Monday, September 20, 2010

Gooseberry Pickle / Nellikai Oorukai

Gooseberry pickle1

A totally cozy lazy week has passed by and I hardly peeped into the kitchen :( Oops.. but I never skipped a meal. :) All thanks to mummy for pampering me out of my fever syndrome. :)

But a yummy pickle that grandma taught me when she was here has been there in my drafts for days now. We are really pickle people!! almost one full rack of the fridge is filled with various pickles ;) yummmm

Nellikai / gooseberry is a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin A, calcium and phosphorous. Pickled or plain, gooseberry is always yummy.. I love the expression in one's face and the goose bumbs formation when the taste buds come in contact with the juice of these berries ;)

Gooseberry pickle


Gooseberries / Nellikai - 10
Tamarind pulp - 2 tsp
Jaggery - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - a pinch
Fenugreek(Vendhayam) powder - 1 tsp
Cumin(Jeera) powder - 1/2 tsp
Asafoetida - 1/2 tsp
Chilly powder - 2 tsp
Salt - 1 1/2 tsp
Mustard seeds - for tempering

Gooseberry pickle2


Pressure cook the gooseberries. Cut them along their lines and remove the seed.

In a pan take a tblsp of oil and season with mustard. Then add the gooseberries and all the other ingredients one by one and mix well. Cook for just five minutes and remove from pan.

Yummy gooseberry pickle is ready. Serve it along with curd rice.

This can be stored in refrigerator and used for around 15 days.

Gooseberry pickle3

Written by: Nithya
Send in your queries by clicking here.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Pomegranate Mocktail & Fruity Yoghurt

Pomegranite mocktail2

After an array of festivals, I had a lot of fruits stocked at home. Out of all, the pomegranate stood out this time since it was simply blood red and so tasty too.

I am just recovering after a viral fever and badly wanted a energy course of food. So naturally this made me google for fruit based recipes especially using pomegranate and the most attractive one was the Pomegranate Martini cocktail. ;)

Vodka!!!!! ahem ahem!! was my expression. Its an almost impossible ingredient for me.. So I chose to go for a mocktail instead and it was a super dooper hit :) Simply loved the different taste and I enjoyed the way it is presented too. :) Cheers to myself ;)

Sipping the sugar coated glass, gulping the drink and chewing the pomegranate pearls in between was a sure bliss :)

And of course the home made fruity yoghurt is always my favorite since curd is my dearest ingredient :)
Pomegranate Mocktail

Pomegranite mocktail


Pomegranate - 2
Sweet lime - 2

For simple syrup:

Sugar - 2 tbl sp (according to your preference)
Water - 2 tbl sp

Pomegranite mocktail1


De-seed the pomegranate and reserve some in a bowl. Pulse the rest of them in the mixie to just get a pure extract of pomegranate juice void of seeds. Strain it well and keep it aside.

Extract the juice of sweet lime and keep it aside too.

Now to make what's known as "simple syrup", start by pre-warming a pan over high heat on your stove top, and adding the sugar and water.

Heat and stir until all the sugar is dissolved and you're left with the sticky, sweet syrup. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

Now comes the presentation part. Coating the serving glass with sugar is the highlight.

Take a small plate and spread a thin layer of sugar over it. Run one of the sweet lime slices around the rim of your glass, wetting it with the citrus juice as you go.

Turn the glass over and carefully rotate it in the sugar evenly.

Take a martini shaker if you have one. ;) its really if you don't possess one. I dint use it too.

Just combine two parts of pomegranate juice with one part of sweet lime and add the simple syrup according to your taste bud's requirement. I used around 2 tsps of it for one glass of juice to make mine. Mix this well with a spoon and pour it into the prepared glass with some ice cubes. Finally top it with the reserved pomegranate pearls.

The addition of simple syrup as well as the proportions are totally upto your taste and the sweetness of the fruits you use.

This quantity made 3 glasses of mocktail.

