Your Everyday Cook

Sunday, November 6, 2016



Arisi upma  Rice rava upma tiffin

Arisi upma or rice rava upma is another traditional tiffin dish known to us probably from our grandmomthers time and before .It is nothing but a simple way of making upma with rice and some spices like cumin , cracked pepper, some dal, chillies  and curry leaves. Those days rice was used for almost every dish and as it used to be bought or cultivated in villages they used to find creative tiffîn options using rice grain . It was also economical and using rava or semolina was not so prevalent then.
Rice flour was also usually milled at home with a domestic mortar pestle and though laborious it was also delicious . So many rice based tiffîn items were known to our ancestors .

The traditional method seems to be more cumbersome as it involved soaking rice and spreading it around a cloth to air dry. It was then milled or pounded at home coarsely with a mortar pestle.

This rice was softer after drying and made a good upma .

But we are fortunate as now we see many good brands of rice rava readily available and also evenly milled grains so the upma looks and tastes great with uniform grains.

This is the same idli rava that we use to make idlis . I know it makes me sound too lazy but I not only use this ready rice rava but also make it into a ready to make mix to save time and also make travel packs for travelling to enjoy a good arisi upma where ever we are staying in a hotel or a temporary rental. All I need is a rice cooker .

While I love all traditional dishes am not prepared to slog so much in the kitchen when good substitutes are easily available . My aim is to help the beginners , bachelors a, students living on their own to solve food problems and I don't want them to get deterred by the old laborious sounding recipes .

I have been making ready to make mix of several tiffin items and several side dishes as well to make easy for the traveler.

Recipe type                     Breakfast /tiffin        
Prep time                        7 minutes    
Cook time                       10 minutes
total time                         17 minutes
Yield                                5 servings


1 cup rice rava ( idli rava ) 
3 tbsp moong dal ( paasi parup or even Chana dal can be used ) 
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp pepper cracked .
2 red dry chillies
some curry leaves
Pinch of asafoetida powder
About 2 1/2 cups of water to cook rice rava . 
salt to taste 
 1 tbsp oil 
1/2 tsp mustard seeds
1 tsp chana dal / bengal gram dal 
2 tsp coconut oil ( optional )
1 tbsp fresh grated coconut 
Some mixed vegetables ( optional )m

Usually vegetables are not added to Arisi upma, but in the recipe given I just tossed a few pieces of  of mixed veggies. It tasted good too. Authentic rice / Arisi upma will not have any vegetables . 


Stove top method in a pan ( rice rava upma can also be prepared in cooker but I prefer the open pan method as the grains are fine and rice rava cooks well . ) 

First keep the rice rava and the moong dal mixed and soaked in water for few minutes . It helps to give a softer UPMA grains as we are using ready rice rava which is very dry .

Next Take a heavy bottomed pan or a non stick pan , heat it up .
Add oil just enough for tempering , add the Chana dal and let it turn golden , splutter the mustard seeds, add  red chillies , cumin , curry leaves.  
Now measure out required amount of water . 
For 1 cup rice rava with moong dal add 2 1/2 cups water .
Allow water to boil . Add asafoetida powder , pinch of cracked pepper and  salt .
Just before adding the rice rava add the grated fresh coconut and now add the rice rava with moong dal by draining the water ( we soaked it remember ? ) 

Add slowly with one hand, reducing gas flame and keep stirring with other hand in circular motions so that the rice rava doesn't settle in the bottom of the pan and become lumpy .

Now cover and cook on a low flame till the water is completely absorbed and the rice rava upma is ready . 

Open the lid to check , stir well with a spatula, add some coconut oil at this stage if you like . It gives an amazing aroma and flavor too . 

Keep covered in the hot pan .

Serve with coconut chutney 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

TRAVEL RECIPE : Instant poha with instant chutney

travel recipe with instant poha using poha mix and instant chutney

Travel recipes are nothing but simple solutions for quick cooking upon reaching your destination presuming you dont want to eat out immediately but need a quick fix of home style food or simple 
tiffin .

