Chettinadu Paal Paniyaram

I am typing this in a great hurry as I have a thousand things to do this week with family visiting us, trips to nearby places, visiting relatives etc etc, but here I am as promised with the Paal Paniyaram post. My blog would be really incomplete without Paal Paniyaram featuring here and what an auspicious day for it to make an appearance ;). Any occasion is incomplete for us without a chettinadu delicacy for morning palakaram and Paal Paniyaram as a dessert did complete justice to our Diwali breakfast today :).

A very happy and safe Diwali to all of you!


Serves – 5
Prep Time – 30 min
Cook time – 30 min

For the Paniyaram

1/3 cup urad dal
1/2 cup raw rice
Oil – for deep frying the paniyarams

For the milk

Coconut grated – 1/2 cup
Elachi powder – 1/2 Tsp
Sugar – 1/4 cup
Milk – 1/2 cup

How do you do it

1. Soak the rice and dal in enough water for 1-2 hrs. Drain the water and reserve it. Grind in blender/mixie using the reserved water little by little. Add water needed only for your grinder blade to rotate smoothly, the lesser water you use the better. If you add too much water, the paniyarams will drink oil. Grind it to a very smooth paste, there should be no dal/rice particles left as such. Transfer to a container and keep aside. You can grind this the previous night and refrigerate to to use in the morning.

2. Take coconut milk out of the grated coconut, about 2.5 cups. Grind coconut for a few pulses in the mixie and squeeze the pulp as much as possible to get the juice out. Take the pulp and keep it on a strainer. Pass hot water little by little through the strainer and squeeze the pulp to get the coconut milk from it, till you get about 2.5 cups of coconut milk.

3. Dilute half a cup of pure milk with 1/2 cup water, bring to boil, mix with the coconut milk, add the sugar, each powder and let it dissolve.

4. Keep 3 cups of hot water in a bowl. Once you fry the paniyarams, add them to this bowl, this will remove the oil from the paniyarams.

5. Heat oil in a kadai to deep fry the paniyarams. Spoon the paniyaram batter little by little into the kadai. Add till the kadai is almost full, fry in low-medium flame. When the paniyarams start to turn light brown, remove them and put them in hot water.

Note: The paniyarams will puff up as they get fried, so add a tsp by tsp of
batter each time to fill the kadai, not more. We want small sized
paniyarams. Make sure the paniyarams don’t turn golden brown, you should remove it when its a very light shade of brown.

6. Remove the paniyarams from hot water after a minute and add it to the milk. Repeat step 5 and 6 till the batter is over. Let the paniyarams soak in coconut milk for an hour.

7. Yummy Paal Paniyarams ready to serve on a special occasion ๐Ÿ™‚


Grind smoothly with as little water as possible. This is a very important step, adding too much water will make the paniyarams drink oil.

When adding the paniyaram batter to the kadai, add a tsp by tsp, to
fill the kadai, do not add the big spoonful of batter, they will puff up
while getting fried, and you will end up with really big paniyarams.

Do not fry until deep brown. When it’s a very light shade of brown, or when it starts to brown, remove them.

Fry in medium-low flame, do effective flame management to make sure the insides of the paniyarams are cooked well.

Carrot Halwa Gajar ka Halwa

What occasion is it? Yes, my 100the post! Yaaaaaay :-)! When I started this blog, I did set a goal to get to a 100 before the end of this year, and I am very happy I kept at this. And frankly, the 90s have been difficult. Now I understand why the Master-blaster Sachin Tendulkar struggled to get to 100 centuries ;). Okay, now thats a little too much, the anology, I know ๐Ÿ˜‰
Its been nothing but an enjoyable 10 months obsessing over this blog. Its become so much a part of my life and surely will continue to be so. Thanks to all of you who have been visiting, trying recipes from here and giving me feedback, that’s one of the key things that pushes this blog forward. Please continue to do so :).

