Sunday, May 6


Paanagam is a cooling drink that is had during summers and my grandma used to tell that this was, in the olden served as welcome drink during a wedding ceremony called ‘samandham kalandhal’ which is when the families agree upon an alliance and step forward. It is very simple to make and quite refreshing.


1.       Jaggery – 1 cup
2.       Cardamom powder – 1 tsp
3.       Dry ginger powder – 1 tsp
4.       Lemon – 1
5.       Salt – 1 pinch
6.       Tulsi – 10-15 leaves
7.       Water – 1 litre


Step 1:  Dissolve jaggery in water and filter to remove debris in it.
Step 2:  Now add salt, cardamom powder, dry ginger powder, juice of a lemon, crushed tulsi leaves and mix well
Step 3: Refrigerate and serve chilled. Avoid adding ice cubes as it may dilute the taste.

Yoghurt Tikki

It was the first ever time we had invited people for lunch at home and our invitees turned out to be babu anna and family. It was a quite a thrilling experience for both us to prepare proper lunch for some eight people including us. I planned for an elaborate menu with every possible course I knew but skipped some due to lack of time. Yoghurt tikki was the starter I chose that day and our guests seemed to like it. I made a mistake when I prepared but given a bettered version here.


1.          Paneer – 1 cup grated
2.          Yoghurt (Hung curds) – 1 cup
3.          Onion – ½ cup finely chopped
4.          Ginger – 1 tsp finely grated
5.          Salt as per taste
6.          Cumin powder – ½ tsp
7.          Green chillies paste – ½ tbsp
8.          Coriander leaves – 1 tbsp finely chopped
9.          Oats powdered–  5 to 8 tbsp
10.     Butter – 1 tbsp
11.     Oil for shallow frying

Step 1: In a deep tawa heat butter and sauté chopped onion and ginger
Step 2: Mix crumbled panner, yoghurt, onion-ginger, salt, cumin powder, green chili paste, coriander and make a soft dough.
Step 3: Divide the dough into lemon sized portions and pat each of them in your palm into tikkis. Place it on the plate spread with powdered oats and flip to cover on both sides. Repeat for all tikkis.
Step 4: In the tawa,  add some oil and shallow fry the tikkis until both sides are brown and crusty. Yoghurt tikkis are crispy on the outside and soft inside.
Step 5: Serve hot with ketchup or green chutney.

Yoghurt Shrikand

These days we hear a lot about yogurt desserts replacing ice-creams for the health reason. Not only are they healthy but these are also relatively easy to prepare at home, in fact even instantly or an hour before serving unlike ice creams or kulfis.


1.       Curd – 2 cups (Yogurt if available)
2.       Sugar – 4 tbsp
3.       Fruit of your choice – ½ cup chopped (Mango and strawberry are my favorites)
4.       Chopped fruits to garnish


Step 1: If you are using curds, drain it in a muslin cloth; tie and hang it in the sink faucet for 1 hour or more.
Step 2: Powder the sugar if you are using sugar granules in a mixer and then in the same jar add chopped fruits and puree it, now scoop in the hung curds or the homemade yoghurt and whip one last time.
Step 3: Divide in the serving bowls and chill it.
Step 4: Garnish with pomegranate beads before serving.
·         There is a lot of room for creativity with this dessert. You can just play with available and favorite flavours.
·         I have also tried with paneer and some milk instead of yogurt.

Soy Dahi Vada

Once my sister told that we can add quarter portion of soy beans and three quarter of urad while preparing idli batter. I tried and that turned out well. While doing it I found the soy batter very fluffy and smooth as urad batter; so it occurred to me why can't we try medhu vada using only soy batter. Then on a fine day I had occasion to make vadas and I wanted to give my idea a try. However, when I fried the vadas (they were good enough) I thought why shouldn't I steam them instead and make dahi vadas. That's the story of my soy dahi vadas.


1. Soy beans -1 cup
2. Salt to taste
3. Crushed pepper - 1 tsp
4. Baking soda - 1/4 tsp
5. Curd - 2 cups 
6. Sugar - 1 tbsp
7. Cumin powder - 2 tsp
8. Chili powder - 2 tsp
9. Green chutney : Grind together fresh coriander, mint, green chili, juice of lemon and some salt.
10. Sweet chutney: Boil tamarind pulp, jaggery, a pinch of salt and cool it.


Step 1: Wash and soak the soy beans overnight. 
Step 2: Drain the water and Grind it in a mixer finely with minimum water required to a vada batter consistency.
Step 3: Take the ground beans in a bowl, add salt crushed pepper and mix well. 
Step 4: Keep the steamer or idly cooker on heat; grease idly plates; now add baking soda in the batter, mix well and ladle them into idly plates and steam for 5-7 minutes as you do for idlies. 
Step 5: Ensure if it is well cooked and let it cool before taking them out. I made big ones so cut them into four; you can either cut them or make small sized vadas.
Step 6: Take chilled thick curds and beat it very smoothly; add salt, sugar and cumin powder and mix well and keep aside.
Step 7: Now for dressing the dahi vadas; Spread the vadas on serving plate, pour prepared curd over the vadas, drizzle green chutney (Don't look into my pic for green chutney, I didn't have coriander and so skipped it ;)) & sweet chutney, sprinkle chili powder and cumin powder over the dahi vada and serve.

* The vadas would be hard if soda is less. In such case, dip the steamed vadas in warm water and squeeze out before preparing. Also you can soak the vadas in portion of the prepared curds and pour the rest of it while serving.

Sprouts Salad

Sprouts salad is a very nutritious one that can be had as breakfast or healthy snack or starter or even as spicy chat. 


1. Tomato - 1/2 cup finely chopped
2. Orange - 1/2 cup chopped (Can be replaced by pomegranate beads)
3. Onion - 1/3 cup finely chopped
4. Green gram sprouts - 1 cup 
5. Lemon juice - 1 tbsp
6. Salt to taste
7. Pepper to taste (Can add finely chopped green chilies if you want)
8. Italian seasoning - 1/4 tsp (Optional)
9. Ginger juice - 1 tsp
10. Olive oil - 2 tbsp
11. Coriander or mint leaves - 1 tsp finely chopped


Step 1: Steam or blanch the sprouts with little salt and let it cool.

Step 2: Take all the listed ingredients from 5-10 in a small cup and mix well.

Step 3: In a large bowl, add the tomato, orange/ pomegranate, onion, sprouts and pour the dressing on top of it.

Step 3: Add coriander/ mint leaves, toss well and serve immediately.

* You can add roasted and salted peanuts to the salad to add nutrition and crunch
* You can serve it as a salad or can also serve it as a topping on roasted papad which is your masala papad or can also layer it between breads to get your tasty nutritious sandwich.