October 31, 2014

Potato Stir Fry

Potato Stir Fry is a simple but delicious side dish for Variety Rice. It is the all time favorite for most of us. Kids love to have this in Lunch box. Potato curry is made in two different ways. We boil the potatoes and then fry them. In this method First I chopped the potatoes and fried them with Onions and Spices. This potato stir fry with Hot Sambar or Rasam Rice tastes yummy.


October 29, 2014

Arisi Kurunai Upma (Rice Granules Upma)


Arisi Kurunai Upma is the Traditional and Regular breakfast item of Tamil Brahmin Families. Either Brinjal Gothsu or Coconut Chutney serves as the best side dish for this yummy tiffin. It is done in two different ways. In one method we add powdered pepper and cumin seeds and Thoor dhal. In another type we make it only with coconut and chillies. The second type looks in milky white colour. Today I am giving the recipe of plain version.


October 28, 2014

Tip# 70: Easy steps to make perfect non sticky Ragi Vermicelli

We all know that Ragi is very good for health not only for elders but also to every body. It is rich in calcium and Potassium . Apart from making Ragi Porridge and Ragi dosa, Ragi vermicelli can be used regularly once in a week in our diet. Tasty dishes can be made out of this vermicelli and this will help our next generation also to eat these nutritional and traditional diet of our place. Many beginners say that when they cook ragi vermicelli, it turns out very soft and becomes sticky. Here are some Smart Samyal Tips to prepare perfect Ragi Vermicelli.

Ragi vermicelli does not need long time to cook. If you follow the instructions given below you can make perfect ragi vermicelli dishes.


Soaked Vermicilli

1. Soak Vermicelli in ordinary water for 5 minutes.


2. After 5 minutes in a strainer place the soaked vermicelli and drain out the water completely. Don't squeeze it with fingers.


Drain the water out

3. Now in a greased idli plate or any ordinary bowl place the drained ragi vermicelli and steam them out for 15 to 20 minutes.

4. After 15 minutes let them to cool for 10 minutes.

Steaming the ragi Vermicilli

5. Now the non sticky vermiclli is ready to make any type of tiffin like Lemon Ragi vermicelli or Vegetable Ragi Vermicelli Upma or Ragi Curd Vermicelli.

See Ragi Vegetable Upma 


Keerai curry (Greens Moong Dhal Stir Fry)


We call this as Keerai Thuvaran. Any type of greens like Spinach, Palak, Amaranth leaves can be used to make this curry. It is very healthy side dish since it is rich in iron. Moong dhal combined with the Greens gives a wonderful taste as side dish to any south Indian meal. 


October 27, 2014

Oats and Wheat Rava Idli

Oats and Wheat Rava idli is a healthy and Tasty Breakfast, Dinner and Lunch box Tiffin for Diabetic and Diet cautious people. This Idli mix can be made in advance and whenever needed can be made very easily and quickly. Oats and Wheat Rava idli comes out very softly and does not become dry even after hours. It tastes delicious with Tomato and Onion Chutney or Sambar. Make this low glycemic and high fiber idlis as a regular item of your menu. 


October 26, 2014

Araichuvitta Vengaya Sambar (Onion Sambar with freshly ground Spices)

Sambar can be described as the wonder recipe of Tamilnadu. This Onion sambar has a very special place in Tamilnadu cuisine. From early days it is served to guests and made on special occasions. Onion sambhar made with fresh roasted spices gives a unique taste and Onion sambar with potato curry is the best combo lunch of Tamilnadu. Onion sambhar can be had with rice, dosa, idli, vada, pongal and Uppma.

Ingredients for making Onion Sambhar:


















Coriander seeds 1 1/2  table spoon

Fenugreek 1/2 tea spoon

Red chillies 5

Cumin seeds 1/4 tea spoon

Coconut 1 table spoon

Ghee 1 1/2 tea spoon

Tamarind juice extracted from a small lemon size tamarind

Green chillies slitted 2

Shallots (Small Onions)  15

Chopped tomato 1

Well boiled thur dhal 1 cup

Oil 2 tea spoons for saueting














Method for making Onion Sambhar:

 Heat a pan with ghee and fry coriander seeds, fenugreek and red chillies to brown colour. After they get cooled grind with the coconut to coarse paste. Don't grind to smooth paste.


Boil the Thur dhal with turmeric powder in a pressure cooker and keep aside.


Heat a kadai. Add 2 teaspoons of oil. Suate it with mustard seeds and fry onions, green chillies and tomatoes for a minute. 


