Kula Puttu
Puttu is a breakfast dish prepared with mainly raw rice and eaten along with Coconut gratings, sugar or jaggery, Banana, milk  and ghee etc of your choice.  Some people do not have  “puttu” without  their usual “kadala ”  ( chikpea, channa ) curry. Since “puttu” is steamed, it is easy for digestion prepared without  using oil etc.
The rice flour can be either made at home in our own blender in small quantities or get it done in the flour mill.  If a large portion of puttu is made at the flour mill, care has to be taken to see that it is well fried and preserved for future use. The steaming of the rice flour can be done using a clean muslin cloth in our own “idli ” vessel or using a special “puttu maker” vessel.
Cooking Time : 2 hours ( including the time for soaking of rice for an hour )
Servings : 3


1.  Raw rice : 2 Cups
2. Water : 0.25 Cup
3. Coconut gratings : 0. 5 Cup
4. Salt : 0. 25 Teaspoon
5. Sugar or Jaggery : 0.25 Cup
Wash and soak raw rice in water for an hour.  Drain out water completely.  And
grind it in a blender to make rice flour.  Using a sieve, fine rice flour can be obtained.  The rice flour need not be very soft for “puttu”.  In an empty skillet, get the rice flour fried lightly for about 5  minutes till the dampness of the rice flour goes.  Dissolve the salt in the water in a cup and sprinkle it over the flour and knead it thoroughly. The rice flour becomes soft to the touch and it should resemble bread crumbs.
Now it is ready  for steaming.  In the special puttu maker,one tablespoon of  the coconut gratings should be  first put at the bottom of the cylindrical  vessel and then the soft rice flour added and finally coconut gratings on the top.  It takes nearly ten minutes to get the rice flour steamed well.  Ifyou are using  the cloth in the regular “idli maker or cooker, you can put the entire rice flour and allow it to get steamed for ten minutes.  Adding sugar or jaggery to the puttu depends upon one’s taste and choice.
Kula Puttu
Kula Puttu
Tips:  Some persons like to add hot ghee, cardamom, ripe banana or hot milk to the steamed puttu.  Preparing “kadala curry” to go with the puttu is another recipe itself.

Vada – Vadai (Keerai Vadai)

Vada or Paruppu Vada: Some snacks are available easily in almost all street corner Tea shops in Tamil Nadu and people love to  have them any time of the day along with a hot cup of tea.  One such favourite item is ” Keerai Paruppu Vada”.  It is a simple snack item consumed along with breakfast or just served as a snack in the evening with a hot cup of coffee or tea.  Traditionally it is served as one of the dishes  on the banana leaf along with other food items for festivals or weddings.  Ingredients such as Bengal gram dhal and greens etc make it a nutritious and tasty food item.

Parippu Vada

Servings: 5
Cooking Time : 30 minutes ( excluding the time for  soaking of dhal for 3 hours)


1. Bengal Gram Dhal : 1 full cup  ( 200 grams )
2. Onion : 2 no
3. G. Chilli : 3 no
4.Cloves Garlic : 2 no
5. Aniseed : 0.5 Teaspoon
6. Coriander and Curry leaves: 2,3 sprigs
7. Greens : 0.5 Cup
8. Salt : 0.75 Teaspoon
9. Oil (preferably sunflower or any refined oil): 250 ml

Paruppu Vadai

Method :

Wash and soak the Bengal gram dhal in enough water for 3 hours. Clean the greens and wash them well in water. Drain the water and chop them to tiny pieces. Chop the g. chili, onions, the coriander and curry leaves.  Then drain
the water from the Bengal gram dhal completely and keep a tablespoon of soaked dhal separate without grinding.  Put the remaining dhal in a blender along with aniseed, garlic pieces etc and grind them to a coarse pulp. To this coarse pulp add salt, one tablespoon whole dhal, chopped onions, g. chili, greens, coriander and curry leaves,  and mix them well.  Make small balls similar to a lime and flatten them with your hand to  round shaped vadas with the edges slightly thinner. In a skillet heat oil over moderate flame.  Fry them 5 or 6 at a time turning them to the other side once they are cooked to a golden yellow colour.

Tips: Adding a few leaves of cleaned chopped mint  gives a unique taste to the snack.  Greens suitable for this “vada” belong to the Amaranth family.


Kuzhi Paniyaram

Kuzhi Paniyaram (Sweet) is a traditional snack item prepared in the households of Tamil Nadu especially in the chettinad region. It is made using a special vessel with small molded depressions in it.  On special days and festival days, these paniyarams are made.  Both sweet and savory type paniyarms can be made with the same dough adding different ingredients. First we can make the dough and then divide it into two portions to make both the sweet and the savory type paniyarms.

