Category Archives: Entree

Pulikaichal (Puliyodharai)


Pulikaichal is a classic traditional recipe.  When mixed with rice, tangy variety rice is ready (Puliyodarai). It also goes well with dosa/ Idli tiffin variety, and acts as a yummy pickle to curd rice.  It is a great travel recipe too, also a festive recipe prepared during kannum pongal and aadi perukku. It stays good even for a month (when refrigerated) or upto a week (outside),  if stored in an air tight container and accessed with a clean dry spoon. This is one of the most favorite prasadam in temples. It’s good to have Thakkali Thokku/Pulikaichal in fridge, and during busy days these two pastes help a lot.

Pulikaichal (Puliyodharai)

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Cooking Time : 30 mins

Recipe Category: Pickle/Side Dish and Entrée


Cooked Rice – 2 cup

For the pulikaichal:

Tamarind – big lemon size

Powdered Jaggery – 1 tbsp

Turmeric Powder – 1/8 tsp

Asafoetida – a generous pinch

Salt – as needed

Sesame oil – 3 tbsp

Roasted Peanuts – 1/4 cup (approximately) I generally add handful

To temper:

Mustard Seeds – 1/4 tsp

Channa Dal – 1 tbsp

Dried Red chillies – 2

Curry Leaves – few

Spice Powder:

Channa Dal – 1  tbsp

Coriander Seeds – 1 tbsp

Dried Red Chillies – 4 (Adjust according to your spice)

Fenugreek Seeds(Venthyam) – 1/4 tsp



  • Dry roast the ingredients under ‘Spice powder’. Allow them to cool and grind it to a fine powder without adding water, and keep aside


  • Soak tamrind in luke warm water for 10 – 15 mins. Extract the juice and keep aside
  • Add sesame oil in a pan, and when the oil is hot add the ingredients under ‘to temper’ and let them splutter. Add the tamarind extract and allow it to boil


  • When the raw smell starts to go away, add the powder, peanuts, salt and jaggery. Mix well and continue cooking



  • Keep stirring occasionally. When oil begins to seperate and the mixture becomes a thick paste (and raw smell goes off completely), switch off.


  • Take the cooked rice spread it in a wide bowl, drizzle a tsp of sesame oil, add 1/2 cup of pulikaichal, and mix well without mushing up the rice.  Adjust the quantity of pulikaichal and add salt, if required. Allow it to rest atleast for 30 – 45 mins before you serve. Serve with Aviyal/Potato Chips/Appalam/Fry


My Notes:

  • Always use a wide pan while cooking pulikaichal as they tends to spit spills outside
  • Sesame oil make it stay good for longer days
  • Generally for puliyodarai I use normal rice but basmati rice can also be used
  • Rice tastes better sometime after it has been mixed
  • Can add 1/2 tsp of sesame seed, 1 tbsp of urad Dal and 1/2 tsp of pepper powder while preparing spice powder. My friend’s mom coos with these ingredients, and it tastes good too. As both my mom and mother in law won’t add these spices, I haven’t added
  • First day it tastes spicy but over a period of time it tastes less spicy
  • Adding jaggery is optional but it gives a sweet tangy taste which we like
  • I have used roasted peanuts so I added them at the end. If you are using unroasted add it after tempering

Mango Rice

© TraditionallyModernFood

Whenever I have confusion on what to cook for rice accompaniment, or during busy days, Variety rice is the one which helps me. Easy to cook, and a complete meal. I was thinking of coconut rice, but when I opened the fridge, saw raw mangoes and brinjal. Brinjal rice is my favorite, but whenever I buy Mangoes I always do instant mango pickle. This time, for a change, I tried Mango rice and after tasting it, decided I should do this frequently.

