Kozhukattai [Modak] (Savoury)

Uppu kozhukattai or Ulundu kozhukattai is a traditional dish from the southern part of India. The procedure is the same as sweet kozhukattai except the filling.

Ingredients:

  • Rice Flour (processed, 1 cup)
  • Red chili (2)
  • Green Chili (1)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • Oil (7 tsp)
  • Mustard Seeds (1 tsp)
  • Curry Leaves (chopped, few)
  • Hing [Asafoetida] (cake, small)
  • Urad Dal [Black Gram] (de-husked, split, 1/2 cup)

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Total time: 50 minutes

Category: Snack, Tiffin

Cuisine: Indian

Yield: 15

Method:

For the dough:

  • Wash and soak rice for 2 hours.
  • Strain the water and spread an a kitchen towel.
  • After an hour dry grind the rice to a fine powder. The rice should be partially damp and dry.
  • Transfer the flour into a sieve to get a fine powder.
  • Now in a deep skillet add water, salt and oil.
  • Bring water to a rolling boil.
  • Add flour and simultaneously stir to avoid forming lumps.
  • Cook till the water evaporates and the dough comes to a whole mass.
  • Switch off the flame and wrap it with a damp cloth and allow to rest for an hour.

For the filling:

  • Wash and Soak urad dal, red chilies, green chili and hing cake for an hour.
  • Strain the water and transfer them to a grinder bowl.
  • Add salt and grind to a coarse consistency.
  • Grease the plates and add the mixture and steam for 10 minutes.
  • Cool the mixture and pulse grind.
  • In a skillet add oil and mustard seeds.
  • Wait for the seeds to splutter and add the chopped coriander leaves.
  • Cook for 10 minutes and set aside.

For the kozhukattai:

  • Knead the dough well, if required add oil and sprinkle some water if it’s dry.
  • Oil your palm and fingers.
  • Split the dough into gooseberry sized balls.
  • Make a perfectly shaped ball.
  • Flatten it from the sides to the center.
  • Press on the sides gently to make a cup.
  • Take 1 or 2 teaspoons of mixture and place it at the center.
  • Bring both the edges together and now it should look like a crescent moon.
  • Edges should be tightly sealed. If required wet your fingers with oil or water.
  • Make patterns if you wish using a fork or a spoon.
  • Again apply oil on a plate and steam for 10 minutes.

Step by step pictures of the recipe:

Wash and soak urad dal, red chili, green chili, and hing.
Grind by sprinkling little water if needed.
Grind to a coarse consistency.
Apply oil on the plates.
Steam the ground mixture.
In a skillet add oil, mustard seeds and wait for the seeds to splutter. Add chopped curry leaves.
Add the mixture and cook for 5-10 minutes.
In a deep skillet bring water to boil by adding salt and oil.
Add the flour and stir constantly.
Cook till the water evaporates and the dough comes to a whole mass.
Wrap in a damp cloth and rest for an hour.
Split the dough into a gooseberry sized balls.
  • Flatten it from the sides to the center.
  • Take 1 or 2 teaspoons of mixture and place it at the center.
  • Seal it tightly.
    Grease the plate and place the kozhukattai and steam for 10 minutes.

    Notes:

    • Soaked rice should not be sun dried.
    • The dough should rest for an hour otherwise the modak will break while making it.
    • The steam time for modak should be 10 or lees than 10. If you keep it for longer it will break.

    Semiya [Vermicelli] Payasam [Pudding]

    Vermicelli kheer or Semiya payasam is a simple and delicious pudding made during the festival season. It can be served either hot or cold.

    Ingredients:

    • Semiya [Vermicelli] (1/2 cup)
    • Milk (Full cream, 2 1/2 cups)
    • Cardamom Powder (1/4 tsp)
    • Saffron (Few strands)
    • Cashews (halved, 10)
    • Sugar (1/2 cup)
    • Raisins ( 2 tsp)
    • Ghee (2 tsp)

    Prep time: 5 minutes

    Cook time: 30 minutes

    Total time: 35 minutes

    Cuisine: Indian

    Category: Dessert

    Serves: 4

    Method:

    • Soak saffron in warm milk.
    • Melt ghee in a shallow skillet and add cashews. when it’s half done add raisins and sautee till golden.
    • Set aside and in the same skillet add vermicelli.
    • Sautee till there is a slight change in color.
    • Add water and cook till it is soft.
    • Add milk and boil till it is reduced to half.
    • Add sugar cook till it dissolves.
    • Add cardamom powder, saffron, and roasted raisins and cashews.

