Thursday, January 31, 2008

Cranberry-Orange Muffins

I was just cleaning out stuff in the fridge the other day (as I occasionally do) and realized that I had some cranberries in the fridge. I had bought them to make cranberry bread and had a bit leftover. Due to circumstance, I never got around to using them. So, I thought, why not make cranberry muffins? I found a recipe here and altered it a bit to suit my taste. The result? Well, I'll let the pictures speak for themselves!


All purpose flour - 1 cup
Whole wheat flour - 1 cup
Sugar - 2/3 cup
Fresh cranberries, cut in half - 1 cup
Walnuts, chopped - 1/2 cup (optional)
Baking powder - 2 tsp
Salt - 1/4 tsp
Orange zest - 2 tsp
Butter, melted and cooled slightly - 1/4 cup (4 tbsp)
Milk - 2/3 cup
Vanilla extract or orange extract - 1/2 tsp (I used orange liquor)
Egg - 1 large


1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2. Combine flours, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Stir well.

3. Add cranberries, orange zest, and nuts (if using) to the above mixture.

4. In a medium bowl, whisk/beat egg, milk, vanilla/orange extract, and butter until well mixed.

5. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir gently until just combined. The batter will be a bit lumpy at this point. It's fine. Everything will be ok once they're cooked!

6. Either grease muffin tin with butter/cooking spray or line with paper liners like I did and save yourself the work!

7. Fill prepared muffin cups 2/3 full with batter. This amount makes 12 muffins, so adjust accordingly.

8. Bake at 400 F for 18 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the muffin comes out clean.

9. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack. Serve warm with butter or jam, if desired, but they really don't need anything additional!

Another look:sweet and tangy = yummy!
I'm sending this over to Bindiya for her "my favorite things event" with the theme of cakes and muffins. Hope she likes them as much as I do! :)

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Veggie Quesadilla and Avocado Salsa

I really, really didn't feel up to doing anything tonight. Not even cooking! So, I was thinking of something easy to make and then I had a flash of genius. Why not make quesadillas? They're basically Mexican grilled cheese "sandwiches" made with tortillas and various ingredients.

This is a very easy one that you can make with whatever vegetables you have on hand (onions, capsicum, eggplants, zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, etc.) I used bell peppers and onions because that's what I had on hand. The whole thing can literally be thrown together in a matter of 15-20 minutes.

I have used chipotle chiles for spice in this dish. If you haven't heard of chipotle peppers, they are smoked jalapenos. I usually keep the canned ones on hand, which are in this wonderfully tangy adobo sauce. If you can't get these (or don't like the smoked flavor), just use regular jalapenos or even green chillies will work well. :)

Makes for great party food, too. Hope Mansi is happy to receive this one for her game night event!

Veggie Quesadillas:


Tortillas (flour or corn, soft taco size) - 6
Onions - 2 medium, sliced
Bell peppers (capsicum) - 1 medium, sliced
Chipotle in adobo sauce - 2 peppers, chopped (can use jalapeno, if desired)
Garlic - 2 cloves, crushed
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Dried oregano - 1/4 tsp
Cheese (cheddar or pepper jack recommended) - 1 cup, grated
Salt to taste
Olive oil


1. Heat pan with olive oil until the pan is really, really hot. I mean smoking hot!

2. Now, add the bell peppers and onion and saute until browned, but still slightly crisp.

3. At this stage, lower the heat and add cumin, oregano, chipotle, garlic, and salt to taste.

4. Let it heat through, turn off the heat and cool slightly.

5. It's time to assemble! Get the tortillas, cheese, and the vegetable mixture (that we just made) ready.

6. Heat a tava/griddle/skillet to medium heat and put a few drops of oil on it.

7. Now, take 1 tortilla and top with cheese, then filling on top of that. Now, more cheese on top and cover with another tortilla.

8. Place on heated tava and heat until crispy and cheese is melted and goooey! Cut into large pieces for main course or smaller triangles for appetizer. This is best served warm (can keep warm in a 200 degrees F oven for a 15-20 minutes until ready to serve).

Note: I made this quesadilla "fajita style", meaning I pan sauteed everything on high heat like the fajita fillings you get in Mexican restaurants. In the summer, I'd grill the vegetables on the outside grill. You could also roast the vegetables in the oven, if desired.

