Tomato Dosa

Why is it that most of us(or is it just me?) run out of breakfast ideas.

Although I like to try out different cuisines I often find the South Indian breakfast cuisine easiest to put together. Agreed the grinding past may be a bit cumbersome , but once you have that out of the way, the next couple of days are tension free….

Take for instance this variety of dosa that I found on Shailaja’s super duper blog.

Its real simple to make, in fact it doesn’t even need fermentation…

Its got great colour( always a good thing when your target group includes children) and is healthy too…
Plus its different from the regular fare…

I served this with podi, but I’m sure any chutneys will do just great.

Tomato Dosa Recipe

Prep & Cooking: 20-30 mts, Soaking: 2-3 hrs

Serves 5-6 persons

Cuisine: South Indian


1 1/4 cup raw rice and 2 tbsps of tur dal, soaked in water for 2-3 hrs

2 tomatoes chopped

2 tbsp grated fresh coconut (optional)

2-3 dried red chillis, de-seed and tear

1-2 tbsp grated jaggery

salt to taste

oil as required

1 Drain and grind smoothly the rice and tur dal with chopped tomatoes, dried red chillies (de-seed), grated fresh coconut, jaggery, coriander leaves, salt and little water to form a dosa-like batter.

2 Heat griddle on high flame till hot, reduce heat, pour a laddle full of dosa batter, spread the batter with the bottom of the ladle evenly making circles to form a dosa and drizzle with some oil along the edges. Cook on medium heat for 1-2 mts and increase to high flame for a few seconds and flip the other side and cook for 20-30 seconds or till done.

3 Serve hot with any podi or chutney of your choice .

This one goes to Tried & Tasted event started by Zlamushka of SpicyKitchen.

This months blog is Sailus food


Spicy Dry Prawn Masala

A few years back we were dinning at a family friends place and while serving us the prawn curry, this person started to to describe a prawn curry he had eaten sometime earlier. He said they(the prawns) sat in the gravy like big curled millipedes!

What a horrid way to describe food!!

I was so repulsed by the image that I stayed off prawns for many years since.
Its only NOW with my recent weight gain and resultant appetite, where i’ll eat ANYTHING, that Ive started to eat them again!

I’m going to share with you a typical Kerala Dry Prawn preparation that my mom makes( hoping my little anecdote has none of you cringing at the sight of prawns!)


Small Onions 12
Red chillies 5
Pepper 1/2 tsp
Garlic 6 cloves
Curry leaves 10
Turmeric powder 1/4 tsp
Grind the above with a little water.

Prawns 500 gms

Wash and clean the prawns and add some water,the ground spices and salt and cook in a deep bottomed vessel for 10 min or until cooked. Once slightly dry add some coconut oil( 2 tbsp) and curry leaves and let fry for a few more minutes.
There you have it …an easy peasy prawn dish..mallu ishtyle.

All Powder, No Gun

Gunpowder-(n) mixture of potassium nitrate, charcoal, and sulfur in a 75:15:10 ratio which is used in gunnery, time fuses, and fireworks

Oh! don’t worry I’m not into making bombs now….
what i have today is of the South Indian kind and is almost as potent as its namesake. But fret not,it is easily enjoyed even by the spice -intolerant and you can play around with the quantity of the spice as well as other ingredients.

This accompaniment is a favorite at home. Although it’s a bit spicy, my son loves to have it with crisp dosas and it makes for such a quick breakfast too!

Also called idli podi, paruppu podi, dhal powder or ‘gun powder’, this crunchy spice mixture should be stored in an airtight jar. When required, a spoonful or two may be mixed with melted ghee/oil and used like a chutney.


1 cup Channa Dal
1 cup Urad Dal
1/2 tsp jeera
1/2 tsp pepper powder
1/4 cup rice
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp hing/asafoetida
Red chillies, whole, as per taste
and salt, of course…

Roast all these ingredients one by one..and powder. Mix well and store in an air tight container.


Can Diamonds Make you Fat??