    Step by Step pictures of the recipe:

    Melt ghee and add cashews and raisins.
    Set aside the roasted cashews and raisins.
    Add semiya [vermicelli] and sautee till they turn golden.
    Add water and cook semiya until they are soft.
    Cook till water is absorbed completely.
    Add milk.
    Cook until milk is reduced to half.
    Add sugar.
    Switch off the flame and add saffron, roasted cashews, raisins and cardamom powder.

    Notes:

    • While roasting ensure vermicelli should be slight brown.
    • Cook vermicelli in water rather than in milk.

    Arapuli Kuzhambu

    Arapuli Kuzhambu is a traditional recipe but not a common one. The vegetables used are yam or brinjal and black chickpeas. It’s little tangy in taste. The original name is arachuvita puli kuzhambu that became arapuli kuzhambu. This gravy goes well with rice, indian breads and upma.

    Ingredients:

    • Yam (cubes, small, 1/2 cup)
    • Jeera [Cumin Seeds] (1 tsp)
    • Hing (cake, 2, small pieces)
    • Tamarind (Gooseberry size)
    • Turmeric Powder ( 1/2 tsp)
    • Sambar Powder (1 tsp)
    • Coconut (grated, 3 tbs)
    • Mustard Seeds (1 tsp)
    • Curry Leaves ( 2 tsp)
    • Black Pepper (1 tsp)
    • Red Chilies (2)
    • Salt (to taste)
    • Oil (6-7 tsp)
    • Urad Dal [Black Gram] (split, de-husked, 2 tsp)
    • Black Chickpeas (small, 1/8 th cup or 2 tbs)

    Prep time: 10 minutes

    Cook time: 40 minutes

    Total time: 50 minutes

    Cuisine: Indian

    Category: Lunch \ Dinner

    Serves: 3

    Method:

    • Wash and soak chickpeas for 8 hours or overnight and Soak tamarind for 30 minutes.
    • Pressure cook both chickpeas and chopped yam using separators for 4-5 whistles.
    • In a shallow pan add oil, black pepper, urad dal, hing, curry leaves, cumin seeds and red chilies and sautee till urad dal turns golden.
    • Add coconut to a grinder bowl and add the sauteed ingredients to a coarse consistency.
    • In a deep pan add oil and mustard seeds. wait for the seeds to splutter.
    • Add curry leaves then pour 2 cups of diluted tamarind pulp.
    • Add salt, sambar and turmeric powder and cook for 10 minutes.
    • Add the cooked yam and chickpeas and the coarse powder and cook for 15 minutes or until thickened.
    • Add oil before you switch off the flame.

    Step by step pictures of the recipe:

    Wash and soak black chickpeas overnight.
    Soak tamarind 30 minutes before .
    Cook yam and chickpeas in a pressure cooker.
    Add oil in a pan and sautee urad dal, black pepper, jeera, hing, curry leaves and red chilies
    Transfer the sauteed ingredients along with coconut and grind to a coarse consistency.
    In a pan add oil, mustard seeds and after the seeds splutter add curry leaves.
    Add tamarind pulp, salt, sambar and turmeric powder.
    Add the cooked yam and chickpeas.
    Add the coarse powder.
    Add oil before you switch off the flame.

    Notes:

    • Cook chickpeas and yam separately because chickpeas require more whistles.
    • If black chickpea is not available use white chickpeas.














    Onion Pakoda [Fritters]

    Onion pakodas are easy to make when guests come without prior intimation. In India the taste differs in norh and south region. The ingredients used are the same only the proportion of water varies. In south india specially in Tamilnadu the pakodas are hard in north india they make little soft and serve with tea.

    Ingredients:

    • Besan [ Gram Flour] (1 cup)
    • Rice Flour (2 tbs)
    • Small Onions (chopped, fine, 3/4 cup)
    • Green Chilies (chopped, fine, 2)
    • Curry Leaves ( chopped, 2 tbs)
    • Coriander Leaves (chopped, 2 tbs)
    • Ginger (1 1/2 tsp)
    • Salt (to taste)
    • Ghee (2 tbs)
    • Oil (to fry)

    Prep time: 10 minutes

    Cook time: 25 minutes

    Total time: 35 minutes

    Cuisine: Indian

    Category: Tiffin \ Snack time

    Serves: 3

    Method:

    • In a wide bowl add cut onions, coriander leaves, curry leaves, chopped ginger, and green chilies.
    • Mix well by squeezing the ingredients.
    • Add besan, rice flour and salt.
    • Heat ghee and oil in a pan and pour on the mixture when it is hot.
    • Crumble the mixture using your fingers.
    • Add 1 or 2 tablespoons of water if required.
    • Heat oil in a pan. Drop small portions of the mixture into the oil.
    • Deep fry till they are crisp, flipping after every couple of minutes.