Avocado Salsa:


Avocado - 1 medium, chopped
Red onion - 1 small, chopped
Jalapeno - 2, or to taste, chopped
Garlic - 1 clove, crushed
Coriander leaves - 2 tablespoons, chopped
Lime juice - juice of half a medium lime
Salt to taste


Mix all ingredients together and allow to soak for 10-15 minutes before serving. Keep covered until serving to reduce the chance of the avocado changing color!

This would go really well with mango milkshakes or mango margaritas! :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Pepper Chicken (Milagu Kozhi)

Mmmm... Man, do I ever love this pepper chicken! Pepper chicken is a Chettinadu style dish. It's a spicy chicken dish that can be used as an appetizer if made dry or as a curry if made slightly looser. This version is particularly easy and involves minimal prep work! One thing that I have to insist on is the use of freshly ground black pepper. This will give you the best possible flavor to the dish (it is called pepper chicken for a reason...)!


Chicken - 2 lb, cleaned and cut into small pieces
Onions - 2 medium, chopped
Garlic - 8 cloves
Ginger - 1 1/2 inch piece, ground to paste with garlic
Tomatoes - 1 medium, chopped
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 1/2 tsp, or to taste
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Fennel powder - 1 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Fresh pepper powder (milagu podi) - 2 tsp, or to taste

For seasoning:

Whole black peppercorns - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 2 sprigs


1. Heat oil in pan and do seasoning. Add onions and fry until golden brown.

2. Now, add paste of ginger and garlic, chilli powder, and coriander powder. Fry until raw smell disappears.

3. Add tomatoes, chicken, salt, and turmeric. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook without adding any water. Since the chicken will let out its own juices, you usually will not need to add any water.

4. When the chicken is cooked, but not falling apart, add the fennel powder, cumin powder, and fresh pepper powder.

5. Once the gravy bubbles, turn the stove off. Check for seasoning and squeeze a few drops of fresh lime juice to increase the flavor.

6. What else to do now but enjoy?! Use as an appetizer (with a cold beer, if you're into alcohol) or as a side with rotis.

Note: If you want more of a gravy consistency to mix with rice, you may need to add a little bit of water as the chicken finishes cooking.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Pumpkin Poriyal and Potato Masala

These are a couple of simple side dishes for when you get stuck as to what vegetable to make tonight.

Pumpkin Poriyal:

pumpkin poriyal

This is a very, very simple side dish using pumpkin (parangikai) which is simply seasoned. Makes a great side to most curries, veg or non-veg. Goes well with chappathi/rotis as well.


Pumpkin - 2 cups, cut into bite sized cubes
Salt to taste

For seasoning:
Whole red chillies - 4 (or to taste), broken in half
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp


1. Heat oil in pan. When hot, add red chillies.

2. Once they start to change color, add the rest of the seasoning ingredients.

3. After the mustard has spluttered and the urad dal has turned golden brown, add the cut pumpkin and salt.

4. Cover the pan and cook on medium low, stirring occasionally, until done. Enjoy with rice and veg/non-veg gravies or rotis!

Urulaikizhangu Kari (Potato Masala):

This dish is a minimally involved potato masala that tastes awesome with sambar or rasam!

potato masala


Potato - 2 medium, chopped into bite sized chunks
Onion - 1 medium, chopped
Tomato - 1 medium, chopped
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Chilli powder - 1 1/2 tsp, or to taste
Fennel (sombu) powder - 1/2 tsp
Salt to taste

For seasoning:
Mustard seeds - 1/2 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig


1. Heat oil in pan and do the seasoning.

2. Add onions and fry until translucent, followed by tomatoes.

3. Once tomatoes start to break down, add turmeric, chilli powder, and fennel powder.

4. Fry for a few minutes to cook the raw smell out.

5. Now, add potatoes and salt. Lower the heat to medium low and cover the pan.

6. Stir occasionally and cook until 3/4th done.

7. Then, cook open until the masala develops a brownish color and the potatoes are fully cooked. Enjoy as a side dish with sambar and/or rasam!

