Recipe Marathon: Day 7: Ghar ka Khana (Simple home made meal)

To all the Iron chefs out there reading this post, howdy!!

Are’nt we the iron chefs? We don’t have a fully equipped kitchen, or an Infra Red stove and grill, or a fast freezing nitrogen gadget, neither do we have a sous-chef who can do the cutting and prepping work for us, yet we manage to put up a glorious show every day. And the only thing that we most definitely have is the judging part of our home made meal :)

I believe that even if you are offered the chance to eat food prepared by the world famous chef’s, nothing can match the taste of simple dal and rice. You travel to 100 different places, yet at the end of the day don’t you crave for a simple aloo paratha, dosa, khichdi or rice?

But the real test is, can we make a idli taste like idli and not like a bullet :)..or a fluff up a roti that does not turn into a plastic sheet after few minutes..

I faced that test last year and I am talking from that experience, cooking a simple South Indian meal. And that was also due to IKE (no, don’t worry, I am not going to talk about the hurricane again). We had got our cozy nest and we had the house warming ceremony few weeks after IKE showed its force. The point is, we couldn’t find someone to gather the veggies needed, cook for the D-day and transport it for the house warming.

And our priest knew the situation and gave us a simplified list of food to cook. Nothing major- Just what you will find in a South Indian home every day. Sambar, Rice, Rasam, Dal,Poriyals, Kheer, Savory Pongal, Sweet Pongal, Vadais and Kozhukattais (modagams).

And there we were, N and I, standing near the stove in our cramped kitchen in the apartment, taking turns to cook these stuff for us and the guests for the Graha-Pravesam from 2 in the morning of the D-day. If you are wondering, no, none of our relatives were able to make it.

There was nothing special to cook, no biryanis, no baking involved, but what we think as simple food really took 5 hours to make. But seeing these dishes on the plates, all our guests oohed- and aahed and said that is what they were waiting to savor, a simple home cooked meal. And nothing can beat that compliment.

And that is what I am going to serve for the host Nupur, my fellow runners in this marathon , and our readers for the final day of the recipe marathon before we welcome the new year. Better said, we are welcoming the new year with a feast!

This feast is also for special bloggers who gave me constructive criticism when I started blogging and still keep checking on me from time to time (There, I could see that smile on the corner of the mouth), from awards to advice, thanks for your support. And because of this marathon, I got some blogging buddies and yummy recipes to try out.


The traditional thali (plate) featured above has:

Cabbage-Okra Stir fry
Lemon Tomato Rasam
Drumstick Sambar
Carrot Kheer
Mango Pickle
Jeera Applam

Here are the recipes:

Rice: Plain cooked rice, made in a pressure cooker.

Dal- tuvar dal cooked in a pressure cooker and mashed.

Ghee- Home made ghee from butter recipe is here.


Cabbage-Okra Stir fry- Caught my eye after Nupur tried it, I just followed the recipe, but added a bit of achar masala for the spice.


Lemon Rasam- Made it in my lead vessel (eiya sombu), recipe can be found here


Sambar- Recipe can be found here

Carrot Kheer:
Carrots -2- medium size
Sugar- to taste
milk- 1 cup, water- 1 cup, sweetened condensed milk- 1 tbsp
cardamom powder- 1 pinch
saffron – few strands
badam-cashew powder- 1 pinch


Grate the carrots. Mix together a cup of milk and a cup of water. Boil the grated carrots in this till mushy, and till the milk has reduced down. Add a tablespoon of condensed milk, sugar to taste and badam-cashew power,garnish with cardamom powder and saffron. Serve chilled or warm.

Hope that was a fulfilling meal. Wishing you all a very happy, healthy and prosperous new year.

I don’t make many resolutions ‘coz I know I have to try hard to keep up 😉

But seems like my resolution of a healthy 2010 is already in the bin and I have hit the sack before New year (Got a flu,been drowning Nyquil for the past few hours).

Couple of ideas if you are planning to be in Houston and not going to go partying :)

The Meenakshi temple at Pearland always has a New year program with food stalls from famous restaurants in Houston. That means everything from Pizza to Chole batura to Pav Bhaji will be available at these stalls. Sometimes, you can also pick up stuff like calendars, decorative materials etc., etc., There would also be cultural programs at the wedding hall.

BAPS- Swami Narayan Mandir had some special programs and fire works for Diwali. That fireworks show was much better and brighter than the one on July 4th!! But BAPS also has an amazing canteen (now you know why I have a food blog) and their chinese food -gobi manchoorian is one of The Best you can have.

