Sep 30, 2008

Home made Pizzas and total cost

Maggi pizza mazza

Amul Mozzarella cheese

Grated cheese, onion, capsicum, shallow fried chicken sausages and tomato
Spread 2 teaspoon Maggi pizza mazza on a pizza base, arrange vegetables and sausages over it and sprinkle grated cheese on the top ( getting ready for baking ).
Bake at 250 * C for 15 minutes / till get golden colour
You can make home made pizzas very easily. All you need is an OTG ( oven- toaster- griller ), a packet of pizza base ( you'll get it from neighbourhood baker ), a bottle of Maggi pizza base, Amul mozerella cheese, a cup of vegetables ( capsicum, onion and tomato ) and a pack of chicken sausages ( Chicken sausage is optional ).

My son has invited his friends for Pizza party, I made 6 pizzas and they enjoyed well.

Let's find out the cost of home made pizzas

Maggi pizza mazza- Rs 49/ bottle
Amul Mozzarella Cheese - Rs50/ packet (50x2)=Rs 100
Pizza base -Rs 5 for 1 base (6X5 )= Rs 30
Chicken sausages ( a packet of 6 )- Rs51/ packet
Vegetables- Rs10
Total cost -Rs 240
If we order from pizza out lets it costs more than Rs1000 for 6 medium size pizzas( including tax, VAT, service charge and other charges ).

Special chicken biryani for Ramzan

Ramzan won't be complete without Biryani
Visit here for the procedure of Dum biryani


Basmati rice 1 kg
Water- 1 litre
Milk- 500 ml
Chicken 1kg

Masala Paste

Grind these ingredients in a mixer ( ingredients from 1- 6 )

1,green chilly-10
2,cinnamon-4 sticks

4,fennel -2 teaspoon
6,peppercorn -10

Ginger garlic paste 2 tbsp
Coriander leaves 50 g
Mint leaves 25 g
Curd 150 ml
Tomato 150 g
Onion 1 kg
Black cumin seeds 1 tsp
Cinnamon stick 2 pieces
Bay leaves 2
Cashew nuts kismis 50 g
Cardamom 5
Ghee 200 g
Coriander powder 2 tbsp
Milk 500 ml
Saffron 1 pinch


1. Heat the ghee in a saucepan; saute the onions till golden brown colour and add sliced tomatoes sauté well.
2. Put ginger garlic paste, curd and biriyani masala and turmeric powder, and coriander powder.
3. Add the chicken pieces and cook well.
4. Soak the rice about 10 minutes and drain well.
5. Melt the ghee in a saucepan and add in the spices and sliced onion mint, coriander leaves, cashew nuts, kismis, bay leaves and sauté till brown in colour.
6. Add milk and water. Allow to boil and then add rice. Lower the heat, cover and continue to cook for 15 minutes. Drain rice. ( rice should not be over cooked. Cook the rice till 3/4 th done and grains remain seperate ).
7. Take another saucepan and place half the rice into it. And add the chicken on the top of the rice. And put the remaining rice on top of the chicken. And spread to make an even layer.
8. Make random holes through the rice with a spoon and pour into each a little saffron milk.
9. Place a few knobs of ghee, fried onion, cashew nuts and kismis on the surface and cover tightly. Seal the edges with atta paste ( mix ¼ cup atta and water ). Keep this sauce pan over a Dosakkallu or Iron kadai. Cook on a slow flame for 15 minutes ( or bake in an oven at 350 * C for 20 minutes ). You should open the seal only at the time of serving. Serve with salad , pickle and pappadam.

Sep 29, 2008

Ramzan special Neichoru ( ghee rice ) , chicken curry and pappadam varuthathu

Neichoru, Pappadam and lime pickle

Malabar cuisine is very famous not only in Kerala also worldwide ( especially in Arab countries ). All the foods are enriched with spices. This's the Holy month of Ramzan. So I thought of preparing something delicious and yummy. I used very less ghee for Neichoru and very less oil for chicken curry. Pappadam varuthathu goes well with Neichoru ( optional ). I 'm sharing a simple '' Neichoru, Chicken curry,pappadadam varuthathu, salad and pickle photos. Try this recipe also. You'll love it !!!

