3 New Year Wishes!!!

Wishing you all a very Happy and a Prosperous New Year 2013 !!1

Welcome 2013

With a Smile
A spirit of giving
A sense of Humanity
A pledge to Spread Peace and Happiness.


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22 TOOR DHAL PAKODA - Celebrating 4 years of Blogging

Hope everyone had a nice break for Thanksgiving. Mine went very well, Kids had break from Wednesday which kept me extra busy at home and then we went out of town for couple of days. Visited some parts of Chicago and then a short visit to Wisconsin and then reached back late night yesterday. Only in the morning I realised that my blog reached 4 years and today I had to post something at least to make this special for my BLOG. Checked my drafts and thought this toor dhal pakoda would be appropriate as it is very very simple and easy to make. This tastes so good, soft inside and crisp outside. Will make a perfect snack in the evening with a cup or tea or coffee.


Today my blog reached 4 years. To celebrate my 4 years of blogging I am posting a very simple pakoda. On this day I would like to Thank all my Family members, Friends and Readers for supporting me in all possible ways and keep me posting more. With your continous support I was able to post today. Though I had a long break very recently and this is my first recipe post after that. I hope you all will support me in the way as you did before.


Ingredients to make toor dhal pakoda:-

Toor dhal/Tuval dhal( Tuvaram paruppu/ Kandi pappu/ Togari bele) - 1 cup
Onion - 1  chopped fine
Red chillies - 4 or 5
Curry leaves - few sprigs chopped roughly
Ginger - 1 inch chopped fine or grated
Asafoetida - 1 or 2 pinch
Oil for deep frying
Salt as needed

Wash toor dhal gently and discard water. Soak in water for atleast 2 hours. The amount would have doubled and absorbed some water. Drain excess if any. Grind the dhal along with red chillies to a paste. Remove and transfer to a bowl, add chopped onion, ginger curry leaves, salt, asafoetida and mix well.


Heat oil for deep frying. Take the mixture in your hands and drop little by little in oil by pushing  with your thumb. Fry till they tur crisp ad nice golden brown in colour. Remove from oil and press with a tissue paper. Serve hot with ketchup or chutney.
Note:- Instead of redchillies green chillies can be used, instead you can chop and add them to the pakoda mix along with onion and other ingredients.
I made this post for the 4th blog Anniversary. I will be back soon with replying to my comments and to my emails.
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6 Wishing you all a Happy and Safe Diwal!!!

Wishing all my readers/Friends and very Happy Deepvali/Diwali !

This is what I prepared for this Diwali!

Omapodi, Sweet Boondhi, Adhirasam/Ariselu/Kajjaya/ Thenkuzhal and Murukku.

Enjoy and have fun

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0 Back to Blogging from a Long Break

Friends and Readers of Padma's Recipes,

Please accept my apoplogies from my un informed break. The main reason for my break was my visit to India this summer and that was more than 3 months. Before and after that I was held up with some personal work from which I could not pay attention to my blog. Due to which I could not reply to all your comments and reply to your mails. I promise that I will reply to you all, even though it is very late and won't be any timely help to you all. But I will make sure I reply to all of them very soon.


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Brahmi Leaves / Vallarai Keerai Chutney(Indian Penny wort)

Botanical Name - Centella asiatica is called as Brahmi in Hindi and Vallarai Keerai in Tamil.

To learn more about this leaf click here

Centella asiatica, a perennial herb also known as gotu kola, produces fan-shaped, green leaves that are harvested and used for medicinal purposes.

Some benefits of this leaves

Centella asiatica is used to revitalize the brain and nervous system, increase attention span and concentration, and combat aging. It also has antioxidant properties and works for venous insufficiency. The role of Centella asiatica extract in the treatment of memory enhancement and other neurodegenerative disorders. Source Wikipedia.

