Arisi (Kurunai) Upma

Is this something to do with the weather? I have started justifying the word Couch Potato. I am literally lying on the sofa doing nothing the whole day! And you know what? Sometimes, it is fun! Once in a while I pamper myself with this eat-something-do-nothing phase..

Coming to the recipe, Arisi Kurunai Upma is a complete, wholesome meal by itself. Arisi Kurunai is nothing but broken rice. It is also called as "Noi" in tamil. As for preparation of this broken rice, a simple procedure would be to :

Wash the rice and drain it completely. Leave it for half an hour and then pulse (remember not to grind) it in the mixer twice or thrice. This helps in getting a coarse texture.

Over to our recipe..

Arisi Kurunai Upma
Broken rice tempered with mild spices
Serves 2

What we need:
Broken rice - 1.5 cups
Moong dal - 2 tbsp.
Water - 3 cups
Coconut, scraped - 3 to 4 tbsp.
Mustard seeds - 1 tbsp.
Cumin (jeera) - 1 tbsp.
Urad dal - 1 tbsp.
Chana dal - 1 tbsp.
Dry Red Chilli - 2 or 3
Salt - according to taste
Asafoetida - a pinch
Curry leaves - a sprig
Coconut oil / Cooking oil - 1 tbsp.

How to do:
1. Soak the moong dal in warm water for 10 to 20 minutes. If using store-bought broken rice, wash it well.
2. In a deep-bottomed vessel or pressure cooker, heat a tbsp. of oil and add mustard seeds.
3. When it crackles, add cumin, urad dal, chana dal, red chillies, curry leaves and a pinch of asafoetida.
4. When the dal turns light brown, add 3 cups of water and salt as needed.
5. When water starts boiling, add the broken rice, soaked moong dal and coconut scrapes.
6. Cover with a lid and cook until the rice is done. It should take around 15 minutes. If using pressure cooker, let it give out 2 to 3 whistles.

Garnish with fresh curry leaves if desired and serve with chutney / Gothsu (recipe follows). IMHO, it tastes best with a dash of pickle! To impress the kids, all you have to do is shape them into nice round balls! Like this!
T&T Ginger Rasam from A2Z Vegeterian Cuisine:
Rasam is indeed a comfort food for most of us. That too, with a running nose and sore throat, nothing can be more filling as a warm bowl of rasam! Ginger is also an effective ingredient to send sore throat packing (Remember the vicks ad, where the sore-throat-devil gets chased away!) So when the lovely ladies @ A2Z Vegetarian Cuisine came up with this Ginger rasam, I bookmarked it and tried it almost immediately. I strictly prohibited myself from making any alterations to the original recipe. Man, flu or no flu, it was so wonderful! Thank you dearies, for the yummy rasam!

Now, competing the shower of snow outside my window, is the shower of awards in my blog. Sorry buddies, I am very late in acknowledging some of them.
Swarna passed on to me
Devi, Sowmya, Indu (a.k.a) kitchen queen shared with me
Sowmya also showered me with
Thank a ton friends, it means a lot to me!
See you all soon with another interesting post! Till then, Happy Cooking and Happy Blogging!

Peerkangai Thogaiyal and a bunch of Thanks

May I take this moment to ask you all to join me in praying for victims of the terrible earthquake at Haiti.. May the God give the survivors the strength to come back to normalcy soon..! My heartfelt prayers to everyone out there who had to pass through this calamity!

Now over to our recipe...

Peerkangai Thogaiyal / Beerakaya Pachadi
Ridgegourd Chutney

What we need:
Peerkangai - 2
Urad dal - 3 tbsp.
Tamarind paste - 1 tbsp.
Red Chilli - 4 to 5, adjust according to your spice-tolerance level
Salt - to taste
Oil - 1 tbsp.

How to do:1. Wash, clean and peel the ridgegourd. Save the skin. Cut the vegetable into small pieces. I have used both the skin and flesh here. You can also opt for using only one of these.
2. Heat oil and add the urad dal. Fry till the dal starts turning light brown.
3. Now add the red chilli and fry till they start turning darker in color.
4. Mix in Asafoetida. Now add the vegetable and skin along with some salt. Keep stiring till they turn tender and done.
5. Let it cool for a while and transfer everything to the blender, add tamarind paste now. Blend to a smooth/coarse chutney.

Serve it along with rice mixed with sesame oil and roasted papad.

A recap of 2009:
As I havent done thies earlier, here's a short and sweet of recap of my 2009. Slow, quite satisfying and uneventful! This was how my 2009 was.

Some good things:
** I could visit a lot of new cities in Europe. A typical Saggitarian, I always love to travel and thanks to my DH who also has become a backpacker now, we had fun exploring the European architecture.
** "Curries and Spices" was born out of my boredom. Now I never feel bored!
** Thanks to the response and support for the cooking blog, I was motivated to start "Demystifying Beauty", a little corner from the artist in me!
** Above all, I have earned a good bunch of lovely friends, from the blogging world and the forums out there!

