Lemon & Parmesan spaghetti


Spagetti – 1 packet

Light cream – 2 cups

Grated parmesan cheese – 2 cups

Lemon Zest – of 1 lemon

Parsley – 3 tbsps

Salt & Pepper – to garnish



Boil water by adding salt & add pasta. Tip: Water should be as salty as sea water.

Cook until tender.Remove & drain.

Pour drops of olive oil to keep them from sticking together.

In another pan, pour cream & bring to boil. Stir in Parmesan cheese & lemon zest.

The sauce should thicken almost immediately.

Pour the sauce over the pasta & toss.

Season with pepper, salt & freshly chopped parsley.

Thengaai Chutney/Coconut Chutney


Grated Coconut: 1 cup

Pottu kadalai/Roasted Channa Dal: 2 tbsps

Green Chillies: to taste

Salt: To taste

Curry Leaves: 2 sprigs

* Roasted Channa dal is available in Indian stores.


Grind all of the above & season with Mustard seeds & one dried red chilli.

PS: I learnt this recipe from our domestic help in India. I like this version better than what I have made in the past.

Paruppu thogaiyal


Toor dal – 1/2 cup

Peppercorns – 15 or so

Dried Red Chillies – 2

Ghee – 1/2 tsp


Fry toor dal in ghee till golden red in colour.

Set aside.

Dry roast peppercorns & red chillies for couple of seconds.

Grind all of them by adding salt & little water.

BINGO! Paruppu thugaiyal ready.

Vegetable Biryani Masala



Pudhina/Mint leaves – 1 bunch

Coriander Leaves – 1 bunch

Garlic – 1 to 1 1/2 cloves

Green Chillies – 1 to 2, to taste

Ginger – 1 small piece

Tomatoes – 1, chopped into large pieces

Small Onions/shallots  – 10 to 12 pieces


Grind  all the above ingredients to a fine paste without adding water. Use this as a base for any biryani.

Thakkaali Saadham/Tomato Rice

Boiled Rice – 1 ½ cups

Onion – 1 chopped to long pieces

Ripe Tomatoes – 3 chopped finely

Green Chillies – 1 to 2, depending on preference

Curry Leaves – 1 sprig

Garlic – 1 clove, optional

Tomato paste – 1 tbsp

Chilli Powder – 1 tsp

Turmeric powder – 1 tsp

Salt – to taste

Oil – to season

Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp

Channa Dal – 1 tsp

Urad Dal – 1 tsp

Sonf – 1 tsp

Cinnamon Stick – 1

Cardamoms – 5 to 6

Cloves – 5 to 6

Mace – 1

Bay leaf – 1

Coriander leaves – chopped, for seasoning

Heat Oil in a kadai. Add mustard seeds, followed by channa dal. When lightly golden, add urad dal & fry till urad dal is golden brown. Then, add sonf, cinnamon stick, cardamoms, cloves, mace, bay leaves, followed by curry leaves. Now, add green chillies & onion. Fry until onion is cooked. When clear & cooked, add the tomatoes. Cook till tomatoes become mushy. Now, add tomato paste, salt, chilli powder & turmeric powder. When all mixed well into gravy like mixture, add boiled rice & mix well. Season with coriander Leaves.

Tips to avoid spluttering of Mustard Seeds

For those of you who have such a hard time with cleaning after seasoning (thaalichu kottu) with Mustard seeds & it’s annoying spluttering, here’s a tip for you.

Heat a pan/kadai/vaanali/baandli & empy the freshly purchased packet of mustard seeds.

Dry roast. Stir every few minutes until the crackling of mustard seeds reduce to virtually none..

Allow it to cool & store in a sealed container.

All you have to do is to add to oil or ghee when seasoning, then, immediately add urad, channa or curry leaves. You don’t need to wait for kadugu to splutter again.

Brussel Sprouts curry/subji


Baby Brussel Sprouts, sliced into 4 pieces – 2 cups

Oil: 1 tbsp

Mustard Seeds: 1 tsp

Chilli Powder: 1 tsp or to taste

Turmeric Powder: 1 tsp

Hing/Asafoetida: 1 tsp

Salt: to taste


Heat oil in a pan. Add Mustard seeds. Let it crackle.

