Cherished Recipes from Swarnamma’s Kitchen

April 29, 2008

My pick for Jhiva for Love this month is Ripe Mango Mor Kozhambu and Beans Paruppu Usili Curry.

Please note that these dishes are not exactly diabetic friendly and I am posting these recipes specially for Jhiva for Love. I wanted to post something for Jhiva for love because more than ingredients it is love and goodwill that make a dish healthy and delicious.

Ripe Mango Mor Kozhambu and Beans Paruppu Usili Curry reminds my family of Swarnamma, my husband’s mother, my mother in law and grandmother to my kids.

Pic of Swarnamma (Click on the image to enlarge)

Each of us have our own share of experiences with her with respect to her culinary skills.

My husband still remembers the dal rice and mango pickle that he used to carry for lunch everyday when he was in school and college. He still keeps saying how he relished his lunch and never got tired of eating the simple yet delicious food that his mother cooked for him everyday.

My kids remember how Swarnamma made curd rice out of the left over rice in the house and insisted that the kids have it.

My kids recall the times when she made them sit on the floor and placed the balls of curd rice in their palms. She used to make a hole in the ball of curd rice and then pour some left over sambhar or rasam in it. The youngest kid was the luckiest because Swarnamma used to feed the kid. All said and done kids loved the food she gave them, be it just curd rice and pickle. Above all, no left over food got wasted when Swarnamma was around.

Swarnamma always gave an ounce of her meal to atleast one person before she actually began eating her meal. She ate just two times, once at around 10 in the morning, that was her brunch, which included rice, sambhar/rasam/kootu with curry, pickle and curd. She used to have her brunch in a plantain leaf.

Swarnamma’s food in the plaintain leaf was the best food that anyone could have seen or had.

I remember how she placed the food on the leaf with taste and knack and it used to look simply delicious. Then the way she had the food with utmost attention and never left a morsel of food in the leaf was a sight to watch.

My daughter always used to look forward to that ounce of Swarnamma’s meal both in the morning and evening.

Swarnamma’s hot evening meal was the kadai dosa. This kadai dosa obviously made in the traditional black kadai used to be soft, fluffy and crisp at the ends. She used to dip one piece of the dosa in molaga podi and give it to my daughter and she still relishes the taste of the dosa, Swarnamma used to give her.

When I remember Swarnamma a lot of things about her come to my mind. First is her strict discipline: she never used to fail to rise early,eat on time, do all her chores by herself and sleep early.

She strictly maintained this routine till the age of 80.

Next is her commendable sense of cleanliness and orderliness which she refused to break till her last breath.

Then comes her taste for Keralite cuisine. Mango Pachadi and Olan were her hot favorites. I remember how she made sevai at the age of 80, when she was sick.

Then of course I remember her sarcasm and sense of humour. She would just make fun of you right before you and yes you need to have the spirit to take all that she says.

The recipes I am going to post today are in fond remembrance of Swarnamma and her culinary skills.

So here are the recipes for you to try.

Ripe Mango Mor Kozhambu


  • One ripe mango
  • One cup of sour curd
  • Half coconut (grated)
  • Two teaspoon cooking oil
  • !/2 teaspoon urad dhal
  • 1/2 teaspoon fenugreek seeds
  • 4or 5 red chillies
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafoetida
  • Few curry leaves
  • Salt to taste


  1. Cut mango into medium pieces.
  2. In a frying pan add 1/2 teaspoon oil.
  3. Add urad dhal, fenugreek seed and red chillies.
  4. Fry till it becomes red.
  5. Grind grated coconut, fried items into a fine paste.
  6. Beat curd with a whisk to make it smooth and keep it aside.
  7. In a Kadai, add some oil.
  8. Add mustard, fenugreek and red chilly.
  9. When the mustard starts popping, add curry leaves and hing.
  10. Add cut mangoes, turmeric powder, salt and enough water.
  11. Boil till the mangoes become soft.
  12. Add the ground paste and boil for 5 minutes.
  13. Add the curd and when it is about to boil turn off the fire.
  14. Add water if it is very thick.

The consistency of the Kozhambu should be like sambar . Serve hot with rice.

