Chow Chow Kootu with Small Onion Venthiya Kuzhambu

Chow Chow Kootu


Chow Chow Kootu, Rice with ghee, Mixture and Small Onion Venthiya Kuzhambu

This simple, tasty Chow Chow Kootu, is our family favourite. Chow Chow is also known as Chayote, belongs to the melon family, rich in vitamins, calcium and zinc. We make this kootu at least once in 10 days. I learnt this recipe from my mother – in – law.  This is her special dish. Goes well with phulkas, puri and plain rice. An excellent combination with Small Onion Venthiya Kuzhambu and roasted pappad. I have served this Kootu with plain rice, Small Onion Venthiya Kuzhambu and mixture. Mixture goes well with any mixed rice. Try this combo and I am sure you will enjoy as much I have enjoyed it.This kootu has a very nice flavour because the ground paste is very different .


Peeled and cubed ChowChow – 2 cups

Water – 3cups

Salt to taste

Grind to a fine paste

Grated coconut – 1 cup

Broken dry red chilli – 1/2 piece of a chilli

Cornflour – 1 tablespoon

To Season

Coconut Oil – 1 tablespoon

Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon

Urad dhal –  2 teaspoons

To Garnish

Torn curry leaves – little



Heat a pan. Add water. Once the water boils, add the cubed chow Chow. Cook on medium flame. Once the Vegetable has cooked, add the ground paste. Sim the flame. Simmer till thick. Add salt to taste and mix well. Switch off the stove. Season and garnish. Serve hot.

Chef’s Tips

1) Cook the kootu on sim flame. It will not discolour.

2) For a more whiter coloured kootu add only 1/4 broken red chilli.




Small Onion Venthiya Kuzhambu

Small Onion Venthiya Kuzhambu


Venthiya Kuzhambu is  a South Indian Speciality. Venthiyam is Methi seeds or Fenugreek seeds, the flavour of Venthiyam is just subtle and  also acts as a coolant for the body.

Who does not like this Kuzhambu . A very tangy, aromatic , thoroughly refreshing dish. Everyone ‘s  favourite. Prepare this Kuzhambu and leave it aside to sit for a couple of hours. The taste definitely improves. Best served with plain rice, mixture and ChowChow Kootu. Also goes well with Pongal, Adai, Rice Upma, Pidi Kozhukattai, Crisp dosai and Mor Kali.


Peeled Small Onions – 1 cup

Tamarind paste – 1 teaspoon

Water –  1 cup

Sambhar powder –  1 and 1/2 tablespoons

Salt to taste

Grated jaggery – 1 teaspoon

Turmeric powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Asafoetida powder – 1/4 teaspoon

Rice flour – 1 teaspoon

Water to mix the rice flour – 1/4 cup

To Season

Gingelly oil ( sesame oil ) – 4 tablespoons

Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon

Channa dhal – 1 teaspoon ( Bengal gram dhal )

Jeera – 1/4 teaspoon

Methi seeds – 1/4 teaspoon

Broken red chilli – 2

To Garnish

Torn Curry Leaves – little


Heat a pan. Season. First fry the small onions on medium flame till golden. Add the sambhar powder, jaggery, asafoetida powder, turmeric powder and salt. Sauté on sim flame for 3 minutes. Mix the tamarind paste with 1 cup of water. Add this to the pan.  Simmer for 3 minutes. Next, mix rice flour with 1/4 cup of water. Add this to the Kuzhambu. Again simmer for 4 minutes till thick. Switch off the stove. Garnish. Serve hot.

Chef’s Tips

1) After adding the tamarind mix , do not boil the Kuzhambu for a long time.

2) Can store in the fridge for 2 or 3  days.

Mor Kali ( Mor Koozh )

Mor Kali


Mor Kali  is a  super fast dish , especially when you want to  eat something in the evenings. You can either cut to pieces or serve piping hot from the pan to the plate. Cool well before you cut to pieces. We have been making this recipe for decades.


Processed rice flour – 1 cup

Butter milk – 3 cups

Salt to taste

Green Chilli – 1 ( pounded nicely)

Deep fried dried curd chillies ( Mor Milagai) ( chopped to small pieces ) – 2

Asafoetida powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Peeled and grated ginger – 1 teaspoon

To Season

Gingelly oil ( sesame oil ) – 2 tablespoons

Sun flower oil – 2 tablespoons

Mustard seeds – 1 teaspoon

Urad dhal – 2 teaspoons

Finely chopped curry leaves –  little

To  Grease the Tray –  Little Sun flower oil



First take a bowl. Mix rice flour with butter milk. Add salt to taste, asafoetida powder. Whisk well to avoid lumps. Add the pounded green chilli and grated ginger , mix well. Heat a pan. Season. Add the rice flour and buttermilk mix. Stir on sim flame till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan. Cover and cook for 5 minutes. Switch off the stove. Pour into the greased tray. Spread  evenly. Cool. Cut into desired shapes.Serve with Small Onion Venthiya Kuzhambu.

