Monday, 3 October 2016

Slokam For Normal Delivery for Pregnant Women

Thayumanavar Slokam:

This is a slokam which always reminds me of my beloved mother, who suggests this slokam to almost every pregnant woman she sees.  She will ask us to write it in a piece of paper and diligently hands it over to them and tell them to recite it 3 times a day. She will also assure them that the lady will be blessed with healthy baby and normal delivery.

I too (obviously) recited it during my pregnancy and blessed with normal delivery and healthy babies. We also visited Thayumanavar Temple, in Trichy to express our gratitude to Him.  

Hey sankara smarahara
Bramahathathi natha
Mannatha samba sasisooda
Hara thrisoolin

Sambo sukaprasavakrutha
Pavame thayalo
Shri mathrubootha
Siva palayamam namasthey.

Tamil Version of the Sloka:

சுகப்பிரசவ சுலோகம்:

கர்ப்பிணிகள் தாயுமானவர், அம்பிகையை வேண்டி, இந்த சுலோகத்தை தினமும் 3 முறை சொல்லி வழிபட்டால் சுகப்பிரசவம் ஆகும் என்பது நம்பிக்கை.

ஹே, சங்கர, ஸ்மரஹர பிரமாதிநாத
மன்னாத ஸாம்ப சசிசூட ஹர திரிசூலின்
சம்போ ஸுகப்ரசவ க்ருத் பவ மே தயாளோ
ஸ்ரீமாத்ருபூத சிவ பாலய மாம் நமஸ்தே

சுகபிரசவம் ஆக விரும்பும் பெண்கள் தாயுமானவரை வணங்கினால் தாங்கள் விரும்பியபடி சுகப்பிரசவம் உண்டாகும் என்பது பக்தர்களின் நம்பிக்கை.

Wednesday, 11 November 2015

Pudhina Malli Chutney/Fresh Mint & Coriander Chutney


The combination of fresh mint & coriander leaves with garlic and onion gives undefeatable taste and flavor to the chutney.

It goes very well with Idli, Dosa and Chaat varieties as well.


Fresh Mint leaves - 1 bunch

Fresh Coriander leaves - 1 bunch

Small onions - 8 to 10

Garlic cloves - 2 to 3

Lemon or lime juice - 2 tsp.

Green Chillies - 4 to 5

Dry red Chilli - 1

Tempering Ingredients:

Oil - 1 tsp

Kadugu/Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp.

Ulundu/black gram - 1/4 tsp

Perungaayam/Asafetida - 1/8 tsp.


Take equal quantity of Mint leaves and coriander leaves, wash thoroughly and chop roughly. Peel the onions and add little water, cook in microwave for 2 minutes, to get away with the raw smell of the onions. Alternatively you can sauté in a pan for couple of minutes. 

Use the garlic without cooking, it adds wonderful flavor to the chutney. (If you are very particular about the raw smell, cook the garlic along with onions.)

Grind the leaves along with Chilli, onion and garlic. Add salt and lime juice.

Take 1 tsp of oil and do the tempering, fresh mint and coriander chutney is ready to serve! 

Enjoy with Idly, Dosa and Chaat varieties :) 


Thursday, 16 April 2015

Chettinad Style Tomato Rice

This is very simple recipe and easy to prepare. Yet the taste is unbeatable. This is perfect for lunch box as well.  I still remember, my mother has prepared this for our school several times.


Diced Ripe tomato - 5 to 6 (depending on the size)

Sliced Big Onion - 2 (or)

Sliced Small  Onion - 12 to 15

Quartered Garlic cloves - 8

Raw rice/Long grain Rice (or) Basmati Rice - 1 & 1/2 cups

Sambhar Powder - 1 tsp.

Red Chili powder - 1/2 tsp

Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp

Salt - to taste

Gingelly Oil/ Nallennai - 1 tbsp

With few drops of oil..


Tempering Ingredients:

Slit green chilies - 2

Kadugu/Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp

Ulundu/Black gram - 1/2 tsp

Vendhayam/Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp

Sombu/Fennel seeds - 1/4 tsp

Asafetida - 1/4 tsp

Curry leaves - few

Oil - 2 tbsp


Wash Soak the long grain rice or the Basmati rice in 3 cups of water for 15 minutes. Rice to water ratio is 1: 2.  No need to waste the soaked water, we can use for cooking. 

In a Kadai or pan, pour the oil and add the tempering ingredients, when it splutters, stir in the onions and garlic. Sauté well, the add tomatoes.  Cook well until the tomato gets mashed up.  Toss in the chili, turmeric and sambhar powder, add enough salt. Combine well and cook for few more minutes.  Set aside.

