Payasam, Kheer, Sweet Pudding, Rice Pudding etc., refer to an Indian dessert which is served on any auspicious days like Thamiz new year’s day, deepavali, birthdays, weddings, ceremonies and all.

Today being thamiz new years day, and special first one for a new member in our family, i made Vella payasam which is combination of Jaggery and Milk. Since i like Pal(Milk) based payasams better than Jaggery i had not tried the later many times. The times i have tried them, they did not come out well. But today it was perfect, not sure how. We enjoyed it very much.

Ingredients :

Moong Dal(Pasi purupu) – 1/2 cup

Channa Dal(Kadala parupu) – 2 Tbs.

Jaggery(Vellam) – 1 Cup

Water – 1 Cup + 1.5 Cups

Milk – 1 Cup

Coconut Milk – 2 Tbs(Optional)

Cardamom(Powdered) – 1 Tsp

Cashews(Mundhiri) – 2 Tbs

Raisins – 2 Tbs

Ghee – 2 Tbs

Method :

1. Fry both the dals till the raw smell goes.

2. Pressure cook them with 1.5 cups of water or cook them on stove top till mushy.

3. Take jaggery along with 1 cup water and boil it.

4. Add the cooked dal and bring it to boil.

5. Add milk and reduce heat(i microwaved the milk for a minute before adding for the fear of spoiling the payasam since i experienced this in the past)

6. Add coconut milk and turn off heat.

7. Fry cashews, raisins in ghee and add it to the payasam along with cardamom powder.

Enjoy as many bowls as you can ūüôā

Notes :

You can substitue dals with rice and make the payasam with rice.

I enjoyed a good vella(m) payasam after a long long time. It has the right amount of sweetness to it, not too less nor too much, just right.

Notes to me: Take picture where there is good lighting.


Earth Hour

Yesterday, March 29, 2008 between 8 pm – 9 pm “Earth Hour” was celebrated. More about Earth hour can be read here.

How did i celebrate? We had candle lite dinner. It was fun, remember olden days when we did not have electricity in Chennai then Madras during the evenings esp. when having dinner or watching an important program on the TV or studying for an exam. It was nostalgia. DH was happy to see me use all those pretty candles i have been buying for display purposes. DD was not sure why the house was not well lit and was little uncomfortable if left alone.

All said, i enjoyed it for sometime but kept checking the clock often to switch on the lights. Definitely would do this more often and i want to have a Internet less day, no hour but a day is what i want!

How did you celebrate?


As the name suggests, Maggianos¬†is an Italian Restaurant catering Italian-American dishes. This is our second visit to this restaurant. The first time we went there was on May 2006 after watching preview show of the movie “Over the hedge” at the Century Theatres.

Maggianos is centrally located in San Jose, CA. It is in Santana Row Рa upscale shopping/dining/residential district. There are lot of shops, spas, boutiques, coffee shops to laze around. A nice little fountain  and play structure in front to Maggianos attracts lots of families with kids. Across from Maggianos is the famous Winchester Mystery House and Century Theartes.

From our first visit we remember Maggiano’s to be an expensive(the entrees being $20 or so) and¬†not a casual dining place. But we were totally mistaken from our visit today(one of the reasons for this blog). We found the place to be reasonably priced and we saw mixed crowd of both casual and fine diners.

Maggiano’s dining room looks small, catering about 100 diners but their capacity is 546. They have banquet halls and other rooms which cater to parties. There was wedding, couple of baby showers and a 65th birthday party during lunch hour.

We went there about 12.15 PM and were seated immediately. We were served warm bread with butter and olive oil + vinegar on the side upon seating. But the order was taken 15 minutes later. DH ordered the “Mushroom Ravioli al Forno” and i the¬†Angel Hair, Coach Joey Z’s Pomodoro Sauce”¬†with a side order of Minestorne Soup.

Since we are bread loving family and wait time for the food to arrive was a quite a bit, we ended up having lot of bread. The first batch of bread was warm but the consecutive ones were not. The time taken for the subsequent batches of bread was also significant. Minestrone soup came couple of minutes before the entrees. The soup was decent, lot of chunky vegetables including potatoes. I could feel the tomato base. Not many beans tough. 

The pasta serving size was huge. It had a¬†sweet taste and i knew there was something which¬†i had not tasted before(found out it was white wine when i was¬†writing this). DH’s entree was too rich because of the¬†al forno sauce.¬†He did not like it¬†since the sauce spoiled the taste of the raviolis.¬†¬†Got a to go box for the pasta.

No desserts, too full. Not too expensive, the bill was about $25 which is reasonable for us.

Overall it was OK, could have been better. We will go sometime later in the year to try other dishes.

We went lazing around Santana Row after  lunch since it was a pleasant day. Found our way to The Container Store and picked up few items in their spring sale event.

Maggiano's Little Italy in San Jose

Have a nice weekend!

Restaurant Veiws

Restaurant views will have the restarurants we have visited over the years. Since we love to eat out, we go out almost every week. This space is to record where we went, how we felt about the food that particular day, is it worth while to come back again and few other things.


… my blog “Leaves Of Life” in the world of web is¬†pure excitement. This space will be a collection of my many¬† itsy bitsy thoughts, experiments in the kitchen, travel, restaurants views¬†and other things that matter to me.

Hope you enjoy this blog.

Drop a line about how i am doing.