pieces and once cooled completely you can take away the pieces and store them in an air tight jar.It tastes good up to 6-8 days when stored in an air tight container.

*Make sure you use a high quality gram flour for Mysore pak as its taste relies on the quality of gram flour or besan.
*Do not reduce the amount of ghee.
*The single thread consistency for sugar syrup is very important.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Baingan Bharta(Smoked Eggplant Curry)

I have never made Baingan Bharta before though we enjoy Ennai Kathrikai and Bhagara Baingan at home.This time I wanted to try it at home and the moment I stepped in to the pazhamudir nilayam I grabbed the aubergine(big sized brinjal) first.I browsed a lot of recipes and the main four ingredients necessary for Baingan Bharta apart from brinjals are onions,tomatoes,ginger and green chillies.I started smoking the brinjal on the stove top and the smoked flavour immediately reminded me of my mom 's brinjal ghosthu for pongal or idli, as we smoke the brinjal for the ghosthu as well.The dish was pretty easy and my husband liked my first homemade Baingan Bharta with hot phulkhas/roti.

Preparation time:25 mins


Aubergine(big brinjal)-1 no
Chopped onion-1 no
Chopped tomatoes-2 nos
Ginger-1 inch
Jeera-1 tsp
Garlic-4 cloves
Green Chillies-2 no
Chilli powder-1 tsp
Garam masala-1 tsp
Turmeric powder-1 tsp
Fresh coriander leaves-to garnish
salt-to taste
Oil-2 tbsp


1.Apply a tsp of oil on the brinjal and place it on the stove top in medium flame.Keep tossing it to the other side every few minutes so that it gets cooked evenly.Be careful when doing this as the oil on brinjal makes it slippery.You could insert a knife inside the brinjal and use it to turn the brinjal.

2.After it is done on all sides,remove it from the flame and let it rest for a few minutes to cool down.Then peel of the skin.

3.Mash or cut the brinjal.If some parts of the brinjal are not cooked ,then dont worry it will get cooked when we saute it with tomatoes with lid closed.

4.Grind green chillies,ginger and garlic to a fine paste.

5.Heat oil in a wok and add the jeera.After it splutters add the ground paste and mix till raw smell is gone.

6.Then add the chopped onions,salt and turmeric powder.Saute it till the onions are transparent.Add the chopped tomatoes and mashed brinjal and add chilli powder also.Saute well till the tomatoeas are soft and the brinjals are also cooked completely.This will take 5-6 mins roughly.

7.Once its done add the garam masala and mix well and remove it from flame.Garnish it with fresh coriander leaves and serve hot with phulkhas or rotis.


*I have grinded the green chillies and ginger/garlic.You can also chop and add it.
*Increase/decrease the green chillies and chilli powder according to your spice level.
* You can also grill the brinjal in oven but stove top gives an authentic flavour to the dish.