Showing posts with label Tamil Nadu Recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Tamil Nadu Recipes. Show all posts

Uppu Seedai, Vella Seedai ~ Tamil Nadu Special | How to Make Uppu Seedai, Vella Seedai | Indian Cooking Challenge - April

>>  Thursday, May 15, 2014

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For the Indian Cooking Challenge this month we did a Krishna Jayanthi Special dishes, that are very popular in Tamil Nadu.

I asked Gayathri to suggest a dish and she wrote back saying she has been wanting to make Uppu Seedai and Vella Seedai and she had bookmarked the recipes from Sharmilla's space. Since these were something I have been wanting to make myself, I wanted to select this right away.

I remembered my colleague telling me that she makes it often. So I was pinging her for her recipe, she finally just verbally told me how she makes and I hoped I will remember well. Meanwhile I also got my Amma's recipe from her collection. Amma was very surprised that she has so many variations written for these two recipes. After checking, the measurement all seem to be almost nearing each other.
Infact we did this almost the same day as I had announced. The Uppu Seedai was a hit, while the Vella Seedai had flopped. 

Well before I get into the actual stories, here's couple of things you got to remember while making these. I distinctly remember the firecrackers we had in our kitchen, when Amma's help dropped in the uppu seedai, before Amma could say go! And we had literal firecrackers! Konda must have been about three years or something and we never attempted to make it again.

So the most imporatant thing to remember, is to make the balls really dry. They don't have to be pressed or rolled in your palm to form the perfect balls. Infact if you notice my Uppu Seedais, they are just pinched and shaped. 
Second one is to really dry roast the rice flour. Even if you are using store bought flour, please roast it almost till it turns colour slightly. This is what my colleague suggested, who always makes it with store bought flour.

Since we always use homemade Rice flour, it was having the correct texture. We roasted it again. The volume of Rice flour reduces after roasting, so measure your cups after roasting.

Vella Seedai Recipe that Amma had, which required the Jaggary to be made as a syrup, was a flop for us. The moment we dropped in the ball, everything started disintegrating. 

We made it again just before posting and used store bought. This time I followed Sharmilla's recipe. The recipe calls for the jaggary to be just boiled and added to the flour. This worked out fine, in sense it didn't disintegrate, however the inside was soft. I cooked it in low all through. Maybe after cooling down, it will become hard. However the taste was very good.

Uppu Seedai

Ingredients Needed

Raw Rice flour - 1 cup
Urad Dal - 1 tbsp
Salt to taste
Butter - 2 tsp
Sesame Seeds -1  tsp
Grated coconut - 2 tsp
Channa dal - 1/2 cup

Optional Ingredients

My friend also adds these to her Seedais and says it tastes great

Crushed Cumin - 1 tsp
Pepper corn, crushed - 1/2 tsp


Points to remember

Measure the rice flour after roasting. When you draw a line with the roasted rice flour, you should be able to make a straight line.

Drying the balls for at least 20 mins, makes sure your seedais don't break.

Soak the Chana dal in water for 30 mins, Drain and add to the flour when you are making.

Dry roast the rice flour till it turns colour. Keep it aside.

Dry roast the urad dal till it turns colour. Cool and powder to fine. Sieve to make sure you have fine powder.

Dry roast the sesame seeds, toss it around and keep it aside.

The way to do for crushing is, once the seeds are cooled down, simply crumble them in your hand, so that it crumbles down.

For mixing the dough

Mix in soft butter, crushed sesame, cumin, pepper if you are adding to the flours. Mix well. Then slowly add water just enough to get a dough.

The dough should be able to hold it's shape.

When you pinching down the seedais, just pinch out and roughly roll them into balls. Do not make tight balls. Do not roll them in your palms as you might do for a laddu. Pinch them out as small balls, press down so that they form balls.

Important step to remember.

Once you make all the balls, spread them on a paper or cloth for atleast 15 - 20 mins, for them to dry out.

Heat the oil to hot, reduce to medium, cook in batches. Make sure the balls are not very big as the inside as to get cooked.
Vella Seedai

Ingredients Needed:

Raw Rice flour -1 cup
Jaggary - 3/4 cup
Butter - 1 tbsp
Grated Coconut - 2 tbsp
Sesame Seeds - 2 tbsp
Cardamom powder a pinch
Oil for deep frying

How to make the Vellai Seedai

The same roasted rice flour and Urad dal is used for this as well.

Dry roast the sesame seeds.

Soak the jaggary and strain the impurities. Put on high flame, switch off when it starts bubbles or boiling.

