Aval Mixture/Chevda

Aval/Atukulu/Avalakki/ Rice Flakes/Thick Poha( extra/double thick poha) - 2 cup
Raw Peanuts - handful
Curry leaves - few
Salt as needed
Chilli powder - 1 - 1 1/2tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Oil for deep frying

This type of mixture is prepared with aval that we use for making upma and not the thin rice flakes.

One of the easiest and simplest snack that can be made in a jiffy. Store in a airtight container and can used for many days.

Heat a 1tbsp of oil and add raw peanuts( just see the oil is not very hot or the peanuts will turn dark and will taste bad). Fry till nice brown. Remove and keep it aside. Fry curry leaves and remove from oil when still it is good in nice green colour. Can also add a handful of fried channa dhal( dalia/pottu kadalai).

Note the oil has to be hot when each batch of aval is added for frying. It pops out good only then and maintains nice crispness. Wait for few seconds each time before you add the next batch.

Heat oil for deep frying. Add a small amount of rice flakes. It will just take few seconds to pop out good. Remove Immediately and keep it aside. Wait for few secs for the oil to heat up again, only then it pops out good. Then add the next batch. Repeat until you are done with the remaining.

Transfer all these to a bowl the fried aval, peanuts, curry leaves, salt, turmeric powder and chilli powder. Mix well and enjoy.

I usually try to fry with this ladle as it is easy to lift from the oil without turning them dark. Just add a fistful in the ladle and slowly dip in the hot oil. When done, just lift from the oil and transfer.

Read more of "AVAL MIXTURE"


Orange peel is called the pith. It has some anti-cancer properties and antioxidants actually, so it is very good for us. In fact, the white pith contains the highest amount of bioflavonoids (an antioxidant), and vitamin C of the whole orange. Also there's some great fiber in it.

Oil - 1 tsp ( preferably gingelly oil)
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 4 or 5 leaves
Hing/Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Methi seeds powder - 1/4 tsp( dry roast and powder)
Chilli powder - 1 - 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt as needed
Tamarind pulp - 1/4 cup( dilute pulp from a 2 inch piece)
Jaggery - few small pieces( around 2 inch piece)
Sesame seeds - 1 tbsp
Orange peel - peel of 4 oranges( have used mandarin oranges)



Kashayam - Type 1

Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
Pepper corns - 8 - 10
Ginger - 1 inch
Tulasi leaves - 4 - 5( or 1/4 tsp of powder)
Panagal Kandu - 1 tbsp

In place of pangal kandu can use honey or Karupatti( Palm jaggery). I do not have karupatti right now. Will update the post once I get it. But it is also added in preparation of coffee in my native by substituting sugar.
If using honey, then mix it just before drinking.

Read more of "KASHAYAM"


Most of the days my lunch menu is an elaborate one with rice, chapathi, gravy and a vegetable as hubby comes home for lunch all days. Lately had been craving for some soup and found a perfect day to prepare and enjoy. It had raining since yesterday and being a sunday too hubby had left very early to his office on work and informed earlier that he will not be home for lunch. I did not want to enter kitchen and start with my preparations as was very lazy and tired, so instead made this soup and enjoyed having and for kids just gave their fav Mac n Cheese.

The below mentioned ingredients will serve 4 people.

Green Beans - 10
Carrot - 1
Corn Kernels - 3 tbsp
Cabbage - 3 tbsp
Green onions - 3 stem
Garlic - 3 or 4( grated)
Ginger - 1 inch(grated)
Soya Sauce - 1 tbsp
Corn Starch - 1 tbsp(heaped)
Vinger - 3/4 tsp
Salt as needed
Pepper powder - 1/4 tsp( or as needed)
Ajjinamotto - a pinch( optional use only)
Butter - 1 tbsp
Water or vegetable stock - 4 cups

Cut all vegetables into very thin pieces. Keep it aside.


4 Eat Fresh Fruits

Read more of "Eat Fresh Fruits"

5 Some facts about Our Liver

The main causes of liver damage are:

1. Sleeping too late and waking up too late are main cause.
2. Not urinating in the morning.
3. Too much eating.
4. Skipping breakfast.
5. Consuming too much medication.
6. Consuming too much preservatives, additives, food coloring, and artificial sweetener.
7. Consuming unhealthy cooking oil. As much as possible reduce cooking oil use when frying, which includes even the best cooking oils like olive oil. Do not consume fried foods when you are tired, except if the body is very fit.
8. Consuming raw (overly done) foods also add to the burden of liver.
Veggies should be eaten raw or cooked 3-5 parts. Fried veggies should be finished in one sitting, do not store.

We should prevent this without necessarily spending more. We just have to adopt a good daily lifestyle and eating habits. Maintaining good eating habits and time condition are very important for our bodies to absorb and get rid of unnecessary chemicals according to "schedule."


