Archive for snack

Recipes Available 4

Posted in INDEX, Recipes Available with tags , , , on February 6, 2013 by icareufriend

Snacks & Savouries

Bread balls

Bread Sandwich

Chilli Bread

dahI AlU

dahI AlU pApDi cAT

Diamond biscuits

dIpAvaLi Mixture

Kai MuRukku



KOla VaDai

MuLLu tEnkuzhal/Muttusaram/ManOharam

MUSu uruNDai



RAdhA Vallabhi

Ribbon PakkODA

Suji (ravA/Semolina) CIDai





Black eyed beans (KArAmaNi) sweet suNDal

Kabuli ChanA (White chick peas) KoNDai kaDalai suNDal

PAsipparuppu (green gram/Mung dAl) suNDal





BadAm cake


BESan lADu

BUndi lADu

Cashewnut cake (KAjU katli)

Cherry fruit halwa


Coconut burfi

Coconut KalAkand

eLLu lADu

eLLuppoDi (Sweet), eLLukkozhukkaTTai

GulAb JAmun/MalAi JAmun

HalwA (Ashoka, carrot/gAjar, beetroot, pUshaNi, suraikkAi)

HalwA Contd. (BAdAm, Wheat/Tirunelveli)

HalwA Contd.1 (SOhan)




MaidA cake


Milk Bread Cake

Mysore Pak



Pal POLi

ParuppttEngAi varieties

Payattam (green gram dal) lADu


Pori uruNDai

PoTTukkaDalai mA lADu


PUri lADu

ravA (Semolina) lADu

Rice vellapputtu



Sevan cups cake

Sojji appam



Sweet KEsar PUri

Sweet Potato dish

Sweet SamOSA

tEngAi PUrNam KozhukkaTTai (MOdakam)



Puri & Alu Dum (2)

Posted in PUri & Alu Dum with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 4, 2011 by icareufriend

(Contd. from last posting)

3. DAl PUri

To serve 3 Preparation time 30 minutes Shelf life 2 days

This is also known as RAdhAballabhi in Bengal which is nothing but a flat Kachauri!

Make thick dough with 1 cup of maidhA, a little salt and 2 tbs of ghI or oil. Divide into balls.

For filling:

½ cup Black gram (uLundhu or urud dAl), soaked in water for 4 to 5 hours

½ tsp salt

½ tsp chilli powder

¼ tsp fennel (aniseed)

¼ tsp cumin seeds

¼ coriander seeds

Grind the soaked dAl into coarse paste with the above and fry in a little oil+ghI over a pan till the contents become deep brown in colour releasing fine aroma. Allow it to cool. Now, take a ball of the dough and roll into size of normal pUri. Place 1 ½ to 2 tsp filling and re-roll exactly as you do for stuffed parAttA. Remember not to apply pressure while rolling in order to prevent the filling from popping out while rolling or frying.  Deep fry in oil+ghI in a kadAi.

For side dish:

1 cup of Bengal gram (chanA) dAl is to be soaked for 30 minutes in water.

Pressure cook this soaked dAl and take out. Take 2 cups of water in a kadAi and add this dAl with a tablespoon sugar, ¼ tsp turmeric powder, ½ tsp garam masAlA powder and a green chilli cut length wise. Boil till the dAl becomes semi solid. Remove from fire and serve with the above.

4. Sweet KEsar PUri

To serve 3 Preparation time 30 minutes Shelf life 2 to 3 days

Prepare dough with 11/2 a cup of maidhA as above. Add kEsar yellow colour after dissolving it in a tsp water since colour powders directly added will not spread uniformly. Make small pUris as shown in the picture and deep fry. Dip them in sugar syrup described below for 15 minutes and take out. After these cool and dry, store. To have better taste, add 1 tbs ghI to the oil for frying.

Take ½ a cup of sugar in a kadAi and add ½ of water. Boil well till the syrup becomes too thick (about 2 string consistency). If you take a drop of this syrup between your thumb and index finger and separate them there should be an unbroken string. Remove it from fire and add ½ tsp of cardamom powder.

