Paneer kothu chappathi

Paneer kothu chapathi

I am a big believer of signs. Last week, one morning I woke up singing “Oru poongavanam”. I set up the Bose Soundlink on the kitchen counter and played the song on repeat while I cooked. I let the onions blacken busy singing and mimicking the swimming action in the song. I had to drop off the kids at their grandma’s house before work. I switched on the radio and what song does it play? “Oru poongavanam pudhu manam…” We looked at each other open mouthed. It was a sign. It definitely was a sign. A sign of what I didn’t know but it was a sign. I sang to it in the car delighted. Only the previous day I felt like nothing was going my way, that I wasn’t doing things right. Then god plays my mind-song on radio to tell me I am doing fine. The traffic light turning to green as soon as you reach the junction, waking up early when you have to, you think you’re looking pretty and someone compliments you on how pretty you’re looking, a selfie that turns out to your liking, somebody brings you food, somebody buys you ice cream, somebody has a tablet when you have a headache.. are all good signs. Hasini has a great knack of finding out when I’ve upcycled something and I do a lot of that because I hate seeing food go waste. I don’t usually tell them because I don’t trust them to be open minded about it. Hasini makes sure to find out and announce it to everyone. This Paneer kothu chapathi however went down well with everyone. It’s super quick to put together if you have leftover chapathis or rotis in your or parathas in your fridge. You can use even the hardest, stiffest of your old rotis in this recipe. The liquid in the recipe helps soften your rotis just enough and the oil adds the delicious fried taste to it. You can add in scrambled eggs, cooked shredded chicken, peas, chopped carrots or anything else you fancy. I happened to have paneer so I made paneer kothu chapathi.  Make it your own. Don’t let another old chapathi go waste. Print Recipe Paneer kothu chapathi Delicious kothu chapathi to make the best use of your leftover rotis/chapathis! Course main Cuisine Indian Prep Time 10 minutes Cook Time 10 minutes Servings 3 people...

Paniyaram from leftover Dosa batter

Kids of lazy moms will know that Milagai podi and Kissan Jam are universal side dishes. One of the two will go with anything. That’s what these kids have been raised to believe. Ask Hasini and Yuvan if you wish to check. In my book, milagai podi is game for all kinds of idli, dosai, oothappam, paniyaram, upma or adai. I smear jam on dosai, chappathi, poori, bread, use it as a topping over oats, porridge, ice cream and sometimes eat spoonfuls straight from the jar when I am craving something sweet. I got caught doing just that. Since I am a responsible mother, I don’t let them eat out of the jam jar but I’ll do it when no-one’s around. When I got caught, I had to explain my veto powers and how nobody else can be trusted to handle the jam jar the right way. The other day I made paniyarams and served it with milagai podi with no qualms. I’ve always made paniyaram with leftover dosa batter. There is a point in the lifetime of a dosa batter when the dosa turns too sour and rubbery. That’s the point when wives and mommies unleash their creativity and come up with all sorts of ingenious recipes to make use of that leftover dosa batter. This paniyaram is one of the recipes I make often when I am left with sour dosa batter. I also make vengaya dosai, podi oothappam or these sweet and sour leftover idli batter fritters. These paniyarams are dumb-easy to make. Prepare a tempering of some basic ingredients – onion, chillies, mustard seeds and curry leaves. Mix this into your leftover batter, pour into paniyaram moulds and cook. As simple as that. These paniyarams are convenient to pack in tiffin boxes too. Print Recipe Paniyaram from leftover dosa batter Dumb-easy to make, these paniyarams are soft on the inside and crispy on the outside. Yum! Course main Cuisine Indian Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 15 minutes Servings 15 paniyaram Ingredients 3 cups Leftover Dosa batter 1 Onion, chopped fine 1 Green chilli, minced 1 inch Ginger, minced 1 stem Curry leaves 1/2 tsp Mustard seeds 2 tsp Oil, for tempering 3 tbsp Oil, for paniyarams Course main Cuisine Indian Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 15 minutes Servings 15 paniyaram Ingredients 3 cups Leftover Dosa batter 1 Onion, chopped fine 1 Green chilli, minced...
Prawn pulav

