Monday, February 25, 2013


Who doesn't like yummy and tangy puliyodharai? We often pack this for trips. Puliyodharai tastes best after couple of hours from the time of preparation, giving its own time for the rice and the flavors to blend together. This is so simple to make if you have the puliyodharai powder handy. This tastes great along with potato fry.


Cooked rice - 1 cup
Tamarind - lemon sized, soaked and extracted
Gingelly oil - 2 tbsp
Peanuts - 1 tbsp apprx. Remove the skin
Hing, turmeric powder and salt as per taste

To Temper

Mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, urad dhal, channa dhal, curry leaves and red chillies as per taste

Dry roast and grind

Urad dhal - 2 tsp
Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Channa dhal - 1 tsp
Sesame seeds - 1 1/2 tsp

  1. Cook the rice, spread it in a wide vessel and allow to cool down.
  2. Heat a pan and dry roast the above mentioned ingredients, allow to cool and grind to a coarse powder.
  3. Heat oil in a pan and add the peanuts and fry until light brown. Now add the tempering ingredients one by one in the above mentioned order.
  4. Add the tamarind extract, hing, turmeric powder and salt. Allow to boil for 12-15 mins apprx. At one point of time you could see oil oozing out of the extract and the extract would be getting thick. Switch off the flame at this stage. This is the pulikaichal or gojju.
  5. Add the pulikaichal to the rice and mix gently. Take care not to break the rice grains. Add the roased powder and give a nice mix again taking care not to mash up the rice. Check for salt too. Keep covered and allow to sit for atleast half an hour before serving. This way the the rice, pulikaichal and the roasted powder blends well together and gets the nice aroma and taste

Vanilla Cup cake


Unsalted butter - 1/2 cup, should be at room temperature
Sugar - 2/3 cup
Eggs - 2
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Milk - 1/4 cup
Maida/All Purpose Flour - 1 1/2 cup
Baking Powder - 1 tsp
Baking Soda - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp

Butter cream (Confectioners) frosting

Icing/Powdered sugar - 2 cups
Unsalted butter - 1/2 cup (room temperature)
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp
Milk - 2 tbsp

  • Pre heat oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and line the baking pan with cup cake liners.
  • Sift and Stir together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • In a large bowl beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla extract.
  • Add the sifted dry ingredients to the butter, sugar mixture and add the milk too.
  • Mix gently with a spatula and then beat using the hand mixer. This will avoid the flour sprinkling all around. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as and when needed.
  • Beat for about two minutes and evenly fill the muffin cups with the batter.
  • Bake for 18-20 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cup cake comes out clean.
  • Always check a few minutes before the stated baking time, because if overbaked the cup cakes will become dry.
  • Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Buttercream/Confectioners frosting
  • With a hand/electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth.
  • Add the vanilla extract. Add the sugar and mix gently with a spatula before beating with a mixer to avoid spoiling your surface
  • Add the milk and beat until you get a light and fluffy frosting. Scrape down the sides as and when necessary
  • Add in the desired color and give a good mix.

Icing Tips
Adjust the milk as per need. If icing becomes too thin adjust by adding little more powdered sugar. Always use powdered sugar for icing! Once my icing was too thin that I was not able to achieve the proper consistency and I just decorated my cup cakes like I do for cookies just by sprinkling some colored sugar crystals on the top of the thin icing.


Bitter Gourd/Karela/Paakarkai Gojju

Gojju is a classic Karnataka dish, which goes well with white rice, dosa, idly or chapati. Its a thick gravy that tastes sweet, spicy and sour too.  Gojju can be prepared with vegetables like bitter gourd, okra, mango, tomato or even with mixed vegetables.


Bitter gourd - 1 medium size, discard the seeds and cut into small pieces
Tamarind paste - 1/2 tsp or gooseberry size tamarind soaked and extracted
Jaggery - 1 tbsp apprx
turmeric powder, salt and hing as per taste

Dry roast and grind

Gram dal - 2tsp
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp
Sesame seeds - 2 tsp
Dry red chillies - 2-3 (adjust per taste)

To Temper

Oil, mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, curry leaves

  1.  Heat a pan, dry roast the ingredients given under "Dry roast and grind". Allow to cool and grind to a coarse powder.
  2. Cook the bitter gourd seperately in a vessel or pressure cooker adding salt and turmeric powder. Adding turmeric while cooking vegetables allows retaining the nutrients of the vegetable.
  3. Heat oil, do the tempering, add the tamarind extract and the ground mixture. Add in the bitter gourd, salt, hing and turmeric powder. Add in some water if required and allow to boil for few mins. You could see the gojju thickening, at this stage add jaggery, give a quick stir and turn off the stove.
  4. Gojju is ready. Enjoy with hot rice!