Posts Tagged ‘saatvik khana’

With three birthdays and so many festivals in the month of aadi, There were too many heavy lunches. So last sunday I prepared a pathiya sappadu (saatvik khana – read healthy food that’s nice to your digestive system).It took just 15 minutes. So I am sending to Shaheens Express cooking event. I prepared Milagu kuzhambu (Black Peppercorns and Tamarind Gravy), Paruppu thogayal (a paste made of Lentils), Plain rice, pappad, Varutha Manathakali and Veepampoo (Roasted Black Nightshade and Neem flowers).


For Milagu Kuzhambu (Black Peppercorns and Tamarind Gravy)

  • Tamarind – lemon sized
  • Coriander seeds – 2 teaspoon
  • Black peppercorns – 2 teaspoons
  • Red chilli – 1 no
  • Channa dal – 2 teaspoons
  • Urad dal – 2 teaspoons
  • Hing – a small piece
  • Oil- 2 teaspoons
  • Curry leaves 2 twigs

For Paruppu thogayal (Lentils Paste)

  • Toor dal – 1 cup
  • Red chillii – 1 no
  • Oil 1 table spoon
  • Hing – a small piece
  • Salt to taste

For plain rice

  • Rice – 1 cup
  • Water 2 and 1/2 cups

For the varuvals (roasted items)

  • Manathakali vathal (Black Nightshade)- 2 table spoons
  • Veepampoo (Neem flowers) – 2 table spoons
  • Ghee 2 table spoons
  • Salt to taste


  1. Heat 2 and 1/2 cups water in a small Hawkins Ventura cooker.
  2. Wash the rice, drain well and add to the boiling water, close the cooker.Takes around 5 minutes to cook
  3. Soak tamarind in hot water.
  4. In a kadai heat 2 teaspoon oil and fry coriander seeds, channa dal, urad dal, peppercorns, redchilli and hing till golden.
  5. Add curry leaves and fry for a moment and transfer to a plate.
  6. Heat 1 table spoon oil and fry toor dal, red chilli and hing till golden, stirring continously.
  7. Transfer to a container and leave to cool.
  8. Extract juice from tamarind adding 1 and 1/2 cup water, add salt and bring to boil in medium flame.
  9. Grind the fried items for milagu kuzhambu in to a powder and add to the boiling tamarind water and mix well.
  10. Let it boil for a minute and transfer to a serving bowl.
  11. Add salt and grind the toordal to a powder and add 1 cup water and grind furtherto a smooth paste.
  12. Add more water if required and transfer to a serving bowl.
  13. Heat 1/2 tablespoon ghee in a small kadai and fry the manathakali vathal (black nightshade) till it puffs. Add salt and transfer to a small cup.
  14. Heat 1/2 table spoon ghee in the same kadai and fry the veepampoo (neem flowers) till slightly black.Add salt and transfer to a cup.
  15. By now the rice will be ready with pressure released.
  16. Serve all these items with papads made in the microwave.

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Generally boiled rice is not used for idlies when it is prepared as prasaadam.


  • Raw rice – 2 cups
  • urad dal – 1 cup

Another option

  • Raw rice – 3 cups
  • urad dal – 1 cup
  • methiseeds – 1 teaspoon


  1. Wash and soak the dal and rice for 6 hours and grind to a smooth paste. For detailed instructions click here.
  2. Allow to ferment for 8 to 10 hours and steam the Idlies.

For details of pooja and Kozhukattai recipes click here

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Update: Four Varieties of Kozhukattai (steamed stuffed rice flour wraps) have been given below. We prepare this for Ganesha Chaturthi. Scroll down for recipes.

I humbly Offer this to the lotus feet of the Supreme Mother Goddess Raja Rajeshwari.

VaralakshmiViratham is Observed by most families in south India. Varam is boon. Varalakshmi is the goddess who bestows upon her bhakthas, health, wealth, prosperity, joy, peace, etc.(Ashta Aishwaryam).

Though as Iyengars my family does’nt observe this festival, being a devotee of the goddess Raja Rajeshwari I always perform a simple Varalakshmi puja on this day. I have collected details of puja procedures from my neighbour, an Iyer aunty, Mrs.Rajam Sunderajan. Thankyou mami!

On thursday, the kalasam is made and decorated as Amman. For the kalasam you can use a jar or sombhu made of silver, bronze or brass. Even mud pots were used for kalasam in olden days. Fill the pot with a little rice, toor dal, 4 betal leaves, 2 betal nuts, 2 turmeric pods, a 1 rupee coin, 1 lemon. place 5 different kinds of leaves or 5 mango leaves on the mouth of the pot and cover with a coconut that is smeared all over with turmeric powder(manja thengai).

