Milagu-Jeeraga Rasam

As some of us rejoice, and some of us lament this suddenly-relentlessly-pouring weather in Chennai, I have this ancient, but absolutely perfect recipe that all of you will definitely enjoy! Apart from being simply blissful to eat in this chilly weather, this concoction will cure any cold/cough or other rain-related ailments that you may have; just in case that doesn’t entice you, note this – Pepper burns fat! 😀

As I’m sure you’re hooked now, please find the recipe below:

Servings: 3

Prep/cook time: 20 minutes


Tamarind – Size of a small lemon, or a big amla

Curry leaves  – 10 to 15

Salt – as required

Ghee – 2 tsp

Water – 2 cups (400 ml)

Turmeric powder – 1/2 tsp

Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

To grind:

Toor dal – 2 tbsp

Jeera (Cumin)- 1 tbsp

Pepper – 1 tsp (add slightly more if you want it spicy, retain just the 1 tsp if you’e giving it to kids)


  1. Soak the tamarind and salt (rock salt) in water for 15 mins, and then extract the essence.
  2. On the other hand, lightly roast the ingredients (to grind) with 1 tsp of ghee, and then grind them into paste by adding a little water.
  3. Add the turmeric powder to the tamarind water and boil it for a few minutes, until the raw tamarind smell goes off.
  4. Then add the paste to the boiling water, and let it boil for a few more minutes.
  5. Add 2-3 cups of water, to increase the quantity and let it boil for around 15 minutes.
  6. Temper mustard seeds and curry leaves in 1 tsp of ghee, and add it to the rasam.


  1. Can add one tomato if required, to include Vitamin C.
  2. Can garnish with coriander leaves.
  3. Do NOT add asafoetida, as it may taste bitter with this rasam.

While I’m sure many of you already know how to make this one, there are a variety of ways to make this rasam. This one is my tried and tested best! Serve with a steaming cup of rice, or just drink it up! )



Chilli Panneer Fried Rice.. Yummm!

Now I am not a good cook… and ergo, I am not going to make this a food blog. So don’t worry! 😛 However, an unchangeable fact of my life is that my husband is a foodie, and I’ve been forced to concur that “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Truer words have never been spoken, I tell you!

I am barely a decent cook and can just about make edible food to feed the family. However, I’m trying to become better at it. I try to make new dishes whenever possible and to improve and build upon whatever little  I already know. So I decided that whenever I try something, I’ll post the recipe here.

Nota Bene: The recipes are not original. In case you got the impression that I invent the recipes I post here, please go back and read the first line of this post again. I usually look for recipes on the internet – I found this one in today’s issue of ‘The Hindu’. But since I am a class-A somberi who forgets to cut out the recipes and bookmark the links, I figured that there may be others like me here. And ergo, I am going to post the recipes here, so that it will help one and all. And my recipes are definitely going to be of the “Beginner” type – nothing too fancy. So all you new brides who are too proud to ask your mother-in-law for help in the kitchen, but want to impress her all the same – come this way please.. 😛

So ummm… returning to the main topic… today I’m going to post the recipe for Chilli Panneer fried rice. A classic staple – since South Indians love Fried Rice, and vegetarians love Panneer. It is very simple, easy to make, and will take a total of less than an hour to prepare the ingredients and complete the cooking! I tried it today, and it came out really well. My Mother in law said “First class ah irukku!” 😀

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Ingredients you’ll need (Serves 4):

1 teaspoon oil (for frying the Panneer)

1 tablespoon oil (for saute-ing the vegetables)

175 grams cubed Panneer

3 onions (thinly sliced)

3 capsicums (sliced)

1.5 cups basmati rice (“azhakku”)

2 tbsp Soya sauce

1 tsp pepper powder

1/2 tbsp vinegar/chilly vinegar

5-6 dried chilies (You can use a combination of green and dried chilies as well).

Salt to taste.

A few chopped spring onions and/or a few sprigs of Coriander to garnish.

Method to prepare:

1. The rice should preferably be cooked the previous day, or cooked earlier in the day and refrigerated. This is just to make sure that the grains separate easily, and give that restaurant-quality feel. (And don’t be iffy about the day-old rice; I tried and it really works!). If you cook the Basmati rice just during preparation of the meal, cook it at least half an hour before, put it on a plate and let it cool under the fan.

2. Heat one tsp of oil in a wok or kadai and fry the panneer until they’re golden brown – preferably use cottage cheese instead of Tofu, as that gives a more authentic Panneer flavour). Set it aside to cool. (If you don’t know the difference, cottage cheese is made out of.. well.. normal milk :P, and tofu is made from soy milk.)

3. Use a large kadai – heat one tbsp of oil and fry the chillies until they’re darker.

4. Then add the onions and saute until golden brown, and then add and saute the sliced capsicum.

5. Now add the cooked rice, soya sauce, vinegar, salt and pepper powder. Keep stirring so that the vegetables and sauces mix well with the rice. This should take about 3-5 minutes. But keep stirring so that the rice doesn’t get burnt.

6. In the end, add the Panneer cubes, coriander and spring onion to garnish.

And that’s it! It is as simple as that. Remember that it will taste like classic fried rice – a little bland, not spicy, but full of flavour. So plan your side dish(es) accordingly. A simple raita will suffice. You can buy potato chips or Kurkure for the crisp factor. Alternatively, if you have the time and energy, you can make a proper gravy.

So do try and let me know how it turned out! I also know some excellent Panneer side dishes that I’ll post here soon…

Until then, Ciao! 🙂