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FAVOURITE RECIPE OF THE WEEK

Sarkkarai Pongal | Sweet Pongal

Sarkkarai Pongal - this is a quick and easy dish for prasadam. And this Sarkkarai Pongal has also been an absolute favourite prasadam for many of us. The taste of this Sarkkarai Pongal, depend on the quality of the jaggery we use. I usually prefer pagu vellam for pongal and payasam dishes. The colour and taste of this jaggery vary from place to place. Some jaggery are dark brown while others are yellow or orange coloured jaggery. In this recipe, I have used the dark brown jaggery and it tastes so good. My husband bought me this dark brown jaggery (Kottayam Vellam) from Nanguneri. Now let's see some important tips for perfect Sarkkarai Pongal.


Sarkkarai Pongal is prepared in two different methods. It's typically prepared by cooking the raw rice directly in the pot and then jaggery and other additional ingredients are added. To speed up the process, I have cooked the rice in the pressure cooker and then mixed with the jaggery syrup in a heavy bottomed kadai or a bronze pot. For…
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Plantain and Yam Eriseri - Vazhaikkai SenaiKizhangu Eriseri

Plantain and Yam Eriseri - delicious side dish for your lunch with plantain and yam. There are few different ways to cook this eriseri, but I like this method. I learned this version from my relative Sudha aunty from Nagercoil. She taught me many of her traditional Nagercoil dishes with important tips and tricks.


Making eriseri is simple. Cut both the vegetables uniformly and cook the vegetables until soft, then add the grounded coconut pepper masala. The grated coconut is ground along with black peppers, cumins and small onions. After adding the coconut paste, let the curry simmer for 10 minutes or until it blends well with the vegetables. Next, a tablespoon of powdered jaggery is added to the curry to enhance the taste. Then a handful of fresh grated coconuts is fried well in the coconut oil until brown and added to the dish.

Similar side dishes for lunch

 Aviyal Raw Banana (Plantain) Curry

Maravalli Kizhangu Adai - Tapioca Dosa

Maravalli Kizhangu Adai - a traditional tiffin made with rice, chana dal, urid dal and maravalli kizhangu (tapicoa). A wonderful breakfast dish to make at home for your weekends. It's packed with great flavors from small onions, red chillies, asafoetida and curry leaves. The whole family will enjoy this adai.


To keep this adai quick and easy, try to soak the rice and dals in ahead of time because you can easily grind it either in a mixer jar or in a grinder. Grinding the batter in a wet grinder will give you a soft adais when compared to the mixer jar. The maravalli kizhangu (tapicoa) are sliced thinly and then grounded along with the dals. Try to use fresh, maravalli kizhangu (tapicoa) for this adai. Usually maravalli kizhangu stays good at room temperature for 1 or 2 days only. If you have time, I recommend to use chopped small onions because it gives a nice taste to the adai. The consistency of the batter should be medium thick so that you will get a crispy adai. My Grandma al…

Sambar Sadham - Sambar Rice - Rice prepared with Dals and Vegetables

Sambar sadham (rice) is a quick, healthy meal which can prepared easily within 30 minutes. This sambar sadham is usually prepared with fresh vegetables, rice, dal and flavoured with freshly grounded sambar powder. Sambar sadham is a popular food in many restaurants and temples. It is also a great food for a family get together.When combining any dals with rice, you can get a protein packed dish for your lunch. Plus, we add vegetables for fibre and ghee for fat, which will give you a healthy dish for your whole family.



How to cook the rice For the sambar sadham recipe, I recommend boiled rice and toor dal. If you are replacing the rice with millets, you can use moong dal instead of toor dal as it gets cooked easily with the  millets. The ratio is for 1 cup of rice add 1/2 cup of toor dal. We have to add 3 to 4 measures of water to cook the rice softly.

