Pasi Paruppu Sundal / Moong Dal Sundal

Around 2PM on Saturday, We sat together for having a lunch, the husband got a call from his friend. It was an invite for us to visit the Golu that is been set up in his house.

We planned to go his home that day evening. But unexpectedly the roads were empty and shops were shut due to the conviction of political on that day. So, to be on safer side, we planned to go for the golu the next day. Late in the evening yesterday, we went to the Golu. We have been offered by the welcome drink and then some homemade snacks.

I always fascinated to see the Golu and few interesting themes every year, starting from the chettiyar and his shop to the god and goddess idols kept in the top most rack. I like to keep Golu, but since I don't aware of the customs and rituals to be followed, there was a bit hesitation to do it. On top of it, it is really difficult to set up golu every year, do pooja consistently being in a full time job.
Things apart, I  limited myself just by visiting golu and temples nearby during the navarathiri days. The golu visit do not complete without a thamboolam(a gift bag) which consist of prasadam and some gifts. The prasadam is something which they prepare everyday to offer god as neivedhyam. Sundal which is synonymous with navarathiri, make an entry atleast for a day among nine days.

Unlike other sundal recipes, Moong dal sundal doesn't require a soaking time and you can make it in no time. Only thing you need to concentrate on it is not to over cook or under cook it. Just do the seasoning and offer god. I personally like to add some grated fresh raw mango with this sundal for the light tartness. Try it!

Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 3


Yellow split moong dal / Pasi Paruppu - 1/2 cup
Water - 3 cups
Salt - to taste
Oil - 2 teaspoons
Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Curry leaves - 1 spring
Green chilli - 1 nos, finely chopped
Dry red chilli - 3 nos., broken into 2
Grated Fresh Coconut - 3 tablespoons


1) Dry roast the yellow moong dal till it slightly changes in its colour (it shouldn't be brown) and release nice aroma. I generally roast it before storing it in jars every month after buying it.
2) Boil 3 cups of water in a big saucepan. Allow to roll boil.

3) When it is roll boiling, reduce the flame to low and add the roasted yellow moong dal and salt. Make sure to reduce the flame, otherwise the water starts boil over when you add moong dal.
4) Remove the foam that form on the top of the water using ladle and discard it.
5) Allow the moong dal to cook for 5 minutes. Based on the moongdal quality the cooking time varies. It took exactly 5 minutes for me. Make sure not to overcook or undercook it.

6) Drain the water using a colander. Let the dal be in colander for few minutes to drain out the water completely.
7) Meanwhile, take another pan and heat oil in it.
8) Add mustard seeds and allow it to splutter.
9) Add curry leaves, green chilli and dry red chillies. Stir and for dew seconds.
10) Reduce the flame. Pat the sides of the colender by your hand to separate the moongdal grains. Add to the pan and gently stir it.

11) Finally add grated fresh coconut.
12) Mix well and serve warm.


1) Cooking the moongdal correct is the tricky part here. So stir gently and watch out the time properly.
2) You can also soak moong dal for some time for quick cooking. Without soaking it took just 5 minutes for me to cook it. I used roasted moong dal for cooking this sundal. Make sure to roast the moong dal, otherwise it becomes mushy quickly.
3) Use slit greenchilli instead of finely chopped, if you don't like to have spicy moong dal sundal.

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Sabudana Kichadi / Sago Kichadi / Javvarisi Kichadi

Like how prepare the semiya upma, we prepare sabudana upma too. It was one of our breakfast on earlier days when I started cooking.

After being exposed to the food blogging, and the travel to various places of india due to my work, I came to know the similar kind of kichadi is being considered as one of the fasting food in several parts of India. But my way of preparing it would be a very simple and like a plain upma without any vegetables and with onion. But I started making this kichadi later point of time with only peanuts. It is not because I like peanuts but for a change in our regular routine.

I love peanuts(I am the exception from my family) and happily eat it in any edible form. My family dislikes it because of the slight sweetness it gives. Usually I prefer eating and like to include all kind of foods in my diet. Be it a raw salad or deep fried. These days I am not even buying sabudana not for any specific reason but only if it is required to prepare a kheer. I use the leftover sabudana for making this kichadi or vada based on the quantity I left with.