It has been used for wound healing, better circulation, memory enhancement, cancer, vitality, general tonic, respiratory ailments, detoxifying the body, treatment of skin disorders (such as psoriasis and eczema), revitalizing connective tissue, burn and scar treatment, clearing up skin infections, slimming and edema, arthritis, rheumatism, treatment of liver and kidneys, periodontal disease, strengthening of veins (varicose veins), blood purifier, high blood pressure, sedative, anti-stress, anti-anxiety, an aphrodisiac, immune booster, anabolic and adaptogen etc. Source http://www.anyvitamins.com/centella-asiatica-info.htm

This post has been in my pictures folder for 2 years. Recently while looking at the pictures saw many which has not been posted. I will be leaving to India in 2 weeks so thought of posting all pending( atleast some) before I leave. So here I am with a very healthy nutritious and tasty chutney for you all. The leaves were freshly grown in a pot at my mom's house. They look so cute and love their fan shaped leaves. Making thogayal(thuvayal), chutney, dhal,sambar, poriyal with this leaf is very common in my house. Today I am posting the recipe for making a simple chutney.


Brahmi Leaves - 1 cup
Green chillies - 2 or 3(as spice needed)
Garlic - 2 or 3 flakes
Tamarind - 1/2 inch
Coconut - 1/4 cup grated
Oil - 1 or 2 tsp

Heat 1 tsp of oil and add the leaves saute for a minute and next add green chillies garlic and tamarind. Fry till the leaves shrink. In the end add grated coconut and saute once or twice. Switch off and cool. Take this is a mixie and add salt and grind. In the same kadai add the remaining oil and heat ,add the tempering ingredients like a little of mustard seeds urad dhal and curry leaves. When they splutter reduce flame and the ground paste. Saute for 1 for 2 minutes. Remove and serve with idli or dosa.



Arbi / Taro in Tamarind Gravy - Chamagadda Pulusu - Seppankizhangu Puli Kuzhambu

It has been long since I posted something new. The reason being many with kids various competition, travelling, birthdays and shopping. Everyday I think I have to update my blog, but time just runs and then I just postpone doing. Today thought I have to somehow post and here I am which has been in my drafts for many months. This is a very simple and easy gravy that goes well with rice and papad. Try it you will definitely like it.

Taro / arbi - 4 or 5 medium
Onion - 2 medium or few pearl onions/shallots roughly chopped
Tomato - 1 chopped fine
Tamarind - 1 small lime size
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Sambar Powder - 1 1/2 tbsp
Garlic - 5 flakes(optional)
Jaggery - a small piece(optional)

For tempering:-
Mustard Seeds and Urad dhal - very little
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Asafoetida - few pinch
Oil - 1 or 2 tbsp( preferably gingelly oil)

Wash taro to remove the dirt and take them in a vessel with enough water and boil to cook. Cook for 10 - 15 minutes in medium flame until they are just tender but not mushy. Switch off and discard water. Cool completely and peel the skin. Chop into thick cubes and keep aside.

Soak tamarind in 2 cups of water for 20 - 30 mts and extract pulp. Keep aside.

Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds and urad dhal. Also add curry leaves and asafoetida. Wait till they splutter and add chopped onions. Fry till transculent. At this stage can add some peeled garlic flakes which optional. Fry till nice brown. Then add chopped tomatoes and fry till they are mashed and pulpy and oil leaves out. Next reduce flame and add the powders( turmeric powder and sambar powder- see instead of sambar powder can add chilli powder,coriander powder and cumin powder). Saute in oil for less than a minute and pour in tamarind pulp. Allow it to boil and bubble up. Midway add the cooked and chopped taro pieces. Allow everything to cook together and till they gravy thickens. Add salt and a very small piece of jaggery(optional). Switch off and serve with rice and papad.



Ragi Upma/Uppindi/Uppittu

Ragi/Kezhvarugu/ Finger Millet/ Ragulu

Back home when I was kid and even now for breakfast there would be varieties that would be idli or dosa combined with 2 – 3 chutneys or idli and upma or dosa and upma or mostly rava upma for us kids and ragi upma for Mom/dad and grandma. So have seen this breakfast n number of times in my house. This is a favourite among my parents. The upma used to turn out so soft and one would want to eat more. Trust me the making is so simple just like other upmas and comes out super tasty. Most of the time the upmas are made with freshly ground flour(home made).
Ragi Flour – 1 cup
Onion – 1 chopped fine
Green chillies – 3 or 4 sliced
Ginger – 1 inch chopped or grared
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Grated Coconut – 3 tbsp(optional)
Coriander leaves – few chopped
Salt as needed
Mustard seeds, Urad dhal and channa dhal – all few
Oil – 1 – 1 ½ tbsp.

