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Apr 30, 2008

Curd Rice

Every south Indian lunch and dinner ends with curd rice. Curd rice is just mixing butter milk or curds/yogurts to the cooked rice. But adding a little seasoning to it makes it more tasty and special. Curd rice and pickle is the best combo one can have on a hot summer afternoon lunch. It makes a good picnic lunch too. I am sending this curd rice to Fun 'n' Sun event hosted by Simple Indian Food.


Cooked rice - 1 cup

Butter milk or Yogurt/Curds - 1 cup

Milk - half cup

salt - as required

Curry leaves

Asafoetida powder - 2 pinches

for seasoning:

Oil - 1 teaspoon

Mustard seeds - half teaspoon

Urud Dal - half teaspoon

Green chillis - 2 - slit vertically


Add the salt to the cooked rice and mash the rice really well.

Heat oil and add the mustard seeds, when it pops, add the urud dal and green chilli. When the dal turns golden brown add the seasoning to the rice.

Add curry leaves and asafoetida powder to the rice and mix really well.

Add milk and stir well.

Now add the butter milk or curds or yogurt and mix well.

Serve with pickle of your choice.

I have listed below, the many ways of preparing curd rice.

1. Simple Curd rice: Just mix butter milk to the cooked rice.

2. Curd rice with green chilli seasoning. (The method that I have described above)

3. Bagalabhath: Mix a tablespoon of butter to the steaming hot white rice. Mix it until the butter melts completely. Add salt and mix well. Then, add a cup of milk and mix well. Then, half cup thick curds and mix well. This is a simple way of preparing delicious bagalabhath. Curry leaves can be added to this rice.

3. Curd rice with fruits: To the curd rice mentioned in '1' or '2', mix in finely diced apples, pomogranate seeds (washed), seed less small green grapes.

4. Curd rice with Vegetables: To the curd rice mentioned in '1' or '2', mix in grated carrot and grated or finely diced cucumber. Add finely chopped coriander leaves.

5. Mor Molaga Thair sadam: To the curd rice mentioned in '1' or '2', mix in deep fried curshed mor molaga

6. Special Curd Rice: Cook one cup rice with milk (if using 3 cups of water for making regular rice, add 2 cups water and 1 cup milk). Then, do the seasoning mentioned in the above recipe. Mix in half a cup curd and leave it aside for 4 hrs and serve.

7. Other varieites: roasted broken cashews can be added to any variety of curd rice listed above. You can come up with more creative ways of preparing curd rice.

Enjoy the delicious curd rice. Keep cool this summer.

Apr 17, 2008

Lapsi - broken wheat sweet porridge

I had lapsi, a delicious north Indian sweet, in a potluck party in my friend's house a few weeks back. The sweet was so tasty that I wanted to try. As I was browsing for the recipe, I learnt that this sweet is prepared in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Rajasthan. In south India we use rice to prepare sweet pongal. The same is called lapsi in north India where they use cracked wheat instead of rice. I found only this difference. Of course rice is the staple food of the south and wheat for north.

Coming to the recipe, after I saw several links for the recipe, I got an idea that the cracked wheat is first cooked in milk or water and then sugar, cardamom and ghee are added to the cooked wheat to make a sweet porridge. I just loved cooking lapsi today. I am excited that it turned out really well. I added nutmeg powder and cardamom powder. The sweet is just yummy and addictive too. I am sending this sweet to RCI - Rajasthan hosted by Padmaja of Spicyandra.


Cracked wheat - 1 cup

Water - 1 cup

Lowfat milk - 2 cups

Sugar - 1 cup

Ghee (clarified butter) - 2 tablespoons

Cardamom powder - half teaspoon

Nutmeg powder - half teaspoon

Sliced almonds for garnishing


Heat a heavy bottomed kadai and add half tablespoon ghee. When ghee melts, add the cracked wheat and roast until the content heats up and good aroma comes. Transfer it to another container.

Heat milk and water in the heavy bottomed kadai and when the content heats up, add the roasted cracked wheat.

Allow it to cook partially closed. Stir occasionally. Cook until the wheat is tender. If all the moisture is absorbed and still the wheat is not cooked, pour half a cup water and allow it to cook until the wheat is tender.

