Sunday, December 17, 2017

Sivappu Milagai Oorugai | Red Chilli Pickle | Lal Mirch Achar | Gluten Free and Vegan Recipe

Red Chilli Pickle

Hi Supermoms,

Winter is here. Popular restaurants have started serving 'Kulhad Doodh' , a winter classic , where milk is heated in a huge pot along with dried dates and served in an earthern glass with Malai( cream) and grated pistachio garnish. Also, the sweet aroma of fresh jalebis and moong dal halwa tempts you to enjoy them. They are usually made outdoors and the chilly winds make you crave them even more. In short, winter time makes you eat a lot 😁.

 It is also that time of the year when seasonal pickles are made and enjoyed. While in South India, pickles are often synonymous to summers, in North, the winter pickles are also very popular. They are served along with parathas , kulchas and other Indian breads. 

As a South Indian  living in the North for more than a decade, I now cook all winter foods that are made in North Indian homes. I make parathas  and rotis for breakfast and dinner and these pickles add the necessary spice addition to the palate. Though I have tasted these winter pickles in restaurants and friend's houses, I did not take the efforts so far to make them at home. 

But this year, I was very much motivated to try at least some of the winter pickles. I have to thank my instagram friends for sharing so many tips with regard to making pickles at home. Fresh red chillies are now in season and this pickle can make made so quickly with just 5 ingredients. 2-3 days of marination and sunlight is enough for this pickle. I have to thank Mrs. Deepali for this recipe. You can try the same recipe with green chillies also. 

You can make a small batch as this pickle is good for upto a week only. 

Lal Mirch Achar

Sivappu Milagai Oorugai | Red Chilli Pickle | Lal Mirch Achar :

Preparation time : 10 minutes
Cooking time : 5 minutes
Serves : 4
1 cup = 250 ml cup 
Vessels required : A clean, dry, odour free glass bottle or ceramic jar
Storage : Keeps good for upto a week. 

Ingredients :

5 large red chillies
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
1/4 teaspoon methi powder/fenugreek powder
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder ( I used Kashmiri Chilli powder)
1/4 teaspoon asafoetida
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
salt to taste
1/4 cup mustard oil ( heat till smoking point and then cool it)

Method :

1. Wash and dry the red chillies.

2. Make a vertical slit in each of the red chilli, retaining the crown.
Chef tip : You can remove the seeds or can let it remain. 
3. Powder the mustard seeds along with chilli powder, methi powder, salt, asafoetida and turmeric powder.

4. Spread the powder inside the chillies and place them inside the bottle.
5. Pour oil , close the lid and shake the bottle.

6. You can place the bottle in your window sill or any place where you get sunlight .
Chef tip : Shaking the bottle is to make sure that all parts of the chilli is covered with oil. You can add more oil if required.
7. Keep shaking the bottle at least twice a day for 2 -3 days. 
8. After a coupe of days, you will find the skin of the chillies softening. You can start using them. 
Note : You can refrigerate the pickle after 2 days and use them within a week. 

Your instant Lal Mirch Achar is ready. Serve them along with your meals. 

Sivappu Milagai Oorugai

Happy Cooking !

With love,


Saturday, December 16, 2017

Vendhaya Keerai Nellikai Thogayal/Thuvayal | Methi Gooseberry Chutney | Gluten Free and Vegan Recipe

Methi Leaves Chutney

Hi Supermoms,

We all know that fenugreek leaves , popularly known as 'Methi' in India, is so full of nutrients. The slight bitter taste makes it unpopular especially among children. I am sure many of you must be using methi leaves to make dal or might be adding them in your dough to make chapathi , poori or theplas. 

But, have you tried making Methi Thogayal aka Chutney to enjoy with rice or as a side to chapathi/roti? 

The first thought that will come to your mind is "will the chutney taste bitter?". Well, I am going to add two other ingredients in this recipe along with methi leaves, that are great for our heath and also balances the bitterness of the leaves- gooseberry and jaggery. Both these ingredients add so much more character to the chutney and makes it so tasty . 

