Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Beetroot Halwa and a Review of the Preethi Zodiac Mixer Grinder

Couple of months back I was asked to do a product review for Preethi Zodiac Mixer Grinder. Before writing a review I wanted to use it for sometime. Also, this happens to be my first product review post, so I am really happy doing it. I have also shared a recipe which makes use of the grater blade of the mixer grinder. So, let's get on with my opinion about the Zodiac mixer grinder.

Preethi Zodiac MG 218 750-Watt Mixer Grinder 

SPECIFICATIONS (As mentioned in the product)

  • Model No.: Zodiac - MG 218
  • Voltage: 230V AC ~ 50 Hz
  • Power Consumption: 750 Watt
  • Motor: Universal 750 Watt High Power Motor
  • Material of Body: A.B.S
  • Material of Jars: Stainless Steel and Transparent Plastic
  • Blade Assemblies: Stainless Steel, Machine Ground and Polished
  • Speed Controls: Rotary Switch with 3 Speeds and inches
  • Flex Cord: PVC insulated 3 Core, Flexi cord with Plugtop and earthing
  • Country of Origin: INDIA
Preethi Zodiac Mixer grinder came neatly packaged in a carton, with all parts parts carefully packed. I fell in love with its black coloured base. The instruction manual is very handy and easy to understand. I was able to easily assemble and use all the attachments that came with it. 

1. A strong and sturdy base with vacuum rubber pads, which gives it a good grip on the surface.
2. Powerful motor.
3. Does a great job of both dry and wet grinding. Perfect for grinding those podis and idli, dosa and vada batters.
4. I am in love with its grater attachment, does a neat job in no time with lot less effort.
5. The slicer and kneader are also good.
6. The juicer jar and a special citrus juice press are very good for whipping up some fresh juices.

1. The first thing that hit me was the noise. I found it just too loud.
2. The kneader attachment though great for kneading chappati dough, is a tad bit difficult to clean up.
3. I found there are too many small parts to keep track of while using the attachments.

In short, i am enjoying its presence and all that it is doing in my kitchen. It has definitely made my life a little more easier. So if you are looking at buying a sturdy mixer grinder with added features of a food processor then Preethi Zodiac Mixer Grinder is definitely worth it.

Now to the recipe,

What you'll need

Beetroot - 500gm (approx 3.5 cups when grated)
Milk - 500ml (2.5 cups)
Sugar - 3/4 cup
Cardamom - 4, crushed and powdered
Cashewnuts - few
Ghee - 3 to 4 tbps

1. Wash and peel the beets. Chop them roughly into quarters.
2. Assemble the master chef jar and fit it with the grater blade. Close with the lid. Ensure it is locked.

3. Add 2 or 3 pieces at a time and run the mixer. Within minutes the beets would be grated.

4. Heat a Kadai, with a tbsp of ghee, fry the cashew nuts till golden and keep aside. 
5. Add another spoon of ghee and saute the beets.
6. Now add the milk and let it cook on medium flame, till milk start boiling. Then simmer and keep cooking till milk is almost reduced.
7. Now add the sugar and stir well. The mixture will become runny again.
8. Keep stirring till it starts thickening again. Add the remaining ghee and stir for a couple more minutes.
9. Do not stir for a very long time else the halwa will become hard and powdery.
10. Add the powdered cardamoms and fried cashewnuts. Mix well.
Serve warm or cold.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Thengai Paal Murukku/Coconut Milk Murukku - Easy Diwali Recipes

Every Diwali we end up making Ribbon Pokkodam, thenkuzhal and mixture. This time I wanted to try something a little different. Every time we buy murukku from shops, I buy a packet of Thengai Paal murukku. I just love the mild flavour of coconut milk. While talking to one of my aunts who is an expert in making snacks, I got the recipe for this murukku. It comes out well each and every time and is big hit with my kids as it is mild and not spicy yet very flavorful. So if you are looking for a simple snack, then do give this a try.

What you’ll need
  1. Rice flour – 1 cup
  2. Urad Dal Flour – 1/8 cup
  3. Cumin Seeds/Jeera – 1 tsp
  4. Thick Coconut Milk – ¼ to ½ cup
  5. Butter – 1 tbsp
  6. Salt to taste
  7. Oil to deep fry

  1. In a wide bowl, take the rice flour, urad dal flour, cumin seeds, salt and mix well.
  2. Next add the butter and mix it well.
  3. Add the coconut milk little at a time and mix well to make a soft and smooth dough, not too lose and not too tight.
  4. Heat oil for deep frying, take a big orange sized ball of the dough and put it in the murukku press.
  5. Once the oil is hot, Squeeze into small or big murukku, directly in the oil. Take care while squeezing.
  6. Fry until on medium heat until all the bubbles stop.
  7. Drain on to a tissue paper.
  8. Tasty and flavorful thengai paal murukku is ready.