When the wheat is fully cooked, add the sugar and cardamom. The content will loosen and again start thickening. When most of the moisture is absorbed, add the remaining ghee. Stir well until even distribution. Let the porridge be a little loose as the sweet tends to thicken after some time.

Stir in the nutmeg powder and garnish with almonds. Delicious lapsi is ready.

Apr 15, 2008

Karela Pulao with Bengali style Raita

Karela Pulao:

Before trying the pulao with bitter gourd, I was wondering how in the world its going to taste. I have made only pickles and pakoras with bitter gourd. This is the first time I tried a pulao with this vegetable. I tried Indira's Karela Pulao and we loved it. The taste was just perfect - bitter, sweeter and spicy. It was just a one pot meal. All I did was to add the cooked basmati rice in the prepared bittergourd.

Bengali style Raita:

I wanted to prepare a nice raita for this. Today Ramki of One page cookbooks posted traditional bengali curries and I wanted to try his bengali style raita recipe from his one page bengali curries. The raita went along very well with the karala pulao. Thanks to Indira and Ramki for sharing such delicious recipes.

Recipe for Raita:

To one cup yogurt, mixed red chilli powder, salt and cumin powder.

For the seasoning, heat half a teaspoon oil and add the cumin seeds and kalonji. Add this to the yogurt. Mix well.

My entries to vairous events:

Karela pulao goes to Vegetable of the week - bitter gourd/karela event hosted by Pooja.

Bengali style raita goes to RCI - Bengal hosted by Sandeepa.

Again, Karela pulao goes to One pot wonders hosted by Pavani.

Click here to see my entry to Click event hosted by Jugalbandi.

I am delighted to participate in all the above events. Thanks to all the hosts.

Apr 13, 2008

Plain Dosa / Saadha dosai

I used to use the iddli batter for making Dosa, until my friend Shalini shared a wonderful plain dosa recipe with me. Here is the recipe.


Par boiled rice - 1 cup

Raw rice - quarter cup

Urud dal - one hand full

Fenugreek seeds - half teaspoon

Salt - 1 teaspoon

Oil - to use while preparing dosa


Combine par boiled rice, raw rice, urud dal and fenugreek seeds. Wash well and soak in water for atleast 4 to 5 hours. I soaked it overnight.

Grind it in a wet grinder using little water until the batter is fine.

Tranfer the content to a container. Add required amount of salt and mix well using your hands.

Allow it to ferment for atleast 20 hours partially closed.

Now the batter is ready to prepare dosa.

Refrigerate the remaining batter in an airtight container.

For preparing dosa:

Heat a tawa and take a ladle of batter.

Pour the batter in the center of the tawa and spread it from inside out.

Dribble little oil around the corners.

After a minute, flip the dosa and remove from heat after half a minute.

Serve immediately with sambar/chutney/milagai Podi or any kind of masal for Dosa.

Picture: I have displayed the dosas with MTR chutney powder that is mixed with little oil.

Use ghee instead of oil for a great flavor and aroma.

This is my entry to the Dosa Mela hosted by Srivalli of Cooking for all seasons.

Apr 5, 2008

Poondu Kuzhambu / Garlic Gravy

Here is a fantastic tasty recipe for poondu kuzhambu. The base recipe is from Sri Ranjini of 'To Indulgence'. She has posted a wonderful recipe for Poondu Kuzhambu in her blog. I took the masala part of it and tried the same in my style. Thank you Sri Ranjini, your masala for kuzhambu is very tasty. We all loved it.


Garlic pods (peeled) - 1 cup
(please use quarter cup garlic if using garlic in India as Indian garlic is much stronger and pungent than the garlic we get in the US)

Gingily oil - 2 tablespoons

Mustard seeds - half teaspoon

Turmeric powder - half teaspoon

Asafoetida powder - a pinch

Curry leaves - a strand

Tamarind concentrate - half teaspoon

(If using tamarind, use one small lemon size and soak in water. Squeeze and extract the pulp. Remove the seeds)

Water - 2 cups

Salt as required

Dry roast and grind the following:

Black peppercorns - 1 tsp
Coriander seeds – 1 ¼ tsp
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Channa dal – 1tsp
Toor dal - 1 tsp
Urad dal - ¼ tsp
Red chillies – 1 or 2 as per your taste


Heat one and half tablespoons of oil. Add the mustard seeds, when it pops, add the peeled garlic pods and curry leaves.