Cooking time:  2 hours (excluding the fermentation time etc)
Servings: 8
1.      Raw rice: 1.5 Cup ( 250 grams)
2.      Par Boiled rice: 1.5 Cup ( 250 grams)
3.      Black gram dhal (Urad dhal  -white, skin removed): 0.25Cup ( 50 grams)
4.      Fenugreek: 2 Teaspoons
5.      Salt : 1.5 Teaspoon
6.      Coconut Gratings: 0.25 Cup
7.      Baking Soda (Soda bi-carb): 1 Teaspoon
8.      Kuzhi paniyaram vessel ( vessel with molded depressions for pouring batter)


Clean the rice, Urad dhal and the fenugreek seeds with water and soak in water for 3,4 hours and grind it to a smooth dough in a blender or mixie.  Add the salt and allow it to ferment for 5,6 hours.  Now mix the baking powder in a tablespoon water and mix it well in the fermented dough with coconut gratings and divide it into two portions for making both the savory and the sweet kuzhi paniyarams.

Kara Paniyaram

1.      Mustard: 1 Teaspoon
2.      Onion: 1
3.      G.chili : 1
4.      Curry leaves: 1 Sprig
5.      Oil: 2 Teaspoon
6.      Ghee (Clarified butter) : 0.25 Cup


Chop the onion and the g.chili. Heat a skillet with oil over moderate flame and add the mustard. Then add the other ingredients and fry them. Add it to the dough and mix well. Now keep the“kuzhi paniyaram” vessel over the flame and in every depression pour ghee and then fill it with the dough up to only 3/4th of its depth as the paniyaram will rise up. Use a spoon or thin stainless steel rod to turn the cooked paniyaram to the other side to be cooked.  Both the sides should be cooked evenly and the color should be light brown.  Serve it hot with chutney of your choice. Coconut chutney goes well with this.
1.      Palmyra jaggery (karupatti -unrefined palmyra sugar)- 200 grams


Make syrup with the jaggery and a table spoon of water over moderate flame for a few minutes and strain the syrup to remove the stones etc from it.  Add this syrup to the rice dough which is divided into two portions.  Mix well and make sweet paniyarams   applying ghee to the vessel.
Tips:  Fried cashew, powdered cardamoms can be added to the dough to get extra taste and flavor.


Pongal (or Thai Pongal) is celebrated as the harvest festival of Tamil Nadu. Pongal is enthusiastically celebrated by farmers with their farm produce harvested this season. The word Pongal in Tamil means ‘to boil over’. Here are the recipes that are traditionally prepared during this festival.

Sakkarai Pongal (Sweet Pongal): Cooking Time : 30 minutes.


  • Raw rice    – 1cup  (175 grams.)
  • Green gram dhal – 50 grams
  • Brown (unrefined) sugar       – 300 grams
  • Milk                   – 1 cup
  • Ghee  (Clarified Butter) – 2 table spoons
  • Cardamom           – 4 nos
  • Cashew and raisin – 20 grams
  • Grated Coconut – ½ cup

Cook the rice and dhal together adding 3cups of water and one cup of milk in a cooker, and mash it well. In a heavy-bottomed vessel add ¼ cup water and the brown sugar and keep it on a low flame. When the brown sugar melts completely, strain and remove any impurities etc. Add the mashed rice and dhal mixture to the brown sugar syrup stirring slowly. Then add grated coconut and crushed cardamom. Heat another vessel with ghee. Fry the cashew first and then add the raisin. Add this fried cashew, raisin and rest of the ghee to the above mixture.

Tips: Brown sugar and ghee can be either increased or reduced as required.

Ven Pongal (Also a breakfast item):         Cooking Time : 30 minutes


  • Raw rice (1cup) – 175 grams
  • Green gram dhal – 75 grams
  • Ginger                 – 1/4 inch piece
  • Cumin seed (jeera) – ½ teaspoon
  • Black pepper          – ½ teaspoon
  • Curry leaves          – 1 sprig
  • Ghee                       – 2 tablespoons
  • Cashew                  – 10 grams

Add three cups of water and cook rice and dhal together till done, adding ½ teaspoon salt. Pour ghee in a pan and add finely chopped ginger and then the cumin seeds, pepper and curry leaves with cashew nuts. Then add the mashed rice, dhal mixture to this and stir for a few minutes on a low flame. Enjoy your delicious Pongal!

Pongal 2

Coconut Chutney

India has many different types of chutneys. In the Southern states coconut chutney is a very common accompaniment to breakfast dishes like idli and dosa. It’s an easy to make side-dish and adds a wonderful taste to the meals.

Coconut Chutney 1


Cooking Time: 10 minutes
Servings             : 2


Grated Coconut : ½ cup
Puffed Bengal Gram Dhal: 2 tablespoon
Green chilli peppers: 2
Salt        : ¼ teaspoon
Mustard: ¼ teaspoon
Oil         : 1 teaspoon
Curry leaves: 1 sprig
Method: Put all the ingredients except the oil, mustard and curry leaves, in a blender. Blend to a paste. Heat the oil in a pan and add the mustard and curry leaves. Pour this over the ground paste and season with salt.

Coconut Chutney 2