Kambu dosai

Kambu Dosai

Kambu dosai has a faint nutty flavour and is crispy and super delicious. I wouldn’t mind eating this dosai over regular dosai any day.
Lemon sevai

Lemon Sevai

I’ve fallen terribly behind schedule in posting my healthy recipes because I’ve been swept up in a movie watching frenzy and the resultant domino effect on everything else. If you have to watch the first day first show at 4 am and get back in time and drop kids off at school, come back home and leave to office then you’ve got to prep your ass off. If you have to watch the same movie the next evening with your office buddies and you’ve got a ton of work to get through, you’ve got to work your ass off. All for cinema. What will we do without cinema? It’s heartening that I am surrounded by bigger, crazier cinema fans. End of this week I would have watched Petta 3 times. How many times have you watched Petta? Today’s recipe is a simple lemon sevai recipe. Easy, quick and light. I made this sevai with a pack of readymade Millet sevai for an extra boost of health. You can choose rice sevai or any of your favourite sevai varieties. Having a couple of sevai packs in your pantry will always come in handy. Let me know if you like this lemon sevai recipe. Enjoy! Print Recipe Lemon Sevai Lemon Sevai - easy, quick and light tiffen for anytime of the day! Course main Cuisine Indian Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 10 minutes Servings 3 people Ingredients 200 gm Readymade Sevai1 Onion, chopped fine2 Green chilli, chopped fine1/2 tsp Grated ginger1 stem curry leaves1 Lemon, juiced3 tsp Cooking oil 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds1/2 tsp Split urad dal1 handful coriander leaves, chopped fine Course main Cuisine Indian Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 10 minutes Servings 3 people Ingredients 200 gm Readymade Sevai1 Onion, chopped fine2 Green chilli, chopped fine1/2 tsp Grated ginger1 stem curry leaves1 Lemon, juiced3 tsp Cooking oil 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds1/2 tsp Split urad dal1 handful coriander leaves, chopped fine Instructions Soak sevai in normal room temperature water for 2 minutes. Squeeze out the water from the sevai and place in a plate. To a kadai, add the oil and wait till it gets hot. Add the mustard seeds and wait till the mustad seeds splutter. Add the split urad dal and allow them to turn golden brown. Add the curry leaves, grated ginger, chopped green chillies and onion and fry until the onion turns translucent. Add salt,...
Ragi dosai

Ragi Dosai

Exams over, a wonderful next week that looks rosy and peaceful with no-homework evenings and with tickets to 3 of the 4 movies released this week, I am tempted to sing “Idhu podhum ennaku, Idhu podhume. Vera yenna vendum idhu podhume…!” I saw Seethakathi this morning. I loved the movie.  One down, three more to go. I need to give a little bit of background before I plunge into the story I am going to share with you. Watching cinema is serious business around here. A Friday night movie is what wraps up a week for me. I drive bordering on reckless just so I don’t miss the opening “S” “U” “P” “E” “R” “S” “T” “A” “R”. I have no courtesy and I don’t wait for late-comers. I won’t give them a recap of the story so far. I make my kids go multiple times to the bathroom before we leave for the theatre so that they won’t disturb me during the movie. I don’t talk during the movie. Now that you have the background, here’s what happened. I went for a mid-morning show of Seethakathi which was half-empty. A big group of young girls and guys, likely college students were seated in the front rows. The movie was starting. As groups of guys and girls this age are wont to do, they were trying very hard and very loud to impress each other. I thought they were settling into their seats. Let’s give them a few minutes. The guys made a lot of loud un-funny jokes. The girls giggled excessively. We were well into the movie. I hoped they’d stop now. In the next 2 minutes maybe. I couldn’t hear the dialogue. Last chance – one more minute. That is it! I marched out to find the theatre staff. I told him if he didn’t tell them to shut up, I would. He promised to address the problem. I went back to my seat and waited. Two of the theatre staff walked down to the front rows and spoke to the guys and girls seated there. He told them that if they didn’t keep quiet he’d have to throw them out. Even better I thought. The group were offended that they would be “thrown out”. They argued with the theatre staff for a bit and the whole group then walked out in protest. Success! It’s surprising to me...
Red rice puttu

