Archive for July, 2007

I read this recipe in one of my friends blog. I was just floored by the easy method.

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This rice has a pleasant aroma. Can be packed for lunch.

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  • Raw rice – 1cup
  • Lemon – 1 large
  • Green chillies – 2
  • Curry leaves – a few
  • Bengal Gram dal – 1 tea spoon
  • Mustard – 1 tea spoon
  • Urad dal – 1 tea spoon
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tea spoon
  • Red Chilli – 1 (optional)
  • Oil – a table spoon
  • Asafoetida – a pinch
  • Ghee – 1 teaspoon
  • Cashew nuts – 5 nos ( cut into pieces)
  • Salt -to taste


  1. Pressure cook rice with 2 cups of water. Each grain should be separate.
  2. Heat oil in a kadai, add mustard, when it splutters add the bengal gram dal, urad dal, red chillies and add cashews after a while. Fry till golden.
  3. Add green chillies and curry leaves, fry for a moment and put off the flame.
  4. Squeeze lemon and take its juice.
  5. *Take rice in a shallow bowl, add 1 teaspoon ghee, salt, asafoetida, turmeric powder and pour the lemon juice. Add the seasoning from the kadai.
  6. Mix lightly when rice is slightly cool with a **thuduppu.

Variation :

Ginger cut it into fine pieces can be added with the seasoning. Will help in digestion.

*Adding ghee helps in separating the rice grains.

**A flat laddle used to turn dosas.

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A quick Variety rice. Good to pack for school or office lunch.
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  • Raw rice – 1cup
  • Bengal gram dal – 1 tea spoon
  • Mustard – 1 tea spoon
  • Urad dal – 1 tea spoon
  • Red chillies – 1 (optional)
  • Cashew nuts- 5 nos (cut into pieces)
  • Green chillies – 2
  • Salt -to taste
  • Asafoetida – a pinch
  • Grated coconut – 1 cup tightly packed
  • Curry leaves -1 twig
  • Ghee- 1 table spoon+1 teaspoon for mixing


  1. Pressure cook rice adding 2 cups water.The rice grains should be separate.
  2. Heat ghee in a kadai, add mustard, after it splutters add bengal gram dal, urad dal, red chillies.*Add cashews after a while and fry till golden.
  3. Add green chillies, curry leaves and coconut. Stir continously on a medium flame till the coconut turns slightly golden in colour.
  4. Transfer the rice into a shallow bowl, Allow to cool a little, add 1 teaspoon ghee. This helps to separate the rice grains.
  5. Add the coconut mixture, **mix lightly with out mashing the rice.
  6. Transfer to a serving bowl .Serve with papad and vadaam.

*Cashews fry faster than the dals so add after a while. If you are not comfortable fry them separately.

**A flat laddle called thuduppu is ideal to mix the variety rice.

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The Festival

The next festival in tamizh calendar is Padhinettaam Perukku. The 18th day in the Aadi month falls on 3 rd of august in the English calender.

As I have mentioned earliar all festivals are associated with agriculture. After germination and transplantation, lot of water is required to irrigate the rice crop which is the staple food.

The tamizh culture developed in the fertile plains of the cauvery river. As the rains increased the volume of water in the river increased day by day and overflowed on Padhinettaam perukku.

To celebrate the gift of nature padhinettaam perukku is the festival.


The menu for this festival is always variety rice.

  1. Thengai saadam (coconut rice)
  2. Elumichai saadam (lemon rice)
  3. Puliyodarai (tamarind rice)
  4. Ellu saadam (Sesame rice)
  5. Sarkaraipongal
  6. Bagalabath (Curd rice)

All recipes will be posted in the next 3 days.

From my memories :Viji sriram has added her lively childhood memories of Padhinetaam Perukku.


As a native of Srirangam, I still remember how we enjoy this festival. On the festival day my grandma used to wake up early, prepare all the kalanda saadams, as told by latha with some sweet, since schools will be given holiday, we all will play in the morning and when evening comes, we pack off all the kalanda sadam, fried papads and will go to ammamandapam (banks of river cauvery) for a picnic, have a great time there watching the water from the river bank, playing till we get tired and after that we will have our food which will be extermely delicious.

Also people will float ahal vilakku (Mud lamps with cotton wicks and til oil) in that cauvery water. A belief is there that if the vilakku stays lit for a long time all our dreams will get fulfilled. Newly married couple will change their sacred thread (thali kayuru) with a new one , after praying to goddess cauvery. The whole of ammamandapam will be flooded with people.

