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Dry baby Shrimp Idli Powder – Chenna kunni powder

Dry Baby Shrimp Idli Powder,

I planned to prepare a traditional dish, that would remind me of my Grandma’s time. Some of the dishes are slowly becoming outdated or getting repackaged in departmental stores making its preparation less frequent in household. Dry baby prawn idli powder is one such dish. I still remember helping grandma and aunties with picking the impurities from the dry prawns – that means helping as well as troubling them, sometimes even tasting the raw dry prawns..we had such fun as cousins and kids together. Have always felt that those moments cannot be brought back but today, when Sarah was helping me pick up the impurities(you know how it works), I was content that I’m recreating the same moments for her that would be cherished in future.

Cleaning, Dry roasting and Grinding are three important steps in making this dry shrimp powder. It nutritious and comes handy when we are looking for a quick breakfast. It tastes best when mixed with sesame oil or coconut oil.

Click here for short video on cleaning process: (all impurities like dry fishes, stones, sea sands are removed in the process and then the dry baby shrimps are sundried for 20-30 minutes)

2 Cup Dry baby shrimp(cleaned )
2 tblspn Channa dhal
2 tblspn Urad dhal
1 tblspn pepper corns
1 tblspn cummin seeds
2 sprig curry leaves
5-6 garlic pods
6 dry red chillies
1/2 tspn hing
salt to taste

1. Dry roast the baby shrimp in low flame until it becomes crispy without change of colour – When we take a few in hand and press between fingers, it has to break easily. Keep aside in a bowl.
2. Channa dal, urad dal has to be roasted until they turn colour, then add pepper corns, cummin seeds, garlic pods, curry leaves and saute for another 2-3 minutes until all the moisture from the curry leaves and garlic pods are absorbed. Transfer it to the same bowl where the dry baby shrimp is kept.
3. Dry Roast the Red chillies for a minute or so. Transfer it to the same bowl.
4. Then finally add the hing & salt to the hot ingredients.
5. Let the ingredients cool off. Finally grind them all into a powder(not too coarse not too fine).
6. Mix with sesame oil or coconut oil. Serves as an excellent side for Idli and Dosa.

Happy Cooking!

Mutton Briyani – A South Indian delight!

While I’m active on Instagram (follow me @cook_sarahskitchen) , posting on my blog has taken a back seat, as I work on some technicalities. However, I’m trying my best to bring the blog and the social media together. Will promise to post interesting recipes more often in the coming days. From my Instagram gallery, you could guess the South Indian recipes that might come up here in Sarahskitchen blogsite.

And, coming to Mutton Briyani, I haven’t taken a pic, as I was running some last minute errands – But still I’ve managed to capture a short video for your delight – Click to view!

2 cup mutton pieces (washed and cleaned)
2 cup Basmati rice
4 tomatoes (quatered)
2 big onions(cut lenghthwise)
5-6 green chillies
1 tblspn Kashmiri chilli powder (this brings beautiful colour to the food)
5-6 inch ginger
1 full garlic(12-15 pods)
1/2 cup coriander leaves
1/2 cup mint leaves
1 tblspn curd
1/2 lemon( juice extracted)
2 inch cinnamon stick
2 bay leaves (dried)
1/2 maze
1 star anise
6 cloves
1 tspn fennel seeds
1 tspn pepper
1/2 cup ghee
3-4 tblspn oil

For grinding:
Grind girnger, garlic, 3 cloves, 1/2 of star anise, 1/2 inch cinnamon stick, fennels seeds, pepper, few leaves of coriander and few leaves of mint into a fine paste. Keep aside.


1. Heat oil and ghee  in a deep vessel that you might use for making Briyani. Add all the spices – 1&1/2 inch cinnamon stick, 2 bay leaves (dried), 1/2 maze, 1/2 star anise, 3 cloves( the remaining spices were included for grinding)
2. When the cloves gets swelled up( ready to burst) , add chopped onions and saute till golden brown.
3. Now add the fine paste of ginger garlic & the spices. Then add the green chillies – saute till the raw smell of ginger garlic goes off and that you get a nice aroma.
4. At this stage add corriander and mint leaves – saute them.
5. Then add tomato and saute till it becomes soft and mushy. Now add curd, chilli powder and then the mutton – Cover the lid. Cook till the mutton gets soft. (to reduce the cooking time, we can parboil the mutton for two whistle in cooker. Still we should be conscious of the water that might be added when we parboil)
6. Now add water ( for 1 cup rice add 1 1/2 cup water) and let it boil along with the sauted ingredients. Add Salt to taste. When the water boils, add basmasti rice ( 15-20 mins soaked basmati rice)
7. You should cook in medium to low flame. Towards the end(for the last 5-10 mins) you should let the rice get cooked in low flame with a tight lid.
9. Once the rice is cooked, turn off the flame, add lemon juice , 2 tbl spn ghee and stir it slowly without breaking the rice
10. Add Coriander leaves and serve hot

Happy Cooking!


Kollu Pulikuzhambhu/ Horsegram tamarind curry

Kollu Pulikuzhambhu/ Horsegram tamarind curry: Horsegram(kollu) has been traditionally used in South India in lot preparations like kollu rasam, thovaiyal, podi etc. and its the most sort after ingredient to reduce cholestrol and maintain the body heat during winter season. Especially when someone is caught with cold, the first advice from the elderly persons in a South Indian household would be intake kollu rasam.

My mom has been regularly using horsegram as part of her diet plan. She makes kollu rasam and chutney once a week, to be mixed and eaten with steamed rice – it tastes so good and delicious. And this time, I wanted to make a curry with horsegram and so I made tamarind curry from it. I also had ridge gourd peel and made a chutney from it. I then made taro root stir fry and some pappad as side dish to go with the horsegram curry.  All together, It turned out to be an amazing complete meal.

Horsegram Curry

1 Cup horsegram
2 tomatoes(cut into small pieces)
10-12 small onions(Chopped lengthwise)
10-12 garlic pods(crushed and skin removed)
small lemon sized tamarind(soaked in water and juice extracted)
1 & 1/2 tblspn chilli powder
1 &1/2 tblspn coriander powder
1/2 tspn turmeric powder
1/2 tspn fenugreek seeds
1 tspn mustard seeds
1/2 tppn urad dal
3 dry red chilly
2 sprig of curry leaves
Salt to taste

1. Pressure cook the horsegram seeds for three whistles so that its soft enough and yet holds the shape. Keep it aside
2. Heat 3-4 tblspn oil in a kadai. Add the mustard seeds to splutter. Now add the urad dhal and when it turns slightly brown, add the red chillies and the curry leaves.
2. Then add the onions and sauté until the onions become golden brown.
3. Now add the tomatoes, turmeric powder, salt,  saute for a minute and close with a lid. After 3-4 minutes remove the lid, so that the tomatoes are soft and mushy now.
4. Now add the chilly powder, coriander powder and saute for 2-3 minutes until the raw smell of spice powders goes off.
5. Now add the tamarind juice and some water. Let it cook in medium flame for 10 minutes.
6. When the curry has reduced and oil begins to separate, add the horsegram and 1/2 cup water.
7. Let it boil for another 7-8 minutes, until all ingredients blend together.
8. Delicious horsegram curry is now ready to be served with steamed rice.

Happy Cooking!

Kaala meen Kozhambhu/Salmon Fish Curry – So delicious!

Kaala Meen Kozhambhu/Salmon Fish Curry – I’m a regular customer of the local fish market. It used to be once a week visit and slowly it turned out to be thrice a week visit with my kanyakumari friend to hang out. I just simply love to spend time looking around the fish stall before deciding on to purchase what I wanted. With months of frequent visit to fish market, just by looking at the fish, I’m now able to identify the once that are fresh and that are not.  I usually don’t decide on the fish I’m going to buy from the market beforehand. I may have some preferences though – My preferences are tuna, salmon, anchovies for their Omega3 content and of course their beautiful taste. After looking at how fresh the fishes are, I would decide to buy them.

Nothing equals the taste of the curry made out of fresh fishes.This time, I was lucky enough to get one big fresh salmon and made a curry of it – I have made the traditional South Indian way of mixing all the ingredients together in a vessel and cooking them first without any sauting. Once the curry is nicely cooked, seasoning is added on the top. Salmon curry tastes good with steamed rice and chappati.

Way back I have posted Sankara meen/Red snapper fish curry  and the method of preparation is quiet different from the one I have posted today. Both preparation are delicious and a must try for the viewers.

