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Hot Cocoa

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March 9, 2015

From My Home Kitchen Turns 5 !!! - Dry Fruit and Nut Ladoo

From My Home Kitchen turns 5 !!!! Definitely time for celebration. I can't believe it has been 5 years since I had started the blog. I have enjoyed every moment I had invested in the blog. It has been a wonderful journey till today. Though my number of recipes have drastically gone down due to other works my excitement has never gone down a bit. I feel so bad that I'm not posting regularly but at the same time I do not want to post something just for the sake of it. I enjoy every phase of developing a post and wish I could it do it everyday. A Blog Anniversary will not be complete without thanking the people who have helped through out these 5 long years. A big thank you to my Family, Friends and Readers who truly motivate me to keep the blog running.

Coming to the recipe I did not want to post a cake for the blog anniversary.As MK's birthday falls on the same day and he complains that I make the cake for the blog and not for him. So this time I wanted to make something sweet but easy. I always wanted to try the dry fruit and nut ladoo but was not sure how it will taste because I'm not a big fan of dates. My co-sister made this for Diwali and I loved it. So decided to make it for the anniversary. Everyone loved it and the ladoos got over in 2 days. Definitely worth trying !! Thanks again for all the love and support !!

Preparation Time - 10 minutes

Cooking Time - 10 minutes

Yields - 15 - 18 ladoo


Dates - 20
Cashews - 10 -12 no
Almonds - 15 no
Pistachios - 10 no
Poppy Seeds - 1 tbsp
Ghee - 1 tsp
Cardamom Powder - 1 pinch

  • Remove seeds from Dates if using seeded variety.
  • Grind the dates into a smooth paste.
  • Dry roast the Cashews, Almonds and Pistachios in medium flame for about 6 - 8 minutes. Allow it to cool down and pulse it few times in a mixer. Do not grind it. You need to have chunks of the nuts.
  • In a non stick pan add 1 tsp of ghee in medium flame.
  • Add the ground dates and saute until the dates becomes soft and absorbs all of the ghee. It will take about 5 minutes.
  • Add the nuts and mix so that the nuts gets evenly distributed for about 2 minutes or so.
  • Add cardamom powder, poppy seeds and mix well.
  • Switch of the flame and use a wooden spoon and saute for about 2 - 3 minutes so that the dates and nuts are mixed well.
  • At this stage the dates will be soft and it will be easy to handle.
  • Take small portions of the date and nut mixture and shape them into balls.
  • You can make 15 - 18 ladoos. Store the Date and Nut ladoo in air tight container.
My Notes
  • You can keep the ladoo in room temperature for about 5 - 7 days.
  • You can add other dry fruits like raisins, dried apricots, figs etc.,
  • You can also other nuts as per your preference.
  • If you are making in large quantities grind the dates in batches else it will spoil your mixer.
  • Do not burn your nuts. It will spoil the taste of your ladoo.

October 23, 2014

Boondhi Ladoo | Diwali Sweet Recipes

Happy Diwali to all my friends and readers. For this year I made varieties of Murukku and Boondhi Ladoo. Boondhi Ladoo is one MK's favorite sweets. This has been in my to do list for long time now. I wanted to try this badly for last Diwali but ran out of time. Last year I has asked MK to bring the Boondhi Ladle during his India Trip. So this time made up my mind to try this first. It came out so good. I was happy that our first attempt was a success.

Boondhi Ladoo is a famous North Indian Sweet. It is made out of besan flour and the boondhi's are soaked in sugar syrup and shaped into ladoo's. They have a nutty flavor and it tasted even better the second day when all the flavors were infused. You have to do things in parallel so if someone offers to help please keep them by your side. The ingredients list is also basic ones so you can try it any time. Make sure you include this ladoo recipe in your list sweets for this Diwali and give your family the best and tasty Diwali !.

