Sunday, July 23, 2006

On a Blogging break

As Iam leaving to India for good tomorrow I will be on a blogging break for probably a month or two.I will start blogging once I settle down completly in chennai. Until then bye from Sumi's Kitchen.
Happy blogging everyone.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Pepper Rasam/ Milagu Rasam with Homemade Rasam Powder.

"Rasam sadham" is the common term used in tamil for simple plain white rice mixed with Rasam.In authentic tamil cuisine, white rice and rasam are served as the final course of the meal. The reason for this being that rasam aids in quick digestion.
Usually the basic rasam is prepared by the combination of pepper, tamarind and other spices.But then there are different kinds of rasam's which can be had as the main course like paruppu/dhal rasam, lemon rasam, pineapple rasam etc.These receipes are prepared using the main ingredient in their names + basic rasam.

As kids, we always jump into rasam sadham skipping the main course such as dhals/sambhar or kulambhu.Sometimes when we want to give our Mom a days rest (which she doesnt want to ) we would request her make us just rasam.Whenever I go on a long trip and spend days together by eating fast foods like burgers and pizza, my heart starts aching for the hot steaming white rice and rasam.I get the same feeling while travelling from India- US and vice versa.On such times, I can't wait to go home and make a pot full of spicy rasam.

According to me the definition for 'comfort food' is the food that comes to your mind or the food that you ache for, when you are deprived of homemade food for days.With that in mind my first choice for FMR - comfort food would be 'Pepper Rasam'.

Here's a simple receipe for Pepper Rasam.


3 cups of tamarind juice by soaking and squeezing lime size tamarind in water (or) 2 tsp tamarind pulp dissolved in 4 cups of water.
2 tsp pepper powder
2 tsp jeera powder
1 tsp turmeric powder
4 cloves garlic smashed and roughly chopped
1 medium size tomato
1/cup chopped coriander/cilantro leaves
salt as needed

For tempering:

1 tsp mustard
1 tsp jeera seeds
1 red chilly
a pinch of hing
few curry leaves


Take the tamarind juice in vessel.Add all the powders, garlic and salt to it. Squeeze the tomatoes by your hand and mix with the liquid well.Check for salt and spice level.Add the coriander leaves and keep aside. Take a kadhai or sauce pot and add 2 tsp of oil. To this add the tempering ingredients one by one.When the mustard pops add the tamarind juice mixture to it.

Reduce the heat the medium and look for the bubbles.The trick for good rasam lies at the last stage.My mother tells me that the rasam should not boil at any cost.When the first stage of boiling bubbles appear like a foam as shown in the above picture,we should switch off the stove and take the pot away from the stove and close with a lid.Allow it to rest for atleast 15 mins. At this stage your house will be filled with the wonderful aroma of the rasam.

Serve it piping hot with white rice, papad and egg curry as a side dish...hmm.. yummy :)

Some Tips:
Pepper-Jeera Powder
If you are making rasam regularly then its better to make the pepper -jeera powder at the ratio of 1:2 at home.Make it a coarse powder.Add a tblsp of this powder instead of adding the pepper and jeera powder seperatly
Another form of home made rasam powder :
5 red chillies
1/4 cup of coriander seeds
1/2 cup of pepper
1 cup of jeera
2 tblsp of chana dhal
2 tblsp of toor dhal
Dry roast all the above spices, till you get a nice aroma, grind them into a coarse powder, store in an airtight container.Add 1 tbsp of this powder to the above rasam along with the other powders mentioned in the recipe.The Rasam becomes even more spicy and it greatly enhances the taste.

I would like to thank each and everyone of you who have tried this recipe and left such wonderful feedback in this blog as well as in email. Thanks for you support and love readers.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Recipes from Other Blogs

Hello folks, here's a post I wanted to do for a long time.I wanted to blog about the receipes that I have tried from other blogs.I have been composing this post for more than a week now.Yesterday I came across priya's post on the same thought.It was so beautiful that it made me speed up mine.I feel that the only way to actually appreciate other fellow bloggers is by actually trying some of their receipes that we like.
Blogging has become such a passion for me that I cannot pass a single day without taking a peek at some of the blogs .I am sure many of you are like me. Dont you agree with me?.
In this process we try atleast 2 0r 3 new receipes each month, but we dont take the time and patience to blog about them. So going forward I have decided to post about the receipes that I have tried from other blogs once every month, probably the last week of every month.Those who are interested can join me in this effort and do the same in their respective blogs.It would be fun isnt?

Here goes the first of my series "Tribute to fellow bloggers".

Like many of us I started blogging after getting inspired by
Indira's Mahanandi receipes and pictures. I have tried as many receipes as possible from her website.Iam posting some of my favourites here.