YES!! When they look like this…

Diamond Cuts- Diwali Sweet

I just love these ‘Diamond Cuts’ as they are called back in my hometown Kerala. Although my mom never made them, I’ve had these goodies at homes of various friends and relatives and I’m always filled with longing when I think of these ‘precious sweets’. I used the recipe that I found on a college-mates blog but made it using whole wheat flour instead. They were ALMOST as good as the real thing. ALMOST. Nevertheless, my boy’s finished the whole lot almost immediately. I guess it was a case of Diamonds being a boy’s best friend.

Ingredients for Diamond Cuts:

* 2 cups whole wheat flour
* 2 1/2 tbsp beaten egg
* A generous pinch of salt
* Enough Water to knead into a pliable dough
* Seeds from 2 cardamoms, crushed
* Oil for deep frying


Mix the flour, egg and salt; add water in very little by little and knead well until you get soft dough .Add in the crushed cardamom. Once the dough is ready, cover it with a damp cloth for 15 minutes.
Roll out the dough and cut into a diamond shape.
Diamond Cuts
Fry in hot oil until it puffs and and turns a goldenish colour.
Dust liberally with icing sugar or use sugar syrup as mentioned in the original recipe..actually i was rather pressed for time so took the easier way out…

Diamond Cuts
These Diamonds go to the Sweet Series” event going on at Mom’s Recipies.

Indian Cooking Challenge

The World is Flat…But I am Round….

Technically its still the 30th so here’s my entry to the ICC. Presenting to you the crispy rice and urad dal based favourite ‘Southie’ snack- Muruku. Although my family eats a whole lot of these, I’ve never ventured into making these circular savory snacks for the simple reason its just so much simpler to just hop into the store next door , buy and eat the. I do not stand corrected. I STILL feel they are quite complicated to make at home – am not gonna try powdering the rice at home again!! Whew! but the twirling out part was definitely fun and I got the hang of it pretty soon. The recipe was great but remember these are extremely addictive; M, my boys and I wolfed down the entire lot in one sitting!
Anyway without much ado here the recipe

Jantikalu or Muruku!

Preparation Time : 20 – 30 mins
Cooking Time : 20 – 30 mins
Makes : app 250 kg of Muruku
Cuisine: Andhra & Tamil Nadu

Utensils needed:
Muruku /Chakli Press.

Ingredients Needed:

Raw Rice – 4 cups
Urad Dal – 1 cup
Water – app 1/2 cup or more

For Seasoning

Cumin seeds – 1 tsp
Sesame seeds- 1 tsp
Asafetida/ Hing – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste
Butter – 75 gms


Wash and drain the rice. Shade dry the Rice for 1/2 hr. Dry roast the Urad dal to light brown. Allow it to cool.
If you are using more quantity, you can get it ground in rice mil, else use your mixie to grind both Rice and Urad dal.

First grind rice into a fine flour, keep it aside. then grind the urad dal to fine powder.

In a wide vessel, take both the flours along with salt. Mix well. Add cumin, Sesame seeds to the flour, mix well.

Whether you use Asafetida powder or the solid ones, you got to mix it in water, make sure it is dissolved before adding to the flour. If its not dissolved properly, when deep frying the muruku, there are chances for the hing to burst our due to air bubbles.

Mix in the hing to the flour and finally add the butter. Gather everything well and you will get more of a crumbling mixture. Now slowly add water and knead a dough which is little more softer than the puri dough.

Heat a frying pan with oil enough to deep fry. Once the oil is hot enough, simmer to low flame.

Take the Muruku Aachu, wash and wipe it clean. Then divide the dough into equal balls. Fill the Muruku maker with the dough. You can either press it directly over the flames or press over a paper and gently slide it down the hot oil. But since the quantity mentioned here is less, you can press it directly over the kadai.

Cook over medium flame, using a slotted spoon, turn it over to other side to ensure both sides turn golden colour. You will know by seeing the colour that its cooked. Remove to a kitchen paper and store it in a air tight container.