In Tamil Language, we call all the coarsely ground (and thick) chutney as 'Thogayal' and they are usually served as the first coarse in our lunch platter along with hot rice and ghee ( clarified butter). 

If you are serving it along with any tiffin or Indian breads, you can make it a little more diluted and can grind it more finely. 

This thogayal can be used in so many other different ways - spread for your bread or tortillas, dips and side dish for any tiffin . 

Vendhaya Keerai Nellikai Thogayal:

Preparation time : 10 minutes
Cooking time : 15 minutes 
Serves : 6
1 cup = 250 ml cup
Storage : You can store the thogayal( thick chutney) for 3-4 days when refrigerated and stored in a clean, odour free and dry container .

Ingredients :

2 cups packed methi/fenugreek leaves ( remove stem , use only the leaves)
1/2 cup coriander leaves ( you can use the stem also)
3 medium size gooseberries ( remove seed, chop them roughly)
1 tablespoon urad dal/ husked and split black gram 
3-4 dry red chillies ( adjust according to the heat of the chillies)
1 teaspoon dhania/coriander seeds
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
 2 teaspoons jaggery ( powdered)( if you do not have jaggery, you can also use brown sugar or regular sugar)
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
pinch of asafoetida
salt to taste
1 tablespoon oil ( I use sesame oil)

Method :

1. Heat a pan or kadai with 1 teaspoon of oil over low flame .
2. Add mustard seeds, coriander seeds, urad dal and dry red chillies.

3. Allow them to turn light brown and fragrant .
4. Transfer this to the jar of a mixer and place the pan back on low flame.

5. Now add the gooseberries and fry them over low flame for 3-4  minutes.
Chef tip : This step will take 3-4 minutes only. 

6. Add the fenugreek leaves, coriander leaves , turmeric powder and fry till they wilt and the excess water is absorbed and transfer it to the jar of a mixer.

7. Add jaggery powder, asafoetida, salt and grind the mixture coarsely using approximately 1 tablespoon of water.
Chef tip : If you are making as a chutney to be served along with tiffin, you can add more water and grind smoothly. 
8. Transfer this ground thogayal/chutney to the serving bowl and add the remaining sesame oil and mix well. 
Chef tip: Alternatively, you can heat the remaining oil and temper with mustard seeds and pour it into the chutney.

Your healthy and delicious Methi Goosebery Chutney is now ready to be served. 

Vendhaya Keerai Thogayal

Happy Cooking !

With love,


Thursday, December 14, 2017

Salna | Tirunelveli Style Salna | Nellai Salna Recipe

Salna | Tirunelveli Style Salna

Hi Supermoms,

'Salna' is a delicious side dish that is served as a side dish to Biryani , Parotta and Chapathi in Tamil Nadu. The flavours will remind you of the Kurma , a side dish equally popular . However, kurma has loads of vegetables and is also thicker gravy. Salna is thinner in consistency and is free flowing without any vegetables. If you visit any popular biryani joints in Tamil Nadu like the 'Ponnusamy', you will be served Biryani along with a plain Salna and onion raita. 

I have earlier shared a tasty Kuska Biryani recipe and I had served the Salna along with it. It was so amazing. The best part is that I had cooked Biryani for lunch and made chapathi for dinner. The Salna was a perfect accompaniment to both. 

This is my friend Kritika's aunt's famous family recipe. Tried and tested family recipes are the best . I am ever grateful for friends who are so generous to share their precious recipes so that many of you will try and enjoy the taste. 