5. Pal POLi

This is nothing but maidhA pUri fried in ghI+oil soaked in thick boiled milk mixed with sugar as per taste and saffron dissolved in a little milk before adding if colour is not added. If yellow colour is added after dissolving a little milk, then you need not add saffron but cardamom powder. Remember not to soak the pUri too long together as they may stick together and form a paste. Soak a pUri at a time for 2 minutes and take out before soaking the next one. Storing needs tact not to allow the soaked pUris to stick to each.


Never fry anything directly in pure ghI but add some oil to it as it may release an awful smell when heated for frying continuously.

Today’s special Tips

1. In the case of pUri, add ¼ tsp of sugar as well as a tsp sUji for a cup of AttA and knead to enable them to retain their puffed form for some time. At the same time pUris are also crispy.

2. Simply add a pinch of sugar along with skinned cardamoms while grinding. You get a nice powder. This is true in the case of other items too where too little a quantity may not grind well. You can add sugar or salt as the case may be and then grind. Remember to reduce that much quantity of sugar or salt in the whole preparation. The skin of cardamom need not be thrown away but can be boiled with tea dust to give some aroma to the tea.

3. To clean off the sticky marks of the labels and stickers try using a bit of cooking oil on a soft cloth and then rubbing it. After this simply wipe off or wash clean. The mark would have vanished.

4. Never use the same ladles and spoons used already for another item as they may spoil the other item. Use fresh ladle, spoon, utensil etc for each item. Never keep the used ladle and spoon on the cooking platform as they may come in contact with dust or dirt. Instead rest them on a special tray available or just in a small vessel filled with water and use again after washing.

5. Wash the knife, grater, slicer, mixi jars, grinder etc immediately and thoroughly, wipe and dry as they not only get spoiled but also there is a chance for insect breeding or attraction of insects to the remnants. Knife used for chopping onions or garlic transfer the smell to other items if unwashed. If you used them for cutting plantain, brinjal etc., other vegetables get blackened when cut by them.


I will be off for a couple of days!

Till then, bye!

Puri & Alu Dum

Posted in PUri & Alu Dum with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 3, 2011 by icareufriend

There are many side dishes for pUris but nothing to beat the famous Alu dum, which has several variations. In this posting I will deal with my personal recipe for this and hope you like it!

 To serve: 3 Preparation time: 45 minutes   Shelf life:  2 days


For preparing pUris, you need to follow the same steps as you would for chapAtti except that the dough should be a bit stiffer and the discs rolled are smaller in size! For instance if you added in all ½ a cup of water from time to time to make dough for chapAtti the dough of which is very soft, for pUri the water should be reduced by 1 or 2 tablespoons only as to make the dough a bit harder. This is because, we need to smear more flour from time to time on both sides for rolling chapAtti to prevent it sticking to the board while rolling and to heat it on a griddle, whereas here we fry in oil directly and if you smear more flour for rolling, the excess flour will also get fried and settles down as a thick brown or black sediment. For pUri we smear very little flour as the dough is harder.

If you find it difficult to roll small discs, you can also roll a larger disc and cut out the smaller discs of required size by using a lid. 

 Alu Dum



Potato (medium)

Onion (medium)

Garlic cloves


Cumin seeds







½ inch

1 tsp

½ inch



Cardamom pod

Turmeric powder

Chilli powder



Refined oil

Bay leaf



½ tsp

1 tsp

1 tsp

to taste

3 tbs



Pressure cook potato, peel and keep aside. Grind onion, garlic, ginger and cumin seeds into paste. Roast cinnamon, clove and cardamom and powder. Sauté a little cumin seeds and bay leaves in oil and after the seeds splutter add the ground paste and sauté again for about 5 minutes or till the water in the paste is reduced. Cut the potato into medium sized cubes and add. Sauté for 5 minutes and add turmeric and chilli powders with salt. Sauté again for about 5 minutes and then add 1½ cups of water. When it boils add sugar. After it attains the consistency of gravy add the powdered masAla and allow boiling for 2 seconds. Remove from fire and serve hot.



1. In case you are using baby potato, you need not cut but add in full. If the size is larger to this, you can cut into halves.

