Paal Pidi

I have (actually – I had!) an obsession for keeping the house organized and clutter free. Nothing was to be left outside, everything was to be pushed inside the already bulging almarahs. Only the dining table and the sofa set is tolerated in the hall. That too because these cannot be shoved inside a wardrobe, else I might have tried!

The news paper left in the table for a moment, the car my son was playing with or the towel left in the chair for a second – everything goes inside the minute I see it.

But the wardrobes are messy. Really messy! I am fine as long as the mess is inside and cleaned periodically.

Like my messy wardrobe, my bookmarks folder too has grown really long and messy. I was cleaning up the list, when I came across this Paal Pidi recipe from Ramya’s space. It fitted perfectly into the ‘Something Sweet’ theme for this week’s Blogging Marathon and so here it is.

One link off the bookmark list and only a thousand more to go!


  • Rice flour                                   :        1 cup (Idiyappam flour/ Puttu Podi)
  • Boiling Water, as required
  • Coconut milk                           :        1 cup (can be replaced with milk)
  • Milk                                             :        1 cup
  • Sugar                                          :        1/4 – 1/2 cup, per taste


  1. Boil water with a pinch of salt. Pour it into the rice flour little by little, mixing with a spoon as you go.
  2. Once it all comes together, kneed for a minute to get a soft dough. Its the same as the one for Ela Ada.
  3. Take a small pinch of this dough, no more big than the size of a cherry, and roll into a small ball. Repeat until the rice flour dough is used up.
  4. Steam these pidi in an idli cooker for 10 – 15 minutes, till they are cooked through. If the balls are big, it may not cook in the middle, so keep the size of the pidi small.
  5. In a wide thick bottomed pan, mix coconut milk, sugar and whole milk together and bring to a boil. Add the steamed pidi into it and and let it boil for 10-15 minutes till it thickens a bit. Taste in between and add more sugar if required.
  6. Add half a tsp of cardamom powder, if desired and serve hot or cold, decorated with nuts.
  7. You can make this with coconut milk or whole milk alone or use a combination of both.

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Scones : The Daring Baker’s Challenge Jan 2012

When someone is given 26 days for a recipe, and that too one which takes less than twenty minutes to prepare from beginning to end and requires less than five ingredients, you would expect it to be ready as soon as possible. But no, not me.

Audax Artifex was our January 2012 Daring Bakers’ host. Aud worked tirelessly to master light and fluffy scones (a/k/a biscuits) to help us create delicious and perfect batches in our own kitchens! 

I kept postponing it, thinking worriedly about the last time I made these. Hubby nearly broke his tooth and kiddo used it as paper weight and I ended up throwing them in the dust bin. They went down make a huge ‘clink’ sound, like a stone would have made.

I finally pushed my worries aside and made these sweet fruit scones this afternoon, on the day it has to go live! But the recipe was short, sweet and had crystal clear instructions that even I couldn’t mess it up! But if I had paid a bit more attention, I wouldn’t have forgotten to fold the dough to get some layers and height. But still, I am happy with the batch I made.

Even though I made it in the last minute, all of us enjoyed this treat immensely. Thanks Audax, you really rock!


  • All Purpose Flour           :       1 cup
  • Baking Powder                 :       2 tsp
  • Butter,cold                        :        30 gms (2tbsp)
  • Cold Milk                            :        1/2 cup
  • Salt                                        :        1/4 tsp
For sweet version
  • Raisins                                :        1/3 cup
  • Sugar                                   :        1 tbsp


  1. Pre heat the oven at 240C.
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt three times together.
  3. Cut the cold butter into small pieces and rub it into the flour till it resembles fine bread crumbs.
  4. Make a well in the center and add all of the milk in one go and mix with a spatula or flat knife to bring it all together.
  5. In a floured surface, take this dough out and kneed for 4-5 times. Fold the dough from both ends to the center and press and do it once again.
  6. Flatten the dough and cut it into squares or cut out the desired shape using a biscuit cutter.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes, keeping an eye on the scones once it reaches the 6 minute mark.
  8. Serve hot with jam and butter.
  9. Step by step pictures and the entire recipe can be viewed here.

