Sundakkai Pachadi/Turkeyberry Pachadi

Sundakkai also known as turkeyberry is a plant commonly grown in the backyard. It has small green colored berries which can be cooked fresh or dry. The berries are soaked in salted buttermilk and sun dried to get the dried version called as sundavathal.
Many people do not like sundakkai due its bitter taste. But it has lots of health benefits. Our diet should be a balance of all the six tastes…including bitter foods. So let’s include bitter tasting foods in our diet too for optimal health. Moreover if cooked in certain ways…by adding proper combination of sweet,salt and sour ingredients the bitter ness of this vegetable is reduced. One such recipe is sundakkai pachadi. Before going to the recipe let’s learn about the health benefits of sundakkai.

1. By regular intake of bitter foods like sundakkai, bitter gourd, neem flower etc. the germs in our intestines are killed. And our general immunity against diseases is improved.

2.  If taken 4 times a week sundakkai helps to control diabetes.

3.  Sundakkai improves digestion and relieves gas related problems.

4.  Sundakkai is supposed to strengthen our bones and nerves if consumed regularly.


Sundakkai Pachadi

Ingredients :
1 cup fresh sundakkai
1 medium sized onion finely chopped
2 medium sized tomatoes finely chopped
1 tsp chilly powder
1/4 tsp turmeric powder
Salt as required
3 tsp oil
1 lemon sized ball of jaggery

To grind:
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
2 small onions (optional)

For tempering:
1 tsp oil
1 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp urad dhal
Curry leaves

1. Wash the sundakkai thoroughly and chop in halves.
2. Heat 3 tsp oil in the pan. Add onions and saute.
3. Next add chopped sundakkai and saute till it softens.
4. Add tomatoes and saute till soft.
5. Now add chilly powder, turmeric powder and salt along with 1 cup water. Cover and cook in medium flame.
6. Grind coconut, cumin and small onions to a smooth paste.
7. After the sundakkai is cooked add the coconut paste and jaggery. Allow to boil and simmer for 5 minutes before removing from flame.
8. Do the tempering with mustard, urad dhal and curry leaves.
This pachadi tastes best with rice and rasam, but can also be had with rice and any other curry or even curd rice.


April 27, 2015. Tags: , , , , , . Antidiabetic recipe, Curry/Gravy, Healthy Recipe, Nellai Samaiyal, Pachadi, Pathiya samaiyal, Sidedish. Leave a comment.

Varagu Elumichai Saadham / Kodo Millet Lemon Rice

Normally I cook millets and have them with curry and vegetables. But for a change tried variety rice. It was very nice. I have used Kodo millet here, but any other small millet can be used. Peanuts are optional, but they add to the crunch.


Varagu Elumichai Saadham / Kodo Millet Lemon Rice

1 cup varagu
1 large lemon
Salt as required
1/4 tsp turmeric
1 green chilly chopped finely
Few curry leaves
1/2 tsp mustard
1/2 tsp urad dhal
1 tsp gram dhal
1 tbsp peanuts (optional)
3 tbsp gingelly oil
A pinch of asafoetida

1. Clean the millet, wash and cook in a pan with 2 cups water, so that the grains are separate. Be nearby, it will be done in 5 minutes.
2. Cool the cooked millet in a large plate with 1 tbsp of gingelly oil.
3. Squeeze the juice from one lemon and remove the seeds. To this add salt and turmeric.
4. In a pan, heat oil. Add mustard, urad dhal, gram dhal and peanuts. Add a pinch of asafoetida.
5. Now add chopped green chilly and curry leaves to the pan.
6. Pour this tempering over the cooled millet and add the lemon juice mix.
7. Mix well to get a uniform mix. Adjust salt if required.
8. Serve with choice of chips or vadaams.

December 7, 2014. Tags: , , , , . Antidiabetic recipe, Healthy Recipe, Millet recipe, Rice/Pulav/Biriyani. 1 comment.

Thinai Pongal / Foxtail Millet Pongal

Thinai tastes good when combined with moong dhal. Made venpongal with substituting thinai for rice. Tasted yummy with sambhar.

Thinai Pongal / Foxtail Millet Pongal

Ingredients :
2 cups thinai arisi ( dehulled foxtail millet)
1/2 cup split moong dhal
Salt as required


For tempering :
1 tbsp ghee
1 tbsp oil
10 no cashews
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp jeera
1/2 tsp finely chopped ginger
1 green chilly finely chopped
Few curry leaves


1. Wash thinai arisi and moong dhal. Pressure cook the millet and dhal together with required salt and 3 1/2 to 4 cups water for 3-4 whistles.
2. Do the tempering with pepper, jeera, ginger, green chilly and curry leaves. Add fried cashews as a garnish. Taste with sambhar and coconut chutney.