Cook the soaked rice with few drops of oil and little salt, in a pressure cooker. Adding few drops of oil will ensure that the rice does not stick to each other, nevertheless the quantity of water is important, if we use excess water, and the rice will get mashed. The rice should be firm, it should not get mashed.  After the rice get cooked, transfer it gently into a large bowl, pour the gingelly oil/Nallennai over it and mix very gently. Allow the rice to cool.

Now mix the prepared tomato mixture and cooked rice. Combine it thoroughly, garnish with coriander leaves/malli thazhai and serve with cucumber and onion Raita.

Tips, tips, tips...
This kind of tomato rice should be consumed within few hours of making. Otherwise it will be spoiled.  If using the left over for next meal, it’s better to refrigerate.


Friday, 20 March 2015

Fresh Lima Beans gravy/ Pachai Motchai Kuzhambu

Pachai Motchai Puzhi Kuzhambu!

With Brown Rice!

Motchai/Lima Beans is an excellent source of protein. When combined with whole grain like Brown rice, its nutritional value is comparable to meat.  Brown rice and Mochai Kuzhambu is a divine combination, you can add a small bowl of curd, when you serve your kids.
Rarely do we get Fresh Lima Beans/Pacha Motchai in Singapore, so we can use dried Lima Beans/Kaanja motchai as well. We need to soak in water for an hour or two, then pressure cook for 15 to 20 minutes, with salt. But whenever possible I try to use fresh mochai, as it tastier and nutritious.




Fresh Motchai Payiru/Lima Beans - 1 & 1/2 Cup

Nattu Poondu/Country Garlic - 15 (whole)

Chinna Vengayam/ Small onion - 8 to 10 (whole/halved according to the size)

Ripe Tomatoes - 2 to 3 (depending on the size)

Sambar Powder - 2 tsp.

Red Chilli Powder - 1/2 to 1 tsp. (according to the spice level)
Dhaniya/Malli Podi/Coriander Powder – 1 tsp. (optional)
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp.

Salt - to taste

Puli/Tamarind - lemon sized ball (soaked in water & juice extracted)

Tempering Ingredients:

Vendhayam/Fenugreek seeds - 1/2 tsp.

Seeragam/Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp.

Perungayam/ Asafetida - 1/4 tsp.

Karuveppilai/ curry leaves - few

Oil - 2 tbsp.

To Grind:

Grated Coconut - 2 tbsp.

Perunjeeragam/ Sombu/Fennel seeds - 1 tsp.
 Add little water, grind to a smooth paste and set aside.




Take the Motchai/Lima beans, wash and cook it with boiling water and salt for 8 to 10 minutes.  Fresh Motchai or Lima beans will cook within minutes. Check for the doneness and set aside. No need to drain the water, you can add it to the gravy.

In a Kadai or Cooking pot, pour oil, toss in the tempering ingredients, followed by garlic and small onion. Sauté well for few minutes add chopped tomatoes and cook for few more minutes.  Add the cooked Motchai/Lima beans, chili powder, sambar powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder, salt and the ground coconut paste. Combine well and cook for few minutes. Pour the tamarind extract; allow it to simmer for 10 more minutes until the raw smell of Chilli and Sambhar powder disappears.

Serve with plain hot rice or Curd rice or Idli.

Tips, Tips, Tips…
Use Country Garlic/ Nattu Poondu whenever possible, it gives wonderful flavor and tastes really great.  Especially, when you use for stir fry dishes, its smoky flavor adds a special touch.

Naattu Poondu/Country Garlic!

Thursday, 5 March 2015

Beetroot Dosai


The vibrant color of the beetroot itself suggests it's full of nutrition; it's good for blood circulation and relieves constipation!!

Pregnant ladies can drink 1/4 to 1/2 cup of fresh beet juice with a bit of honey, (at least twice a week) to prevent constipation. I myself have experienced this. .(Upon my M-i-l's advice)Though I started drinking reluctantly, after seeing the wonderful results, I voluntarily went for it :)

Though we would like our kids to eat Beets, it's not easy to get them to!! So I thought of an idea and started mixing it with Dosa batter, then automatically kids started loving it!!
Beetroot Dosa and Chilli Chutney is their favorite combo.

Ground Beetroot Paste!

With Coriander leaves and Curry leaves



Large Beet root - 1

Dosa Batter - 2 Cups

Big Onion - 1 to 2 (finely chopped)

Fresh Coriander leaves - 1 small bunch(finely chopped)

Curry leaves - 1 or 2 sprigs ( finely chopped)

Salt - to taste



Cut beetroot into cubes, add little water and grind to a smooth paste.

