Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Karamani Sundal/ Black Eyed Peas Sundal

Karamani is also called as "thatta payir" or "black eyed peas". Karamani is one of my favorite legume. It is very easy to make this yummy sundal. This legume is available in varieties of colors. It's very good source of fiber and low in cholesterol. Here you go with the healthy sundal recipe :D



  • Karamani - 1cup
  • Grated coconut - 1/2cup
  • Mustard - 1/4tsp
  • Urad dhal - 1tsp
  • Dry red chillies - 2
  • Asafoetida - pinch 
  • Salt - as needed 
  • Oil - as needed 
  • Curry leaves - few


  • Soak karamani overnight. Drain water. Pressure cook the karamani with enough water and salt for about 2-3 whistles in medium flame.
  • Heat a skillet with oil and temper with the items in the above ingredient table. When it starts to splutter add the cooked karamani and stir for 2 minutes until water evaporates. 
  • Add grated coconut stir for few seconds in medium flame.
  • Now sundal is ready to be served.



  • If you forgot to soak the karamani overnight, then soak the sprout for 3-4 hours in hot water. 
Check our other sundal recipes black-chickpeas-sundal|kondakadalai-sundal|peanut-sundal       

Friday, September 26, 2014

Rava Ladoo

Rava Ladoo/Laddu has evolved into ubiquitous Indian sweet over several decades. These are melt-in-mouth  treats  made from ghee roasted semolina, coconut & milk and  studded with crispy golden cashews and raisins. Like besan ladoo, rava ladoo is also very easy to make and a perfect festive sweet recipe for Diwali, Ganesh chathurti and other festivals & occasions.   

Ingredients makes 15 laddus
  • rava/ semolina/sooji - 1 cup
  • ghee - 1/4 cup
  • grated coconut - 1/2 cup
  • sugar - 3/4 cup
  • cardamom powder - 1/2 tsp
  • milk - 1/4 cup
  • cashews & raisins - a handful
Note - Keep the flame low throughout the process

  • Heat a tbsp of ghee in a pan and add cashew & raisins. Remove it when the cashew turns golden brown. Keep it in a bowl.
  • Now roast grated coconut and cardamom powder for 2 minutes. Transfer to the bowl .
  • Add the remaining ghee and roast rava until the aroma begins to waft. Transfer rava to the bowl.
  • Add sugar and mix well. Slowly add warm milk to the mixture.
  • When the mixture is warm enough to handle, make it into balls/laddus. 
  • If you are not able to gather it into a ball, sprinkle some more milk and try again

  • Since we have used milk & coconut, shelf life is less (1 week - 10 days)
  • Store it in a air-tight container in the refrigerator.
  • Heat for 2 seconds in microwave before you eat for juicier laddu.
  • You can add water instead of milk to increase the shelf life of ladoos to another 5 days.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Black chickpeas/ kala channa sundal

Navratri is just around the corner which means it's time for Sundal. We can make Sundal with various legumes like black/white chickpeas, green gram, kidney beans, green peas, peanuts..Among the myriad varieties of Sundals, the one I'm talking about today is Black channa sundal. This recipe, like every other sundal recipe is easy to prepare, delicious and very healthy..

Ingredients serves 4
  • black chickpeas- 1 1/2 cup 
  • fresh coconut(shredded)- 3/4 cup
  • oil- 2 tbsp
  • mustard seeds - 1 tsp
  • green chilies- 3-4 
  • cilantro - 3/4 cup
  • curry leaves- a few
  • asafoetida - a pinch
  • salt - to taste
  • ginger - 1 tsp
  • red chilies - 2


  • Soak channa overnight & pressure cook it with a pinch of salt
  • Grind cilantro, coconut, green chilies, ginger with little water
  • Heat oil in a pan and add mustard seeds. Once they splutter, add asafoetida, red chilies & curry leaves.
  • Add the ground paste and fry for 5 mins
  • Add boiled channa, some salt and mix well and cook for 5 mins
  • Serve hot

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Kondakadalai Sundal/Channa Sundal

Navratri means "nava"- nine, "ratri"- night, worshiped for nine forms of Devi. It's a festival dedicated to Hindu goddess Durga Devi. The tenth day is commonly celebrated as Vijayadashami or Dasara. This festival is an important one which is celebrated all over India. Kondakalai Sundal is a traditional savory snack for vinayagar chathurthi and navratri. It's very healthy and guilt free sundal. This recipe is easy and flavorful one. Here you go with the recipe :)


  • Kondakadalai / Channa - 1 cup
  • Coconut grated - 2 tbsp 
  • Salt - as needed 
  • Oil - as needed 
  • Mustard - 1 tsp 
  • Urad dhal - 1/4 tsp
  • Red chillies - 3 
  • Asafoetida - pinch 
  • Curry leaves- 1 spring 


  • Soak channa overnight and pressure cook with salt and water for 3-4 whistles.
  • Heat a skillet with oil and temper with mustard, urad dhal, curry leaves, asafoetida and red chillies. Fry until it splutter and turns to golden brown. 
  • Add cooked channa and stir for 2 minutes until moisture evaporates. 
  • Now add grated coconut and fry for a minute. Transfer the sundal to serving bowl.