I also have one more update here; foldover has moved to its custom domain If you happen to use the blog-spot suffix, you will be re-directed to

To celebrate the 100th post, I made a classic winter dessert – Carrot halwa, popularly known as Gajar Ka Halwa. Winter is peeking into Mumbai and that means lush red winter carrots. These are the carrots that are traditionally used to make gajar halwa as against the orange colored carrots. S loves gajar halwa and hes been at me for almost a year now to use these red carrots for making Carrot Halwa. I never got around to do it until today when he went shoping alone and dumped on me a bag of these winter carrots. And so the carrot halwa was re-born in my kitchen ๐Ÿ™‚

I am not even going to start to say how yum and delicious they were; you just have to try it out yourself ๐Ÿ™‚


Serves – 4
Prep Time – 15 min
Cook time – 1 hr

Carrots – 1 Kg [approx 10 carrots] – Grated
Milk – 2.5 cups mixed with 1/4 cup water
Sugar – 3/4 cup + 2 Tbsp
Elachi powder – 1 generous pinch
Ghee – 4 Tbsp
Cashews – 10
Raisins – 5-6

How do you do it

1. Heat a tsp of ghee in a heavy/thick base nonstick pan. Fry the cashews and raisins and set aside.

2. Add 1 more tbsp of ghee to the pan. Add the grated carrot and saute for 2-3 minutes until they turn a lighter shade. This to get rid of the rawness of the carrot.

3. Once done, add the milk into the pan and bring to boil. Then reduce the flame to medium, close with a lid, and let the carrots get cooked in the milk. This is going to take some time. It takes close to 30 minutes for the carrots to get softer/mashed and for the milk to reduce. Keep stirring now then during the 30 minutes.

4. Once almost most of the milk has been absorbed by the carrots, add the elachi powder, sugar , remaining ghee and stir it in. Once done, the carrots mixture will tend to loosen again. Let it again cook for another 15 minutes until the halwa starts to leave the sides of the pan. Add the cashews and raisins now and mix it well.

Serve this warm carrot halwa with a scoop of ice-cream. Yum!

Easy and simple Veg Biryani

I have tried many different versions of vegetable biryanis over the last few years, and nothing has come this close to being a favorite. This recipe that I have here now is what I would call my Vegetable Biryani winner in the “Easy Biryani” category. It all started out with a packet of mint remaining in my vegetable drawer section that I wanted to use it somehow and be done with it. I strongly feel any biryani is incomplete without the mint. The mint leaves give that addictive and crazy “wanting for more” taste at the end of each mouthful. With some mint, ginger-garlic paste, and handful of mixed veggies this super quick biryani fix could make your day ๐Ÿ™‚

Serves – 2
Spice Level – Moderate
Prep Time – 15 min
Cook time 15 min

Red Onion – 1, thinly sliced
Cauliflower florets – 7, cut into bite sized pieces
Frozen Green Peas – 1/4 cup
Carrot – 1, cut into small pieces
Beans – 7, cut into small pieces
Mushroom – 5 pieces, sliced into pieces
Tomato – 1, cubed into medium sized pieces
Bay leaf – 1
Cinnamon – 1-inch piece
Curry/Red chilli powder – 1 Tsp
Oil – 2 Tbsp
Basmati Rice – 1.25 cups

To grind to a paste

Mint leaves – 1/2 cup loosely packed [
Ginger-Garlic paste – 1 tbsp
Green chili – 5
cloves – 2
cardamom – 2
Fennel seeds – 1 Tsp

How do you do it

1. First wash the basmati rice well and soak the basmati rice in enough water for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, grind the ingredients under ” to grind to paste” with the little water and keep aside.

2. Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Add bay leaf, cinnamon, and jeera seeds and wait for the jeera seeds to roast. Add the sliced onions and saute until they turn transparent, for about 3-5 minutes.

3. Add the ground paste now and red chili/curry powder and saute for 3 minutes. Add all the veggies now except cauliflower and saute for a couple of minutes. Cauliflower is added last because we don’t want them to be overcooked.

4. Drain the soaked rice now and add it to the cooker. Saute for another 2 minutes.

3. Add 1.5 cups of water now, required salt [ about three tsp ], cauliflower pieces and close the pressure cooker. After pressure starts coming out [it will take 1-2 minutes], then put the weight on. Keep the flame in medium, Cook for 8 minutes exactly starting from the time you close the pressure cooker with lid.

