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.

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.

Karuppati Pongal / Palm jaggery Pongal

Karuppati pongal is made during virudunagar panguni pongal festival. It is similar to chakkarai pongal, but uses karuppati / panai vellam instead of vellam. Palm jaggery is healthier than jaggery and has a unique taste. For health benefits of palm jaggery refer to my earlier post karuppati kaapi.

Karuppati Pongal

Ingredients :

1 cup raw rice

1 1/2 to 2 cups karuppati ( adjust acc. to taste)

3-4 cardamom pods

2 tbsp ghee

Cashews and raisins (optional)



Pressure cook the rice with 3 cups of water for 3-4 whistles. The rice should be softly cooked.

Add 1/3 to 1/2 cup of water to karuppati in a separate pan and make a thick syrup. Filter it as it may contain impurities.

Mash the cooked rice with a back of a spoon. Heat the vessel and add karuppati syrup slowly and keep stirring till you get a homogenous mass. Add cardamom powder.Add ghee and mix well.

Optionally you can add ghee fried cashews and raisins, which adds to the taste.



April 16, 2014. Tags: , , , . chetti veetu samaiyal, Festival special, Healthy Recipe, Rice/Pulav/Biriyani, Sweet/dessert. Leave a comment.

Tawa Pulao

DH has been asking me to make Pav bhaji for a long time. He loves especially the bhaji. When I was browsing for recipes, I stumbled upon tawa pulao which also uses the same pav bhaji masala. Tawa pulao is a street food in mumbai, where the chat vendor makes this pulao on his big tawa using precooked rice, veggies and pav bhaji masala. I used basmati rice for this recipe. But regular long grain rice can also be used. Some users have also tried with left over rice too. It definitely tasted different from the regular pulao. For this recipe I used Everest pav bhaji masala. But I plan to try homemade version also. I am yet to make pav bhaji. Planning to do this weekend. Will keep you posted….

Recipe source: Sanjeev Kapoor’s Khana Khazana &


Tawa Pulao 


2 cups basmati rice

1 carrot diced

5-6 beans chopped

Handful of green peas

1 onion chopped finely

½ capsicum chopped

2 tomatoes chopped finely

I tsp minced ginger

1 tsp minced garlic

2 green chillies slit length wise

1 cardamom

1 bayleaf

¼ tsp fennel seeds

¼ tsp turmeric

½ tsp chilly powder

1 tsp pav bhaji masala

Salt as required

1 tbsp oil

1tsp ghee



  1. Cook the basmati rice in 4 cups water so that the grains are separate.
  2. Pressure cook carrot, beans and peas for 1 whistle.
  3. Cool the rice on a big plate with a spoon of oil.
  4. In a pan heat oil+ghee. Add cardamom, bayleaf  and fennel seeds.
  5. Next add onions, capsicum, green chillies, ginger, garlic and sauté on high heat. Add the tomatoes and cook till soft.
  6. Now add chilli powder, turmeric, pav bhaji masala and salt.
  7. Add ¼ cup of water for all ingredients to blend. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  8. Remove from stove and mix with rice. Tawa pulao is ready. Serve with onion raita.

June 24, 2013. Tags: , , , , , . Rice/Pulav/Biriyani, Street food/Chat. Leave a comment.

Kudhiraivaali Arisi Saadham / Barnyard Millet Rice

Millets are a store house of nutrients. They are rich in iron, calcium and other minerals. In old times these were used predominantly compared to the regular paddy rice. They are the reasons for the strength and immunity of the previous generations. Most of the millets have a low glycemic index and can give you a sense of satiety. They reduce the possibility of getting diabetes. They are also gluten free. They are short term crops and give a quick yield even with less water supply. They can easily survive droughts. But nowadays the farmers have given up millet production because of the low demand.But nowadays I read a lot of articles in magazines about the health benefits of millets. I also learned about other millets like barnyard millet(kudhiraivali), foxtail millet(thinai), kodo millet(varagu),little millet( saamai) etc.,Especially in kumudham health magazine.

For more info on millets, check out…

My mom has regularly used ragi/finger millet from my childhood days. My MIL also uses ragi along with other millets like kambu/Bajra and Jowar/ Vellai Cholam. But I also wanted to try out the other millets. So when I went to Virudhunagar last month I got 1 kg of kudhiraivaali arisi and varagu arisi each. They both looked kind of similar to each other, small pale white grains similar in size to ragi. I have read that these grains can be cooked similar to rice and served with kuzhambu or rasam. Alternatively they can be ground to a batter and made dosa. I tried making kudhiraivali saadham and varagu dosai. Both turned out very good. Both these grains cooked very fast…like 5-7 minutes in pressure cooker.