  • You can replace red chillies with green chillies.
  • Instead of adding coconut as such you can grind coconut and green chillies together and add as a coarse paste at the last. 
  • If your soaking the channa overnight you can pressure cook along with salt or the soaking time for channa is less, then you have to add salt at the time of cooking only. 
Try our other sundal recipe peanut sundal  

Linking parties hearth-soul-blog-hop|totally-talented-tuesdays

Monday, September 22, 2014

Easy Fall Decor Ideas {Collab with Vikalpah}

 As much as I love the beaches, shorts, popsicles & active days of Summer...what is it about Fall that makes us feel rejuvenated..The one thing I feel absolutely lucky about living in Chicago is that I get to experience all 4 seasons. 

It's Fall, Y'all !!  It's the most wonderful time of the year..at least for me :D Why you ask? 
Scented candles galore, foliage, pumpkin spiced latte,Halloween, new episodes of our favorite TV shows!!...
boots, sweaters, scarves.. as we change our wardrobes, we also tend to add a little Fall flair to our home. 
So if you're looking for easy & inexpensive Fall decor ideas, you have come to the right place. Also this post is a collab with my dear friend Sahana @Vikalpah, you should totally go check out her page for more Fall decor ideas. 

Here's few artsy looking decor ideas for your home and if you don't have  an artsy bone, don't worry: these are simple, inexpensive and so easy that even kids can do it !! OKAY? Okay..Let's do it

Fall Themed Vase

Linking this post to 

Verkadalai Sundal/ Peanut Salad

It is that time of the year again. The festivals are here. The place I belong (India) and the place I now call home (US) are both exuberant with lights, music, festivities and joy during this season (Sep to Dec)! The holiday mood is already set with all the fabulous decors in the stores and my Pinterest feed!

As I was looking at all the amazing ideas for Halloween, I just can’t help but notice how much similar Halloween is to Dussehra/Navaratri that we celebrate back home. It left me with so much surprise how different cultures in different parts of the world share a lot in common, despite the many contrasts that may exist.

Kids in India dress up in costumes for Navaratri just like how kids in US dress up for Halloween. However, Halloween is about scary costumes while Navaratri is all about costumes from Hindu epics and mythologies
PC: shutterstock.com and post.jagran.com
While Halloween is decorating the house with pumpkins, lanterns and haystacks,Navaratri is decorating the house with dolls and toys arranged on steps. 

PC: shutterstock.com and india4u.com

Trick-or-treating here is singing devotional songs there. And candies here are SUNDAL (salads) there! See, I told ya! So much in common.

Ah, did I just say SUNDAL … I want to make one right away and happily relive my childhood memories! And hey, we celebrate navaratri for 9 nights! Yes, we Indians take festivals bit too serious!! So, it means different types of sundals on each day. As Navaratri starts Sep 25 this year, it is going to be ‘Sundal Time’ on our blog. 

Thursday, September 18, 2014

No Sew Throw Pillow

"Cozy nights and lazy mornings...
          Comfy sweaters and trendy scarves…
 Skinny jeans and fall boots…
 Hot chocolates and classic books…

 Candles and pumpkins…
 Halloween and lanterns…
 Pretty leaves and driving around just to see the trees…
 Fall is everything so beautiful and sweet…

Hey fall, I am so ready for you !!"

Can you tell how excited I am for fall already! 
If you are friends with me on Instagram, you would know how crazy excited I am.

Like the dollar store haul and the laptop make over –

OR the fall leaves on my window blinds…

I am really pumped up for fall this year and can’t wait to make my home all cozy and warm. Just another reason to feel lazy, right? Fall kind of makes laziness official!

Here is a simple…really simple DIY to make your own throw pillows that hardly takes 10 minutes. It is not necessarily for fall. You can make it any themed or even use your old shirts. But I am on my ‘fall overload’ pills, so I just want to make it the ‘fall’ way!   

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

DIY Cherry Blossom decor

Hello, my lovelies...

How many of you got lucky to see the beautiful Northern Lights? Do tag us on twitter if you got any good pics... I'm a sucker for all things beautiful & unique.. like northern lights, rainbow, sunset, cherry blossom...Speaking of cherry blossom,  I stumbled upon a beautiful DIY decor recently and I badly wanted to recreate it. Thank you so much Mandee for the beautiful printable.. I love it..love it ..loveee it.. You guys should totally go check her blog.. You'll fall in love just like I did!!