Mango Rice

Preparation Time : 10 mins |  Cooking Time : 20 – 25 mins | Serves : 2

Recipe Category: Entree


Cooked Rice – 3 cups

Raw Mango – 1 cup, peeled and grated ( or chopped in a chopper)

Turmeric powder – 1/8 tsp

Salt – as needed


Sesame Oil – 1 tsp

Mustard seeds -1/8 tsp

Bengal gram/channa dal – 1 tsp

Peanuts – 1/4 cup

CashewNuts – 2 tbsp

Red chilli – 3 (According according to your spice)

Asafetida-  generous pinch

Peanuts -1/4 cup

Curry leaves – few

Mango Rice



  • Cook rice and spread it in a wide pan
  • Add oil to another pan. When oil is hot, add mustard seeds. when it splutters, add bengal gram, peanuts and cashewnuts , red chilli and Asafoetida
  • When dal turns golden brown, add turmeric powder, salt and curry leaves


  • Add grated mangoes and mix well to combine with the spices. Need not cook for a long time


© TraditionallyModernFood

My Notes:

  • Use sour/tangy mangoes for this dish. If your mangoes are not sour enough, then add a little more than 1 cup
  • You can also add coconut to this rice

Kashmiri Pulao


Whenever I visit restaurants, Kashmiri pulao is one dish in menu card which attracts me, with a lot of mixed nuts with fruits. Usually for weekend/special lunch I prepare dishes like Bisi Bele bath or Vegetable Biryani, but this time I wanted to spend less time in kitchen, and still have some exotic dish. Suddenly I remembered seeing kashmiri pulao recipe in Sharmis passion. I followed her recipe, making a few changes.

Kashmiri Pulao

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Soaking time : 30 mins | Cooking Time : 20 – 25 mins | Serves : 2

Recipe Category: Entree


Basmati Rice – 1 cup (Soaked and drained)

Milk – 1 cup

Water – 1 cup

Saffron – 1/8 tsp

Ghee / Oil – 2 tbsp (I used ghee)

Cinnamon – 1/2 piece

Cloves – 2

Fennel Seed powder – 1/4 tsp

Cardamom – 2 pods

Grapes – 1/2 cup

Pomegranate – 1/4 cup

Nuts – 1/2 cup (Almonds, Cashews and Walnuts)

Raisins – 2 tbsp

Salt – as needed

Sugar – 1/4 tsp (Optional)



  • Soak saffron in milk for 10 minutes
  • Add 1 tbsp ghee to the pan. When its hot, add whole spices (Cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and fennel seeds) and saute for minute. Add rice and saute for 1-2 minutes


  • Add milk, water, saffron and salt, and close the lid. Switch off after the rice is cooked


  • Spread the rice in a wide pan and set aside


  • Add ghee to the pan, once the ghee is hot add the nuts and saute till they are crunchy. Add raisin at the end as they cook soon. Add fruits and nuts to the rice pan after rice is cooled (Adding fruits when is rice is hot makes the pulao watery) and gently mix. Easy and yummy pulao is ready:-) Serve it with any gravy. We had with Malai Kofta ( Recipe coming up soon:-))




My Notes:

  • Add fruits of your choice. Apple, pineapple, grapes,pomegranate etc. can be added
  • Instead of using whole spices, you can also use garam masala
  • Instead of cooking rice directly, you can also pressure cook or use slow cooker

Glad to send this recipe for Kids Lunch Box ideas Contest of IndusLadies



White Sauce Vegetable Pasta


As I had mentioned in Pesto Pasta, White sauce pasta is my all time favorite. Whenever we go to Italian restaurant, we will usually order White sauce pasta. First time I had white sauce pasta in a restaurant called “Little Italy” in India. I was so addicted to this Creamy pasta. One of my friends told me the recipe for white sauce. After hearing that, I was surprised that 3 ingredients – butter, all purpose flour and milk making that wonder. Here is my version of white sauce pasta.