In a bowl, take the flours, sesame seeds, butter, cardamom and slowly add the jaggary water.

Mix well to get a soft dough.

Make bigger balls than you make for uppu seedai. Dry them as the uppu seedai and deep fry in batches.


I guess the melting or bringing to one boil should also work fine. The thread didn't work at all.

My friend adds channa dal as well to the sweet ones. I skipped it second time.

On the whole, this is quite a challenge and hopefully we will get into making this again and perfecting it soon.


Virudhunagar Ennai Parotta, Veechu parotta, Vegetable Chalna from Tamil Nadu

>>  Saturday, April 26, 2014

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Exactly a year ago, I read this article on Virudhunagar Ennai Parotta, the pictures were so sinfully tempting! I have lived all my life in Tamil Nadu and still this one was new for me. As expected I was taken in so much that I wanted to rush in right away to make these. I was however not able to make these and it looks like it has taken me a year to finally share this. Of course this was one of the first posts I made for the Indian States.

Parottas are flaky, layered Indian Bread, mostly made popular by the road side shops that you find all over Tamil Nadu. It's really such an wonderful art to see a parotta master flipping the parottas in the air and swirl it to a rope and quickly gathering it as a ball and pressing it down as a roti. The parottas are made with All purpose flour, with loads of oil and rested for over hours to get that crispy, flaky texture. There are quite a few variety to the parottas. The regular layered parotta are prepared by just swirling in the air, gathering the pleats and pressing as small discs. Veechu parotta are made with the same dough, the technique varies, wherein the rolled out disc is swirled in the air, which gains momentem and becomes very thin. The layers are gathered and folded as envelop. These are famous in Madurai, a city in TN.

The Virudhunaga Parottas are made as the regular parottas, but are deep fried in oil.

Regular Parottas, which I make a bit more healthy by adding in Wheat flour, is a regular dish made at home along with Paneer Butter Masala and is a favorite with my kids. Infact only on rare occasions I end up making Parottas with only All purpose flour, not because it is not healthy, but because I mostly don't have time to get it soaking for dinner.

So when I decided to short-list breads for Tamil Nadu, I was wondering for a while on what I can make. Parotta was an immediate choice. Since having made already, I was thinking what else I could make, when I suddenly remembered this Porucha Parotta. I did a quick search and landed in the Article I read many months ago.

The search also led me to Manjula's post, where she has made a whole platter with different shapes along with the Vegetable Salna. I decided to do the combination and checked for few more variations I might find for the Vegetable Salna. 

I finally adapted Manjula's and few of what I had bookmarked. The combination was super duper as expected. Konda, who already loves Parotta, was so excited by the fried one. Our dinner was a real hit.

I even took the parotta and chalna for my colleagues, who wanted to taste the fried one as well. 

Coming to the similarities, this is exactly like the Fried Paratha from the Paratha Wali Gali Paratha, where the pan fried bread is deep fried and takes it to another level altogether!

Living in Madras, I know I should have done a more elaborate spread to showcase my place's beautiful cuisine, but trust me, these parottas fill up like nothing and you are left so full and sated!

How to make the dough for the Parotta

How to make Virudhunagar Ennai Parotta / Porucha Parotta

Virudhunagar Ennai Parotta

For Dough

All purpose flour/ maida - 2 cups
Oil - 2 tbsp
Salt to taste

For making Parotta's

Oil - 1/2 cup  +  more for kneading and frying the parottas

How to make the Parottas

In a bowl, take the flour, salt, oil and knead them to a very soft dough. Roll the dough over oil and rest for an hour.

After one hour knead again, by adding little more oil. Now divide the dough by taking a small portion and pressing them between you index finger and thumb so that you get tight balls.

Now arrange the bowls in bowl or tray and add 1/4 cup of oil to it nicely spread all over each balls .

Rest this for about 1/2 an hour. After 1/2 an hour press the balls with your fingers and form a disc shape in a greased platform .

Pour a teaspoon of oil on the ball, press with your hands and roll out as lengthy as you can. Then fold in and fold out till you reach the ends. You will get a rope at this stage, then swirl around as a ball. 

Grease your hands with oil and press out as discs.

Heat a Kadai with oil. Once it is hot, deep fry the parotta on both sides.

Drain on a kitchen towel.
How to make Veechu Parotta

For the Veechu parotta, the dough is the same. Except after you pinch down a ball, grease more oil, roll out a thin disc, or you can lift and drop the disc so that it starts spreading a thin layer. Then start folding from one corner, first the opposite sides and then enclose from the other sides like an envelop. This forms a square or rectangle.

