Sunday, 20 March 2016

The evergreen samosa

     Samosa is one of my favourite snacks (who doesn't like samosas?!) and I very badly wanted Abi to like this (it tastes better when you have company :). Fortunately our staff here is very good at making samosas and I learnt this from him. I've modified it to Abi's taste and made it with less spice. Abi likes the outer crust more than the stuffing because of the vegetables inside, but thankfully he doesn't leave it out altogether.

    So, needless to say this goes to the BM#62 under Kid's Delight-snacks for toddlers. Samosas take me to my early days of married life. As I was making samosas for the BM entry, an interesting incident which happened over the samosas, flashed back to my mind. I wrote this for my blog. You will have a hearty laugh when you read it and may bring back similar memories to share with us.

Ingredients for the wrap:                                          
  • Maida - 2 cup                                                  
  • Ajwain - 1 teaspoon (as per taste)                   
  • Oil - 3 tablespoons                                          
  • Warm water- as required                                
  • Salt - to taste                                                                                                                          
  1. Mix all the ingredients except the oil.
  2. Add oil and mix the flour till it looks like granules.
  3. Add warm water little at a time and knead the flour until smooth but tight and keep aside.
For the filling:                                                       
  • Potatoes - 5 0r 6 nos
  • Peas - 1 tablespoon
  • Red chilli powder - as per taste
  • Green chillies - as per taste
  • Ginger - 1/2 inch
  • Coriander leaves - chopped
  • Cashew nuts/raisins - chopped 
  • Coriander seeds - 1to 1/2 teaspoon
  • Fennel seeds(Saunf) - 1 teaspoon
  • Dry mango powder 1/2 teaspoon
  • Cashew nuts and Raisins - (optional)
  • Salt - to taste

  • Boil, peel and break the potatoes into small pieces and mash some of them.
  • Boil the peas with a little salt and just enough water.    
  • Heat oil in a pan. Add coarsely ground coriander and saunf, green chillies, ginger and saute them for a few minutes.
  • Add the vegetables and salt, dry mango powder, red chilli powder and chopped nuts and fry for 2 to3 minutes. Switch off the gas and let it cool. Add finely chopped coriander leaves.
  • Take a small ball of the dough and roll it like puri. Cut the puri into two pieces.
  • Take one half of the puri, wet the cut portion with water and close it to make a cone.
  • Hold the cone in the hand, fill in a spoonful of  vegetable filling in the center, apply water all around the rim and press it nicely to close the samosa.
  • Heat oil in a pan and fry the samosas on a medium heat till they turn golden brown.
1. Filling 2. Roll out aata 3.fold the aata 4, Fill it 5. Close it. 6. Fry it

Saturday, 19 March 2016


   Yet another day of school for my li'l one and a Himalayan task for me deciding his tiffin box menu (and for all those mothers who pack lunch for their kids)! When my daughter was young, I did not have to do "lunch packing" for her as she went to a boarding school. 
   I think now it is payback time! Abi is a very picky eater. So every evening I have to start a brainstorming session with my daughter as to what to make for his lunch the next morning. The ideal criteria is that he will actually eat without a fuss, it doesn't spill, it doesn't dirty his clothes too much - very high standards! Sometimes we are successful and sometimes we are not. Here I am posting one such success. I am sure most kids will like this because it is sweet and parents will like this because it's healthy. 

   This is a traditional south Indian recipe called 'unniyappam'. I made this day before yesterday and packed around 10 of them in Abi's tiffin box. I am not sure whether he ate them all himself or the other kids did, but his tiffin box was polished clean!  

bananas maida atta, jaggery and grated coconut        
dates, raisins, dried ginger and cardamom powder
 1. Maida : 1/2 cup
 2. Atta (whole wheat flour): 1/2 cup
 3. Banana : 1
 4. Jaggery : 125 gms
 5. grated coconut: 2 tablespoons
 6. A pinch each of dried ginger and cardamom powder
 7. Chopped dates : 4 nos
 8. Raisins - 10 - 15 ( or any other dried fruits)  
 9.Lukewarm water : 1&1/2 cups
10. Ghee for frying


1. Soak the jaggery in the lukewarm water and stir occasionally till it melts completely.

2. Mash the banana in a bowl. Add the maida and atta into the mashed banana. 

3. Pour the jaggery water (once it is cooled and melted) through a strainer into the banana atta mix.

4. Mix this batter well such that the atta and maida form no lumps.

5. Add the rest of the ingredients into the batter. Check the consistency. If it's too thick, add some water and if it is too thin, add some wheat flour. The right consistency is as shown in the picture here.

