Nice matters award

I thank Mythree for bestowing this “Nice Matters” award on me.

Nice matters award

“Nice Matters Award is for those bloggers who are nice people; good blog friends and those who inspire good feelings and inspiration. Also for those who are a positive influence on our blogging world.”

I would like to pass on this award to my good friend and food-lover Roma of romaspace.


Nutrition Guide

Fit children grow into fit adults. The good health of children depends upon good nutrition and that should start right from an early age. They have special nutritional needs to ensure a normal growth and development. A balanced, tasty, appealing and a varied diet will provide a good foundation of all the nutrients, which are essential to keep your children healthy. I am presenting this article from Tarladalal website.

The special nutritional needs of children.

Nutrients Food sources Functions

Cereals(wheat, rice), Pulses (chana, rajmah, soyabean), milk, nuts, fats and oil.

Overall growth and development.
Protein Pulse, milk and milk products (paneer, curds, cheese), nuts. Tissue building and skeletal muscle development.
Carbohydrates Cereals, pulses, fruits, sugar and jaggery. Growth and development.
Fats Oil, ghee, vanaspati, butter and margarine. A concentrated source of energy for overall growth and development, also a carrier of fat soluble vitamins like A, D, E & K.
Fibre Raw fruits (apples, oranges), vegetables, cereals, legumes and nuts. Gives a satiety value and helps to reduce constipation.
Vitamin A Dark green leafy vegetables (spinach, fenugreek), yellow orange fruits and vegetables (papaya, mango, and carrots) egg and milk. Clear vision, good immunity and prevents night blindness.
Vitamin D Milk and eggs For availability of calcium in our body. Thus for healthy teeth and bones.
Vitamin E Vegetable oils,egg and margarine. As an antioxidant and for proper blood cells functioning.
Vitamin K Dark green leafy vegetables and fruits. Normal blood clothing.
Vitamin C Citrus fruits (lemon orange, sweet lime, amla), coriander leaves and capsicum. Healthy skin, bones, gums and teeth.
VIT .B1 Breads, cereals, legumes, leafy vegetables, nuts Aids in transmission of nerve impulses and reaction providing energy
VIT.B2 Milk, breads, cereals, green leafy vegetable Promotes healthy skin, nerves & eyes; aids in release of energy
VIT. B6 Whole grain cereals, bananas, vegetable Maintains nervous tissues, regenerates red blood cells
VIT. B 12 Dairy products Required for proper functioning of all cells
NIACIN Grains, breads, nuts, vegetables Helps convert food into energy
FOLACIN Spinach, broccoli, beet, beans, peas, corn, bananas, oranges dried beans and nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts), peanuts. Prevents blood disorders; helps body use proteins
CALCIUM Milk, cheese, green vegetables, yoghurt and paneer. Formation of bones & teeth, blood clotting, heart function
CHROMIUM Vegetable oils, whole-grain cereals & breads Involved in glucose and energy metabolism
COPPER Nuts, whole grains Helps produce haemoglobin
IODINE Iodized salt, milk Proper working of thyroid gland
IRON Leafy green vegetables, dried beans, jaggery, lentils, dried fruits, dates, raisins, nuts Essential component of haemoglobin, deficiency causes anaemia
MAGNESIUM Milk, cheese, vegetables, whole grain cereals Activates energy supplying enzymes
PHOSPHORUS Milk, cheese, grains, nuts, legumes Formation of bones& teeth, regulates many body functions
POTASSIUM Oranges, milk, fruits, vegetable Balances water levels in cells
SODIUM Table salt, most foods, processed foods Regulates fluids in body, thus influences blood pressure; essential to nerve function and energy production. Most diets have an excess of sodium that may lead to high blood pressure
ZINC Eggs, milk Promotes growth of tissues, prevents anemia

Healthy Tips


Have a nutritious breakfast.


Eat salads and raitas in every meal to ensure fibre, vitamins and mineral intake.


A glass of milk every day for healthy muscle and bones.


Lunch and dinner should have a combination of cereals, pulses( especially sprouts) and fresh vegetables.


Try to have variety in meals by incorporating natural colors, different shapes and appealing flavors.


Have calm and healthy environment during meals.


Yummy baked and roasted food products are preferable than fried and salty snacks.


Try to avoid processed and refined foods like chips and instant noodles.


Include more fruits and fruit juices instead of soft drinks and chocolates.


Physical and mental fitness can be achieved by regular exercises.