Sugar Land is celebrating is 50th Anniversary and there is going to be a party at Sugar Land Town centre with the music and lights and it is separated into party for adults and kids at different timings in the evening.

Houston City centre is also having a band (Blues brothers tribute) and fire works!

Wherever you are, stay safe and enjoy! And do check out this space from time to time.

For folks who can read tamil and have been reading these posts on this marathon, my thank you’s in election style -” Periyorgale, Thaimargalae, Nandri, nandri”.. Meendum varuga..Vanthukitte irrunga :)

If you missed any of the posts during this marathon:

Day 1: December 25 : See the recipes here

Day 2: December 26: Check out what’s cooking here

Day 3: December 27: Still going strong, see the delicious recipes here

Day 4: It is all about Spice

Day 5: Veggies, Grains and more!

Day 6: Colors of Food

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18 Comments to “Recipe Marathon: Day 7: Ghar ka Khana (Simple home made meal)”

  1. Rujuta says:

    Hi! Ruchika
    Wonderful way to welcome the new year…. The thali looks yummy…. It was great fun to catch up on each other recipes during the marathon….Hope to catch you after the marathon too :)Get Well soon……
    Wishing you and your family a Very Happy & Prosperous New Year!!!!!!

  2. simplyfood says:

    Your thali looks delicious and very inviting.Wishing you avery happy new year and hopefully you feel better soon.

  3. indosungod says:

    Oh dear. The flu is painful. Do take care.
    That is just what the doctor ordered Ruchika. The perfect meal for any occasion.

  4. Sheetal says:

    You said it, Ruchika! The best are the simplest of home-cooked meals … I guess that’s one of the reasons why Mommy’s food is always the best :) The thali is absolutely heart-warming … what better than to start the new year with!

  5. Ashwini says:

    Ohh, hope you are doing fine and get well soon. Nothing moe heart warming than a home cooked meal. I guess its reverse psychology, we yearn fo exotic and then end up yearning for home food.
    I liked your Thali! Its such a detailed fare. Happy New Year to you and fly Ruchika. Cheerz…

  6. Nupur says:

    Just the sight of that thali is so soothing and peaceful; yes, this is the food that money can’t buy- ghar ka khana!

    Thanks for being an enthusiastic part of this recipe marathon. Wishing you wonderful things in 2010!

  7. bee says:

    have a wonderful new year, ruchika.

  8. Ramya says:

    Wonderful satistfying homecooked meal!Lovely way to end this marathon.Happy New Year!

  9. Madhu says:

    Very apt way to end the year.. Thali looks great.
    Have a Happy 2010.

  10. Koki says:

    Absolute truth…nothing can beat a home made meal… Thali looks so good.
    Get well soon dear.

    Wishing you and your family a great year ahead

  11. Hey Ruchika,

    Thanks for the love shared on my post…. & sorry for somehow I missed being here… I don know how???? but will not happen again…. You do not have your follower gadget for me to follow u???? May be that was one reason…because the minute I find something interesting, that is the first thing I do…. But not to worry… I do not repeat my mistakes…. Thanks for those lovely words & wishes….

    I must say…. I loved this simple home made thali… lovely spread that is & very tempting too… So is your Egg Kofta Biryani…… Yummy they all are…..I loved them all….

    I hope to see you around more often…..:-)

    Happy Celebrations!!!!

    Wishing You & your family a very happy year ahead….


  12. Linda says:

    Dearest S,

    I’m so glad I got to meet you through this recipe marathon. Tomorrow I will be back to check out drumstick sambhar, among so many other delights you’ve got here! Carrot halwa I see all the time — not sure I’ve seen carrot kheer — and I need to try making kheer. Your thali is so inviting :)

    Sending you and yours a wish for all good things in the New Year, and I hope you banish the flu quickly!

  13. Sonia says:

    What a beautiful thali! Home cooked is always satisfying and wonderful.
    Wishing you a very Happy New Year!!! :)

  14. Cham says:

    Have a Prosperous and Happy New Year S :)

  15. Madhuram says:

    Happy New Year Wishes to you too Ruchika. I too have stopped taking New Year’s resolutions. It’s so much pressure.

  16. Sayantani says:

    wonderful platter. thats all time comfort food. the recipe marathon could not hve come to an end without this. thanks and happy new year dear Ruchika.

  17. ruchikacook says:

    Thank you for your kind wishes and support y’all….Sorry for the delay in replying..

  18. notyet100 says:

    simple and and yet so comfortin wht can be better thn this,,,

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