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Multigrain Idly – Ragi idly

Inji was right. After not blogging for a longg time, now when I sit to do a post, I am at a complete loss.. dont know what to type other than the recipe. Really BLANK !!!! OK. I am not going to try much – so straight to the recipe in pics.One cup ragi & one cup idly rice – Soaked for 4 to 6 hours
One cup ural dal – Soaked for 4 to 6 hours

Ragi other names : Fingermillet, kezhvaragu

Soak cup of rice & cup of ragi ( and a cup of urad dal separately )
Grind rice & ragi to a smooth batter. Grind urad dal to butter consistency and add to the rice and ragi batter . Mix well with hands

Store the batter in a dark place for 6 hours. Store in a dark warm place. ( I place the batter in my conventional oven after pre heating). The batter ferments and rises

Add a tablespoon of salt to the fermented batter, mix well and pour in idly moulds

Idlys – steamed for 10 mins

Ragi idly with coconut chutney and banana with honeySee more idly making tips here…I use ravi brand idly rice. Idly rice is parboiled rice that is boiled with the kernel intact. This process of boiling rice not only imparts flavour to the rice but also much of the nutrients of the kernel is absorbed by the rice.

Comparing to regular idly, ragi idlys ferment quicker and are fluffier. Tastewise I found no difference.
You can also make dosais with the same batter – again no difference tastewise.

See also :
Ragi koozhu

December 13, 2007 Posted by | High Fibre, Low cholesterol | 20 Comments

If you have not heard about Jenita…

This is about Smalin Jenita a 23 year old girl from Tamilnadu, India – a immigrant on dependent visa – allegedly tortured. This soon to be mother, now seven month pregnant, had met with a grave car accident, here in the US, that left her partly paralyzed and incoherent because of brain and spinal cord injuries. She is stated to have been in coma for a few months before she regained consciousness. The parents’ side say that she has been pushed out of the speeding car.

The Highway patrol however have included the case as an accident. The guys’ sister was also injured in the crash. The accident happend in July and Christy Danius ( the husband ) returned to India in September, after which her father went to US and brought her daughter back. She is getting treated in India now.

If at all the guy and his family were responsible for this accident and the plight of Jenita, they MUST be brought to justice. No matter what and in whichever geographic location he is in the world.
But US police force is not dumb and they dont take such matters lightly. A few years ago one of my friends got a deep wound while working in the kitchen – there was a lot of blood and 911 was called – The police launched their own investigation even without a filed complaint. The victim and her partner was thoroughly questioned and only when they were convinced did they label it as an accident.

There are quite a few questions to be answered in this case :

1. Why would the guy put his life and the life of his sister in danger to harm the girl ?

2. Why did the parents not go to see the daughter in coma ? Were they even informed ?

3. Why did the guy abandon the girl in September and return back to India – after which the hospital authorities had to file for petition for a guardian and get her father there ????

4. If at all he has returned back to India why is he not yet arrested, even after complaints from the girls father ?

5 . Does the No. 1 tech company that he works for ( in case he is still working there ) taking any action ?

6. Why did the father along wtih the hospital authorities not file a complaint in the US itself ?

If the guy is genuinely innocent then he deserved heartfelt sympathies where his wife has been gravely injured, his unborn baby had been in danger and his sister too injured. But if it is not the case then such inhuman acts should be punished with the capital punishment so that NRIs should not think that they can leave the foreign country where the crime has been committed, bend rules in India, let people forget the case with time and get ready to pounce on another life with “another wedding” .
Newspaper articles regarding this issue:
Story of Jenita – US side of the story
NRI reduces wife to wreck – Story from Indian newspapers

November 23, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Vacation Break !!

On a Vacation Break ! Hopefully will be back with lots of foodie pics and trip photos.

Until then friends, wishing you happy eating !!

July 18, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 17 Comments

Container Gardening Showoff

Methi- Vendhaya keerai – cute little ones – Planted them three weeks ago

Coriander and Methi – clustering babies – sowed some coriander seeds but they did not sprout at all. So gave up on them and sowed some fenugreek. As soon as they got some company the coriander started growing !! Now there seems to be some competition now !! 🙂

Chamandhi – from the little bouquet basket . I got the $3.99 bouquet basket from Raleys for the Tamil new years day in April for the rituals. I usually get these live bouquets so the flowers stay fresher for a long time. Almost a month. After using up the flowers did not want to throw away these alive little one so planted in a planter. It loved the new lease of live and been blooming regularly.

