April 30, 2020

How to make Kodo Millet Pongal | வரகு அரிசி பொங்கல்| Millet Recipes

Pongal is a favourite breakfast at home. Apart from Ven pongal (the classic rice-dal combo), we also enjoy a variety with millets and other grains in both savoury and sweet variants. The brown rice chakkara pongal (sweet variant) is one of our favourite made on festive occasions,  while the Oats pongal, thinai pongal (foxtail millet pongal) , samai pongal (little millet) , Rava Pongal are also repeated  during the menu rotation. 

Varagu (Kodo Millet) is one pseudo-grain that I alternate along with Foxtail Millet (Thinai), Samai to use in place of rice for everyday meals or in Pongal (savoury porridge). Pongal is mostly our go-to dish for Sunday breakfast

Whatever the dish, whatever the reason, Millets in pongal form is yummy, light. The kids don’t even need to know it’s not made of rice. You can also moderate the ghee (clarified butter) used in pongal, but we prefer it on the lower side . Asafoetida is a must in most of our savoury pongal and that combined with kodo millet (called varagu in tamil) was a yummy dish. We love pongal with Avial. But kids love it  coconut chutney or even veg peel chutney. 

Anu - my paired blogger for this month’s theme of millets (Sshh Cooking Challenge theme by Aruna) brought a new dish at home. Anu has made a delicious Ragi Rotti with ragi flour and chillies that I gave her..  

Other millet dishes on the blog include:

Varagu Upma - Kodo Millet Upma

and many more...

Let’s see how to make today's pongal 

Prep time - 5 Mins, soak time - 10 Mins ; Cook time - 15 Mins, Serves : 3 generously.

What you need:
Varagu / Kodo Millet - 1 cup (240 ml)
Moong dal - 1/4 cup (soaked for 10 mins)
Salt - to taste
Pinch of turmeric

Tempering :
Ghee - 2 tsp 
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp 
Black Pepper and ginger crushed - 1 tsp combined 
Cashews bits - few (optional)
Curry leaves - few
Asafoetida - a generous pinch.


How to:
  • Wash millets twice or thrice well. Soak in water for 10 mins. Similarly dry roast moong for 1-2 mins till aromatic and also soak it for 10 mins.
  • In a pressure cooker, add the soaked millet and dal along with 5-6 cups of water , a pinch of turmeric and half the salt . Pressure cook for 4-5 whistles .Let the pressure come down on its own. Mash the dal-millet mixture with a ladle while it’s hot and add the remaining salt. 
  • Adjust the pongal gooeyness at this stage - if Its too runny , simmer the mixture on the stove for a few mins till it reaches the right consistency. If it’s too dry, add upto 3-4 tbsp of HOT water, mix well and adjust consistency. Some people like pongal runny and some like it a Tad dry. We prefer something midway. It’s totally personal. 
  • Prepare tempering with ghee. Splutter cumin seeds, asafoetida , cashews and curry leaves till cashews turn golden brown. Switch off the flame and add pepper-ginger mixture. Mix well and pour this tempering  into the pongal. Mix well, adjust salt if needed and serve pongal steaming hot. 

April 27, 2020

Video Recipe - Quick Masala Murmura | Khara Pori | How to make Masala Mamra

Masala Murmura is a quick to make, almost-oil free and healthy snack for kids. My little one loves this and calls this Sukha Bhel (not quite a misnomer), and I make this quite often at home . Murumura (Puffed rice) is called Kadalepuri in Kannada or Pori in Tamil. And for all those from Bangalore, you would remember those hawkers in Lalbagh / Cubbon Park peddling these Masala Murmura or Khara Kadlepuri cones over a hot coal pot !!

In these days of a forced stay at home, snacks are demanded by kids through the day. These kind of jar snacks with a long shelf life take care of those hunger (or quasi-hunger) pangs. As Renu suggested , this week we are going with #SnackMania where we present long shelf-life as theme for #FMBH. 

