Tag Archives: lunch

Vendakkai Thengai Puli Kuzhambu

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When I was in college my Amma was out of station and my neighbour aunt offered to give lunch for me. First I told her I will cook, but Aunty convinced me and gave this kuzhambu and potato fry for lunch. While eating I realized its different from Amma’s kuzhambu. Amma doesn’t add onions in vendakkai kuzhambu, also there is no grinding step. I got so addicted to Aunty’s preparation, till my marriage whenever she prepares this kuzhambu in home, she sends me some. My Amma learnt this recipe and started cooking at home for me, also she wrote this recipe in a notebook for my reference.

Ingredients:

Ladies Finger – 10 – 12 (depending on the size of ladies finger)

Onion – 1, chopped

Tomato – 1, chopped

Tamarind – 1 lemon sized ball

Sambar powder/ chilli powder – 1 tsp + 1/2 tsp ( I used Sambar powder)

Jaggery – 1/4 tsp (optional)

Salt – to taste

To temper:

Sesame Oil – 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp

Fenugreek – 1/8 tsp

Curry leaves – 1sprigg

To grind:

Coconut grated –  1/4 cup

Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp

Onion – 2 tbsp, chopped

Tomato – 2 tbsp, chopped

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Method:

  • Soak tamarind in 1 cup of luke warm water and keep aside for 5 – 10 minutes, and extract the juice
  • Add oil to the pan. When oil is hot add ‘to temper’ ingredients and let them splutter. Add onion and sauté till the onion is translucent. Add tomato and cook till they become mushy
  • Add ladies finger and sauté till they are cooked
  • Add sambar powder and cook for a minute
  • ladiesfingervethakuzhambuAdd the tamrind juice, 1 cup  + 1/2 cup of water, salt  and cook till the raw smell goes off

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  • Grind the items listed under “to grind” with little water. Add the grind paste and jaggery; cook for 4 – 6 minutes and switch off

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  • Serve with rice and poriyal / chips

Checkout my other rice Accompaniments,

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My Notes:

  • Brinjal can be used instead of ladies finger
  • Adjust the Kuzhambu consistency according to your desire
  • Jaggery was not in the original recipe, but I added as I got use to the jaggery flavor in puli kuzhambu
  • Though onions and tomatoes are added raw, they won’t have raw taste in Kuzhambu as they are boiled

Spinach Roti – Guest post from Sandhya

11000038_826894400697634_1422569458_o Today we have a toddler friendly recipe from Sandhya – Sandhya’s kitchen. I got connected with Sandhya through Social media.  Sandhya is sweet person, and being a mom she shares lots of tips. After starting toddler friendly recipes, I thought of asking few moms I met in this blogging world and Sandhya was one among them.  I am a big fan of her food photography and her yummy dishes. Sandhya gave me few options, and Spinach roti was my favorite! Over to sandhya. A fortnight ago, like every morning, after sending my elder one to school, I was sipping my morning tea. I was having some time for myself checking my emails, facebook , news and so forth. I read a message from Vidya about doing a guest post in her space , specially for toddlers. She such a lovely and warm person , I have known e-socially over the last couple of months .How can I refuse ? I had no second thought as I knew I was going to do that. Thank you for giving me all the time in the world and let do this interesting delight at my pace. We are a family who love to have a mixed variety in a meal all through the week. I am sure, in this modern world most people would. Our diet varies from Palakad South Indian cooking to a North Indian Paratha, Curry  to  a Pasta Bake and what not? Guess this post will have a never ending page, if I have to list the elaborate choices we have. I have grown up eating my mum’s super soft flame baked phulka’s literally every day, either for my school lunch or a meal at home. This has been one of my comfort meal any day. Undoubtedly we love our regular flame baked phulka’s with any dry vegetable curry or may b dal or paneer delicacies or if pulse arenas. We love spinach and its richess in iron is definitely something that makes us include in our diet ritually. When it comes to kids, getting my son V eat his spinach in gravy or a molagutal ( southindian lentil coconut curry) is slightly tricky. Knowing his love for Parathas , I decided to use them in the dough. It was a complete win win situation, as all the required spinach is being consumed and yet there no complain from the boy of 7 years. All that he tells me is that the Green Chapathi is Yumm. This is an easy way of sneaking the greens into our diet using the whole wheat spinach phulka’s.