Preparation Time - 10 - 15 minutes

Cooking Time - 15 - 20 minutes

Yields - 25 - 30 ladoo


Besan Flour - 2 cups
Baking Soda - a pinch
Yellow Food Color - a pinch
Ghee - 1 tsp
Cashew - 10 no
Golden Raisins - 10 no
Kalkandu - 15 no
Clove - 3 - 4 no
Cardamom - 3 - 4 no
Sugar - 2 1/2 cups
Oil - to deep fry Boondhi

  • Sieve the besan flour, add yellow food color, baking soda and slowly add water to make batter. It should not be a thick paste or very runny.
  • Add ghee to a small kadai and fry the broken cashews until golden brown, followed by the raisins and keep aside.
  • Powder the Clove and Cardamom into fine powders.
  • Keep 2 slotted ladles, one to pour the besan batter on and one to drain the boondhi from the oil. You will need one deep ladle to take the batter and pour on the slotted ladle. You can use the boondhi ladle or just any slotted ladle.
  • Fill a wide mouthed kadai with 3/4th oil and heat the oil. Oil should be very hot and not smoking hot.
  • Take one drop of batter and drop it in the oil. It should rise immediately. Also the batter should be round. If you get tails your batter is too thick add little water. If it falls flat, then your batter is very runny add little besan flour to reach right consistency. Test again.
  • When the batter is in right consistency, Hold the boondhi ladle on top of the oil and pour the batter using the deep ladle. You can slightly tap the ladle too. Boondhi's will start falling quickly into the oil. You can take out the boondhi using the other boondhi ladle and drain excess oil using kitchen tissue.
  • Boondhi should not be fried it should be soft. So just take them out quickly.
  • Now wipe the boondhi ladle clean before pouring the next ladle of batter. This is important else the boondhi's will not be in proper shape.
  • While making the boondhi, in parallel take the sugar in a thick bottomed bowl and add water until the sugar immerses.
  • You need make sugar syrup with single string consistency. See below steps for the sugar syrup
  • When the sugar and water is mixed and placed in medium flame, in the initial stage the sugar will get dissolved completely. Stir in between.
  • Next stage it will start to have some small bubbles and will be glossy when you take a little in your hand. Turn the flame to low. Do not stir after this.
  • Next stage is when you dip your finger in cold water and touch a little of the syrup it will be sticky.
  • Next stage is when you dip your finger in cold water and touch a little of the syrup between your thumb and index finger it will start to form a string but it will break if you try to separate the fingers. After this stage the single string consistency will be reached in seconds. So be careful.
  • Next stage is when you dip your finger in cold water and touch a little of the syrup between your thumb and index finger it will start to form a proper string.
  • You can also test by pouring small amount of the sugar syrup to the water in a plate. The sugar will not get dissolved immediately and it will lay a thread. This is Single String Consistency.
  • Once the syrup reaches single string consistency, add the boondhi, clove powder, cardamom powder, kalkandu, cashew and raisins.
  • Start making ladoo when the mixture is hot. The sugar syrup with ooze out and will bind the boondhi together.
  • You can make 25 - 30 ladoo depending the size of your ladoo. I made 28 of them.
My Notes
  • You can keep the ladoo in room temperature for about 5 - 7 days.
  • The sugar level was perfect for us. If you prefer more sweetness increase the sugar level to 3 cups.
  • Wipe the boondhi ladle every time after a ladle of batter is poured else your boondhi's will start to have tails.
  • You can add nutmeg powder instead of cloves if you like nutmeg flavor.
  • You have to start making ladoo quickly after dropping into the sugar syrup, else sugar will start to crystallize.
  • Do not add too much of cashews and raisins then you can make proper ladoo. They will easily break.

