Thursday, December 18, 2008

Best of 2008! - Packing up for the year..

I admit, being a sporadic blogger this year :) ..popping up now and then giving reasons such as family commitments, lots of travel, poor connectivity and so on ;)..(well, they ARE solid excuses, aren't they?? ;))

Again, amazed to realise the fact that the authentic recipes have ‘clicked’ this year too making them the so called ‘hit posts’.., not much to brag about and better restricting to the top 5 of the year..

Spicy Baby Potatoes

The simplicity of preparing the dish, the availability of the ingredients might have been the reason of this 'hit recipe' :)


Never had in my distant most dreams that this one would ‘click’, while hurriedly entering Suganya’s ‘Healthy eats’ event, at the last moment. Since it was for this young lady who rocks with her stunning pictures, I remember working a real lot with photoshop(exploring for the first time, ever) for better pictures...and finally, the hark work paid! ;)..

Jack fruit Dumplings/Chakka Kumbil Appam.

Yet another authentic recipe from my home town, which hit the list.

The recipes which many of my blogger friends tried, appreciated and got back with good results (supposedly ;)) were..

Chettinad Karakkuzhambu

And Ghee fried Bananas

This post is for Srivalli who hosts the event, Best of year 2008! :)
..needless to mention again, the great GREAT time we shared while co-ordinating Arusuvai earlier this year.. :)..

I sincerely thank all my blogger pals and readers for their loving and kind support throughout these wonderful days of blogging making each moment lovely and meaningful.

I am eager to experiment more with new cuisines, post recipes consistenly, participate in more events and visit blogger pals’ place with words of encouragement, without fail, as always!.

Wishing you all the very best, the Season can bring!..


Bharathy :)

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

Mexican Wedding Cookies!..

No Christmas is complete without cookies, so lets bake some!!..Says the sweet lady here :) .

This interesting recipe was found out from her place :)..
Keeping the page open, I rushed to the stores to make sure I was equipped with the raw materials..and YES!..; I couldn’t wait any longer…
Of course we don’t have any lovely snow fall here to compliment, but the season of festivity, the winter..…alas!!..they were real melt-in-the-mouth, perfect with a cup of hot tea.

The original recipe source- Mexican Wedding Cookies by Paula Deen from

To yield 15-20 cookies

Get ready with:

1/2 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, plus more for coating baked cookies
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting hands
1/2 cup pecans, chopped into very small pieces (I used walnuts)


Preheat the oven to 275 degrees F. Line cookies sheets with parchment paper.
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar at low speed until it is smooth. Beat in the vanilla. At low speed gradually add the flour. Mix in the pecans with a spatula. With floured hands, take out about 1 tablespoon of dough and shape into a crescent or a shape of your choice. Continue to dust hands with flour as you make more cookies. Place onto prepared cookie sheets. Bake for 40 minutes. When cool enough to handle but still warm, roll in additional confectioners' sugar or use a small strainer to dust in. Cool on wire racks.

Sharmi, these were baked specially for your lovely Cookie Baking Event. :).

Planning to bake another batch, fresh, this weekend as I am visiting my parents in Kerala for Christmas holidays. Feelling really proud to have thus entered dear Happy Cook's very first and sweet event of Home Made Christmas Gifts :) .

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Thursday, December 4, 2008

Kovakka Mezhukkupuratti / Stir-fried Tindoras

Tindoras don't really find a place among my regular lunch spread as my better half and kids totally dislike the vegetable.

Since we were more exposed to Kovakka, as children; though been regarded as a tasteless green veggie, yet well enough with this preparation; I make this stir fry once in a while just to satisfy my craving of those childhood days...

Here's my version of Kovakka/Ivy gourd Mezhukkupuratti.


Kovakka/Tindoras-2 cups-sliced thin, lengthwise.
Shallots/Small Onions-7-8 nos
Garlic- 2 flakes
Coconut Oil- A tbsp
Curry Leaves- a sprig
Mustard seeds-for seasoning-1/4 tsp
Salt- to taste


1. Wash the vegetable.Cut off the tips. (as Inji says here, slice them along lenghthwise as thin as possible so as to avoid pre-cooking). Somehow I ended up slicing them a little chunky as they were from my own garden and was not easy to get 'em sliced thin and again was forced to pre-cook (cooking till half done in a closed pan with salt, with just enough water).

2. Pulse the onions, red chillies and garlic in the mixie for not more than 5-10 seconds or crush them coarse using a hand mortar.

