Thursday, April 23, 2015

Mango Yogurt

Mangoes are in town and I am going crazy over mangoes.To my surprise my son who doesn't like most of the fruits showed a liking towards mangoes and I am so happy now because I have got a company to buy and eat more of them.

We also like to eat mango yogurt and other such fruit yogurts which we buy from the super markets.For a long time I wanted to try these yogurts at home and finally got my hands on to make these delicious mango yogurt.They are super easy to make and very delicious that you won't even prefer store brought ones which contains artificial colours and flavours.

Preparation time:10 mins + setting time(min 6 hours )


Alphonso mango pulps(sweet ones)-from 2 mangoes
Evaporated milk or milk powder-5 tbsp
Sugar-1/4 cup(or less)
Milk-2 cups
Yogurt culture-few tsp


1.In a blender add the mango pulp,sugar and milk powder and beat them till they become a smooth paste.

2.Add this paste to the boiled and cooled down milk and mix well.

3.Pour this mango flavored milk in to dessert cups and add a tsp of yogurt culture to each of these cups and keep them at room temperature (preferably warm) for a minimum of 6 hours for them to set.

4.Once they are set,place them in refrigerator and serve chilled as a dessert.


* You can adjust the sugar quantity based on your sweet index.
* As I used skimmed milk ,I added milk powder or evaporated milk to add thickness and creaminess.
* If you like cardamom flavor ,you can add a tsp of cardamom powder to the pulp before beating to a paste.
* You can add few small pieces of mango to the yogurt (in addition to the one which is ground to a paste) to add a fruity texture.

Monday, April 20, 2015

Palak Paneer Paratha(Spinach Cottage Cheese stuffed flatbread)

Paneer is my son's favorite and we have paneer on the menu at least once a week.Usually I make paneer butter masala or palak paneer.We got bored of it and I wanted to make paratha this time.I also had some spinach left in the refrigerator and got an idea why don't I make palak paneer Paratha(cottage cheese spinach stuffed flatbread) for a change.It came out very tasty and my son loved it very much .I guess this is a great way to make kids eat spinach as it is mixed with their favourite paneer or cottage cheese.It is also very high in protein,calcium and iron.All you need is a blob of butter on the hot Palak Paneer Paratha and then there is no talking only lip smacking .

Preparation time:40 Mins
Makes-12 medium parathas


For the bread:
Whole wheat flour-1 1/2  cups
Salt-to taste 
Water -for kneading 

For the stuffing:
Spinach or palak leaves-1 cup tightly packed
Paneer -200 gms
Finely chopped onion-1 no
Jeera or cumin-1 tsp
Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
Chilli powder-1 tsp( adjust according to your need)
Garam masala-1 tsp 
Chat masala-1/2 tsp(optional)
Kasuri methi or dried fenugreek leaves-1 tsp
Salt-to taste
Oil-to toast the parathas


1.In a large mixing bowl add the flour and reunited salt and add required water little by little and knead in to a soft dough.Cover the bowl with a lid and keep it aside.

2.Heat a wok with a tbsp of oil and add cumin seeds.After it splutters add the chopped onion and saute well.

3.When the onions turn transparent add the salt,turmeric powder and red chilli powder,followed by finely chopped spinach.(Wash and drain the spinach before chopping.)

4.Once the spinach is cooked add the grated or crumbled paneer ,garam masala,chat masala and kasuri methi.Saute well and switch off the flame.

5.Take a small ball size dough and roll in to a small chappathi and place two spoonfuls of the spinach cottage cheese filling inside it and wrap it inside the dough .

6.Dust some flour on the wrapped filing dough and roll out in to parathas.It should be neither too thick nor too thin.If it sticks to the rolling plate dust some flour and roll it out.

.Heat a non-stick pan and add a tsp of oil and place the paratha on top of it.Once it gets cooked on the downside ,flip it and add another tsp of oil so that both the sides are evenly cooked golden brown.