August 14, 2014

Egg Drop Gravy | Muttai Kuzhambu

Udaitha Muttai Kuzhambu

It's been a while since I posted something on the blog. Life has become so hectic nowadays. School is about to start for the kids and they are super excited. But I'm still not ready for the school year. Summer was so short atleast for me. This summer we did not do much. We spent most of the time at home. I'm glad that the kids were able to get lot of rest this time. They stayed at home and cherished every moment. Though we had lot of cooking done nothing new was prepared. Some of the family favorite recipes were prepared every time. Egg Drop Gravy is one such family favorite.

Egg Drop Gravy is a simple and easy to make gravy. To frankly speak, I started to make this because I get farm fresh eggs here and I was not able to properly peel the eggs after boiling them. Then Shweets liked it so much that she pesters me to prepare it often. While breaking the eggs you have to be careful else the eggs will get scrambled. This goes well with hot rice or chapati. When you turn lazy like me and looking for a masala type gravy here you go !!

Egg Drop Gravy

Preparation Time - 10 minutes

Cooking Time - 15 - 20 minutes

Serves : 4 people


Eggs - 5 - 6 no
Onion - 1 no (big size)
Tomato - 1 no (big size)
Ginger Garlic Paste - 1 tsp
Green Chilly - 1 no
Chilly Powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Coriander powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/4 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/4 tsp
Fennel Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Cinnamon Sticks - 2 pieces
Curry Leaves
Coriander Leaves
Salt for taste
Oil - 3 tsp

Ingredients to grind

Onion - 1 medium size
Tomato - 1 medium size
Coconut - 2 -3 medium size pieces
Fennel Seeds - 1 tsp
Oil - 1 tsp

  • Finely chop the Onion and Tomato.
  • Add 1 tsp oil and saute the fennel, onion, tomato and coconut(mentioned in the Ingredients to grind section)in the order for few minutes and grind to a coarse paste and keep aside.
  • Heat remaining oil, Add cinnamon and fennel seeds in medium flame.
  • Add onion until it turns translucent and add the curry leaves.
  • Add ginger garlic paste and saute in low flame.
  • Cut the green chilly lengthwise and add it the mixture.
  • Once the raw smell is gone add the chopped tomato and cook until tomato turns mushy.
  • Add chilly powder, turmeric powder, coriander powder and saute well.
  • Next add the ground mixture. Sprinkle little water and allow the masala to cook in medium flame until oil oozes out.
  • At this stage add water until desired consistency and allow mixture to boil in a closed state for 5 minutes or so.
  • Now carefully break the the eggs into the gravy leaving some gap between the eggs.
  • Cook in closed state until the eggs become firm. Do not mix while the egg is cooking.
  • When the eggs are firm remove the lid, add garan masala slightly stir and cook in open state for about 2 minutes.
  • Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves.Serve Hot.
  • While making the paste, cook only until onion is translucent and tomato turns mushy do not brown them.
  • You can also use boiled eggs and add to the gravy at the end.
  • Do not mix the gravy until the eggs become firm else the eggs will be scrmabled.

April 13, 2014

Cauliflower Dry Curry | Cauliflower Poriyal

Cauliflower Poriyal

I really can't believe that it has been 4 years I started the blog. Last month I had celebrated the blog birthday. I'm happy that I was able to keep the blog going on midst of all the things going on in my life. Coming to the recipe normally we make dry curry when have our regular meals. Cauliflower has been one of our favorite vegetable. I make the cauliflower masala or the dry curry. Kids prefer the dry version and enjoy it with sambar rice or rasam rice.

Cauliflower dry curry is a simple and comfort dish which makes our regular lunch interesting. I love to make this dry curry not only because of the taste also because it is easy to chop this vegetable. I normally cook the vegetable with little salt before adding to the masala. This helps in faster cooking. You can also add garam masala to the curry if you like the flavor. This will give enhance the taste. Do try to make this dry curry and let me know how it tasted !!

