October 31, 2005

Diwali Greetings!

(Please double-click the picture to enlarge.)

Here are some sweets for you on the occasion of Diwali :-) I could not resist myself purchasing these colorful sweets from a nearby confectionary today. In the coming days, I will try to add some of the recipes for making these tempting sweets at your home.

And here is one of the inspiring stories on Diwali ...

"It was the sacred Deepavali Day. A few devotees had gathered round the Master who sat underneath a huge, banyan tree.

A devotee asked: "Master, how best may a person celebrate the Deepavali Day?

And the Master said: "By kindling the light inextinguishable-the light which can never be extinguished."

"And how may that be done?" asked the devotee.

The Master said: "Today, go and treat everyone you meet as though you are meeting him for the last time. Give him all the love and understanding, kindness and care of which you are capable, and do all this without expecting anything in return-not even a simple words of thanks."

The Master paused for a while and then added: "And continue to do this every day!" - Author unknown -

October 28, 2005

Potato vattals (chips)

Bringing ingredients together...

Our vintage kitchen slicer/grater, almost 7 years old :-) It helps us a lot to uniformly slice, shred, grate, crinkle cut, and waffle cut almost all the vegetables, which include potatoes, carrots, cabbage, garlic, ginger, tomatoes, radish, green pepper, cucumber, etc., just to name a few. An immensely useful kitchen aid.

Dried potato slices
Potato vattals (chips) recipe

Potatoes - as required
Oil or ghee - as required for deep frying
Red chilly powder and salt - as needed to taste
Water - as required

Method: Scrub and wash the potatoes. Slice it into thin cirles and immerse in water. Wash it in many changes of water till clear of starch. Put into a collander. Heat a large flab-bottomed skillet with enough water to cover all the sliced potatoes. When the water starts boiling furiously, drop in the sliced potatoes. Stir only once with the stem end of a spoon. When the water throws out the first few bubbles again, remove from the fire. Cover with a lid and keep aside for 20 minutes. Drain off the water and place each potato slice separately on a damp cloth beneath the blazing sun. Dry for three days or till completely dry. Store in an air-tight container. When needed, deep fry in smoking hot oil or ghee. To season, sprinkle dry, finely powdered salt and red chilli powder over the hot fried chip and toss to distribute freely. Serve it as a hot vattal, which can be taken as a tea time snacks or as a side dish during lunch or dinner. Enjoy!

The final result.


October 27, 2005

Drumstick leaves fried with Eggs (weekend herb)

Drumstick leaves (Botanical name - Moringa Oleifera)

Drumstick leaves are antibacterial and are wonderful cleaners. They are used in the cure of many ailments due to their various medicinal properties. It helps to cure hiccups, urine troubles, worm troubles, boils, abscess, piles, etc.

Drumstick leaves contain 7 times the vitamin C in oranges plus 4 times the calcium in milk plus 4 times the vitamin A in carrots plus 2 times the protein in milk plus 3 times the potassium in bananas. Did you know about this? Unfortunately, I personally do not think this vital information has reached the people who need it most.

I am quite thrilled and inspired by the theme of weekend herb blogging at Kalyn's kitchen. I am starting off with one of our favorite side dish recipes we devour which is made of drumstick leaves and eggs. Your feedbacks on this please.

Bringing ingredients together...

Drumstick leaves fried with eggs recipe


Drumstick leaves – 2-3 handsful, picked off one by one from the stems and stalks (need lots of patience), washed
Onions – 3, medium size, finely chopped
Green chillies – 8, medium size and medium hot, finely chopped
Oil – 2 teaspoons
Ghee – 2 teaspoons
Salt – ½+½ teaspoon
Turmeric powder – ¼ teaspoon

Heat a frying pan, pour in the oil and ghee. When very hot, add the onions and green chillies together and fry till they turn limp. Add the drumstick leaves. Sprinkle a handful of water and ½ teaspoon salt over the drumstick leaves, cover with a lid, and let the drumstick leaves boil for 5 minutes over moderate heat. Meanwhile, beat up the eggs with the turmeric powder and ½ teaspoon salt. Remove the covering lid over the drumstick leaves and fry turning over frequently. When dryish and no water runs out, pour the egg batter slowly all over the drumstick leaves, stirring with a spatula to distribute the egg batter evenly. When the egg sets into flakes, remove from the fire. Serve hot as soon as it is made for a delicious flavor. Enjoy!

One more close-up picture of it. Isn't it a tempting one? :-)

: :

October 25, 2005

Mutton and Potato Curried Sauce

Bringing ingredients together...

Mutton - 1/2 kg, pieces washed and cut into medium size pieces
Potatoes - 3 medium size, peeled and cubed
Onions - 2 medium size, finely chopped
Ginger - 1/2 inch piece
Garlic - 4 beads
Garam masala powder - 2 teaspoons
Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Salt - 1-1/2 teaspoons
Coriander leaves - a small bunch, finely chopped
Coconut - 1 cup, grated
Khus-khus - 2 teaspoons
Ghee - 1 tablespoon
Cinnamon - 1 inch long stick
Cloves - 3
Warm water - 5 cups

Method: Grind the coconut and khus-khus together to a smooth paste and keep aside. Grind the ginger and the garlic to a smooth paste and keep aside.

