Friday, August 30, 2013

Indian Snacks

Indian Snacks - Some of the Varieties
Indian snacks range from murukku to namkeen.  Such food is usually savored with a hot cup of coffee or tea.  What are the key traits of these snacks?   They are tasty.   Some snacks could be hot, because they may have much chili powder and or pepper powder as an ingredient(s).  Others may be moderately spicy or be not spicy at all.  A few of the varieties of Indian snacks have mildly sweet-and-spicy or sweet-and-sour taste.

If you make the snacks at home, you can tailor them to meet your taste needs:  For instance, use less chili powder to make them less hot and use salt in quantities that is just right for you.


The snacks such as murukku, which is also known as chakli or chakkuli, namkeen, fried groundnuts, fried moong dal, and sev are among the popular snacks.  These can be called as the traditional Indian snacks, because of their popularity since several decades.

In the past, come summer or winter, many used to prepare snacks in quantities that would last weeks and sometimes, months.  Today because of busy lifestyles that many may follow and its potential impact on health, making snacks, perhaps, is no more a routine.

As everyone generally likes to eat snacks like the above, making them once in a while, in limited quantities, might be a good idea.


What else, on a rainy or cold day, other than an Indian snack, whether it is murukku or fried groundnuts, with a steaming cup of coffee or tea, can enliven the mind?

From a health angle, do watch on how much of the snacks that are deep-fried you eat.

What are some of the common ingredients you need to make an Indian snack?  A key and common ingredient, say for snacks like namkeen and sev, is chickpea / besan / chana flour.  For murukku, rice flour is a main item.

Hing or asafoetida is an ingredient in many of the Indian snacks that gives these foods a unique flavor.


To make snacks like murukku and namkeen, you need the murukku machine or one similar to it.  Such a machine is usually available in stores that sell steel and other metal utensils.

Here are the links to the recipes with step-by-step instructions and photos to make:

1.  Murukku

2.  Namkeen

3.  Sev

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Benefits of Curry Leaves

Curry Leaves
Curry Leaf Rice

With the information on the benefits of curry leaves, use this gift of nature as a part of your everyday cooking ingredients and in its natural form.  In Indian cooking, in general, and south Indian vegetarian cooking, in particular, curry leaves are used in dishes that range from pulavs to sambars, curries to chutneys.  The benefits of curry leaves would make you to use them in your day-to-day cooking.

Certain food preparations make a heavy use of curry leaves. Such items include curry leaves rice, curry leaves chutney and curry leaves chutney powder.

Here is the URL for the curry leaves rice recipe at

Here is the URL for the curry leaves chutney recipe at

Why should you use Curry Leaves in Cooking?

Here are some of the benefits of curry leaves. These:
  • Have antioxidants.  These are molecules, found in raw food like curry leaves, fruits and vegetables, which prevent diseases or lower the risk of the same.
  • Have vitamin A, which means they are good for eye health.
  • May help keep diabetes under control. A research study conducted by the School of Medicine, University of Chicago, found that curry leaf may help “in improving the management of high cholesterol levels and type 2 diabetes.”
  • May work as a powerful anticancer agent.
  • Can help digest food easily.  It is quite common to add curry leaves to buttermilk, which can be consumed with rice or can be used as an after-lunch or after-dinner drink.
  • Are a source of vitamin C, calcium and iron.

Where to buy Curry Leaves?

If you are thinking of where to buy curry leaves, an answer is buy from a vegetable vendor who comes to your street every morning.

It is best to use fresh curry leaves in the dish you will prepare.  So, the vegetable wallah would be a best bet to buy a bundle of curry leaves, as he / she would perhaps carry the fresh stuff.

Another answer to the question, “Where to buy curry leaves?” is buy from a grocery store or a vegetable market.  These sources too would carry fresh leaves.

How to Use Curry Leaves?

First, thoroughly wash the curry leaves and wipe them dry.

Use a few leaves, about six to seven or more, depending on the quantity of the food you are preparing, in the seasoning you prepare for rice preparations, sambars, rasams and curries.


Finely chop the curry leaves, again their number depends on the quantity, and add them to the buttermilk.

Curry Leaves Rice Recipe

One of the recipes for curry leaves is the curry leaves rice.  Here is the URL for the step-by-step instructions with photos to make curry leaves rice: