Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Matcha Orange Loaf

Matcha orange loaf aka green tea and candied orange peel loaf is one of a kind bread It made using sourdough starter, Matcha powder, orange blossom water, and candied orange peel. The flavor pairing were unique and delicious. They are heavenly with butter or honey matcha drizzle. The flavors were perfectly balanced.

Cathy of BreadExperience is the host for this month in our Bread Baking Babes group. When I read through her recipe, I right away started trying the recipe. I wanted to bake this as the flavor combinations were so different from the usual breads I try. This recipe is a keeper. I have some minor experimentations that I want to continue with this bread.

The recipe is from the book, The Larousse Book of Bread by Eric Kayser. I have modified the recipe in a couple of steps. I have sifted the flour and matcha together at the beginning than adding match at the end and kneading the dough. Stand mixer helps when you add at the end to save energy. If added at the beginning it is easier to distribute the matcha evenly when kneading the dough by hand or stand mixer. Also, I have increased the match powder by a tsp, and brushed the bread with olive oil after baking. After adding the candied peel, it becomes a little sticky but with continuous kneading and stretching makes a smooth and soft dough. 


Makes four small loaves


Sourdough starter - 25 g / 2 tbsp
All-purpose flour - 50g / 1/3 cup
Water - 50 g / 3tbsp+1tsp

For the Bread

Bread flour - 500g / 3 cups and 2 tbsp 
Salt - 1.5 tsp
Olive oil - 3 +1 tbsp
Orange flower blossom - 1 and 2/3 tbsp/25 g
Matcha  - 3 tsp
Water - 1 cup
Candied orange peel - 1 cup, roughly chopped


Feed the sourdough starter the previous night by mixing the sourdough starter with flour, water and set aside. Just before making bread 1/2 cup water, orange blossom water, and olive oil to the sourdough starter mix, mix well. 

Take the flour, matcha, salt and sieve. Add it to the stand mixer.  Add the starter mixture and run the machine on low speed initially. Slowly add the rest of the water and make smooth dough which is elastic. Add the chopped candied orange peel and fold. Set aside for an hour to prove.

After an hour, stretch and fold the dough. Rest for another hour. Knead the dough and divide into 4 portions. Make a boule out of each portion. Place them with seam side down, cover and let it rise for another hour. 

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Once the dough has risen, make crisscross markings on top and bake for 22-23 minutes. Cover the dough with a foil and bake for initial 12 minutes. Then the foil can be removed. Bake till the bottom sounds hollow.

Remove from the oven, brush with olive oil, and let it cool completely for 30 minutes. 

Serve with butter, matcha-honey drizzle, and matcha tea.

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Papaya Orange Muffins

This papaya orange muffin is a delicious one that you can't stop with one. The freshness from the citrus and the creamy taste from cheese, sour cream, and milk powder makes it so addictive. 

This is made with barnyard millet and whole wheat and hence this is a healthier option. Inclusion of healthier grains in the diet is very much essential and muffins like these ones are delicious and healthy too.

I am sharing this for this month's #MuffinMonday hosted by Stacy. #MuffinMonday is a group of muffin loving bakers who get together once a month to bake muffins. You can see all of our lovely muffins by following our Pinterest board. Updated links for all of our past events and more information about Muffin Monday can be found on our home page.

Muffin Monday


Makes 12 regular muffins

Barnyard millet flour - 1/2 cup
Non-fat dry milk powder - 1/2 cup
Whole wheat flour - 3/4 cup
Baking powder - 1 tsp
Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/8 tsp
Flaxseed powder - 2 tbsp
Vanilla - 1 tsp
Papaya puree - 1 cup
Oil - 1/4 cup
Brown sugar - 3/4 cup
Milk - 1/2 cup
Sour cream - 1/4 cup
Cream cheese - 1/4 cup (room temperature)
White chocolate chips - 1/3 cup (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a regular muffin tin with liners. Add 1/2 cup milk to flaxseed powder and set aside for 5 minutes to gel. Mix the dry ingredients and set aside.

Add the brown sugar, oil, sour cream cheese, sour cream, papaya puree, and vanilla to a bowl and beat well. Add the flaxed egg and orange zest and beat well for a minute. Add the dry ingredients in two or three batches, mix thoroughly and quickly. Fold in the chocolate chips.  Fill 3/4th in each of the muffin mold or cavities. Bake for 21-22 minutes or until a tooth pick inserted comes out clean.

Cool for 15 minutes and is ready to serve. Store in air tight containers if using later.

Check the links for flavor inspirations for your muffins from what we shared this month. Thanks, Stacy!

