Tag Archives: rice

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

Vella Sadam

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Vella sadam is a traditional dish, preparrd during Aadi perukku. My Amma either prepares Sakkarai pongal or Vella sadam, along with Pulikaichal, Coconut rice and Aviyal.  Sonerimes after returning from school, my sweet tooth craves for eating something sweet and I remember Amma making Vella sadam in no time with leftover rice.

Ingredients:

Rice –  1/2 cup, washed and drained

Jaggery – 1/2 cup, powdered /cut into small chunks

Water  –  2 cup + 1/4 cup

Grated Coconut – 3 tbsp

Cardamom Powder – 1/4 tsp

Almonds – 1 tbsp

Raisins/Dried grapes –  1 tbsp

Ghee – 1 tsp

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Method:

  • Cook rice with 1 cup of water either in rice cooker, or in pressure cooker for 2 whistles
  • Soak jaggery in 1 cup + 1/4 cup of hot water, After the jaggery completely melts in water, strain the impurities
  • In a pan, add jaggery syrup and bring to boil. Add the coconut and cardamom powder; mix well and cook  for 2- 3 minutes

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  • Add  cooked rice to the boiling jaggery syrup and cook till the jaggery syrup is completely absorbed in the rice

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  • Add ghee to the pan, once the ghee becomes hot, add raisins and switch off. Add the raisins and almonds to the Jaggery rice and serve hot

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Notes:

  • You can use cashew instead of almonds
  • Basamti rice can be used instead of regular rice
  • You can cook jaggery in water instead of soaking jaggery in hot water

Tomato Biryani

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Variety rice are easy to make  and a perfect lunch box food. Usually I prepare tomato rice with just tomato and onion. After cooking coconut rice with coconut milk, I want to try coconut milk with tomato rice and prepared tomato biryani.

Tomato Biryani

Basmati Rice – 1 cup

Tomatoes – 3, finely chopped

Onion – 1 large sliced thinly

Spring onion – 3

Peas – 1/4 cup

Coconut Milk – 1/2 cup

Water – 1 cup + 1/2 cup

Red Chilli powder – 3/4  tsp (Adjust according to your taste)

Turmeric Powder – 1/8 tsp

Ginger Garlic Paste – 1 tsp

Coriander Powder – 1/2 tsp

Cumin Powder – 1/4 tsp

Garam Masala – 1/2 tsp

Green Chilli – 1, slitted

Salt – as needed

Sugar – 1/8 tsp (optional)

Oil – 1/2 tbsp

Cinnamon – 2 inch stick

Cardamom – 2

Fennel Seed powder – 1/4 tsp

Bay leaves – 1

Star Ansie – 1

Method:

  • Soak rice in warm water for 30 minutes, drain the water and keep it aside
  • Add oil to the  pan. When the oil is hot, add whole spices and cook for 30 seconds. Add the onion and ginger garlic paste and sauté till the raw smell goes off

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  • Add the chopped tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes get mushy. Add all the spice powders, salt and sugar; saute for 2 minutes

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  • Add peas and rice and saute for a minute. In a rice cooker add the rice – tomato mixture, coconut milk and water. After the rice is cooked sprinkle chopped spring onions  on top and Serve it with raita/gravy

Tomato Biryani2

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checkout my other variety rice,

Notes:

  • Instead of basmati rice samba rice can also be used
  • Fried onions can be added to garnish
  • Can be cooked in heavy bottmed pan or pressure cooker for 2 whistles

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

Avarakkai Kadala Paruppu Curry

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Usually my Amma prepares Avarakkai without adding onion. During my schools days, when mom is out of station, we used to have meals in “Data Udipi Hotel” in Chennai. One day, Avarakkai curry was there in the menu. After seeing that, I was totally disappointed, as I was expecting some fried stuff like Potato, Plaintain etc. But after tasting the curry, I was pleasantly surprised with the taste. I never tasted this combo before – onion, dal and coconut in Avarakkai curry, with coconut oil flavor. Since I liked the taste my Amma use to re-create their preparation in her own style. This side dish goes well any Rice Accompaniment.

Avarakkai Kadala Parappu Curry

Preparation time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 20 mins | SoakingTime :10 mins | Serves: 3

Recipe Category: Side dish

Ingredients

Avarakkai / Broad beans – 2 cups, chopped

Channa dal – 1/4 cup

Grated coconut – 4 tbsp 

Onion – 1, finely chopped

Coconut Oil – 1 tsp

Mustard seeds – 1/8 tsp

Urad dal – 1/4 tsp

Channa dal – 1/4 tsp

Green chillies – 1

Curry leaves – 1 sprig

Asafoetida – a pinch

Salt – as needed

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Method

  • Soak Channa dal in Luke warm water for 10 minutes
  • Cook Broad beans and Channa dal (can cook in boiling water or microwave for 8 – 10 minutes) and strain the water

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  • Add oil to the pan, and when it is hot, add the mustard seeds, urad dal and channa dal. After the dal turns light brown color, add red chillis and  curry leaves. Add onion and cook till onions are translucent

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  • Add the cooked Broad beans and channa dal to the onions and cook for 2 -3 minutes. Add coconut and saute for a minute and switch off

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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

Appam – Without Yeast

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Aapam is one of my favorite breakfast items. During our childhood days, Amma used to do Appam in an Iron skillet. Then she brought this nonstick pan and started preparing with this. When my parents came to visit us, I had prepared a list of item to be brought from India, Appam pan and Kuzhi panniyaram pan were top priority items in the list 😉

Aappam – Without Yeast

Preparation time: 5 Minutes | Soaking time : 7 hours | Fermentation Time : 8 hours

Category: Breakfast

Ingredients:

Raw rice – 1 cup

Par boiled rice/Idli Rice – 1 cup

Fenugreek seeds – 1/2 tsp

Whole Urad dal – 2  tbsp (whole urad dal without skin)

Baking soda  – 1/2 tsp

Salt – as needed

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Method:

  • Soak raw rice, par boiled rice, fenugreek seeds and urad dal overnight, or atleast for 7-8 hours. Add water and grind well, making a bater which is slightly thinner than dosa batter consistency. Leave it  overnight to ferment. In the morning, add baking soda and sugar to the fermented batter, and mix well. Keep it aside for 10 – 20 minutes

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  • Switch on the stove and keep the aapam pan in low heat. After the pan is slightly hot, add oil to the pan (Spread oil all over the pan using cloth or brush). Add a ladle full of batter and hold the handle of the pan and rotate the pan in such a way that the batter spreads all around in a circle (This is the traditional way, instead, you can spread the batter with the ladle, and because of the pan texture, remaining batter will come in the center)

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  • After that close the pan with the lid. Once the Aappam is cooked and the edges start turning brown, remove the Aappam from the pan. Do not flip side. Serve Aappam with sweetened coconut milk/ Vegetable Stew/Vegetable Kurma/Theeyal

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My Notes: 

  • If you do not have Aappam pan, you can make it in any other curved non stick pan with lid
  • Can add 1 tbsp of coconut milk before making Aappam, for nice flavor
  • If you want crispy edges can add 1/4 tsp of sugar before making Aappam

Brinjal Rice – Vangi Bath

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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

Category:Entree

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

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Method:

  • 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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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My Notes:

Same recipe can be used to prepare bell pepper rice

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.

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Vegetable Biryani

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

Recipe Category: Entree

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Ingredients:

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

Method:

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

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  • 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

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  • 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

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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