November 1, 2009

Kathrikai Gotsu / kotsu

Posted in Gravy, Indian Lunch, sides at 10:32 am by kalpana



  1. Indian eggplants – 8 to 10
  2. Gingelly oil – 4 tablespoons
  3. Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  4. Urad dal – 1  teaspoon
  5. Chana dal – 1 teaspoon
  6. Curry leaves – few
  7. red chillies – 5
  8. Green chilli – 1
  9. Finely chopped Onion – 1 cup
  10. Coriander powder – 1 tablespoon
  11. Tamarind pulp – 1/2 cup
  12. Powdered Jaggery – 2 pinches.
  13. Salt to taste.


  • Brush the eggplants with oil.
  • preheat the conventional oven to 425 deg  F .Place the eggplants in a baking sheet pan and roast the eggplants for about 30 to 35 minutes.You can cook the eggplants directly on the stove top too.Either way is fine.
  • Take the roasted eggplants out of oven and allow it to cool.
  • Peel the skin ,mash it well and keep it aside.
  • Heat oil in a pan.
  • Add the mustard seeds,urad dhal ,chana dal,curry leaves ,cilantro and fry for for few seconds.
  • Add the chopped garlic,ginger,red chillies ,green chillies ,onion and saute themfor 4 to 5 minutes.
  • Add the mashed eggplants,salt,turmeric powder,tamarind paste and mix well.
  • Cook it for about 7  to 8 minutes till everything blends together.
  • Add little grated jaggery at the end to balance out all the different  flavors.Mix well and take it out of heat.
  • Serve with rice.

September 24, 2009

Arachuvitta Sambhar

Posted in Dinner, Gravy, Indian Lunch at 3:20 pm by kalpana


This sambhar tastes just like hotel sambhar.


  1. Chopped veggies (carrots, eggplant,beans)- 4 cups
  2. onion medium -1
  3. Toor Dal – 3/4 cup
  4. Tomatoes – 2
  5. Tamarind pulp – 1/2 cup
  6. Turmeric – 1/4 teaspoon
  7. Mustard seeds – 1
  8. Curry leaves – 1 sprig
  9. Ghee – 3 tablespoons

To Toast and grind

  1. Freshly grated coconut – 3 tablespoons
  2. Coriander powder – 1 tablespoon
  3. Chana dal – 2 teaspoons
  4. Cumin seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
  5. Dry Red chillies – 3 (can be adjusted to suit your taste)


  • Soak the toor dal in water for 4-5 hours.
  • Pressure cook the veggies,finely chopped tomatoes,toor dal,turmeric powder,tamarind pulp,salt with little water.
  • You can also cook the dal and veggies seperately, if you want to.This way, you need not worry about overcooking the veggies.In this case ,no need to soak the dal in water.
  • Heat a pan.slowly toast the coconut till it turns to a nice caramel brown color and keep it aside.This is a very important step for a delicious sambhar.
  • In the same pan ,toast chana dal,cumin seeds,red chillies till you get a nice aroma.
  • On a low heat,toast the coriander powder as it may burn easily.If you using whole coriander seeds,you can toast it along with the other ingredients.
  • Add a little water to the toasted ingredients and grind it to a fine paste.
  • Now ,add the paste to the cooked toordal-veggie mixture and bring it to a boil.Add water if it is too thick.
  • For tempering,heat ghee in a pan,add the mustard seeds,curry leaves,finely chopped onion and saute them for few mins.
  • Add it to the sambhar,mix well and garnish with cilantro.

September 20, 2009

Thengai paal saadam (coconut milk rice)

Posted in Indian Lunch, Variety Rice at 9:35 am by kalpana


  1. Rice – 2 1/2 cups
  2. Green Chillies – 4 to 5
  3. Onion -1
  4. Ginger garlic paste -1 tablespoon
  5. Cinnamon stick – 1
  6. Cloves – 5
  7. Bayleaf -1
  8. Cilantro – a bunch
  9. Fresh coconut milk – 4 cups + 1 cup water.
  10. Salt to taste.



