Share Buttons

Tuesday, January 16, 2024

Kanu festival

The festival of Kanu is celebrated one day after the Pongal festival in Tamilnadu.
Kanu Pongal is widely celebrated in Brahmin households by ladies for the well-being of their Brothers, it’s like the South Indian version of Raksha Bandhan.
Other communities, especially farmers celebrate this day as Mattu Pongal.
Kanu day is not considered an auspicious day. In tamil, we call it as “Kari Naal” or “Kanu Peedai“.
Kanu is celebrated in temples as well by the priests who offer it on behalf of the Goddesses. 
Every year, on the next day of Pongal, at Sri Aaravamudhan Sannidhi, Sri Komalavalli Thayar "Kanu Utsavam" will be celebrated. On that day, along with Sri Komalavalli Thayar, the consort of Sri Chakkarathazhvar Sri Vijayavalli Thayar, the consort of Sri Ramaswami Sri Seetha pirati and Sri Rukmini Thayar of Thopputheru Sri Rajagopala Swami celebrate the Kanu Utsavam in Potramarai Thirukkulam
Kanu is a celebration of sibling bonds. Every festival in India has a significance and further instils the bonds between families.
On Kanu festival, a lot of varieties of rice are prepared with the freshly harvested rice. 

These dishes are then packed and taken by the women to their parental house/visit their brother’s to be shared with the family. 
During this ritual, women and girls sing and pray for the well-being of their siblings by
 offering rice balls to the birds, especially crows, who represent the ancestors.
“Kanni” Pongal is celebrated coinciding “Kaanum” Pongal for the wellbeing of unmarried women and for the fertility.

How to Pray on Kanu day?
Women must do the Kanu rituals, first thing in the morning before sunrise and before taking a bath.
All the ladies of the household, including small girls must celebrate this festival.
Yesterday’s left over white rice is used, it is mixed with Kumkum(to make red colour balls), Turmeric(to make yellow colour balls), curd rice balls and sweet pongal(leftover) balls. Sugarcane pieces are kept on top of each balls as done in my house by my mother.
Raw turmeric is sliced at the bottom and is used rub it on the foreheads of the women/girls after which namaskaram is done and the Kanu is offered to the birds.
How to keep the kanu ?
Make a Ma-kolam on the terrace or an open back/front yard where birds can visit
Keep Aarati ready to take Aarati post kanu. Keep Pooja items like camphor, vilaku(lamp), betel leaf, banana, pancha patra udrani etc ready for the poojai.
Turmeric plant leaves should be kept ready, this is usually available as we all would have bought this for pongal the previous day. Make balls of the rice as mentioned above and keep in an orderly manner over the turmeric leaves. Offer the Balls by chanting the prayer below.

Sprinkle water over them as well as around them, ring the religious bell, show camphor and pray as follows:-

Kaaka Pidi vechen, Kanu Pidi vechen,
Kaakai kku yellam Kalyanam,
Kaakkai kootam pirinthalum ,
Namma / Yen kootam piriyatha irukkanam
Kuruvi kki seemandham,
Poondhaam Pongi Vaazhattum,
Pirandhaam Thazhaithu Vaazhattum.
The verse loosely translated would mean:
One ball of rice for the crow,
One ball of food for the Kanu festival
It’s the marriage day for all crows,
Even if the group (family) of crows separate,
Our / My family should not get separated,
Sparrow’s baby shower (Seemantham)
Let the in-laws house overflow with goodies,
Let the house that we were born in, be forever prosperous

Then do poojai and finally take Aarati. The eldest lady in the family must rub turmeric on every other ladies forehead (raw manjal kizhangu)