I used up only about ¼ cup of coconut milk, as my rice flour was freshly made at home and it was kind of wet (eera podi), if you are using store bought flour you may have to use up the ½ cup fully.

Sunday, October 15, 2017


My blog has been lying dormant for quite sometime. Diwali, the festival of lights is knocking at our doors. Now, Diwali calls for a couple of posts. So I finally, started my Diwali preparations today. I started out by making this delicious sweet – Badusha. These are small doughnut shaped sweets, crisp and coated with sugar on the outside and juicy on the inside.
I have grown up seeing my grandfather, religiously prepare these, for almost every Diwali. He was an expert in making these. My grandmother and mother were his so-called assistants. He would do the major work of kneading the dough and take help from them to shape the badushas. I still remember him frying the badushas in large steel “thalam”/ “thambalam” so that all badushas got the same amount of heat and fried well. He used Vanaspati/dalda to prepare them. With changing times my mother has slightly altered the recipe and uses ghee instead.
Let us move on the recipe

Makes – 30 medium sized badushas
What you’ll need
  1. All Purpose Flour/Maida – 4 cup
  2. Ghee – ¾ cup
  3. Curd – 8 tbsp
  4. Salt – a pinch
  5. Cooking Soda – 1 tsp
  6. Oil for deep frying

For the sugar syrup
  1. Sugar – 2 cup
  2. Rose Essence – few drops or Powdered Cardamom – 1 tsp

  1. In a wide vessel, add ghee and cooking soda and rub it very well with your finger so as to mix the soda well with the ghee.
  2. To this add the curd and mix well.
  3. Now sprinkle the maida little at time and bring it together into a dough.
  4. Add a little water and make into a smooth dough. Do not apply too much pressure while kneading.
  5. Cover and rest it for at least 30 minutes.
  6. Now, pinch out small lemon sized balls, roll into smooth ball, flatten slightly with your palm and make an indent with your thumb in the centre.
  7. Repeat this with the rest of the dough
  8. In the meanwhile, heat oil for deep frying in a kadai. Once the oil has heated up, (test by adding a tiny piece of dough, it should come up immediately), turn off the heat.
  9. Slide in 3 to 4 pieces of the shaped dough into the oil and let it cook in the pre-heated oil for a while.
  10. Now, turn the stove on, and cook on low heat, by flipping and turning the badhushas, until they have turned a nice golden brown, or until the sound stops.
  11. Drain into a tissue paper.
  12. Simultaneously prepare the sugar syrup, heat another kadai, add the sugar and water enough to submerge the sugar. Heat it until one string consistency and remove from heat.
  13. Add the rose essence or cardamom powder mix well.
  14. Soak the first batch of badhushas in the syrup until the next batch is ready.
  15. Remove the first batch from the syrup and line them up in a wide plate.
  16. Repeat the above until all the badushas are fried and dipped in sugar syrup.
  17. Now, keep the remaining sugar syrup on heat again and keep stirring, till it turns into a white saucy liquid.
  18. Remove from heat, and dip all the badushas in this white crystal sugar, place them on a wide plate and let them cool for at least a couple of hours.

Delicious badushas are ready.

  1. The last step of dipping the badhushas again in the crystal sugar, is optional, if you like your badhuha like the store bought ones, stop at step 15. But my grandfather used to proceed and make this way and we like it this way.
  2. Take care not to add too much water while kneading, use as little as possible. Also, do not knead like chappati dough giving a lot of pressure.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Tomato Thokku/Thakkali Thokku

I am a big fan of thokku varieties. I have a bottle of thokku in my refrigerator at all times. Be it tomato, coriander or pudina. They are so versatile and are always a life saviour. They are a perfect accompaniment to idly/dosa/adai and chapathi. They are perfect as a spread on the bread. Just mix a little thokku to a portion of hot rice and have it with some papad or chips and there you have a quick lunch ready in a jiffy for that really busy day. 

Among the various varieties of thokku, if I had to choose one, I would definitely pick tomato. It is by far, my most favorite. There are a number of ways to make this. Here is my way. It tastes really delicious and is our family favorite. 

I have used Bangalore Tomatoes, feel free to use country tomatoes, but reduce or totally omit the tamarind as they are more tart. Also adjust the seasoning accordingly. Also please adjust the quantity of salt and chilly powder according to your preference. I have provided the measure I have used, but it may vary depending on the brand you use. 