Red rice puttu|Sweet puttu

What you wear when you drop orpick up your kids from classes speaks of how much you care for public opinion and how unbelievably lazy you can be. The majority of people hover around the respectable average. But there are the ones who wear possibly the oldest usedT-shirt & mukkal (three-fourth) pant. Me. The ones who wear mix-and-mismatched churidhar sets. Me. There are a few like-minded lazy bums likeme out there. Our tribe put comfort over public opinion and laziness over propriety. I urge you to try it sometime to feel really and truly liberated.You’ll get inured to stares and judging looks. You’ll think less of others when you want to take the less trodden path. With that great piece of life advice, I am going the share the recipe of red rice puttu. I hope you’re eating healthy. Red rice sweet puttu is my favourite puttu among puttus. I have a thing for sweet breakfasts. Jagan doesn’t have that thing. So that must mean we’re the right match. I look for signs everywhere. He enjoys the puttu too but just not for breakfast. I can have this anytime of the day. The best part is it can be served at room temperature. You can prep a big batch of the red rice puttu flour up to “breaking up to the soft puttu texture” part and then refrigerate it in an airtight container. You can pull it out anytime, let stand for a bit to get to room temperature and just mix in sugar, coconut and ghee. I know that this recipe has quite a bit of sugar but remember this is for the entire recipe. In one portion, it is going to just a little bit more than what you putin your daily coffee or tea. Skip your coffee or tea the day you’re making this puttu if you’re very particular about sugar intake. This puttu is worth it. Print Recipe Red rice sweet puttu This sweet red rice puttu breakfast will sweeten your mornings! Fluffy, soft puttu studded with coconut and sugar and laced with ghee, yum! Cuisine Indian Prep Time 20 minutes Cook Time 10 minutes Servings 4 people Ingredients 250 gm Red rice puttu flour 1/2 tsp Salt Warm water as necessary 1/2 Coconut, grated 6 tbsp Ghee 3/4 cup Sugar Cuisine Indian Prep Time 20 minutes Cook Time 10 minutes Servings 4 people Ingredients 250...
Aloo gobi roti

Aloo Gobi roti

It’s December already and I am seeing lots of 2018 lists all around– the best celebrity weddings of 2018, the worst fashion trends, best movies of 2018, the most trending hashtags on twitter and so on. I am tempted to make my own lists. I am amazed at all the things that seem just the same this year as they were last year and the year before and before that. Here is a list of things that haven’t changed this year. HDFC bank guys called me every day in 2018 just like they called me every single day in 2017 asking if I wanted a personal loan or credit card. I am basically a kind person so I don’t snap at them. I tell them I am not interested when I hear “HDFC”. But not yelling makes me super furious. I’ve therefore come to not pick up calls from unknown numbers. I’ve then had to explain myself to many an Amazon delivery guy for not picking up the phone. I still wake up 1 hour before the school van arrives. I go 15 minutes late to the 1 hour yoga class. Everybody at the gym is the same size I saw them last year. Strangely I’ve never met the weight-loss achievers on the pin-up board. All the books I intended to read this year are still unread. I am somewhere in the middle in each of them and I’ve forgotten what I’ve read so far. I make a list of the outstanding books to read and promptly misplace the list. I can’t resist the books I come across. I strategize that if I buy an interesting enough book and read it fully, that will give me the momentum to finish the rest of the books. I fall asleep on the 5th page. I’ve not acted as Vijay’s akka. I’ve not lost 10kilos yet. I am still paying EMIs. Overall I’d say it’s been a good year. I hope you had a great 2018 too. What was just the same for you this year? I’d love to hear. Please feel free to share in the comments. The recipe I am going to share with you today is a simple Aloo gobi roti, a kind of all-in-one dish. This Aloo Gobi roti is not a stuffed roti. In a stuffed roti, there is the possibility that your stuffing is not evenly distributed...
Veg godhumai sevai