Make sure to shower(head bath) Immediately, and wash the clothes that you were wearing.
Then all of them visit older Sumangali women for their blessings (Some references say that this is done after offering Kakai pidi and taking bath).
There’s an auspicious song/blessing that is usually sung,
Thayodum, thanthayodum,
Cheerodum chirappodum,
Perodum pugazhodum,
Perumaiyodum, keerthiyodum,
Chiruvayathil thaali ketti,
Periyavalaaki, pillaikal pethru
Kondavan manam magizha,
Thayyal naagi poala,
Thonga thonga thaali ketti ,
Thottilum pilaayumaage ,
Maamiyaar maamanaar mecha,
Nathiyum mamiyum pothra,
Piranthagathor perumai vilanga ,
Pethra pillaigal aayul onga ,
Uthraar uravinarodu ,
Puthaadai puthu malar choodi
Puthu maapillai marumagalodu ,
Puthu puthu santhosham perugi ,
Aal poal thazhaithu Aruge pal yer odi,
Yendrendrum vaazhanam,
Yeppothum chiritha mugathudan irukkanam
(தாயோடும், தந்தையோடும- ,
சீரோடும். , சிறப்போடும- ,
பேரோடும், புகழோடும்,
பெருமையோடு- ம், கீர்த்தியோ- டும
சிறுவயதில்- , தாலிகட்டி
பெரியவளாகி- பிள்ளைகள் பெற்று
கொண்டவன், மனம் , மகிழத்
தையல்நாயகி- போலத்
தொங்கத்தொங- ்க த்தாலிகட்ட- ித்
தொட்டிலும்- , பிள்ளையுமா- ,
மாமியார் மாமனார் மெச்ச,
நாத்தியும்- மாமியும் போற்ற
பிறந்தகத்த- ோர், பெருமை விளங்க,ப்,
பெற்ற பிள்ளைகள் , ஆயுள். ஓங்க,
உற்றார் உறவினரோடு
புத்தாடை. புது மலர். சூடி
புது மாப்பிள்ளை- , மருமகளோடு,
புது. புது சந்தோஷம் பெருகி,
ஆல்- ோல். தழைத்து. அருகே போல். ஏரோடி
என்றென்றும- , வாழணும்
எப்- போதும் சிரித்த முகத்தோடு, இருக்கணும்- .)
Which loosely translated means :
“Along with mother and father,
With wealth and prosperity,
With great name and fame ,
Getting married at a young age,
After maturing giving birth to children,
Making the husband happy,
Like the goddess Thayyal Nayagi,
With mangalsutra hanging always(indicating mangalyam),
Along with cradle and children,
Being appreciated by the father in law and mother in law ,
Taken care of well by the mother-in-law and sister-in-law,
Earning a great name for your parents family,
With your own children living very long,
Along with friends and relatives,
Wearing new clothes and adorning fresh flowers,
Along with son-in-law and daughter-in-law ,
With new joys ebbing out,
Spreading like a banyan tree,
Developing deep roots like Arugam grass,
You should live forever,
And be bestowed with a smile on your face always.”

On Kanu day a variety of mixed rice(Kalantha Chaadam).
Coconut rice, Lemon rice, Tamarind rice and curd rice. They are offered to God and later the family have a great picnic lunch in their homes only.

Tuesday, October 6, 2020


Tofu is made from soybean curds. It is an excellent source of iron and calcium. Contains no cholesterol. It is naturally gluten-free and low in calories.

Tofu is an important source of protein, especially for vegans and vegetarians.

Tofu is used as an alternative to meat and used in many Chinese vegetarian dishes as Mock meat here in Singapore.

How is Tofu made?
Tofu is made by coagulating soymilk to create curds. The curds are then pressed and compacted into the gelatinous white blocks recognized as tofu.

To make Pan fried tofu you need to use Extra firm Tofu. 
Unfortunately, the extra firm tofu was out of stock so I had to buy the silken Tofu (It was slightly difficult to manoeuvre the tofu for this dish) but the end result was lip-smackingly delicious.

Pan-fried tofu is a dish that everyone at home will love. It can be served as starters/ finger foods in parties/ social events too. Even those who are not a big fan of Tofu will love this recipe.
Tofu is very versatile. You can flavour it with any sauce or curry powders.
You can add Pan-fried tofu to fried rice or noodles as well.
I have used very simple ingredients.
But if you want you can add curry powder, sauces etc while tossing the tofu.

Tofu – 1 block (Firm)
Corn flour – 2 tablespoons
All-purpose flour – 1 tablespoon
Red chilli crushed – 2 teaspoons
Coarse Pepper – ½ teaspoon
Soya sauce – 2 teaspoons (Optional)
Salt as per taste (Refer Tip)
Oil for frying
Coriander leaves for garnish
Toasted sesame seeds – 1 teaspoon

Tofu comes with some whey (Curdled water), We need to remove all the extra water, so Press the tofu by placing paper towels on the top and bottom of the block and absorb the whey.
After this slice the tofu into ½ inch cubes.
In a small bowl, combine the tofu with the flours, salt, crushed chilli, soya sauce (Optional) and pepper.
Toss gently to coat the tofu well.
Take a frying pan or a large skillet, add oil, heat the oil, once hot, Add the coated tofu.
Cook, turning occasionally, until golden brown and lightly crispy. 
Serve it hot, garnished with finely chopped coriander leaves, some crushed chilly and toasted sesame seeds.


· Firm or extra-firm tofu is best for frying
· Adjust salt if adding Soya sauce else your dish will become very salty
· Pressing the tofu is very important as it allows the tofu to absorb more of the flavours otherwise it will become soggy.
· If you would like a firmer pan-fried tofu, freeze the tofu cubes for about 30 minutes.

· For firm Tofu, you can use less oil and shallow fry but the silken tofu needs oil for deep frying.


