Dec 31, 2012

Hakka Noodles

Hakka Noodles

My daughter is a very picky eater but would gladly polish her plate off when I prepare this dish. I stopped at the local Chinese grocery store to pick a pack of Hakka noodles with dreams of making this recipe. Imagine my surprise when I couldn't find it in their dry noodles aisle!
My husband asked a store clerk for help and he pointed us to the Indian goods aisle :) Looks like Hakka Noodles is truly Indian and hardly Chinese...


  • Dry Hakka Noodles - 2 packs (200 gms each)
  • Carrots, diced or matchstick cut - 1/4 cup
  • Green Beans, sliced or french cut - 1/4 cup
  • Sweet peas or broccoli florets, frozen - 1/4 cup
  • Chopped Cabbage, optional - 1/4 cup
  • Tomato ketchup  or Tomato Chilli Sauce - 2 tbsp
  • Reduced Sodium Soy sauce - 2 tbsp
  • Vinegar - 1 tsp
  • Green onions, sliced thin - 1 bunch, divided
  • sesame oil - 2 tbsp, divided
  • garlic, sliced - 5 cloves
  • Egg - 1
  1. Fill a soup pot with enough water for the 2 packs of Hakka noodles. Add salt and 1 tbsp sesame oil. Cover and bring to a boil.
  2. I prefer to crush the noodle cakes, as it makes lunch time easy for my daughter. You can skip this step if you prefer long noodle strands.
  3. Add the noodles to the boiling water and let boil, uncovered for 4 minutes.
  4. Crack open the egg in a small bowl and whisk it with a fork to blend the egg white and yolk.
  5. Drain and toss noodles and while it is still hot, pour in the egg mixture. The egg will get cooked in the remnant heat of the noodles and form a nice coating on each noodle strand.
  6. Have the rest of the ingredients ready now as you need to cook the rest in a stir fry fashion.
  7. In a separate saucepan, heat 1 tbsp sesame oil.
  8. When the oil is smoking hot, add garlic and fry until very light brown.
  9. Remove the garlic. Now add carrots and green beans and sprinkle salt and pepper. Stir fry until slightly cooked but still crisp. Stir in the sweet peas. I have used broccoli also, with good results.
  10. Add soy sauce, ketchup/sauce to the pan. Add back the sauteed garlic, as well.
  11. Now empty the contents of the saucepan in to the pot of noodles and stir well. Taste and adjust salt and pepper.
  12. Serve garnished with green onions.
This one pot meal (well almost, if you discount the pot for boiling noodles) is an excellent week day meal and does well in a Bento.
Hakka Noodles Bento

The fancy-cut carrot garnish makes the dish extra tasty, for my daughter!

Linking to Kid’s delight post aat 

Dec 30, 2012

Uppurundai - Steamed Rice Dumplings

Uppurundai aka "uppu urundai" is one of the healthiest tamil dishes. This can be served as either an appetizer or a breakfast dish. It also makes a great rainy day snack!
When consumed in right quantity, these steamed dumplings sit very light in your tummy.
My earliest memories of this dish include a plate full of steaming hot lemon-sized dumplings paired with one of mom's famous chutneys. I loved everything that was part of this memory - except for the size of the dumpling. The outer layer of these dumplings taste a little better than its innards, IMHO.
To my taste, I find that the lemon-sized balls offer very slim ratio of seasoned surface vs the rest of the surface. I have made 2 changes to my mom's recipe and I will give you both variations - the original and my change.
South Indian Steamed Rice Dumplings

For dumplings

  • Rice flour - 2 cups *
  • salt to taste
  • oil - 1 tbsp
For seasoning/saute:
  • mustard seeds - 2 tbsp
  • split bengal gram - 2 tbsp
  • cumin seeds - 2 tbsp
  • curry leaves - 3 sprigs
  • asafotida - 1 tsp
  • dried red chilies, broken in quarters - 4 
  • oil, for sauteing