Beans Paruppu Usli Curry


  • One cup of chopped Beans
  • Half cup of Channa dhal
  • Quarter cup of tuvar dhal
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafoetida
  • 3or 4 red chillies
  • Few curry leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon urad dhal
  • 3 table spoon cooking oil
  • Salt as required


  1. In a kadai, add beans,salt,turmeric powder and enough water.
  2. Cook till it becomes soft.
  3. Soak channa dhal, tuvar dhal, red chillies for one hour.
  4. Grind the dhals with hing, red chillies and little salt coarsely.
  5. Grease the idly plate and the place the ground mixture.
  6. Steam it for 10 minutes.
  7. Allow it to cool and scramble them using hand. Now the paruppu usili is ready.
  8. In a kadai add some oil.
  9. Add mustard and urad dhal.
  10. When they start popping, add curry leaves and scrambled dhals
  11. Fry for a while.
  12. Add the boiled beans and fry till it gets mixed completely along with paruppu usili.
  13. When it becomes slight brown, remove from the burner.
  14. Serve hot with rice and mor kozhambu.

Food in Plaintain Leaf in Remembrance of Swarnamma (Click on the image to enlarge)

Try having this meal in a plantain leaf. I am sure you will love it.

Enjoy your meal 🙂

Bitter Gourd Masala

April 25, 2008


  • 3 Medium sized bitter gourd
  • One onion
  • One tomato
  • A lemon sized tamarind
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon asafoetida
  • Few curry leaves
  • Few coriander leaves
  • Salt as required
  • One teaspoon cooking oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon mustard

For dry roast

  • One teaspoon daniya
  • 1/2 tsp channa dal
  • 1/2 tsp urad dal
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 3or 4 red chillies
  • 1/2 tsp sesame seeds
  • 1/2 tsp ground nut
  • 2 tsp grated coconut


  1. Chop onion in to small pieces.
  2. Chop tomato into small pieces.
  3. Chop bitter gourd into small pieces by removing the seeds.
  4. Soak the bitter gourd pieces in water with little salt and turmeric powder for 15 minutes to remove the bitter taste.
  5. Remove the bitter gourd pieces from the water and keep it aside.
  6. In a frying pan fry daniya, channa dal,urad dal, pepper, sesame seeds, ground nut and red chillies without oil.
  7. Fry coconut with little oil.
  8. Grind the fried items along with coconut in the mixer and keep it in powder form.
  9. In a kadai put one tsp oil.
  10. Add mustard and one red chilly and let it splutter.
  11. Add onion and curry leaves and fry till it becomes soft.
  12. Add tomatoes and the chopped bitter gourd.
  13. Add turmeric powder, asafoetida and salt.
  14. Add enough water and cook till the bitter gourd becomes soft.
  15. Add tamarind extract and boil till the raw smell of tamarind disappears.
  16. Add the ground powder and boil for 5 minutes.
  17. Add little water if it is thick.
  18. Garnish with coriander leaves.

Stuffed Sprouted Green Gram Parantha

April 16, 2008

Ingredients for Making the Dough

  • One cup of Whole wheat flour
  • Half teaspoon Salt
  • Enough water for kneading

Ingredients for Stuffing

  • One cup of sprouted green gram
  • One medium size onion
  • One tomato
  • Half teaspoon ginger garlic paste
  • One table spoon lemon juice
  • Few coriander leaves
  • Few mint leaves
  • Half teaspoon fennel seed (Saunf)
  • Half teaspoon turmeric powder
  • Half teaspoon red chilli powder
  • Half teaspoon Jeera powder
  • Half teaspoon daniya powder
  • One teaspoon Garam masala powder
  • Salt as required
  • Two teaspoon of cooking oil


Getting the Dough Ready

  • In a large bowl, mix the flour with enough salt and water
  • Knead well to make a soft smooth dough
  • Cover with a plate and keep aside for one hour

Getting the Stuffing Ready

  • Boil Sprouts with enough salt and water till it becomes soft. ( The sprouts should be cooked properly)
  • Allow it to cool for Half an hour
  • Grind it coarsely in the mixer without adding water
  • Chop onion and tomato into fine pieces
  • In a frying pan put 2 teaspoon oil
  • Add fennel seed and fry till it becomes red
  • Add cut onion and fry till it becomes soft
  • Add Ginger garlic paste and fry till the aroma goes
  • Add cut tomato and fry till it gets cooked
  • Add all the masala powders one by one and fry for a while
  • Add the ground sprout and fry for 2 minutes
  • Add salt (if needed), lemon juice, coriander leaves and mint leaves
  • MIx well
  • Make it balls and keep it aside