Palak Phulka Makes 20-22 Nos 1612883_826894427364298_2123537941_o INGREDIENTS

Whole Wheat Flour 2 Cups
Spinach ( Palak ) 130g
Water ¼ Cup + a few tablespoons
Ginger ½ Inch
Cumin Powder 1 Tsp
Salt ¾ -1 Tsp
Mango ( Amchur ) Powder  ( Optional) ½ Tsp
Green Chillies ( Optional) 1 -2 No’s
Sunflower Oil  or Oil of your choice 1 Tbsp.
Ghee As desired.

* Cup size us IKEA plastic cup

DIRECTIONS

  • In a large pot, heat some water and add the spinach leaves along with some salt. Allow them to blanch for 5-6 minutes. Drain the hot water from the spinach leaves and run them under cold tap water.

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  • Grind the spinach leaves along with ginger and make a fine puree. This puree approximately came up to ¾ Cup. Add very little water if required. **In case you are not making it for kids, you can include green chillies to grind along with the spinach leaves.
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine the spinach puree, wheat flour, salt, cumin powder and mango powder and start kneading. Add a little more water as you knead until you achieve soft pliable dough. Splash the oil onto your hands and the remaining on the dough and knead until we have a clean bowl. Set the dough aside for 20 Minutes or so.

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  • Divide the dough into 20 equal portions. Pick one portion of dough at a time, dust some flour and spread them with the roller into thin phulkas. Heat a non-stick pan / tava and cook each phulka on the pan slightly for a few minutes until you start to see some bubbles. Flip the phulka and cook for another a minute or so . Now put the phulka on the flame carefully , watch them begin to puff up slowly. Flip it and allow it puff up on the other side as well.  Remove from the flame and apply some ghee, if you like. Pile them into a casserole and serve them along with a paneer curry or just some yogurt and pickle.

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  • ** Incase you do not want to flame bake it, you may cook for a few more minutes on the pan. Put a gentle pressure using a flat spatula on each side and then set them aside in a casserole to keep it warm.
  • When you are serving the kids, you may let them roll and enjoy it as it is or dunk it in some yogurt.

11023384_826894730697601_1605528396_o  VARIATIONS: I tried filling some mashed potatoes inside the spinach phulka dough and served it like a paratha to my son. It came out really well and flavours were very mild and lovable. NOTES:

  • If you like your phulkas with a ting of heat, include the green chillies while grinding the spinach leaves.  Do avoid if you are cooking for little ones.
  • Mango powder is optional. I love the slight hint of tanginess.
  • In case you do not want to flame bake it, you may cook for a few more minutes on the pan. Put a gentle pressure using a flat spatula on each side and then set them aside in a casserole to keep it warm.

Thengai Sadam (Coconut Rice) with coconut milk

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When I open my lunch box and I see coconut rice, its a happy face.. Easy and delicious variety rice. Though i love the usual version without coconut milk, after trying this version started doing this often.  I had 1/4 cup coconut milk in fridge (Leftover after preparing Vegetable Stew) and was thinking what to do with it. Suddenly remembered Thai rice prepared with coconut milk, so added coconut milk while cooking rice and resulting coconut rice was much flavorful and tastier

Cooking rice with coconutmilk

Ingredients:

Rice : 1/2 cup

Thin Coconut milk : 1/4 cup

Water : 3/4 cup

Ghee/ Coconut oil – one drop

Add drop of ghee/ oil and Cook rice in pressure cooker for 2 whistle or rice cooker and spread them in a wide pan

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Coconut Rice:

Ingredients

Cooked Rice – 1 cup

Coconut – 1/3 cup

Salt – as needed

To temper:

