Friday, December 31, 2010

Arai keerai Masiyal with Puli


Arai Keerai--One bunch
Green Chillies-1or 2 according to taste
Tamarind-Lemon sized ball
Turmeric -a pinch
Salt-to taste

To splutter

Red chilli-1 
Asafoetida-drizzle a few times from bottle


Wash and clean the greens thoroughly.Cut into bits,add water and boil the greens with a little turmeric powder, green chillies,tomatoes and a small ball of tamarind along with salt.Let this mixture cool.Mash nicely in a mixer.Finally splutter the required ingredients and add to this mixture.I love arai keerai with the tanginess of tamarind.My grand mom used to serve this with a dollop of butter.

Sending this to the only greens event and paris event

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Picnic@Tiger Caves

Rock Cut Shiva temple with linga

Nandi squatting in front of the temple

The tsunami unearthed this temple in 2004

The tiger cave highlights the Pallava architecture.

A cool boulder standing tall!

A Durga temple

A dried trunk a masterpiece by itself
We had a lovely little picnic at Tiger caves on ECR on Sunday.The place is well maintained with the sea and the casurinas in the backdrop.We packed mats and lots of food like puli saadham,thair saadham and molaga podi smeared idlis.I could finally eat the puli saadham,i was so glad.It was nice break from the usual grind. I was reminded of the movie "Picnic at hanging Rock" where a bunch of Australian school kids vanish after getting attracted to a mysterious rock formation .I just cannot get over this film.Maybe you should check out the movie and head out to the tiger caves for the effect! Incidentally it was also the 6th anniversary of the tsunami tragedy on Dec 26th.The fishermen stayed out of the sea as a mark of respect to the departed.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Tiruvadirai kali and kozhambu

Tiruvadirai kali and Kozhambu

Yesterday we celebrated Arudhra Darisanam.This festival essentially celebrates the cosmic dance of Lord Shiva.The microcosm derives all its energy from the macrocosm and the best way to celebrate this reverberation is through food.My mil makes kali and kozhmabu as prasad.We later hog this delightful combo of sweet and karam flavours..Now for the recipe.

Tiruvadirai Kozhambu

This Kozhambu calls for a whole lot of vegetables. Its usually in odd numbers.Even chillies are included in the count as a vegetable.So usually 3,5,7,9 etc are the number of vegetables used.We usually make a huge quantity of this and have it with vendiya dosai the next day.

Ingredients:Vegetables,roots and beans.

1.Potato-400 gms
3.sweet potato-1/2 kilo
4.Raw Plantain-2 big
5.pumpkin-400 gms
6.Ash gourd-300 gms
7.Broad Beans-200 gms
8.Hyacinth Bean or field bean-1/2 kilo
10.Fresh pigeon peas-a handful
11.Green chillies-4(depends on your palate)

To soak

Tamarind-a huge ball the size of a wood apple to coat the vegetables with its tanginess.

To be pressure cooked
1.Toor dal or split pigeon peas-2 glasses
(For half a glass of toor dal put in two glasses of water.Add a pinch of turmeric and cook.)

2.Colocasia to be pressure cooked separately.

For the ground paste

Red chillies-5(depends on ur palate)
coconut-1 small grated
Asafoetida-a marble sized
4-tbsp channa dal(split chick pea)

Take a little oil,add the asafoetida ball,chana dal,coriander seeds and red chillies.Fry all these ingredients.Keep aside and cool.After it is cooled add grated coconut and grind this mixture into a paste.

To splutter

fenugreek-1/2 a tsp
curry leaves-a few

Oil-For the paste and for spluttering
salt-to taste
jaggery-a small lump
turmeric powder-one tsp


Dice all the vegetables into bite sized pieces.The skin of the sweet potato and potato can be retained. Take a vessel.Add tamarind water,add vegetables and water till the veggies are immersed in water. Add salt,turmeric powder and a few curry leaves.Add the ground paste.You can also add a few spoons of sambar powder to this mixture.let the this mixture cook.Check to see if vegetables are well done.Add toor dal to this mixture.If the mixture is too watery.Add a little bit of rice flour and water in a small container mix well and add to the mixture for a thick consistency.Once this is done.Splutter the mustard,fenugreek and curry leaves.Add to this melange.You can add a small lump of jaggery for a sweet tangy aromatic sambar.