This will help many travelers on temporary relocation or living in hotel rooms as temporary residents  having bare kitchen utilities. Most hotels come with rooms having a small kitchen corner or a microwave . So carrying a few handy mix from home before you travel makes sense as you dont have to go hungry . 
Same applies to students living in dorms with microwave or in apartments on their own with full kitchen facility but do not have time to do grocery shopping for ingredients.

A travel kit with few food packs to start off can be a great boon . The  Poha upma which I  posted here is a pre mix made from home.
refer my post instant poha no cook recipe .

The post  below is the same as instant no cook poha as far as ingredients is concerned.
The method given below is for a microwave or a normal kitchen use with a pre mix of ingredients.
But method of making basic instant poha is the same .The same recipe is followed here .

Recipe type              Breakfast /Brunch       
Prep time                  8 minutes            
Cook time                 4 minutes     
total time                   12 minutes     
Yield                          4 servings     


1 cup medium thick poha ( beaten rice flakes )
1/2 tsp mustard seeds.
2 small red dry chillies.
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
Salt to taste.
Pinch of turmeric powder.
Pinch of sugar
2 tsp fried onion flakes ( optional ).
1 tsp daliya ( fried gram )
2 tsp roasted peanuts
Pinch of lime powder.
some cury leaves.
2 tbsp oil.

Tips....If you get potato flakes or dry potato chunks , add it to the mix for a more authentic poha, kanda pohe style


Heat a pan, add oil, crackle  the mustard seeds, add the red chillies, cumin seeds, add the cleaned, dry poha ( beaten rice flakes, add turmeric powder and all the ingredients one by one, keep roasting till the poha becomes crisp and well coated with turmeric poswder.Add the curry leaves .The poha should be roasted to very crisp texture. So keep the flame on medium to low adjusting.
Let cool , store in a air tight container.

How to use :

Take a pan , add a tsp of oil and add the required quantity of instant poha mix, add some water and cover and cook for 3 minutes till mixture turns soft .

If you wish to add vegetables you can do so by chopping them to small pieces, cooking till soft then add the dry poha mix and little more water , cover and cook till 2-3 minutes till done .Make sure to add or sprinkle water carefully or else the mixture will turn mushy.

Salt is already added in the poha mix .


Instead of adding freshly chopped vegetables, use some of the dry side dish curry you may have as left over . In the above pic I had a mixed veg curry from lunch which I added to the instant poha mix to make a quick filling tiffin.

To make instant chutney from chutney mix.

Yes you can also make a homemade chutney mix to carry with you while travelling !


to make the chutney mix

1 cup fried gram dal / pottu kadalai 
1/4 cup coconut cream powder or coconut milk powder.
3-4  red dry chillies 
1 tsp ginger powder.
Pinch of asafoetida powder to be added to prepared chutney mix.
salt as required.

To temper :

1 tsp oil 
1 tsp mustard seeds 
1 tsp split udad dal 
1-2 red dry chillies 
some curry leaves .


Powder the fried gram dal to a fine texture in  mixie jar.
add the coconut cream powder or cocnut milk powder, add the red chillies , ginger powder , salt .
Now powder the ingredients till fine .

remove and make sure to keep it in a dry plate,as we need to add the tempering too before packing .

Take a pan add some oil, add the split udad dal, let  it turn golden , splutter the mustard seeds, add red chillies, let it become crisp., add curry leaves. Make sure curry leaves also become crisp.

Remove and when cool add it to the prepared chutney mix powder.
Add salt to the prepared chutney mix and store in an airtight container.

How to use :

Just open the pack, measure out required quantity of powder, add water and stir well till a smooth paste is formed, add more water to dilute till required consistency .

As tempering is already added to the chutney mix , you have no further work.

Paste directions on the cover or bottle .

