All posts by deepasekhar

Hello Reader, This is Deepa Sekhar. I do cookery shows for DOORDHARSHAN for the past four years. I've done several live cookery programs. Theneer neram is a live program which brings out best dishes of different varieties. Asathal samayal is also a live program where a dish has to be prepared, at the same time viewer's queries will have to be answered. I have authored a cook book, "CHAAT VARIETIES" and have continuously written bi-monthly cookbooks for KUMUDHAM SNEHIDHI, a prestigious woman's magazine. Also, few recipes of mine have been published in the Kumudam Health magazine and JFW(Just for women) magazine. I've started this blog with my viewers requests and encouragement. I will be sharing recipes from various cuisines using fresh produce. For now, two dishes will be posted every month. I appreciate all the support and encouragement from you viewers, readers and fellow bloggers. Feel free to share my recipes with your family and friends. Please do send in your suggestions. Like.Comment.Share! Thank you, Deepa Sekhar.

Venthiya ( Methi ) Dosai ( Version – 1 )

Venthiya Dosai – Version 1

Venthiya Dosai served with Coconut Chutney

All of us love Dosai, especially if it is soft, fluffy, porous and if using the right formula, it is certainly a much loved, hit recipe. You might be wondering what is this Venthiya Dosai – Version 1. Yes I will be posting few more Venthiya Dosai recipes with different ingredients shortly. This Dosai is soft and is good for lunch box. Goes well with any chutney , sambar, idli podi and pickles accompanied with a cup of thick curds. 


Idli rice – 4 cups

Whole urad dhal – 1 cup

Thoovar dhal – 1/4 cup

Methi seeds ( Venthiyam ) – 1 and 1/2 teaspoons

Thick poha ( Aval ) – 1 cup

Salt to taste

Oil and ghee ( mixed in equal proportions ) – required amount to drizzle around the dosai


Wash and soak the Idli rice, Urad dhal, Toovar dhal, Methi seeds in sufficient amount of water for 4 hours. Wash the Poha and soak it in1 and 1/4 cups of water for 2 hours. Drain the rice and dhal mix. Grind it in a wet grinder. Add required amount of water. Add the soaked poha. Grind to a fine batter. Transfer the finely ground batter to a dish. Add salt to taste. Mix well with your hand. Cover and leave the batter aside to ferment for 8 to 10 hours.

Heat a dosa tava. Grease it well with oil. Make medium  sized thick dosai. Drizzle the mix of oil and ghee around the Dosai. Keep the flame on medium. Flip the Dosai. Cook till golden on sim flame. Remove the Dosai to a plate. Similarly make all the dosas. Serve hot with any chutney of your choice.

Chef’s Tips

1) Can also make crispy, thin,big roast Dosai.

2) This batter is perfect to make Masala Dosai.








Uppu ( Salt ) Appam

Uppu Appam

Uppu Appam served with Green Coconut Chutney

Appam is a delicacy. Everyone’s Favourite. This recipe is a hit in my home. Very crunchy and crisp. If you just take a piece of the  Appam, you can see the inside of the appam is super soft and porous. This appam does not consume much oil. Can have it just like that or serve it with any chutney of your choice. Goes well with  sambar rice, rasam rice, mixed rice varieties and curd rice. Do try and enjoy with your family. 


Idli rice – 1 cup

Raw rice – 1 cup

Whole urad dhal – 1/2 cup

Salt to taste

To mix into the appam batter

Finely chopped green chilli – 1

Finely chopped fresh coconut pieces – 3 tablespoons

Finely chopped green coriander leaves and curry leaves – little

Asafoetida powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Oil – required quantity to deep fry the appam

The Soft Porous Uppu Appam


Wash both the rice well. Wash the whole urad dhal. Soak both the rice and the urad dhal in sufficient quantity of water for 3 hours. After 3 hours of soaking, drain the water and grind it in a wet  grinder. Add little water while grinding. Grind it to a soft, smooth batter. The consistency of the batter  has to be like the dosa batter. Transfer the ground batter to a dish. Cover and ferment for 8 hours.