Chef’s  Tips

1) Add the fried curd chillies last , the Mor Kali will not get discoloured.

2) Mor Kali can also be served with Pickle or any Chutney of your choice.


Rice and Vegetable Casserole

Rice  And  Vegetable Casserole


A perfect British dish. In one of my trips to London, I learnt this recipe . A one pot dish, very, very satisfying. I made it for lunch. I modified it slightly, it turned out so well that I wanted to share with you all.  Make it  for  a party or when guests come, or make it for a Sunday lunch when every one is at home. This dish does not need any accompaniment. You can just have it like that, feel the flavours merging in your mouth and you will thoroughly enjoy every bit of it.

I have  split this recipe into 5 parts,  it will be easy to follow.

 To make the rice  (  Part – 1 )


Basmathi rice – 1 cup ( soaked  in water for 1/2 an hour , drain it and keep aside )

Salt to taste

Water – 1 and 3/4 cups

To Season

Oil – 1 tablespoon

Shahjeera – 1/2 teaspoon

Cardamoms – 2


Heat a pan. Season. Add the drained rice and salt . Sauté on sim flame for 3 minutes. Add water. Mix well. Cover and cook on sim flame till rice is done. Stir gently. Keep aside.Once the rice is cooked , remove the cardamoms.


To make the Vegetable  Sauté ( Part – 2  )


Thinly sliced carrots – 1 cup ( boiled )

Chopped beans –  1/2 cup ( boiled )

Boiled green peas – 1/2 cup

Blanched  Spinach ( chopped roughly ) – 1/2 cup

Cubed red and green bell pepper – 2 tablespoons ( each )

Salt to taste

Curry powder – 1 teaspoon

To Season

Oil  – 2 tablespoons

Cumin seeds – 1/2 teaspoon ( jeera )


Heat a pan. Season. Add all the  boiled vegetables, Spinach, bell peppers, salt and curry powder. Sauté  on sim flame for 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Keep aside.

To make the Tomato Mix ( Part – 3 )


Ready made tomato purée – 1 and 1/2 cups

Finely chopped onions – 1 cup

Finely chopped garlic – 6 flakes

Finely chopped green chilli – 1

Chilli powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Oil – 1 tablespoon


Heat a pan.Add oil. Sauté garlic in sim flame for 3 minutes. Add the onion. Sauté for 5 minutes on sim flame. Add the green chilli, salt and chilli powder. Add the tomato purée. Mix well. Leave it for 3 minutes. Switch off the stove. Keep aside.

To make the White Sauce ( Part – 4 )


Deep fried cubes of brinjal – 1/2 cup

Deep fried cubes of potato – 1/2 cup

Maida – 1 tablespoon

Boiled cooled milk –  2 cups

Salt to taste

Coarsely crushed black pepper – 3 pinches

Nutmeg powder – 2 pinches

Butter – 2 tablespoons


Heat a pan. Add the butter. When the butter just melts, add the maida and sauté on sim flame for 3 minutes. Add the salt, nutmeg powder and pepper powder. Add the milk. Mix with a whisk. Add the fried brinjal and potato. Mix gently. The sauce will thicken. Switch off the stove. Keep aside.

Topping  ( Part – 5 )

Grated Mozarella cheese  – 1/2 cup

Grated Cheddar cheese – 1/2 cup

To Assemble The Casserole

Layer – 1

Take  a round glass dish. Grease it slightly with butter. Spread a bed of rice.

Layer – 2

Top the rice layer with a layer of vegetables.

Layer – 3

Top the Vegetable layer with Tomato Mix.

Layer – 4

Top the Tomato Mix with White Sauce.

Layer – 5

Top the white sauce with grated Mozarella and grated Cheddar cheese.

Bake it in the Microwave in grill mode for 5 to 8 minutes till the crust becomes golden. Take it out from the oven. Serve hot.


Chef’s Tips

1) After boiling the veggies do not discard the water. Use the Vegetable stock   to cook the rice.