3. Heat oil in a non-stick pan, splutter mustard seeds, sauté crushed onion- garlic- chilly mixture till raw smell disappears, for a few seconds.Throw in curry leaves.

4. Add the vegetable and mix well so as to get coated with the spices. Keep the pan open, on a medium flame, tossing well, once in three minutes.

5. Remove from fire when they are roasted or acquire a golden brown hue, here and there.This would take 20 minutes time, more or less. Remove from fire and serve hot with rice.
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Thursday, November 6, 2008

A College Reunion,a Nostalgic me!..More abt me too!!..

Have you ever heard of this Hit movie Classmates?

This Malayalam Movie(2006) talks about campus life of the students of CMS College in the year 1991 ; a beautiful story that unwinds about them meeting after 15 long years!.

Well, I am proud to announce to all my friends that I myself was a CMS ite of the very same period and that we are going to have a meet up after the same span of time!..

The meeting which is proposed to be on December 28th 2008 is a much awaited one as I am an active co-ordianator of the event.
Mr.Kiran John, my immediate senior, who is in charge of this re-union of 1985-1995 batch, holds a wonderful blog, which talks more abt the College and the Meet..

This Pookkalam/Floral carpet designed by me bagged a prize for the Onam celebrations.
I'm not here in this picture...but have a few of my pics with my close friends, of those days in Kiran’s Blog here.

"The Decade Dreams", the lovely Malayalam music album shot in the Beautiful CMS College Campus is dedicated to the Alumni.

And now, ..

Can I expect my blogger pals’ ‘Inspirational Comments’ and ‘Wishes’ under my post in Kiran’s place, Please ? :)

P.S -I have disabled the comment section down here so as to gently push you there ;).
Each comment there is going to be special and very precious to me as always...

Looking forward to your Loving Wishes,

Bharathy :)

Image courtesy-CMS College KTM-Mr.Kiran John.

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Saturday, October 4, 2008

A Slice of Love...

Are you a banana lover? I bet you would love this.Do give a shot as this is one of the easiest dishes ever..

Amma makes this with much ease and expertise, when it comes to slicing the ripe bananas directly to the hot kadai, in no time with fresh ghee heating up in it. This dish, supposed to be a sweet snack, is somehow a ‘meal’ for my brother, sis and me.

She loves this cold, spongy and chewy,
While I prefer- warm, soft and juicy.
For this reason I fry the well ripened fruit slices in butter while the actual recipe calls for ghee.

So, here goes the recipe for Aethapazham/Nenthranpazham Vazhattiyathu or the Ghee Roasted Bananas..


Butter- ¾ - 1 cup
Ripe Kerala Bananas/aethappazham/nenthran pazham-2 nos- each slice to abt a cm thick.
Sugar-a tbsp


Melt butter in a wide non stick kadai..Dump in the fruit slices.Spread them well so as to facilitate deep frying keeping the flame sim to medium.Turn over the slices, gently, so as to cook the other side.Do not close the kadai at any stage.Let the slices turn deep brown to black.
The whole roasted time takes up to 20-25 minutes and by the end the butter would have turned to ghee. Transfer the slices carefully from the pan while still piping hot to a casserole.Sprinkle sugar, toss and keep tightly closed.Open after, say 15 mins.The heat of the fried slices would have melted the sugar by now which gives a syrupy sweet coating to the final dish.(The remaining ghee in the pan can be reused).
Serve warm.

My sis who never gets tired of hosting events has come up with a unique one this month after the movie Saas Bahu and Sensex and says “It can be anything ranging from a recipe an aunt passed along, a dish your mom used to make, quick enough so that she has time to pack you off to school and get to work herself, a meal that you enjoyed during your girls' night out with friends and want to re-create at home.”
Please visit the movie website by clicking here.

And sis, this is for you, dedicated to "our" sweet amma and granny :)

Obviously, the recipe is passed over to amma by her mom, which gives out that heavenly aroma while getting fried; even more than the wonderful flavour of ripe bananas and ghee; we taste her Love, mingled all over, in every slice…
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Thursday, September 11, 2008

Ada Pradhaman

Pradhaman is an important item of Kerala Cuisine and a 'must served' one for "Ona Sadhya".