8-10 pieces of salmon fish(3 inch piece is good for curry)
10 small onion
3-4 garlic pods
2 green chillies
3 tblspn grated coconut
1 tspn cummin seeds
1 lemon sized tamarind(soak for 10 minutes in water and strain to get tamarind juice)
1/2 tspns turmeric powder
2 big tomatoes(make tomato puree)
2 tblspn chilli powder
2 tblspn coriander powder
few sprigs of curry leaves
1 tspn mustard seeds
1 red chilly

Grind the onions, garlic pods, grated coconut and cummin seeds together into a fine paste and keep aside

1. Take tamarind juice in a vessel and add tomato puree, chilli powder, coriander powder, turmeric, salt . Then add some wate and mix all the ingredients. Now add the split green chilli and let it boil.
2. After 10 minutes of boiling, add the ground paste and let it boil for another five minutes. Now add the fish and keep it in simmer for 8-10 minutes until all the ingredients blend together and the fish is cooked. Switch off the stove.
3. In a separate pan, heat 3 tblspn sesame oil and add the mustard seeds to splutter. Then add the red chilly and curry leaves. Now the seasoning is ready.
4. Drizzle the seasoning over the fish curry and serve hot with steamed rice

Happy cooking!

Ragi idiyappam/string hoppers – So light & delicious!

Ragi&Rice flour idiyappam/string hoppers: I was planning to prepare a light evening snack and I decided to make string hoppers(Idiyappam) which is a famous traditional South Indian breakfast. Usually, I make string hoppers with rice flour. I made the initial preparation of washing the necessary vessels and I was all set to make. It’s then I realized, that the rice flour quantity was less. I measured equal quantiy of ragi flour(finger millet) and then I mixed both rice flour and ragi flour together and made the dough. Also, I don’t have a separate press for making string hoppers. I make use of the murukku press.

After all the dough was used for making the string hoppers, there was small portion of it left inside the murukku press which I have used for making flower and petal designs.I steamed these designs along with the string hoppers and included it in the final plating of string hoppers for better presentation of the dish. Hope it’s interesting for the viewers!

Ragi Idiyappam/Finger millet string hopper

finger millet string hopper/ ragi idiyappam

1 cup Ragi flour(finger millet)
1 cup Rice flour
4-5 tblspn grated coconut
sesame oil/ghee
2 cardamom(crushed)
4-5 tblspn sugar
pinch of salt

1.Heat water in a vessel. When the water starts boiling , take it of from the stove and keep aside.
2. Mix rice, ragi flour and salt in a vessel. Now add the hot water little by little and knead it into a soft and tight dough. Add few drops of seasme oil in the end while kneading.
3. Grease the idli steamer plates and the murukku press with sesame oil.
4. Now add the dough into the murukku press and press the dough directly over the idli steamer plates. Repeat the process until all the dough is over and plates are filled.
idli steamer plate and murukku press steamer plate
5.Steam it for 7-8 minutes and switch off the stove. Take out the steamer plates and keep it aside for 5 mintues  to cool.
6. Transfer the string hoppers from the steamer plates to a another wide vessel. Now add the grated coconut, sugar and cardamom. Mix them all together.
7. Serve hot and enjoy.

1. Once the string hoppers are tranferred to a bowl, we can shred them with hand.
2. Instead of mixing the grated coconut, sugar and cardamom to the string hoppper, we can grind them & filter to get the flavoured coconut milk. String hoppers and coconut milk are a great combo.

IF you would like to buy similar murukku press, I recommend you to check out this link for murukku press


Happy cooking!

Peerkanghai/Ridge gourd stir fry – Healthy dish!

Peerkanghai/Ridge gourd stir fry: Ridge gourd known for dietary fibre and low calorie content, makes you feel light when included in the meal. The skin of ridge gourd also carries loads of goodness that in South India, we make peerkanghai chutney with it.

With very few ingredients and less time, ridge gourd stir fry can be prepared easily. It can be eaten along with steamed rice and any curry. In my home, when my mom makes this recipe, I mix it with steaming hot white rice and then add ghee on top of it- It tastes light, simple and delicious.