I also read in Devi Bhagavatham another method to make the kalasam. You can fill the pot partially with holy water from any river and place some gold jewellary. cover the mouth of the pot with 5 mango leaves and a coconut smeared with turmeric.

If you have a ambhals Mugam(Face) you can attach it to the kalasam. you can also draw the face of Goddess on the kalasam.If you have a statue of the goddess You can decorate that for the puja. kalasam is further decorated with jewels and silk saree. All this is done in the puja room or a place at home where you want to do the puja. Manja pongal is prepared as prasadam on thursday. At the beginning of the puja Devi is invoked in the Kalasam (Aavahanam). From now we will refer to kalasam as Devi. The devi can be placed on a special platform(mandapam) decorated with Vaazhai kannu or young plaintain trees and maavilai thooranam.

The method of making the kalasam varies, you can stick to the method passed on by your family. Devotion and faith are most important for the puja.

On friday, the day of varalakshmi puja, the front yard is cleaned and decorated with kolam(As we do everyday). Devi is carried from the front door to the puja room and placed in the Mandapam.

Now the Kalasa pujai, archanai, ashtothra pujai and charadu pujai are performed by a sasthrigal(purohit). If you live in a place where you cannot invite a purohit you can do the puja yourself. puja CDs are easily available. Neivedyam is performed.(offering).

The charadu(yellow thread) is worn in the wrist and the purohit is honoured with sambavanai (Vaayanam).*Thambhulam is distributed to ladies.

On saturday punar pujai is done for the Devi and the neivedyam offered is sundal. Thambulam is distributed to ladies. This culminates the puja.

On saturday night after Deeparaadanai the kalasam is kept in the rice pot for a day.

May the world be blessed by the Goddess Vara Maha Lakshmi!

I humbly request The Devi and all my visitors to forgive any mistake in the procedure.

The neivedyam prepared on the day of the puja are

  1. Kozhukattai (kadubu, moodak) prepared with 4 variety poornams (fillings)- which has been posted below.
  2. Appam
  3. Vadai
  4. Idli made from raw rice.(Paccharisi idli)

All recipes will be posted in a day or two.

Kozhukattais steamed in crystalwave Mw dish
Sweet Kozhukattais/ Modhaks steamed in the Microwave. Green container is perforated and the yellow is filled with 1/2 cup water



For the outer cover

  • Rice flour -3 cups
  • salt to taste
  • Water 3 cups
  • Oil – 1 table spoon

For the Coconut filling

  • Grated coconut – 1cup loosely packed
  • Jaggery – 1/2 cup
  • Cardamom – 1 no

For the sesame filling

  • Sesame seeds (Til) – 1/2 cup
  • jaggery – 1/2 cup
  • cardamom – 1 no

For the urad dal filling

  • Urad dal – 1/2 cup
  • green chillies – 1 no (finely chopped)
  • curry leaves – 1 twig(finely chopped)
  • Oil – 1 table spoon
  • Hing – 1/4 teaspoon
  • salt to taste
  • mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon

For the channa dal filling

  • Channa dal (kadalai paruppu) – 1/2 cup
  • jaggery – 1/2 cup
  • cardamom – 1 no
  • Grated coconut – 1 table spoon


For the outer cover

  1. Bring the water to boil in a heavy bottomed pan.
  2. Reduce the flame to medium and add the oil and rice flour and stir well to get a smooth dough.
  3. Take off the flame and mix further to remove lumps thouroughly.
  4. Cover and allow to cool.

For the Coconut filling

  1. Melt jaggery with a little water, in a kadai on a medium flame.
  2. Add coconut and cardamom powder and cook for 2 minutes.
  3. The filling will become thicker when it cools.Transfer to a container.

For the sesame filling

  1. Dry roast the sesame seeds till they crackle.
  2. Allow to cool and grind in a mixer.
  3. Mix with powdered jaggery and cardamom.

For the urad dal filling

  1. Wash and soak urad dal for 1/2 hour.
  2. Drain well and grind coarsely adding salt and hing adding 2 table spoons water.
  3. Heat oil in a kadai and add mustard seeds.
  4. when it crackles add the curry leaves, green chillies and the ground urad dal.
  5. Cook on a low flame stirring well for 3 minutes. Urad dal will be cooked by now.

