Kanchipuram Idli

BM#102: Week 2, Day 2
Theme :
Restaurant recipes

Me and my husband are both from middle income families where eating out was a rarity. It wasn’t financially feasible for our parents plus there was this firm notion in their minds that outside food is substandard. After we got married and moved out of my in laws place, me and my husband used to eat out a lot. The kitchen was always closed on weekends.

My in laws and my dad still look at eating out as wasting money, but my mother, who was held back by the financial situation while we were growing up but more so by my dad, was quick to change. She always liked eating out, but lacked company to do it. I remember her trying kanchipuram idlis at a South Indian restaurant we had visited once. So when I made kanchipuram idlis recently, I was thinking of her :-).

Read on for the recipe.


For the batter:

  • 1/2 cup raw rice
  • 1/2 cup parboiled rice
  • 3/4 cup urad dal
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • Salt as needed

For making the idli:

  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 2 teaspoons black pepper, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds, crushed
  • Handful of cashew nuts
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry ginger powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder


  1. Soak the rice, fenugreek seeds and dal together overnight. Grind next morning using a grinder or mixie. Set aside to ferment. Refrigerate once the batter is fermented and has doubled in quantity. This usually takes about 8-10 hours depending on the weather.
  2. When ready to prepare the idli, crush black pepper and cumin together using a mortar and pestle. Heat ghee and add the cumin pepper mix. Add cashews and sauté until it changes color. Remove from heat, let it cool completely and then add to the batter.
  3. Add the turmeric powder and the dry ginger powder also to the batter.
  4. Pour the batter into the idli molds and steam for 10-12 minutes until the idlis are cooked through.
  5. Take off the heat, serve with sambar and idli podi.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the recipe from other Blogging Marathoners.

Aloo paratha



 BM# 102 : Week 3, Day 1
Theme : Restaurant recreations

When we were growing up, the culture of eating outside wasn’t there. In fact, eating outside was considered as a last option when there is absolutely no other way out. There were two main reasons for this -1) there weren’t main clean and neat hotels then. 2) affordability. It was only after we got jobs and moved out of our home, that we started eating out.

My brother moved out when he got a job in Bangalore. The couple of times that I visited him, he had taken me to home style Punjabi dhabas near his place. The fare would be simple – couple varieties of parathas and maybe some curries. We have never looked at the Curries there. We would order aloo parathas most of the time and relish it with thick delicious yogurt and the pickle.

My husband wants a curry for parathas, where as I feel that the curry takes the limelight off the paratha. Aloo parathas are easy to make and there is no one single recipe to make this. Every household has its own variations but the end product is always delicious. If you are making parathas for the first time, it’s a good idea to watch some videos first. And also remember that rolling out rotis gets better with practice. So don’t be disheartened if the first few parathas tend to be a little difficult to make.

Read on for the recipe while.


For the dough

  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 teaspoon oil, optional
  • Salt as needed
  • Water for kneading the dough

For the filling:

  • 4 medium potatoes, boiled and peeled
  • 2 teaspoons of oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped finely
  • 1 teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 1 teaspoon aamchur
  • 1/2 teaspoon garam masala
  • Salt as needed


  • In a big bowl, add the flour. Add oil and slowly kneed together, adding water in steps to make a dough. Stop adding water when the dough comes together and kneed until it’s smooth.Set aside and let it rest for 30 minutes.
  • Peel and mash the boiled potatoes. There shouldn’t be any big lumps. Keep aside.
  • You can add all the masalas and the chopped onions to the potato mix directly, but I like to sauté the onions before that. It’s an optional step. Sauté the onions and ginger garlic paste in oil and once the onions turn pink, add the masalas. Turn off the heat and mix it in.
  • Add the mashed potatoes and mix everything well.
  • Take a lemon sized ball of the dough and roll it using a rolling pin into a 4″ size roti. You might have to use some flour to the rolling surface so that the dough doesn’t stick to it. Now Take a lemon sized ball of the filling and keep it in the middle.
  • Bring the edges together so that the filling gets enclosed inside the dough.
  • Seal the edges by pinching together so that the filling doesn’t come outside.

    Roll this again using some flour to a big paratha.

    Cook the paratha in heated pan and brush it with some ghee. While the paratha is cooking on the stove, you can start rolling and filling the next paratha.

    Once the bottom is cooked, flip it and cook the other side too. Brush with more ghee if you prefer. Take off the heat once it’s cooked and set aside. Repeat with the rest of the dough.

  • Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the recipe from other Blogging Marathoners.