Mix in the chopped green chilli, chopped green coriander leaves and the curry leaves. Add in the asafoetida powder. Mix well.

Heat a pan. Add in the oil. Once the oil is heated, pour in the appam batter using a small ladle. Keep the flame on high. Splash the hot oil on top of the appam. Turn the appam gently. Keep the flame on medium. Cook till golden on both sides. Line a plate with kitchen tissues. Transfer the golden fried appam in the plate lined with kitchen tissues. Serve hot with any chutney of your choice.

Chef’s Tips

1) Pour one appam at a time. The finish will be Neat.

2) Do not darken the colour of the  appam while frying.

3) Does not consume much oil.

4) This Appam tastes great when it is hot.



Cashew Coconut Phirni

Cashew Coconut Phirni 

Phirni is a thick kheer. If you chill it, it tastes Heavenly. You can scoop it from the cup and enjoy. I have used condensed milk  for this recipe. The cooking time is only 10 minutes. You can make this Phirni just like that.  Goes well with hot puris.  An excellent dessert with the combination of  Cashewnut and Coconut. A  nutty  flavoured melt in the mouth Phirni Recipe Just For YOU. 


Condensed milk –  1 cup

Sugar – 4 tablespoons

Water – 3 cups

Cardamom powder – 2 pinches

To  grind to a coarse paste

Cashewnuts- 1 handful ( soak in boiling water for 1 hour. Cover it and keep aside till the time of use. Drain and use )

Grated fresh coconut – 1/2 cup

Rice flour – 2 teaspoons

Boiled, cooled milk – 1 cup

To Garnish

Saffron – 3 strands only ( soaked in 2 tablespoons hot water and crushed )

Finely chopped pistachios – little

Take a big blender jar. Put in the soaked and drained cashewnuts, grated  coconut, rice flour. Blend it for 1 minute. Add the boiled , cooled milk. Blend it to a coarse paste. Keep it aside.


Heat a big, broad thick bottomed pan. Mix the condensed milk with the 3 cups of water. Bring it to a boil on high flame. Once the mix starts to boil, add in the coarsely ground paste.  Keep the flame on sim. Add the cardamom powder. Mix well. Simmer for 5 minutes. By now the phirni would have thickened nicely. Add the sugar. Simmer for 3 minutes. Switch off the stove. Garnish. You can serve it hot or cold.

Chef’s Tips

1) I love to chill and enjoy my  Phirni.

2) If the Phirni thickens a lot, dilute it with very little boiled cooled milk. Do not make it runny. It has to be scooped and eaten from the cup.

3) Cook the Phirni on low flame only. It will have a nice white colour.

4) If you want the Phirni more sweeter, add little more sugar to taste.




Semi- Sambhar

Semi- Sambhar

Ah! Ah! You might be wondering . What is this name Semi- Sambhar. I was planning to make this dish from a long, long time. I finally gave a try today. It came out well. Very simple. You can make it just like that. Goes well with Idli, Dosas, Upma, Ven Pongal, Phulkas and Plain hot rice. Do try and please post your valuable feedback.


Thickly sliced onions – 2 cups

Finely chopped tomato – 1 ( small)

Grated jaggery – 1 teaspoon

Tamarind paste – 1/4 teaspoon

Sambhar powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Turmeric powder – 1 big pinch

Sakthi brand curry masala powder – 1 teaspoon ( heaped )( you can also use Aachi brand curry masala powder )

Salt to taste

Water – 1/4 cup

To Season

Oil – 2 tablespoons

Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon

Chopped curry leaves – little


Heat a pan. Season. First fry the onions on medium flame. Add the turmeric powder. Once the onions turn transparent, add the chopped tomato. Sauté on sim flame for 5 minutes till the  tomato turns mushy.  Add the sambhar powder. Sauté  for 2 minutes. Add in the tamarind paste. Add 1/4 cup of water. Add the jaggery and salt to taste. Cook on medium flame till the mix is thick. Finally add the Sakthi brand Curry Masala Powder. Sauté on sim flame for 3 minutes. Switch off the stove. Serve hot.

