Archive for the ‘Arusuvai’ Category

Thavalai Adai is a variation of adai. It is steamed in a vengala paanai or handi instead of tawa.

This dish must be prepared leisurely and served hot.



  • Boiled Rice : 3 cups
  • Toordal       : 1 cup
  • Channa dal : 1 cup
  • Urad dal      : 1 cup
  • Coconut      : 1/2 cup ( grated)
  • Red chillies : 4 nos
  • Curry leaves : 2 twigs
  • Oil                 : 2 table spoons
  • Salt to taste





  1. Wash and soak boiled rice for 1 hour. Wash and soak the dals separately.
  2. Coarsely grind boiled rice, add the dals, red chillies and grind to a coarse and thick batter.
  3. Add salt, coconut and roughly chopped curry leaves and mix well.
  4. Heat a vengala paanai ( Bronze pot) on medium flame and spread 2 teaspoons oil.
  5. Spread two table spoons of batter into thick adai and make a hole in center.
  6. Cover the paanai with a shallow bowl filled with one glass of water.
  7. Cook over low flame for 3 to 4 minutes. Once vapour rises from the bowl the adai will be cooked well.
  8. Remove carefully with a spoon. Prepare all the adais in the same way.
  9. Serve hot with Avial, Pulikaichal or vethal kuzhambu.


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Some of the visitors wanted the recipe for simple bitter gourd curry. I prepare this curryatleast twice in a month.


  • Bitter gourd (Karela or Pavakkai) – 1/2 kg
  • Oil – 2 tbs
  • Grated Coconut – 3 tbs
  • Tamarind – lemon sized ball
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Chili powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – to taste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar and 1/2 tsp salt for marinating*.



  1. Cut the bitter gourd into half lengthwise. Remove the seeds and cut into thin slices.
  2. Add 2 tsp sugar and 1/2 tsp salt and leave to marinate for 1/2 hour. Squeeze the slices well to remove bitterness.
  3. Soak tamarind in warm water and extract around 2 tablespoons of thick pulp.
  4. Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds. When it crackles add the bitter gourd slices.
  5. Add turmeric, salt and saute well. Saute on medium flame for 5 minutes. Add the tamarind pulp and cook for some time till the juice dries up.
  6. Saute on a low flame till the slices are golden.Add chili powder and  grated coconut and saute for  2 more  minutes.
  7. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve as a side dish with rice or chapathi.


*Marinating is optional.

Bitter gourd can also be prepared as pavakkai pitlai, Kuzhambu etc.


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Potato podimas is usually prepared on festival days. It can be prepared quickly with just a teaspoon of oil.


  • Potatoes – 1/2 kg
  • Oil – 1 tsp
  • Coconut – 2 tbs grated
  • Curry leaves – 1 twig
  • Coriander leaves – 1 tbs chopped
  • Green chili – 1no
  • Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Cashew – 4 to 5 chopped ( Optional)
  • Lemon juice – 1 tbs ( optional)
  • Salt – to taste



  1. Wash and pressure cook the potatoes. Peel the cooked potatoes and mash well.
  2. Heat oil in a kadai, add mustard seeds. When it crackles add urad dal and cashew.
  3. Saute till golden. Add chopped curry leaves and green chili.
  4. Saute for a minute and add the mashed potatoes. Mix well.
  5. Add salt and coconut and mix well.Take off the heat.
  6. Add lemon juice and mix well.( Optional)
  7. Decorate with chopped coriander leaves.

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Bharathy, of the funny comments in purely colloquial tamizh fame, sent along a box of stuff I love to munch on most as a part of the Arusuvai Friendship Chain – dry fruits.🙂

Arusuvai is a chain where one passes on a surprise ingredient to friends who need to cook something with the ingredient and continue the chain by passing on “surprise ingredients” to more friends. Read the whole story here.


I love dry fruits – I can declare my undying love for them at any place, any time. Each day has to either start or end with a small helping of nuts or I feel like there’s a screw missing. So you can my reaction when I opened the package Bharathy sent along to see this.


I took the liberty of assuming that only Almonds and Raisins were the “surprise ingredients” (The rest were eaten straight out of the box) and prepared Badam Halwa.

My Mama and Manni had gifted me a set of two beautiful Corelware bowls which I inaugurated with two of my favourite desserts – Badam Halwa and Fudgy Brownie.

Badam Halwa
Badam Halwa

Fudgy Brownies
Fudgy Brownie Cake

Badam Halwa

  • Badam/ Almonds – 1 cup
  • Cashew – 1 cup
  • Sugar – 1 cup *
  • Cardamom – 4 nos
  • Ghee – 1 tablespoon
  • Dry grapes – 1 tablespoon


  1. Soak the Badam/ Almonds and Cashew in hot water. Peel the skin of Badam. After 1/2 an hour grind to a fine paste.
  2. Take the ground paste in a MW safe bowl, add sugar, cardamom powder and 2 teaspoon ghee.
  3. Mix well and MW high for 6 to 8 minute, stirring twice in between.
  4. Fry the dry grapes in 1 teaspoon ghee and decorate the halwa.

*You can increase the quantity of sugar as per your taste.

I am passing on surprise ingredients to Nags at For the cook in me and Raaga at The Singing Chef.


Asha has tagged me to display my fridge. A few points before we an look at the much awaited exhibit:

  1. I din’t clean it before the snap. Period. This is how it looks on a regular day.
  2. I don’t think its “very clean” or organized – its an average regular fridge that I am very happy with.
  3. I thank god that there’s only a “Show me your fridge” meme, and not a “Show me your wardrobe” or “Show me the table near your wardrobe” meme. I might need to pay a to and fro ticket for a certain somebody from Bangalore if I ever needed to display my wardrobe.
  4. I never ever thought I’d combine two posts in one like this :O . I blame this squarely on the Asha effect.

My Freezer with Coconuts that are yet to be grated. In a bout of laziness I just put them in boxes. Chill tray with Milk.

Main Racks
Main Racks – Top – Leftovers, Middle – Milk, Pickles, Preserves and hidden blocks of Chocolate, Bottom – The indispensable store of Curds, Roti Dough, Badam Halwa. Usually Dosa Batter or other wet batters also occupy this shelf.

Vegetable Tray
Vegetable Rack. Tomatoes and Coriander are always stored separately. Supply of Avakkai from Bangalore

Side Racks
Side Racks – Syrups, Pickles, Ghee, Honey, Flavourings, Yeast (hopefully still alive), Cheese, Ginger, Green Chilly

And now I tag:

Siri of Siri’s Corner

Bharathy of Spicy Chilly

Srivalli of Cooking for all seasons

…to display their fridge

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