Archive for the ‘Breakfast’ Category

The classic combo- Adai(Legume Crepe) and Aviyal(Stew)!!

Tuesday, July 20th, 2010

The Hurricane season has started in Houston and we had a mini version last month with Hurricane(Tropical Storm) Alex which gave with a lot of showers. The trend seems to continue even this week as we have had couple of days of rain with the works- thunder and lightning.

Such days reminds me of my childhood and of course a hot and satisfying dinner that can match the weather. I opted to make one of our favorites, adai(legume crepe) and aviyal(almost a vegetable stew).

Here is how it goes:


Idli rice(par boiled rice)-1 cup
Sona Masoori rice(ordinary rice)- 1 cup
Urad dal, toor dal and chana dal- all together 1 cup
Red chilies- 4
Ginger – 1/2″ piece
Asafoetida- 1/2 tsp
Salt- to taste


Wash and soak the rice and dals together for atleast 6 hours along with the red chilies.

Grind the rice, dal,red chilies and ginger to a coarse paste. Transfer to a tall container, add salt and asafoetida and let it ferment for 8-12 hours.

When the batter is all bubbly and has doubled in volume, its time to make the adais!

Heat a pan and pour about a ladle of the batter and spread it to medium thickness. Poke some holes through the crepe and liberally sprinkle some oil/ghee on top.

Once the crepe is golden brown on one side, flip the adai to the other side and let it turn golden brown in color. Transfer to a plate and serve it with aviyal!.

I just made plain adai, though combinations of onion, cilantro can be sprinkled on top of the adai. Other favorite topping is to use drumstick leaves on top of the adai which makes the adai a legume and folic acid rich food!
Another favorite side dish for adai is butter and jaggery. Which ever is your favorite, you will surely enjoy this hot combo!

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Pesarattu Dosa

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

One of the quick but healthy options for breakfast during weekends or as a weeknight dinner option is pesarattu dosa. The simplicity of this dosa is that there is no need to soak and grind rice or wait for the batter to ferment.

This protein packed dosa is a good way to start the day than running without breakfast 😉

Ingredients (Makes about 9 dosas)

Green gram (Moong dal)- 1 cup
Rice flour – 1 tbsp (optional)
Red chilies- 2
Ginger(optional)- 1/2″ piece
Salt- 1 tsp
Oil/Ghee- for the dosas- 2 tsp


Wash and soak the whole moong dal in water for 6-8 hours (or overnight).

The next morning, drain all the water from the dal, transfer it to a blender along with red chilies, ginger and grind to a smooth paste. Just before switching off the blender, add the rice flour and salt and give one final mix.

Transfer the batter to a bowl.

Heat a tava/non stick pan and pour a ladleful of the batter and spread it thinly. Apply some oil on the sides of the dosa and let it cook. When one side of the dosa is golden brown in color, flip the dosa and let it cook on the other side.

Serve the pesarattu dosas with chutney or idli chutney powder! Instead of the usual golden brown color, these dosas will be greenish-golden brown in color and crispy! You can also make stuffed pesatattus by serving upmas as a filling!

This dosa is off to Siri’s MLLA-25, an event started by Susan.

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Sweet, Karam, Koffee ( Strawberry Muffins, Savory Sundried tomato muffins and coffee)

Monday, April 12th, 2010

Instead of soaking rice to make Idli or dosas, for the past few weekends, I am voting towards making breads, buns or muffins as a choice for breakfast. It takes about 20 minutes from start to finish and the left over muffins make a wonderful choice for tea!

Last weekend, I wanted to make a savory muffin and used sun dried tomatoes, onions, chili and cilantro. They tasted like a mix between pakodas and bondas but they were too good to be true. Here is how it goes.

Ingredients: (Makes 8 large muffins)

For Strawberry muffins:

Strawberries- 10 numbers
Vanilla essence- few drops
All purpose flour- 1 cup plus 1/4 cup
Sugar (I like it sweet, but these berries are also sweet ,adjust to your taste): 3/4 cup
Eggs- 2
Milk- 2 tbsp
Butter- 6 tbsp

Muffin pan Liners-8


Keep the eggs and butter at room temperature. I used all purpose flour which is self rising, if you are using plain flour, remember to add about 3/4 tsp of baking powder.

Pre heat the oven to 365 F. Place the liners in the muffin pan.

Blend the berries in a blender and use the pulp to make the muffins (You can also use chopped berries, but I like a uniform taste).

Whisk together eggs and butter. Add sugar and berry pulp and mix lightly. Add vanilla essence, flour and mix lightly again. Do not mix like you are beating an egg, light mixing will be enough. If the batter is too thick, thin it out with 2 tbsp of milk.

Take about 2 tbsp of the muffin mix and place in on top of the muffin liners. Bake at 365 for just around 15-17 minutes or till a fork inserted into the muffins comes out clean.

Transfer to a tray and let it cool.

Savory Muffins:

Ingredients(Makes 6 large muffins):

Sun dried tomatoes-4 each
Green chilies-2
Sweet yellow onions-one small onion
Egg- 1
Vegetable oil- 3/4 cup
Milk- few tsp
All Purpose flour- 1 cup plus 1/4 cup
Salt – to taste


Soak the sun dried tomatoes in about 1/4 cup of hot water for 10 minutes. Discard the blackish water and chop the tomatoes. Finely chop the onions and chilies.

In a mixing bowl, beat the egg first. Then add oil and beat well to mix. Add salt, sun dried tomatoes, onions, green chilies and mix well again. Add the flour and fold it in with a spatula. The batter will be thick, but that is alright. If you want, thin it out with just 2 tsp of milk.

These muffins do not have sugar as an ingredient and so the number of muffins that can be made with this measurement will be around 6-8 (depending on size of the pan)

Transfer the batter into a muffin pan. Bake at 365 for 15-17 minutes.

Serve the muffins with coffee for a quick and easy breakfast.

These Muffins are going to Bake off at Versatile Kitchen.

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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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