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Tuesday, August 2, 2016


Jigardhanda is a famous drink, a delicacy originated from Madurai, Tamilnadu. Many think that it is made from crushed idli, but the main ingredient is Badam pisin or Almond gum.

Badam pisin or Almond gum is the natural edible gum obtained from almond trees. It's the best ingredient to keep our body cool. Good healing for stomach ulcers or burn. We can get it from provision stores, looks like small brown rocks.

Adding nannari (Indian sarasaparilla) syrup makes it a coolant to escape from hot summer days. It is obtained from the roots of nannari plant. Also, it is a blood purifier and good home remedy for constipation and urinary infection.

Try this healthy drink on a hot day to avoid dehydration. Check out my simple version of the recipe.

Badam pisin - 1/2 tablespoon or 5-6 small pieces
Nannari syrup - 6-8 tablespoons(adjust accordingly for the sweetness)
Milk khoa - 3 -4 tablespoons (sweetened or unsweetened)
Milk - 3 cups, boiled and chilled


Wash the gum rocks and soak it in water overnight. Place it in big cup as shown in the picture below. It will expand drastically.

Drain excess water and crush big lumps gently with hand or a spoon.

Mix the crushed gum, khoa, syrup and chilled milk.

No sugar is needed as nannari syrup is sweetened. Adjust accordingly to your taste.

Serve it cold and relish it.

Note: Can do some variations for a different taste, like adding almond or cashew paste. Few add vanilla icecream to have a creamy texture.

Preparation time : 5 minutes
Serves 3 persons

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Tom Yum Prawn Soup

Tom Yum or Tom Yam soup - name derived from two thai words, 'Tom' refers boiling process and 'Yum' or 'Yam' refers to the spicy and sour flavours. Feels good to have it on a rainy day or when we are having a severe cold and headache ;-)

Thailand's signature dish which is widely prepared with variety of variations. But still, the main ingredients remain lemongrass, galangal, kaffir leaves. It was proven that these ingredients along with cumin and grachai helps in reducing Cancer risk. These form the main ingredients of Thai cuisine, so you can try thai dishes often to boost your immune system.

Source here.

Even if you don't get fresh ones, go for dried bottled spices. My variation of tom yum soup below:

Prawns - 10-12 nos
Tomatoes - 2 sliced
Galangal (Thai ginger) - 1 inch piece, sliced
Kaffir leaves (Lime leaves) - 8-10 leaves
Lemon grass - 2 stalks, sliced into small pieces
Lemon - 1 (extract juice)
Thai chilies (Green/Red) - 4 nos each (Thai red chilies will be damn hot, so I use a mix, adjust accordingly for spice level)
Button Mushrooms - 4-5 (optional), sliced
Oyster or Fish sauce - 1/2 tablespoon (optional)
Chicken stock cubes - 2 (I used Knorr ones)
Coriander leaves few for garnishing
Salt to taste
Water - 4 cups


Peel, devein and wash the prawns and keep aside.

Boil water in a large pan. Add chicken stock cubes and mix well until it dissolves.

Then add galangal, lemon grass, kaffir leaves, tomatoes, chilies and bring it to a boil.

Add prawns, mushrooms and cook for 3-5 minutes, depending on the size of the prawns.

Once prawns are cooked, add oyster sauce and mix well.

Taste and add salt as oyster sauce has salt in it.

Switch off the flame, add lemon juice and mix well.

Garnish with coriander leaves and enjoy it hot.

Note: If it is too spicy, adjust adding more lemon's juice.

Cooking time 15-20 minutes
Serves 4 people

Friday, March 18, 2016

Mutton Biriyani

It's always a good feeling to eat or cook Biriyani. One dish can go wrong even if a garlic pod is more :D. Had a privilege of having my hubby's Periyappa (80+) and Periamma (70+) for 2 weeks at our home. Her biriyani was always Best with the same taste, every time we visited them. Made her cook for us and got the inputs from her, to fine tune the taste of biriyani. Thanks to her and so far, for the past 2 years, its error-free biriyani with the same taste every time 👍👍.

A little bit of variation will always be there initially, because of the spices we use, after series of trials, you can get it corrected in course of time;-)

Here you go for the recipe......

Mutton - 1/2 kg (we get sheep meat only)
Seeragasamba rice - 4 cups (Used double deer brand)
Garlic - 1 1/2 whole (used China garlic. If using Indian garlic, use 2 whole garlic
Ginger - 1/2 inch size
Onions - 3-4 depending on large/medium sized
Green chilies - 8-10, depending on the size n spice
Tomatoes - 1 big sized
Mint leaves - 1 bunch
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Coriander leaves - few
Bay leaf - 2
Cinnamon stick - 1/2 inch sticks - 2 nos
Cardamom - 3 nos
Cloves - 5-6 nos
Fennel seeds (Sombhu/Saunf) - 1 teaspoon
Red chili powder - 1/2 to 1 tablespoon (depending on required spice level)
Ghee/butter - 2 tablespoons
Cooking oil - 3 tablespoons
Salt to taste

For cooking mutton:
We get sheep meat here, so need to cook it separately as it is little hard. Normally I will pressure cook it for 8 - 10 whistles, with the below ingredients. Do not cook it fully, as it would be cooked again with rice, so adjust the cooking time accordingly.