A classic looking delicious drink is ready to serve :)

Freak your guest and enjoy mocktailing ;)


A very quick run in the mixie is called pulsing. Some mixies have a special button for this operation. This quick run does not grind the seeds.

People who want to make mocktail, just add two parts of pomegranate juice with one part of vodka and add one tsp of lemon juice or two tsps of sweet lime juice if it is sour enough.

Replacing the simple syrup with just water and sugar does make a difference. So do not skip making the simple syrup. It adds to the taste for sure.

Pomegranite mocktail&fruity yoghurt

Fruity Yoghurt


Banana - 1
Pomegranate(De-seeded) - 1/2 cup
Apple - 1
Goa - 1
Fresh Curd - 1 cup
Sugar - for taste

Fruity yoghurt


Dice banana, apple and goa into small sized cubes.

Whip the curd into a smooth paste adding adequate sugar to it.

Now combine both and serve chilled. :)

Simple fruity yoghurt is ready to eat.

Enjoy making and enjoy eating :)


The choice of fruits is upto you. Be creative. Generally berries go well with curd.

The curd has to be thick and fresh. Sour curd can make it taste bad.

Add sugar adjusting to the sweetness of the fruits or you can totally avoid it too.

Fruity yoghurt1

I am happy to send this to 'Food palette red event'.

Written by: Nithya
Send in your queries by clicking here.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Vinayaka Chathurthi Celebration

Vinayakar chathurthi5

Vinayaka Chathurthi also known as Ganesh Chaturthi is the Hindu festival celebrating the birthday of Lord Ganesha, the elephant - headed son of Shiva and Parvathi. Ganesha is the cutest god who is worshipped as the god of wisdom, prosperity and good fortune.

At home we used to celebrate this festival in a very grand manner by arranging a big array of Ganeshas and performing pooja to them. This year we had place 110 Ganeshas in our pooja.

Vinayagar Chathurthi

According to our custom, we used to first perform a special pooja for Parvathi Devi by reciting slokas and praying for all goodness. A set of 16 threads with 16 knots would be tied around the right wrist during this pooja.

Then follows the Vinayaka chathurthi pooja. Chanting of various ashtothrams and concerned slokas go on followed by offering of neivithyam to the lord.

Vinayagar Chathurthi5

This year we made two types of Kolukattai namely the Cashew(mundhiri) kolukattai and Sesame(Yellu) Kolukattai as well as the famous Coconut modak.

I have the recipes of the kolukattais(Sweet dumplings) posted in my last year celebration over here.

Vinayagar Chathurthi3

Recipe for Coconut Modak Filling


Coconut scrapping - 1 cup
Jaggery - 1 cup
Cardamom powder - a pinch


Take the scrapped coconut and jaggery in a pan and heat them until the jaggery melts and combines well with the coconut. Add the cardamom powder and some broken cashews to it and mix well.

Remove from flame and use it as the filling for making modak.

Use the modak mould if you have one, else make cup shape with the white dough and fill it with one tsp of the filling and close it carefully with the white dough.

Steam cook them for ten mins.

Yummy and beautiful looking modak is ready to serve. :)

Happy making. :)

Look out for the white dough recipe here.

Vinayagar Chathurthi4
Step-wise procedure of making Kolukattai(Sweet dumpling)

Wish you all a very happy Vinayaka Chathurthi :)

Vinayagar Chathurthi1

Written by: Nithya
Send in your queries by clicking here.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Healthy Greens Pongal

Greens Pongal

Idly, dosa, pongal, vada!!!! This is the standard breakfast menu in any South Indian restaurant. All the four are so inevitable. Its pretty much the same at home as well but for more and more varieties and twists added to it since all three at home are foodies ;)

Greens as it needs no introduction has loads and loads of good deeds to its profile. So adding it to any dish would automatically make it super healthy. :)

Hence this twist of keerai and other spices along with ginger garlic to the pongal makes the ever boring pongal into a very interesting aromatic morning breakfast :)

I used Arai keerai. But you can try your hand on using the other greens varieties too.