Option 1:-
Dry roast the flour in a pan until you get a nice aroma or can also roast in a microwave using a microwave safe bowl and keep it on for 2 mts. ( Note can skip this step if making with very very fresh flour).
Heat oil in a thick vessel. Add mustard seeds, urad dhal , channa dhal, curry leaves. When they pop out add chopped onions and fry till transculent. Next add green chillies and ginger. Fry for a minute and add water( water ration differs upon the flour. For fresh grounded flour add 1:2 ratio and for older ones add water to 1: 2 and ½). Allow it to boil and bubble up( just like making ragi balls). Add salt. Then immediately pour in the flour at a single throw. Reduce flame and cook for 8 – 10 mts. Do not stir or cover. Let it cook undisturbed. Once done mix well to avoid and lumps and now you can cover for another 2 mts. Also add grated coconut and chopped coriander leaves. Mix and serve with pickle or chutney.

Option 2:- 
An other variation that my grandma makes but when compared with these two the option method turns out really good and very soft.
Mix the flour with water by adding little by little. When pressed in the palm between the fingers, it has hold for a while. Note it should not be made as a dough.( Just like making ragi puttu). Take this mixture in a idli plate or bowl and steam cook for 8 – 10 mts. Follow all the temperings and after frying the onions add the steamed mixture, salt, grated coconut and chopped coriander leaves and mix well.

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Menthi or Menthula Sankatti (Telugu)/ Vendhaya Kali(Tamil)/ Fenugreek(Methi Seeds) Rice Balls

This dish is very common in my house and usually prepared for breakfasts. When I was a kid my mom used to beg, threat and bribe us to eat this dish or atleast taste some, but I never even went near it which I regret now. I always wondered how they can have it for breakfasts and when I had them after so many years realized how good and filling it was. This dish is especially good to have in summer/hot climates or even when one is having stomach pain. This will help to cool the body and also reduce the pain in stomach for people suffering from heat. Do not worry that it will be sweet as you cannot feel that when you are eating and also you will not know the bitterness from methi seeds. So why not try this out as summer is nearing and you can have once in 15 days or once a week as you wish.

Recipe from Mom/Grandmom( Read an alternative method down below)
Raw Rice/Pachi Biyyam/ Pacha Arisi – 1 ½ cup
Methi Seeds/vendhayam/Menthulu – 1/4 cup or little less
Jaggery/bellam/Vellam – 2 cups or less about 1 ½ cups
Gingelly oil/Nallennai – 4- 5 tbsp

Wash and soak rice in water also add methi seeds along with it for 4 – 5 hours. Then grind in a mixie to a fine paste.


Heat a thick vessel or clay pot( for good taste) and add jaggery pour some water till it is covered and boil until it melts. Filter or strain the water/syrup. Take the water back in the vessel and switch on the stove. Pour the ground batter and cook continuously. Also add gingelly/sesame oil and mix well with a spatula seeing that it does not stick to the vessel. If needed add more gingelly oil. The consistency should come out like a thick ball. Dip you fingers in water and touch the balls it should come out without sticking. Once done remove and when still warm make balls and serve.
At my house they add jaggery though sugar can also be added, but adding jaggery is better, you can read about this below this post. In place of jaggery can also use karupatti(palm sugar)

Another method to cook for people who want to use less jaggery is the one I am posting now. This is what my grandma and mom suggested.
Instead of raw rice boiled rice can be replaced( this also helps to cool the body or acidity).
For people who will be tasting it for the first time or trying or are doubtful of the qty above can reduce the amount of methi seeds by little from the above mentioned qty. 