Tuesday, October 25, 2016


Madras mixture Tamilnadu mixture Diwali mixture

Diwali is never complete at least in every Tamil home without preparing this famed Madras mixture, Tamilnadu  mixture or Diwali mixture.

Usually this is prepared at the finishing stage of all Diwali preparations of savories as it is the brokens or remnants of each savory that is set aside to make this spicy tasty mixture.

There is no specific recipe as such . You add all the favorite savory bits like pieces of variety of murrukus you may have prepared like mullu murruku, thengoyal/ thenkuzhal, Omapodi or thin sev .

Some add crispy fried or roasted corn flakes, beaten thin rice flakes roasted or fried, pori or murmura
, lost of fried peanuts , cashewnuts . Lets take a look at the simplest mixture .

Ingredients :

1 cup ribbon pakoda, broken into smaller pieces
1 cup mullu muruku broken into smaller pieces.
1 1/2 cup khara boondi 
Pottukadalai 1/2 cup ( fried gram dal )
1 /2 cup sweet Shakkapara ( sweet crispy biscuits ) 
1/2 cup broken thattai pieces 
1 cup roasted corn flakes or roasted fried aval or beaten rice flakes , either one or both.
1/4 cup fried peanuts
1/4 cup fried cashewnuts
4 tbsp fried kopra bits
1 cup Omapodi / Sev ( instructions below )

some sprigs of curry leaves.
Bing pinch of asafoetida powder
salt as required 
Red chili powder as per taste.

To make Omapodi / sev  ( I have not made an individual post for Omapodi but made a small quantity only for mixture..)
Follow instructions below for Omapodi / sev 


1 cup besan flour sieved well.
1/2 cup rice flour
1 tbsp ajwain / omom roasted and powdered.
keep the ajwain in very little  warm water .sieve omam from water after it is soaked for few minutes.
salt as needed.
Pinch of asafoetida powder.
1 tbsp butter .
1 tbsp hot oil to mix in dough 
oil to fry.


Take a bowl and mix the flours, add the butter, hot oil, salt and ajwain water.
start mixing well, add additional water only to bind into a dough.
You will need very little water , it makes a sticky dough though,but it will help to press the dough through the sieve press so do not make a tight dough .

Meanwhile keep oil to heat .
Squeeze the ball of prepared dough through a sev press , make sure your press has little bigger holes as its very difficult to press through.
Press straight into hot oil one at at a time and avoid over crowding  or too many spirals,
Remove to drain .
Store in an air tight container.

Madras mixture :


Take a wide bowl and mix all ingredients one by one and adjust each according to the total quantity .
more or less of each type to have a variety.
Add roasted or fried peanuts, chili powder, fried cashew nuts, asafoetida powder, salt , lots of roasted curry leaves.
Fry or roast aval/ beaten rice flakes.
Add fried or roasted cornflakes

Add roasted fried kopra bits, fried gram dal .
Give a good shake to the container and check to see if you need to adjust the mixture variety.

Enjoy Diwali with this spicy Madras mixture.

Friday, October 21, 2016


A delicious sweet Asoka halwa prepared for Diwali, traditional Tamil brahmin recipe

Asoka halwa has its origin in the thick hardcore  Brahmin households of Thiruvaiyaru ( Thanjavur ) in Tamilnadu.

Tambrahms as they are popularly called certainly knew how to eat healthy while feasting too!

,Moong dal or paasi parup in Tamil is considered healthy dal but of course when made into a sinfully tasty delicious halva , am not sure how much the health factor counts..! All is fair during Diwali where the eyes must look for more pleasures and less on calories .

This is the simplest sweet served on  many occasions and like kesari,  made easily with fewer ingredients , procedure and fuss. It is often served during weddings as an additional sweet and of course considered a traditional must prepare sweet during Diwali.

My mom had this uncanny knack of making this halwa with left over cooked moong dal when we craved for a sweet as kids and I used to wonder how she managed at short notice. Moong dal being our preferred dal for  consumption everyday,   It was a simple procedure as the dal was already cooked and mashed, so add some roasted wheat flour, sugar and ghee and it was done .

