Your Everyday Cook

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 ) 


Friday, September 23, 2016

CURRY LEAVES THOKKU ( Karuveppilai thokku )

The humble curry leaf is packed with incredible nutrients to combat so many ailments and diseases that it's no wonder our moms and grandmas included it in as many dishes as  possible mainly as a garnishing . Sadly we just remove them  and chuck them away as curry leaves cannot be eaten by itself . So at best you get just a curry flavor infused in the foods .

But there are several ways you can have the curry leaf with its immense nutrients fully present in the form of a flavored powder , or as a spicy Thokku ( like a pickle ) and as a spread or chutney that can be used to mix with rice and eaten . Curry leaf powder is also a handy mix to have in house to eat with rice and ghee . 

Curry leaf Thokku is a great way to enjoy the flavors and benefit from the powerful nutrients present in curryleaves . This Thokku has a double flavor , that of the spicy tangy tamrind paste called Puliyogare / Pulikaachal with the added flavor of curry leaves . 

Curry leaves Thokku also makes an excellent accompaniment to many dishes and also as a useful paste to mix with rice and eat when elaborate cooking is not possible . 
Excellent recipe for bachelors and to send with your traveling family members.

Curd rice tastes heavenly with a spoon of this yummy Thokku .
Curry leaves Thokku tastes delicious when mixed with ghee and served to kids . 

The following recipe can be made to a loose consistency like a thick liquid by thickening to the consistency you need . I have deliberately made it almost like a paste as I wanted to carry with me and avoid spillage . It also lengthens shelf life by reducing it to a thick paste like texture . 
The Thokku that you see in many stores is almost like a liquid with lots of oil standing on top. 
Here we use only the quantity of oil needed . 

Curry leaves Thokku / Karuveppilai Thokku 


To sautée and grind 

3 cups washed dried curry leaves .
1 small piece of ginger 

To  roast and grind 

1 tsp Chana dal 
3 tsp coriander seeds 
1 tsp fenugreek seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds 
1 tsp pepper corns 
1 tsp udad dal 
8 Kashmiri red chillies ( reduce depending on your preference for spice 
Red chilly powder may also be used if you don't have red dry chilies . 
A big pinch of asafoetida powder or crystal 

1 tsp turmeric powder 
1 lime size tamrind . Extract about 1 cup of thick tamrind  water . 
Salt as required 
1/2. Cup sesame oil 

To temper 

1 tsp mustard seeds 
1 tsp Chana dal 
Some fried peanuts may be added after Thokku is prepared ( optional ) 


In a pan add 1 tsp sesame oil and fry the dals and red chillies .
Keep aside to cool .

In the same pan add the washed dried curry leaves and sautée a bit . 
Remove and keep aside. . 

First powder the roasted dals with red chillies .next grind the curry leaves with ginger to a smooth paste . Avoid adding water. 

In a pan add 1-2 tbsp sesame oil and splutter the mustard seeds. Add the Chana dal to be fried . 
Now add the ground paste of curry leaves , add the extracted tamrind water and add the roasted powdered dals  .
Add turmeric powder , asafoetida powder , salt .
Let this mixture cook on very low flame . Add remaining oil and let mixture cook till thickened and oil leaves  sides of the pan .

Store this Thokku in a book dry container .

You can remove Thokku when it is almost thick and bubbling with oil on top . ( see below pic ) 
It will keep the Thokku at a slightly loose consistency . ( your preference ) 

So what are the main benefits of curry leaf ?

1. It is a rich source of iron and folic acid and fights anaemia .

2. Helps liver function well .

3. Lowers blood sugar levels . the presence of fiber in the leaves helps in controlling your blood sugar levels. Curry leaves are also known to improve digestion and alter the way your body absorbs fat, thereby helping you lose weight. Good for weight management and helps diabetics .

4. Curry leaves are also known to reduce cholesterol,levels on account of the fibers present and keeps heart healthy . As it is packed with antioxidants it is known to increase the good cholesterol levels. ( HDL ) 

5. Curry leaves are known to be carminative in nature therefore aids in digestion as it is known to have mild laxative properties .