Preparation Time - 10 minutes

Cooking Time - 10 minutes

Serves - 2 - 4


Cauliflower - 1 no
Onion - 1 no
Ginger Garlic paste - 1/2 tsp
Chilly Powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam Masala - 1/4 tsp
Mustard - 1 tsp
Cumin Seeds - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - as per taste

  • Wash and cut the cauliflower into medium size florets.
  • Add florets to a vessel and add water enough to immerse the florets add little salt. Cook for five minutes and drain the florets from water and keep aside.
  • Chop the onion lengthwise.
  • Heat oil in a kadai/wok.
  • Add the mustard and allow it to splutter and then add the cumin seeds.
  • Add the chopped onions and saute for a few minutes.
  • Add the ginger garlic paste and saute in low flame
  • Next add the chilly powder, turmeric powder in low flame. Do not allow the powders to get burnt.
  • Next add the half cooked florets and little salt. Mix well until the powders are coated onto the cauliflower.
  • In medium flame cook the cauliflower until it is fully cooked.
  • When it is fully cooked, increase the heat and cook in high flame to make it dry.
  • Serve hot as side dish with rice.
  • Do not allow the chilly and turmeric powders to get burnt. Reduce the flame before adding the powders.
  • Adjust the chilly powder according to your desired spice level.
  • Increasing the heat in the end to make the stir fry dry.

March 10, 2014

From My Home Kitchen turns 4 !! - Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Frosting

From My Home Kitchen turns 4 today !! Such a good feeling to have managed to run the blog for 4 years. I have enjoyed every moment and I have so many good memories of the blog. I have learnt so many new recipes, developed an interest in food photography and the list goes on. As I have mentioned in my earlier posts I still have the same excitement that I had when I posted my first post. Life has become very hectic nowadays with a new job I'm finding it difficult to update the blog regularly. I try my best to keep the blog running. I should definitely talk about the number of friends I have got through the virtual blog world. I feel proud to be part of the food blog community and glad to have so many talented bloggers as my buddies. I want to thank each one of you who have supported me in this journey. Especially my loved ones who stand by me in all my ventures.

All regular readers would know that my blog was started on MK's birthday so it's dual celebration. I made a yummy chocolate cake with chocolate frosting and used store bought coconut pecan frosting for the filling. The cake came out so good. My family enjoyed the cake so much. It was super moist, rich and chocolaty. You can use frosting of your choice and decorate the cake according to your wish. . I wanted to make the German Chocolate Cake but ran out of time and settled with the one bowl chocolate cake. The cake tastes even better the second day. A must try cake !!

Ingredients for the Cake

All-purpose flour - 1 3/4 cup
Sugar - 2 cups
Cocoa powder - 3/4 cup
Baking powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Baking soda - 1 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp
Eggs - 2 no
Milk - 1 cup
Vegetable oil - 1/2 cup
Vanilla extract - 2 tsp
Water - 1 cup
Coffee Powder - 1 tsp
Coconut pecan frosting - 1 tin

  • Preheat oven to 350°F.
  • Grease and flour two 9-inch round baking pans.
  • Boil the 1 cup water and add coffee powder.
Method for Cake
  • Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl.
  • Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla beat on medium speed for 2 minutes.
  • Stir in boiling coffee water. The batter will be thin.
  • Pour batter into prepared pans.
  • Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
  • Cool for about 10 minutes and then remove from pans to wire racks.
  • Cool completely.
Ingredients for Chocolate Frosting

Butter - 1 stick
Cocoa powder - 2/3 cup
Icing sugar - 3 cups
Milk - 1/3 cup
Vanilla extract - 1 tsp

Method for Chocolate Frosting
  • Melt butter and cool it.
  • Stir in cocoa. Alternately add powdered sugar and milk, beating to spreading consistency.
  • Add small amount additional milk, if needed. Stir in vanilla extract.
  • Makes bout 2 cups of chocolate frosting.
Method for Assembling the Cake
  • Place the first cake layer on a cake plate (flat side up) and slowly spread half of the coconut pecan frosting with a knife on the top surface.
  • Place the 2nd layer (flat side up) on top of it and spread the chocolate frosting on all sides and smooth the surface.
  • Spread the remaining coconut pecan frosting on the top of the second layer.
  • Decorate according to your wish.
My Notes
  • I used store bought coconut pecan frosting as a filling.
  • I used the chocolate frosting for decorating the cake.
  • Refrigerate remaining cake. It tastes even better the 2nd day.