A delicious sweet called Asoka halwa prepared for Diwali

Delicious sweet called Asoka halwa prepared during Diwali


A traditional Diwali sweet from Tamilnadu
  • 3/4 cup Moong dal/ Paasi parup
  • 2 tbsp wheat flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup melted ghee
  • A pinch cardamom powder
  • A tiny pinch Food colour
  • 10 cashewnuts
  • 5 raisins

  1. Dry fry the moong dal till light golden and aromatic
  2. Pressure cook the roasted dal with little water 
  3. .Fry the cashewnuts and raisins in 1 tsp of ghee , keep aside
  4. .Now fry the wheat flour with a tsp of ghee in same pan till a nice aroma comes. .
  5.  Keep it aside.
  6. Mash the cooked dal or use blender to make a puree.
  7. Take a wide heavy pan, add 1 tbsp melted ghee .
  8. Add the mashed pureed dal in the pan and cook on low flame .
  9. Add the sugar and keep cooking on a low flame .
  10. When the mixture seems thickening, add the roasted wheat flour slowly while stirring to avoid lumps.
  11. Add the cardamom powder, red or orange food colour and add the remaining ghee slowly till used up. 
  12. Add the roasted cashew nuts and raisins in the halva mixture.
  13. The whole mixture should be thick but not lumpy, then remove from flame . 
  14. Serve delicious Asoka warm or chilled.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016


Instant Ras malai Diwali recipe condensed milk with  milk powder instant khoa using home made khoya

In an earlier post I have given detailed instructions step wise  about making Rosgollas and Ras malai from scratch ,

It is not possible for us to spend time making ras malai from scratch all the time how ever easy it may be as it is also time consuming especially if you have to make the paneer too at home and with unexpected guests dropping by at short notice,  it is not tempting .

well every home chef has a few tricks up her sleeve and one of them is to to skip making rosgollas and rely on good store brand ones thereby cutting time greatly. Now isnt that smart !! and you can console yourself you are still making rasmalai all by yourself and surely your guests need not know the story behind the quick succulent spongy rasmalai!

So whats the trick ?

 Well you simply use a good  store brand Rosogollas , drain the sugar syrup from the ball by squeezing it gently and simply dousing them in the thick saffron  infused , cardamom flavored  sweet thickened milk sauce. Here you prepare the milk rabdi , which is the thickened milk by reducing the  quantity , adding sugar and flavors and dropping the squeezed rosogollas into them to absorb all the divine sauce or the rabdi.

Now there is yet another kicker worth noting! You dont even want to make the condensed milk or the rabdi by reducing milk etc, so buy a can of condensed milk or even use the instant variety I have mentioned  below.

So buy the store brand rosagollas, buy the condensed milk and just drop the squeezed rosogollas into the ready condensed milk which needs to be thinned slightly by adding milk and flavorings, heated up to bring out flavors of cardamom, pistachios and saffron .

It need to be thinned and hot so that the squeezed rosogollas can be dropped and it will bloat with all the creamy goodness of the condensed milk.

Now how quicker can that be.! So for all those who have this great craving for quick ras malai and find it painful to start from scratch , please choose the above methods.

Believe me  I have personally tried and tested both the short cuts when I have unannounced guests dropping , this can be very handy.


1 can rosgollas,
1 can condensed milk either store brand or made at home.

( check my easy to make condensed milk at home given below  ) 

saffron strands soaked in warm milk 
1/2 cup thick milk to mix with the condensed milk to dilute it a bit.
1-2 tbsp pistachio slivers or garnishing of your choice.
tiny pinch of cardamom powder


1. Open the can of rosgollas.

2, Drain the rosgollas from sugar syrup,

3. Take each rosgolla between your palms , press gently .

4. Dunk in the prepared above flavored milk sauce or rabdi .

5. Make sure to keep the milk sauce a little hot so that the store rosgollas will become softer and absorb the thickened flavored milk.