  1. In a dry kadai/skillet on a medium heat, fry the rice flour until it turns pink. 
  2. In a saucepan, heat 2 cups of water . Add enough salt and oil to this.
  3. When the water reaches rolling boil, remove it from fire. Slowly add the prepared rice flour to this water, while constantly stirring the mixture, with a wooden spoon. Keep stirring conitinously until the dough forms into a soft ball.
  4. Remove from heat, and cover with a wet paper towel until you are ready to prepare the dumplings.
  5. In a sautepan, heat up oil. Add the bengal gram and when it turns very light brown, add the rest of the ingredients. 
  6. Let the mustard seeds splatter, before removing from heat.
  7. Pour this seasoning on the dough ball and mix well.
  8. Apply oil on your palms, and start rolling the dough into lemon sized balls.
  9. Smear a thin layer of oil to idli plates or a steamer dish.
  10. Place the dumplings in a single layer on the prepared dish and steam for 10 minutes.
  11. Test for doneness and remove from heat.
My variation:
Skip step 7 and on step 8, make dime sized dumplings. After step 11, toss the cooked dumplings and the seasoning from step 6 together in a bowl.
When prepared this way, these also make an excellent finger food for your little ones.

*The traditional method is to soak rice and grind it to a smooth batter. I have learnt that store-bought rice flour mixed in hot water works just the same, so I do not bother with the other preparation any more. Sometimes ,just for variety, I use "idli rava". The dumplings prepared this way have an interestingly gritty texture which is a nice variation.

Serve this with a vegetable chutney for a well rounded meal.

Linking to:
 South Indian Cooking via Anu's Healthy CookingSumee's culinary Bites

I am also reposting this to Sumee's culinary Bites ,

Palmiers - Homemade Little Hearts

Palmiers - that melt-in-your mouth pastry with its buttery taste and shiny melted sugar glaze... perfection in a mouthful.
This was so simple and easy to make that a child could prepare it. Three ingredients and three steps - how much more easier can it get?
With my limited research, I learnt that these are called Palmiers (Palm trees) in French and some people call it elephant ears. But as they look and taste a lot like Brittania's Little Hearts, that's what I am calling it.

There's a whole lot of recipes and variations out there for this dish. I followed Food Network's Anne Burell's recipe.

Here's a batch of my palmiers stacked against Anne's:

Anne's palmiers

My Palmiers

What do you think? Did I do a good job?
I followed the recipe verbatim, except for the refrigeration time. I found out the hard way that 30 minutes was not enough. For my second and subsequent batches, I refrigerated the log for 2 hours.
Yes, I said "subsequent batches". Why, you may ask. Thrilled by the simplicity and the taste, we were inspired to make more of these lovelies for a whole lot of people.  Here's some of our goodies, all packed and ready for distribution.
Simple handmade packaging for this sweet homemade gift.

This was our teacher's gift for this holiday season. What about you? Do you enjoy making handmade/homemade gifts ? Or does it come off as a little too frugal for you?

lets party - logo

Dec 28, 2012

Paruppu Payasam - Split Lentil Porridge

Paruppu Payasam - Split Lentil / Mung dal Porridge

Payasam (Porridge) is a staple on festival days, in South India. Though Chakkarai Pongal is the queen of the festive spread, my mom's paruppu payasam has been quite popular.
A protien rich dessert, this dish is quite easy to make with only 3 main ingredients.
Paruppu Payasam - Split Lentil and Jaggery Porridge


  • split mung beans - 1 cup
  • jaggery - 5 cubes or 1 cup shredded
  • cardmamom powder - 1 tsp ( 2 pods powdered with a little sugar for traction).
  • ghee - 1 tbsp
  • coconut pieces, sliced thin - 1 tbsp
  • coconut milk - 1/2 cup
  • salt, a pinch
  1. Pressure cook mung beans in just enough water to cover the beans. You can cook the beans in milk, if preferred.
  2. Reserve a tablespoon of cooked beans and thoroughly mash the rest.
  3. In a small saucepan, melt jaggery on low heat, in just enough water to cover it. Stir continuously and poke the cubes occasionally ot help it disintegrate quickly.
  4. Remove from heat and strain away impurities, if any.
  5. In another saucepan, heat ghee. Before it starts to smoke, fry thinly sliced coconut pieces. When the coconut turns golden brown, strain and remove.
  6. In the same saucepan, add both the mashed and reserved beans an melted jaggery to it and bring to a light boil.
  7. Add a pinch of salt to enhance the sweetness of the dish.
  8. Stir continuously until everything is blended well. this will take around 10 minutes.
  9. Add enough coconut milk to bring the dish to the right consistency (think of a bisque).
  10.  Add the fried coconut pieces, and remove from fire. Sprinkle cardamom powder and stir.
This dish can be served warm or chilled.