The aromatic melange of veggies and lentil ready to be consumed
This is the side dish for the kali.Will be making another post for the kali which is a sweet dish shortly.Till then enjoy is magical broth.This tastes gorgeous with rice, idlis and dosas.Sending this over to Paisley Passions


Monday, December 20, 2010

Art imitates life

The orange Salt and pepper shaker
The painting of the original as rendered by Padmajaji
Jagannathji of Puri

I'm so happy I got this blog going.I'm so glad to have made friends with Padmajaji.She is an awesome person, a philanthropist, a painter,a healer and an extremely spiritual person.Her enthusiasm for life is infectious.I'm running short of adjectives to describe this incredible person..Her work is definitely blessed by the divine.I had posted this picture for the salt and pepper fest.I had no clue,that Padmajaji would paint this for me and send it to me.I must have done something right to have gotten this gift from her.Its really a blessing to have spoken to her.I felt like she was talking to me from a very enlightened plane.Very Buddha like,very peaceful and calm.God bless her hands with more energy to churn out more paintings.She even infuses prayers into her paintings.Where can you find another dedicated artist like her.Thank you so much Padmajaji for your gift and your kind words.Its such a fabulous way to end this year.Your gift is priceless,you have made a family happy and proven to the world that people like you still exist.When I take a look at the painting above her eye for detail simply astounds me.I promptly offered this painting to Jagannathji of Puri when I received this.I'm sending this to the weekend wrap up post conducted by Patty because this painting rocked my Friday and to Srivallis event because this is one of my favourite blogging moments. 

Chennai Food bloggers Meet Dec 18 2010

All the Chennai Food bloggers met up@ Citi Centre.We had a lovely time.Look at the goodies I got to bring home.Thank you so much for sharing home made delicacies and the wonderful gifts.It was an unforgettable event.I'm certainly looking forward to more.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Arty weekend

I'm so glad to be doing a post which is not related to the food we had on weekends.For a change we went to Poompuhar and the Dastkari haat.It was eye candy indeed.

The handicrafts development corporation of the Government of Tamil Nadu known as Poompuhar have an array of traditional brass lamps,tanjore paintings and rare bronze icons and much more.Worth a visit.
traditional deepams

 We picked up a brass icon of Sai baba from here.

The Dastkari Haat@kalakshetra was another interesting craft, calligraphy, textiles and arts festival.We picked up Panch dathu bells and patachitra bottle craft.This was a fun evening.

Bottle craft

Indian calligraphy the pic here has telugu script
terracotta exhibit
The other interesting things I saw there was the kavad and wooden block prints.Maybe I will pick these next time.This is going to the weekend wrap up@Patty

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Birthday Grub!


Beautiful Painting at Tuscana

Crunchy Starters
Chocolate Gelato

Chocolate Ganache topped sweet pizza,raspberries and mascarpone cream
Tuscana Pizzeria has been voted one of Asia's finest restaurants and will be featured in The Miele Guide 2010-2011.And so we thought this would be the best place to celebrate my birthday.I really loved the dessert,the sweet pizza which was on the house.They also gave us complementary Esprit gift coupons worth Rs 1000 .I really enjoyed my meal at Tuscana.I must thank M2 for the lovely treat.I'm sending this to Patty weekend wrap up 8.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Favourite Indian Handicraft

This tanjore painting depicting Goddess Durga with her oh so cute tiger, is one of favourite Indian Handicraft.I love this piece because I made it myself with a lot of help from my tutor.He used to come home everyday and teach me how to do it.I love the teak wood frame and most of all I love her vahanam.I made this specially for my MIL.She is into Lalitha Sahasranamam chanting.On Sunday she held the pooja at her home.See the pic below.This piece is close to my heart because it made my MIL happy.

So this post is going to Preethi Prabhu's lovely Giveaway. Congrats on your 101.

Monday, November 22, 2010

wHOOL-“to empty and renew the mind”

At the November Fest

Outside the Lady Andal auditorium
Its been a long time since I went to a play or a music fest,hence settled on November Fest.I chose to watch wHOOL a Korean band. wHOOL means  'empty and renew the mind' ... to dust yourself off and fill with something new'.The show was truly splendid.They use traditional Korean instruments along with the contemporary music instruments.Their rendition of our National anthem was simply the best that I have heard till date.Really loved each and every artist's performance.The flautist did a fabulous job,with his wind instrument the Piri.And so did the vocalist with his Buk(drum) and Jang-gu: Double headed Drum .Their energy was infectious.They even came down to the audience and performed.The audience loved their performance so much that we asked for an encore.They even used the conch just like in India.When they blew into it I was reminded of the Mahabharata serial.It was a solemn moment when the entire audience stood up when they played our National anthem.They traversed all genres of rock,jazz,and bollywood awesome.Language was not a barrier at all.Truly their music broke all the barriers.Do catch up whenever they play in a venue near you.Worth every moment.I watched this show on the 17th Nov.

My husband's Pori Urundai for karthigai!

Nel Pori,Aval Pori and Fried gram urundai

Since I got my wisdom tooth removed.I wasn't in any position to do anything for the festival.My husband came to the rescue.He made Nel pori, Aval pori and Fried gram urundai all by himself. He did it with a dexterity of a seasoned cook.The urundai's tasted awesome.It was one of the best I have eaten so far.Thank you M2 for making our Karthigai and the weekend so sweet.My husband sure is an instinctive cook.He did everything in a jiffy.He can even make wheat halwa!!.This is going to patty's party.Please check here for detailed ingredients.

Pori-i/4 kg,black jaggery-400gms,finecut coconut pieces-1 cup,dry ginger a pinch, cardamom 6.


