Category Archives: Snack Time



Anyone heard of “Sanna’s”. They are soft and fluffy cotton balls and can soak up any gravy or kuzhambu. They are traditionally made with toddy or with yeast nowadays. The sannas may look like idlys but unlike idlys they are slightly sweet and are have a very different texture.

Sannas can be had in many different ways. They can be had either as a sweet dish by adding sweetened coconut milk to them or as a savoury by having it with any curry.

The sannas taste best the day they are made. So try them…



Idly rice/ boiled rice                                                                                       –              1 ½ cups

Raw rice ( I used sona masuri)                                                                       –              ½ cup

Whole urad dhal (skin removed )                                                                     –              ¼ cup

Yeast                                                                                                           –              ½ tsp

Sugar                                                                                                           –              2-3  tbsps

Warm water                                                                                                  –              2-3 tbsps

Salt                                                                                                              –              1 tbsp



Wash and soak the raw rice, boiled rice and urad dhal separately. They need to soak for at least 4-5 hours in separate vessels.

Drain and grind the urad dhal first to get a soft and fluffy batter. The batter would be double in volume. Remove the urad dhal batter and keep aside.

Drain the water and grind both the rice together. It is the same as grinding for the idly/dosa batter. The rice mixture should be smooth. Make sure to keep pushing the batter from the sides, to get a uniform mixture.

The batter should be like that of the idly batter but with ¼ cup water extra. i.e. it should not be very thick, but don’t add too much water as we will be adding water from the yeast solution.

Transfer the batter to a large vessel as the batter would double in volume.

Now, prepare the yeast solution by mixing the yeast with a teaspoon sugar and adding warm water to it. Allow it to stand for 5-10 minutes. The mixture will start frothing. Mix well and pour into the batter.

Mix the batter well so that the yeast mixture is well incorporated.

Add salt and remaining a sugar and mix well.

(The sanna’s are slightly sweet, but you can adjust to your liking.)

Cover the batter and keep in a warm place for it to ferment. This should take around 2-3 hours.

sanaas collage

When the batter has doubled, do not mix the batter.

To get fluffy sannas, spoon the batter into greased moulds and place in a steamer. Take spoonful of batter from the sides and fill the moulds.

Fill the moulds to only half as they would rise.

Steam for 15-20 minutes.

Remove the lid making sure not to drop any water on the sanna’s. Remove the moulds from the steamer and place them face down (the open side down). Allow them to cool. When they are cool, remove from mould and serve.


IMG_6362     IMG_6367


While they are cooling the next batch of sanna’s can be placed in the steamer.

To fasten the cooling process you can place the mould in a place with water. Place them normally with the bottom down.

The batter cannot be stored as it has yeast. So make sure to grind only as much as you need. Use smaller size cups for small quantities.


Posted by on November 4, 2014 in Snack Time, Tiffin


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Vegetable Patties

Vegetable Patties

It was such a long and relaxing weekend here for us in Dubai.

Food is never complete without making non-vegetarian at home, during the holidays.

Yes… we did have our festival,

Yes… we did pray, but why deprive the man and the kids of something they love…

So, except for one single day, made non-vegetarian every other day with desserts for them.

But poor me being the vegetarian(just this month), would’nt have survived if not for my vegetable patties. They were made for the kids earlier and frozen. They were a life saver, especially since I had guests and they were vegetarian too…

So here’s my way of making the vegetable patties..



Potatoes (boiled and mashed)                                                                –              2 nos

Mixed vegetables (boiled and mashed)                                                    –              1 cup

(I used carrots, peas, cauliflower)

Onion (diced)                                                                                         –              1 no

Green chillies(diced)                                                                               –              1 no

Cilantro (chopped finely)                                                                          –              ¼ cup

Chat masala                                                                                           –              1 tsp

Garam masala                                                                                        –              ½ tsp

Bread crumbs/ Panko                                                                              –              1 cup

Cornflour                                                                                                –              1 tbsp

Salt to taste



In a small pan, heat a teaspoon of oil and add the onions and sauté.

Add the green chillies and sauté till the onions have changed color to a slight pink. Keep aside to cool.

Make sure all the vegetables are cooked well and mashed before making the cutlets/ patties.

In a large bowl, mix all the mashed vegetable together.

Season with salt, chat masala and the garam masala and add a tablespoon or two of bread crumbs to it.

Now, add the sautéed onions and chopped cilantro to it, mix well.

