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!

Advertisements

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!

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!

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.

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!

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!

Dal Moradabadi| Moradabadi Moong Dal Chaat

This post has been a long time coming.

The Dal Moradabadi at Punjab Bistro has been on my mind ever since I tried it out, a couple of months ago. I fell in love with this dish at first bite, and have wanted to try making it at home ever since. Somehow, I never got around to doing that. When ‘Tradtional Dals of India’ was chosen as the theme for the Foodie Monday Blog Hop this week, it gave me the perfect foil to try my hands at making Dal Moradabadi, Punjab Bistro-style, at home. I was thrilled by just how beautiful in taste it turned out. It was a huge hit at home, with the family loving it to bits, and every bit of it getting polished off. It is such a simple dal, but one that is bursting with flavour, something that would make a beautiful addition to any meal.

Head over to my photo blog to check out this step-by-step recipe for this very flavourful Dal Moradabadi and the fascinating history behind its origin!