For the channa dal filling

  1. Wash and cook channa dal with 3/4 cup water on a medium flame till all the water is absorbed and channa dal looks translucent.
  2. Allow to cool and grind to a powder.
  3. Add the coconut, jaggery and cardamom powder and grind to form a dough.
  4. Keep in a microwave safe glass bowl and micro for 2 minutes stirring in between.

How to proceed

  1. Make 1 and 1/2 inch diameter balls out of the rice dough. Shape it into a cup with your fingers.
  2. Place 1 teaspoon of the prepared filling and cover to form a modhak shape – i.e bring all the end of the cup together. You will get a round ball with a cone on top.
  3. Make these modhaks or Kozhukkatais with all the fillings.
  4. Steam in a pressure cooker without weight for 3 minutes. You can place the kozhukatais on an idli stand to steam.
  5. Allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from the cooker.
  6. Your kozhukatais are ready for neivedyam (offering to Lord Ganesha).

Update: To see the microwave version of steaming head over here.

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I offer this to the Lotus Feet of The Supreme Mother Goddess RajaRajeshwari.


Many tamilians also do MaaVillakku puja on one of the Aadi Velli Kizhamai. For the benefit of the families who have this practice, I have given the recipe for a small MaaVillakku.

We usually light the Maa Villakku on a Purattasi Sani Kizhamai.


  • Rice – 2 cups
  • Jaggery – 1 cup
  • Cardamom – 2 nos
  • Honey – 2 table spoons
  • Grated coconut – 2 table spoons
  • Ghee – 2 table spoons
  • Wick – 4 inch length.


  1. Wash and soak the rice for 10 minutes.
  2. Drain well and spread on a white cloth.
  3. Grind the rice in a heavy duty mixer a little at a time and seive.
  4. When all the rice is ground, mix with powdered jaggery’ honey, grated coconut and cardamom.
  5. On a plate shape this dough in to the shape of a lamp or villakku. Pour ghee and place a wick.
  6. Light the wick and offer your prayers.

Hope all viewers who visit my site for this specific purpose find it useful. Please do let me know your views.

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Details of Puja and Festival will be posted soon.

Update: I have started posting details. Festival is on 24th august.

Click here for more information and recipes for the special occasion.

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Tamilian’s meal is not complete with out curd rice. Curd rice is not just mixing rice and curd. Read on to know how Iyengars make it an absolute delight.


  • Rice – 1 cup
  • Milk – 2 cups (boiled and cooled)
  • Fresh curds – 2 tablespoons
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Green chillies – 2 nos (cut into small pieces)
  • Curry leaves – 1 twig finely chopped
  • Fresh cream – 2 table spoons
  • Hing – a pinch
  • Ginger – 1/2 teaspoon (finely chopped)
  • Pomegranate – 2 tablespoons
  • Seedless grapes – 10 nos ( cut into 2 pieces )
  • Cashew – 4 nos (cut into pieces)
  • Oil – 1 teaspoon
  • Mustard – 1/2 teaspoon


  1. Wash the rice and cook in a pressure cooker with* 2 and1/2 cup water.
  2. Transfer the rice to a deep container and mash when still hot, adding a little milk as you mash.
  3. Slowly add the remaining milk as you keep mixing. Allow to cool for 5 minutes.
  4. Add curds, salt and cream and mix well.
  5. Heat oil in a small kadai, add mustard seeds. when it crackles add curry leaves and green chillies.
  6. Add the seasoning,hing, cashews, ginger and fruits and mix well.
  7. Serve with a pickle of your choice.

* The rice should be over cooked so that it can be mashed well.

If the rice soaks up all the milk, more milk can be added.

Cashews are raw and not fried.

Red chillies can also be used or seasoning.

The fruits are optional as they may not be available through out the year.

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The Neem tree (Veepa maram) has an important place in the south indian life style. Neem tree is generally grown in the front yard of the house. In the evenings when all the members of the family generally gather for a chat on the Thinnai(Permanent seats constructed in the front yard), a gentle breeze carrying a sweet aroma of the neem touches our face. This is such a pleasant experience.

Before the advent of tooth brushes Indians used the neem twigs for brushing the teeth. Even to this day we can see people in country side massaging their gums with the neem twigs.

The neem leaf has medicinal properties to cure skin diseases. Now a days soap and tooth paste manufacturers use these in their products.

The neem flower is used in cooking and is a good medicine for stomach aches and indigesion. Clean white cloth is tied to the branches to collect the flowers. The flowers known as “veepampoo” are sun dried and used for cooking.

More about neem tomorrow.

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