I came to know about this blog world, when I accidently came across 'Mahanandi' while searching for a
"stuffed brinjal receipe". I was totally taken back by her brinjal receipe.
Though my picture is not great as hers, the taste of the dish was absolutely wonderful.We enjoyed it very much. This is my first ever food picture. :)

A absolutely fabulous receipe about Ridgeguard -
"Ridgeguard potato and carrot curry" again from Mahanandi, till then I have been using this vegetable only with moong dhal like a kootu.So this receipe was a complete variation for me.

The next comes my favourite Avaccado chappati's from GM's Spice is Right' didnt expect this to be so soft and buttery.
Did my part of the research from internet and found that its a good fruit/vegetable as it contains the necessary fatty acids.If you are counting calories you need to limit the number of chappatis.

The next one is Garam Masala's 'Methi Chick peas' . I have already blogged about it here.But still wanted to mention it here, as its truly delicious ( and I dont have to chop up onions..yayyy!!!).

Thats it for this week's tribute.Will definitely post about some other great receipes from other blogs (of course with pictures) in my next months tribute.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Chettinad chicken curry

Chettinad chicken is one of my all time favourites among chicken dishes.
Chettinad is a small part in southern tamilnadu which is famous world over for its unique cuisine.The flavour of freshly grinded chillies, coriander and fennel, coconut and all other spices gives it a fiery taste.Once you taste any chettinad dish you will never forget the taste of it.
I adapted this receipe from one of the Tamil cookbook magazine and it turned out great.


Chicken 1.5 lb - cleaned and cut into medium sized pieces
to marinate - 1 tsp chilli powder, 1 pinch of turmeric and some salt

2 medium size onions
8 garlic cloves
1 inch ginger
1 medium size tomato chopped

few sprigs of curry leaves

To roast and grind:

1 inch cinnamon
4 cloves
8 red chillies
2 tblsp coriander seeds
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
2 tsp shredded coconut


Clean the chicken pieces and marinate them by adding the chilli powder, turmeric for atleast 30 mins.Cut 1 onion into small pieces, peel the garlic and ginger.Fry these in a pan and grind them to a smooth paste.Roast all the spices without oil, finally add the coconut and grind them together to a smooth paste

Chop the remaining 1 onion and the tomatoes.

Take 3 tsp of oil in a pan and add the curry leaves, chopped onion and fry well.
To this add the onion-ginger-garlic paste and fry till the raw smell leaves.
Now add the roasted spice paste and fry well.To this add the chopped tomatoes, 1/2 tsp of turmeric and fry well till the oil leaves the sides of the pan.Now add the chicken pieces and stir well so the masala coats the chicken well. Add salt and check for the spice level.
Add 1/2 cup of water and close tightly with a lid.Reduce the heat to medium and allow it cook for 10 - 15 mins. Add 1/2 cup of chopped coriander leaves and mix well before switching of the stove.

Serve it hot with Rice, chappati, puri's or even Idli's

Updated with some new pictures that I took when I made this curry recently.

Check out my other interesting chicken recipes below:
 'Chettinad Chicken Varuval / fry'
Chicken/Muttton Kuzhambhu

Monday, July 10, 2006

My Version of Fish Cutlets

Since my travel date to India has been confirmed, Iam trying to clear up my pantry by exhausting the supplies and limiting my shopping just to vegetables.The Starkist tuna cans has been sitting in my pantry for more than two months now.I thought of completing my long pending quest to make fish cutlets as we had some friends over last weekend.The last time I remember making this dish was for some potluck party 2 years back in seattle.I learned this receipe from one of my friend who was my roommate back then..
By now you would have known many versions of Cutlets however Iam posting my version of it which is much quicker to make.Do try it and let me know your feedback.


2 small cans/packets of Tuna.
1 large potato or 2 medium size potatoes
1/2 medium size onion chopped very finely
1 tsp chilli powder
1/2 tsp garam masala
2 tsp ginger garlic paste
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
some curry leaves finly chopped (op)
2 tsp lemon juice

2 tsp maida dissoved in 1/2 cup of water
1 cup bread crumbs
Oil for frying.


  • First boil the potatoes in microwave.Wash in water, poke it with a fork or knife in 2 -3 places and the cook in high for 5 mins or you can cook it in pressure cooker for 3 whistles.Remove the skin when cooled.
  • Next open the tuna packets or can, discard the liquid transfer it to a microwavable dish and cook covered for 2 mins.(cover and cook , otherwise the fish will splatter)
  • When the fish and potatoes are cooled mix them together and mash well without any lumps.
  • To this add all the other ingredients except the maida and bread crumbs.
  • Mix well and check for salt and spice level.Make small lemon sized balls out of it.
  • Heat the oil in a kadai for deep frying.Spread the bread crumbs in a plate.
  • Take one ball dip in the maida liquid,flatten the ball and then roll over the bread crumbs.The bread crumbs should coat all sides of the cutlet. Drop it in the hot oil and deep fry. Continue with other balls.
  • Place them in paper towel to drain excess oil before transfering to a serving tray.
The maida liquid should be watery rather than like a paste.Most cutlet receipe call for egg white for binding, but maida water works well for me.If you are short of flour , you can also use besan flour to make this liquid, that too works just fine.Its just used for the bread crumbs to stick well. Do not add water to the fish-potato mixture at any point.Always use unsalted plain bread crumbs.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Semiya kesari