Now pour the tamarind juice into the kadai. Add salt and turmeric powder. Allow it to boil till onions become soft.


Now add the boiled dhal and allow it to boil well.


Finally add the ground spices paste and mix well.Let it boil for 3 minutes. Garnish with curry leaves and coriander leaves and serve.

















Also see Kalyana sambar, Nellai Sambar, Tips to make perfect Sambhar




October 25, 2014

Tip# 69: How to make Easy Delicious Curry?

Most of us though we know they are good for health, we don't prefer them eating because of their sweetness or appearance. Kids prefer eating fried potatoes and other fried veggies and they reject vegetables like beetroot, cabbage and beans. While cooking curries as side dish for rice or Chappathis don't follow the same method for all vegetables. And also follow different methods for making same vegetable different time. Today from Smart Samayal Tips, get some ideas for making tasty curries easily. 


Note: Do the seasoning with cumin seed, fennel seed, pepper powder, clove cinnamon powder alternatively for the Vegetables to get new flavours everyday. 


Here is the recipe of Beetroot, Cabbage and Carrot Curry:


Cut beetroot, carrot and cabbage and boil them softly in a pressure cooker with minimum water and salt.


Heat a kadai with 2 table spoons of oil and saute it with 1/4 tea spoon of fennel seeds.

Fry a cup of thinly chopped onions and a green chilli in it. If green peas is available add that also with onion.

Add turmeric powder and the boiled vegetables and fry well.

Now add a tea spoon of coriander powder and 1/2 tea spoon of red chilli powder and fry till the powders coat well. 

Sprinkle a table spoon of corn flour or besan flour to absorb the water if any. Garnish with curry leaves.

The spicy mixed vegetable curry is ready.

This type can be followed for any combination of vegetables. Children like this flavor very much.

For different styles of curry see: Cabbage Ginger Curry, Carrot Capsicum Curry, Dry Cabbage sabji, Yam shallow fry, Yam curry, Snake gourd curry,
Spicy raw banana curry


Spicy Chutney for any Tiffin

Spicy chutney is made with the mixed ingredients like coconut, shallots, roasted gram, garlic etc.,. It tastes very well to have with any tiffin. Especially when you have hot idlis with this chutney it tastes very delicious. My mom makes this special chutney and it is the favorite chutney of her grand children. My son whenever travels, asks me to do this chutney as the side dish for idlis. You also try this and give me the feedback....


See also Ginger Tomato Chutney, Green Chutney, traditional Coconut Chutney and Spicy Onion Tomato Chutney

Ingredients for making Spicy Chutney:


Coconut 2 table spoons

Shallots (Small Onions) 10

Tomatoes ripened  2

Green chillies 2

Red chillies 2

Roasted gram 1 table spoon

Garlic pearls 5 or 7

Salt to taste

Tamarind (half of a small goose berry size)

Sesame oil  3 table spoons

Mustard seeds and curry leaves

Hing 1/4 tea spoon

(The above measurements serve 4 or 5 people) 

Method for making Spicy Chutney:

Except oil, curry leaves, hing  and mustard seeds grind all the above items to fine paste with little water and transfer to a bowl. Heat a pan with sesame oil and add the mustard seeds, After it splutters add curry leaves and hing and pour it on the chutney in such a way that the oil spreads across the bowl. Mix the chutney with the hot oil and serve.


October 24, 2014

Thengai Thogayal Podi - Chammanthi Podi (Roasted Coconut Chutney Powder)

Thengai Thogayal Podi is the very special side dish of our family and my mother in law makes it in a very special way. Though we all get the recipe from her and do it, we love her to make it and taste. This podi can be called as multi purpose podi since it serves as the side dish for rice and also Dosa, Idli and Uppma Kozhukattai. Mix it with hot rice and taste with pappad. It can be used for nearly 15 to 20 days. When you have this in stock, no need for grinding chutney separately. It is one of the best side dish for curd rice too...


October 23, 2014

Puli Inji Curry (Ginger & Tamarind Curry)

This is the traditional item of Kerala that tastes tangy and spicy with the combined taste of ginger, chillies and Jaggery. This zesty Puli Inji Curry is an extraordinary side dish for curd rice and also goes very well with dosa varieties.

