Thursday, 25 July 2013

Chettinad kitchen-Lemon Rice

Chettinad ,the sound of the name resonates a variety of  thoughts,right from the splendid mansions ,Temples and the cuisine. Chettinad is a region of the Sivaganga district of southern Tamil Nadu state, India. Karaikudi is known as the capital of Chettinad which includes Karaikudi and 74 (traditionally 96) other villages. Chettinad is the homeland of the Nattukottai Chettiars (Nagarathar), a prosperous banking and business community. Many of this community's members migrated to South and Southeast Asia, particularly Ceylon and Burma, in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The people of Chettinad speak Tamil. Today there is a diaspora of Chettinad people who live in places such as the USA, Singapore and Malaysia.
This place is well known for its Chettinad cuisine, mansions, and temples. "Chettinad" also means a social caste that specializes in the preparation of food. Chettinads are considered master chefs who prepare food that reflects the excellence that people in Chennai/South India look for in the preparation and serving of food. Some cuisines have been renamed, such as Chicken Chettinad (Spicy Chicken Curry) or Veg Chettinad (a curry of selective vegetables) to reflect the specialty and care given during preparation of food.
Most of the dishes are eaten with rice and rice based accompaniments such as dosais, appams, idiyappams, adais and idlis. The Chettinad people through their mercantile contacts with Burma, learnt to prepare a type of rice pudding made with sticky red rice.
Chettinad cuisine offers a variety of vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes. Some of the popular vegetarian dishes include idiyappam,paniyaram, vellai paniyaram, karuppatti paniyaram, paal paniyaram, kuzhi paniyaram, kozhakattai, masala paniyaram, adikoozh,kandharappam, seeyam, masala seeyam, kavuni arisi & athirasam.(Source :Wikipedia).Chettinad region is also famous for their handloom sarees and floor tiles

It is very interesting to listen to their customs and practices as all the ancient practices are still followed with great fervor and all the relatives make it sure to attend an event.Will share the pics once i get it from Chandra aunty.

We have friends who belong to the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu and all of them are usually extra generous when it comes to sharing of recipes.Am saying this coz i know people who keep good things like recipes to themselves instead of sharing forgetting that sharing multiplies the joy actually.

Usually i give a call to C aunty asking her for recipes and tips if i have to make some special dish that is unique to their place.One day while we were chatting ,aunty was mentioning about the cook book that was launched by one Mrs.Alamelu Vairavan.That fueled my expectations and i was hunting for this one after geting see her show on Youtube.

Chettinad Kitchen captures the true essence of chettinad cuisine by including almost all(over a 100) the dishes that usually finds a place in the menu of the Chettiars. The book is written in a simple language that makes it easy to follow even for a beginner . Suggesting alternate ideas and cooking tips makes one feel that the author has taken pains to go a long way in not only documenting the food culture but also in encouraging the reader to try out the recipes mentioned by her.
The no nonsense writing style and the 24 color photographs actually invite you to cook with the recipe given in the book.As i bought it from Flipkart i enjoyed their discount too.The cover of the book features all the  primary ingredients of Chettinad cooking ie, rice, ginger, curry leaves all placed tastefully  on a grinding stone, and a bright pink and gold bordered traditional saree. .The only thing that i found missing in this book is that it does not have that many dessert items.All together it is a good buy for anyone who wishes to master the ART OF CHETTINAD COOKING.