Nov 28, 2012

Aatu kaal kuzhambu (Paaya) - Goat trotters stew

In Tamil cuisine, there is a special way to cook virtually all parts of a goat . Unlike chicken dishes, dishes made with each part of a goat, taste quite different from each other.

When following the traditional way of preparing this, my mom cleans and cooks the trotters in the night. The next morning, the stew is prepared and the trotters are cooked a little more. It is a very involved process.

But, I am going to show you a no-sweat way to make this stew, without compromising the flavors.

  • goat trotters, cleaned - from 2 goats, about 3 pounds
  • onions, finely minced - 1 big
  • tomatoes, finely chopped - 1 big
  • chilli powder - 1 tbsp
  • coriander powder - 3 tbsp
  • coconut, shredded - 1/2 
  • mint - 5 sprigs
  • cilantro, chopped - 1/2 cup
  • ginger paste - 3/4 tbsp
  • garlic paste - 1 tbsp
  • bay leaf - 1 lea
  • cinnamon - 1" stick
  • fennel seeds - 1 tbsp
  • oil for sauteing
  • turmeric powder - 1 tsp
  • salt to taste
Preparing the trotters
  1. If you are lucky to have access to seared / smoked trotters with the skin on, skip this section.
  2. Rest of us probably get the trotters bleached white and with no skin. You can still simulate the flavor by broiling the trotters in oven.
  3. In a foil lined baking dish, arrange the trotters in a single layer and broil on high for 10 minutes or until the bones have adequately browned and the liquid runs clear.
  4. Remove from oven and let it cool.
Preparing the stew:
Using a slow cooker (the no-sweat way):
  1. In the crock pot, add the prepared trotters and all other ingredients except coconut. Cook on high for 4 hours or slow for 7 hours.
  2. One hour before it is done, add the coconut.
  3. Enjoy your stew. 
Told ya it is no-sweat!

Using a pressure cooker (the long-winded way):
  1. The night before, fill a 5 liter pressure cooker with enough water to cover the trotters. Add the turmeric powder, little salt and pressure cook the trotters for 5 whistles.
  2. The next morning, transfer the trotters and the stock to another vessel. 
  3. Rinse out the pressure cooker and heat oil on a medium high flame.
  4. Before the oil starts smoking, add bay leaf, cinnamon stick and fennel seeds. When the spices have warmed up, add the minced onion, ginger and garlic. Stir and allow the onion to turn soft.
  5. Now add the tomatoes and a little salt to sweat the tomatoes.
  6. Stir once or twice, until everything turns into a slurry.
  7. Now add the pre-cooked trotters, chilli powder and coriander powder.
  8. Add back the water that was used to pressure cook the trotters.
  9. Cover and cook for 3 more whistles.
  10. When the steam has subsided, stir in coconut, mint and cilantro.
  11. Let it come back to a boil before removing from fire.
This stew makes an excellent side dish for traditional breakfast dishes like idli or dosa. It also goes well with chunky ciabatta and a garden salad.

Nov 11, 2012

Nandu Masala - Crab Masala South Indian recipe

Nandu Masala - Crab Masala

One of the perks of growing up in Chennai is the endless supply of seafood that one has access to. Even though seafood was a regular in our Sunday lunch menus, crab has always been special.
When we visited SFO one summer, we went to the Fisherman's pier for the popular steamed crabs. But, the sheer volume of crab carcasses on the table and seeing the rush of people gobbling the meat down, turned my appetite off.
This is one of the few dishes that I like spicy hot.

Don't be fooled by the photo. I didn't make enough masala for the 6 big dungeness crabs that I cooked. I have adjusted my recipe to accommodate this. I will post a better photo when I cook this recipe next time.


  • Crab - 6 big ones
  • garam masala - bay leaf, fennel seeds
  • onion, chopped - 1
  • tomato, chopped - 1
  • ginger garlic paste - 1 tablespoon
  • red chili powder - 1/2 tablespoon
  • coriander powder - 2 tablespoon
  • black pepper, fresh cracked - 1 teaspoon
  • coconut, shredded (optional) - 1/2 cup
  • cilantro - for garnish
  • salt to taste
  • oil for sauteing


  1. Wash the crabs in a mix of cold water and vinegar. Clean the crabs (see tips).
  2. In a wide mouthed pan,  heat oil for sauteing. Add garam masala to the hot oil.
  3. When the masala has roasted well (look for fragrance), fry ginger-garlic paste in the hot oil.
  4. Add the chopped onion to this.
  5. When the onion turns translucent, add the chopped tomatoes.
  6.  Add a little salt to draw water out of the tomatoes.
  7. When the masala starts oozing oil, add chili and coriander powders and fry until the raw smell disappears.
  8. Add the cleaned crabs and black pepper.
  9. Crab meat will cook in 5 minutes. Once the meat has cooked (about 5 minutes), add shredded coconut to the pan. 
  10. In another 5 minutes, remove from heat and garnish with cilantro.
Serving this dish with fluffy white rice and a simple sauce/stew will help its delicate sweet taste shine.


  • Buying crab on or around the new moon day ensures that you get meaty crabs.
  • Using a lobster pick set, ply off all the claws/limbs before cooking. This helps manage the crab pieces easily.
  • If you buy fresh live crabs, here's a tip on how to prepare these for cooking: On reaching home, bring a soup pot of water to a rolling boil. Using tongs, carefully remove one crab at a time from the butcher's bag and slip it into the boiling water. Turn the heat off, cover with a lid and let it sit for 10 minutes. Once all the crabs have died, transfer these to a bowl of ice. 
  • Cleaning the crab: Using a lobster pick, pry open the hinged underbelly of the crab. Also pry the hard outer shell. If you do not care for crab mustard, flush the crab under running water to get rid of impurities. Using a lobster cracker, cut all the limbs/claws.
  • Here's a good tutorial for cleaning crabs. Note that the author discards the crab mustard. You might choose to keep it.

Nov 5, 2012

Tamarind water

Tamarind Water

Many South Indian kuzhambu (pulusu / huli) recipes require tamarind water. Preparing tamarind water from pulp can be quick, if you use the microwave. Tamarind is available in pulp form at ethinic Indian Grocery stores. Though you could also get tamarind paste, I find that the dish turns out watery when I use it. Here's how I prepare tamarind water from pulp.

  1.  Take a lime sized ball of tamarind pulp. For most recipes that serve 4 people, this measurement is sufficient.
  2. Take a cup of water in a microwave safe bowl.
  3. Add the pulp to the bowl and microwave on high for 30 seconds.
  4. Let stand for 5 minutes or until the water is warm enough for the touch.
  5. Squeeze out the liquid from the tamarind pulp. Add the tamarind water to you dish.
  6. Refill the cup with half a cup of tap water and squeeze the pulp again. This water will be a little thin compared to the first one.
  7. Add this water also to your dish.

Different Oils in my kitchen

I use a wide spectrum of oils in my kitchen. While it has become popular to use olive oil in all aspects of Indian Cooking nowadays, I believe that this is not always good. Pairing the right kind of oil to right heat requirement is key to healthy cooking.
Some oils have a low smoking point while some others have a high smoking point. Using a high smoking point oil in a salad is not healthy. Similarly, low smoking point oils will cause carcinogens in your food, if you use it in a high heat cooking.
  1. Low smoking point oil: Oils like Gingelly oil and extra virgin olive oil are suitable for low or no heat recipes like salad dressings, idli spice (இட்லி மிளகாய் பொடி ) or finishing a recipe. Some recipes like Lemon rice, tamarind rice etc. taste better topped with a little oil. Use these oils in this scenario.
  2. Medium smoking point oil: Oils like plain olive oil are suitable for medium heat activities like sauteing.
  3. High smoking point oil: I use canola oil or sesame seed oil for high heat like deep frying, stir frying etc.
Respecting this guideline to match oil to usage helps you avoid increased carcinogens in your diets. Carcinogens are cancer causing oxidants in your diet and the lesser the better!

Kaara Kuzhambu

Kara Kuzhambu is one of the few dishes that I hated , as a child. I was one of those few South Indians that preferred bland food to spicy food. Give me a good white sauce pasta anytime, I say!
My preferences ran to cheese, yogurt, curd... you get the idea. I was known to ask for curd rice when my mom had just cooked biryani and 3 kinds of meat dishes ! In fact, I am the absolute opposite of  what a foodie blogger should be. Try as hard as I may, I couldn't think of anything nostalgic about kara kuzhambu. Except that, Kara kuzhambu, when cooked right, would have a sweet undertone to it. Here's how:


  • Vegetables - chopped in big chunks, 1 cup. Good candidates are okra, cooked and peeled yam (சேப்பங்கிழங்கு) etc.
  • tomato - 1 big, chopped coarsely 
  • onion - 1 small, coarsely chopped. Cut the onion into quarters. Keeping all quarters together, run your knife cross wise twice. this will yield approximately one inch square pieces.
  • tamarind - 1 small lime sized ball
  • red chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
  • corriander powder - 1 tablespoon
  • garlic - 4-5 cloves
  • turmeric powder - 1 teaspoon
  • gingelly oil - 1 tablespoon, optional
For seasoning (தாளிப்பு):
  • mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
  • fenugreek seeds - 1 teaspoon
  • cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
  • curry leaves - 1 sprig
  • cilantro - 5 sprigs
  • asafetida - a pinch
  • high heat oil - 1 tablespoon
  1. Prepare tamarind water
  2. In a sauce pan on medium heat, pour a high heat oil of your choice. When it has heated through, but not smoking, add mustard seeds. After the seeds splatter, add fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds, asafetida and curry leaves. Let this saute for a minute.
  3. Add onions and garlic and fry until they are translucent.
  4. Add tomatoes and sweat it with a little salt.
  5. When everything has turned mushy, add chilli powder and corriander powder to the pan.
  6. If you plan to add any vegetables, add it now. Also add turmeric powder.
  7. When the raw smell of the powders have dissipated, pour tamarind water in this.
  8. Let this boil for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust salt, water and chilli powder per taste.
  9. Server over hot fluffy rice. Since this is spicy, any relatively bland side dish like cabbage poriyal and microwave appalam pairs well with it.
  • If the kuzhambu tastes too sour/tangy, it means you did not add enough salt.
  • After adding the tamarind water, be sure to let it boil for 5 minutes. This contributes to the thickness of the stew.

Nov 4, 2012

Thickeners in kurma

As a child, I always preferred onion/cucumber raita with Biryani. But, of late, I have taken a liking to having kurma instead. The first few times I tried cooking Vegetable Kurma, I couldn't get the consistency right. It was always very watery. Adopting one of the following thickeners saved my day and my Kurma!
According to my mom, there are threee different ways to thicken up kurma:
Kurma / Stew Thickeners:
  1. Coconut milk:
The first expressed milk from half a coconut could be used as a thickener. When the stew starts to boil, add a little of the second expressed cocunut milk, and remove from heat.

2.  Ground nuts:
Soak half a cup of almonds / cashews/ peanuts in warm water for 30 minutes. Grind this in the smallest jar of your mixer until the paste is smoother than chutney. Add this paste to your stew and let boil for 5 minutes.

3. Vegetable mash:
Adding mashed vegetables to the stew adds an interesting dimension to the end product. I usually fish out a ladle of vegetables from the stew and pulse it in the mixer. Or, if you plan ahead, you could save a  few pieces of vegetables at the beginning and grind it raw in the mixer. Add this raw pulp to the pan in the beginning and let it saute and simmer for a while. this takes out the raw smell.

4. Poppy seeds:
This is the least preferred way in my mom's kitchen, as poppy seeds in your diet could make you lethargic and drowsy. If you prefer to use it, soak 2 tablespoons of poppy seeds in warm water for 30 minutes and grind it to a smooth paste. Adding a little salt helps get the desired smoothness.

5. Unconventional tip for a quick thickener:
If you have leftover cocunut or peanut chutney from the previous night, add this to your kurma. Ta da, an instant thickener without compromising taste. This is my mom's secret tip that has helped me in a stitch.

Nov 3, 2012

Microwave Appalam

Appalams are thin wafers made from urad dal flour. There was this lady in my neighborhood who sold home-made podis (spice mixes) , appalams and vathals (sundried wafers) to support her family. Even though it is available in convenient packs at the grocery store, my mom would sometimes buy it from this lady, as a notion of nieghborly support.

Back home when I was little, deep fried appalams were my favorite. I remember requesting my mom to prepare appalams for every meal. But, now that I am the cook and cleaning maid at my home, I try to stay away from deep fried anything. To save my backsplash from grease splatters and my sanity from rancid smoke, I have taken to crisping appalams in the microwave. Lucky for me, I didn't need a written recipe for how to fry appalams . I was a good enough cook to figure this out myself LOL.

Let me post a couple of disclaimers here. Microwaved appalams do not taste as yummy as the ones prepared traditionally. It is a compromise between health, convenience and taste. Also, microwaves, in my opinion, are like babies - no two are alike. The wattage and cooking times vary from unit to unit. Adapt the following to suit your microwave.