Now to the recipe….

kudhiraivaali arisi

Kudhiraivaali Arisi Saadham/Barnyard Millet Rice


1 cup kudhiraivaali rice

2 cups water



  1. Clean the rice.
  2. Cook it in a open pan or pressure cooker for 5-7 minutes. I added 2 cups water which yielded softly cooked rice. If you want the grains separate, you can reduce the quantity of water.
  3. Serve with curry of your choice. I served this with poruthanni and kothamalli thuvaiyal. I found that this was more filling to my tummy than the regular rice. I have planned to buy more and try other recipes with this.

April 30, 2013. Tags: , , , , . Rice/Pulav/Biriyani. Leave a comment.

Ulundham Paruppu Saadham/Urad Dhal Rice

This is again a recipe from the nellai saiva pillai household. Ulundham paruppu saadham is traditionally made when a girl attains puberty. The young girl is made to take oil bath and later fed this nutritious and tasty dish. I have already mentioned, in one of my older posts about the health benefits of urad dhal. Unhusked urad dhal reportedly strengthens the pelvic bones of a girl. So when a girl attains puberty, in the days following she is fed a lot of urad dhal recipes like ulundhu vadai, ulundhan kali, ulundhan kanji, ulundham paruppu saadham etc. Female relatives i.e. Athai, Chithi and Periamma of the young girl take turns to make such dishes in liberal quantities, which is then consumed by everyone and also distributed to the neighbouring households (I guess that the girl is just an excuse ). Ulundham paruppu saadham can be prepared and eaten on any occasion, but is typically made during above mentioned times and also during saturdays after taking an oil bath. It is typically served with ellu thuvaiyal and/Karuppati with gingelly oil, with aviyal and/vendakkai pachadi and appalam. The first course of the hot rice is mixed with gingelly oil and tasted with karuppati (palm jaggery). If you don’t like the sweet version you can straight away go to the second course ,which is rice mixed with ellu thuvaiyal and gingelly oil and eaten with aviyal/vendakkai pachadi and appalam. The third course is the same rice mixed with curd/buttermilk and tasted with ellu thuvaiyal. Try this recipe. It is definitely different, but worth it.

Linking this recipe to South Indian Cooking- Event #1 conducted by  Anu’s Healthy Kitchen.












Ulundham Paruppu Saadham


4 cups boiled rice

1 to 1 ½ cup split black urad dhal

½ tsp fenugreek seeds

10 -15 no garlic flakes

1 cup shredded coconut

Salt- a little less than required


Method :

  1. Wash and clean urad dhal and rice separately.
  2. In a pan dry roast the urad dhal and fenugreek till you get a nice aroma. Keep aside.
  3. Now roast the shredded coconut separately.
  4. Put rice, roasted coconut, roasted urad dhal and fenugreek, garlic flakes, salt everything together along with triple the quantity of water( 15 cups) and pressure cook till the rice is well cooked. Alternatively the rice can be cooked in the traditional method of cooking in a big open pan.
  5. Taste ulundham paruppu saadham with ellu thuvaiyal, aviyal/vendakkai pachadi and appalam.

July 17, 2012. Tags: , , , , . Nellai Samaiyal, Rice/Pulav/Biriyani, Saiva pillai samaiyal, Ulundham Paruppu Saadham. 1 comment.

Mango Rice

I learnt this recipe from my dad. Didn’t know from whom he learned this. It is a simple and tasty dish. We used to make this in mango season. But nowadays most of the vegetables are available in supermarkets through out the year. The hybrid type of mango is preferred ( ottu mangai/kili mooku mangai ).

Posting this recipe for Rice Recipes event hosted by Sameena Prathap of My Culinary Creations.

Mango Rice


1 1/2 cup raw rice

1 medium size raw mango

salt as required

1 tsp gingelly oil

For tempering:

3 tsp oil

1/4 tsp turmeric powder

1 green chilly cut into small pieces

1 red chilly broken into pieces

1 tsp mustard

2 tsp urad dhal

2 tsp bengal gram

a pinch of asafoetida

2 sprigs curry leaves


  1. Cook rice with 3 cups water.
  2. Mix a tsp of gingelly oil with the cooked rice and spread on a large plate to cool.
  3. Grate the mango and keep aside.
  4. In a pan  heat the oil. Add mustard seeds, urad dhal and hing. Next add the chillies, gram dhal and curry leaves.
  5. Now add the grated mango and turmeric powder and saute till the raw smell is gone.
  6. Add this mix to the cooled rice and mix thoroughly.
  7. Tasty mango rice is ready.Have it with your choice of papad.

August 24, 2011. Tags: , . Rice/Pulav/Biriyani. Leave a comment.

Dum Biriyani

I learnt this Dum Biriyani recipe from some recipe book long time back. Comes out perfectly every time. My husband does not like spicy food very much, but this is one of his favorites.I made this last weekend for lunch and served this with Brinjal raita.We had the leftover biriyani at night and it tasted even better.