Similar low-oil  / no deep fry jar snacks on the blog include:

Karnataka special Baked Nippattu (similar to masala Mathri)

Baked Pepper Sev

Murmura / Kadalepuri –  250 grams
Groundnuts – ¼ cup
Dalia / fried gram – 4 tbsp
Curry leaves – few
Salt – 1 tsp
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Broken dry Kashmiri red chillies – 1 or 2 (or sub with 1 tsp red chilli powder)
Turmeric – 1 tsp
Oil – 2.5 tsp (split use)


Please check the youtube video embedded below and do leave your valuable comments too. 


April 22, 2020

30 Curd-based Dishes to beat the heat | Summer Meals | #Yoghurt #Curd

Yoghurt or curd is an excellent probiotic promoting healthy gut flora as well as aid in digestion. Indian Meals have largely included  Curd or Yoghurt (a.ka. Dahi in Hindi, Thayir in Tamil, Mosaru in Kannada etc) as part of their meals. From the humble Tamilnadu style Curd Rice to the exotic Spanish Cucumber gAzpacho, curd is used in various dishes.   

This article also mentions that yogurt has been found to reduce the risk of heart disease and osteoporosis, as well as aid in weight management. It's known for containing a lot of calcium, a mineral necessary for healthy teeth and bones. Just one cup provides 49% of your daily calcium needs

The following is a collection of 30 curd-based dishes. Hope you find them helpful to incorporate Curd / Yoghurt into everyday meals. 

Dahiwali Hari Chutney - served with Kebabs

Palak ke Raita (spinach in curd sauce)

Doddapatre Thambli (Karnataka style raita made with Owa leaves)

Mooli Raita (Radish Raita)

Katrikkai Pachadi (Eggplant raita)

Gravies (Served with Rice)

Ashgourd in Yoghurt sauce (Pusanikai Morkozhambu)

Kadhi Pakodi (gramflour dumplings in yoghurt sauce)

Methi Kadhi (fresh Fenugreek leaves in yoghurt sauce)


Oats Methi Dhokla - GF snack

Iyengar style Thayir Vadai (South Indian style Dahi Vada) 

Khatta Dhokla (GF snack)

Morkali (Tamilnadu Special Rice flour-Buttermilk Pudding) 

Dahi Batata Puri (streetfood / Chaat)



April 19, 2020

Brown Rice Kara Kozhukattai | Video Recipe - How to make Brown Rice Kozhukattai | Steamed Vegan Snacks

Khara Kozhukattai or Khara Pidi Kozhukattai is a very popular snack or tiffin served in Tambrahm households either for an evening snack or dinner too. Kozhukattai (spelt as KO-ZHU-Ka-Ttai) is a steamed dumpling. This is made with either Rice Rava (cream of rice) or white rice too. The traditional way of making this is ground soaked rice batter and then form dumplings. 

Today we show an easy, healthy and quick way to make this, but with Brown Rice. Brown Rice has lower GI than white rice, more fibre and may also be eaten (in moderate quantities) by Diabetics too. This whole grain is also a good source of folate, riboflavin (B2), potassium and calcium.

This is my family’s recipe, and we love it made this way with Brown Rice. The recipe is entirely vegan and satvik (no onion no garlic) you may also make it Gluten Free by simply skipping the Asafoetida (hing) added in this recipe. 

As this is steamed like Idli, this is very healthy and requires just 2-3 tsp of oil for 4 servings. Do make this healthy snack and let me know how you liked it.

This snack / kozhukattai can be eaten on its own (as its quite spicy) or paired with Coriander chutney like we did. It also goes well with Tamilnadu Style Tiffin Sambhar.

The ingredients are listed below and the detailed method is embedded in my  youtube link here. Do visit the channel / video and leave your valuable comments there too !

Prep time - 5 mins | Cook time - 25-30 mins | Makes - 24 pieces.