Take two cups of Idly/Dosa batter, (it's better to be thick & undiluted since adding beetroot mixture will make it watery)

The batter should be a fermented batter (pulitha maavu)

Add the beetroot paste, followed by chopped onions, coriander leaves/mall thazhai and Curry leaves. Toss in a bit of salt and mix well, until combined.

Now the beetroot Dosa batter is ready, make dosai as usual by adding little bit oil. Cook on both sides and serve with red chilli Chutney, Coconut Chutney or Malli Chutney.


To make Dosai Maavu/Dosa Batter:

Take 2 Cups of Idli rice and 1/4 Cup of Urad Dhal/Ulundu and soak them together in water for minimum 3 hours.

  Add ½ tsp. of salt and grind with the soaked water, add water little by little. (Either in mixie or grinder). For making Beetroot Dosa, the batter can be little thick, so that when we mix ground beetroot paste, it won’t be too watery.

Allow it to ferment for 8 hours. The size of the batter would have doubled up by this time.
Now the Dosai Maavu/Batter is ready to make Dosais.


Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Chettinad Mandi/Rice Water vegetable Gravy

'Mandi' is very famous in Chettinad; it's one of the ‘must’ items in the lunch menu during festivals. Mandi along with Curd Rice is a very common picnic/travel food those days.  I still fondly remember those days, when my mother would narrate, how they use to carry Congee/Porridge with Mandi for travel. It's surely a mouth-watering dish. It goes very well with Plain hot rice, Curd rice, Idli and Uthappam.

Mandi is my mother's specialty, inexplicably it   comes out very well every time she makes it, I think it's her love which turns the dishes delicious :)
It can be done in many ways,

-  just with Chinna Vengayam/Small onions and Green/Dry Red Chillies.,

-  with Small Onions, Chillies and Ladies Finger.,

-  with mixed Vegetables, like Chow-Chow/Choyate, Brinjal, Drumstick/Murungaikkai, Carrot, French Beans, Unripe Mango/Maangai( for me Maangai is a must ingredient), Potato, Avarakkai/Indian Broad beans, kothavaranggai/Cluster beans, etc.,

My M-I-L also makes very delicious Vegetable Mandi, also known as 'Pala Kai Mandi'.

Benefits of Rice Water:

Mandi in Tamil means 'rice water', which is nothing but the water used to wash the uncooked rice.
Rice Water!

Rice water or Mandi has been used in Asia for generations as a therapeutic ingredient for diarrhea and symptoms of stomach upset. It's been used for cosmetic purposes too, as face washing liquid and even as a toner. In Chettinad, Mandi or rice water has been used for making gravy for ages.

To prepare Rice water/Mandi, wash the rice in half cup of water briefly, to remove dirt from the rice.  Soak 1 to 2 cups of rice in 1 and 1/2 to 3 cups of water for few minutes. (The ratio of rice to water is roughly about, 1:1 and ½) Drain and save the water to use for gravy.

Perungayam/Asafetida and Kadugu/Mustard seeds!

Unripe Mango/Maangai!

Rice Water mixed with Tamarind

Ingredients: (For Mixed Vegetable Mandi)

Chow Chow - 1/4 Cup (diced)

Carrot - 1 (diced)

French Beans - few

Indian Broad beans/Avarakkai  - few

Drumstick/Murungaikkai - 1

Maangai/ Unripe mango - few pieces

(reduce the amount of Tamarind, if using Maangai, to avoid excess sourness)

Potato - 1 to 2 according to the size (diced)

Small Onions/Chinna Vengayam - 12 to 15 (halved or quartered according to size)

Green Chillies - 12

Or Red Chilles - 10 to 12 ( I prefer Green Chilies though)

Kothavaranggai/ Cluster Beans - 10 to 12

Brinjal - 3 to 4 (diced)

Tamarind - a small ball (about the size of a gooseberry) - soak & extract juice from it.

Large ripe tomatoes - 2 (diced)

Salt - to taste

Tempering Ingredients:

Kadugu/mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp.,

Perungaayam/ Asafetida - 1/4 tsp. (roast well in oil)

Curry leaves - few

Dry red chili - 1 to 2

Oil - 2 to 3 tbsp. ( for all the Veggies to get coated)


Soak the tamarind in the rice water, prepare the vegetable and set aside.  In a large pan/Kadai, pour oil and add the tempering ingredients, Kadugu/mustard seeds followed by Perungaayam/asafetida, red chili and curry leaves.  As the seeds splutter add Chinna Vengayam/small onions and sauté for few minutes. Then add green chillies, Drumstick, Avarakkai, Kothavaranggai, French beans and Chow Chow. Let the Veggies cook for ten minutes, now add potato, carrot and tomato. 

