Friday, September 22, 2017


Uppuma - உப்புமா 

Another quick dish edible any time.


Semolina 1 cup
Water 2 cups
Onions 1 medium
Dry chillies 2
Mustard ½ tsp
Salt to taste


This dish requires two measures of water for each measure of semolina as a rule.

Dry roast semolina in a pan and remove and set aside.

Dice the onion, and cut dry chillies into small pieces.

In little oil in a pan, fry mustard seeds until they start to pop, add diced onions and dry chillies pieces and fry until onions are golden brown.

Reduce the heat and add roasted semolina, water and salt and stir until all the mixture gets cooked well.

Keep stirring to avoid lumps.


With vegetables -
Can add vegetables if preferred - carrots, beans cauliflower.

Clean, Wash and cut into small pieces and steam these before and add to the fried onions etc and stir before adding semolina.

Serve with; This dish needs no accompaniments.




Thosai - தோசை




This is another common dish, easy to make and suitable to eat any time really.

Special equipment:

Griddle - a heavy cast iron flat round frying pan, a large rounded spoon or a ladle with a capacity of 4 tablespoon liquid and a flat stainless steel spoon.


Plain white rice or basmati rice 1 cup
Urid dhal split and skinned or skinned and whole 1 cup
Plain flour - steamed 1 cup
Turmeric powder ½ tsp
Salt to taste
Cooked rice half cup - optional


Soak rice and urid dhal separately overnight - minimum 12 hours.

Drain and Grind them separately.

Grind to a fine thick consistency by adding minimum amount of water.

Grind fenugreek and mix all the pastes together with steamed plain flour and water to a thick mix which should flow but not runny.

You can grind half cup soaked cooked rice into a fine paste and add this to the above mixture before the next step - this will give a softer Thosai. This is optional.

Cover and leave to ferment overnight in a warm place.

In cold countries or in winter, leave this in boiler room or hot water cylinder cupboard.

When dough has fermented and risen, mix the turmeric powder and salt in little water and add this mixture to the dough.

Add more water if needed to make the batter run off a spoon easily but not at all runny.

Place the griddle or wide frying pan on medium fire and when hot, smear some oil preferably gingelly oil.

Pour a spoonful of batter (about 4 tablespoons) with the large rounded spoon or ladle on to the griddle and spread the batter evenly with the back of this spoon to a circular pancake form.

When bubbles appear and top surface appears done turn over and cook until done.

Remove and spread oil on the pan before the next thosai is spread.

Serve with: Coconut sambol, Sambar, Coconut chutney, potato curry or any curry.


1) Masala thosai

Ingredients for Masala:

Potato 500 g
Onions 2 large
Green chillies 6
Mustard 1 tsp
Oil 1 tablespoons
Turmeric powder ½ tsp
Curry leaves 6
Gingelly oil 2 tablespoons or ghee

Method to make masala:

Wash and skin potatoes and cut them into one inch cubes, boil in water and when soft drain and crush potato pieces very coarsely and keep aside.

Dice onions, fry mustard in little oil and when the seeds pop add onions and fry further adding curry leaves to it.

When onions are golden colour, add the chopped green chillies, stir;

Reduce heat and add the mashed potato, salt and turmeric powder and stir well until all are well mixed and cooked.

If necessary add little water to aid in cooking.

Stir constantly to avoid sticking to bottom of pan.

Now this is ready.

Make thosai and when one side is cooked, without turning over, spread two tablespoonful of the potato curry (masala) in the centre and fold the thosai into two, drop ½ tsp of gingelly oil or ghee on it and let it warm through.

Turnover and cook until done.

Remove and serve hot.

2) Ghee thosai

When thosai batter had been spread drop little ghee on the side around the thosai and on it and cook. When one side is cooked, turn over and cook until it gets little crispy.

3) Thosai with garnish

Ingredients for garnish:

Onions 1 medium
Mustard seeds 1 tsp
Dry chillies 2
Curry leaves 6


In a hot pan with little oil, fry mustard seeds. When popped add diced onions and cut dry chillies to it and fry until onions are golden brown. Add the cut curry leaves and fry further.

Drain from oil and add this garnish to the thosai batter with salt and turmeric powder and mix thoroughly before making thosai.
This has a different taste and flavour.

4) Very crispier thosai

To get a crispier thosai, spread the batter very thinly and add gingelly oil over it while cooking.

When done on one side turn over and cook further until thosai becomes crispier.

5) Onion thosai


Sliced onions


When you have spread the thosai batter on the griddle, spread the sliced onions over it and cook.

When one side is cooked, turn over and cook well.

6) Ravai Thosai


Semolina 1 cup
White Rice flour 1 cup
Plain flour 1 cup
Curry leaves 6
Green chillies 2
Salt to taste
Mustard seeds ½ tsp
Coconut milk 2 cups medium thickness
Oil 2 tablespoons


Steam semolina in a steamer and when done crush and break up all lumps.

Mix steamed semolina, rice flour, and plain flour with coconut milk and make a mixture of medium thickness and let it rest for 4 hours.

Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seed and curry leaves fry until seeds pops.

Add this to the batter and also add chopped onions and chopped green chillies and mix well.

Add water to make the mix to a watery consistency but not too runny.

Heat griddle and spread oil and pour batter with a round spoon and spread to a circular pancake.

Add little oil to make it crispier, when brown, turn it over and cook.

7) Wheat Thosai

This is a very simple quick and easy to make snack which can be eaten at breakfast. It is similar to pancakes but without eggs and thinner.