Grind the rice with methi seeds to a fine paste. Add water just enough for grinding and once done add additional 3/4 - 1 cup of water or little more and add the ground paste in the vessel. Cook with stirring continously on medium high flame. When it come up to a boil, reduce and cook on medium low flame. Keep stirring and while the cooking add 1 tbsp of gingelly oil now and then so it does not stick the pan. Keep stirring and once it is little thick and raw smell leaves. Remove the consistency can be anywhere between thick to semi thick consistency. For people who are sugar conscious they can follow this one. 
Melt jaggery or Palm sugar(karupatti) in a pan with water. Once it is melted filter to remove impurities adn transfer back and boil it again to a thick syrup consistency. For serving can place a small amount of the rice balls/paste and pour this syrup on top. Mix both and eat. Taste equally good. Hope this helps you all. You can use the same amount of jaggery or karuppati as mentioned above or for sugar conscious people can use 1/2 of it as per the taste you want.

Benefits of adding jaggery instead of sugar:-

Jaggery is rich in iron and thus is highly recommended for anaemic people. It also contains many minerals such as Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium, Selenium, Manganese and Zinc. Since no chemicals are used in preparation of jaggery, some minerals and vitamins remain intact in it, compared to refined sugar.
Sugar is absorbed almost instantly in your body. Jaggery, being unrefined, is absorbed more slowly. Thus, it doesn’t increase blood sugar levels as rapidly as sugar.

The most common sweetener, sugar or sucrose, is extracted from sugarcane and refined in pure form through chemical treatment. An enzyme called sucrose (or invertase) converts sucrose into glucose and fructose which provide energy to the body. Insulin, secreted by the pancreas, stimulates transport of glucose into the cells through a membrane. In diabetic patients, glucose gets accumulated into the body due to insulin deficiency. Refined sugar in pure form is made up of only glucose and fructose. Its intake is more harmful than jaggery which is a natural sweetener prepared by heating and boiling sugarcane juice to a concentrate without using chemicals.


Spicy or Masala Obbattu / Spicy or Masala Puran Poli / Kaaram Bobatlu / Kharada Holige / Khara Boli 

Ugadi is a festival of all tastes called as Shadrachalu and for this Ugadi let us have a very different type of Obbattu. This is a spicy version of obbattu or even call it as a stuffed or vegetable paratha. Whatever the name may be but, this is definitely that you should not be missing to make. You can have it as snack or even as a meal . The flavor and taste that you get from the ground fresh masala makes it more appealing and tastier. You can feel it right when you are cooking.

All purpose flour/maida – 2 cups(see note below)
Vegetables – Around 3 to 4 cups(see note below)
Onion – 1 medium chopped
Salt as needed
Turmeric powder – 1/8 tsp
Oil – 2 – 3 tbsp
Coriander leaves – a handful ( cleaned and washed)
Mint leaves – few ( cleaned and washed)
Green chillies – 4 ( more or less as spice required)
Garlic – 4 to 5 flakes
Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

Note 1:- If you feel that you do not want to use maida then can skip adding this and add atta/chapathi flour/whole wheat flour/multi grain flour or the best thing would be to add half or maida and half of any of these.
Note 2:- Here I have used just boiled and mashed potatoes, but any veggie can be used to make it more colorful and healthier. Clean and chop each vegetable as required. Steam cook or sauté in oil until they are half cooked.

Recipe for the cover:-
In a mixing bowl take flour, turmeric powder, salt and a tsp of oil and blend well. Add water slowly and mix well to knead into a soft dough. The consistency of theis dough should be softer than you knead for regular paratha/chapathi. If you push with your finger it has to go in very smoothly. Add another tsp of oil and cover with a lid and keep aside for atleast 1 – 2 hours.
For the filling:-
Grind green chillies with garlic, coriander leaves and mint leaves to a fine paste.( can also add ginger if you want but here I have not).
Heat a tbsp of oil and add cumin seeds, when they splutter add chopped onions and sauté till transculent. Next add the ground paste and fry till the raw smell leaves and water has evaporated. Then add the boiled and mashed potatoes or any other veggies that you prefer and mix well to cook. Also add salt and mix. Remove and cool.

