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A few basic homemade dishes for everyone

Posted Aug 23 2009 10:21pm


Upma is a dish ubiquitous in South India. It’s advantages are : - easy/quick to make, easy to digest and it can be made of minimum ingredients. A variety of Upma dishes can be made - right from the plain variety to the one with vegetables( I have seen Upma with Tomatoes, carrots and all vegetables just like fried rice). It can be had either as plain, with a spicy side dish ( with potato curry - Kukkahumman in Konkani cuisine, or with spicy savories like Mixture etc) or if one like sweet Upma, sprinkle a spoon full of sugar over it and here goes the sweet variety.

Featured here is a simple Upma which I made for today’s breakfast made from rawa. This can also be made from broken whole wheat / dalia - which is more healthier.

Serves : 2
Cooking time : 20 minutes


1 cup fried rawa ( sooji )
1 3/4 cup water
2 teaspoon oil
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
1 teaspoon cumin ( jeera ) seeds
1/2 teaspoon uraddal
2/3 green chillies , slit lengthwise
1 - inch piece ginger , chopped finely
1 spring dark green curry leaves
3/4 teaspoon salt ( or to taste )
1/4 cup grated coconut for garnishing


Heat oil in a kadai. Add mustard seeds. When they start splutter add jeera ( cumin ) seeds and uraddal. Saute for 2- 3 minutes. Add slit green chillies , ginger and curry leaves. Shallow fry for 3 -4 minutes or till it fragrant. Add water and salt. Cover with a lid and boil water on a medium heat.

When the water starts boiling , remove the lid, reduce flame to minimum. Pour rawa evenly with one hand and simultaneously stir with a spatula with the other hand. Mixing ofrawain boiling water is very important while makingupma. It should be mixed evenly - else it may form lumps -which totally spoils the dish. Cover with a lid and cook on a low heat for 5 - 8 minutes till all the water evaporates. Mix/ turn the Upma once in a while. Once ready, sprinkle grated coconut and serve with Mixture / AluBhujia etc.

Instant rice dosa , Idiyappam & Chicken Curry

Instant RiceDosa

This is an instant dosa preparation which is used in Northern Kerala. The advantage of this dosa is that it goes well with veg and non-veg dishes and it is easy to prepare. Also, it can be made from varying thickness as one desires - just by diluting the paste. This can be an ideal substitute for appam - which requires more ingredients, care and time to prepare.

Makes : 8dosas


1 cup raw rice
1/2 cup grated coconut
1/2 teaspoon salt
Water for grinding


Wash and soak the raw rice for 3 - 4 hours. Grind to a very fine paste with grated coconut . Add 1/4 cup water while grinding. Transfer the paste to another container. Add salt and extra 1/4 cup water to make a very thin consistency.

Caution: this dosa batter should not be kept aside for fermenting , but should be used for preparation immediately.

Heat the dosatawa / non stick - pan. Smear a little oil on the tawa and pour one ladleful of batter so that it spreads in a thin , even layer. Cover and keep for 1 - 2 minutes. Then remove it carefully. It can be spread as thin as a handkerchief.


Yet another simple dish which goes well with veg and non-veg dish. One should have the proper mould to makeidiyappam. This can be used as a main course or as an evening snack. Some useidiyappamto makeUpmaafter crushing it.Idiyappamcan also be converted into a sweet variety - by addingjaggery/ sugar to it after crushing it into small pieces.

I madeIdiyappamand chicken curry for today’s lunch.

Serves : 3 - 4
Makes : 12


1 cup raw rice powder - dry roasted
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 teaspoon ghee / oil
1 1/2 teaspoon extra oil
1/2 teaspoon salt


In a pan , boil water with salt and ghee / oil. When the water starts boiling add rice powder and mix well. Keep aside for cooling for an hour.

Add a teaspoon of oil to the mix and knead to a soft dough. Divide it into lemon sized balls. Lightly grease the idiyappam mould and put 2 lemon sized portions of the rice dough. Press/ extrude out the dough (resembling the noodles ) - while moving the mould in a small circle to form a small mount of noodles - onto each of the idiyappam stand / idli steamer. Steam for about 10 - 12 minutes in a steamer / pressure cooker / National-slow cooker or till done.

Chicken Curry

A watery / less spicy chicken curry just nice to go with Idiyappam / thin rice dosa. It is very light for stomach and cause minimum trouble to make. I follow this reciepe when I am short of time. Goes well with phulkaroti also.

Serves : 3


500 g chicken ( Wash and clean chicken. Marinate with 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Keep aside for 15 - 25 minutes )
3 onion, finely sliced
1 - inch ginger , finely chopped
8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 spring curry leaves
2 green chillies , slit lengthwise
3/4 teaspoon salt ( or to taste )
3/4 cup water
2 teaspoon cooking oil

Whole garammasala ( Spices )

4 cloves
4 cardamom
2 cinnamon sticks
2 star anise

Spices to be mixed with 1 tablespoon water

1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
1 teaspoon red chilli powder
2 teaspoon coriander powder


Heat oil in a pan / kadai . Add whole garammasala and saute on a low heat for 3 - 4 minutes or till it fragrant. Add finely sliced onions and fry till golden color. Add green chilli, ginger, garlic and curry leaves. Shallow fry for 4 - 5 minutes. Add diluted turmeric - red chilli powder - coriander powder and saute for 3- 4 minutes on a low heat.

Add chicken pieces, salt and 3/4 cup water. Cover with a lid and cook on a low heat for 30 minutes. Serve with Idiyappam / thin rice dosa / appam.
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