Just so you guys know, its absolutely legit to make cherry blossom decor in Fall season..Or I just couldn't wait till next spring. LOL. Did I tell you, this project costs almost nothing and it is the easiest cherry blossom decor I have come across!!! All credits goes to Mandee, the genius..

Hey!! Did you notice my Chicago Bean masterpiece?? If you guys haven't seen/heard about it, don't worry!! Its nothing like this.. its much more beautiful..you guys must see when you plan to visit Chicago. 
And the other centerpiece at the right, I guess you guys would have seen it already if you have been following the blog else click here. Ok now on to this project..let me tell what we need
  • Cherry blossom printable
  • paper
  • some branches
  • scissors
  • glue

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Idly Milagai Podi

You might have had a hectic weekend and then comes "Monday" with an empty refrigerator... Don't worry, we got your back as this podi will make your day :). Idly Milagai Podi or Kara Podi mixed with ghee or sesame oil is my favorite accompaniment for idly and dosa. Idly podi is one of the most common side dish in south Indian homes. I learnt this recipe from my mother which tastes much better than the store bought one. It has a nice aroma, flavor of ulutham paruppu/urad dhal and curry leaves. I'm sure each one will have their own version of idly podi, this is my version of authentic idly podi. Here you go with the recipe...

Monday, September 15, 2014

Banana Muffins

Today's tiny tale featuring me n my better half...

I loveee muffins....he hates muffins...
I loveee strawberries...he hates strawberries...*what a shame*
He loves egg plant...I hateeee eggplant....
He loves me...I hatee..whaaaa.. I love him to the moon and back.. no doubts..

Everytime I force him to eat a strawberry, he wants me to promise him that I would eat eggplant whenever its made. Truce!  Few days back when I baked blueberry muffins,to my surprise he did eat  a couple of them without me pestering. *epic win*

So, this time I wanted to try banana muffin mostly cos the bananas were over ripe. You know that the muffins are awesome when you literally have to snatch the jar from your husband's hand to stop him from eating all at once. Yea.. THAT good!! 

Seriously you guys these muffins are cinch to make and you can have them for breakfast, snacks, dessert.. Since it has banana in it I think its breakfast appropriate.. This is the best you can make out of over ripe bananas, close second is banana ice cream

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Mullu Murukku / Crispy Savory Spirals

" The fondest memories are made when gathered around the table."

Those of you who read my post on crispy lentil fritters will be aware that my mom is in town. Evening snacks or tiffin (as we call it back home) became an everyday affair ever since then. Like these - fritters, salads, rolls, crepes, cupcakes and anything that we can joyfully munch.  Needless to say, food tastes so much better when you eat it with your family.

It was one such beautiful evening, my mom and I made these crispy delights...

For those of you wondering - these are crispy savory spirals (sorry, that's the best I could translate) which is a popular Indian snack known as 'mu-ru-kku' in Tamil and 'chak-li 'in Hindi.

These beauties are mostly reserved for special occasions and festivals as it requires deep frying and can be little time consuming. But for those of you who need no reason to celebrate food, just like me, go ahead and make them.You can store these in an air tight container and enjoy them throughout the week

There are different types of murukkus and here is the recipe for 'Mullu Murukku'. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Bangles/Bracelets Holder

Hello DIYers….! It has been a while since I posted something ‘crafty’! I was found to be too ‘craftaholic’ that I was actually on my road to recovery. But then, took a U-turn to the nearest craft store for an extraordinary DIY just for you guys!

Who am I kidding! I have been little preoccupied with few other things lately and was forced to put 'crafts/DIY projects' to the back burner!

But my craftaholic hands was itching for something… well, crafty!

It may not be an extraordinary project as mentioned earlier, but a simple yet extremely useful DIY and without a doubt... made just for you!

It is similar to the desk organizer that I posted a while ago!

Yes, we are using empty tissue rolls again! But this time, to organize bangles, bracelets, hair ties and make up brushes!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Potato rolls

Planning for a picnic/party/potluck? Or...Looking for a tea-time snack? Here is a very easy recipe which can be done in a jiffy if you have some boiled potatoes and bread in hand. 
These rolls are immensely simple, delicious and a  perfect finger food.. The first time I made these rolls I was in my teens *smug look*. haha.. 
truth is I was experimenting with aloo paratha and goofed it up.. So I wrapped the spicy potato stuffing with a bread slice and fried them. 

These rolls are crunchy from outside and soft n spicy from inside. You can either deep fry it or bake it, totally upto you. You can use whole wheat brown/white bread to make it more healthy. Also you can add veggies of your choice along with potato. If you're thinking of a cheat food for your kiddo who hates veggies, this is the one. Let's get to the recipe already...