The pradhaman here is made using ADA as the major ingredient, known as Sarkara Ada Pradhaman. Formerly I used to make ada by soaking raw rice, dry grinding it, making into a batter, pouring in a plantain leaf, spreading, rolling and tying each of the strips and steamcooking them;again cooling the strips and peeling them carefully, sprinkling cold water and tearing them into tiny bits.I had made the pradhaman you see here, following this method.Well, this is supposed to be the exact traditional way of preparing them, definitely making the recipe elaborate as these pictures would explain!.

The readymade ada packets in the market serve the purpose equally well.Most of the brands make ada using "maida" as the major ingridient.So it is important to make sure that the pack you buy is of made using "Rice", instead(press one of them lightly which crumbles easily and not hard).As a result of the above 'experiment', I found 'Double Horse' brand Ari Palada, the best.


Rice Ada(ready made)-100gms.
Jaggery-2 medium balls / 350-400gms.
Coconuts-2 medium-or to yield 6 grated cups.
Ghee-1 tbspCardamom, powdered-1/4 tsp.
A few Raisins and Cashews-fried in ghee-optional

1.Wash Ada and soak in hot boiled water.Cover with a lid.Keep aside for 20 minutes.

2. Meanwhile prepare the coconut extract using minimum amounts of water.The "first milk" should be of 2- 2 1/2 cups.The thin milk or the 'second milk'(secondly extracted from the same molasses)of 3 cups.Reserve the mass of coconut shavings to extract 3rd milk, if necessary, towards the end.

3. Crush the jaggery balls into smaller pieces and make the syrup, by boiling just half a cup of water, for 10-15 minutes till it turns slightly thicker (almost the consistency of honey).

4. Strain and transfer the jaggery syrup to a hot thick bottomed flat utensil,(Uruli is the most preferred :).. nonstick woks can also be substituted)

5. Add the ada, now turned soft, after draining the water completely,to the utensil containing the jaggery syrup.Mix them well, carefully without breaking the ada and adding ghee at this point to avoid sticking together.Let the ada absorb the sweetness well. Simmer till it reduces to three fourth.

6. Add the second milk of coconut and simmer for 10 minutes on low fire.

7. Add the cardamom powder to the 1st milk of coconut and pour in to the wok.Simmer till it just boils or for 2 minutes.Do not boil for long to avoid curdling up.

8. Pradhaman must reach a semi thick consistency by now.If its too thick, add coconut milk, which you can prepare again(the thinnest 3rd milk) from the same coconut shavings after the extraction of the 2nd milk.
Again,the pradhaman tends to get thicker, once it is cooled down to room temperature.So do bear this in mind,while checking the consistency while removing from fire.

9. Remove from fire.Addition of golden fried cashews and raisins (in ghee) is purely optional as the original or the traditional recipe is devoid of the same.

10."Sarkara Ada Pradhaman"can be served Hot or Cold.

Note: Originally, as the recipe, the ada is sunken and the liquid part is what is seen, superficially. Attempting to bring out the ada, the liquid part of the pradhaman was drained, for the pictures, for a better understanding, here.

Wishing you all a Very Happy Onam!..
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Sunday, August 31, 2008

JFI- Soya Chunk Cutlets

True that I love cooking soy and soy products, mainly because I’m into a core vegetarian family as these compliment a real good source of protein and supplement for the growing children.They had been persuading me to come up with the usual Soy chunk gravy, which I haven’t made for months, while hubby was looking forward to some freshly boiled and seasoned soy beans, though he was aware of the fact that they are not in season, at least here, at present.
Tofu was unfortunately out of stock in the near by supermarket today(I could always come up with the easy, yummy and healthy scrambled version of it, as the last minute entry)and I received perplexed looks from the sales girls when I demanded for pack of soy flour.All I could grab was a pack of Meal maker(soy chunks)sitting pretty and smiling at me from one of those topmost racks!..
Back home, I googled to find an interesting recipe from here.
The reasons for choosing the above are,
  • Easy recipe (promising to be tasty too).
  • Cutlets, an all time fav of my children.(a fine opportunity to sneak in spinach or any other ‘disapproved’ veg readily accepted as a filling ;))
  • As a replacement for my sudden craving for meat cutlets(sob sob) :)

So here goes, ( to yield 10 cutlets)..

