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Kovil Puliyodharai / Temple-style Tamarind Rice

Ingredients:
Tamarind - 1 big lemon size
Curry leaves - 10
Red chillies - 4
Green Chillies - 4
Channa dal - 1 tsp
Urad dal - 1 tsp
Hing - 1 tsp
Turmeric powder - 1 tsp
Roasted peanuts - 1/2 cup
Cooked rice - 4 to 5 cups
Gingelly oil - 4 tbsp
Salt as required
To grind:
Coriander seeds - 1 tsp
Channa dal - 1 tsp
Urad dal - 1tsp
Red chillies - 3 or 4
Sesame seeds - 1 tsp
Fenugreek seeds - 1 tsp
Method:
Soak tamarind in 1 1/2 cups of water for 2 hours.
Dry roast all the ingredients one by one and powder everything together.(Note: Each ingredients require different level of roasting.  Coriander seeds should turn little brown with nice aroma, channa dal and urad dal should be roasted till golden brown, sesame seeds and fenugreek seeds should start popping when roasted. If you don't have coriander seeds, use coriander powder only during the grinding process, no need to roast.)
Extract tamarind water from tamarind.
In a large kadai or pan, heat 2 tbsp of gingelly oil, add curry leaves, saute for 10 seconds, add channa dal and urad dal, saute till it turns brown, now add red chillies, slitted green chillies, peanuts, turmeric powder, hing and finally tamarind water.
When the tamarind water starts to boil add salt and half of ground powder. Close the pan with the lid. Cook the sauce till it reaches paste like consistency, it takes about 15 to 20 minutes. Check in-between if the sauce is done.
Now in a separate pan, spread the cooked rice(i cook rice with salt), add the sauce, rest of the ground powder, 1 tbsp of gingelly oil. Mix everything nicely till rice is coated with the tamarind sauce.
Tamarind rice is ready to serve, it taste better with papad.
Note: I used non-stick cookware to avoid burning of sauce.

Homemade Potato Smiley

Ingredients:
Potato - 4
Corn flour - 2 tbsp
Bread slices - 4
Salt as required
Oregano and chilli flakes (according to your taste and completely optional)
Method:
Boil potatoes, grate it and mash it with fork.
In a large bowl, take the mashed potatoes, add corn flour, salt, oregano and chilli flakes. Dip bread slices in water, squeeze excess water and add it to potato mix. Mix everything nicely and cool it for half an hour.
Now you need a drinking straw and soup spoon. For the perfect round shape flatten the dough and cut with the cookie cutter or any round shaped cups, or you can just make small balls from the dough and shape it round just like vada.
Now use straw to make eyes and spoon for the smile. After making all the smileys, cool it for another half an hour. 
Heat oil and fry the smileys till it turn golden brown.
Serve hot with any sauce. 

Spicy Wheat Chips/ Godumai Kara Chips

Ingredients:
Whole wheat flour - 1 cup
Rava/ Semolina - 1/4 cup
Red chilli powder - 11/2 tsp or according to your taste
Salt as required
Hot melted ghee - 1 tbsp
Sesame seeds - 1 tsp
Oil for frying
Method:
Mix wheat flour, rava, red chilli powder, salt and sesame seeds nicely. Add hot ghee and start kneading by adding water little by little to form soft dough.
Rest the dough for 10 minutes.
Now make balls from the dough, flatten it with rolling pin and cut it into desired shapes.
While flattening the dough you should take care not to make it too thin or thick. (Little thicker than the papad, if that helps.)
Drop the cut pieces in the hot oil, fry it in low flame. (Chips should be fried only in the hot oil, otherwise it might consume more oil than necessary so wait till the oil is boiling hot).
Serve the chips hot or store it in airtight container. 