February 27, 2014

Brown Rice Dosa | Healthy Indian Breakfast/Dinner

Brown Rice Dosa

I always look for healthy options when I plan my family menu. I reduce the oil as much as possible and try to use healthier choices. Brown Rice Dosa was one such healthy choice I made. I grind the normal Idly/Dosa batter for the kids and MK and I use the brown rice batter for making dosa. Initially I started to grind it only for me and when MK accidentally tasted it he started to like it and always has his dosa with this batter. The dosa made from this batter is really tasty I should say. I tried to make Idlies with the batter but they turned out to be hard and did not rise so I make only dosa with this batter.

Brown Rice Dosa is definitely a keeper recipe for breakfast or dinner. I grind this batter along with the regular dosa batter and store it in the refrigerator for more than a week. the dosa is so tasty and goes well with any chutney, sambar or even your Idly milagai podi. I normally serve it with spicy chutney and everyone likes it so much. I buy organic short grain brown rice from Costco. You can try any variety of brown rice. You need to soak the rice a bit longer as brown rice is more harder. Do try this healthy breakfast and let me know how you liked it.

Healthy Indian Breakfast


Brown Rice - 2 cups
Urad Dal - 1/2 cup
Fenugreek Seeds - 1 tsp

Soaking Time
  • Brown Rice - 10 - 12 hours or overnight
  • Fenugreek Seeds - 6 - 8 hours
  • Urad Dal - 1 - 1 1/2 hours
Grinding Time
  • Brown Rice - 20 - 25 minutes
  • Urad Dal, Fenugreek Seeds - 20 - 25 minutes
Fermenting Time: 8 - 15 hours (depends on the climatic conditions)

  • Wash Brown Rice until water runs clear and soak together for about 10 - 12 hours or overnight.
  • Wash and soak the fenugreek seeds for about 6 - 8 hours.
  • Wash the Urad Dal until water runs clear and soak for about 1 - 1 1/2 hours.
  • Wash and clean the stone grinder.
  • Wash and keep a container large enough to collect the batter and mix.
Method for Brown Rice Dosa Batter
  • To the clean stone grinder add the fenugreek seeds and handful of urad dal and grind with little water for about 3 - 4 minutes. The fenugreek seeds are slightly harder than the urad dal so doing this helps grinding the seeds well.
  • Next add the remaining soaked urad dal and grind by adding water at regular intervals. Need to add water enough to keep the batter soft. This is important.
  • Grind the batter until it is smooth. This takes about 20 - 25 minutes depending on your grinder.
  • Collect the ground batter to the large container and keep aside.
  • To the grinder next add the soaked brown rice.No need to clean the grinder.
  • Grind the rice for about 20 - 25 minutes depending on your grinder. It need not be very smooth like the urad dal batter.
  • Transfer the ground rice batter into the same container with the ground urad dal.
  • Add required salt and mix with bare hands until everything is mixed well.
  • The batter should be only 3/4 th in vessel if it is more then keep it 2 vessels.
  • Close the container and allow it to ferment in a warm place for about 8 - 15 hours. Do not use a airtight container.
  • When it is fermented the batter will have slightly risen and will be porous.
  • Mix well with a laddle and store it in an air tight container in a refrigerator.
  • You can start using the batter for Dosa as and when needed.
Method for making Brown Rice Dosa
  • Remove the batter from refrigerator and place at room temperature for about 10 minutes.
  • Heat the dosa pan/kallu in medium high flame add few drops of oil and spread it over the kallu with a half onion or kitchen tissue.
  • When a drop of water sprinkled over the dosa kallu sizzles it is heated enough.
  • Pour about 1 big laddle of batter in the center of the dosa kallu.
  • Quickly spread the batter in concentric circles depending on how thin you want the dosa.
  • Drizzle gingely oil around the dosa and allow it to cook for about a minute or so until the bottom side becomes golden brown.
  • Using a flat spatule turn over the dosa and allow it cook the other side.
  • Turn the heat to medium low.
  • Remove the dosa from the pan and sprinkle water to reduce the heat.
  • Add few drops of oil and spread it over the kallu before making the next dosa.
  • Serve hot with Chutney/Sambar.
  • Normally if I try make Idly with batter it turns out be slightly hard so I use this only for dosa.
  • Quality of urad dal plays an important role to get perfect dosa so buy a recognized brand.
  • You can also use you mixer for grinding the batter but to my knowledge you do not get the same results.
  • In the US due to climatic conditions it takes a longer time for the batter to ferment than in India. Normally I place the batter inside the conventional oven with the lights on or on the stove top with the surface lights on which helps to give the warm environment.
  • Make sure to use a large vessel as the batter will rise else you will end up cleaning your counter or oven.
  • The batter can be stored in refrigerator for about 8 - 10 days in the US and 4 - 7 days in India.
  • Using cast iron kallu is the best option than non stick pans for making dosa.
  • Do not over heat the dosa kallu sprinkle water and spread oil after every dosa else it will be difficult to remove the dosa.