You Need:
Soya Chunks-1 cup
Big onions-2 nos
Ginger –an inch piece
Garlic pods- 4 big or 7 small ones
Curry leaves- a few
Coriander powder-1/2 tsp or finely chopped cilantro-a tbsp
Chilly powder-1 tsp(more or less according to your spice level)
Garam masala powder-1 tsp
Turmeric powder-1/4 tsp
Pepper powder-1/2 tsp
Potato(medium)boiled-3 nos
Salt- as needed
Oil-2 tbsp
Bread crumbs- 3/4 cup or as reqd
*Egg-1 large
Oil-for deep frying


1. Boil a pan of water(3 to 4 cups).Wash and soak soya.Turn off fire and close the pan with a lid for 20-30 minutes.Ensure the chunks are soaked well and absorbs water by stirring once in 10 minutes.
2. Drain, squeeze out excess water and mince in a mixie.
3. Chop ginger-garlic,onions, green chillies and curry leaves to fine pieces and sauté in that order in 2 tbsps of oil.
4. When the colour turns to light brown, add salt, turmeric,coriander and chilly powders. Saute and mix well.
5. Add the minced Soya chunks and sauté for a few minutes.At this stage the mix resembles scrambled eggs.Sprinkle a few drops of water, cover and cook for 5 more minutes in minimum heat.
6. Add the garam masala, pepper powder and chopped cilantro.Mix well.
7. Add the boiled(preferable microwaved jacket potatoes-peeled and mashed), mix well and remove from fire.
8. When cooled shape into cutlets, dip in beaten eggs, roll in bread crumbs and fry in oil until golden brown in medium fire.
9. Serve hot with onion rings and tomato ketchup.

*For a vegetarian/vegan recipe substitute maida/bengal gram flour batter instead of beaten egg.

Now, off to Sia for JFI- Soya :)...
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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Banana Bread with Walnuts

Whew..I made last..!!
..which I had always wanted to try, bookmarked, gone over and over, glancing at the recipe, sighing and postponing lazily…

This Beautiful Banana Bread, beautifully wrapped(at least a dozen of ‘em!) was brought over by the charming and creative girl, Arundathi for the “May 1st -Chennai Bloggers Meet.”

While driving back home,( still a little lost and mesmerised by the lovely thoughts of those moments we shared just then) I had to grab a piece from my daughter who unwrapped the beautiful pack, reaching for the bread inside and was already finishing off too quickly remarking,"Ma, this simply tastes divine, well, here’s your share and you ARE going to try this without ANY of your lame excuses, soon!."

So, after 3 long months I am finally up with the divine "Banana Bread with Walnuts!".. the lovely flavour lingering in the air, the second batch still getting baked in the oven..

Trying to recreate the original taste, no changes were made and Here is the link of the recipe, again!

Rushing this to MBP- Fruit Fare hosted by Aparna, for the month.

And to add, Aparna, yes for sure, you hold the complete credit for pushing me to venture this! :)..Thanx a bunch!..

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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Vegetable Khurma

If someone asks me, “have you ever tried making parathas?”
I wouldn’t say a blunt 'No'!.
Yes, I have, with my sister in law about a decade ago!.
It was our first joint attempt of making the same and came out with at least 3 dozens of real hot parathas after 3 long hours of hard labour(otherwise for the preparation of the dough,which SIL patiently took up)
Once we were through, I should mention, my SIL bluntly remarked.."hmmff I'm never going to attempt this again..
"Yup, bet!.. me too!"!I replied with a sigh!!..
Well, always good at keeping my words ;) I’ve never dared to make ‘em since then.
At least for me, I believe- it’s quite a tiring job!..though my friend Renuka, an expert in preparing parathas, never admits! :).

So, the yummy hot parathas were brought home by my better half and for sure the side-dish here is the fruit of my own effort : )
Again, the recipe of Khurma is my own creation since it’s a mix up of my mom’s and ma in law’s.

Srivalli, this is for your great event of Curry Mela.

Get ready with:

Vegetables- potatoes, carrots, peas, cauliflower- diced, not too small pieces- 2 large cups
Big Onion-medium sized, sliced lenghthwise- 1
Garlic-sliced lengthwise-5-6 cloves
Spices-cloves,cardamom and cinnamon- 2 each
Oil-a tbsp
Thick n creamy coconut milk-1/2 cup
Bay leaves-2-3 nos
Chopped cilantro-to garnish
Salt-to taste

To Grind:
Coconut-1/2 cup
Ginger-an inch piece
Garlic-2 cloves
Green Chillies-3-4 nos
Roasted gram/pottukkadalai-2 tsps
Fennel seeds/saunf-a tsp
Khus khus/poppy seeds-a tsp
Coriander powder-a tsp


1. Cook vegetables till half done, one by one in just enough salted water according to their respective cooking timings.

2. Grind the listed ingredients to a smooth paste.

3. Heat oil in the utensil intended to make the curry.Throw in the spices. Sauté sliced onions till translucent.Transfer the ground paste along with enough water.Bring to boil and simmer for a few minutes.Transfer the cooked vegetables together to the simmering curry and let it simmer again for a few minutes.Add the bay leaves and salt.

