Friday, October 12

Corn Chowder

I got to know of corn chowder after randomly hitting some blog on web and this recipe is a hybridization of the various source recipes. Both I and my husband love this soupy dish for dinner if we are not extra hungry to eat solids; it is wholesome with nutrients though you can accompany it with salads for filling.


1.       Fresh maize – 1
2.       Onion – 1 extra finely chopped
3.       Coriander stems chopped finely – 2 tbsp
4.       Milk – 2 cups
5.       Salt to taste
6.       Oil 1 tbsp


Step 1: Peel the maize and separate the corn kernels by cutting vertically as in the picture. Save 2 tbsp for adding texture to the chowder and grind the rest of the kernels in a mixer.
Step 2: Heat oil and sauté the chopped onions until translucent; add milk and let it come to boil. Put in the maize stalk and a bay leaf; this is the notch flavour of corn chowder.

Step 3: Discard the bay leaf and maize stalk. Add corn paste and corn kernels and simmer the stove for 15 minutes.
Step 4: Now throw in coriander stem and serve piping hot. This is a wholesome, exotic and simple dish.

Urad Chutney

My amma calls this 'Thalichu kottina thovaiyal', an olden chutney that serves a typical side dish for idly/ dosa. This usually pops up when you don't know what to make for dinner or for a quick breakfast, provided there is idly batter lying in the refrigerator. This comprises very basic ingredients and can be prepared in less than 5 minutes.


1. Urad dal - 2 tbsp
2. Tamarind - marble sized soaked in water
3. Salt - 1 tsp
4. Dry red chilies - 3
5. Asafoetida - 1 pinch
6. Jaggery - 1/2 tsp grated
7. Oil - 1 tbsp
8. Mustard seeds - 1/2 tbsp
9. Curry leaves - 1 sprig


Step 1: Roast the urad dal with 3 drops of oil in a tadka pan or any pan till golden brown and let it cool.
Step 2: Roast the dry chilies in the same pan and let it cool.
Step 3: Now grind coarsely the urad dal along with tamarind, salt, chilies and jaggery using some water to get chutney consistency.
Step 4: In the same pan heat the rest of the oil, splutter mustard seeds, sprinkle asafoetida, add curry leaves and pour over the chutney.
Step 5: Adjust salt and serve with idly or dosa.

Tips: It tastes better if consumed within a couple of hours as the urad dal will lose its crisp in time. However, it can be refrigerated and used for 2 days.

Pani Poori

One can even claim pani poori to be the king of chaats as they are both, the mostly preferred chaat and the most people's prefered chaat. It is known by various names across India such as gol gappas or gupchup or puchka. I don't think there are people in India who are non-addictive to gol gappas. One of my friends used to say that she wishes to get married to a panipuriwala so that she gets panipuri fed anytime she wants to. Most of the hygiene observers and calories calculators consider panipuri an exception for its exceptional experience. Kids to old age people cheer up on the explosion of spices inside the mouth after gulping those small crisp, spice filled puris.


1.       Small puris – 1 pack
2.       Fine sev for garnishing
For pani:
a.       Water – 1 litre
b.      Black salt – 1 tsp
c.       Chat masala – 1 tsp
d.      Pani poori masala – 2 tbsp
e.      Dry mango powder – 1 tsp
f.        Corriander – 1 fistful
g.       Mint leaves – few
h.      Green chilies – 3
i.         Lemon - 1
For masala:
1.       Boiled potatoes – 3
2.       Sprouted moong dal, blanched – 1 cup
3.       Onion - 2 chopped
4.       Coriander leaves – 1 tbsp chopped
5.       Red chili powder – ½ tsp
6.       Chaat masala – 1tsp


Step 1: For pani, grind the greenchilies, mint leaves, coriander leaves and juice of a lemon in a mixer and dissolve it in 1 lt of water along with other dry ingredients. Either chill this or add ice cubes.
Step 2: For masala, mash the potatoes, add onion, moong sprouts, coriander leaves, chaat masala, and chili powder and mix them well.
Step 3: Now for dressing the little puris, break open the softer side of the puri, stuff a little masala in it and garnish with fine sev. Repeat for all the puris.
Step 4: While serving, dip the dressed puris inside the pani and eat whole. Believe me, nothing on earth is so heavenly.