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Happy New year and Wheat ladoo

New Year with sweets:

The years 2013 is coming to an end and let’s welcome 2014 with sweets. Wheat ladoo is a sweet that I have been preparing for almost all festivals and functions in 2013. So, what better way to bid adieu to 2013 than to prepare wheat ladoo.
And coconut ladoo has been on my to-try sweet list for a long time now. What better way to welcome 2014 than preparing something that I wanted for a long time.
Let’s start with the wheat laddoo

Kollu Dosai

Kollu or horsegram is a low fat food and is ideal for people who like to diet or lose weight.  Kollu chutney has been on our kitchen menu for a long time and a new entry is this kollu dosa. People who intend to eat kollu regularly on a daily basis or on alternate days should take measures to cool their system with lot of fluids, fruits etc. 

Healthy low fat dosa!

Poondu kuzhambu

After a weeklong vacation in the grand canyon and Vegas with relatives, getting back home made me feel lonely. The spine chilling winter would keep me and my son house arrested except for the weekly grocery shopping... We came back with terrible cold and in spite of all this whining I do, the trip was the best of all. This is our first trip with another family and we had the best time when we shared our rooms for a few nights... Sharing the small space we have, that is what makes you feel the togetherness and brings the festive mood..
With the refreshing memories of the vacation, let us see a poondu kuzhambhu recipe. I prepared this today as we have not yet stocked up veggies.
After having missed home food for almost a week, this poondu kuzhambhu felt like amirtham...

Spicy Brussel Sprouts Stir fry / poriyal

Living abroad especially in a 'not so Indian populated' place like where we live, has its own difficulties and perks... During the initial days, you would see the Indian vegetables that the Indian stores carry with pitiful eyes, coz they would have stayed in the shelf for a pretty long time and would strip you off the desire to cook them, coz it would have shrunk to half its size... On the other hand, the freshest available veggies would be the 'American' ones like broccoli, asparagus, colored peppers from the nearby super market, which you absolutely have no intention of adding to a spicy Indian cuisine.

Then the natural survival instincts would kick in and you eventually evolve. This evolution process took me almost 2 years and now I have started using brussel sprouts, broccoli and so on.. The Asian food markets also offer some veggies (which by the way demands an extensive online research to find the exact Indian or English names... Otherwise you end up making watercress poriyal, not knowing that it is going to taste bitter than raw bitter gourd soup... )

All these happened to me and after a lot of trial and error, i finally found a way to cook brussel sprouts for the Indian palate.. The most ironic thing is that it is actually a very easy and tasty stir-fry...

Tomato Chutney

In India tomato prices sometimes make people wonder if tomatoes have to categorized  in the 'luxury list'. But otherwise tomato chutney is a staple accompaniment for idli or dosa. Even in my grave i cannot forget the taste of my mom's tomato chutney. And finally now i know how to exactly replicate the recipe. i am still missing my mom's love from the ingredients list here. :(
There is not a single time during my visit to my parents, that my mom does not make this yummy thakaali chutney. 
Reminds my MOM :)

Spinach in moong dal - Paruppu keerai masiyal

This dish is an excellent rice accompaniment. Drizzled with little ghee on top the spinach dal rice is definitely kids favorite food. I use coconut oil for tadka as it gives a unique flavor to the dish. I usually avoid adding tomatoes for dal or spinach dishes. 

Pesarattu - Whole Moong Dal Dosa

Idli and dosa are the two unchallenged champions for breakfast menu in almost every home or cafe or restaraunt or food stall in tamil nadu.
Pesarattu is a healthy alternative and still comes under dosa list. It is simply moong dal dosa. I heard the name of this typical andhra style dish from my friends house when she prepared this yummy dish for us with upma and peanut chutney. This amazing cook and a marvellous woman i admire, gave me the recipe and i too tried a week later. It came out really well.

Moong Dal ladu / laddoo/ ladoo - paasi payaru urundai

Sweets is my favorite food in the whole world and I prepare quick sweet recipes very often. I usually prepare wheat lado or rava ladoo and recently wanted to try the moong dal laddoo...
Yummy! Yummy !

Plain Dal - Simple Kongu Dish

Verum paruppu or plain dhal is a very common and simple dish that almost every kitchen prepares regularly.
Personally, I feel that I have eaten the tastiest plain dhal in the world, during my childhood days.
When we visit my dad's mom during holidays she makes very simple dishes like tomato curry, plain dhal, avaraikkai poriyal probably because that is what she would have had in her house or garden. She would not have enough plates in her home for all 4 of us to eat at the same time, but she served the most simple and authentic food I have ever eaten.

Mushroom pepper

The recipe is a restaurant style dish with a semi-gravy consistency. I recently had this dish from an Indian buffet lunch and wanted to give it a try. I added a little more pepper powder than I tasted in the restaurant. I used to prepare mushroom gravy with grated coconut as my family is not a great fan of dry curries. But when I prepared and had this curry, it was a very different taste.
This is a super fast dish that you can prepare in just 20 minutes.