6. Heat the appam mould. Now pour about 1/4th tsp of ghee into each of the holes/depressions of the appam mould.

7. Pour the batter into these holes. Allow it to cook for two minutes or so. When the sides appear brown in colour, turn the unniyappams upside down and cook for another 2 minutes. Insert a toothpick to check. If it comes clean, it's ready!

That's it! Enjoy eating hot!

Thursday, 17 March 2016

Snacks for toddlers - Namak para

   Evenings are the best time to munch something along with our hot beverages. After a long day of hard work when my daughter comes home in the evening she goes around looking for some crunchy munchies (which happens rarely). On one such evening she found these namak paras. She asked for them with some mango pickle. Abi saw his mother eating and wanted to try it but was very scared that the pickle  might be too spicy for him. After watching his mom enjoy the snacks, he too mustered some courage to try them. Believe me, he liked it so much including the pickle. The pickle was homemade, so less spice in it. Ever since he asks for namak para with achar only so we give very less. Just seeing the pickle by the side of namak para he is happy to eat. Thus, I choose the theme of snacks for toddlers for this month BM. I personally do not like to give too much of maida to my li'l one so I keep experimenting with the basic recipes. This particular one is a result of that successful experiment and a hit with adults as well. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#62.
Now for the recipe.

  1. Maida - 2 cups
  2. Wheat flour - 1 cup
  3. Sooji/ semolina - 1/3 cup
  4. Ajwain - 1 teaspoon
  5. Salt, pepper - to taste
  6. Oil - 1/2 cup (for kneading)
  7. Oil - for frying
  1. Mix all the flour, ajwain, salt and pepper  together.
  2. Add the oil to the flour and rub (gently) them together with both hands till they resemble bread crumbs.
  3. Now add water a little at a time and knead to make a tight (like for samosa) dough.Cover and let it stand for 10 minutes.
  4. Take an orange sized ball of the dough and roll a slightly thick chapati. Prick all over the chapati with a fork.  
  5. Now with the help of a knife, cut it into desired shapes.
  6. Deep fry them in medium heat oil till they turn golden brown.
  7. Drain and store them in a airtight container.

Saturday, 12 March 2016

Thengai Paal / Coconut Milk

   Do not get confused with the name 'coconut milk'. This is not the extract of coconut. It is a drink made out of the coconut extract. One of the most trusted home remedy for cold and cough, my maternal grandmother used to make this lovely drink for us even if we did not have cold. Such a delicacy! It does not taste like that any more without my naani around. Miss you naani! Again this dish brings lots of beautiful memories of my childhood and makes me nostalgic.

  • Milk of 2 coconuts (or 2 cups if using frozen milk)
  • Sugar - as per taste
  • Dry ginger powder - 1 teaspoon
  • Pepper - 5 to 6 nos
  • Clove - 5 nos
  • Cardamom - 5 nos

  • Boil the coconut milk, stirring all the while till it becomes a little thick.
  • Now add ground pepper, clove and sukku/ dry ginger powder and cook for five minutes.
  • Add sugar, keep cooking till it dissolves completely.
  • Remove from the gas, add cardamom powder.
  • Serve hot.

Friday, 11 March 2016

Thengai Opputtu


I like any sweet dish made with coconut. This particular one is a traditional recipe which my grandmother and my mother used to make. As there was no dearth of coconut in our home, this simple and quick dish was prepared for unannounced guests. Moreover, those days people did not buy sweets from markets like we do now. 

   In spite of all the new arrivals, these traditional ones have not lost their place. As my daughter's birthday also falls in this month and we are running this BM with theme 'cooking with coconut', I chose to make 'thengai opputtu' (I do not know what is it called in any other language). Needless to say, it turned out well and everyone enjoyed it. Now for the recipe!


