Sunday, December 27, 2015

Ragi Cookies(Finger Millet Cookies)

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to all my friends!Once when I went for shopping instead of getting plain Ragi flour I got sprouted and roasted Ragi flour.The moment I opened the pack the aroma made me read the label again .I just loved the smell and immediately I wanted to make cookies using this roasted Ragi flour. My son loves chocolate cookies and these cookies would be an ideal and healthy substitute (atleast I could trick him!) These cookies were crunchy and light.

Makes:around 20 cookies
Preparation time:35 mins

Roasted Ragi Flour/Finger Millet Flour-1/2 cup
Whole Wheat Flour-1/2 cup
Powdered Sugar-1/2 cup
Butter-1/2 cup
Baking powder-1 tsp
Vanilla essence -1 tsp
Milk -if needed to make the dough


1.Sift Ragi flour,whole wheat flour and baking powder together.To this flour mixture add the butter.

2.Mix the butter well and add the powdered sugar to it.

3.Add the vanilla essence also and mix well to form a cookie dough.Add a little milk if the dough is too dry.

4.Take a small portion of the dough and make a small all and flatten it on a greased baking tray . Using fork you can create the pattern on the cookie as I did.

5. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Centigrade and place the baking tray and bake the cookies for 15-18 mins.

6. Ragi Cookies are ready . Once they are out of the oven,they are soft but once cooled , they turn crispy. Store them in an air tight jar for up to a week.

* You can use cardamom powder instead of vanilla essence.
*Powdered jaggery can be added instead of sugar. 

Monday, December 14, 2015

Nel Pori Urundai and Aval Pori Urundai

With the onset of karthigai ,the city buzzes with lights and ayyapan swami poojas.I am always fascinated by the Pori Urundai recipe because this was the first recipe which I tried with jaggery syrup in the soft ball consistency .my favourite one is Aval Pori Urundai as aval Pori is very crunchy .But the Nel Pori though soft has to be made on the Thirukarthigai festival as it is  a very auspicious offering to the Lotd Muruga.My mil told me that if we dry roast Nel Pori then it will be not soft as it would be otherwise .I am providing the recipe of the Nel Pori Urundai in this and the same can be followed for Aval Pori Urundai though dry roasting of Aval Pori is not necessary.

Makes :15 urundais approximately
Preparation time :45 mins

Ingredients :

Nel Pori/Aval Pori-4 cups
Jaggery-3/4 th cup ( or 1 cup of you are sweet toothed)
Chopped coconut pieces-1/4 cup
Ghee-3 tbsp
Cardamom powder-2 tsp
Dry ginger powder-1 tsp
Water -necessary to make jaggery syrup

1.Dry roast Nel Pori in slow flame till its gets heated up and light without changing its colour.If using aval Pori skip this step.

2.Powder the jaggery and keep it ready . 

3.In a pan add a tbsp of ghee and roast the coconut slices till it is golden brown .

4.Heat a wok and add the powdered jaggery and water just enough to soak it and dissolve the jaggery in slow heat.once dissolved switch off the flame and strain it to remove impurities .

5.add this strained jaggery mixture back to the wok and heat it till you get a syrup which thickens and reaches a soft ball consistency.

6.To identify  out soft ball consistency keep a bowl of water nearby and add a small amount of syrup into it and check whether you are able to make a soft ball out of it.this is possible when the syrup boils like the above picture .

7.Once This stage is reached add the Pori immediately and stir well immediately keeping the flame low.Add the cardamom powder ,dry ginger powder and the fried coconut pieces and switch off the flame .(Some people add a spoon of rice flour here to get firm balls or urundais ,but I didn't use it).

8.Mix everything well fast and switch off the flame .apply some ghee to your palms and take a small amount of the mixture and make small balls out of it by pressing hard.

9.Repeat the process for the rest of the mixture and make it quickly as it will be difficult to make firm balls if the mixture cools off completely .

10.The delicious Nel Pori urundais are ready  as an offering to Lord Muruga and later to us.Store them in an air tight container and stays fresh at room temperature for upto a week.

Aval Pori Urundai

The process of making Aval Pori Urundai is the same as that of the Nel Pori except that dry roasting of the pori is not necessary as it is already crispy in texture.So they can be made using the above procedure .

Humanity Exists-Chennai Floods!!!

Well, finally Chennai is back to normalcy with prayers from all the people and their helping hand. The deluge made everyone believe that there is humanity still alive and that's what keeps us going. The Chennai floods affected everyone in some way or the other.Many lost their homes and belongings. For some  it was a different experience with shortage of power, water and other domestic supplies. It took us back to our grandparents era where there was no electricity,no telephones/mobiles and laptops. One very good thing which happened amongst this chaos is that we were able spend a great time with our kith and kin with no disturbances from the modern gadgets.