Heat a tawa, grease with oil and cook the parotta on both sides. 

Regular Layered Parotta 
For regular parottas, you can make it the same way as Ennai Parotta, but just pan fry with oil on both sides.

 How to make Mixed Vegetable Chalna

Vegetable Chalna 

Ingredients Needed

Mixed Vegetable - 2 cups (Potato, Carrot, Beans, Beas and Cauliflower)
Oil - 1 tbsp
Onion -  1 medium size chopped
Tomato - 1 large size chopped
Red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Coriander pd - 2 tsp
Bay leaves - 2
Cloves - 2
Cardamom - 2
Ginger Garlic paste - 1 tsp
Salt to taste
Curry leaves

To grind to a smooth paste

Coconut, grated - 1/4 cup
Fennel seeds - 2 tsp
Green chillies - 3 big
Cashew nuts - 5 nos
Curry leaves handful

Grind this to a smooth paste and keep it aside.

How to make the Vegetable Chalna

Wash and prep the vegetables. Soak the cauliflower in salted hot water for 10 mins. Drain the cauliflower and add to the other vegetables and MW for 8 mins. 

In a non stick pan heat oil, add bay leaves, Clove, Cardamom, finely chopped onion and saute till they turn translucent. Then add ginger garlic paste and saute.

Now add tomato, salt, cover with lid and cook till mushy.

Then add red chilli pd, turmeric pd, coriander pd  and mix well.

Add the boiled vegetables and mix them well till the masala gets well coated. Reserve the stock from the boiled vegetables.

Now add the reserved water from the boiled vegetables. Bring to boil. Add more water if it's not enough. Simmer for 5 mins.

Next add the ground paste to the boiling vegetable and cook again for 5 - 7 mins. 

Once the gravy gets the consistency and the masala is cooked well, you can garnish with coriander leaves and switch off. 

Serve with parottas.


Chettinad Vellai Paniyaram, Milagai Chutney

>>  Sunday, January 26, 2014

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For the final day I had decided to make Vellai Paniyaram with Milagai Chutney. After deciding on this I saw so many of my friends doing this so it was not tough making this one. First one to go was Suma and I had decided to follow her recipe. I had served this for breakfast and trust me, it was too greasy! However nobody was complaining on that. As the taste compensated the oil part.

This is more like a malpau where the batter is directly poured into a pan of oil and let to get cooked. I guess if one was really too conscious, they could make it as regular paniyarams. Until I saw the pictures I had no clue that these are made this way, though I had read about it so many times.

Vellai Paniyaram with Milagai Chutney

For the Paniyarams:

Ingredients Needed:

Raw rice - 1 cup
Urad dal - 3 tbsp
Salt to taste
Oil to fry

How to make the Paniyaram

Take both rice and urad dal in a vessal, wash with water and change waters twice. Then soak for at least 3 hours. Drain and grind the ingredients adding water as needed, to form a batter like of dosa consistency. Transfer the batter to a bowl and add salt to it. Mix well and set aside. If your batter is too thick, add a tbsp. or two of milk to dilute it.

Heat oil in a wide pan. The heat should be medium and the oil should not be very hot. The oil should be medium hot through out the process.

Pour a small ladleful of batter into the oil.

Now immediately take the slotted spatula, dip into the hot oil and start pouring the oil along the edges of the dough circle you formed. You start noticing the curves forming along the border.

Then gently fry the paniyaram and it bloats up like a puri.

When it is cooked, flip it and fry for few more seconds. Remove and transfer on to absorbent towels. No need to fry until golden brown. They should remain white.

Drain in another spatula and transfer to a kitchen paper.

Repeat the steps with the remaining batter.

Traditionally these paniyarams are served with spicy milagai chutney.

Spicy Milagai Chutney

Ingredients Needed:

Onions - 2
Tomato - 1 big
Red chillies - 3 -4
Salt to taste
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Oil - 2 tsp
Few curry leaves

How to make the chutney:

Peel and chop the onions into big chunks. Cut tomatoes into big chunks.

Blend together onions, tomatoes, salt and red chillies in a mixer to a paste.

Heat oil and add mustard seeds and curry leaves. When mustard seeds start to splutter, add the onion paste. Saute until the raw smell of the onion disappears. Turn off the stove and transfer to a bowl.

This serves as a delicious side dish for paniyarams / idlis / dosas as well.