Corn Tikki / Corn Cutlet/ Corn Kebab

Ingredients:
Corn kernel - 1 cup
Large potato - 1
Rice flour - 1/4 cup
Maida/ All purpose flour - 1/4 cup
Gram flour - 1/4 cup
Green chilli - 2
Onion - 1
Chopped coriander leaves - 1/2 cup
Salt as required
Cumin powder - 1 tsp
Chilli powder - 1/2 tsp
Chaat masala - 1/2 tsp
Oil for frying
Method:
Boil corn kernels for 2 minutes along with salt and coarsely grind it.
Boil potato, peel it and mash it nicely. Chop onion and green chillies finely.
In a large bowl, add ground corn, mashed potato, onion and chilli pieces, rice flour, maida, salt, chilli powder, gram flour, coriander leaves, cumin powder and chaat masala, mix it nicely to form a dough. You might need little water to form a firm dough.
Make small balls from the dough, flatten it in your palms and fry it in oil.
Serve it hot with sauce.
***If you have cookie cutter, shape the dough into your desired shape before frying***

Fruits Payasam



Ingredients:
Milk - 1 cup
Sugar  - 1/2 cup
Thick coconut milk - 1 cup
Finely chopped apple -1/4 cup
Medium size banana smashed - 1
Dates - 8
Raisins - 10
Cashews- 10
Apricot - 4 slices
Ghee - 1 tbsp
Method:
In a small cup of hot milk, soak 4 dates for 1/2 hour, later grind it into thick paste.
Boil milk and add sugar, mix it well and let it cool nicely.
Cut dates and apricots into small pieces.
Roast cashews and raisins in ghee.
In a big bowl add coconut milk, boiled milk and sugar, chopped apple, smashed banana, ground dates paste, cut apricots and dates, and roasted cashews and raisins.
Fruit payasam is ready in few minutes without much cooking. 
You can serve this immediately or serve it cool.

Crispy Sweet Corn - BBQ Nation style

Ingredients:
Corn kernels - 2 cups
Corn flour - 2 tbsp
Chilli powder- 1/2 tsp
Garam masala - 1/2 tsp
Cumin powder - 1/2 tsp
Chat masala - 1/2 tsp
Salt - 1/2 tsp
Oregano or fresh coriander leaves for garnishing
Oil for frying
Method:
Boil corn kernels with little salt for 2 minutes. Sieve and drain excess water from the kernels, let it cool down a bit.
When the kernels are warm(not hot), start adding corn flour little by little and mix well so that each kernel is coated nicely with flour.
Heat oil in medium flame, fry corn in batches and drain excess oil with paper towels.
In a small bowl mix chilli powder, garam masala, cumin powder, chat masala and salt(adjust salt according to your taste). This is our masala mix.
Add masala mix to the fried corn and give nice toss.
Finally sprinkle little oregano mix and serve hot. This is the best tea time snack ever.

Pori Urundai/ Puffed rice balls

This is the easiest recipe and my kids favourite. It requires minimum ingredients to make.
Ingredients:
Pori/Puffed rice - 5 cups
Elachi/cardamom powder - a pinch
Jaggery/ achu vellam - 1 cup
Water - 1 cup
Ghee - 1 tsp
Method:
Heat jaggery with water till it is completely dissolved. Filter jaggery water from impurities.
Take a heavy bottomed pan, heat jaggery water, elachi powder and ghee till you get one-string consistency thick syrup.
One string consistency is when you one drop of jaggery syrup in water, it forms a ball.
Now the syrup is ready, add pori immediately and mix it nicely with the syrup. The pori should be coated nicely with the jaggery.
Apply some ghee on your hand, start preparing small tight balls while the pori is warm. 
I made about 15 pori urundais. 

Energy Bar

This is a healthy snack, you can make it in large and store in an airtight container. This last for days when refrigerated. 
Ingredients:
Oats - 1 cup
Whole wheat flour - 1/4 cup
Milk powder - 1/2 cup
Cashew - 1/2 cup
Raisin - 1/2 cup
Pitted dates - 1/2 cup
Almond - 1/2 cup
Pistachios - 1/2 cup
Walnut - 1/2 cup
Honey - 1/2 cup
Water - 1/2 cup
Method:
Roast oats slightly. Except honey and water, blend everything in the blender. Coarsely grind it.
Add honey to the ground ingredients, blend it well. Finally add water little-by-little till the mixture becomes gluey. Add water as required, no need to add the whole 1/2 cup.  
Preheat oven to 200 degree celsius, pour the mixture in the greased baking pan and bake for 20 minutes.
Let it cool and cut it into pieces. Store the energy bar in an airtight container. Munch it whenever you have a craving. This provides immediate energy, better than junk foods.