Poondu/Garlic Murukku

This is a very flavorful murukku which is my kiddo's favorite and whenever I ask him for any snack his reply will be murukku(mukkuru thats how he pronounces).As murukku is a favorite for kids thought it would be a good choice for kids back to hostel food.
This one is made with roasted gram dhal(pottukadalai) powder or  gram flour(kadalamaavu/besan) along with rice flour.Garlic and red chilly paste is the highlight of this murukku which gives a very nice flavor.My mom uses curry leaves along with the garlic and red chilly but I didn't have fresh curry leaves I avoided.Here is the recipe..............................


Rice flour/arisimaavu3cups
Hot oil1tbs
Garlic/poondu 4-5cloves
Redchilly/varamilagai 5nos.
Oilfor frying

  • Grind the garlic and red chilly to a fine paste and keep it aside.Heat a pan with oil and keep it in a medium flame.
  • Sieve the flours and take it in a bowl,add salt to it.To this add the ground paste,hot oil,butter and mix it to a dough with water.
  • Fill the murukku press with the prepared dough with the single eyed star disc.Squeeze it into a circular motion and make the spirals as shown on a plate or paper or a rolling board.
  • Drop the spirals in the hot oil and cook it in a medium flame till the sizzling sound ceases or till golden.Drain it on a paper towel.
  • Store it in an airtight container after it cools completely.


  • This murukku doesn't need cumin seeds or sesame seeds,as the flavor of the garlic is enough.
  • Grind the garlic and red chilly to a very fine paste otherwise pass it through a strainer if it is not grind properly.
  • Instead of making spirals it can be directly squeeze into the oil.

Check out my fellow bloggers running in Blogging Marathon #25.

Neikadalai/Fried Channa Dhal(Spilt Chickpeas)

This is one of my childhood favorite and used to buy this one from the local shop for my evening snack.
For the day 2 of Blogging Marathon#25 I made neikadalai,this is a very simple recipe and needs only few ingredients.Now off to the recipe.....................


Channa dhal/split chickpeas/kadala paruppu/11/2cups
Red chilly powder/milagi podi1/4tsp
Turmeric powder1/4tsp
Salt 1/2tsp
Oil for frying
Curry leaves/karivepillai1 sprig(optional)

  • Soak the dhal in the water for 4-5 hours,drain the water completely and spread it on a towel for 10 minutes.
  • Mix the red chilly powder,turmeric powder and salt,keep it aside.
  • When it is damp enough fry it in the oil in a medium flame till it becomes crispy.
  • Remove it from the oil and drain it on a paper towel.
  • Sprinkle the red chilly powder and mix it well.
  • Neikadalai is ready.


  • The dhal needs to be soaked completely otherwise it won't fry properly in the oil.
  • Instead of red chilly powder black pepper powder can aslo be used.
  • If you are using curry leaves fry it in the oil in the end and add it.
  • The amount chilly powder can be increased or decreased according to personal preference.
Check out my fellow bloggers participating in Blogging Marathon #25.

Aloo Bhujia/Potato Sev

Back to hostel food for kids is the theme I chose for the final week of Blogging Marathon #25.As theme is kids based I wanted to share some kid's friendly snacks which has a longer shelf life.
Aloo bhujia is a crunchy snack which is almost like the omapodi(thin sev) in which cooked and mashed potato is added to the besan flour and deep fried.I also added some fried peanuts and cashews for extra rich taste and mint juice for added flavor.Here goes the recipe for crunchy aloo bhujia..................................


Potato2nos.(medium size)
Besan/split chickpea flour/kadalamaavu2cups
Red chilly powder11/4tsp
Turmeric powder/manjal podi 1/2tsp
Garam masala powder 1/8tsp
Mint leaves(optional)10-15 leaves
Saltto taste
Oilfor frying

  • Pressure cook the potato for 2 whistles,mash or grate the potato and set it aside. 
  • Crush the mint leaves with a tsp of water in a mortar and squeeze the juice and keep it aside. Heat the oil in a pan and keep it in a medium flame. 
  • In a wide mouth bowl take the besan,to this add the mashed potato,mint juice,salt,chilly powder,turmeric powder and a tbs of hot oil.
  • Knead it well without adding any water,the moisture in the potato will be enough to make a soft dough. 
  • Fill the murukku press with the dough with the sev blade and squeeze it in the hot oil in a circular motion. 
  • Cook it in a medium flame till both sides get crisp.Continue for the rest of the dough. 
  • Then fry the peanuts and cashews separately in the hot oil and keep it aside,to this sprinkle a pinch of salt,chilly powder and garam masaal powder,mix it well. 
  • Now crumble all the sev to one inch piece and add the nuts,mix it well. 
  • Store it in an air tight container. 