Serve your child with healthy recipes, instead

  1. For a young child (5-10 years.), 2 meals in a day are not sufficient, as the child cannot have full meal at a time.Thus, you can include 4-5 short meals in a day.
  2. Meals should be energy dense i.e. short meals but with good combination of nutrients.
  3. Children usually prefer finger foods, thus during lunch and dinner cubes and slices of carrot as well as cucumber will serve the purpose.

Importance of breakfast.

  1. A nutritious breakfast is a key to your child’s good performance in studying.
  2. Make sure your child does not skip breakfast.
  3. One fruit with a cup of milk and any cereal product fulfills the necessity of breakfast.

Packed lunch (for school going children)

  1. 1/3 of the day’s requirement should be fulfilled.
  2. Try to incorporate cereals, pulses, milk products and vegetables in a packed lunch.

Macaroni with Soy nuggets

This dish is easy to prepare and is one of the favorite healthy breakfasts at my home. I conceived this recipe while trying to cultivate the habit of including wheat and soya for breakfast. This dish offers rich sources of protein, dietary fiber and carbohydrates from the wheat based macaroni and more protein from the soya nuggets. Green olives may be added as desired for taste.
logo I am posting this recipe for the event Balanced breakfast meals hosted by Mansi.

Macaroni with Soya nuggets


Wheat based macaroni – 250 gms
Soy nuggets(soaked in water and drained) – ¼ cup
Tomatoes, chopped – 2
Onions, sliced – 1 (Big)
Tomato ketchup – 4 tbs
Garlic pods, peeled and chopped – 3-4
Olives, sliced – 2 tsp
Italian seasoning such as Basil, Oregano and mixed seasoning
Red chilli powder – ½ tsp
Refined oil – 1 tsp
Butter – 2 tsp
Coriander leaves, chopped – for garnishing
Salt to taste


  1. For every cup of macaroni, add 1 and 1/2 cups of water and boil it with salt and refined oil. Drain the water and keep aside.
  2. Heat the butter in a pan and sauté the onions, garlic and tomatoes till they turn glossy.
  3. Add chilly powder and salt to the above mixture and stir well.
  4. Add the pasta, soy nuggets and olives. Cook for few minutes with the lid covered.
  5. Sprinkle some seasoning and cook for a minute.
  6. Pour in the tomato ketchup and cook for a minute.
  7. Remove from heat and garnish with coriander leaves.

Uppadai and Vella Adai

Kaaradaiyaan Nombu (pronounced ‘Car-a-dye-on Nomboo’) is celebrated in Tamil Nadu as the tamil month “Panguni” dawns. During this auspicious time, all married women and young girls tie a sacred yellow color thread around their neck. This is observed for their respective and prospective husband’s well being and that the couples should remain together always. On this day, two special dishes(uppadai, vella adai) are made and offered to the Lord. One is a savory signifying Lord Siva and the other one is a sweet signifying Goddess Shakthi. This is first offered to a cow and then the women in the house break their fast by having these special dishes. This dish tastes best with butter. This dish can be served as Tiffin/Snacks.

Uppadai(Salt adai):


Ingredients: (For 10-15 Adai)

Rice flour, roasted, 1 cup
Dried Cowpeas(karamani) – 3 tbs
Coconut, grated – ½ cup
Ginger, 1” piece – 1
Green Chillies – 1-2
Refined Oil – 2 – 3 tsp
Asafoetida – a pinch
Curry leaves – 3 to 4
Mustard seeds – 1 tsp
Urad Dal – 1½ tsp
Salt to taste
Water – For 1 cup of rice flour add 1½ cups of water.


uppadai ingredients uppadai mixture
1. Soak the cowpeas in water for 4 to 5 hours and steam till cooked. Stain the water and keep aside.
2. Heat oil in a pan and sauté the mustard seeds and urad dal. Add the finely cut ginger, green chillies and fry for a minute.
3. Add water, salt, grated coconut, asafoetida and curry leaves and allow it to boil.
4. Simmer the heat and add the cooked cowpeas and roasted rice flour. Stir constantly till the mixture comes together so that it does not form lumps. Add extra water if required. Remove from heat when all the water is absorbed and the mixture is almost cooked.
5. Take a small portion of the mixture and shape them to a circular adai (1/2 inch thickness) with a small hole in the middle on a palm or banana leaf or a plastic sheet.
6. Arrange the adai in the Idli steamer or cooker and steam till cooked.
7. Serve with Butter.

