March 20, 2014

4 Grams Dosa

I always experiment with different types of dosas, idlis..Since it is a staple food for us (south Indian)

  • Oats - 1 cup powdered
  • Wheat Flour / Atta - 2 cups
  • Rice Flour - 1 cup
  • Sooji / Semolina / Rawa - 1/3 cup
  • Onion - 1 chopped finely
  • Green Chilli - 2 chopped finely
  • Curry leaves - 10 chopped finely
  • Coriander leaves / Cilantro - 3 tblspn chopped finely
  • Yogurt / Curd - 1/2 cup
  • Cumin Seeds / Jeerakam - 1 tsp
  • Turmeric powder / Manjal podi - 1 tsp
  • Salt to taste
  • Oil for Pan frying
  • Water as needed


  • Take a mixing bowl add all the ingredients except oil and mix well.
  • Add enough water to make it into a thin batter. Don't make it too thin..

  • Let the batter sit for 15 mins..
  • Heat a nonstick tawa on medium high heat.
  • Pour a ladleful of batter on the hot tawa and drizzle with oil all around the sides.
  • When it starts to brown in the bottom, Flip them over and cook on other side too.
  • When it is cooked. Remove them from the tawa and serve with chutney or sambar

Anoher look

Scallion Thoran

  • Spring Onion - 1 bundle
  • Oil - 3 Tbsp
  • Salt - as required
To Grind:-
  • Green Chili - 1 no:
  • Grated Coconut - 1 cup
To Temper:-
  • Curry Leaves - 2-3 stems (finely chopped)
  • Mustard Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Preparation Method
  1. Remove the base portion of the spring onion, wash and let the water to drain fully.
  2. Finely chop spring onion.
  3. Grind the items under “ To Grind” items without adding water
  4. In a pan, heat the oil and splutter mustard seeds.
  5. Add curry leaves, spring onion and saute for 2-3mins: in low flame.
  6. Add coconut mix and salt and mix well.
  7. Keep the lid closed and cook for 5-6 mins: in low flame stirring in between.
  8. The Spring Onion Thoran is ready to be served with rice.

March 19, 2014

The one and only Filter Coffee

Any recipe collection of Brahmins cuisine (which is one of the aims of this blog) would be incomplete without any reference to filter kaapi (filter coffee). When I was little the only coffee I knew was filter coffee. As I grew older I became aware that there was instant version that came in “Nescafe” bottles. This was not and still isn’t considered “coffee” by traditionalists. Growing older I discovered the expresso, mocha, cappuchino, etc for which drank in coffee bars and paid a lot of money for.
Filter coffee is made by adding a strong coffee decoction to boiled milk and sugar. It is a strong yet milky coffee. There would variations from home to home depending on how much of decoction, milk and sugar is added according to personal preferences. My mother drinks her coffee strong with very little milk while my father prefers a weaker and milkier version. Even my daughter is also fond of this Filter Kaappi. And filter coffee is always served in a steel “tumbler” (glass) and “davara” (a small bowl like vessel in which the glass sits), and never in a coffee mug. If the coffee is too hot to drink, then some of the coffee is poured from the glass into the davara to allow it to cool. Coffee had magical names like Robusta and Peaberry. At home, both my husband’s and my side of the family prefer coffee that is blended with a small percentage of chicory. The chicory enhances the taste of the coffee.

 To make filter coffee:

You need a coffee filter, of course. The picture shows what a south Indian coffee filter typically looks like. A lower chamber that catches the filtered coffee, the upper chamber where the coffee powder/ grounds are spooned into and boiling water is poured, the plunger which is put into the upper portion after the coffee but before the water is poured in, and the lid. 


The filter has an upper chamber with a perforated bottom. The coffee powder is put in this, covered with plunger and enough boiling water to fill the upper chamber is poured in and then closed with the lid. The coffee decoction drips and collects in the lower chamber. This takes a little time (about an hour). This is the first decoction and very thick and strong. Some more boiling water is usually poured into the upper chamber a second time and collected separately and used while making the coffee.

