Edible Rice Flour Lamp Or Maa Vilakku Recipe| Making Adhirasam From The Leftovers

Have you ever heard of Maa Vilakku?

For the uninitiated, Maa Vilakku are edible lamps traditionally made from hand-pounded rice flour. In Tamilnadu, these lamps are considered hugely auspicious and are prepared on sacred occasions like Thai Velli, Karthigai Deepam and Purattasi Sani. They are also prepared as an offering to Mariamman, the powerful Goddess, to ward off diseases.

My latest blog post gives you a step-by-step guide to preparing Maa Vilakku the traditional way. It also goes on to include a guide on how to prepare Adhirasam, a typical South Indian festive sweet dish, from the leftover Maa Vilakku dough.

Do check out the post, and share your comments!

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Thai Green Mango Salad With Carrot & Pok Choi Microgreens

Microgreens are all the rage these days, at least in the fine dining space. Rightly so, too, because they are packed with nutrients, and help in adding a whole lot of texture and taste to various dishes. These little greens also add hugely to the visual appeal of a dish. However, microgreens are most commonly associated with fancy dishes in fancy restaurants. These days, though they are easily available for use by home cooks as well, and can be used in a lot of everyday Indian cooking.

I was recently sent a tub of pok choi microgreens by Living Food Company, and have been enjoying putting them in anything and everything! I used some of them in a Thai-style salad with green mango and carrot. The slight bitterness of the greens beautifully complemented the sourness from the raw mango and the sweetness of the carrot and honey I used in it. I loved how the greens made the salad richer and all the more delish!

Check out the recipe, just in on my photo blog!

A Class With Ben Ungermann, Of The MasterChef Australia Fame

If you have been watching MasterChef Australia, I’m sure Ben Ungermann needs no introduction.

Ben Ungermann, runner-up at MasterChef Australia 2017, was recently in Bangalore for a few days, conducting events for World On A Plate. Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending a masterclass by him, at Lavonne Academy of Baking Science and Pastry Arts yesterday. It was an experience that I will cherish for a long, long time to come.

Read all about my experience at the masterclass, just in on my photo blog!

Mug Nu Pani| Moong Bean Soup

Growing up in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, Mug Nu Pani or a thin soup made with whole green moong beans used to be the antidote to any and every ailment. It was advised for everything from broken bones and fever to general weakness and a broken heart. No wonder Mug Nu Pani spells out comfort food, heartiness and recovery to me! I love Mug Nu Pani, sick or not. It has saved my soul several times over, growing up, and still continues to do so.

To the uninitiated, a thin moong bean soup might sound very meh and uninteresting. Let me quickly assure you that this soup is anything but meh. At least, the Gujarati style of preparation makes this soup far from bland and dull. Mug Nu Pani is, in fact, quite a delicious soup, one choc-a-bloc with nutrition. It works wonders for the aged and infirm, growing children, and those who need a pick-me-up on a gloomy day. It isn’t very difficult to make, either.

Now, let’s check out the recipe for Mug Nu Pani aka Moong Bean Soup, the way a Gujarati neighbour or mine taught me to make it!

Midhi Pavakkai Poriyal| Baby Bitter Gourd Stir Fry

The health benefits of bitter gourd (‘pavakkai’ in Tamil) are quite well known. They are rich in dietary fibre and Vitamin K, and low in calories. They are great for keeping one’s weight and blood sugar levels in control. Indian cuisine has a wide range of dishes that use bitter gourd, some really innovative. However, a whole lot of people shun this vegetable, thanks to its bitter taste. I used to be one of those people too, till I discovered the real beauty of the bitter gourd and made it a regular feature in my kitchen.

The last weekend, on a short holiday in Madras, I came across these lovely baby bitter gourds (‘midhi pavakkai‘ in Tamil) at a vegetable vendor’s. They looked so cute, lying there in their basket, that I absolutely had to get some back home with me to Bangalore. 😉 This delicious, delicious Baby Bitter Gourd Stir Fry aka Midhi Pavakkai Poriyal is what happened to them.

Check out the recipe, just in on my blog!

Dragon Food Festival @ InAzia, Sheraton Grand, Whitefield

I have had the pleasure of dining at InAzia, the Pan-Asian restaurant at the Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel & Convention Center, a couple of times. Last week, I was invited to partake of another feast there, to check out their ongoing Dragon Food Festival, along with some other food bloggers.

Read all about my experience at the Dragon Food Festival, just in on my photo blog!

Upma Kozhukattai| Kara Pidi Kozhukattai

A popular offering to the elephant-headed Lord Ganesha on Ganesh Chaturthi, the Upma Kozhukattai or Pidi Kozhukattai is also a very healthy snack. With the goodness of rice and toor daal, it is a steamed snack made with minimal oil. It is a simple thing to make, but quite delicious and filling, which makes it great as a lunchbox filler.

These dumplings can be either sweet or savoury, with different families making big and little variations of their own. Today, I present to you the savoury version, called Kara Pidi Kozhukattai, the way my family makes it. I made these for the Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations in our apartment this year, and they were a huge hit.

Here is the recipe for these Kara Pidi Kozhukattai, on popular demand.

Berry Vanilla Gateaux @ The Academy Of Pastry Arts, Bangalore

I was super thrilled, recently, to receive an invite from The Academy Of Pastry Arts, Bangalore, to be part of a dessert demonstration. It did turn out to be quite a scintillating experience. Yours truly, alongside a bunch of other food bloggers from across the city, watched agog, as Chef Kimberly Rozario of the Academy gave us a live demonstration of a magnificent Berry Vanilla Gateaux.

Check out my detailed post about the experience, just in on my photo blog!

Pressure Cooker Chana Masala| Indian Chickpea Curry

Do you like Chana Masala?

Chana Masala is my go-to dish when I want to eat something different from the usual South Indian fare we make at home. Considering that it is a hot favourite with everyone in the family, it does find pride of place on our dining table quite often. More often than not, I make a big batch of chana masala, serving it with rotis or parathas, while I use the leftovers the next day to make chaat.

Like my mom, I make Chana Masala in a pressure cooker, which ensures that the dish is ready in a jiffy, with the least of hassle. This Pressure Cooker Chana Masala is super delish, the chickpeas absorbing the flavours from the gravy much better than those cooked in a pan. Using a pressure cooker also ensures that the chickpeas are done just right, without any over- or under-cooking.

Check out the recipe, just in on my photo blog!