  • The bhujia tastes very well on the next day as all the flavors get incorporated well. 
  • Do not add water while mixing the flour otherwise it will become watery. 
  • Grease your palms with little oil if the dough is sticky if needed grease the murukku press also.
  • If the potato is mashed properly grind it in the blender to a fine paste.

Check out my fellow bloggers running in Blogging Marathon #25.

Matar Mushroom Masala

As mushrooms are good source of protein I include in our diet atleast once in a week and never forget to get a pack of mushrooms while doing grocery.
Most of dinner would be either roti and some curry or idly and chutney,my son loves to have some gravies for roti rather than dhal so I prefer to make curry.
Last week got a pack of mushrooms and fresh green peas and made this delicious curry which goes very well with roti and paratha.Lets get into the recipe........................


Button Mushroom1lb(450 gms)
Fresh Green peas/pattani/matar3/4cup
Onion1no.(medium size)
Tomato2nos.(medium size)
Ginger/inji 1 inch piece
Garlic/poondu 4 cloves
Green Chilly(chopped)2nos.(optional)
Red chilly powder/milagai podi11/4tsp
Coriander powder/dhania podi1tsp
Garam masaal powder1/4tsp
Turmeric powder/Manjal podi1/4tsp
Thick Coconut milk1/4cup
Coriander leaves(chopped)2tbs
Cumin seeds/jeeragam1/2tsp


  • Wash and clean the mushrooms,pat dry dry them.Trim or remove the stalk and quartered the mushrooms.
  • Cook the green peas in the microwave or boiling water with a pinch of salt.Saute the mushrooms in a tsp of oil in a pan and keep it aside.
  • Now add a tsp oil in the same pan and saute the onion,ginger and garlic then goes in tomato with a pinch of salt.Grind the mixture to a fine paste once it becomes cool.
  • Now in the same pan heat the remaining oil and crackle the cumin seeds,add the green chillies and ground paste.Stir and cook it till the oil separates.Then add the chilly powder,coriander powder,turmeric powder and salt,stir it well till everything blends.
  • Add little water and cook it now add the green peas and cook it for a boil.Then add the sauteed mushrooms.
  • Cook it for 2- 3 minutes,then add the coconut milk and allow to boil for a minute or two.Finally add the coriander leaves and garam masala powder.Mix it well and put off the flame.
  • Matar mushroom is ready.

Serve it with roti or paratha.

  • Instead of green peas,soaked and cooked dried peas can be used,but flavor will be very nice wth the green peas.
  • I used the coconut milk powder for the coconut milk you can use the thick fresh coconut milk.
  • Add garam masala powder in the end to get a nice flavor.
  • The ginger and garlic can be replaced with 2tsp of ginger&garlic paste.

Besan Toast/Eggless Savory French Toast

Besan Toast is one such dish has so many avatars in my kitchen for a healthy breakfast,weekend brunch,lunch on a lazy afternoon or a good snack for a rainy evening.
To make it more healthier I add veggies such as grated carrot,chopped spinach or cabbage depending on the availability.Off to the recipe.............................


Bread 4 slices
Gram flour/besan/kadala maavu1/4cup
Onion(finely chopped)1/4cup
Tomato(finely chopped) 1tbs
Spinach(finely chopped) 2tbs(optional)
Green Chilly(chopped)1nos
Coriander leaves(chopped)1tbs
Red chilly powder/milagai podi1/2tsp
Chaat masala powder1/4tsp
Cumin/jeeragam powder1/4tsp
Salt1/4tsp+a pinch


  1. Mix everything together except oil and bread in a bowl with 1/4cup of water. 
  2. Heat a griddle  or pan and toast the bread both sides till it is crispy.Keep it on a plate.
  3. Now spread the mixture on one side,add oil on the griddle and place the bread with the mixture side in the bottom.Cook it in a medium flame by pressing the bread with the spatula so that it cooks evenly.
  4. Flip it to the other side and cook it for a minute.
  5. Serve it immediately with tomato ketchup.


  • I usually spread the mixture for one side only as my family prefers little crispy.If you want you can use it for both the sides.
  • Toasting the bread is optional as we want crispy I toast it.
  • If I am making it for kids I replace the green chilly with the red chilly powder and instead of oil butter/ghee can be used.

Check out my fellow bloggers recipe in Blogging Marathon#25.

Banana Nutella Sandwich

Nutella the name itself makes drool,these days nutella has become our family favorite especially my kiddo loves it a lot.Today's recipe for the Blogging Marathon#25 is Banana Nutella sandwich,though I have sweet tooth I don't like to have anything sweet for breakfast but this one is exceptional.There is no specific recipe for this sandwich,it can be made with 2 or 3 slices of bread with generous nutella.Now on to my version of sandwich recipe which is for single serving........................