6.Curry leaves are also known to be effective against diarrhea . It has antibacterial anti inflammatory properties . 

7. Curry leaves are also known to reduce side effects of chemotherapy  as it halts the production of free radicals in the body . It is also said increase intake of curry leaves may also be useful in prevention of cancer . 

8. Curry Leaves helps relieve nose congestion , sinusitis or chest congestion . 

9. Curry leaves. Also helps in prevention of skin infections as it has anti fungal anti bacterial and anti oxidant properties . So it is a great home remedy to fight and prevent many skin ailments  like fungal infections . 

10. Curry leaves are known to promote good hair growth and prevent and reducing grey ing of hair due to various nutrients present . Curry Leaves are also good to treat dandruff hair fall and damaged hair . 

Packed with carbohydrates, fiber, calcium, phosphorous, irons and vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin B, vitamin E, curry leaves help your heart function better, fights infections and can enliven your hair and skin with vitality. 

Source health 

Thursday, September 22, 2016

METHI DOSA / VENDHAYAM DOSA ( With home made methi dosa mix )

Methi dosa / Vendhyam dosa or fenugreek seed dosa mix is yet another useful handy recipe from my kitchen and helping me tremendously as am currently traveling . 

The lack of gadgets to grind or ingredients not readily available need not deter any dosa lover from making it .
With little pre planning you can pack among other provisions that you will obviously be packing  while on a foreign trip these variety of dosa mixes .

I have already posted some ready to make dishes with instant mixes which Iam personally benefitting at the moment .
Your kids with little kitchen skills can easily prepare their favourite dishes from these mixes and so also your traveling hubby .
All you got to do is make up these mixes at home , pack in neat ziploc and paste instructions .

I also find these recipes  handy at home too when Iam not in a mood to grind a small batch of batter . 

These travel mixes as I call them will be useful till you settle down and locate stores in your area to cook from scratch .

Methi dosa mix 


1 cup rice flour  ( raw rice flour or even idiappam flour )  
3 tbsp methi powder   ( not to be roasted ) 
3 tbsp udad dal flour 


Mix the flours  well  in the above mentioned proportion and store In a ziploc bag if planning to take with you while traveling .

How to use 

Take out required quantity of flour . Add water and make a lump free batter just like ground dosa batter .
Allow to ferment overnight or about 8 to 10 hours . 
Batter will rise just like normal dosa batter . Don't over ferment .
Make dosas by adding little water to batter , add required salt and mix well .
Delicious aromatic healthy methi dosas are ready . 

Make a lump free batter .

Batter after sufficient fermentation .

Serve healthy methi dosas with your favourite accompaniments . 


I love making jams , even small quantities almost every fortnight to go with bread and making simple sandwiches . The store bought ones though tempting with great flavors do entice me but am wary of the loads of sugar and gelatine hence home made is the only answer .

Unlike what many think about jam making as a tiresome chore that needs lots of  patience , I do not think so as first of all I do not make them in large quantities for the simple reason I love experimenting with fruits combinations and flavors ., so the weekly run to the groceries will see me picking up some seasonal fruits for the fortnight . 

One such run saw me picking up some juicy awesome berries , blueberries and strawberries . 
Both are my favourite berries for many recipes such as crumbles, cheesecakes and smoothies .
But I had planned to make a simple easy jar of jam .So here goes ....

Strawberry Blueberry jam 


3 cups of strawberries 
2 cups of blueberries 
2 cups of powdered native palm jaggery ( or organic jaggery ) 
Juice of 1/2 lime 
1 tbsp lemon zest 


Wash the berries , wipe dry . 
hull and quarter the strawberries .
Do not chop blueberries 

In a pan add the chopped strawberries and blueberries . 
Mix in the powdered jaggery . 
Add in the lemon zest and lime juice .
Keep the flame on low and let the whole mixture bubble . 
Do not add water and let the berries cook in their own juices . This also keeps their shelf life longer .
The juice of berries will melt the powdered jaggery and make it syrupy .