For stuffing:                                                                   For the dough:
  • Coconut, fresh, grated - 1 cup                                Maida / flour - 1/2 cup
  • brown sugar /gud - 4 tablespoons                           Powdered sugar - 1 teaspoon
  • Dry fruits finely chopped - 1 tablespoon                  Water - As required
  • Cardamom - 4 nos
  • Ghee - As required for cooking
  • In a mixing bowl, add the flour and powdered sugar.
  • Add water little at a time and knead it into a smooth dough (like for bhatura) and keep aside.
  • Put the grated coconut in a blender and run it for a few seconds with stops in between. Be careful that the coconut does not become a paste but instead should just shred it smaller. The smaller the coconut flakes, the better it will taste in the filling.
  • In a pan, add the coconut and sugar and fry them on a medium heat till nicely mixed and the sugar dissolves. 
  • Fry the dry fruits in ghee and add them into the coconut mixture. Add cardamom powder mix it and let it cool. Once it is cooled, take a spoonful of the mixer and make ladoos of it. Set aside.
  • Now apply oil / ghee on your hand, take a small ball of the dough, spread it in your palm and fill in the coconut mixture.
  • Wrap the dough such that it covers the coconut ladoo nicely. Apply ghee on a rolling board (banana leaf or polythene sheet), keep the covered ladoo on it and start pressing it lightly with your hand so that it becomes like a chapati. Basically, it is like making stuffed parantha.
  •  Heat a tawa, spread some ghee and place the opputtu on it. Cook for a minute or two, then turn the side, sprinkle some ghee and cook till done.
  • Serve hot or cold.

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Coconut Rice

   Coconut has been one of the most commonly used ingredients in our home. As children, we used to have coconut with vellam / panangaruppatti (gud) or simply with salt and red chilli powder as our evening snacks. Since we have coconut trees in our farm itself, we, siblings had our choice of coconut (from which tree it should come). Now of course,living in the opposite end of the country, we are more than happy as long as we get one! 

   So, coconut was my obvious choice for this month BM as my childhood memories came alive with it. Coconut rice is not only my all time favourite but many of my friends love it as well. They often used to tell me to make this for them. Now for the recipe of this simple and easy to make dish.

  • Grated coconut - 1 cup  or 1/2 coconut
  • Cooked and cooled rice - 2 cups
  • Oil - 1 tablespoon
  • Mustard seeds - 1/2  teaspoon
  • Jeera - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Chana dal - 1/2 teaspoon
  • Urad dal (white) -1/2 teaspoon
  • Red chillies -3 or 4 nos
  • Chopped onion - 1 medium 
  • Curry leaves - A few
  • Salt - To taste
  • Heat a pan with oil. Add the mustard seeds. 
  • Once the mustard splutters, add jeera, red chillies, chana dal and urad dal. 
  • When the dals turn golden brown, add onion and curry leaves. Fry till the onion turns translucent.
  •  Now add the grated coconut and fry for a minute add salt and the rice. Mix well and remove from heat.
  • Sprinkle some chopped coriander leaves and serve.
* You can use left over rice.
* Do not fry the coconut too much, else the oil will come out.
* Onion is optional
* Increase or decrease seasoning according to your taste

  It is a simple yet delicious dish. Sure you will try it and enjoy this as much as I enjoyed putting this up for the Blogging Marathon. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#62.

Wednesday, 9 March 2016

Future Guiness Record Holder for Imagination!

      My li'l one is so innovative and quick in his thinking that I have almost stopped getting surprised. I really wonder, how, without even opening his eyes, he can keep fooling me like he is reading a story or something. After what seems like an eternity, he will oblige me by getting up and somewhat sitting in the bed. Then the next step towards my goal-making him drink his milk. I offer him the milk in his blue cup. Then the scene goes like this-
Abi: I will drink in the coffee bean cup (mein coffee bean wale cup se piyunga).
I get that cup and transfer it in that.
Abi: I want in the lined-glass (mein woh line-line wake glass se piyunga).
I give him that and ask him to hurry up.
Abi: No,no. I asked for the pink, kitchen set cup (mujhe toh kitchen set wala pink cup chahiye).
Controlling my anger and not wanting to create a scene in the morning hours, I get that cup . Then he will insist on transferring the milk from one cup to another himself. Finally, he will spill half and drink half and proceed to the next scene of action.

After experiencing this once, I thought I will outsmart him by bringing all his choice of cups and glass. So the next day, I went armed with everything in a tray and with a winning smile I woke him up. He half opened his eyes and saw the tray. Can you even guess what he said? I do not want any of these things. I will pour it my hand and drink (inmein se nahi piyunga, mein tho haath mein dalkar piyunga)!!! I was literally dumbfounded! It seems he has seen some people drinking water like that in school and used this as an excuse! I could not stop praising him for his timing.