· You can add paprika, curry powder, turmeric for some colour and flavour

Tuesday, September 22, 2020


Naan bread is a very popular bread and originated from the Indian subcontinent. The popularity of Naan is spread far and wide and is available in many restaurants in the World. It’s a very loved bread and can be made with various toppings and fillings

The story of Naan
The word Naan stems from the Sanskrit word “Nayan”
The Persian invasion in India changed the name to “Naan as Naan in old Persian means bread, and in Iran it indicates any kind of bread.
Naan has yogurt, milk, and sometimes eggs or butter in it, resulting in a softer texture. When the dough is made, bakers shape it into a ball and slap it on the interior walls of a tandoor, a clay oven.
The bread puffs up and bubbles as it cooks.
The biggest reason why they taste so good is because they are cooked in a clay oven. The method of preparation and the heat of the oven changes a regular dough to the best tasting bread ever. Naan bread is moist and tender due to the added ghee/butter/oil

Popularity of Naan
Naan or Nan is a leavened, oven-baked flatbread. It is typical of and popular in West, Central and South Asia. Originally, naan was a general term for various flatbreads from different parts of the world.
The Naan bread is served in all the Indian restaurants from all over the world.
Naan can also be covered with, or serve as a wrap for, various toppings of meat, vegetables, or cheeses.
It can also be dipped into soups such as dal and goes well with Curries.
Nan tastes best when it’s served hot, it has a crunch on the top where it’s brown and soft inside and tastes yummy when eaten with curries.
Stuffed naans can be eaten as a snack.
I will share with you all the variations of the Naan bread in my recipe along with a video. Mesmerize your family and guests with my start recipe that has never failed to impress.

(Makes about 8 Naans)
Plain flour (Maida) - 2 cups
Yogurt (Thick Dahi) – ½ cup
Oil – 2 tablespoons
Sugar – 1 teaspoon
Baking soda – ¼ teaspoon
Baking powder – ½ teaspoon
Salt as per taste

Sieve the Plain flour.
In a bowl, take the sieved flour, Add the baking soda and baking powder, Salt as per taste, sugar, mix well.
Add oil and mix, Add the Yogurt and mix well. You don’t need to add much water. Try to mix all the ingredients well and knead into a soft dough. If required, take little warm water to bind the dough properly.
Knead the dough for at least 15 minutes.
Once the dough is done, you will notice that your hand comes out clean, take a teaspoon of oil and lightly apply to the dough. Cover with a wet muslin cloth.
Let the dough sit for about 2 hours in a warm place (See Tips)
After 2 hours, you will notice that the dough has risen.
Now, divide the dough in parts.
Take one part and roll it in the flour.
Then Roll the naan one at a time on a lightly floured surface. Roll it in the shape and size of your choice.
Brush on some water lightly on one side of the naan.
Heat the tawa on medium heat and put the side with the water over the tawa, once the naan start bubbling and dough start drying (Refer to the video)
Turn the Tawa and place the top side of the over the flames keeping about 2 inch away from the flames to cook the naan from the top. You will see brown spots appearing, move the Naan evenly over the flame so even browning happens. Once the naan is cooked to your satisfaction, use a spatula and remove from the Tawa. Your Plain Naan is ready. Refer below the different variations of Naan. 

Shape & Size – Roll the Naan in small, medium or large size as you like it. Some like the Naan Shape to be round, some a triangle, some a square, roll it to your desired Shape.

Cook the Naan as above and once done, brush butter liberally on the top. Your butter Naan is ready.

After rolling the Naan, place a few coriander leaves (Chopped) on the naan and press gently with a rolling pin and then cook as above.

METHI NAAN (Fenugreek leaves)
After rolling the Naan, place a few Methi leaves (Chopped) on the naan and press gently with a rolling pin and then cook as above. If don’t have the fresh Methi, you can use Kasuri methi (Dried Methi leaves)

PUDINA NAAN (Mint leaves)
After rolling the Naan, place a few Mint leaves (Chopped) on the naan and press gently with a rolling pin and then cook as above.

When you make a Ball then roll it into a small naan, Add 2 teaspoons of finely chopped Garlic in the middle, seal the ball with the garlic in the middle, roll the naan and then cook as above.

KASHMIRI NAAN (A sweet Naan loved by the Kashmiris)
When you make a Ball then roll it into a small naan, add 2 teaspoons of Tutti frutti (Green and red colour available in the market), some raisins, seal the ball with the stuffing in the middle, roll the naan and then cook as above.

DRYFRUITS NAAN (An exotic dessert Naan)
When you make a Ball then roll it into a small naan, Add 1 teaspoon of Khoya (mawa), 1 teaspoon of dry fruit like slivered, almond, pistachio and cashew nut, seal the ball with the stuffing in the middle, roll the naan and then cook as above.
Tutti frutti and raisins can also be added. This tastes like a dessert.


· After kneading the dough, cover with a muslin clothe. Now, On your microwave with nothing in for about 2 minutes. The inside of the microwave becomes warm. Keep the bowl with the Naan dough inside covered with a cloth and close. This helps in raising the dough well.

· Use only Stainless Steel or Iron Tawa. This recipe won’t work with Non-stick Tawas or very smooth surfaces like Anodized.

· Spread the water evenly, if you don’t spread the water evenly, the naan may fall off the Tawa.

· If the Naan falls of from one side while cooking it over the flame, don’t worry. Just take a teaspoon of water and add it like you add for dosa and stick it back.