February 20, 2014

Bitter Gourd Roast | Karela Roast | Pavakkai Varuval | Easy Vegetarian Side dish

Pavakkai Fry

Days are as usual kids are busy at school and I'm busy with work. On the cooking front we are staying below average. We did not make anything new and stuck to the normal stuff. Coming to recipe I don't know how many people like bitter gourd. I don't love it but like it a lot. If cooked in the proper way you will love it too. It is also important to buy good quality and less bitter ones. The dark green bitter gourds are very bitter. So look out for light green and firm ones. I do not prefer the deep fried version due to health reasons. But this one is very close in taste.

Bitter Gourd roast is one of my favorite side dish. We had it with puli kuzhambu and the combination is too good. It also goes well with bland sambar or even rasam. You have to be careful while adding powders and care not to burn them. Also to get that blackened effect increase the heat to high and saute continuously. It enhances the taste and removes the bitter taste. I prefer to cook small quantities as it will take time to slowly cook the vegetable.If you are big fan of bitter gourd or if you are the opposite you got to try this recipe. Either you will love it more or start liking it.

Bitter Gourd Fry

Preparation Time - 10 minutes

Cooking Time - 10 minutes

Serves - 2 - 4


Bitter Gourd - 4 - 5 no
Onion - 1 no
Chilly Powder - 1 1/2 tsp
Turmeric Powder - 1/2 tsp
Mustard - 1 tsp
Oil - 1 tbsp
Salt - as per taste

  • Wash and slice the bitter gourd into thin circles.
  • Chop the onion lengthwise.
  • Heat oil in a kadai/wok.
  • Add the mustard and allow it to splutter.
  • Add the chopped onions and saute for a few minuites.
  • Next add the chilly powder, turmeric powder in low flame. Do not allow the powders to get burnt.
  • Next add the sliced bitter gourd and salt. Mix well until the powders are coated onto the bitter gourd.
  • In medium flame cook the bitter gourd until it is fully cooked.
  • When it is fully cooked, increase the heat and cook in high flame to get that blackened effect.
  • Serve hot as side dish with rice.
  • Do not allow the chilly and turmeric powders to get burnt. Reduce the flame before adding the powders.
  • Adjust the chilly powder according to your desired spice level.
  • Increasing the heat in the end gives that blackened effect. Skip step if you do not want it.

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