Tuesday, June 22, 2010


India is famous for its snacks. Each state has its own version of tea time snacks. Some of them are fried, some steamed, some baked, but all are very tasty. Kuzhipaniyaram is a fried snack which originated in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

Preparation Time: 10 mts Cooking Time: 20 mts Serves: 2

Dosa Batter - 1 cup
Big Onion - 1 no. cut in to fine pieces
Green Chillies - 2 nos.
Refined Oil - 4 -5 tbsp


Cut the onions & green chillies into fine pieces. Mix them well in the dosa batter. Place the kuzhipaniyara pan(wak in the small picture) in the stove & heat it. Pour 1 tsp. oil in each kuzhi. When it gets heated, pour the batter into that with the help of a small ladle. Wait for it to cook on one side. Then turn it slowly & cook on the other side. Drain the oil & take it out. Repeat this process again till the batter is over. Kuzhipaniyaram is ready to eat. Eat it with coconut & coriander chutney.


This is the basic batter for this snack. We can make this by adding some gram flour (besan) to the batter. Maida or refined flour can also be added instead of gram flour. Instead of dosa batter, we can use just maida & rice flour (4:1 proportion) & add onions & chillies & fry them.


  1. While preparing the batter, add 1 tsp. of soaked gram Dal (kadalai paruppu) to it. This will give it an added taste.
  2. We can also add some finely chopped coriander leaves (cilantro) to the batter. This will give a nice aroma to the snack.
  3. If the batter is old, we can add a pinch of soda bi carbonate to the batter. This will make the batter taste nice & fresh. Don't add too much because the kuzhipaniyaram will then absorb lot of oil.

Taste it & enjoy.

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Potato comes under the tubular plant variety. It is full of starch & carbohydrates. Potato is the fourth largest consumed food item in the world after maize, wheat & rice. India & China are the largest producers of potatoes.

Preparation Time:20 mts Cooking Time: 20 mts Serves: 2


Potato - 1/4 kg
Chili powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Asafoetida powder (hing) - 1/4 tsp
salt - to taste
Refined oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Urud dal - 1/4 tsp


Boil the potatoes, peel them & cut them in to small cubes. In a frying pan, heat the oil. Add the mustard seeds & allow them to splutter. Then add the urud dal & roast them to a light brown colour. Add the cut potatoes, turmeric powder, chili powder, salt & asafoetida powder. Mix them well & roast them in slow heat till it is golden yellow.


potato can be cooked in many ways. We can just peel & cut the potatoes in to small cubes & put them in the pan & roast them. All we have to do is to keep the pan closed for some time so that it cooks in the steam produced by the lid. We can also cut them in to thin slices & roast them.


  1. After boiling & cutting the potatoes, put them in a plate, add all the masala powders & a little oil & mix them all well. This will help the masala spread evenly all over. This stage of the potato itself is very tasty to eat.

  2. We can add 1 finely cut onion & roast it along with the potato. This will give a different taste to the roast.

  3. While making the roast with finely cut potato pieces, we can add little garam masala powder. This will enhance the flavour.

  4. Sprinkling a little besan flour to the roast will make it very crisp.

Taste it & enjoy.

Friday, June 18, 2010


India has a large variety of greens which are native of this land. Each has its own taste & nutritional value. Spinach is one such green. It was brought to India by the Persians. Spinach is full of anti oxidants, vitamins A,C,K, iron, magnesium, folic acid, calcium, potassium, omega 3 fatty acids etc. It is highly recommended by doctors to add spinach or any green in our daily diet.

Preparation Time:10 mts Cooking Time:10 mts Serves: 2


Spinach - 1 bunch
Refined oil - 1 tsp
Mustared seeds - 1/4 tsp
Red chillies - 2 nos.
salt - to taste
Asafoetida powder - 1 pinch


Wash the spinach bunch well & cut it finely. Put it in a pan with just enough water & little salt. Boil it for 5 mts. Allow it to cool. Drain the water & keep it aside. Put the spinach in the mixer & churn it lightly. Pour it back in the pan & add the drained water to it. Bring it to a boil. Heat oil in a small pan, & add the mustard seeds. When they splatter, add the red chillies & asafoetida. Pour this seasoning into the mashed spinach & switch off the heat. Spinach is ready to eat.


This is a very simple & easy way to cook spinach. This dish can be used as both main dish (to mix with rice) & side dish. All varieties of greens can be cooked like this. We can also add some boiled & mashed pulses like toor dal to this. We can also add sauteed onions to it.