Ingredients needed for Puli Inji curry:


Finely chopped Green chillies 1/2 cup

Finely Chopped Ginger 1 cup

Tamarind juice 4 cups

(from a Lemon size tamarind)

Jagerry powdered 2 table spoons

Sesame oil or Coconut oil 4 table spoons


 For sauteing:


Mustard seeds

Fenu greek 1/2 tea spoon

Hing powder 1/2 tea spoon

Red chillies 2









Method for making Puli Inji Curry:












Heat the pan with oil. Do the sauteing with the given items. Add green chillies and fry for 3 minutes in medium flame. Then add the ginger pieces and turmeric powder. After frying them together for 5 minutes add the tamarind juice. Add required salt. Let it to boil till the gravy thickens. Then add the Jaggery. When the oil separates from the gravy switch off the stove. It can be used for a long time like pickle keeping in refrigerator. 



October 22, 2014

MoreKoozh or More Kali (Buttermilk Spicy Porridge Cake)

Whenever I make this Morekoozh, I go back to the memory of my school days. My mom often makes Morekoozh as evening tiffin when we return from school. The slight sourness of buttermilk combined with the flavour of green chillies and hing gives an awesome feeling. Morekoozh is a pucca traditional tiffin of Tamil Brahmin Cuisine. It needs very less ingredients but tastes awesome. Gives a great break after any festival feasts....


October 20, 2014

Easy to make Thattais

Some years back I watched in a television channel, a famous chef doing Thattai with Rice flour and Roasted gram flour instead of Rice four and Urad dhal powder. Thattai is a traditional crispy snack that tastes yummy.  I tried it at home and came out very well. Easy to make and the thattais came out crispy and fluffy in golden brown colour. Try this easy Thattai for this festival season..


Vellai Thenkuzhal

Vellai Thenkuzhal is the most popular snack of Tamilnadu done on various occasions like Diwali, KrishnaJeyanthi and Karthigai. It is a very easy to make snack and can be given to even small children since purely made of rice flour without any hot spices. The white colour and melting crispness is the specialty of this popular snack.


October 19, 2014

Tip #68: Things to be made ready before making Diwali snacks

We spend time and money in making Diwali snacks. Festivals are joy, Festivals are fun.... Festivals are the occasions to join together, Share and enjoy. Eatables are dispensable part of our festivals. Little negligence and over confidence sometimes make our hard work in vain. Little concentration, planning and smart work will bring success in everything. Here are some Smart Samayal Tips to follow before start doing the snacks for Diwali:

1. Be clear about the quantity of snacks you need.

2. Always sieve the flour after grinding for any type of snacks. It is safe to use sieved flour.

3. Make your containers for storing the snacks ready. Wash them well neatly with soap and dry them out and keep ready early.

4. Always buy good quality of oil for frying. The sweets come out well if you use good quality of ghee.

5. Plan in advance what sweets and snacks you are going to make and make a list of ingredients to be bought and buy them atleat a week before. This will avoid running to the shop at the time of making the snacks.

6. If you are trying any new recipes, first do them in the very minimum quantity and if it comes out well, then go for it.

7. Do atleast any one savory and sweet in large quantity which will help you to distribute to your friends.

8. Start doing the long lasted snacks in the beginning and end up with short life sweets.

9. After frying one item, filter the oil and use it for the next item to avoid the resides settling on the snacks.

10. When doing the snacks, keep a small quantity of everything in small boxes for your family members and store the rest for Diwali in big boxes. Avoid putting hands directly into the sweet. Always use dry spoons.

11. Apart from all be careful while standing near the stove and working.Always stand few steps away from oil while frying. Drop the items into the oil Safely and gently to avoid hot oil spilling out.


12. Get small paper bags and boxes ready to give snacks and sweets to your dear ones!

Enjoy Cooking!!!!!


October 17, 2014

Tip #68: Different Raitas for Different Ocassions...

Raita is a curd or yoghurt based salad side dish that serves as the cool side dish for any variety rice and parathas. Onion raita is the most common and well known raita that we make for Vegetable Briyani. It is a very simple and easy preparation that can be made rich and tasty by adding fruits or vegetables to the beaten curd. Here are some Smart Samayal Tips to make tasty Raitas and relish:


October 16, 2014

Tip# 67: Eight Elegant Tips to Choose Right Tiffinbox

It is very important to make sure that the healthy lunch we pack stays fresh and nutritious.Many plastic lunch boxes are made of PVC which may contain contaminants like lead. So while buying plastic boxes buy a good quality ones that are BPA free. It is also important to get well designed and compact tiffin boxes that are user friendly and easy to carry. Here are some Smart Samayal Tips about how to choose right tiffinbox:

Look for a Tiffinbox that:

Keeps the food safe without getting spoiled for up to 4 to 5 hours.

Is colorful and attractive.

Is not too large. It is better to give two small ones than one large box.

Has space for a napkin and spoon.