Vella Adai(Jaggery adai):

Vella Adai

Ingredients: (For 10-15 Adai)

Rice flour, roasted, 1 cup
Dried Cowpeas(karamani) – 3 tbs
Coconut, grated – ½ cup
Jaggery, powdered– 1 to 1 ¼ cups
Green Cardamom, crushed – 4
Water – For 1 cup of rice flour add 2 cups of water.


vella adai ingredients vella adai mixture
1. Soak the cowpeas in water for 4 to 5 hours and steam till cooked. Stain the water and keep aside.
2. Boil 2 cups of water in a pan. Add jaggery and allow it to boil till it dissolves completely.
3. Add the grated coconut, cowpeas, crushed cardamom and roasted rice flour. Stir constantly till the mixture comes together so that it does not form lumps. Add extra water if required. Remove from heat when all the water is absorbed and the mixture is almost cooked.
4. Take a small portion of the mixture and shape them to a circular form (1/2 inch thickness) with a small hole in the middle on a palm or banana leaf or a plastic sheet.
5. Arrange the adai in the Idli steamer or cooker and steam till cooked.
6. Serve with Butter.


Pitlai is another tasty south Indian dish similar to sambar. We do not use sambar powder, instead prepare with ground spices and coconut. This dish tastes best when mixed with rice and eaten with papad(appalam).

Many does not prefer Bitter gourd due to its taste even though it has excellent medicinal values.when bitter gourd is used as the main vegetable along with chickpea| Mochai(Field bean), you will start loving the taste of the bitter gourd due to the aroma and taste.

Brinjal Pitlai:
Brinjal Pitlai


Bitter Gourd, cut into thin circular pieces – 2-3

Toor dal, cooked – ½ cup

Chickpea or Field bean, cooked – ¼ cup (optional)

Tamarind, lemon-sized, soaked in ½ cup of water for 10

Refined oil – 2tsp

Mustard seeds – 1tsp

Turmeric powder – ¼ tsp

Coriander seeds – 2 tbs

Chana dal – 2tbs

Black peppercorns – 4-5

Dry red chillies – 2-3

Asafoetida a pinch

Salt to taste

Coconut, scraped – ½ cup

Curry leaves – 4-5


Ingredients Ground Mixture_Pitlai

  1. Squeeze out the tamarind juice and keep aside.
  2. Heat ¼ tsp of oil in a kadai and sauté the mustard seeds. Add the vegetable, turmeric powder, tamarind extract and salt. Allow to boil till the vegetable is cooked, adding water if necessary.
  3. Heat the remaining oil and sauté the remaining ingredients except curry leaves and chickpea or Field beans till the coconut is reddish brown in color. Allow it to cool and grind to a fine powder.
  4. Add the cooked toor dal, curry leaves, spice powder and chickpea to the bitter gourd mixture. Stir and cook for few minutes. Add water, if required to get the correct consistency.
  5. Serve with plain rice and papad.


  1. To remove bitterness from the bitter gourd, rub salt all over the cut bitter gourd slices and leave it for 15-20 min and rinse off the salt and the water beneath the vessel. Squeeze the water out of the bitter gourd.
  2. You can alternatively use vegetables like brinjal or drumstick or kothavaranga (cluster beans) instead of bitter gourd. instead of bitter gourd.

Vatral kuzhambu

This dish is an all-time favorite to the traditional Tamilian. This may be prepared with a whole slew of fresh vegetables or marinated and dried(vatral) vegetables. This dish tastes best when mixed with rice and eaten with papad (appalam). Vatral is prepared by soaking the vegetables like manathakkali(black-nighshade), sundakkai(turkey berry), kothavaranga(cluster beans) in buttermilk, salt and dried in sunlight. These are also readily available in super-market.
When small onions is used as the main vegetable, the tangy taste of the tamarind, the aroma of the small onion in combination with curd rice, tastes like ambrosia.

  • Onion Vatral Kuzhambu
  • onion vatral kuzhambu

  • Manathakkali Vatral Kuzhambu
  • Manathakkali vatral kuzhambu

    Small onions, pealed or ( manathakkali| sundakkai| kothavaranga | Brinjal vatral or Fried Papad or onion and garlic together| Drumstick) – 1 cup
    Tamarind, lemon-sized, soaked in ½ cup of water for 10 minutes
    Sambar powder – 2 tsp
    Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
    Fenugreek seeds – ½ tsp
    Toor dal – 1 ½ tsp
    Red Chillies – 1 or 2 as per your taste
    Asafoetida – a pinch
    Curry leaves – 5 to 6
    Gingely oil – 3 – 4 tsp
    Salt to taste

    1. Heat the oil in a kadai and sauté the mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, red chillies, toor dal and asafoetida till golden brown.
    2. Add the curry leaves, any one of the above mentioned vegetables and fry for 1-2 min. Add the sambar powder and fry for another 1-2 min till golden brown.