Keep occasional  stirring and check the consistency .
Within 10-12 minutes you will see the texture changing from a thin juicy mixture to a thick satiny mixture . 
Test with a drop on a plate , it will seem to gel on it and remain thick .
Remove and cool .

Bottle when cooled well.

Suggestion :

You can also make this into a fruity preserve with lighter consistency . 
Which can be used to make fruit yogurts and mixed with just about anything from breads , cakes , pour on pancakes and fruit shakes or smoothies too . 

Friday, September 16, 2016


Green chilly Thokku or Pachai Milagai thokku ( Tamil ) is an utterly lipsmacking dip for curd rice .

It is the perfect Thokku / pickle to whet a poor appetite up and running ! Just don't overdo the tasting as it may create digestive problems . 

Every traditional Southern kitchen especially the Tam Brahmins has its  own version with some or many ingredients that go to make up a perfect spicy tangy Thokku . 

Many of us have an aunt or a grandma or even our mums who have made it their signature dish among many others and we faithfully follow suit . This method works well for me .

Please forgive the raw pics from the kitchen as am currently traveling and have few containers and nothing decent even to plate up . I couldn't wait to post despite lack of fancy tableware . 

Green chilli Thokku / Pachai Milagai Thokku 


250 grams green chillies  ( washed and dried ) 
3 tbsp udad dal ( green chilly Thokku is also made without udad dal  but this tastes better and gives good texture ) 
A big pinch of asafoetida powder 
1 small lime size tamrind or equivalent tamrind paste 
Salt to taste 
Pinch of turmeric powder 
1/2 cup sesame oil 
1 tbsp powdered jaggery 

To temper 

1 tsp mustard seeds 
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds 


In a pan add 1-2 tsp sesame oil and fry the udad dal on a medium flame till aromatic and golden brown . 

Keep aside to cool .
In the same pan add little more oil to sautée the washed dried chillies  and the tamrind ball till they seem to shrivel . 

Remove and keep aside to cool .
Now coarsely powder the roasted udad dal with jaggery and keep aside .
Next blend the sautéed green chillies with the tamrind , salt and grind to a paste .
Don't add water as green chillies have moisture .

Finally grind everything together with the powdered udad dal , jaggery and the green chilies tamrind mixture . Don't grind till pasty .keep it a bit coarse . 

Next , add a little oil enough to splutter the mustard seeds, add the methi seeds let it brown and then add the ground chilli mixture .
Add remaining oil, asafoetida powder , turmeric powder and let the mixture cook on a very low flame  , when the oil leaves the sides it is done . You can choose the consistency you want at this stage to keep  a bit loose or thicken further as I have done .  If you do add some sprinkles of water make sure to keep it always refrigerated as adding water reduces shelf life . 
Remove and store In a jar when cooled . 
The chili Thokku will remain good for a month and goes well with many dishes . 

I decided to keep a thick consistency as it is useful while traveling and avoiding accidental spills of oil etc . 


Adding some coriander leaves with the stalks gives a great flavor to an otherwise spicy chili Thokku . 

Wednesday, September 14, 2016


Ratna Cafe Tiffîn sambar is most sought after by its loyal patrons who prefer to douse their soft idlis in a plate full of sambar . It is not unheard of for patrons to request for additional cups of sambar rather than more idlis . Such is the craving and there is no denying that people order idlis just to drink that yummy sambar . 

An attempt to recreate that taste at home .

Ratna  cafe tiffîn sambar 


To be roasted and ground to paste 

3 tsp coriander seeds 
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds 
2 tsp Chana dal 

Big pinch of asafoetida powder or crystal 
2 tsp rice 
1  tsp pottukadalai ( fried gram to be added while grinding ) 
3-4 red Kashmiri chilies 
3 -4 tbsp fresh grated coconut 
2 tsp gingelly oil ( sesame oil ) 

To be ground with above roasted ingredients to a paste 

4-5 small shallots
 1 medium ripe tomato 
1 green chilly . 