Sabudana kichadi is one of the fasting foods during the navarathiri days since it is a high calorie food. So, I though it is the right time to post this recipe. I make this kichadi without potato but my friend who is from Nashik suggested me to add the boiled, cubed potatoes to make it as traditional Maharashtra dish. But I have seen in various food blogs, the raw cubes potato is added at the initial step and cooked as a process of making kichadi instead of cooking it separately. Whatever maybe the procedure, it is up to the individual and one can choose either of this two method whichever is comfortable.

Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Soaking Time: Over night or 5 hours
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2


Sabudana / Tapioca pearls / Javvarisi /Sago - 1 cup
Potato / Aloo - 1 no, medium size
Peanut - 1/3 cup
Oil - 1 tablespoon
Mustard seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Cumin seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Curry leaves - 1 spring
Green chilli - 3 nos., finely chopped
Ginger - 1 inch piece, grated
Grated Fresh Coconut - 2 tablespoons
Salt - to taste
Lemon Juice - Juice from 1/2 lemon


1) Wash sabudana in water for 2 or three times. Soak it in 1/2 cup of water or just above the level to immerse the sabudana. Soak it for over night or 5 hours.

2) In the next day morning, sabudana would have absorbed all the water and became slightly big.
3) Pressure cook the potato and peel the skin. Cut into cubes. Saute the peanuts in medium flame and peel off the skin. Pulse it to a coarse powder using mixie.

4) In a pan, heat oil. add mustard seeds, cumin seeds and curry leaves.
5) When all the added ingredients crack, add the green chilli. Saute for a few seconds.

6) Add cube potato and grated ginger. Saute till all incorporates well.
7) Add sabudana and sprinkle the salt evenly. Mix well and cook for few minutes. If the sabudana looks dry, sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of water. Sabudana becomes glassy and transparent when it is cooked. Make sure to stir gently at frequent intervals to cook it evenly and to avoid burning at the bottom of the pan.

8) Add powdered peanuts and grated coconut. Mix well.

9) Just before serving, squeeze the lemon juice and serve hot.


1) If you have soaked the sabudana in more water, the next day, drain all the water and dry it in a clean kitchen towel, to absorb the excess water.
2) You may need to stir now and then to make sure all the sabudana gets cooked well and transparent.
3) Add water only if you feel the sabudana is dry while cooking.
4) I used large sabudana and soaked it over night. The soaking times varies as per the size and type. So try this kichadi with the sabudana what you usually buy.
5) 1/3 cup of peanuts is right amount for this recipe. However, you can add more or reduce it as per need. If you reduce it, feel free to add little sugar for the right taste.

Sorghum and Cowpeas Sweet Salad / Cholam and Karamani Inippu Sundal

So, what are the navarathiri special recipes this year? asked my colleague during lunch break. Just realized navarathiri is fast approaching and I haven't prepared anything special for the festival. We don't have a custom of organizing golu at home, but prepare sundal on each day to offer god. My colleague's question was ringing in my mind and decided to cook something for the upcoming festival.

Later on the day, when I was speaking to my mom about it, she mentioned about the sundal we used to have when we were school going kids. As she would remember she has been eating it more than a decade and recalled the sweet memories behind it. My mom's family is big and she would tell the story of how my grandma managed to prepare a big meal for all her siblings.

During the fasting days (mainly during Tamil month 'Puratasi'), she would prepare some fasting foods and this sundal is one among them. Both sorghum and cow peas had been harvested in their field itself and that would be the one of the reasons behind this combo as my mom recollected.

She also said how my grandma managed to cook sorghum without pressure cooker and generally it takes long time to cook. My mom has always reminded me of long lost recipes. Thanks to my mom and my grand mom for this healthy no oil sundal recipe.

Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
Soaking Time: 8 hours or overnight
Cooking Time: 15 minutes
Serves: 2


Great Millet / Sorghum / White Cholam - 1/4 heaped cup
Red black eyed beans / Cowpeas / Karamani / Thattampayar - 1/4 cup
Grated fresh cocont - 2 tablespoons
Green cardamom - 2 nos., crushed
Jaggery - 1/4 cup, grated


1) Wash sorghum and cow peas separately. Soak it in a separate bowl with a cup of water in each bowl.
2) In the next day morning, you can see both sorghum and cow peas had doubled in its size after absorbing the water.
3) Drain the water from sorghum first and transfer it to the pressure cooker. Add a cup of water and pressure cook it for 3-5 whistles. The number of whistles vary based on the cooking time of the sorghum. Few organic brands cook quickly whereas few takes long time and need more number of whistles.

4) After 3-5 whistles, turn off the stove. Let the steam suppresses well. Remove the lid and add the cow peas to it. Cover and cook again for just 3 whistles.

5) Once the steam suppresses well from pressure cooker, drain the water completely using the colander. Let it be for few minutes to drain out all the water content from it.
6) Transfer the sundal to a mixing bowl. Add greated coconut, crushed green cardamom(or cardamom powder) and grated jaggery. Mix well.

7) Easy, Healthy Sundal is ready. Serve in bowls.


1) Sometimes, the sorghum may not have cooked even after 5 whistles. So check whether it is cooked or not, before adding the cowpeas. If it has not cooked well, allow it cook it for few more whistles and then add cow peas.
2) Do not cook more than 3 whistle after adding cow peas.

Curryleaves Lemonade

My office has several branches across city. We, relocate from one branch another depending on the project requirements. When I joined there a few years back, I was asked to meet a person at a specific location where the joining formalities were taken care. After my documents were scrutinized, I was asked to come after lunch. I was shown a block which housed the restaurant.

As I was walking towards to it, saw a big queue till the entrance of the block. I guessed, it would be for getting food as it is the peak time for lunch. but I was little hesitant to stand in the queue without knowing the queue is what for. I moved slowly inside and found the queue was for ordering sugarcane juice and lemon soda.

I am not a great fan of carbonated drink but I was tempted to buy a glass of sugarcane juice. Here in Chennai, we can get sugarcane juice from roadside stalls where the vendor squeezes the juice from the cane by passing it through a crusher unmindful of the dust that gets into the machine from the buses and cars that pass by.

The machine that was at the office premises was neatly maintained. It was covered by green colored wooden boards on all the sides leaving just a hole to insert the cane and a pipe to bring out the juice that was pressed from the sugarcane. I went to the bill counter and paid for couple of roti's and sugarcane juice. After I was done with roti, I went to stand in the queue. My turn quickly came, but the sugarcane juice was all over by that time. I was left with no choice and had to satisfy with a lemon soda. It was the first time I ever tasted a lemon soda.

It was not bad and as I sipped the soda, I saw a banner placed nearby. It listed different types of juices for sale. I found mint and coriander leaves were used widely in many lemon based juices. I wondered why don't we add curry leaf to any juice and see how the taste would be? The thought process was implemented and the result was even liked by elders back at home. Instead of having a plain lemon juice, it is good to have it with curry leaf - a simple way of having raw curry leaves.

I prepared and clicked this drink as one of the entry to IFBM cocktail contest but after seeing Siri's post on Curry leaves Mojito, I haven't posted it to avoid duplicate entry and hence it is coming out now.

Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 10 minutes + cooling time
Serves: 2


Fresh curry leaves - 1/4 cup, tightly packed, few leaves for garnishing
Lemon juice - 1/4 cup
Granulated sugar - 1/3 cup
Water - 2 - 3 cups
Ice cubes - 1 cup or as required


1) Dissolve sugar in a cup of water. Boil it to make a sugar syrup. Once done, refrigerate it.
2) Mix lemon juice with sugar syrup. Keep it aside.
3) Grind curry leaves with 1 tablespoon of water. Add it to the lemonade. Mix well and keep refrigerated till you serve.
4) Just before serving, fill halfway the serving glasses with ice cubes and crushed curry leaves.
5) Fill the rest of the glasses with prepared lemonade drink. Serve chill.


