Monday, October 1, 2018

North Arcot Puli Paruppu | Heirloom Dal Recipe from North Arcot | Vegan and Gluten Free Recipe


North Arcot Puli Paruppu

Hi Supermoms,

Most of you know that my roots are from the North Arcot District of Tamil Nadu, India. It has it's own cuisine and I am so proud to share that both my grandmothers were culinary experts . What makes me even more happy is the bond I shared with both my paati ( paati means grandmom in Tamil Language). 

I have spend a lot of time in the kitchen with them during my growing up years. Today I am going to share a signature dish of my paternal grandmother Nagalakshmi ( I call her Kuppu Paati) . All thanks to my chitappa( Uncle) Sridhar , who shared this recipe in detail with me along with the way the family used to enjoy this humble yet tasty dish. My chitappa himself is a passionate cook and a foodie . It was my luck and pleasure to hear family food stories and recipes from him. 

My paati used to make this 'Puli paruppu' on days there were less or no vegetables at home. 
'Puli' means 'Tamarind' and 'Paruppu' means lentil/dal . A tasty and quick to make dal recipe that pairs well with steaming hot rice and ghee. 

North Arcot Puli Paruppu

North Arcot Puli Paruppu Recipe :

Preparation time : 10 minutes
Cooking time : 30 minutes
Serves : 4-6
1 cup = 250 ml cup 

Ingredients :

1/2 cup pigeon peas/tuvar dal/arhar dal
1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
1/4 cup tamarind ( packed)( soak in 1 cup warm water and extract the juice) Or 1 tablespoon thick tamarind paste /pulp 
2 &1/2 teaspoon sambar powder 
1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
salt to taste 

For tempering :

1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 sprig curry leaves
pinch of asafoetida 

Method :

1. Wash the dal and fenugreek and boil them along with 2 cups of water and turmeric powder .
Chef tip : You can pressure cook or cook in an open pot. When cooking in an open pot, adjust water quantity accordingly. 
2. Once the dal is cooked well, mash/whisk it well and set it aside.
3. Heat a thick bottom pan or kadai with oil and temper with the ingredients given for the same.
4. Once tempered, add the tamarind juice .
Chef tip : If you are using store bought tamarind paste, add 1 cup warm water to it and mix well .
5. Add the sambar powder and salt.
Chef tip : If you do not have sambar powder, you can add chilli powder and coriander powder
 1: 1/2 ratio. Adjust spice according to taste . 
6. Let the mixture cook over low flame for 7-8 minutes .
7. Now add another  cup of water and allow it to cook for another 5-7 minutes.
8. You can now add the mashed dal/paruppu to the tamarind mixture and mix well.
Chef tip : Adjust water quantity. This puli paruppu will be thick in consistency.
9. Simmer for another 6-7 minutes and switch off.

Your delicious North Arcot Puli Paruppu is now ready to be served. You can serve it with rice and some freshly fried appalam or vadam. 

North Arcot Puli Paruppu

Happy Cooking !

With love,

Masterchefmom







Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Fresh Fruit Payasam Recipe | Fresh Fruit Kheer | Fruit Payasam Recipe | Ganesh Chaturthi 2018 | Gluten Free Recipe


Fresh Fruit Payasam Recipe

Hi Supermoms,

Hope you are all well. 

We all know that fruits are good for health. It is a great snack too. But the problem is that I am quite lazy when it comes to eating fruits. This has been a problem since childhood. My father tried his best to get me into the habit of eating fruits regularly . He even used to cut the fruits and make me eat 😅. But all those efforts did not bear any fruit! 😆😆.

I haven't changed much when it comes to eating fruits and my son has a taken after me. As a mother, I want my children to eat fruits in some form. I try and use fruits in cooking. I make Gooseberry Rasam /Watermelon Rasam / Orange peel rasam, Mango Kuzhambu, Strawberry Kara kuzhambu, Strawberry chutney, Mango cake and other desserts using fruits. It may sound crazy, but I feel happy, creating fruit recipes. 

This Ganesh Chaturthi, I made fresh fruit payasam for offering as Neivedyam/prashad . Easy recipe with handful of ingredients and less sugar, this kheer was loved by all in my family.

I am sure you will be tempted to try this kheer/payasam immediately. If you are vegan, you can skip ghee and also use coconut milk . 

Fresh Fruit Payasam Recipe

Fresh Fruit Payasam Recipe:

Preparation time : 5 minutes
Cooking time : 10 minutes
Serves : 2 
1 cup = 250 ml cup 

Ingredients :

1 apple ( finely chopped)
1/2 cup pomegranate pearls 
1/4 cup raisins/dry grapes
10 cashew nuts 
7-8 strands of saffron ( soaked in 2 teaspoons of warm milk)
1 cup of milk ( with the cream on top ( optional) ( adjust milk quantity)
1/4 cup palm sugar ( or regular sugar)
3-4 green cardamom ( powdered)
2 teaspoons ghee 

Method :

1. Heat a kadai/wok or a heavy bottom pan over very low flame with ghee.

2. Add the dry fruits and fry till the raisins pop up and cashew nuts are lightly browned.
Chef tip : Add the cashew nuts first and then the raisins.
3. Add the chopped fruits and cook for just 2 minutes.
4. Add milk (along with the malai/cream) and sugar .

Chef tip : Adding the cream is optional . You can adjust the quantity of milk according to the number of people you will be serving .
5. Add the powdered cardamom and the  saffron milk.
6. Let the payasam simmer for just 5 minutes and switch off. 

Your delicious Fresh fruit payasam is now ready to celebrate the special occasion.


Happy Cooking !

With love,

Masterchefmom






Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Potato Crust Pizza | How to make Potato Pizza in Tawa | Gluten Free Recipe | Masterchefmom's Fusion Recipe

Potato Crust Pizza

Hi Supermoms,

Hope you are well. 

I have been travelling a bit recently to care for my mother, who is still recuperating from the stroke . Thanks to all who sent messages for her healing and recovery. Grateful for the love💖.

I have a few pending recipes to share . Will update as and when I find time. Thank you all for the patience and for always motivating and supporting my work . 

You all know my love for fusion recipes. Challenges in life bring out the best in us and I am no different. Recently I was asked to take up a challenge to create a fun and unique recipe from a  set of  five ingredients. I was excited by this challenge and chose 'potato' as the main ingredient. 

There are two reasons for choosing potato . Firstly, there are  more number of potato lovers   in the family than haters 😃 . Secondly, potato is a favourite vegetable at home . And pizza is always a winner with the young ones. 

The best part of this recipe is that the crust is made of boiled and mashed potatoes😇 . Mixed with Indian spices and flavours,  this Potato Crust Pizza will be a sure hit in your home too. 

I have not used any refined flour in this recipe. Also, I made the potato crust pizza on the tawa. I baked the pizza for only 5 minutes in the end so that the vegetables on the top  brown a little. If you do not have an oven, you can skip that step and serve directly from the tava. 

Delicious and  gluten free pizza is ready in minutes. Also, if you are vegan, you can skip the cheese or use any plant based cheese. 


Potato Crust Pizza:

Preparation time : 20 minutes
Cooking time : 30 minutes 
Serves : 6
1 cup = 250 ml cup 

Ingredients :

For the potato crust :

4 medium size potatoes
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1/2 teaspoon masala powder of your choice ( I used pav bhaji masala) 
1/4 teaspoon kashmiri chilli powder
handful of coriander leaves/cilantro ( finely chopped) ( optional)
2 teaspoons corn starch 
2 teaspoons beaten rice /flattened rice/poha ( adjust) 
salt to taste
oil to grease 

For the topping :

200 gm mozarella cheese ( grated)
1 tomato ( de-seeded)( sliced thinly)
1 capsicum/ colourful bell peppers ( de-seeded) ( sliced thinly )


Method :

1. Boil , peel and mash the potatoes in a wide vessel.
2. Add the spice powders , corn starch, flattened rice, cilantro and mix again .


Chef tip : We are adding the poha to absorb the extra water in the potatoes so that you get a crispy crust. You can add extra corn starch , if you do not have poha/beaten rice/ flattened rice  at home .
3. Take small portion of the pizza dough and flatten them into a circle on butter paper.


4. Heat a greased tava and transfer the shaped potato crust on it.
5. You can drizzle little oil on the sides of the crust.
6. Once the bottom of the potato base is crispy, carefully flip it.
Chef tip : If you are not comfortable shaping them into large circles, you can make mini potato pizza base.
7. Add the vegetables and cheese on top.
8. Let the potato crust pizza cook until the cheese on top starts to melt.
9. You can transfer this to a baking tray and bake in a pre heated oven for 8-10 minutes.

Note : This is an optional step.
10. You can sprinkle oregano flakes and chilli flakes ( optional) on top .

Your delicious Potato Crust Pizza is now ready !!

Potato Crust Pizza

Happy Cooking !

With love,

Masterchefmom




















Monday, September 10, 2018

Pazha Kozhukattai| Fresh Fruit Kozhukattai Recipe | Ganesh Chaturthi 2018 | Gluten Free and Vegan Recipe

 Fresh Fruit Kozhukattai Recipe

Hi Supermoms,

Ganesh Chaturthi celebrations are incomplete without making Kozhukattai or  Modak . This year, I wanted to share some new varieties of modak with all of you. I had shared the Udiri Kozhukattai recipe yesterday. I am sure you have book marked the recipe to try it on the auspicious day of Vinayaka Chaturthi. 