How to prepare the gravy This is the most important step in this dish. I like to prepare the gravy with fresh homemade sambar powder, sm…

Paal Kozhukattai - Milk Kozhukattai - Rice Dumplings in Milk

Paal Kozhukattai - our family favourite evening dessert. Paal Kozhukattai is an easy dessert made with just 4 ingredients. This paal kozhukattai is made with rice flour and then cooked in the milk. The kozhukattais are then sweetened with sugar and to add some extra flavours grated coconuts and a teaspoon of cardamom powder are added. So good when it's served hot.


To make this kozhukattai you will need rice flour, fresh grated coconuts, milk and cardamom powder. All the ingredients are easily available in your kitchen and definitely it will be your favourite evening tiffin. I suggest using idiyappam rice flour for this kozhukattai because the plain rice flour won't taste good for this dish. If you have homemade idiyappam then it will be the best option. The rice flour is kneaded with a warm water and then you have to prepare mini oblong shaped balls. This is the only difficult work in this dish, because you have to prepare very small balls with patience. Because if you prepar…

Vendhaya Milagai - Green Chilly Pickle - Sauted Chillies in Fenugreek Powder

Vendhaya Milagai is a flavourful pickle for your idly and dosa. It is prepared with green chillies, roasted fenugreek powder, asafoetida powder and salt.


You won't believe how simple is this pickle to make. To make vendhaya milagai, you will need the small and fat green chillies which we use for more milagai. This variety chilly gives a nice flavour to the dish and it is less spicy after sauteing. This time I can't get those green chillies, so replaced with regular green chillies.The main ingredient in this dish is the fenugreek. You have to roast the fenugreek until it gives you a nice aroma and then you have to powder it along with the roasted asafoetida and salt. This homemade roasted fenugreek mixture will give a very authentic taste to this dish. You have to keep this fenugreek mixture in each of the green chillies with a spoon. Then the mixed green chillies are sauted in a teaspoon of oil for a few minutes on low heat.Our dish is ready within 10 minutes.This pickle last…

Adai Pradaman - Adai Payasam - Kerala style Adai Pradaman with jaggery and coconut milk

Adai Pradaman is a rich and delicious dessert prepared with rice adai, jaggery and coconut milk. This payasam is a perfect dessert for special occasions and special festivals. I like the combination of rice adai with jaggery and coconut milk. If you like jaggery based desserts, I'm confident that you will love this payasam. My favourite way to enjoy this payasam is to eat it in the plantain leaf with small pieces of bananas.


To make adai pradaman, you will need rice adai, jaggery, coconut, ghee and cashew nuts. I bought this rice adai from Kottayam in Kerala. This adai is different from the tiny palada which is available in supermarkets. This rice adai looks like crushed pappads. I  strongly suggest to use pagu jaggery for this payasam which gives you the perfect taste and colour to the dish. As I said in my previous payasam recipes, I recommend to extract coconut milk with freshly grated coconuts.  If you are using canned coconut milk, dilute the milk with water and then add it …

Narthangai Pachadi - Citron Pachadi

Narthangai Pachadi - tangy and spicy pachadi prepared with narthangai (citron), small onions, green chillies, tamarind and jaggery. In our hometown Tirunelveli, pachadis or thokkus are a staple dish for our lunch.


Narthangai is a citrus fruit similar to lemon. With its tangy and citrus flavour, it is a great ingredient for pickles and pachadis. Narthangai pachadis can be prepared in two different methods. For this narthangai pachadi recipe, I use the simple method which can be prepared quickly within 30 minutes. This fruit has a mild bitterness in it. The best pachadi has an equal balance of flavours. If the bitter taste of the narthangai overpowers the taste of the pachadi, there are simple tricks to reduce the bitterness. Jaggery helps to balance out the bitter taste of the narthangai fruit, so please don't skip it. If your pachadi is still bitter after cooking, add some more powdered jaggery and cook well for a few minutes. The pachadi tastes good with an equal balance of flav…