Paruppu Urundai Kulambu / Vada Kulambu

vadai kulambu 1

Paruppu urundai kulambu / vada kulambu is a spicy coconut gravy with channa dal duplings. The dumplings/vadai is steam cooked and then transferred to the coconut gravy to soak. This gravy can be served with white rice and fryums. Works well with chapathi/dosa too. This recipe is from my mom. Hope you enjoy.

Ingredients for vadai/channa dal dumplings:

  • Channa dal – 1/2 cup, soaked overnight in water
  • Onion – 1/4 cup, finely chopped
  • Salt – to taste
  • Fennel seeds – 1/4 tsp

Method for making vadai/channa dal dumplings:

    • Soak channa dal overnight in water.

vadai kulambu 2

    • Drain the soaked dal and grind it to a coarse paste without adding water. ( can grind it coarse or almost fine)
    • Add salt, onion, and fennel seeds to the ground channa dal and mix well.

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    • Make small balls or squish them gently with your fingers and palm and make small vadai’s.
    • Steam cook the vadai. Set them aside.

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Ingredients for Gravy:

  • Oil – for sauteing
  • Mustard seeds – 1/8 tsp
  • Onions – 1 cup, chopped
  • Curry leaves – 6
  • Turmeric – 1/4 tsp
  • Tomato – 1, chopped
  • Chili powder – 2 tsps, adjust according to taste
  • Salt – to taste
  • Water – 1 + 3/4 cups
  • Cilantro – for garnishing
  • Grind to a fine paste using water(Coconut paste):
    • Shredded coconut – 1/4 cup
    • Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
    • Fennel seeds – 1/2 tsp
    • Cinnamon stick – 1 inch

Method for making gravy:

    • Heat oil in a pan.
    • Add mustard seeds and wait till it splutters
    • Add onions and curry leaf.
    • Saute until the onions turn golden brown.
    • Add turmeric and chopped tomatoes.
    • Saute until the tomatoes lose shape.
    • Add chili powder and saute for 25 seconds.
    • Add the coconut paste to the onion mixture and let it boil for 1 minute.
    • Add 1 + 3/4 cups of water and salt to taste.
    • When the gravy begins to boil, add the steamed vadai’s/channa dal dumplings and let it boil for 2 minutes.

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    • Turn off the heat and garnish with cilantro.
    • The gravy will be a bit watery but the vadai’s will soak the water up and make the gravy thicker.

vadai kulambu 7


The vadai’s / channa dal dumplings have to soak in the gravy, so make this gravy 20- 30 minutes ahead of serving.

Super Fudge Brownie

Originally posted on Uma's Kitchen:

Super Fudge Brownies 1

I have already posted a recipe for warm delicious brownie cups. Here is my second recipe for super fudge brownies. These soft chocolaty brownies will steal your hearts…….Happy Valentines Day.

I am re-posting this recipe with more pictures. Using a glass baking dish works better than a square cake pan.

The brownies in the photo were made out of chocolate chips. Try Ghirardelli semi sweet chocolate baking bars instead of chocolate chips. The brownie tastes heavenly with the bars. I have tried other brands of baking bars; I did not like them at all.


  • Unsalted Butter – 1/2 cup, cut into small pieces
  • Semi- sweet chocolate chips – 8 oz
  • All purpose flour – 1 cup
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder – 1/4 cup
  • Baking powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Salt – 1/2 tsp
  • Sugar – 1 + 1/4 cup
  • Eggs – 3


  • Preheat oven to 350F.
  • Coat a 9…

View original 259 more words

Microwave Mac and Cheese/ Quick Mac and Cheese

Microwave Mac and Cheese

I came across this recipe from The Kitchn. I quadrupled the recipe and tried it. The result was a creamy mac and cheese. When I make comfort foods, I don’t count calories. I used whole milk. But 2% milk should be fine too.

The original recipe says to cook the pasta al dente. But I fully cooked the pasta.  I like it that way.

I love mustard. So, I added Dijon mustard as well. You can add your favorite mustard.

Below are the ingredients for single serve mac and cheese.


  • Elbow macaroni – 1/2 cup
  • Water – 1/2 cup
  • Salt – 1/4 tsp
  • Milk – 1/4 cup, any type of milk
  • Medium Cheddar cheese – 1/2 cup, shredded
  • Dijon mustard – 1/2 tsp (optional)


  • In a microwave safe bowl; mix macaroni, water and salt.
  • Microwave in 2 minute increments and stirring each time until the pasta is al dente.
  • If the water evaporates before the pasta is cooked, add a tbsp of water to cook it.
  • Stir in milk, cheddar cheese and Dijon mustard.
  • Microwave in 30 seconds interval until the cheese melts and turns creamy. Stir each time you heat it up.
  • Do not overheat the mac and cheese after you add milk and cheese.