The filling needs no cooking.  Mix fruits, along with palm sugar, cardamom and fresh coconut and your filling is ready. It hardly takes 20 minutes to make this recipe. So fresh and healthy. Very less sugar is needed to make the filling as the sweetness comes naturally from  fruits.  I added just one to two teaspoons of sugar for sweetness. You can use palm sugar which is again natural source of sugar. 

The modak dough can be made by soaking rice and grinding batter ( refer here) or can be made using readymade rice flour. This is a very healthy, gluten free and vegan snack  and can be packed for school lunch box too. I have created this recipe with loads of love💖. 

Fresh Fruit Kozhukattai Recipe

Fresh Fruit Kozhukattai Recipe | Pazha Kozhukattai :

Preparation time : 10 minutes
Cooking time : 20 minutes
Makes  : 15-20 small size modak/ kozhukattai
1 cup = 250 ml cup 

Chef Tip : You can use the Udiri Kozhakattai dough recipe also for making the pazha kozhakattai

Ingredients :

For the dough :

1 cup rice flour
1 cup water 
pinch of salt 

For the filling :

1 small apple ( chopped)
1/2 cup pomegranate pearls
1/2 cup fresh coconut ( chopped)
3 green cardamoms
2 teaspoons palm sugar or brown sugar or powdered jaggery or  regular sugar


Method :

1. To make the dough, heat a heavy bottom kadai with water and pinch of salt.
2. When the water starts to heat up add the rice flour and mix well so that there are no lumps.

3. Keep stirring and cooking the flour till the it comes together and do not stick to the kadai. 
4. Switch off .
5. To make the filling, add the apple, pomegranate, palm sugar , coconut and cardamom into the jar of a mixer and grind coarsely.

6. Squeeze and remove the excess juice from the ground mixture.
7. Your filling is now ready.
8. Grease your hands with oil and knead the dough so that it is soft and easy to shape the kozhakattai.


9. Pinch small portion of the dough roll and flatten in your palm to make a circle.
10. Place a small portion of the filling in the centre of the circle and cover it to make a ball or you can shape them in your desired shapes. 
11. Place the shaped kozhukattai in the steamer and steam for 7-9 minutes .

Your delicious pazha kozhukattai is now ready !! 

Pazha Kozhukattai

You can check out more of my  Ganesh Chaturthi Special recipes

Happy Cooking !

With love,

Masterchefmom



Sunday, September 9, 2018

Udiri Kozhukattai | Ganesh Chathurthi 2018 Recipes | Gluten Free and Vegan Recipe


Udiri Kozhukattai

Hi Supermoms,

I am sure you all are gearing up for the upcoming Ganesh Chaturthi Festival . Many of you must be making Ganesh idols with your own hands . One of my close friend's little son painted so many Ganesh idols this year . When my friend shared those pictures , I was so happy to see the festival excitement in the next generation . 

"Shuklaambara Dharam Vishnum Shashi Varnam Chatur Bhujam Prasanna Vadanam Dhyaayet Sarva Vighna Upashaanthaye" 

Our festivals are all celebrated with food. Lord Ganesha is popular for his love for good food and the festival platter usually includes loads of homemade snacks like varieties of Modak/Kozhukattai , Medhu Vadai , Appam, Sundal , just to name a few. 

We all love the traditional Ammini Kozhukattai, the free flowing marble shaped modaks, made in various versions like coconut, lemon, paruppu (lenitils) etc. Today, I am going to share a completely new take on this traditional Ammini kozhukattai recipe which I a call as, the Udiri Kozhukattai ( as it resembles 'Udiri Poo /Unstrung flowers).

I am going to break and use fresh coconut to mark this auspicious day and use it to make this kozhukattai. Equal amounts of rice and coconut are ground together. They are then cooked in a heavy bottom vessel . The dough is then shaped like small pipes or 'sev'. You can also roll them into tiny balls. They are then steamed and lightly tempered. 

 This kozhukattai can be served as a tiffin or tea time snack too. 

In our home, I usually prepare a large batch of rice dough for making kozhakattai in the morning ( sweet coconut and urad dal one) and with the remaining dough , I make either Ammini kozhukattai or Udiri Kozhakattai . 