Lone green chilly – I got the small chilly sapling from walmart around october last year, I moved them indoors to survive the winter. It gave lotsss of chillies then started retiring I moved them back to the patio and seems to be picking up again.

Okra/Ladies-finger – Sowed seeds three weeks ago. Guess they grow slowly

Year old Pudina – Planted them from used up mint stalks around a year ago. They seems to be getting taller and taller then realised they are a kind of creeper. They were dormant during winter and now started to let out some greenery and great smell !!

July 8, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 16 Comments

New at TamilCuisine

Its really difficult managing two blogs let alone manage one. With lots going on we had practically abandoned our Tamilcuisine till Prema whirled around and added new recipes. That got me started and I added quite a few today. My mouth is watering just typing these links.. Check them out and let the bloggers know what you tried !!

For veggies :
Uppadam – From Tastypalettes
Sodhi from VCuisine
Vaazhaipoo kola urundai From Premas cookbook
Carrot vadai From Sobilas menu
Eggplant medicinal curry from MathyFor non-veggies :

Aatu kaal Paaya
Mutton Brain Masala
Mutton Liver Fry – All from Josephs’ Kitchen

The dish is here but do you know how to serve and eat on a Banana leaf ? Whats the big deal you ask? Check out Mangai’s Eating on Banana leaf – 101 ( Post is in tamil )

We have compiled more from the Tamil kitchen. Check out for more new tamil recipes …If you blog features Tamil kitchen, drop us a line at We shall include your blog in the blogroll.

Bounty from the farmers’ market. cherry tomatoes, oranges, strawberries, bittergourd, Amaranth leaves, japanese eggplant, ginger, chillies, an unknown greens

Food for some Thought – Thirukural :

“Inna seidhaarai oruthal avar naana nannayam seidhu vidal”

“The best way to punish someone who has hurt you is to do them good which would make them feel ashamed of themselves”

July 2, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Onion greens & Strawberries

What do you do when you are very hungry you can eat **anything** and ravage the fridge to find “Absolutely Nothin ” [ read Rush Hour style ].Thats what happend to me last Saturday. Generally when I am hungry I hardly have any patience. I get into the “Grrrrrrrr” mode. Ravi knows that is the time to be as faaaar away as possible from me… I have really worked on this bad habit of mine and now I am more patient when I am hungry. But then I dont have much choice !!!!

So this is what I did –

Washed and added a cup of rice, 3/4th cup of toor dal. Then I added the following
– peeled onion chopped into 4
– halved tomatoes. I had two so used them up
– 3 garlic cloves
– one teaspoon chilli powder
– half teaspoon turmeric.

Pressure cooked with 3 cups of water for three whistles and let it sit for a while. It took about 15 minutes.

I wanted to add some veggie but with absolutely no veggies at home, I was thinking what to do – then I remembered the onion plants I had planted a while ago. Snip snip snip I cut quite a few leaves.

And while the rice was getting cooked, tempered a couple of teaspoons of oil with cumin, mustard and added two handfuls of chopped onion leaves. Sauteed for a minute and added tamarind puree to it. Probably 1/4th cup. Added this mixture to the rice after the pressure had released from the cooker. Added some salt. Voila !!

I really really did not think it will turn out this good. It was a bit of kichidi and bit of sambar rice. I was really pleased with the way it tasted so I thought it was worthy of a post…I loved the end result, I even managed a foto. And then since I used the onion leaves that I grew, it also qualified for GBP –

onion leaves

onion flower- GBP Green Blog Project

Strawberries from farmers’ market – Drizzled with honey garnished with home grown mint

June 24, 2007 Posted by | Everyday food | 19 Comments

Masaala Pal & Happy Fathers’ Day !!

This recipe I posted originally for JFI-Milk… This post represents just a sample of what Appa is to us. Thank you Appa for everything you have done to us and for everything you are still doing for us…Happy Fathers’ Day !!

Masaala Paal ( Masaala milk) is very famous amongst the road-side vendors specially during the night times. Milk is heated till some of the water content is evaporated then various spices like clove, cardamom are added and the milk is sweetened.

