Feb 22, 2010



Idli is a South Indian savory steamed rice cake which looks like a small white buns, made by black lentils and parboiled rice.This white cakes(idlis) are usually in 2-3 inches diameter and made by steaming a batter in round molds, which is consisting of fermented black lentils and parboiled rice.the fermentation process breaks down the starches so that the idlis are very easy digestive food for any age people.Most of the South Indians like to have this idlis as a break fast or dinner, with the combination of Sambar and coconut chutney and also with karappodi(mixed spice powder) with ghee. There are no leavening agents used in idli batter so this healthy idlis are born in Karnataka and became popular all over India
Fermentation is the main step to get a soft and fluffy idli
1. Traditionally black lentils and par boiled rice soaked in water for 4-5 hours and ground in to a thick paste and leave in a warm place to ferment for over night.
2. In this process fermentation is caused by Air,Black lentils(urad dal,minapappu) and Fenugreek seeds these three ingredients produce a type of wild yeast so don't over wash the black lentils. preferably always use whole urad with skin or you can use de-husked whole urad also. But not split urad that won't give a good results to the finale product ,idlis will become hard after you steam. Because in the process of spliting the whole urad mechanically that generates heat and destorys the natural wild yeast in urad dal. If you dont get whole urad in that case you can use split urad by last choice by compensating with a spoon of fenugreek seeds .
3. Because Fenugreek seeds also contain same wild yeast which we find in whole urad so that you can get more natural yeast to ferment the idli batter.
4. Now one more very important ingredient in this recipe is Rice in olden days people didn't use rice for idli batter they use to soak urad dal in butter milk and grind in to a smooth paste with sour curd in this case curd acts as yeast but after some experiments people started grinding rice in to a coarse paste and mix with urad paste. but now a days we can get parboiled rice which is well known as idli rice.
5. Par boiled rice is pre-processed rice which contains 80% starch and gives a soft and plum texture. insted of par-boiled rice you can use cream-of rice which is made by again par- boiled rice. In case you didn't get idli rice(par-boiled rice) you can replace them with Arborio rice or Mochi rice(Japan) or sweet and waxy American rice but the texture may be little different some times.
6. And last and final ingredient is water yes chlorine in water destroy the natural yeast (wild yeast) if you find chlorine smell in water then better use spring water or boiled and filtered tap water.
7. better use non-iodized salt and add salt just before you pouring the batter in to the idli molds (means after fermentation)
8. The temperature should be 86 degree F to 90 degree F below that temperature it will take longer time to ferment. Idli batter should ferment Two& half times then original volume then only you can get soft and fluffy idlis.
Here is the recipe for Most wanted break fast IDLI.....

Par-boiled rice (idli rice) --- 4 cups
Raw rice (dosa rice) (any short grain rice what we use for dosa batter) --- 1 cup
Black lentils(urad dal) --- 1 cup
Fenugreek seeds --- 1 tea sp
Salt --- 1 1/2 tea sp
1. Mix both rice and wash for 1 or 2 times and soak in enough water for 4 hours
2.Wash black lentils and soak in water for 1 hour with 1 tea sp of fenugreek seeds

3.Grind lentils in to smooth paste.If drop a small ball of lentil paste in a bowl of water that should stay on surface . Normally it will take 45 min. time to grind in a wet grinder 10 - 15 min. in a mixer(mixee)or blender.But wet grinder gives a good results.
4.Now grind rice in to a coarse paste and mix it with lentil paste mix well and leave it in a warm place to ferment.
5. If you like to use idli rava( cream of rice) then take 2 cups of cream of rice (idli rava) and soak in enough water before you start grinding lentils. After grinding lentils remove water and squeeze extra water and add this to lentil paste mix well and leave for fermentation.
6. leave this batter in a warm place for over night to ferment well and the batter should become2 1/2 times then original volume.

7. Next day morning add salt and mix well.

8. Grease idli molds with little oil or ghee and pour 1 ladle full idli batter and arrange idli plates in the stand .
9. pour 100ml water in to a idli cooker or a big vessel and bring to a full boil and place the idli stand into that idli cooker cover with lid and steam for 5 min, in high flame then reduce the flame and steam the idlis for 8 min.
10.Switch off the flame and leave it like that for 5 min. then open the lid and remove the idli stand from idli cooker.