4. Remove from fire when the khurma reaches the semi thick consistency.Blend in coconut milk gently.Garnish with finely chopped cilantro. Serve hot with Parathas.

A few more awards I now need to brag about, though accepted late, are :) :-

Great bear hugs from Divya, Suma and Prajusha.

Prajusha, thankyou again for the Yum Yum award.

Proud to receive the inspirational award from dear Lathamma.

The following rules apply to this award:
1. Only 5 people are allowed to receive this award
2. 4 of them followers of your blog.
3. One has to be new to your blog and live in another part of the world.
4. You must link back to who ever gave you the award.

I'd like to pass on this award to these blogging friends -

Prajusha, Lathamma, Divya, Renuka and Lavanya.

Blogging Friends Forever, Best blog darts thinker and Beautiful site awards are presented by Suma Rajesh.

I’ve been seriously thinking of changing my old fashioned, stale template style here while I was presented this wonderful award from Pallavi and Suma, again.

Brilliant Weblog is a prize given to sites and blogs that are smart and brilliant both in their content and their design. The purpose of the prize is to promote as many blogs as possible in the blogsphere.

Here are the rules to follow:
When you receive the prize you must write a post showing it, together with the name of who has given it to you, and link them back.
Choose a minimum of 7 blogs (or even more) that you find brilliant in their content or design.
Show their names and links and leave them a comment informing they were prized with ‘Brilliant Weblog’.
Show a picture of those who awarded you and those you give the prize (optional).

I would like to pass all my other awards(except BFF which is listed above) to-

Prajusha, Divya, Nags, Srivalli, Lathamma and Lakshmi, Renuka, Suganya, Sra, Aparna, Pallavi, Lavanya and Mitr (except the 'yum yum award' as she is not a food blogger:))
P.S- Ignore the ones you are already awarded.

No words to Thank my lovely pals for fondly remembering me to pass over these wonderful awards to me even when I was away from blogging..
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Saturday, August 2, 2008

Plagiarism- Never Ends!!...

Though I had not been blogging for a while, I had been painfully knowing a lot about cyber stalking and plagiarism happening around my blogger pals.

Unfortunately and unexpectedly I found myself a victim of this act by a blogger here.

The plagiarised contents,


The original post of mine and the link.


The picture of Potato bondas which has been blatantly copied from my original post here.


The image of Mango Icecream copied from my original post, here!!!..

The same blog owner has lifted pictures from other blogs, adding his/her own version of recipes, side by side attempting to earn through Google AdSense!!..

I have already left comments in there to remove them, in the most polite way, though there is no response till now.

Sincere and heartfelt thanks to,
  • Karthik, for his timely assistance.

  • Mishmash, who brought this to my notice.
    Her pictures are also copied without permission by the same site; detailed post here!.
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Monday, June 30, 2008

Karakkuzhambu -The Chettinad way.

Who can say a ‘no’ to this spicy, tangy Chettinad Kara Kuzhambu or Vathal Kuzhambu?
With the medley of garlic, onions, vatral, the aromatic Kuzhambu proves to be a feast by itself and is also known as Poondu Vengaya Kuzhambu.The yummy gravy goes well with steamed rice, dosa, idly or with any main food.

This is for Sig, who hosts JFI-Tamarind for the month :).

Gingelly seed Oil-A tbsp
Garlic- peeled- ½ cup(slice length wise into halves if the pods are large)
Shallots/small onions-sliced into halves1/2 cup
Dhania powder/malli thool-1 tbsp
Turmeric powder-1/2 tsp
Kuzhambu milagai thool-I use Aachi brand to get that distinct Chettinad flavour- 1 tbsp
Tamarind- a small lime sized ball
Salt-to taste

To Season:
Gingelly seed Oil-1 tbsp
Mustard seeds
Urad dal or Bengal gram dal-a tsp
Methi seeds-1/2 tsp
Dried Sundakkai or Manathakkali Vatral(optional)- A tbsp
Curry leaves-a sprig

1. Soak tamarind in half a cup of warm water and extract juice as thick as possible.Keep aside.Generally I use a little aged tamarind, blackish brown in colour.This enhances the taste of any Kuzhambu and gives that blackish brown colour too.