Method for making the Parantha

  • Take a lemon sized dough, shape round
  • Roll into a thick chappathi 5″ in diameter
  • Place the stuffing in the center of the chappathi

  • Fold the edges from all sides towards center

  • Press lightly, dust with dry flour, roll into 7″ in diameter to make round paratha

  • Heat a tawa and place the paratha
  • When both sides are cooked, put oil and spread it to both the surfaces
  • Cook till the Paratha turns golden brown on both sides

  • Serve hot with curd, pickle or raitha

Some quick tips

  • The Sprout stuffing should be dry and intact. It should not be loose. If it is loose the Parantha will get messy.

Bitter Gourd Juice For Diabetics

April 12, 2008

Bitter gourd is a green vegetable with a bitter taste . In India it is used as a household medicine because of its medicinal and curative properties. It is a very nutritious vegetable. It contains a hypoglycemic substance which helps in lowering blood and urine sugar levels.Intake of bitter gourd in any form will be of immense help in controlling the blood sugar level.

Ingredients (for 1 glass)

  • Half piece of bitter gourd.
  • Half lemon.
  • A pinch of salt.
  • Half teaspoon turmeric powder


  1. Wash the bitter gourd thoroughly.
  2. Cut it into small pieces.
  3. Soak the cut pieces in water with little salt and half teaspoon turmeric powder for 15 minutes
  4. Remove the pieces from the water and grind it in the mixer with enough water.
  5. Remove the fibres by passing the juice through sieve.
  6. Add lemon juice and stir well.

Drink the juice in the morning on empty stomach daily.

Some Quick Tips

  • Soak the pieces in water with little salt and turmeric powder for 15 minutes to remove the bitter taste
  • Instead of lime amla can also be used along with bitter gourd

Sprouted Ragi and Mixed Vegetable Porridge

April 6, 2008

If you are bored of your regular breakfast, try this new recipe made using sprouted ragi and mixed vegetables.

Ragi is nutritious, rich in calcium, iron and protein. You can have this porridge with wheat bread or fruits and this dish is going to keep you fresh through out the day for sure. I have used a combination of vegetables to go with sprouted ragi. Here comes the healthy breakfast recipe for you:

How to make Sprouted Ragi

Wash ragi thoroughly and soak it in fresh water for 24 hours. The next day pack the ragi in a thin cotton cloth and place it on a dish. Keep something heavy or weighed on the cereal packed in cloth. Let it remain for 24 hours. The third day you can see the sprouts coming up in the seeds.

Sprouting makes the porridge easily digestible and improves the nutritional content.


  • One small cup of sprouted ragi
  • One piece of cabbage (50gms)
  • 5or 6 French Beans
  • One small carrot
  • 50 gms of peas
  • One small capsicum
  • 1teaspoon of ghee
  • One teaspoon of jeera
  • One teaspoon of pepper powder
  • Salt as required
  • One small cup of toned milk

For Grinding

  • One small onion
  • One small tomato
  • 2 flakes of Garlic
  • Small piece of ginger


  1. Grind sprouted ragi coarsely without adding water.
  2. Cook ground ragi, onion, tomato, ginger, garlic and one cup of water in a pressure cooker for 10 minutes.
  3. After the contents get cooled, grind it in the mixer.
  4. Remove the fibers by passing the mixture through sieve and keep it aside.
  5. Chop all the vegetables into fine pieces.
  6. Put the vegetables in a pan with enough salt and water and boil till it becomes soft.
  7. In a frying pan put one teaspoon ghee.
  8. Add jeera. Let it splutter.
  9. Add all the boiled vegetables and the ragi mixture and cook for 5 minutes.
  10. Add one small cup of toned milk and boil for 5 minutes.
  11. Add pepper powder and enough salt.

The consistency of the porridge must be like that of a soup.Serve hot with whole wheat bread or fruit