Veg wheat sevai

Here is a movie script synopsis. The Dosai maavu companies, ‘ready-to-eat’ and breakfast mix companies are unable to get a stronghold into the South-Indian household. They expect their packs to fly off the shelves but that’s not happening. They’re unable to crack the code. They sense they’re up against a powerful competitor. They do some research and realize that they’re up against the ‘Upma’. They can’t compete with a 5-minute dish that requires nothing more than salt, water and a handful of pantry staples. They set out to undermine the image of Upma. They hatch a conspiracy against Upma. They fund meme and troll campaigns to make fun of upma, to put it down. They successfully create a bad rap for Upma. Then they introduce an Upma-mix to rub it in. The hero’s favourite dish is Upma. He has to somehow save the Upma from extinction. How he saves the upma and the world from the evil forces makes the rest of the story. Why not? The Americans can set two sets of robot cum cars against each other for a metal dabba (Transformer). I never did understand the Upma-mix though. What was that? They packed the rava and salt into a pack?   I am a great fan of all kinds of Upma, both eating and making. Upma encompasses all kinds of rava & vermicelli. The one I am sharing today is made with wheat sevai – Godhumai sevai (fine wheat vermicelli). I made a simple veggie godhumai sevai with it. The godhumai sevai is store bought. It’s super easy to prepare. Sevai is usually much finer than vermicelli and should not be cooked in boiling water. Sevai has to be soaked for a short while and then tossed with the desired spices and veggies. Alternately you can make a sweet version of this sevai by steaming it and then mixing in grated coconut, ghee and sugar. Enjoy!   Print Recipe Veg wheat sevai Lightening quick, delicious veggie wheat sevai for any time of the day! Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 12 minutes Servings 3 people Ingredients 200 gm Godhumai sevai 1 Onion, finely chopped 2 green chillies, slit 1 cup finely chopped vegetables (carrots & green beans) 10 Cashews, broken 1/2 tsp mustard seeds Salt to taste 2 cups Water (to soak the sevai) 2 tbsp Oil 1 tsp Ghee Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 12...
Peas Poha upma

Peas poha upma

It’s that time of the year in Chennai when everyday is a potential school holiday. Give one holiday and we’re spoilt. We keep checking the news and whatsapp groups for a holiday announcement every day after that. For me, a school holiday means an extra hour of sleep, so that I start cooking late and I am late to office by the same amount of time that I am late on school days. I am consistent that way. I feel vulnerable when I am out of idli maavu (idli/dosa batter). It’s like you’re at a function and nobody seems to notice you and you don’t have your phone, so you can’t act busy. You could have scrolled through your empty whatsapp chat and looked at people’s profile pictures. Now you’re forced to look at people, half-smile because it’s not clear if they’re smiling at you. You end up making conversation with some aunty next to you and realize it’s not so bad after all. You realized you’re not as anti-social as you thought you were. Only when I am out of idli maavu do I explore other tiffen possibilities. I quite enjoy the different tiffens that I come up with and I am surprised I didn’t try these more often. One of those days, I made Peas poha with the leftover Aval (poha) from Krishna Jayanthi. I like my poha on the chewier side, so I don’t cook it too long. If you like it softer, you can sprinkle a little bit of water and cook a little longer. This Poha Upma is infinitely customizable. I skipped the usual boiled potatoes because I wanted to cut down the carbs. Instead I added peas. You could add sweet corn or paneer or anything else you fancy. You can add some grated ginger for extra zing. You can add fried cashews for extra interest. Make it your own. It’s infinitely easy and is full of fresh, yummy flavours. Enjoy! Print Recipe Peas poha upma Peas poha upma is infinitely easy and is full of fresh, yummy flavours. Enjoy! Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 5-8 minutes Servings 3-4 people Ingredients 4 cups Poha / Aval / Flattened rice1 cup fresh green peas1 Onion chopped fine2 Green chillies chopped fine1/2 tsp Mustard seeds1/2 tsp Turmeric powderSalt to taste1 lemon, juiced2 tbsp oil1/2 cup fresh coriander leaves, chopped Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time...
Barley porridge