2. Heat oil in a thick bottomed deep vessel. Sauté garlic and onions till they turn golden brown, say for abt half a minute. Add tamarind extract followed by the 3 powders.(you can also use sambhar powder or just chilly powder instead of Kuzhambu milagai thool.)Mix well to avoid any lumps. Add salt. Bring this to a boil and reduce flame to simmer till it reduces to a semi-thick paste.Refer picture for consistency.If you prefer a little watery, take off from fire a little earlier, accordingly.

3. In a separate kadai, heat oil, season with mustard seeds, urad or bengal gram dal & Methi seeds. Sauté Vatral of your choice for 3-5 seconds and throw in curry leaves. Pour over to the Kuzhambu, bring to another boil, mix well and remove from fire.

Note- Keep the pan open till it cools down.(If the pan is closed the kuzhambu turns more watery by the evaporated water dripping in from the inside of the lid).This has a good shelf life and stays well for even a month if refrigerated. Dilute with warm water to make instant kuzhambu or mix with hot rice to make the Kuzhambu sadam, a yummy and simple pack away lunch.If you need to place this as a preserve, definitely add liberal amounts of oil while seasoning, as seen in the picture.
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Sunday, June 22, 2008

Back, after the Summer Break!..

After being almost out of blogging for about 3 months, it required much effort, to shake away the so called 'laziness' and pull myself back in :)....I know I'd not been doing justice with my posts, but for sure had been doing my best, responding to each and every comment dropped any where here and to those ‘concerned’ mails I’d been receiving from my lovely friends..each of them making me feel proud and special; the way one would feel, when you induce someone with that feeling, that you're ‘missed’!!.. Thanks a ton, friends…

After the round up of Arusuvai, in the month of April, I'd been away to my native, for my sister’s wedding. Should admit the fact, that I enjoyed each and every moment, taking up the responsibilities, even though turning green every now and then when 'the bride at home' was found busy shooting around dishes and blogging in a cool and easy way..;)..but believe me, she proved to be smarter by treating the family, by cooking up all those wonderful dishes from the blogs which I had book marked and would have never tried otherwise!!!...:)

Month of May proved to be pretty eventful as we had the great “Chennai Bloggers Meet” on the very first day. Since I was the last one to turn up for the meet, I'm the last one spared to mention about it too ;)…I have an excuse for that too coz I was away holidaying with my family to Scotland till the month end..

June?..well, children back to school, weddings, lots of travelling, had been keeping me occupied….
Did all the above explain my reasons for not blogging so far, ?? :D..

I'm grateful to my wonderful pals for having considered me, even during my 'hibernation period', to gift me with these cute awards..

From the talented, smart n efficient blogger, Srivalli..

From the cute, loving n affectionate blogger, Nanditha..

From the sweet, affectionate n caring, Suma..

Hugs to you, girls!! :)..

So, where’s the recipe now???
Err.. hmm…may I postpone it to my next post, pls???
.. coz I’m still not away from a few important commitments that might slow down blogging for a while, again..
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Saturday, April 5, 2008

The Birth of Arusuvai - an inside story and the participants in India!...

Arusuvai, the friendship chain is known to most of us by now, spreading its wings reaching each and every eagerly waiting blogger with pleasant surprises and budding new friendships.

I would like to share a few facts about Arusuvai.

The Birth of the Chain

The Amish friendship chain started by Mandira of Ahaar was in its peak in the US in mid 2007.Unfortunately the bloggers residing outside the country could not be a part of this great chain.This made us think, why not we start a chain like this in India as well??..

The idea sparked in the month of Oct when Bhags sent a packet of yeast to Nags quite casually as a mark of friendship, where I noted Lakshmi’s comment mentioning her need to start a friendship chain.The very next moment I found out the mom n daughter’s profound interest to put a start of the same, in India. Mails sped to and fro. Lakshmi was up with the logo and Lathamma,who beautifully named the chain 'arusuvai', was all set to send her surprise packets to Renuka and me!. Soon the first packages were on its way in the very first week of Nov’07!..which reached us on the Diwali eve…

As anyone would have easily noticed, most of the active Indian food bloggers reside outside India.We hoped this chain would bring out the bloggers in India to identify one another and develop a network of friendship and fun.For this reason the chain was restricted to the mother land, initially.
To our surprise we met with many interested bloggers from different parts of India, eager to join with amazing co-operation!..