11. Wait for 2 more min and scoop out the idlis from the molds and serve hot with sambar, coconut chutney and ghee .
12. You can use a pressure cooker for steaming idlis pour water in the pressure cooker and place the idli stand and cover with lid but don't put the weight (whistle).
13. You can use electric rice cooker also for steaming idlis pour water in to the rice cooker vessel and place the idli stand and switch on the cooker to cooking mode.
14. Can cook idlis in microwave also but with microwave safe idli molds only.

Feb 14, 2010


A aromatic vegetable pulav recipe from Chakh... le....re. This pulav tastes very different and we just love the aroma, thank you so much for the recipe.. Since 1 month I am with my parents because of my moms health . Now she is feeling much better.Both my mom and dad are food lovers. They like different varieties and flavors in their meal,Especially this rice varieties like mixed rice, biryanis and pulavs. Today I wanted to make some pulav and raita for my mom and dad because of V.day and long back when I make this pav bhaji pulav for my hubby dear he likes it very much so I tried it once again and it came out so very well and my mom and dad enjoyed it very much. Ha haa my mom enjoyed it a little bit more I think there is some left over about a small bowl so amma kept it in the fridge and had it for dinner also. One thing about my parents both of them are great food lovers and they enjoy the food what ever I make for them if it is a North Indian or a South Indian dish, ofcourse amma likes pasta also but with some Indian touch... And coming to the recipe I have made little changes in the recipe, she used Asafotieda in the original recipe I didn't used it if you like the flavor then add it with mustard and cumin seeds.And I used fresh vegetables you can use frozen also thats it I think.... Here I go with the recipe...........
Rice -- 1 cup (Iused basmati rice)

Oil --- 3 tab sp

Onion -- 1/2 cup finely chopped

Green chilies --- 2 chopped

Mixed vegetables -- 1 cup cut in to small pieces(I used fresh sweet corn, carrot, green peas)

Tomato puree -- 1/2 cup

Pav Bhaji masala -- 1 1/2 tea sp

Red chilli powder --- 1 tea sp

Garam masala -- 1/2 tea sp

Cumin seeds --- 1/2 tea sp

Mustard seeds --- 1/2 tea sp

Salt -- 1/2 tea sp

1.Wash rice and soak for 15 min.
2.Cook with 1 1/2 cup water till done and leave a side to cool
3.If using frozen vegetables thaw them (you can keep them in microwave for 3 min.)
4.I used fresh vegetables so chop them in to small bite size pieces and cook them in little water till they become soft but little crunchy or cook them in steamer for 10 min. remove from heat and leave a side.
5.Now heat oil in a pan add mustarde seeds and cumin seeds let them popup then add green chilies and fry for a while.
6.Now add chopped onions and fry till golden color then add mixed vegetables and fry for 3 min.
7.Then add tomato puree, red chilli powder, pav bhaji masala,garam masala and salt and mix well
8.Now add cooked rice to the vegetable mixture, mix it very well cover with a lid and leave it in a very low flame for 3 min.
9.Remove the lid and mix well once again and adjust the seasoning and switch off the flame.
Serve hot with raita or curd.

Feb 10, 2010


This recipe is from my mom s chilhood memories.My grand mother (my moms mother- Ammaamma) use to make this chintapandu charu as a home remedy for ill people at home.Normaly I make charu with boiling tomato and tamarind to- gather and extract the juice and add charupodi boil and give the seasonining to the charu. But this is a total different recipe. In this recipe she didn't boli the tamarind water before,after seasoning only they give a full boil to the charu thats it.when I make this charu today the house is filled with great aroma that is because of freshely grinded raw spices may be. I coudn't wait immediately I had a full bowl of hot rice with this charu. Hope you also like this unique recipe from my mom.
Tamarind --- 2 inch pieces 2 no. or 1 tea sp tamarind paste
Cumin seeds --- 1/2 tea sp
Coriander seeds --- 1 tea sp
Black pepper --- 1/2 tea sp
Garlic --- 4 pods
Fresh coriander leaves --- 1/2 cup chopped or half bundle
Curry leaveas -- 1 spring
Red chilli powder ---- 1/4 tea sp
Salt -- 1 1/2 tea sp or according to your taste
Turmeric powder -- a pinch
Oil --- 1 tea sp
Mustared seed -- 1/ tea sp
Cumin seeds -- !/4 tea sp
Dry red chilli -- 1 broken

