October 31, 2008

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu - Brahmin Kuzhambu Recipes

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu literraly means dal balls in a gravy. As with most tamil Brahmin recipes, this one has the most common ingredients like toor dal, tamarind, hing and of course sambar powder! 

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu - Brahmin Kuzhambu Recipes
I have mentioned before how new I was / still am to an extend new to Tamil Brahmin cooking. My parents-in-law are here for a visit and that means amma takes care of all the cooking and dinner is ready by the time I get back from office. Bliss. But, I told her first off that I wanted to watch her making Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu. The dish features dal balls in a tangy tamarind sauce. Though it looks a bit like kofta curry, the recipe couldn't be further from it. Amma had given me the recipe long back and I tried it once but the dal balls (urundai) dissolved in the sauce and it ended up like sambar in the end. It does take some practise to get it right and what better way to learn than by watching!

Paruppu Urundai Kuzhambu - Brahmin Kuzhambu Recipes

October 27, 2008

Thattai Recipe- A Savory Snack For Deepavali | Diwali Recipes

I wanted to share a Diwali savory snack with you very quickly. So no useless talk this time but a quick and easy recipe for Thattai. I made this when my in-laws were visiting and Amma gave me the recipe for thattai verbally. I was quite intrigued, I have only ever eaten thattai and never made them at home. I knew they couldn't be too complicated since my periamma regularly makes thattai at home, especially during Diwali. Her version is much bitter and has more "bubbles" on the surface. Mine didn't have any and I was a bit worried soon after frying them but thankfully the thattai came out just fine and stayed well for 4 days, before which we polished them off. 

October 24, 2008

Tomato Rice Recipe | Thakkali Sadam Recipe

Thakkali sadam is one of my favourite variety rice recipes from Tamilnadu. I have already posted my easy tomato rice recipe here but this one is more authentic and has some grinding and roasting to do before you can enjoy it. And let me also tell you that its totally worth the effort. Of course, if you are too pressed for time or are too tired to be doing anything than some bare minimum chopping and stirring than my first tomato rice recipe is the one for you.

The paste

This is my aunt's special recipe and she has been using it for ages to impress her guests (and my uncle of course). If you love South Indian rice recipes, then you may like this raw mango rice recipe, puliogare, or a simple lemon rice recipe.

Tomato Rice Recipe | Thakkali Sadam RecipeTomato Rice

Thakkali Sadam is a great dish to pack away for a trip or for lunch box for work or school. It tastes good even after it's gone cold and all you need is a good raita or papad to pair it up with. I used to regularly take Thakkali Sadam in my lunchbox to school and all my Malayali friends who don't eat it that often would love to take a bite or two.

October 22, 2008


Vatha Kuzhambu, a  tangy South Indian specialty gets its name from Vathal which is vegetables sun dried and then added to the gravy for flavour. The common vathal is made with sundakka (Turkey Berry), vendakka (Okra) or manathakkali (interestingly known as black nightshade in english). You can also add vegetables like brinjal or drumsticks for a different flavour.

Easy Vatha Kuzhambu-Vatha Kuzhambu Recipe

I had been using the MTR ready mix for making Vatha Kuzhambu since I came to Singapore but decided to make the authentic version. I wasn't very confident since this is a very authentic recipe and may not come out well during the first try.

It came out much better than I expected so this one is definitely a keeper. We have different versions of Vatha Kuzhambu in South India. Theeyal is the most common variation from Kerala and Reddiars make something called nalla pulusu which is very close in taste. By whatever name you call it, Vatha Kuzhambu is a very tasty and easy kuzhambu recipe for rice. I also love the flavour the methi seeds give the kuzhambu on tempering it. Use gingelly oil or Indian sesame oil if you can for tempering, it really enhances the taste and flavour of the kuzhambu.

You may also wish to check out this cumin rasam recipe, a very flavourful rasam recipe for hot rice.

October 19, 2008

What is Bibimbap? A Korean One-Dish Meal

Its been over 5 months since we moved to Singapore and since then I have been eating out quite a bit. TH and I have lunch out and while he finds it difficult to find good food outside (he is a vegetarian), its slightly easier for me. I am a very selective non-veg eater and after marriage, have been mostly sticking to vegetarian food. I mostly ask restaurants to customize their dishes by removing any red meat and substituting with vegetables if possible, or sometimes chicken. This is not easy considering South East Asian Cuisine has meat and seafood atleast in a hidden way, in the form of fish sauce or pork lard used for cooking.

Anyway, since I normally experiment on different kinds of cuisines, I thought I will document some of the dishes here. The pics are going to be a bit fuzzy since I don't carry my camera with me everywhere and use my phone mostly.

The other day, I went with 2 of my colleagues to a Korean restaurant called Seoul Kool and I tried the popular one dish Korean meal called Bibimbop (bee-beem-bop). Though normally served with beef, they also served the chicken version.

While we waited for our orders, they brought in 6 bowls with different starters. Unfortunately, I was only able to take a  picture of half of them. There were steamed asparagus with chilli flakes, cabbage in some vinegar-chilly paste, mashed potatoes with some sort of seeds and white raisins, red beans in some sweet sauce (which was yummy), julienned carrots with spinach, tiny fish dried and fried (which I didn't try since I don't like dried fish).

The bibimbop came in a metal pot which was on a metal tray and it was *hot*. The dish looked pretty and colorful with all the components arranged in a nice manner. There was shredded chicken, fried seaweed, bean sprouts, cucumber, mushrooms, spinach, carrots, and some more unidentifiable vegetables and chilli noodles, all served on a bed of rice. We were supposed to mix it all well before eating. There is a also a leafy soup that can be added to it, along with some chilli paste. I tasted the soup and didn't like it - the leaves tasted like they were dried before cooking.

