Saturday, October 29, 2011


#Rasam - a South Indian dicoction of various spices.
It  is one of the main items of the Tamil Nadu lunch.
Even though the required ingredients are common and the method of preparing seems to be simple, making a tasty rasam is bit tricky. Only by trial and error we have to learn the art of making rasam.

Ingredients :
Dhal water                       : 1 cup
Pepper                             : 1/2 Tsp
Jeera                                : 1/2 Tsp
Dhaniya                             : 1/2 Tsp
Red chilly                           : 2 nos.
Garlic cloves                      : 3 to 4 nos.
Tomato                              : 1
Salt                                    : 1 3/4 Tsp
Tamarind                            :small marble size
Turmeric powder                : a pinch
Asafoetida                          :1/3 Tsp
Mustard                             : 1/2 Tsp
few curry & coriander leaves.
Above ingredients are just enough for making rasam for 3 to 4 persons.
If you would like the rasam to be more spicy add 1/4 to 1/2 Tsp of chilly powder.

Method :
for tamarind (puli - புளி) ரசம்

Rasam [ Puli Rasam ]

Soak tamarind in luke warm water.
Take a cup of dhal water in a vessel.
If dhal water is not available, take a Tblsp of cooked dhal

and dissolve in 11/2 cup of water.
To the above dhal water add turmeric powder, salt, coarsely ground ingredients highlighted above and cut tomato pieces.
Switch on the stove & keep the vessel on medium flame.
Now squeeze the soaked tamarind with 1/2 cup of water and
strain into the vessel.
Let it boil for sometime.
When it starts foaming on top switch off the stove.

Rasam [ Tamarind Rasam ]

Add curry & coriander leaves.
Keep a kadai with 1 tsp of oil & temper mustard seeds, asafoetida and curry leaves. Pour it onto the cooked rasam.
Garnish with coriander leaves.
HA! Haa! HAHA! what an aroma! hot spicey rasam is ready.
Mix with hot white rice & enjoy eating with any vegetable curry, vathal or pappad.

for lemon rasam
lemon juice is used instead of tamarind.
Proceed as tamarind rasam.
But add a split green chilly.
Add lemon juice after switching off the stove.
Temper only mustard seeds & curry leaves.
Garnish with coriander leaves.
Note :
The highligted ingredients barring garlic in the same ratio can be ground & stored.
When You need to do rasam add 2 to 3 Tsp of this powder along with smashed garlic & follow the same steps to make tasty rasam.

Other rasam recipes you might like to try

rasam kokum rasam kollu rasam

cleaning cooker

how to clean a cooker?
If your cooker is made of aluminium material, the inside of the cooker will become
black after repeated use.
So squeeze some lemon juice with a cup of water in the cooker.
Heat the cooker with lemon water for few minutes closing the lid.
Wash with soap water after it is cooled down.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Idly Sambar Special

#AraithuvittaIdlySambar - #IdlySamabar with coconut masala paste : There are many varieties of idly sambar. Araithuvitta idli sambar is prepared with vegetables, lentil and specially ground coconut masala paste.
Now we will see the recipe.

Araithuvitta Idly Sambar [ Idli Sambar special ]


Araithuvitta Kuzhambu powder                      : 2 Tsp
Sambar powder                                        : 1 Tsp
Red chilli powder                              : 1/4 Tsp
Asafoetida                                         : 1/8 Tsp or a small piece
Turmeric powder                              : a pinch
Tamarind                                           : small marble size
Green gram or Thuvar dhal               : 1/4 cup
Onion                                                 : 1 big size diced
Small onion                                        : 5 - 6
Curry Leaves                                      : 8 - 10
Carrot                                                 : 1 diced ( optional )
Brinjal                                                : 1 or 2 diced (optional )
Green chillies                                     : 2 to 3
Tomato                                               : 1 medium size, cut into quarter
Mustard seeds                                     : 1/2 Tsp
Oil                                                       : 2 Tsp
Coconut                                               : 2 Tsp
Salt                                                       : 2 Tsp
Coriander leaves to garnish.

Method :
Keep a kadai on a stove with 1/2 Tsp of oil over medium flame.
When oil becomes hot saute small onion till its raw smell goes off.
Transfer into a bowl.
Now add 1/2 Tsp of oil in the same kadai and saute tomato pieces.
Transfer into the same bowl with onion.
Cool down to room temperature.
Take coconut scraping, sauteed onion & tomato, and Araithuvitta Kuzhambu powder in a mixer jar.

Grind into a smooth paste. Keep aside.