We need to add the Veggies which take longer time to cook first, then after sometime you can add the Veggies which take relatively lesser time to cook, that's the idea behind it.

Allow the vegetables to cook well, add Unripe mango or Maangai little later, as it takes very little time to cook. This way we can ensure all the vegetables are cooked evenly and few don't get mashed up.

Extract tamarind juice/puli thanni from the rice water and pour it over the vegetables. Allow it to blend well for 10 to 15 minutes.

Delicious, aromatic Chettinad Mandi is ready to serve.

Tips Tips Tips:

Some people add rice powder to thicken the gravy; I always skip this part, as I feel it ruins the taste, some way or the other. I just cook for few more minutes, for the gravy to thicken.

I've given the ideal list of vegetables for the Mandi. Try to add all the vegetables listed above for a healthy dish, nevertheless you can cook the Mandi with whatever vegetables (from the above list preferably) available. It will turn out perfectly well.

For Vendakkai Mandi/Mandi with Ladies Finger:


Ladies Finger/Vendakkai - 250 gms (diced)

Small Onions/Chinna Vengayam - (halved)

Green Chillies - 8

(Or) Dry red Chillies - 6 to 8 (according to the spice level of the chillies)

Large ripe tomato - 1 to 2 (depending on the size)

Potato - 1 (diced) - optional

Rice Water - 1 cup

Tamarind - small ball

Unripe Mango/Maangai - few pieces (optional)




It's almost the same procedure as above, using the same tempering ingredients, can use less oil.

Do the tempering, add small onions and chillies, sauté for few minutes before you add the Ladies finger/Vendakkai and potato.(if using) Cook for few more minutes, add the tomato and cook thoroughly, add Maangai little later. (If using) Pour tamarind soaked rice water, cook for 10 more minutes or until the gravy thickens a bit. Now Vendakkai Mandi is ready to serve.

Monday, 9 February 2015

Chinna Kathirikkai Puzhi Kuzhambu/Brinjal Gravy with Shallots & Garlic

Chinna Kathiriakkai Kuzhambu also referred to as 'Ennai Kathirikkai Kuzhambu' is a Chettinad special variety.  It's easy to prepare, less time-consuming, as Brinjal cooks really fast.


Chinna Kathirikkai/Brinjal - 1/4 kg (cut into strips of 4)

Chinna Vengayam/Shallots - 12 (halved/quartered depending upon the size)

Garlic - 6 (halved or quartered)

Large Ripe Tomato- 1 (cut into small cubes)

Salt - to taste

Puzhi thanni/ strained tamarind juice - 1/4 Cup

Sambhar Powder - 3 tsp.

Thani Milagai Thool/red Chill powder - 1 tsp.

Chinna Kathirikkai/Brinjal


Tempering ingredients:

Vendhayam/Fenugreek Seeds - 1/2 tsp

Sombu/Saunf/Fennel Seeds - 1 tsp

Curry leaves -  few

Perungayam/Hing/Asafetida- 1/4 tsp., (roast well in oil)

Oil - 2 tbsp

Final touch:

Vendhayam/Fenugreek Seeds - 1/2 tsp.

Seeragam/Cumin seeds - 1 tsp.

In a small pan slightly dry roast the above and grind. Save the powder for the final touch. It gives wonderful flavour to the Kuzhambu.

Vendhayam/Fenugreek seeds

Seeragam/Cumin seeds

Powdered Fenugreek & Cumin seeds


In a Kadai/ deep pan pour oil and add the seasoning ingredients, let the asafetida/Perungayam  roast well, add garlic, sauté for couple of minutes. Add the onions and sauté for few minutes, until they turn golden brown.  Add tomatoes and brinjal/Chinna Kathirikkai and turmeric powder. Cook well until half-done. Toss the sambar powder, red chili powder and salt.  Mix well and pour the tamarind juice, add enough water for the gravy. Bring to boil and reduce the heat, let it simmer for about 10 minutes. 
Now add the dry roasted ground powder, mix well and switch off.

Chinna Kathirikkai Kuzhambu is ready to serve.  It goes very well with rice/brown rice, idly and Oothappam. While taking with plain rice, add a dash of ghee!

Full meals!