Idly – Idli

Idly or Idli is a favorite breakfast and snack item for many Tamilians. Nutritionally it is good as it contains both protein (urad dhal) and carbohydrates (rice).Fermentation of idly batter is done mostly by bacteria found naturally on the urad dhal seeds.  For making smooth fluffy idly, we require parboiled rice as parboiling leads to partial breakdown of starch in the rice grains, changing the texture and taste.


Time to cook: 1 ½ hours


  1. Par boiled rice                          – 4cups
  2. Black gram dhal (urad dhal) – 1 cup
  3. Salt                                              – 1table spoon
  4. Idly cooker (Steaming vessel with molded depressions for pouring batter)

Clean and soak rice and dhal separately for 4hours. When soaked well, grind rice with a little water into a paste.
Then grind the dhal to a smooth fluffy consistency adding enough water regularly. Mix both the batter adding the salt and allow to ferment over night for at least  8 hours. The consistency of the batter should be similar to the cake batter. Using a oil greased steam plate, and pour the batter in the idly mold. Add enough water in the idly vessel for the idly to be steamed. Check up periodically to see if idly’s are done. It should take around 10 minutes.


Tips: If you are using a cooker for steaming the idly, do not use the weight to block the steam vent.


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Pudina Chutney

Pudina or mint is used in chutney and other dishes all over India. Pudina chutney goes well with breakfast items like idli, dosa and pongal. It can be eaten with rice and also used in sandwiches.

Pudina Chutney
Pudina Chutney


Mint Leaves 1


One bunch of Mint leaves.
3 small onions (shallots)
2 green chillies
1 Table spoon puffed Bengal gram dhal (pottu kadalai)
2 Table spoon grated coconut
Small piece of tamarind and salt

Method :

Clean mint leaves. Pour one teaspoon oil in a pan and fry the small onion, green chillies, mint leaves and grated coconut for a couple of minutes. Let this cool for a bit and then put everything in a blender and grind to a smooth paste adding a little water.

Mint Chutney 2

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Rava Upma (Semolina Upma)

Rava Upma

Rava (semolina) is made from a soft kind of wheat (Durham wheat), and is known in North India as SujiUppuma (Tamil) is a South Indian dish that is pronounced upma in North India. Rava upma can be made in different styles using either rice or semolina.

Rava Uppuma 1

The semolina variety, Rava uppuma, is more common and is a tasty snack usually consumed for breakfast in Tamilnadu. It goes well with coconut chutney or sambar.

Cooking Time: 15 minutes

Servings: 2


Rava (Semolina)  : 200ml or 1 cup
Water                 : 450ml or 2 ¼ cup
Onion                 : 1
Green Chillies     : 2
Ginger               : ½” piece
Curry leaves      : a few sprigs
Mustard seeds :  1 teaspoon
Black gram (urad dhal): 1 teaspoon
Salt   : ½ teaspoon

Method: Roast rava (without oil) in a pan stirring it till you release the flavor and the rava is fried to a light brown color.
Chop onion, green chillies and ginger.
Heat oil in a non-stick pan. Add the mustard seeds and urad dhal. When the seeds start to crackle add the chopped onions, green chillies and ginger and sauté for a couple of minutes. Finally add the curry leaves, pour water into the vessel and add salt. Bring to boil on medium heat. When the water starts to boil, reduce heat and carefully add the fried rava. You will have to stir constantly to make sure that there are no lumps in the rava.

Tips: Fried cashews and ghee (clarified butter) can be added to the uppuma to add flavor and taste. Vegetables like French beans and carrots can also be added if desired (add along with the onions ).

Rava Uppuma 2

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Ulundu or Ulunthu Kali – (Black Gram Porridge)

Ulundu Kali 1

This is a semi solid sweet dish which can be consumed as a supplementary breakfast or as snack. ”Ulundu” or black gram being a legume is high in protein  and nutritious. Palm sugar is prepared from the juice of different kinds of palm trees like Coconuts, Date Palm etc. Palm sugar or Jaggery made from the Palmyra tree is used in this dish. Since it is not refined and prepared without much processing, it is a natural sweetener with many nutrients. Its sweetness and good flavor make “Ulundu kali” a tasty dish. It is considered a healthy food and prepared mainly in the Southern part of Tamil Nadu.

Servings: 8

Cooking Time: 2 hours


1. Split Black Gram : 3/4 Cup or 125 grams
2. Raw rice :  1 Cup or 175 grams
3. Black Jaggery (Palmyra – “karuppatti”) powdered : 3 Cups or 350 grams
4. Salt:  0.25 Teaspoon
5. Gingelly ( Sesame) Oil : 100 ml
6.  Water :  850  ml
7.  Coconut Grating: 1/4 Cup



Using the Blender, get the rice and black gram  powdered separately to a coarse texture.  Add salt to the coarse flour along with 750 ml water and mix thoroughly without lumps.  Keep it aside for 1 1/2 hours.

Take the remaining 100 ml water in another vessel and  boil it  with powdered Jaggery. When the Jaggery has melted completely, remove from stove.  Use a sieve to remove the dirt.

Use a thick bottomed vessel with the rice, gram flour mixture and let it simmer over slow fire for 10 minutes. Stir it continuously until the batter becomes thick.  Then add the jaggery syrup and continue to stir for another 10 minutes till it becomes well cooked.  Oil can be added to the content now. When oil is absorbed completely, add the coconut gratings. Remove from the stove and  serve hot.



Adding 1/2 inch piece of powdered dry ginger to the dish ( while cooking)  is optional.

This porridge can be eaten along with a teaspoon of gingelly oil or ghee (clarified butter).

A wooden ladle can be used to stir the batter constantly over slow flame without getting it burnt.

Ulundu Kali 2

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Rava Dosa is a delicacy for kids and you can relish it for it is crisp and crunchy with a distinct flavour and taste and different from the normal  dosa (rice)  we regularly make at home.

Rava Dosa
Rava Dosa

Cooking Time: 45  mts

Servings: 3


1. Rava ( Semolina ) : 1 Cup or 150 Grams
2. Refined flour ( maida ) 1 Cup or 100 Grams
3. Rice flour : 0.5 Cup or 50 Grams
4. Curd (preferably sour) : 0.25 Cup or 50 Ml
5. Water : 2.5 Cup or 500 Ml
6. Salt : 0.5  Teaspoon
7. Oil : 0.5 Cup
8. Mustard : 1  Teaspoon
9. Pepper : 1 Teaspoon
10. Cumin (Jeera ) : 1 Teaspoon
11. Ginger : 1″ piece
12. G. Chili : 1
13. Coriander and Curry leaves: 1 sprig each


Chop green chili, ginger and coriander, curry leaves. Take a teaspoon of oil in a skillet and saute the mustard, ginger, g. chili, pepper, cumin and curry leaves. Now mix all the ingredients; Rava, maida and rice flour with curd, water, salt and fried items to ferment for 30 mins. The batter should be thinner than the normal dosa batter. Heat the non stick dosa pan or tava and pour a big ladle full of  batter in the middle and spead it to all sides to make it a round dosa.  Use the oil generously over the dosa and it should be well cooked on both sides to become crisp and thin to a golden color.

Rava Dosa 2

Tips:  Try to use a non stick dosa pan for making this. There is no need to fry the rava or maida.

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