Sunday, March 20, 2016

Sorghum Vermicelli Kheer

I have a passion to learn new things. Learning lead me to start blogging, new crafts, and started making customized terracotta and polymer clay jewelry (visit my page here). Today I completed a year with my new beginnings. To mark achievements, we celebrated with a kheer - like our special day, the kheer is also special made with sorghum. 


Serves 16

Sorghum vermicelli - 3 cups
Milkmaid / condensed milk - 400g
Milk - 4 to 5 cups
Ghee - 2 to 3 tbsp
Cashews - 2 tbsp
Raisins - 1 or 2 tbsp
Cardamom - 1 or 2 crushed or powdered


Heat a tbsp of ghee in a pan. Fry the cashews and raisins till golden brown and set aside. 

Heat the remaining ghee and fry the vermicelli till golden brown. Keep on a low - medium flame to prevent browning. 

Once it is fried, add 4 cups of milk and let it boil for a few minutes on a medium flame. 

Add the crushed cardamom and condensed milk. Mix and let it boil for 1 or 2 min. 

Switch off the flame. Add the fried cashews and raisins. 

Adjust the consistency by adding the last cup of milk as you wish. Serve hot. 


The kheer tends to become thicker, so add the last cup of milk as you wish, depending upon how thick or thin you want.

If you are going to serve chilled, add a couple of tbsp sugar while making. Also, adjust the sweetness according to your preference. The sweetness was just right for us - not too bland and not too sweet.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Millet Kozhukattai for Karadayan Nombu

Yesterday was Karadayan Nombu (A traditional festival - we pray for wellness and longevity of our husband). Traditionally we make kozhukattais (steamed dumplings) out of broken rice along with butter for neivedhyam. We pray and tie a yellow thread (neck or wrists) and then finish our fasting with the kozhukattais (savory and sweet). This year, instead of rice, I made kozhukattais with millet. I used the broken ones or rava of foxtail millet (for savory) and pearl millet for sweet. Absolutely yummy - perfect taste and a great way to add millets to your diet. 

Thinai / Foxtail Millet Uppu Kozhukattai


Makes about 28 kozhukattais

Thinai rava - 1 and 1/2 cups
Water - 3 cups
Salt - 1 tsp
Thattapayar/red beans - 3/4 cup, cooked
Coconut - 3 tbsp, grated


Oil - 2 tbsp
Mustard - 1/2 tsp
Split urad dhal - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/8 tsp
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs
Dried red chillies - 2
Green chillies - 2, chopped
Cilantro - optional


In a pan, heat the oil and add the seasonings. 

When it is done add 3 cups water. Once the water starts to boil add coconut, cooked black-eyed peas, salt and mix thoroughly. Add the foxtail millet rava and cook till the whole water is absorbed by the millet and everything gathers into a mass. This may take about 8 to 10 min.

Switch off the flame and let it cool for a while. When it is bearable hot, take a handful or 1/4 cup amount of the millet mixture and shape into ovals (or balls or any shape that you prefer).

Steam for 8 to 10 min. 

Serve hot with chutney or sambhar or pickle.

Kambu / Pearl Millet Sweet Kozhukattai


Makes 15 kozhukattais

Pearl millet brokens - 1 cup
Jaggery - 3/4 cup
Coconut - 2 tbsp
Thattapayar/red beans - 1/2 cup, cooked
Cardamom - 1, crushed
Water - 2 cups


In a pan, add jaggery and 1 cup water and heat. 

Once all the jaggery dissolves, filter and discard the impurities. Return the jaggery water to the stove and add one more cup of water. 

When it boils, add coconut, black-eyed peas, and crushed cardamom. Then add the pearl millet brokens and cook till all the water is absorbed. This may take about 15 min. on a medium flame. Keep stirring now and then.

Let it cool for a while. Scoop handfuls and shape into ovals.

Steam for 15 min. 

Serve hot with butter.


Any millet or a mixture can be used.