Salna | Tirunelveli Style Salna

Recipe Courtesy: Mrs. Kritika Malkumar

Salna | Nellai Salna Recipe :

Preparation time : 15 minutes
Cooking time : 20 minutes
Serves : 4-6
1 cup = 250 ml cup

Ingredients :

To grind together ( Salna Masala):

1" fresh ginger ( chopped)
10-15 small garlic pods
10-15 shallots/sambar onions/small onions
1 tomato ( chopped, optional)
3-4 green chillies ( adjust according to the heat of the chillies)

To grind separately :

1 cup fresh coconut 
10 cashew nuts ( soak in water for 15 minutes)
Note : Remove the brown skin of the coconut and grind smoothly using 1/2 cup water

For tempering:

1 tablespoon oil 
1-2 bay leaves
1/2" cinnamon stick
1-2 cloves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 green cardamom

Other ingredients :

1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
salt to taste

For garnish :

handful of coriander leaves ( finely chopped) 

Method :

1. Grind the coconut and cashew nuts to a fine paste and set it aside.
Chef tip : Add water and grind smoothly.

2. Grind all ingredients given for the Salna masala and set it aside.

3. Heat a pan with oil and temper with ingredients given under ' For tempering'.

4. Once the spices turn fragrant, add the ground Salna masala, turmeric powder and salt.

5. Cook over low flame for 5 minutes or till the time the oil separates on the sides of the pan.

Chef tip: There should be no raw smell of the ground masala. This is an important step
6. Now add the ground coconut and cashew mixture and cook over low flame for 2-3 minutes.

7. You will see that the gravy starts to thicken. 

8. Add 2 cups of water.
8. Let the mixture cook for another 10 minutes over ow heat.
9. Taste salt and spice and switch off.

10. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Your Salna is ready to be served with Biryani or with any other Indian breads. 

Salna Recipe

Happy Cooking !

With love,


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Kuska Biryani Recipe | Tamil Nadu Style Kuska Biryani Recipe

Kuska Biryani Recipe

Hi Supermoms,

"Biryani" is the most popular one pot dish in India. There are thousands of varieties of Biryani and there are so many restaurants across India that serve only Biryani. Every family has it's own recipe to make biryani . 

The entire process of cooking biryani and the delicious aroma that fills the home are so much delectable. If you have travelled to South India and visited biriyani restaurants like the 'Ponnusamy', you would have noticed a biryani called 'Kuska'. 

Kuska Biryani is cooked using chicken stock or vegetable stock. During one of our casual chats , my friend Kritika , a very passionate Chef , asked  if I have ever tasted Kuska Biryani  ? Though I had seen it in restaurant menus, never once ordered and tried the flavour. When I shared this with her, she told me that she makes it often at her home and has an amazing family recipe of the same. 

Kritika shared her super hit Kuska recipe with an equally amazing Salna recipe to be served along with it. My home smelled so heavenly and we all relished every bit of this flavourful biryani.

This recipe is a keeper. Try it, you will simply fall in love with the simplicity and the amazing flavours. 

Kuska Biryani Recipe

Recipe Courtesy: Mrs. Kritika Malkumar 

Kuska Biryani Recipe :

Preparation time : 30 minutes
Cooking time : 20-25 minutes
Serves : 4- 5 
1 cup = 250 ml cup 

Ingredients :

2 cups Basmati rice 
3 cups vegetable stock or water ( You can substitute 1.5 cups coconut milk instead of water)
3 large onions ( sliced lengthwise thinly)
3 tomatoes ( finely chopped)
1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chilli powder ( I used Kashmiri Chilli powder)
1 teaspoon biriyani masala powder 
1/2 cup curd/yoghurt
salt to taste 

For tempering :

1 tablespoon ghee/clarified butter
1-2 teaspoons oil ( of your choice)
1-2 bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds 
1/2 " cinnamon stick
2 green cardamom pods
2-3 cloves
2 teaspoons ginger garlic paste ( crush  1/2" fresh ginger along with 3-4 garlic pods to a paste) 

Method : 

1. Wash and soak basmati rice for 30 minutes.
2. Place pressure cooker or a thick bottom vessel over low heat and add ghee + oil.
3. Now add all the whole spices and allow them to turn fragrant.
4. Add the onions and fry till they turn golden brown.

5. Add the ginger garlic paste and fry till the raw smell disappears. 
6. Now add the tomatoes and fry for 2-3 minutes.

7. Add the turmeric powder, chilli powder, biryani masala powder and fry for another 5 minutes over low flame. 

Chef tip : They should all come together and the oil well separated on the sides of the pan 
8. Add curd and let it cook for another minute.