Bay leaf  -1
Cinnamon stick - 1/4 inch stick
Cardamom -1
Cloves - 2
Fennel seeds - 1/2 teaspoon
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tablespoon
Chilli powder - 1/2 tablespoon
Curd - 1/2 cup
Water -1 cup

Wash mutton, cut into small pieces and pressure cook as above.

Once it is cooked, separate the mutton pieces and cooked water. We would be adding this too with the biriyani later.

Cut onions into thin slices. Slit green chilies. Slice tomatoes.

Wash mint leaves thoroughly and keep the leaves separately.

Make a coarse paste of ginger and garlic without water.

Wash and soak water in 2 cups of water for 15 mins. Water used for soaking is also counted, so measure it for soaking.

Note : Rice and water is always 1:2 ratio. If you are soaking for more than 15 mins, then the ratio is 1:1.5.

Heat oil in a pressure cooker. Once it is hot add bay leaf, cinnamon stick, cardamom, cloves and fennel seeds. Saute for a minute.

Add green chilies and onions. Saute it until onions turn golden brown.

Add ginger garlic paste, curry leaves and tomatoes and saute it until the raw smell goes off.

Once it is done, add the cooked mutton, chili powder, salt to taste and saute well for 2 minutes.

Then add mint leaves, mix it and cook for 5 minutes. Then add soaked rice without water and ghee and mix well.

Add 8 cups (soaked water + cooked mutton water + plain water) of water, coriander leaves and mix well.

Check salt and spice levels before closing the lid. Pressure cook for 2 whistles and switch off stove.

Wait until the pressure releases completely. Once opened, mix it well with the ladle stick, so the rice won't break.

Enjoy it hot with raitha.

Cooking time 45 minutes.
Serves 6 persons.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Javarisi Vadai (Sabudana/Sago Fritters)

Javarisi / Sago / Sabudana is rich in carbohydrates, with little source of proteins and minerals. This is the main ingredient taken during fasting in the form of desserts or as a whole meal, which gives instant energy. This is not the vadai prepared during fasting. Try this fritters for an evening snack.

Javarisi / Sago / Sabudana - 1 cup (Medium sized, size of pepper corns)
Idli / Dosa batter - 1 cup (click here for batter recipe)
Onions - 1 big, finely chopped
Green chillies - 1 or 2 as spicy required
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Ginger - 1/4 inch piece
Coriander leaves - few
Cumin seeds - 1 teaspoon
Asafoetida (Hing/Perungayam) powder - a pinch
Wheat flour - 1 - 2 tablespoons for binding
Salt to taste
Oil for deep frying


Wash sago and add to batter with cumin seeds, asafoetida, salt to taste, a cup of water. Mix it well and leave it for 2 hours.

Once the sago is soft, add chopped onions, green chilies, curry leaves, coriander leaves and ginger paste. Mix it well.

If it is watery, add wheat flour and make it to a thick paste. Add little salt if required. Leave it for 15 mins. Deep fry the batter into any desired shape u like.

Turn over both sides and once it turns golden brown, keep them on kitchen towel to remove excess oil.

Serve hot with any chutney and enjoy.

Note: Add/adjust water amount if sago gets soaked and water dries out.

Preparation time : 2.5 hours (including soaking time)
Serves for 4 persons.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Karivepillai urugai / Curry leaves pickle

Curry leaves are anti-diabetic, antioxidant, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-carcinogenic and hepatic-protective (capability to protect liver from damage) properties. They have the ability to control diarrhea, gastrointestinal problems such as indigestion, excessive acid secretion, peptic ulcers, dysentery, diabetes and an unhealthy cholesterol balance. Many think that it gives flavor to the food and discard them.

Source here

So to consume it completely, try this yummy pickle....

Curry leaves - 40 sprigs
Black gram (Ulundu/Urad dal) - 1/2 tablespoon
Split chickpeas (Kadalai paruppu/Chana dal) - 1/2 tablepsoon
Fenugreek (Vendhayam/Methi seeds) - 1 teaspoon
Mustard - 2 teaspoons
Long Dry Red Chilies - 4 (adjust according to spice level)
Coriander seeds - 1 teaspoon
Tamarind - a small lemon size
Salt to taste
Asafoetida (Hing/Perungayam) powder - a pinch
Oil - 2 tablespoons

Wash curry leaves, remove leaves and pat them dry.

Soak tamarind in 1/4 cup of warm water.

Heat pan, add few drops of oil and fry curry leaves until they are crispy. Keep them aside and allow it to cool.

Dry roast urad dal, channa dal, dry chilies, Fenugreek, 1 teaspoon of mustard, coriander seeds, for 2-3 minutes, until they are golden brown and keep aside. 

Once it is cool,  add these to a mixer and grind to a paste(sprinkle little water if required). 


Heat oil in a pan, add mustard seeds once it is hot. 

Once it splutters, add tamarind extract.

When it starts to boil, add the grind paste and salt to taste.

Keep stirring until it becomes  thick and oil oozes out.

Delicious curry leaves pickle is ready. Can be served with hot rice, idli or dosa.

Note: Can be stored in fridge for 10 days, if it lasts ;-) and consumed.

Preparation time : 20 minutes
Makes a cup of pickle