Vennai Pittu (Coconut-Milk Rice Pudding)

Merry Christmas everyone! Every Christmas feast should have a dessert. Vennai Pittu derives its name from the Tamil word vennai which means ‘butter’ due to its soft and uniform consistency. This light and easy dessert is a delicious way to wind up the heavy protein-and-fat rich Christmas lunch or dinner.

Vennai Pittu - Kalas Kalai

Vennai Pittu (Coconut-Milk Rice Pudding)

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Ravai Idly (Steamed Semolina Savoury Cakes)

I don’t believe Ravai Idly is native to Tamil Nadu, though Tamil Nadu is famous for its rice idlies. I have no recollection of my mother ever making ravai idlies. I came across ravai idlies only in cookery books. This dish uses curds to prepare the batter, and as I used to rack my brains for ways to utilise the leftover curds at home, I decided to give this a try. I was very pleased with the flavour of the idlies and the substantial breakfast they made.


Ravai Idly - Kalas Kalai
Ravai Idlies with idly plates

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Surulappam (Pancake Wrap with Sweet Coconut Stuffing)

In Tamil, the term Surulappam means rolled (or curled) flat fried bread. In this case, the bread happens to be a pancake. It also has a sweet stuffing of fresh coconut, sugar, and freshly crushed cardamom, which gives it the most exquisite taste and flavour.

Surulappam - Kalas Kalai

Surulappam (full and sliced to show the stuffing)

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Poori (Deep Fried Wheat Bread)

The poori is a North Indian dish. When it came to South India it captured the hearts, and stomachs, of all South Indians. It is consumed for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It is freshly fried and served across the spectrum of eateries, from 5-star hotels to roadside snack bars. Mothers pack leftover pooris from breakfast as lunch for their children. It makes a filling meal that satisfies everyone.

Poori - Kalas Kalai 1

Poori (Deep Fried Wheat Bread)

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Quick Adai (with leftover Dosai batter)

In Thirunelveli (where I hail from) Adai is made traditionally by soaking rice, red gram dhal, and green gram dhal, and grinding these in a wet grinder. Red chillies are soaked in water the previous night and are ground along with the batter. I have always found it tedious to prepare adai for breakfast in this manner. One day I was wondering what to do with a cup of leftover dosai batter. A bulb flashed in my head and I thought why don’t I try to make adai using this batter with bengal gram dhal flour (kadalai maavu/basan) which is readily available in India and skip the time and labour involved in grinding. Apart from the batter, I have strictly followed the ingredients my mother used to use in the preparation of adai, including the oil.

Adai with leftover dosail batter

Adai with leftover dosai batter

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