What you'll need

  1. Tomato – 1 Kg (about 12 to 13 Medium sized)
  2. Tamarind – a small gooseberry sized ball
  3. Chilly Powder – 2 tbsp
  4. Powdered Jaggery – 2 tbsp
  5. Asafoetida Powder – ½ tsp
  6. Salt – approx  2 tbsp (adjust according to taste)
  7. Gingely Oil – ¼ cup
For Tempering
  1. Mustard Seeds – 2 tsp
  2. Curry Leaves – few sprigs
To dry roast and grind
  1. Fenugreek seeds/Vendayam - 2 tsp


  1. Wash and pat dry the tomatoes. Chop into quarters.
  2. Heat a heavy bottomed kadai, add the chopped tomatoes, tamarind and let them cook in their own juices. Keep the heat on medium and stir once in a while to avoid burning. The tomatoes should be cooked till mushy.
  3. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  4. Once cooled, transfer to a mixie jar and grind it. You may keep it slightly coarse.
  5. Heat a heavy bottomed kadai with the oil.
  6. Temper with mustard seeds, curry leaves.
  7. Add the ground tomato, asafoetida, mix well. Cover with a lid and let it cook on medium heat for 10 to 12 minutes or till the mixture has reduced well. Keep stirring once in a while to avoid burning.
  8. Now add the chilly powder, jaggery and salt mix well. Keep stirring till you start seeing oil on the sides of the kadai. Remove from heat.
  9. Dry Roast the fenugreek seeds until dark brown and powder it using a mortar and pestle. Add this to the thokku and mix well.
 Cool completely and transfer to a clean container. Tomato thokku is ready.


  1. I used Bangalore tomatoes which are not very sour, if using nattu thakkali then reduce the amount of tamarind. You may do without it too.
  2. After add the chilly powder, salt and jaggery, keep stirring constantly.
  3. This thokku remains fresh for a couple of days at room temperature and upto a month when refrigerated.
  4. Use a clean dry spoon.


Sunday, May 28, 2017

Mixed Vegetable Kootu

A post after a long time!! No excuses this time. It was pure laziness on my side. So finally, I managed to come out of hibernation.
While browsing the recipe index on my blog, the other day, I noticed that I haven’t posted some very basic recipes like this kootu, and a few others. So, thought of sharing this simple recipe today. This is an everyday kootu, unlike the kootu curry that is served during sadhyas. But I like this, for its simplicity. Few basic ingredients create magic. I would say it is a very close cousin of the molagootal. The Molagootal is more like a kuzhambu as in runnier, while the kootu is a side dish usually paired with mor kootam/ rasam or vatha kuzhambu. Now, off to the recipe.

Serves 4
What you'll need
  1. Mixed Vegetables – 3 cup (I used Malabar Vellarikai, Carrot, and Potato)
  2. Channa Dal – ½ cup
  3. Scraped Fresh Coconut – ½ cup
  4. Cumin Seeds – 1 tsp
  5. Green Chilly – 1
  6. Turmeric Powder – ½ tsp
  7. Salt to taste
  8. Jaggery – 1 tsp (optional)
For Tempering
  1. Coconut Oil – 2 tsp
  2. Mustard Seeds – 1 tsp
  3. Broken Urad Dal – 1 tsp
  4. Curry Leaves – few

  1. Soak the channa dal for 20 minutes. Then pressure cook it with until soft.
  2. Wash, peel and chop the vegetables into small cubes. I used 1 cup each of Malabar vellarikai, carrots and potatoes.
  3. In a bowl, add the chopped vegetables, add just enough water, turmeric powder and salt to taste.
  4. Allow this is boil, cook partially covered until the vegetables are cooked.
  5. Add jaggery if using and boil for another couple of minutes.
  6. In the meanwhile, grind the coconut, green chillies and cumin into a fine paste with very little water. Add water just enough to grind – a couple of spoons.
  7. Next add in the cooked dal, mix carefully without mashing the vegetables. Let this simmer for couple of minutes.
  8. Finally, add the ground coconut paste, mix well and simmer for another 3 to 4 minutes.
  9. Adjust seasoning. Remove from heat.
  10. Heat a small frying pan with coconut oil. Temper with mustard seeds and urad dal. Pour this tempering over the kootu. Garnish with curry leaves.

Kootu is ready. Serve as an accompaniment with Vathakuzhambu/Mor Kuzhambu/Rasam.

  1. You may add green peas and French beans as well.
  2. Make sure to add any one water vegetable like ash gourd or chow chow, or Malabar vellarikai.
  3. Addition of jaggery is optional, but we like our kootu slightly sweet and so I add a little bit.
  4. Use coconut oil for good flavour.

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