Chef’s Tips

1) Do not add any other flavourings to the dish. The taste will change.




The Ultimate Pan Dosai with Semi – Sambhar

The Ultimate Pan Dosai

This Special Dosai has to be prepared in a Deep pan, Vaanali, Ellupachatti or Kadai. We make this recipe often for breakfast. A sure hit. The Dosai will come out like a soft, thick Bun. Simply Delicious. Goes well with any chutney or sambhar. I have specially made  a Semi – Sambhar for this Dosai. Please do try. 

Ingredients ( To make the Dosa Batter )

Idli rice – 3 and 1/2 cups

Raw rice – 1/2 cup

Whole urad dhal – 1 cup and 2 tablespoons

Thick Aval ( poha ) – 1/2 cup

Broken moong dhal ( paasi paruppu ) – 1 tablespoon

Methi seeds – 2 teaspoons

Sago – 1 tablespoon

Salt to taste


Take a big dish. Put in all the above mentioned ingredients except salt. Wash well. Soak it in enough water for 3 hours. Cover it and keep aside. After 3 hours, drain the water and grind the soaked ingredients in a wet grinder. While grinding, add sufficient water. Grind to a smooth dosa batter consistency. Add salt to taste. Mix well with your hands. Cover  and keep the batter to ferment for 6 to 8 hours.

Mix the fermented batter very well. Take 2 big bowl full of the dosa batter. Season. Then make dosas. 

Ingredients to Season

Oil – 1 tablespoon

Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon

Urad dhal – 1 tablespoon

Channa dhal – 1 tablespoon

Finely chopped onions – 1/2 cup

Finely chopped green chillies – 2

Salt – 1 pinch

Finely chopped green coriander leaves and curry leaves – little


Heat a pan. Add oil. Keep the flame on high. Add the mustard seeds. Once the seeds splutter, add in the Urad dhal and the Channa dhal. Keep the flame on sim. Once the dhals turn golden, add in the chopped onions, green chillies, curry and green coriander leaves. Switch off the stove. Mix. Add 1 pinch of salt. Mix well. Add this seasoning to the dosa batter. Mix well.

To make Dosai

Oil – required amount to make the dosai


Heat a deep, slightly broad pan  preferably a heavy bottomed pan. Grease it with little oil. Once the pan is heated, pour a medium ladle full of the seasoned dosa batter. Keep the flame on medium. Drizzle some oil around the Dosai. Cover with a lid. Keep the flame on sim. After about 4 to 5  minutes, remove the lid. Flip the dosa gently. Drizzle little oil. Cook for 4 minutes on sim flame . Golden coloured , super soft Big Bun Dosai is ready to serve. Serve hot with a Semi- Sambhar. 

Chef’s Tips

1) The pan in which you are planning to make the dosa,  grease it and prepare it nicely ahead ,  so that the dosas will come out well without much trouble.

2) This dosa will take a little longer time to cook.

3) Cook on simflame only.

4) You can also add finely grated vegetables like Cabbage, Carrot, to the seasoned dosa batter.

5) Do not spread the batter in the pan. Once you pour a ladle full of the seasoned dosa batter,  drizzle some oil around and leave it just like that. Only then you will get soft bun dosa.





Aval ( Flattened rice kheer ) Payasam

Aval Payasam( Poha Kheer )

Use thick variety poha ( Aval ) for best results. Very minimal ingredients, you can prepare this payasam Just Like That. Had plenty of milk at home. I decided to make this Payasam which is my mother – in – law’s signature dish. Thank you Amma for the lovely recipe. 


Thick Aval – 1/4 cup

Fresh full cream milk – 6 cups

Sugar – 1 cup

Saffron – 1 big pinch

Cardamom powder – 2 pinches


First, mix the saffron in little hot water.  Keep it aside till the time of use.