Coconut Oil – 1 tsp

Peanuts – 5 tbsp

Cashews – 7 roughly broken

Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp

Urad dal – 1 tsp

Channa dal – 1 tsp

Asofetida/ Hing(Perungayam) –  pinch

Green chillies – 1 slitted (Adjust according to your taste)

Curry leaves – few

Method:

  • Add 1 tsp of oil and when the oil is hot add the mustard seeds, urad dal, channa dal, cashew nuts, curry leaves asofetida and peanuts and cook till they become golden brown. Add coconut and sauté for a minute
  • Add the tempered ingredients to the pan containing rice, salt and mix gently. Check for the seasoning and add salt if required. Serve the rice with chips/ gravy

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My Notes:

  • Coconut milk is optional you can cook rice without that in that case add 1:2 water

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Vegetable Rice

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With mixed vegetables, I had already posted Vegetable Biryani Recipe. Ever since our school days, this is my Amma’s style of doing fried rice. My mother prepares this directly in pressure cooker, but I used rice cooker. My sister’s friend asked me for this recipe, so I thought of posting it.

Vegetable Rice

Preparation Time : 15 mins | Soaking Time: 30 mins |  Cooking Time : 40 mins | Serves : 4

Recipe Category: Entreè

Ingredients:

Basmati Rice – 1 cup, soaked and drained

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

Ginger Garlic paste – 1 tsp

Water – 2 cup

Cardamom Pods – 2

Cinnamon Stick – 1/8 tsp

Bay leaf – 1

Salt – as needed

To grind:

Onion – 1

Green chilli – 1

Poppy seeds – 1/8 tsp

Fennel Seed  powder – 1/8 tsp

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Method:

  • Soak rice in warm water for 30 minutes, strain and add 1/2 tsp of ghee. Saute rice for a minute and keep it aside
  • Grind the items under “to grind” into fine paste without adding water
  • Add oil to the same pan. When the oil is hot, add whole spices and cook for 30 seconds. Add the onion paste and cook  till the raw smell goes off. Add vegetables and Saute well
  • Add required salt and transfer the mixture to rice cooker and add 1:2 water and cook. Serve it with raita/gravy

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My Notes:

  • Instead of grinding onion and green Chilli, you can also Saute them directly
  • Fried onions can be added to garnish
  • Can be cooked in heavy bottmed pan or pressure cooker for 2 whistles
  •  Paneer and mushroom can be added
  • Instead of adding whole spices, garam masala powder can be added

Indus Ladies Kids Lunch Box Ideas E book

Thinking what to cook for lunch box and Preparing lunch for kids is a challenging task. As a kid i was in  demanding side 🙂 now in few years i will be on other side.
IndusLadies has organised 100 yummy recipes which will make a smile in both kids and Moms face 🙂
I am extremely glad to be the part of it and Thank you IndusLadies for adding my “Kashmiri Pulao” recipe.
Kashmiri Pulao Recipe
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To see variety of delicious recipes all we have to do is to join the Indus Ladies community by creating  a account and download Ebook for future use. Download   here
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Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu

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Post after a longtime! Felt good while drafting this:-) Thank you all for stopping by, and noticing my absence and asking me. I feel blessed to have such sweet people around me:-)

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu is a traditional dish prepared with lentils.  Whenever we get bored of sambar, vatha kuzhambu, moor kuzhambu, milagu kuzhambu etc., my mom prepares this. Takes little extra time when compared to other Kuzhambu, but after tasting the dish we won’t mind spending the extra time. Yet another recipe from my Amma’s cookbook.

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu

Preparation Time : 10 minutes | Soaking time – 2 hours | Cooking Time : 30 mins | Serves : 4

Ingredients:

For lentil Balls:

Toor dal – 1/2 cup

Channa dal  – 1/4 cup

Fennel Seeds – 1/4 tsp

Red Chilli – 2 (Adjust according to your taste)

Ginger – 1/4 tsp

Kuzhambu (Gravy):

Onion – 1

Garlic – 3 pods, finely chopped

Tomato – 1

Tamarind – 1 lemon sized ball

Coconut grated (optional) – 3 tbsp

Sambar powder/ chilli powder – 1 tsp ( I used Sambar powder)

Salt – to taste

To temper:

Sesame Oil – 1 tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp

Fenugreek – 1/8 tsp

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Method:

  • Soak the dal and red chilli for 2 hours and strain the water. Add ginger and fennel seeds to the dal, and grind them into coarse mixture without adding water. Add onion and required salt to the mixture and combine well. Make marble sized balls out of it and keep aside.