2) Using a combination of Mozarella and Cheddar cheese enhances the taste.

3) Deep fry the brinjal pieces and the potato cubes to a golden colour.
















Nutty Yoghurt Fudge

Nutty  Yoghurt  Fudge


For the last few days I have been thinking as to how to process this fudge. I specially wanted to post this recipe for  Christmas. You can make this at once.  A very interesting recipe. I have used icing sugar which has cornstarch, which acts as the binding agent. Grill it in the Microwave. The top crust is  golden, the whole fudge is spongy and bouncy. Has a  very  subtle and an attractive colour. The rose water in the fudge gives an extra punch to the dish. Have a Colourful  Christmas.  Enjoy this fudge with all your family and friends. Happy Fudge Making .  Once again a very Happy Christmas.


Hung, thick  curds – 2 cups

Crumbled Paneer – 1 cup

Icing sugar  –  6 tablespoons

Finely chopped cashew nuts – 1 and 1/2 tablespoons

Rose Water – 3/4 teaspoon ( gulab  jal )

Saffron mixed in little hot milk – 1 pinch

Milk powder –  4 tablespoons

Cardamom powder – 3/4 teaspoon

To  Garnish

Little saffron milk , chopped almonds, chopped cashew and chopped pistachio


Take a mixie jar.  Add the curd  mixture and the crumbled paneer.Blend briefly till the Yoghurt and Paneer mixes well.  Transfer the blended items to a big bowl. Add the chopped cashew,  icing sugar, rose water and  cardamom to the curd mix. Mix very well. Add the milk powder. Mix well. Take ramekins. Fill the mix to 3/4 . Put the ramekins into a microwave  and grill them for  3 to 5 minutes till golden spots appear on top. A thin crust will be formed. Remove from the oven. Garnish. Cool. Cover the ramekins and chill them in the refrigerator for 4 to 6 hours. Serve.

Scoop  and  enjoy.

Chef’s  Tips

1) As an option,  can add little fruit purée.

2) Ramekins are the best and easy to serve.

3) Nutty Yoghurt Fudge is very soft and has a really subtle rose flavour.

4) Chill the fudge in the normal compartment of the fridge. Do not freeze.

Paneer Mini

Paneer Mini


I made this sandwiched Paneer Mini for dinner yesterday along with Beetroot Chawli Soup.The Paneer filling inside the Mini buns was just classy. Can make it really fast. An all time favourite. Children will simply love it. Can pack for lunch box too. Use fresh Paneer as the sandwich will be too good. Yum when served with Beetroot Chawli Soup.


Mini Buns -6  ( available in  super markets )

Finely chopped Paneer pieces – 1 and 1/2 cups

Finely chopped onion – 1

Finely chopped green chilli –  1/4 piece

Finely chopped tomatoes – 2

Pounded ginger garlic paste – 1 teaspoon

Turmeric powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Kashmiri chilli powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Everest Kitchen King Masala – 1/2 teaspoon

Garam Masala powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Jeera powder 1/2 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Sugar – 1 teaspoon

Water – 2 tablespoons

To Season

Oil – 2 tablespoons

Jeera – 1 teaspoon

To Garnish

Finely chopped coriander leaves – little

Crushed Kasturi methi – little



Heat a pan. Season. Fry onion on  medium flame till transparent. Next add the chopped tomatoes, green chilli, pounded ginger garlic paste, salt and sugar. Cook on sim flame till the tomatoes turn mushy. Add all the dry spice powders. Sauté. Add 2 tablespoons water. Add the chopped Paneer. Stir .Garnish. Use this mix as a stuffing for the buns. Halve the Mini buns . Dry toast them on a tava. Stuff , cover the bun, press it gently. Serve with Beetroot Chawli Soup.

Chef ‘s Tips

1) Use fresh soft Mini buns.

2)Do not add more green chilli as it will become spicy.





Beetroot Chawli Soup with Paneer Mini

Beetroot Chawli Soup


Beetroot Chawli Soup  with Paneer Mini

Chawli is Black Eyed Beans ( lobia, Karamani or thattai payaru ). I had lots of Chawli and Beetroot at home. As  I was making breakfast, I was contemplating to make this Soup for dinner. I sort of formulated this recipe. The taste was delicious, creamy and thick. Quite filling. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Serve this Soup piping hot with Paneer Mini.