· Nigella seeds (Kalaunji/ Onion seeds) are commonly added to naan.


· The same dough you can use for Pizza as well.

Tuesday, August 25, 2020


Every year for Ganesh Chaturthi I prepare various items as a Neivedhyam(Offering) to the Lord. Some of the items are tedious and time-consuming and need some advanced preparation. I always look for easy recipes that will cut short my time and give me more time for prayers than preparations.
This year, I tried out the Mawa Modak made with Mawa / Khoya / Khawa. 
The Khoya is easily available now in Singapore, this makes it easier to prepare this dish unlike when you need to prepare khoya at home.
This recipe is so easy that I raised the bar by adding an exotic mango flavor to it.
In my excitement, I prepared this almost 3 times during the 10 day long Ganesh Chaturthi festival this year. I felt like a pro in making mawa modaks, especially when I received the comment, “You can start a business making these modaks”.
Nothing can beat the taste of freshly prepared sweets in comparison to the store bought one’s kept in a refrigerators and I realized that they are adding some kind of flour to the Mawa, as you can feel a powdery taste when you consume them. It’s not prepared with pure Mawa as we prepare at home.
Do try making this beautiful sweet.
Use the same recipe to make 4 different types of variations
Find the recipe below, For the Mawa Modak (Use the below recipe minus the mango pulp).
The mango modak can be made into a peda or burfi as well.

Khoya – ¾ cup
Milk powder – ¼ cup
Sugar – 1/3 cup
Mango pulp – ½ cup
Cardamom powder (Elaichi powder) – ¼ tsp
Nuts for garnish
Kesar a few strands
Ghee – 1 tbsp

Heat a Wok/pan, Add the grated khoya. You will notice that the Khoya turns into liquid, Add in the milk powder and stir well. This enables the mix to dry fast. To this add the 1/3 cup Sugar, stir the mixture well. After adding the sugar you will notice that the entire mixture is becoming runny as the sugar melts, At this point, add in the mango pulp and the cardamom powder, give it all a good stir so that the mixture becomes even. After about 2 minutes add in the Kesar and the dry fruits and mix again. Keep roasting the entire mix until the water is completely gone as shown in the video and the mixture starts to roll up and leave the sides of the pan.
Let it cool down.
Once cool, take a ball in your hand and press into the modak mould, remove the extras and when you open you get a beautiful modak. I absolutely loved using the mouold, as all my modaks were of the same shape and size and looked so picture perfect!!!
That’s it, simple and easy and an exotic neivedhya prasad for my Lord Ganesha.

· Preferably use a nonstick wok/pan

· You can add the nuts to the mix while cooking or when you make the modak you can add it as a center filling.

· If you don’t have the modak moulds, just shape it in the shape of a modak and with a toothpick draw lines like I did, but eventually I bought a modak mould.

· You can make various flavors of the modak by adding different ingredients, but the basic recipe remains the same.

· You can use the mix to make a peda. Make balls of the mix, put a pistachio on top and press it down into a flat peda.

· You can use the mix to make a burfi, but spreading it on a tray and then cutting it into squares or diamond shapes.

Thursday, August 13, 2020


Mumbai is famous for its street food and Masala pav is yet another Mumbai innovation which consists of a Pav laden with spicy masala.
If you are in a mood for pav bhaji or Masala Pav and do not want to indulge in the elaborate preparations and want to rustle up something quick to satisfy your cravings. Here is a recipe, which is quick, easy, tastes equally good.
This recipe can be made as a starter for parties or you can enjoy them as a quick fix meal. 

Ingredients  (Serves 4) 
Pav – 1 Ladi (6 pavs)
Onion – 2 medium size
Tomatoes – 1 big
Green chillies – 2 chopped small
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 tsp
Cumin seeds – 2 tsp
Asafoetida – a pinch
Pav bhaji Masala – 1 tbsp
Kashmiri Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Lemon – squeeze the juice of ½ a lemon (Optional)
Coriander for Garnish
Oil for frying and cooking

Take a ladi pav and cut them into bite size squares. Keep aside.
Shallow fry until crisp, you can alternatively toss a tsp of oil mix well and toss them into the air fryer for about 15 minutes until crisp. Keep aside.
Now finely chop the onions, tomatoes & Green chillies.
Melt a tablespoon of butter/Oil in a pan on medium heat. Once the butter melts, add cumin seeds and let it crackle.
Add a tsp of ginger garlic paste, saute for ½ a minute, followed by the finely chopped green chillies and saute for another ½ a minute.
Now, Add the chopped onions and mix.
Cook till the onions become translucent and then add chopped tomatoes. Add Asafoetida, pav bhaji masala, salt and Kashmiri red chilli powder. Mix well. Cook until there’s no more water left. (Refer to Tips).
Toss in the Fried pav bits. Toss well until you see the masala coats the pav completely. 
You can cover the pan for about a minute and let the aroma enter into the pav bits. Do not cover until it starts steaming then your pav bits will become soggy. This step is optional. 
Squeeze half a lemon without the seeds.
Garnish the Bite sized Masala Pav Bits with freshly chopped coriander leaves.

