Susiyam 12

Susiyam is famous in Southern Tamil Nadu particularly Tirunelveli/Tuticorin District and is made almost on all festivals.This is a standard recipe. You can add little turmeric powder to the maida batter that will give the susiyam a yellow color. Shredded coconut can be excluded if you want to store the susiyam for more than a day. Jaggery can be substituted with brown sugar,the taste is going to be pretty similar with slight variation.My mother-in-law taught me the method specified below of cooking and testing the dal for susiyam. She used sugar instead of jaggery to make susiyam for Diwali. It was really good.


  • Chana Dal – 1 cup
  • Jaggery (powdered)  – 1 cup     can be substituted with brown sugar
  • Cardamom powder– less than ¼ tsp
  • Shredded coconut – ¼ cup
  • Ghee – 1 tsp
  • Maida (all-purpose flour)– 1/4 cup
  • Salt – 3 pinches
  • Water – 1/3 cup + more
  • Oil – for deep frying


    • Soak chana dal in water overnight or for 2-3 hours. It speeds up the cooking process.

Susiyam 1

    • Heat 2 cups of water in a pan.When the water comes to a boil, add the chana dal to it.

Susiyam 2

    • Test whether the chana dal is cooked by squishing the  dal with your finger. It must mash easily.
    • If the water dries up before the chana dal is cooked, add more water.
    • When the dal is cooked, drain the dal using a colander and let it cool down completely.

Susiyam 3

    • Grind the dal along with  powdered jaggery to a almost fine paste without adding water.

Susiyam 4

    • Heat ghee in a small pan, fry shredded coconut in it till it turns golden brown. Do not let it burn.
    • Add the fried shredded coconut and cardamom powder to the chana dal mixture and mix well.

Susiyam 5

    • Make 16 balls( approximately 2 leveled tbsps of dal mixture per susiyam) and set them aside.

Susiyam 6

Susiyam 7

    • Whisk together flour, salt and water in a bowl. The batter should be a thick flowing lump free batter.

      Susiyam 8

    • Heat oil in a pan for deep frying.
    • When the oil is hot, take a ball of susiyam and dip it in the flour mixture. Roll the ball in the flour mixture and drop it in the oil slowly.

Susiyam 9

Susiyam 10

    • Keep turning the balls till they turn golden brown.They will turn golden brown very quickly.

Susiyam 11

  • Do the same with the remaining balls. I fry 4 susiyams at a time.


  • Make sure that the flour mixture coats the susiyam well,or the jaggery and dal will dissolve in the oil.
  • The flour mixture should not be too watery or too thick.
  • It is not necessary to deep fry the susiyams for a long time because the dal is already cooked.
  • It will take less than 15 seconds for the susiyam to turn golden brown if the oil is hot.



Pancakes are the ultimate comfort breakfast when served with warm and real maple syrup. It is the best way to wake up on a Saturday morning.  I use a cast iron griddle to make pancakes. There are few tricks to follow while making pancakes. A good griddle is important. The griddle must sizzle when you sprinkle some water on it. Also cook the pancakes on medium heat. If the griddle is too hot, the pancakes will brown quickly and the center will be uncooked.

The ingredients below makes 6 pancakes and 6-8 silver dollar pancakes.


  • All purpose flour – 1 cup
  • Sugar – 2 tbsp
  • Baking powder – 2 tsps
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp
  • Unsalted butter – 2 tbsps, melted
  • Egg – 1
  • Milk – 1 cup


  • Mix flour,sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl.
  • Add the egg and whisk till just combined.
  • Add butter and little milk to the flour mixture. Keep mixing slowly and incorporate all the milk into the batter.
  • The batter should have small lumps in it.
  • Grease a griddle with butter or oil.
  • Heat the greased griddle and make sure that it is hot ( sprinkle water on the griddle and the water should sizzle).
  • Pour the batter using a ladle onto the griddle.
  • It will spread on its own.
  • You will notice small bubbles on the pancake as it cooks.
  • When the edges of the pancake is a little dry, flip the pancake and let it cook until they are light brown in the bottom.
  • Serve hot with warm maple syrup.

Capsicum Tomato Chutney

Capsicum tomato chutney

My friend Suneetha shared this recipe with me. This chutney can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. The storage life depends on how well you fry the tomatoes. If the tomatoes have less water in them while frying, they last longer. Add more oil to saute if you are planning to store the chutney for a long time.