Usually the coffee filter is set up, with coffee grounds and boiling water, last thing at night, so the decoction is ready for coffee in the morning. The extra decoction can be refrigerated for the day.
There a couple of precautions to take while making filter coffee, else the quality and taste of the coffee suffer.
- Never heat the decoction or the coffee once the decoction has been added to the milk. If you must, then place the decoction or prepared coffee in a hot water bath and warm.
- It helps to add the decoction to the milk and not vice versa. This also helps to judge how much decoction is required.

My Adaptation of the decoction:

3 -4 heaped Tbsp of Coffee powder (this also depends on the brand of coffee used)
boiling water
Make sure the filter is clean and dry. Spoon in the coffee grounds. Tap slightly to allow the grounds to settle but do not pack it down. Cover with plunger. Pour the boiling water till the upper chamber is full. Close with lid and allow the coffee to percolate.

To make the coffee (for 1 cup):

2/3 cup boiled, hot milk
about 2 -3 tbsp first expressed strong decoction
Sugar to taste (I use 1 tsp)

Pour the milk into a pan. Add the sugar and both decoctions. Stir and pour into another small pan so the coffee froths. Now pour into the glass and place the glass into the davara. Your coffee is ready. You can drink it out of your regular coffee mug, we do. The davara and tumbler sets come out for special occasions or when elderly folks come visiting.To be noted that its our customs to serve coffee in Tumbler and Davara.
If the coffee is too hot to drink, then about half the coffee is poured into the davara and allowed to cool till the required temperature.
We like our coffee strong and with a little more milk and drink it steaming hot. You can experiment with the amounts of milk, decoction and sugar till you find a proportion that suits your palate. 

March 14, 2014

Spicy Simple Veg Biriyani

This is a simple one pot meal, which can be made ina  hurry. It hardly took 15 mts for me to make this Biriyani.

  • Basamthi Rice - 1 Cup.
  • Vegetables - 1 Cup Diced into Small Cubes (I used Beans, Carrot, Green Peas)
  • Turmeric Powder - 1 Tsp
  • Chilly Powder - 1 Tsp
  • Malli Podi - 1 Tsp
  • Garam Masala - 1/2 Tsp
  • Salt - As needed
  • Oil - 1 Tbsp

  • Soak the Basmathi Rice in a vessel for 30 Mts.
  • In a pressure cooker, add the Oil.
  • Saute the Diced vegetables.
  • Throw in the Powders (Turmeric,Chilly,Malli) and Salt
  • Saute till the raw smell goes off.
  • Add the Basmathi Rice and Saute for 2-3 Mts.
  • Add the Required Water and close the Pressure cooker with Lid.
  • Let it be there till 1 Whistle. Lower the flame and cook for 4 Mts.
  • Switch off the Gas and Wait till the pressure goes Off.
  • Fluff the Biriyani with a fork.
  • Spicy Simple Veg Biriyani is ready!!!


Aloo Capsicum

Aloo and capsicum.. Dishes amde useing them when had separately goes for a hevaenly dish. What if we combine them? So off goes the recepie:-
  •  Aloo - 1/2 Kg diced into cube.
  • Capsicum - 1 (Large)
  • Turmeric Powder - As needed.
  • Salt - As needed
  • Oil - 2 Tbsp

To Temper:-
  • Oil - 1 Tbsp.
  • Mustard - 1 Tsp.
  • Urad Dal - 1 Tsp

  • Throw in the Potatoes in a Vessel . Add water and allow it to Boil vigourously.
  • Turn off the Gas, once the Potato is cooked.
  • In a wok/Kadai, add in the To Temper items.
  • Wait till the Mustard splutters.
  • Add in the diced capsicum and saute till the raw smell goes off.
  • Throw in the cubed potato,once the capsicum is cooked.
  • Add the salt and turmeric powder.
  • Add 1 Tbsp of oil and cover the wok.
  • Lower the flame and fry for 10 mts.
  • Again add the remaining Oil and saute till the whole turns Brown color.
  • Spicy But simple Aloo Capsicum is ready!!!