Though the serving looked small, once I started eating it, I found it quite filling. Also, they kept refilling the starters too. It was wholesome and flavorful. I loved it!

Cost: S$ 12.90

Seoul Kool
Jong Gat Jip Holdings Pvt Ltd
Icon Village
12 Gopeng Street
Singapore - 078877

Ph: +65 6327 7761

October 16, 2008

Aloo Paratha Recipe - How to Make Aloo Paratha

Aloo Paratha really doesn't need an introduction to any Indian cuisine lover. I remember having it in an Indian restaurant in Dublin and though everything else tasted nothing (much) like Indian food, their Aloo Paratha was very near the real one. The best Alu Paratha I have ever tasted was in a well-known dhaba in Gurgaon lovingly called the Convergys Dhaba. Darsh took me there during one of our many visits to Gurgaon and I will never forget the taste of that paratha which was super-thick, soft, oozing in butter with a square butter piece on top that melts around the paratha as you eat. And they serve it with a really nice achaar (pickle). The paratha was hot till I finished eating it, that's how thick it was. Bliss..

As with most street food, its impossible to get that taste at home for me. I chicken out and add very little butter and I guess that's for the best anyway. I like my parathas nicely browned and with avakka pickle while TH also takes curd with his.

October 10, 2008


Do not get thrown away by the blahh pic of aloo chettinad accompanying this recipe. You have to try it to see how awesome it tastes. Before I go any further, this recipe is an original one but from a cousin. She is very new to cooking and yet came up with this amazingly flavourful dish for us. I took the recipe from her (she just calls it throwing a few things together) and have made it twice in 2 weeks.

I think I am beginning to like potatoes almost as much as TH! The picture of Chettinad Aloo looks too white because we are using fresh spices in the recipe and not the ground masala. The taste is still great and smells amazing, trust me! I will try to update with a better of Aloo Chettinad soon.

October 8, 2008

Kadalai Kuzhambu Recipe - Using Coconut Milk

Today is a my mom-in-law's b'day and I wanted to do something for her that would be meaningful to both of us. Before I go any further I have to say how lovely she is to me, like my own mom :)

She is an amazing cook too and Kadalai Kuzhambu is one of the first recipes I learnt from her since TH loves it. Its simple and looks mild but is amazingly flavourful, just like all her dishes are. She is super fast in the kitchen and is normally done cooking for the day by the time I am up (err.. which is around 7 in the morning :D).

So here is to her and her special day. Happy B'day Amma :)

Chickpeas / Kabuli Chana

Kadalai Kuzhambu Recipe (With Coconut Milk)
Serves 2-3


Chickpeas / Kabuli Chana - 1/2 cup
Thick coconut milk - 3/4 cup
Tamarind - one marble sized ball (or 2tbsp if you are using paste)
Rasam Powder - 1 tbsp
if using your own sambar powder, use 1/2 tsp and 1/2 tsp red chilli powder.
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Hing/Asafoetida/Kayam - 1/2 tsp
Salt - to taste
Oil and mustard seeds - for tempering

How to make Kadalai Kuzhambu:

1. Soak the chickpeas overnight in 3 cups water. Pressure cook and keep aside. Or, just use canned chickpeas.

2. Use 1/2 cup warm water and blend the tamarind with your hand to extract the juice. If using paste, dilute it in 1/2 cup water.

3. Heat a pan and bring the tamarind water to boil. Add turmeric powder, hing, salt and the sambar powder to this. Sim and let it boil for 10 minutes.

4. Add the cooked chickpeas and boil for another 10 mins.

5. Remove from fire, add coconut milk and mix well. Adjust salt.

6. Heat some oil in a small saucepan and temper some mustard seeds. While hot, pour on the above gravy and mix well. You can even use some curry leaves at this stage.

Kadala Kuzhambu

Serve hot with rice. TH loves it with parippu usili.

October 6, 2008

Easy Broccoli Soup Recipe - Broccoli Soup (NO CREAM)

Broccoli is very expensive in India so I have never cooked with this vegetable before. Its very widely available in Singapore and priced pretty much like any other vegetable so I bought some the other day. The only problem was, I didn't know what to make with it. Ignoring TH's comment to "cook it like you do with cauliflower, maybe Aloo Broccoli?" I started searching around for a good soup recipe since I was sure I had come across some nice ones before.

Finally zeroed in on this very easy Broccoli Soup Recipe from BBC - Food (the link to recipe is no longer working). Some people don't like the flavour of broccoli and prefer to avoid and you would think this Broccoli Soup has a strong flavour of broccoli but it actually doesn't. I encourage you to try it even if you are a broccoli-disliker, this soup may just win you over.

Serves 4

Broccoli - 2 cups, chopped (discard the thicker part of the stem
Vegetable stock - 4 cups
Garlic - 3 to 4 cloves, chopped
Olive oil - 1 tbsp
Salt and pepper - to taste (freshly ground pepper makes a lot of difference to the taste)

How to Make Broccoli Soup
1. Heat the oil in a pan and saute the garlic till it turns a light brown at the edges.

2. Add the stock and the broccoli, bring to boil and simmer for 25-30 minutes. The broccoli should be cooked at this point.

3. Blend in a mixie / blender and serve hot with some salt and pepper.

Other Soup Recipes on Edible Garden:
Tomato Soup
Pepper Rasam
Easy Vegetable Soup