  Lemon Rice

Recipe Source Chettinad Kitchen pg.No 97


  1. 1 cup rice
  2. 1/4 cum lemon or lime juice
  3. salt-as req
  4. 1/4 tsp turmeric powder
  5. 2 green chillies
  6. 1 tbsp chopped ginger
  7. 3 tbsp roasted peanuts

For Tadka
  1. 2 tbsp oil
  2. 2 dried red chilly
  3. 1/4 tsp asafoteida powder
  4. curry leaves-handful
  5. 1 tsp mustard seeds
  6. urad dhal-1 tsp
  7. channa dhal 1 tsp


  1. Wash the rice,drain and cook it in 2 cups of water.set aside to cool.
  2. combine the lemon juice and turmeric powder in a bowl and set aside
  3. For the tadka,add oil in a pan over medium heat.When it is hot but not smoking add the items given under tadka one by one.Reduce the flame as the blackening of the spices results n an awful taste.
  4. Add the cooked rice and stir in the lemon juice .
  5. Let this mixture simmer for a few minutes.
  6. Remove from heat.Add greeen chillies ginger and peanuts.
  7. Serve with potato chips or any spicy preparation ike chicken curry or even meen varuthathu.

This is not a paid review.

Sending this to Runnergirl and Pari's event.Also to

Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Pesarattu-With Love From Andhra Pradesh

We get to learn different things from different people.Some will be lessons and some others will be a blessing.There were many people who actually taught me how not to behave by being rude ,cold and indifferent.It does not mean that i didn't feel bad or was not offended by their behavior,i think i have outgrown the negative impacts or hurts of the incidents...
While on the other hand some people behave in such a sweet manner that you get convinced that being good is not that bad.They bring in a positive energy to your day and uplift the mood.Wonderful isn't it.Did i tell u about my friends from Andhra Pradesh?R and i were friends from a very young age and even though we have differences of opinion in a lot of matters it didn't matter much on the bonding front.All that mattered was respecting the differences.This particular recipe is a specialty of AP and it is usually served with a mound of upma. Because of my not so good relationship with Upma(That for another post)i prefer having this green beauty with chutney and Sambhar. My take of the combination for Pesarattu.

As am a bit busy these days with lot of deadlines to meet so was not able to post in my blog here.That said, it does not mean that i didn't cook,itz just that lazy is my last name and am tired out after all the hectic work and other stuff. Daivame kaatholane.


Source:Mummy and with slight adaptations from Mallika Bhadrinath's cook book
  1. Green Moong dhal -2 cups
  2. Raw rice -1/2 cup
  3. Ginger-2 inch piece
  4. Garlic -5 cloves
  5. Green chilly -4
  6. Oil-For making Dosa (As required)


  1. Wash the dhal and the rice with several changes of water til the water runs clear
  2. Soak the dhal and rice seperately for some 4 to 5 hours.
  3. Grind them with the rest of the ingredients along with water and salt.
  4. The consistency of the batter largely depends on personal preference and i personally prefer the batter to be coarse rather than resembling a neat pasty format.
  5. check for salt.
  6. Heat an iron skillet or tawa and drizzle some oil.
  7. Pour a laddle of batter and spread as yould do it for making a dosa.
  8. cover and cook till done.
  9. Serve hot with Thenga Chammandhi and Sambhar.


Because i love the garlic flavour i have added 5 cloves.It is person specific and the quantity can be adjusted according to your preference.

Am sending this to Runner Girl's and Pari's Only from cook books event.
Also sending this to JW's event. and to Priya Chechi's eventamrita and sara's event,apu's event and to vegan thursday's by Priya chechi.

Tuesday, 9 July 2013

Kadu Manga Achar/Keralan Mango Pickle

Did I tell you about my recently bought cook book???Yes, Itz "The Suriani Kitchen" by Lathika George.Even though mummy has her own way of making pickles,I was quite intrigued by the quantity of mustard that was given in the recipe.I thought it to be too much when compared to the normal amount that we use

But given the reputation of the recipes featured i decided to give it a try and i was one happy girl.The pickle turned out to be perfect and am planning to make another batch before the Mangoes become pricey.Make hay while the sun shines???I dunno how many cut mango pieces go into the making coz i love eating mangoes and making funny faces after that.
So lets get into action of pickling without delay.