Not-so-good things:
** The first year after my college days that I spent my time idle mostly.
** A few saddening incidents on the family-front that left me quite disheartened.. But thankfully, 'All izz well' now!

In all, 2009 was an year of mixed feelings!

Now coming to acknowleding all the appreciation my buddies have showered on me:

Kanchan, my sweet friend, had wished me in her blog on my birthday; so sweet of you dear! Thanks to all you friends, who showered me with your good wishes on my birthday; it was so touching!

Asha , Priya passed on to me:

Vineetha and Cool Lassi(e) passed on to me this award. Thanks buddy, I have already been tagged here.

Dolly has motivated me with:

Thanks a ton friends, I am touched. I am happy to share these awards with everyone of you, so please free to accept it and display it in your blog!

See you all soon with another interesting post and T&T. Till then, Happy Cooking and Happy Blogging!

Happy Birthday Namitha..!

Our blogger buddy, Namitha fondly known as Gulmohar from Collaborative Curry is celebrating her birthday today; please join me in wishing her a wonderful birthday and loads of happiness for the years to come!

Happy Birthday Nami!!

Happy Birthday Jeyashri

Our lovely blogger friend, Jeyashri is celebrating her birthday today; she is enjoying her vacation right now, but that doesn't stop us from wishing her, does it? :)

So here's wishing Jeyashri a wonderful birthday and tons of happiness for the years to come!

See you all soon with another interesting post! Till then, Happy Cooking and Happy Blogging!

Bajji Milagai Thogaiyal, T&T Kadai Paneer

So I am back... A whirlwind trip I should say! Phew... But we thoroughly enjoyed every moment of it! This time it has been a pure mana Andhra affair as parents have also shifted base to AP by virtue of dad's work and in-laws always been in AP. Thankfully we didn't get affected by any of the current political situation.

Needless to say, how it feels to be with parents and relatives after a long gap of one year! Lots of pampering and good food has generously donated a few extra kgs and a few inches around the waist line! ;) But who cares!!! This is the time to binge on all those stuff we miss abroad. So did I!
Coming to our recipe of the day, I apologise for not posting the picture of the same; my laptop has been formatted and I am yet to install the photo editors and camera-related softwares. So I shall update the pic as soon as I can! But be assured, this has been one of the tastiest thogaiyal/pachadi my MIL prepares and a true spicy andhra accompaniment for rice, idlis, dosas. I have always regarded this yummy Mirchi as a 'bajji' thing and was pleasantly surprised to know that it tastes so well in the form of thogaiyal and also as a sambar-veggie.

Image Courtesy: Wikipedia

Do try this one and you'll know why I am raving about it so much!

Bajji Milagai Thogaiyal / Mirchi Chutney
A chutney/dip made from Chilli Peppers

What we need:
Bajji Milagai / Mirapakaya / Chilli Peppers - 5 to 6
Tamarind - a lemon sized ball
Salt - according to taste
Oil - 1 tbsp.

For tempering:
Oil - 1 tbsp.
Mustard - 1 tsp.
Cumin - 1 tsp.
Broken Urad dal - 1 tsp.

How to do:
1. Wash, cut and de-seed the chillies.
2. Heat a tbsp. of oil in a pan and fry the chillies till the they turn soft.
3. Allow them to cool and blend to a smooth paste along with tamarind, salt. Do not add water.
4. Heat a tbsp. of oil and add the mustard, followed by cumin and urad dal. When they are done, add the blended mixture and keep stiring them till oil starts to separate. Remove from flame.
5. Cool it and transfer to an air-tight jar. This has a longer shelf life and comes very handy during travel.

Serve with steaming hot rice drizzled with sesame oil and a roasted papad. Now, do I hear you saying,"Mmmmm....." ? :)

T&T Kadai Paneer from Vidya's blog

How many times in a month would you like to eat Paneer? I never, never, never get tired of this one. Sometimes it gets boring when we make the same stereo-typed recipes again and again. So when my dear friend, Sree Vidya posted this Kadai Paneer, I slurped, rolled my sleeves and got into action. It was yummy and so flavorful that I had to click it straight from the pan; the moment it got transferred to the serving bowl, there was no stopping me and DH!! He he.. The only change was adding red capsicum instead of the green ones. Thanks Vidya, it was a definitely wonderful recipe!

So see you all soon with another interesting post! Till then, Happy Cooking and Happy Blogging!


Hey all,

Hope this post finds you all in good colors! Wish you all a very happy and prosperous New Year!! :)

We are still enjoying our break in India...Needless to say, good food, lotsa fun and pampering... all these will continue for 2 more days! I'll be back soon to my blogging routine and will catch up with all your wonderful posts!

Meanwhile, our beloved buddy Sangeetha is celebrating her birthday tomorrow; so let's all wish her a wonderful birthday with loads of happiness, good health and prosperity for the years to come!

Happy Birthday Sangeetha...!

See you all soon! :)