Vazhakkai podimas

Vazhakkai aka raw banana is one of the fav vegetable at home because of its ability to be made into a fried version; and at this point we ascertain our unfathomable loyalty to anything prepared in oil.

To break this oily comfortness, vazhakkai is made into a podimas version at home which is even more comforting on the palette.

Make sure to buy fully grown raw bananas and not the tender ones.

Take one vazhakkai and cut into 3 equal parts after trimming the ends.

Take about a litre of water, bring it to a boil, add a pinch of turmeric powder and a half tsp of salt.

Immerse the 3 pieces of vazhakkai and let it cook to half-done consistency. Cooking it soft will mush up the podimas. So extreme care should be taken to remove it from the hot water at the exact half-cooked time. This can be checked by inserting a pin or a knife.

Let the vazhakkai cool. Peel the skin. Grate the vazhakkai in a grater.

Take a pan, add about 2 tsp oil. When oil is hot, add 1tsp of mustard. When mustard pops, add 1/2 tsp urid dal and 1/2tsp chenna dal. Add 1 green chilli finely chopped. Add 1″ ginger finely grated. Add in a few curry leaves. Now add in the grated vazhakkai, sprinkle required amount of salt and mix well.

Add 1tbsp of grated coconut.

Switch off and squeeze a few drops of lemon juice.

Mix well and vazhakkai podimas is ready to serve.


Mutter Masala Rice

I don’t like to waste food. And to avoid repeating menu at the dinner tables, I sometimes twist the rice to make something more appealing to the eyes, as we eat with our eyes first.

The morning’s left over rice, got converted to Mutter Masala rice and presented like this with Gobi fry, it was a big hit at the dinner table.

Left over cooked rice – 1 cup
Frozen Peas – 1 handful
Onion – 1 medium – thinly sliced
Cinnamon – 1/2″ stick
Bay leaf – 1
Cloves – 2
Saunf – 1/2 tsp
Turmeric powder – a pinch
Red chili powder – 1/2 tsp
Soya sauce – a few drops

– Take a pan, heat up 2 tsp of oil. Add Saunf, Cloves, Bay leaf and cinnamon stick.
– Add the sliced onions and fry well.  Then add the frozen peas, as it’ll cook quite fast.
– Sprinkle turmeric powder and red chili powder and mix well.
– When the peas is cooked, switch off heat.
– Now add the cooked left over rice, sprinkle salt to taste, soya sauce and mix well.
– Serve with Gobi fry or Potato fry and make your dinners more exciting.
– You can as well use it packing lunch with freshly made rice.


Cheese Tomato Sandwich

Cheese Tomato Sandwich

Thinly slice 2 tomatoes into circles.
Take two slices of bread. Keep a cheese slice on it.
Sprinkle some oregano on it.
Stack the sliced circles of tomatoes on the bread.
Cover it with another cheese slice. Sprinkle oregano again.
Now cover with the other bread slice.

Toast on a buttered pan till golden brown. Delicious breakfast like this with coffee is to die for 🙂


Veg Cheese Toast


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Thinly slice one medium sized onion and half a capsicum.
Heat a pan with 1 tsp of oil, saute the onion and capsicum for a minute or two. Sprinkle little salt and sweet paprika for that flavor and color. Remove from heat.
Spread this saute-d veg mixture on one slice of the bread. Keep a cheese slice on top of it. Cover with the other slice.
Toast on a butter greased pan till golden brown.
Yummy Veg Cheese toast to gobble up is ready 🙂

Thakkalikkai Kootu

One of my most favorite dishes from my mom’s kitchen is this yummy Thakkalikkai Kootu.  Thakkalikkai is the raw tomato which is green in color.  It has a slight sour taste to it, as opposed to the sweetness of a ripe one.  Hence, this goes very well in the making of a kootu (tomato + dal) and absolutely goes well with rotis / phulkas, hot rice and pappad.

And this was the first dish which I cooked at my in-laws place, after getting married.

It was probably a month after my wedding. And my mother-in-law was totally in the mood to try out something new in the kitchen.

Being the new entry to the family, she asked me if I know any dish which was quite out of the ordinary everyday cooking. And I being a great fan of tomatoes answered instantly, that my mom used to make Thakkalikkai koottu (Green tomatoes in dal).

Now, my curious mother-in-law was all ears for the recipe. And she literally was watching me with keen eyes to see how I prepared it.

That was one of the proudest moments for me, to get a smiling approval from my mother-in-law, as she is a great cook herself.

It was a proud moment for me from another angle. All I had done at my home was observe my mom, while she cooked this dish. And when I tried making it in my in-laws house for the first time, it came out very well and it was like a big pat to my observation skills.

Tomatoes – Green preferred – ½ kg (Cut each tomato into four quarters)
Moong Dal – ½ cup (Wash and Soak in water for 30 mins)
Onion – 2 (finely chopped)

Red chillies – 6
Chana dal – 1 tsp
Coriander seeds (Dhaniya) – 2 tsp
Asafoetida – ½ tsp
Grated coconut – 2 tbsp

  • Cook the Moong dal in a Pressure Cooker with a little turmeric powder.
  • Fry the ingredients mentioned under masala, except the coconut, in one tsp of oil. Allow it to cool. Then grind them all to a fine paste.
  • In a heavy bottomed pan, add in a glass of water. When it comes to a boil, add in the cut green tomatoes. Let it cook and become soft. Add in the masala paste, the cooked moong dal and the right amount of salt. Let it all blend well and cook for 5 mins.
  • In another pan, heat 2 tsp of oil, add 1 tsp of mustard seeds, 1 tsp of broken urid dal, a few curry leaves and the finely chopped onions. Let the onions become lightly golden in color. Add this on top of the kootu and mix well.

thakkalikkai kootuDSCN0825I can assure you of its yumminess….just trust me and go ahead and try it. You’ll love it.

Indha kootu-kku naan guarantee 😀 😀



Karela Fry

This bitter-gourd fry is one hot favorite at home. Especially it goes well with Sambar rice or More kuzhambu rice. And its damn simple to prepare…ok…ok….may be you need a little patience during the frying stage 😛

2 medium sized Bitter-gourd – Sliced in circles and de-seeded
Besan (Chickpea flour) – 2 tbsp
Red chilli powder – 2 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Curd – 2 tbsp
Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

– Mix all the ingredients listed above (except the bitter-gourd) to a fine paste with no lumps.
– Now add the sliced bitter-gourd pieces and mix well.
– Let this rest for about 30 mins.
– The curd and salt mixture will help to reduce the bitterness.
– Take a non-stick pan. Keep it on medium-heat. Spread a tsp of oil on the pan. Fry the bitter-gourd pieces separately as shown in the picture.  It might be a test on patience for you, but seriously the fruits of this venture are damn good.
– Shallow fry both the sides of the bitter-gourd to a golden brown. An occasional near black one might also taste good. Never mind 😀 😛

Karela Fry