4. Keep aside until pressure releases naturally. Remove the cooker lid now and fluff well with a fork.

Serve this yummy biryani with the traditional onion raitha and chips for a splendid meal.

Authentic Chettinadu Therrakal Coconut Gravy with brinjal and potato

This is another authentic Chettinadu dish. The coconut based gravy is used as a side dish for dosais and Idlis. It is super yum, and this preparation never fails to impress. This curry has been a super hit in all parties that I have hosted until now:).


Brinjal – 2 medium sized, chopped into small pieces
Potato – 1 Medium sized, chopped into small pieces
Tomato – 1 Medium sized, chopped.
Onion – 1 Large, chopped finely
Ginger-garlic paste – 1 Tspn
Curry Leaves – 1 Sprig

To Temper

Mustard – 1 tspn
Jeera – 1 Tbspn

To dry roast and Grind

Mustard – 1 Tbpn
Jeera – 1 Tbpn
Raw Rice – 2 Tbspn
Fenugreek – 1 Tspn
Saunf – 1 Tspn
Khus – 1 Tspn
Dry red chili – 4
Grated Coconut – 1/2 cup


Heat a pan and dry roast the following – throw in mustard, jeera, raw rice, fenugreek,khus-khus, sound one after the other. Let them roast for a minute or two.Then add in the grated coconut and dry red chili. Roast for a couple of more minutes and switch off the flame. Cool and blend in a mixer with 1/2 cup water to a smooth paste.

Now in the same pan, heat 2 Tbsp of oil. Add mustard and when it splutters, add jeera, let it roast.Add in the onions, curry leaves, and ginger-garlic paste. Saute till onions are translucent.Add the tomatoes and saute till its soft and juicy.Add the brinjal pieces and saute till soft. Now add the ground paste and 1.5 cups of water, and let it boil. When it boils, toss in the potato pieces, and cook till they are half done. Add salt and cook on low flame till the potatoes are fully done, and all the flavors in the curry come together. Add more water if you would like to loosen the gravy.

Serve with hot idli or freshly done dosais. The awesome combination I tell you!.

Easy Pressure Cooker Chicken Biryani

This is a no fuss recipe for Chicken Biryani that I have been using very often for a while now. Planning a non-vegetarian menu is so much easier than planning an elaborate vegetarian meal because you don’t need to bother making a variety of dishes when it comes to non-veg menus. If there is a tasty chicken biryani pot on the table, everything else is forgotten, and so I wish I had gotten into the habit of cooking chicken/fish based dishes earlier, it would have made my life much easier :).
As long you have some mint leaves in your hand and remember to marinate the chicken well in advance, this can be made in less than 30 minutes. Chicken biryani served with some pappad, and simple onion raitha can make weekend lunches very special.



Adapted from ย –ย Solai

Serves – 4
Spice Level – Moderate
Prep Time – 30 min
Cook time – 20 min

Chicken – 1/2 kg, cut into medium sized pieces
Basmati Rice – 2 cups
Coconut milk – half a cup if canned, if fresh use 1 cup
Onion – 2 , chopped finely
Tomato – 2, chopped finely
Salt – as per need
Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp
Mint Leaves – 2 handful
Green chillies – 2, slit
Plain red chilli powder – 1 tsp
Ghee – 1 Tbsp
Oil – 2 Tbsp

For seasoning

Bay leaf – 2
Cinnamon – 1 inch pieces, 2 no.
Cardamom – 3
Cloves – 3
Star Anise – 2

To grind to a paste

ginger -3 small pieces
garlic-10 pods
fennel seeds-1 teaspoon
small onions – 10
green chili- 6
Cinnamon- one inch piece
Mint leaves – 2 handful

For Marination

Lemon juice – of half a lemon
Curd – 1 tablespoon
Red Chilli powder -1 tbsp
Coriander powder – 1 1/2 tbsp
Ginger Garlic paste – 2 Tsp
Pepper powder – 2 Tsp
Cumin powder – 2 Tsp
Half of the above ground paste

How do you do it

1. Grind the paste with ingredients under ” To grind to as paste” with the little water and keep aside. Wash and soak Basmati Rice in enough water for 30 minutes

2. Wash the chicken well and marinate the chicken with the listed ingredients under “For marination” for 2 hours at least.

