Friday, March 30

Maravallikizhangu/ Tapioca Dosa

We can see tapioca sold on the roadsides in the market place or in the highways adjacent to the fields, in Tamilnadu; at least I have not seen them fancily packed and displayed in departmental stores here, as they are cheap and neither do they pay-off for the space occupied nor do have many takers. I have heard from my paternal grandpa that tapioca is consumed by villagers/ farmers during the famine period as a survival nutrient; may be that's why people in north eat it on fasting days. These days, not many recipes are very popular even though they make tasty and healthy dishes. Tapioca dosa one such recipe that I would like to share here.


1. Tapioca - 1
2. Idli rice - 1 cup
3. Dry chilies - 2
4. Salt to taste
5. Asafoetida - 1 pinch
6. Oil - 1 tbsp
7. Mustard seeds -1 tsp
8. Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
9. Urad dal - 1 tbsp
10. Curry leaves - 1 sprig
11. Onion - 1 finely chopped
12. Coriander - 2 tbsp finely chopped


Step 1: Wash and soak the rice for about 3 hours. Grind it coarsely in a mixer with salt and dry chilies.
Step 2: Peel and grate the tapioca finely and mix with the ground batter.
Step 3: Prepare the tempering before preparing; heat oil, splutter mustard seeds & cumin seeds, sprinkle asafoetida, add urad dal, curry leaves and saute onion in that for just 2 minutes.
Step 4: Mix the tempering in the dosa batter, adjust salt and consistency.
Step 5: Heat the greased dosa tawa, pour a ladle of batter and spread with the back of the ladle into a circular shape. Drizzle few drops of oil on it and cover.
Step 6: Flip to the other side when one side is browned, do not cover on the flip side to retain crispness.
Step 7: Serve hot with any chutney or idli podi.

* Tapioca can be chopped and ground along with the rice to escape from painful task of grating finely and to do it quick.
* If you want to make it instant, rice flour can be used instead of wet grinding but there is a little compromise on taste and texture this way.
* Adjust consistency to make thin crisp ones or thick soft ones.

Thursday, March 29

Dal Dhokli

There is nothing comparable to having steaming hot dal dhokli for dinner on a cool rainy evening. This is a one pot meal with packed nutrition. Though this is a proper Gujarati recipe we learnt it from our neighbor who is from west bengal; kudos to national diversity cum integration. Thank you Urmila aunt for introducing this wonderful recipe to us, amma had made it a custom to make dal dhokli on rainy days. It can be described as a parallel dish to south Indian sambar-idli in which, bite sized idlis float in sambar; in dal dhokli bite sized rotis float in dal. Believe me, it is so ecstatic for rainy day dinners.

Serves: 2-3
Preparation Time: 15 min
Cooking Time: 30 min

1.                  Tuvar dal – 1 cup
2.                Channa dal – 2 tbsp
3.                Groundnuts – 2 tbsp
4.                Moong dal with skin – 4 tbsp
5.                 Turmeric powder – 1 tsp
6.                Cumin – ½ tsp
7.                 Tomatoes - 3
8.                Chili powder – 1 tsp
9.                Coriander chopped – 2 tbsp
10.            Garam masala – 1 tsp
11.              Asafoetida – 1 pinch
12.            Wheat flour – ½ cup
13.            Gram flour – ½ cup
14.            Oil – 1 tbsp
15.             Ajwain – ¼ tsp
16.            Ghee – 3 tbsp
                   17.     Salt as per taste


Step 1: Wash all the pulses together and pressure cook them with turmeric until mushy.

Step 2: Take wheat flour, gram flour, salt, some chili powder, a pinch of asafoetida, some garam masala, 1 tbsp ghee in a bowl and knead to get a soft dough.
Step 3: Heat 1 tbsp oil in a heavy bottomed pan, sprinkle asafoetida and splutter cumin seeds and sprinkle asafoetida in that. Now, add tomatoes and sauté for 2 minutes and then add the cooked pulses.

Step 4: Add about 4 cups of water and let it boil in simmer for 15 minutes. Stir in salt, red chili powder and garam masala. Stir occasionally to avoid burning at the bottom.

Step 5: Roll the dough into large circles slightly thicker than rotis. Cut them into small 2“ squares or diamond shapes.

Step 6: Drop the dhoklis one by one in the dal while it is boiling making sure they don’t stick to each other.  If it is too thick, add some water, adjust salt and spices and let it cook in low heat for another 15 minutes or until the dhoklis are cooked.

Step 7: When done, turn off heat and mix coriander.
Step 8: Serve the dal dhokli in a soup bowl, squeeze few drops of lemon juice and drizzle generous drops of ghee and relish it when hot.

* Amma added moong dal with husk to the recipe and I added groundnuts as it seems to be a common ingredient added in Gujarati recipe of dal dhokli.

Wednesday, March 28

Kuzhi Paniyaram

This is a very simple-to-do and appealing dish by looks and taste. Conventionally kuzhipaniyaram (called paddu in karnataka) is made of left over idly/ dosa batter; leftover, because it turns sour in time and this dish requires more sourness. My amma and I prepare it with added finely chopped vegetables (carrots, peas, corn kernels, and the like) to make it healthy and colourfull; however, its basic version is so yum which I have shared below.

  1. Idly/ Dosa batter - 3 cups
  2. Onion - 1 large, finely chopped
  3. Green chilies - 2
  4. Curry leaves - 1 sprig
  5. Ginger - 1" size, finely grated
  6. Oil - 2 tbsp
  7. Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
  8. Cumin seeds - 1/4 tsp
  9. Asafoetida - 1 pinch
  10. Bengal gram - 1 tbsp
  11. Urad dal - 1 tbsp
  12. Salt to taste
  13. Coriander leaves - 1 tbsp chopped
  14. Vegetables - 1 cup finely diced (Optional)

Step 1: Take the idly/ dosa batter and let it ferment a bit to get sour in case it isn't.
Step 2: Heat oil in a pan,  splutter mustard seeds & cumin seeds, add bengal gram & urad dal, add chopped curry leaves & green chilies, sprinkle asafoetida, add the chopped onion and saute until it is translucent. Add required salt.

Step 3: This step is, if you plan to add vegetables. Add vegetables and saute until half done as it may be cooked again with batter. I personally feel adding vegetables is just to add the nutritional value and look of the dish; taste-wise it is softened instead of crispy and sweetened slightly which is not how the dish tastes. Sprinkle necessary salt.
Step 4: Now add this with the batter and mix well. 
Step 5: Heat kuzhiyappakal, add few drops of oil in each kuzhi  and pour batter in each of them; simmer the heat for say 3 minutes.
Step 6: Check for browned surface and flip each of them and sprinkle little oil. Brown both the surfaces and take them in a plate using fork or pin provided with kuzhiyappakal.

Step 7: Serve hot with coconut chutney or sambar. My granny prefers to have it with rasam; and my husband has it with idly podi and curds.