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 36


U for Ukkarai | Okkarai | Paruppu Puttu ~ Deepavali Sweet

>>  Wednesday, September 25, 2013

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If there was one thing that really made me very happy in doing this ABC Cooking Marathon, is the fact that I attempted at making many of those long pending dishes. Thinking about every letter, made sure I remembered all those dishes I had always wanted to make. One among them was surely this Ukkarai.

Ukkarai is a sweet that's quite popular in the Tamil Brahmins Community in Tamil Nadu. Or it might be popular in other communities as well. I am not sure of that. However my exposure to this sweet has been only from my tambrah friends. This is mostly made as one of the Naivedyams for Navarathri. Along with the many lentil Sundals one gets to feast on, this sweet was so uniquely presented. I used to look forward getting this and used to feel shy to ask for another packet. Guess the small packets you are given, makes up for the entire experience of eating this.

So it was only natural that I had to search for this when I wanted to attempt at making locally famous dishes from Tamil Nadu. I remember Viji of Vcuisine making it and have ever since bookmarked her recipe. Since I had no clue on what exactly goes into making this dish, and also Amma had no idea about it, I followed the recipe to T, which trust me is very hard for me. Even this I am not sure if I attempted exactly. Viji should be the best judge to this.

Anyway this was one of the most loved dish, not just for the taste, texture, the aroma that came out of the kitchen was simply out of the world. Apart from being loaded with protein, this is quite fattening if you end up adding more ghee. I kept to the minimum as suggested. Yet we felt it was too heavy after couple of servings. Guess as I said, what Maamis offer during the Navarathri, was just enough.

The process involved is quite lengthy and you got to excess some elbow power, but trust me the end result is all worth the efforts.

This can stay for over a week as well. Remove what you want to serve, microwave for a min and voila, you have your delicious halwa again. Maybe I can't exactly term this as halwa. But then it does taste almost like the Moong Dal halwa or any halwa that you make with dal.

Recently I had a conversation with Ganga of Vegeyum. She wanted to know what was Paruppu Puttu, as said by Meenakshi Ammal. I knew paruppu puttu was more of a sweet. However MA seems to have referred regular Vegetable Usli as this as well. Well if she has said maybe it must be true as well. Can't dispute with a great cook like her. Though I told Ganga that these names and references could change among different communities as well.

Still I feel happy that Ukkarai can also be called as Paruppu Puttu

All the dals dry roasted separately

Cooled, soaked and dried. Finally ground to a smooth or little coarse paste

Steamed as balls for 15 mins. Then grated to a fine pieces.

Making the Jaggary Syrup

Ukkarai | Okkarai | Paruppu Puttu

Ingredients Needed:

Channa Dal/ Bengal Gram - 1/2 cup
Toor Dal - 1/4 cup
Split Yellow Moong Dal - 1/4 cup (Or you can use only channa dhal also)
Grated Fresh coconut - 3/4 cup

Vellam/Jaggery - 1 cup (or more as per your taste)
Cardamom powder - 1/4 tsp
Fried Cashews - 5 -6
Ghee - 3 tbsp

How to make Ukkarai:

In a non stick pan, dry roast the dals separately. Once they are roasted well, remove and cool. Then wash and soak in water for 2 -3 hours. Drain the water and leave it in colander for at least 30 minutes. Grind it in the grinder without adding water. The dal need not be very smooth but not very grainy too, more like the dal mix you make for Usli. When you touch the batter it will not stick to your hand.

Remove it and steam cook this batter in the idli plates for about 12-15 minutes.

Let it cool. Then grate into fine pieces.

In 1 tsp ghee, roast the cashews first then roast the grated coconut till golden brown. Keep it aside.

For making the Jaggary Syrup

Now take a thick bottom vessel and boil the jaggery with 1/2 cup of water. Strain for impurities. Leave it to boil again till you reach soft ball consistency. 

When you drop the syrup in 1 tsp water, you must be able to form a soft ball. 

At this stage, add the cardamon powder, coconut and the grated steamed batter. Mix well adding ghee in instalments. 

As the batter is already steam cooked, it may not take more than 3-4 minutes. Keep stirring to ensure it doesn't brown at the bottom.

When the dal leaves the sides, the halwa/ puttu is ready. Garnish with cashews


Adding ghee a tsp at a time, makes sure you don't add too much. I added only about 2 tbsp. If you want more ghee you can always add it.

This was almost like the moong dal halwa, however the taste of coconut and all the dals makes this an unique sweet for Deepavali

Logo courtesy : Preeti

Check out the Blogging Marathon page for the other Blogging Marathoners doing BM# 32


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