In spite of all the anger and frustration at times, I look forward to his new inventions. I think that is what grand-parenthood is all about. I doubt, whether I would have enjoyed all these tantrums as a parent.

Monday, 7 March 2016

What my legs say..!

   It was another morning, the same mundane routine of me waking up Abi and his best efforts to try and avoid getting up from the bed, try skipping milk, yet another effort not to wear his uniform. Neither of us get tired of doing this. Most of the time he tries the same excuses but sometimes he comes up with such fantastic ideas to escape going to school. After I joined school and started going with him, he did show some improvement and we went to school without much fuss. But of late he has started the same old process of endless excuses again.

   Two days back what he said made me laugh till my stomach pained. With a lot of effort I woke him, took him to the bathroom. After brushing he tells me, "naani, I will drink milk and go back to sleep"(main doodh pee kar so jaoonga). I asked him why. Keeping a straight face he tells me, "mere pair bol rahe hai ki aaj school mat jao kyunki unko dard ho raha hai"(my legs are telling me not to go to school because they are paining)! 

   Somehow regaining myself, I explained to him that he does not have to walk, I will carry him to the vehicle and to the class also. Very reluctantly he agreed, but with a condition that he will sit on my lap even in the car.

Saturday, 5 March 2016


The year 1986. The alarm rings at 5:45. The working mother gets up and rushes through the usual morning chores from waking up all the other members of the family to making their breakfast and packing lunch for everyone. But all of them put together are not half as difficult as the single task of waking up an youngster! In the middle of rushing around to finish cooking and getting ready, I would try to wake my daughter up to get ready but each time I called out to her, she would say, 5 minutes ma, please! This would go on till the time I left.  Most of you can rewind your memory, I'm sure most mothers would agree with me.

The year 2016. The alarm rings at 6:45. I get up and do my morning chores much more leisurely as I have more helping hands now and my school is just 5 minutes walk from my house. But even 30 years later, when I wake up my li'l one for school at 7:30, PAT comes the reply - "5 minutes, naani please, paanch minute aur sojaun naani" and after 5 minutes, another 5 minutes and on and on it goes till I lose my patience.

We all believe that with time, everything changes and it is true to some extent, but this one aspect of children does not seem to ever change.  Should I blame it on genes? Three decades down the line, the morning scene in my house has not changed even a bit!

 How I wake him up and get him ready for school is another story- all the tricks he tries to escape from going to school is something truly unbelievable!
And this is his style of sleeping!

Thursday, 3 March 2016

The Storm Over A Plate of Samosa

   I am participating in food blogging marathon and I was preparing samosa as my entry for the same event. Suddenly out of the blue, this incident came to my mind and I could not restrain myself from sharing this small incident which happened years back.

   It was one and a half years after our marriage. My husband was doing his engineering in Pune at that time. Just the two of us.There is an open air theatre in the army campus. We used to go there to see movies and during intervals people used to buy samosas from the canteen there. My dear hubby would ask me, if I want to eat samosa? I would say no and he will not buy any as he never liked to eat out. ( It's our daughter who made him taste street food later on). It happened a few times.

   One Sunday morning, we had gone to see a Tamil movie (I still remember the name of the movie-Thillana Mohanambal) outside the army campus. It was something very rare that they showed Tamil movie. As I was new and missing my hometown, we rushed to watch the movie. During the interval my hubby asked  me if I want to eat samosa or something else. I said no. That's it. When we returned home I broke down like a child (I could not cry in the theatre openly because it was a public place). My hubby was puzzled and kept asking me as to why I was crying. Finally I told him that he should not ask me whether I want to eat samosa or not,and even if he asks and I say no, he should just go and get it. That was my expectation from him! (of course, it was just one such numerous expectations). Till today, he never understood why such a big fuss about samosa! You want to eat, say so otherwise say no. But of course, he does not ask that question any more. We do not come back home without having my samosa or chat ....(now the list is a long one).

   After her marriage, my daughter has warned her husband about my samosa incident. Whenever we go out together with him, he does not take the risk of asking me or my daughter.He simply orders or brings them!

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