Tomato Rice

Tomato rice5


  • Uncooked raw rice or parboiled rice – 2 cups
  • Oil – for saute
  • Mustard seeds – 1/8 tsp
  • Fennel seeds – 1/2 tsp
  • Cinnamon stick – 1
  • Bay leaf -1
  • Cardamom – 2 pods
  • Onion – 3/4 cup, chopped
  • Curry leaves – 6 leaves
  • Ginger garlic paste – from 1 inch piece of ginger and 3 garlic pods
  • Tomato puree – grind 6 roma tomatoes
  • Chilli powder – 2+ 1/2 tsp
  • Water – 3 cups + 3/4 cup
  • Salt – to taste
  • Chickpeas – 1/2 cup,optional( soak overnight in water)
  • Mint leaves – few leaves, chopped
  • Cilantro leaves – chopped


    • Pressure cook chickpeas in water with some salt for one whistle and drain them. Set it aside. Adding chickpeas is optional.(If you forget to soak the chickpeas, you can pressure cook the chickpeas for a longer time until it is cooked)
    • Heat oil in a pan with a lid and big enough to cook 2 cups of rice.
    • Add mustard seeds and wait till it splutters.
    • Add fennel seeds, cardamom, cinnamon and bay leaf. Saute for 5 seconds.
    • Add onions and curry leaf. Saute until the onions turn light golden brown.
    • Add ginger garlic paste and saute for a minute.
    • Add the tomato puree and cook until the water evaporates from the tomato.

Tomato rice 2

    • Add chilli powder and cook for few minutes.
    • Wash the rice; drain it and add it to the tomato mixture.
    • Add water and salt to taste. Add more chilli powder if required.

Tomato rice 3

    • Add mint and cilantro leaves.
    • Cover the pan with a lid and cook on medium heat until the rice is almost cooked and there is little water left.

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    • Turn off the stove but keep the lid on and let the rice cook in its steam for 10 minutes.

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  • Fluff the rice and serve with spicy potatoes and raita.

Cheese ball

cheese ball

Cheese ball is a perfect party appetizer. The nuts and green bell pepper gives the cheese ball a good crunch.


  1. Cream cheese – 8ounce
  2. Sharp cheddar cheese – 4 ounces
  3. Lemon juice – juice of 1/2 a lemon
  4. Worcestershire sauce – 1 tbsp
  5. Garlic powder – 1 tsp
  6. Green bell pepper – 1/2 a bell pepper finely minced
  7. Scallions/spring onions – 2, minced
  8. Pecans – 1/2 cup, chopped


  • Mix all the ingredients from 1 to 7 together in a bowl.
  • Make a ball and roll the cheese mixture in chopped pecans.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serve the cheese ball with crackers of your choice.

The cheese ball can be made a day ahead of serving.

Channa Masala

Channa Masala 1

The channa masala powder used to make channa masala plays a very important role in this dish. I use MTR channa masala. It is my favorite. There are different channa masala brands available in the market. You can stick with the one you like.

I use Kabuli channa to make channa masala. You can try it with black channa as well.

Channa masala can be had with chapathi, spinach chapathi and parotta. It works well with jeera rice as well.

Channa Masala 2


  • Dry chickpeas – 1 cup + 1/4 cup , soaked overnight in water
  • Oil – 3 tbsps
  • Whole garam masala- 2 cardamom +bay leaf -2+ cinnamon stick -1 inch +Fennel seeds – 1/2tsp
  • Onion – 1 cup, chopped
  • Tomatoes – 2, chopped
  • Channa masala powder – 3 tsp+ 1/4 tsp
  • Coriander powder – 1 tsp
  • Cumin powder – 1/2 tsp
  • Hing – 3 pinches
  • Water – as required
  • Salt to taste


  • Heat oil in a pressure cooker pan.
  • Add whole garam masala spices and saute for few seconds.
  • Add onions and saute until they turn golden brown.
  • Add tomatoes and cook until the tomatoes lose their shape.
  • Add channa masala powder, coriander powder, cumin powder and hing.
  • Saute for few minutes.
  • Drain the soaked channa and add only the channa to the mixture.
  • Add water as required. You can add little water for a thick gravy or more water.
  • Add salt to taste. Add more channa masala, coriander powder and cumin powder  if required.
  • Pressure cook for 1 whistle.


  • I like to smash up the chana a little bit after it has been pressure cooked. Well, it is just a personal preference. May be two swirls with a dal masher.
  • If you are using black channa, it has to be pressure cooked longer. 6 whistles even if the channa has been soaked overnight.
  • Pressure cook time:
    • Kabuli channa/ white channa – 1 whistle
    • Black channa – 6 whistles

Jeera Rice

Jeera Rice

Jeera rice is flavored with whole spices. I do not add a lot of salt to it. It is a fancy way of dressing up plain rice. It can be served with paneer gravy, mushroom gravy, any vegetarian gravy or non-vegetarian gravy. I goes really well with Channa masala.

You can use Shahi Jeera or cumin seeds.

I cook the rice with all the ingredients in a rice pot with lots of water and drain the water. You can also use a rice cooker to cook the rice.


  • Basmathi rice – 1 + 1/2 cups, washed and soaked in water until the water boils
  • Water – as required
  • Oil – 1 tsp
  • Shahi Jeera or Cumin seeds – 1 tbsp
  • Cardamom – 2
  • Cinnamon stick – 1 stick
  • Bay leaf -1
  • Salt – 3 -4 pinches / or season the water according to taste
  • Mint leaves – for garnishing, optional


  • Boil water in a rice pot.
  • Add oil, shahi jeera, cardamom, cinnamon, bay leaf and salt.
  • Add the washed rice and let it cook until it is almost done.
  • Drain the water from the rice.
  • Add chopped mint leaves.(optional)
  • Mix gently and serve.