Recipe of Neichoru ( ghee rice )
Basmati rice - 1 cup
Water for soaking the basmati rice - 2 cups
Water for cooking - 2 1/2 cups
Salt - to taste
Onion- thinly sliced- 1/4 cup
Whole spices
Cardamon- 3
Cinnamon- 3 sticks ( 1 '' )
Cloves -3
Ghee - 2 teaspoon

For garnishing
Onion- thinly sliced- 2 tablespoon
or small onion- 5 ( thinly sliced
Cashew nuts -8
Kismis/ raisins - 10
Ghee- 1 teaspoon
Wash and soak rice in water for half an hour. Drain it and spread on clean towel ( to get dryness for rice. You can start this rice preparation early ).
Heat ghee in a non- stick kadai . Add whole spices. Saute slowly on a very slow flame for 5 minutes. Add thinly sliced onion. Fry till get nice aroma and golden colour. Add rice and saute on slow flame for 8-10 minutes. Add 2 1/2 cups water and salt to taste. Cover with a lid. Stir occasionally. Cook till done. Approximate time 15 -20 minutes. Garnish with onion, cashew nuts and kismis.
For garnishing
In a frying pan , heat 1 teaspoon ghee. Add thinly sliced onion , cashew nuts and kismis. Saute on a slow flame till get brown colour.
Fresh curd - 1 cup
Onion- 1, chopped
Tomato -1, chopped
Salt - to taste
Mix all the ingredients together. Serve with Neichoru.
Recipe of chicken curry

1,Cleaned pieces of medium size chicken 1 Kg
2,Small onion 1 Cup
3,Ginger 1 Piece
4,Garlic 1 bulb
5,Green chilies 2
6,Eastern Chicken Masala 5 Tbsp
7,Curry leaves 2 Stalks
8,Cooking oil-2 teaspoon
Grind 3, 4 and 5 into paste. Heat oil, Sauté onions and paste. Add chicken and Eastern Chicken Masala. Pour half cup water with salt to taste. Cook on a low flame. Season with curry leaf and mustard. (Coconut milk or fried coconut paste can also be added for taste).
Visit here for more recipes

Sep 28, 2008

Beauty tips with milk

If your skin feels like it's burning up from too much sun exposure or if itchy bug bites are driving you crazy, try using a little milk paste for soothing relief. Mix one part powdered milk with two parts water and add a pinch or two of salt. Dab it on the burn or bite. The enzymes in the milk powder will help neutralize the insect-bite venom and help relieve sunburn pain.

Makeup remover

When you run out of makeup remover and you can't get to the store, use powdered milk instead. Just mix 3 tablespoons powdered milk with 1/3 cup warm water in a jar and shake well. Add more water or powder as necessary to achieve the consistency of heavy cream. Now you are ready to apply your makeshift makeup remover with a face cloth. When you're done, wipe it off and rinse with water.

Give yourself a facial
Here's another way to give yourself a fancy spa facial at home. Make a mask by mixing 1/4 cup powdered milk with enough water to form a thick paste. Thoroughly coat your face with the mixture, let dry completely, then rinse with warm water. Your face will feel fresh and rejuvenated.

Soften skin
Treat yourself to a luxurious foamy milk bath. Toss 1/2 cup or so of powdered milk into the tub as it fills. Milk acts as a natural skin softener.

Clean and soften dirty hands
You come back from the garden with stained and gritty hands. Regular soap just won't do, but this will: Make a paste of oatmeal and milk and rub it vigorously on your hands. The stains will be gone and the oatmeal-and-milk mixture will soften and soothe your skin.

Pazham Pori !!!! Pazham Pori !!!!! ( Kerala's all time favourite snack )

Ripe plantain ( Nenthram pazham )

Pazham pori ( plantain fritters ) is one of the famous evening snack of Kerala. Because of it's huge popularity ( huge popularity through Indian railways !!! ) evening snack turned into all time favourite snack. It's available in ordinary restaurants, teashops, thattu kada and trains. If you travel by train -from Palakkad junction to Thiruvananthapuram central you can find out Pazha pori sellers with huge steel/ aluminum bowl with full of golden yellow colour pazham poris and paper plates. It's available early morning in Intercity express also. Ripe plantain costs Rs35- 40 in Chennai.
Recipe of Pazham pori
Ripe Plantain- 1 ( peel and cut into 2 parts, cut them lengthwise into 3 )
Maida / all purpose flour - 1/4 cup
Rice flour - 2 teaspoon ( for crispness of the covering )
Salt- a pinch
Sugar -1/4 teaspoon
Water - for diluting the batter ( 1-2 tablespoon )
Oil for frying
For the batter
Mix maida, salt, rice flour and sugar with water. Batter should not be too watery ( just like Idli batter ).
Heat oil in a pan. Dip each banana slices into the batter and fry on a medium flame till get golden colour. Turn occasionally. Drain out from oil and keep in paper towels. Serve with tea / coffee.

