Baked Vella Seedai | Baked Sweet Seedai


Krishna Jayanthi is fast approaching and time for preparing prasadam.  This year  its coming during labour day long weekend,  so we are travelling. Going to stay in our friend’s place. Festivals are extra special when its celebrated with family and good friends. They have a son and he is 3 months older to Vishvak (my son). It’s going to be super fun to  dress both kids, prepare prasadam and lot more.

Thinking about Jamnashtami I remember Seedai and footprints we draw to welcome kutti Krishna. Last year I prepared all baked prasadam, Uppu and vellam aval.

I was not satisfied with my last year Vella Seedai so I didn’t post it.  I greased very little oil so vella seedai turned pale brown, didn’t remind me of the vella seedai color and it was little hard as I over baked.

Noted all my mistakes and two weeks back, tried again, and I thought if it flops this time, no more baking Vella Seedai.  With few improvisations, finally I got the texture and the taste. 

My husband returned from work, I told him I did Vella Seedai first response from him was “hope you didn’t bake it”,  I smiled and offered him one. He started eating and I was waiting to hear. He finished it and asked me one more and told good you didn’t bake!! After tasting this year seedai, I realised last year vella seedai got qualified for my bloopers.

Disclaimers: Traditional Deep fried Vella Seedai is still my favorite. This  baked vella seedai version is an attempt to cut down oil usage. It is just my personal preference.


Semiya Payasam


Its festival season and today we had “Avani Avittam”. Men in the family change their Holy white thread. It’s one of my favorite festivals because once in a blue moon (well actually full moon day they chant slogam and perform some rituals). This time we wanted to put ” Kalla Poonal” (ponnal worn before Uppanayianum is called so) for my son. My husband took in charge of dressing him up, it took him few minutes (more than that:-)) to tie pattu veshti for him. Previously we have dressed him will Velcro veshti, but his the first time trying traditional one. He was very disturbed with this new costume so gave him iPad and made him sit next my hubby. After little cheats hubby put him punnal but it didn’t last for more than 10 minutes:-)

I was running behind him and cooked a simple lunch. Vendaka (ladies finger) Moor Kuzhambu, potato fry (without onion), rasam, Semiya payasam, Vadai (without onion), Appam.

While tasting payasam I thought why didnt I post one of my favorite payasam yet. I searched in my draft, had Semiya Paysam with pictures and method don’t know why I haven’t posted it, still thinking:-)

Check out other payasam recipes in TMF,


Varalakshmi Vratham | Naivediyum | Pooja Recipes


Varalakshmi Pooja is performed by south Indian women (Andhra Pradesh, karnataka and Tamil Nadu, Correct me if I am wrong).   Usually Pooja is celebrated on a Friday, before the full moon day, in the Tamil Month Aadi/Avani (Sravana). This year we have pooja on August 28th (2015)

(Reader Pranita says,  “maharashtra we do mahalaxmi puja on each friday in shrawan month.Its slightly different”

Thinking about Varalakshmi Pooja I remember three things,  Yellow thread, Pooja and prasadam. For my wedding, my parents got me a Varalakshmi Amman mugham (face) and kalasam for me to do Pooja.

Last week my friend called to ask about Varalakshmi Pooja preparations. I told her the things I knew . After talking to her,  I thought I should do a post, so that it will help my friends, readers and of course me, by not calling my Mothers ( Mother and Mother-in-law) every time for asking small doubts as I have poor memory.

This is how I do the Pooja (Dear Readers, feel free to share your Pooja experience, I will be happy to update it in my post). Since I am in US, based on the things I get here my procedure slightly deviates from usual


  • Mix water and turmeric powder in a runny consistency, Apply it  over the coconut surface and let it cool
  • In my Pooja room (Closet turned to a Pooja room) I put kolam in a small plate  (As we  have carpet cant put kolam directly)
  •  In a small stool/palagai (wooden planks) place banana leaf/ Blouse bit ( As I don’t get banana leaf here, I use blouse bit)
  •  Spread  Rice over it and place the Sombhu. Add sandhanam ( Sandhal Powder) and kumkum for Sombhu
  • Add rice, moong dal, coin, turmeric, lemon, jaggery and kaathu ola karukamani  inside the Sombhu
  • Spread mango leaves like lotus petals in the sombhu (As I dont get fresh mango leaves, I use artificial mango leaves which I got from India)
  • Place the cococnut over the sombhu ( Make sure the turmeric powder – water is completely dry, to avoid the yellow layer around the sombhu:-)). Kalasam is ready
  • Place the Amman in the Kalasam (fix the Amman stand into the coconut) and tie the back tightly
  • In the evening do aarti and offer Manjal (Yellow) Pongal prasadam to god as Naivediyum

Friday Morning

They say shouldn’t (Preferably) get up in middle of pooja, so I generally keep all the things ready for Pooja.

  1. Betel leaves
  2. Paaku (Supari)
  3. Fruits
  4. Flowers (which I get here, though Arali is auspicious can’t find it here)
  5. Neivadiyam items (Prasadam for Amman)
  6. Nonbu Saradu (Holy yellow rope with a small flower tied in each rope).