Wheat/White bread3 slices
Granulated sugar/brown sugar2tsp
Banana(sliced)1no.(medium size)
Nutella 1tbs or as needed
Maple syrupas needed


  1. Heat a griddle in a medium flame,once it becomes hot drop a tsp of butter and place the bread slices. Flip it to the other side when it becomes golden,apply the remaining butter to the bread slices and cook it till golden. 
  2. Now sprinkle some sugar to both sides of the toasted slices and cook it till the sugar melts and caramalize. 
  3. Place the toast on a place,spread the nutella on a toast and cover it with another toast and keep the sliced banana.Close it with another toast. 
  4. Slice in diagonally and serve it immediately. 
  5. Top it with maple syrup and sliced banana. 


  • If you are using two slices of bread,after spreading the nutella top it with sliced banana.
Check out my fellow bloggers running in Blogging Marathon#25.

Milagu Aval/Rice Flakes Flavored with Black pepper - Easy breakfast recipe

This month is the silver jubilee edition of Blogging marathon...yes its 25th edition and I am so happy to participate in it.Since the time I started blogging I participate in BM with few months break due to my lil one's arrival.For this edition I chose breakfast on the run theme and today's recipe is an easy and simple to make dish with rice flakes,flattened rice/aval.
Usually my mom makes aval upma for breakfast when she is ran out of idly and dosa batter but I totally forgot that dish after I move to U.S.Here most of the days our breakfast would be either cereal, bread or oatmeal.But when my parents were here we had the South Indian breakfast such as idly and dosa as they are comfortable with that.
One day when we ran out the batter mom immediately made the aval upma in 10 minutes and it tasted out of the world.She made the aval upma like regular upma but I wanted to try it in a different way with black pepper as we make the milagu sevai with rice noodle and one of my friend also suggested to make it this way.I made milagu/pepper aval for the first time and it came out delicious and tastes excellent along with the sip of hot tea,now to the recipe......


Thick poha/aval/rice flakes11/2cups
Mustard seeds/kadugu1/4tsp
Urad dhal/uluttham paruppu 1tsp
Channa dhal/kadala parppu 1tsp
Green Chilly(chopped)2nos.
Coriander leaves(chopped)2tbs
Curry leaves(chopped)2 sprigs
Dried Red chilly1no.
Saltto taste
Oilas needed

Grind to a coarse powder
Black pepper/milagu11/4tsp
Cumin seeds/jeeragam1tsp


                   Wash and soak the aval/rice flakes in enough water for 5 minutes and grind the cumin seeds and black pepper to a fine powder.After 5 minutes of soaking squeeze the excess water from the aval and keep it aside.

Start by heating the pan with oil splutter the mustard seeds,add urad dhal,channa dhal,green chilly,red chilly and curry leaves one by one.If you are using cashews add it and toss.At this stage add the coarsely ground cumin and pepper powder to it and mix it well.Now add the soaked aval and salt,mix it well.
Sprinkle 2tbs of water.Cook it covered with a lid in a medium flame for 5 minutes.Finally add the coriander leaves and mix it well.
Serve it hot.
  • Do not soak the aval not more than 5 minutes and use thick variety,the thin variety will become mushy.
  • Instead of cashews,peanuts can be used.

Check out my fellow bloggers running in Blogging Marathon#25.

Egg Roll/Indian Style Wrap

Egg roll is a life saver for me whenever I have to cook lunch only for myself or feel very lazy to cook.This is a healthy and filling roll which is a popular street food of Kolkata and learned this from one of my Bengali neighbor.My son is also an ardent fan of this egg roll and love to have with  generous tomato ketchup.All you need is some plain wheat parathas or rotis and egg,if some frozen parathas are there then work will be done in minutes.Off to the recipe.................................

Whole Wheat Paratha/roti/2nos.
Onion(thinly sliced)1no.(medium size)
Black pepper powder 1/2tsp
Red chilly powder 1/8tsp
Green Chilly(chopped)2nos.
Coriander leaves(chopped)2tbs
Tomato ketchup/sweet&sour sauce4tsp
Saltto taste


  • Whisk the egg along with salt,black pepper powder,red chilly powder and keep it aside.
  • Heat a griddle and meanwhile take the onion,green chilly,coriander leaves and a pinch of salt,mix it well.
  • Now coat the pan with a few drops of oil and pour the egg mixture and drizzle a tsp of oil,immediately place the paratha/wrap and cook it.
  • Flip it to the other side and cook it for a minute.Remove it from the griddle and keep it on a plate.
  • Place some onion mixture  and drizzle the ketchup,squeeze a dash of lemon and roll it.
  • Wrap it with the parchment paper or aluminum foil in one end.
  • Serve it immediately.