Sep 27, 2008

Foods for healthy skin

Green Tea
Its free oxygen radical scavengers protect against sun damage.

When applied topically, they help skin make more collagen and speed healing.

Study participants who ate tomato paste with olive oil daily for ten weeks reduced their risk of sunburn.
Eggs, Legumes, Avocados, Nuts, Soybeans
All contain biotin, an essential vitamin for fat and carb metabolism. A deficiency can lead to dry skin and brittle hair and nails.

It contains astaxanthin, a carotenoid that improves skin elasticity, so you'll have fewer fine lines.

Omega-3s (from walnuts, DHA-fortified foods, even lemon-flavored cod-liver oil)
Omega-3s seem to put shine in your hair and help skin look and feel young.

Pedicure and Manicure tips

Petroleum Jelly
During home manicures, it's hard to keep the nail polish from running over on your cuticles. Petroleum jelly can help your manicures look more professional. Dab some along the base of your nails and the sides. If polish seeps off the nail during the manicure, all you do is wipe off the petroleum jelly and the sloppy nail polish is gone.

When applying nail polish, a foam pellet or a small chunk cut from a block of foam packaging placed between each finger or toe will help spread them apart and keep the polish unblemished until it can dry.

You can soften the cuticles on your fingers and toes before manicuring them by soaking your digits in a bowl of undiluted white vinegar for five minutes.

Your nail polish will have a longer life expectancy if you first dampen your nails with some vinegar on a cotton ball and let it dry before applying your favorite polish.

Bath Oil
Heat 1/2 cup bath oil mixed with 1/2 cup water on High in your microwave for 30 seconds. Place the solution in a deep bowl and soak your fingers or toes in it for 10-15 minutes to soften cuticles or calluses. After drying, use a pumice stone to smooth over calluses or a file to push down cuticles. Follow up by rubbing in hand cream until fully absorbed.

Castor Oil
If you were ever forced to swallow castor oil as a child, this may be a pleasant surprise: The high vitamin-E content of that awful-tasting thick oil can work wonders on brittle nails and ragged cuticles. And you don't have to swallow the stuff. Just massage a small amount on your cuticles and nails each day and within three months you will have supple cuticles and healthy nails.

Cooking Spray
Need your nail polish to dry in a hurry? Spray it with a coat of cooking spray and let dry. The spray is also a great moisturizer for your hands

Film Canisters
Create a small, spillproof carry case for nail polish remover by tucking a small piece of sponge into a plastic film canister. Saturate the sponge with polish remover and snap on the lid. For an emergency repair, simply insert a finger and rub the nail against the fluid-soaked sponge to remove the polish.

Pamper your fingernails without the help of a manicurist. Add the juice of 1/2 lemon to 1 cup warm water and soak your fingertips in the mixture for 5 minutes. After pushing back the cuticles, rub some lemon peel back and forth against the nail.

Get the comfort of a salon treatment when giving yourself a home pedicure. Just place marshmallows between your toes to separate them before you apply the nail polish.

To add some oomph to your fingernails, just plunge them into a bowl of mayonnaise every so often. Keep them bathed in the mayo for about 5 minutes and then wash with warm water.

Sep 25, 2008

Spinach - Egg Fry

You will need

Spinach - 1 bunch

Eggs -2

Onion- 1, finely sliced

Crushed garlic- 1 tablespoon

Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon

Chilli powder -1 / 2 teaspoon

Pepper powder - 1/2 teaspoon

Salt - to taste

Cooking oil - 1 teaspoon


In a pan/ kadai , heat oil. Add finely sliced onion and garlic. Fry till get golden color. Add chopped spinach. Mix it well. Cover with a lid. Cook on a slow flame for 10 minutes / till done. Add eggs and mix it nicely. Add salt, turmeric powder, chilli powder and pepper powder. Cover with a lid for 5-8 minutes. Stir occasionally. Serve with Rice/ Chapati and dal.

Sep 24, 2008

Banana face mask

Make a face mask

Who needs Botox when you have bananas? That's right: You can use a banana as an all-natural face mask that moisturizes your skin and leaves it looking and feeling softer. Mash up a medium-sized ripe banana into a smooth paste, then gently apply it to your face and neck. Let it set for 10-20 minutes, then rinse it off with cold water. Another popular mask recipe calls for 1/4 cup plain yogurt, 2 tablespoons honey, and 1 medium banana.