Note: Potatoes have a tendency to need a little extra salt and spice, due to their starchiness.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Garlic Avocado Roti

So, I was going through the usual, "What do I make for dinner tonight???" turmoil last night. I was thinking about what I had in the fridge because I realllllly didn't want to have to go shopping in the freezing cold. I suddenly remembered seeing a reference to avocado parathas on Maheshwari's blog a while ago. I had some avocados so I thought that would be a good use for them. Then, I had a seemingly crazy thought... Being the garlic fiend that I am, I thought, "Why not add a ton of garlic and make them into garlic avocado rotis?" The results, my friends were delicioso! So much so that I'm sending this over to Sunita of Sunita's world for her think spice event with the theme of gaaaaaaaarlic!


Avocado - 1 medium, mashed with fork or potato masher
Garlic - 5 cloves
Green chillies - 4, or to taste
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala (optional) - 1/2 tsp (I didn't use this here)
Salt to taste
Whole wheat flour (atta) - 2 cups


1. Crush garlic and green chillies in mortar and pestle or mixie. Mix this with mashed avocado in a medium bowl.

2. Add atta, cumin powder, garam masala (if using), and salt to avocado mixture. Mix well, adding very little water, if needed. In all likelihood, you'll either not need water or require maybe a couple of tablespoons. So, be careful! :)

3. Heat tava/griddle on medium heat.

4. Now, break off small lemon size balls of dough and roll out (slightly thicker than chappathi) using a little bit of flour.

5. Drizzle a few drops of oil on the tava and place rolled out roti on it.

6. Fry until bubbles form and the roti has brown spots on the side touching the tava. Turn over and cook until brown spots form on the other side.

7. Enjoy hot with pickle, curds, raita, etc.!

You really don't even need anything to accompany this (in my opinion) because the garlicky spicy flavor is just amazing. One more look...:

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Carrot-Coriander-Onion Uthappam

As you may or may not know, uthappam is basically an Indian savory pancake. It is made from idli batter and can be spiced up in any number of ways. Here, I've used carrot, coriander leaves, and onion as my main ingredients in the spirit of the upcoming republic day of India.

Pooja, of "My Creative Ideas" blog is hosting theme of the week based on republic day. So, I'm sending this recipe to her. Vande Mataram!


Idli batter - 2 cups
Onion - 1 small, chopped
Green chillies - 3, chopped
Carrots - 1, grated
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Coriander leaves - 2 tbsp, chopped

For seasoning:

Mustard Seeds - 1 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp


1. Heat oil in a pan. When hot, add mustard seeds and urad dal.

2. Once it splutters, add chopped onion, green chillies, and curry leaves. Fry until onion softens.

3. Cool this mixture slightly and add to the idli batter.

4. Heat a tava or griddle on medium heat. Make sure it's not too hot or else the uthappams will not cook through before over-browning!

5. Once the tava is warm, pour approximately 1/2 cup of batter and spread it out slightly. Make sure it's still a little thick (not thin like dosa!).

6. While the batter is still wet, sprinkle some grated carrot and chopped coriander on top of the uthappam. (Alternatively, you could just mix the carrot and coriander in with the rest of the batter and pour it directly. I just thought doing it this way makes for a cute presentation.)

7. Wait until small bubbles form on top of the batter. At this point, carefully flip it over and let it cook completely on the other side.

8. Serve hot with chutney and/or sambar. We had this with ridgegourd skin chutney (peerkangai peel chutney). Stay tuned for that recipe!

Uthappam in colors of the Indian flag!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Kola Urundai Kuzhambu (Meatball Curry)

So, this is basically a fairly simple South Indian style meatball curry that I modified from a recipe I found on the website It has just a little bit of coconut for richness and some tamarind for a mild tang in the background. It's not extremely rich and tastes awesome over hot cooked rice!