Wheat Flour 1 cup
Salt to taste


Mix the flour with water to a slightly watery consistency but not too runny.

Add salt and set aside for 20 minutes to rest.

Make thosai like before on a griddle.




Roti - றொட்டி 

A quick dish made for children returning from school and when there are no snacks at home.

Special equipment:

A griddle and a flat spoon are necessary.


Whole wheat (Atta) flour 1 cup
Wheat flour 1 cup
Oil 2 tsp
Salt to taste


Mix whole wheat flour, wheat flour, salt to taste and mix well with water to a non sticky dough.

Leave covered to rest for 20 minutes.

Divide the dough into equal portions and make each portion into a ball.

Flatten each ball of dough to a thin round disc in the palm and fry like chapatti on a well oiled griddle.

When cooked, turn over and make sure both sides are well cooked.


 With coconut -


Plain flour 1 cup
Gram flour ¼ cup
Coconut scrapped 2 tablespoons
Green chillies 4
Onion 1 medium
Salt to taste
Ghee or oil


Dice onion and cut green chillies into small pieces.

Mix the plain flour and gram flour with onions, green chillies, salt, coconut and water and make dough.

Leave covered to rest for 20 minutes.

Divide the dough into equal portions and make each portion to a ball.

Then flatten the balls with the hands to a round disc of diameter about 10 cm and fry like chapatti on an oiled griddle.

When cooked on both sides, dab little ghee or oil on to the surface before removing.

Serve with: potato curry, coconut sambal




String hoppers - இடியப்பம்



                            String Hoppers


This is another common meal suitable to eat any time of the day. When I was a school child, we have this for breakfast and mother packed this for lunch as well.

Special equipment:

This dish needs a string hopper press with a mould, steaming trays and a steamer.
String hopper press which is a wooden manual press and this retains a metal mould at its bottom. The metal moulds are perforated in a circular fashion so that when the dough is pressed through, the dough ends up as long strands. The steaming trays are rounded small trays with a net base made out of bamboo canes or of plastic.


Roasted red rice flour 2 cups
Salt to taste


Sieve the flour to make sure there are no granules. Boil water first.

Mix rice flour and salt in a wide mouthed pan or a dish.

To this add boiled water little at a time and mix with the handle of a wooden spoon to a paste which should not stick to the fingers.

Boil some water in the steamer and get ready with the string hoppers on the trays.

Fill the press with this dough and squeeze the handle while rotating the press in a circular motion over the tray to express the strings on to the tray in a rounded shape.

Place these trays in the steamer and steam them until they do not stick to fingers.

If the string hoppers come out hard, it is possibly due to too much water in the dough mixture.

If squeezing through the press is difficult, it is possibly due to not enough water in the dough.

It is also possible to mix steamed wheat flour with roasted rice flour and this gives a softer string hoppers.

You will need some experience on how to make the dough so it is best to experiment with little dough first and see how it comes out, then make adjustments.

Serve with: any curry, fried egg (plain omelette), and sodhi or coconut sambal.


1) White string hoppers - Use steamed plain flour instead of red rice flour and use hot water instead of boiling water.

2) String hopper Buriyani

A simple and quickie dish. (Suitable for any leftover string hoppers)


Eggs 2
Onions 1 medium
Green chillies 4
Turmeric powder ½ tsp
Oil 2 tablespoons
Salt to taste
String Hoppers 8


Dice onions and green chillies, fry diced onions in little oil, until soft.

Beat eggs, salt and turmeric powder well; add fried onions and green chillies and mix.

Fry this mixture in the pan in little oil in low heat.

As the egg gets cooked, break it up into medium sized pieces with the spatula and cook well.

While the egg is getting cooked, break up the string hoppers into small pieces and add them to the fried egg and stir to make a mix of egg and string hoppers.

This is a very simple dish.

Variations in string hopper buriyani:

Potato 1 medium size
Onion 1 medium
Mixed vegetables 1 cup
Green chillies 4
Turmeric powder ½ tsp
Salt to taste
Oil for frying
Eggs 2 if preferred
String hoppers 5


Skin, wash and cut the potato into small cubes and mix this with chilli powder, salt and turmeric powder and fry in little oil until cooked.

Fry some diced onions in oil until soft and add mixed vegetables and chopped green chillies and cook until vegetables are cooked.

Add cooked potato and mix. Stir in broken string hoppers with this mixture to make a vegetable dish.

If you like, fry eggs as before and add to this mixture and stir.

Serve with: These dishes are edible on their own.





Rasavalli Pudding - ராசவள்ளி



                         Rasavalli pudding


This is also called King Yam and when cooked it is delicious and sweet. This can be eaten at breakfast and also as tea time snacks as well as dessert after main meal.


Rasavalli yam 500 Gms
Condensed milk 1 tin
Sugar as needed
Water 2 cups


When this yam is bought there will be soil sticking to it on the surface and it should be well washed before anything else is done to it.

Peel the skin and discard any damaged portions.

Wash well again and cut the yam into smaller pieces.

In a pan place these pieces and add the water and cook until the pieces become soft.

When soft mash these leaving no lumps.

Then add sufficient condensed milk and stir and cook.

Taste and add sugar or condensed milk to get the taste suited for you.

Cook while stirring until this has thickened slightly.

When you spread this yam paste on a flat dish and allow to cool this becomes a firm smooth paste.

Then this can be cut into slices with a butter knife and eaten as slices.

Some people use coconut milk and sugar as opposed to condensed milk.

It tastes better with condensed milk but traditionally made with coconut milk.




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