Uppu cheedai

Yesterday, Saturday, September 12, 2009 was Sri Jayanthi. Amma & I had made a multitudes of bakshanams and they all came out just YUMMY. Here is the recipe for Uppu Cheedai.


Arisi (Rice): 3 aazhaku (or cups, if you will)

Ulutham parupu (Urad dal): 1. 5 tbsp.

Vella yellu (white sesame seeds): 1 tbsp

Thirithina Thengai (Shredded coconut): A handful

Uppu (Salt): To taste

Vennai (Butter): Lime sized.

Perungaayam (Asafoetida): A sprinkling.


Clean & soak the rice in water for about an hour.

Then drain water, spread rice on a clean cloth and let sit for about 30 minutes.

At the end of this time, powder the rice to ‘maavu padam’ (flour-like consistency) in the mixie.

Sieve the flour using a rice sieve (maavu jaladai) into the cloth, being careful to avoid lumps.


Dry roast the rice flour on a small flame until it is warm to the touch. (For vella cheedai, however, the maavu should become reddish), set aside and let it cool to rom temperature.


While waiting for the rice flour to come to room temperature, dry roast the ulutham parupu (urad dal) to reddishness, and like the rice flour, mash the dal in mixie, sieve and set aside.


To the rice flour, add butter, urad flour, coconut, perungayam and enough salt to taste. Slowly add water, a little at a time, mix all the ingredients together, until it forms a chappati-like ball.

Spread a clean, dry cloth. Pinch out small amounts of the flour mixture, shape into cheedais and drop them into the cloth. The cloth will absorb any excess moisture in the cheedais and prevent them from bursting when dropped in the oil (something for which cheedais are notorious for).

Heat oil, and deep fry cheedais until done.



Homemade hair oil:

Hair is every woman’s crowing glory. Unfortunately, it is probably the most abused of all of our possessions. The effects of the environment when combined with artificial treatments to alter the NATURAL texture and structure of our hair results in fragile and  damaged tresses. Oil treatments come in very handy in order  to combat the destruction wrought by these abuses. Hot oil treatments can also fight dandruff and combat hair loss. There are a great many hot oil treatment recipes available and all of them do a very good job conditioning and cleaning your scalp.  With time, countless applications, and due diligence, your hair will once again become your greatest glory.

The following is a tried-and-true family recipe, used by my grandmother and her sister. Both women had luxurious, long, lustrous dark hair, as do their daughters, my mother & aunts. However, I cannot guarantee that it will work for your type of hair, so try this at your own risk and discretion.


Hibiscus leaves
Hibiscus flowers
Coconut or Olive oil.

Heat the leaves and flowers in oil of choice, until oil is smoky but not boiling. Alternatively, heat the oil to smokiness and then drop in the leaves & flowers. Remove from stove, and let the mixture sit until it has cooled to room temperature.

Then, pour it into a dark container and let sit for about 2 days in a cool, dry place. The two odd days that the mixture is let sit is to ensure that oil absorbs all of the nutrients present in the hibiscus flowers and leaves.

Strain and bottle oil for hair treatment, discarding the flowers and leaves.

Note: Although my grandmother and her sister used coconut oil, I have been using olive oil as my oil of choice, and it seems to work just as well for me. This is just a matter of personal preference. My grandmother & great aunt did not have access to olive oil but I do.  I believe each is as good as the other but I just find olive oil to be less greasy (again, just a personal opinion). Also, one of my cousins lets the mixture sit for as long as a WHOLE WEEK before straining and using the oil, but I have only been letting it sit for two, or tops, three days. You may wish to experiment with this, too, to see if the length of time the mixture is let sit makes a difference in the outcome or not.

Back again

Now that my son is three months old, I finally get some respite and can get back to blogging again. I know that I’ve said that many times before – but I just haven’t gotten around to doing what I intended to do – Having a fully functional blog dedicated to cooking, gardening, diet & fitness and general life tips. My husband tells me that I must be the one person in Blogosphere who has a HUGE collection of recipes and other tips that are still collecting ‘dust’ waiting to be published. I now even have a functional camera to capture half-way decent recipe pictures, but for some reason, am just too darned lazy to get around to doing it. Being sleep deprived with a young infant poses some unique problems, too.