For the meatballs:

Mutton - 1 lb
Egg - 1
Salt to taste

Grind the following to paste (for meatballs):

Fried gram dal (pottu kadalai/dalia) - 3 tbsp
Poppy seeds (gasagasa) - 1 tbsp
Green chillies - 10, or to taste
Garlic - 4 cloves
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Onion - 1 medium, cut into large chunks
Coconut, grated - 1/4 cup
Cloves (grambu) - 5
Fennel seeds (sombu) - 1 tsp

For the gravy/kuzhambu:

Tomatoes - 3 medium, chopped
Tamarind - gooseberry size, soaked in water and pulp extracted
Salt to taste

Masala to grind for Gravy:

Onion - 1 medium
Garlic - 3 cloves
Ginger - 1 inch piece
Cloves (grambu) - 3
Fennel Seeds (sombu) - 1 tsp
Cumin seeds (jeera) - 1/2 tsp
Corainder seeds - 1 tbsp
Red chillies - 8, or to taste
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp


1. Grind the masala ingredients listed for meatballs into paste without adding water.

2. Mix this masala paste with the ground meat, egg and salt to taste. Form small meatballs out of this mixture. If the mixture feels too loose, you can add some gram flour (besan) to firm it up a bit.

3. Grind the masala ingredients for gravy.

4. Heat oil in a pan. Once it's hot, add the ground paste from step 3 and fry until the raw smell disappears.

5. Add tomatoes and fry until softened. Then, add tamarind pulp , enough water to make a gravy, and salt.

6. Boil for a few minutes to let the raw tamarind smell cook away.

7. At this point, lower the heat to medium and add the meatballs to the gravy. Lower the balls in gently so that they don't break as you add them.

8. Let the meatballs simmer in the gravy until they are cooked. The gravy should thicken as the balls cook. If it has become too thick, add a bit more water.

9. Serve over hot cooked rice and enjoy!

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Pongal and Chicken

Wait, wait, wait! Stop looking all confused by the title. I know that you probably think it sounds strange to eat chicken with pongal (and PLEASE let me know if it doesn't), but you have GOT to try this combination. I've been getting strange looks every time I tell it to anyone, but have managed to convert most to liking this!

Pongal and chicken gravy was probably my all time favorite breakfast combination growing up. Pongal, however, was probably the only thing where my brother would disagree with me in terms of food. He would eat anything, but just never liked pongal. So, Amma would be stuck making 2 breakfasts. Poor thing!

This pongal and chicken goes back generations in my family. Actually, the recipe for the chicken gravy comes from Amma's periyamma (Mom's uncle's wife). So, Amma grew up on this too! I guess you could call it a connector of generations. It makes me feel connected to my ancestors when making it and eating it...

I love this combo so much that I often turn to it as a comfort food when I don't feel well. I hope you will try out my beloved pongal with chicken gravy and be pleasantly surprised with the taste!

pongal and chicken gravy



Rice - 1 cup
Moong dal - 1/4 cup
Water - 4 cups
Salt to taste

For Seasoning:

Whole black peppercorns, cracked - 2 teaspoons
Ginger, cut in small dice - 1 tablespoon
Cumin seeds, crushed - 2 teaspoons
Ghee - 2 teaspoons


1. Put rice, moong dal, and water in pressure cooker.

2. Cook for 3-4 whistles. Let pressure subside on its own.

3. Once pressure is released, open the cooker and do the seasoning.

4. Heat the ghee in a pan. Add ginger and fry until fragrant and cooked. Then, add peppercorns and cumin seeds and fry for a few seconds.

5. Add this to the cooked rice-dal mixture along with required salt. Mix well and serve hot with chicken gravy.

Chicken gravy/kuzhambu:


Chicken, cut in small pieces - 1.5 to 2 lbs
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Garlic - 4-5 cloves, crushed
Ginger - 1 inch piece, crushed
Salt to taste

For Seasoning:

Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
Onion - 1 medium, sliced
Curry leaves - 1 sprig

Dry roast and coarsely grind:

Whole red chillies - 8, or to taste
Fennel seeds - 1 tsp
Coriander seeds - 1 tbsp
Cumin seeds - 1/2 tsp


1. Heat oil in pan. When hot, add fennel seeds and fry until brown. Then, do seasoning with onion and curry leaves.

2. Once onion is browned, add chicken, cover, and let cook on medium high until water evaporates and it begins to slightly brown.

3. At this point, add the crushed garlic, ginger, ground masala powder, turmeric powder, and salt, along with enough water to cover the chicken.

4. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer. Let cook until chicken is cooked. Add more water if needed. *This gravy should be fairly thin so as to have enough to eat with the pongal.

5. Enjoy piping hot with the hot pongal!

We have this in our family on Maatu Pongal, as well as any normal day. :)

This one is headed over to Meeta's monthly mingle for January. The theme is comfort foods, and for me, there's nothing better than this dish!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Pongal Vaazhthukkal!