This normally stays good for weeks, provided you forget about these which hardly happens!

Idli Overdrive

My dad and I are suckers for spicy food..and I mean HOT!!!We eat raw green chillies with our lunch and dinner. My husband on the other hand grew up as a proper Defense kid. Bland English food, using a fork to eat dosas(eeoww!!)- you get the picture.

A few days after we were married we visited an uncle whose love for spicy food is legendary in my village. We still laugh at how my husband actually had pails of water coming out of his eyes and nose after eating the SUPER spicy Mutton curry. My uncle, still not realizing why the husband was acting weird continued to top up his plate. What a riot it was!!!

This ulli chamandi , as its called down in South India is a simple and delicious but deadly-spicy accompaniment. Please adjust the red chillies as per your tastes. Don’t blame me later!!
ulli chamandi

Small onions (a Kerala specialty), I reckon you can use the large ones as well 10
Red chillies- 4
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Curry leaves few
Small Onions

Grind the small onions, red chillies and salt together into a fine paste. In a saucepan add some oil. Once the oil is hot throw in the mustard seeds. When the mustard seeds crackle add the curry leaves and the ground chilli mixture. Fry for about 3 minutes. This is to remove the raw oniony taste. Serve with idli/Dosa. This recipe goes to the Think Spice Event Originally started by Sunitha of Sunitha’s World.The reigns of this months event are with Kitchen Chronicle

The other Idli dish I have lined up for you is one that I tried from Madhurams Eggless Cooking site. It has some awesome eggless goodies. You must check it out.
I started out trying the Cocktail Idlis which I thought were so exotic to look at. But somehow mine didn’t turn out too good. What a bummer!! Cocktail IdlisWhat happened was that I added mint leaves to the coriander to make the green chutney and they turned out an ugly shade of green. Then I realized I didn’t have red chillies for the red chutney and decided to use red chilli powder and a pinch of food colour.
Now, one thing about me is that I HATE using these artificial, synthetic things and as soon as I put the Idlis to cook I felt miserable. I kept imagining what horrible things might have been added to these colours. SO I took the idlis out in-between and they whole thing was all the wrong texture…Sigh!

Lesson learnt:-Follow instructions…they are there to be followed. Atleast they are tried and tested. I will definitely try them again and follow the recipe next time.

Next I decided to try the Roasted Stuffed Idlis. These were a hit with my kids. Even my 2 year old gobbled them up. And they are so easy to prepare. I did have some leftover vegetable curry so that’s what I used.
Stuffed and Roasted idlis
Idli batter as needed
Potato curry also as needed
Oil 1 tablespoon
Idli powder as per taste
Salt as per taste

Pour idly batter for half measure in the idly plates.
Put a tablespoon of the potato curry on it and cover it with some more batter.
Steam the Idlis for 10 minutes or until done.
Heat a little oil in a frying pan and fry the idlis in it and drizzle some idli powder or curry over it.That’s it-a quick snack ready to be eaten.

Tried and Tested , this is a wonderful event being hosted this spetember by Poornima’s Tasty Treats.Zlamushka, the original brain behind this event spotlights a blog each month. This months star is Madhuram’s Eggless Cooking.

The vada with a hole

Just when I though that the rain gods had bid adieu to Goa, the sky was darkened with clouds and rain was bucketing down. Needless to say there was a flurry of activity at home-clothes hurriedly taken off the clothesline, son dragged back into the house, doors closing, then opening, son running out to play in the rain again, Violent screams as I slip while trying to get my son to come indoors yet again. And finally bolting the door and making it fortress-like. Whew!!! After all that, it was time to actually enjoy the rains-from INSIDE. A perfect combination would have to be hot vada and tea.

Ulundu vada

Urad dhal – 1 cup
Big Onion finely chopped-1 medium size
Green Chilli finely chopped-1 medium size
Ginger finely chopped-half inch
Curry leaves finely chopped-3 or 4
Baking soda – 2 pinches
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

Soak urad dhal in water 4 or 5 hours or even overnight.