Serving Instructions

· Serve your Masala Pav hot.

· Alternatively, you can place the Bite sized masala coated pavs on a platter with toothpicks inserted as a party starter


· As mentioned above you can shallow fry the pav bits on a skillet or Air fry them.

· Do not deep fry as the pav tends to absorb too much oil and becomes very oily.

· The masala shouldn’t be dry but it shouldn’t be too watery either. So, cook till the masala reaches that consistency. If you find the masala too dry, then add ½ a cup of water and cook for about 5-7 minutes till you achieve the desired consistency. 

· Do not cook after the lemon juice is added, as it may make it bitter


· You can completely avoid frying the Bite sized pavs and just toss them in the masala. I just like it a bit crisp, so this is my recipe

· Vegans can avoid butter in the recipe.

· You can add Kasuri Methi for added flavour.

· You can add Green bell pepper (Capsicum). If adding Capsicum, Chop finely and saute with the tomato.

· Lemon Juice is Optional.

Tuesday, August 11, 2020


GOKULASHTAMI / KRISHNASHTAMI /JANMASHTAMI /KRISHNA JAYANTI, the Birthday of Lord Krishna is round the corner and one of his favourites is Seedai/Cheedai, a savoury crispy crunchy rice lentil balls.
Every year during Gokulashtami Amma used to make Seedais and we used to absolutely love them. We as kids used to toss Seedais into our mouth or each other’s mouth to see if we can aim right, we used to enjoy this challenge although, we used to get scolded for it.
Making seedais was a family ritual, with all of us involved in the rolling the dough balls. 
Ah!!! Missing those days of family bonding so much, especially in making seedai, the more the people the merrier it would be. 
Appa (the major general of our little army) would trick us into competing on who would roll out more seedai balls quickly, we would immediately take on the challenge, so we can win. We would await this ritual every year eagerly until one year, Amma had kept everything ready but as she popped the seedais into the oil, the seedais burst and the oil splattered and she got burnt badly, she had very bad burn marks on her stomach and hand.
My Appa got so angry that he threw all the dough into the bin and told Amma that henceforth she should not make any Bakshanam(Savouries) that would have the potential to burst and that was that. Appa used to buy all the Bakshanams from our dear Madras Stores(Readymade). 
Amma used to prepare Appam, Vadai etc for neivedyam but no more savouries.
The fear continued and I never attempted making seedai to as the incident had scared me. Anyways, Grand Sweets (Chennai) available in our Abdul Rahim stores, Upper dickson road, Singapore was always there for my rescue, Jai Ho!!!
But looking at so many people attempting this savoury, I got tempted to try too.
Just to be honest with you, I’m a "quick gun Murugan" chef and like quick recipes I don’t like to do too many laborious preparations. So in my recipe I have used the store-bought Rice flour and Udad flour (readymade flours), I have used dessicated coconut as well. 
Here’s my recipe of the Seedai, My recipe can make about ½ a kilo (500 gms) of Seedais

Ingredients (Makes about ½ kg of Seedai)
Rice Flour – ¾ cup
Split white lentil (Udad Dal /Urad dal/ Ulutham parippu) Flour – 1 tbsp
Split Bengal Gram lentil (Chana Dal/Kadalaparuppu) - 1 tbsp
Grated Coconut – 2 tbsp
Asafoetida (Hing / Perungayam) - ½ tsp
Butter – 1 tbsp
Salt as per Taste
Oil for Deep Frying
A muslin cloth or towel

Soak the Chana dal in water for about 15 minutes.
Dry roast the flours in a non-stick pan for about 2-3 minutes in a low flame, ensuring to stand and monitor the roasting and not letting it change colour or catch the bottom. Let it cool down.
Now, Sieve the Flours, this is very important. Do not use the flour which has not passed through the sieve. This ensures that you get a smooth flour with no lumps.
Now, in a deep Mixing ball, Add the flours as per the measure above, add in the grated coconut, asafoetida, butter, the soaked and drained Chana dal and salt as per taste. Mix well, the butter should get one with the flour, so that when you hold it in your hand, it forms the shape of your hand. Then add water little by little and knead well to make a smooth dough. The best part about rice flour is it’s easily manageable with people who are not much experienced as well.
The dough should be stiff and not sticky to your hands. Add water slowly, sprinkle little by little if not confident.
Now, grease your fingers with some oil, take a small quantity of dough and roll it into a tiny ball.
While rolling, we need to roll it gently into a pliable ball, if too hard the seedai may burst.
Do not make big balls, the smaller the balls, the crunchier they turn out. Continue making the balls.
If you do not have people helping you making the balls while you are frying then you need to wet a muslin cloth, squeeze the excess water, the cloth must be moist and throw the balls onto the moist cloth, this is to ensure that the flour doesn’t get dry. Rice flour gets dry very fast.
As you keep making the balls then just cover it with the cloth gently.
Once finished rolling all the balls check, if you feel the balls are moist, allow them to dry out a bit before you start frying
Now comes the frying part, this by far is the most crucial part of making the Seedai.
Before you start, frying we need to ensure that the oil is nice and hot, but not fuming hot. Put a tiny pinch of dough to check first, if you see that the dough comes rising to the top, means your oil is ready.
I usually out one as a test run to see how it reacts (Because of my fear factor), once done, and all ok I add batches of about 15-20 balls at a time. Once you put in a batch of seedais in oil, keep the strainer ladle on top just in case and do not turn them immediately. Increase the flame a bit as when you drop a batch the temperature goes down, after about a minute, lower the flame and slowly turn the seedais to the other side. Let them fry on one side. If we keep the flame high to speed up the process, the seedai will turn brown and instead of being crunchy will be cooked on the outside and chewy on the inside.
The right temperature and being alert during the frying process is a must to ensure perfect seedais. Deep fry the balls until golden in color and you can feel them sound like little marbles on your ladle. Remove and drain excess oil on a paper towel. Allow it to cool down, then store the seedais in an airtight box.
I made this is as a neivedhyam Bakshanam for Gokulashtami. It gave me immense pleasure to serve my Lord, the Home made seedais made with love.
Enjoy these little crunchy balls on the go or as a snack with your tea/coffee. 