Heat a big , broad, thick bottomed pan. Pour in the 6 cups of milk. Boil on medium flame for 10 minutes. Wash the Aval and add it to the milk. Now cook on medium flame till the Aval is cooked. Add the sugar. Stir gently. Add in the saffron. Boil on high flame for 3 minutes. Add the cardamom powder. Give a gentle stir. Switch off the stove. Serve hot or cold. Super delicious Payasam is ready.

Chef’s Tips

1) As an option you can add little condensed milk. In that case reduce the amount of sugar .

2) You can garnish the Payasam with chopped nuts of your choice.

3) Before the Aval cooks in the milk do not add sugar. The Aval will not get cooked.




Knol Khol ( Kohlrabi ) Chops

Knol Khol Chops

I wanted to post this Special Recipe  of mine from a very long time. I made this chops for lunch today. The taste was something very flavourful. We loved it. Can also make this chops with Brinjal, Potato and Cauliflower. Chop Cauliflower to medium sized florets. Chop Brinjal and Potatoes to thick fingers. ( peeland then chop the  potatoes ) . 

Knol Khol Chops goes well with Sambar rice, Rasam rice,Curd rice, nice to mix and have with Plain Hot Rice and ghee, Crispy Dosas, Upma, Bread Toast and Appam. 


Peeled and chopped knol khol ( cut to thick fingers, chop like the size of French fries ) – 2 big handfuls ( steamed )

Sliced onion – 1

Finely chopped tomato – 1

Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Coriander powder – 1 teaspoon

Jeera powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Red chilli powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Dry Roast and Grind to a Coarse powder

Grated fresh coconut – 3 tablespoons

Saunf ( aniseed ) – 1/4 teaspoon

Roasted Bengal gram ( Pottu Kadalai ) – 2 teaspoons

Chopped green chillis – 2 to 3

Chopped small onions – 4

Chopped ginger – 1 teaspoon

Chopped garlic – 1 teaspoon

Clove- 1

Curry leaves – 6

Star anise petal – only 1 petal ( just break only one petal from a full star anise )

Heat a pan. Keep on sim flame. Roast all the above mentioned ingredients for 3 minutes. Switch off the stove. Transfer the contents to a plate. Cool well. Add the cooled contents to a blended jer jar. Powder very coarsely. Keep it aside.

To Season

Oil – 3 tablespoons

Saunf – 2 pinches

To Garnish 

Finely chopped green coriander leaves and curry leaves – little


Heat a big broad pan. Season. First fry the sliced onions. Keep the flame on sim. Next, add the chopped tomato. Sauté on sim flame for 3 minutes. Once, the tomatoes turns mushy, add the coriander powder,  jeera powder, turmeric powder, red chilli powder, salt to taste and the coarsely ground paste . Mix gently. Sauté till the raw smell goes. Add the steamed knol Khol. Mix gently. Cover the pan. Keep on simflame. After 5 minutes, switch off the stove. Garnish , mix gently. Serve hot.

Chef’s Tips

1) Always choose tender knol khol. It gives a nice feeling while you eat.

2) Dry roasting the indgredients will leave the powder little crumbly.

3) Do not over cook the knol  khol. If it becomes mushy, the taste will change.

4) Do not add more spices. The taste will become pungent.










Cauliflower Dalma

Cauliflower Dalma

This dish is very popular in our home. Thanks  to my husband’s aunt who has shared this recipe. Goes well with hot phulkas, parathas, puri, jeera rice and pulao. This is the best season to get excellent cauliflower and fresh green peas. Do try and enjoy with your family. I am sure that you will certainly love this dish. The taste is just Awesome. 


