10 Commandments for a Healthy Life

  1. Drink 8 glasses of water every day
  2. Limit Sugar, Caffeine & Alcohol intake to 2 servings per day (in total)
  3. Include fresh fruits, vegetables, spices & legumes in the diet
  4. Exercise 4 times per week
  5. Meditate 30 minutes everyday
  6. Plan ahead to Explore, Experiment & Experience
  7. Be on time (or 10 minutes early)
  8. Spend time with Family
  9. Meet old friends often & also nurture new friendships
  10. Surprise friends/family with gifts & timely gestures

Burnt Chilly Chutney!

There is something about the smell of Burnt Chillies.. the air is filled with a fragrance that leads you to think theres something delicious cooking on the stove. And it’s true.

Burnt Chilly Chutney – sounds spicy, and it is..

Part 1: The Chutney

What you need:

  • 2 TBSP oil
  • Red Chilly – 3 to infinity* (see Large print below)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup cut Veggies / Nuts (see options below)
  • 1 TSP thick Tamarind Juice
  • 1 TSP Jaggery / Sugar
  • Salt to taste

How to:

  1. Oil in hot stove
  2. Add Chillies & scald
  3. Add rest of the ingredients & Roast on slow fire until combined
  4. Grind after completely cool

Part 2: Tempering

What you need:

  • 1 TSP oil
  • Mustard Seeds
  • Asafotedia
  • Curry Leaves

How to:

  1. Oil in hot stove
  2. Add Mustard Seeds, Asafotedia / Hing, Curry Leaves
  3. Add the Ground Paste & cook for 2 minutes
  4. Serve with Rice, Naan, Idly, Dosa, Bread, Yogurt… anything!

Choose 2-3 from these Veggie / Nut options: Onion, Garlic, Ginger, Tomatoes, Squash, Spinach, Mint leaves, Coriander Leaves, Roasted Eggplant, Peanuts, Cashew

Large print:

  • According to the desired spice level, start with 3 chillies and then adjust up or down depending on the taste & heat of the chilly
  • Of course, the seeds can be taken off to reduce the heat, and still get the great taste of the Burnt Chillies 🙂



Rahasya – Henna Oil

Henna’s protein & antibacterial properties make it a staple in many hair routines. The bright red color helps cover the grays (some of us need this!) & adds sheen to the hair. Henna, when used with water, makes the hair dry, however, since its combined with oil in this natural DIY recipe, it makes the hair smooth & shiny.

What you need:

  1. 2 tablespoons Henna Powder
  2. 1 Tablespoon Fenugreek (Methi) Seeds
  3. 1 Cup Coconut or Olive Oil

How to:

  1. Mix Henna Powder & Fenugreek Seeds with 1 Cup Oil
  2. Microwave/Heat on the stove for 1 min
  3. Store in a Glass Jar (cover the Jar after the oil is completely cool)


Heat the Henna Oil for 10-20 seconds & apply the warm oil on the scalp. Wash off with shampoo after 30 min.

Try it & let me know how it works.

Note: Henna is very cooling for the body; we may likely catch a cold if the oil is left on the hair for more than 30 min. 

Banana Dosa

shhhh (Dakshin Copycat Recipe)

This recipe is inspired by Park Sheraton Dakshin’s famous Banana Dosa, and is from my mom. My daughters love this as a snack or dinner. This is also one of my favorite “office-snacks”. These little dosas can be refrigerated and warmed up in the microwave before serving.

What you need:

  • 2 Ripe Bananas
  • 1 Cup Wheat Flour
  • 1 TBSP Rice Flour
  • 1 Pinch Cardamom Powder
  • ½ cup Jaggery/Sugar
  • Coconut Flakes/Bits – 3 TBSP (Optional)
  • 1 ½ to 2 Cups Water
  • Butter/Ghee/Oil for pan frying

Here’s how the cute lil banana dosas are made:

  1. Boil the Sugar/Jaggery with ½ cup water. Keep aside to cool once it comes to a rolling boil. Strain into a mixing bowl
  2. Add to the mixing bowl: mashed banana, wheat flour, rice flour, cardamom powder
  3. Mix remaining water to make a batter (pan-cake batter consistency)
  4. Heat a pan and add a little butter/oil/ghee
  5. Drop 1 spoon of batter onto the pan. Turn & cook the other side till brown. Add a little more butter/oil/ghee for extra yum!


I love Michigan. I love Coffee. I love Baking. I love Rowing. I love Madras.

All that I love, I discovered in Michigan.

Michigan, a stepping stone to a wonderful life… a life that has come full circle as I am back in Madras.

my home, my love! Madras & Michigan.

I left Madras to go to Michigan.  I have left Michigan to return back to Madras.

Waiting to go back, waiting to come home, the heart meanders from Michigan to Madras & Madras to Michigan.

Home now, namma Chennai, er Madras.

Why this “Holiday Cheer” Theme? Because I immediately think of Snow when I think of Michigan, & I think of the Holiday Season when I think of Snow! How I miss the combination of the Snow, Holiday Season & Michigan!