    Step by step pictures of the recipe:

    In a bowl add cut onions, coriander leaves, curry leaves and grated ginger and salt.
    Mix all the ingredients.
    Add besan and rice flour.
    Add chopped green chilies.
    Heat butter and oil in a pan.
    Pour the hot butter-oil mixture on the mix when it’s hot.
    Drop small portions of the mixture into the oil.
    Flip the pakodas every couple of minutes.
    Deep fry till brown and crisp.

    Notes:

    • Onions and green chilies should be chopped fine.
    • Pour the butter-oil mixture when it’s hot.
    • Rub and mix the ingredients by not adding water initially.
    • Add water using a spoon. This step is a very important one.

    Arbi Balls

    Arbi balls are made with arbi, bread crumbs and other spices. It’s a modified recipe of arbi roast. Arbi roast is made without adding bread crumbs.

    Ingredients:

    • Arbi [Taro Root] (300 gm)
    • Bread Crumbs (1/2 cup)
    • Red Chili Powder (2 tsp)
    • Oil (12 tsp)
    • Salt (to taste)
    • Curry Leaves (few)
    • Turmeric Powder (1/2 tsp)
    • Hing [Asafoetida] (Powder, 1/4 tsp)

    Prep time: 10 minutes

    Cook time: 40 minutes

    Total time: 50 minutes

    Category: Lunch \ Dinner

    Cuisine: Indian

    Serves: 2

    Method:

    • Pressure cook arbi by adding 1 and a half cup of water.
    • Cook to 3-4 whistles.
    • Peel off the skin and add salt, red chili powder, hing, and turmeric powder and mash well.
    • Add bread crumbs and mix altogether.
    • Rub your palms with little oil and make small lemon sized balls.
    • Add oil to a shallow skillet and add the curry leaves.
    • Sautee for a minute and set aside.
    • Add the balls and allow it to cook for 5 minutes.
    • Gently flip over after 4-5 minutes and cook till they are crisp.

    Step by step pictures of the recipe:

    Pressure cook arbi for 3-4 whistles.
    Cooked arbi.
    Peel-off the skin.
    Add salt, hing, red chili, and turmeric powder.
    Mix altogether well.
    Add bread crumbs.
    Mix bread crumbs.
    Make lemon-sized balls.
    Sautee curry leaves in oil.
    Cook arbi balls till they are crisp.
    Gently flip the balls and cook on all the sides.

    Notes:

    • Bread crumbs can be substituted with chick pea flour.
    • While cooking arbis it should not be under cooked or over cooked.

    Mango Rice

    Mango rice is a very simple recipe and the best lunch box recipe even. Fresh mangoes are available during summers and can be prepared during that season. It can be served with coconut chutney.

    Ingredients:

    • Mango (raw, 1 1/4 cups)
    • Curry Leaves (5)
    • Peanuts (2 tsp)
    • Hing (powder, 1/4 tsp)
    • Ghee (1 tsp)
    • Methi [Fenugreek] (powder, 1/4 tsp)
    • Salt (to taste)
    • Cooked Rice (2 cups)
    • Mustard Seeds (1 tsp)
    • Urad Dal [Black Gram] (split, 1 tsp)
    • Chana Dal [Chick Peas] (split, 1 tsp)
    • Turmeric Powder (1/2 tsp)
    • Red Chili Powder (kashmiri, 1 1/2 tsp)
    • Oil (4 tsp)
    • Ginger (grated, 1/4 tsp)

    Prep time: 10 minutes

    Cook time: 30 minutes

    Total time: 40 minutes

    Category: Lunch \ Dinner

    Serves: 2

    Method:

    • Heat oil and ghee in a skillet and add mustard seeds.
    • Wait for the seeds to splutter.
    • Add urad dal [black gram, split], chana dal [chick peas], peanuts, chopped green chili, grated ginger and curry leaves.
    • Add methi [Fenugreek], hing, and turmeric powder.
    • Sautee for 2-3 minutes or till golden.
    • Add the grated mango, salt and red chili powder.
    • Cook till they are soft.
    • Add the cooked rice and mix well.
    • Serve with coconut chutney.

