Thursday, June 22, 2017

Mavina Hannina Rasayana - Mango Coconut Milk Smoothie

A menu for a festive occasion at home was planned taking our Chef Bhattru's suggestions into consideration. Bhattru's idea of serving Mavina Hannina Rasayana as a dip for the gorgeous Obbattus was a great hit among the invitees. An additional serving of the ambrosial Rasayana was also served for dessert on demand! Bhattru gave me the know how of the recipe and added that the delicious Mavina Hannina Rasayana could be served with Dosas and Shyavige too. Here is Bhattru's recipe for the mouth watering Mavina Hannina Rasayana.

Ripe and sweet mangoes - 3
Coconut - 1
Cardamom powder - 1 pinch
Sugar/ Powdered jaggery - to taste
Saffron strands  - a few
1. Wash, cut and scoop out the mango pulp into a bowl.
2. Squeeze out the juice from the seeds and save it along with the pulp.

3. Break and grate the fresh coconut and allow it to soak in a sprinkle of warm water for ten minutes.
4. Grind the soaked coconut gratings very smoothly adding little water.
5. Pass the ground coconut paste through a sieve which has fine mesh and collect the thick milk. Squeeze out all the coconut milk by pressing it with the back of a ladle or by using your clean hand.

6. Blend the mango pulp, coconut milk, sugar/powdered jaggery and cardamom powder together into a smooth and thick  Rasayana.

7. Top it with a few pre soaked saffron strands.
I excluded sugar/ powdered jaggery because the Raspuri mangoes I used were very sweet.


 Enjoy the Mavina Hannina Rasayana  chilled.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Terrific Trio Potato Saagu - Lemony Potato Gravy

Terrific Trio! Yes! That is what the colourful little potatoes are known as! A pack of tender and soft, tricoloured potatoes not only added  colour to the normal Potato Saagu but also imparted a unique flavour to the dish.

Here is how I prepared the picturesque Terrific Trio Potato Saagu for my son's family at Portland.

Terrific Trio Potatoes - 1 pack
Onion - 1 big
Cashew nuts - a few
Fresh ginger and green chillies (Chopped) - 1 tbsp
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Gram flour/Besan - 1 tbsp
Sesame oil - 2 tbsps
Salt - 11/2 tsps 
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Bengal gram dal - 1 tsp
Juice of one big lime
Coriander leaves for garnishing
1. Wash the potatoes thoroughly and cook them till they are just done with the peels intact.
2. Cool the potatoes and cut them into half.

3. Peel and chop onion into thin slices.
4. Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds.
5. When the mustard splutters add the Bengal gram dal and roast till it turns golden in colour.
6. Add cashew nuts and roast them till they change colour.
7. Add chopped ginger, green chillies and onion slices and saute till the onion becomes pink in colour.

8. Add asafoetida, turmeric powder and  gram flour/ besan and fry till it emanates a pleasant aroma.

9. Add salt and about three cups of water and keep stirring so that no lumps are formed.

10. When it starts to boil add the cut Terrific Trio Potatoes to the gravy and cook for a few more minutes stirring very gently.
11. When the Saagu is ready mix in the lime juice and garnish with chopped coriander leaves.

Enjoy the colourful and flavoursome Terrific Trio Potato Saagu with Poories, chapaties or dosas.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Chitra Amma's Kitchen in Top 100 Indian Food Blogs


Dear followers and inspirers,
Chitra Amma's Kitchen has secured a place in the list of
Top 100 Indian Food Blogs
Thank you for making this possible!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Mango Fried Rice


Mango season always brings in festivity and cheer along with it. Chefs come up with new lip smacking mango recipes while there are umpteen mango oriented snacks dished out by proficient bakers. How can one resist the magnificent mouth watering mango dessert spreads at restaurants? On the home front it is chutney and pickles galore where mothers and grand mothers are busy preserving them to last till the next season. Just when I was yearning to post a mango recipe for this season, my sister mentioned about the Thai Mango Fried Rice which she happened to relish recently. I used mango sauce (my own concoction) for my experiment, and my Mango Fried Rice turned out delicious!
Peeled and cubed half ripe mango - 1 cup
Green chilly - 1
Fresh ginger (peeled) - a fat 1'' piece
Garlic - 6 cloves
Powdered jaggery - 1tsp
Salt - 1tsp
Blend all the above ingredients together into a smooth sauce without adding water.
Rice - 1 cup
Peeled and cubed half ripe mango - 1 cup
Finely minced beans and carrot - 1 cup
Onion ( slivered ) - 1/2 cup
Sesame oil - 4 tbsps
Red chillies - 4
Coriander seeds - 1 tbp
Mango sauce - 1 cup
1. Wash and pressure cook rice with two cups of water and allow to cool.
2. Dry roast red chillies and coriander seeds and grind them into a coarse powder.
3. Heat two table spoons of oil and fry onion till it becomes golden brown.
4. Add the minced beans and carrot and stir fry till they are al dente.
5. Add half of the prepared mango sauce and keep frying till the vegetables become dry emanating a very pleasant aroma.