  1. Boil spinach or any other green only for 5 mts. This will help it to retain the colour & the nutrients.
  2. If the mashed spinach becomes watery, we can add a little rice flour to the mixture & boil it. This will thicken the mixture.
  3. Adding a pinch of soda bi carbonate while boiling the spinach will also help retaining & enhancing the green colour.
This is a very simple but tasty dish.
Try it & enjoy.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010


Rice is a staple food of south India. Vegetables are consumed as side dishes. In olden days people mostly used the home grown indigenous vegetables. After the British rule, other vegetables also started appearing in the dining tables of the Indians. Cabbage is one such vegetable. Each of the southern states has its own way of cooking cabbage. My recipe is for the Kerala version of cabbage curry.

Preparation Time: 10 mts Cooking Time: 10 mts Serves: 2


Cabbage - 1/4 kg

Refined oil - 1 tsp

Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp

Salt - to taste


Red chillies - 2 nos

Shredded coconut - 2 tbsp


Cut or shred the cabbage into thin fine pieces. Grind the coconut & the chillies without water so that the coconut just gets powdered. In a non-stick pan, pour the oil. When the oil gets heated up add the mustard seeds & allow it to splatter. Then add the shredded cabbage & enough salt. Bring the gas to low heat. Cover the pan with a lid & cook the cabbage. Sprinkle some water in between if needed. Cook till the cabbage is tender & the water is all evaporated. Add the powdered coconut & saute it for 2 minutes. Switch off the stove. Cabbage curry is ready.


Cabbage can be cooked in various ways. We can cook it without the coconut also. This will give it a fresh green appearance. Alternately, we can cook it along with some fresh green peas to enhance the green look. Onions can also be added for a different flavour.


  1. Adding a pod of garlic while grinding the coconut will give an added flavour to the garlic lovers.

  2. While making cabbage without coconut, slice 2 green chillies. Sprinkle the cut cabbage with some salt. Add the sliced chillies & make it into a heap. Keep this in a slanting position in a tray for 10 mts. This will make the water in the cabbage to come out. Then squeeze the rest of the water out of the cabbage & cook it as said above. Add salt only if required. This will help to minimise the smell of cabbage.

  3. We can also add a little soda bi carbonate while cooking the cabbage. This will help to retain the green colour.

Try it & enjoy.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Avial is a gastronomic delight which has its roots in Kerala. It is also nutritious because it has most of the vegetables in it. Kerala is a state in the south western coast of India. Its skyline is dotted with coconut palms. Hence most of the kerala cusine will have coconut as an ingredient & coconut oil is used predominantly.

Preparation Time: 20 mts. Cooking Time: 20 mts. Serves: 2


carrots, beans, pumpkin(poozanikkai), snake gouard(pudalangai) - 50 gms of each
raw banana(vazhakkai) - 1 no.
drum stick (murungaikkai)- 1 no.
elephant foot yam(chenai) - 50 gms
potato - 1 no.
long beans ( payaru) - 50 gms
raw mango - 1 no.
curry leaves(kariveppilai) - 2 sprigs
salt - to taste
turmeric powder - 1 tsp
coconut oil - 2 tsps.


coconut - 3/4 cup
green chillies - 3-4 nos. according to spice level needed
cumin seeds (jeerakam) - 1 tsp.


Cut all the vegetables in to pencil thin slices 1 1/2 inches long. Grind all the grinding ingredients to a nice paste. In a flat bottom vessel, put all the vegetables with enough water, salt & turmeric powder. Boil the vegetables till they are cooked & tender. Add the ground paste & bring it to boil. Add curry leaves & coconut oil & switch off the stove. Avial is ready.

Avial can be had as both main dish (to mix with rice ) & side dish. My recipe is for the main dish. For avial as side dish, drain off all the water after cooking the vegetables & then add the ground masala. Rest of the recipe is the same.


  1. Mango can be replaced with tamarind. Replace 1 mango with 1 tsp of tamarind paste. If using regular tamarind, take 1 small lemon sized tamarind & roll it into a thick ball. Make a well in between the vegetables & keep this ball there. Once the vegetables are cooked, remove this ball.
  2. Curd can also be used instead of mango & tamarind. Take 1/2 cup of curd & mix the ground ingredients to it & add it to the vegetables & boil.
  3. Avial can be made with just one vegetable also. Vegetables like pumpkin, drumsticks are ideal for this.
  4. Any vegetable can be used to make avial. Most of the vegetables i have used are native indian vegetables but we can use them according to availability with the exception of beetroot.
  5. Coconut oil has a very special smell. For those who are not used to this, any other oil can be used according to their taste.

This avial can be had with rice, adai, puris & rotis.

Try it & enjoy.