    Step by step pictures of the recipe:

    Add oil, ghee, mustard seeds and wait to splutter. Add urad dal, chana dal, peanuts, green chilies, curry leaves and ginger.
    Add hing, methi and turmeric powder.
    Add grated mango and salt.
    Add red chili powder.
    Cook till mango is soft.
    Add cooked rice and mix well.

    Notes:

    • Fine grater can be avoided while grating the mango.

    Lemon Pickle

    Lemon pickle differs from each state or even regions in India. This is the traditional south-indian style recipe with minimum ingredients. This can be eaten with rice, bread, upma and chapatis.

    Ingredients:

    • Lemon (750 gm)
    • Salt (7 tsp)
    • Mustard Seeds (2 tsp)
    • Oil (Sesame, 1/2 cup)
    • Turmeric Powder (1 tsp)
    • Red Chili Powder (1/4 cup)
    • Methi [Fenugreek] Seeds (1 tsp)
    • Hing (cake, 3-4 pieces or powder 1 tsp)

    Prep time: 10 minutes

    Cook time: 5 minutes

    Total time: 15 minutes

    Yield: 1kg

    Cuisine: Indian

    Method:

    • Wash, dry and cut lemons into small pieces.
    • Add salt and mix well.
    • Rest for two to three days and mix every 24 hours.
    • Add red chili and turmeric powder.
    • In a shallow skillet add methi seeds and hing cakes.
    • Dry roast till hing doubles and crisps up and methi seeds till red
    • Grind to a fine powder and add along with the red chili powder and turmeric.
    • In the same skillet add oil and mustard seeds.
    • Wait for the seeds to splutter.
    • Wait until the oil cools down.
    • Add to the lemon mixture and mix well.
    • Store in a clean, dry jar .
    • Refrigerate once the pickle is done.

    Step by step pictures of the recipe:

    Deseed and cut lemon into small pieces.
    Add salt and mix well.
    Rest for 2-3 days.
    Add Red chili and turmeric powder.
    Dry roast methi seeds and hing cakes.
    Grind to a fine powder.
    Add the ground powder.
    Heat oil and add mustard seeds.
    Add the spluttered mustard seeeds and mix well.

    Notes:

    • Instead of malta lemons lime or small Indian lemons can also be used.
    • If the lemons are not juicy, extract juice from 4-5 lemons and add to the mixture before adding salt.
    • After refrigerating the pickle take out the jar onve a week and mix well to avoid getting spoilt.
    • It remains good for 6 months to one year.

    Beet-Sago Delight

    Beet gives the beautiful color and sago turns into round pearls with saffron nuts and cardamom is a real delight. I used nylon sago which looks like a raw rice but the other store bought sago which looks white in color can also be used.

    Ingredients:

    • Beet (cubes, 1/2 cup)
    • Milk (whole, 2 cups)
    • Saffron (few strands)
    • Sago (1/3 cup)
    • Sugar (1/2 cup
    • Almond (pieces, 3 tsp)
    • Cardamom Powder (1/4 tsp)

    Prep time: 5 minutes

    Cook time: 40 minutes

    Total time: 45 minutes

    Category: Dessert

    Cuisine: Indian

    Serves: 3

    Method:

    • Soak saffron in warm milk.
    • In a pressure cooker add sago and water. Use a separator or a plate to cook beet.
    • Pressure cook for 4-5 whistles.
    • Grind the cooked beets to a fine paste.
    • In a thick skillet add milk and bring it to boil.
    • Add the ground paste and cook for 10 minutes.
    • Add sugar and once it dissolves add the cooked sago.
    • Garnish with cardamom powder, soaked saffron.
    • Refrigerate for 2 hours.
    • Add nuts before serving.

    Step by step pictures of the recipe:

    Soak saffron strands in warm milk.
    Add water to sago and pressure cook.
    Use a plate or a separator to cook beet.
    Grind to a fine paste.
    Boil milk and add the ground paste.
    Add sugar and wait to dissolve.
    Add the cooked sago.
    Garnish with cardamom powder and saffron refrigerate before adding nuts.

    Notes:

    • Care should be taken while cooking sago. It can be cooked by adding sago in boiling water for 10 minutes or until translucent on a low flame and transfer it to a cold water container and strain it or pressure cook it.Only nylon sago can be pressure cooked.