Curried Peas

Curried peas is big in flavor and is a great to have with flatbreads or any grain. The sweetness from the peas, salt, the spices from curry powder, fresh mint and cilantro - the combination is a perfect choreography of flavors. Fresh peas of the season have a great flavor and makes it a perfect side entry for any feast. This is simple to make in a few minutes on the kitchen. Shelling may take some time. Frozen peas can also be used to make it very quickly. Plus peas are loved by kids and they would definitely love eat this curry. The spice level can be adjusted with the right proportion of curry powder according to the taste palette.

There is no onion and garlic in this recipe and hence there is no hassle of chopping onions. This has a great flavor with simple ingredients and is vegan too. I am linking this for Spring Sides event in #OurFamily Table group. We share Recipes From Our Dinner Table! Join our group and share your recipes, too! While you're at it, join our Pinterest board, too!


Serves 4 - 6

Peas - 2 cups, fresh or frozen
Oil - 1tbsp
Cumin - 1 tsp
Mint - 2 tbsp, chopped
Cilantro - 2 tbsp, chopped
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Turmeric - 1/4 tsp
Curry powder - 1/2 to 1 tsp


Heat oil in a cast iron pan. Add the cumin sauté for 30 seconds. Add the peas and sauté for 1-2 minutes till tender. Add salt, turmeric, and curry powder. Sauté for 2-3 minutes and switch off the flame. Add the chopped mint and cilantro and mix.

Serve with any cooked grains, or flat breads.

Thanks, Christie for hosting this event. Recipes shared for Celebrate Spring Sides:

Friday, March 26, 2021


Morkuzhambu is a yogurt based spicy, tangy gravy is out of the world and is served with rice. In our homes, we make this for most of the festivals. And this is a must in weddings too. Any important occasion, the menu is incomplete without morkuzhambu. Also, when you have excess yogurt becoming sour, this is an option to make. This can be had as a soup (I like to have this way) as such too, if you want to cut the carbs. 

Usually, winter melon, chayote squash, okra, or bhendi are used as veggies.  Sometimes we make parupurundai  morkuzhambu too. 

We make this for Pongal festivals, auspicious Friday's, Sri Ramanavami, Tamil New Year, Sri Krishna Jayanthi, Navratri, Karthigai, and on many regular days too. Here is Sri Ramanavami thali with this morkuzhambu.

This is simple to make. Just keep in mind not to boil after adding the beaten yogurt. It will curdle. When the first boil comes, switch it off and take it off the flame. 

Similar yogurt based gravy is popular all over India. This is a flavor from Tamil Nadu, India. I am linking this for Srivalli's Blogging Marathon 120 - Festival Foods. 


Winter melon - 2 cups, 2-in dices
Water - 3 cups
Salt - 1 tsp 
Sour yogurt - 1/2 cup
Cilantro for garnish

To  Grind

Coconut - 3 tbsp
Green chili - 3 to 5
Chana dal - 1 tsp
Toor dal - 1 tsp

To roast

Oil - 1 tsp
Whole urad dal - 1 tsp
Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Fenugreek - 1/2 tsp

To temper

Oil - 1 tsp
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaf - 1 sprig


Soak toor dhal and chana dal in water for 20-30 minutes. Heat 1 tsp oil in a pan. Fry the urad dhal, coriander seeds, and fenugreek seeds till golden brown. Set aside to cool.  Grind this along with coconut, green chilies, and the soaked dhal. Add yogurt little by little and grind to a smooth paste.

Cook the winter melon in 1.5 cups water for 8-10 min or until crisp tender. Add salt and simmer for 2 min. Reduce the flame, add turmeric powder and the ground yogurt-spices-coconut paste. Add 1 and 1/2 cup water.  Mix thoroughly. When it begins to boil, switch off the flame.

Heat oil in a pan. Add the red chilies. mustard. curry leaves, and asafoetida. Add this tempering to the morkuzhambu. 

Serve this with rice and drizzle of coconut oil. Or serve along with dal rice.

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Thirupullani paal payasam

Thirupullani paal payasam is "The Payasam and A PERFECT Neivedhyam or Offering" to God Rama. A couple of years my mom suggested to make this payasam. We were talking about different temple prasadams and were talking about this particular paal payasam. Rice cooked, simmered in milk, and sweetened - this payasam or pudding is in real divine in taste.

Going to the history & geography part, Thirupullani is a village in southern Tamil Nadu. One of the legend says that Rama, on his way to fight Ravana, the demon King of Lanka,  he stopped at this place and prayed to Ocean God before building bridge to Lanka sitting on 'pul' (called"Dharba"). That's why the place got its name as Thirupullani.  Another legend says that King Dasaratha, who was childless, performed yagnas and sacrifices at Thirupullani. He received this pudding which he gave to his three wives. After this they were blessed with four babies and one of the child was god Rama (one of the 10 avatars or incarnations of Mahavishnu). This pudding or paal payasam is still the temple prasadam. I have heard these stories from my grandmas. I have visited this temple too, a beautiful one! 