Ok. Back from my side-track about the masala paal. On days that my father has enough patience at home and peace in mind he used to prepare masala paal at home to drink just before sleeping. He would meticulously heat the pasumpaal ( Cow’s milk which is bought from our neighbours who have cattle ) until it is thick. Then he will add strands of kashmir saffron, kalkandu ( sugar candy ), powdered cardamom and powdered badaam powder.

He will heat it until the sugar candies have dissolved and then he will cool it down by transferring the milk to and from a bigger vessel ( called aatharadhu in tamil ) and give me, my sister and my amma glassfuls of milk. The taste of the thick, rich, frothy, fragrant and sweet warm milk still lingers at the tip of my tongue.

We would be sooooo full of sleep that we will gulp down the milk with closed eyes. And my father will not stop there. He will get the emptied milk glasses from me (and sometimes from my elder sister) and then give us some water to gargle so that we dont have sweet sticking to our teeth ( lest we have tooth decay )..

No thanks nothing.. My sleep would be by that time further deepened by the milk. This months’ JFI by Vineela is a tribute to all the pains taken by my father at the end of his busy day to nourish us with – Masaala Paal, Masala milk.

June 17, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 9 Comments

Yennai Kathirikai Kozhambu & Jasmines

Yennai kathirikai kozhambu – ( Vankaya pulusu ) – Hmm in English if I were to translate it will be Eggplant curry sauce in oil !!This is the dish I chose for JFI-Brinjal. Anyways there is a lot of misconception I have seen in the blog world about this dish.. This dish is not a stuffed eggplant recipe. Its often often mistaken for Andhra gutti vankaya koora – the famous sesame-peanut-stuffed-eggplant recipe.

Yennai kathirikai kozhambu – Brinjal curry sauce in Oil – JFI – Eggplant

All good things are simple – so is yennai kathirikai kozhambu.. But let me warn you before hand. This recipe calls for a lotttt of oil. The soft whole scored eggplant soaked in the honey-like spicy sauce wakes up the most sober palatte. Here is the recipe without much ado.
From the pantry:
gingelly oil
sambar powder – if no sambar powder add chilly powder and coriander powder ratio 1:2
turmericFrom the Fridge:
round brinjals ( eggplant )
curry leaves

1. Soak a big lime sized tamarind ball in water.
2. Chop one indian-medium sized onion
3. Chop one medium sized tomato
4. Remove the stalks of brinjals, and slit them vertically but not till the end leaving the brinjal whole.
5. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a kadai
6. Temper oil with half tsp each of fenugreek, mustard, one tsp of cumin and 7 to 8 curry leaves.
7. Add the chopped onion when the mustard splutters and saute for a minute
8. Add two more tablespoons oil and add the brinjals . I actually added 1/3rd cup 🙂
9. Saute for another couple of minutes.
10. Add quarter teaspoon turmeric, two teaspoons sambar powder.
11. Close and cook in medium low heat without adding any water. Cook until brinjals are half done. For approximately 15 minutes
12. Add chopped tomato and after a minute of sauteing, add salt and one and half cups water
13. Cook for another 10 minutes until honey like consistency.

Serve hot with idlies, rice. Best next day. !!

Jaadhi Malli – Chinese jasmine( Jaaji malli, Chameli ) Picked up during one of our morning strolls

June 17, 2007 Posted by | Ammas' Specialities, Everyday food | 10 Comments

Sorakaya Appam – From Andhra

Sorakaya appam was one of the first dishes Ravi prepared for me after coming to US. This authentic Andhra tiffin item, is prepared by peeling and grating bottlegourd, mixing it with rice flour to prepare the dough and deep-fried into appams.

This was my original intended dish for RCI-Andhra – for its authenticity. Well suited for a light tiffin to go with tea.

The original recipe calls for deep frying. We did not deep fry it but made into patties and finished them off like chapathis.

From the pantry :
Rice flour

From the fridge :
Tender bottlegourd
green chillies
curry leaves

1. Peel and grate one bottlegourd. Lightly drain the excess water.
2. Crush 3 garlic pods, half an inch of ginger, 5 green chillies, 5 curry leaves in the mortar and add to the bottlegourd
3. Add enof rice flour so as to form a consistency little loose than chappathi.
4. Add teaspoon and half of salt.
5. Oil a plastic sheet. Take a bigg ball of dough and pat into a shape of a big patty.
6. Invert the patty to the pan. Drizzle oil on the sides.
7. Cook on medium -low until golden brown. Flip annd cook on both sides.