2. If you want it hotter, you can add chilli powder a little more.

3. We can also add cauliflower florets with green peas but pure Alu dum has only potato.

Other PUris

These are used as snacks/savouries and are taken along with tea. They are also eaten without any side dish. These are not prepared from wheat flour but from maidhA or all purpose flour.  The pUris are a bit thicker and are not allowed to puff up but fry longer on both sides by turning the sides. For disallowing them to puff up, we prick the surface lightly with the edge of a knife. Unless they fry well they will not be crispy.

1. KAra PUri

Make dough by mixing required quantity of maidhA with salt to taste and a little chilli powder. Add 1 tablespoon oil more than what you add for chapAtti dough while making it. You can either add Bishop Weeds (Omam or ajwain) or Cumin seeds.  You can also use black pepper in coarse form. Make pUri out of this dough.


2. Nimkin (Salty PUri

Add salt and cumin seeds only to maidhA and prepare thick dough adding a little water and more oil. Here when you roll disc, make them small ones and smear oil or ghI, fold, re-roll like parAtta in triangular shape only. Prick the surface and fry well both sides.

 (To be continued)

Tips, tips, tips ……………………………..! (2)

Posted in Introduction with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 14, 2011 by icareufriend

(Continued from the first part)


In cooking, the cardinal principle is: “Never prepare first time anything in huge quantity. Little always guides.” Unless you have perfected an item, be at pilot level following trial and error method. Prepare the item in small quantity and check if at all you have erred, where erred, what is needed, what is to be omitted, what is added more, which is to be lessened, whether it needs more cooking time or whether it was to have been reduced further etc. Once it has come very well in all respects, note down or remember the ingredients used and the quantity, cooking time and the procedure followed. Repeat for at least two more times and if you achieve hat trick, then you can start making the item in large or required quantity by just increasing the proportion correctly.

001. Vegetables are to be washed well before they are cut into pieces in order to preserve their tastes and natural constituents. It is better to throw the pieces that are infested or spoiled. Soak the pieces in water mixed with a little turmeric powder and then cook, especially the greens. This will not only retain their natural colour but also destroy the bad effects of the pesticides as well as harmful microbes.

002. If you make ‘suNdal’ from dAls, do not roast but make directly by boiling them in more water. Then when it is cooked three fourth without becoming paste, drain the excess water and add it to other ingredients to be sautéed. This keeps the grains separately and distinctly instead of making the suNdal a paste. It also adds a fine aroma to the product.

003. While making ‘bONdA’, if you mix a little corn flour with the chanA flour, it keeps the bONdAs crispy. If you want a little glaze, then you can add a little tapioca powder.

004. To avoid the cracking of chIdai and other tight snacks, ensure that you do not mix the salt directly but adding the clear saline liquid only, after dissolving it in a little quantity of water and allowing the sediment to settle at the bottom. This also avoids them bursting due to improper mixi9ng of salt. Also, when we make chIdai, we must always fry sufficient chIdai i.e. never fry less quantity in more oil but quantities almost equalling the quantity of oil to avoid bursting. More chIdai fried in less oil without immersing them in it will not fry properly. This applies to other items that are fried. In such a case you need to turn them frequently. In any case constant turning and watching is necessary for all fried items to prevent them from charring and discolouring.

005. Never store any fried items hot and close the lid of their containers immediately unless they cool fully as otherwise they will not be crispy but hard. Similarly, when you make soft chapAttis, you can keep them over a clean cloth or tissue paper and cover them fully by the cloth or the paper even when they are hot to enable them to remain soft when you serve them after some time.

006. When you prepare powder from curry leaves, micro wave them for a minute and then powder instead of roasting it directly on a pan.

007. Sometimes the ‘mOdhakams or kozhukkattai’ crack when they are steamed. To avoid this, while preparing the raw kozukkattais before steaming, keep them in a vessel closed well with a wet cloth. Even after steaming and taking them out, keep them in a vessel covered by a wet cloth.

008. If you want to grind any solid material into a fine paste, first grind it into dry powder and then grind again after adding water needed to make it a paste.

009. Often we are not able to break the coconut into two halves correctly.  The technique is to dip it into water and wet just the half portion and then break hitting on one of the three vertical lines. I have seen some persons warming it on the flame of your stove just for a few seconds and then break. There is also a practice to refrigerate the coconut 1 hour before breaking and then break. You can choose one of these methods. Experience alone gives perfection here.