5. Add the half ripe mango cubes and fry for two or three more minutes.

6. Remove the cooked vegetables on to a plate.

7. Wash the same kadai and heat the remaining oil in it.
8. Break the lumps in the cooled rice and stir into hot oil.
9. Keep stirring till it is dry and each grain stands separate.
10. Add the remaining mango sauce and cook till it emanates a pleasant aroma.

11. Mix in the stir fried vegetables and cook on low flame till all the flavours blend well.
12. Blend in one table spoon of the ground chilly and coriander mixture.

 Piping hot sweet and sour MANGO FRIED RICE is ready.

 Enjoy with cucumber slices and fryums.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Mambazha Akkaravadisal - Rice And Mango Pudding

Mango season is now in full swing. 'Namma Ooru, is celebrating Mango Mela not only at Lalbag, but also in various other parts of the city. Not content with gorging on fresh ripe mangoes, foodies are introducing the King of Fruits into various lip smacking recipes too.The food sections of News papers and magazines are overflowing with gorgeous mango recipes. Here is a traditional Akkaravadisal recipe infused with sweet ripe mangoes to go with the season!

Rice - 1/2 cup
Ripe and sweet mangoes - 3 
Sugar - 1 cup
Ghee - 5 tbsps
Cardamom - 4
Edible camphor - 1/4 pinch
Cashew nuts - 1 tbsp
Raisins - 1 tbsp
1. Dry roast rice till it becomes reddish in colour.
2. Wash and pressure cook rice with 1 1/2cups of water until three whistles.
3. Extract the pulp from the mangoes and mash well.
4. Remove the cooked rice into a thick bottomed vessel and mash well.
5. Add the mashed mango and and sugar and cook them together on medium flame stirring all the time till it thickens.

6. Add ghee little by little and cook till it reaches a creamy porridge like consistency and switch off flame.

8. Powder cardamom and edible camphor together and mix into the Mambazha Akkaravadisal.
9. Garnish with ghee fried cashew nuts and raisins.

Enjoy the flavoursome Mambazha Akkaravadisal while it is warm and oozing with ghee.

Friday, April 28, 2017

Baragu Vegetable Salad - Proso Millet And Vegetable Salad

Our life styles have drastically changed in recent years and it is becoming more and more difficult to make a healthy and balanced diet on a daily basis. Many prefer to eat a quick  snack in the morning rush neglecting their health and dietary needs. Mixed vegetable salad with fresh vegetables, fruits, beans, nuts and seeds  makes a nutritious one bowl meal  which can be fixed quickly. Addition of Millets makes the salad a wholesome, nutritious and delicious meal in itself.

Proso millet/Baragu/Pani varagu - 1/4 cup
Mixed vegetables (chopped) - 2 cups
(I have used cucumber, onion, tomatoes, radish, capsicum and apple)
Peanuts (boiled) - 2 tbsps
Moong beans (soaked) - 2 tbsps
Sesame seeds (Roasted) - 1 tbsp
Coriander leaves(Chopped)
Olive oil - 2 tbsps  
Salt - 1/4 tsp 
Powdered jaggery - 1/4 tsp
Pepper powder - 1 pinch
Lime - 1/2
1.Wash and drain Proso millet.
2. Cook the millet with 1 cup of water adding a pinch of salt and 1/4 tsp of olive oil on low flame.
3. Cool the cooked millet and fluff it up.
4. Gently combine the chopped vegetables, moong beans, boiled peanuts and the cooked millet together.

5. Whisk together the remaining olive oil, salt, powdered jaggery, pepper powder and the juice of lime.
6. Pour it on the salad and shake well until it blends well.
7. Garnish with roasted sesame seeds and chopped coriander leaves.

Enjoy the  Baragu Vegetable Salad at any time of the day!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Mochai Murungai Kara Kuzhambu - A Spicy Gravy With Field Beans And Drumsticks

Kara kuzhambu is a traditional south Indian gravy usually prepared to go with Idlies, Dosas and Appams. I am always after people who are good cooks to obtain their recipes. My nephew's young wife is a very good cook and she is especially proficient in making Kara Kuzhambu. I was pestering her for the recipe from the day I landed at Portland.Though she gave me the know how, I some how never got the opportunity to taste her Kara Kuzhambu during our two months stay there due to our hectic schedule. The sweet girl was right on time for dinner with a bowl of Kara Kuzhambu on the eve of our departure to India. I was bowled over by the delicious and flavoursome Kara  Kuzhambu thoughtfully and lovingly prepared by her.


