Archive for the ‘Chutneys’ Category

Uruli Upma Kozhukattai with coconut thugayal (Savory rice pudding cakes in a bronze vessel)

Monday, March 29th, 2010

Back in the 1990’s in India, our usual dinner menu was either Idli, Dosa, Adai, Upma, Pongal, Idiyappam- the rice noodles, Chapati or Poori. One week’s worth of recipes shuffled and shuffled along with some new recipes seen on TV or tried from a recipe book. As a surprise, once in a while amma made these upma kozhukattais, which (even now) she makes in her uruli (bronze vessel). The uruli gives the upma a very different taste, and sis and I usually fight for the lightly browned upma crust at the bottom of the vessel. This recipe is termed as grandma’s recipe and boring but secretly many of my friends who call it boring, crave to have these kozhukattias once in a while.

There are two steps in making these cakes, first to make the upma and then the pidi kozhukattai.

Recipe to make arisi upma(the first stage) can be found here.

Ingredients (Serves-2)

Rice – 1.25 cups

Mustard seeds- 1/2 tsp

Cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp

Grated coconut- 4 tbsp

Red chilies-2

More-milakai (yogurt chilies)-2

Chana dal- 1 tsp

Curry leaves- a few

Asafoetida- 1 pinch

Oil- 1 tbsp

Salt- to taste

Water- 3 or 4 cups

For the coconut chutney:

Un-Sweetened coconut- 1/2 cup
Urad dal- 1 tsp
Chana dal- 1 tsp
Red chilies- 4
Water- just 2 tbsp or so


Pound the rice at home according to the instructions given here, and proceed to make the upma.

Sprinkle rice with some water, just a tbsp or so and mix well. It should be done in such a way that rice is slightly wet but not soaked through. Keep aside for 5 minutes.


Heat oil in a pot and add asafoetida and mustard seeds. When they splutter, add cumin seeds, chana dal, curry leaves, the chilies and stir fry for a minute. Add the coconut and just stir once. Add about 3 cups of water, salt to taste, cover and let it boil.

Now back to the rice. The rice should be slightly dry now and should have absorbed all the water. Pulse it using a blender so that it is not a powder like rice flour, but coarse and smaller in size than a grain of rice. Say, almost to the size of mustard seeds. You can also sieve the finer particles out but I just use everything, coarse and fine.


When the water is boiling, reduce the flame to a low-medium and slowly add the rice and keep stirring to avoid any lumps. Cover and let it simmer for 5-7 minutes. Make sure that there is enough water to cook the rice, but not so much that the upma will be mushy or so less that it will be dry and uncooked. If you have to add any water, add some warm water as that will quicken up the cooking process.


Check if rice is cooked through.Let the upma cool down since we have to shape the cakes by hand.

Once the upma is warm enough to handle, gently mix it once to combine all the coconut, chilies and curry leaves.
Then take a lemon size ball out of the upma and make a shape like cylindrical rods. Arrange it on a steamer.
Repeat the same procedure for remaining upma.

Once all the upma rods are arranged in the steamer(pressure cooker or idli cooker), steam the kozhukattias for just around 10 minutes. The kozhukattias should not be soggy but slightly firm. Serve it with coconut thogayal (dry-chutney).

Method to make coconut chutney:

Toast chana dal, urad dal and red chilies till golden brown in color. Blend them to a fine powder, then add the coconut and blend again. Add just enough water (2 tbsp) and grind them to a smooth paste. Serve it with upma kozhukattai. Enjoy the grandma style of cooking 😉

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Defending the Snow with gifts and Spicy Chutneys

Tuesday, February 16th, 2010

I thought moving south will make us feel warm. But we have already had two days of snow in December. Moving into February I thought all the freezing conditions would move on and we can show off the 100F and Hurricane stories. I guess our minds are set for the warm weather that even if it is snowing we pretend not to bother and still walk around in T’s and slippers(shivering ofcourse)

Last week, when visiting a friend in Dallas, I was in for a surprise. With a cup of coffee in hand early morning, I wanted to check out the sunshine but I saw that the entire place was looking like the NorthPole. We had about 12″ of snow!!

Here are some photos of the snow. The stairs one is my favorite so far. Once I read somewhere that stairs can take people up or down. Looking at this one I was sure that anyone trying to go up will surely come down! And I did not step out till the snow was cleared from the staircase as it was too slippery.

Ashlatha shared some awards with me this Valentine Weekend. Thanks for the “Tofas” Ash didi. Your creative card making activity is making me want to join the activity too.

(A couple of blogger buddies were about to hit me with a rolling pin for making avocado pooris last week, I got this one on time to defend myself)

After a lot of promises on posting recipes I tried out from other blogs,I still have not finished posting all of them. This one is a special gojju from Ashaka. She gave me the recipe for Daikon Chutney to try with Ragi Mudde. I made it according to her recipe and it was fantastic. I never thought plain daikon with yogurt and coconut can be so tasty. The best part is that there is no cooking involved. The tempering with garlic is the only part you need the stove for and it is a topper. This one is a keeper for sure. N loved it as well and we had it with dosas for dinner.

Daikon(Radish) Chutney:

Ingredients (Serves-2)

White Daikon(Radish)- Medium size-1
Dahlia (Pottu kadalai)- 4 tsp
Coconut- 1/4 cup
Green chilies-4
Salt- to taste
Cilantro leaves- a handful
Curry leaves- few
Yogurt- 1/4 cup

For tempering:
Oil- 1 tsp
Urad Dal- 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds- 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida- 1 pinch
Broken Red Chili-1
Finely smashed garlic(chopped)- 1 clove


Wash the daikon, peel the skin and grate it.

Blend the coconut, dahlia, curry leaves, green chilies, cilantro and salt into a fine powder. Add the grated daikon to the blender and give it a quick blend to mix all ingredients together. Add the yogurt and blend till the chutney is smooth.

Heat oil in a tadka pan and add asafoetida and cumin seeds. When the seeds start sizzling, add urad dal, red chili and smashed garlic. Stir fry for 1-2 minutes till garlic is slightly golden brown in color. Pour it over the chutney and serve with Ragi Mudde or Idlis or Dosas.

Garden Update:

Cilantro and Mint are growing very well in the cold conditions and I also made a Idicha Thokku (Dry Relish) with cilantro this weekend. It is my favorite from childhood and I would often pester mom to make it.

Ingredients for Cilantro Relish (Kothamalli Thokku)

Cilantro- atleast 2 bunches
Salt- to taste
Red Chilies-3
Chana Dal – 1 tsp


Wash the cilantro couple of times with water to remove any soil or weeds. Spread a cotton towel or paper towel in a cool dry place inside the house and spread the cilantro in it. Let it dry in air for 3-4 hours. You will need lots of cilantro to start with because when you grind for the thokku, the quality will be 1/4th of what you started with.

Once all the moisture is removed from cilantro, chop them roughly. Toast chana dal and red chilies till golden brown in color. Grind to a fine powder without adding water. Add salt to taste, the chopped cilantro and blend them again. Though the water has been removed from cilantro, while grinding it will give off some water so at any stage, do not add water.

Once all the cilantro is blended with the powders and comes together like a thick mass, scoop it out of the blender. This can be stored in the fridge for a week. It tastes good with hot rice and a dollop of ghee. For quick cilantro dip, take a tea spoon of the relish and mix with half a cup of water and serve with samosas or vadas.

You can also add a peppercorn size of tamarind while roasting and grind it along with other ingredients to give a tangy taste.

This cilantro relish is my entry for weekend Herb blogging hosted by Cindy .

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