    3. Squeeze out the tamarind juice and dilute this juice in 2 cups of water by repeating the process. Add to the fried mixture. Add salt to taste.
    4. Allow it to boil till the mixture thickens.
    5. Serve with papad and plain rice.

    1. If the ‘kuzhambu’ is too watery and does not thicken, add 1 tsp corn flour in ¼ cup of water and allow it to boil till the mixture thickens.
    2. Instead of vegetables, if you select fried papad, follow the method as mentioned above and add the crushed papad at the end.

    Poondu Milagu Jeeraga Rasam

    This rasam tastes good and has good aroma. Pepper and cumin aid in digestion and have good healing effect when consumed during cold or fever. Toddlers too would love the taste of this rasam. Do not stir the rasam for toddlers and mix with dal and rice dotted with ghee.This rasam may be served hot as a soup.

    Milagu jeera rasam

    Garlic pods, pealed – 5
    Jeera – 2tsp
    Black pepper corns – 2 tsp
    Toor dal – 1 tbs
    Coriander seeds – 1tsp
    Curry leaves – 10 – 12 leaves
    Mustard seeds – ½ tsp
    Asafoetida – a pinch
    Ghee – 1 tsp
    Tamarind, lemon-sized, soaked in ½ cup of water for 10 minutes
    Salt to taste


    Ingredients Ground mixture
    1. Soak the Jeera, black pepper corns, Toor dal, coriander seeds and curry leaves in ¼ cup of water for 20 to 30 min.
    2. Grind the soaked mixture along with garlic coarsely.
    3. Squeeze out the tamarind juice using 2 cups of water and boil the juice with asafetida and salt. Stir well and boil till the raw smell of the tamarind disappears.
    4. Add the ground mixture and remove from heat when the mixture turns frothy.
    5. Taste and adjust the salt and add water to increase the quantity.
    6. Heat the ghee in a pan and sauté the mustard seeds and add it to the rasam.
    7. Garnish with coriander leaves, if required.
    1. Do not grind the mixture finely as the rasam will become too hot to eat.
    2. You may discard garlic if you do not like the taste of it.

    Diet Chart

    Eating pyramidThis diet chart was given to me by a dietician and it really helped me to shed my excess weight to a good extent. You can try this chart at your own risk 🙂

    On waking

    1-2 glasses of lukewarm water(with jeera,saunf,honey,lemon)

    Breakfast (8.00 – 8.30 AM)

    1 cup tea + ½ tsp sugar [skimmed milk]

    + 2-3 Idlis / 2 plain dosas[non-stick pan] + 1 cup sambar

    No coconut chutney

    [or] Sprouts ¾ + salad

    [or] 1 veg sandwich made of 2 slices brown bread [no butter, cheese, jam, potato]

    [or] Porridge – Ragi/ white oats

    [or] Corn flakes/ wheat flakes + 1 cup skimmed milk

    [or] Poha/upma/dalia + veg [ 1:3 proportion]

    Brunch (10.30 AM)

    1 fruit [ avoid banana, chikoo, custard apple, pineapple,grapes,mango,jackfruit]

    No fruit juice

    Fruits to eat: Apple, peaches, pears, oranges, sweet lime, papaya, watermelon, guava.

    Lunch(1.00 PM)

    1 bowl home made veg soup/rasam/2 glasses of buttermilk

    + 1 bowl salad

    + 2 chapattis without oil/ghee or 1 cup rice or 1- 1½ plain tandoori roti

    + 1 cup dhal/sprouts without coconut

    + 2cups veg (1 cup green leafy veg(dry) + 1 cup other veg)

    [avoid potato, sweet potato, jam, beetroot]

    + 1 cup skimmed curd.