Brussel Sprouts Pattani Curry (Indian Style)


Two years back, I had brussel sprouts for the first time. One of my friends invited us for dinner, and she prepared an amazing south indian spread. When I saw brussel sprouts, I told my friend that I have never seen small cabbage like this. She told its called ‘Brussel sprouts’. She had prepared them with cumin and pepper powder. I loved it.  That week when we went to buy veggies, I was searching for this and got a pack.  Knowing all its healthy benefits, started cooking them regularly, vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid and dietary fiber – so many good things about this vegetable. I have already posted a version of Brussel Sprouts Masala. Here is yet another variation with coconut and peas. Instead of cabbage, here is my favorite south Indian take with Brussel Sprouts


Banana Ice Cream – One Ingredient Ice Cream


Summer was at its peak this year but I escaped (may be should I say escaped US summer).  Two weeks back my husband got a box of ice cream from “Braums” thats when I realized I didn’t prepare Ice cream this time.  I was thinking with what I should make ice cream and as always my friend Google helped me. I found Banana Ice Cream here.

This one-Ingredient ice cream pulled my attention and as I had Banana in my pantry, I wanted to give it a try. After pulsing the ice cream I tasted it and I couldn’t believe how (just) Banana can give such texture and taste. I gave a spoon to my Son and after finishing it, he opened his mouth for a second serving, happy mom:-)  freezed it for 3 hours and we all finshed it, and I decided that I should go for 4-5 bananas next time.

Perfect potassium-rich tasty ice cream without ice cream maker.  Did I forget to  mention, its an easy ice cream with minimal ingredients


Coriander Rice (Kothamalli Sadam)


 I love coriander flavour. As a child I always wondered, how an ingredient added towards end of the cooking gives a special flavour to the dish. After every grocery shopping,  I always see a small bunch of coriander leaves and curry leaves in the basket, those days I used to think these ingredients are like salt which should be added in all cooking :-) Now that I know its not so, but my shopping cart always has these

When my Amma came here I once bought two bunch of coriander leaves by mistake. While keeping the things in fridge I noticed it and was asking my Amma to prepare some coriander based dish. She prepared this rice for lunch, It was tasty and easy hence it has become a part of my bucket list.


Peach Cobbler


Last week my friend told me that they are planning to go for Peach picking, and invited us to join them. The peaches we generally get in grocery stores are big but sour, so I had little second thoughts in going. I told my husband, he said lets give it a shot.

We went, and till date those were the sweetest peaches I had ever tasted. As fruit picking was new to me I thoroughly enjoyed it. But well more than me my little one had a awesome time there. After seeing peaches he was telling “ball”, we told its a fruit not ball, picked one washed it and gave it him. After seeing it closer he said “Apple”.  Even after coming home he couldn’t accept them as peaches :-)

Watching recorded shows in food network are influencing me a lot, as soon I came home from the farm I was thinking about Peach Cobbler. Recently I saw ” Ree Drummond” making Peach Cobbler in “Pioneer women”. Did few modifications to her recipes and here is my take on Peach Cobbler.


Chinna Vengaya Thokku (Onion Pickle)


When I went to India 3 months back,I wanted to prepare something which my husband can store and use for a few days. After moving to US  this is my first trip to India, I discussed with some my friends for ideas and they suggested thokku, frozen pancakes, frozen paratha and frozen gravy, as they will stay good for a longtime.

My husband knows some basic cooking, so I prepared Thakkali Thokku, Onion Thokku, Pulikachal, frozen pancakes, frozen waffle.

I believe Onion can do magic in food, anything with Onion – I am in.  Onion pickle is a great side for Roti, idli, dosa, upma, curd rice etc. Also tastes great with rice. I first tasted Onion Thokku from Grand sweets, loved its taste and started preparing it regularly at home. Its an easy pickle and stays good for 2 weeks (may be more but at our home when ever I prepare Onion pickle it will be over within a week:-))


Pesto Sandwich


Sandwich is my life saver during many busy mornings. When I run out of time or wake up late, I immediately reach out for a bread loaf. My sweet tooth craves for spreads like Nutella or cream cheese spread, but as I cannot have them frequently, thinking of what to use as filling is my biggest concern. Most of the days I start digging into my fridge or pantry and whatever I see first I use it in the sandwich:-)

I got this Pesto Sandwich idea from my co-sis. When we visited them, she prepared this breakfast. I loved its taste and its a perfect way to finish off the leftover pesto after making pasta.

Checkout my other bread based breakfast recipes,


Microwave Palkova |Instant Therattipal


A post after a longtime.  Before starting to India I loaded all my post pics in a pen drive and was telling my husband, I will do blog activities from India, as I won’t have any work there. My husband smiled without saying anything. Though I wasn’t sure about that expression, after going to India I understood it :-)  Vacation spirit kept me off from blog activities. I have lot of unanswered comments and messages in Facebook – my sincere apology for the late response.

I opted to halt my break with a sweet recipe and this Microwave Palgova is my first pick, as this is my sister’s all time favorite sweet.  For me, any  food with some form of sugar Is sweet, but for her Palgova is the king of all sweets.

During my college days,  when ever Amma goes out of station and if we have extra milk at home,  my sis asks me to prepare either Basundi or Palgova.  This time when I visted India she asked me to cook some of her favorite recipes. As most of the time I enjoyed eating mother’s and mother-in-law’s preparations, I occasionally tried a few recipes. Palgova day came but as traditional Palgova demands a lot of time I prepared this quick instant Palgova. She couldn’t find the difference in taste and it was finished in no time :-)