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Ela Ada

I made this the day before and when I served it to my kid, he asked me ‘Mommy, Did you make this?’. I smiled and said, yes.

Hubby came later and again the same question was repeated. ‘Did you make this, dear?’ I frowned a bit but still I said, Yes!  Half an hour later, the same question came from my friend, who is currently staying with us.

Now that’s too much! Why does every one assume that I cannot make something nice like this? Looking at my fuming face, she rephrased the question ‘Did someone else help you make this?’

Ahh…she caught me there! My cousin, seven years my senior and a good cook, lives close by. I bug her every now and then to cook some or the other thing for me.

But when she was making these, I was also there – standing next to her, handing over the ingredients and touching the pots and pans now and then. So I can also claim partial ownership here :D.

I made the mistake of buying bananas beforehand for this recipe. No, overripe bananas weren’t the problem. They got over before I started this recipe!

I stocked up everything and called my cousin and her first question was ‘Did you buy the ela (banana leaves) ? Imagine making ela ada and forgetting the ela? But she rescued me again by buying them for me.


  • Idiyappam Flour (Raw rice flour)                 :             2 cups
  • Ripe Nendran Bananas                                       :             4
  • Grated Coconut                                                     :             1/2 cup
  • Jaggery                                                                     :             1 cup
  • Water


  1. Boil 3-4 cups of water with a pinch of salt. Add this water, little by little, to the rice flour and mix with a spoon. Later when you can touch with your hands kneed to get a smooth dough, which is slightly softer than chapati dough. You may not end up using all the water.
  2. Cut the banana into round pieces or mash them. Heat jaggery till it melts in a pan and filter it to remove dirt. Bring it back to a boil and add mashed or cut bananas into it. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the grated coconut and cook further. Try a taste test and add sugar if it is not sweet enough.
  3. Cut the banana leaves into rectangles. Keep a bowl of water to dip your fingers while handling the dough.
  4. Take a small ball of rice flour dough. Dip your finger in water and flatten the dough on the banana leaf.
  5. Add a ladle of banana filling in the center and fold the leaf. Once the dough is finished, steam this in an idli steamer for 10 – 15 minutes until the leaf changes color.
  6. Cool for sometime and serve as a healthy snack.
  7. You can check out here for step-by-step pictures.

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Sweet Potato Chapatis

I was making a new gravy for lunch today and was following the given recipe correctly. That’s when innovation struck me and pretty soon cooking disaster followed.

I have  given strict instructions to my brain not to use itself when it comes to cooking, but then who listens!  The rest of my day will be spent in thinking up convincing excuses to defend my lousy curry.

Now coming to the recipe here, this is a fail proof one. Its an excellent way to sneak in vegetables into your kids diet. This chapati was really really soft, making it excellent for lunch box. This is a sweet version, you can make a savory version by adding red chilli powder, coriander powder and some fresh or dried methi leaves.


  • Sweet Potato                :           1 medium, cooked and mashed
  • Wheat Flour                 :           1 1/2 cups
  • Sugar                               :           1 tsp (optional)
  • Water                              :           as required


  1. Cook and mash the sweet potatoes. There shouldn’t be any lumps. I cooked them in microwave.
  2. Add this and the flour in a bowl and make a dough, adding water as required.
  3. You might have to add/adjust the flour to get the dough to the consistency of chapati dough.
  4. The dough will be very soft. Cover and keep aside for half an hour at least.
  5. Roll into chapatis. Try using all purpose flour instead of Atta while rolling these.
  6. Heat a tava and cook them on both sides, these puff up well too if placed directly on the flame.
  7. Soft and sweet chapatis are ready, serve with a nice side dish!

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