9. Add the soaked basmati rice with water.
Chef tip: Instead of adding vegetable stock or plain water, you can add 1:1 stock: coconut water for increased flavour

10. Add salt and mix well.
11. Close the lid of the pressure cooker and cook on medium flame till the steam starts to release in full force.

12. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 10-15 minutes and switch off. 
13. Open to check after 30 minutes. 
14. Alternatively, you can pressure cook upto one whistle or you can cook in an electric rice cooker.

Delicious Kuska biryani is now ready to be served. I served it with Salna and onion raita.

Kuska Biryani Recipe

I know many of you make Vegetable Biryani often. Now you can try this recipe next time when you plan to make a Biryani. 

Happy Cooking !

With love,


Pesarattu Bhurji | Dal Scramble Recipe | Lentil Scramble Recipe

Lentil Scramble Recipe

Hi Supermoms,

When I grind Pesarattu batter, I try various recipes with it. Same goes with Adai batter. For vegetarians, lentils and pulses are the main protein sources and recipe innovations adds excitement to the entire experience of cooking. 

When I posted the Pesarattu burger and pesarattu pancake pictures on my instagram , so many readers asked if they could make Idli using this batter. 

You can make idlies with the thick pesarattu batter. But, they will not be soft like the regular idlies . Their texture will be dense. But for people who are more comfortable to make idli than dosai, this Pesarattu Bhurji is a great recipe. 

Usually we use up the left over adai and pesarattu batter to make upma. Unlike upma, this bhurji recipe has minimum ingredients and can be made so quickly. 

It tastes best when eaten hot off the pan. Do try cooking it in an iron pan and the crumbs on the pan tastes 'the best'. 

A very quick and healthy tiffin recipe. 

Pesarattu Bhurji

Pesarattu Bhurji:

Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time : 15 minutes
Serves : 2
1 cup = 250 ml cup
Special vessel : idli plates, steamer/pressure cooker 

Ingredients :

1 large onion ( finely chopped)
1 large tomato( finely chopped)
1 garlic ( finely chopped, optional)
1 green chilli ( the batter already has spices, adjust accordingly)
10-15 mint leaves/pudina leaves ( roughly torn)
1/8 teaspoon turmeric powder
salt ( only for vegetables)
1 tablespoon oil ( divided, to grease idli plates and for bhurji)


1. Bring pesarattu batter to room temperature .
2. Grease the idli plates and spoon batter into the idli plates.

3. Steam cook for 10 -12 minutes and switch off.
Chef tip : You can insert a fork in the centre of the idli to check if it is done. The fork will come out clean if the idlies are cooked. 
4. Once cool, remove the idlies and crumble them.

5. Heat an iron wok/ kadai or pan with oil and fry garlic, onion, tomatoes along with turmeric powder and salt.
6. Once the onions turn transparent and the tomatoes mushy, add the crumbled pesarattu idlies.
7. Mix well and allow it to fry for 10 minutes over low flame, stirring occasionally to ensure uniform cooking. 
8. Just before switching off, add the mint leaves, cook for just a minute and switch off. 

Enjoy it hot with a strong cup of coffee or tea. So delicious. 

Pesarattu Bhurji

Happy Cooking !

With love,


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Pesarattu Recipe | How to grind Pesarattu Batter | Gluten Free and Vegan Recipe


Hi Supermoms,

'Attu' means Dosai in Telugu language and Pesarattu means a dosai made using the moong beans. Whole green moong beans are soaked and ground to make the pesarattu batter. It makes for a wholesome meal and is made weekly in many South Indian homes.  I have earlier shared the basic pesarattu recipe with you all. 

Some months back my mother shared that she enjoyed a pesarattu during her visit to Puttaparthi ( Andhra Pradesh, India) in her friend Gayatri's house and it was so tasty and much different from the one I make. She told me that she got the recipe from Gayatri so that she could share with me . She insisted that I try this recipe and also share it with all of you.