Sep 23, 2008

Make '' Idlis '' more nutritious with vegetables

Add a cup of mixed vegetables into the Idli batter. I've added carrot, beans and capsicum. Serve with coconut chutney / Tomato chutney.

Tasty and nutritious Idlis !!!

Sep 21, 2008

Calorie count of '' Punjabi dishes "

Vegetable Biryani, 453 g: 830 calories
Chicken biryani - 410 calories

Lamb Biryani, 600 g: 2,460 calories

Chicken Tikka Masala, 400 g: 1,360 calories

Mutton Rogan Josh, 400 g: 1,400 calories

Rabri with Kesaria Jalebi, four pieces: 1,100 calories

Tandoori chicken - 300 calories

Lamb bhuna- 680 calories

Chicken tikka - 680 cal

Meat samosa - 320 calories

Vegetable samosa - 260 calories

Aloo gobi -330 calories

Chicken curry -700 calories

Kheema -780 calories

Beef Keema, 400 g: 1,560 calories

Chicken Korma, 400 g: 1,740 calories

Shahi Tukda, four pieces: 450 calories

Boondi ladoo 150 calories

Cake with icing -302 calories

Gujia - 501 calories

Gulab jamun - 387 calories

Halwa ( Atte ka halwa ) -265 calories

Jalebi - 494 calories

Suji halwa - 300 calories

Milk shake - 100 calories

Kappa Puzhukku ( Tapioca with coconut )

Visit here for Kappayum meenum
Kappa ( Tapioca ) - 500 g ( cut into cubes )
Salt - to taste
Ingredients for coconut paste

Coconut - 1 cup
Turmeric powder - 1/4 teaspoon
Chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Make a smooth paste of above ingredients and keep aside.
1 st Seasoning

Cooking oil - 1 teaspoon
Mustard seeds - 1 teaspoon
Jeera / cumin seeds- 1/2 teaspoon
Curry leaves - 1 spring
2 nd seasoning
Cooking oil- 1 teaspoon
Small onion- 6 ( chopped fine )
Crushed garlic - 2 teaspoon


Wash and clean Kappa pieces. Cook either in pressure cook or normally. Drain out water. Mix together cooked kappa pieces and coconut paste in a kadai / bowl. Add 1/4 cup water and salt to taste. Cover with a lid. Stir occasionally. Cook on a slow flame for 10 -15 minutes. Coconut gravy should not be too watery.
Cooked kappa pieces

1 st Seasoning
In a pan , heat oil. Add mustard seeds. When they splutter, add cumin seeds and curry leaves.
Add this seasoning to Kappa puzhukku.

2 nd seasoning
In a pan heat oil. Add chopped small onion and crushed garlic. Fry on a slow flame till golden. Add this to Kappa puzhukku.

Final preparation

Mix all all the seasoning together and cook again for 5 minutes. Kappa puzhukku is ready now. It goes well with Appam / Meen curry.

Sep 20, 2008

Yogurt & Beauty

Make a facial mask

You don't have to go to a spa to give your face a quick assist:
To cleanse your skin and tighten the pores, slather some plain yogurt on your face and let it sit for about 20 minutes.

For a revitalizing facial mask, mix 1 teaspoon plain yogurt with the juice from 1/4 slice of orange, some of the orange pulp, and 1 teaspoon aloe. Leave the mixture on your face for at least five minutes before rinsing it off.

Relieve sunburn - For quick, temporary relief of mild sunburn, apply cold plain yogurt. The yogurt adds much needed moisture and, at the same time, its coldness soothes. Rinse with cool water.

Sep 18, 2008

Beauty tips during monsoon

Follow these home remedies for healthy and glowing skin.

Oily skin

Those who have oily skin need to get rid of the dead cells and grime. A mild cleanser will work best for your skin type. Pure oatmeal scrub can be used to cleanse your skin. You can also use ripe papaya pulp as a mild exfoliator.

Dry skin

A honey cleanser and almond paste is good for your skin. Make a paste of almonds by crushing 10 of them and then add two teaspoons of honey to it. Massage it on the face for five to seven minutes. Rinse your face and pat-dry. One teaspoon honey, one teaspoon jojoba oil can do wonders for our skin. Make a paste of all these and apply it on your face and neck. Leave it on for 10 minutes and then wash it off with water.