Thats it!!

Ras malai tastes amazing when served chilled too.

Instant condensed milk at home


1 cup milk powder

1/2 cup icing sugar or granulated sugar
1/2 cup hot milk or very hot water.
1 tbsp melted butter.


Blend all the ingredients well till creamy and to the consistency you desire. 
To thin it, use little more hot water or milk.

Store in a bottle and refrigerate.
Stays good upto 5 days , but I bet you would have already used it up in a recipe.

It is always better to make small batches , as and when you need .
I use both  skim milk powder or even dairy whitener  !

Tuesday, October 18, 2016


Oats dosa for a healthy nutritious breakfast

Combine the nutritional benefits of udad dal ( black gram ) and oats to make a power packed breakfast .Oats  is not only healthy and delicious but makes a great dosa too. So think beyond the bowl of porridge and get versatile with Oats . Adding udad dal in this recipe makes it even more nutritional.

Udad dal is one of the richest sources of proteins and vitamin B.
Women will particularly benefit from this dal as it has rich iron, folic acid , calcium, magnesium,potassium.

Try to make this dosa after fermenting the batter as fermentation is good for health ,because not only udad dal has EFA ( Essential Fatty acids ) but also while fermenting the bacteria and yeast in the udad dal makes it even more nutritious with  beneficial effect , 

There  are many variations to making this dosa from a quick instant oats dosa to a regular soak and grind dosa ,

The recipe below is one such where you soak both oats and udad dal to make this delightful dosa.

print recipe

Oats dosa for a healthy nutritious breakfast or brunch

Oats Dosa

  • 1 1/4 cup rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup Udad dal / Black gram
  • 4 tbsp Rice flour/Millet flour

Wash and soak the udad dal for 3 hours .Soak the oats for 1 hour if using rolled oats and use only required amount of water to soak if using quick cooking oats soak it 15 minutes just before grinding .Grind the udad dal to soft smooth thick batter.grind the oats also to a smooth batter Mix both batter well to a thick consistency like idli batter,add the rice flour or millet flour and mix well Add salt..Allow to rest for an hour and make dosas if you need quick dosas, You get good dosas at this stage too. Fermenting batter gives great dosa.Serve this oats dosa with your favorite chutneys or sambar.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: 10 dosas

Tuesday, September 27, 2016


Oats and mixed dals adai / dosa 

Many of us are not to keen to have oats every other day especially In a porridge form . 
Elders in our house who are used to traditional dishes do not take to oats very keenly . 
So try adding oats to the regular  Indian dishes with little changes . 

Oats has several versatile uses in Indian cuisine and there is no need to limit your oats to porridge or upma . Think beyond and try using oats in a variety of ways to make 
a truly filling satisfying brunch . 
A healthy nutritious adai / dosa for both young and old and makes a good brunch dish for diabetics too keeping you fuller for  a long time . 


3/4 cup rolled oats ( any small cup to measure but use same to measure all dals ) 
1/4 cup Chana dal 
1/4 cup whole moong dal ( paasi payaru ) 
1/4 Tuvar dal
3 tbsp split udad dal 
1/4 cup millets ( any variety )
1-2 tsp black pepper corn 
Big pinch of asafoetida powder 
Salt as needed 
Curry leaves to garnish 


Soak the dals for 4 hours and the whole green moong for longer till 6 hours .
Add oats while grinding if using quick cooking variety . 
If using rolled oats keep it soaked separately for 30 minutes . 

Grind all ingredients together to a slightly coarse thick batter .
Add curry leaves , salt , asafoetida powder and make adai immediately.

This batter is good to make thin dosa too like pesarattu . 
Serve with Avial , chutney or sambar .

I kept the taste of the adai simple and did not use onions or garlic .


You can add ginger , garlic , some chopped onions, while grinding .
 You can add red chillies instead of pepper while grinding . 

( I added 3 tbsp split moong dal as I was short of whole skin moong dal ) 


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