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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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Harvesting tomatoes that were never sown!

Around five years back, I suddenly planned a  face lift for our small garden area. After cleaning up the garden I bought a nice pot to be used as compost pit. We collected the vegetable and fruit waste in this pot and used it as manure. I used to throw the rotten tomatoes as well.

In our new duplex home we made planters on the compound wall and the parapet wall. My hubby mixed soil with the compost we had collected over the years  and planted some rose cuttings. After around two weeks the planters were filled with tomato plants. We re potted them and have harvested over 100 tomatoes till now. Another hundred can be plucked in a week:).

Thakkali Koottu (Tomato koottu )

Cooking with home grown vegetables is very satisfying and you know there are no artificial fertilizers or pesticides. The aroma of freshly plucked vegetables is heavenly.


  • Raw tomatoes – 6 to 8
  • Moong dal – 1/4 cup
  • Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – to taste

For the paste

  • Grated coconut – 1 tbs
  • Coriander seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Urad dal – 1 tsp
  • Channa dal – 1 tsp
  • Hing – a small piece
  • Red-chili –  1 no
  • Oil – 1 tsp

For  the seasoning

  • Ghee – 1 tsp
  • Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 5 nos
  • Red chilli – 1 no


  1. Slice the tomatoes into long pieces.Place in a MW safe bowl and mix with 1/4 tsp turmeric powder. MW high for 5 minutes
  2. Pressure cook the moong dal with 1/4 tsp turmeric powder.
  3. Roast the ingredients for the paste except coconut in 1 tsp oil, add coconut and grind to a smooth paste.
  4. Add cooked moong dal, ground paste and salt to the tomatoes and mix well.Add a little water to get Koottu consistency.
  5. Mw high for 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl.
  6. Cut the red chili into small pieces.
  7. Heat 1 tsp ghee and add the mustard seeds and red chili; when the mustard crackles add the curry leaves. Add  the seasoning to the koottu.

Serve as a side dish for rotis,phulkas or rice.

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A few months back I received a mail from Ms.Pankaja, a journalist from The Hindu. She heard about theyumblog from her colleagues and wanted to write about us and a few other bloggers.

Thank you Pankaja for writing about theyumblog.

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Look who’s cooking on the blog


Just how many desperate cooks are out there? Plenty, as Latha, Lakshmi, Srivalli and Ashok tell Pankaja Srinivasan. Their food blogs have saved marriages, pleased the gods, hunted down paatis and appealed to fussy kids

“You truly are a God-send! …I’m just learning to cook…I’m away from India and there’s no one to guide me……Thank you, thank you, thank you so much for all your posts! (please put recipes for karthigai urundai also…)”

Breathless messages such as these await Latha Maami daily on ‘The Yum blog’. Grateful cooks have been writing to her since 2007.

Tired of being left out of all the Internet activity around her, Latha Narasimhan decided she also wanted a piece of the action. “I wanted to do something online too. But first, I had to learn how to operate the computer,” she admits wryly. She decided she would put down the plentiful recipes she had noted down while watching her mother cook. Today, Latha’s blog has nearly 25 lakh hits. (She blogs with her daughter Lakshmi). Latha is anxious to preserve traditional recipes.

Deepavali marundhu, food for the new mom, the pregnant woman… We should not lose those recipes. Putting them on my blog ensures they stay around.” She collects recipes from the older cooks she knows such as her invaluable source, Parameshwari Akka, who lives in Kulithalai.

It is not just frantic ‘how-to-make-puliodharai’ posts that Latha receives. Sometimes it is her opinion on a microwave oven, and once there was an SOS asking help to tie a nine-yard sari! During festivals she has to clear last-minute doubts. “I am usually running from kitchen to computer all day long,” she says. Lakshmi loves the idea of blogging with her mom. She says, “The Internet offers such a wonderful, democratic way to document, preserve and share.”