Statutory Warning !!!
Do not pop into your mouth, the hot seedai balls once out of the oil you may burn your tongue. Let it cool down first.  The crunch comes only once cool down.


· Follow the ratio exactly as given in my website. We need to use the right ratio otherwise the seedai will not turn out good. Adding more udad dal flour, makes the seedai burst open as well and you will see that the color would become dark, similarly adding less udad dal flour makes the color very light.

· You can sieve the flours twice to ensure that the flour is butter smooth, this ensures that the seedais won’t burst when frying. Better to be safe than sorry since we are using the store-bought readymade flours. Anil Rice flour/Kuzhakattai flour/Idiyappam flour are all good to make this recipe.

In my recipe I have used dessicated coconut. Incase, you are using fresh coconut roast them to a pink colour. After roasting, let it cool before adding to your flour mix.

· Adding more butter will make the seedai too brittle.

· To make more just double the measurements given 


· Vegans can replace butter with 1 tablespoon of Coconut oil, if adding oil, slightly warm up the oil     before adding.

· For those who want to make it the traditional way using the home made rice flour, which is considered by the elders and experienced as the best due to its smooth texture and also because you know what rice goes into the making.

Thursday, July 30, 2020


Did you’ll know that the Chinese Filipinos are one of the largest overseas Chinese communities in Southeast Asia.
The trade with China was the beginning of a major influence and contribution within the Filipino culture. One major influence that the Chinese contributed within the culture was culinary arts. Some culinary techniques that the Filipinos were taught include sauteed dishes, rice cakes and noodle dishes(like Pancit!).
Yang Chow Fried Rice is one of the dishes that was born out of this fusion. It’s very popular in the Philippines.
The dish contains Barbecued Pork known as Char Siu and shrimps, but I have replaced it here with Soya Nuggets.
This dish is a complete meal in itself.

Ingredients (Serves – 4)
Rice – 2 cups
Soya nuggets – 1 cup
Soya sauce - 1 ½ tbsps
Onion – 1 chopped
Green peas - ¾ cup
Carrots – 1 julienned
French Beans – 1 julienned
Corn – ½ cup
Lettuce – 8- 10 leaves
Ginger minced – 1 tsp
Garlic minced – 1 tsp
Sugar - 1 tsp
Cooking Oil – 3 tbsps
Salt as per taste

Cook the rice or preferable use cooked rice from the day before Rinse out the soya nuggets, Soak the soy chunks for at least 15 minutes in boiling hot water with a pinch of salt. Once done, dunk them in some cool water. Drain the nuggets through a colander, now squeeze out the excess water the chunks have absorbed.
The next step is preparing the vegetables.
In a wok, add oil and then sauté the ginger and garlic.
Add in the onions, cook for a minute, then add in the soy chunks, saute nicely. We want the nuggets to absorb as much flavor as possible, add a teaspoon of soya sauce and stir further more for another 2-3 minutes till you see the nuggets getting done,
then add in all the vegetables and stir fry on a high flame, add salt and toss well. The vegetables should be done but crunchy and not over cooked. At this point, add the rice and mix well.
Put-in the soy sauce, sugar, and salt (Be careful when adding salt, as the soya sauce has a salty taste as well). Mix well and let it get cooked on a low flame with the lid on for about 10 minutes, so that the rice absorbs all the flavors. After this, toss in the chopped spring onion leaves. Cook without lid for 2 minutes while mixing with the other ingredients.
Your Yang Chow Fried rice is ready to eat.
Serve hot with some chilly marinated in soya sauce.