Heat 1 Tsp of oil in the same kadai.
Slutter mustard seeds.
After mustard splutters add asafoetida, curry leaves, then diced onoin & split green chilly.
Saute for a minute, then add vegetables & saute for few seconds.
Now add all powders one by one & saute for few seconds.
Then add cooked dhal & add enough water & then cover the kadai.
When the vegetables become soft add the prepared coconut paste.
Stir well. Simmer for two minutes.
At this stage add tamarind water and salt.

Let it simmer for few more minutes on slow flame or until the raw smell of tamarind goes off.

simmering araithuvitta idli sambar

Now turn off the stove & transfer the hot idly sambar into a serving bowl
Garnish with coriander & curry leaves. 

Take hot idlies in a plate.
Pour two ladle full of araithuvitta idly sambar over the idlies.
Add a dash of gingelly oil [ till / sesame oil ].
Enjoy!!!.... What!!... sambar and idli got over??!!...

idli served with araithuvitta idli sambar

Monday, October 17, 2011

Tomato Thokku

#TomatoThokku : Tomato #thokku is all time favorite of my daughter. This is mixed with white rice to prepare Tomato rice and an excellent side dish for Chappathy and Poori. Let us see how to prepare this tasty tomato thokku for tomato mixed rice.

Tomato Thokku [ tomato rice mix ]

Ingredients :
Tomato ( Bangalore )                           : 4 nos.( big size)
Onion ( Big )                                       : 2 nos.( big size)
Green chilly                                         : 2 nos.( adjust )
Garlic                                                 : 7 to 8 cloves
Coriander & curry leaves                    : required amount
Asafoetida                                         : 1/2 Tsp
Mustard                                            : 1/2 Tsp
Urad dhal                                          :1 Tsp
Gram dhal                                         : 3 Tsp
Chilli powder                                     : 1Tsp 
Dhaniya powder                                : 1 Tsp 
Jeera powder                                    : 1/2 Tsp
Turmeric powder                                :1/2 Tsp
Salt                                                   : 2 Tsp
Gingelly oil or any cooking oil             : 6 to 7 Tsp

Method :
Chop onion, green chilly, garlic, coriander & curry leaves very nicely.
Puree tomato in a mixie & keep aside.
Keep a kadai on a stove with 6 to 7 Tsp of gingelly oil or any cooking oil.
Crackle mustard and then add urad dhal, gram dhal, asafoetida.
Once the dhals become golden color add red chilly powder & immediately add chopped chilly, curry leaves, coriander leaves then garlic and onions with little bit of salt just enough for onions.
Saute onions untill it turns nearly golden color and add dhaniya powder, jeera powder & turmeric powder.

Saute for 2 more minutes.
Now add tomato puree.
Let it simmer till oil comes out.
Add salt.
Keep on slow fire until water dries out & start leaving the surface of the vessel. The oil that we have added at the beginning oozes out and the thokku becomes shiny.
Thakkali thokku [ Tomato thokku ] Thakkali thokku [ Tomato thokku ]

It takes around 45 minutes to prepare this thokku. 

Thakkali thokku [ Tomato thokku ]

Once ready allow it to cool down to room temperature and then store in a dry glass jar & store it in fridge.

Thakkali thokku [ Tomato thokku ]

Tomato rice can be prepared by mixing the prepared tomato thokku with white rice adding a dash of gingelly oil [ til/sesame oil ].

Other pickle recipes you might like to try

Lemon in salt [ uppu elumichangai ]
lemon in salt
avakkai - my style
avakkai - mystyle
kothamalli Thokku [ coriander Pickle ]
kothamalli thokku
maangai Thokku [ mango pickle ]
maangai thokku
nellikkai urugai [ amla pickle ]
nellikkai urugai

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Tomato Chutney

#TomatoChutney : Spicy spicy chutney
A very good side dish for Idli and Dosai .
This chutney has been prepared using tomato, small onion, garlic, red chilly, urad dhal [ black gram ], tamarind and salt. 
Red chilly, asafoetida and black gram have to be roasted with little oil. Sliced onion and tomato pieces have to be microwaved with little oil separately and allowed to cool down.
Now all he ingredients have to be ground into spicy chutney adding tamarind pulp and salt.

Tomato Chutney

Ingredients :
Tomato                              : 1 medium size
Onion( Big )                       : 2 to 3 big size ( diced )
Garlic                                 : 3 cloves
Red chilly                           : 4
Asafoetida                          : 1/4 Tsp
Urad dhal                           : 2 Tsp
Tamarind                            : very small round [ adjust ]
Salt                                     : 1/2 (adjust to taste)
Oil                                      : 3 Tsp
To Temper :
Mustard seeds                   : 1/2 Tsp
Curry leaves                       : 6 - 8
Oil                                       : 1/2 Tsp

Method :
Keep a kadai on stove & add a tsp of oil.
First add red chilly, urad dhal & fry till dhal becomes golden color.
Then add asafoetida then immediately transfer into a small vessel or mixer jar & allow them to cool down.