  • Heat oil in a pan.Add the cloves,bayleaf,cinnamon stick anf fry for few seconds.
  • Add the finely chopped onion, chopped green chilles,ginger-garlic paste,pinch of salt  and saute for few minutes.
  • Add half of cilantro and fry for a minute.
  • When the raw smell is gone, transfer the contents to the electric rice cooker.
  • Add the rice,coconut milk,water ,salt,rest of cilantro and mix everything well.
  • Cook the coconut rice as you would the plain white rice.This method is easy than the pressure cooker method.This way you need not worry about rice getting mushy.

Note : serve this rice with simple potato fry or colocasia fry or mild chicken gravy.Any spicy korma or gravy will overpower this dish and you may not thoroughly enjoy coconut flavor.

July 9, 2009

Vatha Kuzhambu

Posted in Dinner, Gravy, Indian Lunch at 12:19 pm by kalpana



  • Gingelly oil – 3 tablespoons
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2  teaspoon
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Urad dal – 3/4 teaspoon
  • Toor Dal – 1 teaspoon
  • Red chillies – 3
  • Curry leaves – few
  • Sundakkai vathal ( dried turkey berry) – 1 tablespoon
  • Urad dal appalam (pappadam) -1 or 2
  • Chilli powder – 2 teaspoons ( I use good old sambhar powder)
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Tamarind pulp -Less than 1/4 cup ( Adjust  to suit your taste)
  • Salt
  • Rice flour – 1 teaspoon
  • Coconut – 1/4 cup (optional)


  1. Heat oil in a pan.Add mustard seeds ,fenugreek seeds,toor dal,urad dal ,red chillies,curry  leaves,Asafoetida and fry for few seconds.
  2. Now tear the appalam and add it to the oil.fry for few seconds.
  3. Add the dried turkey berry and fry for a minute.It is usually fried separately and added to the kuzambu at the end.But the former works just fine for me.
  4. Dilute the tamarind pulp in 2 cups of water.
  5. Add the tamarind pulp, chilli powder,turmeric powder,salt and bring it to boil.
  6. Let it boil for 5mins.
  7. Dilute a teaspoon of rice flour in little water and add it to the kuzambu.This is just to thicken the gravy.
  8. If you want to add coconut, grind it in a mixer and add it to the gravy. ( In this case, you can skip step 7)
  9. Serve with piping hot rice and appalam.I am not even  going to bother describing the taste.It’s beyond words 🙂

April 28, 2009

Fish kuzhambhu (Fish gravy)

Posted in Gravy, Indian Lunch, Non Vegetarian at 11:58 am by kalpana

My mother, though a strict vegetarian didn’t deprive us of goodness of non vegetarian dishes.Since my dad is a  meat person, as kids we were shown  the best of both worlds.My mother makes this dish twice or even thrice a week. She used to be so scared to even see the meat but  she always made sure that we ate what we loved to eat.All the prep work would  be done by the sweet helper lady, my mom would do the cooking part and i would happily do the taste testing 🙂 .Here is my mom’s fish recipe…



  1. Tilapia  – 1 pound  ( or any fish of your choice)
  2. Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 teaspoon ( or less if you think it’s gonna be bitter)
  3. Fennel seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
  4. Curry leaves – 3 sprigs
  5. Garlic – 4 cloves
  6. Roma tomatoes – 4
  7. Chilli powder – 2 teaspoons
  8. Coriander powder – 3 teaspoons
  9. Turmeric – 1/4  teaspoon
  10. Grated Coconut – 3/4 cup
  11. Oil – 4 tablespoons.
  12. Tamarind pulp – 1/4 cup


  • Heat oil in a deep pan.Add the fenugreek seeds, fennel seeds, curry leaves ,sliced garlic and fry them .
  • Add the finely chopped onion and pinch of salt.Saute them for few minutes.
  • Add the tomatoes and saute the tomatoes till the oil separates from the tomatoes.
  • Add the chilli powder, coriander powder,turmeric, salt and mix them well for a minute.
  • Grind the grated coconut to a fine paste.Add the coconut paste, tamarind pulp and bring it to a boil.
  • Check for seasoning before adding the fish.
  • Now ,add the fish  and cook till the fish is done.
  • Serve hot with rice.