· I have used Thai Rice in the recipe. The important thing to note is the rice should fluff up well and not be sticky. This fried rice works well with Leftover rice which is taken cold from the refrigerator as it tends to be non sticky. In case of using freshly cooked rice, spread the cooked rice on a big plate for it to cool down and become separate so it can be used to make the fried rice.

· The soya nuggets can be replaced with tofu or even tempeh if you like. Or you can use Mock meats available easily in the Asian Section of the supermarket.

· This recipe is Vegan Friendly

· Soya Nuggets is used as a meat alternative, the original recipe uses Barbecued Pork and shrimps, so those who can eat meats can add this to the fried rice.

Friday, July 24, 2020


Today is a very Auspicious Day. As per the Tamil Calendar, Today is Aadi Pooram (Tamil: ஆடிப்பூரம்), plus it's Aadi Velli (Fridays during this month is of great significance) and added to that it's Naga Chaturthi.

What's this Aadi month all about?
Ashadha or Aashaadha or Aadi is a month of the Hindu calendar that corresponds to June/July in the Gregorian calendar.
Aadi month this year is from July 16th – August 16th (32 days), it is the 4th month of the Tamil Calendar.
Aadi month in 2020 corresponds with Ashadha Month and Shravan Month in North Indian Hindi Calendars which follow the (Purnimant Panchangam) and other Amavasyant Panchanga systems (Telegu, Kannada , Marathi and Gujarati)
The next six months from Aadi to Margazhi is the Dakshinayana punyakalam. It marks the beginning of the night of Devas.
Traditionally, Aadi month is considered as inauspicious and most people avoid auspicious ceremonies during this period.
This month is special for Goddess Shakthi. People worship Goddess and her different forms during this month to get her blessings for their wealth and happiness.

Andal Thirukalyanam Pic courtesy - Tamil Brahmins

The Significance of Aadi Pooram
Aadi Pooram (Tamil: ஆடிப்பூரம்), also called as Aandal Jayanti is a prime festival of Tamilians.

Aadi Pooram is the celebration of the birth day of Goddess Andal, an incarnation of Goddess Lakshmi.

This festival is celebrated during Aadi month in the Tamil calendar that corresponds to the English months of July-August.

It is celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervour in the places all over the world with Tamil population.

The word ‘Aadi’ signifies the fourth month in the Tamil calendar while ‘Pooram’ denotes one of the 27 Nakshatras mentioned in the Hindu Astrology.

The story of Goddess Andal is known all through the state of Tamil Nadu and her devotion to Sri Ranganatha (a form of Lord Vishnu) is widespread in the whole of southern India.

The celebrations of Aadi Pooram are very splendid in almost all the Lord Vishnu temples located in Tamil Nadu.

The day also holds immense significance in Goddess Shakti temples scattered all over the country. The day of Aadi Pooram is also observed as the day of Goddess Shakti as it is believed that the Goddess herself comes to Earth in this auspicious day, to bless Her devotees.

The devotees therefore worship their deity with full dedication to lead a happy and prosperous life.

In the Saiva temples, the day of Aadi Pooram is observed as the festival of ‘Valaikappu’. In the event, glass bangles are offered to Goddess Andal and then distributed among all devotees. It is believed that by wearing these bangles, the couples will be blessed with offspring and also when pregnant women wear these bangles; it shields their child from all the evil forces.

Rituals during Aadi Pooram
Aadi Pooram is a 10-day festival observed with great pomp and show in all Lord Vishnu temples in the state of Tamil Nadu. Of these, the last day (10th day) is observed as ‘Aadi Pooram’ and a grand marriage ceremony of Goddess Andal and Sri Ranganathaswamy is conducted. This event is also known as ‘Thirukalyanam’.

On the day of Aadi Pooram, the women of the household get up early and start making the preparations. They decorate their house beautifully with kolam. Goddess Andal is fond of lotus flower, red color and kalkandu rice. The women of the household make an elaborate meal for offering to the Goddess.

In the temples, Goddess Andal is adorned with silk saree, glittering jewelleries and garlands. An elaborate feast is offered to the Goddess that is contributed by every household in the community. As the festival of Aadi Pooram celebrated the marriage of God and Goddess, thousands of devotees visit the temples to witness this ceremony.

Special rituals are performed on this day that is accompanied by playing the traditional music. The celebrations continue till late at night and then after the ‘aarti’ the food is distributed among the devotees.

On this auspicious day, the devotees also read the ‘Thiruppavai’ and ‘Lalitha Sahasranamam’.

"Goddess Andal"Pic courtesy -
Artist Vishnu 

The celebration of Aadi Pooram is very elaborate in the Goddess Andal temple at ‘Srivalliputtur’, which is the birth place of Aandal located in Tamil Nadu. The 12-day festival here marks the birth star of Goddess Andal. This festival is also observed as a big event at ‘Srirangam Sri Ranganath Temple’ for a period of ten days. On the last day, the marriage ceremony of Lord Ranganatha and Andal is held with great pomp and show. It is a popular belief that unmarried girls who worship Goddess Andal on the last day will very soon get married. Moreover, when the festival of Aadi Pooram falls on a Friday, as per the belief, it becomes more auspicious and the celebrations become more elaborate with countless rituals.