September 24, 2014. Tags: , , , , , . Antidiabetic recipe, Breakfast recipe, Healthy Recipe, Millet recipe, Rice/Pulav/Biriyani. Leave a comment.

Raw Food Feast / Iyarkai Unavu Virundhu

6 years back I had the chance to attend Isha yoga basic course. During the course one day full raw food meals were provided. I was very impressed by the fact that a full course of raw food could have so many varieties and so fulfilling. Even though we have salads and raw foods at home( from time to time, not consistent though 😦 ) I had always wanted to recreate the full raw food feast. Finally got a chance to do that. When my students arranged for the college culturals, they had asked for staff participation too. There was one event that suited my interest.NO FIRE COOKING – ONLY RAW FOODS. I devised a plan in advance and along with my two team mates prepared 18 dishes in one hour. The result was better than expected and we won the first prize. For now i have added the recipe names and pictures. Will explain the recipes in detail after some time.We prepared the following dishes.
























































August 31, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , . Antidiabetic recipe, Healthy Recipe, Pachadi, Raita, Raw food recipe, Salad, Sidedish, Snacks, Starter, Sweet/dessert. 4 comments.

Kudhiraivaali Dosai / Barnyard Millet Dosai

A millet dosa again..The recipe is simple..Add millet and urad dhal in the ratio of 4:1…Follow the same steps as for other millet dosas. For example check out Jowar Dosai

Kudhiraivaali Dosai / Barnyard Millet DosaiIMG_20140728_080958625


August 31, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , . Antidiabetic recipe, Breakfast recipe, Dosa Variety, Healthy Recipe, Millet recipe, Tiffin. Leave a comment.

Varagu Ulundhu Saadham / Barnyard Millet Urad Dhal Rice

Varagu-ulundhu Saadham

I tried replacing normal rice with varagu in this recipe. It was tastier than the regular uluntham paruppu saadham.

I used 2 cups varagu and 1 cup black urad dhal . All the other ingredients and method are same as in my recipe of uluntham paruppu saadham. It is served with aviyal / vendakkai pachadi and ellu thuvaiyal.


August 26, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , . Antidiabetic recipe, Healthy Recipe, Millet recipe, Nellai Samaiyal, Rice/Pulav/Biriyani, Saiva pillai samaiyal, Sprouts/Legumes. Leave a comment.

Thinai Dosai / Foxtail Millet Dosai

Thinai arisi (dehulled thinai ) is used for this recipe. This is my first time trying thinai dosai. Thinai dosai turned out soft and spongy. Taste it with chutney of your choice.


Thinai Dosai

Ingredients :

6 cups thinai arisi

1 and 1/2 cups urad dhal

1 tsp fenugreek seeds

salt as required


Method :

  1. Wash and clean thinai arisi and urad dhal.
  2. Soak them separately for 2 hours. Soak the fenugreek seeds along with urad dhal.
  3. Grind separately into a smooth batter and mix the batters together as you would for regular dosa batter.
  4. Add required salt and allow to ferment overnight or for eight hours.
  5. Make soft or crispy dosas and serve with chutney of your choice. I served this with brinjal chutney.

August 11, 2014. Antidiabetic recipe, Breakfast recipe, Dosa Variety, Healthy Recipe, Millet recipe, Tiffin. Leave a comment.

Thinai Arisi Payasam / Foxtail Millet Payasam

This is a simple and tasty recipe. I prepared This for my little one on her birthday. She loved it. Thinai Arisi is the dehulled version of thinai. Thinai has a rough outer skin and can’t be eaten as such. Dehulled thinai Arisi is available in most of the supermarkets and all organic stores. It is pale yellow in color.


Thinai Arisi Payasam / Foxtail Millet Payasam

Ingredients :

3/4 cup thinai arisi

1/4 cup moong dhal

1 1/2  – 2 cups jaggery ( adjust acc to taste )

2 cups milk

3-4 pods of cardamom

1/3 cup shredded coconut

10 no cashews


Wash thinai arisi and moong dhal and pressure cook for 3 whistles.Alternatively you can cook them together in an open heavy bottomed vessel till they are softly cooked.

Add 1/2 cup water to jaggery and heat it in a separate vessel till the jaggery dissolves completely. Sieve it to get jaggery syrup.

Wet grind coconut and extract first milk.

After taking the first milk, add cardamom, cashews to the coconut remnants and grind to a paste.