April 20, 2009

Keerai kootu ( Spinach Gravy)

Posted in Gravy, Indian Lunch at 9:28 am by kalpana



  1. Spinach (Finely chopped) – 4 cups
  2. Moong Dal – 3/4 cup
  3. Tomatoes -3
  4. Green chillies – 3
  5. Onion (medium size) – 1
  6. Garlic cloves – 3
  7. Cumin seeds -1/2 teaspoon
  8. Fennel seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
  9. Mustard Seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  10. Urad dal – 1 teaspoon
  11. Red chillies – 2
  12. Oil – 3 tablespoons.
  13. Salt to taste.
  14. Turmeric –  A pinch


  • Pressure cook the moong dal with water,salt and little turmeric.
  • In a deep wide pan, Add spinach,green chillies (slit lengthwise),finely chopped tomatoes,1/4 of  finely chopped one onion ,1/2 cup water,salt and Cook it on medium flame until the spinach and tomatoes are well cooked.
  • Add the moong dal to the spinach and cook for 5 more minutes until everything blends.
  • Tempering is the very important part.Heat oil in a pan .Add the mustard seeds.
  • When the seeds splutter,add the urad dal,cumin seeds,fennel seeds,finely chopped garlic ,red chillies and rest of the onion.
  • Cook it on a medium flame until the onion turns to light brown color.
  • Add it to the spinach  and mix well.
  • Serve it with rice.

This recipe is participating in FIC – Red and green, hosted by neha .The FIC event was started by Sunshinemom.

March 18, 2009

Chicken masala, birthday party and a thing of beauty.. :)

Posted in chicken, Indian Lunch, Non Vegetarian, sides, Uncategorized at 11:40 am by kalpana


my son has  turned one! yayyy! 🙂

It was so tempting to see the left over  Cake lay on the kitchen island . Since i am on diet 😦 , i didnt want the temptation to win over me.. so i quickly packed the leftover cake and stored it in the refrigerator (No.. i am not going to eat it ever 🙂 ).I heard someone say this -‘ A minute on the lip ,forever on the hip ‘ :).  And now this has become my slogan 🙂  . As i said, since iam on diet i am cutting back on rice. I try to make flavorful and spicy meals so that i dont miss rice that much.The following recipe is my mother’s chicken recipe.My mother though  a strict vegetarian, makes the best chicken masala  without even tasting can use chicken breasts,thighs or even drumsticks  for this  recipe.

Chicken masala


  • Chicken cut into 1 inch pieces – 1/2 pound
  • Ginger garlic paste- 1  1/4  tablespoons
  • Fennel seeds – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Whole pepper corns – 3/4 teaspoon
  • Cinnamon ,cloves,bayleaf – 1 stick,4,1 respectively
  • onion finely chopped – 1 cup
  • Tomatoes – 4
  • Chilly powder – 2 teaspoons
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Dhania powder (coriander seeds) – 3 teaspoons
  • Garam masala powder – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Tamarind paste –  2 teaspoons (can be adjusted to taste)
  • Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
  • Cilantro to garnish
  • oil – 3 tablespoons


  1. Heat oil in  a pan.Add the fennel seeds,Bay leaf,cloves,cinnamon sticks,curry leaves and pepper corns.fry them on medium flame.Pepper corns may burst .watch out for it and stay away 🙂
  2. Add the finely chopped onions and cook it till it turns golden brown.
  3. Add the ginger- garlic paste and saute them until you get rid of raw smell .
  4. Add the finely chopped tomatoes and cook till they are well done.
  5. Add the chilli powder,turmeric powder,salt,dhania powder and cook them for a min.
  6. Add the chicken pieces and a little water to it.Mix well,cover it with lid and cook well on medium flame until the chicken is well done.Add the tamarind paste and cook for 3-5 minutes.
  7. Garnish with cilantro and serve it with rice.