Here's wishing you and your families a verrrrry happy Pongal 2008! Ungal anaivarakkum en iniya pongal nalvaazhthukkal!

This is a picture of my pooja offering for pongal today:

pooja offerings:
coconut (and coconut water), sweet pongal, venpongal, bananas, sugarcane, apples

Amma always has told me stories of Pongal, the harvest festival, from when she was in Tamilnadu. Since I come from a family of landowning farmers, pongal has always been the most important festival for us. Pongal literally means boiling over. I guess that's sort of a generic way of looking at the harvest time. It's a time of celebrating with family, and appreciating the cows (and family!) that have helped to till the fields.

Over time, the significance has sort of evolved a bit. But, I think it's great that we still take the time to give importance to such festivals even in today's busy lifestyle! So, I send everyone my heartiest wishes for Pongal and the year to come!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Vengayam Thuvaiyal (Onion Chutney)

So, what is a thuvaiyal and how does it differ from a chutney, you may ask. Well, from my understanding, a thuvaiyal is usually thicker than your typical chutney. Also, the main ingredient is often sauteed and then ground with tamarind and chillies. It's definitely a symphony for your taste buds!

As far as thuvaiyals go, this is definitely my current favorite! Amma has been making a version of this for a long time, but I learned a new version when I visited my cousin last summer. I have to say, that Akka's version is AMAZING!!!! I have been addicted ever since and this has become my go to thuvaiyal when I have no idea what type to make.


Red onions - 2 medium, coarsely chopped
Garlic - 4 cloves, cut in half
Ginger - 1 tsp, coarsely chopped
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Red chillies - 8, or to taste
Tamarind - small lemon size
Salt, to taste
Mustard seeds - 1/4 tsp
Urad dal - 1/2 tsp

For Seasoning:

Mustard seeds - 1 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig


1. Heat oil in a pan. When oil is hot, add red chillies and fry until well roasted. Remove from pan.

2. To the same pan, add mustard seeds and urad dal amounts listed in ingredients.

3. When they splutter, add the onions, garlic, ginger, curry leaves, and tamarind. Fry on relatively high heat until the edges of the onions brown slightly. Turn off the heat and cool the mixture.

4. Add salt and grind the cooled mixture somewhat coarsely in the blender or mixie without adding any water. The consistency should be fairly thick.

5. Do the seasoning and pour over the ground mixture.

6. Enjoy with idli, dosa, uthappam, etc. Tell me if you're hooked, too!

I'm so addicted that I'm sending this to Radhi who's hosting February's JFI - onion! For Sailu's version which differs slightly, click here .

Friday, January 11, 2008

Egg Fry (Muttai Perattal)

So, the story here is that my mother could NEVER get me to eat any sort of egg curry/kuzhambu growing up. I had somehow managed to develop an aversion to it and would not eat it at our house or anyone else's house. However, the unthinkable has just happened... My hubby and I were at my SIL's house and she made this egg fry. Not only did I eat it (initially just to be polite), but I actually LIKED it! Needless to say, I had to get the recipe!

egg fry:)

So, here is the recipe with my minor modifications.


Hard boiled eggs* - 4, peeled and cut in half
Onions - 1 medium, sliced finely
Garlic - 2 pods, chopped finely
Tomatoes - 1 medium, chopped
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Turmeric powder - 1/4 tsp
Coriander powder - 1/2 tsp
Chilly powder - 1 tsp, or to taste
Garam masala - 1/4 tsp
Coriander leaves - small handful


1. Heat oil in a pan. Add onions and curry leaves. Fry until onions turn golden brown.

2. Now, add the garlic. Fry for a few seconds and add the masala powders (coriander, turmeric, chilly, garam masala). Saute until the raw smell goes away.

3. At this stage, tomatoes are added and fried until they mush a bit. Add salt to taste.

4. Now, add the cut hard boiled eggs. Reduce the heat to low. Slowly and CAREFULLY, spoon the masala over the cut eggs. Continue to let simmer for 3-5 minutes to let the masala flavor penetrate the eggs.

5. Check for salt. Add more if needed. Also, you can add a few drops of lemon juice for additional flavor. Lastly, garnish with chopped coriander leaves. Serve with pulav rice, rotis.