Evening at 9 - 11pm : is the time for eliminating unnecessary/toxic chemicals (detoxification) from the antibody system (lymph nodes). This time duration should be spent by relaxing or listening to music. If during this time a housewife is still in an unrelaxed state such as washing the dishes or monitoring children doing their homework, this will have a negative impact on health.

Evening at 11pm - 1am: is the detoxification process in the liver, and ideally should be done in a deep sleep state.

Early morning 1 - 3am: detoxification process in the gall, also ideally done in a deep sleep state.
Early morning 3 - 5am: detoxification in the lungs. Therefore there will sometimes be a severe cough for cough sufferers during this time. Since the detoxification process had reached the respiratory tract, there is no need to take cough medicine so as not to interfere with toxin removal process.
Morning 5 - 7am: detoxification in the colon, you should empty your bowel.

Morning 7 - 9am: absorption of nutrients in the small intestine, you should be having breakfast at this time. Breakfast should be earlier, before 6:30am, for those who are sick. Breakfast before 7:30am is very beneficial to those wanting to stay fit. Those who always skip breakfast, they should change their habits, and it is still better to eat breakfast late until 9 - 10am rather than no meal at all.

Sleeping so late and waking up too late will disrupt the process of removing unnecessary chemicals. Aside from that, midnight to 4:00 am is the time when the bone marrow produces blood. Therefore, have a good sleep and don't sleep late.

The liver is important for fat metabolism, cholesterol levels,
weight control, blood cleanser,
detroys toxic chemicals and removes unhealthy cells from
the blood and protects the immune system.

Read more of "Some facts about Our Liver"

5 Brain Damage Habits


1. No Breakfast
People who do not take breakfast are going to have a lower blood sugar level.
This leads to an insufficient supply of nutrients to the brain causing brain degeneration.

2. Overeating
It causes hardening of the brain arteries, leading to a decrease in mental power.

3. Smoking
It causes multiple brain shrinkage and may lead to Alzheimer disease.

4. High Sugar consumption
Too much sugar will interrupt the absorption of proteins and nutrients causing malnutrition and may interfere with brain development.

5. Air Pollution
The brain is the largest oxygen consumer in our body. Inhaling polluted air decreases the supply of oxygen to the brain, bringing about a decrease in brain efficiency.

6. Sleep Deprivation
Sleep allows our brain to rest. Long term deprivation from sleep will accelerate the death of brain cells.

7. Head covered while sleeping
Sleeping with the head covered, increases the concentration of carbon dioxide and decrease concentration of oxygen that may lead to brain damaging effects.

8. Working your brain during illness
Working hard or studying with sickness may lead to a decrease in effectiveness of the brain as well as damage the brain.

9. Lacking in stimulating thoughts
Thinking is the best way to train our brain, lacking in brain stimulation thoughts may cause brain shrinkage.

10. Talking rarely
Intellectual conversations will promote the efficiency of the brain

Read more of "Brain Damage Habits"

1 Effects of Cold Water

Read more of "Effects of Cold Water"


Green Capsicum/Bell Pepper Chutney - Type 2

As dosa/idli is a common dish prepared, I try to make chutneys to dip with it using many variety of veggies and without the use of coconut and this is one among such. Tasted great with dosa and my friends too just loved this. You cannot feel the taste of capsicum even a little bit.

Onion - 1 medium
Capsicum - 1 Big
Garlic - 3
Ginger - 1/2 inch
Green chillies - 3 or 4
Tamarind - a small piece
Urad dhal - 1 1/2 tbsp
Salt as needed
Oil - 1 tbsp

For tempering:-
Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds, urad dhal and curry leaves - all few

Cut onion and capsicum into thick chunks.


Colorful Vegetable Idlis

Colour colour what colour which colour do you choose(want). A fun game to play with your kids( Picky eaters) and ask them to choose their choice of color among these colorful idlis. Let's see if they choose all or atleast some.

Recently my mom saw a tv show and gave me the idea of making the idlis this way. Used one of the ideas and rest are of own. Hope this attracts your kids or also you.

Take few ladleful of idli batter as needed for your family in 4 bowls.

You will needed few tbsp of each of these below

1. Carrot chutney
2. Beetroot chutney
3. Tomato chutney
4. Mint(Pudina) and coriander(kothamalli) chutney



On request from friends had posted this recipe long back. But reposting this now(after many months) with some pictures. A simple and easy desert without any stirring.

Sweetened Condensed Milk - 14 OZ
Evaporated Milk - 12 OZ
Heavy Whipping Cream - 1 pint(16 oz)

Pista powder ( for garnshing)

Read more of "KULFI"

46 Wishing you all a very Happy Pongal/Sankranthi

Wishing you all a very Happy Pongal/Sankranthi.

Some recipes related to Pongal festival

Sweet Pongal
Kalkandu Rice
Medu Vada
Masala Vada
Black Channa Sundal
Green Peas Sundal
Peanut Sundal

Other dishes made during this festival is any dish made with Green whole moong, fresh field beans, sweet potato.....

To know more about the festival and how it is celebrated visit my friend Gayathri's Blog Here.