Recipe Source: The suriani Kitchen Page No: 191


  1. Diced and unpeeled mango-4 cups
  2. Salt - 1/2 cup
  3. Water-1/2 cup
  4. Sesame oil - 1/2 cup
  5. garlic - 6 cloves sliced
  6. Sliced Ginger - 1tbsp
  7. Curry Leaves - A handful
  8. Chilly powder - 5 tbsp
  9. Ground Turmeric-1/2 tsp
  10. Mustard powder - 1/2 cup
  11. Vinegar - 1/2 cup


  1. Mix the mango pieces with two tsp of salt in a ceramic jar or glass bowl.Set aside  for a day or two.
  2. Remove the mango pieces from the salty liquid and discard the liquid.
  3. Mix the water with the rest of the salt in a pot and bring this to a boil.Strain and set aside.
  4. Heat oil in a medium pot add the garlic,ginger,and curry leaves and saute for two minutes.Add the chilly powder,Turmeric powder and mustard powder and saute over low heat for a minute.Care should be taken that the masala powders are not browned.
  5. Now add the vinegar,Salt solution and mango pieces and cook for some time Allow the mixture to cool and store in clean sterilized bottles.
  • Be careful in selecting the pickle jar as it should be air tight and clean.No creepy creatures growing in your pickle.
  • Use this pickle after 15 or 20 days so that the flavors are blended well.
  • Do not be intimidated my the mustard powder.It gives a magical explosion of flavors , a very different one from the usual one.
Am sending this to Pari and Runner Girl's "Only From Cook Books Event
Also to Manju and Gayathri's WTML event and to Made with Love Mondays

Monday, 8 July 2013

Meen Vevichathu/Kerala Style Fish Curry Adapted from "The Suriani Kitchen"

I don't think i need to give any introduction about my love for the bounty from sea.I wont be bored for eating fish three or four times a day i mean appam and fish molee for breakfast and fish curry and fish fry for lunch and tuna cutlet for tea.So that said if you are not a strict carnivore or fishetarian (Is there any word of this sort?) please donot dare to open my lunch box or venture into my kitchen.

Recently i bought a copy of The Suriani Kitchen from flipkart.It is more like a storybook than a cookbook with a lot of stories and anecdotes.A very different take from the usual cook books that have only recipes featured in them.The Author, Lathika George is a bombay born Syrian Christian who moved to Kerala in her teens.She rightly says that "Meals are a celebration of the spices, herbs, seafood, meats, pulses, grains, nuts, and every edible leaf and seed that grows in this fertile land.”
Even though i have my own version of meen vevichathu,I wanted to try the recipe that was mentioned in the book. Donot be intrigued by the use of rice flour,it does wonders to the final taste.I have used King Fish in this recipe,You could substitute it with any fish of your choice.


Source :The suriani Kitchen Pg.No. 86


  1. Fish 1 kg cut into squares
  2. Oil-1/4 cup
  3. Shallots - 8
  4. Ginger paste - 1 Tsp
  5. Garlic - 10 Cloves thinly sliced
  6. Garlic Paste  - 2 tbsp
  7. Curry leaves - 3 Sprigs
  8. Rice Powder - 1 tbsp
  9. Cocum - 4 , 2 inch pieces soaked in water
  10. Water - 2 cups
  11. Salt - As required
For spice Paste
  1. Kashmiri Chilly powder - 3 tbsp
  2. Turmeric Powder -1/2 tsp
  3. Coriander Powder - 1 tbsp
  4. Fenugreek - Roasted and ground - 1/2 tsp
Grind the above ingredients to a fine paste with a little water.


  1. Heat the oil in a deep pot,add the sliced shallots and fry for two minutes.When they are lightly browned reduce the flame a bit and add the ginger,garlic paste and curry leaves and saute for two minutes til the raw smell goes.
  2. Lower the heat and add the ground spice paste and the rice powder.Continue frying for one or 2 minutes.
  3. Add the cocum,water,salt and the fish at this stage and simmer for 10 minutes with the lid on.
  4. When the fish is cooked drizzle a bit of coconut oil over the curry.
  1. I have adapted the recipe verbatim and the dish turned out to absolutely delicious.
  2. It goes well with rice,moru curry and a thoran(vegetable stir fry).
  3. If you donot get kashmiri chilly powder , replace it with usual one but be cautious on the quantity as the normal ones tend to be spicier than their kashmiri counterparts.
  4. Kashmiri chilly powder lends a wonderful hue to the curry.
  5. Cocum or kudam puli is not to be substituted with sambhar puli.
  6. I used /double Horse brand rice powder.