I am  reposting this recipe forDish name starts with:D hosted by Akila of Akila’s kitchen.

Dum Biriyani
Serves 3-4


For biriyani rice:

3 cups basmati rice

3 no. Cloves

3 no. Cardamoms

1 bay leaf

Salt as required

1 tsp ghee

1 tsp oil

Whole spices:

1 tsp cumin seeds

1 tsp saunf

1 bay leaf

2 no. cardamom

2 no. cloves

1 no. star anise

1 inch cinnamon

1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste

2 green chillies slit

3 tbsp ghee

3 tbsp oil

For marinade:

3 cups chopped vegetables( potatoes,carrots,green peas,beans,cauliflower )

1 cup sour curd

1/2 cup mint leaves

1 medium sized onion –  sauté in oil and grind into paste

3 medium sized tomatoes pureed

1 tsp chilly powder

1 tsp coriander powder

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

Salt as required

For dum:

1/2 cup mint leaves

3 medium sized onions


  1. Soak the basmati rice for 15 minutes.
  2. Mix all the ingredients for marinade and allow them to marinate.
  3. Chop the 3 onions for dum into long slices and fry them in ghee till they are browned nicely, without burning.These fried onions give a special flavor to the biriyani.
  4. Boil 6 cups of water in a heavy pan.Add the spices given under biriyani rice.Add the required salt.Now add the soaked basmati rice and cook till it is half-cooked.Drain the excess water.Spread the biriyani rice in a large plate with 1 tsp oil and 1 tsp ghee.
  5. Heat 3 tbsp ghee and 3 tbsp oil in a heavy pan. Add all the whole spices and fry till you get a nice aroma. Add the slit green chillies and ginger-garlic paste and sauté.Now add the marinade mixture to the pan.Cook till the vegetables are half-cooked.Now the gravy is ready.
  6. Now we will go to the dum procedure.I use an electric rice cooker for this.In the pan given for electric cooker spread one layer of biriyani rice. Sprinkle some fried onions and mint leaves. Cover it with a layer of gravy. Add the next layer of rice and repeat the procedure. The top most layer is again rice. For the above quantity I get around 3 layers. Switch on the electric cooker and keep in cooking mode. It will automatically change to warming mode after the biriyani is ready.
  7. You can also do the dum in the pressure cooker. After layering allow steam to escape from pressure cooker. Now put the weight on and keep stove in sim mode and switch off after 7-10 minutes. Biriyani is ready. Serve it  with raita of your choice.

October 9, 2010. Tags: , , , , , . Rice/Pulav/Biriyani. Leave a comment.

Bisibelabath/Sambhar Saadham

I just love the sambhar saadham served in weddings. It has an unique flavor and taste.I have tried it so many times from recipes from different sources and voilà! I have finally perfected it.It has lot of vegetables and dhal and the the ghee adds to the flavor.It serves as an one pot meal packed with nutrients.I served this with pomegranate raita.

Bisibelabath/Sambhar Saadham
Serves 3-4


1  1/2 cups raw rice

3/4 toor dhal

2 cups cut vegetables of your choice
( drumstick,carrot,potato,beans,plantain,green peas,chow-chow,brinjals,pumpkin, ash guard etc)

1/2 cup sambhar onions

A big marble size tamarind

a pinch of hing/asafoetida

1 tsp fenugreek seeds

2 tsp oil

1/2 tsp turmeric powder

salt as required

For powder:

4-5 red chillies ( adjust according to taste )

1 tbsp coriander seeds/dhaniya

1/2 cup shredded coconut

2-3 sprigs curry leaves

1 cardamom pod

1/2 inch cinnamon stick

2-3 cloves

For tempering:

1 tsp mustard seeds

1tsp urad dhal

2-3 sprigs curry leaves

2 tsp oil

handful of cashewnuts

2 tsp ghee


  1. Pressure cook the rice and dhal separately.Add salt and turmeric powder to the dhal and keep aside.
  2. Extract around 1 cup of juice from the tamarind.
  3. Dry roast all the ingredients for powder one by one and grind into powder.
  4. Heat 2 tsp oil in a pan and add hing and fenugreek seeds.Now add the sambhar onions and saute well.Add the tamarind juice and the cut vegetables and boil them with 1/4 tsp turmeric powder and required salt.(alternatively you can pressure cook this veg-tamarind juice mix for 2 whistles).
  5. Add rice ,dhal and cooked vegetables together along with required salt and pressure cook for two whistles.This allows for the mushy consistency of sambhar saadham.
  6. After opening the cooker add the ground powder and mix well.Fry the cashewnuts in 2tsp of ghee and add to the rice.
  7. Do the tempering with mustard seeds, urad dhal and curry leaves. Serve hot with papad and any raita of your choice.

August 28, 2010. Tags: , , , . Rice/Pulav/Biriyani. 1 comment.

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