Add cut Brussel Sprouts & stir until lightly cooked.

Once it is partly cooked, add all the other ingredients & stir fry until well cooked.

Remove from fire once soft & tender to taste.


* it tastes crispy & nice when heated in the microwave later. Heat without covering.

* it tastes nice if stir fried a little burnt. It may look a little burnt when it turns dark brown, but it tastes nice when brown. I deliberately burn it a little.

Don’t burn to black.


Aloo Palak, gravy style

Makes: 4 servings


Baby Potatoes, boiled & cut into big chunks – 500 gms
Chopped fresh spinach – cup
Sliced Onion – 1
Ginger –  1 tsp shredded or chopped
canned tomatoes – ½ cup
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
Garam Masala – 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds – ½ tsp
1 tbsp Oil
Salt to taste
Lemon Juice & butter – 1 tsp each


Heat oil in a pressure cooker.

Add cumin followed by ginger, onions and fry until the onion is cooked.

Add turmeric powder, potatoes, tomatoes, garam masala powder, red chilli powder, salt and saute the potatoes.

When the potatoes are light brown, add in the spinach to the potatoes.

Add chopped spinach & pressure cook for 2 to 3 whistles. Stir in a tsp of lemon juice. Finally Stir in the little butter

My Vegetable Kurma



Beans: 250 gms finely chopped

Carrot: 1 1/2 cut into small pieces

Potato: 1

Frozen Peas: 1 cup

Other ingredients:


Turmeric Powder

Coconut Milk: 1 cup

To Season:

Coriander Leaves

To fry/season seperately:

Onion: 1 thinly cut

Curry Leaves

Mustard Seeds

To fry & grind:

Cinnamon Stick: 1 medium

Sonf/Sombu: 1 tbsp

Cloves: 5 to 6

Cardamom: 5 to 6

Green Chillies: 2

Poppy Seeds: 1 1/2 tsp

Garlic: 1 large or 2 small cloves

Coconut: 1 cup

pottu Kadalai/Roasted Channa dal: 2 tbsp


Fry all of the above in little oil lightly, except for coconut, ginger & pottu Kadalai. Add coconut, ginger, pottu kadalai & grind all of them to a smooth paste. Set aside.

Boil the vegetables with salt & turmeric powder.

Once vegetables are cooked, add the finely ground mix to the boiled vegetables. Let it boil for few minutes.

Fry mustard seeds, curry leaves & Onion in little oil until onion is clear in colour. Keep aside.

Add the fried onion & seasoning to the kurma. now add coconut milk. let the kurma boil for few more minutes.

Finally season with coriander leaves.

Pavakkai Pitlai (Bitter Guard curry)


Pavakkai: 2

Cooked Toor Dal: 1 cup (cooked & mashed)

Tamarind: a golf ball size

Coriander Seeds: 1 1/2 Tsp

Channa dal: 1 tsp

Urad Dal: 3/4 tsp

Dry Red Chillies: 5 (depending on the heat). You may reduce or increase the numbers)

Grated Coconut: 1 tbsp

Curry Leaves: 1 sprig

Turmeric Powder: 1 tsp

Jaggery or brown sugar: 1 tsp

Oil: 2 tbsps (if you don’t wish to add more oil, season initially & then, add the pavakkai)

Salt: to taste

Heat oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds. Once crackled, add urad dal & fry till golden brown.

Then, add red chillies, hing & curry leaves.

Now, add finely chopped pavakkai & fry until it changes colour.

Add soaked, strained tamarind water.

while boiling add salt & turmeric. Let it cook until the rawness of the tamarind is gone.

Now, add the mashed toor dal.

While cooking, fry Coriander seeds, Channa, Urad dals, Red chillies. Cook until dark brown. Now add grated coconut & fry till golden brown.

Grind to a smoother paste, adding little water. Pour this onto the pavakkai mixture. Let it cook for few minutes.

Before, removing from fire, add the jaggery or brown sugar.

Season with fresh coriander.


Note: You can add boiled Kabuli Channa or Boiled Peanuts.


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