010. If fresh cream is not readily available, just whip up a little butter with milk.

011.  If by chance you had added a little more salt to any preparation, if it is a liquid, you can add a little quantity of tomato puree or a few pieces of peeled potato and then boil. If it is possible, dip a little rice or corn flour or AttA, tied in a clean cloth. If you like you can also mix coconut milk or lemon juice a little and stir well.

012. When you make any soup, to make it thicker, you can add a teaspoonful of powdered roasted pressed rice and boil for a few minutes. Sometimes, I find certain non-starchy vegetables do not allow you to have thick consistency when you prepare their ‘kUttu’. For this, I take a little of that vegetable after it is boiled well, grind in a mixie and add the paste to the kUttu and boil.

013. Idli is made from both raw rice and boiled rice. Raw rice is less hard and needs less water than the boiled rice. Similarly, if you want to prepare idli from raw rice and want it soft too, then soak rice and black gram dAl in the ratio 1:½ in warm water before grinding.

014. While preparing SAmbAr or kUttu, it is preferable to boil the vegetables along with the dAl to increase the taste and aroma. However, you must note that if you boil anything after adding salt then the thing will not cook well as such salt should be added only just a few minutes before switching off the flame, i.e., after the vegetables or the thing is cooked and mixed well with dAl and other ingredients. Always add a pinch of turmeric and a few drops of oil to the water used to boil dAl to hasten cooking.

015. Sometimes you may not like the smell of cabbage, nUlkOl, radish or similar such vegetables when they boil. To ward off the smell, you can add a little milk while preparing its curry or kUttu.

016. As a busy woman, sometimes you may not be able to prepare uLundhu (black gram) or medhu vadai immediately after grinding the paste resulting in the paste becoming very loose in consistency instead of being thick. This is true in the case of all batters. In such a case, you can grind a little pressed rice into coarse powder and add to the batter and mix well before using. However, this may reduce the taste a bit.

017. If you find the bitter gourd too bitter, then you can mix with the cut pieces a little salt and turmeric powder and keep aside for about 30 minutes after sprinkling diluted tamarind juice before preparing curry or roast.

018. While preparing sEmiyA (vermicilli) pAyasam, we normally roast it with a little ghee (Clarified butter). Still we find at times the strands stick together in the pAyasam. For this, before straining the roasted sEmiA after is it boiled and cooked, strain after adding a cup of cold water. This is also true in the case of noodles sticking together.

019. In case you find difficulty to keep the sEmiA or aval (pressed rice) soft after preparing sEmiA or aval kEsari using sugar or ‘vellam’ (jaggery, gur), you need to add the sugar or vellam after the sEmiA boils well and cook till the entire mass solidifies but remove from the flame when it is still in semi solid form and before it becomes too thick.

020. When you want to fry aval, ground nut, corn flakes and similar fragile things, do not fry them directly in hot oil as they may char. Instead, place them over a closed mesh deep strainer and dip it in hot oil for a few seconds and take out.

021. If you want any gravy to have golden colour, before preparing it, pour a little oil in an ‘iluppaichchatti’ (wok/KadAi) and when it is warm add a little sugar, dissolve till it is golden colour. Then add the ingredients for the gravy.

022. Sugar is the best friend to enhance the taste of rasam, soup and vatral kuzhambu where tamarind or sour items are used. While preparing them, add ½ to 1 tsp sugar to enhance the taste of these.

023. After cutting ladies finger (okra) keep it aside under fan or in warm sun for a few minutes before frying. This will hasten frying as well as consume less oil while keeping the pieces distinctly separate.

024. For pAl pAyasam, it is better to use either new ‘Govindh bhOg’ rice available in Bengal or ‘Basmati’ rice. A few strands of saffron mixed well in raw milk added to the pAyasam before boiling will enhance the taste.

025. While making halwA from ash gourd and bottle gourd, for best results, we need the harder variety and not the tender one. However, if you cannot get, then the tender pieces can be refrigerated for half an hour on a plate and then grate to have uniform shreds.

026. When you sauté vegetables in oil, add a little turmeric to the oil and then do. This not only acts as a germicide but also retains the colour of the vegetables.