Heat a flat-bottomed vessel and pour the ghee. When smoking hot, add the cloves and cinnamon stick together and follow with half of the chopped onions. When the edges of the onions turn brown here and there, add the mutton pieces. Stir from bottom once. When the water which shows out of the mutton pieces evaporates, add the garam masala powder, salt, turmeric powder, ginger, and garlic paste. Fry well for 5 minutes. Now add 3 cups of warm water to cover the mutton just completely and also the remaining chopped onions. Cover with a lid and allow to boil over moderate heat for the first 30 minutes and then simmer over reduced heat till the mutton is tender. Add potato pieces to the tender mutton at this stage. If needed, add 2 cups of warm water with potato. When the potatoes are boiled tender, add the coconut and the khus-khus paste diluting it with a cup of water. Let the sauce simmer gently till you get the required consistency you like or till the sauce does not smell raw. Add the chopped coriander leaves to the sauce a minute before removing from the fire. Enjoy!

This curried sauce is so tasty when eaten with boiled rice or bread or chappaties. We can use minced meat and cook it exactly the same way. Minced meat takes less time to cook.


October 24, 2005


Panchamrutham is a divine prasadam made for many pujas or festive occasions. It means five amruthams such as cow's milk, curd/yogurt, banana, ghee, and sugar. Mix all these ingredients well manually in equal quantity; pachamrutham is ready. We can have this as a postprandial desert. Store this in an air-tight container for almost a week, need not refrigerate.

PS: Diabetic patients - please take care; though it is a quite delicious dish, the ghee-sugar content of it is just not for you.


October 23, 2005

Ragi dosai

Bringing ingredients together...

Ragi dosai recipe

Ragi flour – 2 cups
Coconut – 1 cup, grated, fresh
Onions – 3, medium size, finely chopped
Green chillies – 6, medium size, finely chopped
Coriander leaves – one bunch, finely chopped
Salt – 1 teaspoon
Sugar – ½ teaspoon
Warm water – 2 cups, to make the dosai batter
Ghee – 2 tablespoon
Oil – 2 tablespoon

Method: Mix coconut, onions, green chillies, coriander leaves, salt, sugar, and warm water. Add ragi flour and mix it with the ingredients well making the batter to a medium thick consistency similar to that of dosai batter. Add some more water if needed. Keep aside for 15 minutes. Mix ghee and oil and melt to liquid consistency. Heat the tava over moderate heat. Pour a little oil and ghee mixture to the tava. When very hot, pour a big spoonful of the batter right in the middle of the hot oil and ghee mixture. Spread lightly to a thinner round, if you like it that way. Cover with a lid and cook for approximately 30 seconds. Remove the covering lid. If the dosai looks cooked, or it does not stick to the slic when touched, loosen first the edges all around with the sharp-edged flat dosai slice and turn over the dosai. Do not cover after turning over it. Pour some more ghee and oil around the edges of the dosai on both sides while it cooks. These dosais are very tasty, eaten just as they are or with a little pudina (mint) chutney.

One more closeup of this gorgeous ragi dosai. Isn't it tempting one?


October 22, 2005

Mint Chutney

Mint Chutney Recipe

Mint leaves – 1 cup, fresh
Coriander leaves – ½ cup, fresh or curry leaves – 10
Tamarind extract – 1 teaspoon, without fibres or seeds
Coconut – 2 tablespoons, grated (optional)
Green chillies – 4, medium hot
Cummin seeds – 1 teaspoon
Salt – ½ teaspoon or to taste
Black gram dal – 1 teaspoon
Oil – 1 teaspoon

Method: Wash the mint and coriander leaves thoroughly in water. Grind all the ingredients together with a little water to a smooth paste. Let the paste remain in the blender while you make the oil very hot in a frypan. Fry the black gram dhal in hot oil till lightly browned. Pour the oil with fried dhal into the paste and continue grinding till the dhal also is mashed and blended thoroughly.

This chutney helps a lot in digestion especially when used it with rich oily dishes.


October 21, 2005


October 16, 2005

Fish curry

Fish curry recipe
Serves – 4
Cooking time – approx 40 min

Fish of your choice or prawns (peeled and de-veined) – ½ kg
Salt – 1-1/2 teaspoon or to taste
Green chillies – 4, medium hot, de-seeded
Onion – 1, medium size, sliced
Coconut oil – 2 tablespoon
Mustard Seeds – 1 teaspoon
Curry Leaves – a small bunch, freshCoconut milk – 2 cups, extracted from one fresh small firm whole coconut scrapings
Kodampuli – 4 pieces, boiled in water
Water – 2 cups, warm

For ground paste:
Red chillies – 6
Peppercorns - 3
Turmeric powder – ½ teaspoon
Coriander seeds – 1 teaspoon
Cummin seeds – 1 teaspoon
Fenugreek seeds – ¼ teaspoon
Garlic – 6 cloves
Ginger – 1 inch piece

Method: Wash, clean, and cut the fish into 6-7 pieces. Mix it with the salt, green chillies, and onion. Keep aside. Combine all the the ingredients for paste, and grind it to make a smooth paste. Extract coconut milk and keep aside. Heat oil in a deep pan. When very hot, add mustard seeds. When those stop spluttering, add curry leaves and the ground paste. Fry the paste on a medium heat for 2 minutes. Add a little water if needed. Now put the coconut extract and stir-cook for 20 minutes. The sauce will become thick. Add the marinated fish pieces and the kodampuli pulp to the boiling sauce. Add enough water to cover the fish pieces. Cook on a medium heat stirring it lightly in between. Stir only with the stem end of a spoon or just shake the vessel lightly. This is to prevent the fish from breaking into bits. Add more salt to taste if necessary. When the fish curry is reduced to half its quantity and gravy thickens, remove the curry from fire and put it into a serving dish. Serve hot or cool and enjoy.

Fish curry made this way is delicious when eaten with white boiled rice, bread, dosais, idlies, or appams. Cover the fish curry with a lid only after it cools.