Home-Made Chana Dal Namkeen

Diwali is just a couple of days away!

Are you looking for an easy yet delicious snack to serve to friends and family this Diwali? Try out this super-simple Chana Dal Namkeen!

Yes, this is a deep-fried snack, but still way better than store-bought. Here, you know exactly what has gone into your namkeen. You can control the quality of ingredients you use here, and use just as much salt and spices you need, vis-a-vis packaged namkeen versions that usually come with a high salt content. And, of course, this Chana Dal Namkeen being home-made, it is preservative-free!

This is quite a simple snack to make too, one that you can achieve in about 20 minutes or so. You can add in the spices you choose – customise the namkeen to your liking. It turns out extremely delicious, quite addictive, and pairs really well with chai and conversations!

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

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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!

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.

Kara Ammini Kozhukattai| Spiced Mini Kozhukattai

Today, I present to you another traditional recipe for Ganesh Chaturthi – Kara Ammini Kozhukattai or Spiced Mini Kozhukattai.

For the uninitiated, these are little dumplings made out of cooked rice flour, steamed and then tempered. Very little oil is used in the preparation of ammini kozhukattai, making it quite a healthy snacking option. These are quite a popular offering to Lord Ganesha for Ganesh Chaturthi, and a great lunchbox filler too.

The Kara Ammini Kozhukattai recipe I am sharing with you today is my mother’s. This is the way Amma makes them, the way she taught me to.

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

No-Cook Fruit & Nut Modak

Right about now is a beautiful time of the year to be in India. The air is so festive right now, and you cannot help but get into the spirit yourself. This is the time for a whole lot of minor and major festivals to be celebrated across various Indian communities. Janmashtami just came to an end, and Ganesh Chaturthi is around the corner. For those looking for a quick dish to make for Ganesh Chaturthi, I present to you today a super-simple recipe for Fruit & Nut Modak.

Getting the rice flour covering and the sweet stuffing for the traditional modak right needs quite a bit of practice. For people who fear trying their hands out at them, these Fruit & Nut Modaks can be a saviour. This is a highly simple recipe, one that doesn’t need much time or effort or practice. These Fruit & Nut Modaks do not require any hard-core cooking, but they turn out wonderfully well – absolutely lovely in taste and pleasing to the eyes. They are healthy too – all the sweetness in these modaks comes from the raisins and dates added to them, with no refined sugar going in.

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

Pineapple Pulissery| Kerala-Style Pineapple In Yogurt Gravy

Kerala has been on my mind a lot lately. This beautiful land has had to face the wrath of nature in the past two weeks, with lashing rains flooding the state. There has been so much devastation – so many people losing their lives, so many losing their homes, so many losing their near and dear ones. Watching the news about the Kerala floods has been heartbreaking.

Onam this year is going to be a lacklustre affair, in Kerala and elsewhere, if it is celebrated at all that is. I pray for Kerala to rise above the waters that now flood it, to get back to being the beautiful, happy, healthy place it earlier was. Today, I share with you a beautiful Kerala-special recipe, my way of sending good wishes and positive vibes Kerala’s way.

The recipe I present to you today is that for Pineapple Pulissery, a delicacy from Kerala that is often part of the Onasadya (the full-fledged plantain-leaf meal that is served on the occasion of Onam). Pieces of ripe, juicy pineapple are cooked with a fragrant, flavourful, freshly ground paste, and then mixed with curd. Sweet and salty and tangy and sour all at once, Pineapple Pulissery makes for a wonderful accompaniment to a meal.

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

Nei Payasam| Kerala Rice Kheer

This year, the festival of Onam falls on August 27. Till then, I plan to herald the festival on my blog through a series of Onam-special recipes, courtesy of my mother-in-law who hails from Palakkad.

Today, I present to you the recipe for Nei Payasam, a Kerala-style kheer made with matta rice. This payasam is typically served in the course of an Onam sadya. It is also commonly prepared during weddings and other festive occasions, and as an offering to God in the temples of Kerala.

All of us at home are huge fans of this Nei Payasam, which literally translates into ‘kheer with ghee‘, and, true to its name, this kheer is redolent of the goodness of ghee and coconut. Traditionally made with jaggery, this is a really sweet and rich and heavenly kheer, especially for those with a huge sweet tooth like us.

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

A Beautiful Birthday Lunch At Maia – Eat|Bake|Mom, Bellandur

It was my birthday, over a month back, and the husband and I decided to head out for a quiet lunch together, with the bub. He told me to choose the restaurant where I’d like to eat, and I chose Maia – Eat|Bake|Mom in Bellandur, a place that had been on my hit list ever since it opened up some time last year. We ended up having a lovely, relaxed lunch at Maia’s, and falling in love with the beautiful place that it is.

Read all about our experience at Maia, just in on my photo blog! 🙂

Fresh Fruit Platter| How To Make A Fresh Fruit Tray For A Party

Holi is just around the corner! Just a few more days to go before the festival of colours arrives!

If you are looking for an easy-peasy recipe that you can present at your Holi party, your search ends here. This fresh fruit platter is so very simple to prepare, yet so delish that it will surely win you accolades. The platter is as healthy as it gets, so you need not worry about calories either. Present the varied colours of Holi to your guests on a platter, all natural of course!

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