Co-ordination of Arusuvai

This had been the most important, difficult, time consuming yet interesting part of the whole episode.
Lakshmi and Lathamma were on a break. However, initially the chain went well with the predominant bloggers who knew one another. One more month to go and there was scarcity of recipients as many of the bloggers confronted with the same problem- who to send next??..

Srivalli, held out both her arms now and needless to mention, she did an amazing job of searching and fishing out interested bloggers, co-ordinating the donors on one side and the recipients on the other.This was indeed the most hectic job which both of us did willingly and sincerely to our extend.We merged perfectly, every where!.

Five months have passed since the start and Srivalli and myself have exchanged at least 500 mails pertaining Arusuvai co-ordination!!(no exaggeration here:))

We feel proud to have identified about 50 food bloggers residing in different parts of Hindustan and successfully bringing them together with the help of Arusuvai.

The Arusuvai Participants in India

By stating so I really do not mean to segregate the bloggers residing in India and abroad.The truth is that I was unable to keep a track of the donors and the recipients in the US, as you girls proved to be ‘ultra fast’ and ‘extra smart’ :D.

The Arusuvai Team is grateful to all the participants contributing their parts, supporting the chain in India and abroad.Your deep interest and gorgeous support are undoubtedly the simple reasons of this great success..making each link of the chain, strong and rigid!!

Below is the list of participants in India..

Lathamma- Renuka & Bharathy

Renuka - Srivalli & Arundati Rao

Bharathy - Lissie & Lakshmi

Srivalli - Anita & Kamini

Lissie- Rachel & Lathamma(back)

Lakshmi - Raaga & Nags

Nags - Bhags

Raaga - Nanditha Iyer

Rachel- Shella

Bhags - Kajal & Sukanya

Anita- Reeta & Deepshika

Shella- Priyadarshini & Aparna

Kamini- Nirmala & Perspective

Kajal- Priya Mahesh

Nirmala - Jayashree M

Arundati Rao - Deeba & Gaurav

Deeba - Miri

Aparna-Bindiya Singh

Deepshika-Gayathri H & Nanditha

Sukanya -SMN

SMN - Manidipa

Gaurav - Jayasree

Jayashree - Kamalika

Jayasree- Sunshinemom

Miri - Ramki (transit)

Perspective- Simran(transit)

Kamalika - DG(transit)

Priya Mahesh-Archana(transit)

Archana- Swati(plan)

Ramki- Divya(plan)

Sunshinemom - Arundathi (plan)

While all of the 'women' came out with one great post each, this wonderful ‘Man’ rocked with three!!!

Click here, here and here for his 3 different creations with the same ingredient.

Three cheers to you Gaurav!..:)

And now, pls check here for Srivalli's version of round up! :)..

No words to thank Latha of Masala Magic for having initiated arusuvai in US…we are again much amazed to see how fast it keeps spreading there!!..

* A few bloggers are yet to come up with their arusuvai posts. I have linked their corresponding blogs instead.

A Year of Blogging and a Summer Break

By the way, it has been a year since I started blogging, today marking the first birthday.
Have not hosted any event so far.Not a hit of lakh , not even 100 posts!..
…Still I feel extremely happy, contended and proud to be in the team, initiating and co-ordinating Arusuvai!!..

Let me extend my very sincere gratitude to each n every visitor in this place and also to my dear readers dropping by with so much of encouraging words filling the comment boxes, backing me throughout, without which my days would never be complete...

Thank you ALL :)

And to quote last,

I will be on a summer break for a couple of months.
Miss you all !!

Happy Blogging!!

Bharathy :)
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Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Mango Yogurt Smoothie

We did have unexpected 'summer showers', quite comforting past week but the sun is back with all its vigour from today..

The Cocktail Lady hosting the 'Mixed Drinks' theme for MBP wants to blog the same, adapted from a fellow bloggers recipe:).....Sig, by hosting this particular event, you played wise here with lazy bugs like me who would preferably dig out something from the drafts to contribute to any event ;)..
I am extremely happy that I could step in the last moment since you’d liberally extended the deadline..:)

Well, I did have Ashaji’s Masala Chai on my mind for quite some time and discussed this with my sis and alas!.. she sent me pics mentioning she was all set to blog the same Chai as her second entry!..Now, all I was left with, were a few over-ripe mangoes in my fridge which made her point out a wonderful link the very next moment….

Thus, this Smoothie is adapted from Sailu’s recipe-Aam ki Lassi.

Surprisingly the mangoes with me seemed to be the same ‘Suvarnarekha’ variety she’d used for hers!..

Again, her combination of the drink proved to be just perfect and I followed blindly that yielded a soothing creamy drink for my children, esp for my daughter who helped me with the topmost picture here, and myself soon after the photography sessions :).
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Sunday, March 23, 2008

Karikku Dosa/ Tender-Coconut Pan cakes.

Summer is just round the corner for us, residing in India.
The season of hot n fiery Sun…the season for holidays…the season for jack fruits, mangoes, water melons ...the season for chilled drinks…

The street vendor with his heap of tender coconuts, busy chopping the head off the fresh green coconut, a dent on top with a straw inserted and the thirsty pedestrian enjoying nature’s very own drink with that natural fizz, is a common sight, so enjoyable, here.Generally the vendor scoopes out the tender coconut with much expertise using that natural spoon; the earlier chopped green piece from the coconut, passes over to be eaten as a post-drink option :)...

At the comfort of the home, the soothing 'tender coconut water' gets consumed leaving behind the tender white flesh unconsumed. I mostly use them up for making these light and healthy Karikku Dosas for breakfast which take up comparatively amount of oil while cooking.

Srivalli, this is specially posted for your Dosa Mela :) .Hearty Congrats on your 1 Lakh mark!!.

Mansi - so sweet of you to approve this for WBB - Balanced Breakfast, you are hosting for the month..Thank you :)


Raw rice- 3 cups
The white tender part, scraped out- from 4-5 tender coconuts ( transparent meat is the best. It should fill at least 2.5 cups for the above measurement of rice)
Tender coconut water - 1cup +/-
Cooking Soda- 1tsp
Sugar-2 tsps
Salt-to taste


Wash and soak raw rice for a couple of hours.Drain and grind the rice in a mixie along with the tender coconut meat which you scraped and with required amount of tender coconut water to a batter (just as you prepare regular Dosa/Idly batter).

The next day morning add cooking soda, sugar and salt to the fermented batter. Add more water if necessary so as to make Dosas.Keep aside for 2 hours.

Heat griddle, grease all over and pour round the batter on it, not too thin. Close it with a lid.Let the flame be steady and medium.
Wait for a few seconds.Open the lid and ensure the top is cooked and soft.Do not turn over.Remove the dosa from the griddle.Repeat the steps for the following dosas. Serve hot with chutney of your choice.

Note: The process of fermentation works perfect with Indian climatic conditions ( just as for the batters of regular Idly/ Dosa) which require natural fermentation.Please proceed the same way to ferment the batter for Karikku Dosas as well, if you reside outside India, provided the temp conditions are different from that of India.

Recipe Courtesy-Mrs Beena Kannan, MD, Seematti Textiles, one of my relatives :).

Coconut-Red Chilly Chutney
You need:
Grated coconut- 1 cup
Tamarind paste- ½ tsp (or a one inch piece of fresh tamarind)
Dried Red chillies-4-5
Ginger-half inch piece
Salt-to taste
To season
Oil-a tsp
Mustard seeds-1/4 tsp
Shallots-chopped very fine-a tsp
Hing-a fat pinch
Curry leaves-a few
Grind the Coconut, red chillies, shallots, ginger and tamarind together with enough water to make the chutney.
To season, heat oil in a small pan, splutter mustard seeds, fry till brown the shallot bits, add the hing and throw in the curry leaves.Pour this over the ground chutney and combine.Check salt and bring the the desired consistency by adding water if needed.Serve this with any Dosa or Idly.
While this dosa itself contains 'coconut' as one of its main ingredients, mostly a dip or a chutney that accompanies should be devoid of the same coconut. Anyway for a lady grown up in a land of coconut trees it's hard to resist coconuts here in the dip as well.This is a basic recipe of chammanthi in Kerala Cuisine.
But I would strongly suggest you to carry on with a dip of your choice.

This Fiery-red 'chilly-tomato-garlic' dip went very well with the Karikku Dosa.
As you see, this was shot in a careless way, casually while trying the irresistible combo and pls accept my apologies for not typing down the recipe, in this post ;) ..
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