Udiri Kozhukattai : 

Preparation time : 1 hour 
Cooking time : 40 minutes 
Serves : 2-3
1 cup =250 ml cup

Ingredients :

1 cup raw rice ( I used sona masuri variety)
1 cup fresh coconut ( grated )
2 cups water
1 teaspoon oil ( you can use sesame oil or coconut oil) 
salt to taste 

For tempering :

1-2 teaspoons oil ( use sesame or coconut oil)
1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
1-2 dry red chilli ( whole) ( optional)
1 sprig curry leaves ( optional) 

Method :

1. Wash the raw rice two to three  times.
2. Soak it in 2 cups of water.
3. Grind the rice along with fresh coconut , adding water little at a time.

4. Heat a heavy bottom kadai/wok , add oil and add the ground rice-coconut mixture and salt.

5. Keep stirring and cooking over low to medium flame till the batter gets cooked and does not stick to the kadai. 
Chef tip: You can take a small portion of the dough and try rolling it . If you are able to roll with ease, then the dough is ready. You can switch off the gas. 
6. Once the dough is warm to touch, grease your hands with oil and shape them into small balls or sev, which ever is easy for you. 
7. Steam them for 5-7 minutes and switch off.
8. Heat a kadai with oil and temper with ingredients given for the same.

9. Add the steamed Udiri kozhukkatai , mix well and switch off.

Your simple and delicious traditional Udiri Kozhukkatai is now ready . 

Udiri Kozhukattai

Happy Cooking !

With love,

Masterchefmom









Saturday, September 8, 2018

Ragi Puttu | Keppai Puttu with Panakarkandu| Finger Millet Puttu with Palm Sugar | Tamil Nadu Style Ragi Puttu Recipe | Gluten Free Recipe

Ragi Puttu

Hi Supermoms,

The festival months have started . Ganesh Chaturthi , Navratri and then Deepavali. Sweets are a main part of all our special occasions . Today, I would like to talk about the  Navratri festival or the "golu" as we call it in South India. During the Golu festival, we invite friends and family home .  Usually a sweet dish and savoury ( like sundal) are offered as prashad/neivedyam and then served to the guests. Now a days, every one is conscious of what they eat. Healthier, Lighter dishes  are very much popular. 

The reason I am sharing about Golu is because I like to make puttu as offering during Navratri. My friends really appreciate the taste and they  enjoy it guilt free. It is liked equally by the little ones also. Ragi/Finger millet flour  is easily available,healthy and affordable. 
You even can make a bigger batch for a large gathering before hand , refrigerate it and can steam it for a few minutes , just before serving . 

I make this puttu regularly, but serve it as is ( without shaping) for breakfast. Sometimes, we enjoy sweet breakfasts😀. However, this can be served as a perfect after school snack or as a tea time snack too. It can be packed in school lunch box also . It tastes good even when eaten cold.

Recently I came across a slightly different version of the ragi puttu in 'The Chettinad Cookbook" . I loved the idea of  rolling the puttu into balls. I made it for breakfast yesterday and shared it  on my instagram and facebook handles and I received overwhelming response and enthusiasm to know more about this dish. 

You can try this recipe with rice flour, powdered flattened rice/poha or any other flour of your choice if you do not use ragi for neivedyam/prashad. It tastes equally yum. I have used palm sugar/palm candy to sweeten the puttu. According to Ayurveda, Palm Candy when used without heating, does not increase the kapha dosha ( helps avoid weight gain) . 

I hope many of you will try this recipe during this festival season  and share it with friends and family. 

Finger Millet Puttu with Palm Sugar

Ragi Puttu | Keppai Puttu :

Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 25-30 minutes
Serves : 2-3
1 cup = 250 ml cup 

Note : You can use sprouted whole green gram to make this tiffin more wholesome. Steam till they are cooked . They should not be mushy. You can use un sprouted green gram also. 

Ingredients :

1 cup ragi/finger millet flour
1/2 cup palm sugar /panakarkandu( adjust)
1/2 cup fresh coconut (chopped)
1/4 cup sprouted whole green gram 
3-4 cardamom 
1-2 teaspoons ghee ( if Vegan, you can use coconut oil)
pinch of salt 


Method :

1. Grind coarsely chopped coconut, palm sugar, cardamom and set aside.



2. Mix salt into half cup of water.
3. Add ragi flour into a wide bowl and sprinkle the salted water.
4. Rub the salt water into the flour .

5. Place a muslin cloth on a steamer and steam the ragi flour for 15 minutes on medium flame. 
6. Once the ragi flour is cooked , transfer it to the wide bowl.
7. Add the ground mixture and boiled green gram.

8. Mix them well .
9. Your ragi puttu is now ready.

 10. You can serve them as is or can shape them by gently rolling them into balls or oblong shapes. 



Serve these ragi puttu for breakfast or evening tiffin. 

 Palm Sugar

Happy Cooking !

With love,

Masterchefmom















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