This recipe is sitting for a while as a draft and today the right time has come for me post. Hope this recipe comes handy for the viewers.

ridge gourd stir fry

1 cup Ridge gourd(Peel the skin and chop the ridge gourd into small pieces)
1/2 medium sized onion(finely cut)
1/2 tspn mustard seeds
1/2 tspn urad dal
1/2 tspn cummin seeds
1 red chilly
2 green chilly
2-3 garlic pods
pinch of hing
pinch of turmeric powder
a sprig of curry leaves
few coriander leaves
salt to taste

1. Heat 2-3 tblspn oil in a pan. Add mustard seeds to splutter. Then add the urad dal and saute until golden brown. Then add the cummin seeds, red chilly, curry leaves, green chilly, garlic pods, hing and the finely chopped onions. Saute for minute.
3. Now add the ridge gourd, turmeric powder, salt and saute for a minute. Cook with closed lid for 6-7 minutes in medium to low flame.
4. Once the vegetable is completely cooked, sprinkle some coriander leaves and switch off the stove.
5. Serve hot with steamed rice and curry.

1. while cooking with closed lid, the vegetable will automatically become moist as it releases water.
2. As a variant, you could add grated coconut and chilli powder.

Happy cooking!

Kids Poori – Made with cookie cutter

Kids Poori: Poori/Puri is a famous South Indian breakfast and it is best complimented with poori masala. Everyone including the kids love it, for the wonderful taste. To make it more exciting for the kids, when we meet up on holidays, we have started using cookie cutter, back home in Chennai.

These little poories in attractive shapes were instantly popular with the kids, that they would want it everytime when we made the traditional South Indian poori.  It’s so delightful and funny to see the kids make a great deal out of the shapes that they like, as they munch on their little poories. This is one of those dishes, where we could see their clean plates as they eat up the whole lot without making much of fuss.

kids poori

1 cup wheat flour
water to knead the puri dough
salt to taste
few drops of oil

1.Take wheat flour in a cup and add salt. Then add water lil’ by lil’ to knead the dough. Make it into a soft and tight dough, so that it easily spreads on the rolling board but shouldn’t be sticking on the board. when you have finished kneading the dough, add few drops of oil and knead for a minute.
2. Keep the dough in a bowl with closed lid or cloth. Let it rest for 15-20 minutes.
3. Take some dough and role it on the rolling board. Using cookie cutter, make the desired cut outs .
poori dough poori dough
4. Heat oil in a kadai. When oil is hot enough, reduce the flame to medium. Now add the poori cut outs in batch by batch and deep fry them.
5. With the right flame adjustment, you would get nicely puffed up little poories.
6. Serve with tomato sauce/poori masala.

Happy cooking!

Capsicum Mini Idlies – Did you miss World Idli Day?

Capsicum Mini Idli: As I was checking out my twitter handle (@sarahs_recipe), I came across the hashtag #worldIdliDay that was celebrated on March 30th. It was one of the top trends in twitter and there was even a contest conducted by Chef Ranveer Brar about no. of idli recipes in his app. There was so much happening and I missed all of it.  What was consoling was that that a day has been dedicated to celebrate Idli and being a South Indian, I felt really happy about it.

For my own satisfaction, I have created some colourful mini idli blossoms which I thought would be a delightful treat for the viewers. Besides that, I have recreated one of my moms recipe for pasta with that of mini idlies and I’m happy to share it. Capsicum mini idli is a must try lunch box recipe.

1 cup idli batter
1 capsicum(cut lengthwise into small pieces)
1/2 big onion(thinly cut lengthwise)
1/2 tomato(cut lengthwise into small pieces)
1 green chilly (slit lengthwise)
1 /2 tablespoon ginger garlic(crushed)
1 tspn fenned seeds
1/2 tspn pepper powder
1/4 tspn cummin powder
pinch of turmeric powder
1 sprig of curry leaves
Few coriander leaves
Salt to taste


1. Grease the mini idli plates with oil. Pour the batter using your tablespoon onto the mini idli plates. Steam them for 5 minutes. Remove the idlies with knife or spoon. Keep aside
2. Heat 2-3 tblspn oil in a pan, add the fennel seeds, ginger garlic, green chilly, onions and the curry leaves in quick succession and saute for a minute.
3. Now add the tomato and the capsicum pieces and saute for a minute. Then add the turmeric powder, salt and saute a minute.
4. Now add the mini idlies and saute, so that all the flavours mix together.
5. Switch of the stove – add the pepper powder, cumin powder and give a stir. Sprinkle few coriander leaves on top.
6. Now your capsicum mini idli is ready to be served.