Coriander seeds - 2 tbsps
Cumin seeds - 1 tsp
Pepper corns - 1/4 tsp
Red chillies - 5
Asafoetida - 1 pinch
Curry leaves -  1/4 cup
Sesame oil - 1/ 4 tsp
Heat 1/4 tsp of oil in a pan and add coriander seeds, red chillies, pepper corns and cumin seeds. Roast till you get a flavoursome aroma. Add asafoetida and curry leaves and roast till the leaves become crunchy.Cool the roasted ingredients and then blend into a powder.
Field beans - 1 cup ( Fresh ones are best. When they are out of season pre soaked and cooked dried field beans can be used)
Drumsticks - 2 (Cut into 2 inch pieces)
Tamarind - a small plum size ball
Salt - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Chilly powder - 1/4tsp
Sesame oil - 2 tbsps
Mustard seeds -  1 pinch
Curry leaves - a few
Tomato - 1 big (Chopped)
Onion - 1 big (Chopped)
Garlic cloves - a few
Fresh coconut gratings - 2 tbsps
1. Soak tamarind in warm water and extract the juice.
2. Heat 1 tbsp of sesame oil and saute the chopped onion and garlic  till they become glassy.
3. Add the chopped tomatoes and cook till the tomatoes become soft and allow to cool. 
4. Blend the onion, tomatoes and garlic with fresh coconut gratings and the kuzhambu powder into a smooth paste.
5. Heat the remaining oil in a kadai and add mustard seeds.
6. When the mustard seeds splutter add the curry leaves followed by field beans and chopped drumstick pieces.
7. Add the tamarind juice, salt, turmeric powder and chilly powder, and cover and cook till the vegetables are done.

8. Add the ground tomato,onion and kuzhambu powder paste and cook till the masala blends well with the kuzhambu.

9. Add more water if the kuzhambu is too thick to adjust the consistency. 

10. Cook for two more minutes and switch off flame.

Enjoy the flavoursome Mochai Murungai Kara Kuzhambu with aappams, idlies, dosas or even with steaming hot rice. 

Monday, April 3, 2017

Kovil Kadambam - A Traditional One Pot Meal With Vegetables,Whole Grains And Lentils

When mixed vegetables, legumes, lentil and rice are cooked together with an aromatic blend of spices it transforms into a nourishing and flavoursome one pot meal known as KADAMBAM. It is a special neivedyam offered to Lord Vishnu at certain temples hence the name Kovil Kadambam. I happened to taste an authentic version of this delicious dish at a friend's place in Portland. Sudha, my young friend was very happy to share the recipe. Thanks to her, my first attempt won accolades from my family members. Ever since I have been making Kovil Kadambam regularly.

Rice - 1 cup
Split yellow pigeon peas/Tuvar dal - 1/4 cup
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Vegetables - Ivy gourd, Ladies' finger,brinjal, pumpkin, beans, carrot, chow chow (washed, peeled and chopped to make 2 cups)
A mixture of chick peas(kondai kadalai),black eyed beans(karamani), green gram(Pachai payaru) and red kidney beans(rajma) - 3/4 cup (Soaked overnight)
Tamarind - A small plum size ball (soaked and juice extracted)
Salt - 2 tsps
Split blackgram dal - 1 tbsp
Red chillies - 8
Fenugreek seeds - 1/4 tsp
Sesame seeds - 2 tbsps
Asafoetida - 2 pinches
Sesame oil - 2 tbsps
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Curry leaves - a fistful
Peanuts - 2 tbsps
1.Wash rice, tuvar dal and the soaked ingredients separately using the three pressure cooker utensils.
Add two cups of water to the rice, 1 cup of water and turmeric powder to tuvar dal, and very little water to the soaked ingredients.

2.Place the three separators one on top of the other and pressure cook up to three whistles.
3.Heat a drop of oil in a kadai and roast all the Sambar powder ingredients one by one till you get a very pleasant aroma. Powder the roasted ingredients in a mixer and keep aside.

4.Heat the remaining oil in the kadai and add mustard seeds.
5.When the mustard seeds splutter add the peanuts and roast till they crack.
6.Add asafoetida and curry leaves.
7.Add the chopped ivy gourd to the seasoning followed by the chopped ladies finger.

8.Add all the other vegetables one by one and saute together for two or three minutes.

9. Pour in the extracted tamarind juice, add salt and cook till the vegetables are almost done.

10.Add the cooked legumes and the cooked tuvar dal.
11. Blend in the Kadambam sambar powder and cook for a few more minutes.
12. Reduce heat, add the cooked rice and stir well so that no lumps are formed.

KOVIL KADAMBAM is ready to be offered to Lord Sri Rama. Share and enjoy the nutritious and flavoursome prasadam with family and friends.

