Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The Authentic and Exotic Kanchipuram Idli

I learnt this kanchipuram idli recipe from a lovely granny born and brought up in tamilnadu.There are many variations of this kanchipuram idli however the recipe shared by this granny was delicious to taste with a mild but appetising spiceiness.

Located on the banks of the Vegavathy River, Kanchipuram has been ruled by the Pallavas, the Medieval Cholas, the Later Cholas, the Later Pandyas, the Vijayanagar Empire, the Carnatic kingdom, and the British.

Kanchipuram has a nickname as the city with a thousand temples.Of the 108 holy temples of the Hindu god Vishnu, 14 are located in Kanchipuram. The city is well known for its hand woven silk sarees and most of the city's workforce is involved in the weaving industry.


  • 1 cup urad dal
  • 3 cups rice rava (cracked raw rice)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp cummin seeds
  • 1 tbsp chopped ginger
  • 1 tbsp chopped green chillies
  • 1/2 tsp crushed black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 2 springs curry leaves


Soak urad dal for 3 hrs then make a smooth paste and shift it to a large bowl

Soak rice rava in warm water for 1/2 hr then squeeze the rava and mix it with the urad dal paste.Then add salt  and mix very nicely and cover to keep it aside for fermentation for 1 night

Next day heat oil in a pan, add cummin seeds, mustard seeds once it splutters add chopped ginger and green chilles and the crushed black pepper and curry leaves.And fry for 30 seconds then add this directly to the fermented batter and mix nicely.

Now put 2 tbsp of batter into each idli mould depression, and stack the racks one above the other and steam in the pressure cooker or steamer for 15min on medium flame.

Remove them carefully from steamer and let it cool, take a sharp spoon and scoop them out into the plate.

Serve it with chutneys of your choice.


1. Preparing Rice Rava
Wash and soak the rice for 30 mins. Drain and spread the rice on a thin cotton cloth for about 30 - 45 mins and let it dry slowly. 

When the rice is slightly wet (not completely dry) , take the rice in batches and grind in a mixie to a coarse-fine consistency like idli rava/thick sooji . Sieve it to remove the flour and the rava and use how much ever rava you need to make idlis and rest can be stored for future use in airtight container

2.The fermentation should be proper to get a soft idlies

3.The container should be big enough to hold the batter otherwise after fermenting the batter will be overflow .
4. Traditionally you can also steam in a plate like a cake.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Wholesome and Healthy Apple Barley Salad

Yesterday I was watching Sanjeev Kapoors "Cook Smart" on foodfood channel. He described some good recipes with barley. This salad was a amazing fusion of colors and flavor and I tried it out today.

The salad has a unique flavor that blends all the ingredients into one wholesome salad that is filling and healthy.I used some garden fresh mint that made it very aromatic too.

  • 1/4 cup barley
  • 1 medium size apple
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint leaves,parsley and cilantro leaves
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp lemon
  • 3 tbsp shredded lettuce
  • 2 tbsp roasted melon seeds
  • 2-3 tbsp apple juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
Roast the barley lightly, add 3/4th cup water and pressure cook for 3 whistles and 10 minutes in sim.

Cut the apples in small chuncks. Toast the melon seeds lightly and keep aside. Now in a salad bowl add chopped apple chuncks, cooked barley lettuce and all the above ingredients (greens,honey,olive oil,lemon,apple juice) with salt and pepper to taste.Stir nicely.

Top the salad with the roasted melon seeds and stir lightly. Refridgerate add serve chilled.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Aakakarakaya /Spiny Gourd Fry

It is small ovoid, green and full of soft spines and looks like a baby sister of bitter gourd but not definitely not in taste.It is known as aakakarakaya in Telugu.

This vegetable has got a wonderfull crunchy bite and complements very well with rice. As it is a seasonal vegetable I am sure you can try it out.

  • 250 gms aakakarakaya/kantola (medium size)
  • 1 tbsp oil
  • 1/2 tsp cummin/jeera
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 8-10 garlic pods
  • 3 whole red chillies
Wash and cut the aakakarakaya in the ends and slice and cut through each into four pieces.

Heat 1 tsp oil add cummin seeds, once it splutter add the garlic pods and red chilles and saute for 1 minute or till garlic pods turn golden brown.Let is cool and make a fine powder.

In the same pan add the remaining oil once it heats up in high flame , add the akakarakaya, then add some turmeric, mix well and cover with low flame. Let it cook until it becomes tender, again make the flame high remove the cover and continue to fry till all the water evaporates and becomes golden brown. Then add the above prepared chilli garlic powder. And stir nicely.

Serve with hot ghee rice and enjoy


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