Ingredients  (makes 10 rolls)
  • 10 bread slices, crust removed
  • 4 medium sized potatoes, boiled & mashed
  • 1 tsp minced green chilies
  • 1/2 cup carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 cup peas, boiled/defrosted 
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp red chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala powder (optional)
  • 1/2 tsp chaat masala (optional)
  • 2 tsp butter
  • 2 tsp oil
  • salt, to taste
  • finely chopped cilantro

  • Heat a pan, add 2 tsp of oil. Add onion, green chili & saute for  a minute.
  • Add mashed potatoes, carrots, peas, salt, red chili powder, garam masala powder and chaat masala. 
  • Switch off the heat. Add cilantro and mix well.
  • Pre-heat the oven to 350deg F. Grease a baking sheet with butter.
  • Roll the bread flat using the rolling pin. Place a teaspoon of potato mixture on the slice.
  • Roll it up tightly and seal the edges with the help of water.
  • Once you are done with all the slices, brush them with butter and place on the baking sheet.

  • Place them in pre-heated oven for 10 mins and flip the rolls and bake for 10 mins or until it turns golden brown in color too.
  • Serve them with ketchup or green chutney.

Linking this post to :
Hearth and soul blog hop  weekend recipe link up party

Monday, September 8, 2014

Coconut Thogayal

Okay! I admit - I am lazy and I know it!  Please don’t tell me you don’t have those days - when all you want is lie on the couch and watch your favorite show on Netflix all day. The last thing I would want to hear on such days would be “What’s for dinner?” Come, on! You got to be kidding me. Pause my TV, get off the couch and prepare a fancy dinner? Gimme a break!

We have all been there and done that, right? No? Then you can very well call me a ‘couch potato’. I am proud to be one ‘cause doing nothing is really hard to do … you never know when you are finished!

But you got to do what you got to do. I mean, eat!

So I have few recipes that can help you on such days, like this mint thogayal that I posted a while ago.And now it is coconut thogayal !! It can be your best friend if prepared in advance but even if not, it is insanely simple.

Friday, September 5, 2014

Vegetable Hakka Noodles

Nowadays vegetable hakka noodles have become usual Indo-Chinese dish at my place. This is one of our all time favorite recipe. Whenever I feel bored to cook, this is the recipe I prefer to make because it's easy, less time consuming and healthy too ;). Its smoky flavor, crispiness and color of veggies that blend with noodles is what I love the most in this dish. Wok also plays a significant role in making hakka noodles. Your kids will love to take this in their lunchbox often. I make this recipe along with any type of Manchurian like vegetable, cauliflower, paneer and tofu. You can use any plain noodles for this recipe. Now here you go with the recipe....

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Easy Vegetable Chili

Today’s recipe is a guest post by Kristin, a writer for Marie Callender’s and other ConAgra brands. She resides in Chicago and enjoys trying new recipes on the weekends. Her favorite dishes include poached eggs in the morning, throw-whatever-is-in-the-fridge salads for lunch and vegetable-heavy stir fries for dinner.She's always on the hunt for unexpected yet delicious food combinations.

Hope everyone had a relaxing Labor Day weekend. I welcome September with a countdown to the first day of fall—20 more days! When the temperature starts to drop, I’ll start pulling out my sweaters and riding boots from last year, admiring the leaves changing colors on my evening walks and cooking dishes to warm me up. A recipe at the top of my fall cooking list is an easy vegetable chili. It only takes about 35 minutes to make and requires just one pan! Hope you enjoy.

Easy Vegetable Chili

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Onion Tomato Chutney

I strongly believe that cooking ‘well’ does not necessarily mean cooking ‘fancy’. At times, or rather, most of the times, the simplest of all flavors could do so much magic to our taste buds. It need not be a complicated dish with ‘hard-to-pronounce’ ingredients but just simple food cooked with love and freshest ingredients you could get hold of.

‘Simple food’ is ambiguous and differs between persons belonging to different origin and cuisines. A dish that I consider simple can be complicated to a person in Italy and vice versa. In short, simple/comfort food is the one that each one of us grew up with, the food that we saw our mothers/grandmothers cooking and the food that made our childhood. For me, it is the South Indian cuisine and more particularly Tamil cuisine.

Idli/dosa to a South Indian is like bread/pancakes to my friends in the other part of the world. Idli/dosa paired with different types/flavors of chutney will make the morning scene in most of the Tamil house. To be more precise, chutney is just like how butter is to bread. Will it be so obvious if I say; chutney is the best friend of Idli/Dosa?

So here is the recipe of one such simple chutney that is very quick and easy to make, that can be stored in the refrigerator for at least a week and that makes an excellent side to idli/dosa/pongal and wide variety of other Indian breakfasts. Sounds perfect, right?

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