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.

Garlic Karasev - Poondu Karasev

Garlic Karasev - crispy and spicy snack prepared with besan flour and rice flour.  Sattur Garlic karasev is a favourite snack for my grandpa, husband and also for my son as a side dish for curd rice. Whenever we visit Tirunelveli by driving my husband quickly make a short visit to Sattur to buy Garlic karasev and karupatti mittai from the Shanmuga Nadar sweet shop.

The Sattur garlic karasev is prepared with besan flour, rice flour, coarsely powdered red chilly, garlic paste, and a few spices to flavour it. There the karasevs are prepared using the big slotted ladle. The cumin, and garlic add a nice flavour to the karasev. I have tasted so many karasevs but these Sattur karasevs are so tasty. In many of the karasevs they add fried gram flour along with the besan flour which gives you a soft texture but it won't taste good after two days. But this Sattur karasevs have a hard, crisp texture which will be good for a month. I have used the regular murukku press to prepare the karasevs…

Foxtail Millet Pongal - Thinai Arisi Ven Pongal

Thinai arisi pongal - easy millet breakfast dish made with foxtail millet, moong dal flavoured with cumin, pepper and ginger in ghee. It's healthy and filling breakfast. It's also a wonderful breakfast for your weekend.

While the recipe for making thinai arisi pongal is the basic ven pongal recipe with a few techniques I have found after experimenting with it so many times. Because each millets have a unique texture and taste and we have to cook correctly to get perfect results. If you are new to the millets, then this ven pongal is a good recipe to start. In general, thinai arisi takes more time to cook when compared to other millets. The ideal water ratio for this ven pongal  is 4 cups of water for 1 cup of foxtail millet. If the dals and millets are soaked together for 15 minutes, you can get a creamy soft pongal. The perfectly cooked millets must be easy to fluff. I didn't like cooking the millets in a mushy texture because it won't taste and look good. The additi…

Palak Paneer - Side dish for roti, nann, poori and jeera rice

Palak Paneer - delicious gravy made with paneer, palak leaves, onions, tomatoes and fresh cream. This gravy does not take a lot of effort to prepare, it simply requires two steps like sauteing and grinding the greens. During my college days I saw this recipe in a cookbook by Chef. Mallika Badrinath madam, which was so easy to make with simple steps.

Usually I follow this method for this gravy. Palak leaves tend to cook easily, so we have to keep an eye on it when sauteing the leaves. For this gravy no need to blanch the leaves  because it takes more time and I also noticed a raw smell of the leaves in the gravy. In this recipe, the leaves are sauted in a drop of oil along with green chillies for 3 minutes. After that grind it along with the sauted onions, tomatoes, garlic and ginger. To flavour the gravy I have added garamasala powder in minimal amount, but if you want you can add as you like. In the final stage 1/4 cup of grated panner is added to enhance the taste. Fresh cream is a…

Vazhaipoo Vadai - Banana Blossom Vadai

Vazhaipoo vadai is a  popular evening snack in Tamil Nadu. They are made with ground chana dal, chopped vazhaipoo, onions, curry leaves and asafoetida. These vadas are packed with fiber from vazhaipoo and protein from chana dal. You won't feel hungry for a few hours after eating these vadas.

This vazhaipoo vadai is very easy to make but you have to follow the steps carefully to get the authentic taste.
The first step is to soak the chana dal in a plenty of water for 3 to 4 hours. After 3 hours, drain the water completely using a colander.  Take a big mixer jar and grind the fennel seeds, green chillies and red chillies and then add the drained chana dal to it. Grind the chana dal mixture coarsely without any water and transfer it to the mixing bowl. If it is difficult to grind it without water, just sprinkle a few drops of water and grind it.Do not add more water because it will not hold up and will separate in the oil while frying. For best results grind the chana dal mixture wit…

Spicy Tomato Rice - Easy Lunchbox Dish

Spicy Tomato Rice - rice prepared with onions, tomatoes, whole garam masala and coconut milk. Easy one pot rice dish within 30 minutes.

During my school days I saw this dish in a TV cookery show prepared by the  Chef. Shanthi Balram madam. We prepare this rice frequently and it is one of our favourite rice for lunch box. It is such a flavourful rice with a few basic ingredients in your kitchen. In this recipe I used jeera samba rice, but you can use basmati rice or ponni raw rice. The first thing we need to do is to extract fresh coconut milk because we are going to cook the rice in coconut milk. Then proceed with the chopping works and the grinding works. Cooking the rice is not more than 20 minutes. For flavours I have added cinnamon, cloves, bay leaf, mint leaves and sprinkled a half teaspoon of garamasala powder. I have added green chillies with ginger garlic paste and also while sauteing the onions. You can add as you prefer. I have not added any other additional ingredients lik…

Badam Burfi - Almond Burfi

Badam burfi - these melt in your mouth burfis are prepared with just three ingredients - badam, sugar and ghee. The perfect dessert for gifting to your friends, potluck and also for festivals.

For badam katlis we add powdered sugar to the grounded badam paste. But for burfis no need to powder the sugar. The grounded badam paste is cooked along with the sugar for 20 to 25 minutes. No need to worry about the one string or soft ball consistency for this burfi. I have not added any other flavours for this sweet, but if you want you can add it. First, we have to do is to soak the badam. You can soak the badam filled with cold water and cover it with a lid and let it soak overnight. In the morning, gently squeeze the badam to remove the skin. Another method is to add the badam to a rapidly boiling water for 20 to 30 minutes. After 20 minutes, drain the water and peel the skin completely. Next, add the badam to a mixer jar and grind it to a smooth paste. The most important thing, you  keep …

Coconut Garlic Green Chilly Chutney - Thengai Milagai Poondu Thuvaiyal

This coconut garlic green chilly thuvaiyal/chutney is an easy accompaniment for dosa, wheat dosa, ragi dosa or any other tiffin varieties made with rice. There is no need for sauteing or any tempering. For this thuvaiyal we grind the  raw garlic cloves, fresh green chillies, fresh coconuts with little tamarind. Garlic is a primary ingredient in our food items and in this dish we use raw garlics. Consuming raw garlics in our diet help to lower cholesterol levels and regulate blood pressure and blood sugar levels. We frequently prepare this healthy thuvaiyal for dinner and it is easy too.

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