Make smalls balls with the vegetables and slightly flatten them to discs.

Shape all the vegetable to discs and keep aside.

Make a slurry with the corn-flour and keep ready.

Dip the vegetable cutlets into the corn-flour slurry and then into the Panko crumbs/ bread crumbs. Make sure to coat the entire cutlet with the corn-flour and crumbs for a crispy coating.

Repeat the same process for the remaining cutlets and keep aside.

(The cutlets can be frozen at this stage and can be used whenever you like.)

Heat a shallow pan with oil and when the oil’s hot fry the cutlets on medium heat till both the sides are golden brown in color. Drain on absorbent paper.

Enjoy your cutlets/ patties hot with ketchup or chutney.



Posted by on October 7, 2014 in Appetisers, Snack Time, Vegetarian Dishes


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Ghee Biscuits

Ghee Biscuits

Having spent all my summer vacations, winter vacations and any other holiday in Pondicherry, I think I know a bit about the place.

In the evening after our compulsory siesta, we had to walk to the nearby bakery, either with our mami or take a rickshaw with our “papma” my grandmother to get our evening snack. It could range from cakes, stuffed buns or even biscuits.

Ghee biscuits are a very common sight in the bakeries. Though the bakeries use only maida for the cookies, I used almond meal also in my cookies, which made them extra tasty.

These cookies hardly take any time to make but are really tasty.



All purpose flour/ maida                                                                  –              100 gms

Almond meal                                                                                 –              100 gms

Powdered sugar                                                                             –              ½ cup

Powdered cardamoms                                                                    –              4-5 nos

Ghee (or unsalted butter)                                                                 –              ½ cup (melted)

Milk                                                                                               –              1-2 tbsps

Salt a pinch



Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees centigrade.

In a bowl, mix the all purpose flour, almond meal, powdered sugar, cardamom powder and pinch of salt and keep aside.

Melt the ghee and add to the flour mixture.

Mix the ghee into the dough with your fingers.

Add just a tablespoon of milk and knead the mixture to a stiff dough.

Roll out the dough and using a cookie cutter, cut into desired shapes and arrange on a baking sheet.

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes till they are golden brown.

Remove from the oven and let them cool.

Dust the cookies with powdered sugar and serve.



Ghee can be replaced by unsalted butter.

Almond meal is powdered almonds.

The cookies stay fresh in an airtight container for upto a week.



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Posted by on September 15, 2014 in Eggless baking, Snack Time


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Magizhampoo Murukku with Coconut Milk

Magizhampoo Murukku with Coconut Milk

“Magizampoo” is a flower and this murukku is named so maybe because they thought it resembles the same. This is also called “mullu murukku” which literally means “thorn murukku” again this is because of the appearance.

I never experiment with age-old recipes, especially during festivals and functions. I have this “cookery bible” which my mother gave me for all the age-old recipes. It has every recipe (vegetarian) in it. So, this recipe is not mine but Meenakshi Amma’s and yes they have an English version printed as well.

Having said that, I must admit that the original recipe had sugar candy added to it. But again my son liked it without the sweet, so I did not add it this time.



Rice Flour (idiyappam Flour Packet)                                                            –              2 cups

Moon dhal Flour(roasted)                                                                            –              ½ cup

Coconut milk (thin extract)                                                                           –              ¼ cup

Sesame seeds                                                                                           –              1 tsp

Butter                                                                                                        –              1 tbsp

Salt to taste

Oil for deep-frying



To make the moong dhal flour, we need to first dry roast the moong dhal till it changed color. Cool it and grind in a coffee grinder/ mixer. Sieve this powder and keep ready.

Mix the rice flour, moong dhal flour, sesame seeds, butter, salt and the coconut milk with water and make a smooth dough.

The dough should be slightly soft and when kneaded should not form any cracks.

Cover the dough with a damp kitchen towel.

Take a murukku press and fit the single star shape plate in it.

Heat oil in a deep pan and wait for it get hot.

Now, fill the murukku press with the dough and draw concentric circles with the dough on a greased plastic cover(zip-lock cover).

Carefully drop the murukku in the hot oil and fry on medium flame.

Cook the murukku on both sides till the bubbles reduce completely.

Remove from the oil and drain on absorbent paper.

Do the same process for the remaining dough.

Cool completely before serving.

Enjoy your murukkus anytime of the day.