    Yam And Sweet Potato Curry

    Yam and sweet potato curry is a very delicious, simple and easy to make recipe. I used tomatoes as a base for the gravy but legumes can also be substituted for tomatoes.

    Ingredients:

    • Yam (cubes, 1/2 cup)
    • Brinjal (cubes, 1/2 cup)
    • Carrots (cubes, 1/2 cup)
    • Tomato (Puree, 1 1/2 cups)
    • Green Chili (chopped, fine, 1)
    • Sweet Potato (cubes, 1/2 cup)
    • Coriander Powder (2 tsp)
    • Turmeric Powder (1/2 tsp)
    • Red Chili Powder (Kashmiri, 1 1/2 tsp)
    • Oil (4 tsp)
    • Ghee (1 tsp)
    • Salt (to taste)
    Ingredients

    Prep time: 15 minutes

    Cook time: 40 minutes

    Total time: 55 minutes

    Category: Lunch \ Dinner

    Cuisine: Indian

    Serves: 3

    Method:

    • Add oil and jeera to a pressure cooker.
    • Add chopped green chilies, coriander, turmeric and red chili powders.
    • Cook for 5 minutes.
    • Add tomato puree, salt and chopped cilantro and cook for 10-12 minutes.
    • Cook till the oil separated from the gravy and Stir occasionally to prevent from burning.
    • Add cubed yam, carrots, sweet potatoes and brinjal.
    • Add half a cup of water and pressure cook for 4-5 whistles.
    • Garnish with ghee and chopped cilantro.

    Step by Step Pictures of the recipe:

    Add oil, jeera, and chopped green chilies.
    Add coriander, chili, turmeric powders.
    Add tomato puree.
    Add salt and cook for 12 minutes.
    Add chopped cilantro.
    Add the cubed vegetables.
    Add water to the vegetables.
    Pressure cook for 4-5 whistles.
    Garnish with ghee.
    Garnish with chopped cilantro.

    Notes:

    • Finely Chopped tomatoes can be substituted for puree.
    • All the spice powders should be sauteed constantly. Burnt spices will spoil the taste.
    • Cinnamon sticks, cardamom pods can be added along with jeera.

    Kavuni [Black] Rice Sweet

    This sweet originates from Chettinad region in Tamilnadu. Black rice is a good source of iron and other nutrients. I used jaggery instead of sugar. This rice turns purple after it’s cooked.

    Ingredients:

    • Kavuni [Black] Rice (1/2 cup)
    • Cardamom Powder (1/4 tsp)
    • Coconut (grated, 1/2 cup)
    • Cashews (halved, 10)
    • Jaggery (3/4 cup)
    • Ghee (4 tsp)
    Ingredients

    Prep time: 5 minutes

    Cook time: 30 minutes

    Total time: 35 minutes

    Soak time: 12 hours

    Category: Lunch \ Dinner \ Snack

    Cuisine: South Indian

    Serves: 3

    Method:

    • In a bowl wash and add water to kavuni rice and soak for 12 hours.
    • Transfer the soaked rice to a pressure cooker and add water if required.
    • Pressure cook for 15 whistles.
    • Add ghee to a deep skillet and add cashews.
    • Sautee for 5-6 minutes or until golden and set aside.
    • In the same skillet add grated coconut and dry roast for few minutes and set aside.
    • Add jaggery and water and cook till jaggery dissolves.
    • Add the cooked black rice and mash well.
    • Add the roasted cashews, coconut, and cardamom powder.
    • Add the remaining ghee too.

    Step by step pictures of the recipe:

    Wash and soak black rice for 12 hours.
    Transfer the rice to a pressure cooker.
    Pressure cook for 15 whistles.
    If the rice is not soft pressure cook again for 4-5 whistles.
    Roast cashews in ghee.
    Dry roast grated coconut.
    Roasted coconut and cashews to garnish.
    Cook jaggery until it dissolves.
    Add the cooked rice and mash well.
    Garnish with coconut and cashews.

    Notes:

    • Wild rice and black rice are not exactly the same. We can substitute with wild rice if it’s not available.
    • Add more water before pressure cook the rice if required.
    • Cook the rice on low flame and ensure that there is enough water to pressure cook for 15 whistles.
    • Mash the rice before add to jaggery water.
    • Dissolve the jaggery and no need to make thick syrup.
    • The rice should be properly cooked before adding to the jaggery water.