At first, I was doubtful about the quantity of cloves in the pesarattu recipe. I asked her if the measurements she had given me is right. But my mother reassured that it woud work superbly and I should simply try it. 

As you would have already guessed, the Pesarattu turned out super tasty and I was so thrilled by the freshness of the pesarattu batter and the newly infused flavour of clove. I can't thank my mother and her friend enough. So grateful. 

A must try !!



Preparation time : 4 hours 
Cooking time : 20 minutes
Serves : 6
1 cup = 250 ml cup 

Ingredients :

1 cup whole green moong dal/ green moong beans 
1/4 cup rice 
8-10 cloves 
3 green chillies ( adjust according to the spice of the chillies) 
1" ginger 
salt to taste

For cooking the pesarattu:

1 tablespoon oil 
1 large onion ( finely chopped) 
1-2 green chilli ( finely chopped)
handful coriander leaves( finely chopped, optional)


1. Wash and soak  green gram and rice together for 3-4 hours along with cloves , green chillies and ginger.
2. Grind it into a thick and coarse batter .
3. You can dilute and make pesarattu dosai or you can make it into Pesarattu Burger patty
4. While making dosai, you can sprinkle onions, coriander leaves green chillies and grated ginger for extra spice.
5. Cook pesarattu on both sides and serve with your choice of chutneys. 

Happy Cooking !

With love,


Monday, December 11, 2017

Pesarattu Burger | Masterchefmom's Fusion Recipe

Pesarattu Burger

Hi Supermoms,

It is Monday morning and many of you must be busy packing lunch boxes for your little ones. Waking up the child, getting breakfast ready, lending a hand in helping the child find his  or her "can't find this amma.."things and then filling the water bottle and packing the tiffin box , seeing  the child  catch the bus on time and only then  sitting down to have a cup of coffee . Yes, school mornings,  can get really stressful . 

But what can be done to bring some excitement in this situation is the variety and innovation in the lunch box dish that you send  to school ( You can get all my fusion recipes here) . I always found myself so happy whenever I  created something tasty ( approved by the child and her friends) , sneaking in some healthy dish but presented it well. 

One such dish that I created recently was the 'Pesarattu Burger' made using the left over Pesarattu batter . I usually grind my batter really thick and it helped me make  pancakes perfect to fit in as a burger patty. I also added a few vegetables to the batter to add taste. But that is completely optional. 

I even cut up the patty into wedges and served them as such with sauce. It tasted so good. It is a great party starter too. Pesarattu batter is made by grinding soaked whole green gram along with spices. It is wholesome and also delicious. 

Next time you grind batter for pesarattu, do try this burger recipe. 

Pesarattu Burger

Pesarattu Burger Recipe : 

Preparation time : 10 minutes
Cooking time : 10 minutes
Makes : 4 burgers
1 cup = 250 ml cup


2 cups Pesarattu batter ( thick)
4 burger buns
2 large tomatoes ( sliced)
1 onion ( sliced)
5-6 lettuce leaves or cabbage leaves ( optional)
4 cheese slices or paneer/cottage cheese slices 
10 mint leaves 
1 tablespoon tomato ketchup or sauce of your choice 
salt and black pepper to sprinkle over the vegetables
1 teaspoon oil ( to cook the pesarattu)
1 tablespoon butter


1. Heat a tava and just spoon a small ladle of batter on the tava and do not spread it.
Chef tip: You can sprinkle finely chopped onions and herbs of your choice on top if you like.

2. Once it is cooked on one side, flip and cook the other side.
3. If you are using a big tava, you can make 4 small patties on one go.
4. To assemble the burger, first toast the halved burger buns on the tava using butter.

5. Apply the tomato sauce on both the inside halves and then start arranging the vegetables .
Chef tip : You can customise the burger with your child's favourite vegetables and sauces . 

6. Place the pesarattu patty, cheese slice and close the bun.

You can serve them immediately or pack them for lunch box. Delicious Pesarattu Burgers are now ready. 

Pesarattu Burger

Happy Cooking !

With love,


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