Use only 1:2 ratio of millet: water. Since the kozhukattais will be steamed, cooking them 3/4th is enough, or else shaping would not be easy.

Any small beans or a mix can be used since they are proteins. Bigger beans are not recommended since shaping may be difficult. But you may try and cut into squares after steaming.

They may tend to become a little dry after a few hours. Just warm it and there you go. Serve hot.

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Instant Broken Wheat Idli / Godhumai Rava Idli

Idli - a healthy steamed south Indian food. I made this even healthier. Since idlies are traditionally made with rice, for those who are diabetics, here is an instant idli recipe without rice. Just broken wheat alone- soft and fluffier idlies to satisfy all your cravings for idlies. And very simple to make.


Makes 10 - 12 idlies

Broken wheat rava - 1 and 1/2 cups
Yogurt, plain - 1 cup plus 2 tbsp
Water - 2 tbsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp


Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/8 tsp
Green chilli - 1, chopped
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs


In a bowl, add the broken wheat, yogurt, water, and salt. Mix well and let it soak for 30 min. 

The mixture would have become thick. When you add baking soda, it will become a little thin, so don't add more water.

In a pan, heat oil, add the seasonings, and pour to the soaked broken wheat mixture. Add the baking soda and mix thoroughly. Grease idli plates, add the batter and steam for 12 to 15 min.

Soft, fluffy, and healthy wheat rava idlies are ready. Serve immediately with chutney or sambhar.


Use the fine variety for making idlies.

If you are making in large quantities, make sure to do it in batches. After some time the batter would be thin because of the action of baking soda. So make in batches for large quantities.

Grated carrots, cilantro, ginger, peas, or any other veggies and herbs are a great addition.

Channa dhal, few pieces of broken cashews can also be fried and added.

Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Kothamalli Thogayal / Chutney

Cilantro (called kothamalli in Tamil), a herb used as a garnish, imparts a great flavor. It is rich in vitamins, antioxidants, and dietary fiber. The chutney (similar to pesto) made using cilantro is easy to prepare and can be mixed with rice or pasta, as a dip for idli and dosa. This flavorful chutney - tangy and spicy, with a wonderful lush green color of cilantro and green chillies, is my favorite with idlies. .......YUMMY! Just try it out!


Cilantro - 3/4 cup, packed
Tamarind - 1/2 tsp, packed

For seasoning

Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard - 1/2 tsp
Urad dhal - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/8 tsp
Green chilli - 2


Remove the root and thick stem (if any in cilantro), wash and keep aside to drain the excess water.

In a pan, heat oil and add the seasoning ingredients and fry till golden brown. 

Add all the ingredients into a blender and make into a smooth puree. Add water if necessary in small amounts. 

Serve with rice, idli or dosa......ENJOY!


Instead of green chillies, dried red chillies can also be used.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Vazhaithandu Mor / Buttermilk Flavored With Plantain Pith

Vazhaithandu or plantain pith has numerous health benefits. It is a rich source of fiber and can be made in curries and gravies. It is a very flavorful vegetable and it's my favorite. Always I make mor kootu (yogurt-based gravy) with this vegetable. In the form of juice, my kids love it. Buttermilk prepared with the addition of the pith juice tastes so great and it is hard to find out the addition of this vegetable. An easy way for nourishing picky eaters.


Vazhaithandu - 2 cups
Yogurt - 1 cup
Water - 2 to 3 cups
Black pepper - 1 or 2 pinch
Chaat masala
Black salt


Remove the outer layers from the stem. Slice to 1/2 in round slices. While doing it, fibers may stretch out, just pull out with your fingers and discard. Then chop the slices into chunks.

Put the chunks and yogurt into your blender and blend to a puree consistency. 

Filter the puree, squeeze completely, and discard the fibrous part. Add a little water while doing this. 

To the juice add remaining water, salt, black pepper powder, chat masala, and or black salt according to your taste. Mix well and serve. 


Add ice cubes if you want it chilled.

The plantain juice may turn color, so its best to consume immediately though the addition of yogurt prevents color change.