Wednesday, February 18, 2015

A Simple Herbal Tea for Cold and Cough

Herbal teas are a great way to treat cold, cough, and flu symptoms. Drinking a warm herbal tea soothes the throat and having these kinds of herbal tea aka kashayam may also reduce the frequency of cold/flu attacks. It is the perfect drink during the cold season and there are no side effects for these (unless you are allergic to any of these ingredients). Here is a simple herbal tea recipe made with tulsi, ginger, coleus, and betel leaves which give miraculous comfort for sore throat and reduce cough.


Tulsi leaves - 10 or 12
Coleus / Omavalli leaves - 4 to 6       
Ginger - 1/2 in. piece, sliced
Betel leaves - 1 or 2


Wash the leaves. In a pot, add the leaves and 2 cups of water. 

Simmer the mixture till the water reduces to half. Filter, when it is warm enough to drink add honey. This soothes your throat and reduces cough.

Herbal tea without honey
Herbal tea with honey


If you don't have Omavalli or betel leaves, it is fine. A simple tulsi and ginger herbal tea is a great home remedy for cold and cough.

Feel free to add a few whole black peppercorns in your tea too.

You can have the tea without honey too. The addition of honey gives amber color to the herbal tea or else it is pale yellow colored but has all the flavors of the herbs.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day! - Special Menu For The Day!

Happy Valentine's Day to all!

Roses are special. They tell all the love and love stories.............................
Rose is not only praised for its beauty and aroma but it is very good for the heart. That's why we give or get roses! :-) (to strengthen our love as well as our heart).

So I made a special menu including the ones made with rose petals to celebrate this year Valentine's. I will soon post the recipe for them. Enjoy your day!

The Special Menu:


Toast or chapathi roll with ROSE butter
Rose milk


Cilantro rice
Lemon rice
Beetroot Pulao with Raita
Baby Potato fry
Kheer made with rose petals and almonds


Pudina Paneer (Mint Paneer Tikki)
Aloo Paratha (potato stuffed flatbread)
Raita / Fresh yogurt
Kesari -  Dessert made with cream of wheat.

Thanks and gave a great Valentine's Day!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Vethala valli kizhangu masiyal - Masiyal recipe I

Last year I found this tuber in the vegetable shop and made yummy tikkis. A reader had asked for more recipes with this tuber. I couldn't find this tuber after last spring. This season, I bought them and made gravy and curry too. It was liked by everyone and here is the first recipe which I made this season. I will soon post a few more recipes with this tuber. 

Masiyal means food or recipe which is made by mashing. We make this mashed delicacy aka masiyal with root vegetables and dhal, the green chillies making it hot spicy which is balanced with the sourness of lemon. This is one way of making masiyal. This wonderful dish reminds me of the younger days - when you are so hungry...... mix rice and masiyal..........gobble up as if you want to finish the entire pot....satisfying your hunger. It is just great with fried appalam, what else would you ask for a wonderful meal.  Masiyal and rice is the dish, whether you want to gobble or devour. This is also yummy with chapati or parathas.


Vethala valli kizhangu - 1 cup
Toor dhal  - 1/2 cup
Lemon - juice from 1/2 lemon, about 1 or 1 and 1/2 tsp
Coconut - 2 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/8 + 1/8 tsp
Cilantro - to garnish


Oil - 1 tsp
Dried red chilli - 2
Mustard - 1/4 tsp
Urad dhal - 1/4 tsp
Green chilli - 2, chopped
Curry leaf - 1 or 2 sprigs
Asafoetida - 1/8 tsp


Pressure cook the dhal (add 1/8 tsp turmeric powder to the dhal and then cook) and the tuber separately (You can pressure cook as 2 or 3 big chunks, then when cool, peel and then chop to chunks, quantity is 1 cup).

Vethala Valli Kizhangu

Pressure cooked

Peeled and Chopped

Heat a pan, add the oil and do the seasoning. Add the vethala valli kizhangu, 1/2 tsp salt, turmeric powder, and 1/2 cup water. Mash the tuber a little, so that it is not completely mushy, but with some chunks. Simmer for 5 min.

Add the cooked toor dhal, mix thoroughly, and continue simmering. If the mixture is too thick add 1/4 cup water. Adjust the salt, if needed.

Add the coconut, simmer for 2 minutes and switch of the flame.

Add the lemon juice and mix thoroughly. Garnish with cilantro. This goes great with either plain rice, dhal rice, or chapati.


This masiyal is made with yellow split moong dhal, but I have made it with toor dhal. Feel free to use the dhal of your choice.

The tartness comes only from lemon juice and hence add according to your taste.

If you like very spicy or less spicy, adjust accordingly with the green chillies.

It is easier to pressure cook and then peel the tuber.