Serve the chutney with dosa/idli.

Ingredients :

  • Red bell pepper – 1, chopped
  • Tomato – 1, chopped
  • Coriander leaves/ cilantro – a hand full, chopped
  • Garlic – 1 and a 1/2 pod
  • Oil – for saute, be generous with the oil if you are planning to store the chutney
  • Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Coriander seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Dry Red chilli  – 3


  • Fry cumin seeds, coriander seeds and red chilli in oil. Remove it from the oil and set it aside to cool down completely.
  • Grind it to a coarse powder together with raw garlic.
  • Heat oil in the same pan. Add chopped bell pepper and saute until the bell pepper is half done.
  • Add tomato and saute until the tomato is fully cooked and the water dries up.
  • Add salt to taste. Turn off the heat and let it cool down.
  • Add the cooked  bell pepper mixture to the coarsely ground spice mixture . Add fresh chopped cilantro.
  • Grind to a coarse paste without using water.
  • Add more salt if required.


The spice level of the chutney will reduce on a daily basis. It happens to me all the time. So if you are making the chutney for future use, try adding an extra red chilli.



Cherry Almond Cupcake

Cherry almond cupcake

The ingredients below makes 12 cupcakes.
Ingredients for cupcakes:

  • Unsalted butter – 1/4 cup, at room temperature
  • Egg white – 2
  • All purpose flour – 1 cup
  • Baking powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Baking soda – 1/8 tsp
  • Salt – 1/4 tsp
  • Buttermilk – 6 tbsps
  • Maraschino cherry juice – 2 tbsps + 2 tsp
  • Sugar – 3/4 cup
  • Vanilla extract – 1/2 tsp
  • Almond extract – 1/4 tsp
  • Maraschino cherries – 6, halved
  • Maraschino cherries with stem – 12, for decorating


  • Line 12 muffin cups with liners.
  • In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  • In a small bowl combine buttermilk and cherry juice; set it aside.
  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat butter for 30 seconds on high speed.
  • Add sugar, vanilla and almond extract. Beat until combined.
  • Add egg whites one at a time; beating well after each addition.
  • Alternately add flour mixture and buttermilk mixture to the beaten mixture. Mix until just combined.
  • Spoon batter into the prepared muffin cups filling about two third full. Press half a cherry into each filled cup.
  • Bake for 15- 18 minutes; until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
  • Let the cupcakes cool down completely on a wire rack.

Ingredients for cherry frosting: ( double the recipe if you need more frosting for decorating especially if you are using a 1M tip)

  • Unsalted butter – 1/4 cup, softened
  • Powdered sugar – 2 cups
  • Maraschino cherry juice – 1 + 1/2 tbsps
  • Almond extract – 1/4 tsp
  • Milk – 2 tbsps (approximately) as required to get the required frosting consistency


  • Beat butter until smooth.
  • Add powdered sugar and beat well
  • Scrap down the sides and add maraschino cherry juice and almond extract.
  • Beat well.
  • Add milk little by little according to the frosting consistency you require.


Buttermilk substitute/ quick buttermilk – You can add 1 tsp of lemon juice /vinegar to 6 tbsps of milk . Let it sit for 5 minutes. You will end up with quick buttermilk for the cupcakes.


Idli Upma

Idli Upma

A quick and simple recipe to use leftover idli’s.


  • Leftover idli’s – 3
  • Oil – for saute
  • Mustard seeds – 2 pinches
  • Urad dal – 1/4 tsp
  • Channa dal – 1/4 tsp
  • Curry leaves – 4
  • Onion – 3 tbsps, mince it as small as possible( speeds up the cooking time)
  • Serrano pepper – half a pepper cut lengthwise
  • Turmeric powder – half of 1/8th tsp
  • Salt – the idli has salt, so add if required
  • Cilantro – for garnishing


  • Crush idli’s into small pieces.
  • Heat oil in a pan.
  • Add mustard seeds and wait till it splutters.
  • Add urad dal and channa dal. Keep stirring continuously until the dals turn golden brown.
  • Add onions,curry leaf and Serrano pepper.
  • When the onions turn golden brown, add turmeric powder and mix it for few seconds.
  • Add crushed idli’s and salt( if required).
  • Keep stirring continuously until the crushed idli’s are warm.
  • Turn off the heat and enjoy and garnish with cilantro.