Read more of "Wishing you all a very Happy Pongal/Sankranthi"


Green Beans with Peas gravy

Green beans - 1 cup chopped into thin pieces( cooked )
Green Peas - 1/2 cup (cooked)
Cooked Toor dhal - 1/2 - 3/4 cup
Onion - 2 small
Tomato - 2 small chopped fine
Coconut - 3/4 cup
Garlic - 5
Red chillies - 5 ( depending on the spice)
Coriander seeds - 2 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dhal - 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves - to garnish
Salt as needed
Oil - 3 tbsp

This is very different combination of gravy that goes well with any type of tiffin items like dosa/chapathi and also Neer Dosa. Can also be considered as a combo of sambar( arachivitta sambar) and kurma. My mom learnt this from one of our neighbour aunty many years back and from then on she used to make it often and serve it mainly with neer dosa. We loved that combo. The fresh ground masala used to give a very good taste. This recipe was one of the first that I noted down in my recipe book long back and now am posting it with a picture in my blog.

Read more of "BEANS GRAVY"


Chicken - 2 lbs
Onion - 2 small chopped fine
Tomato - 2 Chopped fine
Green chilli - 2 slit long
Ginger garlic paste - 1 1/2 tbsp
Chilli powder - 1 tbsp
Coriander powder - 1 tbsp
Chicken masala or garam masala - 1/2 tbsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Pepper powder - few sprinkles
Lime juice - juice from half of one lime
Coriander leaves - few chopped
Spices - cumin seeds, cardamom, clove and cinnamon - all few
Salt as needed
Oil - 2 tbsp

Cut Chicken into medium pieces. Add turmeric powder and mix well. Wash and pat dry. Sprinkle little water and cook in a pressure cooker for just one whistle or on stove top till they are soft but not fully done.

Read more of "PEPPER CHICKEN"


Ragi/Finger millet/Kezhvaragu - vada/vade

Ragi flour(finger millet flour)- 2 cups
Onion - 1 big chopped fine
Red chillies - 3
Ginger - 1 inch piece( chopped fine or grated)
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Pepper corns - 5 or 6
Curry leaves - chopped or broken into small pieces
Salt as needed
Oil for frying

Grind red chillies with cumin seeds and pepper corns with very little water to a fine paste.

Take flour in a bowl. Add chopped onions, salt, ginger, curry leaves and mix well. Add the ground paste and keep mixing to form a thick dough consistency. Stop if not needed more or add in water to mix.

Read more of "RAGI VADA"


Fresh Pigeon Peas Curry/Kandhi Kaaya Kura/Tuvar Lilva Masala/Toor Dhal Bean Gravy

This is the season to get fresh pigeon peas and field beans in India. In every household they usually make a variety of dishes with these beans like upma, rotti, sundal,palav or gravy. These fresh pigeon peas and field beans are also available in US in frozen packets or in dried form. Though the fresh ones tastes better, these are nothing bad when compared. You can also make the curry/gravy/koora with dried pigeon peas, first soak them overnight and next day pressure cook and add them in any dish.

In US we get these pegeon peas in frozen packets by name Tuvar Lilva.

The fresh pods with seeds and curry pictures were sent by my mom which she made recently using fresh peas called as Kandhi kaaya Koora in my language.

Fresh pigeon peas - 1 1/2 - 2 cups( or 1 frozen pack)
Onion - 1 small chopped fine
Tomato - 2 or 3 chopped fine
Small onions( pearl/shallot) - 3 or 4
Curry powder - 1 1/2 tbsp( can use sambar powder or a mix of chilli, coriander and cumin)
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Salt as needed
Coconut - 3/4 cup
Oil - 2 tbsp
Curry leaves - few
Mustard seeds and Urad dhal - few

Make a coarse paste of coconut and then add the small onions and make a fine paste grinding together with little water. Keep it aside.



Coconut(Thengai) Ladoo/laddu/Sweet balls

Starting my first post for the year 2010 with a simple sweet loved by all. One of the easiest and simplest way to make coconut laddu's in a jiffy.

Grated coconut flakes - 3 cups( I used un sweetened dry flakes)
Sweetened Condensed milk - 1 can( 14 oz)
Cardamom powder - a pinch
Ghee - 1 tbsp ( Optional)

Heat a pan and fry coconut flakes in medium flame for not more than 2 minutes. Be careful not to darken and discolor them. Immediately pour in the condensed milk and start stirring in. Stir until it leaves the edges and comes together. Will not take more than 3 minutes. Add in cardamom powder and ghee and mix. Switch off flame and when still warm enough, grease in your fingers and palm with ghee and take a small quantity and press and roll in as laddu/laddoos. Note the mixture won't be that hot enough, so you can immediately start making balls before they dry up.

For this quantity you can make around 30 - 35 mediun sized laddoos. Can also try the same in microwave. Just check every minute, stir in and place back.

Read more of "COCONUT LADOO"