Is air tight and does not open or leak in the bag.

Has separate compartments that allow for different foods to be packed without getting mixed.

Is easy to open and Handle.

How to Maintain it?

As soon soon as returning home wash it with soap and rinse well with clean water.

Don't keep it unwashed till nex morning.

Once in week during week ends after regular washing soak it in warm water for 30 minutes.

Have a separate small brush to wash the rims and gaps of the tiffin boxes well.

After washing the boxes, allow them to dry keeping them opened. Don't close them when they are wet.


October 13, 2014

Tip #64: Six Delicious Microwave Diwali Sweets

Do you feel that you don't have time to make sweets for Diwali because of your hectic schedule? Don't feel for it. Here are some simple sweets from Smart Samayal Tips which you can do easily in no time for Diwali and make your family members happy.


October 12, 2014

Tip #63: Nine Tips to make the Perfect and Tempting Bajjis

Bajjis!!!! Who can say no to this lovely, ever tempting, hot snack? It is one of the Traditional snacks of Tamil Nadu made on all special occasions and to guests. During my Childhood days In my Mother's house every year, the previous evening of the Diwali, Bajji is the mandatory snack. If Diwali doesn't fall on a new moon day (Amaavaasai), then Onion bajjis and Idli with Chutney, Sambhar and Okkarai is the Breakfast Menu. Here I give you some Smart Samayal Tips to make Fluffy, Tasty, Spicy and Perfect Bajjis.....


October 11, 2014

Tip # 62: Special Diwali Tips

With the help of these small changes from your regular way of doing Diwali Savories and Sweets, you will get a different tasty and crispy items.Try out these Smart Samayal Tips..


Thengai Theratipaal - A Tirunelveli Special Delight for Diwali

Theratipal is the  delicious dessert and the authentic sweet of the natives of Tirunelveli. We usually make Theratipaal with milk and sugar or Thengai theratipaal with coconut and jagerry. But here people do it with coconut, milk and jagerry or sugar. It tastes divine. Make this mouthwatering sweet for Diwali and relish its taste...


October 10, 2014

Chow Chow Thol Thogaiyal (Chayote Peel Chutney)

Chow Chow is the very common vegetable we often use in cooking. It acts as substitute to Ash gourd or Cucumber. We usually make Sambhar, Kootu, Curry out of Chow Chow. Adding this vegetable to morekuzhambu also tastes very well. When this vegetable is fresh its skin can also be used to make thogayal (Chutney) which goes very well with rice and Chapathis. When I make this for tiffins i add some onions and tomatoes. For rice I make it traditionally. Today I am giving the chutney for tiffin.


October 08, 2014

Spicy Onion Tomato Garlic Chutney


Onion Tomato garlic  Chutney is the delicious side dish for Idli, Dosa, Poori and Indian bread varieties. This Chutney can be made in large quantity and kept for a week also. This  chutney can also be used as the spread for the breads and dip for Crackers and Biscuits. I always use Shallots instead of Onions in this Chutney which gives a special flavour and mild sweetness to the Chutney. Fry any available chopped vegetable with little salt and add to boiled rice with a table spoon of this chutney and mix well to get a lunch box menu.This chutney is well suited for travel and helpful while we have guests since can be made in advance.


October 07, 2014

Tip # 59: Splendid Sprouts Tips

Sprouts are packed with  vitamins, minerals, enzymes, trace elements, amino-acids and proteins. Sprouts are one of the most incredible foods in our kitchen. Sprouts are used as from main ingredient to a garnish. Sprouts are a great snack for a crunchy munch. We eat sprouts either raw or cooked. 


Sprout People Organization says Sprouts are: 

a Snack and great in stir fry
for tortilla insides
unexpected on pizzas
a powerful juice source
a friend of soup
necessary on sandwiches
the breakfast of champions!


Some healthy and interesting Tips to use Sprouts in Regular diet from Smart Samayal Tips:


Instead of cooking or boiling, steam the sprouts and mix with cereals, fruits and nuts for breakfast.


Greengram sprout goes very well with grated Carrot, green chillies and tea spoon of lemon juice.


While you make beetroot curry add boiled black eye bean sprouts. (Kaaramani)


Boil the green gram sprout and add it with boiled potato, garlic ginger paste and chilli powder and mash them well to make spicy and healthy parathas. 


Mix the crunchy sprouts in hand together. Add finely chopped onions, chat masala powder, Tomato sauce and some puffed rice to serve as evening snack.