8.Serve hot with a pickle or tomato thokku and raita .Optionally you can add a blob of butter on top of the parathas before serving.


*You can add ginger garlic paste before sauteing the spinach for the filling.
* grate the paneer for a even rolling of paratha.
*Roll out parathas evenly and lightly  otherwise the filling will come out when you roll out.
*Don't avoid kasuri methi as it adds a very nice flour to the paratha and it is healthy too.
*You can also add chopped coriander leaves to the filling.
* you can substitute Palak or spinach with fresh fenugreek leaves or fresh methi leaves.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Ulundu vadai /Medhu vadai recipe( Lentil Fritters)

Who doesn't like the crispy Medhu Vadai? I wanted to post this recipe for a long time but somehow it got postponed ! Though the ingredients are simple making a perfect vadai which is crispy on the outside and soft and airy on the inside is a skilled task which one can maneuver through practice. My initial vadais were either too hard or the batter was too watery and absorbed more oil. Then I asked my mom for some tips to get a perfect vadai and also took few ideas from vahchef and finally started making nice and perfect vadais.

The outcome will be great if you use a wet grinder to make the batter but for a small family of two or three ,grinding in wet grinder would be a huge amount of effort and a waste of time.So there are some points to take care when grinding in a mixer or blender and voila you can achieve the same great result from your mixie. Also make sure to use a good quality urad dal as it plays an important role in getting perfect vadais.

So please read every step in the procedure and follow them to get good vadais.

Preparation time:20 mins(+1 hour for soaking)
Makes:12 to 15 vadas


Urad dal or ulundu -1 cup
Green chillies-2(based on your spice level)
Curry leaves-few
Asafetida or Hing-1 tsp
Salt - to taste
Finely chopped onion-1 no
Finely chopped coriander leaves-1 tbsp( optional) oil- to fry


1.Soak urad dal along with green chillies and curry leaves for an hour.i used udhayam brand urad dal.

2.After one hour drain all the water and place the ingredients in a mixer and use the pulse mode to beat the ingredients by stopping in between for few seconds.If you feel the mixture is too thick then keep sprinkling water and continue to use the pulse mode for a minute by stopping in between as told above.Then grind it in the normal mode for few seconds and stop.Then repeat it again till the dal has become a smooth and fluffy paste.The stopping in between helps in incorporating air to the batter which helps in getting us a good vada.

3.Add salt,asafoetida and onion to the mixture and stir the mixture by hand for minute.This mixing by hand is very important as it also helps in making the batter light and fluffy.

4.Take a small amount of the batter and drop in to a cup of water .The batter must float .If so, the consistency is correct.if not then keep mixing the batter by hand and try the water test again.Then take a plastic cover or banana leaf and place a small amount of batter on it.Then dip your hand in water and flatten it and pierce a hole in between .

5.Heat oil in a medium heat and drop the vadai in to  it carefully.Then grease the cover or leaf with water and repeat with the next vadai.The application of water to plastic cover or leaf helps in getting the vada out of it easily without sticking to it.


6.Fry till they are golden brown in colour under medium heat so that it ensured even cooking of vadas. 

7.Serve hot with coconut chutney.It tastes great just like that and hence I couldn't resist!

  • Use very little water by sprinkling as needed.Do not add at one stretch as the batter may become watery.
  • Avoid onions if you do not want them.
  • You can add a small piece of ginger to the urad dal before grinding.
  • Instead of green chillies,you can either add whole peppercorns or pepper powder.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Carrot Kheer

Happy Tamil New Year and Happy Vishu to all my blog readers and friends.For every new year mostly I make Ambalapuzha Pal Payasam.This year I wanted a change of payasam and thought of making carrot kheer and when I told my hubby he immediately said yes as he also likes kheer.So I called my mom and asked for the recipe and finally we enjoyed a yummy carrot kheer. It tastes heavenly when chilled too.Adding evaporated milk adds creaminess to the recipe so I would recommend to add it though you can still make without it.