So, Celebrate Today, Chant God’s name and let’s pray for peace and joy in the world.

Thursday, July 23, 2020


Bottle gourd is very good for health, it’s packed with nutrition, but unfortunately, it’s not very popular at home. Whenever I buy bottle gourd it lies around in the fridge and sometimes needs to be stashed.
The moment I say I will prepare bottle gourd, the kids will say “NO”, and it will have to go back inside the fridge. This time it was a week and the kids were not ready to eat the bottle gourd, and I also didn’t have the energy to force them, so I decided to make the Doodhi ka halwa, which is my favorite.
It tastes yummy with crisp Maida pooris which I had tasted in a friend’s house who belongs to Madhya Pradesh. I think it may be a specialty there or probably their family favorite combination, but I loved it too.
The last time I made this halwa, I added Char magaz.
Char Magaz is a mixture of four types of melon seed kernels – watermelon, pumpkin, cucumber and rock melon (cantaloupe). You can find these seeds in the Indian Grocery Store.
These seeds contain several nutrients and provide nourishment and strength to the body.

Bottle Gourd – 500 gms 
Milk – 2 cups
Sugar – 1 cup
Ghee - ¼ cup
Khoya /Mawa (Milk Solids) – ½ cup (Optional)
Cardamom – 4 pods
Dry Fruits – Almonds/Pistachio slivered for garnish
Char Magaz seeds – 1 tbsp (Optional)

Peel bottle gourds, then remove the seeds. 
Grate bottle gourd properly.
Now add the grated bottle gourd in a pressure cooker/pan and add 2 cups milk and cardamom powder. If using the pressure cooker, cook up to 3 whistles. If using Pan cook until tender.
Now in a nonstick pan, add some ghee and when warm add the boiled bottle gourd and cook until all the milk is absorbed into the bottle gourd.
Now add sugar.
Cook on low flame for 10 minutes or until sugar has dissolved.
You will notice that after adding sugar the mixture will become watery. Keep stirring until the sugar is absorbed and the water dries up.
Meanwhile, in a small pan add 4-5 tablespoons of ghee. Add the dry fruits, Slivered almonds, pistachios and Char Magaz and slightly sauté.
Add this to the Halwa, mix well.
Cook for another 2-3 minutes and serve warm

Serving suggestions
Serve warm


· You can skip the khoya in this recipe and cook without it as well.

· Vegans can avoid all dairy ingredients like Milk, Khoya and Ghee.

Thursday, July 16, 2020


I’m absolutely loving, cooking Asian dishes at home, some of the dishes are so simple, you never knew that cooking could be this simple and the best part is the nutrients are intact.
One such dish is the Steamed Okra /Ladies Finger. This dish is a simple and economical dish and very affordable.
In the Indian cuisine we add a lot of spices to enhance the flavors of the dish, it sometimes tends to overpower the actual taste of the vegetable. While I absolutely love the Indian Bhindi (Ladies finger) in any form hands down. I would have to admit that this recipe is by far the simplest recipe ever and manages to pack in the nutrition in it.
It is steam cooked lightly, still managing the crunch and yet not being raw.
There’s a study that says, cooking vegetables 10 minutes or less generally gets you the most benefits.
Asian cuisine is synonymous with cooking “under”, they love the crunch in the vegetables.
Traditionally, this dish is served with Bagoong which is a mix of *Fish sauce, with a dash of lemon and chilly, like a vinaigrette.
They allow the lemon and chilli slices to marinate in the fish sauce and eat the okra by dipping in this Vinaigrette.
This Recipe is an Oil free recipe, diabetic friendly and for weight watchers.
Enjoy making and relishing this recipe.

Okra – 12 -15 pieces
Salt as per needed (Optional)

For the Bagoong(Vinaigrette)
*Vegetarian Fish Sauce – 3 tbsp
Lemon juice – ½ lemon squeezed without seeds
Green Chilly – 1 chopped into fine pieces

In a wok, add water Put water in a small pot, add a pinch of salt for extra taste (Optional), bring to a boil then add the okra. Cook until okra is tender, remove from pot and drain the water, give it a good shake and then place in a plate.
Combine all the ingredients mentioned for the sauce and serve hot with steaming hot rice.


· I didn’t cut the top and bottom part of the Okra as I didn’t want my Okra to be slimy. It’s also way more nutritious to cook it as a whole.

· Once the water reaches boiling point, put in the Okra and let it cook for 2-3 minutes

· Take a fork, if the fork goes through it’s done.

· You can alternatively retain the water that the Okra is boiled in, add a dash of soya sauce/salt and a dash of pepper and enjoy as a soup as this water is very nutritious


· If you do not want to use the Vegetarian Fish Sauce, you can replace it with soya sauce instead.


Related Posts with Thumbnails
LinkWithin Related Stories Widget for Blogs