My hubby surprised me with a chocolate fondue on valentine’s day.It tasted scrumptiousssssss  though he scorched it  a little bit :).I made the strawberry hearts for him.These two looked too pretty to eat….so we just left it and had the rest :).


March 2, 2009

Indian Thali

Posted in Dinner, Indian Lunch at 1:05 pm by messycooks


Inspired by asha’s awesome thalis, I decided to create my own thali.I went through her thalis and got some ideas on how to make a balanced meal.To start with,my thali is a combination of sweet ,spicy,hot,mild dishes.I  have made small thali with in the little time i could spare. I was so excited to make this meal that i even fell down spraining my ankle while multitasking 😀 …i didn’t care….thali came out fabulous!  🙂

Now  for the dishes (in clockwise direction):

Milagu smabhar,inji-onion rasam, paneer stuffed paratha,Avarakkai poriyal,sukiyan and rice.

sukiyan : It’s  a  deep fried sweet dish.


  • Chana dhal – 1 cup
  • Grated Jaggery – 1/2 cup
  • Powdered Cardamom – 1/4 teaspoonimg_31342
  • Maida – 1/2 cup
  • Salt – a pinch
  • Oil for frying

Method for sukiyan

  1. Soak the chana dhal in water for 4 hours.Pressure cook the chanadhal.It should be well cooked.
  2. Using  a masher or back of ladle ,mash the dhal.
  3. Add jaggery with little water in a pan and bring it to a boil.
  4. When it bubbles, add the dhal,cardamom and pinch of salt.
  5. keep stirring until all the water evaporates and dhal  hardens.
  6. Allow it to cool.
  7. Form small balls and keep it aside.
  8. Add little water, salt to maida and form a thick paste.Consistency should be like idli batter.
  9. Dip the balls in maida and deep fry them in oil.

lentils I am sending over  sukiyan recipe to Lentils mela hosted by ashwini.

Panner Stuffed paratha

For the stuffing : Heat oil in a pan.Add 1/2 tsp cumin,1/2 grated ginger, 2 cloves grated garlic,1 teaspoon grated onion,1 tsp tomato paste, 1 cup grated paneer,3/4 teaspoon Chilli powder,1/2 teaspoon kasuri methi , one by one and saute them for 5-6 mins.

For paratha Dough

Ingredients :

Whole wheat flour – 1 1/2 cups

Water – 1/2 cup

oil – 2 tablespoons



  1. Mix all the ingredients and knead the dough for few mins.
  2. Make equal sized small balls out of the dough.
  3. Roll out  the ball  using rolling about tablespoon of stuffing in the center .fold the edges of the dough over the filling  and press it well  to form a ball.Make sure the stuffing is well sealed inside the ball.
  4. Roll it again to desired thickness and shape.
  5. Add little oil or butter to tava and cook it for 3-4 mins on each side or until it’s done.

Inji -onion rasam.

  1. Crush the 3 garlic cloves ,1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds,10 pepper corns using mortar and pestle.
  2. Pound 1 inch ginger,5-6 pearl onion with back of a skillet to release the flavor.
  3. Add the above ingredients,1 1/2 finely chopped tomatoes,few curry leaves, 1/2 teaspoon rasam powder,tamarind paste,little turmeric ,cilantro and water.cook it till you see bubbles around the edges of the vessel.
  4. Heat little oil in a pan,add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds,little fenugreek seeds,a pinch of asafoetida, 2 red chilles.cook it for few seconds and add it to rasam.Add some more fresh cilantro at the end.

Avarakkai Poriyal

Method:Heat oil in a pan.Add 1/2 tsp mustard seeds,1 tsp urad dhal,few curry leaves,3 sliced garlic,1 cup finely chopped onion,2 slit green chillies and saute them for few minutes.Add the 3/4 pound chopped avarakkai ,salt,sprinkle some water,cover it withh a lid and cook them on medium heat.Open the lid every 5 mins or so ,sprinkle water as needed and cook them till they are done.This way we dont overcook the vegetable and dont endup with mushy vegetable.