  • appalam - store bought or homemade
  • pam or any cooking oil 

  • Spray pam on both sides of applams. Or, spread a little oil,  with a pastry brush.
  • Arrange applams in a plate, in a single layer. Nuke on high for a minute. Flip the appalams and nuke for another 20-30 seconds.
  • At this stage, the appalams should have blistered on the surface. If not, nuke again for another 10 seconds.
While deep-fried fresh appalam would almost double in size and feels light to the bite, microwaved appalams stay relatively dense.

I like this with spicy food like vaththa kozhambu or kara kozhambu.

Everyday Rasam

Back home, Rasam was a staple in my mom's everyday cooking. Be it the hump day or a special Sunday, you are sure to see fluffy white rice and tangy rasam on the table at lunch.
Here's how my mom makes it.
  • tamarind - a small lime sized ball
  • tomatoes - 1 medium roma 
  • cilantro / kothumalli - 5 sprigs
to grind:
  • pepper corns - 1 teaspoon
  • cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
  • garlic pods / poondu pal - 4
for seasoning / thalippu:
  • mustard seeds
  • cumin seeds
  • asafetida - a pinch
  • curry leaves / kariveppilai - 1 or 2 sprigs
  • dried red chili - 1
  • gingelly oil
  1. Prepare tamarind water
  2. If the tomato is firm, soak it in 1 cup of warm water. When it is pliable, coarsely chop the tomato. 
  3. Wash and dry curry leaves and cilantro on a paper towel. 
  4. In a spice grinder or the smallest jar of your mixer, coarsely grind the ingredients listed under "to grind".
  5. On medium heat, warm gingelly oil in a sauce pan / kadai. When hot, add mustard seeds. When the seeds crackle, add cumin seeds, curry leaves, dried red chilli and asafetida. 
  6. Add tomato and a sprinkle of salt. The salt will help soften the tomato quickly.
  7. Wait for a couple of minutes. The tomato pieces should have turned mushy by now. Add the ground spices to the above. 
  8. Add tamarind water to the pan and let this mixture simmer at a boil for 3-5 minutes.
  9. Taste the rasam at this stage and adjust salt and water per your taste.
  10. Remove from heat. Garnish with chopped cilantro. Serve hot over fluffy white rice. Pairs well with microwave appalam.

The above rasam is a little like the everything bagel. It could be considered a mix of poondu rasam , tomato rasam and milagu rasam. Mom just prefers to have the goodness of all three in 1 dish.

Up the amount of black pepper corns in the recipe and it becomes a very soothing dish for sore throat or heavy cold.

A Peek into my Little White Book

When I first started setting up home, my mom wrote me a collection of recipes in this little white book. It ended up containing not just recipes, but tips on a lot of things - ideal ratio of rice:urad dal for idli batter, how many whistles for cooking rice and paruppu and even some paththiyam recipes. It became my go-to guide for everything kitchen- and cooking-related.

Over the years, due to the geographic distance, all my mom's new recipes and tips were conveyed though telephone and I religiously copied it onto this little white book.
I have tested and adapted most of these recipes to suit my palatte - I prefer to cook relatively less spicy than my mom does.

This blog is an attempt to record all these recipes (once again) and immortalize it. Also expect to see some new recipes engineered by me. Apart from these, if I see a tempting dish on Pinterest, I try it out at home. The best of these recipes will also figure here.

While the content came from my mom, the motivation for this blog came solely from my husband. He kept suggesting that I start a blog to document not just the recipes but to also document my interest in arts and crafts and everything DIY. I have finally relented and here's my recipe blog. I hope to one day author a DIY blog as well.

Since this blog is mostly about the recipes from my mom, it only seems natural to talk a little about her. She is a self-taught cook. By her account, she didn't even know how to turn on a stove, when she was newly married. My dad being a practical man fixed the issue by buying two things : a month's worth of meal vouchers for two, to the nearest restaurant and a whole load of recipe books!

Like the proverbial ugly duckling, mom's cooking skills only got better over time. From the complex dum biryani to the simple poondu rasam, anything that she cooks has had a fan following in our neighborhood.

Fun anecdote that describes the importance of this little white book in my household : I once misplaced this book and was discreelty looking for it in the kitchen. When my husband learnt about it, he sprang from the couch and started searching for the book and didn't rest until he found it - this man does know where his next meal comes from :)

Just as every journey starts with a single step, this blog too shall start with a simple recipe.

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