  • Soak tamarind in warm water for 10 min. and extract juice with 3 cups water.
  • Grind Charu podi ingredients- Cumin seeds, coriander seeds, black pepper corns(no need to fry this spices grind them raw only if you grind the the taste will be different . )
  • First grind the seeds at last add garlic pods and grind for a sec.
  • Now add this spice mixture to the tamarind water.
  • Add salt, red chilli powder, turmeric powder, chopped coriander leaves and curry leaves.
  • Now heat a pan with 1 tea sp oil and add mustared seeds let them popup then add cumin seeds and droken red chilli and fry for a while .
  • Add this seasoning to the tamarind water.Now bring this tamarind water pan to the heat mix well and bring to a full boil.
  • Remove from heat and serve with hot steamed rice
Note:--- This Charu will be a good choice after you suffered with a heavy feaver.
When you are ill if you take this charu as a soup or with little mashed steamed rice or idli (because rice and idli both are easy digestive food) that gives a very excellent taste to your mouth and it helps in digestion also.

Feb 6, 2010



A light green leafy vegetable with little bitter taste and gives a wonderfull aroma all over in your house when you cook with dall or any other vegetable like potato or indian droad beans or you mix it with paratha dough.This aromatic leafy vegetable is a oldest and power full medicinal herb in India wich contains lots of iron and also enriched with minerals like calcium, potassium, rich in C vitamin and K vitamin.According to ayurveda fenugreek leaves are cooling agent, when you soak some leaves in a glass of water for over night and gargle in the morning it prevents mouth ulcers. protect againest cancer and lowring type1 and type 2 diabetes.Consumption of fenugreek leaves helps in digestion abilities and iron deficiency. So try to add this healthy leafy vegetable in your diet at least 2 times a week.

By fresh looking leaves the fresh leaves looks light green color and make sure there are no holes and white lines on the leaves

Wash the fresh leaves under running water for 3-4 times to remove dirt and soil.

Renmove from water and spread the leaves on a kitchen towle for 10 min. then chopp them and use in the cooking.

Now comming to the today s recipe. MENTHI KURA CHIKKUDUKAYA KURA(FENUGREEK LEAVES WITH INDIAN BROAD BEANS) and here is the recipe....


Fenugreek leaves -- 1 big bundle or 2 cups chopped(washed and chopped finely)
Indian broad beans--- 250gms cut in to 1/2 inch pieces
Onion --- 1 big finely chopped
Green chilies -- 2 chopped
Ginger and green chilli paste -- 1 tea sp
Oil -- 1 tab sp
Mustard seeds -- 1 tea sp
Urad dal(split black gram) -- 1 tea sp
Cumin seeds -- 1/2 tea sp
Dry red chilies --- 2 broken
Turmeric powder --- 1/2 tea sp
Salt -- 1&1/4 tea sp or to taste
Red chilli powder -- 1/4 tea sp


  • Clean, wash and chopp fenugreek leaves
  • Tear, open and check Indian broad beans if there are any insects in side and cut in to 1/2 inch pieces and leave a side
  • Peal and chopp onion very finely and cut green chilies in to small pieces.
  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and let them popup then add urad dal, cumin seeds and broken dry red chilies and let them fry till nice golden color.
  • Now add chopped onion and green chilies and fry till onion become transparent.
  • Then add ginger and green chili paste, Indian broad bean pieces, salt, turmeric powder mix well and add 1/2 cup water cover with a lid and cook till Indian broad beans are cooked this will take 10 min. time in a low flame or you can cook till all the water is evaporated.
  • Now add chopped fenugreek leaves, red chili powder mix well and sprinkle 1 tab sp water cover with a lid and cook in a low flame, stir in between till it became semidry curry.
  • You can add 200gms of chopped eggplant pieces also to this curry when you add Indian broad bean pieces for adifferent taste.
enjoy with rice or roti.