Monthly Archives: April 2011

Spicy Cauliflower in Coconut Milk


  • 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
  • ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 12 oz cauliflower florets
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • ½ inch piece ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cooking oil
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • Pinch of turmeric
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • Salt to taste


  • Dry roast coriander, cumin and fennel seeds and let cool
  • Grind them together to powder (curry powder)
  • Chop ginger and garlic into very small pieces (or you can use a mortar and pezzle to crush them)
  • Add oil to a saucepan and add crushed/chopped garlic and ginger and sauté for a minute or until garlic is golden
  • Add curry powder and stir and fry for about 30 seconds on low flame
  • Add cauliflower, chili powder, turmeric powder, salt and water and mix well and cover and bring to a boil
  • Now add coconut milk and cover and cook on medium flame until the gravy thickens – about 8 – 9 minutes
  • Serve with chapatti, roti, Nan bread or rice

Coconut milk can be replaced my normal milk (2% or 1%) but it will not give the same flavor as coconut milk.


Payatam Paniyaram/Urundai

payatam paniyaram is a very famous snack/sweet made during the Tamil New Year.  This is also a very common snack/sweet made for weddings and other special occasions.

  • 1 cup mung bean flour (payatam ma)
  • ½ cup roasted rice flour
  • ½ cup castor sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon cardamom powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • Oil for deep frying

For the Batter:

  • Unroasted rice flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • Water


  • Mix the flours, sugar, salt and cardamom powder
  • Add about 1 tablespoon of boiling/hot water and with a back of a wooden spoon mix well.  If it’s too dry add a little bit of water at a time and mix.  The consistency should be like wet soil.  If too much water is added, the flour mix will become gooey and difficult to make the balls
  • Let cool for a while and make into small balls – size of a marble
  • Heat oil in a vessel
  • Once the oil is hot, dip the balls in batter and drop into the oil one at a time and fry until golden. (You can fry more than one ball at a time.  Since I used a big vessel, I fried about 8 – 9 balls at the same time.  But don’t throw a handful of them into the oil simultaneously since they will stick to each other)
  • Drain on paper towel.

To make the batter:

  • Mix salt and flour and add enough water and mix well without any lumps.
  • The consistency of batter should be like that of crepes batter (very thin batter)

Note: Some people add toasted shredded coconut to the payatam paniyaram flour mixture.  You can also add a little bit of ground black pepper for a sweet and spicy taste.

இனிய தமிழ் புத்தாண்டு நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள்


Wish every one a Happy New Year (இனிய தமிழ் புத்தாண்டு நல்வாழ்த்துக்கள்)

Ash Plantain Sambal


  • 2 medium ash plantain
  • ½ cup – ¾ cup thick yogurt
  • 1 green chili chopped into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chopped red onion
  • Salt to taste


  • Peel plantains and cut them into 1 or 2 big pieces
  • Boil until soft and well done
  • Let cool. Chop them  into small pieces (1/4 inch cubes)
  • Add yogurt, chopped onion, green chili and salt to the plantains and mix well
  • Serve with rice

Sri Lankan Patties

Patties are one of the most favorite snacks eaten around Sri Lanka.  You can find patties almost anywhere including school and college canteens, bakeries etc.  This is one of the most common snacks served for birthday parties, tea time and even wedding parties.


Curry Stuffing:

  • 2 medium potatoes (about 12 oz)
  • ¼ cup shredded carrot
  • ¼ cup green peas
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • ½ cup chopped red onion
  • Curry leaves
  • Salt to taste
  • About ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper


  • 1 ¾ cup all-purpose flour
  • Water at room temperature
  • ¼ teaspoon oil

Oil for deep frying



To make the curry:

  • Boil potatoes in water until three quarter done and leave until its cool
  • Add oil to a skillet and add chopped onion and fry until golden brown
  • Add potatoes, salt and chili powder to the skillet and mix well and cook on low flame for a couple of minutes – sprinkle with water to prevent burning
  • Add carrots, green peas and cook for another 3 minutes
  • Add ground black pepper and mix well

To make the dough:

  • Add salt to flour and add water little at a time and mix well
  • The dough should look like bread dough
  • Make small portions of the dough (about 4 or 5)
  • Roll out the portion on a floured surface with a rolling pin
  • Cut out rounds with a cookie cutter and any round sharp cutter
  • Place a spoonful of potatoes in the middle of the rounds
  • Fold into half and seal the edges
  • Deep fry in hot oil
  • Makes about 12 – 13 patties

Pasta with Roasted Mixed Veggies


  • 4 oz pasta (Rotini, Rigatoni etc)
  • 4 oz asparagus
  • 4 oz bell pepper
  • 6 oz portabella mushrooms
  • 1 medium sweet potato
  • ½ cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 -2  tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ cup pasta sauce (I used the basil and tomato sauce)
  • ¼ teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts toasted
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil for sprinkling
  • Parmesan cheese for sprinkling


  • Cook pasta and drain.  Set aside
  • Preheat oven to 350F

  • Cut asparagus into 1 inch pieces.  Cut bell pepper into thin strips.
  • Quarter mushrooms
  • Peel and cube sweet potatoes into ½ inch cubes
  • Add cut vegetables to a cookie sheet/tray and add olive oil, salt and pepper and mix well

  • Bake for about 45 minutes or until vegetables are roasted but a bit crunchy
  • Add cooked pasta, roasted vegetables, pasta sauce to a saucepan and mix well on low flame
  • Add parmesan cheese and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil
  • Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts
  • Optional:  Black olives can also be added to this pasta dish
  • Serves 2