For the spicy obbattu:-
Heat a tawa or griddle. Take a plastic sheet/parchment paper/banana leaves if you get them and rub some oil all over it. Take a lemon size of ball for the cover and press well with your hands to spread, the trick is keep the centre part intact and spread the outer parts well to stretch. Place a ball of the filling that you have prepared and cover the filling by pulling the edges of the cover that is done and try to cover it fully or seal the ends that is open. Turn the side and press and roll as paratha with a rolling pin or hands if you can. Lift and place on the heated tawa and cook both sides until nice brown. Can add oil to cook. Serve with your favourite sabji/side dish and enjoy your Spicy/masala/vegetable obbattu or holige or poli or a different version of vegetable paratha.
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Ugadi Festival this year falls on this month 23rd( March 23, 2012). To know more about the festival click here.

Ugadi Pachadi


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Sundakkai known as Turkey Berry in English and Chundakka/kudhenakai in other Indian Languages. Learn more about it through wikipedia here Learn more about it here.

Benefits of Turkey Berry: Turkey berry is widely used for culinary and medicinal purposes. These berries are either used as fresh berries or dried berries. Turkey berries are soaked in butter milk for one day and then dried in the hot sun for at least 15 days. The most significant benefits of this herb are:
1. Turkey berry is an ancient herb and is used in many Ayurvedic treatments. It has sedative, diuretic and digestive properties. It is used in curing coughs. It is a good tonic for liver. The unripe fruits are used to strengthen immunity power and also reduce body heat.
2. Turkey berries are used in the treatment of mucus, cough or phlegm. Berries are dried, powdered and then taken for curing these illnesses.
3. The berries help in proper digestion. They kill harmful bacterial growth in the stomach and intestines. They help in destroying intestinal worms owing to their bitter taste. They cure infections in the stomach and liver. They also stimulate regular activities of the bowel.
4. Turkey berries are used in traditional medicines to cure night blindness. It strengthens the nerves in the eyes and provides a clear vision.
Source http://www.theherbdepot.com/uses-of-herbs_turkey-berry-to-heal-you-quickly-benefits-of-turkey-berry-herb_152.html

Sundakkai Kuzhambu(Gravy). This gravy can be prepared either this way or like vathal kuzhambu. But in my house the fresh sundakkai is prepared this way most of the time. Tastes good with rice and papd.

Wash and pat dry sundakkai. Put it inside a cover and beat it with a stone or spatula or some hard metal or mortal and pestle until it is crushed. 
Sundakkai – 1 cup
Small onions – ½ cup
Coconut grated – 4 tbsp
Tamarind – ½ lime size(soak in a cup of water for 20 minutes and extract pulp)
Pulusu Powder – 2 tbsp(as desired)
Turmweric powder – ¼ tsp
Gingelly oil – 2 or 3 tsp

For tempering:-
Mustard seeds – few
Curry leaves – few
Gingelly oil – 1  tsp

Heat oil in a pressure pan or deep kadai. Add crushed onions(peel small/pearl onions/shallots and run in mixie for 1 - 2 seconds or even can crush on a mortal/pestle)and fry for few minutes. Next add sundakkai along with seeds and fry till it is cooked and color changes. Then add turmeric powder, salt and pulusu podior any curry powder). Next add tamarind water and additional 1 cup of water. Close and cook for one whistle. If not using pressure pan then close with a lid and cook till the sundakkai is cooked and soft( better option is to cook in a pressure pan). Switch off the stove and open once the pressure is gone.
Ground coconut into a fine paste. Add this to the gravy and cook again for another 5 – 6 minutes until the raw smell from the coconut leaves. (optional can add a very small piece of jaggery in the end).
Temper with the tempering ingredients and pour on the gravy.