White Sauce Vegetable Pasta

Preparation Time : 15 mins | Cooking Time : 40 mins | Serves : 3

Recipe Category: Entree


Rotini Pasta – 1 box (340 grams) I used 100 % Whole wheat pasta

Zucchini – 1

broccoli – 1

Black Olives – 1/4 cup pitted

Bell pepper – 1 , thinly sliced

Spring Onion – 4 strings

Garlic – 2 pods, peeled and minced

Olive oil – 1 tbsp

Grated mozzarella and cheddar – 1/4 cup (Parmesan is preferred, but we don’t eat that)

Butter – 2 tbsp

All purpose flour – 2 tbsp

Milk – 2 cup + 1/2 cup

Heavy Cream – 2 tbsp (optional)

Garlic powder – 1/4 tsp (optional)

Salt – as needed

Italian seasoning/ oregeno- 1 tsp (I used Italian seasoning)

Ground black pepper – as needed (According to your spice level)

Water – as needed



  • Preheat the oven to 350 degree Fahrenheit
  • In a large Saucepan, add water and salt, and let the water come to a boil while you prepare other ingredients
  • Place Zucchini, bell pepper and broccoli in a oven tray, cook it for 10  – 15 minutes
  • As soon as the water comes to a boil, add the pasta, stir and reduce heat to medium. Cook pasta as per the instruction given on the package and drain the water
  • Add olive oil and butter in a frying pan. When it is hot, add the minced garlic, and saute for one minute. Then add spring onion and saute. Add all purpose flour and after a quick stir, add milk and whisk well to avoid lumps


  • When it thickens after 2-3 minutes, add cooked zucchini, bell pepper and broccoli and gently stir to combine. Add Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt and pepper


  • Add the drained pasta to the sauce and gently mix together and add heavy cream.  Add grated cheese and switch off.  Serve hot



My Notes:

  • Instead of preparing white sauce at home, you can also buy it from store
  • Instead of baking vegetable you can also sauté them directly
  • Add any veggies of your choice. Eggplant, peas, corn, spinach, cabbage etc can also be added
  • I have used Rotini instead  penne or any variety of pasta can be used
  • Instead of spring onion regular onion can also be used
  • If you think the pasta is dry, add 2 tbsp of milk/heavy cream while serving

Brinjal Rice – Vangi Bath


When it comes to brinjal i have many favorites  like Gotsu, brinjal rice and stuffed brinjal, Enna Kathirikai Kuzhambu, Sutta kathirikai Chutney. Brinjal rice is great for lunch box. As a kid, this Brinjal Rice with carrot raita and fryoms was one of my favorite options. Even if you are not a big fan of eggplant, cant say no to brinjal rice. The powder we add is flavorful and makes the rice extra special.

Brinjal Rice

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Cooking Time : 30 mins | Serves : 3


Ingredients :

Rice – 1 cup (I used regular rice but basmati rice can also used)

Brinjal – 2 cups, diced

Sesame Oil – 2 tsp

Salt – as needed

Turmeric powder – a generous pinch

To temper:

Sesame Oil – 1/2 tsp

Mustard seeds -1/4 tsp

Channa dal – 1 tsp

Urad dal – 1 tsp

Peanut – 1/4 cup

Vangi Bath Powder:

Channa Dal  – 1 tbsp

Coriander seed – 1 tbsp

Dry Red Chilli – 3 (According to your spice level) Sesame seeds – 1/4 tsp

Peanuts – 1 tbsp + 1 tsp



  • Cook rice with 1:2 water for 2 whistles, and after the steam is naturally released, spread the rice in a wide pan
  • Dry roast all the ingredients mentioned under “Vangi Bath Powder’ till they are golden brown. Switch off and set aside. Once they come to room temperature grind it without adding water

kuzhambu and kai1

  • Add 1 tsp  of oil to the pan and saute the brinjal with salt until the brinjal get cooked. Keep the cooked brinjal aside
  • Add 1/2 tsp of oil and add the mustard seeds, urad dal, channa dal, curry leaves and peanut till they become golden brown, and keep aside


