Black Urad Vadai


The sun comes up, the day begins. The milk is delivered, the paper boy slips the paper under the door. The maid comes in.  The milk is boiled, tea is prepared. My niece is awake.

The day has started.

And I am still under the covers. Its only when my SIL finishes making the breakfast and is done with feeding my niece, that I get up from the bed usually. At times, she might have even left for work.

And on this particular day, she was done with all the regular jobs and was half way through frying these vadas.

 That’s when I jumped into action, pushed her aside and then started making the rest. Else how can I feature them here, without me being involved at all!?

Posting under ‘Navarathi Special’ for the last week of Blogging Marathon 21. Check out the other participants here.

Makes about 12-14 medium vadas


  • Black Urad dal             :            1 cup
  • Pepper corns                :            5-10
  • Chilies                              :            1
  • Curry leaves                 ;             2-3 sprigs
  • Coriander leaves        ;             a handful
  • Salt
  • Oil for frying


  1. Wash and soak the dal for 30 – 40 minutes. Drain the water completely and grind along with the other ingredients. If required add water in tablespoons.
  2. The batter will be greenish in color. It has to be light and fluffy.
  3. Refrigerate until ready to use. Heat oil for deep-frying. Take a tablespoon of the batter in a plastic sheet and shape the vadas (a piece of banana leaf is used traditionally). Deep fry them. Depending on the size of the vessel and of the vadas, you can fry 3-4 vadas at the same time.
  4. While the vadas are cooking, keep the batter back in fridge, or better the freezer. This helps in keeping the batter thick and makes it easy to shape them.
  5. Make vadas with the rest of the batter and have them with chutney or as such.


Aval Payasam


I am biting my nails, looking at the time, looking at the laptop battery.

Will I? Won’t I? Will I? Won’t I?

Well, I don’t know whether I can post this before the battery goes off, but I am trying my best!

You see, my laptop is dead now. It needs to be taken for servicing (god knows when that will happen) and now I am managing with hubby’s laptop which doesn’t have a charger. So I have about 5 more minutes of battery time before it shuts down and shuts me up in the process.

So let me not waste any more time, right into the last recipe for Blogging Marathon 21. Check out the other participants in the Blogging Marathon page.


Recipe Source: Kailas Kitchen


  • Aval/Poha            :                  1 cup
  • Milk                         :                   2 cups
  • Water                     :                   1 cup
  • Sugar                      :                   3/4 cup (more if you prefer it sweet)
  • Ghee                       :                  1 tbsp
  • Cashews                :                   a few
  • Raisins                  :                     a few


  1. Heat ghee in a thick bottomed vessel. Add the cashews and raisins and fry until they are browned. Take off the pan and keep aside.
  2. In the remaining ghee, add the aval and roast until the flakes are brown, about 3-5 minutes. If you want to wash the flakes, wash them after roasting, I didn’t.
  3. Add milk and water and bring to a boil, stirring frequently. You have to cook this, until the payasam reduces to 3/4th of its original volume.
  4. Add sugar and cook again until the sugar is dissolved and the consistency is thick, but not too thick state. Stir in the cashews and raisins and take off the heat. Serve hot or cold.


Its best to use a thick wide pan and keep the stirrer inside the pan. This way, the milk will not boil over. But I never take chances here and always stick around when cooking anything with milk.

I thought this will take less time than making paal payasam, but I ended up spending the same amount of time in making this as I wanted to cook the milk until you get that pinkish hue.

Rava Kesari


When I was in one of the rare contemplating moods, I was searching for answers for the ‘Why’ questions in our life.

Why do we do things this way? Why don’t we do things that way? Why is life so? Why isn’t life easier? So many questions and not many answers. If you think from a higher level, then everything is a maze. No solid answers for anything.

But I did find an answer for one question, ‘Why do I blog?’

And the answer is : to document that I cook, even if it is a once in a while thing. Without the pictures no one,myself included, will believe that I do cook when the mood hits me!


For the last week of Blogging Marathon, the theme chosen is ‘Navarathri Special’. Navarathri is a celebration that goes on for nine days and on each of these days, different food is offered to the god during the pooja. A small portion of this food is then given to the families who visit you on that day.

In Southern part of India, there is a tradition of keeping Kolu (an exhibition of dolls, mostly of gods,  in a step kind of arrangement). Not all the houses keep Kolu , but the ones who keep, invite other families to come and see the display. Its a real fun thing to go visit them, get the goodies for the day and enjoy the festival mood as such.

My Sister in Law keeps Kolu (I don’t, as you might have guessed by now!) and I got to eat the goodies while I was visiting them. It was Kesari on the day we visited them. Recipe as follows.

Check out the other participants of this week’s Blogging Marathon here.


Makes : 6 lavish servings


  • Rava (Semolina)         :           1 cup
  • Water                               :           2.5 cups
  • Sugar                                :           1.5 cups
  • Ghee                                 :           3-4 tbsp (you can add more if you want to)
  • Cashews & Raisins      :          a few – say 10 each, for decoration
  • Orange food color      :         a pinch, optional


  1. Heat ghee in a broad and heavy bottom pan. Add the cashews and raisins and stir until the cashews turn brown and the raisins puff up. Don’t let them burn. Drain and keep aside in a napkin.
  2. In the same ghee, add the semolina and roast stirring constantly, till it becomes slightly brown in color – about 4 -5 minutes. Add the water and mix so that there are no dry lumps. Cook, stirring in between.
  3. When the rava is almost cooked, add the sugar and food color (if using). Stir and let it cook for a further 5 minutes until the kesari starts leaving the sides of the pan. At this point, you can add another spoon or two of ghee if you want to. Add the cashews and raisins. 
  4. Take off the heat. You can spoon this into a bowl and serve or spread it in a greased plate and cut into squares. Or you can even scoop them using ice cream scoops and serve.