Carrot grated-1 and 1/4 cup
Boiled Milk-5 cups
Sugar-3/4 cup
Evaporated milk or milk powder-4 h
Cardamom powder-1 tsp
Cashews-10 nos
Ghee or clarified butter-2 tbsp
Chopped almonds- few for garnish


1.Boil the grated carrot in one cup of milk and once it is done add 5 cashews and mix well.Allow this mixture to cool.

2.Grind this mixture along with the evaporated milk or milk powder to a fine paste.You can add little milk for easy grinding.

3.Add this ground mixture to the remaining milk and simmer it.Add sugar and keep stirring for minute.

4.Once the kheer has thickened add the cardamom powder and switch off the flame.Heat ghee in a pan and add cashews and raisins.

5.Once the cashews turn golden brown add it to the kheer.

6.Serve kheer hot or cold based on your choice.


* Increase sugar to 1 cup if you are sweet toothed.
*Use chopped almonds for garnish.
* Use evaporated milk for thickness and creaminess .
* You can use equal quantities of carrot and beetroot for this kheer .if you are using beetroot then do not increase the sugar quantity.
*This kheer can be made using sugar free also.Instead of sugar add any equivalent sugar substitute.

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Melon Medley/Melon Salad

The Mercury is on the rising and there are no words to describe the intense heat here in Chennai and all I want is to bite in to the cool and juicy water melon or musk melon or cantaloupe .I eat both fruits separately and suddenly thought of making a salad using both.It is very easy to make and has a burst of freshness of mint.You can also add yellow water melon for a more colourful look.

Preparation time:10 minutes

Ingredients :
Diced Watermelon-1 cup
Diced Cantaloupe or musk melon-1 cup
Chopped fresh Mint-10 to 12 leaves
Honey-2 tbsp
Salt-1/2 tsp
Freshly ground Pepper-1 tsp
Lemon juice-2 tsp

Procedure :

1.In a mixing bowl , mix all the above ingredients together except salt.

2.Add salt just before serving and toss well to mix it(Otherwise melons may turn watery).

3. Refreshing melon salad is ready. You can refrigerate the salad and serve it cold 

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Keerai Samai Pongal using Sprouts/Little Millet and Greens Pudding using Sprouts

With the increasing awareness of millets and their health benefits, I too use them in any recipe wherever possible.I usually make pongal with thinai ( foxtail millet) or varagu(or kodo millet).But this one is a bit different and is an adapted version my favourite culinary idol mrs.Mallika Badrinath.This is very nutritious and a really satisfying meal.This pongal is very rich in iron and protein.To my surprise this Keerai Samai Pongal turned out to be delicious and we enjoyed it with a cup of hot sambar.

Preparation time:35 mins
Serves :3


Samai/Little Millet-1 cup
Green gram sprouts/Sprouted Moong dal -1/4 cup
Chopped greens/Keerai(loosely packed)-1 cup
Freshly ground pepper-1 tbsp
Cumin/jeera-2 tsp
Cashews-5 to 8 no
Ghee and oil -2 tbsp
Salt-to taste 


1.Cook samai or little millets in an open pot with 1 and 1/2 cups of water till they are soft and mushy.

2.Heat ghee and oil in a wok and roast the cashews to golden brown and keep it aside.In the same wok with the remaining oil and ghee mixture add the sprouts and roast them till they are half done.

3.Then add the chopped greens and saute till they are cooked.add cumin seeds and pepper powder .

4.After the greens are cooked,add the cooked little millets or samai and the required salt.Mix well and garnish with roasted cashews.

5.Serve hot with sambar and coconut chutney .Optionally you can top it with a spoon of melted ghee before serving.


* The original recipe called for a 1/4 cup of cooked moth beans(or nari payaru) but as I couldn't get them I didn't add them.
* You can add any type of keerai like arai keerai or mulai keerai (edible amaranth) or siru keerai or palak(spinach).