  • Add the tempered ingredients, 1 tsp of oil and vangi bath Powder to the pan containing rice and mix gently. Check for the seasoning and add salt if required. Serve the vangi bath with any raita/fryoms



My Notes:

Same recipe can be used to prepare bell pepper rice

Semiya Bagala Bath


Whenever I want to have something different and exotic for lunch, I think about Semita Bagala Bath (Thayir semiya), as it is a complete meal which can be prepared with minimal effort. I generally follow my mom’s recipe for Semiya Bagala Bath. My sis and I are big fans of this dish, and Hubby joined the club after marriage. This is prepared similar to Curd Rice that is kept at buffets. Instead of adding Curd alone, Amma adds milk, curd approximately half the qty of milk and keeps it refrigrated. Ater 3 hours, it tastes amazing. This dish can be prepared for any party. I am sure this would be a table winner dish!

Semiya Bagala Bath

Preparation Time: 5 mins | Cooking Time : 15 mins | Standing Time : 3 hrs | Serves: 2

Recipe Category: Entree


Semiya (Vermicelli) -1 cup

Milk – 1 cup

Curd /Yogurt- 1/2 cup

Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp

Curry Leaves – 1 spring

Green chillies – 1

Ghee / Oil – 1 tsp

To Garnish

Raisin – 2 tbsp

Cashews – 10

Sugar – 1/2 tsp (optional)

Pomogranate seeds – 1/4 cup

Grapes – Handful

Salt – to taste



  • Add 1/2 tsp of ghee to the pan. When the ghee is hot, add cashews. when the cashews are half cooked, add raisins and cook till cashew are golden brown. Switch off and transfer to the plate. Without adding Ghee/oil, roast the semiya in the same pan for a minute (I used roasted semiya, but roasted again for the ghee fragrance). Transfer to a plate.


  • Add some more ghee to the pan. When it is hot, add mustard seeds, curry leaves and green chilli. When it splutters, add 1 cup of water, salt and sugar. When water starts boiling, add the semiya. When semiya is half cooked, add milk and cook till semiya becomes soft. If required, add some more water/milk. Switch off, and when the semiya comes to room temperature, add curd and mix well



  • Refrigerate for 3-4 hours. When you are about to eat, take it out of the refrigerator and add cashew, raisins, grapes and pomegranate. It might be a bit thick, coming straight out of the refrigerator. Add little milk/water in that case (I added some milk)


My Notes:

  • You can add urad dal while tempering
  • Grated Carrots and coriander leaves can also be used for garnish
  • Instead of adding milk, you can add curd fully
  • The dish can also be served without refrigerating

Vegetable Biryani

Being a vegetarian, Vegetable Biryani is definitely included as a weekend special lunch.  Vegetable biryani is a flavorful and exotic rice dish which looks colorful, with vegetables and spices. There are many ways to cook biryani. I  generally make Vegetable biryani the way my amma cooks it, and it is delicious and easy to cook. Few of my friends are experts in making biryani. One day, while talking to one of my friend, she mentioned Hyderabad biryani. I always thought Hydrabad biryani was complicated, but after hearing her version I realized it was not the case. I wanted to try that at home. Here is my version of Hyderabad vegetable biryani.


Vegetable Biryani

Preparation Time : 15 mins | Soaking Time: 1 hour |  Cooking Time : 45 mins | Serves : 4

Recipe Category: Entree



Basmati Rice – 1 cup,soaked and drained

Mixed Vegetable – 1 cups + 1/2 cup (I used carrots, beans, cauliflower and potato)

Mint – 1/4 cup

Biryani Masala –  2 tsp

Garam masala – 1/2 tsp

Ginger Garlic paste – 1 tsp

Curd – 1/4 cup

Cashew – 2 tbsp

Water – as needed

Saffron – 1/16 tsp

Saffron color – a pinch

Cardamom Pods – 2

Cinnamon Stick – 1/8 tsp

Roasted Bread – to garnish (I have oven roasted bread at 350 degree F. You can either follow the procedure or grill/fry it)