Greens Pongal3


Arai Keerai or Mulai keerai(Amaranth greens) - 1/2 bunch
Raw rice - 1 cup
Moong Dhall - 1/3 cup
Water - 5 cups
Cinnamon - 1/2 inch piece
Cardamom - 2
Cloves - 2
Ginger garlic paste - 1 tsp
Onion - 1
Pepper - 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp
Ghee - 2 tblsp

Greens Pongal2


In a bowl wash rice and dhall together and add 5 cups of water to it.

In a frying pan add ghee and fry cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, ginger garlic paste, onion and greens for 5 mins. Then add the fried ingredients to the rice and dhall mixture.

Powder the pepper and cumin together into a coarsely. Add this to the mixture along with salt.

Now cook the contents in the cooker for 4 whistles. Finally garnish with ghee fried cashews.

Healthy greens pongal is ready to eat.

Serve hot with coconut chutney.

Enjoy the healthy and yummy south Indian breakfast :)

Greens Pongal1

Written by: Nithya
Send in your queries by clicking here.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Malpua - Gokulashtami Celebration

Guess what?!! The little Krishna and Radha are none other than me years back. ;)

Happy Krishna Jayanthi!

Vishnu, the protector of the universe and one of the Hindu Trinity, is said to take birth in this mortal world whenever it is overburdened with sinners, who by their wicked actions upset the equilibrium of the earth. One such incarnation is his birth as the son of king Vasudeva and his wife Devaki. He was then given the name of Sri Krishna, and his story is recorded in the famous work of the Hindus known as Bhagavatam.

The birthday of this marvelous child is celebrated as a festive and sacred day on the eighth day of the dark fortnight in the month of Shravana called Aadi in Tamil which corresponds to the English months of August-September.


The day of celebration is known by different names. Some call it Krishna Jayanthi and few call it Janma Ashtami day, while a good many call it Gokula Ashtami and Sri Jayanti. :)

Anyways everything means "Happy Birthday dear Krishna" ;)


On this day we used to decorate the idols of lord Krishna and do special pooja. We also make a lot of kid friendly sweets and savories since Krishna is considered a kid always :)

Top Left - Krishna made with murukku dough by mom ;)

This year along with the usual offerings like milk, butter, navaneetham, dry fruits, fruits etc. we made butter murukku, Sweet seedai, Sweet aval and a special exotic sweet called Malpua :)

You can find last year's celebration here.



For malpua -

All purpose flour/Maida - 1/2 cup
Semolina(Sooji/Rava) - 1 cup
Sweetened condensed milk(Milk maid) - 1/2 cup
Baking powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt - a pinch
Water - 1 cup
Pistachios - for garnish
Oil - for frying

For sugar syrup -

Sugar - 1 cup
Water - 1 1/2 cups


In a bowl, mix maida, semolina, baking powder and salt. Add the condensed milk and water to it and make a batter. Set this aside for 15 mins.

Meanwhile mix sugar and water in a pan and allow it to boil till it comes to one sting consistency.

Now take just enough oil in a pan, say about 1 inch from the bottom of the pan and once it is hot enough pour in half ladle of batter in the center and allow it to fry for just a min. Flip it and let it roast on the other side too. Its time to remove them when the sides are little roasted and the center turns light golden brown.

Once removed from oil, just dip in the malpua into the sugar syrup for a min and remove them. Arrange them on a plate and garnish with chopped pistachios.

Extremely yummy malpua is ready to eat :)

Serve it warm. :)

Celebrate any occasion with a very delicious malpua :)

Festivals and celebrations are the reminiscence of our beautiful life. I never fail to celebrate any, hope you all too. :)

Happy Gokulashtami :)

My favorite nostalgic pic :) My sis as Yeshodha and Me as kutty Krishna ;)

Written by: Nithya
Send in your queries by clicking here.

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