Idli Blossoms:

mini idli

mini idli

For Idli blossoms:
I have used, grated carrot, beetroot and raw mango. See ref. pic below

mini idli

Happy cooking!



Prawn Brinjal curry/ Eral Kathirikai kuzhambhu

Prawn Brinjal curry/Eral Kathirikai kuzhambhu: Whenever I visit the fish market, I can’t help looking for prawns. Especially the tiger prawns are my favourite. If the prawns have a glassy look, then it means that they are really fresh. And its best to cook and eat prawns on the same day than refrigerating them. To Balance the heat, I always tend to add veggies to my prawn curry.

In this South Indian prawn curry, I have used brinjal/egg plant . The mild sweetness of prawns combined with brinjal and other spices, makes it an excellent side for steamed rice.  Other veggies that add great flavour to prawn curry are tapioca and ridge gourd. There are varied preparation like the chettinad eral kuzhambhu or the goan prawn curry where they tend to grind the masala. My version is slightly different and its even different from my moms preparation.

Prawn curry

1 cup prawns(deveined and cleaned)
4 brinjal (lengthwise thinly cut)
1 & 1/2 big onion(finely chopped)
2 big tomatoes(pureed)
1 tblspn ginger garlic paste
1 green chilly(slit lengthwise)
1&1/2 tblspn red chilly powder
2 tblspn coriander powder
1/4 tspn turmeric powder
1/2 tspn mustard seeds
1 tspn fennel seeds
gooseberry sized tamarind (soaked in water for 10 minutes and juice extracted)
1 sprig of curry leaves
few coriander leaves(finely chopped)
Salt to taste

1. Heat 3-4 tblspn oil in a kadai. Add the mustard seeds to splutter. Now add the fennel seeds, and curry leaves.
2. Then add the onions and green chilly. Sauté until the onions become golden brown.
3. Now add the ginger garlic paste and saute until the raw smell goes off.
4. Then add tomato puree, turmeric powder, salt and saute for a minute or two. Then add chilly powder, coriander powder. Saute for a minute.
5. Now add the tamarind juice and 1 cup water. Let it cook in medium flame for 10 minutes.
6. In a separate pan, add 1 tblspn oil & saute the brinjal for 2 minutes and keep aside
6. When the curry starts to bubble, add the brinjal, prawns and cook in medium flame for 7-8 minutes. Switch off the stove.
7. Sprinkle finely chopped fresh coriander leaves on top of the prawn curry and serve hot with steamed rice.

Note: Sometimes I prefer adding coconut milk to the curry along with the prawns and give it a boil. Its taste really good and helps reducing heat.

Happy cooking!



Mutton Baby Corn Soup – So Yummy!

Mutton baby corn soup: My mom to used make soups when someone has cold in the house. But now, with changing lifestyle, I’m accustomed to making soups very often. I make mutton soup for my kid as an after school evening refreshment. The light sweetness in the baby corn enhances the flavour and taste of the mutton soup.

Whether it’s a mutton soup or a mutton curry , I prefer long simmering for better taste. Given the busy schedule, I always end up using pressure cooker to fasten the preparation. Nevertheless, the taste is awesome and a must try for the viewers. I sometime mix the soup with steamed rice or side it up with Appam/dosa for my kid. I must say, she enjoys it more than anything else.

mutton baby corn soup

1 cup mutton(cut into small pieces)
1/2 cup baby corn(slit length wise and cut)
1/2 big onion (chopped)
1 big tomato
pinch of turmeric powder
1/2 tspn coriander powder
1/2 tspn pepper powder
1/4 cummin powder
3-4 cloves
1 dry bayleaf
1 cardamom
1/2 tspn fennel seeds
1 inch ginger
4-5 garlic pods
coriander leaves
1 sprig of curry leaves
Salt to taste

For Grinding:
Grind tomato, ginger, garlic, cardamom, cloves, fennel seeds in a mixer and filter to get the spiced tomato juice. Keep aside

1. Clean the mutton pieces well and transfer them to a cooker. Along with it add the chopped onions, spiced tomato juice, turmeric powder, coriander powder, pepper powder, cumin powder, bay leaf and curry leaves. Pressure cook for 5-7 whistles until the mutton is soft and tender.
2. Now add the baby corn and pressure cook for 1 more whistle.
3. Transfer the mutton soup to a bowl, sprinkle finely chopped coriander leaves and serve hot.

Happy cooking!

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