1) If you are not able to prepare sugar syrup, just mix sugar in water and stir till it dissolves well.
2) Adjust sugar and water according to the sourness of the lemon juice.

Eggless Condensed Milk Chocolate Cake

Chocolates and celebration go hand-in-hand, be it birthday or wedding or any celebration, I have never seen a event go without chocolates. During college days, I used to hate chocolates and anything that use cocoa. I remember that I never used to go for chocolate cakes during my friends birthday celebrations. Those days everyone used to wonder as how can I hate chocolate.

All this stopped when I started making my own chocolate cake. If I remember exactly, the days before my marriage, I stayed with my cousins and I used to cook food at my home everyday. Those days I had a keen interest to try out new dishes because my cousins were there to eat and praise me however good/bad the dish may be. In fact they are one of  the reasons for igniting my passion in cooking. Baking cake was one of my aspirations those days. I learnt that one can bake cake even without an oven when I spotted a Pillsbury cake mix during a grocery shopping. Words can not describe my happiness and vanilla Pillsbury cake mix got a place in my grocery list.

I started preparing my 1st cake having my sister read out the instructions in the pack and two cousins eagerly waiting and watching the process of making. It was all set and the cake went to the pressure cooker. Finger crossed and waited for 30 minutes to cross. I remember none of us hadn't do anything that time other than watching the pressure cooker. :-)

oh ho.. the time had come to open the pressure cooker. The cake came out well and it was spongy too. but the color was not appealing to eat. I latter learnt that it can happen only in a oven. I was a bit disappointed and my sister suggested that I should try a chocolate cake mix where color wouldn't play bigger role. I tried and the cake came out in the color I desired and from that day I became a fan of chocolate cakes.

If I start talking about my cooking experience, it would keep dragging and thi spage won't be enough. So, Let me stop here and come to today's recipe- Eggless condensed milk chocolate cake. Yesterday was my MIL's birthday and this is the first time I baked a cake for her. She normally doesn't prefer sweet recipes. I thought she would like this cake as it has only mild sweetness from condensed milk and moreover it can be eaten as a snack time cake without frosting. But those who like sweet, frosting is a must.

Basic Information:
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Makes: 1 round  8inch cake


For Cake:

All pupose flour / Maida / Plain flour - 1 and 1/2 cup
Cocoa powder - 3 heaped tablespoons
Baking powder - 1 and 1/2 teaspoon
Baking soda - 3/4 teaspoon
Sweetened Condensed milk - 3/4 cup
Oil - 3/4 cup
Water - 1 cup
Vanilla extract - 2 teaspoons

For Frosting:

Chocolate orea butter cream frosting - 1 heaped cup (Recipe here)
Chocolate Sauce - as required
Sprinkles - as required
Chocolate vermicelli - as required


For the Cake:

1) Preheat the oven to 180C for 15 minutes. Grease the 8inch round baking pan with butter first and the dust it with flour. Keep aside.
2) In a wide plate/mixing bowl, mix all the dry ingredients(All purpose flour, Cocoa powder, Baking powder and Baking Soda)  and sift it well for even mixing.

3) In another large mixing bowl, mix condensed milk, oil, water and vanilla extract.
4) Add the sifted dry ingredients and mix well. If there is any small lumps just ignore them.

5) Pour the cake batter to the prepared cake pan and bake it in the oven for 30 minutes or until the skewer inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.

6) Keep the cake pan in a wire rack for 5-7 minutes and then invert to cool completely.

For the Frosting:

1) Once the cake is cooled completely, apply the chocolate oreo butter cream frosting on it. I applied only on the top of the cake.
2) Pour the chocolate sauce on top of it and pat it evenly.
3) Sprinkle the edible sprinkles and chocolate vermicelli. Slice and serve.


1) Since the recipe doesn't call for sugar, good to have this as a tea time cake. But to get a balanced taste, add the frosting with more sugar.
2) You can use the full tin of condensed milk for this recipe. If using, reduce the water quantity to 3/4 cup.
3) Frosting is completely your personal preference. It can be of simple butter frosting or chocolate ganache or cream frosting.


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