Barley porridge | Naturally sweetened, made in a pressure cooker

There was a time when I didn’t consider porridge normal food. It was too boring, too good. It must be for sick days. That was my notion. Like most other things in life, this too has come to pass. With age, with excess weight and with the constant deluge of over-the-top tasty foods, I’ve come to appreciate mellow, subdued, good for the body, good for next-day-morning foods. Did you know barley is packed with nutrients like potassium, Vitamin B6 and folate make it great for heart health? Barley is an excellent source of fiber, which helps lower the total amount of cholesterol in the blood. Barley also contains Selenium which is not present in most foods. It plays a role in liver enzyme function and helps detoxify some cancer-causing compounds in the body. Barley is also useful in maintaining a healthy weight. I’ve taken a liking to porridge now. I find it comforting and satisfying. Also I am a sucker for sweet breakfasts. This naturally sweetened barley porridge is a great breakfast to start the day. The recipe I am going to share with you today will make barley porridge making a breeze. Barley generally takes a long time to make. So I dump the barley in a pressure cooker along with dates and cook them both together – 2 tasks in one shot. Barley is cooked through and so are the dates – all ready to be blended into a creamy porridge. The dates lend a lovely rounded sweetness without being cloyingly sweet. If you desire more sweetness, you can add some brown sugar or honey to the porridge. Adding just a pinch of salt balances the flavours and highlights the sweetness. You’re less likely to make the dish too sweet when you’ve added a pinch of salt. The toppings are everything. Here’s where you add crunch, texture and interest to the porridge. I went with toasted, slivered almonds, sliced cherries and bananas. You can go with any toppings of your choice – toasted cashews, chopped dates, chopped fruit, a drizzle of honey, anything you fancy! Enjoy!       Print Recipe Barley porridge | Naturally sweetened, made in a pressure cooker This naturally sweetened barley porridge is a great breakfast to start the day! Healthy and yummy! Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 35 minutes Servings 4 people Ingredients 1 cup Barley4 cups Water1-1/2 cup Milk1-1/2 cup Dates1...
Sathu Maavu Adai

Sathu Maavu Adai & Tomato Thokku | What’s your happy song?

I know the song I’ll dance to if I reach my goal weight. I know where I’d shop for what when I reach my goal weight. I know the neck patterns I want for my new saree blouses. I know I won’t post before & after pictures because I’d want to pretend that I was never fat. I’ll probably try to spin a series on how I lost all that weight. I may try to shoot a video doing push-ups. The entire plan is there. I just need to lose the weight. It’s the same song I’ll dance to if I am published. It’s my happy song. You have your own happy song too, don’t you? Come on. You don’t? Everyone has to have one. Think of one right now. You never know when you’ll need your happy song. Your child may get selected in Vijay TV super singer in which case you’ll get hired as a full time performer at Vijay TV. You’ll need a song and a few steps for your sarakku party/booze party. You’ll need to dance at the cousin’s/friend’s wedding; if you do well you could be an extra in their wedding music video. Want to know my happy song? Here it is (Tap the image below for the full video). I love it because it seems just like how I’d dance if I were happy – uncomplicated, comfortable, unbelieving of my luck, insanely grateful, crazy happy and in a lungi. What’s your happy song? Let me know in the comments. Here’s the long pending update on my weightloss journey – Project50k. I’ve been yo-yoing around a 1 kilo range for several months now with the end nowhere in sight. I decided to up the ante a bit and try something adverse this week – A week full of salad lunches. I am not a salad person. I am actually a biryani person. I know there are people who claim to be salad people. I do not believe anyone can be a salad person deep inside, in their heart. For me it is particularly difficult. I don’t believe I’ve ever ordered a salad in a restaurant. It always seemed ridiculous to me. I’ll however be eating salads all this week. I’ll let you know how it goes. Meanwhile here’s an easy-peasy Sathu Maavu adai recipe I tried last week. I am sure you’ve made ragi adai...