Nowadays we all live in flats and do not have the time to celebrate like this. Atleast still we are having the same menu of kalanda saadam on this 18th day of aadi month.

Though we do not live in the river banks any more, we can still organise a picnic on a holiday around this time to celebrate the prosperity brought by the rains.

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A spicy gravy which goes well with breakfasts. Can also be served as a part of the lunch.

Ingredients :

  • Brinjal – 1/4 kg
  • Bengal gram dal – 1 tea spoon
  • Urad dal – 1 tea spoon
  • Pepper – 1/2 tea spoon
  • Chillies (red) – 4-5
  • Coriander seeds – 1 tea spoon
  • Asafoetida – a pinch
  • Fenu greek seeds- 1/2 tea spoon
  • Grated coconut -2 tablespoons
  • Oil – 1 tablespoon
  • Tamarind – small lemon sized(soaked in water)
  • Salt to taste
  • Turmeric powder – 1 tea spoon

For seasoning

  • Mustard seeds – 1 tea spoon

For garnishing

  • A few curry leaves


  1. Dry roast bengal gram dal, urad dal, fenugreek, pepper, asafoetida, chillies, coriander seeds till golden
  2. Add  grated coconut and fry for 1 more minute till the coconut becomes golden.
  3. Slit brinjal into four (as we do for stuffing). Heat oil in a kadai. Add the seasoning. After the mustard splutters, add the slit brinjal, add salt and turmeric powder.
  4. Soak the tamarind in warm water and squeeze the pulp adding 1 and1/2 cup water. While the brinjals are half cooked add the tamarind pulp to it.
  5. Allow to simmer till the brinjal is fully cooked. Now add the powder to it and boil it for two seconds.
  6. Garnish it with curry leaves.
  7. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve hot with white rice or chappatis.

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My son dislikes the spicy pullav and fried rice prepared in northindian style. My hubby loves the long grain basmathi rice. To satisfy both I prepared the new recipe. Try this on a leisurely sunday. Great dish for parties.

Preparation time 10 minutes.

cooking time 20 minutes.

Serves 2


For the rice

  • Basmathi rice 1 cup.
  • Ghee 2 teaspoons.
  • Onion 1 no. finely chopped.
  • Salt to taste.

For the vegetable

  • Baby corn 2 nos.
  • Red bell pepper (capsicum) 1/2.
  • Tomato 1 no.
  • Onion 1 no.
  • Broccoli 6 flowerets.
  • Carrots 1 no.
  • Ghee 2 teaspoon.
  • Grated cheese 1 tablespoon.
  • Salt to taste.
  • Turmeric powder 1/4 teaspoon.
  • Hing 1/8 teaspoon.
  • Black pepper powder1/2 teaspoon.
  • red chilli powder 1/2 teaspoon.
  • Oregano seasoning 1 teaspoon.

For the topping.

  • Milk 1/2 cup.
  • Cream 1 table spoon.
  • Cheese 2 tablespoons.(grated) Mozrella.


For the rice.

  1. Wash the rice well and leave to drain for 5 minutes.
  2. Heat ghee in a small* pressure cooker base and fry the onions in a medium flame, stirring continously till it is transparent.
  3. Add the rice and fry for two minutes. Add two cups of water and salt. Close the cooker and put the weight. Cook for 2 whistles.

For the vegetable

  1. Cut the baby corn, carrots and bell pepper into long fingers.
  2. Slice the onions and tomatoes into circles.
  3. On a flat bottom non stick pan spread ghee and arrange the onion and tomato slices. Roast both sides on a medium flame till brown. Take out on a plate.
  4. **Heat 1 teaspoon ghee in the same pan and add bell pepper, broccoli, carrots, baby corn, salt, ***turmeric and hing. Stir for 2 minutes.
  5. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons water, cover and cook on low flame till vegetables are soft. Say 3 minutes.
  6. Add the pepper powder, chilli powder, oregano and grated cheese, mix and put off the flame.

For baking

  1. In a flat bottomed oven safe glass container spread the rice. Dot with cream.
  2. Spread the vegetables evenly on the rice.
  3. Arrange the onion and tomato slices.
  4. Pour the milk and sprinkle the cheese kept for topping.
  5. ****Bake in a oven for 5 minutes at 200 degree centigrade or till the cheese melts.
  6. Serve hot with stiffed cheese cutlets.

*You can cookthe rice in a rice cooker or in a heavy bottomed pan on the stove.

**The vegetables can be steamed in a microwave for 3 minutes and stir fried.

***I always use turmeric as it is a proven anti oxidant and hing for its medicinal properties.( search in google for details)

****You can bake in a microwave also.

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