I am going to get started with publishing my collection of home made beauty treatments. Hope you all enjoy it.

Photos for recipes

I am removing the already few photos that I have up as their quality is abominable. I will be making all of these recipes over the weekend and putting up appropriate, better quality pictures soon.

My MIL’s version of a very well known (and much loved) delicacy!

And, to be very honest, I actually started off with intending to make pesarattu yesterday, but due to some time constraints (reading a screaming, hungry preschooler), I stopped at the payatham parupu dosa stage. Not only is this dish a “quick fix” (fermentation is not required prior to actually making the dosa) but also it is very healthy!

For the dosai batter:









Soak payatham parupu (moong) with all of the above ingridients except the cumin overnight (8 to 10 hours). The next morning, add water, a little rice flour and grind to a dosa consistency. Although, as mentioned above, fermentation is not a must prior to actually making the dosas, I like to stick the batter in the oven for about an hour or so.

Heat dosa tava on high, then when sufficiently hot, reduce heat to medium. Ladle a spoonful of batter onto the tava, and spread in concentric circles, beginning from the center and going in a clock wise direction. When the batter has spread out, drizzle the edges with oil and sprinkle the onions on the surface of the batter. When the underside is cooked (typically 3 minutes at medium), flip dosa over to cook on the other side, sprinkling more oil along the edges.

Remove from tava in about 2 minutes or so.

Inji chutney:

1/2 cupful of chopped ginger

2 tbsp urad dal

1 tbsp cumin seeds

1/4 cupful of freshly grated coconut

2 long red chilis

1/4 cupful of curd

Sprinkle of hing.

2 – 3 curry leaves

Salt to taste.


Heat about 2 tbsp oil in a pan. When the oil is hot, add the mustard seeds. When the mustard sputters, add the cumin seeds. When the cumin seeds turn red, add the urad dal. After the dal turns golden brown, add all of the other ingredients, except the curd and the hing, to the pan. Roast all the ingredients together for about 2 minutes, then transfer to a mixie. Add the hing and the curd and blend to a smooth chutney. Add salt to taste.

Serve with hot dosa.  YUMMY.


I haven’t been online in a while but came here to vent about the lack of  ethics of some bloggers. One of my recipes – the Godhumai Pongal one – is my mother’s ORIGINAL creation. This recipe has ALSO appeared on other sites – ironically, also on Sulekha where Amma first published it a few years ago. I do not mind people reprinting recipes they find elsewhere, PROVIDED they have the courtesy to ask the recipe creator first. One blogger was kind enough to acknowledge that she found the recipe on my weblog when publishing it on her own, but another simply tweaked my mother’s recipe ever so slightly to actually submit to a contest, including the “it is supposed to be good for diabetics” comment!!!! Well, I know for a fact that it *IS* good for diabetics because my father is one and the recipe is the result of my mother’s tireless efforts to come up with healthy but tasty dishes for him!!

I am all about sharing the knowledge but, please, can we be considerate of the recipe creator and acknowledge her creativity???? Even though the recipe is my mother’s, I specifically ASKED for her permission before publishing it on my own blog. Naturally, it bothers me when strangers lift recipes off of someone else’s website and pass it off on their own. A few twists here and there (such as 4 whistles as opposed to 3  or 3 measures of water as opposed to 2.5 or dropping the ghee to make the final product ‘healtheir’ — these twists DO NOT MAKE THE RECIPE YOURS).

This person knows who she is and I hope that she will be more considerate of others at least in the future. I am sure she wouldn’t like to see HER original concoctions appear elsewhere with minute twists and turns, and I hope she is as considerate of others in the future.

This is a link to Madhurakaasi’s Jagam Pughazhum Punya Kadhai, a famous song from the movie “Lava Kusa”. Music is by KVM and the song is sung by Susheela and Leela. Enjoy!!!

Jagam Pughazhum