You would need:

To blitz to a coarse mixture:
Brown Rice - 150 grams
Toor Dal / Thuvaram Paruppu / Split pigeon pea - 4 heaped teaspoons (or 40 grams approx)
Jeera / Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Spicy dry red chillies - 3 to 4 (adjust spice)
Black peppercorn - 1/2 tsp (adjust spice)

3 tsp Cooking Oil
Mustard seeds, Urad dal, Channa Dal - all 1 tsp
Curry leaves - few
Green chillies - minced (opt.) - 2 
Asafoetida / hing - a generous pinch (skip for GF)

Other Ingredients:
Water - 600 ml (or according to rice variety used)
Grated Coconut - Fresh or frozen - 4 to 5 TBSP - do NOT skip this, it adds to the softness of this dish
Salt - to taste

How to make: 

Refer the embedded video below and please leave your valuable comments on the channel too.

April 13, 2020

Homemade Sambhar Powder | Amma's Sambhar Podi recipe | How to make Sambhar Powder at home - VIDEO recipe

Sambhar powder is a lifeline in a South Indian kitchen. Apart from making the Arichuvitta Sambhar (where spices are ground to a paste with coconut) and is eaten with rice, we make the Darshini Style Sambhar also the Tamilnadu Tiffin Sambhar (both eaten  with South Indian breakfast like IdliDosa-UttapamsPongal or Vadai). 

We also make the easy Pressure cooker sambhar which uses this sambhar powder. Of course, making the sambhar in pressure cooker is optional, but it saves time and fuel while retaining the nutrition. You could also use this spice powder to make it on stove top (without pressure cooker) as shown in this recipe.  

The sambhar powder recipe presented today is my mom's who improvised on grand-mom's recipe, and this has been our goto recipe for more than 4 decades. Every time Amma makes it, I simply looked on. This time, I took the recipe from her and made it myself a video too. If you are also keen for Amma's Mysore Style Rasam powder recipe, head here.

Preethi has given us a theme to present Homemade spice powders this week and this is my mother's recipe that I would like to share here. Her Vegetable spice powder is so close to our vangibhath, I am definitely going to try it out.  

Other Spice powders that have been heirloom recipes from our family are:

Moringa leaves Podi 

Bangalore special Chutneypudi*

Godhi Chutneypudi (chutneypudi made with wheat kernels)*

Flaxseeds Chutneypudi*

Poondu Podi (Garlic flavoured spice powder)

*Chutneypudi is a generic Bangalore term for a condiment / spice powder that can spruce up anything from Rice to Upma to akki rotti (flattened spicy rice bhakri) to paratha or bread and anything in between :p

Podi / Pudi - spice powder in Kannada / Tamil 

Prep time - 15 mins, Roasting time - 15 mins, Grinding time - 5 mins or less.

Makes: Approx. 500 grams of spice mix


  • Make sure you sun-dry all your ingredients a day or few hours before roasting or grinding it.
  • In case you have no direct access to sunlight, make sure they are completely fresh and without any moisture. 
  • Cool the roasted mixture for 30 mins before and after grinding (cover it lightly to avoid any dust settling down). 
  • Store the spice powder in an airtight container and store the jar in a cool place. 
  • Like Amma, you may make small batches to retain freshness.  


Coriander seeds - 400 gram
Red Chillies (spicy) - 200 grams
Kashmiri Red Chillies - 100 grams
Rice (Brown / White) - 1/4 cup
Methi - 1/3 cup
Asafoetida - a generous 1/2 tsp (skip for GF)
Dry Whole turmeric - 1/2 inch (use turmeric powder if you dont have access to whole turmeric, but add it to the grinding mix at the end without roasting it)
Dry Copra - 1/2 cup (desicated coconut or fresh coconut won't work)
Channa Dal - 100 gram
Cloves - 4 no. 
Curry leaves - 4 to 6 sprigs
Oil (to roast the spices) - 3 tsp+1/2 tsp


Pls find the video embedded below
For the exact method of roasting and in which order of grinding, please head to my youtube video below. Would greatly appreciate if you subscribe, like and share the video along with leaving your valuable comments both on the video and blog !   
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