Nellikkai Sadham/Amla/Gooseberry Rice

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I am a big fan of flavored rice and so does Amma. We try to make different variety of rice almost every week and today was no exception. I had some frozen Nellikkai/Gooseberries ( fresh is even better, I used the frozen since we do not get fresh ones) and made rice with it for today`s lunch. 

Nellikkai/Gooseberries seasoned with mild spices makes it a flavorful rice for all who like Gooseberries.

Nellikkai/ Gooseberries provides remedies for many diseases so it is widely used in ayurvedic medicines. Gooseberry is very rich in Vitamin C. It contains many minerals and vitamins like Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Carotene and Vitamin B Complex. It is also a powerful antioxidant agent. 

Prep time: 20 min 
Cook time:10 min 
Serves: 4
Level: Beginner 
List Of Ingredients:

For the Rice:
  1. 1 cup rice
  2. 2 cups nellikkai/gooseberries approx 12 big ones
  3. 4 green chillies
  4. ½ teaspoon turmeric powder
  5. juice of 2 lime (I used key lime)
  6. 2 teaspoon salt
For seasoning:
  1. 1 teaspoon mustard
  2. 1/2 teaspoon ullutham paruppu/broken urad dhal
  3. 4 green chillies slit
  4. Few curry leaves
  5. A pinch asafoetida
  6. 2 tablespoon oil
Nellikkai Rice
  1. Soak rice in water for half an hour. Cook the rice until done~each grain has to be separate. Let it cool
  2. Mince the Nellikkai/Gooseberries with green chillies in a mixer. Keep aside.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoon of oil in a kadai/pan. Add the mustard and when it splutters, add 1/2 teaspoon ullutham paruppu, asafoetida, turmeric, green chillies and curry leaves. 
  4. Add the Nellikkai mix salt and saute for about 3 to 4 minutes. Add this to the rice.
  5. Add lime juice and mix gently so as not to break the rice.
Serve hot with potato fry, appalam/papad or potato chips.

Tips: Cashews are optional. Roasted peanuts can be used instead. I have used basmati rice. Adjust green chillies according to your spice levels.

Murungai Keerai Poriyal/Drumstick/Moringa leaves stir fry

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Murungai Keerai Poriyal

Murungai Keerai Poriyal is an easy and most nutritious preparation. Kootu Sambar and poriyal are the usual preparations made with Murungai Keerai back home. The keerai with mild seasoning and some paruppu/dhal makes it a great combination with Sambhar  and rice. 
I had a big bunch of Murungai Keerai which our friend gave us and I could not resist the fresh tender leaves and made the poriyal instantly. I have some more that I am planning to make Adai with.

Prep time: 15 min 
Cook time: 10 min 
Serves: 4 
Level: Beginners  

  1. 2 cups murungai keerai/Drumstick/Moringa leaves
  2. ¼th cup grated coconut
  3. ¼th cup cooked Paruppu/Tuar dhal
  4. ½ teaspoon Sambhar podi OR 4 red chillies
  1. ½ teaspoon mustard
  2. ½teaspoon ullutham paruppu/urid dhal
  3. a pinch asafoetida

  1. Heat oil in a kadai/pan and add mustard seeds, when they splutter add the ullutham paruppu and let them turn a light brown 
  2. Add the asafoetida nad murungai keerai/leaves and stir fry for for few seconds ( not more than few seconds else the leaves will turn bitter)
  3. Add about ¼th cup of water. Cover and cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Now add the Sambhar powder and salt, when the moisture is completely absorbed add the dhal and grated coconut and mix well till dry. If red chillies are preferred add during the seasoning.
Serve with white rice and Sambhar.

TIPS: Cook the dhal till half done. You do not want to use fully cooked dhal and make the Poriyal a mushy one. Green chillies can be substituted for red chillies or Sambhar powder. 

Kasa Kasa Sadham/Khus Khus/Poppy Seed Rice

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Poppy Seed Rice

Kasa Kasa/Poppy Seeds is used extensively in Indian cuisine to give thickness, texture and added flavor. It is usually ground with coconut in the preparation of kurma and other non vegetarian dishes in Tamil cuisine. It is also used as a main ingredient in Payasam and rice preparations as well.
Today`s recipe is a Kasa Kasa/Poppy Seeds flavored rice with some Ellu/sesame and red chillies. It is not a favorite as 
compared to the other flavored rice like lime,tamarind or curd rice but it definitely a great alternative from the usual preparations. 

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 20 min
Serves: 2
Level: Beginners

  1. ½ cup rice
  2. 2 teaspoon kasa kasa/poppy seeds
  3. 1 teaspoon ellu/sesame
  4. 1 teaspoon ullutham paruppu/broken urad dhal
  5. 4 red chillies
  6. 2 teaspoon grated coconut
  7. 2 teaspoon oil
  8. ½ teaspoon salt

  1. Soak rice in water for half an hour. Cook the rice until done~each grain has to be separate. Let it cool
  2. Dry roast the sesame and poppy seeds for few minutes and make a powder when cool. Keep aside.
  3. Heat oil in a kadai/pan. Add the ullutham paruppu and when it turns light brown color, add the red chillies and grated coconut. Dry grind in a mixer and 
  4. Add the powders and salt to the rice. and mix well. 
  5. Serve hot with potato fry, appalam/papad or potato chips.

    Tips: I have used Basmati rice in this preparation and regular rice can be used. Adjust red chillies according to you spice level. To get the rice separate and fluffy I cook the rice in a vessel with water and drain the water when the rice is done. This helps in rice not getting mushy which is very important in flavored rice preparation.

Cashew Pakoda- Adyar Ananda Bhavan Style

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CP 2

During our recent trip to India, we had the Cashew pakodas at Adyar Ananda Bhavan and instantly fell in love with it. 
My husband liked them a lot and wanted me to make them at home. I was not exactly sure what the ingredients were 
but figured out that it had mint, ginger and garlic.
I think I came close to making them and hopefully you will enjoy it as well. Please do let me know if you have tried with 
different ingredients.

Prep time: 5 min
Cook time: 40 min
Level: Intermediate

  1. 1 cup cashews (break open into two/not the whole)
  2. 1 cup kadalai mavvu/besan/chick pea flour
  3. ½ cup arisi mavvu/rice flour
  4. ½ cup pudina/mint
  5. ½ cup finely chopped onion
  6. 2½ teaspoon chilli powder
  7. 1 teaspoon salt
  8. 2 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  9. ¼th cup hot oil
  10. ¼th cup water


  1. Chop the mint finely and mix all the ingredients except oil and water.
  2. Heat oil in a kadai/pan for deep frying the pakodas. When hot take ¼th cup of the hot oil and add to the mix.
  3. Slowly add the water and mix gently to form a thick dough(do not press the dough). 
  4. Now take some dough in your hand and slowly drop the dough in small pieces into the hot oil (again do not press the dough while dropping in oil). When done ( bubbles will subside in the oil ). Drain on a kitchen/paper towel.
TIPS: Mixing the dough is the key to making a crisp pakoda, I have used ¼thcup water(depends on the flour too so adjust accordingly) . The dough should never be loose and sticking to your hands. Green chillies can be used instead of the red chilli powder. Adjust the spice according to your taste. 

Restaurant Style Coconut Chutney

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Coconut Chutney.jpeg

Breakfast is not complete without Coconut chutney in any south Indian home especially homes in Tamilnadu.
The key to this simple recipe is use of fresh ingredients and any compromise on that will make even the simplest recipe a not 
so favorable one. 
I have grown up eating Idlis and Dosais on most mornings with coconut chutney served with it. Amma would break open the coconut, grate it and grind the chuntey fresh whenever she made it. A light seasoning to it makes it the best breakfast combo ever to be invented.

With such simple ingredients what can go wrong you may ask but the chutney served at restaurants always eluded me until I had this recipe. I make this quite often and hope you will like it too. 



  1. 1 cup fresh grated coconut
  2. ¼th cup pottu kadalai/split gram
  3. 1 small shallot/pearl onion/chinna vengayam
  4. 6 green chillies
  5. 1 red chilli
  6. 1 inch piece ginger
  7. 1 small garlic
  8. ½ teaspoon salt
  1. ½ teaspoon mustard
  2. ½ teaspoon broken urad dhal/ullutham paruppu
  3. few curry leaves


  1. Dry grind the ingredients in a mixer for about 5 seconds on high speed. Add 1 cup of water and salt and run the mixer again for roughly about 15 to 20 seconds on high speed. The idea is not to make it a smooth paste. 
  2. Transfer to a serving dish. Season with a teaspoon of oil and add to the chutney. Mix well and serve with Idli, Dosai, Vadai, Bajji or Bonda.
  • Use fresh coconut or the frozen fresh grated coconut. I have added one red chilli since I spotted one in a restaurant and it is optional. Reduce green chillies if less heat is preferred. Add a tiny bit of garlic to the chutney (make sure it does not overpower the chutney) and Garlic is optional too. 
  • Most restaurants do not season the chutney so seasoning is optional. My husband prefers it seasoned so I have done so.  The last pic shows how most restaurant version looks.

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