In a separate vessel make syrup out of jaggery +ding water until it just gets immersed. Start heating the syrup.The syrup shud become thick enuf , so that when you add a drop of it in a vessel of water it shud solidify immediately.When syrup reaches this stage remove from fire.Clean puffed flakes and take it in a large bowl.Roast coconut separately without oil and add it to the flakes.Add cardamom powder and dry ginger powder.Add jaggery syrup and mix for about two mins,untill the temp cools down to a state when the hand can withstand heat.Do not cool it too much, then the urundai will not come out properly. Grease hands with rice flour or ghee. Make the mix into medium sized balls using hand.
Easier said than done it is sort of tough for novices. Especially when you have to make the urundai.Thats where the black jaggery plays its part it acts as a good binding agent. Also jaggery is very good for health its called medicinal sugar. Its a good source of iron and minerals.Jaggery also prevents lung lesions very beneficial for people who work in smoky environs.Pls use organic jagerry as white commercially available jaggery is loaded with chemicals.  The method is the same for both the varieties.
Now for the step by step recipe.

1.My only contribution in the recipe.Cutting coconut into bits.

2.Cleaning the Nel pori
3.Dissolving the paghu vellam in water.Very important to buy paghu vellam

4.Filter the jaggery for impurities and put the mixture in a thick bottomed kadai.

Add coconut pieces
Check for this consistency
Mix aval with jaggery
Make balls out of it

Aval pori with dried ginger and elaichi powder
Add Jaggery
Aval Pori ready for consumption

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Art by Arohi-An exhibition

Really glad to be informing to all my readers that, Aarohi Singh is holding an exhibition of her hand painted products in Bangalore.I simply love her desi kitsch theme.Do check out her Nimboo-Mirchi series of paintings,kettles,baltis,thalis,chairs,trunks and boxes .Wish I could visit Bangalore to pick up one of her creations. The venue and the date is printed on the image above.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sweet and Savoury Diwali Moments

Diwali Marundhu,Mysore Pak,Wheat halwa and Rava Ladoo
Thenkuzhal,Mullu thenkuzhal and Omapodi

Brinjal,Chow Chow,Potato and Raw Plantain waiting to sizzle our palate. 

Diwali at our place is really big on food.These are some of the moments that made Diwali great for us. This was at my Mil's place.Our festivities started on the 4th evening with bhaji and wheat halwa and the rest of the bakshanam pictured on top .This was followed by a simple dinner of semiya payasam,onion sambar and potato curry.Check out the collages.This was our Pre-Diwali treat! I'm sending this to the key bunch fest.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Shake it with Salt and Peppa!

A girl cut in two! I couldn't help thinking of this French movie title, when I received this orange salt and pepper shaker as a gift.I think this was picked up in the U.S.This is going to the salt and pepper carnival happening at Scatter the batter. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Making of Mysore Pak.My mom in her own words.

Melt in the mouth barfi type Mysore Pak
Gram Flour: 1: Sugar 2: Ghee 3 (Aavin or Udhayam)

The importance of using Asli desi Ghee in Mysore Pak

Sorry health conscious people.If you want to get a nice texture of Mysore pak,you can't resist the use of ghee.You have to use ghee in the proportion of 3 cups to 1 of besan and 2 cups of sugar.If you have any health problem no other go, you have to keep away from eating the delicious Mysore Pak.

How this sweet was named

Since this sweet was prepared in the royal kitchen of Mysore Maharaja,this was the name it acquired.

Making of the barfi like Mysore Pak!

1)Heat half cup of ghee and add one cup of besan in the frying pan.(generally iron kadai is preferred).If you don't have one use you can use Calcutta frying pan or any other pan which is thick bottomed.

2) Mix the flour with out any lumps.

3) In the meantime time add 2 cups of sugar, add water to immerse the sugar.Boil till you get a two string consistency.

4) Now add the besan mixture which is mixed with ghee.

5) Keep the fire very low in sim condition.

6) You must keep remaining ghee in another vessel on the stove in a heated condition.

sinful ghee laden in progress mixture

7) Keep stirring the besan sugar mixture,periodically adding the heated ghee side by side.

8) Keep stirring the mixture till you can see the mixture starts leaving the side of the vessel.The ghee will ooze out of the Mysore pak mixture.If you take a pinch of it you can roll it into a small ball.This is the correct stage where you can transfer the contents.

9)Pour the contents into a plate which is smeared with ghee.The plate should be of even surface.

10) Then you can mark the pieces into squares.Once it cools down you can store it in an airtight container.


The end point is very important in making this sweet.You should not leave the place to attend any call.Even if you are a little careless you won't get soft consistency of the Mysore pak.

Best of luck to get smooth barfi type of Mysore pak and enjoy with family and friends.

Seriously my mom's Mysore pak was a big hit with everybody. I really loved this sweet Diwali moment.This is a tried and tested recipe.Please do try this recipe and let me know.My mom got a lot of wows from visiting family and friends.

I'm sharing this with Key Bunch & Emreen and Sugar Bananas

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