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  • Soak tamarind in 1 cup of luke warm water and keep aside for 5 – 10 minutes, and extract the juice
  • Add oil to the pan. When oil is hot add ‘to temper’ ingredients and let them splutter. Add garlic and onion and sauté till the onion is translucent. Add tomato and cook till becomes mushy

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  • Add sambar powder and give a quick stir. Add the tamrind juice, 2 cup of water, salt  and cook till the raw smell goes off

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  • From the side, gently add the lentil balls one by one and cover with lid. Lentil balls initially sink, and float after cooking

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  • Avoid sauting till the lentil balls are cooked, to prevent them from breaking. Add grated coconut and mix well. Cook for 3-4 minutes and switch off

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My Notes:

  • While lentil balls are cooking avoid sauting, as the  balls may get mushy
  • Can grind and add coconut
  • Instead of cooking lentil balls directly in gravy, can also steam them and add it to the gravy
  • Gravy thickens overtime, so switch off before it comes to gravy consistency
  • Can also saute and grind (onion and tomatoes) instead of adding directly
  • Can also grind lentil into fine paste

Pulikaichal (Puliyodharai)

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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

Ingredients:

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

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Method:

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

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  • 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

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

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

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  • 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

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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

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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

Ingredients

Cooked Rice – 3 cups

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

Turmeric powder – 1/8 tsp

Salt – as needed

Tempering:

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

Method:

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  • 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

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

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© 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

Milagu Kuzhambu

 

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When ever we catch cold, Milagu Kuzhambu and Milagu rasam are instant home remedies my mom makes. Not only during cold, Milagu Kuzhambu also helps in digestion. After having heavy outside food, I generally prefer Milagu Kuzhambu the next day. Milagu Kuzhambu, paruppu thogayal and sutta appalam – what a combination!!! (Since I have an electric stove, I microwave the appalam for 20 sec). Milagu Kuzhambu can be stored in the fridge for a week.

Milagu Kuzhambu 

Preparation time: 10 mins  |  Cook time: 15 mins

Recipe Category: Rice Accompaniment

Ingredients:

Tamarind – 1 (small lemon size)

Jaggery – 1/2 tsp

Salt – to taste

Asafoetida  (hing) – a generous pinch

For Kuzhambu paste:

Pepper corns (Milagu) – 2 tsp (Adjust according to your spice level)

Sesame seeds – 1/4 tsp

Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp

Channa dal – 1/2 tbsp

Fenugreek seeds- 1/4 tsp

Garlic – 4 pods

Curry leaves – 1 spring

Sesame Oil – 1/4 tsp

To temper:

Sesame oil – 2 tbsp

Mustard seeds – 1/4 tsp

Fenugreek seeds- 1/4 tsp

Method:

  • Soak tamrind in warm water
  • Add 1/4 tsp oil to a pan. Add the ingredients under ‘For Kuzhambu Paste’ and sauté over low flame to a golden brown color. Turn off the stove and add curry leaves, and allow them to cool

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  • Blend them along with the tamarind into a paste, adding little water
  • Add 2 tbsp of oil to the pan, add the ingredients under ‘To temper’ and let them splutter
  • Transfer the ground paste, salt, and add water (I prefer my Milagu Kuzhambu in thick consistency, so added around 1/2 cup of water). Cook on medium flame till it starts boiling. Once it boils, add the jaggery just before switching off

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.My Notes:

  • If you are not using garlic, then you can dry roast the ingredients for Kuzhambu
  • Insead of grinding, you can add curry leaves directly but i prefer this way so that it cannot be omitted while eating 🙂
  • If you are keeping them for more days, add extra sesame oil