Boiled Chawli – 1 cup  + 3 tablespoons for garnishing

Boiled Beetroot pieces –  2 cups

Milk powder – 3 tablespoons

Onion – 1 ( chopped )

Garlic – 6 flakes ( chopped )

Green chilli – 1/2 piece

Salt to taste

Coarsely powdered black pepper powder – 3 pinches

Water   –  1  cup

To Season

Butter – 1 teaspoon

Oil – 1 tablespoon

Jeera – 1 teaspoon ( cumin seeds )

To Garnish

Grated Paneer – little

Boiled Chawli – 3 tablespoons

Finely chopped green coriander leaves – little

Boiled and finely chopped beetroot pieces – little



Heat a pan. Season. Fry onion and garlic till transparent. Add the green chilli. Sauté for 2 minutes. Switch off the flame. Transfer to a plate. Cool. Take a blender jar. Add the onion mixture, boiled Chawli, boiled beetroot pieces, salt, pepper powder, milk powder and water. Cover the mixie jar. Blend to a fine purée. Pour the blended ingredients in a saucepan. Boil for 5 minutes on sim flame. The Soup will thicken. Switch off the stove. Pour into soup bowls. Garnish. Serve hot with Paneer Mini.

 Chef’s  Tips

1) Do not add more than 1/2 piece of green chilli, the Soup will become very spicy.

2) Chawli Beetroot Soup is very, very soul filling.


Spicy Corn

Spicy Corn


Spicy Corn with  Veg Biriyani and toasted herbed buttered bread

I still remember the days, we used to go to Prarthana Theatre with the children, they used to have one request all the time. Spicy Corn with  Vegetable Biriyani. They used to love this ever winning combination, plus this Spicy Corn is our family favourite too.

Prarthana happens to be a drive in theatre, we can park the car and watch the movie. We used to carry food from home, the all time favourite Spicy Corn with Veg Biriyani. I am very happy to share this recipe which we have been making for years and enjoying .


Cream style sweet corn( available in cans ) – 1/2 cup

Sweet corn niblets ( available in cans ) – 1/2 cup

Readymade tomato purée ( comes in tetra pack )  – 1 cup

Very finely minced ( chopped very, very finely ) onion – 1 cup

Very finely minced garlic – 1 tablespoon

Very finely chopped green chilli – 1

Boiled , cooled milk – 1 cup

Cornflour – 1 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Kashmiri chilli powder – 1 teaspoon

To Season

Butter – 2 tablespoons

Oil – 1 tablespoon

Cumin seeds ( jeera ) – 1 teaspoon

To Garnish

Crushed kasoori methi – little

Finely chopped green coriander leaves – little

Butter – 1 teaspoon



Heat a pan. Season. Sauté minced garlic on medium flame for 3 minutes. Next, add the minced onions. Sauté on medium flame till transparent. Add the chopped green chilli. Add the tomato purée, salt , chilli powder and stir well. Add the cream style corn and sweet corn. Mix milk with cornflour. Cook on sim flame for 5 minutes. Switch off the stove and garnish. Serve hot.

Chef’s Tips

1) To achieve a great taste use canned corn only. Using a combo of cream style corn and sweet corn gives a good body to the dish.

2) Cream style corn is used for making sweet corn soup too.

3) Ready made tomato purée gives that peachish pink colour. Wonderful to see and Wonderful to taste.

Refer to my Pulao and Biriyani.



Kariveppilai ( curry leaves) Kuzhambu

Kariveppilai Kuzhambu


Kariveppilai is Curry leaf.  The humble curry leaf is a store house of  folic acid, calcium, vitamins, iron and phosphorus. Improves digestion  and prevents greying hair. This Kuzhambu is very appetising. I learnt this recipe from my mother’s  cook Sampoorna. We have been making this Kuzhambu for decades. Goes well with plain rice and ghee, roasted pappad and a vegetable dish. Also goes well with Pongal, Crisp dosai, Adai, Upma, Curd rice and Puri.


To roast and grind in oil  –  Paste 1

Curry leaves ( washed and wiped well ) – 2 handfuls

Gingelly oil – 1 teaspoon

Heat gingelly oil in a pan. Sauté the curry leaves for 3  minutes on medium flame till crispy. Remove and keep aside. Cool. Grind it with little water to a nice paste.

Roast in oil and blend to a paste – Paste 2 

Gingelly oil – 2tablespoons

Channa dhal ( Bengal gram dhal ) – 2 tablespoons

Urad dhal – 1 teaspoon

Black pepper – 4

Cumin seeds ( jeera ) – 2 teaspoons

Coriander seeds – 1 teaspoon

Dry red chillies –  4

Asafoetida powder – 3/4 teaspoon

Tamarind paste – 1 teaspoon

Turmeric powder – 1 pinch

Grind all the golden roasted ingredients with little water to a fine paste.