3. Heat 1 tbsp ghee in a kadai. Drain the water from the rice and add it to the kadai. Saute the rice for 2 minutes until it gives out a nice aroma. Keep aside.

4. Heat oil in a pressure cooker, add the items under “To season” one by one and let them roast. Add onions, green chilies, and ginger-garlic paste and saute well until the onions are cooked well.

5. Add the tomatoes and turmeric now and half the quantity of salt, mix well. Let the tomatoes get cooked well – 4 minutes. Now add the red chili powder and remaining half of the ground paste [step 1 paste] and saute well for about 5-7 minutes.

6. Add the chicken pieces, and mint leaves now and cooks for 5 minutes.

7. Mix coconut milk and water to get 3 cups in total to add the pressure cooker. If you are using canned coconut milk, use the half cup of that and remaining 2.5 cups of water. If using fresh coconut milk, use 1 cup of that and 2 cups of water. Now add this to the pressure cooker. Add the required salt and rice now and mix well.

8. Close the cooker with the lid and Pressure cook for 8 minutes. After 8 minutes switch off the flame and let the pressure release naturally. Garnish with chopped coriander leaves and cashews.

Serve this delicious chicken biryani with raita and papad.

A List Of Foods High In Estrogen

Two food sources are by far the highest in plant estrogens. These are soybeans and flaxseeds. Other foods contain less phytoestrogen. Remember that when we speak of estrogen in foods, weโ€™re referring to a large group of different types of chemicals made by plants that have an estrogen-like effect in humans.

Here is an alphabetical list of foods that contain various plant estrogens. For each food listed the amount of three major types of phytoestrogen is shown. These are isoflavones, coumestrol, and lignans.

The amounts are shown as a range. This is because the amount of phytonutrient in a particular food can and does vary. For instance, a variety of soybeans found in one part of the world may have higher phytoestrogen content than one grown somewhere else. Or the same variety of soybean may have a different phytoestrogen content depending on the soil it was grown in and the climate where it was grown.

ย  Food Isoflavones Coumestrol Lignans
ย  Beans 0 โ€“ 1.5 0 โ€“ 3.6 0.05 โ€“ 0.18
ย  Bean sprouts, alfalfa 0 4.7 0
ย  Bread, brown, white 0 โ€“ 0.8 0 0
ย  Cereals (wheat bran, cornย  flour, maize, oatmeal) Less than 0.1 0 0.5
ย  Fruit (apples, banana, oranges, etc.) Less than 0.1 0 0.1
ย  Legumes 0 โ€“ 0.58 0 0
ย  Flaxseed 0 0 60 โ€“ 370
ย  Nuts (peanuts, hazel nuts, etc.) Less than 0.1 0 0.2 โ€“ 0.33
ย  Peas (lentil, split peas) 0.1 โ€“ 2.5 0 0 โ€“ 0.2
ย  Seeds (sunflower, alfalfa, clover) 0.01 โ€“ 0.6 72 โ€“ 561
ย  Soy milk 5 โ€“ 10 0 0
ย  Soy sauces 0.1 โ€“ 1.6 0 0.03
ย  Soy flour 131 โ€“ 198 0 0.13
ย  Soy beans 14 โ€“ 153 0.05 0.01 โ€“ 0.27
ย  Teas (black, green) 0.04 โ€“ 0.05 0 2.04
ย  Tempeh 29 โ€“ 53 0 0
ย  Tofu 13.5 โ€“ 67 0 0

The foods with the highest phytoestrogen contents have been bolded. It shows that soy products (soy milk, soy flour, soybeans, tempeh, and tofu), flaxseed and some other specific seeds (sunflower, alfalfa, and clover) contain the highest amounts of one or the other of these major classes of phytonutrients.

The key to benefiting from estrogen rich foods is incorporating them into your diet so that they are delicious to eat and you look forward to them. This can take some time. It starts with good recipes. Learn more on our recipes page.