Bay leaf – 1

Fennel Seed  powder – 1/8 tsp

Salt – to taste

Biryani Masala: 

Cinnamon Stick – 1/4 stick

Cloves – 2

Cumin – 1/4 tsp

Pepper Corns – 1/8 tsp

Coriander powder – 1/2 tsp

Green cardamom – 3 pods

Red Chilli Powder – 1/8 tsp

Black Cardamom – 2 pods


  • Soak rice in warm water for 1 hour
  • Take a blender, add all the spices listed under “Biryani Masala” and make a coarse powder


  • Add oil to the pan. When the oil is hot, add whole spices, onion and ginger garlic paste. When the onion becomes translucent, add vegetables and salt. Cook the veggies. Add mint, garam masala and biryani masala and saute for a minute. Finally add curd, cook for 2-3 minutes and switch off


  • In a separate wide pan, boil water. Add cinnamon stick, and when the water is boiling hot, add rice and salt. After the rice is  cooked, strain the rice
  • Take a heavy bottomed pan/pressure cooker/ non stick pan  (I took a non stick pan). Spread some of the cooked vegetables ,mint and cooked rice over them. Repeat the process, adding layers of vegetables and rice. Finally, add cashew,saffron and saffron color and close it with a lid, and cook it for 15 – 20 minute in a very slow flame. Garnish Biryani with onion and fried bread. Serve it with raita/Salna

© TraditionallyModernFood



My Notes:

  • You can add fried onions instead of regular onion
  • Can add paneer and mushroom
  • If you are doubtful whether you may have burnt the biryani, use double boil method. place water in wide pan and place the biryani pan over it
  • You could also preheat the oven to 190 degree celsius and then bake the biryani in the oven for 15-20 minutes. Please remember to use an oven-proof utensil like the pyrex ones for baking in the oven.
  • This biryani masala powder can be used for any type of Biryani
  •  You can add pomegranate Seeds if needed
  • Adjust spice according to your taste
  • Can add turmeric powder

Butter Naan – No Yeast

Whenever I go to Indian restaurant and want to have north Indian food, Naan is the first thing that comes to my mind. Cant say no to Buttery naan. I wanted to make naan at home and I am posting a recipe without yeast and eggs.


Butter Naan:

Preparation Time : 10 mins | Standing time : 3 hours | Cooking time : 10 mins

Recipe Category: Entree


All purpose flour/Maida – 2 cups

Fresh thick curds – 2 tbsp

Warm Milk – 1/2 cup + 3 tbsp

Sugar – 1 tsp

Salt – as needed

Baking powder –  1/2 tsp heaped

Baking Soda – 1/2 tsp heaped

Butter  – 4 tsp, melted in room temperature


  • Mix maida, baking powder and baking soda well. Sieve the flour mix. Take the seived flour in a bowl and make a hole in the centre. Add milk, curd, salt, sugar and butter in that. Mix well with finger tips and dont knead hard. Coat the dough with little olive oil and keep aside for 2-3 hours. Better to cover the dough with a damp cloth or kitchen towel. (Can Be kept max upto 7-8 hours). Knead the dough softly and make desired size balls


  • Dust the rolling platform generously with flour and roll the dough. Apply water to one side, and place it on the skillet, with the water-applied side on the skillet


  •  Cover the skillet and cook on medium flame. After a minute, it will puff up.  At that stage, flip the naan and cook the other side. Apply butter/ghee over both sides and serve hot.




Bisi Bele Bath

Bisi bele bath to me is a special vegetarian Sunday lunch. Sis and I will ask mom to cook this frequently. When my mom cooks Bisi Bele Bath, the aroma of ghee and the flavor of the dish fills the entire house. Mom cooks it in two ways – cooking rice and sambar separately and mixing both, or cooking everything together in the pressure cooker. I chose the second method as it doesn’t require me to be in the kitchen for a long time.