Now add a tsp of oil and saute onions till it gives out nice aroma & when it slightly starts changing to golden color.
Transfer it into a bowl or plate to cool down.
Then saute tomato in a tsp of oil.
When tomato becomes tender turn off the stove.

Let all the items to cool down to room temperature.
Now grind using a mixer grinder adding salt & tamarind.

Again using kadai temper mustard & curry leaves & pour on chutney.
An excellent side dish for IdliDosai and Adai [ Pancake ]

Tomato Chutney

Chutney will come out even more tastier if its done with 15 to 20 small onions.

If the tomato is of country variety then it is not necessary to add tamarind as tomato itself is sour in taste.

You might also like to try

Tomato Curry leaf chutney
Tomato Curry leaf chutney
Green Coriander seeds Chutney
Green Coriander seeds Chutney
Poondu Thakkali Chutney [ Garlic Tomato Chutney ]
Garlic Tomato Chutney
Inji  Chutney [ Ginger Chutney ]
Green  Chutney

Saturday, October 15, 2011

How to cook dhal ( paruppu - lentil - legume )?

To cook dhal [lentil ] in a pressure cooker
Dhal [lentil ] can be cooked in a pressure cooker directly or using a separator.
To cook dhal in pressure cooker/pan
Wash 1/2 cup of thuvar dhal (Arahar dhal) thoroughly.
Add 11/4 cup of water.
Keep on High flame.
After three whistle reduce flame to SIM position and cook for 7 minutes.
For green gram dhal 3 whistles are enough.
Take out after steam has completely subsided.
Your dhal is ready to use.

If the dhal is cooked in a separator or a vessel that fits into pressure cooker
Add a cup of water to the cooker & place the bottom plate.
Take 1/2 cup of thuvar dhal [ toor dhal ] in a separator or a vessel that goes into the cooker.
Wash 2 times and add 1 cup of water.
Keep the separator with thuvar dhal on the stand inside the cooker & close the lid.
Put the weight on & heat over HIGH flame.
After one whistle reduce the flame to SIM and cook for 10 minutes.
For green gram dhal after one whistle reduce flame to SIM and cook for 5 minutes.
Open the cooker after the steam has completely subsided.
Now dhal is ready to use.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Cooking Green Leafy Vegetable & Vegetables

How to cook green leafy vegetable & vegetables in a pressure cooker?
For green leafy vegetable

Wash the green leafy vegetable 2 or three times in water.
Put in a colander to drain excess water.

Take 1/2 cup of water in a pressure cooker.
Close the lid with weight on.
Heat the cooker on HIGH flame.
After 1 whistle turn OFF & immediately open the lid.
Lift the weight slightly to release the steam slowly.
Then open the lid once the steam has completely reduced. 
Keep the cooker under running water (tap) for a few seconds so that steam completely goes off. Then open the lid.

This way green leafy vegetable can be cooked without losing its green color.

For Vegetables:
Vegetables like beans, cluster beans, cabbage, avaraikai can be cooked without losing its natural color in a pressure cooker.

Follow the same method given above.

To prepare thuvatal ( poriyal ) add 1/4 Tsp of salt, 3/4 Tsp of sambar powder & a pinch of turmeric powder to the water and then add vegetable pieces.
Now pressure cook for a whistle. Release steam and immediately transfer cooked vegetables into a bowl.

The above given measurement is just enough for 200 gm of vegetables.

White Rice

How to cook white rice using a pressure cooker?
Ingredients :
Rice                       : 1 cup

Water                    : 2 cups ( if raw rice )
                              : 2 1/2 cups ( if parboiled or steamed )
                              :1 1/2 cups ( if basmati )

Method 1 :
Cooking directly in a cooker
Wash the rice thoroughly & then add required amount of water.
Close the lid after checking the valves.
Keep it on HIGH flame with weight.
After 3 whistles switch off for raw rice and basmati rice.
For parboiled / steamed rice, after 2 whistle keep the cooker on slow flame for 5 more minutes.
Open the lid only after it ran out of  the steam completely.
cooked rice

Method 2 :
Cooking rice in a cooker separator or any vessel which fits 
into cooker.
Take the measured rice in a vessel and wash thoroughly.
Add required amount of water.
Add a cup of water in the cooker.
Put the bottom plate of the cooker.
Now keep the vessel over the plate.
Close the lid & put on the weight.
Keep the cooker on HIGH. 
After one whistle reduce the flame to SIM.
Now cook for 10 minute for raw rice.
And 15 minutes for parboiled or steamed rice.
Water quantity & time vary according to the rice quality.

cooked rice

The measurements are just for guidelines only.
Find out exact measurements by trial & error.