I would say another name for this payasam is DIVINE. It tastes and smells divine. This is made with simple ingredients. The sweetness comes from nattu sarkarai which is brown sugar. This makes a huge difference in flavor of the payasam. Simple paal payasam made with simple ingredients. I have heard another story that this payasam was made earlier with the locally available ingredients and did not include any nuts or raisins. Actually speaking, the pudding is so tasty that you won't need the cashews and raisins tempered in ghee. Feel free to add if you prefer. I must warn you that you will not stop with one servings. Though this recipe makes a good amount, you will be seeing the bottom of the bowl very soon. 

I feel that this is perfect for celebrating Sri Rama Navami. Our festival food always includes payasam or kheer and god Rama's birthday celebration perfectly pairs with this payasam. Sri Rama Navami is celebrated in our home and a feast is prepared for the neivedhyam. This payasam is one of dish in the Sri Rama Navami Thali that we cook every year.

I am posting this for Srivalli's Blogging Marathon 120 - Festival Foods. Sri Rama Navami is around the corner and thought to post this now. Try making Thirupullani Paal Payasam for this Sri Ramanavami festival.


Rice - 1/2 cup
Water -3 to 3.5 cups
Milk - 4 cups
Brown sugar / nattu sarkarai - 2.5 cups
Cardamom - 3 or 4 crushed


Wash the rice and keep aside. Boil 3 to 3.5 cups water in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan. Add the rice when water boils and simmer for 7-10 minutes, till the rice is completely cooked. 

Add milk and continue to simmer for another 25-30 minutes, till the milk is reduced to half. 

Add the brown sugar and crushed cardamom. Simmer for 5 minutes. 

Serve hot, warm or chilled.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Coconut rice/Thengai Sadham

Thengai sadham is a smple, easy, and flavorful rice made with fresh coconut tempering, and is made for many festivals. It is made for Kanu Pongal, Aadi peruku, 'Thai' and 'Aadi' velli (Friday), Chitra Pournami, Varalakshmi Vratam, and Navratri. 

This is vegan, and also saatvik - no onioin no garlic food. It is also a simple neivedhyam for weekly or daily pooja at home. Plus, this simple and delicious rice is great for lunch box too! This can be made in under 30 minutes.

Tempering in coconut oil gives the extra flavor. Red chilies, green chilies, mustard, urad dhal, peanuts, cashews, curry leaf, fresh coconut, curry leaves with hing are tempered in coconut oil and added to the cooked rice. The aroma that fills the home when tempering is divine. While the rice is cooking, the rest can be made ready and mixed together for a quick meal. 

Frozen grated coconut could also be used. Just thaw required amount and use as directed in the recipe. All variety rice will have chana dhal too in the tempering. I don't use chana dhal everyday or often, as we have a member in our family allergic to chana dhal. 

We love this coconut rice with harvest vegetable curry (we call as Kanu Kootu). I make sure when I make Coconut rice, I make kanu kootu or vice versa. They both pair very well. 

I make this very often for neivedhyams. Sometimes, our brunch thali is chitrannam thali with an array of variety mixed rice. I make these as neivedhyam for Lalitha Sahasranama Parayanam. Also, I make this thali especially during Navratri times, when I invite friends and families for lunch or dinner. These variety rice are crowd pleaser and can be easily made in larger quantities. 

This is my post for Srivalli's Blogging Marathon 120 - Festival Food. 

Check here for my recipes for Cranberry RiceNarthangai Sadham / Citron RiceInstant Curry Leaf RiceKalkandu SadamRaw Mango Poha, and Bagalabath that are chitrannams and you can easily make a feast with these. 


Easily serves 4 hungry people
Under 30 min

Sona Masoori rice - 1 cup
Water - 2 cups
Salt - 3/4 tsp
Coconut - 3/4 cup, grated, fresh or frozen

For Tempering

Coconut oil - 1/4 cup
Cashews - 2 tbsp
Peanuts - 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds - 3/4 tsp
Split urad dhal - 3/4 tsp 
Chana dal - 3/4 tsp (I didn't use)
Asafoetida - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaf - 1 sprig
Red chilies - 3, torn
Green chili - 1 or 2, chopped


Wash the rice, cook the rice with 2 cups of water. Adjust the water quantity according to the rice variety used.  Spread it on a bigger bowl with a tbsp of coconut oil and let it cool.

Heat oil in a pan. Add the red chilies and mustard seeds. When it sputters add the split urad dhal followed by peanuts, and cashews. Fry for a minute till they turn to a golden color. Add the curry leaves, green chilies, and asafoetida. Add the grated coconut . Sauté for 2-3 minutes. 

Add it to the rice. Add salt. Mix thoroughly.