Bisi Bele Bath:

Soaking Time: 1 hour | Preparation Time : 15 mins | Cooking Time : 30 mins | Serves : 5

Recipe Category: Entree


Rice – 1 cup, soaked and drained

Toor Dal – 1 cup, soaked and drained

Mixed Vegetable – 2 cups (I used carrots, beans, capsicum, potato and drumstick)

Ghee – 3 tbsp

Sesame Oil – 1/4 tsp

shallots – 15

Curry leaves – 1 spring

Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp

Coriander powder – 1/4 tsp

Sambar Powder – 1/2 tsp

Tamarind – 2 tbsp

Roasted Peanuts – 2 tbsp

Cashew – 2 tbsp

Water – 6 cups

Salt – to taste

To temper:

Mustard Seeds – 1/8 tsp

Fenugreek – 1/8 tsp

For Bisi Bele Bath Powder (makes Approx. 1/4 Cup)

Chana dal (split bengal gram) – 1 tbsp

Cinnamon  powder – 1 tsp (optional)

Coconut – 3 tbsp, grated

Red chillies – 3

Coriander  seeds – 1 tbsp

Peppercorn – 1/4 tsp

Fenugreek – 1/4 tsp

Fennel Seed – 1/4 tsp

Shallots – 3

Oil – 1 tsp (I used coconut oil)


  • Add oil to the pan, add all the ingredients (Except Coconut) listed under ‘For Bisi Bela Bath Powder ‘ and saute on low flame for 4 – 5 mins or till they turn golden brown in colour. Add coconut after switching off and keep aside to cool. After the ingredients are cooled, add zwater and blend in a mixer to a fine paste and keep aside


  • Add Ghee to the Pressure cooker. When ghee is hot, add the items under ‘To Temper’ and let the mustard seed crackle. Add shallots and saute for 2 minutes, then add vegetables and saute for 5 minutes. Add turmeric powder, coriander powder, sambar powder and give a quick mix. Add the blended paste and mix well



  • Add rice, toor dal, tamarind and mix gently. Saute on medium flame for 2 minutes. Add salt,  and 6 cups of hot water, mix gently. Finally add peanuts, cashew and sesame oil. Pressure cook on a high flame for 4 whistles


  • Allow the steam to escape before opening the lid. Garnish with Coriander/Boondi/sev/Oma pudi and serve hot



My Notes:

  • Chop vegetables into big chunks so they won’t became mushy while cooking
  • I soaked rice and toor dal together in hot water for 1 hour
  • Instead of homemade bisi bele bath paste, you can also use bisi bele bath powder available in the stores
  • If you are using Drumsticks boil them separately, and add it to cooked Bisi Bele bath rather than cooking along with other veggies. This would prevent Drumstick from breaking apart

Olive and Cheese Quesadilla

Had some tortilla, lazy me wanted to make easy Quesadilla. With some Pitted Olives and Shredded Cheese  tried a easy version and it tasted amazing. Very Easy to cook and it tastes delicious with Guacamole/ Sour Cream/ Salsa


Olive and Cheese Quesadilla:

Preparation Time : 5 mins | Cooking Time : 5 mins | Serves : 1

Recipe Category: Entree


Wheat Tortilla – 2

Pitted Olives – 2 tbsp

Grated Cheese – 2 tsp (I used cheddar and mozzarella)

Butter/ Oil – as needed


  • Grease the skillet with Ghee / butter and place the tortilla in the greased skillet
  • Spread the Olives and cheese on one tortilla and cook. After 1 min, cover the spread with one more tortilla and let it cook for 1 min. Cook the other side as well


  • Transfer the Quesadilla into serving plate and cut. Serve it with Guacamole / Sour cream / Tomato salsa


My Notes:

  • I have placed the fillings after keeping the tortilla in the skillet. Instead, you can choose to fill the tortilla on a plate and then place it on the skillet
  • If knife is not sharp you can even cut the cooked Quesadilla with knife (I followed this procedure)