Am sending this to Pari and Runner girl in the Kitchen's Only cooking from cook books event.
Also sending this to made with love mondays

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Chettinad Kavuni Arisi and some pics from Pichavaram Mangroves

A happy Dukrana Thirunnal to all..Some two years back on this very same day I went to Chidambaram for the first time. I really didn’t like to go to be frank. The main reason , I REALLY hated my undergrad college days. I was feeling depressed to the core and was not mentally prepared for another merry go round of emotional and mental turmoil. Reluctantly I wrote the entrance for M.E in Computer Science and Engineering and in the afternoon went for the interview. It was by a professor and an associate professor and they asked questions related to PPDP and about the TCP/IP Layers. Both of them made me comfortable and their way of speaking and behavior convinced me that am going to be studying here no matter what. Remember the weather is horrible with the sun scorching even at 8 in the morning. Lucky for me,Chidambaram became a place where I learnt a lot of things both academic and non-academic, my preferences changed and I was accepted, had a friends group and enjoyed being there. Took a dual degree -A post graduate Diploma in Data Mining. Even dry taps meant a learning experience, worst mess food meant sharing pickles or snacks.

During my second year I happened to go to Chandra Ammai’s (Aunt’s) house. After feeding me up to my nose with Chettinad Chicken Biryani , aunty asked me if I would like to have anything sweet , I said yes. So she went to the kitchen to soak some black colored thing that resembled a cross between a needle and rice.I was curious to know what It was, coz never in my life had I seen anything like that. Aunty told me it’s a kind of rice ,rich in vitamin B Complex , grown  in the Chettinad region of Tamil Nadu and that her  relatives in Burma and Malacca and Singapore get it from the supermarkets over there too. And no Chettinad feast (even wedding feast) would be complete without this “KAVUNI ARISI”. Even though I do not have that big a sweet tooth, (I favour murukku or kuzhalappam and Uzhunnu Vada) I loved this. It was similar to sticky rice, Black when cooked and mildly sweet with a hint of coconut, Cardamom and ghee, its that simple. And she treats her daughters ,grandchildren and friends with this incredibly healthy dish whenever they visit her.I were more engrossed in eating than taking pictures.Hope you try this Indispensible Chettinad delicacy and thank me for sharing it too :-).Donot forget to visit Pichavaram if you happen to go to Chidambaram.
Seen below are the pics from pichavaram


Source : Chandra Aunty    Type : Chetinad Dessert     
  1. Kavuni Arisi - 1 Cup
  2. Sugar - 1/2 cup minus one tbsp
  3. Cardamom - 5 pods Crushed
  4. Ghee - 1 Tsp
  5. Grated coconut - 1/4 Cup
  6. Water - 4 cups


  1. Soak the rice for a good two or three hours adding sufficient water.This actually reduces the cooking time of the rice.
  2. Pressure cook by adding 4 cups of water for 20 to 25  minutes in medium flame.
  3. When it is thoroughly cooked and cooled add the sugar,ghee,cardamom and grated coconut and stir well till all the coconut is incorporated and resembles the rice color.
  4. Reheat for some two minutes and serve.
Notes :
  • The cooking time totally dependss on the quality of the rice used.It is usually advised to soak overnight so that the cooking time is reduced.
  • You could add a little more sugar and ghee if you prefer.
Am sending this to Sowmya's event ,Priya Chechi's event,Manju's event and to Gayathri's event.
And a very happy birthday to Divya Pramil of you too can cook.
Also sending this to made with love mondays