Masala Gold Finger Fryums/ Gold Finger Chaat/ Masala Boti and Vadagam/Vathal/Sandige Chaat

Gold finger fryums is one of my favourite just like anyone. When I was kid I used to insert them in all my fingers and munch it on one by one just like other friends in school or neighbourhood. My son’s too love this snack and I always stock up with it at home. This snack which I am posting now is very similar to Masala Papad that we get as starters in restaurants. Here is the recipe link to Masala Papad. Here I used the same ingredients by filling in gold finger fryums also called as Boti in Bangalore. If you have the ingredients ready, then all you have to do is just fill the gold finger and have it right away or within few minutes before it gets soggy. The same ingredients can be used to top on regular fryums/vadagam/vathal/sandige.

Here I have used some chopped red onions, deseeded and chopped tomotoes, chopped deseeded or salad cucumber, grated carrot, salt, lime juice, chilli powder or chopped green chillies, chopped coriander leaves and also can use some sev(oma podi or mixture for crunchness which is optional).
Fry Gold finger in oil. Remove and keep aside.

In a separate bowl mix all other ingredients as needed( Note the quantity depends on your individual taste and need). Mix well and stuff inside the gold finger and serve. For a change can mix some sweet chutney and green chutney with other ingredients and mix and then stuff or arrange on top.

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Katharikkai/Brinjal/Badhanekayi/Vankaya Pachadi 


Brinjal - 5 or 6 medium size 
Tamarind - Half lemon size 
Sambar Powder  or Pulusu Powder - 1 tbsp 
Jaggery - 1 tbsp 
Salt as needed 
Onion - 1 small red onion or Pearl/small onion(shallots) - 6 or 7 sliced 
Grated coconut - 2 or 3 tbsp 
Curry leaves - few 
Mustard seeds - few 
Urad dhal - few 
Gingelly oil - 3 tsp 


There are lot of versions of pachadi and this pachadi is very different and very common in my house/native served with rice. The preparation is very easy and the taste of brinjal cooked with tamarind pulp and jaggery is really good.

Wash and cut brinjal into cubes. Best brinjal that goes well for this pachadi are the white varieties known as Thai Brinjal here. The other one is the mullu(thorned) brinjal, that has small thorns on it. Take the brinjal in a vessel. Add tamarind pulp(soak the tamarind in water for 30 minutes and squeeze out water a dilute one with about 2 cups of water). Also add salt and the powder. Cook till it is soft but not mushy. Also add jaggery. Once done remove and keep aside. 

Place a kadai/frying pan and heat oil. Add mustard seeds, urad dhal, curry leaves. Wait for few seconds and add onion(best taste will be given by small onions). Fry till nice brown and add the cooked brinjal. Check for salt and add more if needed. Finally add the grated coconut and mix well. Remove and serve with rice. Will also taste good with chapathi/roti's. 

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Bachali Pappu / kodi Pasalai Keerai Paruppu/ Climbing(vine or creeping or Malabar) Spinach Dhal/ Basale Soppina Bele


Have already posted a recipe using these leaves here. I am now posting an other recipe that goes well with rice. This can served with some fryums/papads and tastes great with rice and ghee.

Tuvar/ Toor dhal – ¾ cup
Climbing spinach – 2 cups ( washed and roughly chopped)
Pear onions – few or red onion – 1
Tomato – 1
Green chillies – 2
Garlic flakes – 6
Ginger – 1 inch
Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp
Red chillies – 2 or 3 broken into half
Curry leaves – 1 sprig
Salt as needed
Mustard seeds and urad dhal – 1 tsp
Oil – 1 tbsp

Wash the dhal and take in a pressure cooker container. Add a drop of oil, turmeric powder , chopped tomato, green chillies, 2 or 3 garlic, roughly chopped spinach and enough water to immerse and pressure cook for 2 – 3 whistles. When done remove and mash very lightly. Just a churn.

Heat oil and add mustard seeds and urad dhal, curry leaves, broken red chillies and wait for few seconds. Next add crushed garlic and ginger and sauté for a minute, then add chopped onions and fry till brown. Next pour the cooked dhal and allow it to boil and bubble up. Add salt and mix well.

(Note :- Can skip using tomatoes and add tamarind paste in the end, when it is boiling)
In the end can add 1 or 2 drops of lime juice and mix.