Apple Cheese Sandwich

We (read – Hubby) gave in to our kiddo’s pestering about Bay Blade and got him one.

We bought it from the store at 2:30PM, reached home that day by 4 PM and kiddo lost it by 4:30 PM. He had taken it to the park to show off to his friends and lost it in a bushy area. The only solace for him was the fact that half of the items in the lost blade was his friend’s. So his friend was equally miserable.

I told the kids that we will search for it together and they took me to the area where the blade had landed. There were some 7-8 bushes about 6 feet high. I entered the bushes, expecting the kids to follow me, but – aha – no. No one was coming after me. They were both standing right outside.

‘The leaves are sharp, my eyes will get hurt. But you search, Aunty’ : Kiddo’s friend said.

‘Its a jungle. There will be tiger, lion and red ants inside. So you go in, Mommy.’ Kiddo chipped in.

It took me a whole day to get kiddo come with me finally. But he enjoyed it a lot. After all, he got to wear sunglasses (to avoid the sharp leaves), wear shoes(to stop the red ants from biting) and carry a thread. He would hold one end of the thread and I would hold the other end, so as not to get lost in the deep dark jungle (I am referring to those 7 bushes, of course!).

And the less said about the discussion about tigers and lions and red ants in the forests, the better!

Similarly, the less said about my delay in posting the recipes for Blogging Marathon 21, the better! But still, I am here finally. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for recipes from fellow bloggers who, of course, posted everything on time.

Recipe Source: Closet Cooking


  • Caramelized apples             :  5-6 slices
  • Cheese slice                          :  1 slice
  • Bread slices                          :  2 slices


  1. To caramelize apples, peel, core and slice an apple thin. Heat a tablespoon of butter in medium flame amd add a tablespoon of sugar.
  2. Add the apple slices and cook for 5-6min, turning them frequently to prevent burning an even coating of the caramel sauce. Take of the heat, cool. This can be refrigerated for a week.
  3. For assembling a sandwich, take two slices of bread. Add a layer of caramelized apples on one slice, and a cheese slice on the other.
  4. Heat a panini/sandwich maker and place these in it until done. You can do this in the stovetop too, adding a spoon of butter and cooking both the sides till the cheese melts.

Caramelized Apple Crepe

Kiddo’s Parents’ Teachers’ Meeting was scheduled for last Saturday. And as always, our plan was to reach there at 8:30 and we ended reaching there at 11 AM. The school gives us 4 chances an year to break this habit, but till now we have not been able to do it.

Anyway, when we reached there, only two parents were there ahead of us. Oh, so we can be out of here in another 15 minutes, was what we were thinking. We couldn’t have been more wrong.

Each parent (2+2 = 4) had N number of things to ask the teacher and it took more than 40 minutes when our turn came. How can you analize a kid in 1st standard so much, is my question. But then again, parenting differs from person to person and I shouldn’t comment on it, other than that this was the kind that made us wait for a long time.

When our turn came, me and my hubby went. I asked her whether he was doing fine, she said yes. And that was it. As we were leaving, his teacher said,”Ah one more thing, he howls in the class.”

Now, that’s an interesting feedback!

And do leave some interesting feedback for this wonderful Crepe, filled with caramelized apples, if you happen to try these out.

For the third week of Blogging Marathon 21, I chose the theme Sandwiches, rolls or wraps.After the Stromboli, its the crepes next. Check out the Blogging Marathon page for recipes from fellow bloggers.

Recipe Source: Caramelized Apples, one recipe with variations


Caramelizing the apples

  • Apple                 :     3
  • Brown sugar   :     4 tbsp
  •  Butter               :     1 tbsp

For the crepe (makes about 10 – 12)

  • Plain flour         :        1 cup
  • Milk                     :         1 cup
  • Eggs                     :          3
  • Melted butter   :        3 tbsp
  • Salt, a pinch or 2 tbs Sugar, if you want to make it sweet


  1. Peel, core and slice the apples thin. Heat a pan, melt the butter and add the sugar. Once the sugar starts melting, add the apples and cook in medium flame, for 5 – 10 minutes until the apples are cooked. Keep turning the apples so that they don’t burn and are coated with the caramel sauce. Cool and keep aside.
  2. For the crepes, add everything together in a mixing bowl. Whisk so that there aren’t any lumps. Heat a non stick skillet and add a spoon of melted butter or cooking oil.
  3. Take a ladleful of crepe batter and pour in the skillet. Swirl the skillet so that a thin, even coating of the batter is formed on the base. Flip and cook the other side too. As you can see, my first two crepes were smaller in size compared to the last ones (basically, you will get it right after a couple of tries).
  4. Take off the pan, roll up with the caramelized apple as filling. Serve with the apple caramel sauce.