Milagu sambhar (Pepper Sambhar):

Method :

Heat oil in a pan.Add 1 tsp  mustard to it.When it pops add few curry leaves,1 tsp urad dhal,3 sliced garlic cloves,1 medium onion finely ,3 slit green chillies and saute them well.Add 3 finely chopped tomatoes and cook them for few minutes.Boil 1 cup thoor dhal in a pressure cooker and add it to the tomato mixture.Add salt,1/2tsp turmeric powder and some water and let it boil.Grind 1cup coconut and 1 tablespoon pepper to a fine paste adding some water.Add the coconut-pepper mixture and 3 tablespoons of  tamarind juice to the sambar and let it boil.Garnish with some coriander leaves.

Milagu sambhar recipe goes to Think Spice-Think pepper ,an event started by Sunitha. Divya is hosting it this month. .

And that’s how it’s done! 🙂

February 23, 2009

Kaara Kuzhambu

Posted in Gravy, Indian Lunch at 8:22 pm by messycooks



  • Indian eggplant -5
  • Drumstick ( 2 inch pieces) – 10
  • Roma Tomatoes – 4
  • Chilli powder – 2 teaspoons (can be adjusted  to taste)
  • Dhania powder – 3 teaspoons
  • Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon
  • Fenugreek seeds – 1/4 teaspoon
  • Curry leaves – 2 springs
  • Garlic – 4 cloves
  • Onion (medium size) – 1   (or)   2 cups of pearl onion
  • Fennel seeds -1/2 teaspoon
  • Grated Coconut – 1 cup
  • Tamarind paste – 3 to 4 tablespoons (can be adjusted to taste)
  • Salt
  • oil



  1. Cut the eggplants lengthwise.
  2. Heat about 3 tablespoons of oil in a deep pan.Add the mustard seeds and fenugreek seeds and let it pop.
  3. Add the curry leaves ,finely chopped garlic and onion and saute it for few minutes.
  4. When the onions turn golden brown add the finely chopped tomatoes and cook the tomatoes.
  5. When the tomatoes are well cooked, add chilli powder, dhania powder,turmeric powder and salt.
  6. Mix it well until everything incorporates with the tomatoes and cook for a minute.
  7. Now ,add the brinjal and drumstick.Add about 2 cups of water and mix everthing well.
  8. Check for seasoning.Close it with a lid and cook on a medium flame until the vegtables are well done.
  9. Grind the grated coconut and Fennel seeds with little water into a paste.
  10. When the vegetables are done add the coconut paste and tamarind paste and mix well.
  11. Cook for 2-3 minutes till the kuzhambhu bubbles up and take it out of heat.
  12. Garnish with curry leaves.
  13. Serve hot with rice.

Tip:  Tear the curry leaves before adding it  to oil.It helps bring out the flavor of curry leaves.

* my hubby is upgrading the site.kindly bear with anything(recipes,pictures) that is not working   🙂 .We will fix it soon.

July 24, 2006


Posted in Indian Lunch at 9:59 pm by messycooks


Rice – 1 and 1/2 cups

Thoor dhal (Thuvaram parupu) – 1/2 cup

onion -1 medium size

All sambar vegetables -drumstick ,brinjal,beans ,nookal etc

Turmeric Powder – 1/2 teaspoon
Asofetida – a pinch

Ghee – 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon

urad dhal – 1 teaspoon

cashew nuts,peanuts ,curry leaves
Ingredients for masala

fry coconut (1/2 cup)to golden brown.

fry red chillies,dhania ,fenugreek seeds. (can be adjusted to ur taste).

Grind everything to a fine powder.
Method for besibellabath

1. Cook rice ,thoor dhal, vegetables,onion,turmeric powder,salt in a pressure cooker.

2. Add the ground masala and tamarind juice to it and mix it well.add some water if it is thick.cook for 2-3 mins.

3. Heat ghee in a pan.Add mustard seeds,urad dhal,cashews,curry leaves,peanuts.

4. Add it to the besibellabath and mix well.

Note 1. you can simply add sambar powder and fried coconut instead of above said masala powder.
Note 2. Cut veggies to about 1 inch size or it will become mushy when u pressure cook it.

Next page