Prawn biryani

Sunday morning, I was deveining prawns in my kitchen. It seemed to take forever. I wondered how many hours in life a person would spend deveining prawns. They must have statistics for that surely, like they have for how many hours in life we spend at traffic signals, how many pads a woman goes through in a lifetime, how many hours people spend on whatsapp debates… Somebody somewhere must have thought of quantifying the time spent on deveining prawns. I made a mental note to google it later when my hands were not yucky. The deveined pile was still small. I felt I was going too slow. I needed to set myself a goal. I decided I’d have to finish deveining the prawns before I picked up Yuvan from his class. I was quite pleased that I finished in half an hour. I was late to his class by 10 minutes though. I reckoned he would have enjoyed the extra time to run around with his buddy. His bud had left and he wasn’t pleased. It also meant I was late to pick up Hasini too. I braced myself for her grumbling. She didn’t notice me. She painted away and let me wait 10 minutes before she packed up. What do you know? It happens all the time when I want to fix a bug or send a particularly verbose mail before I go to the restroom. When I finally finish, the restroom is busy. The reason people spend all that time deveining prawns is because it adds an unbeatable flavour to any dish. I made prawn biryani. Let me tell you this. This Prawn biryani is just about perfect – just spicy enough from the green chillies, fragrant from the whole spices and kissed by the delicate coconut milk goodness. Everyone who ate it loved it. That includes Yuvan, Hasini and my dad. That’s one hard bunch to please. I served it with raita, boiled eggs and tawa fried fish fillets. Let me know if you make this prawn biryani. Print Recipe Prawn biryani Perfectly flavoured Prawn biryani made in a pressure cooker! Course main Cuisine Indian Prep Time 40 minutes Cook Time 20 minutes Servings 5-6 people Ingredients 1/2 kilo Prawn/Shrimp, shelled and deveined 400 gm Basmati rice, soaked in water for 20 minutes 2 Onions, sliced thin 2 Tomatoes, chopped 10 Green chillies, sliced lengthwise 2 inch...
Carrot coconut milk

Carrot coconut milk

Mornings I wake up early to the sound of birds before everyone else. I brush my teeth and brew coffee. I read the paper while drinking coffee from my coffee mug. I take a shower, dress up and with my wet hair wrapped in a towel, I head to the kitchen to make breakfast and lunch. I then wake up the kids and husband. I gently chide them for being lazy. Kids smile and go get showered and dressed. I lay the breakfast on the table. Kids say their prayers and sit down for breakfast. Jagan is reading the papers. Once done, kids hug me, say bye and walk over to wait for the van. The van arrives and they climb inside and wave to me. I wave back and walk back home. That is my morning routine – said no one ever. The actual morning routine has all of these elements but inside out and upside down. I wake up last along with the kids. So it’s kind of a tie. I head straight to the kitchen to make breakfast and lunch. There’s no smiling in the morning. There’s a lot of yelling, blaming, searching for socks, shirt, jatti and science classwork but no smiling. Nobody dare sit down for anything least of all to eat breakfast. You may sit down to put on your shoes but that’s about it. We don’t wait for the van; the van driver waits while we scoot across the road. He always turns onto our road when I am tying Hasini’s first ponytail and we can see him from the balcony, so I have to hurry downstairs while still tying the second one and it ends up being a bit lopsided. Hasini seems to go with uneven ponytails on most days. Hasini is sometimes angry I haven’t given her money for the canteen. She doesn’t wave to me. Yuvan is not pleased that he doesn’t get the window seat. He doesn’t wave either. I walk back home marveling that I’ve somehow managed to send them off successfully to school yet another day and take my first bathroom break since yesterday night. Jagan is reading the papers. The bird call happens last. Our neighborhood crow calls out to me from outside my kitchen. He hops aside while I place his breakfast. He eats once I walk way. I then make my morning drink. I...
Masala omelette

Masala Omelette

I was wondering the other day what men would do if they had periods too, if they menstruated too. Don’t for a minute think I am talking about Sabarimala or any of that macro stuff. I was only thinking about what a big fuss they’d be making if they were to have periods. It’s a universally known fact that men suffer from vicious, body racking diseases like COLD, COUGH and HEADACHE which strangely don’t seem to affect women that much. It takes the loving care and constant attention of the entire family for adult grown men to recover from a cold – tablets, steam inhalation, Vicks vaporub, Kashayam and only hot water for drinking. Now imagine what these men would do if they were on their period. First of all, it won’t be a secret. Men will have pads in their back-pocket. Sanitary pads will be available in tea kadais and corner bunk shops. They’ll go with friends to change pads just like they go for a fag. Even better, they’ll call in sick. They’ll sit inside their leaf pandhal (enclosure) with their phones in hand all day while their mommies serve them refreshments from time to time. They’ll share jokes and memes on periods. Managers will enquire sagely about their painful period when they return to work and men will explain in great detail the pain they endured. During periods sometimes I have zero energy and don’t feel like cooking. Those days I just need to know there are eggs in the fridge. Last week was one such period. There was little else in the fridge other than eggs and a lone tomato. The signs were clear. I needed to make Masala omelette and take it easy. You can make this masala omelette as fancy as you want – add in chopped mushrooms, capsicum or grated cheese. This masala omelette will be delicious any which way you choose to make it. You need not be on your period to make it. Serve alongside toast, softened butter and ginger tea if you will. Now that’s one easy, yummy breakfast no one can pass up. Enjoy! Print Recipe Masala Omelette This masala omelette will be delicious any which way you choose to make it! Course main Cuisine Indian Prep Time 5 minutes Cook Time 10 minutes Servings 2 people Ingredients 3 Eggs 1 Small Onion, chopped fine 3 Green chillies, chopped...
Nagoor chicken curry

Nagoor Chicken curry

You can never have too many curry recipes in your repertoire. You’ll need all of them plus more. This curry is absolutely breathtaking – perfectly rounded flavours and fragrant from the freshly ground whole spices.
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.