We played board games, read books to our kid, lit karthigai lamps in the house for light. We learnt how to conserve water /power as we had limited drinking or metro water at our disposal! Initially the children in the neighborhood wanted rains as they got holidays but after seeing the disaster even they prayed gods for the rains to stop. There were prayer meetings and relief work carried out everywhere. It motivates you to contribute as well. I could go on and on about the floods....but ultimately it has taught a lesson to everyone that money is not all and that humanity persists!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Vazhaipoo Vadai/Banana Blosssom Fritters

The heavy rains and the chill weather in chennai makes me crave for something crispy and hot.and this recipe which I learnt from my mother is definitely a super hit in my family.yes it is the vazhapoo vadai or banana blossom fritters which I am talking about.even those who don't like vazhaipoo will love this is an ideal evening snack with tea or coffee and tastes good with plain hot rice and rasam .

Preparation time :40 mins


Chopped Vazhaipoo or banana blossom -1 cup
Chopped onion-1 no
Asafetida or Hing-1 tsp
Salt-to taste
Fresh coriander leaves-a small bunch
Mint leaves-6(optional)
Roasted gram dal flour or pottu kadalai maavu -1/4 cup

To be grind to a coarse paste:

Toor dal or pigeon pea -1 cup
Gram dal or kadalai paruppu -3 tbsp
Red chilies-4 or 5
Garlic-4 pods
Ginger-1/2 inch
Fennel seeds-1 tsp
Curry leaves- a small bunch 

Procedure :

1.Soak both the along with red chillies for 30-40 mins.

2.Once it is soaked well and keep the ingredients ready.Drain the water completely from the dals and grind it along with the ingredients given for grinding to a coarse paste.Do not add water .If required sprinkle a few drops.

3.To the ground paste add chopped vazhaipoo,onion,salt,hing,mint and coriander leaves.

4.Then add the pottu kadalai Mavu or roasted gram dal flour to this mixture and mix well.Take a small portion of this mixture and round it to a small ball and press lightly to make vadais.
5. Heat oil in a wok and keep the flame to medium.When the oil is hot ,drop the vadai one by one carefully and fry them till they are golden brown on both sides and drain it in a tissue.

6.Delicious,golden brown and crispy vazhaipoo vadais are ready to be served.


*Do not add water when grinding the dals .If the mixture is too watery then add more gram dal flour to get a firm mixture that can be rolled in to vadais.You can even refrigerate the mixture of its a bit watery .
*To clean and chop banana flower refer:
*Increase or decrease the amount of chillies based on your spice level.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Paneer Pulao (Cottage Cheese Pulao)

My son is a great fan of paneer no matter what the paneer is on our family menu at least once a week but believe me I don't know why I haven't posted a single paneer recipe on my blog yet.I guess I mostly make paneer for dinner and either I get too tired to click a picture or the lighting is not sufficient.So this time when I made Paneer Pulao for lunch and the first thing I decided is to make a post of it on my blog .Here goes everyone's favourite Paneer Pulao and I served it along with small onion and capsicum raita (which I will post soon).to add colour to the pulao I added green peas.You can add other veggies too.

Preparation time:20 mins
Serves :3


Paneer or Indian cottage cheese cubes-200 gms
Basmati rice or (jeeraga samba rice which I used here)-1 1/2 cup
Green peas-1/2 cup
Thinly sliced onion-1 no
Chopped fresh mint leaves-1/4 cup
Chopped fresh coriander leaves-1/4 cup
Garam masala-1 tsp
Salt -to taste
Sugar-1 tsp
Milk-1/2 cup
Oil-2 tbsp
Ghee-1 tbsp

To be grind to a fine paste:
Small onion or pearl onions-6 to 7 no
Garlic -5 pods
Ginger-1 1/2 inch
Green chillies-2( depending on your spice level)

To temper:
Star anise-2
Bay leaves-2
Cinnamon-2 one inch sticks
Green cardamom -2


1.Grind the ingredients given for grinding to a fine paste.

2.Heat a cooker,add 1 tbsp of oil and ghee .Then add the sugar and once it caramelizes add  the ingredients given for tempering .Now ass the sliced onions and saute well.

3.Once the onions turn golden brown add the ground pate ,followed by chopped mint and coriander leaves.

4.After it is sauteed well ,add the green peas and soaked basmati rice and mix well.

5.Then add the water and milk followed by garam masala. Mix well and close the cooker lid and cook for 2 whistles.In a separate wok add a tbsp of oil and shallow fry the paneer till they are golden brown.Place this roasted paneer inside warm water to retain its softness.

6.Add this paneer to the cooked rice and mix well when it is hot so that the flavour blends well with the paneer.

7.The most yummy and flavorful paneer pulao is ready in a jiffy.Serve hot with any raita of your choice.


*I used Jeerasamba rice so the grains are small.You can use basmati rice to get a long grain texture but flavour wise both are good.
*Mixing the paneer after the rice is ready helps it to keep soft .If you cook the paneer along with rice,sometimes it turns rubbery.