You can add some powdered sugar candy along with the coconut milk for a mild sweet taste.

You can add 2 tablespoons of powdered sugar candy to it.(kalkandu)

Always deep fry on a medium heat for the murukkus to cook on the inside as well.

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Posted by on August 15, 2014 in Festival Dishes, Snack Time


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What do you have normally with your cuppa in the evening..

The usual samosa, biscuits?

Try the “thattai” for a change. It’s crisp and is mildly spiced which compliments well with the cuppa.

“Thattai” is one of the snacks of Tamilnadu. It is usually made during Krishna Jayanthi or sometimes even during Deepavali.



Rice flour (Idiyappam Flour Packet)                                                             –              2 cups

Urad dhal flour                                                                                           –              2 tablespoons

Butter                                                                                                       –              2 tsps

Roasted Channa dhal Flour                                                                         –              2 tablespoons

Red chilli Powder                                                                                       –              1 tsp

Sesame seeds                                                                                           –              ½ – 1 tsp

asafoetida                                                                                                   –              ¼ tsp

Channa Dhal (soaked)                                                                                  –              1 tablespoon

Curry leaves (Julienne)                                                                                –              1 tablespoon

Oil for deep-frying



Soak the channa dhal in water for a minimum of half an hour.

Mix the rice flour, urad dhal flour, roasted channa dhal flour, butter, asafoetida, red chilli powder, salt, sesame seeds, curry leaves and the soaked channa dhal with water and make a smooth dough.

The dough should be such that when you roll no cracks should form.

Keep the dough covered with a damp kitchen towel at all times to prevent it from drying out.

Make small balls of the same size and keep aside.

Flatten the balls with any vessel having a flat bottom, between two sheets of plastic. (I used zip-lock bags)

Heat oil in a deep pan. The oil should be very hot.

Slowly remove the flattened thattai from the plastic cover and drop into the hot oil.

Reduce the heat to medium for the Thattais to cook inside.

When the bubbles from the thattai reduce on one side, turn it over and let it cook on the other side. Cook till all the bubbles from the thattai reduce and the color is golden or slightly brown.

Remove and drain on absorbent paper.

Do the same process for the remaining thattais.

Let them cool completely before serving.

Enjoy your thattai with hot coffee or tea in the evening.



Roasted Channa dhal is “Pottukadalai” which is powdered.

You can make urad dhal powder by dry roasting the urad dhal till it changes color and powdering it in a coffee grinder/ mixer.

The temperature of the thattai is the most important to get crisp ones. It should be hot while adding into the oil and reduced to medium heat for it cook inside.

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Posted by on August 15, 2014 in Festival Dishes, Snack Time


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Cranberry and Pistachio Biscotti

Cranberry and Pistachio Biscotti

Biscotti, this is a twice baked cookie which originated from Italy. These cookies are oblong and are crunchy and dry.  The biscotti stay on for long periods of time provided they are still there. They are best had with coffee or tea, where they can be dunked into the drink. There are many variations to the biscotti with nuts, seeds, dry fruits and some even have chocolate. Best evening snack to be had as it is light and does not over power the coffee.



Cranberries                                                                            –              100 gms

Pistachios                                                                               –              100 gms

Sugar                                                                                        –              2/3 cup

Eggs                                                                                          –              3 nos

Baking powder                                                                     –              1 tsp

All purpose flour                                                                  –              2 cups

Salt a pinch



Pre-heat the oven to 180 deg centigrade. Grease a baking sheet and line with parchment paper or wax paper.

Using an electric beater, whisk the eggs and sugar till they are light and fluffy. The egg and sugar mixture must be pale and fluffy. When it reaches this stage, add the vanilla essence. And beat again for a minute.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, salt and baking powder. Mix the flour mixture with the egg mixture. They should form a ball. If the mix is too sticky, add a bit more flour.

Knead the cranberries and the pistachios into the dough. The dough will be slightly sticky, so wet your hands to prevent the dough from sticking to your hands. Divide the dough into two halves. Shape each half into oblong loaves and place on the baking sheet.

Bake for 20 mins or till they are slightly browned and are firm to touch. Leave them to cool for some-time and then cut them into 5 mm thick slices. Arrange these slices on a wire rack placed on the baking sheet. Reduce the oven temperature to 160 deg centigrade and bake them for 10 mins on either side. Leave the biscotti to cool and store them in air-tight containers.


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Posted by on June 9, 2014 in Snack Time