Though Iam not a person who likes sweets, my hubby loves anything sweet.But somehow I was in the mood for making something sweet today.Had a quick nap in the afternoon and got up to make some kesari(as its the quickest and simplest to make).When I opened my kitchen closet I was disappointed to see my Rava(sooji ) box empty.I dont know how I forgot that!!! Anyway I started browsing through the cupboard, with all other alternate sweet receipes(thanks to my fellow bloggers ) running through my mind.Thats when I saw the vermicelli packet lying unnoticed in the back, along with other pasta boxes.My eyes brightened with relief cos I can make the same kesari using vermicelli and dont have to break my mind for another sweet receipe.

Here is the receipe

2 cups of Vermicilli
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup ghee
1/4 cup chopped cashews
3 tsp raisins
a pinch of kesari powder
2 elaichi powdered

Fry the cashews and raising in atsp of ghee until golden brown
In the same pan fry the vermicilli in another tsp of ghee until golden brown.set aside.
In a kadai add 4 cups of water and bring it to rolling boil, add elaichi and a pinch of kesari powder to it.Then add the vermicelli to the boiling water and cook till the water is absorbed.
Now add the sugar and mix well for 10 mins.
Finally add the remaining ghee, cashews and raisins and mix well.

Note : Adjust the amount of sugar, and ghee as per your need.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Simple Cabbage Porial

Here is a simple cabbage porial receipe.I made this as a side dish for the black eyed peas kuzhambhu, but got time to post it only now.I think this is how everyone else makes day to day vegetables like cabbage, carrots, beans need not elaborate on that.However I would like to cook the vegetables such that they do not lose the colour and crunchiness.Most vegetables lose their vitamins when its overcooked.
Cabbage tastes delicious when cooked with crunchy moong dhal

2 cups of shredded cabbage
2 green chillies
1 medium onion chopped
1 tsp mustard
2 tsp urad dhal
1 tsp channa dhal
few curry leaves

Add 1 tsp of oil in a pan.When the oil is hot add the mustard , urad dhal, channa dhal, and curry leaves. Now add the onions and chillies and fry well.
Now add the cabbage and salt and mix well. Sprinkle some water probably a handful and then reduce the flame to sim and allow it to cook in its own steam for 10 mins.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

Black eyed peas kulambhu with drumsticks and egg

This is my entry to the JFI event conducted by Sailu for the month of July.

My mom makes this kulambhu atleast once a month especially on saturdays.Back at home she used to soak the dry black eyed peas overnight and then cook it in the morning, whereas over here its much easier to make this kulambhu using the frozen ones readily available.The addition of boiled egg and drumsticks to this makes it more good.But those are optional you can always omit the eggs part if you are a vegetarian.Some other vegetables that could be used are raw plantain, brinjal, or potatoes.
To take it up one more notch, you can also add dried fish or dried shrimp to this kulambhu.


1 cup black eyed peas(dried or fresh frozen)
10 pieces of drumsticks
10 small onions or 1 medium sized onion sliced thinly
1 medium sized tomato chopped finely
3 garlic cloves sliced thinlly
Juice of lemon sized tamarind soaked in 1 cup water.
1 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp coriander powder
1/2 tsp turmeric powder.
1 tsp curry leaves powder (op)
1/2 tsp fenugreek powder (op)

2 boiled eggs

for tempering:
1 tsp mustard
2 tsp urad dhal
1 tsp channa dhal
1/2 tsp fenugreek seeds
few curry leaves


Add 2 tsp of oil in a thick bottomed vessel, when the oil is hot add all the tempering ingredients.
when the mustard pops add garlic and curry leaves, to this add onions and fry well.
When the onions are tranlucent add the tomotoes and fry well.
To this add the black eyed peas , turmeric, chilli powder, coriander powder salt and fry till oil seperated.Now add the drumstick pieces and mix well. To this add the tamarind juice , check the taste for salt and karam.close it with a lid and allow it to boil for 1o mins or until the kulambhu becomed thick. Make slits on the boiled egg and add to the kulambhu at this stage and add the curry leaves powder, fenygreek powder mix well and boil for 2 mins and switch of the stove.

The kulambhu should rest atleast for an hour before its served.
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