Make Sprouted pea dip by making the puree of boiled pea sprout, green chilli, butter, garlic. salt and onions in a food processor and seasoning it to taste. Use it for spreading on breads and crackers.

Take any sprout. Boil it. Make a puree of it by adding mint or coriander with your favorite spice and use as bread spread for healthy break fast.


Add grated cottage cheese or tofu with any sprout and use it for Chappathi roll or bread sandwich.


Add coloured bell peppers to sprouts and make salads to make it appealing and attractive.  

While making Pulao, Briyani, Fried rice or any Variety rice make it a habit to add a cup of any steamed sprout.


October 06, 2014

Tip #58: Upma , No More A Nightmare!!!!

Upma or Uppuma  is a common South Indian and Kannada breakfast dish, cooked from dry roasted semolina. Various seasonings and/or vegetables are often added during the cooking, depending on individual preferences. It is made nowadays from Sooji (rawa), Corn Rawa, Wheat Rava, Ragi Vermicilli etc., But  many people stay away from Upma for no reason. The reason is if it is not made with attention it becomes a sticky porridge, By following these Smart Samayal Tips and making some changes make Upma your families favorite breakfast....

1. Whatever Upma you make out of, first dry raost it in a pan for 10 to 15 minutes in low flame to make it non sticky.

2. Use Oil and ghee equally for sauteing.

3. If making the Upma with Onions and Vegetables, first fry the onions to transparent and then add the veggies.

4. Add green chillies and red chillies together for flavour and colour.

5. Make changes in the veggies used for Upma to make its appearance different every time.

    a, Onion and Tomato

    b. Onion, Tomato and Green peas

    c. No Onion and instead, Hing powder and grated coconut

    d. Onion, Carrot, Green bell peppers

    e. Onion , Yellow, green and red bell peppers

    f. Grated cabbage and Carrot with finely chopped beans

    g. Boiled sprouts like green gram and rajma

    h. Instead of chillies add crushed pepper corns and Cumin seeds 

        one day for a change.


6. After adding the sooji or vermicilli to the boiling water, stir them well and keep the flame low and close it with a lid for 15 minutes. Don't stir often.

7. Finally by adding a table spoon of lemon juice, you can add extra taste and flavour to the dish.

8. When you make vegetable Upma for kids, add a pinch of garam masala and 1 tea spoon of ginger garlic paste to oil while sauteing to make it spicy. But do this version rarely.


9. Garnish the Upma finally with roasted cashews, curry leaves and Coriander leaves to make it attractive.


10. Amount of water for each ingredient and brand differs. So don't follow the same 1:2 measure of water for all Upma varieties. Well roasted sooji needs 2 to 2/14 cups of water where as Vermicilli needs 1 1//2 cups of water and Ragi vermicilli needs only steaming and not boiling. Read the instructions given in the pockets of your brand every time.


Seppankizhangu Traditional Curry (Taro root Fry)

Seppankizhangu(Taro root) is also known as Chembu is used in different ways in our cooking. It is used in Morekuzhambu, Puliyitta Kuzhambu, Curry etc.,. In Kerala and Kanyakumari we get a special type of Seppankizhangu called as Paal Chembu which is good for making Olan. Now most of us make Seppankizhangu deep fry as side dish. Try this traditional curry also. Out of all these Seppankizhanu recipes, Chembu fry tastes delicious with coated spices. It is crispy in the outer and soft inside. When you have Sambhar rice and Rasam rice with this Seppankizhangu shallow fry........ You should taste and feel it!!!


October 05, 2014

Tip #57: Magical Mango Tips

There is a  saying in Tamil that the The Raw Mango (Maangai) feeds the food not fed by Mom. That is the taste of Rawmango is compared to  the food fed by Mom with love. Who can easily  refuse to have Raw mango pieces coated with chilli powder and Salt in Exhibitions? Apart from making Pickles, Raw mango can be used in different ways in our cooking and it can be used as a versatile cooking ingredient. Here are some Smart Samayal Tips to use Raw Mangoes:


October 04, 2014

Multigrain Vegetable Kuzhi Paniyaram


Kuzhipaniyaram is the dazzling Chettinadu cuisine. It is made both Spicy and Sweet and usually made with Rice and pulses. Kuzhipaniyaram is comfortable for breakfast, dinner or Snack. Children love to eat these small dumplings. People start loving it at the first bite and nowadays it is a mandatory menu in all restaurants. For a change I tried kuzhipaniyaram with different grains for the sake of my Diabetic Mother In law, which came out very well than the original one!!! Try this Multi Grain Kuzhipaniyaram for breakfast and start a healthy day....