Other ingredients to prepare sambar 

1/4 cup toor dal 
3 tbsp moong dal ( paasi parup )
Some vegetables like yellow pumpkin , drumsticks etc 
Make sure to add a nice big chunk of pumpkin which should be added mashed to sambar . 
3 medium Size ripe tomatoes finely chopped . 
4-5 shallots 
1 green chilly slit 
 1 small berry size tamrind with tamrind water extracted . 
A pinch of turmeric powder 
1/2 tsp mustard seeds for tempering
1-2 red chillies for tempering
2 tsp oil for tempering 

Some curry leaves and fresh coriander leaves for garnishing 
2 tsp powdered jaggery .   

1. Pressure cook toor dal and moong dal . 
Mash well by adding some water and keep aside . 

2. Roast and grind to paste above mentioned ingredients ( except coconut ) under roast and grind  heading along with shallots , tomato  , green chilly and pottukadalai . ( fried gram ) 

Keep this paste aside . 

Take a pan add some oil and first sautée the green chilly , shallots , curry leaves . 
Add chopped tomatoes , tamrind water , mash lightly while sauteeing , add other vegetables you are planning to add like drumstick , yellow pumpkin . ( don't add too many vegetables as you will have observed that hotel sambar don't have too much vegetables but thick sambar liquid . ) add little water , salt , turmeric powder and let this veggie mixture cook till softened . May take around 4 -6 minutes

Next add the mashed dal mixture to the cooking vegetables and keep stirring with ladle in a light mashing way so that vegetables and dal blend well ,
Next add the ground sambar masala paste by diluting further and keep stirring sambar mixture as now the sambar gets thicker and likely to stick at bottom so you need to dilute till a semi thick sambar consistency is achieved . Adjust salt . 

Don't allow sambar to boil over but simmer gently in a low flame .
Remove and add powdered jaggery to the sambar . 

Temper with mustard seeds and red chilly either in ghee or sesame oil ,
Garnish with chopped coriander leaves . 

This sambar tastes delicious when  served with soft idlis and ghee drizzled on top . 
Makes excellent accompaniment for  Pongal or dosa too . 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016


Vengaya Kosu is a spicy onion tomato curry  from the Chettinad kitchens and served as a an accompaniment to idlis, dosas , pongal.  

This dish can be made as spicy as you like or keep it milder but makes a delicious side dish and a great change from the regular tiffin sambar.

This dish can be made with only tomatoes also skipping onions and yet makes a great tasty side dish especially when you do not have stock of vegetables  and need a quick side dish .Excellent for bachelors .


1 medium onion thinly sliced 
2 tomatoes finely chopped
Pinch of turmeric powder
Salt to taste
Some chopped coriander leaves for garnishing


To grind to a smooth paste

1/4 cup grated coconut
1 tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp poppy seeds
4 Kashmiri red chillies ( depends on your spice preference
I used Kashmiri red chilies for the fiery look and mild spice )
2 tbsp fried gram dal ( pottukadalai / puttani )


To temper

1-2 bay leaves
4 cloves
1 cardamom
1 small stick cinnamon
1/2 tsp fennel seeds
2 tbsp gingelly oil


In a pan add the oil , and add the tempering ingredients one by one .
Add the sliced onions and let it turn translucent , add chopped tomatoes and turmeric powder . Add some coriander leaves and little water to cook the mixture till soft .

Meanwhile keep the ground paste ready .
Grind to a smooth paste the ingredients mentioned in step 2.

Now add the ground fragrant paste to the cooking mixture and stir gently . Add little more water to the mixie to remove the ground paste and add that to the Spicy kosu to make it little more loose in consistency ( keep the consistency as per your preference )
I prefer to have a lighter curry for more dipping with idlis and dosas .

Delicious simple Chettinad Vengaya ( onion ) kosu is ready to be devoured with soft idlis and dosas, Pongal .

Notes .

 The tempering ingredients may also be added by roasting and powdering them as adding them as whole makes the curry spicy and some may not like to bite into spices whole while eating .
You can make them into a garam masala powdered and use as required .

2. This recipe is also made using some chopped cubed potatoes . Purely optional but a Chettinad Vengaya kosu is usually made with simple two veg ingredients .
The key flavor being ground coconut with spices .

 Enjoy this yummy Vengaya kosu with sponge idlis..


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