Heat a heavy pan. Add jaggery syrup to the cooked thinai arisi and dhal and mix well.Add milk. Now add the coconut cashew paste and let it boil. Finally add the coconut milk. Let it boil once. Remove from the heat.

I didn’t add ghee fried cashews to the payasam since I had already added cashews in paste form. If you like you can add ghee fried cashews too.

If you feel that the payasam is thick, add some more milk or little bit water to adjust the consistency.


May 7, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Antidiabetic recipe, Festival special, Healthy Recipe, Millet recipe, Sweet/dessert, white sugar free. Leave a comment.

Saamai Arisi Idly & Dosai/ Little Millet Idli & Dosai

We are trying to consume millets at home at least once a day. Millets can be again sub classified into large millets and small millets. Large millets are kambu, ragi and vellai cholam. These are usually made into Dosa or adai. Small millets are varagu, saamai, thinai and kudiraivaali. Small millets can be cooked as rice, upma, pongal or made into idli, dosai and adai.Large millets are easily available. Nowadays the availability of small millets has also increased due to the increased awareness of their health benefits. I see many cookery programs in TV channels concentrating on millet recipes. Even magazines feature articles and recipes on millets regularly. This has a lot of advantages. People get more exposure about millets and their health benefits. But there is a downside to this trend. Since there is more of demand and less supply the price Of millets in the market has risen. Organic shops especially quote an exorbitant price. Commercially packed millets are polished to make them look bright which compromises their health benefits.

This time when we went to native place got few kilos of small millets from a local Arisi mandi. The millets are not polished and the price is less too.

The simplest way to cook a small millet is to wash and cook it with 2-3 cups water as millet rice. This can be a substitute for regular white rice and can be had with any curry and vegetables of our choice. Alternatively they can be soaked along with urad dhal in 4:1 ratio and made as Idly or dosai.



May 5, 2014. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Antidiabetic recipe, Breakfast recipe, Dosa Variety, Healthy Recipe, Millet recipe, Tiffin. Leave a comment.


Hidden Sugar – few useful factssugar-free

Few months ago I read an article in THE HINDU Sunday edition, titled the  hidden truth. This article was really an eye opener for  me regarding how much hidden sugar we intake every day. This article also quoted about Jill Escher, author of farewell club perma-chub . She has a blog called .  I was curious , went online and read more about Jill Escher and addiction to white sugar. It talks about the addictive biochemical nature of whote sugar, the politics and lobbying involved in white sugar market, how white sugar is responsible for obesity, how much hidden sugar is present in processed foods and how to get deaddicted from white sugar. It says that sugar addiction has a similar pattern to drug addiction pattern. This  blog also has links for other sugar related blogs and books.

For further readings..

To say I was impressed is an understatement. Already we have been trying to cut out white sugar from our home. This article inspired me to do better. Jill says, IF IT HAS A LABEL IT IS NOT ON MY TABLE. How very true..If we make a recipe at home we know what goes into it, but not so in processed foods. A question might arise that white sugar is derived from sugarcane—so why is n’t healthy? The final product (white sugar) is altered so much(with the help of harmful chemicals) from the original source that it doesn’t retain the goodness of the original source. If you any other questions Jill answers that.

There is one more person who writes about food and health. He is Siddha maruthuvar Dr.Sivaraman, who writes regularly in ananda vikatan and was earlier writing in kumudam health. His recent series AARAM THINAI in vikatan is amazing. He explains about the food, cooking practices, life style, child rearing and agricultural practices of our ancestors. I learn something new from every article of his. Last week he had written about the harms of white sugar and the benefits of jaggery and palm jaggery over white sugar. I am glad that these people are trying to create awareness about health, food and lifestyle.

I also want to do something regarding this. From now THIS BLOG WILL BE WHITE SUGAR FREE.

Already we have cut out white sugar from home as far as possible, I make palm jaggery coffee in the morning, evening I make tea with jaggery and for juices I add honey. For the past 2 months white sugar has not been on my grocery list J I have restricted sweets made of sugar. And we don’t use processed food at home. Our ancestors didn’t abstain themselves from sugar. They enjoyed sweets made from jaggery and palm jaggery. They didn’t use processed foods. They didn’t use artificial sweeteners like aspartame, which have the potential to cause cancer. They lived healthily and didn’t suffer from the so called diseases of civilization like…diabetes, obesity etc.

From now on I vow not to use white sugar in any recipe in my blog. I will learn to make sweets using jaggery and palm jaggery, and teach my friends too. This Diwali I plan to make sweets with out using white sugar. Will keep you posted…

October 11, 2013. Tags: . Antidiabetic recipe, Healthy Recipe, white sugar free. 4 comments.

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