    Snacks(5.00 PM)

    1 cup tea + ½ tsp sugar [skimmed milk]

    + puffed rice + salad/ 2 marie biscuits/1 cup salad/ 1 cup popcorn

    Dinner(8.00 PM)

    Dinner same as lunch [ Avoid Rice]


    Drink at least 12-15 glasses of water per day

    Sugar/oil – 2 tsp each day

    Avoid sweets, fried, aerated drink, canned food, processed food, coconut, ground nut

    Brisk walk – 1 hr per day

    Poondu(Garlic) Kuzhambu(Sambar)

    Garlic has long been considered a herbal “wonder drug”, with a reputation in folklore for preventing everything from the common cold and flu to the Plague!

    My Father-In-Law believes that eating this dish keeps his body warm especially after his oil massage 🙂 Enjoy the taste and aroma of this dish.

    This is my entry to the event JFI – Virundhu:Garlic for the month of April, 2008.

    Poondu kuzhambu

    Ingredients for 2 members:

    Garlic peeled – 1 cup

    Black peppercorns – 1 tsp

    Coriander seeds – 1 ¼ tsp

    Cumin seeds – 1 tsp

    Channa dal – 1tsp

    Toor dal – 1 tsp

    Urad dal – ¼ tsp

    Red chillies – 1 or 2 as per your taste

    Mustard seeds – ¼ tsp

    Gingely oil – 1 ½ tbs

    Tamarind, lemon-sized, soaked in ¼ cup of water for 5 minutes, juice extracted

    Salt to taste



    1. Heat the 1 tsp of oil in a pan and fry all the above ingredients except the mustard seeds, garlic and tamarind. Allow the mixture to cool.
    2. Grind the tamarind juice and the fried ingredients together. Grind them till it becomes a paste. Keep this aside.
    3. Heat 1 tbs of oil in a kadai and sauté the mustard seeds and garlic until the garlic color changes to slightly brown.
    4. Add 1 or 2 cups of water to the above mixture and heat till the garlic is half cooked.
    5. Add the ground paste and salt to the above mixture. Remove from heat when the garlic is well cooked.
    6. Garnish with coriander leaves.


    This dish will be thick in consistency and can be stored in refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.

    Mor kuzhambu(yoghurt gravy)

    The preparation of this dish is very easy and tasty when you keep all the ingredients ready. Typically, in south Indian homes, this dish will be prepared at least twice every month and the ideal combination for this kuzhambu would be paruppu usili. As the intake of coconut and dal is more, for easy digestion of food, Poondu milagu jeeraga(Garlic pepper cumin) rasam is prepared along with this dish.

    For this recipe, I have used saeppa kizhangu(Colocasia esculenta) as the main vegetable. In the tips section, there is mention of other vegetables that could be used instead of Colocasia.

    Mor kuzhambu


    colocasia esculentaColocasia esculenta(saeppa kizhangu), steam cooked, peeled – ¼ kg

    Sour curd, whisked – 2 cups

    Green chilies – 3 or 4 as per your taste

    Ginger, a small piece – 1

    Cumin seeds – ¼ tsp

    Toor dal – ½ tsp

    Channa dal – ½ tsp

    Coconut, grated – ¾ – 1 cup

    Curry leaves – 5 to 6

    Coconut oil or refined oil – 2 tsp (coconut oil enhances the taste)

    Mustard seeds – 1 tsp

    Asafoetida – a pinch

    Turmeric powder – a pinch

    Salt to taste


    1. Soak the dal in water for 15-20 min and finely grind it along with green chillies, cumin seeds, ginger and grated coconut.
    2. Mix the ground mixture to the whisked curd.

    Ingredients step 2
    3. Heat the oil in a kadai and sauté the mustard seeds, curry leaves, pinch of turmeric powder and asafoetida. Add the steamed vegetable (collacasia) and fry for a minute.
    4. Add the curd mixture and salt and allow it to cook on low heat, stirring continuously. Remove and garnish with coriander leaves, if required.


    1. Other vegetables that may be used – brinjal(big or small), white pumpkin, cucumber, lady’s finger, drum stick, potato, manathakali vatral, sundaikkai vatral and so on
    2. For use later, do not reheat this dish in the stove; use microwave oven instead.
    3. If you are using any of the following vegetables – lady’s finger, small brinjal, manathakali vatral or sundaikkai vatral, fry them in oil and then add to the curd mixture.
    4. If you are using any of these vegetables – brinjal(big), white pumpkin, drumstick or lady’s finger, then steam cook them with salt and water.
    5. If you prefer using more coconut, then you may discard the dal and grind only the green chillies, cumin seeds, ginger and grated coconut and follow the procedure from step 2.
    6. If the consistency is too thin, add 1 tsp of rice flour to 3 tbs of water and add to step 4.