Spicy Cucumber Sticks

Spicy cucumber sticks

This post might seem silly to some but I am going to post it for those who are not aware of a common street food in India. In most parts of India you can find cucumber and raw mango slices coated with chili powder and salt being sold  by street vendors especially during the summer season. This can served at parties for adults as finger food.

Slice cucumbers or raw mangoes. Mix chili powder/ paprika and salt in a bowl. Sprinkle them on the cucumber or mango slices.  Season according to taste. Enjoy!

For a mix of sweet and spicy taste, the same can be used on sweet mangoes too.

Arisi Paruppu Sadam

Arisi Paruppu Sadam

As a tribute to late Chef Jacob, I would like to post a recipe from his TV show Aaha Enna Rusi . He made a Kongu Nadu dish called Arisi Paruppu Sadham. Seeraga Samba/Jeera Samba rice is the one that elevates the flavor to the next level but it tastes just fine with Sona Masoori rice or any raw rice variety.

Onion raita goes really well with this rice but it can be served with any side dish that you serve with Sambar rice.


  •  Toor dal – 75 grams
  • Green moong dal – 75 grams
  • Seeraga Samba rice – 250 grams
  • Ghee – 3 tbsps
  • Cashew -10
  • Raisins -15
  • Cinnamon stick -1
  • Cloves -2
  • Jathipathri – a few
  • Salt – to taste
  • Water
  • Grind to a coarse powder:
    • Whole black pepper – 1/2 tsp
    • Coriander seeds – 1/2 tsp
    • Fennel seeds – 1/2 tsp
    • Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
    • Dry red chilli – 2


  • Soak both the dal’s together for 2 hours.
  • Soak rice for 5 minutes.
  • Heat ghee in the bottom pan of a pressure cooker.
  • Fry cashews and raisins in the ghee in remove only the cashews and raisins using a slotted spoon and set them aside.
  • In the same pan, add cinnamon stick, cloves and jathipathri. Saute for few seconds.
  • Add 1/2 cup of water and the ground spices. Let it boil for a minute.
  • Drain the soaked dal and rice. Add them to the boiling spice mixture.
  • Add 4 cups of water and salt to taste.
  • Pressure cook for 2 whistles.
  • Add the fried cashews and raisins to the cooked dal-rice mixture and mix well.



Mushroom Risotto

Pan Seared Lamb Chops 6

This is my version of mushroom risotto. Cook the mushroom and peas in butter and add it to the cooked risotto.

I used the entire carton of chicken broth.


  • Butter – 1 tbsp + 2 tbsps, divided
  • Olive oil – 1 tsp
  • Mushroom – 4, sliced
  • Frozen peas – 1/4 cup
  • Shallots – 1/3 cup, finely chopped
  • Arborio rice – 1 cup, do not wash the rice
  • Chicken broth – 32 fl oz
  • Grated Parmesan cheese – 2 – 3 tbsps plus more for garnishing
  • Parsley – finely chopped, for garnishing


  • Heat 1 tbsp butter in a small pan.
  • Add mushroom and peas. Saute until the mushrooms are cooked. Set it aside.
  • Heat 2 tbsps of butter and olive oil in a heavy bottom pan or dutch oven.
  • Add shallots and saute until they turn transparent.
  • Add arborio rice and saute until they turn opaque on medium heat. Stir continuously
  • Add 1 cup of chicken broth to the rice and let the rice cook. Keep stirring at regular intervals. Do not let the rice burn.
  • When the rice absorbs the broth, add another cup of chicken broth.
  • Keep adding chicken broth until the rice is cooked but not mushy.
  • Turn off the heat.
  • Stir in the cooked mushrooms  and peas.
  • Add shredded Parmesan cheese and parsley. Mix well.
  • Top the risotto with Parmesan cheese while serving.
  • Risotto is best served hot.


  • For a spicy version of risotto; add minced garlic(2 garlic cloves) and Serrano pepper( 1 and a half Serrano pepper slight lengthwise) to the onions while cooking.
  • Adding warm chicken broth to the rice speeds up the cooking process.