Grind the soaked urad dhal into a very fine paste .when you take the batter in your fingers you should not feel the grains (while grinding, add water to the batter very gradually). The batter should be thick and not flow freely from the spoon when you pour it down.

Combine the chopped Onion, Green Chilli, Ginger, Curry leaves and Salt together. Add this to the batter and mix well.

Lastly add baking soda to the batter and mix well. This should be done just before frying.

In a frying pan, heat the oil. To prepare the vada dip your hands in water..
Take the batter of the size of a small ball in your palm and pat it to form a circle.
Dip your index finger in water and make a hole in the patted batter in the center.

Fry the patted batter in oil till golden brown on both sides.

Serve hot with tomato sauce or any chutney.

Kerala Breakfast in a Jiffy…

I'm Super Soft!

I'm Super Soft!

Rava Idli and Coconut chutney

This is a super easy breakfast to make. You need –

3 cups rava
1 ½ cups urad dal
Salt to taste

Wash and drain the rava. Keep aside.

Soak urad dal for an hour and grind well using just enough water to make it a fine paste. Mix with the rava, add required amount of salt and leave overnight. Voila! Perfectly soft and fluffy idlis guaranteed.

For the chutney you need,

1 coconut grated
1 medium sized onion, or 3 small onions
¼ cup thick curds
1 inch pc ginger
Few curry leaves (3 or 4 should be enough)
Salt to taste

For the tempering you will need

1 tbsp oil (preferably coconut oil)
1 or 2 red chillies
1 tsp mustard seeds

Grind the ingredients under chutney to a paste. Put in serving bowl. In a small saucepan, add the oil. When it is hot (Your palm should feel warm when held over the oil), throw in the mustard seeds. In a few seconds it will crackle. Add the red chillies and curry leaves and take off fire.
Add the tempering (tadka) to the chutney in the serving dish.

Kerala Appam With a Twist!

Nice and Crispy ain't it??

Nice and Crispy ain't it??

The word Appam conjures up so many pleasant memories for me.
Having spent most of my childhood in Kerala ,Appam was almost a regular breakfast fare.
Often known by its other name’s- paalappam, vellayappam or just plain and simple Appam, its preparation and execution is almost considered an art form in Kerala and even appam-virtuosos don’t always dish out perfect Appams.

If we had guests at home these delicious Appams would be accompanied by a Mutton Stew. On regular days we relished appams with Chutney or a Vegetable stew sometimes with coconut milk and sugar. Yumm…

These fermented rice pancakes have many varieties and i have here a very unique recipe. These Atta Appams are much easier than the original rice version and taste just as good. The recipe was given to me by a very good friend who is herself a very talented and accomplished cook. So here goes…


Atta( Whole Wheat Flour) 3 cups
Active dry Yeast 1/4 tsp
Warm Water 1/4 Cup
Coconut milk 1 Cup
Sugar 3 Tbsp
Salt to taste


Add the yeast to the lukewarm water (not hot) along with 1 tbsp of the sugar. Shake it a bit and keep in
a dark dry place until the yeast ferments, about 15 min. The water should appear frothy. If not discard and try again.
Add this to the Atta and combine with a little more water until it is a thick paste.
Do Not Dilute.
Keep this aside for around six hours.
Before preparation add the remaining sugar, coconut milk and salt.
It should be smooth and of slightly thin in consistency.
Heat the Appam-chatti/ pan and pour a ladle of the batter into the pan. Here is what an Appam pan looks like-

Appam Pan

Appam Pan

Holding both sides of the pan immediately swirl the pan so that the batter spreads to the sides of the pan and forms a circular shape. You can add some ghee, if desired. Close the lid and let cook for about 3-4 min. By then the edges should look crispy and the centre should be a bit thick but look cooked nonetheless. Enjoy these beauties anytime of the day.

Makes around 20 appams.

  • February 2023
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