Grated bottlegourd

crushed green chillies and curry leaves

rice flour added

form balls

Served with mango pickle

June 11, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | 16 Comments

My Blog Revisited

( This post was inteded for Nupur’s event – I guess I am late. But nevertheless )

I started the blog for quite a few reasons

1. Very Inspired by Indira of Mahanandi
2. My passion for food
3. To engage myself while Ravi is busy with his MBA.
4. To record some family favourites especially low-cholesterol dishes

I remember the evening when I was searching for some telugu recipe and landed at Mahanandi. Looking at the karela neatly arranged on aluminum foil Ravi exclaimed “Now this is what I call passion, not the blog but the quest for perfection !!”

Then I wondered, can I too do this, after all food is something I love deep down. It was the time when Ravi was deeply engrossed with MBA and I had nothing to do except a full time job where I could work from home. Probably a month later I registered en-ulagam.

I have been blogging a little less than two years now and made a few good friends here. My passion & creativity for food continued to grow with food blog events. I became even more busy than Ravi.

Bloglife 2007 has been very good. Here are the highlights

  • I got into the next level of personal association with some blogger friends. I was thrilled to exchange pictures, learn about their families and talk about non-food related subject. I felt like having a pen friend.
  • Recorded some family favorites and my favorites. I just cannot shortlist. Every dish I created was with lots of love for what I did.
  • Inji’s loud and clear voice about “Plagiarism”. She took my request to announce a Anti-Plagiarism day and we all made a post against yahoo. It was covered by the press.
  • Starting Tamilcuisine with Prema was a very good learning experience. It taught me how to and how not to relate to people – I have to thank Shaheen, Prema and Inji. Thanks to Kanchana and Jasmine for pitching in to help.
  • I achieved 100000 magic number of visitors to my blog
  • My proud acquiring for my blog my irumbu kadai ( cast iron pan) from my mom.
  • Last but not the least, I was able to pull away myself from participating in blog events. It took too much of my energy, was becoming kind of addiction and with blog events propping up almost every day, it turned out my menu on the real life table was getting dictated by blog events. I had to stop it somewhere. Thanks to work pressure, upcoming india trip, I was able to achieve this.

2008 Bloglife I have a few things to do :

  1. Take a back up of my recipes posted.
  2. Learn food photography tips and tricks
  3. Record more of amma’s specialities and the other recipes listed below
  4. I love to host the site on my own web server, I have the know-how to do it but I dont know whether I will have the time. Lets see.
These are the recipes on my to-blog lists:
Ammas’ specialties

  • Mutton potato drumstick kuruma
  • Keeraithandu mochakottai karakozhambu – Spicy kozhambu made with stem of greens and fieldbeans
  • Pacharisi thengai payasam – Coconut-Rice-Kheer
  • Paruppu urundai kozhambu – Kozhambu made with lentil dumplings
  • Thengai paal sadam – Coconut milk rice
  • Mullangi yera kozhambu – Shrimp radish kozhambu
  • Nethili kuruma – Sardines kuruma
  • Beetroot halwa
  • Gulab jamun
  • Sambar powder recipe
  • Rasam powder recipe
For Ravi
  • Hyderabadi biriyani
  • Erra karam dosa – Dosa smeared with red chilli paste and sprinkled with spiced powders
  • Ravis grandma’s Idly karam – I like this one better than my moms’ – a spice powder
  • Mokkajonna kudumulu – I got this recipe already need to post it. Indian cousin of tamale.
Healthy stuffies
  • Kalyana murungai – I dont know whether I will even get this greens
  • Keezhanelli urundai – That is what we eat back home when we had jaundice – another greens
  • Veppa urundai – Neem leaves paste – for de-worming
  • Seeraga kashayam – To relieve that bloated feeling – made with roasted cumin
  • Nochi ilai aavi – Steaming to relieve sinus block with this leaves.

See you all in the new year !

Here is to everyone :

Wishing you and your dear ones Good Health, Happiness and success in whatever you do.. Happy New Year !!

June 2, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment