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Best Kitchen products for US newbies from India

Times fly very fast. It’s a year and a month since I came to the US. I think nobody forgets their first flying experience, especially if you are a bride travelling alone with heavy duty baggage. Haa… how I wished I travelled light! Since I travelled alone I had to trolley two mammoth check-in suitcases, a tightly zipped hand luggage (which would tear itself out if somebody lifts it fast), handbags, a hand purse and jerkins, all by myself. I felt like I did not have strength to push the trolley even until the check-in counter. It was like pushing two overgrown, utterly adamant boys on a small unfitting trolley. When my turn came to check-in the luggage, the lady in the counter sweetly said ‘Ma’am both your check-in luggage are overweight. Please make changes, and then I will help you’.   I gasped. I was requested to move to… Continue reading »

How to make Khoya (Mawa) – Fresh Khoa (Kova) Recipe

  In my childhood days, during the evening time, whenever dad and I are to some restaurants, the first thing we order is ‘Paal Halwa’ (Milk fudge). I’m talking about Milk Halwa, especially from Madurai ‘DelhiWala’ Sweets. When it comes to the quantity and cost of this paal halwa, they’re totally contrary. So we’ll order just a few grams of this milk sweet and enjoy it in the restaurant. When our family is to some restaurants for lunch, after the meal, dad and I order for ‘Paal Pasandhi’ (Layers of thick milk-solids soaked in sweetened condensed milk). Whenever my aunt visits us, she gets ‘Milk Cakes’ from this shop in Trichy – ‘Archana Sweets’. When this box of milk-cake is opened, we pick the cakes like hungry crows emptying the whole box. Whenever Jeevs visits Srivilliputtur he gets a big parcel of fresh Paal kowa (Sweetened milk khoya). Okay, what… Continue reading »

Mushroom Biryani Recipe – Kalaan Biriyani

  Kalaan/Mushrooms were not a regular thing in our kitchen-chart at least until 10 years back. No wait, I should say, mushrooms were not at all a picture in our kitchen-chart at least until ten years back. Those days there were no super markets in Madurai so we had to rely on street vendors, especially for special produce like mushrooms. Also the costs of mushrooms tend to vary everyday with an alarming 2-digit price tag. When I was younger I remember how we were woken up by the loud hawking of this mushroom vendor, especially during the weekends. Pressing the pedals of his bicycle hard and fast, he yells out …“kaalaan…kaalaan….” We had to run from our kitchen to the main door to stop his bicycle. The running will be mostly done by me to inquire the cost of mushroom packets. Then running back to kitchen to report the cost… Continue reading »

Carrot Halwa Recipe – Diwali Sweets Recipes – Gajar Halwa

  Mmmnnnhhh….. How I wished for a second spoon… second spoon of Warm, Yummy and ‘Ghee’-ey Carrot Halwa. She said, ‘Appa came, so mom made them this morning. <with pride> Is it good?… <in shock> ayoo… miss is coming…’ … ‘Tuppp’! She hurriedly closed her tiffin box tightly. I cursed, why the teachers always show punctually for their classes? Ch, if only my friend and I managed to sneak a minute before the assembly dispersed, I would have succeeded getting a second spoon of the Carrot Halwa from her tiffin box. While the fellow class mates were unloading their books and notebooks from their bag on to the desk I imagined myself to be INVISIBLE to the entire class just to load spoon after spoon with Carrot Halwa and unload them into my mouth. When the class crowd was obediently listening to the ‘dissection of hibiscus flower’, I was busy… Continue reading »

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Idli Upma Recipe | Easy South-Indian Tiffin Recipes

Idly Upma Recipe | Simple Tamilnadu Breakfast Recipes If there’s got to be a tiffin recipe which can be made quickly and easily with not much of an effort, then it’s this Idli Upma recipe. Idli Upma is so very simple to prepare if you have your leftover idlis from breakfast or from dinner properly stored. The one thing I like with this Iddly Uppma recipe is that it understands our crazy morning hurries and copes up with the rush. When I was single, many a days I used to quickly stir in these idly uppuma, shut them hot in my tiffin box and hurry to catch the office commute. Though this idli upma might not seem to be the best tiffin recipe,  I will feel it that way once I manage to get a seat in the shuttle and start to spoon-in the warm idli upma!     Appa… Continue reading »

Arisi Maavu Puttu Recipe – How to make Rice Flour Puttu

 Pacharisi (maavu) Pittu Recipe | Puttu using Raw Rice Flour   If you have read my posts on Ragi Puttu and Wheat puttu you will have an idea that I’m a Puttu maniac. Having said long stories about Puttu making in these two posts does not conclude I will stop the story telling. I spent few years of college life in campus hostel. The hostel that had the most annoying rules; especially this one: ‘No talking in the Dining Hall’. When I first heard about the dining hall rule I got mad and mocked the rule. But once I started to taste the food served in the hostel I thought it’s an unnecessary rule because the food tasted so good that everybody’ll be busy enjoying the food stuffed in their mouth and nobody will wanted to speak.     If there is ONE thing that I enjoyed in my college… Continue reading »

Raagi Puttu Recipe (with video) | Kelvaragu Puttu Recipe | South-Indian Breakfast Recipes

How to make Keppai Puttu – Puttu Recipe & Video [Watch in “Full Screen” mode. Make sure you do not move your mouse often in order to read the recipe instructions clearly. Few text remain hidden under the seek panel so avoid to mouse-over the player]   If my ammachi (maternal grandmother) is the Queen of Bajji making , my appatha (paternal grandma) is the Queen of Queens in making Paniyarams . Chicken dishes means to refer ammachi’s recipes, mutton dishes means to refer appatha’s recipes. In that way, if white rice puttu is a usual breakfast item in my ammachi veedu, wheat puttu and this raagi puttu are done often in my appatha veedu. Dad and I like kodhumai puttu (wheat puttu) so very much that if somebody watches us me while eating kothumai puttu, their brain will do a quick pattern search and match me with some hungry… Continue reading »

best Strawberry jam recipe

Strawberry Jam Recipe | How to make Strawberry Jam at home

Homemade Strawberry Jam Recipe   After a nice chatty lunch in a hotel if somebody asked what milkshake I want, I’d said “Anything, but Strawberry”. Every month when they order cakes for birthday celebrations at office, I go to the birthday celebration team and had silently requested them to order any cake but strawberry. When Appa goes to ice cream parlor to get a box of ice cream for the special Sunday lunch I’d called him and ordered not to get strawberry flavored ice cream. See what notion I got about this strawberry flavored foods? Be it the strawberry ice cream, or strawberry cakes or the strawberry milkshake, I always felt some medicinal tonic smell associated with it. But all these false notions about the Strawberry fruit got erased when I ate a box full of fresh real strawberries in its peak season here in the US. The fruit was… Continue reading »

Dosa Recipe with unfermented Idli-Dosa batter | Idli-Dosa batter fermentation issues

How to use unfermented idli-dosa batter ~ How to make dosai using unfermented idli-dosa batter I told you that it was the heavy snow season when I first landed in the US, right? I hardly saw any human-being walking in my apartment street . I had doubts if people even lived in the other apartment blocks. The husband too turned out to be a ‘cyber-being’ warming up his spot in the sofa with his eyes glued to his laptop screen. At times I’ve wondered what if I place some eggs underneath his warm seat so that it hatches into chicks and I can use them to make some chicken korma . Fat furry squirrels running across the street to pick the pine nuts was all I could see from my glass windows. Snow made me too weak that I had to stay shivering in the furnace room like a sick… Continue reading »

Famous Indian snacks - Pakora

Homemade Pakoda Recipe ~ Kadalai Paruppu Pakoda ~ How to make pakoda for pakoda kuzhambu

Indian Pakora Recipe | Chana dal Pakora Recipe| Tea-time Snacks recipes Consider it an appetizer for a party or a late afternoon snack to accompany your late afternoon reading, this pakora recipe does a very good job in both roles. We normally make this pakoda when we prepare our traditional Chettind Pakoda Gravy – a spicy curry made by soaking fried pakoras in spiced tamarind sauce. The remaining pakora-batter will be transformed into this crunchy version and will be enjoyed as a side dish for the rice and gravy or as our tea-time snacks. But if mom had plans to make it as the side dish, she knew that she has to spend some more time in the kitchen frying more and more pakoras. Yeah, we’ll gobble the pakodas as and when it is fried since we’re not resistant to its smell nor its taste .   How to make… Continue reading »