Other Ingredients

Salt to taste

Grated jaggery – 1 tablespoon

Water – 1/4 cup

To Season

Gingelly oil –  2 tablespoons

Mustard seeds  –  1 teaspoon

Jeera – 1 teaspoon

To Garnish

Sundaikkai ( Turkey berry) – 6 , fry in oil  till golden. Keep aside.


Heat a pan. Add gingelly oil . Season.First fry paste 2 for 3 minutes on sim flame. Next fry  paste 1 on sim flame for 3 minutes . Add salt to taste, jaggery and water. Simmer till the Kuzhambu thickens and the oil seeps.

Garnish and serve hot.

Chef’s Tips

1) Can store the Kariveppilai Kuzhambu for 1 week in the fridge.

2) Use only gingelly oil for best flavour.






Shahi Paneer Masala ( Restaurant Style )

Shahi Paneer Masala


This is a sheer restaurant style gravy. I learnt this recipe from my friend Sunitha Wahi. She is a Punjabi. She gave me all the intricate details as to how to make this gravy step by step.  A little effort and you will have a big bowlful  of this gravy in front of you. Let us first start with the Shahi Paneer Masala powder. Apart from using for this dish, you can also use this masala powder for Veg curries, Dhals and can add little in the fillings used for parathas.

Shahi Paneer Masala powder


Coriander seeds – 1/2 cup

Jeera – 1/4 cup

Cloves – 6

Cardamoms – 3

Cinnamon – 1 small piece

Saunf (aniseeds) – 1/2 teaspoon

Black pepper – 6

Nutmeg – a very small piece

Star anise  – 1/2

Shah jeera – 1/2 teaspoon

Stone flower ( Kalpaasi) – 2 pinches


Heat a big pan. Add all the above mentioned ingredients. Roast on sim flame till golden. Cool. Powder in a blender to a fine powder. Store in an air tight bottle. Use  whenever you want.

Ingredients for Shahi Paneer Masala

Paneer – ( chopped to triangles) – 2 cups

Heat 5 cups of water. Add 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder. Boil the water. Add the chopped Paneer pieces. Cover and leave it aside till the time of use.

Kashmiri chilli powder – 1 teaspoon

Turmeric powder – 2 pinches

Jeera powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Coriander powder – 1/2 teaspoon

Salt to taste

Sugar – 1 teaspoon

Shahi Paneer Masala powder – 1 teaspoon

Cornflour – 1  and 1/2 teaspoon

Boiled , cooled milk – 1 and 1/2 cups

Grind to a fine paste ( paste 1 )

Onion –  2 ( chopped)

Garlic – 6 flakes ( chopped )

Ginger – ( chopped ) – 2 teaspoons

Green chilli – 1 ( chopped )

Do not add water. Blend to a fine paste.

Grind to a fine paste ( paste 2 )

Tomatoes – 5 ( chopped fine )

Blend to a fine paste

Grind to a fine paste ( paste 3 )

Cashew nut – 8

Blanched and peeled almonds – 8

Melon seeds ( magaz) – 2  teaspoons

Boiled, cooled milk – 1/2 cup

Blend to a fine paste with milk

To Season

Oil – 2tablespoons

Ghee – 2 tablespoons

Shah jeera – 1/2 teaspoon

Jeera – 1 teaspoon

To Garnish

Crushed Kasoori Methi – little

Finely chopped green coriander leaves – little

Whisked fresh cream – little


Heat a pressure cooker. Season. First fry the paste 1 on sim flame till the raw smell goes. Next fry the paste 2. Add turmeric powder, chilli powder, salt, sugar,coriander powder, jeera powder and  Shahi Garam Masala powder. Sauté  on sim flame. Mix cornflour to milk. Add it to the milk and stir gently. Ad the drained Paneer triangles. Mix gently. Cover the pressure cooker. After 1 whistle switch off the stove. Once the pressure subsides, open and mix well.Garnish. Serve hot with Sabz  Sirka pulao.


Chef’s Tips

1) Can pack this Paneer for lunchbox.

2) Do not break the Paneer pieces. Mix gently.

3) Goes well with  kulchas, naan, roti, jeera rice or Sabzi Sirka Pulao.














Hearty Homely Healthy