027. Generally any preparation takes more time to become stale in winter than in summer. If you want to carry idli for your journey, then to make it less sour and last long, reduce the quantity of uLundhu (black gram) a little than what you use for normal circumstance. Also add a ladle or two gingelly oil to the batter and mix well before steaming the batter.

028. Fill up the ice cream cups with ice cream after placing them for 5 minutes in the freezer compartment of your refrigerator so that it remains in tact for long without melting.

029. We use to test coconut by just tapping by our finger (by the nail side) harder. If we get a sharp ‘tik’ sound and if the shell is deep brown in colour, then the coconut is good for cooking and the kernel is not tender inside. You need to check also the three circular spots if they are in tact and no liquid is oozing out, to ensure that the coconut is not stale inside. The white kernel should be hard to have better yield while making barfi. If we add a little thick milk to the barfi contents while preparing it just before 5 minutes to switching of the flame and stir well, we get tasty as well as soft barfis. Some people add roasted ravA (semolina, sUji) but I do not advise this as it spoils the taste.

030.  In case you have to sauté anything in oil, then be careful to follow the following procedure:

  • If the ingredients are dAls, mustard and some vegetables including green or red chilly and onion, then the order should be to sauté first the dAl and when it becomes golden brown in colour to put the mustard immediately and add the chilly immediately after the mustard splutters and lastly the vegetables.
  • If onion and garlic are to be sautéed together, then onion should precede the garlic and the latter should be added when the onion becomes slightly pinkish in colour, since garlic is tenderer than onion and gets charred if placed before the onion.
  • If you sauté vegetables, then never add more water as they become paste. After putting them over the sautéed dAl and mustard, add turmeric powder and chilli powder and turn once or twice. Then close them with a lid for a few minutes and turn again. Like this continue till you get them well sautéed.  As said earlier, add salt and the garam masAlA only just a few minutes before switching off the flame. Never touch the lid by hand but with hand covered with glove or with a kidikki (pincer/chimtA).

031. If you add ½ a tsp mendhium (fenugreek/mEthi) with uLundhu (black gram) soaked for dOsA and grind, the dOsA will be tasty and have fine aroma. It will also be soft. Some persons add a few pieces of ladies finger (okra) but I have never tried.

032. I have seen people adding 2 parts of chanA flour, I part of rice flour and 1 part of roasted pea flour to get bilging bajji. In my opinion, this consumes more oil. It is better to add a ladleful of hot or cold oil to the chanA and rice flours (roasted pea flour is not necessary since it consumes more oil), mix well before adding water to make it batter.

033. If you soak any dAl or whole grain in water, then drain the water and wash them well so that the toxicants they release or the pesticides used over them do not go into our system.

034. Some people use oil instead of flour to smear over the chapAtti or pUri dough balls before rolling to avoid the flour sediment in the iluppaichchatti (wok/kadAi). I find smearing oil enables the balls to slip over the rolling board due to non-resistance. We can always drain out the sediments and store the oil and use that for cooking purpose unlike people who throw it away thinking it harmful. It becomes harmful only when repeatedly heated but using it just second time there is no harm and we need not waste money. However, never store this oil for long but use it within two days.

035. If the idli batter is very thick it will not rise on fermentation. Therefore, it should be a sort of semi solid and flow from a ladle. This does not mean that it should be thin. Unless the batter rises, the idlis will not be bulging and soft.

036. Always wipe the appaLam or pappadam with a dry cloth before frying as it may have flour on its surface and fry red. This will also avoid sediment in the oil after it is fried, even though no completely but to a larger extent.

037. If you do not get paneer cubes, then you need to cut the master paneer into small cubes. To have homogeneous cubes, keep the knife in hot water for a few minutes, wipe and use. This is also the true if you want to slice a master cake, bread or bun without any deformation or wastages.

038. Due to the acid content in them, apple and plantain fruits turn brown after cutting them into pieces. It is advisable to keep their slices or cut pieces in water mixed with a little lemon juice if you want to retain their whiteness in fruit salad. In the case of raw plantain, brinjal (egg plant), banana flower, banana stem and similar discolouring vegetables, I have seen people to place the cut pieces into water mixed with a little turmeric powder or butter milk.

To be continued