Cauliflower chopped to small florets- 2 cups ( steamed )

Fresh green peas ( steamed ) – 1 cup

Kashmiri chilli powder – 2 teaspoons

Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Sugar – 1 teaspoon

Water – 1/4 cup

To Season 

Oil – 3 tablespoons

Jeera ( cumin seeds ) – 1 teaspoon

To grind to a fine paste

Chopped onions – 1

Chopped tomatoes – 3

Mustard seeds – 1/2 teaspoon

Ginger ( chopped ) – 1 tablespoon

Garlic ( chopped ) – 1 tablespoon

Chopped green coriander leaves – 2 tablespoons

Take a big blender jar. Add in all the above mentioned ingredients. Blend to a fine paste. 


Heat a pan. Season.  First fry the ground masala paste. Keep the flame on sim. Fry the paste nicely till the raw smell goes. Add the turmeric powder. Sauté for 3 minutes. Next, add the chopped cauliflower florets. Add the chilli powder. Sauté on sim flame for 3 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water. Add the salt to taste and the sugar. Add the steamed green peas. Mix gently. Simmer. Once the gravy thickens, switch off the stove. Serve hot.

Chef’s Tips

1) Do not over  cook the cauliflower. It will become mushy.

2) Adding the steamed fresh green peas in the end, the whole dish looks bright and nice.

3) Do not make the gravy runny. Tastes good if it a little thick.


Methi Roti with Cauliflower Dalma

Methi Roti

This recipe is very simple. In one of my trips to Mumbai, I had an opportunity to taste this roti. I came home and tried this preparation. I have added some white til, ajwain and pounded garlic .

Goes well with any simple gravy, plain curds and a pickle. Today,  I have  served  Cauliflower Dalma with this roti. Do try this recipe and please post your valuable feedback. 


Wheat flour – 2 cups

Cleaned, washed and finely chopped methi leaves – 1 cup

White sesame seeds ( til ) – 1 and 1/2 tablespoons

Ajwain ( omum ) – 1 tablespoon

Pounded garlic flakes – 4 flakes

Fresh curds – 3 tablespoons

Oil – 2 tablespoons

Finely chopped green chillies – 2

Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Kashmiri chilli powder – 1  and 1/4 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Water – required amount to make a soft dough

Oil – required amount to drizzle around the roties


Take a big , broad plate ( a parat plate is the best to mix the roti dough ).

Put in the wheat flour, chopped methi leaves, pounded garlic, chopped green chillies, turmeric powder, chilli powder, salt to taste , oil, white sesame seeds, ajwain and mix well with your hands. Make a well in the centre. Add in the curds. Mix. Now sprinkle water little by little and make a soft dough. Cover and rest the dough for 30 minutes. Make medium sized roties.

Heat a tava. Cook the roti on simflame till golden. Drizzle oil all around the roti. Remove the cooked roti from the tava and transfer the roti to a dish. Cover the roti. Make all the roties in the similar manner. Serve hot with Cauliflower Dalma. 

Chef’s Tips

1) Heat the tava well. Then cook the roti on sim flame.

2) Adding curds gives the roti a soft texture.





Buttermilk Upma

Buttermilk Upma

Buttermilk Upma served with Brinjal and White Karamani Pitlai

Our family favourite recipe. One of the best breakfast dishes, digests easily because buttermilk is added. I served this Upma with Brinjal and Chawli ( Lobia, White Karamani ) Pitlai. Goes well with any chutney of your choice.  Best served with a crispy, hot Vadai and a cup of piping hot Coffee. The recipe for Brinjal and White Karamani Pitlai will be posted shortly. 


White upma rava ( sooji ) – 1 cup

Buttermilk ( do not use very sour buttermilk, the colour will not remain white. It will turn creamy ) – 3 cups

Finely chopped green chillies – 2

Salt to taste

Asafoetida powder – 1/2 teaspoon

To Season

Oil – 3 tablespoons

Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon

Broken urad dhal – 1 teaspoon

Channa dhal ( Bengal gram ) – 2 teaspoons

Dry red chilli – 1 ( torn to 2 pieces, do not use Kashmiri red chill, the colour of the Upma will change )

To Garnish

Finely chopped curry leaves – little

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