*Note: I want to share the easy way to get perfect hard boiled eggs every time. Some people serve hard boiled eggs that have a nasty looking green ring around the yolk or the eggs are rubbery. Here's the foolproof method:

1. Put raw eggs in enough COLD water to cover the eggs. Starting them in cold water prevents the green ring around the yolk!

2. Bring the water to a boil. As soon as it boils, turn the heat OFF and cover the pan for 10 minutes. This prevents the white from becoming hard and rubbery.

3. Now, drain the hot water off and pour cold water over the eggs.

4. Let them rest for a few minutes to make peeling easier.

Voila! Easy, right? Enjoy! :)

I am about to go and have my egg fry with some carrot rice now! :)

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Methi Rice

You know, over time, I've really come to love the taste of methi leaves (fenugreek leaves). They have a very mildly bitter flavor that I just love. However, this rice recipe is unique in that you will not taste any bitterness! So, if you are trying to get someone you know to eat methi, this is the recipe for you!


Basmati rice - 2 cups
Methi leaves - 2 small to medium bunches, cleaned and chopped
Onions - 1 medium, sliced finely
Tomatoes - 2 medium, chopped
Chilli powder - 1 tsp or to taste
Coriander powder - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp
Jeera powder - 1/2 tsp
Garam masala powder - 1/2 tsp
Water - 2 1/2 cups
Milk - 1/2 cup
Salt to taste

To grind:
Green chillies - 4 or to taste
Garlic - 3 pods
Ginger - 1/2 inch piece


1. Wash basmati rice and soak in cold water (enough to cover the rice) for 30 minutes. Then, drain the soaking liquid off of the rice.

2. Heat oil in pan. Add chopped onions and fry until translucent.

3. Add the ground paste (garlic, ginger, green chillies) and fry until raw smell goes away.

4. At this stage, add tomatoes, methi leaves, and all spice powders. Fry for a few minutes until the methi leaves wilt and the tomatoes get slightly mushy.

5. Now, add the water, milk, and salt to taste. Bring the mixture to a boil and add the drained, soaked rice.

6. Cover the pan and cook on low heat until the rice has absorbed the liquid and is cooked (approximately 15 minutes).

7. Allow cooked rice to rest for about 10 minutes. Then fluff it with a fork and serve hot with raita/pachadi.

yummy methi rice!

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Javvarisi-Semiya Payasam

Payasam... The very thought makes me feel all warm and cozy inside! Payasam has always been a sort of comfort food for me. So, I figure what better way to start out the new year than to share a bowl of payasam with you all?

I guess this was the first Indian dessert I'd been exposed to growing up here in the US. Nowadays, I've learned that many different types of payasam exist. Here, I'm sharing the "standard payasam" we grew up with in my family which includes both javvarasi (sago) and semiya (vermicelli).


Javvarisi/sago - 2 tbsp
Semiya/vermicelli - 1/4 cup, roasted in ghee until golden and fragrant
Sugar - 1/3 cup, or to taste
Elakkai/elaichi/cardamom - 2, seeds removed from pods and powdered
Milk - 1 1/2 to 2 cups
Raisins - 10-15
Cashews - 8-10, broken in half
Ghee - small amount to fry raisins and cashews


1. Place about 1 cup water in pan and bring to boil. Add the javvarasi/sago to the boiling water and cook until they become transparent and soft. You may need to add some more water, depending on how small the sago are and how fast they cook. Just be careful not to add too much water or the payasam will become watery.

2. Once the javvarasi is just about cooked, add the semiya to the same pan and continue cooking until the semiya is cooked. This should take just a couple of minutes.

3. At this point, add the sugar to the pan and stir to dissolve it. The consistency should be fairly thick at this point.

4. Now, add the milk to the consistency that you like. Some people like it almost drinkable. Others like it fairly thick to eat off of their plates. (I generally add milk until I get the right thickness for us.)

5. Once the milk begins to simmer, turn the heat off. Add the cardamom powder.

6. Lastly, fry the raisins and cashews in a little bit of ghee and add to the payasam.

javvarasi-semiya payasam

Payasam can be served warm or cold. My family's favorite way to eat it is warm with crisp appalams broken up and mixed in! Enjoy this with your loved ones!