Monthly Archives: March 2010

Coconut Banana Muffins

Coconut banana muffin


  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • 4 oz sugar
  • 2 oz butter
  • 1 egg
  • 6 tablespoons milk
  • 2 small ripe bananas
  • ½ cup sweetened coconut flakes
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2 oz walnuts chopped
  • 1 oz raisins


  • Preheat oven to 375°F.  Butter/grease about 10 muffin cups
  • Mash the bananas with a fork
  • Cream butter and sugar together.  Add egg and vanilla essence and beat until fluffy
  • Add the mashed bananas and coconut to the egg mixture and beat well
  • Sift together flour and baking powder in a separate bowl
  • Add the flour mixture into the egg mixture alternating with milk
  • Stir in walnuts and raisins
  • Spoon mixture into prepared muffin cups and bake for about 25 – 30 minutes or a skewer inserted in the middle of the muffin comes out clean
  • Cool on wire rack

Yields 10 muffins


Quick Masoor Dhal Curry

Masoor dhal curry is a very common side dish served with rice.  In the tamil cuisine this dhal curry also served with idiappam and sothi.  Different people cook this differently.  Some people cook this spicy with red chili powder and tomatoes.  This recipe is a very quick version of masoor dhal curry which only takes about 10 minutes.  To make it even quicker, frying part can be completely omitted and chopped garlic and curry leaves can be added to the dhal and cooked directly.  In this case, onion can be completely omitted.


For the Dhal curry:

  • 1 cup masoor dhal
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • 2 green chilies chopped
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • ½ teaspoon cumin powder
  • Salt to taste

For frying:

  • ¼ cup sliced red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon Mustard seeds
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • Few curry leaves


  • wash dhal and add water, salt and chopped green chilies and cook on medium flame for about 12 – 14 minutes (when cooking dhal on stove top do not close the saucepan)
  • add milk and cumin powder and cook for another 30 seconds
  • In a skillet add canola oil and add mustard seeds. 
  • When the mustard seeds start splattering add onion and garlic and fry until they are golden brown
  • Add curry leaves and fry for a few seconds and mix with cooked dhal
  • Serve with warm rice

Yields 3 – 4 side dishes

Whole Wheat Pancake with Maple Banana Topping

Banana Pancake


Banana Topping:

  • 2 medium bananas
  • ¼ cup maple syrup
  • ¼ cup walnuts broken into 2 or 3 pieces
  • 1 oz butter
  • 2 tablespoons sweetened coconut flakes lightly toasted

Pancake mix:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon baking powder
  • butter or oil spray for skillet



  • beat the egg whites slightly
  • add milk, sugar and oil and mix well
  • in a separate bowl sift together flour, salt and baking powder
  • add milk mixture slowly into the flour mixture stirring continuously
  • add a little bit of butter on to a skillet and add a spoonful of batter and cook on both side until nice and brown
  • make all the pancakes and keep them warm until you are finished with the topping


  • cut the bananas diagonally into thick slices
  • in a skillet melt butter and add maple syrup
  • boil on low flame for about 2 minutes
  • add bananas and walnuts and cook for another 3 – 4 minutes

For serving stack 2 or 3 pancakes on a plate and top with banana topping.  Sprinkle with coconut flakes

Yields 3 servings


Pittu is one of the most important food consumed for break-fast and dinner.  Traditionally pittu is made with an equipment called “Neethu Peddi” which is made of Palmyrah leaves.  But now it’s made of either aluminum or stainless steel which is called “Pittu Kulal”.  In the picture below, I made the pittu using the traditional equipment — “Neethu Peddi”.  In Jaffna (Sri Lanka) pittu is made from red rice flour mixed with all-purpose flour which gives the pittu a brownish-red color.



Here is another view I took.



  • ¾ cup roasted all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup roasted red rice flour
  • ¾ cup hot water
  • salt to taste
  • 1 – 2 tablespoon unsweetened shredded coconut


  • mix the flours and salt
  • add boiling water little at a time and mix well and leave it to cool a little bit
  • mix the dough with hand to make a dough
  • break this dough into small pieces and with a cookie cutter or pastry cutter cut into very fine pieces

Pittu Mix

  • add shredded coconut and mix well
  • steam the pittu in a steamer (you can use a normal steamer)

Alternately, instead of using hand and cookie cutter to make the pittu mix, you can simply put the flour mix into a food processor and while the motor is running add hot water until the mix becomes like small beads.  Steam in a steamer

Yields 2 servings

Spicy Bitter Gourd Curry

Bitter gourd curry

This curry is called “Pavakkai curry” in Tamil.  Bitter gourd, as the name implies is very bitter.  To mask the bitterness, normally it’s cooked very spicy.  Also to reduce the bitterness either coconut water or a little bit sugar is used.  I prefer using coconut water since it’s healthy and has some nice flavor and taste.  Using a lot of tamarind paste also reduces the bitterness.  Using coconut milk in this curry gives it a nice flavor and aroma compared to normal milk.


  • 3 medium bitter gourd
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon coriander powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
  • 2 ½ cups water
  • ¼ cup coconut water or 1 teaspoon sugar
  • ¼ cup thick coconut milk or  2% milk
  • 1 cup sliced onion
  • 2 dried red chilies broken into 2 – 3 pieces
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • Salt to taste


  • Slit the bitter gourd length wise and remove the seeds.  Then cut them in to thin slices diagonally
  • Cut the onion into thin slices
  • Add oil to a covered saucepan, add onion and fry on low flame for about 7 – 8 minutes or until golden brown
  • Add broken red chilies and fry for another 1 – 2 minutes
  • Add bitter gourd and fry for a minute
  • Add water, chili powder, salt, tamarind, coconut water and coconut milk and bring to a boil.  Cover the saucepan and cook for about 20 minutes or until bitter gourd is completely cooked and the water is almost absorbed.
  • ** If you are using normal milk, don’t add it at the beginning.  After 20 minutes just add milk and cook for about 5 minutes in low flame.

Yields 4 servings as a side dish

Spicy Whole Wheat French Toast

Spicy French Toast

I used the same ingredients as for normal sweet French toast (see below recipe).  But replaced the sugar and vanilla with a bit of salt and ground black pepper.  Also instead of using butter, I used sesame seed oil.


  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons 1% milk
  • ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • dash of salt
  • 4 slices whole wheat bread
  • 1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
  • butter to spread


  • combine milk, eggs, salt, and pepper in a flat dish until they are incorporated
  • soak the bread slices for about 1 minute in the egg mixture on each side
  • add a ¼ teaspoon sesame seed oil to the skillet and fry the soaked bread slice on each side until nice and brown
  • repeat for the rest of the bread slices
  • spread little bit butter on each French toast

Whole Wheat French Toast with Blueberry Sauce


French Toast


For the blueberry sauce:

  • 2 cups fresh blueberries
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ tablespoon white sugar

For the French toast:

  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons 1% milk
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • ½ teaspoon sugar
  • 4 slices whole wheat bread
  • little bit of butter



  • combine blueberries, sugar and water and cook for about 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens
  • mash blueberries with the back of a spoon
  • set aside

French toast:

  • combine milk, eggs, vanilla, and sugar in a flat dish until they are incorporated
  • soak the bread slices for about 1 minute in the egg mixture on each side
  • add a little butter to the skillet and fry the soaked bread slices on each side until they are nice and brown
  • put the French toasts on a plate and top with blueberry sauce