  • Thinly sliced tomato and cucumber can also be used.
  • Store bought Malaysian parathas can be used as wrap.
  • I used one egg for each paratha but it can be increased to two. 
  • Instead of wheat flour,all purpose flour can be used to make paratha or both can be mixed and made.

Valentine Cup Cakes/Hidden Heart Cup Cakes-Guest post by Sangeetha

I am so happy to share a guest post by my blogger friend sangeetha who is the first friend after starting my blog,initially our conversation started via email and FB then over the phone.Really I am very lucky to get a friend like Sangeetha,when I started the blogging I didn't know so many things and asked her help for so many things like a kid.Without any hesitation and lots of patientce she clarifies the doubts clearly.We used to talk over the phone almost every other day atleast for an hour regarding the kids,blog,photography as we both bought the DSLR same time and same model.These days I am busy with the lil one couldn't talk as much as before but once in a week we talk over the phone and chat in the FB.
When I asked her to do a guest for my blog,she immediately agreed without any second thought and asked me What type of recipe you want?
Though she has 500+ recipes I love the way and efforts she takes to bake cookies,breads and cake.So I wanted some baked recipe and she came up with the idea of Valentine cup cakes with hidden heart.

Now Present you Sangeetha in her own words.....

Nalini is one of my close friends in the blogging World. I am so happy to do this guest post for her. She has a lovely space with more delicious recipes which are presented well with inviting pictures. Her authentic south Indian recipes are more notable, have tried few recipes from her space and totally loved it. I love her Eggless Cookies and have bookmarked to try.
We are phone friends for more than a year, yes..we shared our numbers and used to talk almost daily but after her lil' princess arrival it reduced to once in a week. Most of the time our conversation begins with Blogging, Blogging & Blogging. We also discuss about photography, pictures, presentation this n that. We both have same DSLR so its easy for us to share and clear any doubts.  She is a very friendly and caring person. I am so happy to have her as one of my close friends. 
And one more happy thing to to share that today she is Celebrating her life's special moment and wishing Her a very Happy Anniversary. God Bless U & Ur Family with all health & Wealth. Good Luck Nalini!
Now coming to the recipe, Valentine Cupcakes/Hidden Heart Cupcakes with Vanilla Butter Cream Frosting. As its a Valentine Month, this is perfect and easy choice to treat your Valentine in the special day. I happened to see a video on you tube, making hidden heart cupcakes. I was so much impressed and wanted to try it. For this recipe, I used the Basic Vanilla Cake and Vanilla Butter cream frosting. The cake turned out so good but the hidden heart didn't come out perfectly becoz since i forgot to push the heart down, so on baking it raised to top and also  i forgot to mark on the liners to cut the cake to get the perfect heart shape,when i cut it wrong way it appeared like a pink blob :( But i was happy with the output(taste wise)and my kids loved the cake with frosting. 
Makes About 6 hidden heart cupcakes
  1. Vanilla Cake Batter (click here for the cake)
For Frosting
  1. Softened Butter 1/2 cup
  2. Confectioner sugar 1 and 1/2 cup
  3. Milk or cream    2 tbsp
  4. Vanilla extract 1/2 tsp

  • Make Batter as per the recipe.
  • Then take about a 1/3 of the batter and place in small bowl Add red food color to the batter to get a nice shade of pink. Cover the plain batter with cling wrap and refrigerate until use.
  • Put pink batter in a square baking pan and bake at 350 F for about 20 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from pan and allow to cool completely.
  • Cut out heart shapes from the pink cooled cake with a 1"cookie cutter.
  • Line muffins pan with cupcake liner.
  • Place 2 tbsp of the plain batter in the bottom of a cupcake liner in a cupcake pan. Place one pink cake heart pointy side down in the center of the batter making sure to push it all the way down to the bottom.
  •  Cover the top of the heart with about 1-1 1/2 tbsp of additional plain batter.
  • Bake the cupcakes at 350 F for about 20 minutes until a tooth pick inserted in the plain batter comes out clean.
Once the cake cooled completely, frost the cake.
In a mixing bowl, using electric mixer cream butter until light and fluffy. Beat in confectioner sugar,vanilla and milk. If needed add milk to get desired frosting consistency.
Then pipe frosting and decorate with desired tips n design, if needed sprinkle sugar sprinkles.

The entire recipe can make 8" round cake.
Got more left over Pink batter cake.


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