Monday, March 27, 2017

Beetroot And Mango Ugadi Pachadi- A Festive Relish With Beetroot And Mango


Beetroot Sweet Pachadi occupies a special place in all festival menus. Adding beetroot to the traditional Ugadi Pachadi makes the Pachadi more delicious and colourful.
Raw Mango (peeled and cut into pieces) - 1
Beetroot - 1
Powdered jaggery - 1 1/2 cups
Salt - 1 pinch
Turmeric powder - 1 pinch
Sesame oil - 2 tbsps
Mustard seeds - 1 pinch
Red chilly (broken) - 1
Cashew nuts (broken) - 1 tsp
Neem flowers (fresh or dry) - 1 pinch
1. Pressure cook the beetroot, peel and blend into a paste.
2. Heat one table spoon of oil and saute the beetroot paste till the raw smell goes and keep aside.

3. Cover the mango pieces in water and cook till they are soft, adding turmeric powder and salt.

4. When the mangoes are done add the sauteed beetroot paste and powdered jaggery.

5. Stir and cook till all the ingredients blend into a jelly like mass.
6. Heat the remaining oil and add the mustard seeds.
7. When the mustard seeds splutter add the broken cashew nuts.
8. When the cashew nuts turn golden in colour add the broken red chillies and neem flowers.
9. Pour the seasoning onto the Pachadi.

Enjoy the colourful and flavoursome BEETROOT AND MANGO PACHADI along with your HAPPY UGADI lunch.

Friday, March 24, 2017

Millet Mor / Millet Majjige - A nourishing Thirst Quencher With Millets and Buttermilk.


 Millets were the oldest food grains used by the ancient civilizations of the world. Millets had virtually disappeared into oblivion giving way to heavy rice and wheat consumption.With the onset of a new type of affliction called life style diseases, Millets  have made a glorious come back as a great   saviour. My family loves the nutty aroma of Millets which is used in the preparation of Pongal, Upma or even Sambar 'rice'. The write up about Millets in The Hindu says all about the benefits of eating it rough and staying healthy.
Inspired by the article  I here in present a nutritious Millet Buttermilk / Kirudhaanya Majjige / Sirudaniya Neer Mor for the Panaka - Majjige/ Panakam - Neermor season.

Mixed Millets - 1/4 cup
Curds - 1 cup
Salt - 1 pinch
Curry leaves - a few
Cumin seeds (crushed )- for garnishing
1. Wash the millets thrice and drain.
2. Soak in 3/4 cup of water for 20 minutes and pressure cook until three whistles.
3. Cool the cooked millets and blend it in a mixer adding curd, salt and curry leaves.

4. Blend with 3 or 4 more cups of water and refrigerate.
5. Pour into a tall glass and garnish with a pinch of crushed cumin seeds.

Stir the buttermilk to bring up the millets to the fore and enjoy a dash of cooked chewy millets in every sip of the refreshing buttermilk savoured.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Mangai Vattal - Sun Dried Raw Mangoes


My Mami is an enthusiastic cook and she loves to prepare traditional recipes and also likes to try out new dishes even now. Come summer her farm house used to bustle with vadam and pickle making activities. She has taught me to make various traditional South Indian dishes in which she excelled. When one of my followers requested for Mangai Vattal recipe I naturally surrendered to Mami and requested her for help! With undiminished zest even in her eighties, she gladly taught me the procedure to make Mangai Vattals.


Fresh raw mangoes - 2
Salt - 1/4 cup
(I used organic crystal salt)
1.Wash,wipe and dry the mangoes thoroughly.
2.Cut them lengthwise into finger-size pieces.
3.Add salt and mix well, cover and leave it overnight.

4.The next day shake the mango and salt mixture well, or stir well using a dry spoon.
5.Leave it covered for one more night so that the mango pieces soak well in a marinade of their own juice and salt.

6.On the third day remove the soaked mango pieces into a tray using a slotted ladle. Reserve the juice and cover it with a lid.
7.Spread out the pieces in a tray and leave it in the sun till the evening.

8.In the evening bring back the mango pieces and immerse them in the reserved juice and leave it covered overnight.
9.Repeat the procedure for three days till the entire juice has been absorbed.
10. Leave the well soaked mango pieces in the sun to dry for three days.


When the Mango Vattals are dried thoroughly you can see crystallized salt clinging to the pieces.
Store the Mangai Vattals in a clean and dry jar.

Relishing Curd rice with Mangai Vattal in summer is a heavenly experience. Vattals prepared in bulk can be stored for one year until the arrival of the next mango season. When mangoes are not in season these vattals are washed in warm water and then used for preparing Vattal Kuzambu or Sambar. Mangai Vattals can also be used to make instant pickles when fresh mangoes are out of  season.