When the garlic turns light brown, add the tamarind and two cups water. Bring it to a boil.

While it's boiling, add the asafoetida powder, turmeric powder and salt.

After a couple of minutes add the ground masala powder little by little whisking at the same time as as to avoid lumps.

Allow the content to boil for atleast 10 minutes at low heat. The content will start thickening. If you added more water and it takes a longer time to thicken, you can add a tablespoon of besan flour and whisk it in half cup water and pour it in the gravy and stir well. This will thicken the gravy in no time.

Finally turn of the heat and add the remaining half tablespoon of gingily oil for an extra flavor.

You can serve this hot kuzhambu with steaming hot white rice. Serve with pappad for a delicious wholesome lunch or dinner.

This is my entry to the JFI garlic hosted by Mathy of Virundhu. Thank you Mathy for choosing a wonderful nutritious ingredient for the event.

Apr 3, 2008

Kadai Paneer

Kadai paneer is a simple tomato gravy infused with garlic and other spices. Usually capsicum is added to this gravy. This is such a wonderful tasty dish and is my entry to the JFI garlic hosted by Mathy of Virundhu.


Juicy tomatoes - 5

Readymade Paneer - 8 oz - thaw to room temperature and cut into small cubes

Garlic - 5 pods

Capsicum/green bell pepper - 2

Dhania powder - 3 tablespoons

Cumin powder - 2 teaspoons

Tandoori Masala Powder - 1 teaspoon (optional)

Turmeric powder - half teaspoon

Red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon

Oil - 1 tablespoon

Salt to taste


Boil a quart of water and add the tomatoes. You will notice the tomato skin peeling out. Take the tomatoes out carefully and peel away the skin. This method is called blanching the tomatoes. Finely chop or crush the tomatoes and keep it aside.

Chop the garlic and capsicum.

Heat half a tablespoon of oil in a kadai and add 2 tablespoons dhania powder.

Add the garlic and the chopped/crushed tomatoes and allow it to cook.

When the content comes to a boil, add the red chilli powder, turmeric powder, cumin powder, half a cup water and salt. Add the tandoori masala powder if you are using. Reduce the heat and allow it to cook, partially closed.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a kadai and add the dhania powder. Add the chopped capsicum and fry until three-fourth cooked. Add the panner cubes and fry for a couple of minutes.

Transfer this to the tomato gravy. Kadai paneer is ready. Serve warm for soft chapathis/Rotis.


If we cook the capsicum and tomato in the same kadai, the capsicum will end up being very mushy. Capsicum should be sautéed and should not be overcooked. Hence I used a separate kadai for capsicum.

Paneer can be home made too. Just bring half a gallon of milk to a boil and add 2 tablespoons lemon juice and give it a stir. The whey will separate from paneer. Transfer the paneer to a muslin cloth and drain the water completely. You can just add the crumbled homemade paneer to this dish instead of adding the paneer cubes.

This dish is usually served in a kadai and hence gets it's name as kadai paneer.

Apr 1, 2008

Nankatai - Indian Biscuit

Nankatais are Indian biscuits prepared with Maida and vegetable shortening. The base recipe is TC's Nankatai, but I did not add almonds and saffron in my recipe. Here is the simple recipe for Nankatai (Indian cookie).


USA - one and half cups
India - one cup

Vegetable shortening - a little less than one cup (I used dalda brand from Indian store)

Maida flour - approximately two cups

Cardamom powder - half teaspoon


Grind the sugar and transfer it to a large mixing bowl.

Add the vegetable shortening and cream the mixture using an electric hand mixer.

When the content becomes creamy and light add the cardamom powder and flour and mix well, using your hand.

The consistency should be soft and at the same time you should be able to make balls out of it.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Make small balls out of the dough and arrange neatly in a non stick cookie tray. Press a little on top of each ball. You can use a fork to dent lines on the top.

Place in the preheated oven and bake for approximately six to seven minutes and take the tray out. Allow it to cool completely in the same tray.

Note: More flour will make the nankatais more crunchy and they crack when baked. More shortening will make the nankatais more fragile and will break when touched. Perfect nankatais are not too crunchy and do not break when touched and has a light golden color in the bottom.