Combination skin

Apply on your face and neck a mixture of two teaspoons of rose water, two drops of strawberry oil and fresh orange oil. Leave the pack on for 10 minutes and then wash it off. Follow this and you will look as fresh as ever during the rains.

Sep 16, 2008

North- East Crafts Bazaar - Chennai

India is a land of arts and crafts, which thrive in every corner. These crafts have origin in past and characterize Indian cultural legacy. The plethora of crafts range from metalwork, pottery, jewelry making, glassware, shell craft, stone work to woodcraft etc. Cane and bamboo crafts of India are popular across the globe for their functional and aesthetic appeal. Especially in the northeastern states this is an important source of livelihood for the people.

Craftsmen produce a variety of utilitarian items using natural material like cane and bamboo. Not only these materials, readily available, they are also easy to work with and hardly require the use of specialized tools or equipment.

In India crafts associated with cane and bamboo, have generally been carried out by different tribal societies within the country. The tribals, since ancient times, have been using cane and bamboo to give expression to their art and to earn a living.

Cane and bamboo crafts from Tripura are amongst the best in India, because of their beauty and exquisite designs. A variety of products and items such as furniture, panels and partitions, table mats and floorings, lampshades etc are made here.

I took these photos from North East craft Fare – Valluvarkottam –Chennai. Enjoy these photos. …. Exhibition- cum - sale till 18 th Sep 2008.

Call # 28172177 / 28175005 to get more details


Lamp shades

Cane furniture

Shawls from Assam & Tripura


Cane basket

Fruit basket

Sep 12, 2008

Niya's Onasadya 2008

Wish you all a happy Onam,

I prepared a humble Onasadya. Would like to share the details with you as well.

The main dishes were:- Pappadam, Banana Chips, Kaaya Nurukku, Chammanthi Podi, Sharkara Puratti, Naranga Achaar, Mix veg Thoran, Kalan, Avial, Kerala Boiled Rice, Sambar, Semia Payasam, Curd and ghee.

Enjoy the photos.




Semia Payasam

Onam Greetings

Sep 10, 2008

Onam Special Palada Pradhaman & Chakka Pradhaman ( Payasam/ Kheer ) at Sri Krishna Sweets - Chennai

One more "Sweeeeeet" news from Sri Krishna Sweets - Chennai

Onam special Palada ( milk) Pradhaman and Chakka (jack fruit)Pradhaman available only on 12 th September ( Onam day ) from 8 am to 1 pm at their T Nagar, Anna Nagar , Ashok Nagar & Adyar branches.
The cost is Rs. 190/- per litre.

Specially mentioned in the ad that "the customers should bring a clean dry vessel to buy this sweets". The ad is featured below.

Sri Krishna Sweets
2 nd Avenue
Landmark - next to Anjappar, Mc Rennet, Tanishq
Anna Nagar # 2619 1222 / 9940092945
Pondy Bazar
T Nagar # 24312345 / 42616161 /9940092111 /222/

Sep 9, 2008

Crispy Samosas from Sri Krishna Sweets - Chennai

A couple of day’s back, we visited Sri Krishna Sweets, Annanagar, Chennai. It was a pleasant evening and I was really impressed by the ambiance there.

Sri Krishna Sweets has been around for many years now and its pure ghee sweets are famous not only in Chennai but in other parts of Tamilnadu.

A striking feature which I found at the Annanagar outlet was the attitude and crispy clean dress of the attending staff reminiscing a Jewellery shop . Apart from sweets and savories, there were many offerings from the hot plate – like Kara / Sweet Paniyaram, Sweet / coconut / Masala Boli etc.

To enhance the shopping experience, there was a live violin recital which added to the splendor. With chairs around, one can enjoy the food and the music as well.

Featured here is a pair of Samosas. I found them very rich with liberal sprinkling of Cashew nut splits. Size of samosas were also fulfilling.

Yes, You guessed it right. Of course; these things will not come cheap. A single samosa costs Rs.15/-

Even though the offerings are pocket heavy and loaded with cals , I recommend a visit.

Around this time every year ( Gut feeling tells me it is Sept 20th); Sri Krishna Sweets offers “ Buy 1 kg and get 1 Kg free” Ghee Mysorepa for a day. I have seen serpentine queues last year – but it is worth the trouble - as the offer sweetens the already sweet Mysorepa.

Sri Krishna Sweets,
2nd Avenue, Annanagar East,
Chennai – Tel – 26191222.
( Very near to Annanagar roundtana – next to Anjappar, McRennet).