Thirty-seven-year-old Srivalli has two blogs, one daughter and twin sons. So a lot of what goes into her ‘Spice your life’ blog is kid-tested and approved. “My daughter has always been a fussy eater. So I had to come up with ideas to encourage her to eat. My boys, on the other hand, are fine with whatever I make. But I have noticed that when I say that I have made something especially for them, they eat better,” she says. Her other blog, ‘Cooking 4 all seasons’ features everyday food. Srivalli says her blog is like a journal. “It records my adventures as a cook, mom, and a person passionate about food and writing.” Her chocolates, chicken biryani and sponge cake have won admirers and she is surprised how many people want to know how to make rasam! Grateful newly-weds have told her that her blog has saved their marriages. In Spice… Srivalli holds a blogging marathon in which participants post a recipe on 14 consecutive days on a particular theme. So if the theme is paayasam, bloggers have to post a paayasam recipe every day. They also have to read all the posts and leave comments on them. “Members tell me that the marathon pushes them to be regular bloggers and eggs them on to try new dishes. The marathon is a year old now.”


Paal Kozhukattai

Paal kozhukattai is a light sweet. It can be prepared using either with milk or coconut milk. It can be served as a evening snack.


  • Rice flour – 1/2 cup
  • Water – 3/4
  • Oil – 1tsp
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Jaggery – 2 tbs
  • Cardamom – 2 nos (powdered)
  • A few strands of saffron
  1. In a heavy bottomed pan bring the water to boil.
  2. Add 1 tsp oil and lower the flame.
  3. Add a teaspoon of the flour and stir with the handle of the laddle.
  4. Add all the flour and stir well till the dough thickens. Put off the flame and cover the pan. leave to cool.
  5. Make 1 centimeter balls with the dough and keep it aside.
  6. In another pan boil the milk. Lower the flame and drop the rice flour  balls and allow to simmer for three minutes.
  7. Add jaggery , powdered cardamom and saffron and take off the flame.
Note : Donot allow to boil after adding jaggery.

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2011 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

London Olympic Stadium holds 80,000 people. This blog was viewed about 510,000 times in 2011. If it were competing at London Olympic Stadium, it would take about 6 sold-out events for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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Women, men, children – entire villages – dressed in yellow and red undertaking a barefoot journey to Samayapuram Mariamman Kovil. This long trail of pilgrims, we encountered on National Highway 210 started at Pudukottai and continued till we reached Samayapuram. They must have covered about 60-70kms barefoot.

Padyatra/ Nadaipayanam usually refers to the journey one undertakes by foot (mostly barefoot) to a holy shrine or place of spiritual significance and are fairly common in Tamizh Nad.  Besides the famous and visible padyatras undertaken to the Palani Murugan temple, every year in August/September, droves of pilgrims from all over Tamizh Nad make their way by foot to the Basilica at Velankanni for the annual 11 day feast of Our Lady of Health. Pilgrims from Chennai cover more than 300 kms by foot to make this journey.

We encountered these pilgrims on our way back from Karaikudi, a town in Tamil Nadu.

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2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at WordPress.com mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 470,000 times in 2010. If it were an exhibit at The Louvre Museum, it would take 20 days for that many people to see it.


In 2010, there were 2 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 270 posts. There were 6 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 7mb.

The busiest day of the year was September 1st with 12 views. The most popular post that day was Srijayanthi( Krishna jayanthi or Janmashtami or Gokulashtami) and Recipes.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were google.co.in, google.com, cooking4allseasons.blogspot.com, en.wordpress.com, and blogcatalog.com.

Some visitors came searching, mostly for iyengar recipes, idli batter, rava dosa recipe, more kulambu recipe, and krishna jayanthi recipes.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


Srijayanthi( Krishna jayanthi or Janmashtami or Gokulashtami) and Recipes August 2007






Tips for Idli and Dosa batter August 2007
42 comments and 1 Like on WordPress.com,


More kuzhambu(Iyengar style) July 2007

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