    Ragi Semiya

    BM# 98: Week 2, Day 3
    Theme : Dish for each meal

    Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet it’s one of the most neglected time in my house. My son prefers cereal over everything else. My husband has a full cup of Indian style milk coffee and calls it breakfast. And I join either of them depending on my mood that day.

    Growing up, it was almost always dosa for breakfast at home on working days. That was the only thing all of us ate without bickering too much. When we were young, Amma used to make special breakfast for weekends, like poori masala, sevai or chole bhatura.

    I remember amma making sevai at home. It’s a rice noodle based breakfast that’s made from scratch. It is also a time and effort consuming process. You have to press out a rice ball into noodles using a tool specifically meant for that purpose. Ours was the old fashioned one that has three legs and sits on the floor. You use your body weight (we were kids, so we had to use our weight) to squeeze the rice ball and feeling of accomplishment is high when done right.

    Thankfully there is readymade sevai available now on the market and the process of making is a lot more easier. The recipe here is semiya made from ragi instead of rice. Read on for the recipe.

    Recipe source : Megha’s Cooking channel


    • 1 packet (180 gm) ragi vermicelli
    • 2 teaspoon oil
    • 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds
    • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
    • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
    • 2 green chilies, chopped
    • 1/2 cup broccoli florets, chopped
    • 1/2 cup cabbage
    • 2 tablespoons shredded coconut
    • salt to taste


    1. Follow the package instructions for making the ragi vermicelli. That involves soaking in water for three minutes and then after draining, steaming in a greased pan for 5-7 minutes. Greasing is important to avoid the semiya sticking onto the vessel. I used idli plates for steaming.
    2. Take off the heat, remove the sevai to a separate vessel, fluff with a fork to stop it from forming clumps. Set aside.
    3. Heat oil in a thick pan. Add mustard seeds. Once it crackles, add the onions and chilies Sauté for a couple of minutes and add the carrots and broccoli. Cover and cook for a couple of minutes until the veggies are soft. Add the cabbage in and sauté for a couple more minutes. Once all the vegetables are cooked, add the semiya and mix carefully. Add shredded coconut, if desired. Take off the heat and serve hot with chutney or even sugar.

    Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing this BM#98

    Masala Dosa

    The needle of the clock has crossed 12 and another day has started. The neighborhood is quiet and everyone is asleep. Everyone, expect me and my husband.

    For us, this is a part of our ‘day’. Our day ends at small hours in the morning and not surprisingly, we catch upon our sleep by dozing off for  sometime after dropping the kid at the bus stop. But not on weekends.

    Kiddo’s body clock is set to wake up at 6:40 AM and 6.40 it is, whether it is weekend or weekday. So in another six hours, the rush of the morning will start. Me, sleep deprived since I won’t be able to have a nap, will be grumpy at everyone for no fault of theirs. Kiddo will be violently protesting on having to leave the house to attend a function.

    My hubby, who has a much better sense of balance, will loose it when we won’t be able to locate the place where the function is being conducted. But then, that’s how life is – full of little tamashas and masalas.

    Anyway, that’s for the morning. Right now, let me enjoy my ‘day’ and the masala that every single day brings onto our life.

    And here is a bit of masala for you, this time literally – in the form of masala dosa. Enjoy the recipe.

    Check out this link at VeggieBelly for all the tips and tricks to make the perfect dosa batter.


    • Dosa Batter (ready made /home made)  :   1 L approx
    • Potatoes                                                                :   4 -5 medium, boiled
    • Onions                                                                    :   1-2, large
    • Green Chillies                                                      :   3-4
    • Ginger                                                                     :   1/2″ piece
    • Turmeric Powder                                              :   1/2 tsp
    • Oil                                                                            :     1 -2 tbsp
    • Mustard Seeds                                                   :      1 tsp
    • Urad dal  & Gram dal                                      :       1/2 tsp each
    • Curry leaves                                                       :        1 sprig


    1. Pressure cook the potatoes for 3-4 whistles or till they are cooked thoroughly. Retain the water in which they are cooked.
    2. Heat oil, add mustard seeds. Once they splutter add the dals and curry leaves and wait till it starts to brown.
    3. Add the onion, ginger and green chillies. Saute till the onions are cooked. Add the potatoes, turmeric powder and salt. Add half cup of water in which the potatoes were cooked, if the curry appears to be too dry.
    4. Mash some of the potatoes with a wooden spoon so that the masala thickens a bit.
    5. I let this boil for 4-5 minutes, stirring now and then. Check and adjust the seasonings and keep aside.
    6. Make dosas and once both the sides are cooked, take off the pan, add two tablespoons of the filling in the centre and fold over.
    7. Serve hot with sambar and chutney.

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